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themselves; and it was not until after the fall or decline of their system that great fortunes were made in France out of the public spoil. Now in Ireland, murderers, denouncers and traitors were loaded with rewards. And he of the Irish who committed the most cruelties against his countrymen was distinguished with most favor.
Secondly. In France, though death was wantonly inflicted in a way to make human nature shudder, yet the crime of corporal torture was not resorted to even where guilt was proved; in Ireland, torture of the innocent merely to extort accusation, was the avowed system, and indemnified as loyalty and vigor beyond the law!"
Thirdly. In France, the Catholic clergy were banished; in Ireland they were hanged. Many of the French have since returned, and live happy in their country; those þanged in Ireland can never more return.
Fourthly, In France it was a question which of two principles of government should prevail; in Ireland it was whether there should be a national or a foreign government. I cannot give much credit to the English minis. ters for their zeal in this controversy. For as Mr. Sheridan once pointedly observed, England had incurred a ruinous debt of six hundred millions of pounds sterling, one half of which was to pull down the Bourbons, and the other to set them up. No more consistent was it to send king George's troops to protect the person of the Pope in Rome, and then to tell him that his coronationoath prevented him from giving relief to his Catholic subjects at home.
Fifthly. There was no instance in France of men being put to death for saving the lives of their persecutors. In Ireland it was done.
Sixthly. I never could hear that that most brutal of all ferocity, the forcible violation of female chastity, had made part of the system of terror in France; that it did in Ireland is too deplorably true.
There is a story related and strongly attested to me, which it would be unjust to suppress: Two young ladies of the Orange or governmeut faction, whose father, Mr. HG, had rendered himself by violent cruelty peculiarly obnoxious; and who (shame of their sex) had performed with their own hands many acts of torture and indignity, fell into the power of the rebels.
Their consciences suggested that they ought to share the fate which the Irish women had suffered on similar occasions. They addressed themselves to certain young officers of the rebel detachment, requesting their protection from the mob; but offering, as to them, to surrender their persons at discretion. The rebel officers replied with dignity and generosity, that they had taken arms against the enemies of their country, to punish their crimes, but not to imitate them.
I might push this parallel much further; but it would be useless, and it is certainly disgusting: still, however, your question recurs; how instruments can be found in any country to execute such deeds as makes us sometimes detest our very species, and almost wish to be of any other.
Grave and true as this reflection is, let us not, my dearest friend, push ít too far. And above all, in christian and charitable hope let us presume that all who have had part in these crimes are not in equal guilt. Might it not be possible that even some are innocent?
Without recurring to the tyrannies of remote or an.
cient nations, and all their histories are pregnant with such instances, let us take that of England alone in her civil wars. Multitudes have fallen innocently for what did not concern them. Witness the wars of the white and the red rose. Yet in those wars all the noble blood was attainted with treason and rebellion; whilst the vulgar rotted without name. All England was in action on one side or other; but it would be too violent to say there was no man of either party innocent.
At an after period, when in the name of the ever living God of Peace and Love, the pile was lighted to burn heretics and schismatics, and those who would neither swear nor subscribe to new doctrines and articles of credence understood by nobody, were cast into the flames; and those that did subscribe and swear to them, were, in their turn, as the balance of dominion shifted, cast into the flames. When the child yet unborn was ripped from the mother's womb, and cast into the flames, and when the whole nation was fanaticised on the one side or the other, was no man innocent?
In all the wars of conquest and of plunder, in which England has had her ample share, was no man innocent?
In all the cruelties committed in America, in Africa, and in India, by the English, was no man innocent?
In all the barbarous crimes committed by our ancestors, the English, against our ancestors, the Irish, as bloody as those which have happened in our own days, was no inan innocent?
When you will have answered all these questions, you will have found the solution of your own.
Let us endeavor to cherish the most consolatory sentiment. Example, education, habit, ignorance, the influence of power, the smooth seductions of corruption and of luxury, the warmth of passion, the baneful effects of calum-' ny and imposture, mistaken zeal which degenerates into bigotry, the weakness of the coward and the pressure of the tyrant, the temptations of wealth and the goadings of necessity, are so many fatal snares ever lying in wait for the integrity of miserable man. None have ever suddenly become consummate in iniquity; the gradations are often insensible. Few causes so bad but may put on some shew of fairness; and the human mind, seldom free from bias of some kind, finds too easy an excuse in sophistry and selfdelusion for its first deviations; but the path of rectitude, once forsaken, is not easily regained.
Such is the human heart; its issues are strange and inscrutable, and the paths of error many and intricate. I have often witnessed with deep regret these early conflicts between virtue and error, in the breast of those I loved. I have seen them struggle; I have seen them suffer; I have seen them falter, and I have seen them fall.
I have scen them turn away from me, whilst my heart was yet warm towards them, and have lamented it in vajn; and I have seen, that when the soul first proves recreant to truth, and first swerves from the acknowledged principles of immutable and eternal justice, it is from that moment difficult to say how far its aberrations may extend. In the beginning it will search for pretexts and excuses; by degrees
it will be more easily satisfied; until at length conscience becomes callous and crime familiar.
Enough, my best friend, of this dismal subject. I have pursued it so far in compliance with your request. It is for my own peace now, that I beg your permission to re
linquish it, and proceed to your next enquiry, if not more easy of solution, at least more agreeable.
of the Character of the French Nation.
ON this head I should greatly fear to add to the number of tourists and travellers, who have said much and said little; whose only merit has been to put together stale conceits and garbled anecdotes. But you say that every nation has a character, and I readily admit it. In general the lines of national character are as distinct as the features of the face. But truly to designate them belongs only to a few favored geniuses, and would require the pencil of Hogarth or the pen of Sterne. Every one knows that the French are gay, gallant and courteous. I need not repcat, that they dance well, and that they fight well. They are said to be insincere, vain and inconstant, all which perhaps is true, and may lessen the dignity and importance of their character. I am neither partial to them, nor bigotted against them. I may be partial to my own country, perhaps the more because it is unfortunate. I may be partial to the country of my adoption, because I find in it that liberty which in my own is lost; but I am partial to no other; yet it would be unjust to deny that in that one, into which the wickedness of my enemies drove me to take refuge, and where I was compelled to remain near seven years with little else to do than to observe, I