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SATURDAY, APRIL 18, 1874.

LITERATURE

The English in Ireland in the Eighteenth
Century. By James Anthony Froude, M.A.
Vols. II. and III. (Longmans & Co.)

(First Notice.)

WHEN we last parted with Mr. Froude, his Irish history had reached a period which may not unjustly be regarded as marking the commencement of the modern constitutional history of that country. The efforts made to uproot the native population from the soil by successive "plantations" from England, or to persuade them into English modes of thought and action by the imposition of an alien church and a foreign political system, having decisively and confessedly failed, statesmen had already begun to turn their attention towards another mode of solving the ever-anxious problem, of "How to govern Ireland." The new idea was to disarm the hostility of those who, after all, formed so vast a majority of the population of the whole country, and who declined to be extirpated; and this was to be done, at first, less by conceding substantial advantages to them, or restoring any of the property or privileges of which they had been deprived, than by conciliating those whom they regarded as their natural leaders, the resident Roman Catholic hierarchy, and the members of the native aristocracy still professing the popular faith. The well-known affection of the Irish for the ministers of their religion, and their loyalty to their hereditary chiefs, gave the assurance of success to this endeavour; and owing to the conflict between their interests and those of the Protestant party, it was believed that the country would be kept so disunited and depressed as to be incapable of giving any serious trouble to England-the sole and openly-avowed object of our policy towards the sister island in those days. With these views successive Lord-Lieutenants had

Here was
country, in spite of all restrictions.
a body of persons, then, that would not be
stamped out and could not be ignored, and
might be useful; and that chapter-not yet
closed-in British history was opened which
was to relate the efforts of statesmen to recon-
cile the irreconcilable, to govern a country
justly by fraudulent pretences, and venal arts.
In the midst of this transitional state of
Irish affairs, Mr. Froude concluded his first
volume. "The Protestant Revolt" from the

66

newly conceived policy forms the subject of
the second. The English in Ireland, he writes,
were an army of occupation amidst a spoliated
nation," and we now learn by what gradual
stages this army passed from enthusiastic
loyalty to open insurrection; and the extra-
ordinary tale is once more unfolded, through
all its strange and manifold evolutions, of how
a comparatively insignificant fraction of a
nation aspired to, and almost obtained, com-
plete national independence, dragging with
them in sympathy the vast mass of their
fellow-subjects, over whom they dominated,
and whom, for the most part, they detested with
a fervour of detestation which has seldom been
surpassed.

to political supremacy put forward on the plea of a religion which made no converts; on the other, the English ministers could not fail to perceive that the religion so strenuously legislated against did not only commend itself more and more to the hearts of the people, but that Catholics had also managed to become successful traders and acquire property by their exertions, and hence a new stake and interest in the stability of the

-Whilst on all occasions he seems to have the justest appreciation of the characters of the Absentees and the scandals of the pension list.

The history re-commences in the autumn of 1763, and the second volume closes in the spring of 1789. Within this period are embraced the principal circumstances of that " Protestant revolt," produced, in part, as has been seen, by the new policy of the British Cabinet towards the Roman Catholics; in part, as we at all events believe, by the sincere desire of a few men of preeminent ability to raise their country to an independent position. Mr. Froude is no admirer of Irish patriots. Flood he exposes mercilessly, and on all occasions, and even for Grattan his admiration is by no means unqualified. On the To this part of his task Mr. Froude has other hand, he has a hero of his own, no other devoted himself with eminent success. Often than Fitzgibbon, certainly the most unpopular as the melancholy story of Ireland's efforts man of his day, whom our author belauds in after Home Rule in the last century has been a manner that is altogether extravagant. That told, never has it been related in a more interest- Fitzgibbon rendered excellent service to the ing and brilliant manner. Nor do we detect in British Government, and thereby (in Mr. the instalment of the work now immediately Froude's opinion) to his country, is certain; under review the same spirit of uncompro- and that he was a man of courage and address, mising hostility to everything Irish, as Irish, is equally indisputable; but where Mr. Froude which, in our opinion, disfigured the last one, and against which we hastened at the time to record our protest. True, Mr. Froude has, as usual, but little sympathy with the Catholic Celts; but, on the other hand, he is equally unsparing in his denunciations of their English oppressors; and this time not solely for their illjudged leniency in suffering the Irish to exist,

