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more ready to jest than to look grave, upon the state of the country. They all, however, shook him cordially by the hand, and it was his fault, but not theirs if he did not feel as much at home with them in five minutes as he would have done with his own countrymen in as many months.
"Before the entire party-who, after various messengers had been dispatched for them, came dropping in by twos and threes were assembled, he took occasion to tell his host of the outrage he had witnessed on the road.
"My dear Sir,' exclaimed one who was amusing himself by tossing fragments of oaten bread into a dog's mouth, the fact is, you are new to the country, and do not understand our ways.'
"Edward turned so abruptly round on the speaker, while his deep intelligent eye inquired, more eloquently than words could have done, the meaning of what he had said, that the dean laid his hand on his arm.
"The fellow, depend upon it, deserved what he got, or he would not have got it,' added the speaker.
"But his life has been taken, Sir,' replied Edward; and surely the military are not suffered to rough ride through a country, and butcher whom they please.'
Really, Sir,' said a blustering, burly, jovial-looking 'squire in top boots, a blue coat and buff waistcoat, Really, Sir, where we have so much to investigate that is important, I cannot see the use of occupying time about what is not-bothering and confusing one thing with another.'
Easy, easy, my good friend,' interrupted as jovial and good-tempered 'a spark of the Emerald' as any in the hall.
Easy, I say. From the notes Mr. Spencer made on the spot, which our reverend friend the dean has just shewn me I'm thinking it's one of my tenants that's shot, and one that never was a gale behind; and I must have it scen into immediately.'
"But, Sir,' observed Edward, 'what does it matter whose tenant he was-he was a man and a subject.'
"A Papist rebel, I'll go bail,' interrupted a voice.
Well, Sir,' said Edward, and if he was, he had as good a right to the protection afforded by the laws of his country as either you or I-he had a right to a fair trial.'
Bathershin!' exclaimed the same rough and thundering voice.
"I do not understand what the gentleman means,' observed Edward, with a look of inquiry to the dean, who only smiled.
"What I say,' replied the county colossus, as, striding forward from amid a group who indulged in the bad habit of standing round the fire, or the fire-place, he marched across the room, and looked the querist full in the face. 'A Papist rebel, I'll go bail,' he repeated, and as to such a fellow having a right to a fair trial, or a trial of any kind, I deny it in toto. A trial! Cock a Papist up with a fair trial indeed! If I had my own will and way, I'd soon quiet the country: I'd shoot 'em like so many
"I dare say you would,' observed the person he addressed, and who seemed rather to shrink from coming in contact with one who appeared to Edward half giant half savage; 'but you wouldn't like a good paying tenant of your own to be shot, Mr. O'Driscoll.'
"It shall certainly be investigated,' repeated Edward; and his quiet, calm, determined tone had a peculiarly clear and impressive sound, following, as it did, the rolling thunder of the giant's brogue, and the sharp clamour of the eager speaking of the past minute. I ask not concerning any man's faith" &c. &c.
ing for the ills of Ireland, ascribing them sometimes to Popery, sometimes to Protestantism, now to the turbulent people, now to the truculent landlords, anon to the cruel agents, (the latest scapegoats of the season) they pertinaciously adhere at all events to the persuasion that we are by some physiological necessity so much their inferiors, that, if left to ourselves, we never could emerge from some obscurely surmised depths of barbarism in which they are told twice a day by their newspapers, and fondly believe that we are sunk; while in point of fact, the Irish people, throughout all parts of the country, and in all the pursuits of life, are prospering rapidly by their own exertions, thinking and acting for themselves, and in many of the highest intellectual pursuits, bidding fair to be the leading people of the united kingdom.
The attention of Mrs. Hall's English readers, although conciliated by these objectionable bonuses on their self-esteem, is nevertheless directed, in the main, to what is just and benevolent; and our modest dean, however offensive is his excess of self-abase. ment before the genius of English excellence, not unfrequently combines good feeling with reasonably good advice. Take the following conversation between him and the lord:
"I dare say,' said he, at length, that what you observe is quite true, and perhaps we deserve it should be so. We have protected a party and not a people. I have often heard my poor uncle say as much.'
