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THE FALSE ACCUSATION.
association with those who drank in excess. Both of the actors in the scene are since dead, but both were personally and intimately known to me for several years. Mr. who held the position of assistanteditor of one of the Cork journals, determined to retire from the drudgery of the press, and establish himself in London in some other profession or business. The companion of his journey to the metropolis was Richard who had for many years acted as chief of the reporting staff of the same paper, and had just received an engagement as a Gallery Reporter on a leading morning journal. Richard at once commenced his duties, for which he was eminently qualified, but Mr. determined to indulge himself a little before he seriously set about his new profession. Drink was his besetting weakness. Differing, however, from most Irishmen, he did not drink out of goodfellowship, or from a love of company; his indulgence was solitary and selfish. 'Richard,' said Mr. one day to his friend, who lodged with him in the same house, I wish you would take charge of some money for me.' 'Why should I take charge of it?-can't you put it in the bank? replied Richard. 'I don't like putting it in the bank, and you will oblige me if you keep it for me; it's only for a few days.''Be it so,' said Richard. The amount was between 2007. and 3007., and consisted of bank bills, notes, gold, and silver. Honest Richard had as little notion of money matters as he had of the philosophy of Confucius; but, acting on what seemed to him like a presentiment, he drew up a docket, in which he represented the different sums that made up the whole amount entrusted to his care. He then deposited the precious charge in a box in his bedroom, and thought no more about the matter. Scarcely had Mr. placed his money in safety, than he made elaborate preparations for a prolonged and systematic debauch. Wines, brandies, spirits of all kinds, were profusely ordered and sent in. For a fortnight, or longer, the solitary drinker continued his carouse. At the end of that time he was seen one morning to descend the stairs, dressed with more than ordinary neatness-for he was quite a dandy in dress-and to leave the house, with steady step, but with face of deadly paleness. Richard, after his previous night's work in the Gallery, resolved to refresh himself by a ramble in the parks. On his return, he was surprised to find the entire household assembled in the common sitting-room, and two strange men with them. No sooner had the unsuspecting reporter entered the apartment, than one of the strange men deliberately placed his back against the door, as if to bar all egress; while the other, addressing Richard, asked him if he were Mr. 'That's
my name,' said Richard. 'Then, sir, I am sorry to tell you I am here from Bow Street, on a serious charge against you,' said the officer, 'What,' said the Irishman, 'have the girls been saying any
thing against me?' 'Much more serious than that, sir; Mr. has charged you with embezzlement !' 'Good God!' exclaimed Richard, now thoroughly alarmed, and turning to Mr., who sat at the table, his face pale as that of the dead, 'could you have done so?' 'It grieved me much to do so,' replied Mr. with the solemn air of a Brutus about condemning his son to death; but it was my duty, Richard, and I could not avoid it.' Did Mr. entrust you with his money?' enquired the officer. 'He did, certainly,' was the reply; but come with me, gentlemen, and I will show you where it is.' Most fortunately, the money was correct to the shilling. In the name of God, what induced you to make such a charge against me?' asked the poor young fellow of the wretched drunkard, when all had again returned to the sitting-room. My dear Dick,' sobbed Mr. -, bursting into a flood of tears, 'I would trust you with a thousand pounds!' The officers retired in unutterable disgust; and, ere an hour had passed, Richard had established himself in other lodgings, and had 'registered a vow in heaven' as to three things to adhere to the pledge for twelve months-never again to take the charge of any man's money-and to keep as far away as possible from one liable to an attack of delirium tremens. The vow was religiously observed.
