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their punishment, which seemed calculated for the meridian of Barbary. It is manifest that the gentlemen of Ireland never thought of a radical cure, from overlooking the real cause of the disease, which, in fact, lay in themselves, and not in the wretches they doomed to the gallows. Let them change their own conduct entirely, and the poor will not long riot. Treat them like men, who ought to be free as yourselves; put an end to that system of religious persecution which for seventy years has divided the kingdom against itself. In these two things lies the cure of insurrection - perform them completely, and you will have an affectionate poor, instead of oppressed and discontented vassals; a better treatment of the poor in Ireland is a very material point to the welfare of the whole British empire. Events may bappen which may convince us fatally of this truth. If not, oppression would have broken all the spirit and resentment of men. By what policy the Government of England can, for so many years, have permitted such an absurd system to be matured in Ireland, is beyond the power of plain sense to discover."

Arthur Young may be wrong in his inference (I do not think that he is); but, be he right or wrong, I have succeeded in establishing that he, whose evidence was most dispassionate and impartial, referred the agrarian barbarities of the lower orders to the oppression of the Roman Catholics. But the passage which I have cited is not the strongest. The seventh section of his work is entitled “Religion.” After saying that “the domineering aristocracy of five hundred thousand Protestants feel the sweets of having two millions of slaves" (the Roman Catholic body was then not one third of what the penal code has since made it), he observes : “ The disturbances of the Whiteboys, which lasted ten years" (what would he now say of their duration ?), “ in spite of every exertion of legal power, were, in many circumstances, very remarkable, and in none more so than in the surprising intelligence among the insurgents, wherever found. It was universal, and almost instantaneous. The numerous bodies of them, at whatever distance from each other, seemed animated by one zeal, and not a single instance was known, in that long course of time, of a

single individual betraying the cause. The severest threats and the most splendid promises of reward had no other effect than to draw closer the bonds which cemented a multitnde to all appearance so desultory. It was then evident that the iron hand of oppression had been far enough from securing the obedience or crushing the spirit of the people; and all reflecting men, who consider the value of religious liberty, will wish it may never have that effect— will trust in the wisdom of Almighty God, for teaching man to respect even those prejudices of his brethren that are imbibed as sacred rights, even from earliest infancy; that, by dear-bought experience of the futility and ruin of the attempt, the persecuting spirit may cease, and toleration establish that harmony and security which, fivescore years' experience has told us, is not to be purchased at the expense of humanity.”

This is strong language, and was used by a man who liad no connecting sympathy of interest, of religion, or of nationality, with Ireland. So unequivocal an opinion, expressed by a person of such authority, and whose credit is not affected by any imaginable circumstance, must be admitted to have great weight, even if there was a difficulty in perceiving the grounds on which that opinion rested. But there is little or none. The law divides the Protestant proprietor from the Catholic tiller of the soil, and generates a feeling of tyrannical domination in the one, and of hatred and distrust in the other. The Irish peasant is not divided from his landlord by the ordinary demarkations of society. Another barrier is erected, and, as if the poor and the rich were not already sufficiently separated, religion is raised as an additional boundary between them.

The operation of the feelings, which are the consequence of this division, is stronger in the county of Tipperary than elsewhere. It is a peculiarly Cromwellian district, or, in other words, the holy warriors of the Protector chose it as their land of peculiar promise, and selected it as a favorite object of confiscation. The lower orders have good memories. There is scarcely a peasant who, as le passes the road, will not point to the splendid mansions of the aristocracy, embowered in groves, or rising upon fertile elevations, and tell you the name of the

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pious corporal or the inspired sergeant from whom the present proprietors derive a title, which, even at this day, appears to be of a modern origin.

These reminiscences are of a most injurious tendency. But, after all, it is the system of religious separation which nurtures the passions of the peasantry with these pernicious recollections. They are not permitted to forget that Protestantism is stamped upon every institution in the country, and their own sunderance from the privileged class is perpetually brought to their minds. Judges, sheriffs, magistrates, Crown-counsel, lawofficers — all are Protestant.* The very sight of a court of justice reminds them of the degradations attached to their religion, by presenting them with the ocular proof of the advantages and honors which belong to the legal creed. It is not, therefore, wonderful that they should feel themselves a branded caste; that they should have a consciousness that they belong to a debased and inferior community; and, having no confidence in the upper classes, and no reliance in the sectarian administration of the law, that they should establish a code of barbarous legislation among themselves, and have recourse to what Lord Bacon calls “the wild justice" of revenge. A change of system would not perhaps produce immediate effects upon the character of the people: but I believe that

* Having repeatedly mentioned “Protestant Ascendency," in these notes, it may not be improper to define what it was and what it meant. In an address from the Corporation of Dublin to the Protestants of Ireland, praying them to resist Catholic Emancipation, the following passage occurs : “Protestant Ascendency, which we have resolved with our lives and fortunes to maintain. And that no doubt may remain of what we understand by the words · Protestant Ascendency, we have further resolved, that we consider the Protestant Ascendency to consist in-a Protestant King of Ireland - a Protestant Parliament -a Protestant hierarchy - Protestant Electors and Government - the benches of justice, the army, and the Revenue, through all their branches and details, Protestant- and this system supported by a connection with the Protestant Realm of Britain,” Previous to this assertion of exclusive Protestant rights, the Lord Chancellor of Ireland had declared from the judgment-seat (in 1759) that "the laws did not presume a Papist to exist in the Kingdom, nor could they breathe without the connivance of government." Yet the Catholics, whoso rights and very existence were legally ignored, were about seven times more numerous than the Protestants of Ireland.- M.

Vol. II.-4

its results would be much more speedy than is generally im. agined.

At all events, the experiment of conciliation is worth the trial. Every other expedient has been resorted to, and has wholly failed. It remains that the legislature, after exhausting all other means of tranquillizing Ireland, shonld, upon a mere chance of success, adopt the remedy which has at least the sanction of illustrious names for its recommendation. The union of the two great classes of the people in Ireland - in other words, the emancipation of the Roman Catholies— is in this view not only recommended by motives of policy, but of humanity; for who that has witnessed the scenes which I have (perhaps at too much length) detailed in these pages, can fail to feel that, if the demoralization of the people arises from bad government, the men who from feelings of partisanship persevere in that system of misrule, will have to render a terrible account?


“And ye shall walk in silk attire."-Old Ballad.

Upon the first day of last Michaelmas term [1826] eight gentlemen were called to the Bar, of whom four were Roman Catholics. This was a kind of event in the Hall of the Four Courts, and in the lack of any other matter of interest, such as the speech of a new Sergeant at a corporation dinner, which bad by this time ceased to excite the comments of the attorneys, produced a species of excitation. There are two assortments of oaths for Catholics and Protestants upon their admission to the Bar. The latter still enter their protestations, in the face of Lord Manners and of Heaven, against the damnable idolatry of the Church of Rome. But when the more mitigated oath provided for the Roman Catholics happens to be rehearsed on the first day of term, * it is easy to perceive an expression of disrelish in the countenance of the court; and although it is impossible for Lord Manners to divest himself of that fine urbanity which belongs to his birth and rank, yet in the bow with which he receives the aspiring Papist, there are evident symptoms of constraint; and it is by a kind of effort even in his features that they are wrought into an elaborated smile.

It does not frequently happen that more than one or two Roman Catholics are called in any single term; and when

* This sketch was published in February, 1827, when Lord Manners was Chancellor.-- Roman Catholics were not admitted to the Irish bar until 1798. -Among the earliest who availed themselves of this privilege, was Mr. O'Con. nell. --M.

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