« AnteriorContinuar »
of Catholic what de ye ca' it?-devil break the neck o'them! Your honour will no tell on me, I ken. Here, I hae a stone of oats, which I am forced to sell, to pay off three months' arrears of this damnable tax, which will gang i’to the poke o' some greedy speechifier.—My yarn, Sir, is worth nathing now.If I spin sixteen cuts i' the day and night, I can barely make twa pence—and war it no for the teen * hens, I wad no be able to buy seed praties.'
“ But, in short, I need not ampliate on Juddy's communication. She was full of wroth against the Catholic-rent committees; and even the sacred Priest of the parish came in for a share of her abuse. This is by no means the only instance in which I have heard this collection of money reprobated by those who pay it. In fact, I believe it is generally disliked by the poor, who have no interest in its objects, and look with suspicion on its appropriation." My experience,” answered Jack, “
supports your assumption. I know that many, a great many, Catholics
that ever the association which go by their name was instituted. They are sensible
that it is not what Ireland wants. It is clear to any man of sound mind, that we require the suppression of all associations that generate party spirit, and, in their practical effect, monopolise the interests which belong to general society, and the subjects of Government * When this is effectedwhen all are equally free-when every religion supports its own clergy-when industry finds a certain reward-when the wealth is extracted by capital from our mountains—and the hurry of labour is heard in our coal mines and cotton manufactories then, and not till then, will the land of saints be united, prosperous, and happy. It is idle to say that emancipation would essentially benefit the poor of Ireland. They enjoy just as much scope as they would if no disqualifying acts of Parliament were on the records of the country. But opinion constitutes happiness. If a man thinks himself aggrieved, he is so; and by ruminating on a fiction, like a madman, he creates a reality, and perhaps cuts his throat, or blows out his brains, to
* It can hardly be necessary to remark, that, some time previously to the rejection of the Bill for the relief of the Roman Catholics, an Act had been passed for the suppression of the Ca. tholic Association, and other illegally constituted societies.
amend his miserable case. You may laugh at my illustration; but such is human nature. Give the Catholics all they ask you will then give them no more than they have a right to, as British-born subjects—and they can neither ask nor desire more than what Magna Charta, the Bill of Rights, the Treaty of Limerick, and their birth entitle them to enjoy. Then give the man who is willing to work something to do, and reward for his labour; punish the idle, and the roguish, and you will have made Ireland what England is the wonder of the world, and the study of philosophy.”
“ Your view of things precisely corresponds with mine,” answered I : “ it is impossible that men can be quiet and peaceable when starving. As well might we suppose that the expectation of summer would warm a naked wretch shivering in winter,' as that hope of improvement would satisfy the cravings of nature. Speculation may attribute our national calamities to absenteeism, to bible societies, to want of education, to any one of the numerous causes which a fertile invention may supply; but good sense, and an enlarged view of political economy, will assure mental examination that what
we want is now in progress; and that is,--the introduction of British capital—a few salutary enactments of the legislature-and the continuation of such an invigorating, impartial government, as that which now places the name of Wellesley as high in the records of Irish history as it stands in the page of Hindostan's happiness.”
“ Bravo, Charles ! upon my word, Lord Wellesley has a flourishing panegyrist in you,” replied Malony. “However, as I conscientiously subscribe to what you say, I shall not insinuate that his Lordship has encouraged your approbation of his measures by making them contribute to your individual interest.” “You would in that wrong both his Lordship and
In fact, I have to complain of his Lordship's neglect of a letter of mine addressed to him, some years ago, when his smile would have removed a load of woe from my heart. The only answer I ever received was from his secretary, informing me that my letter had been submitted to his Lordship. But, perish the base thought of praise or censure, springing from wounded pride or selfish gratitude! I am now above his Lord
ship's power to serve me, contributing to thie enjoyment of a kind old father, whom I would not leave for all the honours that Lord-Lieutenants and Kings could shower upon me. No, I praise the Irish government because I believe, from the bottom of my soul, that it is raising my native land from sorrow to joy—from misery to felicity--and it shall have my praise no longer than I believe this to be
- “ But, Jack," added I, seeing that my friend paused," you have alluded to misfortunes of yourself and father. Surely you well know that I must feel deep interest in all that concerns you. Now, therefore, that we have done with politics—do pray fávour me with some account of your proceedings since we parted. Tell me why you left the army, in which your prospects were so good, and what your views now are."
“Well, Charles, my old boy, still as curious as ever about private history and public affairs !” answered Jack ; “ 'I shall gratify thy desire-but We'll choose another time for it-your good lady's tea-table must now receive our devotion ; and, after I have given you a good drubbing at our old game,