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(such was the expression), was the substitute for justice. Accordingly, Mr. Curran's motion on the 7th of November, to enquire into the outrages committed on the Catholics in the county of Armagh was rejected. Parliament soon after adjourned to the ensuing year; and the nation that only two years before, in the time of Lord Westmoreland, was in such a state of safety as to be left with only 7,000 troops, was now considered so insecure, with upwards of 80,000 regulars and militia, that Government found it necessary to arm the gentry and the chosen men of the community to guard against domestic disturbance and foreign invasion. They passed an act of Parliament to embody the yeomanry—a force that soon became exclusive in its character, imbued with party and religious prejudices, and proved to be, in some cases, the Scourge of the people.
Thus was established the domination of the favoured sect; and thus, embittered by local feuds, sharpened by resentment and revenge, under the abused term “Loyalty,' the ferocious spirit of faction, which in every age and clime has committed the most frightful excesses, was now erected into a horrid, a frantic, and a sanguinary despotism.
Wolfe Tone goes from America to France-Urges the invasion of Ire
land French forces—their failure — Letter to Mr. Grattan, and despatch of Lord Lieutenant as to loyalty of Catholics—Measures in Irish Parliament—Military proceedings in 1797-Imprisonments, Arthur O'Connor arrested—General Lake's proclamation-North of Ireland under military law — Mr. Grattan's motion negatived – Excesses of the soldiery-Mr. Fox's motion in British Parliament for Jenient measures towards Ireland - Dr. Duigenan's motion against Mr. Fox-Arrest of United Irishmen at Belfast-Report of Secret Committee, May, 1797–Number, arms, finances, and plan of Society -Its originators described by Dr. M‘Nevin “Trial of United Irishmen-Curran's speech — Mr. Ponsonby's motion for reform and emancipation - The Opposition Members secede-Feeling in England and Ireland as to Mr. Pitt-Meetings and resolutions of the Irish in defence of their rights—The Lord Lieutenant and the soldiery stop them—Mr. Grattan declines to set up at the general electionAddresses his constituents—They resolve not to attend the hustings
-He retires from the yeomanry-Goes to Castleconnell for his health -His letter to his fellow-citizens-Lord Clare attacks Lord Ald. borough and the leaders of the Opposition-Mr. Grattan defends them-Mr. Pitt disapproves of Lord Clare's conduct-Letter of Dr. Haliday to Lord Camden-Mr. Fox and the Bishop of Waterford to Mr. Grattan-His reply -Letters to Mr. Monck, Mr. M‘Can, and the Reverend Mr. Berwick.
On the Continent of Europe, Mr. Pitt's coalition had failed; the allies were again unsuccessful. The star of Buonaparte rose in Italy. Spain declared against England. The violent proceedings of the Irish Government, together with French intrigue, led to the invasion of Ireland. Early in February, 1796, Theobald Wolfe Tone (not however deputed by the United Irishmen), landed in France from America. * He introduced himself to the French authorities. The members of the Executive Directory,-Carnot, the minister, and Clarke, the head of the war department,—and urged them to invade his country ; representing the people as willing to join the French, -grounding his chief and first reliance on the Dissenters of the North, on account of their republican principles; next, on the Catholic peasantry, on account of their ill treatment by Government; last and least, on the Catholic clergy, whose neutrality he told General Hoche, might be secured if they avoided shocking their prejudices. He strove to substantiate the accuracy of his statements and opinions by referring to the acts of the Irish Government, the debates in the Irish Parliament, and the speeches of Lord Clare ; and when doubts were thrown upon his assertions, as to the feelings and disposition of the Irish, he quoted them as evidence of his veracity; adding that they were most likely to be true, as coming from an enemy who would have concealed the facts if he was able, being admissions of the weakness and dangers of the country. Tone thus convinced the Directory that they would have the Presbyterians; and Lord Clare's speeches convinced them that they would have the Catholics ; so that the Lord Chancellor, by his violent acts, and extravagant charges against the people, was mainly instrumental in aiding the enemy in the invasion of his country.
