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Chaf. places; a repeal of the police-bill of Dublin,' a bill v—v-«-» of responsibility, requiring the acts of the executive power to be signed by certain officers resident in Ireland, who should with their lives and fortunes be responsible to this kingdom in the measures and expences of government; a disqualification of the officers of revenue to vdte in the election of members of parliament; and a total demolition of the new charges created by the marquis. IfuZ^l Disgusted with his Unpopular situation, the mar''1790 <1U's rctire<l from Ireland in the June of 1789, leaving the government in the hands of two lords justices, the lord-chancellor and the speaker of the commons, till the arrival of his successor, the earl of Westmoreland, who met the parliament on the twentyfirst of January 1790. The same systems continued rjf influence on one side, and opposition on the other, with unabated violence. Of this violence the reader may be more enabled to conceive an idea from a specimen of the language used by the great and uniform oppositionist, Grattan. In a reply to some observations made on the subject of party he faid: "I will state to you a description of a party which I conceive to be the public curse; if party it can be called which is worse than a faction, and nothing more than an impudent phalanx of political mercenaries, coming from their little respective offices to vote for their bribe and vapour for their character, who have neither the principles of patriotism, l»or ambition, nor party, nor honour: who are governed verned not by deliberation, but discipline; and Chap.


licking the hands that feed, and worshipping the patron that bribes them. Degraded men! disgraceful tribe! when they vote for measures, they are venal; when such men tajk against party, they are impudent." On the occasion of a motion made for an inquiry ento tbe sale of peerages, as ministers were accused of having set titles of nobility to sale, and of having applied the money thence arising to the purchasing of seats for their adherents in the house of commons, he thus proceeded: "We dare them to go into an enquiry. We do not affect to treat them as other than public malefactors, We speak to them in a style fif the most mortifying and humiliating defiance. We pronounce them to be public criminals. Will they dare to deny the charge? I call upon, and dare the ostensible member to rise in his place, and say on his honour, that he does not believe such corrupt agreements to have taken place. I wait for a specific answer." Except an avowal, which would have been humiliating, no direct answer could be returned, The commanding of a majority in parliament by emoluments was well known; but how the governs ment of this kingdom could be otherwise conducted might be another question; since every majority in parliament against the king's vicergerent had a ten^ dency to a political separation of Ireland frorn Great* Britain, The parliament was dissolved in the April of 1790, and on the meeting of the new, in the follow-: jpg Jupe, Foster, the former speaker, was re-elecied,

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Chap. Prorogued after a session of only fourteen days, it y- '' was re-assembled in the January of 1791, when the oppositionists were found somewhat diminished in number, but not in the vigour and pertinacity of their warfare, which they renewed on the same subjects; while discontent increased in the public mind, and political affairs took a new complexion from a surprising revolution in the most powerful kingdom on the European continent.



Revolution of Frances—Its influence on BritainAnd on IrelandFiats—Anniversary of the revolution celebrated at Belfast-rr-JJnited IrishmenNational guards Rowan Catholic convention Catholic deputationCatholic declaration—Opposition to catholics Parliamentary transactions Catholic hillOther popular billsGunpowder bill, 8gc.Peep-of-day boys and DefendersAttack of WexfordReports offhp catholic committees,

1 He government of the mighty nation of the Chap. French had, under the latter sovereigns of the Jong t , race of Hugh Capet, settled into an absolute mo-Revolution narchy, combined with a subservient feudal aristocracy, and supported by a vast military force. Long might it have so continued without interruption^ if the monarchs had acted with prudence: but, by the mad ambition of Louis the fourteenth, who, in ex-r tending the surface, exhausted the strength of his Tsingdom; by the wars waged by his successors, with similar views, but inferior fortune; and by the inordinate expences of a profligate court, the debt of {h.e crown became so enormous, that the prodigious

Chap, taxes, imposed with the most unjust and impoli


;tic inequality, scarcely felt by nobles or clergy, but pressing with intolerable weight on the poor peasants, were at length insufficient to pay the interest of the debt, and other demands of the state and rojal household. From a vast complication of grievances, partly inherent in the political system, still more occasioned by misgovernment, discontentment with their governors pervaded the people, and, when the genuine liberty of the English, displayed in their neighbourhood, was contemplated, and the revolt of the British colonies afforded an ample field of discussion, a hatred of the constitution itself, un-; der which they felt oppression, was diffused at first in silence, and afterwards more openly. Thus a republican faction, small in its commencement, but active and sanguine, gained gradually many proselytes; and, as men, who run into any one extreme, are always capable of running into the opposite, the nation, who had paid a kind of idolatrous adoration io their sovereigns, were in a short time led to a6t with atrocious licence, on the principles of a levelling democracy, to the abolition of monarch j and even murder of the monarch.

The clouds, which had been collecting in the reigns of his predecessors, were destined to discharge their thunder on Louis the sixteenth, who acceded to the throne in 1774, a prince mild and pacific, worth j of better fortune, than to suffer for the crimes of his •ancestors, but not endued with a sufficient capacity and firmness of resolution to repress on one side the


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