Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

P. 20.

thing like a coalition of parties in opposition to the Union.” (p. 16.). " The reign of Robespierre furnishes no parallel to the execrable barbarities perpetrated by one party, often without any proof of crime, on bare fufpicion of being adverse to ascendency. The Guillotine inflicted a {peedy and caly death; there was no pickcting, no roasting, no now fires, no scalping, or pitched caps, no whipping with thongs of thick-knotted wire, and, after the back was laid bare, salt, pepper, and vinegar applied to the raw wounds, and whipped into the marrow. Idolatry was guiliy of a more pardonable sniftake in honouring the creature too much. Could Hill inspire any thing more than rancour and malice against flesh and blood ? This barbarous outrage and violation of human nature, these feats of demoniac and frantic atrocity, revelling in lust

, murder, and butchery, drunk with blood and cruelty, polluting the eyes of an agonizing public, and the day-lighi, with such unutterable abominations as freeze the blood with horror, and make Hell blush, and cry out shame."

In the apt picture of French atrocities exhibited in « The Bloody Buoy,” time, place, and names were carefully specified, in order to deprive their advocates of all pretence to incredulity. Mr. Taaffe supplies none of those requisites for the establishment of truth; and, for the best possible reason-because he is the propagator of falsehood; and fearful of affording the means of detection. From general, he descends to particular, calumny. " At Gorey an English Officer, no soldier, cut out with his pen-knife a man's heart who was hanged for a rebel, (without proof,) and deliberately cutting it open--dreadful to relate-Oh! Heavens !-it were less criminal to devour it thanno, the paper, the public eye will not bear it!" (P. 20.) Could w, for a moment suppose that Mr. T. was relating a fax, we should re. mind him, that the man who knows, and yet forbears to hold out to public indignation the perpetrator of such a diabolical act, is an enemy to society. Our author shews no symptoms of diffidence, de. licacy, or forbearance, in any part of his writings; and, therefore, the gratification of his inveterate hatred of the English could experi. ence no obstacle from the interposition of such troublesome sensations : if, then, he were ttating a truth, he would certainly not fail to adduce fuch circumstances as might be easily obtained, and are indispensibly neceffary to procure belief.

Having endeavoured to stir up every malignant paffion of the human mind, and to direct them againt England, he calls upon his countrymen of all denominations, Catholics and Presbyterians, Rebels and Loyalists, to unite for the separation of the countries; and, after quoting Scripture in support of his pious exhortation, he chari. tably devotes all who refuse to obey his call to eternal damnation.

“ The Devil and Pitt wish to fight feet against sect, party against party, in order to accomplidh th:ir views of subjugating all. The Minister has shewn the cloven foot, if we do not profit by the dilcovery we deserve to perish here and hereafter." (p 22.)

In order to complete his picture, he gives what he calls an account of the present state and prolpects of England. The British Confti. tution, according to him, cannot last long, because

" The hereditary branch must finally swallow up the others; poffefsed of the high power of declaring war, and trusted with the expenditure of the eztraordi. nary incans for carrying it on, it increales, at will, its patronage and ineans of core Tuption; it prelles the passions, purses, and expectations of mankind into its

service. service. The executive cannot take the people's money, without the consent of the Commons: neither can the Commons take it without the aid of the Executive, May not both agree to take and share it among themselves ? They have done fo! will not church, ftare, places, pensions, law, army, navy, &c. (well the Royal bounty, which bears down, as with a deluge, every particle of independence ? During the present reign, all these resources have been effettually employed to sap the liberties of the people, and erect on the ruins that absolute power which is the F and fervent with of every man who bears the name of King. William the IVth. has left England no alternative between absolute monarchy and a republic." (Pp. 36. 37.)

After thus destroying our Constitution, he displays the fatal effects of our extensive commerce, reviles every class of the community, and then proceeds to delineate, with his delicate pencil, the general cha. sacter of the British Nation.

- The system has reduced them (the bulk I mean) to the level of the brute creation; compelled by the weight of taxes to incessant toil, with hardly leisure for fleep, or bolting their victuals, o(chewing would take up time) and that from their earlient years. They are deprived of the means of human happinels. They can tafte no pleasure but of the grossest animal kind, and that too itinted and 1paringly; their cares, toils, and sorrows are many, their enjoyments few. A Monied Ariltocracy is created ;--it has converted the kingdom into an immense Gambling-Houle, than which a greater plague to morals cannot be well conceived," (1. 42.)

