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with caution and secresy, so as merely to excite suspicions of intrigue and machination. When the hopes which the catholics had conceived of a speedy and full emancipation were disappointed by the recall of earl Fitzwilliam, whose liberal views were obstructed by the aristocratic faction, the association gained ground among those sectaries, but not so rapidly as its leaders wished. Continuing their efforts during the vice-royalty of earl Camden, the emissaries of sedition strengthened the party, in 1796, by considerable accessions in the northern counties ; and an urgent application was made to the French government for military aid. In the mean time, the implements of warfare were procured in abundance, and tactics were diligently studied by these enemies of their country, whose intentions now became so manifest, that numerous bodies of yeomanry were armed and disciplined for the defence of the state. An armament sailed from France to assist the Hibernian traitors; but the meditated invasion was prevented by tempestuous weather. To repress the attempts of the conspirators, the army began, in the following year, to enforce the dispersion of tumultuous assemblies without waiting for directions from the magistrates; the inhabitants of Ulster were disarmed; and the parliament endeavoured, by coercive statutes, to aid the exertions of the soldiery. These proceedings had some effect in restoring tranquillity to that province; and Connaught remained free from commotion; but, in the two other provinces, the mal-contents prosecuted an alarming course of depredation and outrage. The increase of these practices drew from the government, in the spring of the year 1798, a proclamation which asserted the existence of rebellion, and ordered the troops to act with the utmost vigor for its suppression.

... . ." After

After the attack upon Naas, the severities of martial law were denounced not only against the rebel combatants, but against all those who should in any manner assist them. The king's troops being actively supported by the militia and yeomanry, the insurgents were routed in various conflicts. The military reputation of the marquis Cornwallis, who was appointed lord-lieutenant during these commotions, tended to discourage the rebels: the summary condemnation and execution of many of the prisoners concurred to intimidate the rest; and the offer of pardon to the penitent contributed to the dissolution of the confederacy. A body of French invaders were compelled to submit, and ships containing a considerable reinforcement were seasonably captured. Asociety denominated (in honor of king William III.) the Orange club, labored with sanguinary zeal to check the extension of mercy to the rebels, and to multiply the horrors of capital punishment. But the humanity and good sense of the vice-roy would not suffer him to be guided by those intolerant associators, as the adoption of their advice might have excited a renewal of insurrection. When the fury of rebellion had subsided, the British ministry deliberated on the best means of preventing a return of commotion, and permanently securing the tranquillity of Ireland. It was probably argued in the cabinet, that not only the peace of that kingdom required a change of system, but that an improvement of the connexion was necessary to prevent Britain herself from being endangered by the efforts of the enemy for a disjunction of the realms; that the act of annexion, the use of the great seal of Britain for Irish statutes, or

C 3 the

the responsibility of the minister to the British parliament for any proceedings which might impair the superiority or the influence of the greater state, could not preclude the risque of factious discord, or of a momentous difference of opinion, which might injure the aggregate interest, or deeply wound the vitals of the empire; and that a measure which had been recommended at various times by many enlightened men— namely, the union of the two parliaments—seemed to offer the most efficacious remedy for the disorders by which Ireland had long been harassed, and the best

provision for general strength and security. As soon as it was known that an incorporative union was in agitation, the party which, in the vulgar political phraseology, had made a job of the government, and had frequently constrained the British cabinet to submit to its will, felt an extraordinary alarm, foreseeing the loss or the decline of its power from the transfer of the parliament of Ireland to another country, and from other circumstances of the intended change. Some of its members, however, were won to an acquiescence by the persuasions and promises of the premier. In the Irish cabinet, one of the ministers declared his unwillingness to concur in the proposal. This was sir John Parnell, chancellor of the exchequer, who, for his opposition to the wish of the majority, was dismissed from his office. One of the heads of the law, Mr. Fitzgerald the prime serjeant, having acknowleged his repugnance to an union, was also desired to resign his station. Mr. Isaac Corry, who, having formerly been noticed among the anti-ministerial members of parliament as a man of ability, had been introduced into office under the administration of the - marquis

marquis of Buckingham, was now promoted to the financial post; and the other vacancy was supplied by Mr. Saint-George Daly. When the king and his chief ministers had formed the resolution of proposing an union, a pamphlet *, attributed to Mr. Edward Cooke, the under-secretary for the civil department, was published at Dublin, with a view of recommending the measure to general support. As it was prepared in concert with the leaders of administration, and was calculated to exhibit their object and intentions, it may be considered as a kind of official proclamation, and therefore claims more extended notice than the ordinary effusions of the political press. The writer first stated the question in the abstract: ‘Two independent states, finding their separate existence mutually inconvenient, propose to form themselves into one state for their mutual benefit.' He proceeded to apply the remark to the Hibernian realm. • If the liberty, the conveniences, the happiness, the security of the people of Ireland, will be improved by an incorporation of the Irish with the British legislature, shall we not for such advantages endeavour to procure that incorporation *-He then inquired in what cases an union was likely to be most advantageous. If one of the states desirous of coalescing should be inferior * in point of civilisation, agriculture, commerce, manufactures, morals, manners, establishments, constitution,’ and the other state should surpass all the world in these advantages, an union might be expected to prove more beneficial to the former; and on this ground

* Entitled, ‘Arguments for and against an Union between GreatBritain and Ireland, considered.’

he argued, that Ireland, when it should be identified with Great-Britain in government, in policy, in interest, would gradually rise to a par with England, and would thus derive essential benefit from the measure. If there were no other reasons which could render the union of the sister kingdoms desirable, the state of Europe, he said, and especially of France, seemed to point out its peculiar policy at the present day. As the French had subdued many considerable countries, and extended their influence over others, the strength of the British empire required speedy augmentation, that the progress of rival power might be checked. Though the two kingdoms were united under one sovereign, yet, as they had separate legislatures, they had, he said, all the disadvantages without the advantages of an union. The king must reside in one of the realms: there would of course be the metropolis of the empire; there would be the real seat of the government; thence would flow all the counsels; and thither would resort those who might wish for favor and emolument. The other kingdom, being destitute of such advantages, and injured by the absence of many of its principal subjects, would be in a perpetual state of jealousy and discontent, and would be a prey to foreign faction. An empire thus composed would never be in a state of full security, as there never would be a certainty that both parts of it would pursue the same system. With regard to other circumstances of the state of Ireland, he observed, that nine tenths of its property were in the hands of British descendants, though these composed only one fourth of the nation in point of number; that they professed the protestant religion, while the posterity of the original inhabitants main- tained

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