Front Page Titles (by Subject) Final Reflections. - Ireland: Social, Political, and Religious, vol. 2
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Final Reflections. - Gustave de Beaumont, Ireland: Social, Political, and Religious, vol. 2 
Ireland: Social, Political, and Religious, ed. W.C. Taylor (London: Richard Bentley, 1839). Vol. 2.
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In the midst of all the miseries, all the perils, and all the complications of which we have drawn so mournful a picture, one consoling aspect is offered to our view.
Whence have these embarrassments, perils, and difficulties, which her greatest statesmen are all but unable to solve, come upon England?—From Ireland: from Ireland, unfortunate and oppressed; on which England formerly practised a severe and selfish conquest; which England cruelly attacked in her religious liberty, after having deprived the country of political liberty; from Ireland, held during centuries under a yoke of iron, and subjected, without relaxation, to the most odious persecutions ever invented by the most ingenious tyranny.
And it is this people, crushed by so much oppression, and degraded by so much servitude,—this people so often mutilated, broken, and trampled under foot by England; it is this people, a victim by turns to every form of calamity, foreign and civil wars, massacres and exiles, the sword that slays, the gold that corrupts, the law that persecutes;—it is this people, rent in sunder by eternal convulsions, and decimated by annual famines,—it is this people of paupers, this people of rags, this people of slaves, that now becomes to its tyrants a source of embarrassment and peril!
Assuredly, here is matter of grave meditation for rulers and for nations. Does it not show that violence and corruption are bad engines of government? Does it not show that every system of policy, to be good, must begin by being just, and that in the art of guiding nations, as in the science which serves individuals to guide themselves, no separation should be made between honesty and policy?
There are occurring at this moment, amongst the two greatest nations that ocean separates, two phenomena of the same nature, which deserve to engage the attention of the world.
The United States of North America are beyond contradiction the most fortunate nation on earth: in no country are the conditions of society so equal and so prosperous; no land advances so rapidly to the power conferred by wealth and industry; nowhere is the progress of humanity so constant and so extraordinary. Still, in the midst of this marvellous prosperity, shining with so bright a splendour, a frightful stain appears; this body, so young, so healthy, so robust, bears a deep and hideous wound. The United States possess slaves. Vainly in that christian land do religion and humanity devote themselves with admirable virtue to heal this fearful evil; the leprosy is extending, it is blighting pure institutions, it is poisoning the felicity of the present generation, and already depositing the seeds of death in a body full of life.
At the same time that the United States in America are making fruitless efforts to expel the negro race from their bosom, because their slavery troubles and humiliates them; the nation, which is probably the best skilled in the art of government in Europe, England, exhausts herself in useless efforts to shake off a nation which she took six centuries to conquer, and struggles vainly under the miseries of her slave.
And how have these two nations reached situations so sad and so similar?—By the same roads,—by a primary act of violence, followed by a long course of injustice.
America and England would indeed gladly abandon these pernicious paths which terminate in such frightful abysses. But it is not so easy to escape from the pernicious and dark road which has so long been followed; long deviations and tedious retracing of steps are necessary for such a purpose. When the solemn violations of morality and justice have been continued for centuries, the deep perturbation which they have produced in moral order must endure long after they have ceased. It is not sufficient that the tyrant, who believed tyranny useful to his interests, should recognise his error in order that he should escape the consequences of his iniquity. It does not depend on the greater or less intelligence of selfishness to suspend or prolong the responsibility of its actions. From the moment that oppression has begun to exist, the oppression has incurred the fatal penalty. This law is severe, but it is just and sublime; there is a happiness in recognising that selfishness, injustice, and violence bring with them retributions as infallible as their excesses.
There are those who believe that individuals and nations are led by fatality to crime. The opinion is false; it is injurious to humanity, which, by such a theory, cannot be acquitted of crime without being deprived of virtue. The crimes of nations, like those of individuals, are voluntary, not necessary acts. There is nothing necessary but the consequence of crimes; nothing predestined but their expiation.
ibotson and palmer, savoy-street, strand.
[1.]Tithes were, however, debated more for the mode in which they were levied, than the purpose to which they were applied.
[2.]The Irish parliament did not scruple to rob the church of the tithe of agistment.
[3.]This is a pretty accurate picture of what occurred at Rathcormack in 1834.
[4.]Similar circumstances occurred in other English markets.
[5.]See the Works of the late Bishop of Limerick.
[1.]The government, however, prosecuted Swift’s printer.
[2.]Gordon’s History of Ireland, vol. ii.
[3.]Interference on the part of the government is now rare.
[4.]Delegation was, however, prohibited by an act of parliament.
[5.]Wright had a note in his possession written in French; the sheriff was ignorant of the language, but he concluded that everything written in French must be treasonable.
[6.]He was subsequently reimbursed.
[7.]See Irish State Trials.
[8.]See Lord Lorton’s Letters.
[6.]See Sir W. Horton’s Tracts on Emigration.
[7.]See Sir W. Horton’s Tracts on Emigration.
[8.]See Sir W. Horton’s Tracts on Emigration.
[9.]The emigration of Protestants of the middle class is increasing.
[3.]The law promises to work well; so far as it has been tried, the results have been beneficial.
[4.]This evil has not yet arisen.
[5.]This is exaggerated.
[6.]These doubts do not appear to be justified, so far as the Poor Laws have yet been tried.
[7.]These doubts do not appear to be justified, so far as the Poor Laws have yet been tried.
[8.]These doubts do not appear to be justified, so far as the Poor Laws have yet been tried.
[9.]These doubts do not appear to be justified, so far as the Poor Laws have yet been tried.
[1.]This occurred in 1525.—See Lingard’s History.
[2.]See Mr. Leon Foucher’s brochure on the Division of Land in France.
[3.]This plan is proposed amongst others by Von Raumer.