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men will work when they want and land hold their brethren of the sister can find employment, and that the kingdom ; and may be taken as a criinhabitants of Catholic countries are terion of the sentiments of the Brinot always miserable. With these tish public, as far as the condition of facts before them, they have shifted the Irish population is concerned. their ground; but, still believing in The liberal part of the press echo the existence of misery,' they have these opinions; and, in advocating been obliged to seek other causes; the extension of civil rights, act like and, lu ! they found them in im- Paddy in Donnybrook, who perfect civilization,' and ' want of Meets with a friend, and for love schools.'
knocks him down.' A pamphlet * now lies before us,
us: For, while they are caressing the which we have selected from a host
SC Catholics with one hand, they are of ephemeral publications, not for any intrinsic value it possesses, but
sadly belabouring them with the because it illustrates the preceding
other. Such friends, only serve to remarks, and enables us to lay before
encumber by their assistance; for, our Irish readers the prevailing sen
instead of making emancipation aptiments of that respectable portion of
pear of first importance, they render the people of England whở are fa- .
it, by implication, of subordinate
consideration. vourable to their claims.
To this alternative even the CaAll parties are agreed,' says Sir Wil- tholic leaders themselves must come, liam, that the great mass of the people, if the allegations propagated both in in most parts of Ireland, are in a degraded state ; uninformed, in abject poverty-
tu England and
Ireland, respecting without sufficient knowledge of any of the
he • Irish misery,' be true. Io disarts of life by which support can' be ob- cover this is an inquiry of vast imtained ; with minds inflamed against their portance, and, until satisfactorily degovernors by the accumulation of those cided, the question of emancipation, miseries they have so long suffered ; and, like the ghosts of the unburied anthrough these causes, prone to violence, cients, may wander round the Elyand dangerous to their superiors : can sium of the Cabinet without gaining man be in a worse, a more deplorable, con- admission ; for, the state of Ireland, dition ? And with nothing to hope, there while unascertained, is an arsenal is nothing to fear: hence arises that rea that supplies both sides with arms. diness to embark in every desperate mea- whether they are for or against the bure which the ambitious or the designing may hold out. Can we expect attachment
measure. But were it once estato any government from persons situated blished that the Irish peasant has as these men are ? Destitute. hopeless, plenty to eat and drink that he who in a state of anarchy and starvation, to desires employment will find it—that them any change may produce some good; rents are paid--that bankrupts are they are too wretched to fear an increase comparatively few — and that the of evil.
produce of the plough and the loom • Are men, so circumstanced, prepared, is sure to find a ready market-the without any accompanying measures, to question of emancipation would asbe released from all restraint, and to be
sume an attitude of expediency, placed at once in the full possession of
from which it could not be forced political power? You must civilize those whom you would render capable of the
by casuistry or prejudice; for, if, rational enjoyment of civil liberty; you
after all these attributes of indimust teach them the relative duties of vidual prosperity, the country contiman to ''man before you can give them nued distracted and disturbed, the indiscriminately all the immunities of ci- people must evidently be in want of tizens in a well-organized state : would it something independent of " meat, otherwise be safe to the community at drink, and clothes ;' and perhaps the large, or advantageous to themselves ? legislature might then discover that
This is the estimation in which most the wounds of Ireland were of poliof the well-informed people of Eng- tical infliction, and could be healed
* A Sketch of Ireland in 1824 ; the Sources of her Evils considered, and their Remedies suggested. By Sir William Hillary, Baronet. London, Simpkin and Marshall, 1825, 8vo.
*only by the application of political can dispose of the master evils,' justiee.
