Page images
PDF
EPUB

among the Catholics. On the 22d of October, the English Para liament excluded Catholics from the Irish Houses of Lords and Commons, by compelling them to take the oaths of supremacy before admission !

In 1695, the Catholics were deprived of all means of educating their children, at home or abroad, and of the privilege of being guardians to their own or to other persons' children. Then all the Catholics were disarmed,--and then all the priests banished. After this (probably by way of joke), an act was passed to confirm the treaty of Limerick,--the great and glorious King William totally forgetting the contract he had entered into, of recommending the religious liberties of the Catholics to the attention of Parliament.

On the 4th of March 1704, it was enacted, that any son of a Catholic, who would turn Protestant, should succeed to the family estate, which from that moment could no longer be sold, or charged with debt and legacy. On the same day, Popish fathers were debarred, by a penalty of 5001., from being guardians to their own children. If the child, however young, declared himself a Protestant, he was to be delivered immediately to the custody of some Protestant relation.—No Protestant to marry a Papist. No Papist to purchase land, or take a lease of land for more than thirty-one years. If the profits of the land so leased by the Catholic amounted to above a certain rate, settled by the act,farm to bem long to the first Protestant who made the discovery.—No Papist to be in a line of entail ; but the estate to pass on to the next Protestant heir, as if the Papist were dead. If a Papist dies intestate, and no Protestant heir can be found ; property to be equally divided among all the sons ; or, if he has none, among all the daughters. By the 16th clause of this bill, no Papist to hold any office civil or military.-Not to dwell in Limerick or Galway, except on certain conditions.-Not to vote at elections.-Not to hold advowsons.

In 1709, Papists were prevented from holding an annuity for life. If any son of a Papist chose to turn Protestant, and enrol the certificate of his conversion in the Court of Chancery, that Court is empowered to compel his father to state the value of his property upon oath, and to make out of that property a competent allowance to the son, at their own discretion, not only for his present maintenance, but for his future portion after the death of the father. An increase of jointure to be enjoyed by Papist wives, upon their conversion. Papists keeping schools, to be prosecuted as convicts.-Popish priests who are converted, to receive 30. per annum. Rewards are given by the same act for the discovery of Popish

clergy i clergy; 50/. for discovering a Popish bishop ; 20/. for a common popish clergyman; 101. for a Popish usher! Two justices of the peace can compel any Papist above 18 years of age to disclose every particular which has come to his knowledge respecting Popish priests, celebration of mass, or Papist schools.--Imprisonment for a year, if he refuses to answer. --Nobody can hold property in trust for a Catholic.-Juries, in all trials growing out of these statutes, to be Protestants.—No Papist to take more than two apprentices, except in the linen trade.--All the Catholic clergy to give in their names and places of abode at the quartersessions, and to keep no curates.---Catholics not to serve on grand juries.-111 any trial upon statutes for strengthening the Protestant interest, a Papist juror may be peremptorily challenged.

In the next reign, Popish horses were attached, and allowed to be seized for the militia.--Papists cannot be either high or petty constables. -No Papist to vote at elections.-Papists in towns to provide Protestant watchmen ;--and not to vote at

vestries.

In the reign of George II., Papists were prohibited from bea ing barristers. Barristers and solicitors marrying Papists, consis. dered to be Papists, and subjected to all penalties as such. Persons robbed by privateers, during a war with a Popish prince, to be indemnified by grand jury presentments, and the money to be levied on the Catholics only. No Papist to marry a Protestant;any priest celebrating such a marriage to be hanged.

During all this time, there was not the slightest rebellion in Ireland.

In 1715 and 174.5, while Scotland and the north of England were up in arms, not a man stirred in Ireland; yet the spirit of persecution against the Catholics continued till the 18th of his present Majesty; and then gradually gave way to the increase of nowledge, the humanity of our Sovereign, the abilities of Mr raitan, the weakness of England struggling in America, and e dread inspired by the French revolution. Such is the rapid outline of a code of laws, which reflects innble disgrace upon the English character, and explains but too early the cause of that hatred in which the English name has en so long held in Ireland. It would require centuries to ef

e such an impression ; and yet, when we find it fresh, and perating at the end of a few years, we explain the fact by every use which can degrade the Irish, and by none which can reAd us of our own scandalous policy. With the folly and the fror of such a code before our eyes, -with the conviction of reit and domestic history, that mankind are not to be lashed voi. XIII. No. 25.

cau

horror of

and

and chained out of their faith, we are striving to teaze and worry them into a better theology. Heavy oppression is removed; light insults and provocations are retained; the scourge does not fall upon their shoulders, but it sounds in their ears. And this is the conduct we are pursuing, when it is still a great doubt whether this country alone may not be opposed to the united ef. forts of the whole of Europe. It is really difficult to ascertain which is the most utterly destitute of common sense,-the capricious and arbitrary stop we liave made in our concessions to the Catholics, or the precise period we have chosen for this grand effort of obstinate folly.

In whatsoever manner the contest now in agitation on the Continent may terminate, its relation to the emancipation of the Catholics will be very striking. If the Spaniards succeed in establishing their own liberties, and in rescuing Europe from the tyranny under which it at present labours, it will still be contended, within the walls of our own Parliament, that, the Catholics cannot fulfil the duties of social life. Venal politicians will still argue that the time is not yet come. Sacred and lay sycophants will still lavish upon the Catholic faith their well-paid. abuse,-and England still passively submit to such a disgraceful spectacle of ingratitude and injustice. If, on the contrary (as may probably be the case), the Spaniards fall before the numbers and military skill of the French, then are we left alone in the world, without another ray of hope; and compelled to employ, against internal disaffection, that force which, exalted to its utmost energy, would in all probability prove but barely equal to the external danger by which we should be surrounded. Whence comes it that these things are universally admitted to be true, but looked upon in servile silence by a country hitherto accustomed to make. great efforts for its prosperity, safety and independence ?

