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ing of dislike and dread for their pose by Pierce Shea, maddened by rage and sessor; repelling all freedom, which despair, and aided by his foster broby the way he did not seem anxious ther, and some others. In the course to encourage.' (Quere, is not this a of this pursuit, a variety of wonderful copy of the Black Dwarf?)
adventures takes place. Crohoore is * Having said this young person was then seen flitting like a ghost, or flyvery short in stature, it should be ing like an ostrich ; but as all happens. added,” (what an Irish author only in a land of fairies, under whose procould have added,)“ that he was not tection he is known to be, every effort at all deformed !” “ Across his shoulde to arrest him is vain. Pierce Shea, a ers and breast, indeed, was a breadth young man of great strength and agithat told more for strength than pro- lity, is at one time in the pursuit, but portion, and his arms were long and the undeformed dwarf of unnatural of Herculean sinew, but the lower part disproportion,” bounds over a river, of the figure, hips, thighs, and legs," into which his pursuer, wholly in(hips I apprehend to have been its competent to such a spring, tumbles middle), * bespoke vigour and elasti- headlong, but, to the surprise of the city, rather than clumısiness, and it spectators, is saved from drowning by was known, strange-looking as the Crohoore, who draws him úpon the creature might be, he could run, leap, bank at his side, and after some suce and wrestle with a swiftness and dex- cessful efforts to restore animation, terity seldom matched among men of leaves him to the care of his friends. more perfect shape, and more promi. The cavern of Dúnmore, one of sing appearance.” It would have been those cavities so frequently occurring more proper to say unequalled by any in calcareous formations, serves Cromen of his time.
hoore to hide in, and the author to Pierce Shea, desirous to conduct his employ his descriptive talents. It was betrothed (Alley Dooling) to six o'clock at that time, he tells us, according to mass on Christmas morning, is the general belief, the resort of all sorts first discoverer of the murder of her of Irish witches, fairies, and demons, parents, and the disappearance of here consequently befitting the purposes of self. The agony of the lover affords, such a wizard as Crohoore, who foils of course, a favourable opportunity of all the schemes of the pursuing party, displaying the author's skill in the Pierce Shea being the only person expathetic. The recollection of Cro- empt from the influence of superstihoore's conduct on the preceding night, tious terror. That the describer of his absence on the fatal morning, and, the cave never visited it, may, I think, above all, the bloody billhook, leave no be presumed, from the following passa doubt on any mind of the perpetrator age:-“Indeed, throughout the wbole of the murder. But what was become chamber, the awful frolic of nature of Alley? A curious gossip ensues, bears comparison with art;" (the re(and more tiresome specimens of con- verse of nature's awful frolics in other versations in the vulgar dialect of His places ;) “ ranges of fluted columns, bernia, than the O'Haras present us that seem the production of the chic with, I never met with in speech or sel, only much dilapidated by time, writing), in which it is decided by a rise, almost at correct distances, to the conclave of matrons, that Crohoore arching roof; by the way, having new was her lover, and moreover might cessarily been formed by petrifaction, bave been no very unfavoured one drop upon drop, it is astounding to for why? she was kind to him, and think of the incalculable number of he was always very ready to fly at her years consumed in the process.” It is bidding; ergo, the best way to secure astounding to think how any scientific the affections of his beloved, was to writer could produce such a passage, murder her father and mother, and to the marvel of the columns, like that take the fleetest horse in their stall of the fairies, being all imaginary. and carry her off. All this is confirm The nature of stalactite formation sufed by the testimony of a witness who ficiently evinces the error. Falling had that night actually met Crohoore, water, impregnated with the calcareon a good horse, with something be- ous ingredient, first forms small in. fore him across the saddle, like a bunc crustations on the floor. As these in, dle of women's clothes. Of course a crustations rise in height, they in. pursuit is determined on, conducted crease in base, the apex being small
