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ing the Eastern question; he was my star in the darkness: through his instructions I learned that there stands on the Bosphorus, a city called Constantinople, and that the Turks form the majority of the population. Now this, it must be owned, was a fact very essential to be known at the outset; with some further efforts, I might have obtained a notion of Syria and Egypt, famous countries in days of old. Alas! time was wanting to complete my parliamentary and historical education. Still nothing can efface the impressions left on my memory by an eloquence the most spirited, the most alert, and the most profuse of any of our orators; how can I forget his ingenious style of explanation and narrative, the ductility and elegance of his language, or his historic erudition, which never seemed at a loss, or unable to furnish parallels or illustrations.

Jerome having selected his model, sets to work by laying in a store of parliamentary phrases in fashion at the time, for his great speech on the subject of allowing cheese into the country, duty free, this question interesting his mountain constituency in a very sensible manner. He gets the speech by heart, but is careful to have the manuscript in his pocket when ascending into the tribune.

A glass of water was at my right hand; I drank it off mechanically, and endeavouring to steady my voice, I began. "Messieurs," said I, "permit me to address my country on a subject which deeply interests her, I speak of cheeses." At this unlucky word, a roar of laughter burst from the whole assembly. Ministers, journalists, even the very ushers, took part in the general hilarity. It was a very decided hit, so I attempted to continue, but found it impossible; the explosions of mirth drowned my voice, and some uncomplimen tary jokes began to circulate. Tired at last, I descended, but carried my precious manuscript to the office of the Moniteur, where it figured in five large columns next day, interspersed with cheers, applause, and hears. My constituents lost the cause, but I obtained in their eyes a complete success, and thus I won my field of Austerlitz.

But poor Paturot has been very fortunate hitherto, gaining distinctions and advantages which precipitate his downfal. His ill adapted and expensive medieval establishment, his parliamentary engagements, his attention to his military duties, the knavery of a head clerk, to whom the care of his neglected business was entrusted, and his loans to his great Russian Princess, all unite their evil influence, and our hero, instead of finding his caisse well filled, is obliged to borrow. He speculates in the funds, and buys an enormous amount of stock on one occasion, from seeing by chance an open letter on the table of an influential person to whom he had paid an early visit. This unlucky note bearing a date six months old, unperceived by our victim, he is ruined if the Princess cannot refund. She disappears, and is

heard of some years later as mistress of a café on the banks of the Neva, and Field Marshal Tapanowitch condescends to look after the spoons. A benevolent money lender comes now, sicut Deus ex machina, with 22,000 francs, and will not hear of interest: he merely takes a mortgage, or some French instrument similar thereto; and all would be very well, but that he can command no more ready cash, for the moment, than 6,000 francs. However he conducts Jerome into his extensive store, and there our hero is left at entire liberty to make up the deficit with curious bird cages, pipe shanks, otter-skin caps, boxes of wafers, cases of puppets, tooth-picks in hard wood of the Pacific, galvanised mouse-traps, paint-brushes, accordions, and spicy pictures. Our borrower must be difficult to please if he could not make a selection from these valuables, but in spite of this piece of good fortune, our political man of business that should never have soared beyond the province of the sonnet or feuilleton, is cast into prison, and passes through the court of bankruptcy; and here he observes, en passant, that he cannot see the wisdom of a creditor throwing his slave into prison, and thereby rendering any payment impossible. Poor Malvina, awaking from her feverish dream of high life, is once again the devoted and affectionate wife; and that we may not leave the reader with sore feelings for the sorrowful lot of the misguided but worthy pair, we are happy to say that some government appointment, of a moderate salary, is procured for them in the province, and there they are settled, at the close of the story, tolerably resigned to their destiny.

The length of our extracts leave us little space, even if we had the inclination, to draw an erudite moral from the work before us. We might conclude that persons of a poetic temperament are not the best adopted to fill commercial or political offices ; that talents or property are of little use, except the possessor enjoys in addition the blessing of sound common sense; and that people mixing in society above their rank are no better off than the earthen vessel among his brazen acquaintances in the flood but these truths are older than the times of Esop, and besides, we are convinced that little benefit is really obtained, in a worldly or moral point of view, from didactic treatises, or moral observations.**

To the list of good French Works, given in THE IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW, VOL. III. No. 11, we beg to add a pleasant novel, or rather collection of novelettes, by Pitre Chevalier, La Chambre de la Reine; La Marquise de Norville, a Languedoc story by Elié Berthet; and a truly beautiful tale by George Sand, called, Mont Revéche.

1. Tenant Compensation Bill, Ireland.-Parliamentary Session of 1853-As Brought from the Commons', and as Read a Second time in the Lords'.

2. Same Bill. As Amended by Mr. Sergeant Shee, M.P. for the County of Kilkenny.

3. Report on the Policy and Votes of the Tenant Right Party in the House of Commons during the last Session. Report made to The Tenant-League Conference, Dublin, Tuesday, October 4th, 1853.

4. Report from Her Majesty's Commissioners of Inquiry into the state of the Law aud Practice in respect to the Occupation of Land in Ireland. Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty, 1845.

THE Land Question in Ireland has been, for many years, one of the chief of what have been called the problems of Ireland's economic condition; and has been fatally prolific, not merely in our own times, but for much more than a century back, of misery and crime. So dark and dispiriting is the prestige thus acquired that it has deterred, and still does deter, many from even approaching the investigation of this question; and thereby, in all probability, has much delayed its satisfactory settlement; if it be capable, as, for our parts, we would believe and hope-against, perhaps, all rational expectation, of a complete settlement deserving to be styled conclusive.

