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And, when our little meal was done, Talked until sleeping-time came on. • One night they left me all alone;
They went but half a mile away, To see a man they long had known,
That on his death-bed lay: I knew that there they wouldn't wait, To keep their mother sitting late; Still, for the time, some care I had, Though wondering what could make me sad. • And how, indeed, could I be gay,
Upon that weary woeful night?
way, The house was in their sight: When on their rounds the night-guard came, And asked their business and their name. They stayed from home beyond the time, And this was then a heavy crime. • For one long month they drooped in gaol:
At last the day of trial came ;
Within the dock--the dock of shame.
That should be placed a moment there ; But Heaven's good will must still be done
'Tis ours to suffer and to bear. I searched the Court in doubt and fear,
I looked around with heavy heart,
To take my children's part:
He spoke as well as lawyer could;
he said had done no good. I looked up to the judges then,
And cried; but no kind look was shown. Oh! sir, your high-born gentlemen,
In their strange pride and dignity,
My boys were sentenced to my face;
And faint and frantic left the place.
Ay! long before they cross the sea,
I thought to hold the little spot;
For all I had the lawyers got.
He sold for all the rent I owed ;
And I was turned upon the road.
I asked for shelter far and near;
And now at last I'm settled here.'
When her long tale of grief was done;
Sad as I ever looked upon;
MR. ENSOR V. ABSENTEEISM.
From the commencement of our favourite topics_absenteeism and publication we have laboured to ex- want of trade-to both of which they plode the erroneous opinions respect- are in the erroneous habit of attributing Ireland's discontent; and in the ing nearly all their real and imaginsixth number we have proved that ary grievances. For this array of her supposed misery cannot proceed selfishness and prejudice we were from either the want of local manu- prepared: but then we did not exfactures or the absence of her pro- pect to encounter the disapprobation prietors. In broaching this doctrine of one, distinguished alike for his love we were of course prepared to ex- of country and philosophic acquirepect that our arguments would be ments. We did think that Mr. Ensor disputed. It was not likely that the had been too deeply read in political hereditary opponents of emancipa- science to call in doubt the plainest tion would consent to have all the axioms of economists. The truths evils of Ireland attributed to the po- we set forth are not the emanations litical degradation of the people; of any wild theory—they are founded and, on the other hand, it was not on common sense. probable that the Catholics them- Mr. Ensor,* however, has, in no selves would willingly forego their measured terms, condemned our doc.
* We subjoin Mr. Ensor's letter, omitting a short paragraph, which is irrelevant to the question. It was addressed to the ' Irishman,' a journal which, in point of talent and liberality, is inferior to no paper in the empire.
'SIR,—I have just read a notice, for it does not profess to be a review, of Lady Morgan’s “ Absenteeism,” in The Dublin and London Magazine of the present month. The purport of the article is to discredit the evils attributed to absenteeisn. If absenteeism be not injurious to Ireland, cause and consequence have no kindred in their results. Absenteeism-that is, Irish property enjoyed by residents in England-began with
trine in toto. He had a right, when agitated question. We are not advohe thought that we were wrong, to cates for absenteeism-we only show differ from us, and we are glad that he its harmlessness as far as Ireland is has done so; for it affords us an op- concerned: and, lest any should supportunity of returning to the subject, pose that we hold Macculloch's docand settling, we trust for ever, this trine on the subject, we beg to disthe conquest of Ireland; it increased by subsequent confiscations, and it multiplied excessively by the Union. Let us, however, take the ledger and rule, and consider absenteeism as profit and loss.
• The writer in the Magazine states (and the Scotch economist says as much), " when an Irish proprietor spends his income, it is of little consequence, provided it be in his majesty's dominions.”Here is the royal touch in economics. Never was uttered a falser proposition. It is false in respect to the whole empire. So far from the disposal of the principal proprietors of countries being indifferent, that the distribution and accumulation of wealth, and all purposes of common utility', are mainly served by the proper disposition of the people, and any force or influence which obliges people to resort unnecessarily to any particular place is injurious. Such is the policy of the government of France, which requires most matters, essentially local, to be transacted in Paris. Such is the policy of England, in respect to Irish legislation-against which evil the Americans have guarded, for they perform all matters, not imperial, in the several States. Thus, no legislator is remote from his home, except for a short time, and then only when affairs of universal interest are to be resolved, while the most perfect knowledge is always present when local matters are considered in the several States. So essential to the right enjoyment of property is the residence of those who possess it, that the position of houses is important to the well-conducting of business on common farms.
. If the residence of proprietors be interesting to an empire, generally considered, with respect to the paris individually of that empire, that interest is multiplied infinite. ly; witness Warsaw, where the Diet of Poland formerly assembled; and Venice, the transactions of which town are now partly executed at Trieste. Dublin has suffered evils similar to both the capitals of Venice and Poland by the Union.
