Изображения страниц


do, and after looking in vain around “ We will say friend, then," rethe "cour" and the stable-yard, I sumed she ; "a friend in whose wel. turned into the garden to seek for some fare we are deeply interested, and

whose regard for us is not less powerI had not proceeded many paces along ful, has been for some years back sepaa little alley, flanked by two close rated froin us by the force of those hedges of yew, when I heard voices, unhappy circumstances which have and at the same instant my own name made so many of us exiles! No means uttered.

have existed of communicating with “You told him to use caution, Lau- each other, nor of interchanging those ra, that we know little of this Tiernay hopes or fears for our country's welbevond bis own narrative

fare which are so near to every French * I told him the very reverse, aunt. heart! He in Germany, we in the I said that he was the son of a loyal wild Tyrol, one-half the world apart! Garde du Corps, left an orphan in in- and dare not trust to a correspondence, fancy, and thrown by force of events the utterance of those sympathies into the service of the Republic ; but which have brought so many to the that every sentiment he expressed, scaffold !" every ambition he cherished, and every “ We would ask of you to see him, feeling he displayed was that of a gen- Monsieur de Tiernay, to know him," tleman; nay, farther .” But I did burst out Laura ; « to tell him all not wait for more, for, striking my that you can of France-above all, of sabre heavily on the ground to an- the sentiments of the army; he is a nounce my coming, I walked hurriedly soldier himself, and will hear


with forward towards a small arbour where pleasure." the ladies were seated at breakfast.

You may speak freely and frank. I need not stop to say how com- ly," continued the Marquise; “ the pletely all my resolves were routed by Count is man of the world enough to the few words I had overheard from hear the truth even when it gives pain. Laura, nor how thoroughly I recanted Your own career will interest him all my expressions concerning her. deeply; heroism has always had a So full was I of joy and gratitude,

charm for all his house. This letter that I hastened to salute her before will introduce you ; and, as the Geneever noticing the Marquise, or being ral informs us, you have some days at conscious of her presence.

your own disposal, pray give them to The old lady, usually the most ex. our service in this cause.' acting of all beings, took


omission “Willingly, madame," replied I, in good part, and most politely made "only let me understand a little bet. room for me between herself and Laura ter-" at the breakfast-table.

- There is no need to know more,” “You have come most opportunely, interrupted Laura; “ the Count de Monsieur de Tiernay,” said she, “ for

Marsanne will himself suggest everynot only were we just speaking of you, thing which you will talk. He will but discussing whether or not we might speak of us, perhaps--of the Tyrolask of you a favour."

of Kuffstein; then he will lead the “ Does the question admit of a dis- conversation to France in fact, once cussion, madame ?” said I, bowing. acquainted you will follow the dictates

“ Perhaps not, in ordinary circum- of your own fancy." stances, perhaps not; but —" she • Just so, Monsieur de Tiernay, it hesitated, seemed confused, and looked will be a visit with as little of cereat Laura, who went on

mony as possible “My aunt would say, sir, that we “ Aunt!” interrupted Laura, as if may be possibly asking too much recalling the Marquise to caution, and that we may presume too far." the old lady at once acknowledged the “ Not on my will to serve you,”

hint by a significant look. broke I in, for her looks said much I see it all, thought I, De Marmore than her words.

sanne is Laura's accepted lover, and I - The matter is this, sir," said the am the person to be employed as a goaunt, “ we have a very valued rela- between, This was intolerable, and tive

when the thought first struck me I “Friend,"interposed Laura,“friend, was out of myself with passion. aunt."

