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franchise be extended ? Is it because much better that for ten or twenty the mass of the Irish are becoming years it had no right to send any more independent in their circum- members to Parliament. It should stances—more attached to the united be put under military governmentgovernment—more elevated in their its parliament should be a general pursuits-more peaceable and order officer's staff—its speaker, one who ly in their habits ? The question could presently assist himself with seems a mockery, in the face of the cannon, in the event of his voice afflicting evidence which every day being too weak to be heard, and ataffords proof that the Irish are beco- tended to. Such a man as Sir Henry ming worse and worse—that wretch- Hardinge, with a dozen good officers edness, fierceness, ignorance, super- to assist him, accountable only to stition-every thing that degrades Parliament for the due execution of humanity, is on the increase. In the military authority, would probably name of common sense then, what make Ireland in ten or fifteen years can there be more like madness than what it should be; and certainly no the proposition to extend the elective government, according to the law of franchise to many of them who have England, as it now stands, can do so. not previously enjoyed the same ? Such laws as ours can only serve our Surely every sane man will admit purposes in society, while the society that the elective franchise ought to generally respects them, and feels an be limited, if possible, to such as have interest in maintaining them in their some property and some intelligence; force. There is no such respectwhy then should it be extended to a no such interest felt by the mass of greater number of the population of the population in the south and west Ireland ? Again-what principle is of Ireland, and therefore there is no there more established, than that sufficient power in the law to keep power in the legislature should be them in order. They are not yet proportioned to power out of the sufficiently civilized to be fit for the legislature :-Knowledge is power- enjoyment of such privileges and wealth is power-population is power, franchises as they have, yet our Miif accompanied by the other two; but nisters, by the Reform Bill, seek to is a wild, unemployed, ignorant, extend them; and O'Connell says the fierce, famishing multitude, an ingre- bill is an “insult and an injury,” bedient of national power ?—and if it be cause the extension is not carried not, what is the power in Ireland further. All this is most pitiable which demands an increase in the ignorance and folly-if statesmen number of its representatives ? Ire- wish to learn how to make Ireland land has nearly a sixth of the Parlia- prosper, let them read the history of mentary representation of the United the administration of Strafford who Kingdom, -does she contribute one- did make Ireland prosper astonishtenth in any way, save in a lawless ingly. He was, however, despotic
a and burdensome population, to the and severe, in some cases inexcusapublic store of the United Kingdom ? bly so; but the evils of his despot
men and books, of decent reputa- ism might be avoided, while its good tion, that treat of politics (to which might be retained, for his despotism add even the Times newspaper, al- diddo good; and nothing buta governthough not of decent reputation), ment approaching to despotism, in the admit that it is easier to excite a pas- determination and swiftness of its exsion for liberty, than to qualify men ecutive authority, will break the barfor the enjoyment of it. Our Mini- barism of the Irish into a state fit for a sters have chosen the easier part; large extension of civil liberty. Mr but in Ireland the people are as yet O'Connell complains of the Bill, that utterly without the teaching which the elective franchise fixed in cities would qualify them to enjoy the and towns, that is, the occupation of political liberty they already pos- houses worth ten pounds a-year, is sess. In speaking of Ireland in this greatly too high, and will unjustly paper, I should always be under- exclude too many of the people. I stood as excluding the principal shall not dispute that point with him; part of Ulster, which is in all re- and if all the occupiers of ten pound spects as worthy as England or Scot- houses are to have the franchise, I land; but for the rest, it would be am sure it would be much better to
extend it still farther there would nell is extremely angry with the arbe more chance of honesty and right rangement, though“ having no kind feeling even in a selection by the of inclination to assist in playing the whole mass of the population, than in game of the Tories, he refrained one governed by such a class as this from tracing out the defect until afBill would confer the franchise upon. ter the elections shall have terminaEnglish gentlemen do not know what ted.” He would much rather give they are doing, in giving to such the franchise to those who have a people as the shopkeepers in the Irish profit rent of L.10 a-year out of leasetowns, the right of returning a num- holds--that is, he would rather give ber of members to Parliament equal the county franchise also to his to the whole amount of the present friends the shopkeepers in the towns, representation for Scotland.
