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was lately told to me; the circumstances are well known in the country where they happened, and I shall but give them in the manner as they were related.
Every one must recollect the tragical story of young E-, the Irish patriot; it was too touching to be soon forgotten. During the troubles in Ireland he was tried, condemned, and executed, on a charge of treason. His fate made a deep impression on public sympathy. He was so young-so intelligent-so generous--80 brave-so every thing that we are apt to like in a young man. His conduct under trial, too, was so lofty and intrepid. The noble indignation with which he repelled the charge of treason against his country--the eloquent vindication of his name and his pathetic appeal to posterity, in the hopeless hour of condemnation—all these entered deeply into every generous bosom, and even his enemies lamented the stern policy that dictated his execution*.
* This ill-starred youth was the son of Dr. Emmet, a gentleman of fortune and family, whose mind was deeply imbued with republican principles, which he was but too successful in impressing upon his children. His eldest son, Thomas Addis Emmet, being a suspected character, in 1798 he accepted the terms offered by Government, and retired to France, from thence he proceeded to New-York, where he now holds the first place at the bar of that city, highly respected as a lawyer and esteemed as a man. Robert, the person alluded to by our author, either possessing more enthusiasm or less prudence than his brother, became involved in a series of insurrections, which at last attracted the attention of Government, and the unfortunate man was arrested while he lingered in his flight, in expectation of a last meeting with the lady to whom he was engaged. This amiable female, whose hard fate is described with so much pathos by our author, was the daughter of the celebrated John Philpot Curran. The following address was delivered by Emmet on his trial.
• I am asked if I have any thing to say why sentence of death should be not pronounced upon me. Was I to suffer only death, after be ing adjudged guilty, I should bow in silence; but a man in my situation has not only to combat with the difficulties of fortune, but also the difficulties of prejudice: the sentence of the law which delivers over his body to the executioner consigns his character to obloquy,
But there was one heart, whose anguish it would be - impossible to describe. In happier days and fairer fortunes, he had won the affections of a beautiful and interesting girl, the daughter of a late celebrated Irish barrister. She loved him with the disinterested fervour of a woman's first and early love. When every worldly maxim
The man dies, but his memory lives; and that mine may not forfeit all claim to the respect of my countrymen, I use this occasion to vindicate myself from some of the charges advanced against me. . 'I am charged with being an emissary of France-'tis falsel I am no emissary-I did not wish to deliver up my country to a foreign power, and least of all, to France. No! never did I entertain the idea of establishing French power in Ireland-God forbid. On the contrary, it is evident from the introductory paragraph of the address of the Provisional Government, that every hazard attending an independent effort was deemed preferable to tbe more fatal risk of in. troducing a French army into the country. Small would be our claims to patriotism and to sense, and palpable our affectation of the love of liberty, if we were to encourage the profanation of our shores by a people who are slaves themselves, and the unprincipled and abandoned instruments of imposing slavery on others.
* If such an inference be drawn from any part of the proclamation of the Provisional Government, it calumniates their views, and is not warranted by the fact. How could they speak of freedom to their countrymen? How assume such an exalted motive, and meditate the introduction of a power which has been the enemy of freedom in every part of the globe? Reviewing the conduct of France to other countries, could we expect better towards us? No! Let not, then, any man attaint my memory by believing that I could have hoped for freedom through the aid of France, and betrayed the sacred cause of liberty by committing it to the power of her most determined foe: had I done so, I had not deserved to live; and dying with such a weight upon my character, I had merited the honest execration of that country which gave me birth, and to which I would have given freedom.
* Had I been in Switzerland, I would have fought against the French-in the dignity of freedom, I would have expired on the threshold of that country, and they should have entered it only by passing over my lifeless corpse. Is it then to be supposed that I would be slow to make the same sacrifice to my native land? Am I,
arrayed itself against him; when blasted in fortune, and disgrace, and danger darkened around his name, she loved him the more ardently for his very sufferings. If, then, his fate could awaken the sympathy even of his foes, wbat must have been the agony of her, whose whole soul was occupied by his image! Let those tell who have
who lived but to be of service to my country, and who would subject myself to the bondage of the grave to give her independence-am I to be loaded with the foul and grievous calumny of being an emissary of France?
• My lords, it may be part of the system of angry justice, to bow a man's mind, by humiliation, to meet the ignominy of the scaffold; but worse to me than the scaffold's shame, or the scaffold's terrors, would be the imputation of having been the agent of French despot. ism and ambition; and while I have breath, I will call upon my coun. trymen not to believe me guilty of so foul a crime against their liber. ties and their happiness.
