Popery! As it Was and as it Is - LightNovelsOnl.com
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"After persuading four chiefs, who were authorized to act in the absence of the queen, to affix their names to a doc.u.ment, asking 'French protection,' a boat was sent by the French captain, Dupet.i.t Thouars, to a place called Eimeo, with a _peremptory_ order for queen Pomare to sign it within twenty-four hours.
"It was evening before the boat reached the place whither Pomare had retired with her family. Her situation was one in which it is the custom for women to receive the most anxious and respectful attention from all of the opposite s.e.x, especially if they call themselves gentlemen. She was every moment expected to give birth to a child; and, according to custom, had come to lie-in at Eimeo, leaving Paraita, who basely betrayed his trust, re gent in her absence. On learning the demand made by Thouars, the queen, surprised and alarmed, sent for Mr. Simpson, the missionary of the island, and a long and painful consultation ensued.
Armed resistance was obviously impossible. The only alternative was between dethronement and protection. Pomare at first determined to choose the former, but her friends pressing round her, represented that Great Britain, the court of appeal whither all the grievances of the world are carried for redress, would certainly interfere; that subjection would be but temporary, and that she would ultimately triumph. Stretched on her couch, in the first pangs of labor, the unfortunate queen withstood all supplications until near morning. Mr.
Simpson observes, that this was indeed 'a night of tears.' Many hours were pa.s.sed in silence, interrupted only by the sobs of the suffering Pomare.
"Let us leave her for a while, and turn to consider in what manner the French buccaneer and his crew pa.s.sed the same night. We refer to no inimical statement. Our authority is a letter which went the round of all the Paris papers, written by an officer on board the Reine Blanche, who did not seem to perceive any thing at all immoral in what he related. His intention was merely to excite the envy of his fellow-countrymen by detailing the delights that, were to be found in the new Cythera of Bougainville. We dare not follow him into his details. It will be enough to state that more than a hundred women were enticed on board the s.h.i.+p, and there compelled to remain all night, under pretence that it would be dangerous to row them back in the dark, Some were taken to the officers' cabin, others were sent to the youthful mids.h.i.+pmen, the rest to the crew. When this account made its appearance, the government, alarmed at the effect it might produce, published an official declaration in the 'Moniteur,' (30 Mars,) addressed to 'French mothers,' denying the truth of the statement. But M. Guizot, or whoever directed this disavowal, merely argued from the silence of his own despatches--if they were silent--and not long before, in the voyage of Dumont d'Urville, published by royal 'ordon-nance,' a description of conduct, still more atrocious, had been given to the world.
"Towards morning, the sufferings of Pomare increasing, her resolution began to fail her, and at length she signed the fatal doc.u.ment. Then bursting into a flood of tears, she took her eldest son, aged six years, in her arms, and exclaimed, 'My child, my child, I have signed away your birthright!' In another hour, with almost indescribable pangs, she was delivered of her fourth child. Meanwhile the boat which carried the news of her yielding, sped for the port of Papeete. The sea was rough, and the wind threatened every moment to s.h.i.+ft. The white sail was beheld afar off by the look-out on the mast of the Reine Blanche, and it was thought impossible she could reach by the appointed time. Thouars, however, troubled himself but little about all these things. He was fixed in his resolve, that if the answer did not arrive before twelve he would bombard Papeete. The guns were loaded, gun-boats stationed along the sh.o.r.e; and whilst the frightened inhabitants crowded down to the beach, beseeching, with uplifted hands, that their dwellings might be spared, the ruthless pirate, bearing the commission of the king of France, was giving his orders, and burning to emulate the exploits of Stopford and Napier at St. Jean d'Acre, by destroying a few white-washed cottages on the sh.o.r.e of a little island in the Pacific. Hero! worthy the grand cross of the legion of honor which was bestowed on him for this achievement! Worthy the sword raised by farthing subscriptions among 'haters of the English,' which was presented to him for so distinguished an exploit! What exultation must have filled his breast as he beheld the white sail of the boat scud for a moment past the entrance of the port; and what sorrow, when, by a skilful tack, it bore manfully along the very skirts of the breakers, and rushed through the hissing and boiling waters into the placid bay of Papeete, exactly one half hour before mid-day!
