« PreviousContinue »
Report of my Trial-Mr. Sealy.
THE same minister who came formerly to arrest me, came now with the same interpreter to judge me. He asked me my father's name, my mother's name, their calling, and my calling. I was obliged to declare, that I was filho dúm padte ; literally the son of a father, but figuratively, the son of a priest. And I fear this heresy in my nativity might have done me no service. I was then asked, why I was so dangerous, that I could not get leave to live in my own country? To which I answered, that my conduct, since I had been in Portugal, had been the very reverse of dangerous : and the respect due to the king of England and the government of my country, should stand in place of an answer to such questions, because it would be supposing a bad compliment to the queen of Portugal, and such as the king of England, who was a gallant monarch, was incapable of paying her majesty to send a dan
gerous subject into her kingdom to live; and not only to live, but to take security from him, that he would live there and no where else. And then I told my judge about Lord Castlereagh and the law secretary, Mr. Marsden ; how they had taken so many months to consider how to draw up that security ; all which time I was obliged to remain in gaol : and that in the end all they had done was, to leave out some words of Lord Cornwallis, which seemed to imply a doubt, that I might be sent away by the Portuguese government ; so sure were they that I would not be molested ; but, on the contrary, that I should find protection in the passport they had given,
I then asked my judge, in my turn, whether he had ever heard of any crime I had committed, either in my country or his ? In this country, certainly not, said he. I then asked him, whether the passports of the viceroy of Ireland, and the king's secretary in England, were not the most certain proofs that I had nothing to answer for in England. And I also reminded him how highly injurious it would be to the king of England to try his subjects coming there with such passports, for what could in no shape concern any but him and them. He then asked me, whether the duke of Portland was qualified to give passports ? or if it was not alderman James of Dublin? I could not help smiling at this strange question : but in truth, this little presumptuous faction in Ireland, from the habit of insulting their fellow-citizens with impunity, had, I dare say, by their organised partisans,
some of whom are to be found in all countries, arrogated to themselves the entire sovereignty in every department, and in every region, without being able to foresee how short their reign was to be, or how near the day of their humiliation was at hand. I have often thought it curious to see how, in all cases, they applied the word government, to their purposes. Every man in place, down to the collector of the hearth-money, called himself government--Every man, and there were too many, who shared the public plunder, was government-Every man in a red coat, was government-Every turnkey, was governmentEvery hired informer, was government—Every Hessian soldier, was government-Every centry-box, was government.-Judge then how imposing and awfula name must that be of an alderman of the loyal and magnanimous corporation of Dublin. But to finish the judge produced a letter from a Mr. Sealy, of Lisbon, which I had some time before received, in answer to one of mine to him. In it was this phrase : “I cannot, on account of my political principles, comply with your request.” I was called upon to explain these mysterious words, and my trial seemed now to be narrowed to this point, what were Mr. Sealy's principles and my request. I certainly know nothing of Mr. Sealy's political principles : but if I were to judge from the specimen he gave me of his breeding and his sense, I should not think favorably of them. I had been furnished by one of his friends with a credit upon his house, and also with a private recommendation to him. Mr. Nash having determined me
to stay at Oporto, offered himself to be my banker, and advised me merely to send forward my letter of recommendation to Mr. Sealy, and to request of him to give me, on the credit of it, some introductions to his friends in Oporto ; and took upon himself to enclose the letter, with many obliging expressions, touching me. His answer, which now became the subject of my interrogatories, and the head of accusation, shews only one thing, namely, how dangerous it is, in every case, to be exposed either to the vulgar or the vicious.
This imprisonment, though not painful in itself, filled me, on account of my wife, whom I daily expected, with very great disquietude. She, who had been reared in the lap of indulgence, and never known either hardship or privation, might, with her helpless infants, arrive in this country, and find me in a prison, and perhaps something even worse. She might be exposed to other chances: be taken prisoner into some other country, where either she might not be able to hear of me, or if she did, might only hear that which would afflict her still the more. this to my judge, who said he would represent it, with the statement of my answers, which he had caused to be written down, to his superior, and so finished
my trial. But this painful consideration, and the close confinement, again affected my health. The pain in my chest encreased- I lost all appetite, and certainly a few weeks more would have put an end to all my persecutions.
Doctor-Journey to Lisbon—Comedians, Friars, &c.
A DOCTOR was, however, upon great entreaty, allowed to give me a plaister for my breast. I was permitted, but only in the presence of the Interpreter, to receive a visit from Mr. Nash. It had been the day before proposed to me to set out for Lisbon, where it was said I should see the English and Portuguese ministers, and be set at liberty.Mr. Nash exhorted me strongly to accept of the proposal, and told me he had conferred on the subject with the Corrigidor, who was exceedingly concerned and interested for me, and who had shewn him all my papers assorted in the most favorable order, which would be returned to me on my arrival at Lisbon: that there should be but one gentleman to conduct me and my man, and that I should pay my own expences, and be without restraint : that at Lisbon I should be set free, or that the very worst that could happen, would be to send me to England, where I should remain in peace with my family; or if that