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it was deemed the most natural and certain committee to examine how far the requests way of securing their allegiance, to infringe of the petitioners may prudently be granted. as little as possible on their laws and man- Now, supposing it to be doubtful whether ners, and to allow to their religious opi- catholics might safely be admitted into the nions, not merely unlimited toleration, but great offices of state, it is perfectly obvious a degree of establishment : and what has that granting the capacity of enjoying all been the consequence ? Has rebellion, or offices, does not confer the possession of even uneasiness, been ever once heard of one ; their actual admission into office would among them ? No, surely ; under every afterwards entirely depend on the pleasure circumstance they have proved affection and discretion of the executive government. ately loyal. And the comparison of this But, again, if this be too large a boon, is case with that of Ireland almost demonstrates the evil apprehended from the influence of that the causes of disaffection should be the clergy so enormous, as to render the sought for elsewhere than in the diffe- admixture of a small proportion of catholic rence of religion, and that catholics will be members in the imperial parliament an good subjects to a protestant government if experiment too dangerous to be attempted ? regarded with confidence, and treated with Why thus terrify ourselves with shadows, liberality.--Another argument of the same and sacrifice justice at the shrine of an irgentleman was, indeed, most wonderful ; rational fear ! But, “ grant all the petiwe were told that catholics cannot safely be tioners ask,” says the hon. attorney general, admitted to the capacity of sitting in par- “. and they will not then be satisfied; why liament, because, in that case, all the Irish. then risk any thing unless you are determembers would instantly be catholic : that mined to go to the full length of establishfinding themselves unable from the com- ing their church and clergy ?" Perhaps, parative paucity of their numbers to carry sir, to grant even this in some degree, any point openly, they would directly form might not be unwise ; it certainly would a compacted junto, and compel the British not be inconsistent, since a college has al. minister to comply with all their demands; ready been endowed for their education : to give them, first, all the patronage of their at any rate, I should think that the additional own country, by which they would be power they would gain by our acceding to enabled to turn the whole strength of it to their present request, would not afford them their own nefarious purposes, and obtain the slightest chance of forcing from us what next, the entire subversion of the establish- farther we might think it unsafe to grant ; ment, civil and ecclesiastical, of the united while, in the mean-time, they would askingdom! Could a more extravagant idea suredly be better satisfied, more amalgahave been engendered by the most dis- mated into the same mass, more disposed tempered imagination ? Not to mention cordially to co-operate in every measure for the libel it implies on these supposed Irish the common defence, in every thing tendmembers, or rather conspirators, and on the ing to promote the general welfare. In a English government; could any minister word, by such a compliance with their wishes, be weak enough so to comply, while he had love and gratitude would be substituted for five hundred and fifty-eight protestant mem- aversion and fear. By introducing some bers remaining, to whom these schemes of Irish catholics into this house, misconcepdestruction might be revealed? If Irishmen tions would be mutually removed, asperities could be found foolish and desperate enough would be gradually softened down.

We to make such an attempt, can it be imagined should come to know each other better, that a minister could have been chosen by and might expect to reap, at a much earlier a protestant king, or tolerated by a protes- period, the advantages of a substantial union, tant parliament, who should hesitate for an intimate and complete.-In maintaining this instant to discover and punish it? But it is cause, sir, I cannot be supposed to be acmere waste of words to contend against such tuated by any predilection for catholics or à chimera ; much of what I have already catholicism as such : I am a protestant dissaid affords also a strong presumption against senter, and possibly at the very farthest disthe existence of such a priestly influence tance from them in religious sentiment, over the mass of the people as is likely to both as to discipline and doctrine; but, firmly produce any considerable mischief. Neither persuaded that every man has a right to enis this the present question, but whether joy and profess his respective opinions, any objection is to be thence deduced against without being therefore subjected either to aeceding to the motion now. before us; reproach or disabilities, I undoubtedly must which, let it be remembered, is only for a I sympathize with them. Beyond this,

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trust, that I have for them a more liberal | the catholic and protestant religion in Irefeeling, as for persons much misrepresented land being done away by this measure, afand unjustly calumniated. My personal ac- forded a chance that the same objections quaintance among their body has not been would not be made to the catholics having extensive, but in those I have known, never a full participation in the British constitution. should I have been able to detect their re- | That speech, many of us knew, made a very ligion by any immorality in their practice deep impression on the minds of the Irish beyond the common frailties of man; and catholics; and, having carefully attended in candour I would desire of their most to all the debates which took place at that strenuous adversaries to say, if they hare time, I could not help observing, that there found their catholic acquaintance deficient was no gentleman in this house who made a in the performance of the relative duties, stand upon that point, or endeavoured to obfaithless in the daily intercourses of life, tain a pledge either way upon it. I was also men not to be trusted on their words, or present in this house, when the right hon. even their oaths. Who, sir, will disgrace gent. was questioned as to his reasons for himself by throwing out such an accusation? resigning, and recollect his having answer-If then, sir, the objections which have ed, that he did so in consequence of being been alleged have no more force than I unable to carry a measure which appeared imagine them to possess ; if the spectres to him essential to the public welfare, dewhich have been conjured up to affright us claring at the same time, that he owed too have no real existence ; if the petitioners much to his royal master to press the subbe men of like passions anu affections with ject on him, and that he should think it ourselves ; if refusal will embitter, and his duty to oppose it, if it came from any

