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I heard him once say, “I send my voice across the Atlantic, careering like the thunder-storm against the breeze, to tell the slave-holder of the Carolinas that God's thunderbolts are hot, and to remind the bondman that the dawn of his redemption is already breaking.” You seemed to hear the tones come echoing back to London from the Rocky Mountains. Then, with the slightest possible Irish brogue, he would tell a story, while all Exeter Hall shook with laughter. The next moment, tears in his voice like a Scotch song, five thousand men wept. And all the while no effort. He seemed only breathing.

As effortless as woodland nooks
Send violets up, and paint them blue.

We used to say of Webster, “This is a great effort;” of Everett, “It is a beautiful effort;” but you never used the word “effort” in speaking of O'Connell. It provoked you that he would not make an effort. I heard him perhaps a score of times, and I do not think more than three times he ever lifted himself to the full sweep of his power.

And this wonderful power, it was not a thunder-storm: he flanked you with his wit, he surprised you out of yourself; you were conquered before you knew it. He was once summoned to court out of the hunting-field, when a young friend of his of humble birth was on trial for his life. The evidence gathered around a hat found by the body of the murdered man, which was recognized as the hat of the prisoner. The lawyers tried to break down the evidence, confuse the testimony, and get some relief from the directness of the circumstances; but in vain, until at last they called for O'Connell. He came in, flung his riding-whip and hat on the table, was told the circumstances, and taking up the hat

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Daniel O'Connell (2)
Webster (1)
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