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The Irish republic. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1867-18??, August 24, 1867, Image 11

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gambler at home as something pestilent and polluted, may
here be seen hanging lovingly over the shoulders of the
players, and passing through a piece of gold or silver now
and then for the excitement of a venture. This is said to be
the closing season of these open gaming places in the mag
nificent temples of Baden-Baden, as the frequent suicides and
other crimes that come of desperate gambling, have finally
determined to close them after 1867. But there is a long
chapter yet to be written of the past and present of this
fascinating place. Even while we write the chink of gold
is mingling with the sound of most delightful music, and hearts
are throbbing wildly in the madness of expiring hope, or kind
ling expectation, over the green cloth of the Conversation.
Magnificent costumes, as for the opera, are sweeping up
and down its waxed and polished floors; the glare of crystal
chandeliers is flooding all within, and the voice of the ever
singing, swiftly running stream without, furnishes a soft
accompaniment to the notes of a perfect orchestra, while a
Boft and dreamy moonlight rests upon the fountains, flowers,
and statues of the splendid grounds in front, upon the crumb
ling castles and giant pines of the mountain side, and far
away upon the bosom of the classic Rhine which flashes like
a band of silver along its vine-clad shadowy valley. But
we have reached our period for to-day. When this fair spot
is thoroughly explored, you may expect to hear of us as sail
ing down that noble river which adorns “ The land of song
and the land of wine,” and having a study of those antiqui
ties which lie between Mayence and Cologne. Thence we
are bound for Switzerland, to pay a visit to Lansanne, on
Lake Geneva; and then we hasten back to Paris to look upon
the dying days of the Exposition. Wild Egerton.
Our Special Irish Correspondence.
Dubbin, August 5th, 1867.
There was an angel once who stirred the pool of Bethsaida
at stated periods. Angels don’t descend to stir political pools,
or I should wish for one just now to stir the stagnant pond of
Irish politics.
I should not wish to he misunderstood. When you speak
of “ politics” here it means Parliamentary politics; and as it
is dangerous and treason felony, and Attorney Generaling,
and so forth, to speak of anything else, I mean, therefore,
Parliamentary politics in the sentence which I have written.
As your correspondent, I may tell you there are other politics
which are not stagnant, and the prime principle of their im
pulses, emotions and sentiments is, that a Parliament inEngland
will do nothing but evil for Ireland—that for any man to send or
attempt to send a representative, that is, a nominal represen
tative, thereto, by his vote, is an act of folly and a signal of
insanity, and that there is something else to do instead of
wasting honesty and earnestness in that line.
There is an adage about the absurdity of convincing people
against their will; and to attempt to convince the Irish people
against their will that the converse of their ideas is true,
would leave any man in the position of the twelfth juror in
the box, who found eleven were against him, and found, too,
that he was the only man of brains in the box. Perhaps the
evidence that the other eleven out of twelve would take as
testimony against the recusant in the judgment seat might
find an illustration in part of what I saw last night.
I was rather late walking home through a part of the city
not believed to be a Faubourg St. Antoine, when the clatter of
horses’ feet summoned my attention. A number of thoroughfares
open into the street where I was at the moment, and I could
not tell whether this midnight cavalcade was before, behind,
or, as Tennyson says, “ on to the left of me, or on to the right of
me.” It rang upon the air in echoes that might lead me to
expect horsemen anywhere, before or behind me. At last I
did see them. A squadron of lancers, at least two troops,
came galloping down towards me as I walked along, with
spears trailed and carabines unslung. It looked like a ghostly
invasion as it flitted by in the glimpses of the flickering and
glaring lamps, and amid the silence of the deserted streets.
I have been asking myself ever since what was the rout about.
Is not Fenianism declared by Government organs to be as dead
as mutton ? are not the rebels declared to be defunct ? and who
says now that the people of Ireland are not loyal ? Is it
possible that there is alarm at the Castle under such circum
stances? and is it possible that the well instructed Castle could
take such an alarm as to send out two troops of lancers when
there was no enemy in sight, without some information that
told them something else ? Can you solve the riddle ? I
could not, although there is something in it.