“ Are we asking too great a favour, Monsieur de Tiernay?" said the Mar. supportably offensive ! and I was only quise, whose eyes were fixed upon me able to mutter, “ You are right, Madeduring this conflict.

moiselle ;" and then, addressing myself “Of course not, Madam,” said I, in to the Marquise, I made some blunder. an accent of almosts arcastic tone. “If ing apologies about haste and soforth ; I am not wrong in my impressions the while I promised to fulfil her comcause might claim a deeper devotion ; mission faithfully and promptly. but this is a theme I would not wish to “ Shall we not hear from you ?" enter upon.

said the old lady, as she gave me her “ We are aware of that,” said Laura, hand. I was about to say,

" under the quickly, “we are quite prepared for circumstances,” better not, but I hesi. your reserve, which is perfectly proper tated, and Laura, seeing my confusion, and becoming."

said, “It might be unfair, aunt, to “Your position being one of un- expect it; remember how he is placed.” usual delicacy," chimed in the Mar- « Mademoiselle is a miracle of forequise.

thought and candour too," said I. I bowed haughtily and coldly, while Adieu! adieu for ever!" The last the Marquise uttered a thousand ex- word I uttered in a low whisper. pressions of gratitude and regard to “ Adieu, Maurice,” said she, equally

low, and then turned away towards the We had hoped to have seen you

window. here a few days longer, Monsieur," said From that moment until the instant she, “ but perhaps, under the circum- when, out of breath and exhausted, I stances, it is better as it is."

halted for a few seconds on the crag Under the circumstances, Madam," below the fortress, I knew nothing; repeated I, “I am bound to agree my brain was in a whirl of mad, conwith you;" and I turned to say fare- flicting thought. Every passion was well.

working within me, and rage, jealousy, “ Rather au revoir, Monsieur de love, and revenge were alternately Tiernay," said the Marquise, “friend- swaying and controlling me. Then, ship, such as ours, should at least be however, as I looked down for the last hopeful; say then au revoir.'

time on the village and the cottage är Perhaps Monsieur de Tiernay's beside the river, my heart softened, hopes run not in the same channel as and I burst into a torrent of tears. our own, aunt,” said Laura,

There, said I, as I arose to resume my perhaps the days of happiness that we way, there! is one illusion dissipated; look forward to would bring far diffe- let me take care that life never sball rent feelings to his heart.”

renew the affliction ! Henceforth I This was too pointed—this was in- will be a soldier, and only a soldier.


" and

[blocks in formation]


of your

IRELAND is now in a state of transition. great industrial resources of our counThe whole frame of society has been try than by unwarranted prejudices. shaken to its very centre. A storm In examining a country with the inhas burst over the island; it has now tention of forming a just estimate of subsided, and has left all the constitu- its wealth and prosperity, it is necesent elements necessary to the formation sary, in the first place, to consider the of a great and happy country chaotic laws by which it is governed, the scand confused. Out of these disjointed curity that exists for life and property, materials we have to construct a new and the agency through which justice nation; and whether it will contain the is administered. Should two states germ of happiness and prosperity, or resemble one another very nearly in hold at sufferance a sickly existence, de- these respects, and should no great dispends, in a great measure, upon the parity exist between them in climate, part we act. There is a tide in the in situation, in the intelligence of the affairs of nations as of men, and upon people, and generally in civilisation, our own conduct now depends our fu- that one will receive from us a deture fortune or misery. It is not cided preference in which industry has enough to pull down, we must also re- made the greatest progress; in which

Ireland has often been the fields have been enclosed, drained, subjected to changes as violent as the and reclaimed ; in which the mines are present, and yet its evils were only profitably worked, factories erected, perpetuated. " The who

