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Much of what Mr. S. advances under these heads, with the
prayer at the end, deserves our approbation, and will be perused with satisfaction by all serious Christians. We have only to lament that, to eminent goodness of heart, Mr. Scott does not yet add a greater expansion of sentiment :--but the time may come.
IRELAND, Art. 29. Speech of the Right }10:7. John Foster, Speaker of the House
of Commons of Ireland; delivered in Committee of the whole House, April 11th, 1799. 8vo. 2s.6d. Robinsons.
Mr. Foster's elaborate investigation of a very nice and difficult state problem has engaged much of the public attention; and we, who have already ventured to express our satisfaction with the gene. rál idea of a national Legislative Union of the sister islands, cannot honestly withhold our acknowlegement of not only the literary but the patriotic merit of the present oratorical composition.
Allowing this able statesman to make the most of the ground on which he has chosen to take his stand, and to exert the full force of his eloquence against the proposed measure, it seems to be the general opinion that he has powerfully attacked the principal arguments which have been advanced by Mr. Pitt, in his celebrated speech, Jan. 31*; when he offered to the British House of Commons the resolutions, which he proposed as the basis of an union between Great Britain and Ireland. The Right Hon. Speaker of the Hibernian House of Commons, however, in discussing those resolutions, and weighing in the political balance the importance of this great national question, takes a wide compass indeed, beyond the range of the English Minister's oration. He considers every political and commercial branch of the subject, that has been agitated by the principal advocates for the great expedient, on either side of the water; and he proceeds, with manly confidence in the ample extent of his information and undoubted ability, to make the best use of it, in support of his decided opposition to a plan which he decins pregnant with the most fatal corsequences to his country,
In regard to the state of religion in Ireland, Mr. Foster has, very prudently, chosen to avoid rather than to meet the difficulties which certainly attend that most momentous part of the subject, acknowe leging that it is a topic too delicate for inncirssary discussion : at the same time condemning the imprudence which had brought it for. wards, as if the object were, by rousing animosities, and setting the nation by the ears, to make any change, even that of surrendering its liberty and independence, worth consideration, if not worth trial, I will only observe on it, that Mr. Pitt's language t is of such a nature, that one would imagine he had the two religions on either side
See M. R. March last, p. 342. † This distinguished champion of the independence of the Irishi, such as they now actually possess and enjoy it, is not only occasionally sarcastic, but even severe, in his glances towards the British Premier. We might have quoted some striking passages: but we would rather use vil than vinegar on the present occasion.
of him, and one was not to hear what he said to the other. He tells the Catholics, in his speech, that it is not easy to say what should be the church-establishment in this kingdom, and in his 5th resolution states that the present church-establishment is to be preserved.'
We presume that the Irish opponents of the projected union
House of Peers, April 11, 1799, on the proposed Address to his
Union is a charming word, and the true advocate for it is entitled to esteem. The union which this speech endeavours to promote is honourable to Great Britain : but the great question is, how it can be carried into effect without its appearance in a different light to the sister kingdom? • Few,' says Lord Auckland, at the commencement of his speech, can deny the necessity of some great change being made in the system of Irish government.' The independence with which Ireland has flattered herself has been more imaginary than real ; while this imaginary * independence has been in a great measure the cause of depriving her of the tranquillity, the civilization, and the prosperity, enjoyed by us.
As the object of all the European powers, especially those of the first order, is consolidation, for the purpose of united and powerful operations both of attack and defence, policy calls on us to give an oneness to the British empire, and to consider it no longer as made up of parts, but as a firm, compact, homogeneous whole.
Lord Auckland endeavours to remove the fears and prejudices of the Irish, and to place the subject before them in its true light; persuaded, as he says, that the present resistance to it will give way to the commanding voice of reason and truth.'
Lord A.'s remarks are full of just observation and sound reason. Is it not true, he asks, 'that, whilst Great Britain has gradually advanced in civilization of manners, and in every art, science, and improvement, which can give happiness, honour, and security to nations and to individuals ; Ireland, possessing the same climate, a fruitful soil, excellent ports, and a numerous people, to whom the Common Parent of all gave great acuteness and ingenuity, has nevertheless been at all times involved in comparative disorder, poverty, turbulence, and wretchedness? I might add, without exaggeration, that in the 600 years since the reign of Henry II. there has been more un.
