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Shandy M'Guire; or Irish Liberty

Brownson's Quarterly Review, January, 1849
Art. III. - Shandy M'Guire, or Tricks upon Travellers : a Story of the North of Ireland. By Paul Peppergrass, Esq. New York: Dunigan & Brother. 1848. 12mo. pp. 354.
We have no respect for the ordinary run of novels, whether written by Catholics, Protestants, or infidels ; but we have never thought of opposing all works of fiction, nor, indeed, all works whose principal aim is to amuse. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Relaxation is one of the neces­saries of life, and innocent amusement, moderately indulged, contributes to the health of the mind as well as to that of the body. We object to novels in general, because they are senti­mental, and make the interest of their readers centre in a story of the rise, progress, and termination of the affection or passion of love. Sentimental tales, whatever the natural sentiment they are intended to illustrate, are seldom unobjectionable ; for they almost inevitably tend to destroy all vigor and robustness of character, and to render their readers weak and sickly. But even if intrusted with the censorship, we should never think of placing such works as Shandy M'Guire on the Index. We are, indeed, far from regarding it as faultless, either in style or matter, but we recognize in its author a robust and healthy mind, true manliness of thought and feeling, and genius of a high order. It is brilliant, full of wit and humor, and genuine tenderness and pathos. It is evidently the production of a scholar, a Catholic, and a patriot, and we trust is but the har­binger of many more works like it, which are to be welcomed from  the  same source.     With his rare genius,  uncommon abilities, rich cultivation, brilliant yet chaste imagination, warmth of heart, mirthfulness, poetic fancy, artistic skill, and dramatic power, the author cannot fail, if he chooses, to attain to the highest excellence in the species of literature he has se­lected.
Shandy M'Guire is the production of an Irishman, and a genuine Irish story.   None but an Irishman, and a Catholic Irishman, could have written it.    It is a tale, or rather a gal­lery of pictures, of the North of Ireland, in which the Irishman is presented to us as he is and as he ought to be.     It gives us a lively and correct view of the actual state of things in that part of the island,-of the actually existing relations between the Cath­olics and Protestants, the landlords and their tenantry,-the tyranny and intrigues practised by the former and their cold­blooded agents, and the oppressions, wrongs, and insults en­dured by the latter.   It enables us to see all for ourselves, and to take nothing on mere hearsay.    It sets us down in the county Donegal, and permits us to judge for ourselves.    It makes us feel the  insults  heaped upon  the unoffending and powerless people.  We grow indignant at slandered innocence, as we see the poor and the virtuous oppressed, driven out to perish of famine in the fields and highways, and we inwardly swear we will strike for Ireland, and never desist till the tyrant is humbled and Irishmen have their rights again.    This, no doubt, is the effect which the author has wished to produce on his readers. His work is full of fun and frolic, but it has been written with a serious and a lofty purpose.    The author has wished to arouse his countrymen to the assertion of their rights and their national freedom.    We honor him for this, and we are pleased to find that he aims to do it chiefly by appeals  to their reverence for their religion, and to their sense of their rights and dig­nity as men.   In a few instances he is on the point of forgetting - perhaps does forget - the Christian and the man in the Irish­man ; but, in general, he appeals  to his countrymen as men and Christians, and places their cause on the broad ground of justice and humanity, on which men not Irishmen may take it up and defend it as their own.   He is a true patriot, but he repels us by no morbid nationality of his own, and demands justice to his countrymen without demanding injustice to others.     He does not merely excite pity for Ireland, but he makes us re­spect the Irish character ; and we are sorry to add, that his is almost the only work of a recent Irish patriot that we have seen of which we can say this, - almost the only work it will do to read, if one would think better of Ireland and the Irish.    It is well adapted to place the Irish in a true light, and will go far to redeem their character with our countrymen from the ridicule and contempt thrown upon it by the injudicious at­tempts of ignorant and conceited editors, lecturers, and histo­rians to exalt it.   We thank the author warmly for its influence upon our own feelings.    The Irish papers and histories which we had been reading for years had had their influence upon us, and we were fast losing our early partiality for the Irish people.    It has restored us to the love and respect for them which we had imbibed with our mother's milk, and which we hope we shall always be able to retain and ready to cherish. Unhappily for Ireland, it has long been her fate to find her worst enemies in her own children, and to suffer more from those who would defend than  from those who would traduce her.    She has rarely, if ever, spoken for herself.    Her best and soundest men have remained silent.    Her character has been left to the mercy of her Protestant enemies, or, what is even  worse, to  her own conceited  and moonstruck patriots. The work before us leads us to hope that a new era in her his­tory is about to dawn ; that the time has come when we may hear the genuine Irish voice, - not  the  melodious  wail of Moore,  exciting compassion,  but killing  respect, - not the voice of bombastic orators and ignorant editors, turning even Irish virtue and nobility into ridicule, - but the voice of en­lightened patriotism, of manly feeling, sound sense, and practi­cal judgment.     Now that the  ill-judged   attempt  of Smith O'Brien and  his Young Irelanders to get up an insurrection, which could  only  involve the country  in all  the horrors of civil war without gaining any thing for national freedom, has failed, men who are true Irishmen, who represent the sober sense, the enlightened judgment, the faith and piety, the rea­sonable hopes and practical tendencies of the Irish nation, may come forward and speak without having their voices drowned in the vociferations of a maddened crowd, wrought up to the verge of insanity by unprincipled demagogues and fiery agita­tors ; and the moment they do come forward,  the moment they are able to command  attention  and place themselves at the head of affairs, the world will change its judgment of Ire­land, the nation will respond to them with heart and soul, and the more serious of her grievances will be speedily redressed. Ireland has such men, -large numbers of them, -¦ but they have hitherto stood back, and the world has judged her only by the forth-putting youths, or inflated patriots, whom they saw on every occasion taking the lead. What wonder, then, that the world, while it has pitied her misfortunes, and wept over the tale of her sufferings, has refused to respect her national char­acter, or to believe her deserving any thing better than subjec­tion to England ?
The Irish patriots, even those whom under many relations we love and honor, seem to us to have studied to make a fa­vorable impression on their own countrymen rather than on Englishmen or Americans. The speeches of O'Connell, the political letters of several eminent prelates, and the bold and daring editorials of The Nation, as well fitted to operate upon the Irish mind, and really able and eloquent, as they unques­tionably are, do not always move our Anglo-Saxon mind in the direction intended. They do not win our confidence, convince our reason, or enlist our feelings. We see their effect on the Irish mind and heart, and ask, Why is it that they have so little effect on Englishmen and Anglo-Americans ? Is it that Irish human nature is essentially diverse from Anglo-Saxon human nature ? It cannot be ; for God has made of one blood all the nations of the earth. Is it that Anglo-Saxons have no human feelings, no sense of justice, no generosity, no chivalric sentiments ? We scorn the insinuation. Is it that we have so long listened to the calumniators of Ireland that we cannot hear without prejudice any thing in her favor ? It is false, for the calumnies of her enemies often do more to awak­en our sympathies for her than the eulogiums of her friends. There is nothing in Anglo-Americans, and we do not believe even in the great body of the English themselv-es, of that deep and inveterate prejudice against the Irish which some Irish­men imagine. Burke was an Irishman, an Irish patriot, and yet we cannot read a page of his writings on Irish affairs without surrendering to him at discretion. He instantly enlists all our sympathies in favor of his countrymen, and we feel sure, as we read on, that the wrongs which England has inflicted on Ireland have not yet been told, and that the sufferings of the Irish people are greater than have been represented, greater than language can represent. Here is a proof, that, Anglo-Saxon as we are, we are not prejudiced against the Irish, and that it is not true that we credit only her enemies.
