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is the question of Tithes in Ireland. Knowing as we know, SupremeFather, the difficulty of obtaining correct information on those complicated questions respecting the policy of a foreign country, on which the inhabitants themselves are much divided in opinion, we have despaired of giving you a complete view of this subject. Fortunately, however, we have been visited yesterday by a dignified ecclesiastic, the Dean of —, who came to us in order to learn the names of the best restaurateurs of Paris, whither he immediately departs. After giving him the benefit of our lights on this subject, we have taken the liberty of requesting him to communicate to us some knowledge respecting this difficult question, and he readily gratified our wishes. The Brother A- has taken notes of the conversation which passed between the Dean and our brother B—.
Brother B. Pray, Sir, what is this matter of Irish tithes, about which all the world speaks?
The Dean. The matter is very simple; the rascally Papists will pay no tithes.
Brother B. That is very extraordinary. How can they expect the clergy to work without pay?
The Dean. They don't want them to work at all: there is nothing a bigoted Papist hates so much as contributing to the support of the Protestant Church.
Brother B. Oh! then the Papists only refuse to contribute to the support of the Protestant Church!
The Dean. Only!—why, how the-how, I mean, can the Church get on without the Papists contributing their share? Musn't the Church be upheld?
Brother B. Oh! assuredly; all Churches should be upheld. Of course you make the Protestants contribute to the support of the Catholic clergy?
The Dean. Indeed we do no such wickedness. What! shall we uphold error and idolatry? No, my dear Sir, we have given these miserable, blinded Papists the pure doctrine of the Church of England; and they ought to be too happy to pay for it. It is the law of the land that they should pay tithes, and they must be made to do it, by fair means or foul. Did you not hear Mr. Stanley and Lord Grey? Brother B. No; but I have heard speak of their discourses. Do they explain this subject?
The Dean. Mr. Stanley's speech should be studied by every true Christian. He is indeed, not only a highly talented, but a wellintentioned, honourable-minded young man. He is the best of the Ministry; and indeed, though he is obliged to vote with them in support of their present mischievous course of policy, we cannot help thinking that he secretly condemns it, and would oppose it, were he not in office.
Brother B. He must indeed be an honourable man.
The Dean. His speech on the Tithe Question did him great honour. We had been much alarmed at the allusion to the subject in the King's Speech; and were afraid that Stanley might have been induced by his colleagues, and the infamous Liberal Press, to look at the question merely with a view to the relief of the distressed peasantry. But he stood firm: he made no sacrifice of principles to
expediency: not a syllable did he say of the distress of the peasantry: he looked after that of the clergy, and proposed only to relieve them.
Brother B. But in France, we have been taught to think that the peasantry of Ireland were even more distressed than their clergy.
The Dean. The state of things is sadly changed. These rascally Papists have effected a combination against the payment of tithes, so that the clergy now get nothing. Can you, my dear Sir, conceive any thing more disgusting than the spectacle of a brutal peasantry rioting in the plunder of an oppressed clergy?-lolling on their flockbeds, quitting their simple fare of sea-weed, and gorging themselves with potatoes-sheltered in cool cottages of mud, where they have the pleasure of seeing their pigs lodged by their side-some of them arraying themselves in garments little inferior to those worn by the beggars in this country, and earning all these blessings by only working sixteen hours a-day-and at the same time grudging the venerable clergy, by whose ministry they refuse to profit, the consolation of a moderate income! They do not indeed openly resist the admirable laws framed by our wise Legislature, and enforced by our unconquerable dragoons, but the hard-hearted peasant cuts out the word "Tithes" on his last blanket, or the hairs of his cow, when they are distrained by the venerable parson; and no men will buy any goods that are branded with this fearful name. I have been warm, Sir, I fear, and spoken somewhat at length; but my indignation at the atrocious conduct of these despoilers of the Church makes me forget myself.
Brother B. I assure you, Sir, I am filled with the deepest disgust at what you have told me. And the clergy are reduced to the brink of poverty?
The Dean. Ah! as we used to say at Eton
"Quis talia fando
Myrmidonum Dolopumve aut duri miles Ulyssis
Have you not heard of the woes of Dr. Butler, which were so pathetically described by Mr. Stanley?
Brother B. Not a word. Was he greatly oppressed?
The Dean. Judge for yourself. He is a learned man, who, with all the advantages of a University education, consented to bury himself in Ireland, and devote himself to the people. Such was his energy that he took charge of fourteen parishes, for which he was moderately paid by 3000l. a-year.
Brother B. Mon Dieu! he had a great capacity!
