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not be confiscated without a breach of honour and propriety. The bill met with a little opposition also in the lords, but it passed into a law without any demonstration of serious hostility, as the most active and zealous anti-unionists had abandoned the contest as a hopeless one. As soon as the union bill had passed through both houses in Ireland, a similar one was carried through the British legislature, and on the 2d of July it received the royal assent, when his majesty thus addressed the parliament; "With peculiar satisfaction, I congratulate you on the success of the steps, which you have taken, for effecting an entire union between my kingdoms. This great measure on which my wishes have been long earnestly bent,' I shall ever consider as the happiest event of my reign." In Ireland the royal assent was given on the 1st of August, the anniversary of the acces sion of the House of Brunswick to the thrones of these realms *.
The example of the Scotch union was followed by Ireland in the formation of their first quota of the imperial parliament. No new election was resorted to; but the most zealous supporters of the measure were rewarded with seats in the imperial legislature. On the 31st of Dec. 1800,' his majesty entered the house of peers. When the commons appeared at the bar of the lords,
The Act of union may be seen in the Appendix No. X. and the Proclamation No. XI.
the speaker addressed his majesty in an impressive speech, and congratulated him upon the pros perity and happiness which were likely to attend. the empire in consequence of the union. His majesty made a most gracious specch in reply; when the parliament was prorogued till the 22d of Jan. 1801. Immediately after his majesty had left the house, he held a grand council, in which several arrangements required by that grand event were settled. In honour of the union many promotions were made and several new titles created.. On the next day-the 1st of Jan. 1801, the incorporate union of Great Britain and Ireland, was formally announced by proclamation; and thus the great and important measure was finally accomplished. Whether it will produce for Ireland, individually, or for the empire generally,; those advantages which its advocates predicted, and for the sake of which the great experiment was risked, can hardly yet be ascertained. The time is too recent either to affirm or deny the proposition of its beneficial tendency, because many of the most substantial advantages that were to ensue çan only be the produce of long trial and of that skilful employment of some measures and rejection, of others, which experience alone can suggest or justify. It is certain, however, that it still remains the opinion of many dispassionate observers of Ireland, that she has already benefited, and will benefit still more, by the union, if the legislature be wise enough to adopt a decided and manly policy in.
other respects. The odium which was heaped upon the measure at the time of its agitation, and the hostility it experienced were no fair criteria of its character: it would be impossible perhaps to carry such a scheme in any country without exciting strong local and personal prejudices; still less could it be possible in Ireland where every thing is decided upon feeling rather than judgment. Of those who opposed it most strenu ously, the greater part felt rather the indignity than the impolicy of the undertaking; they talked of the honour of Ireland instead of her prosperity, and it is no unfair presumption to suppose, that if it had involved nothing apparently injurious to that national honour, which an Irishman cherishes with a fond enthusiasm, there would have been found very few who would have raised their voice against it upon the single question of its prudence or policy. One thing is certain, however, that every man who wishes well to the general prosperity of the empire, mus ardently wish to see Ireland conciliated, and to find her a cordial and willing labourer in the great national vineyard. That she is not conciliated, is equally certain; and it cannot too soon occupy the serious attention of the united legislature to ascertain by what means her discontents may be allayed.
Having thus gone through the history of this country from its earliest period to that of her incorporate union with Great Britain, little else now remains to be said. Her subsequent history is.
involved in the history of the empire itself. A deceitful calm, a sullen répose, ensued after the union; the unquiet spirits whose excesses tended to accelerate that measure were overawed, not subdued: and in 1803 another rebellion burst forth, short in its duration, insignificant in its events: it was soon quelled; but its appearance shewed that the embers of discontent were silently collecting energy and heat to break forth into flames and devastation. Lord Hardwicke was then the viceroy, and it has been thought he did not use the power he possessed with such discretion and vigour as would have crushed the nascent faction. Meanwhile the catholics, whose claims had been strongly urged, and strongly encouraged by the unionists, began now to look for the performance of those promises, which had been made to them. Assured by their friends that it would be wiser not to embarrass the general question of the union with their demands, which could be more consistently, and more efficaciously urged afterwards, they suffered that measure to be carried, and waited in silence to be heard. The minister, who had accomplished the union, and had promised redress to the catholics, found, if he was sincere, that he had pledged himself to a task beyond his power to perform. He retired from office, to evade an obligation he was unable or unwilling to fulfill. He returned to it again, and the catholics demanded what they had been encouraged to expect. He did not refuse, but
asked time to comply. He would have temporised: but his death which happened soon after his resumption of power, saved him from an embarrassment which the haughtiness of his character but ill disposed him to brook.
A whig ministry succeeded, and the catholics. looked up with renovated hopes. Lord Hardwicke was recalled, and a whig viceroy was sent out (1806) to give additional strength to those hopes. That viceroy was John Duke of Bedford, the inconsistent poble, whose democratic folly Burke has severely immortalized. What this ministry attempted to effect, is well known. They would have granted catholic emancipation upon terms which neither the Irish catholics, nor the sovereign were willing to accept or confer. The veto created a new division in this heated question, The royal conscience took the alarm also; the ministry were driven from the cabinet, and at the ensuing elections hardly found their way into the senate. Their successors came into office upon the avowed principle of resisting catholic emanci pation as long as it should be irreconcileable with the feelings of the throne: that was understood to be the extent of their resistance, collectively, though some individuals probably nourished sentiments of a more intolerant and determined character. The catholics, who knew what they had to contend for, and that if their ends were gained at all, they must be gained by constitutional means, wisely for