« PreviousContinue »
ten or spoken by Irishmen. The rating ones, and the farmers complainjudgment, therefore, thus passed on ed loudly of loss and suffering : the his description amounts to this--one Legislature was assured, by evidence Irishman declares that another knows on petition, that the wool-growers, the nothing of Ireland. As to reasoning shipowners, the silk manufacturers, from facts, the world, we imagine, the glove manufacturers, those emwill think with us, that an English- ployed in the production of lead, kelp, man or Scotchman is as capable of &c. &c. were enduring great losses doing it as an Irishman. Our own and privations, and that pauperisin experience enables us to say, that it is prevailed in many quarters to a lano pleasant matter being led in this mentable extent. Nevertheless, Mis manner by one Irishman into the fire nisters, in the King's speech, indul. of another; and that it is doubtful ged in congratulations on the general whether any thing can be safely be prosperity of the country: it requilieved which Irishmen say of their red innumerable readings of the speech country.
to convince us that this was reality. But the Irishmen who describe their The shipowners and silk manufactucountry, do not content themselves rers declared to the House of Comwith attacking the descriptions of each mons, that they were distressed ; Mr other, through the immolation of the Huskisson, Mr Grant, Mr Goulburn, English and Scotch writers who un- and other members, declared to it warily repeat what they promulgate. that they were in great prosperity. They assail each other, front to front, At this moment, large portions of the in the most murderous manner possie community complain that they are in ble. In the last Session of Parliament grievous suffering, while the Treasury the state of Ireland was brought under papers protest, that not only the comdiscussion, and a number of the most munity in general, but these very porrespectable Irish members of all par- tions of it, are in the most prosperous ties declared that a large part of the condition. The government scribes population was involved in extreme have long enjoyed notoriety of a pare penury and suffering. Mr G. R. Daw- ticular kind, and their present exploits son-what an incomprehensible per far surpass all their former ones. If a son he is !-boldly, and with his body of men be brought to the verge wonted vehemence, denied the truth of bankruptcy, one of these creatures, of this, and asserted, that the people at the nod of Mr Goulburn, Mr Vesey were in reasonably comfortable cir- Fitzgerald, or any other master, exhicumstances, and had nothing worthy bits his brazen front, and swears beof notice to complain of. Scarcely any fore heaven and carth, that they are thing is stated of Ireland by one in the most flourishing circumstances. Irishman, which is not contradicted The most opposite descriptions are by another; and almost every Irish- given of almost every thing; even man who describes its condition, de conflicting conclusions are drawn from elares, that his description is the only such official documents, as might be true and perfect one; and that all expected to preclude by their nature others are worthless fictions. If nothing all diversity of opinion. If we seek is to be believed of Ireland, save what information touching the circumstanIrish writers and orators concur in, ces and character of any division of nothing more is known of its actual society—the operation of any law. condition at this moment, than is system or institution—the feelings and known of the North Pole. The mise manners of the population-in a word, fortune is, that these writers and oras any matter, one set of describers gives tors, according to their own evidence, us an elaborate statement, which aneternally substitute one error or defect other set protests is a mass of false for another; their labours lead us hood. We cannot find sufficient unaonly to this conclusion, that the state nimity on any subject to justify evi. of Ireland is a thing wholly above de dence; and we are almost compelled scription.
