Quirke had a son aged fourteen years, but looking two years younger, a simple peasant lad, who cannot have injured his country very much. He was tending a cow, which required watching, his father and mother taking their rest while the child sat out the lonely hours in the cowhouse. He heard something, and listened with all his ears. Not voices, but a subdued whispering. It was the dead hour of night, two or half-past two, and the boy was frightened. The place is lonely, seven miles or more from Newcastlewest, and up towards the mountains. He listened and listened, and again heard the mysterious sounds. He says he "thought it was the fairies." He stole from the byre and went to the house. A horrible dread had crept over him, and father and mother were there. As he opened the door a terrible blow from behind struck him down. He was not stunned, though felled by the butt-end of a gun. They beat and kicked him as he lay. He gave an anguished cry. The mother heard and recognised her boy's voice, and, waking the father, said "Go down, they're killing my lad." The old man, for he is an old man, went down the stairs naked and unarmed. The foul marauders met him half-way up, and served him as they had served the boy, throwing him down, kicking him, and beating him with butt-ends of guns; with one terrible blow breaking three of his ribs; and saying, "Give it up, give it up." He said he would "give it up"; promised by all he held sacred, begged hard for his life, and implored them at least to spare the young lad. Their reply to this was to fire a charge of shot into the boy's legs, a portion of the charge entering the limbs of an old woman—his grandmother, I think—who was feebly trying to shield the lad. This was such excellent sport that more was thought expedient. A charge of shot was fired into the father's legs, and as one knee-joint is injured, the elder Quirke's condition is precarious even without his broken ribs and other injuries. The cowardly hounds then left, in their horrid disguise adding a new terror to the lonely night. The evening's entertainment was not yet over. They crossed a couple of fields to a house where dwelt Quirke's married son. They burst open the door of his cottage and dragged the young fellow—he is about twenty-five—from his bed, beating him sorely, and in the presence of his wife firing a charge of shot into his legs. Then they went home, each man to his virtuous couch, to dream fair dreams of the coming Paradise, when they and their kind may work their own sweet will, free from the fear of a hireling constabulary, and under the aegis of a truly national senate, given to a grateful country by a Grand Old Man.
The Quirkes know their assailants, but they will not tell. "What good would it do me to have men imprisoned?" says William Quirke, senior. "My lad's life might pay for it, and perhaps my own." The most influential people of the district have remonstrated with him, argued, persuaded, all in vain. William Quirke has a wish to remain in this sublunary sphere. His spirit is not anxious to take unto itself the wings of a dove, that it may fly away and be at rest. Like the dying Methodist, whose preacher reminded him of the beauties of Paradise, he likes "about here pretty well." Mr. Heard, Divisional Commissioner in charge of the constabulary organisation of the Counties of Cork, Limerick, and Kerry can get nothing out of William Quirke. County-inspector Moriarty can stir nothing, nor Major Rolleston, Resident Magistrate, nor Inspectors Wright, Pattison, and Huddy, all of whom have done their level best. These gentlemen assert that obviously Quirke knows the moonlighters, and for my own part, I am certain of it. The married son is equally dumb. "They were disguised," he says. "But you would recognise their voices." Then comes the strangest assertion, "They never spoke a word." In other words, he affirms that a number of men, not less than seven or eight, burst open his door, dragged him from bed, maltreated and shot him, to the accompaniment of his wife's terrified screaming and his own protestations, without uttering a single syllable! The bold Gladstonians whose influence removed Mr. Balfour from office and delivered the country into ruffian hands, will say: And serve the people right! If they will not bear witness let the victims suffer. You cannot help people who will not help themselves. The police are there, the magistrates are there, the prisons are there, the hangman, if need be, is there. If they will not avail themselves of the protection provided, let them suffer. Let them go at it. All their own fault. Nobody but themselves to blame.
All very plausible and reasonable—in theory. Let us look a little closer into this matter. What does William Quirke say:—"Nobody can help an Irish farmer in a lonely part of Ireland. There are too many ways of getting at him. Suppose I gave such evidence as would satisfy anybody—I do not say I could—I don't know anything; but suppose I knew and told, would a Limerick jury convict? Certainly not. Everybody knows that. The police, the magistrates, will tell you that, every one of them. Nobody will say anything else. Then, why rouse more enmity? I shall give up the land even if I lose the money, the savings of a life-time, added to a loan, which I can repay in time. That is settled. What good would the land do me, once I were dead? I value my life more than my money, and more especially do I think of those belonging to me. Suppose I held on, and kept the land. Every time the lad went out I'd expect him to be brought in shot to his mother and me. And when I saw the lad's dead face, what would I think? And what would I say when his mother turned round and said, 'Ye have the land, haven't ye, William?' Our lives would not be worth twopence if I held on. Do you remember Carey, the informer? The British Empire couldn't protect him, though it shipped him across the world. How would I be among the mountains here? I could be shot going to or coming from market, my cattle houghed or mutilated, nobody would buy from me, nobody would sell to me, nobody would work on my farm. My stacks would be burnt. Look at the hay burnt in the last few weeks! You say I'd get a presentment against the county—and if I did I'd have to wait till next March for the money. Where's the capital to carry on? Suppose I wanted thirty tons of hay between this and that. That would cost L90. Where would I get the money? But that's not it. Life is dear, and life might at any moment be taken. If my stacks were burnt in July I'd have to wait a year for my money. I'd be cut off from all communication with the people, and shunned as if I'd the plague. If I went to market the people would leave the road to me, would cross over to the other side when they saw me coming. You never saw boycotting; you don't know what it means."