What is there in Dublin to excite one buoyant reflection ? Even the loud voice of emancipation sinks into a treble about educating the people. The stranger prowls along its streets, and is told that, and that, and that large building, and a hundred more, were possessed and inhabited by this and that great proprietor. Then, thousands of houses are insolvent by the public returns; and the "suppression of mendicity" fills more columns of our journals than the speeches uttered by Flood, and Grattan, and Burgh, and Curran, in that place now abardoned to money.changers.
Nor are the mansions of the great in the country, and their towns and villages, much less suffering than the capital.
* The writer in The Magazine, and he is not singular, says, “ The absentee, by spending his money in London, Bath, or any other town in Great Britain, contributes to the resources of England, and thereby enables her artisans to consume more Irish four, butter, beef, bacon.” And what becomes of the Irish artisans in the overshot process ? Now, would it not be far better for Ireland if those absentees in London and Bath were residents in Dublin and Cork, and that they did contribuie to the resources of Ireland, by employing Irish artisans, which artisans should consume Irish butter, bacon, &c. and thus afford a double market to the Irish people? According to this doctrine the Irish artisans are wholly disregarded ; they are nothing in the writer's account, and how are the agrieulturists indemnified ? Thus : the Irish absentee proprietors, distributing the rents, issues, and profits, among the English artisans, increase their business, their numbers, and the general population of Britain, who employ a portion of the wages they receive from the Irish absentees to purchase Irish wheat, Irish butter, &c. This circuitous and imaginary process is the amount of the advocate's arguments for the indifference or the benefit of absenteeism in respect to the prosperity of Ireland, and it signifies, that by an involved gratuitous combination of circumstances, some portion of the rental of absentees finds its way back to Ireland, and is laid out in grain and meat raised by Irish graziers and farmers. And does this prove that it is immaterial to, perhaps, eight millions of people, whether the proprietors of their country are absentees or resident? Why, if every shilling paid to absentees was re-transferred to Ireland, a loss would be incurred to Ireland equal to the time and extent of the circumvolution of the trarsfer to England and the re-transfer to Ireland. This is a farce, mere hide and seek ; all things being the same, the near market and the short return are the best, and the longest is the least preferable. But confessedly, by absenteeclaim all participation in the broad teeism.' Had Mr. Ensor read these principles promulgated by the Ricardo arguments we are persuaded he would Lecturer. But while we regard the not have disputed our positions; at Scotch economists (or rather econo- all events he would not have said mist-for, after all, there appears to that Irish artisans went for nothing be but one) as the advocates of im- in our account. Such a conclusion pious error—while we consider them he was not warranted in drawing ; for as vain enough to suppose themselves, we have proved that the residence of like SirGodfrey Kneller, as wiser than all the Irish absentees in Ireland the Almighty-we are candid enough could not create manufactures in that to admit that Mr. Macculloch, country. The reason is obvious. amidst a mass of nonsense, has told English manufacturers are now adeone important truth-namely, that quate to the supply, and are capable humun wisdorn can do nothing for of fabricating much finer articles of Ireland but restore the people to their dress and luxury than the Irish; conrights. All else must be left to the sequently, if there were progress of time, and the influence sentees, the Manchester operatives of education and habit.
would be employed in providing Before we proceed to answer Mr. those articles for the Dublin market Ensor, we beg the reader to refer to which are now sent to London; and our sixth number, and, having read the lord who now wears English cloth the article on • Absenteeism,' we in St. James's Square, would, if remust further beg of him to peruse siding in St. Stephen's Green, be the one on the · Trade and Manufac- clothed in English cloth too. This, in tures of Ireland,' for in the former we some measure, is the case at present, expressly say, “The arguments which and was the case previous to the show how immaterial it is in what Union; though the payment of propart of the empire manufactures are hibitory duties on certain articles was established equally apply to absen- then enforced. The Irish proprietor, by
ism, many branches of Irish industry are excluded from any benefit from the income of the proprietors of Ireland ; and, in fact, the encouragement they give to farmers by grain, butter, bacon, &c. being sentto Britain, is fictitious.--As the Irish legislators are hostages to England's dominion, Irish absentees generally are factors of English industry. Our exports, to a considerable extent, are the lords' rent from the vassal territory, the Irish absentee proprietors act effectually towards England as the Decumani did in Sicily towards ancient Rome, but we call that trade which they called tribute.
