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Europe to trade with that market, she has outgrown the con. nexion.
Lord Chancellor. Yes, I remember talking to a gentleman of your acquaintance, and I believe one of your body and way of thinking, who told me that Ireland had nothing to complain of from England ; but that she was strong enough to set up for herself.
Emmet. I beg, my lords, that may not be considered as my opinion : I think Ireland lias a great many things to complain of against England : I am sure she is strong enough to set up for herself; and give me leave to tell you, my lords, that if the government of this country be not regulated so as that the control may be wholly Irish, and that the commercial arrangements between the two countries be not put on the footing of perfect equality, the connexion cannot last.
Lord Chancellor. What would you do for coals ?
Emmet. In every revolution, and in every war, the people must submit to some privations; but I must observe to your lordships, there is a reciprocity between the buyer and the seller, and that England would suffer as much as Ireland, if we did not buy her coals. However, I will grant our fuel would become dearer for a time; but by paying a higher price we could have a full su
ent abundance from our own coal mines, and from bogs, by means of our canals.
Archbishop of Cashel. Why, twelve frigates would stop up all our ports.
Emmet. My lord, you must have taken a very imperfect survey of the ports on the western coasts of this kingdom, if you suppose that twelve frigates would block them up; and I must observe to you, that if Ireland was for three months separated from England, the latter would cease to be such a formidable
Lord Chancellor. Well, I conceive the separation could not last twelve hours.
Emmet. I declare it to God, I think that if Ireland was separated from England she would be the happiest spot on the face of the globe.
[At which they all seemed much astonished.]
Lord Chancellor. But how could you rely on France that she would keep her promise of not interfering with your government?
Emmet. My reliance, my lords, was more on Irish prowess, than on French promises ; for I was convinced, that though she could not easily set up the standard herself, yet, when it was once raised, a very powerful army would flock to it, which, organized under its own officers, would have no reason to dread 100,000 Frenchmen, and we only stipulated for a tenth part
of that number.
Lord Kilwarden. You seem averse to insurrection; I sup. pose it was because you thought it iinpolitic?
Emmet. Unquestionably : for if I imagined an insurrection could have succeeded without a great waste of blood and time, I should have preferred it to invasion, as it would not have exposed us to the chance of contributions being required by a foreign ferred it even at the hazard of that inconvenience, which we took every pains to prevent.
but as I did not think so, and as I was certain an invasion would succeed speedily, and without much struggle, I pre
Lord Dillon. Mr. Emmet, you have stated the views of the executive to be very liberal and very enlightened, and I believe yours were so ; but let me ask you, whether it was not intended to cut off (in the beginning of the contest) the leaders of the opposition party by a summary mode, such as assassination any reason for asking you is, John Sheares's proclamation, the most terrible paper that ever appeared in any country: it says, that
your tyrants have bled, and others must bleed," &c.
Emmet. My lords, as to Mr. Sheares's proclamation, he was not of the executive when I was.
Lord Chancellor. He was of the new executive.
Emmet. I do not know he was of any executive, except from what your lordship says--but I believe he was joined with some others in framing a particular plan of insurrection for Dublin and its neighbourhood-neither do I know what value he annexed to those words in his proclamation--but I can answer, that while I was of the executive, there was no such design, but the contrary—for we conceived when cre of lost
your lives, we lost an hostage. Our intention was to seize you all, and keep you as hostages for the conduct of England; and after the revolution was over,
if could not live under the new government, to send you out of the country.
I will add one thing more, which, though it is not an answer to your question, you may have a curiosity to hear. In such a struggle, it was natural to expect confiscations ; our intention
every wife who had not instigated her husband to resistance, should be provided for out of the property, notwithstanding confiscations, and every child who was too young
to be his own master, or form his own opinion, was to have a child's portion.
Your lordships will now judge how far we intended to be cruel.
Lord Chancellor. Pray, Mr. Emmet, what caused the late insurrection ?
Emmet. The free quarters, the house-burnings, the tortures, and the military executions, in the counties of Kildare, Carlow, and Wicklow.
Lord Chancellor. Don't you think the arrests of the 12th of March caused It?
Emmet. No; but I believe if it had not been for these arrests, it would not have taken place ; for the people, irritated by what they suffered, had been long pressing the executive to consent to an insurrection, but they had resisted or eluded it, and even determined to persevere in the same line ; after these arrests, however, other persons came forward, who were irritat. ed, and thought differently, who consented to let that partial insurrection take place.
Lord Chancellor. Were all the executive arrested or put to fight by the arrests of the 12th of March?
Emmet. Your lordships will excuse my answering to that question, as it would point out individuals.
Lord Chancellor. Did you not think the government very foolish to let you proceed so long as they did ?
Emmet. No, my lord ; whatever I imputed to government, I did not cuse them of folly. I knew we were very attentively watched, but I thought they were right in letting us proceed.
I have often said, laughing among ourselves, that if they did right, they would pay us for conducting the revolution, conceiving as I then did, and now do, that a revolution is inevitable, unless speedily prevented by very large measures of conciliation. It seemed to me an object with them, that it should be conducted by moderate men, of good moral characters, liberal eduction, and some talents, rather than by intemperate men of bad characters, ignorant, and foolish ; and into the hands of one or other of those classes it undoubtedly will fall. I also imagined the members of government might be sensible of the difference between the change of their situation being effected by a sudden and violent convulsion, or by the more gradual measures of a well conducted revolution, if it were effected suddenly by an insurrecton--and I need not tell your lordships, that had there been a general plan of acting, and the north had co-operated with Leinster, the last insurrection would have infallibly and rapidly succeeded; in such case, you would be tumbled at once from your pinnacle ; but if a revolution were gradually accomplished, you would have had time to accommodate, and habituate yourselves to your new situation. For these reasons, I imagined government did not wish to irritate and push things forward.
Lord Chancellor. Pray, do you think catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform any objects with the common people?
Emmet. As to catholic emancipation, I don't think it matters a feather, or that the poor think of it. As to parliamentary reform, I don't think the common people ever thought. of it, until it was inculcated to them that a reform would cause a removal of those grievances which they actually do feel. From that time, I believe, they have become very much attached to the measure.