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mittee, thus mentions Pope and Papacy in his private diary:—" The Pope is dethroned and in exile. The circumstances relating to this great event are such as to satisfy my mind that there is a special Providence guiding the affairs of Europe at this moment, and turning everything to the great end of the emancipation of mankind from the yoke of religious and political superstition under which they have so long groaned. Some months ago Napoleon accorded peace, and a generous one, to the Pope. Many people thought at the time, and I was of their number, that it was unwise to let slip so favourable an opportunity to destroy for ever the Papal tyranny."* Again, he writes in triumph:—
* It may be instructive to compare these views of Tone, the Protestant political representative of Irish Catholic revolutionists, with those of the Protestant Tory, Burke, on the same subject, and at about the same time: —" The artists of the French Revolution had given their very first essays and sketches of robbery and desolation against his [the Pope's] territories in a far more cruel, murdering piece than had ever entered into the imagination of painter or poet. Without ceremony they tore from his cherishing arms the possessions which he held for five hundred years undisturbed by all the ambition of all the ambitious monarchs who during that period have reigned "Providence, for its own wise and just purposes —the happiness of man and the complete establishment of civil and religious liberty—seems to have utterly taken away all sense and understanding from the Pope and his councils." He then proceeds in a wild strain of mingled exultation and mockery:—Thus has terminated the temporal reign of the Popes, after an existence of about a thousand years. The fact is certain, and the Pope who has so often at his will and pleasure disposed of nations and monarchs, is himself deposed without effort or resistance. 'How art thou fallen from Heaven, 0 Lucifer, Son of the Morning.' The Revelations have many fine things on this subject, touching the Beast and Babylon, &c. He is now a pre
in Prance. That venerable potentate and pontiff is sunk deep into the vale of years; he is half disarmed by his peaceful character; his dominions are more than half disarmed by a peace of two hundred years, defended as they were, not by forces, but by reverence; yet in all these straits we see him display, amidst the recent ruins and the new defacements of his plundered capital, along with the mild and decorous piety of the modern, all the spirit and magnanimity of ancient Eome."—Writings of Burke, pp. 370-71.
late in partibus, his means are gone, his cardinals, his court, his wealth, all disappeared, and nothing remains but his keys,"* &c. &c.
These being probably the true sentiments of many, if not most, of the United Irish leaders, they well explain why the Irish Catholic nobility
* "Nor were the calamities of the [Catholic] Church confined to France. The revolutionary spirit, attacked by all Europe, beat all Europe back, became conqueror in its turn, and went raging over the Rhine and through the passes of the Alps. The successor of St. Peter was carried away captive by the unbelievers. He died a prisoner in their hands, and even the honours of sepulture were long withheld from his remains. It is not strange that in the year 1799 even sagacious observers should have thought that at length the hour of the Church of Rome was come. An infidel power ascendant, the Pope dying in captivity, the most illustrious prelates of France living in a foreign country, the noblest edifices which the munificence of former ages had consecrated to the worship of God turned into Temples of Victory, or into banquetinghouses for political societies, such signs might well be supposed to indicate the approaching end of that long domination. But the end was not yet. Even before the funeral rites had been performed over the ashes of Pius VI. a great reaction had commenced. Anarchy had had its day. A new order of things rose out of the confusion; new dynasties, new laws, new titles, and amidst them emerged the ancient religion."—Macaulay's Essay on Eanke's History of the Popes, pp. 580-81.
and prelates opposed their influence over the Irish Catholic peasantry, despite their own causes of complaint against British rule at this time. For here in his own private writing the recognised chief and founder of the " United Irish" Society reveals intense hatred towards that Church, which was loved and revered by the majority of those very Irishmen who had sent him to represent them in France.
It was, of course, impossible that any man holding such sentiments could really unite his divided fellow-countrymen in a bond of permanent alliance, far less permanent union. Yet Tone, while he was actually writing this diary in Paris, possessed great political influence over many sincere Irish Catholics, as well as some better educated Irish Protestants and Presbyterians, which extraordinary position proves the dexterous talent, energy, and force of character displayed throughout by this remarkable man.*
* "In his errand of propagandism he well succeeded. By his genius and untiring zeal he induced both the Catholics and the Protestants to lay aside their sectarian squabbles, or rather to subordinate them to the cause of nationality and seek for union and strength in the
His suicide may, perhaps, be said to virtually end the '98 rebellion, being the last important event in that lamentable revolution of which he may be considered the prime mover and originator.
Its next chief advocate, Thomas Addis Emmet, a lawyer, second son of Dr. Emmet, the State physician, seems to have nearly equalled Tone in ability as well as devotion to the fatal cause they had both espoused. Maxwell writes:—" Both in character and talent he was unapproached by any of the individuals in private or professional life who had arrayed themselves against the Government. In his political principles he was a determined republican."* Tone f thus mentions
fraternal bonds of the United Irishmen."—Historical Sketch of Newry, by " Newriensis."
* Professor Robertson (Lectures on Modern History) states that Daniel O'Connell, the most popular of all modern Irish leaders, a sincere Roman Catholic, believed that Jacobin principles were most opposed to real Irish freedom. He also gives instructive details about Papal legislation against secret societies, including that of the Jacobins, the allies, if not the models, of the "United Irish" in '98.
f Life of Tone.