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'-and preserve the peace of Ireland. To this object alone our views are directed; knowing that reform can alone prevent the horrors of a revolution, the blame of which must fall on the heads of those who drive the people to despair. Brethren, equally contemning the high and low vulgar, we are taught to regard him alone, who is virtuous, as exalted to the level of man. The profane and vicious are only savages; to be virtuous, it is necessary to be free, for slavery and vice are inseparably connected. Respecting those sacred truths, we wish we may be branded with infamy, if we ever cease most strenuously to co-operate with all our fellow-subjects in their endeavours to eradicate vice and slavery from the land. Taking our wives and children in our hands, we feel all nature stirring within us, and the God of nature's voice calling on us to save them. One word more, brethren, " a people aspiring to be free, should be able to protect liberty."—Be peaceable, but powerful. Let every lodge in the land bei come a company of citizen-soldiers. Let every volunteer company become a lodge of masons.
Countrymen of all denominations, we address you; our mysteries are not orgies held for plotting against your liberty. Among the apostles there was one Judas. The slaves among us are few: join our lodges; this will give you confidence in each other, and will secure you against private persecution on account of your struggles for freedom. No one who dares to oppress the least among us, need ever expect support from the rest.—Signed by order, W. Richardson, Sec.
An aggregate meeting of the freemen and freeholders of the city of Dublin was also convened by the high-sheriffs, on the 24th of January, to take into consideration the state of the representation, and give instructions to their representatives thereon. The resolutions adopted by this meeting, declared the house of commons not to be freely chosen by the people; and that, being influenced by emoluments and pensions, it did not speak the sense of the people. These resolutions having been published in the Hibernian Journal, the printer, Mr. M'Donnell, was ordered to attend at the bar of the house of commons for a breach of privilege. When questioned as to his defence, he said the resolutions were sent to him authenticated under the signature of Henry Hutton, one of the high-sheriffs of the city; and that the sheriff had authorised him to say he had signed them, as chairman of the meeting, and was ready to avow the fact, if called upon. After a long debate, the printer was ordered into custody, where he was kept for a few days, and then discharged; but no notice was taken of the sheriff, who was attending, dressed in the insignia of his office, and ready to justify his conduct.
An address to the nation from the United Irishmen again appeared, accompanied with a plan of reform, recommending measures to insure its success, the formation of a national convention, &c. &c. The importance annexed to them, will be ample apology for their insertion.
The Society of United Irishmen of Dublin to the Irish Nation.—William Drennan, Chairman—Archibald Ha, milt on Rozcan, Secretary.
On the 9th of November, 1791, was this Society founded. We and our beloved brethren of Belfast began that civic union, which, if a nation be a society united for mutual ad. vantage, has made Ireland a nation; and, at a time when all wished, many willed, but few spoke, and fewer acted, we, Catholics and Protestants, joined our hands and our hearts together, sunk every distinctive appellation in the name of Irishman, and, in the presence of God, devoted ourselves to universal enfranchisement, and a real representation of all the people in parliament. On this rock of right our little ark found a resting place; gradually, though not slowly, throughout the country other stations of safety appeared, and what before was agitated sea, became firm and fertile land. From that time have the body and spirit of our societies increased, until selfish corporations, sunk in conscious insignificance, have given way to a grand incorporation of the Irish people.
Knowing that what the tongue is to the man, the press is to the people; though nearly blasted in our cradle by the sorcery of solicitors of law and general attorneys, we have persisted with courageous perseverance to rally round this forlorn hope of freedom, and to maintain this citadel of the constitution at the risk of personal security, property, and all that was dear to us.
We have defended the violated liberty of the subject against the undefined and voracious privilege of the House of Commons, treating with merited scorn the insolent menaces of men inflated with office.
Not a man so low, that, if oppressed by any assumption of power, civil or military, has not met with our counsel, our purse and our protection; not a man so high, that, if acting contrary to popular right, or public independence, we have not denounced at the judgment-seat of justice, and at the equitable tribunal of public opinion.
