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sense,) they walk away on the best terms possible, chatting about their ordinary affairs."
plundering began to be laid upon their own property, they speedily came forward, and by information and other means, put down the disposition to violence and outrage which themselves had fostered. The people, he avers, cannot stir a finger without the government being apprised of it, if they choose to seek for information. Of all sorts of espionage that is the most effectual; for though the people should suspect, nay, even certainly know, that some one must be playing them false, and betraying their machinations, still they have not the slightest clue to guide them to the detection of the individual; the betrayer enters as heartily as any into the proposed scheme, and they have ever been known "to carry their appearance of conformity so far as to be shot by the magistrates' armed force, in an attack of which they themselves had given the warning which led to its perpetration." We do not know that the following scene illustrates much, but it is well toldand is impressive:
Our author goes on to remark, that labourers unfed for want of employment, and land unproductive for want of labour, constitute an anomaly which stares people in the face in every part of Ireland. The connecting link is Capital, and that link is wanting; the reason of its deficieney being want of confidence on the part of the capitalists. The universal belief is, that the lower orders in Ireland are infinitely more turbulent and lawless than those in England; yet, on comparing the official lists of judicial convictions for the years 1815, 16, 17, and 18, (the latest returns he could lay his hands on,) he finds, that the total number for England and Wales, was 28,694, while that for Ireland was 16,815, a proportion certainly very much less than that which the number of her inhabitants bears to the inhabitants of England and the principality. The committals, however, are much more numerous, comparatively, in Ireland, but that he is disposed to think, arises as much from the frightened policy of weak and timid persons invested with authority over the liberties of their fellow-subjects, and occasionally from their heedless inadvertency too, as from any reasonable grounds of suspicion resting on the part of persons imprisoned, against whom no proof of criminality was subsequently adduced.
Our author laughs at the serious apprehensions entertained by many of a general insurrection again taking place in Ireland. The first thing, he says, that happens when any ill design is astir among the people, is that half a dozen of the vilest miscreants among them repair, unknown to each other, to different magistrates, and, for some trifling consideration, discover the whole plot, and continue to act as spies, and give notice of every intended proceeding. The White-boy affair, in 1822, many resident magistrates informed him, arose out of a conspiracy on the part of the farmers to induce landlords to lower their rents, and that they at first instigated the outrages and comforted the perpetrators of them; but when the natural consequence (though they had not foreseen it) followed, that the Whiteboys assailed the instigators themselves, and when the burning and VOL. XXII.
"I was sitting with your friend, Sir John, in his study, when a servant came to tell him there was one waiting to see him on business in the justice room, if he was at leisure.' We walked down to the apartment where he usually discharges the duties that devolve on him as being of the quorum, and there. I saw a haggard, unearthly-looking beldame cowering towards the fire, and stretching out her withered arms and attenuated hands still closer to the grate: she rose and curtsied low as we entered the room: Her face, weather-worn, sallow, and wrinkled, and her grey muddy eyes, sur
rounded with red circles, formed a coun
tenance which appeared blighted by hardWhat do you want ship and sorrow. with me, my good woman?' said the magistrate. 'I'm Mickle Rooney's mother, plase your honour.' 'Mickle Rooney! do you mean Michael Rooney, who was murdered near this, by the White-boys, some years ago?' Her low moan of agony made me bitterly regret that he had asked the question so abruptly, even of the seared-looking crone before us. This Rooney was a horrid wretch, who after joining with the White-boys in many of their outrages, had become an informer, and had ultimately given evidence against them in a court of law, so that being a marked man, he soon feli a victim to their resentment, and was found one morning in a ditch with his throat cut, and other dreadful wounds inflicted on him, and this his mother had been subsequently
driv,' as she told us, out of house and home, abused and abhorred by all, and none to say a good word of her, or for her, an' she was left to starve of could and hunger, wid neither man nor mortal to offer her a crass for her berrin, or pity her after she was gone.' She had come to see if an application would be made to the Castle to get her a small pension, or some means of saving her from dy ing of hunger, and she assured xs,' she wouldn't trouble them for it long, as in troth it id be bether for her it was the Lord's will to take her away.' There was something fearful in the scowl of this
miserable-looking old creature, as she recounted with harrowing minuteness the indignities she had received, and the sorrows she had suffered, and as she stooped in shivering wretchedness, supplicating for what herself called the blood-money for her boy,' the recollection that she was the mother of a murdered man, who probably himself had been a murderer, produced a feeling of horror that made me recoil from her with that instinctive sort of shudder which one feels on reading the brief inscription murder,' on the cell of a condemned felon in Newgate. Measures were taken to have the wretched woman's relief properly cared for."
