« AnteriorContinuar »
therum as no less than a countymeeting, expressive by its voice (oh! what a stink was there, my countrymen!) of the moral sentiments of Ireland! Thus, in Sligo such a wretched assemblage was lately got up, the gentlemen present being nearly numerable on the fingers; and at Kilmainham, a meeting, purporting to be a county meeting, was graced by the presence of about 30 out of 1200 registered freeholdersand yet the address will be present ed to the King as emanating from the Freeholders of the County of Dublin!
Lord Mandeville's speech is little inferior in straight-forward truthfulness to that of Mr Waring. The following passage is excellent, and welltimed:
"Such, gentlemen, are the terms of the Resolution; but why does it appeal to the physical force of the Protestants of Ireland? Not for the purpose of threatening or intimidating the Government; but in declaring that ingredient in their political importance, it does a service to a weak Government; by shew.. ing them that if they act with less injus. tice and more impartiality towards them, that, in their hour of peril, they may cal
culate not only upon a tried and loyal body, but also upon the support of those who will enable them, by physical means, if they should become necessary, to act independently of a faction which now forces them not only to abandon measures which they had intended to pursue, but to originate others which I would fain imagine are not the spontaneous productions of their own inclinations. The resolution states, that the Irish Protestants are no paltry faction—(hear, hear.) The proportion of the numbers of Roman Catholics, as stated by Mr Leslie Foster, is about two and a half to one, and this agrees with other calculations I have heard, in making the Protestant population about two millions and a half(cheers.) It is right that this fact should be stated, in order that our brethren in England and Scotland may know that our number is so large, and thereby ensure us, when our voice is heard, their sympathy and support. It is most advisable to do away the error that exists in England with respect to our numbers. The general impression there is, I believe, (at least it was mine until I came to this country,) that the number of Protestants was so small, that their opinions, and privileges, and rights, could not be put
competition with, but must be sacrificed to, the feelings of the great mass of the preponderating Roman Catholic population. Can it be possible for a moment to conceive that their feelings and interests will not be considered, when it is known that their numbers exceed the entire population of Scotland? (hear, hear.) Moreover, in calculating the physical force of Ireland, something besides mere numbers ought to be taken into account-(hear, hear.) We must bear in mind the moral energy force-(cheers.) I simply declare the capable of applying and directing that feelings of others when I say there is not
a Protestant in Ireland who does not consider that he is the descendant of a conqueror (cheers)-that there is not a Protestant in Ireland who is not
imbued with that recollection of the past, which assures him of a confident anticipation of the future. That he moreover is determined to maintain that character which is his inheritance, whenever the King, the Constitution, and the laws shall call upon him to do so-(cheers.) It is also necessary that the people of Engthe combination is not for the purpose land should know that the necessity of of resisting the legal authorities, but is considered necessary in order to prevent the massacre of our people. For I feel conscious, that if the Protestants were preservation-if the Protestants were left left unprotected by these means of self
unarmed and uncombined, I fear, I say, that the scenes of an Irish St Bartholomew would be again enacted-(loud cries of hear.) With respect to the property of the Protestants, I have no hesitation in saying, that not only are nineteentwentieths of the wealth and respectability on our side, but we have actually that which, among a free people, will create wealth, viz. a greater proportion of morality, and sobriety, and activity. I must say for myself, that I have not discovered a want of sobriety or honesty on the part of the peasantry any where, except where they had not Protestant principles to actuate them."
His Lordship then speaks, in terms equally just and animated, of the Orange institution, as being composed of a loyal body of men, not contenting themselves with clamorously proclaiming the general popularity of the individual who sits upon the Throne, but who have always, by their deeds, declared their devotion to kingly rule, to his Majesty's family, and the constitution of the country. He acknowledges that he brought with
him to Ireland prejudices against the Orange institution-that he had heard them described as " a despicable race!" But" I found them loyal, peaceable, well-disposed-arrayed in a society (comprehending 1800 lodges and 150,000 men) acknowledged by the law, and countenanced by the royal family-ramified through Ireland-and are these the men to be despised, and insulted, and degraded ?” No. He hopes that "the effect of this meeting will be to combine with them, in one powerful phalanx, the whole moral and physical energies of the Protestants of Ireland."
