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upon itself the imputation of abject submission to the Chap. British Legislature. This imputation begat con- ^—v—' tempt, that contempt discontent,, and that discontent rebellion. For this radical defe6l in the polity of the empire we can see but one, remedy; and that remedy is a union." Other anomalies were stated in parliamentary speeches and publications from the press, which to particularize would be tedious.
The articles of the incorporating compact, detailed ArtlcUs oi and defended in the commons by lord Castlereagh, can best be seen in the a£t of union, of which a copy is subjoined in the appendix. From a comparison of the aggregate exports and imports of the two kingdoms, and their consumption of certain kinds of merchandize, the proportion of revenue to be levied was fixed at fifteen for GreaVBritain and two for Ireland, during the twenty years next encuing, at the termination of which period the imperial parliament should be at liberty to modify the proportion anew on the same principles. The rer gulations of commerce between the two kingdoms differed not materially from the propositions of 1785, In like manner as the legislatures of Great-Britain and Ireland, so also was the church of the latter incorporated with that of South-Britain. From the compound proportion of the population and wealth of Ireland to those of Britain, one hundred commoners was adjudged an adequate representation of the people of the former in the imperial parliament, two for each county, two for each of the cities of PubHp afl4 Cork, one for the university, and one
Chap, for each of the thirty-one most considerable cities XLVII. , . . • , „ ,.
t-^ »and towns. As a compensation to the owners ot disfranchised boroughs the sum of fifteen thousand pounds was allotted to each, the aggregate of which amounted to twelve hundred and sixty thousand pounds. To represent the Irish peerage, twentyeight lords temporal, elected for life, was the number decreed, and four prelates, taking their places in rotation, to represent the clergy. The first of January in the year 1801, the first day of the nineteenth century, was fixed as the time on which the two kingdoms should Coalesce into one under the act of union. Enaaion of Among the opposers of the union were men of thj0^ll° most honest principles, particularly Sir Lawrence 1800. Parson the duke of Leinster, lords Charlemont and Moira; but in general their motive was a desire to retain or to possess a monopoly of power. In the course of the contest their strength declined. On the twenty-first of May, when a motion was made that the bill of union should be read in the house of commons, permission was given by a majority of a hundred and sixty against a hundred. On the twenty-sixth, when it was again read, a motion of Henry Grattan for the deferring of the business till the first of August, that time might be given for a more full examination, was negatived by a hundred and twenty-four against eighty-seven. On the fifth of June the bill passed the committee. An address to the king, supposed to have been composed by Grattan, as a protest to posterity against
the the union, was negatived by a majority of a hundred Chap. and thirty-five against seventy-seven. Carried to the Wy-^/ peers by lord Castlereagh, the bill passed their committee without alteration, and was read the third time on the thirteenth of June. Sanctioned by both houses of the Irish legislature, it was introduced to the British commons by William Pitt, sent to the British peers on the twenty-fourth, received the royal assent on the second of July in the British parliament, and on the first of August in the Irish. The representatives of disfranchised boroughs necessarily resigned; and where the representation was reduced from two members to one, the question of resignation was decided by lot. On the thirty-first of December the British parliament was prorogued; and on the twenty-second of January of the year 1801, the 1801. imperial parliament for the. first time met. Opportunity was wisely taken/in the change of the regal title, to omit the absurd claim to the kingdom of France. The monarch was now styled in Latin Britanniaruin Bex, Fidei Defensor; and in English of the United Kingdom of Great-Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith.
Among the regulations expected from the impe-comerial parliament for national prosperity were a com-pXTfro^ mutation of tythes, and the abolition of all politicaltheigoi"' disabilities in catholics. By the former would agriculture be encouraged, violent discontents against the maintenance of the protestant clergy banished, and the clerical character rendered more respectable. The last consequence of commutation must be evident
vident to all persons acquainted with the degrading , circumstance of wrangling for tythes, and enforcing their payment on miserable peasants, to which the clergy are compelled by the present system. By catholic enfranchisement would the union of British people throughout the united kingdom, be completed, and protestant ascendancy secured in the safety of the empire. That measures of such prime advantage should be so long prevented by a spirit of narrow policy must be matter of deep regret; for, when powers on the continent of Europe are, by the natural course of events, growing into enormous magnitude by the absorption of the weaker states, what have the British islands for the preservation of their independence but their aqueous barriers, firm union at home, and a wholesome system of govern-* ment, promotive particularly of agriculture, the great source, and only solid foundation, of national Wealth for the maintenance of fleets and armies? To the Roman-catholic religion I am far from being a friend. It endungeons human reason, the only light with which we are furnished by our Creator, for discriminating between real and fictitious revela^ tion. Its intolerant spirit has far surpassed that of all others, even the Mohammedan. For under what other system of worship can we find in history such courts of inquisition, such national massacres, and such numbers with solemn formality burned alive for a mere difference of opinion? By a menta) thraldom it has degraded the human species and paralysed their industry. Thus the kingdom of
Spain, Spain, which, from its extent, fertility, and situation Chap.
e iii -n/r i« XLVII.
for commerce between the ocean, the Mediterranean, V-p-y-^/ and Straits of Gibraltar, might be the first in Europe, is sunk to insignificance. But the spirit of papal intolerance is broken. The revolution of France has inflicted a mortal wound. Commixed with protestants, and vested with no predominant power, the catholics are as good members of society as any other description of men whatsoever. A more kind-hearted and obliging people than the catholics of Ireland, I am persuaded, can no where be found, and I must confess that I feel for them a strong affection; nor can I entertain a doubt of their inviolable attachment to British government, if they were once fully admitted to an unqualified participation of its benefits.
The enfranchisement of the catholics, a matter ofRes! ation much more importance than seems to be generally^fal£sorn" understood, appears to have been an object with the 1801, leading ministers by whose exertions the union was accomplished, designed for the discussion and decree of the imperial parliament. Finding obstacles insurmountable in their attempts for its attainment, supposed to have arisen from the head of the empire, they resigned their places, and addressed written declarations to the leading catholics, informing them of the impossibility of success at present; of their having resigned in consequence; of their hopes of succeeding ultimately with full advantage by this line of condu6l; of their determination not to embark again in the service of government otherwise than