Our author is of opinion that improvements, the most extensive and important, have been made within the last twenty years in the state of the Irish population. The spread of elementary education has been very great, and all the minor decencies of life are much better observed by the people. The dress and appearance of the peasantry, for example, is much more creditable than it used to be. Twenty years ago, when they came before Grand Juries, to give evidence concerning roads, or in criminal cases, they appeared in loose attire," melancholy hat," hose ungartered, collar unbuttoned, shoe untied, and everything about the outward man, de noting a careless desolation; but now they are to be found in good shoes and stockings, thickset breeches, a spruce waistcoat, and a strong grey coat. He goes the length of saying, that if the Legislature would be kind enough to give them a little breathing time, and not trouble their heads about the people of Ireland exclusively, and as distinguished from the rest of the empire, Ireland might do very well, and perhaps at no very distant period be as Protestant a kingdom as England herself; for a spirit of inquiry has
gone abroad among the people, which must ultimately terminate in the rejection of error, and in the embracing of truth.
Of the Catholic Association he speaks with as much disgust as Mr Canning can possibly experience on any subject his late solemn warning, not to treat -and laughs at Mr Brownlowe for its power and efforts with slight and He calls it a foul blotch on flesh we read of in the Levitical law, the Catholic body-like the red raw it is a plague of leprosy broken out of the bile; but like other noisome issues, it serves the office of a conduit to carry off the foul humours from all parts of the system. He justly sneers at the late Attorney-General's unsuccessful attempts to check Mr O'Connel's intemperance by prosecutionand at the threatened proceedings against that most contemptible creature Shiel. The folly of such men, he truly says, sufficiently defeats their wickedness. Ridicule is the best weapon against nonsense, and imbecility may safely be abandoned to contempt. The number of those amongst the influential Roman Catholics who approve of any of the measures of the Associa tion is not great; and even of those who give to it their names and subscriptions, there are many who would feel ashamed to sit in the assembly, and join in its proceedings. It is mournful, says he, that so respectable a man as Mr Brownlow can be so far misled as to give an ephemeral importance to a desperate band of brawling demagogues, by condescending to notice their existence :
"Is it possible the honourable gentleman has yet to learn that to talk of millions and of means of intimidation, is the sure way to disgust the English people altogether? England well knows she has a giant's strength, and so do the members
of the Association. Let them beware how
they provoke her to use it like a giant. whatever-imagine for a moment that Does Mr Brownlow-can any gentleman any man in Ireland, possessed of even rebellion, would embark in a scheme in means and brains enough to organize a which his every step should be steeped in crime and blood, and every vista closed by beggary or the gallows, and all for an idle dream of misnamed independence? I have, indeed, been assured, that the esoteric doctrines of these persons comprise the abrogation of the Union, the confiscation of church property, and the
restitution of forfeited estates, But if Mr Brownlow supposes the body of Ro man Catholics to concur in these sentiments, he entertains a much worse opinion of them than I do; and I cannot conceive how he reconciles it to his conscience to recommend their admission to political power. The worst enemy to the cause of the Catholics in Ireland could not do a greater injury to them than by puff. ing up the Association with the vain and preposterous idea that their brutum fulmen ought to be regarded, or ever will be regarded, as a good reason for granting Catholic Emancipation; on the contrary, it is obvious to every mau, who will take the trouble of looking calmly at the matter, that the trash uttered, day after day, in the meetings of the Association tends to cause the Catholic body to be looked upon not only with distrust, but with contempt."
The Roman Catholic Priesthood of Ireland comprises a body of men of whom the people of England are accustomed to hear much, and of whom they know very little. The partizans on one side of the question, quoth our friend, lower their voices when they speak of them, and hint at some dark and mysterious power possessed by the priests over the minds and consciences of the people-a power, say they, without limit and without control, which they are well disposed, at any moment, to turn to the worst purposes. By another class of politicians these same priests are held up as unexampled patterns of pious loyalty and suffering vir
"Now, in reality and truth, the Romish priests are a very common-place kind of men, with nothing wonderful about them. They are, for the most part, at the outset, persons who boast of some such birth and lineage as the children of a small farmer, or the keeper of a petty shop in a country town, may lay claim to; and being removed from the plough or the counter at sixteen or seventeen years of age, to Maynooth, or some other religious house, they spend four or five years in mastering a slender modicum of Greek and Latin, and in becoming partially acquainted with the writings of Thomas of Aquin, and some other authors of that stamp; and thus fortified against the fiery darts of false doctrine, heresy, and schism, they obtain deacons' orders at the age of twenty-one. So soon as they are fortunate enough to obtain an appointment to a curacy, they are entitled to the run of the parish priest's
house, a horse's keep, and a few pounds a-year to buy clothes.
