Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

miracle greater than restoring a young, all nations but their own as barbarous, or even an old, lady to health. To so naturally is it for people to admistrengthen the feeble, to make the nister to their own vanity at the bed-rid walk, to extract pains from expense of their neighbours ! Ireland rheumatic joints, are substantivegoods, has been peculiarly unfortunate in and they are injurious to no one; but this respect; for, even at the time to dry the swampy earth, and with, when banished Science found there hold the torrent, are much more im- an asylum and a congenial home, the portant exertions of power; and they barbarians of Europe looked upon her may operate very differently to dif- inhabitants as uncivilized. Anaferent persons, giving plenty to some, stasius, the librarian of the Roman and withdrawing abundance from see, called the learned Johannes others, according to the several crops Scotus a barbarian because he was a and soils that diversify the land. native of Hibernia ; and Tasso, in his

If we refer to the past, we find the 'Jerusalem Delivered,'in enumerating Protestants as fond of miracles as the those nations who sent auxiliaries to Catholics. They had their voice in the Holy War, mentions even the unthe wall' in the time of Mary; and civilized Irish. The same language Doctor Maxwell, Bishop of Kilmore, continụes to the present hour, but no describes the ghosts of the Protestants where is it so prevalent as in England drowned at Portadown bridge as and Scotland. The · Edinburgh Re' sometimes having been seen day view' describes the Irish as savage, and and night walking upon the river; seems to have borrowed the epithet sometimes brandishing their naked from a cotemporary Scot, who says, swords ; sometimes singing psalms, they are " the most ignorant, beand at other times shrieking in a nighted, suvage, and brutal peasantry most hideous and fearful manner in the world. Mr. Black, of the

In the minor departments of su- • Morning Chronicle,' attributes the perstition the English and Scotch barbarism of the Irish to agriculture, are certainly nothing inferior to the and every newspaper of the day is Irish. Our readers, no doubt, remem- continually harping on the barbarism ber the account of the Glasgow witch, of Ireland. given in the newspapers a few days As we do not recollect to have ever back; and, at the last session in Dor- seen civilization defined, it is impossetshire, a man and his wife were sible to say what is or is not barbaconvicted of wounding Elizabeth rous; but Ireland, compared with the Parsons, whom they accused of killing, other nations of Europe, is certainly by her art, six horses and a fat pig, civilized. Sir Francis Burdett says, Neither is superstition confined to next to the French, they are the most remote districts : it abounds in the polished people in Europe; and the metropolis, where such is the credu- other day he called them docile and lity of the people, that it carries them respectful. Every stranger, who has into scenes the most revolting. We visited them, acknowledges their have ourselves more than once seen shrewdness and curiosity, and crowds females on the platform of the gal- of testimonies establish their moral lows, while the executioner passed and religious feelings. To call these the dead man's hand over their neck, people, therefore, barbarous, is an that operation being considered a abuse of terms; and we challenge cure for wens. The police reports their maligners to adduce a single bear ample testimony to the existence proof in support of their common of fortune-tellers; and no later than assertion. If they refer to Whitethe 5th of March last the following boyism, we deny their inference ; for, advertisement appeared in the Times if that is an evidence of barbarism, it newspaper:

is equally applicable to England and "A child's caul to be sold: the

e Scotland. The disturbance in the price asked for it is fifteen pounds!'.

O south of Ireland, like the statue of

Janus, is made, from selfish motives, After this, we again say, let us to wear a double face. The Orangehear no more of Irish superstition. men adduce it as a proof of the

Barbarism. - The Romans described intractable nature of popery under a

Protestant government, and the Ca- contains a population less than that of a tholic aristocracy as an instance of small Irish county, exhibited from June to the impolicy of penal laws. Both April last fifteen homicides; and yet it enthese are wrong; for Whiteboyism is joys a special corps of gens d'arms, as Ireland nothing more than a rural combina- does her constables. — (Times, April 29, tion, similar to combinations among

