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THE following Effays are republished, because they relate to subjects, on which it is of importance to throw every possible degree of light, both in order to the present restoration of tranquillity, and for the
purpose of future information and instruction.
Had the commotions in this country been merely of a local nature, it might appear impertinent to call the attention even of the other parts of the British Empire to a republication of tracts, whose object was, almost wholly, to trace those commotions to their source. But when the plots and conspiracies by which Ireland has been af
flicted are so evidently the result of a kind of epidemic Mania, when the same pestilential principle has operated, and still more or less continues to operate in every quarter of Europe and North America, and when Great Britain herself, the happiest of Nations, is not exempt from the contagion, then circumstances in themselves local, may become of infinite consequence, both as serving to illustrate the nature of the disease, and as pointing to the most effectual methods of counteraction and cure.
Perhaps such a Republication as the present, may appear fuperfluous after so full a developement of the principles and tendencies of the Irish UNION, as has been given in the late Reports of the Secret Committees. But it is to be observed that the direct proofs of a treasonable purpose adduced in those important and interesting collections, scarcely go farther back than the year 1795, although the Society of
UNITED IRISHMEN had existed for more than three years previous to that period. It may therefore not be useless to pay fome additional attention to the earlier stage of that association, in order fully to ascertain whether the original views of its founders were limited to any thing which could be called Parliamentary Reform, or whether, on the contrary, their design was systematically traiterous from the first moment of their career,
The confideration of this question becomes the more necessary, in consequence, of the attempt made by some of the lead ers of the United Irishmen to justify themselves, even at the moment when they were disclosing the most complicated villanies. It was then asserted by them that, though Revolutionary Democracy - became at length their object, it had formed no part of their original design ; that they then only had adopted it when their hopes