has found the materials for the remarkable

Thus in

but sometimes even, as in his condemnations
of the Irish Church and Absentee Landlords,
from motives absolutely the reverse.
an indignant vein he denounces the theory
-which elsewhere he seemed to support
that the incurable instability of the Irish
character, not English misgovernment, was
responsible for the greater part of that country's
miseries, as "identical with the defence pre-
sented long ago by Adam's eldest son, and, as
in that first instance, a cynical pretext to cover
deliberate wickedness." He proceeds :-

those which they had pursued unrelentingly through three quarters of a century."

Of the dignitaries of the Church he avers:the nominees to the Irish Sees as waylaid and "The celebrated passage in which Swift describes murdered by highwaymen on Hounslow Heath, who stole their letters patent, came to Dublin, and were consecrated in their place, is scarcely an exaggeration of the material out of which Ireland in the last century was provided with a spiritual hierarchy."

made their appearance at Dublin, and others were yet to come; with these views they were ultimately to succeed only in disgusting one party without securing the other, and to lay up for themselves still accumulating stores of trouble, disappointment, and disgrace. Yet just at that moment the policy did not seem altogether devoid of ingenuity, or of some hopes of success. It was confessed that the penal laws had failed of their object, and that the Irish Church, as a missionary institution, had still more disastrously failed in hers. Scarcely any person outside Ireland itself could fail to perceive this, and the English Cabinet perceived it very clearly, while at the same time they found the exclusively Protestant Irish Parliament an excessively difficult body to manage, and becoming more and more overbearing in its pretensions every day. On the one hand, then, were insolent pretensions contraband trade, which enlisted half her popula-proceedings more shameful and pitiful in

"If Ireland had fallen into sloth, England had first annihilated the most flourishing branch of her boasted of having given her exceptional advantages industry. She had left her the linen trade, and in the prosecution of it, but she was repenting of her magnanimity, invading the compact, and, by side measures, stealing it from her in favour of her own people. She had cut Ireland off from the sea by her navigation laws, and had forced her into a

tion in organized resistance to the law. Even her
wretched agriculture had been discouraged, lest an
increasing breadth of corn in Cork and Tipperary
should lower the value of English land. Her salt
meat and butter were laid under an embargo when
England went to war, that the English fleets and
armies might be victualled cheaply at the expense
of Irish farmers. If the high persons at the head
of the great British Empire had deliberately con-
sidered by what means they could compel Ireland
to remain the scandal of their rule, they could have
chosen no measures better suited to their end than

eulogium which, upon more than one occasion,
he passes upon him, entirely surpasses our
comprehension, as well as contradicts our con-
ception of the history of the period. In a similar
spirit he has nothing but praise for Lord
Townshend, whose "flexibility of scruple"
Froude is formidable in invective, he is cer-
even he condescends to admire. If Mr.
tainly equally powerful in panegyric. He is,
we think, unnecessarily and unfairly severe
upon the Volunteers, who, in the opinion of
most people, played an honourable part in the
destinies of their country, and came forward
at a time of great national danger to serve
gratuitously against the common foe. They
may have been, as he describes them, "the
fountain of so much poisonous hope, the
symbol of so much childish infatuation," but
they themselves were not responsible for all
the foolish things that were said and done in
their name; and it is to their credit rather
than their discredit that they "flickered out"
than a protection to the State.
when their presence became a danger rather

Mr. Froude describes the proceedings of the Irish Parliament both before and after '82 not unfairly, for the utmost ridicule could not render the greater part of their

fact and appearance than we have long since recognized them as being. If he treats some of the principal actors, such as Henry Flood and Hely Hutchinson, more harshly than we could have wished, it is not, it must be confessed, without grave cause, and we fully concur in his opinion that Grattan

was much more of an orator than a statesman. On the whole, the second volume by no means deepens the impression which we

had formed from the first, that we were about to have a wholly partial history, and Mr. Froude's arguments are very much more likely to command lasting attention from the fact. In our next article we shall discuss the contents of the third volume.

