Gambar halaman

But not so the party whose object was war (much zeal supported all the pretensions of against England, at all events. They saw in France, now come forward and make a direct this treaty the death of their hopes, the final attack on the Executive, the tendency of which frustration of all their projects; for this treaty necessarily is to divide it from this House, took away all cause of quarrel between the two when there is the utmost need of union, and countries; and they resolved to make one grand withdraw from it the confidence of the people, effort for its destruction, which, being accom- when that confidence is more than ever essenplished, all the ancient disputes would be rein- tial. What is this but a continuation of the stated, with new aggravation; and a rupture same system? And are we to be blamed for would be rendered by so much the more certain seeing in this attempt a new effort, to throw as there could be no faith in any new accom- this country into the arms of France, by renmodation. To this object, they bent their whole dering the government unable to resist her; by force, and this House was the place chosen for forcing it from weakness to submit to her manthe attack. When the treaty came before this dates;

to break in obedience to them, its treaty House to be carried into effect, doctrines new with England, and substitute in its place an to the constitution, and incomparable with its alliance offensive and defensive with her? existence were introduced, in order to destroy If this be not the object of gentlemen; if it be it. The treaty-making power was attempted not their intention thus to serve their country to be rendered subject to the control of this by reducing it to the situation of Holland, how House; as the power of appointing foreign min. are we to reconcile their present with their isters was now attempted to be rendered sub- former conduct; their eagerness for hostile ject. The treaty was attacked through the measures formerly, with their tame submissive sides of the constitution; a war was sought by spirit now; their zealous opposition to every the overthrow of our government, and the vio- thing like negotiation formerly, with their lation of our plighted faith. But a firm re- equally zealous opposition to every thing like sistance was given to these attempts. Enlight-resistance now? If this be not their system, ened discussions spread the truth before the then all that I can say about their present meaeyes of the people. Warned by the errors into sures, contrasted with those pursued by them which they had before been drawn, and roused on a former occasion, about their former eagerby the magnitude of the danger, they rose in ness for alliance, with one foreign nation, and their might, and the party was dismayed; they war with another, contrasted with their present spoke and it trembled; they put forth their declamations against all sorts of foreign conhand and touched it, and it sunk to the earth. nexions or intercourse, is to exclaim, in the elo

Thus again, Mr. Chairman, were the projects quent language of the gentleman from Pennof these gentlemen confounded. Thus again sylvania, that those measures form the last leaf were they prevented from effecting their pur- of that book, wherein are written the inconpose, so much desired, of driving this country sistencies of party. into war with England and the fraternal em Whether this system of war and alliance, braces of France.

this system of fraternity with France such as The remaining history is known. The the Dutch now enjoy, and hostility under her French under pretexts so frivolons that not one orders against all her enemies; this system so gentleman on this floor has been found hardy steadily pursued, but so often defeated, shall enough to defend them, have quarrelled with now at length begin to triumph, I consider as us on account of this treaty; because by ter- the question now to be decided. It is now to minating our differences with England, it cuts be decided whether an important step shall be off all hopes of our being drawn into war taken, towards compelling our government against her. In this quarrel France proceeded, through debility to submit implicitly to France, avowedly, on the ground of our being a divided towards laying this country bound hand and people, opposed to our own government, and foot at the feet of that haughty domineering attached to her, repels all our amicable ad- nation. To take this step, to commence the vances, meets them with new injuries, and triumph of the fraternal system, I take to be declares that before she will listen to us we the object as I know it to be the tendency, of must tread back all our steps, reverse our whole the inroad on the executive power attempted system of policy, break our treaty with Eng- by this amendment. Hence it is that I oppose land, and admit her own construction of her it with the warmest zeal, and with all my treaty with us. In this critical and alarming might; and if my opposition shall contribute situation of affairs, the same description of in the smallest degree to its defeat, I shall persons, the same individuals even, who so per- neither regret the time I have occupied, nor severingly attempted to bring us into the war apologize for the trouble I have given to the against England, according to the views of committee. France, who have so uniformly and with so

[blocks in formation]
[graphic][merged small]


Thomas Addis EMMET, one of the most eminent advocates of the nineteenth century, was a native of Cork, Ireland, where he was born in the year 1764. His father, Robert Emmet, was a physician of respectable standing, and his mother is described as a woman of superior intellect and accomplishments. At an early period of life, Mr. Emmet was designed for the profession of medicine, and with that view was placed in the University of Dublin, and subsequently at the medical school in Edinburgh, Scotland; from which institution he graduated, a doctor of physic, in 1784. Among his fellow students here, were Doctor Samuel Latham Mitchell, since celebrated as the pioneer of scientific research in America; Sir James Mackintosh, Doctor Rogers, of New York, and Caspar Wistar, of Philadelphia.

While at Edinburgh, Mr. Emmet employed himself very industriously. He wrote a medical thesis in Latin at the time of taking his degree, which was selected for its merit, and published in the Thesaurus Medicus, by Smellie, the distinguished naturalist. The disposition of his mind, however, tended to forensic, rather than to medical pursuits; and so conspicuous was he as a speaker, that he was at this early period the president of no less than five debating societies. One of these societies embraced the whole extent of politics, literature, metaphysics, and political economy.

For the purpose of acquiring a more complete knowledge of his profession, Mr. Emmet, on closing his studies at Edinburgh, visited the most renowned medical schools on the continent, and, after travelling through Italy and Germany, returned to Ireland, with the intention of commencing practice. But the death of his elder brother, Christopher Temple Emmet, changed the course of his life. This brother was a member of the Irish bar, and is spoken of as one of the first men of Ireland. The vacancy produced by his death, it was determined Thomas Addis should occupy, and he at once set off for London, where he commenced study in the Temple. Here he spent two years; occasionally attending the courts at Westminster, where he often heard Erskine in the most splendid efforts of his eloquence. Returning to his native land, he was admitted to the bar in 1791, and commenced practice in Dublin. Soon after, he was married to Miss Jane Patten.

Mr. Emmet rose immediately to a conspicuous place at the Irish bar. He rode the circuit with Ourran, and in the opinion of many, was his superior in talents, legal attainments, and general information. But this was not the time for him to realize his hopes of legal preferment. The condition of his country, impoverished by the cupidity of the English, the dark and cheerless prospect that opened upon her destinies, engrossed his attention. The resources and industry of Ireland had been regarded by the English as the legitimate objects of their unbounded desires, and the policy of their government had been directed, so as most readily to appropriate them to the use of the more aristocratic and favored subjects of the nation. While this unjust system had been carried out until it appeared to be the primary principle of the government, the progress of social and political intelligence brought the Irish people into direct collision with the authority of Great Britain.

It was during this period of suffering that the French Revolution broke out. The doctrines of freedom, declared in that moment of enthusiasm, met with a ready response from thousands of Irishmen. They hailed the occasion as “the day-spring of hope and freedom," diffusing over the land of their fathers, a silent, but enthusiastic expectation of deliverance. The Societies of United Irishmen, which had been formed in 1791, to repeal the Popery laws, to extend the right of suffrage among the Catholics, and to work other reforms, were now revived, under & new organization, the basis of which was not reform, but revolution. They were established on a plan of secrecy. There was “an oath the most solemn and sacred. Protestants and Catholics-all religious sects, forgot their prejudices, and nobly rallied under one common standard. All their feelings, wishes, and hopes, were for Ireland. Her freedom and her prosperity, claimed all their thoughts and all their devotions."

In 1796, Mr. Emmet joined the United Irishmen, and soon after was placed in their chief executive committee, where he directed all his energies in labors of the most disinterested patriotism.

In 1798, the revolutionary organization had become perfect throughout Ireland, and the adherence of the people to its principles was most astonishing. “Perfect faith every where prevailed," says Haines. “Men died on the rack and expired beneath the pains of torture, and still they would not reveal secrets to the spies and ruffians of government.” At this time, a military committee was formed, to prepare a plan of operations, and measures were taken to procure aid from France. Before they were ready, however, to declare themselves openly, their intentions were discovered by the British Government, through the treachery of one Thomas Reynolds, who had so far obtained their confidence as to be appointed a colonel in one of their regiments.

The leaders of the movement, among whom was Mr. Emmet, were now arrested and thrown into prison. This however did not prevent the general insurrection which followed a few weeks after. As the time approached, the dreadful notes of preparation were manifest in all parts of the country. In the interior the peasantry began to move in large masses to some central points. Night after night they were known to be proceeding along unfrequented roads to their places of rendezvous. The cabins throughout large tracts of country, were either deserted, or found to contain only women and children. The lower classes that were in the habit of flocking to the cities for employment, were no longer to be found in their usual places of resort. A general consternation prevailed. Even the measures taken on the part of the government promised no security. On the contrary, from their arbitrary and despotic character, they only tended to exasperate the spirit of disaffection. Martial law was proclaimed, and the people were sent to the prisons, until they could contain no more. Prison-ships were then employed, and many of the conspirators were informally executed, and many who were innocent were put to death in a summary manner. Deprived of their chosen leaders, the management of the revolutionary councils fell into the hands of less competent men. After a short but sanguinary struggle, and some partial successes in the counties of Wexford and Wicklow, the insurgents were defeated and entirely dispersed at the action on Vinegar Hill, by the forces under the command of General Lake, and in a short time afterward the rebellion was entirely crushed. A French force of about eleven hundred men, at length landed at Killala, on the northwest coast of Ireland, on the 12th of August; but it was too late, and in less than a fortnight they surrendered to Lord Cornwallis.

During his confinement in Dublin prison, Mr. Emmet experienced the greatest severity from the chief jailer. In speaking of this portion of his life, a short time prior to his death, Mr. Emmet said, that "he had a perfect idea of Sir Hudson Lowe, as the jailer of Napoleon. He so resembled his own jailer in a thousand particulars, that he could realize and believe all that Napoleon had dictated on the unfeeling and ruffianly deportment of the governor of St. Helena." The wife of Mr. Emmet was the only member of his family, who was permitted to see him, and when once admitted to his room, declared she would never leave it but with her husband. She was ordered by the officers of the prison to leave him, but she positively refused. Force was not used, but it was understood that in the event of her leaving, her return would be prevented;

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »