Imagens das páginas

vels as Clarissa Harlowe' and · Ned that our letter-writers, with the help of Evans,' the meagre sentimentality of ‘Rees’s Cyclopædia,' have been three which is borrowed to shed its ragged years in Cunnemarra without maksplendour on the · Letters from the ing some notable discoveries in those Irish Highlands.'

hitherto unexplored regions. They One or two allusions, indeed, in these have found that ‘A person unused to Letters,' are of a feminine cast; but as live entirely upon potatoes finds them the style, if style it may be called, is the unpalatable in the morning; but, when same in all, we suppose this was only a custom has once overcome this disgust, ruse de guerre to veil at once the I really believe there is no food more discrepancy in the sentiments and the wholesome and nutritious ;' that shoes insidiousness of the motives; thinking, and stockings would be very inconin all probability, that criticism would venient to women crossing bogs, and be disarmed of its terrors when re- that men who labour in the fields minded that the offenders were of that are never without them; that some cotamiable sex who are privileged to talk tages, even in Cunnemarra, are neat, and write more nonsense than critics and others dirty; that some are very can find leisure either to hear or read. poor, and others not very rich; that Against gallantry, therefore, we do not boys and girls love dancing; and that consciously sin ; and if, contrary to our the most miserable (according to serious opinion, there should be ladies their ideas of misery) are contented concerned, let them not impute blame to and cheerful. us,but wring their pretty hands at being If the reader finds nothing novel found in such disreputable company. in this we can't possibly help it:

These · Letters' were written from we have carefully read over the fortythat fag-end of Ireland known to out- nine · Letters'; and, if there is nothing laws by the name ofCunnemarra, where new in the foregoing, we are ready to the authors have, if you believe them, confess that there is nothing new in the an estate, (middlemen, we suppose, be- volume. The object has been,' says tween Dick Martin and his constitu- the preface, “to present to view the ents) a comfortable slate house, though details of domestic life, to open the the floor is rather damp,and Rees'sCy- door of the lowly cabin, to portray clopædia,' by the help of which they the habits and manners of its neglectcould not teach ‘Long Tom' to catch à ed inmates, and preserve the memory whale with his little herring-boat (p. of facts, which, although not worthy 167). If ever Messrs. Longman and Co. to become matters of history, are yet should be inclined to publish another of intrinsic value in the delineation of edition of the Doctor's useful work, national character.' we would recommend them to procure Not being in the secret, we can't prethe authors before us to furnish a tend to say how inany lowly doors description of Cunnemarra, where the they have opened, or how many singular phenonemon occurs of the sun sketches of character repose in their rising some time after morning, and port-folio ; but we can safely aver where- -But hear the letter-wri- that their volume contains nothing ters:-Conceive us, then,with a party new-nothing which has not been alof wild mountaineers, embarked upon ready known-falsehoods and factswaters of which we know nothing; both to the people of England and (they didn't want to taste them, we Ireland, through the medium of books suppose ;) the night so dark that we much cheaper, and quite as respectacould scarcely see the bow of the boat, ble, aš the work before us, though and yet so beautifully clear, that the this bears the impress of Albemarle mountains on each side were distinct- Street. Indeed, so meagre is its inly visible when contrasted with the formation, and uninteresting its destar-dotted (quite poetical) firmament tails, that we are quite sure the above. Quere: Was this confusion of dullest bookmaker in London would, light and darkness atributable to the with the help of Arthur Young, waters, of which they knew nothing, or Wakefield, Edgworth, and a few to the genial influence of the moun. others, compile a volume on Ireland tain dew upon their optics ?

every whit as accurate, and much Let it not, however, be supposed more readable ; for three-fourths of

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

these · Letters' are mere hear-says, and self, and injurious to others. The anecdotes which, long since, have present work is one of those which found their way into the Spirit of should not be allowed to pass the Irish Wit.'

