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were extemporary, it appears from of Ireland's seven millions, there are comparison, not only that he was free but a few hundreds that know one from the crime of treason, but that his tittle of the matter.) “We know they conduct, making allowance for human have a very serious influence, and the infirmity, exposed to such severe scru- worst is their moral effect upon the tiny, was innocent, and even laudable. minds of the people.” That is, upon those
“In the government of Ireland, his who are ignorant of their very existence! administration had been equally pro- “We were told," says this sagacious motive of his master's interest, and politician, “ that the county of Cork that of the subjects committed to his care. was to be like the county of Kent or A large debt he had paid off; he had Suffolk, so complete was to be the left a considerable sum in the exche union between the two countries. But quer; the revenues, which before never the trader who ships his wares from answered the charges of government, Cork to Bristol, or the gentleman who were now raised to be equal to them. travels for business or pleasure, from A small standing army, formerly kept one town to the other, will find to his in no order, was augmented, and was cost and annoyance, that this imagi. governed by the most exact discipline, nary unity is no more than a name." and a great force was there raised and He need not travel quite so far to make paid for the support of the king's au- that discovery. “He will be able to thority, against the Scots covenanters." discern no distinction in the formali. (Terrible enormities!)
ties he,” i. e. the Cork man, “ has to “Industry, and all the arts of peace, encounter, whether he come from were introduced among that savage Cork, or Dublin, or Brest, or Bourpeople.” (What profanation of the deaux !" I believe the reader will be Tyrian descendants !) “ The shipping able to find no distinction between this of the kingdom augmented a hundred passage and absolute nonsense. fold; the customs tripled upon the Towards the conclusion of his chapsame rates; the exports double in va- ter on Policy, he assumes a menacing lue to the imports; manufactures, par- attitude, of which let our readers beticularly that of linen, introduced and ware. « This policy," of which the promoted.” (Shocking enormities !) dreadful annoyance of the assumed * Agriculture, by means of the Eng- Cork gentleman and trader, forms a lish and Scots plantations, gradually material part, “is full of peril. In advancing; and to sum up the measure our days no partial or injurious system of guilt, the Protestant religion en- of government can endure. If it is couraged without the persecution or dis- thought safe because of the weakness content of the Catholics !” Really Mr of Ireland, this too is a mistake. IreHume's book ought to be burnt by land is not weak. She is poor, but pothe common hangman of the Tyro-Hi- verty has sometimes the strength of bernian Parliament, now sitting in desperation. She has been disciplined Dublin. The worst of it is, that the by her own repeated insurrections ; she fellow mentions his authorities, but has been trained in the wars of the what are they to Mr O'Driscoll's ipse French Revolution, and she is now full dirit, who, though he owns to some of veteran soldiers, the conquerors of partialities, disclaims acrimony and Spain and Portugal, and the field of enmity, and has no prejudices.
Waterloo !” Among many sagacious observations, We may smile at folly, vanity, and Mr O'Driscoll points out one very seri. ignorance; we may make allowance for ous cause of national irritation, and the misguidings of prepossession, and which is represented as operating the ardour of party attachment, but powerfully on the minds of the peo- bold and barefaced falsehood calls for ple, namely, the Custom-house for- unequivocal reprobation. To say nomalities, which are so annoying to a thing of making Irishmen the conquegentleman travelling from Cork to rors of Waterloo, &c. which may be Bristol, or a trader shipping his wares set down as simple folly, Mr O’Driscoll from one of those towns to the other. knows, what no Irishman, even with “It may be thought,” he says, “that half brains, can be ignorant of, that these duties and Custom-house regu- Ireland, so far from being full of those lations have but little effect upon the veteran soldiers, contains at this mointercourse of the two nations.” (So ment exceedingly few, (save those who it may indeed, the more especially as continue attached to the army now on VOL. XIV.
duty here) and that those few resem. (Whether better or worse, no two counble the arguments in his octavo vo- tries could be less alike than France lumes. We very seldom meet onc, and and Ireland.) “A population crowded when we do, he is generally lame. But to excess, without employment, and alwere it otherwise, so unfortunate is he most without food. It seemed to be in every attempt at argument, that the the policy of the state that war and very circumstance, which, supposing agriculture should form the staple of the administration a bad one, he brings that kingdom.” (Anglice, France, Hiforward in terrorem, would operate as bernice, Ireland.) It is dangerous to encouragement, viz. baffled insurgents, tamper with the staple of any counand veteran soldiers, pensioned by the try.” Unquestionably when war is the very government they are to pull down, staple. “But the peace has utterly and ready at a moment's warning to re destroyed the twofold staple of Iren sume their ranks in its defence.-0 land." Not quite, for Captain Rock lepidum caput!
