« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
owe great obligations to the Warder and dinary meeting of the brethren, he de. Mail; both of which papers have ever fended his conduct by former preceexhibited a promptitude and an ability dents, by which, if he were then guilty, in their cause, which should excite the conduct of his judges and accusers their gratitude and admiration. This could not be justified." Nay,” said has been done, notwithstanding that Secretary Maitland," then was then, these papers have had to encounter and now is now." "I see no differ. the reproach to which the Orange syse ence,” rejoined the intrepid reformer, tem was exposed, without that degree " between then and now, except that of support from the Orangemen, as a now the devil has got a visor upon his body, to which, for such valuable as face. Before he came in open tyranny, sistance, they were so well entitled. and then, I think that you will allow, The Protestant community, in general, the brethren rightfully assembled themare the patrons of our conservative selves in defence of their lives. Now journals, and the aid which they have he comes after another manner, seeking given to the Orangemen, in particular, by cunning and artifice to do that which has often been at the risque of com- he could not accomplish in his own promising themselves with the general strength.” The effect was electrical ; reader; and while this should eubance the council were struck dumb; the such services in the estimation of those people were excited to an active refor whom they were wrought, it should sistance to meditated oppression, and also impress upon them the necessity they never put off the harness until of providing, in some more certain, they accomplished the Scottish reforefficacious, and permanent manner, formation. the only species of advocacy by which The case is somewhat different with they can now hope to defeat the malice When the Orange Institution and to triumph over the wickedness of arose, the wolf wore sheep's clothing, their enemies.
and it was under this disguise that he Nothing can now withstand a ge- hoped to be able to ravage the flock. peral conspiracy of the press ; and He was defeated and bumbled ; and in Orangemen may be well convinced his defeat and humiliation there were that the wounds which their institution some who saw grounds for expecting has received can only be healed by a such a mitigation of his ferocity as weapon somewhat similar to that by should render him no longer dangewhich they have been inflicted.
He was too cunning not to enBut there are many who may say, courage this delusion, and is now fain the Orange Institution was certainly to expect credit for the tenderest connecessary in its origin, and has been cern for those whom he meditates to justified by its effects. It neutralized nake his victims. But he has thrown the virus of rebellion in 1798, and off disguise—he appears in his native counteracted the machinations of trea- character-and, whoever else may be son in 1803. But is it, at present, deceived, the Orangemen do not benecessary ? Has not the time arrived lieve that he has changed his nature. when it may do more harm than good, Shall they, therefore, remit precaution or when, at least, its organization may because he has thrown off disguise, be dispensed with ?
and is now, in some sort, a favourito i I must, in candour, answer-no. with those who ought to be their
The very same spirit now exists natural protectors. Forbid it, common which necessitated its origin, and the sense ! They must know full well that very same practices are now to be his hostility is still as unmitigated as opposed, by which its principles were ever, and that when they before conjustified, and its organization rendered tended with him, they contended for indispensible. Indeed, the only dif. supremacy; but the contest now is a ference is, that the disloyal party have contest for existence. now got more power, and ostenta No one can be blind to the coming tiously identify themselves with the contest. Popery is again struggling government of the country.
for ascendency in this country, and When John Knox was accused, that with greater advantages than she before the Scottish council, of recom- possessed at any former time. How mending what was called an extraor is she to be resisted ? By pulverising
the Protestant union ? . By disuniting connexion and British rule, and there and dispersing her adversaries, so that being no such thing as Orange organizaindividually they can be of no avail ? tion, what answer could they make to No; but by reinvigorating their com- those who might tempt them by the bination, by holding before them the bait of repeal ? I know of none. The adage of the bundle of sticks, and thus repeal project would act upon them causing them to be cousolidated into im- with the fascination of the rattlesnake, pregnable bodies, and scattered like and they would be either drawn by masses of granite over the surface of the plausibilities of the demagogue, the country, instead of existing like so or driven by the very recklessness of many heaps of sand.
