Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

attained, and in the depth of judgment uncommon intellect, more exercised which is perhaps their characteristic. than coltivated, the peasantry have Possibly it is to this circuinstance, more been kept in a state of degradation. than any other, that the present differ. Their native urbanity to each other ence in political situations between the is very pleasing. The poorest cottier. inhabitants of our two islands is owing. is no stranger to the generous feelings

It is usual in England to attach tu of hospitality ; his plate of potatoes, the inferior Irish a ferocious disposi. bis jug of milk, are charitably offered tion amounting to barbarity; but this, alike to the errand-boy and the menwith other calumnies, of national indo- dicant who appears before his door, lence and obstinate ignorance, of want the stranger has a thousand welcomes: of priociple and want of faith, is on- in short, charity throughout the whole founded and illiberal. They have many island supplies ihe want of poor laws. customs which discover uncommon The needy traveller sojourns from gentleness, kindness, and affection ; town to town beedless of his empty they are so far from possessing national pockets. At the different bours of indolence, that they are constitutionally rest, be presents bimself at the nearest of an active nature, and capable of the cabin. He is received with a " caith greatest exertious; and of as good dis. miel a faltroth” (hundred thousand welpositions as any nation in the same state comes), and the largest potatoe in the of improvement: Their generosity, hos. dish is offered to the stranger by his pitality, and bravery, are proverbial; warm-hearted host and family. What intelligence and zeal in whatever they refinements of hospitality can exceed do undertake will never be wanting: this genuine effusion of the soul? Is but it has been the fashion to judge it thus among the polished lower English, of them by their outcasts. It is cer- who scrupulously measure every feature fain, that there is not, generally speak of a traveller with the eye of suspicior, iog, that active spirit of industry among and who have not even civility to offer the inferior orders here which distin- till they are assured it will not be given guishes the same rank in England. But away. neither have they, by any means, the Without being slaves, in fact, their same encouragement to awaken their condition is little better than vassalage, exertions. Were endeavours used for in its most oppressive form. Potatoes their improvement, and their respective and butter-milk, the food of English duties obviously made clear, their true hogs, form the degrading repast of the interests fully represented by reason and Irish peasant; a liitle oatmeal is a delicommon sense, and their unhappy situa- cacy; a Sunday bit of pork a great and tions ameliorated by justice and hu- very rare luxury. Depressed to at manity, they would be a people as equality with the beasts of the field, happy, contented, and prosperous, in he shares his sorry meal with his cow, a political sense, as in a natural and his dog, and his pig, who feed frea national one. They are brave, bos- quently with him, as bis equal assopitable, liberal, and ingenious.

ciales out of the same bowl. This In this class of sociely a stranger will sense of degradation, and a conviction see a perfect picture of nature. Pat that his wretchedness bas scarcely any stands before him, thanks to those who thing below it in the scale of human ought long since to have cherished and perury, frequently led the cohappy instructed him “in muddersuakedness." peasant to niingle in those unfortunate His wit and warmth of heart are his own, tumults which have so frequently and his errors and their consequences will fatally retarded the improvement of not be registered against him. I speak his country. of him in his quiescent state. Ingenious, With few materials for ingenuity to docile, and of quick conceptiou : It is work on, the peasantry of Ireland are curious to see with what scanty, nate. most ingenious, and with adequale in. rials they will work, build their own ducements laboriously indefatigable. cabins and make bridles, stirrups, In general their features are good, cruppers, and ropes for almost every and frame vigorous: they have wit and domestic purpose, of hay. That they sensibility, although all the avenues to make brave and hardy soldiers is well useful knowledge are shut against them; known. The instruction of the com- they are capable of forgiving injuries, mon people is in the lowest state of and are generous even to their opdegradation.-Ditch schools.-With an pressors; they are sensible of superior

[ocr errors]

;

[ocr errors]

beril, and are submissive to it.- from morning to night- as long as the Crbanity in rags and penury-cordially rights of human beings are denied to bospitabl-ardept for informatiou— this bardy miserable race- Ignorance social and kind—gay and humorous- will lead them into error, aud Bigotry Fare and coustant' in attachments, maintain the cause with bloodshed. Fitbful and incorruptible in their en- Like a rough diamond, however, an Bements-tenacious of respect-sen- Irishman conceals beneath this rough able, and easily wou by kindoess. exterior, brilliant and valuable quali

Such is the peasantry of Ireland. ties. He is by nature endowed with Lord Chesterfield, when Viceroy, said, wit, promptitude, and ingenuity-while "God has done every thing for this his heart is open, warm,

and

generous. country, man nothing."