keeps up the war, and the only differThe whole of his chapter on Eng- ence between her agriculture in war lish policy presents such a jumble of and her agriculture in peace is, that incoherencies and inconsistencies, that the price of its produce is greatly diit is like Pindar's definition, cuias oras minished. “What will the govern-the dream of a shadow; and much ment now do for this people, for whom more resembles the wildness of a they first provided a staple, and then dream, than the sober production of a took it away?" Ridiculous pueriliwaking mind. “ There is,” he tells us, ty. So the government of England “a moral power which has assumed undertook and maintained a long, the government of the world, and will doubtful, dangerous, and expensive rule henceforth over the kings of the war, for the purpose of providing a earth.” I wish it would exert some of staple for Ireland, and when this its influence over our political instruc- grand object was obtained, fearing that tors. Well, what is to become of those Ireland would grow too rich, with her subject kings ? Why, they are to be usual talent for misgovernment, she for a while at war with this omnipo- made peace for the malicious purpose tent power, which has assumed the of taking it away! government of the world, and then In the appendix to his second voyou will suppose, of course, that they lume, Mr O'Driscoll quotes a passage are to suffer the fate of rebels, and be from Mr Burke's letter to his son, dethroned. No such thing—they are which strongly reproves the contito remain in statu quo in every thing nuation of any practice calculated to but name-they will become lords recal the memory of things long past, lieutenant, and after lowering their and which in their revival cannot fail “ crowns and sceptres” before this ima- to produce and foster disunion, disconginary potentate, he, or she, or it, for tent, and irritation. The sentiment you may take your choice,“ will con- was good, and the admonition seasonfirm their vicegerency as a reward for able. Retrospect furnishes nothing their rebellion, and then there will be very flattering to the mind of an intelpeace in the world !” If peace comes ligent Irishman of any party, previvus not till then, Heaven help the world. at least to the reign of the third George. At present the kings of the earth seem Our business is to look forward ; to to have the advantage; and truly, if by bury, if possible, in prudent oblivion, moral power be meant modern reform, scenes of disgraceful and calamitous Jacobinical influence, disregard of re- occurrence, whoever might have been ligion, and factious opposition to an- the actors; to reflect, that what is cient establishments, I do not feel dis- done cannot be undone, and to bend posed to wish success to the new po- the best faculties of the mind to protentate.
mote present, and establish future The confusion of ideas occurring in prosperity. This is unquestionably Mr O'Driscoll's book, is really hardly the mode of proceeding which a true conceivable. Mark the following pas- patriot should adopt, and one which sage, with which I shall close my ob- no country, in want of improvement, servations on his chapter of Policy. more imperiously demands than our
“ Ireland is nearly in the situation own. Ofthis Lethean draught, though in which France was previous to the Mr O'Driscoll has, to do him justice, Revolution, or perhaps a worse one." drank pretty largely, as far as regards the faults and offences of his own fa- liberty. But I willingly decline an vourites, yet it has not only served to argument, useless if successful, and quicken his recollection of the pristine injurious under every point of view. errors and criminalities of those against They who have this country's good at whom his enmity is directed, but even heart, instead of bringing forward to subject them to charges and impu. questions leading to interminable distations of which they were not guilty. pute, recollections tending to revive They not only get no credit for any animosity, discussions only calculated good done, or intended to be done, but to irritate and inflame, will endeavour are obliged to bear the double load of to throw the kind veil of oblivion over other men's sins and their own. Of the past faults and failings of all. They everything purely Irish the very faults will not do what those who are pleased are virtues; of everything in which to call themselves representatives of English blood, English manners, or the native population are doing, they English policy is concerned, the very will not foment turbulence, embitter virtues are construed into crimes. This dissension, disseminate discontent, remay accord well enough with the blind vile authority, and give a loose to the zeal of a partizan, but is somewhat in- malignant feelings of the heart, under consistent with the character of a man the shallow pretence of healing the who professes to have no prejudices. wounds, removing the grievances, and However justly we may blame the fre- promoting the prosperity of Ireland. quent ill policy of England, however They will not act as Mr O'Driscoll has justly we may censure the occasional done-first, employ the sanction of misconduct of English settlers and Mr Burke's great name for reprobating their descendants, we must not forget the revival of things better forgot, that those who are made to complain and, next, present their readers with so loudly of them were frail, fallible, laboured chapters on obsolete grieand erring mortals themselves, and vances, on the penal laws, and on the frequently the cause of their own ca. rebellion of 1798 ; subjects so happily lamities.
