Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

737]
SUMMARY OF POLITICS.

Irish Tythes. –The reader will, perhaps, remember, that I have frequently spoken of the tythes in Ireland as one great source of discontent; and, it would seem, from an article, which appeared in the Morning Chronicle of the 9th instant, and which I am now about to insert, that the protestant gentlemen in that country have been taking some measures, preparatory to an application to parliament for an act to enforce a commutation of the tythes. “Of the several duties which the constitu“tion occasionally imposes upon different classes of society, there is no one of “greater magnitude than that which the country gentlemen have, in particular “emergencies of the state, to discharge, “ of giving their advice to parliament. The resident gentlemen of Ireland have wisely considered the present aspect of public affairs required from them the exercise of this duty; because the continuance of silence on their part, would be to give countenance to a system of measures, of which they disapprove, and because it is very manifest to all impartial observers, that the safety of Irelond depends upon a speedy termination to this system. Besides, after the late Administration and Parliament having both of them been extinguished for their conduct in respect to Ireland; and after the addresses of “numerous public bodies in England, exhibiting their disapprobation of the intended measures of favour towards Ireland; what event can be more natural than declarations on the part of the Irish public, on a subject so completely embracing everything interesting and dear to Ireland? It is clearly one thing to decide the great question of concession or coercion in ‘managing Ireland in England, and another thing to decide it in Ireland. a great cry may be raised in England against concession, still concession must “ be made, if the men of property of Ire“land, who form the Protestant interest, "join with the Catholics of Ireland in re“quiring it. This we consider they have “ done in a great degree, and we know "they wish yet to do so in a still more ex

[ocr errors]

For though

[ocr errors]

“ tensive manner ; for though the Protes“ tant Grand Juries of the counties of Kil“ kenny and Galway have alone declared “ the necessity of Emancipation several “ other counties have come to unanimous “ resolutions, expressive of their opinion, “ that the measure of A COMMUTATION “ OF TYTHES is alsolutely indispensifle to secure internal tranquility, and ought to be conceded to the people of Ireland. - - What is the fair construction to put “ upon this national exertion ? It is this. “ That the Protestant Gentlemen of Ireland, “ feeling that the present period is not ripe “ for urging the complete ematicipation of “ their Catholic fellow subjects, but being “ anxious to contradict and counteract the “, bigotry of many in this country, and to “ shew their disapprobation of coercive “ measures, adop. a recommendation to Par“liament of a commutation of tythes, as “ that measure which, next to em.incipa“ tion, will be the most effectual conces“ sion that can be made to the Catholics of “ Ireland. The resolutions of the several “ counties prove that these are the princi“ pies which have actuated the conduct of “ the Protestant Gentlemen. For in these “ they declared, that tythes are so great a grievance to the poor, that no measure would le more off:ctual in preventing insurrections, than a commutation, and all “ this in direct opposition to every thing “ that we have of late heard of “ no more “ “ concessions,” and acts of Parliament “ to prevent insurrections in Ireland. Nothing can possibly be more illustrative of the, liberality and good'sense of the Protestant Gentlemen of Ireland, than such language as this. An evil is complained “ of, insurrection: they proclaim the cause “ of it to be the grievance, tythes, and ad“vise the remedy, commutation. They “ do not convene county meetings to return “ thanks to ministers for their insurrection “ act and arms act, or for granting addi“ tional bulwarks to the Protestant ascen“ dancy ; but, at these meetings, they una“ nimously condemn the principle on “ which the present administration has been “ formed, and prove themselves capable of “ judging of the best mode *.*

