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NEW YORK: J. B. Kirker, 371, Broadway. 

BALTIMORE: Kelly, Hkdian, & Piet, 174, Baltimore Street, 


SYDNEY: W. Dolman, 121, Pitt Street. 

PARIS: 22, Rue de la Banque, Stassin and Xavier. 


,, .s>?s«---^^ 



ABT. ^AG^ 

I.— 1. The Census Returns. 1851 and 18G1. 

2. The Transactions of the Social Science Congress 
for 1858, 59, 60,61. 

3. Emigration of Educated Women. Bj Maria S. Eje. 
London: Emilj Faithful! and Co. 

4. Reports of the Society for Promoting the Employ- 
ment of \Yomen. Ijondon. 

5. The English Woman's Journal. Passim. 

6. The Melbourne Argus, for March, April. 

7. The Emancipation of Women from existing In- 
dustrial Disabilities, considered in its Economic 
Aspect. By Artliur Houston A. M., Barrister-at- 
Law. Whately Professor of Political Economy 
in the University of Dublin. London : Longman 

and Co., ... ... ... ... 1 

IL — Rome and the Catholic Episcopate. Tleply of Ills 
Eminence Cardinal Wiseman to an Address of the 
Clergy Secular and Regular of the Archdiocese of 
Westminster, ... ... ... ... 44 

IIL— Life of the Right Honourable William Pitt. By 
Earl Stanhope, Author of the History of England 
from the Peace of Utrecht. Four vols. 8vo. Lon- 
don : Murray, 18G1-2, ... ... ... 70 

IV.— The Revised Code, ... ... ... 106 

V. — De Obduratorum peccatis mortalibus. On the 
mortal sins of the hardened. By W. G. Ward. 
London. 1854. (Not published.) ... ... 155 


VI. — 1. Reisebriefe von Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdj aus 
den Jahren, 1830 bis 1832. Herausgegeben von 
Paul Mendelssohn Bartholdj. Leipsig, 1861. 

2. Letters from Italy and Switzerland. By Felix 
Mendelssohn Bartholdj. Translated from the 
German hj Lady Wallace. London : Longmans, 


3. Sketch of the Life and Works of the late Felix 
Mendelssohn Bartholdy. By Jules Benedict. 
Second Edition. London : John Murray, 1853. 

4. Supplement to Vol. IV. of the Musical World. 
London ^ Novello, 1837, ... ... 184 

VII.— Mission de I'etat ses regies et ses H mites, par Ed. 

Ducpetiaux. Brussels : C. Muquardt. 1861, 245 

Notices of Books, «. .., ,^ .„ 271 



I. — 1. L'Irlande Contemporaine par PAbb6 Perraud 
Pretre de TOratoire de I'lmraaculee Conception. 
Paris. 1862. 

2. The Liberal Party in Ireland, its Present Condi- 
tion and Prospects. By a Roman Catholic. Dublin. 

3. Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry 
Society of Ireland. Parts xxi, xxii. Dublin, 

4. University Education in Ireland. Eeprinted from 
the " Evening Mail." Dublin, 1861. 

5. A Full and Revised Report of the Two Days 
Debate in the Dublin Corporation, on the Charter 
for the Catholic University. Dublin, 1862. 

6. The Census of Ireland for the year 1861. General 
abstracts showing by Counties and Provinces, I. 
The Number of Families in 1811. 1851 and 1861. 

II. The Number of Houses in 1841, 1851, 1861. 

III. The Number of Inhabitants in 1841, 1851, 
1861. IV. The Religious Profession in 1861. 
Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Com- 
mand of Her Majesty. Dublin, 1861 279 

II. — 1. Calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls of Chan- 
cery in Ireland, of the reigns of Henry VIII., 
Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth. Vol. I. Edited 
by James Morrin, Clerk of Enrolments in Chan- 
cer j. By authority of the Lords Commissioners 
of Her Majesty's Treasury, under the direction 
of the Master of the Rolls of Ireland. Dublin ; 
For Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 8vo., 1861, 
pp. 660. 

AllT. r^GE 

2. Calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls of Chan- 
cery in Ireland, from the 18th to the 45th of 
Queen Elizabeth. Vol. II. By James Morrin, 
Clerk of Enrolments in Chancery. By authority 
of the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's 
Treasury, under the direction of the Master of 
the Rolls of Ireland. Dublin, Printed for Her 
Majesty's Stationery OflBce ; 1862* 8vo., pp. 767. 

3. Chancery Offices, Ireland, Commission. Report of 
the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the 
duties of the Officers and Clerks of the Court of 
Chancery in Ireland, with Minutes of Evidence, 
&c. Presented to both Houses of Parliament, by 
command of Her Majesty. Dublin: Thom, 1859, 
folio, pp. 191, 319 

III. — 1. Averroes et L'Averroisme. Essai Historique Par 
Ernest Renan, Membre del'Institut, Michel Levy 
Freres Editeurs, Paris, 1861. 

2. Manual d'Histoire Comparee Philosophie et 
de la Religion. Par J. H. Scholten. Prof, de 
Theologie a I'Universit^ de Leyde. Traduit du 
Hollaudais. Par A. Reville, 1861. 

3. History of Civilization in England. By Henry 
Thomas Buckle. London: Parker, Sou and 
Bourn. 1861. 

4. The Westminster Review. New Series, No. XLV., 
January, 1863. 

5. Philosophie und Theologie. Eine Streitschriftvon 
Johannes von Kuhn, Doctor der Philosophie und 
Theologie und ordentlicher Professor der Theo- 
logie an der Universitat Tubingen. Tiibingen, 
1860, 391 

IV. — 1. Rapport sur I'enseignement superieur en Prusse 
preseute en Mars 1845, a M. Nothomb, Ministre 
de I'interieur, par Cliarles Loomans. Brussells, 
1860. Report on University Education in Prussia, 

2. Loi sur Penseignement superieure en Belgique, 
promulgee 27 Septembre 1835. Brussells, Bul- 
letin des Lois. 
Law on University Education in Belgium, &c. 


3. Loi sur I'Uiiiversite en France, 10 Mai, 1506. 
Bulletin des Lois, Paris. Law founding French 
University, &c. 

4. University of London Eojal Charter, April 9, 
1858, 423 

V. — 1. Kirche und Kirchen. Papsthum und Kirchen- 
staat. Historisch-politische Betrachtungen, Von. 
Joh. Jos. Ign. V. Dollinger, 8vo. Miincheu : Cotta, 

2. The Church and the Churches; or the Papacy and 
the Temporal Power. An historical and politi- 
cal Review. By Dr. Dollinger. Translated, with 
the Author's Permission, by "William Bernard 
Mac Cabe, 8vo. London. Hurst and Blackett, 
18G2, 467 

VL— 1. The Roman State from 1815 to 1850. By Luigi 
Carlo Farini. Translated by the Right Hon. W. 
E. Gladstone. 4 vols. London : John Murray. 

2. A History of Modern Italy from the first French 
Revolution to the year 1850. By Richard Heber 
Wrightson. Bentley 503 

Notices of Books, 570 



NOVEMBER, 1862. 

Art. I.— 1. The Census Returns. 1851 and 1861. 

2. The Transactions of the Social Science Congress for 1858,-59, 

3. Emigration of Educated Women, By Maria S. Rye. London : 
Emily Faithfull and Co. 

4. Beports of the Society for Promoting the Employment of Womeut 

5. The English Woman"* 8 Journal. Passim. |: 

6. The Melbourne Argus, for March, April. 

7. The Emancipation of Women, from existing Industrial Disabilities, 
considered in its Economic Aspect. By Arthur Houston A. M., 
Barrister-at-Law. Whately Professor of Political Economy in 
the University of Dublin. London : Longman and Co. 

THE question of the employment and position of our 
female population is one which can neither be trifled 
with with propriety, nor postponed with safety. For many 
years the number of unemployed or badly employed women 
in the country, has been the source of infinite misery and 
widespread sin. But this is not all. We cannot fall back 
upon the cowardly consolation that it has ever been even 
so, and that we need not be vexing ourselves to be better 
off than were our fathers. The present^ cheapness and 
misemployment of women is not only a social evil of appal- 
ling magnitude, but it is a rapidly increasing one. Two 
most potent causes tend to its aggravation, each of which 
gains strength with growing civilisation, and each of which 
VOL. Lii.-No. cm 1 

2 The Employment of Women, [Nov 

therefore will continue to act among us with increasing 
vigour. One is the natural tendency of our manufacturing 
system to undomesticate woman and make her work for 
herself. The other is the growing disinclination to mar- 
riage, which at least with regard to a numerous and im- 
portant class, is one of the marked characteristics of the 
age. Our great cotton mills, while they make a number 
of females operatives, ruin an equal number of wives. The 
close air, long confinement, and hard work of the loom 
destroy the personal attractions of the woman ; the early 
independence, the consequent to a certain extent unfemin- 
ine bearing, and the too promiscuous mixing with the 
other sex, tend to deteriorate that endearing gentleness, 
which even the roughest men prize in women. VVhat man 
is ready to take on himself the cares and responsibilities of 
a wife, if she is not fitted by domestic virtues, to be the 
light and the grace of his little home? How is he to be 
charmed into the fascination of love, if she, who is to be 
the object of his heart's aspirations, has been roughing her 
way up in life pretty much as he has been himself? Or if, 
as is sometimes the case with the more reckless class of oper- 
atives, wise nature secures an union, how little encourage- 
ment is the example likely to give to others! The young 
wife goes out to business every morning just as does the 
husband ; remaining beauty cannot long resist advancing 
years and continuous mill work ; while the night residence 
(for it cannot be called a home) of the two is but a soriy 
substitute for even the poor man's cottage of merry 
England in the old time. Here then is one cause of the 
unsatisfactory position of our female population, and^one 
which must plainly act with increasing force. As it "pro- 
motes celibacy and its attendant evils, or else miserable 
marriages among the masses, so for the middle and 
upper classes we have another potent evil at work. By 
increasing civilisation, the struggle of life is certainly in- 
tensified in vehemence. The universal steeple-chase be- 
comes yearly harder to ride. It is not merely that the 
standard of living is raised in each class, and that none are 
willing to fall out of their rank as it presses on. It is that 
by the increase of wealth and of the democratic element 
among us avenues to distinction are opened up which 
were closed to ordinary men before. A century ago the 
son of a parish parson, or country doctor, or Irish squire 
who could not afford to go to London till perhaps he was 

1862.] The Employment of Women, 3 

an old man, quietly contented himself witli the horizon 
which bounded him, A seat in ParHament was the 
hereditary right of the lord ot" the soil, and the great mass 
of even respectable youths contented themselves with ob- 
scurity, perhaps now and then attempting a little moral- 
izing on the three kinds of greatness enumerated by 
Shakespeare. Gray probably was not very wrong when 
he wrote of the village Hampdens and guiltless Cromwells. 
A Burke or a Canning might fight their way up to fame 
by the mere force of genius ; but then the exception was so 
very rare that it more than proved the rule. And even 
such an extraordinary genius as Canning, (a man whom 
the world has yet to do justice to) when he had risen to the 
pinnacle was deserted by all the fine old Tory Lords who 
knew not the family of Canning. The youths then as a 
rule obeyed the injunction of the catechism and contented 
themselves in the station wherein God had placed them, 
centred their aspirations on some neighbouring beauty, and 
in time settled down into respectable English family- 
rearing men. iSow however the case is widely different. 
The same ideas about political rights and state distinctions 
which make every man a Senator, or a Congressman, or a 
State Legislator, or a Colonel at least, in America, are 
acting with a modified force amongst us. ^ Political power 
and social position are no longer practically the herit- 
age of the propertied class. Men of all classes are every 
day forcing themselves up to distinction. Even a Mr. 
William Williams can now get into the House with 
greater ease than Burke and Canning did in the last 
century. The manufacturing aristocracy comes chiefly 
from the rank and file. There is scarcely a town or village 
in the land which cannot tell its tale of the nenniless lad 
who used to be playing about its streets, and who is now 
honoured by the princes of the people. The result is that 
numbers of our youth are in secret fired by the hopes of 
distinction more than by the power of love. This is of 
course especially the case with that very large class which is 
termed ** respectable.^' Aspirations may differ, but all are 
anxious to rise. Numbers and numbers of these youths 
more than a superficial observer would imagine are possess^ 
ed by a vague desire of pushing on ; and marriage, which 
they will not take as a goal, would only impede them on their 
course. They essay their powers at the nearest debating 
club ; the excitement of the tyro's elibrt they perhaps mistake 

4 The Employment of Women. [Nov. 

for the fire of oratory ; \\\(by set their whole heart on parlia- 
ment and the bench, and scorn the lowly choice of quiet mar- 
ried life. We are convinced that any one who can ^et into 
the real aspirations of our young men, will be surprised to 
observe how largely and generally developed is this feeling 
that we speak of. Every one has " to get on," and till he 
has done so, he defers marriage ; most probably, when he 
lias waited long enough to satisfy or finally disappoint his 
hopes, he has waited too long to marry. Then the vast 
opening of emigration has drafted away the youth in hun- 
dreds of thousands, while very few women have been able 
to avail themselves of its relief. India, with its civil ser- 
vice, the little empire of Canada, Australia, with its gold 
fabulous fortunes, has taken away, and wedded to foreign 
lands, those who were intended by nature to take to them 
a helpmate here. By the last census returns we learn that 
the emigration for the ten years from 1851 to 61, reached 
the enormous figure of 2,287,205, and few, comparatively 
very few of these were females. It is also worthy of notice, 
that within the last ten years the number of emigrants has 
been about half of the whole total of departures for the 
forty-six years between 1815, when government emigration 
commenced, and 1860. Such is the extraordinary impetus 
which emigration has received. Meanwhile women have 
been shut out from all these openings, and they have been 
left almost helpless to contend with the struggling from 
which the stronger sex have found a refuge in flight. 
While the sons go forth to find their fortunes, and generally 
succeed, the daughters wait at home to find husbands, and 
generally fail. But, indeed, we need not resort to a priori 
reasoning to guide us to a conclusion as to the rehitive 
position of the sexes. Facts and figures are more con- 
vincing than the most ingenious hypothesis. Let us notice 
a few figures from the census returns for 1861. The male 
population in the United Kingdom, including the absent 
soldiers and sailors, was 14,380,634; tlm females num- 
bered 14,954,154. Thus we have the striking fact to com- 
mence with, tlrat without taking into account any of the 
detracting causes we have spoken of, there are necessarily 
condemned to celibacy no less than 573,520 women. Biit 
when we take strictly the numbers of men and women ac- 
tually in the United Kingdom, we find that for every 100 
males, there are 106 females, and we also find that this 
disproportion has been increasing of late years, for in 1841 

1862. J The Employment of Women, 6 

there were 104.9 females to every hundred males, in 1851 
the proportion had increased to 105.1, and now it is as 
we have said, 106, and no one can say how long the dispro- 
portion will continue, or how high a figure it will reach. 
We can perceive the same fact in a possibly more striking 
manner, by observing the increase in actual numbers for 
the successive decades of the present century. The excess 
of females over males was in 

1801. ... 180,027. 

1841, .. 

.. 348,950. 

1811, ... 201,598. 

1851, . 

.. 349,871. 

1821, ... 210.537. 

1861, . 

.. 573,530. 

1831, ... 297,246. 

These unpleasant statistics will prepare us for the fur- 
ther fact that there are more than three millions of adult 
women who are engaged in different kinds of manufactures 
and trades, and that of these, two millions are unmarried ; 
and, moreover, we know that one-third of the whole of the 
women over twenty, in the country, remain unmarried. 
We are too apt, in looking-at figures, to forget, or not to 
comprehend, what they really mean. '"A million" is 
easily said, but who can lengthen out in his mind what it 
means? ** Three millions of women at work," is not a 
formidable expression either, but what a tremendous mass 
of human suffering and human wrong ^ it stands for ! 
** One- third of adult women unmarried," is a short sen- 
tence, but how many crushed hopes and broken hearts, 
wretched garrets, and unhonoured graves, does it not 
represent? It is worth our while, then, to look more 
closely into the meaning of these statistics. The subject 
is one which we cannot afford to put off. Even if we were 
so selfish as not to feel for the women alone, at least the 
most indifferent statesman must feel for the nation at large. 
Steele in the Tatler plainly speaks a plain truth when he 
says, " I am of opinion that the great happiness or misfor- 
tune of mankind depends upon the manner of educating ancl 
treating that sex." Women will be employed in some 
way or another, and if they are not elevating and aiding 
society, they will be degrading both it and themselves, 
AH history tells us that no nation can survive wide- spread 
immorality, and no people ever can continue to be a moral 
people with one-third of their grown up women unmarried 
and unprovided for. 

The question then is, what is to be done ? It is 119 use 

6 The Employment of Women. [Nov. 

in answer to this query to parade a number of the profound 
saws of the olden time. It is rather a cruel mockery to 
tell the two millions or so of .unmarried female toilers 
among us, that 

" The important business of their life is love." 

It is but poor religious consolation to remind them that 
the apostle's will was that they should marry and bear 
children. It is mere childishness to shake our heads wisely 
at every scheme for securing them employment, declaring 
that they are only trying to push their natural supporters 
out of work, and that as for them, their *' noblest station is 
retreat.'" We wish, indeed, that these antique philoso- 
phers would remember, that whether they are right or not 
in theory, they are talking absolute nonsense in fact. 
They might just as well object to the reconstruction of our 
navy, and remind us how well we got on with our fine old 
tubs at Trafalgar and Copenhagen. Change is forced on us, 
and^ when that is so, to argue or act against it is folly. 
It is merely sad perversity to continue asserting that 
women ought to marry and keep houses, when they cannot 
do so ; and that they ought not to have arrangements made 
for their independence, when society has already doomed 
millions of them to single life. Every wise man deals with 
the world as it is, not as it ought to be, and we have the 
facts before us, that most of the women of the lower and 
middle class have to work for themselves, that an enormous 
proportion cannot get married, and that the continued and 
increasing action of potent causes will tend to make marriage 
less the lot of woman every year. The very stirring and 
upheaving which have been generally taking place among 
much-enduring, uncomplaining woman-kind, show how 
yearly they are being, as it were, pushed to extremities. 
JN^othing do respectable women love more than the impress 
of the domestic, feminine, nay, even unbusiness-like cha- 
racter ; nothing do they dread more than the reproach of 
being masculine and strong-minded. Yet we have seen 
several associations springing up, mainly composed of, 
and conducted by charitable ladies, for the purpose of 
coping with the pressing difficulties of their weaker sisters. 
Nay, even the exaggerated and ridiculous theories and 
fancies protruded on the subject of Female Rights, have 
their origin in wide spread and increasing wrongs. Women 
feel that they are not fairly dealt with by society, and it is 

1862.] The Employment of Women, 7 

not much to the credit of us men that we leave them to 
agitate and devise plans for their own assistance. Though 
to talk of political rights be nonsense, it cannot be denied 
that in this country they liave the great arguihent for en- 
franchisement — injustice worked to them by the present 

In the first place, theu, let us consider the temporary 
relief proposed to be given by female emigration. This is 
plainly, only at best, calculated to postpone the difficulty. 
Those who lay it down that the wisest remedy is emigra- 
tion, and leave the matter there, simply shift the trouble 
to future years. The total excess of females in the Aus- 
tralian colonies, which are in fact the chief available out- 
let, is only some 150,000, and even if emigration were to 
draft off from our crowded ranks that total of women, 
which it never can do, it would be, as it were, only clearing 
away the overflowings of this social sore. The sources of 
the evil would remain untouched. Moreover, we must say 
that our lady friends, in whose hands the emigration scheme 
at present rests, have made a radical and unfortunate 
mistake in the course of action they have taken. Much, 
to be sure, with their present means, they cannot do at all, 
but the little had better be done well, as the best induce- 
ment to the public to assist in further action. ^ Now, the 
principle of their scheme is to secure the emigration of 
educated women, and this principle is a total mistake. In 
their emigration circular, they state their object thus : — 
** It has been ascertained that educated women are re- 
quired in the colonies as teachers in public schools, school- 
mistresses, and private governesses, and to supply these is 
the object the society has in view.'' After tv/o years, what 
have they been able to do ? We are told by Miss Rye, in 
a letter to the Times, that they have sent out thirty-eight 
ladies in tvyo years, of the arrival and employment at 
wages varying from £20 to £70 a year, of eighteen of 
whom they had heard. With reference to the £'20 a year, 
let us observe that the wages of a good cook in the colo- 
nies are seldom under £40 per annum. This is not doing 
very much, and the simple reason is, that merely educated 
women are not required in our colonies, at least in any con- 
siderable numbers. What should fine governesses, we 
would like to know, be wanted for ? If every female child 
in the new land was to get a lady's education, there would 
Btill be only a very hmited field to be occupied. That is a 

8 , The Employment of Women, [Nov. 

difficulty which cannot be got over, and we are borne out in 
this view by the reply sent by Mrs. Barker, the wife of the 
Protestant bishop of Sydney, to the application of the 
London committee. Miss Rye, in her pamphlet on the 
subject, read before the Social Science Congress for 1861, 
states that the Bishop's answer is '* so satisfactory and so 
important " that she must be excused for the length of the 
extract she makes. We think it is most important, too, 
and in one sense most satisfactory, as it clearly shows the 
mistake which the society is making. What does the bishop 
say ? Mrs. Barker writes thus : — 

*' We shall be very glad to assist in finding situations for edu- 
cated women of respectable character, provided they could be sent 
out to Sydney by a fund raised in England. The bishop begs me 
to tell you that if two or three persons qualified for teaching paro- 
chial schools for girls or infants, could be sent here, there would 
not be any difficulty in providing situations for them. They should 
have some certificate of their competency, and be not under twenty, 
or more than two or at most five-and-thirty jears of age." 

If in our oldest and most advanced colony such is the 
demand, what must it be among the rowdy miners of 
Victoria, or the belligerent colonists of New Zealand? If 
anything were required to complete the utter futility of the 
whole scheme, it would be the way in which it has been 
recently advocated in the public papers. Even such an 
able lady as Miss Rye, writes thus, not very long ago, in 
the Times: — 

" All I can say is this — knowing, as I do, that while here with 
extreme difficulty and great self-denial, really educated women must 
toil on many many hours a day to make £20, and that there, in 
the colonies, persons who in this country would scarcely be consi- 
dered competent to conduct the quietest village school, are receiving 
£130 and £124 a year for salaries as governesses, that the possi- 
bility of there being two opinions on the matter strikes me with 
great and increasing amazement. I not only believe, but am confi- 
dent, that there are vacant situations in the colonies for hundreds 
of women vastly superior to the hordes of wild Irish and fast young 
ladies who have hitherto started as emigrants." 

All we can say to this is, that we hope the colonists will 
not read that number of the Times in which Miss Rye's 
letter appears ; for to judge from the certificates and requi- 
sites of qualification called for by the bishop of Sydney for 
the two or three that he undertakes to dispose of, they will 

1862.] The Employment of Women, ^ 

not be likely to show much favour to the hundreds of 
ladies whom Miss Uye proposes to send out, and of whom 
she intimates that *' in this country they would scarcely 
be considered competent to conduct the quietest vil- 
lage school.'' Possibly, too, they may feel inclined to 
complain of Miss Rye's having assured them in another 
communication that the society *' was very particular about 
character and capabilities." A few lines further on Miss 
Uye reduces the difficulty to a most satisfactory dilemma, 
thus — 

« If these women of mine work, it will be well ; if tliej marry, it 
will be well; 2^^?c7«ever happens, good must arise to the colonies, for 
our countrywomen, and for commerce.'' 

But what, we say, if neither happens ? This is the diffi- 
culty. And we must add, that from all we have been able 
to learn of the colonies and their female populations. Miss 
Ilye is not at all considerate or fair in describing those 
women who have gone out before she took matters in hand, 
as ** hordes of wild Irish and fast young ladies." We be- 
lieve that in few countries in the world, is there more 
female modesty and propriety, as a rule, than in Australia ; 
one main cause of this good result doubtless being, that 
nearly all get married readily, and so settle down to domes- 
tic life. Miss Rye seems, however, to think that there is 
no elevated class of females in the colonies at all, for in 
her paper on emigration, she says that the different 
colonial governments must be convinced that the emigra- 
tion she proposes would be " an actual benefit to the colo- 
nies themselves — an elevation of morals being the inevita- 
ble result of the mere presence iii the colony of a number 
of high-class women." Considering that there is in Aus- 
tralia some half million of such already, we do not see 
what great improvement the few ladies whom Miss Rye 
really can send out, will be able to effect, especially as 
educated ladies cannot coalesce with the men as the plain 
housewives of the colonists do now. 

If we comment somewhat plainly on the mistaken posi- 
tion taken up by the society, and the equally mistaken 
manner in which it is defended, we do so in the hope 
of inducing business and benevolent men to join the 
movement on behalf of women with heart, and give it the 
assistance of their knowledge and experience. The most 
talented ladies cannot expect to fall into the proper stylo 

10 The Employment of Women. \ Nov. 

of business manaQfemeiit at once, and it is quite a pitiable 
thing to leave such an important movement without the best 

The kind of women wanted in young countries^ are 
principally those taken from the lower orders of Society," 
who will be prepared to work for their living in domestic 
employments at first, and then, when in due time they 
have enamoured some sturdy stockman or miner, be 
prepared to rough out wedded life with him. How would 
*' educated women" like here to marry a Cornish miner, 
or a shepherd of Salisbury plain ? We can assure them 
that the diggers and stockmen of Australia are not very 
much more polished because perhaps richer, and it is 
diggers and stockmen that principally want wives. More 
especially do educated women labour under this par- 
ticular disadvantage. Any great number of them cannot 
as we have shown get ready employment, and how then 
are they to live till they find suitable matches ? A good 
housemaid is engaged forthwith; in service perhaps up 
the Bush, she is thrown together with the bullock drivers 
and neighbouring shepherds, and the result is obvious. 
But what is the fiue lady to do for herself till she is 
engaged, for what Mr. Kingsley considers the proper 
business of her life ? If we had in our colonies the plan 
adopted in some eastern countries, of putting up the fair 
ones to auction, a certain number, — though even then 
more limited than is generally thought — might be disposed 
of. But as it is, they have the double ordeal to go through. 
They have to get suitable places first, and afterwards 
suitable husbands. We think it of the very last impor- 
tance that a proper plan of female emigration should be 
adopted; and that is why. we most strongly object to the 
present sickly system advocated by the Society of sending 
out ladies for the purpose of giving a fine education to the 
children of a nation of roughs. We need not go beyond 
their own documents for proof of the correctness of our 
views, and of the proper kind of females to send to our 
colonies. We find the plan of the London committee 
developed in the Englishwoman's Journal for March 1861, 
and an article therein written by a Sydney lady professedly 
in favour of the scheme, but so instructive and accurate 
on the whole question of lady's work in Australia, that we 
make some extracts at length. At the very outset we 
read as follows. 

1862.] The Employment of Women, 11 

" With regard to the kind of education or training necessary to 
fit gentlewomen for profitable employment in Australia generally ; 
every one should be able to make her own clothes ; to wash and 
iron all fine linens or muslins, including shirts and collars ; to 
know how much soap and time are necessary to wash and smooth 
(for mangles are not often to be had nor are flat irons abundant) 
everything that needs washing in a family; to know the handiest 
way of softening water when too hard ; to make plain pies and 
puddings ; to cook vegetables and meat ; to make bread without 
fresh yeast; to proportion the quantities of tea, coffee, sugar &c. to 
the number in a family by tlie year, month and week ; to know 
(and see constantly within reach) the simplest remedies for common 
accidents, or sickness : such as old clean linen, lint, tapes of 
different widths for bandages, healing plaster, tincture of arnica for 
bruises. Dredge's heal-all, &c.; the homoeopathic medicines which I 
have used for years are aconite, for feverish symptoms or sore 
throats ; chamomilia nux vomica, &c." 

Ladies who are educated with these accomplishments 
so useful and diversified in their nature, would we think 
be wanted in Australia or anywhere else. Any woman 
with such truly catholic qualifications may rest assured of 
a ready engagement in other lands besides Australia. 
Further on we read, 

"In many of these families the wife has to make the clothes of 
all, except the strongest suits of her husband ; to superintend or 
cook entirely for the family, bake bread, make candles, teach and 
nurse the children, &c.; one of the shepherds on the estate may be 
married, and his wife may be willing to wash or assist, but this is 
always uncertain, and a resident domestic servant is liable to bo 
tempted away to a house of her own on very short notice." 

Finally, '' Gentlewomen must however fully understand 
that they go to work for independence^ not to marry and 
be idle;'* and ^^ all ladies must be prepared to assist in 
everything ; they should invariably^ arrange their bed- 
rooms, make pastry and starch and iron fine things, pre- 
pare the tables for the meals and begin at once on the rule 
that no lady can require any thing done for her which it is 
disgraceful to do for herself.'* To the same purpose 
writes the Rev. John Garrett, Protestant chaplain of St. 
Paul's near Penzance, and Honorary Secretary of the 
Columbian Emigration Society. 

"First," he says, "we could not guarantee suitable homes on 
reaching the colony to women who should depend upon the use of 
their brains alone for support, nor does it seem desirable to with- 

1 2 The Employment of Women, [Nov. 

draw from their sphere of valuable occupation in this country those 
women who have received suflScient education to place them in 
situations as teachers in families and schools at home. Those who 
go out under the protection of this Society, will agree to take 
service on reaching the colony in such situations as the Governor 
and Bishop and those acting under their authority may consider 
best suited to their several cases, and may have open and ready to 
give them occupation and a safe dwelling on their landing in 

We have similar testimony from an Australian colonist 
writing to the Times, We have stated too by the Sydney 
lady be it remembered the requirements of the gentlemen's 
houses in Austi'alia ; and even taking this higher class, it 
appears that it is ready-handed domestic women that are 
wanted, not particularly educated ladies. Nor do we con- 
demn this latter class to pine in sorrow and struggling 
here. We put a very simple alternative. If they really 
are educated ladies, properly acquainted with what is 
necessary for a high standard of female education, then 
they need not go to the other world to sell their accom- 
plishments. It is just in a highly civilized country like 
ours, with a great aristocracy and upper class, that they 
are wanted. It is just among the stockmen and diggers 
that they are nob wanted. We maintain that really quali- 
fied governesses have plenty to do, and at a fair remunera- 
tion too, in England. But then if young women belong 
to that section of the governess class, who pushed them- 
selves into it from a lower sphere, and brought with them 
the education or rather the ignorance of that sphere, who 
can drum on the piano only indifferently well, whose pro- 
nunciation of French would make a Parisian shrug his 
shoulders, whose powers of painting equal either daubing 
or nil, whose knowledge of book learning is limited and 
cloudy, and who above all, have not the tact and bearing 
requisite to teach the upper class of girls properly, then by 
all means let them emigrate, but let them not emigrate 
under false pretences. Let them go out not mereTy as 
** educated ladies'' looking after the **tvvo or three" 
vacancies of the Bishop of Sydney, but let them go as 
respectable young women, ready to take anytliing from a 
place behind the counter of a decent Milliner's shop, 
upwards. Nor will they be tied to this position for life. 
Once in the colony, respectable and independent, forming 
friendships, meeting numbers of substantial colonists who 

1862.] The Employment ofWomen, 13 

feel practically the truth of the old verse that *' It is not 
good for man to he alone/' their destiny is sure. The 
obstructions of different ranks would be little felt in the 
land where all things are upturned. This (despite the 
warning of the Sydney lady) is the proper object to set 
before them. Beyond all question marriage when prac- 
ticable is the best employment for women. This view which 
we insist on is the more important, as until the London 
committee act upon it they will never obtain any substan- 
tial aid from the colonies, and it is on this that they must 
mainly depend. In Victoria, for example, where some 
138,000 females are required to equalize the sexes, the 
Legislature have granted large sums of money to secure 
emigration. We look over one of the last numbers of the 
Melbourne Argus and we find three advertisements from 
ladies ashing for places as Governesses, companions, 
school mistresses, &c., some of them significantly enough 
offering their services for the voyage home ; while there 
are 179 from persons wanting Nurses and General servants. 
We have looked over a couple^ more numbers of the 
Melbourne Argus, and the result is pretty much the same. 
In one we find Governesses wanting places, 1 ; wanted 4 : 
General servants wanted 61; wanting places only some 
two or three. In the other the numbers stand thus: 
Governesses wanting places 3; wanted only 1; General 
servants wanting places, some two or three ; w\anted 59. 
It is remarkable too that in the last summary of the Argus 
for Europe, when the particulars of the Labour Market 
are given in full, no mention ivhatever is made of any 
want of Governesses or female Teachers ; nor are they 
spoken of at all. While we have as follows about female 

** Female servants of capability with respectable references con- 
tinue in good demand. Rates of wages are steady and rule about 
as follows : female cooks from £35. to £50. a year; general servants 
from £25. to £30. do.; nursemaids £10. to £25. do.; laundresses 
£30. to £35. do.; housemaids £25. to £30. do.; parlour-maids £25. 
to £30. do." 

We find too the following general advertisement in the 
Argus for the 25th of February last; "Accomplished 
writing and resident Governesses wait re-engagement. 
Also Nursery Governesses and Companions. Miss 
Cower's, 100, Collins-street." Most of the Governess 

14 The Employment of Women. [Nov. 

class are probably competent to ''conduct the quietest 
village school." How much then, we would like to know, 
are the Government of Victoria likely to give for sending 
out more ** educated ladies?" 

We would then venture to suggest to the Emigration 
Committee of the Society for the Employment of Women, 
that they should impress on the young persons whom they 
send out to our colonies, that they rnust go prepared in the 
words of their own article, " to assist in everything," and 
to turn their hands to anything that is honest. If they 
do this their success in colonial life is certain ; if they go 
out merely as fine ladies they must be disappointed. The 
best way to get the few single ladies required disposed of 
is to try to induce those colonists who have female friends 
at home to bring them out. They would then have homes 
to go to, and a circle of acquaintances to be introduced to, 
and either marriage or some literary employment would 
in time be the result. The Victorian Government has 
already adopted this plan, selling " Passage Warrants" 
to colonists, by which for a comparatively trifling sum 
paid in the colony, the passage of whoever the payer 
pleases to mention, is secured. It is a pity if a proper 
effort is not now made, when extensive emigration must 
take place to the colonies. There are thousands and thou- 
sands of young women who are not fit to take either the 
position of mere ladies or of mere servants, and whose case 
is sadder than words can telh These cannot avail them- 
selves of the rude emigration machinery at present provi- 
ded by the colonists.^ They cannot be trooped together in 
Government ships with wild Irish girls from Connemara, 
or nurse-maids who are unable to make out a living in 
England. Though they must be prepared for any decent 
and fair work in the colonies, the society of a common 
Emigrant-ship would not do. A little negotiation might 
induce the Government to make some special provision for 
their case ; but this will only be done on the condition stated 
by Mr. jjrarrett, that they shall take such employment as 
proper judges shall deem suitable for them when they 
arrive. Action on this head of emigration will we hope be 
vigorously and wisely pursued. If the colonial governments 
can be induced to take the matter properly up, the results 
will compare very satisfactorily with the mere nibbling at 
the difficulty to which the Society is at present confined. 
In one year the Emigration Commissioners received from 

1862.] The Employment of Women. 15 

the Australian colonies above £158,000. How much 
would £50,000 a year for a few years more do if granted to 
the London Committee and wisely employed by them ! 
Miss llye states the total of the income received from the 
beginning up to last April is <£800 ! 

Emigration however is at best only a temporary measure. 
The real difficulty lies deeper. We must strike at the 
sources of the evil ; else it will be ever again and again 
recurring and pressing on us with increasing force. The 
colonies cannot always be ^ filling up ; they must soon 
discontinue assisted emigration.^ Clear away the present 
accumulation and in a little time the same causes will 
again produce the same effects. We may for a time post- 
pone the evil day ; but what shall we do when it comes ? 
Let us look before us, as well as around us. It is only 
fools that do not think of the morrow. 

The question thus raised comes to this. When the 
world is full, and men are still increasing, when every 
country will have to provide work and food for its own 
population, what shall we do with our women ? At present 
emigration provides or may provide some outlet ; what 
will be done when we have to keep them and feed them 
here ? And first what do we do with them now ? It will 
be found on investigation that the main kinds of woman's 
work are in an unsatisfactory condition. Everywhere 
reform is required. From the school girl upwards woman 
is either not doing, or is not done by as she ought to be. 
Numbers are doing what they ought not to do, or leaving 
undone what they ought, or doing badly what they ought 
to do well, and many too pressed by necessity have erred 
and strayed from the right way. In fact, while the con- 
dition of men has been progressively improved to suit the 
requirements of each age, women have been left to tumble 
and push along with the times as best they can. We need 
not go through the Census returns and enumerate every 
subdivision of female labour. Fish women and vegetable 
women, and washerwomen there have been time out of 
mind, and there will continue to be as long as the British 
constitution lasts and it may be longer. These classes of 
females are siii generis. To talk of applying political 
economy to their case would be rather absurd. Surprising 
indeed and perhaps melancholy a complete history of the 
lives of many of them would be ; yet they seem not to feel 
the cares of life much themselves, and probably they will bo 

16 Tke Employment of Women. [Nov. 

quite satisfied to be omitted from the female employment 
discussion. The factory, the shop-work, whether at the 
counter or in preparing materials, and the domestic sphere, 
may be considered as embracing those various phases in 
woman's toil which require observation and admit of im- 

On the unpleasant features of the factory system of 
female labour we have already touched, and indeed it is 
almost needless to delay on it further than to point out the 
unfortunate influence it must exercise on the domestic 
relations of the lower orders. We say this because it has 
now such a hold on one section of the people that though 
we may hope to improve it, we can no more expect to see 
it argued down than we could a dispensation of nature. 
Still it is impossible to reflect on its rapid extension 
among women without regret. Girls commence the un- 
toward work of the crowded mill when mere children. 
From the ages of eight to thirteen they are to a certain 
extent protected by the Factory Act, but they may be and 
are worked 6J to 7 hours a day, quite long enough, when 
time for school is allowed to obliterate the child's fondness 
for home, the more so as from thirteen to eighteen they 
work twelve hours a day, thus living about the mill and 
only sleeping at their houses. Unfortunately perhaps the 
most critical time of woman's life, is by the Act left unpro- 
tected. From dawning girlhood to rising womanhood, 
12 hours each day has to be worked, and home necessarily 
deserted. It is little use then to cut off a few hours labour 
a day. Habits of independence, solitary living in lodgings 
in the manufacturing towns, migratory roving after in- 
creased wages, have all become a part of the young 
woman's nature, when, at the age of eighteen the abating 
power of the Act comes into force. 

These young persons then do not form the most promis- 
ing subjects for wives ; and as we havebefore observed, even 
when they do marry they have neither the time nor the 
inclination to perform properly the duties of a wife. The 
children when they come have to be committed to the care 
of some underpaid and therefore unqualified hireling and 
know little of their mother during infancy, while in early 
childhood they in their turn go to mill work as did their 
parents before them. A more recent invention or rather 
importation from Paris are the cnches established in some 
of our manufacturing towns. These are a kind of public 

1862. 1 The Employment of Women. 17 

nurseries where mothers leave their children in the morn- 
ing when going to work, and where tliey are kept in safety 
during the day. What an unnatural institution to spring 
from the most advanced civihsation ! How often have we 
characterised as barbarous .the law of Lycurgus which 
took male children from the mothers, when they had 
reached the age of seven, and consigned^ them to the 
public care-taker. Yet here is an institution more un- 
natural still. Just think of the little creatures given in 
charge for the day, and crawling and crying and tumbling 
in the town nursery ; watched and guarded as would be 
80 many dangerous beasts or dangerous men. This is 
probably a very necessary and useful kind of establish- 
ment. But it is sUrely a poor substitute for the cottage 
home, with the fields for a playground, and the mother, 
nature's nurse, for a caretaker, the returning father's wel- 
come, and those nameless endearments which cling round 
sacred *' Home." The very soul and secret of a nation's 
strength is its sound morality : without it all greatness is 
hollow and all progression unsatisfactory ; and national 
morality must originate in, and radiate from the homes of 
the poor. We fear it must be said that but an unsatis- 
factory population will be produced from creches m^ mills. 
The absorption of women into Factories cannot then be 
considered a pleasing feature in their condition, — particu- 
larly when we observe the rapid increase in the numbers 
so taken and consequently in the number of British homes 
destroyed. In 1838 there were 195,508 women employed 
in factories in Great Britain ; twenty-one years later, in 
1856, the number was considerably more than doubled ; it 
had risen to 409,300, of whom 25,982 were under thirteen 
years of age. We find from the last census-returns, a 
parallel fact which is not less unsatisfactory, that is the 
rapid massing of the people, male and female, into great 
cities and manufacturing towns. ^ A few figures will make 
this unpleasantly plain. The increase of population in 
London for the last ten years reaches the grand total of 
440,798; for the county of Lancaster 397,508, and for 
Surrey 147,603. Take a few manufacturing towns; the 
increase in Wolverhampton was 22,736, in Birmingham 
38,559, in Preston 13,943, in Ashton 33,670, in Blackburn 
29,199, in Sheffield 25,303. This mill work then we say 
is a very unsatisfactory employment for women. We can- 
not indeed well expect to supplant it by anything better; 
VOL. Lii.— No. cm, 2 

18 The Employment of Women. [Nov. 

but it would be well by opening more feminine modes of 
employment to women to prevent the rapid increase of the 
numbers so engap^ed. For what does that increase mean ? 
It means hundreds of thousands of single women or bad 
wives, unmarried or undomestic men, children poorly cared 
for and families with the tie only of blood, strangers to the 
gacred union of home. 

As we only propose to summarise the objections to the 
different employments for women, we now turn to what 
may be called their shop or shop-work engagements. 
We find that there is much to mend here also. What a 
tale is told about their counter-employments, by the fact 
that the lessee of one half of the refreshment stalls at the 
International Exhibition, had as many as three thousand 
applications for the comparatively limited appointments as 
waitresses at his disposal !^ Here, too, we come on what, 
in all fairness and moderation we must call, a real woman's 
grievance. We all know that there are hundreds of thou- 
sands of fine stalwart young men occupying the post, and 
doing the work which God and nature plainly intended 
woman should do, and this with no shadow of reason or 
excuse, except perhaps what may be afforded by the fas- 
tidious fancies of a few grand ladies, or perhaps we should 
rather say, by the culpable indifference of the public at 
large. What right have we to thrust the weaker sex into 
crowded mills, or consign them to the toil and starvation 
of needle- work, while we have our strong young men well 
paid for standing behind fashionable counters, fumbling 
over boxes of gloves, or manipulating articles of ladies 
dress ? No wonder that old Doctor Johnson pointed out 
the wrong in the indignant language that becomes an 
honest man. We do not know that we could by any inge- 
nuity select a more suitable work for our young women 
than that aftordedby our millinery shops — it is clean work 
—it is light work — it is feminine work — it is work not only 
consistent with, but absolutely requiring that neatness and 
spruceness of dress, appearance, and maimer, which our 
young women ought' to cultivate, as it tends to preserve a 
self-respect which the *^ unwomanly rags" of needle-work, 
the masculine tone of mill- work, and the degrading toil of 
ore-dressing, or nail making, and even less suitable kinds 
of work must tend greatly to destroy. That we should 
shut them out from their own proper employment on the 
pretence that the}/ are not able for it, while we have them 

1862.] The Employment of Women. 19 

working at literally the refuse of men's toil, is strange in- 
deed. It is said that young women could not lift down 
the necessary boxes, &c., &c., in the shop, and that there- 
fore they are disqualified. Does any one believe that this 
is an honest reason ? So far as the matter of strength 
goes, do we not know that even the tidiest and sprucest of 
household servants go through a day's work that many of 
our fine young gentlemen, who sneer at woman's strength, 
would faint under ? Does not the nurse-maid carry young 
master just thirteen months old, on her arm for half a day, 
while, if the lord of the household takes the said young 
master for five minutes, he declares and believes that his 
Jirm is in aching condition for the rest of the evening ? 
Young master weighs more than many a box of gloves or 
caps. If there be, as fairly there might, a difficulty about 
reaching the upper shelves, a few decent young lads of the 
same genus as the ** cash-boys," placed behind the 
counters, could easily obviate the objection. So much for 
one obstacle. Then we have read, that to put out young 
men from milliner's shops, and to put young women in their 
places, is very unwise policy, because that in putting out 
the men you are ruining a number of husbands and 
brothers who support wives and sisters, while the in- 
coming young women would support nobody but them- 
selves. But this objection equally applies to women doing 
anything that men can do; and where it is not thought of 
with regard to mills and nail-making, why is it urged as 
against a proper and becoming employment for females ? 
When, in fact, three millions of our women are working 
for bread, what nonsense it is to argue as if some startling 
innovation was proposed in this particular case ! Nor is it 
true that all the shop-boys and shop-men support either 
sisters or wives. l\i the majority of cases they could not 
afford to do so on their wages. In those towns where there 
are monster houses, it is well known that the young men 
live on the premises in common apartments provided for 
all. Very probably in many cases the less favoured sisters, 
for whose interests and feelings we are so much con- 
cerned, are pining in penury and solitude, trying to eke 
out a living with the needle, shut out from the ten thou- 
sand avenues of escape or employment open to men, 
and yet having to fight on all the same for their liv- 
ing in this inconsiderate world. Do we not justly say that 
this is an intolerable wrong ? So crying a grievance is it 

20 The Employment oj Women, [Nov. 

that we own ifc seems to us that the grand principle of free 
trade might be departed from just for once, and a tax im- 
posed on all male employees engaged in selling gauses 
and stays. A few years notice should be given to enable 
young girls to be properly trained, and then an absolntely 
prohibitive tax on every man engaged, after that date, 
would be justified by every principle of policy and right. 
It is very well to cry down protection. But it is protection 
that women want. They have been wronged in being 
driven from their natural employments, and they cannot 
by their own exertions recover their rights. Thougli, in- 
deed, why should women have to ask state interference ? 
In the Keport of the Society for the Employment of 
Women, for the year 1861, we read the following sen- 
tence : — 

•• The committee would take this opportunity of pointing out 
liow much it is in the power of ladies to encourage the employment 
of women in the trades by which their requirements are supplied. 
The replj made by a well-known London tradesman, to an applica- 
tion to him to take a woman as an assistant, was, * Ladies have the 
matter in their own hands ; if every lady as she came into my shop 
were to ask to be waited on by women, we should be obliged to 
supply them.' " 

No one can question the truth of this. And is it indeed 
possible that ladies have it in their own power to set right 
this injurions wrong, and that it is not done ? Can any be 
so thoughtless as to forget in the respectful blandishments 
of the young gentlemen behind the counter, the poor sister, 
of whose wrongs the sternest man cannot think with in- 
difiPerence, and at which even the selfish dissolute is 
touched with compassion ? How, indeed, they have man- 
aged to neglect this matter we know not. Blessed them- 
selves, as many of them are, with all the luxury, the 
honour, and the influence of high station, let them not for- 
get the burdens of thousands of poor women in the land, 
who have all the sensitiveness and female pride — shall we 
add the little weaknesses of themselves? An effort on 
their part, as trifling as the.moving of a little finger, would 
ease those heavy burdens. The moral of the parable of 
Dives should not be forgotten. The rich man who was 
clothed in purple and fine linen did not injure the poor 
man—he only neglected him. Yet afterwards the rich 
man suffered the torments of his remorse. This great 
wrong, this strange anomaly is, we are glad to learn, excit- 

18^2.] The Employment of Women. 2i 

ing attention and consideration on the part of ladies. 
More than two hundred ladies of influence have signed an 
address to the tradesmen of London, advocating the farther 
employment of women in shops. We would suggest to 
these ladies that if they take decided action in the matter, 
there can be no doubt that their address will be successful. 
" They have the power in their own hands/' Let them 
use it, and they may rest assured that they will never 
again in their lives have an opportunity of advancing 
such a truly charitable and noble work with so little 

There is nothing else in the shop-work of women which 
calls for particular remark. Seemstresses are, as a class, 
gradually becoming extinct, owing to the action of the 
sewing machine. The Society for the Employment of 
Women has opened classes, we believe, for those who desire 
to learn how to work that ingenious instrument. How- 
ever much we may feel for the last struggles of the poor 
sewing women, none can regret that such a social sore as 
was their calling, is likely to be eradicated. 

In the domestic sphere, the most proper of all for w^omen, 
we find much that is satisfactory too. Marriage, of course, 
at once suggests itself. It is nature's own provision, but 
men are coming to disregard it. The marriage market is 
getting tight. What is more, we cannot but think that it 
would be well if it continued so, provided that women 
could get something else to do. Old Burton gets exceed- 
ingly angry with people who oppose the marriages of the 
poor. '* They would have none marry,^' he says, com- 
plainingly, *' but such as are rich and able to maintain 
wives, because the parish belike shall be pestered with 
orphans, and the world full of beggars ; but these are 
hard hearted, unnatural monsters of men.'' We must say- 
that we rank ourselves among the monsters. Not to have 
the world full of beggars, is, we think, most desirable. 
There is no denying that a large element of truth is con- 
tained in the Malthusian theory. Population is increas- 
ing with accelerated velocity, the world is filling up fast, 
and there is a prospect of perpetual struggling if we go on 
perpetually and recklessly increasing. One great source 
of the misery of the lower orders, is the hasty manner^ in 
which they form inconsiderate unions, trusting that some- 
thing will turn up for the children when they come. A 
housemaid admires the stature and form of a dragoon; she 

22 The Employment of Women, [Nov, 

walks in the pcark a couple of times, and finds that his con- 
versation is charming. His undress uniform is beautiful, 
but when she sees him ride in his regiment, the die is cast, 
and they both go to the altar ; neither, and especially not 
the silly woman, thinking that a few months after marriage 
lie may be ordered away from her, and she left to provide 
for her baby and herself by the needle. A poor labourer, 
when he comes of legal age, and often before it, marries, 
as a matter of course. It is not till afterwards that he 
begins to find out practically, that what he felt it difficult 
to live on himself, is not a comfortable provision for a wilje 
and six children. All these people seem to think that if 
they are not as fortunate as the lilies which take no 
thought for the morrow, at least they ought to be, and 
that they will act as if they were. It is so to some 
extent with even those who ought to know better. How 
often do we see some wretched clerk out of work, or 
some struggling artist with his wife a counterpart of his 
own misery, and his children early made acquainted with 
the difficult question of how to get bread. Every little 
mouth doled out its allowance, every little garment 
stitched and restitched till the famous question about Sir 
John Suckle's stockings might be asked of it. Every day 
a renewed struggle, every year a prolonged anxiety ! It is 
all very well to talk of the joy of love and to protest that a 
woman is happier with the man she loves in a hovel, than 
alone in a palace. These feelings are very poetical in the 
heyday of youthful affection. But the harsh warning of 
Sir Walter Raleigh is too often verified in fact. " Re- 
member that if thou marry for beauty thou bindest thy- 
self all thy life for that which perchance will neither last nor 
please thee one year, and when thou hast it, it will be to 
thee of no price at all, for the desire dieth when it is 
attained and the affection perisheth when it is satisfied." 
Mankind are not all poets, and materially miserable 
people are seldom happy couples. Against this kind, of 
marriage we protest. The great hope for society is that 
people shall in time come to marry only when they ought. 
Without this restriction successive generations represent 
simply the repeated production of beggars carried on with 
prosperous productiveness. And one of the most impor- 
tant points which we hope to have gained by securing 
proper and considerate employments for women would be, 
that it must form a most material check on imprudent 

1862.] The Employment of Women, 23 

marriages. If most of our girls instead of pining in 
solitude and want, or what perhaps is worse, with ungen- 
erous relations, were able to support themselves by some 
proper and moderately remunerative employment, they 
would not be so ready as they are now to rush into the 
arms of the first young man that will take them, without 
considering whether he is likely to prove a good husband 
and a man fairly able to support a family. Now, young 
women are brought up with the idea that they have 
nothing before them but marriage. They are all as it were 
started in a kind of race, a husband being the goal ; and an 
emulation to win at any cost is thus excited. Every fair 
maiden is considered to have succeeded or failed in life, 
according as she has managed to catch a lover or not. 
The result is imprudent marriages, often productive of in- 
finite misery, often furnishing additions to the long list of 
Sir Cresswell Cresswell, certain to produce an unnecessary 
and a struggling population. Were our girls busily and 
properly occupied with work suitable to them, in the first 
place they would not be always thinking of love and mar- 
riage, as ihey are now ; and in the next place, they would 
not be precipitated into matches of which prudence and 
affection do not approve. Nothing would take them from 
their independence and comfort, but the force of true love, 
tempered as much as can be expected by a just regard to 
prudence. Nor need we fear that even with this salutary 
check, any want of population would result. It would be 
only miserable matches that would be interfered with. 
That great, all-prevailing despot of the human affections, 
provided by careful nature for her own wise purposes, 
would do his work where he ought. Only it would be true 
love that would make marriages not a hasty affection, 
stimulated by emulation, founded perhaps on necessity. 
Marriage, as often now contracted, is most unsatisfactory ; 
so is the growing disinclination* to marry now evinced by 
numbers of some classes of our young men, while our 
young women are left struggling to catch them. But 
make both sexes independent, and a wariness about mar- 
riage in each is one of the very best things that can be 
devised for their progressive elevation. To have women 
cheap, and men fastidious, of honourable love at least, is a 
cruel wrong which no manly-minded man ought to regard 
with indifference. To have each as independent of the 

24 The Employment of Women. [Nor 

other as possible, is the true condition of happiness, leaving 
love, the enchanter, to do the rest. 

With regard to domestic servants, what good housewife 
has not her complaints ? Perhaps we ought to trace some 
portion of the lamentations to that natural tendency in human 
nature to consider that our fathers and mothers were better 
off than we are. But still it is beyond jiU doubt that the 
relations between servants and the famiHes they live with, 
are most unsatisfactory. Neither, as it seems to us, do 
their part properly, though with whom the fault originally 
lies, we cannot say. Perhaps an issue of fact on this point 
might be sent up to a mixed jury of mistresses and servants, 
only that we fear not all the terrors of legal starvation or 
privation would procure a verdict. But certainly, a change 
is wanted somewhere, and probably with the servants, to 
commence with. We doubtless ought to have better ser- 
vants ; but, if we had them, they ought to be treated better 
than female servants often are now. In fact, a change in 
the whole relation of master and servant is required. The 
way to begin this is to try to train up a superior class of 
servants, and then we may hope that their claims to a 
better position than at present female domestics occupy 
will be recognized. And here our schools for girls are 
sadly at fault. In most cases the children are taught any- 
thing but what is useful ; so far from it, indeed, th/it what 
they do learn rather disqualifies them for the lowly work of 
the kitchen and laundry. We have all laughed often 
enough at Dr. Johnson's argument against educating the 
masses. Yet there was an element of truth in it. A girl 
with a really good literary education is not so well fitted 
for domestic service, as if she had been particularly trained 
in what is to be her business for life. It is all very well for 
the inspector, when he arrives at the school, to find that the 
young people are adepts at the use of the globes, can calcu- 
late fabulous or extra-comphcated sets of figures, with which 
they will never have to do again in afterlife, can point out 
a spot on the map which it would puzzle the inspector him- 
self to define from the data, and can tell the time at a given 
place by what is to them a kind of scientific legerdemain. 
But what, meanwhile, about the relation of buttons to 
shirts, the best way to stuff a turkey, or to dispose of a 
wash-tub full of clothes? What real good is all the fine 
learning to them afterwards? Can they be expected to 
remember all this showy knowledge after a year or so of 

1862.] The Employment oj Women, 25 

the dull- routine of the kitchen? If they did, what good 
would it do them? Does a knowledge of the globes assist 
the starching of a shirt, or an acquaintance with the theory 
of the seasons enable one to regulate the number and 
rapidity of the revolutions proper for a rib of beef before 
the fire ? Would it not be better to teach girls who are to 
]>e servants, how to perform the duties of servants, how to 
do servant's work with neatness and expedition, and how 
to conduct themselves as respectable servants ought ? This 
seems to us common sense in any case, but we are not 
without the support of good authority. In this case we 
confess we think that no opinion is of so much value as 
that of a sensible lady, and such is Miss Hope, who more- 
over had full opportunities of observing the class of ser- 
vants our system of education is likely to produce, as she 
was for ten years overseer of a home in Scotland where 
schoolmistresses resided. Her testimony is clear and 
satisfactory on the subject with which we are dealing — she 

*• For ten years I took chief superlntendance of a home where 
schoolmistresses boarded when under training, and during that 
time not only two hundred passed through my hands to go out to 
exercise their profession, but I got acquainted with numbers of 
other schoolmistresses. Also, it came to pass, that I was applied 
to from every part of Scotland by the clergy, and by ladies, to send 
them schoolmistresses, and having sent them, I had continued op- 
portunities of hearing what their employers thought of them after- 
wards. But although most of them were amiable estimable young 
women, admirably trained in every kind of book-learning, yet I 
could scarcely give you ten instances out of those two hundred, who 
did not seem spoilt by the would-be-ladjism of their training ; or 
whose inclination or power of making their girls tid}' housewives 
or thorough needle-women, was equal to what the ladies who em- 
ployed them desired. But I could give you many more instances 
of complete satisfaction on this point, being given in schools of far 
less pretensions, where neither school-house nor schoolmistresses 
would come up to the requirements of government." 

And we think that all credit is due to Miss Hope for 
plainly and bravely saying what is undoubtedly the truth 
with regard to female education in general. ** The hearts 
and the hands of women," she observes, ''should be edu- 
cated more than their heads.'' She is strongly corrobo- 
rated by the Rev. Mr. Norris, one of the. government in- 
spectors, who, ^while combating her propositions to a 

26 The Employment of Women. [Nov. 

certain extent, admits that the girls educated by the 
National Board are not inclined for service. '* It must be 
admitted," he remarks, in a paper to be found in tlie 
Social Science Transactions for 1859, *' that our girls, as 
a general rule, do not enter service. Why is this? 
Some places of service are quite unfit for girls who have 
any self-respect Our present course of school train- 
ing does tend to give girls a distaste for house- work. It is 
too bookish, too sedentary." 

That is to say, the state takes up the children of those 
who are too poor to send them to private schools, and edu- 
cates them till they become useless to the community — 
nay, even more, a positive curse to the community ; for 
such are those females whose education keeps them 
starving, by raising them above the kitchen, while it 
does not enable them to earn a decent living by their 

Here, then, is another very remarkable example of how 
the whole subject of woman's employment is characterized 
by error and mismanagement. We get a number of girls 
who ought in time to be the domestic servants of the coun- 
try, respectable and respected, no doubt, but satisfied with 
the lowly lot for which God and nature have meant them. 
Instead of making them good servants, we make them 
miserable nondescripts, above their proper work, struggling 
to become governesses and fine ladies, naturally failing in 
the attempt, and then, too, naturally becoming miserable 
failures as *' respectable people," when they ought to be, 
and if properly trained, would have been contented and suc- 
cessful household servants. The double evil of this system 
is enormous. Thousands of our best young women are cut 
off from domestic duties; these duties then fall into inferior 
hands, these inferior hands are indifferently treated, and the 
whole status of household service is so lowered that numbers 
of well-bred girls would think themselves degraded by en- 
tering it. We are then distracted to know what we shall 
do with these latter, and all the while our homes are made 
uncomfortable without them. Telegraph work, and design 
painting, and law copying, and printing are called into 
requisition, when ten thousand families in the country 
would pay highly for some one to make their fires decently, 
cook their meat properly, preserve their fruit, and answer 
a visitor at the door like a Christian. We do not con- 
demn the employment of women in novel businesses, as for 

1862.] The Employment of Women. 27 

a certain class some such employment is desirable ; but we 
insist that active efforts ought to be made to train up our 
national school girls, at least for one class of household 
service, and workhouse children for another. There are 
3,745,463 inhabited houses in England and Wales alone ; a 
lai-ge proportion of these will always want servants, and for 
good servants families will be ready to pay highly, as a well 
taught servant^ is an actual, positive, saving in a house, 
and a well trained servant, which includes, of course, a 
well trained woman, will in nearly every case be kiudly 
and considerately treated by the family in which they live. 
If the class generally could be improved, a general appre- 
ciation of their position and rights would follow. The 
servant would be no longer the mere drudge of the family, 
with belligerent relations towards the lady, an engagement 
terminable on a month's notice on either side, and gene- 
rally prolonged beyond the first few months, with pain. 
She would be the help of the family, treated with regard 
and consideration, and her interests would be a matter of 
concern to every proper mistress. We might also, in case 
of such an improvement in the class as we speak of, expect 
to see public attention considerately and humanely turned to 
the question of, what becomes of old servants? It is 
surely a very unsatisfactory thing for no one in a civilized 
community to be able or willing to answer that question. 
Do they live long, or do they die early? We cannot rest 
satisfied with either alternative. If few reach old age, what 
a tale does that fact tell of their lives ! If they do fulfil the 
allowed three score and ten, how are they supported, when 
the strong arm grows feeble, and the comely figure is 
shrivelled by age ? Are those collapsed specimens of mor- 
tality called charwomen, who make out a living by uncer- 
tain dubious, dreary hackwork — are they the remnant 
left of the bright housemaids who bustled about the houses 
of our infancy, and the merry nurses with whom we played? 
We like not the thought. Yet where are those same 
young maidens gone ? Some, doubtless, have got mar- 
ried ; some are gone to distant lands ; the grave has a 
right to claim some ; society ought to have looked after 
the rest. It is a grievous cruelty for the community to let 
their household servants, when past their work, sink down 
into decrepitude and degradation together — to use them as 
a humane man would not use his horses, so long as they 
are in their vigour, and then to turn them off to finish life 

28 The Employment of Women, [Nov 

as best they can. The proper remedy for this great evil 
is to elevate the whole relations between families and ser- 
vants; Make a class of respectable profitable servants ; 
people will then be able in a merely monetary point of 
view to pay higher wages ; from the wages, well-trained 
provident girls would put by something for the evil day, 
and would not recklessly leave the future to chance. 
Moreover, no respectable family would desert a faithful 
and careful servant in her old age. Other movements on 
behalf of women we would desire to assist, but none more 
so tlian that on behalf of the female service improvement. 
Such work is the most suitable of all for women, it is, and 
ever must be, a great opening, and its proper management 
would be productive of as much convenience to the com- 
munity as benefit to the servants themselves. 

The same complaints so generally and justly made about 
female servants, apply to the tolerably numerous class of 
professional nurses. Nothing can be more unsatisfactory 
than the condition of this branch of woman's work. Is 
any one satisfied with Mrs. Gamp? Nor is Mrs. Gamp a 
very exaggerated picture. This brings us to a subject most 
important, with regard to female employment and Christian 
charity, in which England is at fault. Protestant Eng- 
land has no religious orders of females. In our hospitals, 
in our common schools, beside lowly beds, in tlie districts 
of the poor and miserable, in the v;ork-house ward, in the 
prisoner's cell, what could be more blessed and becoming 
than the ministration of good women ? The authorized 
ministers— the regular troops of religion — certainly must 
go to these places also, but they can go only as ministers. 
They cannot spend their time in endeavours to work into 
little rows of beggars the religious impress of which child- 
hood is susceptible; they cannot influence with a woman's 
power fallen and disconsolate womanhood; they cannot 
soothe the restlessness of sickness or the struggles of death. 
On the other hand, the country abounds with ladies who, 
in a Catholic country, would be usefully to themselves, and 
happily to others, discharging those holy duties. Every one 
acquainted with middle class English society, knows that 
there are hundreds of thousands such. Plain daughters 
unable to get married are, we know, from book statistics 
and experience, superabundant. By the census of 1851, 
we learn that there were 2,449,669 females between the 
ages of fifteen and fifty-five, unmarried, including widows 

1862.] The Employment of Women, 29 

and spinsters, and of these 322,347 were returned as fol- 
lowing no business or occupation whatever. These unmar- 
ried girls, as they advance in life, are often most unplea- 
santly circumstanced, perhaps with inconsiderate fathers, 
perhaps with struggling brothers, perhaps living in solitude 
on some little pittance of a pension, j^s they have not 
been able to give way to the great human impulse of their 
nature, they are often, indeed, generally, all the more 
devoted to that other and higher feeling of which also they 
are so susceptible. They look on the cold ungenerous 
world with the aversion of pilgrims in a hostile country ; 
tliey console themselves with embracing fervent, injudi- 
cious theories of Christianity, they fix their thoughts on 
the time when the days of their mourning shall be ended, 
and the marriage feast of the Lamb made ready. Thus 
they pass their lives disliking the world and useless in it ; 
a great impetus to extravagant religion is suppHed, and a 
vast amount of sincere devotional feeling is comparatively 
lost to the world. If these lonely good ladies could be en- 
rolled in a religious order, as they would be on the Conti- 
nent, and given active duties of charity to perform, what a 
double blessing would be thereby conferred ! They would 
be made happy in their charitable industry, and the com- 
munity would benefit by their services. Yet so strange 
and so strong is the influence of prejudice, that any ap- 
proach to such a blessed organization is condemned by 
what is proudly termed the Protestant feeling of England. 
Thousands and thousands of hapless ladies are left wither- 
ing in idle and gloomy maidenhood ; millions of children 
and sick are left poorly and often unfeelingly attended. 
To make the one class active, would be to succour the 
others, but England cannot manage it. To leave both 
neglected is either a fancy or an unfortunate fact of Pro- 
testantism. We can only point out the evil, it is not for 
us to suggest the remedy. Nor can we suggest any other 
feasible plan for employing those three hundred thousand 
ladies who are at present an useless burthen to the com- 

Having noticed these defects in the main employments 
of women and the respective remedies, as far as they can be 
proposed, the question raised by the Society for the Employ- 
ment of Women presents itself. What more ought to be 
done and what new avenues of work ought to be opened up ? 
Without at all condemning the efforts made by benevolent 

oO The Employment of Women, [Nov. 

ladies to secure new j^et suitable work for women, ^ye 
cannot but think that it would be well to direct our main 
efforts to remedying the defects and wrongs which at 
present render so unsatisfactory what may be called 
woman's peculiar work. When we have made sure of 
woman's proper province we may try to extend our con- 
quests over what is to a certain extent man's domain. 
But in truth we can only expect to get a small footing 
therein. Telegraph work for example, — apparently on ^ 
of the most suitable for women, often necessitates the 
workers staying up during the greater portion of the night. 
We have read of a fine feat of telegraphing which secured 
to the London Times hy early morn the full report of the 
speeches delivered during the evening and night, at one of 
the Manchester demonstrations; and it appears that the 
'* Young girls'' who worked the wires began their task at 
10. 15. p.m. and ended it at 3. 25. a.m. However gratifying 
an evidence of female skill and activity this may be, we 
think that the mere fact proves enough to constitute an 
objection to telegraph work as a general female employ- 
ment. If there is one thing which comes out in particularly 
melancholy relief in the poor needle-woman's or milliner's 
occupation it is the thought of their leaving the house of 
toil in the early hours of morning, and passing by scenes 
of dissipation and at least affected gaiety, which might 
tempt an unholy thought to rise in the breasts of those who 
found the paths of virtue certainly not the ways of plea- 
santness. The work of the telegraph office is not so 
hard or so badly rewarded as is that of the needle, but 
it is certainly objectionable to have "young girls" 
scattered over the streets to seek their homes at 3. 25. a.m. 
Besides such work is clearly incompatible with any 
domestic engagements. The Victoria printing press is we 
are rejoiced to learn a complete success, we hope that 
many like it may spring up throughout the land. Yet 
here too, woman's work must be limited. The vast branch 
of newspaper printing seems to be completely shut out from 
them ; there is also a large class of books which could not 
well be sent through the hands of a number of decent 
young women. Where great hurry is required we fear 
that the publishers would feel safer in the hands of men. 
Still we only mention these as limitations to the plan. It 
is obvious that for a great deal of printing women are quite 
as well suited as men, and we should hope that the good 

1862.] The Employment of Women. 31 

feeling of the llteraiy community would in all pos- 
sible cases be ready to give them the preference. The 
*' Transactions of the Social Science Congress," which are 
yearly printed by Emily Faithfull and Co., are a standing 
evidence of how accurately and neatly work can be done, 
audi we learn that the fair firm is fully established as a 
mercantile success, and has more work on hands than it 
is able to do. Then as to the law copying, dial painting, 
lithography, we can only wish every success to the efforts 
made to employ women in those works. At present we 
regret to learn from the Report of the London Society for 
1861 that the success has been very trifling indeed. Only 
two pupils were apprenticed to the dial painting trade and 
*' except in one or two individual cases" it was not found 
possible to obtain lithography work for females. We must 
not however expect over much at first from even the active 
and intelligent efforts of the Society ; but we could have 
wished that more interest in the good woik had been 
evinced by those whom it is proposed to benefit. We read, 
** The adult class at Mrs. Boucherett's school averages 
twenty-three pupils, who are receiving a good education 
in arithmetic, book keeping and clerk-like handwriting, 
with such other knowledge as may fit them for a business 
life.'^ Considering that the last census shows that there 
are some million and a half females in London, we must 
say that an average of fourteen is but a poor contribution. 
Working at this class is a matter in the hands of the 
women themselves, and the poor attendance seems to show 
something wrong somewhere. But with regard to all 
these ways of employing women we can only say we most 
heartily wish them success. We do not think that they 
will ever become very general ; however, without doing so 
they may do an immensity of good. They may not be very 
domestic, but there are numbers of women to whom home 
is only an empty name ; some of them may not be exactly 
what we call feminine, but neither is mill work nor dressing 
ore at mines. 

As permanent general employments for women we must 
certainly say that we should rather trust to the domestic 
field with all its difterent divisions. All mechanical call- 
ings to be successful must in the end trust to the 
sui)eriority over competition of those who follow them. If 
women in any numbers are to follow the different businesses 
which the London committee are now endeavouring to start 

32 The Employment of Women, [Nov. 

them in, it must be by fairly beating men out of the field. 
A few particular enterprises may be supported by the 
direct favour of just and good men, but in the gross these 
things must be done by hard competition. Now we doubt 
whether women will ever be able to conquer in this unequal 
struggle. Miss 1. Craig says that women can never 
compete with men, and we think she is right. Women 
are certainly physically weaker, and despite any training 
they will probably never take to stern business work with 
tlie same determination and devotion as men. We are 
not guilty of that contemptible want of gallantry which 
some speculators display on this subject when we say that 
l)Uice the two sexes in equal competition and tlie result is 
certain. The prize will not be to the fair. Besides the 
comparatively limited number of women that iu any case 
can enter in competition with men will always be a source 
of disadvantage to them. Numbers in any case will be 
busy with their homes and families and the remnant 
will never be able to command a profitable controul of 
the market. Each business in the main will still be iu the 
hands of men. At best women will only edge in and men 
will still have the lead. Omnipotent and all wise nature 
will still have her way and most females who can marry 
well will marry and fulfil one great purpose of their earthly 
existence. The rest will turn to business as a kind of 
dernier resort, — for want of something better ; they will not 
push themselves to it as men do to what is the immediate 
and principal object of their life. We do not say this to 
discourage those business enterprises. On the contrary 
we hail them with satisfaction as some relief at least to 
toiling womanhood, and we think that they will be most 
valuable in providing for that particular section of women 
for whom they are suited and by whom alone they will be 
worked. More than this they will not do ; and we are only 
anxious to guard against the notion that we do enough 
when we start these few pet schemes for wonians employ- 
ment. On the other hand in domestic service they have 
no competition ; that men willingly leave to them. They 
ought to be trained for it, and it ought to be elevated and 
suited to them. So too those shops where gloves, neck- 
ties, articles of ladies dress, gauses and a thousand little 
trifles are sold, ought to be left to females alone. There 
men are usurpers and invaders. They might just as well 
and indeed with more propriety, take in hand the washing- 

1862. 1 ' The Employment of Women. 33 

tub and the mangle. The object is to secure to women 
a work which they certainly can do as well as men, and no 
mere whim of a few grand people should be allowed to 
prevent this most necessary reform. On the continent 
women are much more employed in the light work of 
shops than with us, and we may well copy the example, 
while avoiding the mere shop exposure of Paris. 

These all will tend to secure a fair and proper field for 
woman's toil and a prudent system of emigration will relieve 
the present pressure. But as a preparation for every 
scheme of improvement we must have a better systdfh of 
female training and education. Of the National-school 
children we have spoken already. No step is more 
urgently required than a change from the literary style of 
their education to the domestic. Let them we say be 
trained for household servants, and let the teachers re- 
member that it is a poor consolation to the family whose 
leg of mutton for dinner is spoiled, to know that their 
cook can calculate the distances of the stars. As for the 
highest class of girls we have nothing to say to them. If 
they are pretty certain to get married, or have good in- 
dependent means should they not, their education is too 
much a mere personal matter to be of state concern. What- 
ever suggestions a critic might have to make in this respect 
need not be enlarged on here. There remains the large 
middle class, the higher artizan, the shopkeeper, the poor 
respectable ; and the bad way in which they manage their 
daughters is a fertile source of the female difficulty. They 
seem either to calculate on marriage as a necessary con- 
tingency, or else to consider that the future of girls is a 
matter of no consequence, while that of boys must be 
most anxiously considered for. The result is two-fold, each 
equally pernicious. Either the daughters are forced as it 
were for their very lives into ill assorted marriages 
without any provision being made for the coming family, 
or else by the death of the parent or some other contingency 
they are thrown on the world literally to live by their wits, 
which indeed they generally find a particularly inadequate 
provision. Hence is one great source of the would-be- 
governesses who have barely the qualifications of a house- 
maid. Hence the rush of hundreds after every trifling 
situation which females with no qualifications think they 
can fill. Hence the struggles to open up some new ways 

of living for women or to escape from the country altogether. 
VOL. Lii.-No. cni. 3 

34 The Employment of Women, [Nov. 

Hence greater evils too. If parents of the middle class 
would train their daughters as they do their sons, for in- 
dependence, rather than for marriage, much of this harm 
might be obviated. If the small shop-keeper, for example, 
were to teach his daughters book-keeping, how to take 
orders, or sell wares across the counter, how^ to pack 
parcels, and generally the management of his shop, 
he would be putting them as it were in possession of a 
property. When he was gone they could continue the 
establishment. Old customers would not go away if they 
wera^served well, and the daughters would be decent shop- 
keepers instead of unhappy wives or faded struggling 
spinsters. The same may be said of hundreds of other 
middle class occupations. Each parent has made a kind 
of opening in his business, and he should educate his 
daughters so as to enable them where possible to avail 
themselves of it. More might be done in the way of this 
hereditary right than by the hard competition organ- 
ised by societies.^ If a father is a watchmaker, why does 
he not teach his daughters or some of them to nrnke 
watches? They could learn the work just as well as the 
sons, or as the girls of Switzerland do in the mountains 
about Geneva. If the father is a fourth or fifth-class painter 
why does he not teach his daughter design painting ? She 
could gradually get employment through her father, and 
if she painted well, she would be afterward independent of 
his aid. And so on through numbers of other businesses 
which females may not find it easy to take by storm, 
parents by judicious training might fit their daughters for 
the work and then introduce them to it, just as now a man 
often pushes his son into his place in a trade or calling, 
which the youth would never have won for himself.^ Are 
we not all familiar with the case of the fortunate scion of 
some prosperous house of the law or some powerful political 
family ? In the one case he has briefs loading his table 
which are in truth confided to the paternal care and about 
which the only thing the favoured youth is quite competent 
for is to sign the fee: in the other he is seated in parliament 
in early manhood, in course of years he falls into the proper 
style of debate and is in due time fit for office, his juvenile 
blunders having been perpetrated and forgotten. And so 
in humble life, if fathers would only push their daughters 
into their trades when these are suitable, they could safely 
leave them to fight their own way afterwards. If there is 

1862.] The Employment of Women, 35 

not room for the sons, let them emigrate. Men are never 
at a loss for something to do in a new country. This 
certainly seems the most feasible plan for enabling women 
to make a living out of men's trades ; they need not leave 
their homes nor at all neglect domestic duty ; while learn- 
ing their business they might be of great assistance to 
their relatives, and by them could get a gradual intro- 
duction which they could at leisure improve and secure. 
Nor do we at all by this scheme propose to interfere with 
marriage when it is really desirable. By making daugh- 
ters somewhat independent without at the same time nn- 
domesticating them, they are only rendered the more fitted 
for proper marriage. If they do marry in such a case, the 
union is likely to be a happy one, founded on sincere 
affection and prudent choice. If parents would oiily look 
with provident care to the future of their daughters we are 
convinced that more could be done^ for introducing a cer- 
tain number into business occupations in this way than 
by any public organization. But then both the fathers 
and daughters must get out of their heads the pernicious 
idea that marriage is with us, in this nineteenth century, 
the only business of women in life — the final cause of their 
creation. Facts and figures are hard things, and let them 
observe how many hundreds of thousands of women there 
are who cannot get married, and who must work for their 
bread. There is nothing too that so fits a girl in the 
middle class for marriage as being able to live without it. 
Husbands are like friends; if you are independent of them 
they are likely to come to you ; if you have to run 
after them they naturally think that the prize is not worth 
very much. 

And here we may say that we cannot at all concur in 
the reason which Miss Parkes gives to explain the indif- 
ference of fathers to the training of their daughters. In 
her paper on *' The Market for Educated Female Labour," 
read before the Social Science Congress for 1859, she 
says that parents do not care to give girls the means of mak- 
ing money, because they know that the future husband will 
by law become entitled to the fruits of her industry, and she 
founds on this idea an argument for the modification of 
the law as regards the husband's power over his wife's 
property. We read:— 

"But there was another reason why the father confided his 
daughter's future so wholly to her possible husband : women were 

36 The Employment oj Women, [Nov. 

so unused to have or to hold property and the law throws the right 
to the earnings of a married woman so completely into her husband's 
power, that the father was little tempted to save up his money to 
give to another man, nor to train np his daughter expensively, 
when another man was to have legal power over the fruits of her 
education, and could take away any money she earned.'' 

The fact that so sensible a lady as Miss Parkes uses 
such an argument with such an object, is a very significant 
one, followed up as it has been recently by a less discreet 
advocate of woman's rights. First let us see the value of 
the reason. We do not for our part think that all middle 
class fathers, do calculate with accuracy and definiteness 
on their daughters marrying ; we fear very much that they 
do not calculate on the subject at all. If they do so 
anticipate, every reason must urge them to make their 
daughters as independent as possible. For if the husband 
is a proper husband, what can be more suitable than that 
his wife should be able to turn some leisure hours to 
account in assisting the family? If on the other hand he is 
a Kad husband what can be a greater control on his evil 
passions, or what a greater protection to his wife than that 
she should be able to earn her livelihood and if necessary 
to live independently ? It is the total helplessness of the 
wives that encourages the cruelty of brutal husbands. So 
much for the value of the argument ; but what is the 
meaning of the suggestion at all? We fear that Miss 
Parkes states guardedly in her own prudent way an idea 
which more or less mixes itself up in the thoughts of some 
of the ladies at least who manage this present movement 
on behalf of women. We fear that justly and properly ex- 
cited as they are about woman's wrongs, they are inclined 
to go beyond securing material remedies and to busy 
themselves about woman's supposed abstract rights. When 
meetings are held and fair speakers have spoken with all 
the earnestness of conviction, and ladies' committees are 
organized and female secretaries are appointed and 
women's journals started, there is plainly a tendency even 
with our sensible ladies to let their energies tend in the 
direction of the strong minded ladies of Massachusetts who 
some yeai's ago we learn from Mr. Mill, demanded in 
public meeting assembled, concessions to women-kind as 

" Resolved. — That women are entitled to the right of suffrage, and 
to be considered eligible to office. 

1862.] The Employment of Women. 37 

" KesoWed, — That civil and polical rights acknowledge no sex, 
and therefore the word * male' should be struck from the state con 

" Resolved. — That it is impossible that women should make full 
use of the instruction already accorded to them, or that tlieir 
career should do justice to their faculties until the avenues to 
the various civil and professional employments are thrown open to 

"Resolved. — That every effort to educate women without ac- 
cording to them their rights, and arousing their conscience by the 
weight of their responsibilities, is futile and a waste of labour. 

*' Eesolved. — That the laws of property as affecting married per- 
sons demand a thorough revisal, so that all rights be equal between 
them, and that the wife have during life an equal control over 
the property, and be entitled at her death to dispose of an equal 

The nearest approach to this platform as yet made in 
England, is by a lady who writes to the Times, and who 
occupies a place on both the general, and managing com- 
mittees of the Society for Promoting the Employment of 
Women. The managing committee, we may observe, 
consists of three gentlemen and four ladies. The lady to 
whom we refer, entirely dissents from Miss Craig's view, 
"that women never can nor ought to compete with man," 
observing — 

"Here, again, I cordially join issue. Nature, in making man 
and woman so unlike in their very likeness, has herself affixed the 
power and limit to both, and so entirely do I hold this that I believe 
when women shall become an acknowledged power in the world as 
well as in the home, taking their share in the world's work and 
progress, men in the place of competitors will find their labours of 
Lead and heart, supplemented and perfected to a degree yet un- 
dreamt of." 

This is rather vague, but what follows is not — 

•* The best and noblest women stand aloof in isolated dignity, 
preferring the martyrdom of unsatisfied affections and sympathies 
to the surrender of tlieir independence and integrity as human souls, 
accountable to their God, and their God only, for what they are to 

do We are allowed no platform but the childless heart or 

the teeming nursery, and if these may not be ours, jostled and 
pushed aside to rot in inaction, if we have the means to find our- 
selves food, shelter and clothing; if we have not to wrest or steal a 
living as best we can, doing hardest coarsest work for worst 

38 The Employment of Women, [Nov 

Our fair innovator is clearly no great admirer of St. 
Paul. Yet we can scarcely blame women for allowing 
their zeal to carry them a little beyond the bounds of pru- 
dence, when we find the professor of political economy in 
one of the universities of this kingdom, indorsing to the full 
the pernicious and an ti- Christian craze of Mr. J. S. Mill, 
for which that very eminent thinker was indebted to his 
wife, who was doubtless a most amiable lady, but not a 
very deep philosopher. Professor Houston of Trinity Col- 
lege, Dublin, in the pamphlet which we have prefixed to 
our article, startles us with gravely advancing theories 
which we never expected to see emanating from a learned 
and Christian university. " Emancipation of Women,'' — 
startling heading ! What is the slavery in which our fair 
friends are ? That it may appear we wrong not the pro- 
fessor, let us quote a few sentences. 

*'* What/ the learned prefessor asks, * is the account given of it 
by a lady, who charges herself with the duty of instructing her 
sisters in the path of life they should choose? In a work called 
* My Life, and what should I do with it?' — a work which abounds 
in most valuable suggestions on the subject, and which is written in a 
spirit of liberality and enlightenment, the authoress thus defines 
woman's mission — ' A true womanly life is lived for others. Not 
for things, as a man's may be who is engaged in any productive 
labour or training ; not for mind, as a studious man's may be ; not 
for the increase of knowledge, for the discovery of truth, nOr for 
art ; not for the human race in their collective masses,^ nations, 
churches, colleges, but for others as individuals.' If true, this is a 
melancholy fact. No desire of independence, no patriotism, no 
devotion to art, to the sacred cause of truth, or to the ennobling 
pursuit of knowledge, must enter into the hearts of over one half of 
the species ! Every particle of individuality — the ultimate crystal 
from which every regular form of civilization must be developed, 
is to be sunk in the pursuit of the advantage of others as indi- 

Again, in the appendix, we read — 

*' Were all avenues of profit and distinction opened to both sexes 
alike, little doubt can be entertained but that the course of educa- 
tion pursued by both would differ much less than at present, be- 
coming in the case of women more various and comprehensive, and 
thus tending much more than at present to the expansion of their 
faculties ; and even should they never be required to put the 
knowledge thus acquired into requisition in the pursuit of any 

1862.] The Employment of Women. 39 

industrial calling, enabling them in turn to direct with judgment 
the education of their families." 

It is into such follies^as tliese'that the most useful social 
movements so often degenerate. We find that our con- 
stitution of society leaves in struggling and wretchedness 
some million or so of women. Instead of opening up use- 
ful occupations and charitable callings to engage them in 
becoming industry, Professors and social^ science meet- 
ings at once fall a talking about emancipation ^nd college 
degrees, people at present being, of course, wiser than the 
old-fashioned teaching of religion. Does the professor pro- 
pose that women should, like the Amazons of old, take up 
arms in their countries' cause, and stand in the ridges of 
grim war ? Will he organize a female police force who 
will patrol and keep in order our streets by night ? Will 
he send our fair friends on the stormy ocean, and have 
young sailor girls rocked to sleep on the high and giddy 
mast ? And does he suppose that if men^ do all the 
hard stern work, they will have women directing and rul- 
ing their toil? But, indeed, we need not argue, for as it 
seems to us the professor refutes himself. He says, *'It is 
not by any means likely that women would be at all satis- 
fied to sacrifice their own natural tastes and feelings, so 
far as to become barristers or surgeons.'' ^ Very good, and 
for which of the professions then are their '^ own natural 
tastes and feelings" likely to suit them ? The political 
platform, we suppose, is not more suited than the legal. 
From the clerical, they are excluded by express precept, 
unless, of course, the rational interpretation system disposes 
of it too. Public offices and bustling commerce seem not 
adapted to the female taste either. Engineering and sur- 
veying are as bad. For what, then, the professor contends 
we cannot conceive. It seems to be the *' opening up of 
all avenues of profitable distinction," on which the natural 
tastes of females would prevent them from entering. The 
truth is, that in this, as in many other grand theories and 
reforms that are started in this wonderful nineteenth cen- 
tury, shallow philosophers are forgetting the nature of the 
men and women for whom they are devising wise things. 
They are clever enough to see that there is something 
wrong with the world as it is, and they are foolish enough 
to *think that they can set to and make out a new and 
better order of nature. They may improve the human 

40 The Employment of Women. [Nov 

race ; they will never radically change it. We have di- 
verged to this latest folly of the hasty theorists of the age, 
because of the countenance given to it by the Social Sci- 
ence Congress, headed by the venerable Lord Brougham, 
the value of whose judgment we will not discuss, but who 
has not failed his ancient and appropriate character of the 
ladies' man. And we fear that the introduction of such fancies 
into the plans for female relief is sure to result in disaster. 
The ladies themselves are not to be blamed for pushing 
into practice theories apparently sanctioned by authority. 
One result is the letter which we have quoted from, com- 
ing from one of the ladies' managing committee of the 
London Society. We do not think we could present to 
sensible men a stronger argument for their taking an ac- 
tive, earnest, and generous part in the efforts of the society. 
We are sure that we mean nothing disrespectful to those 
earnest and talented ladies who at present direct its efforts, 
when we say that their unacquaintance with business 
habits renders the attentive co-operation of some gentle- 
men necessary to secure success to their plans. It is, in- 
deed, a poor way to discharge our duties to the female 
dependent portion of our population, to leave remedies to 
their own efforts, and then, if a mistake be made, to laugh 
at the incompetence of ladies. Every earnest, fair minded 
man ought to feel himself personally interested in woman's 
cause, mindful that the circumstances of social condition 
and training to a certain extent disqualify woman from 
being her own protector. The very irritation which prompts 
these strange theories, proves that grievous wrong exists. 
VVomen would not care to complain about the legal disa- 
bilities of marriage if they were independent of it, or if 
suitable matches were easy to be had. They would never 
think of assailing the political power of men if they did not 
feel that under it they suffered so many wrongs. Want, 
and struggling, and misery, drive mankind to find a refuge 
from the hard facts of society as at present constituted, in 
the congenial follies of socialism. Will want, struggling, 
and misery not incline womanhood to some similar error ? 
But whatever may be our opinion about details, let us 
not look on with cold and unsympathizing feelings at the 
efforts which benevolent people are now making in this 
cause. Do we realize the position in which women are 
now placed ? Do we think of what becomes of the increas- 
ing surplus of females ? The mind, we are told, by literary 

1862.] The Employment oj Women. 41 

critics, is more affected by particulars, than by the most 
sweeping general descriptions. Miss Rye gives us some 
particulars. A situation worth £l5 a year was offered to 
female competition — eight hundred and ten women ap- 
plied. Another worth «£12 a year was declared vacant — 
two hundred and fifty women were candidates. One week 
a notice was put in the newspapers to say that a law-copy- 
ing office had been opened at Fenchurch-street — before a 
week was out seventy-eight women applied for work in it, 
and one hundred more applied at the office itself. Miss 
Parkes gives us a simple and affecting picture of the 
crowds of waiting applicants whom she found collected 
at the office of the Englishwoman's Journal :-^ 

*'1q this way I have conversed with ladies of all ages and condi- 
tions ; with single girls of seventeen finding it necessary to start in 
life ; with married ladies whose husbands were invalided or not 
forthcoming; with widows who had children to support; with sin- 
gle women who found teaching unendurable as life advanced ; with 
tradesmen's daughters, and with people of condition fallen into low 

We think that men do not sufficiently take to heart 
these details. As yet, we must confess that the stronger 
sex have done httle but tSlk wisely about woman's mission, 
which seems practically to be, to go to the four corners 
of the earth, or to wait at home and hold her peace. It is 
simply .acting under false pretences, to tell women to go 
xind get married and not to be pushing themselves forward. 
Pharaoh acted as justly towards the Israelites, when he 
told them to make bricks. It is humiliating to think that 
if our statesmen gave one-tenth of the time and thought to 
this question which has been given to projects for increas- 
ing the political power of the lower classes, and promoting 
foreign revolutions, it would not now be in its present un- 
satisSictory state ; and yet that that consideration is not 
given. The present agitation is not a mere passing ex- 
citement springing from ephemeral fancies, and likely to 
subside when those fancies pass away. If it does subside 
it will be into the calmness of despair, not the rest of satis- 
faction. Real pressing causes are now, and have been for 
years at work, which are pushing our female population 
to despair, and will continue to be till modified by judicious 
reform. ^ At bay they stand, and make a struggle for 
preservation. Within the last few years the sewing ma- 

42 The Employment of Women, [Nov. 

chine has effected a change, blessed indeed in one sense, 
still destructive in another. Poor wretches live no longer 
now by the needle, but. Heaven only knows, what else they 
live by. In 1851 there were 73,620 needle women in Lon- 
don, now there ai'o probably not more than a few thou- 
sands. The notable " Song of the Shirt," is not at the 
present time so applicable as before. Let us hope that the 
other popular lines of Hood have not become the more 
fitting lamentations for thousands of new victims. What 
fearful revelations have been made by the late returns of 
inquests held in London in 1861, on children who died 
under ten years of age.. In them it is established that in 
the one year 343 children were, to express the thing in 
round phrase, murdered, 147 were accidentally suffo- 
cated, and 614 were the victims of exposure and disease ; 
making a total of 1,104 infants disposed of in the metropolis 
of England in a twelve month. What a melancholy list ! 
Who can count the number of sinners and sufferers that it 
represents ! It is said that the dense population of the Chi- 
nese empire, from which till lately no emigration was allowed 
was in a great degree owing to the licence accorded to infan- 
ticide. Reckless hasty marriages were entered into by the 
stolid parents in anticipation of availing themselves of the 
customary right, aud so getting ^id of family cares. But 
when the children actually came, the mother's love proved 
too strong, and' the offspring were preserved to throng the 
land. It would seem that with us the force of nature, and 
the force of laws, and the force of public opinion, are unable, 
in great cities to balance the misery of women. This re- 
minds us of the great sad fact which lies at the foot of all 
speculations on the subject of female work. We know 
what is the end of the increasing cheapness of women, and 
the increasing disinclination to marry in men. Every man 
feels it sensitively, and thinks of it often with sorrow. A 
recent volume of Mr. Mayhew's work on " London Labour 
and London Poor,'' has brought vividly and painfully before 
us the traps, the baits, the extensive organization, the well 
worked system which is^ in force to tempt to destruction 
innocent frail womankind, to whom society leaves the 
alternative of hard struggles or harder vice. It is of little 
use to become sentimental on such a subject. Yet we 
cannot help asking how just-minded men can hurry to 
their comfortable homes through any of our great towns by 
night and not make a firm resolve to aid with their might 

1862.] The Employment of Women, 43 

the society which proposes to do woman justice. Do we 
not know that in truth numbers of those fallen ones are 
crushed down into the haunts of degradation by the stern 
hand of want ? And should we rest easy a day till such a 
cruel wron^ is set right? Deplorable, indeed, is their 
affected inlifforence to shame and melancholy their ghastly 
gaiety. But who can tell the sorrows that are crushed 
down within those lonely hearts ! Let us turn our feelings 
to good account. Let us remember that if we are indif- 
ferent to their sufferings we are responsible for their guilt, 
and that it is little consolation to a virtuous man to feel 
that he has not participated in their sin, if he has not ear- 
nestly set himself to relieve the misery from which it 

Up to very recently a lively disputation has been maintained in 
the daily press on the merits of Miss Rje's plan of emigration, 
which we criticise in our article. The fair propounder of the 
scheme has been left almost alone in its defence ; while the most 
decided repudiations of any want of learned ladies have appeared in 
both Canadian and Australian newspapers. The Melbourne Argus, 
a very trustworthy journal, falls mercilessly on Miss Rye's Jpropo- 
sal, as developed in her letters to the Times ; while the Toronto 
Weehly Leader has an article X)n the subject, from which we make 
an extract. 

"Miss Rje assumes as a fact, what few in this province at least 
will recognise as such. In Canada there is a demand for very few 
governesses indeed, and those young women who are thus employed 
receive, we fear, rather a poor compensation beyond the comforts of 
a home and the surroundings of respectability. If there is certain 
employment for any class of young women, it is for those * hordes of 
wild Irish,' of whom the governess advocate speaks in such flatter- 
ing terms. * Genteel ' young ladies are not required here ; they 
are somewhat indigenous, and are sufficiently numerous to fill all 
the vacant situations that need their services. Domestics may 
come without hesitation, but for imported governesses we fear there 
is little room." 

This quite settles a question on which nothing but an' acquaint- 
ance with the wants of colonial society could ever have raised a 
doubt. It will not be pretended, we presume, that the Ladies* 
Committee in London know what the colonists want better than 
they know themselves. We are glad, indeed, to gather from some 
of Miss Rye's later letters, that she is not insensible to the weight 
of testimqny furnished on the subject, and that she is disposed to 
select the young persons she patronises as much as can be from 
the respectable working class, or at least to send them abroad as 

44 Rome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. [Nov. 

such. But we must warn Miss Rye that anything short of a com- 
plete renunciation of her original plan will end in failure. We 
observe that in a recent letter, Miss Rye reiterates her sweeping 
condemnation of the class of females who have hitherto emigrated 
to the colonies, stigmatizing them as the "disreputable set of women 
who have for so many years formed the bulk of our emigrants." 
We need not say that we differ from Miss Rye both as to the cor- 
rectness of the assertion and the desirability of making it at all, 
even were it true. But while avo regret that zeal for the excellent 
design which she has proposed to herself should prompt what we 
must consider an indiscreet statement, we are anxious to take the 
opportunity of condemning the severe and indeed personal tone of 
stricture indulged in on her emigration scheme by a certain notable 
weekly journal, which, by the article we allude to, has vindicated 
afresh its claim to a reputation for fierce criticism and painful in- 

Art. II. — Rome and the Catholic Episcopate. Reply of His 
Eminence Cardinal Wiseman to an Address of the Clergy Secular 
and Regular of the Archdiocese of Westminster. 

THE Canonization which has recently taken place at 
Rome, has been accompanied by circumstances which 
have made it so profoundly interesting to the whole Ca- 
tholic world, that we feel anxious to offer to our readers 
a few observations on these most important proceedings 
both in their directly religious and in their quasi political 
aspect. And we will commence with the purely religious 
view of them. 

All Catholics know that it is not every day that a 
Saint is Canonized. The last ceremony of this kind 
took place during the Pontificate of Gregory XVI. in 
1839, when St. Alphonsusof Liguori, St Francis Jerome, 
St. John Joseph of the Cross, St. Pacificus of St. 
Severinus, and St. Veronica Juliani were canonized. 
It is a function of comparatively rare occurrence, for it is 
only a few among those conspicuous for sanctity that the 
Church deems sufficiently eminent above others to be 
worthy of being set on so high a pinnacle. Not but that 
many others may have been equally holy or even more so 

1862 ] Borne on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. 45 

tlian some of the Canonized Saints ; but there are not the 
Slime proofs of their holiness, and not such miracles to 
mark the approbation of Almighty God, and to indicate 
His will in the matter. Thus it may happen that per- 
sons, placed in a high position, whether spiritual or tem- 
poral, Popes, Kings, Bishops, are canonized because 
their virtues are conspicuous and notorious ; while many 
a monk or nun of some severe and secluded order, whose 
life has been passed in a cell of a religious house, where 
the step of the stranger and the secular has rarely been 
heard, cannot be canonized for the want of proofs of 
heroic virtue, which virtue nevertheless existed in an 
eminent degree, and perhaps in a higher degree than in 
some of the other class before mentioned, but which was 
known to God alone. 

Most of our readers are aware that there are other steps 
in the process of honouring the Saints which the Church 
takes before canonizing them ; and in many cases she 
goes no further, the process being ended there and the 
saint being raised to no higher place in the calendar. These 
two steps are 1st, the declaring a person '' venerable," 
and 2iid, beatification. 

The first imports that the fame of a person's sanctity 
has been judicially proved, or (in more technical language) 
that in his cause the Commission of Introduction has 
been signed. This Commission of Introduction is siorned 
by the Pope and addressed to the Congregation of Ritas. 
The Holy See thus takes the matter in question under its 
own jurisdiction, so that local bishops and ordinaries can 
no longer interfere.^ Before the completion of this step, 
the fame of the virtues of the Servant of God is estab- 
lished by witnesses or in other ways, and this, of course, 
not merely as to ordinary but also as to extraordinary or, 
as they are called, heroic virtues. When the Pope has 
sanctioned the decree in such a case, we know that the 
Congregation of Rites has fully examined and been satis- 
fied of the existence of a solidly established fame as to the 
heroic character of the virtues of the person whose process 
has been under consideration, and that thus we have the 
verdict of a most scrupulously careful and highly authori- 
tative tribunal. But still the decree differs essentially 
in its import from those we shall presently speak of. We 
should remark that in the case of martyrs the very act 
of their dying for Christ is held to be an act of heroic 

46 JRome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. [Nov. 

virtue, so that the same proofs are not required for them 
as for other saints. 

The declaration that a person is venerable does not 
authorize any public cultus ; the second step, however, 
which is termed beatification, does so, and is of course a 
far more important and serious proceeding, — so much so 
that it has been disputed whether this act on the part of 
the Church be or be not an exercise of her infallible 
judgment. It appears that the theologians who have dis- 
cussed this subject have distinguished between the two 
kinds of beatification, formal and cegaipollent ; the latter 
being rather a concession than a judgment, and merely 
authorizing the continuance of a cultus which had already 
existed, as for example, a particular diocese or a particu- 
lar order, from immemorial usage, or from some other 
recognized sanction, and^ being usually accompanied 
by a reservation of the right of the Congregation, so 
that the decision is not irrevocable ; the former being a 
more strictly judicial proceeding on the part of the Holy 
See itself, by which, after proof of the virtues and mii'a- 
cles of the servant of God, the Pope allows him the title of 
heatus, and generally grants (though not for the use oi the 
whole Church) a Mass and Office in his honour. 1 he 
best opinion then seems to be that in formal beatification 
the decision is probably infallible, and in eequipollent 
beatification probably not so.* ^ 

The final step in the process is, as we all know. Canoni- 
zation. Let us see in what respects it differs from Beati- 

Not merely then is the final cerempny, the act itself, 
celebrated with far more grandeur and solemnity, but there 
is (as may naturally be supposed) a difference in the intrin- 

* Those who wish to enter more fully into the subject, will do well 
to study F. Faber's treatise on Beatification and Canonization, 
published in 1848 ; we are indebted to it for very much informa- 
tion, and have in this article followed the opinions set forth in it. 
We should observe that (as all persons versed in ecclesiastical 
history well know) in the early ages of the Church, Canonization 
was the act of local churches, and it v/as not till the 9th or 10th 
century that the Holy See took it entirely under its own immediate 
direction. It is, of course, only to Canonization sanctioned hy the 
Holy See that the questions raised about infallibility can apply. 

1862.] Home on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. 47 

sic character of that act. " Beatification/' says F. Faber, 
ill his Essay on Beatification, Canonization , and the 
processes of the Congregation of Rites, "may be defined 
to be a preparatory act, importing a cultus permissus, 
mostly limited to a particular place : whereas Canoniza- 
tion is an ultimate act, importing a cultus prseceptus, 
extending to the whole Church." In decrees of beatifica- 
tion, the stjle of the [Sovereign Pontiffs is, Indulgemus, 
Concedimus ; in the decrees of Canonization, Definimus, 
J?ecernimus, Mandamus,y Further on he says, " Can- 
onization is the public testimony of the Church to the true 
sanctity and glory of some one of the faithful departed. 
This testimony is issued in the form of a judgment decree- 
ing to the person in question the honours due to those 
who are enjoying the beatific vision and reigning with 
God.'' And from this he goes on to prove that the 
Churdi is infallible in the Canonization of Saints. It 
would be too long to extract here all the arguments for 
this, but we may allude to the opinion of St. Thomas (to 
which Father Faber refers), which is to this effect : — That 
the canonization of Saints is something between things 
which pertain ad /idem, and things which peitahi ad facta, 
and that the Church is infallible in such matter, because 
the honour we pay to the saints is a kind of profession of 
faith, because the Pope can only be certified of the state 
of any of the faithful departed by an instinct of the Holy 
Ghost, and because Divine ^ Providence preserves the 
Church in such cases from being deceived by the fallible 
testimony of men. 

It is, however, an open question in the Catholic schools 
whether it is de fide that the Church is infallible in the 
decree of canonization ; F. Faber evidently leans to the 
opinion that it is so, and speaks of it as a strong proba- 
bility, ^ And as this last is an open question, it follows 
that it is also an open question whether the fact of any 
canonized individual being really a saint is defide or not. 
But there is no doubt whatever that to dispute the true 

* This does not mean that a Mass and Office in honour of the 
Saint are always ordered for the use of the whole Churcli, as this 
is by no means the case ; but only that the whole Church is by the 
act of Canonization commanded by her chief pastor to honour as a 
Smnt the person canonized. 

48 Borne on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. [Nov. 

beatitude of such a person would be, if not heretical, at 
any rate rash and contumacious in the highest degree."' 

Before we proceed to speak of the ceremonies that take 
place on the occasion of a Canonization, it may be interest- 
ing to say a few words on the particular Saints that have 
been thus honoured last Whit Sunday. The Canoniza- 
tion is generally called that of the Japanese Martyrs, 
twenty-six out of the twenty-seven Saints haying been put 
to death for the Faith in Japan ; the remaining one was 
not a martyr at all. 

Of the twenty-six martyrs *' Some," says His Eminence 
Cardinal Wiseman, in the Reply to the address of his 
clergy, *' some were untutored lay-brothers, three young 
sacristy-boys, several mendicant friars, others Jesuits ; 
many natives of whose history we know little." We 
strongly recommend our readers (if they have not already 
done so) to peruse the Cardinal's '* Reply," published as 
it is in the form of a pamphlet ; it is an able answer to 
the arguments of Protestants, as well as a correction 
administered to certain ** liberal" Catholics. 

He says that there are at this moment two processes 
going on before the proper tribunal, that is, the Congre- 
gation of Rites, each for the Canonization of a Queen, — 
one being " the Venerable Maria Clotilda, Queen of 
Sardinia, who died in 1802, sister of the martyred King 
and Queen of France." The other ** Maria Christina, 
daughter of a King of Sardinia, wife of the late King of 
Naples, and mother of its present calumniated and 
oppressed monarch. She died at his birth in 1836." 
The Cardinal then goes on to observe that if the Holy 
See had been merely aiming at a great political demon- 
stration, here were the materials ready made to hand. 
'* If it wished to give preponderance to one of the two great 
contending parties in Italy, there was choice acceptable 
to either. Was its policy that of fusion and union? there 

* Our friends the *' liberal'' Catholics may be interested in a 
note to F. Faber's treatise in which he states that a man desirous 
of signalizing himself by novelty of teaching may, if he has a 
tolerably hardened conscience, find considerable scope for himself 
■without running foul of anything that is dejicle ; and that he may 
incur twenty-three different censures, without being guilty of 
formal heresy. 

1862.] Rome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. 49 

was the beautiful combination of the two heavenly repre- 
sentatives of both.''......** And yet instead of hastening 

through processes which its enemies pretend are arbi- 
trary and accommodating, the Holy See selected some 
obscure men and boys, who 300 years ago were executed, 
as they would say, in Japan.'' He adds that no such 
stroke of policy as the adversaries of the Church suppose 
was ever intended ; and that not a single step would have 
been omitted,. not a degree less pf virtue, nor a miracle 
fewer, would have been allowed to place a royal candidate 
upon an altar, or add a king or queen to the catalogue of 
the saints. What the Cardinal shows by this argument 
is this — that the Church, in canonizing Saints, is simply 
performing a high religious act, and that she cares nothing 
for the world while she is engaged in it, but only for the 
glory of God and the edification of Christian souls. But 
of course advantage may be taken most justly and rightly 
of the celebration of the ceremony of canonization, when 
it does take place, to gain support for the temporal 
authority of the Holy See which is so much bound up 
with Religion, and to censure the conduct of infidels, 
rebels, or liberals. 

But to return to the Martyrs of Japan, These are their 
names : — 

1. Paul Miki, a Japanese Jesuit, a Catechist and 
Preacher, said to have been a man gifted with eloquence 
and spiritual wisdom. 

2. John Soan, also a Japanese, a Jesuit, and Catechist. 

3. James Kisai, Japanese, a Jesuit brother and Cate- 

4. Peter Baptist Blasquez, a Spaniard, a Franciscan 
father, of the Minor Observants ; he had held an impor- 
tant position as Commissary Father in Japan, and was 
the man of most mark among all the martyrs. 

5. Martin d'Aquirre, a Spaniard, and a Franciscan 

6. Francis Blanco, also a Spaniard, and a Franciscan 

7. Philip Las Casas, a Spaniard of Mexico, a Francis- 
can brother not yet ordained priest. 

8. Gronzalvo Garzia, of Portuguese extraction, born in 
India, also a Franciscan brother, as yet not ordained. 

9. Francis of S. Michael, a Spaniard, a Franciscan 

VOL. L1I.-N0. cm 4 

50 Eome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. [Nov. 

The remaining seventeen were all brothers of the third 
order of St. Francis, and not therefore friars in the ordi- 
nary sense of the word, for members of this third order 
may and do live in the world, and are freqnently married 
persons only binding themselves more especially to serve 
God ; — these seventeen were all in some way attached to 
the service of the Franciscan convent or church ; they 
were all Japanese. Their names were : — 

10. Leo Garosuma, a Corean (and therefore a Japanese 
subject) ; he was a married man, but witli his wife had 
Snade a vow of continency ; he was interpreter, catechist, 
and infirmarian in the hospital, 

11. Paul Suzuqui, preacher, interpreter, and infirma- 

12. Michael Cosaqui, formerly an arrow-maker, a ser- 
vant to the Franciscans. 

13. Paul Ibarki, formerly a cooper, a preacher, brother 
of Leo Garosuma. 

14. Thomas Idanqui, an apothecary, catechist,' and 

: 15. Francis, called the physician, catechist, and inter- 
preter; a married man who had however with his wife 
made a vow of continency. ^ 

16. Gabriel Duizco, catechist and clerk of the church. 

17. Bonaventure, in the service of the Franciscan 

18. Thomas Cosaqui, son of Michael Cosaqui,'catechist, 
and server at Mass ; he was but 15 years old, 

19. John Quizuya, he was a silk- weaver, and he had 
harboured the Franciscans, for doing which he suffered 

20. Cosimo Taquia; he had been a sword-grinder, and 
became a preacher and interpreter. 

21. Antony of Mangasaqui, son of a Chinese father and 
Japanese mother, catechist and server at Mass, only 13 
years old. 

22. Louis Ibarchi, nephew of Paul Ibarchi, catechist 
and server at Mass, the youngest of the whole number, 
being but 11 years old. 

23. Joachim Saquiye, cook to the Franciscan Fathers. 

24. Matthias of Meaco, voluntarily took the place of 
another Matthias, a Religious, who was absent when the 
Franciscans were arrested. 

25. Peter Suquezico, accompanied the Martyrs to the 

1862.] Rome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. • 51 

place of execution, and was seized for offering them some 
reireshment on the road ; atid at last was put to death 
along with them. 

26. Francis Fahelante, fv carpenter, together with the 
last named saint, J^Howed the Martyrs and ministered to 
them night and day. The officials, therefore, seized him 
and eventually put him to death with the rest. These two 
last were therefore, so to speak, supplementary martyrs, 
added on to the original twenty- four. 

We must now briefly narrate the events which brought 
about the martyrdom of these servants of God. Those 
who wish to acquaint themselves in detail with the history 
of the Church in Japan, can refer to various works on the 

The Japanese islands were discovered by the Portu- 
guese in 1542, and the Gospel was first preached there in 
3549 by St. Francis Xavier. After his departure other 
Jesuit missionaries followed, and a large number of converts 
was made, some of them princes and men of high posi- 
tion, and among these the King Sumitanda, who took the 
name of Bartholomew at his baptism ; he does not appear 
to have reigned over the whole of Japan, but only over a 
portion of it, for it was divided at that time into several 
kingdoms ; but Taiko-Sama afterwards united them into 
one Empire. Some of the Christian princes sent an 
embassy to Pope Gregory the Thirteenth ; the ambassa- 
dors were most kindly and paternally received at Rome, 
and returned to their country after an absence of eight 
years (for travelling was slow in those days); on their 
return they entered the Jesuit Noviciate, such were their 
zeal and devotion. What a contrast to the embassy lately 
in England which came from the same country, and which 
was mainly occupied with matters conducing to material 
prosperity and temporal power! But in the sixteenth 
century, with all its faults, Christianity was still a real 
moving power, not merely (as it is, and always will be to 
the end of time) among a select number of pious and 
devoted men, but among the masses and even the govern- 
ments of the day. The faith of the middle ages had not 
yet been extinguished by Protestantism and Liberalism, 
and the people of Europe not only believed in Christ 
themselves, but rejoiced to see heathens brought to the 
same belief. 

But to return to our history. A very severe persecution 

fiS Home on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. [Nov. 

raged against the Christians for some years, and it is said 
that in 1590 above 20,000 suffered martyrdom, but the 
Faith grew and increased notwithstanding, and the Jesuits 
made 12,000 converts in that same year. 

The Emperor, if he may be so called, of Japan at this 
time was Taiko-Sama; his name had originally been 
Eaxiba, and he was a man of humble origin, who had 
fought his way upwards and seized upon the supreme 
authority, — upon the supreme lay authority at least, for 
he left'the Mikado, or religious Emperor, to enjoy his 
nominal sovereignty: Faxiba took to himself the name of 
Taiko-Sama, and his official title was the Kumho-Sama. 

The same arrangement still exists in Japan, and this 
game functionary is now styled the Tycoon ; the religious 
emperor is still there, without real authority, and some- 
thing resembles the Tale Llama of Thibet in his stately 

It was in 1587 that Taiko-Sama usurped the throne : he 
was a man of energy and an able administrator, his perse- 
cution of the Christians being the only serious blot on his 

Towards the end of the year 1597, the Christians found 
themselves in the position of havingbeen sometimes severely 
persecuted, and sometimes tolerated during the few years 
preceding ; the churches had been for a time altogether 
shut up ; but as we before stated, converts had rapidly in- 
creased. There were two missionary establishments, the 
Jesuits and the Franciscans ; the Jesuits, however, were 
strictly and ostensibly the only missionaries, who had come 
to Japan as such ; the Franciscans had come as a sort of 
embassy from the Spanish government of the Philippine 
Islands ; they had been received with civility and allowed 
to remain in Japan, where they had most zealously preached 
the Gospel. 

St. Peter Baptist Blasquez was, as we have before ob- 
served, at the head of the Franciscan community, and a 
holy and devoted man he was ; he had been entrusted with 
the direction of the political mission from the governor of the 
Philippines, and was naturally therefore the superior of 
the Franciscans who remained in Japan to spread the 
faith of Christ. Nothing could exceed the zeal of these 
good Friars, but their discretion and prudence do not seem 
to have been equal to their devotion. They seem to have 
celebrated the Church offices, and to have preached with 

1862. 1 Rome on the Bay of Pentecost, 1862. 55 

somewhat more of ostentatious publicity than was desira- 
ble, differing in this from the wise and cautious Jesuit 

Taiko-Sama was no reckless persecutor. He had seve- 
ral times refused to take measures against the Christians, 
and particularly on a recent occasion, when a most formi- 
dable earthquake had occurred, which the Bonzes had 
wished to attribute to the Christians, he answered them 
with judgment and good sense, and utterly declined to 
begin a fresh persecution for such a reason. But two or 
three circumstances had now happened to alter his mind. 
Some Christian women had refused to become inmates of 
his harem ; this was one of his grievances ; then there was 
the imprudence, if we may venture so to term it, when 
speaking of saints and martyrs, of the Franciscans ; further, 
there was a man named Jacuin, said to have been a phy- 
sician to the Bonzes, who was a good deal about the court 
of Taiko-Sama, and was always persuading him to perse- 
cute the Christians; added to which, the rapacity and vio- 
lence of some Portuguese and Spanish merchants had been 
displeasing to him ; he had been worked upon, too, by a 
man called Faranda, a worthless Christian, (some say an 
apostate), who made the Franciscans the objects of his 
mischievous insinuations, and begged Taiko-Sama to ex- 
pel them from Japan. Yet all these things would probably 
have been insufficient to bring matters to a crisis had it 
not been for the monstrous folly and falsehood of a Spanish 
officer, who had been on board a vessel called the St. 
Philip, which had lately been wrecked on the coast of 

We wonder how often in the history of the Church it has 
happened that a persecution or other trouble arose without 
a Catholic, (either a ** pious fool'' or else a downright bad 
and liberal Catholic,) having a hand in it. In this particular 
case we are disposed to think that the evil or good deed, 
whichever one considers it, of sending twenty-six martyrs 
to heaven, ought to be laid at the door of this Spaniard, 
rather than of Taiko-Sama ; what he did was this, when the 
articles from the wrecked vessel were according to custom 
being taken possession of by the Japanese government, and 
among other things a chart oF the world was put into the 
hands of the emperor's commissary, this last-named official 
asked how it came to pass that the king of Spain had so 
many countries under him at a distance from his own land? 

54 Rome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. |Nov 

the Spanish officer answered that it was done in tbis'way : 
the missionaries went first to convert as many of the people 
as they possibly could, and when the Christians were nu- 
merous enough, the king of Spain sent an armed force to 
reduce the country to his obedience. 

The Japanese official, without delay, returned and told 
the whole story to Taiko-Sama, who instantly sent to the 
governors of the two principal towns of Meaco and Ozaka, 
ordering them to seek out the preachers of the Christian 
rehgion and their followers, and keep them in custody. It 
was at first intended to put them all to death. Taiko- 
Sama, like other heathen autocrats, did not trouble him- 
self to examine the question carefully and justly, and en- 
quire how far the accusation he had heard was true ; he 
did what might naturally have been expected from such a 
person in such a position ; and looking at the matter, so 
to speak, from his heathen point of view, we cannot in 
the least wonder at his cruelty in putting the Francis- 
cans and other teachers to death ; for from the informa- 
tion he had received, he looked on them as intriguing 
foreigners, involved in a plot to deliver over his country 
to the king of Spain, and as for the native Christians, 
he probably thought they would only be too willing ac- 
complices ; but, as we have before observed, he was no 
mere headlong persecutor, he did not like shedding blood 
mdiscriminately ; he was what would now be considered a 
consistent liberal; and the principles on which he acted 
do not differ in this respect from those of many Catholic 
liberal statesmen, who have the light of a faith which 
he had not, and have had the grace of the sacraments to 
help them, which ho had not, and who yet rebel against 
the Church and persecute the Holy See, the religious 
orders, and the bishops, whom they ought to respect and 

T|iiko-Sama did not carry out his original intention of 
putting to death all the Christians; but he had meanwhile 
given an opportunity to them to show of what mettle they 
were made, and most nobly did they behave. As soon as 
it was known that the Kumbo-Sama wished to have a 
census of his Christian subjects, all of them, men, women, 
and children, came forward fearlessly and put down their 
names as Christians, ready to be martyred if it were the 
will of God. 

Taiko-Sama, however, moved by the representation 

1862.] Rome on the Bay of Pentecost ^ 1862. 55 

made to liim by Gibunosci, the governor of Meaco, (who 
asked if he really wished to put to death all the Portuguese 
priests who had recently come to Japan in vessels which 
were evidently mere trading vessels), so far relented as to 
spare all but the Franciscans and the tertiaries of the order, 
who were in the convent at the time of the seizure. On 
December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 
all these were imprisoned by guards being placed round the 
house. At Ozaca, however, on the same day, the Jesuits, 
as well as the Franciscans, were imprisoned by Farimun- 
dono, the governor; but there were only St. Paul Miki and 
the other two lay-catechists in the Jesuit house ; Father 
Organtin, the superior, who had recently been there, hav- 
ing previously left for Meaco, and thus unconsciously 

At the end of December, the Kumbo-Sama finally or- 
dered that all these prisoners should have their noses and 
ears cut off and be taken through Meaco, Ozaca, Sakai, 
and lastly to Nagasaqui, where they should be crucified. 

The governor of Meaco, to whom was entrusted the car- 
rying out of the sentence, mitigated it a little by only cut- 
ting off^ a part of the left ear of each ; but they were con- 
ducted in cars through the streets with their crime and 
sentence placarded, (according to the emperor's orders), 
which in Japan was a disgrace worse than death. !-?* St. Peter 
Baptist, the Franciscan, and St. Paul Miki, the Jesuit, 
continued as they went along to preach, so far as they 
could, to the assembled multitudes. The prisoners were 
twenty-four in number, but there were two others, whose 
names we have already mentioned, put to death with them 
for following them and ministering to them. 

They began their painful journey through the towns of 
Japan in the early part of January, and it took them twenty- 
six days ; it was on February 5th that they at length suf- 
fered the death they so much wished for. The Jesuit 
fathers, John iiodriguez, and Francis Pasia, came to hear 
their confessions, and also received the vows of the ^ two 
catechists, St. John Soan of Goto and St. James Kisai, 
who had not previously taken the habit. 

The mode of crucifixion was not the same as that by 
which our blessed Lord suffered. The martyr Was not 
nailed to the cross. His hands were stretched out and fas- 
tened to the transverse beam by rings or cords, and his 
feet rested on another transverse piece of wood. He was 

56 Rome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. [Nov 

then transfixed by two strokes of a lance, one on each side, 
and was thus speedily put to death. 

And in this way did these holy and heroic men die on 
that day. Nothing could exceed the fervour of the native 
martyrs ; St. Paul Miki preached to the people assembled, 
the two boy-martyrs, Anthony and Louis, died with exul- 
tation. St. Peter Baptist, the Spanish Franciscan Father, 
preached too from his cross, and he was the last that 
expired. It is said that all the Christians, and even the 
heathens present, hurried to collect the blood of the mar- 
tyrs, and some tore away their garments as relics. Two 
Franciscans were among the crowd in disguise. Father 
Marcel of Ribadeneira, and John the Poor. The bishop 
was dissuaded by the Jesuits from being present, but seems 
afterwards to have regretted his absence, as if it were a 
neglect of duty. 

The bodies of the saints remained on the cross for two 
months, during which time it pleased God to mark their 
sanctity and their glory by various miracles. Amongst 
these may be noted, that the birds of prey, contrary to 
their usual habit in such cases, never touched these sacred 
bodies ; also, the restoration to life of a child whose face 
had been rubbed by some earth which had absorbed the 
blood of St. Peter Baptist ; and especially the extraordi- 
nary vision of this same saint saying mass, attended (as he 
was during life) by another of the martyrs, St. Anthony, 
which occurred several times. 

The relics were taken possession of by different Chris- 
tians, Father Peter Gomez particularly having taken pains 
to collect them. 

The martyrdom took place on February 5th, 1597, (old 
style) ; in 1621 and 1622 the apostolic processes were com- 
piled, and in 1627 Pope Urban VIII. issued a decree solemnly 
declaring these twenty-six servants of God to be martyrs, 
and also that their canonization might be proceeded with, 
(which last step the correspondent of the Times, writing 
from Rome in the June of this year, mistook for a final 
decision that they were to be canonized) ; subsequently the 
same Pope permitted the Jesuits and Franciscans to say 
the mass and office of their respective martyrs ; and he 
made a similar concession, we believe, for secular priests in 
regard to the office of the three Jesuit brothers. On 
December 23rd of last year, the present Pope declared to 
the Sacred College that the cause had terminated for the 

1862.] Home on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. 57 

Franciscan martyrs, and that their canonization might be 
proceeded with ; and on the 25th of March this year he 
made a similar declaration for the Jesuit martyrs. And 
(as we know) the canonization itself took place on Whitsun- 
day, June 8th. 

For a time after the death of these saints Christianity 
flourished and converts were made in Japan, but the 
Japanese Church was afterwards extinguished in an ocean 
of blood. Some people have supposed that there are still 
a few Christians in that country who have carried on the 
tradition though without priests, and we think this per- 
fectly possible, but there is no proof of the fact, that we 
know of. 

We must apologize to our readers for having differed in 
our history of the martyrdom from the statements of the 
Protestant press, in which it was represented that the whole 
thing arose from injudicious interference of the Portuguese 
in Japanese politics ; but we thought it better to adhere to 
facts, so far as we could ; and our lihei^al readers must 
pardon us for so doing. The Portuguese had as little re- 
sponsibility in the matter as any one; it was the Spaniards 
against whom Taiko-Sama was incensed ; but we suppose 
that the newspaper writers confused the matter under dis- 
cussion with some other events in the history of the Church 
of Japan. 

Taiko-Sama did not long survive his cruel deeds, for 
he died the next year ; and the subsequent terrible per- 
secutions were carried on by others. 

We have been more lengthy than we intended in relat- 
ing the story of these glorious martyrs, but we will be brief 
in giving a short statement about the remaining saint that 
was canonized on Whitsunday, St. Michael de Sanctis. He 
was a Friar of the Trinitarian order ; a Spaniard, born in 
Catalonia, in the year 1591. He showed extraordinary devo- 
tion from his earliest years, and began the practice of severe 
austerities at the age of six; professed at the age of sixteen 
as a Calced Trinitarian at Barcelona, he shortly afterward^} 
got permission to transfer himself to the Reformed and 
Discalced order at Pampeluna. He was subsequently 
ordained priest, and made superior of his convent at Valla- 
dolid, against his own will. Such was the fame of his 
holiness, that he was called a saint even in his lifetime. 
He died (after having foretold his decease) in April 1G25, 
in his thirty-fourth year ; the sanctity of his life, and the 

58 Eome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. [Nov. 

miracles wrought by God at his mtercessioii, both before 
and after his death, having been duly attested, he was 
beatified by Pius VI., in 1779, and finally canonized, 
on Whitsunday last. It was reported in Rome that 
a Trinitarian lay-brother had some years ago been 
miraculously cured of an apparently. hopeless disease, by 
invoking the intercession of this saint, and had vowed at 
the time to devote himself after recovery to getting alms 
for his canonization ; it was said that this miracle was the 
one that completed the evidence necessary for the process ; 
and the good brother was himself present in St. Peter's on 
the eventful day to witness the triumph of his holy patron. 

The actual ceremonies of the canonization have been 
described more or less accurately in different newspapers 
printed at the time ; but there is nothing very striking or 
glittering (so to speak) in the ceremonial beyond what takes 
place at all grand Papal Masses. On this last occasion 
no doubt there were some special circumstances, of which 
we will speak presently, that made the function one of the 
most solemn and remarkable that has ever happened. 
But the actual rite of canonization consists of the following 
ceremonies and prayers. After the procession (always a 
very solemn and imposing one) closed by the Sovereign 
Pontiff, has entered the church, and after the usual 
homage paid to him by the cardinals, bishops, and other 
prelates, the Cardinal Procurator comes forward accom- 
panied by a consistorial advocate, who, in the cardinal's 
name, kneeling before the Pope, begs for the canonization 
of the saints in question ; the Pope, by one of his prelates, 
replies that the virtues of these blessed men are known, but 
that the Divine aid must be implored ; then all kneel, and 
the Litany of the Saints is sung. Then the Pope and all 
the cardinals and others rise, (keeping each a lighted can- 
dle in his hand), and the same ceremony is repeated of 
demanding the canonization, but whereas the first time the 
expression was ** in stanter petit," this time it is "instanter 
et instantius petit ;" a similar reply is given by the same 
prelate, and the Veni Creator Spiritus is then sung, and 
the prayer Dens qui Corda Fidelium, &c., is also recited 
by the Pope. Then the petition for the canonization is 
made for the third time, the words being ** instanter, in- 
stantius, et instantissime petit ;"^ when the reply is given, 
that the Pope, by the Divine guidance, has determined to 
place these beatified persons in the catalogue of the saints; 

18G2.1 Rome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. 59 

after which the Holy Father, sitting on his throne, solemnly 
pronounces the decree of canonization in the following 
words, " Ad honorem Sanctco et Individuse Trinitatis ; ad 
exaltationem Fidei Catholicse, et Christiance Religionis 
augnientum, auctoritate Domini Nostri Jesu Christi, B.B. 
Apostoloram Petri et Pauli, ac nostra: matura delibera- 
tione prsehabita, et divina ope ssepius implorata, ac de Ve- 
nerabilium Fratrum Nostrorum S. K. E. Cardinalium, 
Patriarcharum, Archiepiscoporum, et Episcoporum in 
Urbe existentium consilio, Beatos N. N. Sanctos esse 
decernimus, et definimus, ac sanctorum catalogo adscribi- 
nius ; statuentes ab Ecclesia Universali illorum memoriam 
quolibet anno die eorum natali, nempe N. N."* etc. N. N. 
pia devotione recoli debere, in nomine Pa'J'tris, et Fi^lii, 
et Spiri*tus Sancti. Amen." 

The Consistorial Advocate then, in the name of the 
Cardinal Procurator, returns thanks to the Pope, and 
begs him to decree the issue of the Apostolical letters 
(commonly termed a Bull) to promulgate the Canoniza- 
tion. The Pope replies ** Decernimus.'" The Protono- 
taries are then requested to prepare the proper documents, 
and the Camerieri Segreti are appealed to as witnesses. 
The Te Deum is then sung, the trumpets of the Gunnl 
Noble sound, and the guns are fired from Fort St. Angelo, 
announcing the event to the whole city. 

The Te Deum is sung (as is usual at Rome) one verse 
by the Pope's choir in solemn harmonized music, and one 
verse in simple plain chant by the people ; and all who 
were in St. Peter's on that day, will long remember the 
fine and religious effect of that glorious canticle. At the 
end of it, the versicle '* Orate pro nobis Sancti N. N." 
(with the names of all the newly canonized saints) and the 
response " Ut digni, &c.," are sung, and the prayer by 
the Pope. The Confiteor is then chanted by the Cardinal 
Deacon (the names of the saints being introduced), and 
the Pope gives the usual absolution and benediction, 
adding also at the proper place, the names of the newly 
canonized, as had been done before. Here end the essen- 

* On this occasion the words introduced were, ** nempe Petri 
Baptistse et Sociorum die quinta Februarii, qua pro Christo passi 
sunt, inter Sanctos Martyres, et Michaelis die quinta Julii inter 
Sanctos Confessores non Pontifices, pia devotione recoli debere." 

60 JRome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. [Nov. 

tial ceremonies of tlie Canonization. But it is more 
according to custom, and it was observed on the last occa- 
sion, that the Pope should sing High Mass. This is much 
the same as Papal High Masses generally are, but there 
are a prayer,"' secret, and post communion of the newly 
canonized saints added to those of the day. The Pope 
reads a homily after the Gospel on the function just cele- 
brated. And at the offertory a curious ceremony takes 
place, the offering, namely, of wax candles, painted, gilded, 
and silvered with the figures of the saints, and the Pope's 
ai-ms on them, two large loaves of bread similarly adorned, 
two small barrels of wine, ornamented in the same way, 
and three baskets or cages containing, one of them two 
turtle doves, another two pigeons, and the third various 
small birds. These are offered by the Cardinals and other 
prelates who, from their office (for instance, as members 
of the Congregation of Rites), have borne a part in the 
proceedings connected with the Canonization. All these 
oblations have, of course, a mystical meaning. The 
offering of the birds is not an invariable custom, and has 
sometimes been changed for that of two other small wax 

The Mass continues and is concluded in the usual way 
according to the custom observed when the Pope sings 
High Mass. 

On the late occasion it was said by some who were well 
qualified to judge, that the ceremony physically speaking, 
was rather a failure, hMt morally a great success. The 
former criticism referred principally to the lighting ; it is 
customary to cover up the windows, and to light with 
candles the whole of that vast basilica of St. Peter. Now 
this is no easy matter, and on Whit Sunday the light 
being intended to be distributed generally over the church, 
was barely sufficient to illuminate with distinctness those 
places on which the eye would naturally rest ; it would 

* These are the words of the prayer : — " Domine Jesu Christe, 
qui ad tui imitatioiiem per Crucis Suppliciura primitias Fidei apud 
Japonise gentes in Sanctorum Martyrum Petri Baptistse, Pauli et 
Sociorura sanguine dedicasti ; qui que in corde Saucti Michaelis 
Coufessoris tui charitatis ignem exardere fecisti, concede quaesu- 
mus, ut quorum hodie solemnia colimus, eorum exciteraur ejcempiis. 
Qui vivis et regnas." &c. 

1862.] Rome on the Day of Pentecost, 1SG2, 61 

have been better to throw a flood of light on the High 
Altar and the Pope's throne, and put fewer candles in the 
body of the Church. 

It would be invidious, when the general effect was so 
magnificent, to question the taste of some of the details 
of decoration. But there were some truly grand points 
even in the external ceremony. Such a body of bishops 
has not bees^i assembled in Home since the Great 
Lateran Council,'"' and it was no small thing to witness a 
procession, comprising nearly 300 Cardinals and Bishops, 
enter into St. Peter's. Those who were fortunate enough 
to get a view of this procession as it passed up the Scala 
Regia before reaching the church, described it as glorious 
beyond anything they had seen, so much so that at that 
moment the attention of those who formed it seemed for 
a moment to be involuntarily arrested, as they one after 
another almost unconsciously raised their eyes and 
caught the magnificent spectacle of that vast train as it 
streamed slowly up the stairs, gliding onwards on its way 
to the great Basilica. 

Those again, few in number, who, from their position in 
the church could get a coup-d'oeil of the Pope's throne, 
and the Cardinals and Bishops ranged in their seats in 
front of or around him, must have seen a sight which they 
may never behold again, unless indeed (as some thought 
might soon be the case) a general council were to be held 
in these days to make such modifications in the law of 
the Church as circumstances called for, and to condemn 
the prevalent errors of the time ; then indeed such a view 
of the princes and prelates of the Church might again be 
presented to us ; otherwise probably no man livnig will 
see it again. The ceremonies of the Canonization itself 
could not be seen by the majority of the persons in the 
church. The Guard Noble and the Swiss guards form no 
small obstruction to the view, and from the position itself 

* Besides which it may be noticed that at (Ecumenical Councils, 
however great and solemn, you very rarely have the Pope and 
Bishops all sitting assembled together ; the Bishops deliberate 
generally in the absence of the Pope, who presides by one or more 
of his legates, and who afterwards confirms (if he pleases) the 
decrees of the Council ; but here you had all united the Sovereign 
Pontiff, the Cardinals, and the Bishops, a truly splendid assem- 

62 Rome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. [Nov. 

of the Pope's throne, and of the High Altar'of St. Peter's, 
it is ahnost impossible for more than a very limited num- 
ber of persons to see what takes place between the altar 
and the throne ; excepting indeed when the Pope comes 
up to the Altar for Mass; for then the position of the 
High Altar (just under the dome, in the centre of the 
cross formed by the ground-plan of the church) is such as 
to enable large numbers to view the solemn function. 

But those who could not see, could hear and could sing, 
and did sing. Oh what a congregation was that with its 
thousands of voices joining in the Litany, the Veni Crea- 
tor, and the Te Deum ! How different from the mass of 
unbelieving sight-seers who crowd St. Peter's during 
Holy Week and at Easter! On this day there were few 
Protestants in the church, and we believe those who were 
there, almost all of them, behaved with propriety and 
decorum ; but there were some thousand or two of devout 
priests mostly French, many monks and friars, several 
pious laymen, all animated by a sound Catholic spirit, 
throwing their whole heart into that great religious cere- 

Now there is no doubt that these pilgrims who thronged 
the Eternal City at that time, had more than one feeling 
and object ; they were zealous in showing devotion to the 
saints, but they also wished to give as great a moral sup- 
port as they could to the Holy See at this trying crisis. 
And there is no doubt, moreover, that the bishops and 
clergy of Christendom did give an effectual support to the 
Pope on that occasion. They showed clearly to the 
Sardinian Government and our other enemies, that, if they 
chose to carry on their unprincipled practices against the 
Pope's temporal Sovereignty, they would have to fight not 
merely the Italian Bishops supported by a timid and half- 
hearted people, nor even merely the fervent and loyal 
" Ultramontanists" of France, but the whole Catholic 
world; the French clergy came to the van, certainly, and 
took a very prominent position, but the assembly of that 
day showed they were not alone in the combat; it 
showed that the Episcopate was sound at the core, and 
that the vast body of bishops (the exceptions being of no 
very great weight) were heart and soul with the Pope, 
and that a large proportion of the clergy (probably an 
immense majority) were so too : it proved that the feHin^ 

1862.] Home on the Day of Pentecos «,1 8 62. ^ 63 

of the Church, that unerring index of truth, was on 
the side of the Temporal power of the Holy See. 

On this particular day, this eventful Whit Sunday, the 
success was complete, and no doubt was felt by every one 
to be so. The liberals of Rome were dumb-founded, they 
hardly knew what to do ; some of them went as a sort of 
demonstration to take off their hats to M. de Lavalette, 
as he came back from the ceremony of St. Peter's : others 
went out to shoot in the Campagna ; but how many cock- 
sparrows, tom-tits, and other uccelletti were bagged by 
these gallant sportsmen on this important day, we have, 
unhappily, no means of ascertaining. 

The Pope truly triumphed on the day of Pentecost 1862, 
and we suppose that not merely the revolutionary vermin 
in Rome, but the liberal party throughout Europe must 
have felt discomfited. On the other hand, the spirit of 
zeal for the Pope was caught even by the quiet and unen- 
terprising, yet religious and loyal people of the City. On 
the Thursday in Whitsun Week, the Holy Father was 
present at the ceremony of laying the stone of a new 
barrack ; the Archbishop of Dublin officiated on the 
occasion with the remnant of the Irish Brigade (about 25 
in number) as his guard of honour. After the conclusion 
of the function, the people who were present, not merely 
the foreign pilgrims, but the native Romans themselves, 
cheered the Pope enthusiastically, crying out ** Viva il 
Papa Re!'' 

Now we believe that demonstrations of this sort, so con- 
trary as they are to the traditional habits of the people of 
Rome, imply more and are a greater act of loyalty than 
would be the case elsewhere. Formerly, the people of the 
Holy City never thought of shouting in this way to prove 
their fidelity to the Sovereign Pontiff; they knelt down 
as he passed and begged his blessing ; but now that their 
silence and want of enthusiasm have been attributed to 
disloyal feelings, they have disproved the charge by deve- 
loping their inward reverence into an outward and vigor- 
ous expression of fealty and attachment. 

We are not denying that there are or may be many 
worthless men in Rome who care nothing for the Pope, 
but we believe that the majority are sound, and also 
throughout the remaining part of the Papal territory. 
' The class said to be most disloyal is that of the ** Mer- 
canti di campagna.'' We suspect, however, that the timid 

6t * Rome on the Day of Pentecost^ 1862. [Not. 

and the indolent, form a larger number than the rebellious 
and the traitorous ; but we must take the Italian char- 
acter for such as it is, and not expect to find in it the 
activity and enterprise which we find in such countries 
as France and England. , 

And this leads us to speak of the Pope's military force, 
which contains one or two very good regiments composed 
of native Italians, particularly the Gendarmerie, who are 
highly spoken of. The whole Roman army consists at 
present of about 9000 men, being of course, more than 
would be required to maintain internal order and peace, 
but kept up as a partial check to the aggressive Sar- 
dinians. It was reported in Rome that the Irish brigade 
was again to be organized, and raised to 1500 men ; but 
we do not know how this will be. We suppose that the 
flower of the Papal troops are the Zouaves. These 
gallant young men are chiefly of French and Belgian 
origin, some of them being sons of old and noble families, 
who yet serve willingly in the ranks as private soldiers. 
Who can say that the spirit of chivalry has died out, when 
such things are done ? 

Many were the interesting ceremonies that took place 
in Rome during those days before and after Pentecost. 

The Bishop of Orleans preached to large and fervent 
congregations two or three times ; the Bishop of Tulle 
preached after the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum, 
and a most striking and beautiful spectacle it was to see 
that congregation, composed of various nations, with the 
soldiers, French, and others, standing about on those 
ruins, — that memorable spot where so many have shed 
their blood for Christ. 

Then there was the great banquet given by the Pope 
on Whit Monday to the Bishops, /' the noble but simple 
banquet,'' as Cardinal Wiseman justly terms it, "in the 
Great Hall of the Vatican Library." The Cardinal, in 
touching language, points out how on that day the 
Bishops who surrounded the Pope, though they were not 
now in Church or Consistory, *' formed a holy family, 
cemented together by the unspeakable emotions of 
Charity." Truly such a reunion has rarely been seen. 

But we must not dwell on these things, great as is the 
interest which attaches to them ; for we must go on to 
spejik of that more solemn assembly which took place 
earlier on that same Whit Monday, the Consistory at 

1862.] Rome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. 65 

which not only the Cardinals but the Bishops were pre- 
sent, and at which words of solemn import passed from 
the Pope to the Bishops and from the Bishops to the 

In his Allocution the Holy Father condemns in forcible 
language the prevalent errors of the day ; that infidelity 
which tries to get rid of the idea of the supernatural, and 
which (following out this odious principle) encourages the 
Civil Power to interfere m Spiritual and Ecclesiastical 
matters, and at the same time endeavours to exclude the 
Koman Pontiff and other ecclesiastics from every right 
and dominion over Temporal affairs. 

He condemns too the false idea that Divine Revelation 
is imperfect and subject to a continual and indefinite 
progress, corresponding with the progress of human rea- 
son ; and proceeds to reprobate the shocking theories of 
the modern rationalists, that deny miracles and turn 
everything into a " myth.'' The Pope then alludes to the 
impieties of the Pantheists and Materialists, in language 
of just and severe consure: " Insigni enim improbitate ac 
pari stultitia hand timent asserere, nullum supremum 
sapientissimum providentissimumque Numen divinum 
existere ab hac rerum universitate distinctum, ac ^ Deum 
idem esse ac rerum naturam, et idcirco immutationibus 
obnoxium, Deumque re ipsa fieri in homine et mundo, 
atque omnia Deum esse, et ipsissimam Dei habere sub- 
stantiam, ac unam eamdemque rem esse Deum cum 
mundo, ac proinde spiritum cum materia, necessitatem 
cum libertate, verum cum false, bonum cum malo, et 
justum cum injusto. Quo certe nihil dementius, nihil 
magis impium, nihil contra ipsam rationem raagis repug- 
nans fingi et excogitari unquam potest.'' 

Then he speaks of the assertion of men of this stamp, 
that authority is nothing else than numbers and the sum 
of material forces, and that all human facts have the force 
of law (or as we sometimes phrase it, that *' might makes 
right") ; and he touches upon that mischievous principle 
of the foreign democrats, that the State has a kind of 
unlimited right: " Omnia prseterea legitime© cujusque 
proprietatis jura invadere, destruere contendunt, ac per- 
peram animo et cogitatione confingunt et imaginantur jus 
quoddam nullis circumscriptum limitihis, quo reipublica3 
Statum poUere existimant, quem omnium jurium originem 
et fontem esse temere arbitrantur." 

VOL. LI.-No. CII. 5 

66 Rome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. INov. 

The Pope having enumerated (in order to censure them) 
these Anti-Christian doctrines, touches upon the cahim- 
nies and outrages perpetrated against the Church and the 
Apostohc See, and particuhirly upon the persecution 
directed against the bishops and ecclesiastics, and the reh- 
gious orders in Italy, by men who tulk about the Church 
enjoying her liberty ; and he alhides to the absence (in 
consequence of this tyranny) of the Italian Bishops, and to 
that also ofthe Portuguese Bisliops. He glances then briefly 
at the atrocious schemes by which the Revolutionary party 
have endeavoured to overthrow the Temporal Sovereignty 
of the Holy See, and then he dwells with more satisfac- 
tion on the unanimity displayed by the Bishops whom he 
was addressing in refuting these errors, and in teaching 
that Temporal Sovereignty was given to the Holy See by 
a special design of Providence: ** Hunc civilem Sanctse 
Sedis principatum Romano Pontifici fuisse singulari 
Bivinse Providentise consilio datum, illumque necessari- 
um esse, ut idem Romanus Pontifex nuUi unquam Prin- 
cipi aut civili potestati subjectus/ supremam universi 
Dominici Gregis pascendi regendique potestatem, aucto- 
ritatemque ab ipso Christo Domino divinitus acceptam, 
per universam Ecclesiam plenissima libertate ex<3rcere, ac 
majori [ejusdem Ecclesiee, et fidelium bono, utilitati et 
indigentiis consulere possit/' The Pope, after : having 
said these things, solemnly condemns the above mentioned 
errors: *' in hoc amplissimo vestro consessu AiK)stohcam 
Hostram attollentes vocem, omnes commemoratos prseser- 
tim errores non solum Catholicee fidei ac doctrinse, divi- 
nis ecclesiasticisque legibus, vei:um etiam ipsi sempiternse 
ac naturali legi et justitiae, rectseque ration! omnino 
repugnantes, et summopere adversos, reprobamus, pro- 
scribimus atque damnamus.'^ 

He exhorts the Bishops to refute these pernicious doc- 
trines, to endeavour to keep from the Faithful bad books 
and newspapers, and to be careful also in teaching the 
Ingher branches of literature, lest anything contrary to 
Faith or morals should creep in. He desires them to 
pray to the Eternal Father that by the merits of His only 
begotten Son, He would stretch out His hand to help 
both Church and State, and to invoke the intercession of 
die Blessed Virgin, also of St. Joseph, SS. Peter and 
■Paul, and the newly Canonized Saints. He concludes by 

1862.] Rome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. 67 

expressing his consolation in the presence of the Bishops, 
and by imparting the Apostolical Benediction. 

It is enough lor a good Catholic to know that the Holy 
See condemns such and such doctrines, and he is at once 
ready to condemn them too, and to abhor and avoid them. 
But it is most pleasing and satisfactory to see the Epis- 
copate of the whole Catholic world concurring with their 
Chief, and expressing their concurrence in plain and 
explicit language. 

It Imd been felt that on such an occasion it was quite 
necessary fo-r the Bishops to present an address to the 
Bope, and a sort of a committee was formed to draw it 
up, the presidency of which was given to the Cardinal 
Archbishop of Westminster. ** The list of prelates com- 
posing it,'* says the Cardinal, ** already prf^parpd, was 
shown to me the morning alter my arrival, Tuesday 
before Ascension; and I was informed that the unexr 
pected and unmerited honour of presiding over- this ven- 
erable council had been reserved for me. The reason for 
this selection was at once obvious to myself, and I believe 
to every- one at Borne ; and has been most accurately 
descwbed by the Bishop of Montauban, in an admirable 
reply to the calumnies and simple fictions of a Erench 
paper> upon the address. It was my insular position, and 
disconnection with any government that could pretend 
to exercise influence in Catholic affairs at^ Rome.'' 

Tliere was probably another reason which the Cardinal 
could not with propriety mention, but which we may 
supply, which is the high estimation in which he is held 
generally by foreign Catholics. Many were the enqui* 
ries, as the Procession went by on the day of the Canoni- 
zation, as to which was Cardinal Wiseman ; so great is 
the interest felt in him by our continentalbrethren. 

Tbe Cardinal .proceeds to notice the untrue statements 
published in the French paper the '* Batrie,'' to tlie effect 
that he *' prepared a draught of an Address,, containing 
most violent attacks on all modern principles, fundarnen- 
tal of society," and denies, having done any^such thing ; 
and we will now state what the Address of the Bishops really 

It begins by alluding to the great number of Bishops 
present on that day of Pentecost, and calling to mind that 
first day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended oa 
the Apostles. It then expresses the entire devotion, of the. 

68 Rome on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. [Nov. 

Episcopate to the Pope, the centre of Unity. *' Tu sanse 
doctrinse nobis Magister, Tu unitatis centrum, Tu popu- 
lis kunen indeficiens a divina Sapientia prseparatum. Tu 
Petra es, et ipsius Ecclesice fundamentum^ contra quod 
inferorum portse nunquam prsevalebunt. Te loquente 
Petrum audinius, Te decernente Christo obtemperamus/' 
The Bishops then go on to speak of the frightful crimes 
that had been committed in Italy, and the wicked seizure 
of the Pope's provinces, and they speak of the necessity 
of the Temporal Sovereignty in the present state of 
things, in language which we must quote verbatim : — 

'* Civilem enim Sanctse Sedis principatum ceu quiddam 
necessarium ac, providente Deo, manifeste instituium 
agnoscimus ; nee declarare dubitamus, in prsesenti rerum 
humanarum statu, ipsum hunc principatum civilem pro 
bono ac libero 'Ecclesise animarumve regimine oninino 
requiri. Oportebat sane totius Ecclesise Caput, Roma- 
num Pontificem nulli Principi esse subjectum, imo nullius 
liospitem; sed in proprio dominio ac regno sedentem suimet 
juris esse/' 

They proceed to point out how desirable it is that there 
should be preserved in Europe, a sacred spot, from which 
a just and powerful voice might speak both to princes 
and peoples ; and that the Sovereign of Rome should be 
one who is not mixed up with the quarrels of other kings, 
and who is not in a position to be the enemy or the sus- 
pected enemy of the Sovereigns of the various Bishops who 
come to the Holy City. 

They quote the declaration of the Pope on a former 
occasion, that the Temporal Sovereignty arose through 
the special design of Providence, and reiterate their own 
conviction that such is the case: they quote also the 
Pope's declaration (in Jan. 1860), that he was resolved to 
maintain the Temporal possessions of the Holy See, even 
at the cost of his life,^ and they respond that they are ready 
to go with him to prison and to death, and entreat him to 
remain constant and firm ; they mention also, as a proof 
that the whole Church felt she had an interest in the 
Temporal dominions of the Holy See, that the Fathers 
of the Council of Constance administered the govern- 
ment of them in common, while the Roman See was 
vacant. They allude to the condemnation by the Pope 
of the sacrilegious men who have usurped the property of 
the Church, and they express their entire assent to what 

1862.] Borne on the Day of Pentecost, 1862. 69 

he had done ; they touch upon the mischief perpetrated 
by infidels, and upon the tyranny of the persecutors of the 
Church, and they join their condemnation of the conduct 
of the Itahan hberals with that of the Pope in words 
which we must once more quote. '' Adstantibus igitur 
istis omnibus, nos Episcopi, ne illud impietas vel igno- 
rare simulet, vel audeat denegare, errores quos Tu 
damnasti, damnamus, doctrinas novas et peregrinas, quae 
in damnum Ecciesise Jesu Ghristi passim propalantur, 
detestamur, et rejicimus ; sacrilegia, rapinas, immunita- 
tis ecclesiasticse violationes, aliaque nefanda in Eccle- 
siam, Petrique Sedem commissa reprobamus, et condem- 
namus. Hanc vero protestationem, quam publicis Ecclesise 
tabulis adscribi petimus, Fratrum etiam nostrorum qui 
absunt nomine, tuto proferimus; sive eorum qui, inter 
angustias, vi detenti, domi hodie silent ac plorant, sive qui 
gravibus negotiis, aut adversa valetudine impediti, nobis- 
cum hodie adesse nequiverunt/' They speak too of the 
devotion of the clergy and people, and conclude by express- 
ing their wishes for the reform of those who have gone 
astray, and uttering their prayers to God that such might 
be the result; whilst they beg that strength from the Pope 
which flows from his Apostolic Blessing. 

In reply to this the Holy Father expressed in a few 
words the joy their address had caused him. The names 
of all the Bishops then in Rome were appended to this 
document, and we believe others have since been added ; 
thus there were at the time it was presented, the signa- 
tures of 21 Cardinals and 244 other Bishops, those 
Cardinals who were not Bishops not signing it, 265 in all. 

Our readers will easily perceive the great importance of 
this Address, and they will see, too, that short of laying it 
doivn in language like a dogmatical decision, when phrases 
of the most precise nature must be used in order not to 
give a loophole to heretics, the bishops could hardly have 
expressed a more decided opinion about the Temporal 
Power than they have done. They appear to us to have 
said the very right thing in echoing the Pope's words about 
the Temporal Sovereignty arising from a special design of 
Providence. It has always seemed to us that the duty of 
Catholics in this matter was very simple; for the Temporal 
Power has clearly been for many years up to this time the 
means chosen by God for preserving the independence and 
free action of the Holy See ; God may hereafter choose 

' 70 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. [Nov. 

Fome oth«r nieaiiB, no dmibt, but our plain duty is <o con- 
tend for the preservation of the means He has hitherto 
made nse of, and therefore to support the Pope's temporal 
rights heartily and loyally, until we know for certain that 
it is the will of God to let them be lost, and to substitute 
some other means. The allocution, then, and the address 
are both plain enough and strong enough. And we wish 
we could see our Catholic fellow-countrymen unanimous 
in supporting (so far as they can) the Pope's Temporal 

We, for our part, are on the Pope's side, first, because 
the Temporal Sovereignty has arisen by the design of 
Providence (as we have already stated), and it is for us to 
support it, and not to try to alter or modify it ; secondly, 
because the Pope solemnly declares it. to be right, and the 
bishops echo his words, and we feel that in such a case we 
cannot do better than follow their judgment ; thirdly, for 
a reason on which we have not hitherto touched, namely, 
that it is for the interest of England, and last, but not 
least, because it secures us at least one country in Europe 
vwUcre. Christianity is strictly the law of the land. 

Aut. III.— Ztfe of the Right Honourable William Pitt. By Earl 
Stanhope, Author of the History of England from the Peace of 
Utrecht. Four vols. 8vo. London : Murray, 1861-2. 

THE evei)tful half century which has elapsed since 
the death of Pitt, has hardly sufficed to dispel the 
clouds of party prejudice which obscure or distort many of 
the most important events of his histor3^ Some of the 
memories which it recalls are, to this day, too much even 
for the most philosophical calmness. Bishop Tomline, 
Pitt's first biographer, did not make even a pretence of 
nioderation. Lord John Kussell, in so far as he is the 
biographer of Pitt's great rival, Fox, is a scarcely con- 
cealed^partisan. Lord Macaulay's brilliant sketch of Pitt, 
while it is too plainly an effort of laborious impartiality, 
teems from thefirst to the last with the clearest evidences 

1862.] Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. 74 

of unconscious hostility or misapprehension. Lord Stan- 
hope's admiring and affectionate memoir, although it is 
in general judicious and discriminating in its facts and 
judgments, in its manner partakes in too many of its very 
best4->assages of the tone of an apology. 

From the nature and relation of .parties in Pitt's time, it 
was hardly possible tliat it should be otherwise. In all the 
great principles of political philosophy, his theoretical opin- 
ions coincided in the main with those of the bitterest of his 
rivals in the contest for power, and the most inveterate and 
persistent opponents of his administrative polic}^ And, at 
all events, the shades of difference were too slight to serve as 
the distinct demarcation of two great parties in the state. 
In most of the divisions, therefore, which arose during that 
eventful time, the parties were at issue rather upon points 
of detail or on .points of practical application of principles, 
than upon the broad questions wliich, earlier as well as 
later in the history of our constitutional struggles, divided 
the hostile camps of British statesmen. And, as ordi- 
narily happens in the quarrels of those who have many of 
their opinions in common., most of the party collisions 
during Pitt's later administration took the, form of a con- 
flict of feeling rather than of intellect ; and if they seldom 
found their expression in the coarse and angry invective 
which disfigures the parliamentary warfare of other periods, 
the polished sarcasm and the dignified rebuke which 
formed the favourite weapons of that wnrfare in the days of 
Pitt, too often left a sting behind which was but the more 
painful because it was concealed. i*sotwithstanding all 
the classic dignity at which they aimed, the feelings with 
which the statesmen of that day regarded each other, often 
fell far short of the chivalrous. Many of the inferior com- 
batants may be said to rival the truculent malignity of 
Junius; and even the most distinguished among them did 
not scruple to impute unworthy motives and corrupt in- 
tentions to their adversaries. The quarrel of Fox and 
Burke would l)ave loKt half its painfulness had it been con- 
fined, upon eitlier side, to the disagreements upon public 
policy in which it originated. " Fox himself in his private 
communications with his friends, freely spoke of Pitt as a 
** low rascal," a mean "low-minded dog ;" and even the 
calm and unimpassioned minister, with all the reserve 
which he aflPected, was betrayed (certainly not without suf>- 

72 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. [Nov. 

ficient provocation) into applying the same epithet to his 
own Lord Chancellor, Thurlow, 

The personal bitterness thus infused into the divisions 
of party, was transmitted along with the divisions them- 
selves : and it is only now, when the old landmarks have 
been practically obliterated, and when, amid the confusion 
of principles which has taken place, the traditionary repre- 
sentatives of both sides have begun to find it difficult to 
trace their descent from their respective parties as they 
stood in the last generation, that we can look for a calm and 
dispassionate estimate of the men and the events of the 
last quarter of the eighteenth century. It is impossible to 
deny to Lord Stanhope the credit of desiring to maintain 
the strictest impartiality in his estimate of the character 
and the motives of his hero ; but, as we have already said, 
so little are men prepared for the calm investigation of the 
subject, that, even in Lord Stanhope, this efibrt at impar- 
tiality takes all the manner and tone of a direct apology. 

To us, as Catholics, the history of Pitt has a special in- 
terest which recent 'events have tended to heighten. His 
name was honourably associated with the early legisla- 
tion on the subject of Catholic disabilities ; but for a long 
time the part which he took, upon the same question, after 
the passing of the Act of Union, was regarded with much 
suspicion, and by many was openly denounced as treach- 
erous and unprincipled. Lord Stanhope has entered very 
fully into the history of those transactions ; and in the brief 
summary which we purpose to offer of the story of the Life 
of Pitt as gathered from all available sources by his latest 
biographer, we shall direct special attention to his relations 
with the Catholic party, and particularly with the Catholics 
of Ireland. 

It is hardly necessary to say that Lord Stanhope has 
neglected no source of information which might aid in 
rendering this memoir of Pitt a complete biography. In 
addition to the state papers and other materials for the 
political history, he has availed himself as well of the 
family papers and traditions, as of the private correspond- 
ence of several of Pitt's most eminent contemporaries. 
Many of those are of great interest, and form an important 
supplement to the valuable collections recently published; 
—the Malmesbury, the Buckingham, and the Cornwallis 
papers, as well as the biographies of Wilberforce and of 
Lord Sidmouth, both of which are full of materials for the 

1862.1 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. ^ 7^ 

illustration of Pitt's history. We cannot deny to Lord 
Stanhope the praise of having used these abundant rnate- 
rials with great judgment, and with as much impartiality 
as can ever be hoped for from an admiring biographer. It 
has been complained that the result is less a portraiture of 
the man Pitt than a history of the public acts of the states- 
man ; but we must confess that so far from concurring in 
the justice of the criticism, we cannot conceive how an in- 
telligent biographer could have written otherwise of such a 
character, or could have presented a different ^ picture of 
such a career. If there be a single individual in history, 
and especially in English history, in whom the man is 
completely merged in the statesman, it is the " boy-minis- 
ter." He was a politician almost from his cradle. When 
his father, in the boy's seventh year, was made Earl of 
Chatham, the precocious child expressed his gratification 
that he was not eldest son, as he ** wished to speak in the 
House of Commons hke Papa;" and his earliest studies 
were all modified by what may almost be called these 
instinctive tendencies to public life. At an age when other 
boys are puzzling over the rudimentary structure of sen- 
tences, or wearily plodding through the intricacies of the 
vocabulary, Pitt's favourite employment in studying his 
Sallust, or Livy, or Thucydides, was " to compare oppo- 
site speeches on the same subject, and to observe how each 
speaker managed on one side of the question."'^' If, like 
other boys of more than ordinary powers, he was tempted 
by the attractions of poetry, it was only after the same pre- 
cocious fashion. He wrote a tragedy in four acts when he 
was but fourteen ; but it was such a tragedy as no other 
boy had ever before composed. There is not a word of 
love from the beginning to the end. " The whole plot," 
says Lord Macaulay, '* is political ; and it is remarkable 
that the interest, such as it is, turns on a contest about a 
Regency. On one side is a faithful servant of the crown ; 
on the other an ambitious and unprincipled conspirator. 
At length the king, who had been missing, re-appears, 
resumes his power, and rewards the faithful defender of his 
rights. A reader who should judge only by interual evi- 
dence, would have no hesitation in pronouncing that the 
play was written by some Pittite poetaster, at the time of 

* I. p. 18. 

74 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. [Nov. 

the rejoicings for the recovery of George the Third, in 
1789." And when he was first introduced to his future 
lival, Fox, on the steps of the throne in the House of Lords, 
(lunng a debate, he had ah'eady taught himself to look at 
everything solely on its bearing upon parliamentary effect, 
*' Fox used afterwards to relate that, as the discussion pro- 
ceeded, Pitt repeatedly ^turned, to him >nd said, 'But 
surely, Mr. Fox, that might be met thus:' or, * Yes, but 
lie lays himself open to retort/ What the particular criti- 
cisms were. Fox had forgotten ; but he said that he was 
much struck at the time by the precocity of a lad who 
tlirough the whole sitting was thinking only how all the 
speeches on both sides could be answered." 

In a word, if Lord Stanhope has failed to catch the 
domestic phase of Pitt's portraiture, we believe the reason to 
be simply that no such phase can in truth be said to exist. 
The solitary episode of romance which Pitt's love passages 
with the Lady Eleanor Eden present, is told by Lord 
Stanhope with so much grace and simplicity that one can 
hardly help regretting the defect of similar opportunities ; 
and certainly it would be a grievous injustice to his powers as 
a biographer, to ascribe to any failure on his own part the 
absence in his memoir of that charm which a well told 
domestic story never fails to add, even to the most eventful 
military or political biography. 

William Pitt was the second '^ son of the celebrated 
William Pitt, whose least distinction is to have been the 
first Earl of Chatham. He was barn at Hayes, in Kent, 
May 28tli, 1769,^ the most glorious and eventfiil year of his 
father's life. His preliminary education was conducted at 
hnnip, where his tutor was the Kev. Edward Wilson, afterr- 
wards a canon of Windsor; but the care of the immediate 
direction of his studies, as well as of those of the rest of his 
children, was always retained by his father, and Lord 
Stanhope does not hesitate to say : — 

*' It was certainly from Lord Chatham tliat young Wilh'am 
profited most. Lord Chatham was an aflfectionate father to all his 
children. He took pleasure, as we have seen, in teaching them 
all. But he discerned^ — as who would not ?— the rare abilities of 
William, and applied himself to unfold them with a never-failing 
care. From an early age he was wont to select any piece af elo- 
quence he met with and transmit it to his son. Of this I have seen 
a striking instance in a note from him to Lady Chatham, which is 
endorsed in pencil * Ma. 177Q,' and which was thought to have no 

1 862.] Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. 76 

literary value. It was kindly presented to me in answer to my 
request for autographs to oblige some collectors among my friends ; 
and it was designed to be cut up into two or three pieces of hand- 
writing. But I found the note conclude with these words : * I send 
Domitian as a specimen of oratory for William.' Now, * Doraitian' 
was one of the subsidiary signatures of the author of 'Junius/ 
and the letter in. question seems to be that of Mar<jh 5, 1770. The 
words of Lord Chatham prove what has sometimes been disputed, 
that the eloquence of the author of 'Junius' was noticed and 
admired by the best judges, even when his compositions were eon- 
coaled under another name.'' — Vol. I. p., 7. 

With the same watchful care Lord Chatham himself 
directed the selection of the books to be put into the hands 
of his boy. Barrow's Sermons he gave him a« the treasure- 
house from which to draw the copia verhorum.vfXrioXi is 
an indispensable instrument of the orator. His chosen 
models in Greek were Thucydides and Polybius. A still 
more paternal and interesting example of the minuteness 
of the supervision is mentioned by Lord Stanhope. 

*'In 1803 my father, then Lord Mahon, had the high privilege, 
as a relative, of being for several weeks an inmate of Mr. Pitt's 
house at Walmer Castle. Presuming on that familiar intercourse, 
he told me that he ventured on one occasion to ask Mr. Pitt by 
what means lie had acquired his admirable readiness of speech — 
his aptness of finding the right word without pause or hesitation. 
Mr. Pitt replied that whatever reaxiiness he might be thought to 
possess in that respect was, he believed, greatly owing to a prac- 
tice which his father had impressed upon him. Lord Chatham had 
bid him take up any book in some foreign language with which he 
was well acquainted, in Latin or Greek especially. Lord Chatham 
then enjoined him to lead out of this work a passage in English, 
stopping, where he was. not sure of the word to be used in English, 
until the right word came to his mind, and then proceed. Mr. 
Pitt stated that he had assiduously followed this practice. We 
may conclude that at first he had often to stop for awhile before he 
could recollect the proper word, hut that he found the difficulties 
gradually disappear, until what was a toil to him at first became at 
last an easy and familiar task. 

•• To an orator the charm of voice is of very far more importance 
than mere readers of speeches would find it easy to believe. I 
have known some speakers in whom that one advantage seemed 
almost to supply the place of every other. The tones of William 
Pitt were by nature sonorous and clear; and the further art how to 
manage and modulate his voice to the best advantage was instilled 
into him by his father with exquisite skill. Lord Chatham himself 
was pre-emiQent in.that^rt, fts the graces of action, inso- 

76 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. [Nov 

much that these accomplishments have been sometimes imputed 
to him as a fault. In a passage of Horace "Walpole, written with 
the manifest desire to disparage him, we find him compared to 

•* To train his son in sonorous elocution Lord Chatham caused him 
to recite day by day in his presence passages from the best English 
poets. The two poets most commonly selected for this purpose 
were Shakespeare and Milton, and Mr. Pitt continued through life 
familiar with both. There is another fact which Lord Macaulay 
has recorded from tradition, and which I also remember to have 
heard : — * The debate in Pandemonium was, as it well deserved to 
be, one of his favourite passages ; and his early friends used to 
talk, long after his death, of the just emphasis and the melodious 
cadence with which they had heard him recite the incomparable 
speech of Belial."'— p. 8-10. 

In 1773, he was sent to Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. 
His tutor was Dr. Fretyman, who afterwards took the 
name of Tomline ; under which latter, name he is best 
known as the Bishop of Winchester, and as the biographer 
of his pupil—the author of what Macaulay describes ** as 
the worst biographical work of its size in the world.'] 

^ At seventeen Pitt was admitted, without examination, to 
his degree, but he continued to reside in college and to 
pursue his studies under Dr. Pretyman. The writer of 
the Memoir in Knight's English Cyclopcedia, by some 
strange misconception, asserts that on leaving Cambridge, 
he went to France, and then pursued his studies for some 
time at Rheims. This is a great mistake. Pitt never 
studied in France, nor indeed did he ever visit that 
country at all except for a short excursion in September 
and October 1783, in company with his friends Wilberforce 
and Eliot. During that excursion he spent a fortnight at 
Kheims ; but his visit would be most incorrectly described 
as in any sense intended for the purposes of study. 

^ His father's death in May 1778, placed him, as regarded 
his pecuniary circumstances, in a position of considerable 
difficulty ; and Lord Stanhope has preserved some of his 
correspondence about the purchase of chambers in Lin- 
coln's Inn (where he entered himself in 1778), in which the 
reader will be amused " to find the future Prime Minister, 
destined in a few years more to dispense in his country's 
service tens of millions of pounds sterling, speak of eleven 
hundred as ' a frightful sum.' " 

^ Pitt was called to the bar in 1780, and went the winter 
circuit in the August following ; but the dissolution of 

1862.] Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. 77 

Parliament in September called him away from the labours 
of the legal profession to that parliamentary career which 
had been his dream from childhood. He became a candi- 
date for Cambridge, but was defeated by a large majority ; 
and his first entrance into Parliament was due to the kind- 
ness of his friend the young Duke of Rutland, w^o in- 
duced Sir James Lowther to bring Pitt into Parliament 
for his borough of Appleby. Por this borough he took his 
seat on the ;23rd of January, 1781 ; a day which Lord 
Stanhope has marked as memorable in his history, for it 
was also the day upon which he died. 

His early experience of London life was not without its 

" The clubs of London, Goostree's not excepted, all at this time 
afforded a dangerous temptation. Fox, Fitzpatrick, and their circle 
had long since set the example of high play. It had become the 
fashion; and Wilberforce himself was nearly ensnared by it. On 
the very first day that he went to Boodle's he won twenty-five 
guineas of the Duke of Norfolk. His diary at this period records 
more than once the loss of a hundred pounds at the faro-table. He 
was reclaimed from this pursuit by a most generous impulse — not 
because he lost in private play to others, but because he saw and was 
pained at seeing others lose to him. Of the young member for 
Appleby he proceeds to speak as follows: 

" ' We played a good deal at Goostree's, and I well remember the 
intense earnestness which Pitt displayed when joining in those 
games of chance. He perceived their increasing fascination, and 
soon after suddenly abandoned them for ever.' " — Vol. I. p. 54. 

It was mainly, however, to the superior attraction of 
parliamentary life, that Pitt owed his escape from these 
temptations. From the very first he rose to a position 
which, while it fulfilled all his most ambitious aspirations, 
at the same time tasked his powers and engrossed his time 
to the utmost in order to maintain it with satisfaction. 
Lord Stanhope's account of his ' maiden speech' is inter- 

** It was not long before Mr. Pitt took part in the debates. "" He 
made his first speech on the 26th of February, in support of Burke's 
Bill for Economical Reform. Under the circumstances, this first 
speech took him a little by surprise. Lord Nugent was speaking 
against the Bill, and Mr. Byng, member for Middlesex, asked Mr. 
Pitt to follow in reply. Mr. Pitt gave a doubtful answer, but in 
the course of Lord Nugont's speech resolved that he would not. 
Mr. Byng, however, had understood him to assent, and had said so 

78 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt, [Nov. 

t© s©me friends arnund liim ; so that the moment Lord Nugent sat 
down, all these gentlemen, with one voice, called out, * Mr. Pitt ! 
Mr. Pitt I' and by their cry probably kept down every other mem- 
ber. Mr« Pitt, finding himself thus called upon, and observing that 
the House waited to hear him, thought himself bound to rise. The 
sudden call did not for a moment discompose him ; he was from 
the beginning collected and unembarrassed, and, far from reciting 
a set speech, addressed himself at once to the business of reply. 
Never; says Bishop Tomline, were higher expectations formed of 
any person upon his first coming into Parliament, and never were 
expectations more completely fulfilled. The silvery clearness of 
his voice, his lofty yet unpresuming demeanour, set ofi' to the best 
advantage his close and well arrayed though unpremeditated argu- 
ments, while the ready selection of his words and the perfect struc- 
ture of his sentenees were such as even the most practised speakers 
often fail to show. Not only did he please, it may be said that he 
astonished the House. Scarce one mind in* which a reverent 
thought of Chatham did not rise. 

" Nb sooner had Pitt concluded than Fox with generous warmth 
hurried up to wish him joy of his success. As they were still 
together, an old member, said to have been General Grant, passed 
by them and said, ^ A^e, Mr. Fox, you are praising young Pitt for 
his speech. You may well do so ; for, excepting yourself, there is 
no man in the House can make such another ; and, old as I ara^ I 
expect and hope to hear you both battling it within these walls as 
I have heard your fathers before you;' Mr. Fox, disconcerted at 
the awkward turn of the compliment, was silent and looked foolish; 
but young Pitt, with great delicacy and readiness, answered, * I 
have no doubt, General, you would like to^ attain the age of 
Methuselab ! ' "—Vol. I. p. 54-6. 

Lord Macaulay observes upon it; as a curious circum- 
stance, that soon after this debate, ** Pitt's name was put 
up by Fox at Brooks's. '^ 

The judgments of the political world on Pitt's dehut 
were unanimous. 

" The merits of Mr. Pitt's performance continued for some days 
to be discussed in political circles. Lord North said of it, with 
generous frankness, that it was the best first speech he had ever 
heard. Still more emphatic was the praise of Mr. Burke. When 
some one in his presence spoke of Pitt as *a chip of the old 
block,' Burke exclaimed, • He is not a chip of the old block : he 
is the old block itself !' Dr. Goodenough, subsequently Bishop of 
Carlisle, exults in one of his letters that the great Lord Chatham 
is now happily restored to his country. * All the old members 
recognised him instantly: to identify him there wanted only a few 
wrinkles in the face.'. 

1862.] JEarl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. 79 

*' It appears that a little time previoHsly, Pitt had made the 
earliest trial of his debating powers in a party of some young 
friends. Mr. Jekyll, who was at this time like himself a barrister 
on the Western Circuit, thus relate* the fact : — * When he first 
made his brilliant display in Parliament, those at the Bar who had 
seen little of him expressed surprise ; but a few who had heard liim 
once speak in a sort of mock debate at the Crown and Anchor 
Tavern, when a Club called the Western Circuit Club was dissolved, 
agreed that he had then displayed all the various species of elo- 
quence for -which he was afterwards celebrated.' " — Vol. L p. 58; 

He spoke a second time with- great success on May 
Slst, and only once again during the remaining months of 
the session. In the summer he once more returned to 
the legal circuit. The little that he did in the routine of 
his profession, was enough to satisfy all that his career at 
the har must have been successful. He himself entered 
warmly into the spirit of professional life ; and Jekyll tells 
that ** among lively men of his own time of life, Mr. Pitt 
was always the most lively and' convivial, in the many 
hours of leisure which occur to young unoccupied men on 
a circuit, and joined all the little excursions to Southamp- 
ton, Weymouth, and such parties of amusement as were 
habitually formed. He was extremely popular. His name 
and reputation for high acquirements at the University 
commanded the attention 9f his seniors. His wit, his good 
humour, and joyous manners endeared him to the younger 
part of the Bar... At Mr. Pitt's instance an annual din- 
ner took place for some years at Richmond Hill, the party 
consisting of Lord Erskine, Lord Redesdale, Sir William 
Grant, Mr. Bond, Mr. Leycester, Mr. Jekyll, and others. 
After he was Minister he continued to ask his old circuit 
intimates to dine with him, and his manners were unal- 

This Circuit, however, was his farewell to the bar. The 
next session of Parliament established him in that com- 
manding position which he never forfeited in his after 
career. In the very first debate of the session he spoke 
with almost unexampled success. 

"On the Address, an amendment was moved by Fox, and both 
he and Burke put forth all their powers of debate. So also next 
day, on the Report of the Address, did Pitt. Such was the applause 
in the House when he sat down, that it was some time before the 
Lord Advocate, who rose immediately, could obtain a hearing. 

«< The speeck of Henry Dundas on this occasion was not a little 

80 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. [Nov. 

surprising. In a tone of great frankness, and paying the highest 
compliments to Pitt, he let fall some hints of discordant views or 
erroneous conduct in the Ministry to which he still belonged : but 
he would no further explain himself. So acute a politician must 
have clearly discerned the tottering state of Lord North, and may 
not have felt unwilling, even at this time, to connect himself with a 
young statesman of popular principles and rising fame. 

" Compliments to the young statesman were, however, by no 
means peculiar to Dundas. We are told in a youthful letter from 
Sir Samuel Romilly, that in one of these debates before Christmas, 
1781, * Fox, in an exaggerated strain of panegyric, said he could 
no longer lament the loss of Lord Chatham, for he was again living 
in his son, with all his virtues and all his talents.' 

'* About a fortnight after the Address, Pitt made his second 
speech of the session, and his last before the holidays. Horace 
Walpole, who was still in his old age a most keen observer of every- 
thing that passed round him, has an entry as follows in his journal: 
'December 14th, 1781. Another remarkable debate on Army 
Estimates, in which Pitt made a speech with amazing logical abili- 
ties, exceeding all he had hitherto shown, and making men doubt 
whether he would not prove superior even to Charles Fox.' 

"In this speech Mr. Pitt gave a surprising proof of the readiness 
of debate which he had already acquired, or I may rather say 
which he had from the first displayed. Lord George Germaine 
had taken occasion two days before to declare that, be the conse- 
quences what they might, he would never consent to sign the inde- 
pendence of the colonies. Lord North, on the contrary, had shown 
strong symptoms of yielding. Pitt was inveighing with much force 
against these discordant counsels at so perilous a juncture, when 
the two Ministers whom he arraigned drew close and began to 
whisper, while Mr. Welbore Ellis, a grey-haired placeman, of 
diminutive size, the butt of Junius, under the by-name of Grildrig, 
bent down his tiny head between them. Here Pitt paused in his 
argument, and glancing at the group exclaimed, * I will wait until 
the unanimity is a little better restored. I will wait until the 
Nestor of the Treasury has reconciled the diflference between the 
Agamemnon and the Achilles of the American war.'" — Vol. I. 
p. 65-7. 

On the fall of Lord North's administration in 1782, 
and when the Rockingham government was formed, IPitt 
was not included in the new Ministry. Young as he was, 
indeed, he had taken beforehand the extraordinary course 
of declaring publicly to the House that " he never would 
accept a subordinate situation ;" and accordingly, he 
declined to accept any of the offices which were proposed 
to him, although *' he had before him the choice of several 

1 8'62. J Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt, 81 

subordinate posts. These offers came to him through his 
friend Lord Shelburne ; for with Lord Rockingham he 
had no more than a slight acquaintance. The Vice-Trea- 
surership of Ireland was especially pressed upon him. It 
was an office of light work and high pay, the latter being 
computed at no less than 5000^. a-j^ear. It was an office 
to which Pitt might the rather incline, because his father 
had formerly held it; but the young barrister preferred his 
independence, with chambers and not quite 300 i. a-year." 

It was as an independent member, therefore, that he 
brought forward, May 7th, his great motion on parliamen- 
tary reform ; and on the breaking up of the new cabinet 
upon the death of Lord Rockingham, he found the reward 
of his self-reliant persistence in his resolution, in the 
appointment of the Chancellorship of the Exchequer in 
Lord Shelburne 's government, at the unprecedentedly 
early age of twenty-three. 

The after history is well-known — the successful combi- 
nation by which the Fox and North parties drove Lord 
Shelburne from office — the vigorous and well devised 
strategy by which Fitt retaliated upon his adversaries the 
very measures of offence; the memorable contest on 
Fox's India Bill in the Commons — the defeat of that 
strange measure in the Lords — the eager dismissal of the 
coalition ministry by the King ; and finally, Pitt's acces- 
sion to the commanding position of Prime Minister, 
which he was destined to hold for upwards of seventeen 
years. Lord Stanhope has related with singular clear- 
ness the history of this memorable crisis, many of the 
details of which, especially Lord Temple's resignation, 
were involved in much mystery. If there be such a thing" as 
romance in parliamentary history, it is to be found in this 
narrative of the self-reliant determination with which the 
far-seeing young minister suffered his adversaries to wear 
themselves out by the very violence of the attack. On the 
very first day when he appeared as Prime Minister in the 
House, four hostile motions were carried against him, 
and he was left in two minorities of 39 and of 54. He 
proceeded, nevertheless, undismayed with his India Bill ; 
the hostile majority fell to 21. On the second reading of 
the same bill, it was still further reduced to eight; and 
although its many subsequent variations might have 
tempted a less resolute or a more excitable man to depart 

from the course which he had elected to follow, Pitt per- 
VOL. Lii.-No. cm - - 6 

82 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. [Nor. 

severed with a firmness which some of his adversaries 
were forced to admire, till at length, in the crowning debate 
on Fox's celebrated ** Representation to the King," the 
great Whig leader found his majority reduced to one \ 
Even still the wary minister could not be tempted into a 
premature step; nor was it till he had fully matured his 
own measures, and finally stimulated the public sympathy 
which he had all along felt confident of securing, that he 
proceeded to advise the dissolution of parliament. 

The interval of this remarkable crisis was lengthened by 
a very curious incident, which even still appears involved 
in mystery. 

*• Early in the morning of the 24th some thieves broke into the 
back part of the house of the Lord Chancellor, in Great Ormond 
Street, which at that time bordered on the open fields. They went 
up stairs into the room adjoining the study, where they found the 
Great Seal of England, with a small sum of money and two silver- 
bilted swords. All these they carried off without alarming any of 
the servants, and though a reward was afterwards offered for their 
discovery, they were never traced. 

*' When the Chancellor rose and was apprised of this singular 
robbery, he hastened to the house of Mr. Pitt, and both Ministers 
without delay waited upon the King. The Great Seal being essen- 
tial for a Dissolution, its disappearance at the very time when it 
was most needed might well cause great suspicion, as well as some 
perplexity. But Pitt took the promptest measures ; he summoned 
a Council to meet at St. James's Palace the same morning, and 
there an order was issued that a new Great Seal, with the date of 
1784, should be prepared with the least possible delay. It was 
promised that, by employing able workmen all through the night, 
this necessary work should be completed by noon the next day." — 
Vol. I. p. 200-1. 

Pitt himself, in a letter to Wilberforce, represents this 
robbery as a ** curious manoeuvre. '' Lord Stanhope 
appears to think that, while it would be absurd to impute 
to the leaders of the opposition so clumsy and so stupid a 
device, yet there might have been some * low hangers-on^ 
of the party to whom the very paltriness of the trick would 
have been its greatest attraction; and he adds that, 
although this may seem to attach an overstrained impor- 
tance to the possession of the Great Seal, yet ** we may 
well imagine that an humble and heated partisan should 
be under the same delusion as was, in 1688, the King of 
England himself, when, hoping to embarrass his successor, 
he dropped his Great Seal into the Thames." 

1862.] Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. 83 

It was during the preliminaries of this great contest that 
Pitt gave, in his refusal to take the valuable sinecure of the 
Clerkship of the Pells, the first evidence of that splendid 
disinterestedness which is the greatest glor3^ of his career, 
and of which his declining the free gift of £100,000 pressed 
upon him by the bankers and moneyed men of London in 
1788, is an equally noble example. The merit of such 
self-denial, too, is heightened by the well-known condition 
of public opinion, at least of the opinion of the official 
world, at that period when the abuse of sinecurism was the 
least offensive form of public si^oliation which pervaded all 
the departments of the administration. Pitt's celebrated 
committee of inquiry brought much of this curious inge- 
nuity of peculation to light. The stationary bill of the 
Firgt Lord of the Treasury for a single year was £1300, 
in which the one item of packthread amounted to <£340 ! 

Lord Stanhope has a curious paragraph on the abuses 
of the privilege of franking. 

** Several of the new financial regulations which Pitt was pro- 
posing applied to the privilege of franking by Peers and INIembers 
of Parliament. Up to that time nothing beyond tlie signature of 
the person privileged had been required, nor was there any limit 
as to place or number. Several banking firms especially were 
possessed of whole box-fulls of blank covers signed by some friend 
or partner, and kept ready for use in their affairs. Letters were 
constantly addressed to some Member, at places where he never 
resided, so that by a secret arrangement other persons might 
receive them post-free. It was computed, though probably with 
some exaggeration, that the loss to the revenue by such means 
might amount every year to no less than 170,000^ 'l3y new rules 
it came to be provided that no Member of either House should be 
entitled to frank more than ten letters daily, each of these to bear 
in his own handwriting, besides his signature, the day of the month 
and year, the name of the post-town, and the entire address; nor 
were any letters to be received by him post-free except at his actual 
abode. These regulations, which continued in force until the final 
abolition of Parliamentary franks in 1839, were carefully framed, 
and productive of considerable savings. Yet no amount of public 
forethought is ever quite a match for private skill, and many cases 
of most ingenious evasion are recorded. Thus on one occasion the 
franks of a Scottish Member, Sir John Hope, having been coun- 
terfeited, the person accused on that account protested that he had 
done no more than write at the edge of his own letters, * Free I 
hope.' A Peer with whom I was acquainted is said to have 
franked the news of his own decease — that is having died suddenly 

84 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. [Nov. 

one morning, and left some covers to friends ready written on his 
own escritoire, his family availed themselves of these to enclose the 
melancholy tidings."— Vol. I. 222-3. 

The same lofty indifference to personal interest which 
led him to forego this advantageous aud lucrative sinecure 
was exhibited by him in a still more marked way in 
circumstances of much greater difficulty, on his retire- 
ment from office in 1801, and under the pressure of the 
enormous pecuniary embarrassments in which by that 
t'me he had gradually become entangled. His debts at 
this period were ascertained to be above £45,000; and 
though the creditors, while he was in office, had been 
content to wait, yet " when they learnt that he was 
resigning, and that two-thirds of his present income 
would be lost, the impatience of some among them 
could no longer be restrained. The demands upon Pitt 
grew to be of the most pressing kind. There was reason 
to apprehend from day to day that an execution might be 
put into his house ; that his rooms might be left without 
furniture, and his stable without horses.'' In explanation 
of the extent of these embarrassments. Lord Stanhope 
says : — 

" It is not easy at first sight to understand or to explain such 
enormous liabilities. As first Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor 
of the Exchequer Mr. Pitt had a salary of 6000Z. a-year. As Lord 
Warden of the Cinque Ports there was a further salary of 3000Z., 
besides certain small dues and rents upon the Dover coast, amount- 
ing to a few hundred pounds more. On the whole, then, since 1792 
Pitt had been in the receipt of nearly 10,000 a-year. He had no 
family to maintain. He had no expensive tastes to indulge. He 
had never, like Fox, frequented the gaming-table ; he had not, like 
Windham, large election bills to pay. With common care he ought 
not to have spent above two-thirds of his official income. 

"But unhappily that common care was altogether wanting. 
Pitt, intent only on the national exchequer, allowed himself no 
time to go through his own accounts. The consequence was that 
he came to be plundered without stint or mercy by some of his 
domestics. Once or twice during his official life he had asked his 
friend Lord Carrington to examine his household accounts. Lord 
Carrington subsequently told Mr. Wilberforce the result of that in- 
quiry. He had found that the waste of the servants' hall was almost 
fabulous. The quantity of butcher's meat charged in the bills was 
nine hundred weight a week. The consumption of poulty, fish, and 
tea was in proportion. The charge for servants in wages, board- 
wages, liveries, and bills at Hoi wood and in London exceeded 2300/. 

1862.] Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt, 85 

a-year. Still Pitt woi^ld never give the requisite time to sift and 
search out such abuses. His expenses were not checked, and hia 
debts continued to grow."— Vol. HI., pp. 341-2. 

Several plans were thought of by Pitt's friends to 
relieve him from this painful position, of which the first 
was either a vote of the House of Commons, or a free 
gift from the city merchants. As to the former, Pitt 
assured his friend Rose, in the most solemn manner, 
*' of his fixed resolve on no consideration whatever to 
accept anything from the pubHc." The second offer, 
(although £100,000 was already subscribed and awaited 
his disposal,) was declined with equal firmness ; *' were 
he ever again to be in office,^' he said, " he should 
always feel abashed and constrained when any request was 
addressed to him from the city, lest by non-compliance he 
should be thwarting the wishes of some among his un- 
known benefactors.'' Perhaps a still more remarkable 
evidence of the lofty spirit of the man was elicited by a 
third offer on the part of the king himself—the more grati- 
fying because it was entirely voluntary, and because the 
king desired that it should be kept strictly private even 
from Pitt himself — to place in the hands of Mr. Rose 
£30,000 from his own privy purse for the payment of the 
debts of his faithful servant. This truly noble offer was 
equally without result. **The scheme," says Mr. Rose, 
*' was found to be impracticable without a communication 
with Mr. Pitt. On the mention of it to him he was actu- 
ally more affected than I recollected to have seen him on 
any occasion ; but he declined it, though with the deepest 
sense of gratitude possible.^ It was, indeed, one of the 
latest circumstances he mentioned to me, with considerable 
emotion, towards the close of his life." The only expe- 
dient to which he would consent to have recourse, was the 
assistance of a few private friends. Th^ sum advanced by 
these friends, together with the sale of his estate of Hol- 
wood, sufficed to relieve him from actual pressure. These 
friends, one of whom was his old tutor Tomline, now 
Bishop of Lincoln, subscribed in all £11,000. But a large 
deficiency still remained ; and the only painful incident 
connected with the affair took place after the death of Pitt, 
when a vote was proposed and ultimately carried in the 
House of Commons, for the payment of the debt still out- 
standing, which amounted to £40,000. *' Another ques- 
tion," says Lord Stanhope, ** then arose. Should the appli- 

86 Earl Stanhope* s Life of Pitt. [Nov. 

cation to parliament include the further sum of £12,000, as 
advanced to Mr. Pitt by some friends in 1801 ? The Bishop 
of Lincoln, as one of the subscribers to that sum, argued 
that it should. To do otherwise, he said, would be to con- 
travene the dying request of Mr. Pitt; but the other sub- 
scribers took a diffent view. One of them, Mr. Wilber- 
force, went so far as to declare solemnly, that if this 
further grant were proposed in Parliament, he would rise 
in his place and resist it to the utmost of his power. In 
the teeth of such a declaration the bishop could not perse- 
vere. It was finally determined that the sum asked of 
parliament should not exceed the <£40,000.'^ 

In connexion with these painful details may be men- 
tioned the solitary romance of the life of this extraordinary 
man — his attachment to the Hon. Eleanor Eden, daughter 
of Lord Auckland. Lord Stanhope dismisses (I. 134) as 
unworthy of credit the theatrical anecdote of the proposal 
made to Pitt by the parents of Mademoiselle Necker, to 
give him their daughter in marriage with a fortune of 
£14,000 a-year, and of his alleged reply, that ** he was 
already married to his country.'^ But Lord Stanhope's 
brief narrative of the genuine love passage is worth trans- 

*' It was not only the conversation of Lord Auckland in which Mr. 
Pitt took pleasure. He was much attracted by the grace and 
beauty, as well as the superior mind of Lord Auckland's eldest 
daughter, the Hon. Eleanor Eden. She was born in July 1777, 
and therefore only eight years younger than Pitt. It would have 
been a very suitable marriage ; and a report of it was not long in 

"And Auckland himself noticed it as follows, in a letter to his 
friend Mr. John Beresford of Dublin : — 

*•* December 22, 1796. 

*' * We are all well here, and I will take the occasion to add a fevf 
words of a private and confidential kind. You may probably have 
seen or heard by letters a report of an intended marriage between 
Mr. Pitt and my eldest daughter. You know me too well to sup- 
pose that if it were so I should have remained silent. The truth is 
she is handsome, and possessed of sense far superior to the ordinary 
proportion of the world ; they see much of each other, they con- 
verse much together, and I really believe they liave sentiments of 
mutual esteem; but I have no reason to think that it goes further 
on the part of either, nor do I suppose it is ever likely to go 

1862.] Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. 87 

*'Mr. Beresford thus replies : — 

December 27, 1796. 

" * I certainlj heard of the report which you mention, and saw it 
in the newspapers. Lord Camden has more than once asked me if 
I knew anything about it. I answered, as I shall continue to do, 
that I knew nothing about it.' 

** This strong attachment — for such on Pitt's side at least it cer- 
tainly was — did not, as many persons hoped, proceed to a proposal 
and a marriage. Shortly afterwards, however, some correspondence 
did take pla<je between Mr. Pitt and Lord Auckland. The letters 
remain in the possession of Lord Auckland's family, and there are 
neither copies nor originals amoug the manuscripts of Pitt. But I 
have heard them described by a person entirely to be relied on 
who has more than once perused them. Mr. Pitt began the subject. 
In his letter to Lord Auckland he avows in the warmest terms his 
affection for Miss Eden, but explains that in his circumstances he 
feels that he cannot presume to make her an offer of marriage. He 
further says that he finds each of his succeeding visits add so much 
to his unhappiness, that he thinks it will be best to remit them for 
the present. 

" The reply of Lord Auckland, as I am informed, acknowledges 
as adequate the explanations of Mr. Pitt. He was already, he says, 
aware in general of the circumstances of pecuniary debt and diffi- 
culty in which Mr. Pitt had become involved. He does not deny 
that the attachment of Mr. Pitt may have been fully appreciated ; 
but he cannot wish any more than Mr. Pitt that his daughter, 
who, as one of many children, liad a very small fortune of her own, 
sliould under some contingencies of ofiice or of life be left wholly 

"There were yet two further letters as to the manner in which 
the notes of congratulation which had already begun to arrive at 
Beckenham might best be answered. Pitt desired that the blame, 
if any should be borne wholly by himself. 

••Thus most honourably, and without any breach of friendship on 
either side, ended this * love-passage' — the only one, as I believe, in 
the life of Pitt.''— Vol. IIL pp. 1-4. 

The lady two years afterwards married Lord Hobart, 
and, having lived to a good old age, was known even to the 
present generation as the solitary * flame ' of the great but 
phlegmatic statesman. She died only in 1851. 

Pitt's connexion with the measures for the relief of 
Catholic disabilities, occupies but little space in Lord 
Stanhope's volumes. The first bill, that of 1778, was 
passed before he entered upon public life ; but his senti- 
ments regarding this, which may be called the negative 
side of the general question, were no secret from the com- 

88 Earl Stanhoj^e's Life of Pitt. [Nor, 

niencement of his career. He opposed on the broadest 
principles the strictly penal enactments which it was the 
object of the act of 1778 to repeal. But as to the positive 
measure of relief which it was expedient to concede, Pitt's 
proceeding was much embarrassed by considerations aris- 
ing out of his views upon the Established Church. The 
opinions which he expressed on the proposed repeal of the 
Test Act in 1787, exhibited a determination to regard the 
claims of the Church as the first consideration to which, in 
a conflict of interests, all the principles of right must be 
held subordinate.^ ** It must be conceded to me/' he said, 
** that an Established Church is necessary. Now there 
are some Dissenters who declare that the Church of 
England is a relic of Popery ; others that all Church Es- 
tablishments are improper. This may not be the opinion 
of the present body of Dissenters, but no means can be 
devised of admitting the moderate part of the Dissenters 
and excluding the violent ; the bulwark must be kept up 
against all.'' He professed, moreover, (although possibly 
this may have been but a device arising out of the expe- 
diencies of debate,) to regard the grievances of Catholics 
as very trifling ; he disclaimed the word emancipation, 
as conveying an inaccurate idea of the actual political 
condition of the Catholics, and did not hesitate to declare 
that there were but few benefits of the constitution 
remaining, of which they had not been admitted to par- 
ticipate; and although he professed his readiness to 
add these benefits ** to the many which had been so boun- 
teously bestowed on the body in the course of the reign of 
George III.," this readiness was not founded upon the 
abstract justice of the measure, but upon the conviction 
at which he had arrived, that the concession could be 
*' safely" made. 

And hence, whatever may have been the private senti- 
ments of the man, the published opinions of the states- 
man read cold, and ungracious beside the lofty philo- 
sophy of Burke, the frank and manly ^ admissions of 
Eox, or the honest and generous enthusiasm of Wilber- 

^ But while it is impossible to suppress a certain feeling of 
disappointment at the spirit in which Pitt appears to have 
approached the Catholic question, it is but justice to confess 
that he desired to carry out honestly and even liberally, 
although with certain safegu<ards and counterpoises, that 

1862.] Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. 89 

measure of relief to which he considered Catholi(^s enti- 
tled. Lord Stanhope's account of the discussions upon 
Mitford's Catholic Bill in 1791, is extremely meagre ; but 
we learn from it at least, that Pitt was free from that 
jealous and grudging spirit, which by fettering concession 
with irksome and offensive conditions, deprives it of half 
its value by taking from it the charm of graciousness. 
His conduct in Wilberforce's Militia Bill was equally 
frank ; and Lord Stanhope's history of the Irish adminis- 
tration of Lord Fitzwilliam, fully bears out the view which 
has already more than once, in this journal, been taken of 
the share which Pitt had in that nobleman's recall, in con- 
sequence of his precipitation and imprudence in reference 
to the Catholic question. It appears plain that whatever 
may have been Pitt's abstract views, and however those 
views may have been modified in their application to the 
condition of the Catholics in England, he had made up 
his mind even at the time of Lord Pitzwilliam's being sent 
to Ireland, that it was impossible to hope for the tranquil- 
lity of that country so long as the Catholic population was 
held in the condition which it then occupied. Lord Stan- 
hope maintains with every show of probability, that, in 
sending that nobleman to Ireland, Pitt was prepared to 
enter upon an entirely new policy, and to carry out large 
measures of concession to the Catholics ; but that, with a 
view to its being done more effectually and more securely, 
he desired that the steps in that direction should be cau- 
tious and gradual. XVe have often declared our conviction 
that, in the crisis which had then arisen in Irish affairs, 
a bold and firm policy of concession could not have failed 
of success in the Irish parliament, if it had been accom- 
panied by some of those prudent party negotiations 
familiar to all practised politicians, such as would have 
disarmed the hostility of certain large parliamentary in- 
terests at that time paramount in Irish affairs. Unfortu- 
nately the generous precipitancy of Lord Fitzwilliam 
alarmed and aroused the very opposition which Pitt had 
hoped to neutralize. We are satisfied that, even still, 
Pitt, had he persevered, might have reckoned on success. 
But he was frightened into submission and recalled Lord 
Fitzwilliam. Nevertheless we have always believed, and 
Lord Stanhope's book confirms the belief, that in recall- 
ing that nobleman, he acted, if weakly, not dishonestly; 
and that he still retained the desire and the intention to 

J)0 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. [Nor 

redress the grievances of the Irish Catholics. It was in this 
conviction, that, ahnost in the same breath in which the 
recall of Lord Fitzwilliam was decided and that Grattan's 
Relief Bill was left to its fate in the Honse of Commons, the 
policy of concession was inangnrated by the establishment 
of the college of Maynooth in tho spring of 1795. Lord 
Stanhope does not hesitate to recognize in that measure 
all the character of a compact. " It was proffered as a 
boon to the Roman Catholics of Ireland at the very time 
when their hope of equal rights derived from Mr. Grattan's 
Bill was dashed to the ground— at the very time when 
they were called on to make common cause with their 
Protestant brethren and join in measures of resistance to 
the threatened French invasion. Passed at such a time, 
and received in such a spirit, I believe that the foundation 
of Maynooth does bear many features of a compromise or 
compact I am sure that it could not be cancelled without 
some breach of the English honour and some disparage- 
ment to the English name.*' 

But it is chiefly in relation to the negotiations on the 
snbject of the Union that doubts have been cast on Pitt's 
sincerity in his professions on the Catholic question ; and 
in this part of his history it must be admitted that Lord 
Stanhope's memoir is a complete vindication. There can 
be no doubt that when the subject of the Union was first 
mooted, an effort was made to enlist in its favour the sup- 
port of the Catholics of Ireland, by holding forth to them 
hopes that it would be accompanied or followed by an 
equitable settlement of their claims. Lord Stanhope's 
account of the measure, although it is far from realizing 
the full extent of the representations which were made, 
places the broad facts beyond dispute. It is drawn from 
Lord Castlereagh's own letter, dated January 1st, 1801. 

" Lord Castlereagh states tliat when in England during tho 
autumn of 1799, he was requested to attend the meetings of tlio 
cabinet upon the Catholic question. He did attend them accord- 
ingly. He heard no difference of opinion as to the merits of the ques- 
tion itself. On these the ministers seemed to him unanimous ; but 
he found 'that some doubts were entertained as to the possibility of 
admitting Catholics into some of tlie higher offices, and that min- 
isters apprehended considerable repugnance to the measure in many 
quarters, and particularly in the highest.^ 

*' On the whole Lord Castlereagh was at that time empowered to 
write to the Lord Lieutenant, that so far as tho sentiments of the 

1862. 1 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. 91 

cabinet were concerned, his Excellency need not hesitate in calling 
forth the Catholic support to the projected Union. Upon this prin- 
ciple, then, did.Lord Cornwallis and Lord Castlereagh act in Ire- 
land. They refrained, as also did Mr. Pitt in England, from any 
kind of pledge, or promise, or assurance to the Koman Catholic 
leaders. But undoubtedly a general liope was raised, and from that 
hope a general co-operation was afforded. The Roman Catholics, as 
a whole, either remained neutral or gave their support to the 
Union. It seems to be admitted that had their support been 
withheld, and their weight been thrown into the opposite scale, the 
measure could not at that time have been carried." — Voh III. pp. 

Hence, although Lord Stanhope contends that there was 
no actual engagement to be redeemed to the Catholics, he 
thinks ** it must be owned that they had a moral claim 
upon the government in England. So at least thought 
Mr. Pitt. He decided that their state, and the change 
that might be made in the laws affecting them, should be 
laid before the cabinet on its assembling after the summer 
recess ; and he summoned Lord Castlereagh from Dublin 
to attend the cabinet meetings on this subject as he had 
the year before.'' 

It is unnecessary to explain that by the highest quarter, 
referred to in Lord Castlereagh's letter, is meant the king 
himself. He had already long before expressed with great 
vehemence his determination not to yield in this matter. 
He had made up his mind, with that dogged inflexibility 
which was his characteristic, that to do so would be to 
violate the promises of his coronation oath ; and when 
Dundas attempted to explain to him that this oath applied 
to the king in his executive, and not in his legislative 
capacity, he cut the discussion short by the angry rejoinder, 
" None of your Scotch metaphysics, Mr. Dundas ! None 
of your Scotch metaphysics V Soon afterwards he had 
consulted Lord Kenyon and Sir John Scott, the Attorney 
General, on this point, who both decided that no violation 
of the coronation oath would be involved in assenting to the 
repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, But the king 
had other and less upright advisers. 

"Unhappily, however, the King at the same time, but separately 
from the other two, consulted the Chancellor Loughborough. Even 
the warm admirers (if there be any such) of his Lordship's political 
career will scarcely ascribe to him any very ardent zeal on the 
abstract merits of the question. Through his whole life his politi- 

92 Earl Stanhope* s Life of Pitt [Nov. 

cal principles hung most loosely upon him ; he had more than once 
changed them on a sudden, and from the lure of personal advan- 
tags. Of his first turn in 1771, one of his successors on the Wool- 
sack writes : * This must be confessed to be one of the most flagrant 
cases oi ratting recorded in our party annals.* 

" In 1795 Lord Loughborough was most anxious to gratify and 
find favour with his Royal Master. He sent the King a written 
opinion stating that the Royal assent to the repeal of the Test Act 
might be held by implication to violate the Coronation Oath. But 
he appears to have carefully concealed the communication from his 
colleagues. It was only some years later, and after the fall of Mr. 
Pitt's Ministry, that we find him give an account of the affair in 
conversation with Mr. Rose. It is painful to add, that the state- 
ment of his written opinion, as Mr. Rose reports that statement in 
his Diary, is utterly and irreconcileably at variance with the written 
opinion itself which Lord Campbell has published from the original 
draft in Lord Loughborough's own handwriting." — Vol. IIL p. 

^ When, several years later, the crisis in this great ques- 
tion arrived, this unscrupulous man was not slow to 
resume the dark policy for which he had thus prepared the 
way. Taking advantage of a visit of the King to Wey- 
mouth in the autumn of the year 1801, he used all his 
influence in private to strengthen and confirm these preju- 
dices of his royal master. JNor did he stop here. Pitt 
having resolved, as we saw, to bring before his colleagues 
what he felt to be the just claims of the Irish Catholics 
upon the United Parliament, summoned a Cabinet meet- 
ing in the end of September, and addressed a confidential 
letter on the subject to Lord Loughborough while he was 
still at Weymouth with the King. Lord Stanhope has 
printed the letter. 

" * My i)E>lr Lord, Sept. 25, 1800. 

" ' There are two or three very important questions relative to 
Ireland, on which it is very material that Lord Castlereagh should 
be furnished with at least the outline of the sentiments of the Cabi- 
net. As he is desirous not to delay his return much longer, we 
have fixed next Tuesday for the Cabinet on this subject ; and 
though I am very sorry to propose anything to shorten your stay at 
Weymouth, I cannot help being very anxious that we should have 
the benefit of your presence. The chief points, besides the great 
question on the general state of the Catholics, relate to some 
arrangement about tithes, and a provision for the Catholic and 
Dissenting Clergy. Lord Castlereagh has drawn up several papers 

1862] Earl Stanhope's Lije of Pitt. 93 

on this subject, which are at present in Lord Grenville's possession, 
and which you will probably receive from him by the post. 
** * Ever, my dear Lord, &c., 

«*»W. Pitt/ 

"Mr. Pitt," continues Lord Stanhope, "did not intend as yet 
to submit his project to the King. It is, I apprehend, the 
usual and customary course that a measure should not be laid 
before the Sovereign until it has been matured and perfected in 
consultation between the members of the Cabinet. At all events 
it is quite certain that any previous communication should be 
made by and through the First Minister of the Crown. But 
the receipt of these papers from London gave Lord Lough- 
borough a favourable opening for his designs. How tempting 
to betray the Prime Minister, and in due time trip him up I 
How tempting to possess himself of the King's private ear, and 
become the regulator of his public conduct ! With such views 
the Chancellor showed His Majesty the confidential letter from Mr. 
Pitt, thereby raising great anxiety and great displeasure in the 
Royal breast. That he did thus show the letter at Weymouth is 
acknowledged by himself in a long paper of explanation which in 
the spring of the ensuing year, when some rumours of his conduct 
began to be afloat, he found it requisite to draw up and to circu- 
late among his friends. The original paper still remains among the 
Eosslyn manuscripts, and it has been published by Lord Campbell. 
* I abstain,' says Lord Campbell at its close, • from the invidious 
task of commenting on this document.* Seldom indeed has any 
document so discreditable proceeded from any public man.' " — Vol. 
III. p. 268 9. 

The rest of the Chancellor's conduct was in keeping 
with these treacherous beginnings. Still conceahng the 
intrigue in which he had been engaged, he opposed in the 
Cabinet the measure propounded by Pitt in conjunction 
with Lord Grenville ; and at the same time he drew up 
and sent to the^ King a new paper, strongly urging all the 
popular objections to the Catholic claims. Meanwhile, 
unhappily Pitt maintained towards the King the same 
reserve with which he had begun ; and pending the discus- 
sions in the Cabinet, he appears to have resolved to await 
some final decision from his colleagues, before he should 
open his mind fully to the King. But the eager impul- 
siveness of the King anticipated the advance of his minis- 

** The discussions still at intervals continued, though with less 
and less prospect of agreement, when the anxiety of the King 
brought the matter to an issue. At his levee on Wednesday, the 

94 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. [Nov 

28th of January, the King walked up to Mr. Duudas, and eagerly 
asked him, as referring to Lord Castlereagli, ' What is it that this 
young Lord has brought over which they are going to throw at my 

head? The most Jacobinical tiling I ever heard of! I shall 

reckon any man my personal enemy who proposes any such mea- 
sure.' 'Your Majesty will find,' answered Mr. Dundas, 'among 
those who are friendly to that measure some whom you never 
supposed to be your enemies.' 

" During this conversation at the levee several other persons 
stood partly within hearing, and some public rumours of course 

" Next day the King, in great distress of mind, wrote to the 
Speaker. * I know,' he ?aid, ' we think alike on this great subject. 
I wish Mr. Addington would from himself open Mr. Pitt's eyes to 

the danger which may prevent his ever speaking to me on a 

subject upon which I can scarcely keep my temper.' Mr. Adding- 
ton therefore did call upon Pitt, and was not without some hopes of 
having produced an impression on his friend. He wrote accord- 
ingly in answer to the Royal letter, and he had afterwards an 
interview with the King at Buckingham House. The part of the 
Prime Minister was, however, already taken. After the public and 
vehement language which the King had so recently used, Pitt had 
little or no hope of prevailing with His Majesty. But he thought 
his own course of duty clear before him. On the evening of Satur- 
day, the 31st of January, Mr. Pitt addressed a letter to the King, 
containing a masterly argument on the question at issue, and ask- 
ing leave to resign if he were not allowed to bring it forward with 
the whole weight of Government. The King received this letter 
on the morning of Sunday, the 1st of February, and, after consult- 
ing with the Speaker, wrote his reply before the close of the same 
day. * I shall hope,' so says the King, ' Mr. Pitt's sense of duty 
will prevent his retiring from his present situation to the end of 
my life;' and he proposed as a compromise that he, the King, 
should maintain henceforth utter silence on the question, and that 
Mr. Pitt on his part should forbear to bring it forward. 'But,' 
adds the letter, * further I cannot go.' "—Vol. IIL p. 273-5. 

Pitt's letter to tlie King is already known from Bishop 
Philpott's publication ; but we think it well to record here 
that portion of it in which he combats the King's objec- 
tions against the proposed measure of relief to the Catholics, 
from the supposed dangers which might thence arise to 
the Estabhshed Church and to the Protestant interest 

** For himself," Mr. Pitt writes in the third person, 
*' he is on full consideration convinced that the measure 
would be attended with no danger to the Established 

18G2.] Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. 95 

Cluircb, or to the Protestant interest in Great Britain or 
Ireland : — That now the Union has taken place, and with 
the new provisions which would make part of the plan, 
it could never give any such weight in office, or in Parlia- 
ment, either to Catholics or Dissenters, as could give 
them any new means (if they were so disposed) of attack- 
ing the Establishment:— That the grounds on which the 
laws of exclusion now remaining were founded, have long 
been narrowed, and are since the Union removed : — That 
those principles, formerly held by the Catholics, which 
made them considered as politically dangerous, have been 
for a com-se of time gradually declining, and, among the 
higher orders particularly, have^ ceased to prevail : — That 
the obnoxious tenets are disclaimed in the most positive 
manner by the oaths which have been required in Great 
Britain, and still more by one of those required in Ireland, 
as the condition of the indulgences ah'eady granted, and 
which might equally be made the condition of any new 
ones: — That if such an oath, containing (among other 
provisions) a denial of the power of absolution from its 
obligations, is not a security from Catholics, the Sacra- 
mental test is not more so :— That the political circum- 
stances under which the exclusive laws originated, arising 
either from the conflicting power of hostile and nearly 
balanced sects, from the apprehension of a Popish Queen 
or Successor, a disputed succession and a foreign Pre- 
tender, and a division in Europe between Catholic and 
Protestant Powers, are no longer applicable to the present 
state of things: — That with respect to those of the Dis- 
senters who it is feared entertain principles dangerous to 
the Constitution, a distinct political test, pointed against 
the doctrine of modern Jacobinism, would be a much more 
just and more effectual security than that which now 
exists, which may operate to the exclusion of conscien- 
tious persons well aff'ected to the State, and is no guard 
against those of an opposite description : — 

** That with respect to the Catholics of Ireland, another 
most important additional security, and one of which the 
effect would continually increase, might be provided by 
gradually attaching the Popish clergy to the Government, 
and, for this purpose, making them dependent for a part 
of their provision (under proper regulations) on the State, 
and by also subjecting them to superintendence and con- 
trol :— 

96 Earl StanJiope's Life of Pitt. [Nov. 

" That, besides these provisions, the general interests of 
the Established Church, and the security of the Consti- 
tution and Government, might be effectually strengthened 
by requiring the Pohtical Test, before referred to, from 
the preachers of all Catholic or Dissenting congregations, 
and from the teachers of schools of every denomination." 

We have extracted this able and characteristic passage 
mainly as another evidence of the real views in reference 
to the Catholic Church, which formed the foundation of 
Pitt's policy, as it has done that of most other statesmen 
whether Protestant or Catholic. He looked to disarming 
the Church by acquiring influence over her ministers ; and 
he sought, by giving them an interest in the stability of the 
state, to make them useful auxiliaries of the government 
to which they owed their social status and in part their 
pecuniary support. This curious state-paper, although 
unknown for upwards of a quarter of a century after his 
death, is almost a literal verification of the warning held 
out to Catholics by Burke, and in his letters to Dr. 
Hussey printed in this journal not many years ago. 

But to return to Pitt's letter to the King. His own 
views upon the necessity of the measure, and his resolve 
to acquit himself of what he feels to be a moral engage- 
ment, he expresses in the most forcible terms. 

" It is on these principles Mr. Pitt humbly conceives a new 
security might be obtained for the Civil and Ecclesiastical Consti- 
tution of this country, more applicable to the present circum- 
stances, more free from objection, and more effectual in itself, than 
any which now exists ; and which would at the same time admit 
of extending such indulgences as must conciliate the higher orders 
of the Catholics, and by furnishing to a large class of your Majesty's 
Irish subjects a proof of the good will of the United Parliament, 
afford the best chance of giving full effect to the great object of the 
Union, — that of tranquillizing IrelUnd, and attaching it to this 

" It is with inexpressible regret, after all he now knows of your 
Majesty's sentiments, that Mr. Pitt troubles your Majesty thus at 
large with the general grounds of his opinion, and finds himself 
obliged to add that this opinion is unalterably fixed in his mind. 
It must, therefore, ultimately guide his political conduct, if it 
should be your Majesty's pleasure that, after thus presuming to 
open himself fully to your Majesty, he should remain in that 
responsible situation in which your Majesty has so long conde- 
scended graciously and favourably to accept his services. It will 
afford him, indeed, a great relief and satisfaction if he may be 

1 862. ] Earl Stanliope's Life of Pitt. 97 

allowed to Lope that jour Majesty will deign maturely to weigh 
what he has now humbly submitted, and to call for any explanation 
which any parts of it may appear to require. 

•' In the interval which your Majesty may wish for considera- 
tion, he will not, on his part, importune your Majesty with any 
unnecessary reference to the subject ; and will feel it his duty to 
abstain himself from all agitation of this subject in Parliament) and 
to prevent it, as far as depends on him, on the part of others. If, 
on the result of such consideration, your Majesty's objections to the 
measure proposed should not be removed, or sufficiently diminished 
to admit of its being brought forward with your Majesty's full con- 
currence, and with the whole weight of Government, it must bo 
personally Mr. Pitt's first wish to be released from a situation 
which h« is conscious that, under such circumstances, he could not 
continue to fill but with the greatest disadvantage." — Vol. III. p. 
xxvi, xxvii. 

