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dowing a college and schools; of carrying arms, if possessed of a certain property qualification; of holding subordinate civil offices; and of being justices of the peace: it also repealed all the remaining penal laws respecting personal property. The progress of this bill through parliament was by no means rapid. It was presented on the 18th, ordered to be printed, and read a second time on the 22d. On the second reading, Mr. Knox, after insisting that all apprehensions from catholic power must be unfounded, declared his intention to move, that Roman catholics should be admitted to seats in parliament. On the question for committal, the Provost declared, that if, in what he was going to say, he could effect the abolition of any one religious prejudice, he should consider it the happiest moment of his life. Then having combated the apprehensions entertained of the power of the Catholics, Protestants, he said, should not be any longer jealous or suspicious, as the causes of jealousy and suspicion were completely removed; the Roman catholics bad, for a century, been uniformly loyal and peaceable; they had done nothing, under all the restraints laid upon them, to disturb theestablished government, and surely this conduct deserved some return. During fifty years experience that he had had of the confidence of those in the government of affairs in this kingdom, he never heard of any rising or intended rising amongst those people; for the excesses of the lower orders he did not consider as insurrection. Lord Chesterfield, when he came over here as lord-lieutenant, was much prejudiced by what he had heard in England of Roman catholics; but when he came to converse with, and to observe them, he changed his opinion. The commons, on the alarm of a rebellion actually existing in England, wished to strengthen the hands of government by violent measures against Roman catholics; they were opposed by the immediate friendsof governmental that bouse; and when the lord lieutenant was urged, by representations of the dangers of popery, he declared that he " knew of but one dangerous papist in the whole country, a very beautiful young lady of that persuasion." What could have inspired him with this confidence, but a retrospect of their conduct for fifty years before? He then took an historical review of the subject, insisting, that all the misfortunes of this country had arisen from the disunion of its inhabitants; that as soon as their nation had become united, all the great objects of liberty were attained; and that the emancipation of the catholic had always been the earnest of Irish liberty.
"I would have you," said Mr. Grattan, at the conclusion of an animated appeal on behalf of the oppressed, " at this time, distrust that religious vanity, which tells you, that these men are not fit for freedom; they have answered that vanity in a strain of oratory peculiar to the oppressed. It is the error of sects, to value themselves more upon their differences than their religion; and in these differences, in which they forget the principles of their religions, they imagine they have discovered the mystery of their salvation; and to this supposed discovery they have offered human sacrifices: what human sacrifices have we offered? the dearest, the liberties of our fellow-subjects. Distrust again that fallacious policy, which tells your power is advanced by their bondage; it is not your power, but your punishment; it is liberty without energy, you know it; it presents you with a monopoly, and the monopoly of others, not your own; it presents you with the image of a monster in a state when the heart gives no circulation, and the limbs receive no life; a nominal representative, and a nominal people: call not this your misfortune, it is your sentence, it is your execution. Never could the law of nature suffer one set of men to take away the liberty of another, and that of a numerous part of their people, without feeling a diminution of their own strength and freedom; but, in making laws on the subject of religion, we forget mankind, until their own distraction admonishes statesmen of two truths, the one, that there is a God; the other, that there is a people. Never was it permitted to any nation; they may perplex their understandings with various apologies, but never long was it permitted to exclude from essential, from what they themselves have pronounced essential blessings, a great portion of themselves for periods of time, and for no reason, or what is worse, for such reason as you have advanced.' Conquerors, or tyrants proceeding from conquerors, have scarcely ever, for any length of time, governed by those partial disabilities; but a people so to govern itself, or rather, under the name of government, so to exclude one another, the industrious, the opulent, the useful, that part that feeds you with its industry, and supplies you with its taxes, weaves that you may wear, and ploughs that you may eat; to exclude a body so useful, so numerous, and that for ever, and, in the mean time, to tax them ad libitum, and occasionally to pledge their lives and fortunes! For what? For their disfranchisement. It cannot be done. Continue it, and you expect from your laws what it were blasphemy to ask of your Maker. Such a policy always turns on the inventor, and bruises him under the stroke of the sceptre or the sword, or sinks him under the accumulation of debt, and loss of dominion. Need I go to instances? What was the case of Ireland, enslaved for a century, and withered and blasted with her protestant ascendancy, like a shattered oak, seethed on a hill by the fires of its own intolerance. What lost England America, but such a policy? An attempt to bind men by a parliament, wherein they are not represented; such an attempt as some would now continue to practise on the catholics, and involve England. What was it saved Ireland to England but the contrary policy? I have seen their principles of liberty very far by yourselves. I have heard addresses from counties and cities here, on the subject of the slaves, to Mr. Wilberforce, thanking him for his efforts to set free a distressed people. Has your pity traversed leagues of sea, to sit down by the black boy on the coast of Guinea; and have you forgot the man at home by your side, your
brother? Come, then, and by one great act cancel this code, and prepare your mind for that bright order of time, which now seems to touch your condition." The bill was then committed for the 25th, three only dissenting.
The hon. Mr. Knox, agreeable to the notice he had given, after showing how effectually hii measure would counteract republican principles, moved "that the committee be empowered to receive a clause to make it lawful for persons professing the Roman catholic religion to sit and vote in parliament." This was seconded by major Doyle, supported by Mr. Blake, of Ardfry, and Mr. M. Smith, who briefly stated the inadequacy of the bill without this clause. "That only would be liberal, he said, which would make the catholics contented and happy; and that only it would be wise to grant, which might be granted with safety to ourselves. Liberality and wisdom, in this case, are coincident; for that only would be wise which should make the catholics happy; since their content was the essence of our safety. The bill, he was sorry to say, fell far short of the point of wisdom and of liberality. It granted the elective franchise, but it withheld the representative franchise; and by thus granting a part, and withholding a part, it neither satisfied the catholic desire, nor secured the protestant safety. It only holds the cup of liberty to their lips, then withdraws it, and tells them, we did not mean they should taste it. The man, who could say the catholics ought to be contented with the bill, knew little of the human heart, and felt nothing of its
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