[graphic][graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

“ their own conntry, by recommending measures that will attach the great bulk of the people in fervent loyalty to the throue and constitution. Our information has led us to suppose that a great change had taken place in the sentinents of the well-informed Protestants of lreland, with regard to their Catholic fellow-subjects. These county meetings place it beyond a do ibt that they are most liberally inclined towards them ; an event that augurs most favourably of the future success of the leading advocates for complete emancipation.” be perceived, that this article has a mere party purpose in view ; but, it announces to us the fact, that the protestant gentlemen of Ireland are for a commutation of the tythes. Let us now see, then, how such a measure would operate with respect to the people of Ireland, and how far it ought to be considered as a “ concession” to them. —Tythes have been represented as a great “grievance,” and the Inanner of collecting them in Ireland has been, and is, very vexatious. But, what will be the effect of a commutation ? Will the poor man, who cultivates five acres of ground in potatoes, ield less in tythe than he does now Will {. give less to the parson than he now gives 2 If he does not, it is evident, that he can derive no substantial benefits from the proposed change ; and, if he does give less to the parson, it is, to me at least, quite certain, that he will give more to the land-owner, er the land jobber ; so that, this cominutotion, whatever may be the effect of it with regard to the land owner and the parson, will, in no degree whatever, lighten the burdens of the potatoe islatiter. The manner of collection will, indeed, in case of a commutation, be less vexatious; but, when land is let to the potatoe-planter, this vexation is not forgotten by either party ; and, an allowance, though not expressly, is actually made for vexation as well as for tythe, especially in a country where the vexation is general, and, of course, notorious. I admire, therefore, the “ patriotism,” which the sage of the Morning Chronicle fas discovered in the “ Irish protestant gentlemen," who, as he would have us believe, and as he really believes himself, perhaps, are endeavouring truss to obtain a concession to the people of Ireland, but who, if they know what they are about, are endeavouring to take some part of the amount of the tythes out of the pockets of the parsons, in order to put that amount into their own pockets; a most just and suitable return to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

It will

clamour, in which, to their everlasting shame, so many of them had the folly, or the wickedness to join.—Oh, yes! I always like to hear of the “patriotism” of the “ protestant gentlemen" of Ireland! Perhaps so keen a set are not to be met with upon the face of the whole earth. They clamoured without ceasing for the safety of the Church ; but, we now find, that they care little about the safety of its ministers, when that safety is opposed to their own interests. This proposed commutation will take exceedingly. The deception lies, like that of Pitt's sinking fund, just beneath the surface, and that is quite enough to insure success with ninety-nine hundredths of the mass of mankind, especially when apparent self-interest comes in to its aid. The parson is the man, to whom the farmer immediately yields his tythes. Take away the parson, and, of course, the tythe's remain with the farmer, and he gains a tenth of the whole produce of his farm But, at the end of the year, if he be a yearly tenant, or, at the end of his lease, when he comes to take his farm again, will not the landlord make an addition to the rent equal to the former amount of the tythes? Aye, but the vexation of having tythes taken up in kind, and haying straw carried off the farm. Well, and will not the landlord be apprized of this; and will he not make the farmer pay for a cessation of this vexation, and this imagindry injury I remember making some inqui.

ries upon this subject in France, in the year

1792, and the information I received from, I dare say, not less than a hundred farmers, was this, that, in lieu of a tenth of their prodecs yielded to the church, they yielded, alter the abolition of the tythes, a fifth of their produce to the landlord. That this would be the natural effect is pretty evident; for, the parson collects his tythes under numerous, and, some of them, great disadvantages. If he take them in kind, all the labour of gathering them is, upon a general scale, so much labour thrown away, because the farmer could gather them, along with his own, with no additional expence. Then he is subjected to such strict rules in the gathering; they are scattered about so widely; they must necessarily be so mingled in the mow ; that, take every thing into consider” tion, the tythe of any farm, except in very singular cases, is not worth to the paroo much more than half what it is worth to the farmer. This the landlord knows; and, therefore, take away the tythe, and he will make the farmer pay him for it twice.* much as he has been used to pay the Paso: Thus, as sure as we are born, would it be "

[graphic]