The result is well known. The Kinpr and the Minister 
were both equally firm. The King agreed to accept Pitt's 
resignation, and it was settled that the Speaker, Addiag- 
ton, should, at the recommendation of Pitt, be charged with 
the formation of a new ministry, in the arrangement of 
which, as well in the subsequent conduct of the business of 
the country, Pitt promised all his assistance and support. 
The only gratifying incident of the entire proceeding is the 
memorable disappointment of the selfish schemer, Lough- 
borough. *^ The statesman, '' says Lord Stanhope, *' who 
for his selfish ends had wrought all this confusion, derived 
no advantage from it. On the contrary, he was signally 
humbled. * Never,' as Lord Campbell says, * was there 
such a striking instance of an engineer ' hoist by his own 
petard. ' The King had lately seen a great deal of 
Lord Loughborough. He Jiad been glad to lean on his 
Lordship's legal knowledge and skill. But at the same 
time he had become well' acquainted with his Lordship's 
character, and 1 need not add to what opinion a thorough 
knowledge of that character would inevitably lead. So 
fnr from naming Lord Loughborough Prime Minister, as 
Lord Loughborough himself appears to have hoped, the 
King was fully determined that he should not even con- 
tinue Chancellor. His Majesty designed that high office 
for Lord Eld on, whose perfect integrity and firmness of 
principle he justly esteemed ; and on this point, as on 
most others, Addington was compliant to the Royal will. 
'' No wonder*^* that in Addington's Diary *' Lord 
VOL. LII.-No. Cni. 7 

98 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. [Nov. 

Loughborough is described as * all consternation !' No 
wonder if, suddenly inverting his political course, he wrote 
to the King earnestly pressing His Majesty still to con- 
tinue Mr. Pitt in office, and to rel> upon * the generosity 
of Mr. Pitt's mind.' " It is pleasant to know that he 
utterly failed. 

The retributive justice executed on another ingrate. 
Lord Auckland, whom the King described as "an eternal 
intriguer," and who was excluded from the new Cabinet, 
has been related by other historians of these events. 

Equally familiar is the story of the effect which, before 
the new arrangements had been completed, this struggle 
between feeling and what he believed to be duty produced 
upon the King; but Lord Stanhope has preserved some 
curious and indeed affecting details. Feeling deeply and 
anxiously the loss of Pitt at such a crisis, the King, *' as if 
to tranquilize his mind, reverted again and again to the 
religious obligation which he conceived to bind him. One 
morning — so his faithful equerry. General Garth, many 
years afterwards related — he desired his Coronation Oath 
to be once more read out to him, and then burst forth into 
some passionate exclamations: * Where is that power on 
earth to absolve me from the due observance of every sen- 
tence of that oath?.. .No — I had rather beg my bread from 
door to door throughout Europe than consent to such a 
measure !' 

** Another day, at Windsor — -this was on the 6th or 7th 
of the month — the King read his Coronation Oath to his 
family, asked them whether they understood it, and added: 
* If I violate it, I am no longer legal Sovereign of this 
country, but it falls to the House of Savoy.' " 

One of the King's first messages, upon his convales- 
cence after the derangement in which these exciting trials 
resulted, was to his old minister. " Tell him," said he to 
his physician Dr. Willis, "that I am quite well — quite 
recovered from my illness ; but what has he not to answer 
for who is the cause of my having been ill at all?" Pitt 
was deeply affected, and, under the impulse of these feel- 
ings, at once conveyed to the King an assurance that he 
would never again, during his reign, renew the agitation 
of the Catholic question. Lord Malmesbury heard that 
Pitt wrote to the King to this effect ; but Lord Stanhope 
could find no trace of the letter, and believes that the 
communication was in the , nature of a verbal message. 

1 862.] £Jarl Stanhope^ s Life of Pitt. 99 

This would seem clear indeed from the following letter of 
Dr. Willis. 

*« Dr, Thomas Willis to Mr. Pitt. 
•• * Sill, " * Queen's House, \ past 8- 

" ' Her Majesty, and the Dukes of Kent and Cumberland, went in to 
the King at half after five o'clock, and remained with him for two 
hours. Thej came out perfectly satisfied — in short everything that 
passed has confirmed all that you heard me say today. He has 
desired to see the Duke of York to-morrow, and all the Princesses 
in their turn. 

*• * I stated to him what you wished, and what I had a good oppor- 
tunity of doing ; and, after saying the kindest things of you, he 
<}xclaimed, * Now my mind will be at ease.' Upon the Queeu\s 
coming in, the first thing he told her was your message, and he 
made the same observation upon it. 

" ' I stated also the whole of what you said respecting Hanover — 
which he received with perfect composure. 

** ' Yqu will not expect that I mean to show that the King is €om- 
j)letely wellf but w« have no reason to doubt that he very soon will 
be so. 

" • I have the honour to be. Sir, &c., 

**♦ Thomas Willis."* 

It will be remembered that, up to this time Pitt, in 
consequence of the King's illness, had not formally re- 
sip:ned ; and, now that the only obstacle to his holding 
office had been removed by the i^solve which he had 
thus taken, his friends began to ask why he should 
resign at all ; nor was it without a certain amount of 
intrigue and agitation that the arrangements were finally 
brought to a close, and that Pitt's long administration 
came to an end. On March 14th, 1800, to borrow Mr. 
Rose's account, "" Mr. Pitt went to the King at three 
o'clock, and returned about half-past four, and I saw hiiii 
at five for a few minutes before he went to Mr. Adding- 
ton. He had resigned the Exchequer Seal to His Majesty. 
He said His Majesty possessed himself most perfectly, 
though naturally somewhat agitated on such an occasion ; 
that his kindness was unbounded. Mr. Pitt said he was 
sure the King would be greatly relieved by the interview 
being over, and his resignation being accepted ; adding, 
what I am sure was true, that his own mind was greatly 
relieved.-^Sunday, March 35. Mr. Pitt explained to mo 
much more at large what passed when he was with the 
King yesterday; repeated that His Majesty showed the 

100 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt, [Nor. 

Utmost possible kindness to him, both in words and man- 
ner ; that His Majesty began the conversation by saying, 
that although from this time Mr. Fitt ceased to be his 
Minister, he hoped he would allow him to consider him 
as his friend, and that he would not hesitate to come to 
him whenever he might wish it, or when he should think 
he could do so with propriety ; adding that in any event 
he relied on his making him a visit at Weymouth, as he 
knew Mr. Pitt would go to his mother, in Somersetshire, 
in the summer. " 

And thus in virtue of the engagement entered into by 
Pitt, and adopted with one single exception, by those who 
followed him in the office of Prime Minister, the question 
of the Roman Catholic claims was indefinitely postponed ; 
— with what results, is now a matter of history. It is a 
much debated question in the theory of constitutional 
monarchy, how far the interest of the whole, or of a 
large portion of the public ought to be made dependent 
upon the welfare, or still more, we may presume, upon 
the feelings of the monarch.^ Whatever may be the prac- 
tical justice of the case, it is one which, taking men 
as they are, will always be argued upon considerations 
of sentiment rather than of abstract ri^ht. And the 
conduct of Pitt in relinquishing the policy and with- 
drawing from office under circumstances so painful, will 
hardly be condemned even by the sternest advocate of 
the rights of the subject. But there remains another and 
much more difficult question, as to the propriety of the 
subsequent change in his conduct, in resuming the very 
office which he had relinquished because he was not per- 
mitted to pass the Catholic question, with a new and 
express understanding that he would never again stir that 
question during the lifetime of the King. Lord Stanhope 
enters at some length into this question in reply to a 
criticism of the Edinburgh Review, ascribed to Sir 
George Cornewall Lewis. 

•' Ou the other part, I would venture, in the first place, to ask 
hovr the critic can feel the smallest difficulty in explaining at least, 
if not in justifying, the change which he here describes. As rea- 
sonably might he state his surprise that the Emperor of Austria 
was not willing to treat on the 1st of December, 1805, and was 
willing on the 3rd of the same month ; the fact being that the battle 
of Austerlitz was fought on the intervening day. The intervening 
illness of George the Third affords, as 1 conceive, a no less clear, a 

1862.] Earl Stanliope's Life of Pitt. 10 1 

no less sufficient explanation. When it became manifest that the 
proposal of the Roman Catliolic claims had not only wrung the 
mind of the aged King with anguish, but altogether obscured and 
overthrown it, the duty of a statesman, even if untouched bj per- 
sonal considerations, and acting solely on public grounds, was then 
to refrain from any such proposal during the remainder of His 
Majesty's reign. Loyal Roman Catholics themselves could not 
even desire tlieir claims to be under such circumstances urged. 
Let me moreover observe that the restraint which Mr. Pitt laid 
upon himself in consequence was one that came to be adopted by all 
other leading politicians of that age. It was on the same under- 
standing that Lord Castlereagh took office in 1803 ; Mr. Tierney 
also in the same year ; Mr. Canning in 1804 ; Lord Grenville and 
Mr. Fox in 1806. All these, with whatever reluctance, agreed that 
on this most tender point the conscience of George the Third 
should be no further pressed. And surely if the ground here stated 
was sufficient, as I deem it, to justify Mr. Tierney, who had never 
before held office, and who owed no special attachment to the King, 
the ground was far stronger in the case of Mr. Pitt, who had served 
His Majesty as Prime Minister through most trying difficulties and 
for more than seventeen years. 

*< It may be said, however, that although Mr, Pitt was right to 
relinquish the Catholic Question in March, 1801, he should not 
have been willing to resume office at once upon such terms. If, 
however, the Catholic Question were honourably and for good 
reason laid aside," the special, and indeed the only, reason for 
calling in *' the Doctor" was gone. Under him there was every 
prospect that the new Government would be a weak one — even far 
weaker than from various causes which I shall hereafter exf^lain it 
really proved. I have already shown what were the anticipations 
upon this point of so experienced and so far-sighted a politician as 
Dundas. A weak Government was then in prospect ; and that at 
a periodVhen the national interests called most loudly for a strong 
one. It was the duty of a patriot Minister to avert, if he honour- 
ably could, that evil from his country. It was his duty not to 
shrink from the service of his Sovereign, if that Sovereign thought 
fit to ask his aid, and if the question which had so recently severed 
them was from other and inevitable causes to sever them no more. 

" For these reasons I believe, and must be permitted to maintain, 
that the conduct of Mr. Pitt in March, 1801, is free from all 
ambiguity and open to no just imputation, but guided from first 
to last by the same high sense of duty as distinguished his whole 
career.'*--Vol. IIL p. 311-13. 

We have left ourselves but scant space for the personal 
portion of Lord Stanhope's portraiture of Pitt; but we 
cannot pass it over altogether. His parallel of the two 
great rivals, Fox and Pitt, is very complete and very judi- 

102 Earl StanhojM^s Life of Pitt, [Nor. 

cioiis, nor, with all the temptation to which a biopfrapher 
is exposed, can any one fairly, ii^ our opinion, tax Lord 
Stanhope with partiality. VVe must be content with so 
much of it as repjards their oratorical powers. 

*' It is a harder, as well as a more important task to compare the 
two great rivals in their main point of rivalry — in public speaking. 
Each may at once be placed in the very highest class. Fox would 
have been without doubt or controversy the first orator of his age 
had it not been for Pitt. Pitt would have been without doubt or 
controversy the first orator of his age had it not been for Fox. It 
may fairly be left in question wliich of these two pre-eminent 
speakers should bear away the palm. But they were magis pares 
quam similes— id^v rather equal than alike. Mr, Windham, himself 
a great master of debate, and a keen observer of others' oratory, 
used to say that Pitt always seemed to him as if he could make a 
king's speech off hand. There was the same self-conscious dignity 
— the same apt choice of language — the same stately and guarded 
phrase. Yet this, although his more common and habitual style, 
did not preclude some passages of pathetic eloquence, and many of 
pointed reply. He loved on some occasions to illustrate his mean- 
ing with citations from the Latin poets — sometimes giving a new 
grace to well-known passages of Horace and Virgil, and sometimes 
drawing a clear stream from an almost hidden spring — as when, in 
reference to the execution of Louis the Sixteenth, he cited tlie lines 
of a poet so little read as Statins, lines which he noticed as applied 
by De Thou to the massacre of St. Bartholomew. Never, even on 
tlie most sudden call on him to rise — did he seem to hesitate for a 
word, 91 to take any but the most apt to the occasion. His sen- 
tences, however long, and even when catching up a parenthesis as 
th3y proceeded, were always brought to a right and regular close 
— a much rarer merit in a public speaker than might be supposed 
by those who judge of parliamentary debates only by the morning 
papers. I could give a strong instance of the contrary. I could 
name a veteran member, whom I used, wlien I sat in the House of 
Commons, constantly to hear on all financial subjects. Of him I 
noticed, that while the sentences which he spoke might be reckoned 
by the hundred, those which he ever finished could only be leckoned 
by the score. 

" It is worthy of note, however, that carefully as Pitt had been 
trained by his illustrious father, their style of oratory and their 
direction of knowledge were not only different, but almost, it may 
be said, opposite. Cnatham excelled in fiery bursts of eloquence- 
Pitt in a luminous array of arguments. On no point was Pitt so 
strong as on finance — on none was Chatham so weak. 

*' Fox, as I have heard good judges say, had the same defects, 
which, in an exaggerated form, and combined with many of his 
merits, appeared in his nephew Lord Holland. He neither had, nor 

1862.] Earl Stanhope's Life oj Pitt 103 

aimed at, any graces of manner or of elocution. He would often 
pause for a word, and still oftener for breath and utterance, panting 
as it were, and heaving with the mighty tlioughts that he felt 
arise. But these defects, considerable as they would hav0 been in 
any mere holiday speaker, were overborne by bis masculine mind, 
and wholly forgotten by his audience as they witnessed the cogency 
of his keen replies — tlie irresistible home thrusts of hia arguments. 
No man that has addressed any public assembly in ancient or ia 
modern times was ever more truly and emphatically a great debater. 
Careless of himself, flinging aside all preconceived ideas or studied 
flights, he struck with admirable energy full at the foe before him. 
The blows which he dealt upon his adversaries were such as few 
among them could withstand, perhaps only one among them could 
parry : they seemed all the heavier, as wholly unprepared, and 
arising from the speeches that had gone before. Nor did he ever 
attempt to glide over, or pass by, an argument that told against 
him; he would meet it boldly face to face, and grapple with it 
undeterred. In like manner any quotations that ho made from 
Latin or English authors did not seem brought in upon previous 
reflection for the adornment of the subject at its surface, but rather 
appeared to grow up spontaneously from its inmost depths. With 
all his wonderful powers of debate, and perhaps as a consequence of 
them, there was something truly noble and impressive in the entire 
absence of all artifice]^or affectation. His occasional bursts of true 
inborn sturdy genuine feeling, and the frequent indications of his 
kindly and generous temper, would sometimes, even in the fiercest 
party conflicts, come home to the hearts of his opponents. If, as is 
alleged, he was wont to repeat the same tlioughts again and again 
in different words, this might be a defect in the oration, but it was 
none in the orator. For, thinking not of himself, nor of the rules 
of rhetoric, but only of success in the struggle, he had found these 
the most effectual means to imbue a popular audience almost im^ 
perceptibly with his own opinions. And he knew that to the mul- 
titude one argument stated in five different forms is, in general, 
held equal to five new arguments." — Vol. I. pp. 244-7. 

The sketch of Pitt's social character is an exquisite 
specimen of literary portraiture. 

" Several testimonies which I have already cited speak of Pit* 
in his earlier years as a most delightful companion, abounding in 
wit and mirth, and with a flow of lively spirits. As the cares of 
office grew upon him, he went of course much less into general 
society. He would often, for whole hours, ride or sit with only 
Steele, or Kose, or Dundas for his companion. Nor was this merely 
from the ease and rest of thus unbending his mind. Men who know 
the general habits of great ministers are well aware how many 
details may be expedited and difficulties smoothed away by quiet 

.104 Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. [Nov 

chat with a thoroughly trusted friend in lesser office. Pitt, how- 
ever, often gave and often accepted small dinner parties, and took 
great pleasure in them. The testimony of his familiar friend, 
Lord Wellesley, which goes down to 1797, is most strong upon these 
points. ' In all places and at all times,' says Lord Wellesley, * his 
constant delight was society. There he shone with a degree of 
calm and steady lustre which often astonished me more than his 
most splendid efforts in parliament. His manners were perfectly 
plain ; his wit was quick and ready. He was endowed, beyond 
any man of his time whom I knew, with a gay heart and a social 

" The habits of Pitt in Downing Street were very simple. He 
breakfasted every morning at nine, sometimes inviting to that meal 
any gentleman with whom he had to talk on business, and it was 
seldom when the House of Commons met that he could find leisure 
for a ride. 

" When retired from office, and living in great part at Walmer 
Castle, Pitt, like Fox, reverted with much relish, although in a desul- 
tory manner, to his books. The Classics, Greek and Latin, seemed to 
be, as my father told me, Pitt's favourite reading at that period. 
Yet he was by no means indifferent to the literature of his own day. 
On this point let me cite a statesman who has passed away from us, 
to the grief of many friends, at the very time when the page which 
records his testimony has reached me from the press. Let me cite 
the Earl of Aberdeen, who once, as he told me, heard Pitt declare 
that he thought Burns's song * Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled ' 
the noblest lyric in the language. Another time he also mentioned 
Paley to Lord Aberdeen in terms of high admiration, as one of our 
very best writers. Perhaps the great fault of his private life is 
that he never sought the society of the authors or the artists wliom 
all the time he was admiring. Perhaps the great fault of his public 
life is that he never took any step — no, not even the smallest- — to 
succour and befriend them." — Vol. I. pp. 249-51. 

Lord Stanhope, of course, could not overlook the 
popular traditionary notions as to the convivial habits of 
his hero. Commenting on a letter, in which Wilberforce 
speaks of Pitt during the interval between his two admin- 
istrations, described him as ' improved in habits.' Lord 
Stanhope writes : — 

" The ' habits ' to which Wilberforce here refers as admitting of 
improvement were probably in the first place as to the system of 
hours. No longer breakfasting at nine o'clock as in his first years 
of office, Pitt had become the very reverse of early in the forenoon. 
The speaker, Mr. Addington, describing his life about this time, says 
of him that he never rose before eleven, and then generally took a 
short ride in the park, Any change which he made in this respect, 

1862.] Earl Stanhope's Life of Pitt. 105 

as Wilbcrforcc notes, was not of long continuance, and for the rest 
of his life Pitt was very late in his morning hours. Some have 
thought that the time which he passed in bed was compelled by his 
delicate health ; others have supposed that he employed it in revolv- 
ing the details of his speeches or his measures. 

*' Secondly, it is probable that Wilberforce alludes to the large 
potations of port wine. These, as we have seen, were in tlie first 
instance prescribed to Mr. Pitt as a medicine, and they gave 
strength to his youthful constitution. But amidst the labour of 
parliament and oflSce he certainly in some cases carried them 
beyond what his health could require, or could even without injury 
bear. Not that they had any effect on his mental powers or mental 
self-command. Two bottles of port, as Lord Macaulay says, were 
little more to him than two dishes of tea. Nothing could be rarer 
in his public life than any trace of excitement in his after-dinner 

*'Here again the authority of the Speaker is quite decisive. 
When in long subsequent years Lord Sidmouth was questioned on 
the subject, he said that Mr. Pitt loved a glass of port wine very 
well, and a bottle still better ; but that he had never known him 
take too much if he had anything to do, except upon one occasion, 
when he was unexpectedly called up to answer a personal attack 
made upon him by Mr. William Lambton, father of the first Lord 
Durham. He had left the house with Mr. Dundas in the hour 
between two election ballots, for the purpose of dining, and when 
on his return he replied to Mr. Lambton, it was evident to his 
friends that he had taken too much wine. The next morning Mr. 
Ley, tlie Clerk Assistant of the House of Commons, told the speaker 
that he had felt quite ill ever since Mr. Pitt's exhibition on the 
preceding evening, * It gave me,' he added, * a violent headache.' 
On this being repeated to Mr. Pitt — * I think,' said the minister, 
* that is an excellent arrangement — that I should have the wine 
and the clerk the headache !' 

*' It is not to be supposed that even a single instance of the kind 
would be left unimproved by the wits at Brooks's. The Morning 
Chronicle came out with a long array of epigrams upon this tempt- 
ing subject. Here is one in which the prime minister is supposed 
to address his colleague — 

* I cannot see the speaker, Hal ; can you V 

• Not see the speaker ? — hang it, I see two !' " 

Vol. in. pp. 136-8. 

But there is no part of Lord Stanhope's narrative which 
in our judgment is so successful as that which regards 
Pitt's conduct during the Addington administration, his 
own return to the government, and his last term of office. 
His defence of Pitt against the charge of dishonest or dis- 
honourable conduct towards Addington is n^arked by the 

106 The Coiwection of the State with Education in [Nov 

most rigorous impartiality, and is conducted according to 
the sound rules of historical evidence ; nor do we think any 
fair mind can reject the inferences which Lord Stanhope 
has drawn. 

But it is above all in the closing scenes of the narrative 
that his powers as a descriptive biographer appear to 
the greatest advantage. In reading the terrible history 
of those sad days after the news of the battle of Ans- 
terlitz had reached him, one is almost reminded of the 
paiuful but mysterious contents of the old Greek drama. 
There is something absolutely haunting in the picture of 
what Wilberforce called ** the Austerlitz look/' the care- 
worn and unhappy look which he wore during the last 
months of his life, and of which Macaulay, with his cus- 
tomary exaggeration, says that ** he was so changed by 
emaciation that his most intimate friends hardly knew 
him." It is a picture, in the presence of which every feel- 
ing of hostile criticism is hushed, and the mind can take 
home to itself but one lesson — the lesson of the mutability 
of all earthly greatness and of the hollowness of all earthly 

Art. IV. — The Revised Code. 

AMONGST the few incidents of the session of 1862 
. worthy of careful retrospection, were the debates on 
education. In both Houses different branches of that great 
question gave rise to earnest and important discussions ; 
at an early period, the question of state assistance to 
primary education in England, occupied both Lords and 
Commons ; and the re-revised code threatened to cause 
the downfall of the Government. Later on, the present 
condition and prospects of education in Ireland were can- 
vassed in debates, which, if they led to no immediate re- 
sult, plainly foreshadowed the contests which must arise 
next year. The collateral question, too, of industrial and 
reformatory schools, and middle class education, claimed 
their share of attention both in and out of parliament. 

186 2: "I England and Ireland. 107 

But the most remarkable educational movement of the 
year was undoubtedly that in favour of the Irish Catholic 
University. A movement hardly paralleled in the country, 
in strength, in earnestness, and in unanimity. 

The interest of Catholics in every branch of the great 
question of Education both in England and Ireland ; the 
importance of a clear understanding of the mutual relation 
of the different facts and systems ; and the proof afforded by 
the events we have alluded to, that the present is a time 
when this subject possesses a peculiar and urgent interest 
will, we hope, be deemed a sufficien^reason for discussing 
at some length the different systems of education adopted 
in these and other countries. 

The moment we speak of the education of a people, the 
subject naturally divides itself into three branches. First, 
primary schools for the education of the masses in the 
simplest elements of knowledge, embracing all varieties of 
poor schools, industrial schools and infant schools. 

Secondly, intermediate or middle schools, embracing all 
those grammar schools, academies, and institutions which 
provide teaching for our great commercial and trading 
middle classes, and in this class must be included the 
national model schools in Ireland. 

And thirdly, institutions for superior or university edu- 

To each of these classes the state has certain relations ; 
and the whole question of education, as it is called, resolves 
itself into this ; what are the duties and the rights of the 
state, or government, with regard to each of the classes of 
schools. It is here that differences both of opinion and of 
practice arise — and this is the fundamental question to be 
determined. There is, indeed, another question even more 
important, namely, what are the duties and rights of reli- 
gion in regard to education? But as in these countries we 
have not, as a nation, got a religion, we cannot investigate 
the relation of religion to the education of the nation, and 
the just claims of the Catholic religion in regard to the 
education of its children can be enforced only as their wish, 
not as its right. 

One radical difference between England and most con- 
tinental countries — especially since the French lievolution 
— is the very limited action which in England is allowed to 
the state. 

The theory and practice in England ^is, that it is the 

108 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov. 

duty of government to interfere as little as possible, and to 
leave almost everything to individual action. Abroad, on 
the contrary, the prevalent idea is, that government is the 
full expression of the nation, as a corporate individuality, 
and is therefore bound to do as much as possible for the 
nation, to provide it with everything it needs, and to direct 
and control all its actions. 

In nothing is this difference more perceptible than in the 
different modes of treating education. 

In France, Prussia, and other countries, it is admitted 
on all sides, that it ig^both the right and the duty of the 
state to provide fitting education for all classes, and to 
regulate and control all educational institutions not founded 
by itself."' Hence the question always debated is, what 
is the proper education to be provided, the right of the 
state to provide it for all being admitted ; and the greatest 
sticklers for liberty of education only claim that those who 
dislike the state education, to which they have contributed 
by their taxes, may provide another at their own cost, and 
this, too, subjected to the supervision of the state. In a 
word, the state provides at the public cost an educational 
uniform for every one, and those who do not wish to wear 
it are graciously allowed to provide a second at their own 

Such is the system which prevails almost universally 
on the Continent, and the principles of which are, too 
often perhaps, unconsciously, adopted by some in Eng- 

But far different has ever been the practice of England. 
Here, the absolute freedom of the individual man has ever 
been fully recognised, and the claim of the state to act for 
all and control individual exertions steadily repudiated. 
Every man may educate himself and his children as he 
pleases, and it would be regarded as tyranny to compel 
him to contribute to an education of which he disapproved, 
or to support institutions which he did not frequent. But 
as cases arise where assistance is sought from the state for 
the education of those unable to educate themselves; 
questions naturally occur of how that assistance is to be 
given ; and as certain public advantages are attached to 

* See M. Troplong's work, Du pouvoir de I'Etat sur I'enseiga- 
ment en France. Paris 1844. 

1862. 1 England and Ireland. 1 09 

the recognised possession of a high degree of professional 
knowledge, it becomes necessary to determine how the 
possession of that knowledge shall be ascertained. In 
other words, the questions of state assistance for primary 
education, and of the mode of conferring degrees spring np. 
But throughout the discussion it is essential to recollect 
that the great English principle is, the right of each man 
to have his children educated as he pleases, and to have 
his knowledge recognised, however acquired. 

And the importance of this principle, and the extent to 
which it has ever been recognised ii^ England, as well as 
the very limited and secondary action allowed to the state 
in regard to education, become still more clear as we trace 
the history of education in England. 

With regard to primary education, it was for centuries 
left entirely to voluntary action. Previous to the Refor- 
mation the monasteries formed the great body of poor 
schools throughout the land ; and there are canons which 
refer to schools to be attached to parochial churches. 
As all the monastery schools were swept away at the 
Reformation, a great blank was left in the education of the 
poor, and as private efforts proved inadequate to provide 
sufficient schools, aid has for a considerable time been 
contributed by the state. But it is strictly *'aid.'' 
The state has never undertaken to provide education or 
determine the nature of the education to be provided. On 
the contrary, all such schemes have been resolutely re- 
jected. The initiative is left to individual^ action, and 
the state only steps in to assist by grants in aid. The 
fullest freedt)m is left as to the nature of the education — 
provided only, it be education. To use the phrase so pre- 
valent last spring, the state pays for results. Catholics, 
Church of England, Dissenters, may educate their chil- 
dren how they please, use what books they please, employ 
what teachers they please ; if the children know how to 
read, write, and cipher, the government grant will be 
given. Nay, even in preparing to obtain these results, and 
in ascertaining their success, they may to a great extent 
take their own way. Their training schools for teachers 
are assisted, and their inspectors must be of their own 

This system wants, indeed, that superficial appearance of 
completeness and uniformity which the Continental systems 
present ; but it excels in every element of life, and growth. 

1 10 I'he Connection of the State with Education in \ Nov. 

and adaptability to the varyinof wants of society. No 
government system can have the healthy vitality possessed 
by institutions of free growth — men labour not for govern- 
mental institutions as they do for those they have them- • 
selves created; and above all, in educational institutions 
the necessity of adapting a governmental system to diffe- 
rent religions and opinions by striking out whatever may 
offend any, so deprives it of all character and spirit as to 
leave it a negative inanity which excites no enthusiasm, 
which enlists no zeal in its service. 

It is like the contrast between those branches of trade 
which in some countries are carried on by the government, 
and the healthy development of unfettered commerce and 
free enteiprise. 

So strougly has it been felt by those best acquainted 
with the subject, and who direct public opinion on it, that 
free voluntary action was superior to any governmental 
organization in education, that it has been sought to 
profit by it, even in cases which, at first sight, would ap- 
pear necessarily to involve the action of the state. It is 
clearly the duty of the state to educate and reform paupers 
and criminals; but as it was found that no state institu- 
tions were as effectual as free ones for these purposes, 
the system has been adopted of placing young criminals in 
reformatories, founded and conducted by individuals, and 
to the support of which the state contributes, without in 
any way controling their management. So also boards 
of guardians have lately been authorised to pay for the 
support and education of pauper children in voluntary in- 
stitutions. Nay, even in France, experience* has forced 
this truth upon the authorities, with regard to reformatories, 
and some similar institutions, and Metteray, and similar 
places, are voluntary institutions to which the 'state only 

With regard to intermediate middle schools, the system 
of free voluntary action has been even more markedly 
followed in England. The state has never founded or 
endowed any schools or sought in any way to control 
them.*''* All our ancient grammar schools are the creation 

* Unless, indeed, the few -schools founded in Henry VIII. and 
Edward VI. reigns, out of the property of the suppressed monas- 
teries, be looked upon as exceptions. They are, indeed, the only 
schools of the sort iu England which may fairly be called state 

1862.] England and Ireland. Ill 

of private charity ; the state claims no power over them, 
gave to see tliat they fulfil the intentions of their founders ; 
still less does it attempt to retrulate or control the modern 
proprietary schools, such as Cheltenham. And yet none 
can say that the great body of our schools do not fulfil 
their mission, at least as well as any system of govern- 
mental lyceums in any foreign country* In lact, those who 
are intimately acquainted with both systems, know that 
the healthful competition which exists amongst us, and 
the necessity of satisfying so exigent a visitor as the general 
})ublic, produces far more intellectual activity and pro- 
gress, than exists where all form part of one uniform 
routine system, and the only visitor is a government in- 
spector, himself reared in the system. 

There has indeed been one step taken lately in England 
which tends in some degree to bring middle schools under 
a general system of inspection, at least as regards their 
results ; we mean the system of middle class examinations 
and certificates of proficiency ; and there can be little 
doubt that this system will progress, and that most pro- 
bably the time will come when such certificates will have a 
specific value analogous to that of degrees, and be required 
from persons desirous of entering the public service or of 
practising certain arts. But it is worthy of remark, that 
these examinations and certificates have originated with 
bodies, (the two universities of Oxford and Cambridge,) by 
no means departments of the government, and that they 
are purely test^ of results, not in any way regulations as to 
the modes of teaching. Oxford and Cambridge, respec- 
tively, send forth bands of examiners to the various towns, 
and these examine all who present themselves for examina- 
tion in certain subjects, and give certificates of proficiency, 
but they inquire not how this knowledge was acquired, or 
what views on religion, or history, or philosophy, or on 
geology, teachers or pupils hold. 

The distinction between the state on the one hand test- 
ing the results of teaching in the acquisition of knowledge; 
and on the other undertaking to teach, or in any way to 

foundations ; as even schools of royal foundation though now look- 
ed upon as in some sort under the cognizance of parliament, were 
originally created simply by the charity of individual sovereigns, 
exactly as those endowed by the charity of private individuals. 

112 The Connectiojvo/the State with Education in [Nov. 

regulate teaching, is of great importance, as it pervades 
the whole question, and the tvyo are frequently confounded 
in loose reasoning on the subject. In testing knowledge, 
all religions and opinions can meet in common, without 
any abandonment of their respective convictions : in teach- 
ing, this result can only be attained by eliminating all 
subjects which involve directly or indirectly any difference 
of opinion. An examiner in English history may examine 
Catholics, Protestants, and Jevys together, and- judge of 
their knowledge, though their views on the subject differ 
widely ; a professor cannot teach English history to such 
a mixed class without clashing with their different be- 
liefs. •"- ^ 

Coming to the third branch of education, the Superior 
or University education ; we find a very peculiar state of 
things existing, and one well worth careful study. It has 
been the growth of ages, and is, like all old institutions, 
of a somewhat complex nature ; and at the first glance not 
reducible to any precise system. In France, the Univer- 
sity is the pure creation of the State, and under its con- 
trol; the State University is the only recognised teaching 
body, and its degrees are absolutely required by those who 
would embrace any learned profession or art. In England 
the two old Universities, we will speak of them first, are 
in no sense creations of the State ; their earliest charters 
for conferring degrees were granted by Popes ; and the 
state has little control over their teaching ; but yet they 
are highly privileged corporations, and theiF degrees have 
a legal value although they can hardly be said to be in 

* This occurs'^constantly in the London university examinations 
where the writer has frequently known such questions put, as, *' give 
a sketch of the progress of the Reformation in England and its 
effects ;^' the answers, which were written by Catholics, differed 
toto coelo in their appreciation of the Reformation from those writ- 
ten by Protestants, yet obtained as good a place for the writers, 
because they showed an equal acquaintance with the subject. On 
the other hand, the professor of history in one of the Queen's Col- 
leges, stated before the royal commissioners that history had, in fact, 
to be omitted from their course, as it was impossible to treat of it 
without clashing with the religious convictions of the various schools. 
Thus also with ethics, the supporters and opponents of Paley are 
equally successful at the London examinations — but a. professor 
could not at once teach Paley's system and confute it. 

1862.] England and Ireland. 1T3 

any case absolutely required for the exercise of any pro- 
fession."' So with regard to Medical degrees, the bodies 
which confer them were originally voluntary corporations ; 
and though the legislature, since it has undertaken to 
reguhite the practice of medicine, has, as a consequence, 
regulated their mode of granting degrees ; it does not 
undertake to dictate their mode of teaching, but merely to 
ensure its efficiency. So also with regard to the law; 
the Inns of Court were originally voluntary associations 
which afforded the public certain guarantees as to the 
competency of their members ; and their regulations have 
been sanctioned by Parliament, which yet has never under- 
taken to establish a uniform compulsory system of legal 
education. To sum up ; the Universities, Inns of Court, 
and Medical Colleges, were originally self-governing 
institutions, founded, endowecl, and privileged, in many 
instances by the Sovereign ; whose degrees or certificates 
of knowledge originally derived their value simply from 
the honour and distinction they conferred ; but gradually 
acquired a legal recognition, and became in all cases 
useful, in some necessary, for the practice of the learned 
professions. The power of fixing the course of teaching 
to be followed, and the standard to be attained to for 
their acquisition were always vested in the learned cor- 
porations themselves ; which were essentially independent 
of the legislature, which gave a legal value to their 
degrees. As long as the religion of England was one, 
there was no inconvenience in these arrangements; for 
the degrees of Oxford and Cambridge were equally 
accessible to all ; but in the present century, when the 
existence of different religions, and their equality in the 
eye of the law was recognised, it was found unjust that 
degrees should not be equally accessible to persons of 
different religion. 

Two Church of England Corporations had accidentally 
acquired a monopoly of granting distinctions, which were 

* Of course in speaking of degrees, we exclude all reference 
to Theological degrees ; because the relation of the Universities to 
the Cliurch arose when the Church was a totally ditfereut thing 
from the State ; and the Church of England is now amalgamated 
with the State : they are logically separate, and Parliament as the 
supreme body in the Church of England is different from Parlia- 
ment as the expression of the State. 

VOL. LII.— No. CUK 8 

114 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov, 

recognised by law, and should therefore be equally acces- 
sible to all who were equal before the law. The manner 
in which this injustice was remedied is characteristic of 
our English system. 

In France the Government would have remodelled the 
old Universities, eliminated all doctrinal teaching which 
was not of general application to all creeds, and created 
one general government University, with a uniform mode 
of teaching and of granting degi-ees. In England we did 
nothing of the sort: we left imtouched the two Church 
of England Universities; we created no other teaching 
University ; but as the Dissenters had erected several 
superior educational institutions for themselves, foremost 
amongst which was University College, we determined to 
recognise their teaching and give the same value to its 
results as to that of the older institutions: but as the 
State was about to give a legal value to those degrees it 
claimed to fix the mode of examination by which they 
should be acquired. This was done by the creation, by 
royal Charter in 1837, of the London University ; a purely 
examining body which has from that date examined all 
who present themselves with certain certificates ; and grants 
degrees to such as prove themselves qualified. The Lon- 
don University does not undertake to teach, or to regulate 
the teaching of the different institutions whose pupils 
present themselves at its examination; nay it carefully 
avoids, even in laying down the subjects of examinations, 
anything like a dictation as to the opinions to be taught: 
and for this reason a general statement of the subjects 
of examination in moral philosophy has been substituted 
by the Senate for an enumeration of certain works of 
Butler and Paley ; as the latter might, it was thought, 
be looked upon as requiring an assent to the teachings of 
those writers. Another fact with regard to the Consti- 
tution of the London University is also deserving of pecu- 
liar notice. The authorities which founded our older 
universitreSjhad been careful to make them self-governing 
institutions, and the example was not lost on the states- 
men who drew up the Charter of the London University ; 
they were careful that the State, in the person of the 
sovereign, should as much as possible abdicate all control 
over the new institution to be created ; it was to be like 
its elder sisters self-governing. The Crown nominated 
the first senate ; and retains a limit-ed power of nomi- 

1862.] England and Ireland, 115 

natliifi: to vacancies in the Senate, and the nomination of 
the Chancellor: but there its interference ends: the 
senate and convocation govern the university, appoint 
examiners and confer degrees. Thus education is left 
nbsolutely free and voluntary ; and the state only inter- 
feres to ascertain results, and that only through the 
medium of bodies wholly independent of government 
control. So also with regard to the legal and medical 
corporations, the state gives a legal value to their degrees, 
but does not interfere with their teaching. 

We have thus hastily gone over the system of education 
which has existed for centuries in England ; which has 
grown with her growth, and strengthened with her 
strength ; which is rooted in the affections of her people ; 
and has been deliberately sanctioned and perfected by her 
statesmen. It is a system of freedom ; and of individual 
and voluntary action. The government, or state, has 
interfered as little as possible even where it has con- 
tributed to the funds for education or given currency to 
degrees ; whether it contributed money for the education 
of the poor, or stamped with a legal value the degrees of 
universities, it has interfered only to ascertain that its 
assistance was not thrown away ; it has not undertaken to 
dictate the mode of education of the people, ^ And this 
free system may challenge a comparison of its results, 
with those of any other. It has created noble universities 
with an enduring vitality which has outlived centuries of 
revolutions: it has covered England with endowed schools 
of every class, that are an honour to the country, and one 
of her proudest boasts: and in our own days, it has 
originated institutions which may vie with the oldest and 
proudest; and Bristol and Cheltenham, Stonyhurst, and 
CJshaw, may not unworthily rank with Eton and Win- 
chester. And if in the class of schools for the poor its 
action has not been as widely diffused, and as adequate 
to the need, it has done much even in this sphere ; and 
with the assistance of the privy council grant, an assis- 
tance which leaves its action unfettered, bids fair to supply 
England with a system of poor schools as widely spread 
as most in Europe; and probably superior to many. If, 
on the other hand, we look to those countries in which, 
like France, government has undertaken to supply a com- 
plete system of edueation for the people; we find, indeed, 
an apparent completeness in the scheme, but a radical 

116 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nor. 

weakness in the execution. The whole system is liable 
to be changed at every revolution in the government : not 
only are the universities perpetually remndelled (we would 
be afraid to say how often the French University has 
been radically reorganized since 1800) but the Lyceums 
and schools are equally subject to changes destructive of 
all vitality ; nay, the very primary schools are remodelled 
to suit the views of succeeding and different governments : 
education is a lever in the hands of government to be used 
for its advantage and shaped to suit its ends ; teachers 
are functionaries of the government, bound to promote its 
interests and uphold its views ; and the teaching of the 
nation varies as the politics of its rulers. That this is not 
a fancy sketch will be plain to any one who reflects for a 
moment on the history of education in France during the 
last sixty years : who remembers all the first Napoleon's 
edicts as to the teaching of the Lyceum and colleges ; all 
the varying ordinances of the reign of Louis Philippe, and 
the orders of the provisional government in 1848, to all 
the schoolmasters !of the primary schools of France to 
teach their pupils political economy and politics, '^ because 
citizens should be instructed in their rights and duties" 
(we wonder what '* rights of citizens" are inculcated under 
the minister of instruction of Napoleon the Third);""' and 
who remembers all the fierce political contests as to the 
teaching of the university, when adverse parties made the 
chair of history their battle ground. Or if we look else- 
where we see universities and colleges in Italy, in Austria, 
and Prussia, not to speak of Poland and Russia, closed as 
hostile to the government, or remodelled to suit its views. 
In a word, whilst our own universities have survived every 
revolution, and our schools have remained undisturbed for 
centuries, pursuing their peaceful course of progress and 
internal development, unshaken by successive changes of 

* Whilst these lines are in press the following appeared in the 
Paris correspondence of the Brussels Echo du Parlement of the 
5th September. 

" I learn also that the ministry of public instruction is occupied 
with a work which will necessitate a complete remodelling of all tlie 
works of instruction employed in the primary schools. The esprit 
Najpoleznien is to be introduced in these books under all its forms, 
in order that this spirit may be early inculcated on the generation 
xyhich will succeed ours.'' 

1862.] England and Ireland. 117 

goveniment: there is not a state-governed university in 
Europe which can boast an existence of a century ; nor 
a system of state education which has been exempt from 
radical change for half that period. One other principle 
of English education, intimately connected with its volun- 
tary nature, must be remarked, before we quit this branch 
of the subject. It is, that religion, and that in a specific 
form, is recognised as an essential element in education. 

As long as the religion of a nation was one, state insti- 
tutions for education could teach religion ; but when 
diversity of creed came to be recognised, for the state to 
teach any one religion were a violation of freedom of con- 
science ; and hence in state systems of education religion 
was left out. In France and Belgiuia this is done com- 
pletely ; the official teaching does not recognise the exis- 
tence of religion ; in Irekind a compromise has always 
been proposed ; either the state is to teach ^* the general 
principles of Christianity," or the instruction in religion 
of the children of different creeds by their own pastors is 
to be recognised. But in England religion has ever been 
recognised as an essential part of education; and as educa- 
tion is voluntary, there is no difficulty in its being religious. 
The older institutions, as the universities and endowed 
schools, were founded expressly to teach the Catholic 
religion ; and as at the reformation, the nation was held to 
have decided that the established was the Catholic 
religion, they were and are to this day looked upon, as 
established Church institutions; and the universities as 
peculiarly bound to educate the clergy and support the 
interests of^ the Established Church. And to such an 
extent is this recognised, that even those who seek to have 
the advantage of the universities as regards teaching 
extended to Dissenters, do not claim to destroy their 
Church of England character. On the other hand, almost 
all the other great collegiate institutions have been founded 
by professors of different creeds for their own use. Not 
to speak of Ushaw, Stonyhurst, and Oscott, Downside, 
and others founded by the Catholics for themselves ; 
Bristol, Stepney, and others have been erected by the 
Dissenters tor their own use ; King's College, Chelten- 
ham, Chichester, and many others have b^en created to 
promote Church of England education; and University 
College is, we believe, the only great college erected 
expressly on the principle of eliminating all religious 

118 The Connection of the State with Education in |Nor. 

teaching. ^^ And this system has been distinctly sanctioned 
in the erection of the London University ; each religion 
is to have its own institutions to educate its own youth 
and bring them up in its own belief; and the university 
examiners are to examine _all alike, in the knowledge 
required for degrees. 

Nor is the religious nature of education less distinctly 
recognised in the case of primary schools than in that of 
universities, and of collegiate and middle schools. It is 
not necessary to quote all the authoritative declarations, 
that the system sanctioned by the JPrivy Council is neces- 
sarily a religious one. This principle is embodied in its 
rules by which religious teaching, of one creed or other, 
must be provided in the schools which share in its grants. 
As the Vice PresicTent of the Committee of Privy Council 
said, ** The religious element underlies the whole system.*' 
That religious element is Catholic for the Catholics ; 
Church of England for those of the Established Church, 
and dissenting for the various dissenters. It is mainly to 
uphold this religious character of primary education that 
the voluntary element has been kept so prominent; and 
that the state confines itself to assisting the different creeds 
to educate their own children. We need hardly add that 
no other system would be tolerated in England ; not only 

* It is also to be observed that University College and other 
schools in which no religion is taught, are only day scliools not 
residences ; and therefore essentially involve the idea of the pupils 
living and receiving a part of their education elsewhere ; in their 
families or in residences chosen for them. These institutions are 
therefore emphatically for teacJiing certain branches of knowledge, 
not for wholly educating jouth. There is not, we believe, in 
England, a single instance of a residential college undertaking 
the whole education of youth, which is not of some one fixed reli- 

The following are amongst the principal colleges enumerated in 
the New Charter of London University, besides the Church of 
England and Catholic ones. 

*' The Baptist College, Bristol ; Protestant Dissenters College, 
Rotherham ; Presbyterian College, Caermarthen ; Lancashire Inde- 
pendent College ; Wesley an College, Slieflfield ; Wesleyan Institu- 
tion, Taunton j Owen's College, Manchester ; Independent College, 
Brecon ; Theological Seminary, Hackney, &c. All distinctly reli- 
gious institutions.'' See University of London Charter, 1858. 

1862.] England and Ireland. 119 

our religious feelings but our love of individual freedom 
would resist any other. The secuhir system, as the sys- 
tem of state education apart from religion is called, 
altliough ably advocated, lias been repeatedly and deci- 
dedly rejected. To sum up: English education is essen- 
tially free and religious;- nor could it be the latter without 
being the former. 

But when we cross the channel, wo find, in Ireland, a 
wide difference in the whole scheme of education. 

There remains not a wreck of the educational institUf- 
tions which existed previous to the lleformation. It would 
be easy to shew that they were similar to those of Eng- 
land ; but they were wholly uprooted and exercised no 
influence on those which arose afterwards. ^ Neither were 
there, previous to the present century, any institutions for 
the Catholics; so that the early history of modern educa- 
tion in Ireland relates solely to the institutions founded 
for the Established Church. Now there is this peculiarity 
in the history of the Established Church in Ireland, that 
it never was, in any sense, the Church of the people ; it 
was at all times, essentially and purely, a state institution. 
The Established Church of England, however much under 
the control of the state, became the church of the people,, 
and had a life of its own, and an action, however limited, 
independent of the state. The Established Church in 
Ireland never had ; it was always purely a creation of the 
state, a branch of the executive : and its members were 
not the nation, they were rather the government or the 
governing class. Hence all institutions connected with 
the Established Church in Ireland have a peculiarly 
governmental character: government is their creator, 
their endower, and their ruler. Trinity College, Dublin, 
and the Dublin University, were founded by the state in 
Queen Elizabeth's reign for the promotion of the state 
religion under the direct control of thestate. The endow- 
ed schools throughout Ireland were also founded by the 
government for the promotion of its views of education 
and religion: the few foundations made by individuals of 
the governing class, such as Erasmus Smith and Wilson, 
were by them distinctly handed over to the state religion 
and the state control. ^ And when, later, the Kildare 
street schools were instituted, they were recognised as 
state schools under state regulations. All these circum- 
stances tended to produce in Ireland, especially amongst 

120 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nor. 

the governing classes, an idea of education totally different 
from that existing in England. Education was looked 
upon as a duty and a right of the state : and the govern- 
ment was tacitly acknowledged to have a right to control 
and direct it: for two centuries it was held to be at once 
the duty and the right of government to enforce on the 
people an education distinctly adverse to their own wishes, 
and their own belief; and when this was found hopeless, 
and it was at length admitted that they were entitled to 
retain their own religion ; it was still held that the state 
had a right to control the education they were to receive, 
and the dispute was, as to the extent of this control, not 
as to its existence. 

These circumstances have produced an effect on the 
whole tone of feeling of all classes in Ireland with regard 
to education, more widespread than a superficial observer 
would imagine ; and this feeling influences unconsciously 
most persons in that country, in discussions on this sub- 
ject. These ideas have also been fostered by the fact, 
that from the destruction of all ancient institutions and 
the poverty of the people, the state has been called on to 
contribute more largely than in England for the purposes 
of education, and has come to be considered as having 
more right to dictate its nature than in England. Nor 
can it be concealed that the foreign doctrines on the sub- 
ject of education, of which we have before spoken, have 
had considerable influence in Ireland. A small but 
powerful section of leading men have fully embraced the 
principles of the French doctrinaires, that education is a 
department of the state, and have zealously propagated 
the doctrine: and the idea has naturally been adopted by 
statesmen, always ready to enlarge the bounds of their 
own power ; until we constantly hear the question dis- 
cussed," what system of education is the fitting one to be 
provided for the people of Ireland ?" not " what education 
do the people of Ireland choose to have.*' ^'* 

* This was strikingly illustrated bj Lord Palmerston's answer 
to the deputation which waited on him to ask for a Charter for the 
Catholic University ; that is, not for any assistance, but merely for 
the recognition by the State of the education provided by Catholics 
for themselves. His Lordship answered, " Her Majesty's minis- 
ters have made up their minds as to the nature of the education 
suitable for Leland : they are firmly convinced that the best system 
of education for that country is a mixed system." 

1862.] England and Ireland, 121 

Now this idea of the state ordaininpr the education of 
the nation is peculiarly inapplicable to Ireland. It can be 
rational at all, only on the supposition that th^ state is the 
very nation itself; and that consequently its decrees are 
the expression of the aggregate free will of the people 
themselves: but whilst this can never be fiilly the case in 
a nution of mixed opinions and religions, it is pecnliarly 
untrue of Ireland. There, the people are Catholic, the 
government which represents the state is Protestant: 
hence for the government to settle their education for the 
people of Ireland, is an absolnte tyranny, and the very 
destruction of self-government and individual freedom. 

But though the leading idea of education in Ireland was 
state control, as that in England was free individual 
action, freedom always struggled in Ireland against this 
tyranny of the state. The Catholics were for centuries the 
advocates^and martyrs of free education ; for state educa- 
tion was to them proselytism and persecution; and as the 
government became more intimately amalgamated with 
that of England, the theories of personal freedom adopted 
there have made their influence felt in Ireland ; and 
whilst even those who claimed freedom of education can- 
not quite shake off the idea of a right in the state to con- 
trol it, even the most zealous advocates of government 
education proclaim their desire to allow of freedom. 

Gradually the antagonism between the two principles is 
making itself felt ; the two systems are now at issue ; in 
every branch of education the struggle is engaged, and it 
is necessary that the question at issue should be clearly 
iniderstood by Catholics if they are to be successful in the 

We have seen what is the nature of each division of 
education in England, how far it is voluntary, and how 
far the government interferes. Let us now examine in a 
similar manner each branch of education in Ireland. 

Fir&t of primary educatiou. The cessation of the penal 
laws found the Catholics, and they constitute five-sixths 
of the people of Ireland, almost without poor schools, and 
unable from their poverty to provide them: a wise- govern- 
ment could not hesitate to aid a people to provide that 
instruction which would help to make them good subjects: 
yet the first attempts failed because the government 
attempted to enforce an education which interfered with 
the religious conviction of the people. The Kildare street 

122 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov. 

scbools, as tliey were called, went on the principle that 
the government had a rij^ht (not indeed to impose a reli- 
gion on the people bnt) to dictate what semi-rehgious 
instruction they should receive: they were a total failure. 
At length more enlightened views prevailed, and in 1832, 
what is now called the national system was initiated. 
Founded by an English statesman ,> the present Lord 
Derby, it would be strange if it were ba^ed on the French 
ideas, and not rather on those current in England. And 
when we examine its first principles we fiiid that they 
partook largely of English freedom. 

It was to be a "^national system,'^ and therefore accepta- 
ble to all the nation, and as the nation consisted of pro- 
fessors of different religions, it was not to be adapted ex- 
clusively to any one religion — but neither was it to be 
adapted to none — ^^it was to be " a system of combined 
secular and separate religious instruction,'' in which the re- 
ligious instruction was quite as much recognised as the secu- 
lar, and distinct instructions were given that whilst "even 
the semblance of prosel^tism was to be avoided," fitting 
times were to be fixed in which religious instruction should 
be given to the children of each religion by their own pas- 
tors.''^' And the English principle, of trusting to individual 
initiation was also to be carried out; all grants for salaries 
were to be grants in aid, conditional on an equal amount 
being made up by local resources. Grants were also to be 
made in aid of building and repairing schools, and for the 
purchase of books, the choice af these being left to the 
local managers. The nomination of masters and mis- 
tresses was left to the patrons, subject only to their passing 
a subsequent examination as to their competency. Gradu- 
ally the whole tone of the system has changed. This has 
arisen in great part from the poverty of the country in 
educational resources, which threw more work and conse- 
quently more power into the hands of the central commis- 
sion ; but it has been caused also by the active influence 
of a certain numberof the commissioners; foremost amongst 
whom was the Protestant archbishop of Dublin, Doctor 
Whateley, whose beau ideal was a complete system of 
state education. This system would, of course, be tinged 

* See Lord Stanley's letter, and all the details given in " the 
Catholic case statied" by Mr. Kavanagh. 

1862.] England emd Ireland. 12S 

under such guidance, by a desire to make it as little 
Catholic as possible, and by a certain leaning towards a 
negative rationalism in religion, or what is sometimes 
called ** general Christianity/'* The steps by which the 
system was developed were very gradual. The necessity 
for local contributions was given up, and the teachers thus 
became wholly the paid officers of the board. A central 
training school was established, in which teachers were to 
go through a brief course of training to qualify them for 
examination. At first this was entirely unconnected with 
residence or anything like a complete course of education ; 
it was merely a short specific training, into which therefore 
the question of religious teaching hardly entered. Gradu- 
ally this was developed into complete training colleges in 
Dublin, undertaking the whole education of the future 
teachers, and an education which, as religion was excluded, 
was at least not religious, or negatively irreligious. These 
were supplemented with similar agricultural colleges at 
Glasnevin, equally undertaking the whole charge of the 
young, and omitting religion. At the same time the board 
undertook to publish, at the cost of the state, a complete 
set of educatioiuil works, and to supply them to all schools 
under their care, at a price which rendered competition im- 
possible, and made the nominal freedom left to the patrons 
of using any other book a fiction. Thus gradually was 
constructed a complete system of state education, which 
entirely superseded the original plan of aiding voluntary 
eftbrts in supplying education for the poor. All teachers, 
(with very few exceptions), were brought up in the central 
schools of the board. Its books were used in all the schools. 
All the teachers throughout the country were paid by it, 
and depended wholly on it for promotion. It built many 
schools, and in these cases retained the appointment of 
teachers and the entire management in its own hand. 

Of course, in the central training schools the professors 
and teachers were wholly dependent on it, as were the 
composers of its school-books. And here the peculiar 
religious condition of Ireland came in, to aggravate the 
evils of this state of things. The education is a state edu- 
cation — but the state is Protestant — the people of Ireland 
are in the main Catholics — hence at once arose an antag- 
onism, modified, but not removed, by the state professing 
not to force its Protestantism on the people, and by the 
administration being in part conducted by Catholics, AH 

124 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov. 

the books were written by Protestants ; many '^ were dis- 
tinctly Protestant in their tone and spirit; most of the 
managers and teachers in |;he central schools were Protes- 
tants, several were converts from Catholicity. 

An immense addition yet remained, however, to be made 
to the system. The central training schools were indeed 
completely governmental institutions, but the local poor 
schools throughout the country were under local control ; 
if little religious instruction was given in them, the chil- 
dren spent the greater part of their time with their families, 
and were open to all the usual religious influences and 
teaching; the national day schools were teaching, not edu- 
cational establishments ; \ they undertook a part, not the 
whole of the education of the youth who attended them. 
But the Commissioners of National education in Ireland 
went a step farther in appropriating to the system the entire 
education of the youth of Ireland. They determined to 
establish in the different towns what are denominated 
model schools. Schools for the education of the middle 
classes, schools supplying a fuller course^ of education ; 
schools, in part at least, residentiary, and in which there- 
fore the entire education and training, moral and religious, 
of the inmate must be supplied in the institution, and 
schools wholly under the control and management of the 
commissioners. The fears of the Catholic prelates were 
at once aroused. They saw it was no longer a question of 
the partial teaching, but of the entire training of youth, 
which was to be vested in the hands of a government natu- 
rally indifferent, if not adverse, to the Catholic religion. 

They had probably not fully perceived at the commence- 
ment, that the adoption of a system of state education 
naturally led to these extensions, and that a state educa- 
tion could not be religious. In 1832 men had been anx- 

* Such as Doctor Watelej's Scripture Lessons, Elements of 
Logic, &c. 

t Teaching is the instructing in one or more branches of know- 
ledge; educating is forming and instructing the whole mind, whether 
it be done perfectly or imperfectly. A drawing master or a mathe- 
matical tutor '• teaches a lad drawing or mathematics" — he is 
'* educated at home or at school.'' Hence mathematical teaching 
may be neither religious nor irreligious — education is always either 
one or other. 

1862.] England and Ireland. 125 

ious to soften the religious animosities which existed in 
Ireland by bringing up the youth of different religions 
together, and hence had adopted the system of ** mixed 
education," or, as it was then more correctly expressed, 
"united secular and separate religious instruction;" but 
to do this a governmental system of primary education had 
been adopted, and it had developed its natural results. 

The first idea had been, that the state should so control 
the secular portion of the instruction given in the schools 
as that it should not trench on the religious convictions of 
any ; but this had been gradually changed into the state 
directing and organizing the whole education. And in the 
mean time the primary object of the system had in a great 
measure failed to be attained. The country schools were 
not mixed schools — in the Catholic districts they were 
attended exclusively by Catholics, in the Protestant by 
Protestants ;""" whilst the training and model schools were 
not institutions in which the secular instruction was united 
and the religious separate, but one in which secular in- 
struction and training, from which even an allusion to reli- 
gion was excluded, was alone given. 

Thus, primary and middle education in Ireland became 
governmental; there remained superior or university edu- 
cation. The Catholics of Ireland had long complained 
of their partial exclusion from Trinity College, and the 
exclusively Protestant nature of that institution,! and the 
late Sir Robert Peel proposed to the government, of which 
he was the head, to create institutions which should supply 
that university education for the Catholics and Presbyte- 
rians of Ireland, which Trinity College furnished to the 
Protestants. Unfortunately, the system of a governmental 
education had gradually been adopted for Ireland in place 
of the plan of assisting voluntary efforts, which had worked 
so well in England. AH the leading minds engaged by 
the government in organizing education in Ireland, were 
thoroughly wedded to the principle of a state education. 

* A parliamentary return, 18G2, showed that not more than one 
per cent of the country schools were really mixed. 

f Catholics and others are admitted to attend lectures, to take 
degrees, and to compete for certain honours in Trinity College, but 
the whole government and the whole teaching body are exclusively 
Church of England. 

126 Tha Connection of the State with Education in \ Nov. 

and the result was, that it was determined to create insti- 
tutions for affordinf^ a state university education. We 
constantly, indeed, find allusion in the debates in parlia- 
ment of that pei'iod, to the exami>le of the London univer- 
sity; but practically its organisation was entirely over- 
looked, and the model followed was that of the University 
of France. The feelings and religious convictions of the 
different creeds were indeed to be conciliated, and it is 
manifest from the original instructions of Sir Robert Peel, 
which speak of the youth of each religion being under the 
control, and attending the institutions of their respective 
Deans of residence, that the idea in his mind was that of 
bodies of young men, each under a separate religious train- 
ing., and jointly attending lectures on purely secular sub- 
jects, li lit the carrying out of the scheme was in the 
hands of those who had very different objects in view; and 
the only plan by which the idea we have attributed to Sir 
Robert Peel could have been earned out, — namely, having 
separate residential halls or colleges for each religion, in 
which the exercises of religion should be carried out, and 
a course of instruction in all religious and semi-religious 
subjects be followed by the students, whilst they attended 
in common all the lectures on secular subjects, and mingled 
in all their ordinary avocations, — was abandoned. This 
would have involved a certain amount of action being left 
to the different creeds, in the conduct of their respective 
colleges; and the object of the heads of the government 
system in Ireland, was to have no voluntary action, but to 
establish a complete system of education, entirely con- 
ducted by, and absolutely under the control of the state. 
As it was to be adapted to all religions, it necessarily be- 
came absolutely negative in regard to religion ; even an 
incidental allusion to religion must be avoided, and with 
the exception of the existence of the deans of residence of 
the different creeds,^ — who have, however, no power or 
authority over the students, or share in the direction of the 
colleges, — there is not a trace of any religious element. 
Hence has arisen their nickname of the " godless colleges, 
or, irreligious colleges.'''^ By the use of this epithet it is 

♦ We want words in English to express accurately the force of 
the Greek alpha privitiva, which is used in Italian and other lan- 
guages, expressing simple negation, but not necessarily opposi- 

1862.] £Ingland and Ireland. 127 

not intended to imply that the individuals constituting 
them are irreligious, or that the practice of piety may not, 
or does not, flourish within their walls; but that as colleges 
they have, and express no opinion on religion ; nay, as we 
suppose, they may be attended by Deists or Atheists, and 
the opinions of tliese persons are equally to be respected. 
The colleges and their mouth- pieces, the professors in their 
lectures, must express no opinion on the existen<;e of 

Such is the necessary result of a state education. A 
mixed state has no religion, and its teaching mm have 
none. But we must indicate still further the difterences 
between the English and Irish systems in regard to uni- 
versity education. 

In England, as we pointed out, the state left superior 
education entirely free, and when it instituted the London 
miiversity for the benefit of Dissenters, it left their teacli- 
ing entirely to themselves, resei*ving only the right of ex- 
amining. But it did more, it vested the powers that it 
retained, not in its own nominees, but in an entirely inde- 
pendent body, the senate and convocation of the London 
university, a body unconnected with the executive govern- 
ment. In Ireland the executive government, after the 
example of that in France, retains the whole power and 
control in its own hands. It not only names the senate 
of the Queen's University in Ireland, but it appoints and 
removes every professor in the queen's ^colleges. 

We have thus gone through the different branches of 
education in England and Ireland, and pointed out their 
differences. In England primary education is entirely 
free, the state assisthig all voluntary efforts, but not shack- 
ling them in any way. Intermediate education is still more 
free, because entirely voluntary; the state intervening 
only to open voluntary examinations-, and announce and 
recognise their results. University education is the same, 
the state recognising all free institutions, whatever their re- 
ligion, and providing a totally independent and unbiassed 

tion. "Irreligious" has two meanings; one which would be ex- 
pressed by •' areligious,"' simply without religion; the other, 
*' irreligious'' in its full sense of " opposition to religion." The 
former is the sense in which 'the xjolleges are strictly irreligious 
•and godless. 

128 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov. 

tribunal for testing their results. And thus the Church of 
England, the Catholics, the Dissenters, have each their 
poor schools, their grammar schools, their colleges, ''' 
equally recognised and encouraged by the state, and they 
meet on an equality for purely scientific teaching in the 
different medical and legal schools. But in Ireland the 
case is far different. Here a complete system of state 
education is supported. The queen's colleges, the model 
schools, the training schools, are purely governmental in- 
stitutions; and if a certain degree of free initiation is left 
in the primary schools, even there the whole system of 
teaching, and all the books used, are regulated by the 
government.t The one country has free education, the 
other governmental education ; and, as a necessary con- 
sequence, the former is religious, the latter destitute of 
religion, or areligious.| 

i The Irish system is alleged, as we mentioned before, 
when speaking of the English, to possess the advantage of 
miiformity and wider application ; and brilliant sketches are 
drawn of the state, like a careful parent, providing educa- 
tion for all her children alike, and covering the country 
with a network of schools for all classes. And still greater 
stress is laid on the spirit of toleration and charity which 
is to arise from educating the young of all religions 

* Of course the Church of England has immenselj the advantage, 
from having possessian of the old endowments, but this is not the 
result of partial legislation at the present day. 

t It is to be observed that the Established Church in Ireland 
possesses a system of its own, richly endowed in former times by 
the legislature, and wholly independent of the government. Trinity 
College, the endowed schools and charter schools, and the Church 
education schools, form a complete body of Church of England 
schools; and hence the new governmental system of education is 
for the Catholics and Presbyterians, of whom, of course, the Catlio- 
lics form the immense majority. The Established Church in 
Ireland, therefore, naturally does not much object to a state of 
things which leaves her all her own, and in which the new govern- 
ment schools at least do not lean towards any other religion ; she 
keeps her own schools, and tries to get as much as she can of the 
others, whilst, on the other hand, the Catholics feel it a double 
grievance that a system of education, practically for them, should 
be directed and governed by a government essentially Proteatantc 
X See note before on page 126. 

1862.] England and Ireland, 129 

together; although on this point there is a good deal of 
tinibignity in the argument, and it is not clear whether 
its advocates attribute the good effects they foretell to the 
i'lict of the youth of different religions living together, or 
to the teaching which they receive being devoid of religion, 
and therefore calculated to obviate religious differences, 
simply by keeping religion itself wholly out of sight. 

But with regard to the latter of these merits, it would 
appear that the system has practically failed to produce 
this millenium of religious toleration. It has been at 
work in Ireland now thirty years, and religious animosity 
h as rife as over ; whilst in England, where no such com- 
pulsory means have been taken to amalgamate them, it is 
notorious that the professors of the different creeds live in 
far greater harmony ; and whilst most of the poor schools 
are practically separate schools, it is just those which are 
really mixed which giv.3 rise to ail the embittered religious 
controversies ; and the most mixed of the queen's colleges, 
that of Belfast, is the one in which religious animosity and 
party spirit flourish most.""* Whilst with regard to the 
first claim to admiration made for the system, it is to be 
remembered that whenever the state has undertaken to 
treat its subjects as children, and to fulfil towards them 
the duties of a parent, it has ever proved itself a very step- 
mother, and that it has come to be a proverb in these 
countries, what the state does, it does ill. 
I Long experience has taught us that the action of the 
state is best restricted to its own sphere, and that the less 
it interferes with individual action the better. Our free 
limbs will not bear the swaddling clothes of state control, 
they would stunt our growth and dwarf our stature ; and 
we have abundantly shown that our spontaneous action 
founds more enduring institutions, and such as are more 
nicely adapted to our wants, than the skill of our legislators 
could ever devise. 

But the objections to a system of state education are not 
only negative ones, its evils are positive as well. 

It is not necessary here to enlarge on the gravest objec- 

* See the account of the disgraceful exhibition at the visitation 
of Queen's College, Belfast, in the spring of 1862, where the Kentish 
fire and party and sectarian cries echoed through the halls, even in 
the presence of the queen's visitors. 

VOL. Lll.— No. CI II, 9 

130 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov. 

tion of all in the eyes of Catholics, to the national system 
in Ireland, that it is dangerous to their faith. The subject 
has been repeatedly and ably treated, every detail has been 
clearly explained in Mr. Kavanagh's ** Case Stated ;" the 
dangers of the queen's colleges have been well pointed out 
by the bishops, and above all Roma locuta est, so that we 
may well say for us, causa finita est. But it will not be 
useless to point out that this injurious effect of the system 
on religion, is not a defect peculiar to the Irish syf-tem, 
but is inherent in any neutral system, and of course a 
governmental system must be a neutral one. 

We often hear of the separation of secular and religious 
teaching, and of the desirability of joint instruction in 
secular subjects, whilst religion is separately taught. But 
in this there lurks a fundamental error, that religion is a 
thiug apart, like the knowledge of another language, or a 
totally separate science, and that it is to be practised at 
certain times, but has no direct connection with other por- 
tions of teaching or action; in a word, that we ore taught 
our religion only when we are taught our catechism, and 
practice it only when we say our prayers. On the con- 
trary, religion practically leavens every action of our life 
and every branch of our teaching. Prayer should accom- 
pany every serious action, and virtue be inculcated on 
every occasion. Still more does our religious belief modify 
every branch of our teaching. If we could realise to our- 
selves Lucretius lecturing on literature, and Cicero on the 
history of philosophy, and contrast them with Fenelon and 
Bossuet treating the same subjects, we might attain a 
tolerable idea of how religious convictions would modify 
teaching even on such neutral subjects. The truth is, 
there is hardly a matter the teaching of which can be 
separated from religion — there is not one which ou^/ht to 
be so divided. Pure mathematics are generally selected 
as the cheval de bataille of the separatists. ** What,'*' it 
is said, ** has geometry to say to religion ?" Much, for it 
is essential that when the youthful mind first grasps the 
force of mathematical proof, it should be taught that there 
are other classes of proofs as unerring as the mathemati- 
cal, and that the instrument for the search of truth, which 
has just been put into its hand is not the only one. No 
more grievous error exists, or more prevalent or dangerous 
in modern days, than the undue exalting of mathematical 
demonstration ; and who should point this out but the very 

1862.] Eiigland and Ireland, 131 

teacher who instructs in mathematics? from him tlie lesson 
is both o])portiine and impressive, that the proof'ol:' the exis- 
tence of Grod is not less certain than that of the hypotennse, 
akhough it is different in its nature from the hitter. There 
is not a branch of teaching with which religion should not 
be interwoven, and whicli will not be differently taught by 
persons of different creeds. 

It is not alone with reference to those portions of history 
in which distinctly rehgious questions occur, that these 
differences will arise ; a Catholic will take a different view 
of the whole scope of history from a Protestant. Arnold 
would have written a very different sketch of universal 
history from that which Bossuet wrote, though both were 
men of a deeply religious turn of mind. Most of us will 
reuiember the splendid passage in Arnold's lectures on 
modern history, when he speaks of the fall of Bonaparte, 
and traces the hand of Providence in the campaign of 
llussia; a Catholic coidd not have written that passage 
Wlithout an allusion to his attack on, the Pope, whicli 
marked the turning point of his career. None can treat 
philosophically of modern history without referring to the 
influence of Catholicity and the Popes, nor of ancient his- 
tory without contrasting its i<leas with those of Catholicity 
— history apart from all reference to religion is reduced to 
a bead-roll of dates. 

Nor can the classics be adequately taught without allu- 
sion to religious truths; the study of Greek and Latin 
literature is not a mere acquiring the power of reading two 
foreign languages ; their spirit must be entered into and 
contrasted, and compared with that of Christian literature. 
Who could read Plato with. clever ardent lads, and refrain 
from pointing out where natural lights had enabled that 
glorious pagan to reach the truth, and where even he had 
fallen short? Or who could go through Cicero and not 
enlarge on the difference between the full certitude of tho 
Christian and his earnest though hesitating groping after 
immortality ?* The same may be observed of the study of 

* It must be observed that the study of the classics separated 
from all sucli references to religious trutli, is really open to all the 
charges of Paganism brought against it by the Abbe Gaume and 
his followers. In the English universities it has ever been found 
that the merely unintentional omission of such correctives has led to 
an exoggerated estimate and affection for the classics ; and that, 

132 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov. 

every branch of literature ; unless such studies are to be 
degraded into the mere parrot power of interpreting ; nay, 
a teacher of philosophy itself would hardly adequately dis- 
charge his task if he failed to point out tlie new meanings 
which Christianity has imparted to the words humilitas, 
charitas, religio, sacramentum. Doctor Whateley has 
made manifest how the teaching of formal logic will be in- 
fluenced by the religious belief of the teacher ; for his work 
on the subject contains numerous illustrations of syllo- 
gisms constructed against the Catholic belief, in which he 
really uses ambiguous middle terms; and no Catholic 
professor could lecture on his work without pointing out 
those fallacies. Geography must be reduced to a dumb 
map, if all allusion is to be avoided to the fruits of Catholic 
missions, and Paraguay be blotted out of the map because 
we must not offend Protestant susceptibilities by praising 
the Jesuits. Nor let it be said that the professor may 
allude to all these subjects but refrain from expressing any 
opinion on them. • Youth will not accept such silence from 
its teachers, were it possible ; and abstention is often in 
itself equivalent to assertion. The professor himself would 
feel that such a restraint would stunt his teaching, and 
make him a mere instrument for conveying facts, not a 
teacher and instructor in the truest and noblest sense ; 
and the teaching would be a dull abridgment of statistics, 
not an elevating and inspiring instruction in knowledge, 
cramming the intellect, not forming the mind. Religious 
truth is the life and salt of all education, and it is as fatal 
to the vitality of education to separate religion from it, as 
it would be to give a man saltless food all the week, and 
tell him to come on Sunday and eat a peck of salt to sea- 
son it. 

A system of state education is not only inimical to the 
religious element in education ; it also necessarily tends 
to the destruction of all free education. Not only is the 
state system naturally jealous of any other which might 
deprive it of its pupils and rival it in popularity, and tliere- 

as it is said, too many, even of the bishops of the Establishment, 
form their minds more on Plato and Aristotle than on the Christian 
philosophers, and have a keener admiration for Cato and Decius than 
for the Christian martyrs. See the Preface to Madan's Juvenal 
and Persius. 

1862.] England and Ireland. 133 

fore tries in every indirect way to depress other institu- 
tions ; but it has all the power and wealth oF the state to 
support it in the struggle. The government will not allow 
its schools to be excelled in material advantages by any 
free schools ; it has undertaken to supply education, and 
it will supply it of the best at whatever cost : and therefore 
to speak, as men so often do, of voluntary institutions 
being perfectly free to compete with the governmental 
schools is mere folly. As well might the government keep 
up a splendid manufactory of cotton in Lancashire, at the 
public cost, where the goods were given away or sold at a 
nominal price ; and then say that the Lancashire manu- 
facturers were quite free to compete with the government 
factory."'^" The ex-king Lewis of* Bavaria understood free- 
dom in this sense, when he undertook to publish a news- 
paper for his subjects, which was to cost his government 
many thousands a year, but at the same time graciously 
announced that any private newspaper proprietors were 
free to compete with it *' if they could." No, there can 
be no fair competition between the state and individuals: 
the free schools are inferior in every resource which should 
insure success, save one. The government schools have 
wealth, influence, and legislative favour ; their opponents 
have for them only the indomitable spirit of freedom, and 
its constant companion, the religious spirit. State con- 
trol, however favourable, is the blight of religion ; freedom 
is its life : and in return it vivifies and strengthens the 
spirit of freedom ; and with their aid alone have we seen 
free education sustaining the unequal battle in every state 
of Europe ; and if often oppressed and smothered, yet 
never finally subdued ; and often victorious over its 
favoured antagonist. For state favour and control gra* 
dually numb and waste the life and vigour of literature as 
they do of religion. Josephism in Austria was not less 
destructive to learning than it was to piety : and the Par- 
liamentary inquiry into the state of education in France, 

* To take one branch alone. The Queen's Colleges in Ireland 
cost the state £30,000. a year, without speaking of the cost of erec- 
tion : to say then that it is open to private enterprise to compete 
with them, is to say that it is open to private enterprize to com- 
pete in the sale of an article by the sale of which the state loses 
£30,000. a year, 

13 i The Connection of the State with Education in |Nov. 

in the last^ years of the reign of Louis Philh'ppe shewed 
that superior education was at a lower ebb in that country, 
where it was completely managed by tlie state, than in 
ahnost any other country of Europe. Were all competi- 
tion with the state schools in Ireland overpowered, and 
the whole teaching of the country monopolised by that 
system which is nowgraspiug at it, the same results would 
follow : fortunately for education and learning that result 
can never be attained : most fortunately it has arrayed 
against itself both religion and freedom, and the free 
schools will never succumb in the struggle. But that is 
no reason why we should continue to force them to sustain 
an unequal contest. It is true the free schools will never 
be wholly overpowered, but the disadvantage at which 
they are forced to contend, and by the funds abundantly 
supplied to their rivals, stunts their growth and checks the 
literary development of the country. Nor should a states- 
man overlook the danger of even a partial defeat of the 
free schools. If their comparative poverty reduce them to 
inferiority, the whole growth of education in the country 
will be checked. We say nothing of the striking injustice 
of making the tax payers of the country pay for the sup- 
port of schools to rival and oppress those which they volun- 
tarily support. An injustice the more dangerous because 
it is a legislature mainly Protest;int which enforces the 
support of schools which they disapprove of on a mainly 
Catholic people. 

There is another consideration which should not be 
without its weight with an enlightened English statesman. 
It is that the spirit fostered by a system of state education 
is antagonistic to all our free institutions. Our practical 
freedom and spirit of self-government are due in a groat 
measure to the little action wiiich our government exer- 
cises on the affairs of life, and to the small number of per- 
sons in the nation connected with the Government. In 
France a clever statistician has calculated that rather 
more than one in every three adult males is in some way 
connected with the Government."* The Government 
undertakes to do everything, from organizing commerce 

* As soldier, gendarme, custom's oflScer, government emploje, or 
retailer of articles of government monopoly appointed by govern- 
ment, &c. 

1862.] England and Ireland. 135 

to repairing a Church steeple. The consequence is that 
tlie Grovernment is the be all and end all of everythinar, 
the powor to which everyone looks for everything, and all 
personal freedom is gone ; whilst revolutions become more 
easy and more desired. In England, on the contrary, the 
executive exercises only the great public functions of 
government; it has few offices or I'jivonrs to bestow, few 
men look to it for advancement ; what men wish or seek 
for they seek from themselves, their neighbours, or the 
local institutions; and thus independence and self-reliance 
have become peculiarly English qualities. 
^ But a great and universally diffused system of Govern- 
ment education is a deadly and insidious enemy to this 
spirit. All its functionaries, from the highest to the low- 
est, are the ministers of the Government; to it they look 
for personal advantages and for aid in their task ; it is 
their Dens ex machiiia, the benificent genius to which 
they look for all good : its decrees are sacred in their eyes, 
its opinions all wise, its judgments infallible. Stateolatry 
is a creed, as every one knows who is acquainted with the 
functionaries in our public offices. It is not only the 
T'ites and the Barnacles, the Tapers and the Tadpoles, 
who believe in the omniscient wisdom of Government, it 
is the creed of all the clerks in the public offices. And 
we can assure our readers, from a tolerably large acquaint- 
ance with all classes of persons connected with government 
education in Ireland, that such feelings are in full force 
amongst them. The higher ranks look to Government 
commissions for the encouragement of literature ; immor- 
tality for them means a literary pension : the lower orders 
hope for increased salaries, anS dream of government 
clerkships; all worship Government as their fetish, and 
are the unconscious apostles of bureaucracy and centrali- 
zation.*'** Unfortunately from the greater poverty of the 

* We will stake our reputation for accuracy on a very simple 
test: let any one of our readers go into a national school, and 
after a little conversation with the cleverest lad in it, find out 
what his highest aspirations are : we will answer for it they wilt 
be found to be a Government clerkship or an appointment in the 
Post Office. Let him also try a Queen's College, and ten to one, 
the goal of the student's ambition will bo found to be a cadetship 
in the constabulary, a clerkship in cue of the public offices, or a 
Government appointment in India. 

136 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov. 

country, and the smaller number of employments offered 
by private enterprize, this tendency to look to Government 
employments as the goal to be sought after is much more 
common in Ireland than in England; but the Government 
system of education tends immensely to foster it, and to 
destroy the spirit of independence and self-reliance on 
which our freedom depends. And these results, the 
eliminatiou of religion from all education, the destruction 
of all free teaching and free literature; and the cultiva- 
tion of a slavish spirit of cringing reliance upon Govern- 
ment, we are tending to at the cost of a large and yearly 
increasing expenditure ; an expenditure the probable 
increase of which is enough to alarm the boldest mind ; 
for it is not to be measured by its present extent. The 
probable amount to which the Privy Council grant in 
England might swell startled statesmen not professed 
economists. But when the contribution of the State is 
restricted to assisting primary education there is an ascer- 
tainable limit to its increase: we can calculate the num- 
ber of poor children in the country, and allow so much a 
head. But the task which the state has commenced iu 
Ireland is far different : it has begun to supply educatiou 
for the whole nation. Step leads to step : middle has fol- 
lowed primary, superior has followed middle education ; 
and legal, medical, mining, nautical, and artistic are gra- 
dually added ; if the system be not checked there can be 
no limit to the expenditure but the whole intellectual re- 
quirements of the nation. 

The system is calculated to destroy by unfair competi^ 
lion all other educational establishments: it must then 
supply their place, and a^ educational establishments are 
the great foci of literature, it will gradually become the 
sole patron, the sole encourager of literature. The national 
school books have all but annihilated all other literature 
of the same class ; the example will be followed ; the only 
historians, the only writers on classics and on science will 
be the professors who teach their own works in the State 

Are statesmen prepared for such a gigantic expenditure 
for such purposes ? if not, let them take warning in time. 
Growth is the natural law of all institutions, and growth 
is essentially gradual, and therefore unnoticed. It is vain 
to hope that a system once inaugurated will cease to 
develope : or that the legislature will effectually control 

1862.] England and Ireland. 137 

that growth whilst the system remains unchanged. Every- 
one knows, how an item, once entered on the estimates, 
increases year by year, by what appears to be a universal 
law. and the development of tlie different branches of the 
national schools is a weighty lesson. Training schools, 
agricultural schools, model schools, classical schools"''" have 
been added bit by bit, imperceptibly but surely, and whilst 
the system exists it will follow the law of its nature and 
grow. If statesmen are not content to allow of this 
growth and its consequent enormous future expenditure, 
they must remodel the system, everything else will be but 
a momentary check. 

But if the system of state assistance to education in 
Ireland is to be modified in the interest of freedom of educa- 
tion it becomes a most important question how this may 
be done, so as to retain what is good of the present sys- 
tem ; to allow of religious instruction without opening a 
door to proselytism or fostering religious hate ; and to 
limit the demands on the funds of the State to assisting 
those to obtain education who are unable to provide it for 
themselves. This is a practical question and therefore to 
some extent oud of expediency ; but of expediency with- 
out a sacrifice of principle. In stating our views we claim 
of course for them no authority whatever: they are but 
the suggestions of one who has thought much on the sub- 
ject. On the religious part of the question all Catholics 
are of course agreed ; for there, authority has spoken ; 
we also believe that almost all Catholics are unanimous, 
that their religious rights will be best secured by freedom ; 
and if our reasoning be correct^ freedom is the object to 
be aimed at by every wise statesman in this country. 
When we say that the question to some extent is one of ex- 
pediency, we mean that as prudent men will rather strive 
to reform institutions than to abolish them and construct 
new ones ; it is not a question of what would theoretically 
be the best plan to adopt were we now beginning; but 
what modifications had best, practically, be made in the 
existing system to adapt it to the wants of the country. 
There are two modes of securing freedom of education 

* A " special class" for classics was added to the Dublin school 
last year, and a voto for classical masters in the model schools pro- 
posed but withdrawn for a time. 

338 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nor. 

proposed and advocated. One is to leave all the state 
schools ill possession of the state funds, but to give them 
no special privileges, and to allow free schools erected by 
voluntary subscriptions to compete with them, giving the 
students from each equal degrees and lionours on passing 
common examinations. This plan, derived from France, 
has been loudly vaunted as a plan of perfect freedom by 
some government officials of education,*"' and has obtained 
the unwary api»robation of several Catholics ; it is the plan 
of those who advocate the grant of a charter to the Catho- 
lic university, but support the queen's colleges ; and of 
those who would maintain the model schools, but encou- 
rage free schools in the same towns. It cannot be too 
often and too clearly repeated that this is no system of 
freedom at all — it is the destruction of all freedom, and 
is all but persecution. As we have before pointed out, 
there is no freedom where the state takes one side, there is 
no open competition where the state pays one competitor ; 
there is no justice where the stifte taxes the subject to sup- 
port one institution, and then allows him to tax himself a 
second time to support another ; as well say at once that 
there is perfect equality in Ireland between the state reli- 
gion and all other religions ; the Catholic and the Pres- 
byterian are compelled to pay the Protestant rector first, 
and are then h*ee to pay their own pastor. As well have a 
state religion, and then proclaim that the state treats all 
religions alike; as have a state education, and then say 
that the state puts all systems of education on an equality. 
Far better indeed; for the endowments of the Established 
Church date back for centuries, and she may with some 
show of reason claim them as her property ; the endow- 
ments of this new state education are each year drawn from 
the pockets of the tax-payers. And it must be also re- 
membered that this is a double injustice. The state has 
already provided, out oF the resources of the nation, a 
costly system of state education. Trinity College and all 
the endowed schools are a system of state education en- 
dowed with national funds; to provide a nevv system, out 
of the same funds, and leave the great majority of the 

* By Sir Robert Kane, president of the Queen's College, Cork, 
in a paper read before the Social Science Congress in Dublin in 

1862.] England and Ireland, 139 

nation, who reject both, to provide a third at their own 
cost, is an injustice as gross, as though the legislature 
having first endowed a Protostaut Church Establishment, 
were next to endow a schismatical Catholic Church, and 
leave the orthodox Catholics, after paying for both, to sup- 
port their own pastor by a third contribution.'^ When 
Catholics, who are advocates of free education, adopt or 
advocate this compromise, they are in fact abandoning 
their own cause ; they are, perhaps unconsciously, giving 
up the battle to their opponents, and conceding in principle 
all that they claim. It may be true that free education, 
especially iii Ireland, where freedom is the only guarantee 
for religion, would not be defeated in the unequal contest, 
but that is no reason why it should be condemned to 
undertake so unfair a task. Nor should we even be too 
confi'lent of the perfect success of the better element ; the 
power and influence of the state are great, and will naturally 
be all exerted in favour of its own protege ; the strength of 
free Catiiolic education in Ireland consists, in good part, 
in the faults of the government schools, but these may un- 
dergo specious modifications which, Vi^ithout changing their 
nature, will weaken opposition ; above all, when we aban- 
don a principle, we half disarm ourselves; if we strive for 
free education, let us grasp the full idea of freedom, and 
accept nothing less. '* If the trumpet give forth an uncer- 
tain sound, how shall men prepare themselves for battle?" 
to tamper with the true principles of education confuses 
men's minds; it becomes a question of degrees and dis- 
tinctions, and men lose sight of the true merits of the 

The other plan which aims at securing true freedom of 
education by limiting the action of the state to its proper 
functions is the only effectual one. It proceeds on the 
principle that the duty of the state is (as it does in England) 
to assist all education but to enforce n'o system of its own. 

* Tlie only ground on wliicli the sjstem of state endowment of 
education could be defended, would be that the immense ma- 
jority, amounting practically to the whole of the nation, wished 
jt. But all admit tliat a very large portion, certainly a majority, 
of the Catholics, and a considerable portion of tlie Protestants, 
object to it. A majority would not have a right to tax a large 
minority for their exclusive benefit — much less has a minority a 
right to tax a majority. 

140 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov. 

— to aid all but to dictate to none— to hold an equal balance 
between all, to favour none — above all, neither directly nor 
indirectly, to promote any monopoly. To determine how 
this may be done, we must examine each branch of educa- 
tion separately, considering what exists in this country, 
and be guided by the example of England, and whatever 
is applicable in the system of France and Belgium, dis- 
tinguishing carefully what is essential to the principle and 
what is accidental — the latter may be modified, the former 

First, of the primary or poor schools. Many of those 
whose authority is highest on the subject, have claimed 
the entire application of the English system to Ireland,* 
and it would no doubt be the fullest carrying out of the 
principle of free education, and if attainable in its entirety, 
certainly desirable ; but there may be practical difficulties 
in the way which deserve consideration. The English 
system is founded in great part on the principle of supple- 
menting local efforts, and making the amount of the grant 
depend on the amount of local contributions. In Ireland, 
partly from the poverty of the population in many parts of 
the country, and partly from the habit of relying wholly on 
government aid, engendered by thirty years of the present 
system, the schools are, and probably for many years would 
be far more dependent on the government grant than they 
are in England ; in fact, practically, the teachers are 
wholly paid by the board. 

This fact, of course, gives the state a claim to interfere 
rather more with the education given, than it does in 
England ; it may fairly claim that those schools which are 
supported wholly by the public funds, should be available 
to all without religious differences. There is also the fact 
that in many districts the rich are of one religion, the poor 
of another; the state is therefore bound to see that no 
schools supported in part by public funds, are turned into 
engines of proselytism. But with these two limitations the 
state has no right to enforce any system, or to exclude any, 
from a sliare of the common funds. Catholics, Presby- 
terians, and Protestants, are equally entitled to assistance 
in educating their own children in their own creed. 

The principles, therefore, of the changes the 
present national system are easily ascertained. 

* See Letter of the Irish bishops to Mr. Cardwell. 

1862.] England and Ireland. 141 

' First, all proselytism, or, in the words of Lord Stanley, 
" even the suspicion of proselytism " must be effectually 
prevented. For this purpose the guarantees which existed 
previous to what is known as the *'Stopford rule," must be 
re-enacted, and any further rules made which may be found 
necessary for this purpose. 

Secondly, in schools attended exclusively either by Pro- 
testants or Catholics, and supported to an extent, sa.y of 
one half, by voknitary subscriptions, no distinction with 
regard to religious teaching should be enforced as a condi- 
tion of receiving government assistance. 

The members of any religion who undertake to educate 
the children of their own creed at their own expense are 
fully entitled to a share in the public grant, subject only to 
the condition, as in England, of the education given being 
a good one, to be ascertained by inspection and examina- 
tion. But where funds are subscribed to organise schools 
for the bringing up of children in a religion other than that 
of their parents, in other words, for proselytism, they have 
no claim to state assistance.''^' And no schools attended 
by children of different religions, however nominally neu- 
tral, can be excluded from the category of proselytising 
schools, if in it any religious teaching is given, any reli- 
gious exercises followed, or any books of instruction used 
which have a sectarian bias. In a word, no school could 
be sanctioned by the board for the education together of 
children of different religions which was not entirely under 
its own control, but schools for the education of children 
of one religion should be left quite free as to religious in- 

Thirdly ; as a consequence of what we have laid down, 
no restrictions should be enforced as to the religious books 
to be used in the assisted schools, except as to their 
literary goodness. 

The Board now nominally allows the use of any books ; 
but practically enforces the use of its own, by giving them 
at a reduced price: this should be remedied by making 
the grant for books and school requisites a fixed sum. 

* Such, for instance, as a school directed by Cathohcs, attended 
by Protestants, where the htany of the Blessed Virgin was sung, 
or a school frequented bj Catholics where the Protestant Scriptures 
were read. 

142 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov. 

estimated iii money to be taken out either in tlic Board's 
books, or in any other approved ones. Of course the 
Board would have a right in the case of the assisted 
schools to make this grant conditional on the addition of a 
proportionate sum from the voluntary funds. 

Fourthly, there remains the question of training schools. 
The simplest and the best way of dealing with this part 
of the question would undoubtedly be the English; leaving 
it to each religion to provide training schools for their 
teachers, and assisting them to do so by grants. This is 
the only really satisfactory solution; but should this not 
be attainable in Ireland, it remains to be considered what 
changes are absolutely necessary in the present system. 
One broad distinction founded on principle may guide us 
in this enquiry. It is this : that whilst one or more 
branches of teaching may be conducted in classes com- 
posed of different religions, or by teachers of opposite 
creeds ; no mixed institution can be satisfactory, which 
undertakes the whole education of youth: the reason is 
clear. Religion may be disconnected from the teaching 
of mathematics or languages (we have shewn however that 
it is most difficult to do so) it cannot be left out of a 
scheme of education without fatal results. Hence all men- 
sal schools or colleges*-'" on the mixed principle are radi- 
cally and irredeemably wrong ; nor can Catholics safely 
frequent them ; whilst they may, under certain conditions, 
attend individual courses of lectures in mixed institutions. 
If then it be considered requisite to train the future 
teachers together in certain branches of secular learning, 
the training schools should be only institutions from whence 
they should attend certain courses of lectures; and be 
supplemented by mensal colleges, equally aided by grants, 
for the different religions; in which the future teachers 
should reside, receive instruction in those many branches 
of education which cannot be separated from religion, 
and be trained in habits of practical piety and religion. 
!Nor would such a system at all detract from the advan- 
tages said to arise from the mutual intercourse of youth 

* Schools or Colleges in which the students reside ; as being 
those which undertake tlie whole training of the mind and habits 
of the student; in opposition to institutions which they only fre- 
quent to attend particular lectures. 

1862.] England and Ireland. 143 

of different religions. That intercourse is in the lecture 
hall, the examination room, and their recreations; and 
Catholics and Protestants will not feel less kindly towards 
each other, because they have each said their respective 
prayers in the morning, or learned their catechisms, before 
they uieet to contend in hiendly rivalry in science or at 
cricket. The contrary can be held only by those who 
believe that religion is destructive of charity ; and that to 
make men tolerant we must make them indifferent. 

This is so prevalent an error, and the cause of so much 
confusion in discussions on the subject of mixed educa- 
tion, that it is worth while devoting a few lines to it. It 
is constantly alleged that the great merit of mixed edu- 
cation is the bringing together persons of different reli- 
gions, and by associating them in common pursuits, 
leading them to think kindly and charitably of each other, 
and thus sowing the seeds of future good will : and it is 
tacitly insinuated that this is so desirable an object, that 
it is worth while to sacrifice to it as much as may safely 
be done of religious teaching. But would this softening 
intercourse take place in the study of subjects which in- 
volve religions differences, or from which the mention of 
religion has been violently excluded ; or in religious exer- 
cises in which no common action is possible? Or does it 
require the negation of differences of religious belief; or 
the suppression of habits of practical and therefore sepa- 
rate religion? No. The kindly intercourse, the neutral 
good offices must stand on really neutral ground ; in 
common games, and examination, whilst each retain 
unimpaired, their religious convictions and religious prac- 
tices ;"'^* and each will prove grounded in good will in pro- 
portion as they are imbued with the teaching of that 
religion from whose teaching they have learned it. Heli- 

* In the debate on education in Ireland in the Spring of 1862, 
Mr. Whiteside drew a touciiing picture of Protestant and Catholic 
youths singing together in the Dublin University Choral Society ; 
but how little did tliis justify the conclusion which he drew that 
it was necessary to produce this harmony that they should both 
attend lectures by Protestant professors in Trinity College 1 Their 
voices would, on the contrary, harmonize the better in tlie songs of 
the evening, if each had sung their own religious hymns in the 

14-1^ The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov. 

gion, not indifferentism, is the source of brotherly love : 
nor can Charity be separated from Faith* Of course 
what we have said of the regular training schools for 
teachers applies also to such exceptional training estab*- 
lishnvents as the Albert Agricultural School. 

To pass to the second branch of education, Middle 
Schools, under which head come the provincial Model 
Schools: the objections of principle which we have shewn 
apply to all mensal schools apply to them ; as well as all 
those gave objections as regards Catholics (for whom they 
are mainly intended) urged against them by the bishops 
of Ireland, and which have caused their definitive and 
formal condemnation. For us to urge these objections 
would be superfluous: we could not hope to do so as 
forcibly as the bishops ; and our words would lack the 
authority of theirs. Our readers are well acquainted with 
them ; and like ourselves fully adopt them. In point of 
fact even a brief review of what has been said before will 
show that it is impossible for the state to organise a good 
system of intermediate education. It must necessarily be 
a complete education, and that for youth of an age and a 
degree of instruction which peculiarly requires a thoroughly 
solid religious education, and a state" of mixed religions 
has necessarily no religion. The model schools are based 
on an erroneous principle, and must be abolished ; practi- 
cally they are so, to a great extent, as they are abandoned 
by Catholics, that is, by the mass of the population. Nor 
would their cessation be a subject of regret, or leave a 
vacuum in education in Ireland. In England voluntary 
efforts provide sufiicent intermediate schools, and there is 
abundant reason to believe that such would very soon be 
the case in Ireland also, even if it be not fully so as yet. 
The model schools are intended to supply a more extended 
education than the ordinary national schools, for the mid- 
dle classes in the large towns ; and it was last year pro- 
posed to add a classical tutor to each.'"* Let us see what 
provision already exists for supplying such education in the 
towns where the commissioners have created model schools, 
and where it may therefore be presumed they are most 
wanted. In Derry a model school has been erected.f In 

See Report of Commissioners of national education, 
t Not one single Catholic attends this school. 

1862.] England and Ireland. 145 

that town the Church of Eiighmd has a diocesan school, 
the Roman Catholics have a Christian Brothers school for 
boys, a Sisters of Mercy "Benefit School" for the middle 
classes of girls. In Sligo a model school has been estab- 
lished. There are in Sligo, for the Church of England, 
classical and commercial schools, a Church-education 
school, and a diocesan school two miles from the town. 
The Independents have a school of their own. The 
Catholics have a classical and commercial school con- 
ducted by the Marist Brothers, and a middle and board- 
ing school for girls, conducted by the Ursuline nuns, 
besides the ordinary schools conducted by the last named 
nuns and by the Sisters of Mercy. Omagh has a model 
school."''' The Protestants there had a good classical and 
commercial school, but it has been ruined by the compe- 
tition of the model school, and is closed. The Catholics 
have a Christian Brothers school and a classical school for 
boys; and for girls, a boarding and day school for the 
middle classes, conducted by the nuns of the Loretto con^ 
vent. In Enniscorthy a model school has been built, but 
never yet opened. Plere the Church of England is pro^ 
vided with an Erasmus Smith's endowed school, and the 
Catholics with two Christian Brothers schools and a clas^ 
sical and commercial school. The reader will remark that 
in each of these cases we have enumerated only those schools 
which supply precisely the class of education the model 
school is intended to furnish, and have omitted the ordi- 
nary poor schools which exist in each place. We might 
go through the whole list of model schools, and show that 
in each town voluntary action has provided the education 
they offer; and that, in fact, as in the case of Omagh, they 
are only injuring free schools by unfair competition. This 
is bitterly felt by the managers of the Established Church 
intermediate schools in the different towns ; for, as very 
few Catholics attend the model schools, their scholars are, 
of course, chiefly taken from those who would otherwise 
support the Established Church existing schools ; and 
when we find the son of the mayor of Derry profiting by 
the gratuitous education supplied by the state in the model 
school, we can well understand the complaint of the mas- 
ters of the endowed grammar schools, that the pupils who 

♦ There are not six Catholics attending this school. 

146 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov. 

should pay for education in their schools, receive a free 
education in the others. The model schools are a heavy 
charge to the state, an injury to the free schools they 
unduly compete with, and an insult to the Catholics, and 
should be at once given up. 

Lastly, we come to the important question of university 
education. The reader will bear in mind the brief sketch 
we gave of its history in Ireland. A richly endowed sys- 
tem of university education existed for the Established 
Church ; fair play demanded that Catholics should not be 
excluded from degrees, or forced, in order to obtain them, 
to enter a university exclusive in its governing and teach- 
ing body. But the government went further and outstep- 
ped the precedent of England ; it was thought that the 
Catholic body""' in Ireland were too poor to provide superior 
education for themselves, and this was an error shared by 
the Catholics themselves, and consequently the govern- 
ment undertook to do so. But that it was an error to 
think the Catholics were not able to provide university 
education for themselves has been abundantly proved. 
They have subscribed for the purpose of erecting the Catholic 
university as larsre a sum as was raised in England to 
found London University College, and the annual sub- 
scriptions are larger. It is therefore clear that had the 
state confined itself, as in England, to erecting a central 
examining body, and recognised the colleges founded and 
maintained by the different bodies, the Catholics would 
have provided for themselves an education at least equal, 
if not superior, to that given by the queen's colleges ; and 
there is every reason to believe that the wealthy and inde- 
pendent Presbyterians of the north would have founded 
and supported a college in Belfast no ways inferior to the 
Queen's College there. Another error, shared in 1846 by 
many Catholics, was the idea that a state establishment 
for education could, in a country of mixed religion, ever be 
one satisfactory to the different creeds. They talked of 

* In speaking of those for whom the queen's colleges were in- 
tended, as the members of the Established Church were already 
provided for, we may fairly consider them as mainly intended for 
the Catholics, since the Presbyterians are a small minority of tlie 
population, and did not entertain the same objections to Trinity 
College which the Catholics did. 

186 2. "I England and Ireland, 147 

guarantees against proselytisni, and did not perceive that 
education must be religious, and that a state education in 
such a country necessarily involved the omission of all 
religion. Hence the queen's colleges were founded on two 
capital errors — that they could satisfy the various religions, 
and that the state should supply university education in- 
stead of leaving it voluntary; and the queen's university 
in Ireland, which is but the aggregate of the colleges, 
shares all their radical defects, and in its present form can 
never fill the place held in England by the London Uni- 
versity. That university is wholly unconnected with any 
of its affiliated colleges, and therefore impartial to all ; 
were other colleges affiliated to the Queen's University 
they would be but its step-children, the three queen's col- 
leges its favoured offspring; nay, were it even removed from 
all more immediate connection with those colleges than 
with any other, it could never be looked upon as impartial, 
as long as it is the creature of the state, which is also the 
founder and maintainor and governor of the Queen's Col- 

These colleges were founded on an erroneous principle — 
they are the embodiment of state education, as antagonistic 
to free education, and as long as they remain unchanged 
in principle, however modified in detail, there can be no 
freedom of education in Ireland. The one is as incom- 
patible with the other as bounties are with free trade. 
And Catholics, above all, should remember this, for it is 
they who are peculiarly concerned in the question. They 
should remember that it is they who are taxed to support 
one system of education, whilst they are ironically told 
that they are free then to pay for another. And they 
should remember that those who advocate the grant of a 
charter to the Catholic university, whilst they support the 
queen's colleges are not the advocates of free education — 
are not supporters of equality and fair play — are not de- 
manding equal right and equal justice for religious educa- 
tion, but are supporters of a favoured state education, the 
advocates of protection, and only just shrink from enforc- 
ing monopoly. This cannot be too clearly enforced, for 
unfortunately too many of those who strove for an absolute 
monopoly of university honours in the hands of the 
government colleges, as long as there was a chance of its 
being maintained, now loudly proclaim that they are advo- 
cates of perfect freedom and equality. Let the queen's 

148 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nor. 

colleges only retain the monopoly of state endowment, and 
they will share with others the hononrs of degrees. Again 
we repeat, this is no free trade, it is only the scheme of 
monopolists, driven to content themselves with the most 
extreme protection."-' 

The qnestion then divides itself into two branches ; first, 
what system of conferring university honours and decrrees 
should be adopted in Ireland in order to put the educa- 
tional^ establishments of all religions on a footing of perfect 
equality; and secondly, in carrying out such a scheme, 
what should be done with the queen's colleges? There is 
indeed a plan to put the different colleges on an equal 
footing, which has, we believe, found favour with some 
Catholics, advocates of free and Catholic education ; it is 
that the state should endow, not only the mixed colleges, 
hut also the Catholic one, and thus Trinity College, the 
Queen's Colleges, and the Catholic University, would 
equally receive support from the public funds. It is almost 
minecessary to discuss this proposal, as it is almost certain 
not to be acceded to by the government, and a government 
grant is manifestly not necessary for the support of the 
Catholic University. But we confess there are other ob- 
jections to the scheme which have far greater weight with us. 
The gifts of the state are always bonds — she endows but to 
control, and the price of her favours is the surrender of 
liberty. Both theory and practice demonstrate the fatal 
effects of state control — free life and action are the very 
soul of literary institutions — government control, however 
light or judicious, cramps their expansion and dulls their 
zeal, and at the same time deprives them of that popular 
sympathy and voluntary support which is their most valu- 
able inheritance ; we need hardly add that government in- 
terference is always dangerous to religion. 

* Sir R. Kane, in his paper referred to before, put forward this 
protective scheme under the name of freedom, and advocated the 
endowment by the state of mixed colleges, to the exclusion of all 
others, on very singular grounds. *' There are," said he, *• many 
Catholics who wish for a religious, or exclusive education — let them 
be free to provide it, and as they are zealous, they will be sure to 
find the funds ; but there are other Catholics who prefer a mixed 
education, and as they will not provide the funds to maintain such 
institutions, the state should provide them for them." We are not 
:exaggerating — this was exactly his argument. 

1862.] England and Ireland. 149 

Returning, then, to the question, what system should be 
ndopted in conferring degrees and university honours in 
Irehuid, so as to put all religions and educational systems 
on a footing of perfect equality ; we start with the principle 
that the duty of the state is simply to test results, and 
stamp with its authoritative sanction in the shape of a 
degree, a certain amount of knowledge wherever acquired. 
There are at present two institutions in Ireland which have 
this power, the Queen's University and Dublin University; 
and it is proposed to place the Catholics who do not choose 
to frequent either, on an equality by granting the power 
of conferring degrees to the Catholic University. This 
would be no more than justice to them, and would place 
them in a fair position. But there are great practical diffi- 
culties in the way, arising from the fact that any other 
voluntary institution, equally well organised, which might 
be got up, would have an equal claim to be recognised, 
and that the whole tendency of modern legislation with 
regard to degrees has been to concentrate and render uni- 
form the power of granting degrees rather tlian to multiply 
the institutions so empowered, and this because laxity in 
granting degrees, and confusion as to their value have arisen 
from the clashing systems of granting them in different 
institutions."' Hence it is clear that the plan, which will 
in all probability be adopted for Ireland will be that of 
one uniform central system of examination by a body 
wholly independent of, and unconnected with the different 
colleges, and as much as possible independent of the exe- 
cutive government ; and the existing state of things pre- 
sents great facilities for the execution of such a scheme. 
There are at present, as we have said, two bodies which 
have the power of granting degrees, the Dublin University 
and the Queen's University ; the latter grants degrees only 
to the students of the three queen's colleges, and is in fact 
bound up with these colleges; the latter grants degrees only 
to the students of Trinity College Dublin, and practically 
is identified with this, its only college. But it must be 
borne in mind that the Dublin University is hi theory, and 
in essence a separate thing from ** the College of the holy and 

* An instructive example of this is the case of medical degrees 
when it was found necessary to consolidate the different systems of 
granting them by the late act. 

