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amendment, by the supporters of the Ca- stances did the Catholic, and the Protesto tholic claims in the Irish House of Com- ant, and the parliament reclaim and remons; the noble earl will; I am sure, cover their invaded right? In times of also do me the justice of recollecting, that British weakness and apprehension. When I expressed my acquiescence in his lord did these invasions of their rights fall
upon ship's measure in the other House, as es- my countrymen with the greatest weight? tablishing a growing principle of legiti- In the most triumphant moments of Brimate claim on the one hand, and just con. tish strength, pride, and prosperity. cession on the other.
Under such impressions as these, I feel The intention of this argument, if it it to be my bounden duty, earnestly to deserves that name, was obviously this: recommend to your lordships' prompt and to represent the Irish Catholic to your favourable consideration, the manifold lordships, as an untoward, untractable grievances of your Catholic fellow-subcreature, who must always have in his jects, whilst the grant may still preserve mind ulterior views, which he is in the somewhat of the dignity and the grace of constant habit of concealing, and whom unenforced concession. you can never hope effectually to conci. I am impelled by this additional motive liate, or entirely to satisfy. When it is to press these suggestions on your lordby such arguments as these that the Ca- ships' attention at the present moment, for tholic claims are assailed, it is material to the purpose of putting an end to those shew how little these insinuations are sup- violent and unmanly threats, proceeding ported by the fact.
not from the ministers, but from behind With respect to that general and mis- the throne; of tranquillizing your Catho. placed invective with which the noble lord lic petitioners by military execution, and appears to have indulged himself, against returning an answer to their respectful the character of the Irish people-on tak application to the Prince Regent and to ing counsel from his own better judgment the parliament, by his Majesty's guards, and returning discretion, he will assured and a certain illustrious personage; for ly join with me in thinking, that these the purpose of exhibiting to my country, were not fit expressions, by which to de. men more forcibly, the blessings of British signate a bigh-spirited population, whose protection; and ihus conciliating, at the feelings to the sense of injury or insult, point of the bayonet, a brave and geare not less acute than those of his lord. nerous population, of four millions of fel. ship; and in defence of whose national low subjects. And finally, to protect the and individual characteristics, there is for public peace against the recurrence, at lunately no necessity to require either the any future period, of such unconstitutional, opinion or the testimony of the noble arbitrary, and sanguinary projects, as lord.
would justify and demand resistance from Are my Catholic countrymen then, to every lover of constitutional liberty, and be characterized as beggars, by his Ma- detester of tyrannous oppression. jesty's mild, conciliating, and temperate But, perhaps, such idle and impotent ministers? If they are beggars, who made denunciations would be best answered by them so ? They have, unbappily, had the contemptuous silence, and by the confull benefits of your instruction and fra- soling conviction, that their authors would ternity, for the last 600 years. You com- assuredly, be more disposed to provoke plain of your own acts : it was your own hostility, than to take their place in the barbarizing code which forcibly arrested front of battle. from the Catholic the constitution of his Since the commencement of the unfor. country, which was his inheritance and lunate reign of Charles the 1st, blindly his birthright that made him, as it were, welcomed by my Catholic countrymen, an alien in his native land. It was the all as a period pregnant with the happiest devouring spirit of your commercial mo prospects, for their religion and for them- . nopoly which stripped my countrymen of selves;-to no event have they ever looktheir manufactures, their commerce, and ed with so much confident and anxious their industry ; it was your insatiate lust hope, as to that auspicious inoment, when, of power that degraded the parliament, in the fulness of time, the present Heir and the nation, by the arrogant assump- Apparent to the crown should assume the tion of binding by your laws, another government of these his realms. In him, legislature as independent as your own. they thought they saw the messenger of
But when, and under what circum. peace, with healing on his wing--the promised guardian of the people's rights its distinguished character? What is there, of the fomented discord of his father's in the whole range of foreign or domestic Irish subjects, the indignant spectator-of policy, which does not continue to occupy their interests, the avowed and zealous its own former position with the excepasserlorto Catholic privilege, an assured tion only of the public conduct,-perhaps and plighted friend.
the present feelings and opinions ;-1 will When the exercise of the executive never permit myself to believe, the prinfunctions was suspended, for the first time, ciples of the illustrious personage himby the same awful visitation, Ireland suc- self. cessfully maintained the cause of the For what act of mercy to a suffering Prince, not equally triumphant in this people has introduced, and graced the more favoured nation, committing to him, inauguration, if I may term it so, of this the legitimate heir to all the royal autho- new order of things ? What grievance of rities, the administration of his own inhe- the state not unredressed? What pledge ritance, till returning health should restore of a long public life not unredeemed bis sceptre to the suffering King.
