Page images

given to credit and industry by the The apprehension so commonly Reform Bill, each portion must be expressed, that if we furnish the led to a maintenance of their own Irish with the means of emigration, poor. We are persuaded that the they will only people the faster at Irish themselves must be aware, that home, and speedily fill up the vahowever burdensome such a mea cuum produced by our exertions, is sure may be, it is unavoidable; and altogether chimerical. Even if it that the relief afforded to this coun were true that this would follow, it try by the absorption of its labour- would be no reason whatever for not ing poor, and their removal from a giving this direction to the stream, life of dissolute idleness, will be a if it cannot be checked. At present greater public and private benefit, the Irish do not remain at home; than the imposition of poor's rates they emigrate into England and will be a burden.

Scotland, because the steam-boats The hackneyed argument, that by bring them over the Channel for a so doing you will add fuel to the sixpence, and they there find emflame, and increase the already re- ployment in health, and a legal setdundant numbers of the Irish poor, tlement in sickness and age. Supis generally known to be, what it posing, therefore, that we could not really is, a complete delusion. A stop the increase of the Irish poor, judicious system of poor’s rates in we do ourselves, as well as them, an reality, instead of being an encou immense service, by turning them ragement to undue increase, is the into the regions of Transatlantic most effectual means for diminish- plenty, instead of the densely peoing it; because it is a check to the pled shores of Britain. But, in truth, propagation of those pauper and de- a judicious system of emigration grading habits, which, more than any largely carried into execution, would other circumstance, lead to the mul- have just an opposite effect. By tiplication of the poor. Without improving the condition of those poor's rates, Ireland has for a cen who remain at home, and enlarging tury been overwhelmed with a re the sphere of their employment, it dundant poor : with them, England would contribute to diffuse better for two has retained hers within the habits, encourage artificial wants, bounds of general comfort and pros and gradually bring the increase of perity. This example is decisive: mankind into some degree of harfurther argument is like attempting mony with the augmentation of the to prove that two and two make four.

wages of labour. 5. The greatest possible facility 6. The fisheries, and neglected should be given by Government to harbours, and waste lands of Ireland, the emigration of the Irish poor. furnish ample room for the comThe number who emigrated in 1831 mencement of government works on to Canada was 18,000. No reason a great scale, to spread wealth, and can be assigned why it should not industry, and orderly habits through be 180,000. The expense of trans- its labouring poor. The mines of porting settlers to the shores of Ca- untouched wealth which there exist nada, is about L.3 a-head: to furnish are incalculable; they might almost the means of emigration to this large pave the Emerald Isle with gold. In body, therefore, would only cost other countries, such undertakings L.540,000; and what an immense re may be safely left to the exertions of lief would it prove to every part of private industry. In Ireland the case the empire! The expense of such a is otherwise. Unless they are begun proceeding would, no doubt, be con and forced on by the capital and the siderable; but what is that to the vigour of Government,they never will incalculable relief it would afford be attempted. Ireland is in that stage to a nation now labouring in every of civilisation when such undertaquarter from the immigration of Irish kings must originate with Governpoor? We have spent much more ment, or not be carried on at all. Inthan that sum already in fitting out dividual capital will never migrate to a fleet to partition the dominions of a country, where life and property is our ancient ally, and give back Ant so precarious as it is in that distractwerp the stronghold of revolution ed island. If we would give the ary France, to the power which people in the south and west a taste openly aims at our subjugation, for the enjoyments of wealth or the

acquisitions of industry, we must, in These are hard words ; let the reader
the first instance, force them on a judge from the facts, whether or not
reluctant people by government ex they are merited.