"When at length the dignity of the parish priesthood is arrived at, they frequently become well enough off in worldly circumstances, and are sometimes to be met with at the table of a country gentleman. They are not fortunate, however, in their attempts to take the tone of good society; of this they retain some indistinct consciousness; and in the company of those of the better rank, Catholics, by the by, as well as Protestants, they endeavour, by a too great suppleness of manner, almost amounting to servility, to conciliate the favour they feel they cannot command. I think they are frequently well-meaning men, and I believe they often work very hard in the discharge of their clerical duties; but a man of large and enlightened understanding, of well-disciplined and highly cultivated mind, is very rarely to be met with among them.
"I have strong reason to believe, too, that the supposed influence of the priests In matters unconnected with religion or over their flocks is greatly over-rated. with politics, I certainly know it does example, who seems a coarse and simple not exist. The priest of our parish, for man, of small capacity for good or evil, holds some land at a low rent, of which he keeps a small portion in his own hands, and sub-lets the rest to other petty farmers; there is not a man in the parish whom his own tenants so shamefully cheat, or from whom his own workmen more joyfully pilfer. In fact, the priest is so little elevated above themselves in manners and mode of living, that they do not, and cannot, feel any very profound respect for him. It is true, however, that the nature of their religion is such as to give the priests & sort of influence in ecclesiastical matters over the ignorant of their flock, which to us Protestants' is wholly unintelligible; nor is it easy to understand how far this influence is purely ecelesiastical, though there is certainly a marked distinction between their sway in these and in temporal affairs. If, indeed, they were all as clever and designing as Dr Doyle, much might justly be apprehended from a body so capable of evil and so much inclined to it; but, in truth, they neither intend so much harm, nor could effect it if they did. As it is, the common people follow their direction in whatever concerns religion or Catholic Emancipation, and very little regard them in anything else; whilst the richer classes, for the most part, possess little more than what is called natu
ral religion, frequently despising those ministers whom they outwardly affect to reverence; and when the clergy are despised, the religion of which they are the teachers is necessarily very little regarded. At present, Roman Catholic priests are little better than a superior class of mendicants, subsisting on contributions levied, like the benevolences of old, frequently on a very reluctant people; and, indeed, one chief cause of the earnest desire sometimes evinced by the lower orders for what they call Emancipation, is the hope that they would thereupon be relieved from the exactions which are now wrung from them for the support of their priesthood, by the appropriation of government funds for that purpose. to their refusing such a provision, if made, whether in conjunction with Catholic Emancipation or not, that is quite out of the question. The Irish peasantry are so keenly alive to the value of the small portion of money they get into their possession, that I can assure you, were the priest to continue his demands upon it, while they were aware he refused to take the stipend which lay waiting for him at the treasury, he possesses no influence over their minds which would prevent them from expressing their opinion on the subject in a manner that would quickly bring him to his senses."
The rent of land in Ireland has been decidedly increasing during the last twenty years, independently of any adventitious circumstances, such as war-prices, or any other unnatural stimúlant. It is commonly asserted, that the utmost farthing which the land will afford is wrung from the tenantry; that only the minimum which will support existence is left to the cultivator of the soil, and that minimum in the lowest species of food, namely potatoes. Our author here points out a fallacy in this statement. It is true, he allows, that the cultivator gets much less from the land for himself than he should do; but it is not true that this evil arises from the landlord receiving too much. The real cause is, that the land is not made to produce nearly so much as it is capable of producing; and the rea! remedy is, not to reduce the rents, but to make the land produce more, by better cultivation and more judicious management. It is now an established fact, that lands in Ireland pay a much lower rent, in proportion to their real value, than lands in England do; that is, that the Irish landlord receives as
rent a smaller proportion of the crop his land is capable of producing than the English landlord does:
"However, the sticklers for Ireland's measureless misery enter a demurrer to our statement here, in these terms: True, it has been proved that land in Ireland pays less in proportion to its capability of producing than it does in England; but then, with reference to what it actually does produce, it pays a much larger proportion; and it is with this, and not with capabilities, which are never called into action, that the cultivator has to do; if his own share be insufficient, the misery to him is not a jot the less, because the rest is not all in the
pocket of the landlord, but partly there, and partly in the bosom of the earth.' Now, there is some truth in all this; but in whom lies the defect of the present state of things? Surely in the tenant, and not in the landlord: Surely the remedy must come from improving the tillage, not from diminishing the rent. In truth, the tillage has improved within the last dozen years, and that most amazingly; but there is yet room for immense further improvement, and the way to bring it about is to keep the rents high. I am here deliberately advising a line of conduct, on the part of the landed proprietors, which, if adopted without the accompaniment of any means of mitigating the hardships of the case, must needs be productive of a great deal of individual privation, even to misery; yet I do advise it even in this uncompromising shape, rather than not at all."
