« PreviousContinue »
REIGN OF QUEEN ELIZABETH TO THE SETTLEMENT
UNDER KING WILLIAM.
EXTRACTED FROM PARLIAMENTARY sEcossi TATE ACTS, AND OTHX
BY J. CURRY, M. D.
A NEW AND IMPROVED EDITION,
PRINTED BY R. CONOLLY, 70, THOMAS-STREET.
It would be easy to trace, although mortifying to detail, the dreary progress of oyr national misfortunes, from our first connection with Enga land to the present moment. It is too melancholy, and too well known, that to the British Connection Ireland attributes the unnatural phenomenon which she exhibits among the nations of Europe. Numerous and hardy in her population, fruitful in her fields, and temperate in her climate, she adds to those advantages.a geographical position and facilities for trade, which no other country possesses or can parallel. Ireland, nevertheless, has been a blank in commerce, and a blot in history. The paradox is sufficiently explained in the following sheets.
But as the tempest of persecution has abated, this island is returning to her freshness and her verdure; she is increasing in strength, while England suffers in the very seat of life. Never indeed, in the eventful and unhappy story of our country, has there been a crisis so pregnant as the present, none that has produced consequences
similiar to those likely to ensue from the existing state of the public mind at home, and abroad, from the operation of a vigorous and terrific system of politics. Since the time of her first inva. sion, until the continent subsided into an autocratic despotism, England was the first, or in the first rank, of European nations. Is she now the second? or what is her relative situation ? A rapid outline of our wrongs will đemonstrate the truth of the assertion ; and the deduction, if neither sophisticated nor forced, may contribute to solve the interrogatory. Hitherto she has owed her greatness to the divisions of Europe; at present her danger is derived from the divisions of Ireland.
Even had not Henry II. been one of the most powerful: princes:ef: his time, the condition of: - Eufope would have secured his grandfather's conguest in Britain, while the distractions of. this country afforded safety and suc cour to his first colomstsi Exhausted by the crusades in the following reign, England guarded her little colony with a feeble hand, and nothing but the ruinous feuds of the native chieftains could have saved her interest, under the degrading despotism of John, from total destruction. The subsequent reigns to Henry VIII. present a barren, or a barbarous, or a bloody aspect. The colonists had encreased in power and in insolence; the natives, though perpetually at war, had
Ceriorated in discipline, and were broken into