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assurances may be given, is stronger than ever, and grows on every day's reflection.
“ If you read attentively my last letter to Lawless, you will divine all my reasons. I am afraid my interference, if it were to produce any effect, would be injurious to my country'; I think it would be injurious to my fame, I am sure it would be repugnant to my conscience, but all this is talking to the air. No motives will be held out to me to stay, and I am much mistaken if peace will not be made without any attempt at invasion. Do you think the Emperor will hazard his new title and popularity by an attempt with his fleet on one country, or his gun-boats on the other, which, if it failed, would be, either in a naval or a military point of view, tremendous and irreparable, particularly as he has no opportunity of balancing the miscarriage by brilliant success in another quarter. I am determined, however, to give your proclamation as strick a scrutiny as if I thought it would be used.
“But now that I am on the subject, let me say a little more. I have not heard from the minister ; but if I thought it would be useful to my countrymen, that should not delay me for an instant, and I would at once address the Consul. But what should I solicit? That they might be made French citizens, and take oaths of allegiance to the government of this country? Have
you learned what will be the rights and duties of French citizens under this new constitution ? or what declaration you will be called on to make? When you went down, you intended to be Irishmen, and as such, to fight under the French banners in your own country, and for its freedom. Have you all determined now to become subjects of the French empire, and to follow a military life? If you only intend to procure an exemption from the droit d'aubaine,* I think you are right; and I have long meditated to try and procure it for my exiled countrymen ; and if my connection with government had continued, I should have sought for it long since, and independent of the procuration ; but, as to being a French citizen, I should neither wish myself to be one, nor to ask it for you and some other of my friends. I only need the procuration, to prevent a bad use being made of your name, and
to influence and to prevent your being committed in character, by an act not sufficiently well considered by those among you, who intend leaving France in the event of peace.
“ If, however, you do, on due reflection, wish the claim to be pushed in its full extent, indeed, circumstanced as I am with government, and decided as to my own conduct, if you wish any steps at all to be taken, I shall cheerfully make over the procuration to any person of respectability that may be marked out to me; and on your desiring me, I will write a suitable letter to M’Sheehy. But let me call the serious attention of you and some other friends, to what you are doing in the bottom of Brittany, and by no means 'au fait of what is going on here in the capital. You are getting a band, and incurring a thousand expenses very fit for military men by profession, or who count upon following it for a considerable time. Will
you follow it in the event of a peace ? Mark, I tell you, there will be peace, and that soon, unless England be actuated by the most insolent and foolish madness. This I say, not from my own reasoning merely, but from facts that have been told me confidently and confidentially, even since I began to write this letter.
“A change of ministry in England now appears certain ; and this government is only waiting that change, to make such proposals as no English ministers ought to reject. It will make commercial arrangements; but I mention this only to our particular friends. What, then, will become of your band, your regimentals, and your rights of French citizenship, &c?..... Adieu."
In the summer of 1804, Mr. Emmet left Paris, and went to Bourdeaux, for the purpose of embarking for America. The following are extracts from a letter written while at Bourdeaux, to Dr. Macneven :
“MY DEAREST MACNEVEN—I expect that you
my other friends at Lisneven, will be extremely angry with me, for having left Paris without giving you previous information ; but I did so expressly, and in order to prevent a struggle between your inclinations and your duty.
By your's and the other's letters, I perceived the intention of eluding military regulations, and going to meet me at
Nantes, if I had gone there. As my destination was changed for Bourdeaux, I saw you could not attempt coming without the utmost danger ; and I determined to set your minds at ease, as to my self reproaches for not having done so, by making the matter impossible.
I wish most earnestly and anxiously to embrace you all again, but it must be on American ground; and if you wish to see me, come there.
"I do not blame the resolution you have taken, of waiting a little longer for the victory you are promised; but I am much mistaken if you will not be disappointed.
“I repeat it, do not let yourselves be blinded even by a temporary victory. Win it if you can ; but come to America as soon as you can.
"The reception I have met with has surprised and gratified me; for it is impossible to be more civilly or cordially received, even by those who do not pretend to think as I do on politics.