In a lonely stretch of gorse-bordered road, steep and rough, I came upon two members of the Royal Irish Constabulary, with rifles, sword-bayonets, and batons. We had a chat, and I examined their short Sniders while they admired the humble Winchester I carried for company, and which on one occasion had acted like a charm. They carried buckshot cartridges and ball, and had no objection to express their views. "Balfour was the man to keep the country quiet. Two resident magistrates could convict, and the blackguards knew that, if caught, it was all up with them. They are the most cowardly vermin on the face of the earth, for although if any of our men (who never go singly, but always in twos or threes) were to appear unarmed, they'd be murdered at sight. Yet although they often fire on us, they mostly do it from such distances that their bullets have no effect, so that they can run away the moment they pull the trigger. Lately things have been looking rather blue over there." One pointed to the hills dividing the county from Kerry. "The Kerry men are getting rifles. I know the 'ping' of the brutes only too well. Let them get a few men who know their weapons, and we'll be potted at five hundred yards easily enough. Yes, they have rifles now, and what for? To shoot sparrows? No. You can't guess? Give it up? Ye do? Then I'll tell you. To carry out the Home Rule Bill. Yes, I do think so. Will you tell me this? Who will in future collect rates and taxes? The tenants do not think they will have any more rent to pay. Lots of them will tell you that. These very men have the members of the Irish Parliament in their hands. That is; they can return whomsoever they choose. The representation of the country is in their hands. And the priests agree with them. No difference there, their object is one and the same, and when the priests and the farmers unite, who can compel them to pay up? Is the Irish Legislature which will be returned by these men—is it a likely body to compel payment of tribute to the hated Saxon at the point of the bayonet? When the British Government, with all the resources of Gladstonian civilisation, failed to put down boycotting, how do you suppose a sympathetic Government, returned by the farmers, consisting of farmers' sons, with a sprinkling of clever attorneys, more smart than honest, will proceed with compulsory action? Why they could do nothing if they wished, but then they will have no desire to compel. The English people are only commencing their troubles. They don't know they're born yet. Gladstone will have some explaining to do, but he can do it, he can do it. He'd explain the shot out of the Quirke family's legs. Ah! but he's a terrible curse to this country."
The other officer said:—"Our duty is very discouraging. We are hindered and baffled on every side by the people, whose sympathies are always against the law. Now in England your sympathies are with the law, and the people have the sense to support it, knowing that it will support them, so long as they do the right thing. It was bad enough to have the people against us, but now things are a hundred times worse. When Balfour was in power, we felt that our labour was not in vain. We felt that there was some chance of getting a conviction—not much, perhaps, but still a chance. Now, if we catch the criminals redhanded, we know no jury will convict. We try to do our duty, but of course we can't put the same heart into it as we could if we thought our work would do any good. And another thing—we knew Balfour, so long as we were acting with integrity, would back us up. Now we never know what we're going to get—whether we shall be praised or kicked behind. This Government is not only weak but also slippery. Outrages are increasing. News of three more reached the Newcastlewest Barracks this very day. We had a man on horseback scouring the mountains for information. The outraged people sometimes keep it close. What's the good, they say. We hear of the affair from other people, and the principals, so to speak, ask us to make no fuss about it, as they don't want to be murdered. The country is getting worse every day. We'll have such a bloody winter as Ireland never saw."
Another small moonlighting incident, now appearing for the first time on this or any other stage. Some tenants years ago were evicted on the Langford estates. Negotiations were proceeding for their proximate restoration, but nothing could be settled. A few days ago a small farmer named Benjamin Brosna, aged 55, agreed with the proper authorities to graze some cattle on the land in question pending the arrangement of the matter. A meeting at Haye's Cross was immediately convened by two holy men of the district, to wit, Father Keefe, P.P., and Father Brew, C.C., both of Meelin, and under the guidance of these good easy men, it was resolved that any man grazing cattle on the Langford land was as bad as the landlord, and must be treated accordingly. On the same day, April 18, or rather in the night succeeding the day of the meeting, eleven masked and armed men entered Brosna's house, and one of them, presenting a gun, said, "We have you now, you grass-grabber." Brosna seized the gun, and being hale and active, despite his 55 years, showed such vigorous fight that he fell through the doorway into the yard along with two others, where he was brutally beaten, and must have been killed—it was their clear intention—but for the pitchy darkness of the yard and the number of his assailants, who in their fury fell over each other, enabling Brosna, who being on his own ground knew the ropes better than they, in the darkness to glide under a cart and escape over an adjacent wall, where he hid himself. They lost him, and returned to the house, firing shots at whatever they could damage, and smashing everything breakable, from the windows upwards. Brosna will lose the sight of one eye, which is practically beaten out. His servants, named Larkin, have been compelled to leave by means of threatening letters. Their father has also been threatened with death unless he instantly removes them from Brosna's house.