"You are right in that opinion,' observed Mr. Graves; whatever party has been dominant in England, has, to a certain extent, protected that nearest to itself in Ireland; but as the peasantry, the very, very poor have no party, no covenant with their country, the population of Ireland have had only occasional friends. Strangers frequently. like yourself, come amoug us, with generous and large desires of usefulness, and kindly and extensive sympathies, but, insensibly drawn into the vortex of party, they either become accustomed to the misery which at first appalled them, or are so overwhelmed by its extent that they turn away altogether from the voice of the weeper, and in the common cry of want of care and providence in a population who, even when able to obtain employment, have only existed on what, in your country, would have
Fancy the impolicy of leaving a highly sensitive and imaginative people to brood, with misery and want for their companions, over the wildly, but truly chronicled tales of former greatness-wrenched from them by force or fraud. If they had been drawn into active life-if they found their labour sufficiently productive to afford them subsistence if efforts had been made to elevate and not depress them in the scale of human-kind, such memories would have faded into fables, or have been in a greater degree lost, as they must be, where existing realities demand perpetual thought, instead of romancing over an old man's tale. We all seek something to cling to in this world-something to raise us above the tides and currents of life; the poor Englishman clings to his comforts; the poor Irishman might have done the same if he had had them to cling to; but ragged, tattered, the shivering wreck of the past, his foot still on his native heath, the music of his native land ringing in his ears, the history of his country graven on his heart; those in whom he trusts whispering disquieting advice-the advice his restless, ardent, and faithful nature best loves to hear; the only marvel is, that instead of occasional outbursts-the festering indications of unhealthy constitutionsthe disease has not been more universal and more deadly. Think, my dear Sir, of these things; think, as I have so often found it necessary to do, lest my heart should harden; think, not so much of what, under the excitement and influ. ence of dangerous men, the people do, as of what for a long series of years they have forborne to do.''
All this is wise enough and very well intended; but it is quite idle to suppose that the complex problem of Irish politics is to be solved by even a much greater amount of wisdom expressing itself through the medium
of characters in a romance. professions of tolerance and patriotism are in every body's mouth in real life, as well as in these fictions, and in both they seem equally inefficacious for the production of corresponding actions. Dean Graves advises well, but does nothing. And indeed what could he do? seeing that it is nearly as difficult a task, and as exclusively reserved for mighty minds to make fictitious characters act with propriety in a given state of social affairs, as for men themselves to act up to the occasion in real life. Therefore it is that Mr. Carleton and Mrs. Hall, both feeling how inadequate they would be personally to do any thing in solving the vast political problem which they set before their imaginations, abstain from showing, or even attempting to show how the principles they desire to inculcate are to be carried out in practice, dwelling with painful and ostentatious minuteness on the contrasted scenes of social disorganization, poverty, and vice, on the one hand, and of social regeneration, wealth, and virtue, on the other, but passing over the whole transition period with a speed which leaves nothing behind it save the empirical formulas of teetotalism, or the inane generalities and commonplaces of mere liberal sentiment. This does no good politically, and only spoils the effect of their pieces as legitimate novels addressing the heart and the fancy.
According to the taste of the day, Mrs. Hall has an oppressive middleman and methodist for the villain of her tale,-Abel Richards: the people burn his house and the heroine gives him shelter ; he uses the information which comes to his ears while under her protection to denounce her brother to justice; drives the young man and his associates into rebellion, and is at last despatched by a foster brother of his victim. We confess we are tired of foster brothers, banshees, and the whole "a cushla" school. They form a very thin and unsuitable covering for the angular figure of the didactic genius. If used at all they ought to be thrown over the unembarrassed movements of the free children of fancy. But we have had quite too much of them in any case; and only wonder that people of ability are not tired of writing "Cathleen, ma vourneen," and
"Paddy, ma bouchal." However, we suppose Mrs. Hall could not be easy till she had given her English friends an Irish novel suitable to their expectations, and now that she has accomplished her purpose, we heartily desire that she may change her stylus, and be less vernacular, as well as less oracular, whenever she does us the favor to make Irish affairs her subject again.
A lady writer can hardly expect to be at home in Grand Jury rooms: but in household affairs no one can rival Mrs. Hall; and in depicting the condition of Mr. Spencer's establishment the night before her hero's arrival, we must give her credit for powers as humorous as graphic, and must further own that the exaggeration of the picture is not much more than allowable,, and such as all of us are bound to accept with good humour.
"When Mrs. Myler had clearly ascertained that the young master was in Ireland, and might be home that very night, she repaired to the housekeeper's room, and after sundry inefficient attempts succeeded in forcing the bell to ring-which it did at last, in a rapid, unnatural manner. Mat went on talking and musing, and then talking againheedless of the flapping of bare feet along the passages, and the throwing open of doors, until the handles rang again; nor did he heed the exclamations or the tones of inquiry, or the electrical dictations of the housekeeper, who was guilty of the folly of expecting a disorganised Irish household to fall into order at once; quite forgetting that she herself had been almost as neglectful of her duties to the best rooms, as the servants had been of theirs.
