26 OCTOBER 1850, Page 15


IRELAND.* THE object of Mr. Stark in his excursion was partly pleasure, partly to observe the state of the peasantry, the conduct of the landlords, and the workings of the Irish Poor-law,—ohiefly per- haps to collect materials for a book, which should be illustrated by his friend Mr. M. Angelo Hayes. He started from Dublin; pro- ceeded through Carlow, Cashel, Tipperaiy, Waterford, Cork, and Skibbereen, to Bantry Bay, his extreme Southern points ; and re- turned to Dublin by way of Killarney. The excursionist adopted various modes of locomotion—railway, steam, public and private car; he often left the beaten track, and examined places not much visited by the common traveller ; he sometimes lingered in a. neighbourhood to inquire into its state, and the character of the gentry. He listened to all that was told him, drew his conclusions from what he saw, and tells the result without circumlocution ; in fact, he may be said to be free in his use of names, and in his re- marks upon the circumstances and conduct of their owners, in. their capacity of landlords and country gentlemen, resident or ab- sentee.

The book is not long; the subjects of the narrative are various; the tourist is familiar with the country and the people ; he has an eye for external appearances, a mind for social inquiries, and a fluent and rather lively style. But he is not a very deep observer, and he sometimes mars an incident or an anecdote by making too much of it. When the story has weight enough in itself, he tells it well ; when it is slight, he endeavours to produce an effect by writing it up, and becomes empty.

With the exception of a chapter devoted to the Poor-law, Mr. Stark is not systematic in his exposition of the social and econo- mical evils of Ireland, but he takes local facts as they turn up. Certain things, however, come out systematically, and jobbing especially. The railways seem to have been deeply infected by it, and even the charitable subscriptions perverted to purposes of private profit. All have heard of Skibbereen and its sufferings: according to Mr. Stark, there needed have been none, except perhaps at the outset.

"I have been making some inquiries as to the manner and amount of the relief afforded to the distressed population of this town and neighbourhood during the memorable famine of 1846-7. Here, perhaps, more than in any other part of the kingdom, the potato blight was felt. Skibbereen owed its chief consequence to the health and abundance of that esculent ; and, of course, when it failed, the privations of the people were proportionately se- vere. Potatoes were the principal crop reared by the farmers—potatoes created the middle-man—potatoes paid the rack-rent, and helped the heart- less landlord to indulge his passions. When the root failed, therefore, the whole fabric built upon it tumbled to pieces, and the civilized world rang with the woes of Skibbereen and the neighbouring village of Schull. And the civilized world was not deaf to the cry of agony. Contributions from every point of the compass, in money and food, from Turk and Christian, from Jew and Gentile, Gael and Saxon, poured in to mitigate the horrors of famine. At one time it was feared that humanity would give up in despair the task of saving Skibbereen. Money sent to it seemed like oil thrown on a fire to extinguish it. It was a vortex that swallowed up everything. Thousands were squandered and, if venerable divines and letter-writing philanthropists were to be believed, the people perished nevertheless. It has been calculated that as much money and food was sent to Skibbereen from charitable bodies as should have fed and clothed the entire population for a twelvemonth. Far be it from me to insinuate that any one nvalled the li- centiate in Gil Blas, who made himself rich by taking care of the poor, and turned to his own use the donations intrusted to him to prevent his fellow- creatures dying of the worst death known to human nature. Still some ex- planation is necessary, or, perhaps, in future, should Providence ever visit this country with new horrors, the fountain of charity in many a bosom will be sealed up by doubt and suspicion. The money and food disbursed by the Relief Committee were duly accounted for, because the Government, which contributed pound for pound, insisted upon the production of u clear state- ment. Every penny expended by the Society of Friends was also made pa. tent to the public. But others have not been equally explicit. Tlw Reve- rend Mr. Townsend, Protestant Rector, was an indefatigable collector of money and provisions, and was eminently successful, owing to the touching appeals he made through the public journals; yet I am told that he has given no Dr. and Cr. accounts of his -benevolent services. Some appa- rently well-informed persons roughly estimated the amount of moneys &o. received by the reverend gentleman as not less than 14,0001.—but this, I must be an exaggeration—and said that the value of his devotion and sacrifices would be greatly enhanced by a full revelation. t It Is all very well, they said, in distributing your own goods, to follow the Scriptural in- • The South of Ireland in IMO ; being the Journal of a Tour in Leinster and Munster. By Archibald G. Stark. With numerous Illustrations. By B. Angelo Hayes. Published by Duffy, Dublin. + Since my visit to Skibbereem, the reverend gentleman has been called to his final audit. before a tribunel which demands a full account of every act does in the body, whether it be good or bad.