Facta Non Verba. By the Author of 'Contrasts.' (Isbister & Co.) THIS is a work of the same kind as 'Contrasts,' and by the same author. It professes to be "a comparison between the good works performed by the ladies in Roman Catholic Convents in England and the unfettered efforts of their Protestant sisters," but it is, in effect, a careful account of the labours of eleven ladies, Miss Rye, Miss Macpherson, Miss Merryweather, Miss Chandler, Miss Gilbert, Mrs. Hilton, Miss Carpenter, Miss Cooper, Miss Robinson, Miss Whately, and Miss Harris-the last, by the way, is hardly, we suspect, rightly described as a Protestant-the names of most of whom are sufficiently well known in a general way, although regarding the exact nature and success of their work there is, we imagine, little detailed information in a generally accessible form. This want our author supplies. He writes in each case not from hearsay, or from official or semi-official "Annual Reports," but from what he has actually seen for himself; and his accounts have all that minuteness which gave charm and interest to 'Contrasts.' In each case he is at home in his facts, and master of his details, and he tells his story in a simple, straightforward style, with a studied abstinence from any attempt at colour.

If the volume does nothing else, it, at any rate, gives us a new notion of how much there is for women to do, and how much a woman can do if she is in earnest about her work. Miss Rye, for instance, commenced her labours some years ago with a capital of 750l. In spite of this small beginning, she has assisted to emigrate 178 governesses, and has found situations for them in the colonies; she has sent out to good places in Australia and New Zealand no less than 1,500 female servants; and she has herself taken to Canada, and placed in respectable families, where they are carefully brought up and kindly tended, 1,200 gutter children, nine-tenths of them girls, who, but for their benefactress's efforts, were condemned inevitably to a life of the worst degradation.

"Without the slightest wish" (says our author) "to interfere in the vexed questions respecting the political rights of women, and the advantages or disadvantages to be derived from their taking an active part in the administration of public affairs, I maintain that the value of their personal services in philanthropic movements is greatly underrated by the community at large. In works of this description women certainly show as much ability as men, and in carrying out any scheme which they have, after mature deliberation, determined on, they generally show a far greater amount of perseverance, courage, and energy."

Not less remarkable than the emigration mission of Miss Rye, although not so well known by name, is that of Miss Macpherson, by whom 1,800 "East-end Arabs" have been taken across the Atlantic and placed in Canadian farms. "It will thus be seen that no fewer than 3,000 children have been taken by these noble-minded women from the gutters

and back-slums of London and placed in comfortable and respectable homes in the new country." Miss Chandler, again, to whom the Hospital for Paralysis and Epilepsy in Queen's Square owes its existence, was some years ago struck by the fact that, although there were charities in London for the relief of almost every class of human affliction, yet the sufferings of the paralyzed had been most strangely overlooked; and so resolved, in her own words, that, "God helping her, she would devote her life to endeavouring to supply this great want." She commenced on a small and humble scale, indeed, by taking under her own personal charge a poor paralyzed carpenter. So she worked her way, until at last,

"Not only has she established a hospital which, if not without parallel in the world, has certainly, from the peculiar diseases it receives, no superior, valescent Hospital, now doing an immense amount but she has also established and organized a Conof good. She has, moreover, collected funds to establish forty-eight annuities for incurable paralytics and epileptics, and money is now, happily in her case, flowing in with such liberality as to give hopes that the number of annuities will soon be vastly increased."

The wards in Queen's Square-a description of them is given on pp. 119-21-must be well worth seeing, and our author's account of them makes the portion of the book devoted to Miss Chandler most interesting.