and the greatest amount of capital island,” said Lord Clare, in his cele- ready created and invested. Proceedbrated speech at the Union, “has been ing upon these facts, we are enabled confiscated, with the exception of the to arrive, with a great degree of cerestates of five or six ancient families tainty, at a fair conclusion as to its of English blood; and no inconsider- social condition at the time, and the able portion of the island has been industrial activity already developed. confiscated twice, perhaps thrice.” Sa- But if, in making this comparison, tisfied, then, that Ireland, particu- we are anxious to form an opinion, not larly her soil, offers incalculable ad- upon their then existing states, but vantages to the capitalist, and that his upon their future conditions and ulti. presence among us is necessary to re- mate destinies, we must proceed upon vive drooping hopes, and to palliate a different facts and different data. We vast amount of human suffering that must take into consideration not the must otherwise ensue, we propose, in past but the future- not what has the course of the present article, to been done, but what may be done. examine some of the principles of vi- Those circumstances which induce us, tality we still possess, and the result in the first case, to give our award, to which the course of modern events will, in the second case, make us withappears to tend, principally with this hold our preference. In England, object in view. To do this, with even where unbroken peace has prevailed a moderate chance of success, it will be for years, and the highest degree necessary to turn occasionally out of of civilisation has existed, and where the direct course, in order to expose it is almost impossible to find a some of the vulgar errors, or to combat single acre of land upon which large some of the national prejudices enter- sums of capital have not been ex. tained of the Irish at the other side of pended, everything, it is true, "doth the channel. And this is the more make a gleeful boast ;” whilst, in necessary, as we feel well assured that Ireland, whole tracts of land exist the absence of the English capitalist is upon which a shilling has never been produced, less by an ignorance of the expended--unfenced, undrained, wild,


and uncultivated — and still in the

past, apt remedies for present misforsame state of nature in which it has

These matters, however, are remained for centuries past. In

now mere speculative questions. The England money has done much. electric telegraph, the extension of Each new application of capital to railways, and the wonderful improvethe soil has brought in a smaller ments that have been made in steam return, until at last the profit has be- navigation, have done more to further come so small as to offer few tempta- the amalgamation of England and Iretions for its investment; but in Ireland land, than all the legislative enactments we possess all the elements of pro- of the last half century. gress. Our's is a country abounding Where two states are situated in close in all the raw materials of wealth, proximity to one another, everything and labour itself is almost a drug. in their social and commercial condiUnder the watery wastes that cover tion tends to an equality. A difference a great portion of the soil lie rich in language or religion, or even a dif. lands; valuable mines, never yet ferent code of laws and government, worked, exist almost upon the sur- may for a long time mar this consumface of the ground, their rich ore in mation. It may be delayed by natural many cases laid naked by the moun- obstacles, such as a dangerous channel, tain-torrent; and water power, suffi- till man, by his ingenuity, shall have cient to turn the machinery of the world, triumphed over such impediments; or still rolls on in its ceaseless course, it may be postponed by vexatious cusunemployed, unappropriated. These tom-house regulations, or quarantine are the elements of progress we pos- laws; but all these things can only sess; these are the things that, not- oppose, they can never annihilate the withstanding the gloom of the past natural tendency of events. But where, and the present, inspire, in the heart as with England and Ireland, a narrow of the nationalist, confidence and hope piece of water alone separates the two for the future, and teach us that Ireland islands, once, indeed, a serious impeis yet destined to be prosperous and diment to intercourse, but now the happy, if her people will only have it most important means of communicaso, under the blessing of Him who tion and traffic; and where the same “ hath caused the wilderness and soli

government, laws, and language exist, tary place to be glad, and the desert and where, above all, the efforts of to rejoice and blossom as the rose.” both countries appear to be directed

It would have been no easy thing, to the removal, and not to the creation a few years ago, to have pointed out of the obstacles that hinder, in the any two countries upon the face of least degree, free and unshackled inthe earth, placed in the same juxta- ternational communication, this composition as England and Ireland, and plete amalgamation and merger into yet so totally dissimilar in the habits each other of political individualities, and feelings of the people ; and it must be rapidly effected. would be equally difficult, at the pre- But a few years since, party feeling sent time, to discover any two nations ran high, and political influence was of in which the process of assimilation has no mean value to the holder ; and in advanced with more rapidity or steadi. the violent contests for power that enness. To investigate the causes of the sued, the welfare and happiness of social and political antagonism of Ire- thousands was often postponed to the land to England, of her disaffection selfish ends of the ambitious statesman; and habitual distrust in the laws, and, as in modern warfare, Belgium and consequently of her physical and has generally been selected as the battleintellectual backwardness, it would field of nations ; so, unfortunately for be necessary to trace down from Ireland, it has happened that she has an early period of history the selfish almost always been chosen as the battlepolicy and misrule of England. This ground of contending parties. Laws task has been frequently undertaken were supported, or measures opposed, by others, and often executed with by the different rulers of the country, ability; although it must be a constant not according to the benefits or evils source of regret that the motive for Ireland was likely to derive from their such an investigation was rather to enactment, but in proportion as such perpetuate discord and dissension, than measures were calculated to support to learn from the experience of the or embarrass a friendly or hostile ad

