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of the constitution. Some objections were made by Sir Henry Cavendish, on account of the omission of the word “titular" to the signatures of the bishops; but the objections were not supported, and the petition was received. Mr. Hobart, after panegyrizing the conduct of the Catholics, stated the outline of his measure ;- first, to give them the right of voting at elections ;-secondly, to enable them to vote for magistrates in cities and corporate towns—to enable them to sit as grand jurors—to disallow challenges against Catholics on petty juries—to authorize His Majesty to enable Catholics to endow a college and schoolto allow them to carry arms when possessed of certain property—to empower them to be magistrates, and to hold civil offices under certain limitations. He said that it was in contemplation to admit them to hold commissions in the army and navy, after a communication had been made upon the subject to the English Government. He then got leave to bring in the bill, and was seconded by Sir Hercules Langrishe in a very able and judicious speech.

The bill was opposed by Dr. Duigenan, in a speech remarkable for length, its violence, and its hostility to the Catholics; comprising a history as well as a libel upon Ireland. His principle was this: "A Protestant King, a Protestant Parliament, a Protestant Hierarchy, Protestant electors and Government, the bench of justice, the army and the revenue, through all their branches and detail, Protestants.” Such was the doctrine which the high church party in Ireland then strove to uphold, and this in a kingdom where the Catholics amounted to 3,000,000, and the Protestants to 500,000, many of whom were friendly to the Catholics, and a convention of whom in the pro

; vince of Ulster, had, a few days previous (15th of

PROCEEDINGS THEREON.

CHAP. IV.]

89 February), met at Dungannon, and after debating for two days, had decided in favour of the immediate and unqualified admission of their Roman Catholic brethren, as well as in favour of a radical reform in the representation of the people.

On the 18th, Mr. Hobart proposed his Bill. After some debating, and a suggestion from Sir Lawrence Parsons, that the elective franchise should only be extended to Catholics who had 201. a-year freehold property, it was agreed that the Bill should be read a second time on the 22d of February: on this occasion the old opponents of the Catholics, indignant at the treatment they received, and at the inconsistency of Government, who had made them the dupe of their artifice or incapacity, now appeared in the arena with renewed determination, and loudly protested against the proceedings adopted by the Minister. On the other hand, the friends of the people particularly exerted themselves, especially the Provost (Hutchinson), Messrs. Ponsonby, Curran, Forbes, Day, and Duquery. They contended that the Bill should have conceded more, and at once have gone the whole length, and given seats in Parliament; that it was not natural or possible that the Catholics could remain quiet or content with half power or half privileges.

Mr. Grattan expressed the same opinion in a speech distinguished for its fire and spirit, which the publications of the day called “so divine an enthusiasm, that if ever a heavenly impulse animated a human breast, it was visible on this occasion.” The concluding part is here inserted :

“I understand the policy of Rome and of Sparta : their slaves could have no landed nor commercial property; but yours may, and may add to physical superiority of numbers the political influence of riches; and a vast landed property—they may become a great power in the nation, and no part of the state. Who will answer for the satisfaction of those proprietors ? It is not life, but the condition of living; the slave is not so likely to complain of the want of property, as the proprietor of the want of privilege. The human mind is progressive :-the child does not look back to the parent that gave him being, nor the people to the legislator that gave them the power of acquisition; but both look forward ; the one to provide for the comforts of life, and the other to obtain all the privileges of property.

“Your imperfect grants and comprehensive theories have given those aspiring thoughts, and let in that train of ideas which may hereafter greatly serve, or marvellously distract your country; you have already given to their mind the first principles of motion, and the laws of motion (and not yours) must direct the machine.

germ on the soul, like the child in the womb, or the seed in the earth, swell in their stated time to their destined proportions, by virtue of their laws, which we neither make nor controul. Talk not in such cases of gratitude; rely on that gratitude which is founded on interest,--such gratitude as governed yourselves from 1691, when you secured your property, to 1779, when you demanded your trade; and in 1782, when you demanded your liberty, from a colony looking only to property, to a people looking to a free form of government,from planters joining with the mother country against the Catholics, to a nation joining with the Catholics to exact of the mother country trade and freedom. Do I condemn you? Such is the progress of nations, such the nature of man, and such his gratitude !