calculated to sooth, to conciliate, to Did they never commit acts of vio- edify, and to amend ! lence, treachery, cruelty, or atrocity, His motive for exhibiting to public imposing on their objects the necessi- view, a horrible and exaggerated acty of self-defence, and the expediency count of penal inflictions, with which, of providing against similar aggres- he is compelled to confess, the Prosion? It would be no difficult task to testants of present times have nothing reverse Mr O'Driscoll's picture, and to do, I shall not trust myself to conto shew that, in arts, in knowledge, in jecture. “ The memory,” according liberality of sentiment, and humanity to his own admission, “ was fading of conduct, the general advantage was away, and would soon be past.” There in favour of the Anglo-Irish, not in was some excuse for bringing up the consequence of natural superiority, but rebellion of 1798, because it gave an of derivation from a more civilized opportunity of indulging two favourite stock; that if their acts were some propensities, one of abusing the King's times cruel or unkind, their humanity ministers, who are shrewdly suspected and kindness were also often requited of exciting rebellion for the pleasure of by treachery and ingratitude ; that putting it down ; and another of exthe state of Ireland, under her native tolling the heroic conduct and characchiefs, was a state of barbarous vas. ter of Irish rebels. His view of that salage, petty tyranny, and perpetual calamitous event, and the reflections commotion; that her own barbarism which accompany it, form the very has been a principal cause of her own worst essay I have ever seen upon the sufferings ; and that her great mis- subject. Probably Mr O'Driscoll has fortune, as a nation, is, that she had heard of, certainly he has never seen, not sense, or spirit, or if Mr O'Driscoll the Examination and Confessions of pleases, luck enough to shake off the Arthur O'Connor, and other members trammels of ancient superstition, and, of the Irish Directory before the House like the Sister Island, availing herself of Lords. I beg leave to recommend of the light of Reformation, become them to his perusal. They are, indeed, entitled to a full participation of all a statement of authenticated facts, and, the blessings which accompany the therefo ...to. ther in the direct possession of spiritual as well as civil line
ing; but they
are, nevertheless, both interesting and probably entitled to nearly the same extraordinary.
degree of credit. One of his conclu“ Sed quo nunc tendis ?” Let me sions is perfectly logical, provided you consider what I am about-wasting allow his premises—Tithes are the words in exposing and animadverting greatest evil-Tithes belong to the on errors, improprieties, inconsisten. Established Clergy-Ergo- dispossess cies, and misstatements, too palpable to the clergy, and abolish the establishescape any intelligent reader's detec- ment, and the thing is done, Q. E. D. tion. If such a work be capable of Captain Rock knows something more making an impression on the public of the matter-He indeed made tithes mind, then are we indeed returned to his pretext, but as soon as he bewhat Mr O'Driscoll calls the dimness gan to feel his strength, he despised of antiquity. That, in such a jumble the petty claimant, and turned his of subjects, the reader will sometimes arms against the landlord. It may stumble upon a just thought, an au- even be doubted whether the ejectthenticated fact, or an advisable mea- ment of the Bishops, proud as they are sure, is indeed true; but it is not pos- of their lawn-sleeves and mitres, and sible perhaps to find a composition of the spoliation of the universities, obthe same length in which they are jectionable as they may be with their more rare. Lady Morgan herself, the old-fashioned Greek and Latin, and ne plus ultra of Hibernian impudence, Divinity, and so forth, would, upon is not more giddy in assertion, more the whole, be attended with national regardless of logical inference, or more advantage. This at least is the opinion at variance with classical propriety of many wise men, and, if I am not But I carry the comparison no further. mistaken, of both Houses of ParliaMr O'Driscoll is, I believe, an honest ment also, with a few notable excepand a religious man. His errors spring tions. True indeed it is, that those not from the heart, nor do I mean to seminaries are not necessary for procharge him with anything worse than ducing such writers as Mr O'Driscoll, setting up for, what he has been un. such politicians as the Dublin Confortunately led to think himself-A ventionists, such reformers as the RaWise Man. He is more than singly dicals, and such subjects as the Rockwise-he is an host in himself. The ites. style of his annunciations not merely “ Sed tandem amoto quæramus resembles that of a committee of the seria ludo." We have dwelt rather House of Parliament, it goes beyond too long in the region of folly and them-their we is at most recommend. fable, and I am weary of gauging an atory, his we is dictatorial. They con- empty vessel. A calm inquiry into the fine themselves to some particular in- real state of affairs here, may be acquiry, his range is unlimited--the ceptable, if it were but for the novelty past, the present, and the future, all of the thing. pass in review before him, all present Next month then, for fresh fields the same facility of decision, the same and pastures new. confidence of certitude, and are all