; compliance will soften and attach their other quarter; and this was, I think fair minds; and if at the present moment it be parliamentary ground. At present, though of peculiar importance to bind to us by every I am from principle determined to support tie so large a mass of our fellow subjects; the motion since it has been submitted, I let us endeavour to overcome what may re- must now declare, that I think it wrong in main of prejudice in ourselves or in others, the Roman catholics to bring it forward at and, by proceeding to the farther consi- this moment. I should even support the deration of this most important subject with repeal of the test to the dissenters, if that a temperate and prudent liberality, do our were now the question ; though, undoubte utmost to secure to the empire that union edly, the argument of numbers does not of every hand and every heart, on which apply to them in the same manner as it does our quiet, our prosperity, and perhaps our to the Roman catholics of Ireland, who in very existence may depend.

point of rights, must be acknowledged to Mr. Lee. The question now under be one short of their due proportion. When consideration appears, sir, to me, to be the you consider, that, on the lowest calcugravest and most important that ever was lation, the catholics of Ireland compose debated within the walls of parliament. It three millions out of fire of the inhabitants naturally arises out of the act of union, of that country, and are rapidly increasing and should have been maturely considered in wealth and consequence, you cannot shut before that measure was adopted. I will your eyes to their situation, and your own not assert, that while that plan was in sense must make up your mind to grant agitation, this concession to the catholics at some time what is impossible to be avoidwas expressly stipulated; but I never heard ed. I freely confess, that I have not the it denied, that there was at least an under- least idea of the measure succeeding at prestanding on the subject. Not having the sent, and am very well convinced that the same opinion of the benefits of that project, Roman catholics themselves do not expect as many others seemed to entertain. I had it., In their private conversation, they do some hopes that it might have been arerted, not affect to think that their wishes will be till I observed that these expectations were immediately complied with. They say, that held out by the right hon. gent. who pro- in time it will work its way, by the force of posed this measure, in a speech so replete reason, but tliat they cannot expect the prowith reasoning and eloquence, as would testants at once to throw away those bulhave done honour to the brightest æras of warks which they so carefully raised against Greece or Rome. The right hon. gent. them. The eifect of it is sure, however then said, that the disproportion which be- slowly it may operate. I remember myfore existed between the persons professing self, that when a bill was brought into the

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Irish parliament, for the purpose of indul- stituents were of that persuasion, he could

1 gence to the catholics, there were only be considered as the organ of the catholics ? thirteen members in the house who voted in My hon. friend inay be a very good protes

li favour of it; and yet such was the general tant ; but certainly no very fit representaagitation, and such the strong sensations" tive for the catholics. All the evils appreexcited by its agitation, that the govern- hended from giving them seats in parliament was soon convinced that something ment, are now no more than fanciful and must be done upon it. The country at that chimerical, It was formerly said, if you time was not well governed ; and, towards give the catholics the elective franchise, the the approach of the ensuing session of par- consequence will be that they will vote for liament, when it was expected the measure no member without putting him to a test would again be brought forward, emissaries that he will be obedient to their purposes. were sent down by the administration to But they have since obtained the franchise, procure resolutions and petitions from the and no such tests or other consequences have different county grand juries against it ; been known to happen. 't turned out to and they succeeded. But the catholics ses- be no more than a phantom of distant daning no hope of success when the Irish go- ger, which vanished as you approached it. vernment was against them, came over to All the danger that can happen has already England and petitioned the throne. Every been incurred. You have given suffrages thing was in readiness for opening the ses- to, and put arms into the hands of, persion of the Irish parliament. The speech from 'sons but slightly educated, and most liable the throne was prepared, and every re- ; to entertain the prejudices you are so much sistance to the catholic claims determined afraid of; and refuse privileges to the higher on. But his majesty was graciously pleased orders, whose minds are enlightened, whose to favour the petition, and an alteration for principles are more sound, and who possess the intended speech was transmitted to Ire- the greatest stakes in the country. - My land, with a recommendation in favour of hon. friend has at all times opposed the the catholics. The change of opinion that catholic claims, not as a question of policy, took place was equally violent and sudden. but as a question of religion, and in support These very grand juries in the different of his opinions he goes back to musty recounties who had assembled, and agreed cords and obsolete councils, and the ages of in resolutions against the claims of the ca- ignorance and bigotry. But will any man tholics, in a short time after were them- in his senses seriously compare the opinions selves the first who voted in their favour :- of the catholics of the eleventh with those and thus the grand juries and the parliament of the nineteenth century? Have not the avere disgraced. I remeinber when I was protestants themselves changed their tenets laughed at for saying the catholic claims and opinions with the revolutions of time? must be granted, by many of those persons Are there not new sects of dissenters springwho in a very short time afterwards voted ing up every day? In this age of rapid and in their favour. The Irish parliament, in progressive improvement and cultivation of my opinion, acted on that occasion with the intellect, are we to be gravely told, great prudence, in not granting them the that the catholic mind alone stands still, whole of what they asked for at once ; and and that the people of this day are to be so much inclined am I to this gradual ex-convicted because their ancestors 600 years tension of privileges, that, should the ago were bigots? If so, let me ask again, house go into a committee on the petition, who is the man amongst us who might not I should be averse to granting all their debe equally condemned upon the same prinmands, though I would agree to members ciple? While arts, sciences, and manuof that religion sitting in vetli houses. No factures improve, it would be hard if the man, who values the constitution, can ap- human mind alone, and peculiarly the caprove

