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Mr. Hutton, on his return from the post-office this evening, where he had been to put in a letter to P. P. is startled by a vision of Guy Vaux, which appears to him at Alderman Hart's door. Mr. Hutton speaks Latin to the said vision, on which it proves to be a police man. Mr. Hutton diligently inspects the pantry, lest the Catholics might have conveyed combustibles therein, and so burn him and his innocent family in their beds. Wishes to have a fire engine in his bed chamber, for fear of accidents from these bloody, barbarous, and inhuman Papists.
9th November. At court. Wonderful to see the rapid change in the minds of the bar, on the Catholic question; almost every body favorable. Some for an immediate abolition of all penal laws ; certainly the most magnanimous mode, and the wisest. All sorts of men, and especially lawyer Plunkett, take a pleasure in girding at Mr. Hutton, “who takes at once all their seven points in his buckler, thus.” Exceeding good laughing. Mr. Hutton called Marat. Sundry barristers apply to him for protection in the approaching rebellion. Lawyer Plunkett applies for Carton, which Mr. Hutton refuses, inasmuch as the Duke of Leinster is his friend, but offers him Curraghmore, the seat of the Marquis of Waterford. This Mr. Hutton does to have a rise out of Marcus Beresford, who is at his elbow listening. Great laughter thereat. The Committee charged with causing the non-consumption agreement against Bellingham beer. Mr. Hutton, at the risque of his life, asserts the said charge to be a falsehood. Valiant! All declare their satisfaction thereat. Every thing looks as well as possible. Huzza! Dine at home with Stokes, &c. Very pleasant and sober.
10th. Hear that government is very much embarrassed to know what to do. Toler has been sounding D. T. O'Brien, a rich and timid Catholic, of some consequence in the party; wished to frighten him, but failed in his attempt. Bon! Sir F. Blacquiere has been with T. Broughall, on the same plan, with the same success. Also, an anonymous personage with J. Sweetman. The Chancellor, we hear, talks big. If he attempts to use violent measures, I believe a war will be the inevitable consequence. My own conviction is, that Government must concede. Gog, Magog, and Warren, three leading Catholics, had rather be refused this session, in order, thoroughly, to rouse the spirit of the people. Right! I rely very much on the folly and
intemperance of Government for the complete emancipation of the country. Early and moderate concessions to the just demands of the nation may prevent mischief, but that is a degree of wisdom which Fitzgibbon never will be able to reach. My advice has been for the Catholics, at every refusal, to rise in their demands, like the ancient Sybil; which they seem determined to do. No want of spirit apparent yet. The Committee, under the new organization, is called for the 3d December. We have this day returns from twenty-five counties and all the great cities of Ireland, with a strong confidence that we shall have the remainder before the day of meeting. The circumstance, of the time being fixed, will probably bring in the out-lyers. We have got Kerry, in spite of Lord Kenmare. Mayo has been off and on three or four times, owing to the manæuvres of that rascal, Dennis Browne, (vide this Journal of Oct. 26, 27); now they seem stout again. The Connaught gentry, more valiant than wise, easily led, especially by a great man, or a great man's man. Bad! But they will mend of all that. Hope we shall have returns from Mayo, after all. If we do, a great victory! The Northern Whig Club have adopted the resolutions, which I sent to Sinclair, on the 29th ult. Halliday the only dissentient. I did not expect they would have passed ; this is another proof of the gradual change of the public mind. Custine is said to have advanced so far in Flanders, that his retreat is cut off. A lie, I hope, like that about Dumourier. Right or wrong, success to the French ; they are fighting our battles, and if they fail, adieu to liberty in Ireland, for one century! Apropos of fighting! Mr. Hutton has bought a fine sword, of which he is as vain as the devil; intends to sleep on it to night. Quere, May he not wear it in the court of chancery, with his wig and gown, to edify Lord Fitzgibbon? Mr. Hutton proposes to make it the pattern sword for his regiment, when he has one.
11th, Sunday. George Knox shows me a memorandum or abstract of Lord Abercorn's answer to his letter on the subject of Gog's famous plan for turning out the Ministers here, (vide journal, &c.) Lord Abercorn quite wild ; his idea is that the Catholics should renounce their present system, for the chance of what he would do for them. Damned kind! Mr. Hutton observes, coolly, that his Lordship does not bid high enough, and so the negotiation ends ; Knox declaring himself of Mr. Hutton's opinion.
12th. At Gog's to prepare papers, viz: petition to the King, petition to Parliament, address to the nation, &c. Ilear a report that Foster is afraid of being assassinated. The rascal deserves it, if any thing can justify assassination. Hard at work.
13th. A plot in Lower Ol'mond against the committee. The Tolers, Pretties, and other great landholders there, are compelling their tenants to sign some paper adverse to the Catholic claims. One priest, Mr. White, has the courage to refuse. Write a letter from the Sub-Committee, applauding him. Major and Secretary Hobart has sent for Dr. Troy, to pump him; talks a great deal of stuff, that Government is determined to resist all violence; that Government in England will support them; that we have not the Nortli, save only Belfast, &c. Sad stuff! By laying such stress upon the North, he is exposing his own weak side, and, of course, pointing out the best place for us to direct our batteries. Please God, the hint shall not be lost. We may work the major yet. Busy at the petition, &c.
