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usages, institutions, habits, and affections of the community. A popular revolution would overthrow the monarchy and the aristocracy; and even if it were not true that revolution propagates revolution, as waves gives rise to waves, till the agitation is stopped by the iron boundary of despotism, it would still require ages of anxious discomfort, before we could build up again that magnificent fabric, which now requires purification rather than repair; or secure that permanency to our new establishments, without which they could have no other good quality. Such we humbly conceive to be the course, and the causes, of the evils which we believe to be impending. It is time now to inquire whether there be no remedy. If the ". nation were actually divided into revolutionists and high-monarchy men, we do not see how they could be prevented from fighting, and giving us the miserable choice of a despotism or a tumultuary democracy. Fortunately, however, this is not the case. There is a third party in the nation—small, indeed, in point of numbers, compared with either of the others—and, for this very reason, low, we fear, in present popularity—but essentiall powerful from talents and reputation, and calculated to become both popular and authoritative, by the fairness and the firmness of its principles. This is composed of the Whig Royalists of England,-men who, without forgetting that all government is from the people, and for the people, are satisfied that the rights and liberties of the people are best maintained by a regulated oil. rtionarchy, and a large, open aristocracy; and who are as much averse, therefore, from every attempt to undermine the throne, or to discredit the nobles, as they are indignant at every pro|. to insult or enslave the people. In the etter days of the constitution, this party formed almost the whole ordinary opposition, and bore no inconsiderable proportion to that of the courtiers. It might be said too, to have with it, not only the greater part of those who were jealous of the prerogative, but all that great mass of the population which was apparently neutral and indifferent to the issue of the contest. The new-sprung factions, however, have swallowed up almost all this disposable body; and have drawn largely from the ranks of the old constitutionalists themselves. In consequence of this change of circumstances, they can no longer act with effect, as a separate party; and are far too weak to make head, at the same time, against the overbearing influence of the Crown, and the rising pretensions of the people. It is necessary, therefore, that they should now leave this attitude of stern and defying mediation; and, if they would escape being crushed along with the constitution on the collision of the two hostile bodies, they must identify themselves cordially with the better part of one of them, and thus soothe, ennoble, and control it, by the infusion of their own spirit and the authority of their own wisdom and experience. Like faithful generals, whose troops have mutinied, they must join the
march, and mix with the ranks of the offend. ers, that they may be enabled to reclaim and repress them, and save both them and themselves from a sure and shameful destruction, They have no longer strength to overawe or repel either party i. a direct and forcible attack; and must work, therefore, by gentle and conciliatory means, upon that which is most dangerous, most flexible, and most capable of being guided to noble exertions. Like the Sabine women of old, they must throw them. selves between the kindred combatants; and stay the fatal feud, by praises and embraces, and dissuasives of kindness and flattery. Even those who do not much love or care for the people, are now called upon to pacify them, by granting, at least, all that can reasonably be granted; and not only to redress their Grievances, but to comply with their Desires, in so far as they can be complied with, with less hazard than must evidently arise from disregarding them. We do not say, therefore, that a thorough reconciliation between the Whig royalists and the great body of the people is desirable merely—but that it is indispensable: since it is a dream—a gross solecism and absurdity, to suppose, that such a party should exist, ..o. by the affections and approbation of the people. The advocates of pre: rogative have the support of prerogative; and they who rule by corruption and the direct agency of wealth, have wealth and the means of corruption in their hands. But the friends of national freedom must be recognised by the nation. If the Whigs are not supported by the people, they can have no support; and, therefore, if the people are seduced away from them, they must just go after them and bring them back: And are no more to be excused for leaving them to be corrupted by Demagogues, than they would be for leaving them to be oppressed by tyrants. If a party is to exist at o therefore, friendly at once to the liberties of the people and the integrity of the monarchy, and holding that liberty is best secured by a monarchical establishment, it is absolutely necessary that it should possess the confidence and attachment of the people; and if it appear at any time to have lost it, the first