their own condition to be the pledged : 'And small must be his knowledge of adherents of the worst enemies of the human nature who does not know that, prosperity of Ireland and the wellif they be not formed into combina- being of the empire. tions of one kind, they will be formed But Orangeism is an anti-septic ta into combinations of another ; that if all such contagious insinuations. The they be not zealously for the institutions Orangeman knows well, that by falling of the country, they will be zealously in with the views of O'Connell
, he against them. Politically, as well as would not only be acting against the physically, large masses attract in pro- weal of England, but contribnting to portion to their magnitude; and nothing the establishment of a domestic desbut the Orange confederacy prevents potism the most galling and ruthless a vast number of Protestants being that could be imposed upon his native absorbed with that portentous con- land ; and therefore he bears up uuder spiracy which, under the pretence of a all the oppressions which he at present repeal of the union, meditates the dis- endures, and resists all the temptations memberment of the empire. There that can be presented to him with a are many considerations lying upon view to seduce him from his allegiance. the surface which would be quite suffi- This he could never do in bis own cient to swell the ranks of O'Connell's strength alone. As a solitary indivifollowers, if a counteracting agency dual, he must sink under the power, or had not been brought into play, which be drawn away by the alluring plausimore than suffices to impair their influ- bilities of his adversaries. But, as a ence. The repeal of the union is a member of a great and powerful connational object, and might, upon that federacy, comprising in it much of the ground alone, be made to assume a wealth, the worth, and the nobility of most plausible aspect. England has the land, he bids them a prond defiabandoned her garrison ; and there ance ; and, strong in the consciousness are many who might say, and some of a good cause, he is prepared to who might think, that it is no longer abide the issue without fear, until either wise or patriotic to keep up ihe this tyranny be overpast.” He cannot cry of “ No Surrender." The church believe that England will always, or has been all but deposed-she has much longer, continuedeaf to the claims, been rifled and mutilated, and that or insensible to the sufferings of her under the direction of a British parlia- aflicted brethren in this country. Her ment, bound by the most sacred obli- honor and interest are both too gations to cherish and preserve her. deeply concerned, to permit, much These are topics upon which the advo- longer, a desperate faction to practise cates of repeal might loudly expatiate. their wicked devices for our undoiug ; They might point to her murdered and he is thus encouraged to persevere clergy-her desecrated churches-her in a righteous resistance to the oppresproscribed and persecuted people, sors, in the sure and certain hope that, some of them in exile, others preparing however they may be defeated for a to follow, while those whose destiny time, his constitutional exertions must condemns them still to linger in their be ultimately successful. But let native land, at evening say, would to Orangeism be put down let its lodges God it were morning; and at morning, be broken up, and its members scatwould to God it were evening, for very tered abroad, and nothing remains to weariness of a persecuted existence. give him confidence and courage in Such - being the blessings of British the contest in which he is called upore
to engage; while every thing must veneration for established institutions, tend to deceive or to dishearten him, a clear perception of the difference until he insensibly becomes either the between change and improvement, and vietim or the accomplice of the ene- a lively horror of the proceedings of mies of Protestantism and of the con- those who, under the prelext of reform, stitution. From this consummation, would destroy; these are not feelings so devoutly to be deprecated, he is or sentiments to which men in general saved by the protective influence are naturally prone ; and therefore it is of this much-calumniated institution. the more necessary that they should It operates like a species of poli- be embodied in clubs and associations, tical vaccination, and supersedes, by having for their object the propagation a mild and wholesome constitutional of that sound political knowledge by excitement, a malady which might which the machinations of the demaotherwise prove dangerous, if not gogue and the incendiary might be deadly. Let it be dispensed with, and defeated. There being, then, a natural the virus of the political poison will tendency to such combinations as are soon manifest itself with a force and a unconstitutional, and which may be malignity that cannot be resisted. productive of evil, and a natural indis