In seconding the resolution moved by Lord Mandeville, D. Crommelin, Esq., confirms the important statements made by Mr Holt Waring and others respecting the relative amount of the Protestant and Catholic population. On that subject the ignorance too common among us in Britain emboldens all agitators, great and small, to utter the most atrocious doctrines, based on the most flagrant falsehoods.
(hear, hear.) It should be impressed on Parliament, that if they pass the measure of Reform, they will be guilty of the grossest breach of faith towards the Protestants of Ireland. Our brethren ought to be assured that they may rely with confidence that there is a force in this country ready to support them in their hour of peril, and all that we seek for in return is their sympathy for the wrongs which we endure-they ought to be assuthe last, provided they will not allow these red that we are ready to stand by them to changes to take place, which, if accom. plished, must destroy the Protestants of this kingdom. It is an undoubted fact, that if Reform be carried, from sixty to seventy Roman Catholic members will be return
ed for this country; and if this number do but stick together-as they most assuredly will, what Ministry, may I ask, could withstand such a combination ?"
A vote of thanks having been moved to the noblemen and gentlemen who called the meeting, Lord Roden left the chair, and in reply to Lord Longford, who intimated to him the resolution, passed by acclamation, concluded the business of a daywhich will be felt widely over all
“Reference has been made, in the Ireland-in a speech worthy of the
course of our proceedings, to the numerical strength of the Protestants. Our strength, I apprehend, has been rather underrated than the contrary. We come more near, it will be found, to three millions than to two and a half millions, as has been stated. Now, with all Mr O'Connell's boasting, he is not able to shew that there are more than five millions of Roman Catholics in this country-and surely the disparity of numbers is not so great as to warrant the Government in heaping all its favours upon the Roman Catholics, and in depressing, by every means within their power, the loyal Protestants of the country-(hear, hear.) And, my lord, let me ask, is property to have no weight in a civilized state? If we look to the property of this country, we will find that nine-tenths of it are in the hands of the Protestants-(hear.) My lord, it is not merely because the property is in the hands of the Protestants that we now set up a claim for protection. At the time of the Union a pledge was given that property should be represented in Parliament in proportion to its amount, and without reference to the numerical strength of the party possessing it. The pledge given at that period was, that the Protestant boroughs were to remain as they were, and were not to be opened to the Roman Catholics
occasion. One extract from it we must give :
"Gentlemen, I lament that the lateness of the hour prevents me from going at any length into the subjects which have been referred to; but there is one topic contained in the Resolution moved by my friend Lord Mandeville, upon which I must say a word-I mean the strong necessity, the imperative duty, which devolves upon the Protestant magistracy, not to yield to the feelings of disgust which are so naturally excited by the indignities and insults which have been offered to them. I trust these magistrates, who have ever been foremost in the discharge of their duties, will not act precipitately, but will remember, as has been stated, that there are two millions and a half of Protestants at least in this kingdom, who must look to them for justice-(hear, hear, and cheering.) I think it a most important matter that our numerical force, which has been so faithfully and so boldly put forward here today, should be clearly stated, as I think the times are at hand, when to the sinews and strength.of these Protestants, under God, we must look for the preservation of our properties, and the maintenance of
I have no doubt of the issue, if we are but united; but it is because the
times may be near when great privations may arise, and nothing but that strength which is given from God can enable, when you and I may be called upon to imitate the noble conduct of our ancestry, and ascend the scaffold rather than renounce our faith. Gentlemen, it is on that account that I view with peculiar regret the appointments which have been made of commissioners, to regulate the education of the people of this countrya commission which does not hesitate to
avow that the Bible is not to be the foundation of their system-that Bible, which alone can enable us to meet the trials which surround us, and to die in the land in which our forefathers have bled (loud cheers)-which has ever been the birthright of Protestants, and the charter of a Christian's privilege. Is it possible that the Protestants of Ireland will consent to consign their children to a system of education, in which the Book of God is denied them? and garbled extracts of Scripture are substi tuted for the whole, to meet, forsooth, the prejudices of the Romish priests, or the doubts of the infidels of the day? I trust not! for how can God bless such a system? How can such unchristian trickery ever be submitted to by them?" -(loud cheers.)
