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BOOK XIII. to be found only in the exertions of the upper peace, but with the lurking view of inviting at. classes. He had often heard it sneeringly ob
tacks from the ribbonmen, confident that, armed rar. VH. served of the Irish character, that, contrary to all as they are, they must overcome defeneeless op
other countries, they had become more barbarous ponents, and put them down. Murders have been 1814.
as they increased in that wealth and those com repeatedly perpetrated upon such occasions; and,
, societies, have produced most mischievous effects; at the public expense,
Such abuses shake the and particularly in the north of Ireland. They very foundation of the law: they ought to be poison the very fountains of justice; and even checked. Superadded to these mischiefs, are the some magistrates, under their influence, have, in permanent and occasional absentee landlords, too many instances, violated their duty and their residing in another country, not known to their oaths. I do not hesitate to say, that all associa- tenantry, but by their agents, who extract the tions of every description, in this country, whether uttermost penny of the value of the lands. If a of orangement or ribbonmen, whether distinguish- lease happens to fall in, they set the farm by ed by the colour of orange or of green, all com- public auction to the highest bidder. binations of persons, bound to each other (by the tude for past services, no preference of the fair obligation of an oath) in a league for a common offer, no predilection for the ancient tenantry, (be purpose, endangering the peace of the country, 1. they ever so deserving ;) but, if the highest price be pronounce them to be contrary to law. And not acceded to, the depopulation of an entire tract should it ever come before me to decide
upon the of country ensues.
Whiat then is the wretched question, I shall not hesitate to send up bills of peasant to do? Chased from the spot where he indictment to a grand jury against the individuals, had first drawn his breath, where he had first members of such an association, wherever I can seen the light of heaven, incapable of procuring find the charge properly sustained. Of this I am any other means of existence. Vexed with those certain, that, so long as those associations are exactions I have enumerated, and harassed by permitted to act in the lawless manner they do, the payment of tytbes, can we be surprised that a there will be no tranquillity in this country and peasant, of unenlightened mind, of uneducated particularly in the north of Ireland. There, those, habits, should rush upon the perpetration of crimes, disturbers of the public peace, who assume the followed by the punishment of the rope and the name of orange yeomen, frequent the fairs and gibbet? Nothing (as the peasantry imagine) remarkets, with arms in their hands, under the pre- mains for them, thus harassed and thus destitute
, tence of self-defence, or of protecting the public but with strong hand to deter the stranger from
intruding npon their farms; and to extort from been refrained from acts of violence to prevent BOOK XII. the weakness and terrors of their landlords (from exactions. But if every man in the bigher ranks whose gratitude or good feelings they have failed of life would individually exert himself, it would Cuar. VII. to win it), a kind of preference for their ancient be easy to come at the root of all those evils of tenantry..
1814. which we complained. To effect this, the great "Such, gentlemen, bave been the causes which and opulent landholder, instead of standing at his I have seen thus' operating in the north of Ire- post ready at all times to support the laws of his land, and in part of the south and west. I have country and to promote its peace and prosperity, observed, too, as the consequences of those should not desert that country to spend its proOrange combinations and confederacies, men, duce in another, and leave his tenantry to the ferocious in their habits, uneducated, not knowing management of a griping agent, whose only obwbat remedy to resort to, in their despair flying ject was by misrepresentation and deception to in the face of the law; entering into 'dangerous grasp all he could for the gratification of his own and criminal counter-associations, and endeavouring to procure arms, in order to meet, upon equal “ Í should imagine,” continued bis lordship, terms, their 'rauge assailants.”
