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others, who, in their own line, were not less powerful. Besides, we have carried the art farther than ever it was carried, either among the Greeks, or the Romans, or any other people. In REPLY, the orators, of England have no masters. It is from that department of oratory that the evidence of our attainments should be adduced. Can any thing be finer, or, if you like the term better, more impassioned, than that masterly reply of the Earl of Kildare to Cardinal Wolsey, as it has been preserved by Campion, the historian of Ireland ?-It appeared that the Earl of Kildare had been accused of treasonous partialities during his administration as the king's deputy in Ireland, for which he was summoned before the privy-council in England. On his appearance there, Wolsey attacked him with great vehemence.
" I know well, my lord,” exclaimed the cardinal, “ that I am not the fittest man at this table to accuse you, because your adherents assert that I am an enemy to all nobility, and particularly to your blood. But the charges against you are so strong that we cannot overlook them, and so clear that you cannot deny them. I must therefore beg, notwithstanding the stale slander against me, to be the mouth and orator of these honourable gentlemen, and to state the treasons of which you stand accused, without respecting how you may like it. My lord, you well remember how the Earl of Desmond, your kinsman, sent emissaries with letters to Francis, the French king, offering the aid of Munster and of Connaught for the conquest of Ireland ; and, receiving but a cold answer, applied to Charles, the emperor. How many letters, what precepts, what messages, what threats, have been sent to you to apprehend him, and it is not yet done. Why? Because you could not catch him ; nay, my lord, you would not, forsooth ! catch him. If he be justly suspected, why are you so partial ? If not, why are you so fearful to have him tried ? But it will be sworn to your face, that, to avoid him you have winked wilfully, shunned his haunts, altered your course, advised his friends, and stopped both ears and eyes in the business; and that, when you did make a show of hunting him out, he was always beforehand, and gone. Surely, my lord, this juggling little became an honest man called to such honour, or a nobleman adorned with so great a trust. Had you lost but a cow or a carrion of your own, two hundred retainers would have started up at your whistle, to rescue the prey from the farthest edge of Ulster. All the Irish in Ireland must have made way for you. But, in performing your duty in this affair, merciful God ! how delicate, how di. latory, how dangerous, have you been ! One time he is from home; another time he is at home; sometimes fled, and sometimes in places where you dare not venture. What! the Earl of Kildare not venture ! Nay, the King of Kildare ; for you reign more than you govern the land. When you are offended, the lowest subjects stand as rebels ; when you are pleased, rebels are very dutiful subjects. Hearts and hands, lives and lands, must all be at your beck. Who fawns not to you can. not live within your scent, and your scent is so keen that you track them out at pleasure.”
While the cardinal was thus speaking, the earl frequently changed colour, and vainly endeavoured to master himself. He affected to smile; but his face was pale, his lips quivered, and his eyes lightened with rage.
“My lord chancellor !” he exclaimed fiercely; “ my lord chancellor, I beseech you, pardon me. I have but a short memory, and you know that I have to tell a long tale. If you proceed in this way I shall forget the half of my defence. I have no school-tricks, nor art of recollection. Unless you hear me while I remember, your second charge will hammer the first out of my head.”.
Several of the counsellors were friends of the earl; and knowing the acrimony of the cardinal's taunts, which they were themselves often obliged to endure, interfered, and entreated that the charges might be discussed one by one. Wolsey assenting to this, Kildare resumed.
“ It is with good reason that your grace is the mouth of this council ; but, my lord, the mouths that put this tale into yours are very wide, and have gaped long for my ruin. What my cousin Desmond has done I know not; beshrew him for holding out so long. If he be taken in the traps that I have set for him, my adversa. ries, by this heap of heinous charges, will only have proved their own malice. But if he be never taken, what is Kildare to blame more than Ossory, who, note withstanding his high promises, and having now the king's power, you see, takes his own time to bring him in ? Cannot the Earl of Desmond stir, but I must ad. vise ? Cannot he be hid, but I must wink? If he is befriended, am I therefore a traitor ? It is truly a fora midable accusation! My first denial confounds my accusers. Who made them so familiar with my sight? When was the earl in my view? Who stood by when I let him slip? But, say they, I sent him word. Who was the messenger? Where are the letters ? Confute my denial.
“ Only see, my lord, how loosely this idle gear of theirs hangs together ! Desmond is not taken. Well !
Kildare is in fault. Why? Because he is. Who proves it? Nobody. But it is thought; it is said. By whom? His enemies. Who informed them? They will swear it. Will they swear it, my lord ? Why, then they must know it. Either they have my letters to show, or can produce my messengers, or were present at a conference, or were concerned with Desmond, or somebody betrayed the secret to them, or they were themselves my vicegerents in the business : which of these points will they choose to maintain ? I know them too well to reckon myself convicted by their assertions, hearsays, or any oaths which they may swear. My letters could soon be read, were any such things extant. My servants and friends are ready to be sifted. Of my cousin Desmond they may lie loudly; for no man here can contradict them. But as to myself, I never saw in them integrity enough to make me stake on their silence the life of a hound, far less my own. I doubt not, if your honours examine them apart, you will find that they are the tools of others, suborned to say, swear, and state any thing but truth; and that their tongues are chained, as it were, to some patron's trencher. I am grieved, my lord cardinal, that your grace, whom I take to be passing wise and sharp, and who, of your own blessed disposition, wishes me so well, should be so far gone in crediting these corrupt informers that abuse your ignorance of Ireland. Little know you, my lord, how necessary it is, not only for the governor, but also for every nobleman in that country, to hamper his uncivil neighbours at. discretion. Were we to wait for processes of law, and had not those hearts and hands, of which you speak, we should soon loše both lives and lands. You hear of our case as in a dream, and feel not the smart of suffering that we endure. In England, there is not a subject that dare extend his arm to fillip a peer of the realm. In Ireland, unless
the lord have ability to his power, and power to protect himself, with sufficient authority to take thieves and varlets whenever they stir, he will find them swarm so fast, that it will soon be too late to call for justice. If you will have our service to effect, you must not bind us always to judicial proceedings, such as you are blessed with here in England. As to my kingdom, my lord cardinal, I know not what you mean. If your grace thinks that a kingdom consists in serving God, in obeying the king, in governing the commonwealth with love, in sheltering the subjects, in suppressing rebels, in executing justice, and in bridling factions, I would gladly be invested with so virtuous and royal a state. But if you only call me king, because you are persuaded that I repine at the government of my sovereign, wink at malefactors, and oppress well-doers, I utterly disclaim the odious epithet, surprised that your grace should appropriate so sacred a name to conduct so wicked. But however this may be, I would you and I, my lord, exchanged kingdoms for one month. I would in that time undertake to gather more crumbs than twice the revenues of my poor earldom. You are safe and warm, my lord cardinal, and should not upbraid me. While you sleep in your bed of down, I lie in a hovel ; while you are served under a canopy, I serve under the cope of heaven; while you drink wine from golden cups, I must be content with water from a shell; my charger is trained for the field, your gennet is taught to amble; and while you are be-lorded and be-graced, and crouched and knelt to, I get little reverence, but when I cut the rebels off by the knees.”
“ It is not in REPLY alone,” resumed Egeria, “ that the British orators have surpassed the Greek and Roman; among us another species of eloquence has been cultivated with equal success. It belongs to a