Imatges de pÓgina

ment. From these pursuits the very persons, who impose restraints Catholic peer is deterred by the upon him, and are at the same letter of the laws, or by their ne. time ready to express the highest cessary operation. Still more veneration for their ancesturs in galling to a well-constituted mind, other respects ?" must be the state of systematic We shall conclude our view of insult and contempt, to which the the disabilities, which peculiarly Catholic peer is exposed. His affect the Catholic peers, by oh. conspicuous rank points him' out serving that as the law now stands to continual notice, and as a murk in Ireland, the Catholic peer is for hostility; whilst his powerless precisely the only man in the and unprotected condition invites community, who is wholly disquali. repeated aggression, and prostrates fied, not only from sitting or roting him before the slights and spurns in either House of Legislature, but of official insolence. Poverty, ob- also from voting at the election of scurity, personal privations—these a member for either. might be tolerable, but, alas! 10 By the express words of the be made

Act of Union, he is disabled from A fixed figure for the hand of scorn

voting at any election of a repreTo po nt his slow unmoving finger at, sentative peer to serve in the Par. Oh! this is too much!

liament of the United Kingdom;

and, by the standing order of the A late Catholic peer (Lord House of Commons against the Petre) universally revered for his interference of peers, he is for.. valuable endowments of head and bidden to interfere or vote at the beart, has feelingly complained of election of any member of the this exclusion, as amounting to lower House of Legislature. little short of a personal imputa. 2. As to the House of Commons. tion. In pathetic language he —This exclusion is still more im. thus vents his indignation : portant in its extent and operation.

" Is it not an insult to me, to It comprizes a greater number of be debarred from exercising my situations of trust and power, hereditary right of legislating in amounting at present to 658. the Peers' House of Parliament, These 658 members and their con. merely because I will not take nections are in continual contact oaths, and subscribe declarations, with the people of all descriptions; of which my conscience disap. they transact a great quantity of proves-and io be cruelly told, in public business, controul ibe pubthe same breath, that any oath lic purse, correct public abuses, I may take cannot be depended criminate public delinquents

. They upon ? Is it not disgraceful to have frequent opportunities of ony man of honour to stand as an manifesting personal favour or ill. object of suspicion, and the victim will: of benefiting or enriching of, at least, an implied stigma, in their private friends : of injuring his nntire land, for no other rea. or despoiling the obnoxious or de. son but because he prays to God fencelėss. Moreover, the frequent in his own way, and professes the changes of its numerous members, religion of, not only his forefathers, the variety and fluctuation of its but the forefathers also of those proceedings, render this House


far more instrumental than the able public interest, be, at the upper House can be, in widely same time, a benefactor, a patron, diffusing the effective influence of a father, a guardian angel to his, legislative power.

political adherents." On the Let us keep in mind, that it is other hand, how stands the Caih. not so much to the purpose to olic gentleman or trader? For his inquire, wbat may be the precise own person, no office, no power, number of Catholics actually er. no emolument: for his children, cluded from the legislature, as to brothers, kindred, or friends, no consider how many are excluded promotion, ecclesiastical or civil, from all chance of participation military or naval. Escepi from in it; and what must be the gene. his private fortune, he has no ral effect of such exclusion upon means of advancing a child, of the interests and feelings of the making a single friend, or of shewCatholic body.

ing any one good quality. He has The number of Catholics quali- nothing to offer but harsh refusal, fied for seats in the Legislature, pitiful excuse, or despondent re(if learning, talent, landed estates, presentation. or commercial wealth be admitted Further, we may observe the as a qualification,) probably ex. powerful effect of opinion upun ceeds thirty thousand persons. this subject. The personal imThese men stand personally pro- portance, the conscious indepenscribed by the existing exclusion, deuce, the sense of security and whilst their Protestant neighbours protection which belong to the find every facility for ready admis. legislative character, are partici. sion.