His lordship “ that the permanent absentees ought to see the observed, that the prosperity of the country policy (if no better motive can influence them) of brought mischief to the peasant; after his lauda appropriating, liberally, some part of those splenlord and bis taxes, he had the clergyman and the did revenues which they draw from this country, proctor ; the latter, wbo was paid, with execraa wbich pay no land-tax or poor's-rate, and of which tious, for an agency that was odious; and the pot a shilling is expended in this country! Is it'not former paid with reluctance by those to whom, as high time for those permanent absentees to offer a pastor, they looked for vo spiritual comfort. It some assistance, originating from themselves, out was not, his lordship. emphatically said, to be of their own private purses, towards improving and understood, that in any case the established cler, ameliorating the condition of the lower orders of gyman, got the full value of his tithes ; but it was the peasantry upon their great domains, and rennot to be wondered at that much dissatisfaction dering their lives more comfortable? Indeed, I should be excited by the tithes-farmer, who kept believe that some of them do not set up their lands to himself so great a portion of what he exacted to auction. I know that the Earl Fitzwilliam, in from the poor under the title of the clergyman. one county (Wicklow), and the Marquis of HertThis latter class. bis - Jordship said, ought, for ford, in another (Antriin), act upon enlightened their own sakes, to establish a system as moder- and liberal principles ; for, although their leases, ate as consisted with their situation ; for, surely, generally, are only leases for one life and twentyin point of personal interest, it was wise in them one years, the tenant in possession well knows, to secure a certain income by encouraging tillage that upon a reasonable advance (merely proporunder moderate charges, rather than drive the tionate to the general rise of the times), he will farmer to a system of pasturage, by which, under get his farm without rack-rent or extortion. But, the agistment law, the tithes would be lost alto, I say, that the permanent absentees ought to kuow gether. From this countenance and kindness, that it is their interest to contribute every thing from a wise liberality in the landlords, the tenantry in their power, and within the sphere of their exwould naturally be led, during the present state tensive influence towards the improvement of a of depression in the value of their produce, to country, from whence they derive such ample look for assistance and eneouragement; and the revenue and solid benefits. Instead of doing so, landlords could not well set up any argument to how do many of them act? They often depute resist this appeal to their consideration, when they their managers upon the grand jury of the county. reflected on the failure of the corn-bill, to the pro- This manager gets his jobs done without question tection of which the farmer bad looked with so or interruption; his roads, and bis bridges, and much hope and anxiety. But no man on these his park-walls, all are conceded. accounts, or any of them, was to violate the laws:"For my part, I am wholly at a loss to conceive and it was only by the exertions of such men as how those permanent absentees can reconcile it he then addressed, that the advantages and bless to their, feelings, or to their interests, to remain ings of that peace and obedieuce were to be ex silent spectators of such a state of things, or how pected, in the improvement of which they had no they can forbear to raise their voices in behalf of excuse for apathy or relaxation. In other coun- . their unhappy country, and attempt to open the ties, his lordship-said, he found also that mur eyes of our English neighbours; who, generally murs and discontent arose from the conduct of speaking, know about as much of the Irish as the clergy, not of the established church, looking they do of the Hindoos, . Does a visitor come to for an increase of those voluntary contributions Ireland, to compile a book of travels, what is bis from wbich they derived their only support; and course! He is handed about from one country
BOOK XIII. from him the true state of the country ; he passes former became haneful only when it brought an
from squire to squire, each rivalling the other in over-vigilance of power into action to administer Chap. VII. entertaining their guest, all busy in pouring false to some private purpose; when men cram the
boods into his ears, touching the disturbed state of gaols with their miserable fellow.creatures, merely 1814.
