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they were not already in unifon; and the nonexistence of any fuch practice in past times, in the cafe of Ireland, could only be accounted for from the unufual and difgraceful animofity with which the two religions, of the people and of the government, have hitherto looked on each other; and for this very reafon, it appears to us, that the propofal for introducing fuch a channel of communication ought to have been hailed with gratitude, as the harbinger and the fignal of improved and improving cordiality.
So much for the faults of the Catholics, in this ill managed bufinefs of the veto;-faults, however, for which there is at leaft this apology, that they were committed in agitation of spirits, and on the sudden inftigation of fears and paffions, excited by defigning and intemperate men, among the ignorant and the irritable of an oppreffed and ill educated population. If there were correfponding faults on the fide of the Protestants, they will scarcely admit of an excufe fo plaufible.
Their first fault, we think, was, in not taking measures long ago to prevent the refiftance and diffenfions by which they have now been obstructed. The true policy would have been, to have applied to the Pope, foon after the first propofition in 1799, and to have obtained his fanction to the projected arrangement ;-a fanction which would never have been refused to the joint application of the British government and the Catholic prelacy of Ireland; and which would have effectually prevented any murmurs or clamours, fimilar to what have fince been raised by a mixture of bigotry and difaffection.
But in the next place, we must fay, that we find it very difficult to discover either the wifdom of making this veto the condition of granting the prayer of the Catholic petitions,-or the juftice of delaying to restore their rights to one fet of men, because another has refufed to make a reasonable conceffion. The Catholic petitions are prefented in name of the Catholic laity; and they pray only for the removal of thofe civil difabilities, by which they are obftructed in their worldly career of honourable ambition or emolument. The veto, on the other hand, relates only to the ec clesiastics; and goes to veft a fort of negative patronage in government, as to the offices of the bishops.-Are there any ground, then, here, for a fair compenfation ?-Or, is it equitable to refufe juftice to the laity, becaufe the clergy will not hear reafon ?When the queftion was about making a pecuniary provision for the clergy themfelves, there was a fair opportunity for making fuch a ftipulation in return; but, when the only point is, whether it be reasonable that deferving Catholics fhould be excluded from being made Generals, Judges or Commiffioners, is it a fatisfactory anfwer to fay, that it is not much more unreasonable than for the Catholic bishops to refufe the King's veto on their nomination?
So much for the abstract juftice, and reafonablenefs, of the condition.-Let us look now, for a moment, to its policy. We must have this veto, it feems, on the nomination of the Catholic bifhops becaufe the bifhops have great influence in fociety.-and the Pope being now in the power of Bonaparte, may open, through them, a fecret and most perilous channel of intrigue in the very heart of the kingdom. We do not mean abfolutely to deny the danger, (though we think it of no very formidable magnitude); ner to call in queftion the propriety of attempting to obtain this to as the means of averting it. But we cannot perfuade ourfelves, that it is a kely way to get it, to pollpens the Catholic emancipation till it be conceded; and are quite fitisfied, that we incur a far greater danger by leaving the Irth Catholics both without a veto and without emancipation, than if they were merely without the former. It does not appear at all probable, that we thall ever perfuade the pricfood to allow us this veto on the appointment of their biflops, by merely continuing to exclude the laity from places of power and dignity; and if this rigid and exafperating fyftem is not very f edily to produce this effa, is it poffible to doubt that we fall be in much greater danger from Irish difaffection and intrigue, carried on either through bishops or through laymen, if we continue to treat their whole popultion with contumely and rigour, than if we had gained their af fection by a fyftem of liberality and indul, ence? We have not the veto now and unless we proclaim an active and exterminating perfecution against the whole fect, we muft ftill mit to let them have bishops over whofe nomination we have no controul, and through whom the Pope mv infil into the nation the poifon which he has fucked from the heart of Bonaparte. The queftion then is, whether this poifon is more likely to produce the moft malignant effects, upon a nation irritated and dippointed by the depreflion of its moft afpiring minds, and exafperated by the ill fuccefs of the legal efforts it has fo long made for its Fboration, or upon a nation which we had generoufly pacified, and wifely conciliated,-where every heart was full of joy for its deliverance, and of gratitude to its deliverers, and which had already obtained, from the confiling generofity' of its brethren, l 'at could be. boaftfully promifed by the doubtful and humiliating aid of a foreign averger?
