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much to be wondered at amongst an agricultural population unaided by manufactures; but the poorest of them has at least one cow, and several pigs and poultry, and most of them have more cows than one and a horse. The produce of the farm (including butter, which those who are poorest sell and do not eat) pays the rent and other land.charges, supplies the family with potatoes, and feeds the live stock abovementioned. The man and sons not yet married, besides tilling the land and cutting turf for fuel, which commonly a privilege of their holding, are able to devote some time to labour for others, either in ornamental improvement for their landlord or upon the public roads. The usual rate of wages for country labour is eightpence a day; and though they cannot always procure employment when they wish for it, even at this small remuneration, yet they can and do procure enough to enable them to provide themselves and their families with clothes and other indispensable necessaries; and remember I am now speaking of the very poorest class of farmers.

"It will probably occur to you as a difficulty to imagine how these men pay -rent and taxes, if they have so little money amongst them as I have said. I was then speaking of the resources they can command for any purpose of their own -the crop is usually sold for the express purpose of paying the rent, or other charge, just at the time the money is wanted, and it is paid over at once without remaining in the hands of the tenant. I had occasion lately to inquire after the welfare of the family of one of our tenants who had died some time before. How are Peggy Doolan and her children coming on since she lost her husband?' said I to the under-steward. Is it the widow Doolan, that lives yander below on the hill, your honour?' The same.

Troth, thin, plase your honour, I seen them have plenty of elegant pratees, wid eggs galore, an' lashins of milk, an' it's hard if that doesn't sarve them, wid your honour's good word.' Such I can assure you to be much more nearly a true description of the fare of the Irish peasantry in general, than the potatoes and water above recited."

There are few subjects on which the Scotsman is fonder of prosing, than on the moral degradation, the filth, and misery of the Irish. It is not at all times and places very easy to decide what is moral degradation, and what is not ;-nor, although certainly with more ease, can a man always,

without difficulty, distinguish what is bona fide, and in the real nature of things, filth and misery. Is there moral degradation in the Irish funeral howl? In the sudden illumination of the horizon by a thousand twinkling shillelas? The Reason frowns-but the Fancy smiles-and while Imagination calls on Mr Moore that "there is a fight down at the bridge," that unrivalled Lyrist immortalizes it in a National Melody, over which Beauty weeps, and Bravery hangs enamoured. So much for the difficulty attending Moral Degradation. Well then-filth and misery. For our own parts, we are free to confess, that we should rather sleep alone than with a pig,-but if the pig had no sty, while upon her depended the existence of ourselves, our wife and small family of children,-then we should feel ourselves called upon to do as it is said they do in Ireland, alike by parental and conjugal affection. A pig can make very little perceptible difference in a bed already occupied by a man and his wife, say seven offspring, and perhaps a young travelling Priest. But, to treat the matter with the seriousness it deserves, the Irish are not a filthy people in their persons. They strip white and well-and have not nearly so deeply-rooted an antipathy to water as we Scotch-the nation of gentlemen. Saunders, in country-places, we believe, never dreams of washing his face, except on Sunday; but there are so many holidays observed in Ireland, that Pat gives his aspect a wipe on an average twice a-week through the year. We have walked about 3500 miles up and down Ireland, and never saw one young girl who had reached the age of puberty, whom it would have been impossible for a gentleman to shake hands with, by the mediation of a pair of tongs. In Scotland, such drabs are of frequent occurrence, while we do not hesitate to say, that there are some more diabolically ugly females of the human species in Scotland than in Ireland, in Ireland than in Scotland. But reand some more angelically beautiful stricting the argument to filth-it is a libel to say, that the natives of either country can be distinguished among the other natives of Europe by that attribute. The French are filthier, a thousand times over; and the truth is, that the English are the only people

entitled to pride themselves on their personal cleanliness. Having thus summarily disposed of Irish moral degradation and filth-let us attend to their misery. Does it consist (we have an eye chiefly to the men) in having enormous calfs to their legs? In being able, one man with another, to eat half-a-bushel of potatoes, and drink a gallon of potheen at a sitting? In making love to Sheelah, and in the calm of the evening sitting at the mouth of a cabin among the mountains of Wicklow, with an enormous organ of philoprogenitiveness at the back of your head, and your body murmuring with children, like a tree with leaves? Moral degradation, filth, and misery being thus all swept away -what should be said about ignorance, superstition, and intellectual bondage? At present this much-let Mr Wakefield or Mr M'Culloch challenge the Roman Catholic peasantry, as Mr Pope lately challenged the Roman Catholic Priesthood, to argue the great Potatoe question, and a champion will leap out of the first bog to give both Economists the squabash.

