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slators, by the transports of a mob; nor the spirit of her armies, by the cowardice of a regiment; nor the patriotism of her people, by the treachery of individuals; nor the justice of her cause, by the number of her enemies. We judge with other views, and on other principles.—We see, with admiration, France extending the land-marks of human knowledge in the great art of government, and opening to the world new systems of policy and of justice. We see her renounce all wars on the principle of conquest. We see her propose an universal brotherhood, and an eternal peace, among the nations. We see her, even now, when forced into arms and bloodshed, by the unjust and unprincipled machinations of her enemies, separating, as far as possible, the innocent subjects from the guilty despot; respecting, amidst the horrors of war, the property of individuals; and exempting from interruption, the peaceful traffic of the merchant. It is from views like these, that we estimate that stupendous event, the Revolution, which we daily commemorate; not from acei. dental irregularities, which, while we condemn them, we are compelled to pity, as feeling that they spring not merely from a spirit of licentiousness, but from a sense of injury working on a sanguine people, still galled with the recollection of re. cent tyranny and oppression, and jealous of liberty, but just recovered, and scarcely yet secure.
Such are our sentiments on the subject of the French Revo. lution;—we come now to the state of our own country.
Impressed as we are with a deep sense of the excellence of our constitution, as it exists in theory, we rejoice that we are not, like our brethren in France, reduced to the hard neces. sity of tearing up inveterate abuse by the roots, even where utility was so intermixed as to admit of separation.
Ours is an easier and a less unpleasing task; to remove with a steady and a temperate resolution, the abuses, which the lapse of many years, inattention and supinetiess in the great body of the people, and unremitting vigilance in their rulers to invade and plunder them of their rights, have suffered to overgrow and to deform that beautiful system of government, so admirably suited to our situation, our habits, and our wishes. We have not to innovate, but to restore. The just prerogatives of our Monarch we respect, and will maintain. The constitutional power of the Peers of the realm.
-we wish not to invade. We know, that in the exercise of both, abuses have grown up; but we also know, that those abuses will be at once corrected, so as never again to recur, by restoring to us, The People, what we, for ourselves, demand as our right, our due weight and influence in that estate, zchich is our properly, the Representation Op The
PEOPLE IN PARLIAMENT.
Thoroughly impressed with the unjust and ruinous inequality of that representation, with the consequent corruption, which pervades all ranks in the state; with the destruction of the morals, the sacrifice of the commerce, and the hourly and imminent danger to the liberty of the country, we will inflexibly persevere in the pursuit of that great remedy for all our political evil, a parliamentary reform; a reform temperate, equal, just, which shall restore lustre to the Crown, dignity to the Peerage, and their due weight and influence to the People of Ireland.
But while we thus state our sentiments on the subject of reform, we feel it incumbent upon us to declare, as we now do, that no reform, were even such attainable, would answer our ideas of utility or justice, which should not equally include all sects and denominations of Irishmen. We reprobate and abhor the idea, that political inequality should result from religious opinions; and we should be ashamed, at the moment when we are seeking liberty for ourselves, to acquiesce in any system founded on the slavery of others.
We have now declared our sentiments to the world.—In declaring them we spurn, with equal disdain, restraint, whether proceeding from a mob or a monarch; from a riot or a proclamation.
We look with a mixture of abomination and contempt, on the transactions, which, on the last anniversary of the French Revolution, degraded the national character of England; when neither the learning, the piety, the public spirit, nor the private nature of a Priestley, could protect him from the savage fury of the vilest of an ignorant and bigotted rabble, before whom the religion of the country was dishonoured, the name of the Sovereign insulted, and all law and order levelled in the dust, to the disgrace, not less of the integrity of the magistrates, who were the fomenters, than of the spirit of the people, who were timid witnesses of the ravage and destruction,
As little should we respect any attempt, under colour of authority, to fetter down our minds, or prevent the publication of our grievances, and our determination to seek redress.
In the pursuit of reform, that great measure, indispensable to the freedom, the happiness, and the glory of our country, we will inflexibly persevere, and for its attainment we rely with confidence on the steadiness, the public spirit, and the zealous co-operation of our countrymen.
These addresses were carried with acclamation. A collateral resolution, in favour of admitting the Catholics to the rights of citizenship, on the preceding 14th of July, was withdrawn, from an apprehension that the minds of those present were not yet fully prepared for it; but now, such was the rapid progress of the spirit of religious liberty, the idea, that political inequality should result from religious opinions, was reprobated and abhorred, and a declaration issued, not to acquiesce in any system founded on the slavery of others. A banquet, songs and toasts, concluded this last Belfast commemoration of the French Revolution; the greatest harmony prevailed, and the meeting separated, satisfied as to the present, and sanguine as to the future issue of the popular exertions.
In order to counteract the effects of the grand jury resolutions, a great number of meetings of different towns and districts, were likewise held throughout the province of Ulster, during the winter of 1792. At all of them it was declared, that a radical reform in the representation of the people, was the only remedy for the many existing grievances. Some few, with Londonderry at their head, expressed themselves as favourable to the gradual admission of the catholics into this basis of reform; but the great majority followed the example of Belfast, and declared for the immediate and unqualified extension of the right of suffrage to the whole catholic body.
These declarations, from different assemblies, having testified some slight disagreement on one of the great questions, it was proposed to call a convention of the province, as had twice before been done, and on one occasion marked with success. Dungannon, the former place of meeting, and even the fifteenth of February, its anniversary, were deemed auspicious, and were therefore selected. It was also judged fit, that the delegates should be appointed on the plan then pursuing by the catholics.
The volunteer corps were at this time continuing to increase, and extend rapidly through the north. In Belfast, particularly, a very numerous town-meeting was held, and attended by even the most moderate and opulent inhabitants. Resolutions were there passed, urging, in the strongest manner, a complete re-establishment of the volunteer institution, and determining to form a military fund.
New military associations were also forming, even in Dublin, unequivocally avowing republican principles, by their emblematic devices, a harp without a crown, surmounted by a cap of liberty. These were to be armed and habited in green uniforms, and they stiled themselves, after thevolunteer militia of France, National Guards. Their first muster in Dublin, was to have taken place in the middle of December. Government appeared alarmed; false rumours of conspiracies and assassinations were circulated; an insurrection was said immediately to take place. It was reported from the Castle, that the first places to be attacked were, the custom-house, the post-office, and the gaol of Newgate; and that the signal of insurrection was to be, the pulling down of the statue of king William with ropes! Additional troops were marched into Dublin; field-pieces were annexed to each battalion; troops of cavalry, accompanied by magistrates, patroled the streets every night; and on the 8th of December, a proclamation appeared, stating, that " ill-affected persons have entered into illegal and seditious associations, in the county and city of Dublin, to withstand lawful authority, and violently and forcibly to redress pretended grievances, and to subvert the established constitution of this his Majesty's realm; and with a view to carry into effect these their seditious purposes, have, by colour of laudable associations heretofore formed in this kingdom by his Majesty's loyal subjects, for repelling foreign invasion and maintaining peace and good order, publicly declared their intention to appear in arms to avow their approbation of tumult and disorder, and to encourage the citizens of Dublin to follow their evil example, and have also conspired together to raise, levy and muster, within the county and city of Dublin, a number of armed men, to parade in military array, with various devices, and ensigns of disaffection to his Majesty and the constitution,