15 JANUARY 1831, Page 2

The contest of wits between Lord PLUNKETT and Mr. O'Corr-

NELL, or between the aristocratic temper of Lord ANGLESEY and

the democratic principles of the Liberator, has displayed itself in two more proclamations,—one to put down the embryo society for securing the rights of petition, attempted to be established

against Mr. STANLEY'S letter ; the other to put down the political

breakfast parties at Home's Hotel. The Government will leave the Liberator neither bread nor butter. On the subject of these

proclamations, O'CONNELL has addressed his countrymen in two letters of much seeming moderation, in both of them repeating the cuckoo song of " obey the law,"—which, if the insincerity of

the injunction (lid not disgust, its tiresome repetition would. A

requisition for a public meeting to petition for the recall of the Marquis of ANGLESEY has been drawn up for signature. In the meantime, the Corporation, the University, with neither of which any great portion of the Irish people sympathise, and several other public bodies in Dublin, have been to the Castle, to offer the :Marquis their homage as a set-off for O'CONNELL'S hostility.

We heard a story two or three weeks ago, which subsequent proceedings have not tended much to discredit, and as we have not met with it in a printed form, it may be told here. Before

O'CONNELL quitted London, he waited on the new Lord Lieute- nant, and after stating that he was about to visit Ireland for the express purpose of agitation, he begged it to be understood that he was actuated by no feeling of personal hostility to Lord AN- GLESEY, but, on the contrary, was grateful for the civilities he had

received from him during his former Viceroyalty : still he should

do every thing in his power to annoy the Government of which Lord ANGLESEY was again at the head. The Marquis is said to

have thanked the Member for Waterfbrd for his candour ; and to

have assured him, in return, that he went to Ireland determined to support the law,—that while Mr. O'CONNELL kept within it, he was of course safe from attack ; but if he went beyond it, the Marquis would hang him if he could! And with tills fair expose of their mutual intentions, the man of power and the man of the people parted.

The state of Ireland is not the very best possible ; but we must always accept of the descriptions of its imaginative inhabitants with a few grains of allowance. Above all, we would guard the

public against the very foolish and unfounded opinion that the agitation of Ireland is the sole work of O'CONNELL. The match may light the fire, but if the principle of combustion were

not in the coals, we might as well apply an icicle to them. O'CoN- asset is more the instrument of the dissatisfied people of Ireland, Than he is the master. Were he to hold back, they would take

TONI STEELE, or any one else, to be their representative. O'Cos- NELL has more law, more wit, more eloquence than his humble

admirers, and hence his preeminence. We believe him to be sti- mulated in his present career by mixed motives. His dislike of England has been aggravated by his failure in the House of Com- mons. He might have shone there—he might have been respected and useful, if he had liked. He can, when he takes pains, speak well; he is not uninformed ; he argues not unplausibly, though his logic is not of the best school, and his acquaintance with general prin-

ciples is limited. But O'Comsishe, we find, is lazy. He would treat the House of Commons, where fact is in great request, and de- clamation in none at all, as he does a popular meeting—he would Mink aloud. The House found his reasoning loose, his assertions often without foundation, the whole tissue of his addresses chaff and bran, and laughed at him. He never spoke but one speech worth listening to, and that was his speech at the bar. Again, he had but one topic—Eye-urr-land—Eye-urr-land Now St. Cecilia herself could not elicit harmony from one string, and that base one. And thus, because Mr. O'CONNELL would speak nonsense, and because his nonsense was heard as it deserved, he has taken it into his head, or rather into his heart, that the people of England are careless of his country and sufferings—while they are only tired of 'its blarney: and he is now seeking his re- venge by outraging Aristotle, to tickle the ears of the ground- lings, and pealing forth, like a Russian flute-player, his solitary note, as proud of the performance as if he had Jubars lyre and Miriam's tuneful voice combined. His hatred of Mr. DOHERTY, in like manner, though it may have indirect reference to his esti- mate of that gentleman's character, seems to have been immedi- ately excited by the castigation he received from him on a subject where, if anywhere, O'CONNELL should have been at home—the Subletting Act. What, then, is the secret of O'Coistssm.'s power? Not the political evils of Ireland—for to perceive and to appreciate political evils, asks reflection and investigation, and no man that reflects and investigates will listen to the member's incoherencies : not the religious evils—for the priests that join with the Liberator, serve him as the Indians do the Devil, for fear, and not for love. The Irish agitation is a consequence of the physical misery of Ire- land. The people, whom O'CONNELL has power to move, are the poor and the miserable and the destitute, many of whom have been driven from their hovels by the Disfranchisement Act, and who have not even the ultimum rifugium of the workhouse in which to find shelter. If O'CONNELL sway the freeholders small or great, it is not by the ridiculous mystification of the Repeal, but by playing off against their timorous honesty the violence of their inferior countrymen. It is to the latter that the argument of the absentees, the monstrous exaggeration of the eight millions abstracted by them, and the other purpurei panni of his orations, are addressed, and on them only have they direct power. What is the remedy ? The Times talks of a Habeas Corpus Suspension Bill. Our great contemporary in the same breath speaks of O'CONNELL being excited by a Jesuit confessor. Is it by way of meeting the Jesuit on his own ground, that a hinted approbation is given of a plan by which all law would be suspended, in order to reform the constitution ? The disciples of Loyola hold that the end sanctifies the means. It may be difficult to feed the hungry and clothe the naked of the Irish people—it is certainly both less troublesome and less expensive to give them a proclamation, or even an act of Parliament ; but we do not think its difficulty ought to prevent the attempt. The poor-laws of England are a pre- mium on wretchedness everywhere : their effects are had here, but they are not less mischievous in the other parts of the empire.

They unnaturally lower the price of labour in one division, only to lower it more oppressively its another. Scotland bears up under the infliction, because it opposes to the balance of the poor-laws the balance of intelligence. Ireland is in a worse condition, intellec- tually considered, than England ; and yet we deny to her the schoolmaster and the overseer equally—we neither feed her mind nor her body. Is it wonderful that in her darkness and feebleness she often totters, and sometimes falls ?