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of nature; for the professors disgrace christianity, which is properly the religion of universal good-will, and are alike distant from that true goodness which knows not in the true duties of life a Samaritan from a Jew. There is nothing so difficult to overcome as rooted prejudices, and they certainly never will be overcome in Ireland, until the manners of the people can be changed; the means that have been used are mistaken means; terror may for a time silence the active voice of disaffection, but it will murmur; the scaffold may present dreadful examples, but when the sufferers are loved, every rebel is called a martyr, and the cause acquires inward strength; the Irish have it now strongly fixed in their minds, that they are a degraded people, that they shall never be liked again by this country, and that they will always be used with hạrshness and cruelty; in short, they are sinking fast into that fatal despondency, which creates the strong sensations of revenge and hatred against the authors of their misery. I have paid much attention to the succession of tragic events which have occurred in Ireland, I have seen the noble minds of men disordered with the phrenzy of rebellion, who would have been grand ornaments of society; but notwithstanding the knife has been used, the corroding ulcer remains, the constitution of Ireland is as diseased as ever. It is the great business of true policy, by insensible inculcations of truth, to operate on the minds of a people, not to shock by new and offensive innovations, but to get at their consents by introducing among them a new spirit, and the spirit of humanity
is best suited to soften the fierceness and asperity of the Irish, who are naturally hospitable and brave. I am sorry to observe, but I do it with respect and love for the Roman catholics, that their religion is encomrassed by superstitions and prejudices which destroy its beauties; the Roman catholics, or rather the Papists, are much too jealous, much too proud, they ask for toleration, but do not give it: the greater part of the misunderstanding among mankind has originated in priest-craft. It is pleasing to the rational mind to contemplate the unassuming dignity with which some of the clergy of the church England perform their offices of charity and love, and there is a Roman catholic priest in this country, whose sermons are the same lessons of good will and charity; men like these can never disagree; no, it is the ignorant wretched dealers in the false articles of religion, who keep up their conjurations to maintain themselves; for hundreds of priests in Ireland would starve, were the poor people once frced from the enchantments of priestcraft; wretched as they are, they will frequently give all they have to their priests, who in return, inculcate and nourish in their minds that hatred so fatal to their happiness. Good heavens!' where is the understanding of the country hid; will it for ever suffer low and mean prejudices to disturb the repose of reason ? let the hated distinctions of Orange and Croppies be heard no more, but let the catholic and the protestant embrace; let them be united by the intermarriage of sentiment; let the priests be instructed by the superiors of their church to imbibe no more ideas of dislike and hatred, but let them preach love and peace; let the present race of ignorant teachers run out, and let their places be supplied by men of education and understanding, in whose hands religion may be unpolluted, and the people safe from imposition, much fewer in numbers, but much stronger in true religion.
The custom of hunting the Wren is an unhappy proof of the hatred of the low Irish; for the Orange party, it is said, that at the time Prince William gained the battle of the Boyne, one of these poor little harmless creatures happened to alight upon a drum, which was considered as a good omen by the army of William, and since that time, a barbarous and disgraceful anniversary of sport is kept of this incident, when the low catholics sally forth, and wherever they can find a wren, hunt the poor little creature to death. Who is it can thus dare to separate humanity from religion?
True policy will then direct the means of giving peace to that country. It can only be brought about by the mutual determination of men of liberal minds of either party; to produce so desirable an object, let invidious distinctions be proscribed; let the catholics participate all the blessings and advantages of the protestants, power alone excepted; let the good sense of each country unite for the benefit of each, and it may then be called, with truth, the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Sunday, Dec. 11th, 1803. MR. MAN IN THE MOON, “ I know that you like something extraordinary, and must therefore inform you that during the whole twenty-four hours of yesterday I did not once scold or find fault with my husband, nor did even a murmur of discontent escape my lips during all that time at the awkwardness of the servants, which you know, Mr. Man in the Moon, (if you keep servants
very provoking sometimes, and which indeed used to be my constant and perpetual theme when not immediately engaged in a quarrel with my husband. I fear, however, that you will not be disposed to give me full credit for the forbearance, when I inform you it was occasioned by a sudden cold and hoarseness, which rendered my speaking very painful, and had well nigh taken away my voice into the bargain. My husband, indeed, was not in the secret, but called me his dear love, and treated me with such kindness and affection on the occasion, thinking it to be an attempt of mine towards amendment, that I am half inclined to try the experiment in earnest, and endeavour most valiantly to conquer this unruly member of mine. Yet I thought it right to ask your opinion on my case before I begin such an important work; and particularly whether I may safely attempt a reformation at once, or by degrees, and how I am to answer the charges that may be alledged against me for giving up this most valuable female privilege and strong hold. An immediate answer will oblige,
Sir, your humble servant,
The only answer I shall give to my correspondent, is the publication of the following letter, which I received by the same post; and which I hope will better please and instruct her than any thing I can say. For, in truth, the inhabitants of the Moon have some old maxims current amongst them respecting scolds, which I am very unwilling to disclose at this stage of my acquaintance with the ladies of this country, lest the Man in the Moon be accused of saying rude things to them, and so lose every hope of their countenance and favour.
“ The happy, especially those who have become so by a sudden and unexpected event, have always had the privilege of expressing their feelings of it to every body without regard to place or circumstances, provided it was done within a reasonable time after the event; nor has it indeed been expected (as in other cases) that the subject should be of general concern. Whilst, therefore, I may use this privilege, I hasten to tell you that yesterday made me the happiest of men, by a sudden alteration which has taken place in the conduct and temper of my wife. You must know, Sir, that from being a notorious scold, and the eternal alarum of our family, she has suddenly become as gentle and quiet as a lamb, and was not heard to utter a single syllable during yesterday. Conceive my joy, when, after years of incessant noise and contradiction, I contemplate this proof of her ability to be silent as the earnest of many a happy day, which we may yet