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its own repeal. It should be undone, if for no other, because it was so foully done. This is a point which no one now pretends seriously to controvert; the utmost extent to which even the least scrupulous hireling advocacy can proceed, is to palliate or doubt some of the worst of its worst features. The advantage taken of the exhausted and broken condition of the country when it lay prostrate after the rebellion as after a fresh conquest-the reign of terror of that period, with all its massacres, military and judicial, and its fearful decimation of all that was best, bravest and most patriotic in Irelandthe cold-blooded art with which that unhappy event had been even fomented by the government, through its agents and spies in the councils of the United Irishmen, suffering it to mature to the point of explosion, instead of arresting it at an earlier stage, for the purpose of securing the more victims the more effectually within the halter's noose, a policy attended with frightful fruits of bloodshed that might have been avoided, --and then the mingled fraud and force applied to cram the act of union down the throats of the Irish parliament the undenied application of about fivè millions of dollars to the work of bribery, and six millions to that of the purchase of boroughs (money which Ireland was herself afterwards made to pay !), in addition to an indefinite distribution of offices and honors—the armed prohibition of all public meetings for protest against the measure, and the variety of modes resorted to, to punish those who exerted themselves in getting up petitions against it-the mode in which, when the first trial of even all this gigantic machinery of wholesale corruption and intimidation failed in securing the requisite majority, many whom government had been unable to bring to the point of selling outright their votes against their country, were at least bought to resign their seats, which were then filled by aliens, many of whom were its naval and military officers, and all its creatures; so that when the measure was at last carried, the number of these exceeded that of the majority by which the infamous policy of Castlereagh and Pitt was at last forced through to its foul triumphwho, who can rise from the perusal of this revolting chapter of the history of the Union, without assenting to the
argument that it constitutes in itself the sufficient reason for its own repeal? It is no wonder that the Irish should continue to cherish an inextinguishable hostility to that legislative union which rested on such an origin for its basis, and be eager and resolute to seize upon the first opportunity for its abrogation. It was too deeply, too radically tainted with immorality to live. If there is such a principle of divine retribution in politics as in every other department of human affairs, by which great wrongs entail their own punishment and redress, by an inevitable reaction issuing out of themselves, it would seem impossible, it would seem a violation of all natural justice and right, that the eventual triumph of successful permanency should crown and consummate such an act as this.
To these considerations should moreover be added that of the essential incompetency of the Irish parliament thus to give away their country-to surrender up its nationality—to extinguish the political existence of their own body, and, indeed, the constitution of which they constituted the main vital element. Even had that parliament been a true representative of the nation, instead of its mere landed and Protestant interest, to the exclusion of the great bulk of the people, it could never possess such a power or faculty. This point was thus eloquently urged in that body itself by the celebrated Mr. Plunket, afterwards Lord Plunket:
the competency of parliament to do this "SIR,-I, in the most express terms, deny act. I warn you, do not dare to lay your hands on the constitution. I tell you that if, circumstanced as you are, you pass this act, it will be a mere nullity, and no man in Ireland will be bound to obey it. I make the assertion deliberately. I repeat it. I call on any man who hears me to take down my words. You have not been elected for this purpose. You are appointed to make laws, and not legislatures; you are appointed to execute the functions of legislators, and not to transfer them ; you are appointed to act under the constitution, and not to alter it; if you do so, your act is a dissolution of the governmentyou resolve society into its original elements, and no man in the land is bound to obey you. Sir, I state doctrines that are not merely founded on the immutable laws of truth and reason; I state not merely the opinions of the ablest and wisest men who have written on the science of govern
went; but I state the practice of our conslitution as settled at the era of the revotution, and I state the doctrine under mhich the house of Hanover derives its title to the throne. Has the King a right to transfer his crown? Is he competent to annex it to the crown of Spain, or any other country? No; but he may abdicate it, and every man who knows the constitution knows the consequence-the right reverts to the next in succession. If they all abdicate it reverts to the people. The man who questions this doctrine, in the same breath must denounce the sovereign on the throne as an usurper. Are you competent to transfer your legislative rights to the French Council of Five Hundred? Are you competent to transfer them to the British parliament? I answer-No! if you transfer you abdicate, and the great original trust reverts to the people, from whom it issued. Yourselves you may extinguish, but parliament you cannot extinguish. It is enthroned in the hearts of the people-it is enshrined in the sanctuary of the constitution-it is as immortal as the island which it protects. As well might the frantic suicide hope that the act which destroys his miserable body should extinguish his eternal soul! Again, I therefore warn you-Do not dare to lay your hands on the constitution; it is above your powers."
