Page images

And to think that it will steal,
E'er flies a swift-winged minute,
The soul of passioned zeal,

And all the treasures in it:
That what toil bought for years,
And ills that knew no measure,
So sudden disappears-

Oh! here's a thorn for pleasure!

Go, pierce Death's sable cloud,—
Where flies the infant spirit?
Leaving its fleshy shroud,

What doom does it inherit?
Say, doth it, conscience-bold,
To God its all surrender,

Or, like Icarus of old,

Sink down beneath His splendour?

Life is a feast, where hangs

A sword o'er every gladness,

Yet, like Damocles, no pangs

Shall pierce my soul with sadness.

I will not throb with fear,-

I shall not be benighted ;

Though the tomb be dark and drear,

My path by faith is lighted.

B. A. R.

In the last No. of the Catholic Miscellany.

SOFTER than down, the crystal stream,
Harder than oak, the frozen lake;

Smooth, in the placid evening beam,

Yet rough, where thund'ring billows break.

The wat❜ry bow bears ev'ry hue,

Though clouds conceal heav'n's lovely blue:

A snowy mantle earth will wear,

When wintry storms have left her bare:

Lake Leman, with a deep-blue wave

The Rhine, with green-their mountains lave.

In caverns of the earth there dwell

The springs whence crystal waters swell;
And Phoebus, by a secret pow'r,

Draws up deep mists in genial hour.

Though claimant of no shape alone,

Yet water ev'ry form may own:

Narrow in brooks, broad in the sea,
In gardens, square or round may be :
Silent in calm, in tempests loud,

Slow here its pace, there billows crowd:
And Water, though beheld each day,
Not half its greatness will display.

June 2nd, 1827.

F. C. H.




My heart is gay, but not as their's

Who tread bright paths bestrewn with flow'rs;
My heart has joy, but none it shares

With those who live in festive bow'rs.

'Tis not the mirth that sparkling wine
Lights up awhile, too soon to sink;
Their joy is grief, compar'd with mine,
Who draughts of earthly pleasures drink.

They call me sad, but O, how sweet

That peace the world can never give!
What varied bliss, what transports meet
In breasts that love for God to live!

No fading wreath adorns their brow,

But lasting laurels round them bloom;
And though no fame exalts them now,

True glory waits to gild their tomb.

F. C. H.


THE Annual General Meeting of the British Catholic Association was held at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, Strand, on Thursday the 7th ult. There were present, Sir EDWARD BLOUNT, Bart., in the chair, Lord Dormer, Lord Stafford, Hon. Philip Stourton, Hon. Edward Petre, Rev. Dr. Collins, the Rev. Messrs. Rolfe, Morris, Maccabe, Scott, and Barber, Mr. Doughty, Mr. Wheble, Mr. -Canning, Mr. Eyston, Mr. Butler, Col. Stonor, Mr. Stonor jun. of Stonor, Mr. Stapleton, Mr. William Jones, Mr. Constable Maxwell, Mr.

Marmaduke Maxwell, Mr. Blount, secretary, &c. &c.

Mr. BLOUNT opened the proceedings of the day, by reading several letters from Lord Stourton, Lord Clifford, the Hon. Mr. Clifford, and others, apologizing for their absence, and offering their opinions on the present position of Catholic affairs. He then stated that the present meeting was indispensable, as all the officers of the Association were elected annually, and that without it the Association would cease to exist, The prevailing opinion was, that the Ca

tholics should not urge forward their claims at the present moment; and that from the state of public affairs, joined with their own discretion, they might hope for the happiest results.

Mr. BLOUNT also read a letter from Mr. Marlow Sidney, resigning the office of treasurer to the Association. The thanks of the meeting were subsequently voted to that gentleman, and Mr. Blount was requested to succeed him.

Mr. BLOUNT then read the follow

ing Report from the general committee, of their proceedings during the past year:

On the occasion of this fourth anniversary of the formation of the British Catholic Association, your committee have the pleasing task confided to them, of congratulating you on the prospect of our affairs. During the past year, public attention has been rivetted on the great question of Catholic emancipation: more abundant light has been thrown on our principles, and on the strange anomaly of our political situation in the state. Free from every imputation on our conduct, we incur more severe penalties for disavowed opinions, than are imposed on the actual perpetration of atrocious crime.