pated with hundreds of persons Now, the advantages flowing without doors, whom the repre. from a seat in the Legislature, it sentative may be desirous to court, is well known, are vot confined to or whose interests or sympathies the individual representative. They may accord with his own. In extend to all his family, friends Ireland, these persons are, almost and connections; or, in other universally of the Protestant prowords, to every Protestant in fession; connected with the mem. Ireland. Within his reach are all ber by the ties of family oroftriend. honors, offices, emoluments: every ship, of early acquaintance, edu. sort of gratification to avarice or cation, or reciprocal services. vanity : the means of spreading Besides, they already enjoy exclua great personal interest by innu- sive power and privileges, and merable petty services to individu. therefore can command the respect, als. “ He can do an infinite and pre-occupy the exertions of number of acts of kindness and the member. Perhaps, they are generosity, and even of public not without the prospect of seats spirit. He can procure advantages for themselves. Hence, every in trade, indemnity from public Protestant feels himself, and really burdens, preferences in local com. is, more firm and secure in the petitions, pardons for offences. He favour of the laws, more power. can obtain a thousand favours, ful in society, more free in his and avert a thousand evils. He energies, more elevated in life than may, whilst he betrays every valu. his Catholic neighbour of equal merit, property, talents, and edu. franchise against frivolous ver. cation. He alone feels and pos. bal objections, that it may persesses the right and the legal ca. haps be termed the most salutary pacity to be a legislator, and this statute for the Irish public, that consciousness is actual power. has been enacted during the last

In 1727, the Catholics of Ire- twenty years.] land were deprived of the elective The Catholics are liable to pe. franchise, or right of voting at the culiar restraints as to the elective election of members of Parlia- franchise, in cities and towns ment, hy act of Parliament. And corporate. Such Catholics as are thus they remained during 66 entitled to their freedom of the years. In 1793, it was enacted, corporation, by birth or service, in substance, “ 'That every Cath. are rarely admitted to it. They olic should be qualified to vote at are scarcely ever made free by such elections, upon his producing grant; and thus they are denied to the returning officer a certificate equal means of acquiring the of his having taken and subscribed elective franchise with those which ceriain oaths and declarations re- the Protestants enjoy. quired by that Act.”-But, by a In cities and corporate towns, subsequent statute of 1797, com. the elective franchise, as apper. monly termed the Election Act, it taining to freemen, is almost solely was declared, that Catholics, who confined to Protestants, who are qualify previous to the teste of the in the ratio of at least fifty to one writ of election, shall be deemed of the Catholic freemen, owing to have qualified within the mean- to the watchful jealousy with ing of those statutes of 1793 and which the freedom is withheld 1797, in order to entitle them to from Catholics. This monopoly,

at such elections. Upon therefore, occasions a decided these two statutes a question has though unnatural, preponderance arisen, which imposes new diffi. of Protestant voters, at elections culties upon the Catholic fran- of members for such places; con. chise.

trary to the professed principle of [Since this Statement went to granting cqual qualification for press, a valuable statute has been voting to persons of all religions. passed in 1811, 51 Geo. iji. ch. Moreover, in all elections of 77, which removes the difficulty members, whether for counties, stated in p. 84, and facilitates cities or towns, every Catholic the Catholic qualification for ex. freeholder is liable to rejection, ercising the elective franchise. for some alledged error in his cer. This statute, obviating the con- tificate of Catholic qualification, tradictions between the statutes of whether as to the date or wording 1793 and 1797, enables the of the certificate, place or time Catholics to qualify during the of qualification, or other ground of election. In other particulars, it technical objection to the peculiar so clearly and wisely establishes form of his qualification. the general exercise of the elective



That expression, the mighty Information concerning Lord

Pan is, I apprehend, not merely Rochester and others.

a poetic licence, but an allusion Sir, April 26, 1812.

to a story in Plutarch's Dialogue I have a copy of Burnet's Ac. on the cessation of oracles, to count of Lord Rochester, pub- which a Christian application has Jished in 1680. On a blank page been given, but which Lardner at the end of the book have been examines, (H. T. Works, vii. 246.) written the following verses, on and declares to be “ all over heathe death of that nobleman, by thenish.” To his instances of those Mr. Flatman.

who have Christianized the story,

may be added George Sandys, the As on his death-bed, gasping Strephon learned translator of Ovid. In

lay, Strephon, the wonder of the plains,

bis Travels, 1610, passing by The noblest of the Arcadian swains, Delos, which he describes “as ut. Strephon, the bold, the witty and the terly forsaken, when oracles ceasgay;

