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which enables a few Protestants to tax, to almost any extent they may fancy, the poverty of the Catholic landholders. Indeed I ought to add, that the Protestants have in many instances, shown a forbearance from using this act oppressively, which does infinite honour to their good sense and humanity. But in many instances, it has been already grievously enforced ; and it is in human nature that will, unless repealed or amended produce all its fruits of bitterness.
“ Send me to Parliament, and I will there assail, and I think successively, the system of grand jury jobbing, and grand jury assessment, I will then be able to prove to those who ought to give redress, that the taxation of the people by the grand juries, is as oppressive in practice as it is unconstitutional in principle; and it enables the rich man to farm gravel walks near to his demesne, at the expense of the poor, and gives to the influential portion of the aristocracy a dominion over the properties of their fellow-subjects.
“Send me to Parliament, and I will struggle hard to procure a dimiuntion of heavy and illegal exactions and an equitable distribution of the revenues of the established church, between the poor on the one hand, and the most meritorious and really laborious portion of the Protestant clergy on the other, by operating to the deprivation of, at least, part of the enormous wealth of the pampered and overpaid pluralists and dignitaries.
“Send me to Parliament, and I will struggle hard to cleanse the Augean stables of the law; I will devote all my faculties to destroy the tails and nets of form and fiction, in which justice is at present so often entrapped. I will dedicate my life to the glorious work of rendering law, at one, and the same time, all comprehensive and also precise, and intelligible; and in making the administration of that law cheap and expeditious so that the poor may have effectual and ready protection against every species of illegal oppressions, and at the same time the property of the many may become more valuable and secure. My professional habits give me peculiar facilities to attempt, at least, this herculean task; and I will attempt it
with an unchangeable and persevering determination to effectuate this most useful purpose.
“ Send me to Parliament, and I undertake to procure lans to protect the property of Protestant dissenters, as well as of Catholics, for all charitable purposes, for the maintenance of their churches and places of worship, of their parochial house3, schools and hospitals, and in particular, to consolidate such a system as may, by means of public and private bounty, procure for every Catholic rector of a parish in Ireland, a parochial house, and an adequate glebe in each parish, transmissible by law to each successor, and protected against all abuse of trust and expense of litigation.
“ Send me to Parliament, and I will convince every rational man, and every man possessed of sentiments of religion, of the monstrous injustice attempted to be done to the monastic orders in Ireland, by some clauses in the late law: and I will be the constant advocate of the pious men who devote themselves to God, in singleness of heart and humility of spirit; of those invaluable institutions which give not only literary but religious and moral educatiou to the poor, and I will challenge enquiry and promulgate the truth respecting that most learned body, the Jesuits, a body of men who have done more for literature and religion than any other society that ever lived. They have produced more scholars, they have furnished more martyrs, they have preached Christianity to more infidel nations.
“ I trust I shall be the instrument of erasing from the statute book that paltry imitation of the worst and still existing portion of French jacobinism-a miserable imitation-which pretends to do that which nature and religion forbid to be done-to extinguish monastic orders in Ireland. While it is law, its penalties will be submitted to; but let me add, as a matter of fact, that its mandate will most assuredly not be obeyed. It was formerly death in Ireland to be a friar, and the Irish earth is still scarcely dry from the blood of martyret friars, the friars multiplied in the face of death. O for the sigacity of Peel, and the awful wisdom of Wellington, tna. meditate to suppress monastic orders in Ireland by a peca
niary penalty, and the dread of a foreign mission, under the name of baujshment !!!
“ The law permits men to be profligate, and debauched and corrupt, and selfish; it cannot--and I venture to add that if I am in Parliament, it shall not—long prohibit men from devoting their lives to poverty, to chastity, to obedience, and to the education of the poor.
“ Send me to Parliament, and I will incessantly urge on government the necessity of assisting in the internal improvement of your country; in particular in the improvement of the navigation of the Fergus, and construction of an asylum harbour on the western coast.
“ Send me to Parliament, and I will strongly urge the abolition of the accursed monopoly of the East India Company, a monopoly which while it grinds more than sixty millions of native inhabitants, by a ruinous and death-dealing revenue exaction, worse than the worst rack rents of Ireland, loads the inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland with prices, which render an indispensible article of consumption, about twice as dear in this country, as in any other part of Europe.