of three millions of his fellow sub- tholic mind, remained where it was, and jects being unrepresented in the parlia- that men in this age should be tried by a ment ; but it was very well argued by the few foolish resolutions passed in the counhon, mover of this question, that the ca-cil of Lateran. It has been said, that if the tholic body is not even virtually represented, catholics were once admitted to an equal though the members of it are allowed to participation of rights, their first step would possess the elective franchise. I will even be, to overthrow the protestant government. put it to the learned and hon. gent. near I, however, am so far of a contrary opinion, me (Dr. Duigenan), whether, it his con- that I can never conceive the union of the


two countries, or British connexion, safe, | fittest instrnment for making proselytes. In while three millions of our fellow-subjects England the king had no competitor, and are held in political bondage. The strongest easily diffused his reformation amongst the security you can give to the protestant es people ; in Ireland he possessed but a very tablishment, is to reconcile to it three mil limited authority, and the doctrines he wishlions of your fellow-subjects, who con- ed to enforce were considered as coming ceive that they are unfairly treated. No- fro an enemy at open war with the peothing appears to me so evil, so extravagant, ple, their habits, customs, and prejudices, and so unreasonable, as to suppose you can and therefore were opposed and resisted by: keep such multitudes always quiet, unless them. The impolitic oppression exercised you are determined to redress them. Nor in Ireland was a further obstacle to its prowas there ever any thing more difficult for gress. Henry passed a law prohibiting the you to do, than to legislate for those whom English settlers from intermarrying or fosyou refuse to reconcile, and to whom, ac- tering with the natives. As this word foscordiog to the speech of the hon. member, tering has an application in Ireland diffenever under any circumstances can further rent from what it has here, it may be right concessions be made, nor any change be to explain that it refers to the poorer sort of effected on the protestant mind in their fa- the females suckling the children of the vour. Many persons have expressed their rich, which, in that country, is productive surprise, that although the reformation ex- of a kind of intimate intercourse and contended itself so rapidly in England, it made nexion. It is also to be observed, that it so little and such slow progress in Ireland; was the same parliament of Henry that probut a little reflection will soon resolve this mulgated the reformation, which also passed problem. It is allowed that the same means this prohibiting act, which violated all the have not been used in one country as in manners and customs of the people. In the other, for making the reformation take every respect the proceedings in the two root. We have records and testimonies in countries were so extremely different, that abundance, 'to show that in times com- the reformation was not allowed the same paratively remote, Ireland was conspicuous play in the one that it was in the other. for its civilization and literature ; but the When the king thought proper to shut up reign of Henry VIII., when the reforma- the monasteries, and destroy the monastic tion commenced, was one of the darkest livings in England, he bestowed them, by ages. of that country. There was another grant, upon great landed men of considercause which did not less operate against the able property, who commanded the respect progress of reform.

