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might be so sustained and kept up, that the result might be a general weakness and distraction of the nation.'
These extracts, we find, are gaining too fast upon us, and we must now hurry to a conclusion-briefly referring to Mr O’Driscol's second volume, for a most copious and interesting account of the final national struggle of Ireland, in her war for the ungrateful James, against the hero of our Revolution. His great object in that brilliant and important narrative, is, to show with what admirable courage and fidelity the Catholic party maintained itself against the disciplined and veteran forces of William and his generals-with what reluctance they sought the co-operation of France in that great struggle, and to what Josses, mortifications, and insults they were exposed, by the leaders even of those scanty and inadequate auxiliaries, with which the ungenerous policy of Louis led him to foment, but not to decide the struggle-how easily, in consequence, they might at all times have been cordially reconciled to the British government, and to what accidents the ultimate suceess of the Protestants was actually owing. The author, we think, has a singular talent in the description of battles, sieges, and military operations; and though a little too anxious, perhaps, to exalt the valour and skill of the Irish, and to impute to the personal cruelty of their adversaries those excesses, which, we fear, are inseparable from such a system of warfare; we think the whole narrative is conducted with laudable impartiality, and interspersed with many original and most salutary reflections. There is something very striking, at all events, even if a little fanciful, in the following remark:
• William had scarcely rested from the fatigues of the Boyne, when he received news of the defeat of the combined fleets of England and Holland by the French off Beachy Head. It is remarkable that this battle was fought the day before that of the Boyne; and as at the Boyne, so also upon the ocean, the Dutch maintained the fight with a bravery never surpassed, and the English hardly did their duty.
Though overpowered by superior force, the Dutch sustained the high character which their nation then enjoyed in Europe by land and water. This, no doubt, was some consolation to William, for he was a true Dutchman and a true soldier.
• The moral impulse of the Dutch Revolution was not yet worn out. The spirit which their resistance to Spain had given birth to, was still nourished and sustained by their arduous struggle against France, and gave the little republic of Holland that glorious eminence in arts, industry, and arms, which she then enjoyed. But the spirit of England, subdued by the failure of her Revolution under Cromwell, degraded by the restoration of the Stuarts, and polluted by the flood of political and moral profligacy which followed the footsteps of those weak princes, was now again bowed down under the weight and disgrace of the Dutch yoke, which she had imposed upon herself. England was cowed. She felt that Holland was the true seat of em pire, and that she acted but a second part to that little republic of the fens, and was no longer anything but an appendage to the States. This idea weighed upon the heart of the country; it ran like icy coldness through her fleets and armies, and they became spiritless and benumbed. The same cause which had for ages unstrung the nerves and sinews of the Irish military in their own country, and offered them up, bound and enfeebled, to every invader, was now acting with great power upon the British themselves.
• The incessant squabbles and ill-humour of the Parliament with William, were not because that prince exceeded the limits of legitimate authority. It was nothing more than a peevish and fretful effort of the nation to vindicate its supremacy ; a constant struggle against the notion of Dutch superiority, which yet they could not shake off.
• The Dutch were passionless ; and such a people have never been great for a long period. They were also too commercial. Commerce is a great support and ornament to empire, but if it be made the main pillar of the state, it will be found a dangerous one, and liable to decay: The English had the courage and the calmness of the Dutch ; but they had more; they had warmth, and genius, and fancy ; qualities which are not the ornament only, but the vital principle of power. It is a great advantage in the triple empire of the British islands, that her people afford a variety of character, which supplies almost all that is desirable in the human mind; steadiness and thoughtfulness ; energy and industry ; vivacity and fancy.'
Mr O'Driscol has given a very full and distinct account of the negotiations which preceded the pacification of Limerick, and the objects which the celebrated articles then agreed to were intended to answer. We believe there are not many, even of the Orange faction, who will now maintain, what we have seen, however, confidently asserted in various pamphlets, not many years ago, that the stipulations then made were for the benefit of the garrison or inhabitants of Limerick alone, and not of the rest of the nation. The audacity of such an assertion may well excite our amazement, when the express tenor of these articles, which Mr O’Driscol has very properly printed at large, from the Letters Patent in which they were ratified by the Sovereign, under the Great Seal of England, are attended to. The very first article bears on the face of it, That the Roman Ca
tholics or THIS KINGDOM shall enjoy such privileges in the exercise of their religion, as are consistent with the laws of • Ireland, or as they did enjoy in the time of Charles II.; and • that their Majesties shall endeavour, in Parliament, to procure • THEM such further security in this particular, as may preserve • them from any disturbance on account of their said religion.'
The second declares, That all the inhabitants or residents in • Limerick, or any other garrison now in possession of the Irisli, . and all officers and soldiers, now in arms, under any commis
sion from King James, in the several counties of Limerick, • Clare, Kerry, Cork, and Mayo,' (being the only counties in which there were any Irish troops embodied,) and all such as
are under their protection, within the said counties, who shall • accede to this capitulation, shall be entitled to all rights, pri• vileges, &c. as in the reign of King Charles II. &c. By the ninth article, again, it is provided, that · The oath to be admi• nistered to such Roman Catholics as submit to his Majesty's government, shall be the oath above mentioned, (viz. the oath • of allegiance,) and no other. Upon this point, then, of these articles being the conditions of a General Pacification, and applicable to the whole kingdom, no doubt can now be raised and too much, indeed, has been said on the subject.