in comparison with the bottom, where the poorman should wish to enjoy that the greater part of the calcareous mat- exemption which he saw possessed by ter is deposited. They are accordingly the rich. Hence his indignation was seldom high, and in shape more re naturally, though erroneously, directsembling a rounded and irregular py- ed against the clergy, who, having no ramid than a pillar. How Guted com other means of subsistence, were unlumns could be thus formed, it is al der the necessity of resorting to all together impossible to conceive. that was left them, the tenth part of
Crohoore's ingenious biographers the tillage. That proctors, like all have been a little unfortunate in the other factors, may have been free era of their fairy mythology, which is quently injurious and oppressive, is certainly brought much too near the true ; but it is no less true that the present times. My own memory goes former, whom no species of oppression pretty far back, and in my early days reached in nine parts of his crop, could I knew many whose recollection ex- be but little injured by the exaction tended to the very beginning of the of the tenth. From this source Whiteeighteenth century; yet did I never boyism took its rise, and, as long as meet one who did not speak of fairies, the clergy alone were the sufferers, witches, and wizards, as tales of the small were the efforts made to supolden times, or, at most, as showing press it. The honest O'Haras now their power only in some petty domeso tell us, that all the crime and all the tic mischief,-turning beer sour, de suffering arose from clerical extortion ! laying the work of the churn, or stri. But what, we will ask, have tithes king a child with lameness. This be- and proctors to do with the Billhook lief was sometimes turned to account, A second story is interwoven with the by knavish servants laying their thefts first, partly, perhaps, for the gratificas of milk, butter, and such things, to tion of abusing the clergy, and excuthe door of those invisible agents. sing the Whiteboys, and partly for This supposed agency in protecting heaping more acts of misery on Pierce felons and murderers from public jusu Shea, as if the loss of his mistress, and tice, I have only learned since I open- the murder of his friends, were not ed the Tales of the O'Hara Family. sufficient. The unfortunate Pierce, But an earlier date to Crohoore's story jaded and baffled in his pursuit of the would not have answered the purposes supposed murderer, falls into a snare of the authors, one of which is to join laid for him by one Doran, an old ri. in the cry against the Established val, with whom he becomes reconciChurch, and to represent the oppres- led, and who seems to aid him in his sion of proctors as the primary cause endeavours to recover his mistress. of Irish distress. For this worthy end This Doran (the real murderer of the it was necessary to come down to 1745, Doolings,) persuades him at last, from or somewhat later, because the true motives of pure patriotism, to join the cause of the Whiteboy insurrection, Whiteboys, who break into a proctor's which, however, they did not choose house, and afterwards bury him alive to specify, originated about that time. up to the neck, leaving him to the Candour, had they known such a qua- vengeance of the man he has ruined, lity, would have imputed it to the who has a large stone prepared to scandalous vote of the Irish House of knock out his brains. This, however, Commons, respecting what was called Pierce prevents; and his humanity is the Tithe of Agistment, by which the afterwards rewarded by a reprieve, grazier and dairyman were exonerated when going to be hanged. Pierce, affrom all contribution to the incomes ter rescuing the proctor from his inof the clergy, and their support thrown censed enemy, not without danger of upon the laborious tillers of the soil. his own life, attends him to his house, Thus the squire who held 5000 acres, where presently after a party of Engwith all its stock of cows, sheep, and lish dragoons arrive, to whom the bullocks, paid nothing for the same; grateful proctor, in the hope of a rewhile the poor labourer, who had but ward, betrays his deliverer. The party one acre of potatoes, paid the full then ride off with Shea, and the pertenth of his crop. That this palpable son from whose clutches the proctor injustice should have bred popular had been rescued, as their prisoners, discontent, is not wonderful, nor that although the latter, according to the VOL. XXIV.