I could continue indefinitely, continuing my remarks to the occurrences of one month or so; and if I abruptly conclude it is because time presses, my return to civilisation having been effected at 3.30 this morning, after a ten miles' mountain walk, followed by three hours' ride in the blissful bowels of an empty cattle-truck. But for the good Samaritan of a luggage train I must last night have camped beneath the canopy of heaven. No scarcity of fun in Ireland—which beats the world for sparkling incident.
Rathkeale (Co. Limerick), April 24th.
No. 14.—LAWLESSNESS AND LAZINESS.
The fruits of Gladstonian rule are ripening fast. Mr. Morley's visit to Cork en route for Dublin corresponds with Inspector Moriarty's visit to the Irish capital. Mr. Moriarty is the county inspector in whose district most of the recent outrages have been perpetrated, and is therefore able to give the Irish Secretary plenty of news. His report will doubtless remain secret, as it is sensational. Mr. Morley has too much regard for the sensibilities of Mr. and Mrs. Bull, and when the Limerick inspector, entering the State confessional of Dublin Castle, advances and says, "I could a tale unfold whose lightest word Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood, Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres, Thy knotted and combined locks to part, And each particular hair to stand on end, Like quills upon the fretful porcupine,"—when Mr. Moriarty utters the familiar and appropriate words the Irish Secretary will say with deprecatory gesture, "Enough, enough. 'Twas ever thus. This is the effect of kindness. What ho, my henchmen bold! A flagon, a mighty flagon of most ancient sack. I feel that I am about to be prostrated. Such is the fate of greatness. Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. It is a great and glorious thing, To be an Irish Sec. But give to me my hollow tree, A crust of bread and liberty. The word is porpentine, not porcupine, Mr. Inspector. A common corruption. Verify your quotations. Have them (in future) attested by two resident magistrates. And now to work. All in strict confidence. Let not the world hear of these things. Let not the people know that violence and rapine walk hand-in-hand with my administration. Nameless in dark oblivion let it dwell. Let it be sub rosa, sub sigilla confessionis, sub-auditer, sub everything. Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in Askalon, for behold, if the people heard, they would marvel, and fear greatly; and—be afraid."
The officer would then produce his budget, with its horrors, its indecencies, its record of trickery, treachery, cowardly revenge, and midnight terrorism. The local press correspondents of the rural districts are nearly all Nationalists, and they either furnish garbled reports, or none at all. The reporters of Conservative papers, comparatively Conservative, I mean, are also Nationalists. The Irish themselves know not what is taking place ten miles away. How is England to learn the precise state of things? I have fished up a few recent samples of minor occurrences which will form part of Mr. Moriarty's news. These smaller outrages invariably lead up to murder if the victim resist. They are so many turns of the screw, just to let the recalcitrant feel what can be done. In the large majority of cases he gives way at the first hint. Let us relate some neighbouring experiences.
David Geary, of Castlemahon, late in the evening heard an explosion at the door of his cottage. He ran out, and found a fuse burning, lying where it had been cast, while a volley of large stones whizzed past his head. There had been some litigation between a man named Callaghan and a road contractor, and Geary had allowed the road contractor's men to take their food in wet weather under his roof.
On April 15, at two in the morning, a party of masked moonlighters visited the cottage of Mrs. Breens, of Raheenish, and having fired two shots through the parlour window, shattering the woodwork by way of letting the widow know they were there, fired a third through her bed-room window to expedite the lady's movements. Almost paralysed with fear, she parleyed with the besieging force, which, by its spokesman, demanded her late husband's gun, threatening to put "daylight through her" unless it were instantly given up. It was in her son's possession, and she hurried to his room. The young dog came on the scene, and instead of handing out the gun, fired two shots from a revolver into the darkness. Whereupon the band of Irish hero-patriots outside fled with electric speed, and returned no more. At Ardagh the police found a haystack burning. They saved about ten tons, but Patrick Cremmin claims L88 from the county. He had offended somebody, but he declares he knows not the motive. In other words, he wants to let the thing drop—bar the L88. Another stack of hay, partly saved by the police, was burnt because evictions had taken place: damage L20, which the county must pay. R. Plummer, a labourer with Brosna, whose case was given in my last, has received a letter threatening him with death unless he left Brosna's employ. Some say the name is Brosnan or Bresnahan. Beware of the quibbling of Irish malcontents, who on the strength of a misprint or a wrongly-spelt name, boldly state that no such person ever existed, and that therefore the case is a pure invention. Here is a specimen of the toleration Loyalists and Protestants may expect:—A special train having been run from Newcastle to Limerick to enable people to attend a Unionist meeting in the latter city, the Nationalists took steps to mark their sense of the railway company's indiscretion, and a train soon afterwards leaving Newcastle for Tralee, they hurled a great stone from the Garryduff Bridge, smashing the window of the guard's van and doing other injury. At Gurtnaclochy, to deter a witness in a legal case, a threatening letter was sent, sixty yards of a sod fence thrown down, and a coffin and gun neatly cut on the field. On the Roman Catholic Chapel wall at Ashford a notice was posted threatening with death anyone who bought hay or turnips from a boycotted man, and the same day a man named Herlihy received a threatening letter. On April 15 a party of armed, disguised men with blackened faces, called on a poor man at Inniskeen, and having smashed the windows, tried to force the door, but stopped to parley. They called on "Young Patrick" to hand out the father's gun, and the young man complied. Being twitted with this he said, "I want to live. If I had refused the gun my life would not be worth twopence. I would be 'covered' from a bush or a fence when I walked out, or shot dead in the door as I looked down the lane, as was done in another case. I know the parties well, but I would not give evidence. Neither will I give the police any more information. It would not hurt the criminals, but it would hurt me. For while the jury would not convict, the secret tribunal that sat on me would not be so merciful, and many a man would like the distinction of being singled out to execute the secret decrees of the Moonlight fraternity." Another person standing by said, "What happened at Galbally, near Tipperary? A priest denounced a Protestant named Allen from the altar, and a week after the man was shot dead in his tracks. Everybody knew perfectly well who did the deed. All knew the man who wanted Allen's land, and it was thought that there was evidence enough to hang him twenty times. He is alive and well, and if you go any Saturday to the Tipperary market Father Humphreys will introduce you to him. He was discharged without a stain on his character, and brass bands met him on his return, also a torchlight procession."
