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franchise be extended? Is it because the mass of the Irish are becoming more independent in their circumstances more attached to the united government-more elevated in their pursuits-more peaceable and orderly in their habits? The question seems a mockery, in the face of the afflicting evidence which every day affords proof that the Irish are becoming worse and worse-that wretchedness, fierceness, ignorance, superstition-every thing that degrades humanity, is on the increase. In the name of common sense then, what can there be more like madness than the proposition to extend the elective franchise to many of them who have not previously enjoyed the same? Surely every sane man will admit that the elective franchise ought to be limited, if possible, to such as have some property and some intelligence; why then should it be extended to a greater number of the population of Ireland? Again-what principle is there more established, than that power in the legislature should be proportioned to power out of the legislature:-Knowledge is power wealth is power-population is power, if accompanied by the other two; but is a wild, unemployed, ignorant, fierce, famishing multitude, an ingredient of national power?-and if it be not, what is the power in Ireland which demands an increase in the number of its representatives? Ireland has nearly a sixth of the Parliamentary representation of the United Kingdom,-does she contribute onetenth in any way, save in a lawless and burdensome population, to the public store of the United Kingdom? All men and books, of decent reputa tion, that treat of politics (to which add even the Times newspaper, although not of decent reputation), admit that it is easier to excite a passion for liberty, than to qualify men for the enjoyment of it. Our Ministers have chosen the easier part; but in Ireland the people are as yet utterly without the teaching which would qualify them to enjoy the political liberty they already pos
In speaking of Ireland in this paper, I should always be understood as excluding the principal part of Ulster, which is in all respects as worthy as England or Scotland; but for the rest, it would be
much better that for ten or twenty years it had no right to send any members to Parliament. It should be put under military government— its parliament should be a general officer's staff-its speaker, one who could presently assist himself with cannon, in the event of his voice being too weak to be heard, and attended to. Such a man as Sir Henry Hardinge, with a dozen good officers to assist him, accountable only to Parliament for the due execution of military authority, would probably make Ireland in ten or fifteen years what it should be; and certainly no government, according to the law of England, as it now stands, can do so. Such laws as ours can only serve our purposes in society, while the society generally respects them, and feels an interest in maintaining them in their force. There is no such respectno such interest felt by the mass of the population in the south and west of Ireland, and therefore there is no sufficient power in the law to keep them in order. They are not yet sufficiently civilized to be fit for the enjoyment of such privileges and franchises as they have, yet our Ministers, by the Reform Bill, seek to extend them; and O'Connell says the bill is an "insult and an injury," because the extension is not carried further. All this is most pitiable ignorance and folly-if statesmen wish to learn how to make Ireland prosper, let them read the history of the administration of Strafford who did make Ireland prosper astonishingly. He was, however, despotic and severe, in some cases inexcusably so; but the evils of his despotism might be avoided, while its good might be retained, for his despotism did do good; and nothing but a government approaching to despotism, in the determination and swiftness of its executive authority, will break the barbarism of the Irish into a state fit for a large extension of civil liberty. Mr O'Connell complains of the Bill, that the elective franchise fixed in cities and towns, that is, the occupation of houses worth ten pounds a-year, is greatly too high, and will unjustly exclude too many of the people. I shall not dispute that point with him; and if all the occupiers of ten pound houses are to have the franchise, I am sure it would be much better to
extend it still farther-there would be more chance of honesty and right feeling even in a selection by the whole mass of the population, than in one governed by such a class as this Bill would confer the franchise upon. English gentlemen do not know what they are doing, in giving to such people as the shopkeepers in the Irish towns, the right of returning a number of members to Parliament equal to the whole amount of the present representation for Scotland.
