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of the Protestants ; which are notoriously intended by the one party, and felt by the other, as a parade of insulting domination.
It requires no great spirit of prophecy to foretel, that if the English cabinet go on preparing every year, more materials for a civil war in Ireland, the public celebration of one of those days, will afford the trifling cause, the little spark, which is ever wanting to make the train of mischief explode.*
Will the English cabinet never perceive the important circumstances on which all political events are now turning?
Will they not open their eyes to that incalculable encrease of personal pride, which has taken place in the British islands ?
Can they not see that every effort of modern habits is directed to the g ratification of pride and vanity ; and to secure, under some shape or other, the esteem and regard of society ?
Will they never abandon those Scotch
* The Duke of Bedford, with that good sense, which if permitted, would have achieved the preservation of Ireland, forebore to countenance the celebration of the Orange Orgies, by his presence.
principles of policy, wliich only regard the vulgar interests of men, and neglect the feelings of the human mind, to which the strongest interest is after all entirely subservient ?
Of what value is wealth, and all the principles of economy on which it is supported, but as it assists the gratification of personal pride?
What kind of policy then is this, which would scruple to plunder the Roman Catholics of their wealth, which is of no value, but as a means to gratify their personal pride, and yet will not hesitate to make a direct attack on that personal pride in its most delicate and most irritable organs ?
If there is a political maxim established by experience, it is, that it is safer to injure men in their interests, than to wound their pride.
The most disagreeable circumstances which the Catholics are exposed to, are these testimonies of contempt inflicted on them by their fellow-countrymen, which would not take place, did not the government of the country declare the Catholics to have forfeited its sympathy, and to be unworthy of its confidence.
You may say, that this want of confidence is merely nominal; that government in fact, places as much confidence in Catholic soldiers and sailors, as in Protestants.
Allow, (which is not the case,) that this want of confidence is merely nominal, still when a government calls names, whether good or bad, they become in fact, very grave realities.
Government calls a man a lord. This is only a name; but do not the most substantial effects of consequence and superiority flow from it?
But the reverse of any proposition that is true, is true also in the reverse; and if government, by attaching nominal honours to men, really invests them with superiority and grandeur; so by attaching nominal dishonours to men, it stamps upon them inferiority and disgrace.
It is not, therefore, for the sake of political emoluments alone, (though these are fair objects of honorable ambition) it is not merely to represent the insignificance of their country in Parliament, that the Catholics look for an equality with the Protestants; this is not the emancipation which
informs them with one soul, one interest, one purpose ; what they may not, what they will not forego, is an emancipation from national contempt, from public ignominy, from domestic depredation.
A Catholic suffers the three most poignant feelings than can touch the human heart.
The government of his country passes a vote of censure on him. :
His fellow-citizen expresses his contempt for him, and expresses it with impunity.
The child of his affection blushes for him, and mourns for himself, when he learns that he necessarily inherits from his father a blot and a reproach, which no private virtues, or mental endowments, can obliterate or conceal.
How can we torture with this refined barbarity?
Do not we shrink back at the sight of a ļimb being cut off, and feel it in our own marrow? Can we not feel, because the sufferer is a Catholic?
O hearts of barbarians, of zealots, of Protestants! the flames which made the name of Bonner accursed, the hideous night of St. Bartholomew, are not so great a disgrace to the character of man, as your cold contriving bigotry.
They at least had the excuse, the varnish of religious feeling; they sprung not from selfishness, but from a visitation of fanaticism, as inscrutable as physical insanity. These men merely made a inistake; they worshipped. a demon,' and thought him God. But
you, with perfect possession of your faculties, with a calm pulse, and minds unaffected by the slightest emotion, perpetuate statutes, to gall the best and most honourable feelings of many millions of men, whose sensations of pleasure and pain are exactly of the same nature with those from which your own happiness or misery is derived.
The Catholics can feel, and do suffer.
The very peasantry acutely feel the stigma cast by government upon their sect and their religion. The lowest order even suffer most. The wealthy Catholics acquire' a degree of consideration and legal security from their property, but the peasantry are left naked to the pelting of the