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A cottier in Ireland is a poor man, labourers are in a condition miserawho possesses from one to ten acres ble in the extreme. It must be unof land, upon which stands his habi- necessary to refer to authorities in tation-mean, to be sure ; but in proof of this assertion, as a late what country do the poor possess Report of a select committee of the splendid dwellings ? For this hold- House of Commons must be fresh in ing he is generally obliged to work the recollection of our readers, and for his landlord-sometimes all, and the journals of the day contain suftisometimes half his time, according cient proofs of the pitiable situation to the quantity of ground he occu- of the cotton-spinners. It is on pies; but frequently he pays a cer record that agricultural labourers in tain rent, and employs his time in England scarcely ever taste meat, whatever way he thinks fit. Those never have a sufficiency of food for who pay in labour are small cottiers, themselves and families, are in most who have not more than two or instances dependent on the parish three acres, which supply them with for the miserable pittance they reoats and potatoes; their employers, in ceive, and are nearly all prone to almost every instance, being bound thieving. Are the cotton-spinners, a to give them feeding for a cow, and numerous body, better off? Their own one or more sheep.
uncontradicted Reports reply in the The nominal price of labourers- negative. Let the advocates of large six or eight pence a day-sounds farms and manufacturing monopoly low; but it should be recollected account, if they can, for this state of that, in Ireland, the farm-servants things, without confuting their own are all boarded, and that those who theories : at all events let them cease are thus paid are constantly em- to condemn a system which, in Ireployed in their own words -—'wet land, we are proud to say, has preand dry. The cottier has his work vented such extensive misery as is always provided for him; and for now visible throughout Great Brithis, if he has common industry, his tain. family are put in possession of abso. If the view we have taken is wrong, lute abundance ; for a single acre of we are glad to err in good comland, properly cultivated, will pro- pany; for we have some admirable duce him at least sixty pounds of authorities on our side. An intelpotatoes for every day in the year, ligent, and, we will add, a wise while his cow supplies him with Englishman, a Mr. Phillips, landmilk; and, as he can keep a pig, a surveyor and civil engineer, who was goat, sheep, poultry, &c. he can have much employed in the south of meat, drink, and clothes.
England, gave the following testiWe have been thus particular in mony before the Lords' committee describing the condition of the Irish on the Corn Laws, in 1814:peasant, because it is neither known to himself nor the legislature, to
• In many places,' said Mr. Phillips, food is reared in a very short time in iin- and Ireland, let him attend to their mense quantities. Again, when a little meals. The sparingness with which farmer and his family will raise, from the our labourer in England eats his little produce of his small farm, a dairy, bread and cheese (even in Mr the refuse of which supports a piggery, Young's time) is well known : mark then comes the poultry. Where there is the Irishman's potatoe-bowl placed a cow-yard and a piggery, vast quantities of poultry indeed are produced with very
where I have been surveying, where the people of England nor the inha
there were thirty or sixty farmers in a bitants of Ireland. In this, as in
parish, it has been reduced to the small many other instances, prejudice has
number of four or five, and some parishes blinded men to facts ; and the pre- occupied by one man; large districts of valence of erroneous opinions has country in the occupancy of the posproduced discontent in one portion, sessor; where there were formerly a great and a disposition in the other to many farm-houses, there is probably only destroy a system which keeps down a bailiff. The horror this system creates the price of labour, without making among mankind generally, and in parishes, the labourer a pauper.
