The glitter of the golden bribe was in his eye; the sound of titled magnificence was in his ear; the choice was before him to sit high among the honorable, the titled, and the powerful, or to take his humble seat in the hall of St. Stephen
's as the Irish demagogue, the agitator, the Kerry representative.
He did not hesitate in his choice.
On the first occasion that offered he told the story of Ireland
's wrongs, and demanded justice in the name of his suffering constituents.
He had put his hand to the plough of reform, and he could not relinquish his hold, for his heart was with it.
Determined to give the Whig
administration no excuse for neglecting the redress of Irish grievances, he entered heart and soul into the great measure of English reform, and his zeal, tact, and eloquence contributed not a little to its success.
Yet even his friends speak of his first efforts in the House of Commons as failures.
The Irish accent; the harsh avowal of purposes smacking of rebellion; the eccentricities and flowery luxuriance of an eloquence nursed in the fervid atmosphere of Ireland
suddenly transplanted to the cold and commonplace one of St. Stephen
's; the great and illiberal prejudices against him scarcely abated from what they were when, as the member from Clare
, he was mobbed on his way to London
, for a time opposed a barrier to the influence of his talents and patriotism.
But he triumphed at last: the mob-orator of Clare
and Kerry, the declaimer in the Dublin Rooms
of the Political and Trades' Union, became one of the most attractive and popular speakers of the British Parliament;