Courteous even to servility-with those Witbout consulting the arcana of who treat bim kindly-desperate to pbysiognoms, the most inattentive ob- madness in resenting an injury--hoskerver of human nature will soon re- pitable and humane. I found, during Dark, that the Irishman is a very differ the whole of my tour, the Irish peaeat being from either the Englishman, sant, though talkative and curious, yet 67 his Deighbour ibe Welsbian ; he will always civil. Nothing opens their heart ke a bardy race of people, active, civil, more than being free, communicative, and willing to oblige the stranger, and and attentive to them; and nothing ardeotly serve him in whatever he can : obliges them so much as giving them ao he will see that nature has not been opportunity of serving you. sparing in the endowments of his abili- The light of truth guides us by the ties, though poverty has denied him the simplest path to the source of national power of improving them by education. misery, or national vice; it is with her A stranger will be struck with the nai- we trace them to natural or moral Eelé, and the propriety and singularity causes, to the fatality of climate, or of many expressions made use of even to the errors of legislation. It is by by the mendicants. The Irish language ber pure beam we discover, whether bu starp and scutentious (says Stani- the distractions in which nations are barst), and offereth great occasion to so frequently involved, are the phyquick apothegms, and proper allusions. sical results of feverish constitutions The Irish are a pation of wits-prompt and maniac brains, or the moral effects and poiguant—whether from educated of that impulsive principle in buman or musopbisticated minds; the only dif- nature, which, sooner or later, inevi. ference is the garb it assumes. lo short, tably opposes itself to the infringement the staff is good, and requires only the of those rights which hold their sacred skil and management of an able hand to charter froin the voice of Nature's God. form and fashion it.-The Welshman, Surely it requires no new light to from a deep-rooted jealousy and antipa- discover, that the happiness of a people thy to the English, gives the stranger a constitutes the prosperity of a nation ; reluctant answer on the most trivial oc- that neither the improved beauty of casions ; whilst the more ingenuous her animals, nor the partial luxury of Irishman, with a blessing in his mouth, ber soil, can secure her internal feliwill run from one part of the king. city, or add lustre to her reputation, dom to the other " to serve bis bo- while circumstances of a peculiar naDour."

ture, but not irretrievable, repress the Let it be remembered by the phi. energy and limit the faculties of her lanthropist, tbat, as long as the am- children ; while poverty sallows the bition of an Irish peasant is continue cheek of her sons, and discontent sits ally restricted to a mud cabin-as long lowering on their brows; while the as a man, his wife, and a dozen chil- bold hand of religious distinction flings dren, can eat, drink, and sleep, in the its ice upon the ardent feelings of same miserable hovel with their pigs national confederacy; and the baneand their cow, when rich enough to ful influence of party spirit severs those have them as long as these miserable hearts, whose unanimous coalition cottiers are fated to live on potatoes all would form rouod the green shores of the year round, strangers, mostly, to their native island a barrier impregthe indulgence of a bit of staggering nable to the force of foreign invasion, bob (slink calf) when ip season, or the invulnerable to the arts of foreign se Comforts of a glass of whiskey to keep duction. To him, then, whose

every out the cold, wbile toiling is the bogs energy tends to the promotion of that

great end, be the prize of national ho- you not increase his wretchedness, if nour adjudged : round his heart, whose you improve his mind without imstrongest feelings is his country's good, proving his condition? To this the hisbe that medal suspended, which, warm tory of mankind furnishes a prompt and from the mint of national gratitude, his powerful answer—that situation is subcountry's hand presents. For such is the servient to mind. If his mind were culman to whom monarchs should decree tivated, it would lead to bis exploring their honours; such is the man to whom the means of improving the soil, of pations should erect their statues. practising trade, or pursuing with ad.

The great object of interest and at- ditional zeal and increased knowledge tention in Ireland, is the present condi. some occupation by which society is tion of that vast proportion of the po- to be benefitted: he would combine, pulation comprising ihe lower orders of compare, he would raise himself in the its community. Education, travel, and scale of society; he would be proud intercourse, render the higher pretty and confident in, and would enjoy the much the same in all countries. The situation he might attain : bis cbildren middle classes of society in Ireland are would be enlightened more, and more much improved. With the progress of valuable to community. refinement the lower orders have un- Upon the subject of ameliorating the doubtedly advanced, though not pari condition of the poor in Ireland much passu: this is manifested by a derilec- has been said, much written, and but tion of some of their customs, which little done. The project is pregoant had a strong tendency to imbrute the with difficulty, but is so interwoven with ebservers of them, and many of those our best feelings, and wishes for the superstitious habits which belonged to welfare of our kindred and our country, the darkest ages of bigotry. The Ro that he who can offer but one serviceman Catholics of Ireland are a liberal able thought upon such a subject, or and enlightened people; nor is it pos- excite others to consider it, is power. sible they will be now amused with fully impelled to produce the result fictitious legends, or pay their adora- of his observation or reflection ; and tion to ideal personages. The night of will, at least, be heard with attention. ignorance and superstition is passed. The following brief remarks arise from and with it the rustic undiscerning piety what I saw, and have in part described, of dark ages. A scriplural, rational, and and what I heard from accurate and manly religion, is alone calculated for intelligent sources of information in this their present improvements in science Ireland, where I had the pleasure of ** and manners: this alone will establish mingling with many distinguished men, an empire in the beart of every thinking who were more agreed in paying those and well-disposed man, which no revo- courteous attentious to a stranger, which Jution will be able to shake. Without

