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losophy, and sending its aliens to take possession of your birthright. I have given you a good reason for urging your discussion, by having shown you that discussion has always gained you proselytes. But is it the time ? says Mr. Grattan. Yes, Sir, it is the time, peculiarly the time, unless indeed the great question of Irish liberty is to be reserved as a weapon in the hands of a party to wield against the weakness of the British minister. But why should I delude you by talking about time! Oh! there will never be a time with BIGOTRY! She has no head, and cannot think ; she has no heart, and cannot feel; when she moves, it is in wrath ; when she pauses, it is amid ruin ; her prayers are curses, her communion is death, her vengeance is eternity, her decalogue is written in the blood of her victims; and if she stoops for a moment from her infernal flight, it is upon some kindred rock to whet her vulture fang for keener rapine, and replume her wing for a more sanguinary desolation ! I appeal from this infernal, grave-stalled fury, I appeal to the good sense, to the policy, to the gratitude of England; and I make my appeal peculiarly at this moment, when all the illustrious potentates of Europe are assembled to gether in the British capital, to hold the great festival of universal peace and universal emancipation. Perhaps when France, flushed with success, fired by ambition, and infuriated by enmity; her avowed aim and universal conquest, her means the confederated resources of the Continent, her guide the greatest military genius a nation fertile in prodigies has produced—a man who seemed born to invest what had been regular, to defile what had been venerable, to crush what had been established, and to create, as if by a magic impulse, a fairy world, peopled by the paupers he had commanded into kings, and based by the thrones he had crumbled in his caprices—perhaps when such a power, so led, so organised, and so incited, was in its noon of triumph, the timid might tremble even at the charge that would save, or the concession that would strengthen.-But now,-her allies faithless, her conquests despoiled, her territory dismembered, her legions defeated, her leader dethroned, and her reigning prince our ally by treaty, our debtor by gratitude, and our alienable friend by every solemn obligation of civilized society,--the objection is our strength, and the obstacle our battlement. Perhaps when the Pope was in the power of our enemy, however slender the pretext, bigotry might have rested on it. The inference was false as to Ireland, and it was ungenerous as to Rome. The Irish Catholic, firm in his faith, bows to the Pontiff's spiritual supremacy, but he would spurn the Pontiff's temporal interference. If, with the spirit of an earthly domination, he were to issue tomorrow his despotic mandate, Catholic Ireland with one voice would answer him: “Sire, we bow with reverence to your spiritual mission : the descendant of Saint Peter, we freely acknow ledge you the head of our church, and the organ of our creed: but, Sire, if we have a church, we cannot forget that we also have a country; and when you attempt to convert your mitre into a crown, and your crozier into a sceptre, you degrade the majesty of your high delegation, and grossly miscalculate upon our acquiescence. No foreign power shall regulate the allegiance which we owe to our sovereign; it was the fault of our fathers that one Pope forged our fetters; it will be our own, if we allow them to be riveted by another.” Such would be the answer of universal Ireland; such was her answer to the audacious menial, who dared to dictate her unconditional submission to an act of Parliament which emancipated by penalties, and redressed by insult. But, Sir, it never would have entered into the contemplation of the Pope to have assumed such an authority. His character was a sufficient shield against the imputation, and his policy must have taught him, that, in grasping at the shadow of a temporal power, he should but risk the reality of his ecclesiastical supremacy. Thus was Parliament doubly guarded against a foreign usurpation. The people upon whom it was to act deprecate its authority, and the power to which it was imputed abhors its ambition; the Pope would not exert it if he could, and the people would not obey it if he did. Just precisely upon the same foundation rested the aspersions which were cast upon your creed. How did experience justify them? Did Lord Wel. lington find that religious faith made any difference amid the thunder of the battle? Did the Spanish soldier desert his colours because his General believed not in the real presence ? Did the brave Portuguese neglect his orders to negotiate about mysteries? Or what comparison did the hero draw between the policy of England and the piety of Spain, when at one moment be led the heterodox legions to victory, and the very next was obliged to fly from his own native flag, waving defiance on the walls of Borgos, where the Irish exile planted and sustained it? What must he have felt when in a foreign land he was obliged to command brother against brother, to raise the sword of blood, and drown the cries of nature with the artillery of death? What were the sensations of our hapless exiles, when they recognized the features of their long-lost country? when they heard the accents of the tongue they loved, or caught the cadence of the simple melody which once lulled them to sleep within a mother's arms, and cheered the darling circle they must behold no more? Alas, how the poor banished heart delights in the memory that song associates! He heard it in happier days, when the parents he adored, the maid he loved, the friends of his soul, and the green fields of his infancy were round him; when his labours were illumined with the sun-shine of the heart, and his humble hut was a palace—for it was HOME. His soul is full, his eye suf