A chapter is given to the history of Miss Gilbert's blind school and industrial institute, in which we learn how that admirable lady, herself blind, and so haud ignara mali, began her school in a cellar in the New Turnstile, Holborn, rented at eighteen-pence a week. She has now collected nearly one thousand blind people, who, by her means, are able from their own labour to supply themselves with the necessaries of life; and her working expenses, even with the most scrupulous economy, exceed 8,000l. a year. There is, also, a chapter devoted to Mrs. Hilton's crèche in Ratcliffe; another to the costermongers' club and institute of Miss Adeline Cooper; and another peculiarly vivid-to Miss Whately's Mohammedan schools at Cairo. "It may be said," apologizes the writer, "that there are many others who would have furnished me with good types of the philanthropic Englishwoman, quite equal in the magnitude of their labours to those I have mentioned," but "those whom I wish to take as my types are those who have had to fight their way up against difficulties, frequently themselves in restricted circumstances, and not

those whose position and wealth render philanthropic efforts less onerous."

and, on the principle that " a corrupt tree cannot possibly bring forth good fruit," to assert in a round general way the distinct superiority of Catholic over Protestant charitable institutions. Now there is hardly a text but can be matched by another, and it occurred to the author of Contrasts' that "by their fruits ye shall know them" was a good answer to the polemic of the Dublin Review. Bluntly and plainly he puts his case thus:-"Admirable as may be the zeal of the Roman Catholic nuns, would it be possible to find, in Europe, two whose labours have been more successful in the cause of destitute children than the two ladies I have mentioned, Miss Rye and Miss Annie Macpherson?" The whole thing is, he suggests, a simple rule-of-three sum. If Miss Rye and Miss Macpherson have between them saved three thousand children children ought to be saved by the united from sin and degradation, how many labours of fifty ladies gathered together in a convent? And then, when the sum is worked out, comes the further question, where is the convent that has done even a tithe of this? "Having given," he says in conclusion, "these slight sketches of the wonderful energy exhibited by a few Protestant ladies in the furtherance of good works, let me now cast a short glance over the aggregate of their labours; and I submit that the most devoted admirer of conventual life must perceive that no convent, since the first establishment of these institutions, has ever performed a greater amount of labour." Everywhere his appeal is to facts, and to facts alone. He is a strong Protestant evidently, but to Roman Catholicism as a faith he expresses no hostility. He is simply concerned to show that, as a practical working matter, the conventual system is a mistake. "Another point," says he, "on which the Roman Catholic Priesthood claim great superiority over our Protestant institutions is in the care and instruction of poor children. The more I investigated this point, the more it appeared that the direct contrary was the case." In short, broadly stated, the argument of the book is, that the Roman Catholic conventual system is, in reality, both cumbrous and expensive, and that one half the good which might be effected by its inmates is lost by their seclusion and their attention to the mechanical routine of convent duties; while, on the other hand, "our Protestant sisters are as energetic and successful in the performance of good works as the inmates of Catholic Convents, and that, too, without priestly control or direction, monastic buildings, ecclesiastical mediæval millinery,

Such is the matter of Facta Non Verba.' But apart from its matter, it has, as had 'Contrasts,' a distinct moral. In the earlier work it was argued that, if our charities were not jobbed and mismanaged, a sum of 500,000l. a year, or thereabouts, could be saved the metropolitan ratepayers, or that, in other words, 500,000l. a year was annually wasted and jobbed away in the management of our endowed and unendowed metropolitan charities. Facta Non Verba' we are invited to the conclusion that English Protestant ladies can, if they please, do actually better work than is done by Catholic or semi-Catholic organizations with conventual rules, peculiar dress, and so forth. It seems that a writer in the Dublin Review recently took upon himself to cry down the charitable labours of English Protestant ladies,

In

or

the degradation of the confessional." "Had those ladies," asks our author, "the brief sketch of whose lives and labours I have given, been the inmates of a convent, no matter how well organized, and under a set of rules drawn up by even the most liberalminded priests, could the result of their labours have been greater, or have conferred more honour on the country of which they are natives, or the religion which they profess?" The reader will not find it difficult to give the answer. Indeed, in our opinion, the writer proves his case ten times over. But apart altogether from the especial thesis which it is written to establish, Facta Non Verba' will be found full of interest. It is a simply-told tale of good works, done by devoted and noble Eng

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