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lized the herring-fishery of the Shet In truth, if the matter be considerland Isles; and in Adam Smith's ed dispassionately, it must occur to time, it was calculated that it yielded every man of historical information, to them annually a clear profit of that the vulgar theory which ascribes two millions a-year; it may safely all the miseries of Ireland to English be affirmed, that the coast and deep- conquest, is totally unfounded. Iresea fisheries of Ireland are capable land is no doubt a province of a great of yielding a clear profit to the na- empire; but so also is Scotland, Hation of at least double that sum. The nover, and Canada ; and yet all these religion of the great bulk of the in- countries, so far from being in a habitants is as great an advantage in miserable condition, are in the very this, as in every other it is a disad- highest state of prosperity. Ireland vantage to their industry: - the was conquered six centuries ago; Catholics, by consuming fish only but so was England by the Normans, on fast-days and Lent, afford the Gaul by the Franks, and the North great market for fisheries all over of Italy by the Lombards ; and yet The world. There is no reason why from the mixed population of the the peasantry of Ireland should not victors and vanquished, bas arisen generally consume salt herrings with all the wealth, prosperity, and grantheir daily meal of potatoes; and if deur of those great countries. A so, no limit can be assigned to the living historian of philosophic ability extent of their fisheries, or the de- has justly traced to the severities gree of comfort which they may and misery consequent for centuspread through their labouring popu- ries on the Norman conquest, the lation.
remote seeds of British freedom ; What is it, then, which retains in and observed, that those ages of nasuch an abject state of misery a tional suffering were the most valuacountry so prodigally gifted by na- ble ages which England has ever ture, and so indulgently treated by known.* There must have been government? How has it happened something more, therefore, than the that Ireland, so kindly cherished by mere fact of early subjugation, which Great Britain for the last half cen is to be looked to as the origin of tury, almost without taxation, cer Irish misery, something which has tainly without any of the burdens counteracted in this alone, of all which at the same period have over other European states, the healing whelmed British industry, is in so powers of nature, and rendered the deplorable a state; that, abounding intermixture of different races, conin agricultural riches, its people . sequent on foreign conquest, the should so often be starving ; enjoy- source of so much benefit to other ing every advantage for manufac- states, the predecessor of so much tures, its industry should in so many wretchedness to that unhappy land. quarters be languishing; and begirt This fundamental cause is to be with the finest fisheries in Europe, found in the annexation of Ireland to it should derive comparatively no a country possessing free instituthing from that inexhaustible source tions; and the consequent and not of wealth? The Irish have an answer unnatural extension to her populaready; they say it is misgovernment. tion of privileges which they were We agree with them; it is misgo- not capable of bearing, and of pasvernment; but it is not the misgo- sions whose excitation they could vernment of England, but of their not withstand. own factious demagogues, which has For nearly two bundred years, occasioned all the misery; and if it is ever since the beneficent labours of
in a worse state than ever now, it is James I., Ireland has enjoyed the • not because, under our Whig rulers, forms, and been delivered over to
they have been too harshly, but too the passions, of a free state. She has lepiently treated; it is not because had county elections, Parliaments, government has been too rigorous, grand juries, trial by jury, and all the but because it has, by undue conces other machinery which bas grown sion, been dissolved.
up in England during eight centu
• Guizot, Essais sur l'Historie de France.
ries from the seeds of Saxon liberty. lurements of English innovation. In
The great misfortune of the Eng- ternately convicted on the doubtful lish always has been, that they think testimony of traitors, or acquitted that whatever is found to work well from the force of prejudice or popu. among themselves, must necessarily lar intimidation; the people every work well in all other countries; where combined, under skilful leadand that to secure the happiness of ers, in one vast and systematic oppo. all the nations in alliance or subjec- sition to authority of every sort, civil tion to them, it is quite sufficient to or religious; a hidden unseen eccletransplant into their soil the English siastical authority, universally and institutions. Ireland has been the implicitly obeyed; an open and avowvictim of this natural and well-mean- ed government, insulted and defied ing, but most mistaken and ruinous at the head of 30,000 men. What can policy. Scotland is so prosperous, be expected from such institutions, chiefly because her ancestors first so existing amongst a semibarbarous bravely with their swords resisted and impassioned people? Just such English invasion, and so long af a result as would instantly ensue if terwards steadily withstood the al- they were established at once in Hun
gary, Bohemia, Poland, or Russia ; the former belonging to the Episcosuch a result as the revolutionists pal communion; yet religious ranover all the world are constantly la. cour is unknown in that country. bouring to effect-universal confu And if it be said, that this is because sion, anarchy, and misery; the rich the Presbyterian religion, as the redivided against the poor ; violence, ligion of the majority, is established intimidation, and ferocity among the to the north of the Tweed, what is labouring classes; the despotic au to be said of England, where, acthority of frantic demagogues; the cording to the constant boast of the prostration and ruin of industry in democratic party, the Dissenters are every quarter of the country; the as numerous as the members of the growth of habits which render the Establishment, and yet no religious enjoyment of freedom utterly im- animosity prevails ? Difference of practicable for ages to come. Such religion is very common in the conis the state of Ireland; such it will tinental states. One-half of the pocontinue to be while the present pulation of France is said to be Profeeble and inefficient government, or testant, but, nevertheless, religious rather total absence of government, rancour has never been added to its exists among its impassioned peo numerous causes of discord. All reple.
