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The great measure of an incorporate union between the two countries, our author considers on the first view as resolved into these two questions, decisive of its fate; “ Whether the parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland were competent to treat for their constituents?" and “ Whether the treaty proposed were beneficial to the contracting parties ?”
The conduct of the parliament of Ireland, in rejecting the discussion of these questions, is reprobated as precipitate, as well as disrespectful to the crown. A proper allowance, however, is made for the prejudices which operate in Ireland against this measure, at the same time that it is proved that they are carried to an unreasonable length.
The author considers Ireland as composed of two distinct parts ; the native Irish, and the English colony settled there by conquest, in whose hands are all the powers of government. Towards the former, he says, we liave not done our duty • It is certainly a matter very little to our honour, in any point of view, that after a period of six hundred years, so little progress should have been made in the conci. liation of the minds of the Irislı, or in their fusion and intermixture with the colony-it is o!ir cruel indifference to the instruction and well-being of the native, and our obsequious tenderness to the settler, that the “ final settlement" of Ireland has been deferred through so many reigns, and that we are now attempting that which ought to have been perfected by every Prince, at least since the Reformation.'
There cannot be a doubt that a very defective, if not vicious, po. licy has prevailed with regard to Ireland ; and that, under these circumstances, the hostility of the native írish must be deemed • more unwise than unnatural. It is time, bowever, that we should be wise ; and the way to be wise is to be just, and by justice we shall conciliate their affections.
The author next attends to that part of the inhabitants of Ireland which he has distinguished as “ile colony ;' and he exposes the folly and ingratitude of their opposition to the proposed legislative union. The state of America, which has separate from us, is considered, and contrasted with the state of Scotland, which is incorporated with us; and from the consequent prosperity of the latter, a strong argument is drawn in favour of the projected measure respecting Ireland. • Scotland preferred the substantial useful glory of a common sceptre and an imperial legislature, to the duli privilege of provincial greatness and municipal ambition; and she has not repented, but has rather had reason for exulting in her prudence and true magnanimity.' After having dvelt on the blessings which have result-d in Scotland in consequcrice of the union, the author adds ; ' If all this experience is lost and thrown away, if this analogy and contrast are both is licctual, I know not what arguincnt can reach the deep-rooted prejudice of Ireland.'
The question of the competency of the two parliaments is treated as it deserves. The writer is not for assembling the population of an empire on every new case and occurrence, to collect the votes of labourers and shepherds.
As to the adjustment of 1782, he condemns it as the most unjust as well as the most unwise on the statute-book, the calamities and crimes springing from which an union only can cure;' and his dislike and aversion to this act is only diminished by his regarding it as having prepared and accelerated that happy and desirable event.
We cannot refrain from transcribing what he says respecting the change produced by the act of 1782, and the actual state of Ireland.
* The real change that was operated in the colony by this pre. tended experiment in the gift of independence, was the mere substi. tution of influence in the room of prerogative, and of ministerial favour for parliamentary controul. The dependence was not, nor could be changed; but the mode and application of the principle were adopted to a new and a worse position, and transferred from the con. stitution to the treasury. Dependence is the natural and the neces. sary order for every colony that ever was or can be planted, so long, at least, as it requires the aid and protection of the parent country ; and to give it the name and qualification of independence, while nature and necessity forbid the substance of the thing, is to betray and expose it to corruption, and all the base and little passions of avarice and left-handed ambition. Did the Irish colony receive nothing, then, by the act of 1782? Did we confer nothing by this highsounding term of independence ? Unfortunately we gave a fatal boon, the kindness of which will be better conjectured than explained, when we consider the present state of the independent parliament! There are, or there were at the time when the union was first proposed in the House of Commons, one hundred and sixteen placemen in that Assembly, whose complete number does not exceed three hundred. I will not comment upon this blushing text, nor will I search into the red-book of the civil-list of Ireland. I wish only to be understood, and I draw a veil over every thing that can disgustior inflame. The privilege obtained, therefore, was not to be independent, which was impossible, but the privilege to be paid for obedience, which was but too easy. Prerogative had disappeared with the statute of George the first, and corruption by the law.politic had taken its place. I withdraw my eyes from this filthy spectacle ; I leave to others to detail a ver.al peerage, and pensioned lubricity; the empire of the custom-house, and commissions in the army given for sale to provosts or to priests.'