the progeny of abortions will, of Against complying with the claims course, die along with them. of moral justice statesmen may al. The ignorance of the learned is ą lege a thousand apologies ; but, render prolific subject; and, perhaps, among a measure absolutely expedient, and the race who write,' there cannot you leave them without an evasive be found greater blockheads than answer. With regard to the question those who have published their lucuof emancipation, we think this has brations, both in pamphlets and perinot been done, and we are of opinion odicals, on the state of Ireland. In it cannot be done in a manner less vain facts, as plain as the proof-sheet objectionable than by establishing before' them, solicited their attenthe capability of existing circum- tion ; but they had woven ą web of stances in Ireland to render the theory, founded on the exact conclupeople prosperous, if put in posses- sions of political economy; and, sion of their rights. We are aware though it contradicted fact, practice, that, with honest and rational men, and common sense, still it must be existing misery would be a sufficient correct, for Scotch philosophers were plea for emancipating the people; never wrong. For political science but the experience of the past we have every respect, and find teaches us that men's misfortunes fault only with those who 'misapply are often converted into objections its rules ; and never were they more against them, and that the Catholic grossly misapplied than in the case claims have, more than once, been of Ireland. resisted on these grounds alone. • Great Britain may be said to com
Besides, it must be admitted that prise three kingdoms, England, Scotthe present ministry have recently land, and Wales, possessing a popudone much for the trade of Ireland; lation of near fifteen millions, among and, without taking Mr. Plunkett or whom are the wealthiest aristocracy Mr. Foster's word, the people ought in the world. Her nobility and her now to be in possession of compara- gentry are at least one hundred times tive happiness. Drawing a line of more numerous than those of Iredemarcation between national and land, and she enjoys commercial adindividual prosperity, we have no vantages denied to the sister king. hesitation in saying that Irishmen dom. After all this, will it not have it in their power to possess and surprise the reader to hear that her enjoy as many substantial blessings real imports and exports are little as any people on the globe.
more than three times greater than This, we know, is an unfashionable those of Ireland ?' Wonder as you assertion, that may excite ridicule in may, this is a fact; and, while a conone part of the kingdom, and gain siderable part of her imports are raw no proselytes in the other. Still we materials, which constitute a large must persist in our statement ; for, portion of her fabricated exports, in addition to our personal know. The imports of Ireland may be called ledge on the subject, we think we absolute luxuries, which are all conare in possession of approximating sumed by the people. We admit facts that may satisfy minds not over that the sum-total of England's exfastidious; and, when these are op- ports and imports is five times greater posed only by unsupported assertion, than those of Ireland ; but in this they are certainly entitled to a pre- there are items of goods in transitu, ference.
which have no more right to be enuIrish misery, with all its formida- merated than the cargoes of the East ble concomitants, has been attributed Indiamen who stop at Cork to take directly, both by friends and foes, in provisions ; for they are merely to the absence of commerce, super- landed and reshipped, contributing abundant population, small farms, little or nothing to the real wealth of barbarism, and want of education, the country. We shall illustrate our Out of this formidable list grow position by a reference to 1822 ; not many minor misfortunes; but, if we from any partiality to a period of fainine, when people, througlı dis- tion-her trade protected, and her tress, ate manure* - or the news- expenditure paid by Great Britainpapers lied-but because the official what does she want? A restoration returns of that year are now before of her rights, and a knowledge of us. We find the imports of Great the advantages which she enjoys. Britain (Ireland included) amount from her connexion with England : to 29,675,3201. Of this, however, without the first, however, she is like 10,670,8801. were re-exported, leav- the fabled wretch wlio stood in the ing the real value of imports at midst of an element which he thirsted 19,004,4401. which, added to the de- to drink without being able to taste. clared value of exports, (35,826,0821.) These remarks are to be undergive 54,830,5:221. as the amount of stood as immediately referring to British imports and exports for 1822. commerce, for we are not now disDuring this year the imports of Ire- cussing any local grievance, but land amounted to 6,548,5151. and stating a fact that ought to be genethe declared value of exports to rally known. Into minute details no 9,808,0571. making the amount of one could expect us to enter; but for imports and exports 16,356,5721. the general accuracy of the statement which, if multiplied by three and we are pledged. We hazard no opi. one-third, will give a greater sum nion without due consideration; and, than the whole amount of the im- being more partial to practice than ports and exports of Great Britain. theory, we are happy in being able to
This is a fact which proves that state that the conclusions borne out Ireland is not so deficient in trade as by facts are confirmed by observahas been erroneously stated ; and, if tion. Throughout Ireland, the peowe examine the revenue of both ple who are connected with trade and countries, we shall find that, while commerce bear but a slight resemthe goods imported and exported blance to those of England : being by Great Britain are not three and more free from apprehension, they one-third times greater in value than are less industrious, less systematic, those imported and exported by Ire- and less shopkeepers; they live land, she pays twelve times as much much better, see more company, in taxes; nay, even beggarly Scot- spend more money: and yet, after land't pays more excise, though the all, as many of them, comparatively amount of her customs bears no pro- speaking, make fortunes. In Lonportion to that of Ireland.
