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native soil by emigrants, and have taken root in this country, notwithstanding the general liberality of the age. It is true, however, that their range is confined, and their influence inconsiderable. Nevertheless, the erroneous impressions respecting Irish affairs are universal here, from the corrupt sources whence her heart-rending story is derived.
Should it, therefore, be asked, why I have taken the trouble to explore the musty volumes whence I have drawn the materials for this work? I reply, I have had three motives : the pleasure of detecting and exposing fraud and imposture ; the vindication of my native country; and the fond hope, that there are in the United States thousands and tens of thousands of liberal and enlightened men, who only require to have the fair and holy form of Truth placed before their eyes, properly authenticated, to induce them to clasp her to their bosoms. For such I write: and there is a large fund of consolation and encouragement to be derived from the consideration, that I address a public which has not any sordid motives of self-interest to impel it to uphold the cause of imposture. There is here no Protestant, nor Presbyterian, nor Quaker, nor Catholic, nor Universalist ascendency, with a power built on the pestiferous basis of fraud, perjury, and misrepresentation.
This is an inestimable advantage, which writers on this subject, in the British dominions, cannot enjoy to the same extent. The power, influence, and ascendency of the “sacred caste," the Irish oligarchs who uphold the despotism of a dominant and domineering ecclesiastical establishment, which, to compensate them for their services, ensures them the undisturbed possession of so undue a proportion of the honours and emoluments of society, would fall prostrate at the touch of the talisman of truth, as the gorgeous fabric of Aladdin's palace fell at the touch of the wand of the genius : and therefore, how disgraceful soever it may be to human nature, it is not wonderful, considering the weakness, the wickedness, and the selfishness of mankind, that so much pains should have been and are taken to stifle the voice of injurious truth, and to perpetuate the reign of productive and lucrative imposture.
Some gentlemen have exclaimed against this undertaking, as pernicious, and calculated to revive ancient prejudices, and excite hostility between different denominations of Christians, and between the natives of the two British islands. Charity induces me to hgpe, that those who raise these objections are deceived, not dcoeivers,—that they believe what they profess. But that their impressions, if ingenugưs, arise from a very contracted view of the subject, máy: kie made as clear as any axiom in morals or politics..
There might be some plausibility in these objections, had
the frauds and falsehoods I have undertaken to expose and refute, sunk into oblivion, and their influence wholly ceased to operate. But they have unfortunately survived the causes which gave them birth; become engrafted in history ; taken complete possession of the public mind; and are almost as thoroughly and as universally believed, as the best established facts in the annals of the world. Can the man, then, who honestly endeavours to demolish the fabric of deception, and by this demolition, eradicate the angry passions which it has engendered, be regarded otherwise than as engaged in a laudable warfare,-the warfare of holy truth against impious imposture? Do not those who labour to prevent the success of such an undertaking, uphold the cause of fraud and delusion?
Having stated the motives to this undertaking, I submit to the consideration of the reader the several points which I have laboured, and I trust successfully, to establish. That they are of vital importance, and that, if proved, they invalidate a large portion of the history of Ireland, as narrated by Temple, Borlace, Carte, Warner, Leland, Macauley, Hume, and others, will appear obvious on a slight pérusal. This consideration entitles them to a sober, serious examination.
It is not, by any means, pretended that they are discussed systematically, in the order in which they are here arranged. The proofs are dispersed throughout the work; but, notwithstando ing their want of arrangement, cannot, I hope, fail to satisfy every candid mind,
1. That the statements of Temple, Clarendon, Warner, Leland, and all the other writers on the affairs of Ireland, that the Irish, for forty years previous to the insurrection of 1641, enjoyed a high degree of peace, security, happiness, and toleration, is as base and shameful a falsehood as ever disgraced the
pages of history, and is no more like the real state of the case, than the history of St. George and the dragon is like the true history of England. For
II. That, during this period, there was scarcely a Catholic in the kingdom secure in the possession of his property, or in the exercise of his religion. And
III. That, during the same period, the Irish were plundered by the government of nearly a million of acres of their lands, in the most wicked, unjust and perfidious manner; and by rapacious individuals, to an extent beyond calculation.
IV. That O'Conally's pretended discovery of a conspiracy, is one unvaried strain of perjury.
V. That there was no conspiracy for a general insurrection in Ireland, on the 23d October, 1641.
VI. That the basis on which rests the story of the pretended bloody massacre by the Irish, is a tissue of the most gross and palpable falsehood and perjury. On the contrary,
VII. That the massacres perpetrated on the Irish, by St. Leger, Monroe, Tichbourne, Hamilton, Grenville, Ireton, and Cromwell, were as savage, as ferocious, as brutal, and as bloody, as the horrible feats of Cortes or Pizarro, Attila or Genghis Khan; and particularly, that history presents no, thing more shocking or detestable than the massacre perpe. trated by Ireton in the cathedral of Cashel, and by Cromwell in Drogheda and Wexford.
VIII. That the Irish government issued a sanguinary ore der to slaughter “all men able to bear arms, in places where the insurgents were harboured,” without any discrimination between the innocent and guilty; that the Long Parliament enacted an ordinance," forbidding quarter to be given to any Irishman taken prisoner in England;" and that those blood. thirsty edicts were carried into operation.
IX. That the scheme of a general extirpation of the Irish, as general a confiscation of their estates, and an entirely new plantation of the country, was most seriously entertained, and for some time acted upon, by the Irish rulers and their officers.
X. That the idea of a cessation of hostilities, whereby the Irish might escape from this projected plan of extirpation, excited as universal an alarm in England and Ireland, as if the established religion and government were about to be wholly overturned.