Send me to Parliament, and I will struggle for freedom of conscience for every human being ; and for liberty for men of every creed, caste, and colour.
“ Send me to Parliament, and I will strain every nerve to renovate the British constitution, by abolishing rotten boroughs and fictitious titles to vote; by extending the elective franchise to every man who is affected by taxation; and by carrying into full effect that species of constitutional reform, which whilst it applies a radical remedy to every abuse in the system of popular representation, would necessarily dimininish the public burdens, augment the value of private property, increase the safety of individual life, and add to the security of individual and popular liberty.
“ Send me to Parliament, and I will employ all the intellect I possess, and every faculty of my mind, unremittingly, perseveringly, perpetually to restore to Ireland a resident gentry, and a real representation in Parliament. Protestaants and Ca
tholics are equally interested in having Ireland and Irish interest faithfully and effectually represented in Parliament.
“ I address Protestants equally with Catholics—I address the landlords equally with the tenants—I address the rich as well as the poor.
“ If the landlords of Clare wish to preserve their estate, from the merciless fangs of the English system of poor laws; if they wish to develope the natural resources of their country; if they wish to bury in oblivion former feuds and animosities; if they wish to render their properties more valuable, by the dimunition of public burdens, the encouragement of domestic manufactures, the advancement of Irish commerce, the increase of Irish agriculture, the amelioration of the social circle, the extension of industry, comfort, and prosperity ; if the landlords of Clare desire all these things, they will join in sending me to Parliament, to work for the benefit of our common country.
“ If the tenantry desire the repeal of the sub-letting act and of the vestry bill; if they desire to have the parish cess lightened, and the grand jury cess abolished; if they desire to see a domestic provision made for the sick and the destitute, and opportunities afforded to the strong and the healthy to earn the wages of industry; if they desire to see Catholic charities established and secure; if they desire to see the Catholic parochial clergy rendered independent and comfortable; it they desire to see the Catholic monastic orders vindicated and protected; if they desire to see the Catholic rights and liberties prevented from being sapped and undermined by the insidious policy of those men who, false to their own party, can never be true to us; and who have yielded, not to reason, but to necessity, in granting us freedom of conscience; if they desire all this, let them do me the honour to elect me.
** If in fine the gentry of Clare are desirous to have as their representative a man who is able and most desirous to protect in Parliament their properties and permanent interests, let them do me the honour to select me.
" But let them not lay the flattering unction to their souis, that they can without an independent man of business as their representative, postpone the introduction of the English systeta of poor laws.
I implore them to recollect that the Engüish members of Parliamert have a direct and personal interest in introducing poor laws into Ireland, in order to relieve themselves from a portion of the burden created in England by the Irish labourers throwing, by their numbers, and the cheapness with which they work, a large portion of English labourers on the English poor rates. If I am returned to Parliament it will be my sacred duty to arrange the necessary provision for the infirm and sick poor in Ireland, in such a manner as to avoid the mischiefs of the English system, and to render it not only healing in its application to the poor but advantageous even to the pecuniary interests of the resident proprietors of Ireland.
“ Shall I be told that it is impossible to do all this? My answer is that I was often told that it was impossible to obtain Catholic emancipation. Every difficulty creates an impossibility to those who will not struggle against it. There is no impossibility to him, who, having no other object under heaven, but the good of his country and his kind, is determined by honest, open, and constitutional means to achieve the restoration of his native land
Impossible to restore Ireland to that happiness and freedom of which she was so foully deprived ! impossible! I utterly deny it. The spirit of improvement is abroad,—the causes of political regeneration are multiplied, -The landed aristocracy of England, by means of the corn laws, have an undue share of the price of the morsel of bread with which the exhausted artizan feeds his hungry family, whilst that very same aristocracy purchase the articles of their own consumption, more cheaply, by means of “ the free trade” in manufactures. The principle of free trade, let me add, is one which I cherish; but that principle, to be just, should be universal.-It should not operate to the disadvantage of the poor man, by making his bread dear, and at the same time operate to the advantage of