is inconceivable. In support of this arguThe description we have given is
ment, my Lords, in the hands of the little
fariners, an immense increase of food is founded on facts. Are our conclu
brought to the public, from as it were the sions wrong? We think not, be- lap of the farmer's wife. In a little farm, cause we have the reverse of the where there is a dairy, the produce is not picture, and its consequence, at the only the calves, but an immensity of butter present moment in England, where and cheese ; the refuse of a dairy will the manufacturing and agricultural support a piggery; that kind of animal
es on the floor, the whole family on little care, reared almost in the lap of the
their hams around it, devouring a farmer's wife. nourished in her kitchen quantity almost incredible ; the begcorner. I am not speaking theoretically gar seating himself to it with a now : mentioning only one parish will hearty welcome, the pig taking his serve as a strong instance for the whole share as readily as the wife; the kingdom. Among all these different farm- cocks, hens, turkeys, geese, the cur, ers, every labourer had a comfortable the cat, and, perhaps, the cow-and master, and every tradesman comfortable all partaking of the same dish. No employ: now hundreds or thousands in a man can hăve often been a witness parish are pauperised wherever there is a
sa of it without being convinced of the
of it w; family of children; the milk-pails, which were principally the nutriment of families, pre
o plenty, and, I will add, the cheerful are done away. The pig-styes are done
ness, which attends itt! away, they are not permitted: every man
When I see the people of a coun. had formerly a pig in his stye, and another try with well-formed vigorous bodies, in his tub; the case is now different: I and their cottages swarming with am now describing parishes in the way children - when I see their men that they are throughout the country. athletic and their women beautiful The different markets, which were for. I know not how to believe them submerly abundantly, regularly, and well sisting on unwholesome foodt.' supplied, with not only the necessaries of Mr. Wakefield attempts to deny life, but with a great part of the comforts, Mr. Young's statement, but in a way are now supplied in a very different way that confirms what he meant to dis. -Deficient in the comforts, it is with extreme
prove. “Give an English labourer,' difficulty the great part of mankind can obtain the humble necessaries of life. sayo ne,
ps of life says he, two acres of land, (about
two acres of land, (about -This evil, when the land is in few three and a half English,) a cow, and hands, is greatly increased by some of a pig, and what will he be at the end those few being country bankers, so that of two years ? Not a labourer, but a they can withhold the produce of the land small farmer, thriving and laying by till they obtain such prices as they wish money ; his children well clad, and for.'
his whole family eating meat and • The cant has too long prevailed, drinking good beer. What a lesson among English and Scotch writers, does this short extract convey to the to describe the Irish cottier not only peasantry of Ireland ! and how, we as a burden to society, but as a would ask, can a poor man be sooner miserable being, half naked, and half placed in a state of comparative comfed, deficient in strength* and ener- fort than by giving him a few acres gy; and, as it would appear, useful of land ? Talk not of want of caonly as forming a living contrast to pital; the necessary implements of the English peasant. But bear Mr. husbandry are easily procured, a Young on the subject; and it must spade and a shovel cannot cost be allowed he knew Ireland better much, and seed potatoes are cheap than English writers and Scotch re- enough in Ireland. At another time, yiewers :- If any one doubts the perhaps, we shall expose the fallacy comparative plenty which attends the of Scotch philosophers' reasoning board of a poor native of England against the use of potatoes as a prin
* From its peculiar salubrity, the natives of this island (Ireland) are celebrated for just symmetry of proportion and an athletic frame; because, from earliest infancy to manhood, a check is rarely given to the progressive increase of animal strength, or the approximate form of an undiseased body. From the same source arise those ardent passions, and that flow of animal spirits, which render the natives of Ireland always cheerful, often turbulent and boisterous--the natural consequence of uninterrupted bealth and vigorous constitutions.'-MR. WAKEFIELD. † Arthur Young's Tour in Ireland.
cipal article of food; for the very were, at all, events, in 1800; and, acattributes for which they condemn cording to Mr. Fraser's survey, there them are those that should make was then, on an average, a house in their adoption universal.
the parishes of Drennan and Killinic to Our table of farms establishes three every eight acres, while in no parish important facts :-first, that, though were there more than twenty acres to a cottiers are numerous, large farms are house. In the disturbed districts this in abundance; secondly, that the po- is far from being the case. pulation of Ireland is far from being At present we shall not enter into superabundant; and, lastly, that the the question of barbarism' and educapeople cannot be idle. It must be tion; but merely say that a population needless to offer any explanation, for evidently more honest * and moral it will be seen at once that, were every than countries which boast of perfect individual capable of working out of civilization, cannot, in our opinion, the five millions employed in agricul- be called barbarous, nor the people ture alone, they would all have more ignorant where education is univerthan they could do. At particular sea- sal. + sons there may be partial idleness; We have thus laboured to demonbut, estimating things as they actually strate that the evil which goads Ireare, it is impossible that any one who land to madness is not founded in her chooses to work can be permanently circumstances; and that, though her unemployed. During the war it is well local grievances may be numerous and known that corn, in many places, irksome, the cause of universal disconperished for want of reapers : surely tent originates in political disqualifidischarged soldiers have not increased cation. We solicit attention to the the population to such an extent as facts we have stated; and, if our into make that now difficult which in ferences have been just, we would 1812 was superabundant.