"We must pa.s.s rapidly over the arrangements which followed. The treaty of protection professed to secure the external sovereignty to the French, but to leave the internal to the queen. The former, however, were empowered 'to take whatever measures they might judge necessary for the preservation of harmony and peace.' When we learn that the ever recurring M. Moerenhout was appointed royal commissioner to carry out this treaty, we at once perceive that Pomare had in reality ceased to reign. How this base person employed his power may be discovered from the fact, that it became his constant habit, when he desired to obtain the signature of the queen to any distasteful doc.u.ment, to vituperate her in the lowest language, and shake his fist in her face.
"It has been a.s.serted, in this country and elsewhere, that the pa.s.sive resistance of the queen and people to the proper establishment of the protectorate, did not begin until the arrival of Mr. Pritchard on the 25th of February, 1843. The object of this has been to attribute all the subsequent difficulties experienced by the French to him. But the fact is well known, that before he made his appearance the queen had written to the princ.i.p.al European powers, stating that she had been compelled against her will to accept the protectorate of France. On the 9th of February also, a great public meeting, presided at by the queen, was held, in which speeches of the most violent description were made.
It was resolved, however, that by no overt act the French should be furnished with an excuse for further arbitrary proceedings. The determination come to, was to write for the opinion of Great Britain.
The morning after this meeting Moerenhout went to the queen and acted in a manner so gross and insulting, that she determined to complain to Sir Thomas Thompson, of the Talbot frigate, who promised her protection.
All this happened, as we have seen, before the arrival of Mr. Pritchard, who, in truth, instead of proving a firebrand, introduced moderation and caution into the councils of Pomare. Sir Toup Nicolas, it is true, commanding the Tiudictive, which brought our consul to Tahiti, did go so far, despising some of the forms which were perhaps necessary, as threaten that unless the French ceased to molest British subjects, he would use force to compel them. He is said even to have cleared for action. When we consider what was daily pa.s.sing under his eyes, there was some excuse for this gallant captain's warmth. Setting aside the insults offered to our own countrymen, he was the spectator of constant tyrannical conduct towards the queen. Messrs. Reine and Vrignaud, under whose name all this was done, were but instruments in the hands of the sagacious Moerenhout. The following letter of queen Pomare, hitherto, we believe, unpublished, will throw some light on his conduct. It is addressed to Toup Nicolas, who took measures to fulfil the wishes it contains.
Pagfae, March 5, 1844.
'O Commodore, 'I make known unto you that I have oftentimes been troubled by the French consul, and on account of his threatening language I have left my house. His angry words to me have been very strong. I have hitherto only verbally told you of his ill-actions towards me; but now I clearly make these known to you, O Commodore, that the French consul may not trouble me again. I look to you to protect me now at the present time, and you will seek the way how to do it.
'This is my wish, that if M. Moerenhout, and all other foreigners, want to come to me, they must first make known to me their desire, that they may be informed whether it is, or is not, agreeable to me to see them.
'Health and peace to you,
'O servant of the Queen of Britain, (Signed)
'Queen of Tahiti, Mourea, &c. &c.'
"During the time that elapsed between the establishment of the protectorate and the third visit of Dupet.i.t Thouars to Tahiti, the only overt act which the French could complain of was the hoisting of a fancy flag by the queen over her house. Whatever difficulties existed at the outset, had been in reality overcome in spite of the 'intriguing Mr.
Pritchard.' Even M. Guizot has declared in his place in the chamber of deputies: 'There existed on the admiral's arrival none of those difficulties which are not to be surmounted by good conduct, by prudence, by perseverance, by time, or which require the immediate application of force.' Nevertheless, on the first of November, 1843, our buccaneering admiral entered the harbor of Papeete, and wrote immediately to inform the queen that unless she pulled down the flag she had hoisted, he would do so for her, and at the same time depose her.
In spite of his threats, however, she refused compliance; and Lieutenant D'Aubigny landed at the head of five hundred men, to occupy the island.
The speech in which this person inaugurated French dominion in Tahiti was one of the richest specimens of bombast and braggadocia ever uttered.
"Much merriment might be excited by its repet.i.tion, but it has already caused the sides of Europe to ache, more than once. Suffice it to say, that the deposed queen fled on board the British s.h.i.+p of war, the Dublin, commanded by Capt. Tucker, and Papeete was, for many days, like a town taken by storm. Drunkenness, debauchery, rioting, filled its streets, and every means were taken to undo what the missionaries had, by half a century's labor, accomplished."