Two of the sentenced prisoners in Mountjoy, otherwise
termed Mount</m/, have become insane. IIow do those who
have been tried and condemned find their treatment endur
able ? An accident revealed the fact, and the same accident
is likely to cause the Government trouble, as it will raise the
whole question of the treatment of the political prisoners
again. Venice was rather distinguished in the old times for
her harshness towards prisoners ; so was Spain, and so was the
Duke of Alba in the Low Countries ; but I do not believe that
any jailers, in any country, ever found out the secret of driving
their prisoners mad, except English jailers. That they have
it, is proved latest of all, by the transfer of two of the prison
ers arrested on suspicion to the district lunatic asylum. Re
peatedly and ominously, to my knowledge, the medical
officer of Mountjoy warned the Government that they were
pursuing a course towards the political prisoners calculated
to kill or madden them, and he warned the Government in
vain. They would not be deterred from the course which
they were determined on taking, and that was to punish these
men who “ dared to be free” with the utmost rigor, the utmost
suffering which they could inflict. They knew well that the
distinguished physician, who holds the post of medical officer
to this convict jail, could not be accused of any tendency to be
lenient to the Fenian prisoners for any cause except the one
just and honorable sentiment. He saw that those men were
not ci'iminals. He saw that they were not of the coarse, low,
desperate, brutalized band of guilt and sin, for which alone the
silent system was invented, perfected, and put into practice,
and he protested against its enforcement, firstly upon men
who were only accused, and secondly upon men whose con
viction meant neither to themselves nor anybody else a con
viction of any breach of moral laws. There is no man less
to be suspected, even by the very suspicious Government of this
country, of outstepping his duty even in favor of the Fenian
prisoners, than this gentleman. The nephew of the Eight Hon.
Alexander McDonnell, a Privy Councillor and Commissioner
of National Education, the nephew of the Hon. Judge Dobb«
and the son of the Hon. John McDonnell, the medical officer
of Mountjoy, has been loved, nurtured, reared, and now lives
amidst the very aroma of officialdom. But a consummate
master of his profession, and an honorable, high-minded
Irishman, he has from the first instant up to this taken the
greatest interest in the treatment of the political prisoners,
and rather harrassed the Government with reference to them.
There was no harshness exercised towards them which he
did not interpose to prevent, there was no injustice done them |
at the hands of the autocracy of the dungeon that he did not
strive to ward off.
This occurrence may bring him before a Commission of
investigation; and if it does, I promise you revelations
which will appall and astound you by their horror. The O’
Donoghue has given notice that he will ask the Chief Secre
tary for Ireland, on Tuesday next, if it be true that the inci
dent of prison insanity which I have just detailed has taken
place. This is the form of Parliament, and idle as it seems,
must be gone through as a preliminary to more useful action.
The Chief Secretary must reply that it is true, and then The
O’Donoghue will move for a Parliamentary Commission of
inquiry into the business. Whether the Government will
agree to give that of course is a different matter, but I think
with the facts The O’Donoghue has in his possession that they
must, and I promise you in that case, no sham like that which
glazed over the cruelties of the English prisons towards the
Irish prisoners. [The English Government have since refused
to make any inquiry.]
Speaking of that, as there must be no little interest in
hearing from the poor fellows who are chained in these depths
of despair, I have learned that Mrs. Luby and Miss O’Leary
had an interview with their relatives in Portland last week.
Luby spoke about the Special Commission of inquiry into
their condition with no little disdain. The veracious Com
missioners, Messrs. Pollock and Knox, found everything
about the Irish political prisoners quite coulcur de rose. They
either made no complaints to them, or their complaints were
frivolous, according to their story. By the same text, “ treason
felony convict,” Thomas Clarke Luby, is declared to have
stated that he was “ preternaturally well,” and he “ volun
teered no statement.” When “ treason-felony convict” Luby
speaks for himself, he tells quite a different story. He did
say he was “ preternaturally well under the cruel treatment
which he had experienced.” He did ^volunteer a statement,
and Mr. Knox, when he was about to make it, took out his
watch and said his “time was up,” and “treason-felony con
vict” Luby told him then, in very brief and decisive language,
that “ hell could not be worse in horror, than was the prison
of the Irish political convicts.” However, although the
Commissioners knew their duty too well to let Parliament into
their secrets, it is a fact that since it required them, notwith
standing that it did not get them, the treatment of the Fenians
in the British prison dens has been much ameliorated, and so
far some good has been done.
