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sery for manning our navy and army: she is the great mart of the provision trade for victualling our fleets: and her situation renders her the most vulnerable part of the empire. The interests, therefore, of Ireland most imperiously command the attention of the British government, as, particularly in the prospect of endless warfare, they most essentially involve the safety of the empire.
Every British and Scotch writer upon the affairs of Ireland, since its connection with England, has systematically represented the Irish as a foreign people, as barbarous enemies, or abject slaves. The want of faithful historians amongst themselves is with too much reason complained of: “ Were we to take a view (says Harris*) of the wretched condition in which the history of Ireland stands, it would not be a matter of astonishment, that we should be considered as a people in a manner unknown to the world ; except what little knowledge of us is communicated by merchants, seafaring men, and a few travellers, while all other nations of Europe have their historians to inform their own people, as well as foreigners, what they were, and what they are.” Numerous in fact are the writers upon Irish matter, historical, political, statistical, commercial, physical, and critical. Yet Dr. Warner, with most of them before his eyes, in 1761, tells
* Har. Hibernica, 8vo. edit. p. 274.
us, in the Preface to his own History of Ireland, * " that he was convinced of the truth of what had been said to him by a person of an eminent situation in this country, that there was no one point of literature so much wanted in England, as a good Irish history."
In this work, which is a compendious general -history of Ireland, from its first connection with England to its incorporate union with Great Britain, the sole object of the Author has been to place before the eyes of an uninformed public, the real undisguised system of governing that country, and the effects and consequences of that system upon Ireland in particular, and the British empire at large. He will be here found to speak of the Union in a manner different from that
* Pref. ix.-Dr. Warner was a learned and zealous divine of the established church. He only wrote one quarto volume of his intended history, in which he acknowledges to have received great assistance both from the public and from private individuals : that volume comes no lower than the 12th century. Although he avows, that the difficulties did not affright him, yet he desisted from his undertaking from disappointment in the parliamentary assistance which his great patron, the Duke of Northumberland, had given bim grounds to expect. In 1767, he published a quarto vo,lume of the History of the Irish Rebellion in 1641. Dr. Warner has had the candour to demonstrate the falsehoods of all his predecessors : he has written with more regard to truth, and with more independence of mind, than before ever came from the pen of an English writer of Irish history. Yet is his own national bias but too plainly discoverable throughout these two volumes,
in which he treated the subject in his Historical Review of the State of Ireland. That work was undertaken with a direct view of reconciling the public mind in Ireland to the measure of Union, which after a convulsive struggle had by dint of ministerial influence and address been recently carried against the marked sense of a decided majority of the Irish people. The Historical Review was published in the summer of 1803, and about seven months after it had appeared before the public, the Author found it requisite from circumstances, not altogether uninteresting to Ireland, to publish a postliminous preface to that work, in which he thus spoke of that measure.
“ He had long considered, as he still does consider, that an incorporate union of the two kingdoms must be the greatest blessing to the British empire, if followed by an indiscriminating adoption of all his Majesty's subjects in the assumption of the Imperial Parliament's manifesting the same tutelary attention to the interests of the
people of Ireland, which it does to those of the city of London, or the most favoured portion of the British empire: he passed in review all the intermediate scenes exhibited on the theatre of that ill-fated country, between the years 1792 and 1801: he inquired into the effects produced up to that time (the end of August, 1801*) by the Union,
* That was the time at which he took that work in hand.
and he lamented to find, that it became daily less palatable to the people of that part of the united kingdom. He discovered from inquiries, that so far from its uniting and consolidating the affections of the Irish with those of the British, a general discontent and disgust at the measure seemed to pervade all ranks of people throughout that country.”
The uniform conduct of the British government and the imperial parliament towards Ireland, since her incorporate union with Great Britain, has tended rather to disappoint and irritate than to soothe and conciliate her affections for Great Britain. Not one of those flattering objects have. been realized, which the Irish before the Union had been taught to expect from the liberality of an imperial parliament, uninfluenced by the local prejudices of their own senate. As
As every effort to improve the condition of Ireland, attempted in the imperial parliament, has failed, the Irish naturally consider the redress of their grievances more remote and desperate, than whilst they had a Parliament of their own. To the imperial parliament they send not one-sixth of the representatives, and can therefore claim no control over the present House of Commons. Although the representation of the Irish House of Commons were heretofore imperfect and corrupt; yet reflection and repentance now produce conviction that the reform of the representation rested with the
electors. The extinction of the Irish Parliament has rendered their reasoning fruitless, and their repentance unavailing. Great Britain has thus assumed the ungracious system of rejection, by which she must necessarily loosen the attachment, forfeit the confidence, and extinguish the respect which the Irish have been disposed to entertain for her. The Irish are nationally and individually grateful. The Author, from the high estimation in which he holds their innate spirit, talents, and powers, has exerted his humble efforts to render them an act of national justice, by a true historical representation of what they were, and what they are.