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Impression which it produced, and debate. 103 volunteers whom he applauded for every part of their conduct, the present alone excepted. Some speeches followed in a similar tone, but the minds of men soon became too heated to permit any regular debate whatever. It was uproar, it was clamour, violent menace and furious recrimina
occasion, that calls forth their displeasure against the constitution, and what is our present situation ? Blessed with a free trade, and a free constitution, our peers restored to their rights and to their lawful authority, our judges rendered independens the manacles fallen from our commons, all foreign controul abolished; we take our rank among nations as a free state : and is this a time to alter that constitution, which has endured so many storms, and risen superiors to all oppression ? Will the armed associations, wise as they may be, be able to form a better though they reject this? Before they have for a single session entered into the enjoyment of it, like children they throw away the bauble for which with all the eagerness of an infantine caprice, they have struggled; or, like sper:dthrifts they would make away with their inheritance before they enter into possession of it. But, I will say to the volunteers, you shall not throw from you the blessings you may possess under your happy constitution: cultivate your own prosperity, and enjoy the fruits of your own virtue, beat your swords into ploughshares, return to your different occupations, leave the business of legislation in those hands where the laws have placed it; and where you have had ample proof it will be used for the advantage of the country. But, Sir, it is in vain on the part of the convention to disclaim their intent of over, awing the parliament: nay, I am told their session is not yet prorogued, and perhaps they may meet on Monday, to reverse the opinion which this house may give this night. Sir, I call : upon the house lo assert their spirit, and vindicate their rights, Į shall call upon them in the words of a great man, - Expergiscimini aliquando et capessite rem,'”.
tion! If ever a popular assembly wore the appear ance of a wild and tumultuous ocean, it was on this occasion; at certain, and those very short intervals, there was something like a calm, when the dignity of parliament, the necessity of supporting the constitution and danger of any military assembly, was justly and feelingly expatiated upon. The sad state of the representation, was with equal truth, depicted on the other side *. A denial of volunteer interference and the neces sity of amending the representation, whether volunteers existed or not, was, in the first instance, made with very imperfect sincerity, and, in the Jatter, with genuine candour. To this again succeeded tumult and confusion, mingled with the sad and angry voices of many who, allied to boroughs, railed at the volunteers like slaves, not gentlemen, and pretended to uphold the constitution, whilst they were in truth, appalled at the light
* Flood, in the course of his reply to the attorney general who had called upon him for an explicit avoval of his plan, said, “ he was ready to explain it, and refute all exceptions on the ground of reason and argument. As, in this house, votes go by tale, and not by weight; and as the vote of the meanest wretch that ever disgraced the walls of parliament, though representing the most venal borough, tells 'for as much as the most illustrious character representing the first courity in the kingdom, the people wish to correct the ill effects of this by opening the boroughs, and giving them an opportunity of being virtuous.” In the course of his speech he denied any volunteer influence, but maintained that the volunteers, though armed, had not forfeited their franchises as citizens. i
Triumph of government. 105 that now began, as their terror suggested, to pervade their ancient and ambiguous property. But the imprudence of the volunteers was of more service to such men than all their array of servile hostility; on that night at least it proved their best safeguard, and placed them, not within the shadowy uncertain confines of a depopulated borough, where they could find no safety, but under the walls of the constitution itself. The tempest (for towards morning, debate there was almost none) at last ceased; the question was put, and carried, of course, in favour of government, their numbers 159, those of the opposition 77."
Thus far we have borrowed the animated and elegant pen of Mr. Hardy; but we suspect that he is wrong in the account he has given of the division. Both Mr. Plowden, and Mr. Gordon, state the numbers to have been
For receiving the bill 49.
Against it ............... 158,
No sooner was this triumph obtained, than the attorney general moved the following resolutions:
" Resolved, That it is now become necessary to declare that this house will maintain its just rights and privileges against all encroachments whatsoever."
Ayes 150—Noes 68. ľ Immediately afterwards, Mr. Conolly made the following motion which was carried unanimously.
" Resolved, That an humble address be pree sented to his majesty, to declare the perfect satisfaction which we feel in the many blessings we enjoy under his majesty's most auspicious government, and our present happy constitution; and that at this time we find it peculiarly incumbent upon us, to express our determined resolution to support the same with our lives and fortunes.”—This address was carried to the lords, and immediately agreed to; and thus terminated this memorable question, agitated under the most peculiar circuin. stances, and conducted with a degree of license and tumult, which only an Irish house of commons could have tolerated.
Let us now return to the convention. The first serious blow which the importance and respectability of the volunteer body received, was from their conduct on this occasion. They accomplished for themselves, and by their own seditious proceedings, what all the artifices, or all the force of Government, would have failed in producing All the respectable, and sober-minded, and important part of the community immediately segregated from them, and they became the instrument, feeble, but malign, of every demagogue who had audacity and talent to venture upon directing them. Reverting, however, to their situation during the proceedings in parliament upon Flood's motion. They sat for two hours or more, but receiving no intelligence from Flood, Lord Charle
Lord Charlemont's temperate conduct. 107 mont, who suspected what had taken place, and who feared any intemperate conduct on the part of the delegates, prevailed upon them to adjourn till Monday. On the next day, the patriotic earl had a meeting of his particular friends at Charlemont house, who unanimously agreed that the public peace should be the first object of their attention. Many delegates, also, communicated to Lord Charlemont, in the course of the day, that they' were prepared to follow him in any measure he should propose. Thus fortified, he took the chair at an early hour on the Monday morning. A sullen, gloomy, and ominous silence for sometime prevailed, at length a delegate arose and inveiględ in warm terms against the house of commons. This was precisely what his lordship expected: and he was resolved at all hazards, to put up a stop to it. He called the delegate to order, and said " That one of the wisest usages in parliament was, never to take notice in one house of what was said in another. The observance of such a rule, he then begged particularly to recommend to the convention.” This temperate appeal was effectual, though many individuals afterwards attempted to speak. All was not done however. It was necessary to convince the delegates that the original object of their meeting was by no means abandoned, in consequence of what had passed in parliament, and that the great question of parliamentary reform should