תמונות בעמוד

cal purposes, he does express, would the treacherous or infatuated policy of burst his bonds asunder, and cast away our civil government which has taught his cords from them; yet none is hardy brute force its power—and that authoenough to be the first to break the rity, if perseveringly resisted, is overranks, and expose himself to the come—the transformation of the priest raking fire of persecution against cha- into the demagogue—the chapel into racter, property, and even person, the political club-house, and the conwhich, on such occasions, a priest so gregation into the political club—the well knows how to direct against him. utter indifference to the morals of the Here, then, is one impediment." And people evinced by the priests, unless

, we admit that it is a real and a serious as with the sobriety of the Clare freeone ; but it only furnishes a stronger holders, morality can be made to subreason for adopting every legitimate serve politics—in short, the utter obmeans that offers of withdrawing the livion, or blasphemous prostitution, of people from a tyranny which they hate, all that is sacred, essential, and chaand enabling them to act with liberty; racteristic in religion-have caused the and this can be done only by affording people to view it in that aspect, in them that protection which a closer which alone the priest exhibits it

, as union with their landlord or employer the banner of a party, and the stepping. would confer.

stone to political power. In the alemWith some means, too, of observing, bic of Popery, infidelity has neutralized and more of collecting, observations, superstition, and left but the residuum we do not hesitate to assert, that, ram- of politics. The prophet's commission, pant and vigorous as Popery, in Ireland, “ I have set thee over the nations, and now seems, it is pregnant with disease over the kingdoms, to root out, and to and death, and that the time is near at pull down, and to destroy, and to throw hand when this obstacle will be re- down." This is the only text upon moved. We would, therefore, advise which the priest harangues. With this

, such preparatory measures as may in some pointed and personal applicaenable the landlords of Ireland, should tion of it, the altar rings on every Sahthe country survive the shock and ruin bath ; and, consequently, radicalism is which the fall of this mighty colossus the only creed of the people. will, probably, occasion, to avail them And to their religious profession, selves of the door which will then be even in this, its most attractive aspect thrown open to them ; and to resume, to the natural man, there are many, in a paternal spirit, improved by ex- who are rather bound by authority, than perience, the place and offices, in an attached by sympathy. The demaintercourse with their tenantry, which gogues, priesty and political, have that important relation imperatively hurried on the body of the Romish devolves upon them.

clergy ; some, half reluctant, until they The elements of decomposition in have passed the Rubicon, and found it the Roman Catholic church of Ireland too late to stop, or to recede. These, are rapidly developing ; and there can again, have carried with them the peobe but little doubt that they will shortly ple : some, no doubt, but too ready: produce a convulsion which will shake others, and among those, the first in it to its very centre, if not shatter it into property, intelligence, respectability, fragments. There is, we assert it, no and age, entirely disapproving of their attachment of Roman Catholics to their conduct, and disgusted with their spirit: religion, as a religion. The Hohenlohe and only restrained by fear of the miracles, and the Pastorini prophecies, power which they can wield in these which so raised, and so disappointed critical and eventful times, and against one, the popular pride ; the other, the which the government can, or does, popular expectation—the light which afford no protection, from publicly tesreligious meetings and public discus- tifying their disgust, and from abansions have let in upon the darkest doning a system, which they plainly chambers of imagery in the Romish see, has any thing in view, rather than church-the march of intellect—the to save the souls of its members. This increased, though bad, intelligence of is not mere theory. We know this to the lower orders—their concentration be the state of many Roman Catholies

. and self-dependence—the radical and And does it not justify us in saying, infidel spirit and tendency of the age that the authority of their priesthood,

has nearly reached its maximum and obligations ; yet, we do assert with conits crisis. That they have staked all fidence, that the Protestant body has upon the present cast. And that, issue improved, and is rapidly improving ; how it may, in other respects, the cord while Popery seems to have reached of priestly domination has been drawn the lowest point of moral deterioration ; so tight, in compelling the people to and as to religion, it is literally unsubserve their political purposes, that thought of, by priest or people, whether the re-action will snap it.

