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owe their station to their good opinion, and whom they cannot respect, that nation will see disorders, of which, bad as things are, it has yet no idea. I do not say this; as thinking the leading men in Ireland would exercise this trust worse than others. Not at all. No man, no seti of men living are fit to administer the affairs, or regulate the interiour econotoy of a church to which they are eneries - As to government, if I might recommend a prudent cău, tion to them, -it would bé, to innovate as little as possible, ápon speculation, in establishments, from which, as they stand, they experience no material inconvenience to the res pose of the countryquiete non movere I could say a great deal more; but I:an tired ; and am afraid your lordship is tired tolo. I have not sat to this letter 'a single quarter of an hour without interruption. It has grown long, and probě ably contains many repetitions, from my total want of leisure to digest and consolidate my thoughts'r and as to my ex. pressions, I could wish to be able perhaps to measure them more exactly. But my intentions are fair, and I certainly mean to offend nobody.
Thinking over this matter more maturely, I see no reason for altering my opinion in any part. The act, as far as it goes, is good undoubtedly. It amounts, I think, very nearly to a toleration, with respect to religious ceremonies; but it puts a new bolt on civil rights, and rivets it to the old one, in such a manner, that neither, I fear, will be easily loosened. What I could have wished would be, to see the civil advantages take the lead; the other of a religious toleration, I conceive, would follow (in a manner) of course. From what I have observed, it is pride, arrogance, and a spirit of domination, and not a bigotted spirit of religion, that has caused and kept up those oppressive statutes. I am sure I have known those who have oppressed papists in their civil rights, exceedingly indulgent to them in their religious ceremonies, and who really wished them to continue catholicks, in order to furnish pretences for oppression. These persons never saw a man (by converting) escape out of their power, but VOL. III.
with grudging and regret. I have known men, to whom I am not uncharitable in saying, (though they are dead) that they would have become papists in order to oppress protestants ; if, being protestants, it was not in their power to oppress papists. It is injustice, and not a mistaken conscience, that has been the principle of persecution, at least as far as it has fallen under my observation. However, as I began, so I end. I do not know the map of the country. Mr. Gardi . ner, who conducts this great and difficult work, and those who support him, are better judges of the business than I can pretend to be, who have not set my foot in Ireland these sixteen years. I have been given to understand, that I am not considered as a friend to that country: and I know that pains have been taken to lessen the credit that I might have had there.
I am so convinced of the weakness of interfering in any business, without the opinion of the people in whose business I interfere, that I do not know how to acquit myself of what I have now done.--I have the honour to be, with high regard and esteem,
And humble servant, &c.
OUR remembrance of me, with sentiments of so much kindness, has given me the most sincere satisfaction. It perfectly agrees with the friendly and hospitable reception which my son and I received from you, some time since, when after an absence of twenty-two years, I had the happiness of embracing you, among my few surviving friends.
I really imagined that I should not again interest myself in any publick business. I had, to the best of my moderate faculties, paid my club to the society, which I was born in some way or other to serve; and I thought I had a right to put on my night-gown and slippers, and wish a cheerful evening to the good company I must leave behind. But if our resolutions of vigour and exertion are so often broken or procrastinated in the execution, I think we may be excused, if we are not very punctual in fulfilling our engagements to indolence and inactivity. I have indeed no power of action; and am almost a cripple, even with regard to thinking: but you descend with force into the stagnant pool; and you cause such a fermentation, as to cure at least one impotent creature of his lameness, though it cannot enable him either to run or to wrestle.