Imágenes de página

by the language of virtue, to render misled, as in regard to the real causes it subservient to the purposes of vice. of the protracted, and apparently irBut its designs have now reached remediable evils of that distracted their accomplishment: men see what country. The proneness of the was intended under all this veil of English to believe, that all mankind philanthropic intentions. The re- will be blessed by the institutions volutionists have been victorious in under which they themselves have Paris; and immediately their projects flourished and waxed great, and the of spoliation, anarchy, and plunder, virulence with which party ambition were set on foot, and approached so has fastened upon Ireland, as the near their accomplishment, that a battle-field on which to dispossess desperate and last effort of all the political opponents, and gain possesholders of property became indispen- sion of power, are the main causes of sable, to prevent the total ruin of this long-continued and wide-spread society; and carnage to an unheard misconception. We have to thank of extent for three days stained the the Irish for having, by their reception streets of Paris, to avert the triumph of the magnificent gift of England in of the Red Republic, and the return 1847, and subsequent rebellion in of the Reign of Terror. The cry for 1848, done so much to dispel the repeal turned into rebellion in Ire- general delusion. To aid in dissemiland; and a vast concentration of the nating juster views on the subject, we forces of England was requisite to shall proceed to disinter from the prevent the Emerald Isle becoming the earlier volumes of this Magazine, an theatre of general massacre, devasta extract from the first of a series tion, and ruin. For two hours the of papers on Ireland, published in Chartists got possession of Glasgow, 1833, immediately before Lord Grey's and instantly a general system of Coercion Act, and which might pass plunder and sacking of houses com- for an essay on present events. It menced. The Chartist Convention affords a striking example, both of was long tolerated in England, and, in the justice of the views there enuncireturn, they tried to overturn theated, and of the pernicious and conGovernment on the 10th April ; and tinual recurrence of those real causes organised a general plan of plunder of Irish suffering, which party spirit and conflagration, which was to have in both islands has so long concealed broken out in the end of August, and from the people of Great Britain. was only mercifully prevented by the “It is in vain to attempt to shake designs of the conspirators having be- ourselves loose of Ireland, or consider come known, and the timely vigour its misery as a foreign and extraneous of Government having prevented their consideration with which the people of accomplishment. The ultimate objects this country have little concern. The of the enemies of society, therefore, starvation and anarchy of that kingdom have become apparent : deeds have is a leprosy, which will soon spread over told us what meaning to attach to

the whole empire. The redundance of words. Revolution in Erance means our own population, the misery of our spoliation, and the division of property,

