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SHEELAGH ON HER PROPOSALS OF MARRIAGE.
Sheelagh (Ireland) is sued in marriage (union) by John Bull (England, who had already been married to another (Scotland). Sheelagh thus details the inducements held out to her, and her dislike to the match. "But conceive, I beg of you, the ridiculousness of the overtures. I to marry Mr. Bull! Mr. Bull, whom, in the year 1783, when he was tolerably vigorous, and reasonably wealthy, and well reported, I would have rejected with contempt! Mr. Bull, now that he has repeated fits of the falling sickness and that a commission of bankruptcy is ready to issue against him!
"I could not have believed the proposal serious if the old gentleman himself had not gravely avowed it. Hear, I beg of you, the iducements which he holds out to me. There is to be no cohabitation, for we are still to continue to live on different sides of the water; no reduction of expense, for our separate establishments are still to be kept up, all my servants are to be paid by me, but to take their orders from him, the entire profits of my trade to be subject to his management, and applied in the discharge of his debts; my family estate to be assigned to him, without any settlement being made on me or my issue, or any provision for the event of a separation. He tells me at the same time that I am to reap great advantages, the particulars of which he does not think proper to disclose, and that in the meantime I must agree to the match, and that a settlement will be hereafter drawn up agreeable to his directions, and by his lawyers.
"This, you will say, is rather an extraordinary carte blanche from an insolvent gentleman, passed his grand climacteric, to a handsome young woman of good character and easy circumstances. But this is not all, the pride of the negotiation equals its dishonesty, for, though I am beset and assailed in private, and threatened with actual force if I do not consent to this unnatural alliance; yet, in order to save the feelings of the Bull family, and to afford grounds for an inadequate settlement, I am desired, in spite of all maiden precedent, to make the first public advances, and to supplicate, as a boon, that he will gratify
my amorous desires, and condescend to receive me and my appurtenances under his protection.
"Still, one of the principal features of the odious transaction remains to be detailed.
"Would you believe it, that this old sinner, several years ago, married a lady, who, though of harsh visage and slender fortune, was of honorable parentage and good character, and who is at this hour alone, and treated by him with every mark of contumely, and it is worthy of observation that many of the clauses in the articles, which were very carefully drawn up previous to his marriage with this lady, have been scandalously violated by him. The truth is, I am determined to live and die a maiden, and I now apply to you merely for advice as to what is the most effectual method of protecting myself in that resolution. If the Bulls will not suffer me to live on friendly terms with them, and will still persist in their dishonest practices in my family, I will turn out their adherents (whom I well know), and, in all events, I will restore my shop-boy to his original rags, and send him to the place whence he came. I will re-establish harmony amongst all those who should naturally be my friends, and if the Bulls attempt to offer me any insolence, I trust I shall be able to repel force by force."
SIR HORACE PLUNKETT.
THE HON. HORACE CURZON PLUNKETT, D.L., K.C.V.O., F.R.S., President of the newly created Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland, was born Oct. 24, 1854. He is the third son of Baron Dunsang. He was educated at Eton and took his degree at Oxford. He was engaged in cattle ranching in this country from 1879 to 1889. On his return to Ireland he started to promote agricultural co-operation in that country. He was M.P. for Dublin County from 1892 to 1900, and founded the Irish Agricultural Organization Society-familiarly known to-day through the length and breadth of Ireland as the I. A. O. S.-in 1894. In 1895 he presided over the famous Recess Committee-which resulted in the establishment of the great new Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. He visited this country in 1903 for the purpose of studying some conditions here and for making known the objects of the I. A. O. S., which are the organization of agricultural and rural credit on co-operative lines.
He published in 1904 a work entitled 'Ireland in the New Century,' giving an account of all these movements, especially of the advent of the new spirit in Ireland based upon constructive rather than destructive thought, and expressing itself in a wide range of fresh practical activities.
When taken together, and in conjunction with the contemporary literary and artistic movements, and when viewed in their relations to history, politics, religion, education and other past or present influences operating upon the Irish mind and character, such phenomena are indisputably worthy of thoughtful consideration by all who desire the well-being of the Irish people. It is precisely these phenomena that constitute the subject of the book, and Sir Horace Plunkett is peculiarly qualified for the exposition which he has here essayed, for it may with truth be said of him that he has been a large part of that which he describes.
THE GAELIC MOVEMENT.
From Ireland in the New Century.'
The Gaelic League, which defines its objects as "The preservation of Irish as the national language of Ireland and the extension of its use as a spoken tongue; the study and publication of existing Irish literature and the cultivation of a modern literature in Irish," was formed in 1893. Like the Agricultural Organization Society, the Gaelic League is declared by its constitution to be "strict