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In the Committee of ways and means, Mr. Addington stated the joint expeuces of England and Ireland for the year 1802, at £31,259,209, the 2-17 contributed by Irelandequalso 3,677,554; to this must be added 2-17 of £1,174,401, for civil list and other charges on the consolidated fund, not relating to the public debt, equal for the share of Ireland to o 138,164, and making altogether for her of 3,815,718 sterling.
The part contributed by Ireland to the joint charges of the same year, as set forth by Mr. Corry, the Irish chancellor of the Exchequer, was £3,769,000 sterling, and for the Irish army on foreign service of 360,000 more, amounting together to 2.É4,129,000 sterling. The separate expenses of Ireland, including the interest of her debt contracted in support of England, were at the same time stated by Mr. Corry at £3,298,000 more, and the entire expenses of Ireland for that year at 27,427,000
All this was four years ago, but I find in the elaborate work of Mr. Jepson Oddy, the ordinary revenue and extraordinary resources constituting the public income of Ireland stated as follows, for the year ending the 5th of January, 1805:
Ordinary revenues, ----- 24,122,711 0 6;
Extraordinary revenues, 226,544 14 13.
Appropriate duties for
Total, independent of
Grand total for that year, ........... ---------------- 29,698,977 17 11;
This large sum amounts in dollars and cents, to 43,106,564. 36:
and is wrung from a wretched British province, without name
or character abroad, without peace, liberty or happiness at home, by a selfish oppressor that squanders her resources, and consummates her degradation.
The ordinary revenue alone of Ireland amounted, it appears, in the year ending the 5th of January, 1805, to 18,328,160 dollars 8 cents; which is considerably higher than the whole income of the general government of America in the same period.
The total receipts of the treasury of the United States were then 17,597,698 dollars 46 cents; but of this sum, no more was expended for the support of the general government, than 13,598,309 dollars, 4-7 cents; the expense of all the state governments together is fully estimated at about 2,000,000 more. Making in the entire, 15,598,309 dollars 47 cents.
That is, a country enjoying greater general happiness and a more progressive prosperity than any other in the world, whose commercial shipping averages 900,000 tons, whose flag is seen on every sea, whose industry is as unbounded as the globe, whose inhabitants possess liberty, peace and self-government, is not at this moment much more populous than Ireland, and pays little more for those manifold blessings than one third of what it costs the Irish people to live subject to ignominy, disquietude, commercial restraints, and political slavery. Such are the advantages on one side of having shaken off the British yoke, and such the wretchedness on the other of being under its control.
THE following Circular Letter was drawn up for the pnrpose ,of making known in Ireland, and among the emigrant Irish in America, the writer's" intention of treating of the affairs of that country. To shew that he has not relinquished his design in consequence of the present publication, he reprints his prospectus with this work :—
Being now engaged, as f-\ras my leisure will permit, in preparing an account of Irish affairs for "the last thirty years, I wish to acquaint with my design those who feel any interest in such a woric, that they may communicate to me, if they please, the facts and documents they possess, which their avocations or safety may cot allow themselves to make public. ,
In speaking' of individuals yet alive, or of those departed lately, whilst I attempt to record their actions and motives in such colours of applause or censure as may stigmatize vice and emblazon virtue, still, it is by the merit of impartiality to all concerned, that I am most ambitious of distinguishing my performance. 'I write in a country where I have nothing to fear, and nothing to hope, from any power or party in Europe: The interest of truth is that alone for which my thoughts can now revert to the past; and as far as I already know, or shall be ;ible to ascertain it, fiiei.di and foes will meet with equal candour.
This spirit of sincerity prompts to the acknowledgment, that I should not engage in my present undertaking, -unless I thought, when honestly executed, .It would redound to the honour of a country which will be ever dear to me; of friends whom I shall ever cherish ; of a cause I shall never abandon; ■u*-and all of which, if virtue could ensure success, had found another fate than what they now experience in the loss of liberty, and the extinction of independence.
Though the history of the period to which I now confine myself, be most important to Irish readers, yet it is not to them alone that it offers subjects of sympathy, instructive lessons, and themes of meditation. The first spectacle it presents, is a generous and gallant people aiming at the best acquisition for which a nation can contend; but from jealousy and disunion, losing a great opportunity, and the noblest prize. The corrupting, disuniting, debilitating interference of a foreign enemy, blindly deemed a friend, is af length universally felt; the consequences are generally deplored; an earnest attempt is made to redress the evil—and again the foreign fo^ labours with successful inveteracy to reduce the patriot by the bigot, and after immolating what, was good, and exposing what was vile, appropriates, with stern indifference the profits of their animosities.
Public spirit, unrivalled eloquence, military ardour, integrity, and patriotism, will balance the stain of venality, the baseness of treason, the prostitution of talents, the abject surrender of national rights; and still uphold the Irish character as great and good, amidst the vitiating taints that make inroads on it, from a foreign shore.
We shall see fortitude worthy of the most heroic ages; fidelity , that would honour the most virtuous; benevolence of intention, with philosophy of design, that would ensure the greatest blessings ;—and by the side of these, an audacity in the com
256 PIECES OF IRISH HISTORY.
mission of crime, a maturity in corruption, a consummateness in villainy, that will exhibit the Irish people frequently wise or wicked, but never little—that will shew them to be whatever they are with energy; and prove the noble materials they possess for forming an independent state, if they should ever emerge from the slavery that produces their worst vices, and be left to foster the splendid qualities that belong to their own nature.
Of all that can affect, elevate or improve the heart and inform the judgment, examples may be found in the history of these thirty years. An Irishman of any party may well be desirous that transactions which, after all, give a high idea of his country, should not be lost to its fame. Though the conclusion commemorate no triumph to dwell on with pride or exultation, it possesses the interest of tragedy, and instructs by its catastrophe.
WILLIAM JAMES MAC NEVEN. Nciu■Tork, 1806.