Our author says boldly, that the Irish peasantry must, and, under all ordinary circumstances, will, bear like men considerable hardship and privation a little longer, till they acquire some capital and farther skill in tillage, to place them on a level with the English farmer. For a sufficient number of farmers, who are possessed of both capital and skill, are now engaged in the cultivation of land in Ireland, to produce some degree of competition for ground, at a rate which only a superior degree of cultivation can afford, in addition to supporting the farmer as he ought to be supported; and it would be a very short-sighted and miserable sort of patriotism or humanity, which would induce a proprietor to set his lands at a low rate to bad cultivators, because they were ignorant of their business, and would till the land badly, rather than to others who could afford to pay him higher, for the
very reason that they would till his land better:
"My own personal experience teaches me, that in practice the effect is more frequently to retain the old occupant at an increased rent, than to introduce a
new one. The tenant is determined not to be forced out of his farm and outdone by the stranger, and therefore he offers more than the land is worth to him.
Many will assert that it is a very cruel proceeding of the landlord to take his additional money: I have no hesitation in affirming, that it is a great shame for him if he do not. The immediate consequence is, that the man suffers extreme privation; but the ultimate result is, that he becomes a better farmer. He knows that the stranger who offered the larger rent, would both make that rent out of the land and live well; with this conviction he struggles, and struggles successfully, to arrive at the same degree of perfection. It is very true, that if the land
lord be a gentleman, and still more if he be a Christian, he will not permit his tenant to suffer the extremity of want in the struggle, without interfering to relieve his necessity; but this is a matter totally distinct from the setting of his land. If we let our brother perish of cold or hanger, whilst we have clothes and food enough, and to spare, we shall assuredly fall under Father Lawlor's curse, and lie hot hereafter; but it is in nowise inconsistent with justice or humanity, so to dispose of our estates, that they may produce the utmost possible quantity of food to human beings, and of profit to ourselves."
The allusion to Father Lawlor's curse can only be understood from a little story, which we quote, as it tells truths on another important subject:
ensued: Well, Catty, did you get the blankets?'' Plase your honor, Father Lawlor laid me under a curse, if I wint to the ladies, an' I thought it better to bear wid the could lying here, nor to lie hot hereafter. After some farther parley to ascertain the truth of the facts, I promised her the blankets unconditionally. Oh, musha, musha, thin the heavens be your honor's bed,' was her prayer at parting, an' my blessin and the blessin of the widow be about you, and presarve you and yours from sin, sickness, and sorrow, I pray God.'"
"A poor blind old woman, or, as she called herself, a dark and desolate widow, who lived in our neighbourhood, came to me one day, to tell me that some pious ladies had offered her some warm blankets for the winter, which was then setting in, if she would undertake to attend the reading of the Scriptures and of prayers, which took place daily in their great hall, but, she added, that she was 'afeard' to go. I advised her by all means to take the blankets and the pray ers, as pleasant and profitable for her body and soul; but if she felt scruples of conscience, to obtain first the priest's permission, which I was sure he would not deny, considering the urgency of the case. Some days after, I met her begging, when this brief and pithy dialogue
In speaking of the relations between tenant and landlord, this gentleman says, that he feels and reasons as a resident proprietor of land. Of the systems of Middlemen and of the evils, or benefits arising from them, he has heard much, but knows nothing of them from his own knowledge. He has lived amongst men of property, who manage their estates by their own agents, and, as far as is possible, admit no other to intervene between themselves and the occupiers of the soil; who consult the well-being of their tenantry by personal attention to their condition, so far as is consistent with the other business of life which their station in society demands of them, and with the enjoyment of the pleasures to which they deem themselves fairly entitled by their rank and property.
It is necessary that we in Britain, when talking of rentals in Ireland, should advert to certain trifling differences in the measurement and cur rency of the two countries, which, although perfectly well known in the abstract, people let slip out of their memories when they see frightful statements printed, setting forth how small the farms are, and how large the rent. For example, when we hear that a particular individual has a farm in Ireland of thirty acres, for which he pays sixty pounds rent, we imagine he has but thirty acres, and that he does pay sixty pounds, whereas the words really mean that he has fortynine acres of land, and that he pays something less than fifty-five pounds eight shillings; that, in short, he really pays something less than twenty-three shillings an acre, and not two pounds an acre for his land. Now, this difference in measurement and currency not only enters into all calculations made previously to January