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The right honorable gentleman has called me" an unimpeached trai tor.” I ask, why not « traitor," unqualified by any epithet? I will tell him ; it was because he dare not! It was the act of a coward, who raises his arm to strike, but has not courage to give the blow! I will not call him villain, because it would be unparliamentary, and he is a privy councillor. I will not call him fool, because he happens to be Chancellor of the Exchequer. But I say he is one who has abused the privilege of Parliament and freedom of debate,, to the uttering language, which, if spoken out of the House, I should answer only with a Llow! I care not how high his situation, how low his character, how contemptible his speech; whether a privy councillor or a parasite, my answer would be a blow! He has charged me with being connected with the rebels. The charge is utterly, totally, and meanly false ! Does the honorable gentleman rely on the report of the House of Lords for the foundation of his assertion? If he does, I can prove to the committee there was a physical impossibility of that report being true. But I scorn to answer any man for my conduct, whether he be a political coxcomb, or whether he brought himself into power by a false glare of courage or not.
I have returned, not, as the right honorable member has said, to raise another storm, — I have returned to discharge an honorable debt of gratitude to my country, that conferred a great reward for past services, which, I am proud to say, was not greater than my desert. I have returned to protect that Constitution, of which I was the parent and the founder, from the assassination of such men as the honorable gentleman and his unworthy associates. They are corrupt — they are seditious — and they, at this very moment, are in a conspiracy against their country! I have returned to refute a libel, as false as it is mali. cious, given to the public under the appellation of a report of the committee of the Lords. Here I stand for impeachment or trial! I dare accusation! I defy the honorable gentleman! I defy the Gov. ernment! I defy their whole phalanx !— let them come forth! I tell the ministers I shall neither give them quarter nor take it! I am here to lay the shattered remains of my constitution on the floor of this House, in defence of the liberties of my country.
70. UNION WITH GREAT BRITAIN, 1800. -- Henry Grattan. The minister misrepresents the sentiments of the People, as he has ocfore traduced their reputation. He asserts, that after a calm and mature consideration, they have pronounced their judgment in favor of an Union. Of this assertion not one syllable has any existence in fact, or in the appearance of fact. I appeal to the petitions of twenty. one counties in evidence. To affirm that the judgment of a Nation against is for; to assert that she has said ay when she has pronounced no; to make the falsification of her sentiments the foundation of her ruin, and the ground of the Union ; to affirm that her Parliament, Constitution, liberty, honor, property, are taken away by her own authority, – there is, in such artifice, an effrontery, a hardihood, an insensibility, that can best be answered by sensations of astonishment and disgust.
The Constitution may be for a time so lost. The character of the country cannot be so lost. The ministers of the Crown will, or may, perhaps, at length find that it is not so easy, by abilities however great, and by power and corruption however irresistible, to put down forever an ancient and respectable Nation. Liberty may repair her golden beams, and with redoubled heat animate the country. The cry of loya alty will not long continue against the principles of liberty. Loyalty is a noble, a judicious, and a capacious principle; but in these countries loyalty, distinct from liberty, is corruption, not loyalty.
The cry of disaffection will not, in the end, avail against the principle of liberty. I do not give up the country. I see her in a swoon, but she is not dead. Though in her tomb she lies helpless and motionless, still there is on her lips a spirit of life, and on her cheek a glow of beauty :
“ Thou art not conquered; beauty's ensign yet
And Death's pale flag is not advanced there." While a plank of the vessel sticks together, I will not leave her. Let the courtier present his flimsy sail, and carry the light bark of his faith with every new breath of wind; I will remain anchored here, with fidelity to the fortunes of my country, faithful to her freedom, faithful to her fall!