In Ireland, even more than in England, brass bands are necessary to the expression of the popular emotion. Brass bands met Egan, the liberated, everywhere. Brass bands accompanied the march of O'Brien's mourners at the Cork funeral last week. Not a murderer in Ireland whose release would not be celebrated with blare of brass bands, and glare of burning grease. Mr. Morley could not land in Cork, however privately, for he did not wish to speak, without a brass band being loosed on his heels. The great philosophical Radical, the encyclopaedia of political wisdom, the benefactor, the saviour, the regenerator of Ireland, left Cork to the strains of the Butter Exchange Band—con amore, affetuoso, and doubtless con spirito. Yet some will say that the Irish are not grateful! Mr. Morley stayed at the hotel I had just left, the Royal Victoria, which I justly described as a hot-bed of sedition. It was here, in room No. 72, that Dalton so terribly punched the long-suffering head of Tim Healy. At the Four Courts, Dublin, I saw a waiter who witnessed the famous horsewhipping in that city. I asked him if it were a severe affair, or whether, as the Nationalist papers affirmed, only a formality, a sort of Consider-yourself-flogged. How that waiter expanded and enjoyed the Pleasures of Memory! "It was a most thrimindious affair, Sorr. McDermott was a fine, powerful sthrip of a boy, an' handled the horsewhip iligant. Ye could hear the whack, whack, whack in the refreshment room wid the doors closed, twenty yards away. It was for all the world a fine, big, healthy kind of batin' that Tim got. An' the way he wriggled was the curiousest thing at all. 'Twas enough to make yer jump out of yer skin wid just burstin' with laffin'."
Leaving outrages and violence to Messrs. Morley and Moriarty, let me narrate the effect of the impending Home Rule Bill on some of the commercial community. A well-known tradesman says: "A man in Newcastlewest owed me L24 for goods delivered. He had a flourishing shop and also an excellent farm. He was so slow in paying, and apparently so certain that in a little while he would escape altogether, that I sued him for the amount. It was a common action for a common debt, between one Irish tradesman and another. But I am a Unionist, and therefore fair game. I got judgment, but no instalments were paid. I remonstrated over and over again, and was from time to time met with solemn promises, the debtor gaining time by every delay. At last I lost patience, and determined to distrain. Everybody laughed at me. 'Where will you get an auctioneer, and who will bid? they asked. I determined to carry through this one case, if it cost a hundred pounds. I got a good revolver, and succeeded in bringing an auctioneer from a distance. The debtor said he would brain me with a bill-hook if I put my foot on his ground, and another man promised to shoot me from a bed-room window. It was necessary, to carry out the sale at all, to have police protection. I went to the barracks and submitted the case. Had I a sheriff's order, &c., &c., &c.? All difficulties overcome I went to the 'sale.' We seized a cow, a watch, and some of my own goods, and commenced the auction. Nobody bid but myself, and when I had covered the amount due the sale ceased, the aspect of the people being very menacing. Remember, this was not agrarian at all. The debt was for goods delivered to be sold in the way of trade. Most of them were there before my face. The debtor came and said, 'You can't take the things away. But we like your pluck, and if you will settle the matter for L5 I will give you the money.' I declined to take L5 for L24 and costs, although the police looked on the offer as unexpectedly liberal, and the bystanders shed tears of emotion and said that Gallagher was 'iver an' always the dacent boy.' When I wished to remove the things the troubles began. I had my revolver, the police their rifles, but things looked very blue. I drove the cow to the station and got her away, but the other things could not walk aboard, and how to get them there was hard to know. I asked people I knew to lend me their carts—people who were under some obligation to me, men I had known and done business with for years. They all refused; they feared the evil eye of the vigilance committee of a Fenian organisation still in full swing among us, and keeping regular books for settlement when they have the power. I was determined not to be beat, so I went to Limerick, nearly thirty miles away, to get a float or wagon. The news was there before me, not a wheel to be had in the city. At last, by means of powerful influence, I got a cart, on condition that the owner's name should be taken off, and my name painted on. Then I returned to Newcastle and bore away the goods in triumph. Alas! my troubles were only beginning! I had been told that the goods were not the debtor's, but belonged to someone else. The cow, they said, was a neighbour's, who had 'lent' it to my debtor. The watch, they said, was the property of a friend, who had handed it to my debtor that he might take it somewhere to be repaired. The landlord of the house claimed that he had previously seized everything, but had allowed things to remain out of kindness. I was cited in four actions for illegal distraint, all of which were so evidently trumped-up that they were quashed. But the time they took! And the annoyance they caused. The expense also was considerable, and the idea of getting expenses out of these people—but I need add nothing on that score.
