« AnteriorContinuar »
I rejoice at it; for, had the great acquisition of subjects and the daty of kings. Let other
dation Her deliver
nations imagine that subjects are made for the of your freedom proceeded from the aoce achieved bounty of England, that great work Monarch; but we conceive that kings, and Par
3 berselle would have been defective - would liaments like kings, are made for the subject. have been defective both in renown and secu- The House of Commons, honorable and right rity. It was necessary that the soul of the honorable as it may be; the Lords, noble and country should have been exalted by the act of illustrious as we pronounce them, are not origin. her own redemption, and that England should al, but derivative. Session after session they withdraw her claim by operation of treaty, and move their periodical orbit about the source of not of mere grace and condescension. A gratu- their being—the nation. Even the King—Majitous act of Parliament, however express, would esty--must fulfill her due and tributary course have been revocable; but the repeal of her round that great luminary; and, created by its claim, under operation of treaty, is not. In that beam and upheld by its attraction, must incline case, the Legislature is put in covenant, and to that light or go out of the system. bound by the law of nations, the only law that Ministers—we mean the ministers who have can legally bind Parliament. Never did this been dismissed ;- I rely on the good in
Argamento country stand so high. England and Ireland tentions of the present-former minis- torted on the treat ex æquo. Ireland transmits to the King ters, I say, have put questions to us. the Declassher claim of right, and requires of the Parlia- We beg to put questions to them. os. ment of England the repeal of her claim of They desired to know by what authority this power, which repeal the English Parliament is nation had acted. This nation desires to know to make under the force of a treaty, which de- by what authority they acted. By what authorpends on the law of nations a law which can itu did government enforce the articles of war? not be repealed by the Parliament of England. By what authority does government establish the I rejoice that the people are a party to this post-office? By what authority are our mertreaty, because they are bound to preserve it. chants bound by the East India Company's There is not a man of forty shillings freehold charter? By what authority has Ireland one That is not associated in this our claim of right, hundred years been deprived of her export and bound to die in its defense-cities, countrade? By what authority are her peers deties, associations, Protestants, and Catholics. It prived of their judicature ? By what authority seems as if the people had joined in one great has that judicature been transferred to the peers sacrament. A flame has descended from heav-| of Great Britain, and our property, in its last re. en on the intellect of Ireland, and plays round sort, referred to the decision of a non-resident, her head with a concentrated glory.
unauthorized, illegal, and unconstitutional tribeThere are some who think, and a few who nal? Will ministers say it was the authority Deiense of declare, that the associations to which of the British Parliament ? On what ground, liber Aslo. I refer are illegal. Come, then, let us then, do they place the question between the ciation try the charge. And first, I ask, what government on one side, and the people on the were the grievances ? An army imposed on us other? The government, according to their by another country—that army rendered perpet- own statement, has been occupied to supersede ual—the Privy Council of both countries made a the lawgiver of the country, and the people to part of our Legislature-our Legislature depriv. restore him. His Majesty's late ministers thought ed of its originating and propounding power- they had quelled the country when they bought another country exercising over us supreme leg. the newspapers, and they represented us as wild islative authority that country disposing of our men, and our cause as visionary; and they penproperty by its judgments, and prohibiting our sioned a set of wretches to abuse both; but we trade by its statutes! These were not grievanc- took little account of them or their proceedings, es, but spoliations; they left you nothing. When and we waited, and we watched, and we moved, you contended against them, you contended for as it were, on our native hills, with the minor the whole of your condition. When the minis- remains of our parliamentary army, until that ter asks by what right, we refer him to our minority became Ireland! Let those ministers Maker. We sought our privileges by the right now go home, and o ingratulate their king on which we have to defend our property against a the deliverance of his people. Did you imagine robber, our life against a