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their stripes, and endeavored to hide the bleeding evidence of their pitiless tortures. Has your Honor forgotten that picture of religious fanaticism and persecution, that touching picture of the infant saint and martyr ? I am half inclined to believe that my learned friend, who opened and tried the case so ably and so well, had worked himself up to the faith that this small citizen had the already sprouting wings of a cherub under his waistcoat. He was a saint in embryo,ma small sized martyr in jacket and trowsers. I confess that I could not but sympathize with my friends, when all the poetry, all the picturesque charm and color of this picture was banished so rudely, on the last day of the trial. What a shocking blow was given to our sensibilities ; what a ludicrous 6 behind the scenes” appeared when we heard that this small saint, who was willing to be “kilt” for his conscience,—who vowed with infinite pathos that he would never be a coward to his religion ;—when we heard that this very small and somewhat dirty little martyr was out in the streets where the boys were playing marbles declaring with the true fervor of a pious Catholic, “Faith and I warn't agoin to repate thim damned Yankee prayers.” What a very abominable and altogether absurd little cherub to be sure. I would have given money for one peep into the breasts of my friends on the other side, at that precise moment. I wonder if, as they heard the poetry of their case, the glory and the beauty of their dream, vanish forever in the irrepressible titter which no one in the court house could resist, when that evidence was given, I wonder if they did not say to each other, that Father Wiget's bread and butter saint ought to have been whipped once more, and more thoroughly. This, may it please your Honor, is the delicate, the tender, the more than feminine purity of conscience, which cannot submit to say “hallowed," instead of " sanctified,” which does not revolt from the words of our “ Ten Commandments,” which accepts them all, acknowledges them all; but flies as from impurity, which shuns as sacrilege the repeating those very words, unless they are divided * according to the holy dictation of Father. Wiget.
* Wall testified that his objections to the commandments was because they were not divided as the Catholics divide them.
What volumes of the benignant teaching of the Jesuit, what touching pathos, what sweet infantine love of God, what tender delicacy of conscience, spoke in those words, “ Faith and I warn't agoin to repate thim damned Yankee prayers.” Was it for that pious ejaculation that Father Wiget gave the boy his symbolic medal of brass, whitewashed with silver, in that very memorable interview at the Jesuit's house, of which the boy, although it took place but the night before he was called as a witness, was really unable to remember a single word excepting the important, the saintly, the pious instruction to “ go home to his supper ?”
I have a few words to say as to this boy and his father. There is a very material question of veracity to be settled between them and the teachers of the school who have been called as witnesses. If I am able to prove them wilfully false, your Honor will be compelled to admit there was a great motive for the falsehood ; if they are proved to be wilfully false, no one can dare to say that this is a case of suffering for conscience sake ; if they are proved to be false, and the teachers are relied upon, then, not only is this case at an end, but a plot is exposed which must excite the indignation of every hearer.
I remember, Sir, that I was assailed somewhat rudely by the able and eloquent senoir counsel, who told us that after my terrible cross-examination of his rather blasphemous and very profane little saint he nearly or perhaps quite fainted away. Perhaps it was the attempt to find out and confess what that very suggestive and significant and quite symbolic whitewashed medal was given to him for, which weakened little Saint Tom's tender frame. I remember that it was a question very generalvery pertinent—very often asked-never answered—a question which has been asked a great many times since by persons who take an interest in this trial— What the priest did give that medal for, the night before the boy was to be a witness ? This was on the first day of the trial. May I ask my eloquent friend, if that very interesting and quite painfully honest little martyr fainted away after that other very striking scene in court, on the last day of the trial, of which he has not yet spoken ? I desire to recall that scene, with somewhat of form and precision, to the mind of the Court, for a flood of light is thrown from it all over the case over the manner in which a religious persecution question—a question of suffering for conscience sake-has been gotten up (in a very bungling, and very stupid manner, I must be allowed to suggest) by the pious Jesuit of St. Mary's. It cannot be forgotten that we had proved by the testimony of the respected principal of the Eliot School-Mr. Mason ; by the young lady assistant in his room-Miss Marsh, whose intelligence and candor spoke in every line of her fair face—that the father of the boy, when he had been dismissed, the Monday previous to the day of the rebellion, had brought him back, and heard from Mr. Mason' a full explanation of the rules of the school, and of the precise differences between the Catholic version of the Ten Commandments and that which was printed in the boy's books. It was proved that he ordered his boy to say them, and directed his teacher to punish him severely if he did not obey ; that he took pains to say that the boy was not to be sent home, that he was not be expelled from school, but was to be made to say the Commandments, and to be punished severely if he did not. I am quite sure that no one who heard these witnesses, no one who heard the very long and elaborate, and very skilful cross-examination to which they were subjected, could doubt for one moment their entire truth. It was with a good deal of suprise, I think, that your Honor heard the boy and his father called to contradict this clear and positive evidence. And yet they had the folly to come upon the stand and wilfully and audaciously to deny it altogether. I believe that no one who heard them, no one who witnessed that scene when, more plainly than I ever before saw it in a court of justice, deliberate perjury was proved out of their own mouths; when the boy, conscious of his falsehood, stood mute, but confessing his crime by his silence, with the fraud and the crime so obvious, so awful, that in those moments of suspense you could hear the very silence in the crowded court room—no one who heard the boy that day, would say that it is unnecessary or would be useless to repeat weekly or daily to that son of that father the awful command, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”
I have read some pathetic histories of persecution for conscience sake; I have read of martyrs whose meek and saintly
demeanor drew from their enemies tears of rapturous admiration-martyrs who died in sublime self-oblivion, died in fiery coronation robes, when the rolling smoke, crimson-tinged, floated far up the sky, vanishing in heaven as the pang and the horror vanished also in the victory that swallows up all strife.
I fear that I am so much of a heretic that I cannot persuade myself that this boy is a martyr, and I do not think he looked like a martyr or a saint when he was so plainly exposed in his falsehood. · I am afraid that I do not appreciate with a sufficiently keen sensibility the religious side of this present persecution for conscience sake. I am afraid that I am liable to a conviction for holding the very heretical and abominable doctrine, that this very interesting Wall and his very interesting boy, are terribly given to “ drawing the long bow," and that their pretended tenderness of conscience is mere moonshine on the water..
This question whether Wall and his son are false or not, is very vital to this cause, as I will presently show; and I therefore ask the Court to remember the father's evidence now as well as the boy's. The Court will remember that it was proved that this boy, and the other Catholic boys, had been in the habit for years of repeating the Ten Commandments without objection—a very material fact bearing upon the same vital question, to which I am presently to ask your Honor's attention. I have not only proved that this boy had done so, but that in particular, since September last up to the week of the rebellion, he had done it constantly ; and yet in the face of this proof, the boy dared to stand up here and swear boldly under “ medal,” or other influences, that he had never once repeated them. His father dared to swear to the same thing, and he swore that for the last six years, ever since his boy was four years old, he had forbidden him to say the Protestant Commandments. I was satisfied that Wall was telling a deliberate falsehood and I desired to make it apparent. I therefore in the cross-examination put the questions which I think your Honor will very well remember.
“ Had he really been obliged to tell his son so ?”
“ Sure he had, and he and the priest both had forbidden his boy to say them, a thousand times.”
“ What, a thousand times?”
“ Yes, faith, and more than that, five thousand times over, he forbid him and me both.”
“Let me remind you that you are on oath, Mr. Wall, before you repeat that.”
- Faith and it was over five thousand times.”
“ What, you yourself have been forbidden five thousand times by your priest, to say the Ten Commandments ?”
“ Yes, and indeed I have, and more too.”
“ Well now, Mr. Wall, please to remember that you are upon oath, and tell the Court of even one time when any body asked you to say the Ten Commandments, and when it was necessary even once for the priest to forbid you ?”
Wall was in difficulty. “Oh! that's no matter," said he.
“Pray tell me, Mr. Wall; name one time out of the five thousand.”
6 Oh! I didn't mind when it was,” said he.
A light of inspiration suddenly flashed upon him, and then with a cool impudence, and a ready lie—which he enjoyed as much as any one—which no one could hear without a smile :
66 Faith, it was in the ould counthry they did it,” said he. He evidently thought he could get out of the way of crossexamination, if he could but take refuge in his native bogs. But it was all in vain.
“ So it was in old Ireland that you were told five thousand times by your priest that you must not say the Ten Commandments, was it?”
“ To be sure it was, your Honor ; who ever supposed it was any where else ?”
“But who asked you to say the Protestant Commandments there?”
“No body asked me to say them; we weren't bothered with thim things there.”
“ But the priest told you five thousand times to be sure and never repeat the Protestant Commandments ?”
“ To be sure he did; ain't I telling you so ?”
“ But why should he tell you not to, if nobody asked you to say them?"