תמונות בעמוד

traced and arranged according to their general 1801. consequences and effects. Lord Cornwallis avowed, in his letter to the author, that the paper (which has been called the pledge to the Catholics)“ was

hastily given by him to Dr. Troy to be circulated amongst his friends with the view of preventing

any immediate disturbances or other bad effects, " that might be apprehended from the accounts, " that had just arrived from England." The first public reports of a general change of administration in England, reached Ireland in the first week of February : that is, as soon as the course of the post could bring from England. the reported consequences of the council, which sat at the Queen's house on the 30th of January. Although it be alledged by Lord Cornwallis, that the paper was hastily given, it follows not, that it was hastily

To this letter the author received the following conclusive ad mission of the genuine authenticity of the important documents published in the Historical Review.


Burlington-Street, April 8th 1805. I have alluded in my former letter to a short paper, which I gave to Dr. Troy on the morning after the account of the resigpation arrived. I have no copies of the papers, which you have

DOW transmitted. I do not however doubt their authority; but of one circumstance I can speak with the most confident certainty viz. that I had on no occasion any authority for using the word pledged, but what I thought arose from the act of resignation.

I have the honour to be,

Sir, Your most obedient and most humble seryant, :)?



[ocr errors]

1801, prepared. The two papers ascribed respectively to

Mr. Pitt and Lord Cornwallis bear a similarity of
stile, and may naturally be supposed to bave been
the production of the same individual, whose
insidious lubricity had been supereminently suc-
cessful in cuping the Irish into incorporate union
and out of Catholic emancipation. Mr. Pitt gave
unequivocal evidence in the House of Commons,
that his paper was manufactured by Lord Castle-
rèagh: but to the sentiments it contained; when
properly interpreted, he however subscribed : and
long after the time of the delivery of both papers,
this trusty séribe of deception continued thre
official Secretary of Lord Cornwallis : and that
Noble Marquis in executing Mr. Pitt's projects
upon Ireland, left the proper interpretation of
every captious speech, hallow promise and insidious
action to the deceptive powers of his employer.
When Mr. Grey moved the House of Commons
(on the 25th of March) to resolve itself into a
committee of the wliole house, to take into conside-
ration the state of the nation, he very judiciously
brought the situation of Ireland under their con-
sideration, as a most important part of his subject.
In referring to those written pledges he roundly
charged them with having been given without
sincerity and without authority. ! If Catliolic
freedom were offered to the Irish as the price of
“their support of the union, if the faith of the
“ Government were pledged on that occasion, it
forms" the highest species of criminality in Mi-

nisters, because I am confident, said he, if such



the Catho lic question.

were the case, it was so pledged without the

authority of the King: for I know his Majesty " is superior to the idea of swerying in the slightest " degree from the observance of his word. This " then was a crime of the highest denominatioạ "in Ministers, and calls for enquiry. I ask, if

such promise were made, was Lord Clare and " the Protestant ascendancy party made ac

quainted with it? If so, they were a party to " the delusion, that was intended to be practised on “the unhappy. Catholic,”

Mr. Pitt, though no longer in office sat on the Mr. Pet's Ministerial side of the house, and in his reply to Mr. meaning ou Grey, dwelt as slightly, as possible on that part his speech, which touchied Ireland. The little however he did say, was pregnant with importance to the country. It seemed, that with the office, he had laid aside that craft and wariness, in which he usually enveloped his speeches in Parliament.--

Although,” said the Ex-Minister; "the gentlemen opposite to me may agree with me in the

necessity of Catholic Emancipation, yet I be“ lieve I shall not be entitled to their support,

when I state the principles, on which I intended

to have brought it forward. I hope, however, “ the time is not far distant, when in reward of " the patience and resignation of the Catholics it

be carried into effect, so as to confirm the general tranquillity and security of the empire.” He added also on the same occasion, that he had

no part in the wording of the paper. It was s drawn up by Lord Castlereagh. To the senti

it inay


ments it contained, when properly interpreted, '" he however subscribed ; further he would nei**ther avow nor explain.” Mr. Pitt's few words on this occasion admitted several important truths, which it interests the Irishi nation to circulate, and perpetuate in justice and justification to themselves and their posterity. It was an admission from an enemy (and a greater Ireland never had), that in the very hour, in which the British Government was wresting from her the advantages of trial by jury and the habeas corpus, in the moment of baffling her expectations to be admitted to a general participation of all the constitutional rights, her patience and resignation were exemplary, and ought to be rewarded, and that her emancipation was necessary for 'confirming the general tranquillity and security of the empire. ? 1!

Such was the forced and reluctant admission of have been Mr. Pitt concerning the Irish Catholics, such as he

had known' them during seventeen years experience. But what were the principles, on which he intended to bring forward that measure, to which he anticipated such pointed resistance from the opposite benches? Well was Mr. Pitt aware of the broad and liberal policy of Mr. Fox and his friends; he foresaw their indignant rejection of any offer or proposal to the Irish Catholics, which should break into their religious credence or practices, or tend to seduce or force them to become a different society, from what they had hitherto been. Mr. Pitt spoke with laconic reserve : but never wished to meet the argument of religious

Catholiis as they always


or even civil liberty.on principle and merits. He sought to decoy the Catholic Hierarchy of Ireland into an alliance with the State ; and as he had

generally succeeded in his venal powers of seduction, he anticipated the sure ruin of the Catholics in the effect of their illicit connection. The direct proposal of últimate guilt, never leads the premeditated attack on virtue. Even precipitancy is checked, where malice moves to conquest. It was not at that time publicly known, that in January 1799, a very artful proposal had been made by Government to the Roman Catholic Prelates of Ireland of an independent provision for the Roman Catholic Clergy of Ireland, under certain regulations, said not to be incompatible with their doctrine, discipline, or just principles. It was admitted by a large number of the prelates then convened in Dublin, that it ought to be thankfully accepted.

They went a step further and signed the follow- Resolutions ing general resolution : “ That in the appointment jated in " of the Prelates of the Roman Catholic Religion 1799. แ

to vacant sees within the kingdom, such inter“ ference with Government as may enable it to be “ satisfied with the loyalty of the person appointed, “ is just and ought to be agreed to.” And for the purpose of giving it effect, they further resolved, that after the usual canonical election the president should transmit the name of the elected to Government, which in one month after such transmission, should return the name of the elected, (if unobjectionable) that he might be confirmed by the Holy See. If he should be objected to by

of the Pre

« הקודםהמשך »