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are so sensible, proceeds certainly, in great measure, from their accidental use of a food, so cheap, that it encourages population to an extraordinary degree, lowers the price of labour, and leaves the multitudes which it calls into existence almost destitute of every thing but food. Many more live, in consequence of the introduction of potatoes; but all live in greater wretchedness. In the progress of population, the potato must of course become at last as difficult to be procured as any other food; and then let the political economist calculate what the immensity and wretchedness of a people must be, where the farther progress of population is checked by the difficulty of procuring potatoes.
The consequence of the long mismanagement and oppression of Ireland, and of the singular circumstances in which it is placed, is, that it is a semibarbarous country :-more shame to those who have thus ill treated a fine country, and a fine people; but it is part of the present case of Ireland. The barbarism of Ireland is evinced by the frequency and ferocity of duels,-the hereditary clannish feuds of the common people, and the fights to which they give birth,—the atrocious cruelties practised in the insurrections of the common people and their proneness to insurrection. The lower Irish live in a state of greater wretchedness than any other people in Europe inhabiting so fine a soil and climate. It is difficult, often impossible, to execute the processes of law. In cases where gentlemen are concerned, it is often not even attempted. The conduct of under-sheriff's is often very corrupt. We are afraid the magistracy of Ireland is very inferior to that of this country; the spirit of jobbing and bribery is very widely diffused, and upon occasions when the utmost purity prevails in the sister kingdom. Military force is necessary all over the country, and often for the most common and just operations of Government. The behaviour of the higher to the lower orders, is much less gentle and decent than in England. Blows from superiors to inferiors are more frequent, and the punishment for such aggression more doubtsul. The word gentleman seems, in Ireland, to put an end to most processes of law. Arrest a gentleman!!!!-take out a warrant against a gentleman
are modes of operation not very common in the administration of Irish justice. If a man strikes the meanest peasant in England, he is either knocked down in his turn, or immediately taken before a magistrate. It is impossible to live in Ireland, without perceiving the various points in which it is inferior in civilization. Want of unity in feeling and interest among the people, irritability, violence, and revenge,-want of comfort and cleanliness in the lower orders,-habitual disobedience to the law,-want of confidence in magistrates,-corruption, venality, the perpetual necessity of recurring to military force,-all
carry back the observer to that remote and early condition of mankind, which an Englishman can learn only in the pages of the antiquary or the historian. We do not draw this picture for censure, but for truth. We admire the Irish,-feel the most sincere pity for the state of Ireland, -and think the conduct of the English to that country to have been a system of atrocious cruelty and contemptible meanness. With such a climate, such a soil, and such a people, the inferiority of Ireland to the rest of Europe is directly chargeable to the long wickedness of the English Government.
A direct consequence of the present uncivilized state of Ireland is, that very little English capital travels there. The man who deals in steam-engines, and warps and woofs, is naturally alarmed by Peep-of-Day Boys, and nocturnal Carders; his object is to buy and sell as quickly and quietly as he can; and he will naturally bear high taxes and rivalry in England, or emigrate to any part of the Continent, or to America, rather than plunge into the tumult of Irish politics and passions. There is nothing which Ireland wants more than large manufacturing towns, to take off its superfluous population. But internal peace must come first, and then the arts of peace will follow. The foreign manufacturer will hardly think of embarking his capital, where he cannot be sure that his existence is safe. Another check to the manufacturing greatness of Ireland, is the scarcity-not of coal—but of good coal, cheaply raised ; an article in which in spite of papers in the Irish Transactions) they are lamentably inferior to the English.
Another consequence from some of the causes we have stated, is the extreme idleness of the Irish labourer. There is nothing of the value of which the Irish seem to have so little notion as that of time. They scratch, pick, daudle, stare, gape, and do any thing but strive and wrestle with the task before them. The most ludicrous of all human objects, is an Irishman ploughing. -A gigantic figure-a seven foot machine for turning potatoes into human nature-wrapt up in an immense great coat, and urging on two starved ponies, with dreadful imprecations, and uplifted shillala. The Irish crow discerns a coming perquisite, and is not inattentive to the proceedings of the steeds. The turrow, which is to be the depository of the future crop, is not unlike, either in depth or regularity, those domestic furrows which the nails of the meek and much-injured wife plough, in some family quarrel, upon the cheeks of the deservedly-punished husband. The weeds seem to fall contentedly, knowing that they have fulfilled their destiny, and left behind them, for the resurrection of the ensuing spring, an abundant and healthy progeny. The whole is a scene of idleness, laziness and poverty, of which
it is impossible, in this active and enterprising country, to form ilie most distant conception; but strongly indicative of habits, whether secondary or original, which will long present a powersul impediment to the improvement of Ireland.
