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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 by 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, and 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 her 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 Ouseley to Ispahan, Lord Stuart to Vienna, Lord Castlereagh to Congress, Sir Henry Wellesley to Madrid, Mr. Canning to Lisbon, Lord Strangford to the Brazils, Lord Clancarty to Holland, Lord Wellington to Paris—all Irishmen! Whether it results from accident or from merit, can there be a more
cutting sarcasm on the policy of England! Is it not directly saying to her, “ Here is a country from one-fifth of whose people you depute the agents of your most august delegation, the remaining four-fifths of which, by your odious bigotry, you incapacitate from any station of office or of trust !”
It is adding all that is weak in impolicy to all that is wicked in ingratitude. What is her apology? Will she pretend that the Deity imitates her injustice, and incapacitates the intellect as she has done the creed? After making Providence a pretence for her code, will she also make it a party to her crime, and arraign the universal spirit of partiality in his dispensations ? Is she not content with Him as a Protestant God, unless He also consents to become a Catholic demon? But, if the charge were true, if the Irish Catholic were imbruted and debased, Ireland's conviction would be England's crime, and your answer to the bigot's charge should be the bigot's conduct. What, then! is this the result of six centuries of your government? Is this the connexion which you called a benefit to Ireland ? Have your protecting laws so debased them, that the very privilege of reason is worthless in their possession ? Shame! oh, shame! to the government where the people are barbarous! The day is not distant when they made the education of a Catholic a crime, and yet they arraign the Catholic for ignorance! The day is not distant when they proclaimed the celebration of the Catholic worship a felony, and yet they complain that the
Catholic is not moral! What folly! Is it to be expected that the people are to emerge in a moment from the stupor of a protracted degradation ? There is not perhaps to be traced upon
map of national misfortune a spot so truly and so tediously deplorable as Ireland.
Other lands, no doubt, have had their calamities. To the horrors of revolution, the miseries of despotism, the scourges of anarchy, they have in their turns been subject. But it has been only in their turns; the visitations of wo, though severe, have not been eternal; the hour of probation, or of punishment, has passed away; and the tempest, after having emptied the vial of its wrath, has given place to the serenity of the calm and of the sunshine. Has this been the case with respect to our miserable country? Is there, save in the visionary world of tradition-is there in the progress, either of record or recollection, one verdant spot in the desert of our annals where patriotism can find repose or philanthropy refreshment? Oh, indeed, posterity will pause with wonder on the melancholy page which shall portray the story of a people amongst whom the policy of man has waged an eternal warfare with the providence of God, blighting into deformity all that was beauteous, and into famine all that was abundant. I repeat, however, the charge to be false. The Catholic mind in Ireland has made advances scarcely to be hoped in the short interval of its partial emancipation. But what encouragement has the Catholic parent to educate his offspring ?
Suppose he sends his son, the hope of his pride and the wealth of his heart, into the army;
the child justifies his parental anticipation; he is moral in his habits, he is strict in his discipline, he is daring in the field, and temperate at the board, and patient in the camp; the first in the charge, the last in the retreat; with an hand to achieve, and an head to guide, and a temper to conciliate; he combines the skill of Wellington with the clemency of Cæsar and the courage of Turenneyet he can never rise—he is a Catholic!—Take another instance. Suppose him at the bar. He has spent his nights at the lamp, and his days in the forum ; the rose has withered from his cheek mid the drudgery of form; the spirit has fainted in his heart mid the analysis of crime; he has foregone the pleasures of his youth, and the associates of his heart, and all the fairy enchantments in which fancy may have wrapped him. Alas! for what? Though genius flashed from his
and eloquence rolled from his lips; though he spoke with the tongue of Tully, and argued with the learning of Coke, and thought with the purity of Fletcher, he can never rise-he is a Catholic! Merciful God! what a state of society is this in which thy worship is interposed as a disqualification upon thy Providence! Behold, in a word, the effects of the code against which you petition ; it disheartens exertion, it disqualifies merit, it debilitates the state, it degrades the Godhead, it disobeys Christianity, it makes religion an article of traffic, and its founder a monopoly; and for
ages it has reduced a country, ' blessed with every beauty of nature and every bounty of Providence, to a state unparalleled under any constitution professing to be free, or any government pretending to be civilized. To justify this enormity, there is now no argument. Now is the time to concede with dignity that which was never denied without injustice. Who can tell how soon we may require all the zeal of our united population to secure our very existence? Who can argue upon the continuance of this calm ? Have we not seen the labour of ages overthrown, and the whim of a day erected on its ruins; establishments the most solid withering at a word, and visions the most whimsical realized at a wish; crowns crumbled, discords confederated, kings become vagabonds, and vagabonds made kings at the capricious phrenży of a village adventurer?
Have we not seen the whole political and moral world shaking as with an earthquake, and shapes the most fantastic and formidable and frightful heaved into life by the quiverings of the convulsion? The storm has passed over us; England has survived it; if she is wise, her present prosperity will be but the handmaid to her justice; if she is pious, the peril she has escaped will be but the herald of her expiation. Thus much have I said in the way of argument to the enemies of your question. Let me offer an humble opinion to its friends. The first and almost the sole request which an advocate would make to you is, to remain united; rely