As may be supposed, there was much similarity in many of Father Mathew's speeches, for he delivered hundreds of speeches in the year. By local allusions, and illustrations borrowed from some circumstance or event of the day, he imparted as much novelty to each speech as the nature of the subject well admitted of; still, to an accustomed ear, especially that of a reporter, the general similarity was obvious. A very young and talented member of the Cork press, and who is now making for himself a reputation in the very highest class of periodical literature, was specially instructed to attend a certain meeting, and to be sure and give Father Mathew 'a full and careful report.' The meeting was held on Sunday-a beautiful bright day in summer, which invited to pleasure and enjoyment-but it was not honoured by the attendance of the representative of the palladium of our liberties. He was far away outside the harbour, amidst the young and the gay, revelling in the enjoyment of his self-given holiday. Nevertheless, the next issue of the paper contained a long, elaborate, and careful report of Father Mathew's speech of the day before, which, besides arguing the question with more than usual force, contained some admirable descriptions and powerful appeals, and was enriched by several local allusions and personal references of a complimentary character. Thus, for instance, the people of the parish and their 'beloved pastor' came in for more than their share of affectionate eulogy; even the band was praised for its delightful performance,'
and 'the fidelity of the members of the reading-room' was held up to all societies in the country as a shining example. The speech told wonderfully. Really,' said a knowing one, that's the best speech Father Mathew ever delivered.' And Father Mathew thought the same; for when he next met the reporter, he shook him by both hands, saying, 'My dear J, that was a most beautiful report of yours. I don't think I was ever better or more faithfully reported in my life.' The modest reporter blushed, and answered, 'I was afraid, sir, you might not have been pleased with it.' 'Pleased, my dear! why it was literal. Only it was rather better done than I spoke it.' The mind of the reporter was much relieved by this assurance; for the report had been prepared the day before the meeting was held, and was borrowed from Father Mathew's former speeches, which were contained in the newspaper file. It was ingeniously supplied with such novelties, in the way of courtesy and compliment and illustration, as the reporter knew would be introduced on the occasion. It was not until many years after that the proprietor of the paper heard of this ingenious instance of 'literal' reporting.
His Reception in the North-Expenses of his Mission-His unceasing Generosity-the Temperance Bands-The Appeal and Response-The 'Poor Dhrummer ' -- Â Village Tea-party—' Beautiful Music'--Who paid for the Music.
FATHER MATHEW's success in the province of Ulster was far greater than he or his friends could have anticipated, as, from various reasons, into which it is not within the scope of this work to enter, the spirit of sectarian strife was more active and acrimonious in that portion of Ireland than in the provinces of the West and South. There was one reason for the existence of this feeling in the North, which did not apply to the other provinces-the population were, at least in some counties, about equally divided between the different religious denominations. Thus, while, as a rule, the Western and Southern counties were Catholic, the Northern counties had a nearly equally balanced number of followers belonging to the two great denominations of Protestant and Catholic, including Presbyterians under the head Protestant.* It must be admitted that no other Catholic priest could have succeeded. in conciliating the goodwill, and indeed in arousing the enthusiasm, of the sturdy Presbyterian and the strong Orange Protestant of Ulster,
By the census of 1861, the three Churches were thus represented in Ulster: Catholics, 963,687; Protestants, 390,130; Presbyterians, 511,371.
Had Father Mathew been a controversialist, who had wrestled in theological conflict, like his distinguished predecessor, Father O'Leary, not only would the heart but the very highways of Ulster have been closed against him. But, as before stated, polemical controversy was repugnant to his nature; and strife of any kind, especially in the name of religion, he would neither take part in, nor do anything to promote. His character had gone before him, and his presence accomplished the rest. As he said himself at a meeting in Newry, in 1841, to which he had been invited by the Right Rev. Dr. Blake, Catholic Bishop of Dromore-that Bishop after St. Paul's own heart,' as Father Mathew described him-the progress of temperance in the North had been one continued triumph. I had, it is true,' he added, the aid of the press of Ulster, of all parties; and Lrejoice that some of the most talented conductors of that press are here to-night.' On the same occasion he thus described the manner of his reception in the North :
We had no military, no police, no constables; but, in lieu of them, we had several excellent young gentlemen from Belfast, Lisburn, and other places, who kept order. I must here speak particularly of young Mr. Hancock, of Lurgan, whose efforts in the preservation of the peace, and in aid of the cause, were most laudable. I had the happiness of being the guest of his amiable mother, whilst in Lurgan; and I had the honour, also, of being the guest of the noble proprietor, Lord Lurgan. Col. Blacker there met me, and read to me a beautiful poetical tribute to the success of teetotalism, during the reading of which every eye in that gilded saloon beamed with pleasure. In coming originally to the North, I had great difficulties to contend with. I was told I would be assassinated in Ulster; but I had confidence in my cause, as I came in the name of the Lord, proclaiming aloud, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, to men goodwill.' knew the people of Ulster were too virtuous to refuse me their aid in this total abstinence movement, on any sectarian grounds. I had also too much reliance on the honour of Irishmen to suppose the people of this province would arise in their might, and crush one humble individual, who was merely trying to promote public morality. In the words of the poet, slightly altered, I may say, in conclusion'Blessed for ever the day I relied
On Ulster's honour and Ulster's pride.'