· What in point of fact is the independence of a country which has no means of defence, or security, or self-preservation, but through the aid and protection of its more powerful neighbour?'
happiness in Ireland, than in any other civilized nation, not actually under the visitation of pestilence or of internal war. And all these evils may be traced to the disjointed and jarring action of two unequal powers, closely adjacent to each other, possessing the same interests, and subject to the same crown, but with separate legislatures.'
The noble speaker enters into a variety of statements respecting commerce, which we cannot detail, but which serve to prove the advantages held out to Ireland, and the importance of realizing one constilution, ' having incorporated interests directed by one legig. lature.' Art. 31. The Speech of Lord Mlinto in the House of Peers, April 11,
1799, on a Motion for an Address to liis Majesty to communicate the Resolations of the two Houses of Parliament respecting an Union between Great Britain and Ireland. 8vo. 25. 6d. Stockdaie.
This noble orator, who is also a strong and warm advocate for the union, discusses the subject at great length,--his elaborate and energetic discourse occupying not fewer than 155 very full
His reasoning, and his arrangement of the copious materials collected for this attentive and close investigation, are much to be commended ; and his language is well suited to the immense consequence and dignity of the occasion. We are particularly pleased with his manly avowal of his political principles. I like,' says he, 'to see on my own and my country's liberty the seal of the old Whigs; and am apt enough to think that counterfeit which does not bear this mark.'
With respect to the highly important measure which produced the debate, his Lordship thus concludes his judicious and pertinent observations :- I have satisfied my mind, on the whole matter, that this measure is expedient in itself, and that Parliament is competent to execute it. I have expressed a strong opinion, that the union of the two nations, already united by nature in their interests, must, in the order of human events, necessarily come to pass ; and I shall conclude by a sincere and fervent prayer, dictated by the purest and the most ardent desire for the happiness of both kingdoms, that the blessings sure to flow from a consummation so devoutly to be wished, may not be long delayed.'
Like the author of the “Demonstration," &c. hereafter mentioned, Lord Minto has, in one of tlie various lights in which he has considered the subject of a legislative union between the two islands, treated the general question PRILOSOPHICALLY. His Lordship, like that ingevious author, thus expresses his persuasion of the riecessary event (p. 29): ' I cannot help looking to the union not merely as in advantageous and desirable event, and on that account likely to bring itself about, but as ccrlain ani unavoidable, although I shall take care not to commit my philosophy too rashly, by assi, ning any particular period, whether long or short, for the accomplishment of its predictions.' Art. 32. Three Letters to a Noble Lord, on the projected Legislative
Union of Great Britain and Ireland. By a Nobleman. vo.
This author vindicates and recommends the proposed union, with most commendable calmness and judgment. We do not ienember e er to have perused a more temperate discussion of so important a subject. The able writer circunstantially enters, like Mr. Foster, into the three principal divisions of the question,- viz. the inflence of illis grcat ineasure on the Legislation, the Cominerce, and the Religion of the sister country; and his arguments certainly merit the attention of all parties. He differs, totally, on many of the leading points and conclusions, from Mr. Foster; whom, however, he names but once; and then he proves his candor, by the respect with which he mentions that great leader of the Anti-Unionists.
Whether the author of these letters really belongs to that supetior class of our fellow-subjects in which he has ranked himself in his title-page, it is impossible for us to say: we have therefore only to add, that he writes in the character of a native of Ireland. Art. 33. Union or Separation. By R. Farrell. 8vo. Dub
This sensible and seasonable pamphlet seems to have been well. calculated to remove the prejudiccs of those of the Irish people, who are averse from the projected union : a measure, the absolute necessity of which he plainly deduces, in a style of reasoning and language happily adapted to cominon understandings, from the wretched coildition of the country under the present system.'— The terms of the union, he conceives, may hurt the pride and feelings of his countrymen, and prove especially repugnant to their ideas (delusive ideas!) of independency; but, argnes he, let us, of two evils, “ chuse the least." This is his motto; and we think that, concise as it is, it powerfully aids his reasoning. With equal decision and brevity, he adds, in his conclusion, “ we may be better, we cannot be woi se.” Art. 34. Essays on the political Circumstances of Ireland. Written
during the Administration of Earl Camden. With an Appendix, containing Thoughts on the Will of the People. And a Postscript, now first published. By Alexander Knox, Esq. 8vo. pp. 240. 58. Doards. Chapple.