Why is it that we so readily yield to Burke what we refuse to these speeches, letters, and editorials ? Is it not that Burke writes for the Anglo-Saxon mind, while these are written for the Irish mind ? Burke appeals to the broad sense of justice and humanity common to all men ; these appeal to Irish nationality, which only Irishmen can feel in its full force. To respond to them heartily, we must not only recognize the justice of the complaints of the Irish, but we must, in some sort, abjure our own race, our own nation, our own identity, and make our­selves Irishmen ; he keeps the distinction of races out of sight, and offends us neither by his mistimed praise of the Cel­tic, nor by his mistimed denunciation of the Saxon. He places before us the tyrant and his victim, and arms us in de­fence of the victim against the tyrant, without exciting any pride or prejudice of race ; they keep before us always the fact, that the tyrant is a Saxon and the victim a Celt, and even when their authors have no intention, and are actually uncon­scious, of doing it. They strike us as the outpourings of the hoarded wrath of centuries, sinking us and our race to hell. Even their Catholicity has occasionally a Celtic accent, and we half feel, as we read, that hatred of the Saxon and desire of vengeance upon his guilty head are all but essential to one's Christian character.
Now all this is very well, if the aim is simply to operate on the Celtic population, to fire their patriotism, and to rouse them to efforts for their country's liberation ; but very unwise, if the authors wish to enlist the sympathies and energies of Englishmen and Anglo-Americans in the cause of Ireland. It provokes the wrath or contempt of these,-• wrath, if they regard the Irish as strong,-contempt, if they look upon them as weak, and only giving utterance to mortified national vanity or wounded sensibility. It tends to isolate the Irish, and to make them enemies where they might easily gain friends. It tends to convert what should be a war against oppression for common justice into a war of races, in which the Irish must lose more than they can gain. The Celtic may be the nobler, the more deserving race, but it cannot be denied that the Anglo-Saxon is, at present, the more powerful. It would seem, therefore, to be the true policy of Irish patriots to keep, as far as possible, the distinction of races out of the question, and to be careful not to bring the pride of the one race into con­flict with the pride of the other. In a struggle for Irish liberty on the simple ground of justice, half of England would remain neutral or side with Ireland ; in a war of races, all England to a man would arm against her. In the former case, Ireland could command the moral influence of the world, and the physical force of as many chivalric lances as she would need ; in the latter, she would be thrown entirely on her own resources, and left to struggle single-handed. We love and honor the Irish people, and hold their rights as dear as our own, - not, how­ever, because they are Irish, the descendants of Mileg or Mile-sius, of whom we know nothing, but because they share our common humanity, - are our neighbours and our brethren, whom we are commanded to love as ourselves. They have fallen into the hands of robbers, who have stripped and wounded them, and left them half dead. We would pour the oil and wine into their wounds, and restore them to their health and posses­sions. But if they should insist, that, before doing this, we must abjure our Anglo-Saxon blood, and make ourselves Celts, we should feel ourselves free to leave them as we found them, with simple pity for their weakness or intolerant nationality. We are willing to leave them their identity, but they must leave us ours, if they expect us to work with them or for them.
We are well aware that many of the Irish patriots really seek to avoid the contest of races, and labor to effect in Ireland a union of all Irishmen, without distinction of race or creed, for the liberty of their common country. But we like this no better than the cry of ii Death to the Saxon," for the union is prac­ticable only on conditions which would extinguish the old Celtic race and civilization, which we are anxious to preserve. The Anglo-Saxons in Ireland - those, we mean, who retain their distinctive character, and have not become absorbed in the original Celtic population - are the party which oppresses Ire­land, and renders an effort for freedom necessary. It is not England out of Ireland, but England in Ireland) that causes the mischief. To call upon England in Ireland to make common cause with the patriots for the freedom of Ireland is only to call upon the tyrant to make common cause with his victim.
The fact, that the union of parties has to be sought, to be labored for, is a proof that the two parties have not the same interest, and that the liberty wanted by the one is not the lib­erty wanted by the other. If the interests of both parties were the same, their union would come of itself, as a matter of course. As the case stands, it can be effected only by a compromise, and that compromise must be all on one side, - a concession on the part of the patriots of all that they are struggling for. The Celtic Irish, in order to effect it, must be able to make it for the interest of the Anglo-Irish to cut themselves loose from England, which they can do only by consenting to become more completely their slaves than they now are. The Anglo-Irish have no country but England, and they regard Ireland as their country only in so far as it is inseparably united to Eng­land, and under the British government. They cannot, then, be made to join the patriots from love of country. To make them abjure England, and adopt Ireland separated from England, you must give them something more than they can get by union with England. And what have you to give them ? They are now the ruling caste, and are sustained in their dominion by their connection with the English government. How will you make them believe it is for their interest to sever that connec­tion, and to make common cause with you against England, which sustains them in power'over you, unless you give them sufficient guaranties, in some shape, of a more extended and complete dominion over you than they now have, or can have, if the connection with England continues ?
The union of races in Ireland, it is clear, is possible only on the condition that the Celt consents to be swallowed up in the Saxon. The Saxon must be continued as the ruling race, and for Celtic Ireland we should have a Saxon Ireland. The orig­inal population of the island, the oldest people now known, re­taining, perhaps, the earliest civilization of which any traces have been preserved, would become gradually extinguished through slavery, or lost in the dominant race. No friend to Ireland can wish this. We wish to see Celtic Ireland preserv­ed. We would not see the old Irish nationality destroyed, or even weakened. We respect it, and should regret to see the old Celtic civilization give way to the Anglo-Saxon. We may not like to have the Irishman perpetually thrusting his nationality into our faces, telling us, when he is pleased with us, that we have a great deal of the Irishman in wJ, and cursing us as a Saxon dog when we are so unfortunate as to displease him, but we would not see him less of an Irishman than he is. We are Saxon, and intend to remain so ; for we are not yet convinced that we cannot be Catholic without being Celtic ; but we know few things more ridiculous than the Irishman who disowns his own order of civilization, and undertakes to pass for a Yankee. A Yankeefied Irishman is a sorry sight. He has abandoned the good qualities of his own race, without adopting the good qual­ities of ours, and is merely a compound of the bad qualities of each. No : let the Irishman remain an Irishman, and the An­glo-Saxon remain an Anglo-Saxon ; and while they study to love and respect each other as brothers, let neither attempt or suppose that either ought to be the other. Each has his peculiar excellences, and each his peculiar defects, and it is not neces­sary to undertake to strike the balance between them. We would have neither swallowed up in the other. In our day­dreams for Ireland, we have pictured her rising from her thral­dom, after ages of oppression and misery, to her proper rank among the nations of the earth, a genuine Celtic kingdom, re­taining and transmitting the virtues and the glories of the old Celtic race. The union of Saxon and Celt on the soil of Ire­land for such an end is impossible, and any end for which it could be effected would be opposed to it, and necessarily tend to defeat it.
For the same reason, we are opposed to the call for a union without distinction of creed. Celtic Ireland is at heart Cath­olic, and can be nothing else. Its essential character is gone, if it ceases to be Catholic. Protestant Ireland is English, and depends for its existence on the connection with England. Sev­er that connection, give the power to the national party, and it would soon melt away before Catholic Ireland. Protestant Ire­land knows this. On what conditions, then, will it make com­mon cause with Catholic Ireland ? On the condition that Cath­olic Ireland is to rule ? Not at all. It will demand a guaran­ty that Catholic Ireland shall either cease to be Catholic, or be subject to Protestant Ireland. The Protestant cooperation can be purchased on no other condition, unless we suppose the Protestants are prepared to sign their own death-warrant as Protestants ; and this guaranty must be given in the shape of democracy, or in that of indifferentism, for it can be given in no other. If the patriots waive their Catholicity, put their Church out of the question, and make politics the paramount affair, the Protestant may consent to unite with them, if he is to run no great pecuniary hazard ; for he knows very well, that, when Catholics suffer any interest to take precedence of their religion, or when they become willing to forsake it for a temporal object, however laudable in itself, there is very little to be feared from it. Indifferentism is sure to follow, and then in religious matters the Protestant can have every thing his own way. Democracy, which in a country like Ireland must be Jacobinism, will afford him an equal guaranty, and therefore in a Jacobinical revolution he might not be unwilling to engage ; for he cannot but see that a democracy in Ireland would throw the whole power of the state into the Protestant party, who are the principal owners of the soil.    The natural tendency of a democracy is to throw the power of the state into the hands of the property-holders by the voluntary action of the party with­out property, and to engross a whole people with their material interests. A people ruled by the representatives of money, and engrossed with material interests, make but sorry Catholics, - such Catholics as Protestants would have nothing to fear from. But a democratic, or rather Jacobinical, Ireland under the rule of Protestant proprietors and indifferent demagogues, bent only on material interests, would be any thing but Celtic Ireland, and do any thing but preserve the old Celtic civilization and the primitive virtues of the Milesian race.
