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83 steer the Catholics clear of that rock; and hence Tone never forgave him.
Keogh possessed two qualities that must always get a man forward,-flattery and satire. He used to dine with the members of the opposition at the Duke of Leinster's, where he met Lord Moira (then Rawdon), Mr. Conolly, Mr. Ponsonby, and others of their party. He flattered them, which none disliked ; and occasionally he came out with some very severe satire, and attacked their conduct with some talent, and without any mercy.
When Keogh went to London, he was introduced to Mr. Burke, who liked him, and said that he
possessed arts that were certain to raise him in the world. The account of that mission afforded Mr. Burke and Mr. Grattan much amusementseeing Keogh and the other delegates on their journey to London, -admitted to the first court in Europe,-going in great state, and making a splendid appearance. Keogh in particular was prodigiously fine; he wore silk stockings, and a round, sharp-buckled tie-wig, with two rows of hard curls, that were extremely well powdered. He was highly delighted with his position looked very grand and very vain ;-he seemed to soar above all those he had left in Ireland. But when he returned home he had too much good sense to preserve his grandeur; he laid aside his court wig, and his court manner, and only retained his Irish feelings. and the Catholics in particular—that there were great means of resistance, and that he could assist and would advise Keogh to take part in resistance to oppression. Keogh told him he was quite wrong; that his plan was most absurd, and that nothing could be worse or more dangerous. The man becoming troublesome, Keogh grew apprehensive that he would do mischief, and at last told him he would complain to Government; and the individual still persisting, a complaint was accordingly made to the proper authorities, and he was obliged to quit the kingdom.
The Irish Parliament meets, Jan. 1793-Speech from the throne in fa
vour of the Roman Catholics—Lord Clare's opposition and speech Injurious effects on the minds of the Catholics- Mr. Grattan's amendment to the address-Opposes French doctrines—Mr. Hobart (secretary) brings in the bill for the relief of the Roman Catholics—Seconded by Sir Hercules Langrishe-Mr. Grattan's speech-Lord Clare's reply to the Bishop of Killala—Expresses his dread of a UnionAbuse of the people-Doctor Duigenan, his character-Singular duel - Loyalty of the Catholics—Their treatment-Lord ThurlowConduct of Mr. Pitt-Letter of the King-Lord Thurlow's remarks on it-Lord Loughborough, Chancellor of England–His character and conduct - Anecdote – His letters to Mr. Grattan - Richard Burke's letter, and Edmund Burke's remarkable letter to Mr. Grattan on Irish affairs.
On the 10th January, 1793, Parliament assembled, when suddenly a new and singular phenomenon in Irish politics presented itself, to the surprise of some, the joy of many, and the mortification of others. For the first time, the situation of the Roman Catholics was introduced in a speech from the throne, in liberal and conciliatory language, and with a view to their substantial relief.
The Lord-lieutenant stated to both Houses that he had it in particular command from His Majesty to recommend them to apply themselves to the consideration of such measures as might be most likely to strengthen and cement a general union of sentiment among all classes and descriptions of His Majesty's subjects in support of the established constitution. With this view, His Majesty trusted that the situation of His Catholic subjects would engage their serious attention, and in the consideration of this he relied on the wis
DEBATE ON THE ADDRESS.
85 dom and liberality of His Parliament. The Speech also stated that he had directed an increase of military force, as views of conquest and dominion had incited France to interfere with the affairs of other countries.
The address was seconded by Mr. Wesley, (Duke of Wellington,) who expressed himself friendly to the claims of the Roman Catholics. This recommendation greatly astonished the high church party, who had been so very active against the Catholics the year before, and with the sanction of this very Government. The Chancellor, the Archbishop of Cashel (Agar), Lo Farnham, and Doctor Duigenan, the country gentlemen, and the grand jurors in particular, who had been formerly instigated to oppose the Catholics, now found themselves abandoned ; and the very reverse of the principles in which they were foolishly tutored was now recommended from the highest authority in the State.
Lord Clare was offended, as well as disconcerted. He had not been in the confidence of the British minister, as will appear from the letter of Lord Loughborough to Mr. Grattan which mentions that the wishes of the British Chancellor and Cabinet should only be disclosed to the two secretaries; and from what has been already stated, it is clear that the proceedings in regard to the Catholics were carried on without his knowledge or approbation. In the debate on the address, he did every thing but condemn the speech of his Royal master, and he took that opportunity of inveighing against the Catholics and their petition to the King, which he termed “a gross and malignant deception, with which he did not suppose that any set of men would dare to approach the throne.” He entered into a long history of the penal laws, and declared that the Catholic grievances should be finally
settled this session, and that if any man looked to the total repeal of the Popery laws, it was an absurd and a wicked speculation ;—that it was impossible a zealous Catholic could support either a Protestant Establishment, or the connexion with Great Britain ;—that if Ireland made the experiment, the Establishment and the connexion would be put to the issue of the sword. He trusted that no degree of lenity, rashness, or timidity, would induce the Parliament of Ireland to yield her best security.
These ill-timed, illiberal, and injudicious sentiments, were most injurious to the Government and to the country, particularly when coming from so high an authority as that of the Chancellor, and contrasted with the benevolent disposition just displayed by the Crown; they were, in fact, suggestions to the King to hate his Irish subjects, and must naturally have disinclined those subjects, however loyal and affectionate before; for it is probable that if a man declares another to be bis enemy, he will make him so; or if a man say to two others, “ You must to all eternity be enemies,” they will either avoid him, or avoid one another, or hate one another; so that, afterwards, when the King continued in his services the individual who declared that no Catholic could support a Protestant establishment or British connexion, the people were led to suppose that the King credited the defamation, and they naturally reciprocated the sentiment of hostility, and thus the Irish Catholics were taught by the Irish Chancellor to hate, because they supposed themselves hated. This speech was a wicked attempt to alienate the King from his people by pronouncing the people alienated from the King; it raised suspicion and jealousy on one side, by the assurance of detestation on the other, and laid a
CHAP. IV.] MR. GRATTAN'S AMENDMENT. 87 train of discord between religion and religion, nation and nation, King and subject; and unfortunately this false witness against the Catholic became afterwards a true prophet, and at a later period the coronation oath was successfully set up by George III. as a final barrier to their emancipation, and it delayed the measure for upwards of thirty years.
In the House of Commons Mr. Grattan proposed an amendment to the address :
“ That we admire the wisdom which at so critical a season has prompted your Majesty to come forward and take a leading part in healing the political dissensions of your people on account of religion. We shall take into our immediate consideration the subject graciously recommended from the throne; and at a time when doctrines pernicious to freedom and dangerous to monarchical government are propagated in foreign countries ; we shall not fail to impress your Majesty's Catholic subjects with a sense of the singular and eternal obligation they owe to the throne and to your Majesty's Royal person and family.”
These sentiments were wise and judicious, both in reference to the claims of the Catholics, and the doctrines in France. Mr. Grattan was always as adverse to the one, as he was friendly to the other; and the line which he now took, as well as that in the subsequent year, facilitated the admission of Lord Fitzwilliam and his party to power, and for a moment opened to Ireland a new and more pleasing prospect. The amendment was agreed to without a division.
· As the Catholic Bill was the leading measure of this year (1793), it may be followed at once throughout its several stages.
On the 4th of February, Mr. Hobart presented a petition from certain Roman Catholic bishops and others, complaining of the penal laws, and praying to be restored to the rights and privileges