A sketch of the state of Ireland, past and present. 2nd Lond. ed

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Page 10 - On this gloom one luminary rose, and Ireland worshipped it with Persian idolatry ; her true patriot — her first, almost her last. Sagacious and intrepid — he saw, he dared ; above suspicion, he was trusted ; above envy, he was beloved ; above rivalry, he was obeyed. His wisdom was practical and prophetic — remedial for the present, warning for the future ; he first taught Ireland that she might become a nation, and England that she must cease to be a despot.
Page 33 - ... often more easy to induce them to take arms, for their country, or against it, than to cultivate the earth, and wait upon the seasons. Even at this day, the sons of the old inheritors are suspected of being more ready to regain their possessions by their blood, than by their labour. Their very amusements are polemical : fighting is a pastime, which...
Page 27 - Its popular character and customs distinguish and disincline Ireland from England. Varieties have been sought in the national disposition, referable to the double origin of the people, in vain: however differing in rank, party, or ancestry, they bear the indelible mark of a common nativity. Restless...
Page 48 - Pariah offices, sinecures ; the great man and the strong man executing, the poor and weak suffering the law. " The blame is not easily apportioned : much is in the pride and folly of the gentry ; much in the native perverseness of the people ; much in the indifference of the government ; some thing in an indiscreet nomination of magistrates...
Page 10 - ... adorned her by his talents — and exalted her by his fame. His mission was but of ten years ; and for ten years only did his personal power mitigate the government ; but though no longer feared by the great, he was not forgotten by the wise ; his influence, like his writings, has survived a century ; and the foundations of whatever prosperity we have since erected, are laid in the disinterested and magnanimous patriotism of Swift.
Page 48 - ... of the people : much in the indifference of the government: something in an indiscreet nomination of magistrates : more, and most of all, in the exorbitant taxation of legal proceedings, by which the law has become, not a refuge to the poor, but a luxury to the rich. The courts are open to the indigent only as spectators. The peasant, oppressed or defrauded to the amount of 10/., cannot buy even a chance of success in the lottery of the law for less than 60/.
Page 32 - The peasantry of Ireland are generally of the Roman Catholic religion, but utterly and disgracefully ignorant; few among them can read, fewer write. The Irish language, a barbarous jargon, is generally, and in -some districts exclusively, spoken : and with it are retained customs. and superstitions as barbarous. Popish legends and pagan tradition are confounded, and revered...
Page 10 - England that she must cease to be a despot. But he was a Churchman. His gown impeded his course, and entangled his efforts; guiding a senate, or heading an army, he had been more than Cromwell, and Ireland not less than England. As it was, he saved her by his courage,— improved her by his authority,—adorned her by his talents,— and exalted her by his fame.
Page 38 - I will not decide ; that, however, must be preferable, which acts most by incitement and least by force. I should even — not unhesitatingly — venture to propose, that those only should vote at elections who could write and read their own affidavits of registry. This principle is not novel in our constitution ; our wise ancestors promoted learning by granting, even to criminals, the benefit of clergy. Would it not be as efficacious, and more just, to extend to a certain proficiency in letters,...
Page 50 - Twenty years ago there was much to desire and to deny, and the catholic code was scarcely thought of : there now remains, unconceded, nothing in which the people are concerned — yet to the catholic code is attributed all our misfortunes. The truth is, the parties have made the question, not the question the parties.

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