It is of more importance to observe, that the extent of the rights and privileges thereby bestowed on the Catholics, is generally fixed, by their condition in the reign of Charles the Second. What that was, both parties, of course, knew quite well in the year 1691 ; but the lapse of time has since made some things uncertain, or liable at least to dispute, and renders it necessary therefore to refer to contemporary documents and authorities. In the first place, then, it is certain, from the rolls of parliament yet in existence, that Catholics, in the reign of Charles the Second, sate openly in both Houses of the Irish Parliament, and that there was then no law in existence disqualifying them from that privilege. It is true, that it was then supposed competent to require from any member that he should take the oath of Abjuration before voting on any particular occasion, and there are a few instances on record of such oath being tendered accordingly. Doubts, however, were always entertained of the legality of such a proceeding; and at all events, we have seen that these were finally cleared away by the Ninth article of the treaty now under consideration, which expressly declares that no oath but that of allegiance shall be required from any Irish Catholic in all time to come. In the next place, Bishop Burnet, not only a contemporary, but almost an actor in the scene, and in close connexion with all the great actors, has recorded it as quite certain and indubitable, that those of Limerick treated not only for
themselves, but for all their countrymen then in opposition to • the government;-and that they were thus admitted to all the • privileges of subjects, upon taking the oath of allegiance to their • Majesties, without being bound to take the oath of abjuration.' In the third place, in the terms originally proposed by the Irish army to the English commander, and upon the admission of which the treaty was ultimately concluded, it is expressly stipulated, “That the Irish Catholies shall be capable of holding all
offices, ciril and military, under the Crown, and of exercising all • trades, professions, and callings whatever;'-and especially,
that they may be members of all corporations, and exercise all • the corporate functions and immunitiis.' In the fourth place, and with regard to the military especially, it had been previously announced by King William, in his famous Proclamation issued after the fall of Athlone, and uniformly referred to as the basis of the subsequent articles of Limerick, That all those
enjoying rank or dignity in the service of King James, shall • be continued in the same rank, or advanced to higher posts.' Finally, the industry of Mr O’Driscol has here presented us with various extracts from pamphlets and other political publications, in the latter part of Charles the Second's reign, which uniformly, and without any exception, recognise the Irish Catholics as then in possession of all the privileges to which we have here alluded. In particular, in a very celebrated pamphlet, entitled, “ An Answer to the Coventry Letter,' published in 1687, by a decided advocate of the settlers under Cromwell, it is stated, as a known and admitted fact, that the Catholics, though they might have been treated severely by the republicans, • had, since the restoration of King Charles II., no occa‘sion to complain. They have been equally protected by the law. They have had parish priests in every parish. All freeholders, without distinction, have been admitted to pass on *juries, and to be electors, or elected parliament men ; and none • excluded out of the House of Lords for their religion. The : artificers, tradesmen, and merchants, have also been freely ad
mitted to follow their respective callings in corporations. It seems, therefore, to be perfectly clear, that all the rights and privileges for which the Irish Catholics have ever, in our day, contended, were most solemnly assured to them by the Articles of Limerick, which held out to them, indeed, the promise of still farther privileges; and that all the incapacities to which they were afterwards subjected, have been in direct violation of that most onerous and important treaty.
On the other hand, it should never be forgotten that, by the same solemn instrument, the Irish Catholics, as a body, and by their accredited representatives, finally ratified to the English and Protestant leaders, all those possessions, however and whenever acquired, for the restoration of which they did not stipulate upon that occasion. · The treaty of Limerick, as Mr O'Driscol has observed, with his usual candour and acuteness gave the English settlers a title to their estates, which the • Crown could not bestow. If the Catholics could appeal to it • for political rights, the Protestants could appeal to it for a
confirmation of title; and a better, indeed, could not be, than this solemn and voluntary compact between the great parties 6 which then divided the nation.'
The fate of the gallant army itself, with whom the negotiation was concluded, is curious and characteristic-and there are not many passages in history at once more graphic and more interesting than Mr O’Driscol's account of the scene that followed the
pacification. By the leading terms of it, all the soldiers of the Irish army were to be at liberty to pass, with the same rank, either into the English or the French service, as they thought fit-or, if they preferred it, to receive their discharge, and retire altogether from the military profession. The generals of the rival nations severally harangued the brave men they were so anxious to recruit; and each presented them with a moderate banquet. They were then all mustered as for parade, and directed to march in column up to a certain point where a flag: was fixed, on reaching which, those who were for France were to file off to the right, and those for England to the left. The whole ceremony was performed under the eye of the staffs of the contending parties, and of the Lords Justices of Ireland, in decorous and solemn silence, and with something of a melancholy pomp.
• A more extraordinary scene,' indeed, as Mr O’Driscol has well observed, “could not be, than this eager • contention of the two great powers of Europe for the army of • Ireland. That army itself was in a strange predicamento • James's kingdom of Ireland was now to be broken up; and all • the fixtures and furniture of the establishment were to be disposed of. The army was the most valuable commodity of this
great household; and when it was put up to auction at Lime• rick, the zeal and anxiety of the bidders proved the high opi
nion entertained its worth.' Of something more than fifteen thousand men, little more than two thousand volunteered for England, and about nine thousand for France; the rest accepted their discharges, and went home. Of the French party, however, many deserted before their embarkation.
• The love of country,' says Mr O'Driscol, with a truth and simplicity which, to us, is deeply pathetic- the love of country had its usual effect upon the Irish. The men quitted their ranks every mile they marched, and went to their own homes, or to look for homes amongst their friends and relatives. This army had been chiefly raised between Cork and Limerick, and every man, as he passed his rative village or hamlet, or the tree by the road side, or the stream that be remembered in his infancy, felt the irresistible influence of these a..