the country, and the vicious habits of the people. to show the extravagance of their loyalty. Nós Such is the crusade of information upon which thing, said his lordship, could beget amongst the the English traveller sets forward; and he returns multitude a proper respect for the laws, more than to his own country with all his unfortunate pre
the observation that the scales of justice were too judices doubled and confirmed, in a kind of mo steadily and firmly placed to be warped by any ral despair of the welfare of such a wicked race, httle feelings of cabal or party. But of the two having made
his mind that nothing ought to descriptions of men to whom he alluded, be did not be done for this lawless and degraded country. know whether the apathy of the one, or the vigiAnd, indeed, such an extravagant excess have lance of the other, was more criminal or mischievthose intolerant opinions of the state of Ireland His lordsbip earnestly recommended a attained, that I shall not be surprised to hear of striet frugality in the admeasuring of those public some political projector coming forward, and re burdens which it was compulsory for them to lay novating the obsolete ignorance and the preju- upon the country; and not a shilling which was dices of a Harrington, who, in his Oceana, calls not imperiously called fur, would, he hoped, be the people of Ireland an untameable race; declar- imposed by them: be trusted that not a single ing, that they ought to be exterminated, and the pound would be raised upon the country to gra. country colonized by Jews; that thus the state tify that vile spirit of jobbing, which he had witof this island would be bettered, and the com nessed in other counties; but, on the contrary, merce of England extended and improved. that the gentlemen whom he addressed would be
“Gentlemen, I will tell you what those absen- governed by the most conscientious scruple in tees ought particularly to do; they ought to pro- levying the public inoney, and by the minutest mote the establishment of houses of refuge, houses scrutiny in inquiring into its fair and just expenof industry, school-bouses, and set the example diture. This part of their duty was one, bis upon their own estates, of building decent cot- lordship said, in which the capacity even of the tages, so that the Irish peasant may bave, at least, peasant was capable of forming a proper estimate; the comforts of an English sow' for an Eng- and every man's reason would point out to him lish farmer would refuse to eat the flesh of a hog where grants were made for the purpose of public 50 lodged and fed as an Irish peasant is. Are convenience and accommodation, or to put money the farms of an English landbolder out of lease, into the private pockets of individuals ; for it was or his cottages in a state of dilapidation, he impossible that the peasant should not feel at rebuilds every one of them for his tenants, or he the means which should administer to the hunger covenants to supply them with materials for the and nakedness of his children, being diverted to purpose. But how are matters conduoted in this any of those improper purposes, or submit to the country? Why, if there is a house likely to fall discontented sentiment, that all law was made into ruins, upon an expiring lease, the new rack against him, and no law for him. Let him, said rent tenant must rebuild it himself: and can you his lordship, have, from bodies such as you, the wonder if your plantations are visited for the protection he claims at your hands, and no such purpose, or if your young trees are turned into unworthy idea will ever arise in his mind. Let plough-handles, spade-handles, or roofs for their him see that all public grants are for public cabirs? They are more than Egyptian task- purposes, and to promote general intercourse, masters, who call for bricks without furnishing a and you encourage him to bear up against his supply of straw. Again, I say, that those occa burdens. His lordship was glad to bear testimony, sional absentees ought to come home, and not that he no where found, accompanying the most remain abroad, resting upon the local manager, disgraceful outrages, any thing like a conspiracy a species of locum tenens upon the grand jury. against the government, or a correspondence They should reside upon their estates, and come with that great bad power whose state was fallen, forward with every possible improvement for the be boped, never to rise again. His lordsbip di. country." His lordship then proceeded to ob rected the most particular attention of the grand serve, that, it was to inen such as he was address- jury to the subject of private distillation.ing that it particularly belonged to have a close * From this source, a dreadful torrent of evils and watchful eye on the conduct of the magis- and crimes bas flowed upon our land. The ex. tracy, in the exercise of those powers wbich, in cessive increase of rents had induced many perfact, superseded the old constitution. They were sons to bid rents for their farms, which they knew on the spot, and could trace every mischief that they could not fairly or properly discharge ; but arose from zeal or supineness. The latter was, they flattered themselves, that, in the course of in all cases, reprehensible and disgraceful : the years, the value of those farms would rise still