The call for a union of parties in Ireland without distinction of race or creed proceeds on what we regard as a false assump­tion, namely, that the real enemy of Ireland is the England out of Ireland. That enemy is England in Ireland, and an enemy that would be too strong for the Celtic population, even if it had no connection with England out of Ireland. Ireland is lost, if she severs her connection with Great Britain before she has subdued the England on her own soil. What seems to us, then, Ireland's true policy is, to detach the England out of Ireland from the Anglo-Irish, and gain its support for the na­tional party. We would use the connection for the benefit of Celtic Ireland, instead of seeking to get rid of it. England has no real interest in supporting at the expense of the Celto-Irish the Anglo-Saxon party in Ireland, and she does it only because she believes that it is through their means, and theirs only, that she has been able to keep the crown of Ireland united with her own. They were her garrison in the country. She was ob­liged to support them, or lose the crown of Ireland. Let Cel­tic Ireland make her peace with Eng'rand out of Ireland, and she can easily use the power of the imperial government to protect her against the England in Ireland, from whom she suf­fers her principal grievances. This may require time for its full accomplishment; but it is not impracticable. Let the case be presented to the British government on its merits, as a ques­tion of justice and sound policy, without any vexing questions as to race or to bygone times, without any thing to humble the pride of either party, or to revive old animosities, and we are sure that the government could be induced to take the side of the Irish people, and to redress their grievances, as far as it is in the power of government to redress them.
The gifted author of the work before us, while his book shows clearly that the real enemy of Ireland is on her own soil, seems to think that the true policy for the patriots is the reverse of this. He appears to think that the landlords - the real oppressors of Ireland - would soon be brought to terms, if they no longer had England to back them. But he seems to us to forget that it is an axiom in political science, that they who hold the balance of the property of a nation are its mas­ters. Man against money struggles in vain. We have never read or heard of a successful agrarian party, and in a war of the poor against the rich we have invariably found the poor defeated. Nineteen twentieths of the soil of Ireland, we are told, are held by the Anglo-Irish party, and the commercial and manufacturing capital of the national party is far from suf­ficient to overbalance this proportion of the landed property. Their combined wealth must fall far short of that of their ene­mies. Let the national party do their best, then, whatever their numbers, their personal skill or bravery, and they can gain, at most, only a transient success, as the experience of ages has proved. The victory, if gained, will slip from their grasp as soon as won.
We know it is said that these landlords may be dispossessed, their estates confiscated, and distributed among the members of the national party. That is very true, if you have already a strong national government firmly established which is dis­posed to do it; but not otherwise. A mob can plunder and lay waste, but it cannot confiscate, for it has no fisc. The na­tional party, supposing it to have succeeded, supposing it to have got the landlords in its power, could, undoubtedly, con­fiscate their estates ; but the difficulty is, that it cannot succeed until it has confiscated them. If it had on its .own side men who would or could advance, on a pledge of the lands, the necessary funds for carrying on the war, this difficulty might be got over ; but it has not, and the scrip of the patriots issued on lands not in their possession, we apprehend, would be at a heavy discount in foreign markets. The contributions of Irish patriots out of Ireland would, no doubt, be something, but altogether inadequate to the struggle which the landlords would find means enough to protract.
We may be wrong, but we have no belief that the patriots, obliged to struggle single-handed against the landholders, let alone England, would be able to sustain themselves. In such struggles numbers alone are not enough, and even personal bravery is not much, as the whole history of the world proves. The first want of Ireland is some power to control the landlords and to compel them to do justice to their tenants ; and we cannot see where she is to get this power, but from the imperial government. The landlords themselves dread the appeal of the patriots to that government, and feel that their security is much more endangered by Irish loyalty than by Irish rebellion, as has been proved on more occasions than one; and the very moment the imperial government shall undertake to restrain their excesses, and to compel them to treat their tenants with ordinary humanity, they will themselves turn patriots, and shout " Repeal ! " as loud as the loudest. Is not this evident from the fact, that they are constantly fomenting and exaggerating what they are pleased to term Irish disloyalty ? Is it not plain that what they most dread is that the patriots should supplant them at the English court ? And is not this precisely what they study to prevent ? How, then, can the Irish patriot mistake his true policy ?
The author seems to us, also, to proceed on the assumption, that the Irish owe no allegiance to the British crown. But in taking this ground, is he not playing into the hands of Ireland's worst enemies ? By what means do the landlords contrive to practise their oppression with impunity ? By what means do they contrive to secure the protection of the British govern­ment, while they starve their tenantry, or compel them to seek relief in exile, or from the hands of strangers ? Is it not by filling the ears of that government with tales of Irish disloyalty ? Is it not by making the government believe that the Irish re­gard the sway of the English as a usurpation, and themselves as free, at any moment the opportunity offers, to throw it off, and therefore that it must not treat them as loyal subjects, and must place no reliance on their professions, of loyalty ? Was it not O'Connell's greatest difficulty to convince the government of his loyalty, and of that of the Repeal movement ? Has not Eng­land supported the landlords and their party almost solely on the pretence, if it be a pretence, that it is only through them that it can retain the crown of Ireland, and that to abandon them and to support the Celto-Irish would be only to give up the possession of Ireland altogether ? Is it wise, then, to pro­claim a doctrine which, if really held by the Irish, would fully confirm what their enemies allege, and appear to go far towards justifying the Irish policy of the English government ?
Aside from the abominable measures adopted for the sup­pression of the Catholic religion, and which were adopted to a great extent in England herself as well as in Ireland, and which the Act of Emancipation has now abolished in both countries, the English policy in the government of Ireland has evidently been founded on the assumption, that the Irish deny their allegi­ance to the crown, and hold themselves free, whenever the oc­casion offers,, to throw it off.    Supposing thisHo be true, sup­posing that England is to govern Ireland at all, it will be hard to prove that her policy has not been in the main just and ne­cessary.    If Ireland denies her allegiance, she may complain that England has attempted to govern her, but she cannot com­plain that England has governed her as a disloyal province, ready at any moment to break out into open revolt.    No dis­loyal people has the right to complain of not being well gov­erned ; you must acknowledge your allegiance to the crown be­fore you have a right to its protection,   if we are not mistaken, the Irish patriots have made the world resound with their com­plaints of England's misgovernment of Ireland ; will they ex­plain to us on what grounds they have made these complaints, if they have never owed allegiance to the crown ?   The only thing, if they take this ground, of which they can have any right  to complain is, that England originally invaded Ireland, and has attempted to keep possession of her.    After all, is it not in this view of the author that lies the secret of much of the misery which Ireland has been compelled to suffer for so many ages ? The Abbe MacGeoghegan, an Irish patriot, in his History of Ireland Jlncient and Modern (pp. 255, 256), says, -u The sway of the English in Ireland was considered by the natives as a violence, an injustice, and usurpation ; consequently, any engagement made with them was looked upon not to be bind­ing.    They did not think themselves bound by the law of na­ture, which forbids us either to take the goods of others or to do violence to their will.    They therefore thought themselves dispensed with, from keeping their word with a people who observed no treaty with them, and whose only rule was the law of the strongest; like a man who, having given his purse to save his life, thinks he has a right to reclaim it when the dan­ger  is  over.    These  are the principles  the Irish observed in their conduct towards the English."    Whether these prin­ciples are sound or unsound is not the question we raise ; but is not the fact, that the Irish originally acted on them, the secret of that distrust of the native Irish which the English government has so generally manifested ?    Has not England chosen to assume that the Irish continue to act on these prin­ciples ?   And if they do act on them, how can she trust them ? What other course is left for her, than to plant her garrisons throughout the kingdom, to hold the natives down by the strong arm of power, and to lavish her favors upon her colonies set­tled among them ? It was the only condition on which she could keep possession of the island. Did the Irish suffer ? Were they oppressed ? What then ? It was their own fault ; it was owing to their determination to revolt, to resist her au­thority, whenever they could. Certainly, England has taken this view of the case, and this is the only reason that can be assigned why her Irish subjects have not been as well governed as her English subjects.