Confidence unbounded to those very miThe heart of the illustrious person over- nisters who, but last year, would not conflowed with affectionate and just feelings ; fide to that illustrious person, the unand my confiding countrymen fondly shackled discharge of those royal duties, trusted, that they had bound their future of which, from the high privilege of his monarch to them by a double tie.
exalted birth, he was the natural and only How sanguine were these hopes! How representative. The just claims of our strong and firmly rooted the foundations Catholic fellow subjects, the conciliation on which they seemed to rest ! But they of Ireland, and every former impression are gone-blasted at the moment of full on these most interesting and important maturity; and, instead of that rich and subjects,complimented away, as a premium abundant harvest of national union and and a boon, for the continuance of such an prosperity, which we were prepared to administration as was never permitted at gather, as the first fruits of the promised any former time of equal exigency and conciliation of the illustrious person, the alarm, lo insult the feelings, and betray the sharpened edge of a slumbering statute, dearest interests of a devoted people. which had never been awakened before Such are the true characteristics of this for the annoyance of the people, called, inauspicious crisis-these the distinguishfor the first time, into mischievous activity, ing features of the new era, unequalled for and turned against the Catholic, assembled the easy abandonment of all preconceived for the lawful purpose of remonstrating opinions and former pledges, by any other, for the redress of grievances; and those either of ancient or of modern times; the desperate men who dared thus to inter- most prominent and striking circumcept, in their constitutional and legitimate stances of which, it has been my necesprogress to the parliament and to the sary, though painful duty, thus to expose throne, the petitions of an oppressed com. to your lordships' view, and which have munity of four millions of their fellow excited the deepest and most universal subjects, confirmed in the fall possession spirit of regret, astonishment and indignaof all their former power, in the full exer- tion. cise of all their former intolerance, as the
The ministers have drawn as it were a ministers of his own peculiar choice, by magic circle round the throne, into which the first act of the unlimited Regent. none are permitted to enter, on whom the
We have indeed been told, from the confidence of the illustrious person has highest authority, that all remembrance been accustomed to repose. Within its of the past should now be buried, in mu- range the artificers of mischief have not tual congratulations, on the happy pros ceased to work, with too successful induspects of the present moment-abroad, try. What phantoms have they not .conTriumphant warfare--prospering . com- jured up to warp the judgment, to excite merce, and successful negociation at home, he feelings, and appal the firmness of the
, universal satisfaction, tranquillity, confi- royal mind? But, though the evil genius dence, and concord.
should assume a mitred, nay, more than A New Era, it seems, has opened upon noble form, the sainted aspect which polie us;- but what, my lords, let me ask, are tical bigotry delights to wear, or the lithose peculiar circumstances from which neaments of that softer sex, which first bethis high sounding designation has derived guiled man to his destruction-though, ta the allurements of Calypso’s court, were But here, my lords, let me put to the joined the magic, and the charms of that ministers of the Regent, one serious quesmatured enchantress, should the spirit of tion; have they ever permitted themselves darkness take the human shape, and issu- to call to their calm and deliberate atten. ing forth from the ininost recesses of the tion, what those circumstances are, of their gaming house or brothel, presume to place own country and of other surrounding naitself near the royal ear;—what, though tions, under which they are still prepared the potent spell should not have worked in to exclude, from the enjoyment of their vain, and that the boasted recantation of constitutional rights, so large a part of the all incumbering prepossessions and incon efficient strength of the state ? Have these venient prejudices, had already marked puny politicians of the present day, and the triumph of its course—though from who are incapable of extending their views the royal side they should have torn the to the consideration of to-morrow, conchosen friend of his youth, and faithful descended to measure the true dimensions counsellor of his maturer years, the boast and magnitude of those dangers, with of his own gallant profession, the pride, which we are now encompassed? the hope, the refuge of my distracted When was there erer, at any former pe. country, and a high and conspicuous or: riod, directed against the existence of any nament of yours—though they should nation, so formidable a mass of gigantic have banished from the royal councils ta- means ? From the gates of the seraglio to lents, integrity, honour and high-minded the frozen shores of the Baltic, is there ness like his, and should have selected for one friendly arm uplifted in our defence the illustrious person, an associate and an Has not the ruler of France surrounded, as adviser from Change Alley and from the it were with an armed bulwark, the coasts Stews-though they should have thus filled of Europe and her ports, against the adup, to its full measure, the disgusting ca- venturous enterprise of British speculation talogue of their enormities, we must still. For our exclusion, has he not eftectually cling to the foundering vessel, and call to locked the continent up; and does he not our aid those characteristic British enero keep the keys in his own hands? In the gies by which the ancestors of those, peninsula indeed, the brave defenders of whom I have now the honour to address, their own invaded rights, have admitted hare so often, and so nobly saved the sink- us to the illustrious fellowship of fighting ing state.
