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on the other hand, his one-sidedness is that of a thorough Englishman-it may be added-if not of an out-and-out Londoner, at least of one who has long been in the successful practice of serving cockneyland with fare, happily seasoned to the palate of its teeming population; and therefore what he intends, and what he does, is fully understood and clearly appreciated. Besides, although by constitution and habit widely removed from the flatterer and hypocrite,--smartly critical, and the fearless reprover of every sort of cant,—there is such an abundant spring of generous sentiment, such a flow of honest expression, and so many pleasant unlooked-for side touches, in what he says and shows, that his very severity must be taken in good part by the persons whom he exposes; for it is wholesome, and his roughest pencillings will be found to soften and to better. Hence it becomes us to promulgate this happiest of all sketch-books which we have met with, that has taken Ireland and the Irish for its ground-work. Nowhere have we seen pictures of these subjects so smart, and yet so fresh,—so clever in an artistic sense, and yet so graphically faithful; at the same time that each comprises a sphere of life and character broad and deep. Not that Mr. T. perplexes himself with elaborate summaries of what in the way of philosophy may be derived from his detailed inquiries; or speculates disquisitionally concerning the remedies to be applied for the cure of the abounding and appalling evils which he describes. This is a formidable task, which greater pretenders may undertake : nor can they do more wisely than consult for their guidance, among other authorities, the witnessings which he furnishes. Even beyond the staple of facts which he supplies, there are implied reflections and reasonings that embrace and teach more than was, perhaps, intended, -for our sketcher is a remarkably shrewd observer.
The subjects which he affects, were it not for his talents of close scrutiny, and his practised hand for extracting from obvious and common-place things their essential prominences, and the indices which they furnish of pervading characteristics of great importance, would be tiresome and monotonous in the extreme. What could be expected from an ordinary tourist in Ireland, who almost exclusively limited himself to the outward shows which roads, towns, fairs, inns, and schools offer to the notice of the passer-by,--the coachings, the beggarings, the dinnerings, and so forth, which every man must encounter, who, like Mr. Titmarsh, extends his journey from the capital through the South and West of Ireland to Westport, and thence back again to Dublin, --who next makes a trip to Wicklow, who paysa visit to the Giant's Causeway,—who, in short, glances both at the Catholic and the Protestant divisions of the land, as seen on highway and in congregated masses? Cork, Limerick, Galway, and a peep into Connemara, Armagh, Belfast, Londonderry, &c. &c.,
would be but worn-out studies and topics for most men's portfolios, at this
period of the nineteenth century. Not so, however, will it be realised when you examine“ The Irish Sketch-book," as the following miscellaneous pieces will incontinently manifest. Begin with a notice and a snatch belonging to the rapid ride in Wicklow, which not only indicate Mr. Titmarsh's conception of the exactions of his themes, but furnish a sample of his selections and manner of treatment:
T'he little tour we have just been taking has been performed, not only by myriads of the “car-drivingest, tay-drinking, say-bathingest people in the world,” the Inhabitants of the city of Dublin, but also by all the tourists who have come to discover this country for the benefit of the English nation. “Look here!" says the ragged-bearded genius of a guide, at the Seven Churches ; "this is the spot which Mr. Henry Inglis particularly admired, and said it was exactly like Norway. Many's the song I've heard Mr. Sam Lover sing here--a pleasant gentleman entirely. Have you seen my picture that's taken off in Mts. Hall's book ? all the strangers know me by it, though it inakes me much cleverer than I am.” Similar tales has he of Mr. Barrow, and the transatlantic Willis, and of Crofton Croker, who has been everywhere.
Mr. T. took quite a novel method, on setting himself down in ould Ireland, of studying his ample subject: he hastened to the newspapers of the morning, and this, by the bye, not at once to the political disquisitions, or the more stirring reports, but to the advertisements, from which he culls sundry characteristic specimens, a few of them being the more amusing and suggestive in that they purport to have emanated from the instructors of youth to the fullest extent :
Of all these announcements that of Madame Shanahan (a delightful name) is perhaps the most brilliant. “To Parents and Guardians.--Paris. --Such parents and guardians as may wish to intrust their children for education in its fullest extent to Madame Shanahan, can have the advantage of being conducted to Paris by her brother, the Rev. J. P. O'Reilly, of Church-street Chapel,” which admirable arrangement carries the parents to Paris and leaves the children in Dublin. Ah, Madame, you may take a French title ; but your heart is still in your country, and you are to the fullest extent an Irishwoman still.
