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encouraging by his presence toasts that were offensive to any portion of his Majesty's subjects ; and he (Mr. O'Connell) felt satisfied that no sentiment would be pledged at any public dinner which the Marquis of Wellesley would please to honour by his presence, alluding to the unfortunate dissensions of this country. Since the arrival of the noble marquis in this country, important events had taken place, which presented renewed and aug. mented claims to their gratitude. Mr. Plunket, the eloquent and powerful advocate of their civil rights at least, was at that moment, if not actually, certainly potentially, the first officer of the law in Ireland. (This announcement was received with loud acclamations.) This was an appointment at which they had much reason to rejoice, not only because their friend had been advanced, but also because, by that appointment, Mr. Saurin ceased to be chief governor of Ireland.
Another high legal functionary, he had strong reason to believe, was at that moment also advanced to the first seat on the bench of justice. It may, perhaps, be indelicate to speak at present of this promotion ; but he was sure there was no man in the country who would not be proud to see the Solicitor-General (Bushe) dignify and grace the highest station in the department of the laov. It did happen that the Solicitor-General was, on some occasions, opposed to individuals of the Catholic body ; but whilst he faithfully and efficiently discharged his duty as an officer of the crown, he never leagued with any person, or any party, in a system and determination to oppress his Roman Catholic countrymen. In his conduct on such occasions, there was always found united the talents of the orator and the feelings of the gentleman. He never left a sting of angry sentiment behind, to aggravate and embitter the insults that others heap upon and it had been even said, in the House of Commons, by the official organ of government, that “if the Catholics were to be persecuted, he was not the man to do so."
Mr. O'Connell went over a variety of other topics, pointedly marking the many claims which the Marquis Wellesley had upon the gratitude of the Catholics of Ireland. In conclusion, he said he could not regard him otherwise than as a representative, not only of the person, but also of the kindly disposition of our beloved Sovereign ; and therefore it was their duty, as well as their pleasure, to testify their respect towards him in the most emphatic
Wr. Shiel seconded the address, as proposed by Mr. O'Connell. The learned gentleman wha preceded him had so eloquently gone over the toping which vaturally presented theim
selres, that it was altogether unnecessary to recapitulate them. There was no sentiment in which he more cordially concurred than in regarding the noble marquis's assumption of the reins of government as a special gift of his majesty, and it was certain he could not make a more splendid donation. Advantages of considerable importance had already attended the commencement of his administration, and he thought that the country might sanguinely look forward to additional benefits from the immediate connexion of the Marquis Wellesley with this country.
"After some desultory discussion on the topics of the address, an address submitted by Mr. Shiel was finally adopted.
“The address is to be presented this day, at the levee, to his excellency.
"It was then proposed by Mr. O'Connell, and seconded by Mr. Hugh O'Conor, that is: order to promote the principle of conciliation enjoined by our sovereign, there should be a diiner of Protestant and Catholic gentlemen, to celebrate his majesty's accession to the throne, at D'Arcy's Corn-Exchange Tavern, on January 29th, 1822.
The following Catholic gentlemen were appointed stewards:-Mr. O'Connell, Mr. W. Murphy, Mr. Hugh O'Conor, Mr. Thos. M'Donnell, Mr. Val. O'Conor, Mr. Joseph Plunkett, Mr. Wolfe, Mr. R. Therry, Mr. Fitzsimons, Mr. J. D. Lynch. A resolution was added expressive of a desire that an equal number of Protestant gentlemen should co-operate with the above gentlemen in making preparations and arranging for the intended dinner.
“The following was the address :
“MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY_We, the Roman Catho lics of Ireland, impressed with a conviction, common to all classes of the community, that the appointment of your Excellency to the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland, will be productive of the most beneficial national results ; and animated by the liveliest sense of the obligations which you have already conferred upon us, offer you our cordial congratulations upon your arrival, as the representative of our Sovereign, in your native land.
“If anything could have increased the gratitude and veneration which we feel for a monarch, of whose enlightened views and beneficent intentions towards this country we have had so many striking proofs, these sentiments would derive new strength from his having delegated as his representative amongst us, a statesman to whose genius the empire is so largely indebted for its security and glory, and whose fame we have long cherished as a portion of our national renown. We recognize in the nomi.. nation of your Excellency, an additional instance of his Majesty's peculiar solicitude for our welfare. It is impossible not to feel, that in the selection of your Excellency, to fill the highest office, in the government of this country, his Majesty was not more guided in his choice by a desire that the dignity of the throne should be adequately represented, than by a benevolent anxiety that, through your impartiality and wisdom, his most gracious disposition should be carried into effect.
“It is with. extreme regret we have witnessed, in a few counties, a recurrence of those local outrages, which at different times have
manifested themselves in this country. We trust that it is unnecessary to assure your Excellency that we shall be always ready, both individually and collectively, to co-operate with government in the maintenance of the law, and from your well-known firmness and moderation, we anticipate the speedy re-establishment of order in every part of Ireland.”