And it is an Irishman that draws this picture! The conclusion is natural, that it would be madness in his countrymen to unite with a people who are bankrupts in every thing that constitutes national dignity, national happiness, and national wealth. Our readers will conclude from the specimen which we have exhibited that Mr. Cooke has met with a most formidable opponent, and morality with a most able advocate, in Mr. Dennis Taaffe !

ART. XV. An Union neither necessary or (nor) expedient for

Ireland; being an Answer to the Author of Arguments for and against an Union, &c." By Charles Ball, Esq. 8vo. Pp. 54. Porter, Dublin, 1798.

"ROM the rude strains of literary barbarism we turn with plea.

to . fure perusing the first sentence in this tract we were disposed to class it among the numerous publications of the day that are more distinguisho ed for violence of declamation than coolness of discussion, and our readers, we think, would feel a similar disposition on reading that Mr. Cooke was " an enterprising adventurer in the trade of politics, who, under the thield of darkness and secrecy, has bafely insulted the people and parliament of Ireland, and has attempted to commit an act of deliberate treason, by disuniting for ever the realm of Ireland from the British Crown,(p. 1); but we had pro. ceeded but little farther when we found that our conclufion would have

been

been grossly erroneous. In fact, though we are far from agreeing with Mr. Ball, in the accuracy of all his positions, and ftill farther from acceding to the propriety of his inferences, it would be the height of prejudice and injustice not to acknowledge that his attacks are, in many instances, successful ; that his language (with the single exception which we have noticed) is uniformly the language of a gentle man, and that he appears to be exclusively actuated by feelings highly honourable to his nature, a manly spirit of independence, and a laud. able sense of national pride; such feelings, when not directed to the support of fantastic theories, nor to purposes incompatible with that fubordination which is essential to the existence of good government, ennoble and dignify the mind, and at once prepare and qualify it for the most salutary and beneficial exertions.

Our Author seems to us to argue on a false principle, when he infers, as a necessary consequence, from the majority of British over Irish fenators, in the event of an Union, that the will of Great Britain could, avowedly and inevitably, become the law of Ireland. (p. 137 He forgets, that, if the two countries were to form integral parts of the same empire, every individual member of the senate, whether British or Irish, would be bound, by the most solemn of all obligations, to guard and to promote the interests of Ireland with the saine vigilance and the same exertion as the intereits of Great Britain. He would not be the representative of this or that part of the kingdom, but of the whole aggregate body of the subjects of the empire. The prosperity and welfare of the Scotch have been as much objects of attention to the parliament of Britain since the Union, as those of the English ; and there can be no reason to suppose, that, under similar circumstances, 'Ireland would be deprived of similar advan. tages.

The assertion of Mr. Cooke, that, “ the Catholics (by an Union) would lose the advantage of the argument of numbers, &c. &c." is stated by Mr. B. to be “a gross fallacy." (P. 20.) On the contrary we cenceive it to be an indisputable fact. If the two countries were united, all distinction between English and Irish Ca. tholics would necessarily cease, and, in estimating the relative propor. tion of Catholics to Protestants, the whole empire would be taken into the account; and then, instead of the Catholics forming, as they now do in Ireland, a cooldcrable majority of the kingdom, they would undoubtedly be reduced to a minority. The advantage, therefore, which persons of that perfuafion have hitherto derived, on questions of national policy, from their superiority of numbers, would, of neceflity, be loft.

" I cannot conceive" (says our Author) “a more accurate baro. meter to ascertain the state of the political atmosphere than the profession of the law." (P. 33.) Here we must again differ from him; and, and without cafting any invidious reflections on a profession which we honour, merely recall to his mind that the Revolution in France, and all its attendant horrors, were, in a great measure, brought about by the political wisdom of the French Bar ; and that

the pro.

was

the moft successful and opulent Barristers were the most active in ducing them.