who are in the habit of taking leases The Irish peasant is a wild, head- of land in their neighbourhood, laylong, fierce, frolicsome fellow, whose ing out upon it a little capital, and nature is capable of good, in spite of then re-letting it in lots, at an enorhis extreme imprudence and love of mous profit, to the poor farmer, whom mischief; but the low Irish shop- they grind, to obtain the uttermost keeper is, for the most part, a com- farthing beyond what will support pound of knavish cunning and bi- him, or rather keep him alive, in the gotry, fierce and obstinate, in pro- most miserable condition that can portion to his ignorance. Ireland is not be conceived. These petty landlords, a place where fair, straight-forward, the “middle men,” are the greatest honest dealing will bring a man on curse and scourge of the Irish small in a small way of business, and those farmer; they know exactly what who succeed in this way, do so by may be screwed out of him, beyond obsequiousness and cunning; The what will afford him potatoes, and first object is to make a friend of the they exact it without pity, and withpriest, and, interest and superstition out even the remotest notion of the joining together, they submit them- wrong they are doing. To these selves to him with a desperate ido- O'Connell wishes to give the franlatry, which almost excludes all love chise, merely because it would give and reverence for any thing else. him more power ; but happily in this They look upon their temporal and matter the bill does not serve his eternal welfare as placed in his hands, purpose. For the same reason, he and consider it a merit to hate roars out yet more lustily against with unrelenting hatred, whatever is, the provision which takes away from or seems to be, inimical to his inte- the L.10 voters in towns, the right rest. Such are the people to whom of voting for the counties in which the Irish Reform Bill proposes to the towns are situate. A hundred give more than forty representatives. of the voters for the county of KerAs yet, the towns of Ireland have re- ry, are, as he says, residents in the turned but one Roman Catholic town of Tralee, and would be dismember, a gentleman who is not of franchised, as relates to the county the Romish fac in politics, Mr elèctions, if the bill were to pass. Callaghan, of Cork. Were this bill Such a state of things as this, he adds, to be passed, it is probable the cir- “ cannot be;" and " he hopes he cumstances would be very nearly re- may add, it shall not be.”. Certainly versed, and no more than two or if it cannot be, he is quite justified three Protestants (except in Ulster) in entertaining a very lively hope would be returned for the towns. Á that it shall not be; but if it were greater blow, therefore, could not be to be, it would be a very important given to the Protestant interest in improvement. In brief, the faults of Ireland, than the bill would inflict. the Irish Reform Bill consist in the With regard to the alteration of the extension of the number of reprefranchise proposed by the Reform sentatives, and in giving the repreBill to be effected in counties, it sentation of the towns into the hands would, so far as it goes, do good. It of the L.10 householders. The other proposes to give leaseholders for 21
arrangements are improvements upon years of property, paying a rent of the present system, and the change L.50 a-year, a right to vote; and as they would effect would be that of these are almost all people of a re- strengthening the interest of the spectable class in society, Mr O'Con- gentry. The forty-shilling franchise, which was the great plague, is al- critical pretences ! Justice for Ireready done away with; and let it not land is my motto !” be said that this measure is a valid How piteous that the population precedent for the wholesale disfran- of Ireland should be so much under chisement of the boroughs in Eng- the dominion of a man possessing so land. To take away the privilege little common sense, whenever he of returning members to Parliament rises above common affairs ! Alas, from an enormous multitude of shoe for Ireland ! she does indeed want less, shirtless, priest-driven crea- reform, very different from Parliatures, as wild and ignorant as the mentary Reform; but where or how cattle
upon the hills, is surely a very shall we look for it, in such a time of different sort of policy from that of public madness as the present? The taking away the same privilege from cry in England at present is, “ Give ancient corporations, or from money- Ireland poor laws.” Even “ The ed interests of vast importance in the Standard,” whose knowledge of Irecountry.
land is as certain as the ignorance of O'Connell's nonsense about the others, calls for poor laws. But for different and more favourable treat- myself, I doubt the practicability of ment which England and Scotland re- a system any thing like that of Engceive by their Reform Bills, is really land, or at all so extensive in its openot worth following. It is such ab- ration. But this—this it is that should solute trash in writing and in reason- occupy the attention of Ministers ing, as to be fit only for laughing at with regard to Ireland, and not the in conversation. What can one say
senseless project miscalled Reform. to a man who, in a letter professing If the Bill should pass, it will be the to be a grave dissertation upon a first part of a three-act political draproposed act of the legislature, ma, of which the second act will be falls into such silly rant as this ? Repeal of the Union," and the third, “ Justice, I exclaim-justice for Ire- « Rebellion in Ireland.” land! Real justice-no mockery
T. W. H. no delusion! Above all, no hypo
THE PLAINT OF ABSENCE.
