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which would before have confounded them. Of the work in general, reserving to ourselves another opportunity of considering it, we would observe that it far exceeds the expectations which we had formed, in ignorance of the time which the illustrious author had devoted to it, and of the zeal and earnestness with which he had prosecuted his labours. Egregiously indeed do we mistake, if Mr. Fox be not as much himself in these fragments, as in any of the most happy displays which reflected such splendor on his public career. We here contemplate his entire mind, endowed with all those singular powers of moving and persuading, of discussing, sifting, unravelling, and elucidating, by which he stood so pre-eminently distinguished. We discover him in all his fearless attachment to truth, in all his zeal for the interests of liberty and humanity, giving the promise of being as .eminent in history as he was consummate in oratory; of becoming an historian who united the patriot and the philosopher, and was aided by the tact and experience of the statesman. The champion here as well as in his speeches of liberal and generous sentiments —combating the despotism of the single and'of the many,—contending for the ascendancy of virtue, knowlege, and wisdom, — and as little conciliating sickly patriotism as venal servility, we every where recognize the friend of constitutional monarchy and temperate reform, and the enemy of abuses and corruption. If there exist hypocrites who affect to feel, and fools who really do feel, doubts in these particulars, his calumniated spirit has disdained the office of attempting to establish by professions, that which had been abundantly proved by the whole tenor and all the acts of his public life. His sentiments breathe the genuine spirit of whiggism, and his expressions are conceived in its boldest language. He avows no preference for forms of government in the abstract, but appears to value them only as they secure the prosperity of states and individual happiness. In his • pages, kings and princes are not flattered, nor their vices disguised, nor their delinquencies palliated; their offices he regards as trusts, the titles of their power and dignity. As )ittle does he pay his court to the people; their errors and mistakes meet from him with no false tenderness; and if in favour of Princes he wishes for no love and veneration except on the score of their virtues and services, he never exhibits the liberty which he hclds out to the people as the first of blessings but as in union with law. . To Princes and people his work, to adopt a very common phrase, is a mirror in which the former may behold the consequence of violating and trifling with the duties of their sacred trusts, and the latter may
O 4 discern discern the mischiefs which flow from servility and delusion,
from a puerile confidence in rulers, and from an indifference to liberty. Is he not loyal who holds up to the view of kings useful mementoes, and inculcates on them maxims and rules which will make their reigns glorious and their subjects happy? Is he not a patriot, who sets the people on their guard against infirmities which are habitual to them, and who warns them against errors which sooner or later become irretievable? Or must he be set down as not well affected to the church, who fully exposes, and severely arraigns, its disgraceful and abject behaviour in the reigns of the latter Stuarts? As well might that man be pronounced insensible to the charms of a virtuous and lovely woman, whom the behaviour of a prostitute disgusts.
These are some of the impressions which have been made On us by a rapid perusal of the posthumous remains of our great patriot and statesman. However they may strike good judges, or in whatever light they may appear to ourselves when we shall have farther examined and reflected on the subject to which they refer, of this we can* assure our readers, that they originate in no arrogance, nor are in any degree allied to a desire of misleading. We are not unmindful that we cannot, by our praise, exalt the author, nor enhance the merit of his labours; though we may prejudice both, and disparage ourselves, by injudicious and unmerited commendation, A more deliberate perusal of this volume might have rendered our observations less unworthy of its substance, but it could not have increased our.conviction that, in calling forth the attention of our fellow subjects to the sentiments favourable to Constitutional freedom which glow so vividly iu its pages, we were attempting a most meritorious service,
[To be continued. ]
Art IX. A History of the Penal Laws against the Irish Catholics j» from the Treaty of Limerick to the Union. By Henry Parnell, Esq.M.P. 8vo. pp. >5^. 6s. sewed. Harding. 1808.
"IO Ever did eloquence more laudably exert itself than on a *^ late memorable occasion, in regard to the subject of this tract; nor has its power been often more signally manifested, or its effepts been equally flattering. The angry passions seemed abashed, petty interests were quiet, vulgar clamour appeared to dread a repulsive reception, the bigot wished that he could be just, and the fanatic that he could be reasonable. That cause for which policy pleads more powerfully than even equity and benevolence, and in which the interest of the Protestant is much more concerned than that of the Catholic,—the cause for which. Burke wrote and Fox spoke so luminously, and for which (apparently at least) Pitt once even sacrificed office,—has had the additional good fortune to call forth one of the happiest displays of those powers, which place a Grattan in the same class with the luminaries of the Hritish hemisphere whom we have named. The united sufFrages of these celebrate*) persons on this great question must have such an influence on every mind, that is not blinded by passion, choaked by ignorance, or corrupted by private views, as to render it accessible to just notions on the subject. Regarding not only the interests of justice and humanity, but those of the empire, as deeply involved in this controversy, we have paid anxious attention to it; and it is our, deliberate opinion that every on* of the arguments, which has been employed in support of the exclusion of the Catholics from the full enjoyment of civil and political Tights, is in fact adverse to the proposition in favour of which it is adduced.
As it respects authority, never did a question stand on higher and prouder ground. The names which we have mentioned, and to which we might add living names of high distinction, are on one side. On the other, not an individual is to be found on whom great talents or eminent acquirements confer distinction; and it can boast only of mere men of office.
