Attacked on front and flank, assailed by Sir Edward Carson and his gang and denounced by Mr Dillon and his faithful henchmen, deserted by Mr Balfour at the moment when his support was vital, Mr Wyndham weakly allowed himself to be badgered into disowning Home Rule, thus sealing his doom as a statesman and as potential leader of his own party. The secret history of this time when it is made public will disclose a pitiful story of base intrigue and baser desertion and of a great and chivalrous spirit stretched on the rack of Ireland’s ill-starred destiny. I do not think it is any exaggeration of the facts to say that Wyndham was done to death, physically as well as politically, in those evil days. Driven from office, with the ruin of all his high hopes in shattered disorder around him, his proud soul was never able to recover itself, and he drifted out of politics and into the greater void without—so fine a gentleman in such utter disarray that the angels must have wept his fall.
That Mr William O’Brien did not meet a similar fate was due only to the fact that he was made of sterner fighting stuff—that he possessed a more intrepid spirit and a more indomitable will. But the base weapons of calumny and of viler innuendo were employed to injure him in the eyes of his fellow-countrymen, to whom he had devoted, in a manner never surely equalled or surpassed before, a life of service and sacrifice. The Freeman’s Journal, whilst suppressing Mr O’Brien’s speeches and arguments, threw its columns open to ruffianly attacks which no paper knowing his record should have published. In