WINDING-UP OF THE RAPHAEL CONCERN.
A SECOND letter from O'CONNELL to the Electors of Carlow places in a clear light the real nature of the transaction with RAPHAEL. First, as respects the pecuniary part of it. It now -appears that RAPHAEL himself consented to the application of the greater part. of his second 1000/. (in the event of there being no petition against his return), to the formation of a fund to pro- tect the Liberal electors of Carlow against Tory persecution. But there was a petition, and the whole of the second 1000/. was used in defraying the cost of the defence. Thus it would seem, that in no case was RAPHAEL to pay less than 2000/., and he promised to pay more. It also appears, that at an interview on the 4th of August, RAPHAEL himself admitted that Mr. VIGORS, for whom O'CON- NELL was trustee, was not bound to continue the defence after the expenditure of the second 1000/., unless with a chance of success. How any man out of Bedlam could have proposed or required a different course to be pursued, is inconceivable. RA- PHAEL, however, in a letter published on Monday in his organ the Times, asserts, what he had not formerly stated, that he expended 1100/. after VIGORS and O'CorlsrELL had abandoned the defence. Perhaps he did; but that was his own affhir. VIGORS- who had as deep an interest as RAPHAEL in the contest before the Committee—did not give up the battle till after defeat had become certain. RAPHAEL pretends that, in continuing the cons test, he was moved with a desire to benefit the Carlow Liberals, who would have lost 200 votes by the decisions of the Committee, had not the opposition been continued. Ile spend money' to aid the Liberal cause—this close-fisted trafficker in politics ! " Credat Judrous ! " He had some selfish purpose in view, if he really did open his purse-strings; of that we may be certain. The more we learn of this affair, the more perfectly convinced we are that, as regards the pecuniary part of it, O'Cosistates hands are pure. The charge originally brought against him by the Times, and dwelt upon with variations by the other Tory jour- nals, was one of pecuniary dishonesty. He was accused of a de- sign to put into his private purse the greater part of RAPHAEL'S 2000/. To insinuate this charge, was the object of the first article of the Times on the 31st of October, grounded on RAPHAEL'S letter to the Carlow Electors. On the same day, we published a brief statement of the facts as they appeared in the Times ; and showed that, even on RAPHAEL'S ex parte statement, the accusation was capable of being rebutted.* Now, it is admitted that in point of fact O'CONNELL did not retain a farthing of the money. This is proved by the unimpeachable, and even by the slanderous Times unimpeached, testimony of Mr. VIGORS; who declares that O'CONNELL paid into his hands the whole of the money he re- ceived from RAPHAEL, " to the uttermost fraction."
The consideration of the pecuniary charge, originally mooted, and to which we have hitherto confined our observations, may now be dismissed. We repeat that, in this particular, O'CONNELL stands clear of blame. Nobody believes that he kept back, or intended to keep back, any part of the money. Fools and gobe- mouches of the Tory party may be taken in by the clamour of the Times or the mock earnestness of the Standard ; but those of the interior circle—the well-informed and scheming Tories, who ad- mire 0CosrstELL in their hearts, and praise him in private whilst they suborn all kinds of abusive vituperation of him in public— laugh to scorn the idea of his being at all discreditably implicated in the affair. Nobody believes that RAPHAEL was cheated. It is clear that he drove a Jewish bargain : for 2000/. he was returned to Parliament for a county, after a six-days' cantest, and was de- fended in his seat against a petition up to the time that the defence became hopeless. The conditions of the bargain were ful- filled by O'CONNELL and VIGORS, equitably and honourably. We may now say a few words on the legality of O'CosistELL's conduct.
It is maintained most strenuously by the Times, that °VON.. NELL has violated the statute 49th George III., chapter 118, levelled against corrupt practices in Parliamentary elections. The Times quotes the words of the Act which affect the giver and the receiver of money to prccure a seat in Parliament. In this case, RAPHAEL, the giver of the 20001., was returned, and has been unseated; and the Act therefore seems no longer applicable to him. As respects the receiver, it is enacted, that . . . . . . " any person or persons who shall receive or accept of, by himself, herself, or themselves, or by any other person or persons in trust for, r to the use or on the behalf of hiir, her, or them, any such sum of a °ivy, gift, or reward, or any such promise upon any such engagement, contract, or agreement, shall forfeit to his Majesty the value and amount of such sum of money, gift, or reward, over and above the sum of 500/. ; which said sum of 500/. he, she, or they shall forfeit to any person who shall sue for the same, to be recovered with such costs of suit, by action of debt, bill, plaint, or infor- mation, in any of his Majesty's counts of record at Westminster," &c.
In the present case, O'Cosrsnat, it is contended, is the receiver: but we suspect that no action will be brought against him; though the reason hinted at by the Times for his antici- pated escape from the law's fangs—namely, that the Attorney- General will not do his duty—is not the true one. With the intent of hereafter fixing on the Liberal Government the odium of not daring to execute the law against O'CosisrELL, the Times says- " It may be no business of Mr. Raphael to inquire into this matter ; but it is Me business of his Majesty's Attorteg- General, who alone can proceed for the recovery of the amount of the money paid by Mr. Raphael to O'Connell."
