صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

one his parť according to seniority. So that no man had a property which could descend to his children ; and even during his own life, his poffeffion of any particular spot was quite uncertain, being liable to be constantly shuffled and changed by new partitions. The consequence of this was, that there was not a house of brick or stone among the Irish, down to the reign of Henry VII. ; not even a garden or orchard, or well fenced or improved field, neither village or town, or in any respect the least provision for posterity. This monstrous custom, fo opposite to the natural feelings of mankind, was probably perpetuated by the policy of the chiefs. In the first place, the power of partitioning being lodged in their hands, made them the most absolute of tyrants, being the dispensers of their property, as well as of the liberty of their subjects. In the second place, it had the appearance of adding to the number of their favage armies ; for, where there was no improvement or tillage, war was pursued as an occupation.

• In the early history of Ireland, we find feveral initances of chieftains discountenancing tillage ; and, so late as Elizabeth's reign, Moryson fays, that “ Sir Neal Garve restrained his people from ploughing, that they might aslift him to do any mischief." p. 98-102.

These quotations and observations will enable us to state a few plain facts for the recollection of our English readers. 1st, Ireland was never subdued till the rebellion in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 2d, For four hundred years before that period, the two nations had been almost constantly at war; and, in conser quence of this, a deep and irreconcileable hatred existed between the people within and without the pale. 3d, The Irish, at the accession of Queen Elizabeth, were unquestionably the most barbarous people in Europe. So much for what had happened previous to the reign of Queen Elizabeth : and let any man, who has the most superficial knowledge of human affairs, determine, whether national hatred, proceeding from such powerful causes, could possibly have been kept under by the defeat of one single rebellion ; whether it would not have been easy to have foreseen, at that period, that a proud, brave, half savage people, would cherish the memory of their wrongs for centuries to come, and break forth into arms at every period when they were particur larly exasperated by oppression, or invited by opportunity. If the Protestant religion had spread in Ireland as it did in Eng, land; and if there never had been any difference of faith between the two countries,-can it be believed that the Irish, ill treated, and infamously governed as they have been, would never have made any efforts to shake off the yoke of England ? Surely there are causes enough to account for their impatience of that yoke, without endeavouring to inflame the zcal of ignorant people against the Catholic religion, and to make that mode of faith responsible for all the butchery which the Irish and


ined as the yoke is impatie

enes and decisively ut what Mr Pargive a name) to find what

English, for these last two centuries, have exercised upon each other. Every body, of course, must admit, that if to the causes of hatred already specified, there be added the additional cause of religious distinction, this last will give greater force (and what is of more consequence to observe, give a naine) to the whole aggregate motive. But what Mr Parnell contends for is, and clearly and decisively proves is, that many of those sanguinary scenes attributed to the Catholic religion, are to be partly imput, ed to causes totally disconnected from religion ; that the unjust invasion, and the tyrannical, infamous policy of the English, are to take their full share of blame with the sophisms and plots of Catholic priests. In the reign of Henry the Eighth, Mr Parnell shows, that feudal submission was readily paid to him by all the Irish chiefs ; that the reformation was received without the slightest opposition; and that the troubles which took place at that period in Ireland, are to be entirely attributed to the ambi. tion and injustice of Henry. In the reign of Queen Mary, there was no recrimination upon the Protestants ;-a striking proof, that the bigotry of the Catholic religion had not, at that peiod, risen to any great height in Ireland. The insurrections of the various Irish princes were as numerous during this reign as they had been in the two preceding reigns; a circumstance rather difficult of explanation, if, as is commonly believed, the Catholic religion was at that period the main spring of men's actions.

In the reign of Elizabeth, the Catholic in the pale regularly fought against the Catholic out of the pale. O'Sullivan, a bigottedPapist, reproaches them with doing so. Speaking of the reign of James the First, (he says), . And now the eyes even of the English Irish' (the Catholics of the pale) were opened, and they .cursed their former folly for helping the heretic.' The English Government were so sensible of the loyalty of the Irish English Catholics, that they entrusted them with the most confidential services. The Earl of Kildare was the principal instrument in waging war against the chieftains of Leix and Offal. William O’Bourge, another Catholic, was created Lord Castle Connel for his eminent services; and MacGullay Patrick, a priest, was the state spy. We presume that this wise and inanly conduct of Queen Elizabeth was utterly unknown both to the Pastry-cook and the Secretary of State, who have published upon the dangers of employing Catholics even against foreign enemies; and in those publications have said a great deal about the wisdom of our ancestors,—the usual topic whenever the folly of their descendants is to be defended. To whatever other of our ancestors they may allude, they may spare all compliments to this illustrious Princess, who would certainly have kept the worthy Confectioner to the


English Irish?ther folly for helping the lty of the Irish Eng

composition of tarts, and most probably furnished him with the productions of the Right Honourable Secretary, as the means of conveying those juicy delicacies to an hungry and discerning public.