murderer, our country that those little parties, whom, three years ago against an invader, whether coming with civil you beheld in awkward squads parading the or military force, a foreign army, or a foreign streets, would arrive to such distinction and elLegislature. This is a case that wants no prec- fect? What was the cause ? For it was not edent. The revolution wanted no precedent; the sword of the volunteer, nor his muster, bor for such things arrive to reform a course of bad his spirit, nor his promptitude to put down reci. precedents, and, instead of being sounded on dental disturbance, public discord, nor his own precedent, become such. The gazing world, unblamed and distinguished deportment: this whom they came to save, begins by doubt and was much; but there was more than this. The concludes by worship. Let other nations be Lord North and bis associates are here rferred to deceived by the sophistry of courts—Ireland The "present" ministers were Lord Ra kizghes has studied politics in the lair of oppression; Lord Shelburne, Mr. Fox, &c., composing at Whig sad, taught by suffering, comprehends the right | administration, which followed that if earth
apper orders, the property and the abilities of That bill must fall, or the Constitution can not che conntry, formed with the Volunteer; and the stand. That bill was originally limited by this volunteer had sense enough to obey them. This House to two years, and it returned from En. united the Protestant with the Catholic, and the gland without the clause of limitation. What! landed proprie or with the people. There was a bill making the army independent of Parlia. still more than this—there was a continence ment, and perpetual? I protested against it which confined the corps to limited and legiti then; I have struggled with it since; and I am mate objects. There was a principle which now come to destroy this great enemy of my prnorved the corps from adultery with French country. The perpetual Mutiny Bül must van politics. There was a good taste which guard. ish out of the statute book. The excellent tract ed the corps from the affectation of such folly. of Molyneux was burned-it was not answered, This, all this, made them bold; for it kept them and its flame illumined posterity. This evil innocent, it kept them rational. No vulgar rant paper shall be burned; but barned like a felon, against England, no mysterious admiration of that its execution may be a peace-offering to the France, no crime to conceal, no folly to blush people, and that a Declaration of Right may be for, they were what they prosessed to be ; and planted on its guilty ashes. A new Mutiny Bill that was nothing less than society asserting her must be formed, after the manner of England, liberty according to the frame of the British and a Declaration of Right flaming in its preConstitution—her inheritance to be enjoyed in amble. As to the legislative powers of the Pri. perpetual connection with the British empire. vy Council, I conceive them to be utterly inad. I do not mean to say that there were not divers missible, against the Constitution, against the violent and unseemly resolutions. The immensi- privileges of Parliament, and against the dignity ty of the means was inseparable from the ex- of the realm. Do not imagine such power to cess. Such are the great works of naturem-such be a theoretical evil; it is, in a very high deis the sea; but, like the sea, the waste and ex- gree, a practical evil. I have here an inventory cess were lost in the immensity of its blessings, of bills, altered and injured by the interference benefits, and advantage; and now, having given of the Privy Councils-Money Bills originated a Parliament to the people, the Volunteers will, by them-Protests by the Crown, in support of I doubt not, leave the people to Parliament, and those Money Bills--prorogation following those thus close, pacifically and majestically, a great Protests. I have a Mutiny bill of 1780, altered work, which will place them above censure and by the Council and made perpetuala bill in above panegyric. Those associations, like other 1778, where the Council struck out the clause institutions, will perish; they will perish with the repealing the Test Act-a Militia Bill, where occasion that gave them being; and the gratitude the Cour.il struck out the compulsory clause. of their country will write their epitaph: requiring the Crown to proceed to form a mili
“This phenomenon, the departed Volunteer, tia, and left it optional to his majesty's ministers justified by the occasion, with some alloy of whether there should be a militia in Ireland. 1 pablic evil, did more public good to Ireland than have the Money Bill of 1775, when the Council all her institutions. He restored the liberties of struck out the clause enabling his majesty to his country, and thus, from his grave, he an- take a part of our troops for general service, swers his enemies."