150 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov, 

Undivided Trinity, near Dublin/' (or Trinity College).""" 
The latter is essentially an establisliinent of the Estab- 
lished Church, it educates its clergy, it supports its princi- 
ples, it admits indeed Catholics and Dissenters to its schools, 
but its training is, and ought to be, essentially Protestant. 
But Dublin University, as an examining body, has no 
such necessarily exclusive nature ; two functions indeed it 
exercises which strictly regard the Chinch. It confers 
degrees in divinity, in that Church, and it elects a member 
of parliament who, being elected exclusively by members 
of that Church,! is looked upon as the representative in the 
United Parliament of the Established Church of Ireland; 
in any change, therefore, which would widen that univer- 
sity, it is clear that these two functions should be reserved 
to the members of the Established Church, or, in other 
words, to its College of the Holy Trinity. Dublin Uni- 
versity has, therefore, no more a necessary exclusive con- 
nection with Trinity College, than the Queen's University 
has with the colleges of Cork, Belfast, and Galway. The 
true plan then would be to create one Irish university, in 
which both the Dublin and Queen's University should 
merge, and in which Trinity College, Cork College, Bel- 
fast College, Galway College, the Catholic University 
College, and any other college, if such arise worthy of the 
rank, should be represented, and which would grant degrees 
to the students of all alike. 

Such a university would consist of a senate, as governing 
body, who would appoint the board of examiners, and de- 
termine the course of examination, and the honours and 
rewards to be conferred. 

In such a university Trinity College would naturally be 
the first College and retain an immense prestige : her age 
and position entitle her to this ; and younger colleges must 
only strive to emulate her renown. The power of regu- 
lating theological studies and conferring theological degrees 
for the established Church, as well as her whole internal 
government and the exclusive control of aught that con- 

* Just as Oxford or Cambridge University is a separate entity 
from each of the colleges which compose them. 

t The member for Dublin University is elected by the M. As., 
and that degree can be obtained only by members of the Estab- 
lished Church. 

1862. J England and Ireland, 151 

cerned the Clnirch would remain to her. In like manner the 
Catholic University would retain the entire control ot* Ca- 
tholic studies, and grant degrees in divinity and philosophy 
by the Charter she holds from the Pope, and be wholly 
self-governing as a Catholic University, whilst a college 
of the Irish University for secular degrees. The execu- 
tive Government which advises the Queen who grants the 
cliarter would have to determine both the first composi- 
tion of the senate and the mode of its perpetuation ;"''' and 
in so doing would have to take care that it duly repre- 
sented all the different elements of education in Ireland; 
this representation would not be merely by colleges, as in 
Oxford and Cambridge, but must be dotermined by the 
different elements, religious and literary, which exist in 
the country. Above all it must avoid the fatal error of 
the Queen's Colleges, the predominance of the Govern- 
mental element. An Irish University, to be great, must 
be free. Learning is a republic and must govern itself. 
Thus would be created a really great university; one 
really free and really mixed ; not by the compulsory ex- 
clusion of the various religious elements of education, nor 
by the hiding out of sight of differences of opinion: but 
by the separate freedom of each, and the joint action of 
4ill : a University, not where the one enforced state livery 
of negativism was worn by all ; but where the various 
shades of opinion retaining their distinctness blended in 
ix common harmony of purpose. We do not wish to con- 
ceal that there are difficulties in the way of such a result ; 
but they are very far from insurmountable. Trinity Col- 
lege might hesitate to give up its exclusive connection 
with Dublin University : yet it could hardly refuse to do 
so with reason. It would retain all its endowments, its 
exclusive education, its connection with the Established 
Church: its students would indee<i meet at the examina- 
tions for degrees those of other Colleges ; but they have 
proved, in many a competitive examination that they fear 
no rivalry in knowledge. A far graver difficulty is the 
fact that if the colleges we have named were consolidated 
in a University, out of the five, three (viz. the Queen's 

* Of course after a time the graduates in convocation would, as 
in the London University, have a voice in the government of the 

152 The Connection of the State with Education in [Nov. 

Colleges) would be exclusively state institutions ; whilst 
Trinity College has from its antecedents a strong leaning 
towards the state ; and that this would give the Govern- 
mental element an undue predominance. 

This leads us to the second branch of our subject ; what 
is to be done with the Queen's Colleges in a system of 
free University education in Ireland ? As at present con- 
stituted they have wholly failed ; chiefly ,',bnt not wholly, 
from the antagonism of the Catholics, who abstain from 
availing themselves of them."' 

It has been proposed to remodel them without changing 
their system so as to remove the objections of the Ca- 
tholics; but, in the first place, we do not believe this possi- 
ble ; in the second place, such a reform would leave un- 
touched the radical evil of their being Governmental 
institutions. It is, we believe, impossible to remodel 
them so as to render them acceptable to Catholics : be- 
cause all that the state can give is negative guarantees 
against proselytism or tampering with the faith of the stu- 
dents ; and what Catholics require is a Catholic educa- 
tion. The more we examine the decisions of Rome on 
the subject the more clearly we perceive that university 
education for Catholic youth must be Catholic; it will 
not suffice that it abstain from positive opposition to 

The simplest and most efficacious cure would be to pay 
off the professors and sell the buildings, in which case 
there can be little doubt the latter would at once be pur- 
chased by voluntary associations for the purposes of edu- 
cation ; and the former would find ample and congenial 
employment in the various free colleges which would arise, 
the state would be relieved of a heavy charge ; a source 
of religious controversy be removed; and literature and 
education be invigorated by being restored to their con- 
genial freedom. 

But if the state, like too many individuals, is unwilling 
frankly to acknowledge an error and retrace its steps, 
and must seek a middle solution and a compromise: if, 
whilst it is proved that the Catholics are able and .willing 

* This has been admitted (with regret) by both Mr. Cardwell 
and Sir R. Peel, and in fact by the commission appointed to en- 
quire into them. 

1862.] England and Ireland, 153 

to provide education for themselves, it be thonglit the 
Presbyterians might not be able to do so (though we be- 
lieve they would); and if that portion of the Catholics 
who, as Sir R. Kane alleges, wish for a state education 
apart from religion be deemed deserving of special provi- 
sion ; then at least let the facts be recognised, and the 
system be remodelled to meet them. The present system 
of these colleges does not content the Presbyterians, or 
Catholics, who, though they lean towards a state, wish for 
a religious education. Let then Belfast College be re- 
modelled to meet the wants and wishes of the Presbyte- 
rians ; let Cork College be remodelled to render it 
acceptable to the Catholics, and let Galway College re- 
main as it is, for the benefit of those who prefer a purely 
secular education : thus, all would be satisfied, and the 
wants of all supplied. Nor would such an idea be diffi- 
cult to carry out, if the facts were frankly recognized. The 
Presbyterian body would settle what changes they desired 
in Belfast to meet their wants: probably the recognition 
of a Presbyterian element in the government, to which 
might be given a negative control over the teaching, to 
insure that nothing inimical to their religion was intro- 
duced; a Presbyterian mensal college with religious 
teaching ; and control over the moral and religious training 
of all the Presbyterian; pupils: in a word, the recognition 
of the Presbyterian religion ; whilst attendance on the 
purely literary classes should be free to students of ^ any 
religion; and care taken that in the lectures on subjects 
unconnected with religion, as mathematics and classics, 
no allusion should be made to religious subjects. J'" .This 
would be simply recognizing the fact that the majority of 
the students in Belfast are Presbyterian, and that the 
Presbyterians of Ireland are entitled to an education such 
as they wish for, and acting accordingly. On the other 
hand the recognized authorities of the Catholic Church 
would decide, with judgment and prudence, what changes 
were necessary to remove the objections which prevent 
Catholics attending Cork College. It is not for us to 

* The reader must observe that we are not laying down a system 
of which we fully approve, or that we believe the teaching even 
of matliematics had better be devoid of religion, but explaining a 
r^asonabl^ compromise. 

154 The Connection of the State with Education. [Nov. 

speak with anything like authority on such a subject ; but 
it appears to us, that almost everything would flow natu- 
rally as a consequence from the recognition that it was to 
be a college specially, though not exclusively, for Ca- 
tholics. Hence would follow the recognition of a Catholic 
element in the government ; and the lawful authority of 
the bishops in all that trenched on religion or morals; 
history and its cognate branches of study would be taught 
in a Catholic sense ; full religious tenching and training 
would be provided for the Catholic students : in a word it 
would be a college providing a Catholic education for 
Catholics; whilst its purely literary and scientific lectures 
would be open to all without offence to their religious con- 
victions. The remaining college might remain for those 
who preferred a purely secular institution for their chil- 
dren ; one wholly severed from any religion, and would 
meet the wants of those few persons in Ireland wlio 
belonged to none of the three prevalent religions. Such 
would be a real amendment of the Queen's Colleges, 
founded simply on the recognition of the fact that the peo- 
ple of Ireland are divided into three great religions, the 
Established Church, Catholic, and Presbyterian. 

But the length to which this article has run, admonishes 
us to conclude. In a subsequent number we may probably 
enter more at large into the details of the modifications of 
legislation on university education in Ireland which are 
required : and examine fully the legislation, on the subject, 
of France and Belgium. We have thus briefly, but we 
hope faithfully traced the leading facts as to the system 
which have grown up in England and Ireland and pointed 
out the principles on which they rest. We cannot hope 
that all our readers will agree in the details of the various 
suggestions we have thrown out ; we shall have achieved 
all we desire, if we have succeeded in drawing the atten- 
tion of Catholics to the principles which are involved ; and 
in convincing them that all the interests of religion, as all 
those of sound education are bound up with freedom : that 
that is the one thing to be striven for and the one condi- 
tion which is essential ; and if we convince impartial 
Englishmen that what Ireland needs is what England has: 
and that freedom which has given the hitter all her noble 
educational institutions will prove a principle as prolific 
of good if frankly applied to the former. 

1862.] On Eesponsihility. 1«^5 

jVnT. Y.—De Ohduratorum pcccatis moriaUhus. On the mortal sins 
of tiie hardened, Bj W. G. Ward. London. 1854. (Not 

^pHERE is, or at least there used to be, a recognised 
L principle of morals, that no deliberate action per- 
formed by a man could escape responsibility. A human 
being, according to this maxim, sane, awake, sentient, 
with full use of mind and body, free from a paralyzing 
pressure on the powers of either, could not consciously, and 
reflectingly act, without having to give an account of that 
act : be it done by the hands or the brain, personally or 
through others, or by the pen, or the pencil, or any other 
instrument directed by his will. 

Hence we say of a man, in these ordinary conditions of 
human action, that he is an '' accountable being." To 
say of a person, that he is ** not accountable," means in 
famihar phrase, that he is an infant, or mad, or idiotic, or 
silly, or in dotage. 

This is not a principle merely, as we have called it, nor 
a maxim ; it is a fundamental axiom, or a lemma of the 
whole moral science, philosophical, theological, social, 
domestic, or personal. i\sthe able book before us says, 
** Alterum vero dogma de quo loquimur, notissimum est 
illud efifatum ; * nullus actus humanus indifferens est in 

And this responsibility extends to negatives, to inaction, 
to non-action, to neglect, to indifference, where duty claims 
the positive, instead of the negative pole of lil)erty, to be 
called into activity. 

So completely is this doctrine an acknowledged truth 
in theory, that human power assumes a share to itself in 
its practical application. The State sends to the gibbet, 
or to prison, fines or exacts hard labour, on the simple 
ground that subjects are punishable for not obeying its laws, 
without regard of their justice, or of any proportion be- 
tween the crime and its award. No one believes that it 
was a delinquency worthy of death to be a priest or to 
harbour one ; public feeling would now revolt at death 
being inflicted on scores of i>eople, for stealing a sheep, or 
even for committing a forgery. Yet our ancestors, and 
many alive who saw Fauntleroy executed, never doubted. 

156 On Responsibility, [Nov. 

that society had a right to exact submission to its Draco- 
nian mandates, on the simple obligation of all men's 
responsibility to them. 

Had any one then questioned, or should any one yet 
question, this claim upon him, this suspension of his free- 
dom, astern rebuke from the judge, and perhaps an aggra- 
vated verdict from the jury might make him feel, that 
society is more unrelenting, at least openly, than a higher 
tribunal. The idea of unaccountability to man is, of all 
others, perhaps the most inexorably proscribed on earth. 
Its opposite is, in truth, the basis of social security. 

In like manner, the father, it is true, can no longer 
whip his son to death, or sell his daughter to be a slave 
grinding at a hand-mill : because society keeps the iron 
hand of responsibility over him, up to this point. But he 
can go, with impunity, to a frightful extent as yet: he may 
neglect wilfully the education of his children, to degrading 
them and brutalizing them, without any power preventing 
him, so long as he does not beat them till their moans 
alarm his neighbours, or their wan emaciation touch the 
hearts of fellow-lodgers ; and he may by a thousand indi- 
rect ways, squeeze out the little of soul he has ever allowed 
to live in his son's crippled body, or drive his daughters 
into courses worse than death. This is but an evidence of 
recognised domestic claim to responsibility over those un- 
happily subject to it. 

Of course, says our reader, you allude to the dreadful 
people who live in courts and alleys, and are brought, 
every morning, before police magistrates, by the exercise 
of a claim a step higher than their own, in the scale of 
demands on obedience. 

It is not so. Who is judge between the lofty-minded 
and rich father, who disinherits his eldest son, and leaves 
him to want, because he has, perhaps once contradicted 
his will, maybe in not sacrificing his happiness for life, by 
accepting the parental choice for a matrimonial alliance? 
Or who can compel him to educate his children, or prevent 
him, unless a public scandal grow up, from allowing them 
to disgrace and ruin their name and character ? No : 
man, however disinclined to be himself responsible, exacts 
responsibility from all who may be subject to him, respon- 
sibility to his mandates, his wishes, even his caprices. 
And to an immense extent, society dares not interfere. 

1862. J On Responsibihty. 157 

Why? because, you will be told, accouutabllity is a neces- 
sary ground work of the domestic polity. 

In every place, where society in any form exists, this is 
a universal law. Through the army, and all its grades, in 
peace or in war, at the mess or on the battle-field, every 
body is accountable to somebody else, for everything and 
anything, from victory to forage. And so in every ship, 
and in collections of ships, in squadrons, or in fleets, there 
are endless accountabilities from the cabin boy to the 
admiral of any colour afloat, and to Lords of the Admi- 
ralty, *' who sit at home at ease." And in every vessel 
from the lordly Indiaman, or over-freighted emigrant-ship, 
to the mackerel-boat or herring- smack, there is control, 
command, and so responsibility exacted and acknow- 

In fine from the palace, through mansions, as they 
are now called, and houses, down to the European hovel, 
the African kraal, the American wigwam, and the Asian 
nomad tent, where even only two persons of unequal 
strength live together, there must and will be one who 
calls the other, generally pretty smartly, to account. 

When a principle thus thoroughly pervades the human 
race, from its lowest depths of uncivilization and barbarism 
to the greatest height of cultivation and refinement, we 
cannot doubt that it is an innate, and a self-sown truth, 
in the individual, and in his multiplications. And this 
is more so than almost any other social element. His most 
respectable Majesty the King of Dahomey, whom some 
religious society lately wished Great Britain to subsidize, 
that he might help us in putting down the slave-trade, and 
perhaps later be induced to give a constitutional govern- 
ment and articles— -not of war but of wear, to his subjects, 
even he exacts a precise account of heads, whether of 
cowries or of men, for his ^* grand customs;" while of justice 
or mercy, the two pillars of the throne, he has about as 
accurate a notion as a boa or a gorilla. 

In such circumstances, those who believe in a Creator, 
and Lawgiver of man, naturally see in the universality of 
such a feeling and doctrine, a primeval and implanted 
fixed law of the actually normal condition of our race. 

Now where shall we seek its type or mould ? Not where 
we naturally expect to find whatever is represented or 
reflected of good on earth. Whatever excellent qualities 
conduce to the creating real happiness among men, as 

158 On Responsibility, [N 


social beings, we consider as emanations, or deductions 
from similar ones in Him who ^ave to His prreatest of 
earthly creatures, soul and intelligence as well as body 
and motion. Goodness, benevolence, forgivingness, 
liberality ; justice, equity, impartiality, hatred of wrong, 
abhorrence of sin ; purity, sweetness, affectionateness, 
love of man and delight in his virtue and happiness; 
generosity in the reward of goodness and excellence, 
wherever found ; peacefulness, readiness to help, to sustain 
and succour, without gain or reward : — all these, if found 
in any society, would ensure its universal happiness, and 
cement its parts in exquisite perfection. Yet all these 
high qualities, or virtues, are exactly what, transferred by 
our minds into their sublimest sphere, or into their com- 
mon, indivisible centre, we call attributes of the Highest 
Existence. It is the perfection of humanity to come the 
nearest to them, the completeness of men's social relations 
to combine the greatest number of them. 

The great difference, however, between the two, besides 
that between the finite and the infinite, lies in what we 
have intimated. We can copy every great and good gift, 
or every condition of our moral^ state, from the Giver, and 
from the Legislator. Responsibility, without which they 
could not exist an hour amongst us, has no type in Him, 
no example, no rules, — it exists in Him no more than 
subjection, feebleness, or sin. Man, indeed, bears upon 
him the notae serviles of the slave, as well as the bulla of 
the child, before heaven ; when he throws away the latter 
into the slime among the mast, he certainly does not 
erase the former, on becoming a swine-herd. 

It may seem almost too solemn a subject for such an 
article as this to pursue further ; but one is almost com- 
pelled sometimes to yield to the inward impulse to com- 
municate a thought, for which a fitter opportunity may not 
easily be found. And ours at this moment is this, not 
new, nor uncommon, but necessary to carry out our 
present topic : that in the great Mystery which reunited 
man, sundered from his Maker, He who undertook to 
make good the chasm of separation, by casting Himself 
into it, made the nearest approach to the worst side of 
man, lowered Himself the most to the human level, with- 
out sinking into its degradation, by partaking in man's 
responsibility. Pain, from external infliction, or from 
personal causes, even to a cruel death ; nay, temptation 

1862.] On Eesponsibilitij, 159 

from His hated, tliongli undreaded foe. He endured cheer- 
fully ; but they arc all as nothing compared to that new 
quality or condition of being, which essentially divides the 
divine from the human existence. ** Servi formam acci pi- 
ens, — ohediens usque ad mortem." One supreme element, 
however, seems to come in, as compensation, the sublimity 
of the liability, where everything elsejs truly sublime; 
the undertaking to rescue man from the iron claws of 
an almost legalised oppression, to recall the sentence to 
eternal death pronounced at the gates of Eden, to cancel 
the warrant of exile and miseiy, and return a lost priceless 
inheritance to a fallen race. To do all this He entered 
into a bond, and fulfilled it to the letter ; He made Him- 
self accountable and He faithfully rendered His account. 

This responsibility becomes a marked line, between the 
two conditions of power; it belongs essentially and exclu- 
sively to the .portion of man, in which he has no laws 
or terms, to be learned direct from the contemplation of 
God's works, or from meditation on His attributes. And 
further it is a necessity of our social state, not to be 
learned from the constitution of a more perfect one. 
Beyond the precincts of earthly life it has no existence. 
Bliss and responsibility are no more compatible than is 
certainty with doubt, repose with toil, calm with storm, 
inward peace with anxiety. Many successive, but not 
mutually dependent, ranks of happy spirits compose the 
population of the heavenly city, of whom not one is 
responsible to another : — nay not even to their Lord and 
King. For, where there is 'accountability there must be 
laws, and duties, and possible transgressions, or infringe- 
ments. And of these there can be none. 

Responsibility then is on earth, and of earth, the conse- 
quence of that mighty disruption of the world's normal 
condition, which we familiarly and strikingly name simply 
" the Fall." While, however, it has no counterpart or 
first form in the higher sphere of intelligence and love, it 
is clearly not only the line of division from it, but the great 
link of connection with it. For as, in the most regal of 
genealogies, when the last human link has been apparently 
reached in the first man, there yet remains another ia 
*' who was of God;" so in the ascent from the least to 
the greatest, from the lowest to the highest, from the last 
to the first in the scale of human responsibilities, in 
civil, or domestic, or religious society, it comes to a simi- 

160 On Responsibility. [Nov. 

lar conclusion ; " who answers to God." This condition 
of every individual may be symbolized by a double chain ; 
each one, except the first and last in the human series, 
holding by a link of either, — the one of gold, of iron the 
other. The golden bond is that whereby we are superior 
to all below us, — the pleasant and honourable one in 
which we exact account from all beneath. The iron chain 
is that which presses on each one from above, the hard 
lot of having to give to others higher placed a heavy 
reckoning for all his actions. The golden unfortunately 
reaches not the lowest, nor the iron one the highest, in 
this social series. 

This would render the law imperfect. And indeed, a 
natural and universal instinct tells us that the casual posi- 
tion of a man, higher or lower, in the two progressions, or 
his being moved from one point to another in their relative 
scales is a variable quantity, which does not affect essen- 
tially the formula that governs his responsibility as man. 
However he moves, and to whatever extent, whether he 
climb to the highest pinnacle, or sink into the lowest 
abyss, he can never divest himself of this sense ; he knows 
that the lowest has one accountable to hiin, and the loftiest, 
one to whom he is accountable. The first has himself 
responsible to him, the second is responsible to God. 
These tvvo conditions which govern the extremes, rule all 
that is intermediate. Every one feels, if he have not 
killed in himself the natural germ of moral sensibility, 
that he accounts for everything that is his own production, 
first to conscience, and through it to his Maker. 

And thus alone does responsibility reach its universality 
and essential equality in all, without distinction of class 
or degree. For as all, without exception, are physically 
equal before men, gifted with the same organs, dimensions, 
senses, and capability of the same functions, not merely 
corporal, but mental — as thinking, willing, resolving, judg- 
ing, so are all equally accountable to the Power which has 
bestowed these faculties with impartial liberality. And as 
the internal and invisible operations of mind are as patent 
"^0 Its vision, as the outward and sensible, and since they 
are as truly acts as these are, and as divisible between 
good and evil, it follows that each individual, each micro- 
cosm, as man is justly considered, holds his real, direct, 
inward, and personal responsibility to God. All exterior 
and relative responsibilities to the outward world, its 

1862.] On Responsibility. 161 

rulers, its laws, or its casual points of connections, are 
trifles, shadows, sometimes mockeries, in comparison. 

Likethelightaroundus, accountability to man is diffused, 
mixed, diluted, refracted through a thousand mediums, 
reflected from myriads of planes and objects, now strong, 
now weak, but generally without intensity, or strain upon 
our sight. But the higher may be likened to the pencil of 
separate light which enters but by the smallest orifice into 
the deepest darkness, and shoots directly athwart it, vivid, 
definite, straight and undeviating, a dart of pure, brilliant 
radiance, which fixes itself placid and unwavering on the 
opposite point, waving its own bright fringes in the sur- 
rounding darkness ; manifesting through all its course a 
thousand motes invisible in any other light, films on which, 
as they float, may rest and disport innumerable undiscern- 
ible animalcules, so many Pucks upon less than a feather, 
countless sporules that may convey life or disease on their 
undistinguishable down. How beautifully may this spec- 
trum of light be broken, or rather resolved, into varied 
species of glowing colours, by man's hand, in the 
heavenly, as in the solar, ray ; in either betokening a readi- 
ness to meet it, and a power to render it a mild and genial 
beam, " the Iride della pace" that cheers and. enlivens, 
instead of a pointed shaft, which dazzles and annoys. 

Such is the divine Eye, piercing, searching, and una- 
voidable. And it is from it that man shrinks, from it 
that he seeks escape. In ancient times this was dona 
by the stupidity of ignorance ; in modern, by the cun- 
ning of devices. We need do no more than allude to the 
first. The heathens, who in their very fables of Elysium 
and Tartarus, Minos and Rhadamanthus, recognised 
universal responsibility, probably, with the exception of 
some more delicately organised men, little troubled them- 
selves practically, with so solemn and disturbing a truth. 
But among those to whom this law had been clearly com- 
municated, and incessantly inculcated, there prevailed, as 
the highest authority informs us,'*' the silly subterfuge, 
attributed to that maligned animal, the ostrich, of believ- 
ing, that not to see was equivalent to not being seen; thnt 
hidden sins might escape responsibility. 

This is too gross for our refined age ; which deals more 

* Ecclus. xxiii. 26-29, 
VOL. Lll.-No. cm a 

162 On Responsibility. \ Nov. 

boldly with moral laws, and circumscribes supernatural 
rights by human restrictions or conditions. In a certain 
book, perhaps belonging to a past generation, entitled 
*' The Gentleman in black,'' scarcely unfolding more 
wickedness than '* The Woman in white," there is a plea- 
sant narrative of how a youth, who had made an inconve- 
nient compact with the king of Erebus, on the usual terms 
of a merry life and a sorrowful end, finding the sands in 
the upper-half of his glass running low, came home to 
England, followed by his inexorable creditor, to see if he 
could not stave him off, or take advantage of some Insol- 
vent debtor's Act. He succeeded through the cleverness 
of his attorney. For this legal functionary merely pro- 
posed to put the case into Chancery ; and this sufficed 
to make the sable claimant at once surrender all his rights 
and pretensions. 

This contains an allegory, easily explained. Better and 
higher compacts with man are considered liable to be 
judged by his tribunal, without any appearance being ex- 
pected to be put in, on the better side. But let us begin 

We have seen that, in human society, the claim of 
subordinate accountability goes up to that highest link in 
it, which would naturally unite the whole to the most 
exalted sphere. But modern refinement has barred this 
connection, by interposing a human decree, a very axiom, 
in that which undoubtedly we have a right to consider as 
the most perfect form of government. Nay it is its very 
groundwork-—" The king can do no wrong." 

We do not, of course, misunderstand the constitutional 
meaning of the phrase : that is, that the supreme' ruler of 
a kingdom has no responsibility to his subjects ; but that 
certain bulwarks, in the form of devoted men, take upon 
themselves the disagreeables of such a duty. In other 
words, as the French express it : *' Le Roi regne, mais ne 
gouverne pas." ^ Could this artificial principle be carried 
out without lapsing into a moral fiction, we should have 
no objection to it. But can it be so? 

We do not believe that any really Christian statesman 
can hold, that the personal vices, and shameful example 
of a recent sovereign in our own country came under the 
axiom just quoted ; or that when his soul left his body, 
during a terrific storm, he stood not as bare and .unshield- 
ed before the highest judgment-seat, as any other subject 


1862.] On Responsihilitij. 163 

(may he have been found penitent!) in his dominions. 
No, certainly not. 

But for the public profligacy which ever follows the evil 
example of monarchs, the hivish expenditure, the wasteful 
jobbing,- the unmerited rewards, the capricious wars, the 
sacrifice of life, which may all receive the approbation of 
obsequious Parliaments, through corrupt administrations, 
has a constitutional king full immunity from any call for 
accounts ? Or does not the maxim, put into his own and 
his subjects' hearts and mouths, tend to deaden his con- 
science at least, to the idea that he is to be answerable for 
the guilt, by corruption, or oppression, of those to whom 
he has committed the reins of government? 

We wish not the plane of our argument to be in our 
own country. Delicacy and loyalty forbid us to pursue the 
argument, where rules a virtuous sovereign, and where a 
certain standard of constitutional proprieties has been 
acquired through ages of experience. Yet this very 
reserve puts us forcibly in mind of Sydney Smith's anec- 
dote of the Emperor of Russia and Madame de Stael, 
who, ** to her disgrace, said to him : *Sire, yoiu* character 
is a constitution for your country, and your conscience its 
guarantee.' His reply was, ' Quand cela serait, je ne 
serais jamais qu'un accident heureux.' " *^ This," adds 
the witty narrator, ''we think one of the truest and most 
brilliant replies ever made by monarch." (Edin. Rev., 
1825. *' 13entham on Fallacies,'') 

Let us then shift the field of oiu* operations to another 
climate where reigns, and certainly governs not, a consti- 
tutional king, on whom doat the hearts of the English 
people. He throws the responsibilities of misrule upon his 
ministers as fast as they supplant one another. He hunts 
with passion among his mouutain fastnesses ; over his 
other pursuits we cast the veil which self-regard com- 
mands. Over the whole of a kingdom obtained we will 
not say how, there have been committed rapines, spolia- 
tions, sacrileges and injustices. Nothing however sacred, 
however venerable, has been allowed to stand before the 
face of the whirlwind, which has swept away what formed 
the pride and beauty of that hapless land. Its finances 
are ruined, its commerce depressed, its imposts doubled^ 
its people languishing and discontented. But in distant 
provinces it is far worse. The towns are disaflPected, the 
peasantry in arms, not as rebels to a usurpation, but as 

164 On Responsibility . [Nov. 

faithful to a lawful monarchy. And to bring into subjec- 
tion this refractory loyalty, the torch and the sword are the 
weapons employed: fire and blood must pacify the natural 
re-action, which we have honoured in La Vendee, in Spain, 
in Greece, in Corsica, and formerly in those very provinces, 
where^ we almost applaud, certainly tacitly approve, of a 
sanf^uinary vengeance. 

Generals, whose names must not disfigure our pa^es, issue 
more brutal orders, than those of the French Directory, 
under which in 1795, prisoners were shot down in platoons 
at Quiberon ; not villages but towns have been reduced to 
ashes, scores of poor countrymen, with their clergy, have 
been fusilladed without trial, the crops and woods have 
been burnt down, and the most trivial act of a boy or a 
girl, in the country, a sign almost or gesture may be in- 
terpreted into a capital offence.'"" 

For all this inhumanity, for all this cruelty, for all this in- 
justice, some one or other must be somewhere answerable. 
Who, and to whom? The soldiers obey orders, and they 
throw their liability on their commanding officers ; these 
have received their commands from the generals who have 
issued those barbarous decrees ; and they are only acting 
under obedience to the war-department. This, by another 
step, brings us into ministerial responsibility ; for the war 
office is only a function of the executive council. Its chief 
cannot have issued orders for these excesses to be com- 
mitted, except as an avowed ministerial course of action, 
for which they paid a certain amount of joint liability. 

It is clear that the human responsibility has been gradu- 
ally dissipated in the course it has taken. It is like a lump 
of ice passed from hand to hand, till it has melted away, 
and is become nobody's. 

Yet there is an awful declaration, that blood cries aloud 
from the ground, a2:ainst him who unjustly spills it: aye 
even if he be a brother. And it cries for vengeance. And 
it cries to God. And its cry is heard. And it is avenged. 
Kills of blood have trickled down the mountain clefts of 
the x\l>ruzzi ; pools of gore are stagnating in the plains of 
Campngna, once the happy. Their cry is loud and shriek- 
ing : it must be heard. ^ j 

Do you ask in return, what says the blood spilt by the' 

* See the next note but two. 


1862.] On Responsibility, i65 

lawless band, not in warlike conflict, but in reveni?eful 
passion? we answer, it cries for vengeance too on the head 
of him who sheds it. He bears his own grievons bur- 
then, with more chance indeed of repentance, when he 
comes to feel that its whole weight is on liis own shoul- 

But it is not so with the man, wherever placed, who does 
not hold himself answerable for his acts, but shifts their 
responsibility on some one else, till, through as many 
stages as are in " the house that Jack built,'" it has been 
subdivided into infinitesimal quantities, of which the in- 
tegration belongs to another world. Some one must an- 
swer for the whole resultant. Shall it be one or many? 

Time was, when the answer would have been simple and 
obvious. A sovereign was reputed to be the shadow on 
earth, and representative of the supreme Ruler; his power 
a delegation from Providence, the *' majesty which hedged" 
him in, an emanation from the gold and amber of the 
celestial throne. Then, if he was evil, to him all the evil 
of his subjects was attributed. -j 

"Quidquid delirant reges, plectuutur Achivi.'' 

If good, his goodness diffused itself in peaceful fruition, 
throughout his realm. 

** Regis ad exemplar totus coraponitur orbis."^ 

Thus the heathen. The Christian monarch was taught 
that he had a double responsibility. The first was for his 
personal transgressions, like any other man's ; the second 
for the evils of his rule, for his own negligences, and for 
their consequences, through unjust, wicked, oppressive, or 
idle ministers. The responsibility of nobles, army, bur- 
gesses, peasants culminated in his diadem. 

The well-known saying of. a fearless confessor to 
Charles V, is trite : " Dixisti hactenus peccata Cnroli ; 
die nunc quaeso peccata Caesaris."*"" And among 
Philip the Second's last words are recorded these : ** For 
nothing do I now feel so much grieved as of having been a 
king. For I hear the voice of the last trumpet, which 
summons me to render my account." 

* " You have so far confessed the sins of Charles, please now to 
confess the Emperor's." 

166 On Responsibility. [Nov. 

But now, there are no kingly, as distinguislied from 
personal, sins. In all that regards government, ** the king 
can do no wrong/' Not even in the choice of the minis- 
ters, who have to bear his constitutional responsibilities. 
They may be irreligious, profligate and reckless men. But 
they are forced nponliim, by the majorities of his Cham- 
bers, or by the determination of the people. The sovereign 
discharges upon this finally his act of immediate responsi- 
bility ; he has nothing to answer for to God any more than 
to man. 

Can this be so? Is there nothing in kinghood that is 
beyond human determination ? No sanction, no authority 
implied in vocation or in coronation, and the Church's 
blessing? Is all this a mockery, a piece of kingcraft to 
delude the multitude? If it be so, or in more modern 

Ehrase, if all this be ^' a sham," we trust there will never 
e a repetition, where this is held, of so sacrilegious an im- 
posture. If it be not so, but it must be held that some- 
thing comes to the sovereign from above, call it right, or 
privilege, or favour, we may rest assured that with it comes 
responsibility, and responsibility as to the discharge of 
royal obligations. Nor can any compact among men, 
between king and people, or ministers and a nation, 
remove or transfer, or subdivide responsibility. No more 
than the cry of the Jewish rabble, *' His blood be upon us 
and upon our children/' took off one drop from Pilate's 
hypocritically washed hands. The guilt was not divided, 
it was multiplied in stead. ^ 

If there be any direct gift from above, with a correspond- 
ing liability, to the supreme authority in earthly kingdoms, 
the mutual relations thus solemnly contracted cannot be 
altered by other powers. We are not talking of *' the 
divine rights of kings," or theories on the derivation of 
jurisdiction. But the modern sovereign is invested by 
his own subjects with immense powers — the right of war, 
that over life or death, the distribution of honour and 
reward. The army is his, and the patronage of the 
Church, by assumed headship, or by concordat, charitable 
endowments, taxes; the national wealth are often reckoned 
as his. With these tremendous powers accepted, can it 
be said that, by a simple human fiction, he may discharge 
himself of a most awful responsibility in the proper applica- 
tion of them ? that no charge is laid upon bis conscience, 
distinct from personal offences ? 


1862.] On Responsihilily. 16T 

It has not been tliougbt so ; though under unfortunate 
circumstauces. Only on one subject have the sovereigns 
of England appealed to conscience, and then it was to per- 
petuate injustice. The greatest minister that England 
ever produced, Pitt, lost his unrivalled position of Prime- 
minister, in 1801, after seventeen years of splendid admin- 
istration, because his constitutional master appealed to his 
conscience, on the concessions justly claimed by Catho- 
lics."" And how has this most rare, and most unfortuiiate 
display of individual responsibility, that overruled the con- 
stitutional maxim, in favour of wrong, been treated by 
English publicists? Take Jeremy Benthan. ** Suppose 
a king to have expressed his fixed determination, in the 
event of any proposed law being tendered to him for his 
assent, to refuse such assent, and this not on the persua- 
sion tbat the law would not be * for the utility of his sub- 
jects,' but that, by his Coronation Oath, he stands pre- 
cluded from so doing : — the course proper to be taken by 
parliament, ...would be a vote of abdication — a vote declar- 
ing the king to have abdicated his royal authority, and 
that, as in the case of death or mental derangement, now 
is the time for the person next in succession to take his 
place.'' — (E. K. quoted above.) 

Sydney Smith's commentary is short and pithy. '' And 
thus a king, incapable of forming an opinion on serious 
subjects, has nothing to do but to pronounce the word 
Conscience, and the whole powers of the country is at his 

The constitutional axiom is therefore considered to 
relieve the royal conscience from all accountability in what 
appertains to government. Peculation, robbery, sacrilege, 
the inundation of immoral publications, the ruin of fami- 

* Lord Stanhope's Life of Pitt, vol. iii. p. 276. But in 1799, the 
King said to Dundas, "I only hope Government is not pledged to 
anything in favour of the Roman Catholics.'' "No,'' the minister 
answered; *' it will be matter for future consideration;'' and on 
the King going on to allege his scruples on the Coronation Oath, 
he endeavoured to explain that this Oath applied to His Majesty 
only in his executive capacity, and not as part of the Legislature. 
But George lU. angrily rejoined, "None of your Scotch metaphy- 
sics, Mr. Dundas ! None of your Scotch metaphysics !" lb. p. 178. 
No doubt the poor king was sincere, for his mind sank under this 
anxiety of conscience. 

168 On Responsibility. [Nov. 

lies, na3' bloodshed and conflagration, lives and towns 
destroyed, all this may go on, under a king, without his 
having any reason to suffer a headache, or lose a minute's 
sleep, because he is a constitutional king, and can do no 
wrong. What a pity that certain of the twelve Caesars, 
who burnt cities, and martyred priests, did not know of this 
principle. All that we will say is, " God is not to be 
mocked !" 

Constitutionally, however, we pursue responsibility into 
the ** multitude of counsellors, in which there is safety;" 
and we naturally add, where is it lodged ? 

Where an upright monarch has chosen, to the best of 
his power wise and honest counsellors, who look only to 
the justice and prudence of the case before them, and ad- 
vise accordingly, and their measures are sincerely adopted, 
and carried out, no doubt there is additional security to the 
conscience of all thus directed. For, all that consciencions 
prudence can do has been done, on righteous maxims; and 
even in case of failure in result, the resolutions and deci- 
sions will be justifiable. 

But let us suppose that a council of ministers is guided 
by no such lofty notions, but considers, openly or covertly, 
what will keep its party in power, and exclude the wolf 
that is howling round the gate of the fold, no doubt believ- 
ing that their own enjoyment of its command is of essential 
utility and necessary for the welfare of the country ; sup- 
pose that it discusses which will be the popular* side in 
great pending questions, foreign or domestic, what will 
best help them at the next election, what will rouse dor- 
mant religious feelings in their favour, whom they shall 
'* throw overboard, y and whom take, for the nonce, to 
their bosoms ; is this a conception of motives and resolves 
which any man in the empire considers impossible ? Or 
rather is it not one with which we are all so familiar, or 
which seems so obvious to us, that we have almost come to 
explain it by a household phrase : "What have morals to 
do with politics?" 

Shall the Catholics or the Orangemen be conciliated ? 
Shall a No-popery cry be got up in England for the next 
elections ? Shall our organs, for that purpose, incense 
the more inflammatory part of the population ; and then 
shamelessly assert that their priests and bishops are 
secretly exciting them to insurrection ? Or what will be 
the more popular politics on the Continent? Is discontent 

1862.] On Eesponsihility, 169 

to be fomented by our diplomatic agents In certain coun- 
tries, or proselytism pursued under English patronage, or 
the crown to be knocked off some monarch's head, or his 
best provinces encouraged in irritation against their actual 
sovereign? Are we to favour the red-handed rebel, be- 
cause he marches against Rome, reckless of the bands 
of silly youths, to be shot down, in battle or after it; are 
we, who were so loud about Poerios, and state-prisons 
under the Bourbons, to be silent now, about prisoners 
twice as numerous, and sufferings far more atrocious, try 
to conceal present wickedness, because committed by our 
friends, under the name of liberty, and are we to affect 
disbelief of the barbarities and butcheries committed 
through Southern Italy ? 

Whether mooted distinctly or not, we see daily that 
such conduct as is here implied, and every sort of '* jobs,'' 
indirect bribery, trickery, and unscrupulous public mea- 
sures are boldly attributed by opposite parties in the state, 
to one another. It is taken for granted by those out of 
office, that the ruling ministry is by no means actuated 
by pure motives of abstract right or wrong, nor squares its 
policy by the inflexible rule of justice, but that it follows 
the zig-zag course suggested by expediency, has not two, 
but many, weights in its bag, not one, but many, measures 
in its girdle. A crooked, a wily, a pliable policy is boldly 
attributed to the governing body. 

And if we transfer the field of ministerial discussion and 
deliberation elsewhere, who hesitates, as he likes Ricasoli, 
or Ratazzi, to attribute the worst motives of cowardice, in- 
fidelity, or self-seeking, to the rival of his champion ? At 
any rate, one ministry after another, with England conniv- 
ing or applauding, has issued mandates for the arrest of 
cardinals and bishops and priests, for simple performance 
of their sacred obligations, has seized and confiscated pro- 
perty no more their own than that of the Temple was Anti- 
ochus's or Heliodorus's, has turned out ruthlessly, and 
left roofless venerable women, who in any civilized country 
held their property by as sacred a tenure as their persecutors 
held those of their ancestors, and has deluged the king-, 
dom, more than permissively with irreligion and immo- 

Well, in the first case, that of our own constitutional ad- 
ministration, we have sufficient grounds for a hypothetical 
datum; while we may safely^ set the second aside, as 

170 On Responsibility. [Nov. 

being far beyond the condition of hj^pothesis. For overt 
iniqnity cannot afford a dispntable ground. 

Let lis then suppose, what every one without hesitation, 
deals with as at least possible, to become actual ; and that a 
ministry regulates, at any one time, its domestic or foreign 
policy, simply by reference to self-interest, in violation of 
all equity and justice. The members are divided, but a 
measure is adopted to which the minority assent. Where 
does the responsibility rest, for this act, not less a human 
one because the result of many wills ? If injustice is com- 
mitted by it, or is its foreseen result, responsibility is as 
surely following it, as the black shadow is the murderer 
who walks in the sun. 

Are all who adopt the conclusion, or only those who 
have taken part in its discussion, or those solely who have 
proposed and by influence drawn others into the unjust 
measure ? We will not deny that there may be great 
aggravations, in some, of the general guilt, as there was in 
the priests who instigated the cry for Barabbas, beyond 
those who raised it. But every individual who joined in 
it, partook of its whole guilt. 

Sin is an imponderable quantity, and cannot be mea- 
sured out. Yet men have a natural desire to think 
otherwise, and to like company in guilt. Boys would 
rather rob an orchard in a body, than alone ; and so 
would burglars a house, or poachers a preserve. And this 
not because they intend to fight, but because of a cer- 
tain comfort in having companionship in a scrape, and a 
sort of feeling that the guilt is divided, and only a share 
comes to each. The law however judges differently. 
One man will hardly dare to deal a policeman a deadly 
blow on the temple ; but ten will bruise and kick him on the 
ground. Not one gives him a fatal knock ; one hits his 
arm, and another his leg : this his head, and that his body, 
till the accumulation of injuiies kills the poor fellow, on the 
spot or in the hospital. Now be the offence murder or 
manslaughter, that unsparing- exactor of accounts, human 
justice, does not divide the indictment, and charge Smith 
with smiting X 500 on the arm, and Jones for abrading 
his scalp, and Robinson for pummelling his ribs, and award 
punishment to each separately for his individual share in 
the murderous assault ; but holds them all jointly and 
severally guilty of the heinous guilt, resulting from their 
individual ferocities. It is the same in civil matters; If the 


1862] On Responsibility, 171 

directors of a Company meet in their Bank-parlour, and 
agree to risk their depositors' moneys in a '*neck or 
nothing" speculation for their own immediate profit, and 
ruin their clients ; all engaged in the nefarious conspiracy 
will be found equally guilty as peculators, or swindlers, 
without reference to the proportionate division of spoils. 

Now if earthly justice be but the puny adaptation of the 
celestial, by imitation of its laws, instinctively, and re- 
vealedly communicated, we must naturally conclude that 
the guilt of joint transgressions is not ^ disuibutive or 
cumulative, but ** solidary,'' each one being responsible 
for tlie whole. If by instigation of our rulers, or with their 
positive approbation, the late bishop Fransoni was driven 
into exile, without trial, or even judicial forms, by a most 
arbitrary and unconstitutional proceeding, surely the whole 
of his disgraceful treatment, and the spiritual miseries 
which ensued, come home to the primary actors in this 
act of religious persecution. Nor does the electric wire 
bring news quicker to the ear, than responsibility incurred 
comes on the conscience, of those whose systematic encour- 
agement has, by logical steps, easily foreseen, caused the 
military assassination of a loyal people, for not submit- 
ting to the tyranny and irreligion which are considered a 
cheap rate of purchase for chimerical and fantastic liberty.'*" 

* While we are writing, the papers furnish us with a tolerable 
justification of our text ; ne pereant fragmenta, we will insert the 
account abridged from the •* Standard" of Nov. 3. 

*• Although this regime of brutality has failed, it is to be persisted 
in, and upon an extended scale. The prefect of Foggia has recently 
issued an order as brutal as that of his neighbour, Fantoni, at 
Lucera, and throughout the provinces notifications have been pub- 
lished like a circular, which the correspondent of the Times approv- 
ingly quotes as the work of Commander Di Luc a, the prefect, we 
presume, of the Principato Ulteriore. We cull a few of the flowers 
of this address — 

4th Instruction. * The relatives of brigands to be arrested to 
the third degree, unless they give valuable information, or are 
guaranteed by four respectable citizens.' 

" If this is carried out the prisons will be full enough. Fancy 
arresting and imprisoning for an indefinite time, men, women, and 
children because they have a cousin who is suspected of being a 
brigand — i. e., a person in insurrectiou against King Victor 

*' 5th. * The troops in their perlustrations are to examine all 

172 On Responsibility. [Nov. 

With eighteen assassinations in one day at Palermo, and 
a fair proportion in other cities of young and renovated 
Italy, are we to believe that no account is to be rendered 
by the country, or its rulers, who have urged on that 
wretched policy, of treason, of rebellion, of buccaneering 

country houses, and arrest those who have arms or any incriminat- 
ing articles.' 

**6th. * Labourers in the country must have a permit from the 
syndics, specifying characteristic marks, the places and kind of 
work on which they are engaged. The labourers shall be responsi- 
ble for men, women, children, or servants who bring their food.' 

** 7th. * They shall be severely punished if they carry with them more 
food than is necessary for one meal. The labourers, too, shall bo 
severely punished who do not" mix lime with the grain before sowing 

** 8th. * All country houses are to be closed and walled up before the 
expiration of 15 days, and the inhabitants are to retire to the communes 
the syndics finding habitations for them. Within this time the labour- 
ers are to bring in from the country all their effects,' forage, and 
produce of the harvest. All animals, too, are to be brought in, 
and placed either in the communes, or as near as possible to them 
for security.' 

" 13th. ' Great vigilance to be exercised over the clergy. "Weekly 
reports of their conduct to be sent to the prefects, sub-prefects, and 
military commanders. Those who are faithful shall be marked out 
for public gratitude.' " 

*' What a terrible condition of society this circular discloses ! 
It admits that the people generally are hostile to the Government, 
and will, when they can, help the * brigands ;' and it coolly orders 
the employment of means so brutal that it is unintelligible to us 
how ail Englishman can be found to applaud them. We saj dis- 
tinctly that in the worst days of the worst of the Boukbon dynasties 
no such infamous barbarities were attempted. And be it remem- 
bered all this cruelty is committed in the name of liberty and 
universal suffrage. The Piedmontese went to Naples professedly 
to liberate the people from a tyranny which weighed heavily upon 
them, and it is as liberators that they commit these atrocities. We 
do not seek to excite sympathy for this unhappy peasantry. We 
are quite aware that it is impossible to awaken it in the quarters 
where alone it could be useful. Earl Russell and Mr. Gladstone 
are so CLamoured of Italian unity that they can see no wrong in 
any means employed to effect and maintain it, and, moreover, are 
both of them a great deal too aristocratic and Protestant in their 
sympathies to trouble themselves about the miseries of a^ poor and 
bigoted Popish peasantry." 

1862] On Responsibility. 173 

invasion, of savage rule, to which are traceable all the 
miseries of the ill-fated "Two SiciUes?" Let us leave 
the Government of the new country to answer for its own 
heavier debt; but let us think well of our own. 

We can simplify an equation, by diminishing, or sub- 
dividing its quantities; and we can reduce our reasoning 
to simpler terms. A few years back on the continent, and 
a few centuries ago at home, when a king wished, for 
example, to plunder and oppress the Church, he did not 
sink his responsibility in that of many councillors. Gene- 
rally it has been a weak and minister-ridden prince who 
undertook such a work, and his Kaunitz, or Pombal, or 
Medici was perfectly ready to take upon himself any 
amount of maledictions in both worlds, without the least 
idea of relieving his master of a single grain. Or it has 
been a sovereign with iron heart and hand, like Henry 
YIII., who easily found ministers to do his brutal will in 
anything, without the slightest desire to transfer to 
them a blame, which he scorned —fearing neither God nor 

Squaring accounts with one Achitophel is a simpler 
process than doing so with a whole Sanhedrim ; but in 
essence it is the same. If ten people advise a wicked 
measure, and a sovereign adopts it, the case is much the 
same as if Burleigh or Cromwell alone had either advised 
or executed it. ^ We fear that combinations among men 
have not essentially modified the method of keeping the 
awful books, to be one day produced from the heavenly 
Accountant's office. 

This distribution of responsibility is one of the happy 
expedients of an ingenious age; which would ridicule the 
gross idea of cloaking, or curtaining, oneself against the 
all-penetrating ray of celestial light, yet fancies it has 
discovered a way of so dissipating and sub-dividing habili- 
ties, as that the supreme wisdom itself cannot possibly 
unite them into a tangible shape. 

This popular plan may be described as a " Joint-stock 
conscience with limited liability.'^ 

In the course of a few years, we have seen an unprece- 
dented number of cases, in which. men bearing honourable 
positions in society, each being singly respected, have con- 
jointly perpetrated the most heartless wickedness, to the 
ruin of thousands. The instances have been too numer- 
ous to be forgotten. Whether the public partake of 

174 On Responsibility. [Nov. 

Dr. Johnson's feelings, when he regarded as a mean 
culprit the man who got a few hundreds into debt, but 
looked up with a sort of veneration as to a hero, to the 
nobleman, who ran into £100,000 liabilities, on the prin- 
ciple of much older date 

" Fac aliquid brevibus Gjaris, aut carcere, diguura 
Si vis esse aliquid," 

we cannot say. But certainly there is a species of awe 
generated in that public's minds by the vastness and almost 
grandeur of evil coolly committed by what are called Com- 
panies; and when several men of rank and repute fall under 
the unequal hand of law, their very number augments 
compassion, instead of multiplying vituperation. After all, 
when you come to spread the responsibility over a whole 
Board of Directors, each receives but a very small divi- 
dend. Let us imagine a timid member of the body, who 
in private life would not defraud a tradesman of the pence 
in his bill, nor refuse a crossing-sweeper his daily penny, 
called, for the first time, to deliberate in his official capa- 
city, whether or no .£50,000 shall be advanced to an origi- 
nal founder of the Company, to enable him to carry on 
iron works already mortgaged to it for double the amount. 
If he were alone, he would look at the matter as a gentle- 
man, and perhaps a Christian. '' The money is not his, 
but belongs to many poor shareholders, who have entrusted 
their little all in small .£5 shares : — the advance is for the 
profit of one already insolved person, who gives negative 
security, past loss for present cash ; — it is only throwing 
good money after bad.'' And a thousand other monetary 
saws and proverbs hurry to his mind, which embalm the 
wisdom of a race, evidently with '' no speculation in its 
eye." Poor good man, what shall he do? Raise his 
feeble voice against the injustice proposed, and seconded, 
by the great colossal men of gold, brass, or clay, whom 
they all worship? Impossible ! Or if he meekly attempt 
it, he will be told, ** it is no use — you will be alone in 
minority ;— besides it is too late, as he must abide b}' the 
decision." And the whole argument may be worked up 
into one of those wise aphorisms, which are exceedingly 
foolish : " My good friend, we are all in the same boat, 
and must either swim, or sink, together." 

What is the natural issue of this? That the quiet man 
acquiesces in the common guilt, prefers the jojnt-stock 

1862.J. On Eesponsihiliti/. 175 

to the individual conscience. For, indeed no doubt, man's 
law more inexorable than heaven's, will hold him equally 
guilty of the conspiracy, and *' inter velut anser olores" 
like a goose as he is, will, not indeed twist his neck, as 
in the last century, but mercilessly clip his pinions, against 
another flight. But at any rate, before another tribunal, 
he would have come out saved, had he adhered to his own 
conscientious convictions, and strenuously, even though 
unsuccessfully, resisted the injustice. 

Still very few have courage for acting thus : each feels the 
comfort of multitudinous liability, and joint-tenancy in the 
investment of moral, as well as material, capital. It is 
extremely seducing, and soothing to the individual con- 
science, which thus feels relieved of its momentous duties 
of weighing, deciding, and resolutely enforcing its own 

In oriental regions, where they pray by machinery, and 
meditate by wind-mills, this difficulty of conscience is 
more easily evaded. Busbequius, to whom we owe so 
much information, concerning our now amiable allies the 
Turks, in his time considered ruthless barbarians, tells us 
that, in his travels, he tried in vain to seduce his attend- 
ants into the pleasant use of alcoholic beverages. All to 
be sure, except one ; who, renegade dog as no doubt he 
was considered, used to yield to the stimulant temptation, 
and quaff an occasional goblet of wine. Before doing so, 
however, he used to utter a most terrific yell. Upon being, 
at last, questioned as to the meaning of this singular 
preliminary, he explained, that by that howl, he intended 
to frighten his soul to a distance, that so it might have 
no share, or responsibility in the action about to be per- 
formed by his weak and recreant body. 

Thus ** conscience doth make cowards of us all," of the 
barbarous Turk by driving him to this childish self- 
mesmerization, of the civilized Englishman, by impelling 
him to merge, that is drown, his over indiscreet monitor, 
in the multitude of others. It is like trying to smother 
the sound of one cracked bell, by ringing out a peal. 

This flying from the voice of conscience, or weakening 
its individual and unmelodious sounds, in a concert with 
those of many, is the most strikingly elucidated in the 
news-press of the day. In what consists the editorship of 
a daily paper? Some potential, and unseen energy, con- 
cealed from the eye as were the furnaces and the boilers 

176 On Responsihility, [Nov. 

in the late Exhibition, move the most complicated, and 
stupendous, but sometimes rude, sometimes delicate, ma- 
chinery. There is that which gathers together, from every 
country in the four quarters of the globe, information of 
every class ; that which discards, blends, weaves together 
the materials so collected ; that which joins the variegated 
webs with the still more complex combinations of home 
intelligences, from the royal Court to the police Court, from 
firistocratic gossip to dry monetary intelligence and price- 
lists; that which throws in the salt and seasoning of lite- 
rary and artistic criticism ; that which sifts, classifies, and 
renders accessible, the heaps of advertisements : finally that 
which elaborates, each day, a pamphlet full of leaders, on 
every sort of subjects, and of every degree of merit. We 
speak not, under this name, of the more real aixi substan- 
tial machinery, by which all these great elements of infor- 
mation are multiplied, from the compositors' hands, by the 
engines which whirl off thousands of huge sheets, in their 
uninterrupted revolutions. But even including this, the 
entire organization is under the control and management 
of human intelligences, unseen, and in general unknown, 
by the tens of thousands, who daily swallow at once, or 
gently imbibe the amount of information thus spread over 
the entire land. 

There is clearly a corporate authority vested in these 
immense periodical productions, births of the day, the 
week, the month and the quarter — but now chiefly of every 
morning. They are known by names, like those of great 
firms, whose credit is received on trust, without acquaint- 
ance with a single person, real or fictitious, that lends a 
name to it. We send our parcel by Pickford's, though 
there is no such a person in the Company ; and we order 
furniture of Gillows, though the name is altogether mythi- 
cal. And so a person quotes the Times, or the Morning 
Post for an opinion, or a fact, without ever reflecting that 
a single individual, probably neither as well educated, nor as 
well informed as himself, has emitted the one, or stated the 
other. It can be only one man who wrote the paragraph ; 
but then he clothes himself in the mysterious plural. O 
that WE of the periodical press ! It gives the authority 
of many minds to the babblings of a single tongue/or the 
scratch ings of a single quill. 

In other words it assumes the joint responsibility of 
many in the statements of one. The Times, or the 


1862.1 On Eesponsihility. 177 

Daily Neius, signifies an association or combination 
of various geniuses, the learned, the polite, the dignifierl, 
the scurrilous, the blasphemous, the shrewd, and certainly 
the inventive. Whether like Cerberus, they are often 
** three gentlemen in one," we do not pretend to divine ; 
but the pubhc believe that they have the joint guarantee of 
many for the truth of what they read. 

And it is so in truth : it is the most perfect specimen of 
a joint-stock responsibility. Certain views, a given party 
are to be maintained, and these must be supported. Facts 
must be suppressed, or bent, or twisted, which could sug- 
gest a suspicion of error, on the organ's side. In the 
foreign correspondence, pure fiction is prepared by men 
often of notoriously worthless character, to deceive the 
bulk of readers. We were shown, with indignation, a 
few years ago, the conditions offered to an aspirant for such 
a post, in the staff of a great daily paper : one of which was 
to decry and depreciate in every way the Sovereign Pon- 
tiff. He preferred personal to associated responsibility, 
declined the honour, and incurred a serious loss. 

There can be no doubt that the daily press requires to 
have its ** accounts cooked" for its readers. For how long 
a time were unceasing efforts made by some, to poison 
the public mind about Naples, its late king, and his 
father, and even the exiled queen, whom any remnant, we 
will not say of chivalry or gallantry, but of manliness even, 
in the writers, ought to have shielded from insult ! This 
was necessary for eventual revolution, no matter at what 
cost of life, of property, of peace and of happiness. Ever^^- 
thing was exaggerated that could embitter men's minds 
against the royal government: everything suppressed that 
could have told in its favour. Then, the Neapolitan pri- 
sons, and their fictitious annals, were given day by day 
with pathetic earnestness. Now, that they are far fuller of 
political inmates, and are scenes of far greater cruelty, 
scarcely a word escapes the pen of corresi>ondent, or writer 
at liome. They are Piedmontese who are now the judges, 
and the gaolers ; formerly they were Bourbonists."' The 

* The impudenre of fictions on this subject is almost incredible. 
At the moment when the Piedmontese government does not know 
how to satisfy the clamorous demands for places from its own parti- 
sans, and that it is filling all Italy with northern impiegati, a leading 
VOL. LII.-2fo. cm. ifi 

178 On Responsibility. [N 


present suppression of truth is in such a case as criminal as 
the former allegation of falsehood ; the intention of both 
being to mislead. However, what we have said of Naples 
will equally apply to many other countries, as Spain, 

paper, "through its correspondent, actually accounted for the unde- 
nied barbarities, inflicted in the Neapolitan prisons, on the ground 
that the same officials were still employed there, who practised 
them under the Bourbons. A statement most incredible, tliat men 
cruelly used, as has been alleged, in prison, should, when masters, 
reward their tormentors by keeping them in pay, or trust them with 
those of their party, when sent to gaol by their rivals. And if so, 
it avows that the present government has continued those whom 
it had denounced as butchers, in honourable office, and holds 
itself responsible for the continuation of the old atrocities. But the 
fact is, that this is a deliberate, and daring untruth ; to make the 
poor exiled Bourbons answerable for the crimes of the invaders who 
dethroned them. And similar apologies have been made for the 
violences committed in the usurped Papal States. 

The following facts for which we can vouch, will prove the false- 
hood of this account. A member of the Turin Chamber, well knowu 
in all Europe went, as he informed us, to visit Count Benosti, in one 
of the political prisons. He possessed right of entrance, by virtue 
of his position, as a deputy; and drew out his medal, to show to the 
head warder; when seeing who had presented himself, ho exclaimed: 
*' I want to see the governor, not the prompter [soffiatore) of a thea- 
tre.'' For it so happened that this nobleman had brought out 
several Tragedies at Florence, and had accordingly had to deal with 
this important functionary, at rehearsals. And he it was who now 
presented himself to inspect his silver ticket. He informed our 
acquaintance, that having formerly acted as go-between for the 
political prisoners of the other day, and tlieir extra mural friends, 
he had been rewarded, for treachery, as was natural — " set a traitor 
to watch a traitor." 

Another time, the same gentleman went to visit in prison the 
Count Popoli ; from whom he learnt that he had at first placed over 
him a turnkey who behaved very respectfully to him. His servant 
informed him that he was a wine-dealer, who, up to the previous 
week, had furnished the Count's house with that commodity, and 
had received his present office. But on its being discovered that 
he was civil to his prisoner, he was removed from at least that part 
of his charge, and a certain Santo Stefano substituted, who had 
indeed been in some dependence on the prisoner, but now made it 
a duty to show that he was master, by conduct contrasting with 
that of his predecessor, but doubtless more acceptable to his 


1862.] On Responsibility. 179 

Austria, IrelancI, and moro especially Rome, ilie news 
from which, given by special correspondents, has been so 
portentous in its malignant truthlessness, as to have jro- 
voked enquiry by honest English residents, who have found 
them to be absolute inventions. And as to home informa- 
tion it has been exactly the same. 

Take for example what has occurred within the last 
month, in the course of a few days. ^ Tlie leading Journal, 
as it is pompously called, asserted, with distinct information 
to the contrary, that a priest at Birkenhead had harangued 
an Irish crowd, inciting them to a breach of the peace. 
The paper considered to be the ministerial organ, informed 
its readers, that money to foment riotous Catholic meet- 
ings in the Parks, was supplied by *' the College of Cardi- 
nals;" many others affected to see, in the Addresses of 
bishops to their flocks, exhorting them to abstain from 
riotous proceedings, covert incentives to do the contrary. 
Even the two weekly journals that represent the opposite 
poles of vulgarity, the more refined extreme of a perpetual 
sneer, and the coarser one of an eternal leer, the Cynic 
and the Buffoon of our periodical literature, joined in the 
absurd outcry, disappointed evidently in the failure of a 
scarcely human conspiracy to make our religion and Ireland 
odious in the eyes of the Empire. 

That the falsehood of all these assertions, statements, 
and calumnies was perfectly known to those who emitted 
them, is abundantly demonstrable.'** And who is respon- 
sible for all this wickedness ? Some one must be. The 
position assumed by the periodical press looks certainly a 
lofty and noble one. The clever writing, and vast infor- 
mation daily provided by it, for the world, leave the impres- 
sion that it commands genius, that rarest combination -of 
intellectual possessions. But genius of its nature is noble, 
independent, and ought to be unpurchaseable. Whereas 
here all is well paid, mercenary, and sordid. A man 
must be ready to write in the sense, and according to the 
thoughts or wishes of a body, whose servant he is. 

* Does the reader wish to have the key to them? Here it is. Not 
many days ago a writer in one of the principal papers, said to a 
Catliolic gentleman : '•' The long and short of it is, that we are 
determined to get up an anti-popery cry; and do what you like, wo 
m/Z have it." Catholics beware 1 

180 On Responsibility. [Nov. 

whose pen he holds, whose sahiry he receives ; as much as 
the clerk of a mercantile firm is bound to write out invoices 
or check off entries, as his employers bid. The corpora- 
tion called " The Times " is after all a monetary associa- 
tion, regulated in its opinions on politics, and every other 
topic, by the balance of profit or loss. Its masters are 
those who share the gains; the commanders of its vast 
and varied talents are the dispensers of remuneration, tlie 
holders of the money chest. If a man says : ** what a 
capital affair such a paper is ;" or, '' how I should like to 
have a share in another;" nobody understands such ex- 
pressions otherwise than as if the name of the ** Royal Ex- 
change Insurance Office," or the ** New River Company" 
were substituted in the phrase. They all pay good inte- 
rest for money invested in them; but their shares are 
become very high. 

Now if what are called the principles of a paper resolve 
themselves into what opinions pay; and these are to be 
supported ** through thick and thin," by reckless asser- 
tions, or artful suppressions, at the expense of private 
character, or personal feelings, there is somewhere a 
weighty responsibility both for every separate sin thus 
committed, and for the almost satanic wickedness, which 
bribes so many others to moral these offences, and deadens 
countless consciences, for the purpose of keeping a specu- 
lation up to its desired productiveness for its proprietors. 

In what part of the huge machine is hidden its con- 
science-power ? On which of its adamantine wheels does 
responsibility rest ? No doubt, in the opinion of its share- 
holders, in some great fly-wheel, which carries off, and 
drifts into space any waste, or over-power ; than which 
none can be more so than conscience. The instruments, 
distant and near, all equally venal, must with certainty 
bear their individual blame, in ministering to injustice or 
untruth: but the gold-full hand which grasps and directs 
their pen, the iron head which overrules their conscience, 
and inspires their minds, must stand the tests of moral 
responsibilities, not in shareholders' proportions, but in in- 
divisible and complete personal acceptance. 

There is a similar use of this truly modern process of 
mental purgation, of this application of artificial human 
laws, to those of a superior tribunal. Men have found it 
convenient rulesabout human liability, and seem 
to think it a matter of* course, that an Act of Parliament 


1862.] On Responsihility. 181 

framed on tins subject holds good elsewhere. Just as many 
people believe that marriage is indissoluble, according 
to God's law, but nevertheless quite acquiesce in the sen- 
tence of the Divorce Court. 

And so it is thought that a disclaimer of responsibility 
actually secures exemption irom it; like an advertisement 
to tradesmen, that a man is not liable for his wife's or 
son's debts. The Editor of a Magazine, for instance, tells 
his readers that he does not hold himself responsible for 
the sentiments of his correspondents, or his contributors. 
Now, to what HabiUty does he allude? To that to God, or 
that to man ? 

Surely, if he have made up his mind never to admit into 
his pages even a line contrary to his own consciencious 
principles, nothing that can be disapproved by religion or 
morality, or which he believes or fears is untrue or unjust, 
or uncharitable, why should he disclaim that higher re- 
sponsibility ? ^ There is plenty of scope for diversity of 
opinions, within the great moral lines thus traced out. Fair 
discussion upon a thousand permissible topics gives variety, 
richness and interest to the pages of a periodical. Mono- 
tony of minds is as wearisome as identity of features ; even 
a little rasping colHsion of opinions will elicit brilliant 
sparks. In the very heavens there are oscillations of great 
parts, which do not interfere with the mighty laws that rule 
their positions and their courses. 

No one need deprecate responsibility, for what he has 
intention and power to preserve from vagrancy beyond the 
sacred boundaries of moral right. And as to men, un- 
doubtedly no responsibility can be cast off, except upon 
some one else who undertakes to bear it. We may differ 
quite diametrically (for this is an instance of an open ques- 
tion) on the propriety or expediency of the French imperial 
law, that every newspaper article must bear a real signature. 
Verax or Paterfamilias will not do. In other words, 
the certainly sagacious ruler of France insisted upon some 
tangible, mulctable and imprisonable human being, holding 
himself ready to bear all fitting pains and penalties, for the 
untruthfulness of facts, and the treasonableness of opinions 
in his old friends' publications. Even so, plenty of lies, 
under the uiore softened title of canards glide over the 
surface of these responsible articles, whose signatures take 
off, not **the division of the twentieth part of one poor 
scruple," from the pressure of that hand, of which a finger 

182 On Responsibility. [Xor. 

weighs more heavily than the loins of any Bourbon king, 
on editorial liability. 

But if no real name, or its equivalent, assigns elsewhere 
the responsibility of a communication, on whom must it 
fall but on him who gives it wings, as to an arrow, and then 
impulse through the crowded thoroughfare? 

Let us, however, conclude. For twenty years and more, 
has this Review pursued its course. It has not been with- 
out its struggles, its enmities, and its rivalries. Yet now 
so far from thinking that its career is ended, or that the 
necessity for its prolongation has ceased, those in whose 
hands it is placed, ifeel rather that a vigorous efiPort is 
expected from them, to increase its energies, and do 
battle for sound doctrines, against the shifting errors of the 
day. It would be a curious historical record, if any one, 
in a future number, would write it, to trace the progress of 
controversy and the changes of ecclesiastical circum- 
stances, as registered in the successive volumes of this 
Review. How totally different was the relative position 
of Catholics in Great Britain and of Protestants, when the 
first number appeared. How different our literary, our 
theological, our political, our architectural, our artistical, 
our ecclesiastical, our social condition, from those now old 
times. How many topics then fresh would look stale now, 
not because in themselves unimportant, but because we 
have conquered the necessity of alluding to them. What 
was then recommended in these pages has been now fully 
adopted : what was foreseen has been fulfilled ; what was 
reprobated has ceased to be. ^ 

Vyhat questions, mighty indeed, in the history of this 
portion of the Church, perhaps not insignificant in its 
greater Annals, have arisen, run their course and ended, 
entirely or partly during this space, and at any rate will 
be found step by step pursued in these pages. The phases 
of the great intellectual yearning after truth at Oxford, 
and the glorious conquest of souls which crowned its long- 
ings are here registered. The history of the Catholic 
Hierarchy opens and dies out in but a few of our numbers. 
We have survived many other questions and almost their 
interest. Nor could we have foreseen the new fields that 
have now opened to us, and invite us to watch. 

We could not have anticipated the stirring topic of the 
day, Italy, with its complications, political and religious. 
Especially could we not foresee the renewal, even among 


1862.] On Responsibility. 183 

Catholics, of tlie question of pontifical temporal rule. 
!Neitlier could we have warned our readers against such 
signs und portents as the ** Essays and Reviews," or the 
more recent attack on Scripture from a bishop of the 
Establishment. Nor is it possible for us to allow our 
faithful representation, through nearly a quarter of a cen- 
tury, of the interests, the aspirations, the anxieties, and 
tlie successes of Catholics in England and Ireland, to 
come to an end, at the instant when so many new and 
momentous matters demand their faithful record, and 
public expression, in sympathy with their present feelings, 
and in continuation of their past history. No publication 
which does not express this sympathy can go down to 
our children as the faithful chronicle of our days. 

Our literary and religious mission is clearly not ended ; 
and we must not leave its work unfinished. 

But what has led us to these closing remarks is this. 
From the first number to this, every article has been 
written, or revised, under the sense of the most solenni 
responsibility to the Church, and to her Lord. If we have 
been reproached, it has been rather for severity in exclu- 
sion, than for laxity in admission. Many an article has 
been ejected rather than rejected, even after being in t^q^e, 
because it was found not to accord with the high and 
strict principles from which its editorship has never 
swerved, and which it has never abated. To him who 
has conducted it for so many years, a higher praise could 
scarcely be given ; and by no one, we are snre, has it ever 
been better deserved. That occasionally an article, or a 
passage may have crept in, which did not perfectly come 
up to the highest standard of ecclesiastical judgment, is 
not only possible but probable. Absence, hurry, pressing 
occupation, ill health, or even inadvertence and justifiable 
confidence will be sufficient to account for an occasional 
deviation from rule, should anyone think he detects it. 
If so, we are certain he will find its corrective or its rectifi- 
cation in some other place. 

For from first to last, as we have said, this Review has 
been guided by principles fixed and unalterable; and 
those who have conducted it, have done so with the feeling 
that they must render an account of all that tliey admitted. 
However long may be its duration, and under whatever 
auspices, we are sure that the same deep, earnest, and 
religious sense will pervade its pages, and animate its 

184 Mendelssohn, [Nov. 

conductors, that their occupation is a sacred one, a depu- 
tation to posterity that our children's children may know 
how we adhered to the true faith of their fathers, how we 
bore with patience and gentleness the persecutions of our 
enemies, and how we never swerved from justice to friend 
or foe. Our motto may well be : '* Propter veritatem, 


Art. VI. — I. Reisehriefe von Felia: Mendelssohn Bartholdy aus den 
Jahren, 1830 bis 1832. Herausgegeben von Paul Mendelssohn 
Bartholdy, Leipsig, 1861. 

2. Letters from Italy and Switzerland. By Felix Mendelssohn 
Bartholdy. Translated from the German by Lady Wallace. 
London : Longmans, 1862. 

3. Sketch of the Life and WorTcs of the late Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. 
By Jules Benedict. Second Edition. London : John Murray, 

4. Supplement to Vol. I V. of the Musical World. London : Novello, 

SELDOM, mdeed, does it fall to our lot to meet with 
such a book as that which we have placed at the head 
of this paper. More seldom, still, is it vouchsafed to the 
bright band that crowds Parnassus' slopes to reckon among 
its ranks one so perfect, so complete in every respect, as 
the great artist of whose young genius that book is the 
simple and afifecting memorial. It is a fortunate thing for 
us, that we have received it precisely as it issued from his 
pen. It is, perhaps, the highest tribute, of its kind, which 
could be paid to his memory, that they, whose character 
already stood so high, and who have received an immense 
accession of reputation by the fame which he has bequeathed 
to them, should have thought that this memory will 
be best served, and this fame extended by the publication 
of those unpretending letters, penned in the warmth and 
innocence of his affectionate heart, ere yet the responsi- 
bility of public life could have brought even the alteration 

1862.] Mendelssohn. 165 

of an added grace to the simplicity of his native great- 

In truth, among the records of art and artists we do not 
remember any that may be compared with this singular 
career. Art, whether it be imaginative or representative, 
is so begirt with temptations of every kind, so shackled by 
circumstances, so weighed down by drawbacks, that they 
who can appreciate it best are least surprised by its short- 
comings. Among all the intellectual occupations of man, 
its pursuit is too often the one most ftimiliar with vicissi- 
tude, most apt to be cheated into taking appearances for 
the substance, most liable to find, when^ too late, that the 
doomed cockle has been irretrievably mixed with the good 
grain which ought to be preserved. Let us add to this, 
that all art tends to be absorbing, and therefore tyrannical, 
grudging any attention to aught else besides itself; that 
the artist is after all but human, and that the very tempe- 
rament which renders him the fittest instrument for achiev- 
ing the high aims of art, is also open to suggestions and 
fascinations, equally powerful, and of a very difterent kind. 
They who know the history of art well, do not marvel at 
the saddened lives which so frequently chequer its chroni- 
cles ; at the varying struggle of victory and defeat, the 
mingled shame and glory, the wasted energy and mistaken 
lights, the confusion of plan, the infirmity of execution, the 
inconsistency of purpose and result; nor are they shocked, 
when they find, as alas ! it too often happens, that the 
artist has stooped very low indeed, even when he seemed 
to rise highest, To this long series of antecedent and 
contemporary biographies, the life of Mendelssohn presents 
a brilliant and jo^'ous contrast; holding, in the muster-roll 
of artists, a place all to itself, individual and alone. With- 
out flaw or blemish or defect, unstained by meanness, un- 
sullied by passion, free alike from all sordid promptings 
and cynical austerity, from warp or check, it passed along 
swiftly and surely, piling success on success, pure as a ray 
of sunshine, diffusing health and gladness wherever it 
could reach. It was a wondrously consistent whole from 
the beginning even to the end, without a single fault to 
break its evenness, a single drawback to mar its continu- 
ous prosperity, untouched by failure, ignorant of vaiiity, 
unruffled equally by presumption or by fear, sustained in 
ceaseless and successful toil by that nobleness of spirit 

186 Mendelssohn. [Nor. 

and unflagging energy which genius ever borrows from 

The opulence of his family preserved Mendelssohn's 
childhood and youth from those anxieties which are the 
proverbial obstacles in the artist's path ; while their position 
secured for him that favourable introduction to public notice, 
which always constitutes a preliminary difficulty, and often 
an insurmountable one, in the way of unaided genius. Every 
thing, too, connected with his home, was such as could 
liardly fail to promote his advancement. The family tra- 
ditions, pointing to intellectual eminence as the chief 
source of the great consideration in which his house was 
lield, furnished at the same time a beacon and a powerful 
incitement to a youth of talent and of high spirit. His 
father was a large-minded and highly cultivated man, 
energetic, kind-hearted, and liberal. His mother was an 
admirable compound of goodness, refinement, and judg- 
ment, whose heart was bent on securing the proper culture 
of her family, and whose ingenuit3^ was wholly directed to 
discover ways and means of influencing their tastes, in- 
creasing their acquirements, and promoting their improve- 
ment and enjoyment. Rarely has genius been born into 
such a sunny sphere. Rarely has it been so carefully- 
tended, so diligently nurtured, so lavishly helped. Rarely, 
too, has it expanded so quickly and to such early maturity, 
with such abundant blossoms, and yet richer and more 
copious fruit. Seldom, indeed, has the education of youth 
been attended with so much promise, and still more seldom 
has this promise been so outstripped by the profusion of its 
fulfilment. He learned easily, quickly, and solidly, put- 
ting away surely in the storehouse of his memory every- 
thing which was worth remembering, whence he was 
always ready to draw it the moment heVequired it. Nothing 
seemed too much for his powers, nothing too trivial to be 
worth knowing : and yet he was solicitous about his ac- 
quirements according to the estimate which he was enabled 
to set upon their value. He seemed to have an equal 
aptitude for each province of the realm of art and intellect. 
He was an admirable draughtsman, and passionately fond 
of poetry : — nought but a poet's fancy could have conceived 
the Lieder ohne Worte. He was an excellent linguist, 
speaking perfectly the modern languages of Europe, and 
thoroughly informed in classical literature, to an extent 
indeed far exceeding the ordinary attainments of well- 

1862.] Mendelssohn, 187 

educated men. Everything that was good and noble, 
whether in nature or in art, he appreciated, loved, 
and strove to identify almost with himself; but this keen 
susceptibility of impression brought no confusion to a 
mind, one of whose foremost qualities was a subtlety of 
discrimination, that at once caught each difference of 
shade and tint and variation of tone. An extreme mobility 
of temperament, a thorough sense and relish of humour, 
and a faculty of instant perception were tempered by a 
kindness and suavity of disposition, which forbade any en- 
joyment or satisfaction purchased at the slightest risk of 
pain to another. With all the frolicsomeness and delight 
of a boy when among children, he had the greatest respect 
for those older than himself, and took an unfeigned plea- 
sure in their society. His great personal beauty may well 
be believed to have increased the public inclination to view 
with favour his early efforts, and may in some degree have 
contributed to his life-long popularity ; for, we suppose, 
the old principle ever holds^good^ and now, as formerly, 

*• Tutatur favor Euryalum,.. 

Gratior et pulchro veniens in corpore virtus;'* 

yet he seemed to be wholly unaware of his advantage, and 
neither by vanity, nor affected indifference evinced the 
slightest consciousness of a gift which every portrait has 
failed to copy. Need we say, that there was nothing in 
him, low or vulgar, base or tainted ; that everything was 
elevated, refined, and gracious ; that even in his very phy- 
sical actions there was a dignity unequalled among his 
fellows ? Born and reared in affluence, carefully and amply 
educated, fortunate in the choice of a profession, sur- 
rounded by applauding friends, blessed with singular do- 
mestic happiness, borne along a continuous tide of success: 
— he was not spoiled by this unvarying prosperity, but re- 
mained "simple, guileless, perfect to the end. 

Fifteen years have now elapsed since this great artist and 
still greater man was suddenly taken away from among us. 
It is natural that we should look for some record ef so 
complete and noble a life ; and it is particularly desirable 
that such a record should be compiled, before they too, 
have departed who enjoyed the privilege of his familiar iu- 
tercourse, and whose opportunities of information will fur- 
nish those details, the knowledge of which will equally 
satisfy a legitimate curiosity, and afford materials for our 

188 Mendelssohn. [N'ov. 

instruction and improvement. Here in England especially, 
where his genius first found the opportunity of putting forth 
those efforts which afterwards astonished Europe, and to 
whose appreciation and sympathy he himself ever bore the 
warmest testimony, such a work would be fondly hailed, 
as relating to one whom we cannot regard 'as a stranger, 
but must look on as occupying a place among the most 
illustrious of our own dead. An outline of Mendelssohn's 
career appeared during his lifetime, in Novello's Musical 
World, in 1837, shortly after his oratorio of the Conver- 
sion of St. Paul was first produced in England. In the 
beginning of 1850, a short sketch of his life and works was 
published by Mr. Benedict, which possessed the advantage 
of coming from one who knew and understood the great 
composer well, but did not, after all, exceed the limits of a 
mere sketch. It was hoped at that time that a more com- 
plete memoir would be soon undertaken ; but this hope 
has hitherto remained unfulfilled. At length a movement 
was made in the desired direction, and, two years ago, his 
brother, Paul Mendelssohn Bartholdy of Berlin, proposed 
to publish a selection from his correspondence, chiefly with 
a view of thus preserving biographical elements that might 
be of use in the compilation of a, memoir, a work, however, 
whose performance was reserved for a future day. Difficul- 
ties intervened to prevent, for the present, the publication of 
anything like a complete collection of Mendelssohn's cor- 
respondence. Accordingly, his brother determined to 
restrict his plan to narrower proportions, within which it 
would be capable of being completely carried out ; hence 
the work which stands at the head of this paper. Its natiu'e 
and purport are explained in the preface. 

"In 1830 Mendelssohn proceeded to Italy, returning through Swit- 
zerland to France, and in the beginning of 1832 visiting England 
for the second time. This period, which to a certain degree forms 
a separate section of his life, and which, through the vivid impres- 
sions it made, assuredly exercised an important influence on 
Mendelssohn's development, (we may mention that he was only one- 
and-twentj at the commencement of this journej,) supplies us with 
a number of letters addressed to his parents, and to his sisters, 
Fanny and Rebecca, as well as to myself (his brother Paul). I have 
also added some communications of the same date, to various 
friends, partly entire and partly in extracts, and now present them 
to the public in their original integrity. 

*' Those who were personally acquainted with Mendelssohn and 

1862.] Mendelssohn. 189 

who wish once more to realize him as he wa?, when in life, — and 
those also who would be glad to acquire a more definite idea 
of his individuality, than can be found in the general inferences 
deduced from his musical creations — will not lay down these letters 
dissatisfied. Along with this particular source of interest they oifer 
a more universal one as they prove how admirably Mendelssohn's 
superior nature and perceptions of art mutually pervaded and regu- 
lated each other." — Preface to Letters, p. vi. 

It is almost superfluous to say that the public has wel- 
comed the appearance of this work, and has been the more 
satisfied by reason of an implied promise conveyed in the 
preface, that it will be soon followed by other instalments 
in discharge of a debt so lonpf owing. From the very 
nature of the case, ** these letters, — stored up so long in 
the peaceful home for which they were originally destined 
and exclusively intended, and now made accessible to a 
more extended circle,^' solely in obedience to an earnest 
tmd generally expressed "whh, — cannot be made amenable 
to the ordinary rules of criticism. But were it otherwise, 
the most affectionate solicitude could have no anxiety for 
the reputation of their author. Of the translation we need 
only say that it has been, generally, well executed, combining 
clearness, neatness and fidelity. We shall avail ourselves 
of the occasion of these publications to place before our 
readers a connected account of Mendelssohn's early career, 
pressing into our service as well the imperfect narratives 
to which we have already referred, as the more copious 
materials now for the first time placed within our reach. 

The name of Mendelssohn, albeit indebted to the 
nchievements of the subject of this notice for increased 
lustre and more widely extended repute, does not, how- 
ever, owe to him its first distinction. It had been already 
famous, since the middle of the last century, in the person 
of his grandfather, the celebrated philosopher Moses 
Mendelssohn, with whom, indeed, the family surname in 
its present form originated. This great man, an enduring 
monitor of all that energy and industry may accomplish, 
was born at Dessau in 1729, where his father Mendel was 
at the head of a Jewish school of the lowest class. From 
him the young Moses received such fragmentary instruc- 
tion in Hebrew learning as he was capable of imparting. 
The More Nehochim of Maimonides is specially men- 
tioned as a subject of his study ; and a constitutional 
debility and an afiection of the spine continued through 

190 Mendelssohn, [Noy. 

life to test the intensity |of his boyish application. This 
early diligence, althongh destined to exercise a most im- 
portant inflnence on the fortunes of his after life, was not 
at first attended with^ any immediate beneficial result to 
his position ; and, in his thirteenth year, he found himself in 
the streets of Berlin, a wandering Jewish outcast, penniless, 
friendless, homeless, incapable of earning his livelihood by 
manual labour, by reason of his bodily infirmity, and 
speaking an almost unintelligible jargon made up of broken 
Hebrew and the low German of the humblest class. For 
some time, he was wholly dependent for subsistence on the 
bounty of his fellow Hebrews ; but gradually his abilities 
and sterling good qualities won him friends ; and these, in 
turn, by their advice, encouragement, and association, 
greatly contributed to his rapid intellectual advancement. 
Availing himself of the instruction thus placed within his 
reach, he applied himself successfully to the study of 
mathematics, Latin, and niodern literature. But the 
turning point in his life was in 1754, when he was acciden- 
tally met by Lessing at chess. The great critic at once 
recognized the worth that lay shrouded in so much obscu- 
rity. He resolved to become the friend and helper of the 
poor struggling young man, and continued faithful to his 
resolution throughout his whole life. This intimacy proved 
of the greatest advantage to Mendelssohn. Under the 
guidance of his new friend, he entered on the diligent 
study of Greek literature, and soon emancipated himself 
from the narrow-minded pedantry of his early Jewish edu- 
cation. He soon began to adventure himself on the deep 
sea of philosophical disquisition, which thenceforth became 
his favourite pursuit. His acquirements became, at length, 
so generally recognized, that he was strongly recom- 
mended to a silk manufacturer, named Bernard, who 
took him into his house as tutor to his children. He 
acquitted himself of his duties in this capacity so much 
to the satisfaction of his patron, that he first promoted him 
to the superintendence of his factory, and then admitted 
him to a partnership, and finally relinquished the business in 
his favour. His literary advancement kept pace with the 
development of his material fortune. His first work was 
Uriefe uher die Empfindangen or Letters on the Sen^ 
sations. This was followed, from time to time, by other 
philosophical treatises which gained for their author a high 
reputation for acuteness of thought and systematic reason- 

1862.J Mendelssohn. 191 

mg. Lessing associated him with himself in the conduct 
of Nicolai's Deutsche Bihliothek, the earliest German 
literary periodical. It was a great contrast to the abject 
misery and loneliness of his boyhood. He was now in 
middle life, a man of wealth and station, nniversally re- 
spected, and numbered among the leading teachers of the 
age. It was at this time that he composed his Phcedon, 
a work which has been translated into most European 
languages, and on which his merit as an author and a 
thinker, will chiefly rest. Its precision and elegant sim- 
plicity would have been worthy of Xenophon had Xeno- 
phon written in German, while the ingenuity of the argu- 
ments that are alleged for the immortality of the soul and 
the systematic ability witli which they are sustained would 
not have discredited Plato, ^ and have been actually 
honoured with the critical notice of Kant. Lessing has 
immortalized the character of his friend in his drama of 
Nathayi der Weise, in which the part of Nathan has been 
always understood to have been copied from Moses Men- 
delssohn. It is unquestionably a great conception, at 
once attracting our attention and securing our sympathy, 
ennobled by a wisdom and large-hearted tolerance and 
forbearance that impress the reader with a sense of ineffa- 
ble dignity. It is a very faithful representation of the real 
man as he has come down to us, mild, shrewd, and always 
worthy ; remaining in the religious system of his early 
training though often solicited to come out of it, and yet 
it cannot, with any truth, be said that he was of it, or 
belonging to it ; ever aiming at bettering the social and 
intellectual condition of his own race, still equally ready to 
welcome any project that would recommend itself to him, 
as tending to promote the general welfare of all mankind. 
Lessing meant that Nathan should be the impersonation of 
a tolerant Jew. In this we think he has altogether failed, 
the character and the part which it was to bear being not 
only inconsistent but simply contradictory. But, in this very 
failure he has been able to bequeath to us a living and en- 
during portrait of an eminent man, whose innate greatness 
of mind raised him above the littlenesses with which circum- 
stances would have fettered him. Mendelssohn's death was 
singularly in keeping with his life. An essay of the elder 
Jacobi on the doctrines of Spinoza, appearing to him to in- 
volve a charge of atheism against Lessing, excited him very 
much. He zealously defended his dead friend against so 

192 Mendelssohn. [Nov. 

injurious a suspicion. But the controversy had such an 
effect on his nervous temperament, that a cold was suffi- 
cient to terminate his most useful^hfe'in 1786, in the filty- 
seventh year of his age. 

Abraham Mendelssohn succeeded to the wealth, posi- 
tion, and consideration which his father had acquired 
during his brief, but industrious and honourable career; 
and he had both the ability and the good fortune to con- 
solidate and develop these advantages. To his hereditary 
manufacturing .'ind commercial pursuits, he added the 
lucrative occupation of banking. The circumstances of the 
time may have suggested this new undertaking: they, at 
all events, remarkably befriended its progress, while his 
Jewish connections secured for the banker monetary 
facilities and wider opportunities. He married a lady 
named Bartholdy, one of a ftimily already distinguished 
for literary talents and attainments, and who gave ample 
proofs that she had fully inherited these ancestral accom- 
plishments. Her husband adopted her name in addition 
to his own, and transmitted it to his children as a portion 
of the family surname. Their eldest child was a daughter 
named Fnnn}^ who exercised a very considerable influ- 
ence on the career of her brother, Felix, the subject of 
this notice. He was born on the 3rd of February, 1809, — 
at Hamburg, where his parents chanced to be staying, 
their usual place of residence being at Berlin, the centre 
of M. Mendelssohn's commercial and financial operations. 
As if presaging the fortune of his after life, and indicating 
the gifts of circumstance and intellect, which were lavished 
so profusely around his cradle, he was named " Fehx" 
at the baptismal font: — for, although the Jewish philoso- 
pher, the founder of the family, could not be induced to 
relinquish his formal communion with what he had proba- 
bly come to regard as the superstitions of his race, yet, 
his son, either for fashion's sake, or through conviction, 
had become a convert to Christianity. Seldom, indeed, 
has the name bestowed on an infant, been proved to be of 
such prophetic significance ; seldom has this uncertain 
promise been permitted to receive so clear and, in all 
respects, so complete a fulfilment. *[ Felix '' indeed, that 
infant was destined to be in all the gifts of physical beauty 
and intellectual power ; in the careful training^ which 
watched over his boyhood and youth, and taught him how 
best and most surely to use the strength which was his pos-. 


1862.] Mendelssohn. 193 

session ; in tlie unruffled peace of his domestic life leading 
him from spring's delight to summer's joy, in perpetual 
recurrence, ignorant alike of autunni's blight and of 
winter's chill; in the unvarying success of his more adult 
years, bringing fresh and greater triumphs in quick succes- 
sion, and bearing him swiftly nearer and nearer to that 
ideal goal which is the artist's highest aim. In one 
respect only, but that, alas ! the highest, we greatly fear 
tliat the fulfilment fell short and the presage failed — in the 
absence of the grace of being reunited with the Church into 
wliich he had been unconsciously admitted at the dawn of 
his life, and of effective correspondence with opportunities 
more than once vouchsafed and allowed to pass away, 
perhaps in the illusory hope that they might be again 

From his infancy, the little Felix manifested the same 
delicate appreciation of sound which made the childhood 
of Mozart so remarkable ; and this coincidence was carried 
so far, that the young Mendelssohn evinced a similar 
decided repugnance to drums, brass instruments, and mili- 
tary music, as his precocious predecessor, while he listened 
with the same attentive pleasure to anything of a softer 
character. His parents at once recognized the musical 
tendencies of their son, and they had the great good sense 
to determine to do all in their power to foster and develope 
them. Nay it was one of the ambitious dreams of the elder 
Mendelssohn that his son should yet become one of the 
ornaments of his own city of Berlin, a dream which a 
perversity of taste on the part of the Berliners defrauded 
of its accomplishment. Felix was very fortunate in 
having for his first teacher his mother, who was thoroughly 
well trained in the Bach school. She began with lessons 
of five minutes, gradually increasing their length until 
he and his sister Fanny went through a regular course of 
instruction. No one can over-estimate the gain which 
resulted to Mendelssohn from his being blessed with so 
able and judicious a guide in his tender years, and in 
having his young genius formed in the study of the com- 
positions of the best school. It was also an immense 
advantage to him to be -associated in those early lessons 
with his highly gifted sister, whose facility of acquirement 
and tenacious memory enabled her not only to keep p;ice 
with him, but even to outstrip him at that time. Men- 
delssohn himself bears witness to the wonderful attain- 
VOL. Lii.— No. cm 13 

194 Mendelssohn. [Nov. 

ments of her childhood, and in after years she was univer- 
sally acknowledged to be one of the most remarkable 
female musicians of her day. From their infancy, the 
two children were united in every thing. Their amuse- 
ments and their studies were in common for several years, 
and their first essays in composition were also the result of 
mutual efforts. The natural attachment which linked 
them together, thus strengthened by identity of genius and 
community of pursuit, grew only deeper and firmer with 
time, exercising the best and most genial influence over 
the lives of both, and presenting a spectacle of family 
union of which it were well for the world if the examples 
were less rare. 

For some years of Felix's childhood, his parents resided 
in Paris, where they took care that he and his sister 
should receive lessons in music. On their return to Ber- 
lin, he was^ placed under the care of Ludwig Berger for 
instruction in piano- forte, and of Zelter for thorough-bass 
and composition. He was fortunate in both masters, 
particularly in the latter. After his tuition by Berger had 
continued some time, he used to take lessons from all the 
distinguished Professors who visited Berlin, such as 
Hummel, • Moscheles, <fec. Before he was eight years 
old, he was able to execute with facility most difficult 
passages of works requiring a very skilful performer. 

**The quickness of his ear, his extraordinarily retentive musical 
memory, and above all his astonishing facility of playing at sight, 
which surpassed everything of the sort that could be conceived, 
excited the greatest wonder in his teachers, and inspired them with 
theliope of seeing a worthy successor of Mozart arise out of their pupil. 
As instances of his extraordinary readiness, we may mention, that 
in his eighth year, he was enabled, at sight, to play from the many 
part scores of Bach, to transpose Cramer's Studios, and by the great 
quickness of his ear to detect fifths, and other errors or omissions 
in the most intricate compositions: — as for example, in a motett by 
Bach, where the inaccuracy had existed for a century undetected 
by any preceding musician. The consequence of this was, that he 
■ quickly learned by heart, all the grander compositions which he 
Avas accustomed to play with his masters.* He once transposed and 
played at sight, at the same time, a manuscript wiiich Guilion, a 
flute-player, placed before him.'^ — Mmiml World, p. 7. ^Hl 

* The compositions of the Bach School were evidently a family 
delight. Upon one occasion, Fanny Mendelssohn prepared a sur- 


1862.] Mendelssohn. 395 

He played publicly for the first time in bis iiintb year at 
Berlin, with such vivacity and steadiness, that no one 
could have believed that a child of only nine years was the 
performer. Meanwhile Zelter was contributing his own 
share, and more than his share, to the development of these 
same talents in another, albeit kindred direction. Zelter 
was at this time directorof the Singing Academy in Berhn, 
a profound man and an admirable musical theorist, full of 
ability and originality, of large literary acquirements, 
moreover, and the friend and correspondent of Goethe. 
He was a genial man withal, notwithstanding some un- 
couthness of manner, and soon looked upon the precocious 
boy rather as a son than as a pupil, becoming his friend 
and counsellor in every thing, and probably influencing, 
to an extent which we cannot now determine, the tone and 
character of his music. He allowed his pupil to follow the 
bent of his own inclination, interfering less by correction 
than by kind advice. The banker allowed his children 
to give, once a fortnight, at their house, a small family 
concert, consisting ot a string quartett band with an occa- 
sional flute. Zelter used to induce his pupil to write 
symphonies for the quartetts of stringed instruments ; and 
at the concerts the young composer's last symphony would 
be performed, together with the piano-forte sonatas, con- 
certos, trios, &c., of the various great masters from 
Bach to Hummel. M. Benedict has given us a picture 
of Mendelssohn as he was at this time of his life, which 
is so touching and attractive that we cannot resist the 
temptation of placing it before our readers. 

*' It was in the beginning of May, 1821, when, walking in the 
streets of Berlin with mj master and friend, Carl Maria Vou 
Weber, he directed my attention to a boy, apparently about eleven 
or twelve years old, who, on perceiving the author of Freyschiitz, 
ran towards him giving him a most hearty and friendly greeting. 
* 'Tis Felix Mendelssohn,' said Weber ; introducing me at once to 
the prodigious child, of whose marvellous talent and execution I 
had already heard so much at Dresden. I shall never forget the 

prise for her father, on his birth-day, by playing from memory the 
forty-eight fugues of Sebastian Bach. We are not informed if the 
worthy banker bore the infliction patiently to the end. Let anv of 
our readers imagine a ** Governor' of the present day, and a banker 
to boot, being made the victim of such a '* surprise." 

196 Mendelssohn, jNov. 

impression of that day on beholding that beautiful youth, with his 
auburn hair clustering in ringlets round his shoulders, the look of 
his brilliant clear eyes, and the smile of innocence and candour on 
his lips. He would have it that we should go with him at once to 
his father's house ; but as Weber had to attend a rehearsal, he took 
me by the hand, and made me run a race till we reached his home. 
Up he went briskly to the drawing room, where, finding his mother, 
he exclaimed, ' Here is a pupil of Weber's, who knows a great deal 
of the music of his new opera. Pray, mamma, ask him to play it 
for us ;' and so, with an irresistible impetuosity, he pushed me to 
the piano-forte, and made me remain there until I had exhausted 
all the store of my recollections. Wlien I then begged of him to 
let me hear some of his own compositions, he refused, but played 
from MEMORY such of Bach's fugues or Cramer's exercises as I could 
name. At last we parted — not without a promise to meet again. 
On my very next visit I found him seated on a footstool, before a 
small table, writing with great earnestness :>ome mu-ic. On my 
asking what he was about, he replied gravely, ' I am finishing my 
new Quartett for piano and stringed instruments.' 

*' I could not resist my own boyish curiosity to examine this 
composition, and looking over his shoulder, saw as beautiful a score 
as if it had been written by the most skilful copyist. It was his 
first Quartett in C minor, afterwards published as Opus I. 

'< But whilst 1 was lost in admiration and astonishment at behold- 
ing the work of a master written by the hand of a boy, all at once 
he sprang up from his seat, and, in his playful manner, ran to the 
pianoforte, performing note for note all the music from Freyschutz, 
which three or four days previously he had heard me play, and 
asking, 'How do you like this chorus?' 'What do you think of 
this air V ' Do you not admire this overture V and so on. Then, 
forgetting Quartetts and Weber, down we went to the garden, he 
clearing high hedges wi^i a leap, running, singing, or climbing 
up the trees like a squirrel — the very image of health and happi- 

"If I have dwelt on this first meeting with Mendelssohn, it is 
because much of his subsequent greatness is referable to the perfect 
moral and physical education he received at the hands of his 
parents, seconded by the most carefully chosen masters. Whilst 
making him pursue his classical studies, in which he was inferior to 
none, cultivating the wonderful genius and talent which he from 
earliest childhood displayed for music — constantly leading his mind 
in the right direction, anxiously watching over the development of 
his religious feelings — his parents checked every tendency to form 
too high an opinion of his own merits, or to depart from the child- 
like simplicity of his manners. Favoured thus by Providence with 
an independent, and even brilliant social position, surrounded by 
men eminent for science and mental attainments, kept from the 
contact of all that was vulgar and mean, the tender plant was 


1862.J. Mendelssohn. 197 

cnrefuUy fostered, and soon unfolded its blossoms.'* — Shetch, pp. 

In the autumn of tliis same year (1821), Zelter took his 
pupil with him on a visit to Goethe at Weimar. The poet 
at once perceived the great and varied talents of his young 
guest, and thenceforward he took the liveliest interest in 
his fortunes. It was no small honour to have won the 
esteem of the first man in Germany, at so early an age, 
and we may be sure that this friendship exercised a great 
and wholesome influence on the young composer, elevating 
his views, and confirming resolutions to aim only at the 
highest branches of his art. In the year 1825 his father 
took him to Paris, where he gained the friendship and 
approbation *of a judge so severe as Cherubini, before 
whom he played his third quartett in B flat minor, assisted 
by the celebrated violinist Baillot. He had already in the 
previous year made his first appearance before the world 
as an author, publishing two qnartetts for pianoforte, 
violin, viola, and violoncello. One of these, in minor, 
is the Opus I. at whose composition Benedict surprised 
him when he was only twelve years old ; the other is the 
Opus II. in F minor. These were followed in 1825 by a 
Sonata, with obligato violin accompaniments, and by the 
quartett in B flat minor, which had been distinguished by 
the approval of Cherubini. Venturing on a more ambitious 
stage, he produced, in the autumn of 1825, a little opera, 
" Die Hochzeit des Camacho/* *' The Wedding of 
Camacho,*' at the Theatre iioyal at Berlin. It is, of 
course, not so mature or finished 'as later works, but it 
contains many beauties of a high order. Notwithstanding 
the total want of dramatic effect in the libretto, and the 
disappointment occasioned by the untoward illness of the 
principal singer, it met with a very favourable reception 
from the general public, who expressed flattering anticipa- 
tions of the young author. But he was dissatisfied with 
the criticisms passed upon it by the local press, and to 
this dissatisfaction M. Benedict attributes the first foun- 
dation of his dislike to Berlin, which subsequent events 
increased into antipathy. He continued steadily to com- 
bine these studies of composition with the pursuit of the 
practical branch of his art ; and in the month of Novem- 
ber, 1826, he was able to submit to the well-known com- 
poser and pianist Moscheles, his overture to the Midsum- 
mer Night's Dieam, which he and his sister Fanny played 

198 Mendelssohn. [Nov. 

as a duet on the piano-forte. It must have been no small 
surprise to the veteran musician to hear this ffreat com- 
position, the wonderful production of a youth of only six- 
teen years. How diligently he worked we may infer from 
the fact, that by the time he was twenty years of fige he 
had composed his Ottetto, three quartetts for piano and 
stringed instruments, two sonatas, two symphonies, his 
first violin quartett, various operas, a great number of 
separate songs, and this overture to a Midsummer Night's 

In his early compositions, impelled by the natural 
affinity of his genius, he inclined towards the imitation of 
Mozart; but commencing vf\i\\ the third quartett in B 
flat minor, his music began to assume a character of its 
own. In the ottetto for stringed instruments [his origi- 
nality seems to have fully developed itself, in the novel 
musical form of a scherzo in 2-4 time full of vivacity and 
spirit. Following M. Benedict's example, we shall quote 
MacFarren's criticism of that *' perfect marvel of the 
human mind," the overture to a Midsummer ]Night's 

"A careful examination of all its features, and a comparison of 
them with all that had previously existed in the writings of other 
composers, must establish the conviction that there is more that is 
new in this one work than in any other one that has ever been pro- 
duced. It is a complete epitome of its author's style, containing 
the tjpe of all the peculiarities of idea, character, phrase, harmony, 
construction, instrumentation, and every particular of outline and 
detail, for which his style is remarkable. Its many and daring 
novelties are not introduced with the speculating hesitation of an 
uncertain experimentalist, but with the confidence and the result 
of one who had gathered them from the study of a lifetime or the 
experience of ages ; and yet Mendelssohn was but sixteen when he 
produced this wonderful masterpiece.'' — Skelcli, p. 12. 

All this time we are not to suppose that the young com- 
poser's energies were directed solely to the achievement of 
eminence in the art which he had chosen for his profession. 
Both the wishes of his parents and his own inclinations coin- 
cided in the desire that he should add to it the distinction 
of being also an accomplished man of letters. He could 
liardly have commended himself to the esteem of Goethe 
were it otherwise. Fortunately his abilities sufficed for 
the accomplishment of the double task. During the years 
1827 and 1828, he prosecuted his literary studies in the 


18G2.1 Mendelssohn. 199 

University of Berlin, and was remarkable for his applica- 
tion to classical and philological pursuits. Fruit of this 
diligence and scholarship was the first metrical translation 
into German of Terence's Andria, first printed for pri- 
vate circulation among his friends, and afterwards pub- 
lished by M. Heise, philological professor at the University 
of Berlin, who had been his chief classical instructor.''" 
Goethe in a letter to Zelter, acknowledging the receipt of 
the copy which had been sent to him, charges him "to 
thank the excellent and industrious Felix for the splendid 
specimen of his literary labour, which would serve as an 
instructive recreation to the Weimar circle during the 
winter evenings."'^ 

It were to be wished that we had fuller information of 
the domestic lifeof our young composer, during this period 
of training. That both its musical and literary success 
were much indebted to the home influences which sur- 
rounded it, our readers may fairly infer from what has 
been already stated, that there is abundant evidence in the 
Letters. To the taste and suggestions of his mother, and 
to her more active interference and assistance he often 
professes his acknowledgments. His father, too, seems to 
have been always anxious to secure the best instruction for 
him, and to co-operate in his successful posecution of the 
career which he had chosen. So much so, indeed, that he 
appears to have occasionally allowed his zeal to carry him 
too far, and to have believed that his interest in his son's 
welfare authorized him to dictate his conduct. We shall 
have to refer to an instance of this, regarding the compo- 
sition of an opera (Letters p. SOI) and our readeis will 
there see how prudently the younger Mendelssohn knew 
how to bear himself in such difficult circumstances. We 
cannot here avoid anticipating and quoting a letter writ- 
ten by our author to his brother and sisters, from Rome, 
for the sake of the hints which it gives of these peculia- 
rities of his father, and of the inconveniences and jars 
which occasionally arose from not dealing properly with 

" Let me tell you therefore of a mistake in your conduct, and in 
truth the same that 1 once made myself. I do assure you that 

* Musical World, p. ix. 