.. Though you, my lord, sit there a judge, and I stand here a culprit, yet you are but a man and I am another. I have a right there. fore to vindicate my character and motives from the aspersions of calumny; and, as a man, to whom fame is dearer than life, I will make the last use of that life in rescuing my name and my memory from the afflicting imputation of having been an emissary of France, or seeking her interference in the internal regulation of our affairs.
• Did I live to see a French army approach this country, I would meet it on the shore, with a torch in one hand and a sword in the other: I would receive them with all the destruction of war!. I would animate my countrymen to immolate them in their very boats; and before our native soil should be polluted by a foreign foe, if they succeeded in landing, I would burn every blade of grass before them, raze every house, contend to the last for every inch of ground; and the last spot on which the hope of freedom should desert me, that spot I would make my grave! What I cannot do, I leave a legacy to my country, because I feel conscious that my death were unpro. fitable, and all hopes of liberty extinct, the moment á French army obtained a footing in this land. God forbid that I should see my country under the hands of a foreign power. If the French should come as a foreign enemy, Oh! my countrymen! meet them on the shore with a torch in one hand, and a sword in the other: receive them with all the destruction of war; immolate them in their boats
had the portals of the tomb suddenly closed between them and the being they most loved on earth-who have sat at its threshold, as one shut out in a cold and lonely world, from whence all that was most lovely and loving had departed.
But then the horrors of such a grave! so frightful, so dishonoured! There was nothing for memory to dwell on that could soothe the pang of separation-none of those tender, though melancholy circumstances, that endear the parting scene nothing to melt sorrow into those blessed tears, sent, like the dews of heaven, to revive the heart in the parting hour of anguish.
To render her widowed situation more desolate, she had incurred her father's displeasure by her unfortunate attachment, and was an exile from the paternal roof. But could the sympathy and kind offices of friends have reached a spirit so shocked and driven in by horror, she would have experienced no want of consolation, for the Irish are a people of quick and generous sensibilities. The most delicate and cherishing attentions were paid her by families of wealth and distinction. She was led into society, and they tried by all kinds of occupation and amusement to dissipate her grief, and wean her from the tragical story of her loves. But it was all in vain,
before our native soil shall be polluted by a foreign foe! If they proceed in landing, fight them on the strand, burn every blade of grass before them as they advance-raze every house; and if you are driven to the centre of your country, collect your provisions, your property, your wives, and your daughters; form a circle around them-fight while but two men are left; and when but one remains, let that man set fire to the pile, and release himself, and the families of his fallen countrymen, from the tyranny of France,
• My lamp of life is nearly expired-my race is finished : the grave opens to receive me, and I sink into its bosom. All I request, then, at parting from the world, is the charity of its silence. Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man, who knows my motives, dare vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperre them; let them and me repose in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain undescribed, till other times and other men can do justice to my character.'
There are some strokes of calamity that scathe and scorch the soul that penetrate to the vital seat of happinessand blast it, never again to put forth bud or blossom. She never objected to frequent the haunts of pleasure, but she was as much alone there as in the depths of solitude. She walked about in a sad reverie, apparently unconscious of the world around her. She carried with her an inward woe that mocked at all the blandishments of friendship, and “heeded not the song of the charmer, charm he never so wisely."
The person who told me her story had seen her at a masquerade. There can be no exibibition of far-gone wretchedness more striking and painful than to meet it in such a scene. To find it wandering like a spectre, lonely and joyless, where all around is gay—to see it dressed out in the trappings of mirth, and looking so wan and woe-begone, as if it had tried in vain to cheat the poor heart into a momentary forgetfulness of sorrow. After strolling through the splendid rooms and giddy crowd with an air of utter abstraction, she sat herself down on the steps of an orchestra, and looking about for some time with a vacant air, that showed her insensibility to the garish scene, she began, with the capriciousness of a sickly heart, to warble a little plaintive air. She had an exquisite voice; but on this occasion it was so simple, so touching, it breathed forth such a soul of wretchedness, tbat she drew a crowd mute and silent around her, and melted every one into tears.
The story of one so true and tender could not but excite great interest in a country remarkable for enthusi
It completely won the heart of a brave officer, who paid his addresses to her, and thought that one so true to the dead could not but prove affectionate to the living. She declined his attentions, for her thoughts were irrevocably engrossed by the memory of her former lover. He, however, persisted in his suit. He solicited not her tenderness, but her esteem. He was assisted by her conviction of his worth, and her sense of her own destitute and dependent situation, for she was existing on the kindness of friends. In a word, he at length sue