The Irish peasant is a wild, headlong, fierce, frolicsome fellow, whose nature is capable of good, in spite of his extreme imprudence and love of mischief; but the low Irish shopkeeper is, for the most part, a compound of knavish cunning and bigotry, fierce and obstinate, in proportion to his ignorance. Ireland is not a place where fair, straight-forward, honest dealing will bring a man on in a small way of business, and those who succeed in this way, do so by obsequiousness and cunning. The first object is to make a friend of the priest, and, interest and superstition joining together, they submit themselves to him with a desperate idolatry, which almost excludes all love and reverence for any thing else. They look upon their temporal and eternal welfare as placed in his hands, and consider it a merit to hate with unrelenting hatred, whatever is, or seems to be, inimical to his interest. Such are the people to whom the Irish Reform Bill proposes to give more than forty representatives. As yet, the towns of Ireland have returned but one Roman Catholic member, a gentleman who is not of the Romish faction in politics, Mr Callaghan, of Cork. Were this bill to be passed, it is probable the cir cumstances would be very nearly reversed, and no more than two or three Protestants (except in Ulster) would be returned for the towns. Á greater blow, therefore, could not be given to the Protestant interest in Ireland, than the bill would inflict. With regard to the alteration of the franchise proposed by the Reform Bill to be effected in counties, it would, so far as it goes, do good. It proposes to give leaseholders for 21 years of property, paying a rent of L.50 a-year, a right to vote; and as these are almost all people of a respectable class in society, Mr O'Con
nell is extremely angry with the arrangement, though having no kind of inclination to assist in playing the game of the Tories, he refrained from tracing out the defect until after the elections shall have terminated." He would much rather give the franchise to those who have a profit rent of L.10 a-year out of leaseholds-that is, he would rather give the county franchise also to his friends the shopkeepers in the towns, who are in the habit of taking leases of land in their neighbourhood, laying out upon it a little capital, and then re-letting it in lots, at an enormous profit, to the poor farmer, whom they grind, to obtain the uttermost farthing beyond what will support him, or rather keep him alive, in the most miserable condition that can be conceived. These petty landlords, the "middle men," are the greatest curse and scourge of the Irish small farmer; they know exactly what may be screwed out of him, beyond what will afford him potatoes, and they exact it without pity, and without even the remotest notion of the wrong they are doing. To these O'Connell wishes to give the franchise, merely because it would give him more power; but happily in this matter the bill does not serve his purpose. For the same reason, he roars out yet more lustily against the provision which takes away from the L.10 voters in towns, the right of voting for the counties in which the towns are situate. A hundred of the voters for the county of Kerry, are, as he says, residents in the town of Tralee, and would be disfranchised, as relates to the county elections, if the bill were to pass. Such a state of things as this, he adds, "cannot be;" and " he hopes he may add, it shall not be." Certainly if it cannot be, he is quite justified in entertaining a very lively hope that it shall not be; but if it were to be, it would be a very important improvement. In brief, the faults of the Irish Reform Bill consist in the extension of the number of representatives, and in giving the representation of the towns into the hands of the L.10 householders. The other arrangements are improvements upon the present system, and the change they would effect would be that of strengthening the interest of the gentry. The forty-shilling franchise
which was the great plague, is already done away with; and let it not be said that this measure is a valid precedent for the wholesale disfranchisement of the boroughs in England. To take away the privilege of returning members to Parliament from an enormous multitude of shoeless, shirtless, priest-driven creatures, as wild and ignorant as the cattle upon the hills, is surely a very different sort of policy from that of taking away the same privilege from ancient corporations, or from moneyed interests of vast importance in the country.
O'Connell's nonsense about the different and more favourable treat ment which England and Scotland receive by their Reform Bills, is really not worth following. It is such absolute trash in writing and in reasoning, as to be fit only for laughing at in conversation. What can one say to a man who, in a letter professing to be a grave dissertation upon a proposed act of the legislature, falls into such silly rant as this?"Justice, I exclaim-justice for Ireland! Real justice-no mockeryno delusion! Above all, no hypo
critical pretences! Justice for Ireland is my motto!"
How piteous that the population of Ireland should be so much under the dominion of a man possessing so little common sense, whenever he rises above common affairs! Alas, for Ireland! she does indeed want reform, very different from Parliamentary Reform; but where or how shall we look for it, in such a time of public madness as the present? The cry in England at present is, "Give Ireland poor laws." Even "The Standard," whose knowledge of Ireland is as certain as the ignorance of others, calls for poor laws. But for myself, I doubt the practicability of a system any thing like that of England, or at all so extensive in its operation. But this-this it is that should occupy the attention of Ministers with regard to Ireland, and not the senseless project miscalled Reform. If the Bill should pass, it will be the first part of a three-act political drama, of which the second act will be Repeal of the Union," and the third, "Rebellion in Ireland."
T. W. H.
THE PLAINT OF ABSENCE.
