A good deal of attentiot, has been excited by two
letters addressed to Mr. O'Connell on his support of the Miaisterial measures for Ire. lurid, and especially the Tithe Act, by :Mr. Patrick O'Brien Bayern, a Catholic priest of' Kneel any, in the count; of Limerick. The first letter commences thus-
" At the close of a session of Parliament in which interests as dear to Ire. land as any she ever suffered or nt 11 for were discussed, it will not be cot. sideied pre.uniptoolvi that a poor pi lest flute the hill of Knockany should offer vou, and, thi ',ugh you, Ins felow countrymen, a few observations. I night perhaps, Sir' have remained siktit, although as an individual those interest' touched ow deeply ; but whet) I reflected how vitally their settlement for right
the or for wrong m m
must affect y numerous flock—when I reinembered that defence of the principles involved in them was bequeathed from sire to sire with undying resolution, through centuries of bloodshed and tyranny—and when I know that 1 bad facts to communicate—invincible facts, tested in my own neighbourhood and unite, my own eyes, which, even though new chain, be forged fur us, it wa W115 of the last importance for my countrymen to learn,— I did not hesitate, humble as I am, and albeit unfit for the task, to address you."
He had another claim on Mr. O'Connell's patience and attention- " You have been hitherto justly considered, and have called yourself the Member for all Instate) ; you have explained the fate of the mighty question you have been engaged in, and the part you took in them ; and your Dublin constituency unanimously applaud your conduct—there was not one dissentient voice—no, not one. Alas, Sir, Dublin, I fear, has not been candid with you, or she has fallen away sadly in sentiment from the rest of the kingdom; for, frankly and kindly, and without forgetting all we owe to your early and stead. fast struggles for Our liberties, I must tell you that a universal feeling of sue. prise, and sorrow, and vexation pervades your movincial constituencies,—sur. prise, that, at a time when over seven millions of people had sworn on the altars of their country that they would no longer pay one farthing of the& grading and blood-stained Tithe-tax, a hlinistry should be found so dariog or so treacherous as to forge new securities for enforcing its payment; sorrow, Sir, humiliating sorrow, that you, of all men on earth, should not only hint lured them into dependence on the Aliuistry, but actually assisted in the manu- facture of these bonds with which their wino manacles were to be strengthened; and vexation, that, as a people, they should have been so hoodwinked, so foolish, so guilty as to coufide the achievement of their freedom and their children's freedom to any one living creature, when they felt the growing ia- vineibility of their own power—when their enemies lay panic.stricken and palsied—when the chains which they had worn for centuries about them were rotting on their bulky limbs, and one bound, one noble burst, would have dn. enthi ailed them for ever. "Do not mistake me, Sir, and imagine that I am about to become your accuser. Time only can unravel the motives of your conduct for the pat year, though on the wisdom and on the result of it public opiniou has already set its seal. To nie and to tl.e country it has been inexplicable, and far wide of the course which any simpe.minded man, with the sole good of Ireland st heart, would have so uck out for himself. Riddle as it was, however, as keg as you promised success from it the people were disposed to be satisfied; bet their hopes once disappointed, their confidence betrayed, they could no lover commit themselves to the mystical duplicity of the policy, even at the tempting of that eloquence to whose music they lead so long listened. Their ears k. come at knyth deaf to the voice of the charmer, charmed he ever on wisely." Mr. Dawn' proceeds to prove, that the Catholics bad virtually abolished tithes for themselves ; mid that the bill which Mr. O'Con. nell enabled Alinisters to carry, bad in fact :addled them with the pay. merit, not only of tithes in future, but of arrears, which before the pat ing of the bill nobody would I ve dr, aimed of collecting. The National; Association by consenting to the instalment system-0 the accurstd delusion of the instalment "— bud led them into the ceurse of mortifica. firm taut disappointment which Sherman Ctawford had clearly dt. scribed- " Never was innocent dereliction of pi inciple on the part of a tempted 0, conliditig vide so severely visited. Tlie appivhensiou and irresoluean Ss. want of earliestuess which It betrayed, proved to the Lords there was no !al eere or serious expectation that what was sought for could be granted; theI
saw that the ball was at their feet, anti they became proportion illy inexorable. he bill was again, and again, and a third time thrown out, untilat length, T hen the country became weary of the vain contention, the Appropriation.
