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encouraged it through their agent, and, as cruelhearted as they were cold-blooded, treacherously awaited till the moment of its execution,* and then they pounced upon their ensnared and deluded victims. The brothers walked hand-inhand to the same scaffold, and perished together.

Samuel Neilson was a man of principle: his real object was Parliamentary Reform. He conducted a newspaper set up at Belfast, in 1791, upon republican principles. He had been imprisoned for upwards of a year, on the information of a person, who declared afterwards that no charge could be proved against him, and was liberated in February 1798. He was sent for, and closetted with Mr. Pelham, on an enquiry by the Secretary as to the probability of conciliating the North of Ireland by granting Reform, and at the period of his release he was in habits of intercourse with the people of the Castle. They sought him in order to obtain intelligence, as he was an open-mouthed person. He was not devoid of taste and talent, was fond of books, and in politics was extravagant, but not irreclaimable. He was imprudent in conduct, very intemperate in his habits, and addicted to dissipation, all which rendered him very unfitt for an undertaking such as that in which he was embarked.

His figure was Herculean, and his mind and manner were similar, and as bold.

He attempted to force the jail, after the capture of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and rescue the State

* Lord Castlereagh could have stopped them at least one fortnight before, for he was regularly informed by Armstrong of the result of each interview, and every communication with the Sheares'sbut he allowed them to go on

- See the trial. † The letter of Sheares, found on him when he was arrested, in which the former expostulated with him on his attempt to rescue the state prisoners, is a proof of his want of judgment and prudence, and shows how little concert and subordination existed among the leaders even of that party.--Report Secret Committee.

CHAP. X.] RIGOROUS TREATMENT OF HIM.

369 prisoners at Newgate. He was taken ; his clothes were torn off him, and his body wounded all over by the soldiers hacking at him; he was cut and scarred in upwards of fifty places, and was only saved by the number of his opponents, and dragged into jail. When brought into the Court, the noise of his entrance was like the march of men in iron. He was called on to plead, and asked if he had anything to say; he replied, in a stentorian voice, * No!-I have been robbed of everything ; I could not fee counsel; my property—everything has been taken from me!"--and he turned away, but he came again to the front, and said, “ For myself, I have nothing to say--I scorn your power, and despise that authority that it shall ever be my pride to have opposed ; but I may say—not that I value it—why am I kept with these weighty irons on me, so heavy that three ordinary men could scarcely carry them? Is it your law, that I should be placed in irons, and in such irons ?” Lord Carleton,* who was one of the Judges, called up the jailor (Gregg) to account for this : he said, “It is true, my Lord, he is in irons, and in such irons as I would not think of putting on any two men ; but it was necessary-my life was attempted— I was not safe.” Neilson interrupted

* Lord Carleton had been solicitor-general several years before. He was a timid man; his mind was weakness itself. He understood law very well, and proved to be an excellent judge. He was very sharp, and at the state trials was cool and collected, not influenced by the fury and passion of the times, though he was by the result. . He was remarkable for a pleasing address, and for the goodness of his manners; but in politics he had no idea whatever of public spirit or principle; in the House of Commons he made a wretched figure. In the Lords he supported the Union, not by arguments, but in the weakest and most pusillanimous style of reasoning. After that; he was allowed to retire on a large pension, in consequence of a plea of bad health, and he lived in London for upwards of twenty years in the gayest style,

Some lawyer observing to Curran that his sharpness surprised him, Curran replied, “Don't you know that water turned to ice cuts like adamant ? That's Carleton's case. All his former fears have collected themselves, and have become condensed.”

VOL. 1V.

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him: “Your life!- I scorned to take it I did not resist till I was nearly torn to pieces—and in defence of myself I resisted—I would scorn to take your life”-and he looked at him with savage contempt. He refused to engage counsel to defend him; his trial, however, did not come on, and he was included in the list of exiles that went into banishment.