That the Irish have not been sufficiently careful to undeceive England on this point, and to place their loyalty beyond a ques­tion, and that many of those who have assumed to speak for them have from time to time used language which favors the view the British government has taken, may be true; but that the great body of the Irish people have continued in a state of actual or virtual rebellion against British authority, from the time of Henry the Second down to our own day, we are loath to believe. We regard it as a mistake, in which the government has persevered through the influence of the anti-national party in Ireland. But be this as it may, we cannot doubt that the patriots should lose no time in removing the fact or the pretext on which the British government justifies or attempts to justify its Irish policy. The English government claims the crown of Ireland as inseparably united to her own, and she has exer­cised the lordship of Ireland for these seven hundred years. Whether its claim be valid or invalid, she will not voluntarily surrender it. She will hold on to it as long as she is able. Threats will not induce her to relax her grasp. If you make her feel that her possession is insecure, you make it her duty, in her view of her rights, to take that course which in her judg­ment will most effectually guard it against your attempts to wrest it from her ; and if you suffer in consequence, she will feel that the responsibility is yours, not hers.
Moreover, the declaration, No allegiance to the British crown, and that it is not treason to seek to overthrow its authority, places Ireland in a very unpleasant condition. It dissolves the Irish state, dissolves every civil and political institution which the patriots will acknowledge to be such, annihilates the entire body politic and corporate, and leaves the Irish without either civil rights or civil duties. Ireland has no national government aside from the English government; and separate from England, politically considered, there is no Irish people. The old Irish state subsisting at the Conquest has been destroyed ; the old native kings and chieftains have no longer any political ex­istence in regard either to foreigners or to the natives. Sever­ed from England, the inhabitants of Ireland are thrown back into a state of nature, and have not a single political or civil faculty. The case is not with her as it was with us when we declared our independence, as some of her patriots at home and in this country seem to imagine. We had local colonial governments, with their roots in the nation, and prevented only by the overshadowing of the British crown from being supreme governments. The removal of the crown did not dissolve them ; it left them standing in the plenitude of national sovereignty, and the allegiance we had given to the crown was naturally transferred to them,-¦ if, indeed, it was not already due them, and due to the crown only through them. But in Ireland there is nothing of this. Her government is not a national govern­ment under the crown of Great Britain, but it derives from the British government, and is the British government itself, ex­tended to Ireland as an integral part of the empire. To throw off the allegiance to the crown is not to transfer it to the local government, for the local government goes with the crown. It is not to transfer it to the present Irish nobility, because they are Irish nobles only by virtue of the connection with England. Consequently, the declaration would, as we say, annihilate po­litical Ireland, and leave her without any political existence whatever, and without any nucleus or germ of reorganization. Would the patriots reduce their beautiful country to this de­plorable condition ?
No people can live in such a deplorable condition, for no people can live where there is no government, no public au­thority, no law, no justice ; and no people reduced to such a condition can ever of themselves recover from it. The patriots may imagine, that, if severed from England, they could recon­stitute the state, reestablish government, and provide for its wise and just administration ; but this is the dream of inexperi­ence or enthusiasm. You may talk this to the disciples of a school that holds Providence to be superfluous, and regards man as his own sire ; but it is too late to talk it to Christians and statesmen. Constitutions are generated, not made ; they may be imposed upon a people by a competent authority, but can never be created by the people themselves. No people ever did, or ever can, give themselves a constitution ; for no people can act as a people, till constituted. Moreover, there is no government where there is no loyalty, and loyalty to one's own creations is impossible and absurd. The Irish, even if so much, could only enter into a voluntary association, and form a sort of voluntary engagement with each other ; but such asso­ciation is not a state, - has not a single element of a state, - and such engagement is no political constitution, and has and can have of itself no legal force or sanction. It can have no right to impose its acts as laws, or to exact and en­force obedience to them. Nothing is government that is not over the governed, sovereign super, supernus., superus); and that is not over them which they themselves make and may unmake at will. Authority speaks always from above, not from below.
It is true that the Catholic Church in Ireland might remain, if the connection with England were severed, and, as the only surviving element of the old Celtic constitution, she would, no doubt, legally inherit the full sovereignty of the Irish state, and that, too, without claiming temporal dominion for the Church, jure divino. The people might then, indeed, rally under the authority of the Irish hierarchy, and reestablish through them a legal political order. But we cannot in these times expect them to do so. It would by no means suit the politicians, and we may be sure that they would never consent to it, unless on the condition that they themselves should govern the hierarchy; which would involve the destruction of the Church in Ireland by making it their tool, and thus destroy again the very condi­tion of temporal government.
Under whatever point of view we consider the subject, then, the denial of allegiance to the British crown, or rather to the Irish crown inseparably united with the British, seems to us, to say the least, bad policy. The patriots are ill prepared to take that ground ; and the consequences of taking it, in the present state of things, would prove ruinous to the national cause. It would place them and their followers out of the protection of the law, would, at best, establish belligerent relations between them and England, and give to England the right, as far as in her power, to rule Ireland by military law. Before attempting to resume the independence of the Irish crown, they should pre­pare an Irish head to wear it; or, in other words, obtain for their country a national organization which can legally assume the exercise of national sovereignty the moment independence of England is declared.
We cannot, it is plain from this, sympathize with the move­ment of the Young Ireland party for the complete national in­dependence of their country.   Their movement, if not, as Eng­land holds it, treasonable, is at least premature and impolitic. They would find it a difficult matter to succeed even against the Anglo-Irish alone, and could have no reasonable prospect of success against them backed by the whole force of the em­pire.    They could, in all human probability, count only on ex­periencing the defeats so often and so fatally experienced by their ancestors.    Their attempt is undeniably rash, and there­fore unlawful.    They have no moral right to make it, and can­not with a safe conscience persuade others to join them in it. We know it is easy to sneer at the timid counsels of prudence, yet prudence is one of the cardinal virtues.    He who engages in a rash enterprise is responsible for the consequences.    He who induces men to rebel, even for a legitimate cause, when there is no reasonable prospect of success, is guilty of a mortal sin ; and if they are shot clown in the battle he provokes, he is guilty of their blood.    We say not this because  we  are a " moral force " man.    We do not belong to the party of the Broadbrims,  and have  no wish to   engraft Quakerism upon Catholicity.    We believe in the lawfulness of resistance to tyr­anny, and, if need be, by physical as well as by moral force. Assure us that the cause is just, that physical force is neces­sary, that there is a reasonable chance  of success,  place  us under the authority of one who has a legitimate right to lead us, and we have no scruple in resorting to arms, and commit­ting the issue to the God of battles.    But to resort to arms, or to induce others to do so, against an* existing authority, without any probability of success, is a presuming on Provi­dence, which by no casuistry we are acquainted with can be justified.
But even pass over this, and suppose success, the triumph in arms of the patriots, the chief difficulty remains. The pa­triots will not acknowledge, we may be sure, any temporal do­minion in the Church ; for at home and abroad they proclaim the independence of the political order, thank God that the time when the Church guided politicians has passed away, and they will hardly allow her to pronounce on the morality of their acts. Suppose the Irish crown severed from the British, where is the Irish head to wear it ? No doubt, there are Irish heads enough worthy of a crown, both by descent and by personal qualifications ; but, unhappily, there are too many of them, and no possible means of adjusting their rival claims. They will never be able to agree among themselves which shall wear it. The Anglo-Irish state dissolved, what is to take its place ? If you suppose the old chieftains and kings, you must suppose also the old intestine divisions and internal wars. If they are not supposed, the power must fall into the hands of the military chiefs who have led on the army to victory. These, having no legal sanction for their authority, can exercise it only despotically, and establish nothing but a military despotism. They will soon quarrel with one another, and renew and per­petuate in Ireland the state of things we have seen for the last thirty years in the once prosperous Spanish colony of Mexico, and which is worse, if possible, than even the present misrule and oppression under the Anglo-Irish faction.
