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condition to be, it appears to us to admit of little doubt, that, in that event, the whole body of the people, including the Catholics, would speedily be reduced to a condition infinitely more miserable. This is the way in which we reason; and, in this way, we verily believe that very many of the leading and intelligent Catholics reason also. But the great body will not reason in this way. Like other great bodies, they will act from passion and prejudice and misguided zeal; and will be directed in actions over which reason has no influence, by crazy bigots, or desperate and unprincipled adventurers. If nations were guided by reason, we should have little oppression, and probably neither war nor rebellion in the world. In reasoning on the probable conduct of men, no supposition could be so sure to mislead us as this; nor can any argument against the likelihood of any act of a multitude be so inconclusive, as that it appears to be improper or unwise. All that we have to proceed upon, in such cases, is the experience of similar occurrences; and if men have generally rebelled or proved refractory, in certain situations, though uniformly and manifestly to their own prejudice in the main, we may conclude, with tolerable certainty, that they will rebel again in similar situations, and are inexcuseable if we do not take our measures upon that supposition. Now, the fact is, that the causes of discontent among the Irish Catholics, are precisely the causes which have most generally led to rebellion and revolution in every age of the world; and after having seen them in our own day produce this very fruit on that very soil, it must be the height of infatuation to suppose that it will not be produced again, as soon as the elements conspire to ripen it to a harWith the merit or demerit of the Catholics in such schemes of rebellion, we have at present no concern. We look at the question in the light of policy only; and, being satisfied that it is very probable that many of them would join in such schemes, and that their so doing would be of the utmost detriment to this country, we conceive that it is our duty to employ the most effectual means to prevent or dissuade them, whatever may be our opinion of the absurdity and wickedness of their project. It may be very wicked and absurd for Turks to beat and spit upon us, merely for laughing at their beards or their prophet; but if we dislike being beaten, we will certainly abstain from provoking them, and, for our own sakes, cither learn, or Counterfeit, a respect for their prejudices. There is nothing so insane, and even inconsistent in politics, as that valiant and overweening spirit, which sometimes leads men to say that they will do nothing out of fear, which they would not have done out of good will; and that they will even refuse a reasonable demand, if
it be made in circumstances in which their compliance might be construed into an apprehension of the consequences. This is ra ther a lofty and romantic rule for the conduct of individuals; but it is evidently altogether absurd when applied to that of nations. There, the only thing that can ever be properly considered, is the probable consequence of what is in contemplation: and every nation that abstains from seizing whatever it would be convenient for it to possess; or consents to yield, what it would be for its interest to retain, is governed entirely by fear of the consequences of an opposite conduct. We must provide for our own security and prosperity. This is our whole political duty; and as we cannot make all other nations wise and virtuous, according to our own conception of these qualites, we must discharge this duty in the best way that we can, by giving way to their folly when we cannot oppose it, and diverting their malice when we cannot chastise it. We must make treaties with Algiers, and capitulations with rebels and pirates.
Taking it for granted, then, that many of the Irish Catholics, if left in their present condition, would be disposed to join a foreign invader, the only remaining question is, whether this disposition would be effectually removed, by granting them the emancipation for which they have been so long struggling. This point we have already endeavoured to settle; and it is needless to go back upon it. The injuries and affronts which the Catholic body have sustained for a century, have, no doubt, generated in many minds an irritation, that will not be imme diately extinguished; and turbulent fpirits probably exift in the country, who, without any real concern about the cause of thefe oppreffions, will be difpofed to keep the irritation alive, as an instrument for the furtherance of their own defperate and ambitious projects. But, that the great body of the Catholics would be conciliated by the fuccess of their petition, and the influence of those who have further views, prodigiously diminished, feems to admit of no ferious doubt. All the fincere, the moderate, the peaceable, intelligent and timid, would inftantly be linked to the fide of government; and the most dangerous pretext would be taken from thofe who, with far other motives, had joined and exafperated their clamours. By a little difcretion in the management of the priests, and by a truly pacific and conciliating adminiftration of the law as it would then ftand, we have no fort of doubt, that four-fifths of the difcontented Catholics would be gain ed over immediately by the emancipation; and that, in a very few years, there would be as little hazard of rebellion in Ireland, as there is, at this moment, in the other parts of the United Kingdom.
it country more fecure and reco at uch to povem ment ant COM TRUDLE re now aerated or di Erted. is y that but is an advantage, often the to the empire at large, and one agend be come fred, that any other confideratio
at & print crifs, be liitened to? The hazard to 2 we
sinfn, is toe dr adful to admit of any buse 1.69 41 5 courfe which, we ought to rariue. The Catholics of Incare, in their prefent ftate, are likely to join an invad ig eremy in great numbers. If they to join him, it is eviderdy ་ doubtful whether Ireland can be faved from cerquetti and if Ireland be ft, it feems mo.: probable that England caract kry be preferved. The emancipation of the Catholics would infallibly reconcile many, and ab.te the animouity of all; it would diform the agitators of their most powerful and plaufibie pretext; and, if accomanied by a fitem of genuine conciliation, could fcarcely fail to compofe all differences, and unite the whole popuJation in defence of the rights and privileges which they would then poffefs in common. In this fitustion, it must be admitted, that the difadvantages of the measure must be shown to be itrong and terrible indeed, before they can justify us in withholding it, or determine us to endure all the evils and dangers to which we must be fubject till it is adopted. We fhall now endeavour, therefore, to determine what are thefe difadvantages.
