never said anything like that.
When I was in Naples
, I asked Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton
, a Tory, “Is O'Connell
an honest man?”
“As honest a man as ever breathed,” said he, and then told me this story: “When, in 1830, O'Connell
entered Parliament, the Antislavery cause was so weak that it had only Lushington
and myself to speak for it; and we agreed that when he spoke I should cheer him, and when I spoke he should cheer me; and these were the only cheers we ever got. O'Connell
came, with one Irish member to support him. A large number of members [I think Buxton
said twenty-seven] whom we called the West-India interest, the Bristol
party, the slave party, went to him, saying, ‘O'Connell
, at last you are in the House
, with one helper.
If you will never go down to Freemasons' Hall with Buxton
, here are twenty-seven votes for you on every Irish question.
If you work with those Abolitionists, count us always against you.’
It was a terrible temptation.
How many a so-called statesman would have yielded!
said, “Gentlemen, God knows I speak for the saddest people the sun sees; but may my right hand forget its cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if to save Ireland
, even Ireland
, I forget the negro one single hour!”
“From that day,” said Buxton
and I never went into the lobby that O'Connell
did not follow us.”
Some years afterwards I went into Conciliation Hall where O'Connell
was arguing for repeal.
He lifted from the table a thousand-pound note sent them from New Orleans, and said to be from the slave-holders of that city.
Coming to the front of the platform, he said : “This is a draft of one thousand pounds from the slave-holders of New Orleans, the unpaid wages of the negro.
, I suppose the treasury is empty?”
The treasurer nodded