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of doctrine as you cannot follow them with a safe conscience, but you must cast off your loyalty to your king."
What is this sufficiently to be dreaded “ Catholic Association” at this moment doing, less than overawing the legislature, and thus establishing Imperium in imperio, which is the bane and curse of any country? And if it does not intimidate, or operate on our parliament, yet, like Lady Macbeth's “ well-drugged possets,” it will make the Irish “ bold;" and Heaven knows, their hot unlameable spirits do not need much to inflame into open rebellion : and nothing is more likely than, by the pope's bull of indiction, appointing this same portentous year, 1825, a year of jubilee, and of free pardon for all offences, the Irish Roman Catholics will thereby consider themselves to be completely SOLUTI LEGIBUS! Can a lawyer, for a moment, doubt that such associations, which it only requires to be connected with some overt act to constitute a complete treason, are not against the common law; or would he, for a moment, find himself in any difficulty to frame an indictment for the misdemeanor, which would meet so great and so dangerous an offence as this is, at the present conjuncture, to those deluded persons who thus daily meet in conclave, “ with hearts open and doors locked ?". If they succeed, it is a revolution ; if they fail, I augur that their lives must answer it. But, I trust that, even for the sake of the tranquillity of Ireland herself, these two mighty engines of power, “ The Catholic Rent” and “ The Catholic Association," will be both put down by parliament; and that Ireland will at last resign “ the hope deferred, that maketh the heart sick," and relinquish the fond idea of her being separated from, and independent of, England altogether.
Let any dispassionate beholder look calmly on this “ bright refulgent star, the pride and glory of the western hemisphere, this fair Emerald Isle," and mark well the genius, manners, and habits of the main body of the lower orders of the Roman Catholic population, and will he not shudder at the scenes of horror which will be unfolded to his aching sight ?- Not mere insulated casual instances of personal vengeance by the sacrifice of a single life, but the indiscriminate murder of a whole house, “ wife, servants, children, all that could be found ;" whole villages sacked and burned ; the women violated; the husbands, brothers, and fathers murdered for their resistance, in the vain struggle to prevent these daughters of affliction from undergoing the mingled anguish of their twofold destruction : and all this only followed by the undisturbed quiet of extermination, by the awful stillness of ruin and desolation " Atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant!"
To enumerate the long list of Irish murders and proscriptions, ravishments, plunderings, and burnings of houses, and massacres
of whole families and their kindred, would be endless; to investigate the motive, almost needless. If a mail was to be intercepted, to prevent the interchange of communication to and from govern, ment, the indiscriminate massacre of coachman, guard, and passengers, was the unargued sine qua non of such an Irish-heroic euterprise :-if, in evil hour, a Protestant farmer was induced to take The farm out of the hands of a Roman Catholic who had laid waste, in careless, ruinous husbandry, the farm of his landlord, and moreover, paid not a shilling of rent for years, in common occurrence it would cost him his life, and that of all his household. And this dreadful instance of Roman Catholic vengeance, not put in execu, tion by the unprincipled, dishonest, out-going tenant, in revenge, but by the whole neighborhood of barbarous Catholic ruffians, collected together in union of purpose, and of undisturbed resolution to fulfil that purpose !
Can such things be,
Without our special wonder ! Did ever such abominable crimes prevail, nay, much more, were they ever known in England ? Could they, by possibility, either religious, moral, or physical, ever take place in Protestant England ? Had we not, in the barbarous cold-blooded murder of Thurtell, which made all England turn pale with consternation and dismay, a lively instance of the horror, the indignation, the grief, the deep sensation, and the intense interest kept up spontaneously for more than a year's duration in the public mind, by that single and universally-appalling catastrophe? In Ireland, alas ! such a murder is every day's occurrence, a inere quotidiau instance of the liveliness of the people, or the frolic play of the passions of this pastoral, Arcadian nation ! Is it uncharitable, is it disingenuous, to stigmatize these horrible transactions of the day with the peculiar name and appellation of Irish crimes, and of Roman Catholic crimes ?
