At the Bar

‘Is it or is it not true that the hon’ble Mr H. E. Sullivan has
violated the covenant of his order? His honour has been called
in question. Yet he moves not.’ Pioneer, 25 September

Help for a Councillor distressed—a spotless spirit hurt! 
Help for an honourable name sore trampled in the dirt!
From Mandalay to moist Bombay, oh listen to my song—
The honourable Sullivan has suffered 'grievous wrong'.

Four times his name was mentioned-—oh, the burning black disgrace,
By that wicked Mr. Norton in the Garstin beating case.
Whereon he instituted suits and filed an affidavit;
And in favour of the barrister five learned judges gave it.

They gave it on a point of law—so let the question slide.
Another more important case is waiting to be tried— 
Another and a larger Bench are asking, as their due, 
Some simple explanations, Mr Sullivan, from you.

As the senior of a council incorruptible and just,
The honour of our Government was yours to hold in trust.
Men say the trust was, broken—that  the pledge was cast aside.
You have seen the charge in writing. Is that charge to be denied ?

Now, hereafter, when Grant Duff shall quit a deeply thankful nation,
With a scrap-book full of speeches and a blasted reputation,
You will rule his thirty millions for a time—and understand,
Every moment of your rule, Sir, is an insult to the land.

You—a bye-word through the country from Peshawur to Ceylon,
You will govern Southern India when your worthy chief has gone—
You—the man of deft excuses—will your truthful pen deny
That Kimberley in black and white has given you the lie?

But in truth, he had an interest—you'll remember what he wrote
On the Richings land-job business—Tis a nasty thing to quote;
But you got the lie direct, Sir, in a curt official line.
And you took the insult meekly—bore the shame and made no sign.

There's a virtue in forbearance—but the time has come to show
You are much maligned and libelled, or to leave your post and go.
For the honour of your service, let us know you as you are;
'Is it guilty or not guilty?' Answer, prisoner at the Bar.

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