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mately connected, that no apology is required for combining the discussion of these two subjects in the same volume. This connexion is especially perceptible in the present case; as not only the character of the measures themselves, but the order in which they are to be carried into effect is of paramount importance. The motives for a mal-administration of the poor's fund have been found to be sufficiently numerous in England; but how much will the difficulty of a frugal and impartial distribution of relief be increased, if a sectarian spirit is superadded ; and if the cause of the Catholic pauper is zealously supported against the parsimony of the Protestant landlord and rate-payer! If, therefore, the difficulty of administering an Irish Poor Law would be great under any circumstances, how much greater must it be while the Church question remains unsettled.
It is earnestly to be desired that no impatience of interest, or of party zeal, should precipitate the decision of the various Irish questions which must shortly occupy the attention of the Legislature. Events have now reached a crisis, at which one false step might never be retrieved. Ireland is still as clay under the potter's hand : the elements of society in that country are still floating in chaos, and await the hand of power to fix and fashion
them. In England and Scotland the form of society is so firmly established, that if we consider large periods of time, little seems to depend on the individual character or acts of the persons who may, for the time being, stand at the head of affairs; and its advances are gained by its own slow but steady efforts. But it is otherwise in Ireland. Improvement and civilization must there descend from above; they will not rise spontaneously from the inward workings of the community. Hence it is above all things to be hoped, that those who may now be said to hold in their hands the destinies of that important country, will take a connected view of its entire condition; that they will deliberately frame a consistent scheme of policy with reference not to present exigencies, but to the future welfare of Ireland, and its relations to this country; that they will seek to guide events, not to wait
upon them ; that they will not falter at this trying moment; and that thus they may happily follow up the great work which has been too long postponed, of raising the Catholic population of Ireland to a level with the inhabitants of Great Britain, not only in political rights, but also in wealth and civilization.