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Protestants, who are at present preparing applications to parliament on behalf of their suffering Catholic brethren. He hailed, in glowing language, the dawn of friendship and affection, which has, at lengrib, brokon in upon Irishmen. Earl Talhot's administration the praise of NEUTRALITY, at least upon the present momentons and memorable occasion : the slightest interference upon the part of his Excellency's govern yent to check the course of generous feeling now so happily flowing through the country, was not, he said, to be traced; the propriety of petitioning he conceived to be unquestionable ; much benefit always resulted from discussion-it assisted to enlighten the English people upon the subject of the belief, and morality, and condition of the Irish Catholics, and this was all that was necessary to the success of Emancipation.
It would long since have been granted, but that many wellmeaning persons in England still believed that the Catholics hold those monstrous and abominable doctrines which have been 80 perseveringly and so falsely attributed to them-doctrines which he detested and disclaimed from the bottom of his soul, He spoke of the expediency of trying to procure the co-operation of the Catholic peers, peers' eldest sons, and baronets, in the application to the legislature ; mentioned the Earl of Fingal, in the most respectful terms; and 'said it was the strongly expressed desire of the committee of gentlemen (above-named) who had revised the petition, that no topics should be introduced, no words made use of, which could by possibility give offence, or create division.
An application could not be' made to parliament without expense. But a subscription of half-a-crown from each householder able to pay it, and none other should be applied to, would be amply sufficient to create a necessary fund. The account to be open for inspection in the committee room of Townsend-street chapel, every Sunday.
A few weeks after, Catholic gratitude was expressed at an aggregate meeting of the body.
GREAT CATHOLIC MEETING.
"Tak largest and most respectabıe meeting of Catholics which ever took place in Ireland, was held yesterday (Monday, March 1st, 1819), in the old chapei in Mary's-lane.--the Right Hon. the Earl of Fingal in the chair--for the purpose of expressing, in the most marked manner, the gratitude of the Catholic body to the Protestants who have lately come forward the çatition parliament in their behalf
The following were the chief resolutions adopted :
“ RESOLVED- That impressed with a deep sense of the obligations which the Protestants of Ireland have conferred on us, their Catbolic countrymen and brethren, we beg leave to return them our most sincere and heartfelt thanks for advancing the great objects of our petition to the legislature, by their wealth, their numbers, their talents, and their religion.
“ RESOLVED—That while we express our gratitude to the general body of our Protestant friends and advocates, we consider ourselves particularly indebted to the justice and liberality of the Right Hon. Thomas M-Kenny, Lord Mayor, for giving them an opportunity to express their sense of the grievances, we, their Catholic countrymen ang brethren, labour under, by which act of justice and liberality he has not only conferred an indelible obligation on us, but added a lasting splenduur to the dignity of his office.”
Mr. O'Connell, who came late in the meeting, spoke to the following effect:
It would be believed, without difficulty, that he knew no language which could adequately convey his thanks for the reception which he had experienced. It would be a rich reward for a life devoted to his country's service. He owned he had come there desirous to mingle his feeble sentiments with the general voice of his country.
When he contemplated the elevated character of the noble chairman, and those of the other gentlemen surrounding him, who gave dignity to the meeting that had assembled for the
purpose of expressing their thanks to their Protestant friends and brethren, he was at a loss how to express himself. He was not borry that the sense of feeling should shame the language, rather than the language should shame the sense of feeling. He was gratified beyond all expression in seeing the noble lord and the gentlemen in their proper places—the friends, the patrons, and the advocates of Catholic Ireland. It augured well to their ca use, that the union of their Protestant brethren should have brought about so happy a union amongst Catholics themselves.
When he looked back upon the state of his country ; when he looked back upon what she was, and the wretched figure she made, for whom God had done so much-sunk in indescribable misery, though possessing every natural advantage that could make her great and prosperous—with harbours and ports cen<ral to the whole world, and sufficiently capacious to receive the trade of that world, were it doubled-he was led to inquire, how could all this be? It was by Catholics being opposed to Protestants and Dissenters-Protestants to Dissenters and Catho
lics and Dissanters, on the other hand, to both Catholics and Protestanta.
But the happy, the glorious era, which must be immortai in the history of Ireland, had arrived; yes, had arrived, and is no longer to be wished for, when these odious and devastating distinctions were removed. Protestants have assembled and expressed their honourable feeling on the claims of their Catholic friends and brethren. The first Protestant nobleman of the country, the Duke of Leinster, one of whose ancestors was brought to the bar of the House of Lords, on the broad plea of being “ more Irish than the Irish themselves,” whose diffidence became his youthful years—it was delightful to see him shaking off that diffidence, which, if it continued, must impede his political career, and leading on that glorious array of Protestant benevolence; the Earl of Meath, always a friend and patron of Ireland ; Charlemont, whose name was music to Irish ears ; Grattan, whose eloquence and virtue raised Ireland into independence and liberty-the old patriot Grattan, whɔ had given Ireland all she had, and would have made her all she ought to be.
To these he may add a long list of distinguished and patriotic friends in the government of the country. He would not dispraise even the corporation, much as he had been in the practice of censuring their contracted policy, That corporation which could boast of such a man as Alderman M‘Kenny at its head, could not be destitute of virtue-could not be destitute of liberality. It had been usually understood that the office of chief magistrate conferred dignity on the man. to Alderman M-Kenny, the man has conferred dignity on the offico.