In the next two reigns, Mr Parnell shows by whàt injudicious measures of the English Government the spirit of Catholic opposition was gradually formed ; for, that it did produce powerful effects at a subsequent period, he does not deny ; but contends only, (as we have before stated), that these effects have been much overrated, and ascribed solely to the Catholic religion, when other causes have at least had an equal agency in bringing them about. He concludes with some general remarks on the dreadful state of Ireland, and the contemptible folly and bigotry of the English; * remarks full of truth, of good sense, and of political courage. How melancholy to reflect, that there would be still some chance of saving England from the general wreck of empires, but that it may not be saved, because one politician will lose two thousand a year by it, and another three thousand, a third a place in reversíon, and a fourth a pension for his aunt! Alas! these are the powerful causes which have always settled the destiny of great kingdoms, and which may level Old England, with all its boasted freedom, and boasted wisdom, to the dust. · Nor is it the least sin, gular among the political phenomena of the present day, that the sole consideration which seems to influence the unbigotted part of the English people, in this great question of Ireland, is a regard for the personal feelings of the Monarch. Nothing is said or thought of the enormous risk to which Ireland is exposed, nothing of the gross injustice with which the Catholics are treated,-nothing of the lucrative apostasy of those from whom they experience this treatment'; but the only concern by which we all seem to be agitated is, that the King must not be vexed in his old age. We have a great respect for the King; and wish him all the happiness compatible with the happiness of his people; but these are not times to pay foolish compliments to Kings, or the sons of Kings, or to any body else : this Journal has always preserved its character for courage and honesty, and it shall do so to the last. If the people of this country are solely occupied in considering what is personally agreeable to the King, without considering what is for his permanent good, and for the safety of his dog minions; if all public men, quitting the common vulgar scramble for emolument, do not concur in conciliating the people of Ireland ; if the unfounded alarms, and the comparatively trilling


* It would be as well, in future, to say no more of the revocation of .. the edict of Nantz.

foolisht upon them; Irming all in our such a

interests of the clergy, are to supersede the great question of freedom or slavery, it does appear to us quite impossible that so mean and so foolish a people can escape that destruction which is ready to burst upon them ;-a destruction so imminent, that it can only be averted by, arming all in our defence who would evidently be sharers in our ruin, and by such a change of system as may save us from the hazard of being ruined by the ignorance and cowardice of any general, by the bigotry or the ambition of any minister, or by the well-meaning scruples of any human being, let his dignity be what it may. These minor and domestic dangers we must endeavour firmly and temperately to avert as we best can; but, at all hazards, we must keep out the destroyer from among us, or perish like wise and brave men in the attempt.

ART. V. Caroli à Linné Species Plantarum, exhibentes Plantas rite

cognitas, ad Genera relatas cum differentibus Specificis, nominibus trivialibus, synonimis selectis, locis natalibus, secundum Systema Sexuale digestas, editio quarta, post Reichardiamam quinta, adjectis vegetabilibus hucusque cognitis, curante Carolo Ludovico Willdenow. Berolini impensis G. C. Nank, 1797, already published 3 vol.

8vo. in 7 parts, and part of the 4th. pp. 5,946. The former of these works cannot fail to be an acceptable pre1 sent to all proficients in botany, on account of its containing so many of the plants lately discovered, arranged according to a system with which they have been long familiar. The latter, as an introduction to botanical studies, forms an useful manual for those who are desirous of acquiring a knowledge of the vegetable kingdom

The Species Plantarum, which began to be published in 1797, is not yet complete ; but the eight parts which have come into our hands, reaching the length of the class Monæcia inclusive, are sufficient to enable us to form an opinion of the merits of the work.

It contains not only the plants described by Linnæus, (as the title imports), but likewise such of those discovered since the death of that eminent naturalist, as Mr Willdenow has been able, on good grounds, to reduce to their proper place in the Linnæan system.

If the utility of botanical studies be at all granted, the advantages of a systematic arrangement of vegetables will be readily admitted. It is true, that the greatest part of those who are employed in cultivating the soil, may go on from year to year,


ranger introdurmerly be or emptable to in the which he such

raising their wheat, clover, and potatoes, without troubling their heads about the class or order, the genus or species, to which their crops may be referred. Many medical practitioners also may be usefully employed during a long life, in administering opium, rhubarb, and senna, provided they know the proper doses of each, and the cases in which they ought to be employed, without knowing, or caring to know, that one is the inspissated juice of the Papaver somniferum, and the other the root of the Rheum palmatum. It is true, in like manner, that many artists are indebted to different machines, the mechanism of which they do not understand. Thousands make use of clocks and watches, who know nothing about pendulums or escapements, and who would be very much disposed to laugh at those who trouble themselves about such matters. But in spite of all this, there are some very good sort of people in the world, who think there may be some use in the study of botany and mechanics.

Though agriculture and medicine, the two professions which are usually thought to deriye most benefit from the knowledge of botany, may be prosecuted without any acquaintance with methodical arrangement, yet, he who thinks of making improvements in either, by introducing into cultivation or practice, vegetables which have not formerly been attended to, or which may have been successfully cultivated or employed by others at a distance, would wish, in the one case, to be able to point out the species on which he had made his experiments, and in the other, to ascertain the particular plant, the cultivation or use of which he was ambitious of introducing. But besides all those to whom such knowledge may be useful, there are many worthy people who study botany merely for amusement, who would give a great deal for such a systematic arrangement as would enable them, with facility and precision, to reduce any plant to its genus and species. We shall take a short view, therefore, of what has been done towards accomplishing that object, that, from a knowledge of what has already been effected by the labours of others, some estimate may be formed of the obligations the lovers of botany lye under to Mr Willdenow.

The utility of many vegetables as articles of food, &c. the beauty and striking appearance of others, must have attracted the notice of men at a very early period ; but until their virtues in curing diseases and healing wounds was discovered, it is

scarcely to be supposed, that any great anxiety would be felt -. even for an accurate description of them. This, perhaps, is the

principal reason, why, in almost all those nations with whose early history we are acquainted, physicians have been the first botanists. Indeed, had we a more intimate acquaintance with

some of what accoma shore duce an as wowould people sucks


« السابقةمتابعة »