don alone, there are more bankrupts Here is another fact to set poli- in twelve months than there have tical economists inquiring; for we been in Ireland for the last twenty are so convinced of the advantage years; and, though in England there being in favour of Ireland, that we are more wealthy traders, there are in wonder, after this, how men could Ireland more happy ones. A Dublin go on describing the people as idle shopkeeper must be poor indeed if and wretched, whose commerce was he don't keep a horse and car for his equal to that of one-third of the most family; whilst a London trader must trading nation of the world, yet who be rich indeed if he keeps a chaise paid less taxes than a country whose for himself. The contrast will hold inhabitants scarcely exceed the po- good in whatever way we view it; and pulation of an Irish county.
we are assured, by some of our comThe truth is, Ireland stands at pre- mercial friends, that it is quite as sent in an enviable situation. Her easy to procure the needful in Daine commerce almost unrestricted, and Street as on Ludgate Hill. her people almost free from taxa- But perhaps we may be told, that,
* This charge of eating manure shows how easily even the agents of Charity may fall into error; for what was, after all, this manure, the eating of which shocked the nice humunity of delicate people? Nothing more, gentle reader, than sea.kale-a prominent dish on the tables of the luxurious epicure, who may happen to reside on the sea-coast! We hope Mr. Cobbett will read this note, and avoid his fulsome allusions to this subject.
though the inhabitants of cities and doubts concerning this sudden intowns are not starving, the people in crease ; at least those who make the the country are. This is always the assertion have no data to found conway with Irishmen: inquire for these clusions on; for it is notorious that, starving people on the Shannon or except the last, all the returns that Slaney, and you are told that they have been made were grossly and are to be found on the Blackwater culpably inaccurate. and the Suire. Irish misery is We are free, however, to admit thus always in the next parish ; and that Ireland has at present a populawe suspect that a good deal of the tion of seven millions; and we are distress in 1822 was of this receding quite sure that there is ample room species : not that we doubt but pum- for them all. Some singular mistakes bers were then in actual want, because have been made on this subject, there was a combination of circum- arising from the difference between stances sufficient to produce extensive Irish and English square miles; an calamity; but still we are quite sure ignorance of which has caused some there was much exaggeration, and journalists to represent the populathe sequel proved this to be the case; tion of Ireland as being nearly twice for Charity, for once, had more to as dense as that of England.' This, bestow than her supplicants needed. however, is not the case : for in that The dearth was local and limited; respect Ireland is only equal to that and since that period actual want has of England and Wales, computed toceased in the district, and in no other gether. It is true the people of Irepart of the kingdom has such distress land mostly reside in the country; and been manifested for years. The Eng- here they have a decided advantage, lish journalists, however, have styled unless small farms are an evil, which this partial distress 'the Irish famine;' we think they are not. In saying and every booby who lectures on po- this we are opposed by a host of litical economy illustrates l:is 'disa' authorities; but we fearlessly assert, coveries' by a reference to the Irish that, when judiciously parcelled, they famine,' which he infers to be still are not only a national, but an indivicontinuing; proving, of course, to his dual, blessing; and that, notwithstandown satisfaction, that where a people ing the number of small farms in are so abundant, and without ma- Ireland, there still remain an abunnufactures, there must be an Irish dance of large ones. famine. These opinions are not Taking the population of Ireland at confined to the Scotch lecturers, for seven millions, and deducting two for they have been urged in parliament, those who reside in cities, towns, &c. by very worthy members, without there will remain five millions, inone dissenting voice. We are not sur- cluding linen manufacturers, as occuprised at this: mankind, high and piers of the soil. The superficial conlow, have, in all ages, been led astray tents of the kingdom, according to by theorists. Almost in our own Mr. Wakefield, are 20,437,974 Eng. day Rousseau's writings excited the lish acres; but he admitted that French people to acts of dreadful Ireland had not yet been surveyed frenzy; and Burke warmed the with sufficient care to determine exEnglish nation into an almost super- actly