This address was most graciously received by his excellency. It is not usual toʻretum answers to addresses presented at levees.
STATUE TO MR. GRATTAN.
A movement was made about this time to get up a “conciliation" dinner, to celebrate the anniversary of the king's accession; but after several preparatory meetings had been held, the intention was abandoncd, in consequence of another open display of orangeisin at & corporation dinner.
At a meeting for erecting a statue to Mr. Grattan, held January 22, 1822, at the Royai Exchange, Mr. O'Connell took a prominent part, as he did in originating the idea, subsequently so creditably carried into execution. The fourth resolution was moved by Mr O'Connell.
MR. ()'CONNELL said that although Mr. Grattan belonged particularly to Dublin, the subscription should not be confined to any particular part of this country, for he belonged in truth to the entire nation. He gained independence for Ireland, and if she has since lost that independence, she should cherish his memory who gained it for her. He asserted her rights, he procured for her a legislative representation, and she was then a kingdom. The King of Ireland was then George the Third. As the patriot had himself said, in speaking of his country, ‘he had watched by her cradle, he had followed her hearse.' But if a period should arrive, as in Greece, where the plain of Marathon has been immortalized, when we might erect a temple to perpetuate the memory of Ireland, the spirit of Grattan should hover round it, and his name would be the first sound of the resurrection of his country An unfortunate spirit, however, pervades the land, which tends only to bring ignominy upon the country. No benefit can possibly be produced but by mutual good feeling. Perhaps it would not be right to indulge in what might or what might not have been the fate of the country under other circumstances. In saying this much, he had but just thrown out the fuelings of his heart over the grave of Grattazi.
This resolution was seconded by Mr. William Murphy. It passca unánimously.
In the same month Mr. O'Connell pat forth the following address:
"EELLOW-COUNTRYMEN—You can never obtain your liberty without an exertion on your own part. I do not mean to undervalue the efforts of our friends, nor do I underrate the advantages we possess
in having one of the great law offices filled by
result of recent events be what it will, we owë it to ourselves, to our country, and to our religion, to make one effort more to escape from our present unjust degradation.
“In the history of mankind there never was anything more unjust than our servitude. It began by a gross and shameless violation of a solemn treaty. It was increased in the contemptuous security of a faction, strong in British support, and in the inoral and physical imbecility of an unarmed and divided people. And now that all the pretences have passed away by which this iniquity might have been palliated, we still continue an oppressed and inferior class in our native soil, aliens and outcasts in the land of our fathers; and why, gracious God! why? Because some old women, or men more silly still, are pleased tu dravl out the absurd opinion, that an act of public justice would not 'produce any public good, and that the abolition of bigotry would lead to unhappy consequences !
“If such absurdities are any longer to sway the British councils, then, indeed, rational men may well proplesy approaching confusion. With Ireland convulsed by desperate poverty; witin England reeling beneath an overwhelming tasation; with Europe
* scarcely hiding the half-slumbering flame of revolt, presenting at best but the image of a sleeping volcano-in such a state affairs there is but one mode of salvation for the British empire, and that is, to enlist under the banners of the throne of social order, and of the constitution, all classes and descriptions of men, whatever may be their colour or their creed, and by giving them ALL one equal interest to preserve and to maintain all that is valuable and good in the purest parts of the noble ånd long-tried British institutions. Those who wish to be safe must continue to fling from power the bigots and the dotards of society, and must, in the management of public affairs, consult the genius of common sense, and invoke the spirit of Christian charity. 48 “What course should the Catholics of Ireland
pursue under the present circumstances ? This is the question which you,
noline my countrymen, have to resolve. It is upon this question that beg to offer you my humble but honest advice. I do not
by, drish think I can err in telling you, that the period is arrived when you must make another effort to obtain your constitutional lie berty Indeed, this is a matter upon which I fancy we are all agreed, and the only doubt, as well as the only difficulty, arises from an apprehension lest, in looking for the greatest of all human blessings, civil liberty, we should injure that which is of greater importance than anything that men bestow-the unsullied and ancient religion of Ireland.
“ Early in the last year, very many of the Catholics agreed. with me in thinking that we ought `not again to petition the not British parliament, until that body was in a state more likely
peltoon to sympathize with the wants and wishes of the people. But again events have occurred in the last twelve months which have made mo, in common with others, change that opinion, and which, whilst we retain all our former principles, induce us to make one exertion more to obtain from the British parliament that liberty which we know to be our right, but which we are ready to receive with all the affectionate gratitude due to the most gratuitous boon.
“ The events which should alter our resolution, and induce us once more to petition parliament in its present state, are these : rentous
- First, we have seen, in the last year, a bill for the first time actually pass the House of Commons, which bill (without for the present noticing its ecclesiastical provisions) would have procured for us everything in point of civil rights which we looked for, or desired. Secondly_That bill was read once in the House of Lords, and was ultimately rejected by a majority,