Ireland; and, therefore, this sudden and unexpected effusion of “patriotism,” on the part of the “protestant gentlemen" of Ireland, appears to be a scheme for tricking both the parsons and the farmers. But, did I myself not propose to do something respecting the tythes in Ireland I did ; but, my proposition was not intended to throw more gains into the pockets of the landowners and land-jobbers. I would still have saddled the land with the expence of main. taining a Clergy of one sort or the other; and, in proportion to the Catholic population, I would have diverted that expence to their ministers, making the Protestant church a compensation in England, by purchasing up the lay impropriations, upon the unalterable condition, that benefice and residence should, in all cases, be inseparable. This was my scherne. I had no intention to cheat both the clergy and the laity, and call it “patriotism.” Yet, I am half afraid, that this patriotic scheme was the very one which Lords Howick and Henry Petly had upon the anvil, when no-popery turned them out. A brilliant scheme, truly, and well worthy of such heads! They had consulted the “protestant gentlemen" upon it, who had, doubtless, perceived what the wise ministers had overlooked. And this is a “concession” to Ireland! This is “a great step towards emancipation.” This is to be a beginning of that good, which is to concilate the people of Ireland, and to eradicate the French faction, which Mr. Grattan told us was existing there, and to keep down which faction he himself had, it is said, drawn up, with his own hand, the very list, which afterwards passed into a law, and to which bill, he, to the astonishment of all

those who were not acquainted with the fact,

gave his unqualified support. No ; it is hot a sharper-like trick that will produce harmony in Ireland, and a general disposition to defend, against the enemy, both Ireland and England. There requires something great to be done. There requirds a change in the treatment of Ireland. There requires a diminution of the burdens of the people. There requires a share of the good things of the country to be given to those ministers of religion, to whom the people in general are attached. Lords Howick and Grenville were for “drawing off the superabundant population,” while, at the very same time, they were granting large sims of money for the express poroe of making work and pur. choing tood for the people of Scotland, in

| here displayed Just as if to be a ruler of

millions of men, no capacity of thinking were required, all the talents necessary, being that of making long, dull, lawyer-like harangues. In another part of this Register, there are two letters form a correspondent, under the name of Motor. These letters I beg leave to recommend to the serious perusal of the reader ; and, I am much deceived, that, if they could be read by every man in England, they would not produce a very sonsible effect. The importance of Ireland to England is here shown in a most clear and striking light; and, I think, it would be madness to suppose that England could k d 4 resist the conqueror, supposing him to make a landing in Ireland, with any considerable number of troops, finding the people to be what they were described to be by Mr. Grattan. When great alterations and concessions are proposed, people seem alarmed; but, if great alterations of some sort are necessary to produce that disposition in the people of Ireland which is essential to the safety of the kingdom, why should we flinch : Why should we not make them at once 2 We are not now in a state that allows us title to wait for a more favourable opportunity. We have not an hour to lose ; for, it is impossible so to guard the sea, at all times, as to prevent a French force from sation to Irel, ind; and, when it is once safely arrived there, the consequences are too evident to need detailing. But, it is no pitiful trick, such as the one proposed, that will answer any good purpose. It would be seen through before the bill were well got into the House; yet, while it would produce no good effect with respect

to Ireland, it would produce a most misciplevous effect with respect to England, where the agricultural politicians have long been at work to accomplish an abolition of tythes. The example of Ireland would give them new life, and Lord Carrington's schemes would become the fashion of the day. There are many men, who would, perhaps, see the fail of the church establishment, or, at least, of the means of the maintenance of its ministers, with pleasure; and, I must confess, that the extent to which non-residence is carried, togethel with the manner in which be‘nefices are conferred, are enough to disgust any man. But, there is one short observotion, which I would beg lenve to address to those, who, not being arisociatically iodited,

le - - §er to prevent them from emigrating.

What wild work was this! What a total *-nî of all fixed principle in goveriliig was

[ocr errors][merged small]

would go in diminishing the revenues of the clergy, would be the effect of the commutation proposed by the “patriotic protestant gentlemen” in Ireland. Louis XVIII. Before I proceed to remark upon the circumstances, connected with the arrival of this prince, let me say a word or two in justification of what was contained in the last Register, by way of animadversion upon the conduct of the Morning Chronicle, whom I charged with having blamed the ministers for not having acknowledged him as king of France. There is, indeed, a good deal of verbosity, in the article, to which I alluded ; but I found the following passage, which the Morning Chronicle had quoted for the truth and justice of its remarks; which it had inserted, as expressing its own sentiments; and which, if it does not, in so many words, blame the ministers for not acknowledging Louis XVIII, as king of France, certainly leaves such blame to be inferred. “ We “ wish ministers had sent down some dis“ tinguished nobleman to have received his Majesty, and that the honours due to roy“alty had been paid him upon his arrival. “ There is something in the manner in which we have behaved to the illusorious ‘ family nf the Bourbons, not quite satisfac‘tory to our feelings. We have afforded “ them an asylum and an establishment, but we seem to have dore it in too mea‘ sured a manner; we seem always to have ‘ acted as if we would avoid giving offence ‘ to the usurper of their throne. Our pro‘tection of them has had a degree of pru‘dence, and our generosity a principle of ‘ caution in it which ill accords with the noble frankness of the British character. * We would have had the members of the family received at court; we would have “ the fallen Majesty of Louis XVIII, cheered and consoled by the gracious regards of our good and patriot king. “What are we to pay honours and homage to royalty only when it is posses e ] of power Are we to let a people see that the moment they rebel against a lawful sovereign, and suffer an upstart to usurp his throne, England is ready to withdraw from that sovereign all homage and con“ sideraticin, and deference, and bestow them upon the usurper ?—It is now 451 years hilice we had a King of France ‘ in this country, John, who was taken “ prisoner at the battle of Poictiers, by Edward the Black Prince.” Now, is there not blame bestowed here upon the ministers 2 Are they not blamed for having been two measured in their conduct, with respect

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to the prince : Are they not blamed for not having done enough , and, what more were we to conclude was meant by this writer What more, unless to acknowledge him king of France : Nay, does not the Morning Chronicle say, that a distinguished nobleman ought to have been sent to the coast to receive “His Majesty,” and that the “ honours due to Royalty" should have been paid upon his arrival What is this short of the acknowledgement, which the Morning Chronicle is now so anxious to deny having recommended ? For, if that acknowledgement was not to be understood, why is the attribute of Majesty conferred: And, what a mockery woul, it have been to pay the “ honours due to itoallu” Why, too, is Napoleon, in this same atti: cle, called an “usurper,” and the people of France “ rebels 2" Why this? How it. consistent, foolish, not to say base, are this language and these sentiments in the mouth of a person, who is not for the acknowiedź. ing of Louis XVIII as “king of France." And, was I to blame, then, for saying th:

this writer blamed the ministers for to:

making that acknowledgement? He blamed them for not sending a nobleman of distine. tion to receive “ his Majesty;” he blamed them for not paying, upon this occasio, the “honours due to Royalty ;" and yet he is shame-saced, when we infer from this that he would hi.ve had them to acknowledge the prince as king of France, to would have had them to receive Louis to king, but not to acknowledge him as his amusing distinction enough , but it was confess, much too nice for me readily to comprehend. Let us now revert a little to what has been said and done in other quarters —The Morning Post, which has now bo come rather the satirist of Louis XVIII, began very warmly in his favour. “When," said he, “’ the magnanimous emperor of the “ North was induced to thrust forth the houseless stranger upon the wide world, Britain, with the generous hospitality of a great and loyal nation, held forth of arms to receive him. Here at least he may rest assured of finding a safe and splendid retreat, undisturbed by the access of external force, or the apprehension of internal treason. Kensington Polaro, report says, is to be appropriated to the reception of the royal guest and his illus’ trio as relatives.”——The very next day, however, the writer having discovered, the it had been resolved to send the French prince to Scotland, happily discovered, at the same time, some most excellent reasons for Lot letting him have Kensington, or any

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Stranger that reception which alone it could in reason be supposed his Highness,” (Majesty is dropped, observe,) had been led to expect. Holyrood House is a royal palace, with all the privileges “ appertaining to a court annexed to it; and when it is considered, that owing to the numerous residences which are necessary for the accommodation of our own royal “family, the duchess of Brunswick, his “ Majesty's sister, is in a manner, obliged to ‘ live in lodgings, a Prince of the House of “ Bourbon cannot pretend that due respect “ is not paid to him, in the friendly tender “ of a spacious royal palace in Scotland.” Aye, sure ' What, come to turn our own family out of their houses ' What a shame ! An Englishman's house is his castle, as we all daily experience; and, if this applies to each individual of us, in common lite, how sacred ought to be the houses of the family As for voluntarily giving up their houses, and that, too, to an utter stranger, and a foreigner, no man, in his senses, would expect it. Who is there, I ask, that does such things: Do any of us give up our houses for strangers to live in 2 Do we give them up even to our blood kindred No : why, then, are we to suppose, that any of the royal dukes, for insauce, would be disposed to do it? Let any one set out upon his travels, and, exopt he happen to get amongst some of the old-fashioned settlers in America, he may travel to the world's end without finding any Que to give him bed or board for nothing. Nay, is there a scrubby public-house, wherein to sleep is impossible and to lie down is Worse than to sit up, the landlord, or, rather, the keeper, of which will not make You pay even for a sight of his fire. And, *re there, nevertheless, persons, who Would expect our royal family to tura cut of oir dwellings to make room for Louis XVIII, a man to whom they are not at all related, and who, as far as I am able to conJoture, is not likely to be in a condition to “Poy them, either in money or in kind? N-But, though I heartly agree with the

oning Post in scouting the idea of any of **y giving up their houses to a stran. I must ask him, how he came, only

**y before, to tell us, that Kensington

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

done on our part to afford to the Royal

Palace was destined to receive that stranger ? “ He was misinformed.” Very true; but, he did not speak of the thing as absurd or incredible. He saw no impropriety in it; and related the fact with great apparent satisfaction. It was not until the next day, that he discovered the want of room in our English palaces, owing to the populousness of our own royal family. Now, for my part, the moment I heard of the thing, I said, that I was certain there would be no room for him in any of those palaces. I laughed at the idea, and I cannot help thinking, that I was heartily joined by the persons who would have been most interested in soch an arrangement. “ The uncertainty of human affairs,” says this writer, “by exposing “ every individual to the possibility of a reverse in the changes and chances of this mortal life, generates an impulse in the “ human breast, that excites a lively sympa“ thy in the sufferings of our fellow crea“tures. What we should expect, or de“ sire from others, in the hour of calamity, “we are prompt to afford at the moment of “ their distress. This feeling is so essential “ to social beings, so interwoven in our na“ture, and so inseparable from any idea of “ relative existence, that the man who is “ devoid of it, though he may wear the human form, must be an alien in the ‘ great scheme of society."——Who would suppose, that this was the exordium to an essay, intended to convince the public, that it was perfectly right to refuse Louis XVIII an apartment in one of our English palaces? Mind, I do not say, that it was not right; but, why, then, this exordium ? Why, then, these very intelligible hints? The fact is, I verily believe, that the essay was begun under the preceding day's persuasion, that the French prince was to be lodged at Kensington Palace; and, when the contrary became known to the writer, he could not, for the life of him, sacrifice an inch of writing, containing, too, reflections so philosophical, and, withal, so very new ; so on he fixed it as the head to an essay, the object of which was to convince us, that Louis XVIII. was, by no means, an object of our compassion, or our sympathy.——After this, however, at the end of five days, this writer, who had treated the idea of acknowledging Louis as king of France, with great contempt, appears to be a little startled at a report of his being disposed to abdicate his title and its adpertaining claims. ‘A supposition,” says, he, “ has gone forth, that Louis XVIII “ has arrived in this country for the pur“ pose of consulting our government

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »