his hand under it without breaking the law.”
I have no time to speak of his still more remarkable success in the House of Commons.
Of Flood's failure there, Grattan
had said, “He was an oak of the forest, too old and too great to be transplanted at fifty.”
's own success there was but moderate.
The power O'Connell
wielded against varied, bitter, and unscrupulous opposition was marvellous.
I have no time to speak of his personal independence, his deliberate courage, moral and physical, his unspotted private character, his unfailing hope, the versatility of his talent, his power of tireless work, his ingenuity and boundless resource, his matchless self-possession in every emergency, his ready and inexhaustible wit; but any reference to O'Connell
that omitted his eloquence would be painting Wellington
in the House of Lords without mention of Torres Vedras or Waterloo
Broadly considered, his eloquence has never been equalled in modern times, certainly not in English speech.
Do you think I am partial?
I will vouch John Randolph
, the Virginia
slave-holder, who hated an Irishman almost as much as he hated a Yankee, himself an orator of no mean level.
, he exclaimed, “This is the man, these are the lips, the most eloquent that speak English in my day.”
I think he was right.
I remember the solemnity of Webster
, the grace of Everett
, the rhetoric of Choate
; I know the eloquence that lay hid in the iron logic of Calhoun
; I have melted beneath the magnetism of Sergeant S. Prentiss
, of Mississippi
, who wielded a power few men ever had. It has been my fortune to sit at the feet of the great speakers of the English
tongue on the other side of the ocean.
But I think all of them together never surpassed, and no one of them ever equalled, O'Connell
Nature intended him for our