« PoprzedniaDalej »
ed, and it was requested they might be upon. The consequence of such gearoided as much as possible. That was ‘neral and indiscriminate abuse as defi. the only kind of influence which could led the public press of Ireland, involbe beneficially exerted in such cases, ving every person whose station, rank, and that influence, it would be found, or conduct, rendered them at all pubhad never been neglected by the go- lic, was, that no one dreaded censure, vernment.
and the force of public opinion, there" Among the other causes which fore, that 'great auxiliary 'to a free bad unquestionably contributed to press, was utterly destroyed. The produce the present disturbances and House could not form any idea of the outrages in Ireland, 'might be reckon. licentiousness to which he alluded, by ed the press of that country. He was reflecting upon what was called licenfar from meaning to say that the be- tiousness in this country. As a speDefits which resulted from a free press, cimen, he would read to them a paś. did not greatly, if not wholly, overba- sage from a work which was too conlance the evils of its abuse. He would temptible to notice, except as such an eren venture to assert, that what might illustration : he meant the Irish Ma. be called the extreme' licentiousness of gazine. They would see the nature the press, in a former period of our of the poison which was disseminated. history, mainly assisted in securing to Until the present year it had had a us invaluable privileges. But what wide circulation among the lower or. could be said in favour of a press ders in Ireland, and they would judge which never sought to enlighten the the sort of influence which its infamous public mind-which never aimed at and detestable falsehoods were calcu. tbe dissemination of truth-which ne- lated to have upon that class of peo. ver endeavoured to correct the morals, ple. As a proof of the motive for or improve the happiness of the peo. circulating it, he would state, that it ple? On the contrary, the most stu- was generally distributed gratis, or at dious efforts were made to keep alive least at a price so very much below and foment discord, and the malignant what the mere cost of printing must influence of the worst passions of our be, that it was evident profit was not nature. Their only object was, to considered, but only the accomplishmake it be believed, that the very ment of the most pernicious and vilsources of justice were corrupted, that lainous purposes. In an article, purthe verdicts of juries were always ve- porting to be upon the persecution of nal, and the conduct of magistrates al. protestants in France, it said, if the ways base. By those insinuations, in- pious Britons are so indignant, as by dastriously and perseveringly spread, their cant they pretend to be, why do many persons were driven into the they not exhibit some portion of their commission of some paltry offence, humanity in behalf of the ceaseless when, in his opinion, they were infi- massacres of the Irish Catholics? It nitely less guilty in a moral point of may be asserted in the face of all Eu. Tiew than those vile and degraded be. rope, that more Irish Catholics have ibgs by whom they were instigated. been murdered since the month of The most infamous falsehoods and May, 1814, than ever suffered in calumnies were uttered against magis France during the most bloody pertrates, thus pointing them out to the secutions, either before or after the vengeance of those misguided men revocation of the Edict of Nantes.' whose passions were easily worked That specimen, he apprehended, would be sufficient to show to what kind of persuaded no advantage would result abuse and licentiousness the press of to Ireland from its adoption. He was Ireland was perverted.
persuaded that such a measure would " He would now advert to one by no means operate beneficially on other topic which he conceived ought the existing state of things in that to be considered as a part of the country. If he were asked to declare causes which had tended to place Ire- from what measure he imagined the land in her present condition. He greatest benefit to Ireland would acalluded to the actual state of the elec- crue, he would say, without hesitative franchises. The manner in which tion, that any measure calculated to they were exercised by the Catholic induce, or if that were not sufficient, freeholders was most injurious. It to compel those individuals to reside was far from his intention to urge any in Ireland, who now spent the money thing against the wisdom or policy of which they derived from that coun'ry the act of 1793, by which these fran. elsewhere, would be more immediatechises were extended to the Catholics, ly felt in its advantageous operation He did not think that either the dan. than any other proposition which could gers or the benefits which were pre- be made by any party. He firmly dicted at that period had been reali- believed that Ireland was precisely in zed; but at the same time he did not that state in which the benefits of rethink that it had invested the Catho. sidence on the part of her gentry would lic democracy with any substantial be most sensibly felt. The opinion of power or advantage. The real advan- the lower orders of the Irish, with retage which had been derived was not spect to their government, was too by those who possessed the freehold, loose aud undefined. It was a machine but those who possessed the freehold. too large for their comprehension ; it er. In registering the freehold pro. was a machine too distant for effective perty, he had been told the greatest operation, and the influence of resiabuses existed. Perjury was frequent- dent law dlords would do more to prely committed. Leases were made out vent disturbances, and to effect all the merely for the occasion, and persons legitimate objects of a ise governswore to the possession of property ment, than could be accomplished in which they never saw. If it were any other manner whatever. In sup. asked, why such persons were not port of this opinion he would appeal proceeded against, the answer would to all those who had been in those be, that if they were committed, they parts of Ireland in which the gentry would be immediately bailed out, and did reside, to testify the inestimable never found afterwards. He certainly advantages which arose from the practhought, therefore, that the manner tice. in which the elective franchise was now. “ The right hon. baronet had some. exercised, required some legislative re- what misunderstood his sentiments on gulation.