To supply material to the reader for coming to a judgment of his own upon the matter-one of such deep interest and importance, not solely to Ireland, but, through her, to the Empire, which never can be thoroughly prosperous while Ireland is disturbed-we propose in this paper to review, as succinctly as possible, the present and the by-gone condition of the Land Question. It will be necessary, of course, to notice as part of our text, but with as much brevity as is at all consistent with a fair exposition and treatment of them, and a due consideration for their authors and public advocates, the various plans, bills, and theories on the subject, that have emanated from public writers, and from speakers in Parliament and out of it,-in office, or in opposition.

The relations between Landlord and Tenant in Ireland were thus described ten years ago, by an Englishman who had, for thirty years, been agent to large estates, both in the

North and South of Ireland; a man of conservative opinions, but unconnected with party in this country :


"The occupying tenantry are in a low state of serfage; their mode of living is low, their condition abject, their treatment haughty, their distance from any intercourse with the lords of the soil immense. In general they are handed over to the tender mercies of agents, whose chief duty is deemed to consist in the exaction, by every possible means, of the highest possible rent; his duties being regarded by his employers as fully discharged by that mere collection." (p. 16.) "There are, it is true, many honorable exceptions; but it is the general state of things of which we now treat. In a general point of view, if proofs were wanting of the utter derangement of this important relation, they would be abundantly supplied from that evidence of facts,' which presents itself to the eye and reaches the heart of every traveller in Ireland; moving him now with compassion, now with indignation, until, alas ! through the deadening powers of habit and familiarity, both his eye and his heart become more callous." (p. 22.) "However, one cannot at first behold the wretched and filthy habitations-the inadequate outbuildings-the ragged habiliments the poor food-the miserable fences-and the thousand other indications of poverty, without feeling that much-very much indeed is wrong between landlord and tenant." (p. 23.) Every writer on Ireland speaks of Exorbitant Rents,' viz., Spenser, Dean Swift, Archbishop Boulter, Rt. Hon. J. Fitzgibbon, Gordon, Newenham, Dr. Woodward, Curwen, Parliamentary Reports (with evidence) of Committees of 1825, 1830, 1832. Wakefield, the latest, says: It is an undoubted fact that, as landlords, the Irish proprietors exact more from their tenants than the same class of men in any other country'—and the close inspection of any particulars of sale of land will shew the fact. The fact is notorious, that rents in Ireland are vastly beyond any proportion of produce exacted in England." (pp. 26, 27.) "Fancy a petty lord of the soil with a bevy of bidders humbly walking after him: Well Mick,' he says to one, you hear what Pat bids for the land; now what will you advance? Why yer honor, its more than the value, but I'll give your honor three days' turf drawing.' Three days, my lad, when you know that my turf stack requires a month's fine weather.' Och, then,' says Denis, I'll not grudge yer honor a week.' By the powers, now,' says Larry, I'd give yer honor two weeks if the place would keep a horse, or a mule, or a donkey, in the way of drawing; but I'll bring yer honor a fat pig anyhow, and pay the rint of £4 an acre as punctually as any other man.' 'Larry, the land is yours."" (p. 38.) When the inevitable arrear' comes on, further demands are made in the way of personal service; and further injustice perpetrated. Thus, for instance, the unfortunate tenant is made to pay all the poor rate, by a refusal to allow any portion of it till the last penny of rent is paid; a clrcumstance neither probable nor expected. Good landlordism in Ireland has many checks, but none so powerful as ridicule. Does a landlord evince à disposition to let his land at

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moderate rents, it is endeavoured to laugh him out of his amiable weakness, and strong hints are given by other landlords, that by foolishly giving away his own property, he is indirectly lessening theirs.'

These are but a few, and not the strongest, extracts from the treatise of this English gentleman, long and intimately conversant with the state of Ireland, as regards the tenure of land. The Commissioners of Land Inquiry, appointed by the late Sir Robert Peel's Government in 1841, under the presidency of the Earl of Devon, reported in 1845, (two years later than the appearance of the work from which we have last quoted,) and their account of the state of things between landlord and tenant in Ireland, was strongly in accordance with the description given by Mr. Wiggins. Their striking language, in speaking of the cottiers and agricultural laborers of Ireland is sadly familiar to our ears. They said of them-premising that "a large proportion of the entire population comes within the designation" in question,—that

"The agricultural laborers of Ireland suffer the greatest privations and hardships; they depend upon precarious and casual employment for subsistence;-they are badly housed, badly fed, badly clothed, and badly paid for their labor;—it would be impossible to describe adequately the sufferings and privations which the cottiers, and laborers, and their families in most parts of the country endure ;-in many districts their only food is the potatoe, their only beverage water ;-their cabins are seldom a protection against the weather ;-a bed or blanket is a rare luxury;-and nearly in all their pig and their manure-heap constitute their only property ;-and finally, that they endure sufferings greater than the people of any other country in the world.”

In another part of their Report, they speak of the victims of what is known by the sadly expressive designation of "the clearance system. "It would be impossible for language to convey an idea of the state of distress to which the ejected tenantry have been reduced, or of the disease, misery, or even vice, which they have propagated in the towns wherein they have settled; so that, not only they who have been ejected have been rendered miserable, but they have carried with them, and have aggravated that misery."

See Wiggin's "Monster Misery of Ireland," Dublin, 1843. See also the Devon Commission Report.

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