And how flagrantly, how openly in contempt of the will of the people, thus betrayed and sold by those who had no constitutional authority even for their own act of corrupt treachery, was this measure carried, is manifest enough from the following extract from a speech of Lord Grey, in 1800. It should be borne in mind how much the force of its testimony is increased by the consideration of all the difficulties opposed by the government to the popular petitioning against the union, dispersing with the military all public meetings convened for the purpose:
"Twenty-seven counties have petitioned against the measure. The petition from the county of Down is signed by upwards of 17,000 respectable independent men, and all the others are in a simi
lar proportion. Dublin petitioned, under the great seal of the city, and each of the corporations in it followed the example. Drogheda petitioned against the union, and almost every other town in the kingdom, in like manner, testified its disapprobation. Those in favor of the measure, professing great influence in the country, obtained a few counter petitions. Yet,
though the petition from the county of Down was signed by 17,000, the counter petition was signed only by 415. Though there were 707,000 who had signed petitions against the measure, the total number of those who declared themselves in favor of it did not exceed 3,000, and many even of these only prayed that the measure might be discussed. If the facts I state are true (and I challenge any man to falsify them), could a nation in more direct terms express its disapprobation of a political measure than Ireland has done of a legislative union with Great Britain ? In fact, the nation is nearly unanimous, and this great majority is composed, not of bigots, fanatics, or jacobins, but of the most respectable of every class in the community.”
One point alone remains which it is worth while to add, to complete this evidence of the fact that the union was not the act of the Irish people, and that whose atrocious criminality of fraud and it was perfectly understood by those violence succeeded in riveting its fetters upon their necks. It is, that in 1797, when the country was threatened with a rebellion, the military force in Ireland was but 78,995; in 1798, it was 91,995; in 1799, it was 114,052; and in 1800, two years after the rebellion, when the union was carried, it increased to 129,258 soldiers,-as O'Connell styles them, quoting from Lord Stafford's celebrated phrase, "good lookers-on."
But does Ireland possess under the union such advantages as should constitute practical present reason for forgiving and forgetting the past, and acquiescing in a result for the origin of which there is no living generation now to be held responsible? The answer to this question is easily found, in the present wretched state of her people, one-third of whom are kept down at or close to the very starving point; in the almost total decay of the commerce and manufactures which, during the period of her independent legislation, from 1782 to 1800, were active and prosperous; in the discrimination constantly made against Ireland, by the imperial parliament, to the advantage of England and Scotland, in the extension of measures of popular reform, and other important acts of legislation; in the inferiority of influence always accorded to Irish members by the British ministries and parliament, in comparison
with that exercised by those of English constituencies; in the offensive and injurious reluctance habitual to parliament to giving the proper time and attention to Irish legislation, so as to make it not unfrequently necessary to appeal to their shame to gain their ear at all; in the insignificant proportion in which Irishmen are to be found admitted within the whole range of the public employments and offices, from the highest to the lowest, the cases of exception being often those earned only by infidelity to the cause of their country; in the enormous drain, perpetually flowing like a wasting issue of blood, consequent on the absenteeism, caused mainly by the withdrawal of the legislature, and the entire provincial character thus fastened on the country; in the juggling oppression by which, in spite of the most solemn pledges at the union, the English debt, by the consolidation of the two exchequers in 1817, was saddled also upon Ireland; by the slowness with which even such a measure of justice as the Catholic Emancipation Act was extorted from English legislation, which would have been long before granted by any local parliament of even Protestants; in the continued maintainance of the Church Establishment, a most galling as well as oppressive badge of conquest, at enormous national expense, and in spite of the conscientious and profound hostility of seven-eighths of the people; and— to pause in the unending enumerationin the vast disparity existing between Ireland and the "sister island" in the proportionate numbers of representatives in parliament, as well as in the extension of the franchise among the people. We will not lengthen this Article by going into the illustrations of all these various points, which lie ready enough at hand, with only the embarras de richesses. The last one, however, is one likely to be peculiarly appreciated by the American reader, accustomed as he is to feel the right to a fair and equal participation in his own representative self-government, a right so precious and so prized as to be secondary to no considerations of expediency.
During the debates on the English Reform Bill in 1830, it was unanswerably shown by Mr. O'Connell, that on a just computation of the elements on which it was admitted that parliament
ary representation should be basednamely population, exports, imports, revenue, and rental, estimated comparatively with England-Ireland was entitled to at least 176 members, whereas the number actually allowed her was only 105. In his recent speech in the debate on this subject in the Corporation of Dublin, some statements were exhibited of the effect of this gross inequality of representation in particular localities, from which we derive the following. Wales, with a population of 800,000, has 28 members; in the county of Cork the rural population is 713,716, who are represented by only two members. So likewise the county Mayo, with half the population of Wales, has only two. The following table compares five English with the same number of Irish counties, the latter being printed in italic:
is so arranged that while in the above English counties (and we have no means at hand for a. more extended comparison), it is possessed by one in every seventeen of the rural population, in the Irish counties it is possessed by only one in every 136-making one of the former equivalent to eight of the latter.
In illustration of the allusion above made to the disfavor shown by English government to Ireland and the Irish in all the patronage of public employment, we are induced to quote the following article from a recent number of the "Dublin Mail: "
"ENGLISH PATRONAGE OF IRISHMEN. "We need not persevere in re stating our own crude views, opposed as they evidently are to those of a heaven-born minister,' but we may just mention that, "The Archbishop of Dublin is an Eng
"The Chief Administrator of the Irish poor-law is an Englishman.