the subject of education in Ireland. “ With respect to Catholic eman- He had never asserted that from a cipation, he would not say more more general system of education any than that the opinions which he had immediate advantages were to be ex. . formerly entertained and expressed on pected. He had never asserted that
that subject, had been confirmed by education was the only way by which every observation which he had since the people of Ireland could be renderbeen enabled to make, and that he was ed tranquil and industrious. He had always said that the only mode by lity, gentry, and clergy of England. which that people, as well as any other The subject of these petitions was dispeople, could be rendered industriouş, çussed at great length, but without any kas, by adopting such measures as introduction of new arguments ; so would make it their interest to be so that were we to enter into any narraBut while he would encourage all those tive of the debates, we should only be measures which were calculated to repeating what we have already given produce so excellent an effect on the in several of our preceding volumes. existing generation, he would not ne. It is sufficient to mention, that the glect to afford that general instruction general question was again lost by a from which so much future good was large majority in both Houses, alto be justly anticipated. It was the though, in the House of Commons, peculiar duty of a government that Lord Castlereagh still separated him felt the inconveniences that arose from self, in regard to this great question, the ignorance of the present genera. from the great body of ministers, and tion, to sow the seeds of knowledge in was found once more in the minority, the generation that was to succeed. Very near the close of the session, Sir It was, because he felt strongly the John Coxe Hippesley brought up the many excellent qualities of the Irish report of the committee appointed in character; it was, because he saw the preceding session to enquire into even in the midst of the extravagancies the customs of foreign nations, in re: and errors which were to be deplored, gard to the privileges allowed to bo. qualities of the highest description- dies of their subjects professing a relicapacity for great exertion, and apti. gious persuasion different from that of tude for great virtue—that he enter the majority. The documents brought tained on this subject an anxiety which forward on this occasion presented, it be could not describe. The attach- must be allowed, a very pleasing specment to that country, which the many tacle of the liberal manner in which, excellent qualities of its inhabitants throughout Germany, the members of had created in him, would long survive the Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformany political connexion that he might ed churches mutually extend to each have with it.”
pther a free share in all the honours The full abstract which we have and privileges of the states in which giren of these speeches, will entirely they severally compose the majority. preclude the necessity of any com: Mr Canning, too, who had lately rementary from us on the subjects dis turned from the continent, stated to the cussed in them. Intimately connect- House many pleasing anecdotes, illused with them is the great question of trative of the good understanding of Catholic emancipation, which was this which the catholics and protestants in yearagain brought before both Houses the south of France, (more particularof Parliament, by the usual method of ly of the department of the Gironde,) petitions. One petition from the Ca- were now living among each other. tholics of Dublin, was presented to The manly manner in which this great the Lower House by Sir Henry Par. statesman expressed his own leaning sell; another, from a still more exten: towards the cause of his catholic felsire portion of the same body, by Mr: low subjects, awoke, in the usual cham. Gratian. Mr William Elliot present. pions of that cause, the expectation ed, about the same time, a petition that, through his influence, it might in igned by almost all the Catholic nobi. the next session of parliament be in. vestigated at still greater length, and the protestant people of Britain, the with more happy success. In the continued prejudices against their ca.
meantime it is not to be denied, that, tholic brethren were gradually but . in general, throughout the body of distinctly giving way.
Report of the Committees on the Mendicity and Vagrancy, and on the Police of the Metropolis.-State of Manners as illustrated in the Evidence led be. fore these Coinmiltees.
AMONG the most interesting sub- of the inhabitants of the British mejects which came this year under the tropolis. attention of the House of Commons, From the evidence of a great num. were those investigated in the two se- ber of intelligent magistrates, clergy. veral committees, on the mendicity and men, and church-wardens, who, in virvagrancy, and on the police of the me. tue of their offices, had seen and known tropolis. A committee on the former much of the indigent in their respec. of these subjects had sat during a con- tive neighbourhoods, it was very clear. siderable part of the last session, un- ly proved, that of that immense numder the direction of Mr Rose, and ber of mendicants wherewith the streets this year the same branch of enquiry of the metropolis are at all times in. was conducted with equal diligence. fested, a very small proportion indeed, The committee on the police, where consists of persons reduced by calaMr Bennet presided, were no less in. mity to the last state of penury, or defatigable, and, although in neither willing to escape from it by the ho, case did anyimmediate legislative enacte nest labour of their hands. The begments ensue, yet the body of informa. gars in London (consisting on the tion collected was quite sufficient to most moderate computation of from shew the propriety, or rather the ne- 15 to 20,000 persons) are in general, cessity, of some such measures. To according to this testimony, of the what conclusion the legislature may most abandoned character, indolent, come after a more ample consider- vicious, profligate, who prefer their ation both of evils and of remedies, own degraded life to every other be. we cannot pretend to guess; but the cause they consider it as a more lucra. minutes of the evidence led before the tive, lazy, and luxurious one than they committees, contain many very curious could otherwise easily command. These facts, well worthy in the meantime of voluntary outcasts are not, however, being recorded, were it only by reason without some laws of society and so. of the light which they throw upon cial compact among themselves. The the manners of several numerous classes streets of the metropolis are portione