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England, and that we will enter into no negociation (but for exchange of prisoners) with the government of that country while a British army remains in Ireland. Such is the declaration on which we call first on that part of Ireland which was once paralysed by the want of intelligence, to show that to that cause only was its inaction to be attributed ; on that part of Ireland which was once foremost in its fortitude in suffering ; on that part of Ireland which once offered to take the salvation of the country on itself ; on that part of Ireland where the flame of liberty first glowed ; we call upon the North to stand up and shake off their slumber and their oppression. " Men of Leinster i stand to your arms ;
to the courage which you have already displayed is your country indebted for the confidence which truth feels in its own strength, and for the dismay with which our enemies will be overcome,
when they find this effort to be universal. But, men of Leinster, you owe more to your country than the having animated it by your past example, you owe more to your own courage than the having obtained protection by it. If six years ago you rose without arms, without plan, without co-operation, with more troops against you alone, than are now in the country at large, you were able to remain six weeks in open defiance of the government, and within a few miles of the capital, what will you now effect, with that capital, and every other part of Ireland, ready to support you ? But it is not on this head we have need to address you. No ! we now speak to you, and, through you, to the rest of Ireland, on a subject dear to us, even as the success of our country_its honour. You are accused by your enemies of having violated that honour by excesses, which they themselves had in their fullest extent provoked, but which they have grossly exaggerated, and which have been attributed to you. The opportunity for vindicating yourselves by actions is now, for the first time, in your power, and we call upon you to give the lie to such assertions, by carefully avoiding all appearance of intoxication, plunder, or revenge, recollecting that you lost Ireland before, not from want of courage, but from not having that courage rightly directed by discipline. But we trust that your past sufferings have taught you experience, and that you will respect the declaration we now make, which we are determined by every means in our power to enforce.
The nation alone has the right, and alone possesses the power of punishing individuals, and whosoever shall put another to death, except in battle, without a fair trial by his country, is guilty of murder. The intention of the Provisional Government of Ireland, is to claim from the English government such Irishmen as have been sold or transported by it for their attachment to freedom, and, for this purpose, it will retain as hostages, for their safe return, such adherents for that government as shall fall into its hands. It therefore calls upon the people to respect such hostages, and to recollect that, in spilling their blood, they would leave their own countrymen in the hands of their enemies.
“The intentions of the Provisional Government is to resign its functions as soon as the nation shall have chosen its delegates, but, in the mean time, it is determined to enforce the regulations hereunto subjoined ; it, in consequence, takes the property of the country under its protection, and will punish with the utmost rigour any person who shall violate that property, and thereby injure the resources and future prosperity of Ireland.
Whosoever refuses to march to any part of the country he is ordered, is guilty of disobedience to the government, which alone is competent to decide in what place his service is necessary, and which desires him to recollect that in whatever part of Ireland he is fighting, he is still fighting for its freedom. Whoever presumes, by acts or otherwise, to give countenance to the calumny propagated by our enemies, that this is a religious contest, is guilty of the grievous crime, that of belying the motives of the country. Religious disqualifications are but one of the many grievances of which Ireland has to complain. Our intention is to remove not that only, but every other oppression under which we labour. We fight that all of us may have our country, and, that done, each of us shall have our religion.
"We are aware of the apprehensions which you have expressed, that, in quitting your own counties, you leave your wives and your children in the hands of your enemies, but on this head have no uneasiness ; if there are still men base enough to persecute those who are unable to resist, show them by your victories that you have the power to punish, and, by your obedience, that you have the power to protect, and we
pledge ourselves to you, that these men shall be made to feel that the safety of every thing they hold dear depends on the conduct they observe to you. Go forth then with confidence, conquer the foreign enemies of your country, and leave to us the care of preserving its internal tranquillity ; recollect that not only the victory, but also the honour of your country is placed in your hands : give up your private resentments, and show to the world that the Irish are not only a brave, but also a generous and forgiving people.
“Men of Munster and Connaught, you have your instructions, you will execute them. The example of the rest of your countrymen is now before you, your own strength is unbroken i five months ago you were eager to act without any other assistance, we now call upon you to show what you then declared you only wanted, the opportunity of proving that you possess the same love of liberty, and the same courage with which the rest of your countrymen are animated.
“We turn now to that portion of our countrymen whose prejudices we had rather overcome by a frank declaration of our intentions, than conquer in the field ; and, in making this declaration, we do not wish to dwell on events, which, however they may bring ten-fold odium on their authors, must still tend to keep alive in the minds, both of the instruments and victims of them, a spirit of animosity, which it is our wish to destroy. We will enter into no detail of the atrocities and oppressions which Ireland has laboured under, during its connection with England ; but we justify our determination to separate from that country, on the broad historical statement, that, during six hundred years, she has been unable to conciliate the affections of the people of Ireland ; that, during that time, five rebellions were entered into, to shake off the yoke ; that she has been obliged to enter into a system of unprecedented torture in her defence ; that she has broken every tie of voluntary connection, by taking even the name of independence from Ireland, through the intervention of a parliament notoriously bribed, and not representing the will of the people ; that in vindication of this measure, she has herself given the justification of the views of the United Irishmen, by declaring, in the words of her ministers, 'That Ireland never had, and never could enjoy, under the then circumstances, the benefits of British connection; that it necessarily must happen,
when one country is connected with another, that the interests of the lesser will be borne down by the greater. That England had supported, and encouraged the English Colonist in their oppression towards the natives of Ireland ; that Ireland had been left in a state of ignorance, rudeness, and barbarism, worse in its effects, and more degrading in its nature, than that in which it was found six centuries before.?* Now to what cause are these things to be attributed ? Did the curse of the Almighty keep alive a spirit of obstinancy in the minds of the Irish people for six hundred years ? Did the doctrines of the French revolution produce five rebellions ? Could the misrepresentations of ambitious designing men drive from the mind of a whole people the recollection of defeat, and raise the infant from the cradle, with the same feelings with which his father sank to the grave? Will this gross avowal, which our enemies have made of their own views, remove none of the calumny that has been thrown upon ours ? Will none of the credit, which has been lavished on them, be transferred to the solemn declaration which we now make in the face of God, and our country?
We war not against property,--we war against no religious sect, we war not against past opinions or prejudices, we war against E.glish dominion. We will not, however, deny that there are some men, who, not because they have supported the government of our oppressors, but because they have violated the common laws of morality, which exist alike under all, or under no government, have put it beyond our power to give to them the protection of a government. We will not hazard the influence we may have with the people, and the power it may give us of preventing the excesses of revolution, by undertaking to place in tranquillity the man who has been guilty of torture, free-quarter, rape, and murder, by the side of the sufferer, or their relations ; but in the frankness with which we warn those men of their danger, let those who do not feel that they have passed this boundary of mediation count on their safety.
“We had hoped, for the sake of our enemies, to have taken them by surprize, and to have committed the cause of our country before they could have time to commit themselves against it : but, though we have not altogether been able to
* “Lord Castlereagh's Speech.”
succeed, we are yet rejoiced to find that they have not come forward with promptitude on the side of those who have deceived them ; and we now call upon them, before it is yet too late, not to commit themselves against a people which they are unable to resist, and in support of a government, which,
by their own declaration, had forfeited its claim to their alle- giance. To that government, in whose hands, though not the
issue, at least the features with which the present contest is marked, or placed, we now turn. How is it to be decided ? Is open and honourable force alone to be resorted to ? or is it your intention to employ those laws which custom has placed in your hands, and to force us to employ the law of retaliation in our defence ?
“Of the inefficacy of a system of terror, in preventing the people of Ireland from coming forward to assert their freedom, you have already had experience. Of the effect which such a system will have on our minds, in case of success, we have already forwarned you. We now address to you another consideration : if in the question which is now to receive a solemn and we trust final decision ; if we have been deceived, reflection would point out that conduct should be resorted to which was best calculated to produce conviction on our minds.
What would that conduct be? “It would be to show us that the difference of strength between the two countries is such as to render it unnecessary for you to bring out all your forces; to show that you have something in reserve to crush hereafter, not only a greater exertion of the people, but one rendered still greater by foreign assist
It would be to show us, that what we vainly supposed to be a prosperity growing beyond your grasp, is only a partial exuberance, requiring but the pressure of your hand to reduce to form.
“But for your own sakes, do not resort to a system which, while it increased the acrimony of our minds, would leave us under the melancholy delusion, that we had been forced to yield, not to the sound and temperate exertions of our superior strength, but to the frantic struggles of weakness, concealing itself under desperation. Consider that the distinction of rebel and enemy, is of a very fluctuating nature ; that during the course of your own experience, you have already been obliged to lay it aside : that should you be obliged to abandon it to