14th. All the morning at work. Dine in town, at R. Dillon's. After dinner, turn the discourse to the probability of raising a new corps of volunteers. Resolve that the party shall meet on Saturday next, to devise a plan. All provoked at an unnecessary affront the Dublin corps received last Sunday; an officer of the regulars took away a drummer, belonging to his regiment, whom the volunteers liad hired for the day, and the poor fellow has been sentenced to receive two hundred lashes. Strange policy of Government, in such a time as this, to chuse to pick a quarrel with the volunteers! Trifling as this circumstance is, it will assist in laying the foundation for a corps, which may vex Government hereafter. Return to Mount Jerome. Propose to Gog to go to some expense in fitting up the room for the meeting of the committee, as it will give the country delegates a high idea of their own consequence, and the importance of the business, when they see every thing respectable and handsome prepared for their reception. All fair!
15th. Hear, to-day, that Ponsonby is come over. If it be so, a great point. Hard at work.
16th. Hear that the Castle-men say, that our address to the King, if we persist in that idea, will embarrass his MajestyThe devil it will! And who doubts it, or who cares? We will address him, please God, and let him refuse it, if he pleases.
Better that his Sacred Majesty should be embarrassed, than a nation kept in slavery. More and more at work.
17th. In town, at the Sub-committee. Read the intended address to the King. Very much liked, even by some of our timid people. Mr. Hutton very well pleased thereat. Gog also pleased. Compliments Mr. Hutton, and says that he (Mr. Hutton) has given the tone to all the Catholic politics; which Mr. Hutton, with all that amiable modesty which eminently adorns him, and gives a beautiful gloss to all his splendid actions, denies, and says, with a becoming diffidence, that if he has any merit, it was only in seeing their true interest a little earlier than some of themselves, and that it is their own good understandings, and not his arguments, that have set them on the right scent. This is partly true; and, at any rate, it is pretty in Mr. Hutton. It would not be for that gentleman's advantage to be thought wiser than Gog. Much better to stand behind the curtain and advise him. Mr. Hutton not anxious to appear on the canvass, provided the business be done, and if any thing serious should ensue, he will find his own level. If he deserves to rise, he will probably rise; if not, he cannot help it: “ Tis but in vain for soldiers to complain.” Spend the evening at home, with my innocent family. After all, home is home. I had like to forget. Attended a meeting, for the purpose of raising a volunteer corps: Present, Rowan, chairman; Tandy, James Tandy, Dowling, Bacon, Bond, Warren, Magog, and Mr. Hutton, Secretary. Vote 1000 men in ten companies ; cheap uniform, of coarse blue cloth, ticken trowsers, and felt hats. Not to meddle with the existing corps, unless they choose to join us, in which case they must adopt our plan, principles, and regimentals. If this takes, it will vex the Castle, and they may not like to come and take our drum from us. Bond thinks the ci-devant Merchant Corps will present us with two field pieces. Iluzza ! Huzza!
18th, Sunday. Mt. Jerome again. Dinner with J. Plunkett. of Roscommon, and J. Jos. McDonnel, of Mayo. Conversation right good. The Country Catholics I think will stand fire. All seem stout. Mayo has returned, in spite of Dennis Browne, who is as vexed as the Devil, and cannot help himself. Huzza! Drink like a fish till past twelve. God bless every body. Embrace the Connaught men, and go to bed as drunk as a Lord. It is downright scandalous to see in this, and other journals, low
often that occurrence takes place, yet I call myself a sober man !
19th. R. Burke at Mt. Jerome; stays five hours ; very foolish. Proposes that the Committee, when they meet, shall not petition, but address the King, to complain of the Grand Juries. Nonsense! What can the King do to the Grand Juries ? Makes a poke at Gog relative to his being continued agent to the Catholics. No beating him out of that ground. Gog maintains an obstinate silence. Burke very superficial ; affects great mystery and reserve; says Grattan is only trained to local politics, but he himself is trained to general politics, &c. Modest and pretty!
20th November. Mr. O‘Beirne, of county Leitrim, a sensible man. Gog takes great pains to put him up to Catholic affairs, and does it extremely well. Gog lucky to-day; never lets an opportunity pass to convert a country delegate—which answers two ends; it informs them, and gives him an influence over the country gentlemen. O'Beirne says the common people are up in high spirits, and anxious for the event. Bravo! Better have the peasantry of one county than twenty members of Parliament. Gog seems to-day disposed for all manner of treason and mischief; separation of the countries, &c.; a republic, &c. ; is of opinion this will not end without blows, and says he for one is ready. Is he? Mr. Hutton quite prepared, having nothing to lose. Hard at work on the appeal to the people ; some strong attacks on the Grand Juries, &c. Dumourier has beaten the Austrians at Jemmape, and Mons and Tournay are the fruits of his victory. Bravo! Come to town to meet the committee for framing the new corps. The whole evening spent in settling the uniform, which is at last fixed to be that of the -Garde Nationale. Is that quite wise ? Who cares? The parties do not seem quite hearty in the business, and it is likely, after all, the corps will come to nothing. This night fifty-four members proposed ; the Protestants huffed that Mr. Byrne's sons are not of the number; the Catholics that more of Napper Tandy's friends do not come forward. This does not look very well. Mr. Hutton a little disgusted. No body universally, and at all times right, except that truly spirited and patriotic character***
Hiatus for two months.