The late exhibition in the British legislature must have given heart-felt pleasure to every liberal mind. The odious and vile cry of ' No Popery' seemed like a forgotten dream, and to have little influence on the momentous discussion. From a similar assembly, then, called under happier auspices, what might not the friends of liberal and sound policy anticipate i Let us recognize, in this unexpected but most pleasing phxnomenon, the prelude of a return to reason, and of a disposition to listen to the voice of wisdom and justice. Let us hope that a valuable limb is about to be restored to the political system, that the obstruction which arrested the circulation will shortly be removed, and that the influx of vital blood promises to communicate health and soundness to that which was before livid and inanimate; that Britain is about to realize a splendid conquest,—a conquest over ungenerous and mischievous prejudices,—to perform a grand act of homage to humanity, and to pay a great tribute to political equity; that she is about to surprize her friends and to appall Jift enemies j to compensate for the oppressions which she has too long exercised over her sister island; and to render vital, real, and beneficial that Union which hitherto has been a mockery and a name. Let the friends of reason and truth, the friends of their country's strength and of their enemy's confusion, persevere, and combine moderation with firmness and caution with diligence. Then shall not be Jost the admirable lecture which has been delivered in the senate: but the fine sentiment of the preat Frederic of Prussia shall become the conviction of every British bosom, "Le jaux zele est un tyran, qui dtpeuple les provinces; la tolcraticn est une tendre mi re, qui les soigne et les fait feutir."
Among those who n.»ve contributed to this • favourable change in public opinion, our humorous and amusing friend Peter Plymley is perhaps intitled to distinguished notice. If he delights by his wit and pleasantries, scarcely less does he instruct by his just views of government and of human nature •, and no man has given •* harder knocks" to the arrogant pretensions and vaunting follies of the times. Mr, Parncll is a zealous and able ally in the same cause. While P>;ter convinces us that we ought, from considerations of policy, justice, and humanity, to place die Catholics on a footing with ourselves, the honourable senator demonstrates that we cannot without ignominy and disgrace refuse to grant that which the Catholics require of us. The articles of Limerick are inserted in this tract, the spirit and tenor of them are fairly set forth, and the proper construction is put on them. The strength of that city, the prospect of a successful resistance on the part of the garrison, and the importance of the surrender to the affairs of William, are placed in a strong light by Mr. P.irnell; and they are circumstances which, as he observes, ought to have determined England to construe liberally the terms of the treaty, and to adhere religiously to them.
The first article of this memorable treaty runs thus;
"The Roman Catholics of this kingdom shall enjoy such privileges in the exercise of their religion, ae are consistent with the laws of Ireland; or as they did enjoy in the reign of King Charles the §econd: and their Majesties, as soon as their affairs will permit them to summon a Parliament in this kingdom, will endeavour to procure the said Roman Catholics such farther security in that particul ir, as may preserve them from any disturbance upon the account of their said religion."
In the second article, is this provision;
"II. All the inhabitants or residents of Limerick, or any other garrison now in the possession of the Irish, and all officers and foldiers, now in arms, under any commission of King James, or
those those authorised by liim, to grant the same in the several counties of Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork, and Mayo, or any of them ; and all the commissioned officers in their Majesties' quarters, that belong to the Irish regiments now in being, that are treated with, and who are not prisoners of war, or have taken protection, and who shall return and submit to their Majesties' obedience; and aH, a id every the said persons, of what profession, trade, or calling soever they be, shall and may use, exercise, and practise their several and respective professions, trades and callings, as freely as they did use, eveicise, and enjoy the same in the reign of King Charles II."
By the same treaty, the contracting parties on the side of England, •« the Lords Justices and General do undertake, that their Majesties will ratify these articles within the space of eight mouths, or sooner, and use their utmost endeavours that'the same shall be ratified and confirmed in Parliament." The King and Queen ratify the treaty in the terms following:
'« And whereas the said city of Limerick hath been since, in pursuance of the said articles, surrendered unto us. Now know ye, that we having considered of the said articles, are graciously pleased hereby to declare, that <we do for us, our heirs, and successors, as. fir as in us lies, ratify and confirm the same, and every clause, matter, and thing therein contained. —And as to such parts thereof, for which an act of Parliament shall be found to be necessary, we shall recommend the same to be made good by Parliament, and shall give our royal'assent to any bill or bills that shall be passed by our two houses of Parliament to that purpose."
Every unperverted mind must agree with Mr. Parnell in the manly and generous sentiments which he expresses, while he is considering this famed compact:
• If this 'treaty, is only considered according to those rules of common morality, which influence the conduct of man to man ; if, in proportion to the great advantages which England derived from it, she was bound to construe it with liberality, as well as to execute it with good faith; then the Irish Catholics must be considered as placed by it in a situation of complete equality with their Protestant countrymen. The free exercise of their religion was granted in the most unqualified manner: Security of property was as fully confirmed to them. In regard to personal security, they were pardoned all misdemeanors whatsoever, of which they had been guilty, and were restored to all the rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities, which, by the laws of the land, and customs, constitutions, and native birthright, they, any, and every of them, were equally with every other of their fellow subjects entitled to. The practice of the several trades or profession was secured to them. They were allowed the use of arms, some of them specially, but all of them in consequence of no limitation, or exception to the' contrary; and they were left at liberty to vote for members of