higher, and that thus they might ultimately ac illicit spirits produced an increased consuinption BOOK XIII. quire beneficial interests. In the mean time, they of grain for their benefit. The resident gentry of have had recourse to illicit distillation, as the the county, generally, winked with both their Cuap. VII. means of making good their rents. Hence the eyes at this practice, and why? because it brought public revenue has been defrauded to the amount home to the doors of their tenantry a market for
1814. of millions. Nay, it is a fact, that at one period their corn; and consequently increased the rents not far back, there was not a single licensed dis of their lands; besides, they were themselves tillery in an entire province, namely, the north consumers of those liquors, and in every town and west circuit, where the consumption of spirituous village there was an unlicensed house for retailliquors is, perhaps, called for by the coldness and ing them. This consumption of spirits produced humidity of the climate. The old powers of the such pernicious effects, that at length the execulaw having proved unavailing, the legislature was tive powers deemed it high time to put an end to compelled to enact new laws, which, though the system. The consequence was, that the peoclashing with the very first principles of evidence ple, rendered ferocious by the use of those liquors, under our happy constitution, were yet called for and accustomed to lawless habits, resorted to by the exigency of the times,-laws, which qua- force, resisted the laws, opposed the military, and lify a prosecutor to be as a witness in bis own hence bave resulted riots, assaults, and murders." cause. If he feared not the consequences of per- His lordship again adverted to the situation of the jury, he gained the suit, and put the money into lower orders, and the ample means possessed by his pocket. Hence, a kind of bounty was ueces the higher classes of ameliorating their condition; sarily tendered to false-swearing; and we all know and of rendering them at home as valuable for the revenue-folk are not very remarkable for a the domestic virtues of peace and industry, as scrupulous feeling in such cases. These oaths they were eminent and exemplary in every other were answered again by the oaths of the parties country for their bravery, their generosity, and charged, who, in order to avoid the fine, denied their talent. Unfortunately, said his lordship, the existence of any still upon their lands. Thus bitherto there had been a concurrence of too bave I witnessed trials, where, in my judgment, many causes to brutalize the Irish character, and the revenue-officer, who came to impose the fine, we think ourselves justified in treating them as was perjured, the witnesses who came to avert it, brutes. Instead of feeling surprise at finding perjured, and the petty jury, who tried the cause, them so wild, so thoughtless, and so ungovernable perjured, for they declined to do their duty, be as they were, the wonder seemed to be that their cause they were, or might be, interested in the character was not worse. event; or because the easy procurement of those
American War.- Preliminary Remarks.—Correspondence between the British and American
Governments.-Governor Strong's Speech in Massachusets. -- Retreat of the American Army from Lover Canada.-Pursued by the British.—Defeat of the Americans at Odell-town.—Repeal of the Embargo and Non-importation Acts.-Extension of the Blockade of the American Coasts by the British.-Capture of the American Frigate Essex.-Fort Oswego stormed by the British. Repulse of the British at Sandy Creek.-Capture of the Reindeer by the Americans.-State of the American Navy._Remarks.-President's Proclamation respecting Neutral Vessels.—Admiralty Official Paper.- Preparations of the British for carrying on the War with Vigour.–Part of Lord Wellington's Army sent to Canada.--Invasion of that Country by the Americans.-Battle near Fort Erie, which is taken by them.-Defeat of the Americans near the Falls of Niagara, by General Drummond.Capture of the Islands in Passamaquoddy Bay.- Hostages for Retaliation mutually exchanged.
We must turn our attention from Europe to the was not viewed with that degreeofimportance which United States of America. While the contest with it deserved. The continuance of the war, however, Bonaparte continued, the warfare between that was of serious injury to both countries, and parcountry and Great Britain was little thoughtof; and ticularly to Great Britain. In the United States
BOOK XIII, many classes, who at its commencement had been Massachusets on the 12th of January, distinctly hostile to it, became reconciled to its continuance; expressed the desire for peace, and the disappro
. Crap. VIII. the merchants and ship-owners, whose interests had bation of the reasons for war alleged by the go.
been cut up by the interruption of commerce, re vernment of the United States, which from ibe 1814.