and left it to the minister to withdraw the forces Connected by freedom, as well as by allegi. against act of Parliament. I have to state the Kostenlos ance, the two nations, Great Britain altered Money Bill of 1771; the altered Money Ireland bow and Ireland, form a constitutional con- Bill of 1775; the altered Money Bill of 1780. confederate.
de federacy as well as an empire. The The day would expire before I could recount Crown is one link, the Constitution another; and, their ill doings. I will never consent to have in my mind, the latter link is the most powerful. men-God knows whom-ecclesiastics, &c., &c.; You can get a king any where ; but England is men unknown to the constitution of Parliament, the only country with whom you can get and and only known to the minister who has breathparticipate a free Constitution. This makes Enced into their nostrils an unconstitutional exist. gland your natural connection, and her king your enee-steal to their dark divan, which they call natural as well as your legal sovereign. This the Council, to do mischief, and make nonsense of is a connection, not as Lord Coke has idly said, bills which their Lordships, the House of Lords, not as Judge Blackstone has foolishly said, not or we, the House of Commons, have thought as other judges bave ignorantly said, by con- good and meet for the people. No! These men quests; but, as Molyneux has said, and as I now have no legislative qualifications; they shall have tay, by compact that compact is a free Consti- no legislative power. 1st. The repeal of the Lesential prin tution. Suffer me now to state some perpetual Mutiny Bill, and the dependency of riples of the of the things essential to that free the Irish army on the Irish Parliament; 2d. The
vet**8Constitution. They are as follows: abolition of the legislative power of the Council; The independency of the Irish Parliament—the 3d. The abrogation of the claim of England to exclusion of the British Parliament from any make law for Ireland; the exclusion of the En. authority in this realm-the restoration of the glish House of Peers, and of the English King's Irish judicature, and the exclusion of that of Bench from any judicial authority in this realm; Great Britain. As to the perpetual Mutiny Bill, the restoration of the Irish Peers to their fina' it must be more than limited-it must be effaced. I judicature; the independency of the Irish Par
liament in its sole ani exclusive Legislature— one step farther, and proposed to impart the These are my terms.
privileges they enjoyed to the Roman Catholics, by making them voters. But this th, Protest
ants of neither party were willing to do. The Mr. Grattan now moved the Declaration of Romanists comprised three quarters of the pop. Right, which was carried almost without a dis. ulation; very few of them could read or writo; senting voice; and a bill soon after passed the and both parties—the Patriots as well as the British Parliament, ratifying the decision by re- Aristocracy-equally shrunk from the experi pealing the oonoxious act of George I. I ment of universal suffrage among this class of
The Parliament of Ireland was at last inde-their fellow-citizens. Under these circumstan pendent; but the beneficial results, so glowingly ces, the call for Parliamentary Reform was very depicted by Mr. Grattan, were never realized : faintly echoed by the great body of the people all were sacrificed and lost through a spirit of The Convention of Volunteers had none of that selfishness and faction. The Protestants of Ire-power which they had previously exerted on the land were divided into two partics, the Aristoc-question of Parliamentary Independence. A bill racy and the Patriots. The former were exclu- was brought into the House of Commons by Mr sive, selfish, and arrogant; the latter were eager Flood for extending the right of suffrage, but it for reform, but too violent and reckless in the was voted down in the most decisive manner. measures they employed to obtain it. The Par. | The bitterest animosities now prevailed, and liament of Ireland was a borough Parliament, new subjects of contention arose from time to the members of the House of Commons being, time. Associations were formed, at a later pe. in no proper sense, representatives of the people, riod, under the name of United Irishmen, debut put in their places by a comparatively small signed to promote the cause of liberty. Rasb number of individuals belonging to the higher men, in many instances, gained the ascendency; classes. These classes, while they were among an insurrection was planned, and in part com. the foremost to demand that “England should menced; and measures of great sererity were not give law to Ireland,” were equally determ- resorted to by the British government to restore inerl that the Irish Parliament, in making laws, order. The more sober part of the community should do it for the peculiar benefit of the Aris became weary of these contentions, and some tocracy, and the support of their hereditary in- | | began to look to a union with England as the Auence. The Patriots, on the other hand, de. only safeguard of their persons and property manded Parliamentary Reform, and clamored for The British ministry had the strongest motires universal suffrage. To ensorce their claims, they to urge on this measure in order to prevent faassembled a Convention of the Volunteers at ture troubles; and in the year 1800, to a great Dublin in 1783, with a view to influence, and extent by the use of bribes, the uniun vas el. prerhaps overawe the Parliament. Their suc- fected, and from this time the Parlimert of Ire. opus would have been certain if they had gone , land became extinct.
