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probably contains many repetitions, from my total want of leifure to digeft and confolidate my thoughts: and as to my expreffions, 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 fee no reafon 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 refpect to religious ceremonics; but it puts a new bolt on civil rights, and rivets it to the old one, in fuch a manner, that neither, I fear, will be easily loofened. What I could have wifhed would be, to fee the civil advantages take the lead; the other of a religious toleration, I conceive, would follow (in a manner) of courfe. From what I have obferved, it is pride, arrogance, and a fpirit of domination, and not a bigotted fpirit of religion, that has caufed and kept up thofe oppreflive ftatutes. I am sure I have known thofe who have oppreffed papifts in their civil rights, exceedingly indulgent to them in their religious ceremonies, and who really wished them to continue catholics, in order to furnish pretences for oppreffion. These persons never faw a man (by converting) escape out of their power, but 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 opprefs proteftants, if, being proteftants, it was not in their power to opprefs papifts. It is injuftice, and not a mistaken confcience, that has been the principle of perfecution, at least as far as it has fallen under my obfervation. However, as I began, fo I end. I do not know the map of the country.

country. Mr. Gardiner, who conducts this great and difficult work, and thofe who fupport him, are better judges of the business than I can pretend to be, who have not fet my foot in Ireland thefe fixteen years. I have been given to understand, that I am not confidered as a friend to that country: and I know that pains have been taken to leffen 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,

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*

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My Lord,

Your lordship's most obedient,

And humble fervant, &c.

VOL III.

M m

EDMD BURKE.

A LETTER

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A

LETTER

TO

SIR HERCULES LANGRISHE, BART. M. P.

ON THE SUBJECT OF

ROMAN CATHOLICS OF IRELAND,

AND THE

PROPRIETY OF ADMITTING THEM

то тн Е

ELECTIVE FRANCHISE,

CONSISTENTLY WITH THE

PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTITUTION

AS ESTABLISHED AT THE

REVOLUTION.

1792.

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