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ture and death than desert. These were their terms—these were the points upon which they were anxious to address the people of England; was it for holding such principles that the Catholics were to be threatened with the anger of authority ?
The enemies of the people wished to put down the Catholic Association. He willingly challenged every bigot to show in what instance the Catholic Association violated the law.(Cheers.) If it could be shown that the Association, directly or indirectly, violated the law, he would tell them what the result would be it would be the instant dissolution of the Association. (Applause.) The call was made to put down that Association, but by whom? By the yindictive enemies of tho Catholics--by those who were rebels and traitors to the laws and to the constitution—by those who would endeavour, by means that would be at once illegal and tyrannical, to put down a body that violated no law, and whose great and legitimate object was to recover their liberties. (Applause.) The Catholic Association met for no other purpose than to appeal to the justice and wisdom of parliament; they never met that they did not advise the people to respect the laws and to avoid all illegal meetings. The voice of the Association had been heard in the remotest corners of the country—it was the voice of peace, and it was respected by the people. (Cheers.)
The assertion that the people were indifferent to the question of emancipation, was now proved to be a ridiculous falsehood. It had been impudently said that the question was agitated by a few mischievous lawyers in Dublin. Oh, how powerfully did the people brand that foul assertion with falsehood ; out of the contributions of their poverty was created that sacred fund, sacred as the offsprings at the altar, and which the people might rest assured would be as cautiously handled. (Applause.) It should be dealt out with a miser's care, and applied to purchase for the people the invaluable blessings of liberty. (Applause.) Did the enemies of the Catholics imagine that they would be able to restrain the people? What form of law would they pass? Would they drive the Catholics to hold aggregate meetings every fortnight or every week? Whatever law parliament might pass, the people, of course, would obey, until they could get it re pealed ; but no law could take from the mind of man the sense of his wrongs, or make him forget his rights. (Applause.)
An attempt to extinguish the Association would only have the effect of rousing the people to a state of almost maddening cnthusiasm. If one heart were vet cold or timid in Ireland, :
measure of that kind would animate its slumbering energies, and awaken it to the cause of the country. (Loud applause.) The Catholic rent was estimated at £500 a-week.-in fact £500 was considered a large sum ; but the moment a proclazation was whispered, how did the country act ? Why, the rent was instantly doubled—the receipts of the last week ex eeded £1000. (Applause.) How ridiculous, how mad would be the attempt of any government to force the people of Ireland, after all, to part from that faith which was consecrated by their blood—for which they have suffered for so many hundred years -for which some of the noblest families were driven from their ancient possessions, and suffered to starve in the country whers they once held power and honour. They suffered under the severity of that code which Montesquieu described as having been written in blood ; a code, the like of which no country in the world was afflicted with. It did not, indeed, subject the victim to immediate death, which would have been a relief; but it oppressed him by acts of robbery and confiscation-it broke his heart by a cold, calculating, grinding, inexorable persecution. (Applause.)
The enemies of the Catholics had tried the bitter severity of that code, and it failed. What next could they do? They could not cut the throats of the Catholics; they were too numerous for summary persecution : they could not prevent the Catholics from looking for their rights; they would continue to crave their rights, to clamour for their liberties, as long as life remained. (Applause.) What remedy was to be applied ? The Kildare-street Society discovered the remedy. (A laugh.) They procured the attendance of Mr. Noel and Captain Gordon -(a laugh)—and that great commander, Admiral Oliver a laugh.) Thus the poor Papists were besieged by sea and land (laughter)—they were attacked by land rats and by water rats --à laugh)—and the efforts of all those odious and mischievous vermin were directed to undermine the religion and to destroy the hopes of this country.
Was it not too bad to find canting and hypocrisy creeping into the British navy? There was a time when the valour of the British navy shed the splendour of its glory on the annals of England—there was a time when it was never known that a British ship had struck to the flag of any other nation in the world; sometimes it happened that one British vessel attacked even two and even three of the enemy, and conquered them. A friend of bis, Captain Coghlan, he remembered, attacked two Dutch
vessels, he took one and sunk the other. (Applause.) That was characteristic of the unconquerable valour of the British ravy. (Applause.) But the Admiral Olivers, the Swaddlers and the bigots crept in ; and what has been the result? The
; flag of England lost its invincible character—a single American ship frequently attacked and conquered British vessels. The British tar, like the element on which he fought-in action, terrible as the storm-in repose, calm as the smoothest watershis affections as expanded and his heart as pure. The British tar would at once suffer his limbs to be torn asunder before he would suffer the meteor flag of his country to be dishonoured. But the Olivers and the Swaddlers introduced another species of discipline, and England found, on the ocean, a dangerous and triumphant enemy. The flag of America had been elevated -the star of her triumph illuminated the horizon, and blazed in the effulgence of her victories.
