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PROSPERITY OF IRELAND DURING THE ERA OF INDEPENDENCE, AND THE MEANS BY WHICH THE
LEGISLATIVE UNION BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND WAS CARRIED,
The committee of the Repeal As- tion,
Michael Joseph Barry, sociation voted, from the funds sacred Esq., Alderman Staunton, and the to the God of Mystery, £225, as prizes
Rev. J. Godkin. To their essays in for the three best “ Essays written in the volume we are about to examine, support of the Repeal of the Act of is appended as a tail piece, a brochure Union ;" and suggested, among other on Federalism by a gentleman named things, that the authors " should de- Ramsay.t velope a form of executive and legis- Now, we have never bappened to lative constitution" for Ireland. Forty- see so perfect a correspondence beeight manufacturers of governments tween a subject proposed for investiand artificers of constitutions, quickly gation, and the mode of conducting presented schemes for the construc- its discussion, as those Essays exhibit. tion of parliaments, and the forma. To effect this beautiful congruity, tion of cabinets. John O'Connell, the union between cause and effect is Thomas Davis, and Smith O'Brien, almost uniformly repealed ; Esqrs., presided over the sortilege, nection among related facts, nearly by which was decided the chances, without exception dissolved ; argufor we cannot conceive thəy pro- ments diverge from arguments as if nounced judgment on the claims of in horror of centralization; and the the competing Benthams, and rival authors, in hatred of Britain, we sup. Siêyes. The three Solons, who ob- pose, have even attempted to revolutiontained the prizes, diminishing in all ize the English language. Thus, Mr. the elegance of arithmetical propor- Barry calls an abridgment of Plow
* As we cannot discover the reasons why the essay of Mr. Barry was preferred to that of Alderman Staunton, which is in every respect so much its superior, we are forced to conclude that chance, not opinion, decided the prizes. The first prize is called-Ireland as she is, as she was, and as she shall be. The secondReasons for a Repeal of the Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland. The third–The Rights of Ireland ; and the fourth--A Proposal for the Restoration of the Irish Parliament.
† This gentleman obtained praise but no pudding, which is at once disgraceful to the liberality of the Association, and derogatory to the dignity of Mr. Grey Porter.
VOL. XXVII.-No. 157.
den's History of Ireland, and some extravagant credulity to believe that statistical facts (or assertions) con- the prize essays would contain lucid cerning the state of Irish manufacture reasoning ; still we expected that they in 1800, the “ Consequences of a Re- would abound in brilliant sophistries; peal of the Union ;” and the Rev. Mr. and it was with a feeling of disappointGodkin, in the true spirit of lingual ment, even in some degree resembling reform, and to establish, perhaps, a regret, we were forced to conclude, repeal vernacular, terms his chapters that the strongest case
ever made on “ the Ancient Irish Nation,” the against the repeal of the Legislative “ Anglo-Norman Conquest,” “ the Union, was developed in the prize English Pale,” “ the Reformation,” essays; and that the intellect of the &c., &c., “ The rights of Ireland.” empire could not produce positive ar
Although, a contempt for logical guments, of a value equal to the nearrangement, and a scorn of chrono- gative proofs supplied by these tracts, logical order, may, under certain cir- of the necessity and advantages of cumstances, be of great advantage to the imperial connexion. writers, and to the advocates of Yet, perhaps, we would be doing Repeal, we at once concede their the authors of those essays injustice, utility ; yet, from sorrowful if we did not furnish the instructions perience, we know, that a lofty dis- given them by the repeal committeedain of sequences and eras, is an instruction of such a character as almost intolerable evil to the un- must have, necessarily, influence both happy being, whose deplorable destiny in the materials and style of their condemns him to read, and, if pos- compositions. sible, to understand the productions of The committee suggested that the such authors. It is painful, nay, it is authors should state and refute the mentally excruciating,
arguments which may be advanced affirm, with all the sincerity of misery, against the establishment of a domestic to peruse---study-ponder, and to legislature for Ireland ; that they find yourself, at last, about as ra- should state fully the arguments for tionally employed, as if you repeal; that they should develop a making a succession of efforts to grasp form of executive and legislative cona handful of water.
stitution, calculated to secure the bapWhen truth had to pass through piness of the Irish people, and to prothe prison of repeal, although we mote unity of feeling between the knew that the brightness of the ray constituent parts of the British emwould be lost, still we looked for the pire ; that they should illustrate the beauty of the spectrum. The me- inter-national relations which they dium, no doubt, was misty, not with. propose
shall hereafter subsist between standing we hoped the iris would be Great Britain and Ireland, by examples distinct. We had not, indeed, the taken from the history* and existing
Mr. Barry thus gets rid of this suggestion, and avoids all historical investigation. “Having drawn from the history of Ireland hersell, the arguments which go to prove that necessity and those advantages, I might at once reply to any oue, who souglit to controvert them, by facts taken from the history of other countries, by saying, such facts may be very true, but they prove little. If you can show an exact similarity of produce, of geographical position, of national characterin fact, a complete resemblance in every particula: between the country, whose example you cite, and Ireland, then, indeed, your argument has weight : if not, all it goes to show is that the circumstances of the countries being different, like relations to other countries have produced different effects, This would be fair and honest reasoning, but I will not now have recourse to it.” Now, notwithstanding Mr. Barry's last statement, there is but one short passage having reference to foreign history in his Essay, although he devotes a chapter to the present condition of Belgium and Scotland.
