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The principle of the first resolution moved by Mr. Connolly, being unequivocally admitted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was unanimously agreed to.
The question being put on the second resolution, there appeared,
. On the 20th February, 1786, Mr. Forbes moved for leave to bring in a Bill « to prevent persons holding places or pensions under the Crown from sitting or voting in the House of Commons." It is impossible to make mention of the name of this venerated and beloved friend of Irish independence, without recording our acknowledgment of the great and important services which he has rendered his country ; indefatigable in the performance of bis legislative dnties--gifted with great talents, and possessed of extensive information--- he always enlightened his audience on every subject he dis. cossed, and often successfully communicated to his countrymen a portion of that spirit which animated and directed his judgment in debate.
Mr. Grattan, in his celebrated Letter to Lord Clare, in the year 1800, thus speaks of this distinguished Irish Senator :
6 Mr. Forbes a name I shall ever regard, and a death I shall ever deplore-enlightened-sensible-laborious, and useful—proud in poverty, and patriotic-he preferred exile to apostacy, and met his death. I speak of the dead-I say nothing of the living, but that I attribute to this constellation of mer, in a great measure, the privileges of your country; and I attribute such a generation to the risidence of your Parliament." Even such a man as Mr. Forbes, thus described by him who best knew his merits, and to whose superiority every Irishman with whom he acted bore equal testimony, could not escape the deluge of calumny, which swept away every man and every principle that was good or valuable in our island.—The slaughter of such characters was essential to the completion of the grand, though remote object of putting down the country; and every corrupt hand which could wield a quill, was engaged in the honorable service of defaming and traducing our Forbes's, our Daly’s, our Floods, and our Burghs ;- their names, however,
now live in the hearts of the people they instructed and protected, while their calumniators are forgotten, or remembered only to be execrated.
“ Irislimen of the present day," says our ad. mired orator~"may go to the graves of these honorable dead men--they may raise up their tomb-stones, as their calumniators threw them down ;-they will feel it more instructive to converse with the ashes of the one, than with the compositions of the other.”
On the 6th March, 1786, Mr. Forbes moved the House to resolve, “ That the present appli. cation and amount of Pensions on the Civil Es. tablishment, are a grievance to the nation, and demand redress."
On the discussion of this motion it appeared, that in the year 1757, the annual charge of Pensions was only 45,000l. per annum; and that in that year a resolution passed the House, to the following effect, “ That paying so great a sum in Pensions, was an imprudent disposition of the public revenue, and a grievance which ought to be redressed.
In 1785, the Pension List amounted to 93,0001, which exceeded the whole amount of the Civil Establishment.
From 1757 to 1785, every Establishment,
Civil and Military, greatly increased--the pa. tronage of the Crown was extended, and the National Debt amounted to more than two millions.--The Pension List of Ireland exceeded that of England. The commercethe revenue, and the resources of the former, bore no competition with those of the latter." It was idle, therefore," said Mr. Forbes, " to talk of the Independence of the Irish Parliament, whose Members received wages from the Crown." On this debate, Mr. Grattan made the memorable declaration, which seemed to have given such pain to the delicate feelings of Ministers :“ Should I affirm,” said Mr. Grattan, -66 that the Pension List is not a grievance, I should affirm, in the face of my country—an impudent, insolent, and a public lie !”—This motion, so essential to the purity and independence of Parliament, was lost. On this occasion Mr. Grattan occupied the attention of the House but for a short time.
On the 13th March, Mr. Forbes presented his Bill to limit the amount of Pensions, which was received, and read a first time; and on a motion being made, that the bill be read a second time, on the succeeding night, Mr. Curran, (now Master of the Rolls) distinguished bimself in an eminent degree, by a display of that sar
castic wit, and a happy exertion of that fancy, which fascinated every hearer, captivated the at tention, and excited the admiration of every party on either side of the House. The speech he delivered on this occasion, appearing to the Editors to be faithfully and correctly reported, they would feel it an act of great injustice to that celebrated orator, and inflexible Irishman, to deny to the readers of this volume, the pleasure which they have experienced in the perusal of one of the happiest efforts of that caustic humour, wbich consumed while it enlightened, and planted a thorn in the bosom of the Administration, which could not refuse their admiration of its powers.
On this very interesting question, Mr. CURRAN thus addressed the Chair :
66 Sir, I object to adjourning this Bill to the first of August, because I perceive, in the present disposition of the House, that a proper decision will be made upon it this night. We have set out upon our inquiry in a manner so bonorable, and so consistent, that we have reason to expeet