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records of their proceedings. To render the popular organization if possible still more irresistible, O'Connell devised a series of aggregate and fourteen days meetings wbich he kept constantly working in connection with the Catholic Association at the more advanced period of its existence; and of this important adjunct Mr. Coppinger always acted as secretary He also discharged the duties of this office at the principal provincial Catholic meetings of the period, as the following extract from Mr. William John Fitzpatrick's “ Life and Times of Cloncurry” shews :
“The reader will be amused to see that Lord Cloncurry's unalterable couviction' at this period was, that emancipation never could be obtained, nor would it be worth obtaining, save from an Irish Parliament. As the following extract from a letter of Mr. Coppinger's to the author is introductory to his lordship's communication, we subjoin it :- In the Autumn of 1827, a great provincial meeting of the Catholics of Munster was held in Cork, to which I was appointed secretary, and subsequently a grand public dinner at which the present British ambassador at 'Athens, Mr. Wyse, presided. As secretary, I sent invitations for the meeting and dinner to several Protestant noblemen and gentlemen, Members of Parliament and others, who were most distinguished for their support of Catholic emancipation; and, foremost among those friends of civil and religious liberty, was the late patriotic and lamented subject of your forthcoming memoir, to whom I addressed a warın invitation, and received in reply the letter which I now enclose.'
LORD CLONCURRY TO S. COPPINGER, ESQ., BARRISTER-AT-LAW.
“Lyons, Celbridge, 28th August, 1827. “ DEAR SIR-I am sorry to be so circuinstanced that I cannot avail myself of the kind invitation of the Catholics of Munster for the 30th inst. Pray make my most grateful
. acknowledgements to them, and assure them of my unalterable devotion to their cause as founded in justice, and vitally essential to the best interests of my country.
“ Ireland can no longer be despised ; she can no longer be plundered with impunity of her wealth and her rights. Her voice will be heard, and her cause respected, in every quarter of the globe. How glorious will it be to the Catholics, if to them their country shall owe her restored prosperity ! if, forgetting whatever is personal, they demand their own rights as
part only of what is due to Ireland. Does any man doubt that a resident legislature would long since have emancipated the Catholics ? Does any man recollect famine, contagion, or death by starvation in the midst of superabundance, whilst we had tv resist Parliament, corrupt as it was ?*
“I am an enemy to half measures. That they are not only dishonorable but useless is, I am certain, at this moment felt, and will be so by the great statesmen of England, who have lately sacrificed so much to the hope of doing good. Much as I love my Catholic countrymen, I would not have voted for the Union as the price of emancipation ; and I am strongly of opinion that emancipation never can be obtained, or be worth obtaining, but from an Irish Parliament.
“ These, my unalterable opinions, have, under every circum. stance, given me the comfort of an approving conscience, and lave gained me what I value above all earthly possessions, the love of my countrymen.
“I beg leave, my dear sir, to return very many thanks for your most obliging letter, and remain, with great respect, &c.,
"CLONCURRY." Mr. Coppinger's speeches read well; but he had too strong a Cork accent to render his oratory pleasing. This articulation however was distinct, and his voice sonorous, which always made bim beard and understocd with ease. Before closing
interest some of our readers to quote as a specimen of Mr. Coppinger's style and matter, one of his speeches at the Catholic Association. We have opened the file of the Freeman's Journal, for 1828, and merely select the following at random. It by no means merits to be regarded as Mr. Coppinger's best speech, but, most assuredly, it is not his worst.
After long and anxious watching on the part of the Catholic body, for some relaxation of the Penal disabilities under which they labored, a glimmer of light and hope at length, in 1328, radiated for an instant the clouded horizon of Ireland's destiny. Many able speeches, and some remarkable conversions, were made in the llouses of Lords and Commons,
This phrase must, we think, include some typographical error. Ought not “ to resist Parliament” be “a nativ- Puilinment”? And yei we find no notice of this obvious inaccuracy in the errata of the work.-Ed. I. Q. R.
and as an indication of the improved tone of the public pulse in England, the Courier newspaper, which for twenty years had labored with virulent and untlaging perseverance, to retard the Catholic cause, of a sudden changed its tone, and sought to qualify what it had so long been saying.