own poor, the weight of our own poor“Nature has forbidden us to sever the Government whose sway has, in other connexion which subsists between the states, established so large a portion of two countries. We must swim or sink general felicity? The Irish democrats antogether. It is utterly impossible to swer, that it is the oppression of the Eng. effect that disjunction of British from lish Government which has done all these Irish interests, for which the demagogues things; the editors of the Whig journals of that country so strenuously contend, and reviews repeat the same cry; and and which many persons in this island, every Whig, following, on this as on every from the well-founded jealousy of Catholic other subject, their leaders, like a flock of ascendency in the House of Commons, and sheep, re-echo the same sentiment, until the apparent hopelessness of all attempts it has obtained general belief, even among to improve its condition, are gradually those whose education and good sense becoming inclined to support. The legis- might have led them to see through the lature may be separated by act of Parlia- fallacy. Yet, in truth, there is no opiment ; the Government may be severed nion more erroneous; and there is none by Catholic revolts; but Ireland will not the dissemination of which has done so the less hang like a dead weight round much to perpetuate the very evils which the neck of England; its starving multi- are the subject of such general and welltudes will not the less overwhelm our founded lamentation. Ireland, in reality, labourers; its passions and its jealousies is not miserable because she has, but bewill not the less paralyse the exertions of cause she has not been conquered ; she is our Government. Let a Catholic Re- suffering under a redundant population, public be established in Ireland ; let not because the tyranny of England, but O'Connell be its President; let thé En- the tyranny of her own demagogues, preglish landholders be rooted out, and vents their getting bread; and she is Ireland, with its priests and its poverty, torn with discordant passions, not because be left to shift for itself; and the weight, British oppression has called them into the insupportable weight of its misery, existence, but because Irish licentiousness will be more severely felt in this country has kept them alive for centuries after, than ever. Deprived of the wealth and under a more rigorous Government, they the capital of the English landholders, or would have been buried for ever. of the proprietors of English descent; a “It is the more extraordinary that the prey to its own furious and ungovernable popular party in both islands should so passions; ruled by an ignorant and ambi- heedlessly and blindly have adopted this tious priesthood; seduced by frantic and un- doctrine, when it is so directly contrary principled demagogues, it would speedily to what they at the same time maintain fall into an abyss of misery far greater in regard to the causes of the simultaneous than that which already overwhelms it. rise and prosperity of Scotland. That For every thousand of the Irish poor who poor and barren land, they see, has made now approach the shores of Britain, ten unexampled stridesin wealth and greatness thousand would then arrive, from the during the last eighty years: itsincome durexperienced impossibility of finding sub- ing that period has been quadrupled, its sistence at home; universal distress would numbers nearly doubled, its prosperity aug, produce such anarchy as would neces. mented tenfold; theybehold its citiescrowdsarily lead the better classes to throw ed with palaces, its fields smiling with plenthemselves into the arms of any govern- ty, its mountains covered with herds, its ment who would interfere for their pro- harbours crowded with masts, the Atlantic tection France would find the golden studded with its sails; and yet all this opportunity, so long wished for, at length has grown up under an aristocratic rule, arrived, of striking at the power of En- and with a representative system from land through the neighbouring island; the which the lower classes were in a great tricolor flag would speedily wave from measure excluded. In despair at beholdthe Giant's Causeway to Cape Clear; and ing a nation whose condition was so even if England submitted to the usurpa- utterly at variance with all their dogmas tion, and relinquished its rebellious sub- of the necessity of democratic representajects to the great parent democracy, the tion to temper the frame of governcost of men and ships required to guard ment, they have recourse to the salatary the western shore of Britain, and avert influence of English ascendency, and the pestilence from our own homes, would ascribe all this improvement to the benebe greater than are now employed in ficial influence of English freedom. Scotmaintaining a precarious and doubtful land, they tell us, has prospered, not authority in that distracted island. because she has, but because she has not,

rates, are all chiefly owing to the multiat a convenient opportunity. Repeal in Ireland means the massacre of the them from the Irish shores. During the

tudes who are perpetually pressing upon Protestants, and the division of their periods of the greatest depression of inestates at a convenient opportunity. dustry in this country since the peace, if Chartism in England means general the Irish labourers could have been replunder, murder, and conflagration, moved, the native poor would have found the moment there is the least chance ample employment; and more than one of perpetrating these crimes with committee of the House of Commons have impunity.

reported, after the most patient investiIreland has been, in an especial

gation and minute examination of evimanner, the subject of these general

dence from all parts of the country, that

there is no tendency to undue increase delusions; and there is perhaps no

among the people of Great Britain, and subject on which foreigners, the that the whole existing distress was English, and the Irish themselves, owing to the immigration from the sister have for so long a period been entirely kingdom.

