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to the empire the affections of millions; a better aid to tire war than his enemies can furnish, who have forfeited those affections, and put themselves in their place.
So decidedly hare the measures of Ireland served the empire, that those who were concerned in them might appeal from the cabals of the British cabinet to the sense of the British nation. I know of no cause afforded for the displeasure of the British cabinet; but if services done to Ireland are crimes, which cannot be atoned for by exertions for the empire, I must lament the gloomy prospect for both kins'. doms, and receive a discharge from the service of government as the only honour an English minister can confer on an Irish subject.
I conceive the continuance of Lord Fitzwilliam as necessary for the prosperity of this kingdom. His firm integrity is formed to correct, his mild manners to reconcile, and his private example to discountenance a progress of vulgar and rapid pollution. If he is to retire, I condole with my country; for myself, on that occasion the pangs I should feel on rendering up my small portion of ministerial breath would be little, were it not for the gloomy prospects afforded by those dreadful guardians, who are likely to succeed. I tremble at the return to power of your old task-masters; that combination which galled the country with its tyranny, insulted her by its manners, exhausted her by its rapacity, and slandered her by its malice: should such a combination, (at once inflamed as it must be now by the favour of the British court, and by the reprobation of the Irish people,) return to power, I have no hesitation to say, that they will extinguish Ireland, or Ireland must remove them. It is not your case only, but that of the nation; I find the country already committed in the struggle; I beg to be committed along with her, and to abide the issue of her fortunes. <
I should have expected that there had been a wisdom and faith in some quarter of another country that would have prevented such catastrophe; but I know it is no proof of that wisdom, to take the taxes, continue the abuses, damp the zeal, and dash away the affection of so important a member of the empire as the people of Ireland; and when this country came forward, cordial and confident, with the offering of her treasure and blood, and resolute to stand or fall with the British nation, it is, I say, no proof of wisdom nor generosity to select that moment to plant a dagger in her he art.
But whatsoever shall be the event, I will adhere to her interests to the last moment of my life.
HENRY GRATTAN. Pitt's scheme for a union was discerned at this time from the printed correspondence between Earls Fitzwilliam and Carlisle. The catholics of Dublin, at a meeting held in Francis-street chapel, on the 9th of April, to receive the report of the delegates who presented their address to his Majesty, lamented the recal of their favourite viceroy, and loudly protested against the projected union. A passage from the correspondence above alluded to being read, to the following effect: "Then, for the first time, it appears to have been discerned, that the deferring the catholic question would be, not merely an expedient, or a thing to be desired for the present, but the means of doing a greater service to the British empire than it has been capable of receiving since the Revolution, or at least since the Union!" And also another passage, " That if the consideration of this question could be deferred until the peace was established, his Grace should have no doubt but that it would be attended with advantages, which, perhaps, are not to be hoped for in any other supposeable case." It appearing that those expressions, supposed to be those of a personage in a high official station, can admit of no import or meaning, other than that of a meditated Union between this country and Great Britain:
Resolved unanimously, That we are sincerely ■nfl unalterably attached to the rights, liberties, and independence of our native country; and we pledge ourselves, collectively and individually to resist, even our own emancipation, if proposed to be conceded upon the ignominious terms of an acquiescence in the fatal measure of an Union with the sister kingdom.
Resolved unanimously, That while we make this undisguised declaration of our sentiments, in order to satisfy the public mind, we are of opinion, that a measure so full of violence and ruin will never be hazarded; convinced as we are, that no set of men will arrogate to themselves a power which is contrary to the ends and purposes of all governments, a power to surrender the liberties of their country, and to seal the slavery of future generations.
This meeting of the catholics was attended with a remarkable circumstance, peculiarly characteristic of the public feeling. Addresses of congratulation are invariably presented to every viceroy, on his arrival, by the university of Dublin. This day was appointed for presenting that to lord Camden. When the procession bad reached the Castle gate, the students, with one consent, broke off, leaving the provost and fellows to make what appearance before his excellency they might think fit, and turned into a coffee-house, where they prepared the following address to Mr. Grattan. This they presented directly, and then repaired in a body to Francisstreet chapel. They entered while Mr. Keogh was speaking, who instantly seized the incident.
and hallowed the omen. They were received with the most marked respect and affection, the catholics taking that opportunity of showing, that the lauguage of union and brotherly love, which they were uttering, only expressed the sentiment nearest their hearts.
To the Right Hon. Henri/ Grattan.
We, the Students of the University of Dublin, entering with the warmest sympathy into the universal feeling and in. terest of our countrymen, beg leave to unite our voice with theirs in declaring our admiration of your great and uncommon talents, and a reliance on your steady patriotism and unshaken integrity. We have with sorrow beheld the removal of a beloved viceroy, whose arrival we regarded as the promise of public reform, and his presence the pledge of general tranquillity.
If this event should be accompanied (as we have reason to apprehend) by your removal from his majesty's councils in this kingdom, our regret will have received the last additional circumstance of aggravation, and our despondency will be complete. Relying, however, on the wisdom and benignity of his majesty, we yet entertain a hope, that the nation will not be deprived of the salutary measures flowing from your councils and advice, and that the harmony and strength of Ireland will be founded on the solid basis of Catholic emancipation, and the reform of those grievances which have inflamed public indignation.
We therefore intreat you to persevere in exerting the full energy of your splendid talents for the attainment of those objects, which the present alarming posture of affairs, and the consenting wishes of the nation, so loudly demand.
THOMAS MOOR, Chairman.
Mr. Grattan's Answer. t
Ingenuous young Men, for this effusion of the heart I owe you more than ordinary gratitude, and am proud to sympathize in your native, honest, and unadulterated impressions.
vOL. Iv. 4; C
I receive your address as the offering of the young year, better garland than the artificial honours of a court: it is the work of disinterested hands, and the present of uncontaminated heard. May that ardour, which glows in your breasts, long exist, and may the sentiments, which you breathe, long prevail; they are founded in principle, enlightened by letters, and supported by spirit.
The subjects which you mention and recommend I feel and shall pursue.
I lament the recal of a patriot viceroy. Assisted by men much abler than myself, the reform of that system you condemn, I shall not fail to attempt, bound, as I now am, to the rising as well as the passing age, and happy as I shall be, to go on in the service of both.
I join in your fullest wishes for the Catholics, and I feel the important service, which you now render them, by marking in their favour the sentiments of the rising generation, doing, at the same time, so much honour to yourselves, when you give, I had almost said, your first vote in favour of your country.
I am bound to your university by every tie of affection and duty. The sentiments of your address give me a new and just opportunity of saying to her, through you, " Esto Perpetua," thou seat of science, and mother of virtue. I am, with the sincerest regard,
Your most humble servant,
On the 25th of March lord Fitzwilliam took his departure from Ireland, when the grief and indignation of the people were most strongly marked. It was a day of general gloom: the shops were shut, and the whole city in mourning. The lord-primate and the lord chancellor were sworn lords-justices, and held the reins of government till the 31st, when earl Camden arrived, and assumed the vice-regency.
The contrast that soon after appeared in the