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The Cromwellians found themselves in quiet possession of the kingdom almost without firing a shot, and to their own great amazement. They proceeded without a moment's delay to appropriate to themselves the great estates of the lords and gentlemen of the confederation.
The Irish war was now concluded. Cromwell sent over his son Henry to superintend a settlement of the kingdom. This was soon effected in Cromwell's usual style of decision and despatch. Connanght was set apart for the Irish who had not made terms. Ulster was al. ready disposed of to the London companies and the Scotch : these were to remain undisturbed. The other two provinces were allotted almost entirely to the Cromwellian soldiers and adventurers, in satisfaction of their arrears of pay and adyances towards the expenses of the war.
In this partition of the land, which was as complete as that of Canaan to the children of Israel, the Anglo-Irish nobility and gentry were the chief sufferers.
• The Cromwellians thus established in Ireland were a bold and hardy race of men ; and superior, perhaps, to any of the swarms which had passed the Channel from time to time, and settled on the rich lands of Ireland. They were not like the crafty land-jobbers, who came over avowedly to traffic in forfeited estates, many of whom laid the foundations of wealthy families ; neither did they belong to the class of needy and dissolute adventurers, whose object was to rebuild a fortune, which vice and depravity had destroyed; nor were they of the low and unprincipled stock of official and military speculators in confiscations, whose determination was to make a fortune, no matter how.
• The Cromwellian soldiers came to Ireland unwillingly. They were for the most part men who had engaged from principle in the cause of the parliament; or, as they believed, the cause of civil and religious liberty. They were enthusiasts, with somewhat of the dignity of enthusiasm about them. They had not deprived, by personal management or contrivance, any man of his estate in Ireland. The lands were vacant. The events of the war had swept away
the late possessors ; and the Protector, assuming a right over those lands, assigned them to his soldiers in lieu of pay.
• The conduct of the Cromwellian army and of their great leader, in Ireland, is abundant proof that there is no tyranny like the tyranny of republicans. All the despotism of corrupt courts, unprincipled monarchs, and profligate courtiers, had been exhausted upon Ireland; and all which these instruments could accomplish in a course of ages, fell infinitely short of what was effected in as many years by the army of the Commonwealth. Nothing in history is more dreadful than the slaughter committed by the Cromwellians when the country fell into their power. They spared neither age, nor sex, nor infancy. But there is little doubt that these gloomy fanatics imagined they would have sinned in sparing. When they became weary of slaughter, they transported the people in thousands to the West Indies, and to all parts of the Continent; and it is probable that, like the Jews when they spared a remnant of the people of Canaan, they considered this lenity to popery as an offence that would be visited upon their chil. dren. Like all fanatics, they were more conversant with the horrors of the Old Testament than the mild precepts of the New.
• Cromwell's plan for the settlement of Ireland consisted of a legislative union of the three nations, incorporated now into one great republic. By an order, called an INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT, he directed that thirty Irish members should be elected to represent Ireland in the united parliament. His plan of representation seems to have been very crude and defective: but it was worthy of his bold and commanding intellect to furnish the first outline of the only scheme, consistent with the connexion with Great Britain, which could supply a remedy for the enormous abuses then prevailing in Ireland. The Restoration put an end to this plan of union ; which, if it had been adopted by Charles II., would probably have prevented the two years' war of the Revolution.
• But Cromwell's plans of improvement were not confined to his scheme of union : he directed that particular attention should be paid to the advancement of learning ; and that a second college should be erected in the neighbourhood of Dublin, or some other part of Ireland. Cromwell had always paid marked attention to learning and learned men, and was well aware how much the glory and prosperity of nations depend upon their degree of knowledge and reputation in the world.'
On the Restoration, the claims of the Anglo-Irish Catholics, who had stood out so manfully for the royal cause, were urged with great force on the returning king.