to exclaim--facts have vanished from Matters, we regret to say, are much the world, and England has become the same with the Englishmen who to its own inhabitants an unknown describe England. During the last country! Session of Parliament, the prices of What may be properly called the corn were notoriously below remune, Travels of the Gentlemen of the Press,
are of a nature to inspire inveterate ment, with minuteness and confidence incredulity touching the literary la- perfectly amazing. His events, and bours of travellers. We are always anecdotes, and sketches of character, much enraptured when we see a Lon- far excel any thing that romance-wridon newspaper announce, that it is ters have hitherto ventured to trace. dispatching a Gentleman" to some He gives such horrible accounts of foreign land, to report on passing this ruler or thatof one party or anevents, or on a tour through the Eng- other—that his pot-house believers lish counties, to describe their condi- fancy, as they read them, their porter tion. Our rapture flows, not from the tastes of blood, and their tobaccohope of information, for we resolve to smoke smells of gunpowder. The disbelieve all that the “ Gentleman” unhappy Cockney lights upon them may write ; but from the certainty at the eating-house during dinner, and that a plentiful and delicious feast of his visage assumes a lachrymose examusement is about to be placed be pression absolutely heart-breaking. fore us. If a Gentleman of the Press He cannot finish his meal; he stands traveller fall infinitely below all others aghast at the occasional clatter of in furnishing correct information, he plates, fearing it proceeds from the far surpasses them in amusing his chains of some tyrant ; and he broods readers. The most witty and humor- over the awful news for the rest of the ous novel - writer can scarcely bear day, until he utterly wastes the matecomparison with him, on the score of rials on which his calling employs creating laughter. He is an animal, him. The newspaper gives the “Genwho from nature or avocation—we tleman's” marvellous narrative-the suspect the latter-cannot see any next packet brings a complete official thing as it is, or give to the most mae refutation of it, but nevertheless be nageable lie the air of probability. heroically writes on. The war whieh When we say that he makes the truth the course of events makes on him appear to be an impossibility, we need renders him furious; and then his rac not say what he makes of fable. The vings, diatribes, denunciations, preeasy toil and unlimited leisure of the dictions, and delineations, become to voluntary traveller are not his; the iron all but his petrified Cockney readers chains of a master bind him to time and ludicrous beyond conception. At the quantity of labour ; by a certain pack, termination of his adventures abroad, et or post, he must transmit a certain actual occurrences complete the falsinumber of sheets; and these sheets fication of every thing he has written. must be filled with “ news”—with If the Gentleman of the Press make matter which will be comprehended a tour in England, he lands, perhaps, and relished, not only by the general from a steam-vessel in the dusk of the readers of newspapers, but by the evening at some seaport, which he readers of the particular paper which leaves by the six o'еlock coach the employs him. Whether he see or next morning. He is an utter strana not, he must describe; whether he ger in the place, and he knows noknow any thing or not, he must sup- thing of shipping or mercantile affairs ; ply information ; and his description nevertheless, by some method comand information must be of a particu- prehended in the arcana of the Press, lar kind, though they be directly the he in this single night becomes better reverse of what he sees and knows to acquainted with the place than its oldbe the reality.
est inhabitant. He sends to his pa. If the Gentleman of the Press be in per a flaming account, shewing that a foreign country, the direful necessity shipowners are in circumstances prewhich rests upon him compels him to cisely the reverse of what they state, profess to do what it is impossible for and proving that they are ignorant any human being to do. "A stranger of their own affairs, and incapable of to the language, and destitute of managing their own business. Having sources of information, he shuts him- demonstrated them to be liars and self up in his lodging, and, in his off- dolts, he oracularly settles an intrihand task-work manner, describes the cate question of state policy, by proforce and operations of distant armies, mulgating that prohibition is a part of the feelings and conduct of all classes free trade. He then describes the of the people, and the most secret in- state of trade, the peculiarities of the tentions and measures of the govern- place, and the character of its inhabi, tants as authoritatively as though he in an excessively unlucky manner. A possessed some knowledge respecting few weeks ago, the “ correspondent" them.
of one of the London morning papers The most experienced farmer has represented the silk trade at Manto walk through his own fields again chester to be in the most flourishing and again before he can form an esti- state. This took place just after the mate of what they will produce; and London silk manufacturers had held after the most careful examination, their public meeting ; and the “core his estimate is frequently an erroneous respondent” protested that their comone. The Gentleman of the Press is plaints of stagnation were utterly false, an extremely different person. Riding and that the trade in general was brisk on the coach-top at the rate of eight in the highest degree. This supernaor ten miles an hour, and having pro- turally gifted person, who had no conbably never before seen a field of nexion whatever with the silk trade, corn, he perceives at a glance how and who dated himself at Manchester, much every acre will yield to a bushel, was far better acquainted with the not only in the part through which state of the trade in London, Maccleshe