I THINK of thee at morning, when the shades
In vain for thee, who spake to me of heaven:
My thoughts are mantled in a gloom profound,
And o'er my heart Grief's furrowing plough hath driven; see no beauty in the shining day,
But peak in loneliness, and pine away:
Wrapt in the past, mine ardent longings flee
I think of thee in Spring-time, when the flowers
When sing the small birds 'mid the greening bowers,
Amid the summer's wealth, and when the hues
Of Autumn gentlest pensiveness infuse;
And when is howling the tempestuous gale
When floods the rain-shower, or the rattling hail
From the bleak pasture and the leafless tree
I think of thee-I muse on thee-and then
Though link'd in spirit, Fortune bade us part:
I think of thee-of all thy beauty's glow,
And then I think, since we are sunder'd, pass
Joys that have been, and hopes that set in night;
I clasp thee in mine arms.
I think of thee, as when, in happier hours,
Thou stood'st in smiles, a heaven-descended guest, When life seem'd like a garden strewn with flowers, And sorrow fled at thy benign behest.
Alas! we little dreamt how soon the cloud
Of disappointment pleasure's sky may shroud. Oh Fortune! wilt thou ever take delight
To tear asunder heart that grows to heart
In mutual faith-Affection's blooms to blight--
I think of thee at morn,-at noon,-at eve,-
Thine image up, while Hope delights to weave Love's rainbow hues, and clothes thee in them all;
Of thee I think upon the shore and sea
Awake and in my dreams I pine for thee!
Duly on Evening's radiant map unfurl'd
I gaze from out the deep abyss of care
To greet that ray-and ever it is there;
Then bow, renewed in faith, to Heaven's decree, The Heaven, which gave me thee!
PASSAGES FROM THE DIARY OF A LATE PHYSICIAN.
The Ruined Merchant.
It is a common saying, that sorrows never come alone-that "it never rains, but it pours;"* and it has been verified by experience, even from the days of that prince of the wretched-the man "whose name was Job." Now-a-days, directly a sudden accumulation of ills befalls a man, he utters some rash exclamation like the one in question, and too often submits to the inflictions of Providence with sullen indifference—like a brute to a blowor resorts, possibly, to suicide. Poor stupid unobserving man, in such a case, cannot conceive how it comes to pass that all the evils under the sun are showered down upon his head There is no atat once! tempt to account for it on reasonable grounds-no reference to probable, nay, obvious causes-his own misconduct, possibly, or imprudence. In a word, he fancies that the only thing they resemble is Epicurus' fortuitous concourse of atoms. It is undoubtedly true that people are occasionally assailed by misfortunes so numerous, sudden, and simultaneous, as is really unaccountable. In the majority, however, of what are reputed such cases, a ready solution may be found, by any one of observation. Take a simple illustration. A passenger suddenly falls down in a crowded thoroughfare; and, when down and unable to rise, the one following stumbles over him-the next, over him, and so on-all unable to resist the on-pressing crowd behind; and so the first-fallen lies nearly crushed and smothered. Now, is not this frequently the case with a man mid the cares and troubles of life? One solitary disaster-one unexpect ed calamity-befalls him; the sudden shock stuns him out of his self-possession; he is dispirited, confounded, paralysed-and down he falls, in the very throng of all the pressing cares
and troubles of life, one implicating and dragging after it another-till all is uproar and consternation. Then it is, that we hear passionate lamentations, and cries of sorrows" never coming alone"-of all this "being against him;" and he either stupidly lies still, till he is crushed and trampled on, or, it may be, succeeds in scrambling to the first temporary resting-place he can espy, when he resigns himself to stupified inaction, staring vacantly at the throng of mishaps following in the wake of that one which bore him down. Whereas the first thought of one in such a situation should surely be, "let me be up and doing,' and I may yet recover myself." "Directly a man determines to think," says an eminent writer, "he is wellnigh sure of bettering his condition."
It is to the operation of such causes as these, that is to be traced, in a great majority of cases, the necessity for medical interference. Within the sphere of my own practice, I have witnessed, in such circumstances, the display of heroism and fortitude ennobling to human nature; and I have also seen instances of the most contemptible pusillanimity. I have marked a brave spirit succeed in buffeting its way out of its adversities; and I have seen as brave a one overcome by them, and falling vanquished, even with the sword of resolution gleaming in its grasp; for there are combinations of evil, against which no human energies can make a stand. Of this, I think the ensuing melancholy narrative will afford an illustration. What its effect on the mind of the reader may be, I cannot presume to speculate. Mine it has oppressed to recall the painful scenes with which it abounds, and convinced of the peculiar perils incident to rapidly acquired fortune, which too
And now behold, O Gertrude, Gertrude→ When sorrows come, they come not single spies, But in battalions!"-SHAKSPEARE,