ligions exist in Russia. When the EmWe are far from being insensible peror Alexander took the field against to the other evils of Ireland, on which Bonaparte, he went with a Greek pathe revolutionary party lay so much triarch at the head of the Church, a stress, and to which they ascribe all Catholic chancellor of the empire, the wretchedness which so remarks and a Protestant general-in-chief of ably distinguishes it. We know well all the armies; and yet tranquillithe extent and injustice of the con ty, industry, and prosperity, prevail fiscations of land consequent on through the wide extent of the Czar's Cromwell's suppression of the Ty- dominions. In the East, our emrone rebellion; the rancour and pire is inhabited by persons professheartburnings which it has left in ing such discordant religions, that the descendants of the dispossessed they would rather perish than eat proprietors; and the wretched con together; and in Canada, upon an sequences which have resulted, and old and stationary Catholic populado result, from the adoption of one tion, a new and rapidly increasing faith by the dominant landlords, and Protestant race has been superinduanother by the insurgent peasantry. ced; yet in no part of the world are All that we know well. “But what the seeds of prosperity more rapidly we rest upon is this : All these evils germinating. The Whigs told us, have existed to an equal or greater that Ireland was an exception to the extent in other countries, who have general rule, because the Catholics nevertheless rapidly recovered from were not emancipated; but that as. them, and shortly after exhibited un sertion, like most of the others which equivocal symptoms of the most re they advanced, is now disproved; markable prosperity. For example, the Catholics have been emancipathe confiscation of property during ted, and Ireland ever since has been the French Revolution was carried in an unprecedented state of misery to a much greater length than it ever -the whole country is in a state of was in Ireland, and the old proprietors virtual insurrection, and the passions were in most places almost entirely of the people are more furious than rooted out; yet the revolutionists are the first to tell us, that France It is now proved by experience, has been immensely benefited by that the causes to which the Whigs the revolution; and there can be no ascribed the misery of Ireland, and doubt that, under the rule of the which long misled so large a portion Bourbons, from 1815 to 1830, it ex of the British public, are not the real hibited a degree of prosperity unpre sources of the evil. The system they cedented in any former period of its recommended has been tried it history. In like manner, in Scotland has not only totally failed, but made the religion of the owners of the soil the country much worse than beis in a great degree different from fore. that of the peasantry-two-thirds of What, then, should a government
have done, called upon to legislate by the skill and influence of the for this distracted and divided coun priesthood. This is an evil of the try? We answer, without hesita. utmost magnitude, corrupting, as it tion, done every thing, on the one does, the sources of justice, and sehand, to protect its industry, deve- curing impunity to rapine and venlope its resources, relieve its poor, geance. Government can never comassuage its sufferings; and on the bat too vigorously this terrible evil. other, crushed its demagogues, re The mode of doing so must be devestrained its excesses, rendered hope- loped by the local authorities; but less its violence. The task was a we venture to prophecy, the evil will difficult one; it could be accom never be eradicated till justice is plished only slowly and gradually- administered as in Scotland, by puband more than one generation must lic authorities appointed and paid by have descended to the grave, before the Crown; and till the Government the whole fruits of those really heal are authorized, upon a report from ing measures could have been seen; the Judges, that the conviction of but still it was the only path which offenders has become impossible, promised a chance even of safety, from the effects of intimidation, to and it was the only one on which suspend jury trial for a time in the political wisdom would have cared turbulent districts, and try the ofto enter.
fenders, as in courts martial, by the Many measures might have been Judges alone. Many estimable men adopted, which would already have will hesitate as to this : let them rehad a great effect on the sufferings collect what is the other alternative, of Ireland : many avoided, which namely, impunity to assassins, in would have prevented the terrible cendiaries, and robbers, and ceaseincrease of its discord which has less anarchy to the country. lately taken place.