We cannot gratify our readers with farther extracts, but we re. commend the whole to the consideration of Catholies and Protestants, of England and of Ireland. Art. 36. A Demonstration of the Necessity of a Legislative Union of
Great Britain and Ireland, involving a Refutation of every Argument which has been or can be urged against that Measure. By a Philosopher. 8vo. pp. 40. Dublin, 1799.
This very uncominon production places the subject in a light in which, we think, it has been seldum viewed.
There seems to be something of irony in the title-page, whence the reader who has seen only the Advertisement may be led to conclude that ile Q3
author has taken rank under the ministerial standard: but this is by ho ineans the case. He treats the question philosophically ; in order to demonstrate that the event of a legislative union between Gieat Britain and Ireland is inevitable as effect from carse ; and probably not jar distant; and this consummation he considers as the political death of Ireland.'--It were needless to add that, (as the evident advocate for Irish independency,) he does not himself rejoice in the prospect which he opens to the view of his countrymen.
:-Without entering with the writer into the depths of his politico-philosophic discussion, we only add that, considered as a literary composition, we regard his performance as a master-piece of eloquent writing.
POETIC and DRAMATIC. Art. 37. Gortz of Berlingon, with the Iron Hand. An Historical
Drama, of the Fifteenth Century. Translated from the German of Goethe. 8vo. 38. 6d. Cadell jun, and Davies.
The reputation of Goethe is so well established, by different per. formances which have attracted universal notice, that his name is a sufficient passport for any work. The rapid progress and great celebrity of the German drama exhibit, indeed, a singular phænomenon in literary history. A nation just emerged from barbarity offers, in the poetical compositions of its own language, models to sur. rounding coumtries which have been long favoured both by Melpo. mene and Thalia ; and its first attempts to initate foreign writers are received with an eagerness and an admiration, which would seem to announce that they have excelled their originals. The fame of our immortal Shakspeare is scarcely greater among us, at this mo. ment, than that of Schiller and Goethe, who have professedly copied him. Nor is the influence of the Teutonic stage confined to the ter, rible and severe ; the sentimental comedy has emigrated from France, to soften the proud hearts of German nobles, and has taught them to weep even for the misfortunes of those wha cannot boast the honour of thirty descents.
There is a peculiar character of wildness and energy in the German tragedy, which seizes the imagination, and scarcely leaves time for the decision of the judgment. With all the bold irregularity of our older writers, there is also, in Goethe especially, a striking attention to the manners of those ages to which we are thus recalled. In the present play, the author presents us with a view of the distracted state of Gerinany, during the vigour of the feudal system, and under the weak guidance of Maximilian I. The insurrection of the peasants,- a theme hitherto unknown to the stage, and little regarded even in general history,-is introduced, to add interest to the piece ; and the Secret Tribuna!, now generally known from the romance of Herman of Unna, furnishes a very impressive scene. This tragedy, though it evidently bears tiie stamp of genius, is not entirely free from defects. Some of the scenes are Nat and uninteresting, and consume
* If death, however, be only (as righteous and good men hope and believe) a passage to a better state, why all this fearful appreliension of the change?
the time in trifling and unnecessary details ; of others, even when the action is hurried forwards, the efíect must depend on the skill of the performers, since the dialogue furnishes little that is interesting: In attempting to avoid an over-strained and affected manner of writing, authors sometimes sink beneath propriety. Professor Goethe does not always appear to have distinguished between writing naturally, and writing triyially. We shall take, without selection, a complete scene, as an evidence of our assertion.
· Enter a Soldier. • Soldier. We have had a tedious chace, but at last we have brought home noble game. God keep yon, gracious ladies.
Elizabeth. Falkenhelm is then in your power ?