cordon sanitaire, and for this reason We know Dick Martin's kingdom, we have laid our injunction upon it. for we too have been in Cunnemarra, The writers affect peculiar conseand have spent some days in admiring quence in their own country, pretend the splendid scenery of that neglected to great candour,assume a philosophic wilderness, where Nature has been im- tone when they are uttering strange passioned in her creations, where ex- nonsense, and have come before the panded lakes seem but to serve as British public, in a genteel garb, from mirrors to reflect the face of moun- the shop of Mr. Murray. All these tains, and where all is irregular,grand, are certain passports to favour; the and sublime. We should suppose it superficial reader will swallow their impossible for the merest blockhead hear-say stories for facts ; and thus to dwell for any length of time amid old and long-since refuted calumnies such a scenery without growing fan- will be renewed, while the moral ciful--without blending some of that jaundice will, in some eyes, tinge wild imagery which every where met every thing Irish with a forbidden his eye into his language—and giving hue. The public are not to blame, his readers, if he could write, some for even the critics have fallen into faint idea of the works of Nature where the snare; and this volume has she has been more than ordinarily been, as yet, lauded by all who have productive of her wonders. But we noticed it. And for what? for statehave sought in vain, in these · Letters, ments which we shall presently show for descriptions of local scenery; and to be a little worse than nonsense though a great portion of the book to be invidious falsehoods,-falseis taken up with travels, journeys, and hoods gravely sent forth to the world voyages, and though the names of on the word of some garrulous gossip, mountains, rivers, and lakes, crowd in whose habitual propensity to vilify every page, yet we have no descrip- and misrepresent his country and tions-at least no description that con- countrymen has made them both veys to us any notion of the object de- abroad what they ought not to bescribed. The task was evidently one things of contempt and scorn. The beyond the ability of the writers. ignorance evinced on this occasion

Deficient, however, as the work is, by the London critics is really inboth in accuracy and talent, it is cal- excusable; for the statements they çulated to do much mischief. An extracted have long since been fully appetite, a longing, for accounts of and ably refuted by English writers, Ireland and Irishmen, has lately been with whose works they ought to generated in England. John Bull, at have been acquainted if they had length, will placidly listen to a de- read the books they have criticised. scription of that country-peruse a The evil we complain of will hencepamphlet, without yawning, written forth cease; Ireland shall be no on Catholic affairs and allow the longer misrepresented with impunity, equanimity of his temper to be ruffed nor England duped without detection. at hearing of local oppressions, Works of dark shadowing,' like the Orange outrages, and judicial delin- volume before us, we shall touch with quency. He hates popé and popery, our Ithuriel spear, and reveal their to be sure ; but his justice predomi- hidden deformities; expose the quacknates over his prejudice; he pities the ery of those who write on Irish affairs poor papists, admires their patience, without ever having crossed the Chanand has almost learned to advocate nel; and show up the learned critics their cause. This temper is to be who comment on bogs without having encouraged; but, as he is yet only im- ever sat at a turf fire, and condemn perfectly informed respecting the on. illicit distillation without having ever ject of his recent attachment, all sur- tasted potheen. reptitious aliment is to be carefully Throughout the volume there is a withheld, lest he imbibes notions at restless anxiety to find fault with the variance with truth, dangerous to him- Catholic clergy; and for this purpose


we are told several anecdotes of their or the ague le said that he had neither the opposing · proselyting schools of faver or the ague. Whosoever shall keep their refusing the rites of the church these words in mind or in righting skall neto those who were too poor to pay

ver have the faver or ague. Be the hearthem, which if true, subjected them

ers Blessed. Be the Believers Blessed. to ecclesiastical censure—and of one

Be the name of our Lord god Amen.

Cy. Toole. of them who, very naturally, quarrelled with an intolerable buckeen the Lord's Prayer in as curious a style of

• On the other side of the paper is written for locking him out of his chapel, spelling; and after it a great number of Passing over all these as scattered initial letters, apparently all by the same stars that light the path of bigotry, Hand, and probably essential to the charm. we come, at length (p. 114), to the Instead of being edified, you are, I doubt following:

not, as much grieved and disgusted with •The priest is often called in to perform actual appearance of this pious cheat.

the description as I was with the a sort of exorcism on those whose disor; Yet, may we not hope that, by exposing ders are supposed to arise from spiritual such in the broad day-light of reason, we agency; and, with respect to such posses- lend a helping

hand towards their gộadual sion, our people entertain very wild and wonderful notions. They have an idea of extirpation? If the dread of ridicule has seeing what they call their “fetch;" some

already driven them into the remotest coraerial being or other, who appears to give ners of the land, is it not to be hoped that them warning of their approaching death. effectually destroy the influence of all such

better motives may, ere long, still more Such an apparition, you may readily con

false and dangerous deceit ? ceive, often precedes an attack of illness, of which, however, it may happily prove to

Pshaw! there's insidious have been the worst symptom. I remem- sense for you! A priest called in to ber hearing a story of the kind from a poor perform exorcisms! mad priests, man, whose son, while working in the

we suppose, like the

unfortunate field, “ conceited” that he beheld some in. M.Carroll; for no one in his senses describable being, who called to him, and, would. Were a parish priest to attend taking up a little stone, threw it at his upon every booby who conceits” he head. The boy set off instantly, ran

sees his · fetch,' he would be able to home without stopping, and “took sick from that hour.” Whatever was the cause pay but little attention to his parish.