As the circumstances required by Mr. Barry to constitute an analogy are morally and physically impossible, all reasoning drawn from the experience of other countries must, according to his dicti, be abandoned. The attempt thus to extinguish the torch of history required no ordinary courage.
institutions of other countries; and, slow remedial process of individuality; in particular, that they should examine error, a wide-spreading epidemic how far the constitution of Norway, among multitudes; nonsense repeated, and its connexion with Sweden, may may at last become disordered opiserve as a model for the new constitu. nion; and even such arguments as tion of Ireland ; that they should de- those contained in the prize essays (if cribe the probable consequences which unanswered) might have a power to may be expected to result from a effect evil. repeal of the Union, pointing out the We will endeavour to examine, dangers to be apprehended, and the what we must in reverence to the mealis by which those dangers may be memory of Chesterfield, term the araverted.
gumenis of the essayist, protesting, In these instructions, political prob- at the same time, vehemently-for we lems, with impossible conditions, are confess ourselves liable to contagionoffered for solution; inconsistent pro- against any exception being taken to positions required to be reconciled ; a our consistency, should we, partially, demand is made to discover analogies deviate from this arrangement. among contradictions, and to develop, “ Under domestic legislation,” says in extenso, absurdities. They present Alderman Staunton, “ the progress of a task well worthy of the genius of the country (Ireland) was without exByfoged Horneman and his fellow ample." Now, if this assertion be legislators, who altered, in about a true, the following are its deducibles, month, the second-hand and cast off viz. : that the prosperity of a country constitution of Spain to suit Norway, is best promoted by the sternest ty
The prize essays inay be regarded ranny; its avantages most quickly as one of the results of the repeal po- forwarded by the grossest ignorance ; licy to create a public opinion in its wealth most rapidly developed by favour of separation, since it has been rendering industry penal; that perfound that threats of force, however secution must be an invaluable instru. violent, and the assemblage of mobs, ment of government; and cruelty the however large, are insufficient to dis- best means of rule ; for the Irish solve the connexion. For this purpose, parliament, skilled in the science of an educational course has been pre- oppression, employed all those devices pared. The novel, the history, the to dehumanise the great mass of the ballad, literature in every form, have population it ruled. But, it may be been made subsidiary to this object. alleged, that “the progress without Falsehood is insinuated in the beautiful
example,” is limited to the period language of poetry ; sedition incul. which intervened between the era of cated in the seducing pages of ro- Independence and the Union ; now mance. This policy has been eini. although, this sense of the passage nently successful : the youthful mind will involve a most violent refraction of the middle classes, of the vien who of language, yet, in charity to Alderhave time to read, but not the skill to Staunton's understanding, we reason, is in the state of rapidly must adopt it as his meaning. Is it being debauched; and we trust that true, then, that the prosperity of Irethose facts will form our apology to land "progressed without example," our readers for having obtruded the between 1782 and 1800. prize essays on their attention. Dis
The following Abstracts of the Exease may be transmitted by contagion; ports and Imports of Ireland, for but there is no means of propagation thirty-six years before the Union, will of health ; as is the physical, so is the aid the solution of the question :moral nature of man; truth is the
Rhe- Span-MeFrench. Port.
ish. deira. Tuns. Tuns. Tuns
AESTRACT OF IMPORTS.
Years Bullion. Barley. Wheat.
1765 22,366 | 48,854 10,529 903 129,331 | 122,318 67,409 46 757,185 153,470 1,230,840 4,431,801 263,908 4.968 | 1,448
650 3,235 7,566 205,858 69,243 28,902 1,600 356,133 120,483 1,322,506 | 3,949,740 695,309 346,208 3,001 1'697
226,434 144,438 1,234,502 3,619,687 336,740 479,115 2,264 1'614
243,286 84,156 267,305 5,501,535 1,224,506 517,127 2,781 2 158
429,428 99,776 256,272 3,549,954 887,767 433,248 1,757 18 57
394,457 73,991 1,033,003 5,468,373 918,981 716,235 1,992 588
347,080 76,801 868,504 4,049,956 1,035,432 830,808 2,297 614
320,699 81,101 1,057,487 4,207,935 944,744 601,156 2,166 1,954
256,405 67,823 1,148,595 3,212,785 1,420,591 650,307 2,092 2,562
213,671 | 100.624 839,900 3,929,475 1,101,096 635,700 2,142 2,845
142,960 64,945 628,279 3,651,103 1,521,125 473,846 2,062 3,157 1793 17,701 24,596 5,525 1,905 158,005 119,603
63,379 86,044 559,136 1,771,326 1,389,844 454,754 1,973 2.898 1794 1,73 3,322 190,722
51,982 77,634 320,733 7,819,830 1,772,648 381,269 8812,789 1795 96,294 3,467 203,736
34,508 77,355 498,946 6,422,920 1,620,954 420,336 685 3,582 1796 26 13 2,398 223,891
27,971 9,152 218,870 4,872,505 2,418,918 551,783 2,348 7,983 1797 7,056 155 9,164 180,674
6,655 125,136 6,302,323 2,025, 733 300,533 306 4,491 1798 52 611 9,627 214,845
3,498 1,363 79,720 8,790,196 2,372, 103 120.151 81 1,124 1799 3,237 85 2,373 224,788
8,603 324 127,140 7,140,067 2,856, 011 97.229 227 6,267 1800 44,898 18,588 ! 13,187 241,177
15,830 5,371 372,582 7,368,790 2,734, 037 / 139,600 931 | 8,459