10 DECEMBER 1859, Page 12

IRELAND'S DANGER ENGLAND'S OPPORTUNITY. Wu have been long forewarned of

the impending assault upon the Irish system of National Education. Before the famous pas- toral was issued in Dublin we heard rumours, having no uncer- tain sound, of the determination of the party which Dr. Cullen has fostered and which he leads, to make of the question of Na- tional Education an engine of agitation and a capital question in the next session of Parliament. It was foreshadowed in the com- bination of Conservatives and Cullenites at the last general elec- tion, and signalized in the choice of a Mr. Pope Hennessy and the decoration of a Mr. John Francis Maguire. Dr. Cullen himself went to Rome to take instructions from the Propaganda, and his return to Ireland was followed by the opening of the campaign. The energy of the initial movement confirmed the apprehensions of the sound and right-minded friends of education, and the in- terest awakened then has gone on increasing in depth and force. The counter demonstration to the pastoral, or Roman declaration of war, was the first open display of the strong, but, up to that moment, unexpressed feeling of the Protestants. The declaration of Mr. Corballis, next in order of importance, the continued pre- sence of Dean Meyler at the Educational Board, the sturdy speech of Sir Robert Kane in defence of the Queen's Colleges, when Lord Carlisle visited Cork, showed that the sane portion of the Roman

Catholie lattfleere still staunch to a system which they know hard for a living." Her temptation, indeed, was not sudden, to have worked well, and which may be styled the sheet-anchor of for she had before, as a servant of the great dealer sad, been Ireland's prosperity. The best men in Ireland are, therefore, watohed in consequence of something that had occurred pre- alive to the importance of this great question, and we learn with viously ; " and she was detected—stealing. The crowning plea satisfaction that they are resolved to stand fast and contend with in her favour was that, rising long before dawn, and working

their assailants. long after sunset, to support herself and a son she had been The character of those assailants is pretty well known, and, after unable to obtain the money which she had earned from the dis- the great meeting in Dublin advertised for next week, will be tinguished ladies who employed her. In fact, it seemed a choice better understood. The most respectable portion of the Roman between stealing and starving—the House of Correction, or the Catholic laity have stood aloof from the Cullenite agitation on be- dead-house. The Judge upon the bench declared it a case that half of misgovernment in the States of the Church. We shall be " affected him considerably, and he could see that it met with surprised if they do not equally stand aloof from the movement for the sympathy of every one present." He enlarged upon the the destruction of the national system. And well they may. merits of mercy, deplored that the prisoner had been so long Such as are not blind to the essential character of the agitation deprived of the reward of her labour, and, passing " no sentence will see that it is practically an attempt to frustrate two objects— at all," ordered her to be discharged at once. The prisoner fell the growth of charitable feelings among all classes and persuasions upon her knees to thank the Judge ; several gentlemen who had in Ireland, and the emancipation of the majority of the people assisted in the legal handling of the case at once subscribed, and from priestly rule. Dr. Cullen's object is plainly to establish in two pieces of gold were given to the prisoner. Ireland the supremacy of the hierarchy over the souls and bodies It all reads like an Eastern tale. There is a poetical treatment of the Irish people. And in his case it is a legitimate consequence of the motives and emotions very foreign to practical England. of his fervid devotion to the Papacy as a political not less than a It resembles a chapter out of the Arabian Nights. The award, religious system. He is a man who has fed upon the principles of undoubtedly, is strong in poetical justice, but hardly corresponds government which have made it necessary to keep10,000 foreign with the hard justice of our country ; and yet the case happened bayonets in Rome to prop up the Papal chair, which have made in an English court of law : it occurred at the Middlesex Sessions ; vast districts of the States of the Church little better than the Judge was no other than Mr. Bodkin ; the prosecutors were deserts, which have fostered the manufacture of banditti, and Messrs. Shoolbred and Co., who certainly behaved with a magna- which have forced the people in the Romagna and the Marches to nimity belonging more to romance than to what is considered real throw off the Papal yoke and arm in defence of ancient rights and life ; the prosecuting barrister was Mr. Orridge ; the subscribers privileges which have been taken away by the guile or violence of to the two pounds which were handed to the woman then and successive Popes. Dr. Cullen is a sincere man, and he only fol- there were the barristers and jurors. It was all English to the lows his convictions in endeavouring to import the Papal backbone,—except the treatment of the law.

system into Ireland. He is unselfish, has no vices lives Which we very much question. The woman was accused of frugally, not to say ascetically, and marches with unfaltering theft ; she had undoubtedly been guilty of it ; the case was proved step in the path -which he believes to be the path of before the Jury, and was manifest to the Judge. He waived duty. It is quite natural that a man of this character and train- the ceremony of sentence. He led the chorus of plaintive ing should strive to bring the Roman Catholics of Ireland under sympathy with a convicted prisoner' and she left the Court the heavy yoke of the Papacy ; that he should exert his faculties with something that closely resembled a reward or solace for to make a breach between Roman Catholics and Protestants her misconduct. We have great doubt whether this does where none exists, and to widen it where it has been made al- not amount to a gross dereliction of duty on the part of the ready. To segregate the two classes, to erect an imperium in Judge ; and whether in fact it is not a flagrant breach imperio, would be to secure the devotion of his own persuasion to of law. The Judge should have remembered that there was those priests who consent to act on any order from the Church of something more left in trust with him than merciful treatment of Rome. In short, it is a theocratic despotism, limited by the law, an unhappy woman, however ill-used she might have been. There which he would set up, and thus raise into full activity again is not only the individual administration of justice in a particular those furies of civil discord which, by the exertions of the liberal ease' but the work of keeping the law clear before all the country, party, have been so materially subdued. But to carry out this including the most uneducated, and especially including those policy he must first destroy the system of National Education and classes who are led into crime by temptations which make crime obtain for the priests the complete control of the Roman Catholic look very like excusable, if not meritorious conduct.

population from their earliest years ; in other words, subject the The excuses for the woman individually were substantial and children of Ireland to a system of education dictated from Rome. powerful. Her landlord, who seems to be a thoroughly respect- If he were to succeed, Ireland would run the greatest risk of be- able man, said that she had lodged with him for eleven years, and coming again divided visibly into two camps, and sound progress, he told her story.

peace, and goodwill among men, would become impossible for her. "She was a widow, hard-working and well-conducted, and had a son Will the Irish Roman Catholic laity follow the lead of Dr. Cullen, whom she had put to a business, and worked until two, three and four of a which is certain to bring them under the yoke, and dry up the could say that she was driven to do this in consequence of ladies for whom sources of prosperity, or will they hold fast to a system which she worked not paying her for the work she did for them. They had her has already done so much to foster good feeling between opposing labour, and poor as she was they :would not pay her except upon long credit, sects, and to make possible a continuance of material efforts to which she could not afford to give but money she could not get; and not develop the resources of Ireland and elevate the condition of the having the means to purchase materials to finish work she had in hand, she people ? had unfortunately resorted to stealing them. There were several ladies guire to Kane, Ifeyler and Corballis. To save the Irish system, about that sum for her work ; and though the prisoner was ill for five weeks however, it is manifest that its friends in England must give all at One time, and sent to the lady time after time, and day after day, she the support they can to its friends in Ireland. And this, not could get nothing, and her recent applications were unheeded. Another

only because they are convinced of the general soundness of the

Irish system but because the welfare of Ireland is, financially, payment, the lady had not paid her anything; and if she resorted to com- a matter of the deepest interest to England. For the growth and pulsory steps, her connexion would be destroyed. It was entirely through organization of a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical system under pre- being thus kept out of money which was due to her for the sweat of her tence of securing a sound education to the people, worild augment brow and the work by night and day that she had been driven, as he be- the foreign influences already at work in that country, and raise lieved, to do that which had placed her in her present position, for a more up a mere Papal party which could not fail to affect injuriously believed she would have starved, and she was in arrear of rent at the time, imperial interests and weaken imperial strength by producing which very much preyed upon her mind, and she wanted to finish the work discord. It, therefore, becomes the duty of the friends of a sound she bad in hand to pay for it, as these ladies would not pay her."

policy in Ireland to give a hearty support to those Irishmen, This is a strong case ; and many ladies who distribute their Roman. Catholic and Protestant, who are sensible enough to see favours amongst the humble, as if they thought that their custom the dangers and evils involved in Cullenism, and who are were something as gracious as sunshine, and as fully meriting courageous enough to array themselves in defence of what they worship, may here learn something of the ultimate effects of their