IRELAND AGAIN !
Fainsn, pestilence, mortality, exile, misery in every shape, have passed over the Irish, yet the race is unchastened. The murder of Mr. Thomas Douglas Bateson at Castleblaney is not altered from the usual type of agent-murder, but is rather enhanced in its traits —is essentially and singularly typical of the old class. Mr. Bate- son was an amiable man, but he had been executing certain " evic- tions," or is reported to have done so. Whether the report was true or not, whether the evictions were justifiable or not, seem to be irrelevant questions : the Irish gave him the name of an evictor, and beat him to death. He had been visiting a farm ; but it was a model farm. He had obtained several concessions of rent, county cess, and so forth ; but he was an agent. He was esteemed
by all who knew him, did his duty, and was unarmed ; but he was murdered. People were near • but no assistance came. The true Irish type was in presence, and sanctioned the deed. Ribandism, not exterminated by the deluge of famine and pestilence, again grows up on its native soil, and new districts are " proclaimed.'
Ireland is unaltered. The things upon which English politi- cians counted for the chastening and regeneration of the land have not worked their expected results, as they would unquestionably in England. The " seven centuries of wrong" on both sides, of misunderstanding, of bad rule and bad obedience to rule, did not end with the cholera or the potato blight; they are going on again. Ireland is unaltered, and English notions of Ireland. If the Irish cannot learn to be governed by English influences, the re- proach recoils upon the English, who have not learned to govern by the influences to which Ireland is amenable. It is one of the in- conveniences which attend an alien government—we cannot catch, in our administration, the idea which would control Hindoos, Caf- fres, or Irish. Probably it is not alone our pride that prevents, but an incapacity in ourselves: we do very well for English purposes, but are not up to the mark for Irish purposes. The incapacity is proved by the facts. That the Irish are not incorrigible, is proved by their actual regeneration in favourable positions, as in some parts of our Colonies and the United States. A part of the incorrigibleness be- longs to ourselves. We, as well as Irish Ribandmen, have a cul- pable stupidity ; since we will persevere in nostrums which have no corrective virtue, but the contrary. We doctor Ireland with English poor-law coercions, English preachments, and English model farms ; but the murders go on. Perhaps it would be as well if, after criticizing Irish ineptitude for seven centuries, we were to look at home and revise our own methods ?
It is the more urgent, when we reflect that the chronic confla- gration which is rearising from the smoulder in Ireland is now lompanioned by another more huge conflagration in a country on he opposite side of us. There have before now been traditional ympathies and practical alliances between the two Celtic peoples ; ud anarchy, like hysterias, is catching, especially in its acute or caressive form. The simultaneous reappearance of old Irish ibandism and of the gigantic Ribandism now enthroned in France 1 ominous.