200 Mendelssohn, [Kov. 

never in my life have I known my father write in so irritable a 
Ftrain as since I came to Rome, and so I wish to ask jou if you 
cannot devise some domestic recipe to cheer iiim a little ? I mean 
by forbearance and yielding to his wishes, and in this manner, by 
allowing my father's view of any subject to predominate over your 
own ; then, not to speak at all oa topics that irritate him ; and in- 
stead of saying 'shameful,' say 'unpleasant;' or instead of 'superb,' 
* very fair.' This method has often a wonderfully good eflfect ; and 
I put it, with all submission to yourselves, whether it might not be 
equally successful in this case? For, with the exception of tlie 
great events of the world, ill-humour often seems to me to proceed 
from the same cause that my father's did when I chose to pursue 
my own path in my musical studies. He was then in a constant state 
of irritation, incessantly abusing Beethoven and all visionaries ; 
and this often vexed me very much, and made me sometimes very 
unamiable. At that very time sometliing new came out, which put 
my father out of sorts, and made him I believe not a little uneasy. 
So long therefore as I persisted in extolling and exalting my 
Beethoven, the evil became daily worse ; and one day, if I remem- 
ber rightly, I was even sent out of the room. At last however it 
occurred to me that I might speak a great deal of truth, and yet 
avoid the particular truth obnoxious to my father ; so the aspect of 
affairs speedily began to improve, and soon all went well. 

"Perhaps you may have in some degree forgotten that you 
ought now and then to be forbearing, and not aggressive. My 
father considers himself both much older and more irritable than, 
thank God, he really is ; but it is our duty always to submit our 
opinion to his, even if the truth be as much on our side, as it often 
is on his. when opposed to us. Strive, then, to praise what he 
likes, and do not attack what is implanted in his heart, more espe- 
cially ancient established ideas. Do not commend what is new till 
jt has made some progress in the world, and acquired a name, for 
till then it is a mere matter of taste. Try to draw my father into 
your circle, and be playful and kind to him. In short, try to smooth 
and to equalize things ; and remember that I, who am now an ex- 
perienced man of tlie world, never yet knew any family, taking into 
due consideration all defects and failings, who have hitherto lived so 
happily together as ours." — Letters, pp. 61-2. 

The year 1829 marks a most important era in the yomig 
artist's life. Hitherto his efforts had been ahnost of a 
domestic character, and his public appearances had been 
made in his father's town and among audiences disposed 
to accord to him the hereditary right of ancestral renown. 
He was now about to try his fortune in a new arena, and 
among strangers. ^Encouraged by the advice of Moscheles, 
he accepted the invitation of an intimate friend, then resident 


1862.] Mendelssohn. 201 

in London, and came to England in April 1829. Shortly 
afterwards he conducted, at the Philharmonic Concert, his 
own first symphony in A major, and the overture to a 
Midsummer Night's Dream. The effect of the perform- 
ance of this overture in London is described as electrical. 
Tlie first feeling seems to have been that the great gap 
left by Beethoven's death was to be all at once and wor- 
thily filled up. This impression became conviction after 
opportunities had been afforded of hearing some others of 
liis compositions, and listening to his performances both in 
public and in private. "His renown, after the enthusiastic 
but just reports of his reception in London, both as a com- 
poser and pianist, spread like wildfire all over Europe, 
and gave the young and ardent maestro a new stimulus to 
proceed on his glorious path." And so, this England, for 
whom the mighty works of Handel were composed, and 
Haydn's finest symphonies written; who hailed the won- 
drous promise of young Mozart, and cheered and ap- 
plauded the declining strength of Beethoven when all but 
rejected by Germany — this England, whose musical judg- 
ment is simply despised in Germany, was again to give the 
world a lesson of musical discrimination, again to be the 
first to recognize the genius of a young German artist, and 
to send him forth, stamped with her approval, to receive 
European fame. In after years, he used to refer with the 
greatest pleasure to this first visit to London, and to his 
subsequent jourueyings through Scotland and Wales, 
during which he formed many valuable and life-long friend- 
ships both within and without the circle of his own pro- 
fession. In the month of August he set out on a tour with 
liis friend Klingemann. The time was spent in observing, 
drawing, and composing, amid the romantic scenery 
through which they passed. They went first to Edinburgh, 
then to Perth, Blair- Athol, Loch Tay, the island of Staffa, 
and Fingal's Cave ; then southwards by Glasgow and 
Loch Lomond, visiting the Cumberland Lakes, Liverpool, 
and North Wales. This tour continued to exert its influ- 
ence on Mendelssohn's mind for many years. The splendid 
** Overture to the Hebrides," or, as it is now called, *' Over- 
ture to Fingal's Cave," was the only immediate result of 
his impressions ; but, it was not till fourteen years after- 
wards that their full effect was realized in his Scottish 
symphony in A minor, the grandest of his instrumental 
works, the first idea of which was caught from the inspira- 

202 Mendelssohn, [Nov. 

tions of Holyrood visited in the darkening: gloom of advanc- 
ing night. On his retnrn to London he met with a severe 
injnry to his knee, caused by the overturning of a gig, 
which hiid him up for several weeks. Hardly yet restored 
to health, he hurried back to Berlin for the ** silver wed- 
ding,'' or twenty-fifth anniversary of the marriage of his 
parents, taking with him as the fruit of his seclusion, his 
operetta of the Son and Stranger, the libretto of which 
was composed by his friend Klingemann. This bright 
little gem was performed at his father's house and then 
remained unpublislied until after his death, since which 
event it has been brought out in London and elsewhere with 
most signal success. 

He remained at home for the Christmas time of this 
year 1829; and now again, in the spring of 1830 he was to 
set out on another eventful journey. One element was 
wanting to his complete education as an artist — that in- 
struction which only a sojourn in Italy can bring, with its 
great examples, its associations, its enduring influences. 
His absence from home for tliis purpose extended over two 
years ; and these letters, in which he pours out most freely 
his impressions of the land that Genius and Beauty and 
Art have conspired to consecrate as their home, were 
written in order to share his enjoyment with those beloved 
ones whose sympathy was always his greatest delight. 
They afford a fresh argument of the inestimable value of 
this Italian travel in the formation of an artist's character, 
showing how rightly this interval has been regarded by 
Mendelssohn's brother as forming a separate and most 
important section of his life, in which the large promise of 
his youth was matured and expanded into a richer and 
more abundant fulfilment. As letters and literary compo- 
sitions, they are deserving of all praise. They also possess 
this additional charm, that, as vehicles of the impressions 
concerning Italy and Italian art of a great genius and ac- 
complished artist, they are simply unequalled. This jour- ^ji 
ney commenced on a sunny day in May 1830; and the first^|| 
letter of the series, dated next day, was written at Weimar, 
and probably contains the last notice of a household, which 
for so long a time rukd paramount over Germany, and 
must ever possess a deep interest for the true lover of Ger- ^, 
man literature, and German nationality. Hi 

•• I wrote this before going to see Goethe, earlj in the forenoon 
after a walk in the park ; but I could not find a moment to finish 


1862.] Mendelssohn. 203 

my letter till now. I shall probably remain bere for a couple of 
days, which is no sacrifice, for I never saw the old gentleman so 
cheerful and amiable as on this occasion, or so talkative and com- 
municative. My especial reason, however, for staying two days 
longer is a very agreeable one, and makes me almost vain, or I 
ought to say proud, and 1 do not intend to keep it secret from you 
— Goethe, you must know, sent me a letter yesterday, addressed to 
an artist here, a painter, which I am to deliver myself ; and Ottilie* 
confided to me that it contains a commission to take my portrait, 
as Goethe wishes to place it in a collection of likenesses he has 
recently commenced of his friends. This circumstance gratified me 
exceedingly ; as, however, I have not yet seen the complaisant 
artist who is to accomplish this, nor has he seen me, it is proba- 
ble that I shall have to remain here until the day after to-morrow. 
I don't in the least regret this, for, as I told you, I have a most 
agreeable life here, and thoroughly enjoy the society of the old 
poet. 1 have dined with him every day, and am invited again 
to-day. This evening there is to be a party at his house, where 
I am to play. It is quite delightful to hear him conversing on 
every subject, and seeking information on all points. 

" I must however tell you everything regularly and in order, so 
that you may know each separate detail. 

•' Early in the day I went to see Ottilie, who, though still deli- 
cate, and often complaining, I thought more cheerful than formerly, 
and quite as kind and charming as ever towards myself. We have 
been constantly together since then, and it has been a source of 
much pleasure to me to know her more intimately. Ulrike is far 
more agreeable and amiabb than formerly ; a certain earnestness 
pervades her whole nature, and she has now a degree of repose, 
and a depth of feeling, that render her one of the most attractive 
creatures I have ever met. The two boys, Walter and Wolf, are 
lively, studious, cordial lads, and to hear them talking about 
• Grandpapa's Faust' is most pleasant. 

" But to return to my narrative. I sent Zelter's letter at once to 
Goethe, who immediately invited me to dinner. I thought him very 
little changed in appearance, but at first rather silent and apathetic; 
I think he wished to see how I demeaned myself. I was vexed, and 
thought that possibly he was always now in this mood. Happily 
the conversation turned on the Frauen-Verein in Weimar, and on 
the ' Chaos,' a frivolous paper circulated among themselves by the 
ladies here, I having soared so high as to be their coadjutor in this 
undertaking. All at once the old man became quite gay, laughing 
at the two ladies about their charities and intellectualism, and their 
subscriptions and hospital work, which he seems cordially to detest. 

* This was Goethe's daughter-in-law ; Ulrica, Walter, and Wolf 
were his grandchildren. 

204 Mendelssohn. [Nov. 

He called on me to aid him in his onslaught, and as I did not 
require to be asked twice, he speedily became just what he used to 
be, and at last more kind and confidential than I had ever seen 
him. The assault soon became general. Tlie * Robber Bride' of 
Ries, he said, contained all that an artist in these dajs required to 
live happily, — a robber and a bride ; then he attacked the young 
people of the present day for their universal tendency to languor and 
melancholy, and related the story of a young lady to whom he had 
once paid court, and who also felt some interest in him ; a discus- 
sion on the exhibitions followed, and a sale of work for the poor, 
where tlie ladies of Weimar were tiie shop-women, and where he 
declared it was impossible to purchase anything, because the young 
people made a private agreement among themselves, and hid the 
different articles till the proper purchasers appeared. 

"After dinner he all at once began, — ' Gute Kinder, hiibsche 
Kinder, muss immer lustig sein — Tolles Volk,' etc., his eyes look- 
ing like those of a drowsy old lion. Then he begged me to play to 
him, and said it seemed strange that he had heard no music for so 
long ; that he supposed we had made great progress, but he knew 
nothing of it. He wished me to tell him a great deal on the sub- 
ject, saying, 'Do let us have a little rational conversation together;* 
and turning to Ottilie, he said, ' No doubt you have already made 
your own wise arrangements, but they must yield to my express 
orders, which are, that you must make tea here this evening, that 
we may be all together again.' When in return she asked him if 
it would not make him too late, as Riemer was coming to work with 
him, he replied, ' As you gave your children a holiday from their 
Latin to-day, that tliey might hear Felix play, I think you 
might also give me one day of relaxation from mt/ work.' He in- 
vited me to return to dinner, and I played a great deal to him in 
the evening. 

** My three Welsh airs, dedicated to three English ladies, have 
great success here ;* and I am trying to rub up my English, As I 
had begged Goethe to address me as (hou, he desired Ottilie to say 
to me on the following day, in that case I must remain longer than 
the two days I had fixed, otherwise he could not regain the more 
familiar habit I wished. He repeated this to me himself, saying 
that he did not think I should lose much by staying a little longer, 
and invited me always to dine with him when I had no other 
engagement. 1 have consequently been with him every day, and 
}esterday T told liiia a groat deal about Scotland, and Hengsten- 
berg, and Spontini, and Hegel's * Esthetics.' He sent me to Tie- 
furth with the ladies, but prohibited my driving to Berka, because a 
very pretty girl lived there, and he did not wish to plunge me into 

* Three pieces for the piano, composed in 1829 for the album of 
three young English ladies; subsequently published as Opus 16. 


1862.1 Mendelssohn. 205 

mlserj. I thought to mjself, this was indeed the Goethe of whom 
people will one daj saj, that he was not one single individual, but 
consisted of several Goethiden. I am to piaj over to him to-day 
various pieces of Bach, Haydn, and Mozart, and thus lead him on, 
as he said, to the present daj?. I should indeed, have been very 
foolish to have regretted my delay ; besides, I am a conscientious 
traveller and have seen the Library, and * Iphigenia in Aulis.' 

May 25th, 1830. 

•'Yesterday evening I was at a party at Goethe's and 

played alone the whole evening, — the Concert-StUck (of Weber), 
the Invitation a la Valse, and Weber's Polonaise in C, my three 
Welsh pieces and my Scotch Sonata. It was over by ten o'clock, 
but I of course stayed till twelve o'clock, when we had all sorts 
of fun, dancing and singing ; so you see I lead a most jovial 
life here. The old gentleman goes to his room regularly at 
nine o'clock, and as soon as he is gone, we begin our frolicf, 
and never separate before midnight. To-morrow my portrait 
is to be finished ; a large black-crayon sketch and very like ; 
but I look rather sulky. Goethe is so friendly and kind to nie, 
that I don't know how to thank him sufficiently, or what to do 
to deserve it. In tlie forenoon he likes me to play to him the com- 
positions of the various great masters, in chronological order, for 
an hour, and also tell him the progress they have made, while lie 
sits in a dark corner, like a Jupiter Tonans, his old eyes flashing 
on me. lie did not wish to hear anything of Beethoven's, but I 
told him that I could not let him off, and played the first part of 
the sympliony in C minor. It seemed to have a singular effect on 
him ; at first he said, ' This causes no emotion, nothing but aston- 
ishment ; it is only grandiose/ He continued grumbling in this 
way, and after a long pause he began again, — ' It is very noble, 
very wild ; it makes one fear that the house is about to fall down ; 
and what must it be when played by a number of men together!' 
During dinner, in the midst of another subject, he alluded to it 
again. He is always so gay and communicative after dinner, that 
we generally remain together alone for an hour, while he speaks 
on uninterruptedly. He has several times lately invited people, 
which he rarely does now, so that most of the guests had not seen 
him for a long time. I then play a great deal, and he compliments 
me before all these people, and ganz stupend is his favourite expres- 
sion. To-day he has invited a number of Weimar beauties on my 
account, because he thinks that I ought to enjoy the society of 
young people. If I go up to him on such occasions, he says, * My 
young friend, you must join the ladies and make yourself agreeable 
to them.' " — Letters, p. 2-9. 

At length, Mendelssohn thought it was time to proceed 
on his tour. By Goethe's dh'ection, his daughter-in-law 
asked him to remain longer. 

206 Mendelssohn. [Nov. 

** Then came the old gentleman himself, and said he saw no use 
in ray being in such a hurry; that he had still a great deal to tell 
me, and I had still a great deal to play to him ; and what I had 
told him as to the object of my journey, was really all nonsense, — 
Weimar was my present object, — and he ^could not see that I was 
likely to find in tables cZ' hole elsewhere, what I could not obtain 

here : I would see plenty of hotels in ray travels I resolved not 

to be a man of determination, and agreed to stay. Seldom in tiie 
course of my life have I so little regretted any resolution as on 
this occasion, for the following day was by far the most delightful 
that I ever passed in Goethe's house. After an early drive, I found 
old Goethe very cheerful; he began to converse on various subjects, 
passing from the 'Muette de Portici' to Walter Scott, and thence 
to the beauties in Weimar ; to the ' Students,' and the * Kobbers,' 
and so on to Schiller ; then he spoke on uninterruptedly for more 
than an hour, with the utmost animation, about Schiller's life and 
writings, and his position in Weimar. He proceeded to speak 
of the late Grand-Duke, and of the year 1775, which he designated 
as the intellectual Spring of Germany, declaring that no man living 

could describe it so well as he could Next day he made me a 

present of a sheet of the manuscript of ' Faust,** and at the bottom 
of the page he wrote, • To my dear young friend F. M. B., mighty 
yet delicate raaster of the piano, — a friendly souvenir of happy May 
days in 1830. J. W. von Goethe.' He also gave rae three letters 
of introduction to take with me. 

"At the very beginning of ray visit to Weimar, I spoke of a 
print taken from Adrian von Ostade, of a peasant family praying, 
which, nine years ago, made a deep impression on me. When 1 
went at an early hour to take leave of Goethe, 1 found him seated 
beside a large portfolio, and he said, * So you are actually going 
away ? I must try to keep all right till your return ; but at all 
events we won't part now without some pious feelings, so let us 
once more look at the praying familv together.'" — Letters^ pp. 

And so he went his way, and never again came within 
the limits of that magic circle whose spell will not relax 
its potency for many a year. Even then the lamp which 
illumined it was paling fast; long before the young maes- 
tro had come back over the Alps its light had quite faded 
away. It was but a lurid light at .best, not comparable 
with real sunshine, though mimicking its brilliancy at 
times with deceptive vigour. It lacked that warmth which 
can be kindled only by the genuine charity that looks on 
all humanity as kindred ; but its ray was an admirable 
counterfeit, making pure and arrant selfishness pass for the 
sterling gold of catholic sympathy. Thoroughly heathen 


1862.1 Mendelssohn. 207 

was that old divinity of Weimar, without one mitigating 
trait to veil the anachronism or palHate the hardness of 
his heathenism. Jupiter was the type that best embodied 
his mythological excellencies, according to the ideas of his 
fanatical worshippers. But this is a calumny of the pagan 
original. The grace and freedom which concealed the 
grossness of the system that surrounded the Greek Zeus, 
and tlie nobleness and patriotic devotion which tempered 
the mighty despotism that bowed down before the Capi- 
toline Jove, were alike unknown to Goethe. His heart- 
less Iieathenism was not human ; it was mere sensuous 
egotism, denying the existence of a future which it dared 
i\ X face, ignoring the past for fear of awakening nny 
sense of responsibility for the present. His might have 
been the motto : 

Quid sit futurura eras, fuge quserere ; et 
Quern sors dierum cumque dabit, lucro 
Appone ; 

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero ; 

but never this large-hearted one. 

Homo sum : humani nihil a me alienum puto. 

What Heinrich Heine said of him, by way of apology, is 
at the same time the truest and most severe censure. He 
likens him to a forest tree, beneath whose spreading 
branches the naked Dryads of paganism were permitted 
to ply their witchery, to the scandal of the adherents of 
the old Christian faith ; while the apostles of liiberalism 
were equally irritated that no Cap of Liberty could be 
perched upon its summit, nor Carmagnole danced around 
its trunk, nor could it even be made to serve for a barri- 
cade. Such was really Goethe. The barren heathenism 
which he would have substituted for Christianity, would 
have aroused and pampered man's passions; but it 
brought no sympathy for man's true wants, it provided no 
security for his rights, it suggested no promptings for his 
progress. It is marvellous, the influence which this pas- 
sive, inglorious sensuousness exercised in Germany for 
more than half a century, and even still exercises — the 
height to which it was raised by its idolatrous devotees — 
the abject submission with which its doctrines were 
received, and its sayings and doings extolled. The selfish 

208 Mendelssohn. [Nor. 

old heathen who shmdered the friends of his poverty and 
need in order to exalt himself into a hero in Werther, and 
sneered at Beethoven's music which will perpetuate 
Egmont long after its author is forgotten, was hailed as 
the "Life-enjoying" and "Many-sided'' man. From 
the long extracts which we have just quoted from Men- 
delssohn's Letters, our readers may appreciate the consis- 
tency of this character even to the close, vain, selfish, 
exacting, only growing more pompous as the season ol' his 
observance was passing away. Well was it for the young 
artist, that his fresh and generous nature had not to linger 
long, within the shadow of this blighting influence ; and 
that his heart escaped that curse of hardness, which is the 
fatal penalty of such callous sensuousness. 

From Weimar, Mendelssohn went on to Munich, where 
he listened to Fidelio with great dissatisfaction. He 
objects to the liberties taken with a great work by " fine 
singers and intellectual artists, who are not however 
sufficiently modest and subordinate to render their parts 
faithfully and without false pretension." He complains 
in language applicable to the present day, that ** when a 
German like Beethoven writes an opera, there comes a 
German like Stuntz or Poissl, and strikes out the ritour- 
nelle, and similar unnecessary passages ; and another 
German adds a trombone part to his symphonies ; a third 
declares that Beethoven is overloaded : and thus is a great 
man sacrificed." We have an instance of attentive affec- 
tion, worth a thousand protestations, in one of these 
Munich letters. He had been about three weeks from, 
home, when one morning he received a letter from his sister, 
Mde. Hensel, which seemed to him to betray lowness of 
spirits. It was impossible, as he himself says, to be with 
her and talk to her ; so he at once sits down and com- 
poses a song "in a tender mood, expressive of his wishes 
and thoughts." And the youth who thus devotes a whole 
morning to apostrophising an absent sister in song, was 
gifted with the keenest susceptibility and love of art, and 
had but two or three days to make himself acquainted 
with all the treasures stored up in the city which was 
then, and still is, the x\rt-capital of Germany. From 
Munich, by Salzburg and Linz, he came to Vienna, where 
he found the people so frivolous, that he became ** quite 
spiritually-miuded." He complains bitterly of the univer- 
sal neglect oF Beethoven (for which indeed Vieima had 


1862.1 Mendelssohn. 209 

then been some time notorious) among the best piano- 
forte players ; and that when he ventured to suggest that 
neither Beethoven nor Mozart were to be despised, he 
was sneeringly asked " whether he, too, was an admirer 
of classical music?'' From Vienna he went over to 
Presburg, where he just arrived in time for the Coronation 
of the Ex-Emperor Ferdinand (then Crown Prince, and 
eldest son of the Emperor Francis II.) as King of Hungary. 
As this was the last occasion of the celebration of this 
national ceremonial, on which the Hungarians seem to 
set such immense constitutional value, we shall venture to 
quote what Mendelssohn says concerning it. 

"This excursion has made me acquainted with a new country ; 
for Hungary with her magnates, her high dignitaries, her Oriental 
luxury, and also her barbarism is to be seen here, and the streets 
offer a spectacle which is to me both novel and striking. We really 
seem here to approach closer to the East ; the miserably obtuse 
peasants or serfs ; tlie troops of gipsies ; the equipages and retain- 
ers of the nobles overloaded with gold and gems (for the grandees 
themselves are only visible through the closed windows of the car- 
riages) ; then the singularly bold national physiognomy, the yellow 
hue, the long moustaches, the soft foreign idiom — all this makes 
the most motley impression in the world. Early yesterday I went 
alone through the streets. First came a long array of jovial oflScers, 
on spirited little horses; behind them a crew of gipsies, making 
music; succeeded by Vienna fashionables, with eye-glasses and kid 
gloves ; then a couple of uncivilized peasants in long white coats, 
their hats pressed down on their foreheads, and their straight black 
hair cut even all round (they have reddish- brown complexions, a 
languid gait, and an indescribable expression of savage stupidity 
and indifference) ; then came a couple of sharp acute-looking 
students of theology, in their long blue coats, walking arm-in-arm; 
Hungarian proprietors in their dark blue national costume ; court 
servants ; and numbers of carriages every moment arriving covered 

with mud Below, the Danube runs very rapidly, darting with 

the speed of an arrow through the pontoon bridge ; then the exten- 
sive view of the flat but wooded country, and meadows overflowed 
by the Danube ; of the embankments and streets, swarming with 
human beings, and mountains clothed with Hungarian vines — all 
this was not a little strange and foreign. Then the pleasant con- 
trast of living in the same house with the best and most friendly 
people in the world, and finding novelty doubly interesting in their 
society. These were really among the happy days, dear brother, 
that a kind Providence so often and so richly bestows on me. 

*• September 28th, one o'clock. 
*'The King is crowned — the ceremony was wonderfully finOr 
VOL. Lll.-No. cm ' 14 

210 Mendelssohn, [Nov. 

How can I even try to describe it to you? There is a tremendous 
uproar under my windows, and the Burgher-guards are flocking 
together, but only for the purpose of shouting ' Vivat /' I pushed 
my way through the crowd, while our ladies saw everything from 
the windows, and never can I forget the effect of all this brilliant 
and almost fabulous magnificence. 

" In the great square of the Hospitallers the people were closely 
packed together, for there the oaths were to be taken on a platform 
hung with cloth ; and afterwards the people were to be allowed 
the privilege of tearing down the cloth for their own use ; close by 
■was a fountain spouting red and white Hungarian wine... They 
yelled as if they had all been spitted, and fought for the cloth ; in 
short they were a mob ; but my Magyars ! the fellows look as if 
they were born noblemen, and privileged to live at ease, looking 
very melancholy, but riding like the devil. 

" When the procession descended the hill, first came the court 
servants, covered with embroidery, the trumpeters and kettle- 
drums, the heralds and all that class; and then suddenly galloped 
along the street a mad Count, en pleine carriere, his horse plunging 
and capering, and the caparisons edged with gold ; the Count him- 
self a mass of diamonds, rare lierons' plumes and velvet embroi- 
dery (though he had not yet assumed his state uniform, being 
bound to ride so madly — Count Sandor is the name of this furious 
cavalier). He had an ivory sceptre in his hand with which he 
urged on his horse, causing it each time to rear and to make a 
tremendous bound forward. When bis wild career was over, a 
procession of about sixty more magnates arrived, all in the same 
fantastic splendour, with handsome coloured turbans, twisted 
moustaches, and dark eyes. One rode a white horse covered with 
a gold net, another a dark grey, the bridle and housings studded 
with diamonds ; then came a black charger with purple cloth 
caparisons. One magnate was attired from head to foot in sky- 
blue, thickly embroidered with gold, a white turban, and a long 
white dolman; another in cloth of gold, with a purple dolman; 
each one more rich and gaudy than the other, and all riding so 
boldly and fearlessly, and with such defiant gallantry, that it was 
quite a pleasure to look at them. At length came the Hungarian 
guards, with Esterhazy at their head, dazzling in gems and pearl 
embroidery. How can I describe the scene? You ought to have 
seen the procession deploy and halt in the spacious square, and all 
the jewels and bright colours, and the lofty golden mitres of the 
bishops, and the crucifixes glittering in the brilliant sunshine like 

a thousand stars The procession then rode up the Konigsberg, 

whence the King waved his sword towards the banks of the Danube 
and the four quarters of the globe, in token that he takes possession 
of his new realm. 

" Once more 1 send you my farewell from Germany, my dear 
parents, and brother and sisters. I am leaving Hungary for Italy, 


1862.J Mendelssohn. 211 

and thence I hope to write to you more frequently and more at 
leisure. Be of good cheer, dear Paul, and go forwards in a confi- 
dent spirit; rejoice with those that rejoice, and do not forget the 
brother who is wandering about the world." — Letters, pp. 22-27. 

At last, he reached Venice ; and his first thought was 
to write home to share with the dear ones there what he 
had *' all his life" looked forward to, " as the greatest 
possible felicity.'' How gratefully he addresses his parents 
** for having bestowed so much happiness on him !" How 
eagerly he wishes that his brother and sisters were there 
to divide with him his enjoyment ! The sight of such a 
fresh generous heart, so warm, so impulsive, so affection- 
ate, so utterly unselfish, is both consoling and improving. 
Before he had been a week at Venice, he wrote a long 
letter to his old master, Zelter, sketching for him the 
beauties of nature and art in which he was revelling, 
giving an account of the work which he had done and an 
outline of what he projected. His time, certainly, had 
not been idly spent ; and if we remember that his eyes and 
ears were always open for everything worth seeing or 
hearing, we shall give him credit for an industry at all 
times rare, but marvellous in a youth of twenty-one. 
While in Vienna, he finished two pieces of sacred music — 
a choral in three movements for chorus and orchestra, 
to the words of Paul Gerhardt's Good Friday Hymn, ** O ! 
Haupt voll Blut und Wiinden;" and an "Ave Maria" 
for eight voices, one of his most beautiful sacred pieces. 

These letters contain abundant instances that his taste 
for natural beauty was just as keen, his perception of the 
circumstances and features of the scenery through which 
be was passing just as ready and accurate, as when dealing 
with the phenomena of the art-world. He is constantly 
noting traits which would hardly have caught the attention 
of an ordinary tourist, and in language so appropriate and 
felicitous that it could only spring from great refinement 
and subtlety of apprehension. On some of these occasions 
he is almost as enthusiastic as when speaking of some 
great art-masterpiece. What fine appreciation, for exam- 
ple, and yet what natural unspoiled feeling, is evinced in 
the passage where he describes the ** superb" gardens of 
the Pitti palace, with the *' thick solid stems" of their 
myrtles and laurels, and their innumerable cypresses, 
** making a strange exotic impression" on him; and 
nevertheless acknowledges that he considers beeches. 

512 Mendelssohn. [Nov. 

limes, oaks, and firs, ten times more beautiful and pictur- 
esque." Again, what genuine delight beams forth in 
the playfully circumstantial sketch which he has given us 
of a stroll among the hills above Florence, when leaving 
man and his wonderful works behind, he gave himself up 
to the enchantment which a soft October day ever inspires 
in that favoured locality. The countless white villas and 
sloping terraces, that cover every acclivity as far as the 
eye can reach, the endless succession of vineyards and 
olive grounds, the blue hills in the distance clad in roses 
and aloes and clumps of cypresses, and decked out, even 
in mid-autumn, with beds of violets, narcissuses, pinks, 
and heliotropes — all conspired to make him regard the 
banks of the Arno as one of the most lovely scenes in the 

But the chief characteristic of these Italian Letters is 
their art-criticisms and notices. It is quite impossible 
indeed to read the few letters written in Northern Italy 
without feeling that had Mendelssohn not wholly given 
himself up to Music, one> if not more, of her sister arts 
would have raised him to distinction. His sympathy with 
the arts of Painting and Drawing is especially evident. 
And what is particularly noticeable, and demonstrative of 
the catholicity and true loftiness of his genius is, that he, 
a young German, and imbued with German notions of 
art, had a most warm appreciation of the Italian masters, 
nay even betrayed a bias in favour of their style. How 
spontaneous this feeling was, we may infer from the fact, 
that, although he had heard the name of Giorgione, he 
had never seen a painting of that great Venetian until his 
visit to Venice, but, as soon as he had *' at last personally 
made the acquaintance of this very admirable man,'* he 
pronounces him to be *' an inimitable artist.'' And yet, 
with that instinct which only true art-genius wields, he 
was not held captive by the beauties and peculiarities of 
any one school, but seized upon the merits, and estimated 
the value of all, with just and equal discrimination. 
Titian, he says, affected him most deeply ; but the power 
of the Florentine Artists proved to be just as great. At 
Florence his favourite haunt was the Tribune in the 
Gallery in the Palazzo degli Uffizj, "aroom so delight- 
fully small that you can traverse it in fifteen paces, and 
yet it contains a world of art." There he used to take 
possession of a favourite arm-chair under a noble Greek 


1862.] Mendelssohn. 213 

statue, and enjoy himself for hours together. Before him, 
so close that he could touch it, was that marvel of ancient 
statuary, the Venus de Medici, and above it Titian's 
Venus. Around him were the '* Madonna del Cardel- 
lino,'* and a portrait of the Fornarina by Raphael, a 
" lovely Holy Family'' by Perugino, other exquisite an- 
cient statues, and other pictures by Titian, Domenichino, 
Kaphael and others : — ** all these within the circumference 
of a small semicircle no larger than one of your own rooms. 
This is a spot where a man feels his own insignificance, 
and may well learn to be humble." He was especially 
attracted by Fra Bartolomeo, and used to stay long in 
admiration of a little picture of his, which he had dis- 
covered for himself. It seemed to him as if the picture 
itself, with its ** exquisite and consummate finish, most 
brilliant colouring, brightest decorations, and most genia. 
sunshine, told of the delight which the pious Maestro had 
taken in painting it, and in finishing its most minute 
details ;" and he says that he felt ** as if the painter ought 
to be still sitting before his work, or had only this moment 
left it.'' We are sure that our readers will feel a kindred 
sympathy with these reflections on the portraits of the 
Great Masters, which are exhibited together in a room of 
the Gallery degli Uffisy. 

" I wandered about among the pictures, feeling so much sym- 
pathy, and such kindly emotions in gazing at them. I now first 
thoroughly realized the great charm of a large collection of the 

highest works of art I could not help meditating on all these 

great men, so long passed away from earth though their whole 
inner soul is still displayed in such lustre to us, and to all the 

" While reflecting on these things, I came by chance into the 
room containing the portraits of great painters. I formerly merely 
regarded them in the light of valuable curiosities, for there are 
more than three hundred portraits, chiefly painted by the masters 
themselves, so that jou see at the same moment the man and his 
work ; but to-day a fresh idea dawned on me with regard to them, 
— that each painter resembles his own productions, and that each 
while painting his own likeness, has been careful to represent him- 
self just as lie really was. In this way you become personally 
acquainted with all these great men, and thus a new light is shed 
on many things. I will discuss this point more minutely with you 
when we meet ; but I must not omit to say, that the portrait of 
Raphael is almost the most touching likeness I have yet seen of 
him. In the centre of a large rich screen, entirely covered with 

214 Mendelssohn, [Nor. 

portraits, Langs a small solitary picture, without any particular 
designation, but the eye is instantly arrested by it ; this is Raphael 
— youthful, very pale and delicate, and with such inward aspira- 
tions, such longing and wistfulness in the mouth and eyes, that it 
is as if you could see into his very soul. Tliat he cannot succeed 
in expressing all that he sees and feels, and is thus impelled to go 
forward, and that he must die an early death, — all this is written 
on his mournful, suffering, yet fervid countenance ; and when look- 
ing at his dark eyes, which glance at you out of the very depths 
of his soul, and at the pained and contracted mouth, you cannot 
resist a feeling of awe. 

" How I wish you could see the portrait that hangs above it ; 
that of Michael A ngelo, an ugly, muscular, savage, rugged fellow, 
in all the vigour of life, looking gruff and morose ; and on the other 
side a wise, grave man, with the aspect of a lion, Leonardo da 
Vinci ; but you cannot see this portrait, and I will not describe it 
in writing, but tell you of it when we meet. Believe me, however, 
it is truly glorious. Then I passed on to the Niobe, which of all 
statues makes the greatest impression on me ; and back again to 
my painters, and to the Tribune, and through the corridors, where 
the Roman Emperors, with their dignified yet knavish physiogno- 
mies, stare you in the face ; and last of all I took a final leave of 
the Medici family. It was indeed, a morning never to be forgotten." 
Letters, pp. 188-192. 

At length, he got to Rome in November, and settled 
down there for the winter. Pope Pius VIII. was then 
dying; he died, indeed, on December 1, 1830. The anti- 
cipation of this event, the funeral obsequies, the subse- 
quent conclave, which lasted for seven weeks, and the 
Lent following within a .fortnight, detracted from the 
gaiety and pleasures of the winter, usually the Koman 
festive season, by depriving it of the customary ceremoni- 
als and of that splendour for which Rome, more than any 
other capital, depends upon the presence and participation 
of its Court. But Rome will ever be the home to which 
genius and literary eminence will naturally turn ; and the 
depressing causes which influenced the public enjoyments, 
brought no diminution to the intellectual and artistic char- 
acter for which its society was then preeminently distin- 
guished. Bunsen was then Prussian Minister at the 
Papal Court, a man whose many merits and singular 
ability and learning, albeit marred by ^reat errors, none 
can gainsay. Thorwaldsen, Horace Vernet, Cornelius, 
Ovferbeck, and Bendeman, were the foreign leaders in 
Sculpture and Painting. Mendelssohn was at once admit- 


1862.[ Mendelssohn. 215 

ted to the intimacy of the circles of which these men were 
the chief ornaments, and so quickly came to be appreciated 
by the Roman fashionable world. He quite gave himself 
up to the genial influences of such associations, profiting 
by the opportunities which they afforded, and still more by 
the encouragement and suggestions which both openly and 
tacitly he received from all around, keeping his mind open 
to all good impressions, whencesoever they came, and 
closed against every thing else. He had not long mingled 
in Roman society, before his genius and worth were uni- 
versally recognised, and it was soon acknowledged that 
though young in years, he already possessed the right to 
rank with the highest in his profession, and to be admit- 
ted to an equality with the noblest within the inner sanc- 
tuary of art. His natural refinement and delicacy made 
him shrink from contact with the vulgarity, meanness, 
pedantry, cynicism, and insolent pretentiousness, which 
are affected to such a great extent, and are so great a blot 
in the life of art-students in Rome. The following sketch 
reads like a caricature, but is unfortunately too true. 

"The painters here are most formidable to look at sitting in 
their Cafe Greco. I scarcely ever go there, for I dislike both them 
^nd their favourite place of resort. It is a small dark room, about 
eight feet square, where on one side you may smoke, but not on the 
other ; so they sit round on benches, with their broad-leaved hats 
on their heads, and their huge mastiffs beside them ; their cheeks 
and throats and the whole of their faces covered with hair, puffing 
forth clouds of smoke, and saying rude things to each other, while 
the mastiffs swarm with vermin. A neck cloth or a coat would be 
quite innovations. Any portion of the face visible through the 
beard is hid by spectacles ; so they drink coffee, and speak of Titian 
and Pordenone, just as if they were sitting beside them, and al.«o 
wore beards and wide-awakes ! Moreover, they paint such sickly 
Madonnas and feeble saints, and such milk-sop heroes, that I feel 
the strongest inclination to knock them down." — Letters, p. 79. 

Indeed all the notices of the great body of artists 
throughout these letters are disadvantageous. Soon after 
the election of Gregory XVI., political troubles broke out 
in the Papal States. The artists feared lest their jfilth 
and affectation should compromise their political good 
name with the authorities. 

" The German painters are really more contemptible than I can 
tell you. Not only have they cut off their whiskers and moustaches, 
and their long hair and beards, openly declaring that as soon as all 

216 Mendelssohn, [Nor. 

danger is at an end thej will let them grow again, but these tall 
stalwart fellows go home as soon as it is dark, lock themselves in, 
and discuss their fears together. They call Horace Vernet a brag- 
gart, and jet he is very different from these miserable creatures, 
whose conduct makes me cordially despise them." — p. 115. 

Very different were his feelings towards Thorwaldsen, 
Vernet, and the other artists of real genius whose familiarity 
he enjoyed, spending often whole days together in their 
studios, or in rambles through the Campagna and the hills 
in their company, while the nights were devoted to recep- 
tions at their houses. Of Bunsen he speaks with especial 
warmth, as indeed he had good reason to do, being in- 
debted to him for his favourable introduction to Roman 
musical notice, and for many other kindnesses which con- 
siderably enhanced the pleasure of his sojourn. Almost 
immediately on his arrival, he presented him to Baini, the 
famous master of the Papal choir, and to other musical 
notabilities, and especially to Santini, who proved a valu- 
able acquaintance, as he had a very complete library of 
ancient Italian music, and kindly lent to the young artist 
anything which he liked. Mendelssohn speaks gratefully 
of his obligations to this kind and simple old man. To 
these commendations we may be permitted to add the tes- 
timony brought by the memories of our own youthful 
years, for we too had the honour of enjoying his acquaint- 
ance, of profiting by his generosity, and of being admitted 
to familiar opportunities of observing his unobtrusive dili- 
gence and unselfish zeal. Nor can we easily forget the 
circumstances of our first introduction to the Abbate 
Santini, nor the cheerful courtesy with which, thanking 
ns for a very trifling civility which it had been in our 
power to offer to him, he bade us be assured that we 
should never have cause to regret being considerate to old 

Biinsen's fondness for music brought many artists 
together at his re-unions, which thus afforded Men- 
delssohn excellent opportunities for the display of his mar- 
vellous skill in pianoforte performance, and his wonderful 
talent for improvisation on that instrument. The minister 
was especially partial to Palestrina's music, and used 
every Monday to assemble the members of the Papal 
choir for the purpose of singing some of his compositions. 
Those who have had the privilege of being admitted to 
these and similar re- unions, which indeed form a portion of 


1862.] Mendelssohn. 217 

the routine of genuine Roman society, will ever preserve a 
lively and grateful recollection of having enjoyed a treat 
such as no other place but Rome can offer, that of having 
listened to the harmonies of some of the greatest masters 
in the musical art, rendered in a style which could not be 
attempted save by those who have been, as it were, unto 
the manner born. It was at one of these Monday meet- 
ings at Biinsen's house, that Mendelssohn made his Ro- 
man debut. He gives the following account of it. 

'♦Yesterday, for the first time, I played before the Roman TMusi- 
cians m corpore. I am quite aware of the necessity of placing in 
every foreign city so as to make myself understood by my audience. 
This makes me usually feel rather embarrassed, and such was the 
case with me yesterday. After the Papal singers finished Pales- 
trina's music, it was my turn to play something. A brilliant piece 
would have been unsuitable, and there had been more than enough 
of serious music ; I therefore begged Astolfi, the Director, to give 
me a theme, so he lightly touched the notes with one finger, smiling 
as he did so. The black-frocked Abbati pressed round me and 
seemed highly delighted. I observed this, and it inspirited me, so 
towards the end I succeeded famously ; they clapped their hands 
like mad, and Bunsen declared that I had astonished the clergy ; 
in short the affair went off well." — Letters, p. 66. 

The relations thus auspiciously commenced became 
closer as his stay wore on ; and he was admitted to a foot- 
ing of intimacy with the Papal choir, such as few have 
enjoyed. Among the places which he used to frequent for 
the gratification of his musical tastes was the church of 
Trinita de' Monti, occupied then as now by French sisters 
of the congregation of the Sacred Heart. It was then the 
fashion, as indeed it still continues to be, with the music- 
loving and devotional portions of the promenaders on the 
Pincio to adjourn to this httle church for the evening 
benediction. Our young artist had generally the additional 
incentive of the company of Horace Vernet's charming and 
accomplished daughter, afterwards Madame Paul Dela- 
roche, or others of the many female acquaintances whose 
society cheered the monotony and encouraged the occupa- 
tions of his sojourn. These visits gave rise to a romantic 
idea which he thus expresses : — 

*' It is twilight, and the whole of the small bright church is filled 
with persons kneeling, Jit up by the sinking sun each time that the 
door is opened ; botli tlie giiiging nuns liave the sweetest voices in 
the world, quite tender aud touching, more especially when ouo 

218 Mendelssohn. [Nov. 

of them sings the responses, in her melodious voice, which we are 
accustomed to hear chanted bj priests in a loud, harsh, monotonous 
tone. The impression is very singular ; moreover, it is well known 
that no one is permitted to see the fair singers — so this caused me 
to form a strange resolution. I have composed sometbing to suit 
their voices, which I observed very minutely, and I mean to send 
it to them. There are several modes to which I can have recourse to 
accomplish this. That they will sing it I feel quite assured ; and 
it will be pleasant for mo to hear my chant performed by persons 
whom I never saw, especially as they must in turn sing it to the 
harharo Tedesco, whom they also never beheld. I am charmed with 
this 'ide^.^'^—LetterSj p. 87. 

The result was the composition of three Latin Motetts, 
which are still prized among the chief treasures of the 
well furnished archivio of the Trinita dei Monti. There 
are, however, other compositions undertaken more dehbe- 
rately, if not with a more serious purpose, which attest 
both the industry and the progress of this Roman period. 
Before he left Vienna, a friend had made him a present of 
Luther's hymns ; and he was so much struck with their 
power, that during the winter he composed music for 
several of them. Of one of these, *' Mitten wir im Leben 
sind," — a grand double choral — he says that it is one of the 
best sacred pieces he had yet composed. The splendid 
overture, entitled to the *' Einsame Insel,'' and now 
known as the " Overture to Fingal's Cave,]' was com- 
pleted by Christmas. As soon as it was finished he set 
to work on the orchestral arrangement of Handel's 
" Solomon," intended to render it more suitable for per- 
formance according to modern musical appliances and 
requirements. This work (similar in character to that 
which he afterwards undertook for Handel's ** Israel in 
Egypt") seems to have been accomplished in the incredibly 
short space of a month ; and we may believe that the 
studies which it involved gave the first shape to those ideas 
which afterwards found expression in the '* Faulus " and 
the ** Elijah." He also composed, at this period, a grand 
orchestral work on a large scale, entitled the " Reforma- 
tion Symphony ;" but he was never sufficiently satisfied 
with this to give it to the world, and it still remains unpub- 
lished. English critics, especially, have referred to these 
works '*of the most intensely Protestant colour," as they 
are pleased to regard them, as conclusive proof that Men-^ 
delssohn's Protestantism was not in the slightest degree 


1862.] MendelssoJuu 2;^ 

weakened by the composition of Motetts, suggested by the 
evening devotions at the Trinita dei Monti, of **Ave 
Marias," and of many other " Roman Cathohc" produc- 
tions. We confess that we cannot quite fathom the depth 
of this logic, or feel its acuteness. We know that if a 
** Roman Catholic" of parallel genius, disposition, educa- 
tion, training and associations, were to sit down and write 
off music to some Anti-Popery chant, his Protestant lean- 
ings would be regarded as pretty decided by Roman Ca- 
tholics as well as by Protestants ; while the composition 
of some Catholic Motetts could scarcely be looked uijuii as 
a very wonderful or out-of-the-way fruit of his practical 
faith. In a similar way we do not think that the composi- 
tion of some Lutheran hymns modifies to any great extent 
the exceptional character of the Catholic productions that 
have come from our artist's pen. Nay, we think it is 
hardly reconcileable with good faith and straightforward- 
ness to found an argument for Mendelssohn's Protestan- 
tism on the fact^of his having composed music to such 
hymns as *^Ein' feste Burg," " Wir glauben all' an ^inen 
Gott," and ** Mitten wir im Leben sind ;"— ^-embodying 
as they do, the truest Catholic sentiments. With as much 
propriety and logical consistency it might be argued that 
Christians should forsake the belief in One God, because 
Mahomet has made it a fundamental doctrine of his sys- 
tem, as that Catholics should abstain from making use of 
words thoroughly expressive of their faith and devotion, 
because they happen to have been composed by the here- 
siarch founder of what is called Protestantism. This 
querulous assertion of Mendelssohn's Protestantism, and 
childish endeavour to support its credibility, betrays an 
uneasy suspicion of its probable falsehood ; its authors 
would wish that it should really prove to be the case, but 
they have a lurking dread lest it may turn out other- 

But the chief subjects on which he was engaged during 
his stay in Rome were of a very different character from 
any of these to which we have alluded. First of these was 
his Scottish Symphony in A minor, which was always pre- 
sent to his mind, but never proceeding quite to his liking, 
being almost as quickly put down as taken up, and which, 
was finally laid aside until the maturer inspirations of thir- 
teen years afterwards enabled him to bring to completion 
this greatest of his iustrumental works. Another was the 

220 Mendelssohn. [Nov. 

second symphony in A major, which he called his Italian 
Symphony. This collection of profound and beautiful 
melodies was brought out by the author in London in 
1833, but was not really appreciated until its reproduction 
in 1848. The third was the music to Goethe's ** Wal- 
purgis Nacht/' destined to be one of the most celebrated 
of his productions, which was begun and finished during 
his stay in Italy, although it was entirely reconstructed 
about twelve years later, when it was published. It is 
worthy of note that the first person to whom he played over 
this piece was a son of Mozart. He gives the following 
account of it, in a letter to his sister Fanny. 

" Since I left Vienna I have partly composed Goethe's first 
• Walpurgis Nacht,' but have not yet had courage to write it 
down. The composition has now assumed a form, and become a 
grand Cantata, with full orchestra and may turn out well. At the 
opening there are songs of Spring, etc., and plenty of others of the 
same kind. Afterwards, when the watchmen with their * Gabeln, 
uud Zaoken, uud Eulen,' make a great noise, the fairy frolics begin, 
and you know that I have a particular foible for them ; the sacri- 
ficial Druids then appear, with their trombones in C major, when the 
watchmen come in again in alarm, and here I mean to introduce a 
light mysterious tripping chorus ; and lastly to conclude with a 
grand sacrificial hymn. Do you not think that this might develop 
into a new style of Cantata ? I have an instrumental introduction, 
as a matter of course, and the effect of the whole is very spirited." 
Letters, p. 112, 

He gives the following account of the distribution of his 
time in Rome. 

** Picture to yourself a small house, with two windows in front, in 
the Piazza di Spagna, which all day long enjoys the warm sun, and 
an apartment on the first floor, where there is a good Viennese 
grand piano: on the table are some portraits of Pales trina, AUegri, 
etc., along with the scores of their works, and a Latin psalm book, 
from which I am to compose the Non Nobis. After breakfast I 
begin my work, and play, and sing, and compose, till iTear noon. 
Then Rome in all her vast dimensions lies before me, like an inter- 
esting problem to enjoy ; but I go deliberately to work, daily select- 
ing some different object appertaining to history. One day I visit 
the ruins of the ancient city ; another I go to the Borghese Gallery, 
or to the capitol, or St. Peter's, or the Vatican. Each day is thus 
made memorable, and as 1 take my time, each object becomes 
firmly and indelibly impressed on me. When I am occupied in the 
forenoon, I am unwilling to leave off, and should like to continue 
my writing, but I say to myself that I must see the Vatican, and 


1862.] Mendelssohn, 221 

wlien I am actually there, I equally dislike leaving it ; when I have 
fairly imprinted an object on my mind, and each day a fresh 
one, twilight has usually arrived and the day is over.*' — Letters, 
pp. 51-52. 

But it is now time to refer to his Italian impressions in his 
own special department of art. These may be very briefly 
epitomised in the single word dissatisfaction; unless in 
some instances, where we might substitute disgust. He 
objects to the style, he denounces the execution, and he 
attributes the faults under both these heads to that curse 
of indolence which seems to form part of the Itahan 
nature. No one must imagine from this that Mendelssohn 
was not an admirer of Itahan music ; his favourite themes 
for his own piano-forte performances would be a sufficient 
refutation of any such idea. But in his opinion, the class 
of Italian music which was current in Italy during his resi- 
dence there, was inferior to the Italian music as it is ac- 
cepted and admired throughout Europe ; and moreover 
the defective execution of this actually inferior music sank it 
lower still. Thus, Italian music, as heard by our author 
in Italy, was labouring under three drawbacks, any one of 
which would be almost fatal. There were scarce any mu- 
sicians, all who had attained any eminence having gone 
elsewhere ; in the next place, the quality of the article 
itself was worse than second-rate ; and thirdly, the execu- 
tion was very bad. 

•' The orchestras are worse than any one could believe; both 
musicians, and a right feeling for music, are wanting. The two or 
three violin performers play just as they chose, and join in when 
they please ; the wind instruments are tuned either too high or too 
low ; and they execute flourishes like those we are accustomed to 
hear in farm-yards, but hardly so good. The sounds they bring out 
of their wind instruments, are such as in Germany we have no con- 
ception of I heard a solo on the flute, where the flute was 

more than a quarter of a tone too high ; it set my teeth on edge, 
but no one remarked it, and when at the end a shake came, they 
applauded mechanioally. The great singers have left the country. 
Lablache, David, Lalande, Pisaroni, etc., sing in Paris, and the 
minor ones who remain copy their inspired moments, which 
they caricature in the most insupportable manner." — Letters, p. 

This was at Rome. He did not find things better at 

222 Mendelssohn. [Nov. 

*' The orchestra, like that in Eome, was worse than in any part 
of Germany, and not even one tolerable female singer. Those who 
wish to hear Italian operas, must now-a-days go to Paris or London. 
Heaven grant that this may not eventually be the case with Ger- 
man music also I The voices are never together. Every little 
instrumental solo is adorned with old-fashioned flourishes, and a 
bad tone pervades the whole performance, which is totally devoid 
of genius, fire, or spirit. The singers are the worst Italian ones I 
ever heard anywhere. This is but natural, for where can the basis 
of a theatre be found, which of course requires considerable capital? 
The days when every Italian was a born musician, if indeed, they 
ever existed, are long gone by. They treat music like any other 
fashionable article, with total indifference; in fact they scarcely 
pay it the homage of outward respect, so it is not to be wondered 
at that every single person of talent should, as regularly as they 
appear, transfer themselves to foreign countries, where they are 
better appreciated, their position better defined, and where they 
find opportunities of hearing and learning something profitable and 

inspiriting Donizetti finishes an opera in ten days; to be sure 

it is sometimes hissed, but that does not matter, for it is paid for all 
the same, and he can then go about amusing himself. If at last 
however his reputation becomes endangered, he will in that case he 
forced really to work, which he would find by no means agreeable. 
This is why he sometimes writes an opera in three weeks, bestowing 
considerable pains on a couple of airs in it so that they may please 
the public, and then he can afford once more to divert himself, 
and once more to write trash. Their painters, in the same way, 
paint the most incredibly bad pictures, far inferior even to their 
music. Their architects also erect buildings in the worst taste ; 
among others, an imitation, on a small scale, of St. Peter's, in the 
Chinese style. But what does it matter ? the pictures are bright 
in colour, the music makes plenty of noise, the buildings give 
plenty of shade, and the Neapolitan grandees ask no more." — Letters, 
p. 150-165. 

In these last words we have the key to what Mendelssohn 
conceived to be the explanation of the state of things of 
which he complains. The indolence which long habit, 
assisted and encouraged by the delicious climate, has 
made so chief an ingredient in the Italian character, cul- 
minates in Naples and the southern provinces. This in- 
dolence is incompatible with the exertion, both mental and 
bodily, which is the indispensable condition of art-life in 
its truest and noblest forms ; the absence of which, how- 
ever, is the less felt, perhaps even scarcely adverted to, by 
reason of the lavish exuberance of her choicest gifts, that 
nature has poured out so lavishly on that glorious land 


1862.] Mendelssohn, 223 

If Mendelssohn himself heard music " echoing and vibrat- 
ting on every side *' from the Alban Hillp, how much more 
the Neapohtan looking out on his peerless bay, with its 
deep azure blue above and below, and Capri, and Ischia, 
and Nisida, vieing with each other in the beauty of their 
melodies? There is also, doubtless, much in the conmion 
place and very prosaic reason at which our author hints, 
when he alludes to the comparative poverty, in a financial 
sense, of Neapolitan theatrical administration. There is 
no branch of art which ministers so much, for the moment, 
to the sensuous enjoyment of man, as music, consequently 
there is none whose ministrations will, cceteris paribus, be 
so practically appreciated. Since, then, London and Paris 
are able to pay a higher price, we cannot be surprised if 
they succeed in attracting to themselves all that is most 
excellent in the art. Still it is impossible to avoid think- 
ing that Mendelssohn was not only biassed in favour of 
the German school, but so much so, as to be almost unfair 
to Italian music, at least as far as his genius and naturally 
unprejudiced disposition would allow. The reference to 
Donizetti in the passage just quoted seems to breathe some 
Siich sentiment. In another passage from one of the 
Koman letters, it appears still more plainly. He has just 
been condemning the Roman orchestras. 

** We in Germany may perhaps wish to accomplish something 
false or impossible, but it is, and always will be, quite dissimilar ; 
and just as a cicisbeo \f\\\ for ever be odious and repulsive to my 
feelings, so it is also with Italian music. I may be too obtuse to 
comprehend either: but I shall never feel otherwise ; and recently, 
at the Pliilharmonic, after the music of Pacini and Bellini, when 
the Cavaliere Ricci begged me to accompany him in 'Non piu 
andrai,'* the very first notes were so utterly different and so 
infinitely remote from all the previous music that the matter was 
clear to me then, and never will it be equalised, so long as there is 
such a blue sky, and such a charming winter as the present. In the 
same way the Swiss can paitit no beautiful scenery, precisely be- 
cause they have it the whole day before their ejes. ' Les Allem- 
ands traitent la musique comme une affaire d'etat,' says Spontini, 
and I accept the omen." — Letters, p. 96. 

Perhaps our readers may question these facts and this 

* The well-known ironical Aria from Mozart's Figaro^ in which 
the barber admonishes the recently enlisted Cherubino. 

224 Mendelssohn. |Nov. 

pbilosopliy. After it, at all events, they will not be sur- 
prised to find, that the music of the Holy Week failed to 
impress Mendelssohn to the extent to which it generally 
does those who have the privilege of assisting at it. His 
account of the ceremonies of the Holy Week is contained 
in two letters written from Rome, one to his sister Fanny 
and the other to his old master Zelter. It is needless to 
say that these documents are very valuable, containing, as 
they do, the criticisms of a great and most accomplished 
musical genius, on what must ever be regarded as one of 
the greatest specimens of the musical art. These criti- 
cisms are, in a historical point of view, most accurate ; and, 
coming from one not a Catholic, they are wonderful, and 
often most noble and devotional. So far, indeed, they are 
wholly devoid of the slightest tinge of prejudice, and above 
all exception. But we think it is otherwise, when we con- 
sider them as a technical commentary on a series of pro- 
ductions, which constitute in themselves a great system 
of religious music. The very education and training 
which Mendelssohn had received, his keen susceptibility 
and intense love of his art, while they rendered him the 
better qualified to judge of the merits and defects of music 
in general, interfered also the more with his fitness for 
judging those special compositions, which were altogether 
of a different kind, and carried out in a different fashion, 
from what he had been accustomed to; he was more alive 
to their shortcomings, he saw more clearly their blemishes, 
but would, at the same time, be the less likely to appreci- 
ate beauties, that presented themselves under forms 
unknown to his experience. This implies no fault on the 
part of Mendelssohn himself, nor censure on his training. 
It is simply one of those accidents to which genius must 
ever be exposed, not merely in the several departments of 
art, but in any pursuit whatever, intellectual or other- 
wise. No blame could attach to the Roman Generals, 
that they failed to penetrate intuitively the merits of the 
Phalanx marshalled by Pyrrhus; and we ourselves are 
ever ready to excuse the misapprehensions of foreigners 
respecting our institutions, on the ground that their pre- 
vious habits do not leave them in a position to appreciate 
them. A Canadian would scarcely be inclined to defer to 
the judgment of an East Indian, on the question of how 
he could best contrive his dwelling so as to protect himself 
from the rigours of his Arctic winter. One who had neve 


1862.] Mendelssohn. 225 

been present at an opera, is hardly the person, whom we 
should expect to form, off-hand, the best opinion of such a 
production. We, in England, pride ourselves on what we 
consider our special faculty of appreciation, with regard to 
that great class of sacred dramatic music, which has 
found its embodiment in the Oratorio ; so much so, 
indeed, that on this point we claim a supremacy of opinion. 
We should never dream of wavering in our admiration of 
those beauties of the Messiah or of the Elijah, which we 
profess to seize instinctively, because a foreigner, no 
matter how great his reputation, or high his ability, failed 
to discern them at a first hearing. And yet truth com- 
pels us to admit, that even we required some time to 
familiarize us with those great works, before we could 
thoroughly apprehend their massive grandeur, their com- 
plete unity, and that singular beauty which is so peculiarly 
all their own. We cannot then be surprised that a young 
man of two-and-twenty, educated up to that time in the 
traditions of the strictest German school, failed, as we 
believe, to render perfect justice to a class of music, then 
for the first time brought witliin his reach, and which, 
whatever be its merits or its faults, is different in kind from 
anything which he had previously known. But we may, 
indeed, well be surprised that he caught its general tone 
so fairly, and was frequently able to identify himself so 
fully with its spirit. On going over these letters, it is 
clear that Mendelssohn had but an imperfect conception 
of the ceremonies at which he was assisting. On the 
Palm Sunday he had no book with which to follow the 
words, and he was so far from the choir that the singing 
** made the most confused impression on him." Now let 
ns waive all higher considerations, and simply ask, what 
should we say of the sketch of a great opera, given to us 
by one who was present at its performance under similar 
circumstances :— for the first time, without a libretto, 
unacquainted with the plot, unfamihar with operatic 
music? He comments at considerable length and with 
much acuteness on the tones employed in singing the 
Psalms, on the formula for the Lessons, etc., and on the 
canto fermo settings "for the Antiphons. These observa- 
tions are sure to be interesting, even for their very novrlty, 
to every student of Church Music; although it is plain, 
that the writer was not then acquainted with the canto 
fermo. Of this ignorance, indeed, we have a very curi- 

VOL. LII.-No. cm. 15 

226 Mendelssohn, [Nor. 

ous instance in Lis mistaking the formula to wlilch the 
Credo is universally intoned for the composition of Sebas- 
tian Bach : the plain fact being that the grand old master 
wrote down the time-honoured canto fermo forniu] a for the 
first notes of his massive Credo."* Had Mendelssohn 
studied more deeply this and similar compositions of his 
favourite author, who almost made his own of that severe 
counterpoint to which the music of the Papal choir belongs, 
wielding it with an enjoyment and facility that the most 
prolific melody-maker might envy, he would have been 
more thoroughly fitted to appreciate the singing of the 
Papal chapel. But we must now lay before our readers 
two or three brief extracts which may give them an idea 
of the impressions made on the young artist by the 
solemnities of what he himself calls *' a truly memorable 
week/' He appears to have been particularly struck with 
their '* perfection as a whole." 

"People have often both zealously praised and censured the 
ceremonies of Holy Week, and have yet omitted, as is often the 
case^ the chief point, namely, its perfection as a complete whole. 

Whether one person repeals it from another, whether it comes 

up to its great reputation, or is merely the effect of the imagina- 
tion, is quite the same thing. It suffices that we have a perfect 
totality, which has exercised the most powerful influence for cen- 
turies past, and still exercises it, and therefore I reverence it, as I 
do every species of real perfection. There is more to be considered 

than the mere ceremonies: as a whole tlie affair cannot fail to 

make a solemn impression, and everything contributes to this 
result.''— Letters, pp. 125-126. 

He gives an elaborate account, in his letter to Zelter, 
of the technicalities of the canto fermo of the Tenebrse, 
which, as we have already said, will seem very curious to 
those familiar with the subject, We may here remark 
that his attention to the music was truly wonderful. He 
contrived to note down the melodies for the Psalm tones, 
all the difibrent cadences employed in chanting the lessons, 
and some of the Antiphons, It is only one who is 
thoroughly intimate with these matters that can have the 

* Can it be, that, through a similar mistake, Mendelssohn him- 
self was led to adopt — or, shall we say to adapt ? — the canto fermo 
melody known as the eighth Psalm-tone for the grand opening of the 


1862.] Mendelssohn. 227 

faintest conception of the keen attention and rapid per- 
ception necessary to accomplish this. And yet this was a 
mere trifle compared with some other of his feats of nota- 
tion. He wrote down the concerted chant of the Miserere, 
while it was being sung, actually distinguishing between 
the notes of the original counterpoint as written by Allegri 
and the abellimenti, or variations which have been handed 
down from year to year by a carefully preserved tradition. 
He did the same with the Improperia of Palestrina. It is 
hard to say which was the more difficult task — to note 
down the traditional notes, actually sung and yet hardly 
touched, so delicate is the execution, — or the notes of the 
chords, which are not sung, but were gathered by him 
from the variations founded upon them. We have had 
some acquaintance with the matter ; and we can safely 
say, that no manuscript which we have seen, purporting 
to be a copy of those variations of the Miserere, at all 
approached the minute accuracy of the notation which is 
published in these letters. And all the time that he was 
thus employed, with his ears strained to catch the slight- 
est inflection, his eyes too were wide open seizing and 
treasuring up every feature and detail of the scene. 

The chant of the Psalms seemed to him ** harsh and 
mechanical,'' and the efi^ect ** tiresome and monotonous." 

*' Then commences the Lamentation of Jeremiah, sung in a low 
subdued tone, in the key of G major, a solemn and fine composition 
of Palestrina's. The solos are chanted entirely by high tenor 
voices, swelling and subsiding alternately, in the most delicate 
gradations, sometimes floating almost inaudibly, and gently blend- 
ing the various harmonies ; being sung without any bass roicos, and 
immediately succeeding the previous harsh intonation of the 
Psalms, the effect is truly heavenly... After this the psalms are sung 
as before. Then follow the Lessons : a solitary voice is heard 
reciting on one note, very slowly and impressively, making the tone 
ring out clearly. One lesson was chanted by a soprano solo in 
long-drawn notes and lasts a quarter of an hour at least. There is 
no pause in the music, and the chant is in a very high key, and yet 
it was executed, with the most pure, clear, and even intonation. 
The singer did not drop his tone so much as a single comma, the 
very last notes swelling and dying away as even and full as at the 

beginning ; it was, indeed, a masterly performance During this 

time the lights on the altar are all extinguished, save one wliioh is 
placed behind the altar. Six wax candles still continue to burn 
high above the entrance, the rest of the space is already dim, and 
now the whole chorus unisono intone with the full strength of their 

228 Mendelssohn, [Nov. 

voices tlie ' Canticum Zacharise,' during which the last remaining 
lights are extinguished. The mightj swelling chorus in the gloom, 
and the solemn vibration of so manj voices, have a wonderfully 
fine effect. The melody (in D minor) is also very beautiful. At the 
close all is profound darkness. Then all present fall on tlieir knees, 
and one solitary voice softly sings, • Christus factus est pro nobis 
obediens usque ad mortem.' A pause ensues, during which each 
person repeats the Pater Noster to himself. 

" During this silent prajer, a death-like silence prevails in the 
whole church; presently the Miserere commences, with a chord 
softly breathed by tlie voices, and gradually branching off into two 
choirs. This beginning, and its first harmonious vibration, cer- 
tainly made the deepest impression on me. For an hour and a 
half previously, one voice alone had been heard chanting almost 
without any variety; after the pause came an admirably construct- 
ed chord, which has the finesji possible effect, causing every one to 
feel in their hearts the power of music ; it is this indeed that is 
so striking. The best voices are reserved for the Miserere, which 
is sung with the greatest variety of effect, the voices swelling and 
dying away, from the softest piano to the full strength of the choir. 
No wonder that it should excite deep emotion in every heart. 
Moreover they do not neglect the power of contrast ; verse after 
verse being chanted by all the male voices in unison, forte, and 
harshly. At the beginning of the subsequent verses, the lovely, 
rich, soft sounds of voices steal on the ear, lasting only for a short 
space, and succeeded by a chorus of male voices. During the 
verses sung in monotone, every one is aware of how beautifully the 
softer choir are about to uplift their voices, soon they are again 
heard, again to die away too quickly.'' — Letters, pp. 170-175. 

As to the famous variations, or emhellimenti, while onr 
author is full of admiration for thr^ir conception and exe- 
cution, he is wholly opposed to the idea that they are 
purely traditional. 

" No musical tradition is to be relied on ; besides, how is it 
possible to carry down a five-part movement to the present time, 
from mere hearsay? It does not sound like it. It appears to me 
that the director, having had good high voices at his command, 
wrote down for their use ornamental phrases, founded on the simple 
unadorned chords, to enable them to give full scope and effect to 
their voices. They certainly are not of ancient date, but are com- 
posed with infinite talent and taste, and their effect is admirable; 
one in particular is often repeated, and makes so deep an impres- 
sion, that when it begins, an evident excitement pervades all 
present. The soprano intones the high C (in alt) in a pure soft 
voice, allowing it to vibrate for a time, and slowly gliding down, 
while the contralto holds the C steadily, so that at first I was 


1862.] Mendelssohn. 229 

under the delusion that the high C was still held by the soprano; 
the skill, too, with which the liarmonj is gradually developed, is 
truly admirable." — Letters, pp. 177-79. 

The Passion, on Good Friday, which is generally 
much fidmired, ** appeared to him too trivial and monoto- 
nous;" and he was ** quite out of humour and dissatis- 
fied with th(3 affair altogether.'' He refers to the Passio 
of Sebastian Bach as his ideal of what such a composi- 
tion ought to be ; but, as sung in the Sixtine chapel (and, 
a fortiori, as sung in all the other churches at Rome, 
and in those which copy the Roman ceremonial) it seems 
to him ** very imperfect, being neither a simple narrative, 
nor yet a grand dramatic truth." 

It would lead us altogether too far, to enter into a dis- 
cussion of the brief but pointed criticism which follows. 
We have already said that we do not think Mendelssohn 
was quite prepared to appreciate the Holy Week music, 
and we think that the strictures which he passes on the 
Passio more than bear us out ; but, then, it is also obvi- 
ous that the ideas which were then present in his mind, 
and by which some of his admirers would firmly abide, are 
wholly at variance with the principles on which those 
great compositions are built. It is thus a question of 
primary notions, and every one knows how insoluble such 
questions generally are ; for, as the supporters of each 
side differ radically, it is next to impossible to hit on any 
common principle whence the argument may proceed. 
Mendelssohn has, however, not contented himself with 
general observations, but has descended to particulars which 
may be examined on their own merits. For example, ho 
selects the music to which the choir shout the words 
** Barabbam," as ** most singular;" being of opinion that 
the Jews who could so express themselves should be *'very 
tame Jews indeed." Few who have heard this passage 
will easily forget the impression made by the hurried, 
tumultuous manner of the singers, and the extreme 
severity and rapidity of the passage itself. It will be suffi- 
cient to say, for the information of those who have not 
heard it, that each of the four voices utters but one note to 
each syllable of the word '' Ba-rab-bam," and that it is 
sung with extreme liveliness and rapidity and with the full 
strength of the choir. Elsewhere he complains that " the 
choir sings * Barabbam' to the same sacred chords as * et 

230 Mendelssohn. [Nor. 

in terra pax.' " Tliis is simply unintelligible, or ridicu 
lous. Of course, if it is music at all, if especially it be 
severe counterpoint, chords must be employed ; nor do 
we recognize any special sacredness about any chords, 
apart from the words linked to them. Surely there is 
nothing to forbid the composition of an " et in terra pax'* 
in D flat, because Leporello sings his '* Madamina'* in 
the same key. But there is a still more valuable instance. 
Mendelssohn tells Zelter that he " must really mark 
down here as a curiosity the * Crucifige,' just as he noted 
it at the time.'' The passage would almost read like an 
example of vaulting ambition overleaping itself, did we 
not know the honest unaffected candour and simplicity of 
the young writer. He notes down indeed in the letter to 
Zelter a passage to the words ** Tolle ! telle! crucifige 
euni,'' which has one little drawback to its value as 
a critical basis for proceeding to condemn the Passion as 
sung in the Sixtine — but we fear it is a fatal drawback. 
It is only this: — that it is not to be found in that produc- 
tion. Such is the fact. The passage given by Mendel- 
ssohn, as noted by him at the time, does not exist in the 
original music of the Passion as composed by '* Thomas 
Ludovicus A Victoria," nor is it introduced into the per- 
formance by the Papal choir. Mendelssohn's piece is in 
common time, the original in triple time, and distinctly in 
3-1 time. Mendelssohn's is in seven bars, the original in 
six — but, mark, seven bars of common time to represent 
six of 3-1 time. Finally, Mendelssohn's piece, not only 
does not give even the mere notes of the original, but does 
not in any way represent it — it differs in the division of the 
syllables, in the accentuation, in the rhythm, in the relative 
proportions of the parts of the phrase. We think, after such 
a specimen of critical *' accuracy" with regard to a passage 
which provoked his special censure, we may fairly pass over 
his sweeping observations. We have already said, and we 
now repeat, that we do not blame the young artist. He 
simply did not know **the lie of the land," which he 
had ventured to map out. His ear, evidently, played him 
false in the passage to which we have referred — that ear 
whose accuracy was the theme of universal wonder: — but 
it did so in rendering a language which he was then really 
hearing for the first time. It is no detraction from its 
marvellous faculty that it failed to catch, at once, all the 
peculiarities and characteristics of a strange speech. But 


1862.] Mendelssohn. 231 

we cannot let off so easily his editor, or his translator. 
Paul Mendelssohn was, we think, especially bound to have 
verified this passage, before he gave it to the public. It 
now stands, stamped with his brother's high authority, as 
a correct version of a portion of the Passion as sung in 
the Sixtine ; and on its accuracy the value of the preced- 
ing and subsequent criticism mainly hinges. We have 
however shown that it is a simple travesty, and cannot 
pass for even an imperfect version of the real passage. 
It has about as good pretensions to accuracy, as the good 
old Protestant notion which attributed to each successive 
Pontiff the qualities, together with the imaginary outlines 
and features, of Antichrist. "* The consequence is, that its 
spuriousness discredits both his testimony and his judg- 
nient with regard to the other portions of the Passion, and 
impairs the critical value of his observations on the music 
of the Papal choir and on Italian music generally. Paul 
Mendelssohn could have easily obviated a blunder which 
might have been so damaging to his brother's reputation. 
Since Felix had been staying in Rome in 1831, the music 
of the Passion by Victoria has been published, and could 
have been easily referred to, for the purpose of ascertaining 
the accuracy of the passage noted in the lettei\ The dis- 
crepancy might have, then, been pointed out and explained, 
or the passage in the letter to Z el ter might have been omitted, 
as many other passages — nay whole letters — have doubtless 
been suppressed. Just now the affair stands, as if we had 
undertaken to criticize those very letters without having 
read them, and had coined excerpts which we had palmed 
off on our readers as genuine quotations. 

Very different from the criticisms on the Passion, which 
we have just been reviewing, is his judgment of the Im- 
properia, chanted during the adoration of the cross. 

^ ** It seems to me to be one of Palestrina's finest works, and they 
sing it with remarkable enthusiasm. There is surprising delicacy 
and harmony in its execution by the choir ; they are careful to 
place every passage in its proper light, and to render it sufficiently 
prominent without making it too conspicuous — one chord blending 

* One of the highest dignitaries of the Church in these countries 
once presented to the late Pope, Gregory XVI., an honest English 
gentleman who was calmly satisfied that liis Holiness must have a 
tail because he was Antichrist. 

232 Mendelssohn. [Nor. 

softly with the other. Moreover the ceremony is solemn and very 
dignified, and the most profound silence reigns in the chapel. The 
effect of the whole is undoubtedly superb. I only wish you could 
hear th0v tenors, and the mode in which they take the A on the 
word 'Theos;' the note is so long drawn and ringing, though softly 

breathed, that it sounds most touching I quite understand vhy 

the 'Improperia' produced the strongest effect on Goethe, for they 
are nearly the most faultless of all, as both music and ceremonies, 
and ever} thing connected with them, are in the most entire har- 
mony." — Letters, pp. 185-7. 

From these extracts our readers will be able to form a 
tolerably accurate idea of tbe impressions wrought ou 
Mendelssohn's mind by the solemnities of the Holy Week 
iu the Sixtine Chapel. On a detailed perusal of these 
Letters they will, we are sure, agree with us that no simi- 
lar record of equal importance, in an artistic sense, has yet 
been given to the public. Of its merits, especially remem- 
bering the immature years of its author, it is impossible 
to express what one must feel ; and for any shortcomings 
in appreciation which it may disclose — if his *' strictures " 
may be said to amount to so much — the novelty of his posi- 
tion, and the deficiency of his experience amply account. 
Nor can we better close our remarks on this subject than 
by quoting the truthful and unaffected language with 
which he ends his description of the Holy Week. 

"They were memorable days to me, every hour bringing with it 
something interesting and long anticipated. I also particularly 
rejoiced in feeling that, in spite of the excitement and the numerous 
discussions in praise or blame, t^ie solemnities made as vivid an 
impression on me, as if I had been quite free from all previous pre- 
judice or prepossession. I thus saw the truth confirmed, that per- 
fection, even in a sphere the most foreign to us, leaves its own stamp 
on the mind." — Letters, p. 187. 

The interest which will always attach to art-life in 
Rome, and the importance with which we Catholics would 
naturally regard the views entertained concerning the 
solemnities of the Holy Week in Rome by one who was an 
accomplished scholar iu addition to being a great musical 
genius, have induced us to linger too long over these 
Roman letters. We must say as briefly as we can, what 
we have still to say of those which remain. Mendelssohn 
left Rome on the Saturday after Easter, and pro- 
ceeded to Naples, where he visited all the ancient remains 
and natural objects for which its neighbourhood is famous, 


1862. Mendelssohn. 233 

and gave himself up completely to the fMSchiation of that 
delicious climate and most beautiful land. There, at the 
house of Madame Mainville Fodor, the celebrated vocalist 
and instructress of Sontag, he was introduced to Donizetti, 
Cocci a, and other Neapolitan musical notabilities. Here, 
too, M. Benedict renewed the acquaintance formed nine 
years before, when both were boys, and was able to judge 
for himself of that marvellous progress of which he had 
heard, but whose reality far surpassed its fame. Among 
the ** treasures unfolded to him,'' he had opportunities of 
witnessing instances of that astonishing faculty of impro- 
visation, which manifested itself in his earliest years, and 
to which we have more than once referred in this paper. 

** At an evening party, at the house of Madame Fodor, several 
airs of Donizetti and Rossini, French romances, and an instrumental 
duet by Moscheles were performed. Mendelssohn being subse- 
quently invited to play, without a moment's hesitation he intro- 
duced first one theme of the pieces performed before, then another, 
added a third and fourth, and worked them simultaneously in the 
most skilful manner. At first, plaj fully mimicking the Italian 
stj'le, and then adopting the severe forms of the old masters, he 
contrived to give a perfect musical form and shape to all, and thus 
the inspiration of the present moment seemed as though it had 
been the result of foretliought and study. Again, at an evening 
party, where several distinguished foreigners were present, he per- 
formed from memory some of the finest choruses of Handel's 'Israel 
in Egypt,' the ' Messiah,' and some of his * suite de pieces,'* for the 
harpsichord; thus showing his mastery over that school of compo- 
sition.'' — Benedicts SJcetchy p. 18, 

From Psestum, the southernmost limit of his journey, he 
returned northwards, passing again through Kouie and 
Florence with still greater pleasure than on the occasions 
of his first visit. At Milan he met with two musical 
celebrities, whose acquaintance gave him unexpected 
satisfaction. One of these was Madame Ertmann, wife of 
the Austrian Commandant du place, who had been a 
friend of Beethoven many years previously, in the days 
of his glory in Viemia, before his heavy infirmities had 
soured his temper and estranged him from his friends. 
She and her husband were delighted at meeting 
one, who prized the music of the great master; and 
she played over sonata after sonata to her admiring lis- 
tener, the ** old general being quite enchanted, and with 
tears of delight iu his eyes, because it was so long since he 

234 Mendelssohn, [Nov. 

had heard his wife play." The acquaintance leads to a 
sketch of Beethoven, characteristic of the deep sympathy 
and kindness of his nature, as it was before evil days came 
upon him. 

** Sho told me that when she lost her last child, Beethoven at 
first shrank from coming to her house; but at length he invited her 
to visit him, and when she arrived, she found him seated at the 
piano, and simply saying, * Let us speak to each other by music,' 
he played on for more than an hour, and, as she expressed, * he 
said much to me, and at last gave me consolation.' '* 

Another "valued acquaintance," which he made at 
Milan, was that of a son of Mozart; whom he describes as 
** bearing the strongest resemblance to his father, especially 
in disposition," and so amiable that ** no one could fail to 
love him the instant he was known." He gave Men- 
delssohn introductions to friends near the Lake of Como, 
and this led to his seeing the Italian Lakes — ** not the least 
interesting objects in the Peninsula." While at Como, 
he received some advice which, in his case, was marvel- 
lously comical. 

" They spoke of Shakespeare's plays, which are now being trans- 
lated into Italian. The Doctor said that the tragedies were good, 
but that there were some plays about witches that were too stupid 
and childish; one in particular, * II Sogno d' una Notte di Mezza 
State.' In it tiie stale device occurred of a piece being rehearsed 
in the play, and it was full of anachronisms and childish ideas; on 
which they all chimed in that it was very silly, and advised me not 
to read it. I remained meekly silent, and attempted no defence.'' — 
Letters, p. 217. 

The great " Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream" 
had been already written in 1826, five years before. 

From Italy he passed into Switzerland by the Simplon, 
journeying down the benutiful Valais to Martigny, thence 
round the Cliamouni district, through the Pays de Vaud, 
wluch he pronounces " the most beautiful of all the coun- 
tries which he knows, and the spot where he should mosy 
like to live when he became really old;" and so all ovei 
the Swiss Alps, travelling chiefly on foot. We cannot 
quote from the letters which give an account of these ram- 
bles ; they are even more graphic than sketches by the 
Alpine Club. The deep impression which these Alpine 
Bcenes made upon him, is a strong proof of the intensity ol 
his spontaneous inclinatiou to natural beauty. He hac' 

1862.] Mendelssohn. 235 

visited Switzerland when a boy ; he travelled throngh it 
now, with all the fresh appreciation of opening manhood ; 
he yearned to return to its calm enjoyments through all 
the excitement of his glorious career. And it was to the 
lovely valleys around Interlachen that he retired in 1847, to 
seek in nature's grandeur and repose that sympathy and 
restoring influence which his heart needed in its ntter 
prostration, after the death of that beloved and accomplished 
sister, who had been the sharer of his aims and his hopes, 
and the delighted witness of his success. 

Six weeks were spent in journeying up and down 
throufrh Switzerland, and then he passed into Bavaria. 
At Munich he gave a public concert, which was attended 
by the king and queen and all the court, and which he 
describes as a brilliant success ; and so, by the Ehine and 
Belgium, he at length arrived in Paris, where he spent 
the winter. He never liked Paris, as most certainly Paris 
never appreciated him. He loved to roam through the 
Louvre, as formerly through the galleries of Florence. He 
mixed with his fellow-artists, enjoying their society, attend- 
ing their rehearsals, and assisting in their public perform- 
ances. He also went wherever the excitement, which then 
swayed Paris, bore him — to the Chamber of Peers, to the 
Chamber of Deputies, to the Opera, to a Vaudeville, to a 
reunion at Casimir Perrier's. But, not only did he not 
relish the prevalent tone of French society, and French 
habits and customs, but he positively disliked them, and 
held them in genuine aversion. All through these Parisian 
letters, we meet with luminous instances of the deep moral 
feeling and earnest purity, that lay so happily at the foun- 
dation of his character. Witness his remarks about San- 
simonianism, on theatrical representations, and on the pn*- 
vailing style of the opera, Auber's *' Parisienne,'' intended 
by its author to be for the Revolution of July 1830, what 
the " Marseillaise" had been for that of 1789, is most 
justly denounced by him as *^ a cold, insignificant piece, 
quite common-place and trivial : the words are worthless ; 
then the emptiness of the music! — a march for acrobats.*' 
We must make room for his description of a now famous 
and popular opera, in a letter to Immermann. 

*' In the Academie Royale, Meyerbeer's * Robert le Diable,* is 
played every night with great success: the house is always crowded, 
aud the music has given universal satisfaction. There is an ezpen- 

236 Mendelssohn. [XoVr 

diture of all possible means of producing stage effect, that I never 
saw equalled on any stage. All who can sing, dance, or act in 
Paris, sing, dance, and act on this occasion. 

•* The sujet is romantic; that is the devil appears in the piece — 
this is quite sufficient romance and imagination for the Parisians. 
It is liowever very bad; and were it not for two brilliant scenes of 
seduction it would produce no effect whatever. Tiie devil is a poor 
devil, and appears in armour, for the purpose of leading astray his 
son Robert, a Norman knight, who loves a Sicilian princess. Ho 
succeeds in inducing him to stake his money and all his personal 
property (that is, his sword) at dice, and then makes him commit 
sacrilege, giving him a magic branch, which enables Jiim to pene- 
trate into the princes's apartment, and renders him irresistible. 
The son does all this with apparent willingness ; but when at tho 
end he is to assign himself to his father, who declares that he loves 
him, and cannot live without him, the devil, or rather the poet 
Scribe, introduces a peasant-girl, who has in her possession the will 
of Robert's deceased mother, and reads him the document, which 
makes him doubt the story he has been told; so the devil is obliged 
to sink down through a trap-door at midnight, with his purpose 
unfulfilled, on which Robert marries the princess, and the peasant- 
girl, it seems, is intended to represent the principle of good. The 
devil is called Bertram. I cannot imagine how any music could be 
composed on such a cold, formal extravaganza as this, and so 
the opera does not satisfy me. It is throughout frigid and heart- 
less; and where this is the case it produces no effect upon me. The 
people extol the music, but where warmth and truth are wanting, I 
have no test to apply." — Letters, pp. 322-3. 

This same letter to Immermann alludes to a matter 
wliicli cannot fail to excite interest. While he was at 
Munich, Mendelssohn received a commission from the 
director of the theatre to write an opera for Munich. In 
order to carry this intention into effect, he made it his 
business to pass through Diisseldorf, ^* expressly to consult 
with the poet Immermann on the point. '^ They fixed on 
a subject which had been long in Mendelssohn's thoughts, 
and wliich he believed his mother wished to see made into 
an opera — Shakespeare's ** Tempest." But when the 
libretto was finished, it did not satisfy Mendelssohn's ideas 
on the subject, and consequently he could not bring him- 
self to compose for it, and so he seems to have permanently 
abandoned all views of operatic composition. In all these 
proceedings, he had been in constant communication with 
his father, and believed that he was only complying with 
his wishes. But Abraham Mendelssohn seems to have 


1862.] Mendelssohn. 237 

considered that a French poet — or, rather Hbretto-manu- 
facturer, hke Scribe, would be more hkely to turn out 
an effective libretto, than a German poet such as Immer- 
mann ; and he wrote to his son to this effect. The young 
artist repUed in a noble letter, in which, while expressing 
himself with the utmost affection and respect, he differs 
firmly and decidedly from the views his father appeared to 
hold in the matter. Having set forth his ideas on the sub- 
ject with great clearness, he concludes by stating that he 
could not conscientiously compose, music for a French 
libretto, such as he would be then likely to obtain in Paris. 
** One of the distinctive characteristics of them all,^' he 
says, ** is precisely of a nature that I should resolutely 
oppose, although the taste of the present day may demand 
it, and I quite admit that it is wiser to go with the current 
than to struggle against it. I allnde to that of immorality. .. 
All this produces effect, but I have no music for such 
things. I consider it ignoble ; so if the present epoch exacts 
this style, and considers it indispensable, then I will write 
oratorios." (p. 304.) However much we may regret, that 
we possess no opera from one so ably qualified both by 
nature and by art to write one, it is impossible not to feel 
more than admiration for the sentiments which made so 
dramatic and creative a mind regard such self-denial as 
an imperative duty — sentiments which, alas! so rarely find 
an echo among his brother-artists. 

Nor was it with regard to operatic composition, nor on 
this particular point of sensuousness only, that the consci- 
entious delicacy of Mendelssohn displayed itself; it was an 
active principle in all his productions, now restraining, .and 
now urging on, but always ruling, and never in the small- 
est degree disobeyed. ^ He had no sympathy, he protests, 
for the licentious music then affected by the drama ; but 
neither had he for anything which did not approve itself to 
his convictions, and commend itself to his heart. With 
him the artist was the man ; he could not pretend an en- 
thusiasm which he did not feel, nor, for hire, find utterances 
for sentiments which he would not, of himself, pronounce. 
Writing to his sister about some music, composed by her- 
self, he says : — 

"These two choruses are not sufficiently original; but my opin- 
ion is that it is the fault of the words, that express nothing origi- 
nal; one single expression might have improved the whole, but as 
they now stand, they would be equally suitable for Church music 

238 Mendelssohn. [Not. 

a cantata, an offertorium, etc. Where, however, thej are not of 
such uniyersal application, as for example, the lament at the end, 
thej geem to me sentimental and not natural. The choruses are 
fine, for they are written by you; but, in the first place, it seems 
to me that they might be by any other good master ; and secondly, 
as if they were not 7iecessarily what they are, indeed as if they might 
have been differently composed. This arises from the poetry not 
imposing any particular music. My resume therefore is, that I 
would advise you to be more cautious in the choice of your words, 
because, after all, it is not everything, even if it suits the theme, 
that is suggestive of mMsic." — Letters, p. 315. 

Already, he had declined to comply with the request of 
Madame Pereira, a relative whom he was most anxious to 
oblip:e, and who had asked him to compose music for the 
"Nachtliche Heerschau" of Baron I Zedlitz, known to 
English readers as ** Napoleon's Midnight Review." '-^ 
The letter in which he excuses himself, contains some ex- 
cellent, although subtle criticism on the nature of such 
poems, and their literary position ; but it is chiefly valua- 
ble for the musical views which it enunciates. 

*♦ I take music in a very serious light, and I consider it quite in- 
admissible to compose anything that I do not thoroughly feel. It 
is just as if 1 were to utter a falsehood ; for notes have as distinct 
a meaning as words, perhaps even a more definite sense. Now it 
appears to me almost impossible to compose for a descriptive poem ; 
I am not acquainted with one single composition of the kind that 

has been successful I could indeed have composed music for it 

in the same descriptive style, as Neukommf and Fischhof, in Vienna, 
I might have introduced a very novel rolling of drums in the bass, 
and blasts of trumpets in the treble, and have brought in all sorts 
of hobgoblins. But I love my serious elements of sound too well to 
do anything of the sort ; for this kind of thing always appears to 
me a joke : somewhat like the paintings in juvenile spelling-books, 
where the roofs are coloured bright red to make the children aware 
they are intended for roofs.'' — Letters, pp. 197-8. 

But perhnps the fullest insight into the views and pur- 
poses which then swayed him, and the ideas which dictated 
them, and constituted the ruling principle of all his art-life, 

♦ There is a fine and spirited translation of this poem by Jam< 
Clarence Mangan, which has been published in the later editions 
his Anthology. 

\ t " Napoleon's Midnight Review,'* as composed by Neukomm, wj 
published in London by Cramer, and was very popular about thirtj 
years ago. 

1862.] Mendelssohn. 239 

IS afforded us in some letters addressed to the eminent 
dramatic singer Devrient, himself a genuine artist. 

*' You reproach me with being two-and-twentj without having 
yet acquired fame. To this I can only reply, had it been the will 
of Providence that I should be renowned at the age of two-and- 
twenty, I no doubt should have been so. I cannot help it, for 1 no 
more write to gain a name, than to obtain a Kapellmeister's place. 
It would be a good thing if I could secure both. But so long as I 
do not actually starve, so long is it my duty to write only as I feel, 
and according to what is in my heart, and to leave the results to 
Him who disposes of other and greater matters. Every day, however, 
I am more sincerely anxious to write exactly as I feel, and to have 
even less regard than ever to external views; and when I have com- 
posed a piece just as it sprung from my heart, then I have done my 
duty towards it; and whether it brings hereafter fame, honour, 
decorations, or snuff-boxes, etc., is a matter of indiflference to me.* 
If you mean, however, that I have neglected or delayed perfecting 
myself, or my compositions, then I beg you will distinctly and clearly 
say in what respect and wherein I have done so. This would be in- 
deed a serious reproach. 

*' You wish me to write operas, and think I am unwise not to 
have done so long ago. I answer : Place a right libretto in my 
hand, and in two months the work shall be completed, for every day 
1 feel more eager to write an opera. I think that it may become 
something fresh and spirited, if I begin it now; but I have got no 
words yet, and I assuredly never will write music for any poetry that 
does not inspire me with enthusiasm. If you know a man capable 
of writing the libretto of an opera, for heaven's sake tell me his 
name, that is all I want. But till I have the words, you would not 
wish me to do anything — even if I could do anything. 

" I have recently written a good deal of sacred music ; this is 
quite as much a necessity to me, as the impulse that often induces 
people to study some particular book, the Bible, or others, as the 
only reading they care for at the time. If it bears any resemblance 
to Sebastian Bach, it is again no fault of mine, for I wrote it just 
according to the mood I was in; and if the words inspired me with 
a mood akin to that of old Bach, I shall value it all the more, for I 
am sure you do not think that I would merely copy his form, without- 
the substance; if it were so, I should feel such disgust and such a void 
that I could never again finish a composition... ..I am now going to 
Munich, where they have offered me an opera to see if I can find a 
man there who is a poet. I always fancy that the right man has 

* Elsewhere, he defines a " true musician'* to be "one whose 
thoughts are absorbed in music, and not in money, or decorations, or 
ladies, or fame." — p. 269. 

240 Mendelssohn. [Nov. 

not yet appeared; but what can I do to find liim out? Where does 
he live? I firmly believe that a kind Providence, who sends us 
all things in due time when we stand in need of them, will supply 
this also if necessary ; still we must do our duty, and look round 
us — and I do wish the libretto were found. Meantime T write as 
good music as I cnn. and hope to make progress. In instrumental 
music I already begin to know exactly what I really intend. Having 
worked so much in this sphere, I feel much more clear and tranquil 

with regard to it — in short, it urges me onwards If you could 

succeed in not thinking about singers, decorations, and situations, 
but feel solely absorbed in representing men, nature, and life, I am 
convinced that you would yourself write the best libretto of any one 
living ; for a person who is so familiar with the stage as you are, 
could not possibly write anything undramatic.When one form is to 
be moulded into another, when the verses are to be made musically, 
but not felt musically, when fine words are to replace outwardly 
what is utterly deficient in fine feeling inwardly — this is a dilemma 
from which no man can extricate himself; for as surely as pure 
metre, happy thoughts, and classical language do not suffice to make 
a good poem, unless a certain flash of poetical inspiration pervades 
the whole, so an opera can only become thoroughly musical, and 
accordingly thoroughly dramatic, by a vivid feeling of life in all the 
characters." — Letters pp. 206-11. 

His Stay in^ Paris extended to nearly five months : and 
the letters written from that centre of gaiety and excite- 
ment will prove among the most attractive, althongh not 
the most valuable of the whole collection. They are full 
oF sparkling vivacity and happy dashes; of graphic sketches 
of nien and things, not without a certain sly humour and 
satire, which make them all the more appreciable by reason 
of the caricature. He evidently made it his business to 
see all that could be seen, and to enjoy all that could be 
enjoyed, consistently with honour and duty. Nor was he 
idle in his own particular path of progress, composing fresh 
works, and re-touching those already composed — as the 
** Walpurgis Nacht," and the great Scottish symphony in 
A minor, which seemed to be always approaching comple- 
tion and yet never to satisfy him. He also appeared at some 
public concerts, and was able to have his ** Overture to 
Midsummer Night's Dream'' performed at the Conserv 
toire, in a style which caused him great pleasure. But it 
is clear that he never could take to Paris, as probably 
Paris never could take to him. Its ** immorality to 
degree that almost exceeds belief," shocked his mor 
sense and disgusted his innate delicacy and refinement ; n 

1862.] Mendelssohn. 2il 

could its frivolity satisfy one whose leading principle was 
that man existed for work and not for pleasure. 

Towards the close of his stay he had a sharp attack of 
cholera ; and, as soon as he was sufficiently recovered to 
bear the journey, he came on to London, arriving soon 
after Easter. Three years before, he came among us, a 
youth of great promise* and wonderful attainments, lie 
now returned with the fulfilment of that promise, a matured 
genius, bringing with him the endorsement of European 
fame. His reception was proportionate, and thenceforward 
he regarded those occasional visits to London as the 
proudest periods of his professional success, as they were 
associated with some of the happiest episodes in his domes- 
tic life. On this occasion he was engaged at the Philhar- 
monic concerts, producing and playing his concerto in Gr 
minor at two successive concerts, an occurrence without 
precedent. He also brought out his ** FingaFs Cave'^^ 
during this visit. He remained in England only six weeks,, 
being suddenly recalled by his father to Berlin. Zelter, 
the director of the " Singing Academy," and Mendelssohn's 
beloved master, had just died ; and the worthy banker saw 
here, as he thought, an opening for the accompli shm^nt of 
the dream of his ambition, hi securing for Felix a post 
where he could pursue his artist-vocation, with dignity to 
himself and with honour to his ancestral town. But this 
expectation was disappointed ; and although the younger 
Mendelssohn had not coveted the appointment, he was so 
disgusted with the intrigues set on foot against him, that 
he determined not to settle in Berlin, and he left it, as he 
then believed never to return. The last letters of the col- 
lection refer to this business. They show how grateful he 
was to his parents for their zeal and affectionate care of 
his interests, and how anxious he was to follow out his 
father's views and to be guided by his advice ; but they 
also show how thorough was his devotion to his art, and 
with what respectful firmness and manly independence he 
could maintain his own views when he was convinced of 
their correctness. We must find room for one last extract 
as a specimen of these admirably balanced quahties. 

" I must, in taking a general view of the past, refer to what you 

designed to be the chief object of my journey ; desiring me strictly 

to adhere to it. I was closely to examine the various countries, 

and to fix on the one where I wished to Live and to work; 1 waji 

VOL. Lii»- No, cm, l^ 

242 Mendelssohn. [Nov. 

further to make known my name and capabilities, in order that tlie 
people, among whom I resolved to settle, should receive me well, 
and not be wholly ignorant of mj career ; and, finally, I was to 
take advantage of my own good fortune, and your kindness, to press 
forward in my subsequent efforts. It is a happy feeling to be able **" 
to say, that I believe this has been the case. Always excepting 
those mistakes which are not discovered till too late, I think I have 
fulfilled the appointed object. People now knoAv that I exist, and 
that I have a purpose, and any talent that I display, they are ready 

to approve and to accept I hope, therefore, I may say that I 

have also fulfilled this part of your wish — that I should make my- 
self known to the public before returning to you. Your injunction 
too, to make choice of the country that I preferred to live in, I 
have equally performed, at least in a general point of view. That 
country is Germany. 1 cannot yet, however, decide on the par- 
ticular city; for the most important of all, which for various rea- 
sons has so many attractions for me, I have not yet thou,^ht cf 
in this light — I allude to Berlin. On ray return therefore I must 
ascertain whether I can remain and establish myself there according 
to my views and wishes, after having seen and enjoyed other places." 
—pp. 338-9. 

" The situation in the Academy is not desirable at the outset of 
my career; indeed I could only accept it for a certain time, and 
under particular conditions, and even then, solely to perform my 

previous promise I do not know how I shall get on in Berlin, or 

whether I shall be able to remain there — that is, whether I shall bo 
able to enjoy the same facilities for work and progress, that are 
offered to me in other places. The only house that I know in Ber- 
lin is our own, and I feel certain I shall be quite happy there; but 
I must also be in a position to be actively employed, and this I 
shall discover when I return. I hope that all will come to pass as 
I wish, for of course the spot where you live must be always dearest 
to me ; but till I know this to be a certainty, I do not wish to fetter 
myself by any situation." — Letters, pp. 355 6. 

For a year Mendelssohn was uncertain as to where ho' 
would permanently fix his abode. For a time, it seemed 
as if his inclination for England would induce him to p:ive 
London the preference ; and he returned there in 1833,^^ 
accompanied by his father, and bringing with him hiJHI 
second symphony in A major, which he had composeo^' 
during his residence in Italy. Thence he went to Diissel- 
dorf, where he conducted the Triennial Rhenish Festivu] 
with an unprecedented success that was soon to exercise 
decisive influence on his life. But, like the moth, hi 
again came over to London, bringing with him a mosj 
effective and brilliant Overture in C, which he has name< 

1862.] Mendelssolm, 243 

the '* Trumpet Overture," on account of the predomi- 
nance of brass instruments, so unusual in his compositions. 
But his uncertainty was now to be resolved. His success- 
ful superintendence of the Diisseldorf Festival led to an 
offer of the directorship of the concerts and theatre in that 
city, which he accepted for three years. At Diisseldorf 
the young director — then only four-and-twenty years of 
age — fairly entered upon his artistic career, surrounded by 
fellow votaries of art, among whom were his Roman 
friends Schadow and Bendemann. Here, while conducting 
operas, oratorios, and concerts in fulfilment of the duties 
of his office, he worked assiduously at original composi- 
tions of his own. Among the productions of this period 
were those beautiful pieces, the design of which was his 
own invention, the *' Lieder ohne Worte." But the great 
work of the time — a work too composed, in great part, 
while he was struggling with the affliction con-sequent on 
liis father's unexpected death — was the Oratorio of St. 
Paul, which was first produced at Diisseldorf on the 22nd 
May, 1836, when its author had but just completed his 
twenty-seventh year, and which at once placed him on a 
level with the greatest masters of his art. Towards the 
close of 1835, he removed to Leipzig, where he chiefly 
dwelt during the remainder of that prosperous career 
which proceeded, without check or pause, from triumph to 
triumph for eleven years ; until death came suddenly to 
cut it short, not too soon indeed for his fame as an artist, 
but too soon for the benefits which we might fairly hope to 
have received had he stayed longer among us, — and too 
soon, alas! we fear for the completion of that great change 
in his religious convictions which, we think, we have reason 
to suspect had been long developing itself, and which might 
seem to have been even then on the eve of its accomplish- 
ment, when Providence in its mysterious dispensation hur- 
riedly summoned him away. 

Here we must pause. We have laid before our readers 
a sketch of the early years and first career of Mendelssohn 
np to the period when, by the production of his Paulus, 
he reached the highest rank in his profession. We must 
reserve the consideration of his subsequent brilliant course 
to a future time, when, perhaps, the publication of his later 
letters and of other documents will help to complete a 
knowledge which, as yet, we can be said to possess only 
in outline. Nor can we with propriety enter now into a 

244 Mendelssohn. [Nov. 

critical examination of his works, wliicli belong chiefly to 
those later years. It is enough for us to know that a ver- 
dict, which will scarcely be reversed, has pronounced that 
his place is with Handel and Haydn, with Mozart and 
Weber, and Beethoven whom he loved and understood so 
well. The letters leave us at the threshold of all this great- 
ness. They tell us of the youthful hopes and aims and pre- 
parations, of the culture, the beautiful mind and unsullied 
heart, that were the elements out of which the after success 
was to be wrought. They give us the first glimpse of the 
dawn of fame that was lighting up the path of genius, never 
to be clouded until it had deepened into the fulness of day. 
We hope, that our readers will derive from their perusal 
some of the delight and instruction which they have 
afforded to us. They have made us, indeed, long for the 
publication of those other volumes, which the Editor has 
l^romised us in his preface. We are particularly desirous 
of information concerning the period of the composition of 
the Lauda Sion for the Liege Festival in 1846, and the 
short remaining period of his life, and for some details of 
his relations with his Catholic pupils and friends at 
Leipzig. His mind was too acute, his intellectual facul- 
ties had been too well trained, his heart was too noble, to 
allow us to believe that he would ever have abandoned an 
idea of which he had once become possessed, without fol- 
lowing its legitimate development to the end. We feel 
certain that whatever comes, nothing will appear'that can 
detract from the fame which the world has universally 
decreed to Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, or to mar the 
unity of a career, in which we know not whether most to 
admire its integrity, its nobleness, or its unvarying su< 
cess, the rare genius, the rarer modesty, or the unselfisl 
ness rarer than all. 

1862.] The Duty of the State, its Rules and Limits. 245 

Art. VII. — Mission de Vetal ses regies el ses limites, par £Jd. Ducpetiauit, 
Brussels : C. Muquardt. 1861. 

SELF-GOVERNMENT is the boast of Englishmen : 
we all speak of it ; we all are fond of our powers of 
self-government, and of our exercise of that power. It is 
indeed our great characteristic; that which most distin- 
guishes us from neighbouring nations, which most strikes 
the foreigner; yet we venture to doubt whether the full 
meaning of the word is always understood by those who 
use it; whether we are always fully sensible of what our 
self-government consists in ; of its advantages and draw- 
backs, and of the safeguards which its preservation re- 

8eif-government is of two sorts ; political, and adminis- 
trative, if we may venture so to describe them, although 
the words do not fully express our meaning ; or national 
and individual : the former consists in the right of a 
people to chose their government ; the latter in the right 
of each man to govern himself, saving of course the rights 
of others. Thus the French nation exercised the right of 
chosing their government when they elected the Emperor ; 
but their self-government ends there; the government of 
their choice governs every man in the minutest details of 
life. The English have not for centuries exercised any- 
thing like the same absolute choice of a government: but 
on the other hand every man in England enjoys infinitely 
more of individual self-government; since here the state 
never interferes with the exercise of his individual will ; 
and the right of the government to compel a man to his 
good is as earnestly repudiated as any other exercise of 
arbitrary authority. Connected with the right of indi- 
vidual self-government is that of local self-government: or 
the right of each local community or association to govern 
itself independently of the central government : taken 
together, local seU-government, and individual free action 
constitute freedom in its truest sense: the exercise of that 
free will which is the noblest gift of God to man ; the 
highest attribute of our nature, for **by this," (namely free 
will) says the great St. Thomas Aquinas, '* do we excel 
the beasts; are we equal to the angels; and in some 
degree like to God Himself." It is then, well worth our 

246 The Duty of the State, [Nov. 

while to examine its essence ; to stndy its exercise ; and 
to calculate the price we must pay for it : that we may not 
grumble nt its cost : et divitiis nihil esse duxi in com- 
paratione illius. 

The work to which we have undertaken to draw atten- 
tion is a most vakiable essay on this most important 
study ; the nature and limits of individual liberty ; and 
one well worthy of the careful perusal of every English- 
man. The action of the State, that is of the government, 
is of course the limit of the free action of the individual ; 
and the question how far the State ought to control the 
individual, is the question of individual freedom : this is 
the question of which Monsieur Ducpetiaux treats in the 
work *' The duty of the State ; its Rules and its Limits/' 
There is a large school of writers in France and other con- 
tinental countries who seek to extend the action of the 
state to every relation of life : and strange to say those 
who thus advocate the destruction of all individual 
freedom are the loudest advocates of liberty. Their 
theory is a very simple one. Proceeding from the prin- 
ciple that the state or government should emanate ironi 
the will of the nation, they look upon it as the expression 
of the general mind ; and as the duty of the government 
is to seek the welfare of the people, they deduce the two 
consequences, that the government is obliged to supply 
eveiy want, and direct for the best every action of the 
people ; and that, as it is the expression of the popular 
will, it can never be tyrannical however it override the 
individual will, and control individual action. Hence 
have flowed all those systems of centrahzation and state 
action which in France have made the government the 
monopolist of almost all action. In England we have 
ever practised the opposite system ; but yet we perpetually 
hear claims advanced for the interference of government 
in individual instances based on these fallacious principles. 
Such are the statements ; ** it is the duty of the State to 
prevent improvidence, therefore it should suppress pawn- 
broking.'' ** Intemperance is injurious to society and 
should therefore be prevented by law." *' The government 
is bound to afford the people a good education, therefore 
there should be a system of State education." The first 
point is to determine what are the limits to the duties and 
action of the State ; when should it interfere, when not. 