"There were six witnesses in one case, and they could never be found, so long as the judge could have patience to wait. Every lie, trick, subterfuge you can imagine, was practised on poor me. At last all was over, but at what a cost! The big chap who had threatened me with the bill-hook came humbly forward and said: "Plase yer honner's worship, I'm very deaf, an' I'm short sighted, and I'm very wake intirely, an' ye must give me toime to insinse meself into the way of it." And that rascal had everything repeated several times, until I was on fifty occasions on the point of chucking up the whole thing.
"Before the Home Rule Bill had implanted dishonest ideas in his head, before the promises of unscrupulous agitators had unsettled and demoralised the people, that man was a straightforward, good, paying fellow. Only he thought that by waiting till the bill was passed he would have nothing to pay. The ignorant among us harbour that idea, and the disloyalty of the lower classes is so intense that you could not understand it unless you lived here at least two years."
English friends who praise the affection of the Irish people, and who speak of the Union of Hearts, may note the lectures of the popular Miss Gonne, who is being enthusiastically welcomed in Nationalist Ireland. No doubt the local papers expurgated the text; at the present moment the word has gone round:—"Let us get the bill, let us get the bill, and then!" But enough remains to show the general tone. Addressing the Irish National Literary Society, of Loughrea, Miss Gonne said that she must "contradict Lord Wolseley in his statement that England was never insulted by invasion since the days of William the Conqueror. It would be deeply interesting to the men and women of Connaught to hear once again how a gallant body of French troops, fighting in the name of Liberty and Ireland, had conquered nearly the whole of that province at a time when England had in her service in Ireland no less than one hundred and fifty thousand trained troops. She would remind them that France was the one great military nation of Europe that had been the friend of Ireland"—a remark which was received with loud and prolonged applause. "And it would be a matter of some pride to us to reflect that in these military relations the record of the Irish brigades in the service of France compared not without advantage with the military services which France had been able to render to Ireland." This passage clearly refers to the aid the two countries have afforded each other as against England, and the whole lecture seems to have aimed at the heaping of ignominy on the British name. The stronger the denunciation of England, the more popular the speaker. The Union of Hearts gets "no show" at all. The phrase is unknown to Irish Nationalists. However deceitful they may be, it cannot yet be said that they have sunk thus low.
Looking over Wednesday's Cork Examiner, I observe that amid other things the Reverend John O'Mahony attributes the fact that "The teeming treasures of the deep were almost left untouched," that is, off the Irish coast, and that this is "a disgrace and a dishonour to the people through whose misrule and misgovernment the unhappy result was brought about." Father O'Mahony is a Corker, and should know that he is talking nonsense. Let me explain.
In Cork I met a gentleman for twenty-five years engaged in supplying fishermen with all their needs. He said, "The Irish fishermen are the laziest, most provoking beggars under the sun." He showed me two sizes of net-mesh and said, "This is the size of a shilling, this is the size of a halfpenny. The Scotsmen and Shetlanders use the shilling size. The difference seems small, but it is very important. The Irishmen use the halfpenny size, and will use no other. They say that what was good enough for their fathers is good enough for them. When the fish are netted they make a rush, and many of them escape the larger mesh, which they can get through, unless of the largest size. The small mesh catches them by the gills and hangs them. This, however, is a small matter. The most important thing is the depth of fishing. The Scotsmen and Shetlanders come up to the Irish coast, which is remarkably rich in fish, and when they meet a school of fish they fish very deep and bring them up by tons, while the Irishmen are skimming the tops of the shoals, and drawing up trumpery dozens, because their fathers did so. Years ago I used to argue the point, but I know better now. When the water is troubled, when the wind is blowing, and things are a trifle rough, then is the time to fish. The herrings cannot see the net when the water is agitated. The Scotsmen are on the job, full of spirits and go, but Paddy gets up and takes a look and goes to bed again. He waits for fine weather, so as to give the fish a chance. The poor Shetlanders come over long leagues of sea, catch ling a yard long, under Paddy's nose, take it to Shetland, cure it, and bring it back to him, that he may buy it at twopence a pound. At the mouth of the Blackwater are the finest soles in the world, but the Irish are too lazy to catch them;—great thick beggars of fish four inches thick, you never saw such soles, the Dover soles are lice to them, they'd fetch a pound apiece in London if they were known. Change the subject. Every time I come round here I get into a rage. The British Government finds these men boats. The Shetlanders sometimes land, and when they contrast the fat pastures and teeming south coast of Ireland with their own cold seas and stony hills they say with the Ulstermen, 'Would that you would change countries!'"
I asked him how he accounted for this extraordinary state of things. He said:—
"As an Irishman I am bound to answer one question by asking another. Was there ever a free and prosperous country where the Roman Catholic religion was predominant?"
I could not answer him at the moment, but perhaps Father O'Mahony, who knows so much, may satisfy him on the point. Or in the absence of this eloquent kisser of the Blarney Stone some other black-coated Corker may respond. Goodness knows, they are numerous enough. All are well clothed and well fed, while the flock that feed the pastor are mostly in squalid poverty, actually bending the knee to their greasy task-masters, poor ignorant victims of circumstances.