** I am willing to impute Mr O’Driscoll's error to the weakness of his head-but what am I to think of the following note, vol. I. p. 136. Had he stated it on hearsay, we might have supposed it a fair quiz, like one of those which have passed current with the wise Wakefield ; had it appeared in the shape of a report transmitted from a preceding generation, one might allow for the embellishments of a creative fancy; but it is not a little puzzling under the statement of “ we have KNOWN.” Miraculous or extravagant opinions may be accounted for by a peculiar conformation of brain. Miraculous or extravagant facts, of which this author's book treats pretty largely, rest for the most part on traditionary rumour, or the credit of others—both of which support, and the former particularly gives a fine scope to poetic imagination. Thus, when in vol. I. p. 14, he tells us that " she (Ireland) has enjoyed no peace that could be called peace for the last thousand years; that during this period she has been three times a wooded wilderness,” (uninhabited of course,)“ and that three times the plough has passed” (on men's shoulders beyond
question, there being no other way conceivable) “over even her high hills!” these indeed are facts which the reader will vainly endeavour to find in any historic record, for a very obvious reason—namely, because they nea ver happened; but though positively asserted by Mr O'Driscoll, we are not to consider them as guaranteed by the testimony of his actual obsera vation, his life having adorned only the last thirty or thirty-five years of the said millenium. Vestry abuses, however, he states, as coming within his personal knowledge." We (he says) have known 201.* charged for washing a surplice, which was proved to have been washed three times in the year. In the parish where this was an annual item, the whole ordinary charges for the service of the church were nearly 1000l. a-year, exclusive of repairs.” Mr O'Driscoll was enumerating, among other public injuries occasioned by the establishment of a Protestant Church in Ireland, the shocking abuses of the power of vestries to levy money in the several parishes, for the use and service of the church. This power, he says, the church wardens employ for the private emolument of themselves and their friends; and if his account be correct, the office of churchwarden must be one of the most lucrative situations in the realm ; I really wonder how it has so long escaped the lynx eye of Government patronage. Yet, as far as my own experience goes, there is no office parishioners are less willing to accept than the post of churchwardenwith a view, perhaps, of concealing the emoluments. I have frequently heard them complain of loss, and know the complaint to be true. Mr O’Driscoll, however, tells us, that he knows a parish where the sum of 61. 13s. 4d. is annually charged for one washing of a surplice, which the prudence of the churchwardens, who allow it to be washed only three times, forbids to amount to more than 201. per annum. The charge is certainly high, but nothing to the rest of the expenditure, of which I wish he had given the items, amounting (exclusive of repairs) to near 1000l. per annum. The parson, before whom all those accounts are passed, and whose influence generally preponderates in the vestry, must have had some good pickings out of it, though Mr O’Driscoll, I suppose out of respect to the cloth, does not include him, at least expressly, among those who pocket the booty. His words are, “A few Protestants collected at vestry, have the power of voting the property of the Catholic parishioners to themselves or their friends, in the shape of money for repairs of the church, for music, for sextons,” &c. I must of course suppose, that he speaks of country churches and parishes, those of cities and large towns being under a different system. Now, I am pretty well acquainted with most parishes in his own county, and particularly with those of Mr O'Driscoll's vicinity; and yet I am as much to seek for anything like the sentence to which he alludes as if he had spoken of ecclesiastical affairs in Kamschatka. To be sure, he speaks of Ireland in general ; and if challenged to produce the instance in this diocese, may refer us to the North, and give us Southerns the consolation of seeing it enrolled among the other enormities of the Orange faction. If beat out of that province, and even out of Leinster, still he has the Wilds of Connaught open, to which friendly retreat of aboriginal civilization, nobody will probably think it worth while to follow him. Really, were I a churchman, I should be disposed to propose a vote of thanks to Mr O’Driscoll at the next Episcopal visitation, for his powerful though unintended support of the Establishment; because the criminator who is obliged to have recourse to falsehood in support of his charges, is one of the best possible evidences for the innocence of the accused.
* Scotch, qu. 7-C. N.