. fused, he bends from the battlements to catch the cadence, when his death-shot, sped by a brother's hand, lays him in bis gravethe victim of a code calling itself Christian! Who shall say, heart-rending as it is, this picture is from fancy? Has it not occurred in Spain? May it not, at this instant, be acting in America ? Is there any country in the universe in which these brave exiles of a barbarous bigotry are not to be found refuting the calumnies that banished and rewarding the hospitality that received them ? Yet England, enlightened England, who sees them in every field of the old world and the new, defending the various flags of every faith, supports the injustice of her exclusive constitution, by branding upon them the ungenerous accusation of an exclusive creed! England, the ally of Catholic Portugal, the ally of Catholic Spain, the ally of Catholic France, the Friend of the Pope! England, who seated a Catholic bigot in Madrid ! who convoyed a Catholic Braganza to the Brazils! who enthroned a Catholic Bourbon in Paris ! who guaranteed a Catholic establishment in Canada! who gave a constitution to Catholic Hanover ! England, who searches the globe for Catholic grievances to redress, and Catholic Princes to restore, will not trust the Catholic at home, who spends his blood and treasure in her service! Is this generous ? Is this consistent ? Is it just ? Is it even politic? Is it the act of a wise country to fetter the energies of an entire population ? Is it the act of a Christian country to do it in the name of God? Is it politic in a government to degrade part of the body by which it is supported, or pious to make PROVIDENCE a party to their degradation? There are societies in England for discountenancing vice; there are Christian associations for distributing the Bible; there are voluntary missions for converting the heathen : but Ireland, the seat of their government, the stay of their empire, their associate by all the ties of nature and of interest, how has she benefited by the gospel of which they boast? Has the sweet spirit of Christianity appeared on our plains in the character of her precepts, breathing the air and robed in the beauties of the world to which she would lead us; with no argument but love, no look but peace, no wealth but piety; her creed comprehensive as the arch of heaven, and her charities bounded but by the circle of creation ? Or, has she been let loose amongst us, in form of fury, and in act of demon, her heart festered with the fires of hell, her hands clotted with the gore of earth, withering alike in her repose and in her progress, her path apparent by the print of blood, and her pause denoted by the expanse of desolation ? Gospel of Heaven! is this thy herald? God of the universe ! is this thy hand-maid? Christian of the ascendancy ! how would you answer the disbelieving infidel, if he asked you, should he estimate the Christian doctrine by the Christian practice; if he dwelt upon those periods when the human victim writhed upon the altar of the peaceful Jesus, and the cross, crimsoned with his blood, became little better than a stake to the sacrifice of his votaries; if he pointed to Ireland, where the word of peace was the war-whoop of destruction; where the son was bribed against the father, and the plunder of the parent's property was made a bounty on the recantation of the parent's creed; where the march of the human mind was stayed in his name who had inspired it with reason, and any effort to liberate a fellow-creature from his intellectual bondage was sure to be recompensed by the dungeon or the scaffold; where ignorance was so long a legislative command, and piety legislative crime; where religion was placed as a barrier between the sexes, and the intercourse of nature was pronounced felony by law; where God's worship was an act of stealth, and his ministers sought amongst the savages of the woods that sanctuary which a nominal civilization had denied them; where at this instant conscience is made to blast every hope of genius, and every energy of ambition; and the Catholic who would rise to any station of trust, must, in the face of his country, deny the
faith of his fathers; where the preferments of earth are only to be obtained by the forfeiture of Heaven?
Unprized are her sons till they learn to betray,
Must be caught from the pile where their country expires!" How, let me ask, how would the Christian zealot droop beneath this catalogue of Christian qualifications ? But, thus it is, when sectarians differ on account of mysteries; in the heat and acrimony of the causeless contest, religion, the glory of one world, and the guide of another, drists from the splendid circle in which she shone, in the comet-maze of uncertainty and error. The code, against which you petition, is a vile compound of impiety and impolicy: impiety, because it debases in the name of God; impolicy, because it disqualifies under pretence of government. If we are to argue from the services of Protestant Ireland, to the losses sustained by the bondage of Catholic Ireland, and I do not see why we should not, the state which continues such a system is guilty of little less than a political suicide. It matters little where the Protestant Irishman has been employed; whether with Burke, wielding the senate with his eloquence; with Castlereagh, guiding the cabinet with his counsels; with Barry, enriching the arts by his pencil ; with Swift, adorning literature by his genius; with Goldsmith or with Moore, softening the heart by their melody; or with Wellington, chaining victory at his car, he may boldly challenge the competition of the world. Oppressed and impoverished as our country is, every muse has cheered, every art adorned, and every conquest crowned her. Plundered, she was not poor, for her character enriched; attainted, she was not titleless, for her services ennobled; literally outlawed into eminence, and fettered into fame, the fields of ber exile were immortalized by her deeds, and the links of her chain became decorated by her laurels. Is this fancy, or is it fact? Is there a department in the state in which Irish genius does not possess a predominance ? Is there a conquest which it does not achieve, or a dignity which it does not adorn? At this instant, is there a country in the world to which England has not deputed an Irishman as her representative? She has sent Lord Moira to India, Sir Gore Ousely to Ispahan, Lord Stuart to Vienna, Lord Castlereagh to Congress, Sir Henry Wellesly to Madrid, Mr. Canning to Lisbon, Lord Strangford to the Brazils, Lord Clancarty to Holland, Lord Wellington to Paris