Speaking of an Union between weak and powerful states, between Brabant and the German Empire, and America and Great Britain, Mr. B. obferves, that political injury was, on all occasions, accompanied with personal indignity and insult,” from the larger to the smaller states. In the two instances which he here selects, we must peremptorily deny the affirmation. The inhabitants of Brabant and America were treated with paternal fondness by their respective governments; and the Revolutions in both countries arose, not from oppression but from very different causes. In P. 37 we are told, that so far from the Union being an advantage to Scotland it “s injurious to her, and prevented her greater and farther improvement" in commerce, wealth, and population : and the author attempts to support this position by thewing, that Ireland, without an Union, has improved, in those respects, in a much greater degree, in the same term of years:

But surely it might have occurred to him, that this difference of improvement arises entirely from the superiority of local and internal advantages of various kinds, poflefled by Ireland over Scotland, and, therefore, proves nothing as to the point in question.

Mr. B. admits the competence of Parliament to consent to an Union, but his admission is followed by an observation that should not pass without notice. “An army might diftatema parliament might vote such a law, so far is physically possible--but no vote of parliamentno military power could ever deprive the people, jo betrayed and conquered, of their right to repel' that power and repeal that law, * by every means that God and Nature put inta their hands." This is the plain language of rebellion, by whom. Soever used. The people have no right to repeal a law; and any attempt to overawe the legislature, much more to force them to the adoption of any measure, is an act of rebellion. In the same page we are told, that the prospect of an Union is a mere scheme of finance “ to relieve Great Britain, by sharing her burdens with Ireland, and to extend to Ireland her proportion of four hundred millions of debt, and her quota of the proposed tax on income." By this time Mr. Ball must be convinced that the Minister had no such ob. ject in contemplation.

Having thas stated the principal points on which we differ froin the author, it is but justice to declare, that there are many others in which we agree with him. His observations (in p. 17, 18, and 19,} respecting the conspiracy of the United Irishmen, which he truly represents to have been not a religious but a political conspiracy, and, threrefore, forming no ground of reproach to the Catholies, as such, are peculiarly pertinent and proper. The faine may be said on his semarks on the Irish Judges (P. 32) whol abilities we know to be great, and whofe integrity we believe to be incorruptible. His reflections (in p. 48, 49,) respecting the danger of particular topics, display much temperance, and no small portion of wildom. His concluding address to his adversary docs infinite honour both to his head and heart: “I cannot lay aside my pen without addressing to you a few words in your private capacity as a Gentleman.-I am unacquainted with your person—your character I know to be tefpectable—your talents are certainly of magnitude-your honour and integrity, in concerns detached from politics, have never been impeached—I have been informed that your manners are polished, and that your disposition is amiable in the extreme. This kingdom owes you obligations as an able and prudent Minister. Even, on the present occafion, I respect the motive which has brought you forward.-Suffer not, I beseech you, a sentiment of anger to enter your mind against me-Our feelings are congenialThere is between us but a geographical difference - You are the bold champion for England-I am the humble advocate for Ire. land." (P. 54.)

** Parliamentary Debates_inEngland, on the American war.

reflections

The Ityle of this tract is correct without tameness ; animated without inflation; and impresive without affectation. It is, upon the whole, highly creditable to the talents and to the principles of the author.

Art. XVI. Strictures on a Pamphlet, entitled Arguments for

and against an Union, &c. 8vo. Pp. 24. Price, a British

Sixpence. Porter, Dublin, 1798. CHIS

of land has neither the temper nor the talents of Mr. Ball. His Strictures are fuperficial, destitute of judgement, and strongly marked by prejudice. Two passages we shall notice merely to ftigmatize as false, in point of fact, and a libel on the British character. " The intrigues of the British cabinet have been calculated to foment those discontents (civil and religious) to excite those jealousies, to connive at those insurrections, and, finally, to amneftize those rebellions, for the purpose of promoting their favourite, and now avowed, object." (P. 6.) The falsehood of this imputation is only exceeded by its malignity. “ As a proof of that liberality which characterizes Great Britain in all transactions relating to this country, let me advert to the treatment experienced by those miserable sufferers, who, on a recent occafion, yielded to the impe. rious neceflity of the times, abandoned their property and habitationis, to seek protection from Great Britain. As fellow-men, as fellow-subjects, and in distress, they had a claim upon the humanity, upon the benevolence, of the British nation ; yet in what manner were they received ? To fome few, perhaps, a churlish and tem. porary relief was extended, while the reinainder were suffered to Languh under the complicated miserics of poverty and exile, ag.

gravated

« AnteriorContinuar »