Among the many nostrums offered to Ireland, nobody offers soap. The greatest inventions are often the simplest, and with all humility I make the suggestion. Ireland is badly off for soap, and cleanliness is next to godliness. Father Humphreys, of Tipperary, boasts of his influence with the poor—delights to prove how in the matter of rent they took his advice, and so on. Suppose he asks them to wash themselves! The suggestion may at first sight appear startling. All novelties are alarming at first; but the mortality, except among old people, would probably prove less than Father Humphreys might expect. He would have some difficulty in recognising his flock, but the resources of civilisation would probably be sufficient to conquer this drawback. Persons over forty might be exempted, as nothing less than skinning would meet their case, but the young might possibly be trained, against tradition and heredity, to the regular use of water. But I fear the good Father will hardly strain his authority so far. An edict to wash would mean blue ructions in Tipperary, open rebellion would ensue, and the mighty Catholic Church would totter to its fall. The threat to wash would be an untold terrorism, the use of soap an outrage which could only be atoned by blood. And Father Humphreys (if he knew the words) might truly say Cui bono? Why wash? Is not soap an enemy to the faith? Do not the people suit our purpose much better as they are? Thigum thu, brutal and heretic Saxon?
Killaloe (Co. Clare), April 27th.
No. 15.—THE PERIL TO ENGLISH TRADE.
As the great object of public interest in the city of Limerick is the Treaty Stone, a huge block of granite, raised on a pedestal on the Clare side of Thomond Bridge, to commemorate the Violated Treaty so graphically described by Macaulay, and to keep in remembrance of the people the alleged ancient atrocities of the brutal Saxon—so the key-note of Ennis is the memorial to the Manchester Martyrs, erected outside the town to commemorate the people who erected it. That is how it strikes the average observer. For while the patriotic murderers of the Manchester policemen, to wit, O'Brien, Allen, and Larkin, have only one tablet to the three heroes, the members of the committee who were responsible for this Nationalist or rather Fenian monument have immortalised themselves on three tablets. But although party feeling runs high, and the town as a whole appears to be eminently disloyal and inimical to England, there are not wanting reasonable people who look on the proposed change with grave suspicion, even though they nominally profess to support the abstract doctrine of Home Rule. Naturally, their main opinions are very like those I have previously recorded as being prevalent in the neighbouring counties of Limerick, Cork, and Kerry. They believe the present time unseasonable, and they have no confidence in the present representatives of the Nationalist party. They believe that the Irish people are not yet sufficiently educated to be at all capable of self-government, and they fail to see what substantial advantages would accrue from any Home Rule Bill. More especially do they distrust Mr. Gladstone; and although in England the Nationalist leaders speak gratefully of the Grand Old Man, it is probable that such references would in Ireland be received in silence, if not with outspoken derision. A well-known Nationalist thus expressed himself on this point:—
"Gladstone's recent attack on Parnell was one of the meanest acts of a naturally mean and cowardly man, whose whole biography is a continuous story of surrender, abject and unconditional. Parnell was his master. With all his faults, Parnell was much the better man. He was too cool a swordsman for Gladstone, and, spite of the Grand Man's tricky dodging and shifting, Parnell beat him at every point, until he was thoroughly cowed and had to give in. What surprises me is that the English people are led away by a mere talker. They claim to be the most straightforward and practical people in the world. Answer me this:—Did you, did anybody, ever know Gladstone to give a straightforward answer to any one question? Straight dealing is not in him. He is slippery as an eel—with all his 'honesty,' his piety, his benevolence. But as he reads the Bible in Hawarden Church, the English believe in him. They have no other reason that I can see. Have you heard any Irishman speak well of Gladstone? No, and you never will. How long in the country? Five weeks only? You may stay five years, and you will not hear a word expressing sincere esteem. About separation? Well, most of the unthinking people, that is, the great majority, would vote in favour of it to-morrow. All sentiment, the very romance of sentimentality. I have been in England, I have been in America, and you could hardly believe the difference in the people's views. The Irish are not practical enough. 'Ireland a nation' is bound to be the next cry, if Home Rule become law under the present leaders of the Nationalist party."
"But how about the pledges, the solemn and reiterated pledges, of Michael Davitt and the rest?"
"I suppose you ask me seriously? You do? An Irishman would regard the question as a joke. The pledges are not worth a straw. Their object is to deceive, and so to carry the point at issue. Would John Bull come with an injured air and say, with tears in his voice, 'You said you'd be good. You promised to be loyal. You really did. Did you not, now?' Don't you think John would cut a pretty figure? Davitt knows where to have him. He knows that a quiet, moderate, reasonable tone fetches him. Parnell, too, knew that the method with John was a steady, quiet persistence without excitement. John listens to Davitt, and says to himself, 'Now this is a calm, steady fellow. Nothing fly-away about him. No shouting and screaming there. This is the kind of man who must boss the show. Give him what he wants.'
"Look how Morley was taken in. And so, no doubt, was many another.
"If England trusts the assurances of these men, and if the bill under present conditions becomes law, we shall have two generations of experiment, of corruption, of turmoil, of jobbery such as the British Empire has never seen.