A century hence some antiquary may light upon a Dublin paper, and form marvellous calculations regarding the state of education in the country. For instance, at Bective-House seminary, 'conducted by Dr. J. L. Burke, Ex-Scholar T.C.D., no less than two hundred and three young gentlemen took prizes at the Midsummer examination. A Dr. Delamere, Ex-Scholar T.C.D., distributed three hundred and twenty rewards to his young friends, and if we allow that one lad in twenty is a prizeman, it is clear that there must be six thousand four hundred and forty youths under the Doctor's care. Other schools are advertised in the same journals, each with its hundred of prize-bearers; and if other schools are advertised, how many more
a penny a line.
must there be in the country which are not advertised ! There must be hundreds of thousands of prizemen, millions of scholars : besides national schools, hedge-schools, infant schools, and the like.
Advertisements serve the master of the Sketch-book as a theme for comment as well as illustration :
Some hundred years hence, when students want to inform themselves of the history of the present day, and refer to files of Times and Chronicle for the purpose, I think it is possible that they will consult, not so much those luminous and philosophical leading articles which call our attention at present, both by the majesty of their eloquence and the largeness of their type, but that they will turn to those parts of the journals into which information is squeezed into the smallest possible print, to the advertisements, namely, the law and police reports, and to the instructive narratives supplied by that ill-used body of men who transcribe knowledge at the rate of
The papers before me (the Morning Register, Liberal and Roman Catholic, Saunder's News-Letter, neutral and Conservative,) give a lively picture of the movement of city and country on this present fourth day of July, and the Englishman can scarcely fail, as he reads them, to note many small points of difference existing between his own country and this. How do the Irish amuse themselves in the capital ? The love for theatrical exhibitions is evidently not very great. Theatre Royal-Miss Kemble and the Somnambula, an Anglo-Italian importation. Theatre Royal Abbeystreet, --- the Temple of Magic and the Wizard last week. Adelphi Theatre, Great Brunswick-street-the Original Seven Lancashire Bell-ringers, a delicious excitement indeed ! Portobello Gardens--THE LAST ERUPTION BUT six, says the advertisement in capitals. And, finally, “Miss Hayes will give her first and farewell concert at the Rotunda, previous to leaving her native country." Only one instance of Irish talent do we read of, and that, in a desponding tone, announces its intention of quitting its native country. All the rest of the pleasures of the evening are importations from cockneyland. The Somnambula from Covent Garden, the Wizard from the Strand, the Seven Lancashire Bell-ringers from Islington, or the City-road, no doubt; and as for The last Eruption but Six, it has erumped near the Elephant and Castle any time these two years, until the cockneys would wonder at it no longer.
It would be an injustice to Mr. Titmarsh, when on the subject of newspaper intelligence, to deny a space to his remarks on the report of a judge's address on a criminal trial for a capital offence. There is matter of reproof as well as for prolonged reflection in the passage:
Long ere this is printed, for instance, Byrne and Woods have been hanged: sent to face their God,” as the Chief Justice says, “with the weight of their victim's blood upon them,'-a just observation ; and remember that it is we who send them. It is true that the judge hopes Heaven will have mercy upon their souls, but are such recommendations of particular weight be. cause they come from the bench? Psha! If we go on killing people with
out giving them time to repent, let us at least give up the cant of praying for their souls' salvation. We find a man drowning in a well, shut the lid upon him, and heartily pray that he may get out.
Sin has hold of him, as the two ruffians of Laffan yonder, and we stand aloof, and hope that he may escape. Let us give up the ceremony of condolence, and be honest like the witness (who apathetically witnessed the murder], and say, “Let him save himself or not, it's no business of ours."
