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that of Rome, it is not my purpose to dispute: we must hope that she would. But, in this respect, she has not now a fair chance in the mind of any Catholic who feels what is due to his public reputation. To be useful to the state, he must not only respect his own motives in conforming, but must teach others to respect them also. All, then, who give proof of their virtue by resisting temptation, we, as far as we can, render useless to the state by disfranchisement. All who conform we render suspicious, if not criminal, and thus useless the other way. Add to this, that we employ the very means the most likely to place them under the absolute dominion of their priests. We take from them every object of honorable ambition; we doom them to the martyrdom, as far as our laws have power to inflict it, of popular scorn from the cradle to the grave; we leave them a separate class, without one public occupation, or one aspiring hope, in the midst of a busy and ardentspirited people, and then we are astonished if they make a proud display of what, failing to be a stigma of reprobation, has become to them a badge of honorable suffering, and, if they submit themselves with peculiar devotedness to those teachers who suffer with them for conscience sake. Depend on it, that although great persecution, "coming down like the wolf on the fold," may scatter and destroy the flock, little persecution is the surest watch-dog to keep them together. We bark round them, and scare and hem them in from that association of feelings and pursuits, which would naturally blend them into one people and kindred with ourselves. It was thus with the Huguenots in France; it was thus with the Protestants in Holland under the Spanish government, and afterwards with the Catholics in Holland under the Stadtholders. It was thus with the Covenanters in Scotland; and thus it has ever been with a people, whom, in our fear and distress, we have flattered,-in our security, we have insulted and oppressed,-in our adversity, we have told to hope,-in our prosperity, we have left to despair,-our own unhappy and muchinjured people of Ireland.
The Huguenots were long a persecuted body in France. When they were many and strong, they strove to regain their rights by the sword; when they were few and weak, by secret and patient machination. Thus they were whilst excluded; they ceased to be so when restored to their natural station and functions as citizens. They were twice excluded and twice restored, and at each trial the result was the same; until, finally, a just and healing policy gave to their great men, to their Condè, Catinat, and Turenne, the privilege of employing their talents for their country's glory, and in part repaired the mischiefs which the revocation of the Edict of Nantes had caused her, by dooming her Protestant
subjects, soldiers, artisans, and statesmen, to exile, or to disgust and alienation at home.
Nearly the same was the history of the Protestants of Hungary before the decrees of the Empress Maria Theresa and of the Emperor Joseph the Second in their behalf; while the history of Scotland and the Covenant is unprofitably indeed read by those who fail to learn from it how fearful is the policy that would govern by exacting observances repugnant to popular prejudice or religious scruple. Archbishop Laud attempted by force the overthrow of the Kirk: he made religion a state engine: he failed to produce conformity: he did produce civil war. He kindled a torch in Scotland, which he lived to see spread a conflagration through the empire, and involve in utter destruction the hierarchy and monarchy of this country. It was near half a century before, by establishing Presbyterianism in Scotland, that tranquillity was restored, which might have been preserved by allowing to the Presbyterians their civil rights and privileges untouched by the tests of our own Church.
But Ireland,-poor Ireland!—that melancholy monument of centuries of misgovernment! From the earliest times of her connexion with England, her character has been mistaken, her affections outraged, and her hopes cruelly and foully betrayed. By the treaty of Limerick, 1693, it was stipulated that their Majesties should endeavor to procure from parliament the re-admission of the Irish Catholics to all the privileges they enjoyed under Charles II.; that they should have their property restored, and should have liberty to keep arms in their houses for their defence. On the faith of this, and other conditions, Limerick surrendered to a general who had received instructions from government to grant any terms, that so the war might be ended. And though the French fleet appeared off the mouth of the Shannon before the city was taken possession of, the brave garrison refused to tarnish their honor by breaking the capitulation which their governor had signed. Alas, for our part in that history! No endeavors were ever used, such as kings sometimes use with parliaments; no property was restored; but further confiscations were the same year made, in behalf of the very officers in the conquering army who were parties to the treaty; and, in 1703, an act was passed, enabling any man, by conformity, to rob his Catholic father, brother, or most distant kinsman, of his whole property; and oaths were imposed, against which the Irish had been expressly protected by the Ninth Article of the Treaty.'
