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placed length-ways, with eight crossing them in the middle, at right angles, while the remaining four are so placed as completely to cover the other twenty. It is scarcely possible that wheat-sheaves thus disposed can be blown down; a stook, or shock of this construction, would certainly prevent much loss and vexation, which is often experienced from such accidents.'
Of education in Ireland, Mr. Curwen says but little; and with the exception of two or three schools, which he notices, and which were well conducted, his report is by no means favourable. Our reades, however, will bear in mind, that Mr. Curwen's observations were made three years ago, and in that interval the Hibernian Society, and the British and Foreign School Society, have been doing much and successfully.
To the accuracy of Mr. Curwen's account of Irish inns and innkeepers, we can bear our personal testimony. The charges are higher than in England, and the port wine, as it is called, is execrable. Although, from his limited means of acquiring information concerning the character of the Irish, his notices of them are in this respect imperfect, yet sufficient appears, to shew that they possess many estimable qualities, which, if cultivated and improved by education, would tend to place them in a much higher scale than is usually awarded to them. Various reports have at different times been circulated of their extreme profligacy; the falsehood of these Mr. C. took some pains to ascertain, and the result of his inquiries is highly satisfactory. He freely concedes, however, that
Their conduct is frequently marked by the most incredible absurdity and opposite extremes; one hour dignifies the man with every kind and noble sentiment-the next degrades his nature by acts of the most brutal malevolence. Man, uneducated, is the creature of pas. sion; and in his contempt of legal restraint, he feels he has a right to become the avenger of his own wrongs. The instances of savage ferocity, which occasionally occur, operate to the general discredit of the Irish character.'
In the course of his tour, Mr. Curwen passed through the principal towns of the Sister Ísland, of which he has furnished us with pleasing descriptions, as also of that wonderful work of nature, the Giant's Causeway, and of the beautiful Lakes of Killarney. For these and many other interesting particulars, our readers must consult his volumes.
There remain to be noticed two important topics, which engaged Mr. Curwen's attention, and respecting which our readers will doubtless wish to see the opinion of so accurate an observer; we mean the effects of the Union on Ireland, and the state of the Roman Catholics in that country. With regard to the Union, he has, in the earlier part of his work, stated at some length the arguments which induced him to support that
measure in Parliament: among these arguments, the benefit resulting from the commercial intercourse between the two countries, is not the least conspicuous; and events have justified the force of his reasonings. Towards the close of his second volume, our Author remarks, that the importance of Ireland to Great Britain, far exceeds every conception which he had formed of its value. Agricultural produce is at present exported, to the amount of eight millions sterling, and six millions of people are supported. The exchange with England was in 1813, for the first time, favourable to Ireland. The superior rate interest in Ireland, however, (the consequence of a deficiency of capital,) is a great check to commercial pursuits.
With regard to the state of the Roman Catholics, Mr. Curwen takes a retrospect of their circumstances from the Reformation to the present time, of the grievances under which they labour, and of the extreme ignorance in which they have been kept, to the great reproach of Britain.
Can it be matter of surprise that the Catholics, who are perhaps nearly seven to one when compared with the members of the established church, should consider themselves unjustly and hardly treated, whilst a vestige of their former state of bondage is remaining? Every concession which they have received is in their estimation a recognition of wrong, and a ground for their demand of perfect emancipaEvery measure yielded by government is by them declared to have been extorted and granted piece-meal; while every legislative step has evinced a want of wisdom, and compelled the admission of others-a conduct that, it is fondly hoped, must ultimately procure for them that relief, which substantial justice and sound policy ought to have secured to the country long ago.
In some instances the very favours granted the Catholics are considered as sources of aggravation, if not of insult-emblazoned badges of slavery! In conferring the elective franchise they have been denied the exercise of a free choice, the proudest prerogative of Englishmen; and compelied to feel, in the discharge of the granted privilege, their own inferiority. What a reproach to Great Britain, that one of her most valuable provinces, and in her immediate vicinity, should have remained for such a number of years in so perfect a state of ig. norance, wretchedness, and misery.'
If emancipation be a question of political influence only, connected with the ambition of a few individuals, and unimportant to the great bulk of the people, it is truly insignificant-but, can any measures be considered as of trivial consequence to the happiness of a people, which, in its concession, would allay the heart burnings, and feverish disgusts of a whole nation-that would restore unanimity and order, where enmity and turbulence destroy private security and public confidence? Can a restoration of the full enjoyment of civil rights to seven tenths of the people, be a matter of no serious moment? Is a participation in the cinployments and protection of the government of no consequence? Jealousy, distrust, and hatred,
are the necessary consequences of religious persecutions. Intolerance has to answer for the bigotry and ignorance, which so long has inflicted misery on Ireland. Were the priests well educated themselves, and liberally compensated for instructing the people, over whose minds they possess so much influence, most of the objections which at present apply to their religious ceremonials would cease to exist. The miserable pittance of their pastors, mean as it is, depends on the abject thraldom in which these shepherds are enabled to keep their respective flocks: hence a desire on their parts to enlighten those on whose ignorance they rely for their daily subsistence, would be expecting a degree of disinterestedness beyond what is usually met with in human
The remedy recommended by Mr. Curwen for this degrading situation of the Catholic clergy, is, a more suitable provision for them, which would make their office an object to persons of education, instead of its being confined (as at present) to individuals from among the lower orders, whose education is limited, and whose opportunities of acquiring the knowledge necessary to correct their own prejudices, are equally contracted. While we admit the truth of this observation, as it respects the Catholic clergy of Ireland, we must be permitted to doubt whether the admission of persons of education' to the priesthood, would produce all the beneficial results which Mr. C. seems to anticipate. Authorized declarations have been repeatedly put forth by the prelates of the Romish Church in Ireland, who are uniformly 6 persons of ' education,' and who unequivocally declare the principles of that Church to be identically the same as were established by the Council of Trent while such principles are the rule of faith and practice to so large a portion of the population of Ireland, we cannot think that they would contribute much to the enlightening of their flocks. The evils under which the Irish people labour, do not originate solely in the Roman Catholic priesthood of the country. They are, as we have seen, principally of a political nature. Remove these, and their political situation will be meliorated. Give them enlightened and faithful ministers of religion, who will diligently instruct them. Emancipate them,' said an intelligent friend who has long been resident in Ireland, to the writer of these pages, emancipate them from the slavery of sin and ignorance, and you will hear no more of Catholic Emancipation!'
