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MEMOIR OF RICHARD SHEIL, ESQ. We believe the greater number of obtained nothing. Indeed it is a spot our readers will feel gratified by the in which a Catholic youth, however choice which we have
made of an en- talented, can never acquire distincgraving for our present Number. Of tion: he may be remarkable for his Mr. Sheil the people of England have application to his studies-he may read and heard enough to render excel in his occasional compositionsthem at least somewhat partial to he may be most exemplary in his him. In Ireland, where his talents neral conduct ; but the twoment schohave been more fully developed, and larships or fellowships are to be conhis principles better understood, his tended for he must drop from the character naturally stands higher. rank in which he has moved, leaving Amongst his countrymen there is but to some orthodox dunce the glory one opinion as regarding him ;-he is of the struggle. the subject of every man's praise-he The friends of Mr.Sheil had destined is the favourite of every class, from him from an early period of his life to the simple peasant who'reads of him the profession of the law. Whether at a distance, to the professional ac- in this they consulted his inclination quaintance who takes his seat before or taste is a question which we are him in the court,-from the noisy pot prepared to answer:
we have news-distributer who tempts you with heard, however, that some of his rehis grand speech, to the smiling latives felt extremely uneasy lest, in merchant or the friendly peer, who his anxiety to snatch a leaf of may stand in mute delight beside him, “Daphne's deathless plant,' he should while the walls of the edifice that neglect the more useful matters unshelters them are echoing back the folded in the pages of Coke and sound of his inspiring eloquence. Lyttleton. This extreme tender
Mr. Sheil's family and connexions ness--this over-anxiety for the supare highly respectable: he numbers, posed interests of youth-has been a we believe, among his relatives some constant source of annoyance to of the wealthiest and most influential many celebrated characters. The characters in the South of Ireland. parent or the friend imagines himself These matters, in the eyes of the mul- acting a most benevolent part at the titude, are of some moment, although moment that he is actually rendering the subject of this memoir, in all pro- the object of his care truly miserabability, looks upon such things as of ble. What is still worse for him, if little importance. He that has earned he lives he usually finds that all his distinction for himself has no need of labour has been literally thrown calling upon his entombed ancestry away. The young wings of Genius for their support-he that has suc- will not bear to be tied down-the ceeded in securing the applause of a pride of a growing intellect will not nation is not compelled to resort to allow itself to be crushed the free the narrow circle of his kindred for a mind will expatiate in a world of its character. In cases like the present own: thus it has been in every age ; the honour is conferred, and not de- and, we believe, Mr. Sheil's case rived: the man of genius renders the cannot be adduced as an exception ; house to which he belongs illustrious for we have been told that in the -he founds as it were a new dynasty; stolen moments, in the little interand the world, in tracing the history vals of his severer studies, he planned of his race, looks slightingly upon all and finished his first, and probably that went before him.
his best tragedy, ' Adelaide. Trinity College has the honour of Mr. Sheil was called to the bar in numbering Mr. Sheil among her chil- the year 1814: for some years predren: he appears, however, in speak- vious to this he had taken rather an ing of that very ancientandvery useless active part in the politics of the time; establishment, to evince but little of he had spoken at many public meetfilial affection or attachment: he enter. ings, and was always listened to with ed the place expecting little, and he admiration, not merely on account
of his youth, but for the beauty of rapid succession, 'Bellamira,'. The his diction, and the general sound. Apostate,' and 'Évadne,' all of which ness of his reasoning. The first cir- were successful. He has been indeed cumstance, however, which gave a one of the most fortunate dramatic decided stamp to his political cha- writers of his day. The tragedy of racter, was his spirited reply to the Damon and Pythias' is said to have then celebrated Dr. Dromgoole. The been a joint concern: it is an inteCatholic body was at this period di- resting production, however. vided into two contending parties- On the establishing of that very the Vetoists, or those who were will- celebrated body, The Catholic Asing to compromise with the minis- sociation, at the rooms in Capel ters; and the Orthodox, or those who Street, Mr. Sheil, with bis accustomed insisted upon unqualified emancipa- spirit, came forward to unite with tion. Mr. Sheil, by his reply on the the bulk of his countrymen in the occasion alluded to, identified him- call for freedom. It seemed as if he self with the former : they inarked had brought to the cause a new heart, hiin as their champion, and ably and such was the ardour and the earnesteloquently did he sustain the
ness with which
spoke and acted Mr. O'Connell, with all his talent and whenever the members assembled. all his influence, was opposed to him; After the great leader himself he is and those who witness the friendship the person to whom the growth and now subsisting between these distin- celebrity of that association may be guished individuals will read with a ascribed; and, if that association has feeling of surprise the bitter harangues succeeded in conferring benefits on of 1813. That they have been recon- the country, to Mr. Sheil a portion of ciled is well for their suffering coun- that country's gratitude certainly trymen : a sense of common wrong, belongs. we believe, first led thein to forget We shall conclude this imperfect their differences ;-they united, and sketch by observing that those who ultimately succeeded in leading along know Mr. Sheil intimately join in with them all that was distinguished stating that his character in private or pious, or talented, in the entire life harmonizes most admirably with Catholic community. Previous to that which he has established in this reconciliation, Mr. Sheil and the public. As a lawyer he is gradually, members of his party absented them- we might say rapidly, rising: as a selves in a great degree from the tragic poet he has not many supeCatholic meetings. He appeared riors : as an orator we think he has principally engaged between the few equals: as a man he stands withduties of his profession and his out reproach. literary pursuits: he produced, in
ROBERT EMMET AND HIS COTEMPORARIES.-NO. I.