1 For the History and Articles of the Treaty of Limerick, see Parnell's Hist. of the Penal Laws, p. 4 et seq. And the several arguments of Sir
And are we surprised that the Irish are firmly Roman Catholics, or firmly anything which we are not, and which it has been the object of our ineffectual violence for centuries to make them? A country which has ever been ruled as a conquered province ; which we never indulged with a hope, but when we had some temporary advantage to secure; which we never gratified with a boon, but when we had some temporary danger to fear. Is this over-stated? If our concessions do not always stand in the relation to our necessities of effect to cause, at least the coincidence has always been such as to impress the Irish with an opinion, the most perilous which a nation can well conceive, that all which has hitherto been gained for them has been gained by alarm, and nothing from sympathy, grace, or sense of justice.' And the Union! Foully was Ireland cheated of the one great benefit held out to her as the price of that Act, which, whatever may have been its merits as a measure of imperial policy, deprived her of the last jewel of her ancient crown, deprived her of the pride of separate legislation, and effaced her name from the catalogue of nations. The Irish parliament bargained with England to surrender its own existence and the independence of its country for advantages of no fanciful sort, which were duly paid to the majority of that
T. Butler, Counsellor Malone, and Sir Stephen Rice, before the parliament of Ireland. Id. Appendix, No. 1.
1. Four great acts have passed for relieving them from active persecution : the first in 1778, during the struggle with America, when the cause of the United States was becoming formidably popular in Iroland, and immediately after the news of General Burgoyne's defeat at Saratoga. The second, in 1783, shortly after the recognition of American independence, and when deputies from sixty thousand men in arms, the volunteers of Ireland,
had held their memorable convention at Dungannon, to petition for a redress of grievances. The third, in 1791, soon after the formation of the National Convention in France, and when corresponding societies were widely established in England and Ireland. The fourth, in 1793, imme diately after the French Decree of Fraternization, and the bloody tragedy of the French King's death, which had taken place in the preceding January. In 1792, a petition for only a limited Elective Franchise was rejected by a large majority of the Irish parliament, every corporation in Ireland expressing a desire for the perpetual exclusion of the Roman Catholic body. The session of 1793 opened with a speech from the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Westmoreland, recommending the concession of the Elective Franchise, entire, which was accordingly carried. In 1795, Lord Fitzwilliam was sent over as Lord Lieutenant, to grant further concessions, and settle public discontents; on the strength of which the largest supply was voted that ever passed an Irish parliament. The supply being granted, Lord Fitzwilliam was recalled, and the subject of further concessions not revived, until it became desirable to urge with effect the question of a Legislative Union. See Lord Fitzwilliam's Letter to Lord Carlile, published 1795, and his Protest in the English House of Lords the same year.
assembly, before the majority voted for the union. But Catholic Emancipation was the consideration held out to the people, and the people were cajoled. The sale was completed, the transfer made; and we have not fulfilled our part of the engagement. In honor and in good faith, we owe Catholic Emancipation to Ireland.'
How stands it in policy? We find a people strongly attached to a creed to which we impute much bigotry and superstition. We have entirely subdued the country. And now, as if the recollection of national independence destroyed were not sufficiently galling, we add to it the whole fury of religious zeal, in behalf of a creed insulted and rendered the mark of hopeless degradation. But though we have deprived three-fourths of the Irish people of their privileges as citizens, they cherish unimpaired, and strong to an extent which we in this country very imperfectly conceive, the memorials of their warm affections and their deep resentment.