When they first came into power,
Having done thus much for the in November 1830, they declared
welfare and happiness of Ireland - their resolution, in the strongest
having strained every nerve for the terms, to put a period to the anarchy
real benefit and prosperity of its of Ireland. For three months, Dub-
numerous inhabitants, Government lin was the scene of the most vehe-
would be entitled to come forward ment contest between Mr O'Connell
and deliver them from the worst and the Irish Secretary; and at last
curse which desolates their land, he was caught by the vigour and
that of their own priests and dema- ability of the Attorney-General, and
gogues. The seditious harangues, actually PLEADED GUILTY to a cri-
the treasonable meetings, the incené minal indictment preferred against
diary proclamations, which have so him. Their vigour on this occasion
long kept up the flame of discontent was attended with the best effects,
in that unhappy country, to promote and had a prodigious effect both in
the ambition of a few restless dema- Ireland and England. O'Connell
gogues, must be put down. The seemed to be gone; the anarchy of
people must be delivered from the Ireland to be pierced to the heart in
tyranny of their demagogues in spite the person of the great Agitator;
of themselves. England, with its and tranquillity about to revisit its
centuries of freedom; Scotland, with shores, from the experienced hope-
its cautious character, could not lessness of agitating with impunity
withstand such incendiary applica- and success. In England, all good
tion. How then can it be expected men beheld with satisfaction this
that Ireland is to be tranquil under incipient act of vigour, and antici-
their influence, destitute as she is of pated the happiest result from this
the free habits of the one, or the signal advantage gained over the
cautious temperament of the other. worst enemy his country had ever
Naturally brave, impassioned and known.
ardent, the Irish have never felt in But immediately after this deci-
the slightest degree the counteract- sive success, commenced the ruinous
ing influence of the causes which system of weakness, vacillation, and
moderate popular excesses in this subservience to the mob, which has
country, and so long prevented liber- ever since been pursued. The bud-
ty from degenerating into licentious- get was brought in ; Ministers were

Yet it is into their inflamma- beaten, laughed at, and evidently ble bosom that Government has so falling; and to prop up their totterlong allowed the fury of political ing power, they resolved to throw and religious rancour to be poured themselves, without reserve, into the without alloy. And still the English arms of the revolutionary party, in express surprise at the ceaseless dis- the whole empire. This instantly quietude and suffering of Ireland ! revived their all but ruined fortunes;

The consideration of what a wise the danger was transferred from and beneficent government might themselves to the nation; instead of have done, and should have done, for the Whig Administration going down Ireland, forms the best introduction the gulf of perdition, Great Britain to the examination of what the entered the jaws; and they had the Whigs have actually effected. satisfaction of prolonging a feverish

In entering on this subject, we existence for a few years, by a meaknow not in what terms to express sure which they now know, and do our astonishment at the mixture of not scruple to avow, will prove the vacillation, recklessness, and igno- destruction of the empire. rance, which the conduct of admini Towards the success of this allistration towards Ireland has afforded ance with the Revolutionists, it was for the last two years. Indeed, we indispensable that the great Agitator doubt whether there is on record in should be gained over to their side; European history, such an instance and the democrats of Ireland perof weakness of judgment and vio- mitted to agitate and convulse the lence of party ambition, as their con- country under the colours of admiduct from first to last has exhibited. nistration. With this view, he was


[ocr errors]



from making him Attorney-General ! blished clergy were in a state of

never brought up to receive sentence. unexpected and unhoped for exMonth after month, the whole win- tinction of tithes, the combination ter term of the Dublin courts expi- against their payment was rapidly red, without his prosecution being organized.

The Catholic bishops moved in, although it might have and priests could not be persuaded · been finished in ten minutes ; and at that they were not forwarding the last it was allowed to come to a na views of Administration, and of their tural termination by the dissolution favourite pupil and dignified ally, of Parliament in April 1831. Mr O'Connell, by anticipating a little

Not content with this immense the work of “ Extinction,” and refuboon to the great Agitator, Ministers, sing de facto to pay those burdens in the transports of their first love which were so soon de jure to be for the Revolutionists, went a step terminated. Thence arose the imfarther. They promoted him above mense and unparalleled combination all his brethren, placed him at the against tithes in Ireland, originating head of the Irish bar, and, if report in the diocese of Dr Doyle. Orgabe true, were only prevented by the nized by the Catholic leaders in firmness of the Irish Secretary, too Dublin, it soon spread universally able a man not to be a Conservative over the south and west; and in a in heart, whatever he is in party, short time two-thirds of the estaThis unprecedented and disgraceful starvation, and the greater part of step was equivalent to a general the country in a virtual insurrection proclamation of anarchy through the against the authority of the law. The country. The passions of its ardent consequences are well known. A people were let loose without re bill was brought into Parliament to straint. Sheltered under the wings provide for the necessities of the of administration, secure from all Irish_Church out of the Consolidadanger at the hands of Government, ted Fund; the clergy of Ireland the Catholics, democrats, and agita- thrown upon the industry of Engtors of that distracted country uni- land, and the Attorney-General, charted together; and in the midst of vio- ged with the hopeless task, by the lence, intimidation, and bloodshed, aid of the military, of recovering the a large majority of movement-men dues of the church out of several was returned to Parliament.