so eminently distinguish Irishmen, than guidance, that nativegenerosity, warmth in their opinions respecting the interests and of heart, and fire of imagination, are of their own country. I particularly liable, upon being agitated, to break sought the society of opposite parties, out into impetuosity aud excesses, as because the collision of opinion frethey unfortunately did in those scenes, quently elicits a spark by which a subwhich now it may be confidently ex- ject is afterwards more or less illumi. pected will bave no return. That guid- pated. ance is education. Education has never

One party was for repressing the day beamed upon the poor Irishman : senti. Catholics, and comparing ihem to netments of honour bave never been in- tles, which never sting but when they stilled into him ; and a spirit of just are gently touched; the other was and social pride, improvement and en- favourable to every mild indulgence, terprize, bave never opened upon him. and was anxious to ameliorate the con. The poor Irishman looks around him, dition of the poor, by detaching the and sees a frightful void between hinn rising generation from ihe faith of their and those who, io well regulated com- fathers, each aimed, I am confident, munities, ought to be separated from at the good of their country, and dei

. each other only by those gentle shades ther ought to be the object of auimad. of colouring that unite the browo russet version. If I were not naturally, as to the imperial purple.

well as upon principle, an enemy to But what good, it will be asked, can coercion and intolerance as reforming Brise, nay bý boy much the more do instruments, the mere circumstance, of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

their bating been tried with success lime-stone gravel, limestone marl, and world remove me from the side of other patural inagures: her rivers and their partizans.

surrounding seas are all propitious to Many are the instances in the history commerce, and are open to all quarters of the lower orders of the Irish people, of the world. The Shanoon, the Liffey, whes prompted by that sensibility which the Lee, the Suir, the Bann, the Boyne, Providence has, either in its bounty or the Blackwater, and other rivers, her anges (for to me it is questionable), creeks, her numerous, vast, and beaulargely bestowed upon them, and by tiful lakes, abound with fish of various a rede notion of retributive justice, descriptions, and with little assistance they have assumed the law joto their from the hands of man can be formed ewi bands, and carved out the mea. into canals, which might easily unite sure of their own justice. Hence those the centre with the extremities of the restless insarrectional associations, de kingdom; upon the seas which sur. bominated white boys, ouk boys, steel round her, vessels from the most disbots, peep-o'-day boys, and others, and tant regions can approach her coasts the occasional attempts which have been in the most tempestuous weather with made, by the summary process of force, safety: within a circuit of seven hun. to regain possession of estates which, if dred and fifty miles, it has been estitbey bad not been confiscated about a mated she possesses sixty-six secure century or two back, would have be- barbours. The fertility of the coun. longed by bereditary right to those who try, with a slender exception, is un. sought these means to repossess them. commonly luxuriant; her climate is What but deplorable ignorance, or des- soft and salubrious; her bogs demonperate rashness, could have urged men strate her former cousequence, and can to act in this inaoner, and could have be, and are, rapidly reclaiming: an in. veiled from their sight the bopeless exhaustible stratum of coal" is ready folly and madness of such an enter to supply its turf: and her peasantry, prize.

without having tasted much of happiT'he ill-conducted police in many of ness and prosperity, possess all the esthe country towos in Ireland is much sential qualities by which both are deto be regretted. Casual bounty, to the served, and cau be enjoyed avd pru. tumberless miserable wretches who go moicd. shout the streels, can afford but a tran.

(To be conlinued.) sent redress. The sight of them shocks the feelings, and is a stain on national hamanity. It lies in the jurisdiction of

FRAGMENTA. the magistracy to render that grievous BEING THOUGHTS, OBSERVATIONS, RE. sight, and that incfficient bounty, up- FLECTIONS, tecessary, by examining into the causes of that wretchedness which so frequently sppeals to it; and by either endeavour

No. XXV. ing to redress the grievance, or punish the imposition, which equally fing an odium on the character of that country 'TAE ladies were no great favourites

of slumbered over both. The establish- they pardon a translation of an extract ment of manufactories in the remote from a comedy of Eubulus, not very parts of Ireland, would undoubtedly remarkable for its gallantry. be the most effeclual check to the pro- May Jove confound me, if my mind gress of mendicancy ; but can there be

Is prone to rail on women kind,
Romeans adopted as a medium between Supreme of good to mortals given,
the great extreme of idle and most The best, the fairest boon of heaven.
Althy poverty, and affluent industry. If you lieden bring to view,
Heaven never committed to any go.