England it will be remembered was, at this time, threatened with the ambitious fury of the Czar.
Mr. Coppinger rose and said :“ When the official account of the Battle of Waterloo, and the subsequent surrender of the late Emperor Napoleon, first reached London, the organ of the English Government, the Courier newspaper, in the insolence of its triumph, vauntingly exclaimed, in the words of the French officer on seeing Charles the Twelfth dead in the trenches before Frederickshall, “the play is over, let us go to supper.' (Hear.) Was this announcement hailed by the Catholics of Ireland with similar feelings of exultation and of joy? No, my Lord, and with good reason; they felt that England was after obtaining a great victory, but not a glorious one, for it was a victory over public virtue, a victory over a people's liberty ; and they felt and foresaw it was a victory over their own. For thirteen years has the Courier been enjoying its blood-stained repast ; for thirteen years bas it been waving the oriflame of despotism over the ruins of European liberty ; for thirteen years has it been incessantly proclaiming to the Catholic people of Ireland that the term of their bondage is to be eternalthat for them no ray of hope shall ever break in upon the political horizon ; in a word, that they must for ever lie down as slaves in their native land ; that hope, which comes to all, shall never come to them, while their only motto must be
• Una salus victis, nullam sperare salutum.' But, my Lord, when the Courier thus announced that the play was over,' it forgot altogether that the afterpiece was yet to come. (Hear.) It forgot that although the curtain was dropped for a while, the theatre was still open-it forgot that although the great performer was removed from the stage, other actors may appear from bebind the scenes-it forgot that there was a spirit and an elasticity in the hearts of Irishmen that no pressure could break down, no length of suffering abate or destroy. (Cheers.) At length the curtain bas been raised once more-the note of preparation has been soundedand, ere long, we shall doubtless see the different performers in their respective places ; nay, the very trumpet of war has already blown, the sword is drawn--the Rubicon has been past—and from the banks of the Neva to the Guadalquiver, all eyes are now fixed upon the operations of the Russian army. In this state of foreign relations, the genius of Ireland stands forth, waving her green banner aloft, and procluiming, in accents of joy and congratulation, that the cause of Civil and Religious Liberty has gained another triumph in the last vote of the British House of Commons, which, after a long and protracted debate (if that can, in truth, be called a debate in which all the reasoning, justice, and eloquence, were exclusively on the side of Ireland) has agreed to take our sufferings into conside ation. (Hear.) To celebrate, as it were this triumph in a manner worthy of a great people, have we assembled upon the present occasion, and although, my Lord, I am not among the number of those who indulge in any very sanguine hopes of success in the present session-al. though I cannot bring myself to think that the citidal of bigotry and corruption will at once surrender, merely because we have succeeded in carrying one of the outworks, yet I am not the less rejoiced that the first assault has been successful : and, trusting in the swelling tide of events, aided by the eternal and immutable justice of our cause, I am convinced the day is not far distant when Ireland must be free. (Cheers.) Indeed it is impossible to read the different speeches reported to have been made during the discussion on Sir Francis Burdett's motion, without feeling satisfied of this, and at once perceiving the high and commanding position on which we now stand, and from which, to use a metaphor of the late Lord Castle. reagh, unless ó we turn our backs upon ourselves'-unless we desert our posts, or meanly make a surrender or compromise of one iota of our rights, not all the power of our enemies will be able effectually to dislodge us. Nothing could be more irresistable or convincing than the eloquent and powerful reasoning of our advocates; nothing more flimsy or miserable than the sophistry employed against us; and here, of course, I am only speaking of what appears in the London newspapers—as we are presumed not to be acquainted with what passes in the honourable House, and it would be well for the fame of some of its members, if this fiction of law was well founded in point of fact. The campaign was opened against us the first night by the English Solicitor General, Sir Nicholas Tyndal, with no better supporter to sustain him than the member for this City, or, more correctly speaking, the representative of all that is illiberal in Dublin, Mr. George Ogle Moore, pur nobile fratrum,' twin brothers in eloquence and liberality of sentiment. But, perhaps we should not be surprised at the conduct on this occasion of Sir Nicholas Tyndal, for, having himself ratted to each successive Administration that was formed during the last twelve months, he concluded he could not better atone in certain quarters for his repeated desertion of his friends and colleagues, than by pronouncing a tirade against Catholic Emancipation. But his special pleading about the Union and the Treaty of Limerick, was so completely blown into the air by the stubborn facts, so eloquently and forcibly put forward by the knight of Korry, that it would be a waste of time to say a single word upon the subject , and, as to poor Mr. Ogle Moore, whom some wag in the Evening Muil describes as a leading speaker' in the House of Commons, 'lucas u non lucendo,' his speech was only remarkable for the colours in wbich he held forth ihe late King, George the Third; for he assures us that his Majesty consented to the Union in the hope that it would put an extinguisher for ever upon the prospects of the Catholics, although, at the very same time, bis Minister was secretly pointing to it as the avant courier of Catholic Emancipation ; so that Mr. Moore was holding up George the Third,
not merely as a stupid bigot, but also as a finished hypocrite-and this I suppose he would call backing his friends.
The enemies of Catholic Ireland were not more successful in their plan of operations on the second night of the debate than they had been on the first ; for, although Sir Robert Inglis, and Mr. Leslie Foster, true to his unvarying principles of intolerance as the magnet to the pole, endeavoured to make a rally, they were successively driven from all their positions, and compelled to quit the field dis. comfited and defeated. (Hear, hear.) Even all the artillery of rea. soning that Mr. Peel himself could bring to bear
the question, made no better impression upon the house, although he was as determined as ever in his oppositions to our claims.*
The third night of the debate exhibited our opponents in no better plight than either of the preceding ones had left them; and although the Attorney-General, Sir Charles Wetherell, attempted to cover the retreat of the no-popery combatants the roars of continued laughter with which he is reported to have been received, prove the little value set upon his arguments or assertions. But, to turn to a more pleasing theme-look on this picture, and on that-how gratifying is it to retiect upon that brilliant array of talent that was so generously mar. shalled on the side of civil and religious liberty, and which triumph. antly sustained a well fought day. (Hear.) Sir Francis Burdett led the way in a powerful and impressive speech, judiciously bearing in mind that the first onset was half the battle; and ably was he sustained by the Knight of Kerry, the Solicitor-General for Ireland Mr. Doherty,t whose speech Mr. Brougham describes as a masterly production ; by Lord Leveson Gower,f Mr.Lamb,ş Mr. Charles Grant.] Mr. Brownlowf-by such men as a Horton, and a North, a Wallace, and a Broughamn, not forgetting the spirited eloquence of a Stuartthe honest and powerfui arguments of that real representative of Dublin, Mr. Grattan (loud cheers)-the reasoning of a Huskissonthe youthful liberality of an Ennismore, or the masterly and un. rivalled eloquence of a Mackintosh (cheers), whose vast and comprehensive mind, richly stored with philosophic lore, brings to his subject all the penetration and foresight of a statesman ; while, whatever he touches, he is sure to delight and instruct all around him. (Hear.)
With such a host of talent on our side, were the question of Emancipation to be decided by fair reasoning, justice, and argument, it must have been at once carred in our favour by an overwhelming
* It is a remarkable but notorious fact that in exactly a year from that date he succunibed to the thunder of the Catholic claims.
+ The late Chief Justice Doherty, whem O'Connell so often redi. culed and reviled as “Long Jack Doherty from Borrisokane." Though a staunch advocate for Emancipation Mr. Doherty was one of O'Connell's most formidable and implacable political foes.
I The late Earl of Ellesmere.
The late Lord Lurgan.