millions of an insurgent peasantry. Nor was this all. With the view Meanwhile the perilous state of apparently of still farther rousing the the country roused the spirit, and passions of the Catholics, Mr Stanley called forth the patriotism of the declared in his place in the House Protestants of the North. Seeing of Commons, that “the extinction of themselves abandoned by the Gotithes” was intended by Govern- vernment, and on the verge of dement; and the Catholic leaders, by struction; anticipating the horrors this time become a powerful body in of the Tyrone Rebellion on a still the House, instantly hailed the joy- greater scale, this intrepid band ous intelligence, and said, without stood forth alone, but undismayed, contradiction from the Treasury in the midst of the general paralysis Benches, that they considered tithes and defection of the empire. While as now at an end on the other side England was quailing under the vioof St George's Channel. This un- lence of the Revolutionists, and beexpected intelligence spread like holding in consternation the fires at wildfire through Ireland; faster than Bristol ; while the noble example of the fiery cross, it sped from chapel the Conservative Meeting at Edin. to chapel, from priest to priest; burgh failed to stimulate the Scotch and the people, totally incapable of to the discharge of patriotic duty; understanding what was intended, the Irish Protestants boldly stood but relying on the words of Admini- forth, and though menaced by danstration in the House of Commons, gers infinitely greater than any other concluded that tithes were finally part of the British dominions, held abolished; and that all payments to a language, and exhibited a deterthe clergy were thenceforward to mination, which, if generally imitacease for ever.

ted through the empire, would have In the tumults consequent on this consigned the Reform Bill, with its

parent Administration, to an exe- because the people persist in annex. Crated grave, and delivered the em- ing to the word “ extinction” its napire from all the dangers which its tural and established meaning. The authors are now sensible are thick- consequences of this deception, of ening round its aged head. History the frustration of their hopes, and the has no more glorious example of blasting of these expectations, have courageous ability to refer to, than been dreadful in the extreme, and was exhibited by the brave and il 80 will Government and Parliament lustrious leaders of Irish patriotism; find at the next election. the splendid eloquence of Mr Boy To complete the work of revoluton, the dauntless intrepidity of the tionary madness, the Government Earl of Roden, captivated the brave next proceeded to pass for Ireland and the enthusiastic in every part of the Reform Bill: a bill which at once the empire; and the Protestants of swept away the incorporations which the North, to whom Ireland had so the wisdom of James I. had establishoften owed her deliverance, stood ed as a barrier against Catholic inforth in such numbers, and with so vasion; and threw the elections of heroic a spirit, as daunted as much great part of the country at once inas it astonished the servile crew of the to the hands of an infuriated Catholic Revolutionists, crouching, though rabble, acting under the dictation of they are under the wings of mini- ambitious and able leaders. Of all sterial support:

the infatuations of which party men Meanwhile the ministerial project were ever guilty, this is perhaps the for tithes came forth. It was no greatest. For Ireland, great part of longer“ an extinction” of tithes, but whose people are still almost in a only a “ commutation, which by savage state, and all of whom are laying them on the landlord directly, actuated by the strongest political still preserved them, though not in passions, they proposed the same so palpable a manner, as a burden on electoral institutions as England for the soil. The wisdom of the change the neighbouring island. Into its from the intention originally announ- inflammable, ardent, and penniless ced, is obvious; and we rejoice at population they poured the same being able to render our humble fatal gift of political power which meed of praise to the Government was hardly deemed safe amidst the for this return to Conservative prin- old established freedom, sober haciples, even at the eleventh hour; bits, and extended property of Engbut what shall we say to the rash- land. One political constitution was ness which dictated the previous carved out at a single heat for Engpromise of “extinction,” and set the land, Scotland, and Ireland ; in other Catholic population every where on words, one measure taken for a man fire, at the prospect of a boon which of forty, a youth of eighteen, and a Government never intended they boy of twelve; for in these proporshould receive? Thence has arisen tions, or nearly so, is the capacity of the universal, the unanimous detes- the different portions of the empire tation in which the Whigs are held to bear political excitation, or duly in Ireland. The nation, for the last exercise the political rights of electsix months, has been every where ing citizens. The simple enunciaconvulsed by contests for the pay- tion of this fact is sufficient to conment of tithes. Every other subject, vict the Ministry, not only of the how pressing soever, has been lost most culpable rashness, but total in the overwhelming interest of that ignorance of the first principles of one topic. The peasantry originally representative governments. It is roused by the promises of Govern- utterly impossible that the same poment for the "extinction" of tithes, litical institutions can be adapted at organized and headed by the darling the same time to two nations, one of favourite of Ministers, the great Agi- which is in the infancy, and the other tator, find themselves assailed by the in the old age of its political educamilitary, for doing what these recent tion. If the L.10 franchise and the allies, these highly rewarded, and abolition of the close boroughs is dearly-beloved supporters of Go- adapted for England, it cannot be vernment, urged them to do. Blood suited for Ireland. has flowed profusely in many places;