Slavery not immortal.--The political Capacity of Catholics. ALTHOUGH I am not now an old In the strange and alarming events man, Mr. Editor, I believe you will of the period already alluded to I reaclily admit that I was much younger have unhappily performed no inconsitwo-and-twenty years ago.
I wish derable part; and, as my good or evil you most particularly to bear this in genius threw me among the actors in
and, when you hear that I was that sanguinary drama, perhaps a renot more than one-and-twenty in 1803, cord of what I have heard and seen you will, I hope, be inclined to view may not prove unentertaining, even with a lenient eye my follies and my should it fail to instruct faults; nay, pardon my indiscretion, You need be under no apprehension and attribute my disloyalty to the pre- that my sentiments will subject you cipitate enthusiasm of youth rather to an ex-officio, for I am now quite as than to any selfish or Catiline motive- loyal a man as Alderman King, or any to an extravagant love of liberty rather of the other civic knights of Dublin ; than to any love of national disorder. and I'll yield to none of them in attachment to our glorious constitution,' once beheld, could never be foras by law established.
gotten. I have long and deeply deplored I now, for the first time, learned that my errors : yet I must confess that the name of my companion was there is a melancholy pleasure de- Emmet. He appeared to be on a rived from reflecting on the perils and footing of great intimacy with my scenes I have encountered ; and, while cousin ; and both seemed, from their I drop a tear to the unfortunate me- conversation, ardent admirers of limory of those who, I may say, perish- berty. I could readily perceive that ed by my side, I cannot forget that they were dissatisfied with the existthey were once my friends and com, ing state of things, and anticipated a panions indiscreet, to be sure, but, I change of measures. believe, sincere.
• The chain,' said Emmet, in a On the 21st of May, 1803, I quitted mild but firm tone, which binds my father's house, in · Street, us, is stretched to the utmost limit, London, and proceeded to Ireland, and wants but another effort, either where I intended to spend a few of the oppressor or the oppressed, to months at the house of an uncle, who burst asunder, and give liberty to resided at county of Wicklow. Ireland.” I was educated in the principles of the • Whether that be the case or not,' established church; but, as my mo- replied Malachy, “it is to be hoped ther, a native of Ireland, was a Roman that our grievances are not destined Catholic, I was by no means a bigoted to continue.' Protestant; and having, from child- • They cannot possibly,' said Emhood, listened to the traditionary tales met,'endure, under any circumstances, of the greatness of my Irish ancestors, much longer ;-for, Nature revolts I longed to visit in person those scenes against tyranny and injustice; and where my fancy had often revelled. the means taken to perpetuate these Having spent a few days in Dublin I have always ended in their complete repaired to Bray; and, as the weather discomfiture. In this sense we must was unusually favourable, I deter- look for an explanation of the appamined to perform the remainder of rent paradox, that national misformy journey on foot, particularly as I tunes are ultimately productive of could, by that means, visit the Dargle, national benefits. through which my road lay. I had Liberty,'he continued, “is the child not proceeded far when I overtook a of Oppression, and the birth of the offgentleman, who walked forward at an .spring is the death of the parent; while easy pace, apparently rapt in medita- tyranny, like the poetical desert bird, tion. His figure was rather tall, but is consumed in flames įgnited by itself, well proportioned, and he appeared and its whole existence is spent in pronot to be much above my own age: his viding the means of self-destruction. features were prominent, and bore the We have a complete exemplification impression of melancholy; but withal of this in the past history and present so gentle and so pensive, that I instant- state of Ireland, where increase of ly set him down in my mind for a numbers and increase of intelligence child of humanity.
have been the direct result of that sysTravellers are privileged persons. tem which too long has ruled this We soon became acquainted; and, kingdom. as the stranger appeared intimate with The relentless oppression of the my uncle's family, I had no hesita- English Government forced the peotion in accompanying him to an inn ple into habits of temperance-necesat Enniskerry, where he promised sity made them abstemious—and time we should meet one of my cousins. reconciled them to their wholesome He was not mistaken, for the first esculient, which providentially came, person we saw on entering the house like the manna of the desert, to feed was Malachy, the youngest of my the sojourners in the land of their uncle's two sons; and, though some fathers. years had elapsed since I had seen • Where nature is easily satisfied, him in London, yet I knew him at and the necessaries of life procured first sight, for his was a face which, with little labour and care, increase