On a subsequent occasion he referred to his further experience of the kindness and good feeling almost universally manifested towards him by persons of the most opposite opinions, and showed how, by his tact and good nature, he converted into a compliment that which some few ill-conditioned or ill-mannered persons intended as an insult to the Popish Priest:
When I was about visiting Cootehill, there was a great number of placards posted about the place cautioning me not to go there, as it was supposed the Protestants would not receive me kindly; and the Catholic Bishop wrote to me not to visit the place; yet I went there, and the first person who met me, and who gave me the most cordial welcome, was the Rev. Dr. Douglas, rector of Cootehill, together with all the respectable Protestants of the town. I discovered afterwards that the person who got the placards printed and posted up was no other than a
EXPENSES OF HIS MISSION--HIS GENEROSITY.
Catholic publican of the town. I met some of my warmest friends from Armagh to Caledon, amongst whom were Messrs. Ellis, Moore, and many others, who, for the sake of good example and edification, took the pledge, in order to induce others to do the same; and I can tell them that from the time I went into Ulster till my last visit to Drogheda, I have received the greatest kindness at the hands of all persons and parties. At Clones there were two orange flags raised there when I visited it, and, instead of an insult, I thought this a very great compliment, never having seen one or being honoured with one before, and when I saw them I called for three cheers for the orange flag, and the Catholics and Protestants became the greatest friends from that day forward, and during three days while I remained there, the different parties were the best friends imaginable. I could have apprehended nothing save goodwill and kindly feeling from one end of Ulster to the other, and this was amply demonstrated by my visits to Lurgan, Lisburn, Belfast, Downpatrick, Derry, and other places; and the 'Prentice Boys' of Derry showed me the greatest kindness, but it was not to me alone, but to the glorious cause. Thousands of them came out to Moira from Belfast and other places, and actually detained me three days longer than I intended to have stopped; and was 'not this truly delightful?
Invitations now continually poured in upon him from all parts of Ireland-from bishops and parish priests from presidents of temperance societies-from noblemen and gentlemen, who desired to obtain for their poor neighbours and their own dependants the advantage of his presence. Generally speaking, when he was invited to a town by a clergyman, it was with two objects in view-that he might administer the pledge to the people, and preach. in aid of funds for the erection or completion of a church, a convent, or a school. And thus, wherever he went with this double object, he was sure to be himself one of the most liberal, indeed the most liberal contributor to the charity on behalf of which he appealed. It was no uncommon thing for him to hand 107., or even 207., to his friend, the clergyman who had invited him to his parish, and who, in so doing, had conferred on him the greatest of all favours-namely, afforded him the opportunity of prosecuting his mission. The local temperance society was always certain to benefit by his visit. If they were in difficulty from debt he released them from their embarrassment, and set them on their legs again; for he wisely regarded the reading-room, with its hundred or couple of hundred members, as a rallying-point and a stronghold for the cause.
Mr. Purcell and Mr. Bianconi acted in a kind and thoughtful manner towards Father Mathew, when they made him free of their coaches and cars; still the cost of an inside seat in a mail coach did not represent the fiftieth part of the expense of an ordinary journey made by Father Mathew during the ardour of the campaign. From the moment he quitted Cove Street, in the city of Cork, until he returned to it again, after having traversed half a dozen counties, his hands were continually in his pockets—' giving- giving—giving.'