Ii; which the Lords objected, but which was the only part of the essure that tempted or deluded the people to tolerate it at all—was uncere- Einioniously excluded. Yes, Sir, Lord John Russell—your immaculate and justiceslovincf Lord John—ventured to turn into the House a naked bill of secu- rities, inclu ng payment of arrears to the Protestant clergy, which gave them a charge on the first estate, and made the landlords their proctors, at a time when seven millions of people are crying out for abolition—which perpetuated the mockery of churches without congregations, and endowments without set.. vices, amidst a people so poor that the winds and the rains of winter visited them, as they knelt crowded in their lowly houses of worship—which was equally destructive to the interests of landlord and tenant, rendering the one liable to have a receiver placed over his property within thirty days after the tithe falls due, and the other to distress and ejectment if he (lid not enable him to pay—which finally made complaint vain and resistance almost impossible. This bill, Sir, worse than ever was imposed by Alahomedan sword on Grecian vassals,' passed through both Houses of Parliare.:at, and was supported by Daniel O'Connell and a great majority of the Liberal Irish Representatives ! If there was any one thing more irritating to the outraged feelings of a confid- ing people than another, it is, Sir, the manner in which you have spoken of this bill. You load it with every abusive epithet, and in the next breath, and before the murmur of your words has died in your ears, you speak of its passing with as little ceremony as if it related only to the use of powder pavement on the highways. ' I am quite content,' you say, ' to go through the experiment of its conciliating powers.' What, Sir ! enabling the clergyman to place a receiver over the landlord's estate is conciliatory—is it ? Transferring the landlords into tithe-proctors for a reduction of twenty-five per cent., and selling Ireland's birthright for a mess of pottage is conciliating—is it? Degrading the question of principle, of justice, of national pride and national honour, into a
paltry consideration of pounds and pence, is conciliating—is it? Oh, Sir, reflect for one moment ! Was it for the discharge of arrears which never could be recovered, or for a reduction of twenty-five per cent., our ancestors re- sisted this unhallowed tax through sufferings and danger, or that the widow at Rathcorrnac sold the blood of her son ? I may be warm, perhaps, and these observations, as applied to any act of yours, are certainly to me very painful ; but I know the people of Ireland feel with me on the subject, and they will be even more indignant than I have been when they learn that this reduction of twenty-five per cent., and this conciliatory advance of arrears, which you have procured for them in lieu of a perpetuation of tithes, is an utter mockery." And what was Mr. O'Connell's excuse for supporting this unhappy V11?—
" la the House of C•w• mono, and previous to its passing, when your assist- ance was essential to ti albaistry to defeat Mr. Dillon Browne's motion, )on
voted for it as an toile .ient to maintain tranquillity and improve the sy •tein
of tithe, !' Out of tlie ' and o hen the bill beeanie law, and the aie,i..rry cared mint what you sai. of it, you called it an abortion, and deelared yeti voted for it only because it shifted M'hiteboyism from rags and frieze to broad-cloth, and that it would create i fresh crop ef discontent in the country. The ex-
planations to ordinary ...al retandings would appear inconsistent ; but as I can- not doubt your hatted of tithes, I must believe the former to be sham—the latter the true one. I erve with you, Sir, that it will eventually ploduce a fresh crop of discontent ii the country, from the embarrass( (I condition of its landed property ; but I neend for ir, the agitation it will occasion will not be of a nature to influeno so powerfully either a 13ritith Ministry or a British
House of Commons ae toe form, r one ; nor can it have the effect of starving the establishment into cerms, as the passive resistance system had nearly done,
for the State clergy w;ll be enabled ill future to give opposition to every pro- pond, and fight out tInir battles with their pockets always full ! Oh, Sir, even in your own view of a question, it was a fearful experiment, and one which ought not to have been risked where so much was at stake. A nation should never gamble for her rights or her liberties I only wonder how you did not
feel suspicious of the new ground you took, liberties, you found Sir Robert Peel at your elbow, and all the Tory journals in the land applauding the measure you were exerting yourself to carry through. I fear. Sir, you have made a fatal error for your country, and indefinitely deferred the blessing for which she was contending when it lay almost within grasp."