passes, but throughout the country. field, Congleton, &c., than the manu. Passing in this manner through some facturers resident in these places. A half-dozen villages, he is enabled to week or ten days afterwards, through perceive, without asking a question, some unhappy discovery, the saine the precise state of pauperism in the correspondent” notified in his paper whole district ; he sees clearly that the that at Manchester the silk trade was complaints of landlords and farmers, very heavy, the manufacturers gave touching their inability to supply their out a greatly diminished quantity of labourers with employment, are ut- work, and the workmen were only terly groundless. “Against such an partially employed. Here was a torauthority the evidence of parish-books turing confession. Almost on the same is of course worthless. The state of day the Manchester “ correspondent” the hedges, farmsteads, and land, de- of another London morning paper anmonstrates to him that the farmers are nounced the silk trade to be so amain great prosperity, and that their zingly prosperous at Manchester, that allegations to the contrary are wholly the manufacturers were sending to all false. From the conversation of two parts of the country in search of ad. fellow-travellers he discovers the pe- ditional hands. « Correspondent" culiar disposition and characteristics of here smote and exposed “ corresponthe inhabitants of the whole shire; dent” in a way truly anti-christian. by seeing at intervals, at a distance of In the following week the first-named some hundreds of yards, a few strag- “ correspondent" proclaimed that the gling labourers, he is enabled to de- silk weavers had struck, because their scribe accurately the bodily size and masters sought to reduce wages. This strength of the whole population ; and was a deadly stab in the very vitals of in glancing at the mode of manage his rival. The heads of the press, we ment followed in a field or two, he is suspect, then discovered that these made intimately acquainted with the proceedings, so amusing and edifying mode followed throughout England. to the public, were endamaging their He finds that the landowners are utter reputation, and placing the secrets of strangers to their own interests, and the press in danger of exposure; and in that the farmers are totally ignorant consequence they put an end to them. of their own business. Then the in. We suspect this, because both the ventions and schemes he puts forth in “ correspondents” were afterwards the way of improvement are positively wholly silent touching the Silk Trade incredible. The solemn, pompous, in their accounts of Manchester. oracular, dictatorial tone in which he How barbarously have the Irish gives his absurdities is in perfect keep- “ correspondents” of the newspapers ing with them, and to the lovers of dealt with each other! “Your acmerriment he furnishes the most de- counts," says one of them to his paper, licious treat imaginable.
meaning thereby the accounts written When two newspapers publish ac- by himself, “ have made here a deep counts of the same place at the same impression—they are acknowledged to time from their “* correspondents," be the only true ones-the stuff pubthe "Gentlemen" operate on each other lished in the other papers is really abominable." Then the “correspon- The authorities of the City of Londent” of another paper cuts up these don might here, we conceive, draw accounts in the most savage manner,
some useful instruction from Jonaand protests that the reverse of them than. is the truth. Each rails against the “ In a steam-boat, I had had some newspapers for imposing those false- conversation with a decent-looking hoods on the public, which, amidst man, who, with five others, buys catthem, they fabricate.
tle in Ohio for the New York market. What we have said, makes us read He had then 500 on the road; I saw the published descriptions of both fo- them, and they were very fine cattle, reign countries and our own with a in both shape and condition. They bias to disbelieve every thing. We travel 600 miles in sixty days, and lose frequently read with much pleasure; about 100 lbs. in weight each on the we sometimes think if it be invention journey. They cost four dollars per it is very pardonable; we are anxious 112lbs. in Ohio, and sell for from to be informed, but still our incredu- seven tó seven and one-half dollars in lity is unconquered. This incredulity New York; thus leaving a very good towards the generality of such descrip- profit. The consumption of New York tions makes us attach the greater va- is from 400 to 500 head of cattle, and lue to the few, on the fidelity of which 500 to 600 of sheep per week. Were we know we can rely. From one of it not for Ohio, the inarket would be the latter we are about to make some an ill-supplied and dear one; in the extracts. A gentleman of great expe- last fall meat was twelve to thirteen rience and respectability in the mer. dollars the cwt. The butchers bleed cantile world, an active and accurate their cattle almost to death previously observer, and in whom much reading to slaughtering; as the people like is combined with extensive knowledge their meat as wbite in cooking as posof men and things, lately visited the sible. My informant thinks that the United States of America ; and his Ohio cattle will not go down the Weljournal has been placed in our hands, land canal to Montreal, as they cannot with permission to transcribe any part bear shipboard.” of it that may be calculated to interest “ Notwithstanding that the trade of our readers. It was never intended New York is very dull, the revenue for publication, and of course it was arising from the customs for the first not written to serve the author's inte- quarter of 1828, is 4,188,935 dollars. rests or ambition, or to benefit this All the newspapers are advertising for party or that party : it is an unvar- mechanics, weavers, labourers, &c. nished statement of what he saw and People here say, that while England heard. We commence our extracts is receiving the worthless emigrants without farther preface.