Soldier. We lay in ambush for him between Nurerberg and Bamberg. He did not appear, and yet we were certain he must be on the way; at last we got intelligence that he had taken a bye road, and had arrived undiscovered at the count of Schwartzenburg's.
Llizabeth. Schwartzenburg! Do they want to excite laim also to enmity against my husband?
Soldier. I told my master that was their intention, the moment I ficard that Falkenheim was on a visit there. Well, away we gallop'd to the Haslacher wood, and at length met Falkenbelm attended only by four servarts.
Maria. My heart trembles with apprehension.
Soldier. I and my comrade, as my master had commanded us, fastened upon Falkenheim as if we would have grown to him, and completety prevented him stirring or freeing himseif; in the mean time my Lord and Hans ok care of his attendants; but one of them has escaped us.
Elizabeth. I am curious to see this Falkenhelms will they be here immediately?
Soldier. ' I left them in the valley, in a quarter of an hour they must arrive.
Maria. He will be sadly dejected.
Maria. The sight of him in such circumstances will pain me to the heart.
Elizabeth. Well, I will go and prepare dinner, you will all have good appetites, I suppose.
Soldier. We are all himgry enough.
Elizabeth. Take the keys of the cellar, and fetch some of the best wine, you have well deserved it.
[Exil.] Charles. Aunt, I will
you, Maria. Come; boy!
[Exeimt.] Manet Soldier. Soldier. The lad does not take after his father, or he would have gone with me to the stable. Enter Gortz of Berlingen, and ADELBERT of Fall-whıclm quith
Attendants. Goriz. (Laying his sword and helmet on the ioble.) Unbuckle my cuirass here, and give me my cloak, Rest will now taste sweet to
you some of
Brother Martin thou saidst well!. Falkenhelm, you have kept uş in breath.
(Falkenhelm does not answer, but walks up and down in great agitation.) Be of good courage, come, disarm ; Where are your cloaths ?' I hope they have not been lost in the scufile-(to the page) ask his pages. Open the baggage, and see that nothing is missing. I lend
mine. Falkenbelm. Let me remain as I am, it signifies not.
Gortz. I can give you a nice clean dress enough: to be sure it is only coarse stuff, 'tis grown too tight for me ; I had it on at the marriage of his highness the Count Palatine, that day when your bishop shewed so much rancour against me. I had sunk two of his vessels on the Níayne about a fortnight before, and as I and Francis of Sickingen went into the Hart inn at Heidelberg ; half way up the stairs there is a landing place with an iron railing, you know; and there stood the bishop, who shook hands with Francis as he passed up, and as I followed gave me too his hand. I laughed within myself, and said to the Landgrave of Hanau, who was always gracious
“ The bishop took me by the hand, I'd wager any thing he did not know me.” The bishop overheard me, for I spoke aloud on purpose, and coming up to me in a great passion, he said, “ you have guessed right, it was only because I did not know you that I offered you my hand.”. My Lord, I answered, I perceived you mistook me, and since that was the case, there you have your hand agair, Then the little man grew as red as, a lobster with rag:, and rau to complain of me to count Lewis, and the prince of Nassau. We have often laughed about it since.
Falkenhelm. I entreat you, leave me to myself,
Gortz. For what reason—(earnestly,) I pray you be at ease. You are in my power, but I will never misuse it.
Falkenhelm, I never felt a fear on that account. Your honor and your knighthood both forbid you.
Gortz. And you know well that they both are sacred to me. ? Falkenhelm. I am a prisoner--of the rest I am careless.
Goriz. You should not talk thus. Suppose you had to do with princes who would throw you loaded with chains into a dungeon, and perhaps command the watch to rouse you at every quarter from your sleep, or[The attendants come in with cloaths, Falkenhelm disarms, and puts
Goric. Good morrow boy, (kissing kin) low have you been of late.
Charles. Very clever, father, my aunt says I am very clever.
. I've learnt a great deal since you've been gone. Sha!! I tell you the story of the good boy?
Gortz. After dinner, after dinner.