of o its duties, and the neces. sary prelude to the discharge of all the rest, is to regain it, by every effort consistent with probity and honour. Now, it may be true, that the present alien: ation of the body of the people from the old constitutional champions of their freedom, originated in the excesses and delusion of the people themselves; but it is not less true, that the Whig royalists have increased that alienation by the haughtiness of their deportment —by the marked displeasure with which they have disavowed most of the popular proceed. ings—and the tone of needless and imprudent distrust and reprobation with which they have treated pretensions that were only partly inadmissible. They have given too much way to the offence which they naturally received from the rudeness and irreverence of the terms in which their grievances were frequently stated : and have felt too proud an indignation when they sasv vulgar and turbulent men presume to lay their unpurged hands upon the sacred ark of the constitution. They have disdained too much to be associated with coarse coadjutors, even in the good work of resistance and reformation; and have haled loo virulently the demagogues who have inflamed the people, and despised too heartily (he people who nave yielded to so gross a delusion. All this feeling, however, though it may be natural, is undoubtedly both misplaced anJ imprudent. The people are, upon the whole, both more moral and more intelligent than they ever were in any former period; and therefore, if they are discontented, we may be sure they have cause for discontent: if they have been deluded, we may be satisfied that there is a mixture of reason in the sophistry by which they have been perverted. All their demands may not be reasonable; and wilh many, which may be just in principle, it may, as yet, be impracticable to comply. But all are not in either of these predicaments; though we can only now afford to make particular mention of one: and one, we are concerned to say, on which, though of the greatest possible importance, the people have of late found but few abettors among the old friends of the constitution, we mean that of a Reform in the representation. Upon this point, we have spoken largely on former occasions; and have only to add that, though we can neither approve of SuÇa a reform as some very popular persons have suggested, nor bring ourselves to believe that any reform would accomplish all the objects that have been held out by its most zealous advocates, we have always been of opinion that a large anil liberal reform should be granted. The reasons of policy which have led us to this conviction, we have stated on former occasions. But the chief and the leading reason tur supporting the proposal at present is, that the people are zealous for its adoption; and are entitled to this gratification at the hands of iheir representatives. We laugh at the idea of there being any danger in disfranchising the whole mass of rotten and decayed boroughs, or communicating the elective franchise to a great number of respectable citizens: And as to the supposed danger of the mere example of yielding to the desires of the people, we can only say. that we are far more strongly impressed wita the danger of thwarting them. The people have far more wealth and far more intelligence now, than they had in former times ; and therefore they nujtht to have, and they must have} more poliliral power. The danger is not in yielding '" this swell, but in endeavouring to resist it. If properly watched and managed, it will only bear the vessel of the state more proudly and steadily along;—if neglected, or rashly oppoeed, it will dash her on the rocks and shoals of a sanguinary revolution. 77
We, in short, are for the monarchy atd the aristocracy of England, as the only sure supports of a permanent and regulated freedom: But we do not see how either is now to be preserved, except by surrounding them with the affection of the people. The admirers of arbitrary power, blind to the great lesson which all Europe is now holding out to them, have attempted to dispense with this protection ; and the demagogues have taken advantage of their folly to excite the people to withdraw it altogether. The true friends of the constitution must now bring it back; and must reconcile the people to the old monarchy and the old Parliament of their land, by restraining the prerogative within its legitimate bounds, and bringing back Parliament to its natural habits of sympathy and concord with its constituents. The people, therefore, though it may be deluded, must be reclaimed by gentleness, and treated with respect and indulgence. All indications, and all feelings of jealousy or contempt, must be abjured. Whatever is to be granted, should be granted with cordial alacrity; and all denials should be softened wilh words and with acts of kindness. The wounds that arc curable, should be cured ; those that have festered more deeply should be cleansed and anointed; and. into such as it may be impossible to close; the patient should be allowed to pour any innocent bals<am, in the virtues of which ne believes. The irritable state of the body politic will admit of no other treatment.—Incisions and cauteries would infallibly bring on convulsions and insanity.