This is our choice-as to pr fent and probable danger; and, even as to the queftion of the to itfelf, we cannot belp thinking, that it would be granted with infinitely 1fs reluctance to a government which had given fuch a gril pledge of its confidence and affection, than to one which had invited diftruft by its fufpicions, and juftified the apprehenfion of Lofility by the anxity of its own exceflive precaution.
VOL. XVII. NO. 33.
In what we have now stated, we are far from being insensible to the necessity of providing for the prosperity of the two nations by a large and comprehensive scheme of conciliation-embracing many points connected with their religion, as well as many that belong to a different chapter; nor would we insinu te the least censure on the wisdom of the attempt that was made to for ward this great scheme, by introducing the vet, at the same time that the civil disabilities of the Catholics were to be finally recressed and done away. The attempt, we have already said, was reasonable and wise; and the prospect of success, if judicious means had been employed, very fair and encoraking :-bat now, when the attempt has obviously failed, and when obstacles, that cannot be speedily overcome, have put it out of our power to accomplish these two objects together, we do very seriously deprecate the policy or the feeling that would lead us to abandon that which is by far the most important, merely because it can not now be carried with its most desirable accompaniments. Let us do what it is in our power to do, although we cannot do all that we would wish--and, above all, let us not neglect or postpone the doing of that which is urgent and indispensable, because we are not yet permitted to do all that would be convenient and agreeable. Let us medicate the wound which agonizes, and bind up that which is bleeding to death. There will be time enough, hereafter, to foment those parts that are stiff and tumid, and to spread our balm over the spots that are still irritable and tender.
We have now gone over the greater part of what we propofed to fay upon this molt momentous question, and willingiv cut thort what ftill preffes upon our attention. We cannot conclude, however, without taking fome notice of the tone that has been lately adopted among the enemies to this caufe, of representing it as an insignificant, and as a party queftion-a fubject which really is not worth confidering for itfelf, and which has derived its whole importance from having been taken up by facious and difappointed men, in order to disturb the peace of his Majesty's government! There is a bafeness in the utter and inexcufeable falfehood of such a flatement, that not only difhonours the caufe it is meant to ferve, but, in fome measure, degrades the detector who is bound to expofe it. Was it an infignificant caufe, then, for which Pitt refigned his power in the crisis of his country's fate, and for which Burke declared, that he would willingly hy down his life?-Was it an infignicant caufe which deprived the King of a poweriul niniitry, when there was scarcely an oppofition in existence; and introduced their fucceffors to oilice under the heavy burden of a pleage, til then unknown, and unimagined, in the conftitution which impelled bifhops to teft fy in favour of a rival church, and againit the fentin of the Sovereign, and drove, even thofe who were pladge
ed to oppose the measure, to acknowledge the juftice of its principle? But there is other proof of its importance. It is a quetion touching the honour, and the comfort, and the attachment, of three millions of our fellow fubjects-touching the rights and the pretentions of more than a half of our army and our navy.-Upon this fubj &, Sir J. Hppiiley has collected fome valuable inform ation. Of forty-fix thips of the line fucceflively ftationed t Piymouth, the C tholics in the crews exceeded the Protettints in the proportion of three to two-and, at one time, out of 470 patients in the naval hofpital, 360 were Catholic. In the army again, he stated, that it was now univerfalty admitted, that the Catholic re-cruits greatly exceeded the Protestants. Of 3000 new levies, that marched lately to the Isle of Wight, only 160 were Protellantand of the 400 who fought at Monte Video, 3000, at leaft, were Catholics. * Yet thefe are the men, about whom, we are told, it is idle torke any intereft;-thefe are the men, whom a Reverend Divine (since made a Bishop) has exhorted us to drive from our armies and our councils,'+--the men, whom a learned Doctor (since made a Privy Counsellor) is pleafed to qualify as neceffarily 'traitors' to their country! ‡
