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which all future ages, while the British empire may subsist, must conform. No circumstance which the fluctuation of human affairs can produce is, in their minds, to vary the policy now, which was then expedient. Among the infinite and insensible revolutions which the state of society in Great Britain has since undergone, untraced by their sapient heads; but of the advantages of which they, nevertheless, must partake, may have been usefully buried, except the rule which in 1688, or at a period not o subsequent, consigned to the infernal penal code the destinies
a whole people.—Of a whole people, I repeat; for the Protestants were then but a handful, and they were hardly to be called or considered the natives of Ireland, as the pale had then but hardly burst its limits. The regulations of these Brunswick clubs remind me of nothing so much as a man who was made to appear in a farce as if he had arrived in London just when it was lighted first by gas, and after being almost for near a century complaining that that invention had broken in on the darkness which the citizens had a right to be permitted to enjoy as a prerogative of right. Complaining also that the fine River Thames had been choked up by the mass of stones thrown in, under the pretence of making bridges; and he was heart-broken to see that the streets were not resorted to the same comfortable, neighborly state, he said, they were in before the great fire in London, in 1666, when friends could shake hands out of the opposite windows, but that now people were perished by the currents of cold in the immense funnels miscalled streets. As well might the Brunswickers have issued their manifesto against inoculation or navigation by steam, as to persist in holding these kingdoms to a certain line of policy with respect to the Roman Catholics, on the reasoning they use, that such were the laws in 1688, or the reign of Queen Anne, and that such they must continue. I am not afraid that all this swaggering, and the fiery zeal by which it is at the moment kept alive, will dictate to parliament. Absurdity floats on the very surface of such ultimate violence; but besides that, the mode of fanning the flame has transpired in a police report in rather an amusing manner. Bills were in circulation in one place, where the people were especially asked if they were asleep?'. A happy way of proving the case against themselves, and that the apaths of the people required the holy Brunswicker crusaders to arouo them. I am not afraid that any man, however commanding his individual situation may be, can, on a great vital question like the present, give the tone to a nation instead of receiving it from the nation; and with respect to those persons who have in this country stood forward to be the leaders of the Brunswickers, it is not worth while to trouble ourselves about them. The English people now know how this country has been for centuries ruled and treated; notwithstanding all the pains taken to conceal it, they know the truth, and the English people are too soundthinking to permit a continuance of injustice to be exercised towards this country as hitherto ; nor are they disposed to pay for a large army, to pamper the privileged few who have bloated themselves on the fat of the land, since the Protestant ascendancy has been the stalking-horse of a faction. I am a Protestant, who will not yield in attachment to the doctrines of the Reformed Church with the best of them; but I can discriminate between what is plainly nothing more than the selfish interest of individuals, and the doctrines of that religion, which means nothing in our religion, if it does not mean that “we should do as we are done by.” I do not mean to speak slightly of many of the Protestants who have followed the track of the Brunswickers in Ireland. The degree of re-action on the part of the Catholics, owing to their existing disqualifications, has been strongly marked, and, I do not doubt, has alarmed many a Protestant even for his own individual security; and it is on such fears that the Brunswickers have relied for their help and continuance in this distracted country. Who, or what are we to charge for this 2 Why, misgovernment. And that misgovernment is the same, whether it proceeds from the legislature or the executive. Ought it not to give the irreconcilable and unreasoning opponents of the Catholic claims some degree of diffidence on the subject, when it is recollected how many of the greatest statesmen England ever possessed have advocated concession on general grounds of polic
—Mr. Fox, Mr. Pitt, Lord Grenville, Lord Grey, Lord Londonderry, Mr. Brougham, Mr. Grattan, Lord Plunkett, and many others. I confess it so operated on me, and was the first cause that brought me to change my opinion on the subject, by leading me from particulars to generals; and experience has since convinced me—the experience of many years' residence in Ireland— that this country can never be sincerely united to Great Britain unless the legislature shall leave all religious matters within it to find their own level. It is in this view I regard it as a Protestant question as much as a Catholic one—as a British question as much as an Irish one. I cannot conclude without urging the Roman Catholic body to remain in a constitutional attitude, seeking to attain their just rights. I am convinced no more is necessary. Remember we have a lord-lieutenant, who, I am convinced, is most sincerely desirous of seeing the administration of Ireland conducted with the strictest impartiality, and whom, on my soul, I am persuaded has never had an interested thought with respect to his public duty since he landed in this country. I would not say what I do not think; and I say it now, because on this head the Roman Catholics have no cause for complaint—at least in my judgment. Not a single individual on either side of the water has so much as bestowed a smile of approbation on the Brunswickers; and therefore much of what we all remember in the shape of offensive and irritating sentiments, and which used to be thought the exclusive body of loyalty in this country, are wholly removed. One word for myself. I have as good a right to get credit for a sincere attachment to this country and its best interests as any other man; and I most conscientiously declare, before God and the country, that I am convinced Ireland can never have peace until the penal code and every trace of it shall be effaced from the statute-book.