“Whence is all this misery, and these been governed by her own institutions : furious passions, in a country so richly and she is now rich and opulent, because endowed by nature, and subjected to a the narrow and jealous spirit of her own Government has been tempered by the gave them a right of sending representabeneficial influence of English freedom. tives to Parliament; and first spread over Whether this is really the case, we shall its savage and unknown provinces the examine in a succeeding Number; and institutions and the liberties of England, many curious and unknown facts as to the What was the consequence ! Did the native institutions of Scotland we pro- people testify gratitude to their benefacmise to unfold; but, in the mean time, let tors? Did they prove themselves worthy. it be conceded that this observation is of British freedom, and capable of withwell founded, and that all the prosperity standing the passions arising from & of Scotland has been owing to English representative government! We shall influence. How has it happened that the give the answer in the words of Mr Hume. same influence at the same time has been ". The Irish, every where intermingled the cause of all the misery of Ireland ? with the English, needed but a hint from The common answer that Scotland was their leaders and priests to begin hostilialways an independent country, and that ties against a people whom they hated on Ireland was won and ruled by the sword, account of their religion, and envied for is utterly unsatisfactory, and betrays an their riches and prosperity. The houses, inattention to the most notorious histori cattle, goods, of the unwary English were cal facts. For how has it happened that first seized. Those who heard of the Ireland was conquered with so much commotions in their neighbourhood, infacility, while Scotland so long and stre- stead of deserting their habitations, and nuously resisted the spoiler? How did assembling for mutual protection, remainit happen that Henry II., with eleven ed at home, in hopes of defending their hundred men, achieved with ease the con- property, and fell thus separately into the quest of the one country, while Edward hands of their enemies. After rapacity II., at the head of eighty thousand men, had fully exerted itself, cruelty, and the was unable to effect the subjugation of the most barbarous that ever, in any nation, other? How was it that Scotland, not was known or heard of, began its operaonce, but twenty times, expelled vast tions. A universal massacre commenced English armies from her territory, while of the English, now defenceless, and pasIreland has never thrown them off since sively resigned to their inhuman foes. the Norman standard first approached No age, no sex, no condition, was spared. her shores? And without going back to The wife weeping for her butchered husremote periods, how has it happened that band, and embracing her helpless chilthe same influence of English legislation, dren, was pierced with them, and perished which, according to them, has been utterly by the same stroke. The old, the young, ruinous to Ireland, has been the sole cause the vigorous, the infirm, underwent a like of the unexampled prosperity of Scotland ? fate, and were confounded in one common that the same gale which has been the ruin. In vain did flight save from the zephyr of spring to the one state, has been first assault: destruction was every where the blast of desolation to the other? It let loose, and met the hunted victims at is evident that there is a fundamental every turn. In vain was recourse had to difference between the two states; and relations, to companions, to friends; conthat, if we would discover the cause of the nexions were dissolved, and death was different modes in which the same legisla- dealt by that hand from which protection tion of the dominant state has operated in was implored and expected. Without the two countries, we must look to the provocation, without opposition, the asdifferent condition of the people to whom tonished English, living in profound peace it was applied.

and full security, were massacred by their " One fact is very remarkable, and nearest neighbours, with whom they had throws a great light on this difficult sub- long upheld a continual intercourse of ject-and that is, that at different periods kindness and good offices. opposite systems have been tried in Ire. “But death was the slightest punishland, and that invariably the system of ment inflicted by those rebels : all the concession and indulgence has been im- tortures which wanton cruelty could demediately followed by an ebullition of vise, all the lingering pains of body, the more than usual atrocity and violence. anguish of mind, the agonies of despair,

" The first of these instances is the great could not satiate revenge excited without indulgence showed to them by James I. injury, and cruelty derived from no cause, That monarch justly boasted that Ireland To enter into particulars would shock the was the scene of his beneficent legislation ; least delicate humanity. Such enormities, and that he had done more to its inhabi- though attested by undoubted evidence, tants than all the monarchs who had sat appear almost incredible. Depraved naon the English throne since the time of ture, even perverted religion, encouraged Henry II. He established the boroughs ; by the utmost license, reach not to such

a pitch of ferocity, unless the pity inhe national prejudices impoisoned by those rent in human breasts be destroyed by that aversions, more deadly and incurable, contagion of example, which transports which arose from an enraged superstition. men beyond all the usual motives of con While death finished the sufferings of each duct and behaviour.