The truth is, (and the writer of this of the boy's complaint, I had the satisfac. tion of knowing that a simple dose of me

letter should have ascertained it bedicine bad effected his cure.

fore he gravely sat down to asperse One of the most deplorable of these su- a body of men, who have lately forced perstitious fancies is their credulity with their Protestant adversaries to acrespect to the" Gospels," as they are call- knowledge their learning, their piety, ed, which they wear suspended round the and their talents,) that the priests are neck as a charm against danger and dis- never called in on such occasions ease. These are prepared by the priest, that they have opposed, by all means and sold by him at the price of two or in their power, this and other harmthree tenpennies. It is considered sacrilege in the purchaser to part with them at

less superstitions--and that the peaany time; and it is moreover believed that sant, knowing their sentiments, never the charm proves of no efficacy to any but has recourse to them when any such the individual for whose particular be

.conceit' fastens on him, but flies nefit the priest has blessed it. One of them immediately to the nearest Fairyman I have been shown as a rarity, which seldom for a remedy. Paddy, however, is indeed finds its way into heretical bands. seldom troubled with any such silly I will describe, as minutely as possible, conceits ; a glass of potheen is geneboth its form and contents: it was a small rally sufficient to dispel such «airy cloth bag, marked on one side with the nothings;' and few, in Ireland, now letters I. H. S. enclosing a written scrap conceit they are ill, but those who of paper, of which the following is an exact copy, orthographical errors not

can afford to pay a doctor. excepted :

The statement respecting the GosIn the nameof God Amen. When pels' very satisfactorily proves that our Saviour saw the cross whereon he was these writers have never read any book To Be Crucified his body trembiled and but “Rees's Cyclopædia ;' otherwise. shook the Jews asked Iff he had the faver how could they be ignorant of the

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]


ridicule heaped upon Sir Richard ceum, and favour the town with a Musgrave for a similar, and scarcely real • devil' instead of Frankinmore mischievous, attack upon these stein:Gospels ? Why, the ignorant fel

* Tom Rowland was returning with his lows, if they had stopped, on the cattle from market, disconsolate, as many high road, any barefooted brat, he an honester man has been, that he could could have told them that these find no purchaser. “ I wish the devil

Gospels' are hung round the necks would give me money, for there's nobody of infants by pious parents after bap- else that will.” Parlez du diable, et voilá tism, as memorials of their faith; sa queuë, is an old proverb; but his high. that they consist of the first part of dess has better manners in these days, and the Gospel, according to Saint John, appears like a jantleman, handsome, and printed, not written, in the Latin lan- well dressed. To his question, “Do you guage ; that they are blessed by the afraid to answer " Yes.”_" If you'll sell

want money?" Tom Rowland was not priest; and that, instead of costing yourself to me, you shall have plenty." He three tenpennies, eighteen of them again assented. The devil gave zool. and are to be bought for two pence. asked Tom for a receipt, which must be They, are however, generally, given signed with his own heart's blood. Tom away by the clerks of chapels, the stepped into a cabin; but, deeming a red priest having nothing to do with lead pencil equally satisfactory, and not them after they are blessed.

quite so dangerous as the signature reThe edifying fac-simile above is quired, he made use of one which ehanced nothing more or less than a charm to be in his pocket. An Irish devil has, it

seems, no share in the national acuteness, against the ague, or, as the peasantry significantly call it, the shake. This Tom Rowland went on his way, and, se

or he would not have been so easily duped. is evident from the very tenor of the charm, and we have uniforınly seen, join in the celebration of mass, to which

cure in his red lead pencil, ventured to in Ireland, the word shake substituted he was invited some days afterwards in a for that of trembling.

neighbour's house. The devil, however, reOne of these precious charms, so garding this as an infringement of the often condemned by the Catholic cler- bond, tapped at the cabin door, and ingy, and the possession of which is al. quired for Tom Rowland. Tom; susways kept a secret, found its way, it pecting his 'genteel friend, refused to seems, into the hands of the letter wri- obey the summons; but the devil, eager ters, which they very carefully dissect

to secure what he deemed a lawful prize, ed, and, without further inquiry, set it sprang in among them, and knocked him

down. The priest, who came to the resdown as a pious cheat to the account

cue, was not a match for his highness : of the priest. These writers are certainly qualified to enlighten the dark- only drive the enemy to change his quar

other priests were sent for, but they could ness of the English mind on the af- ters, without being able to force him to fairs of Ireland; and the critics who dislodge. From Tom Rowland he esextracted this elegant morceau at- caped into a large kettle; and thence tributed all our misery to the igno- again up the chimney. The power of the rance of the priests, who could cheat priests was here baffled: they sent for without knowing how to spell. We

one of their brethren from Westport; and do not pretend to be advocates for the

a sacred wand, of which he was bappily Catholic clergy, but we very much possessed, compelled the obedience of the question the morality or wisdoin of and Tom remains free, with the honour of

evil spirit. He was driven from the house; those who needlessly attack the teach- having outwitted the devil. ers of any religious creed ; for, when

