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Chap, with a deposit of two hundred and eighty barrels of i n'j gun-powder buried near this palace by the invaders. Death of Matthew Tone already mentioned was brother to Tone. Theobald Wolfe Tone, who had rendered himself so remarkable by his activity and talents in the united system. The latter was found aboard the Hoche by admiral Warren, and tried by courtmartial in the capital. He rested his defence on his being a denizen of France, an officer in the service of that country, and pretended not to deny the charge against him, nor even to excuse his political conduct. Condemned, he requested the indulgence of being shot as a soldier, instead of being hanged as a felon; and, on the refusal of this request, cut his own throat in the prison. The operation being incompletely performed, hopes were entertained of his recovery. A motion was ably supported for a writ of habeas-corpus in his favour by John Philpot Curran, the famous barrister; and the plea was admitted on the ground that " courts-martial have no jurisdiction over subjects not in military service while the court of King's Bench is sitting." But from the condition of Tone, his removal from prison was deemed unsafe, and he died of his wound on the nineteenth of November. Exertions of From the mal-administration of the French com
J798. monwealth, and some other fortunate circumstances, Cornwallis had found means to complete the overthrow of rebellion in a state of the country extremely perilous, a wide-spread disaffection, which men of the loyalist denomination were ready to exasperate into desperate efforts, and an army, with some honourable nourable exceptions, so licentious as to be terrible Chap. only to its friends or tbe defenceless, and unfit to v__^«_/ encounter a disciplined foe. The flight from Castlebar, the commotion excited by a handful of Frenchmen, are proofs of weakness, their so long continuance in hostile array, and their march a hundred and fifty-five English miles through the kingdom, in defiance of a hundred thousand regimented soldiers commanded by a viceroy of prime abilities. Sensible how dangerously situate was the country, the chief governor, on the surrendry of the French, thought an immediate return to the capital necessary to prevent insurrection in that quarter, which may account for the slowness of the troops left in the west in bring-ing relief to the loyalists of Killala. On the suppression at home of all armed opposition to government, the activity of his mind found employment enough in reducing the army under salutary discipline; in protecting the people from the violence of those, who abused, as far as in their power, the victory of the royal cause to the indulgence of every bad passion; in the re-establishment of general order throughout the kingdom; and in forwarding a new and important measure, wisely adopted by the British administration, when opportunity was given by the distractions of this country.
Thoughts of legislative union—Publie discussion of the question—Parliamentary discussion—Last session of the Irish parliament—Arguments against a union—Arguments for a union—Address from Galway—Articles of Union—EnaRion of the bill of union— Consequences expected from the union —Resignation of Cornwallis—Accession of Hard-' •wicke—Reflexions—Retrospect—History of a history—A base writer—Conclusion.
CxLvn AN 0DJe& of wish with several persons of reflexion, v—v—' who preferred the substantial interests of their coun-i.
Thoughts of *
»legislative try to private or local advantages, had long been, a legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland, or a political incorporation of the two kingdoms into one, an incorporation which might remove the baneful jealousies of national distinctness, the danger of a disruption in the political connection of the two islands, and the inconvenience of a system in which were two distinct legislatures mutually independent in appearance, and retained in connection by the prei ponderance ponderance of one. Obstacles insurmountable to Chap. the attainment of this objecl had hitherto been on*—*.—' one side commercial jealousy, the disgrace of England; on the other, national pride and prejudice, party spirit, local and personal interests. Perhaps in earlier times, when the importance of this country was unknown or disregarded in the English cabinet, a union might not have been attended with utility to Ireland. Such would have been the case in the reign of Edward the third, who in the year 1376, commanded representatives, two from each diocese, county, and town, to repair to him into England, to treat with his council. Representatives were sent, but not with full powers, the lords and commons at home reserving the right of granting or witholding subsidies, and protesting that their compliance in this instance should not in future be drawn into precedent to the prejudice of their privileges. Of this crude plan of union, which proved abortive, nothing further is known. In later times the cruel impolicy of the English parliament, which regarded the weakness of this country as the security of her dependence, was adverse to an arrangement favourable to her prosperity. Hence, when the Irish peers, in their addresses to queen Anne, in 1703 and 1707, expressed their wishes for a union, they were answered coldly, and no further notice was taken. Afterwards, when the nation, in spite of its great artificial disadvantages, was perceived to be gradually rising into importance, particularly when, by the exertions of the volunteers, its parliament
Chap, ment was declared independentin 1782, incorporation v—y—J was earnestly wished by the British cabinet : but no gleam of hope appeared for the accomplishment of a measure, which had long ceased to be relished by the peers, and had always been odious to the commons and to the mass of the people.
The nation became gradually disgusted with a parliament nominally independent, but totally subservient to the British cabinet, by the influence of money levied for that purpose from the nation itself. To render it really independent, great efforts were made for a reform of the representation of the people in the house of commons. This would have either augmented the evil by raising still higher the purchase of compliance, or would have tended to a total separation of this kingdom from Great Britain, a separation which the enemies of both would have eagerly promoted for the subjugation of both under a foreign yoke. By the delusive prospecl of reform were numbers drawn into the system of United Irishmen, and many of these finally involved in a rebellion, of which they had originally no idea. Separation was the original object with the chief framers of this system, offended at the aukward situation of their country, exposed to all the inconvenience, and excluded from the benefits, of British government. Their schemes were desperate, since the completion of them would have thrown their country into the arms of France; and subjection to a foreign republic is the worst species of political slavery. Amid surrounding difficulties a