The above is another melancholy evidence of the spirit of Popery; and if any thing can open the eyes of our people to a sense of danger from it, this evidence cannot fail to do so. I lay it down as a truth--though I may be censured for the boldness of such an a.s.sertion--that there is not a man of common sense, or ordinary penetration, who does not see, at a glance, that our danger as a nation, and our morals as a people, are eminently perilled by the continuance of Popery amongst us. There are certain truths which need not be proved; they prove themselves. Like the sun, which is seen by its own light, they carry with them their own evidence; and, among those self-evident truths, I see none more clear or more lucid, than that Popery, which has taken root in this country, will--if not torn up and totally uprooted before long--dash to pieces the whole frame of our republic. Sympathizers, Puseyites, and all other such b.a.s.t.a.r.d Protestants, may think differently. Be it so. Valueless as my opinion may be, let it be herein recorded, that I entirely disagree with them.
It seems that another speck of Popery is just making its appearance on the north-west horizon of our national firmament. It appears, by accounts very recently received from Oregon, that the _Propaganda_ in Rome has sent out a company of Jesuits and nuns to that territory.
Popish priests and Jesuits seldom travel without being accompanied by nuns: they add greatly to their comforts while on their pilgrimage for the advancement of morality and chast.i.ty. Hitherto the occupants of Oregon have advanced quietly. They have adopted a temporary form of government, established courts of law, and such munic.i.p.al regulations as they deemed best calculated to forward their common interest. But the modern serpent, Jesuitism, has already entered their garden: the tree of Popery has been planted: it is now in blossom, and will soon be seen in full bearing. It is truly a melancholy reflection to think that this pest; Popery, should find access to all places and to all people. One year will not pa.s.s over us, before the aspect of things in Oregon will be entirely changed. These Jesuits who arrived there haye been preceded by some Popish spy--some reverend Irish Murphy, in the capacity of carpenter, or perhaps horse-jockey, has gone before them, and has been laying plans for their reception. I venture to say, it will be discovered, at no distant day, that all the good which our Protestant missionaries have done there will soon be undone by Popish agents. They will commence, as they have done in Tahiti, by causing some panic among the resident settlers. They will find in Oregon, as well as in our United States, some functionary who may want their aid; and he, like many of the unprincipled functionaries among ourselves, will give them his patronage in exchange.
Liberty has, in reality, but few votaries among officeholders, in comparison with Popery; and this is one of the chief causes of the great advances which the latter is making, and has been making, especially for the last six or eight years. Look around you, fellow-citizens, and you will scarcely find an individual in office, from the President to the lowest office-holder, possessed of sufficient moral courage to raise his voice against Popery. But justice to Americans requires me to say, that in this the great ma.s.s of the people are without blame--for I cannot call certain leading, unprincipled politicians, the people. The first steps which foreign priests and Jesuits have taken, in disturbing the harmony of our republican system of government, might have been easily checked; but those who have represented the people, and who held offices of honor and emolument, were not, and will not be, disturbed by a moment's reflection on a proper sense of their duty. The whole responsibility of the gross outrages offered to our Protestant country, by _Popish priests_ and Papal allies, rests upon our representatives in Congress. They could, if they would, have long since checked Popery; and it is now high time that the people should take this matter into their own hands, and so alter the const.i.tutions of their respective states, as to exclude Papists from any positive or negative partic.i.p.ation in the creation or execution of their laws.
Jesuits calculate with great accuracy upon the selfishness of man: they know that, generally speaking, it is paramount to all other considerations. Artful, intriguing, avaricious, and more licentious themselves than any other body of men in the world, they soon discover all that is vulnerable in the American character, and take advantage of it. They discover that popular applause is greatly coveted by Americans; and this is the reason why we see established among us so many _repeal a.s.sociations_. The writer understands that several of those a.s.sociations are now formed in Oregon; and it was at their request that the Pope had sent out Jesuits and nuns amongst them. Repeal is looked upon as the great lever by which the whole political world can be turned upside down. Its members meet in large numbers, in order to show the gullible Americans the consequent extent of their power, and the great advantage which some office-hunter may gain by bringing them over to his views. The bait has taken well hitherto; but as we have--solemnly attested by the sign manual of the Pope himself--seen his object in causing to be established repeal societies, the American, who continues hereafter to encourage them, deserves the execration of every lover of freedom. The Pope tells Americans, through his agent, O'Connell, what the design and objects of all the movements of Papists in the United States are; and I trust, when Americans see them in their true colors, they will sink deeply into their hearts.