• He and his father had repeatedly treated with them, and confirmed the terms of their treaties. They had both been in incessant intercourse with them. The Catholics had powerfully assisted the royal cause in England, Scotland, and on the Continent, with liberal supplies of men and money. They had continued the war against Cromwell in Ireland to the last extremity; and their loyalty had been such that they had rejected the most favourable terms from the parliament; had quarrelled with the nuncio and the clergy; and broken with O'Neil and the northern Irish, whose loyalty was too much mixed with common motive. And finally, to crown their merits, they were abandoned by the old Irish, subdued by the new English, and had lost their estates, property, power, everything.
• They had, in fact, done too much to expect any recompense. The king might have remunerated ordinary services, but when such a mass of obligation as this was cast upon him, there was no way of treating it but by throwing it off in a lump. Charles had already decided the point with his conscience, upon the arguments of state which Ormond had suggested. But he had the grace to make a show of looking into the matter. The claims of the Irish were debated before the English privy council, at which the King attended regularly. The matter in dispute respected the states which the confederates had lost, and the Cromwellians had gained. The council first decided as a preliminary that the Cromwellians should not be disturbed, and then gravely proceeded to inquire into the case.'
After a great deal of very unhandsome and unkind evasion, the acts of Settlement and Explanation were at last passed, giving effect to this resolution,-a proceeding which draws from our author the following bitter, but just observations:
• There is no doubt that to have restored the confederates to their estates would have required an exertion of vigour far beyond what Charles was capable of. The Cromwellians were determined not to resign them without battle : they were prepared to fight. They had their friends and fellow-soldiers scattered throughout England, with whom they maintained a constant correspondence. The army in Ireland was at their disposal. The king's position was still critical ; and these men would undoubtedly have raised a storm that would have embarrassed so weak a man. It was some sign of grace that he anxiously cast about in search of some shadow of excuse for abandoning his old and burdensome friends, the confederates. The Cromwellians, observing the nature of his perplexity, set themselves to work to relieve him. By great exertion and industry they procured copies of the instructions sent by the supreme council of the confederates to their agents at Rome and the other continental courts. Those instructions authorized the Irish agents to make a tender of the kingdom to the Pope, or to France, Spain, or any country or government that would deliver them from the burden of their own affairs. These papers were read before the council ; the king affected the utmost indignation and surprise, and ordered that in future no petitions should be received from the Catholics. The door was thus closed upon those mendicant loyalists. The indignation of Charles was but dissembled, for he was well acquainted with the instructions, and had been a concurring party to some of them. His anger would have been well warranted in any other man, and even in him, some contempt might be pardoned, if sincere, for those who could traverse Europe in search of a meaner servitude.'
On the death of Charles II., Mr O'Driscol makes the following strong and pointed observations:-and, though the influence of his religious persuasion is, perhaps, discernible in some of them, we must say that we know not where else to find so clear, concise, and original a view of that critical passage of our history.
• Charles stood between his father and brother, a more agreeable and a worse man than either. Cold, cruel, profligate, false, he was yet instrumental, by his very faults, in laying the foundations of British liberty, and, by the only virtue he possessed, of preparing the ruin and overthrow of his family. If he had been a prince of any character or energy, those securities against arbitrary power, which were the fruit of his reign, would probably not have been sought for, or would not have been obtained. If he had not had some small regard for religion, and some slight degree of principle as connected with that subject, it would have been easy for him to have established, upon a Pro
testant foundation, the most grievous tyranny the country ever experienced. But his inclination towards the Catholic church made him disregard the prostrations of the universities, and turn a cold eye upon the long train of churchmen that crept in the dust at his feet, and courted even his most scornful regard. By this conscientious conduct the king fostered that discontent of the establishment, which, after renewing its vain submissions to his successor, at length took arms against the throne, and helped to overturn it.
• The extreme anxiety of the church to preserve its connexion with the crown was not surprising. The established religion of England is the religion of the rich and the polite; but as these classes are rarely religious, the church has little hold upon society, whatever may be its importance as a parliamentary or state machine. Deprived of the countenance of government, the Episcopal church would lose almost all its sole support. The middle and lower orders of the people hang loosely upon it, or are scattered among the sectaries.
· The church of England has never been able to attain what that of Rome has so perfectly accomplished, to be the religion of the rich and the poor. The secret, perhaps, is to be found in the grand spectacle of the sacrifice which the Roman church presents in her celibacy ; which gives her ministry the semblance if not the reality of a vocation, while the British church has all the appearance, and in many cases the reality of a mere profession.
• The reformed church, too, had in the outset the taint of impure motive. The great men of the Reformation had little other object in view than the plunder of the old establishment. Nor, when the new church had accumulated wealth, was the contrast favourable, which she presented, with the old. The old establishment, like the new, had been greedy of wealth, but had used it differently. Notwithstanding many abuses, the poor were provided for: at her expense the sick and the stranger had provision made for their wants. Her · Orders of Charity' were multiplied as the exigencies of the people increased. Mansions of
hospitality' were erected for the way-farer in the desert. Her missions extended over the globe, and were often zealous and devoted. At home, her tenants lived in ease and abundance on her domains, and hardly felt the light rents they paid, while she reared everywhere costly and beautiful churches at her own expense, and without charge to the people, for the worship of God and the ornament of the country.
All this was changed at the Reformation. With the purer doctrines of the reformed church came an increase of the burdens of the people. Charity and zeal (odd effect) seemed extinguished by the truth. The poor, and the sick, and the stranger, were left to the tender mercies of the parish officers; the missions ceased; the Orders of Mercy were no more ; the expense of building churches was thrown upon the laity; and a new and meaner order of architecture showed the melancholy change which had taken place. The tithe was collected with severity; and the pastors and the flock exhausted their animosities in the courts of law.
* The Reformation in England and Scotland, as on the Continent, VOL. XLVI. NO. 92.
derived its chief support from the division of the church domains amongst the first reformers. Those who had got chureh and abbey lands contended strenuously for the truth of the Reformation, and the gospel purity of the new worship. In Ireland there was still a stronger interest combined with the cause of the Reformation. The entire Cromwellian interest rested upon it. The re-establishment of the Roman church would include the re-establishment of the Irish proprietors in their estates. The preservation of the Protestant worship was considered as a security for the possessions of the Cromwellian soldiers. Hence the zeal for the Protestant faith, and the struggles for the reformed religion which prevailed at this period, and long after in Ireland. A rare and happy union of the interests of this world and the next; though pronounced to be impossible.
* James the Second was a professed Catholic in religion ; in politics he entertained the high prerogative notions of his father and grandfather. He was a man of too little mind to discern that those notions were unsuited to the age and nation that he lived in. The storm which drove him from his throne had been felt even in his brother's reign ; but James had not sense enough to be warned. He relied too much upon the support of France, and upon the apparent submission of the people of England. The easy defeat of Monmonth's rebellion was fatal to him ; but what was more fatal still, was the general corruption which prevailed at his court, and of which he himself had set the first unhappy example.
• Charles and James were humble pensioners of France ; Lewis feared the power of England. He had seen what she could accomplish, when, for the short period of the Commonwealth, she put forth her strength and took her place, without question, the first and greatest of the nations of Europe. This place he had himself assumed, and was ambitious to preserve for the kingdom, whose glory and splendour were all concentrated in his own person. He had an idea of the magnificence of simple despotism; and was by no means disposed to suffer Charles to be invested with this high and enviable dignity. Lewis was too refined a politician, and frequently defeated his own schemes, by excess of artifiee and finesse. If he had gone directly to his object, and chosen to make Charles, or at a later period, James, absolute in England, he might probably have accomplished it. But in attempting to keep up a balance of parties in the state, for the purpose of creating a general weakness and distraction of all, he left place for some strong and straight-forward power to pierce through the confusion, whenever, in the progress of events, such a power should appear.
• Lewis pensioned the king, his family, his favourites, his mistresses, his ministers. A general system of foreign bribery was established. But it was not confined to the court; the French minister bribed all parties; the Catholic party and the Protestant party; the King's party and the Country party; the Episcopalians and the Dissenters; the Monarchy-men and the Republicans. All, or almost all, received stipendiary or occasional bribes from France, not to accomplish a common object, but that the general conflict and collision of parties