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reason for disbelieving Lord Cloncurry, when he told his friends that of the more serious business transacted here he knew nonght, and that he dropped in there so frequently in the evenings after a dinner party or leaving the theatre, as young men of the present day resort to their clubs.

In the meantime affairs were coming to a crisis in Ireland. The insurrection, of the progress of which government was fully instructed, began on the 23rd of October, 1798. Informed though the Castle officials were of the appointed time for the rising to which they had led the people, their own creation would have destroyed them, had it not been for the wretched blundering of the few leaders who were left at large. The population of three counties were in arms, Kildare, Wicklow, and Dublin; and such was the wide spread feeling of intolerable suffering amongst the peasantry, that were it not for their own fatuity, and the utter worthlessness and incapacity of the great body of their leaders, it would be difficult to say what would have been the result. The details of that wretched outbreak we shall not enter on. Ministers were panic stricken, and were especially fearful lest any man of rank or intellect should join the insurgents. Lord Edward Fitzgerald, who in all human probability would have brought the popular struggle to a successful issue, was gone. The bare possibility of Mr. Lawless taking part in the movement caused them to fear, and accordingly we find that on the 31st May, the Honorable Valentine Lawless was arrested on suspicion of high treason. Mr. Secretary Wickham took it upon himself to state, in a letter to Lord Castlereagh informing him of several arrests, that "There are some papers found in Mr. Lawless' possession that tend directly to shew his connexion with some of the most desperate of the republican party here, as well as with those who are in habitual communication with the French agents at Hamburgh;" and earlier in the same letter, it appears as well from the secret information, etc. etc., the whole confirmed by the testimony of the two gentlemen recommended to Mr. Cooke, that all these persons were more or less deeply implicated in the memorable conspiracy in Ireland. Now the first accusation and the last are equally destitute of truth. The only treasonable documents found on Mr. Lawless or connected with him, were a visiting card of Arthur O'Connor's and a short note from O'Coigly, totally unconnected with either public affairs or private intrigues, and most likely an acceptance

of a dinner invitation. We have Lord Cloncurry's word for the truth of this last statement. The course, however, adopted by government with Mr. Lawless established the falsity of the two charges. If they were true there could be no difficulty in convicting one against whom appearances and associations were so strong; and Pitt, who feared not to strike down a Fitzgerald, and blushed not in attempting to strip the orphan children of the rebel chief of their patrimony, who afterwards, at a time when vengeance and not precaution must have been his object, subjected Lord Cloncurry to a long and cruel imprisonment, Pitt was not the man to have spared Lawless, either for his rank or his connections, if he could have proved these charges which Mr. Secretary Wickham so flippantly makes in the above letter.

Almost immediately after his arrest, Mr. Lawless was conducted before the Privy Council for examination. Amongst the Councillors present were the Lord Chancellor Loughborough, afterwards Earl of Rosslyn, the Duke of Portland, and William Pitt. Indignant at the treatment which he had received, Mr. Lawless declined answering any questions or giving any satisfaction to his interrogators. He was remanded, and although an intimation was made to him that he would be liberated on bail, he with more hauteur than prudence declined the offer, replying that he was imprisoned without any reasonable cause, and that he would not even by implication afford grounds for justifying the arbitrary conduct of the government, or giving a color to their suspicions. The attempt to extort information from him was repeated several times, but all without effect, and when it was found that they could make nothing of him he was discharged, Mr. Reeves, one of the Bow-street magistracy, who was a friend of his, becoming bail for his appearance, without, however, the concurrence or approbation of Mr. Lawless. When he was informed that he was at liberty, Mr. Lawless hastened to anticipate any insinuations which might be offered, that his silence was that of conscious guilt, and that he was afraid of betraying himself. He at once stated to the Chancellor, candidly and fully, everything within his knowledge; his conscience was free of offence, and his statements consequently tended neither to criminate himself nor any other person. He admitted having been a member of the society of United Irishmen, before that body had rendered themselves offensive

to the law, that he had furnished money to O'Coigly, and the nature of his relations with him and his connexion with the society of Furnival's Inn. The matter terminated by Lord Loughborough assuring him that he was to be considered incautions rather than criminal, and advising him to be more careful for the future. In these remarks, both the Duke of Portland and Pitt who were present concurred. We are thus enabled to fasten upon the ministers by his own confession, the odium of having imprisoned an uncffending man of whose innocence he was fully conscious.