71. THE CATHOLIC QUESTION, 1805. — · Henry Gratlan. The Parliament of Ireland ! — of that assembly I have a parental recollection. I sate by her cradle, - I followed her hearse! In fourteen years she acquired for Ireland what you did not acquire for England in a century, - freedom of trade, independency of the Legislature, independency of the judges, restoration of the final judicature, repeal cf a perpetual mutiny bill, habeas corpus act, nullum tempus act, great work! You will exceed it, and I shall rejoice. I call my coun. trymen to witness, if in that business I compromised the claims of my country, or temporized with the power of England ; but there was one thing which baffled the effort of the patriot, and defeated the wisdom of the Senate, it was the folly of the theologian ! When the Parliament of Ireland rejected the Catholic petition, and assented to the calumnies then uttered against the Catholic body, on that day she voted the Union : if you should adopt a similar conduct, on that day you will vote the separation. Many good and pious reasons you may give; many good and pious reasons she gave; and she lies THERE, with her many good and pious reasons ! That the Parliament of Ireland should have entertained prejudices. I am not astonished; but that you,
that you, who bava as individuals and as conquerors, visited a great
part of the globe, and have seen men in all their modifications, a ad Providence in all her ways, - that you, now, at this time of day, should throw up dikes against the Pope, and barriers against the Catholic, instead of uniting with that Catholic to throw up barriers against the French, this surprises · and, in addition to this, that you should have
the Pope in Italy, to tremble at him in Ireland; and, further, that you should have professed to have placed yourself at the head of a Christian, not a Protestant league, to defend the civil and religious liberty of Europe, and should deprive of their civil liberty one-fifth of yourselves, on account of their religion, -- this this surprises me! This proscriptive system you may now remove.
What the best men in Ireland wished to do, but could not do, you may accomplish. Were it not wise to come to a good understanding with the Irish now The franchises of the Constitution ! - your ancestors were nursed in that cradle. The ancestors of the petitioners were less fortunate. The posterity of both, born to new and strange dangers, – let them
ounce jealousies and proscriptions, in order to oppose what, without that agreement, will overpower both. Half Europe is in battalion açıinst us, and we are devoting one another to perdition on account of mysteries, — when we should form against the enemy, and narch!
72. RELIGION INDEPENDENT OF GOVERNMENT, 1811..- Henry Grattan. Let us reflect on the necessary limits of all human legislation. No Legislature has a right to make partial laws; it has no right to make arbitrary laws - I mean laws contrary to reason; because that is beyond the power of the Deity. Neither has it a right to institute any inquisition into men's thoughts, nor to punish any man merely for his religion. It can have no power to make a religion for men, since that would be to dethrone the Almighty. I presume it will not be arrogated, on the part of the British Legislature, that his Majesty, by and with the advice of the Lords spiritual and temporal, &c., enact that he will appoint and constitute a new religion for the People of this empire; or, that, by an order in Council, the consciences and creeds of his subjects might be suspended. Nor will it be contended, I apprehend, that any authoritative or legislative measure could alter the law of the hypothenuse. Whatever belongs to the authority of God, or to the laws of nature, is necessarily beyond the province and sphere of human institution and government. The Roman Catholic, when you disqualify him on the ground of his relie gion, may, with great justice, tell you that you are not his God, that he cannot mould or fashion his faith by your decrees. When once man goes out of his sphere, and says he will legislate for God, he would, in fact, make himself God.
But this I do not charge upon the Parliament, because, in none of the penal acts, has the Parliament imposed a religious creed. The qualifying oath, as to the great number of offices, and as to seats in Parliaments, scrupulously evades religious distinctions. A Dissenter of any class may take it. A Deist, an Atheist, may likewise take it. The Catholics are alone excepted; and for what reason? If a Deist be fit to sit in Parliament, it can hardly be urged that a Christian is unfit! If an Atheist be competent to legislate for his country, surely this privilege cannot be denied to the believer in the divinity of our Saviour! If it be contended that, to support the Church, it is expedient to continue these disabilities, I dissent from that opinion. If it could, indeed, be proved, I should say that you had acted in defiance of all the principles of human justice and freedom, in having taken away their Church from the Irish, in order to establish your own; and in afterwards attempting to secure that establishment by disqualifying the People, and compelling them at the same time to pay for its support. This is to fly directly in the face of the plainest canons of the Almighty. For the benefit of eleven hundred, to disqualify four or five millions, is the insolent effort of bigotry, not the benignant precept of Christianity; and all this, not for the preservation of their property,— for that was secured, — but for bigotry, for intolerance, for avarice, for a vile, abominable, illegitiinate, and atrocious usurpation. The laws of God cry out against it; the spirit of Christianity cries out against it; the laws of England, and the spirit and principles of its Constitution, cry out against such a system.
73. SECTARIAN TYRANNY, 1812. — Henry Grattan. WHENEVER one sect degrades another on account of religion, such degradation is the tyranny of a sect. When you enact that, on account of his religion, no Catholic shall sit in Parliament, you do what amounts to the tyranny of a sect. When you enact that no Catholic shall be a sheriff, you do what amounts to the tyranny of a sect. When you enact that no Catholic shall be a general, you do what amounts to the tyranny of a sect. There are two descriptions of laws, – the municipal law, which binds the People, and the law of God, which binds the Parliament and the People. Whenever you do any act which is contrary to His laws, as expressed in His work, which is the world, or in His book, the Bible, you exceed your right; when. ever you rest any of your establishments on that excess, you rest it on a foundation which is weak and fallacious; whenever you attempt to establish your Government, or your property, or your Church, on religious restrictions, you establish them on that false foundation, and you oppose the Almighty; and though you had a host of mitres on your side,
you banish God from your ecclesiastical Constitution, and freedom from your political. In vain shall men endeavor to make this the cause of the Church; they aggravate the crime, by the endeavor to make their God their fellow in the injustice. Such rights are the rights of ambition; they are the rights of conquest; ani in your case, they have been the rights of suicide. They begin 19 attacking liberty; they end by the loss of empire !
74. THE AMERICAN WAR DENOUNCED, 1781. - William Pitt. William Pitt, second son of the great Earl of Chatham, entered Parliament in his twenty second year. He was born the 28th of May, 1759; and took his seat in the House of Commons is representative for the borough of Appleby, on the 23d of January, 1781. He made his first pratorical effort in that body the 26th of February following; and displayed great and astonishing powers of eloquence. Burke said of him, “lle is not merely a chip of the old block, but he is the old block itself.” At the age of twenty-four, Pitt became the virtual leader of the House of Commons, and Prime Minister of England. He died January 23, 1606. The subjoned remarks were made in reference to a resolution declaring that immediate measures ought to be adopted for concluding peace with the American Colonies.
GENTLEMEN have passed the highest eulogiums on the American war. Its justice has been defended in the most fervent manner. A noble Lord, in the heat of his zeal, has called it a holy war. For my part, although the honorable Gentleman who made this motion, and some other Gentlemen, have been, more than once, in the course of the debate, severely reprehended for calling it a wicked and accursed war, persuaded, and would affirm, that it was a most accursed, wicked, barbarous, cruel, unnatural, unjust and diabolical war! It was conceived in injustice; it was nurtured and brought forth in folly; its footsteps were marked with blood, slaughter, persecution and devastation; — in truth, everything which went to constitute moral depravity and human turpitude were to be found in it. It was pregnant with misery of every kind.
le mischief, however, recoiled on the unhappy People of this country, who were made the instruments by which the wicked purposes of the authors of the war were effected. The Nation was drained of its best blood, and of its vital resources of men and money. The expense of the war was enormous, much beyond any former experi
And yet, what has the British Nation received in return ? Nothing but a series of ineffective victories, 'or severe defeats ; victories celebrated only by a temporary triumph over our brethren, whom we would trample down and destroy ; victories, which filled the land with mourning for the loss of dear and valued relatives, slain in the impious cause of enforcing unconditional submission, or with narratives of the glorious exertions of men struggling in the holy cause of liberty, though struggling in the absence of all the facilities and advantages which are in general deemed the necessary concomitants of victory and success. Where was the Englishman, who, on reading the narratives of those bloody and well-fought contests, could refrain from lamenting the loss of so much British blood spilt in such a cause; or from weeping, on whatever side victory might be declared ?
75. ON A MOTION TO CENSURE THE MINISTRY.-William Pitt. This roble and dignified reply to the animadversions of Mr Fox was made in 1788, when Bfr. Pitt, then Prime Minister, was only twenty-four years old.
Sir, revering, as I do, the great abilities of the honorable Gentleman who spoke last, I lament, in common with the House, when those abilities are misemployed, as on the present question, to inflame the iinagination, and mislead the judgment. I am told, Sir," he does not