TO THE FREEHOLDERS OF THE COUNTY OF KENT.
MEN OF KENT AND BROTHER FREEHOLDERS, DR. HODGSON, of Tunstal, has called on me, I am informed, in the face of the county, to declare why I have changed the sentiments I have hitherto held on the subject of Catholic emancipation. I have the greatest regard for the reverend gentleman, and think him an ornament to his profession. If I had heard him, or could have made myself heard in such an extended assembly, I should have answered him on the spot. I trust, therefore, this public appeal will not be considered either obtrusive or useless by the men of Kent. I am proud to say, I have not, nor ever will, be guilty of any inconsistency in my public conduct whatever-a conduct for which I am most desirous of obtaining your approbation, because I consider myself as one of the ancient barons of this county-the responsive voice of its sentiments and feelings in my seat in parliament-and there is no cause I would so resolutely advocate there as one in which either the sentiments, feelings, or interest of this great county was concerned. Men of Kent, from choice and from inclination I am a sincere Protestant of the Church of England ; my family are all brought up in the same sentiments. I have never changed or deviated from that path. I firmly support the Church of England, and am conscious of the value of its connexion with the state, as thereby civil and religious liberty is dispensed to all the subjects of this great empire. Permit me to add here, that my ancestors, from the earliest records of your history, have commanded your armies in the field, and held the most important offices in your county. And that either against the Norman invader, or on the walls of Acre and Ptolemais, or in the battles of Cressy and Agincourt, was ever the white cross of the De Cheneys or Apulderfelds, or the lion of the Ropers, separated from the blue banner of Kent, and its proud Invicta ? Base indeed must my mind be, if such very proud recollections did not inspire me with the wish to merit
your approbation, and to thus vindicate myself from aspersions by those whose ancestors would have been happy to find a seat in the halls of my forefathers, and to have held the stirrup as they mounted their prancing war-horse. I married also a fair maid of Kent, whose fame shone in the deeds of her fathers, and the valor of the Hawkins gained the arms of France, her fleur-de-lis, as their inheritance. Their names florished for a thousand years in your county, and the last of them now sleeps with his fathers in their chancel of Boughton Church, the bold knight-bannerets of the Edwards and Henrys.
I am, therefore, connected with your county in every possible way, and must repel, with proud defiance, the assertions of men returning from the plundered thrones of the princes of Indostan, where the recording angel is tired with writing down the crimes of Britons. That I am an alien and a stranger amongst you. No; I am a man of Kent in heart and hand, and envy them not those lands their ill-got treasure have purchased in your county. I feel, men of Kent, that you will excuse me these expressions, as I will yield to no man in my attachment to my country, to the Protestant cause, and to the honor and welfare of your distinguished county. I have in my seat in parliament hitherto opposed Catholic emancipation, because I saw no securities offered for the protection of the Established Church ; and I was one of the most active in passing the Act to put down that, then alarming, political club, the Catholic Association. Your noble lord-lieutenant, the Marquis Camden, joined most cordially in that object: though, perhaps, more anxious than any other peer to settle the Catholic question, because his great experience in the government of Ireland taught him to consider it the only remedy to pacify that most valuable portion of your empire, his truly disinterested conduct in relinquishing one of the largest sinecures ever held, his sentiments and esteem for the great county he governs as the King's lieutenant, ought to have spared him the insults he met with on the Heath, and the epithets that have been so unsparingly bestowed on him; but, like Scipio, he may repose in the conscious rectitude of his own mind, and lament that any cause should have raised such unmerited feelings against him. This Bill could not, or did not, effectually put down this Association. They have now usurped the government of Ireland, and most completely changed the face of affairs between the two kingdoms. All the real powers of government are in their hands. Their rent is a military chest ; they have organised the six millions of Catholics, appointed .captains and controllers over them, and have engaged the whole · of their most influential clergy in the same cause. Foreign • nations are also taking a deep interest in this lamentable cause.
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