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CONDUCT OF ADMINISTRATION,
Seventh Session of Parliament:
ADDRESSED TO THE
Constitutional Electors and Free People of Ireland,
PURLISHED BY ORDER OP TIIE NORTHERN WHIG CLUB.
IT may be expected that we should make a two-fold apology to the judicious and spirited writer (whoever he is) of this review ; first, for the liberty taken in republishing it; and, again, for doing it in a mutilated form : but we are persuaded he will readily excuse both, as he must see that we are actuated by the same zeal for the public service which animates himself. The reason for omitting several pages was, lest the public eye should be diverted from our immediate, most important concerns, to objects at present less interesting. The people are now called on to fulfil their duty, by straining every nerve to create an honest House of Commons; if they are alive to a sense of their duty, if they regard their country or themselves, they will spiritedly support their late worthy Representatives, and reject those with indignation who have proved the reverse; electing such in their room as have the best claim to public confidence. It is a solemn occasion ; every thing is at stake. In the next place, they are called on to declare their opinion of public measures ; if the minority, through the course of the last Session of Parliament, have strenuously supported their rights and interests, the people are bound, by every tie, to express a warm approbation of their measures, and a firm determination to give such every constitutional support; reprobating that corrupt system which, unaided by ability, rendered the virtues and splendid exertions of opposition ineffectual.
BELFAST, April 16, 1790.
FREE PEOPLE OF IRELAND :
I SUBMIT to your consideration the following strictures on the late measures of your Government: With you it remains to decide on the truth or falsity of what I have advanced. If I have deceived you, it is not a wilful deception, for, in that case, I am myself deceived ; if I have, on the contrary, felt your situation truly, and expressed it fairly, make the proper use of the information collected in this little book, and my end is fully answered.
One word more-It is with some little pride I find the mode proposed in the following pages, has been anticipated by the inhabitants of Belfast ; a city renowned, over the kingdom and over England, for its thorough knowledge of, and ardent attachment to, constitutional liberty. I am a young man, but I remember the era when, from that very city, as from a fountain-head, the torrent of public spirit gushed forth, overspread the land, and swept the ancient bulwarks of English tyranny before it.
I accept the omen. You have no foreign enemies to encounter; look then at home. Now is your time for reformation; if it elapse unprofitably, which of us can promise himself that he will survive till the next era ? It is a serious consideration, and use it properly.
A REVIEW, &c.
A GENERAL ELECTION is, at all times, a subject of serious consideration; but, perhaps, there never was a General Election so important in its consequences as the impending one is likely to prove. The nation has for the first time seen, with the surprise and diffidence incident to the dawn of a new measure, but gradually vanishing as it rose to the meridian, a regular and systematic opposition on public principle, strengthened by private honor: an union of men, heretofore of different attachments, pledging themselves, by every tie as gentlemen, to the carrying of certain measures with effect, and steadfastly, though unsuccessfully, prosecuting that system ; the nation has seen that opposition rising in numbers and in weight, by an even and steady progress, from a division of eighty-two, to eightyeight, to ninety-six, to ninety-eight! They have heard certain measures loudly condemned, and they have not heard them defended; they have heard impudent prodigality arraigned, and justified,-justified by the practice of Administration ; they have heard corruption alleged as a charge on one side, and avowed on the other; they have heard of a sale of honors, tainting, at once, the highest legislative and judicial authority; and they have found the inquiry, not dared, but smothered; they have heard the leader of opposition come forward and offer to substantiate an impeachable offence, and they have heard him answered by a vociferous appeal to the “ Question.
These are plain facts. And what follows ? No Government can pretend to exist in this Kingdom, clogged and cramped by such an incumbent opposition, unless it appear that the opposition and the people are of different sentiments; if that be the case, Administration may laugh their adversaries to scorn; if it be