“As to the time of my departure, it is not fixed, nor even the vessel, owing to the non-arrival of my baggage by the 'Roulage; but it will not be postponed beyond six days, nor, perhaps, beyond three.
American papers are not to be had; but I will take every precaution I can against the English ; or, rather, that if they should think fit to seize me, they shall find nothing with me that could injure me.
“I do not bid you adieu, because I wish to bind you by every obligation to see me again ; but I pray, may Heaven bless and prosper you.
“Accept the sincere love of Mrs. Emmet, myself, and all the little ones, who, trust me, never will forget you.
“ Ever yours,
“T. A. EMMET.”
Thomas A. Emmet embarked at Bourdeaux for America, the 27th of September, 1804.
ROBERT Emmet, on his arrival in Dublin, in October, 1802, was soon in communication with several of the leaders who had taken an active part in the former rebellion. He was likewise in communication with some very influential persons, who were cognizant of all the proceedings of the leaders, and who promoted their views, and directed their movements, behind the curtain.
There is a delicacy to be observed, with respect to those whose names have not transpired hitherto, in connection with this subject;
I am aware of it. There is, moreover, great deference to be paid to the wishes of those who were cognizant of these matters, to whom their country, on other grounds, is under deep obligations ; I feel all the importance of those obligations. There is justice due to the character of Robert Emmet; and, I am firmly persuaded, that it behoves his biographer to give any information, of an authentic kind, that may be in his possession, and legitimately used, tending to show that his enterprize had not been communicated only to a few desperadoes, men of no rank, character, or station, in society ; but had been made known to men of distinction, of cool reflection ; nay, even to some men possessed of considerable wealth.
Robert Emmet dined at Mr. John Keogh's, of MountJerome,* shortly after his arrival, in the company of his brother's friend, Mr. C- The conversation turned on the political state of the country ; on the disposition of the people, with respect to a renewal of the struggle. Robert Emmet spoke, with great vehemence and energy, in favour of the probability of success, in the event of another effort being made. John Keogh asked how many counties would rise ? the question was one of facts and figures. Robert Emmet replied, that nineteen counties could be relied on. He turned to C and said, " would you say an attempt should not be made with less ?” — after a momentary pause, said,
if there were two counties that could be thoroughly depended on, I would think about it.”
* Now Mount-Jerome Cemetery, where the remains of Thomas Davis were interred.
The fact of Emmet's dining at Mr. Keogh's, became known to government, after the arrest of the former. Mr. Keogh, one morning, had all his papers brought to him, and separated several, of which, he said, should be destroyed. Mrs. Keogh said to him, “why not burn them ?” He looked at the grate, and said, “if they came here to examine my papers, that is one of the first places they would look at, to see if any thing had been burned there lately, (it was summer time, and no fires having been used, the bars of the grate were polished). While they were conversing, some noise was heard at the gate ; the separated papers were put back in the desk, and, in a few minutes, a well known magistrate (accompanied with one or two attendants) was announced, with whom Mr. Keogh was acquainted. The object of the magistrate's visit was publicly communicated to Mr. Keogh. He came for the papers of the latter, and they were immediately delivered up to him, duly sealed, and a receipt given for them.
Mr. Keogh proceeded to the Castle, and sought an interview with the Secretary, who was not visible. Mr. Keogh returned to his office, and renewed his application for an interview, expressing his desire to give him the fullest information about every paper of his. He returned a third time to the office, reiterating his request, to have, not only his papers, but himself examined. He was entreated to give himself no further concern about a mere matter of form ; he had not yet seen the Secretary. He intimated his intention of returning, early the following day. Before he could carry his purpose into effect, his papers, with the seals unbroken, were returned to Mr. Keogh. There were papers amongst them which would have compromised him gravely, had they been examined.
These circumstances were communicated by Mrs. Keogh, to Doctor B of Dublin. The fact of John Keogh's connection with the Society of United Irishmen, has been noticed in the first series of the United Irishmen, (vol. ii. p. 37.) The same sagacity, to which he owed his safety in 1798, preserved him from peril in 1803.
Until the month of March, in the latter year, Emmet went into society, and communicated freely with several of the known friends of the exiles, then on the Continent.
No information has been hitherto published, respecting the source from which the means were procured, that enabled