But many of the reasons which bear against the movement for national independence bear equally against the policy of simple legislative independence. Mr. O'Connell acknowledged his allegiance to the United Crown, and sought only by repeal of the Act of Union to restore the Irish Parliament. His poli­cy, as a future policy for Ireland, we certainly hold to be wise and just; but it seems to us, like the Young Ireland movement which grew out of it, premature, and, in the present posture of affairs, not desirable. In attempting the melioration of Ire­land, we should certainly look to Repeal, to legislative inde-dependence, to an Irish Parliament, as essential, but not as the first measure in the order of time. If Ireland were one and in­divisible, if her population were homogeneous, marked only by the ordinary diversities of rank and condition, and if the real enemy to be overcome were not on her own soil, and likely to remain there notwithstanding Repeal-^ we certainly should re­gard it as essential, not only as a future, but also as a present measure. But this, unhappily, is not the fact. Unless we have been deceived in all the information we have been able to col­lect, there are two Irelands, one within the other, diverse in race, in character, in religion, and interest. The one is Celtic Ireland, the other is English Ireland. The former is oppress­ed, the latter is the oppressor. The most pressing evil of Ire­land, as we understand it, is Anglo-Irish or Protestant land­lordism, and the primary want is power to abolish, modify, or restrain it. The simple question then is, Would Repeal and the restoration of the Irish Parliament give to Celtic Ireland this power ? If not, nothing of any real value would be gain­ed ; and Repeal would not give this power, unless it transferred the government to the hands of the national party.     Would it do this ?
We lay it down as an axiom in politics, that, in a represent­ative government at least, power follows the balance of prop­erty, - is inevitably in the hands of the party which represents the majority of the wealth of the nation. That party wields the administration, and dictates its measures. The Anglo-Irish are at present, for Ireland, that party, and Repeal can be ob­tained only on condition that it respects their titles and con­firms them in their possessions. What power over them, then, will the national party acquire by Repeal ? If you suppose Re­peal, you must suppose an Irish government composed of the king, lords, and commons, each with a veto on the other. The king will be represented by a viceroy appointed by the British government, and removable by the crown. He will always represent English interest and influence. The lords will be composed, almost exclusively, of the obnoxious Protestant landholders, the present oppressors of Celtic Ireland. The commons will be composed of deputies chosen by the boroughs and counties, and will be divided, - a majority, perhaps, or­dinarily of the Celtic or national party. Such will be the con­stitution and composition of the Irish government, and we de­mand, What measure, tending to restrain the excesses of the landlords and to redress the grievances of their tenantry, could be forced through it ? The viceregal court and the lords, both Anglo-Irish, Protestant, and of the same party, with the same interests, would naturally unite and act in concert ; and what could the commons, divided as they would be among them­selves,- for the landlords would always be able to return a large minority, if not occasionally a majority, of the members, - be able to effect against them ?
Are we referred to the conquests made by the commons of England ? Be it so. But we challenge the friends of Repeal to point us to a single conquest effected by the commons of England of the kind needed for the redress of such grievances as now exist in Ireland. The law touching these grievances is no better in England than it is in Ireland. The English landlord has as much legal power to oppress his tenantry as has the Irish landlord ; and if the Irish tenantry are more op­pressed than the English, it is owing to other than legal causes. The commons of England may have conquered certain politi­cal rights from the king, but they have never been able to retrench the privileges of the landlords, or to impose on them additional burdens. Nay, the landlords have, during the struggle, been able to lighten their own burdens, to relieve themselves of knight-service, and to shift that burden - no light one - upon the non-landholders. In spite of all that the commons of England have been able to do, poverty, distress, and squalid wretchedness are rapidly becoming as great in England as in Ireland herself. It would be difficult to find a population more degraded, more utterly abandoned, than some portions of the English population. The conquests achieved by the perseverance of the English commons do not reach the seat of the evil, in either country, and therefore the appeal to them makes nothing in favor of the Irish Repealer, even setting aside the fact, that the Irish have already secured to them the fruits of those conquests. But even if it were otherwise, noth­ing could be concluded to the purpose ; for the English com­mons were a wealthy middle class, which has not its counter­part in Ireland. They represented a mass of wealth which the Irish commons do not and are not likely to represent. They are powerful at this moment, it is conceded ; for the aggregate wealth which, through the commercial and manufacturing classes, they are able to control, joined to their own landed possessions, surpasses that represented by the nobility. But in Ireland it is far otherwise. The commercial and manufac­turing wealth of the country, the main reliance of the Irish commons, bears no proportion to the landed wealth which would be against them. They are comparatively poor, and whatever their patriotism, they must find themselves unable to hold out against the other two estates. Moreover, in propor­tion as they should increase in wealth, they would have less and less sympathy with their poorer countrymen, and be more and more attached to things as they are, and more and more unwilling to engage in a protracted contest against the nobles, with whose families they would have the ambition and the hope to ally themselves.
But an Irish Parliament, we are told, would stimulate indus­try, encourage commerce and manufactures, and develop the resources of the country. It would be Irish, and promote Irish interests. But would it be Irish ? That is precisely what we doubt. The probability, to say the least, is that it would be Anglo-Irish. But whence follows it that it would, even if Irish, stimulate industry and encourage commerce and manufactures ? Why is it that these languish in Ireland now ? Is it not owing to the want of Irish capital, and to the fact that as much capital is already invested in commerce and manufac­tures in other parts of the empire as can be profitably so in­vested ? Will an Irish Parliament supply the want of Irish capital ? Will it withdraw the capital now invested elsewhere, and reinvest it in Ireland ? What inducements will English capitalists have for investing their capital in Ireland after Re­peal is carried that they have not now ? The law now is as favorable to the investment of capital in Ireland as in England, and if capital does not now flow thither, we cannot see what is to make it flow thither then. Will the Irish government make laws more favorable to the capitalists than the present laws of England ? What, then, is to become of the poor laborer ? You can, by your laws, increase the profits of capital only by diminishing the profits of labor, and the profits of labor are low enough now, in all conscience.
Then, again, commerce and manufactures have their bounds, and cannot be pushed beyond certain limits without a ruinous revulsion. The great evil of our modern society lies pre­cisely in the fact that commerce and manufactures are pushed too far. They are overdone. They call around them a larger population than they can feed. To secure to capital its re­turns, or to save the merchant and manufacturer from ruin, the laborers dependent on them must be thrown out of employ­ment about a third or fourth part of their time, and left to steal, beg, or starve, and not unfrequently to all three. Hence the terrible misery of the laboring classes all through Europe in modern times ; and hence your lied Republicans and your socialistic insurrections and revolutions which within the last year have astonished and shaken the world. Any further extension of the modern industrial system, save as it comes in the natu­ral course of things, is madness. Commerce lives only by agri­culture and manufactures. The agriculture of Ireland will demand no extended commerce, and the manufacturing power now in operation, or ready to be put in operation at a moment's warning, elsewhere, is more than sufficient to glut and to keep glutted the markets of the world. The application of steam to navigation and production, the invention and adoption of labor-saving machinery, during the last half-century, have caused the power of production to exceed, in the existing eco­nomical systems of society, the power of consumption ; and you cannot, unless you can double the latter, extend the former, without a loss which must fall somewhere, and which, wherev­er it falls in the first instance, must inevitably, in the last, fall on the laborer. In other words, the interests of agriculture and labor cannot, in the present state of the world, sustain a more extended system of commerce and manufactures than is now in operation. These have reached the highest proportion they will bear, and, if we do not misunderstand the late Euro­pean revolutions, a far higher proportion than they will bear. Their continuance on their present scale must necessarily re­sult, not iu stimulating labor and developing the agricultural resources of nations, but in depressing agriculture and in re­ducing wages below the minimum of human subsistence, and therefore, ultimately, in their own ruin and that of the people. Their further growth, if healthy, in one country must be their decline in another ; and this further growth is more likely to be in this country than in any European country. The seat of empire is evidently passing from the Old World to the New, and the grand highway of trade is hereafter to be across this continent and the Pacific to the old Asiatic world, which may ere long in no small degree supplant the European.
A hasty glance at the British European empire is sufficient to show that its commercial and manufacturing power has reached, perhaps passed, its culminating point. It is now sustained only by encroaching on the interests of agriculture and the wages of labor. Up to a certain point, commerce and manufactures enhance the wages of labor and the profits of agriculture ; but pushed beyond that point, they have the opposite effect. That they have been pushed beyond that point in Great Britain seems to us evident from the depression experienced by the agricultural interests, the ruinous poor-rates assessed upon small farmers, and the inability of the laborers to find constant employment or sufficient wages for their comfortable subsist­ence. They now tax land and labor. Ireland, after Repeal as well as now, will be attached to the empire, and must, in some degree, share its prosperity and its adversity. It is certain that she cannot extend the aggregate capital now invested in the commerce and manufactures of the United Kingdom, with­out an injury to the empire which she herself will not be able altogether to escape. All she can hope to do is, to gain at the expense of England, - to transfer to herself a portion of the commerce and manufactures now confined to the sister island. That is, she can hope to make herself a huge manufacturing establishment and a vast entrepot of commerce only by com­peting successfully with England, who already has the start of her, as many natural advantages as she has, and infinitely more acquired advantages. She must transfer the manufacturing capital and establishments from England to herself, and coax the English ships from English harbours to her own. Now when somebody will tell us by what means this can be done, we will concede that a Parliament in College Green, Dublin, will do more for encouraging the commercial and manufacturing industry of Ireland, and the development of her natural re­sources, than the United Parliament in St. Stephen's, West­minster, but not till then.
But a national Parliament will put an end to absenteeism, compel the landlords to reside on their own estates, to look after the welfare of their tenantry, and to spend their revenues at home instead of a foreign country. That it will put an end to absenteeism is not so certain. Absenteeism is an old com­plaint, and we find that it existed before the Legislative Union, nay, before the Protestant Reformation, and that king after king exerted his power to compel the Irish landlords to reside at home on their estates, and look after their people, but always with indifferent success. What has been may be ; and if a national legislature did not formerly prevent absenteeism, we see not the certainty that it will hereafter prevent it. The royal court at London will always present attractions for the rich, the accomplished, the ambitious, the fashionable, the dis­sipated, the frivolous, the vain, superior to those of the vice­roy's court at Dublin ; and as long as it does, absenteeism will continue. As long, also, as living on the Continent continues to be less expensive, and society more attractive, than in Eng­land or Ireland, men whose estates are embarrassed, and who are unable to keep up at home establishments suitable to their social rank, will seek longer or shorter residences abroad. This may or may not be an evil, but it is what an insular peo­ple must always be more or less exposed to.
Then it is far from certain that the home residence of the absentee landlords would cure all the evils, or any considerable portion of the evils, of which the Irish people complain. One of the great evils to which they are exposed, if we may be­lieve Paul Peppeigrass, Esq., is the constant annoyance ex­perienced from the efforts of Protestant landlords to pervert them to Protestantism. Colonel Templeton is to some extent a resident landlord, and when he is, he is constantly annoying his tenantry by his proselyting zeal, and his agent takes advantage of this zeal to cover his worst villanies. These landlords are nearly all Protestants, and their residence at home would only increase this evil. They would want some employment, and they would be driven to the work of proselyting by the neces­sity of filling up their vacant hours. As to spending their money at home, we cannot see, if there is any truth in the doc­trine of free trade, of which, we believe, Mr. O'Connell was an advocate, that it makes any difference to the tenant where his landlord spends his income, unless, indeed, by spending it we understand giving it away. The greatest advantage we can see that would be gained by the home residence is, that it might diminish the importance and the iniquity of the middlemen ; but Colonel Templeton's agent, Archibald Cantwell, is hardly to be preferred to a middleman ; and it is certain, if Paul Pepper-grass, Esq., has given us a true picture of society in Ireland, that the end of absenteeism would not be the end of the evils experienced ; for all the evils he depicts take place, if we re­member aright, under resident landlords.
When through the imperial government the Irish landlords are shorn of their power to oppress, the Irish have improved their material condition, and there are no longer any special causes of hostility between the two Irelands, legislative inde­pendence will become a wise and useful measure, and may be easily obtained. It may then be a step towards national inde­pendence, because then the Irish Parliament may become the depositary of the sovereignty after the rejection of the English crown, and enable the Irish to separate from England without dissolving the state and annihilating the body politic. But till then, so far as we can judge at this distance and from all the information we have been able to collect, the true policy of the Irish patriot is, to hold on to the connection with England, and to labor to turn it to the advantage of his countrymen.
The first step, it seems to us, should be, to supplant the An­glo-Irish party at the English court and in the imperial Parlia­ment, and thus secure the protection of the government for the national party, - induce England to govern Ireland through the Celtic Irish instead of the Anglo-Irish. Surely this can be done. The patriots assuredly will not contend that they are inferior in any respect to their opponents, that the Celt must, in any sphere, pale before the Saxon. Assuredly, it must be far easier for them to supplant the landlords by their talents, learning, eloquence, and statesmanship, than to conquer them, and England into the bargain, by force of arms.
Ireland has one hundred and five members of Parliament. Let her first care be to elect, not only patriotic members, but members who will do her credit, who will be more than a match for a like number of the English members in learning and talent, in their genius for business, and their clear and compre­hensive views. Let them be men of character, men whose support a ministry would seek, and whose opposition it would dread. She of course has such men, and can elect them ; or else how would she prosper, were she to set up on her own account? Let her throw a body of one hundred and five members, or even one half of that number, into Parliament, who are not men of theories, not men thrown off their balance by their memories, or their recollections of Tara's Halls or Brian Boru, but men who, while they love their country, while they are true to Irish interests, love also the empire, know its interests, and are ready to promote them, and she will have a weight in Parliament, and therefore with the crown, that will secure her a hearing and a redress of her grievances. Let her not feel that she is robbed of her crown. Her crown remains and is hers, as much as ever it was, only it is united with the British crown ; Victoria is her queen as well as Eng­land's queen, and the union need imply no more subjection in the one country than in the other. Let her assert her inde­pendence, not of the crown, but as a free member of the Unit­ed Kingdom, and compel England to divide with her, as she has already been compelled to divide with Scotland, the power and glory of the empire. Let her, by a representation fitly chosen, enter with a free and a bold heart the Parliamentary lists, and in her collected wisdom, practical sense, firm speech, and dig­nified bearing, contend for the rights and well-being of her children as British subjects, and on the broader ground of justice and humanity, and no son of hers can fear that she will come off second best.
But whatever the policy the patriotic Irish may agree upon, we hope they will hesitate long before they revive the late sys­tem of agitation. If we have not misinterpreted the views of the able author of the work before us, he has no great confi­dence in that system, and does not regard it as likely to effect much for Ireland. For ourselves, we would not say that it has utterly failed, or that it has effected nothing ; for Catholic Ire­land certainly holds to-day a much more important place in the estimation of the British ministry than she did before Mr. O'Connell commenced his agitation for Itepeal, and the government would now hardly venture to treat the Catholic Irish with the cool contempt or indifference of former times.