But there is a secret unknown Power, " which neither slumbers nor sleeps,” that works its way, silent and unseen, in hidden subterranean caverns, in foul and murky, channels, that feeds on, benumbs, and destroys the naturally exalted and generous mind of Ireland, which sees to be, as it were, out of joint, bewitched, and spell-bound by this sorcerer's power. A fair and comely forin, encompassed by every noble quality, it changeth into a pale, lean, and hollow carcass, and quickeneth by a Fiend! An open and ingenuous mind, it fills with dark and gloomy passions, and, what is more sad in contemplation, it animates a revenge, stirred up by other's wrongs, and not their own; a spirit which, of itself, runs counter to all the badly-impassioned feelings of even our vilest, most depraved nature. Possessing what Archimedes only wanted, (another world on which he could fix his engines,) this necromantic Power surveys, pervades all Ireland, in its dark embrace, and moves it at its pleasure; and wasting and consuming the noblest quality of the heart, Christian charity, instead of its divine impulses, plants revenge, and pride, and sloth, and envy, and disobedience, and all the baser passions of the human breast, crowning all with the fond airy visions of independence in the golden dreams of tur, bulent ainbition! If it is not solely the religion they profess, why should the Irish, as a nation, differ so widely from the English! There is nothing in their climate or their soil, their genius or any natural quality of their country, that should effect this wild, this strange distinction, nay, aberration of character. Their fields are as greep, their pastures as fruitful, their rivers can boast as clear and pure a stream:-the sun shines as bright, and the flowers bloom as gay, and the birds sing as sweet! What is it then that works this vast ruin and desolation? It is even the dark scrolls of destined fate, that issue from the darker councils of the Vatican, that produce this mighty, magic change! They talk in proud terms of their " union of minds, which, if left to themselves, would raise to its merited station in the map of mankind, this noble and neglected Island, for which God has done so much, and man so little!” This union of minds, alas ! has undone Ireland, and will ever any country which is not an integral state, where, as in Ireland, that union of minds is built and founded on disobedience. It is the principle of disobedience of Ireland towards England, as ordained by the court of Rome, which is the “ fons atque caput miseriarum,” the predisposing cause of all her idle and ideal grievances, and the natural effect of her own fiery and rebellious spirit. They tell us in what their union of minds consists, in very intelligible characters, by the striking and very apposite motto inscribed on the «Harp of Erin :"-at the top, “I am new strung :"-at the bottom, “ I will be heard :"-a secret intimidation, and an open threat! What is this but the language of disobedience and rebellion? Can it be taken by England mitiori sensu, or with any other interpretation than that plainly intended? As a plea of justification of these mysterious meetings of “ The Catholic Association," and of their guidance of the public miud, and the organ of direction of the physical force of the malcontent or rebellious part of the Roman Catholic population of the country, they urge to England, jealous of such combinations, and they tell it as an excuse, that " Catholic Association is the creature of Roman Catholic disabilities !!” What is there to justify, if their intent be not to overawe the parliament of England: This is a present recognition of their sedition, and will prove a future confession of their treason, if “hands apt” fol
low their thoughts black.” What would such meetings signify to England, beyond the evil incitement, if they did not operate on the king, the parliament, or the commonalty of this, their sovereign, parent country? And will any lawyer tell me that for an association to meet, for this purpose, invito rege et parliamento, to operate on the king and parliament, by force of the concentrated opinion of the Roman Catholics in their deliberations, or of the people of England at large, is not indictable, both at common law and on divers statutes ? Where then is the difficulty about treating these “inchoate treasons, these beginnings of rebellion," those big, round, solitary drops that precede the storm ? The only difficulty or doubt that rises on the subject seems to be, whether it would not be a safer policy to wait until the treason be consummated! · The whole burden and purpose of this letter is to suggest the expediency of taking Ireland at her word, and yielding her no further concessions, but acting rigidly