1824.) In other countries, and in England English artisans, and for precisely

not less than elsewhere, homicides and the same purpose-the advantage of

plundering often proceed from sordid rathe combinators. It commenced first

pacity, from the meanest and most des

picable passions - they are robbers turned in the North, and has continued in

assassing. But murders in Ireland are the South, because the causes in which connected with rights violated, power it originated have been perpetuated in abused, authority perverted. The outrages that province; namely, systems inju- of the Irish are the re-action of intense rious to the poorer peasantry. At and reiterated enormities; of conquest and present we have not room to enter spoliation, civil and ecclesiastical; of a at large in proof of this statement; new church and an idle clergy, consuming but whoever examines the question the income of the original priesthood, and impartially will come to the conclu

the industry of a mighty population ;-of sions we advance. Occasionally.White- laws, vexatious and unjust, administered boyism may, though we are not apo

i partially, and still more iniquitous in their

execution than their enactment. Even now aware of it, have been mixed up with politics, as Radicalism

in magistrates are convicted of converting

was, some the worst laws to their own fell purpose, years ago, blended with all the pros and policemen are arraigned amongst the ceedings of manufacturers; but that. most daring criminals. Amidst all these greater atrocities, or acts of greater provoking horrors, war-rents are exacted, barbarism, have been committed by and tithes are increased as prices decline the Munster peasantry than by the tithes are increased without any return British workmen, we deny. Compare of service, and rack rents levied by the the judicial proceedings in Ireland underlings of absentees, to be wasted in a with the evidence given before the

foreign land. The excesses of the Irish Committee on the combination laws,

arise from conquest--conquest repeated,

conquest continued — according to the and say, which indicate more deter

er- Spanish proverb, the thread leads to the mined wickedness, or extensive de- ball.' pravity? The proceedings in Munster are blazoned forth with the utmost And elsewhere he saysindustry, not unfrequently fabri. I deny that the Irish are barbarous, cated, and always exaggerated; while or uncivilized in these or in any other we scarcely hear any thing of the sense ; they are most social, free from linumber of unfortunate creatures who tigiousness, * apt for instruction, and Homer have had life extinguished or made considers indisposition to learn charactermiserable from the effects of vitriol istic of the savage and uncouth. The thrown in their face by combinators. people of Ireland honoured song when it The English journalists are really

communicated knowedgevery absent; for, while they are ad “ For civil life was by the Muses taught ;" ducing Marshal Rock in proof of Irish and they loved song when it added harbarbarism, they forget the Notting- mony to social life. If it be barbarous to ham Captain, and frame-breaking, oppress the weaker sex, who so civilized some years ago. Whiteboyism, in as the Irishman, who is romantically galfact, has existed as long in England lant ?—while, in meeting and parting with as in Ireland, though its operations man or woman, his words express a hearthave been directed to different ends.

felt affection, that fantastic chivalry never

attained. Who suffers the accidents of • Foreign or domestic, past or present,' fortune with more temper? His resignasays our author,' Ireland exhibits compara- tion is Socratic. Who more charitable? tive obedience under its multiplied oppres- None. Campion said of them, in 1571, sion. Corsica, which was conquered by “great'almsgivers, passing in hospitality ;" France, as Ireland by England, and which and they are still the same in affection

* There is a Palaver House in every African village. The Africans are so fond of legal disputes, that their country still deserves the reputation of being nutricula causje dicorum.

and generosity--the sun shines not on a no means favourable to the Irish more benevolent people, por on a more character :forgiving. They want galt to supply

Laugh at me as you may, I cannot but what one old divine called wholesome ani.

think that there is, among the lower mosity to the eternal enemies of their

orders of Irish, a delicacy of feeling which country.

is not generally to be met with in the same Immorality. - Here we challenge

rank in England. It is not-it cannot be inquiry, satisfied that it must termi-,

refinement; for, on that point, we dare not nate in acknowledging the Irish the enter into rivalship with you; but, if it be most moral people on the globe. We not refinement, it

not refinement, it certainly very much remake no exceptions, and defy contra- sernbles it, and produces the same effect diction. There is,' says the “ Morning upon the manners. There is a laughing, Chronicle," "a great paucity of English blushing modesty about the young women, crime.' We scarcely hear of a high- which is pleasing from its very artlessness; way robbery in Ireland, and stealing

and which, in the upper ranks, affectation is of rare occurrence, notwithstanding

often seeks in vain to imitate. There is, the unsettled state of the country,

too, a degree of decency, a personal re

serve, which I have never met with in tho Compare,' says our author, the cri. minal state of the two countries : in Eng. Hi hlu

English peasant.' - Letters from the Irish land, those committed from 1810 to 1817 amounted to 47,950, and from 1817 to Idleness.--This charge is so absurd, 1844, to 93,000; and what was Mr, Peel's that we shall not attempt to add any answer? That the commitments were de- thing to the reasoning of our author. clining, being in 18!9 14,224, and 1843, It is said that the Irish are idle ; and 19,263.-(Times, June 10, 1824.) Compare what people in bondage, from the these and the calendar of Ireland, and re- Jews in Egypt, to the negroes in the mark the offences charged as crimes in West Indie