That the affairs of Ireland have long been in a most distracted and dangerous condition, is known to all men; but it is not known to all men that by far the most of the misery has been produced by the discountenance and discouragement by Government-not the present only -of the great Protestant Conservative Body, by whom alone that country can be saved from ruin. Knowledge there, as every where else in the world now, must be the stability of the state. But what true knowledge ever flourished under the shade of superstition? We mean no insult to our Roman Catholic brethren.
We know, and admire, and love, the virtues of the many thousand enlightened persons belonging, in Ireland, to that faith. But not for their sakes can we be withheld from declaring what all the reformed world knows, that in Protestantism alone resides the power to spread light over that thick darkness of ignorance in which so much of Ireland has so long been benighted. It is illiberal, forsooth, to prefer one religion to another-it is baseness and bigotry to believe that the soul is made free by breaking up the moral and intellectual bondage which the wisest men have shewn the soul suffers in Papistry, and against which the noblest faculties of a noble race struggle in vain. Were the Church. of England in Ireland to be shaken -we shall not say overthrown-into what profounder barbarism would the nation fall! It is cheering, certainly, to hear Mr Stanley declaring the determination of Government to defend and secure the rights of that noble establishment. May the means about to be adopted for that end be wise, and their adoption uninfluenced by clamour and intimidation.Let that wicked faction be silenced who calumniate that establishment —and while they brutally abuse its learned, enlightened, conscientious, and active ministers, keep eternally trumpeting the praises of other pastors, among whom there are many good men, but who, generally speaking, are far down indeed in the intellectual scale, and all unfit for spiritual instructors. But on this mighty subject we shall speak in a series of articles from the pen of one who understands it well in all its bearings, and who will utter not a word which his conscience does not tell him is the truth!
THE PREMIER AND HIS WIFE,
A STORY OF THE GREAT WORLD.
CHARLES MONTFORT's history, from fifteen to five-and-twenty, might be comprised in three words, Eton, St James's, the Guards. The first had sent him forth a tolerable scholar and an intolerable coxcomb; the second had made him a King's page, and taught him the glory of a pair of epaulets, and the wisdom of seeing much, and saying as little about it as possible; and the third had initiated him into the worst mess and the best company in London, into the art of walking St James's Street six hours a-day, and balancing the loss by the productive employment of as many of the night at the Clubs, concluding with a mission to the Peninsula, which returned him with a new step in the Gazette, a French ball through his arm, and a determination to die a generalissimo.
But what are the determinations of men, even of guardsmen? His first intelligence, on rejoining his fellow promenaders on the Campagna felice of St James's Street, was, that fate had decided against his laurels. The venerable Earl, his uncle, was on that bed, from which the stanchest devotion to the bottle, and the minister for the time being, could not save him. A fit of apoplexy had wound up the arrears of the physicians. Expeditious as art might be, nature outran her; and before the most rapid and royal practitioner in town could prescribe a second specific for the Earl, the world had lost one of its "best of men," and steadiest bons vivants-the Treasury one of its most vigorous voters, the opera one of its most persevering patrons, and Charles Montfort his only chance of rivalling Napoleon or Wellington. Charles's father was still alive, and a brother stood between himself and the title. But an earldom in prospect, or possibility, made him a more important object than he had been twenty-four hours before. It was decided, in a grand council of the family, that the son of so ancient a house was fit for better things than the thrust of a French bayonet. A hint from the Treasury, which was
solicitous of keeping up an interest in the family, pointed out diplomacy as the most natural career for the cadet of the noble house; and Charles, with such sighs as a King's page nurtured into the guardsman can heave for any thing under the moon, wore his epaulets for the last time, when at Court he kissed the King's hand, on his appointment to the Secretaryship of the Tuscan mission.
Nelson said, in his sailor-like way, "That he never met an Italian who was not a fiddler or a scoundrel."
-But to the honourable Charles Montfort, Tuscany was a bed of roses. Whatever the Court may have become during the last ten years, it was then the consummate scene of la belle folie. The men were all preux of the first distinction, high-bred, happy, and heroicthe women, the perfection of grace, constancy, and quadrilling. All was accomplishment. Dukes led their own orchestras, Marchionesses presided at the piano, Sovereign Princes made chansons, and premier Barons played the trombone. whole atmosphere was music. The influence spread from the ear to the heart, and the lingua Toscana required no bocca Romana to transfuse into the very "honey dew" of the tender passion.