1862.] its Rules and Limits. 247 

We will endeavour briefly to give an idea of the solution 
M. Ditcpetiaux gives of this question. 
He begins by stating the importance of the question. 

•' Observing the struggle which is going on between governments 
and peoples ; the instability of institutions ; past and impending 
revolutions ; the perpetual oscillation between the excess and the 
abuse of authority and of liberty ; it is the duty of good citizens to 
seek the causes of tliese perturbations and their remedy. The 
danger, I consider, lies, in great part, in tlie erroneous idea of the 
State which is entertained, and its vicious constitution ; the remedy 
in the defining and recognizing the rights respectively of the indi- 
vidual, and of society, of citizens, and of governments." — p. 3. 

He then investigates briefly the difi^erent theories whicli 
have been held in ancient and modern times as to the 
nature of the State, and shortly points out some of their 
errors : the following passage is remarkable. 

•' A doctrine, less complicated, more practical in appearance, and 
more generally received, especially in France, is that which con- 
founds Society and the State by attributing to them the same ends. 
This doctrine increases beyond measure the action of the State; 
it is it which has spread among the masses the idea that the welfare 
and progress, intellectual, moral, and material, depend on the 
manner in which the State is constituted and administered. Hence 
perpetual attempts to reform the constitution of the State. The 
idea that all human interests can and ought to be regulated by the 
social power is the principal source of Socialism, which seeks to 
apply its doctrines, not by the action and consent of individual wills 
in free association, but by the power of the State which it seeks to 
obtain." — p. 12. 

Having then cleared the ground he proceeds to define 
the meaning of the State. 

'< The individual, society, and the State, are three elements, 
three organizations, having each their distinct end and their fitting 
development which must not be confounded. Each of these 
elements is subordinate to divine, absolute, universal principles 
which it is bound to respect. Human nature itself proclaims 
unanimously the existence of a justice anterior and superior to all 
human laws and institutions, and which it is the duty of the State 
to maintain and enforce. Man is destined by his nature to develop 
himself physically, religiously, morally and intellectually. He is 
free and responsible. From this freedom results his rights and his 
duties. Left to his individual strength, man cannot accomplish his 
destiny on earth ; he needs the assistance and concurrence of his 
equals in society, of which the family is the germ. Society in its 

248 The Duty of the State, (N 


turn can exist only on condition of having an organization. This 
organization constitutes what is called the State. The State is the 
moral being organized in society for the preservation of rights and 
justice." — p. 17. 

^ From this definition of the State, the writer deduces its 
rights and its duties. To allow of the development at 
once of society and of individuals, by protecting them in 
the exercise of their rights, and enforcing their mutual 
obligations towards each other; directing them thus 
towards their natural development without shackling their 
individual action ; without substituting its responsibility 
for that of the individual : and allowing to every one the 
fullest exercise of his rights, limited only by the rule that 
that exercise does not trench on the rights of others. 
From this it follows that man being free, has a right to 
chose as regards himself good or evil, without the State 
having any right to interfere or compel him to his own 
good. The action of the state is independent of its form ; 
its origin^ or nature, politically speaking, may be despotic, 
and yet its action not so : and the most popular govern- 
ment, in origin, may be most despotic in its action as 
regards individuals. The Constitution of the State is 
inseparable from a certain amount of centralization ; it is 
the concentrating of power: the practical question is, 
where should this centralization stop ? what are the limits 
beyond which the action of the state should not extend? 
with what branches of social life ought it not to inter^- 
fere ? 

It is also to be observed that there are two sorts of cen- 
tralization—political and administrative ; the former de- 
pends on the extent of the function attributed to the state ; 
the latter on the extent to which these functions fire mono- 
polized by the central power. Thus education is made a 
function of the state, if it be regulated b}"" government, 
whether by the central government, or by the local corpo- 
rations ; it is administratively centralized when it is wholly 
under the control of the central government ; politically 
centrah^ed when it is taken from the control of the indi- 

Our writer here pauses to enlarge on the practical 
evils of excessive centralization : and this is perhaps the 
most interesting part of his work. He traces step by step 
the causes and effects of centralization, taking its origin 
in the demand on the part of the subjects for the interven- 


1862. 1 its Rules and Limits, 249 

tion of the state to aid them, to direct them, to deliver 
them from troubles and sufferings ; and the desire of the 
government to make itself popular by protecting the weak, 
helping the suffering, assisting every class— it leads to the 
destruction of individual effort — the complicating and de- 
laying of every proceeding — it culminates in bureaucracy 
and ends in revolution. But we should only weaken the 
force of our author's description by any words of ours, we 
shall therefore lay before our readers a few extracts from 
this chapter. 

"Centralization requires a large number of agents, which consti- 
tutes what is called bureaucracy ; red-tapism [h formali&'me) renders 
the simplest affairs complicated, delays the most pressing decisions, 
and shackles, if it does not prevent, the most necessary reforms. It 
gives birth to the most wretched of manias, the mania for place 
and honours. Intellect is thus turned aside from a useful career — 
education is perverted — the creation of a numerous and powerful 
corporation, a species of caste, subject to a regular hierarchj, and to 
a discipline which takes away all independence, and follows blindly 
the impulse given by authority, constitutes a permanent danger for 
liberty, weakens the nation by absorbing all intelligence and 
degrading all minds^ and becomes a standing menace for the govern- 
ment itself by the jealousies and ambitions^which its breeds in its 

" ' The government,' says Mr. Vivien, * was pleased as it consi- 
dered all functionaries as the servile agents of its will, devoid of 
individual independence and deprived of free will ; that blind obe- 
dience, which even in the army has its limits, was introduced into 
the civil service. And what has been the result ? Centralization 
thus carried out, has afforded to the central power, and to what is 
called in the language of party, Paris, the means of keeping France 
under the yoke. An order issuing from the seat of government, 
whatever may be the power in possession, experiences no opposition. 
To obtain possession of all public power, it is only necessary to 
become master of the capital, and to seize upon the offices of the 
different ministries, and to work the telegraph. Hence the incessant 
revolutions arising from the struggle to obtain this power.* p. 25, 
By the species of omnipotence which it attributes to the govern- 
ment, centralization, weakens its action for good by changing its 
nature. The government becomes a species of fortress incessantly 
besieged; the capture of which enables the victor to crush his 
adversaries. It is in vain that the government which has onco 
entered on this road seeks to stop ; it goes on deeper and deeper, 
urged by the instinct of self-preservation and the fear of losing the 
interested support of its partisans and creatures. And as all 
governmental action ultimately resolves itself into expenditure, the 

250 The Diitij of the State, [Nov. 

increase of loans and taxes keeps equal pace with the extension of 
centralization. This is well described by Mr. Bastial {Vetat, 
Melanges d^economie politique.) If the government refuse the service 
asked of it, it is accused of weakness, of want of good will, of inca- 
pacity. If it essay to grant it, it must needs lay on new taxes ; 
and thus do more evil than good, and excite by another means the 
general disaffection. Thus arise on the part of the public two hopes, 
on that of the government two promises : mani/ services and few 
taxes. Hopes and promises which, being incompatible, are never 
realised. Between the government which lavishes impossible pro- 
mise?, and the public which conceives hopes which can never be 
realised, two classes of men soon interpose themselves: the ambi- 
tious and the Utopians. Their part is marked out for them by the 
circumstances of the case. These seekers for popularity have only 
to cry in the ears of the people, * government deceives you, if avo 
were in its place we would overwhelm you with services and free 
you from taxes.' And the people believe, and the people hope, and 
the people make a revolution. Its friends are no sooner in power 
than they are called on to execute their promises. * Give me work, 
bread, assistance, credit, education, colonies,' cries out the people; 
* and yet according to your promises, free me from taxes.' The new 
government is no less embarrassed than the old one was ; for when 
we treat of the impossible, it is easy to promise, but impossible 
to fulfil. The contradiction ever rises before it ; if it seek to 
be philanthropic, it must tax ; if it gives up taxes, it must give up 
philanthropy. And then other seekers for popularity arise, make 
use of the same illusion, travel the same road, obtain the same 
success, and soon are swallowed up in the same abyss.'' — p. 36. 

Having thus shown the evils of excessive centralization 
and its nature, Mr. Dacpetiaux proceeds briefly to sketch 
out the true principles which should bound the action of the 
state. These he deduces froni its very nature. The state is 
distinct irom the individual and above him ; but it must not 
absorb him ; it must not ignore his existence or his rights; 
or those of society itself. Its duty is to protect indi- 
vidual riglits, by preventing their collision : to secure in- 
dividual liberty, not to absorb or destroy it. The state, 
the country, the public interest, the law ; all these are 
great and deserving of respect; but the rights of the indi- 
vidual are not less so ; freedom, morality, well-doing, these 
can exist only in a being who has a conscience and a re- 
sponsibility. Man is the image of his Maker; and his 
fellows may not ignore his nature and his free will even for 
the common good. 

** Society or government has no right to prevent each one from j 

1862.] its Ruks and Limits. 251 

choosing lils profession, and regulating his life as he wishes ; to 
prevent the citizen who wishes to combine with other citizens to 
enjoy in common these individual liberties. Though others, or 
even the majority of society consider our conduct stupid, perverse, 
dangerous, no matter, each one has the right to blame us ; but as 
long as we interfere not with the liberty of others, no one has the 
right to say to us ' you shall or you shall not do so and so;' as Mr. 
Remusat says, ' The limit of Centralization is personal liberty. The 
right of the individual is above his happiness; a rule which would 
make him happy at the expense of his responsibility, would in reality 
be only a seductive oppression.' " 

Hence a democratic form of government is not necessa- 
rily a free one; if self-government be applied only to the 
central government, and not to the details, it only substi- 
tutes the tyranny of the many for the tyranny of one ; and 
thus, as has been well observed — 

** In some countries the people desire not to be tyrannized over ; 
in others they only desire that each should have an equal chance of 
tyrannizing over others." 

Hence also the undue extension of the principle, that it is 
the duty of the state to seek the good of society, leads to 
the same tyranny. How often do we hear the old Komau 
maxim quoted, Saliis populi siimma lex esto ; and tran- 
slating somewhat inaccurately, salus populi, by the good 
of the people, applied to every occurrence of life. The 
maxim is true only in its literal sense; that the safety, the 
existence of the nation is the supreme object of the law ; 
but it is the existence of the nation only that is above all 
individual interests, all personal rights ; individual freedom 
is not to be sacrificed to promote the welfare of the mass. 
The Pagan idea, indeed, of old Rome, was the omnipo- 
tence of the state — Rome absorbed her citizens in herself— 
all individual rights, nay, all individual existences must 
give way to promote her greatness ; but this excess of 
government, this absorption of the individual in the state 
which raised her to such a height of power brought with it 
the seed of decay to Rome, as it had done before to the 
Greek republics. Christianity restored life to society by 
substituting for the Pagan idea of the omnipotence of the 
state, the Christian idea of the diguity and responsibility 
of the individual. Everywhere the same causes have pro- 
duced the same results. The old Asiatic empires, India, 
and China, now tottering to its fall, equally illustrate the 

252 The Duty of the State, INov. 

fatal weakness of the system by which the state absorbs all 
the social forces and rules mankind^ like a flock. The 
most civilized nations of Europe experience the same revo- 
lutions. England has escaped despotism, by limiting with- 
in the narrowest bounds the functions of the state. In 
France, what was the result of centuries devoted to the 
perfection of the unity of the monarchy ? The exaggera- 
tion of the idea of government hastened its ruin. When 
Louis the Fourteenth declared Vetat c'est moij he signed 
the death warrant of the government. The state was con- 
centrated in a single head, only for that head to fall on a 
scaffold. The revolution of 1789, so rich in hopes and pro- 
mises, sought to cast everything in a fresh mould, it sacri- 
ficed the individual to the state. It did little for individual 
freedom, but it succeeded in framing an engine of mighty 
power, of which the first Napoleon soon possessed himself; 
and for the possession of which successive governments 
have struggled through successive revolutions. Mr. Duc- 
petiaux well points out that Belgium enjoyed far greater 
freedom and far greater happiness under its old municipal 
institutions when men and associations were left to them- 
selves, than under the reign of centralized freedom which 
France forced on them. The Belgians had ever struggled 
against governmental despotism, and for the maintenance 
of the rights and liberty of individuals ; and it was the 
doctrine of absolute centralization and the pretended re- 
forms, which Joseph the Second sought to force upon 
them, which led to the overthrow of the Austrian power 
in Belgium. And the same attempt at centralization led 
to the downfall of the dynasty of Orange. Our author 
concludes : — 

'* It may be asserted a priori, that those nations which are least 
governed, are also the most advanced, politically, intellectually, and 
morally. They alone possess security, the only sure guarantee of 
progress. It required the yoke of iron which Napoleon so long 
pressed on Europe, to enable him to shed that sea of blood in whicii 
lie and his empty glory sunk together. Excessive centralization, 
at the same time that it deprives the people of the power which 
makes it master of its own destinies, removes tlie most solid found^v- 
tion of national independence. If the government be overthrown, 
the people, deprived of all power, is handed over helplessly to 
conquest. To lielplessness against foreign invasion, is added the 
incessant danger of internal commotions. Which are the nations 
;who revolt? The nations administered, ruled, governed, most 


1862.1 «^^ ^^^^^ «"^ Limits. 253 

paternally if you will, in which all individual existences are effaced 
and borne down before the all powerful government, but revolt at 
the first opportunity to protest against their degradation and claim 
their neglected rights. Mark the contrast between our two power- 
ful neighbours, France and England, the one so disturbed, where 
revolutions periodically succeed each other, and where no power, 
however apparently strong, is sure of the morrow ; the other calm, 
peaceable, and immoveable in the midst of disturbances around her; 
the main, if not the only reason of this difference, is to be sought in 
their sjstem of government ; which in France ever tends to absorb 
the individual, whilst in England it frees him j and securing to 
him his rights, places him seriously face to face with the responsi- 
bility which their exercise involves. Eevolutious can be directed 
only against the central power ; if this latter moderate its action, 
and efface itself, as it were, to make way for individual initiation 
and individual action, the revolutionary passions cease to have an 
object and a motive, they have their safety-valve and exhaust them- 
selves in vacuo. 

*' And here I am happy to find that my ideas agree with those of 
M. Laboulaye ; — which, he asks, are the countries which suffer from 
the revolutionary malady ? Is it England or Austria? Is it France 
or America ? Is it Naples or Belgium ? One would think that 
centralization and revolution mutually evoked each other. 

"What is it which prevents this reform, from wliicli the state 
would not suffer, since it gains in real strength and influence what 
it loses in embarrassing and dangerous prerogatives? Prejudice. 
We are imbued with Greek and Roman ideas ; it is those which we 
find at the bottom of all democratic and socialistic theories. All 
the pretended liberal systems really give the people only an illusive 
sovereignty, and establish in reality the despotism of the state. If 
we wish civilization to advance, if we wish to disarm revolution, 
we must free the individual, we must develope personal libertv." — 
p. 57. 

He then proceeds to answer the objections of those who 
advocate a paternal, in other words a strong government, 
showing that it must necessarily involve tyranny and the 
destruction of individual effort; ending in the government 
doing badly, and at a much greater cost what should be 
done by individuals. As I. B. Say remarks, paternal care, 
solicitude and benefits of the government are empty words ; 
and as for the gifts of government, it can only give to its 
subjects what it has first taken from them, and this at a 
heavy cost. (Traite d*Economie PoHtique, liv. 1 chap. 
17.) Proceeding to trace the limits of the intervention of 
the state, our author points out that the self-styled liberals 
of many countries, and especially of Belgium, whilst pro- 

254 The Duty of the State, [Nor. 

claiming that they fight against tyranny and intolerance, 
are really the opponents of freedom, they insist on making 
men what they call free and enlightened against their will; 
and he ilhistmtes this by the qnestion of education in Bel- 
gium. Those, he remarks, who are opposed to Catholic 
education, have a perfect right to oppose to it an education 
which they prefer, to found schools and pay teachers ; but 
when fearing free competition, and despairing of triumph 
by their own strength, they apply to the state to paralyze 
and oppress other systems by its superior resources and 
the institution of a state system, they destroy liberty and 
replace the might of right, by the right of might. 

In his seventh chapter, M. Ducpetiaux lays down the 
limits within which he holds the action of the State should 
be confined. After enumerating its legislative, executive, 
judicial, and diplomatic functions, he adds, it protects 
individual and collective liberty in (dl its legitimate acts, 
imposing no limits but those of respect for the liberty of 
others. It facilitates and protects all relations, transac- 
tions and associations. It protects minors and all others 
incapable of protecting themselves. It is not the duty of 
the state to procure for each one, happiness, morality, 
education; but only to protect the general prosperity and 
morality. The state is not religion ; religion has a higher 
sphere and an authority entirely independent of the state. 
The state is not society : nor is it its duty to organize society 
or provide for its necessary developments : this society will 
do for itself by means of association which should be per- 
fectly free. Our space will not allow ns to follow M. 
Ducpetiaux in all the details he enters into ; which, how- 
ever, are well worth perusal. He insists particularly on 
the necessity of perfect freedom of association : and points 
out that although the Belgian constitution proclaims the 
right of citizens to associate for any object, this is prac- 
tically neutralized by many restrictions. Thus charitable 
and provident associations cannot possess any property, 
universities, literary and artistic societies, cannot receive 
any legacies."' 

* In England this restriction does not exist. By means of trus 
tees, any association or society can inherit, possess property, &c. 
The Catholic University of Ireland possesses large property in the 
funds, and has received several legacies ; the University of Louvaia 
can do neither. 


1862.J its Rules and Limits 255 

After having thus treated of poHtical centralization, M. 
Ducpetianx proceeds to speak of adnihiistrative centrali- 
zation. This is a curse from which we are nearly exempt ; 
and it is difficult to give an idea of its magnitude to those 
who are not intimately acquainted with the social life of 
the countries where it exists.^ Ht) naturally choses Bel- 
gium for examination, as being a country which holds a 
middle place between France where centralization has 
reached its limit, and England where self-government is 
the rule. The local details he gives are, of course, of 
more limited interest than the other portions of his work : 
but we will give a few extracts to explain to our readers 
those ** advantages of good government" (as they are 
sometimes called) which we do not possess. 

" M. Jules Simon has calculated tliat in France there are, out 
of twelve million citizens, half a million of public functionaries, to 
this must be added two or three millions of office seekers. And if 
we consider that there are given each jear at least fifty thousand 
decorations, asked for by at least five hundred thousand persons ; 
that there are places in each of the public schools to be given awaj ; 
that every transaction of each department and each parish, is sub- 
mitted for the approval of the government ; that it requires an 
authorization to commence many branches of trade ; an enquiry 
to open a foundry, a decision of the prefect, or of the minister to 
get water for a mill ; an ordonnauco to work a mine, a patent to 
work a discovery of which you are tlie author, a visa of the custom 
house to export or import any article of merchandise, a deposit 
receipt and a pass to carry jour own wine from your wine press 
to your cellar, a permit to keep a gun, a game license to kill a 
hare, a passport*to leave your own parish, a police register to enter 
service, we will see that one of the greatest employments of the 
French people is to ask, one of its greatest desires to obtain ; tliat 
it is governed, shackled, or if you prefer, administered on all sides 
and by every hand ; and that if the burthen of its liberty is too 
heavy for it, it is truly because it has long lost the habit of respon- 
sibility and taking the initiative ; and that the ideal of the com- 
munists, a convent or a barrack, is in reality not so far from us as 
would at first appear, when we take literally the great princi- 
ples of 1789, with wliich we very simply fill up our speeches,*' — 
(La Liberie vol. 2. c. 1.) 

According to M. Ducpetiaux, and he is a competent 
authority, for he long held a responsible office himself, 
even in Belgium where centralization is carried to a far 
less extreme than in France, its practical effects are most 
absurd. He says : — 

256 The Duty of the State, [Nov. 

" It takes but eight dajs to travel from one end of Europe to 
the other, it often takes longer for a document, a simple letter, to 
reach from one office to another in the same town, often under the 
same roof. I have seen two employes seated on opposite sides of 
the same desk methodieallj corresponding with each other, when 
one word would have sufficed to spare all that waste of time and 
paper. Follow with me, if you have patience, the despatch in 
which the local administration of a parish asks of some minister 
some trifling thing, for instance, an authorization to repair the 
steeple of the parish church. The despatch is forwarded to the Com- 
missaire d'Arrondissement, who hands the letter to the secretary ; 
it is examined and a minute drawn up to be forwarded to tho 
governor of the province ; a copy made, signed by the Commissaire; 
forwarded to the provincial government— handed to the registrar, 
endorsed to the precis-writer, reference to the head of department, 
examination by the head of department ; reference to one of the 
clerks ; minute drawn up of a letter to the minister; marginal note 
of the head of department ; endorsement of registrar and of gov- 
ernor ; copy made which after making nearly the same journey is 
submitted to be signed by the head of the provincial administiatioii. 
— It is forwarded to the central administration ; transmitted to the 
Secretary general of the department; handed over to the person 
charged with determining the division it belongs to ; delivered to 
the proper division ; communicated by the division to the chef do 
bureau, and by him to the clerk who draws up the minute of the 
answer. The answer, revised, corrected, noted, approved, retraces 
all the circuit already traversed by the request, and arrives after 
some weeks of delay and many halts, at the parish. — Is the request 
granted ? No : it was informal ; or, the explanations were not 
sufficient ; before coming to a decision more precise information is 
required : and the correspondence recommences, with the same 
formalities, the same rounds, the same delays ; happy the poor 
parish if it ever reach the goal. I have counted in some cases as 
many as one hundred intermediate stations for a single affair which 
might have been settled in a moment by yes or no. This mechan- 
ism is certainly very ingenious, and may be profitable to those who 
work it ; but it must be allowed that it is too complicated ; and 
inseparable from that scourge of civilized and administered coun- 
tries called hiireaueracy.^' — p. 113. 

' Our own public departments in England afford in- 
stances of something of the sort, where the boay^d refers-, 
and makes a minute, and refers to minute JVo. 9099, 
until the subject is smothered under a mass of writings. 
Fortunately for us, we have comparatively few departments 
of government, and they have little to do; and certainly 
the example of Belgium and France should not induce ua 
to extend the sphere of government interference* 


1862.] its Rules and Limits, 257 

No part of M. Ducpetiaux's work is more important 
than that in which he shows that the necessary comple- 
ment of liherty, the only substitute for the centralizing 
action of the state, is the fullest liberty of association. An 
individual cannot, by himself, obtain education, religious 
teaching, material prosperity ; but by combination with 
his fellows he can provide all these things ; and will do 
so better than the state can do it for him. Nor can the 
individual protect his own freedom of action ; the rich 
would oppress the poor, the strong the weak ; the state 
would tyrannize over all, were it not that individuals can 
band together to maintain their rights. Above all, the 
Church, that divine society on earth, requires freedom of 
association ; indeed, save exemption from actual persecu- 
tion, there is hardly anything else she requires : with free- 
dom of association her hierarchical government will organ- 
ize itself; her reli^^ious orders will extend; her religious 
and charitable societies will meet every want of man, 
physical and moral. There is hardly a surer test of the 
amount of actual freedom enjoyed by a nation than the 
extent to which the power of association is unfettered. In 
this respect we certainly stand high ; with very few excep- 
tions, men in these countries may combine together in 
any way, for any purpose : voluntary associations cannot, 
indeed, readily acquire a corporate existence ; what the 
French law calls la personnification civil; but this diffi- 
culty which in France and Belgium renders it impossible, 
as we have before mentioned, for them to possess any 
property, and thus perpetuate their works, is in our 
country obviated by the system of trustees ; which enables 
all such institutions practically to obtain and perpetuate a 
corporate existence. 

M. Ducpetiaux concludes his work by calling on his 
countrymen to examine 

•• Whether the continual increase of the national expenditure is 
sufficiently compensated by the services it represents ? And whe- 
ther the free action of individuals and associations properly 
encouraged and enlightened, would not have rendered them, if not 
better, at least as well, and more economically ? This is a ques- 
tion well worth examining fully, and answering. Let us pass in 
review all the interests of religion, morality, education, science, 
literature, arts, industry, agriculture, commerce, in fine all the 
interests which governments claim to regulate under the pretext 
of protection and progress ; let us hold the balance with a steady 
VOL. LII.-N0..CIII 17 

2S8 The Ihity of tlie State; [Nov. 

liand ; and weigliing well the pros and cons, answer sincerely 
whether the laws and regulations which have been made on these sub- 
jects, and the expenses they haye entailed, have really attained the 
object proposed. All the world cries out for cheap government, 
without caring to adopt the means necessary to attain it. How is it 
to be attained ? Simply by narrowing the functions of the State 
within the limits of the indispensable, and opening the widest field 
to individual and collective activity." — p. 158. 

A distinguished Hungarian politician expresses the 
same ideas. 

" The struggle is diffi-cult, the day is dark, that which agitates 
the continent is not a struggle between two parties who contend for 
power, it is a struggle between two civilizations. Rome and Ger- 
many recommence their everlasting duel; once again the pagan 
idea and the Christian idea, despotism and freedom contend for the 
empire of the world ; but however terrible may be the trial the 
issue is not doubtful. When a truth dawns upon the world, when 
the eyes of men are turned towards the rising light, the success is 
only a question of time. Passions grow old and change ; parties 
grow weak ; the truth never dies. No doubt, in a country where 
every particular organization has been destroyed, where the citizen 
has been accustomed to the leading strings of the state, where the 
individual has been deprived, so to speak, of the faculty of govern- 
ing himself, it will take more than a day to change an old system. 
The tree which for half a century has been pruned, a lafrancaise^ 
will not throw out free and vigorous branches in a night ; we shall 
have long to wait for its friendly shade; but what matter! the 
truth will make its way and gain the minds of men ; the state will 
in the end understand its real interest, and the change will be 
made ; when the State ceases to weigh down the citizen, freedom 
will arise from the soil with a wondrous energy.''* 

Fortunately for us, this struggle against the centraliz- 
ing despotism of the state- has not to be fought by us. 
The old Catholic freedom of the middle ages, the freedom 
of the individual and of society, has survived amongst us ; 
and has not been replaced by fresh revolutionary liberty, 
the tyranny of a majority. But we may profit by the 
example of others and learn to be on our guard against 
the insidious approaches of the tyranny of the state, to 
mistrust it even when it holds forth apparent advantages, 
to fear Danaos, et dona ferentes. For there is something 

* Der Einfluss der herrschenden Ideen des 19 Jahrhunderts 
deu Staat von Baron Jos Ecetvces, Leipsic, 1854. 

1862.] its Rules and Limits. 259 

very attractive in the intervention of the state. It is so 
powerful, apparently, for good, and its hands are full of 
gifts, that it is too often the best intentioned men who call 
for its aid, and forget that when it gives, it can give to the 
people only what it has first taken from them. Do we not 
hear it repeated on every side by philanthropists ; the state 
should provide education, the state should encourage 
literature, science, art ; the state should aid this charita- 
ble institution or that? Now M. Ducpetiaux'swork shows 
us what the condition of a state becomes which under- 
takes to do all these things.^ But besides this lesson it is 
well to remember three things which the experience of 
every European country proves to be universal in their 
truth. First, that whenever the state takes up any em- 
ployment or duty, it checks and ultimately destroys all 
individual exertions in that direction. Secondly, that all 
state administration is more costly than that of private 
individuals or associations. Thirdly, that in return for 
any assistance or encouragement it gives, the state always 
acquires power and influence over the institutions it 
patronizes : in other words, that the surrender of at least 
a portion of Hberty is the price of its favours. 

Nowhere are wishes for the assistance and the interven- 
tion of government more frequently expressed than in 
Ireland. And very naturally so ; an impoverished country, 
just recovering from the evil effects of centuries of war, 
oppression, and persecution, offers more scope for the 
beneficent action of government than most others : and 
hence we constantly hear the inaction of our government 
contrasted with the active and ubiquitous intervention of 
that of France : and aspirations uttered for the application 
of the latter system to Ireland. Nay, some have even 
gone so far as to wish for a despotism, were it only a 
kindly one ; forgetting that freedom is the greatest gift ol 
God to man ; and that if we have not political freedom as 
a nation, we do possess personal freedom, which is even 
more important for the preservation of the dignity and for 
the ultimate welfare of men. How much we Irish owe 
of our progress as a nation, and above all how much our 
religion owes, not only to that system of personal liberty 
which England inherited froni Catholic times, and which 
therefore we necessarily participated in, as soon as we had 
broken the fetters of the penal laws, but also to the 
absence of all government intervention for our benefit, 

260 Th^ Duty of the Statt, [Nov. 

which is due to the hostility of administrations alien in 
nationality and religion to us, it is difficult to estimate. 
We have often reflected on this subject and endeavoured 
to realize what would have been the result of a different 
state of things ; and perhaps our readers may follow with 
interest the same train of thought. Let us imagine that 
at the period of Catholic emancipation the government of 
these countries had been swayed by a man of enlarged 
and unprejudiced mind, and one who followed the French 
traditions of the duties of a kind and paternal government; 
he would, of course, still be an Englishman and a Protes- 
tant, but anxious to confer every benefit upon Ireland, 
and believing in the power and duty of government to do 
so. He would have instituted a department of pubhc works 
for the construction of roads, canals, and harbours, and 
for the reclamation of waste lands at the expense of the 
state. Our country would have been improved : but every 
district would be^ an humble suitor at the government 
board for a share in the public expenditure ; and the in- 
fluence of the government would be felt ^throughout the 
land ; for even those who wanted no favour for themselves 
would shrink from engaging the people of a district in any 
conflict with the government officials ; since so doing 
would inflict such injury on them. The department of 
trade and manufactures would, in like manner, endeavour 
to develope the resources of our country and stimulate our 
trade and manufactures. In this it would probably fail, 
as government attempts to stimulate trade have mostly 
done; but it would certainly succeed in making traders 
and manufacturers dependent on government. 

Subsidies would be allocated for the encouragement of 
art and the erection of public buildings in our various 
towns; and so every town in Ireland would send its sup- 
pliants to the ministerial bureau, for its share in the public 
funds. Government assistance would have been freely 
granted to all our valuable charities ; but on condition of 
satisfying the government as to their administration and 
management : and private benevolence would have relaxed 
its efforts when a grant from the public funds might be 
hoped for. Such a government as we have imagined, 
would have sought to adjust the relations of landlord and 
tenant so as, while upholding the Protestant aristocracy of, 
Ireland, to ensure to the tenant the possession of his landf 
at a fair rent, and to encourage him to make improve- 

1862.] its Rules and Limits. 261 

ments. But, as to protect the weakness 'of the tenant, 
poor and dependent as he was, against the power of the 
landlord; it would be necessary not only to pass a law 
fixing the price of land, but to establish a governmental 
system of equitable inspection to enforce it;"* all the 
tenants of Ireland would be dependent on the fair and 
equitable exercise of their authority by these officials : in 
other words, in every district of Ireland there would be a 
government officer whose power and influence would be 
infinitely greater than that of the most powerful landlord ; 
an officer on whose fiat depended the very existence of the 
people. Such a government would have established a 
system of education for all classes, from the highest to the 
lowest, fair and equitable ; and calculated to conciliate, as 
far as possible, the prejudices of all parties : but of course 
not essentially Catholic, but rather framed on the basis of 
what sincere Catholics of that day would have accepted as 
the minimum that would satisfy them. And this system, 
deficient as it must necessarily have been in Catholic 
earnestness, would, as it satisfied the necessities of Ca- 
tholics, have effectually prevented the creation of any 
other, and placed the whole education of the people in the 
hands of government; whilst m conjunction with the 
government institutions for the cultivation of art alid 
science, it afforded the only sphere for the employment of 
learning and talent, and therefore took the whole intellect 
of the country into the pay of government r until it would 
have been true of Ireland what M. Dupin said of France : 
" The University is nothing else than the government 
applied to the universal direction of all public instruction, 
the academies of towns as well as the colleges of cities, 
private schools as well as public colleges, country schools 
as well as the faculties of theology, of law, and of medi- 
cine. All built upon the fundamental axiom that public 
instruction and education belongs to the state. The 
University has the monopoly of education much as the 

* A mere law to fix the rate of rent would be useless, since th& 
landlord who can obtain a rack-rent from a needj tenant would 
easily find means to evade the law ; just as a usurer used to obtain 
double the legal rate of interest from a needy borrower natwith- 
standing the law ; and as the ten hours factory bill would be ^ 
dead letter if not enforced by a system of government inspectors. 

2G2 The Duty of the State, [JSTov. 

Courts have the monopoly of justice, and the army that of 
public force/' But further still ; a prudent and benefi- 
cent statesman, such as we have supposed, would have 
extended tlie fostering care of government to the religion 
of the great majority of the people. He would have been 
a Protestant, and therefore would never have thought ^f 
abolishing the Established Church in Ireland: but he 
would have undertaken to provide at the public expense 
for the support of the Catholic Church there also. He 
would have provided ample funds for the decent mainte- 
tiance of our clergy, for their education, and for the build- 
ing and maintenance of our churches; and in return 
would have required only that amount of influence and 
control secured to such governments as thus support reli- 
gion, by various concordats ;'"' thus the government might 
expect, what is allowed in some Protestant countries, a 
veto on the appointment of our bishops, a right to control 
their meetings and ordonnances, and their communications 
with Rome ; to investigate and check all appointments to 
and deprivations of benefices, and the regulations of 
churches and cemeteries ; every bishop who wished to in- 
crease the number of parishes in his diocese must apply to 
government for the necessary funds ; every priest who 
wanted to build a steeple must seek a subsidy; for govern- 
ment endowments effectually check private efforts. All 
the thousand ramifications of evil in such a system can be 
better imagined than described; for not only would it 
tend to foster a spirit of subserviency to the powers that 
be, but the very wisest and best and boldest would shrink 
from a contest with the government, conscious that a rup- 
ture would at one blow destroy the whole material fabric 
of the Church in Ireland, and not merely send us back to 
our old state of struggling poverty, but send us back weak- 
ened and enervated, having lost the habit of effort and 
self-reliance.t j 

* When Lord John Russell in 1857 proposed to move for an in- 
quiry as to what privileges, influence, and control was granted to the 
government over the Catholic Cliurch in foreign countries, and in- 
stances various concordats ; he was at once answered that concordats 
were concessions in return for benefits conferred, that the law in 
England gave Catholics no privileges, and therefore could claim n() 

t Absolute power can give to the Church only favours and repose. 


1862.] its Rules and Limit f, 263 

And thus under the action of a fair and beneficent 
government, which adopted the principle of the nniversahty 
of the state, (for we have not supposed the existence of any 
prejudice or want of good will towards Irishmen and Ca- 
tholics), the whole Catliolic people of Ireland, and as much 
of our church's integrity as were not^ guaranteed by its 
divine nature, would be held as it were in the hollow of the 
hand of the minister of the day, Protestant and English 
as that minister would be. Fortunately for us. Providence 
saved us the infliction of such benefits. Even enlightened 
statesmen, like ^ Sir Robert Peel, were not above the 
prejudices of their day ; and whilst the rights of Catholics 
were slowly conceded, they shared but little in the favours 
of government. The result to-day is, that our Church is 
the freest in the world, sufficiently endowed by the people, 
and wholly untrammelled by state control; some thirteen 
thousand free churches have been built, and religious and 
charitable institutions cover the land. Free Catholic edu- 
cational establishments for all classes are rapidly rising. 
Noble public buildings and monuments to our great men, 
erected by the people, adorn our cities. Our railroads, 
some of the best in the world, are owned and governed by 
Irishmen. And if the evil effects of the relations that 
exist between landlord and tenants too often make us 
almost ready to accept a despotism in this respect, were it 
only equitable, the beneficent action of nature's laws has 
brought good out of evil, and the incumbered estates court 
has transferred one quarter of the land of Ii'eland back to 
the Catholic hands of her people; and every advance in 
wealth and independence achieved by the tenants makes 
them more capable of taking care of themselves in their 
transactions with their landlords. Above all, every step 
made has been a free one, the act of the people themselves, 
and a prelude to further advance ; we are free and daily 
acquiring strength. As we look back over the events of 
the last thirty years, we see that the chief evils and diffi- 
culties we, as Catholics, have still to contend against, 
have arisen from the attempts, often well intended, of the 

honours and privileges, but never rights or strength. So that when 
the struggle begins the Church enters into it, humanly speaking, 
without strength or rights. 
^ Montalembert Des iuter6ts Catholiques au 19, siecle, p. 92. 

264: ^he Duty of the State, X^o^ 

government to confer benefits upon us. A well intended 
charities act clashed with the free exercise of episcopal juris- 
diction, and became a stumbling-block and a difficulty. 
A generous minded statesman. Lord Derby, framed what 
was, for its day, a wonderfully liberal system of state- 
primary education, and its defects we have in vain endea- 
voured to amend; whilst its existence prevents our obtain- 
ing aid for free Catholic education, such as exists in Eng- 
land. Sir Robert Peel, with excellent intentions, founded 
the Queen's Colleges, which now constitute the only im- 
pediment to our obtaining legislative sanction for that 
Catholic university education with which our own free 
efforts have endowed us. Truly the benefits of freedom 
are innumerable and ever developing, and the best gifts of 
the state are bonds. 

Yet we must not be supposed to confound freedom with 
anarchy, or liberty with licence. No, that is not freedom 
which does not respect the freedom of others, and hence 
no real freedom can exist without lawful authority exist to 
guard it, as Mr. Ducpetiaux says, — • 

"Society lias equal need of authority and of freedom. For a 
long time these two principles have fought and repelled each other; 
the task of to-day is to reconcile them by showing their intimato 
connection and mutual dependence. For what is freedom for a 
human being ? It is security in the possession and free exercise of 
his faculties, the exercise of the right inherent in him. What is 
authority ? It is the protection of this exercise. What is justice 
as regards individuals and society? It is the union of individual 
freedom with the freedom of all. What is politieal justice? The 
guarantee of individual justice. AH these rights and guarantees 
flow, so to speak, one from the other, are interwoven and form the 
complement of each other, and so harmonize together that one can- 
not be infringed without compromising all, by breaking the link 
which unites them. Outside this circle, and necessary connection 
all is arbitrary, or anarchical. The government which on any 
pretext ignores or violates individual or political freedom, may put 
forward the plea of necessity, and parade its good intention, it tends 
towards oppression and inevitably ends there ; the aurthority of 
which it is the guardian loses its prestige ; assailed by the resent-^ 
ments and passions excited against it, it becomes the object of a< 
struggle in which the strongest and most adroit triumphs — on the ; 
other hand, where liberty rejects authority, she loses her balance^ 
or rather her necessary support, she goes from excess to excess, and^ 
evokes from the abyss into which she flings herself, despotism to 
curb her with its iron hand and trample her under foot. Autho- 

1862. 1 its Rules and Limits. 265 

ritj tlien is deeply interested in protecting freedom, and freedom in 
respecting authority. Each has its limits which they cannot pass 
without injury to tliemselves, and without endangering order and 
progress, which their close alliance can alone preserve." 

We have thus endeavoured briefly to give our readers a 
sketch of the work of M. Ducpetiaux. It is one of the best 
protests against the spirit of the French revolution which 
has appeared; that spirit of revived paganism which 
exalted and deified the state, and made it omnipotent and 
ubiquitous, which increased the power and attributes of 
the throne of Louis the Fourteenth, and then seated on it 
a tyrant majority of the people, which iu the name of poli- 
tical liberty destroyed all personal freedom. This fatal 
error, the confusion of political liberty, or the power of the 
people, with personal freedom, has affected almost e very- 
country in Europe save our own ; although enlightened 
men in Belgium and Germany are beginning to perceive 
the fatal mistakes into which the imitation of France had 
led them, and to endeavour to retrace their steps; may we 
profit by the example and avoid for the future, errors from 
which we have hitherto been exempt. 

In the appendix to his work M. Ducpetiaux gives a 
curious comparative table, in parallel columns, of liberty in 
France and Belgium; we give it with a third column con- 
taining a similar statement for England and Ireland. 


Religious liberty. The Constitution con- IRELAND. 

France is still under the secrates the fullest liber- The Anglican church 

rule of State religions ty of religion and of the is the State religion, 

and concordats. The exercise of each religion, and is entirely under 

freedom of different re- Belgians may embrace tlie control of tlie state, 

ligions is limited : they any religion according All other religions are 

are all subjected to a to their conscience. The perfectly free, and their 

control frequently ar- erecting of religious exercise, organization, 

bitrary. The right to buildings, teaching, pub- and government per- 

build any religious edi- lication, correspondence, fectly unshackled (save 

fice, or assemble in one, nominations, associa- in the case of Catholics 

to teach, to publish, to tions in the religious by a few nearly obsolete 

correspond, to form as- sphere, are completely statutes, as that of 

sociations, to appoint free; and the state can- superstitious uses, in 

to any ecclesiastical not interfere in any way. England, and the eccle- 

ofiice; each of these acts No concordats, no state siastical titles.) Erect- 


require a separate per- 
mission from the civil 
power. Appeals to the 
lay authorities against 
ecclesiastics for what Js 
called abuse of their re- 
ligious functions, and 
all the old apparatus of 
what are still called the 
Galilean liberties, but 
which ought to be called 
the Galilean slavery^ are 
in full operation as be- 
fore 1789. 

The Duty of the State, 

religions, no appeals of 
abuse. The state con- 
fines itself to granting 
fixed salaries to the 
ministers of difi'erent 
religions in considera- 
tion of their services to 
society, and in the case 
of the Catholic clergy, 
as an indemnity for the 
property of which they 
were despoiled by the 
trench revolution. 


ing and endoiving* of re- 
ligious buildings, teach- 
ing, publication, asso- 
ciation, assembling, and 
internal government of 
every religion is per- 
fectly untrammelled. 

Liberty of Association 
does not exist, as every 
meeting and every 
association is strictly 
subject under severe 
penalties, to obtaining 
a previous authoriza- 
tion; and to the con- 
trol of the authorities. 

Liberty of teaehing. — 
The monopoly of the 
University is in some re- 
spects diminished, but 
private teaching is far 
from free. No Professor 
or teacher can teach 
unless provided with a 
government diploma ; 
he must besides make 
a declaration before the 
mayor, prefect, or Im- 
perial procureur. The 

Belgian citizens have 
the right of meeting and 
associating for any pur- 
pose, without any inter- 
vention of the authori- 
ties directly or indirect- 
ly, to regulate, limit, or 
inspect the exercise of 
this right. 

Liberty of teaching 
exists without any con 
ditions or limits. Any 
one, native or foreigner 
may open a school, give 
lectures, teach, cate- 
chise, preach ; without 
any interference from 
the authorities unless 
he violate the common 
law. Private institu- 
tions are subject to no 
official control.t 

British subjects have 
the right of meeting and 
associating for any pur- 
pose without any inter- 
vention of the author- 

Teaching and preacli- 
ing is as free as in 
Belgium. The Univer- 
sities retain some privi- 
leges : but in England 
all can obtain degrees 
by only passing tho 
required examination in 
London. In England 
state assistance is given 
to all primary schools 
indiflferently. In Ire- 
land the state endows 

* In this point we are better off than in Belgium, where no foundation 
which has not been incorporated by a special law can receive a legacy, or 
possess property: and, if incorporated, which is rarely the case, only on 
obtaining a special authorisation from the minister for each legacy or 


\ All academic degrees are obtainable \>^ merely passing the prescril 
examinations. — Translator', 


prefect can interpose 
Itts veto. The validity of 
liis objection is decided 
without appeal bj the 
council of the depart- 

For teaching tlie 
higher branches, a spe- 
cial authorization from 
the minister is required; 
and this authorization 
which may be arbitrarily 
refused, is always re- 
vocable. The govern- 
ment also exercises by 
its inspectors an active 
and incessant surveil- 
lance over all private 

Liberty of the Press.-^ 
The press is handed 
over to the most per- 
fectly arbitrary power. 
Newspapers are subject 
to the stamp, securities, 
and the authorization of 
the government which 
may be arbitrarily re- 
fused and arbitrarily 
withdrawn: their mana- 
ger and editor must be 
approved of; they are 
ever trembling under 
the avertissement, sus- 
pension and suppression. 
All publications not ex- 
ceeding a certain num- 
ber of sheets are subject 
to nearly the same re- 
strictions. No one can 
exercise the trade of a 
printer without a licence 
which may at any time 
be revoked. The law 
which makes the author, 
editor and printer 
equally liable and sub« 

its Rules and Limits, 


one set of primary 
schools and one Univer- 
sity system exclusively. 

The press is entirely 
free and exempt from 
all conditions. Aliens 
as well as Belgians may 
found or edit a paper or 
a review, publish a pam- 
phlet or work without 
even lodging a copy 
unless they wish to pre- 
serve their property in 
it. The trade of prin- 
ter, editor, bookseller i^ 
like any other and en- 
joys the same freedom* 
The printer and editor 
of a work are not re- 
sponsible if the author 
be known, prosecutions 
of the press are rare; 
and such on the part of 
government are almost 
unknown. The press is 
every day more looked 
upon as the lanco of 
Achilles which heals the 
wounds it inflicts. 

The press in England 
is free as in Belgium: 
the only limit being the 
security which publish- 
ers of newspapers are 
obliged to give to insure 
their responsibility in 
case of an action for 
libel or other criminal 


The Duty of the State, 


jects them to the same 
penahies, forms in real- 
ity a system of previous 
censorship, the more 
severe and oppressive 
as the number of prin- 
ters is limited and their 
fear of ruin greater. 

Liberty of labour, of 
trade, of commerce. — 
The legislation of the 
empire is generally in 
farce, for licences, the 
obligation for workmen 
of obtaining a livret, the 
laws regarding appren- 
ticeships, those again&t 
eambinations or associa- 
tions, the conditions im- 
posed upon all trade 
and mercantile associ- 
ations, and on the ex- 
ercise of many profes- 
sions and trades J the 
customs and octroi laws, 
those regulating the 
trade of bakers, butch- 
ers, and markets, the 
monopoly of tabacco, 
gunpowder, playing 
cards, &c., constitute 
together a system which 
although somewhat re- 
laxed perpetuates all the 
old restrictions and 

Provincial and Commu- The autonomy of the It would be dlflBcult 

nal* liberties. provinces and com- to exaggerate the abso- 

The Administration munesexistsin the fullest lute autonomy of every 

of the departments rests manner, and is subjected county and parish ; and 

entirely with the pre- to such restrictions only the entire independence 

Although the legisla* 
tion left to Belgium as 
a fatal legacy by stran- 
gers has been much 
modified, too many 
traces of it are still left* 
Monopolies have how- 
ever been abolished and 
the octroi abolished ; 
custom duties have been 
lowered or abolished, 
especially with regard 
to raw materials; the 
trades of baker and 
butcher are completely 
free, and the appren- 
ticeships are being 
given up;^ combinations 
are not unlawful,, unless 
they infringe on the 
freedom of the labourer 
or degenerate into act^^ 
of violence. 

Labour, trade, and 
commerce are perfectly 
free : but labour is 
tramelled in England in 
seeking a market by 
the law of settlement : 
this does not exist in 
Ireland : combinations, 
whether of masters or 
workmen, are free and 
lawful^ unless they liave 
recourse to violence. 
All trades are free and 
open to all ; no appren- 
ticeship is required, no 
octroi exists : and no 
customs duties save for 

* The commune is the parish or smallest local division in France and 



its Rules and Limits, 


fects appointed by go- 
vernment^ the conseils 
generaux, which are sup- 
posed to represent them, 
can only express wishes 
which are falsely called 
decisions. The prefec- 
torial counsellors, who 
ought to constitute a 
species of permanent 
delegation, are merely 
the agents of the cen- 
tral power. The decree 
on administrative decen- 
tralization of 1852 only 
substituted in some 
cases the direct action 
of the prefect for that 
of the minister in some 
matters of detail, but 
withoutadding anything 
to the power of the 
conseils generaux. 

The communes are 
subjected to a perfect 
tutelage, and treated 
like minors or idiots. 
The mayors, named by 
the central authority, 
absorb all power and act 
without the concurrence 
of the municipal coun- 
cils which meet at rare 
intervals, and whose 
chief business is to vote 
the budget presented to 
them by the mayor. 
But even this right is 
delusive, for the admin- 
istration can modify the 
budgets as it likes by 
inserting officially such 
expenses as it deems 
obligatory, and by 
striking out those which 
are optional. Apparent- 
ly appointed by the law 
to regulate^ decide and 

as are required by the 
national unity and the 
interests of the com- 
munity. This system, 
consecrated by the 
ancient traditions of the 
country, works well and 
leaves little to be wished 
for. It would however 
be possible, without in- 
convenience and with 
advantage, to restore to 
the provincial and com- 
munal authorities cer- 
tain powers which are 
still exercisedby the cen- 
tral authority by virtue 
of certain laws, decrees 
and regulations which 
are no longer in har- 
mony with the spirit 
of our instituti-Gn«. 

of the central govern- 
ment, of all our institu- 
tions. Even Govern- 
ment Boards ai-e always 
permanent appointmenta 
independent of political 

Corporate bodies, 
mayors, coroners, town 
commissioners, boards 
of guardians, tfec, are 
all elected without any 
intervention of the 
Government. Grand 
juries, boards of magis- 
trates, boards of rate- 
payers, are all appoint- 
ed without any inter- 
vention of Government, 
and in part by election 
or indirect representa- 


The Duty of the State, its Rules and Limits. 


administer: the muni- 
cipal councils in reality 
only express their wishes 
in regard to local affairs. 

There exists also an In Belgium all such As in Belgium all 
administrative system disputes are decided by suits are determined by 
of judicial tribunals, ar- the ordinary tribunals; the ordinary courts, from 
bitrary, and centralized; there exists neither a 
"which decides all suits conseil d'etat nor ad- 
relative to public works, ministrative jurisdic- 
purchases and contracts tion. 
made with the commu- 
nal and departmental 
administrations, &q. 

whose jurisdiction nono 
are exempt. 

Since the constitution 
of the year 8 (of the 
republic) no official of 
the government of the 
department, or of the 
Commune, from the 
highest functionary 

down to a garde-cham- 
petre, or rural police- 
man, can be cited before 
any tribunal for any act 
done in the exercise, or 
on the occasion of the 
exercise of their func- 
tions without a previous 
authorization from the 
Conseil d'etat : this is 
the most absolute cen- 
tralization employed for 
the perpetual fettering 
of justice. 

Judges are nominally 
irremoveable and inde- 
pendent; but in fact 
they depend entirely on 
the government, which 
names them, decides on 
their promotion, and can 
remove them at its plea- 

The constitution ex- 
pressly provides that no 
previous authorization 
shall be required to pro- 
ceed against public offi- 
cials for official acts. 

Judges are named for 
life out of a list of can- 
didates presented by 
the provincial councils 
and courts of appeal, 
for the members of 
their courts; and the 
presidents and vice-pre- 

All officials are liable 
to be proceeded against 
in any court for official 
acts ; the last nominal 
privilege, the writ of 
right in proceedings 
against the crown itself, 
has been abolished. 

Judges are irremove- 
able and are very rarely 
removed from one post 
to another,consequently 
they are wholly inde- 
pendent of the Govern- 

1862.] Notices of Books. 271 

sure ; and thus in a sidents of the lower 

measure holds their courts ; by the senate 

fate in its hands.* and the cour de cassa- 

tion for the members of 
this latter court. No 
judge can be removed 
except bj his own con- 
sent and a fresh ap- 


I. — Freemasonry ; Sketch of its Origin and early Progress ; its Moral 
and Political tendency. A Lecture, delivered before the historical 
Society connected with the Catholic University. By James 
Burton Robertson, Esq., Professor of Modern History and 

[ Geography in that University. With appendix containing a 
synopsis of the Papal Bulls respecting secret Societies, by the 
Rev. Dr. Murray of Maynooth. Dublin : John Fowler. London: 
Burns and Lambert, 1862. 

Catholicism is on principle and by its very" character 
opposed to secret societies and to secret oaths. Truth is 
open and common to all, and claims no secret allepriance. 
All it requires is a public profession of faith.^ The Church 
has nothing to conceal ; she desires nothing more than 
that all her doctrines and principles of action, and the 
duties and obligations she imposes on the faithful should be 
known and familiar to all the world. The frank and 
straightforward avowal^ of its ends, and publicity in all its 
acts, are the characteristics and charms of Truth. But 
secrecy and seclusion, and the pursuit of objects not com- 
mon to all, and by means known but to the initiated and 
chosen few, have also a fascination of their own on ill- 
disciplined or curious, minds. Freemasonry owes much of 
its popularity to its mysterious signs and rites and supposed 

* The great engine in the hands of Government in France to keep the 
judges servile, is the immense system of promotion from the lowest to the 
highest post: hence for the Government not to promote a man is the 
heaviest of punishments. — Translator, 

272 Notices of Boohs. [Nov. 

socrets, as well as to the boon companionship 'which it 
always seeks to encourage. A vast brotherhood bound by 
secret oaths, united for common objects, and spread 
over every country, supplies to those who are not of the 
faith the community of interest and feeling which every 
christian finds in the universal Church. In many ways 
the secret societies are infamous caricatures of the Catholic 
Church— in blasphemous rites and ceremonies — in sacra- 
ments — in their will-worship; in their orders and bro- 
therhoods and high priesthood; in their excom!nunica- 
tions and punishments they have perverted and profaned 
the Divine ordinances of the christian religion. Their 
feasts are orgies as dark as night and satanic in their 
sinfulness. But their influence only begins with religious 
and social corruption, it soon extends to public life. The 
political power of the secret societies is recognised to-day 
in Europe and feared by many a crowned head. They 
are influential by their numbers and by their organization ; 
and they are dangerous because to so many their true 
character is unknown, and because they carefully conceal 
their ultimate aims under a loud profession of patriotism 
and love of liberty. ^ 

To trace the origin, to point out the true character, and 
ulterior designs of the secret societies is the purport of the 
able and opportune lecture to which we are desirous of 
directing the attention of our readers. The lecture was 
delivered before the historical society connected with the 
Catholic University by the Professor of modern history ; 
we certainly owe a debt of gratitude to the Catholic 
University of Ireland for encouraging pubhc spirit in its 
professors — a spirit which at the present moment. cannot 
be better shown than in a determined warfare against an 
enemy so destructive to society and religion as the secret 
and pantheistic sects which are now exercising so fatal a 
sway in Europe. In the lecture before us Mr. Robertson 
treats solely of Freemasonry; and in a clear and able 
contrast of the masonic system and its vague and frivolous 
Deism with the Eleusinian mysteries and their salutary 
moral influence shows how hollow and absurd are the 
claims, which Freemasonry sets up, of descent from these 
celebrated^ mysteries of antiquity. He shows also how 
equally vain are the endeavours of another class of free- 
masons to deduce their order from the ancient Jews; '* 
impassable abyss," he continues, **lies between the mono 

1862.] Notices of Books, 273 

theism of the ancient Jews, and that vague, undefined, 
purely personal religion, called Deism, which, as we shall 
see, forms the basis of masonry/' He then compares the 
patriarchal theism founded on Revelation with ** modern 
deism which falsely styles itself the religion of nature," a 
religion '* devoid not of sacrifice only, but of public prayer, 
and without the intervention of any priesthood, public or 
domestic. Its doctrinal system,'' he continues, *'is so 
vague that some of its partisans have called in question 
even the immortality of the soul, and agree in nothing save 
in a belief of a supreme Being. {So far from being 
prophetic of Christianity as^ was the elder religion of 
nature, deism sets itself up in opposition to Christ, and 
denies His Revelation. It is not even like the better 
elements in heathenism, a corruption of primitive Religion, 
but something directly antagonistic to it. In a word, it is 
what the great Bossuet long ago called it, ' a disguised or 
practical atheism,' " The learned author then proceeds to 
sketch the history of Freemasonry, and traces its first 
beginnings to the Masonic Lodges of the middle age, in 
which the architects held their sittings and framed statutes 
for their corporation. He shows how, in course of time, 
the masonic lodges admitted among their associates indi- 
viduals totally unacquainted with the architectural art, and 
how, by degrees, objects other than those connected with 
their craft engaged the attention of the brethren. Certain 
ceremonies of initiation, the adoption of symbols charac^ 
teristic of their calling, and a traditionary secret revealed 
only to the initiated, enhanced the dignity of the masonic 
Lodges and imparted mysteriousness to their proceedings. 
The mystery however, which enveloped such proceedings 
was common to all the trade-associations of the middle 
ages. The writer then shows how, in course of time, 
secret political societies were engrafted on the masonic 
lodges, which soon became convenient receptacles for 
carrying on political plots, how they incurred the suspicion 
of the governments of various countries, how they were 
formally interdicted and the penalties enacted against all 
disturbers of the public peace were applied against the 
members of this society, and how, finally, they incurred 
the condemnation of the church. The author then shows 
that the very priuciple on which Freemasonry is founded 
is incompatible with the nature and objects of Christian 
Revelation. In the first place the CathoUc Church con- 

Vol. LII.— No. Cin. 18 

274 Notices of Books. [Nov. 

demns all seci*et oaths ; secondly, the oaths of the Free- 
mason are not only secret, bnt, at the best, unnecessary ; 
then another offence chargeable on the masonic, as on all 
other secret societies, is that in removing all individual 
responsibility it destroys human freedom. But a yefc more 
serious charge Mr. Robertson brings against Freemasonry. 
"There are," he says,** some secret societies, whose pro- 
fessed aim is the removal of certain local grievances, or a 
violent overthrow of some particular government. But 
the Masonic Order pretends to be in possession of a secret 
to make men better and happier, than Christ, His Apostles, 
and His Church have made, or can make them. Mons- 
trous pretension ! How is this esoteric teaching consistent 
with the full and final revelation of divine truths ? If in 
the ^ deep midnight^ of heathenism the sage had been 
justified in seeking in the mysteries of Eleusis for a keener 
apprehension of the truths of primitive religion, how does 
this justify the mason in the mid-day effulgence of 
Christianifc3^ in telling mankind that he has a wonderful 
secret for advancing them in virtue and happiness — a 
secret unknown to the Incarnate God, and to the Church 
with which, as He promised, the Paraclete should abide for 
ever;? And even the Protestant who rejects the teaching of 
that nnerring Church, if he admits Christianity to be a 
final Revelation, must scout the pretensions of a Society, 
that claims the possession of moral truths unknown to the 
Christian religion. The very pretensions of the mason 
are, thus, impious and absurd. He stands condemned on 
his own showing ; and any inquiry into the doctrines and 
the workings of his order becomes utterly superfluous. But 
when, further, he obstinately withholds from the knowledge 
of the competent authority his marvellous remedies for the 
moral and social maladies of men, what is he but the 
charlatan who. refuses to submit to the examination of a 
medical board his pretended wonderful cures?" The 
writer next points out the dates of the first Papal Bulls of 
condemnation — 1738 to 1751 — as periods of the rise and 
development of those irreligious and revolutionary princi- 
ples, which reached their culminating point in 1790, and 
shows how clearly the Supreme Pontififs discerned the 
gathering evil and power in these secret societies, and how 
they warned Europe of the dangers that menaced her — 
warnings happily not unheeded by the civil governments of 
the day. Mr. Robertson next enters into an examinatio 


18G2. Notices of Books, 275 

of the doctrines and constitution of Masonry, and with 
great mastery over his subject exposes the poHtical and 
religious principles subversive ahke of Church and State 
that animate the masonic order. We regret our space 
will not allow us to enter into detail and do justice to this 
most interesting portion of the subject, and more especially 
that we cannot follow the author into his examination of 
the various degrees and grades of the order. SufKce it to 
say that he shows how in its higher grades masonry throws 
off the mask and reveals its impious and blasphemous 
hatred against the Divine Founder of Christianity. The 
author then institutes a spirited and eloquent comparison 
between the social tenets and influences of masonry and 
those of the Catholic Church. Professor Robertson pro- 
mises in the next lecture, to show how the Pantheistic 
sects in our own age, like the Saint Simonians, the 
Socialists, the Communists, and the Mazzinian portion of 
the Carbonari and their predecessors the Illuminati and 
the Jacobins of the atheistic clubs of 1793, grew out of 
masonry, what their history has been, and what moral and 
political influence they are now exercising over society in 
Europe. We hope the second lecture may be as able in 
the treatment of its subject as the first. For this lecture 
on Freemasonry is not only learned but interesting, not only 
full of research but philosophical in its spirit and method. 

II. — Hawaii: the Past, Present, and Future, of its Island-Kingdom ; 
an Historical Account of the Sandwich Islands (Polynesia). By 
Manby Hopkins, Hawaiian Consul-general, &c. With a Preface 
by the Bishop of Oxford, London : Longmans. 

Mr, Hopkins, the Consul-general of Hawaii, has com- 
piled a very full and interesting historical account of the 
Sandwich Islands, chiefly relating to the times since their 
discovery by Cook. There is a great singularity about 
the fortunes of the Hawaiian people, viewed as a chapter in 
the history of the human race. Shut out for ages from the 
knowledge of the rest of the world, we find them at first a 
simple and warlike race, with a curious mythology much 
connected with the volcanic character of their principal 
island. In the years which followed early on their disco- 
very, a barbarous chieftain succeeds in reuniting the group 
under one dominion, and imparts to it much of the form of 
civilization. An Enghsh seaman aids in the process, aud 

276 Notices of Books. [Nor. 

becomes the ancestor of the queen, whose completely 
europeanised portrait is supplied in this volume. AW at 
one bounds in 1819, the nation flings off its system of 
Paganism, simply by the influence of civilized ideas, and 
before missionaries of any form of Christianity had settled 
amongst them. Then American teachers establish in the 
islands a sort of Protestant Paraguay, a dreary theocracy 
of Puritanism, in which riding was prohibited by law on the 
Sabbath-day ; in which the police could enter private 
houses and carry ofi" spirituous liquors ; and in which, with 
a harsh and narrow legislation like that of the New- 
England States in the days of Cotton Mather (however 
excellent the end in view might have been), moral offbnces 
seldom dealt with by human laws were attempted to be 
restrained by hard labour and manacles, unfairly commu- 
table into a pecuniary flue. A short and reckless reaction 
into the license of the Pagan period followed. The intro- 
duction of the Catholic Church, which was at first forcibly 
put down by the native government, and afterwards restored 
under the protection of Prance, is an event in the rapid 
series of changes undergone in less than half a century by 
the islands, which would well repay attentive study. The 
liold which she immediately took upon the native mind ; 
the wisdom and charity with which she tolerated what was 
harmless in native manners, which Puritanism had ex- 
changed for a dull and repressive copy of European cos- 
tume, — is as instructive, on a small scale, as the lessons 
to be learned from the noble history of the evangelisation 
of the Indians of Peru and Mexico. And finally, the 
frightful acceleration of that decay which has reduced the 
numbers of the Hawaiian race, like those'of so many others 
under the influence of Anglo-Saxon immigration, seems but 
too likely to* close the career of this interesting people almost 
before it has well begun the new phase into which it has been 
so recently brought. It is to this latter point that some 
of the most interesting details furnished by Mr. Hopkins 
refer. The natives themselves dreaded the settlement of 
white men among them as early as 1823, having already 
heard that in several countries where foreigners had inter- 
mingled with the natives^ the latter had disappeared, and 
the progressive diminution of their numbers has fully justi- 
fied their forebodings. It seems that at the time of the 
discovery in 1778, the Hawaiian population was aboufe 
200,000. At the time of Mr. Ellis's visit (1823), it wa»^ 


1862 ] Notices oj Books, 277 

estimatecr'at from 130,000 to 150,003. In 1849 it bad 
fiilleii to 80,000; in 1853 to 73,137 ; m i860 to 69,800, iu- 
cluding 2,716 foreigners. The Ilawjiiiaa race lias thore- 
fore diminished to one-third in the last eighty years. It is 
believed that the progress of decay has been arrested, bnt 
the prevailing tone in which writers on the snbject speak is 
of the gloomiest kind. It may readily be supposed that 
so remarkable and persistent a phenomenon is not to be 
traced to one cause alone. There is no doubt that it had 
commenced before the era of the discovery. Infanticide, 
for example, prevailed extensively ; and even in 1823, Mr. 
Ellis believed that in the neighbourhood where he resided 
two-thirds of the children were destroyed. Communica- 
tion with foreigners has introduced epidemics which the 
native constitution is unable to resist ; and above all, the 
licentiousness arising from the same cause, and its attend- 
ant scourge, is a destructive element of frightful power. 
Even independently of these causes, population seems 
mysteriously to fall off; and early deaths, beyond what 
might be expected, contribute to the force of otherwise en- 
ergetic causes hostile to increase. Finally emigration to 
California and elsewhere, and long whaling voyages, 
remove natives from the island to a greater extent than 
the population could well bear, even under healthier condi- 
tions. Something is being done by the native legislature 
to introduce sanitary regulations, which may check some 
of the worst of these evils ; but unless they prove extremely 
operative, or unless the action of Catholicism, here no 
doubt very successful, though not working on such advan- 
tageous terms as it has done with some of the American 
races, arrest evils beyond the reach of political legislation, 
it is plain that the sudden civilisation of this very interest- 
ing race will disappear with itself in little more than one 
protracted lifetime. The foregoing remarks may suffice to 
indicate some of the most important points in this work, an 
analysis of which would exceed the limits of the present 
notice. It may be remarked, however, with reference to 
the native political organization, that one very curious 
feature of it is that a female always occupies the second 
place in the government, and, under the name of Premier, 
her authority is essential in all public acts. This custom, 
now thoroughly established, only originated in an arrange- 
ment made by the will of the first Kamehameha. The 
system of property which the same conqueror settled upon 


Notices of Books. 


previously admitted principles was completely feudal, the 
king being sole owner of land, and granting revokable por- 
tions of it to his followers on condition of military service. 
But in 1848 and 1849 changes were introduced, by which 
the king ceded most of the land to the chiefs and people, 
reserving government lands and a domain, and facilitating 
the acquisition of land, in fee simple, by industrious culti- 

Note to page 64, line 14. 

It is now stated in tlie newspapers that the intention of reorgan- 
izing the Irish Brigade has been abandoned. 

Literary Notice. — Messrs. Simpkin, Marshall & Co. have in the 
Press a new work by the Author of the "Study of the Bible,'' 
entitled "The Destiny of the Human Race, a Scriptural Inquiry," 
which will probably be out in December next. 




APRIL, 1863. 

Art. I. — 1. TJIrlande Contemporaine par VAhbe Perraud Pietre de 
VOratoire de V Immaculee Conception. Paris. 1862. 

2. The Liberal Party in Ireland, its Present Condition and Prospects. 
Bj a Roman Catholic. Dublin, 1862. 

3. Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland. 
Parts xxi, xxii. Dublin, 1862. 

4. University Education in Ireland. Reprinted from the " Evening 
Mail" Dublin, 1861. 

5. A Full and Revised Report of the Two Days Debate in the Dublin 
Corporation, on the Charter for the Catholic University. Dublin, 1862. 

6. The Census of Ireland for the year 1861. General abstracts 
showing by Counties and Provinces, I. The Number of Families 
in 1811, 1851 and 1861. II. The Number of Houses in 1841, 
1851, 1861. III. The Number of Inhabitants in 1841, 1851, 
1861. IV. The Religious Profession in 1861. Presented to both 
Houses of Parliament bj Command of Her Majestj. Dublin, 

ENGLISHMEN are pretty well acquainted with the 
geographical position of the large island to the west of 
them called Ireland, which in the theory of the Constitution 
is an integral part of the United Kingdom. If their know- 
ledge in this respect he not precise, the fault does not lie 
with the Imperial Government, for never was there a more 
accurate work of scientific skill, than its ordnance survey 
of Ireland, accessible as we know to every one. Some 
Englishmen too have undoubtedly visited the Irish High- 
lands, the Giant's Causeway, the Lakes of Killarney, and 

VOL. LI I.— No. CIV, 1 

280 The Liberal Party in [April. 

the county of Wicklow by way of Dublin, and have been 
thus enabled to form an idea of the natural features of the 
island; but with the social condition of its people. 
Englishmen are very imperfectly and to say the truth not 
very pleasantly acquainted. They have a few general 
notions upon the subject, derived partly from the comic 
drama and partly from articles in the newspaper press, 
under the influence of which, they believe that there is a 
large consumption of whiskey, much flourishing of sticks, 
much consequent breaking of heads, and a great efiVjrves- 
cence of wit amongst the Irish people. It must also 
appear to the English, that the sheriffs of Irish counties, 
and the armed constabulary of the same are perpetually 
engaged in executing the process of ejectment ; that the 
carriage of threatening letters is a source of really appre- 
ciable income to the Irish post office ; and that some one 
"of the most improving and respected landlords in the 
country '' is always being shot for the encouragement of 
the others. It is generally known also that the population 
of Ireland has greatly diminished witliin the last twenty 
years, and is still on the decline. Men know too that 
Ireland is subject to periodic famine ; and those who read 
any thing at all about the country cannot be ignorant that 
something of the kind is felt there now. But on the other 
hand we are told that no country is more favoured by 
nature, and further that no country in Europe is more 
rapidly or more steadily progressing than that same Ireland. 
Upon which materials if any conchision at all be founded, 
it is, that the Irish are a strange people, that their ways 
are not English ways, that things will probably right them- 
selves in time, but that meanwhile no Englishman knows 
what to think of the whole business. Still less do people 
understand the political condition of the Irish. They are 
set down by public opinion as indifferently well affected 
towards the British crown; and whether it be owing to the 
influence of the priests, to the influence of the institution 
called the Church Establishment, or to the influence of tht 
sister institution called the Orange Society, certain it isj 
Irishmen cannot be allowed to arm as volunteers like th< 
English, lest perhaps they should proclaim a republic, or at 
the very least fall foul of each other from pure combative- 
ness. Little however as most men care to inform them- 
selves accurately upon Irish politics, they cannot but hav< 
heard of priestly influence, and landlord influence, audi 

1863.] England and Ireland, 281 

Castle influence as repjulating or rather as distracting the 
concerns of the country ; under all which influences when a 
competent number of Irishmen has been returned according 
to the forms of the Constitution to represent their island in 
the Imperial Parliament, the gentlemen so sent are of no 
weight in British councils, parliamentary leaders care 
ahiiost as little for their votes as for their opinions, and at 
the utmost they serve to amuse the weariness of the House 
by hand to hand encounters with each other, or with Sir 
Ilobert Peel. Those who profess allegiance to a particular 
jKirty are regarded as unruly members, and those who owe 
allegiance to none are dreaded as a general annoyance. 

If we question the English press to know whether the 
Irish had ever attached themselves to a party in England, 
or whether an English party had ever attached itself to 
Ireland, we shall find a positive rivalry between the 
representatives of all parties, in the application to the Irish 
of every term of insult that can create or embitter resent- 
ment. In this rivalry the great Liberal party have been 
most successful, and to do them no more than justice, 
their insults have always been the best compounded, 
their blows the best delivered, their ridicule the most 
biting, and their pride of power the most humiliating 
which the Irish have been made to feel of late. To us 
who recollect a time when the body of the Irish nation was 
in almost perfect accord with the Liberal party, fought all 
its battles and to some extent at all > vents shared in its 
successes, the causes which have led to the gradual and 
now all but complete estrangement of the Irish from the 
English Liberals appear to be matter of anxious and 
perhaps of profitable study. Not that we do not understand 
how little the Liberal party as represented by the present 
government depends upon Irish support, or how greatly it 
is indebted to the personal qualities of its leader for the 
power 'which it continues to enjoy. Nor have we left out 
of consideration the existing confusion of boundaries 
between party ^and party, which makes the regular and 
disciplined action of devoted adherents less necessary to 
the working of a government than heretofore ; but in 
estimating the permanent elements of strength upon which 
a political party ought to count, rather than upon the acci- 
dents of leadership or of current events, we do not see why 
so great an element of strength as Ireland, the thini part of 
the United Kingdom, should be thrown away by that party 

282 The Liberal Party in [April. 

to which Irehmd seems naturally to belong, or why if it be to 
be retained, the conditions of its retention should not be care- 
fully and quietly examined. It would be hard to find out in 
what respect save that of population the Ireland of to-day dif- 
fers from the Ireland which the late Lord Macaulay described 
as " in extent about one- fourth of the United Kingdom, in 
population certainly more than one-fourth, superior probably 
in internal fruitfnlness to any area of equal size in Europe, 
possessed of a sea-board which holds out the greatest facili- 
ties for commerce, at least equal to any other country of the 
same extent in the world ; an inexhaustible nursery of 
the finest soldiers, a country beyond all doubt of far higher 
consequence to the prosperity and greatness of the empire 
than all its far distant dependencies were they multiphed 
four or five times over, superior to Canada added to the W. 
Indies, and to these both conjoined with our possessions in 
Australasia, and with all the wide dominions of the 
Moguls.^'"'*' The same reasons for union between the mem- 
bers of the Liberal party in both countries which existed at 
any time within our own recollection are in existence still ; 
the principles which were the bond of union between all 
are as yet repudiated by none ; until very lately, the Irish 
have rendered to the principles of their party, and to the 
party itself, all the service that was required of them ; and 
no one can point to a single Irish complaint of which the 
English Liberals had promised redress in 1844 which does 
not remain unredressed in 1862. 

The political condition of Ireland ought certainly to be 
as interesting to us as to the Abbe Perraud, the excellent 
and doubtless well intentioned French gentleman the title 
of whose laborious work upon Ireland appears at the head 
of our paper. Possibly many of his conclusions are sound 
and bottomed upon real statistics. But he and we mus^ 
of necessity consider the Irish question from difierent point 
of view; he as a Frenchman, we as British subjects; he in a' 
religious, and we just at present in a political light. As a 
christian clergyman he of course wishes no evil to his neigh- 
bour, but he would be more than Frenchman if Ireland'^ 
opportunity were not all the more welcome to him for Eng^ 
land's necessity or even at England's expense. It is our 

* Speech of the Right Hon. T. B. Macaulay on the State 
Ireland, Feb. 19, 1841.— Hansard, Vol, Ixxii, p. 1170. 

1863.] England and Ireland. 283 

duty on the contrary to reconcile tlie interests of both coun- 
tries if not to establish their complete indentity, and further 
to express our belief, that those interests can be made to 
harmonize in no other way, than by the complete union of 
the Irish and English Liberals. 

It would be easy to state in some half-dozen lines the ex- 
isting causes of disagreement, but as their growth has not 
been sudden, and as their roots strike rather deep into the 
past, we prefer to take up their history from a somewhat 
early period, and to follow it through a few sentences, to 
the present time. Were we to anticipate now, we should 
have to repeat presently, a thing which it is desirable to 
avoid as much as possible ; and could we but succeed in 
making it as clear to the apprehension of others as it is to 
our own, in what way the Irish and English Liberals have 
come to be separated, we believe it would be a substan- 
tial service done to both sides, as the first step towards an 
arrangement of their differences. It has been the fashion 
of late, with those of the Irish Catholics who have been 
most alienated by whatever cause from the English 
Liberals — first to confound the entire Liberal party with that 
unquestionable great and historic section of it called the 
Whigs, and secondly to identify the modern Whigs witU 
the authors of the great revolution. It is needless to say 
how much wider are the extension and comprehension of 
the word '* Liberal,'' than that of the word ** Whig," or 
how largely and variously liberal opinion is represented in 
parliament and even in the government itself by men who 
are not Whigs ; and we therefore revert to the second 
historical mistake which imputes to the modern Whigs an 
absolute identity of feeling and of policy with the Whigs of 
the Revolution. It is not to be denied that the indiscre- 
tions of at least one eminent Statesman and his unfor- 
tunate appeals to some of the worst traditions of the 
Revolution, give colour to the belief that bad instincts run 
perhaps with the blood in certain families, and break out 
at intervals in spite of the long and strict courses of treat- 
ment to which they have been subjected by the practice of 
civil and religious liberty. But even if this be true it is 
not the less certain that the Irish nation in the darkest 
hour of her oppression contracted with the Whigs, the 
only then existing representatives of liberal opinions, 
that alliance which now seems on the eve of dissolution. 
From the period when that alliance was first entered into. 

284 The Liberal Party in [April. 

until the passing of the emancipation act the Whigs, it is 
not disputed, were the constant advocates of Catholic and 
necessarily therefore of Irish rights. The sincerity of their 
advocacy is not disputed that we know of, and as to its 
efficacy, it will not we believe be denied, that without the 
unanimous co-operation of the Liberal party, O'Connell 
never could have brought the Catholic question to an issue, 
nor the late Sir Robert Peel have been driven to a settle- 
ment. This is perhaps the place to notice a statement put 
forward by some who profess to lead opinion in Ireland, to 
the effect that the Irish Catholics are indebted not to the 
Whigs but to their opponents, for the measure of liberty 
and constitutional right, which they have enjoyed since 
1829, as well as for other measures of justice, such as the 
enlargement of the grant to the college of Maynooth, and 
the first appointment of chaplains to the army. The fallacy 
of this statement is too apparent to require serious refuta- 
tion, but at the same time it is only right that we should 
put forward what occurs to us, as giving colour to the 
honest persuasion of many. And first, it has been un- 
doubtedly the misfortune of the Whigs upon more occasions 
than one, and especially upon Catholic questions, that the 
carriage of the measures which they had themselves not 
only brought to maturity, but which without them would 
never have been possible at all, should have been snatched 
from their hands and transferred to their opponents. It 
must be admitted in the second place, that whereas the 
Tories, or whatever else may be their proper designation, 
when they adopted the liberal programme, did so in order 
to contract it, the Liberals never did when in power make 
any serious effort to expand the measures so carried by 
their opponents, to the reasonable proportions which 
the Liberals had originally fixed for them. And thirdly, 
when the Liberals did propose and carry measures of 
reform applicable to Ireland, they not only conceived 
the measures in a narrow and halting spirit themselves, 
but permitted them to be still further narrowed and lamed 
by their antagonists, condescending in this to the dictation 
of their enemies rather than to the claims of their friends, 
and to a fear of Irish influence rather than to a sense of 
Irish services. We do not mean in the present paper to 
inquire whether the Liberals could have done otherwise, nor 
to apportion praise or blame to either side, but merely to 
account by undisputed facts for certain states of feeling. 


1863.] England and Ireland. 285 

because it is our conviction that one of the principal reasons 
why many men of the most liberal tendencies in England 
have withdrawn their attention from Irish questions alto- 
gether, is that they are unable to distinguish certain from 
doubtful facts, or the right end from the wrong end, by 
reason of the colouring, which passion and argument 
have put on both. 

liesuming now what it is hardly right to call our nar- 
rative, of the alliance between the English Liberals and 
Irish Catholics, who for nearly every practical purpose are 
the Irish Liberals, we come to the period which beginning 
with Catholic Emancipation and ending with the life of 
O'Connell we assume as the second principal period of the 
alliance. The features of liberal policy, (for we are not 
now concerned to call them faults,) enumerated in the 
foregoing paragraph all belong to this second period. No 
sooner were Catholics admitted to Parliament than they at 
once, under the headship of O'Connell, took their place 
among the Liberals and continued to act with them, closely 
and steadily until the Reform Bill became law. After 
that date O'Connell and his followers, although giving to 
the Liberals all the parliamentary support that can be 
claimed from party men, began nevertheless to have a 
policy and course of action, national and religious, distinct 
from the general policy which they followed as members of 
the Liberal party. This must be referred in some measure 
to the state of the Church question in Ireland before the 
passing of the Temporalities Act ; in some degree also to 
the limited measure of reform, which the Liberals were 
willing to extend to Ireland ; and principally perhaps, to 
that settled rule of policy so often avowed by O'Connell, in 
pursuance of which it was his habit to insist upon much, 
but to compound for less. Other means of accounting for 
this line of action are not absent from our mind, but in 
view of our purpose to make the least use possible of any 
but admitted facts, we forbear all reference to more than 
one, and that is O'Conneirs real or supposed knowledge of 
the temper and habits of his countrymen, and of the way 
in which their political power could alone be applied. 
Thus it was urged on his behalf that when aiming at those 
political ends which were common to him with the Liberals 
of England, he was yet obliged to present them to the Irish 

kin a different shape; that he was obliged to warm their en- 

286 The Liberal Party in [April. 

cise of a personal influence which it would be impossible 
to separate from appeals to Religion and to Nationality ; that 
he was the only man, who could wield the whole democracy 
of Irehind ; and that he could not maintain his own power 
by a different course of action. It has been further urged 
that the disappointment caused in Ireland by what was 
considered the short-comings of the Liberal measures had 
the effect either of begetting political despondency and las- 
situde, or, what would be still more dangerous, of throwing 
the Irish into unconstitutional courses; and that however 
patient O'Connell himself might be, he was compelled 
not only to humour, but even to stimulate the impatience 
of his countrymen, with a view to its guidance and regula- 
tion afterwards. However this may be, it is certain, that 
he early adopted a double policy towards the Liberals, or 
at least towards the Whigs ; a policy be it remembered for 
which we do not seek to hold him or them accountable, 
but which we desire simply to mention as a fact. That 
policy may shortly be described as one which gave to the 
Whigs a real support in Parliament, with, at times, unmea- 
sured abuse and annoyance in the country. The Repeal 
debate in 1834, the address of both Houses to the Crown 
consequent thereon, and the answer of the Crown to the 
address may be regarded as closing the first stage in the 
second period in the alliance. It is quite possible that the 
result of the debate was satisfactory to O'Connell, as it is 
evident that the address and answer admitting the existence 
of grievances in Ireland, and pledging the Legislature to 
their removal, afforded ample leverage for future agitation. 
Still however the Irish members under his control gave a 
regular and not unfrequently a very needful support to the 
Liberal party. O' Council all the while never ceased to 
prefer what might be called his salvage claim upon the part 
of Ireland against the Whigs. The Irish vote, he argued, 
had saved the cause of Reform from defeat, and it was no 
more than justice that as the Irish Liberals secured to the 
English Reformers all that they required, the latter should 
repay the Irish Liberals in kind. His demand, every one 
knows, was met with the previous question, when after 
some preparatory agitation, he began the second Repeal 
movement, during the vice-royalty of the late Lord] 
Fortescue, then Lord Ebrington, and was encountered by] 
the famous Whig declaration that no one abetting the] 
Repeal movement should hold any office of trust, power 

1863.] England and Ireland, 287 

or emolument at the disposal of Government. This declar- 
ation may be considered to mark the close of the second 
stage of this second period of the alliance. The Irish 
Liberals adhered very generally, and perhaps in spite of 
themselves, to O'Connell, who although recommencing the 
Repeal agitation did not as yet put forward Kepeal as 
an Ultimatum, but ostentatiously^ proclaimed, that he was 
to be bought off by smaller measures, and allowed his 
following to continue in the general service of the party. 
Prom this time however the Liberals of England began to 
regard their Irish allies as men who aimed at objects 
foreign to the general cause of liberalism, impracticable in 
themselves, and if practicable dangerous to the State. The 
accession of the Conservatives to power in 1841, and the 
events which followed in Ireland, produced a great change 
in the temper of the Liberals, which seemed for a time to 
justify the calculations of the O'Connell policy, if we sup- 
pose that policy to be what he himself avowed it, namely, 
the attainment of substantial justice through the largest 
possible demands. While the Whigs remained in power, 
O'Oonnell had his Repeal agitation well in hand ; but no 
sooner was the Conservative ministry firmly seated, than 
he let loose against it, the hitherto unknown strength of 
the Repeal movement, which now assumed proportions 
formidable even to himself. If the Liberals of England 
did not actually welcome the agitation, it would be too 
much to say that it was unwelcome to them, and even 
though we take them to have been abstracts of political 
virtue, it is not the less certain that they turned the 
agitation to the utmost possible account as damaging the 
enemy, and as proof that Ireland was ungovernable to any 
but themselves. Nor was this all : they now adopted the 
programme which O'Connell had abandoned for Repeal, 
and insisted upon applying to the Irish question, the 
solution with which, if you believe himself, he would have 
been more than satisfied. And as if still further to vindi- 
cate his policy the Conservative ministry under the new 
pressure of Repeal, munificently enlarged the parliamentary 
gnint to the college of Maynooth and set on foot the well 
meant but luckless experiment of the Queen's Colleges. 
Nay more, we find Sir Robert Feel after the Repeal agita- 
tion was nearly overblown, in the last speech which he 
delivered as a minister of the crown, adopting the O'Connell 
programme short of Repeal, and bequeathing it as a policy 

288 The Liberal Party in [April. 

to Ills successors. The following were the words, spoken 
by Sir Robert Peel at the close of the debate upon the 
renewal of the Irish Arms Act, on the 29th June, 1846. 

** Speaking for myself I don*t hesitate to avow the opinion that 
there ought to be established a complete equality of municipal, civil 
and political rights as between Great Britain and Ireland. By 
complete equality I do not mean, because I know that is impossible, 
a technical and literal equality in everything. In these matters, 
as in others of more sacred import, it may be that the * letter killeth 
but the spirit giveth life,' and I speak of the spirit and not of the 
letter in which our legihlation in regard to [franchise and privilege 
ought to be conducted. My meaning is that there should be a real 
and substantial equality of political and civil rights, so that no 
person viewing Ireland with an unbiassed eye, and comparing the 
civil franchise of Ireland with those of England or of Scotland shall 
be able to say with truth that a different rule has been adopted 
towards Ireland, and that on account of suspicion, or distrust, civil 
freedom is there curtailed or mutilated. That is what I mean by 
equality in legislating for Ireland in respect to civil franchise and 
political rights." 

While the O'Connell policy seemed thus to triumph or 
at all events to give promise of triumph in Parliament it had 
already begun to show symptoms of weakness, and dissolu- 
tion in the country. If it be true [a thing we do not assert] 
that in O'ConneU's mind Repeal itself was not the object of 
the agitation but merely a part of its machinery, it was not 
80 regarded by the bulk of his followers. However he may 
have been understood by his old allies the Whigs, or how- 
ever he may have wished them to understand him, his words 
were taken at the letter by the Irish multitudes. If he be- 
lieved that his influence was still sufficient to command. their 
unlimited obedience, he soon discovered his mistake. To 
the multitude, Repeal was neither a phantom nor a pretence; 
they religiously believed in the possibility of its attainment, 
and the more resolute of the believers determined not only 
to persevere in the agitation themselves, but if possible to 
frustrate any attempt by O'Oonnell at a renewal of his 
alliance with the Whigs. The power of O'Connell it is 
true was still predominant in the country, and it would be 
a bold thing to say, that had he been five years younger, 
or had the famine not supervened, he might not have been 
able to overbear opposition and to carry out his plans. 
But it was otherwise ordered; his failing health and de- 
caying energies forbade him to put any stop upon the 


1863.] England and Ireland. 28D 

dissolution of his power, and when he died, there remained 
of his pohcy httle more tlian a weak tradition; while that 
unity of Irish strength which he alone had known how to 
create and to use, seemed to have expired with himself. 
With his death ends the second period of tlie Liberal 
alliance. The third embraces the interval between that 
event and the present time. 

Out of the decomposing remains of the Repeal organiza- 
tion there swarmed over the country clouds of political 
societies, small, and buzzing, quelled for a time by the 
great famine, but quickened again by the Continental 
revolutions of 1848. Then began to disappear that loyalty 
of sentiment, the cultivation of which amongst the Irish, 
has been too much neglected by English statesmen, but 
which O'Connell more especially after the accession of the 
Queen had promoted fimongst his countrymen, while he 
educated them in constitutional agitation as understood by 
himself. There can be no doubt that O'Connell did train 
the people of Ireland to a loyalty of feeling as distinguished 
from loyalty of reason, or of duty, to the person of the 
Queen ; but it is equally certain that this loyalty depending 
exclusively upon the O'Connell influence, withered up 
when that influence was removed and had no real existence 
at the period of the Queen's visit in 1849. But whatever 
was the state of the country, there was in Parliament a 
body of Irish reputed Liberals who though numerically 
strong, had now, for the first time however since 1829, 
become absolutely contemptible to their English allies. 
During the lifetime of O'Connell, his parliamentary follow- 
ing included men of not very dainty morals, and of fortunes 
the reverse of easy. Still his mastery held them together 
and made them formidable. When he was taken away 
they fell asunder, could be dealt with separately, had no 
, common policy, and ceased to be of any general account. 
From the death of O'Connell to the present hour, the dis- 
organization of the Liberal party in Ireland has been ever 
on the increase ; and the contempt which that disorgan- 
ization could not fail to beget in the minds of English 
Liberals has been unsuccessful as yet in suggesting any 
kind of harmony or concert to their Irish brethren. Those 
however are comparatively remote causes of the estrange- 
ment which exists between the English and Irish Liberals, 
and we now come to others whose origin is more recent, 
and whose working is daily more active and conspicuous. 

290 The Liberal Party in [April. 

The first of these we take to be the refusal of the govern- 
ment of Lord John Kussell in 1847, persevered in by suc- 
cessive Liberal governments since that period, to accept the 
legacy of L'ish reform, which Sir Kobert Peel bequeathed 
to them in his last ministerial utterances already quoted. 
This refusal was clearly embodied in an answer of Lord 
Clarendon then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, to an address 
of the Catholic Prelates of that country, in which he 
discharges upon Time alone, the redress of all Irish griev- 
ances, and the reform of all Irish abuses. i\dhering to the 
original plan of this paper we do not offer an opinion 
touching the morality or policy of this declaration, by 
the organ of a government, the head of which had likened 
the condition of Ireland since Emancipation to that of a 
prisoner into whose cell a gleam of light had been admitted, 
and who naturally struggled still not only for light but for 
enlargement. We merely state it as a fact suggesting to 
the consideration of all parties whether such a declaration 
was calculated to attract to the Liberal government the 
support of those whom the membei's of that government 
had taught to believe in grievances and to look to them for 
the redress of the same. A second and pregnant cause of 
disagreement referable also to this period, was the accept- 
ance by the Liberal government of another and apparently 
a fatal bequest of Sir Robert Peel, the task namely of 
imposing upon the people of Ireland the system of Univer- 
sity education, comprised in his scheme of provincial 
colleges which subsequently were incorporated with the 
Queen's university. We are not now to argue for or 
against that system ; we have elsewhere very fully ex- 
pressed our views upon the subject and to those views we 
must refer our readers. It is enough for us here to remind 
them that it is our present business to say, that this gift 
of the late Sir Robert Peel, with all its demerits has clung 
to the Liberal party, like the shirt of Nessus, a perpetual 
blister, which it is able neither to cool nor to shake off. 

Out of the establishment of the Queen's Colleges grew 
the Synod of Thurles, and out of the Synod of Thurles 
the extension to Ireland of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act. 
We need not here state our opinion respecting the decrees 
of the venerable assembly at Thurles in the matter of the 
Queen's Colleges. Touching the policy of the Ecclesias- 
tical Titles Act as applicable to Ireland, it need only be 
said that if it were intended thereby to punish the Irish 


1863.] England and Ireland. 291. 

Bishops for the part taken by them in the Synod of 
Thurles, the pnnishment had no more relation to the pro- 
ceediiii^s of that body than have the penalties for bigamy to 
an action upon a bill of exchange. Our business however is 
with the result; and no one we believe will be found to 
question our statement of it, when we say that the passing 
of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act was the most serious cause 
of disagreement that had till then arisen between the Irish 
and the English Liberals, and that it has wrought most 
effectually to increase and perpetuate their mutual aliena- 
tion. An attempt was next made to reconstruct the Liberal 
party in Ireland upon a plan of total severance from parties 
in England, and of active opposition to every government, 
which would not accede to certain conditions, the most pro- 
minent of which were a settlement of the Irish land laws, 
and the Repeal of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act. The duty of 
the "Independent Opposition" was to take advantage of 
the then sensitive balance of power, between the principal 
English parties, to pass perpetually from scale to scale, 
to make Whig and Tory kick the beam by turns, and to 
upset successive governments until one or another should 
come to terms with them. This plan broke down either from 
internal weakness, or from a want of virtue in those who had 
undertaken to carry it out. The result upon the Parlia- 
mentary representation of the Irish liberals was just to 
neutralize it. Some adhered to the government in spite of 
their constituencies ; some by the regularity of their 
opposition votes came no longer to be accounted Lib- 
erals ; and a few who might be properly classed as 
independent members, were of no account j with either 
party. In course of time the personal qualities of 
the present head of the Liberal government, powerfully 
aided by circumstances, destroyed that nice balance 
of power between English^ parties, which could alone 
have given a reason of existence to the *' Independent 
Opposition," had that organization still continued to exist; 
and now Lord Palmerston having, by the undoubted con- 
fidence of the English people, been relieved from depend- 
ence upon Irish support, seems to make an ostentatious 
contempt for Irish wishes and feelings a part of the settled 
l)olicy of his government. We do not say that such is the 
policy, but we think it may be affirmed that such is the 
appearance which it wears. 

So far back as the year 1857, an Irish writer described 

^92 The Liberal Party in [April 

in the following terms, tlie parliamentary representation of 
Ireland as disclosed by the general election just then 

"It would be neither profitable nor pleasant to inquire just now 
into all the causes of the miserable disorganisation that has left 
Ireland dumb and neutral on the question of Reform. Certain it is 
that England and Scotland — after a fashion of their own perhaps, 
but emphatically and decisively — have declared for Reform. Ire- 
land is the onlj portion of the kingdom that stands utterly dis- 
graced. Ireland, to whom Reform is not an abstract principle, a 
point of honour, or a party motto, but a necessary condition of 
peace and progress, is the one member of tlie British Union to 
whom Reform must owe nothing in the present Parliament. Ireland, 
to whom Reform means free religion, free charity, free education, 
free votes — the right to prosper, the very right to live — Ireland 
alone is hostile or, at best, indifferent to Reform. The poor old idol. 
Conservatism, has been fished up from the slough into which popu- 
lar contempt had dropt it, and now finds an altar in Ireland alone. 
Reform has a value and a significance in Ireland, diff'erent as we 
have stated from those of reform elsewhere. The same may be 
said of Conservatism. And, if in Ireland Reform have the mean- 
ing we ascribe to it, can there be any doubt as to the meaning of 
Conservatism ? It means a more than Corsican vitality of hatred 
for the Irish and their religion ; it means the treasured recollection 
of gone-by cruelty, and the sharp appetite for more ; it means 
injury whenever possible, and insult always; it is Nero at a loss 
for men victims, in a solitude even of flies, but equally ready for 
practice with the rack or the bodkin ; it is a pig on the highroad — 
in the way, even when running out of the way ; obstructing 
although retreating ; causing an occasional upset, and sometimes 
ridden over, but ever the same perverse, unmanageable, untcach- 
able swine. Nay, we do this Conservatism too much honour ; for 
there has been such a thing as an educated pig — a pig who could 
tell the hour of the day, and the day of the mouth, for the bribe of 
an acorn; but what genuine Irish Conservative could be trained 
through any instinct of his, to mark the place of his country in the 
nineteenth century ? Peace, union, prosperity, education, progress 
— none of these are a bait for him. He hardly realizes the notion 
that ascendancy is over — that the penal laws have been actually 
repealed — that we have left the rebellion of '98 nearly sixty years 
behind — and that martial law, the cat, the triangle, and the pitch- 
cap are no longer part of our Constitution in Church and State. 
But Irish Conservatives cannot tell why, and are determined not to 
learn. And yet it is men like these that Irish constituencies, who 
could have done otherwise, have sent into Parliament — not states- 
men who have taken the thing up for a purpose, like Disraeli and 
Sir John Packington, and even Mr. Walpole — but men who posi- 

1863] England and Ireland. 293 

tively believe in it and love it. The one element of consolation in 
all this vileness is derived from the persuasion that Conservatism 
has reached the last degree of ridicule bj becoming something 
merely Irish. It is Lambert Simnel qualifying for the scullery in 
England by an Irish coronation. But, in any case, ours is the 
shame, although the penalty may be remitted. Does the Maynooth 
grant stand ? England alone is to be tlianked. Does the National 
system of education yet exist? England alone protects it. Has 
the Catholic soldier the last sacraments in his agony? It is to 
Protestant England that he owes his salvation. Ireland has sent 
men to Parliament who, sooner than allow the soldier the services 
of a priest, would see him die in despair ; and rather than that the 
* wafer-god' should repose upon his tongue, would have him spend 
its last action in blasphemy. There undoubtedly are men, amongst 
us wlio still love to be called Conservatives, and who notwithstanding 
are liberals and reformers in practice, like Lord Stanley and others 
we could name in England ; but Ireland has sent no such Conserva- 
tives to Parliament. We used to refer with pride to the election of 
liberal Protestants by a Catholic constituency : but here there is 
not a question between Catholic and Protestant. No man in his 
senses will connect Irish Orangeism with any form of religion. What 
has the Orangeman to do with the Synod of Dort or Confession of 
Augsburg ? What does he know about the articles of religion or 
the Westminster Catechism? He believes in whiskey, powder, 
blood, Fermanagh juries. Sir William Verner, and Lord Roden — 
that is the full sweep and compass of his religion. Conservatism in 
Ireland is just a sicklier, but more malignant type of Orangeism. 
Smooth, civil-spoken, kid-gloved, and perfumed, it coats and pre- 
serves with a varnish of civilization all the instincts and passions of 
the savage life. Yet we find this Conservatism sharing, and thus 
destroying, the representation of Louth, Mayo, Leitrim, and Kil- 
kenny, lu other counties — such as Sligo, Carlow, and Dublin, and 
again in towns like Dublin, Belfast, Carlow, and New Boss — 
we meet it absolutely dominant, and in almost undisputed posses- 
sion. It is a convenient resource to throw the blame on our dis- 
union, as if disunion were, in fact, something distinct from ourselves 
— a deity, or demon to be propitiated, as if we could set everything 
right by a sacrifice to At^. More or less of the fault may be with 
those who assume to guide opinion ; but there must be something 
wrong everywhere, or it would be impossible that, under a consti- 
tutional government, and with education so generally diffused, the 
people could be absolutely at the disposal of a few pretenders. In 
one way or another, we are all accountable for the loss and tlie 
disgrace. It is to be hoped we may all profit by the lesson."— /rM 
Quarterly Review^ xxvi. pp. 455-7. 

This being the case in parliament/the condition'of Irisli 
politics there had a corresponding influence upon the state 

294 The Liberal Party in [April. 

of feeling in the country, and must be held accountable for 
two results, still in active operation, and each equally fatal 
to the existence of a hberal party in Ireland. They may 
be shortly stated as apathy and hostility. Under the influ- 
ence of the former the registries were neglected, and still 
continue to be neglected wherever they are not watched 
for the express purpose of opposition to the government. 
This is accounted for by the natural carelessness of men 
to spend time or money upon the support of a government 
which will not condescend to their wishes in anything, even 
supposing the wishes themselves to be unreasonable, and 
the refusal of compliance to be sound policy. The active 
hostility of Catholics to the government was at first rather 
limited in extent, but its continuous increase is now evident 
to all. It has the advantage of a distinct and easy policy, 
namely, that of supporting, or at least of accepting any 
candidate for a place in parliament in preference to the 
government favourite. Under the combined operation, of 
apathy and hostility, every election in Ireland diminishes 
the number of liberal representatives, nor can any mem- 
ber or supporter of the present administration, how trans- 
cendent soever his qualities, how great soever his claims, 
or how unbounded soever his former popularity, obtain a 
seat in parliament from an Irish constituency. 

Things were coming to this pass through mutual miscon- 
duct or mutual mistake, or else through absolute virtue on 
the one side and complete perversity upon the other, when 
the Italian revolution came in the right time to hasten and 
widen, if not to complete the separation between the Liberals 
of England and Ireland. The attachment of the Irish to 
their religion ought to be no secret in England, nor is it by 
yny means to be wondered at, if the Irish mind should 
admit the persuasion that the British government is^^i 
prompted to countenance the Italian revolutions, much more ^HJ 
by the national hostility to the Roman religion than by a '^ 
zeal for Italian liberty, or unity, or for any other of the ideas 
to vindicate which, the French armies crossed the Alps. 
The Irish have argued, however falsely, that a nation which ^| 
has not now, and never had, any practical sympathy for ^bI 
Poland, is not attracted to the Italians by the mere merits^ 
of their cause ; and they say that even were the Irish people 
naturally well affected towards the Italian revolution, the 
patronage extended to it by England would of itself be 
enough to put them on their guard. They say that some j 


1863.] JSngland and Ireland. 295 

stronger agency than an abstract love of liberty abroad must 
have operated upon the English mind to induce the adop- 
tion of what is, after all, a French adventure, for French 
profit, depending altogether upon the will of France, in 
strict accordance with French traditions, and which France 
will never suffer to be tnrned to English account, if France 
can help it. 

Pronouncing no opinion upon the value of those con- 
clusions, we can only say that they are shared by manj' 
a sound Protestant, who regrets that England has been led 
away from what he conceives to be her old, safe, honourable, 
and natural traditions, to untried ways and dangerous 
alliances. Many a God-fearing, Rome-detesting English- 
man believes, that France is acting upon the too sensitive 
protestantism of England, to separate us from our oldest 
allies, and, to bring about while in strict alliance with us, 
that continental system upon the establishment of which 
the first Napoleon staked his Empire and lost it. Holding 
those ideas, and for other reasons of their own, which we 
do not pretend to enumerate and are not called upon to ex- 
plain, the Irish have adopted the cause of the Pope, with 
even more of enthusiasm, and certainly with more of sacri- 
fice than the English brought to what they deem the cause 
of Italy. It must have been this circumstance that has 
drawn upon everything Irish that deluge of abuse which 
has been daily rising and spreading for the last two years, 
and the ebb of which is not betokened by any sprig of olive 
or other message of peace that we have seen as yet. While the 
press, and more especially the Liberal press, was engaged 
in exasperating differences to the best of its great abilit3% 
the parliamentary and administrative policy of the govern- 
ment continued to be regarded by the Irish as system- 
atically offensive to their feelings and resolutely set against 
their wishes. The Dublin Evening Post, which under 
many Liberal governments, had been the reputed organ of 
the Castle, and which, whether in the sunshine of favour 
or the chill of neglect, has never once faltered in its alle- 
giance to party ; the Evening Post, which for years has 
been importuning the Liberals of Ireland to expect every- 
thing, to forgive everything, to think no evil, and to believe 
all good; the Evening Post, which incurred the enmity of 
O'Gonnell by its opposition to Repeal, and forfeite(l half of 
its subscription list to the support of the Queen's Colleges — 
the Evening Post has been forced into sharp cries of distress 

VOL. LII,-No. CIV 2 

296 The Liberal Party in [April. 

and remonstrance, addressed partly to Ireland and partly 
to England. We think it not amiss to reprint two or three 
articles which appeared in that journal, and which we 
cannot help regarding as very suggestive indeed, when 
we consider how slow to be stirred were the natures which 
have at length been moved into something positively 
like ill humour by the attitude and language of the English 
press and people. Apart from this circumstance, however, 
the articles in question seem to us to contain matter well 
worthy of consideration by the English Liberals, to whom 
the subject of their relations with Irehnid has never been 
presented in such alight ; who have never, perhaps, seen an 
Irish newspaper in their lives ; and who, consequently, 
derive their knowledge of Irish politics from the exclusive 
reading of their favourite papers. 

From the Evening Post of December 7th, 1861. 