I have read of a republic, where the whole business of life was neglected, to give place to mathematical investigation. I can suppose a more extraordinary state, where the law excluded from serving the public, three-fourths of the people, unless they would give a theological opinion, touching an abstract point of divinity, and verify that opinion on oath. I have heard of Athens—that cruel republic-excluding so many of her own children from the rights of citizenship; but she only had the wisdom of Socrates, the light of Plato;—she had not, like you, the revelations to instruct her; besides, she had not the press-she had not the benefits of your lesson. What lesson ?-that to a people it was not life, but the condition of living; and to be bound without your own consent, was to be a slave;

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CHAP. IV.] ELOQUENT SPEECH.

91 and therefore you were not satisfied in 1782 with the free exercise of your religion, but demanded however, I do not rely on your private productions. What are your public tracts, your repeated addresses to the King, the Speaker's annual speech to the throne,—what are they, while the penal code remains, but so many dangerous and inflammatory publications, felicitating the Protestants on the blessings of that constitution from whence three-fourths are excluded,but above all, that instrument, infinitely more incendiary than all Mr. Paine has written, that instrument which you annually vote,—what is it now? A challenge to discontent,—that money bill, I mean, wherein you dispose of the money of 3,000,000 of the people without their consent.

. You do not stir, nor vote, nor speak, without suggesting to the Catholics some motive either in provocation of your blessing, or the poison of your free principles ;-some motive, I say, which is fatal to that state of quietism, wherein, during this age of discussion, you must enlap your people in order to give your government the chance of repose. You are struggling with difficulties, you imagine ; you are mistaken; you are struggling with impossibilities. To enchain the mind—to case in the volatile essential soul -nor power, nor dungeon, much less Parliament, can be retentive of those fires kindled by yourselves in the breast of your fellow-subjects, living on the confines and the carousals of your freedom. Distrust that religious vanity which tells you that these men are not fit for freedom ; they have answered that vanity in a strain of oratory peculiar to the oppressed. It is the error of sects to value themselves more upon their differences, than their religion; and in these differences, in which they forget the principles of their religions they imagine they have discovered the mystery of their salvation, and to this suppressed discovery they have offered human sacrifices. What human sacrifices have we offered ?—the dearest—the liberties of our fellow subjects. Distrust again that fallacious policy which tells you that your power is advanced by their bondage; it is not your power, but your punishment; it is liberty withot energy; you know it : it presents you with a monopoly, and the monopoly of others, not your own ;-it presents you with the image of a monster in a state when the heart gives no circulation, and the limbs receive no life; ma nominal representative, and a nominal people. Call not this

your misfortune: it is your sentence; it is your execution. Never could the law of nature suffer one set of men to take away the liberty of another, and that a numerous part of their own people without feeling some diminution of their own strength and freedom. But, in making laws on the subject of religion, legislators forget mankind, until their own distraction admonishes them of two truths, the one, that there is a God,--the other, that there is a people. Never was it permitted to any nation, they may perplex their understanding with various apologies, but never long was it permitted to exclude from essential,from what they themselves have pronounced essential blessings, a great portion of themselves, for periods of time, and for no reason, or what is worse, for such reason as you have advanced.

“Conquerors, or tyrants proceeding from conquerors, have

• scarcely ever, for any length of time, governed by these partial disabilities; but a people so to govern itself, or rather, under the name of government, so to exclude one another,—the industrious, the opulent, the useful,—that part that feeds you with its industry, and supplies you with its taxes, weaves that you may wear, and ploughs that you may eat,- to exclude a body so useful, so numerous, and that for ever, and in the mean time to tax them ad libitum, and occasionally to pledge their lives and fortunes !- for what?-for their disfranchisement. It cannot be done : continue it, and you expect from your laws what it were blasphemy to ask of your Maker.. Such a policy always turns on the inventor, and bruises him under the stroke of the sceptre, or the sword, or sinks him under the accumulation of debt and loss of dominion. Need I go to instances? What was the case of Ireland, enslaved for a century, and withered and blasted with her Protestant ascendancy, like a shattered oak, seethed on its hill by the fires of its own intolerance ? What lost England America, but such a policy ?-an attempt to bind men by a Parliament wherein they are not represented,-such an attempt as some would now continue to practise on the Catholics, and to involve England. What was it saved England to Ireland, but the contrary policy? I have seen these principles of liberty verified by yourselves, I have heard addresses, from counties and cities here, on the subject of the slave-trade, to Mr. Wilberforce, thanking him for his efforts to set free a distressed people. Has your pity traversed leagues of sea to sit down by the black boy on the Coast of Guinea, and

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