ministration. We have seen salutary laws for the protection of life and property thrown out by a powerful opposition, on the plea that such laws were opposed to the liberty of the subject; and we have seen the very same party, when in power, a few weeks afterwards, propose the same measure, with many additionally stringent regulations. We have seen the government and patronage of Ireland handed over, in consideration of the mere promise of his support, to a man a short time previously denounced by the same government, and made the object of a criminal

prosecution. In short, we have seen crimes tolerated, bad laws (rendered worse by bad administration) suffered to exist, the Established Church assailed, and agitation, we had almost said, rebellion, permitted to spread its desolating inAuence over the country, blighting Ireland's fairest hopes and prospects, however loved and cherished in their day.

These things, however, have greatly changed. Party feelings of the same intensity and virulence no longer exist; nor do the same means of pandering to the prejudices of the vulgar remain. The failure of the potato bas loosened the tie that seemed to bind the Irish peasant like a Helot to the soil. Already he lifts his eyes from the ground, and, whilst thousands, unfortunately despairing of receiving in their own country the fruits of industry, seek in the far West the land of promise ; thousands more, determined to raise themselves by their own exertions (abandoning all connexion with land), have already given an impetus to our manufactures unexampled in the history of this country. The spread of education, as well as the possession of freehold estates by persons who not long since despaired of ever becoming “ landed proprietors," has already created an independence of feeling, and a habit of thinking for themselves, instead of blindly fol. lowing a leader, to which the Munster and Connaught men have hitherto been strangers. All these things must conduce to good government ; and bad government has hitherto been the only cause of all the crimes and outrages that have hindered the advent of capital, and the only impediment to the prosperity of Ireland.

Although it would be ridiculous to assert that bad government had wholly

ceased, yet it is certainly true that the motive for bad government, a desire to gain temporary popularity with the anti-landlord party, has greatly decreased ; and that where it does exist, its effects have been considerably weakened and counteracted by the superior force of the education and intelligence of the people. Apart from political or agrarian outrages there is scarcely any country in the world so free from crime as Ireland. The revolting and awful murders that have so often taken place have all been, more or less, connected with the possession of the soil: for “hunger will cut through stone walls, though the gallows stood in the gate.” This great incentive to crime has now ceased. The intense desire of obtaining land upon any terms has altogether disappeared as one of our characteristic features ; and at the same time the power of obtaining it, by those possessed of capital, has been greatly facilitated. This fact is placed beyond doubt by the last Report of the Incumbered Estates Commissioners, by which it appears

that out of 587 estates sold in that court, nearly one-half of them have been purchased by parties for sums of £1000, and under. Thus a number of small landed proprietors are becoming scattered through the country, possessed of sufficient education and fortune to command the respect of the poorer classes, but not placed so far above them as to excite their envy. These estates, like forts scattered over an unsubdued country, form the ad. vance posts of civilization, and the rallying-points of industry and self-reliance.

Society is in a very unsound state where

"One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade."

The poorer classes then look upon those above them as placed, by some unjust laws, in a position which they can never expect to attain ; but a middle class connects the rich and poor, as it were, with a ladder, each step of which the humblest member of the community feels he can climb by good conduct and a little selfdenial. The position of the rich man then ceases to be one of envy; and the pomp, pride, and circumstance of wealth is regarded as a splendid prize, open to all ; a constant stimulus to

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »