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Moira, must carry with it great for an explicit declaration of the real weight, he thought that an impres- meaning of the words in the noble sion ought not to be suffered to re- lord's letter. He was sure the House main on the public mind, that either would feel a pleasure in putting the the Princess or her advisers were ever noble lord in a situation most congeafraid that her honour would have been nial to his own heart, that of explainin danger from any evidence Kenny ing unequivocally and clearly, a matmight have given. There was an- ter which was at present involved in other paragraph, which Lord Moira, doubt, and which might lead to conand none but he could explain. When clusions and inferences which the no. it was stated in the letter, that Par. ble earl would himself be the first to tridge, Lord Eardley's porter, was lament.--He had hoped from time to known to be entirely devoted to the time, that this most heart: rending subPrincess, he thought it ought to be ject would have been set at rest. New explained, what was meant by the de. matter, however, seemed daily to be votion of one of Lord Eardley's me. brought before the public, and he now nial servants to the Princess of Wales ? almost despaired that the subject would How, or from what reason, it could be ever be brought to a satisfactory consupposed that a person in that station clusion, unless some decided act of re. of life would communicate to the Prin. cognition was either advised by his cess any examination which he might majesty's

ministers to be adopted, or have undergone, was a matter capable that the House would place their seal of explanation only by the noble earl, upon the matter, and close it for ever. and if not explained by him, how it How this was to be done, could best was possible for any other person to be pointed out at the proper season. explain it he knew not. Finding that He most sincerely wished, however, this part of the noble earl's letter, as that the question might be concluded well as that to which he had first di- by any other means than through the rected the attention of the House, had medium of that House, and anxiously been commented upon in a public hoped, that without considerable de print, and surprise expressed equal to lay, his Royal Highness the Prince that which he himself felt, he could Regent's ministers would advise him not be content to suffer the matter to to give to her Royal Highness an espass without making some observa. tablishment out of his civil list, ade. tions, or without pointing out the ex. quate to the elevated situation which pediency, as well as the absolute ne- she held in this country. Some mode cessity, of requiring a full and satisfac- or other, he was satisfied, must ere tory explanation from the noble earl, long be had recourse to for the purbefore he quitted Great Britain. pose of dissipating all conflicting opiWhen the exalted rank of the Earl of nions, and he trusted it would be such Moira was considered, and when it as to place her Royal Highness in a was known that every thing which sphere adequate to her merits. For came from him would be received by the present he should content himself the country with that degree of weight by moving, That a message be sent to which his lordship's opinions and to the Lords, requesting their lordremarks were entitled, he apprehended ships to grant permission to the Earl that a feeling of justice, as well to. of Moira to attend at the bar of this wards the Earl of Moira himself, as House, for the purpose of being exatowards the Princess of Wales, called mined as to his knowledge of certain

circumstances connected with the con- House but a few minutes, he believed duct of her Royal Highness the Prin- at first that this was only one of those cess of Wales.",

irregular conversations which had too The Speaker having observed that frequently of late been introduced, and this motion was unprecedented, Lord was not at the beginning aware that Çastlereagh said, “ he thought the there was a motion regularly submitHouse must feel, that, according to ted to the House. If that had been the custom of parliament, the present the case, he should not have said a sinmotion could not be received, and gle word upon the subject; but now, that it would be very improper to feeling it to be a question of some imtake the step proposed by the hon. portance, he was anxious to state the gentleman. He should, however, not grounds on which he should vote for confine himself merely to the forms of passing to the order of the day. An the House, but would say upon the hon. baronet (Sir Francis Burdett) substance of it, that he was surprised had referred to that understanding, by that the hon. gentleman should (after which the House had shewn its wish six times that the subject had been that there should be no further disbrought forward in different shapes, cussions upon this unhappy subject. and the feeling of the House was well He believed, that the last debate on known upon it) think it necessary the subject ended with the underagain to revive the controversy. He standing, that no possible good could could conceive no other purpose which result from the discussion. He bethis could answer but to agitate the lieved, that the House, and every public mind, and wound the delicacy member of it, had felt the most anxiof the House. This was merely a ous wish that they should not be call. collateral point of a subject into which ed upon for any determination on the the hon. gentleman well knew that subject, unless it should come to such the House did not wish to enter. He an extremity that parliament was ob. was also surprised, that at the close of liged to take some step. As he did his speech, instead of calling upon not think that such an extremity had them to pronounce upon the question now arrived, he could not coincide in of guilt or innocence, he should mere- the expediency of these renewed dis. ly have suggested an increase of the cussions. He did not imagine that establishment of her Royal Highness. the present proceeding was at all ne. If no question of form had rendered cessary; and although he admitted the motion inadmissible, he should it was possible that a case might arise, have opposed it in its substance, as he in which the House and the country was convinced that no possible good would find it necessary to come to could result from the interference of some substantial conclusion

this parliament; and he thought that on subject, yet he trusted his majesty's the contrary, it might in every quar- ministers would avoid being driven to ter prove injurious. In his opinion such an extremity. He admitted, the hon. gentleman, by his motion, that where the possibility existed of had departed from those principles having occasion to recur to such a upon which parliament was bound to measure, it was proper to be prepared act, and he was satisfied that the for the worst; but if he was called whole of his conduct was likely to do upon to state whether such a necessity no public good, but, on the contrary, existed now, he would have no hesitato do great public mischief."-Mr tion in answering in the negative. Canning said, as that having been in the There was another impression, as he believed, upon the mind of the House have been explained. There can be as to this subject. They thought that no necessity for reverting to the prothe abstaining from discussions upon ceedings of 1806, or for staining our it, was the most likely way to bring pages with the depositions of the wit. about that happy termination of it, to nesses examined before the commiswhich every one anxiously looked. sioners, or the reflections to which While they abstained from discussion, such evidence may have given rise. It they conceived that there was one has been confessed on all hands, that chance left for that species of termina. the Princess stands acquitted of crition which all good men and all good minality ; but against the charge of lesubjects wished to see. He believed vity, it may seem more difficult wholly that those men betrayed a very imper- to defend her. Such, however, was not fect knowledge of human nature and the question agitated, in consequence kuman feelings, who could suppose of her letter of January, 1813. From that the continuance or revival of such that letter it appears her advisers indiscussions was the most likely means tended, that she should be enabled of procuring that termination which to interfere with the unquestionable was so much desired. He conceived powers of the Prince Regent, as the that if those discussions were revived, natural guardian of his daughter, and the whole period between the first dis- the actual chief magistrate of these cussion and the last might be consi. realms. This attempt, as might have dered as so much time lost in the ac- been expected, proved altogether aborcomplishment of the object in ques- tive; and the merit, or demerit, as tion. It was from these feelings that well as the influence and authority of he, and, as he believed, many other her Royal Highness, remained, after members, deprecated these discus. all the tedious and vain discussions sions.”

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all the ebullitions of party zeal, and Thus terminated those unhappy con. all the offensive disclosures which were troversies, which had so long gratified unfortunately made, precisely as they the malice of faction, fed the vulgar had been placed before by two succesappetite for slander, and disturbed the sive cabinets--that of Lord Grenrepose of the country. On an affair ville in 1806, and that of the Duke of of this kind we have been anxious to Portland in 1807. With the unfortu. abstain from minute detail, and have nate differences which had occasioned preterred laying before our readers a so many painful scenes, neither the lecompendious, but impartial account of gislature nor the country, it would the proceedings in parliament, to any seem, can ever prudently interfere. other form in which the subject could

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CHAP. V.

Affairs of Ireland.--Discussion of the Catholic Question in Parliament.

Conduct of the Irish Catholics.

This year seemed to open better pros- tion of the protestant interest. Much pects to the catholics of Ireland than has been said of the question of right. any which preceded it. The mini- This appears, however, to be a very sters were divided in opinion as to unnecessary metaphysical discussion, the merits of the catholic question ; and one which cannot have any practhey had ceased to interest themselves tical application in the present instance. with zeal in the result ; and the incli- In the same sense in which religious nations of the Prince Regent were un. toleration is a right, a due share of derstood to be favourable to the claims political power is a right; both must of the petitioners. The protestants, yield to the paramount interests of however, were seized with alarm; pe- society, if such interests require it ; titions against the claims of the Roman neither can be justifiably withheld, uncatholics were poured in from all quar- less their inconsistency with the public ters, and a respectable association was interest is clearly established. But in formed, with the avowed intention of the present case, the question does not, opposing

further concessions. But the in any respect, arise ; for we have alfriends of the catholics were determi. ready admitted the Roman catholics ned to persevere ; and on the 25th of to substantial power, and what we February, Mr Grattan moved that the seek to exclude them from is honour. House should resolve itself into a com. The privileges which are withheld are mittee, to prepare a bill for the relief impotent, as protections to the state, of the Irish catholics. The arguments but most galling and provoking to the in support of the motion were power- party which is excluded. No candid fully and ably stated, upon this occa. mind can hesitate to admit, that the sion, by many distinguished speakers. exclusions must be severely felt, as a

The motion, it was said, proposed grievance of the most insulting kind. to remove the civil disabilities which that the man of the first eminence at affect a great portion of our fellow the bar should be prevented from act. subjects, on account of their religion ; ing as one of his majesty's counsel, offering, at the same time, to accom- or from sitting on the bench of justice; pany the measure with every security that the gallant officer, who has diswhich may be required, for the protectinguished himself in the battles of his country, when his heart is beating the opulent and the educated, on achigh with the love of honourable fame, count of a condition which they have should be stopped in his career, and in common with the many, you add see his companions in arms raised above the attraction of politics and party to him, to lead his countrymen to victory the operations of general and moral and glory, must be felt as deeply hu- causes ; and, if the principle of exmiliating! Does it require argument clusion be a religious one, you organto shew, that exclusion from parlia. ize, not merely the principles of revoment must be considered as a privation lution, but of revolution furious and and indignity? Why are men so desi. interminable. But by the policy of rous of this distinction ? From the ho. separating political rank from property Dest ambition of serving their coun- and education in any intermediate detry, from the pride of abiding by gree, the conclusion is equally true, honourable engagements, or from that the attempt so to separate esta. motives, perhaps, of a less elevated blishes a principle, not of government, description? Whatever they may be, but of the dissolution of government. honourable and dignified, or otherwise, So sensible of this truth were our they subsist in the minds of the catho. ancestors, that, when they saw, or lics as much as in those of other men; thought they saw, a necessity for disand, though the elective franchise, honouring the Roman catholic, they which has been granted to the Irish adopted, as a necessary, consequence, catholic, gives him a substantial repre- the policy of impoverishing and bar. sentation, yet the exclusion from par. barizing him: When they degraded liament is calculated to operate as a him, they felt that their only safety severe and humiliating disability; and was to keep him in poverty and ignothe more humiliating, because it is a rance ; their policy, good or bad, was mark of inferiority put on the ca. consistent-the means had a diabolical tholic, merely for the purpose of fitness for their end. Is it not a per. marking that inferiority. The topic, fect corollary to this proposition, is it that toleration is one thing, and po- not the legitimate converse of this litical power another, has little appli- truth, that if you re-admit them to cation to this case, even if it were wealth and to knowledge, you must just ; for in this instance it seems to be restore them to ambition and to hocontended that rank, and station, and nour? What have we done? We have honour, are not the proper appendages trod back our steps ; we have rescued of wealth, and knowledge, and educa. the catholics from the code, which tion, and of every thing which consti- formed at once their servitude and our tutes political and moral strength. safety, and we fancy we can continue In every system of human policy, the the exclusion, from civil station, which few must govern the many, but put- superinduced that code. Their's was ting military force out of the case, a necessity, real or fancied, but a conlegitimate government must arise from sistent system ; we pretend no necestheir superiority in wealth and know- sity; we have voluntarily abdicated ledge ; if, therefore, you exclude the the means of safety, and we wilfully wealthy and the educated from the and uselessly continue the causes of government of the state, you throw danger. The time to have paused into the scale of the many, the only was before we heaved, from those weight which could have preserved the sons of earth, the mountains, which balance of the state itself. This is the wisdom or the terrors of our anuniversally true ; but when you reject cestors had heaped upon them; but

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VOL. VI. PART I.

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