We had much more to say; but we must close here: Nor indeed could any warning avail those who are not aware already. He must have gazed with idle eyes on the recent course of events, both at home and abroad, who does not see that r,o government can now subsist long in England, that is not bottomed in the affection of the great body of the people; and who does not see, still more clearly, that the party of the people is every day gaining strength, from the want of judgment and of feeling in those who have defied and insulted it, and from the coldness and alienation of those who used to be their patrons and defenders. If something is not done to conciliate, these heartburnings must break out into deadly strife; and impartial history will assign to each of the parties their share of the great guilt that will be incurred. The first and the greatest outrages will probably proceed from the people themselves; but a deeper curse will fall on the corrupt and supercilious government that provoked them: Nor will they be held blameless, who, when they might have repressed or moderated the popular impulse, by attempting to direct it. chose rather to take counsel of their pride, and to stand by, and see the constitution torn to pieces, because they could not approve entirely of either of the combatants!
A Good History of Ireland is still a desideratum in our literature ;—and would not only be interesting, we think, but invaluable. There are accessible materials in abundance for such a history; and the task of arranging them really seems no less inviting than important. It abounds with striking events, and with strange revolutions and turns of fortune —brought on, sometimes by the agency of enterprising men,—but more frequently by the silent progress of time, unwatched and unsuspected, alike by those who were to suffer, and those who were to gain by the result. In this respect, as well as in many others, it is as full of instruction as of interest,—and to the people of this country especially, and of this ige. it hol'ls out lessons far more precious, far more forcible, and far more immediately applicable, than all that is elsewhere recorded in the annals of mankind. It is the very greatness of this interest, however, and the dread, an I the encouragement of these applications. th;it have hitherto defaced and even falsified the record—that have made impartiality almost hopeless, and led alternately to the suppression and the exaggeration of sufferings and atrocities too monstrous, it might appear, in themselves, to be either exaggerated or disguised. Party rancour and religious animosity have hitherto contrived to convert what should have been their antidote into their aliment,—and, by the simple expedient of giving onlv one side of the picture, have pretty generally succeeded in making the history of past enormities not a warning against, but an incitement to, their repetition. In telling the story of those lamentable dissensions, each party has enhanced the guilt of the adversary, and withheld all notice of their own; —and seems to have had it far more at heart to irritate and defy each other, than to leave
* It may he thought thai this should rather have been brought in under Ihe titln oí Ilistorv: But the truth is, that I have now omitted all that is properly historical, and retained only what relates to the necessity of maintaining ihe legislative and incorporating union of the two countries; a topic that is purely political : and falls, I think, correctly enough under the title of General Politics, since it is at this day of still more absorbing interest than when these observations were first published in 1827. If at that time T thought a Separation, or a dissolution of the union, (for they are the same thing,) a measure not to be contemplated but with horror, it may be supposed that I should not look more charitably on ihe proposition, now that Catholic emancipation and Parliamentary reform have taken away some, at least, of ihe motives or apologies of those by whom it was then maintained. The example of Scotland. I still think, is well put for the argument: And among the many who must now consider this question, it may be gratifying to some to see upon what grounds, and how decidedly, an opinion was then formed upon it, by one certainly not too much disposed to think favourably of the conduct or the pretensions of England.
even a partial memorial of the truth. That truth is, no doubt, for the most part, at ooee revolting and pitiable;—not easily at first ;o be credited, and to the last difficult to be told with calmness. Yet it is thus only tha: it can be told with advantage—and so twi. it is pregnant with admonitions and Susp*tions, as precious in their tenor, as irres:?!;ble in their evidence, when once billy received.
