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would scarcely have been issued without the knowledge or sanction of the accredited “United Irish” envoy to the French republic, who was also agent of the Irish Catholic revolutionary committee.
The “United Irish” historian, Harwood,* quotes from the Protestant Bishop Stock's diary in Killalla, that it astonished the French officers to hear the Irish recruits, when they offered their services, declare that “they came to take arms for France and the Blessed Virgin."
The Frenchmen said “ They had just driven the Pope out of Italy, and did not expect to find him again so suddenly in Ireland.” Harwood, though a decided revolutionist, distrustfully
the French Revolution in rather a similar spirit to the German philosopher:
O France, that mockest Heaven, adulterous, blind,
Are these thy boasts, champion of human kind?
Ode on France, Poetical Works, vol. i. * History of the '98 Rebellion, p. 230.
adds, “ Had a revolution been effected by the help of these very anti-Catholic allies, this antagonism would have placed formidable difficulties in the way of a cordial and permanent unity between the two nations.”
It is now both interesting and instructive to study the real sentiments of Tone himself, the trusted representative of Irish revolutionists in France, as he may fairly be considered, to reveal the secret views of the chief leaders of the
United Irish ” society, of which he was the original framer, and certainly the master-spirit. * In 1791 he wrote prophetically in his journal at Parist :-" The emancipated and liberal Irishman, like the emancipated and liberal Frenchman, may go to Mass, may tell his beads, or sprinkle his mistress with holy water; but neither will attend to the rusty and extinguished thunderbolts of the Vatican, or the idle anathemas which, indeed, His Holiness is now-a-days too prudent and cautious to
* “ Mr. Tone’s diaries were not meant for the public, which is indebted for them to the very curious inadvertency of his son.” — Wills's Illustrious Irishmen.
of Life of Tone.
issue.”* Again, he writes in an address to the Irish people—“ Look to the origin of your first connection with Britain, that proud and selfish
* In this same year-1791-another illustrious Irishman was studying the French Revolution in a very different spirit. In a letter to a member of the French National Assembly, Edmund Burke wrote—“ Your Assembly addresses a manifesto to France in which they tell the people, with an insulting irony, that they have brought the Church to its primitive condition. In one respect their declaration was undoubtedly true, for they have brought it to a state of poverty and desolation. To what a state of savage, stupid, servile insensibility must your people be reduced, who can endure such proceedings in their Church, their State, and their Judicature, even for a moment! But the deluded people of France are like other madmen, who, to a miracle, bear hunger, thirst, cold, and confinement, and the chains and lash of their keeper, while all the while they support themselves by the imagination that they are generals, prophets, kings, and emperors. Everything seems out of nature in this strange chaos of levity and ferocity, and of all sorts of crimes jumbled together with all sorts of follies. Jacobinism is the revolt of the enterprising talents of a country against its property. When private men form themselves into associations for the purpose of destroying the free existing laws and institutions of their country-when they secure to themselves an army by dividing amongst the people of no property the estates of the ancient and lawful proprietors—when a State recognises those acts—I call this Jacobinism by establishment." -Selections from Burke's Writings, pp. 104-149.
nation, and see what is the foundation of the authority of your oppressors. Six hundred years ago the Pope, Nicholas Breakspear, Adrian IV., an Englishman, conferred the Irish Crown on Henry II., King of England, who was pleased in return to guarantee to his conntryman, the Pope, the payment of a certain tax, to be levied off the Irish people; but were the people consulted whose liberties and properties were thus bartered away between these two Englishmen ?* No such thing! Their independence was sold by one foreigner to the other without their privity or concurrence, and to consummate the injustice of this most infamous and audacious bargain, they were compelled themselves to raise the purchase money of their disgrace, and to pay for being enslaved. Such was the commencement of the British Monarchy in Ireland."*
* “Adrian IV., who then filled the Papal chair, was by birth an Englishman, and being, on that account, the more disposed to oblige Henry, he was easily persuaded to act as master of the world, and to make, without any bazard or expense, the acquisition of a great island to his spiritual jurisdiction. The Irish had by precedent missions from the Britons been imperfectly converted to Christianity. Adrian, therefore, in the year 1156, issued a bull in favour of Henry. He exhorts the king to invade Ireland in order to extirpate the vice and wickedness of the natives, and oblige them to pay yearly, from every house, a penny to the See of Rome. He gives him entire right and authority over the island, and commands the inhabitants to obey him as their Sovereign.”—Hume’s History of England, ch. ix.
Lastly, in March, 1798, the eve of the rebellion, Tone,t though agent of the Irish Catholic com
*“The state of the kingdom (Ireland) by this cool, unexampled policy is most affectingly described in the King of Ulster's letter to John XXII., then Pope: Your predecessor, Adrian IV., who was by birth an Englishman, instead of punishing Henry II. for invading the rights of the Church and the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury (Thomas à Becket), has delivered up our nation as a prey to his countrymen. More subtle than foxes, they surprise and destroy us. During the course of so many centuries our sovereigns, jealous of their glory, never would suffer their independence to be called in question. But that spirit which they opposed to force, they would not to the simple decree of Adrian.'”–O'Hal. loran's History and Antiquities of Ireland, p. 254.
en O'Halloran states (p. 3) that Pope Alexander III., immeOranio canisteries and Antiquities diate successor to Adrian, confirmed this decree, adding that Adrian died in 1158; and yet this celebrated decree, of which he was the supposed author, never appeared till the year 1192, during the pontificate of his successor, Alexander III.
+ Life of Tone.