LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
William Roscoe to Lord Holland, March 1805

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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“March, 1805.

“I have somewhere, in that work*, alluded to the necessity there is, that statesmen and rulers should be aware of the changes in public opinion, and should accommodate their conduct accordingly; and I might have added, that enlightened rulers will foresee and anticipate such changes, and turn those circumstances, which would otherwise be ruinous, to their own or the public advantage. This, however, has not been the case of late with the administration of this country, who have given another striking proof of that want of knowledge of human nature which has always characterised them, in their present conduct to

* The “Life of Leo X.

wards the Catholics of Ireland. Can any thing be more apparent, than that the late commotions on the Continent have broken down all the old distinctions between Catholics and Protestants, and given rise to a new order of things, in which theological distinctions are absolutely lost and extinguished? Have we not been defending the Pope in his own capital? And is not the present existence of the Roman See owing to the interference of this country? Has not our great enemy united against us, not only his own motley empire, but the superstitious and Catholic government of Spain, and the Protestant and enlightened state of Holland? And shall we be the last people on earth to perceive these important alterations, and, through motives which have no longer any real foundation, place an insuperable bar between classes of people forming one nation, and that too at a time when the exertions of the whole country are required to preserve its very existence? The agitation of this question will, however, have done great good; not only from the knowledge, liberality, and temperate firmness displayed by the friends of toleration, but by the disgraceful ignorance and stupid superstition of its adversaries. The difference is such as cannot fail to be felt in every part of the country, and will have a tendency, more than any event that has yet occurred, to promote sentiments of moderation and good-will among people of different
religious persuasions, and particularly towards the Roman Catholics, and thus hasten the way to that general toleration of speculative opinions, which it is yet to be hoped will finally take place.”