Unquestionably, in the main, England habeen the oppressor, and Ireland the victim —not always a guiltless victim,—and it nay be. often an offender: But even when :hr guilt may have been nearly balanced, the weight of suffering has always fallen on ihî weakest. This comparative weakness, indeed, was the first cause of Ireland's тмит —the second, her long separation. She bi been too long a weak neighbour, to be east!;. admitted to the rights of an equal ally. Pretensions which the growing strength and :•telligence of the one country besan lo íe¡ intolerable, were sanctioned in the eyeeof tbe other by long usage and prescription ;—a:;J injustice, which never could have been first inflicted when it was first complained of. «tj yet long persisted in, because it had been K>": submitted to with but little complaiat. .He misgovemment is ever so bad as provrenzi misgovernment—and no provincial тет-тernment, it would seem, as that which is eiercised by a free people,—whether »riais from a jealous reluctance to extend thatpreod distinction to a race of inferiors, or from ihíl inherent love of absolute power, which r^ all rulers a tendency to be despotic, and *erk<. when restrained at home, for vent and indeo nification abroad.
The actual outline of the story is a» dear as it is painful. Its most remarkable ar: most disgusting feature is, that while Нстцгхс has been made the pretext of its most saNonary and atrocious contentions, it has bw from first to last, little else than а СОГРГ Í: the basest cupidity, and the meanest and mo* unprincipled ambition. The history nhf' concerns the present times, need not be tnn-"! farther back than to the days of Henry VIII and Queen Mary. Up to that period, the pet:t and tyrannical Parliaments of the Pal? haï' indeed, pretty uniformly insulted and <!•'pised me great native chiefs among whom :b-' bulk of the island was divided—but they Ь! also feared them, and mostly let them alore. At that era. however, the growing strere'b and population of England inspired it with a bolder ambition; and the rage of proselyusn which followed the Reformation, pave it boik occasion and excuse. The passions, which led naturally enough to hostilities in such circumstances, were industriously fostered bt the cold-blooded selfishness of those who flrere to profit by the result. Insurrections were now regularly followed by Forfeitures ind there were by this time men and enter prise enough in England to meditate the oc oupancy of the vast domains from which the rebel chieftains were thus first to be driven From this period, accordingly, to that of the Restoration, the bloodiest and most atrocious in her unhappy annale, the history of Irelanc may be summarily described as that of a serie? of sanguinary wars, fomented for purposes of Confiscation. After the Restoration and clown till the Revolution, this was succeeded by a contest equally unprincipled anc mercenary, between the settlers under Cromwell and the old or middle occupants whom they had displaced. By the final success of King William, a strong military government was once more imposed on this unhappy land muler which its spirit seemed at last to be broken, and even its turbulent activity repressed. As it slowly revived, the Protestan! antipathies of the English government seem to have been reinforced, or replaced, by a more extended and still more unworthy National Jealousy—first on the subject of trade, ind then on that of political rights:—anil «ince a more enlightened view of her own interests, aided by the arms of the volunteers of 1780, have put down those causes of oppression,—the system of nongovernment has been maintained, for little other end, that we can discern, but to keep a small junto of arrozant individuals in power, and to preserve the snpremacy of a faction, long after the actual cessation of the causes that lifted them into authority.