Nevertheless, this may be due in the main to Catholic emanci­pation, and might, perhaps, have been effected by other modes of operation less expensive than agitation. We are not igno­rant of the immense popularity of what is called " peaceful agitation," even out of Ireland, and with others than Irishmen. A few months since, it was a word of great potency. It was pronounced with enthusiasm in every quarter of the globe, and fetched its echoes from Paris, and even from the Eternal City. The disaffected of all lands, reformers of all classes and grades, resorted to it as the grand lever by which to move the world ; and it seemed to be universally agreed that Mr. O'Connell, who was improperly regarded as its originator, for he only adopted it from the sectarian associations of the day, who in their turn only adopted it from the French Jacobins, had discovered and ap­plied the secret of deposing kings, displacing dynasties, sub­verting governments, breaking up the constitutions of states, resolving nations into primeval chaos, reconstructing society, and regaining the terrestrial paradise, legally, constitutionally, peacefully, without violence, and without disorder. The split in Conciliation Hall, the recent violent revolutions in Europe, the unfurling of the Red Flag by the Parisian agitators, the madness of the mob of Germany and Austria, and the nefarious efforts of the Mamiani ministry to strip the Holy Father of his temporal dominions and to hold him a prisoner in his own cap­ital, to say nothing of the abortive insurrection in Ireland, all legitimate fruits of what in its origin was peaceful agitation, have opened some people's eyes to the system itself, and made some persons suspect that its wisdom, its safety, and its efficacy have been not a little overrated. For ourselves, we have al­ways distrusted the system, and we have opposed it in our writings for the last twenty years with what little power we had. The system is essentially despotic ; it places reason at the service of passion, and seeks to crush the individual freedom of thought by the overwhelming force of combination and numbers. It begins by organizing, under the lead of self-appointed and irresponsible chiefs, an association for the accomplishment of a given object. Whatever of free thought, of deliberation, of calm reason is permitted must precede the organization of the association ; none can be allowed afterwards. When the as­sociation is formed, the work is to agitate, not to reason, ¦-to overawe, not to discuss, - to crush opposition, not to convince. The only study then is to inflame the passions or the enthusiasm of the association, and to compel those who stand aloof from it, as they value their reputations, their possibility of being on pass­able terms with their neighbours, to fall in and go on with it. If they do not fall in and go on with it, they are traitors to their country, to God, to humanity, to reason, to virtue; and he who ventures to doubt the infallibility of the association, and to think and act for himself, whether the association be for Repeal as in Ireland, or whether it be for the abolition of slavery as in Eng­land and this country, the circulation of the Scriptures, the establishment of Fourierism, the spread of Protestantism, or the conversion of the Pope, - for they are all based on the same general principle, and differ only as to their respective ends, - must be denounced, and the whole force of the association must be brought to bear against him, to blast his reputation, to crip­ple his exertions, to crush him to the earth, and pulverize him beneath the trampling of its feet. O'Connell was a kind, lib­eral, generous-hearted man, a sincere Catholic, and remarka­ble for his tender piety; but how often did he denounce and blast those of his fellow-laborers who attempted independent thought and action ! Yet it was not he that did it; it was his system that compelled him to do it. Of what use his associa­tion, if divided within, if it did not speak one voice, and pre­sent a uniform front to the enemy ?
it is not to the agitation which arises from free and earnest discussion that we object; nor the free and full discussion of all the great questions which are in their nature open to discussion. What we object to is agitation systematized and carried on througb self-constituted and therefore irresponsible associations. These associations are the grand feature of our times, and they are of most dangerous tendency. In the hands of a great and good man, as was O'Connell, directed by his wisdom, loyalty, faith, and piety, they may, perhaps, be comparatively harmless ; but formed for social or political reforms, and placed in the hands of such men as Ledru Itollin, Blanqui, Raspail, Cabet, or Proudhon, or such men as are at the head of the Protestant Alliance or the various Antislavery societies, it is easy to see that they are powerful engines for mischief. They tend neces­sarily to swamp the individual in the crowd, and to establish a central despotism, which no, freeman can endure. If, like the Church, they were Divinely constituted, and placed under the control of Divinely commissioned chiefs, who have from Almighty God the promise of infallibility, they of course would be compatible with the most perfect freedom, and their force would be really a moral force ; but as they are, - purely human associations, self-formed, sanctioned by no regular au­thority, and under the control of self-appointed leaders, - they are pure despotisms, are a contrivance to do by force of com­bination and numbers what no one has any right to do, further than he can do it by individual thought and action. They are, to our way of thinking, far more fatal in the long run to a people than war itself. War slays the body and mangles the limbs, it is true ; the moral force of these associations kills reason, slays the soul itself. A people worthy of freedom will scorn them. Even in O'Connell's hands the system became intolerable ; its own children revolted against it, and he, heart-broken, went to die in a foreign land.
In a religious point of view, the system has a most deleterious effect. It destroys the freedom of the clergy, and enslaves religion. Its tendency is to concentrate the mind and the heart on a given object, and to keep out of sight every thing else. It agitates for that one object, makes it all in all, engrosses the mind and heart with it alone. That one object becomes the only thing seen, the only thing desired, the sole remedy of the numerous ills flesh is heir to. It absorbs all moral and all religious considerations in itself, and for the time being religion and morality are esteemed only as they are subsidiary to it. It itself is religion. Agitation for it, then, must spare no one who opposes it, - the clergy no more than the laity. It is supreme, and while it condescends to accept the services of the clergy, and to honor them as long as they serve it, it claims the right to sit in judgment on them and to denounce them, if they ven­ture to arraign it. It has taken possession of the people, and become their guide and master. The clergy are no longer free ; they cannot resist it, without losing all influence with them, and all opportunity to exercise for them the functions of their sacred ministry; and therefore, if they possibly can, they must, as the less of two evils, fall in with it, and do what they can to direct it, and to prevent it from effecting the com­plete spiritual ruin of its subjects. But if they fall in with it as the less of two evils, the agitators immediately claim that it has the support of the clergy ; then it is religious ; then its cause is the cause of God as well as of man ; and then no one with a safe conscience can oppose it.
Moreover, the notion, that this system of agitation can be carried on for any great length of time with undiminished enthu­siasm and remain peaceful, is a fatal mistake. It certainly, when carried on for temporal objects, has never yet been long continued without resulting in physical violence. It has led to violence in Rome and Italy, in France and Germany, and even in Ireland. The Young Irelanders were legitimately begotten of the Repeal agitation, and it is a mistake to regard them as seceders. They were its natural and inevitable development. Men had for seventeen years been promised Repeal; had had their attention directed to it, had been agitated and had agitated for it; had been told, and had believed, that Repeal was the sovereign remedy for the intolerable evils under which they were suffering, - evils rendered doubly intolerable by the con­tinual direction of their minds to them ; and yet Repeal did not come, did not appear to be coming, - appeared, in fact, as far off as ever. They could wait no longer. It was of no use to preach patience to them. Had you not been doing all in your power for seventeen years to render them impatient ? Had you not painted their sufferings to them in the most vivid colors ? Had you not exhausted imagination and language in describing the horrors of their condition ? Had you not ex­pended all your force in arousing them to the most lively sense of their wrongs ? Had you not inflamed them, and worked them up to the highest pitch of impatience ? And after this, could you suppose they would be calm and quiet, that they would be patient, at your bidding ? It is not thus that we have learned human nature. They saw that you had ex­hausted your peaceful means, and gained nothing of \\\ at you had led them to expect, and they said, " Since words fail, try what virtue there is in leaden balls and cold iron." So human nature always speaks, or we have studied it to no purpose.
When by agitation, by appeals to sentiment and passion, you have worked a people up to that degree of excitement necessary for your purpose, they are no longer under your control, and you must on with them or be crushed by them. It is idle for you to imagine that you can hold them back. Your power over them is in your sympathy with them. No matter how loudly they cheered you yesterday. No matter how eagerly they hang on your words, or run to do your slightest wish ; let the sympathetic cord be broken, let them once feel that you go no farther with them, or that you wish them to stop where they are, you are henceforth to them an enemy, a traitor, and, instead of thanking you for what you have done, they only execrate you for what you withhold. Has not the Holy Father within the last year experienced the truth of this ?    He did not agitate his people ; he found them agitated, wrought up hy others to a feverish state of excitement for political reforms. He placed himself in sympathy with them, gave them political reforms, and who ever saw a prince more beloved, a people more submissive, more ready to consult every wish of their sovereign ? A whole year was devoted to feasting and rejoic­ing in honor of the Liberal Pontiff, who loved his people, and knew how to march with the spirit of the age, and at its head. A new era had dawned. The Church had formed an alliance with liberty. Pius the Ninth had baptized Democracy, and placed himself at the head of the European Liberals. How did the welkin ring again with shouts of Evviva Pio Nono ! Heretics and schismatics, Jews and infidels, refugees and apostates, all joined in the chorus. A few short months go by, and this Roman people, so devout, so loyal, so enthu­siastically submissive to their sovereign, remind him gently that there is a little additional reform which would please them very much ; he, as an indulgent father, grants it. Evviva Pio Nono! - But, Santo Padre, here is one other little reform. It is conceded. Evviva Pio Nono ! - Demand follows demand till the Holy Father has conceded to the last limit of possible concession, if he is to preserve government at all, and then what do these same people do ? They look quietly on, if nothing worse, and see him imprisoned in his own capital, and virtually stripped of all power as a temporal prince. Has any one been surprised ? Who, accustomed to study popular movements, did not expect, even foretell, as much, when the news of the far-famed amnesty reached him ? A short time .'ince Gioberti, the O'Connell of Italy, was all-powerful with the Italian Liberals; how is it with him now, since he has attempted to restrain their movement within practical bounds ? Alas ! he is in a fairway of being less esteemed by them than the very Jesuits whose expulsion from all Italy, lo please them, he has effected. Nay, O'Connell had himself lost the control of the Irish movement, and had he even retained all his early vigor, he could not have continued the tremendous excitement of the Repeal year (1843) within its peaceful limits. His speeches even during that year became warlike, and we listened with breathless expectation to hear him give the command, " Sound to the charge ! " At that point neither he nor the peo­ple could remain. And who sees not that he could not use more moderate language, without cither undoing all he had done, or placing himself in opposition to the people he had agitated, and then ceasing to be their leader ? The latter is what actually happened. After 1843, Daniel O'O mnell ceased to be the leader of Ireland, and the ceremony that took place in his honor, after his liberation from prison, was only the crowning of the victim for sacrifice.
One thing only has surprised us. The Smith O'Brien party was inevitable, and would have come, either under the lead of O'Connell or in spite of him, let him have done all that mortal man could do to prevent it; but we were not prepared to find it so small, so insignificant; and we must believe that the sus­pension of Repeal agitation in consequence of the arrest and imprisonment of O'Connell and his associates had in some measure abated the excitement of 1843, and that, in fact, the Irish people were far less inflamed than at this distance appeared. Nevertheless, their refusal to engage in the proposed insurrec­tion, and the readiness with which they hearkened to their cler­gy, is what we did not expect, is, we believe, unexampled in the history of similar movements, and is in the highest degree creditable both to them and to their clergy. It proves that the clergy have not yet lost their influence over the mass of their people, and also that the people are cooler, are less inflammable, have more solid judgment, more prudence and practical good sense, than is commonly supposed. We have seen nothing in their history more noble than their conduct on that trying occa­sion, nothing that tended more to give us a high idea of their national character, or to inspire us with stronger hopes for their future redemption from slavery and oppression. They almost threw a doubt on the soundness of our doctrine of the danger-ousness of the system of agitation, and would half falsify it, if we did not find the foiled agitators and their dupes throwing the fault of their miscarriage on the clergy. Till we saw the Irish refuse, at the direction of their spiritual guides, to embark in Smith O'Brien's insurrection, we had no hopes for Ireland ; now we have no fears for her. We see and appreciate her character more truly, and know that her friends often do her great injustice. We see, also, that St. Patrick still intercedes for his people, and that Almighty God has them in his especial keeping. As long as they are prompt to obey their spiritual guides, nothing can harm them.
But we are extending our remarks to an unreasonable length. The subject is one of great interest, and for us as well as for Irishmen. Indeed, it is an American as well as an Irish subject.    Trish politics are discussed here as they are in Ireland. We have associations, confederations, and all the machinery for agitation adopted in the mother country. We have newspapers published among us devoted exclusively to Irish interests ; committees and directories are organized by Americans in our larger cities for the management of Irish affairs; public meetings are held, speeches made, addresses delivered, funds solicited and collected, as if the country were Ireland herself, or, at least, a British colony ; our candidates for public office are interrogated, indirectly at least, as to their views and feelings in relation to Ireland; and the reputation of Anglo-American Catholics depends with their religious breth­ren, in no small degree, on the views they take or do not take of Irish politics. . It is thus that the question is made an Ameri­can question, with important bearings on American politics and American social life. It is brought home to our very bosoms and business, and we cannot blink it with safety to ourselves, even if we would. And now, during the lull in Irish agitation, now that both moral force and physical force have failed, at least for the present, is the proper time for discussion, for taking a new observation, and determining the proper course to steer the vessel hereafter. With this view, we have taken up the subject, and thrown out such thoughts as have occurred to us in the course of our reading and reflection on it, for several years. We have thrown them out as suggestions, to go simply for what they are worth. If the friends of Ireland find nothing better, let them be accepted ; if they find and can agree on something better, let them be rejected, and the better adopted. All we want is the real welfare of Ireland, and we shall be satisfied, if that is secured, whether it be secured by means of our suggest­ing, or by means suggested by others who differ from us. Certain it is, that the great body of the real friends of Ireland cannot be rallied under either of the banners that have here­tofore been unfurled, and that, to secure unanimity and concert, a policy somewhat different from O'Connell's and from Smith O'Brien's must now be adopted. We can, as at present informed, see nothing more promising than the course we have suggested. If others can, we shall be happy to surrender to their superior wisdom and better judgment.
But we have nearly lost sight, in following out our own speculations, of the admirable work before us. We intended to make several extracts from it, as specimens of its style and thought, but we have reserved no place for them, - which is the less to be regretted, because before this, we presume, it has found its way to all our readers, and they have enjoyed it as well as we. The work is not faultless. We have signified, together with our reasons, our dissent from a few important points, which the author appears to us not to have duly con­sidered. As a literary work, it has great merits. Its style is clear, rich, racy, flowing, but somewhat careless, and occa­sionally inexact ; the characters are, in general, well drawn, but the action is too hurried, and the events are too crowded. The effect is somewhat injured, also, by selecting, as represent­atives of Protestants, individuals, riot worse, indeed, than can be found in actual life, but yet worse than the average of the class they are intended to represent. The faults which are depicted Protestants will ascribe to the individual, not to their system. Ellen O'Donnell is a noble, a high-spirited girl, hut we should like her better, if she had more repose of manner, and a little more quiet dignity. The most touching scene to us, and the most true to nature, in the whole book, is the scene before her miserable hovel between Kathleen and Colonel Templeton. It is a scene drawn from nature by a genuine art­ist. We like Captain O'Brien, a man, a gentleman, and a pa­triot, but we wish he had been converted before his betrothal to Ellen. We wish the union of Catholic Ireland and Protestant Ireland, intended to be symbolized by the marriage of Ellen O'Donnell and Captain O'Brien, but only by the conversion of the latter, and we wish to make sure of the conversion before we propose the union. There occurs, too, a passage about the " plague spot," which we shall hope to see expunged in the sec­ond edition. But, upon the whole, we like Shandy J\'VGuire ; we like it for its fun, we like it for its genuine tenderness and its deep pathos ; we like it for its bold and manly tone, its free and independent spirit, and above all, for its uncompromising Catholicity, which will not abate a single genuflection to please all the heretical kings in Christendom. Thank you, Paul Peppergrass, Esq., for that expression, which, though not to be taken nor intended to be taken to the strict letter, conveys the only sentiment worthy of one who belongs to a church made and directed by God, and not by man. The work cannot fail to do good. It will tend to awaken more manly feelings and induce a more manly bearing in the Irish themselves ; it can hardly fail to elevate the Irish character in the estimation of our community, and to create a more respectful and a more kindly feeling  towards  our  Irish  population.      It.  will   enable   the American people to account for many of those traits  which offend them in the Irish character, and without discredit to the Irish ;   it will make them feel that the  Irish must be  a wonderful people, and richly favored by Divine grace, or they could not be what they are, - could not have retained a single human virtue,  a single noble or generous quality.     All that malice backed by power and ingenuity could do to brutalize them, and obliterate every trace of the image of God to which they were created, has been done, and yet they remain human, and, in spite of all their faults, in spite of all the objectionable features of their national character, and they are many, they compare in all the nobler moral virtues and religious excel­lences more than favorably with any other people on the globe. Their worst side is their outside,    What is objectionable in their character lies on the surface, and is seen at a glance. Their virtues lie deeper, and are known only after an intimate acquaintance, often are known at all only to Him for whose sake alone they are cultivated.     Their vices are in a great measure the result of the condition in which they have been placed, the evasions they have been obliged to study in order to live, the  cruelty and  contempt with which  they have been treated ; their virtues, through Divine grace, are their own, and place them first on the list of nations.    They have so prospered spiritually under their temporal adversity, that we almost dread to see them exposed to the temptations of temporal prosperity. They are now fulfilling an important mission in evangelizing the world ;   through them, we trust, the revolted Saxon will be reconquered to his allegiance, and great will be their reward in heaven.    O, would that our own country enjoyed the riches possessed by Ireland,  and could indulge the glorious hopes of her  oppressed  and   earth-abandoned   children !     Happy would it be for our boasted and loud-boasting republic ; for what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul ?