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would amply repay him for all the pains arid penalties of authorship.
The account of the Dublin House of Industry confirms us in Mi opinion, which we have long entertained, and which cannot be more concisely expressed than in the words of our judicious countryman Dr Gray *, ' Fields of industry are - better than houses of industry.' What avail houses of industry, and orphan houses, and parish schools, to mend the morals of the people of DuWin, when in one street alone there are fifty-two houses licensed to sell spirits! * That a revenue derived from such a source should be an object worthy of encouragement, it is impossible to believe,' says Mr Carr. 'It might as well impose a tax upon coffins, and inoculate all its subjects with the plague.'
The chief part of the information in Mr Carr's book, is comprised in the last chapter, entitled, * General Remarks.' Amongst other serious topics, he there adverts to the state of education in Ireland. Upon this subject he speaks liberally, though in rather too high-flown language.
'Education,' fays he, ' has never beamed on the poor Irilh.man; fentiments of honour have never been inllilled into him ; and a fp'rit of juft and focial pride, improvement and enterprize, have never opened upon him. The poor Irifhman looks around him, and fees a frightful void between him and thofe who, in well regulated communities, ought to be feparated from each other only by thofe gentle (hades of colouring that unite the brown ruflet to the imperial purple. He has no more power of raifing hirnfelf, than an eagle whofe wings have been half (horn of their plumage. The legiflature has rarely noticed him but in anger,—when that ignorance, which it has never (looped to remove, has precipitated him into acts incompatible with focial tranquillity, and repugnant to his nature.'
We learn with great satisfaction, that since the above was written, a Board of Education has been appointed in Ireland, composed of men of character, talents, rank, fortune and popularity. From their united efforts, their country has much to expect. They are to inquire into the state of the schools in Ireland; and we hope that they will endeavour to establish a good system of instruction for the lower classes of the people. By instruction, we do not mean merely reading, writing, and arithmetic; in these, if we have not been misinformed, the lower Irish are sufficiently well taught, even in their ftedge-schoels, (which, by the by, might with more propriety be called ditch* schools.) In arithmetic, especially, the boys are said to be wonderfully expert. We are told that, in a great public charity in
D 3 Dublin,
* EfTential Principles of the Wealth of Nations illuftrated, &c.
Dublin, and in parts of Armagh, writing and arithmetic have been long since taught by Mr Lancaster's method. The Irish learn, whatever they wish to learn, quickly, and with the greatest facility. But it is in moral instruction that they are deficient; and to raise a demand for this, and to administer it properly, are the great difficulties. It will be no easy task to breed up children to have totally different habits and principles from their parents, without destroying that filial and parental affection, which is the great bond of society, and without which no national education can be fundamentally good or permanent. It will be no easy task to change the associations of pleasure, pride and mirth, which the Irish children early form with the ideas of cheating, stealing, prevaricating and lying. To convince their understandings that honesty is the best policy, and that their duty to God and their neighbour is likewise their duty to themselves, might be easily accomplished; but the moral demonstration would have no more effect on their conduct, than any of the demonstration* of the missionaries at Otaheite, unless their associations and habits were changed by some strong or constant motives.
To substitute the sturdy pride of plain-dealing, for the delight of successful cunning, must be a work of time, especially where the people are, from their poverty and subordinate situation, continually tempted to deceive; and where party-politics and religious prejudices incline a vast proportion of the population to consider the remainder as fair game for flattery and deception. We agree with Mr Carr in the manly opinion which he has well expressed, that
'Nothing but a frank and liberal fyftem of education, which fhall be wholly free from the fufpicio.n of aiming at religious converfion, diredlly or indirectly, can promote the great object of enlightening the poorer claflcs of fociety in Ireland.'
All our author says about proseh/tism is excellent; we consider it asby far the most valuable part of the book; and from ' a stranger in Ireland,' we hope that it will not shock any individuals, but that it may produce its just effect upon the good sense of all parties. Mr Carr pays a tribute, and, as we are assured, a well merited tribute of approbation to the ladies of Ireland, for their benevolent indefatigable exertions to improve the education of the poor children in their country. He mentions several wellconducted schools under the patronage, and, what is much better than the patronage, under the daily superintendance, of ladies in every respect qualified for the task. From these schools we may reasonably hope salutary and immediate effects. From a board of education we can expect only well digested plans, which, if steadily pursued, may in time produce a general change in the
habits habits of the people. We hope that it will not be thought to arise from national partiality, if we advert to the state of education in our own country, and if we say that Ireland may look with advantage to North Britain, for an example of the success "which rewards the labour and expense bestowed on national instruction.
Our author writes judiciously against eleemosynary education. He justly observes, that it would be better to accept of sixpence per annum as payment, than to offer instruction gratis: in all countries, and particularly in Ireland, the pride of parents and children would revolt from the idea of suing for education in forma pauperis. This is an honest pride, for which nothing half so good can be substituted by charity or ostentation. We hope, as Mr Carr does, that the poor laws and poor rates of England may never be introduced into Ireland.
