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the question on Mr. Plunket's being entrusted with our petition being put; and should these resolutions be carried, I shall move hat a copy of them be forwarded to the Right Hon. the Earl o. Donoughmore, and also to whoever shall be selected to present sur petition to the House of Commons.
Gentlemen, the Catholic prelates and the Catholic people have already declared that they will not accept of Emancipation interfering in the slightest degree with the discipline of the 'atholic Church. It is now for this meeting to say whether it will act in direct opposition to the Catholic prelates and the Catholic people, their objections to the veto being unaltered and unalterable.
I trust, gentlemen, that this question may be fairly discussed, And without any warmth or recrimination ; and I protest, for myself, that I do not mean in anything that may fall from me, the slightest disrespect to any man. (Hear, hear.) And I may be permitted to say, that if offence be taken, when completely unintentional on my part, it must arise from some consciousness of impropriety.
For myself, I seek neither place, pension, nor power ; and I protest against any vetoistical arrangements, which we cannot accede to without violating our express engagement with the Catholic people, and going in direct opposition to the Catholic bishops. Gentlemen, it is my wish to avoid topics of irritation, but the time has arrived when it is the paramount duty of every Catholic to preserve the purity of his religion from that most obnoxious of all measures—the veto.
Gentlemen, you have been told— Mr. Plunket has told you —that "conditions and securities are just and necessary.” For the first time, gentlemen, you have been told this by any person advocating your cause. Mr. Plunket has, in this, gore farther than any of your former advocates. They only said that they yould agree to conditions to obtain Emancipation, but Mr. Plunket tells you that it is his own fixed opinion that “conditions and securities are just and necessary.” Is not this plain ? Does
any gentlemen wink so strongly that he cannot see this meant an infringement on the doctrine of the Catholic church? Mr. Plunket requires conditions and securities. Mr. Woulfe said on the last day we met, that he would tell us what these conditions and securities were, or to what they related, but he sat down, gentlemen, without giving that most desired explanation.
Some gentlemen have mentioned “ doinestic nomination ;" but, Mr. Chairman, the Catholic bishops have already declared
any interference of the British parliament in the nomina. tion of the Catholic clergy would lead to schism. It has been said that Mr. Plunket does not mean the veto. Can any man in solitude and silence consider on it, and have a second idea upon the subject ? Gentlemen, he does mean it. Much has been said of Mr. Plunket's private opinions. Anything of this kind falls upon me like the idle wind. I stand here upon his own express words, “ that conditions and securities ane just and necessary." I repeat it, What can this mean, except veto ? The Catholic people have already given their allegiance ; they have given, through taxation, their property; they have also given their blood and their oaths. What is there in additionwhat else remains-except their religion? I will not be led away by the declamation of any gentleman, but meet them fairly on this question foot to foot. You have given your allegiance, your property, your lives, and your oaths; and I now ask you, and I ask them, what else remains ? Nothing, gentlemen, but your religion.
On the 26th of May, 1814, the Catholic prelates met; they then denied, as their ancestors had done, the authority of parliament to legislate for their religion. That opinion was confirmed by the public document of a synod held on the 24th August, 1814, which declared
“ That any power vested in the Crown of Great Britain relating to the spiritual or ecclesiastical regulations of the Catholic religion must essentially injure, and would eventually subvert, the principles of that religion.”
If, as has been said, we are on the eve of Emancipation, can any Catholic be found so eager for his mess of pottage, that he would greedily swallow the poison with the food. The aggregate meetings, over and over, have condemned the veto-the Catholic prelates have condemned it; and now, when Mr. Plunket differs with them, it is for you to say whether you will adopt his opinion or theirs.
The depression of the country has caused a change within the last three years, that it might have taken a century, under a different state of circumstances, to bring about. Many from their own wants, and fronı the general distress, have been obliged io quit their country, and seek in distant lands that subsistence which their exertions at home have proved ineffectualto procure. IVe are not acting with a new class of men, and it is necessary Jo arvuse them from the state of apathy in which they appear to be suuk.
Now, while Spain is free-France, Germany, and other countries on the Continent in a state of alarm and inquietude, por. tending, perchance, their deliverance also—it is impossible that the people of these kingdoms can be retained in abject and u;:constitutional subjection and prostration. In this country the bigots at last are compelled to confess among themselves the impossibility of long withholding emancipation; and so they would fain discount it. They would fritter away its value as much as they could; force failing them, they are resorting to every ex: pedient of miserable and odious fraud. Look to the Kildare street Society, established for the education of Irish childrennecessarily of Catholic children. Watch their efforts and man@uvres ! See how insidiously they go to work !-how active and persevering in their efforts to pervert the youthful mind of Ireland! Look to the tract distributions, and the proselytizing societies of every name and shape, in every quarter, and say, do I allude to things of imagination ? Are not these facts, realities, most necessary to be duly appreciated, attended to, and counteracted ? How necessary, then, that we should show at least an equal vigilance with our enemies !
I trust that we have still sufficient allies in our own camp to put down, by their resistance this day, any and every attempt, under whatever form or colour. that is being made to interfere, in the slightest degree, with the established regulations of the religion to which we are ever inviolably attached.
Gentlemen, I shall now read the resolutions. They are as follows:
“ RESOLVED—That the Catholic people of Ireland adhere strictly to the sentiments contained in the resolutions of the Catholic prelates in 1813 and 1814, ngainst any interference by the Crown, or by the Legislature, in the regulatious of the Catholic religion.” The resolutions in question were quoted. They have been given already in this worke
“That this meeting concurring therein, do hereby declare that, as Catholics, they cannot accept of any measure of relief as a boon, which may be accompanied by conditions having a tendency to destroy, or even to injure their religion.
“ 2. RESOLVED—That the Protestant parliament of Ireland, mu the years 1778, 1782, 1792, and 1793, conceded to their Catholic fellowsubjects various important privileges and rights, and that they did so without requiring any other security than the oaths and affections of the Catholics of Ireland.
And that experience has fully justified the benevolent policy of the Irish Protestant parliament in that respect; and that we do seek for, and desire to obtain the remaining liberties and rights still withheld from
us by the penal code, upon no other terus than such as were deerred fufficient by, and satisfactory to, the Irish parliament."
Two more resolutions followed, but, haying given the principal, we resume Mr. v Corse Dell's speech :
Such are the resolutions, gentlemen, which I mean to submit to the present meeting, and I beg of you to consider the urgent jmportance of their receiving your sanction.
It has been asserted of me that my objecting to Mr. Plunket is the mere fruit and consequence of private animosity. Of him I am bound and happy to say, that although upon politics we unhappily differ, I have ever received from that gentlemanand trust I have endeavoured, so far as lay in my power, to return them the most marked civility, kindness, and courtesy. But even if I had received a slight, they know little indeed of me who could for a moment suppose that I would ever hesitate to sacrifice any private feeling of resentment or annoyance to the permanent interest of either my country or my religion.
But, gentlemen, the tribunal before which your advocate lays your petition, has not the means of understanding the religion on which it has to decide. They have sworn thai our religion is impious and idolatrous. That oath still ucide tinues, harrowing up our inmost feelings. I will not, I cannot trust myself to dilate on this subject. The Edinburgh Review, gentlemen, the liberal Edinburgh Review, speaks of the “harlot embraces” of the Catholic Church, in terms fit only for some prurient tale of prostitution! Pamphlets, magasines, histories, newspapers, novels, tales, &c., &c.—they are all at work—all assailing--all endeavouring to misrepresent and blacken the character of our boly religion. Will you go to the men who have taken the oaths I speak of—who profess the hostile principles and opinions that perverted literature thus labours to spread and confirm—will you go to them to decide upon question of such vital importance ?
["Here (says the newspaper report) a gentleman in the body of the weeting aurkey Why go to them at all p') "Mr. O'Connell proceeded-
Some gentleman has asked, "why go to them at all?! I answer, certainly not at all certainly never, for any interference in the sacred concerns of our religion. Wo address them as the highest' authority recognised by the laws of those countries, for a full and enqualified restoration of our rights."
A discuseion of some length ensaed after this speech, but resulted in the adoptiun of Mr. O'Connell's resolutions
me following appears in the newspapers of the month of July, 1820:* TO THE MAYOR, SHERIFFS, AND CITIZENS OF THE
CITY OF LIMERICK.
Merrion Square, Dublin, 14th July, 1820. "GENTLEMEN—I beg leave respectfully to announce my intention to offer myself, at the next vacancy, as a candidate for the office of rs. corder of your ancient and loyal corporation.
“ To maintain the privileges and franchises of that corporation ; to identify the common council with the resident citizens, according to right and ancient usage; to administer justice without delay, and at the smallest possible expense; and to exercise all the functions of the
; office of recorder with the most pure impartiality. Such are the duties of the otfice to which I aspire.
“ To discharge these duties diligently and conscientiously, if I shall be elected to that office, is my fixed aud unalterable determination.
“ To make an individuai canvass, appears to me incousistent with that feeling of delicacy which ought to belong to the judicial character. I therefore content myself with tlıus soliciting support. I do not desire that any man should vote for me unless he is in his conscience convinced that I am competent, in professional skill and experience, and above all, that I should act as your recorder with perfect impartiality and disin. terestedness. I wave the honour to be, Gentlemen, your most obedient servant,
6 DANIEL O'CONNELL."
About the time of the foregoing addros, Mr. O'Connell bad occasion, ac a public dinner 47 “D'arcy's Great Room, Corn-Excaange," (subsequently the assembly-room of the Catholic Association, and of the popular bodies that succeeded it, down to the opening of Conciliation Hall in 1844, after which latter event the "Great Room" became the chiet office of the Repeal Assuciation,) to express his opinion of Curran
The est it had fallen to his lot to propose was, the memory of one of the greatest of the Irish patriots. His patriotism was undeviating, bis eloquence unequalled-uniting at the same time the very soul of wit and humour, with the most touching pathos in language at once classical, sublime, and irresistible.
The love of country was impressed upon his heart, and his superior talents shed a lustre on the profession to which he belonged. He sought no personal advantage or emolument, but, by his conduct, gained the respect even of his enemies ; and when, late in life, he succeeded to that situation to which his talents so justly entitled him, it was but the honourable reward of genius, perseverance, and industry. In this city, in the worst of times, he was seen fearlessly marching through the ranks of blood, with the bayonet to his breast, true to humanity and to his clients, and advocating the cause of those victims ne conid not save.