ceived an adequate compensation by the richness first were the prevailing sentiments in this part of and number of the captares which they made; America. 55 The friends of peace," said the goand in consequence of the interruption of trade vernor, are accused of being under British inwith Britain, many new manufactures were set on fuence, but their accusers ought to reflect whefoot, and old ones improved, which afforded em ther partialities of an opposite kind have pot proployment and wealth to a great number who suf duced the evils we suffer ; and whether, if our fered at the commencement of the war. The conduct towards both belligerents had been imAmerican government was aware, however, that partial, a war with either would have been thought if the contest was carried on much longer, it necessary. We had assumed the character of a would entail on the United States burdens which neutral vation ; but had we not violated the duthe inhabitants in their stage of society would ties imposed by that character ? Had not every neither be disposed nor able to hear. For this subject of complaint against one belligerent been reason, and being conscious of the inferiority of amply displayed, and those against the other contheir military force to the British, they began to cealed or palliated? It has indeed been sug. think of making peace, and for that purpose pro- gested, that we have no connection with France posed the mediation of the Emperor of Russia, in regard to the war; but when France and Engwhich we have noticed in Book XI.; but which land were engaged in a most arduous struggle
, was objected to by the British government. and we interfered and assaulted one of them, will
The correspondence which took place on this any mau doubt our intention to assist the occasion between the British secretary of state, other ?” Lord Castlereagh, and the American secretary, Intelligence of the battle of Leipsic, and the Mr. Monroe, was laid before Congress by the evacuation of Germany by the French army, arpresident, on the 7th of January. Lord Castle- rived in America in the beginning of this year, reagh's letter enclosed a note from Lord Cathcart, and caused a wonderful sensation amongst the British ambassador to the Emperor of Russia, ad- republicans. It was celebrated by the federalists
, dressed to the Count de Nesselrode, in which he however, in almost every town' throughout the mentioned that the prince-regent had been in Union. formed of the arrival of the American commis The following notice appeared in the Annapolis sioners in Russia, and though
he found reason to paper: -"The deliverance of Germany is effecteddecline the mediation of the Emperor of Russia theemancipation of Europe is secured-national inin the discussions with the United States, yet dependence is established—we are saved from the being sincerely desirous of terminating the war chains prepared for us, which the sinister views of between Great Britain and America, he was ready suine among us, and the infatuation of many, were to nominate plenipotentiaries for treating directly ready to rivet. These auspicious events ought to with them, and would prefer that the conferences fill the bearts of all true patriots and philanthroshould be held in London, but if that were ob- pists with joy and exultation. They ought to be jected to, he would consent to substitute Gotten celebrated by the friends of freedom, as the second burgh. Lord Castlereagh then said, that the birth of our independence as the final coming of American commissioners having declared their that day which dawned in Russia. For the perreadiness to treat in London, he had transmitted formance of this duty, equally sacred and delight this proposal by a flag of truce, and that the Bri- ful, it has been resolved by some of the friends of tish admiral on the Amcrican station would be national independence and American liberty, not ready to give the necessary protection to any per at Annapolis, where the glad tidings were first resons sent by the United States in furtherance of ceived, to assemble at that place, on Tuesday, the the overture. The reply of Mr. Monroe, after 18th of January next, and celebrate, by a public expressing the president's regret at the new ob- expression of their joy and thankfulness, this sig, stacle which had arisen to the negociations for nal, and, as it inay be justly hoped, final triumph peace, and giving reasons why the mediation of of the cause of mankind. All who partake of the the Emperor of Russia had been the ght advisa- sentiments wbich give rise to this celebration are ble, finally conveyed the president's ce sent to the invited to join in it. Suitable arrangements will proposal, and made election of Gotteeburgh for be made by a committee appointed for the purthe place of conference.
At this period, the war was still very unpopular The American army, under Gereral Wilkinson, in some parts of the United States. The speech continued to occupy its position in the beginning made by Governor Strong to the legislature of of February on the frontier of Lower Canada, at