This is "the abstract and brief chronicle of the political or external history of the sister island. But it has been complicated of late, and all its symptoms aggravated by the singularity of its economical relations. The marvellous multiplication of its people, and the stowing difficulty of supplying them with food or employment, presenting, at the pre«pnt moment, a new and most urgent cause of dissatisfaction and alarm. For this last Has» of evils, a mere change in the policy of the Government would indeed furnish no eftectual remedy: and to find one in any degree available, might well task the ingenuity of the most enlightened and beneficent. But for the irrealer part of her past sufferings, as well as her actual degradation, disunion, and most 'langerons discontent, it is impossible to deny that the successive Governments of England have been chiefly responsible. Without pretending to enumerate, or even to class, the wvcral charges which might be brought aiainst them, or to determine what weight should be allowed to the temptations or provocations by which-they might be palliated, w'e think it easier and far more important 10 remark, that the only secure preventive would have been an early, an equal, and comP'ete incorporating Union of the two countries:—-and that the only effective cure for the misery occasioned by its having been so '°ng delayed, is to labour, heartily and in earniist, still to render it equal and complete. It
is in vain to hope that a provincial government should not be oppressive—that a delegated power should not be abused—that of two separate countries, allied jnly, but not incorporated, the weaker shojld not be degraded, and the stronger unjust. The only remedy is to identify and amalgamate them throughout—to mix up the oppressors and the oppressed—to take away all privileges and distinctions, by fully communicating them,— and to render abuses impossible, by confounding their victims with their autnore.
If any one doubts of the wretchedness of an unequal and unincorporaling alliance, of the degradation of being subject to a provincial parliament and a distant king, and of the efficacy of a substantial union in curing all these evils, he is invited to look to the obvious example of Scotland. While the crowns only were united, and the governments continued separate, the weaker country was the scene of the moat atrocious cruelties, the most violent injustice, the most degrading oppressions. The prevailing religion of the people was proscribed and persecuted with a ferocity greater than has ever been systematically exercised, even in Ireland; her industry was crippled and depressed by unjust and intolerable re- • strictions; her parliaments corrupted and overawed into the degraded instruments of a distant court, and her nobility and gentry, cut off from all hope of distinction by vindicating the rights or promoting the interests of their country at home, were led to look up to the favour of her oppressors as the only remaining avenue to power, and degenerated, for the most part, into a band of mercenary adventurers ;—the more considerable aspiring to the wretched honour of executing the tyrannical orders which were dictated from the South, and the rest acquiring gradually those habits of subserviency and selfish submission, the traces of which are by some supposed to be yet discernible in their descendants. The Revolution, which rested almost entirely on the prevailing antipathy to Popery, required, of course, the co-operation of all classes of Protestants; and, by its success, the Scottish Presbyterians were relieved, for a time, from their Episcopalian persecutions. But it was not till after the Union that the nation was ;ruly emancipated; or lifted up from the ab|ect condition of a dependant, at once suspected and despised. The effects of that iiappy consolidation were not indeed immediately apparent; For the vices which had been generated by a century of provincial mislovemment, the meannesses that had become labitual, the animosities that had so long been bstered, could not be cured at once, by the mere removal of their cause. The generation hey had degraded, must first be allowed to die out—and more, perhaps, than one generaion: But the poison tree was cut down—the buntain of bitter waters was sealed up, and lymptoms of returning vigour and happiness were perceived. Vestiges may still be traced, «rhape, of our long degradation; but for, at east, forty years back, the provinces of Scotand have been, on the whole, but the North
em provinces of Great Britain. There are no local oppressions, no national animosities. Life, and liberty, and property, are as secure in Caithness as they are in Middlesex—industry as much encouraged, and wealth still more rapidly progressive; while not only different religious opinions, but different religious establishments subsist in the two ends of the same island in unbroken harmony, and only excite each other, by a friendly emulation, to greater purity of life and greater zeal for Christianity.