at mass, or club-house." In the career It is true, and an awful truth, as res to ascendancy, they have lightened the pects our political prospects ; but fully vessel of burdensome Christianity, and confirmatory of our views as to the ap- made shipwreck of faith, as of good proaching downfal of the papal super- conscience. We are not about to institition, that all expression of better fer from this, an immunity from political feeling in the Roman Catholic body, judgments. By no means. Ours is has, of late, rapidly declined, and now, not a penitence, like that of Nineveh, almost wholly, ceased. We have deep and universal ; which would bow watched with dismay and with astonish- down the Protestant body, as the heart ment at the infatuated blindness of our of a single inan ; and which, by removrulers, who have effected it, the gradual ing the necessity for divine judgments, obscuration of every spot of light in the as stimulants and correctives, would obPopish hemisphere. At this moment, literate the divine wrath. “ Whom the the mass of Popery presents but the Lord loveth, he chasteneth.” And if, aspect of one uniformly dark and por- indeed, under the gospel dispensation, tentous cloud, about to burst in thun- there be national sins, and national ders and torrents upon the land. The judgments ; the history of the church weak or wicked policy of the Irish teaches, that with the rare exception government, if government we must of hurricane and inundation, earthquake, miscal it, which, to subserve whatever pestilence, and famine, God has usually purposes, fed, not checked, the stream been pleased to scourge a people, of popular feeling, which sounded the by subjecting them to infatuated rutocsin to the implacable foes of the con- lers, and bringing upon them politistitution, and hoisted upon the walls of cal oppressors. But when this rod its citadel, the enemy's banner : which has done “God's strange work,” it is tossed its crown into the air, amid the fung, as a brand, to the burning. felts of a rabble ; and brandished over If the comparative state of Protestantits head an oaken sceptre ; and hurra'd ism and Popery be such as we have from its ramparts to the besieging foe, described it; and who will deny it ? Agitate! Agitate! Agitate! °All this, we may rest assured that whatever scars no doubt, in the proud and empty hope, and deaths may result from the conflict, that it " could ride the whirlwind, and Popery is tottering to its ruin ; and direct the storm.” This infatuated and that Protestantism, in some approved degrading policy has produced its na- form, and to which its daily advances tural result. It has given to the tor- are pointing, will retain the field. We rent of revolution an overwhelming believe that Protestantism, as a religion, power, which enables it to absorb, and is passing through the furnace, and rehurry along, what before was quiescent fining into purity amid the flames of or resistent. In some instances, we persecution. We believe that Popery, trust, better feeling, thus unprotected, as a religion, soothed and bloated by has been repressed by fear, not eradi- the opiate of prosperity, which radicalcated. But even, where this is not theism and infidelity, those twin brothers, case, and the conversion is real, the have deemed it their interest, to minisconverts have been made, not to priest- ter, for a time, to a creed, essentially craft and superstition, but to revolution despotic and superstitious, is leaning

upon treacherous friends, and sleeping We believe, too, that there is a God, upon the bosom of death, and that "he loveth righteousness and

Without the quackery of prescribing hateth iniquity." And though we are any sovereign specific, for that mass of far, indeed, from saying, that the former disease, which an examination of the is the character of universal Protes- comprehensive subject, “ the state of tantism, or of individuals, in any degree the country," would exhibit-a disease, proportioned to their high calling and which has, hitherto, balted our most

and democracy.

experienced statesmen, and wisest po- gratification. And, in point of fact, litical economists ; and whose compli- there is scarcely a labouring man, who cated causes, will, no doubt, require lives to the age of thirty, unmarried. many and various means of cure ; we These marriages often occur, under would venture to suggest one of the the most destitute and discouraging causes, which have operated to produce circumstances. We know the fact, the chasm between the gentry and pea- that after the banns had been duly pubsantry which now subsists. And the lished for two Roman Catholics, whom means which we propose for removing the priest refused to marry, from their the cause, will, in some degree, operate want of a sufficient fee ; the man rein removing, also, the existing effects. quested to be married the following

It must be evident to any person at morning at six o'clock. The clergyman all conversant with the subject, that refused to perform the ceremony at any there is a radical defect in the present but canonical hours ; and suspecting system of agricultural labour. And something wrong in the man's anxiety that the practice of hiring labourers by to have the service over before day the day, with scarcely any advantage light, pressed for his reason. He over the old system of farm servants, found, that it was a desire to attend brings with it many and grievous evils. the market, for employment as a laSome of these we shall proceed to state. bourer, after the ceremony was over,

First, then, it reduces the connexion lest he should miss his day's hire; between the landlord and this portion which, he confessed, was all he had to of his dependants, over whom he might look to, on that, his wedding day, for exercise so powerful, and so salutary, a subsistence. We may add, that it is moral influence, to the simple transac common for women, in order that they tion, of labour given, and cash received. may make a decent appearance at It increases crime, by increasing impu- their wedding, to borrow shoes and a nity; and, by the same act, throws vir- cloak. We mention these, because the tue into the shade ; while in the market, want of them marks the Zero of powhere both are equally unknown, the verty, in Ireland, much more accurately felon, who has filed from justice, is than the want, even of a blanket ; for perhaps employed ; and, on account of which, the cloak by day, is, in but too his itinerant occupation, lives unsus many instances, the substitute by night: pected in a strange place, while the Nor are the parents less reckless. Inhonest and industrious labourer is per- stead of interfering to check, they behaps rejected.