We have addressed the Volunteers, deliverers of this in. juredland! Have we done wrong? If we have, tear your colours from the staff, reverse your arms, muffle your drums, beat a funeral-march for Ireland, and then abandon the corpse to fencibles, to militia, to invalids and dismounted dragoons. If we have done wrong, and we swear by the revolution of Eighty-two that we have not, go on with the zeal of enterprising virtue, and a sense of your own importance, to exercise that right of self-defence which belongs to the nation, and to infuse constitutional energy into the public will for the public good.
O Ireland! Ireland! country to which we have clung in all our misfortunes, personal, religious, political; for whose freedom and happiness we are here solemnly united; for whom, as a society, we live; and for whom, as men, if hard necessity commands it, we are ready to die; let us conjure you not to abuse the present precious moment, by a self. extinguishment, by a credulous committal of your judgment and senses to the direction of others, by an idle and ideot gaze on what may be going on in parliament. In receiving good offices from all, distinguish between sound Hibernicism and that windy patriotism, which is now puffing and blow. ing in the race of popularity. Trust as little to your friends as to your enemies, in a matter where you can act only by yourselves. The will of the nation must be declared before any reform ought to take place. It is not, therefore, any class however numerous, any society however respectable, any subaltern assembly, that have either right or competency to express that authoritative will. Nothing less than the people can speak for the people. This competency resides • not in a ftze freeholders shivering in the corner of a county. hall, but only in the whole community, represented in each county, (as at present in Antrim,) by parochial delegation, and then from each county by baronial delegation, to pro. vincial conventions, "the union of which must form the awful will of the people of Ireland. Let us therefore conclude, by conjuring the county meetings now assembling to follow the example of Ulster, and by appointing delegates to a convention of their respective provinces, to unite their scattered and insulated wills into one momentous mass, which may have authority sufficient to make a declaration of rights in behalf of the nation.
A Plan of an Equal Representation of the People of Ireland in the House of Commons, prepared for Public Conside. ration by the Society of United Irishmen of Dublin.
I. That the nation, for the purpose of representation solely, should be divided into three hundred electorates, formed by a combination of parishes, and as nearly as possible equal in point of population.
II. That each electorate should return one representative to parliament.
III. That each electorate should, for the convenience of carrying on the elections at the same time, be subdivided into a sufficient number of parts.
IV. That there should be a returning officer for each electorate, and a deputy returning officer for each subdivision, to be respectively elected.
V. That the electors of the electorate should vote, each in
the subdivision in which he is registered, and has resided as herein-after specified.
VI. That the returning officers of the subdivisions should severally return their respective polls to the returning officer of the electorate, who should tot up the whole, and return the person having a majority of votes, as the representative in parliament.
VII. That every man possessing the right of suffrage for a representative in parliament, should exercise it in his own person only.
VIII. That no person should have a right to vote in more than one electorate at the same election.
IX. That every male of sound mind, who has attained the full age of twenty-one, and actually dwell, or maintained a family-establishment in any electorate for six months of the twelve immediately previous to the commencement of the election, (provided his residence, or maintaining a family. establishment be duly registered,) should be entitled to vote for the representative of the electorate.
X. That there should be a registering-officer, and a registry of residence, in every subdivision of the electorate; and that in all questions concerning residence, the registry should be considered as conclusive evidence.
XI. That all elections in the nation should commence and close on the same day.
XII. That the votes of all electors should be given by voice, and not by ballot.
XIII. That no oath of any kind should be taken by any elector.
XIV. That the full ageof twenty-five years should be a necessary qualification to entitle any man to be a representative.
XV. That residence within the electorate should not, but that residence within the kingdom should be a necessary qualification for a representative.
XVI. That no property qualification should be necessary to entitle any man to be a representative.
XVII. That any person having a pension, or holding * place in the Executive or Judicial Departments, should be thereby disqualified from being a representative.
XVIII. That representatives should receive a reasonable stipend for their services.