I THINK of thee at morning, when the shades
Fly off like spectres from the blessed sun;
The world, and wraps it in her mantle dun;
In vain for thee, who spake to me of heaven:
And o'er my heart Grief's furrowing plough hath driven;
To dwell with thee!
I think of thee in Spring-time, when the flowers
Expand in beauty to the wooing sun,
And from the hills the ice-freed waters run;
Of Winter o'er the desolated heath;
Mantles the mountain in a robe of death;
From the bleak pasture and the leafless tree
Thou comest in beauty bright!
Thou stand'st before me, idol of my heart,
Though link'd in spirit, Fortune bade us part:
And in thy melting eyes I read my fate;
Of desert fountains to the traveller's ear;
I cling to life, and feel that thou art near ;
To silence and to shade!
Such as, when flashing on my raptured sight,
With cheek of roses, and with eyes of light,
An angel pilgrim, sanctifying time!
! While Memory comes, in slumber, with her glass,
When hush'd to peace is all the strife of day,
I clasp thee in miné arms.
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
To step between link'd souls and bid them part,
Unshaken pass by thee?
'Mid cities and in solitude-I call
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! For ’nid the changes of this changeful world
Thou hast been steadfast as the lucid star Duly on Evening's radiant map unfurl'd
The first, and shining through the dusk afar. 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!
It is a common saying, that sorrows and troubles of life, one implicating never come alone-that “ it never and dragging after it another-till all rains, but it
);"* and it has been is uproar and consternation. Then verified by experience, even from it is, that we hear passionate lamentthe days of that prince of the wretch- ations, and cries of sorrows ed-thé man“whose name was Job.” coming alone"-of all this “ being Now-a-days, directly a sudden accu- against him;" and he either stupidly mulation of ills befalls a man, he utters lies still, till he is crushed and tramsome rash exclamation like the one in pled on, or, it may be, succeeds in question, and too often submits to the scrambling to the first temporary inflictions of Providence with sullen resting-place he can espy, when he indifference-like a brute to a blow- resigns himself to stupified inaction, or resorts, possibly, to suicide. Poor staring vacantly at the throng of mis
. stupid unobserving man, in such a haps following in the wake of that case, cannot conceive how it comes one which bore him down. Whereto pass that all the evils under the as the first thought of one in such sun are showered down upon his a situation should surely be, "let head - at once! There is no at- me be up and doing,' and I may tempt to account for it on reason- yet recover myself.”
“ Directly a able grounds-no reference to prob- man determines to think,” says an able, nay, obvious causes his own eminent writer, “he is wellnigh sure misconduct, possibly, or imprudence, of bettering his condition.”
. In a word, he fancies that the only It is to the operation of such cauthing they resemble is Epicurus' for- ses as these, that is to be traced, in a tuitous concourse of atoms. It is un- great majority of cases, the necessity doubtedly true that people are occa- for medical interference. Within the sionally assailed by misfortunes so sphere of my own practice, I have numerous, sudden, and simultane- witnessed, in such circumstances, the ous, as is really unaccountable. In display of heroism and fortitude enthe majority, however, of what are nobling to human nature; and I have reputed such cases, a ready solution also seen instances of the most conmay be found, by any one of obser- temptible pusillanimity. I have markvation. Take a simple illustration. ed a brave spirit succeed in buffetA passenger suddenly falls down in
ing its way out of its adversities ; a crowded thoroughfare ; and, when and I have seen as brave a one overdown and unable to rise, the one fol- come by them, and falling vanquishlowing stumbles over him—the next, ed, even with the sword of resolution over him, and so on--all unable to gleaming in its grasp; for there are resist the on-pressing crowd behind ; combinations of evil, against whichand so the first-fallen lies nearly no human energies can make a stand. crushed and smothered. Now, is not Of this, I think the ensuing melanthis frequently the case with a man choly narrative will afford an illusmid the cares and troubles of life? tration. What its effect on the mind One solitary disaster--one unexpect
of the reader may be, I cannot preed calamity-befalls him; the sudden sume to speculate. Mine it has opshock stuns him out of his self-pos- pressed to recall the painful scenes session ; he is dispirited, confounded, with which it abounds, and convinced paralysed-and down he falls, in the of the peculiar perils incident to ravery throng of all the pressing cares pidly acquired fortune, which too
And now behold, O Gertrude, Gertrude