Your committee have, however, the satisfaction to state, that they receive the most confident assurances from many quarters, that a favo⠀rable change in the opinion of the pub lic is gradually taking place. Irritated feelings are soothed, calumnies are exposed, misconceptions removed, prejudices rooted out, and minds previously prepossessed against us, are reconciled to the justice of our claims. In confirmation of this statement, your committee beg to call your attention to the following short extracts from letters recently received, and which have been selected from a multitude of others equally illustrative of the same satisfactory result:

Extract from a letter received from the Rev. Mr. Foley, of Northampton, dated February 25th, 1827,-"This causes a great demand for tracts, such as I have before received by your orders. I have distributed all

that I could collect, and am still asked for more. It is, perhaps, somewhat singular that any portion of the public should be so eager for Catholic tracts. You will, sir, I dare say, think with me, that so favourable an opportunity should not be lost, and will, perhaps, allow me to beg a few more such tracts as you judge useful on this occasion." Postscript to a letter received from the Rev. Mr. Wilson, of Nottingham, dated January 26th, 1827,-"The Bishops' Declaration did much good here; I wish we could have more of them: poverty prevents us from doing what we could wish." Extraet from a letter received from the Rev. Mr. Tate, of Yarmouth, dated January 4th, 1827,-" I shall be glad to receive from you any tracts, &c., which you may think proper to send me: they will be acceptable and useful here. The prejudices of the people here are greatly diminished, so that the greatest part will read any thing that is put into their hands cost free." Extract from a letter received from the Rev. Mr. Brown, of Lancaster, dated January 18th, 1827, -"The copies of Sir Henry Parnell's History of the Penal Laws, and of Lord Nugent's letter, with the Dialogue, were duly received, and immediately circulated with good effect. If you can spare me one or two more of Sir Henry Parnell's, a few of Lord Nugent's Letter, and two or three dozen of the Dialogue, I can disperse them to advantage." Extract from a letter received from the Rev. Mr. Wareing, of Staffordshire, dated December 16th, 1826,-"I inclose, by favour of a friend, the sum of £5., as a contribution towards the general purposes of the British Catholic Association. You must know that the pastors of nine congregations in these parts have very lately established a kind of Catholic rent, for the purpose of defending religion from calumny and abuse; and as we trust that the whole of our means will not be wanted for local exigencies, we think we cannot apply the surplus of our funds better, than by transmitting it to you. I should trust that we shall be able to remit at least £5. per quarter; and whatever tracts

and pamphlets the Association may at any time be able to furnish us, had better be directed to me, Aston Hall, Stone, Staffordshire, where we all meet every month.' Extract from a letter received from Mr. James Reilly, of Tiverton, Devon, dated 21st May, 1827,-" On March 15th I received five hundred copies of the Address of the Irish Catholics," &c. &c. The Address I have circulated through the town and neighbourhood, and the others, according to your directions, I placed in the Subscription Coffee-Room, (the only reading-room in this town) through the medium of a gentleman of liberal principles, who has interested himself much in favour of the Catholic cause, since the first appearance of your papers in this town. I retain a copy of each, which I lend to such persons as I know will give them an attentive perusal, and make a good use of the knowledge derived from them, by communicating it to others. In circulating the Irish Address, I had the satisfaction to find that most of those persons who were in possession of the Declaration of the Catholic Bishops, and who had read some of the other things which came from you, felt great pleasure in receiving it, as they would also any other papers emanating from the same source, which would tend to disabuse them of their former erroneous opinions; and many who, while ignorant of our principles, were our determined opposers, have (now that their prejudices have been removed) requested several copies from me, in order to supply their friends who still laboured under delusion respecting the Catholics. This circumstance afforded me very great pleasure, and I hailed it as a certain indication of the growing liberality of those persons, many of whom were sectarian enthusiasts. The History of the Penal Laws, Howard's Historical References, and Sidney Smith's Letter to the Electors, which I lend, are read with intense interest, and there are always several applicants on the list before they can have them. It is highly gratifying to observe the change which has been effected in the minds