The Irish character contributes something to retard the improvements of that country. The Irishman has many good qualities: He is brave, witty, generous, eloquent, hospitable, and open-hearted; but he is vain, ostentatious, extravagant, and fond of display-light in counsel - deficient in perseverance-without skill in private or public economy-an enjoyer, not an acquirer -one who despises the slow and patient virtues—who wants the superstructure without the foundation—the result without the previous operation—the oak without the acorn and the three hundred years of expectation. The Irish are irascible, prone to debt, and to fight, and very impatient of the restraints of law. Such a people are not likely to keep their eyes steadily upon the main chance, like the Scotch or the Dutch England strove very hard, at one period, to compel the Scotch to pay a double church ;—but Sawney took his pen and ink; and finding what a sum it amounted to, became furious, and drew his sword. God forbid the Irishman should do the same; the remedy, now, would be worse than the disease: But if the oppressions of England had been more steadily resisted a century ago, Ireland would not have been the scene of poverty, misery, and distress, which it now is.
The Catholic religion, among other causes, contributes to the backwardness and barbarism of Ireland. Its debasing superstition, childish ceremonies, and the profound submission to the priesthood which it teaches, all tend to darken men's minds, to impede the progress of knowledge and inquiry, and to prevent Ireland from becoming as free, as powerful, and as rich as the sister kingdom. Though sincere friends to Catholic emancipation, we are no advocates for the Catholic religion. We should be very glad to see a general conversion to Protestantism among the Irish; but we do not think that violence, privations, and incapacities, are the proper methods of making proselytes. .
Such then is Ireland at this period,-a land more barbarous than the rest of Europe, because it has been worse treated and more cruelly oppressed.
The remedies are, time and justice; and that justice consists in repealing all laws which make any distinction between the two religions ; in placing over the government of Ireland, not the stupid, amiable and insignificant noblemen wbo have too often been sent there, but men who feel deeply the wrongs of Ireland, and who have an ardent wish to heal them ; who will take care that Catholics, when eligible, shall be elected; who will share
the patronage of Ireland proportionally among the two parties, and give to just and liberal laws the same vigour of execution which has hitherto been reserved only for decrees of tyranny, and the enactments of oppression. The injustice and hardship of supporting two churches must be put out of sight, if it cannot or ought not to be cured. The political economist, the moralist and the satirist, must combine to teach moderation and superintendence to the great Irish proprietors. Public talk and clamour may do something for the poor Irish, as it did for the slaves in the West Indies. Ireland will become more quiet under such treatment, and then more rich, more comfortable, and more civilized ; and the horrid spectacle of folly and tyranny, which it at present exhibits, may in time be removed from the eyes of Europe.
There are two eminent Irishmen now in the House of Commons, Lord Castlereagh and Mr. Canning, who will subscribe to the justness of every syllable we have said upon this subject ; and who have it in their power, by making it the condition of their remaining in office, to liberate their native country, and raise it to its just rank among the nations of the earth. Yet the Court buys them over, year after year, by the pomp and perquisites of office; and year after year, they come into the House of Commons, feeling deeply, and describing powerfully, the injuries of five millions of their countrymen,-and continue members of a government that inflicts those evils, under the pitiful delusion that it is not a cabinet question,-as if the scratchings and quarrellings of kings and queens could alone cement politicians together in indissoluble unity, while the fate and fortune of one third of the empire might be complimented away from one minister to another, without the smallest breach in their cabinet alliance. Politicians, at least honest politicians, should be very flexible and accommodating in little things—very rigid and inflexible in great things. And is this not a great thing ? Who has painted it in finer and more commanding eloquence than Mr. Canning? Who has taken a more sensible and statesman-like view of our miserable and cruel policy than Lord Castlereagh? You would think, to hear them, that the same planet could not contain them and the oppressors of their country,--perhaps not the same solar system. Yet for money, claret and patronage, they lend their countenance, assistance and friendship, to the Ministers who are the stern and inflexible enemies to the emancipation of Ireland !
Thank God that all is not profligacy and corruption in the history of that devoted people—and that the name of Irishman does not always carry with it the idea of the oppressor or the oppressed—the plunderer or the plundered—the tyrant or the
slave. Great men hallow a whole people, and lift up all who live in their time. What Irishman does not feel proud that he has lived in the days of GRATTAN? who has not turned to him for comfort, from the false friends and open enemies of Ireland ? who did not remember him in the days of its burnings and wastings and murders ? No Government ever dismayed him—the world could not bribe him-he thought only of Ireland-lived for no other object—dedicated to her his beautiful fancy, his elegant wit, his manly courage, and all the splendour of his astonishing eloquence. He was so born, and so gifted, that poetry, forensic skill, elegant literature, and all the highest attainments of human genius, were within his reach; but he thought the noblest occupation of a man was to make other men happy and free; and in that straight line he went on for fifty years, without one sidelook, without one yielding thought, without one motive in his heart which he might not have laid open to the view of God and
He is gone !-but there is not a single day of his honest life of which every good Irishman would not be more proud, than of the whole political existence of his countrymen,--the annual deserters and betrayers of their native land.
[The following beautiful lines, from the eloquent pen of Miss Frances WRIGHT, have appeared before ; yet we would fain give them a more accessible, if not a more lasting habitation, in our
We value the esteem and friendship of the admirable author of Altorf,—and feel more gratified with the approbation of one such person of genius, than hurt at the sarcasms of a thousand tourists.]
THE STRANGER'S FAREWELL TO AMERICA.
Yes! I have left ye, regions of the sun!
may their influence shine,