stow the sanction of age, and the form The uncertainty, too, of employment, of business, upon marriages, in which with its consequent misery, which be- it were impossible to discern one ray longs to this system, often leads to the of common sense or forethought. But commission of crime, for the purpose of facts, alone, can give any adequate obtaining the common necessaries of conception of that blendure of inconlife. It produces a thorough reckless- sistencies, which is the peculiar of Irish ness of character, one of whose worst character. We will state one, in point. fruits, is the early and thoughtless mar vast shrovetide, the gate-keeper at riages, which are so general among our K-, called upon his mistress ; and poor, and which, in the very beginning after some blessings and compliments, of life, encumber two persons with the the insinuating exordium, which, usucharge of a family, who have no cer- ally opens a story that is to close with tain means of supporting themselves. a request, begged “that she would ask That an increase of wretchedness pro- the master to advance him five pounds, duces an increase of marriages, and so, to marry his daughter.” Observe, these of population, is one of those paradoxes five pounds were not intended for a which not only facts amply support, but marriage portion. They were to be whose theory a little consideration will forthwith expended, in a fee to the justify. Those only, who have some priest, and other costs of a dacent, that comfort and independence to lose, will is, a drunken wedding. Mrs. Cbe restrained from marriage by pruden- interested for the family, asked, to tial considerations. Others stand on no whom Mary was about to be married: eminence, and fear no fall. They have and was answer’d, “to a boy of the nothing to lose, and are therefore ready Hurly's.” * The Hurly's? I know but for any change which offers present one family of Hurly's, that at the bog."

[ocr errors]

“The very same, your honour, Jim prayer—and are, perhaps, introduced, Hurly, a nate, clane boy.” “ Is it the for the first time, by the marriage cerefamily that, at Christmas, could not pay mony ; is marriage transacted more as me half price for blankets : and were a cold matter of business, by a passionin such want of them too_ten people less and spiritualized people, than it is without covering in a wretched hut by our wild, warm blooded Irish, all that I was obliged to give them a pair sense and recklessness. In a society, without any payment ?" Tim scratched too, where, as to the daily habits and his head. “ And what are you to do delicacies of life, there is no discrimiwith them, when married ?” “ O, your nation of sex ; but male and female, eat, honour, I'm not wo do for them. She's and drink too, labour, and sleep, togeto live with her people in law.” “ And ther. No fashionable couple, who have are you sending the poor child to be been made the passive instrument of a the eleventh in a wretched hovel, where union, between two families, estates, or they are in want of blankets, and can- political parties, could have less entannot purchase them, even at half price ?glement of sensibilities, and more dipTim, again, scratched his head. “In- lomacy of arrangement, than sometimes deed Tim, I will not speak to your attends the marriage of two Irish paumaster. I am sure he would not give pers; who both think it time to marry, you five pounds, for such a purpose. but who never dreamed that they were And I certainly will not ask him to to take each other, “ for better, for lend it, that you may be kept in worse," until the business was arranged, wretchedness, while you are working by mutual friends, at the wake or wedit out. And all this, only to send poor ding, those cabinet dinners, immeMary into wretchedness also.” Tim, diately preceding. This is the regular who, though one of the comfortable, order. There are, no doubt, exceptions, was, as must ever be the case, infected of a pure and strong attachment : but by the epidemic feeling, never thought they are rare indeed. This order is of this. He and his family, Mary not far more frequently interrupted, and excepted, were very thankful to the the matter hastily adjusted, without any mistress for her advice, which they preliminaries, by a misfortune : as Irish thought both wise and kind, but which morality teaches our degraded people had never occurred to any of them. to designate, what Christian morality Shrovetide—the Irish May-passed; denounces, as .a damning sin. In and Mary is safe from being settled, or Mary's three affairs of the heart, Mrs. unsettled, until next Shrovetide. Be- C—'s influence alone, prevented a yond this most critical and eventful marriage. Had her father not been in epoch in an Irish year, and an Irish Mr. C—'s employment ; and, conselife, few would pretend to speculate. quenty under the eye and influence of Three successive Shrovetides, has Tim his family ; in other words, had they endeavour'd, according to Irish phrase been more destitute, a marriage would, and practice, “ to come round” his mas- assuredly, have taken place. And thus ter, to whom he had free and daily would another have been added to the access, by beguiling him, as the serpent many streams, which are mingling their beguiled Adam, through the medium muddy waters, to inundate the land of his beloved Eve. Three successive with overpopulation, wretchedness, and Shrovetides, he has preferred to Mrs. rebellion. For, moralize, or legislate, C-, a similar request, only with a dif- as we may, the hopelessly wretched, by ferent party. For, in these matters of an instinct of nature, must be rebels. business, wiser heads, it might be sup As Irish habits and character are our posed, than lovers were, usually make subject, it may not be amiss to observe, the selection, as well as the arrange- in passing, that national, or should we ments. And in all probability, the not rather call it, religious trait, which principals, if, in an Irish wedding, the Tim's request to his mistress, to request bride and bridegroom may be so deno- of his master, exhibits. Our religious minated, have little share in the ar- creed operates insensibly upon characrangement, and no anxious solicitude ter, and imparts to the whole stream of about its issue. Extremes meet. In conduct, its own rectitude, or peculiar no Moravian settlement, where the obliquity. In the character, therefore, sexes are kept strictly apart-scarcely of the Irish peasant, that is, in unsophissee çach other, except in the house of ticated Irish Popery, there is no open