We cannot conclude this Article, without recommending Mr. Curwen's volumes to the attentive perusal of every one who takes an interest in the welfare of the Sister Island. While they suggest many very important considerations to the Legislature, the general reader will be interested in the multifarious information which they contain.
Ari. V. A Ready Reply to an Irish Inquiry: or, A convincing and conclusive Confutation of Calvinism. To which is subjoined, Ieropaideia: or, the True Method of teaching the Clergy of the Established Church. Being a wholesome Theological Cathartic to purge the Church of the Predestinarian Pestilence. By a Clergy. man of the Church of England. 8vo. pp. 357. London. 1818.
F we introduce this Jester' (himself allows us the designation) to our readers, we must not be supposed thereby to commit ourselves in any commendation of the device to which he has submitted his better feelings as a Christian, the brightness of his reputation as a Minister, and what is more than either, the true honour of the sacred cause he defends. If the Author of this volume will accept such praise as we can give him, he is welcome to it. We allow him to be a good Jester;' but we think him a bad advocate of Christian Truth. With all our hearts, we grant him to be a righte merry and most clever Fool;' but, in our minds, he will prove a very sorry helper of the Gospel. The wearer of the pointed cap and chequered coat, it is true, may be found in "King's houses;" but surely no such personage, bearing the sanction of an acknowledged functionary, forms part of the Establishment in the "Household of "Faith."
But the Author will think that we are taking an advantage of the apologistical motto which he has set to defend his Titlepage, and that we are "answering a Fool according to his "Folly". To be quite serious then, we will presume that although he chooses to play the Fool' when he writes, he is in fact a wise man when he reads.
It would be rash and unwarrantable to affirm that this volume will certainly do no good: we may, however, safely predict, that if it obtain circulation, it will inevitably do some harm. The Author, no doubt, was influenced by some sort of indefinite desire and intention to do good; but we wish we could determine, what was the precise beneficial result upon which he fixed his expectation, and towards which he directed his efforts. Perhaps he had regard to the young, the thoughtless, the indifferent portion of the reading public, hoping that the perusal of his book would tend to dissever the momentous things of religion from those degrading and ludicrous associations, (so abundantly supplied by a vulgarized profession,) which, though they consist, as it were, but of straws and rubbish, are found in so many fatal instances to form an impervious barrier against serious recollections and serious addresses. Or, perhaps, he had in view the conviction and the edification of those intelligent and sceptical persons who are ever hovering over the field of religious controversy with a diligent and hungry appetite for the offences with which they nourish malignancy and unbelief. Or he might hope that the picture which his book displays of that
peace, and uniformity, and oneness of spirit, which reign within the pale of the Church he serves, would work upon the minds of the jarring dissidents who surround it, and induce them to seek in her bosom a rest and a refuge from the strife and the schism that are without. These torn and bishop-less wanderers, could they but be persuaded to return into the way and fold of peace, and place themselves beneath the pastoral love of our Chief Shepherds, how quickly would they learn to strive together for the same Faith; to think, and to speak the same things! But conjectures are endless. Whatever might be the Author's design, most surely he could not write with the hope of producing a favourable change in the minds of his opponents; he could not imagine that his volume would allay the animosity which is so fast going on towards a formal schism in his Church; he could not suppose that the men whose inconsistencies he hangs out to scorn, would be won over by his derision, to a better judgement.
If Satire has, indeed, any place among the means of virtue, it seems to us, that it can legitimately be made to extend no further than around the circle of those minor improprieties which it is found difficult to bring within the range of higher influences. Satire, like law, relates solely to the outward man; it has no efficiency in producing or in reforming moral principle. Similar reasons make it as gross an absurdity and as great a wrong to apply satire, as to apply force, to religious opinions. If it be said that it is not their opinions, but the men and their conduct, that are ridiculed, we reply, that if our fellow-men are supposed essentially to err in their religious concerns, the case excites, in the rightly tempered mind, a sentiment perfectly incompatible with banter and contempt. We impute not malignancy, yet we imagine the Author's opponents may, if they will, find ground to say that he is at times something more than merry at their expense; and they will remind him, that while an angry anger is perhaps only pitiable, a grinning anger is really odious,
Force, and bribery, and ridicule, and legends, and fables, and frauds, have done so much more for error, than for truth, in the world, that it is time the friends of the latter should be thoroughly ashamed of them all as auxiliaries; the more so, as they have at command sacred means, which, in their nature, can never be employed in the service of error; that is to say, good reasons urged in a right spirit.
The former half of this volume, occupied with an ironical refutation of the points in dispute between the Evangelical Clergy and their opponents, we feel disposed to pass over very briefly. It occasionally evinces argumentative ability, which might have been employed to much better purpose. It exposes, with some pungency, (though we think the Author's wit is