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the State of the church. The Cavina, Scarbocci, and Solaroli were Ghibellines; the Manbelli, Cerroni, and Serra were Guelfs. The Serra had in their country a hill which served as a kind of asylum for those who had committed any crime. The most powerful of all were the Cerroni, who also reached over the frontier into the Florentine territory. This clan had split into two branches, Rinaldi and Ravagli, who, in spite of their affinity, were in a state of constant feud. They were in a kind of hereditary connexion not only with the chief families of the cities, but also with jurists, who supported one or the other faction in their litigations. In the whole of Romagna there was no family so powerful that it could not have been easily harmed by these peasants. The Venetians always had an officer among them in order to be sure of their assistance in case of war."-Ranke's Römischen Päpste, vol. i., p. 391.
EFFECTS OF IRISH DISTURBANCES.
Having now explained the character and objects of the local disturbances in Ireland, and the means by which those objects are sought to be attained, it remains to state briefly what are the effects which the operation of this system produces on the several classes of the community who are affected by it.
The existence of a perpetual warfare of the poorer against the upper classes, of tenants against landlords, naturally tends to alienate each class from the other, and to widen and perpetuate the separation which originally caused it. The gentlemen, finding themselves the objects of constant hostility on the part of the peasantry, cannot avoid feeling towards them that distrust and dislike which must grow out of the consciousness of their position. A landowner in a county where the Whiteboy spirit prevails knows that he owes his security only to his means of defence, and sees in every peasant, even in his own labourers, a concealed or a future enemy. The Irish landlords have been often accused of harshness and unkindness to the poor : but so long as the present system prevails, and that they are unable to change it, can we wonder that persons, with the feelings and failings of men, should fall short of the gospel-rule of loving their enemies ?
“ Whoever (says Chief Justice Bushe) confines his estimate of the consequences of such a confederacy to the mere out
rages and crimes it produces, has, I fear, but superficially examined the subject. Such consequences may be occasional and transient, but the moral influence upon society of such a diseased state of human character must be deep and permanent. —the bad passions let loose, the charities of life extinct, those relations dissevered which between the higher and lower classes are the offspring of reciprocal protection and dependenceconfidence displaced by suspicion, and fear and hatred in all classes, vitiating and corroding the heart of man :—these are productive seeds which threaten a fearful growth, and if the mischief be not put down, every reflecting man will look forward to the necessary influence of such a state of things upon the future destinies of Ireland, as operating far beyond the local disturbances of a provincial district *."
The peasantry, on the other hand, experience all the pernicious moral influence which arises from using bad means to accomplish what is considered a good end, and are depraved and even brutalized by the sanguinary and atrocious practices, the cool-blooded assassinations, the mutilations, the beatings, and the burnings, to which they have recourse in order to enforce their law. Many people have wondered at the singular and apparently wanton cruelty which characterizes the Irish crimes: the killing of children, the cutting out of tongues, the mutilation of ears and noses, the cardings and severe beatings, and the shocking maimings of animals, all these betoken a mind thoroughly reckless about the infliction of pain +.
Maryborough Special Commission, p. 5. of Colonel Verner, in his evidence before the Committee on Orange Lodges, in 1835, gives an account of a celebrated outrage committed in 1791, on one of a Protestant colony, founded at Forkhill, in the county of Armagh. “ In the attempt to establish this colony (he says) the persons who came to reside there we
fred threatened by the Roman Catholics, and told that they should not come into that part of the country. One of the schoolmasters had also been frequently threatened.
“ In offering an opinion on the state of Ireland (says Sir Hussey Vivian) there is one thing I should wish to notice, and that is the extraordinary carelessness of human life amongst the lower classes. I have endeavoured, as far as possible, to find out whence it arises that men who appear so kind in their dispositions, so grateful for any little kindness bestowed upon them, as the lower class of Irish generally are, should exhibit such little apparent reluctance to destroy their fellow-creatures. I have asked the Catholic clergy; I have expressed my astonishment that they who have such power and influence over the minds of the lower classes, do not prevent it; but neither they nor others I have spoken to on the subject pretend to account for it. It is a very striking circumstance in Ireland, that a disturbance scarcely ever arises but you hear of the loss of life; and during the whole of the disturbances in England (I mean no invidious comparison) there was but one instance in which a hand was raised against an individual: it is a matter well worthy of the consideration of those who would civilize and tranquillize Ireland, to ascertain whence arises this extraordinary difference."—H.C., 1832, No. 1475.
It is, unfortunately, far easier to account for this disposition of the Irish peasantry than to remove it. Their indifference to the sufferings of which they are the cause, arises from the consciousness that their conduct will be approved by their own class: that public
One evening his house was entered ; I am not sure whether the door was forced, or if he opened it at the desire of a neighbour; a body of men came in. The man, aware from their threats what their object was, concealed his wife in the bed curtains. They threw him down, put a cord round his neck and forced his tongue out, which they cut off, and then cut off the joints of his fingers, joint by joint; his unfortunate wife screamed out; they took her and cut off with a blunt instrument the joints of her fingers: they then cut off her breasts, seized her son, a boy of thirteen years old, cut out his tongue, and cut the calves of his legs. The unfortunate man asked if he had ever injured them; they replied not; but this was the beginning of what all his sort might knew the buy afterwards; he lived for some years on my property, and was a yeoman in the corps which my father commanded." (No. 30.)
opinion, so far as they come in contact with it, is in their favour. A man who murders for his own gain must make
up his mind to general execration, if he is detected: he must be prepared (like Bishop and Williams, the murderers of the Italian boy) to die on the scaffold, in the midst of the yells and curses of the lowest of the populace. But a Whiteboy who carries into effect the wishes of his own order, who executes a law of opinion, has nothing to fear but the power of the magistrate : he knows that the sharper the pain which he inflicts, the louder and more general will be the approbation of his fellows. Nothing is more common than to see how persons, when acting as members of a body, will throw off those moral restraints by which they are habitually governed in their individual capacity. Not only does this arise from the consciousness of power, every member of a body (as Thucydides has remarked) thinking himself worth more than an unit: but also from the anticipation of support from his party, and the absence of the check of general reprobation. Hence we have seen that aristocracies have, in their collective capacity, perpetrated acts from which individuals among them would have shrunk with horror; hence we see that, in mobs, people mutually encourage and urge on one another into excesses which they would never have coolly planned as isolated individuals. That the difference between England and Ireland, in regard to the carelessness of human life, arises not so much from the nature of the people as from the difference of the circumstances in which they are placed, appears from the fact that, when in England the opinion of a large body has been in favour of atrocious crime, atrocious crimes have been committed.
Of this the outrages