Hear, then, I entreat you, Americans, the language of O'Connell, as the Pope's agent, as uttered by him in the _Loyal National Repeal a.s.sociation_ in Dublin, Ireland. It is addressed to Irish Catholics in the United States. _Where you have the electoral franchise, give your votes to none but those who will a.s.sist you in so holy a struggle. You should do all in your power to carry out the pious intentions of his holiness the Pope_. This is plain language; there is no misunderstanding it. It is ad-dressed to Papists, whether in Oregon or the United States, and what are the pious intentions of the Pope? I will tell you. I understand those matters probably better than you do. The object is, in the first place, to _extirpate Protestantism_; and, secondly, _to overthrow this republican government, and place in our executive chair a Popish king_. This is the sole design of all the ramifications of the various repeal clubs throughout the length and breadth of the United States and its territories. O'Connell--the greatest layman living--is the nuncio of the Pope for carrying this vast and holy design into execution. Will Americans submit to this? Will they again attend repeal a.s.sociations? Does not every meeting of the repeal party impliedly make an a.s.sault upon our const.i.tution? Is not this foreign demagogue endeavoring to pollute our ballot-box? and will you any longer trust an Irish Papist, who is the fettered slave of the Pope? Aye! a greater slave than the African, the Mussulman, or the Chinese. Never before was there such a combination formed for the destruction of American liberty, as that of _Irish repealers_, and never before was such an insidious attempt made to pollute the morals of the wives and daughters of Americans, as that which Jesuits have for years made, and are now making, by the introduction of priests and nunneries among them.
Repeal unchains the loud blasts of conspiracy, and opens the b.l.o.o.d.y gates of sedition; yet this Repeal lives in the very midst of us. I can almost hear, while I am writing these lines, the wild shouts of its lawless members; and to the shame and everlasting disgrace of Americans, the sons of free and n.o.ble sires, there are many of them, at the very repeal meetings to which I allude, aiding and abetting them in aiming their mad and wild blows at liberty, while she sleeps sweetly, perhaps dreaming that she was safe, with the spirits of Was.h.i.+ngton, Warren, and others, watching over her slumbers. Sleep on, fair G.o.ddess! Popish traitors cannot, shall not disturb thee. American Republicans will not let them; and to you, Protestant foreigners, I would most earnestly appeal. Let us stand by those n.o.ble patriots. We know what tyranny is!
We felt many of its pains and penalties. We know what Popery is! It has desolated our native land 1 It has made barren our fairest fields! It has sealed up from our parents, our brothers, sisters, and relatives, the eternal fountain of life! It is drunk with the blood of the saints!
It has closed against us the gates of liberty! It has rendered us strangers to its blessings, and it was not until we landed upon these sh.o.r.es, that we were first permitted to inhale its fragrance or taste its fruits. But now that we enjoy all these blessings, let us thank G.o.d for them. Let us be grateful to Americans for receiving us among them, and prove by our deeds that we are not unworthy of the kind and hospitable reception which they gave us, by being foremost amongst them in resisting and warding off the blows which that enemy of mankind, the Pope, and his foul-mouthed nuncio, Daniel O'Connell, with his Irish repealers, are striking at American freedom! They shall not succeed. The slaves of a Pope cannot succeed.
"The sensual and the dark rebel in vain, Slaves by their own compulsion!
In mad game They burst their manacles, and wear the name Of freedom, graven on a heavier chain O Liberty! with profitless endeavor Have I pursued thee many a weary hour;-- But thou nor swell'st the victor's strain, nor ever Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human power.
Alike from all, howe'er they praise thee-- Nor prayer, nor boastful name delays thee-- Alike from priestcraft's harpy minions, And factious blasphemy's obscener slaves, Thou speedest on thy subtle pinions, The guide of horseless winds, and playmate of the waves!
And there I felt thee!--on that sea-cliffs verge, Whose pines, scarce travelled by the breeze above, Had made one murmur with the distant surge;-- Yea, while I stood and gazed, my temples bare, And shot ray being through earth, sea, and air, Possessing all things with intensest love, O Liberty! my spirit felt thee there!"