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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Daniel O’Connell

  • [The Irish orator and agitator; born in Kerry, August, 1775; elected to Parliament, 1828, and refused to take the oath; after the passage of the Catholic Emancipation Bill, represented Dublin in the House of Commons; agitated the repeal of the Union; tried and sentenced for sedition, but judgment reversed; died at Genoa, May, 1847.]
  • I can drive a coach and six through any act of Parliament.

  • Alluding to the loose construction of Parliamentary enactments.
  • Of his liberalism in religion, he declared, “I am a Catholic, but not a Papist.”
  • Once when O’Connell was rudely interrupted during the debate on the Irish Registration Bill, he used the expression “beastly bellowings.” “Then arose,” says Macaulay in his journal, June 11, 1840, “such an uproar as no O. P. mob at Covent Garden, no crowd of Chartists’ in front of the hustings, ever equalled. A short and most amusing scene passed between O’Connell and Lord Maidstone, who was so ill-mannered that I hope he was drunk. ‘If,’ said Lord Maidstone, ‘the word “beastly” is retracted, I shall be satisfied. If not, I shall not be satisfied.’—‘I do not care whether the noble lord be satisfied or not.’—‘I wish you would give me satisfaction.’—‘I advise the noble lord to carry his liquor meekly.’”—JENNINGS: 256.
  • Tom Moore said of one of O’Connell’s characteristics, “The faculty of thinking on his legs is a tremendous engine in the hands of any man.”