There were other worthy aldermen and members in the corporation, and for their sakes he would respect the whole body. Many had good and substantial motives for opposing their claims : they had sinecure places ; they had active places ; they had places in expectance; they had pensions for opposing them ; they had patents for loyalty ; and these, surely, were substantial reasons. But the liberal and disinterested Protestants, wbo joined in their petition, were above such selfish considerations, and their generous and ardent collision of sentiment, with the warm gratitude of their Catholic friends and admirers, will raise a holy flame that shall warm and enliven the whole island. It was rumoured that a larger standing army than that for Eng. und would be necessary in Ireland, to maintain those exclusively
loyal gentlemen in their sinecure places, poets, and peusions But he was extremely proud that they had applied to the army to obtain signatures to their petition. It displayed them in their true colours to government, and awakened that government to a sense of its danger. He was not in the habit of praising the government of Ireland, but he could not withhold his best praise from its present rulers. Their conduct was such as conciliated the love and approbation of the Catholic people, and the liberal of all persuasions.
He would read the orders issued to the army for their conduct; they mark the disposition of the present government in fair and legible characters, and show at the same instant the paitry means that were made use of to promote the ends of intolerant faction. [Here Mr. O'Connell read a passage or two respecting the Orange Lodges and swelling the list by apparent signatures.] Such have been the unconstitutional, but abortive efforts of the enemies to Ireland's prosperity, efforts which, for more than a century, had sunk her in misery and ruin. But Irishmen, Protestants as well as Catholics, have at length awakened from their lethargy, and a new era of happiness, peace, and prosperity opens on the union. No longer shall crowds of adventurers, disheartened by the gloomy prospects held out to them in this country, be found emigrating to the inhospitable wilds of America, in search of that independence and happiness which they should find more perfectly and securely at home. The co-operation of our Protestant brethren may not give us emancipation, but they have given us something better-a union of sentiment, love, admiration, and interests.
Let Catholics continue to deserve, and Protestants to reward with their good wishes and confidence, and the motto of Ireland in future be
" GOD AND OUR NATIVE LAND I" The question was then put on he resolution, and it was carried by acclamation.
In 1819, the “Irish Legion," for the service of the “patriot" cause in South America, against the Spaniards, was formed, Mr. O'Connell taking an actire part in assisting General D'Evereux, who had been deputed to this country for that purpose.
It is not necessary for us to intrude here apon the province of general history, to recall to our readers' recollection the circumstances under which the Irish South-American Legion was formed and went out; the permission and encouragement given by the minister, who sought to “create a new world," to avenge himself for the enmities his policy oncountered in the old; the glow of enthusiasm which prevailed in these countries on the subject, and the fair but ill-kept promises under which men were led to embark in the adventure. • Mr. O'Connell showed his earnestness and sincerity by risking his second son in it Morgan O'Cennell, then a young boy, wbo secepted a commission in one of the DROTT rogimonts of the Legion, and went out ander the care, and attached to tho persona: staff, of General D'Evereux, in the foilowing year, 1820.
Gaily-attended military levees were held at Morrison's, and public dinners were given to celebrate the affair, and compliment the parties engaged in it; and in tho lattor Mr. O'Connell was prominently concerned, although we have not met with any roport of his speeches on those occasions, sufficiently well-given to be inserted here.
LETTER TO THE CATHOLICS OF IRELAND.
HURRYING Onward through the years of Catholic prostration that intervened between 1815 and the first dawnings of the real " Catholic Association," we shall interpose as few coinments as can at all be dispensed with, in the matters we have yet to lay before our readers, before approaching the interesting and important era above alluded to. The following letter preured, as the late tells, in October of the year 1819:
“Fellow-COUNTRYMEN—I hope I shall not be deemed presumptuous in addressing you. The part I have taken in Catholic affairs induces me to expect that you will believe me to be actuated by no other motives than those of an honest and an ardent zeal to promote your interests and to attain your freedom.
“The period is at length arrived when we may ascertain, and place beyond any doubt, whether it be determined that we are for ever to remain a degraded and inferior class in our native land, and so to remain, without any one rational cause, or even any one avowable pretext. We may now reduce the enemies of liberty of conscience to this dilemma : either now to grant us emancipation, or to proclaim to us, and to the world, that as long as the parliament shall be constituted as it is at present, so long all hope of emancipation is to be totally extinguished.
“To this dilemma our enemies may be reduced ; and it is a precious advantage to be able, for the first time in the history of Catholic affairs, to place them in a situation in which emancipation cannot be refused without an avowal of stern, unrelenting, and inexorable bigotry; or of worse—of a disposition to make use of bigotry as an instrument to perpetuate the divisions, dissensions, and consequent degradation and oppression of Ireland.
“Our enemies must now be frank and candid. They have not at present, and they will not have, unless we furnish it to them any, the slightest pretence for resisting emancipation. The preiences which they hitherto used are all refuted and exploded. Where could the man now be found sufficiently audacious as to resist our claims on the stale pretexts of Catholic illiberality, English hostility, or Irish turbulence ?