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AGAIN have the Irish Catholics preferred their claims to the legislature, and again have they been rejected. In vain have Justice, Reason, and Eloquences pleaded for their Emancipation; the reign of Prejudice, though circumscribed, is not yet at an end; Prejudice that flies from the shadow of popery, and falls into the gulph of bigotry, intolerance, and persecution.
In vain was it urged by the enlightened advocates of their cause, that the Catholics did not come to the Legislature as a few individuals, but as a people; that they did not come with affected humility to implore a favor, but to claim a right; that they applied as freemen should to freemen : that the Emancipation of the Catholics was expressly understood to be one of the articles of the UNION; that though no
bond was given, expectations were held
many and solemn promises, which ought to be more binding than bonds, were made to them: that without this understanding, the Catholics would never have been induced to support the UNION, and without their support, it could never have been accomplished; and that so thoroughly was this understood at the time, that Mr. Pitt, and those of his colleagues, who now were foremost to oppose their claims, went out of Office, because they were not able to make their promise good.
In vain was it argued, that the danger to the Protestant cause which might arise from the Emancipation of the Catholics, the Irish Protestants were the best able to appreciate, and would not, at all events, be likely to under-rate it, since they would be the first to suffer from it: but that so far from apprehending danger, nine-tenths of the Irish Protestants were in favour of Emancipation; that the Orange-men alone were adverse to it; that in nine counties,