The excuse given by Mr. O'Connell for the strange policy be had pursued during the last three years was unsatisfactory- " It was imperative on us, you said, to keep in the Whig Ministry, if only to give them time to pass some good measures for the country, and to protect us from the infliction of Tory Judges. Now, Sir, let us understand one another. If this Ministry were not sincere, you will, 1 suppose, admit the result of their administration could only be a delusion of the people into disastrous enact-
ments like this Tithe hill ; and the sooner they went out the better. If, on the
other hand, they were sincere, where was the necessity of their going out of office because they could not pass a bill for the extinction of tithes, or its trans- formation into a poor-rate or police-rate? Their failures would not have been greater than they were with the bad bills biought forward ; they would not have been tainted with want of !principle or of honour ; they would have endeared the Ministry as much as if thew measures were successful to a grateful and justice-loving people ; and they would have gradually brought the House of Lords into such odium in England as would have made it excessively dangerous for it to persevere. This very threat of leaving office is, Sir, in itself the strongest proof that the Ministry had no sincere intention of doing justice to Ireland, and that their pretended apprehensions of the Tories and professions to the people were alike hollow delusion. Where, Sir, was the necessity for their embarrassing themselves with a tithe-bill at all ? The people only petitioned for extinction when a measure of interference was impending, for they felt they were themselves settling the question without any new legislation. But let the
worst come, or what you consider the worst, and suppose a Tory Ministry again in power: can you persuade us that they could bold their places for a second session, or that they could now inflict greater evils on us than they did before ? Of these evils we hail some experience, and they all fall infinitely short of the evils of this Whig Tithe-bill. The Tories gave us such an Emancipation Bill, during their reign, as the Whigs would never have dreamt of proposing; and We cannot but suspect, Sir, that the moral power of the seven millions is snore effective under the administration of open enemies than of pretended or paltering friends."
He describes the mode in which payment of tithes was successfully resisted in Limerick (eel tv, by the debtor taking the benefit of the
1nsolveffi Act, and ;.-t ive of filing long and prolix bills in reply to the plaintiffs. lie reminds Mr. O'Connell of the failure of the National _Association —el the difficulty he will experience in reorganiz - ing another similar assembly to act with effect from Dublin on the province,— " The National Assoemmi ii, Sir, never either originated or carried out one useful object for lrelaudhut they did an infinity of mischief, by breaking down the resolution of die people, by treating their hopes as impracticable, and Winning them insidiously away from the direct and certain means by which they were seeking to attain their objects. Long before its suppression, it bad lost the confidence of the provinces, and was regarded by all thinking men as merely a convenient instrument to reconcile the nation to the unpalat- able measures of a Whig Ministry. Believe me, Sir, the people of Ireland have lately had enough of Dublin associations and Dublin agitation ; and, great as the advantage of centralization may be, will endeavour in future to do their work by county clubs or committees, over which they will have no control. You have had yourself a slight inkling of this new feeling, in the proceedings of the recent enormous tithe meetings, and in the fact that you had protests an your pocket from five counties against the worse than Mabomedan Tithe-hill on the night you went down to the House of Commons and supported it. You may carry on your Dublin Association, Sir ; and it will be a delight to me if it aid the efforts of the Irish people honestly and fearlessly; but, until we have strong proof that it is deposed to do so, I would not recommend one single penny to be remitted to its treasury front the provinces. The people of Kil- kenny, of the Queen's County, of Carlow, of Wexford, of Kildare, of Mayo, and of Galway—and they constitute a large proportion of the kingdom—have shown a very determined disposition to act independently, and I make no doubt will form local committees or clubs, and through them enforce their views on the several Representatives, or oblige them to resign their trust; every other county, I am sure, will soon follow their example. " I perceive by the Dublin papers, that you have just developed your plan of' what you call a Precursor Association. The objects you propose are fair and ex- tensive enough, if the country could be for one moment immured that you or the new Association would not flinch from the steady pursuit of them. But what confidence, Sir, can they repose in Dublin Associations after the experience of the National one, which, by its dereliction of to inciple and stretching out its abject hands for delusive instalments, gave 1Vhigs and Tories courage to fisrge stew manacles for the»s? What faith can they auy longer feel in the leader who, on Wednesday, wrote a letter from London, denouncing the Minis- terial bill as worse than ever was imposed by Mahomedan sword on Grecian vassals,' and on the following evening, and with protests from jive I ish court. ties in his pocket, made a speech in support of it, and recorded a rote in its farour ? Oh, Sir, believe me the people are sick of this blowing hot and cold. They have lost all faith in public. men ; and they are determined hereafter to rely solely upon their own exertions, and trust for a unity of those exertions in the several counties to the association which a common sympathy and common interest must insure."
It has been remarked that the Ministerial and O'Connell papers in Dublin have not copied these eloquent and earnest letters—that even the Register has paid them the compliment of' exclusion.
The Archbishop of Armagh, in a charge to his clergy, speaks favourably of the new Tithe-bill : and well he may ! His Grace only regrets that any party should desire the subversion of the arrangement.