implore the friends of Ireland-of Anumerous population is absolutely emancipation-of truth-to forego necessary to prosperity. When Sicily their common topic-Irish misery, was the granary of Rome she had and cease to supply their opponents eight millions of inhabitants ; at pre- with arguments against their cause, sent she has scarcely more than two, and invectives against their country. and yet exports little or no grain -Misrepresentation higbly injurious This is the history of Egypt, Assyria, to the character of Ireland has gone Greece, and Asia Minor; and, when abroad, and none know the extent of Spain was great and prosperous, she its evil influence but those who have had twice her present population.- mixed in English and Continental But, without going out of Ireland, we society; for, even in France, Irish have a proof that small farms and ignorance, superstition, and poverty, is dense population are not inconsistent a common subject of conversation. with the highest state of cultivation and That Ireland is undeserving of these prosperity. In the county of Wex- imputations we firmly believe; and, ford the two baronies of Forth and notwithstanding all that has been Bargie are cases in point. All agree said on the sufferings of that kingdom, in ascribing to these the extremne of we are confident that emancipation is happiness and good order. Such they a panacea that would cure them all.
THE HERMIT IN IRELAND.-N0. I.
in the politics or the literature of the THE Dublin Library is a place Irish metropolis. He who would where the stranger, without being at enjoy this intellectual treat in permuch trouble, may become acquaint- fection must visit the spot upon the ed with nearly all that is remarkable sabbath : then comes forth the sage,
* We may look a while into the returns from an English agricultural county of the same population as Roscommon before we find for the convictions of all sorts of stealing only twenty-seven.'— Morning Chronicle. ť Vide Mr. Wakefield, Mr. Ensor, Lord Selkirk, &c. &c.
VOL. I.-No. I.
Fellow, or the studious jib, from the titude. Sitting at some distance from gloomy recesses of his college ; then the group that encircled O'Connell, the overwrought lawyer stands dis- with his chin resting on his hand, engaged; then starts out the drowsy and his eyes ' upturned as one injournalist from his inky labour: spired, I beheld his friend and fellowthe man of trade drops in, and ven- labourer, Sheil. He was engaged in tures to talk about uncommercial conversation with two persons immematters, without the fearful appre- diately opposite : I was struck by hension of being pointed at as an the rapidity of his utterance, and the airy politician; even the mere idler extreme sharpness of his tones. A feels something in the air of the stranger, at the first view, could place, or sees something in the fea- hardly suppose that such a man tures of those around him, which would be likely to distinguish himself brings with it a gleam of encourage- as an orator. He labours under many ment, making him less ashamed of disadvantages ; but where is the dishis lazy vocation. All seem willing advantage that genius will not surto indulge for the time in the luxury mount? where is the difficulty that of relaxation-all seem disposed to zeal and perseverance will not ultilisten or to talk, without caring what mately remove? may be the subject, or whither it may I advanced with my friend towards lead them.