its size or situation ;' and, conhuman hatred of republican France. sidering the great inequality of its These authors caused calamityenough, surface, perhaps we might be within but it was reserved for Mr. Malthus the truth in assuming 22 millions of to fright the isle from its pro- acres as the data to build our estimate priety,' by threatening our grand- upon. This, however, is not necessary children with the sudden irruption for the present inquiry; and we shall of a population of some hundred therefore suppose, for sake of round thousand millions. As a proof of numbers, that 21,000,000 acres is the the accuracy of this gentleman's extent; and, deducting one-seventh theory, his followers triumphantly for waste land, we shall have refer to Ireland, where the popula. 18,000,000 acres which we are to tion, they state, has increased so consider productive. Some persons prodigiously. We have our private have supposed one-fourth, or onefifth, of the whole superficies to be the return to peace, by indirectly en, waste ; but, considering how very couraging that system of Whiteboy, small a portion of this ground is ah. ism, which served as an apology for solutely unproductive, we have & the non-payment of rent which they right to assume that not more than were unable to discharge. This is a one-seventh is actually waste. well-known fact, and ought to be im,
Allowing six persons to each fa pressed on every cottier in Ireland ; mily, we shall then have, in round for, though these poor people swelled numbers, 840,000 families subsisting the number of Captain Rock's adby agricultural labour; and these, so herents, they had no sufficient perfar from being too numerous for sonal cause to embark into illegal the area they have to occupy, if the practices, as they were, and always land was fairly divided between them, have been, able to pay their rent it would give 212 English acres to almost the only demand upon them, each. This division, however, never except tithes-when their superiors in can take place, and circumstances rank were apprehensive of every have already parcelled out the ground shadow that darkened their door to them in very unequal portione. being that of a bailiff or sheriff's Nine-tenths of these may be called officer. A brief description of the coitiers, and occupy farms of from condition of an Irish cottier will one to ten acres. "Three-fourths of make this apparent. the remainder are comfortable farm, The word cottier, in Ireland, is ers, cultivating from 20 to 60 acres; synonymous with labourer in all and the residue may be said to possess other countries; and those who come froin 100 to 1000 acres. They would under the denomination are comthen stand nearly as follow :
posed of that class of society who are doomed, by a wise Providence,
literally to earn their bread by the No. of Total Acres Description of
sweat af their brow. We have no 1 Fami occupied by Persons.
right, therefore, to expect in these each Class.
any thing not found in the major part of the population of all king
doms—any thing but a perpetual Large Farmers | 21,000 500 | 10,500,000
necessity to toil and economizeSmall ditto . . 63,000 40 2,520,000
any thing but what are the associCottiers . . . 1756,000 644,914,000
ates of a poor man--want, worldly Total . . 1840,0001 | 17,934,000
want, and a long train of what many
will consider privations. Nine-tenths From this scale of farms it will be of mankind are necessarily reduced readily seen that the poor man may to this condition; and, whatever possess a potatoe-garden without any theorists may say, in this condition disadvantage to large farms; for, they must continue while the ecoafter the cottiers are supplied, there nomy of this world prevails. would remain, on an average, for An Irish cottier is to be looked each parish, 34 farmers, who would upon as the poorest man in the possess from 20 to 1000 acres of kingdom ; one who, if he was not land each-farms fully adequate to entitled to the appellation he bears, any system of husbandry which can would be called a labourer, dependbe advantageously introduced into ing on his daily toil for support. At Ireland. At present it is well known present he enjoys a portion of indeto those acquainted with the south pendence, which he would then lose, that the most solvent and comfortable and cannot be under the apprehenpeople are those who till from 20 to sions of him who has to provide for 50 acres; and that, generally speak- the day that is passing over him, ing, large farmers, from their want of because he can, if the fault is not his capital, are seldom able to meet their own, always possess an annual sup, pecuniary demands-are slovenly in ply of provisions which habit has their method of husbandry-and are reconciled him to, that places him the cause of much of that distress beyond the reach of absolute want, which prevailed immediately after pauperism, and hunger,