Talking of potatoes, our sentiments of that root are congenial with those of our worthy pamphleteer:

"There is a strong outcry against potatoes, as if they were the bane of Ireland; in my opinion nothing can be more absurd. Political economists all agree in this, (if, indeed, they agree in anything,) that the man who invents some new machine whereby a great deal of animal labour is saved, confers a benefit on his country and on mankind. Now, I have no difficulty in concluding, a fortiori, that the introduction of a new kind of food, which enables us, with a given quantity of land and labour, to produce a greater quantity of wholesome nutriment for human beings than we could do before, is still more beneficial, inasmuch as this is accomplishing immediately that which the other but remotely tends to. Some, indeed, have been found to say, that the use of bread food is advantageous to a country, because bread is made of flour, and flour requires a miller, and the miller a carpenter and smith, and that so a whole train of arts and artizans is introduced; but this remark scarcely needs confutation at this time of day, and we have only to ask whether or not it would be more desirable that the agriculturist could cause his corn to become bread by simple volition, "digitorum percussione," by the snapping of his

fingers, as Marcus Tullius saith, in order to see the absurdity of this proposition. We have enough, and more, for the manufacturer and capitalist to do usefully and profitably, without employing him in grinding wheat or oats for the peasantry.

"It is contended, however, that potatoes are a lower, that is, a worse species of food than human beings had heretofore been satisfied with, and that if the quantity of sustenance be increased, the quality is proportionably, or more than proportionably, diminished. I think this is altogether untrue. On the Continent, I know, the lower orders eat scarcely any and Wales the peasantry live on bread, flesh, and in part of the north of England cheese, and onions; they very rarely get any butcher meat. I am not sufficiently well acquainted with their condition in the other parts to be able to say whether they of my own knowledge, that the corre fare more sumptuously, but I can affirm, sponding class in Ireland, who live on potatoes with salt and sour milk, would think it a very great hardship to be obliged to exchange this diet of theirs for the English bread and cheese, and not without reason. I have tried the experiment of living on potatoes and buttermilk myself, and found it to succeed admirably. I never enjoyed better health or spirits than whilst rigidly adhering to this diet, though I am not apt, thank God, to be at any time deficient in either particular. Five or six pounds of hot potatoes impart a genial warmth to a man's inside of a winter's day, a thousand times more comfortable than cold stale bread, even though garnished with such delectable condiment as onions or a modicum of cheese; and, in fact, when we attempted to introduce the bread and broth system into our prisons, the rogues mutinied for potatoes, and swore we meant to starve them. I remember to have read somewhere, that when potatoes were first introduced at the tables of the great, they were denied to the young, on the same principle as we now refuse them ragouts and high-seasoned dishes, because physicians pronounced them heating and provocative. Has this, think you, anything to do with the solution of the problem of our seven millions? It is an idle objection, that cooking the potatoes takes up a great deal of time of the woman of the house. Sorry am I to say, that that time could be turned to very little account were it entirely at her command; and, at all events, her time must, in any case, be less valuable than that of the miller and his men who should grind the corn; but, besides, the Irish who,

from their habit of eating potatoes, have learned how to boil them, never allow that process to occupy more than forty minutes; and, as they eat but two meals a-day, the time devoted even to cookery does not very much exceed that requisite in an English cottage, especially if the English woman make, as she should do, a mess of pottage of her bread and cheese and onions. Mr Cobbett has, I fear, had some success in prejudicing the minds of the vulgar in England against this our favourite species of food. This clever person writes about all things with an appearance of minute particularity, which naturally has an amazingly imposing ef fect on the uninformed populace; but the fact is, that he is grossly ignorant on this as well as many other topics, (such as politics and the planting of trees,) on which he yet adventures his crude though very positive opinions to the public. As sneering and ridicule operate more power fully than reasoning on the class of per sons who are likely to be influenced by Mr Cobbett's writings, I wish to acquaint them with the fact, that the lower orders of this country, who are infinitely better skilled in the arts of ridicule and sneering than themselves, feel and express quite as much contempt for John Bull's bread and cheese, as he can do for Paddy's potatoes. I do not say this in any unkindness, but only to correct a false impression of superiority which the boors dwelling on the east side of the Channel sometimes arrogate to themselves over the farming labourers of Ireland; whilst, in reality, they are, in everything requiring the exertion of quickness and acuteness of intellect, greatly inferior to the least informed class in this country.