junction, and not let your left hand know what your right hand doeth; but the rule, they think, does not hold when you the donatiotis of other people. The Catholic clergy—whose duties during the crisis must have been of the most awful kind—also received great'means, in cash and necessaries • but they avow the Inmost eagerness to render an. dbionnt of

their stewardship.' Indeed, publiellyone cannot help conciliating, . ',Du, AMIT


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"The terminus of the °relit ' ' d' mil& "$.ri. ;, eik.:i' ...C'''' Sin Bridge,- is a stoupsndefielA imiderritiLlib Slipayi

in Irish ' eitterp • great pith' an' ' 'Ed • . '. . ?1..., . . . .

and ' - tilts. The Ini ' 14 i,, sign, and constructed 'With a' iirliffil oft T to 4 minds us of the building of Solomon'eNempleicems, with 'ii* ,• ,41e.ea cession of 'offices; stores, iii ' tnd warelionM0o offer accommodation far the entire traffic of Live ''Manchester, 'Birmingham, and Glasgow. , Byerything—from the lux ously-appointed board-room of the directors, with its Morocco-covered loungers and gorgeous carpet, in which your feet sink as on a bed of moss, down to the fire-shovel with which the begrimed stoker feeds his slave the steam-engine—is of the most costly and substan-. tial quality. While the reflecting. stranger coatimplates all these things, which are usually 'the outward and visible signs' of long-established prosperity and permanent wealth, ho cannot help thinking, that, in a coun- try like ibis, which is proverbially poor, and, in the opinion of many, not ripe for railway communication, if much of the money which had been squandered in superfluous buildings, or in the unneeessary adoimeent of works of utility, had been devoted to purposes of practical advantage—such as the establishment of manufactures along the line, which would have fed the traffic returns—the condition of the shareholders would not be so de- plorable as it is now rePresented.- 'The site choin for the erection of the magnificent terminus•seems to have been. unhappily selected for the uses of the railway, as a formidable hill ,has to be surmounted by the train imme- diately after it starts. Practical en:eneers assert, that had the spirit of job- bing not goVerned the counsela of the directors, much more favourable gra- dients could have been obtained, by adopting, as the locale of the terminus, a position nearer to St. lames's Gate, whichi might have been procured 'at a comparatively moderate expense, as it onlyinvolved the purchase-of a ruined' street and some dilapidated tenements.. Had this been done, the ludicrous ' scene which is of daily occurrence on the line would not be presented. As the string of coniages, in one of which I was placed, toiled up the hill, at the rate of about a mile per hour, I had the curiosity to put my head out of the window, when I certainly was amused by an exhibition which is a re- markable feature in travelling by steam in the middle of the nineteenth century. Two porters, armed with huge MOM . preceded the snorting en- gine, and diligently scoured the rails,—rerainding one of the Scotch game of curling, in which the sportsman with his brush industriously sweeps away all the obstacles on the ice, and coaxes as it were the stone to a further. ad- ' vance. It was laughable to remark the sang triad with which the railway precursors flourished their mope, cleared away the dust from the rails, and then sat down to await the .approach of the train, not to be cut into pieces, but to quietly got up.and recommence the application of their .smoothing process. As the carriages finally topped the lull, they contemplated them. with a self-complacent' we-alone-did-it' sort of look, that seemed to demand the gratitude of all the passengers for having been enabled. by their exer-

tions to overcome the formidable engineering difficulty." ..

' According to information received in a railway carriage, Queen Victoria saw the Leinster property after the manner in which the Em ress Catherine saw the Crimea.

" The change in the condition of thoDulte's tenantry and peasantry must have taken place very suddenly,' I remarked, 'as on the occasion of the Queen's visit to Carton, we were told that all went "merry as a marriage bell," and everybody was comfortable and happy'.'

