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At a period like the present, when the pen of calumny is drawn against your character, and the bigot redoubles his noisy vituperation of your principles; when the exploded lie of antiquity is reasserted in print, and the anti-social and unchristian doctrine imputed in parliament; when the mercenary and vulgar slanders of Duigenan, and the insane and sickening sophistries of Musgrave are repeated and republished; at such a time, and under such circumstaces, the Volume of your first VINDICATOR appears with peculiar propriety, and claims your encouragement with a peculiar force. It is your code, your political bible, your magazine of arguments, your depot of authorities; your repository of facts. Armed with such a book the most clamorous of your enemies must be reduced to silence, and the most impudent to shame. There are many indeed who will refuse to listen to the voice of reason, and some who are insensible to contempt. But with those who question the statements in the following pages, it would be ridiculous to argue; it would be still more degrading to dispute with others, who, admitting the facts, attempt to justify the spoliations and massacres of England. Who would contend with the bigotry of an idiot, or listen to the morality of a knave?
I remain, Gentlemen,
your most faithful servant.
ACCOUNT OF THE AUTHOR
OF THE FOLLOWING WORK.
MEMORIALS of enlightened men, who have devoted their labours to the service of their fellow-citizens should be. made public, for the sake of the examples they exhibited, as well as the lessons they left behind them. Unhappily, this justice, due to ourselves and to posterity, is too often omitted. some countries, public benefactors have been treated with public ingratitude: Works which exposed the abuses of legislation, and prescribed a remedy, have generally passed away unnoticed, or met the reproachful alternative of persecution and penalties. History is full of such examples. It however affords a comfortable reflection, that the obstinacy of political error has been in a great degree subdued, and the resistance to useful information appears much abated. Here the philosopher comes in aid of the legislator, and happily the union of both, has of late procured solid advantages to this nation, and more, 'tis hoped, are in contemplation. This change in the public mind could not be effected by the great patriots Molyneux and Swift,* though they pointed out to our countrymen, the principles on which alone Irish prosperity can be established: but they encountered prejudices, from which, in their times, we could not be prevailed on to depart. It is now we recognise the maxims of these illustrious men, which teach us to think justly, and, in consequence, to act profitably.
In the list of excellent men, who have prepared materials for an impartial history of the civil commotions which involved this kingdom in misery for more than one hundred and fifty years,
* The patriotic spirit of the Dean seemed to flow through the veins of eur Author, to whom we find he was related by his mother.
the Author of the following work, and of several other tracts for the service of his country, is worthy to be numbered.
He very judiciously grounds his judgments on domestic facts, which exhibit, in the clearest light, the spirit which pervaded the politics of our predecessors during that period; and by examples, the best lessons of instruction, he points out the dismal effects of calumny and misrepresentation on the human mind.
It is a tribute I owe to the memory of my learned and vir tuous friend (the author) to give the reader an account of his life and studies.
Doctor John Curry was descended of an antient Irish family, (by the name of O'Corra) inheriting a considerable landed property in the county of Cavan, which after a possession of many centuries, was lost in the usurpation of Cromwell, to a small part that escaped the usurper's spies, and even that was lost among the other forfeitures incurred by the Irish in adhering to the cause of the late king James, in whose service the doctor's grandfather commanded a troop of horse, and fell at the head of it in the battle of Aghrim. The doctor's father being left destitute of any real property, took to mercantile business, by which he was enabled to give his son a liberal education; who, giving early proofs of natural talents, became ambitious of trying his fortune in a learned profession; but disqualified by his religion + from prosecuting his studies in the university of Dublin, he went to Paris, where he applied closely to the study of medicine for many years, and afterwards obtained a diploma for the practice of physic at Rheims. Having returned to his native city, his attention to the poor, and a successful
Historical Memoirs of the Irish Rebellion. A History of the Gunpowder Plot.-A Candid Inquiry into the Causes of the Riots in Munster. Three Appeals to the Lord Primate in Vindication of the Civil Principles of Roman Catholics.-A Sequel to the Candid Inquiry.-Occasional Remarks on certain Passages in Dr. Leland's History of Ireland.—A Sketch of the History of the 2d and 8th of Queen Anne.-An Essay on Fevers, &c. &c.
+ By the like impolitic penal law, the Doctor's two sons were compelled to leave their native country, and seek employments in a foreign land. They obtained honorable ones, being both officers in the Imperial service,
practice, after some time, recommended him to persons of rank and fortune.
Grown easy in his circumstances, he left no void in life; but, in every interval of leisure from the calls of his profession, employed himself in intellectual researches, and particularly such as regarded the physical, moral and political anomalies of his fellow-creatures: but his application to history, wherein he could view men on every stage of action, and without disguise, under the influence of stong prejudices and local manners in which they were nurtured, received a spur from an incident which merits, from its consequence, to be here related.
In October, 1746, as he passed through the Castle-yard on the memorial day of the Irish rebellion in 1641, he met two ladies, and a girl of about eight years of age, who stepping on a little before them, turned about suddenly, and, with uplifted hands and horror in her countenance, exclaimed, Are there any of those bloody papists in Dublin? This incident, which to a different hearer would be laughable, filled the doctor with anxious reflections. He immediately inferred that the child's terror proceeded from the impression made on her mind, by the sermon preached that day in Christ-church, whence those ladies proceeded; and having procured a copy of the sermon, he found that his surmise was well founded. In a spirit very different from that of the preacher, he immediately, on returning to his house, sat down to give some check to the hatred and asperity revived in these anniversary invectives, from seats set apart for the propogation of truth and benevolence among men. His tract on this subject he put in form of a Dialogue, wherein one of the interlocutors shews the unfairness, and absurdity also, of charging to any religion whatever, the crimes which that religion condemns, but which some of its professors may, at times, be guilty of. After such general reflections, he exposes the unfortunate causes which lead to the insurrection in 1641, and the fatal consequences which followed. Three kingdoms were then in a flame, and the moderation and good sense of a few could not stop the conflagration: though it might in the beginning be easily quenched by those in power, had not their private views and self-interest biassed them to supply the fuel. The people of our days are no further concerned in such evils, than to remind them of never repeating them. The