* Mr. Peter Burrowes, who well knew all the parties at that period, often assured me, that when Tone read in America the statements that Lord Clare made in his speeches as to Ireland, he took them with him, and immediately set off from the United States to Paris. They were his credentials."
It was not till late in the year that the plan was arranged, nor until the 15th of December that the expedition sailed from Brest; so that its destination was well known. It was under the command of General Hoche, and consisted of seventeen sail of the line, thirteen frigates, and seven corvettes, making, with transports, forty-three sail, having on board 15,975 soldiers, 41,160 stand of arms, twenty pieces of artillery, nine
261 pieces for siege, .61,200 barrels of powder, 7,000,000 of ball cartridges, and 700,000 flints.
Tone had urged very strongly that they should land in the North ; but the orders were to proceed to the South ; if separated to cruize off Mizen Head for five days, then go to the Shannon for three more, and if dispersed to return to Brest. On the 22nd they came off Bantry Bay, with twenty-five sail ; on the 23rd they separated in a violent storm ;—sixteen remained in Bantry Bay, twenty were driven to sea ;* the Seduisant, with 550 soldiers, was lost the first night after leaving Brest. Hoche, who was on board the Fraternité, was separated from the feet, and never appeared. Tone, who had got a commission in the French service, was in the Indomptable, of eighty guns: he urged Grouchy, the second in command, to land. A council of war was held on the 27th, when it appeared that their force was reduced to 4,168 men, two fourpounders, 1,500,000 cartridges, 500 rounds for the artillery, and 500 pounds of powder,-without a guinea, a tent, or a horse,- and the province in which they were to land was the only one of the four which had testified no disposition to revolt !-Such is the account that Tone gave. The council naturally decided against landing; and on the 29th, the remains of the fleet returned to Brest. Thus was Ireland (whose security the Minister had neglected) saved by Providence from a most sanguinary war; and here for the present terminated the efforts of Wolfe Tone's intrigues with
* The Generals were Hoche, Grouchy, Harty, Simon, Humbert, Chaseloup, Cherin. It is singular that on two occasions Grouchy should have had almost in his hand the destinies of England, and providentially not to have turned them against her ; in the present instance, when he waited for his commander who did not arrive, and he declined to land; and at Waterloo, where his commander waited for him, and he did not appear.
France, and the effects of Lord Clare's invectives against Ireland.
Mr. Tone's work on this, and other subjects, is amusing, lively, and spirited. He writes unfriendly to the Whigs and Mr. Grattan,-probably because Mr. Ponsonby had refused to trust him, and Mr. Grattan to recommend him when Lord Fitzwilliam was Viceroy. His diary affords a useful lesson to unquiet and discontented minds, and teaches man to adopt every alternative rather than take up arms against his country. He frequently exclaimed, in the bitterness of anguish, despair, and regret,-“I wish
. our Revolution were ended, and I quietly set down in the bosom of my family.” On one occasion, when he began to suspect the fidelity of the individual with whom he was negotiating, he breaks out—“ Have I risked my life, ruined my prospects, left my family, and deserted my country to be baffled by a scoundrel ?" On returning to Brest, after the failure of the expedition, he gives way to the keenest emotions :-“I am now a Frenchman, and must regulate my future plans accordingly. I hope the Directory will not dismiss me the service for this unhappy failure-in which, certainly, I have personally nothing to reproach myself with ; and in that case I shall be rich enough to live as a peasant. If God Almighty sends me my dearest love and my darling babies in safety, I will buy or rent a spot, and have done with the world for ever. I shall never be great, or famous, or powerful, but I may be
Alas! how many victims like him did not Mr. Pitt and Lord Clare make! How many unfortunate men did they not drive from their happy homes, and peaceful families ! How great the calamities that resulted from Lord Fitzwilliam's