"The Paymaster of Irish Civil Services is a Scotchman.
"The Chief Commissioner of Irish Public Works is an Englishman.
"The Teller of the Irish Exchequer is an Englishman.
"The Chief Officer of the Irish Constabulary is a Scotchman. ost
"The Chief Officer of the Irish P Office is an Englishman.
“But the Times may perhaps observe, True, but all this is only the elucidation of our plan for unbarring the gates of preferment unsparingly, impartially, and honestly.' Scotchmen and Englishmen are placed in office in Ireland, and Irishmen, in return, in Scotland and England, in order to draw closer the bonds of Union between the three united nations. Again let us see how facts actually stand. There are
"Cabinet Ministers-Englishmen, 10, Scotchman, 3-Irishmen, 0.
"Lords of the Treasury-Englishmen, 4-Scotchman, 1-Irishman, 1.
"Secretaries of the Treasury-Englishman, 1-Scotchman, 1.
"Clerks of the Treasury-Englishmen or Scotchmen, 11-2 Mr. Fitzgerald [quere an Irishman], 1.
"Members of the Lord Steward's and Lord Chamberlain's departments of the Royal Household - Englishmen and Scotchmen, 225-Irishmen, 4.
"British Ministers to Foreign Courts -Englishmen and Scotchmen, 131-Irishmen, 4.
"Collector of Excise is a Scotchman.
"Head of the Revenue Police is an Englishman.
"Second in command is a Scotchman. "Persons employed in the collection of the customs, &c., are English and Scotchmen-in the proportion of thirty-five to one. "Poor-Law Commissioners-Englishmen, 3-Irishmen, 0.
"We presume these facts show that the natives of the three kingdoms are all placed upon an equal footing, the chances of access to preferments to an Englishman or Scotchman in Ireland, being, in the few instances that have occurred to us while writing, as 6 to 0; while the probability of an Irishman obtaining place in England appears, from an analogous calculation, to be in the proportion of 491 to 10, or as 1 to 50."
A few figures, which we derive from the very able and ample debate in the corporation of Dublin, above referred to, will exhibit in a strong light the comparative prosperity of the country at the two periods, the one of selfthe other under the Union. The numlegislation from 1782 to the Union, and ber of tradesmen in Dublin in 1800 was 61,075; the number existing in 1834 was 14,446,-of whom there were then idle 4,412, showing a decrease of 51,041. The reports of the Repeal Association abound with evidence respecting the decay of manufactures, not in Dublin alone, but in all parts of the island, and afford unequivocal proof that the main sources of occupation are cut off from the great body of the people. The exports of live cattle and corn have also increased, and that in a great degree. While the aggregate of all exports remains about the same, there has been a large increase of the population, and the nature of the exports has in a great degree changed, from articles representing industry and profitable employment for large masses, to live provisions, representing but little of such employment, and now withdrawn from the sustenance of those who produce them, to minister to the foreign luxuries of their absentee landlords. The returns of one of the great cattle fairs show this point very At Ballynasloe Fair the strikingly. quantities of sheep and horned cattle for two several years were as follows:
Poor Law Commissioners that onethird of the people were starving or subsisting on charity.
The following comparative statements respecting the two countries, (which we put together from tables derived from Mr. Spring Rice's Irish Poor report, the testimony of an enemy), exhibit strikingly the fruits of domestic and of foreign legislation on the general prosperity of a country, as shown in the consumption of the comforts of life. The large increase in all these articles, corresponds with abundant other conclusive evidence of its rapidly rising prosperity within the period in question, on which it is unnecessary to dwell, it being a point undisputed from any quarter. The relative increase in the two countries upon the consumption of tea, coffee, sugar, tobacco, wine, from 1785 to the Union, and again from the Union to 1827, was as follows:
Before. 45 per cent. 84 c6
After. 25 per cent. 24 66
Upon all these articles the relative increase is greater in Ireland than in England within the first period; while within the second the reverse is the case, in the two last articles the decrease in Ireland, notwithstanding the increase in population, points significantly to the increasing poverty of alike the middle and lower classes; and the whole table suggests a salutary lesson to all those who would regard alien legislation as more favorable to the prosperity and growth of a country than independent self-government.
On the shameful way in which Ireland has been cheated in the matter of the public debt, we will not pause to dwell. She has been saddled with a participation in upwards of four hundred millions of England's old debt, in violation of the solemn agreement of the act of union, besides being involved in all the extravagance of England's subsequent wars and debts-in which
she would never have plunged of her own accord. But for the union, the comparatively small debt she brought to it would have been long ago paid from the surplus of her own revenues, inferior as the latter have been to what a continuance of her former prosperity would have made them ;-independent of the terrible drain of absenteeism, which has increased, from five millions of dollars, to twenty-five millions per
But enough of all this. It has, perhaps, been unnecessary to our object of satisfying and convincing the American mind of the rightfulness of the present movement of the Irish people, yet it will not have been wholly useless. Great as is the value we Americans attach to abstract political principles, yet the love of order and repose, the conservative spirit, is so strong with us, that we always require something more-actual, practical grievances and