"The gentry, indeed, of England are, I think, generally speaking, possessed of more plain sound sense, though not of more refinement, than the same class in Ireland; and the men of business, from the lowest to the highest, perform their duties better and more becomingly, and are in every way incomparably better fitted for their stations in life than ours yet are ; but in the lowest class, the superiority in point of intelligence and readiness, and all the minor qualities, which form the excellency of social and civilized life, lies entirely with our people."

trines is a minor evil, to the heaviness of their style, which is enough to break the back of a common readerhas, we believe, greatly increased the number of diseases in the spine, and we have reason to know, proved fa tal indeed in several cases, during the discussion on the Corn Question. Which of them all could express himself so easily and earnestly, as our friend does in the following passage?

"Driving for the first time through almost any part of England is quite a treat; but bere, instead of the rich verdure, plantation on plantation, and hedge-row upon hedge-row, you had been accustomed everywhere to meet with, the general surface of the soil looks arid and sad-coloured; plantations are but thinly scatquently have a stunted appearance, as if tered, generally young, and not unfrehalf neglected; the lands seem divided into a prodigious number of compartments, and that too in most cases not by hedges, but ditches or bleak-looking stone walls. In the country towns the beggars are numerous, noisy, and squalid, And instead of the neat comfortablelooking villages of England, you meet with thatched cabins, scattered at interalways dirty in their external appearance. vals along the road, often decaying, and This is the aspect of the country generally; yet wherever improvements have been made, the vivid green of the pasture, and the visible combination of utility and ornament in the minor details of the landscape, abundantly demonstrate that we possess all the same capabilities of comfort and neatness as our brethren, were they but called into operation by the same favourable circumstances which have stimulated exertion and diffused happiness elsewhere. The soil of England is brought to an uniform beauty of surface that is quite astonishing; that the soil of Ireland is equally capable of such an improvement, and that it would amply repay the expenditure of labour and capital requisite to effect the change, is indisputably true. It is really vexatious to see field after field look brown and bare, and hill after hill naked and rugged, when one certainly knows that the fields might be bright green, and the hills made to wave with stately woods, proprietors. Would that men were wise, with great and permanent profit to the and considered this! Yet we have great reason to rejoice that they are gradually growing wiser, and that improvement is at this moment advancing with giant

There is a life and spirit-as well as truth in the above passage, which may in vain be looked for through all the heavy pages of the prosing Economists-the absurdity of whose doc.

strides amongst us. Even the most cautious capitalists are beginning to venture upon investments in landed property in Ireland, and could we but succeed in eradicating from the less informed minds of the English manufacturers their deeply rooted prejudice against the Irish, as a wild and savage race, amongst whom the lives of English Protestants can be but ill secured even by the strictest laws, the perfect assimilation of this country to England would be rapid indeed, and it would soon come to be looked on as a different and very admirable district of one and the same country. This is a consummation, in my mind, devoutly to be wished, and which I shall rejoice in deed if my efforts can be at all instrumental in accelerating. I am not vain and foolish enough to imagine, that we are already so well as to stand in no need of being made better, but I am most anxious to prove to my countrymen, on both the one and the other side of St George's Channel, that we are at least apt and docile scholars, who can reward our teachers with an ample return of pleasure and of profit to them as well as to ourselves. That our inferiority is al ready greatly less than has been commonly supposed, and that if there be, as undeniably there are, very many things which we have yet to learn from England, we are willing to profit by the example of our elder and wiser sister, and yet by no means deficient in great and good qualities of our own.

"Those who have the candour and good sense to examine with their own eyes into our real condition, rather than place implicit faith in vague expressions of horror and disgust against our people, uttered with shrugging of the shoulder and uplifting of the palm, by weak and ill-informed persons, and some times by those who find their account in misrepresenting us, will find that we are a hardy and intelligent nation, destitute neither of the common necessaries of life, nor of the strong desire to add to our comforts and our luxuries which commonly pervades mankind. If men possessed of capital, and common sense to expend it judiciously, will settle amongst us, instead of a horde of starving and naked savages, ready to plunder and to murder them, they will meet with a population not without whole clothes, and led in a manner which they themselves prefer (and perhaps with good reason too) to that of the English peasant-a population, who are willing and able to co-operate vigorously and well with any man who will treat them fairly in the

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We began with an intention of giving a regular straight-forward abridgment of this pamphlet, but find that we have adopted another, perhaps better way, of giving its chief contents, by following the order of our own thoughts, and turning over its leaves again for selection. Thus, our readers will thank us for treating them with an excellent extract, in continua tion of the views given above, relative to the character of the Irish peasantry:

"The character of the Irish peasantry cannot easily be appreciated or under stood by strangers. It is full of religious feeling even to overflowing, yet sadly de ficient in religious principle. It sounds paradoxical, and yet it is true in fact, and may be philosophically accounted for in theory, to say that the Roman Catholie religion is apt to produce this defect in the minds of its unenlightened members; though perhaps one of its most palpably unscriptural errors is the supposed meril toriousness of human works. Possibly, however, it would be more just as well as more charitable to ascribe much of the good, and somewhat less of the evil, of the Irish character to the influence of their religious faith, than we high Protestants are usually disposed to do. Cer tain it is, that however our people may live without God in the world, they do not live without his name ever and anon in their mouths, and that, not irreverently or lightly, but with all the appearance of unaffected piety and earnestness, which would seem to betoken that they have God in all their thoughts.