Before entering upon this fubject, it is worth while, however, to remark, that the greater part of them feem only to have occurred to the various authors and orators, by whom they have lately been brought forward, fince the recent change of adminiftration may have fugreited the prudence and popularity of fuch an expofition. While the late miniftry were in power, and it was generally underfood that a difpofition to relieve the Catholics prevailed among those who had the chief management of affairs, a moft fingular and cautious filence was obferved, upon the topics which are now fo loudly refounded; and the measure that has fince been fo clamoroufly abufed, was announced and brought forward with a greater appearance of acquiefence and approbation, both in Parlament and out of it, than any meafure of equal importance which has lately been propofed or adopted in this country. The watchmen of the church, as they have fince ingenuously confeffed, fumbered at their pofts;-the guardians of the conftitution were Julled into perfect fecurity;-and the keeper of the King's confcience could difcover nothing that afforded the remoteft reason
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the moå arguake dama, nbe ciks i pard the raw for the fat spitre of this country ov İn à reoes and f rean Cathouha 2 1-2 Such a dual 1223, kort, Ead not been beat of ince the cars of Ger Fowkes and As lanterns and lerer and lat
without exciting the ima
ings to do Mitte ie the cita ed for us. The beauty of 17 res vid crew forth all eloppent months, had lain upon the thorox and clintercted periost been peruted and land arise be them, e emotion of alarm or indignation It was not t it was dif covered that there was to be à change of minitry on account of then, that they germinated into thelt fine flowers of lovby and zra, from which the ninon has Coce derived fach inclied tole beseft. We have takim some pains to procure all the pamphlets which have been published on this intercaleg subject; and, is far as we have been able to afcertain, there does not appear to have beca more than two or three written previous to that event, which made it to prucent and profitable to multiply their number. Up to that very hour, there never was a multire, we bilave, of the fame magnitude, which excited to little encullen, or met with fɔ little opposition among the tribe of political writers; and, if it had not been for the change of ministry, we are perfectly certa that we thould never have feen ner heata of one hundredth part thote profound performances, in which the impolicy of the Ca lic emancipation is fo fatisfactorily demonstrated. The cr these productions, however, has, to be furt, in ftrict resor no neceifery connexion with their intrinic merit; and, the
If the former supposition be adopted, then there is an end of the question; for, the relief which is now claimed by the Catholics is a legislative relief; and the laws by which they are set free from their present disabilities, will then be the laws according to which his Majesty has sworn to govern his people, and to maintain Eis church. If, on the other hand, it be alleged, that the laws. referred to in the oath were the laws then in existence, and that the intention of that obligation was to restrain the Sovereign from consenting to any measure by which the rights and privileges of his people, referable to religion, might even indirectly be varied, then it follows, that in order to implement and render effectual that provision, the Catholic petition should instantly be granted, and the whole privileges, to which they there lay claim, instantly confirmed to them by the legislature. For it is a fact which has been studiously kept out of view by the enemies of this claim, that at the time when the present coronation oath was framed, and taken by King William, Catholics sate in both Houses of Parliament in Ireland, and were eligible to all offices, civil and militury. The oath was framed in the first year of William and Mary; and Catholics were only deprived of the rights which they are now seeking to regain, by the acts of the 3d and 4th of those Sovereigns, and by the 1st and 2d of Queen Anne. This dilemma, it is humbly conceived, brings the whole question to a very short issue, and seems to render any further discussion superAuous.
We may remark, however, in the last place, that the question seems to have been practically settled, in the course of the present reign, in a way that makes it difficult to imagine upon what ground it can now be supposed attended with any difficulty. The objection is, that to admit Catholics to civil rights and privileges, from which they were formerly excluded, is, in an indirect manner, to attack and expose the Protestant establishment; and that the King, therefore, cannot admit them to such privileges without a violation of his coronation oath. Now, if this were the first time that such privileges had been claimed or granted, we can understand, that some of the foregoing considerations might have been necessary, to obviate the scruples in which this objection has its foundation. But it is perfectly well known, that, in the course of the last thirty years, the Catholic subjects of the King have been admitted to a great variety of privileges from which they were formerly excluded; and that the remaining disabilities, of which they now pray the removal, are infinitely fewer in number, and more insignificant in degree, than those for which they are already indebted to the goodness of his Majesty, and the wisdom of his advisers. If the coronation oath