" The stage Irishman, twirling the conventional stick, whooping 
the conventional whoop, and swearing the established oaths, is not 
more undoubtingly accepted as the true and familiar tjpe of Irish 
humour, than are the features of Irish politics, as taken from the 
English press — admitted, believed, and acted upon by the English 
people. The Irishman who in any of the English theatres should 
tender to a brother actor the right hand of fellowship without 
moistening the palm thereof, according to the manner of his 
country, would incur deserved reproach ; but public taste would 
vindicate itself more sharply were the Irishman to speak a sentence 
without two bulls and at least one *be jebers' or one * be gorra.* The 
nation at large, however, and its politics are a more fruitful source 
of enjoyment to the British public than are its individual represen- 
tatives to the British play-goers. The latter are satisfied to be 
amused ; the former require to be gratified ; and the gratification 
is of a higher order than the amusement, because the infliction of 
pain is but too often the most exquisite of pleasures. It would 
serve no purpose to disguise the power and the success of the Eng- 
lish press in giving pain. The power itself is a vulgar one, and 
much more commonly diffused in nature than the power of com- 
forting and soothing. A moderate command of language — espe- 
cially of bad language — a certain trick of composition, and a useful 
contempt for the Eighth Commandment, will not fail to recom- 
mend any Irish topic to the British reader. On the other hand, to 
represent the Irish people as rational and sober in any desire, 
would be as great a solecism as Silenus at a tea party; and to dress 
up an Irish grievance, however substantial, before an Englishj 
public, would be no less an offence against decency and taste thanl 
for Atreus to stew his man-pie upon the stage. It is true there arej 

1863.J England and Ireland. 297 

some peculiarities in Irish men and Irish politics too strong for 
English manners and English temper. Their speech is sometimes 
over-charged — they mix their metaphors — their imagination runs 
before their words ; they have unreasonable opinions upon matters 
of religion and perhaps of education ; they have a silly adherence 
to old friends and old prejudices ; they will not be convinced that 
everything done is always intended for their good ; and they have 
an obstinate conviction that some of their institutions are as mis- 
chievous as they are degrading. Nothing can be easier under 
tliese circumstances than to hit them where they are sore, and 
nothing can be more pleasant than to laugh at the weakness and 
ungainliness of their resentment. If such a course of treatment 
came from avowed enemies at the English press, or even in the 
Imperial Parliament, it might be understood. In party struggles, 
hard hitting may yet be fair hitting, and if a man be not able to 
take as well as give, he is too tender for the dust and sweat of the 
arena. But the Irish people are dealt with less mercifully, if any- 
thing, by the Liberal press and the Liberal politicians of England— 
on the strength of whose party they are borne — than by those who 
had been their enemies from the beginning. That the Irish are 
over sensitive is very likely — that they have weak points and tender 
spots is not, perhaps, to be disputed — that it is a delight to make 
tliem smart may pass for granted ; but might it not be worth while 
to calculate the cost, and even to reform our expenditure in that 
item, if found excessive? The meeting, at the Rotundo, on Thurs- 
day evening, comes to hand as an example. In the city of Dublin, 
in the sixty-first year of the Union between Great Britain and Ire- 
land, while a war is impending between a foreign country and 
England, the prospect of which ought to affect every quarter of the 
empire alike, it is found possible to hold a crowded and enthusiastic 
meeting, to express in language, however guarded, the sympathies 
of those assembled with the aggressor and the adversary. There is 
not perhaps, a town in Ireland, in which a meeting of the like 
character might not be collected. The extravagance of the pro- 
ceedings is not our immediate concern. It is a case unquestionably 
for the Surgeon-general rather than for the Attorney-General, and 
will be sure to command more than a wholesome share of attention 
from the English press, to whose treatment the comic views of the 
meeting may be safely left. And yet, not twenty years ago, sedi- 
tion, separation, or sympathy with an enemy would have had as 
little countenance in a Dublin meeting as in any other division of 
the kingdom. The people of Ireland were then a portion of a 
single Liberal party in the empire — its ardent supporter in the 
struggle, and scant partaker in the triumph. That party, so 
far as Ireland can be taken into account, is diminished, scattered, 
and all but destroyed, though the materials for its reorganization 
are still great and abundant. There is now no need to exaggerate 
the extent of Irish alienation at home, but, such as it is, that aliena- 

298 The Liberal Party in [April. 

tion is mainly the creature of the English press — slow of growth, 
but carefully nurtured. At home it may be powerless, but if the 
present difficulty in our relations with America should eventuate in 
war, the result will, in no small degree, be attributable to the 
hatred of England wiiich the universal Irish emigration has carried 
with it to America. That ' patriotic class of citizens,' as they are 
called by a New York paper, was foremost in applauding the 
late insult to the British flag and to the law of nations. It is a 
well-known fact, and deplored by the Catholic clergy in Ireland, 
that the American citizens of Irish race, professing the national 
religion, bear no proportion to the number of the emigrants, their 
fathers ; but it seems beyond all doubt that though they may have 
lost not only their religion but everything else that was distinctive 
of tlieir race, they have preserved and intensified their aversion to 
the English name and Crown. And it is to aspects of the case like 
this that we would draw attention. Tiie ruin of our party in Ire- 
land is almost as much the concern of the Liberals of England as 
it is our own. But they cannot be conscious of the extent to which 
their organs are engaged in fostering national antipathy, and, as it 
has been said, making it racy of the soil in both countries. It is 
not the disaffected in Ireland who resent the language of the Eng- 
lish Press ; most probably they welcome it. They do so if they are 
wise. There are none so disgusted and offended as the loyal. 
The Liberal Press may be well-meaning, and, doubtless, believes iii 
its own good intentions, but it cannot persevere in its accustomed 
language upon Irish affairs without coming to adopt and to cherish 
feelings somewhat similar to those which it too surely excites among 

^ From the *' Evening Post " of Saturday December 
14, 1861,— 

" Revenge is always costly, and reprisals are always excessive. 
If you spit into a man's face it is ten to one he will take your life 
although he has to pay the forfeit with his own; and Bartholomew's 
Eve was chosen by the Catholics of Paris for the great massacre, 
because it was the anniversary of a smaller, but equally detestable, 
massacre of Catholics by the Protestants of Beam. In like man- 
ner have the Catholics of Birkenhead sought to punish the Liberal 
party in England for the course of injury and insult to which they 
conceive themselves to have been subjected, by that party, for some 
years past. It may be that the Liberals deserve the punishment, 
and it is very certain that the Catholics of Birkenhead have hurt 
themselves by the infliction of it. But this is human nature, not- 
withstanding; and after all it is a dry question of profit and loss 
between the two parties. If the Liberals, while prepared to do 
some justice to Catholics, insist upon seasoning that justice 
with humiliation at the cost of the support which they might 

18G3.] England and Ireland. 299 

otherwise receive from Catholics, that is altogether their own 
aifair. If the Catholics, on the other hand, are disposed to 
exchange the saucy protection of the Liberals for the enmitj — 
to them apparently less odious — of the so called Conservatives, 
their conduct is perhaps, very chivalrous, but not worldly wise. 
]f, however, the English Catholics only, were concerned, the 
English Liberals might gratify their taste at a comparatively trifling 
cost. In Ireland, the case is somewhat different, and if the English 
Liberals will prefer their gratification to the support which they 
have hitherto had from Ireland, they cannot expect to come off 
quite so cheaply. This, again, is human nature. The Irish Roman 
Catholics derive many solid advantages from their alliance with 
the English Liberals. They do not require to have these advan- 
tages rehearsed to them : but a considerable portion of them seem 
to have made up their minds not to accept those advantages, upon 
the conditions which their allies insist on attaching to them. The 
English Liberals, it may be presumed, regard those conditions 
neither as heavy nor unpleasant. The nature of the conditions 
themselves is well known. Provided the Irish will consent to adopt, 
without reasoning or qualification, whatever the English Liberals 
should consider for their benefit — provided they surrender all their 
own tastes and inclinations — provided they submit with proper 
meekness and docility to whatever instruction, however adminis- 
tered, they may receive from England — provided they regard the 
past services of the old Liberals as a perpetual licence to the new 
Liberals for insult and outrage— provided that gratitude shall be 
always identical with meanness — then will the Liberals of England 
extend to the Irish people a measure of the good things at their 
disposal. Can there be a sweeter yoke or a lighter burthen? Can 
any conditions be fairer 1 In consideration of this small submis- 
sion — of this trifling homage — and of those few sacrifices, the Irish 
people shall have the honour of being accounted members of the 
great Liberal party — of taking part in the achievement of every 
success that is won for the Liberals of England, and of acting with 
perfect disinterestedness by reason of the knowledge that they shall 
have as little share as possible in the fruits of these successes. 
Perhaps the conditions are righteous, just, and honourable; but 
here again our fallen nature comes athwart our best interests. The 
conditions will not be accepted. Men will not stand being con- 
stantly insulted even by professing friends, and the least exacting 
will require some deference to their tastes, some humouring, even 
of their caprices, especially in matters in which they think tlieir 

I friends should not interfere too much. Men will think that ad- 
vantages are dearly bought by dishonour, and no reasoning will 
convince them of the contrary. It is perfectly hopeless to go on 
dealing with the Irish people, as this journal has done for years, ly 
representing to them the danger of a breach with their old friends, 
and of an alliance with their old enemies. They are perfectly 

300 The Liberal Party in [April. 

familiar with the prospect of a magisterial bench, crowded with 
Orangemen, and of the superior courts, scarcely better furnished 
either with learning or houestj. Thej are quite prepared to see 
justice become once more the scarlet hussy that she was, and to 
find her sinning with tyranny upon every high place in the land ; 
but it is human nature still that, even with this before them, they 
should resent indignity and assert what they believe to be their 
rights. And here again comes round the question of profit and 
loss. The people of this country have, we fear, made up their 
minds. We have argued for years against the course they seem dis- 
posed to take, in the measure of our strength and of our light. It 
now only remains to be seen whether the English Liberals have 
made up their minds too. We suggest to them no consideration of 
friendship, brotherhood, or good feeling. We take everything 
against them and against ourselves as strongly as we can. Wo 
take it for granted that their regard for the Irish Liberals — 
who, are in truth the Irish Roman Catholics — is as weak and 
as forced, as their dislike, and the expression of it is spontaneous. 
We take it for granted, on the other hand, that the feelings and 
wishes of the Irish Roman Catholics upon certain matters are 
altogether capricious and unaccountable. We assume that their 
love of perfect religious equality is as unreasonable as the love of 
the Siamese for the Betel-nut, and that their aversion to the tem- 
poralities of the Church Establishment is as senseless as the dislike 
of the turkey-cock to red. But, assuming all this, is the Church 
Establishment so precious in the eyes of the English Liberals — is 
the abuse of Catholic men and things in Ireland so valuable a pri- 
vilege that the undivided support of the Irish Catholics, and the 
consequent triumph of liberal interests, are as nothing in the 
balance ? If that be so, the course of the English Liberals is intel- 
ligible to us, otherwise not. They have a right to make sacrifices 
as well as we ; but unless both parties can be brought to understand 
their own interests sufficiently well to arrange their differences in 
presence of the common enemy, they will save that enemy a vast 
amount of trouble by-and-by, and afford him an agreeable pastime 
in the interval.'' 

Under the date of 31st December, 1861, in the review 
of the year about to pxpire which it is customary with 
Newspapers to make upoi^its last day, we find in the 
*' Evening Post," this almost despairing reference to the 
subject of the foregoing extracts. 

•* The course of the year has not been unfaithful to itself in Ire- 
land. The English Press of all parties has wrought zealously and 
with consistent morality, during the year, to disgust and alienate 
the public mind in Ireland. The Liberals of England, who have 
assumed the more especial protectorate of Italy, have preferred the 

1863.] England and Ireland, 301 

cause not merely of Italian unity, but of Italian scoundrelism, to 
the friendship and fellowship of the Irish people, who, with rare 
exceptions, are as earnest Catholics as they are consistent Liberals. 
Day by da^r have the English Liberals made their yoke weightier for 
their brethren in Ireland. Causes of complaint such as exist nowliero 
out of Ireland, and which elsewhere than in Ireland would, according 
to the raoralsof 1861, justify revolution and foreign invasion, have been 
passed over by the friends of Italy without remonstrance. Desires 
and ambitions which the Liberals of England would have in foreign 
nations deemed natural or at least excusable have been treated by 
them in Ireland as something approaching to treason. Gratifica- 
tions which, whether wisely or not, have been given for the asking 
to Canadian or Australian Catholics have been refused to Irish 
Catholics, with circumstances of scorn and hatred which have 
already borne fruit in measure. The disorganization of the 
Liberal party in Ireland, already so far advanced in the year 
1860, has steadily increased throughout the year 1861, and pro- 
mises to go on until the evil shall have cured itself. Death 
has been not less busy than revolution in emptying thrones and 
high places, but the vacancies so made will not fail to be filled up ; 
whereas the injury to public morals, the denial or perversion of 
principles, the immorality and servility of the press, and the diseases 
of opinion that have marked the outgoing year, will bequeath to 
coming years a labour of repair and reconstruction which it will 
require many of those coming years to complete, if indeed the task 
should ever be accomplished. And at this crisis of our history, if 
any expression of feeling from Ireland could prevail for any purpose 
with the holders of power in England, and with the Liberal press in, 
that country, we should invite them, as they tender the existence of 
a Liberal party here, and the chances of reform both here and there, 
to deal far otherwise with Ireland in word and deed than they have 
done during the last year, and during many that have gone before. 
They need have no uneasiness upon the score of having left anything 
unsaid that could be capable of creating ill-will. They cannot hope 
to write any thing more stinging than they have already written. 
Should they vex their ingenuity to produce a new variety of insult, 
the probability is it would be tame in comparison with some of the 
older outrages. They never can succeed in pointing a more cruel 
epigram or in balancing a more wicked antithesis than many which 
might be culled from their past writings. None of them could hope 
to be more unjust or more insulting, nor could some of them expect 
to be more mendacious than heretofore. It will be easy for them 
all to estimate their gains under the old system ; and, as a matter 
of pure experiment, it would b<3 worth while to try the effect of a 
little correct information — of acorrespondin^ accuracy in statement — 
of some forbearance — of some little humility — of even a slight im- 
provement in temper, and of an occasionalj appeal to judgment, 
common sense, good feeling, and interest. Perseverance during 

302 The Liberal Party in [April. 

the ensuing year in a course like this, would earn for 1862 a 
character such as we do not expect it will deserve, but which, if 
deserved, would secure a speedy and solid triumph for reforna 
and popular power" in both islands/' 

We do not pretend to have followed accurately every nice 
point of controversy which arose between the English and 
Irish Liberals, within the last thirty years, nor to fix the 
date when every such point first made its appearance and 
was discussed. Nor can we hope to enlighten any one 
who is absolutely uninformed upon Irish politics, by the 
slight sketch which we have given of their course. Still 
less would it be possible to awaken any interest in the 
matters upon which we have touched, amongst those who 
now feel none. We assume however, that there are some 
who, although imperfectly acquainted with Irish politics, 
are nevertheless well afi^ected towards the Irish themselves ; 
and who, if they saw good reason would not be unwilling 
to know a little more of Ireland. These we have thought 
it well to bring forward by somewhat long stages, 
and with as fevy stoppages as possible, to the present con- 
dition of the Irish question. We also assume them to have 
kept up with current events sufficiently well, at any rate, 
to have contracted every one of the unfavourable ideas, 
(we do not presume to call them prejudices) respecting Irish 
matters to which expression has been so freely given by 
public men and by the public press in England, during 
the last few years. Further than this, we take them 
to be liberals in politics ; to believe sincerely that the 
best interests of the empire are involved in the regulated 
progress of Liberal doctrines; and to have good sense withal 
to understand that the co-operation of Ireland is worth 
securing, and will conduce materially to the attainment of 
the end in view. Should any such person have followed, 
with moderate notice, even from the purely English point oi 
view, the discussions upon Irish affairs which, from time to' 
time, have 'engaged the attention of Parliament and the 
press, he will find that certain questions have pushed 
themselves prominently forward, and that upon the solution 
of those questions the adhesion of Ireland to the Liberal 
party will depend. The questions which have so evolved 
themselves are easily enumerated. They have reference^ 
1st, to education, 2ndly, to the poor-laws, Srdly, to tliei 
land laws, 4thly, to the relations of church and state in 

1863. ^ England and Ireland. 30.1 

Irelaiicl, an<l, Stlily, to our foreign policy. We luive stated 
these questions in what appears to us the order not mercl.y 
of their urgency, but of the facility which they afford for 
solution, and of the chances therefore of reconciliation 
which they open to the divided Liberals. It is a step towards 
reconciliation, and the first as well as the most necessary, 
although perhaps not a short one, that people should know, 
with tolerable accuracy, what it is they want on both sides. 

With a view, therefore, to clear the way for a negotia- 
tion, if such a thing be at all possible, it would be desirable 
and make things pleasant, that both parties should under- 
stand upon what points they are agreed, what principles 
they have in common, and how far they can act together. 
Having determined how far they are agreed, it not un- 
commonly happens that people find their differences less 
numerous and less real than they had supposed ; but when 
at length the differences themselves have been fairly ascer- 
tained, it next becomes necessary to decide what dif- 
ferences are past adjustment, and if these be incompatible 
with general reconciliation to break up the conference ; but 
if not, to put them aside, and to proceed to those which 
are capable of settlement. Having thus narrowed the dis- 
cussion to what is in truth the only proper matter of debate, 
the parties will then have to fix in their respective minds the 
lowest point to which they will consent to reduce their 
claims; and this being done an arrangement is not abso- 
lutely hopeless. 

Cicero, in his philosophical dialogues, like the sensible 
man that he was, always took care to make one of the inter- 
locutors fix, at starting, the sense of words. If, therefore, 
we desire to ascertain in what particular doctrines and 
courses the English and Irish Liberals can agree it may 
be as well to determine, in the first instance, what we are 
to understand by the term " Liberal," as applied to a 
])olitical party. We imderstand that man to be a Liberal, 
first, who is willing that his fellow subjects of every reli- 
gion should enjoy an absolute equality of civil rights and 
privileges ; secondly, who proposes, or who at least consents 
to confer political franchises upon the greatest number of 
his fellow subjects, who can with safety to the State be 
admitted to the working of the constitution ; and thirdly, 
who gives his sui)port or sympathy to that political con- 
^ ncction wdiich has applied these principles in a large 

304 The Liberal Party in [April* 

fessing to be guided by the same priiicipleg, but applying 
them in the most restricted measure. Whatever opinion 
EngUsh Liberals may entertain respecting the conduct and 
motives of their Irish brethren generally, they must ne- 
cessarily admit, that touching the essential doctrines of 
liberalism, as we have ventured just now to enumerate 
them, there is no more difference of opinion between the 
English and the Irish Liberals, than between various sec- 
tions of the English liberals themselves : and that upon 
questions of home policy, tending to the promotion of 
religious equality or to the extension of political franchises, 
the Irish Liberals will be found to act rather with the more 
advanced than with the more conservative portion of their 
English brethren. It is therefore apparent, and will, we 
presume be granted at once, that upon questions in relation 
to the matters just described and having regard to the 
United Kingdom or its dependencies, the Liberals of both 
countries can act in as complete accord and with the same 
cordiality as the Liberals of any one division of the empire 
can have amongst each other. The fact is so abundantly 
proved by the debates and votes in parliament, as well as 
by the files of the press in both countries, since the admis- 
sion of Catholics to the legislature, that we believe no 
one entertains any doiibt respecting the class of measures 
which English and Irish Liberals will unite to support. 

Taking for granted therefore what will hardly be doubted, 
that upon questions of reform at home, English and Irish 
Liberals can act in complete harmony, we have next to 
face the consideration of those matters in which common 
action is impossible ; and from the history of the last few 
years, it is abundantly apparent that the foreign policy o^—. 
the present administration can have no support from th^H 
Irish Catholics, who are, as has been already said, for^ 
all practical purposes the Irish Liberals. It becomes the 
duty therefore of each party and more especially of th< ' 
Irish Liberals to inquire whether the impossibility of unite( 
action upon foreign politics precludes the possibility 
united action upon politics of any kind. The Iris) 
have certainly the greatest stake in the solution of th« 
question, because although the English under favour 
of circumstances at all events, may afford to dispense 
with Irish aid, the Irish are as nothing apart from tin 
Liberals .of Great Britain. This being so, it seems 
proper for the Irish Catholics to consider whether if thej 

1863.] Eiiyland and Ireland, 805 

reject the liberal alliance for incompatibility of temper, 
upon foreign politics, there exists anywhere a party whose 
foreign poHtics they can adopt, or which would not follow a 
line of foreign politics substantially the same, with that 
which offends them in the present government. They 
will have to question their consciences whether they believe 
that ministers in following their present line of Italian 
policy, do not act in obedience to the plainly expressed and 
almost unanimous although unenlightened and misguided 
will of Great Britain; and they will have further to inquire 
whether any government, be the taste and feelings of its 
individual members what they may, can govern in opposi- 
tion to the public will. If they arrive at the conclusion 
to us seemingly inevitable that the policy of England, upon 
the Italian question, must for some time to come be what 
it is, under any government, the Irish Liberals will have 
to determine whether it will be possible for them to support 
any government; and should conscience answer in the 
negative, then will come the grave inquiry, whether, were 
they much stronger than they can hope to be, they could 
effect any thing in absolute isolation ; and whether with 
their dwindling numbers, and diminishing influence, isola- 
tion is not in fact extinction. If however notwithstanding 
their belief, that the policy of all parties in England must 
be substantially the same in relation to the temporal power 
of the Pope, the Irish Liberals can settle it with their con- 
sciences to accord a preference to one party or the other, 
preliminary questions of a very serious and practical 
nature, will have to be determined and soon. There are 
said to be three stages in a lad^/'s matrimonial prospects. 
She first asks herself, whom she will have : failing to settle 
this point, in due time she inquires with some concern 
who will have her: and unless some one should quiet her 
anxiety without loss of time she comes to the third 
stage when her inquiry is, will any body have her. Now it 
seems to us that the Irish Liberals might in prudence 
address themselves to the second question before dealing 
with the first, and that before playing the part of haughty 
and capricious beauties, endeavour to find out what party in 
the State would accept their affections if they were ready 
and willing to bestow them. A party might be found that 
we could name, willing to flirt with them, to make use of 
them, to talk nonsense to them, and finally to discard 
them ; but a party with whom to ally themselves in real 

30(3 The Liberal Party in [April. 

earnest, and with whom to make real conditions, is a 
widely different thing. The Conservative party could not 
form any serious alliance with the Irish Catholics. Their 
Irish connections the most disreputable in the world, 
totally forbid it. Their^ own antecedents, their uniform 
policy at home, and their pledges hourly renewed make 
it impossible; and last of all public opinion in England 
would not tolerate it for a moment. With the Liberals 
on the contrary the alliance of the Irish Catholics notwith- 
standing all that has passed may possibly be renewed. 
The English Liberals are not, like their opponents, com- 
mitted to the maintenance of Irish abuses; the most eminent 
of them have on solemn occasions given expression to 
opinions respecting those abuses never formally withdrawn 
and which might even now serve as a basis of negotiation ; 
wliile many of the party stand absolutely committed to 
the extinction of these very abuses. Public opinion also 
in England is familiar with the union between Irish 
Catholics and British Liberals, and is not only tolerant of 
such a union but has come to look upon it as natural, and 
to regard any other combination as the contrary. But 
even with regard to Italian politics, it might not be amiss 
for the Irish Liberals to examine whether some beneficial 
action or control would not belong to them as effective 
members of the old alliance, and whether some condescen- 
sion to the feelings and judgment of useful friends might 
not be safely attempted by a government which could not 
be expected to yield much to the demands of a few not 
very strong assailants. Lastly, upon this branch of the 
subject would it not be wise lor the Irish friends of th 
temporal power of the Pope to review their i)ast proceed 
ings, and to see whether there be anything to reform i 
their parliamentary policy? The considerations hitherto 
presented by them to parliament and to the administration 
in favour of the Pope, or of the exiled Italian princes, hav< 
unquestionably been of the gravest character, and wil 
probably have due weight with posterity. But in the presen 
day the advocate who seeks to help a case like theirs b^ 
arguments founded upon public right, international law 
faith of treaties, political morality, or the like, will tak 
nothing by those ** non-suit" points, for, so the tribunal o 
opinion will not fail to treat them. The very language o 
liis pleading will be scarce intelligible to the modern mind 
jyithout a gloss from the " Academy.of Inscriptions," or iron: 


18G3.J England and Ireland. 307 

some other college of equally laborious triflers. Of just as 
little avail is it to produce before Parliament, instances of 
proved cruelty or oppression, on the part of governments, 
whose general proceedings are favoured by opinion in Eng- 
land. How strong soever your evidence, you will be met 
with the general issue, and opinion will answer triumphantly, 
*' not guilty/' Amongst the considerations least often pre- 
sented if at all to those in power on behalf of the indepen- 
dence of the Pope, are the only considerations not obsolete 
and unintelligible, those namely which are in some way 
founded upon policy ; and upon those we shall ourselves 
venture to say a word, when speculating upon the way in 
which the English Liberals might be assisted in dealing 
with any proposal for reconciliation. ^ 

The reflections suggested to the Irish Liberals, by their 
general adhesion to liberal opinions upon questions of re- 
form at home appear to be the very same that should 
engage the attention of the Liberal party in England. So 
long as the Irish Liberals believe in what we before stated 
to be the general principles of their party, is it altogether 
fair to insist upon their adhesion to a foreign policy which 
they cannot adopt, and which they do not believe to be in 
conformity with Liberal principles rightly understood ? This 
question however belongs more properly to the second head 
of inquiry already presented to our Irish friends, namely 
whether the difference of opinion upon foreign politics 
between English an<l Irish be so vital, as not only to 
forbid union upon disputed points, but upon those also 
which have never been disputed. We- have all along 
assumed that there was a radical difference of principle 
between English and Irish Liberals, upon matters of foreign 
policy; but it will turn out perhaps upon examination that 
we have assumed this too strongly against our own case, and 
that the difference between the two nations is not so much 
in relation to questions of principle as to questions of fact. 
We do not recollect to have seen or lieard it broadly 
questioned by Irish authorities that where discontent did 
really, and universally exist amongst the citizens of any 
state, it was not the right of that state either by force of 
arms, or by the genuine and authentic expression of opin- 
ion to change its form of government. The speeches of 
the Irish members and the spirit of the Irish press, went 
rather to deny the existence in Italy of genuine discontent 
and of credibly expressed opinion. The Irish upon the 

308 The Liberal Party in [April. 

evidence before tbem, refused their belief to Neapoli- 
tan discontent, to Roman discontent, to Modenese dis- 
content, to Florentine discontent, and so on. The Irish 
in the exercise of an undoubted right gave their behef to 
Lord Normanby, and M. de Rayneval, rather than to 
Mr. Gladstone and to M. About. Upon the credit of the 
witnesses in whom they could trust, and rejecting the evi- 
dence of those with whom they were dissatisfied, they believed 
that the discontent relied upon as an excuse for revolution 
in the several Italian States, was either altogether unreal 
or artificially stimulated, and that the expression of opinion 
in favour of a change of government was in every instance 
the result of corruption, intimidation and intrigue. The 
assistance given by the Irish to the Pope in money and 
men was founded upon the assumption whether sup- 
ported by, or contrary to evidence, that the Pope's subjects 
were true to their allegiance, but that its expression was 
hindered by the foreign intrigue and intimidation just 
alluded to. As before, we offer no opinion respecting the 
soundness or enlightenment of this belief, — we do not here 
undertake to sustain it if right, or to find excuse for 
it if wrong, — but we think it may be safely submitted to 
the calm judgment of English Liberals, whether the deci- 
sion if erroneous of their Irish brethren upon disputed facts 
and conflicting evidence could for one moment be admitted 
as accounting for the hard words or harder measures 
complained of by the Irish Liberals, and which can serve 
no other purpose than to confirm them in their supposed 
errors, and in any event to destroy the Liberal party in 
Ireland. ^ Would it not be well too for the English Liberals 
to bear in mind that the Irish for whom they now con- 
sider no threat too haughty, no insult too coarse, and 
no ridicule too stinging, are the same men who in times gone 
by, fought, side by side with them, and, it may be added, 
principally for them, the battles of reform ; and that if 
mutual services were to be stated in a debtor and creditor 
account, the carriage of the reform bill by the Irish vote 
would not be something of a set off, against the claims of 
the Liberals in the matter of Emancipation ? It occurs to us 
very forcibly too, that were the Liberals compelled to choose 
between the success of their favourite policy in Italy, and 
the real attachment of the Irish people, not only to the 
Liberal party but to the British connection; the triumph of 
English policy as now understood, might not after all be 


18G3.J England and Ireland. 309 

dearly purchased by the ahenation of Ireland, and 
that Ireland loyal from " Connemara to the Hill of Howth" 
ought to be a more interesting programme to us all, than 
** Italy free from the Alps to the Adriatic." We submit 
liowever, and with very great humility lor the earnest 
consideration of our brother Liberals, whether friendly 
intercourse with the Irish Catholics does really involve 
the sacrifice of their Italian sympathies ; and whether 
although the English people may insist upon the con- 
tinuance of our present policy in Italy, it may not welcome 
very freely a change of manners and of action towards 
Ireland. Would itrnot be possible to imagine a Liberal 
statesman of the strongest Italian leanings, who should 
nevertheless say to his Irish friends : '* You need never 
expect to reconcile us to the temporal power of the Pope, but 
you have a perfect right to civil treatment and to fair play. 
Your Italian views are narrow but your English views are 
broad, and there is no reason why we should not under- 
stand each other. Although we both differ as to Italy, 
still as you stand my friend in England I must do the best 
I can for you in Ireland. It is not because I dislike 
abuses in one place that I love them in another. I have 
helped the Italians to get rid of some curious old institu- 
tions, but you have one in Ireland the like of which for 
absurdity has been pronounced by competent authority not 
to exist in Timbuctoo, — and if you would only be reasona- 
ble I do not say but that we might try a small application of 
our Italian policy at home — * faire la guerre de Rome a 
Tinterieur.' We have both been a trifle too mistrustful 
and too resentful, but a little explanation aided by our 
common interests, may enable us to agree on something 
and to be good friends in future.'' 4 

And lastly, before parting with the Italian question, or 
rather indeed with the Roman question, we cannot help 
venturing an opinion that it has not baen viewed by Liberals 
in all its aspects; and that, although nothing is more 
nritural than for the multitude to be carried far a-field 
of the general interests by religious sympathies or an- 
tipathies, the statesman should be a stranger to their 
influence. It certainly was no love for protestantism 
that induced Cardinal Richlieu to take part with Gustavus 
Adolphus in the thirty years' war; nor was it the contrary 
feeling that induced England to ally herself with Austria 
time out of mind. These are aspects of the Roman ques- 

310 The Liberal Party in [April 

tion worthy the close attention of any British statesman, 
however liberal, before he sets his hand to the subversion 
of the Pope's temporal power. We may not perhaps be 
surprised that many are insensible to the poetry of the 
lioman question, or perhaps that they may pass lightly 
over the points of international law and public morality 
which it involves; but there are other considerations of a 
purely domestic character belonging to this question which 
are altogether worthy of examination. We will not suppose 
him to have any particular interest in the bark of Peter as 
a bark ; but if we take into account the valuable Irish ven- 
ture that she always must have in her hold, his interest 
might not unnaturally be quickened to her risks. According 
to the late census returns for Ireland the Roman Catholic 
population of that island amounted in April 1861, to 4,490,583 
persons outof a populationof 5,764,543, of whom only 678,661 
belong to the Church Establishment of the country ; the 
remainder consisting of 586,563 Protestant Dissenters, 
8,414 unclassed, and 322 Jews. In the province of Ulster, 
which has been popularly regarded as Protestant, the 
Catholics are more than twice as numerous as the mem- 
bers of the Established Church, are nearly double the 
number of the Presbyterians, and outnumber those united 
congregations by close upon 100,000. The Catholic 
Clergy of Ireland are supported by their people at a charge 
of certainly not less than £700,000 a year, excluding even 
the cost of church building, with the erection and endow- 
ment of schools, hospitals, colleges, convents, and the 
various other institutions that go to make up the Irish 
Catholic Church Establishment. The influence exercised 
by the Irish Catholic Clergy is sometimes exaggerate( 
and sometimes questioned by the English press. Ai 
occasion suits, it is painted as all-powerful or as on th( 
wane; but making allowance for exaggeration, ascend-i 
ing or descending, the influence of the Clergy over th< 
|)eople is very much what it has always been, and quit( 
sufficiently great to make it an element of calculatioi 
We leave out of view for the present the importanj 
and rapidly increasing Catholic population of nearly all oui 
colonies, for a reason that will be apparent when we shall 
h.ive occasion to refer to them. But when it is remem- 
bered that in the last resort the Pope has the patronage 
of the great yearly sum which we have mentioned as 
applied in support of the Irish Catholic Establishment, whei 

1863.] England and Ireland* 311 

it is remembered that he inspires and can moderate the in- 
fluence of" more than three thousand Irish Priests ; when it 
is remembered that he is kept accurately informed by the 
Irish Bishops concerning everything that passes in the 
country ; when all this is called to mind and dispassionately 
weighed by a responsible minister, the question of the 
Pope's independence does seem to be affected by consider- 
ations of no subordinate importance, not discernible, it 
may be, to the crowd, but such as ought not to escape the 
eye of the politician. 

We have thus far, according to our plan, presented those 
considerations which it seems to us might profitably detain 
the attention of Irish and English Liberals, first respecting 
the matters upon which the agreement of both is undoubted, 
and next regarding those upon which agreement seems 
impossible. We now come to look into the causes of com- 
plaint and difference that lie in the midst, and which are the 
proper subjects of accommodation and compromise. These 
as we before stated, are referable to four heads, namely, 
education, the laws for the relief of the poor, the land laws, 
and the Church establishment. To begin with the subject 
of education ; we shall not in this place enter upon the 
arguments on either side of the debate regarding separate 
as opposed to mixed, or^ godless as compared to religious 
education. Upon this subject the opinions of the Dublin Re- 
view have been expressed in a manner not to be mistaken. 
Hitherto both parties have been unyielding, and neither the 
State nor the Liberal party nor education, seems to have 
benefitted by the struggle. As we have already said, 
this question is not one for argument, nor does the 
claim of the Irish people, or of any section of it, for educa- 
tion administered in a particular way occur to us as a 
question of expediency, but rather as a question of right. 
Not adverting here, therefore, to any argument bearing 
upon the relative merits or demerits of mixed or separate 
education, as more proper to be discussed elsewhere, we 
take up the complaints and arguments of those in Ireland 
who insist upon separate education as a matter of right, 
and we do so because we consider that this part of the 
controversy affords some chance of settlement. The claim- 
ants for separate education first say upon general grounds, 
that all Her Majesty's subjects in Ireland, and especially 

kso notable a portion of them as the Irish Catholics, are 
entitled to consult their own judgment and their own 

312 The Liberal Party in [April. 

preferences in this matter of education, if civil equality 
amongst all classes is to be the practice as well as the 
theory of our government. They also affirm that the free 
choice of a system of education for his children is the civil 
right of every subject, and that the choice of a parent is not 
free when the State puts a large bounty upon one system of 
education, and places another under actual disabilities. 
Might it not be well for the English Liberals who have the 
settlement of this question in their hands, to inquire, in the 
first instance, would a claim founded upon this argument 
be just and reasonable prima facie F Assuming that it is so, 
we proceed to state how it has been applied by the Irish 
Catholics to the circumstances of their own case, following 
the usual though not strictly accurate division of educa- 
tion into primary, intermediate, and superior. As far 
as Irish Catholics are concerned, the State has hitherto 
confined its interference to primary education, which it 
administers under the name of the National System, and to 
superior education which it furnishes to those requiring 
it through the University of Dublin and the Queen's Uni- 
versity in Ireland. Concerning the first or National Sys- 
tem of Education, the Irish complain that the State has 
not kept faith with them in its administration, inasmuch 
as certain of the fundamental rules to which they origi- 
nally gave their adhesion have been altered, not only 
without their consent but against their will. If the com- 
plaint be true, will it not be for the English Liberals to con- 
sider whether the matter of it be not simply a wrong, the 
redress of which is a plain duty ? The principal arguments 
however of the opponents of the National System go, not toj 
its reform but to its withdrawal, and to the substitution for^ 
it of a difibrent system. They assert that the education, or 
rather the instruction administered under the National 
Board is, in practice, separate instruction for the immense 
majority of Catholic children, although incumbered b^ 
futile and vexatious restrictions; and that by the substitu- 
tion of a recognized system of separate instruction for th( 
present theory of mixed instruction, nothing stronger or mon 
revolutionary would be done than to acknowledge a state 
of things existing universally in three provinces and pre- 
valent to a great extent in the fourth. They say further, 
that wherever there is more than a pretence of united edu- 
cation, it covers a tampering with the religious belief of th< 
pupils, under favour of that change in the rules to whicl 


1863.] England and Ireland. 313 

reference has been already made. And lastly, even suppos- 
ing the National Board to represent a system of generally 
and substantially united education, they maintain that it is 
the right of the Catholic body in Ireland to withdraw 
from that system, and they claim the same indulgence for 
their preference in this matter, that is granted to the 
English Catholics. We believe we have stated fairly the 
substance of their arguments and pretensions, without any 
indication of a leaning towards either side ; although 
the arguments, whatever be their real strength, have a 
plausible seeming and the pretensions are not apparently 
extravagant. There may be excellent answers where- 
withal to meet them, but we put it to the English Liberals 
whether the only answer yet given either to the complaints 
or to the arguments, or to the pretensions of the Irish 
Catholic body, be not, however politely paraphrased, 
that they cannot be trusted to educate their own children 
as they like best, and that if this privilege be given to the 
English Catholics, it is because they are too few to be dan- 
gerous ? . . 

Upon the question of university education the Irish 
Catholic people believe that they have a still stronger case 
against the government and against the Liberal party. 
The State, they say, has endowed for the members of the 
Established Church in Ireland, (about one-sixth of the 
population,) an university which, considering the number 
of its students, is, out of all proportion, the ricllcst in the 
world. It has also endowed, for the common use of Pro- 
testants and Catholics an university to which the great 
majority of the latter, for reasons of their own, cannot 
resort. They say that if Protestant and Catholic are to 
stand on an equality, the last-named university, as common 
to each, will find its place on both sides of the equation, 
leaving the Protestant university, or Trinity College, unbal- 
anced by any corresponding endowment on the Catholic side. 
But while claiming the absolute right to a similar endnvv- 
ment themselves, they not only, profess themselves willing 
to forego it, but have actually, out of their own monies, 
endowed an university institution for which they now ask a 
charter and no more. In support of this claim they quote 
the analogy of Protestant Prussia andof Protestant America, 
both of which States either support or recognize Catholic 
nniversities. They also rely upon the example of Catholic 
Belgium, which supports one state university and recog- 

314 The Liberal Party in [April 

nizes two free universities ; but more than all, they rely 
upon the precedent established by England herself, in the 
recognition of the Catholic universities of Canada and Aus- 
tralia. Furthermore, in order to show that the desire of 
the Catholic body for such an institution is deliberate and 
general, they point to the fact that nearly all the municipal 
corporations or boards in Ireland have voted a memorial on 
its behalf to the executive ; and they claim for those muni- 
cipalities a high representative character, from the very 
nature of the municipal franchise, which requires for its 
exercise conditions far more special than those belonging 
to the parliamentary franchise. '^T he facts relied on may be 
all inaccurate, and it may be quite possible to show that the 
alleged reasons if specious are nothing more ; but we put it to 
the recollection and to the candour of the English Liberals, 
whether any other answer has been afforded to the facts 
and arguments of the Irish Catholics, than the allegation 
that they are not to be trusted, or perhaps to speak more 
closely, that their religion is not to be trusted. This assu- 
redly, or nothing, is the meaning of what has been frequently 
stated in Parliament, that the Catholic Church represents 
two systems, one religious and the other political — the one 
as comparatively innocent as the other is absolutely danger- 
ous, and that what might be allowed to the members of 
that Church as religionists, must be denied to them as 
politicians. The Irish Catholics affirm their persuasion 
that this is not the real motive for the refusal of the Liberal 
party not only to consult their wishes, but even to glance 
at their arguments. They say that if their religion were 
deemed so politically dangerous as has been stated, it 
would not have received the protection, the respect, and 
even the encouragement which it has met with in the 
colonies, and moro especially in Canada. They express 
their belief that the Liberal government so deals with them 
not upon religious but on national grounds. The Canadian 
Catholics in the opinion of the Irish ar^ conciliated because 
their country lies upon the frontier of a great and aggressive 
power. The Australian Catholics, it is said, are conciliated 
because they are part of the strength of a seU'-reliant and 
somewhat haughty commonwealth in partial dependence 
on the mother country : but the Irish Catholics are left 
outof the account and their wishes treated with contempt, 
because Ireland is too near and England too strong, and 
danger too remote to make conciliation worth the trouble. 


1863.] England and Ireland. 315 

Upon this state of facts the followhig considerations, we 
think, may not unnaturally suggest themselves to the 
Liberals of the empire, first : — whether the proper answer 
has been given to the Irish Catholics: secondly, whether the 
answer that has been given is not calculated to create in 
their minds the unfortunate impression just referred to : 
thirdly, whether some means should not be taken to 
remove that impression: fourthly, whether the case of 
Canada does not suggest the precise means : fifthly, whe- 
ther any Liberal believes in his conscience that the question 
of Mr. Fhelim O'Shaghnessy learning Greek from Professor 
Arnold and chemistry from Professor O'Sullivan, of the 
Catliollc University, or Greek from Professor Nesbitt and 
Chemistry from Professor Blyth of the Queen's University, 
is intrinsically worth one florin to the public peace or public 
service: and lastly, whether Liberals in general do not look 
upon the whole business with very sufficient disgust, wish 
it well ended in some way or another, and feel disposed 
to be once more on good terms with their Irish friends. 

The next question between Irish and English Liberals 
upon which accommodation seems comparatively easy, is 
tliat of the laws for the relief of the poor. Were the more 
irritating question of education in the least degree out of 
the way, we should have so little doubt concerning an 
adjustment of our diflPerences upon the poor-law, that it does 
not occur to us as necessary to review the facts and argu- 
ments connected with that question, taking into account 
more especially the length to which our paper has already 
run. If the Irish and English Liberals, who have really 
so many principles in common upon this question, were to 
approach the discussion of it in that frame of mind, which 
could not fail to be induced by mutual concession u[)on 
other questions, taking care to resist the meddling and 
dictation of gentlemen who have no interest in the subject, 
save the very smallest and meanest interests of party, a 
profitable and friendly settlement would be near at hand. 
The other questions which we noticed as outstanding be- 
tween the Irish and English liberals, namely, those regard- 
ing the tenure of land in Ireland, and those concerning 
the position of the Church Establishment in that country, 
are too large, too complicated, and too unripe to furnish 
many suggestions for immediate settlement. Considera- 
tions of a general character, applicable to those questions 
and favourable to conciliation, do, undoubtedly, present 

Si6 The Liberal Party in [April 

themselves, but tliey apply equally well to all the other 
matters upon which we have ventured to speculate. We con- 
fine ourselves to a mere reference to the opinions formerly 
expressed by Liberal leaders in England because we have 
recently discussed the subject at length (see Vol. li. p. 
308). Upon certain subjects an expression of opinion by a 
public man is deemed equivalent to a pledge that he 
will give effect to that opinion when occasion serves ; and 
conformably to our plan, we might here state the non-liilfil- 
nient of those constructive pledges as the gravamen of the 
charges made by the Irish against the English Liberals. 
We however abstain from so doing. Neither have we 
thought it useful to refer to a topic with which the Irish 
Liberals must be sufficiently familiar; — that is to say, the 
injury which they inflict upon themselves and upon the 
country by their opposition to the only possible government 
that will favour the just claims of Irish Catholics to places of 
trust and profit in the public service. The argument of in- 
convenience has been ably urged in one of the tracts before 
us, and is quite convincing to our own judgment; but it is 
too easily met by considerations of honour, virtue, and public 
spirit ; it raises too many troublesome issues and is too 
generally inoperative where feeling is concerned, to be 
worth discussion or enforcement here. The Liberals of each 
nation, having been immoderate in their estimate of each 
others' strength and virtue, have been proportionately 
estranged by disappointment, and it is absolutely necessary 
as a step to good fellowship that they should abate some- 
what of their expectations and pretensions upon both sides. 
The English Liberals seem to have expected from the Irish 
a gratitude for their really transcendent services, such as 
does not in fact belong to our fallen nature, and a setting 
of faith above works which is not usual in the Catholic body. 
They expected, or seeuK^d to expect that Irish gratitude 
should include not only a hearty recognition of past services, 
and a perfect willingness to repay them in kind as far as pos- 
sible, but an acceptance of all future neglects, slights, and 
shortcomings ; a pretty complete surrender of private judg- 
ment, tastes, and feelings ; unalterable good temper under 
any provocation ; and a faith such as not even the *' Titles 
Act" could stir. They expected or seemed to expect, from 
the working of the great measure of 1829, an immediate 
and perfect transformation of the Irish character, from which 
all the defects ingra,ined by centuries of the worst government 

1863] England and Ireland. 317 

known to history shonld disappear at once and give way to 
all the virtnes and habits of freemen. And lastly, they 
seemed of late to encourage the idea if not the expectation 
that the Irish should relinquish all thought of political 
advancement and all assertion of political right in the ex- 
clusive pursuit of material prosperity. The Irish, on their 
side, were not disposed to check the play of their fancy or 
to set strict limits to their expectations. They too expected 
a measure of gratitude for their services, full, pressed down, 
and flowing over into the lap of the nation, making slight 
account or none of the difficulties which the most liberal 
minded statesmen must encounter in the political temper 
and religious feelings of the English people, whose servant 
and not whose master he considers himself and is. They 
expected to gain by bluster and intimidation what they 
conceived had been denied to reason and to patience, while 
their last and most delusive expectation was, that they 
could buy from their enemies by temporary service, what 
their friends had not given to long companionship, and that 
the irregular manoeuvering of a few would achieve what had 
not been effected by numbers and by leadership. 

For what remains, if any small sacrifice or yielding be 
necessary we would venture to remind the Liberals of Eng- 
land that these are easier to, and comport better with, 
strength and dignity than with weakness. We would in- 
vite them to consider whether without something, and that 
not a little in the way of concession, they can ever hope to 
cultivate in the Irish people that loyalty of feeling which 
does not as yet exist amongst them. We make bold to 
suggest that although the educated and professional classes 
may attach themselves to the constitution by interest, or 
from a scientific appreciation of its merit, and although the 
clergy may teach submission to authority from the pulpits 
and in their catechisms, this is not the loyalty which 
ought to bind the citizen to his institutions * and 
the subject to his prince. We would ask those same 
Liberals concerning the most powerful body of men in 
Ireland, namely, the Catholic Clergy, whether by 
suspicion, by intemperance of language, by the denial to 
them of the place and dignity which they hold among their 
flocks, and by the purpose ostentatiously avowed of creating 
rival interests between laity and clergy, they have not 
driven into hostility a moral force whose adhesion would 
be worth more to the State than its armed force in Ireland 

318 The Liberal Party in England and Ireland. [April 

three times counted. And then recurring to the opinions 
formerly expressed by Liberjil statesmen upon Irish matters 
civil and ecclesiastical, opinions upon which we here rely 
not as subjects of reproach but as land-marks and rally- 
ing points — the mind is instinctively drawn towards those 
favoured colonies with which Ireland would so gladly 
change place, because the policy which Liberal statesmen 
once advocated for her has been applied to them. In 
closing we commend to the study of our brother Liberals a 
few memorable words spoken by one whose authority they 
will not dispute, and upon which recent and even passing 
events have thrown a light which makes them read almost 
like prophecy. The words are Lord Elgin's. 

** I think," he'sajs, ** the comparison of the results which have 
attended the connexion of England and Scotland, and England and 
Ireland, will go very far to show how little a nation gains which 
succeeds in forcing its foreign laws, foreign institutions, and 
foreign religion, upon a reluctant and high-spirited people. 
Oh, gentlemen, I fear, I greatly fear, that we have not yet 
read that most valuable but most painful lesson to its close, for rely 
upon it, that if ever a collision takes place between those two great 
branches of the Anglo Saxon family, which dwell on the opposite 
shores of the Atlantic, that calamity, the most grievous that can 
befall either country, will be attributable to the humiliations which 
in bye-gone times England has sought to impose upon Ireland." 

For the liberals alone in England words such as these 
can have a meaning and a value, and if taken to heart, even 
now the lesson which they convey will not be lost ; but it 
is greatly to be dreaded, that the language and policy 
of the British Liberals towards Ireland, during the last few 
years, if persevered in for a few years longer, will have 
the effect of so carrying forward the tradition of ill will, that 
reconciliation will cease to be possible, and the nations 
on opposite sides of the Cliannel, come once for all to look 
upon each other as natural enemies. 

Art. II. — 1. Calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery in 
Ireland, of the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and 
Elizabeth. Vol. I. Edited by James Morrin, Clerk of Enrolments 
in Chancerj. By authority of the Lords Commissioners of Her 
Majesty's Treasury, under the direction of the Master of the 

1863.] The Public Records of Ireland. 319 

Rolls of Ireland. Dublin : Alex. Thom and Sons, for Her Majesty's 
Stationery Office, 870., 1861, pp. 660. 

2. Calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery in Ireland, 
from the 18th to the 45th of Queen Elizabeth. Vol II. By 
James Morrin, Clerk of Enrolments in Chancery. By authority 
of the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, under the 
direction of the Master of the Rolls of Ireland. Dublin. Printed 
for Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1862, 8vo., pp. 767. 

3. Chancery Offices^ Ireland, Commission. Report of the Commission- 
ers appointed to inquire into the duties of the Officers and Clerks 
of the Court of Chancery, Ireland, with Minutes of Evidence, &c. 
Presented to both Houses of Parliament, by command of Her 
Majesty. Dublin: Thom, 1859, folio, pp. 191. 

THE Anglo-Normans, from their first settlement in 
Ireland at the close of the twelfth century, steadily 
pursued the policy of imposing the legal, juridical and fiscal 
institutions of their nation upon every portion of the island 
which came directly under the dominion of the English 

The receipts and disbursements of the king's Irish gov- 
ernment, its legislative enactments, appointments of high 
officers of state, grants of privileges, titles, territories, and 
the multitudinous details coming within the cognizance of 
the law courts and offices found their appointed places of 
record on the respective vellum rolls, which thus embodied 
vouched and unimpeachable public accounts, and became 
also official registries of the property of the crown and its 
subjects in Ireland. 

Although many Rolls and Records perished during the 
wars previous to the final reduction of Ireland, large numbers 
of them survived these commotions, and in the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries various personages of eminence 
endeavoured to provide public repositories for their secure 
preservation. Notwithstanding such laudable individual 
exertions, the Rolls, Records and public muniments of Ire- 
land were allowed to remain in the irresponsible custody of 
ignorant and unprincipled clerks of the law courts by whom 
numbers of them were purloined ; while others were cast 
into filthy receptacles, where vermin and damp destroyed 
parchments of priceless value, which might have elucidated 
obscure points in British history, or established claims, the 
assertion of which, in the absence of such evidences, has 
■k involved the nugatory expenditure of thousands and the 

320 The Public Records of Iceland, [April 

At length, in compliance with an address of the House 
of Commons in 1810, George III. issued a Commission 
directing steps to be taken for the preservation » arrange- 
ment and more convenient use of the Public? Kecords of 
Ireland, great numbers of which at that time were admitted 
to be unarranged and undescribed, some exposed to 
erasure, alteration and embezzlement, others suffering 
from damp or incurring continual risk of destruction by 
fire. On the Continent such a task would have been con- 
fided to competent archivists and archaeologists, presided 
over by a Minister of state ; but, according to the then 
usual governmental system for Ireland, this commission was 
entrusted to judges and officials, engrossed with other 
public business, and unacquainted with ancient Records or 
historical documents. Fortunately, however, the com- 
missioners obtained the assistance of the late James Hardi- 
man, with other good Irish archivists, who efficiently col- 
lected scattered documents, made various excellent arrange- 
ments, prepared transcripts and calendars, some of which 
were printed and others passing through the press when 
these labours were abruptly terminated by the unexpected 
revocation of the commission in 1830. Since that period 
the subject was repeatedly brought under the notice of gov- 
ernment, and in 1847 commissioners were appointed to in- 
vestigate the state of the Irish Public Records, in con- 
sequence of whose report a bill to provide for the safe 
custody of these documents, was prepared and taken into 
consideration by the Treasury, but subsequently abandoned. 

The condition of the Records was brought before the 
public prominently in 1854 by Mr. Gilbert, Secretary of 
the Irish Archaeological Society, who in the preface to the 
first volume of his ** History of the City of Dublin,'' pub- 
lished in that year, after commenting upon the difficulties 
and obstacles which a critically accurate historic investir 
gator in Ireland is obliged to encounter in researcher 
among unpublished original documents, added the follow- 
ing observations : 

•• It is however, to be hoped that Government will ere long, adopi 
measures for the publication of the ancient unpublished Anglo-Irisl 
Public Eecords, numbers of which, containing important historic 
materials, are now mouldering to decay ; while the unindexed and ui 
classified condition of those in better preservation renders their coq« 
tents almost unavailable to literary investigators. These observa- 
tions apply more especially to the statutes and enactments of the 

1863.] The Public Records of Ireland. 321 

early Anglo- Irish Parliaraflnts, upwards of twelve hundred of wTiich 
still remain uvpiihlished, altliougli the ancient legal institutes of 
England, Scotland, and Wales have been long since printed at the 
public expense. The most valuable illustrations of the history of 
the English government in Ireland are derivable from these Anglo- 
Irish Statutes." — History of Dublin, Vol. 1. p, 14. 

These statements attracted some attention in England 
and abroad, nevertheless a great portion of the public 
muniments of Ireland still remain under the control of 
clerks of the Dublin Four Courts, where, practically inac- 
cessible, they lie covered with filth, becoming obliterated 
from damp, and so little known even to their paid keepers 
that at a recent inquiry into the Irish Court of Chancery, 
conclusive evidence was given that there was only one 
individual connected with these offices capable of deci- 
phering any writing anterior to the reign of Queen Anne, 

The Archivists of Ireland should, in our opinion have 
published a special Memoir on the state of the Anglo-Irish 
Legal Records, by circulating which among the learned of 
the world they might have exculpated themselves from appa- 
rent supineness and undoubtedly brought public opinion at 
home to demand the removal of such a blot on the civiliza- 
tion of the Empire. 

In 1858 the condition of the records in the Rolls' Office, 
Dublin, came under the notice of the Commissioners 
appointed in that year to inquire into the Chancery Offices 
of Ireland, and in their Report to Parliament the docu- 
ments at present under the control of the Master of the 
Rolls in Ireland are noticed as follows : 

" The Public Eecords deposited in the Rolls office [Dublin] are o* 
great antiquity and are extremely valuable ; they contain the root of 
the title of a great portion of the property of the country, and to the 
antiquarian they are most interesting as developing mucli of its earlier 
history. They are so numerous that it would be impossible to enume- 
rate them here [sic], The earliest records commence with the reign of 
King John, and, with some interruptions, are brought down to the 
present time ; suffice it to say, that they contain, amongst many other 
valuable records, the public and private statutes passed in the Irish 
Parliament, commencing in the reign of Henry VI, as also the grants of 
lands under the Acts of Settlement and Explanation, and under 
the Commission of Grace, in the reigns of Charles II. and James II ; 
and the grants from the Commissioners of Forfeited Estates, in the 
reigns of William HI. and Queen Anne. The earlier records, viz., those 
from the reign of King John (1199) to the reign of Queen Anne, 

322 The Public Records oj Ireland. [April. 

(1702) are written, some in Latin and some in Norman-French ; 
the Statutes of the Irish Parliament^ up to the reign of Queen Anne 
are written exclusively in Norman French;* from that period the 
Records are written in the English language. Those written in Latin 
and Norman French are written with abbreviations, single letters 
constantly representing words of two or three syllables, so tliat read- 
ing and translating them requires knowledge of a peculiar character, 
which is only to be acquired by a study of the Records them- 
selves; and although a knowledge of the Latin and French languages 
is necessary as a groundwork for this study, yet a scholar of the 
present day cannot read or translate them.'' — •* There is not any offi.cer 
connected with the Enrolment Department who has acquired this know- 
ledge ; so far as they are concerned the ancient Records are sealed 
hooks." — Report, p. 15. 

From the same report (p. 16) we learn, that " a large 
number of extremely valuable Records, formerly deposited 
in the Chief Remembrancer's Office of the Court of Ex- 
chequer were, on the abolition of that office, transferred 
to a temporary building, and that no sufficient provision 
has been made for their safe keeping." With reference to 
these invaluable Exchequer Records we are informed, 
(Report, p. 138) that the officers of that court ''could not 
read the Rolls in their charge," and at p. 139 the *' Chief 
Clerk of the Court of Chancery" deposed that : 

*' The business connected with ancient records is comparatively 
neglected in this country [Ireland.] Parties come to the [i^o/Zs] 
Office \_Duhlin'] frequently in ^-elation to historical inquiries, hut we have 
not time to attend to them.'* 

Such, according to an official report, is the condition of a 
large portion of the Public Records of Ireland, upon which 
constantly turn questions of high importance as to peerages, 
advowsons, royalties, admiralty rights, fisheries, lands, and 
many other hereditaments. The historic value of docu- 
ments of this class was indicated as follows by a learned 
English archivist, the late Joseph Hunter: 

" I regard the early Records as so many historical writings. Many o^ 
them are actually of the nature of annals and some of them may aspire 
to the character of historical treatises. The question, therefore, of the 
printing of them, is but the question whether certain ancient historical 
writings now existing in but a single copy, shall be given to the world. 
Call them chronicles, and 1 imagine few persons would be found ta Ij 
think that a nation's treasure was not well expended in dififusing 

* See pnge 323 for observations on the italicised passages. 


1863.] The Public Records of Ireland. 323 

and perpetuating the information they contained ; and y«t, hovr much 
superior in the points of information and authenticity are the Close 
and Patent Rolls to many of the chronicles ! How necessary is the 
information which they contain, to support or to correct the infor- 
mation given in the chronicles ! '' 

The adoption in England of the plan for consolidating 
and printing, at the national cost, documents entirely histori- 
cal and literary, furnished Ireland with an unanswerable 
claim for the aggregation, arrangement and calendaring of 
her Public Muniments, which, as already observed, in 
addition to their historic value, are of high importance in 
legal questions of certain classes. 

The lawyers to whom the Chancery inquiry in Ireland 
was entrusted appear, from their published report, to have 
derived all their information upon the Rolls and Records 
from clerks in the Dublin law courts, and thus we may ac- 
count for their having presented to Parliament, under their 
hands, a series of disgraceful blunders, from which they might 
have been saved had competent Irish scholars been consult- 
ed. Of these errors it may suffice here to notice the two which 
we have italicised in our quotation at p. 322, namely, that all 
the Statutes in Ireland were written in Norman French to 
the reign of Queen Anne ;""* and the more startling assertion 

* The *• Commissioners'' are here in error by more than two cen- 
turies ! The practice of enrolling Statutes in French was disused 
in Ireland from A.D. 1496, as may be seen by Sir James Ware's 
Annals of Ireland, 10, Henrj? VII. The entire absurdity of the 
above statement of the " Commissioners** can only be appreciated 
by those who have consulted the elaborate Irish Statutes, including 
the Acts of Settlement and Explanation, passed long previous to the 
reign of Anne, — the mere idea that such were written in any 
language but English is ludicrous in the extreme. Of the second 
statement so authoritatively put forward by the *' Commissioners'* 
above quoted, it may be observed, that a single letter was 
not used to represent an uncommon word of even one syllable, 
without an indicative mark of the contraction. On this point an 
eminent English palaeographer, T. D. Hardy, accurately says : ** The 
most usual mode of abbreviating words is to retain some of the 
letters of which such words consist, and to substitute certain marks 
or symbols in place of those left out.... Several symbols have positive 
and fixed significations." The profoundly learned Benedictines also 
tell us that " dans les manuscrits la plupart des abbreviations 
ancienues sout marquees d'une ligne horizontale ou un peu courbe 

324 The Public Records of Ireland. [April. 

that in old legal Records one letter constantly represents a 
word of three syllables, — a fact novel to students of mediaeval 
brachygraphy, and which, if developed, would soon bring 
forth a plentiful crop of claimants to lands and titles. 

On all questions connected with the ancient Public 
Records of Ireland, there are two bodies pre-eminently 
qualified to pronounce authoritatively — the Royal Irish 
Academy and the Irish Archaeological Society. The 
former the recognized and chartered Governmental guar- 
dian of Irish history and antiquities ; — the latter com- 
prising in its governing body Irish Peers of the highest 
rank and known erudition, together with those eminent 
scholars whose profound and disinterested labours, during 
the past twenty years, have gained for the historic liter- 
ature of Ireland a high position in the world of learning. 

It was presumed that before commencing to print calen- 
dars of the Public Records of Ireland precautions would 
have been taken to ensure the creditable execution of so 
important a work ; and we may here glance at the courses 
adopted under like circumstances in other countries. When 
William, King of the Netherlands, decided on the publica- 
tion of the national muniments of the **Pays bas," he issued 
a special ordinance inviting all the learned men conversant 
with the subject to repair to his Court, to consult there 
upon the plans most desirable to be adopted for efFec- 

sur le mot abrege ; celles des diplomes sont indiqu6es par d'autres 
figures.'' The modes of abbreviating used bj the scribes from the 
eleventh to the fifteenth century have been systematized and classed 
as follow, with great care and labour, by the " Archivistes Pale< 
graphes'' of France: par sigles; par contraction; par suspension 
par signes abbreviatifs ; par petites lettres superieures ; et pz 
lettres abbreviatives. 

Instead of presuming to enlighten the public on ancient docuj 
ments of which they were totally ignorant, the " Chancery Coi 
missioners" might, with advantage to tbeir own reputation on th< 
subject of records, have followed the advice given by an Irisl 
Master of the KoUs to the foreman of a not very intelligent juryj 
who inquired how a bill was to be ignored : " If jou wish to find 
true bill," said Curran, •♦ you will just write on the back of it- 
'''' Ignoramus for self and fellows T Such a bill will certainly 
found against these ** Commissioners,'' in the many parts, both 
the Old and New World, where, thanks to the press, these lines wil 
meet the eyes of readers interested in new *' Curiosities of Literature. 

1863.] The Public Records of Ireland. 325 

tively carrying out the project. This ordinance, dated 
Brussells, 23rd December, 1826, gave the following grati- 
fying and substantial assurance to ** tons les savans nation- 
aux des Pays bas:" 

" lis seront non seulement indemnises de leurs travaux, mais ils 
recevront encore de Nous [Le Roy] des distinctions honorifiques ou 
toute autre recompense. Celui dont les vues apres avoir ete sou- 
mises h un examen special seront reconnnes par Nous les meilleures, 
qui ajant d'ailleurs les capacites necessaires, voudra se charger de 
la partie principale du travail, sera nomme par Nous, sur le pied a 
etablir ulterieurement, Historiograplie du Eoyaume.'' — "Signe Guil- 

The course taken by M. Guizot, when a similar tnsk in 
connection with the archives of France was entrusted to 
him, as Minister of Public Instruction, is exhibited by the 
following passages from the circular issued by him in 3834: 

" Un comite central, a ete institue pres le Ministre de Tinstruc- 
tion publique, et charge specialement de diriger et de surveiller, sous 
ma presidence les details d'une si vaste entreprise. J^ai sollicite la 
co-operation de toutes les Academies et Socieies savantes organisees 
dans les Departments ; fai choisi eiijin^ parmi les personnes les plus capa- 
hlesde me seconder dansces travaux sur tous les points du Royaume. 

*' J'ai la ferme confiance," added Guizot, appealing to the learned 
of France, "que vous ne me refuserez point I'appui que je reclame 
de vous, et que bientot, grace au concours de tous les hommes qui 
s"* inter resent au progres des etudes Jiistoriques, nous parviendrons d 
elever un monument digne de la France et des lumieres de V epoque 

In England, Sir John Romilly, following, to some extent, 
the course successfully pursued on the Continent, confided 
the carrying out of the details of his plans for the most 
part to scholars of known character, of whom it may suf- 
fice to mention here Sir Francis Palgrave, Thomas DufFus 
Hardy, and Robert Lemon, whose names afiPorded a guar- 
antee to the public for the proper execution of the work, so 
far as English history was concerned. 

Without, however, any previous communication with com- 
petent authorities, incredible as it may appear, the serious 
task of editing and giving to the world calendars of an im- 
portant class of the ancient Piibhc Records of Ireland was 
entrusted to a clerk in one of the Dublin Law Courts, 
totally unknown in the world of letters, and who, as he 

The Public Records of Ireland t [April. 

himself avers, hag so far performed the work at '* inter- 
vals snatched from the labours of official duties.'** 

The result may be readily conjectured. At great ex- 
pense to the nation, two large volumes have already been 
printed, the character of which leaves us no alternative 
but to lay before the public an analysis of their contents ; 
and, by emphatically protesting against their being re- 
ceived as the work of a recognised Irish archivist, we hope 
to save the historic literature of Ireland from being 
seriously prejudiced in the eyes of the learned world. 

With this object we shall proceed to demonstrate that the 
prefaces to these two volumes, although purporting to be 
the result of lengthened original documentary researches, 
are in the main, abstracted verbatim, without acknowledg- 
ment, from previously published works : that the portions 
of the prefaces not so abstracted are replete with errors : 
that the annotations are of the same character with the 
prefaces ; that the prefaces evince ignorance even of the 
nature of Patent and Close Kolls ; that the Calendar or 
body of the work, as here edited, is in general unsatis- 
factory and defective for either historical or legal purposes ; 
that the title-pages are incorrect, as the volumes do 
not include a single Close Roll ; that, although now given 
to the world as an original work, portions of these Calen- 
dars were before printed, and the entire prepared for the 
press by the Irish Record Commission, more than thirty 
years ago. 

We fully anticipate the incredulity with which the 
reader may at first receive our assertion that of the prefaces, 
occupying 123 pages of these two volumes, seven-eighths 
here given as the result of original labour and research^ 
have been abstracted verbatim without the slighter 

* Preface to Calendar of Patent and Close Rolls, Vol. i. p. xxi 
The learned Gerard protested in the following terms against tl 
employment of any but archaeologists of acknowledged competen( 
upon the historic documents of Belgium: 

*^Si le Gouvernement chargeait d'autres personnes que les membrc 
de la classe d'histoire, de la redaction de cet important ouvrage, 
ne resterait a ceux-ci, declares incapables par ce seul fait, d'auti 
ressource que de renoncer au titre d'Academicien, deveuu ignomij 
nieux pour eux, et de regretter le temps qu'ils auraieut jusqu'i( 
employe gratuitement et inutilement a I'etude de Thistoire Bel 
gique." Memoire par M. le Baron de Reifienherg sur la ptiblication 
monumens indedits de Vhistoire Belgique, 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


ficknowledgment from ' previously printed books; the 
remainder being composed of partly admitted quotations 
and inacurate original observations. 

The chief writers whose hibours have been thus ap- 
propriated without any acknowledgment are Henry 
J. Mason; William Lynch; Sir W. Betham ; Mr. Las- 
celles ; James Hardiman ; J. C. Erck ; and Mr. Gilbert, 
author of the History of the City of Dublin, all well known 
in connection with ^nglo-Irish Archivistic research. 

To exhibit fully the almost incredible freedom with 
which these appropriations have been made, we shall 
place ^ a few specimens in parallel columns, carefully 
selecting for this object only such portions as are now 
published in these prefaces as the original composition of 
the editor of the Calendars. Our first illustration shall be 
from the ** Essay on the Antiquity and Constitution of 
Parliaments in Ireland," by Henry Joseph Monck Mason, 
LLD., Dubhn: 1820: 

H. J. MASON, A.D. 1820. 
*' The extent of territory, under 
the influence of English domina- 
tions, materially varied at dif- 
ferent times, and of consequence, 
the extent of country represent^ 
ed in the Irish Parliaments hold- 
en by the respective English 
Viceroys, was not always the 
same; I will however venture to 
assert and it is suflSlcient for the 
purpose to demonstrate, that 
representation in Irish Parlia- 
ments was at all times co-exten- 
sive, not merely with the English 
Pale, but with whatever portion 
of the Irish territory acknow- 
ledged a subjection to English 
dominion, and acquiesced in its 
legislation. This however has 
been perversely denied, and Sir 
John Davies is tempted to assert, 
that the parliament of 1613, was 
the first general representation 
of the people which was not con- 
fined to the Pale. Tlie reason- 
which induced Sir John Davies to 

CALENDAR, a.d. 1863. 
"The extent of territory under 
the influence of the English 
domination materially varied at 
different times ; and, in con- 
sequence, the extent of country 
represented in the Irish parlia- 
ments, holden by the English 
Viceroys was not always the 
same ; I may venture to presume, 
tiiat representation in Irish par- 
liaments was at all times co- 
extensive, not merely with the 
Pale, but with whatever portion 
of the Irish territory acknowledg- 
ed a subjection to Englisli 
dominion and acquiesced in its 
legislation. This however has 
been denied, and Sir John 
Davies is tempted to assert, that 
the Parliament of 1613, was 
the first general representation 
of the people, which was not 
* confined to the Pale.' The 
reasons which induced Sir John 
Davies to rush at this conclusion 
was his anxiety to flatter the 



The Public Records of Ireland. 


give this turn to liis speech, washis 
inexcusable anxiety to flatter the 
vanity of James I, a prince ex- 
ceedingly proud, and particularly 
vain of his government of Ire- 
land. It afforded to him the 
greatest degree of gratification to 
be told that he was the father of 

vanity of James I., a prince 
proud and vain of his govern- 
ment in Ireland. It afforded 
him the greatest degree of satis- 
faction, to be told that he was 
the founder of a constitution in 
this country." — Calendar^ Vol, ii. 

p. XXX. 

a constitution in this country." — 
Essay on Parliaments^ 1820, p. 22. 

To the foregoing we may add the following specimens 
of the uses made of other portions of Mr. Mason's 
work : 

H. J. MASON, A.D. 1820. 

** The Pale, which was in its 
commencement very indistinctly, 
if at all, defined, became in the 
15th century to be at once better 
known as the English part of the 
Island, and more accurately 
marked; until at length, an 
act of parliament was passed, 
(the 10, Hen. VII. c. 34), for 
making a ditch to enclose the 
four shires, to which the Englisli 
dominion was, at this time near- 
ly confined." — Ih. Appendix xi. 

*' In the 18th of this prince, we 
find two viceroys actually con- 
tending for authority, the one 
holding a Parliament at Naas, 
the other at Drogheda, and the 
king giving his assent to some of 
the enactments of each. Tin's 
appears from the Close Roll, 19, 
Edw. IV."— 76. p. 24. 

CALENDAR, a.d. 1862. 

** The Pale, which was in it^ 
commencement very indistinctly 
if at all defined, became in the 
fifteenth century better known 
as the English part of the Island, 
and more accurately marked, 
until at length an Act of Parlia- 
ment was passed, (10, Henry 
VII., c. 34), for making a ditch to 
enclose the four shires to which 
the English dominion was at 
this time nearly confined.'' — 
Vol. ii., p. xxxi. 

" In the 18th of Edward IV., 
two viceroys of the king 
actually contended for authority: 
the one holding a parliament at 
Naas, the other at Drogheda, and 
the king giving his assent 
some of the enactments of eachJ 
This appears from the Close Roll 
of the 19, Edward lYr—Ihi 

Among the writers who during the present centur^ 
applied to the study of Anglo-Irish Records, the lat< 
William Lynch stands pre-eminent, for having combinec 
profound erudition in this branch with refined and elegant 
philosophic criticism. Many of the best pages of the Calen- 
dars now before us have been, as may be seen from the fol- 
lowing example, abstracted, without the slightest referenc< 
to Lynch, from his *' View of the Legal Institutions, Here- 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


ditary'Offices, and Feudal Baronies, established in Ireland 
during the reign of Henry 11/' London: 1830: 

W. LYNCH, AD. 1830. 
*• By letters patent under the 
great seal, and dated in 'full 
Parliament at Kilkenny,' the 
11th of July, in the 19th year of 
his reign, King Edward certified 
(amongst other things) that at 
Easter *in the 13th year of his 
reign, there were certain ordi- 
nances and statutes made in a 

Parliament held at Dublin to 

the honour of God and of Holy 
Church, the profit of his people, 
and the maintenance of his peace,' 
...and that the statutes and ordi- 
nances so made and enacted 

were afterwards confirmed by a 
Parliamentassembledat Kilkenny, 
all which ordinances and statutes 
therefore so made and ordained, 
the king hereby now accepts and 
ratifies for himself and his heirs, 
and for ever confirms. 

"At that period there existed 
no statute rolls ; and whatever 
copies of ancient statutes still 
remain are principally to be 
found amongst the records of 
the King's court, where such 
statutes were immediately sent 
for the guidance of the judges 
and their ofiicers; as also 
amongst the archives of the 
ecclesiastical and lay corpora- 
tions; namely, to the former 
that they might be promulgated 
in the cathedral and parochial 
churches by the archbishops, &c., 
as is expressly commanded by 
the statutes 2nd, Edw. II.; 
and to the latter that, they 
should be read and published by 
mayors and other officers within 
their corporate liberties, as was 
directed in the instance of those 

CALENDAR, a.d. 1832. 
" By letters patent under the 
great seal, and dated in * full 
Parliament at Kilkenny,' the 
11th July, in the nineteenth 
year of his reign. King Edward 
eertified that, at Easter in the 
thirteenth year of his reign, 
there were certain ordinances 
made in a parliament held at 
Dublin, * to the honour of God 
and of Holy Church, the profit of 
his people, and the maintenance 
of his peace;' and that the 
statutes and ordinances so made 
and enacted were afterwards con- 
firmed by a parliament held at 
Kilkenny ; all which ordinances, 
therefore, so made and ordained, 
the King now accepts and for 
ever confirms. 

*'At that period there existed 
no statute Rolls, and whatever 
copies of ancient statutes still 
remain are principally to be 
found amongst the records of 
the, law courts, where such sta- 
tutes were immediately sent 
for guidance of the judges and 
their officers, as also amongst 
the archives of the ecclesiastical 
and lay corporations ; to the 
former that they might be 
promulgated in the catliedral 
and parochial churches, by the 
archbishops, as is commanded by 
the statute of 2° Edward II., 
and to the latter, that they 
should be read and published, by 
mayors and other officers within 
their corporate liberties, as was 
directed in the instance of those 
very statutes now under consider- 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


very statutes now under consider- 
ation. For this latter purpose a 
record was made of the statutes 
of the 13th Edw. II, by exempli- 
fication under the great seal, 
dated the 15th of May in that 
year, whereby the king recited 
and exemplified those statutes, 
and sent them to the Mayor and 
Bailififs of Dublin, commanding 
them to cause the same to be 
read, published, and firmly main- 
tained throughouttheir bailiwick. 
This exemplification was first 
however entered in the Chief 
Remembrancer's office, amongst 
the other ancient statutes there 
preserved, and the record then 
made is still extant in that de- 
partment." — View of Legal In- 
stitutionSy 1830, p. 54. 

Many passages verbatim from the same work as in the 
following instances, are given as original compositions in 
these prefaces, without any mention whatever of the source 
from which they have been derived :— ^ 

ation. For this latter purpose a 
record was made of the statutes 
of the 13° Edward II., by ex- 
emplification under the great 
seal, whereby the king recited 
and exemplified those statutes, 
and sent them to the mayor and 
bailiff's of Dublin commanding 
them to cause the same to be 
read, published and firmly main- 
tained throughout tlieir baili- 
wick. This exemplification was 
first, however, recorded in the 
Exchequer amongst the other 
ancientstatutes there preserved.*' 
— Calendar, Vol. ii., p. xlvi. 

W.LYNCH, A.D. 1830. 
" Chief Rememb. Roll, Dub. 9, 
E. 3. To this parliament also, 
was summoned the Bishop of 
Emly, and he absenting him- 
self was amerced in the same 
sum [of 100 marks]; but on his 
petition the cause of absence 
■was enquired into by inqui- 
sition, and it was found that 
on the Vigil of the Nativity 
of our Lord, next before the 
day of that Parliament, as the 
Bishop was riding towards tlie 
Church of Emly, his palfrey 
stumbled and threw him to the 
earth, whereby he was grievously 
wounded, and had three of the 
ribs on his right side fractured ; 
in consequence during the whole 
time of that Parliament he lay 

CALENDAR, a,d. 1862. 
"We find on the Memoranda 
Roll of the 9° Edward III., 
that the Bishop of Emly was 
summoned to a parliament and 
absenting himself, was fined. On 
his petition, the cause of his ab- 
sence was enquired into, and 
was ascertained by inquisitioi 
that on the Vigil of the Nativitj 
as the Bishop was riding towarc 
the church, his palfrey stumblej 
and threw him on the eartl 
whereby he was grievousl 
wounded, and had three of hi 
ribs fractured ; in consequence 
during the whole time of tl 
parliament, he lay so sick thj 
his life was despaired of, ai 
without peril of his body 
could not approach the parlii 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


ment ; whereupon the King 
having consideration of the Bish- 
op's misfortune, and wishing to 
show him special grace, ordered 
him to be exonerated and dis- 
charged from the fine." — Vol, ii.. 
Preface, p. xlvii. 

so sick that his life was despaired 
of, and without peril of his body 
he could not approach the said 
Parliament; whereupon the King, 
having consideration of the 
Bishop's misfortune, and wishing 
to show him special grace, orders 
him to be exonerated and dis- 
charged from the fine." — p. 57. 

**Inthe year 1351 a Parlia- 
ment sat at Dublin, and several 
Statutes were there enacted.... 
Those statutes are enrolled, 
though like many others, they 
never have been published. By 
one of them the English Statute 
for regulating the fee of the 
Marshal is adopted and ordered 
to be followed in Ireland ; and 
by another the English statute 
of labourers is accepted, and the 
same ordered to be sent by writ 
to each sheriff, seneschal, mayor, 
&c., for the purpose of being 
proclaimed and put in force.'' — 
lb. p. 59. 

*' In the Primate's registry at " Two writs of Parliamentary 
Armagh, are entered two writs of Summons, issued in the thirty- 
parliamentary summons issued sixth and forty-first years of the 
in the 36th and 41st year of reign of Edward 111., are now in 
this reign." — p. 60. the Primate's Registry in Ar- 

magh.'' — Ib.i ib. p. xlvi. 

' A volume entitled " Dignities Feudal and Parliamer- 
tary," published at Dublin, in 1830, by the late Sir William 
Betham, has been largely used to fill these prefaces, which 
however contain no reference either to this work or to its 
author ; and various pages in the following style are given 
to the world as new original composition : ^ 

*• In the year 1351 a Parlia- 
ment sat at Dublin, and several 
Statutes were there enacted. 
Those Statutes are enrolled, 
though, like many others, they 
have never been published. 

" By one the English Statute 
of Labourers is accepted, and the 
same ordered to be sent by writ 
to each sheriff, seneschal, and 
mayor, for the purpose of being 
proclaimed." — 76., ib. 

BETHAM, A.D. 1830. 
"Matthew Paris states, that 
* Henry the Second granted the 
laws of England to the people of 
Ireland, which were joyfully re- 
ceived by them all, and con- 
firmed by the king, having first 
received their oaths for their ob- 

CALENDAR, a.d. 1862. 
" Matthew Paris states, that 
* Henry the Second granted the 
laws of England to the people of 
Ireland, which were joyfully 
received by them all, and con- 
firmed by the King, having first 
received their oaths for their 


The Public Records of Ireland, 


s^rvatlon of them.* It is probable 
that this was a grant to all the 
Irish who choice to adopt it; but 
as O'Conor, King ofOonnaught, 
O'Neill, King of Kinelowen, or 
Tyrone, O'Donel of Tyrconnell, 
and other Irish chiefs, became 
but vassal princes, * reges sub eo 
ut homines sui,' paying to the 
English sovereign annual tribute 
in acknowledgment of his sove- 
reignty, it is not probable that 
they would or could immedi- 
ately change the laws and cus- 
toms of their territories, per 
saltum ; and we find that by a 
writ of 6 John, no one was to be 
impleaded for the chattels or 
even the life, of an Irishman, 
until after Michaelmas term in 
that year ; therefore, if the boon 
was general, it must then have 
been considered forfeited by the 
frequent attempts made by the 
native Irish, to shake off the Eng- 
lish yoke, after Henry's return 
to England. The writ of the 
6th of John, however, seems to 
imply, that after fifteen days of 
Michaelmas, 1205, the benefits of 
the laws extended to all the Irish, 
as well as the English, although 
in the reigns of Henry the Third 
and his successors, the records 
show that all the Irish had not, 
during those periods, the benefit 

observation of them.* It is pro- 
bable this was a grant to all the 
Irish who chose to adopt it ; but 
as O'Conor King of Connaught, 
O'Neill, King of Kinelowen, or 
Tyrone, O'Donell, of Tyrconnell, 
and other Irish chiefs, became 
but vassal princes, * reges sub 
eo ut homines sui,' paying to the 
English sovereign annual tribute 
in acknowledgment of his sove- 
reignty, it is not probable that 
they would immediately change 
the laws or customs of their ter- 
ritories ; and we find by a writ 
of the 6" of King John, that no 
one was to be impleaded for the 
chattels, or even the life of an 
Irishman, until after Michaelmas 
term in that year ; therefore, if 
the boon was general, it must 
then have been considered for- 
feited by the frequent attempts 
made by the native Irish to shake 
off the English yoke after Henry's 
return to England. The writ of 
the 6° of John, however, seems 
to imply, that after Michaelmas, 
1205, the benefit of the laws ex- 
tended to all the Irish as well as 
the English, although in the 
reigns of Henry III. and his suc- 
cessors, the records show that 
the Irish had not, during those 
periods, the benefit of the laws of 
England.'' — Calendar, Vol. ii, lii, 

of the laws of England." — Digni- 
ties, Feudal, ^c. 1830, p. 228-9 

A further view of the sources whence the best portions 
of these Prefaces have been derived, is afforded by the fol- 
lowing, also verbatim from the same work of Sir VV. 
Betham, without the slightest acknowledgment, an 
printed as original in the Calendars : 

BETHAM, A.D. 1830. 
" The earliest mention of a par- 
liament by name, on the records 

CALENDAR, a.d. 1862. 

" The earliest mention of 

Parliament, by name, in the re- 




The Public Records of Ireland. 


of Ireland, is on the great EoU 
of the Pipe, of 10 to 12 Edward 

" In the 13th year of Edward 
I. the following memorandum 
is enrolled in the Red Book 
of the Exchequer of Ireland, 
and is also to be found on the 
Close Roll of the same year, 
Glaus. 13, Edw. I, m. 5, dorso. 
The first are declared to be sta- 
tutes enacted by the king and 
his council, the latter enacted 
in the king^s parliament, id est, 
the king's court of justice, which 
were transmitted to Ireland, to 
be there observed as the law, al- 
though parliaments, or assem- 
blies called parliaments, were 
held previously in that country. 

"An entry in the Black Book 
of the Church of the Holy Trini- 
ty, Dublin, of the year 1297, the 
26th of king Edward the First, 
[is] of the first importance in 
showing the component parts of 
the parliament held in Dublin in 
that year.''— p;?. 258, 9, 61. 

" The legal institutions of Ire- 
land were avowedly formed on 
the English model ; in other 
words, the English laws and cus- 
toms were introduced into Ire- 
land, with the English rule. 
The judges, in both countries, 
have ever laid it down, as an ac- 
knowledged and settled dictum, 
that a perfect identity of the 
common laws and legal customs 
of England has existed in all 
ages, among the Anglo-Irish, 
and those Irish who resided 
within the English Pale and 
were lieges of the king.'' — p. 

"Phillip le Bret, sheriff of Dub- 
lin, was allowed in his account 
twenty shillings, which he paid 

cords of Ireland, is to be found 
in the great Roll of the Pipe, 
of 10" to 12" Edward I. 

" In the Red Book of the Ex- 
chequer, and on the Close Roll 
of the 13" Edward I, is the fol- 
lowing memorandum: — 'Quod 
die Veneris, &c. Rot Claus, 13 
Ed. I, m. 5. The first are de- 
clared to be Statutes enacted by 
the King and his Council ; the 
latter enacted in the King's Par- 
liament, id est, the King's Court 
of Justice, which were transmit- 
ted to Ireland, to be observed 
there as the law, although Par- 
liaments, or assemblies called 
Parliaments, were held previous- 
ly in that country. 

" In the Black Book of Christ^s 
Church, of the 26th of Edward 
I, 1297, we find described the 
component parts of the Parlia- 
ment held in Dublin in that 
year." — Vol. ii. p. liii. 

" The legal institutions of Ire- 
land were avowedly formed on 
the English model, — in other 
words, the English laws and cus- 
toms were introduced into Ire- 
land with the English rule. The 
judges, in both countries, have 
ever laid it down as an acknow- 
ledged and settled dictum, that 
a perfect identity of the com- 
mon laws and legal customs of 
England has existed in all ages 
among the Anglo-Irish, and 
those Irish who resided within 
the Pale, and were lieges of the 
king.'' — Ibid. p. lii. 

"Phillip De Bret, Sheriff of 
Dublin, was allowed in his ac- 
count twenty shillings, which h© 


The Public Records of Ireland, 


to various messengers employed 
to summon a parliament." — 
Dignities Feudal, ^c, 1830, p. 290. 

had paid various messengers 
employed to summon a parlia- 
ment to meet at Dublin, in Hil- 
ary term, 2° Edward HI."— 
Calendar, Vol. ii., p. xliv. 

" In the Rolls Office is a mem- 
brane containing three statutes 
of the parliament held at York, 
9° Edward III, transmitted /or 
observation in Ireland," — Ibid, 

« In the Rolls Office, Dublin, 
is a membrane containing three 
statutes of the parliament held 
at York, 9, Edward III, trans- 
mitted/or observation in Ireland,'* 
Ibid, p. 292. 

The following appropriation of the ideas and facts of 
Mr. Lascelles, editor of the ** Liber Muneium Publicorum 
Hibernise/' without any reference to that gentleman or to 
his work, may perhaps be justified by a reasoning similar 
to that used in the " Critic," by *' Puflf," who, on being 
reminded that he had stolen the entire of a famous passage 
from ** Othello,'^ declared it to be of ** no consequence ;" 
and added that ** all that can be said is, that two people 
happened to hit on the same thought — and Shakespeare 
made use of it-first — that's all:*' 

CALENDAR, A.n. 1862. 
*' But the principal occasion 
of the disappearance of the re- 
cords is not without its consola- 
tion, for it affords hope that all 
"whose disappearance is regretted 
are not irrecoverably lost ; it is 
this (and Prynne, in his preface 
to Cotton's Tower Records has 

LIBER MUNERUM, a.d. 1830. 

"But the principal occasion 
of the disappearance of the re- 
cords is not without its consola- 
tion ; for it affords hope that all 
•which are regretted are not irre- 
vocably lost. It is this (and 
Prynue in his preface to Cotton's 
Tower Records has some curious 
observations on a similar prac- 
tice, which from time to time 
prevailed too much even in 
England): — The principal keep- 
ers of records have been often 
or commonly men of high 
office, or of great family and 
other influence. The Seymour 
family, the Leinster, the Down- 
shire, the Orrery, &c., &c. have 
filled the offices of masters of 
the rolls of chancery, or of prin- 
cipal officer over that or some 
other record- treasury. In that 
office it was not unusual for a 
roll to be often sent for to their 

some curious observations on a 
similar practice, which from time 
to time prevailed to a great ex- 
tent, even in England), it was 
not unusual for a Roll or record 
to be sent for to the private 
house of the Master or principal] 
Keeper of Records, where it bul 
too often remained. 


The Public Records of Ireland, 


prirate houses, where they but 
too often have remained. The 
late Primate of Ireland told 
rae he had it from Lord Hert- 
ford, that there were in his 
private-evidence room certain 
records of Cliancerj. Probably 
similar discoveries might be 
made in the evidence rooms of 
the other great families who have 
held office particularly in that 
of the Marquis of Ormond.'' — 
Vol. i. p, 2. cot. 2. 

"We may hence account for 
the wealth of the Chandos Pa- 
pers, and those in the possession, 
100 years ago, of Sterne, the 
then Bishop of Clogher, so often 
mentioned in Bishop Nicholson's 
historical library. Of these. 
Madden and Sterne's collections 
were given to the college of 
T. C. D. where they may still be 
seen. And hence we may ac- 
count for the Carew Papers at 
Lambeth, and many MSS. in the 
Cottonian, Harleian, and Lans- 
down collections of State 
Papers at the Museum ; not to 
mention those at Oxford, brought 
there during the civil wars, when 
Charles I. carried on the govern- 
ment, and held Parliaments, in 
that city. Lord Orrery's library 
at Christ Church, Oxford, should 
contain some i valuable manu- 
scripts and records." — lb. p. 3, 
col. i. 

The late James Hardiman^justly'deserved to be styled 
the tounder of the modern accurate school of Anglo-Irish 
documentary learnmg. Of his acquirements as an histo- 
rian and archivist a lasting monument is extant in his 
admirable edition of the famous '' Statute of Kilkenny " 
the original French text of which with an English version 
copious notes and illustrative documents was published 
under his care in 1843, by the Irish Archeeological Society 

"It is very well known that in 
the private muniment-room of 
the late Lord Hertford, * cer- 
tain records of Chancery' were 

** Similar discoveries might be 
made in the muniment-rooms of 
the other great families who 
have held office, particularly in 
that of the Marquis of Ormond." 
Calendar, Vol. ii. p. viii. 

" We may thus account for 
the wealth of the Chandos Pa- 
pers, and those in possession, 
more than a century since, of 
Sterne, then Bishop of Clogher, 
so often mentioned in Nichol- 
son's Historical Library. Of 
these, Madden and Sterne's col- 
lections were given to the Col- 
lege of T. C. D., where they now 
remain : and hence we may ac- 
count for the Carew MS. [sic] at 
Lambeth,* and those at Oxford, 
brought there during the civil 
wars, when Charles the First 
carried on the government, and 
held Parliaments in that city, 
and those contained in Lord Or- 
rery's Library at Christ Church." 
— Calendar, Vol. i. p. xii. 

336 The Public Records of Ireland, 


with the following title : " A Statute 
year of King Edward III. enacted >i the fortieth 
held in Kilkenny, A. D. 1367, before ^^ a parliament 
Clarence, Lord Lieutenant ot Irelan/ Lionel, Duke ot 
from a manuscript in the library of \}> ^If w first prnited 
bishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth.pis Grace the Arch- 
this work transferred verbatim . ^\ the portions of 
the " Calendars,'' without any m into the Pi;efaces to 
following may serve as examplo^^^ntion ot Hardiman, the 

HARDIMAN, a.d. 1843. / 

** la an old book of reference 
A.T>. 1634, preserved in the Roll^ 
Office, Dublin, I find the foll<?«' 
ing entry: *Rotul, 13" Ed. IIW' 
Parliament roll in My Lo /• ^ 
mate's hands.* If he re' ^^7* 
this roll, it has been sir'^^r^^d 
for it is not at pres'>^c6 ^^st, 
found there. From ^'^t to be 
however, it may be i *^^3 entry, 
other rolls migbn^erred, that 
likewisedborrowe^i have been 
among them, 4; and perhaps, 
the original /^at containing 
Statute of K/nroIment of the 
treatise * Of A^nny. For in a 
raent of A^^ ^^^^ Establish- 
Parliame»^nghsh Laws, and 

Ireland. ^^ ^^ ^^e Kingdom of 

written ^October 11th, 1611, 

"wards^^J James Ussher, after- 

jl; y' Archbishop of Armagh,' 

^t,/s stated, that 'The Acts of 

zre Parliament holden at Kil- 
kenny, the first Thursday in 
Lent, 40th Edw, III., are to be 
seen among the Rolls of Chan- 
cery, and are commonly known 
by the name of the Statutes of 
Kilkenny.' " — page xix. 

*' Amongst the numerous Irish 
records lost by time and accident, 
the Statute of Kilkenny has 
also disappeared ; for the oldest 
Statute Roll now extant, is one 
of the fifth year of Henry VI., 
A.D. 1426. Bishop Nicholson, in 

CALENDAR, a.d. 1863. 
" In an old book of reference 
of the date of Charles I., pre- 
served in the Rolls' Office, it is 
stated that a Parliament Roll of 
the 13° of Edward the Third, was 
in the Lord Primate's hands. 
This Roll is not now to be found. 
From this we may presume that 
other records have been abstract- 
ed. We read in Archbishop 
Usher's treatise of the first es- 
tablishment of English laws and 
Parliaments in Ireland, that the 
* Acts of the Parliament holden 
at Kilkenny, the first Thursday 
in Lent, 40° Edward III, are to 
be found among the Rolls of 
Chancery, and are commonly 
known as the * Statutes of Kil- 
kenny.' " — Vol, ii. Preface, p. ix. 

" Amongst the numerous re- 
cords lost by time and accident 
the latter Statutes have also dis- 
appeared; for the oldest Statute 
Roll now to be found is one of 
the 5th of Henry VL, a.d. 1426; 
and Bishop Nicholson, in his 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


" Plowden states that in his 
time it was * preserved in the 
Castle of Dublin;' but it is not 
now to be found amongst the 
records of that depositorj. 

his Irish Historical Library, * Historical Library,' states * that 
states, that * the Statute of Kil- this Statute has long been lost 
kenny is, and long has been, out of the Parliamentary records 
lost out of the Parliamentary of the kingdom.* 
Records of this Kingdom ;' and 
it does not satisfactorily appear, 
that it has been seen by any 
writer on Irish affairs since the 
days of Ussher, Davies and Ware. 
Mr. Plowden, one of our latest 
historians, has stated, that in his 
time it was 'preserved in the 
Castle of Dublin.' But this was 
mere conjecture, which the writer 
from personal research can 
negative. After diligent search, 
however, they have not been 
found in the place alluded to, or 
in any other repository in Ire- 

"See Serjeant Mayart's answer 
to Sir Richard Bolton's De- 
claration, in Hibernica, where 
it is stated, that many of the 
ancient records of Ireland, in 
troublesome times, were trans- 
mitted into England ; and those 
which remained in Ireland were 
put up together in one place, in 
the times of rebellion ; and after 
taken out by the officers of 
the several courts, but not duly 
sorted." — Ih. pages xviii, xix. 

Another extract from the same work of Hardiman will 
illustrate how the original observations and conclusions m 
these ** Prefaces" have been derived. In the followmg 
instance the point was not seen of the italics by which the 
acute Hardiman indicated that Bishop Nicholson seriously 
erred in designating Sir George Carew the writer mstead 
of the collector of the ** Carew Manuscripts," and also m 
ascribing to him the authorship of the work entitled 
"Pacata Hibernia:" a history of the wars which he carried 
on in Munster against the Irish during the closing years 
of the reign of Elizabeth : 

" Serjeant Mayart states that 
' many of the ancient records of 
Ireland, in troublesome times, 
were transmitted to England; 
and those which remained in Ire- 
land were put together in one 
place in times of rebellion, and 
after taken out by the officers of 
the several courts, but not duly 
sorted." — Calendar , Vol. ii,i?. ix. 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


HARDIMA.N, a.d. 1843. 

"This passage written nearlj 
200 years ago, by [Serjeant 
Majart] one of the highest legal 
authorities of the time, is valua- 
ble as regards the records of 
this Country. In it we discover 
the reason, why several records 
relating to Ireland, are now to be 
found in London, viz. in the Tow- 
er, the Chapter-house at West- 
minster {and other repositories 
there ; in all which places they 

are totally useless Though 

useless there they might prove 
useful at home, if only for his- 
torical purposes ; and, therefore, 
and as they belong to Ireland, 
they ought to be restored. 

**The Irish charge Sir George 
Carew with having taken away 
and destroyed many of their an- 
ancient records. His collection in 
the Lambeth Library has been 
thus strangely described by Bi- 
shop Nicholson. * This great and 
learned Nobleman wrofe other 
books (besides Pacata Hib.) re- 
lating to the affairs of Ireland ; 
forty-two volumes whereof, are in 
the Archbishop of Canterbury's 
Library at Lambeth." — Statute 

CALENDAH, a.d. 1862^ 
** Thus we know that numerous 
records relating to Ireland are 
now to be found in various re- 
positories in London, where 
they are totally useless. Those 
records, though useless in Lon- 
don, would prove useful at home, 
if only for historical purposes; 
and, as they belong to Ireland, 
they ought to be restored. 

'* Sir George Carew has been 
charged with having taken away 
and destroyed some of the an- 
cient Irish records, and his col- 
lection in the Lambeth Library 
is thus described by Nicholson : 
*This great Nobleman wrote 
other books besides the ' Pacata 
Hibernia,' relating to the affairs 
of Ireland, forty-two volumes 
whereof are in the Archbishop's 
library at Lambeth.' "— Fb?. ii. 
p. ix. 

of Kilkenny J 1843, p_ xlx. 

Of Irish historical works produced within the last ten 
years, we beHeve that none can be pointed ont as exhibiting^ 
a larger amount of original research among unpublished 
ancient Anglo-Irish legal records than the volumes of Mr, 
Gilbert upon the History of the City of Dublin, the value 
of which was publicly recognized by the Royal Irish Acade- 
my awarding their prize gold medal to the author. Of the 
unacknowledged use made in the Prefaces to the Calendars 
of this gentleman's labours we subjoin some instances : 

GILBERT, A.D. 1854. CALENDAR, a.d. 1862. 

" An illustration of the exist- *• Proceedings by the ancient 
ence of serfdom in Ireland at the writ de nativis are to be found 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


commencement of the fourteenth 
century is furnished by a pro- 
ceeding recorded on a Memoran- 
dum Roll of the 31st year of 
Edward I, from which it appears 
that the prior of the Convent of 
the Holy Trinity, Dublin, claimed 
William 'Mac Kilkeran as his 
serf (' nativum suum'), alleging 
that Friar William de Grane, a 
former Prior was seized of Mo- 
riertagh MacGilkeran, his great 
grandfather, as of fee, and in 
right of his church, in the time 
of peace, during the reign of 
Henry III, taking Marchet, such 
as giving his sons and daughters 
in marriage ; that Moriertagh 
had a son Dermot, who had a son 
named Kirith, who also had a son 
Ririth, and said William; and 
Kirith junior had Simon, wlio 
acknowledged himself to be the 
serf of the Prior, in whose favor 
judgment was'accordingly given." 
—Hist, of Dublin, Vol i, pp. 103-4 
** The Manuscripts which Sir 
James Ware had collected with 
great trouble and expense were 
brought to England by Lord 
Clarendon in the reign of 
James IT., and afterwards sold 
to the Duke of Chandos, who 
was vainly solicited by Swift in 
1734 to restore them to Ireland. 
On the Duke's death the docu- 
ments passed to Dean Milles, 
who bequeathed them to the Bri- 
tish Museum, where they now 
form the principal portion of 
the collection known as the 
Clarendon Manuscripts.'' — ib. p. 

*' In 1695, after the Wiiliamite 
Legislature had passed an enact- 
ment annulling all the proceed- 
ings of the Irish Parliament of 
James II, the Lord Deputy, 

on our Rolls: thus, the Prior of 
Christ Church, Dublin, brought 
his writ against one William, 
whom he claimed to be his na- 
tive or villein; and he pleaded 
that his predecessor was seized 
of this William's great grand- 
father, as of fee, in right of his 
church, and by taking mercJiate 
(merichetum) on the marriage 
of his sons and daughters and tal- 
liages by high and low, at his 
will, and other villenous services : 
the defendant pleaded, with con- 
siderable specialty, but judg- 
ment was pronounced for the 
Prior." — Calendar, Vol, ii, xli. 

" The Manuscripts which Sir 
James Ware (author of the 
* Annals of Ireland') had col- 
lected with great trouble and 
expense, were brought to Eng- 
land by Lord Clarendon in the 
reign of James II., and after- 
wards sold to the Duke of Chan- 
dos. On the Duke's death tlio 
documents passed to Dean Milles 
who bequeathed them to the 
British Museum, where they 
now form the principal portion 
of the collection known as the 
' Clarendon Manuscripts.' — Cal- 
endar, Vol. ii, xix. 

*-In 1697, after the Legisla- 
ture had passed an enactment 
annulling all the proceedings of 
the Irish Parliament of James 
II ; the Lord Deputy, Henry 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


Iloarj Lord Capel, and the 
Privy Council assembled in the 
Council Chamber on the 2nd of 
October, and the Act having 
been read, the Clerk of the 
Crown, the Clerk of the House 
of Lords, the Deputy Clerk of 
the House of Commons, and the 
Deputy Clerk of the Rolls, who 
attended by order, brought in 
all the records, rolls, journals, 
and other papers in their cus- 
tody relating to the Jacobite 
acts. The door of the Council 
Chamber was then set open, and 
the Lord Major, Aldermen, 
Sheriffs, and Commons of the 
City of Dublin, with many other 
persons, being present, tlie re- 
cords, journals and other papers 
were publicly cancelled and 

*' Government continued to use 
the Council Chamber in Essex 
Street, till it was destroyed in 
1711 by an accidental fire, which 
consumed many of the Privy 
Council Books, the Strafford and 
Grosse Surveys of Ireland, a 
large portion of the Down Sur- 
vey, with a mass of other valu- 
able documents deposited in the 
Office of the Surveyor-General, 
which, as already noticed, was 
located in this building.'' — Hist, 
of Dublin, Vol, ii, p. 150. 

Ill the wholesale transfer of these passages the correction 
of the date from 1697 to 1695 in the errata to Mr. Gil- 
bert's second volume was apparently overlooked, and thus 
the Calendar represents Lord Capel, who died in May 
1696, to have appeared publicly at Dublin, in October, 
1697 — seventeen months after his decease ! 

The French writers of the latter part of the seventeenth 
century unanimously agreed to regard the works of the 
ancients as legitimate prey, but at the same time they 
declared stealing from a contemporary to be a disreputable 
offence : 

Lord Capel, and the Privy 
Council, assembled in the Coun- 
cil Chamber on the 2nd October, 
and the Act having been read, 
the Clerk of the Crown and the 
Deputy Keeper of the Rolls, who 
attended by order, brought in 
all the records, rolls, journals, 
and other papers in their custody 
relating to the Acts of James 
the Second. The door of the 
Council Chamber was then set 
open, and the Lord Mayor, Al- 
dermen, Sheriffs, and Commons 
of the City of Dublin, with many 
other persons, being present, 
the records, journals, and otiier 
papers were publicly cancelled 
and burned.'' — Calendar, Vol. i, 
p. xvii. 

"In the year 1711, a number 
of the volumes of the Maps of 
the Down Survey, taken by Sir 
William Petty, in the years 
1655 and 1656, by order of 
Government, were totally de- 
stroyed by a fire which took 
place in a house in Essex-street, 
where the Surveyor-General's 
oflBce was then kept." — Calendar , 
Vol, i., xvii. 


The Public Records of Ireland, 


CALENDAR, a. d. 1862. 
*'That the mere Irish were 
reputed aliens, appears by several 
records and charters of deniza- 

** Preiiflre des Anciens et faire son profit de ce qu'ils 
ont ecrit," wrote Le Vayer, *' c'est comme pirater au dela 
de la ligne ; mais voler ceux de son siecle, en s'appropriant 
lenrs pensees et leur productions, c'est tirer la laine anx 
coins des rues, c'est oter les manteauxsur le Pont Neuf!" 

The Prefaces to these Calendars, however, exhibit a 
remarkable impartiality in the wholesale appropriation of 
the labours of both ancients and moderns. Of the abstrac- 
tions from old writers we have an illustration in the fol- 
lowing, put forward as entirel^^ original, and without any 
mention of the work by Sir John Davies, entitled, ** A 
Discoverie of the true causes why Ireland was never en- 
tirely subdued" till the reign of James I. first published at 
London, in 1612, and frequently reprinted : 

:DAVIES,a. D. 1612. 

"That the meere Irish were re- 
puted Aliens appeareth by sun- 
drie records; wherein iudgement 
is demanded, if they shall be 
answered in Actions brought by 
them : and likewise, by the 
Charters of Denization, which 
in all ages were purchased by 

" In the common plea Rolles 
of 28 Edward the third (which 
are yet preserved in Bremin- 
ghams Tower) this case is 
adiudged. Simon Neal brought 
an action of trespasse against 
William Newlagh for break- 
ing his Close in Clandalhin, 
in the County of Dublin ; the 
Defendant doth plead, that the 
plaintiff is Hibernicus 6f non 
de Quinque sanguinihus ; and de- 
mandeth iudgement, if he shall 
be answered. The Plaintiffe re- 
plieth ; Quod ipse est de quinque 
sanguinihus (viz.) De les Oneiles 
de Vlfon, qui per Concessionem 
progenitorum Domini Regis ; 
Libertatihus Anglicis gaudere 
debent 4' uluntur <& pro liheris 
hominihus reputantur. The De- 
fendant reioyneth that the 

"On the Plea Roll of the 28» 
Edward III, we find the fol- 
lowing interesting record. Si- 
mon Neal brought an action 
of trespass against William 
Newlagh for breaking his close 
at Clondalkin; the defendant 
pleaded that the plaintiff *est 
Hibernicus et non de quinque 
sanguinibus', and prayed judg- 
ment. The plaintiff replied, 
quod ipse est do quinque san- 
guinibus, viz., de les O'Neiles 
de Ulton (Ulster), qui per con- 
cessionem progenitorum Domi- 
ni Regis, libertatihus Anglicis 
gaudere debent et utuntur, et 
pro liberis hominibus reputan- 

" The defendant rejoined that 
the plaintiff is not of the O'Neils 


The Public Records of Ireland, 


Plaintiife is not of the Oneales 
of Vlster, Nee de quinque sau- 
guinibus. And thereupon they are 
at yssue. Which being found for 
the PlaintiflPe, he had iudgement 
to recouer him damages against 
the Defendant. 

" By this record it appeareth 
that fiue principal blouds, or 
Septs, of the Irishrj, were bj 
speciall grace enfranchised and 
enabled to take benefit of the 
Lawes of England; And that the 
Nation of O'NeaUs in Ulster, was 
one of the fiue. 

" And in the like case, 3 of Ed- 
ward the second, among the Plea 
lioUes in Bremingham's Tower : 
All the 5 Septs or blouds, Qui 
gaudeant lege Anglicana quoad 
breuia portanda, are expressed, 
namely ; Oneil de Ultonia ; 
O'Melaghlin de Midia; O'Con- 
noghor de Connacia ; O'Brien 
de Thotmonia ; and^ Mac Mor- 
rogh de Lagenia." — Discoverie 
tvJiy Ireland was never entirely sub- 
dued, 4to. 1612, p. 102-4. 

It might have been supposed that these " Calendars^' 
should bring to hght information new and interesting on 
the Rolls which form the subject of the work ; the reader 
will, however, be disappointed to find that all the pages 
of the Preface to the first ^ volume (xxx to xxxv) which 
purport to be original descriptions of the Irish Records, 
have been taken entirely, in the following mode, from a 
printed Report addressed by George Hatchell, Clerk of 
enrolments, to Robert Wogan, Deputy Keeper of the Rolls, 
and dated Rolls Office, Dublin, 6th March, 1843; but 
in these"Calendars we find not even a remote reference 
to Mr. Hatcheirs Report ; 

of Ulster, — nee de quinquo 
sanguinibus ; issue was joined, 
which, being found for the plain- 
tiff, he had judgaient to recover 
his damages. 