West Indies, ever gratified their taskthis penal land. In 1823, in eight counties on which the insurrection act had

inasters? But it is false that the been inflicted, 1,707 men were imprisoned ;

Irisli are idle. Could they pay such 971, or a sixth, were convicted and 75,

rents, tithes, and imposts, where or a fourth of that sixth. were vunished. there is little capital or encourageand their crime was, being out of their ment, and where the greater part of houses between sunset and sunrise in the produce is transmitted to absenwinter.'

tees, and be idle? There is, besides, According to the third report of direet evidence for the intensity of the Committee appointed to inquire their exertions. In a report of a into the state of the police of the committee of the House of Commons, metropolis, out of three parishes published last year, it is stated, that in the city of London, consisting of the Irish people are most anxious to 9,924 houses, and 59,050 inhabitants, work; that they worked for the smallthere were 360 brothels and 2000 est pittance--for mere subsistence; eommon prostitutes, thus making and that, when able to obtain labour every 28th house a inoral nuisance, by contract, they frequently exert and every 58th woman a street-walker. themselves to the injury of their Lest we should be eonsidered as in- health. Such are they at home, while vidious, we shall not quote from a late in England they mix in every occureport on the poor-laws, respecting pation during the harvest, replenish feinale chastity in the country parts the manufactories of Glasgow, Manof England, as the following paragraph ehester, &c. with able hands, and in frono the Cheltenham Journal' will London they outdo the severest serve our purpose.

drudges. Passing abroad, they gwell On Thursday last, a woman was ex- the tide of industry and enterprise in hibited for sale in this town; but being the United States; and in the newconsidered a “bad lot," po purchaser was born countries of the South, in the found for such a bargain, and she was second and third generation after their driven home, with other unsaleable stock, exile, they, with O'Higgins, confirm (it being market-day,) unsold.'

liberty and the republic, The chastity of Irish females is Poverty..! The Irish peasantry, proverbial ; and, in proof of the de- respecting lodging and food,' says licacy of the poorer classes, we Mr. Ensor, ‘have been misrepresented. quote the following from a work by One would really imagine, in reading

VOL. 1.-No.3.

U

accounts concerning them, that they that the Irish peasantry hare more were lower in the scale of being than pleasurable enjoyment than the Engthe people of the Andaman islands, or fish; and that, for one who has not a the wild boy caught at Caune in sufficiency of wholesome food in that France, who preferred nakedness and island, scores die of starvation in the acorns to the best clothing and the metropolis of the British empire.' greatest luxuries. Indeed, it would A little more prudence among the appear from some hasty sketches, that peasantry would render a failure of the native Irish resembled certain the potatoe crop impossible; and a toads, whose skins, according to na- little more care and management turalists, split longitudinally, at which would render their habitations much time the animal pulls off half his more comfortable than the crowded coat with one foot, which delivers it abodes of the English labourers, where to the other, and this to the mouth. half a dozen families are often thrust Having devoured this portion, the into one house. Mr. Ensor is not other half suffers the same process, correct in stating that rents are higher which is swallowed also, the coat of in Ireland than England; the reverse, the last year thus furnishing a repast considering the acreable difference, for the present.'

