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however, when a middle-aged nobleman, of grave habits, happens to state, in a letter to a Bishop, (a curious confidant for a liaison,) that he has been taking a ten days' tour with an accomplished female friend, his excellent and right reverend editor feels it a duty to bear personal testimony to the purity of her intentions. It might be made an instructive question, how far the strictness of the English rule indicates a superior state of morals, or the contrary.
The best of Madame Hahn-Hahn's books of Travels are her Reisebriefe : Letters to various members of her family, (from October 1840, to November 1841,) describing a journey across the Provençal country, over the Pyrenees, and through the greater part of Spain and Portugal. With an enthusiastic love for the fine arts, a marked preference for the romance of history, and a mind crowded with associations, she carries us along lightly and pleasantly enough. We may not have to thank her for much constitutional or statistical information; but we learn the aspect of the cities and the habits of the people; pick up some agreeable reminiscences about Moors and Troubadours; acquire a fresh feeling for Velasquez and Murillo, as well as a fresh relish for Don Quixote and Gil Blas; are made eyewitnesses of auto-da fés and bull-fights; and find the Alhambra restored for our especial benefit.
Astralion, an Arabesk, is a little dramatic Poem, in which the dramatis personæ are birds, who talk in good rhymed verse on several subjects not connected with ornithology.
• Letters of the Earl of Dudley to the Bishop of Llandaff, p. 353.
ART. VII.-1. Debate in the House of Commons, from the 4th till
the 12th July 1843, on the State of Ireland. 2. Debate in the House of Lords, on the 15th of August 1843,
on the Irish Arms' Bill. Hansard. Vol. V. Pp. 630—1087. Vol. VI. Pp. 690—741.
For many years past Ireland has been the most
painful subject on which a liberal writer could employ himself
. It was not merely that he had to describe great misery and great danger: not merely that he had to dwell on a state of society in which all the means of good seem turned to evil;-in which a fertile soil and a temperate climate have produced a population in want of all the decencies, and of most of what are elsewhere thought the necessaries, of life ;-in which a free constitution is perverted into an instrument of legal oppression by one class, and of organized sedition by another; and in which religion itself is the source of cruelty, hatred, and crime. It was not merely this state of things that made Irish questions repulsive. It was the feeling that there were means by which the existing misery might be relieved, and the approaching dangers averted; but that the prejudices and passions of England and of Scotland rendered it useless to suggest, because they rendered it impossible to apply them. Every one who calmly and impartially considered our situation, saw that we were advancing every year nearer and nearer to civil war, foreign war, and revolution;---saw that it depended merely on ourselves whether these calamities should fall on our own heads, or on those of our children, or be altogether prevented; and saw that thoughtlessness, pride, or bigotry, rendered the bulk of the British people blind to their danger, and the remainder ready to incur it; kept the former ignorant of the resentment which they were provoking, and made the latter obstinate rather to endanger the welfare of the whole empire, than to make the smallest sacrifice of their own party attachments and sectarian animosities. When Irish questions, or rather the Irish Question, for there is but one, has been forced on our attention, we have felt like a dreamer in a nightmare, oppressed by the consciousness that some great evil was rapidly advancing, that mere exertion on our part would avert it, but that we had not the power to will that exertion.
The last nine months bave been a period of great anxiety and great evil. The improvement of Ireland has been arrested, all the bad passions and mischievous prejudices of her people have been inflamed and strengthened, and it has often appeared that any unforeseen incident, any trifle not provided for, might light up a civil war throughout the island. But we believe that one effect has been produced, which, if it really has been produced, we accept as cheaply purchased, even at the price which has been paid for it.
We believe that the majority of the people of England and Scotland are beginning to perceive the outline of the rocks that lie across their course, and to enquire into the means of altering it. They see the bulk of the people of Ireland united in blind subservience to a single leader, and they be. lieve that leader to be utterly unscrupulous. They see that he has proposed to his followers an aim unattainable without civil war, and which, if attained, would destroy the security of one island, and the property, the education, and the civilization of the other. They know that, if he were to propose to the millions of his adherents merely to hold as proprietors the lands which they occupy as tenants, the Irish revolution would be accomplished. As Majendie said of cholera, it would be a disease beginning by death; it would be a revolution beginning by that general confiscation in which other revolutions have ended. They see that he has ventured to promise, as the result of Repeal, • fixity of tenure’-words which, if they have a meaning, and assuredly they are not used without one, must mean legal confiscation; and they begin to calculate how soon he is likely to urge his adherents to seize, without repeal, the object for which repeal is demanded.