ness and straightforwardness. All is. lost, or the hay, crop may perish, for circuitous and mysterious, inaccurate want of suitable hands, while numbers and false. Every thing is arranged by are standing idle and hungry in the intervention and deputy. Whether market, waiting for some employment salvation is to be purchased, or a quar- which asks from them mere labour, and ter of meadow, or potato land. Whe- can scarcely be said to contemplate ther a daughter is to be married, or a pig them as rational and intelligent beings. sold, there is a host of mediators engag Agricultural labourers may be died. Each, priest or peasant, consum- vided into two classes.

Some very ing his quota of the native Irish poison, few, who have been ancient settlers on whiskey ; and, in return, contributing the estate, and in the immediate neighto the transaction his full quota of con- bourhood of a resident landlord, rent fusion, litigiousness, and ferocity. This from him a cottage and potato garden, system of mediatorship is not the finesse and, perhaps, the grazing of a cow, at of a polished people, which would pre- the usual rates of the country, and vent the rude collision of principals ; for which they are enabled to pay, by the the principals are never missed from constant employment he affords them, the argumentum baculinum, or the at a hire of eight pence to ten pence a strife of tongues. No ; it is the servile day. These are to be considered as spirit of his religion, with its “Gods under the immediate patronage of the many, and Lords many,” which has landlord, and as having attained the wrapt the whole character of the Papist maximum of a labourer's prosperity. peasant, in mystery, vagueness, suspi. And though the balance of cash which cion, and imbecile dependence. Popery appears in their favour on the steward's brings down the gospel to a level with books, can be but small, yet if other merely natural feeling ; and, thus, car- members of the family are industrious, nalizes what, else, were spiritual in the and if all are sober and thrifty, they affections of its votary. " Why would'nt may live in comfort and independence. he obey the mother that bore, and rear- And certainly, if the moral link beed him ?" was the gross and only reply tween the landlord and this portion of of an aged devotee, to all the arguments his dependents had been drawn closer, we could produce against the interces by a vigilant and affectionate supersion, indeed, paramount authority of the intendence, and to this their circumvirgin, over the one mediator, Jesus stances were highly favourable ; they glorified. What is wise for eternity, would present a far different aspect, cannot be foolish for time. If it is safe both in a physical, and moral, and, we to help out, even the Saviour's merits may add, in a religious point of view, and intercessions, with those of saints from that which they now exhibit. and angels, an additional mediator can- These few, however, be their moral not, at any time, be amiss. Tim's re- state what it may, while strength to laquest to Mr. C-, must pass through bour is continued to them, have an asMrs. C- Had he a request to make sured livelihood. But there is another, of the mistress, it would have been and a far more numerous portion, made through the master.

wholly dependent upon the fluctuatAnother remarkable feature in the ing demand for labour of the public character of the Irish labourer, and market ; and, which is still worse, upon which the present system tends to per- its fluctuating prices. At seed time petuate, is his stupid ignorance of the and harvest they obtain daily employvery simplest processes in that business, ment ; and, in threatening seasons, from which he looks to derive subsis- perhaps, for a few days, so high wages, tence throughout his life. Two labour- as two shillings a day, or even more, ers are able to mow, plough, sow, thrash, with their diet, about which at such &c. and scarcely any one of them is times they are very difficult to please. acquainted with all these branches. This becomes a heavy tax to the And yet, surely none of them requires small farmer, who is compelled to emeither intelligence or adroitness beyond ploy them on any terms rather than his compass, if but training and sti- risk the safety of his crop. And it mulus were applied. The great mass does not, in any way, benefit them ; of our labourers have but brute force for such scasons present an uninterto apply to their work. A favorable rupted scene of riot and intoxication. season for getting in the sced may be At other times, and particularly in

« הקודםהמשך »