Page 5.19.—Mr Carr has fallen into one of those common prejudices, which usually ensnare the hunter after popular discontents. He inveighs bitterly against a race of farmers, who have obtained the name of Middlemen, from their holding an interest in lands between the proprietor and the terre-tenant. Every tyro in political economy, who has read Smith's Wealth of Nations, should know the utility of factors in all mercantile transactions. And in what does a middleman differ from a factor? He collects the value of the produce, and pays it to a land merchant at home, or exports it to a land merchant abroad. A nobleman or gentleman, who lets land for one, or for several years, does nothing more than sell raw materials to a manufacturer; and the middleman is a merchant or factor, who buys the raw material wholesale, and retails it to the workman. When this process is omitted, the landlord is obliged to employ deputies or agents, who are not connected with the under tenant by any common tie of interest. The agent's business is to collect the growing income at stated periods, and in as short a time as possible. He either goes or sends a clerk on a certain day to receive the rents of an estate. Whoever is not ready on the appointed day, is distrained. Upon a second failure, the tenant is ejected; a new one is easily procured; and after every thing which the tenant possessed has been disposed of, an increase of rent, sufficient to liquidate the former loss, is added to the new bargain. Thus, the agent is a greater oppressor than the middleman. Where middlemen are interposed, the profit made by the agent falls to their share. It is true, that they let the lands at the highest price; but they must bear the, loss, if the tenant fails; and knowing this, they are interested in every loss or gain that happens to
D 4 'their their subtenant. The middleman is, like the doctor, desirous of gain; but it is never his interest to destroy the patient. Whereever large capital is deficient, the system of middlemen must prevail. In the time of Jack Cade's rebellion, the same complaint against monopolizers of lands was the watch-word of his adherents; and so late as the reign of Elizabeth, there was a similar cry in England against engrossing farms. But till capital has been collected by numbers, numbers cannot enter into competition for farms: the large capitalists alone can stock them; and the under tenants must be dependent upon such farmers for the small portions of land, which, in Ireland, supply them with the means of existence. Our author despatches, in two sentences, that great question in political economy, what is the best food for the poor? We shall here only put in our caveat against the peremptory manner in which it is decided. Whoever has seriously considered the subject, and has read what has been written by Malthus on population, and by Selkirk on emigration, will not lighly hazard a decision. The Irishman's reply to Mr Carr's inquiry into the cause of the great population of Ireland, deserves a serious investigation. * By Jasus, Sir, it's all the potato.'
Either we are misinformed, or Mr Carr is strangely mistaken with regard to the average price of labour in Ireland, which he states at 18d. per day. This appeared such an extraordinary assertion, that we were at the trouble of looking over the whole book to verify our reference, which at last we found (page 505.) In our search, we discovered the cause of his mistake. He had learned (page 419), that the price of labour, near Cork, is 16d. or 18d., which is certainly not a high rate in the neighbourhood of the second city in Ireland; but to call this the average price of labour through the kingdom is a gross error. Such careless assertions we deem most unpardonable blunders; because they mislead all who attempt to reason upon such false data. For instance, how could Malthus himself reconcile the wretchedness of superabundant population with such high wages of labour, and such low price of provisions, as Mr Carr has stated? We are well assured, that the average wages of labour in Ireland do not amount to half the sum which he has mentioned, Those who make a tour through a country, see objects in a new, and often in a more entertaining point of view, than persons whose long residence in the country have rendered most objects familiar; but, on certain points, we can hope to obtain accurate information from those only who have lived in the country, and who, in their political and economical observations, have taken fime into the account.
Mr Carr has, with much address, evaded the discussion of many questions on which parties run high in Ireland; by this policy he probably hopes to be favourably judged by both sides. But it should not be the prime object of a man of talents to steal into popularity: his pride should be, to stand forward in the cause of truth, to do his utmost to serve his fellow-creatures, disdaining the clamours of ignorance and prejudice, secure of his reward from the good and wise *, or, if disappointed of this honest fame, able to rest satisfied with his own approbation. There is a fashion amongst many well-meaning timid persons, of avoiding to speak upon what are called dangerous subjects; as if the danger were created by inquiring into the means of defence; or as if it could be dissipated by pretending that it does not exist. Talk of danger, and it will appear,—seems to be the maxim of this childish superstition.
Every body knows, that there have been insurrections and rebellions in Ireland: that, in 1796, nothing but the dispersion of the French fleet by a storm saved that kingdom from conquest: that, in 1798, the plot by which the city of Dublin was to have been revolutionized, was not discovered or counteracted, till a few hours before the moment appointed for its execution: that, in the same year, an inconsiderable French force effected an invasion of Ireland, were joined by numbers of the natives, and penetrated to the centre of the island: that, in 1803, a nobleman, high in office, and of most respectable character, was assassinated in the metropolis; and that, by this premature murder, in which the rabble indulged themselves contrary to the wishes and orders of their leaders, the plan of another insurrection was disconcerted.
But these are things of which the timid will not speak, and of which the foolhardy will not think. The rash do yet more mischief in politics than the timorous: they will not suffer you to believe that danger ever exists, notwithstanding the most alarming symptoms; and they consider it as a proof pf want of courage, or want of loyalty, to suspect, that things which have been so lately, may recur.
e Ireland,' fay they, ' is now perfectly quiet; and it is ridiculous and wicked to fuppofe, that it will ever again be in a ftate of difturbance. There have been Thralhers, to be fure, within thefe few months in that kingdom; but thefe were hontft, poor, ignorant fellows, who had no bad deligns: they collected in large bodies, to be fure, went about at night armed, to adminifter unlawful oaths; but the Thrafhers' oath was merely not to pay tithes to proctors, and to obey Captain' Thraftier; but nobody knew who this captain was, fo that the oath l^aa of no coofequence. And thofe who refufed to take it, were only