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than the persecutions of the Irish by the English; nothing more repugnant to civilisation ; nothing more base or more flagitious ; nothing more blasphemous or more profane ; bidding a bold defiance. to every attribute by which the Creator has distinguished the human species from the ravening beasts of prey.
With this remark I shall close my letter. I have snatched from repose, and from my daily occupations, the hours devoted to this task. The night is nearly wasted--the historic muse begins to droop her wing, and sleep sits heavy, heavy, on her votary's eye-lids.
Theobald Wolfe Tone Of my own Crimes Of the
Crimes of the Irish Rebels--Union of Ireland with
FOUR-FIFTHS of the Irish people being now annulled, it can be of little importance what the other fifth may do. Still more absurd do their actions
appear when we see them divided into religious and political feuds, scarcely less rancorous against each other, than they had all been against the ill-fated Catholics.
The Dissenters in their zeal to proscribe their countrymen, had gulped down the sacramental test with the bill of discovery, and found themselves dupes of their own bigotry, and excluded from every honorable privilege, and every office of trust or emolument, civil or military. · They found themselves oppressed with tythes for the payment of the Hierarchy; and obliged to contribute out of what remained for the support of their own clergy. They clamored, they remonstrated, they resisted in vain. They were said to be a stiff necked faction“ whom no king could goy: ern, nor no god could please.” It was said, and I was told by my nurse, that they were black in the mouth. They were ridiculed and reviled, and would probably have been Gurmonded, but that the fear and hatred of the Catholics threw a kind of protection over them. It is not my intention to state all the arts of envy, hatred, and malice, which distinguished these latter times. Besides, I was once sworn to be true to the loins of the Princess Sophia of Hanover, and I will be true to them. Whoever wants the history of the succeeding reigns, will find it in the nicknames of the times :—Whig, Tory, High-church, Lorochurch, High-flyer, Leveller, October-club, Church and State, Protestant-ascendancy, and a hundred others in significant enough to be forgotten, but ridiculous enough to be remembered. The parliament was a market where men sold themselves and their country to servitude ; and the commodities by which this slave-trade was carried on, were places, pensions, and peerages : the staple, was the people's misery : the
tactic only was changed. To confiscations, had succeeded taxes, and to violence corruption ; and as to religion, there were besides the great politico-religiQus' sects, so many sub-divisions, that it seemed, to use the words of the witty author of Hudibras,
However, commerce, printing, and the universal growth of reason and philosophy, had opened the way to nobler ideas. The American Revolution had reduced the theories of the great philosophers of England, France and other countries, into practice; and persecutors began to find themselves surprised like owls overtaken by the day. Something I might say of the Irish volunteers, not for their resistance to England, for that was not much, but for this, that they did make some honorable offers of conciliation to their Catholic brethren. I might say much of the unrivalled eloquence of so many Irish orators, at whose head I should place the sublime Burke,and the inimitable Sheridan ; but that there was in every one of them something short of the true patriot--something tending to exclusion or párty.
At length, however, a young man appeared, whose clear and comprehensive mind, seized at one view the whole range of this wide field of disorder' and strife; develloped the cause, and proposed the remedy for the maladies of his long suffering country,
Was born June 20, 1763. His grand-father was a Protestant freeholder in the county of Kildare-his father a coach-maker in Dublin. His intancy gave promise of such talents, that the cultivation of his mind was considered the best fortune his parents could bestow.
He studied in the university of Dublin, where he was early and eminently distinguished': in the Historical Society he twice carried off the prize of oratory, once that of history; and the speech he delivered from the chair, when auditor, was deemed the most finished on the records of the society.
During his attendance on the inns of court in London, he had opportunities of comparing the state of the English nation with that of his own; of perceiving all the advantages of a national, and the degradation of a colonial, government ; and there imbibed that principle which governed him through the remainder of his life, and to which his life was at length a sacrifice.
In the year 1790, on his return from the temple, he wrote his first pamphlet, under the signature of an Irish Whig, where he thus declared his principles : “ I am no occasional whig ; I am no constitutional tory; I am addicted to no party but the party of the nation.”
This work was re-published by the Northern Whig Club, and read with great ayidity : and the writer
was called upon to avow himself, which he did, and became a member of that body.
He was complimented also by the whigs of Dublin. They proposed putting him in parliament, and Mr. George Ponsonby employed him professionally on his election and petition.
In the same year he wrote, “ an enquiry, how far Ireland is bound to support England in the approaching war,” wherein he openly broached his favorite question of separation ; and in 1791, the Argument on behalf of the Catholics ; a work of extraordinary merit.
It is remarkable, that at that time he was scarcely acquainted with any one Catholic, so great was the separation which barbarous institutions had created between men of the same nation, formed by nature to befriend and love each other.
The Catholics, struck with admiration at this noble and disinterested effort of a stranger, repaid him by the best compliment in their power to bestow : he was invited to become secretary to their committee, with a salary of two hundred pounds, which he accepted.
He was entrusted to draw up their petition ; a mark of liberal distinction, and honorable to the Catholic body, as there were not wanting amongst themselves men of transcendent talents : and he accompanied their delegates when they presented it to the king.
The Catholic convention voted him their thanks-a gold medal, and fifteen hundred pounds!