OF MR. GRATTAN AGAINST MR. FLOOD, DELIVERED OCTOBER 28, 1783.
It has been said by Mr. Flood, that "the pen have been corrupt; and in the last, seditious; would fall from the hand, and the fetus of the that after an envenomed attack on the persons mind would die unborn," if men had not a privi- and measures of a succession of viceroys, and lege to maintain a right in the Parliament of Encaster much declamation against their illegal. gland to make law for Ireland. The affectation ities and their profusion, he took office, and be. of zeal, and a burst of forced and metaphorical came a supporter of government when the pro conceits, aided by the arts of the press, gave an fusion of ministers had greatly increased, and alarm which, I hope, was momentary, and which their crimes multiplied beyond example; when only exposed the artifice of those who were wick- your money bills were altered without reserve ed, and the haste of those who were deceived by the Council; when an embargo was laid is
But it is not the slander of an evil tongue that your export trade, and a war leclared against can defame me. I maintain my reputation in the liberties of America. At such a critical public and in private life. No man who has not moment, I will suppose this gentleman to be a bad character can ever say that I deceived; corrupted by a great sinecure office to muzzle no country can call me cheat. But I will sup- his declamation, to swallow bis insectives, ic pose such a public character. I will suppose give his assent and vote to the ministers, and tc such a man to have existence. I will begin become a supporter of government, its measures, with his character in its political cradle, and I its embargo, and its American war. I will star will follow him to the last state of political dis. ' pose that he was suspected by the government solution.
ihat had bought him, and in consequence there I will suppose him, in the first stage of his of, that he thought proper to resort to the acts of life, to have been intemperate; in the second, to a trimmer, the last sad refuge of disappointed an
bition; that, with respect to the Constitution of of office, I will suppose him to come forth, and his country, that part, for instance, which regard to tell his country that her trade had been de. ed the Mutiny Bill, when a clause of reference stroyed by an inadequate duty on English sugar, war. introduced, whereby the articles of war, as her Constitution had been ruined by a Per. wb.ch were, or hereafter might be, passed in petual Mutiny Bill! In relation to three fourths England, should be current in Ireland without of our fellow-subjects, the Catholics, when a bill ibe interference of her Parliament-when such was introduced to grant them rights of property a clause was in view, I will suppose this gentle- and religion, I will suppose this gentleman tc man to have absconded. Again, when the bill have come forth to give his negative to their was made perpetual, I will suppose him again | pretensions. In the same manner, I will supto bare absconded; but a year and a half after pose him to have oppused the institution of the The bill bad passed, then I will suppose this gen. Volunteers, to which we owe so much, and that tleman to have come forward, and to say that he went to a meeting in his own county to preyour Constitution had been destroyed by the Per- vent their establishment; that he himself kept petual Bill. With regard to that part of the Con- out of their associations; that he was almost stitution that relates to the law of Poynings, I will the only man in this House that was not in unisappose the gentleman to have made many a long, form, and that he never was a Volunteer until he fery long disquisition before he took office, but,' ceased to be a placeman, and until he became after he received office, to have been as silent on an incendiary. that subject as before he had been loquacious. With regard to the liberties of America, whicl. That, when money bills, under color of that law, were inseparable from ours, I will suppose this were altered, year after year, as in 1775 and gentleman to have been an enemy, decided and 1776, and when the bills so altered were re. unreserved ; that he voted against her liberty, and sumed and passed, I will suppose that gentleman voted, moreover, for an address to send four thouto have absconded or acquiesced, and to have sup- sand Irish troops to cut the throats of the Amerported the minister who made the alteration ; but icans; that he called these butchers “armed when he was dismissed from office, and a mem. negotiators," and