"It's asy talking for you, Mrs. Myler, Ma'am,' expostulated the cook, 'to talk of my killing turkeys to hang. Faix, it's the fox, bad cess to him, that hung the last of the turkey-hens over his showlder this very morning; they're grown as tame as nagurs, the ugly devils, since the fever thinned the country, and such of the poor boys as are left alive haven't strength to throw as much as a stone afther them; Bran has never left Miss Ellen since she took ill, and the poor tarrier's not worth a traneen; the hens are walking 'ottomies, for Mr. Carey wouldn't give us a grain of oats, to save our lives; and he cramming the ould coach-horses up to folly, and not a puff in 'em. I wish I'd had the luck not to let Miss Ellen see the beautiful pair of duty ducks the Widdy Murphy
brought this morning, along wid a basket full of chickens; but she turned 'em off, saying, she wanted 'em worse herself than we did; and sign by it, the widdy sould them to a Cork joulter for eightpence a couple in the avenue, under the sight of my own eyes, and the lovely ducks for tenpence the ducks war so fat, that the widdy kep' the sun off 'em for fear they would turn to an oil! There's no use, Mrs. Myler, in expecting me to cook a dinner for the young masther. I'll not turn my back on any girl in the counthry for cookery, biled, roast, briled, or even sally-lunn, or slim-cake, but I can't cook out o' nothing.'
"There are some hams and a tongue in the saw-dust, dry-packed,' said Mrs. Myler, whose increasing bewilderment lowered her voice.
"There was—and good right I have to know it-I went hunting everywhere for the weary cat and her kittens; and, maybe, she and her black brood didn't riddle mee hands, and they soft out of the first scald of mee praskeens and tidy aprons; and bee the same token, Mrs. Myler, it's often ye promised mee new rowlers; and we haven't so much as a skreed left-since the time the cows broke into the drying-ground, and we ating our bit of dinner, and swallowed bodily the last holland sheets; it was a
judgment upon you, Mrs. Myler, Ma'am; so long as ye'd suffer us to dry the clothes on the furze bushes the sunny side of the meadow, the never a thing came across 'em; but you must have a north bleach green, with props and poles in it like a gallows green.— Small blame to the poor cattle to come and look at such an unnatural thing.'
"But the hams, Molly ?' said Mrs. Myler.
"Sure the cat made her bed beside 'em; and betwixt herself and the jumpers, they didn't lave as much as would trap a mouse.'
There's something broke the few bottles of sherry left after the poor master's funeral ;' said the old butler; but there's a quarter cask of claret, and another of Madeira-not touched.'
"And the whiskey, Morty ?' inquired Mrs. Myler.
We do not think Mrs. Hall much more successful in the heroic than in the official portions of her tale: but in all matters of description her pen overflows with excellencies. Nothing could be desired fresher, fairer, or more alive with all delightful elemental influences, than her pictures of external nature ; but it is almost superfluous to say that in a tale addressing itself to the judgment and to the feelings, these passages however excellent, are merely accessorial and of small account, compared with the moral impressions made by the deeds and sentiments of the actors.
Mrs. Hall has, during the whole of her literary life deserved and maintained the character of one of our bestmeaning and most kindly-disposed writers; and, although we do not think the "Whiteboy" will add to her renown for political ability, it certainly will detract nothing from that reputation which ought to be infinitely more a source of pride to her, than any suecess however great, in rivalling the harsh and masculine efforts of the economic novelists; a task for which indeed her heart is too warm, and all her affections quite too social and domestic; and we trust for her own sake as well as for that of legitimate literature that they may long continue so.
INDEX TO VOLUME XXVI.
Esthetical Condition, the, of England,
Anthologia Germanica, No. XX.-Sim-
Apple, an, and a Spinning-wheel, a
Ardagh, the Dean of, Ireland and her
Barry, Michael Joseph, Ireland as she
Blackwater in Munster, the Irish
Brown, William, New Zealand and its
Campbell, Calder, a Plea for Illusion,
Carleton, William, Art Maguire, or the
Chamisso, a Melancholy History, 295.
Costello, Dudley, a Tour through the
Crisis, the, of 1845; a Letter to Sir R.
Daunt, W. J. O'Neill, Ireland and her
De Londres, Archbishop, his Claim to
Devil, the, how he spoke Truth, and
Earle, Augustus, Narrative of Nine
England, the Esthetical Condition of,
Ferguson, Samuel, Letter to Henry
Foye, M. W., The Early Irish Church;
Gallery of Illustrious Irishmen.-No.
Gentlemen and Vagabonds-Irish Sta-
German Catholic Church, the, 513.
Gilfillan, Robert, Birthday Recollec-
Godkin, Rev. J. the Rights of Ireland,
Repeal Prize Essay, reviewed, 61.