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discord, consequent upon such a system of legislation, produced their moral effects, and, like the vivid lightning, served to purify the element they disturbed. The political whirlpool has drawn within its vortex every man in Ireland; discussion has been universally provoked ; and the passions have been enlisted in the general conflict. The human intellect has been propelled, vulgar errors corrected, and the spirit of enquiry and investigation has gone abroad.
"To reason upon the political state of his country, has long been the propensity of the Irish peasant; and, from continually thinking upon that subject, he has at length learned to think right. He not only knows his degraded condition, but is well acquainted with the cause. There is not a subject connected with the country, on which he cannot give an accurate opinion; he knows, as well as any man in the Castle, the purpose of every measure of Government, whether it be to enrich a spendthrift nobleman by a job, or coerce the unfortunate peasantry by an Insurrection Act.
'I know my countrymen: I have conversed with them, and have found them practical philosophers. Their sentiments are the pure emanations of acute minds, instructed in the school of nature, and taught by adversity. They are, in consequence, generally correct, and, without any great exertion of thought, are frequently profound. How often have I seen them smile at the abortive efforts of their friends, who endeavor to procure them redress in a constitutional way, while, at the same time, they have told me very pertinently, and very truly, that they expected no concession from Government, until they were able to insist on it !!.”
During this address, Emmett's fine manly countenance glowed with an enthusiastic ardour, and he delivered himself with as much animated fervency as if he were addressing a numerous but distracted assembly, which he wished to persuade. His words flowed with a graceful fluency, and he combined his arguments with all the ease of a man accustomed to abstract discussions.
His amiable and esteemed character gave an elevating influence to the fame of the society of which he was the leader-many of whom, though of equal talents and respectability, were inferior in that fine sensibility of heart, and constancy in friendship, which gained him the love and esteem of all who knew him. Nor
was it only for his bland manners and fine sensibilities of heart, and constancy in friendship, and firmness in principle ; he ranked amongst the highest of its gifted sons, who display its fertile genius and its social spirit, who introduce the name of Ireland to the respect of the world.
Commensurate with his value to relatives and friends, and to his native city, was the appalling sensation that pervaded his country on the occasion of his lamented death. It is not, then, surprisiug that his removal in one unexpected moment from this busy life's vocations, to the oblivious silence of the tomb, should produce, as it did, a general burst of sorrow,
and a common sense of bereavement.
The United Irishmen–The causes which led to the Rebel
lion of '93— An evening with Emmett-Theobald Wolfe Tone—The Union-Its consequences.
More than fifty summers have closed around the United Irishmen since they made Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform the leading measures of their policy. They found all the Catholics of Ireland, the great majority of its population, reduced by the operation of the ferocious penal laws, to the condition of slaves, in all things except being vendable, to the very meanest of their Protestant countrymen. Not only did the British Government embrace every severity that could waste the vigor of the nation ; but all the rights of humanity, and every duty of life, were sacrificed by its direction or connivance; provided only that this sacrifice would promote the self-interest, or gratify the rancor of the favored party.
Thus, there was a law of discovery, by which a man who betrayed the confidence of his friend, if he were Catholic, possessed himself of that friend's estate.
There was a law which disabled the Catho
lic father to be a guardian to his own child, or to educate him.
There was a law which made the disobedience or apostacy of the Catholic child the means whereby to disinherit his father.
There was a law for robbing a Catholic of his horse on the highway, if when interrogated, he confessed his faith.
There was a law to prevent the education of Catholic children, and to punish Catholic teachers as convicts; to banish the Catholic clergy, and to hang them if they returned ; to prevent Catholics from purchasing or inheriting landed estates; from having arms for their defence; to debar them from the profession of the law; to prevent them from holding any office of trust, honor or emolument; voting at elections, or sitting in Parliament.
The United Irishmen found their country under the government of such laws, and of many others, all conceived in the same spirit, and all elaborated with consummate skill to rob, harrass and insult a defenceless people. These statutes, without parallel for inhumanity, were framed against Christians, under pretence of securing the Protestant religion. They were enacted by the Irish Protestants, politica