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At that period, I defy the tongue of malignity-the most Bhameless audacity of that compound of stupidity and slanderous villany (produced from the crazed brain of a reverend fox- ,' hunter, and translated afterwards into better English by his coadjutor), The Warder, even to assert that anything was wanting on the part of the Catholics ; I defy, too, the scribblers in that paper's creditable ally—that reservoir of baseness and calumny, in which truth never appears but by accident, The Mail; I defy their virulence—nay, I would appeal to their candour, if of such an attribute they could for a moment be supposed to be possessed, to point out any one occasion—any one, in which the Catholics, either in act, in writing, or in speeching, can be truly said to have, in the slightest degree, been accessory to the failure of our gracious Monarch's blessed work of conciliation!

And what has been the result of our having so meritoriously conducted ourselves? Need I ask you ? Has it not been that our cause is abandoned, and that we have neglected our duty to ourselves? We have lain quiescent, and permitted the daily promulgation of Orange calumuy, fearful of infringing the commands of our Sovereign.

We saw a portion of the English press (but certainly with powers equalling only the dull stupidity of the bird of night) teem forth monstrous libels, impeaching our loyalty. the stall-fed church dignitary raise against us the voice of sectarian intolerance and bigotry ; we saw our religion foully tratduced, and ridiculed, and stigmatized ; and we were silent, witil our enemies were believed : and the Catholics have suffered accordingly.

But there is a point beyond which experiment becomes dan gerous. The Catholics are men-are Irishmen, and feel within their burning breasts the force of natural rights, and the injustice of natural oppression. (Hear, hear.) Not mrely the oppression of grinding statutes have we endured, but a monstrous attempt to pollute the stream of justice, through the interference of an attorney-general and a judge. Yes; I hold in my hand the damning proofs of this infamous conspiracy. I hold the copy of a letter which I deposited in the hands of our secretary. This letter was found in the street, and was transmitted to me by a Catholic clergyman whose name I shall not mention ; for who knows but if I did, we should shortly have to send another petition claiming the justice and interposition of the Marquis Wellesley against the unmerciful and illegal decision of a magisterial benclı? (Great applause.) I shall not,

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therefore, subject him to the persecuting powers of sessional bigotry.

On the 19th of June, 1822, the letter I have alluded to was found in the street; you shall hear it read.

“ CAPTAIN WHITE, R.N., here interrupted Mr. O'Connell, and observed, that as the letter was a private one, and not intended originally for the public eye, he conceived it was not candid to read it.

Mr. O'Connell replied, that objection would have no weighit, för he had published it in the newspapers, and it had been a subject of observation in parliament. (Here there was a general cry of “read, read ;" and Mr. O'Connell accordingly complied.)

The following is a copy of the letter :

“Dublin Castle, August 9th 1"Dear NORBURY-1 transcribe for you a very sensible part of Lord lotter to ine:- As goes our circuit, and as he is personally acquainted with the gentlemen of our county, a hint to him may be of use. He is in the habit of talking individually to them in his chamber, at Phillipstown ; and if he were to impress upon them the consequence of the measure-viz., that however they may think otherwise, the Catholics would, in spite of them, elect Catholic members (if such were eligible); that the Catholic members would then have the nomination of the sheriffs, and in many instances perhaps of the judges; and the Protestants would be put in the back-ground, as the Catholics were formerly. I think he could bring the effects of the measure home to themselves, and satisfy them that they could scarcely submit to live in the country if it were passed.'

“So far Lord ; but what lie suggests in another part of his letter, that if Protestant gentlemen, who have votes, and influence, and interest, would give those venal members to understand, that if they will purchase Catholic votes, b. betraying their country and its constitution, they shall infallibly lose theirs ; it would alter their conduct, though it could neither make them honest or respectable

“ If yoa will judiciously administer a little of this medicine to the King's County, and other members of parliament that may fall in your way, you will deserve well.

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“Many thanks for your letter, and its good intelligence from Maryborough is a most valuable fellow, and of that sort that is much wanted. Affectionately and truly yours,


What, he would ask, was the suggested attempt on the prejuslices and feelings of the jury, compared to this shameless and secret interference of a law officer in the administration of justice? An accident threw in his way this proof of official malversation ; but who could tell how many other and similar letters might have passed, and been acted upon

? But in another world there is no statute of limitation against crime ; and al. though there may be impunity here, it may be answered for a the day of general justice !

The learned gentleman then informed the meeting that he had thought it his duty to communicate that letter to the present Attorney-General, requesting that he, in his place, would bring it under the consideration of the House of Commons. But an obvious delicacy prevented the right honourable gentleman's compliance with this request; and, perhaps, he was the more to be esteemed for refusing to be an actor in a scene connected with so gross a violation of propriety.

But the matter was brought before the house by another member. When this occurred, the Catholics, in the pure spirit of conciliation, exerted themselves, and succeeded in inducing their friends in Parliament not to press it. What was the result?—what was their return for so doing? That kindly feeling has been met on the other side by making a jest of the term. conciliation-by a violation of the privileges of the press, in calumniating the King's representative, because he dared to be just because he wished to be honest.