If this happy Union, however, had been delayed for another century—if Scotland had been doomed to submit for a hundred years more to the provincial tyranny of the Lauderdales, Rotheses, and Middletons, and to meet the cruel persecutions which gratified the ferocity of her Dalzells and Drummonds, and tarnished the glories of such men as Montrose and Dundee, with her armed conventicles and covenanted saints militant—to see her patriots exiled, or bleeding on the scaffold —her only trusted teachers silenced in her churches and schools, and her Courts of Justice degraded or overawed into the instruments of a cowardly oppression, can any man doubt, not only that she would have presented, at this day, a scene of even greater misery and discord than Ireland did in 1800; but that the corruptions and animosities by which she had been desolated would have been found to have struck so deep root as still to encumber the land, long after their seed had ceased to be scattered abroad on its surface, and only to hold out the hope of their eradication, after many years of patient and painful exertion*
Su<?h, however, is truly the condition of Ireland ; and such are the grounds, and such the aspect of our hopes for her regeneration. So far from tracing any substantive part of her miseries to the Union of 1800, we think they are to be ascribed mainly to its long delay, and its ultimate incompleteness. It is not by a dissolution of the Union with England then, that any good can be done, but by its improvement and consolidation. Some injury it may have produced to the shopkeepers of Dublin, and some inconsiderable increase in the number of the absentees. But it has shut up the main fountain of corruption and dishonour; and palsied the arm and broken the heart of local insolence and oppression. It has substituted, at least potentially and in prospect, the wisdom and honour of the British Government and the British people^ to the passions and sordid interests of a junto of Irish boroughmongers.—and not only enabled, but compelled, all parties to appeal directly to the great tribunal of the British public. While the countries remained apart, the actual depositaries of power were almost unavoidably relied on by the general government for information, and employed as the delegates of its authority—and, as unavoidably, abused the trust, and misled and imposed on their employers. Having come into power at the time when the Catholic party, by its support of the House of Stuart, had excited against it all the fears and antipathies of the friends of
liberty, they felt that they «rild only maintain themselves in possession of it, by keeping up that distrust and animosity, alter its causes had expired. They contrived, therefore, by false representations and unjust law.-. to foster those prejudices, which would otherwise have gradually disappeared—and. u:luckily, succeeded but too well. A» the.r own comparative numbers and natural corsequence diminished, they clung still closer to their artificial holds on authority; and. eiasperated by feeling their dignity menaced, and their monopolies endangered by the growing wealth, population, and intelligence o! the country at large, they redoubled their ей«.-, by clamour and activity, intimidation ami deceit, to preserve the unnatural advantages they had accidentally gained, and to Le«p down that springtide of general reason anj substantial power which they felt rinng ud swelling all around them.
Their pretence was, that they were the champions of the Protestant Asctndanty—ar.d that whenever that was endangered, livre was an end of the English connection. Uh:.j the alliance of the two countries was indeed no more than a connection, there might b* some truth in the assertion—or at leas: ¡l was easy for an Irish Parliament to make 11 api»-ar to be true. But the moment they came to be incorporated, its falsehood and abfordifjr should at once have become apparent. Г: luckily, however, the incorporation was not so complete, or the union so entire, as it should have been. There still was need, or ч as thought to be need, of a provincial mana;?ment, a domestic government of Ireland:— and the old wretched parliamentary macknery, though broken up and disabled for ::> original work, naturally supplied the matenais for its construction. The men still eurrived who had long been the exclusive channel? i-i communication with the supreme authority; and though other and wider channels wer? now opened, the habit of employing ihe former, aided by the eagerness with which iher sought for continued employment, left »i:k them an undue share of its support. Slill rr.ore unluckily, the ancient practice of misgovernment had left its usual traces on thecbaracw, not only of its authors, but its victims. Hahuual oppression had produced habitual disatiection; and a long course of wrong and contumely, had ended in a desperate indignation. and an eager thirst for revenge.
The natural and necessary conseqnerrei of the Union did not, therefore, immediately follow its enactment—and are likely indeed to be longer obstructed, and run greater hazard of being fatally intercepted, than in the case of Scotland. Not only is the mutual exasperation greater, and the wound« rr.cw deeply rankled, but the Union itself if тоге incomplete, and leaves greater room for coreplaints of inequality and unfairness. The numerical strength, too, of the Irish people » far greater, and their causes of diKOiilfd more uniform, than they ever were in Scotland ; and. above all, the temper of ihe race is infinitely more eager, sanguine, and reck