Curran, who had undertaken his defence, went to see him in prison. He was loaded with chains, but his mind was firm and undaunted, and his spirits as buoyant as in the days of prosperity : fear never entered into his composition. Curran exclaimed, “ Neilson, I am sorry to see you thus.” “ Oh !” said he, kicking off his chains, “ do you think I wear these always ? I sent for John the inspector. John, do you see that bottle?-do you see this half-crown?-what should be done with this half-crown and that bottle ?' • Fill it with whiskey, Sir,' said he. Now, John, I have been kind to you heretofore-look here, take notice of these pins- I will break that bottle on your head; so make your election, either fetch the whiskey or have the bottle broken on your head.'But,” said Curran,

are you not afraid to speak thus ?-don't you know they may chain you to the ground ?- not able to stir ?” ?

. i. What of that?” Neilson replied ; “it is but for a time ;—my limbs will feel more pleasant when they get out of them.”

Curran used to relate another anecdote of him and Reynolds the informer. The latter was in the pay of Government, and at length began to be suspected. Neilson one day saw him in College Green, and coming up, he seized him with Her

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* After his liberation from Fort George, he went, in 1802, to Altona, and subsequently to Van Dieman's Land, where he died, as I heard, from dissipation.

CHAP. X.

NEILSON'S THREAT TO REYNOLDS.

371

culean force, and kept his arm under him as if in a vice; he hurried him along without opening his lips, until he got him into a dark entry off Thomasstreet; and having got him in there, he exclaimed,

Reynolds ! what punishment do you think should be inflicted upon a villain who would betray you ?” Reynolds was frightened, but having had time to collect himself, looking at Neilson he exclaimed, “ Bring me to the atrocious villain, and with this hand I will blow his brains out”. he acted it well. Neilson said, "Ah! you are doubted; I shall have you watched--if you go away, depend on it you will fall.” A few days after Reynolds betrayed them all.

372

CHAPTER XI.

Mr. Grattan remains at Tinnehinch-Visit by Neilson and the Govern

ment spy Mr. Grattan's statement - Conduct of GovernmentReynolds the informer-Lord Edward Fitzgerald - Lord Clonmell

-The Ancient Britons - Lord Dufferin's visit- O'Connor's trialNarrative by Mrs. Grattan-Excesses by the Yeomanry and Ancient Britons – French tutor's escape from banging—Mr. Graitan arrested in London-Free quarters at Mrs. Bermingham's—Mrs. Grattan goes to Wales—Sir Ralph Abercromby resigns the command of the troops in Ireland-Cruel orders of Sir James Stuart Arrest and death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald-Conduct of Lord Camden-Lady Louisa Conolly and Lord Clare-Insurrection breaks out 23rd of May- Martial law proclaimed_Conduct of John Claudius Beresford and Colonel Maxwell (afterwards Lord Farnham)–Proposals of execution and confiscation discouraged— Excesses of the military-Burning Maynooth, Kilcock, Celbridge-Conduct in the county of Wicklow-Sir John Moore's remarks on the Yeomanry-Various conflicts during the Insurrection -General Nugent's cruel proclamation–The chieftains Holt and Dwyer, traits of —Mr. Sheridan's motion in the British House of Commons on behalf of Ireland-Lord Cornwallis sent to Ireland-Landing and capture of the French under Humbert-Dr. Duigenan's pamphlet, attacks Mr. Grattan—The latter proceeds to Dublin-Narrow escape at Tinnehinch—Letters to Mr. Berwick and MʻCan-Report of Secret Committee of the House of Lords-Neilson and Hughes' evidence-Difference between the Reports of the Commons and the Lords—Mr. Grattan disfranchised by the corporation of Dublin-His name struck from the privy council — Letters of Dowdall and Neilson-Mr. Grattan's letters to Mr. Fox, Mr. Bermingham, and Mr. M‘Can-Statement by Mr. Grattan submitted to Mr. (afterwards Lord) Erskine - Opinion of the latter - Mr. Grattan's letter to the Courier newspaper on his disfranchisement by the Dublin corporation Letters of Mr. Berwick and Mr. Fox-Dowdall and Bird's singular letters to Mr. Grattan.

During these melancholy and eventful times, Mr. Grattan remained in the country, well aware, however, of the danger that surrounded him ; having seen by the disclosures made to Lord Moira, what the informers and spies of Government were capable of doing — what desperate

courses they pursued, and how ready they were to take away a man's reputation, his liberty, or his life.

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