1 Catholic Emancipation was not directly promised to the Irish as a condition of the union; but they were encouraged in the belief that it was a condition. By many of the supporters of the government in Ireland at that time it was so described; and, by government itself, the Union and Emancipation were always spoken of to the Catholics as parts together of one great policy. In 1797, while the question of Union was in agitation, Dr. Duigenan published his "Letter to Mr. Grattan," from which the following passage is an extract: "If we were one people with the British Nation, the preponderance of the Protestant interest in the whole state would be so great, that it would be no longer necessary to curb the Roman Catholics by any restraint whatever." And yet after the Union, the Doctor continued to the year of his death an eager opponent in Parliament of every measure of concession to the Roman Catholics. What said Mr. Pitt of Catholic Emancipation, when explaining the causes of his resignation in 1801? "A measure on the part of government which, under the circumstances of the Union so happily effected between the two countries, we thought of great public importance, and necessary to complete the benefits likely to result from that measure. We felt this opinion so strongly that, when we met with circumstances that rendered it impossible for us to propose it as a measure of government, we felt it equally inconsistent with our duty and our honor any longer to remain a part of that government. What may be the opinion of others I know not, but I beg to have it understood to be a measure which, if I had remained in government, I must have proposed." Among the written declarations from Mr. Pitt to the Lord Lieutenant (Lord Cornwallis), and from him to Lord Fingal, and the principal Catholics, in 1801, are these. "They may be assured that Mr. Pitt will do his utmost to establish their cause in the public favor, and prepare the way for their finally attaining their object. On the other hand, should the Catholics be sensible of the benefit they possess by having so many characters of eminence pledged not to embark in the service of government, except on the terms of the Catholic privileges being obtained, it is to be hoped that, on balancing the advantages and disadvantages of their situation, they would prefer a quiet and peaceable demeanor to any line of conduct of an opposite description." See Debrett's Debates, vol. xiv. p. 161. and Parnell's History of the Penal Laws, p. 156.
Their mouldering churches, the rude and shapeless sepulchres of their fathers, their traditionary rites and customs, the very hills of their romantic land, consecrated as they are by the wild traces of their ancient worship, are so many links that bind a warm-hearted people to a persecuted faith. And while the remembrance of country, parents, and early days, is dear and sacred, woe to the power that would sever them. Providence, wiser than man in his jealousy and pride, has decreed that they cannot be severed; they are drawn closer, and riveted by persecution.
Till lately the great majority of the population of Ireland, separated from their own clergy, and restrained by a severe code from practising their own religion, were practically deprived of all means of religious observance, unless where, at the hazard of their lives, they assembled in caverns and fastnesses to worship God in all the secrecy and all the peril that could belong to an act of the blackest guilt. And, to perfect this monstrous system, they were, by the same enactments, (unless they would conform to that creed which they could know only as the symbol of grinding oppression,) excluded even from the benefits of education in their own country. And what was the result? That, unable to obtain education in their own country, they sought and found it under the protection of foreign courts; and then you wondered that foreign courts should obtain an influence among Irish Catholics. That, precluded from serving as officers in the armies of their own country, they sought renown, and found it under foreign banners; and then you wondered at the disloyalty of the Irish who bore arms for France, for Austria, and for Spain. But it was not wonder that was expressed in the memorable exclamation which is attributed to George the Second, when the valor of the Irish brigade in the service of France, at Fontenoy, had turned the fortunes of the day in favor of the enemy, "Cursed be the laws which have deprived me of such subjects!"
It is in the following terms that one whom I have before quoted, an ornament of his time, a writer with a learned and eloquent pen, and a truly British heart, although an Irishman, a Roman Catholic, and a priest, has deplored the condition of his brethren in a letter which I wish that many, who now determine on these matters without seeing or reading, and without much thinking, would first read and then think over. It is by Arthur O'Leary, and entitled "Loyalty asserted." "Incapable and unwilling to hurt the public, -willing and incapable to serve it,-equally destitute of property, and arms to defend it, our duty is confined to passive loyalty enforced by religion. Let interest, let liberty, step in as an active principle, and you will not find one Catholic in the kingdom but, will be as sanguine as yourself in the defence of his substance and