It is true, that there was not much severity of labour going on in this land of Cythera. The envoys were not often compelled to forego the toilet for the desk, nor the beaux secretaires to give up their lessons on the guitar for the drudgery of copying dispatches. A "protocol" would have scared the gentle state from its propriety; and the arrival of the Morning Post, once a week from London, with the account of routs in which they had not shared, and the anticipation of dinners and déjeûnés which they were never to enjoy, was the only pain which Diplomacy suffered to raise a ripple on the tranquil surface of its soul.
The Tuscan ladies are proverbially the most frightful among the females of Italy, a country to which
nothing but patriotic blindness, or poetic rapture, ever attributed the perfection of womanhood. But all the world goes to Tuscany-of all the Italian principalities, the one which offers least to the lover of the arts, past or present, but which has the softest name. Romance is the charm of the sex; and all the fairest of the fair, of every land, tend to Florence, like shooting stars darting from every quarter of the heavens to the zenith. And fairest of the fair was the Lady Matilda Mowbray. The description of female beauty is like the description of pictures and churches, out of taste; and, like the architect of old, who desired to rest his claims, not on his words, but on his performances, Lady Matilda's charms are best told by what they effected. In the first hour after her display at court, the honourable Charles Montfort quarrelled, pro tempore, with the Countess Carissima Caricoletta. In a week, he confined himself to a single opera box, and that the Lady Matilda's-and in a month, he had constituted himself her declared attendant, abandoned the Casino and five guinea points, drawn upon himself the open envy of the cavalieri, and earned the irreconcilable hostility of as many duchesses and countesses as would have made a female legion of honour.
The Lady Matilda had not much in her favour-she was only young, animated, and beautiful. Her rivals were pre-eminent in rouge and romance. The cavalieri wondered round all the circles, ice in hand, how a man of the secretary's tact could contrast the brown skins, fire darting eyes, and solid shapes of the enchantresses of Florence, with the niaiseries of the English physiognomy, with dove-like eyes, cheeks of rose, and the proportions of a sylph. But the secretary had been but six months in Tuscany, and that must account for it. His education was incomplete; he was still but a diplomatic barbare; and he would still require six months to mature his taste, make him see the beauties of a half negro skin, and worship a female cento of rappee, macaroni, and airs from the last opera.
But the Lady Matilda had her admirers even among the cavalieri. She possessed one charm, to which
the foreign heart has been sensitive in every age from Clovis, and in every corner of the continent, from the White Sea to the Black. She was the mistress of five thousand pounds sterling a-year; a sum which, when converted into any shape cognizable by the foreign eye, rixdollar, franc, or milrea, seemed infinite. She had at once a Polish prince at her feet, a German sovereign, with a territory of a dozen square miles, and au army of half a regiment, honouring her each night with his supplication for her hand, in the first valse-and an Ex-French count, who had been distinguished in the runaway from Moscow, the runaway from Leipsic, and the runaway from Waterloo, until he had become so expert in fugitation, that he had run away from his creditors and his king alike, in Paris, and was free to exhibit his showy figure, and a dozen stars, at every ridotto, ball, and billiard-table in Christendom. The Lady Matilda was not born a coquette; but
"Who can hold a fire within his hand,
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus ?" In this blaze of cordons, and perpetual glow of homage, what female heart, not absolutely stone, could resist a little nitrification? Besides, the dolce far niente, which an Englishman devotes to the infernal gods every hour he remains under his own foggy sky, molested by the sight of the myriads round him, all busily making their way through life, is the very principle of existence under the bluest of heavens, and in an atmosphere which burns out the activity of man at the_summer heat of 150 of Reaumur. Those who must shut their casements at ten in the morning, or be roasted alive, find the necessity of consuming the next six hours in sleep, and the next in paying or receiving the attentions due to the sex in every quarter of the globe. The Chevalier melts down the twelve desperate hours of his day in regulating his mustaches, counting his fortunes at Faro, or preparing those exquisite civilities of the moment, those impromptus faits a loisir, which establish a lord among wits, and a wit among lords; the brilliant fanfaron of a brilliant circle; and among women, the happy title of the "most