victim, the bigoted assassins, with joy and 6. The weaker sex themselves, natu exultation, still echoed in his expiring rally tender to their own sufferings, and ears that these agonies were but the compassionate to those of others, here commencement of torments infinite and emulated their more robust companions eternal.'” in the practice of every cruelty. Even “ This dreadful rebellion left consechildren, taught by the example, and en- quences long felt in Irish government. couraged by the exhortation of their "Cromwell, the iron leader of English venparents, essayed their feeble blows on the geance, treated them with terrible sevedead carcasses or defenceless children of rity : at the storming of a single city, the English. The very avarice of the 12,000 men were put to the sword ; and Irish was not a sufficient restraint of their such was the terror inspired by his mercruelty. Such was their frenzy, that the ciless sword, that all the revolted cities cattle which they had seized, and by ra- opened their gates, and the people subpine made their own, were yet, because mitted, trembling, to the law of the conthey bore the name of English, wantonly queror. The recollection of the horrors slaughtered, or, when covered with of the Tyrone rebellion was long engraven wounds, turned loose into the woods and in the English legislature ; and it prodeserts.

duced, along with the terrors of religious «• The stately buildings or commodious dissension, the severe code of laws which habitations of the planters, as if upbraid were imposed on the savage population ing the sloth and ignorance of the natives, of the country before the close of the were consumed with fire, or laid level seventeenth century. A hundred years with the ground. And where the miser- of peace and tranquillity followed the able owners, shut up in their houses and promulgation of these oppressive laws. preparing for defence, perished in the That they were severe and cruel is obvious flames, together with their wives and from their tenor; that they were in many children, a double triumph was afforded respects not worse than was called for by to their insulting foes.

the horrors which preceded their enact"If any where a number assembled ment, and followed their repeal, is now together, and, assuming courage from de- unhappily proved by the result. spair, were resolved to sweeten death by “The next great period of concession revenge on their assassins, they were commenced about the year 1772, soon disarmed by capitulations and promises after the accession of George III. The of safety, confirmed by the most solemn severe code under which Ireland had so oaths. But no sooner had they surren long lain chained, but quiet, was relaxed; dered, than the rebels, with perfidy equal the Catholics were admitted to a full to their cruelty, made them share the fate share of the representation ; the more of their unhappy countrymen.

selfish and unnecessary parts of the restric“Others, more ingenious still in their tions were removed ; and, before 1796, barbarity, tempted their prisoners by the hardly any part of the old fetters remained, fond love of life, to imbrue their hands excepting the exclusion of Catholics from in the blood of friends, brothers, parents; the Houses of Lords and Commons, and and having thus rendered them accom. the higher situations in the army. Did plices in guilt, gave them that death which tranquillity, satisfaction, and peace, follow they sought to shun by deserving it.

these immense concessions, continued 6. Amidst all these enormities, the through a period of thirty years ? On the sacred name of RELIGION resounded on contrary, they were immediately followed every side; not to stop the hands of these by the same result as had attended the murderers, but to enforce their blows, and concessions of James I. A new rebellion to steel their hearts against every move broke out ; the horrors of 1798 rivalled ment of human or social sympathy. The those of 1641; and the dreadful recollecEnglish, as heretics, abhorred of God, and tion of the Tyrone massacre was drowned detestable to all holy men, were marked in the more recent suffering of the same out by the priests for slaughter; and, of unhappy country. all actions, to rid the world of these de. “The perilous state in which Ireland clared enemies to Catholic faith and piety, then stood, imperfectly known at the time was represented as the most meritorious. even to the Government, is now fully deNature, which, in that rude people, was veloped. From the Memoirs of Wolfe sufficiently inclined to atrocious deeds, Tone, recently published, it appears that was farther stimulated by precept ; and 250,000 men were sworn in, organised, VOL. LXIV.-NO. CCCXCVI.