The great offence of the Orange position to such combinations as are Institution, in the eyes of those who constitutional, and which may be prodesire its overthrow, is, that it affords ductive of good, upon what plea of a purchase, as it were, to the maintain- policy can we discourage the latter ers of sound, conservative principles, while we encourage the former; and by which the throne and the altar have why should Orangeism be repressed, hitherto been preserved against the while political unions are promoted ? daring assaults of unscrupulous assail It is very easy to understand why ants. It gives a unity and consistency, the destructives are opposed to an a steadiness and a force, to the efforts institution which must offer to their of the friends of social order, similar designs such serious obstructions; it is to that which political unions and very easy to understand why, papists reform associations have given to its should hate an institution which, as enemies. Therefore they wish it de- long as it exists, will not suffer the stroyed, that they may proceed in their love of Protestantism to wax cold ; it work of demolition without disturb- is very easy to understand why Orangeance; for they can apprehend but little men should incur the peculiar detestainterruption from the isolated efforts of tion of the advocates of a repeal of scattered individuals. Now, when it the union. All these classes must be is considered that the reform mania is possessed by an instinctive antipathy as natural to politicians in their non- towards them, as the great, if not the age, as the teething fever is to children only obstacle to the attainment of the of two or three years old, it is scarcely ends upon which they are severally necessary to employ any artificial sti- bent. But, that loyal and enlightened mulants for its production. It is inevi- men should so far fall in with the views tably incidental to the crude state of of their enemies as to entertain distrust their political knowledge, however it or aversion towards a body of indivimay be modified by the peculiarity of duals, associated as the Orangemen their tempers, or the character of their are, upon the strictest principles of ininds. A jealousy of rank, an appre- self-defence, and for the maintenance of hension of tyranný, a love of popular social order,argues, in my mind, a kind of distinction, à disposition to spy out mental alienation. It resembles the condefects and to exaggerate evils in the duct of the idiot traveller who put the existing order of things ; these all be- drag on his carriage when it was going long to that restless, busy, meddling up the hill, and took it off when it was race of men who constitute the class going down. Conservative feelings and denominated reformers. There needs principles are, as it were, hot-bed plants no especial pains to excite the elements which require to be cherished ; their op of discontent, which are always found posites resemble weeds which require to in sufficient abundance, amidst an igno- be repressed. And there are those who rant and an indigent population; but call themselves conservative statesmen at the contrary of all this, namely, a love the present day, who seem bent upon deof order, a respect for dignities, a stroying the best nurseries of the former,
while no pains are taken to check the ever be more successful than be has latter, which are suffered to flourish with himself proved, in his attempts to a rank luxuriance. It is painful to con- seduce them from their allegiance. template the possible consequences of The Volunteers have been mentioned this political infatuation.
as a case in point, to show that a But, while it is acknowledged that society, originally praiseworthy and the Orange system was originally well patriotie, may eventually become injuintended, and that it has served very rious to the public weal. But the important ends, it has been asked, may analogy does not hold; for the Volunit not also be powerful for evil? 1 teers were, from the first, animated by answer not, without such a departure not a little jealousy of England, which from its principles as must completely only manifested itself more and more change its nature. Loyalty is its end in proportion as they felt their strength; and aim, the pole-star by which it is so that they but followed the law of L'! guided ; and when it ceases to be loyal, their nature when they ultimately it ceases to be Orange, and must die a assumed that formidable attitude which natural death before it can appear in menaced the empire with so much any other form from which disloyal and peril. But the Orange Institution is "? seditious results might be apprehended. founded upon an affectionate attackThe church might as well be charged ment to British connexion, and they > with propagating irreligion, the courts would be contradicting the law of their of law with corrupting justice, the nature if they were ever betrayed into a medical profession with being injurious any course of action by which that res to the public health, as the loyal asso conuexion might be endangered. Iu- sen ciation of Orangemen with entertain- deed it may be said, that the acknowing designs subversive of the constitu- ledged evil of the one confederacy we tion. It is rather amusing, too, to see may have, in some degree, occasioned a the class of persons whose fears have the other. The volunteer association been excited lest it should become dis- acted as a kind of hot-bed of discono loyal. Mr. O'Connell and Mr. Sheil tent, in which a premature and preter zu are the individuals who, in their pro- natural vigor was given to the pestilentet phetic horror of future evil
, recommend products of infidelity and sedition. It its extinction, notwithstanding that it was the parent of the united Irish zi might be proved to be of some present system. The Orange association arose et advantage. But they may calm their for the purpose of counteracting the 20 fears; Orangemen will never realize evils thus occasioned; and unless we their wild anticipations. Their drafts apply the homoiopathic principle to upon the future will be dishonored, politics, and maintain, that whatever even as their imputations respecting sill cure treasonable practices will be the past have been disproved. When also cause them, it will be impossible
, a Roman Catholic association may be with any degree of consistency, to formed, friendly to the church, then maintain, that consequences such as they may be found hostile to it; when flowed from the old volunteer system the repealers have changed their views can ever be apprehended from the and principles, and entered into a con- Orange association. At all events, it! federacy for the confirmation and will be time enough, when sach colestablishment of the act of union, then sequences do follow, to provide against they may be opposed to that measure, them. Practical good is not to be in and do all in their power to have it prevented, because knaves pretend, or dissolved; but not until then ; so that visionaries imagine, that they can the great agitator and his accomplices foresee speculative evils. It is quite may spare themselves the pain of spe- possible that the system of freemasonry culating upon impossibilities. Orange may yet be turned to a bad account; men will not be found traitors to their but is it, therefore, to be suppressed at principles until rivers run back to their present ? No one will say so. Why? fi sources, or mountains invade the domi- Because experience has hitherto proved nion of the sea. Mr. O'Connell may that it is innoxious;—and no sane poli
. continue to believe that the same spirit tician will prefer theory to experience: which actuates them now, will continue In like manner, I say, let us judge of to actuate them in all succeeding times, the Orange system from what all may and that no future demagogue will know, not from what its encmies may
choose to conjecture, and there is no the law might promptly curb his en. individual. whose common sense has venomed virulence, it might not be so not been wofully perverted by faction, necessary to detect his flagitious falsewho could for one moment maintain, hood. But, no one can expect any that a tree which has hitherto borne such vigour on the part of government wholesome fruit should be cut down, as at present constituted, without because it may, at some future period, entertaining the most vain and chimealtogether change its nature, and pro- rical expectations. The incendiaries duce most deadly poison.
have now a voice in the cabinet ; and There is another ground upon which Hume, and Roebuck, and O'Connell
, the continuance of the Orange Insti- and Whittle Harvey, are sufficiently tution may be contended for, arising powerful to beard a conservative, and out of the changes which have lately to dictate terms to an anti-conservative taken place in the constitution of administration. It is, therefore, indisEngland. No one will deny that it pensable, if even the shadow of our bas become vastly more democratic limited monarchy is still to be prethan it was before. The Reform Bill served, that every means should be has thrown the governing power of the taken for cherishing whatever amount country into the hands of the people. of good principle exists amongst the We still liave a sovereign, and we still people ai large, as the only available have a house of lords; but every one force that can be employed for avertknows that they are now regarded as ing the open and the secret designs of but slender obstacles to the popular those who are preparing, as it were, will, whenever it is strongly manifested; an infernal machine, which they are and, that if we are still to have even sooner or later resolved to discharge the semblance of a mixed government, against the constitution. it can only be by educating and in It is my belief, that the force of good forming the people, so as to show them principle is still sufficient to defeat the the dangers which must attend its force of bad, and that if we are only overthrow, and impress them with a true to ourselves, our enemies will have grateful sense of the blessings which no advantage over us. We need not they have hitherto derived from its seek for coercive laws, nor have reprotection. That there are elements course to any act of extra-constituof mischief at work to produce a con- tional rigour, in order to confound trary effect ; that there are individuals their devices. But we cannot safely disin whose judgment a republican form pense with any one of the means within of government is preferable, and who our power for increasing, concentrating, are continually holding forth America and invigorating that attachment to the as the model which we should scek to ancient institutions of the country, which imitate ; that there are others whose is the only available antagonist to the insare cupidity would lead them to hostility by which they are assailed. desire a scramble, and who, for a little Such attachment exists to a degree of present gain or distinction, would have which the enemies of our institutions no objection to encounter the horrors of bave no conception ; even many of their the French revolution, needs but to be friends do not know its extent. Let stated to be admitted by every candid it be wisely employed, and all will yet man who has paid any attention to be well. Let it be neglected, or underpublic affairs. And, if the designs of valued, or discouraged, and nothing
are to be resisted, they can human can save us. In this latter case, be alone effectually resisted by a consti- a triumphant ascendancy will be speetutional party, arising amongst the dily given to the powers of evil. The people themselves, and bent upon the reign of anarchy will have compromotion of constitutional objects. menced. A few honest and intrepid Astrong government might dispense men, may, here and there, continue a with such a party. Where the se- hopeless struggle ; but they cannot, in ditious man might be summarily this unassisted struggle, long sustain the coerced, it might not be quite indis- torrent that will rush against them, pensable that his pretexts should be and in which the monarchy, the church, stripped of their plausibility, and ex- the house of lords, the aristocracy posed in their patíve deformity. When all that gives its peculiar, ennobling,