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private life, wħo discover a disposition to consider the question with candour, upon the principles of genuine publick good, free from that indiscriminating indignation against government which apon every occasion feems to be foolishly confounded with the virtue of patriotism, and from that prejudice against England, which marks the dangerous feparist, rather than the true friend to his country. NotwithAtanding therefore the multiplicity of prodētions on the fubject, and the necessary fimilarity of ideas in those who maintain the 'fame opinion, yet, as the matter is of no common concern, and as almost every man has fomething peculiar in his views or his manner of communicating them, calculated to impress particular readers, it may be useful, perhaps a duty, to publish the fimple and unbiased result of honest inquiry.

In the confideration of the question of Union, as well as of every other important moral or political question, every man no doubt will be more or less in fluenced by the opinions or principles he has happened previously to receive. There are many who have wiewed the late feries of revolutions, or rather convulfions, and the concommitant wildnesses, in France, with fatisfaction, and have followed the progrefs of French arms and French principles with delight. They think indeed that fome new measures ought to take place; yet not such as shall bind together all the parts of the British Empire more clofely, and thereby enable them more firmly to refift all assaults from without or from within, upon our common and well tried conftitution; but fuch as shall fubvert all that has been happily eftablished, and, by forming us upon the new plans of

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France, Thall render as fubfervient to the views of that deftroying nation, which they wish to see universally triumphant as the grand renovator of mankind. There are others who, though differing from the former in their opinion of the nature and confequences of French principles, yet fofter very invidious sentiments against Great Britain, consider a compleat Union with that country as, what they call, the extinction of Ireland, and acknowledging the full consequence of their opinion, would rather complearly separate than com: pleatly unite. With either of these descriptions of persons it is plain that any discussion of any Union, under any circumstances, or in any juncture, muft meet with instant and prejudging reprobation. But, to the loyal inhabitants of Ireland, who seek the, permanency of the British Constitution, the security of our religion, and the stability of the common empire, it may be usefully proposed to confider, whether, contemplating the formidable change which has taken place in the state of surrounding nations, and the defperate machinations, as new in their fyftem as wicked in their nature, which for years have been pointed at our existence, it may not be wise to adopt some fair, liberal and just, plan of compleat consolidation, which, more effectually than hitherto, shall, consistently with national prosperity, secure thefe kingdoms against the foreign foe and the domestic traitor.

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Whatever difference of opinion may subfift among the loyal inhabitants of this country, we are all decidedlý agreed, that a separation between these kingdoms would prove the certain destruction of both. Britain is powerful; and, for the sake of her own


safety, as well as of preserving that integrity of power which has given dignity, prosperity, and security, to the Empire, she would necessarily make every possible effort to recover Ireland. What must be the consequence ? Either Ireland is reduced, and, as a conquered country, is subjected to such-fystem of depressing dependence as to the more powerful country appears necessary; or she is aided by the formidable and ambitious nation which for centuries has been engaged in hoftilities with England, and after a struggle in which Britain and Ireland become exhausted, France ever watchful for her prey feizes the fatal occasion, and subjugates to her humiliating and devouring policy these noble islands, which, clofely united, are formed to rise fuperiour among the nations and to arbitrate for Europe. But it is obvious that if feparation be effected, it must be by the assistance of France in the first instance. Rebellion, howsoever fecretly and artfully prepared, and howsoever daringly and ferocioully attempted, could not long fucceed, unaided by a foreign foe, ' against the fleets and armies of Britain. The uniform history of mankind, and our own recent experience, inform us of the means that would be employed. We have already feen what can be effected by fecret machinations. What more would be accomplished when the wealth, and power, and rank, and numbers should be increased of those, who under the exciting pretext of consulting the dignity of independent Ireland, should seek the rueful phantom feparation, the mind shudders to contemplate correspondence-emissaries—concerted plans--powerful invasions-internal and wide-Spread massacre-final fuccefs - and a republick upon a French model, under French


protection, and subject to French dominion. Then follow in due course, the reign of the most vicious profligates, the murder or banishment of all the families of property, the degradation and destruction of all religion, and a legalized system of' atheism and vice. Pollute cærimoniæ ; magna adulteria; plenum exiliis mare ; infecti cædibus fcopuli ; atrocius in urbe fævitum. Nobilitas, opes, omisli gestique honores, pro crimine; et ob virtutes certiffimum exitium.

It is faid, that-if the interest of Great Britain was not materially concerned in a Union, the government of that country would not propose the measure: 'and truly it must be owned, that Great Britain is deeply interested indeed, to promote any measure that can tend to prevent the feparation of Ireland. By such a separation, the not only loses an arm of strength which powerfully aids her in common defence, but a material part of her own power, is converted against herself. France, a mighty, an ambitious, and a malignant state, with such additional power in her hands, as Ireland-an island with great natural wealth, not without considerable acquired wealth, populous, of uncommon maritime capacity, and lying under the bofom and heart of England-France, with such aid, and with such a fulcrum on which to work engines of destruction, must foon consummate her abhorred purpose ;-—and then, overpowered, despoiled, and subjugated, the naval bulwark of the world resists and protects no more.

Suis et ipfa Roma viribus ruit.

Without urging this obvious and alarming truth farther, therefore, it may be taken as fully admitted, that the separation of Britain and Ireland must be confidered by every loyal inhabitant of this country, as an event most afflictive and ruinous to us and to our pofterity, and against which, it would be mad and wicked, not to seek for every possible security.


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But the peculiar circumstances of this country have unfortunately foftered in the minds of the great body of the people, an hostility to the Fnglish name, and a disposition to separate, ;of which, the foreign foe, on every occasion has been ready to take advantage. In order to illustrate this position, it may be satisfactory to take a short review of former events,

Above six centuries ago, this country, then in a ftate of barbarism, was reduced to a connexion with England. A ferocious hatred to the English settlers, as well as to their laws and customs, for ages actuated the natives; and it was not until after a long period of animofity and contest, that át length English laws were adopted, and English language and manners gained any place. Ireland, it is well known, whatever might have been its civilization in a very remote antiquity, was, at the time of its reduction by Henry the second, and for centuries after, in so uncivilized a state compared with the rest of Europe, that it was little if at all prepared, to take part in those ardent scenes, in which the revival of letters first, and then the reformation, engaged most of the other nations, and England among the chief. There, intellectual light, which had before occasionally darted gleams of splendour through the prevailing gloom, began to spread a general influence; the zeal


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