drilled, and regimented ; that colonels have been dried up, and the most atroand officers for this immense force were cious criminals repeatedly suffered to all appointed; and the whole, under the escape, from the impossibility of bringing direction of the central committee at them to justice. A universal insurrecDublin, only awaited the arrival of Hoche tion against the payment of tithes has and the French fleet to hoist the tricolor defied all the authority of Government, flag, and proclaim the Hibernian Republic in open violation of the solemn promises in close alliance with the Republic of of the Catholics that no invasion on the France. With truth it may be said, that rights of the Protestant church was inthe fate of England then hung upon a tended ; and the starving clergy of Irethread. Napoleon, and the unconquered land have been thrown as a burden upon army of Italy, were still in Europe ; a the consolidated fund of England. At successful descent of the advanced guard, this moment the authority of England is 15,000 strong, under Hoche, would imme- merely nominal over the neighbouring diately have been followed up by the island ; the Lord Lieutenant is less geinvasion of the main body under that nerally obeyed than the great Agitator, great leader; and the facility with which and the dictates of the Catholic leaders are the French fleet reached Bantry Bay in looked up to in preference to the acts of February 1797, where they were only the British Parliament. In despair at so prevented from landing by tempestuous desperate a state of things, so entirely gales, proves that the command of the the reverse of all they had hoped from seas cannot always be relied on as a secu- the long train of conciliatory measures, rity against foreign invasion. Had 40,000 the English are giving up the cause in French soldiers landed at that time in despair ; while the great and gallant body Ireland, to organise 200,000 hot-headed of Irish Protestants are firmly looking Catholic democrats, and lend the hand of the danger in the face, and silently prefraternity to their numerous coadjutors paring for the struggle which they well on the other side of St George's Channel, know has now become inevitable. it is difficult to say what would have been “ The result of experience, therefore, the present fate of England.

is complete in all its parts. Thrice, during “ The rebellion of 1798 threw back the last two hundred years, have concilifor ten years the progress of the indul- atory measures been tried on the largest gent measures so long practised towards scale, and with the most beneficent inIreland. But at length the spirit of tention ; and thrice have the concessions clemency again resumed its sway; the to the Catholics been followed by a viosystem of concession was again adopted, lent and intolerable outbreak of savage and the last remnants of the Irish fetters ferocity. The two first rebellions were removed by the liberal Tory administra followed by a firm and severe system of tion of England. First, the Catholics coercive government ; as long as they were declared eligible to any situations continued in force, Ireland was comparain the army and navy; and at length, by tively tranquil, and their relaxation was the famous Relief Bill, the remaining dis the signal for the commencement of a tinctions between Catholic and Pro state of insubordination which rapidly testant were done away, and an equal led to anarchy and revolt. The present share of political influence was extended to revolutionary spirit has been met by a them as that of their Protestant brethren. different system. Every thing has been What has been the consequence ? Has Ire conceded to the demagogues ; their deland increased in tranquillity since this me mands have been granted, their assemmorable change? Have the prophecies of blies allowed, their advice followed, their its advocates been verified, as to the still leaders promoted ; and the country in ing of the waves of dissension and re- consequence has arrived at a state of bellion ? Has it proved true, as Earl anarchy unparalleled in any Christian Grey prophesied it would, in his place state. in the House of Lords,

“ What makes the present state of IreDefluit saxis agitatus humor ;

land, and the democratic spirit of its inConcedunt venti, fugiuntque nubes;

habitants, altogether unpardonable is, the Et minax (quod sic voluere) ponto

extreme indulgence and liberality with Unda recumbit ?

which, for the last fifty years, they have

been treated by this country. During “The reverse of all this has notoriously the whole war, Ireland paid neither inbeen the ease. Since this last and great come-tax nor assessed taxces ; and the sum - concession, Ireland has become worse thus made a present of by England to than ever. Midnight conflagration, das- her people, amounted at the very lowest tardly assassination, have spread with calculation to £50,000,000 sterling. She fearful rapidity ; the sources of justice shared in the full benefit of the war in

« AnteriorContinuar »