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speaker, with high intellect to master and employ knowledge, with imagination and feelings to sway the passions and command the heart ; with the power of incessant labour to collect, discipline, and perfect the valued materials of a revolutionary measure, he was eminently calculated for the task which he had undertaken. And, had success depended upon the worth and the virtues of one man, Emmet would now have been hailed as the liberator of his country.
Early impressions are always the most lasting. Emmet had his young mind filled with a detestation of tyranny and injustice at an early age, by the virtue and patriotism of his private tutor, the Rev. Mr. Lewes, who, though a minister of the Established Church, was yet an enemy to its monopolizing power and persecuting spirit towards his Catholic fellow-subjects.
At the age of sixteen he entered Trinity College. Here his progress in classical and mathematical knowledge soon gained him honour and reputation. But his heated spirit had been worked up by the political enthusiasm in which he had been early initiated. At the Historical Society, of which he was a member, he expressed his sentiments so freely on English influence in Ireland, that he came under the suspicions of Lord Chancellor Clare, who ultimately expelled him from College, for denouncing, in a speech he made, the English form of government, and advocating that of a republic.
He had been sufficiently unguarded in his conduct, while the disturbances of '98 existed, to become an object of the vigilance of govern
ment, and had found it prudent to reside abroad so long as the habeas corpus act was suspended. He fled to the Continent, where an active correspondence was set on foot by the French government. Emmet, with the chiefs of the preceding Irish Rebellion were summoned to Paris. Consultations were held with them, and the organization of another revolution was commenced and prosecuted with increasing diligence. Nor was the then ruler of France, (Buonaparte) inattentive, or remiss to forward, by every means, in his power, the project. To Emmet was delegated the office of director and mover of this new attempt upon the British dominion in Ireland.
On the expiration of the habeas corpus act, he returned to Dublin, but thought it prudent, for the forwarding of the revolution, to live privately. He took obscure lodgings at Harold's Cross, under the assumed name of Hewit. Here he held his meetings with his associates. These people hailed with transport the oppportunity of recommencing another attempt on subverting British power in Ireland ! and while some spread themselves over the country in every direction, others fixed themselves in the metropolis.
During the first four months after Emmet's arrival, nothing of his machinations transpired. Soon after the King's Proclamation, on the 8th of March, conceiving the moment of national alarm at the renovation of hosilities, and a threatened invasion, favourable to his projects, he became more active in his preparations. The whole of his family portion, which consisted of two thousand five hundred pounds, he devoted to his enthusiasm. In the beginning of April, he quitted his lodgings at Harold's Cross, with the name of Hewit, and in the new name of Ellis he took the lease of a house, for which he paid a fine of sixty-one guineas, in Butterfield Lane, near Rathfarnham. Here he harangued his associates, and encouraged them by hopes of a happy result to their labours.
Liberty,' said he, 'is the child of oppression, and the birth of the offspring is the death of the parent; while tyranny, like the poetical desert bird, is consumed in flames ignited by itself, and its whole existence is spent in providing the means of self-destruction. We have a complete exemplification of this in the past history and present state of Ireland, where. increase of numbers and increase of intelligence, have been the direct result of that system which too long has ruled this kingdom.
The relentless oppression of the English Government forced the people into habits of temperance-necessity made them abstemious, and time reconciled them to their wholesome esculent, which providentially came, like the manna of the desert, to feed the sojourners in the land of their fathers.
When nature is easily satisfied, and the necessaries of life procured with little labour and care, increase of population will follow: because parents, who are contented with their own condition, will feel no uneasiness for their offspring, who can, without any difficulty, procure a situation similar to their own. Emigras tion from such a country was not to be expected; for men whose modified wants were amply satisfied at home, had no need to seek elsewhere for wealth they did not desire, or distinctions they did not value. Besides, Ireland has always had peculiar attractions in retaining her children: a Scotchman loves a Scotchman, but an Hibernian loves the green fields of his youth and to enjoy these there are few privations to which he will not cheerfully submit. The eccentric humour, the boisterous mirth, the kind and social intercourse, that characterize the peasantry, likewise spread their charms, and generally succeeded in subduing the aspiring notions of adventurers, and helped to retain the people at home. When to these were added the allurements of a more tender kind, and when no restraint was placed upon the natural instinct of man, we must not wonder that Ireland is blessed with a population without a parallel in Europe.
“The base and cowardly conduct of the Irish proprietors in deserting the country, though at the moment a grievance, was abolutely productive of good. Their large domains were parcelled out to humble cottages; farms were divided and subdivided; cabins every where raisred their unostentations roofs; and every floor was blessed with a numerous progeny.
• Ireland has been forced into agriculture ;* * AGRICULTURE.—The mother and nurse of a military population, Ireland has been forced into this. It was thought that she had sunk under the arbitrary tyranny of British monopoly. Let the proud Briton regale
and this still farther tends to increase the population, and to give her that political impor.. tance she never could have acquired if the people had been immured in mineral dungeons, or confined to the fetid vapours of a manufacturing bastile. Rural labour is not more conducive to the health of the body, than it is beneficial to the exercise of the mind; and we always find the agriculturist superior to the mechanic not only in physical strength, but in moral energy. The one is a natural soldier, who commands respect, and exacts consideration ; while the other is a mere animated machine, whose ideas serve but as internal wheels to keep his hands in motion. His frame is distorted, his mind crippled, and his courage annihilated : but the agriculturist is a man such as nature intended-fearless, active and resolute; the air he breathes ensures him health ; the ground he tills supplies him with sustenance; and his occupations make him moral, hardy, and brave. This is the copy of a million portraits, and they are all found in Ireland.
"The aspirations of civilized man after freedom are coeval with his existence. His rights, like the mountain torrent, may be diverted from their original channel, but cannot be effectually impeded in their course. Dams may be raised
himself in the wholesome air of mines and workshops, and become ossified in the strengthening attitudes of monotonous labour; while the degraded Irishman draws health and number, and fierceness and force, and becomes too nimble to be caught by his crippled ownerg. who hobbles after and threatens with his crutch.'