Although only three weeks in confinement, Mr. Lawless's health had been somewhat impaired, and upon his release, he set out on an equestrian tour through England. Amongst the other scenes of interest or gaiety visited by him was Scarborough, at that time one of the most fashionable watering places in England. Here he met for the first time, Miss Ryal, the daughter of an eminent Irish banker. The lady was possessed of considerable charms, both of mind and person, and intimacy soon ripened into a feeling of warmer attachment. He paid his addresses to the lady, was accepted, and as far as her family was concerned everything necessary for their union was satisfactorily arranged. Mr. Lawless, however, had considerable difficulty in obtaining his father's consent to the match. After a lengthy and protracted correspondence, and the interference of several friends in favor of Mr. Lawless's views, an unwilling consent was obtained from his Lordship, on the condition of Lawless keeping his terms and being called to the bar. It was not, however, until early in the summer of 1799, that Lord Cloncurry consented to his son's marriage, and the period at which all obstacles were to be at an end was approaching, when an event beyond all human expectation interfered to blast his hopes-he was arrested on the 14th of April, 1799, on a warrant issued by the Duke of Portland, and committed to the tower, where he was detained for two years.

The rebellion in Ireland had been crushed with a sanguinary ferocity, such only as we read of in the darker ages. A great obstacle to the prime object of Pitt's ambition, "The Union," had been removed-the public spirit had been crushed; and there being nothing to fear from popular manifes tations, there remained but one thing further necessary to secure majorities in the two houses of the. Irish Parliament. The

shameless bribery, the traffic in places, pensions and titles, by which this was effected, are too notorious to require a single line of detail. The only wonder is, that in an age when political corruption was so rife, and when opinions upon this subject were so much less strict than those of our day, such extensive measures of demoralization were found necessary, and that so many resisted every temptation. There were a few who, as ministers feared, could neither be bribed nor intimidated, and of these was Lawless. His influence and example might materially assist the national party; no precaution to insure success was to be spared, and a paltry and disgraceful spite for his opposition to the minister's favourite project was to be gratified. Lawless was consequently arrested, and his imprisonment was embittered by a refusal of comforts and necessaries, which displayed a petty malignity, which is almost incredible. Few men have passed through such an ordeal as Lawless during his imprisonment, fewer still, without becoming misanthropes or maniacs. Heir to a peerage and noble fortune, reared in luxury, he found himself immured without the means. of seeking refuge from sorrow either in society or books; he had not even the means of communicating freely with his friends or family. The effect of his imprisonment on his betrothed wife was fatal. She saw that every entreaty for his liberation was in vain, that his health, always delicate, was breaking-the blow was too heavy-she languished for a short time, and died of a broken heart. His father used every exertion to procure his release in vain; his prayers were met, either by an offensive neglect, or an equally cruel official reply, which meant nothing, and the declining old man was hurried to his grave, by the cruelty inflicted on his son, and the indignity with which he was treated. Valentine Lawless succeeded to his title and property, a prisoner in the Tower, and again was relief solicited, but still in vain. His extensive property was going to ruin, and but for the energy of his noble sister, Charlotte, his affairs would have been involved in inextricable confusion. At length in February, 1801, the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act, which had empowered ministers to detain him in custody, expired. It was found impossible to obtain its renewal, and consequently on the 3rd of March, 1801, Lord Cloncurry, on giving personal bail to the amount of £5,000, and two sureties in £2,000 each, was liberated. Rank and fortune were his, but what

elasticity of mind must he not have possessed, to recover blows such as had been inflicted on him. Enfeebled in frame, and broken in spirit, his property wasted, his country sunk in wretchedness and degradation, chaffing beneath the sense of a cruel wrong, for which he could obtain no redress, his fair fame tarnished, his father passed away without one word of adieu, his promised wife, the woman he loved, lost in the prime of her youth and beauty, crushed with care and sorrow, sunk into an early grave thus he came forth from his prison. His sufferings had no other effect upon him than to confirin that sympathy for the distressed, to expand that generosity with which he had been so especially endowed.

Thus terminated his lordship's unhappy career in the political world. His long and useful after life, devoted to the discharge of the duties of his station, has passed in the even tenor of almost private station; he never emerged from his retirement, save when some project for developing the resources of the country, or improving the condition of her people was broached; however, until the Catholics of Ireland were freed from the degrading restrictions to which their religion exposed them, Lord Cloncurry was ever their advocate. His influence was generally exercised rather by representations and interference in his individual capacity, than by taking an active part in public agitations. One event only occurred to embitter the happiness of his home: his first wife, to whom he had ever been an indulgent and considerate husband, fell a victim to the arts of a man who availed himself of his intimacy with the family, and of the hospitality of Lord Cloncurry, to destroy his friend's domestic happiness, and such was the cold-blooded profligacy of the villain, that it is credibly reported he had wagered a large sum on the success of his intrigue. He succeeded, and such was the unsuspecting nature of Lord Cloncurry, that it was not until his wife, in an agony of repentance at having betrayed a fond and confiding husband, revealed her infamy to him, that he became aware of his dishonor. It is said, we know not with what accuracy, that Lord Cloncurry, such was the tenderness of his disposition, would, were it not for the interference of his friends, have again received his wife, who fell by a momentary weakness, before the carefully planned, and deliberately exécuted artifices of her seducer. We care not to enter on the discussion of the question, as to whether it would have been


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