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TO THE READER.

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Every man who ventures to appear before the public as an author is expected to give some account of himself, as well as his motives for trespassing on public attention : this expectation I shall endeavour not to disappoint.

As the following sheets came from the press, they were submitted for perusal to a liberal-minded friend, who, after offering his own opinion, remarked, “ But the enemies of toleration will assuredly set you down as a Catholic.” If that will increase their happiness, I have not the least objection; the fear of such an imputation does not greatly disturb my repose. Long experience has thoroughly convinced me, that a good Catholic is a valuable member of society in any country, though I confess, I set out in life with very different notions.

On the subject of religious persuasion, I can have no difficulty in expressing my sentiments;

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but will first observe, that I value the man a thou. sand times more, whose mind and conduct are influenced by the pure principles of religion itself, than him who knows it only by name.

Let it not be imagined that I think creeds or forms of worship unimportant. I have endeavoured to learn something of the tenets of every form of Christian worship; and am fully satisfied, that the Protestant is incomparably superior to every other. In its principles I was rigidly educated, and my attachment to it can only terminate with existence. In the same principles, many generations of my ancestors were brought up.

Having explained thus much, I may be permitted to say a few words relative to Orangeism, on which it is suspected, not perhaps unjustly, that I am prejudiced ; if so, my prejudice has a very different direction from what is generally imagined. To that association belong some of my nearest relations, and many of my most valued friends, – men whom I have always revered, and will for ever love. Youthful impressions and the bias of education are not casily removed; the ties of nature and friendship draw me closely

TO THE READER.

Every man who ventures to appear before the
public as an author is expected to give some ac-
count of himself, as well as his motives for tres-
passing on public attention : this expectation I shall
endeavour not to disappoint.

As the following sheets came from the press,
they were submitted for perusal to a liberal-minded
friend, who, after offering his own opinion, re-
marked, “ But the enemies of toleration will as-
suredly set you down as a Catholic.” If that will
increase their happiness, I have not the least ob-
jection; the fear of such an imputation does not
greatly disturb my repose. Long experience has
thoroughly convinced me, that a good Catholic is
a valuable member of society in any country,
though I confess, I set out in life with very dif.
ferent notions.

On the subject of religious persuasion, I can
have no difficulty in expressing my sentiments;

but will first observe, that I value the man a thousand times more, whose mind and conduct are influenced by the pure principles of religion itself, than him who knows it only by name.

Let it not be imagined that I think creeds or forms of worship unimportant. I have endeavoured to learn something of the tenets of every form of Christian worship; and am fully satisfied, that the Protestant is incomparably superior to every other. In its principles I was rigidly educated, and my attachment to it can only terminate with existence. In the same principles, many generations of my ancestors were brought up.

Having explained thus much, I may be permitted to say a few words relative to Orangeism, on which it is suspected, not perhaps unjustly, that I am prejudiced; if so, my prejudice has a very different direction from what is generally imagined. To that association belong some of my nearest relations, and many of my most valued friends, - men whom I have always revered, and will for ever love. Youthful impressions and the bias of education are not easily removed; the ties of nature and friendship draw me closely

to the men, while reason and experience separate me widely from the party.

On the subject of politics I never before expressed an opinion, nor could any thing have induced me to embark on an ocean so troubled but the critical state of my native land. To this I have largely sacrificed convenience and personal feeling. The extent of misery in Ireland was but little known to the world, and is but faintly sketched in these pages. Being wholly unconnected with party of every sort, I have endeavoured to describe impartially what I saw, neither fearing nor wishing to offend any man.

The undisguised manner in which my sentiments are expressed, and the frequent mention of myself, will enable the critics to exercise their powerful weapons ; — I hope something luminous and useful may be elicited. Whether the voice of criticism, or interested party, come like the gentle zephyr, or the furious hurricane, is a matter of perfect indifference; I would not give a farthing to ensure the one, or avert the other.

LONDON, January, 1823.

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