The author professes to have userl, in these essays, dispassionate argument; and that it was by no means his wish to indulge in unqualified censure or acrimonious severity towards political agitators. • I would (says he) much rather convince than exasperate them; and I should be sorry to excite the detestation of others against them, if I could only hope that they themselves would be led to regret their misconduct, and to open their bosoms to “ the compunctious visitings of nature.” Notwithstanding these expressions of forbearanct, the author, in the very same paragraphi, accuses them of being guilty beyond what words can express; and, instead of the temperance and spirit of conciliation of which he had tauclit us to expect an appearance at least, we mect with a continued series of acrimonious and exulting reproach. The position principally maintained is, 'that, notwithstanding all that may be alledged hy men lost alike to truth and to humanity, no fact can be more established than that the society of L'nited Irishmen, from the first moment of its institution, has been, with respect to its leading inembers, a baud of systematic traitors; that no possible means would have been adequate to their suppression but the most unremitting coercion.'
The latter essays contain Thoughts on the Will of the People. These thoughts are little more than contemptuous expressions. Of the public will, or will of the people, the author says, we are sometimes told, that law is or ought to be the expression ; of this, it has been said, that the Legislature should be the organ,' &c.
The principle that the general or public will is the only legitimate source of law, the author denies, and claims the merit of disproving, Mr. Knox has chosen, in this dissertation, to assume that the general will is the will of a mob. • Let us,' he says, 'suppose the people, a mixed multitude, set completely free from every restraint wiich had been imposed upon them by the habits and customs of regular society, the gradations of rank, the institutions of civil polity, and the autho. sity of government, and in a situation not only to pronounce their will, but, wien pronounced, to enforce it.' From the sequel, it is evident tha: Mr. K. has not deceived himself into a belief that, in such a situation, the will of a nation could be expressed ; for, in the same page, lie declares that in no state of society would freedom of specch be more completely annihilated. He nevertheless proceeds, arguing on this as being the empire of the public will.
In a preface, we are told that most of these essays were originally written · for insertion in news papers, or for circulation in the form of hand-bills ;' and that they are now republished in order to the present restoration of tranquillity, and for the purpose of future in. formation and instruction. We are of opinion that neither the subjects, nor the manner in which the author has treated them, are well adapted to answer the purposes professed ; and that the perusal of this publication will afford little either of pleasure or of instruction to readers of a liberal and temperate disposition. Art. 35. Considerations upon the State of Pullic Affairs in the Year 1799. IRELAND.
8vo. 25. Rivingtons. When we inform our readers that these Considerations respecting Ireland are from the same pen which produced the “ Considerations on the State of Public Affairs in France,” noticed in our Review, N.S. vol. xxv. p. 456. some expectations will naturally be excited in their favour; and by a perusal of them it is probable that these expectations will not, in any respect, be disappointed. The author possesses the first requisite for good writing, a thorough knowlege of his subject. Those who wish to see the expediency of the proposed incorporation of Ireland placed in a luminous point of view would do well to peruse this pamphlet, which contains strong facts and sound reasoning, a lucid arrangement and an elegant and spirited style; arising from that liberal and expansive contemplation of the subject, which mounts above and despises all the mean barriers of party'; winging a strait course to the public good. It may not be prudent for a man in a public or ostensible situation, to speak so plainly and without com. pliinent, as our author does : but he conceives that from the calm and privacy of the closet,' he may safely speak out, and deliver the truth without the necessity of using varnish and false colouring. Q?