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to hope that the great body of educated men are favourably inclined to emancipation, from policy as well as principle: and it is much more to the extension of this feeling that we must ultimately look for success, than to any pretended neutrality of the cabinet.
THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON THE ADVO
CATE OF EMANCIPATION. After many anxious vicissitudes of hope and fear, after passing through a trying variety of temperature—the political horizon appeared to have settled, in almost unclouded sunshine upon the Catholics of the empire; when, to our dismay and horror, it is now again suddenly darkening around us. We cannot but fear that the appointment of the Duke of Wellington as premier, is a fatal omen to our cause : for hitherto he has but too often ranked amongst the most signal of our opposers. If the Duke of Wellington be the bigot which many imagine, our fate is sealed as long as his counsels prevail. But we are willing to hope against hope; to anticipate the strength of argument, and the influence of wisdom and expediency; and to expect that the new circumstances in which the destinies of the empire are again placed in his hands, will
elevate his mind to the level of those beneficent and liberal ideas, by which the affairs of a great nation ought alone to be guided.
When the Duke of Wellington looks back to the brilliant scenes of his eventful life, he will see that the time was, when he thought it no dishonour to hold command under Catholic sovereigns,—to receive the rewards of his services from them, and even to place himself, on very many occasions, under singular obligations to those whom he has since declared to be unworthy of their hire. Were it not for his Catholic soldiers, the Duke of Wellington had never gathered one solitary laurel—for all the laurels which he wears have sprung from their valour, and have been watered by their blood ; but for the confidence reposed in him by Catholic governments, he had never been carried forward in his career ;- but for the honours heaped upon him by Catholic monarchs, his breast had never blazed with half that brilliancy which beams upon it now; and many of those high-sounding titles which so loudly proclaim his glory to the world, would have been mute.
If justice, gratitude, and wisdom still dwell upon the earth, we trust that the day will soon arrive when the Duke of Wellington, from the elevated station which he now holds, a station far more enviable than that of the commander of the proudest army in Europe, will stand forth to remove that
blemish from his political life, of having hitherto left unrequited the services which his Catholic troops have so eminently rendered him. And I think we are justified in this expectation, by the noble sentiments which his Grace, not many months ago, expressed in parliament upon the subject. The Duke of Wellington still holds the situation under the crown which he is reported to have said to be “ so consonant to his feelings, liking it, as he did, from the opportunities which it gave him to improve the condition of his old comrades in arms....which enabled him to recommend to the notice of his majesty all his former friends and companions, and to reward them, according to their merits, for the exertions which they had formerly made, under his command, in the field.”(e)
(a) This was written when the Duke of Wellington was both commander-in-chief and first lord of the treasury.
(c) The following public testimony which history has transmitted to us, of the Duke of Wellington's opinions on the propriety and justice of“ cementing a general union of sentiment among all classes and descriptions of his Majesty's subjects, in support of the established Constitution,” ought certainly to inspire us with the confident expectation, that the same wisdom and liberality, which distinguished his views of Irish Politics, thirtyfive years ago, will likewise constitute the characteristics of his grace's administration of similar affairs now. On the 16th of January, 1793, the House of Commons
Now, all that we ask is, that the Duke, as a just, a grateful, and an honourable man, will redeem this pledge.--How would it not brighten all his fame,
being met, a message was brought from his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, which contains the following passage :-“I have it in particular command from his Majesty, to recommend it to you, to apply yourselves to the consideration of such measures as may 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 trusts, that the situation of his Majesty's Catholic subjects will engage your serious attention, and in the consideration of this subject, he relies on the wisdom and liberality of his Parliament." After this message had been read, an address, which was an echo of the sentiments contained in the recommendation from the throne, was agreed to. The speech of the Hon. Gentleman who seconded the address, [now Duke of Wellington,] is in page five of the 13th volume of the Irish Parliamentary debates, and is thus reported." In regard to what has been recommended in the speech from the throne, respecting our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, he could not repress his approbation on that head : he had no doubt of the loyalty of the Catholics of this country, and he trusted that when the question should be brought forward, respecting that description of men, that they would lay aside all animosities, and act with moderation and dignity, and not with the fury and violence of partisans." (See Mr. Shiel's speech, at the late aggregate meeting of the Catholics of Ireland.)
and crown all his honours, thus to address the House, (upon the first occasion of a debate on the question of Catholic emancipation)as the champion of that ill-fated land, for whose welfare, equally with that of every other portion of the empire, his sovereign has now placed the reins of state in his hands: a land which, while it gave him birth, has also the merit of having been the fostering parent of those companions in arms of whose services he speaks so feelingly, and for whose reward he is so impatient.
My Lords; in presenting myself to your lordships, as the advocate of the measure now proposed to your consideration; I am only indulging in the pleasing task of discharging a debt of gratitude, which has long weighed heavy upon me; for, independently of the indisputable policy of uniting all classes of his Majesty's subjects, in a common participation of the blessings of the constitution, and for other reasons, which I leave to be argued by other noble lords ; I owe too much as an individual to the Catholics of this empire, and to those of several foreign states, not to avail myself with eagerness, of every opportunity of advocating these claims, as a measure of justice to the one, and as a grateful return of enlightened liberality towards the other. It is already well known to your lordships, that amongst the troops which our Gracious So