You will have learned ere this comes to hand that General
Halpin was arrested on board a steamer at Queenstown, as he
was proceeding to America. That estimable character, John
Joseph Corydon, was his betrayer, and identified him. How
ever, it is my private opinion that some one else had a finger
in the pie, so far as to let the police know that Halpin was in
the ship which touched at Cork on her outward bound journey.
There was a traitor behind the gallant fellow as well as a
traitor before him. Extraordinary rumors are current here
with regard to the arrest of a person said to be General
Fariola, so much mentioned in the Cork trials. He was
caught in London, and it is stated with Stephens, at all events
with somebody who made his escape. Kumor states, too, that
Stephens pointed him out as he ran away. This prisoner himself
declares, though the Castle won’t believe him, that he is a
German, and not General Fariola, and that his name is Lieb
hardt. Of course, for the present the detectives and Castle
keepers shake their blessed heads at that piece of information,
and keep shutting him up. However, I think he is right.
Even Corydon does not identify him, and that puts everything
into a region our Government gets into often, called Queer st.
I can cater no other incident worth relating for you more
than those I tell. However, I expect to have more stirring
news next mail.
POETRY.
Written for The Irish Republic.
The Mountains.
BY UNA.
A land of plains may hug her chains,
And wreath them round with flowers—
For sluggish ease is born in vales,
And nursed in rosy bowers;
A mountain land, with flaming brand
Will rush on the invader—
Resolved to be forever free,
As the Almighty made her.
The languid slave may idly lave
In shaded marble fountains—
The strong of limb and stout of heart
Are found among the mountains—
The grand eternal mountains.
When Freedom’s hunted from the plains,
She’s welcomed to the mountains.
O, mountains of our Irish land,
Like guardians grim above her,
In stern defiance strong you stand*
The hope of those who love her.
The ancient kerne o’er heath and fern
Oft rushed against the stranger;
A few to-day, as brave as they,
Flee to the hills from danger.
While tyrants trample Erin’s plains,
And choke with blood her fountains,
The eagle souls they try to crush
Are sheltered by the mountains—
The blue majestic mountains.
To guard our nation’s liberty,
God made the Irish mountains.
O, holy hills, your thousand rills,
From soil untainted leaping,
Shout Freedom’s anthems to the plains,
While swiftly seaward sweeping.
“ No chains,” they chant, “were e’er too strong
For her hands to sever ;
The brave and proud are sometimes lowed,
But can be conquered never!”
The mountain air drives of! despair,
Of action sings the fountains,
Then, up, and be forever free,
While stand the Irish mountains—
The chainless, changeless mountains.
The ramparts of our struggling land—
God bless the Irish mountains !
Written for Tho Irish Republic.
The Thunder Storm.
I sat by the old cottage window, and gazed
On the low distant skies, that were wildly in motion,
Like legions of gods, while their skirmishers raised
Their white crested heads o’er the rim of the ocean.
And hither they swept o’er the sea field of war,
Pressed on by tbe heavy battalions, like raiders;
While the rock guards on shore, slashed with many a scar,
Rear their vet’ran fronts to repel the invaders.
From the depths of those war clouds that frown grim and
black,
Like the cannon’s white glare now the red lightning
flashes;
The shore sends it echoes defiantly back,
‘As the deep thunder roar thro’ the elements crashes.
Hurra! the white horsemen leap wild to the land;
The lightning swords gleam and the thunder guns rattle
And voices ring out as of gods in command,
Leading on the wild charge in the elements’ battle.
Like serried battalions, the mad frothing waves,
With deaf’ning hurras, and with flags loosely shaken,
Above their wild heads, hurry on to their graves,
That lie at the feet of the cool and unshaken
Gray rocks, that fling back the sea into foam,
And rise like true victors, grim, silent and hoary—
The wind and the waves soon repentant will come,
Like slaves to their feet, to proclaim their great glory.
Already the roar and the glare dies away ;
The rain on the roof beats tatoo like a drummer;
The invaders are routed and flee off—hurra !
Down the heavens pursued by the smiles of the summer.
There is not a frown on the blue vaulted span ;
While beauty and life from their coverts come leaping;
And nothing is dead but the spirit of man,
That weeps in its chains, and grows earthly with weeping.
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