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obnoxious is he to the very party he wishes to espouse that he is only supportable by doing those dirty acts the less vile refuse to execute."1

Notwithstanding these little tiffs, which occasionally led to an exchange of bullets, the members of Grattan's Parliament lived a very jovial life, in the best possible terms privately with one another. Sir Jonah Barrington, in telling of his admission to the House, unconsoiously shows the state of things among them. When he was returned for a family borough he says he had not made up his mind which party to join-apparently it never crossed his mind that such a thing in the least degree concerned his "electors." He seems to have liked the Patriots best, and dined by preference with them; but, on consideration, he thought there was so much Parliamentary talent among them that if he joined them he would count for nothing. On the Government side it was different: there he thought he might make something of a show; and besides, he adds, that was the side which had the preferment. So he made up his mind, after mature and long deliberation; and, having done 80, at once went down to the House and made a violent attack on Grattan. It created something of a sensation, and Grattan, who seemed pleased with the

display, did not reply. Barrington's judgment was soon justified. Though still very young, he was given a fat sinecure, and was made at the same time a K.C., and so soon secured the leadership of his circuit.

But if the members of Grattan's Parliament were well pleased with themselves, there were very few other people, either in Ireland or in England, pleased with them. The first people to show this were their old friends the Volunteers. Having by their arms established an Independent Parliament, they shortly began to think that it would be a good thing by the same means to reform it and make it somewhat representative, at any rate of the Protestants of the kingdom. Accordingly they marched once more to Dublin, and once more lined the streets with fixed bayonets and cannon ready to fire. They held a Convention at the Rotunda, and approved of a Bill of Reform. Henry Flood, anxious to outdo Grattan as a patriot, carried it to the House and there proposed it. Grattan fiercely opposed it. It was well enough for the Volunteers to coerce the British Government into making Parliament independent, but it was monstrous that they should attempt to coerce that Parliament into making itself representative The House followed his lead

1 The man so denounced was the grandfather of the most distinguished figure existing to-day among English lawyers, the venerable Hardinge Giffard, Earl of Halsbury, ex-Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.

and rejected the Bill by two to


without the sanction of Parliament. Pitt's contention preThe Volunteers hesitated, vailed, and Fox turned to his Their leaders were divided, and friend Grattan for assistance. some of themselves were cool. Grattan induced his ParliaBesides, the American War was ment to declare in Fox's sense. now over and the British Army The Irish Government refused returned home. The Volun- to transmit the House's resoteers thought, on the whole, lution to the Prince, and the it was not advisable to push House appointed a deputathings to extremities. They tion They tion to convey it to him. returned home, and the bulk By the time the deputation of them ceased from that had reached London the King moment to feel anything had recovered, and resumed but soorn and contempt for his regal powers. But he Grattan's Parliament; and, was furious with the Irish though it took years for it to Patriots, and henceforward, in come, the rebellion in favour his obstinate narrow-minded of an independent Irish re- way, everything the Patriots public was already in sight. advocated he abhorred, and The late Lord Kitchener was probably from that day dates born in Kerry, and like all his invincible antipathy to men brought up in Ireland Catholic Emancipation. Moredid not forget history. Is it over, Pitt was appalled by possible he was thinking of Grattan's folly. If the Irish the Irish Volunteers of the Parliament could choose for eighteenth, when he refused itself its own Regent, why could to consent to the arming of it not choose its own King? the Irish Volunteers of the From that day he was retwentieth century? solved that, when the chance came, he would put an end to all danger of that. Again, though it was years before it came about, the Act of Union was already in sight.

By a most foolish act Grattan's Parliament, on Grattan's motion, contrived to make itself equally disliked in England. When King George III. became insane, Pitt declared, in consonance with all precedent, that it was the right of the Parliament of England to determine who should be chosen Regent in his stead, and to fix the bounds of his authority. Fox, who regarded the Prince of Wales as a member of his party, maintained, against all precedent, that the Prince was entitled by the Constitution to be Regent

Upon this state of things suddenly burst the French Revolution. The effect on Ireland was immediate. The Ulster republicans saw in it the dawn of human freedom, At the instigation of that most remarkable man, Theobald Wolfe Tone, they established the Society of United Irishmen, banded by secret oath together to secure an independent Irish republic


heel of Great Napoleon himself could not be got to see it, and wasted an army in Egypt trying to outflank Europe, which, if landed in Ireland, would have changed the fate of the world. Afterwards in St Helena he regretted bitterly his blindness. But Hoche saw clearly that if France held Ireland she could cut Great Britain off from the world; and he urged on the French Government an invasion, and offered himself to lead it. His proposals were accepted, and with forty-two ships and some nineteen thousand picked soldiers he set sail for Bantry Bay.