on the terms of her insolent, ungrateful, rebellious demands. They now petition for nothing, their claim is for every thing, and that not as a grant or a toleration, but as a right, which it is the “duty of the people to secure and to establish for themselves;" and that numbers do constitute power,” and that they (or the Roman Catholics, whom they repre. sent) are those “ numbers,” and that those “ numbers" are the emphatical people of Ireland !" This is the logic, this is the allegiance, this is the sum of the minatory petitions of the Roman Catholics of Ireland--that Pastorini's prophecy of the complete “emancipation and deliverance of the Catholics will certainly take place in this very year of the Pope's jubilee, and pardon and grace, A.D. 1825; and that it only remains to be seen whether it will be effected by a wise and prudential government, or by other less gentle means !” This is their language, not mine, and I know the government will look to it: England expects this duty at their hands, and the country will not be disappointed. · Surely, surely the position that Ireland has now taken, and that England will now, I trust, adopt as such, and take her own coun. ter position in contravention, is at once the signal for England to take the alarm, and close the gates of conciliation and forbearance, and stand openly on the stout defence of our glorious church; and the state must follow in its fortunes, and mingle in the joy or the sorrow of the forishing or the downfal of the church. Preserve but the church, and the state remains secure. It was the church establishment alone that produced the Revolution; subvert the church establishment, and a counter-revolution is, ipso facto, effected. I once thought, that on account of our predominant number of Protestants in the British Empire, there was no imminent, insu- VOL. XXV.
Pam. NO. XLIX. M .
perable danger in trying the experiment with Ireland, relying on her fidelity, and letting her have the reform and the emiancipation she desired; relying also on our own irresistible strength, in case she proved treacherous. I now am persuaded that the affeclions of Ireland are unalienably engaged in an opposite quarter, and that a cordial connexion between us, on her part, can never subsist, until she becomes a Protestant people.—"No man can serve two masters : for either he will hate the one, and love the other ; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.”
It is not safe to risk the experiment. , Theoretical experiments in states are always dangerous, and incompatible with wisdom and prudent foresight. Lord Bacon very cogently remarks :-“It is good also not to try experiments in states, except the necessity be urgent, or the utility evident; and well to beware that it be the reformation that draweth on the change, and not the desire of change that pretendeth the reformation.” It is truly observed by the author of Eikon Basilike, “that the devil of rebellion doth most commonly turn himself into an angel of reformation." - The circumstance of the different parties which are hostile to government joining in the clamor with the Roman Catholics, in support of all their claims, is a strong argument against the admis. sion of those claims; for it rather shows a junction of their hostility (considering who these parties are), than any thing like a possible sincerity in an opinion of the justice of those claims. Take for a demonstration of this argument the two great and only parties not friendly to government, the Whigs and the Dissenters. It seems a strange thing that those persons who style themselves Whigs, and as forming their principles on those which produced the revolution, while they profess to hold the constitutional principles proposed by the parliament, and accepted by the prince, should be such strenuous clamorers for complete, universal Catholic emancipation, when it was purely, singly, and alone, the shaking off the Roman Catholic yoke that composed the whole res gesta of the revolution, - which the Whigs alone accomplished ! It is not worth the inquiry, whether this anomaly of change derives its source from idiotcy, or apostasy, The Dissenters are, if possible, more a subject of surprise, in their advocating the claims of the Roman Catholics than the Whigs; for if they succeeded in that fatal cause they had undertaken as a common cause with their own, they, the dissenters, would not be tolerated at all! So that they are bustling and stirring about other people's privileges, and claims, and demands, which, if granted or established, would in the same ratio extinguish their own! The Roman Catholics also, in like manner, make a common cause against the government with the Dissenters, for the removing all disabilities on the score of reli