/ET. 34] PROSECUTION FOE CONSPIRACY 255
atmosphere longer than most men, yet, sooner or later, it is bound to tell on him.'
About the same time he told the people of Limerick, when they presented him with the freedom of the city, that no reliance could be placed ' permanently' on an Irish party at Westminster.
'I am not one of those/he said in a remarkable utterance, ' who believe in the permanence of an Irish party in the English Parliament. I feel convinced that, sooner or later, the influence which every English Government has at its command—the powerful and demoralising influence—sooner or later will sap the best party you can return to the House of Commons. I don't think we ought to rely too much on the permanent independence of an Irish party sitting at a distance from their constituencies, or legislating, or attempting to legislate, for Ireland at Westminster. But I think it possible to maintain the independence of our party by great exertions and by great sacrifices on the part of the constituencies of Ireland, while we are making a short, sharp, and I trust decisive, struggle for the restoration of our legislative independence.'
I met Mr. Patrick Egan while the legal proceedings were pending. He was full of glee, for he anticipated a crowning victory. 'When this prosecution breaks down/ said he, ' we ought to make Porstcr an honorary member of the League/ Biggar, however,
was seriously angry. <D------d lawyers, sir/ said he.
*D------d lawyers. Wasting the public money,
wasting the public money. Whigs—rogues ; Porstcr d------a fool/
Loifd Cowper scarcely expected that the prosecution would succeed, and warned the Cabinet that they must be prepared to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act: