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it establish manufactures ? Can it, by mere legislative acts, give the people education, teach them the ruinous folly of improvident marriages, or instruct them in the benefit, to themselves, of upholding instead of braving and outraging the laws ? Can a legislature, in short, by the mere exercise of its supreme authority in the framing of laws, remove diseases deep-seated in the frame and constitution of society? Gradually and by repeated trials, in a long course of time ; by a close attention to the peculiar habits of the people and circumstances of the country ; by a strict investigation of abuses, so conducted that punishment shall invariably follow detection; by a union of kindness, mildness, and conciliation, with vigor and severity where these are required ; parliament, in conjunction with the executive, may guide the course of events, which, when something is not radically and obstinately wrong, has always a tendency towards improvement. But Parliament and Government must be seconded by those whose station gives them the power of useful co-operation. For let it never be forgotten, that legislative acts, if not forwarded and aided by the society for which they are framed, are laws written in sand. The gentry of Ireland must learn, that on them chiefly and finally it depends, whether their country shall advance in the progress of civilisation, or whether it shall stand still or move backward, an anomaly in Europe, a disgrace to England, and a torment to themselves. They have called for rigorous measures, and have obtained them. They were justified in the demand by the fearful nature of the crisis. But let not the delusion prevail, that measures of rigor, just and necessary for the immediate repression of crimes that threatened the loss of every thing for preserving which society was formed, will of themselves prevent a recurrence of the evil. This wretched people must suffer; because, though they suffer for misconduct of which others are at least partially or remotely the occasion, the delinquency is also theirs, and must not be encouraged by impunity. But the causes which have led to their
present state, so miserable in moral habits as well as physical existence, must be removed, or property and life will be secure only when guarded by the bayonet. Will the upper ranks in Ireland consider their perilous situation ? will they continue blind to their own obvious interests ? What will become of the property which even the bayonet can protect, when charged with the maintenance of a military police ? and what will become of their lives without it, if the condition of the people remain the same?
Let them leave to the wretched peasant some little interest in the land which he cultivates. Let them expunge from their accounts those arrears which no 66 amendment of the times” can enable the tenant to discharge. Let them encourage some system of
education accommodated to the religious prejudices of the people. If offered in a spirit of fairness and candor, it would be received with warm support by the great body of the Roman Catholic clergy; and the cavils which the ingenuity of a few captious bigots might raise, would be lost in the consciousness of the blessings which such a system must ensure. Let them, by the formation of associations, or some other means, watch the administration of justice by the magistracy, that is, by themselves; and give their countenance, and even lend their assistance, towards investigating abuses, where they are charged. Let them direct their most strenuous exertions to the extinction of quarter-sessions intrigue. Let them, by their influence over their tenantry and dependents, enforce the prosecution of every outrage, and, by encouraging appeals to the ordinary tribunals, and bringing the peasant into frequent contact with the laws, inspire both a fear and a confidence of their steady execution. Above all, let those of large property and high station study the lower orders ; learn to understand their character, and know their real condition ; and endeavor to develope and improve the one, to relieve and ameliorate the other. If they will but do their part, sooner or later the government and the legislature will perform theirs. When these shall have cut out from the heart of the body politic some cancerous sores which spread a poisoning influence through the whole frame; when the Irish gentry shall heartily second such measures, and shall attend even to the objects which I have here briefly sketched ; some hope may be entertained, that Ireland may at length become an enlightened, civilised, prosperous, and happy nation.
L'essai que je présente au public méritait d'être traité par une main plus exercée. Outre la difficulté de m'exprimer dans une langue qui n'est pas la mienne, j'ai été forcé, par quelques circonstances impérieuses, d'improviser ce faible travail. Ces deux grands inconvénients ont eu encore une plus grande influence sur moi par la position critique où se trouve ma nation, et qui absorbe toute mon attention.
Certes, ce n'est pas quand on a le coeur navré du malheur de son pays, et quand on tremble pour
l'existence de tout ce qui est le plus cher à un homme social, qu'on peut écrire avec quelque perfection, et présenter ses idées dans un ordre convenable et digne du sujet qu'on traite. J'cse cependant affirmer que je n'ai pas avancé un seul fait dont je ne sois témoin oculaire, ou sur lequel je n'aie pris tous les renseignements possibles.
C'est d'après ces données qu'on a droit de me juger. J'espère que le public français pardonnera les fautes du langage à un Grec qui a étudié en Turquie la langue française.