Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/201

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187
THE MOTHER OF THE AUSTRALIAS.

dock: "My Lord—I have a great deal to say in extenuation of the crime for which I now stand convicted at this bar; but upon consideration, I will not arrest the attention of the honourable Court too long. Among the extraordinary vicissitudes incident to human nature, it is the peculiar and unfortunate lot of some devoted persons to have their best wishes and their most earnest endeavours to deserve the good opinion of the most respectable part of society frustrated. Whatever they say, or whatever they do, every word and its meaning, every action and its motive, is represented in an unfavourable light, and is distorted from the real intention of the speaker or the actor. That this has been my unhappy fate does not seem to need much confirmation. Every effort to deserve well of mankind, that my heart bore witness to, its rectitude has been frustrated by such measures as these, and consequently rendered abortive. Many of the circumstances of my life, I can, without any violation of the truth, declare to have therefore happened absolutely in spite of myself. The world, my lord, has given me credit for abilities, indeed much greater than I possess, and therefore much more than I deserved; but I had never found any kind hand to foster those abilities. I might ask, where was the generous and powerful hand that was ever stretched forth to rescue George Barrington from infamy? In an age like this, which in several respects is so justly famed for liberal sentiments, it was my severe lot that no noble-minded gentleman stepped forward and said: 'Barrington, you are possessed of talents which may be useful to society. I feel for your situation, and as long as you act the part of a good citizen, I will be your protector; you will have time and opportunity to rescue yourself from the obloquy of your former conduct.' Alas, my lord, George Barrington had never the supreme,