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Mac Mahon and Mac Artmoyle offered to. submit, but neither could be received with out the other's head.
“ I have, it seems," says Lord Mount joy, “ made some of them put themselves in blood already; I hear that Lord Mountgarrett's sons have killed some of Cloncare's and some of Tyrrill's followers: since I contested with their father, about somewhat I heard suspicious of them."'* .
A singular account may be seen in the Paccata Hibernia, related by Sir G. Carew, of the attempt he made to assassinate the Sugan Earl, and his brother, by means of their friend Nugent. The plot failed, but it had the effect of sowing mistrust among the chieftains ; and as they never retaliated on the Lord Deputy or Lord President, it became a received tactic in the warfare of those days.
And now came the triumph of power.
“ The multitude, (as Sir J. Davis informs us) being brayed, as it were in a mortar, with the sword, pestilence, and famine,
* When any of the Irish procured their pardon by these means, Lord Mountjoy placed them in the posts of danger, and so got rid of them.
altogether became admirers of the crown of England.”
“ No spectacle, (says Morrison,) was more frequent in the ditches of towns, and especially in wasted countries, than to see multitudes of these poor people dead, with their mouths all coloured green, by eating nettles, docks, and all things they could rend above ground.”.
The very commanders, with some degree of inconsistency, had to hang a parcel of old women, convicted of being cannibals, after they had reduced them to the necessity of becoming so. At length Sir Arthur Chichester was eye witness to three children feeding upon the dead body of their mother; and some compunction seems to have arisen in the breasts of the English when they found nature thus outraged by the effect of their measures.
The Queen exclaimed, that she feared the same reproach might be made to her which was formerly made by Batto to Tiberius : “ It is you, you that are to blame for these things, who have committed your Aocks, not to shepherds, but to wolves.”
Even Lord Mountjoy, the author of this
system of coercion, saw its folly and repented of it. In his letters to the English lords of council, he advises sincere and per-, fect forgiveness to be granted to the Irish, complete toleration of religion, and great tenderness and liberality, in treating with the old Irish chieftains..
So that after all the waste of life and money, Lord Mountjoy had not advanced a step, but now equally felt the necessity of those wise and conciliatory measures which, if adopted at first, would have made the war unnecessary.
Lord Bacon, in a letter to Secretary Cecil, inculcates the same policy; and, with his usual good sense, objects to the too much letting of blood, (the panacea, so readily adopted by statesmen of cold hearts, and muddy understandings) and insists on the necessity of religious toleration.
It is quite terrible (and it is still more shocking that the observation should have become trite and common-place) how odious human nature appears in the re- : corded transactions of governments *. They
* The English government, in order to steel its heart against all the sufferings of the Irish, concluded that the
seem to have no huinanity, nor even good nature, and their errors seem to spring just as much from a spirit of oppression and reyenge, as from folly. Elizabeth was certainly a highly gifted princess, yet if she had never been known but by her administration in Ireland, she might fairly have been ranked among the most oppressive and yindictive tyrants that have insulted the feelings and outraged the interests of mankind.
nature of the Irish was different from that of any other people, and only to be conciliated by hard usage. Thus, they were said to be like nettles, which would not sting you if you squeezed them hard. Their very submission was considered as a symptom of rebellion, for
* Non genus ullum invenies, cui peccare
“ Et flere magis naturale est.” Their sufferings were ridiculed by the proverb of “weeping Irish," as if in any country an oppressive conqueror. could rely with security on forced submission.
JF desolation can be called tranquillity,
tranquillity was the effect of Elizabeth's measures; yet the state of peace which continued, with very trifling interruptions, during the whole reign of James, must, in justice, be ascribed to the policy of this prince himself. It is true he exasperated and encreased the new causes of rebellion, and some of the old; namely, those which arose from religion and confiscations; but at the same time, he removed the principal and most momentous spring of disturbance, by, effectually reducing the power of the old Irish and old English chieftains. This, for the time, was the most material point; independence and liberty were well disciplined to pics and well understood, which upon any favourable opportunity could move the whole island to arms ; whereas the natives had yet to learn the i more refined and metaphysical feelings, which bleed and fester from the endurance of distinctions and privations on account