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storm, to all the jibes and jobs of Protestant ascendancy.
Not only a Protestant lord looks down upon a Catholic lord, and a Protestant gentleman on a Catholic gentleman, but a Protestant peasant on a Catholic peasant; and in proportion as the degrading scale descends, the expression of contempt becomes more marked and gross.
Now, let any inan say, can such disqualifications be perpetuated with justice or humanity; or can they be borne with patience ?
Can we then find too strong terms to expose to Europe, every where else enlightened and liberal, the dull and malignant conduct of the Irish and English Protestants ?
Can we find words to express our astonishment, that the English cabinet should become an echo, not to ravings of Bedlam, but to a cento of every thing that is gross, vulgar, and perverse ; Dublin guilds, common council-men, aldermen, corporations; fat fools, that have been hitherto non-descripts in the classes of science, literature, and good sense.
Can we too warmly deprecate the disingenuousness with which every variety of rebellion in Ireland is attributed to the Catholic religion, without ever taking into consideration, the injustice with which the professors of that religion have been treated ?
The Protestants, in their terror of persecution, have become persecutors; their alarm at Catholic atrocities has made them atrocious ; to hear them speak, one would imagine that they had been the patient and uncomplaining sufferers, from the reign of William till George the Third ; that they had borne this long and cruel test of loyal resignation ; that they had been deprived of property, of arms, of every legal and honourable right.
No, it is not suffering, but it is power, it is the pride of artificial ascendancy, it is the jealousy arising from exclusive privilege, that corrupts the understanding, and hardens the heart.
The ridicule of this outcry, which the Protestants make against the Catholics, at the
very time they oppress them; and indeed our whole train of argument, cannot
be better illustrated; than by an old fable and moral, which we make no apology for delivering in the very words of Sir R. L'Estrange.
FABLE OF A WOLF AND LAMB.
“ AS a Wolf was lapping at the head of a fountain, he spied a Lamb paddling at the same time, a good way off down the stream. The Wolf had no sooner the prey in his eye, but away he runs open mouthed to it. Villain, says he, how dare you-lie muddling the water that I am drinking ? Indeed, says the
poor Lamb, I did not think that my drinking here below, could have fouled your water so far above.
Nay, says the other, you will never leave your chopping of logic, till your skin's turned over your ears, as your. father's was a matter of six months ago, for prating at this saucy rate. You remember it full well, sirrah.
“ If you will believe me, Sir, quoth the innocent lamb, with fear and trembling, I was not come into the world then.
Why, how now then, Impudence, cries the Wolf, hast thou neither shame nor con
science? but it runs in the blood of your whole race, sirrah, to hate our family, and therefore, since fortune has brought us together so conveniently, you shall e'en pay some of your fore-fathers scores before you and I part; so without any more ado, he leapt at the throat of the miserable helpless lamb, and tore him to pieces.”
“ PRIDE and cruelty never want a prétence to oppress: the plea of not guilty goes for nothing against power; for accusing is proving, where malice and force are joined in the prosecution.
“ When innocence is to be oppressed by might, arguments are foolish things; nay, the
very merits of the person accused, are improved to his condemnation. The Lamb itself shall be made malicious.
“ And what is this now, but the lively image of a perverse reason of state, set up in opposition to truth and justice, but under - the august name and pretence of both. As loyalty, for the purpose, shall be called rebellion ; decency of religious
worship shall be made superstition; tenderness of conscience shall be called fanaticism, singularity, and faction.
The cause of the innocent must be remitted at last to that great and final decision, where there is no place for passion, partiality, or error. But as to the business of this world, when Lambs are the accused, and Wolves the judges, the injured must expect no better quarter; especially when the heart's blood of the one is the nourishment and entertainment of the other.”