On this subject it is sufficient to 1. The first measure which is in
quote the testimony of a gentleman dispensable to the revival of Irish of acknowledged talent, intimately prosperity, is the adoption of the acquainted with Ireland, and cermost vigorous measures to restore the tainly any thing rather than favouradministration of justice, and give able to the Conservative cause. Sir to life and property somewhat of that Henry Parnell has said in his place protection which is now afforded in the House of Commons, only to rapine and outrage. This is as member for Queen's County, he a matter of first-rate importance; so could not help adverting to the state much so, indeed, that without it all of that part of Ireland. He had reattempts to tranquillize or improve ceived information that a confederacy Ireland will, as they hitherto have prevailed among the lower orders of done, prove completely nugatory. that county, which enabled them to As long as the south of Ireland is exercise a complete control over the illuminated by midnight conflagra- higher orders, and to set at defiance tions, or disgraced by assassinations the laws which were passed for the at noon-day-as long as families are general protection of the commuroasted alive in their houses, and nity. He was further informed witnesses murdered for speaking the that houses were frequently attacktruth - as long as legal payments ed by armed parties in the open day, are resisted by organized multitudes, and that murders were sometimes and the power of government set at committed during such attacks. He nought by Catholic authority - so was likewise informed that the reign long will Ireland remain in its pre- of terror made it impossible to obsent distracted and unhappy state, tain a conviction against these mamiserable itself, a source of misery rauders when brought to trial, and to others, a dead weight about the that thus peaceable persons, who neck of the empire.
disapproved of these violent proThe intimidation of juries and ceedings, were obliged, by a regard witnesses has been carried to a length to their own safety, to give them an in Ireland, of which, on this side of implied but involuntary sanction. the Channel, we can form no con He called the attention of the right ception; and it is one of the many hon. secretary for Ireland to this evils which it owes to the democra- subject: he trusted that something tic spirit, organized, as it has been, would be done to restore peace and
security to that part of the country. the simple expedient of marching The magistrates were of opinion them to Cork, Waterford, or Dublin, that the insurrection act should there to be embarked for England, be renewed, and that Government and sold there, is one of the unacshould be invested with additional countable parts of the conduct of the powers to put down this system of present Administration, which proves intimidation and outrage.”
that they are ignorant of the first Provision also is indispensably re- principles of the government of man. quired for the protection of the wit- kind. The state of things in Ireland nesses, who bear testimony in unpo- for the last year, is neither more nor pular causes. At present they are sent less than a direct premium on rebelback after the trial to their homes lion, an encouragement to the cesto be assassinated, or roasted alive sation of payment of taxes, rent, or by the insurgent peasantry; and yet burdens of any description, and an the English are astonished that invitation to the people to avail themjustice cannot be obtained in Ire- selves of the machinery now put in land! In all such cases, where the motion against the clergy for their witness desires it, and he appears deliverance from rent, taxes, and to have given a true testimony, he burdens of every description. should be furnished with the means 3. Having vindicated the authority of emigration, with his wife and fa- of the law, measures should next be mily, and marched to the place of taken to prevent the clergy from embarkation under a military guard. coming in contact with the cultivaNothing short of this will procure tors, by commuting the tithes, and evidence against the worst criminals, laying them as a direct burden on or overcome the rooted determina- the landlords. Let us not be mistion of the Irish peasantry to mur- taken: we have not the least idea der all those who have given evi- that this will improve the condition dence, as they conceive, against the of the farmers, or satisfy the desires people; that is, who have sworn the of the abolitionists—we know well truth against cut-throats and incen- what they wish; the resumption of diaries.
the tithes to the Catholic clergy, of 2. The government is now com the estates to the Catholic landlords, mitted in a struggle with the Catho- and of the government to Catholic lic priesthood as to the payment of leaders, is what they desire, and will tithes; the authority of the law must never cease to strive for. But though be vindicated, or the semblance of this measure would do as little, in order, which now exists in Ireland, all probability, as Catholic Emanciwill be annihilated. Let what mea- pation to tranquillize Ireland, yet it sures they choose follow for the would remove the irritation which commutation of tithes: the first thing now exists between the clergy and to do is, to vindicate the authority their parishioners, and thus withdraw of the law against an insurgent peo- the Established Church from a poliple. For this purpose, authority tical contest, of which it is now the should be obtained from the legisla- victim. ture, to levy from those who can pay 4. The next great object of Irish and wont pay, the full value of the legislation, should be the establish tithe in kind, with expenses, and ment of a judicious and enlightened to march the cattle distrained off to system of Poor's Laws, for the rethe nearest sea-port, to be sold in lief of the sick, the aged, and those Bristol or Liverpool. A few exam- who, though willing, can find no emples of the vigorous application of ployment. It is needless to argue this law, would operate like a charm this question—the public mind is in dissolving the combination against made up upon it. The English and tithes. The present system of ex. Scotch will not much longer submit posing the cattle for sale, in a coun to have their poor's rates doubled try where no person ventures to buy annually by the inundation of Irish them, and then marching them back beggars; or their scanty channels of to the owners, is a mere mockery, employment choked by multitudes and tends to nothing, but to bring of Irish labourers. The time is come, government and the law into con- when, in the general distress of the tempt. Why they never fell upon empire, consequent on the shock