“ doubtless With many a sigh, and many a tear, he ed, which,” he says, said,

was upon the passion of our Savi. Remember me, ye shepherds, when I'm our,” he adds :—" For Plutarch dead:

reports from the mouth of one Ye trifling glories of this world adicu, Epitherses, who had been his And vain applauses of the age; schoolmaster, that he embarking For when we quit this earthly stage, Believe me, shepherds, for I tell you true,

for Italy and one evening becalmed Those pleasures which from virtuous before the Pari, (two little islands deeds we have

that lie between Corcyra and Leu. Procure the sweetest slumbers in the cadia,) they suddenly heard a grave.

voice from the shore, (most of the “Then, since your fatal hour must surely passengers being yet awake,) calle

comc, Surely your heads lie low as mine,

ing to one Thamus, a pilot, by Your bright meridian sun decline, birth an Egyptian, who till the Beseech the mighty Pan to guard you third call would not answer. Then

home; If to Elysium you would happy flie,

(quoth the voice) when thou art Live not like Strephon, but like štre- come to the Palodes, proclaim it phon die.

aloud that the great Pan is dead.

All in the ship that heard this, 'In Jacob's Poetical Register, were amazed. When, drawing 1723, (ii. 56.) Mr. Flatman is des near to the aforesaid place, Tho. scribed as “a Barrister of the Mid-mus, standing on the poop of the dle Temple, equally ingenious in ship, did utter what forinerly cum. the arts of painting and poetry.” manded, forth with there was heard His Poems were published in 1682. a great lamentation, accompanied He died in 1688, aged 55. Mr. with groans and screeches. This Wakefield, in his Observations on coming to the knowledge of Tibe. Pope, 'has occasionally quoted rius Cæsar, he sent for Thamus, Flạiman among the versifiers to who avouched the truth thereof. whom the poet had been indebted. Which declared the death of

Christ, (the great Shepherd) and work, having observed, respecting subjection of Satan, who now had unbelievers, that “ those who no longer power to abuse the illu. would convince them upon the minated world with his impos. common hypothesis, the schemes tures."'--Sandys' Travels, 7th ed. and systems of these latier ages, p. 9.

have wanted their greatest arguFontenelle well proposes the ments to prevail upon them,” he question, cui bono ? to such an adds :application of the story. He asks, 66 One instance I shall give, whether in the age of Plutarch it which I have been well informed was ever conjectured that Pan was of, and that is in the late Earl of Jesus Christ. Mais qu'en arriva. Rochester: in the midst of all his til? Quelqu'un entendit-il ce mot extravagancies, both of opinion de Pau dans son vrui sens? Plu. and practice, he was once in com. tarque viroit dans le second pany with the author of this treasiecle de l'rglise, et cependant per. tise, who, discoursing with him sonne ne s'étoit encore avisé que about religion and the being of a Pan fút Jesus Christ mort en God, took the opportunity to dis. Judée. Hist.des Orac. 1728. P. 20. play the goodness of Gud in its full

I have thought that Watts might latitude, according to the scheme have the verses of Flatman in his laid down in this his present work. recollection, when he wrote, in Upon which the Earl returned him 1708, in Lyric Poems, Pt. 2d. answer, that he could approve of the following lines on Lord Roch. and like such a God as he had ester:

represented. So far was he fróra

drawing any encouragement for Strephon, of noble blood and mind, his loose principles from hence, For ever shine his name:

that, on this supposition, be gave As deaih approach'd, his soul refined, And gave his looser sonnets to the up the cause." flame.

Burnet affords but scanty infor. • Burn, burn,' he cry'd, with sacred rage,

mation on this point. He says, • Hell is the duc of ev'ry page,' (p. 54.) that Lord R, “ doubied Hell be the fate, but, o indulgent much of rewards and punishments:

heav'n! Bo vile the musc, and yet the man

the one he thought too high for us forgivin!

to attain by our slight services ;

and the other was too extreme to Does the poet bere refer to any be inflicted for sin." We are not circumstance then known respect. informed whether the objector were ing the last hours of Lord Roches. silenced or satisfied by Burnet's ter, or only express that desire reply, (p. 58.) that “good or ill which he must have felt, to destroy dispositions accompanying the dea the remembrance of those too nu. parted souls, they must either rise merous “ lines which dying he up to higher perfection, or sink to might wish to blot?”

a more depraved and miserable There is an interesting anecdote state," and that “in a state respecting this nobleman, in the wherein the soul shall be sepa. preface to White's Restoration of rated from sensible things, and em. ell Things, 1712. The anony- ployed in a more quick and submous editor of that posthumous lime way of operation, this must

« AnteriorContinua »