story, had been left behind at the notion of the whole story is so ine proctor's grave. On their march to congruous, incredible, and extravaKilkenny, they meet or overtake what gant, though a few of the scenes disthey think to be a funeral procession, play some power, that I can't find in on which the soldiers crack some jokes, my heart to weary either myself or in a miserable imitation of Yorkshire my readers with the detail. Suffice it and Cockney dialect. It proves, how to say, that by a series of the most ever, to be no joking matter. The improbable events and operations, Crosham-funereals are Whiteboys disgui- hoore proves to be not only the prosed as women, by whom the fifteen tector, but the brother of Alley, the dragoons are surprised, overthrown, friend and preserver of Pierce Shea, dismounted, and their guns and swords and finally the cause of convicting taken from them. This plot, for which Doran and his accomplice of the mur. there could not have been above half der—the last by mere accident, for, an hour's preparation, is all in good having himself been convicted of the humour. The rescue being all they murder, he happens to espy the real wanted, the victors give them permis culprit disguised in the court—the last sion to return in safety. Then comes a place, certainly, where one would excounterplot on the part of the mili- pect to find him-and springing at tary, who beg that their arms may be him from the dock, Doran is at last restored, as the disgrace of returning secured, and meets his just fate. With without them would be attended with respect to plot, a greater tissue of abpunishment and dismissal. This is ac- surdities could not have been put toceded to, the guns being first dischar- gether by an idle schoolboy. ged, the cartridges emptied, and the The conversations, carried on in the dragoons promising to retire without Irish slang, are generally tedious, fremolestation. But the arms are no quently irrelevant and uninteresting, sooner restored, and the troopers and sometimes disgustingly profane. mounted, than the sergeant, who, Of the tale called the Fetches, a though engaging to use no swords, word meaning the apparition, not of had said nothing, of holsters, orders the dead, but the living, I can only his men to draw their pistols and fire, say that my patience was so utterly in consequence of which fifteen White- exhausted before I got through half, boys fell lifeless ! Such a shot certain that I laid it down to rest in peace for ly never was made before or since. me, not, however, without two imThis, however, only raises the fury of pressions of wonder,--one, that any the mob, and fifteen pistols, for each persons, having regard to sense and man had a pair, are again discharged, sanity, could sit down to write such and, mirabile dictu ! with precisely books and the other, that any could the same fatal effect. Then ensues a be found idle enough to read them., desperate conflict, which terminates Yet these Tales profess to have arin the destruction of the dragoons, rived at a Second Edition ! save about two, who with difficulty
SENEX. make their escape.
In truth, the
TIIB PRESENT STATE OF AFFAIRS.
Of all the circumstances which have thy of such a sovereign, was sufficient contributed to raise Great Britain to to defeat it, and save the country from the high station which she holds the peril in which it stood. It is amongst the nations of the world, there scarcely necessary to point to the sucis perhaps none to which she owes so ceeding events as exemplifying the much, as the unswerving determina- glorious results of England's bold, tion of her national character. In straightforward, unbending resoluperiods of difficulty and danger from tion,
which led her along, unswerving faction within, or hostile efforts with from her lofty path, in spite of all the out the kingdom, (and to such periods efforts of a power which everywhere we have not been strangers) this great else swept on like a destructive torrent feature of English character has over subjugated kingdoms and ruined brought us through ; and our enemies dynasties. During this time England have been baffled, not more by the force, knew nothing of half measures, which than the steadiness of our resistance. were foreign to her character, and deNor was it merely in repelling attacks spised by her sovereign *; her object upon our greatness that we found the was to defend herself and conquer benefit of this distinguished character- France, and she paused but for a moistic of our country, but in preventing ment in her course, until at the end even the attempt at aggression, on the of twenty years she planted her flag part of those who knew, that having within the gates of Paris. once determined the line which it was Such, as we have said, was the cha. most for our national honour and wel racter of English policy; but unhappifare to adopt, no event short of ut- ly there has arisen within a few years ter destruction would make us yield a new system, which it shall be now our one iota from our purpose. Such was business shortly to examine, with rethe proud character of England; and ference to the present state of affairs, even those who contended that to its to which it has led. It is sufficiently operation we owed the loss of Ameri notorious, that those who, both in this ca, could not deny, that we lost with country and on the Continent, speak honour that which we could not have with so much sneering insolence tokept without a compromising policy, wards England on the subjects of Fothat would have exhibited England in reign and Irish affairs, attribute all the disgraceful position of bending the difficulties which they present, to before a rude and haughty colony. We the mismanagement of the present - lost the territory, but we retained that Ministry; be it ours to shew that the which was of more importance to us, circumstances to which they allude, our character. And well it was for and all the difficulties which accomthe country that that war did not teach pany them, are the consequence of the the sovereign a lesson of yielding, weak un-English policy pursued by which must have been fatal at its close, men who are the political idols of those when a desperate faction, triumphant who represent these circumstances as - in the House of Commons, shook the so dangerous. The policy of “ constrength of Government almost to its ciliation” has something detestable in foundation. If the modern system of its very name, when applied to the compromise and conciliation had pre- concerns of kingdoms. It is weak, vailed in the Government of 1784, puerile, and ridiculous. There is in how would it have stood before the politics a right course and a wrong. monstrous Coalition of Fox and North? Whatever State or Minister thinks to - Yet formidable, irresistible, as this insure present safety by steering beCoalition appeared, the determination tween them, abandons respectability, of a King, who declared himself ready and heaps up difficulties for the futo submit to the last extremity before ture. The man who is weak enough he yielded to an outrageous faction, to conciliate, is also weak enough to and of a Minister whose transcendent try to do that by cunning, which he abilities and lofty courage were wor- dares not attempt openly and boldly,
• "Half measures are ever puerile, and often destructivo."