XI. That the Irish government left nothing barbarous, cruel, or wicked, undone, to goad the Irish to resistance, and to extend the insurrection throughout the kingdom, for the purpose of enriching themselves and their friends by confisca, tions,
XII. That if the Irish insurgents of 1641 deserved to be stigmatized as traitors and rebels, then were the English revolutionists of 1688, the American of 1776, and the French of 1789, traitors and rebels of the very worst possible kind; as their grievances bore no more proportion to those of the Irish, than the gentle Schuylkill to the impetuous Mississippi, the hill of Howth to the peak of Teneriffe, or lake Erie to the Atlantic ocean.
XIII. That there is a striking contradiction between the facts and inductions of Carte, Warner, Leland, and nearly all the other writers of Irish history,
XIV. That, in the Anglo-Hibernian histories of Ireland, there is so much error and falsehood, established beyond the possibility of doubt or denial, as to destroy their credibility,
XV. That the seventeenth century, in the British dominions, was characterized by a succession of forged plots, resting on the basis of flagrant perjuries, and calculated to sacrifice the lives and property of the innocent, and enrich malefactors of the worst kind.
XVI. That the Irish code of laws, whose pretended object
was "to prevent the growth of Popery," was intended to gratify all the basest passions of human nature, in violation of public faith, honour, justice, and humanity; and that it organized as tyrannical an invasion of liberty, and as piratical a depredation on property, and was covered by as base a cloak of hypocrisy as the annals of the world can produce.
I fondly flatter myself, I repeat, that the proofs I have adduced fully establish the whole of these points. But should I be too sanguine in this expectation, I still trust that I shall secure the assent of liberal and ingenuous minds to all the essential ones. Against the fortresses of fraud and imposture, I have brought a battery of eight-and-forty pounders, which can hardly fail to demolish them. The arsenals of enemies, some of them most envenomed, have furnished all the artillery. The laborious and unwearied research for them, and their mere disposition and arrangement, are all the merit I claim.
It would be a most fastidious and hypercritical delicacy, that should preclude a writer from fairly stating the merits of, and obviating objections to, his materials, or the authori. ties on which he relies to support his narrative, if he write history; or his discussions, if he investigate historical facts. I neither feel myself, nor fear in my readers any such delicacy. I therefore treat on the materials of this publication, as I should on those of any other whatsoever.
There is probably no historical work extant, that rests on stronger grounds. I am not aware of a single fact of importance, throughout the whole, that is not supported, not only by reference to, but, what is far more important, by quotations from, indisputable authorities,-authorities almost universally hostile to the cause I espouse.
Dr. Curry, in his invaluable work, the “ Historical and Critical Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland," has set a laudable example in this department of literature. He has, in most cases, established his facts by copious quotations. I have gone beyond his example; been more general in my quotations; and but slenderly availed myself of the Irish wri. ters: whereas a large portion of his authorities are of this de. scription; and, although they are in themselves perfectly sound and unexceptionable, yet they are liable to cavil, for which I was determined to afford no pretext whatever. On such a question, Catholic authorities would not have sufficient weight with minds devoured by prejudice; and would come before the world in a questionable form, subject to suspicions of partiality. I have therefore almost wholly rejected them throughout; so that, in about eleven hundred quotations, there are not twenty from writers of that class; and, in one of the most important chapters of the book, that on the sub
ject of the massacres and murders perpetrated on the Irish, I have not availed myself of a single one of their advocates. In this respect, therefore, the work rests on the most impregnable foundation. No similar instance has probably ever occurred.
My heart swells with a glow of satisfaction and pride, that I can come before the critical world, with a defence of Ireland, resting on the names of Spencer, Davies, Coke, Temple, Borlace, Clarendon, Nalson, Carte, Warner, Leland, Baker, Orrery, Rushworth, &c. nearly all of whom were open or concealed enemies of that country and its unfortunate inhabitants. It may seem extraordinary, that there is on the list the name of the wretched Temple, who was so far ashamed of his own spurious work, that he endeavoured, but in vain, to suppress it: but it is the peculiar felicity of this undertaking, that it may be fairly said to this father of all the imposture,
“By thy words thou shalt be condemned," for, were all the other authorities, cited in this work, totally annihilated, there is enough in Temple's miserable legend to demolish the fabric of fraud and deception, in the erection of which, so much time, and such varied talents, have been prostituted, for a hundred and seventy years past.
Having stated the motives to this undertaking; the points I have endeavoured to prove; and the materials I have employed, it remains to render some account of the execution of the plan : and here, I confess, I feel myself open to censure, from which I shall not attempt to shrink. The work is in a very imperfect state indeed; and has not had a due share of attention bestowed on it. Whether, by any degree of time and labour, I could have rendered it complete and perfect, I am very doubtful. But this is certain, that I might have made it far less imperfect, had I devoted more time to it. The great body of it has been written at night, when the pressure of usual avocations had subsided; and next day hastily committed to the press, under all the consequent disadvantages.
This statement, it is hoped, will operate as some apology for the manifest imperfections of the work. I am not, however, unaware, that, in strict justice, this avowal may be considered as rendering those imperfections more unpardonable ; as it may with truth be said, that no man has a right to present his productions to the world, without due preparation; that it is disrespectful, and deserves severe censure; in a word, that the haste with which this Vindication has been composed and hurried through the press, so far from being an extenuation, is an aggravation of the offence.
The correctness of these objections cannot be denied. But let it sink deep into the mind of the reader, that, whatever I may suffer from the justice, or even the utmost rigour, of