by their side, for the display of the best Parliament must lay the spirit of evil energies of our gallant troops; they have which is abroad: beware how you neg- given us an extensive field, in the boson lect the performance of your part of that of their own wasted country, and the hapimportant duty. Public indignation, just. py occasion of still continuing to shed adly provoked, and the maddening sense of ditional lustre on the British name, by the unheeded grievances and triumphant pro- brilliant achievements of our distinguished fligacy, are fearful reformers.
leader, and the bright career of glory But I will not despair of better times. which he has run. The illustrious mind cannot but loath the But is it, let me ask your lordships, the ignoble and degrading fetters by which it war of rival sects, or the thunders of the is enchained ; the time cannot be distant, | Vatican, which have convulsed and shaken when the illusions of the present moment
to its centre astonished Europe? No, my shall have vanished from the sight; may I lords, it is the sword of as great. a conquernot be permitted to anticipate the auspi- or as any, either of ancient or of modern cious consum nation of these my sanguine times; it is the energy of that comprehen. hopes? See, he has already rallied round sive mind, which, in the pursuit of its vast him the men, in whom the nation puts its and magnificent projects, can unite all nam , trust; the counsellors of bis own unbiassed tions, languages, interests and religions. choice. See, he has broken the spell, and At such a moment as the present, what presents himself to his gratified country, pledge should be required from British with the olive branch of conciliation in his subjects, of their fidelity to the state? hand
Perpetual hostility to France, the foe to “Restitit Æneas, clarâque in luce refulsit, Britain, and to British greatness; univer. Os humerosque Deo similis”
sal amity, and union, and concord, and in all the natural and fair proportions of concentration at home. his own generous and enlightened mind, The state of our relations with foreign to heal all our wounds, and to unite all his powers, thus presenting to our view propeople.
spects so truly dark and gloomy, and in important part of your population, driven the condition of our people at home, driven by impolicy and rashness, to the brink of to despair, by the suspension of manufac- despair; the other, to deliver the nation tures, the ruin of their trade, the weight of from the obstinate incompetency of its the public burthens, and the pressure of present rulers. Happily these duties are private distress, with 80 little to console not inconsistent one with the other. From and animate. With four-fifths of the po- bis place in parliament, the first minister pulation of the sister country, taught by of the Regent has informed us, in an authe perpetual babble of nur Anti-Catholic thoritative tone, that he has made a comministers, and by the concurrent testi- pact with the representative of his sovemony of their favourite code of proscrip. reign, and has obtained from his royal tion, that the Catholic subjects of the master, the rejection of Catholic conces. same King, must of necessity continue for sion, as the consideration and the price of ever, and under every possible change of his own present and future services. I circumstances, irreconcilable foes to their therefore call upon your lordships, to acProtestant countrymen, and to the inte. quire for yourselves, a double claim to rests of the Protestant state. Under such the gratitude of the public; by opening circumstances as these, would not the con- wide the doors of this House, to a candid and fidence of the most assured believer in our just consideration of the Petitioners' case ; deliverance from these impending dangers, and by the extensive and sweeping benebe melted down, and every hope extin- fits of the same healing measure, to reguished of the continuance of those rela- dress and wipe away the two great grievtions, by which the discordant parts of this ances of the state ; the exclusion of our United Kingdom, have been so unsuitably Catholic fellow subjects, and the admilinked together?
nistration of the right honourable gentleMy lords; this is not precisely the fa- man. vourable moment for sporting with the But we must not be too sanguine in our feelings of our Catholic millions; we have hopes, nor promise to ourselves the easy no indispensible necessity for strife or di- accomplishment of an object of such invision. At a conjuncture like the present calculable public benefit. We must exbig with our fate, an awful crisis! when pect a hard struggle, and be prepared to the union of all hearts and hands would encounter a resistance, decided and fornot be more than enough to save us! midable, from those who have created the wantonly to irritate to distraction, a gene- mischief, or nursed and brought it to marous, gallant, high-spirited population! turity, and who are themselves the great the sinews of our military strength, is ab- grievance of which we complain. if by solute insanity. It is the sore sign and such a combination, our best efforts should prognostic of divine anger, dooming an be defeated for a time, it to the returning empire to perish.
wisdom and justice of parliament, that the " Quippe, inductabilis fatorem vis, cujus Catholics are still to look for ultimate and
* cunque fortunam mutare instituit, men- sure redress. Persevering with unabated “ tem corrumpit."
ardour in the pursuit of this their claim of Against the fatal effects of such mad right, I would bid them beware of the sugand desperate counsels, the constitution, gestions of intemperate counsellors, or of however, has not left the country without yielding too much to the guidance of their a resource. To parliament it has con- own justly roused and irritated feelings; fided the salutary power of arresting the I would say to them in a voice to which course of weak and wicked ministers; re- they have been accustomed to hearken forming the errors, and even rebuking the without distrust-follies and the vices of the first magistrate
« Brave and much injured countrymen, of the state, whenever they become incon- do not take counsel from despair; convenient or dangerous to the public weal. tinue to confide in the unquenchable Sure I am, that we are now arrived at that energies of the British constitution; of alarming and portentous crisis, at which which you are the joint inheritors with is has become imperative upon your lord ourselves, and, which all the corruptions ships, to call into activity, for the salvation of the government have been insuflicient of the empire, those high controuling au- to extinguish, the
nur rights thorities with which you are invested. and privil You have two weighty functions to dis- in one charge; the one, to conciliate a large and of th
broken. Office and emoluments,-power the attention with which I have been and honours the most distinguished, have honoured, during so long a trespass upon been proffered in vain, as the price of po- your lordships' time; and humbly to litical inconstancy, and of a disgraceful move you, That a Committee be appointed connection with the present administra- to take into consideration the laws, imtion; formed under auspices the most posing civil disabilities, on his Majesty's odious and disgusting, and whose watch subjects, professing the Catholic religion, words are, intolerance and religious war. And to refer to that committee, the seEven the Garter itself, that high and veral Petitions of the Catholics of Ireeminent distinction, has been put away ;- land, now upon your table ; and, also as ceasing to be an object of honourable those of their Protestant countrymen, ambition ; under the degrading colour of strongly in affirmance of the necessity of these disastrous times. The Catholic conceding to the justice of the Catholic cause, and the cause of the British empire claims. No counter petition having found have been loudly proclaimed, by all our its way to either House of Parliament, great constitutional leaders, to be one and from any quarter, with the exception only the same. Eternal hostility has been of that solitary attempt, to raise the Prosworn, against your calumniators and op-testant cry, in which the ministers have pressors, upon the altar of our common succeeded, in the obsequious city of Dubcountry. The minions of the court have lin, by a miserable majority of sixteen ; been dragged from behind the throne, and and after a former baffled effort, these two exposed to the view of an insulted public, classes of Petitions contain, I have a right and the whole system of misrule, by to assume, a fair expression of the undiwhich this devoted empire is oppressed vided sentiment of the Irish nation, on a and goaded, has been denounced to this question to them of vital importance, and House by a noble friend of mine*- not interesting, in any proportionate dein a strain of masculine and indignant gree, to any other part of the United eloquence, which, if equalled at any time, Kingdom. has never been exceeded within these It is also my intention to move your walls. That clumsy combination of vice lordships, to refer to the same committee, and bigotry, from which you are now the Petition of the English Catholics, that seeking for a deliverance-on your own truly respectable class of our fellow-subpart, and on that of the suffering commu-jects; together with the several petitions nity,-is composed of materials so wretch- for religious liberty; from different denoed in themselves, and held together by a minations of Christians; which were precement, which has in its nature, so little sented by my noble friend (earl Grey) at of what is permanent, or binding, that the the same time. whole pile exhibits, now almost at the mo- For the purpose therefore of taking into ment of its construction, the obvious prin- consideration, the laws imposing civil dis. ciple of decay-and, assuredly, cannot abilities, on his Majesty's subjects professlong continue to interpose itself, between ing the Catholic religion, I now move your the representative of the sovereign power, lordships to resolve yourselves into a comand the best interests of the people." mittee.
My lords; I will not permit myself His Royal Highness THE DUKE or Susto doubt of the salvation of my country-SEX:* encompassed though it is, by difficulties
subject must and dangers on every side; and, that there is yet in store, for this united king is not ene
country. It dom, a long and bright train of prosperity them;
to maintain and of glory.
is obedience, Animated by this consoling hope, I
bserved, does will still continue to recommend patience to my calumniated and oppressed coun
Lion published trymen ; for the hour of their deliverance b
nhill, intitled, cannot be far removed.
Al Highness the My lords, I have done and have
House of Lords, only to ex ackr
on, April 21,1812, rations : Inde data
posset, Ovid, lib. tion