Letter of King George III, to Mr Pitt, 25th Jan. 1784.
and then, if he succeed, he succeeds In foreign policy, the first great without honour; and if he fail, he matter of moment he had to grapple fails with tenfold disgrace. Yet this with was the French invasion of Spain. system of conciliation and maneuvre It will, I suppose, be scarcely denied, was that adopted by a leading Minis- that in a great matter such as this, it ter of the Crown after the death of behoved a British Minister to resolve Lord Londonderry, to the abandon-upon, and execute, a line of policy, that ment of that straightforward English should be direct to one point or the policy which had gained so much for other, without twisting, or turning, or us, and, as we shall see, to the pro- sly maneuvre; no Foreigu Minister, duction of that state of affairs on the under the Duke of Wellington, would Continent which the present Ministry be suffered to adopt any thing else; is charged with not having prevented. yet let us see how the Minister of that Mr Canning, it must be admitted, nor time, who is so much lauded now, at do we make the admission with any the expense of the present Ministry, reluctance, was certainly a person of proceeded. He made sundry very clevery brilliant talents; an elegant ver and very witty speeches, explanascholar, an accomplished orator, and a tory of the necessity of our neutrality, polished wit; but as certainly he did yet, instead of being really neutral, he not possess that iron integrity of soul, tells us, three years afterwards, that that incapability of every thing tricky in order to make the gain to France and intriguing, which ought to distin- as little as possible, he had resolved guish a British Minister. He was not to dismember the empire of Spain; sufficiently scrupulous aboutthe means and rushing into a somewhat bombas he used to obtain an object which he tic and unintelligible strain, he inthought desirable, and he soon enter- forms us, that he “ called a new world ed upon an experiment, which, while into existence to redress the balance of it served his purpose, gave a sicken- the old.”* This he was not ashamed ing blow to the talent and feeling of to say, although he had previously the House of Commons, which it has boasted of having contributed to the not yet recovered. He knew as well freedom of the new world, purely as any man, that nothing could be through an abstract love of civil libermore worthy of detestation and con- ty and free constitutions, and although tempt than the conduct of the Whig (which is the worst feature of the party during the war, and the com- whole) he had written to the Spanish motions which disturbed England Minister a year and half before, that three or four years after its close ; yet “the separation of the Spanish coloafter a little time, he thought proper, nies was neither our work norour wish." in order to save himself the trouble Can we wonder after this, that the rewhich a virulent Opposition might oc spect for English policy is diminished casion, to “ conciliate" certain leaders on the Continent? May it not be true amongst the Whigs, and thus a mi- that, with nations as with individuals, serable nauseous kind of political flirt- honesty is the best policy? and if sweration arose; the principles which ving from the high rule of honesty men held steady and firm whilst they have weakened our influence on the were obliged daily to fight for them, Continent, is it with the Duke of Wel. slipped away from them during this lington the blame is to rest ? No,period of pusillanimous peace, or were but with Mr Canning. I shall not drivelled down to the milk-and-water stop to inquire what advantage this trash of liberalism ; and the House country, or the old world, has gained, lost much of that vigour, and energy, by this mighty achievement of calling and stout English feeling, the want of a new world into existence. There which is perhaps as formidable a dif- are, however, some persons so unreaficulty as any of those which are thrown sonable as to look at facts rather than in our teeth—and this we owe to Mr speeches, who are of opinion that a Canning.
parcel of Bankrupt States, plunged in
* This passage has been much spoken of as something very fine and original : In the 2d vol. of Russell's History of Europe, p. 191, I find the following—“They (the Spaniards) had called into existence, as it were, another world, had opened new sources of trade, expanded new theatres of dorninion, and displayed new scenes of ambition, of avarice, and of blood."