ART. VI. A Journey from Madras, through the Countries of My

sore, Canara and Malabar, performed under the Orders of the · Most Noble the Marquis Wellesley, Governor-General of India,

for the express purpose of investigating the State of Agriculture, Arts and Commerce; the Religion, Manners and Customs; the History, Natural and Civil; and Antiquities in the Dominions of the Rajah of Mysore, and the Countries acquired by the Honourable East India Company, in the late and former Wars, from Tippu Sultan. By Francis Buchanan, M. D. F. R.S., &c. &c. Cadell & Davies. 1807.

STRETCHING from the central region of Hindustan, the Mediabhumi of the Indian geographers, extends a fair and fertile

country,

country, denominated, from its relative position, ' Daxin,' or on the right hand ; that is, south for him who contemplates the rising sun. The lofty mountains which approximate the river that forms the common boundary, stretch to the extremity of the southern peninsula, and send forth, on either hand, a variety of streams, which diffuse fertility and beauty, to their junction with the ocean, which washes both coasts. It has been doubted whether this southern tract constituted a portion of the Punyabhumi, or sacred land of the Brahmans. To us, the affirmative appears demonstrable, from the number and antiquity of the places of pilgrimage, extending even to Cape Comorin, itself invested with a sacred character, under the name of Cumári, or the Virgin. As far as history or tradition extend, it has been the residence of Hindus. When the Puránás were composed, this country, like the rest of Hindustan, was divided into an infinite number of petty principalities. There, also, the doctrines of Buddha, or that modification of the tenets common to all Vaisnava, or worshippers of Vishnu, threatened the Brahmans with the subversion of their religion, and the rejection of the Vedas. The schism, too, appears to have survived to a later period in the Decan, than in the north ; and some villages of Bauddhists still attest the more extensive circulation of these dogmas, which reign unrivalled in the neighbouring island of Ceylon, and on the opposite coasts of Pegu and Siam.

The five great nations who cultivate and people this southern region, are named collectively the five Dravira. Of these, the Gurjara must have been associated with the rest, from circumstances now unknown. The Mahrattas and Telingas are still numerous and powerful nations, occupying the western and eastern parts of the northern peninsula. Carnata, or Canara, was the southern limit of both, and extended to both coasts; whilst the Támlá, or proper Dravira, dwelt at the southern extremity. These civil divisions, marked by diversity of language, and of written character, and consecrated by a religion which interdicts the mixture of casts, have withstood the shock of conquest, the caprice of tyrants, and the intolerance even of Mohamedan bigotry. Invited to emigrate by the suggestions of interest, or forced to fly by the cruelty of a conqueror, multitudes of each of those nations may indeed be found established within the boundaries of another, but their manners, language, religious rites and nuptial contracts, at once attest their origin, and the character of durability attached to all their institutions.

In the translation of Ferishta, by that accomplished orientalist Captain Scott, we may trace the progress of the Moslems in the reduction of the Decan. In the fifteenth century, all the

countries

F2

countries south of the Crisná acknowledged the sovereignty of the Hindu princes of Vijayanagara. ' A description of that city, transmitted to his sovereign by the embassador of Mirza Shahrokh, has been translated by the writer of this article, and published in the Asiatic Register. It suggests at once a high idea of the power, splendour, and good government which that empire exhibited, and a very advantageous contrast with the states of the most potent prince then reigning in Asia, by whom the embassador was deputed. After the subversion of this flourishing empire by the continued extension of the Mohamedan dominions, the governors of the southern provinces rendered themselves independ'ent in their respective jurisdictions; and hence the origin of Mysor, and of many other states recently annexed to it, by the successful usurpations of Hyder Ali Khan.

On the other hand, the Mogul emperors of Dehli having successively reduced the several Mohamedan states which divided the countries of Selingana, a part of Mahrat, and of Carnata, pushed their conquests in the eastern division of the peninsula. The shock which that empire received from the invasion of Nadir Shah, concurred, with the weakness of the princes, and the venality of the court, to effect its dismemberment. The posterity of Asof Jah succeeded as nominal viceroys, and as real sovereigns, to the authority of their father in the Decan. The pages of Orme exhibit the splendid military achievements, by which, in support of the doubtful pretensions of the son of a provincial governor, the family of Walajah obtained the dignity of Nuabs of Arcot, then first become hereditary; whilst the English exercised an anomalous and indefinabie jurisdiction over a person whom they styled independent. · 'Scarcely had the conquest of Mysor been achieved, and a subsidiary treaty adjusted with the new government, than Lord Wellesley, with that decision and promptitude which characterized his administration, and so remarkably influenced the conduct of the war, determined on exploring the resources and the general condition of the allied and ceded countries, with a view to the improvement of both. Dr Buchanan, who was the per'son selected for this important mission, independent of much general information, was more peculiarly recominended by his knowledge of mineralogy and natural history; and the work before us bears a complete testimony to the ability and industry with which he discharged the trust confided to him.

In the Governor General's instructions, dated the 24th February 1800, the attention of Dr Buchanan was directed to the agriculture of the country, as the first great and essential object of his ourney. The different kinds of esculent vegetables, the

modes

« PreviousContinue »