Some persons believe that this will occur a year hence, some three years, and some expect it within six months : but if the imperial government permit the real grievances of Ireland to remain unredressed, while the imaginary ones are inflated and coloured, until they stimulate an ignorant and passionate people as forcibly as if they were realif no means are used to detach from the anarchical party those whom just resentment, or error, or intimidation, has added, or is adding to it-all calm spectators of events must admit, that, within a period longer, perhaps, than the shortest of those that we have mentioned, but shorter than the longest, though the rights of the Landlord, the Church, or the Government, may still be recognized at law, yet, throughout Leinster, Munster, and Connaught, they will be suspended in practice; and be recoverable only at the expense of a war, which would certainly destroy the prosperity of the British empire, perhaps its institutions, and possibly even its independence. It is to those who are determined to preserve the integrity, the institutions, and the public faith of the United Kingdom; to those who are determined to avert national degradation and national bankruptcy; and to those who, though careless of the public, wish to save themselves or their families from ruin, that we address the following pages.
They contain an outline of the principal social evils to which Ireland is subject; and of the most important of the measures which we believe to be necessary, for removing the portion of evil which is capable of immediate or early remedy, and of palliating what admits only of gradual cure. On subjects which have been so long and so frequently before the public, it is scarcely possible that there can be much that is entirely new, either of truth or error. But the events of the last few months, and particularly the effects of the substitution of a Tory for a Whig government, though not unexpected, are confirmations or illustrations of much that was once conjecture. And we trust that we are not too sanguine when we add, that in the altered state of public opinion, much that, a year ago, was hopeless speculation—was a mere vision of what a wise and benevolent government, armed with absolute power, might effect -may now be urged as positive and practical recommendation.
We feel the responsibility which we incur by suggesting, or by promoting measures, of which the effect, whether for good or evil, must be great and permanent. But from this responsibility we see no escape.
We certainly should not shake it off if, at one of the most critical periods of our national existence—when error may be fatal, and inaction may be error—we were to allow this Journal to remain silent. And we beg the reader to recollect that he also is responsible, if on any ground, excepting their inexpediency or utter impracticability, he refuses his assent to our propositions, or his co-operation in their execution.
It may, however, be necessary to inform a portion of our readers, that under the general term Ireland, are included two countries, very different in their social conditions-namely, the province of Ulster, or, as it is usually called, the “ North of Ireland,' and the provinces of Leinster, Munster, and Connaught, which together constitute what is usually called the South of Ireland. There are, indeed, as might be expected, many districts in the North of Ireland which partake of the general character of the South, and there are a few in the South which resemble that of the North ; but subject to these exceptions, the state of the population in the North and in the South is not merely dissimilar but opposed. In the following pages we shall devoté our attention almost exclusively to the South ; and when we use the word Ireland without further explanation, we must thus be understood as speaking of Leinster, Münster, and Connaught. It may be necessary also to state, that we use the nomenclature,
which is usual in Ireland, though incorrect, and call the Roman Catholics simply Catholics, and the Protestant Episcopalians simply Protestants.
The evils which affect Ireland may, like all other causes of national misery or happiness, be divided into two classesthose which are Material, or, to use a more common, but less correct expression, Physical, and those which are Moral. The material evils are the want of Capital, and the want of small Proprietors. The moral evils are Insecurity, Ignorance, and Indolence. The concurrence of the two circumstances which we have called material evils, assisted by unfavourable accidents, produced the moral evils; and these in their turn have aggravated the material ones ; and the result has been a population more unhappy in itself, and the cause of more unhappiness to all who have to deal with it, than any other civilized and free community in existence.
We will first consider what we have called Material evils—the want of Capital and of small Proprietors. Neither of these deficiencies, occurring alone, is inconsistent with the substantial welfare of a community. A people, indeed, ill provided with capital, cannot enjoy much division of labour. Its labour, therefore, cannot be productive, its manufactures must be few and rude, the bulk of its members must be agricultural, and the produce of its fields, unless assisted by a soil and climate which do not belong to Europe, though it may be great compared with the extent of land in cultivation, generally bears a small proportion to the number of persons employed on it.
on it. Such a people may consist almost exclusively of small proprietors—as is the case in some portions of France and of the United States; or it may consist almost exclusively of great proprietors and of their dependents—as is the case in many parts of Russia and Spain; but it scarcely can possess a middle class, for a middle class is the creature of capital. But, though without a middle class, and without the diffusion of moral and intellectual cultivation, which a middle class produces, such a population, if it consist of proprietors, may be happy. If it have a good government—that is to say, a government under which persons and property are secure, and education is promoted—it will have intelligence and self-respect. It will so regulate its numbers, as not to subdivide its holdings into portions minuter than those which will maintain a family, in the comfort which the habits of the people require. Each family, secure of its estate, will improve it with the industry, and endeavour to add to it by the frugaliiy, which the feeling of property inspires. In time, it will acquire capital, and