of Ireland, they (the Americans) are “New York, June 16th, 1828. The receiving a valuable mass of English steam-boats or ferries across the river emigrants, driven from home by the are well managed. Steam-boats are usurpations of the Irish ones. This I the glory and comfort of this country, fear is too true ; 140 vessels arrived at and they display much that might be New York during the month of May, imitated in England. They come up and they brought 4100 passengers." to floating wharfs at all times, the exa Jonathan is in the right, and he has act height of the vessel, so that child- great cause to rejoice that things are ren and cattle go in and out with pere in such a lamentable state in this counfect ease and safety. They are double try. The declaration made during the boats, the paddles working between, last Session of Parliament by Mr G. R. so that the great commotion so dan Dawson, that the Irish labourers did gerous in the Thames is avoided. At not deprive the English ones of emone ferry they are obliged to give you ployment, and throw them on their a good boat in five minutes for two parishes, displayed ignorance, which cents, or one penny ; but the steam- no one could have expected to find in boats charge four cents or twopence, even the humblest government office. and they arrive so frequently, that you The lower orders in London are Irish need never wait five minutes. How to a very large extent; and the case is different is all this from the danger to the same in many other large places. person and baggage, and the exactions We see it announced, that one town and insults of the watermen met with or another contains 20,000 or 40,000 on the Thames !"
Irish inhabitants, which, not many years ago, scarcely contained one.
It tion of them who visit this country cannot be doubted that there are some possess many evil qualities as well as hundreds of thousands of Irish of both good ones. One lamentable characsexes permanently established in Eng- teristic of the lower Irish, male and land and Scotland. Now, did they female, is, a residence in England will bring their employment with them not improve them. They bring with from Ireland, or do they merely do them a ponderous load of barbarism what the English would not do? The and vice; and neither good example, reply must necessarily be in the nega- nor good wages, nor any thing else, tive; and of course the only conclusion can induce them to throw it from their before us is, they deprive the English shoulders. Those who have been long labourers of employment, and compel established in and near London are them to apply for parish relief, and to about as filthy, ragged, and vicious, as emigrate. The matter is above doubt. they were when they left their native In late years, Irish labourers have island. It is a curious illustration of spread themselves throughout Eng. human nature, that Irish vices have, land, and have established themselves even in our courts of justice, been, by in great numbers in every place of their impudence and invincibility, ale magnitude ; in the same time, vast most converted into virtues. If Engnumbers of English ones have been lish labourers are brought before the compelled to emigrate or receive parish sagacious magistrates of London for relief from obvious inability to procure being drunk in the streets, and engaemployment. Those who, in the teeth ging in savage rows, these magistrates of this, will maintain what Mr Daw- know not how to reprobate and punish son asserted, must be much deficient them sufficiently; but if Irish ones in either intellect or honesty. Even appear on a similar charge, it is made the Irish who merely come for hay- matter of amusement, and almost treat. time and harvest, and then return to ed as though they had an exclusive their own country, add much to pau- privilege to indulge in such conduct.* perism in England. The English la. Drunkenness is condemned in the Engbourer was wont, by obtaining good lish, as an odious and destructive vice; wages for himself and employment for in the Irish, it is only laughed at as a his wife, to provide in these seasons half-innocent, half-laudable love of what would enable his insufficient whisky. winter earnings to support his family. Not only does this influx of Irish The Irish labourers, by keeping down labourers injure the body of Engwages, and preventing his wife if not lish ones most grievously in their himself from being employed, disable general circumstances, but it estahim from doing this ; and in conse-blishes among them examples of the quence, in winter, when work is scarce worst description. It converts our and wages are bad, he is constrained mobs to a great extent into Irish ones, to have parish relief.
and causes the lower orders in our The influx of Irish labourers brings large places to consist in a great meavarious grievous evils on England. sure of beings distinguished for dirt, We willingly admit, that the people rags, ignorance, and bad morals. It of Ireland possess many fine qualities, tends powerfully to give us a labourbut, nevertheless, we must believe our ing population of Catholics. If it conown eyes and ears; and, without pre- tinue to be what it has for some time tending to speak of those who remain been, it must produce a deplorable in Ireland, we must say, that the pore change in the general circumstances
* The manner in which police cases are often reported in some of the London news. papers is highly disgraceful to the country. Justice to the public and the individual de mands that they should be reported with strict accuracy and proper decorum. Instead of this, a large part of the reports is frequently pure fiction. The reporter puts speeches into the mouths of those who appear before the magistrate which they never utter ; and he does this to cover them with ridicule, for the amusement of the readers of his paper. This is not the worst. He, in his ribaldry, holds up good feelings to contempt, and justifies, or even lauds the worst vices, by making heroes and martyrs of the profligate. This is more especially his conduct in regard to the Irish. No matter what shameful deeds they may be charged with, he turns it into burlesque, and intimates, that it is mere harmless eccentricity.