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most luxuriant pastures, while he was secure from any demand for the tithe of their food, looking on with the most unfeeling indifference.'-Ibid. p. 486.
In Munster, where tithe of potatoes is exacted, risings against the system have constantly occurred during the last forty years. In Ulster, where no such tithe is required, these insurrections are unknown. The double church which Ireland supa ports, and that painful visible contribution towards it which the poor Irishman is compelled to make from his miserable pittance, is one great cause of those never-ending insurrections, burnings, murders and robberies, which have laid waste that ill-fated country for so many years. The unfortunate consequence of the civil disabilities, and the church payments under which the Catholics labour, is a rooted antipathy to this country. They hate the English Government from historical rem collection, actual suffering, and disappointed hope; and till they are better treated, they will continue to hate it. At this moment, in a period of the most profound peace, there are twenty-five thousand of the best disciplined and best appointed troops in the world in Ireland, with bayonets fixed, presented arms, and in the attitude of present war: nor is there a man too much---]]or would Ireland be tenable without them. When it was necessary last year (or thought necessary) to put down the children of Reform, we were forced to make a new levy of troops in this country--not a man could be spared from Ireland. The moment they had embarked, Peep-of-day Boys, Heartof-Oak Boys, Twelve-o'Clock Boys, Heart-of-Flint Boys, and all the bloody boyhood of the Bog of Allen, would have proceeded to the antient work of riot, rapine, and disaffection. Ireland, in short, till her wrongs are redressed, and a more liberal policy is adopted towards her, will always be a cause of anxiety and suspicion to this country; and, in some moment of our weakness and depression, will forcibly extort what she would now receive with gratitude and exultation.
Ireland is situated close to another island of greater size, speaking the same language, very superior in civilization, and the seat of government. The consequence of this is the emigration of the richest and most powerful part of the communitya vast drain of wealth and the absence of all that wholesome influence which the representatives of ancient families residing upon their estates, produce upon their tenantry and dependants. Can any man imagine that the scenes which have been acted in Ireland within these last twenty years, would have taken place, if such vast proprietors as the Duke of Devonshire, the Marquis of Hertford, the Marquis of Lansdown, Earl FitzwilLiam, and many other men of equal wealth, had been in the constant habit of residing upon their Irish, as they are upon their English estates? Is it of no consequence to the order, and the civilization of a large district, whether the great mansion is inhabited by an insignificant, perhaps a mischievous, attorney, in the shape of agent, or whether the first and greatest men of the United Kingdoms, after the business of Parliament is over, come with their friends and families, to exercise hospitality, to spend large revenues, to diffuse information, and to improve manners? This evil is a very serious one to Ireland; and, as far as we see, incurable. For if the present large estates were, by the dilapidation of families, to be broken to pieces, and sold,-others equally great would, in the free circulation of property, speedily accumulate; and the moment any possessor arrived at a certain pitch of fortune, he would probably chuse to reside in the better country,-near the Parliament, or the Court.
This absence of great proprietors in Ireland, necessarily brings with it, or, if not necessarily, has actually brought with it, the employment of middlemen, which forms one other standing and regular Irish grievance. We are well aware of all that can be said in defence of middlemen; that thcy stand between the little farmer and the great proprietor, as the shopkeeper door between the manufacturer and consumer ;-and, in fact, by their intervention, save time, and therefore expense. This may be true enough in the abstract; but the particular nature of land must be attended to. The object of the man who makes cloth, is to sell his cloth at the present market for as high a price as he can obtain. If that price is too high, it soon falls; but no injury is done to his machinery by the supcrior price he has enjoyed for a season-he is just as able to produce cloth with it, as if the profits he enjoyed had always been equally moderate: he has no fear, therefore, of the middleman, or of any species of moral machinery which may help to obtain for him the greatest present prices. The same would be the feeling of any one who let out a steam engine, or any other machine, for the purposes of manufacture; he would naturally take the highest price he could get; for he might either let his machine for a price proportionate to the work it did, or the rea pairs, estimable with the greatest precision, might be thrown upon the tenant;-in short, he could hardly ask any rent too high for his machine which a responsible person would give; dilapidation would be so visible, and so calculable in such instances, that any secondary lease, or subletting, would be rather an increase of security than a source of alarm. Any evil from such a practice would be improbable, measureable, and remca diable. In land, on the contrary, the object is not to get the highest prices absolutely, but to get the highest prices which will not injure the machine. One tenant may offer and pay double the rent of another, and in a few years leave the land in a state which will effectually bar all future offers of tenancy. It is of no use to fill a lease full of clauses and covenants; a tenant who pays more than he ought to pay, or who pays even to the last farthing which he ought to pay, will rob the land, and injure the machine, in spite of all the attornies in England. He will rob it even if he means to remain upon it--driven on by present distress, and anxious to put off the day of defalcation and arrear. The damage is often difficult of detection ; not easily calculated, not easily to be proved ;-such for which juries (themselves perhaps farmers) will not willingly give sufficient compensation. And if this is true in England, it is much more strikingly true in Ireland, where it is extremely difficult to obtain verdicts for breaches of covenant in leases.
