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political, alien from our old establishments; nevertheless, as your estate produces no more than two hundred and ninety-five pounds annually, without a trick, a shuffle, a subterfuge, an illegal evasion, you are ineligible. The people choose and return you as their representative; but you must not sit; you are excluded on account of your poverty, and so are nineteen other English gentlemen out of twenty.' Were candidates for political distinction disposed to be querulous, might they not fill earth and heaven with exclamations against such injustice? Has the Papist one argument which they have not? "What! are natural rights dependent on the number or the quality of a man's acres? Do they turn on five pounds more or five pounds less? Who fixed this qualification? Did nature? Did the people? Who transformed the republican part of our constitution into an aristocracy, and robbed not only the candidate of his honours, or the constituent of his privileges but both of their birth-rights" Bah! they have no such birth-rights-the public good requires that property of some kind and value should be specified-and the amount is rather too low than too high.
"Again-the Protestant clergy in both countries amount to more than thirty thousand; besides the incumbents and curates of parishes, we have multitudes engaged in study, in education, in our universities, public schools, private semi
naries, and domestic tuition: now, surely the Roman Catholic gentry will hardly venture to propose a comparison with them in number, influence, learning, morals, or other similar constituents of respectability. Many of these clergymen are connected with noble families by birth, many have incomes independent of their profession. Themselves the national instructors, they are at least as well instructed as any other order in the community; dispersed among the people, they know much better than any other order their wants, their characters, and their interests. And yet all this enlightened and influential profession is excluded from the House of Commons. 'What sacrilege! What impious robbery of sacred rights from sacred persons! In a Christian community, is a Christian teacher to lose his inheritance from nature? Acknowledging this distinction between him and the Roman Catholic, that the one adopts his profession, and the other is born to his religion-do we continue degrading disqualifications only because such a person will endure them? Thirty thousand English
gentlemen, pre-eminent in learning, influence, and moral respectability, are incapacitated! Lawyers find leisure for legislation and pass
Parliament by droves,-soldiers or sailors, though they are the immediate servants of Government, may nevertheless represent the people-one profession only is stigmatized by its exclusion! If it should be said in apology for this outrageous
invasion of natural rights, that the pastoral and political offices are inconsistent--and that a parish-priest has professional obligations which require all his best diligence-why not, then, communicate their inheritance derived from nature to those who have no such ecclesiastical duties? Why not give them their choice, at least, and permit an unendowed and unoccupied clergyman to sit in Parliament as long as he continues such? A deacon ordained at twenty-three, who has never yet officiated in any clerical office, stands excluded for life-there is neither retraction nor repentance. It may happen that he can neither become a politician nor a priest.' And yet no one among all these thirty thousand utters a complaint. The last who proclaimed his grievances, some thirty years ago, was Horne Tooke. The clergy perceive that their disqualification is required by the public good, and that they have no better right from nature to make laws as members of Parliament, than to expound or enforce them as Lords Chief Justice." (Second Letter of Laternarius in the St. James's Chronicle, Nov. 1, 1828.)
That no claim to any privileges of a political nature can be founded on the Articles of the Treaty of Limerick.
"I LOOK upon that Treaty," says the Hon. Baronet (Sir F. Burdett) in his speech on the Catholic Question, in 1828, "as the charter of those rights and privileges of which the Roman Catholics have been since unjustly, not to say unlawfully, deprived.-I again assert" he repeated, "that the whole people of Ireland are, by the Treaty of Limerick, entitled to the fullest participation in all the rights and privileges, civil and political, of the British Constitution."
"This Treaty," replied Sir R. H. Inglis, "was never used as an argument of right in respect to the matters now at issue, till more than one hundred years after the date of it. I cannot, however, omit noticing here, that though desuetude does not in itself abrogate the sanctions of any public treaty, the hundred years' silence of the Irish Roman Catholics, as to the support which the Treaty of Limerick gives to their demands, is a strong presumption that the parties most in
terested in those demands did not at that time regard that Treaty as securing them,
"I am unable to say how any treaty can be better explained than by the parties at the time: the interpretation to be given by third persons, at any time, least of all by third persons in another age, and in another country, can never be binding, while there is any other mode whatever of determining the intentions of the contracting parties on the spot, and at the time in question. Burnet, therefore, whose words the Hon. Baronet quotes,— they were also admitted to all the privileges of subjects, upon their taking the oaths of Allegiance to their Majesties, without being bound to take the oath of Supremacy,'-cannot be considered as an authority whose evidence ought to have much weight as to the construction of this Treaty, since his history was not written till, I think, thirty years after the transactions in question; and certainly was not published till forty-three years after them, i. e. till 1734.
"I now proceed to the more close analysis of the Treaty. Now, how can this Treaty be explained, how can the intentions of the contracting parties be discovered, except by such considerations as these? What was the general proclamation addressed by the Lords Justices, as a rule to themselves, to the army, to the enemy, and to the people, in respect to the pacification of Ire land, when the last campaign was opening?