For so daring, and so wishing, the faction turned their sensitive loyalty against the deputy of the monarch !

Are they not the genuine and bona fide rebels, who have thus scoffed and contemned the advice of their monarch, and the example of his representative ; and who seek, in fact, to achieve a triumph over both? Do they not thus show how empty and false was all their parade of loyalty, when neither the personal injunctions nor the delegated authority of his Majesty can obtain their respect ?

This (said the learned gentleman) is the system of which we complain. This is the grinding tyranny we wish to abolish, that we may freely participate in the blessings of the British constitution, and that every man, no matter whatever his creed, should be co-equal in the eyes of the law; that virtue, worth, rank, and talent, such as low fills your chair, may not be excluded by any paltry monopoly of the constitution from enjoying those rights granted to his illustrious ancestors, and withhoiden from him as a punishment for luis conscientious adherence to their mode of faith-that he should not be stripped of those privileges which the law gives to the poorest of his countrymen.

A Catholic peer cannot vote for a member of the Commons' House; and yet he is deprived of his rights in the other. Strange and most insulting anomaly! and yet but one of the many such with which Ireland is affiliated :

While we were conducting ourselves, as I have stated, in the most faithworthy spirit of conciliation, our enemies, in their different lodges, in their black associations (for it has, strange to say, been lately acknowledged that a black corps forms a part of their enlightened and patriotic institution)-in their corporations -in their guild of merchants, that absurd and contemptible club, which has a name only to belie its legal description—that nest of agitators, which has of late forced itself into notice from its intemperance and arrogance, and assumed the privilege of legislators ;—those political corporators, while we endeavoured to conciliate, they persisted to persecute: while our hearts were full of peace and good will to all men, theirs were brimming over with the worst uncharitableness and malignity to their neighbours.

To turn to considerations less disgusting and sickening, but yet not without pain and disappointment to us, the recent occurrences in parliament; I do not blame that uncompromising and zealous patriot, Sir Francis Burdett, for the manner in which he has thɔught fit to deal with regard to our affairs. But, though I do r. ut blame him, neither do I approve of his determination upou them. But I am sure he intended honestly, although I may not think that he acted wisely. Would that I could

say the same of others! Would that our weak and divided ministry were equally honest! For it is entirely impossible that men can be sincere who will cornpromise a question of this kind. There ought not, there cannot be any difficulty about it. It is right, or it is unjust. Those who think the latter cannot conscientiously coalesce with men wicked enough to promote an act destructive to the constitution. Those who think it right, their course is plain, and ought to be straightforward. They ought not to allow a doubt to lie a moment upon them : nor to give any advantage to the men who divide with them upon a question of right and justice—of the peace and the tranquillity of Ireland.

And will you, my countrymen, submit to this bartering of your privileges and liberties? Will you, like torpid slaves, lie under the lash of the oppressor ? If we are not free, let us, at least, prove ourselves worthy of being so.

[licre the applause was so general and arimated, that several minutes elapsed before order was restored.]

Shall the interests of five millions of men, excluded from the benefits of the constitution, be left to the mere eleemosynary


protection of their advocates in parliament, who, however well disposed to shield us from the persecution, insult, and injustice of our oppressors, have neither the opportunities of becoming acquainted with our daily grievances, nor the time to devote to the particular and peculiar circumstances of our situation.

Let it be, then, our care to attend to the management of our local affairs, and by the information we shall possess on Catholic affairs, assist our parliamentary advocates in bringing to the contest useful and important knowledge respecting our disabilities and their effects. When a Catholic association existed, were they not enabled, by addressing the suffering peasantry, to quell three different attempts at insurrection ? If the Catholic Association had existed, would they not have been able to warı the unsuspecting peasantry against the villany of persons who had an actual interest in promoting disaffection ; against the wretch who profaned the most sacred ceremonies of the Christian religion, in order to go to Belfast, and be enabled to lay the foundation of becoming an informer, and whom I tracel a year ago, to the occupation of alternate informer to the proctor and the Ribbonmen? If the Association had existed, how many of our peasantry would have been saved to their families and homes?

Our advice would have been listened to, because it would have been known to be honest, and the country would have been Apared from the infringement of the constitution, and the enormous expense of an additional police, with the irritation occasioned by sectarian yeomanry corps, which serve no other purpose than to perpetuate strife, and create a natural desire of revenge in the opposite parties.

If the government wanted a yeomanry, let them not select its members for their religion, but their loyalty. Catholics would be always found ready and anxious to enter into the bond of good-fellowship and union with their Protestant countrymen, the great majority of whom, he rejoiced to say, were equally desirous with the Catholics themselves for the extension of the blessings of civil liberty, and equally prepared to leave the corporate bigots to their fate. If no other object were attained by the formation of a Catholic association, the preservation of their present legal rights would surely be of signal importance, as in The case of the freemen of the city of Dublin. It was well known that Catholics were eligible for thirty-three years past to become free of the city, and he (Mr. O'Connell) some years ago endeavoured to prevail upon some Catholic gentlemen to assist him in establishing that rignt in the person of a man named Cole.

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