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a profound policy, but connection without an Irish parliament is connection without its own principle, without analogy of condition, without the pride of honour that should attend it-is innovation, is peril, is subjugation-not connection. .. Identification is a solid and imperial maxim, necessary for the preservation of freedom, necessary for that of empire ; but without union of hearts, with a separate government, and without a separate parliament, identification is extinction, is dishonour, is conquest —not identification. Yet, I do not give up my 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 ensigni yet

Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
And death's pale flag is not advanced there.”

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'While a plank of the vessel stands 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.'

This was Grattan's last speech in the Irish Parliament. At its close, the Union Bill was carried by a majority of 44, and on August 1, 1800, it passed into law. So perished the Irish constitution.

1800]

A LEGACY OF BITTERNESS

257

'In the case of Ireland,' says Mr Lecky, 'as truly as in the case of Poland, a national constitution was destroyed by a foreign power contrary to the wishes of the people. In the one case the deed was a crime of violence : in the other it was a crime of treachery and corruption. In both cases a legacy of enduring bitterness was the result.'

Thenceforth Ireland was governed by a Parliament in London, whither she sent a hundred representatives.

R

CHAPTER XXIII

O'CONNELL -CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION

[graphic]

HREE years after the Union

there was an abortive rising in Dublin. It was a flicker of the fire of '98, and was quickly put out. Robert Emmet, then a youth of twenty-four years, and the brother of Thomas

Addis Emmet, one of the founders of the United Irish movement, formed the design of attacking Dublin Castle and overthrowing the government. But before his plans were matured, the authorities learned of his intentions and prepared to apprehend him. Finding that his schemes were foiled and that arrest was imminent, he placed himself at the head of a small body of men, and saying, 'Come on, my boys, we may as well die in

1800-1803]

ROBERT EMMET

259

was

the street as cooped up here,' led the attack on the castle.

There was

some sharp, desultory fighting, and the commander of the soldiers and several of his men were killed. But the insurgents were soon shot down and completely dispersed. Emmet arrested, tried and hanged. His project was hopeless from its inception. But he had at least the courage of his convictions. He embarked all his fortune in the desperate enterprise, and sealed with his life his devotion to his country. 'Let no man write my epitaph,' he said, in a touching speech delivered from the dock, 'for as no man who knows my motives dares now vindicate them, let not prejudice nor ignorance asperse them. Let me and them rest in obscurity and peace my memory be left in oblivion, and my tomb remain uninscribed, until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written.'

His directions were faithfully kept, and to this day no scroll or monument marks the spot where his remains are buried, but his memory is enshrined in the hearts of the people; and the present writer has many a frieze-coated peasant, many a humble artizan, many a thoughtful student pass with bowed and uncovered head the site of the scaffold on which he died.

The Catholic question now became the question of the hour. 'I cannot leave the

seen

[Catholics] as I found them. I have raised no unauthorised expectations, and I have acted throughout with the sanction of the Cabinet. So wrote Lord Cornwallis, remembering tne hopes which had been held out to the Catholics at the time of the Union; but the English minister left the Catholics where he found them. Having gained his point, having carried the Union, Mr Pitt left the Catholics to their fate. In 1805 he even refused to present a petition to the House of Commons in their favour. The petition was, however, presented by another great Englishman, Mr Fox, but instantly rejected. In 1806 an organisation formed in Ireland to promote the Catholic cause was put down by the government. In 1808, 1810 and 1811, the House of Commons again refused consider the Catholic claims, and vigorous means were taken to prevent the agitation of the question in Ireland. However, in 1812 and 1813, the House of Commons at length agreed to inquire into their complaints. But in 1814 another organisation, formed in Ireland to press forward their demands, was suppressed; and in 1815 and in 1816 parliament once more refused to consider the question.

In 1819, Grattan, who had entered the English parliament in 1805, and who devoted the remainder of his days to the cause of Catholic Emancipation, brought forward the subject for the last time, but failed to secure the support of the House of Commons. In

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