the centre of the room. We found, Shortly after my arrival in Dub- in the crowd about O'Connell, many lin I accompanied a friend to this of those whose names appear in the strange gathering-place. On en- newspapers as speakers at the meettering we proceeded up stairs to ings of the Association. The subject what is termed the Reading Room. which now engaged their attention It is a fine apartment, filled almost to was the old one: they were numberthe top with a collection of very rare ing over their grievances, dwelling and very valuable works. Here the upon their wrongs, and giving free most profound silence prevailed: a few expression to their feelings of either pale studious-looking young men hope or despondency as regarding were seated at the desks and in the the future: they were giving a hearty gallery. A fine portrait of the cele- condemnation to the character and brated John Philpot Curran orna- the principles of their interested ments the room. I looked around enemies, and paying the cordial trime. In this place,' thought I, bute of honest gratitude to their well
there is nothing remarkable-let us meaning and enlightened friends. see if any thing new will present On this point, however, I perceived itself below! We proceeded to that some difference of opinion prethe Conversation Room, and here vailed. Who were the friends, and at once I found myself encircled by who were the enemies, of the cause? some of the most remarkable cha. This was not a matter that seemed racters of the day. On the end of a likely to be easily arranged; this was long table, with his dark frock and not a question that could be hastily broad hat, sat O'Connell : he was answered. I listened attentively. surrounded by a knot of friends or The Dissenters of the North are of followers, all apparently anxious enlightened and liberal,' said John to catch his scattering remarks, Lawless, of Belfast. or to urge, in a lowly and modest 'I deny it,' replied O'Connell, tone, some observation of their own. " have they not degenerated into I gazed for a moment upon the great Orangeisin ? leader. I could not avoid observing • True!' added O'Reilly of Cavan ; to my friend that Nature seemed to they have not dealt fairly with their have formed this man for playing poor Catholic neighbours, and on the something more than an ordinary next day of meeting I shall move'part. Independent of his intellectual Move out of my way,' said the sepowers (and these are of no common cretary, O'Gorman; "I am sick of cast), his figure, voice, and manner, your motions, your bigotry, and your have something in them calculated hair-splitting.'at once to win and overawe the mul- • I shall move,' said O'Reilly
Peace! peace, my good friend ! to his religious or political principles : cried Sheil, advancing from his table; this little, however, speaks decidedly what have we to say to the Northerns? in his favour. A book lies in the Conwhat have we to do with their liberality versation Room, in which every memor illiberality? It cannot affect our ber is at liberty to write for the purpose question: it is better for us to pro- of recommending improvements in the ceed temperately: if they are not very place, or the purchase of new publiardent friends, does it follow that we cations. It is sometimes scrawled over are to make decided enemies of with squibs of a humorous or political them ?'
tendency.-Hand me the Proposal I attended to this brief dialogue Book,' said O'Connell. The book with a good deal of interest: it came--the crowd around him grew appeared to me that Sheil was deeper and thicker: he seized a pencalmer than the rest of his friends, he scratched a few lines-he affixed because he had about him less of his name.- An excellent paper,' what may be termed a sectarian feel. cried one. What paper?' inquired ing. O'Gorman was rude and care. another. The Connaught Journal, less, because he disliked trouble. repeated twenty voices. —' Sign, O'Connell condemned the Dissenters, sign,' was the wordthe Counsellor because Lawless, as a journalist, is has signed it. This was enough; his perpetually praising them: he acts sanction was all-sufficient; -nearly upon the principle of the Athenian of forty signatures instantly followed. old; it disturbs him to hear northern Sign this,' said my friend to a slim liberality constantly lauded. Such are purple-nosed personage who stood the trifting causes that often produce near us. We have too many papers serious effects.
already,' said the stranger. I found that the persons with whom • Well, but we want a few good Sheil had been engaged in conversa- ones.' tion were the editor of the Evening “Our funds won't admit of getting Post' and Sir Charles Morgan: the them.' . latter left the room while the asso- •Even one?' ciates? were arguing. He meadles, I “No!-unless the “Evening Mail." am told, but rarely with the politics of Oh! probably you dislike the the day: as a lover of liberty, and “ Connaught Journal ?” as a friend to common justice, his I do the editor is a papist.' feelings, go with the cause of the. This personage who would not sign Catholics ; as an enemy to craft and was the Rev. Tighe Gregory, a most hypocrisy, he strenuously resists the unreverend-looking character. Such operations of the · Sainte ;' and little was the scene witnessed during my more than this is known with regard first visit to the Dublin Library.
THE IRISH HIGHLANDS. * THESE letters, if the preface is de- religious cant that pervade the whole serving of credit, are the joint produc. volume. tion of a family party of literary Of the country or gender of the pretenders, who emigrated some two writers we know nothing, though the or three years ago to Dick Martin's total ignorance of English and Irish (the renowned M. P.) kingdom of manners evinced in every page would Cunnemarra, where they have chiefly lead us to conclude that they are not naemployed themselves in taking the tives of these kingdoms, unless we sup'conceit out of the peasantry by the pose that they vegetated east of Tem. application of medicine, (we wish ple Bar, or in some of the half-genteel they had administered a dose to them. streets near Stephen's Green, Dublin. selves,) in fruitless endeavours to pro- We incline to the latter opinion; for selyte the children of the Catholic the perpetual reference to English poor, and in writing the flimsy trash neatness, English comfort, and Welch now before us, made more unpardon- cottages, proves that they knew these able by the affected patriotism and only through the medium of such no
* Letters from the Irish Highlands. Murray, London, 1825. 8vo.