WHO PAYS THE REPEAL:RENT ?
THE bulk of it is unquestionably subscribed by people who have nothing to spare after providing their own mere subsistence and paying rent to their landlords. If those poor tenants paid their landlords rent in full, they could not contribute to the Repeal rent. Instead of paying to the landlord, they pay to O'Conrazu,; and thus the greater part of the funds which pass into the hands of the Agitator is a deduction from the rental of Ireland. The present rate of deduction is expressed by about 100,000/. a year ; not sufficient to exhibit distinctly out of whose pockets the money really comes, but enough, if the subject were inquired into, to furnish ample evidence of a corresponding increase of receipts by O'CONNELL and decrease of receipts by the landowners. It is a very in. genious, and, considering the object in view, a most effective process: the confiscation of the land, under the name of "fixity of tenure," is pursued by the aid of funds which the owners of the land supply ; the property supports the war against property. This conclusion is inevitable for those who will reflect. But so monstrous a state of things, it may be said, cannot last long. Wherefore not ? How long it may last, seems to depend on the scale of operations. A small number of refractory tenants may be forced to pay rent to their landlord; but if a large proportion of the tenantry of any country simultaneously withhold rent, no process of law can oblige them to pay : they may laugh at the operation of distress and ejectment ; they may defy the law of rent as completely as the peasantry of Ireland once put the law of tithe at defiance. Therefore, the true question is, whether the practice of paying Repeal rent instead of landlord's rent is likely to grow as respects both numbers and amount. The tendency is surely in that direction. The passive rebellion in Ireland seems to gain strength and stability every day. Every Repeal meeting must help to augment the enthusiasm, fix the objects, and render habitual the organization of the great bulk of the peasantry. The chronic stage of disease is succeeding the acute. Already, we firmly believe, it requires but a word or a secret whisper from O'CONNELL or the Irish clergy, to put a stop to the payment of rent over the greater part of Ireland. "Fixity of tenure" would then mean, that every one should keep what land he had got. The doctrine has been propounded in Wales ; and it is well to remark here, that Mr. CORDER was cheered at the Penenden Heath meeting last week when he advised the Kent farmers to consider the subject of an "adjustment of rent and tenure!'
It is supposed that Sir ROBERT PEEL expects the Irish rebellion to subside of itself; as soon as O'CONNELL shall retire to Derrynane for the hunting-season. Meanwhile, the Premier is vigorously attacked for his inaction. A slashing article in the Times, which we reprint, describes his Government as even less efficient than that of Lord MELBOURNE in its latter days. Be it so, for argument's sake; but what then ? Does the Times imagine that the Tory party possesses any other man capable of leading or even forming a more efficient Administration ? Or would it give the Whigs another trial ? Neither the one nor the other, as every at tentive reader of the article will perceive : and this shows what the aim of the writer is. He is the ally of some who have hitherto failed to persuade Sir ROBERT PEEL to try mere coercion for Ireland. The Prime Minister's rejection of this advice does him honour; and so far we are disposed to agree with the Standard, which says-" Wait patiently a little longer, and you will see firmness and quietness bearing away a victory in Ireland not inferior to what they have achieved elsewhere." But it is only as the alternative of nothing but coercion, that we can admire the nothing at all which the Standard terms firmness and quietness. The state of Ireland demands politic legislation with the view of removing causes, not merely suppressing symptoms for a while. May this opinion of BURKE and Priv, and Europe and America, be adopted by our statesmen before it shallhe easier to see who pays the Repeal Rent!