The Dean. You may conceive how arduous was his task, when I tell you that in these fourteen parishes he had no congregation, and therefore was forced to labour to convert the whole of the diffident population. But he laboured with zeal in his vineyard. He could not, it is true, convert the misguided Papists, but he took their tithes. Last year some of his officers were killed by the people. This year, by the means which I have described to you, he has been defrauded of his all! His generous hospitality (no one gave better claret) has been entirely stopped: he has been obliged to part with his carriage and horses: his daughters have been forced to sell their piano, and the whole family are now
Brother B. Starving!-O Dieu !—What horror!
The Dean. No-but are waited on by one maid-servant! This is indeed a state of things which, as Mr. Stanley said, cannot last. Brother B. And what do you propose to do?
The Dean. Alas! what can we do? Mr. Stanley is well inclined, and says that the clergy must be paid: so say the Lords' Committee; but they both talk of extinguishing tithes! Lord Grey made a noble speech, in which he declared his determination to enforce the payment of tithes; but he has been bullied out of it. Never indeed was there so unfortunate a speech for the Church; it only gave occasion for all the rascally newspapers to run open-mouthed at us, and show that the damned public opinion is set in most confoundedly against us. Brother B. It would have been rather difficult, would it not, to enforce the payment of tithes, since all the Irish refused to do was to buy the distrained goods? I don't see how the whole army of England could force them to buy.
The Dean. Oh! they should be forced, and shall be forced! We will see whether these Papists shall be allowed to beard the English people with impunity!
Brother B. What then, do you think the people of England will compel the Irish to pay tithes?
The Dean. Ah! I fear I have been too sanguine. Between ourselves, I think the English are but too ready to follow the example of the Irish, and stop the supplies of their own clergy. We live in sad times, my dear Sir, and it is therefore our duty to enjoy the passing hour. I hope to be dining at the freres provençaux before the end of the week.
So saying, he wished us good-morning; and we were left to meditate on the practical workings of a religion of peace and good-will to men! The English often boast, with affected humility, of their oldfashioned attachment to religion. Truly, Supreme Father, it is an old-fashioned religion enough! It seems to bear the date of the Crusade against the Albigenses.
But we have already occupied too long your valuable time. Your children salute you, Supreme Father, and desire the good wishes of their brethren:
We have made inquiries respecting the execution of the Bishop, which created so lively a sensation in this country at the beginning of the winter. We find that we were led into an excusable error by the circumstance happening so soon after the rejection of the Reform Bill by the Lords, and the display of popular indignation which marked the catastrophe of the criminals. It was not one of the Bishops who voted in the House of Lords: it was a particular named Bishop, a musical composer, who was hanged for murdering an Italian, of whose superiority he was jealous: and the people hissed him on the scaffold, to mark their disapprobation of his operas-a good sign of the national taste!
SIR RALPH ESHER. BY LEIGH HUNT.
THIS in many respects is a delightfully written book. It abounds in eloquent passages, in knowledge of history, and in wit which would be more striking if less subtle. The style is not free from many great and wilful blemisheswilful because they are blemishes designedly made; and the plot, though we are carried on by the charm of the writer's genius, in less able hands, would seem at once insipid and improbable. But they who resort to these volumes for its picture of an age of wit, and gaiety, and humour, will find it given with more vivacity of colouring and accuracy of detail than has been attempted in any work of fiction in our time. We have the accomplished heroes and heroines of the pages of Evelyn, Grammont, and Pepys, drawn down from their bookcitadels, and made our familiar companions. We sit down with them to an "ordinary of fine discourse," worked up of the literary anecdotes of the time, given with life, spirit, and connexion, and seasoned with delicate and nervous criticism. On the last-mentioned score Mr. Hunt may lay claim to rare excellence, for we believe no man has a better knowledge of the literature of that day, or a finer perception of its beauties. And no man uses his knowledge better. Out of his hands a literary anecdote comes with the air and value of a novel and important truth.
Sir Ralph Esher is a fictitious auto-biography, invested with all the assistance that could be given it in the way of verisimilitude. Mr. Hunt deservedly prides himself on having done his best, in the very smallest matters, to go counter to no fact which may be gathered from an attentive perusal of histories and memoirs. We scarcely think, however, that the histories will bear Mr. Hunt out in the liberties he has taken with Nell Gwynne's early life; at least, not in the colouring he has given it; for we acquit him, with all our heart, of voluntary misrepresentation. But we, and all the rest of the world, have had but one single, indivisible idea of Nell Gwynne, as of a handsome, lively, slatternly, unrestrained, off-hand sort of person, as little encumbered with refinements as Charles the Second could have wished a mistress to be; and though we acknowledge that more delicate men than his Majesty might have seen something to like in her good-heartedness, (which is a sort of natural refinement,) yet we must confess that the boarding-school breeding which Mr. Hunt has given her, produces an effect on the mind resembling a violation of truth, and disturbs the pre-conceived and popular notions of her, to a degree amounting to the preposterous.