What would we say to a legislator irritation been widely spread' in all, who should propose the same politi

cal institutions for the Bedouin Arabs, Conservative party; It is Ireland the degraded Chinese, and the yeo- which has produced this consternamanry of England ? Could any thing tion in the Ministerial ranks. They but anarchy and wretchedness be were fully warned, a hundred times anticipated from so total a departure over, during the progress of the from the lessons of experience; 80 Reform Bill, that this consequence blind a forgetfulness of the differ- would infallibly result from sweepence between such different races ing away all the barriers of the conand situations of mankind ? Yet this stitution in Ireland; but to all these is precisely what the Whigs have warnings they were utterly deaf ; done. They have given the same with obstinate resolution they forsovereign powers to the impassioned ced through the whole dangerous Catholic cottar, guided by his priest, clauses of the revolutionary measure, and execrating the Protestants, as to and they now confess that the emthe sober English yeoman, inheriting pire in consequence is on the verge from a long line of ancestors attach- of dissolution. ment to his King and country. They So absurd, vacillating, contradicthave swept away the old bulwarks ory, and yet obstinate, has been the equally in Popish Ireland as Protest- conduct of Ministers in Ireland, that ant England. There never was such they have contrived to accomplish infatuation. Supposing it to be all what would a priori have been deemtrue what they have so long and so ed impossible, viz. the union of strenuously maintained, as to the Catholics and Orangemen in one degradation in which the Irish were common opinion. That common opikept by the Catholic code, that only nion is detestation of them and their makes their conduct the more inex measures. The Protestants, with cusable, in sosuddenlyinvesting them reason, look upon them as the worst with irresistible sway. If it be true, enemies Ireland ever saw; as the that they have only ceased within original authors of the fatal admisthese few years to be slaves, it was sion of Catholic influence into the surely the height of madness to in- House of Commons; as the patrons vest them at once, while still burn- and rewarders of the greatest enemy. ing with servile passions, with the to the peace of Ireland that time has last and highest privileges of free- ever produced. The Catholics re

gard them as men who have betrayThe consequences have already ed them into measures which they developed themselves, and they have now punish them for pursuing; as struck with dismay the very authors having set the country on fire by the of the Reform Bill. The Globe tells promised extinction of tithes, which us that there are sixty-seven members they are now supporting with the supported by O'Connell, standing for whole military force of the empire.. the Irish cities and counties, and that in the universal obloquy which they a great majority of them will to all have acquired, the supporters of the appearance be returned. Mr Sheil Union itself have rapidly and alarmboasts that the repealers are already ingly decreased, and a portentous forty strong, and daily receiving ac union of Catholies and Protestants cessions of strength; a force quite taken place, to support the severance sufficient, by throwing itself into the of the island from British dominion. scale when nearly balanced, to sub O'Connell has treated the Governvert the empire. The Ministerial ment, as all men deserve to be treatpapers are daily firing signal guns of ed who, for party purposes and the distress for the effects of their own maintenance of power, surrender the healing measure. On their darling independence and spirit of freemen allies, the Radicals, they have opened -he has turned upon them with inwith unexampled fierceness : for dignation. "Loaded with their hothem, in gratitude for their past ser. nours, he has spurned them with convices, they have invented the epithet "tumely; rising from their caresses, of the Destructives," which Tory he has

he has turned from them with loathmalignity never yet thought of; and ing. The English newspapers have on these their leading journal has been for the most part afraid to print, lately opened those foodgates of even in these days of general license, slang and abuse, which a few months, the volley of abuse with which he has ago were bestowed exclusively on the assailed those who lately loaded him


« PreviousContinue »