"Yes, I am a Home Ruler—at the proper time. But Home Rule in our present circumstances would mean revolution, and, a hundred to one, the reconquest of Ireland. And in the event of any foreign complication you would have all your work cut out to effect your purpose."
A gentleman from Mallow said, "The Gaelic clubs all over the country are in a high state of organisation, and a perfect state of drill. The splendid force of constabulary which are now for you would be against you. The Irish Legislature, from the first, would have the power to raise a force of Volunteers, and the Irish are such a military nation that in six months they could muster a very formidable force. I am a Unionist, a Protestant too, but I find that my Catholic and Home Rule friends, that is, the superior sort, the best-read, the most thinking men, agree with me perfectly. But while I can understand Irish Home Rulers, even the most extreme sort, I cannot understand any sensible Englishman entertaining such an insane idea. As manager of one of the largest concerns in Cork I have made many visits to England, and I found the supporters of Mr. Gladstone so utterly misinformed, so credulous, so blankly ignorant of the matter, that I forbore to debate the thing at all. And their assumption was on a level with their ignorance, which is saying a good deal."
Mr. Thomas Manley, the great horse dealer, a famous character throughout the three kingdoms, said to me, "The Limerick horse fair of Thursday last was the worst I ever attended in forty years. There is no money in the country. The little that changed hands was for horses of a common sort, and every one, I do believe, was bought for England and Scotland, tramcar-horses and such like. Home Rule is killing the country already. I farmed a thousand acres of land in Ireland for many a long year, and since I went more fully into the horse-dealing business I kept two hundred and fifty acres going. I have horsed the six crack cavalry regiments of the British army, and I know every nook and corner of Ireland; know, perhaps, every farmer who can breed and rear a horse, and I also know their opinions. Give me the power and I would do four things. Here they are:—
"I would first settle the land question, then reform the poor-laws, then rearrange the Grand Jury laws, then commence to reclaim the land, which would pay ten per cent.
"The Tories should undertake these measures. They would then knock the bottom out of the Home Rule agitation. The people are downright sick of the whole business. They expected to be well off before this. They find themselves going down the nick."
Mr. Abraham P. Keeley said: "There is much fault found with the landlords, but they are by no means so much to blame as is supposed. Put the saddle on the right horse. And the right horse is the steam horse. The rapid transit of grain and general farm produce has lowered the value of land more rapidly than the landlords could lower the rent. Every year the prairie lands of America are further opened up by railways; India and Egypt and Australia are now in the swim, and Ireland, as a purely agricultural country, must suffer. A curious illustration of the purely rural condition of the country was mentioned the other day. Nearly all the great towns drink the water of the rivers upon which they stand. Cork drinks the Lee; Limerick drinks the Shannon; you can catch trout from the busiest quay in Limerick. Now, the towns of England don't drink their own rivers. You don't drink the Rea at Birmingham, I think?"
I was obliged to admit that the pellucid waters of the crystal Rea were not the favourite table beverage of the citizens of Brum, but submitted that Mr. Joseph Malins, the Grand Worthy Chief Templar, and his great and influential following might possibly use this innocent means of dissipation.
Mr. Thomas Manley continued: "The tenant farmer has cried himself up, and the Nationalists have cried him up as the finest, most industrious, most honest, most frugal, most self-sacrificing fellow in the world. But he isn't. Not a bit of it. The landlords and their agents have over and over again been shot for rack-renting when the rents had been forced up by secret competitions among neighbours and even relations.
"Ask any living Irish farmer if I am right, and he will say, Yes, ten times yes.
"The Irishman has a land-hunger such as is unknown over the water. And why? Because the land is his sole means of living. We have no enterprise, no manufactures to speak of. The Celtic nature is to hoard. The Englishman invests what the Irishman would bury in his back garden, or hang up the chimney in an old stocking. So we have no big works all over the country to employ the people. And as we are very prolific, the only remedy is emigration. Down at Queenstown the other day I saw 250 Irish emigrants leaving the country. A Nationalist friend said, 'If they'd only wait a bit till we get Home Rule, they needn't go, the crathurs.' What's to hinder it? How will they be better off? Will the land sustain more with Home Rule than without it? And when capital is driven away, as it must and will be the moment we pass the bill, instead of more factories we'll have less, and England and Scotland will be over-run with thousands of starving Irish folks whose means of living is taken away.
"As an Irish farmer, and an Irish farmer's son, living on Irish farms for more than sixty years, having an intimate acquaintance with the whole of Ireland, and almost every acre of England, I deliberately say that the Irish farmer is much better off than the English, Scotch, or Welsh farmer, not only in the matter of law, but in the matter of soil.
"In many parts of England the soil must be manured after every crop. Every time you take out you must put in. Not so in Ireland. Nature has been so bountiful to us that we can take three, and even six, crops off the land after a single dose of manure. Of course the farmer grumbles, and no wonder. The price of stock and general produce is so depressed that Irish farmers are pinched. But so they are in England. And yet you have no moonlighting. You don't shoot your landlords. If the land will not pay you give it up and take to something else. An Irishman goes on holding, simply refusing to pay rent. His neighbours, who are in the same fix, support him. When the landlord wishes to distrain, after waiting seven years or so, he has to get a decree. The tenants know of it as soon as he, and they set sentinels. When the police are signalled the cattle are driven away and mixed with those of other farmers—every difficulty that Irish cleverness can invent is placed in the way. Then the landlord, whether or not successful in distraining, is boycotted, and the people reckon it a virtue to shoot him down on sight. Conviction is almost, if not quite, impossible, for even if you found a willing witness—a very unlikely thing I can tell you—even then the witness knows himself marked for the same fate. If he went to America or Australia he would be traced, and someone would be found to settle him. Such things have happened over and over again, and people know the risk is great. But about rack-rents.