Penelope was chaste and true ; vernment the care of a country upon

The virtues by Alcestis shewn, which sbe has been more prodigally Monstrous if Phædra's vice appear,

For Clytemnestra's crimes atone; bountiful ; for independent of the ge. Dins of the people, Ireland throughout Bless me! what ails my stupid head ?

l'll bring her opposite, don't fear,-rests upon a bed of the richest manure :

My good examples all are Qed. lowards the sea, she bas sand, shells, Soon themes of panegyric fail ; and weed : joland she aboaods with l've thousands, when I want to rail,

AND CRITICISMS, WITH ANECDOTES AND CHARACTERS ANCIENT AND MODERN.

WOMEN.

"Gat

It appears from Seneca, that the an- serves) Venus is too impudently pre. cient Egyptians, in the disposition which suming in expecting that her husband they allotted to the genders of their should make armour for bis wife's basnouns, paid a singular and delicate com- tard. plimeni to the fair sex. Io the four ele. Camilla is the only female of whom ments, beginning with water : they ap- the poet begins to speak well, but soon pointed the ocean, as a rough boiste- dashes down ber character, by calling rous existence, to the male sex; but her, Aspera," and

Horrenda streams and fountaius they left to the Virgo ;" which, like Bojardo's, more gentle females. As to earth, they ta, fiera, cruda, dispiettata,” applied to made rocks and stones male, but ara- Marfisa, coareys a meaning as distant ble and meadow lands female. Air tbey from any thivg amiable as words can divided thus : to the masculine gender, paint. rough winds and hurricanes of every As to Horace, it would puzzle any kind; to the female, the sky and the one to find one woman of character zephyrs. Fire, when of a consuming spoken of in any part of his poems. nature, they made male, but artificial His ladies are all Chloes, Lydes, Lydias, and harmless flames they consigned to and Cyvåras : their characters appear the feminine class. Not so the Romans. to have been equally light, and most of They made a most awkward, and, in them seem to have added the worship of some instances, peculiarly ridiculous, Bacchus to that of Cupid. He treats distribution of genders. Indeed, even them accordingly, and recommends it the poets of that celebrated nation seem to oue of them to take care lest her to have been little disposed to shew any kceper, in a fit of jealousy, should spoil species of gallautry to a sex, an attach- her fashionable cap. ment to which, probably, caused the One tolerably modest woman, indeed, rise and existence of their art.

Neobule, he seems to have known: but The women of Plautus are almost his idea of her delicacy does not preuniformly bad. Those in Terence are vent him from condoling with her on Jittle better ; and the only one among the severity of her uncle, who will them who had done a good action, begs ueither permit her to entertain a lover, pardon of her husband, as being con- por lo wash away her cares with rosy vinced of her own criminality in do- wine.

Juvenal need not be mentioned; he

avows himself scarcely to bave even " Mi Chreme, peccavi! Fateor Vincor.'

heard of a modest woman since the TERENT. BEAUT.

goldeu age. Virgil, far from shewing the Icast

The prose writers of the Augustan respect to the female sex, has treated

era secm to have favoured the sex no thein (eveņ according to his pane- more than the poets ; and Seneca's acgyrist Dryden) in an unjust unmaily count of the ladies of his time is at slyle. He has falsified both the era least as bitter as the sixth satire of and the character of Dido, in order to Juvenal. render her odious and contemptible. He makes Queen Amata turbulent and There was published at Leyden (about tipling! and the Princess Lavinia un. the year 1754) a Syriac translation, with dutiful and unbelieving. Dryden adds, a Latin version, of two epistles, said to " that she looks a litile Ricking after be written by St. Clement of Rome, the Turnus.” His goddesses are no better disciple of St. Peter the Apostle, but than bis mortals : Juno is always in a much more probably the production passion ; and surely (as Dryden ob- of some bigotted monk of the early

ages, than of an almost immediate suc

cessor of Jesus Christ. As a specimen * It will hardly be believed, by the un.

of his work, the following extract will classical reader, that the fault for which the good lady begs pardon in these humble

probably be thought sufficient. He

speaks to his brethren as to the prostrains,

“ I was wrong, my Chremes! I own it; I am convinced of it;"

* The compliment paid to Livia, the wise

of Augustus, excepted, whom he calls, was neither more nor less, than the saving her child from being murdered, as her hus

" Unico, gaudens mulier inarito :band and its father had ordered,

“ The lady contented with one husband."

ing it.

« ZurückWeiter »