The only method then of guarding the machine from real injury, is by giving to the actual occupier such advantage in his contract, that he is unwilling to give it up;--that he has a real interest in retaining it, and is not driven by the distresses of the present moment to destroy the future productiveness of the soil. Any rent which the landlord accepts more than this, or any system by which more rent than this is obtained, is to borrow money upon the most usurious and profligate interest--to increase the revenue of the present day by the absolute ruin of the property. Such is the effect produced by a middleman :- he gives high prices that he may obtain higher from the occupier; more is paid by the actual occupier than is consistent with the safety and preservation of the machine; the land is run out, and, in the end, that maximum of rent we have described is not obtained ; and not only is the property injured by such a system, but in Ireland the most shocking consequences ensue from it. There is little manufacture in Ireland; the price of labour is low, the demand for labour irregular. If a poor man is driven, by distress of rent, from his potatoe garden, he has no other resource all is lost: he will do the impossible (as the French say) to retain it; subscribe any bond, and promise any rent. The middleman has no character to lose; and he knew, when he took up the occupation, that it was one with which pity had nothing to do. On he drives; and backward the poor peasant recedes, losing something at every step, till he comes to the very brink of despair; and then he recoils and murders ,his oppressor, and is a White Boy or a Right Boy :—the sol, dier shoots him, and the Judge hangs him,
In the debate which took place in the Irish House of Commons, upon the bill for preventing tumultuous risings and assemblies, on the 31st of January 1787, the Attorney-General submitted to the House the following narrative of facts.
The commencement,' said he was in one or two parishes in the county of Kerry; and they proceeded thus. The people assembled in a Catholic Chapel, and there took an oath to obey the laws of Captain Right, and to starve the Clergy. They then proceeded to the next parishes, on the following Sunday, and there swore the people in the same manner; with this addition, that they (the people last sworn) should on the ensuing Sunday proceed to the Chapels of their next neighbouring parishes, and swear the inhabitants of those parishes in like manner. Proceeding in this manner, they very soon went through the province of Munster. The first object was, the reformation of tithes. They swore not to give more than a certain price per acre; not to assist, or allow them to be assisted, in drawing the tithe, and to permit no proctor. They next took upon them to prevent the collection of parish cesses ; next to nominate parish clerks, and in some cases curates ; to say what Church should or should not be repaired; and in one case to threaten that they would burn a new Church, if the old one were not given for a Mass-house. At last, they proceeded to regulate the price of lands ; to raise the price of labour ; and to oppose the collection of the hearth-money, and other taxes. Bodies of 5000 of them have been seen to march through the country unarmed, and if met by any Magistrate, they never offered the smallest rudeness or offence ; on the contrary, they had allowed persons charged with crimes to be taken from amongst them by the Magistrate alone, unaided by any force.'
· The Attorney-General said, he was well acquainted with the province of Munster, and that it was impossible for human wretchedness to exceed that of the peasantry of that province. The unhappy tenantry were ground to powder by relentless landlords ; that, far from being able to give the Clergy their just dues, they had not food or raiment for themselves,—the landlord grasped the whole; and sorry was he to add, that, not satisfied with the present extortion, some landlords had been so base as to instigate the insurgents to rob the Clergy of their tithes; not in order to alleviate the distresses of the tenantry, but that they might add the Clergy's share to the cruel rack-rents they already paid. The poor people of Munster lived in a more abject state of poverty than human nature could be supposed equal to bear.'--Grattan's Speeches, Vol. I. 292.
We are not, of course, in such a discussion, to be governed by names. A middleman might be tied up by the strongest legal restriction, as to the price he was to exact from the undertenants, and then he would be no more pernicious to the estate than a steward. A steward night be protected in exactions as severe as the most rapacious middleman; and then, of course, it would be the same thing under another name. The practice to which we object, is, the too common method in Ireland of extorting the last farthing which the tenant is willing to give for land, rather than quit it; and the machinery by which such practice is carried into effect, is that of the middleman. It is not only that it ruins the land; it ruins the people also. They are made so poor-brought so near the ground that they can sink no lower; and burst out at last into all the acts of desperation and revenge, for which Ireland is so notorious. Men who have money in their pockets, and find that they are improving in their circumstances, don't do these things. Opulence, or the hope of opulence or comfort, is the parent of decency, order, and submission to the laws. A landlord in Ireland understands the luxury of carriages and horses; but has no relish for the greater luxury of surrounding himself with a moral and grateful tenantry, The absent proprietor looks only to revenue, and cares nothing for the disorder and degradation of a country which he never means to visit. There are very honourable exceptions to this charge; but there are too many living instances that it is just. The rapacity of the Irish landlord induces him to allow of the extreme division of his lands. When the daughter marries, a little portion of the little farm is broken off-another corner for Patrick, and another for Dermot-till the land is broken into sections, upon one of which an English cow could not stand. Twenty mansions of misery are thus reared instead of one. A louder cry of oppression is lifted up to Heaven; and fresh enemies to the English name, and power, are multiplied on the earth. The Irish gentlemen, too, are extremely desirous of political influence, by multiplying freeholds and splitting votes; and this propensity tends of course to increase the miserable redundance of living beings, under which Ireland is groaning. Among the manifold wretchedness to which the poor Irish tenant is liable, we must not pass over the practice of driving for rent. A lets land to B, who lets it to C, who lets it again to D. D pays C his rent, and C pays B. But if B fails to pay A, the cattle of B, C, D are all driven to the pound, and, after the interval of a few days, sold by auction. A general driving of this kind very frequently leads to a bloody insurrection. It may be ranked among the classical grievances of Ireland.
Potatoos enter for a great deal into the present condition of Ireland. They are much cheaper than wheat; and it is so easy to rear a family upon them, that there is no check to population from the difficulty of procuring food. The population therefore goes on with a rapidity approaching almost to that of new countries, and in a much greater ratio than the improving