"'Al, sir,' said my fellow-traveller, with .a look of indulgent pity at my simplicity, 'it would have been better if thei Queen had never come to Ire- l,d at all, than that she should have been blindfolded in the way she was; and only that I am told she is a shrewd little lady, full of intelligence, who looks under the &Ulm° of things, she must have been deceived by the state of apparent comfort which she witnessed on the-only occasion when she pe- netrated into the infOrlOr of the bourit.7.. 514'saiJm dein; to Carton in a carriage drawn by four blood-horses, wheh-carried her over the country at a much quicker pace than we are now going _Amon this railway. The Duke had made a wise provision that nothing unsightly should meet the royareye daring the journey; for half-a-dozenfleet horsemen preceded the carriage, whose business it was to falsify the old adage that "a cat may look at a Eng." Well-dressed persons wake allowed to remain on the mad and take of their hats and cheer the Queen'; 'bat all wandering beggars and vagrants were, without ceremony,- whipped over the hedge into the fields, and com- pelled to remain there in obscurity until the royaltrain had passed' '. " 'Still,' I remarked, !her Majesty's heart must have been gratified at the sight of the "bold peasantry, their country's pride," who appeared so gaily on the lawn of Carton House.' ' r I Ha! ha! ha !'—and the fat grazier roared with lau,„ohter, like one that hid the lungs of a Stentor. 'Bold peasantry, indeed! Do you know what, sir—it is twenty years since I was in the Theatre Royal, Dublin ; but the last time I was there I saw much more ,joyous peasants disporting themselves on a lawn on the stage in Hawkin's Street ; and of the two I think Mr. Cal- craft is a better manager than the Duke. I was at Carton, and can tell you that no one who was not up to the mark in the matter of dress, no person out at the elbows, or whose locks made their appearance through the roof of his hat, was allowed to approach the lawn. INThy, the fellow who danced the lnA jig you have heard so much of, and who was dressed in a cutaway grey frieze coat,. corduroy breeches, and worsted stockings and knee-buckles, was a dancing-master from Carlow • and his fair partner, with the short, borne-spun petticoat, was a bar-maid an inn in Athy, who appeared, by particular desire, in that garb for the first time in her life, and for that day only.'

"'Any one for Mageney ?' roared the guard. " 'I am,' responded the grazier; and my ' fat friend' vanished."

A portion of the volume is devoted to an examination of several' workhouses that employ their paupers, (and from the necessity of the ease generally in handicraft or manufactures,) as well as to a consideration of pauper labour in connexion' with its alleged particular benefits, and the general objection upon principles of political economy. The mere dogmas of political economy are not to be taken absolutely, unless they can be supported by reason : for the original author may have mistaken the matter ; or a new and imforeseen state of things may have arisen, which would have in-

answer every good purpose.' ' ,•• 7 fI.1 A4sR fl tri (Pi erIlLttle? rates wo Ow. tip. put

management, while the paupers would , no more_. Wafer° with

the labour-market than if they had been sent to a distant country ; though they would not,. as is the case with judicious colonization, become customers, supplying new commodities to the mother- country- and demanding goods in return. to like manner, all the food or raw materials that paupers can raise beyond the abso- lute. cost of reiabaglis pure gain. It is: no valid objection to say that the, pauper's labOur is .marketably unprofitable or unproduc- tive ; that it costs more to keep him than he produces. Kept he must be though he does nothing : if it costs three pounds a year for his feoil and he produces only one pound, it is still a pound gained. There is also the use of his improvement of the land ; for, as Adam Smith observes, although a man may ruin himself in improving, the public is a gainer by the extent of the .improve- ment.

The case of manufactures or handicraft, and still more the making-up of goods—as garments, shirts, &c.—for sale out of doors, is not perhaps so easily settled.' But we think that what- ever the pauper uses, that he may properly prodece—if he can be brought to do it. We have greater doubt about articles made for

sale, as it is a direct interference with indep Aniustry Tho

taking in work is still, more open to question, ,,the nature a, the case, it isBliely .to,ereate a ruinous competition, -and to make.; two or three paupers instead of one. But this part of the question- lies deeper Wart workhouse wOrk.. Sifinething is rotten in that state of society When the unwilling and the unskilled labour of paupers has a, palpably injurious effect upon emplpyinent and wages: • La our nun' d, however, the question has never been so much one; of propriety as practicability. No doubt, when favourable eir= cumstances—zeal, Skill, and the power of stimulating the minctsri of men—combine together, paupers may be made to work benev. &hilly. But can such, a result be-secured under average or under-4 any circumstances ? can it even be sustained under the most favoirrz,1 able ? When we hear of the beneficial effects produced in a work- ' house by the -exertions of an active/and judicious enthusiast, we only hope his zeal may continue. When. we read of the r-olisk, for work displayed by Irish or any other paupers we have strongx misgivings of the fact ; we recur to our author's ;tory of the Duke of Leinster's peasant fete at Carton. libused him to modify pr at INflat there are larger 4. -We' Pr 4?Bi

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