As to the imputation of this being a Party question, it is only necessary to turn to the names of those by whom it has been u niformly and zealously patronised. By a party question, in the sense of this accusation, is meant a question that would only be stirred by those who were hostile to the monarchy--by dangerous Whigs, in short, or persons having a certain tincture of Jacobinism. Yet, who were the great supporters of this cause, but the zealots of royalty-the idols of the antijacobins--Mr Pitt and Mr Burke? Could that be a party question on which Fox and C 2 Pitt
* The way in which these brave men are treated with regard to the exercise of their religion, even in spite of the laws which have been passed for their protection, shows, more strongly perhaps than any thing else, the strong tendency to oppression, which is generated and matured into habit, even by what remains of the Catholic code. It is stated by Sir J. Hippisley, in the Speech before us, and abundantly confirmed by the documents annexed, that the Catholic soldiery are most commonly marched indiscriminately to the established church, without being at all permitted to attend their own-though sometimes only obliged to attend the Protestant worship alternately with the Catholic.
+ Vide the Concio apud Synodum Cantuariensem, July 1807, by Doctor B. E. Sparke, since created Bishop of Chester, p. 13. ; where the reverend person says, that while the Catholics persist in their present errors, tam liu illos, tanquam omnis hunani pariter divinique juris hostes, pertimescere ET A CURIA ET MILIHA ARCERE NECESSE EST,' ‡ Vile Dr Duigenn's Fair Representation of the State of Luland.'
Pitt were, throughout all their lives, most cordially united; and in which Burke, and Windham, and Grenville, continued equally zealous and steady, when they served under the banners of the one or the other of these illustrious statesmen ?--Is there one name, in short, that has been loved in our own times, or will be revered hereafter, by any sect or school of politicians, which is not ranked among the supporters of this great cause?-or is there one, almost, among its creditable opponents, who has not, at some time or other, borne testimony to its importance, and to the general equity of its foundations?
It was our intention to have closed this article by the citation of some of the most remarkable passages in which almost all the distinguished men of this age have spoken of the subject now before us; but we have left ourselves no room for marshalling this host of authorities. One or two, however, which have not been brought into general notice, we shall take the liberty of subjoining.
Of Locke, or of Adam Smith, it is unnecessary to mention. more than the names; but it may not be so universally known, that Judge Blackstone, in the 4th book of his Commentaries, uses these, we trust prophetical, expressions. If a time shall ever arrive, when all fears of a pretender have vanished, and the ci⚫ vil influence of the Pope shall have become feeble and despicable, not only in England, but in every kingdom of Europe,then will be the time to remove those rigorous edicts against the Catholics; at least, till their civil principles shall again call on the magistrate to renew them.' The time here anticipated by the learned Judge, is now come. There is no longer a pretender to the throne of England; and the Pope is reduced to the condition of a poor stipendiary in a foreign land; and yet we talk of the danger of emancipating the Catholics, with more eagerness than they did in the days of King William.
The sentiments of the celebrated Dr Johnson, the most zealous high-church and high-monarchy man of all his cotemporary philosophers, are well recorded by Mr Boswell. Speaking of the dangers to the establishment, from any indulgence shown to the Catholics, and the ever famous cry of Popery! he observed, that those who can cry Popery! in the present times, would have cried, fire! fire! in the time of the Deluge. And, on another occasion, Bursting,' as Mr Boswell says, into a fit of generous indignation,' he said, the Irish are in a most vanatural state; the minority prevails over the majority. There is no instance, even in the ten persecutions, of such severity as that which the Protestants of Ireland have exercised against the Catholics.' From Mr Burke, we had marked several long periods for quotation; but we restrain ourselves to one short passage 3