When the monarch of the people. In Ireland, on the contrary, already mentioned first attempted to extend he bestowed them on English settlers, and it in Ireland, it appeared, from the letter needy adventurers, whose interests were adressed to him on that occasion by the Irish constantly at variance with those of the master of the rolls, that the sovereign's go-people. Though the territory of the government did not extend beyond twenty vernment, as I observed before, extended miles from Dublin, and of course his in- no further than twenty miles from Dublin, fluence was proportionably contracted. It yet bishops and other clergy were sent over, was bad policy to attempt at the same time who never thought of residing on their the conquest and the reformation of the benefices ; and instead of propagating their country ; and yet the reformer travelled with doctrines, had, in fact, no connexion whatthe sword in one hand and the reform in ever with the inhabitants. If the religion the other. It is therefore manifest that the then adopted had been at that early period regular order was inverted; for the king taught in Ireland, it would, no doubt, have should have conquered the country first, had pretty nearly the same effect that it had and endeavoured to convert the inhabitants here; but, in that country, it does not appear afterwards. Here the reformation was pro- that any one ever attempted to teach it; ner pagated by argument and reason. The re- was the protestant religion ever tendered to formers preached to the people in their own the people, except in the form of an act of language ; they listened to the voice of rea- parliament. But if Henry failed in the son, and were in time convinced. In Ire- mode which he adopted for propagating the land the reformed religion was preached in reformation amongst a people who could a language not understood by the natives. not understand a word of the English lanThe method taken was, to propagate it by guage, Queen Elizabeth hit upon a must the sword, which has seldom proved the notable project to remedy the detect ; for, VOL. IV,

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as the native Irish spoke no language but | moved. Upon this subject I made it my their own, and could not understand business to converse with some catholic English, she ordered the Bible to be gentlemen of no small authority, and asked translated for them into Latin, and the them whether they would have any objecchurch service to be performed in that lan- tion to the bishops of their persuasion being guage. It was well said by lord Clare, that nominated by his Majesty instead of the any attempt to force men's consciences only pope? And they all agreed that they could made them hypocrites; and we find that have no objection to it. What I should proforce, instead of argument, was the instru-puse would be, that hereafter, whenever a ment employed in Ireland.

A law was

see became vacant, the other bishops should passed, by which the eldest son of a catholic, assemble, and choose two or more candiwho had a landed estate, might, by turning dates, whom they would recommend to that protestant, dispossess his father. What appointment, and leave the choice of the could be more detestable than this law, person to be determined by the king. Inwhich was so well calculated to revolt the deed I have good reason to believe, ihat, if feelings of the people, by an unnatural power the prayer of the petition was granted, the given to a son to shake off the dominion of Roman catholics would cheerfully give up his parent? This bribe, however, was not that point (A cry of hear! hear! from Mr. confined only to the eldest; but the young- Fox and those members who surrounded est, or any other son, was also, by his con- him), as well as make whatever other version, atforded the bribe of seizing on his reasonable sacrifices the circumstances of the father's estates, and letting it gavel between case may be thought to require ; for I must him and his eldest brother. In this way it maintain, that they can have no right to will be allowed, thai both the king and his seats in parliament, while they continue to parliament took a most irreligious method of take their bishops from the hands of extending their religion, and prepared her reign power. I cannot, however, but think converts for leng good protestants, by first that the catholics would be very well satis: making them bad men. The free tenets of fied with this arrangement, and I make but the protestant religion are of that kind that little doubt that many of the opposers of will always extend themselves with the pro- their emancipation would relax in resistance, gress of civilization; but you took the very and consent to agree to it, upon this condiworst mode of effecting this in Ireland. By tion. To speak plainly, indeed, I should prohibiting the education of Roman catho- wish to ask of the hon. geni. (Mr. Fox), lics at hoine, and excluding them from the who must be in the confidence of these university of Dublin, you have compelled gentlemen, by their selecting him to prethe parents to send their children abroad, to sent their petition, to what extent the cabe educated in foreign countries, where they tholics would go in this respect, and what were, of course, brought up in all the preju- are the points which they would have no dices of the cathoļic religion, or, in other objection to give up? I hope the house will words, of popery. There were also several | bear in mind, that when these Roman caother acts which had a similar, and, per- tholic laws were passed, they were not dihaps, an equal tendency; but I shall not de- rected against the catholics as such, but tain the house by reasoning on them at pre- were laws enacted against popery and slasent. One great and leading objection very; for James II. who was the source of which I have heard stated against the admis- them all, was himself a tyrant and a bigot, sion of catholics into parliament is, that the The laws, therefore, wore a double aspect, pope is allowed to have more power in Ire- as intending to protect the subjects of these land than he is possessed of in other catho- realms against both. As to the prospects lic countries; and by appointing the catho- generally attributed to Roman catholics, for ļic bishops, he maintains that supremacy in the subversion of property in Ireland, I am, the cliurch which of legal right belongs only in my own mind, perfectly convinced that to his Majesty I confess this objection they do not entertain the most distant idea has much weight with me--and I can see no of ever restoring the estates that were conreason why the catholics should not come fiscated from tlieir ancestors. The best prepared to concede some of their prejudices, proof, perhaps, that could be given of this when they call upon us to concede ours. is, that since the Roman catholics of Ireland This, in fact, seems to be the grand obstacle have been allowed the liberty of purchasing to the concessions they wish for; and I am ands, they have almost invariably been som not without sanguine hopes that it may be re- licitous of purchasing those that foreneriy ber

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