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For OCTOBER, 1801.



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To Correspondents.

OUR friend PHILO may be assured, that new and select articles from French literature, shall continue to be given in our publication.

The particulars respecting the late Lord HOLLAND, communicated by T. W. and which he calls original, have appeared in se veral periodical works.

The ODE to PEACE is under consideration.

The letter with which we have been favoured by J. G. was by some accident mislaid, and did not reach us until the day on which the last half sheet of the magazine was put to press. It shall be noticed in our next number




No. X.-OCTOBER, 1801.

[Continued from Page 148 of our last]

THE amendment was supported by Sir Laurence Parsons, Mr.

Falkiner, Lord Clements, Mr. Fitzgerald, (the late Prime Sergeant) Colonel Vereker, Mr. o'Hara, Mr. Lee, Mr. Crookshank, the Honourable Mr. Skeffington, Mr. French, Colonel Maxwell, Colonel Archdall, Mr. Barrington, Mr. Knox, and Sir John Freke, and opposed by Mr. Conolly, Mr. Fitzgerald of Kerry, Mr. M'Naghton, Sir Boyle Roche, and Sir John Blaquiere.

As the principal arguments both for and against the union, were urged on this occasion as well as in the debates, which took place on the 24th and 25th of the same month; a recapitulation of them from the speeches of the leading members, is perhaps the best mode of illustrating the subject of the present sketch.

Lord Castlereagh began with observing that he was compelled by justice to himself and his country, to state his reasons for sup porting the measure of legislative union with Great Britain. He sincerely trusted that no man would decide on a measure of such importance as that before the house, on private or personal motives, for if a decision were thus to be influenced, it would be the most unfortunate that could possibly take place. The object of the measure was in his mind such as every loyal man who really loved his country should support. By an incorporation of the Irish k gislature with that of Great Britain, the military system which unfortunately existed, would be converted into a system of calm security. As to the argument that the parliament was incompetent to entertain the question, he did not expect to hear it advanced by constitutional lawyers, or to find the position maintained that a legislature was not at all times competent to do that for which only it had been instituted; the adoption of



the best means to promote general happiness and prosperity. After the melancholy state to which the country had been reduced, His Majesty's ministers would feel that they shrunk from the line of conduct prescribed by their duty, if they did not seriously reflect upon that state, and recommend the best remedy for the evils which it comprised. It was the misfortune of the kingdom to have in itself no fixed principle on which the human mind could trust; no one standard to which the different prejudices of the people could be accommodated. What was the price of the present connexion with Great Britain? A military establishment far beyond their natural resources, and for which they were indebted to Great Britain, who was also obliged to guarante their public loans. It became necessary to speak the language of truth, and impressed with that sentiment, he would boldly say, if Ireland would not accept the union held out to her, and which was so obviously calculated to strengthen and secure her, she would perhaps have no alternative, but to sink into the embrace of French fraternity. Very much had been said of national pride and independence, but in what consisted the solidity of that language? Gentlemen might boast of them: but he would contend that they did not in reality possess the British constitution, nor could they consistently possess it during their present species of connexion with Great Britain. That constitution did not recognize two separate and independent legislatures under one crown. The greater country would take the lead; the lesser would naturally follow, and be subordinate in imperial concerns. The necessary and beneficial operation of the general will could be preceded only by the establishment of one common interest. As the pride of the country advanced with her opulence, it might happen that she would disdain all co-operation with Great Britain in her wars. Such a junction could only be effected by one common policy. If Great Britain called for the subjection of Ireland, she should be resisted with firmness and perseverance; but if she was desirous of uniting upon terms of equality, it would be madness to reject the offer. Gentlemen had drawn a material distinction between the case of Scotland and that of Ireland; yet it appeared to him that they were directly the same. With a local legislature and the actual divisions by which the nation was distracted, it was absolutely impossible the present system could continue. The force of some arguments against the Union he would readily admit; but the least evil was to be chosen. He granted that the list of absentees would be encreased, but for that loss, the country would have full compensation in many essential advantages. An interme diate class of men between the landlord and the peasant would arise; capital so necessary for the cultivation of manufactures and the extension of commerce would flow in from England, and the disadvantages arising from emigration would be counteracted by the difficulty and the expence,


Mr. Plunket denied the competence of parliament to pass an act of Union, and maintained that it would, if carried even by a vast majority be a mere nullity, and that no man in Ireland would be bound to obey it. The parliament was constituted to make laws, not legislatures; it was constituted to act in conformity to the constitution, not to alter it; it was constituted to exercise the functions of legislators, not to transfer them. An act of union would amount to a dissolution of the government, and resolve society into its natural elements. In advancing these doctrines, he stated positions not merely founded in the immutable laws of truth and reason, but sanctioned by the opinions of the ablest and wisest men, who had written on the science of government. He stated the practice of the constitution as applied at the æra of the revolu tion, and the doctrine under which the House of Hanover derived its title to the crown. Parliament could not be extinguished ; it was enthroned in the hearts of the people; it was enshrined in the sanctuary of the constitution; it was immortal as the island which it protected. As well might the frantic suicide hope that the act which destroyed his miserable body could extinguish his eternal soul. With respect to the idea of commercial advantages likely to result from a consolidation of interests with Great Britain, he should ask was the trade of the country in so declining and despe rate a state as to call for irrevocable measures? Was it not on the contrary, advancing with rapid prosperity beyond all hope and beyond all example, and would gentlemen bring their constitution to market and offer it to sale, for the purpose of obtaining advantages of which they did not stand in need? What treaty more solemn than the final constitutional treaty between the two kingdoms in 1782, which they were called upon to violate? What treaty more binding than the original compact with the people which they were required to abrogate.

Mr. Hardy said, that the time chosen for bringing forward a question of such magnitude, was in every point of view reprehensible, and nothing could excuse the conduct of his Majesty's ministers in pressing the discussion of the measure at that time. They took a most ungenerous advantage in urging a decision while the country was desolated in many places, and panic-struck in all. If they pleaded in defence of their conduct the predomi nating necessity of the times, he would answer that such a plea was a libel upon the wisdom of parliament, and the loyalty of the people co-operating with that wisdom, exemplified, as they had recently been, in preserving the nation from the danger which menaced it.

He contended that no such necessity existed, for there was no calamity with which the country had been or could be afflicted, no error in civil or religious polity;-no defective representation in that house or improper introduction to the other, the evils of which might not be remedied by their own exertions, by simplicity and uprightness of conduct, by magnanimity enough to acknow


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