What gentleman is denied the opportunity of picturing the inns and hotels of the country he traverses ? and yet how few of those who wield the quill or brandish the brush, have indicated striking points so briefly and plainly as is done frequently in the pages before us. For example,
If these comforts and reminiscences of three days' date are 'enlarger upon at some length, the reason is simply this—this is written at what is supposed to be the best inn at one of the best towns of Ireland, Waterford : dinner is just over; it is Assize-week, and the table d'hote was surrounded for the chief part by English attornies—the cyouncillors (as the bar are pertinaciously called) dining up stairs in private. Well, on going to the public room, and being about to lay down my bat on the sideboard, I was obliged to pause-out of regard to a fine thick coat.of dust, which had been kindly left to gather for some days past, I should think, and which it seemed a shame to misplace: Yonder is a chair basking quietly in the sunshine ; some round object has evidently reposed upon it, (a hat or plate probably,) for you see a clear circle of black horse-bair in the middle and dust alí round it. Not one of those dirty napkins that the four waiters carry would wipe away the grime from the chair, and take to itself a little dưst more ! The people in the room are shouting out for the waiters; who cry, “Yes Sir!” peevishly, and don't come, but stand bawling and jangling, and calling each other names, at the sideboard. The dinner is plentiful and nasty : raw ducks, raw peas, on a crumpled tablecloth, over which a waiter has just spirted a pint of obstreperous cider. The windows are open, to give free view of a crowd of old beggar-women, and of a fellow playing a cursed Irish pipe. Presently this delectable apartment fills with choking peat smoke ; and on asking what is the cause of this agreeable addition to the pleasures of the place, you are told that they are lighting a fire in a backroom.
Pages is the term we are compelled to use; but if we could insert the engraved illustrations, how richly would the subject be developed ; as, for instance, when our tourist, on returning to an inn, discovers that his bed-room window is held open by a hearth-broom :
You don't see such windows commonly in respectable English inns--windows leaning gracefully upon hearth-brooms for support. Look out of that window without the hearth-broom and it would cut your head off; how the beggars would start that are always sitting on the steps next door
Is it prejudice that makes one prefer the English window, that relies on its own ropes and ballast (or lead if you like), and does not need to be propped by
any foreign aid? or is this only a solitary instance of the kind, and are there no other specimens in Ireland of the careless, dangerous extravagant hearth-broom system?
Irish character, of course, abounds in these sketches; individual portraits just as single scenes affording you a picture of the nation and a whole chapter of the country's history. The following is the representative of a class.
And likewise in the midst of this wild tract, a fellow met us who was trudging the road with a fish basket over his shoulder, and who stopped the coachi, hailing two of the gentlemen in it by name, both of whom seemed to be much amused by his humour. He was a handsome rogue, a poacher, or salmon-taker, by profession, and presently poured out such a flood of oaths, and made such a monstrous display of grinning wit and blackguardism, as I have never heard equalled by the best Billingsgate practitioner; and as it would be more than useless to attempt to describe. Blessings, jokes, and curses, trolled off the rascal's lips with a volubility which caused his Irish audience to shout with laughter, but which were quite beyond a Cockney. It was a humour so purely national as to be understood by none but natives, I should think. I think it rather served to frighten than to amuse ; and I am not sure but that I looked out for a band of jocular cutthroats of his sort, to come up at a given guffaw, and playfully rob us all round. However he went away quite peaceably, calling down for the party the benediction of a great number of saints, who must have been somewhat ashamed to be addressed by such a rascal.
We may here insert a short account of Irish distress.
In the midst of your pleasure, three beggars have hobbled up, and are howling supplications to the Lord. One is old and blind, and so diseased and hideous, that straightway all the pleasure of the sight round about vanishes from you—that livid ghastly face interposing between you and it. And so it is throughout the South and West of Ireland : the traveller is haunted by the face of the popular starvation. It is not the exception, it is the condition of the people. In this fairest and richest of countries, men are suffering and starving by millions. There are thousands of them at this minute stretched in the sunshine at their cabin-doors, with no work, scarcely any food, no hope seemingly. Strong countrymen are lying in bed "for the hunger”—because a man lying on his back does not need so much food as a person a-foot. Many of them have torn up the unripe potatoes from their little gardens, and to exist now must look to winter, when they shall have to suffer starvation and cold too. The epicurean and traveller for pleasure bad better travel anywhere than here-where there are miseries that one does not dare to think of--where one is always feeling how helpless pity is, and how hopeless relief, and is perpetually made ashamed of being happy.
Take a national picture of higher pretensions. Westport is the locality.
There was a long, handsome pier (which, no doubt, remains at this present minute), and one solitary cutter along side it, which may or may not be