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mence the first. Volume of Mr. Grattan's Speeches with his celebrated effort on the Commercial Propositions, introduced into the Irish Parliament by Mr. Orde, and to state the motives which induced him to introduce into the Preface the Speeches which Mr. GRATTAN pronounced before this period. The motives which determined him to make such an arrangement, were, the sincere regard and anxiety for the fame of this distinguished orator.--The first unmutilated and complete speech which the industry of the Editor could collect, is that with which the First Volume commences, while the few brilJiant fragments which the indolence of the re porters have left of his earlier exertions, will be found in the Preface. These fragments, though exhibiting powers of language, and splendor of imagination, superior to any of Mr. Grattan's Irish cotemporaries, perhaps superior to the efforts of any English orator, yet fall far short in that copiousness and variety of illustration, that precision of logical arrangement, which distinguish those · Speeches that have been reported from the year 1785.—No doubt passages will be found which the memory takes down with delight, which the imagination and understanding contemplate with pleasure, and which convey no very faint idea of the extent of those powers, which roused an injured nation to aspire to freedom, and which finally established the triumph of the orator iu the independence of his country. The Editor, therefore, conceived it a duty he owed to the reputation of Mr. GRATTAN, not to
give those Speeches that place in his col. lection, which would induce the opinion that he considered them as perfect or correct reports; be has, however, anxious to convey that pleasure which their perusal must excite, interwoven them with the brief narrative of the splendid events which they produced ; thus forming an in. teresting and necessary link in that chain of our History, on which Irishmen look back with mingled sensations of pride and regret.
The Editor of these Volumes cannot avoid expressing his unfeigned regret, that the Speeches of Mr. GRATTAN, pronounced upon these oc. casions, so congenial to and affording a scope soworthy of the exertions of his splendid oratory, should have been so imperfectly reported; and it must be a source of sorrow to every lover of freedom, and genuine eloquence, that the happiest period which the genius of Mr. GRATTAN ever enjoyed, to give full and unlimited scope to the energy of his mind and the soarings of his fancy, was neglected by those who took the trouble to mutilate his beauties, extinguish his fire, and curtail the most precious of his thoughts.
In offering to the Public the following Speeches of Mr. GRATTAN, the Editor conceives it might not be uninteresting, to trace a brief outline of the various encroachments which Ireland has suffered, from the unjust interference of the British Legislature; to give a short enu. meration of the various acts of usurpation, by which the independence of the Irish Parliament
was subverted; to point out that malignant spirit of British monopoly, which extinguished the commerce, impoverished the manufactures, and robbed of her natural resources a country rich in every gift that nature in her bounty could bestow; and finally, to afford a brief review of the history of Ireland, from its invasion by Henry, down to that proud and distinguished period, which witnessed at the same moment the assertion of Irish rights, and the first ef. forts of our illustrious Countryman.-In this sketch it will be seen, how intimately connected the exertions of this enlightened Senator have been with the rise and progress of his Country to prosperity and independence;
that he rose in fame as she rose in liberty, in commerce, and in wealth.--Here Mr. GRATTAN will be seen the bold, indefatigable, and eloquent promoter of every great measure, which tended to establish her liberties and her glory
and the same pen which records the struggles of a brave, a generous, and a grateful nation, will be, at the same time, giving to the world, the principal features of Mr. GRATTAN'S character, and the foundation of his claim to the admiration of posterity.-Gifted by nature with an understanding of the first orderenriched by cultivation, and chastened by a correct and critical observation of the ancient orators, he united to an eloquence, argumentative, splendid, popular, and impressive, an undaunted spirit, and an uncorrupted heart. Sagacious, bold and intrepid, he saw, he
followed its lhe of Irish
dared, and he succeeded.--He was the first who taught Ireland that she might become a Nation; he inspired her by his eloquence, animated her by his courage, strengthened her by his authority, adorned her by his talents,
and guided her most adventurous efforts, by the wisdom of his councils.--He laid the foundation, raised the superstructure, and witnessed the fall of Irish freedom and to use his own eloquent and expressive language, “ He watched by the cradle of Irish independence, and he followed its hearse.”
His wisdom was practical, frequently prophetic, remedial for the present, warning for the future;-he pointed out how Ireland might be free; and a patriot senate, backed by a patriot army, achieved her independence,
That the life-time of Irish liberty was short, its author is not to blame : Mr. GRATTAN, when he led the way to our independence, warned us against the machinations of those that corrupted and seduced us to our ruin.-But his warnings were disregarded ; and the man whose talents, virtue, and integrity enabled the sun of Ireland to gain the ascendant, witnessed also its extinction.
The measures which Mr. GRATTAN recommended, and which would have saved that independence, which was so gloriously achieved, were uniformly opposed by the corrupt influence of a corrupt Administration ; and every engine was resorted to, to misrepresent the views, and blacken the reputation, of a man, whose cou
rage and whose talents they feared, and whose integrity they could not corrupt. When the feelings of party spirit shall have passed away,
- when the whole scene, in which our eloquent countryman took so distinguished a part, shall be laid before the cool and dispassionate eye of futurity, the services which Mr. GRAT. TAN rendered to his country will be remembered with enthusiasm, and repaid with gratitude ; and the future men of Ireland will revere his memory, and erect monuments to his virtue and to his fame.
Though at one time the idol of the people, at another the object of their anger-alternately the subject of the panegyric or reproach of the Castle, he held on his course unmoved and unshaken—always obeying the dictates of a mind uncontrolled by tumult, and uninfluenced by threats. He opposed himself to the excesses of the Castle, and the excesses of the people ; and would bave saved all, by balancing the powers of both. Irish liberty and British connection appear to have been the guiding stars by which he shaped his course ; no wonder, therefore, that those who, to exalt themselves, were the instruments of their country's debasement, dreaded the denunciations of Mr. GRATTAN, who always stood at his post, to frustrate their designs, and detect their conspiracies.— With equal zeal he guarded the connection between England and Ireland. Seeing the safety of both countries in their mutual liberty and mutual affection, possessing equal laws and equal privileges, he opposed the advocates of separation with as much