"If two boatmen pass each other on the Shannon, or on a canal, or two carmen on a road, whether they know each other or not, you are sure to hear in mellow musical Irish, God save you,' from the comer, and God speed you,' from the goer. If an Irishman approach the door of a cabin, whether it belong to an acquaintance or stranger, and whatever be his business, his first salutation invariably is, God save all here,' and the reply is as invariably similar. If he meets with persons working, whatever be their occupation, he never dreams of passing them without saying, God bless your work.' When first he sees a neighbour's child, or his horse, or his cow, or anything that is his neighbour's, he is sure to say,

That's a fine child, God mark it to grace,' that's a fine cow, God bless it.'-The instances are endless, but they sometimes sound ludicrously. If you ask

have a special aversion to working alone, and you will see three trooping off with facks in hand to perform a job which one man would set about at once in England; nor will these three accomplish more in the day than any two of themselves would do, if you could employ them separately and apart, so that they should lose no time in talking. In passing through the country here, you frequently see numerous groups of men, women, and children, working in the fields, while in England you would almost suppose the ground were cultivated by magic, or in the night, so rarely do you see people at work. They certainly, with us, do not, in general, labour so hard as the English; it is to be remembered, however, that this is chiefly when they are badly paid and insufficiently fed. They do not even hesitate to urge this reason for their insufficiency, nor is it unreasonable they should. I have been assured by practical men,-Mr Nimmo, the engineer, for example,-that a given piece of manual labour cannot be executed more cheaply in Ireland than in England or Scotland, where wages are treble their amount with us. My own experience would not go the length of justifying this assertion, but in any case it does not disprove the capability and willingness of the Irish labourer to exert himself with as much industry and effect as others, when placed under the like circumstances, because it is notorious that Ireland supplies every part of the king's dominions with the hardest-working labourers they have. In their dealings one with another, our people are hard and over-reaching; they are so little accustomed to the possession of money, that they greatly overrate its value, and on the other hand, they have such a superabundance of unoccupied time, that they can scarcely be made to understand that time is at all valuable. Two men will travel four or five miles and wrangle half a day before a magistrate, for some trumpery affair that does not matter sixpence to either; and what is most strange, they will appear at drawn daggers, whilst addressing the justice, and will use the worst and most abusive language towards each other, but the moment he dismisses the case, (which he very often does by telling them they are a pair of great fools, and to go home and mind their business, and not pester themselves or him with non


a rheumatic old man how he is to-day, he will say, Thank your honour, I'm all full of cramps and pains in my bones, glory be to God;' or if he be drenched in rain to his great harm and discomfort, he will say, Troth, it's a mighty wet day entirely, the Lord be praised.' Happen what may, their brief and pithy comment is, It was the will of God,' or if they wish for any change of existing circumstances they never fail to add if it was God's will.' All this may arise as much from habit as from piety, it is true, but still the very existence of such a habit proves a kind of character and a state of mind very much more susceptible of culture and improvement than the utter recklessness of impure thought and of unclean living, that is so lamentably prevalent in some of the mining and manufacturing districts of England, nay, even than the insensibility and blindness to everything spiritual or mental that are frequently to be met with in the lowest class of English agricultural labourers. In a word, though the religion of the lower classes in England, when they have any religion at all, is infinitely more excel lent than that which prevails among them here, yet a profound veneration for religion, a steadfast belief in the essentials of Christian faith, and a regular attendance on divine worship, debased though it be by the superstitious observances of their church, are incomparably more certain to be met with among the inferior classes with us than with you; and, besides this, they are far more generally submissive and respectful to their superiors, more disposed to honour and obey a gentleman because he is a gentleman, more resigned when favours are denied, more grateful for favours given, more uniformly obliging, flexible, and anxious to please, than are the peasantry of England. There is, however, greater giddiness and unevenness of character amongst them than amongst the English. It is a common saying with themselves, that they are honest with good looking after. They do not scruple to tell lies to screen themselves when they commit a fault, and when detected, to pass off the lie with a jest. When they labour for others, they are apt to idle or get into mischief, if they be not well watched; they are prone to gossip and dawdle over their task; whether from an innate indolence or a love of sociality, I will not pretend to determine; certain it is, they

* A Facks-kind of spade used in fleld labour.

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