•You will exclaim “Can these things be ?. their followers are poor, the lives Are such tales believed in the nineteenth of their clergy must be moral; but, century?" I only answer by assuring you when misrepresentation is used, that I give the story exactly as I heard it Christianity is injured, and not the from a gentleman residing near Westport, individuals aimed at.

who added the name of the victorious Now for another extract; and we priest, which I have suppressed.' give it the more willingly, as we hope Then you were a great knave for it may reach Mr. Peake, who, we doing so; for by giving the name you have no doubt, will dramatize the would have enabled the Catholics story against next season for the Ly- of Ireland to hold you and your informant up to public scorn: but, as pages 112, 113, says one of these sait is, we shall do that for you; for pient letter-writers, 'I cannot go so this same story of «Tom Rowland,' far as the late Bishop of Elphin is under different modifications, belongs said to have gone; and, if I cannot neither to Ireland nor England, but is make them good Protestants, content a denizen of the world, being fami- myself with endeavouring to make liar in every country on the globe. them good Catholics : at least I can

The cause, however, of all this an- not, with a safe conscience, (scrupu-. tipathy to the priests, is very obvious, lous soul!) put into their hands books though we could not discover it un- of Catholic instruction'—though you til we came to page 313, where we are was as ignorant of books of Catholic indirectly, given to understand that instruction as you was of the Christian the Catholic clergyman in the neigh- wisdom and liberality of the Bishop bourhood arrested the proselyting of Elphin; for we are previously career of these religious quacks by told that there was neither a church prohibiting the poor children of his nor a clergyman withio a distance of Aock from frequenting their school: twelve miles—that is, fifteen miles and that he had very good reasons English!—But the reader is disgusted; for doing so must be pretty obvious so are we. to the readers of this volume; for at

OUGHT ENGLAND TO EMANCIPATE THE IRISH CATHOLICS? The question of Catholic emanci- gratitude; and, assured of your unpation has been debated, in and out divided attention, I proceed, sans ceof Parliament, during the last forty remonie, to unravel this Gordian knot years; and, on a rough calculation, of politics, and do what has never yet fifty thousand books and pamphlets been done-bring the subject to a have been written on the subject. conclusion. Don't be alarmed, John Bull-for 'tis No impatience, no incredulity, to you I addres

myself-I am not John! The world looks upon you as going to examine this formidable a thinking man—as one very phlegmass of conflicting evidence, or give matic and blustering, and egotisyou my opinion on the respective tical, but still so much alive to your merits of all the writers and speakers own interest, that self is the Alpha who have contributed to the agitation and Omega of your every word and. of this momentous question. I have action. Considering the world as your interest at heart; and, knowing always in the right, I have long since how valuable time must be to an in- fallen into this same opinion, and dustrious man like you, I am about therefore would not now take hold to save you much waste of tható stuff of your button, only that I know of which life is made, and therefore your welfare, both as an individual request your serious hearing for a and a British subject, is intimately

brief space,' and I promise to say, connected with the question under in ten minutes, all that has been or consideration. But your pride, your ever can be said on Catholic eman- consistency, your honour, is also concipation. You are a calculating man, cerned; for, shall it be said that John, and can readily estimate the John Bull is actively alive to the value of my communication, for it wrongs of mankind in every country will absolutely save you the three but his own that his hand, open hours every morning you would as day to melting charity,' is stretched otherwise spend during the present out between the oppressor and the session-for emancipation is to be a oppressed every where but at home? nightly topic-in perusing the lengthy Shall the heathen blacks of Africa debates on this national question, have your sympathy, while you newhich, like a labyrinth, appears to glect the Christian whites of Ireland ? have no termination.

and will you brave the dangers of I look upon myself, therefore, in every sea and every climate in the some measure, as your benefactor laudable work of diminishing human as one eminently entitled to your misery, and refuse to cross the Chan

« AnteriorContinuar »