stood with a metaphor in his ber introduced a bill to remedy this evil, I will mouth, and a bribe in his pocket, a champion suppose that this gentleman inveighed against against the rights of America, the only hope of the mischief, against the remedy, and against Ireland, and the only refuge of the liberties of ihe person of the introducer, who did that duty mankind. Thus defective in every relationship, which he himself for seven years had abandoned., whether to Constitution, commerce, or toleration, With respect to that part of the Constitution I will suppose this man to have added much priwhich is connected with the repeal of the 6th vate improbity to public crimes; that his probof George the First, when the inadequacy of the ity was like his patriotism, and his honor on a repeal was debating in the House, I will sup- level with his oath. He loves to deliver panepose this gentleman to make no kind of objec- gyrics on himself. I will interrupt him, and tion; that he never named, at that time, the say, “Sir, you are much mistaken if you think Ford renunciation; and that, on the division on that your talents have been as great as your hat subject, he absconded; but when the office life has been reprehensible. You began your he had lost was given to another man, that he parliamentary career with an acrimony and percame forward, and exclaimed against the meas. sonality which could have been justified only by dre; nay, that he went into the public streets to a supposition of virtue. After a rank and clam. canvass for sedition; that he became a rambling orons opposition you became, on a sudden, silent; incendiary, and endeavored to excite a matiny in you were silent for seven years; you were silent the Volanteers against an adjustment between on the greatest questions; and you were silent Great Britain and Ireland, of liberty and repose, for money! In 1773, while a negotiation was which he had not the virtue to make, and against pending to sell your talents and your turbulence, an administration who had the virtue to free the you absconded from your duty in Parliament; rountry without buying the members.
you forsook your law of Poynings; you forsook With respect to commerce, I will suppose this the questions of economy, and abandoned all the geotleman to have supported an embargo which old themes of your former declamation. You lay on the country for three years, and almost were not at that period to be found in the House. destroyed it; and when an address in 1778, to You were seen, like a guilty spirit, haunting the open her trade, was propounded, to remain silent lobhy of the House of Commons, watching the moand inactive. And with respect to that other ment in which the question should be put, that you part of her trade, which regarded the daty on might vanish. You were descried with a crimsugar, when the merchants were examined in inal anxiety, retiring from the scenes of your past 1778, on the inadequate protecting duty, when glory; or you were perceived coasting the upper the inadequate duty was voted, when the act benches of this House like a bird of prey, with was recommitted, when another duty was pro- an evil aspect and a sepulchral note, meditating posed, when the bill returned with the inade to pounce on its quarry. These ways-they quate duty substituted, when the altered bill was were not the ways of honor-you practiced adopted, on every one of those questions I will pending a negotiation which was to end either soppose the gentleman to abscond; but a year in your sale or your sedition. The former tak. and a half alter the mischief was done, be out ing place, you supported the rankest measures
that ever came before Parliament; the embargo sorry game of a trimmer in your progress 10 of 1776, for instance. 'O, fatal embargo, that the acts of an incendiary. You give no honest breach of law, and ruin of commerce! You sup- support either to the government or the people ported the unparalleled profusion and jobbing of You, at the most critical period of their exist. Lord Harcourt's scandalous ministry—the ad- ence, take no part; you sign no non-consumpdress to support the American war--the other tion agreement; you are no Volunteer; you op address tu send four thousand men, which you pose no Perpetual Mutiny Bill; no altered Sugar had yourself declared to be necessary for the de- Bill; you declare that you lament that the Dec. sense of Ireland, to fight against the liberties of laration of Right should have been brought for. America, to which you had declared yourself a ward; and observing, with regard to both princo