being the case, while the one has to Our author, however, seems to pay rates and taxes unknown to the fall into the general opinion respecting other. But this is a question of ariththe poverty of the Irish; and liere we metical computation, and does not deare obliged to differ with him. The pend upon this or that opinion. An Irish farmers, merchants, and manu- estimate of produce and rent will imfacturers, compared with those of Eng- mediately show that, with common land, are certainly poor; but wealth is industry, the Irish peasant can be ina relative term, and must be estimated dependent and comfortable. This is by place and circumstances. Capital the only way of arriving at the truth, is not so deficient in Ireland as has and not by examining witnesses bebeen supposed, and the absence of fore committees of parliament; most manufactures can easily be accounted of whom know as little about the for from other causes than want of state of the people as they do about money. It is not, however, denied, the condition of the inhabitants of the but that shopkeeping in Ireland is Mogul Empire. On looking over a quite as lucrative as in England ; and late report, we were astonished at the the whole onus of the charge of po- want of inforrhation evinced by naverty is laid on the peasantry. That tives of Ireland. We are aware how thousands in Ireland are in abject po- much may be owing to the influence verty we don't mean to deny ; but to of religion; but, when we find a whole the statement that the whole of the people honest, moral, and cheerful, Irish peasantry are in a state of famine we cannot believe them to be living in or misery we give an unqualified con- protracted misery; for we are intradiction. In no nation of the world clined to think, with Junius, that an is poverty an exotic; and the poor of extremely poor man, whatever may be Ireland, compared with those of Eng- his religion, is seldoin honest, and we land, are assuredly not miserable. In know he is never eheerful. the latter, a million souls, at least, sub- Having now, as far as our limits sist every day in the year on the poor- would permit, defended the people of rates; and we perfectly agree with Ireland from the imputations of their the author of a recent pamphlet, enti- enemies and the admissions of their tled • Plain Truths,' that those who friends, we cannot conclude without talk of the extreme wretchedness of earnestly recommending the work bethe Irish peasantry do not know fore us to the perusal of our readers. them. "Let me not,' says he, · be Mr. Ensor's style, though nervous, is charged with speaking paradoxically, not the most pleasing. He diwhen I say (and I say it upon a long verges too often from the subject imand intiniate acquaintance with the mediately before him, and, in his eagerpeople) that, except when a rare fail. ness to multiply facts and proofs, ure of the potatoe crop occasions real creates some confusion. This, howfainine in the country, I do believe ever, is of very minor consideration, compared with the extent of his in- the less sorry in not being able to formation and cogency of argument. give any extracts from this part, as Every page bears evidence of his ex- the oppressive nature of tithes and tensive learning, pure patriotism, and church monopoly is without a single genuine liberality. His pamphlet is advocate, while its apologists are to be divided into three parts. Of the first found only in Blackwood's Magazine,' we have made ample use. The se- and the Quarterly Review.' Respectcond is an abstract of Irish history, ing the Union, we shall, at present, say apparently suggested by · Captain nothing, for that measure deserves a Rock's Memoirs :' and the third details separate consideration. the great evils of Ireland. We are

THE HERMIT IN IRELAND.-90. III. THE BURIAL SCENE. never-dying topic, the weather; and a • Come,' said my friend, as we few disputing, in an under tone, as to hurried down stairs,' there is no time the distance which we had to travel. to be lost; the funeral starts at one, Scarfs and hatbands were distributing, and, if we delay, we shall probably and the knowing ones were busy in miss the seats that have been reserved securing them : among those who for us. We moved briskly on, and, were most eager in the work, three after turning through three or four or four were particularly pointed out narrow streets, reached the door of to me as regular “funeral-hunters ;' the · House of Mourning. Had we characters who, on the strength of a been at all astray as to the place, it slight acquaintance with the dead, or would have been easily pointed out to with the relatives of the dead, venus; a horde of idlers thronged the tured, uninvited, to those houses spot; the plume-crowned hearse where there was any expectation of stood there in solemn dignity, and the what is termed givings out.' On the attendant carriages were busily ga- present occasion these folks had no thering : these would have served at cause to complain. One of them, any time as an indication of what was I believe, missed the scarf and the going on. The person whose remains hatband; but, if he was unfortunate we were now about to remove from in that point, he had an excellent opamong the living had been the wife portunity of consoling himself for the of a wealthy shopkeeper. She had foss. A large sideboard stood at the been lingering for two or three years; lower end of the room, and was lithe physicians had, from nearly the terally sinking beneath the weight of beginning, declared her case to be saffron-cakes, and decanters filled hopeless; and what strengthened this with various sorts of wine. Those opinion still more was, that she cheering ornaments of the sideboard seemed thoroughly aware of it here were not allowed to remain there unself. All this had, in soine ineasure, disturbed. It was approaching the prepared her friends for the last me- hour of lunch, and there were many lancholy trial. The approach of the quite ready for the call. One gentle. • grim destroyer' had been antici- man ‘would taste the wine, just to pated ; and when he came at last his set an example;' another had made presence did not produce the effect but a very darny breakfast, and he that is common under other circum- would try a small slice of the cake, stances. This accounted to me also with a couple of glasses of the sherry, for the air of ease, I might almost say to keep the wind from his stomach ;' gaiety, which pervaded the room that a third refused, but took care afterhad been set apart for the reception wards to let himself be prevailed on. of the · funeral folk. A number of There were few who remained with persons were assembled, and they lips entirely dry, at least I took care were chatting in the most careless not to be among the number. manner about ordinary matters ; some We were at length told that the of them talking over the news of the hearse was about to move, and we morning, others descanting on that all, of course, prepared to accompany

« AnteriorContinuar »