One word with respect to his friend, Mr. Noel-(a laugh)and that good Scotch hulk, the Gordon--applause) - came over to instruct the deluded Irish. The Scotch captain praised Scotland and abused Ireland most unsparingly, and after abusing the Irish he told them he came to convert them. (A langh.) Mr. Noel was a very neat, precise, polite person, fit to attend on ladies of quality; he was, in fact, a very nice man for a small tea party. (Laughter.) It was, however, to be lamented that in a matter of piety, as well as of gallantry, Mr. Noel had altogether failed. If he (Mr. O'Connell) had been rightly informed, Mr. Noel had been obliged to make a precipitate retreat from one or two houses in the South ; but he could no: assure the meeting that it was not for preaching the Gospel. (A laugh, and hear, hear.) He would not say more, because the story that came to bis ears might not have been altogether correct, although it certainly came from very respectable authority.
One thing, however, Mr. Noel had proved his incapacity.-He (Mr. O'Connell) and his friends, Mr. Sheil and Mr. Bric, by mere accident had heard of the meeting at Cork. There they found Mr. Noel and his ecclesiastical friends fully prepared and quite certain of carrying every thing their own way.
It was not to be supposed that either he or his friends had leisure to study polemics very profoundly ; but the result of that meeting proved that the Catholics were ready, even at a moment's warning, to maintain the truth and soundness of their creed, against men who had devoted their lives to that pursuit; and now bir would publicly repeat the challenge. Let the best of those c:
vines come forward, and the Catholics would ask none but laymen to meet and to refute them. (Applause.)
But if the merits of the Catholic clergy were considered, their splendid talents and their profound learning, as displayed at the late meetings, how great, he had almost said how miraculous, appeared their mental energies, possessing eloquence which Demosthenes would admire, but could not imitate ; with the reasoning of Locke, and the sublimity of Burke, they combinec all the purity, the modesty, and the humility of the priestly character; they faced the calumniators of their creed; they refuted them; they proved that God had not forsaken the cause of poor Ireland. (Applause.)
Let the Catholic Association but be able to send out mis. sionaries in their turn, and they would soon convince the Eng. lish people of the real character of the Irish priesthood; he would wish to see sent to England an Augustine friar, who was a bishop, he meant the Right Rev. Dr. Doyle. (Loud cheering.) Yet he knew he struck a chord which would, vibrate to their hearts ; he would send out a priest of the secular order-Dr. Keogh. (Loud applause followed the mention of this gentle. man's name.) He would also send out two Jesuits—(a laugh) -the Rev. Dr. Kenny-applause)--and that mild and polished gentleman, the Rev. Dr. Esmond. Let but those gentlemen go to England, and he would allow the Noels and Gordons, the professors of theology, physic, and law attorneys, and all—(a laugh)-even any of the judges who were of a controversial turn of mind, with the chancellor at their head—(a laugh)—he would willingly allow all these grave persons to contend against the Irish missionaries, and he would put his life on the issue that the Irish priests would triumph—they would stand upon a rock of truth—they would conduct the contest with learning and talent, and conclude it as men, as Christians. (Applause.)
Standing, as the Catholics did, as men, upon the same ground with their enemies—equal to them in talents, in courage, in physical and intellectual capacity, attached to the constitutio of the country, and anxious for the preservation of the throne he would ask them how dare they continue to swindle the Catholics out of their liberties-out of theirs and their children's rights. Never would the Catholics abandon that cause in which they were engaged-they asked from the Protestants nothing but their rights? They asked not to strip the Protestants of a single privilege-the Protestant by emancipation would not be made poor, although the Catholic would be infinitely enriched.
He thought he saw the siçns of the times; he saw bope opening on the fortunes of his country. The Catholics would con. tinue with a firm and manly tone to demand emancipation, and as he commenced so would he conclude, by saying, that emansipation was at hand. (Loud and long continued cheering.)
Upon the next day of meeting of the Association the amount of the weekly reiurn of Patholic rent was £1032 7s. 9 d.
ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE.
MR. O'CONNELL rose to submit to the meeting a draft of the aadress to the people.
The Association having, he said, received authentic intelligence that agents from the police and Orangemen were actively en. gaged in enticing the people to become Whiteboys, it became their duty to counteract this perfidious conspiracy, and in the first instance, he (Mr. O'C.) lost no time in putting some of the government in possession of the circumstances, since which, an oath has been pretty generally administered in the King's County, to be faithful to the Catholic Association. It therefore became imperative upon them to disabuse the wretched people's minds from the machinations of their blood-thirsty enemies, and to assure them of their strong reprobation of every illegal or unconstitutional proceeding.
It was because the Association had so studioucły kept within the letter of the law, that the desperate Orange faction now sought, by a wretched subterfuge, to involve the country in misery and insurrection, in order to throw discredit upon the Association.
He had for the last few days been amused by rumours of a proclamation for the suppression of the Association. It was certainly ludicrous to hear the brawlers for such a proclamation calling upon the government to put down a society that had violated no law, when it was recollected how they had themselves bearded the government, insulted the king's representative and tiolated the constitution. But he (Mr. O'C.) was enabled to bring the crime of conspiracy, amounting to high treason, against the Orange faction, and would before a fortnight produce eridence of their conspiring to coerce the government. He could tell the court-house in the North in which the meetings for this