friend. You, sir, who delight to utter execra- and people, the most impartial treachery and de tions against the American commissioners of sertion, you justify the suspicion of your Sover1778, on account of their hostility to America- eigu, by betraying the government, as you had you, sir, who manufacture stage thunder against sold the people, until, at last, by this hollow conMr. Eden for his anti-American principles duct, and for some other steps, the result of moryou, sir, whom it pleases to chant a hymn to the tified ambition, being dismissed, and another perimmortal Hampden-you, sir, approved of the son put in your place, you fly to the ranks of the tyranny exercised against America; and you, Volunteers and canvass for mutiny; you announce sir, voted four thousand Irish troops to cut the that the country was ruined by other men during throats of the Americans fighting for their free-that period in which she had been sold by you. dom, fighting for your freedom, fighting for the Your logic is, that the repeal of a declaratory law great principle, LIBERTY! But you found, at is not the repeal of a law at all, and the effect of last (and this should be an eternal lesson to men that logic is, an English act affecting to emanof your craft and cunning), that the King had cipate Ireland, by exercising over her the legis. only dishonored you; the court had bought, but lative authority of the British Parliament. Such would not trust you; and, having voted for the has been your conduct, and at such conduct worst measures, you remained, for seven years, every order of your fellow-subjects have a right the creature of salary, without the confidence of to exclaim! The merchant may say to you— government. Mortified at the discovery, and the constitutionalist may say to you-the Amer. stung by disappointment, you betake yourself to ican may say to you—and I, I now say, and say the sad expedients of duplicity. You try the to your beard, sir-you are not an honest man !"
INVECTIVE OF MR. GRATTAN AGAINST MR. CORRY, DELIVERED DURING THE DEBATE ON THE UNION OF
IRELAND TO ENGLAND, FEBRUARY 14, 1800.
Has the gentleman done? Has he completely 1"traitor," unqualified by any epithet? I will done? He was unparliamentary from the begin- tell him ; it was because he dare not. It was ning to the end of his speech. TL're was scarce the act of a coward, who raises his arm to a word that he uttered that was no a viclation of strike, but has not courage to give the blow. I the privileges of the House, but I did not call him will not call him a villain, because it would be to order. Why? Because the limited talents of unparliamentary, and he is a privy counselor. some men render it impossible for them to be se. I will not call him fool, because he happens vere without being unparliamentary; but before to be Chancellor of the Exchequer; but I say I sit down I shall show him how to be severe and he is one who has abused the privilege of Par. parliamentary at the same time. On any other lianient and the freedom of debate, to the utteroccasion I should think mysell justifiable in treat ing language which, if spoken out of the House, ing with silent contempt any thing which might I should answer only with a blor. I care not how fall from that honorable member; but there are high his situation, how low his character, box times when the insignificance of the accuser is contemptible his speech; whether a privy connlost in the magnitude of the accusation. I know' selor or a parasite, my answer would be a blow. the ditficulty the honorable gentleman labored He has charged me with being connected with under when he attacked me, conscious that, on the rebels. The charge is utterly, totally, and a comparative view of our characters, public meanly false. Does the honorable gentleman and private, there is nothing he could say which rely on the report of the House of Lords for the would injure me. The public would not believe foundation of his assertion? If he does, I can the charge. I despise the falsehood. If such prove to the committee there was a physical ima charge 'were made by an honest man, I wouid possibility of that report being true, but I seorn answer it in the manner I shall do before I sit to answer any man for my conduct, whether be down. But I shall first reply to it when not be a political coxcomb, or whether he brought made by an honest man.
himself into power by a false glare of courage Tho right honorable gentleman has called or not.' I scorn to answer any wizard of the NA" an unimpeached traitor." I ask, why not Castle, throwing himself into fantastical airs