based on the suffrages of all General Hoche is the only Irishmen. The Catholics of Continental soldier, sailor, or the South saw in it another statesman who ever realised case of England's difficulty what the Tudors realised so being Ireland's opportunity. soon, that Ireland is the They joined up with the Achilles Ulster United Irishmen, but Wolfe Tone had very little confidence in them or their resolution. As for the landed gentry and the Irish Parliament, they saw the guillotine set up in College Green, and their heads sneezing into the basket, as were then doing the heads of the aristocrats and others in Paris. They immediately set about arming their dependants, and such of their tenantry as they could trust, and turning them into corps of undisciplined yeomanry. These were let loose over the country to search out sedition, and, as might be expeoted, they did a great deal more. In a year or two the country became a perfect hell of unspeakable horror. This Was Grattan's Parliament's contribution to respect for human life and property in Ireland.

Grattan protested. His protest was received with jeers and insults. Broken-hearted, he retired altogether from his own Parliament.

Wolfe Tone had meanwhile found his way to France. There he worked wisely and unceasingly to interest the French Government in Irish affairs, and to secure for the Irish republicans the support of a French army of invasion, One man he did get interested, General Hoche.

England is queen of the ocean, and even when she fails to act her part the winds of the ocean loyally protect her. It was so in the time of the Armada, and it was in the Revolution of 1688: and now it was to be 80 again. After leaving Brest a sea mist led to a dispersion of the French flotilla, and when it reached Bantry Bay some seven ships were missing, including the ship which carried General Heche. Grouchy was next in command. He for days lay in Bantry Bay, uncertain what to do, and hoping that Hoche would shortly arrive to take the responsibility for action. Meanwhile there was no British Navy on the sea

or British Army on the land: Ireland lay at his mercy. At last a great gale from the shore sprang up, and landing became impossible. Grouchy sailed away and brought his soldiers back to France, as years after he brought his soldiers back to France after Napoleon had been defeated at Waterloo.

It is a point worth notice, that on two occasions when the fate of not merely England but the world was in the balance, the overprudence of this man helped to make his own end of the scales kick the beam. England has reason to be grateful to Grouchy.

I will say nothing of the rebellion, which was on both sides a mere succession of horrors, except this, that from the moment it broke out the fate of Grattan's Parliament was settled. The system of divided government between the English Ministry in London and the Irish Parliament in Dublin had landed Ireland in ruin. Men able to see recognised that one of two modes of managing the country's affairs was alone possible complete administration and legislation must reside in one authority the only question was whether that authority should be an Irish Republic or a United Parliament. The Ulster republicans saw this: they had tried for an Irish Republic and failed; they now accepted the United Parliament. The Catholics of the South saw it, and they, in hopes of better times, accepted

a United Parliament. The only classes who would not see it were

the Parliamentarians themselves and the tradesmen of Dublin, who benefited by an Irish Parliament, and some of the landowners, who saw that once the Union was carried their local importance would diminish.

The means adopted to carry the Union have been fiercely denounced. They were just the

same means 88 were adopted to carry anything else in Grattan's Parliamentbribery. The compensation granted to the patrons of rotten boroughs has also been reviled. I cannot myself see that it was worse to buy a rotten borough in order to extinguish its representation than to buy it in order to represent it; and such seats were openly bought and sold from the first day of Grattan's Parliament to the last: Grattan himself bought one for the purpose of entering the House in order to register his protest against the Union. That the Union did not bring immediately Catholic emancipation and the other benefits to the Irish people which its promoters hoped for was not due to them, but rather to those Patriots who, by their folly, had inflamed King George's mind against them and everything they sought.

I have no doubt that in spite of all the talk of corruption, many of those who voted for or against the Union acted from the highest motives. One man's aotion has always struck me as pathetic. The

man was that Egan whom Grattan had roasted in such burning language that for long afterwards in every club and dining-room in Dublin a grilled sole came to be called an Egan. Egan had at one time an immense practice at the Bar, but long before the Union debates it had quite disappeared, and his sole means of subsistence was the Chairmanship of Kilmainham, Egan was violently adverse to the Union, but he knew if he spoke against it in the House his dismissal from the Chairmanship would follow. He listened to the

debate as long as he could in silence. At last, springing to his feet, he denounced the Union and everybody who supported it. When he had exhausted his fury he looked round the House, and then, before resuming his seat, he raised his hand above his head and oried out, "Long live Ireland, and to hell with Kilmainham!"

After the Union he was found one morning dead in his poor lodgings. All he possessed in the world lay on the mantelpiece. It consisted of three shillings.

2 F


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