*'By this record it appears that 
five principal bloods or septs of 
the Irish were by special grace 
enfranchised and enabled to 
take the benefit of the English 
Laws, and that the' nation of the 
O'Neils was one of the five. 

*'0n the Plea Roll of the 3" 
of Edward II, all the septs or 
bloods, • qui gaudeant lege An- 
glicana quoad brevia portanda, 
are expressed ; namely, O'Neil 
de Ultonia, &c. O'Melaghlin 
de Midia, O'Connogher de Con- 
nacia, O'Brien de Thotmonia, 
and Mac Murrogh de Lagenia.'' 
Calendar, Vol. ii. p. xxxix. 

HATCHELL, a.d. 1843. 
"The Patent Rolls of Chan- 
cery commence in the reign of 
Edward I., and are continued 
down to the present time. Upon 
these Rolls are contained the en- 

CALENDAR, a.d. 1861. 
*• The Patent Rolls of Chan^ 
eery commence in the reign of 
Edward I., and are continued 
down to the present time. Upon 
these Rolls are contained the en- 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


rolments of grants in fee or 
perpetuity for lives and years ; of 
Crown lands, Abbey lands, and 
escheated lands ; patents of crea- 
tions of honour;grantsofCharter3 
of incorporation and liberties; 
grants of offices, denizations, 
ferries, and fisheries; patents for 
inventions, and specifications 
thereof; licences, and pardons of 
alienation; presentations; pro- 
motions to bishoprics and dean- 
eries; special licences; grants of 
wardship; commissions; inquisi- 
tions post mortem and on at- 
tainder; orders of Council; depo- 
sitions of witnesses in perpetuam 
res memoriam ; deeds; convey- 
ances; grants in custodiam ; gra-nts 
of manors and all their appurten- 
ances, and of fairs and markets; 
surrenders of lands and offices to 
the Crown; summonses to Parlia- 
ment; bonds; obligations; re- 
plevins; pardons; letters of at- 
torney; licences for officers to 
treat with the Irish; treaties; 
Popes' bulls; proclamations; let- 
ters of protection; writs of 
amoveas manus, of possessions 
taken by the Crown; writs of 
ouster le main; deeds and con- 
veyances; King's letters; wills; 
orders of Council; &c." — Hat^ 
chelVs Report, p. 1. 

" The Parliament Roll«, com- 
prising both the public and pri- 
vate Statutes passed in the Irish 
Parliament, commence in the 
reign of Hen. VI. They in- 
clude the reigns of Hen. Vf., 
Ed. IV., Ric. III., Hen. VH., 
Hen. VIII., Philip and Mary, 
Eliz., and James I., and comprise 
forty-five Rolls. They are with- 
out any calendar or index to the 
IP, James I. From this period 
to 1715, the public and private 
VOL. LH.-No. CIV. 

rolments of grants in fee or 
perpetuity, for lives and years ; 
of Crown lands. Abbey lands, and 
escheated lands, patents of cre- 
ations of honour; grants of 
Charters of incorporation and 
liberties; grants of offices, deni- 
zations, ferries, and fisheries; 
patents for inventions, and 
specifications ; licences and par- 
dons of alienations; presenta- 
tions; promotions to bishoprics 
and deaneries ; special licences; 
grants of wardships ; commis- 
sions ; inquisitions post mor- 
tem and on attainder; orders of 
Council; depositions of witness 
[sic] in perpetuam rei memori- 
am ; deeds; conveyances, grants 
in custodiam; grants of Manors 
and all their appurtenances, and 
of fairs and .markets; surren- 
ders of lands and offices to the 
Crown; summonses to Parlia- 
ment; bonds; obligations; re- 
plevins; pardons; letters of at- 
torney; licences for officers to 
treat with the Irish; treaties; 
Papal bulls; proclamations; let- 
ters of protection; writs of 
amo.veas manus of possessions 
taken by the Crown; writs of 
ouster le main ; deeds and convey- 
ances; King's letters; wills; &c. 
&c.'' — Calendar^ Vol. i, p. xxx. 

"The Statute Rolls, com- 
prising both the public and 
private Statutes passed in the 
Irish Parliament, commence in 
the reign of Henry VI. They 
include the reigns of Henry VI., 
Edward IV., Richard III., Henry 
VII., Henry VIII., Philip and 
Mary, Elizabeth, and James I., 
and comprise forty-five Rolls. 
They are without any calendar 
or index to the 11", James I. 
From this period to 1715, the 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


Acts being promiscuously enrol- 
led together on the same series 
of Rolls, an imperfect Calendar 
was at that time made, of both 
kinds of Acts; but from 1715 to 
1800, inclusive, when our Parlia- 
ment ceased, the private Acts 
being enrolled separately, there 
was a regular catalogue and in- 
dex made to those private Acts 
(but to the entire exclusion of all 
the public Acts), which is in 
good order. 

**The Statute Rolls, prior to 
10°, Hen. VII., are all in Nor- 
man French, and as there are 
printed Statutes long prior to 
the oldest Parliamentary, Roll 
appearing here, some of the 
more ancient of those Rolls 
must have been lost." — HatchelVs 
Report, 1843, p. 2, 

public and private Acts being 
promiscuously enrolled together 
on the same series of Rolls, an 
imperfect Calendar was at that 
time made, of both kinds of Acts ; 
but from 1715 to 1800, inclusive, 
when our Parliament ceased, the 
private Acts being enrolled 
separately, there was a regular 
catalogue and index made to 
those private Acts (but to the 
entire exclusion of all the public 
Acts), which is in good order. 
The Statute Rolls, prior to 10°, 
Henry VII., are all in Norman 
French, the then legal as well as 
general language of the Court ; 
and, as there are printed Statutes 
long prior to the oldest Parlia- 
mentary Roll appearing here, 
some of the more ancient of 
those Rolls must have been lost.'* 
'— Calendar f Vol. i, p. xxxi. 

From the above cited Report of Mr. Hatcliell have been 
appropriated iii like manner all the descriptions given in the 
** Preface" to the first volume of the Calendar of the 
Pipe, Memoranda, Recognizance, Cromwellian, Convert, 
Roman Catholic, and Palatine Rolls, Letters of Guar- 
dianship, Fiants, Inquisitions, &c. 

The mode adopted in these Prefaces to supply from 
others the total deficiency of original research, even 
among the Rolls which form the subject of the Calendars, 
is further illustrated in the following entirely unacknow- 
ledged appropriation from Mr. Lascelles' introduction to 
the ** Liber Munerum Publicorum Hibernise ;'' 

LASCELLES, a.i>. 1*30. 
** In the Irish repositories the 
wonder is, that so many records 
are extant, and in such preserva- 
tion. It is not that there are so 
few, but that there are any at 
all. Of the Rolls of Parliament, 
none such are now extant in 
Ireland, if any ever existed; 
what in the returns are called 
Parliament rolls, are in fact 

" The wonder is, that in the 
Irish repositories so many records 
are extant, and in such preser- 
vation : none of the Rolls of 
Parliament are now to be found 
in Ireland, if ever any existed ; 
what we have been accustomed 
to call Parliament Rolls are in., 
fact Statute Rolls. Of these, 
with the exception of one raemr?, 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


Statute rolls. Of these, with the 
exception of one membrane con- 
taining the exemplification of 
three Statutes enacted at York 
3, Edw. III., all the Statute rolls 
of Ireland are missing, down to 
the 5th of Hen. VI. Of the 
reign of Hen. VII. there are but 
three Statute rolls; viz. for the 
8tli, 10th, and 24th years ; but 
four, viz., of the 7th, 25th, 28th, 
and 33rd of Hen. VIII.; of 
Philip and Mary but one Statute 
roll, viz. of the 3rd and 4th, 
Phil, and Mary; Of Elizabeth 
but three, viz. of the 7th 11th, 
27th and 28th ; Of James 
I. but one Statute roll, viz. of 
the 1st of the reign; Of Charles 
I., but five, viz. one of the 10th, 
and 16th, and three of the 15th 
year of the reign ; of Charles 
IL, but seven, from the 13th to 
the I8th of that reign, (1660- 
1666). But this is accounted for, 
as no Parliament sat in Ireland 
after the year 1666, until the 4th 
of William and Mary : Of which 
year only there remains any 
Statute roll, viz. one of the 4th; 
of William only, four, viz. one of 
the 7th and three of the 9th. 
After which the Statute rolls are 
in regular series.. ..Of Edward I. 
but three patent rolls are extant, 
viz. one of the 1st and two of 
the 3l3t of the reign ; that is, the 
rolls of 32 entire years are 
missing. Of Edw. II. the Patent 
rolls are missing of the 1st, 6th, 
7th, 8th. 12th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 
and 19th years of the reign. 
Of Edw. III. are missing the 
Patent rolls for the first seven 
years of the reign ; also of the 
10th. 12th, 13th. 14th, 15th, 
16th; from the 21st to the 25th, 

brane, containing the exemplifi- 
cation of three statutes enacted 
at York, in the third of Edward 
III., all the Statute Rolls of Ire- 
land are missing down to the 5th 
of Henry VI. Of the reign of 
Henry VII. there are but three 
Statute Rolls, viz., for the 8th, 
10th, and 24th years ; but four, 
viz., of the 7°, 25°, 28°, 33°, 
of Henry VIIL Of Philip and 
Mary, but one Statute Roll, viz., 
of the 3rd, and 4th ; of Elizabeth, 
but three, viz., of the 7th, 11th, 
27th, 28th; of James I., but one 
Statute Roil, viz., of the 6th of 
his reign ; of Charles I., but 
five, viz., one of the 10th and 
16th, and three of the 15th year 
of his reign ; Of Charles II., 
but seven, from the 13th to the 
I8th of that reign. But this is 
accounted for, as no Parliament 
assembled in Ireland, after the 
year 1666 until the fourth of 
William and Mary, of which 
year there remains only one 
Statute Roll; of William, only 
four, viz., one of the 7th and 
three of the 9th year; after which 
the Statute Rolls are in regu- 
lar series. Of Edward I. but three 
Patent Rolls are extant, viz., 
one of the 1st and two of the 31st 
of the reign ; that is, the rolls of 
thirty-two years are missing. 
Of Edward II. the Patent Rolls 
are missing of the 1st, 6th, 7tb, 
8th, 12th, 15th, 16th. 17th, and 
19th years of the reign. Of 
Edward III. the Patent rolls are 
missing for the first seven years 
of the reign ; also of the 10th, 
12th, 13th, 14th. 15th, 16th ; 
from the 21st to the 25th, both 
iiTclusive ; of the 27th, 28th, and 
3 1st; all the rolls from the 34th, 


The Public Records of Ireland, 


both inclusively ; of the 27th, 
28th, and 31st; all the rolls 
from the 34th to the 41st, both 
inclusively; also of the 43rd, 44th, 
4oth, 47th, 50th : in all 34 years 
are missing of this reign. Of 
Bic. XL there is no Patent 
roll extant of the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 
7th, 11th, 14th, and 17th years, 
nor any of the four last years of 
the reign: in all 11 years. Half 
of his reign are missing. Of 
Hen. VI. are missing the Patent 
rolls for the 6th, 7th, 8t-h, from 
the 15th to the 24th both in- 
clusively ; the 26th, 27th: in all 
for 17 years; that is, for more 
than half of the reign. Of Edw. 
IV. who reigned 23 years, there 
are extant Patent rolls of the Istj 
7th, 15th, 16th, 2ist, 22nd only; 
that is, the rolls of 17 years; are 
missing. Of Henry VII, who 
also reigned 23 years, the Patent 
rolls for the first nine years are 
missing ; also for the II th, 12tli, 
13th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 
22nd, 23rd ; in all for 18 years, 
more than three-fourths of the 
reign. Of Hen. VIII., who 
reigned 37 year^, the Patent 
rolls for 20 years are missing, 
viz. for the four first years ; for 
15 whole years between the 6th, 
and 22nd of the reign, and also 
for the 26th year. After this 
the Patent rolls are preserved in 
almost a regular series, with 
the following exceptions : of the 
reign of Elizabeth there is no 
Patent roll for the 15th year; 
Of Charles I. the third part of 
the roll for. the 11th year, an. 
1635, hasbeen lost or mislaid 
for many years. From 1644 to 
1655 there is-a chasm very obvi- 
ously to be accounted for. Crom- 
well's rolls commence in 1655; 

to the 41st, both inclusive ; also 
of the 43rd, 44th, 45th, 47th and 
50th ; in all thirty-four years, are 
missing of this reign. Of Richard 
II. there is no Patent Roll extant 
of the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 11th, 
14th, and 17th years, nor any of 
the last four years of the reign ; 
in all eleven years. Of Henry 
VI, the Patent Rolls are missing 
of the 6th, 7th, 8th, from the 
15th to the 24th, both inclusive ; 
the 26th, 27th ; in all for seven- 
teen years. Of Edward IV., who 
reigned twenty-three years, there 
are extant Patent Rolls of the 
1st, 7th, 15th, 16th, 21st, 22ud 
only. Of Henry VII., who 
reigned twenty three years, the 
Patent Rolls for the first nine 
vears are missing ; also for the 
ilth, 12th, 13th, 16th, 18th, 
19th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd, in all for 
eighteen years ; more than three- 
fourths of the reign. Of Henry 
VIII., who reigned thirty-seven 
years, the Patent Rolls for 
twenty years are missing, viz., 
for the first four years, for fifteen 
years between the sixth and 
twenty-second of the reign, and 
also for the twenty-sixth year. 
After this, the Patent Rolls are 
preserved in almost a regular 
series, with the following excep- 
tions : of the reign of Elizabeth] 
there is no Patent Poll of the' 
fifteenth year; of Charles I., the' 
third part of the Roll for the 
tenth year, 1635, has been lost 
or mislaid for many years. From 
1644 to 1655, there is a chasm 
very obviously accounted for* 
Cromwell's Rolls commence ia 
1655, from which time, or from^ 
the restoration, with the excep- 
tion of a portion of the re gn of 
James II., the Patent Rolls are 

1863,] The Public Records of Ireland, 347 

from which time, or from the preserved in a regular series.** — 
Restoration, with the exception Calendar^ Vol. ii, pp. vi-vii. 
of the interregnum of James II. 
the Patent rolls are all pre- 
served in a regular series.'' — 
Liher Muneru7n, Vol. i, p. 2. 

The work from which the foregoing extensive unac- 
knowledged appropriation has been made is censured in 
the Preface to the *' Calendar'' (Vol. i, p. xxvi) as defec- 
tive, irregular, and unmethodical in its arrangement. 
Mr. Lascelles might thus well sympathise with poor John 
Dennis, who on hearing the new stage thunder, which he 
had invented for his own luckless play, used to promote 
the success of a rival drama, arose in the pit and exclaimed 
with an oath — ** See how these fellows use me; they will 
not let my play run, and yet they steal my thunder !" 

We are above assured that the Patent Roll of the fif- 
teenth year of Elizabeth, is the only one deficient in the 
reign of that Queen; yet the first Volume of the ** Ca- 
lendar" (p. 554) avers that the Patent Roll of her seven- 
teenth year " is not now to be found." Purther to perplex 
us, the passage above italicised from the second Volume 
of the ** Calendar" is entirely contradicted at p. 551, of 
the first Volume, where we read that the Patent Roll of 
the fifteenth of Elizabeth is still extant, and find there 
enumerated sixteen articles stated to be extracted from 
this document, which, in the foregoing quotation is de- 
clared not to be in existence ! 

We may here observe that Lascelles, when enumerating 
the Patent Rolls of Ireland, was not aware that there were 
extant, in the Westminster Chapter House, four rolls 
containing certified transcripts of all the Irish Letters 
Patent of a certain class, from the Coronation of Henry 
V. to the twelfth year of Henry VI : " Transcripta omnium 
Litterarum Patentium Debitorum et Compotorum ac 
Annuitatuum, sub testimonio Locatenentmm HibernisB, 
aut Justiciariorum, tempore Regis Henrici quinti, et ah 
anno primo ad annum duodecimum Regis Henrici sexti." 
These rolls, consisting of the original writ of Henry VL, 
under the Privy Seal a.d. 1434, with the returns made to 
it by ** Thomas Straunge^ miles, Thesaurarius Domini 
Regis terrse suse Ilibernise, et Barones de Scaccario 
Hibernise," preeminently deserved notice in any detailed 
account of the Patent Rolls of Ireland, but as they were 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


unknown to the writers whose labours have been appro- 
priated in the ** Prefaces'' we look in vain for any reference 
to them in the Calendars before us. 

Of the other writers laid under heavy contribution to 
fill the pages of the Prefaces we may mention Walter 
Harris and the late John Caillard Erck. From p. 148-9 
of *' Harris' Hibernica," Dublin, 1747, have been trans- 
ferred verbatim the apparently original accounts of Irish 
writers, rolls and records, at pp. vii. xi. xii., and xiii. of 
the first volume of the Calendar. The following may 
suffice to exemplify the extent to which the " Calendars" 
are indebted to Erck's ** Repertory of the Inrolments on 
the Patent Rolls of Chancer)' in Ireland, commencing 
with the reign of James I," Dublin : 1846 : 

ERCK, A.D. 1846. 

" Amid the vast heap of re- 
cords and muaimeuts which is 
to be found in the public ar- 
chives of the country, none 
justly stand in higher estimation, 
than the Patent Rolls of Chan- 
cery ; whether considered, in 
respect to the antiquity, utility, 
or variety of the documents with 
which they abound. To give 
effect to the royal pleasure, when 
signified under the sign manual 
or by Privy signet, in favour of 
any individual, or body politic 
or corporate — letters patent, spe- 
cifying the inducement, and 
defining the nature, extent and 
tenure of the grant, with the con- 
ditions and penalties annexed, 
were directed to issue under the 
great seal of the kingdom. 

" The inrolment of these in- 
struments was not required by 
law, until the statute of Charles 
rendered it imperative — yet in 
times, antecedent thereto, it was 
no unusual thing to insert, in 
the patent, a clause nullifying 
the grant, unless inrolled within 
a given time — and, even in the 
absence of such provision, the 

CALENDAR, a.d.1861. 

" Amid the vast accumulation 
of records and muniments which 
is to be found in the archives of 
this country, none justly stand 
in higher estimation than the 
Patent Rolls of Chancery, whe- 
ther considered in respect to the 
antiquity, utility, or variety of 
the documents with which they 
abound. To give effect to the 
royal pleasure, when signified 
under the sign manual, or by 
Privy signet, in favour of any in- 
dividual or body politic or corpo- 
rate, letters patent, specifying 
the inducement, and defining 
the nature, extent, and tenure of 
the grant, with the conditions 
and penalties annexed, were di- 
rected to issue under the great 
seal of the kingdom. 

'^ The enrolment of these 
instruments was not required 
by law until the Statute of 
Charles rendered it imperative ; 
yet, in times antecedent there- 
to, it was no unusual thing to 
insert in the Patent, a clause 
nullifying the grant, unless en- 
rolled within a given time ; and 
even in the absence of such pro- 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


Patentees themselves had re- 
course, in most instances to 
this precaution, for their own 
security, and to avoid the inconve- 
nience, if not loss, resulting from 
neglect ; for it sometimes oc- 
curred, that the King was de- 
ceived, in granting to one subject, 
what had been previously passed 
away from the crown, in favour 
of another — no record existing 
of the previous grant. 

*'Tliis class of records, although 
commencing with a roll of the 
tenth year of King Edward the 
first, contains grants made by 
King Henry the second, — by 
John, as wellwhenEarl of Morton, 
as when king — by King Henry 
the third — and King Edwardthe 
first. Witli the exception of the 
reigns of the first three Edwards, 
in which many chasms exist, the 
series of the Patent Rolls forms 
almost one continuous and un- 
broken chain down to the pre- 
sent time, with an hiatus here 
and there; covering a period of 
time which of itself speaks the 
antiquity of these documents — 
and, as regards the utility and 
variety of them, whether the 
labours of the antiquarian, the 
objects of the historian, the pur- 
suits of the legal practitioner, or 
the purposes of general inquiry, 
are to be served ; these may bo 
best explained, by enumerating 
the character of the documents 
which are of most frequent 

*' To explore these sources of 
information, and unfold their con- 
tents, is the object, as far as it 
extends, of the present work." — 
Repertory of the Inrolments on the 
Patent HollSf (1846,)pa^es iii.-v. 

vision, the Patentees themselves 
had recourse, in most instances, 
to this precaution, for their own 
security, and to avoid the incon- 
venience, if not loss, result- 
ing from neglect ; for it some- 
times occurred that the king 
was deceived in granting to one 
subject what had been previously 
passed away from the Crown in 
favour of another, no record ex- 
isting of the previous grant. 

"The Patent Kolls, although 
commencing with a Poll of the 
tenth yearof King Edward I., con- 
tain grants made by King Henry 
II., by John, as well when Earl of 
Morton as when king; by King 
Henry HI. and King Edward I. 
With the exception of the reigns 
of ■ the first three Edwards, 
iu which some chasms exist, 
and a chasm in the reign of 
Henry VHL, during the first 
twenty years of whose reign 
there is but one Roll (of the 
sixth) remaining, the series 
forms almost one continuous and 
unbroken chain down to the 

present time Those records 

cover a period of time which, of 
itself, speaks their antiquity ; 
and, as regards the utility and 
variety of them, whether the 
labours of the antiquary, the ob- 
jects of the historian, the pur- 
suits of the legal practitioner, or 
the purposes of general inquiry 
are to be served; they may be 
best explained by the enumera- 
tion of the character of the 
documents which have been pre- 
viously detailed. 

" To explore these stores of in- 
formation and unfold their con- 
tents is the object, as far as it 
extends, of the present work.'' — 
Calendar, Vol. i. p, xxxvii-iii. 

350 The Public Records of Ireland. [Apri 

Erck hoped that the publication of the ''Repertory/* on 
which he bestowed much time and care would demonstrate 
the importance of completing the works begun by the Irish 
Record Commission, and induce Government to take the 
matter in hand. Death, however, carried him off before 
the issue of the second part of the "Repertory," and the 
results of his painful labours are now given to the world as 
if he had never existed : 

" He sleeps now where the thistles blow, — 
Strange anti-cliraax to his hopes, 
Twenty golden jears agol" 

The foregoing constitute but a small portion of the 
specimens which might be given of the vast extent of 
unscrupulous plagiarisms with which these Prefaces 
abound — extending even to reprinting as original matter 
(Vol. i, p. xxv.) the advertisement of the " Liber Mune- 
rum,'' and (VoL i, p. xii.) Messrs. Longmans' prospectus 
of the " Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain," 
together with-whole passages from the Litroduction to the 
edition of the *' Book of Common Prayer" published in 
1849, by the Ecclesiastical History Society. Perhaps 
the most ludicrous portions of the Prefaces are those 
(Vol. ii. pp. xii. to xvi;) professing to treat of manu- 
scripts in the Gaelic language— quite out of place in such 
a work — and mainly transferred, but with the addition of 
various typographical errors, from Irish Archaeological 
Journals, and from the Lectures of the late Professor 
O'Curry, 8vo., Dublin: 1861 ; pp. 646-647. 

The following illustrations of the originality of the pen- 
ultimate passages of the *• Prefaces" could not be omitted 
without injustice to the boldness of the appi*opriations : 

TRESHAM, A. D. 1826. CALENDAR* a.d. 1861. 

** The very decayed state of *' The decayed state of many 

many of these ancient Rolls has of these rolls interposed difficul- 

interposed difficulties in the exe- ties in the execution of the work, 

cution of the work, but corres- but corresponding exertion has 

ponding exertion has been raade, been made, as it was thought 

as it was thought desirable to desirable to rescue as much 

rescue as much as possible of as possible of these our early re- 

these our earliest Records from cords from oblivion — Si suc- 

oblivion. — Si successus saspe, la- cessus ssepe, labor certe nun- 

bor certe nunquam, defuit, — quam deficit." [sic] — Vol. i, p. 

Edward Tresham. Rotulorum xliv. 
Palentium et Clausorum Can- 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


ceUarice Hihernice Calendarium, 
1828, Vol. i. 'par. i, p. xi. 

LASCELLES, a.d. 1826. 
" Upon the whole -I have en- 
deavoured to establish a store- 
house * of facts and documents 
for the use of the statesman, 
the lawyer, the churchman, the 
peer and commoner, the anti- 
quary, as well as the ordinary 
man of business. Nor will it be 
found, I trust, unworthy the re- 
gard of the philosophical scholar 
and historian." — Liher Munerum 
Puhlicorum Hibernicey Vol. i. In- 
troduction, p. 3. 

The ensuing adaptation of Erck's dedication of 
his ** Repertory' ' to Yiscount Morpeth, will be seen to 
have no claim to originality beyond the elimination of the 
name of that nobleman, now Earl of Carlisle, and Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland : 

CALENDAR, a.d. 1862. 
** The information afforded by 
these records is no less varied 
than important. They serve as 
a storehouse of facts and docu- 
ments for the use of the states- 
man, the lawyer and the anti- 
quary ; nor will they be found, I 
trust, unworthy the regard of 
the scholar and the historian." — 
Vol. ii. Preface^ p. Ixxviii. 

ERCK, 1846. 
"The work, which was con- 
ceived and commenced during 
youT Lordship's administration of 
Irish affairs, has for its object 
to rescue some part of the most 
important of our national muni- 
ments from the comparative ob- 
livion and obscurity, which, by 
reason of the difficulty of access, 
the labour of research, and the 
expense of official constats, they 
now lie involved^ — and, whatever 
light it may throw on our public 
records, in directing either the 
pursuits of the historian, the an- 
tiquarian, or of the legal prac- 
titioners, it is to your Lordship 
[Morpeth] they must feel them- 
selves principally indebted for 
the encouragement afforded, and 
the facility of access accorded 
to me, in extricating and evolv- 
ing their contents from the rub- 
bish of technical phrases, wordy 
parentheses, and the legal forms 

CALENDAR, 1861. 
** This work, therefore, under- 
taken by their Lordships^ [of 
the Treasury] authority, under 
the direction of the Master of 
the Rolls, has for its object 
to rescue some parts of the 
most important of our na- 
tional muniments from the com- 
parative oblivion and obscurity 
in which, by reason of the diffi- 
culty of access and the labour 
of research, they now lie invol- 
ved ; to facilitate the researches 
of persons engaged in historical 
investigation and enquiry, and 
whatever light it may throw on 
our public records, in directing 
either the pursuits of the histo- 
rian, theantiquary,orof the legal 
practitioner, it is to the Govern- 
ment they must feel themselves 
indebted for the encouragement 
afforded in extricating and evol- 
ving their contents from tech- 
nical phrases; wordy parentheses 

352 The Public Records of Ireland. \ April. 

of diction.'^ — A Repertory of the and legal forms of diction.''— 
Inrolments on the Patent Rolls of Calendar^ Vol. i. p. xliii. 
Chancery in Ireland. 1846. p. i. 

It would be difficult to adopt any order in noticing tbe 
slender thread of original matter with which the pieces 
from various works have been strung together in these 
'* Prefaces/' without regard to sequence, digestion, or 
arrangement : 

"But so transfus'd, as oil and water flow, 
The J always float above — this sinks below.'' 

To detail fully the numerous and complicated errors with 
which even those few original lines abound would occupy 
a very large amount of space, we shall therefore merely 
adduce some specimens which admit of analj^zation within 
a reasonable compass. 

The " Down Survey" of Ireland made a.d. 1654-8, was 
according to the ** Calendar" (ii, xvi.) carried to France by 
James the second (1690) and never returned ; yet in the 
Preface to Yol. i. (xviii.) numbers of its volumes are stated 
to have been destroyed by fire at Dublin in 1/11 ! The 
truth is that the famous mapped Survey, on which are 
grounded the titles of half the Irish land-owners, was never 
removed from Ireland, and. is now preserved in the Dublin 
Custom House. 

At page ix. of Yol. ii. we read — 

*'The original of Vallancey's Green Book, compiled bv authority 
of the late Irish Record Commissioners, is now in my library.'* 

The amount of errors here aggregated will be seen when 
we mention that Yallancey compiled the ''Green Book," for 
his own use, before the end of the last century, many 
>ears previous to the formation, in 1810, of the Record 
Commission, by which it was purchased in 1813, alter the 
compiler's decease, as appears from the following entry in 
their Report of that year : 

" A book known by the name of Vallancey's Green Book, or Irish 
Historical Library, purchased by the Secretary, at the instance of 
Government, and with the approbation of the Board, was laid on 
the table : whereupon the Board ordered, that the Secretary [VY. S 
Mason] should take charge of the said Manuscript Book, and make 
an entry of same in 'the Catalogue of the MSS. &c., belonging to the 
Board.'' — Report of Commissioners on the Public Records of Ireland, 
1810-15, p. 485. 

The original Manuscript book here referred to, bearing 

1863.1 The Public Records of Ireland. 353 

the autograph of Vallancey, and the official attestation of 
William S. Mason, has for many years been the property 
of the Royal Irish Academy, in whose Library, at Dub- 
lin, it may be seen. 

the contents of wliich/' he observes, ** were previously, I 
believe, unknown. I there found,"' he adds, ** among 
other interesting original letters, one from * Silken Tho- 
mas,' whilst a prisoner in the Tower, directed to his 
servant Brian," <S:c. 

The document here referred to as *^ discovered'* was 
printed in fall in 1834, at p. 402 of the first volume of 
the State Papers, published under the authority of His 
Majesty's Commission, and specially noted there as pre- 
served in ** Bag Ireland," in the Chapter House. It will 
also be found in Moore's History of Ireland, (1840,) Vol. 
iii» p. 272, and in Lord Kildare's work on the " Earls of 
Kildare," (1858,) pp. 175-6. The same State Papers, 
(Vol. i. p. 169) show that the raid of the O 'Byrnes upon 
Dublin occurred in 1533 and not at the period of 1475 as 
stated in the Calendar, (Vol. ii., p. xxiv.) The original 
establishment of an University in Ireland is assigned (Vol. 
ii. p. Ixix) to the rei^n of Edward III. instead of to that of 
Edward II. Dr. Boate, who died in 1649 is said (ii. 
xxxiv.) to have written a work in 1652 ! Three persons, 
we are assured, (ii. Ixx.) were burned for witchcraft in the 
early part of the fourteenth century at Kilkenny, although 
the local contemporary chroniclers specially mention that 
but one suffered at the stake. Sir Roland Fitz Eustace, 
Baron of Portlester, is divided into two personages, and 
spoken of at p. xxvii. of vol. ii. as *' Lord Portlester and 
Sir Rowland Eustace !" Devereux is given the title of 
** Earl of Ulster" (ii. Ixiv.) which he never before received. 
The submission of Shane O'Neill, who died in 1567, is 
placed (ii. Ixxiv.) under the year 1602. Sir Conyers 
Clifford is named Clifton (ii. Ixvii.) ; but perhaps the 
most curious and novel piece of information in connection 
with the legal history of Ireland is the statement at p. xv. 
of Vol. i. that in the Reign of Henry VIII. the Law Courts 
of Dublin were held ** in the Castle ivall!" 

The mode in which the few acknowledged quotations are 
referred to may be judged from the following citations for 

354 The Public Records of Ireland. [April. 

Statements occupying a page (ii. xlii.) in double columns 
of the smallest type : 

"» Notes and Queries. '—Hist. England, Vol. II. p. 65." 

A specific assertion at p. viii. of Vol. ii. that the 
Librarian at Armagh is ** bound by oath to exclude 
every one of the public from the valuable documents'' in 
his custody, is utterly incorrect, as may be seen by referring 
to the Irish Statute of 13-14 Geo. III. cap. 40, section iv. 

The charge of iUiberality insinuated (at page xvi. of the 
second volume) against the custodians of the Library of 
Trinity College, Dublin, will be repudiated with indigna- 
tion, as both unfounded and unjustifiable, by every respect- 
able scholar, conversant with the institution, or with the 
services rendered by its learned Librarian, the Rev. J. H. 
Todd, to solid Irish historic literature. 

Passing over innumerable errors on historic and literary 
points in the Prefaces, we shall turn to those portions 
which refer to records relative to which we might natu- 
rally expect to fiiid here precise and reliable information. 
At page li. of Vol. ii. we read : 

** It is certain that the Statutes, whether printed or unedited, do 
not go higher than the early part of Edward II. (1307-1327." 

The inaccuracy of this will be seen when we mention 
that a Statute passed in Ireland, a.d. 1268-9 is preserved 
on the Plea Roll of the fifty-third year of Henry III. (No. 
5.-277 ; even a preceding page of the same volume of the 
present Calendar (ii, p. 19) refers to an Act or ordinance of 
a Parliament held in Ireland a.d. 1295. This great incor- 
rectness on so important a point as the age of the surviving 
Statutes of Ireland, furnishes a portentous commentary on 
the statement made by the compiler of these Prefaces at p. 
139 of the Chancery Commissioners' Report, already 
quoted, that he ** has had for a long time in contemplation 
the printing of our unpublished Statutes,"' and which 
perhaps may now be passing through the press, at the 
public expense, as companion volumes to the ** Calendars/' 

We shall next point out a series of errors relative to the 
" Fiants" so called from their preamble, which was as 
follows : " Fiant Literse Patentes Domini Regis, in debita 
forma, tenore verborum sequentium." These documents, 
which the '\Calendars" incorrectly designate '* Fiats,'* 
are noticed as follows, at p. iii. of the second volume : 

"From the beginning of the reign of Henry the Eighth to the 

1863. The Public Records of Ireland, 355 

end of the reign of Elizabeth, 6,625 Rojal Fiats or Warrants 
reached the Rolls' Office for enrolment and preservation. Very few 
of those were then, or at all, as they should have been, copied on the 
Boll; and they remain to this day uncalendared, and to the public 
almost wholly unknown, a monument of the indisposition which has 
hitherto prevailed to bring to modern light the contents of our 
precious archives. J trust the time will arrive when a favourable, 
opportunity and other propitious circumstances will enable me to 
unfold their invaluable contents to the public, and to remove the 
reproach arising from their comparative oblivion." 

Tfcis account of the condition of the '' Fiants," although 
emanating from their official and paid custodians, is wholly 
incorrect, as Calendars of them from the reign of Henry 
VIII. were prepared, at public expense, more than thirty 
years ago^ with mucii care and labour.''" 

Another allegation in the above passage indicates igno- 
rance even, of the precise natuxie of the documents styled 
**Fiants/' now lying in the Rolls' Office, Dublin. 
, **Fiants," we may observe, were instruments under the 

* In the tabular digest of the Sub-Commissioners' returns to 
the Committee of observation, made pursuant to orders of the 
Irish Kecord Commission dated 17th March, 1817, and 19th May, 
1819, we find the following entries under the head of *' Actual result 
and present state of the works,'' " Arrangement of Fiants from 21st 
Hen. VIII., to the present period, into reigns completed.'* "Cata- 
logue to Fiants, formed as far as 16" James I." (p. 49.) 

The detailed Report, dated 24th December, 1829, of *• Works in 
progress by the Irish Record Commission," signed ** William Shaw 
Mason, Sec. Com. Pub. Rec." states (p. 2) *' that the comparison of 
the un-enrolled Fiants with the Repertory thereof has been made, and 
the Repertory itself completed; adding that '*a fair transcript 
thereof for depositing in the Rolls' Offices is in progress, with an 
index of persons." Tlie Report of 1829 further mentions the com- 
pletion of the collation of the Repertory with 120 files, consisting 
of 7440. Fiants of Edward VJ, Elizabeth, and James I ; that 502 
pages were fairly transcribed, 460 pages executed of indices of per- 
sons and places, and that the files of unenroUed Fiants of Henry 
VIII. and JElizi^beth were arranged and labelled. — Notes of Pro- 
ceedings of Irish Record Commissioner Sj 25th March, 1829, page 24. 

The Report of these Commissioners for 1830 further records the 
col:ation and completion of their Repertory with 68 files, consisting of 
2042 unenroUed Fiants of the reign of James I, ; also that the assort- 
ment of the F'iants of the preceding reigns, up to Henry VIII. 
inclusive had been perfected. 

356 The Public Records of Ireland, [April. 

royal, or occasional]}^ the vice-regal, hand, on tlie model of 
which were prepared Letters Patent from the Crown nnder 
the great seal. The Patents and ** Fiants" were thus dupli- 
cate instruments; the "Fiants" were not intended to be 
engrossed on the Patent Rolls, but to be ** entered of 
record'' in books, a distinct and less solemn, yet secure 
evidence. Letters Patent were handed to those to whom 
they had been granted, but the ** Fiants " were retained 
in the office, and on proof of the loss of a patent, patent 
roll, or enrolment in the Exchequer, an original Fiant 
was admitted in evidence as a record of the highest 

To exemplify the multitudinous errors, unfounded asser- 
tions, and incorrect conclusions pervading this work, we 
shall analyze the statements in these Calendars relative 
to declaratory act passed in the Parliament of Ireland in 
the tenth year of Henry VII, a.d. 1495. On this subject 
the first passage is as follows : 

" In the reign of Henry VII,, Ireland was a scene of tumult and 
violence. At this period, in tlio town of Trim, in a strong castle, 
the records of the country, for security, were deposited. They were 
seized on by O'Neill, and utterly destroyed ; and thus the documents 
serving for evidence to constitute the title of the Crown to property 
perished." — Calendar, Vol. i, p. xiii. 

A few lines further down (p. xiv.) we are assured that 
on this occasion ** it was a mere chance that suffered a few, 
such as the Patent, Plea, Close, Statute, and Memoranda 
Rolls to escape. '^^ 

There is no evidence that any documents were deposited 
in the Treasury of Trim at this period, except those spe- 
cially referred to in the Statute of 10 Henry VII, cap. 15, as 
connected with the King's titles to the Earldoms of March 
and Ulster and the Lordships of Trim and Connaught. 
This Statute does not ascribe the destruction of these 
records to O'Neill, but, on the contrary, avers that they 
were '* taken and embesilled by divers persons of nixalice 
prepense." Had they been " utterly destroyed'' by O'Neill 
the Parliamentary Lawyers of Henry VII. in Ireland, 
would not have ordered, as appears from the same Statute, 
Proclamation to be made that " whatsoever person have 
any of the said Rolls, Records, or Inquisitions or knoweth 
where they be, and do not deliver them, or show where 
they be to our Soveraigne Lord's Gounsail, within the 

1863.] The Ptiblic Records of Ireland. 357 

said land within two months next after the said Pro- 
clamation, that then they and every of them, that shall so 
offend this present Act^ be deemed felons attainted/'"'^ 

Any observations on [the law of property or title, pnt 
forward nnder special judicial approval, might naturally be 
regarded as meriting attention ; yet we are at a loss to 
account for the object of the following passages on the 
Statute of the 10th year of Henry YII. declaratory of 
the Crown's title to lands, the records of which had been 
embezzled, as above mentioned : 

*• This Statute is a Parliamentary assertion of the rights of the 
Crown ; it sets forth that the records were stolen from Trim, and 
destroyed, and provides a remedy therefor; but wJiat provision was 
made for those holding immediately from the Grown hy Patent 2 who, in 
the absence of those records, could prove, a title to his ancestral posses- 
sio7is?'' — Calendar, Vol. i. xiv. 

These interrogatories might be construed hito implying 
that the Crown, after the embezzlement of the Records, 
intended to violate private rights by seizing on the entire 
lands referred to, through the authority of Parliamentary 
investiture, with the collusion of the Lords and Commons 
of Ireland. Such a view, however, cannot be supported, 
we believe, by the production of even one instance of a 
subject holding under the Crown of England, having been 
dispossessed by virtue of this act. The irrelevancy of 
the above italicized queries in the Calendar will be 
apparent, when it is remembered that each landholder 
retained his own evidences ; and that both Common and 
Statute law required the King's title to be of record under 
the great seal. To substitute such title, purloined from the 
Treasury of Trim, the declaratory act referred to was 
passed, which, analogous to the long subsequent Acts of 
Settlement and Explanation, constituted the Cro^yn a 
trustee for every individual having interests within a 
defined territory, thus eminently securing its subjects 
instead of disturbing them, as the above cited passage in 
the Calendar would insinuate. 

"Was this the cause, two centuries later, of Lord Strafford 
issuing that famous * Commission for Defective Titles,' by which 
eyery proprietor in the West was dispossessed, unless he could show, 

* Statutes passed in Ireland Vol. I. (1786) p. 52. 

358 The Public Records of Ireland. [April. 

in writing, a clear, indisputable, indefeasible title from the Crown ? 
But how few records remained will be found in the fact, that when 
the same Lord Strafford sought to find the title of his patron, 
Charles the First, to the entire, province of Connaught, upon an 
inquiry held at Galway, he produced in evidence this Statute of 
10th Henry VII. to show the loss of the records and to maintain 
th^ title of the Crown in their absence,"— (7aZe/i(iar, Vol. i, xiv. 

The inaccuracies here on a comparatively modern period, 
are nearly equal in number with the lines. ** Two 
centuries later'' than 1495 would have been 1695, sixty 
years subsequent to 1635 the time intended to be indicated. 
The cau5^ of the inquisition on "Defective Titles" was 
not the loss of records but the expectation of augmenting 
the King's revenue, and of effecting a new " Plantation." 
The Commission was issued by Charles I, not by Lord 
Strafford, a peer not then in existence ; nor did the pro- 
ceeding embrace the " entire province of Connaught." Pro- 
prietors who could not produce records were not '^ dis- 
possessed," but permitted to remedy defective titles, having 
been publicly assured that it was the King's resolution to 
" question no man's Patent that had been granted formerly 
upon good considerations, and was of itself valid in law," 
and that " his great seal was his public faith nnd should be 
kept sacred in all things." The title of the Crown to por- 
tions of Connaught was not first found on an ** inquiry held 
at Galway," but by the Jury of R6scommon in 1635. The 
King's title was not maintained on this occasion by the 
production of the Statute of 10, Henry VII, in the 
*' absence of records," but by exemplifications of muni- 
ments from the Tower of London, sent over under 
the great seal by the famous Coke, and by sundry 
records in the Irish Exchequer, as may be seen from 
the " Brief of His Majesty's title," in this matter, 
A.D. 1635. The statement that then but "few re- 
cords remained," is disproved by the following observa- 
tions in a letter frorn the Lord Dfeputy of Ireland to Coke 
in 1634, on this subject : 

"Few days pass us upon the commission of defective titles, but 
that some patent or other starts which not any of his Majesty's 
Officers on this side knew of before. So that we can judge of 
nothing upon any sure ground till the party be heard.'' 

Having thus, to a limited extent, exhibited the character 
of the " Prefaces," we shall next proceed to consider the 


1863.] The Public Records of Ireland. 359 

value of the illustrative notes and commentaries to be found 
in the body of the Calendars. 

The important manuscript known as " Crede Mihi" is 
said in a note at page 28 of the second volume of the 
Calendar to be " preserved in Marsh's Library," whereas 
this exquisitely written little tome is a part of the muni- 
ments of the See of Dublin, and, as such, now in the cus- 
tody of Archbishop Whately. 

The following incomprehensible note appears at page 
211 of vol. 2, as a commentary on the word ** onions" 
in the text : 

" Soap or tallow.'' 

A territory styled "Briffium," never before heard of, is 
mentioned at page 93 of the same volume ; and further on 
(477) we find the following strange names appended to a 
Government document of 1586 : 

•* Jo Armaham. O'Gormanston. O'Delvim." 

No such signatures are to be found on the original which, 
however, contains the autographs of Joannes Armacanus, 
John Long, Archbishop of Armagh ; Christopher Preston, 
first Viscount Gormanstown, and Christopher Nugent, 
ninth baron of Delvin, whose names have been deciphered 
into the above strange forms. 

A full examination of the expositions given in these 
Calendars of obsolete English law terms would require 
us, in the words of an old epigrammatist, to 

" tell of Fourching, Vouchers, and Counterpleas, 
Of Withernams, Essoins, and Champarty." 

A single specimen will suffice to illustrate the errors on 
these points, without entering further into Dry-as-dustian 
legal commentaries : 

** Meskenningham — an unjust citation into court." 

Calendar^ Vol. i, p. 425. 

The term *^ Miskenningham," which will be found in the 
charters of the City of London from Henry I, and Henry 
HI, signified the fine paid for changing or amending a 
plea or count : the word Mishenning means literally mis- 
counting or mis-pleading, for liberty to rectify which was 
paid the fine styled Miskenningham.* 

♦ Privilegia Londini, Svo. London: 3723, p. 36 ; Liber Albus, 
translated by H. T. Riley, 1861, p. 115. 

VOL. LI I.— No. CJV. 6 

360 The Public Records of Ireland. I April, 

The etymological portions of the Commentaries are per- 
haps the most note- worthy ; they assure us that the term 
*' Dicker'' of hides, commonly used by butchers and tanners, 
is derived from dekas, the latter, according to the Calendar, 
(vol. ii, p. 179.) being the Greek numeral for ten ! 

** Coshery/' the composition paid of old in Ireland for 
exemption from supplying victuals to a chieftain and his 
followers, is lucidly explained as follows : — 

** Cois are cess or rent, for the King, received hy receiving Lim 
in coslierj.'' — Calendar, Vol. i, p. 45. 

Further indisputable evidence of erudition appears in the 
following : 

" Tauistrj seems to be derived from Thanis. and is a law or cus" 
torn in some parts of Ireland." — Calendar, Vol. ii, p. 260. 

Every Irish scholar knows that the English word Tan- 
istry is derived from the Gaelic Tanaistecht meaning 
successorship ; the eldest son of a chief in ancient Ireland 
being usually recognised as his presumptive heir and 
successor, was styled in Gaelic TanaistCy that is minor or 
second. Tanistry was declared illegal in the first years of 
the seventeenth century, and its existence in Ireland at the 
present day, as stated in the above extract from the 
Calendars, is a novel and startling piece of intelligence, 
which no doubt, will receive due attention from Her 
Majesty's Law Officers. 

Among a series of depositions of witnesses at Waterford 
in 1587, relative to a marriage, we read the following passage 
in the second volume of the Calendar ; 

"Margaret O'Brenagh of Killaspuck, in the county of Kilkenny 
widow, states that she saw her aunte, Helene Brenagh, wife of 
Richard Toben, come to witness's house, after the marriage, to ask 
help of her husband. Piers Brenagh, to be given to MoThomas with 
her daughter, who gave her then a colp.'' — Vol. ii, p. 508. 

Colp is the ordinary Gaelic word used in Munster to desig- 
nate the number of sheep which can graze on a certain 
extent of pasturage. Nothing is more common in the 
South of Ireland, than for Gaelic speaking farmers, under 
circumstances similar to those above mentioned, to 
arrange how many colps shall be the marriage portions of 
their children. A note, however, on the above passage in 
the Calendar avers as follows that Colp means a wax- 
candle ! — 

1863.] Tfie Public x'ecords q/ Ireland, 361 

" Colp, Colpo — A small wax candle, i copo de cere. We read 
in Hovenden [Hoveden] tliat wheu the King of Scots came to the 
English Court, as long as he stayed there he had every day, de 
liberatione triginta sol et duodecum [duodecim] vassellos [Wastellos] 
dominicos, et quandraginta [quadraginta] grosses lougos Colpoues 
de domiuica caudela Regis.'' — Vcl, ii, p. 508. 

The above note has been appropriated, without acknow- 
ledgment from Du Cange, but with the inaccuracies which 
we have italicised, supplying the correct words in brackets. 
The entire passage, compressed by Du Gauge, will be found 
at page 738 of Savile's edition of Hoveden (Frankfort, 
1601) where that writer describes the reception of Williani 
King of Scotland, by Richard Coeur de Lion in 1194, the 
arrangemeuts on which occasion are here cited in the 
Calendar to illustrate the internal economy of an Irish 
farm-house four centuries later ; and to show that a wax 
candle — *' coupon de cire'*— was given as a marriage por- 
tion by Pierce Brenagh* of Killaspuck in the County of 
Kilkenny ! 

The climax, however, appears to have been attained at 
page 273 of the second volume, where we encounter the 
following explanation of the name '* Cahernamarte :" 
" Caheruemort. The City of the Dead : hodie Westport." 

^ We might here exclaim as Fantagruel did to the Limo- 
sin pedant who professed "escorier la cuticule de la 
vernacule Gallicque.'' " Que dyable de languaige est 
cecy ? le croy que il nous forge icy quelque languaige 
diabolicque ; il veult contrefaire la langue des Parisians ; 
mais il ne faict que escorcher le latin !'' *"' The full value of 
the above etymology will be appreciated after a perusal of 
the following lines published many years ago, by the great- 
est of Gaelic scholars and topographers: 

** Cathair-na-Mart, i. e. the stone fort of the beeves. This was 
the name of an ancient stone fort of a circular form, and also of a 
castle built by O'Malley on the margin of the bay of Westport. The 
town of Westport is still always called Gathair na mart in Irish bj 
the people of Connaught and Muuster. The stones of the ancient 
Cathair [or fort] were removed some years since, but its site 
is still pomted out by the natives within the Marquis of Sligo's 
demesne." — Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland^ by John 0' Donovan, 
M.RJ.A., vol. iii, p. 1803. Dublin : 1848. 

* " Comment Pantagruel rencontra ung Limosin qui contrefaisoyt 
le languaige Frangois." Pantagruel, liure ii., chap. vi. CEuvres d© 
Rabelais, Paris : 1837, p. 74. 

362 The Public Records of Ireland. [April. 

The word Mart, on which the Calendars have raised 
an imaginary Nekropolis, is, we may observe, the common 
Gaelic term for beeves or kine, and of ordinary occurrence 
in old Irish documents. The first entry in the Irish list of 
the annual tribute paid in ancient times by the people of 
Munster to their King is — ** Tri ceat mart a Muscraidhi" 
— three hundred beeves from the men of Muskerry. In 
the sixteenth century the word had become Anglicised 
Marte, and deeds of that period abound with references to 
*'fatte martes/'^ 

In the compositions of the English Government with the 
native Irish Chiefs, in the reign of Henry VIII., we fre- 
quently find such entries as the following, in the agree- 
ment in 1544 between the King and O'Donell, preserved 
in the Lambeth Library : '* Dominus O'Donell, in signum 
amoris et benevolentiee, ad sui Regis Christianissimi,*aut 
ejus Deputati in Hibernia, coquinam, singulis annis, cen- 
tum boves sive martas, more suae patriae, pollicetur ac 
promittit;'* and in a covenant made by the English Gov- 
ernment with the head of the Clan O'Reilly in 1558, the 
latter bound himself to observe all the stipulations, under 
a penalty of one thousand martes, in the following terms : 
**ac si deliquerit in aliquo premissorum solvet Dominse 
Reginse mille martas/' Hibernice mile mart. 

We can well conceive the admiration with which con- 
scientiously laborious investigators must regard a system 
which, under legal patronage, and at the Nation's 
expense, can pronounce the ancient Celtic law of Tanistry 
to be still in operation in Ireland ; — by a single line change 
a flock of sheep into a wax candle, and transmute a com- 
mon-place stone bullock-pen, into a ** City of the dead;" 
in the words of the ''Dunciad:'' 

" — all flesh is nothing in his sight ; 
Beeves, at his touch, at once to jelly turn. 
And the huge boar is shrunk into an urn." 

Reasonable limits preclude us from doing fuller justice 
to the Prefaces and annotations, and we now come to the 
consideration of the body of the work itself, purporting to 
be a ** Calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls of Henry 
VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth," Here natu- 
rally, at first arises the question as to the language in 
which were written the original documents thus calen- 
dared or catalogued. On this imp9rtant point the only 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


information given us is to be found in the following lines, 
some of which will be perceived to coincide remarkably 
with the language used by Mr. Erck in the Preface to his 
*' Bepertory/' published in 1846, as already noticed: 

CALENDAR, a.d. 1861. 

" It [the first volume of the 
Calendars] purports to contain 
an abstract of every instrument 
on the Rolls ; condensed a?id trans- 
lated into English; all abbrevia- 
tions and contractions have 
been rejected ; all technical 
phraseology discarded. The pur- 
port of each document has been 
minutely and accurately ana- 
lyzed ; tJie substance of every 
important clause and provision ex- 
tracted, and the names of evert/ 
person and place in each accurately 
specified, with a view of render- 
ing accessible to the public the 
original MSS., obscured as they 
now are in obsolete languages 
and modes of expression ; writ- 
ten in antiquated and nearly 
unknown character, obscure and 
frequently \\\eg\\AQ,rendered more 
embarrassing by abbreviations, 
which frequently leave the number , 
gender, or tense of a word difficult 
of ascertainment; and which 
might, if not in time rescued 
from oblivion, ultimately share 
the fate of the memorials of 
Babylon or Nineveh, and like 
the Rosetta stone, depend for 
interpretation upon the chance 
discovery of some ingenious stu- 
dent.'* — Voh i. p. xliii. 

The following passage on the same subject is not the 
only one in the Calendars taken verbatim from Mr. 
Robert Lemon's Preface to the *' State Papers," pub- 
ished under authority of her Majesty's Commission, 
London: 1830: , 

ERCK, A.D. 1846. 
" The plan of the first part of 
the work, now submitted to the 
public, purports to contain a full 
abstract of every instrument on 
the roll — all the articles have 
been translated into English — 
all abbreviations and contrac- 
tions of words, rejected — all 
technical phraseology discarded 
— and nothing, but the subject 
matter of the grant, retained ; 
showing the inducement, nature 
of the donation, tenure, condi- 
tions, and penalties annexed if 
any.'' — A Repertory of the In- 
raiments on the Patent Rolls of 
Chancery in Ireland, commencing 
with the reign of King James I. ; 
edited by J. C. Erck, L. L. D, 
Vol. i., part i. Dublin : 1846, 
p. vi. 

364 The Public Records of Ireland. [April. 

CALENDAR, a.d. 1862. R. LEMON, a.d. 1830. 

" I have ventured to joreserve " It was determined to pre- 

the ancient orthography^ hut to serve the ancient ortliographj, 

reject the abbreviations which but to reject the abbreviations 

abound in the letters of many of which abound in the letters 

the writers of the period — a pe- of many of the writers of that 

riod when not only orthography period.'' "At a period when 

was so unsettled, but gramraati- not only orthography was so un- 
cal rules were violated in the settled, but the plainest gram- 
holograph letters of the most matical rules were perpetually 
eminent, and of those who af- violated, even in the holograph 
fected the greatest learning, it is letters of the most eminent men, 
often impossible to discrimi- and of those who jiflfected the 
nate between the design and the greatest scholarship it is often 
error of the clerk. To translate impossible to discriminate be- 
and condense those mouldering tween the design and the error 
memorials of a by-gone age, of the Clerk." — Slate Papers, Vol* 
accumulated during centuries, \y jpart 1., Preface, -p. xxii, 
when time and accident have 
in many instances rendered them 
almost illegible, has been my 
arduous task." — Vol. ii. p. 

The instruments on the Rolls are above stated to have 
been condensed and translated into English in these 
Calendars, and reference is made to the obscurities of 
the number, gender, and tensos of words. The passage 
quoted from the second volume states that the ancient 
orthography has been preserved, and also mentions the 
translation and condensation of these materials. We 
may thus divine for ourselves whether the abstracts have 
been made from Latin, French, or Gaelic — "obscure in 
number, gender, and tense" — but how, in these transla- 
tions from *' obsolete languages" into English, the ancient 
orthography, as above stated, has been preserved, must, 
in the words of the Preface, be left to the ** chance dis- 
covery of some ingenious student." The same mythical 
personage may perhaps also discover the object proposed 
to be attained in prefixing to these volumes, three large 
coloured fac-similes of documents, without indicating 
either where the originals are preserved, or why they were 
specially selected for engraving — two of the three being 
neither Patent nor Close Rolls. 

We may, however, without undue temerity aver, that 
there can be but one opinion among scholars as to the value 

1863.] The Public Records of Ireland, 365 

and accuracy of translations of records emanating: from a 
source which publicly declares that a stone bullock-pen in 
Irish, signifies in English ** a city of the dead.'* 

Before proceeding further we shall give a short expla- 
nation of the documents styled ** Patent Rolls'* and 
" Close Rolls" with which ordinary readers could 
scarcely be expected to be conversant, when the following 
passage from the preface to the^ Calendars evinces unmis- 
takable ignorance on these subjects : 

** The Patent Rolls (Patentes) were those open grants from the 
Crown, ,for they were open to the inspection of all, and so called 
patent. The Close Rolls (Clauses) were so called, because they 
contained writs from the Crown, sealed and directed to the officers by 
whom they were received, and to whom alone they were open ; as also 
royal letters obligations, recognizances, deeds." — Vol. i, p. xxxvii. 

We may here state that the name of Letters Patent — 
''Literse Patentes," — was applied to charters, deeds or 
instruments written upon open (patentes) sheets of parch- 
ment, bearing pendant at bottom the great seal of the sove- 
reign by whom they were issued, and to all of whose sub- 
jects in general they were addressed. 

Letters Close — *'LitersB clausse" — were used to convey 
royal mandates, letters and writs of a less public nature, 
folded and sealed on the outside, whence the designation of 
** closed" letters in contradistinction to the open or 
*' patent" letters : — so, under the French monarchy, the 
king's letters were either ** Lettres Patentes" or '* Lettres 
de cachet." 

** When," says Hunter, ''the practice arose in the reign 
of John, of enrolling copies of those letters for the purpose 
of presentation and future reference, and perhaps for 
the further purpose of being a check upon the forgery of 
instruments of such great importance, they were entered 
on two distinct Rolls, now called the Patent Rolls and the 
Close Rolls," or, we may add, ** Rotuli Literarum Pa- 
tentium" and "Rotuli Literarum Clausarum." 

It will thus be seen that the above six lines from the 
Calendars of 1861, descriptive of the documents which form 
the material of the work contain four grave errors — 1. Pa- 
tent Rolls were not '^open grants" but merely the enrol- 
merits or copies of such grants. 2. Close Rolls were never 
styled** clauses'' till so named in these Calendars. 3. Close 
Rolls did not contain ** sealed" writs from the crown, but 

368 The Public Records of Ireland, [April. 

only abstracts of such documents: indeed, it would be 
utterly impracticable to ro/Z up, as here mentioned, a 
number of parchments, each bearing an impression in wax 
of a Great Seal. 4. Close Letters, confounded in this 
Calendar with Close Halls, were not, as above stated, 
accessible and directed solely to " officers ;" but, on the 
contrary, *' LitersB Clausse, were commonly addressed to 
any individuals to whom the sovereigns desired to transmit 
their orders on either public or domestic matters. 

The plan adopted in these Calendars of publishing 
translated abstracts of ancient records has long been ex- 
ploded as objectionable and unsatisfactory. The frequently 
used arguments above reproduced in favour of this sys- 
tem have been conclusively disposed of by the highest 
authorities ; and on this point we may here cite the obser- 
vations of Mr. T. D. Hardy, in his Introduction to his 
Calendar of the Close Rolls in the Tower of London, a 
work, to the value and accuracy of which we feel pleasure in 
bearing testimony, from practical experience. Having cor- 
rectly observed that actual trial has proved that documents 
of moderate length can be copied in much less time than 
would necessarily be occupied in making abstracts of them, 
an expert writer being able to transcribe very nearly as 
fast as he can decipher, Mr. Hardy with indisputable 
authority, adds : 

" Whereas for the purpose of abstracting it, he [the writer] must 
indispensably read the document through, next, he must make 
himself familiar with its various points and bearings, and then he will 
have to consider the most concise and explicit way of forming the 
abstract. Added to all this, there is a difficulty, not so slight as it 
may appear, in reducing into a more compendious form matter that 
has already undergone the process of curtailment, and which by 
re-abridgment would be subjected to the danger of omitting some 
expression which possibly might alter the purport or embarrass the 
sense of the whole instrument. In being furnished with a trans- 
cript of the documents themselves, the Reader can suffer no disap- 
pointment ; for it often happens that what is deemed worthless by 
some, may be held by others to be of the greatest value ; nor can 
he have any anxiety to see the originals, instigated by the possibility 
of discovering some different reading, or other matter which 
had escaped the notice and proper attention of the abstracter. 
So important, indeed, has it been thought for every document to be 
printed in the most correct manner, that in many instances oblite- 
rations of whole sentences have been retained (though marked as 
effaced in the original) as essential to Unmeaning, it being impos* 

1863.] The Public Records 0/ Ireland. 367 

gible without tliem thoroughly to understand the document in 
which they occur, as tlie scribe appears frequently to have erased 
words fatal to the sense, forgetting at the moment the structure of 
the sentence ; and, consequently, unless the effacement or oblitera- 
tion had been retained, the instrument must have appeared to be 
incapable of rational construction ; whereas, by exhibiting it to the 
Reader whole and entire, he is enabled to ascertain its real mean- 
ing. For these reasons it has been deemed expedient to give a 
complete and literal transcript : in short, as close Skfac simile of the 
originals as modern types would admit.. ..In no case whatever,'* 
says Mr. Hardy, " has the liberty been taken of altering or amend- 
ing a word when wrong from either clerical or grammatical error, 
such inac^curacies being denoted by an underline, to indicate that 
such error did not escape attention.'' 

The most conclusive mode of testing the accuracy of the 
entries in the Calendars would be by collating them with 
the original Rolls of which they are alleged to be abstracts ; 
but such a course is precluded by the official intimation 
quoted at page 322 that the paid keepers of the documents 
** have not time to attend to*' histoi^ical inquiries. Relying, 
however, on independent sources, we shall examine the 
Calendars in their principal departments — grants of lands 
and other hereditaments; of offices; and of pardons. 

In many instances we find merely the name of the indi- 
vidual to whom the grant was made, the particulars of the 
lands being entirely omitted — leaving such entries almost 
valueless. The coniparatively limited number ojf grants 
of lands and, hereditaments registered in these volumes 
demonstrates conclusively that either the Calendars are 
very incomplete or the Patent Rolls themselves incredi- 
bly defective in their contents ; and here we look in 
vain for various important Irish grants, passed during 
the reigns of Henry V lit, Edward VI, Mary, and Eliza- 
beth. Of these omissions we annex some specimens, 
premising that among them we do not include any grant 
passed in a year of which the Patent Roll is alleged to be 
not forthcoming ; to each grant we append the day of the 
month with the year of the reign, in which it was made, 
but our limits preclude the addition here of the services, 
rents, and other details, embodied in the instruments : 

1537 To Pierce Butler, Earl of Ossory and Ormond, and James, 
Lord Butler, thirty-three Manors, viz., 6 in Kilkenny ; 
9 in Tipperary ; 6 in Carlow ; 1 in Wexford; 1 in Water- 
ford ; 4 in Kildare; 4 in Dublin, aud 2 in Meath; 3 Octo- 
ber, 29, Henry VIII. 

368 The Public Records of Ireland, [April. 

1542 To Sir A. St. Leger — the possessions of the Monastery of 

Graine, Co. Carlow ; 4th May, 34 Hen. VIII. 

1543 To Provost and Burgesses of Clonmel — the Monastery of 

Friars Minors, Clonmel ; 9 March; 38, Hen. VIII. 

1544 To Sir E. Butler, Baron of Dunbojne, the Monastery of Fidert 

Cross, Tipperary ; 16 Jany, 35, Hen. VIII. 
1549 To John Travers — the manors of Hollywood, Rathmore and 

others in Leinster ; 13 Nov. 3 Edward VI. 
1552 To Nicholas Bagnall, Marshal of Ireland, the College of 

Newry, the lordship of Mourne, the manors of Carling- 

ford and Cowley, in Down and Louth ; 2 April, 6, Edward 

1555 To Gerald, Earl of Kildare — his ancestral estates in Ireland ; 

I May, 1 and 2, Philip and Mary. 

1568 To Sir Edward Butler,— the Monastery of BaltinglasB ; 24 
May, 10, Elizabeth. 

1568 To Sir Luke Dillon — the moiety of the manor of Castleknock. 

Co. Dublin ; 20 August, 10 Elizabeth. 

1569 To Robert Dillon — the possessions of the Priory of St. John, 

Kilkenny ; 2 March, 11, Elizabeth. 

1570 To Sir N. White — the manor of Leixlip, Co. Kildare; 11 June, 

12, Elizabeth. 
1671 To John Whitney — the castle and Lordship of Syan, Queen's 

Co. ; 1 March, 13, Elizabeth. 
1574 To Calvatio O'More, the Manor of Ballina, Co. Kildare ; 3 

August, 16, Elizabeth. 

1577 To Sir Cormac Mac Teige, Mac Carty — possessions of the 

Preceptory of Morne, Co. Cork ; 6 October, 19, Eliza- 

1578 To William O'Carroll— the territory>f Ely O'Carroll, King*s 

Co.; 1 August, 20, Elizabeth. 

1578 To the Mayor and Bailiffs of Galway — the customs of Galway, 

and the possessions of the Monastery of Colles Victorise; 
21 Septr. 20, Elizabeth. 

1579 To Christopher Nugent, Baron of Delvin — the possessions of 

the Priory of Foure, Co. Westmeath ; 20 July, 21, Eliza- 

1583 To Gerald, Earl of Kildare — the possesions of the Monastery 
of Down; 6 December, 26, Elizabeth. 

1586 To Donald O'Madden — the Lordship of Longford, Co, Galway; 

II June, 28, Elizabeth. 

1586 To Guconacht Mac Guire — the whole County of Fermanagh, 

17 Jany, 28, Elizabeth. 

1587 To Con Mac Neill 6g John — the Lordship of Castlereagh, Co. 

Down, at an annual rent of 250 cows to be delivered at 
Newry ; 30 March, 29, Elizabeth. 

1588 To Sir Henry Harrington — the lands of Kilrothery &c„ Co. 

Wicklow; 26 Nov. 30, Elizabeth. 

1863.] The Public Records of Ireland. 369 

1588 To Hugh Worth— the territory of Kinalmeaky, (vO._Cork ; 30 

Sept. 30, Elizabeth. 
1588 To Sir George Bourchier — the castle and loch of Loch-gur 

and 12,880 acres, Co. Limerick ; 12 Nov. 30, Elizabeth. 
1688 To Hugh Cuffe— CastleneKille and lands, Co. Cork ; 18 

Nov. 30, Elizabeth. 
1590 To Edward Sutton— possessions of the Priory of Thome, Co. 

Tipperary; 6 June, 82, Elizabeth. 

1590 To Ros ban Mac Brian Mac Mahon — chief rents of Bally- 

lekebally lands, Co. Monaghan ; 20 Nov. 33, Elizabeth. 

1591 To Robert Bostock — the possessions of St. Mary's Abbey, Co. 

Dublin ; 3 March, 33, Elizabeth. 

1592 To John Lee — the moiety of the Manor of Castleknock, Co. 

Dublin ; 26 March, 34, Elizabeth. 

1598 To Sir John Proby— the wardship and marriage of Ellen 

Pagan, daughter and heiress of Thomas Pagan; also the 
wardship and marriage of Walter Ussher, son and heir of 
John Ussher, at an annual rent to the Crown of £18 6 
for the former, and ten shillings for the latter ; 18 Decem- 
ber, 41, Elizabeth. 

1599 To Pierce Edmonds — the wardship and marriage of Patrick 

Scurlock, son and heir of Martin Scurlock, of Rathredin, 
King's Co. at an annual rent to the Crown of j£10 19 6 ; 
21 August, 41, Elizabeth. 

The preceding constitute but a very small portion of the 
grants omitted in the Calendars, although passed under 
the Great Seal, and^ embodying information of most im- 
portant nature to investigators of almost every class. 
It appears scarcely credible that Patents, passing through 
the^ Chancery of Ireland, could have been delivered to 
their respective grantees without having been enrolled or 
entered of record ; some of them being oi great importance, 
as that of the whole County of Fermanagh in 1586 ; the 
grant of upwards of twelve thousand acres in Limerick to 
Bourchier in 1588 ; while the patents noted in our above 
list as omitted in these Calendars under 1537 and 1555, 
are the documents under which, to-day, the two high 
Peers of Ireland, the Duke of Leinster and the Marquis 
of Orniond, derive their ancient titles and family estates. 

We have also to reprehend the omissions in these Cal- 
endars of details of the privileges and services of Crown 
tenants ; matters of high legal import as distinguishing 
rights of great Barons and Parliamentary Peers. Such 
omissions preclude an accurate view of the progress of 
English law and customs in Ireland, and seriously preju- 

370 The Public Records of Ireland, [April. 

dice historic, legal and genealogical investigators, who in 
the absence of these particulars are unable to trace cases 
where the non fulfilment of peculiar obligations led to for- 
feitures, and loss or compositions with the Crown, for sub- 
sequent re- grants of estates. 

The style in which the grants of offices are here cal- 
endared is equally unsatisfactory. The mere dates of im- 
portant official appointments in Ireland having been long 
before the world in printed books, it was superfluous to 
reproduce them, unless accompanied by the Patents 
detailing the extent and nature of the offices conferred. 
This would have afforded accurate information on the 
state of the revenue and expenditure at various periods; 
on the powers of heads of departments, and on the juridical 
and general history of the country, by exhibiting the class 
of records to be consulted in inquiries on special subjects. 
Among the important Patents which should have appeared 
in these Calendars but of which we find no entries in the 
volumes before us, we may mention the following : Crea- 
tion of the office of Ulster King at arms, principal Herald 
of Ireland, 1552 ; establishment of the Athlone Pursuivant, 
1552; the transfer of the See of Dublin to Archbishop 
Hugh Curvven by Philip and Mary, 1555, the elaborate 
document issued by Elizabeth on her accession in 1559 
authorising the proclamation of a general pardon in Ireland ; 
the grant of 1574 by which the Queen of England recog- 
nised Aodh, the son of Manus O'Donell, as Chief of the 
territory of Tirconnell ; Her Majesty's Letters Patent de- 
livered into the Chancery of Ireland, 18 September, 1585, 
for the " dividing the parts of Ulster not yet reduced into 
Shire ground," establishing six counties in the North; the 
Commission of 10th of July, 1591, and its return, delivered 
jnto Chancery on the third of the following month, specify- 
ing the limits fixed upon for the county of Tyrone, with the 
allotment and division of that county ; the very important 
document of 1601, detailing particulars of the exchange and 
coinage of the new standard in Ireland. The omission of 
the latter is the more reprehensible as the place which it 
should have occupied (vol. ii. 578-582,) is filled with matter 
extending to five pages, frequently before printed, although 
no intimation of this fact is given to the reader. 

The three following extracts will serve to illustrate the 
useless mode in which important appointments several 

1863. J The Public Records of Ireland. 371 

times before printed have been again calendared in these 


1558-9 " Appointment of Thomas, Earl of Sussex, to the office of 
Lord Deputj of Ireland,— July 3."— -FoZ. i, p. 418. 

1574 *• Grant of the office of Deputj General of Ireland to Sir 
Henry Sydney. — August 5." — Ih. p. 555. 

1574 " Appointment of the Earl of Essex to the office of Earl 
Marshal of Ireland. — Mar. 9." — lb. 55-6, 

The above few lines are given in these Calendars to 
represent letters patent of the most elaborate character, 
written in Latin, containing numerous clauses of the high- 
est interest, illustrating regal and vice-regal prerogatives ; 
the state of the English government in Ireland, the exact 
nature of the ofl&ces conferred, and descending so far into 
details as to prescribe minutely even the fashion and blason 
of the baton of the Queen's Marshal in Ireland. 

A great part of these Calendars is occupied with 
entries of pardons, but the reasons for which they were 
granted are seldom given, and many pages are filled with 
such useless entries as the following : — 

1544 " Pardon of Donaghe Shillerie, otherwise Cavanaghe, other- 
wise O'Byrne, of Inn Iscorthie, horseboy, Dec. 7, 35°." — 
Vol i., p. 103. 

1552 *' Pardon of Ferdoroghe O' Brenane, John O'Brenane, Der- 

mot O'Brenane, Patrick M'Donoghe Boy O'Brenane, 
Donald O'FerroU O'Brenane, William M'Shane O'Hen- 
nons, Donoghe M'Teige Teige M'Donyll O'Brenane, 
William M'Shane O'Brenane, Finne M'Shane O'Cost- 
ogine, David M'Gillepatricke, Gillernow M'Teige, Donogh 
M'William, and John O'Brenane, Kerns, Mar. 21, 6°."— 
2b, ib. 273. 

1553 4 " Pardon of Moriertagh Howe O'Dowylle, otherwise Twooe 

O'Maline, Maurice, otherwise Moriertaghe Oge M'Donaghe 

^. M'Henry Edale, Melaghlin M'Donaghe M 'Henry Edale, 

Donald bane M'Art Rowe, John O'Mollyne, Kory M'Shane 

O'Dowile, Edward Dowe, Hugh Dowe, M'Donnell M'Shane 

Glasse, Thady O'Hee, M'Gilpadricke O'Hee, and Thady 

More M'Donoghe M'Teige M'Dermot O'Egeyre — No date:* 

—lb. ib.325. 

1558-9 "Pardon of Teige M'Dermod, Sherehee M'Morihirtagh, 

Gilpadrick M'Morihertagh, M'Dermod, Fardorogh M'Davye, 

and Dermod M'Teige, of Leix, Kerns, Deer. 16, 1." — 76. 

ib. 397. 

1558-9 " Pardon of the Archbishop of Dublin.— Dec. 15, IV— 76. ib. 

372 Tke Public Records of Ireland, [April. 

1558 9 "Pardon of Sir John Power, Lord Baron de le Power. — Dec. 
16. P."— /6. ih, 

1602 "Pardon of Douogh M'Donnell M'Gillpatrick Clanteres, 
Shane M'Donnell M'Gillpatrick Clanteres, — O'Bergiu, — 
O'Brohie,— O'Kellie,— M'Gilpatrick,-~M'Teige,— O'Birnie, 
— Roche, — Egerton, — Fleming, — and others. — Dublin, 
March 4, 45."— Fo?. ii, p. 634. 

Similar valueless entries of *' pardons'* occupy frequently 
from six to seventeen consecutive pages of these Calen- 
dars, as in vol. i. pp, 158 to 163 ; 172 to 188 ; 199 to 208 ; 
210 to 214; 273 to 280. 

Had the precise nature of each pardon been accurately 
specified, such information might have furnished impor- 
tant links of the highest value to historical investigators 
as well as to enquirers into pedigrees, lands, and titles. 

The reader may thus estimate the amount of value to be 
attached to the statement (vol. i. p. xliii.) that the ** pur- 
port of each document has been minutely and accurately 
analyzed, the substance of every important clause and 
provision extracted, and the names of every person and 
place of each accurately specified.'* 

The desire to economize space and the public funds can- 
not, with truth, be pleaded for the curtailment by which 
the entries in these Calendars have been, as we have shown, 
virtually rendered useless, for a large number of pages 
purporting to be illustrative original documents, have been 
taken verbatim from common printed books, in general 
without any acknowledgment. Thus the late Dr. John 
O 'Donovan's Irish version and English translation of a 
covenant between Mac Geoghegan and Fox, a.d. 1526, is 
most inappropriately placed under the year 1600, filling 
three pages in Gaelic and English (vol. ii. 572 to 574) 
without mention of its translator, O'Donovan, or of the 
"Irish Archaeological Society" in whose "Miscellany*' it 
was printed in 1846, p. 191. In a similar manner four 
pages of the same volume of the Calendars (60 to 64) 
are entirely occupied by documents relative to the obso- 
lete Dublin local impost, styled " Tolboll," totally out 
of place in calendars of Patent Rolls, and printed fully 
by Dr. Aquilla Smith, in the " Miscellany" already men- 
tioned, pp. 33 to 41. The elaborate schedules compliled 
and published by Mr. Erck in 1846 (" Repertory," pp. 81-2, 
169-170.) of Sir Walter Raleigh's Irish possessions are re- 
printed as the result of new research, in p. 324 to 327 of the 

1863.] The Public Records 0/ Ireland, 373 

second volume of the Calendar ; pp. 325, 515, and 630 of 
which are also composed of republications from the Calen- 
dar of Patent Rolls of James I. printed in 1830, pages QQ, 

The following figures will exemplify the vast extent to 
which documents and abstracts of records printed in the 
Calendars of 1861-2, as the result of new and original in- 
vestigations, have been appropriated verbatim and with-- 
out acknowledgment, from the printed " Keports of the 
Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Municipal 
Corporations in Ireland : presented to both Houses of 
Parliament. 1835:" 

Calendar Volume I — pp. 78, 355-7, 423, 523: reprinted without 
ackuowledgmeut from the above Reports, pp. 573, 805, 810, 621, 

Calendar, Volume II— pp. 86 87,96-99, 110-112,180-182,212, 
306, 310, 455-456, 825: also taken verbatim from same Reports 
pp. 69, 105-106, 557, 558, 75, 76, 479, 579,584, 455, 456, 213. 

Equally preposterous with the foregoing appropriations, 
is the title of ** Calendars of Patent and Close Rolls" given 
to these Volumes, which do not contain either abstract or 
notice of any Close Roll, and in which every roll described 
is headed;* Patent Roll!" 

The rapidity with which these Calendars were executed 
was very remarkable : 

*' Nee pluteum csedit, nee demorsos sapit ungues," 

The first Volume, bearing date May, 1861, was completed 
in an incredibly short period. The second volume, con- 
taining printed matter sufficient to fill about 1200 pages 
similar to ours, came before the public in May, 1862, thus 
succeeding the first within the time barely requisite for 
the mere printing. Literary history records a {qw rare 
instances of marvellous celerity in the composition of im- 
aginative and poetical works, when 

* Wit a diamond brought 
Which cut his bright way through.* 

But we believe that no other specynen can be adduced of 
the compilation of any analytical catalogue of documents, 
** heavy with the dulness of the past,'" having been com- 
pleted with a rapidity remotely approaching to that with 
which these Calendars are alleged to have been executed , 
"at intervals snatched from the labours of official duties.'* 

374 The Public Records of Ireland, [April. 

The justice of our remarks on this point will be admitted 
when we mention that the ancient and obscure records 
given in these volumes as having been separately deci- 
phered, translated, and epitomized in the most careful 
manner, amount to the enormous number of 5291 !"'*' 

Why the country should have been taxed for this alleged 
new examination and epitomizing appears inexplicable, 
for all the Rolls included in these two Volumes were 
translated and Calendared more than thirty years ago, 
under the superintendence of James Hardiman, for the 

♦ ** The number of the Patent Rolls and of the articles entered 
upon them alleged to have been newly analyzed in the Calendars of 
1861-2 are as follow — the figures within brackets denoting the 
numbers of the articles — Henry VIII. 24 rolls, [1142] ; Edward VI. 
Broils [1096J ; Mary, one roll [97]; Phillip and Mary, Trolls 
[:]69] ; Elizabeth, 47 rolls [2508] ; in all 87 rolls containing 5212 
entries, which, with 79 entries from Fiants (Vol. i. pp. 557-70) 
make a total number, as above, of 5291 entries, of which 3792 are con- 
tained in the first and 1499 in the second volume of the Calendars.'* 

The details of the preparation of the Calendars of Patent and 
Close Rolls under the late Irish Record Commission are given as 
follows in the published Reports of that body: 

In March, 1816, these Commissioners oflBcially reported that a 
Calendar to the Patent and Close Rolls in the Rolls' Office had been 
prepared from their commencement to the 43rd year of the reign of 
Elizabeth, and that considerable progress had been made in its 
final revision for press, (6th Annual Report, 1816, p. 2.) In 
March 1817, the 7th Annual Report, p. 8, states that " the Calendar 
to the Patent and Close Rolls formerly in the Bermingham Tower 
repository has been nearly completed and considerable progress 
made in the collation thereof by Mr. Hardiman." The eighth 
Annual Report in March, 1818, p. 12, records the completion of 
the formation of the Calendar and progress made in its collation 
and final revision for press. In January, 1819, the Commissioners 
reported, p. 42, that " the Calendar to the Patent and Close Rolls 
in the Rolls' office has been already brought down to the commence- 
ment of James I." In the Supplement to the same Report, p. 48, 
we find the following given as the present state of the work : 

** Arrangements of Patent and Close Rolls from 31 Edward I, to 
the present time in Chronological order, completed. Catalogue to 
same, giving accurate descriptions of each Roll, completed. Calen- 
dar of Contents of same to the end of the reign of Elizabeth, 
containing upwards of 12000 pages completed ; and considerable 
progress made in the revision of same for printing. Indexes nomi- 
num and locorum to same, containing 5412 pages completed." 


The Public Records of Ireland. 


Irish Record Commission, at the cost of the niation, as 
may bo seen from the note on the opposite page. The 
Irish Kecord Commissioners' Calendar of Pntent and 
Close Rolls to the end of the reign of Henry VII, pub- 
hshed in 1828, contained an announcement that the 
second part of the vohmie, comprising the reigns of Henry 
VIII, Edward VI, Philip and Mary, and Elizabeth, was 
then in press. The printing of this Calendar, commencing 
with Henry VIII, was actually executed in 1830, to the end 
of the reign of Edward VI, including every roll contained 
from p. 1 to p. 299 of the first Volume of the newly-pro- 
duced Calendar : but as the latter makes no reference 
whatever to that of 1830, parallel specimens are here 
appended of the entries with which they both commence : 

CALENDAR, a.d. 1830. 

" Patent Roll, 5 and 6 Henry 

I. — 1. Grant from the King to 
Edward Becke, otherwise Beke, 
of Manchester. — To trade freely 
throughout Ireland, during his 
life, exempt from paj^ment of 
the King's customs, tolls, ho. 
Ap. 5th... .11—1. Grant of the 
office of Second Justice of the 
Chief Place to John Barnewell, 
knt. Lord of Trymleteston. 2 
Jan. Pat. Office. III.— 1 General 
Pardon to Christopher Ussher of 
Duhlin, merchant, the King's 
Collector and Customer, and 
Matilda Darcy his wife. — 13 
Jan. IV. — 2. General Pardon 
to William Brent, abbot of the 
Monastery of St. Thomas the 
martyr, near Dublin, and his 
convent. V. — 3. Grant from 
the King, for a certain sum of 
money, to Edward Plunket, knt, 
lord of Donsany, Meath Co., 
five Marks of Annual rent, issu- 
ing out of Crossdrome and Cas- 
tell Cor, in the King's hands, by 
reason of the minority of John 
Plunket, son and heir of Ed- 

CALENDAR, a.d. 1861. 

*' Patent Roll, 5, 6 Henry VIII 
Membrane I — License to Ed- 
ward Becke, otherwise Beke, of 
Manchester, to trade freely 
throughout Ireland, during his 
life, exempt from payment of 
the King's customs or tolls. 
— Ap. 5. 5°. 2. Grant to 
John Barnewell, knight, Lord 
of Trymleteston, of the office 
of Second Justice of the Chief 
Place ; To hold during plea- 
sure, with a Salary of 40 
marks. — Jan. 2, 5°. 3. Pardon 
of Christopher Ussher, of Dub- 
lin, mercliant, the King's col- 
lector and customer, and Matil- 
da Darcy his wife. — Jan. 13. 
Membrane 2. — 4. Pardon of 
William Brent, Abbot of the 
monastery of St. Thomas the 
Martjr, near Dublin, and his 
convent. — Jan. ... Membrane 3. 
5. Grant, for a certain sum of 
money, to Edward Plunket, 
knight, Lord of Donsany, of 
five marks annually, issuing out 
of Crossdrome and Castell Cor, 
in the county of Meath, in the 


376 ne Public Records of Ireland. [April. 

rrnind Plunkfet, late lord of Kjl- King's hands, by reason of the 
len, deed., so long as same shall minority of John Plunket, son 
remain iu the King's hands. — and heir of Edmund Plunket, late 
Without account. 4 April. Lord of Kyllen, deceased ; so 

long as the lands shall remain 

in the King's hands Without 

VI. 3. Grant of the office of account. — April 4. 6. Grant of 
Justice of Ireland to William the office of justice of Ireland to 
Preston, viscount and lord of William Preston, Viscount and 
Gormaneston. — 13 Ap. — Pat. Lord of Gormanston. — April 
Off. 13. 

Dorso. VII. — 1. Award by the Dorso. 7. Award of the Lords 
Lords and Council, that Henry and Council, directing that 
Duff' and others of Drogheda, Henry Duff and others, iuhabi- 
shall have a certain ship and tants of Drogheda, shall have a 
goods, lawfully taken by them certain ship and goods, well and 
as a prize. — 4 Aug. 6th." — Cal- lawfully taken by them, as a 
eridar of 1830, 'page 1. prize. — Aug. 4, 6°." — Calendar 


The remainder of the Calendar of 1830, including all 
the Rolls of which abstracts are given in the new Calen- 
dars from the beginning of the reign of Mary to the end of 
that of Elizabeth was not printed, in consequence of the 
breaking up of the Irish Record Commission and the 
manuscript of it extending to upwards of 12,000 pages, 
with indices occupying 5412 pages, continues, as pubhc 
property, no doubt, in safe and responsible custody. 

Whether the unacknowledged appropriation of the 
compilation of 1830 is the key to the wonderfully rapid 
execution of the Calendars of 1861-2 ; why a defective 
and inaccurate work like the latter shoaild have been 
preferred to that executed under so eminent a scholar 
as Hardiman ; and why the public funds should have been 
expended to produce in an imperfect and comparatively- 
valueless mode, that which had been at the cost of the 
Nation previously compiled in a superior and satisfactory 
form, and even partly printed, are questions which will, it 
is presumed, receive attention when our pages come 
before those interested in such matters. 

Our notice of these Calendars would be incomplete, did 
we not mention that they have been formally and publicly 
commended by the Lord Chancellor of Ireland ; the Master 
of the Rolls of Ireland; the ** Ulster King of Arms," as 
well as by some of the most noted lawyers in Ireland, whose 


1863.] The Public Records of Ireland. Zll 

opinions are given to the world in a pamphlet issned with the 
Calendars, entitled " Selection from haters received in 
reference to the Calendar of Patent Rolls/' The Master 
of the Rolls of Ireland writes, that the ** important duty of 
preparing the Calendar" has been ** discharged entirely to 
his satisfaction/' The Lord Chancellor of Ireland in a let- 
ter, printed at page 4 of the pamphlet referred to, declares 
that the '* publication does great credit to the labour of the 
Editor ;" that " the preface is interesting and instructive;'' 
that he is *' convinced of the value of such publications 
to the lawyer and the historian;" and that the *Wery 
careful manner in which the work appears to have beeu 
completed has conferred an important benefit on the 
public, and more especially on those who may be engaged 
with Irish history !" Sir'j. B. Burke, " Ulster King of 
Arms," in a letter dated ** Record Tower, Dublin Cas- 
tle," designates the work '* an admirable Calendar," '* a 
great boon," and *'an invaluable contribution" — apparently 
overlooking the entire omission from it of any entry of the 
Patent by which, as mentioned at p. 370, he holds the 
office of principal Herald of Ireland, and under which he 
annually receives from the public exchequer a salary of 
forty marks, and a suit of clothes ! 

The system adopted in the Calendars of giving short 
translated abstracts of records, which as shewn at p. 366 
has been long condemned by the most competent authori- 
ties, is however, highly praised in a letter, printed at page 
6 of the pamphlet referred to, and there set down as 
written by ** Gerald Fitzgibbon, Esq., Queen's Counsel, 
Master in Chancery." This letter contains the following 
passages, addressed to the editor of the Calendars : 

*' The plan of the book is simple and clear, and the execution 
is very creditable. I would suggest an addition to this valuable 
work which, as long as you live may be of comparatively minor 
utility, but may hereafter be found of the bighest importance, 
and that is, a key to those ancient records, uJiich, it is ivell hiown, no 
other livirig person can read as you can. A copious alphabet, with a 
full list of all the contractions, would be a valuable bequest to future 
times; and the present heads of our legal body would confer a great 
and lasting benefit on their successors, and the public of future ages, 
by now securing the performance of this work by one so competent 
and so exclusively Jit for the task as you are''' 

Readers may decide for themselves whether ignorance 
of the subject or keen satire is at the bottom of this epistle. 

378 The Public Records of Ireland, [April, 

Every man of even ordinary education knows that num- 
bers of profound and accomplished palaeographers exist 
on the Continent and in Great Britain, and that" in this 
branch of learning some of the Archseologists of Ire- 
land hold an eminent and recognized place. Eighty-two 
names appear on the official *' Liste des Archivistes" in 
France for the year 1862, and, of these, twenty- five are of 
the class designated ** Archivistes paleographes." 

Another of the legal dramatis personse in this " Comedy 
of Errors" is the " Right Hon. James Whiteside, Queen's 
Counsel, Doctor of Laws, and Member of Parliament," 
who, by his recent performance on the stage of a public hall 
in Dublin, has demonstrated to the world his entire want 
of a correct knowledge either of British or Irish general 
history — or even of that of the University which he repre- 
sents in the House of Commons. 

This noted member of the Bar, in the authorized edition 
of his treatise on the Parliament of Ireland, published by the 
Booksellers to the University of Dublin, for the " Com- 
mittee of the Young Men's Christian Association, in 
connection with the United [Established] Church of Eng- 
land and Ireland," holds up these Calendars to the ad- 
miration of^ all " Christian young men" as models of 
** patient ability," further assuring such ingenuous youths, 
that the preface '* points^ out the yet^ unexampled [sic\ 
sources whence much additional light might be cast on the 
Irish Parliaments of the Pale !"'^' 

* *' The Life and Death of the Irish Parliament, a Lecture by 
the Right Hon. James Whiteside, Q.C., L.L.D. M.P." Dublin : 
Hodges and !Smith, Booksellers to the University, 1863, p. 14. 

To point out the principal of the innumerable evidences of 
astounding ignorance of accurate historic materials by which this 
production is characterized, would far exceed our present limits : 
two illustrations may however be given of the author's nescience of 
common historical facts connected with the legal profession to which 
he belongs. Page 13, of his above cited work, contains a distinct 
statement that the ancient Irish had no laws ** save their own free 
will." A conclusive contradiction to this is supplied by a passage 
written nearly a century ago, by a Provost of the University of 
Dublin. After mentioning that, notwithstanding the opinions 
expressed by superficial writers, that the old Irish had neither 
written laws nor settled jurisprudence. Dr. Thomas Leland, in his 
History of Ireland, 1773, demonstrated from the existing manu- 

1863.] The Public Records of Ireland, 379 

The study of ancient muniments having lonor ceased to 
form part of le^fal education, the elucidation of the contents 
of records has become recognised ;is a distinct branch of 
learning, demanding peculiar aptitude and hiborious ap- 
plication to acquire knowledge on such remote points, as 

scripts of the ancient Gaelic laws, that a very elaborate and exten- 
sive code formerly existed among the natives. These laws, wrote 
Dr. Leland, " not only provide against murder, rapes, adultery, 
theft, robbery ; but such crimes as are not generally cognizable 
by human tribunals, such as slander, tale-bearing, or disrespect to 

superiors The property and security of woods, the regulation of 

water-courses, but above all, the property of bees, on which de- 
pended the principal beverage of the people, were guarded by a 
number of minute institutions, which breathe a spirit of equity and 
humanity." We are not to wonder that a people, accustomed to the 
refinements found in their own laws, should be pronounced of all 
others the greatest lovers of justice. ** This," added Dr. Leland, 
"is the honourable testimony of Sir John Davies and Lord Coke: 
with shame we must confess that they were not taught this love 
of justice by the first English settlers." — History of Ireland, hy 
T. Leland, T.CD. Dublin, 1773, vol. i. pp. xxiv, xxxvi. The 
strong opinions expressed by the chief scholars of Europe on 
the importance of these old laws, which, according to Mr. White- 
side, never existed, induced Government in 1862 to appoint a Cora- 
mission for the special object of making a complete collection 
of the ancient legal institutes of Ireland. This Commission has 
carried on its labours within the precincts of that Universitj of which 
the author of the above statement is a Parliamentary representative; 
and according to the return made to Parliament by the Rev. 
Charles Graves, Secretary to the Commission, dated from Trinity 
College, Dublin, in 1857, the mere transcript of the original Gaelic 
of these ancient laws amounted then to 5142 folio pages I To 
this proof of Mr. Whiteside's knowledge of ancient Irish laws, 
an illustration may be added of his intimate acquaintance with 
the history of eminent lawyers who figured in Ireland. At p. 59 
of his work, already quoted, on the Irish Parliament, he writes 
of Sir John Davies, Attorney General to James 1., ''Although 
he had much in his power, he took not one acre of land in Ire- 
land to himself. " The inaccuracy of this assertion will be 
seen when we mention that of the lands '^ planted'' in Ulster, 
during the reign of James I, Sir John D;^vies received 1500 acres, 
called Lisgowely, in the precinct of Clinawly : 2000 acres called 
Gavelagh and Clonaghraore, in the precinct of the Omy ; and 500 
acres called Cornechino, in the precinct of Orior ; the details of 
these lands will be found in the Survey of Ulster, made by N. Pyu- 

380 The Public Records of Ireland, [April. 

the respective characteristics of the formula and effect of 
each document included in the class styled "diploma- 
tique;'' the language, writing, orthography and brachy- 
graphy of^ various centuries ; the styles of different 
monarchs in the charters and letters; the tests of the 
authenticity of dated or undated documents; the peculiar- 
ities and bearings of medieval, legal and municipal regu- 
lations ; the characters and legends of seals or details 
of 'M'art sphragistique," with innumerable other minute 
specialties, in which no assistance is derivable either from 
modern law or from profound classical knowledge. To the 
foregoing acquirements the qualified Irish archivist must 
superadd an acquaintance substantial and minute with the 
histories, social institutes and existing documents of that 
Celtic people which so long occupied the greater part of the 
land of Ireland ; the various meaniugs and obsolete or cur- 
rent applicatious of words, names or denominations bor- 
rowed from their tongue, and the amount of value to be 
attached to writers in various languages who have hithero 
touched on any portions of these subjects. There is no 
road to such acquirements but long, laborious application ; 
and the few real proficients in them can appreciate the full 
truth of the axiom of the French sage — " Le genie n'est 
qu'une plus grande aptitude a la patience.'' 

That some high legal functionaries should have com- 
promised their learning and sagacity by publicly delivering 
their commendations of such a work as these Calendars, 
while exciting special wonder, demonstrates the value of 
the advice conveyed in the following Hues written more 
than three centuries ago, by a learned Lord Chancellor 
of England on the mishaps of a seijeant of the law who 
was induced to overstep his own special department : 

" Wjse men alway, affirme and say, that best is for a man 
Diligently for to apply, the business that he can; 
And in no wyse, to enterpryse an other faculte. 

nar, by commission under the great seal of Ireland, dated 28th 
November, 1618. Of the transformations effected by Mr. Whiteside 
in his performance, a striking instance appears at p. 21, where 
Henry Castide, described by Froissart as "a squire of England, an 
honest man, and a wise,'' is metamorphosed into ''one Doctor Bas- 
tide,"*' — for the instruction of the Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion I 

1863,] The Public Records of Ireland. 381 

A man of lawe, that never sawe the wayes to buy and sell, 

Weeniug to ryse by marchandyse, I wish to speed him well I 

When a hatter will go smatter in philosophic, 

Or a pedlar ware a meddler in theologiu. 

All that ensue such craftes newe, they drive so far a cast, 

That evermore, tiiey do, therefore, beshrewe themselves at last. 

In any wyse, I would advyse, and counsaile every man. 

His owne crafte use, all new refuse, and lightly let them gone." 

The Master of the Rolls in Ireland, the jndge of ques- 
tions of literary property in that country, occupies a strange 
position before the world in this matter, since his name 
appears on the title pages of these volumes as the patron 
and promoter of a work in which the law of copyright, and 
even the first principles of literary honesty have been vio- 
lated, as we have, shown, by an unprecedented extent of 
unscrupulous plagiarism and unjustifiable appropriation. 

We have here, indeed, a remarkable testimony to the 
wisdom of the ancients embodied in the above verses. By 
venturing beyond his own department of modern law, an 
upright and preeminently equitable Judge, engrossed with 
the weighty business of the Irish Rolls' Court, has been un- 
wittingly misled into having his name put forth as patron 
and approver of a series of gigantic infringements upon 
mental property, the rights of which he has hitherto upheld 
with all the authority of his office, and in a manner becom- 
ing the son of an accomplished scholar, who, it is believed, 
felt prouder of the commendations bestowed by Edmund 
Burke upon his writings, than of the title of Baron of the 
Irish Exchequer. 

It must, however, in justice be stated, that the eminent 
personages misled in this affair, were not exclusively Irish. 
Of the three Chancery Commissioners who presented to 
Parliament the series of blunders on the records noted at 
p. 323, one was an English official of high rank, specially- 
despatched from London to supervise the enquiry at 
Dublin. How seriously compromised even the highest 
authority on English records may be in dealing with pub- 
lic muniments peculiar to Ireland, is unanswerably evi- 
denced by the fact, that Sir John Romilly, Master of 
the Rolls and President of the Record business of Eng- 
land, has, by his ** flattering commendation,'' promoted 
and encouraged the publication of these Calendars, as is 
distinctly stated in the first page of the Preface to the 
Second Volume ! 

382 The Public Records' of Ireland. j April 

That a first step, however tardy, taken by the Treasury 
towards improving the discreditable condition of the Public 
Records of Ireland should have produced such fruit, is 
regretted by those who appreciate the beneficial results 
which might have arisen from the laudable intentions thus 
frustrated through causes, it should in truth be observed, 
beyond their Lordships' immediate control. 

Public justice demands that Government should discon- 
tinue the issue in the present discreditable form of these 
Calendars, abstracted without acknowledgment from the 
labours'of others. The only question appears to be whether 
it might be more desirable to cancel them entirely, or to 
publish a supplement exhibiting accurately the portions 
which have been appropriated from other books, giving 
tables of the numerous errata, and supplying, from a colla- 
tion of the original rolls, the many important and serious 
deficiencies in these volumes. Certain it is, that such a 
supplement would be the most conclusive expose of the 
miserable results of audacious charlatanism. 

In dismissing these *' Calendars" we reiterate in the 
most emphatic terms, addressed to the whole literary 
world, interested in historic learning, that the archivists 
of Ireland repudiate all connection with this compilation, 
inasmuch as they have been ignored in every step of a 
work, which, to the heavy detriment of the public, has 
been committed, through apathy or nescience, to shallow 
and pretentious incompetency. 

To point out the steps which should be taken to pre- 
clude the repetition of mistakes such as the publication 
of these Calendars, leads to a wider field, and neces- 
sarily involves a consideration of the course proper to be 
adopted with reference to the Public Records of Ireland, 
the condition of which, as exhibited in the commencement 
of the present paper, is, we may observe, almost identical 
with that in which analogous documents in England stood 
in the earl^ part of the present century."' Down to the year 

* The invaluable records of the Exchequer of Ireland are admit- 
ted (see p. 322) to be neither in responsible custody, nor in a secure 
repository. To the state of the archives of the King's Bench the 
following reference was made in 1857, by the present Attorney Gene- 
ral for Ireland. " Mr. Thomas O'llagan, Q. C, said he was not an 
archaeologist himself, but, in his professional capacity, he had an 
opportunity of seeing some of the most valuable materials for Irish 

1863. The Public Records of Ireland. 383 

1839 the national muniments of England were dispersed in 
fi['ty-six repositories in widely different parts of London, 
many of them entirely unfitted for the safe custody of docu- 
ments, damp, ill- ventilated, offensive ; never cleaned, aired 
or warmed. At Somerset Place, the Exchequer Records lay 
in filthy wet vaults, two stories under ground, inaccessible 
except with candles, and iu the actual charge of an inferior 
workman. Queen's Bench Records, covered with dirt and 
soot, were stowed in the roof above the Augmentation 
office, and the officer or investigator had to ascend a 
ladder, and search by candle-light. To obtain access to 
any of these Records, searchers had to make numerous 
applications and to pay heavy fees to the nominal Keepers, 
who for. the most part, neither gave regular attendance, 
nor provided any convenience for those who had occasion 
to consult them. Sir Francis Palgrave, by great exertions, 
brought these numerous establishments under one system, 
and united the contents of the different depositories in the 
Public Record Office established in London, pursuant tc 
the Act for keeping safely the Public Records, passed in 
1839, in which has been aggregated every instrument 
coming under the denomination of a " Public Record,'^ 
which the Act defined to comprehend all rolls, records, 
writs, books, proceedings decrees, bills, warrants, accounts, 
papers and documents whatsoever, of a public nature be- 
longing to Pier Majesty. The documents dispersed in 
the fifty-six Repositories having been consolidated, under 
proper officers, literary inquirers are allowed to make 
searches without payment of fees ; the issue of Calendars 
has been commenced, and the public obtain the fullest 
assistance in the production and use of the Records. 

Turning to Ireland we find that iu 1817, the Imperial 
Parliament passed^ an act (57, George III, chapter 62) 
for the concentration and arrangement of Irish public 
9 records. This act commenced with declaring that, after 
the expiration of existing interests, the offices of Sur- 
veyor General of Crown Lands ; Keeper of Records in 
the^ Bermingham Tower at Dublin ; ''^ Keeper of the 

history crumbling away under the dome of t!ie Four Courts [Dub- 
lin.]" — Report of Excursion of Ethnological Section of British Asso- 
ciatio7if Dublin : 1850. 

* These Records consist mainly of Plea Kolls ; Rolls of the Pipe ; 
the archives of the Parliament of Ireland; the documents of the Irish 

384 The Public Records of Ireland. [April. 

Kecords of Parliament ; and Clerk of the Paper-office, 
should be abolished and not " granted to any person or 
persons whomsoever;'' all records, maps, books, and 

State Paper Office, together with collections made under the late 
Irish Record Commission. The office of Keeper of these Tower 
Records was a sinecure held, for life, under patent dated 29th 
November, 1805, at the period of its abolition, by Phillip Henrj 
Stanhope, fourth Earl of Stanhope. Bj undertaking to act gra- 
tuitously as Lord Stanhope's deputy, a late Ulster king of 
arms, succeeded in locating himself in this Tower, having, it 
is said, ejected by personal violence the late William Shaw 
Mason, Secretary of the Irish Record Commission. Under 
the Statute above quoted these Records should have been re- 
moved to a Public Record Office ; but at the time of this intru- 
sion, attention was not called to the serious impropriety of 
allowing original Rolls and Documents the property and evidences 
of the public to come under the hands of a herald, who, as 
Ulster king of arms, is a professional genealogist, receiving fees 
for constructing pedigrees and making out cases for titles. 
Great injustice was thus often silently but most effectively inflicted 
upon individuals. Parties having once engaged, or purchased, the 
professional interests of the Ulster king of arms, as a pedigree 
agent or herald, consequently insured all the advantages deriveable 
from a monopoly or non-production in evidence,' of the Tower 
Records in his custody. It is needless here to enlarge on the 
intolerable nature of such a system, since, in consequence of the 
obscurity in which the Tower Records have hitherto been retained, 
it was impossible to demand by the usual legal course any specific 
document, of the actual existence of which positive or direct proof 
is unattainable, from the want of arrangements similar to those estab- 
lished for the public in the General Record Office in London. Lord 
Brougham protested against an Ulster king of arms being believed 
on oath before the House of Lords, and designated him to that 
august assemblage, as a person whose business was to " wear a mot- 
ley coat ; walk in processions, and superintend funerals.'' It would 
appear that his Lordship's knowledge of the nature of the office 
was based on a Commission bearing date 5th of June, 1684, to the 
Ulster king of arras of that day, and which defined this office to 
consist in " taking knowledge of and registering the descents, 
matches, and issue of the nobility and gentry of the kingdom of 
Ireland, as also in preventing and reforming usurpations, disor- 
ders, and abuses in the bearing and using of arms and titles 
of honour, as also in the regular and undue using of velvet palls, 
or supporters, at any funeral whatsoever.'' The small importance 
originally attached to this office is shown by the official " Estab- 
lishment of Ireland, Civil and Military," signed by Charles II, 16S4, 

1863.] The Public Records of Ireland. 385 

papers, connected with the offices were, under this act, 
ordered to be transferred to a Repository to be appointed 
** for the preserving and securing of the Records of Ire- 

in which the Ulster king of arms is set down for an annual salary 
of ^28 13 4, while the State Trumpeter and Kettle-drum per- 
formers were paid each £70 per annum. In the schedule of the 
officers and servants attending the House of Peers in Ireland, from 
1719 to 1729, the name of the Ulster king of arms is put at the 
foot, three degrees below the **Fire Maker to the House of Lords,'' 
a position acquired apparently by the low quarrels in these times 
for fees between the " Ulster king" and the herald-painters and 
undertakers of funerals in Dublin. One of these Dublin under- 
takers, named Aaron Crossly, carried on a long dispute with Wil- 
liam Hawkins, Ulster king of arms, who sought to oppress him by 
virtue of his employment under the House of Lords ; but several 
of the Peers protested against this protection being taken advan- 
tage of by their servant, whose errors in heraldry were exposed by 
Crossly ; proving, that among other mistakes, the Ulster king had 
blazoned the arras of the see of Ossory '*as if one half of the 
Bishop were dead and the other half living" ! The fee to the Ulster 
king of arms for introducing a Baron or Bishop into his place 
in the House of Peers of Ireland was fixed at .£1 17 6 ; and in 
1750 it appears that, in point of rank and emolument, the 
Ulster king of arms was, so far as the Peers were concerned, 
placed on a level with a "second class door-keeper to the House 
of Lords," the salary of .£53 6 8 being allowed to each. The 
House of Lords of Ireland, in 1789, passed a formal resolution 
declaring that, after careful examination, they had concluded that 
the entries in the books of the Ulster king's ofiice were " very 
incorrect j" and that, moreover, several of the Irish Peers had paid 
for entries which had not been made. Such facts show the grounds 
on which Sir W. Blackstone founded the opinion which he delivered 
as follows, in the seventh chapter of the third book of his famous 
** Commentaries on the