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Dublin Castle, Dec. 5, 1798. Sir,
I AM directed, by Lord Cornwallis, to acquaint you, that your letter, of the 2d instant, has been transmitted to the Duke of Portland, and that a compliance with your request, must rest entirely with the English government.
I am, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,
And from the Duke of Portland I had the answer which follows:
White-Hall, Dec. 13, 1798.
It was not in my power to answer your letter of the 28th of November, before I had communicated with the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, on the subject of the request it contained. I have now to acquaint you, that there is no objection either to your remaining at Pullhelly, until the vessel, in which you arrived there, shall be in a condition to prosecute her voyage, or to repair to Falmouth, in order to proceed by the first packet, to Lisbon. In case you should prefer the latter, I enclose a passport, which may prevent your meeting with any difficulty on the road.
I must beg of you to inform me, by return of post, whether you intend to remain at Pullhelly; and if you do, of the probable period which it may be necessary for you to wait before the vessel can sail.
I am, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,
The passport enclosed with the above, you will find in an appendix, which it is my intention to subjoin ; and in which I shall insert such other documents illutrative of this narrative, as I shall be able to obtain possession of, before it is closed. (See Appendir No. VI.)
It was dated, White-Hall. It was unlimited as to time. It literally empowered me to go from WhiteHall to Falmouth. The letter being silent as to my passing through London, seemed to leave it at my option, and I had once nearly formed that design. Meantime I had written to Lord Moira, in whose hands I had deposited many authentic documents, touching the barbarities committed on the Irish; and I now desired to have them, in order, if any opportunity was allowed, to profit by the true light I could throw upon those affairs, and boldly to reclaim justice for myself and others at my own peril.
You must have heard of Lord Moira's motion in the Irish house of Lords, founded upon these and numberless other documents, the truth of which was incontrovertible. Lord Moira certainly did state the
facts of which he was possessed, much less energetically than might be expected from his eloquence and sensibility. It is possible, that aiming at conciliation, he feared the too strong truth ; and his motion had little other effect than to bring upon himself a torrent of virulent abuse. Such was the reward of his moderation on the one hand, whilst on the other the people smarting with the sense of injury and insult, took little part in a discourse which painted their sufferings so short of what they felt them. Yet, trusting to the good intentions of the Earl of Moira, and seeing the difficult card he had to play ; above all, comparing him with those who were against him, I could not but feel very great respect for his efforts, and an infinite desire to contribute to their success. Indeed if his motion had no other good effect, it had at least that of setting, in a striking point of view, the contrast between a man of high breeding, and the - low petulance of the faction that opposed him, in the name of a constitution, which they had already betrayed, and were shortly to annihilate.
To the Reader.
WHEN these letters were written, I had withheld from my friend the following correspondence with Lord Moira. This might have been an overstrained delicacy at that time; but subsequent events, and present circumstances require, that I should make it known for my reputation's sake. And indeed circumvented and ensnared as I am by the craft of my enemies, I have no other means of communicating my sentiments than this public one, even to many of those materially interested to know them.
It was on the 19th of February, 1798, that Lord Moira took his seat in the Irish parliament, and made his celebrated motion for conciliatory mea
I had before that been admitted into the society of the Countess Dowager of Moira and Huntingdon, a lady distinguished by advantages greater than her high birth, those of a cultivated and solid mind, stored with the richest treasures of erudition. I was also very well received by her daughters, Lady Granard, and Lady Charlotte Rawdon, persons of whose acquaintance the proudest man might be ambitious. My brother had been long acquainted with Lord Moira, and had a great respect and attachment for him. Among the persecuted Catholics of Armagh, were many tenants of his lordship, who had made choice of me for their advocate. And so violent was the government party against him, that the peep of day boys had committed outrages in his town of Ballynahinch, and one of the ladies pointed out to me a house of a principal inhabitant, perforated with musket shot, which they had fired into the windows in the night. Besides this, it was said and believed, that General Lake had declared that some town must be burned in the North, and the best to begin with was Lord Moira's. And so great were his lordship's apprehensions, that he transmitted to England his family library, one of the most precious to be found in the possession of any individual. On Lord Moira's arrival also, I had instituted a society, of which were men undoubtedly the most distinguished persons in Ireland ; such as Grattan, the ponsonbys, Curran, Flecher, the brave old Montgomery, with some others of the patriotic members of parliament, and uncorrupted lawyers, and certain of the influential Catholics and merchants, whose credit and correspondence was necessary to the object in view; which was, to collect true and authenticated facts, to be opposed as a bulwark to falsehood and national calumny; and possibly by their great enormity to appal those immediately responsible ; or if there was any