• As to what is fondly said of the two or three absentees, landlords, in respect to their attention to their Irish estates, and thence a conclusion-being drawn that absentee landlords are as beneficial to their tenantry as resident landlords—what can be more illogical? It might be equally concluded that the lawn-sleeves are strenuous advocates for Catholic emancipation, because the Bishop of Norwich votes and speaks on the side of liberality. It is principled in human uature, that what is man's own is more interesting than what belongs to another, and the laws of property are founded on this consideration. Turn from reasoning to facts. The villages and estates of absentees are proclaimed by their appearance ; they exhibit more distress and less subordination; peculiar circumstances, indeed, may occasionally neutralize the evil, but in general they present dereliction and misrule. It is absurd to say, that Irish produce transferred to Irish proprietors domiciliated in England, or absolutely expatriated, invigorates Irish industry; the greater portion of it might as well be burned on the fields that produced it in respect to Ireland; and considering the perpetual flow of this produce to absentees, and its amount--knowing also that capital is income reserved-it is obvious that Ireland holds her station by the recuperative energy of individuals, which often triumphs over the malice of the worst governments and the most disastrous events.
In concluding let me observe, that my remarks have no reference to Lady Morgan's work, which circumstances have prevenied me from seeing; nor am I at all disposed to slight The Dublin and London Magazine, which consider a spirited publication; but to say that absentees, and a transfer of three millions sterling from Ireland, to be spent in England, is not injurious to Ireland, must be placed with the dogmas opu. lence accruing from the national debt, of the benefit of tithes to tillage, and of the multiplied advantages of taxation o all the people. • Ardress, August 31st, 1825.'
residing in Dublin, could not dis- other provincial town in Ireland, eacourage English manufactures ; for counters fewer objections and less many of the articles which he now prejudice in any English town, than makes use of could be sent to Dub- in the metropolis of his native counlin at much less expense than to Lon- try-the city of Dublin. Irish artisans don. How does he discourage Irish and Irish labourers have now no more manufactures by residing in London, difficulty in finding employment here Bath, or any other English town? than if they were natives of England. Supposing all restrictive duties re- In Manchester and other manufacmoved, the Dublin manufacturer can turing places, they are employed by transmit goods to London much thousands. The natives of Leinster cheaper than the Lancashire manu- know with what contempt a Munster facturer. The average expense on a or Connaught man is spoken of in yard of cloth might be half a farthing; Dublin. and, instead of Irish absentees only, In treating this question we have the Irish manufacturer can now have regarded these kingdoms as inseparaall the people of England for pur- hly united, and consequently consichasers, if he can fabricate articles as dered it of no importance in what good and as cheap as his neighbours. part of the empire the physical The residence or non-residence of strength resided. "Ireland, we admit, proprietors cannot, therefore, possi- by being deprived of manufactures, bly affect Irish manufactures. suffers a diminution of inhabitants ;
Does the Manchester cotton-spin- but, as she is protected by England, ner do less work or reap less profit, she does not require an exertion of because the Duke of Manchester re- internal power; and the happiness sides in Jamaica? Certainly not. of a country does not depend on an And wherever the English trader can increase of numbers. You may have find a market, the Irish trader can manufactures and misery at the same find one too. They are now both time. Mr. Ensor's complaint of inplaced on the same system of equa- creasing the English population fity, and society has all the advantage amounts to nothing, unless Ireland of fair competition.
shall be considered as independent: In this estimate we have not for- indeed, a great portion of his argugotten the Irish artisan. We have ment turns on such a supposition, said that while England is obliged to and is, therefore, at present, inapplidraw the necessaries of life from Ire- cable. Let him once establish a reland, the price of labour must, in the sident parliament and national indelatter country, continue such as to pendence, and then we will advocate afford individuals great advantages in laws to prohibit absenteeism and enseveral species of manufactures, courage native manufactures : until which must flourish, though in a sub- then, however, we must persist in our ordinate degree, in that kingdom. arguments; and, as there is no proSuch artisans, however, as cannot bability of such events taking place, find employment at home, are at per- it is useless to discuss their merits. fect liberty to seek it in England. Ireland and England are now united;
But compelling them,' says Mr. and, under existing circumstances, Ensor, to resort to particular places whatever proves advantageous to the is injurious.' If it is to, the fault is one must be beneficial to the other. not attributable to absenteeism. All Mr. Ensor bewails the absence of manufactures are now carried on by some few noblemen from Dublin. the co-operation of many hands; and, We think they might as well reside whether a cotton-mill stands in Man- there as in London : but did not Mr. chester or Kilkenny, those who find Ensor see that in attaching so much employment in it must be collected importance to their presence in the froin many places. National feeling Irish metropolis he was defeating his on this question should have no own arguments ?
The noblèman weight. Indeed it is really entitled whose estate lies in Munster is, bonâ to none; for the history of combina- fide, as much an absentee by residing tion among the operatives prove that on Stephen's Green as in St. James's a native of Cork, Limerick, or any Square. What he says about the
Vol. 1.--No. 8.