Esher's early life is exceedingly well told. We have his fine young hearty enthusiasm for books and authors: his visit to Cowley, his readings of Suckling, Carew, and Waller, his fancied Chlorises and Dorises, Sacharissas and Venuses; with a world of love on his hands, and nobody to make it to. We cannot enter into any detailed account, nor dwell on the force, freedom, and fancy, with which the habits and manners of the Court of Charles the Secondare hit off by his young Courtier. Nor is his pen less skilful in blending tears with smiles, for in the midst of the gay licentiousness of a laughing and reckless Court, he keeps up our faith in gentle and innocent affection. There is no characteristic in Mr. Hunt's writings more admirable than this. He shall describe you an age of unbounded licence-an age in which profligacy takes the lead of every better impulse-an age of versatile lovers and mercurial statesmen-of arrant rogues and hardened libertines, his pages shall flutter with nothing more weighty than gauze, or silk, or ribbands-and yet, in the midst of all this, (trifling in the hands of a less skilful author,) Mr. Hunt manages to keep up an undertone of wisdom and goodness, in their best and most engaging assurances. His lightest sketches are the result of a fine fancy playing with its sunny beams on images of truth and beauty, and bringing them out in an elegant and graceful aspect. He works on truth always, and shows it to us in its most hopeful shape. With him humanity is an active principle, alert always, always expecting the fulfilment of its hopes, and anticipating, by the better and healthier instincts of youth, the last wisdom age can come to. He has ever had trust in
the sunny side of life, his writings have been a continual effort to discover all that is good and pleasant in the world about us; and in the midst of anxieties and troubles which have had no parallel, we believe, even in the history of letters, he has supported this virtuous and manly disposition, and inculcated it with a spirit that no calamity has been able to take away.
Mr. Leigh Hunt has been known for upwards of twenty years as a public writer of high and distinguished talents, he has undergone all the bitter anxieties of a life devoted to letters,-and is now, we regret to hear, borne down by the pressure of ill health, and embarrassed circumstances. An appeal is being made to the friends of literature, not, we hope and believe, in vain. Let Sir Ralph Esher be allowed to plead for its kind-hearted author, to all those who yet want that additional argument to engage in the friendly and benevolent plan. It will speak to the unaffected goodness of feeling-to the tenderness of fancy-to the constant glow of kind and pure affection, which characterise the writings of Mr. Hunt. It may induce them to think that it is they who receive, not give, the kindness, in assisting to raise an honest and able man from a hard crisis of undeserved misfortune.
The above notice with which we have been furnished affords us an opportunity of stating that a proposal has been set on foot to publish Mr. Leigh Hunt's poetical works by subscription,—they will be corrected by himself, and contain a New Poem, in two cantos, the first of any length he has written for many years. To their honour be it said, men of the most opposite politics have united on this common ground of literary fellowship-the names of Coleridge, Wordsworth, Southey, Sharon Turner, and D'Israeli, are to be met in juxta-position with those of Lords Holland, Dover, Mulgrave, and John Russell, Francis Jeffrey, Macauley, Sheil, Bowring, the venerable Godwin, and Thomas Campbell. Yet as our work chiefly comes under the notice of men attached to the more liberal politics, we will not scruple to remind them, that one of the firmest, staunchest, most enduring friends to liberty, one true to her cause in poverty and in prison, has been that Man who now appeals-not to charity but to justice. Let us who hail the coming victory of Reform, who" share the triumph and partake the gale," remember those who, in the hour of trial, were staunch when the world was lukewarm, and to whose silent, patient, unbought exertions, we owe that advance in public opinion which we now celebrate. Ours is the victory, but theirs the honour! E. L. B.
BY THE AUTHOR OF CORN-LAW RHYMES."
AGAIN the violet of our early days
Drinks beauteous azure from the golden sun,
And kindles into fragrance at his blaze;
The streams, rejoic'd that winter's work is done,
Wild apple, thou art blushing into bloom!
Thy leaves are coming, snowy-blossom'd thorn!
Wake, buried lily! spirit, quit thy tomb!
And thou, shade-loving hyacinth, be born!
Then, haste, sweet rose! sweet woodbine, hymn the morn,
Each grassy blade that thick embattled stands
From sea to sea, while daisies infinite
Uplift in praise their little glowing hands,
hill that under heav'n expands.
March. VOL. XXXIV. NO. CXXXV.