of many persons whose good opinions are valuable, chiefly by the means of your publications." Copy of a letter received from the Rev. Mr. Dullard, of Cannington, dated November 28th, 1826,-“Sir,-A spirit of curiosity is now abroad amongst the people of this neighbourhood, to know the principles of our religion, while the parson uses every effort to keep up the prejudices of his congregation. May I then request that you will send down to me such tracts as you may deem useful to undeceive the people, and place our principles fairly before the public. I am led to make this application by advice of my friend Mr. Birdsall, of Cheltenham, who is now on a visit to the bishop; and he thinks that if the London Association have Baines's Sermon on Controversy, Sidney Smith's Speeches and Letters, Beverley's Ditto, Catholic Misrepresented, Old-fashioned Farmer, Duke of Brunswick's Reasons, Grounds of the Old Religion, Baddeley's Father to his Son, or such like tracts, they will be greatly useful in promoting a cause so dear to the feelings of your heart. I shall thank you for any information in your power to give, in regard to the circulation of those tracts which you think proper to send. In the mean time, believe me to remain your humble and obedient servant, James Dullard, pastor of Cannington. To Edward Blount, Esq." Copy of a letter received from the Rev. Mr. Parker, of Wardour, dated April 9th, 1827,-" Sir, -I have great pleasure in informing you that the tracts, &c., which were sent here for distribution, have already produced a great and wonderful good in the minds of many-of some, even, who were before bitter enemies. Mr. James Lane, who has warmly interested himself in the distribution of the tracts, and in collecting the subscriptions for the Catholic Association, has requested me to send for more tracts, &c., as we distributed all those which have been sent. If, therefore, you have any more that you can spare, and will send them either to him or me, we will endeavour to give them as wide a circulation as possible. Still earnestly wish

ing for the success of the cause, and fully convinced that great good has been effected by the exertions of the British Catholic Association, I remain, sir, your most obedient humble servant, B. Parker."

Your committee beg to impress strongly on your minds the value of the important lessons contained in these letters; and they urge you to spare no expense to satisfy, to the utmost, the desire of the public for information on our real principles; and always to avoid, with the utmost care, to increase irritation, nor to be induced by any calumny, or other insult, however galling, to violate the precepts of Christian charity, or to forget what is due to ourselves, and to the dignity of our cause.

Such is

the line that our defence committee has chalked out and endeavoured to pursue. The number of publications that have been circulated during the past twelve months, has amounted to nearly 200,000; and on the table is a list, showing at one glance the works distributed, number of them, places of distribution, and names of distributors. The committee beg to state, that no care has been spared to render the distribution as effective as possible, both of the works published by our defence committee, and of those confided to our care by others.

A petition from the British Catholics, bearing the signatures of 23,000 persons, was presented to the House of Commons by our invaluable advocate, Lord Nugent, in March last; and your committee beg to call your attention particularly to the fact, that it is grounded on the broad basis of public right; that we claim no relief for ourselves but on the distinct acknowledgment that every individual who suffers privations, or is disqualified, on account of his religion, is equally entitled with us to the full enjoyment of every right, which others of the same class in society with himself do actually possess. The words your committee particularly allude to are, "Concession would be to your petitioners an imperfect blessing, if any class of his majesty's subjects continued to labour under similar disabilities on account of their religious sin

cerity." A protracted debate, which continued during two successive nights, took place in the House of Commons, on a resolution moved by Sir Francis Burdett, calling the attention of the House to the necessity of taking into their serious consideration the state of the law, as affecting his majesty's Roman Catholic subjects.

So large a number of members were never known before to have assembled within the walls of Parliament. A majority of four against it, out of five hundred and forty-eight, was the result of the division. Thus was a stop put to the progress of a measure intended for our relief. But the discussion that took place will not be soon forgotten. A lasting impression was made by the unrivalled eloquence of the advocates of liberal principles; every Catholic was inspired with the deepest gratitude, and every friend to liberty felt, even in defeat, the proud anticipation of future victory. The debate on these nights will be read with delight, when the majority of four shall be recorded with wonder.

Your committee beg now to direct your attention to an Occurrence which they consider as being fraught with benefit to our cause. The House of Assembly at Halifax, in Nova Scotia, without one dissentient voice, has lately presented a petition to the king, praying his majesty to grant the Catholics of that province the same civil rights as are enjoyed by his most favoured subjects. Some years ago, the Colonial Assembly remitted, as far as their power extended, the penal laws in force against the Catholics; and so beneficial has been the result, so exemplary the conduct of the Catholics, that the Assembly comes forward now to express an opinion, that they deserve to be placed on a footing of perfect equality with the most favoured members of the community.

We call your attention to the circumstances that have here occurred. The Catholics suffered various privations on account of their religion, and the most galling were removed. Did the Catholic take advantage of his

« PreviousContinue »