« ÖncekiDevam »
Eighteen or nineteen counties, deserving to be free, and who are your legal constituents, have petitioned for this redemption. You may lull the public with addresses, but the public mind will never be well at ease until the shackles are removed. The maxims of one country go to take away the liberties of another. Nature rebels at the idea, and the body becomes mutinous. There is no middle course left; win the heart of an Irishman, or else cut off his hand. A nation infringed on as Ireland, and armed as Ireland, must have equal freedom; any thing else is an insult. The opportunity prompts-the spirit of the people prompts-the opinion of the judges prompts. No arguments can be urged against it but two; one is, the real belief that the British nation is a generous one, witness the contribution sent to Corsica, and the relief afforded Holland; and the other, their unform hatred of an administration that brought destruction on the --British dominions. If England is a tyrant, it is Ireland made her so by obeying The slave makes the tyrant. What can prevent the completion of our demands? It is not in the power of England to resist. Can she war against ten millions of French, eight millions of Spaniards, three millions of Americans, three millions of Irish? England cannot withstand accumulated millions, with her ten millions; with a national debt of
200 millions, a peace establishment of 21 mil lions, can she pretend to dictate terms? She
offered America the entire cession of her parliamentary power, and can she refuse the Irish the freedom of fellow subjects? Every thing short of total independence was offered to the Americans; and will she yield that to their arms, and refuse it to your loyalty? Nothing but a subjugation of mind can make the great men of Ireland tremble at every combination for liberty. When you possess this liberty, you will be surprised at your situation; and though jobbers may deem your ardour phrenzy, it will be a fortunate madness; a declaration will be the result. Your constituents have instructed, and they will support you; for public pride and public necessity will find resources. What will your judges and your commissioners, who have refused to abide by English laws, say? Will you abdicate, will you bring them into contempt? Eighteen counties have declared against it, and no man in this house dare defend the claims of the English. It is the sense of this side the house, not to give an assent to the money-bills until we obtain this declaratory act. The mock moderators, who go about preaching peace, are the really factious, and the worst enemies of this country. Have you been for a century contending against the power of an English attorney-general, and dare not conquer, though lying at your mercy? The great charter has not been confirmed as often as our rights have been violated. You may be told indeed you are ungrateful. I know of no gratitude which can make
me wear the badge of slavery. Insatiable we may be told we are, when Ireland desires nothing but what England has robbed her of. When you have emboldened the judges to declare your rights they will not be afraid to maintain them. His majesty has no title to his crown but what you have to your liberty; if your exertions in that cause are condemned, the revolution was an acț of perjury, and the petition of right an act of rebellion. The oaths made to the house of Stuart were broken for the sake of liberty, and we live too near the British nation to be less than equal to it. Insulted by the British parliament, there is no policy left for the English but to do justice to a people who are otherwise determined to do justice to themselves. Common trade and common liberty will give strength to our constitution, and make both nations immortal; the laws of God, the laws of nature, and the laws of nations call loudly for it. Let not that supremacy, which has withered the land, remain uncontroverted. Do not, by opposing the present opportunity, give that destructive blow to the balance of the constitution which shall weigh it down beyond the power of recovery. Do not let the curses of your children, and your reflections in old age, weigh you down to the grave with bitterness. Forgetful of past violations and present opportunity, let nobody say the parliament was bought by a broken ministry and an empty treasury. That having made a god of self-inte
rest, you kneeled down to worship the idol of corruption. Your exertions now will be the basis for erecting a temple to liberty. By the inspiration of the present opportunity--by the affection you owe posterity--by all the ties which constitute the well being of a people, assert and maintain the liberties of your country. I have no design. I ask for no favour, but to breathe in common in a nation of freedom; but I never will be satisfied as long as a link of the British chain is clanking to the heels of the meanest peasant." Mr. Grattan then moved that the house resolve, "That the king's most excellent majesty, Lords and Commons of Ireland, are the ONLY powers competent to make laws to bind this kingdom.
Mr. STUART rose to second this motion, and delivered his opinion of the immediate necessity there was for carrying the present resolution.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL proposed an amendment,““ to adjourn the question until the first day of September next."
The Right Honourable Mr. BURGH, notwithstanding the report of his illness, attended in his place, and, with an eloquence to which it would be impossible to do justice, most ably supported the motion, combating and refuting whatever was urged from the side of government against it. He said he owed no favour to administration; they knew it; for he had scorned what they offered: nor would he oppose administration to embarrass them, and he hoped every gentleman
would support them when right. He acted, he said, from pure constitutional motives, to support the rights and privileges of his country, which he hoped he ever should do.
"The question before the house was no less than the very palladium of the Irish constitution; and gentlemen seemed to rely much on the impropriety of urging a decision, because a similar resolution to that now moved for appeared upon the face of their Journals in the month of July, 1641; and, as the question of adjournment had been moved, he would beg leave to offer an amendment, which he hoped would conciliate all parties. The amendment was to this purport, "That there being an equal resolution on the books with the one now moved, the same may be, for that reason, adjourned to the first day of September next."
Mr. Grattan (on being pressed by the govern ment party to withdraw his motion) said, "he never could consent to withdraw the proposed declaration of rights, when a great law officer had asserted, that the parliament of England had ą right to bind the people of Ireland. It was impossible to wave the declaration; as to the person who made the assertion in favour of England, he was an unhappy man. Another gentleman had presumed to call the sense of eighteen counties fuction, riot, clamour. He hoped such idle babble -such idle babble-would have no weight against the rights of a people.