There is no occasion whatever to apply to the Attorney-General. Any person" (see the words of the Act we have quoted) may sue for the penalty of 5001.; and the same judgment which awards the 500/. penalty to the private prosecutor will secure the other forfeiture to the Crown. "Any person "—Mr. JOHN W AL. TER, who never paid a sixpence to get into the House of Com- mons himself, or Mr. Honscs Twiss, or Mr. Sergeant Gour.- BURN, or Mr. PRAED—may bring an action. If some of these • In allusion to the Spectator's precis of the case, the Times on Monday said that our "defence of O'Connell, a week since, was of such a character " that the Leading Journal would "not stoop to contention" with us. The Times does not often "stoop to Contention'' with adversaries who prefer the weapons of sober analysis to pompons mouthing and the other :Winery of rhetoric which itself excels in. For once, however, it might have been politic to stoop to a thew of battle even on our hard conditions of warfare. It happens that the .irtiele alluded to, at that time was a fortnight old—not a week merely. It was not a "defence " of O'Cosael.t.. but a concise abstract of the leading points of RAPLIAEL'S accusation, with a single remark on the unfair attempt of the Tones to get up a case of is.enniary dishonesty against O'Cosisrer.r.un such grounds. In the course of a few days, the Spectator's precis was copied into several of the Loudon newspapers, of large circulation, and into many of the pro'.iucial journals throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland. Thus it obtained a most extensive currency. If the Times had not been so proud, but deigned to " stoop" from its Olympian eminence to the doings on earth and the capacities of horrible men, this mischief might have been prevented: at the very worst, if the poia,n had Mill circulated, the antidote would have accompanied it.
worthies, or perhaps the Secretary of the Carlton Club, do not undertake tbe achievement, it Must be because of a secret con- sciousness that the case is weak, and that they may be saddled with costs.
And we certainly think that they would exercise but the ordi- nary prudence of men 'wise in their generation, in holding back ; for the Times omitted to give its readers a very important proviso in the- Act of George III.; which omission we will supply. There is an exception in favour of money paid or received for legal ex- penses. These are the words- " Provided always, and be it further enacted, that nothing in this Act con. tamed shall extend or be construed to extend to any money paid or agreed to he paid to or by any person, for any legal expense bona fide incurred at or sag any any election: In order to recover the penalty, it would seem that the prosecu- tor must prove the money to have been illegally expended. Well, it is said, O'CONNELL'S letter of guarantee to RAPHAEL proves that RAPHAEL was to pay 10001. " absolutely and entirely for being nominated"—the nomination being unattended with ex- pense. This, it is averred, shows that the money was really intended for a bribe. But is the intent—or the actual application of the money—the question at issue? Is not the intent to be inferred from the mode of using the money ? If the actual expen- diture of' the money is to decide the point, the defendant would -escape; for it is not pretended that the money was laid out in any .way not lawful. But, setting aside the mode in which the 20001. was really expended, look at O'CoriateLis letter, and then there will be no doubt as to the purpose to which he intended to apply the money. • '9,Clarges Street, June 1. "My Dear Sir—You having acceded to the terms proposed to you for the election of the county of Carlow—vi. you are to pay before nomination 10001.—say 1000/. and a like sum after being returned—the first to be paid absolutely and entirely for being nominated, the second to he paid only in the event of your having been returned, I hereby undertake to guarantee and save you harmless from w.y and emery other expense whatsoever, whether of agents, carriages, counsel. petition aga:nst the return, or gamy other description ; and I make this guarantee in the fullest sense of the honourable engage. ment that you should not possibly be required to pay one shilling more in any event, or upon any contingency whatsoever.
I am, my dear. Sir, your very faithful,
°A. Raphael, Esq." " DANIEL O'CostvELL." The expenses here indicated are legal. Therefore, in whatever way we view the point, we think it would be unsafe in Mr. WALTER or Mr. PRAM) to bring an action for the penalties. If the fact of' having received money for election purposes is prima facie evidence of corruption, and the onus of proving the
expenditure thereof to be legal is laid on-the defendants, we do not envy the position of some hundred agents of Members of Parlia- ment, who have received money from their employers for election
purposes. They stand in the same predicament as O'CONNELL; who in the Carlow election affair acted as an agent for others. But a man may act honourably,and according to law, andstill be liable to the charge of indiscretion. Now although we entirely acquit O'CONNELL of any thing approaching to dishonourable conduct in this affair, and are not satisfied that he was guilty of even technical illegality, yet we cannot by any means acquit him of extreme incaution and rashness in his dealings with the Jew RAPHAEL.. It was a strange blunder in a lawyer to give such a guarantee as he wrote off-hand and delivered to RAPHAEL; but it was a more important error to lend such a person his aid to mis- represent the Carlow constituency. He knew little or nothing about RAPHAEL, and had been warned, as he admits himself, against him. Indeed he owed the apology he has made to the Electors of Carlow.
It must, however, in fairness be remembered, that suitable per- sons, willing to encounter the expenses of an election contest, are not easy to be found. During the last general election, deputa- tions were constantly in London even from most respectable English constituencies, on the look-out for candidates, of Liberal politics, and ready to bear a considerable part of the unavoidable cost of a contest. This is one of the unamended evils of our representative system. Elections are so costly that the most eligible men are frequently deterred from becoming candidates. We doubt not that O'CONNELL would have found considerable difficulty in getting a candidate for Carlow, ready to advance 2000/. to fight the Liberal battle. This must be admitted as an excuse (not a justification) for what really seems to have been little better than heedlessness. O'CoNrreee is a man of power and of genius, but he is not a perfect character, or much of a phi- losopher. He was never famed for caution ; and we should perhaps be unreasonable in expecting to find in an individual of his enthusiastic and sanguine temperament the qualities of the phlegmatic and prudent. He would not have been the Liberator of Ireland had he been as decorous as Sir ROBERT PEEL or as calm as Lord Jon N RUSSELL.
We cannot admire the style of his two letters. They seem to have been written in a hurry, or in a moed when he could not bring his faculties to the easy task : perhaps his "nine and a half couple of beagles" were just about to throw off. A short, direct, logical statement, without a word of abuse, would have been more effective—at least in England. But then it will be said, they were addressed, and perhaps suited, to an Irish constituency.