"I have told you of Irish avariciousness in the matter of land, and have explained the reason of it. Rents have been forced up by people going behind each other's backs and offering more and more, in their eagerness to acquire the holding outbidding each other. Landlords are human; agents, if possible, still more human. They handed over the land to the highest bidder. What more natural? The farmers are not business men. They offered more than the land could pay. You know the results. But why curse and blaspheme the landlords for what was in many cases their own deliberate act?"
On Friday last I had a small object-lesson in Irish affairs. Colonel O'Callaghan, of Bodyke, went to Limerick to buy cattle for grazing on his estate. The cattle were duly bought, but the gallant Colonel had to drive them through the city with his own right hand. I saw his martial form looming in the rear of a skittish column of cows, and even as the vulture scenteth the carcase afar off, even so, scenting interesting matter, did I swoop down on the unhappy Colonel, startling him severely with my sudden dash. He said, "I'm driving cows now," and, truth to tell, there was no denying it. Even as he spoke, a perverse beast of Nationalist tendencies effected a diversion to the right, plainly intending a charge down Denmark Street, en route for Irish Town, and the gallant Colonel waiving ceremony and a formidable shillelagh, hastened by a flank movement to cut off this retreat, and to guide the erring creature in the right way to fresh woods and pastures new. I fired a Parthian arrow after the parting pair. "Appointment?" I shouted, but the Colonel shook his head. It was no time for gentle assignations. The cursed crew in front of him absorbed his faculties, and then he half expected to be shot from any street abutting on his path. Perhaps I may nail him yet. He has been attempting to distrain. If the Colonel refuses to speak I will interview his tenants. I have said I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil—with the readers of the Gazette. Dixi. I have spoken! There is much shooting on the Bodyke estates, and in Ennis they say that sixty policemen are stationed there to pick up the game. Nobody has been bagged as yet, but the Clare folks are still hoping. To-morrow a trusty steed will bear me to the spot. Relying on a carefully-considered, carefully-studied Nationalist appearance, an anti-landlord look, and a decided No-Rent expression in my left eye, I feel that I could ride through the most dangerous districts with perfect impunity. "Base is the slave that pays," says Ancient Pistol. That is my present motto. One touch of No Rent makes the Irish kin.
The English people should be told that nearly all Irishmen, whether Unionist or otherwise, are strong Protectionists. The moment Home Rule becomes law a tremendous attempt will be made to shut out English goods. "The very first thing we do," said to me an influential Dubliner I met here, "is to double the harbour dues; you can't prevent that, I suppose? The first good result will be the choking-off of all the Scotch and Manx fishermen who infest our seas. At present they bring their fish into Dublin, whence it is sent all over Ireland, competing against Irish fishermen. Then we'll tax all manufactured goods. We will admit the raw material duty-free, but we must be permitted to know what suits us best, and we must, and will, tax flour, but not wheat. We in Ireland, forsooth, must submit to having all our flour mills closed to suit the swarming populations of Manchester and Birmingham. They must have a cheap loaf. Dear me! and so flour comes here untaxed, having given employment to people in America, while our folks are walking about idle. Go down the river Boyne, from Trim to Drogheda. What do you see? Twelve mills, with machinery worth L100,000 or more, lying idle. One of those mills once employed fifty or sixty men. Now it employs none. Tax flour, I say, and so says everybody. We must have Protection, and very stringent Protection. Irish manufacturers must be sustained against English competition. Twenty years ago Dublin was a great place for cabinet work. Now nothing is done there, or next to nothing. Everything must come from London. At the same period we did a great trade in leather. The leather trade is gone to the devil. We did a big turnover in boots and shoes. Now every pair worn in the city comes from Northampton. Ireland and Irish goods for the Irish, and burn everything English but English coals. Give us Home Rule, and all these trades will be restored to us."
Thus spoke the great Home Ruler, who declined to permit his name to appear, as he said it might affect his business. His sentiments are universal, and, as I have said, his opinions are shared by the great majority of Irishmen, even though professedly Unionist.
A word of comment on the patriotic sentiments of my friend. I went to Delany, of George Street, Limerick, for a suit of Blarney tweed. He had not a yard in the place. He was indicated as the leading clothier and outfitter of the city, but the Mahony Mills were not represented amongst his patterns. He had Scotch tweeds, Yorkshire tweeds, West of England tweeds, but although the Blarney tweeds are said to be the best in the world as well as the handsomest, I had to seek them elsewhere. An English friend says, "The Irish politicians are rather inconsistent. They came into this hotel one evening, six of them, red-hot from a Nationalist meeting, cursing England up hill and down dale, till I really felt quite nervous. I hadn't got a Winchester like that. (I hope it won't go off.) They agreed that to boycott English goods was the correct thing, and of course they were for burning all but English coals, when the leader of the gang said, 'Now, boys, what will you drink,' and hang me! if they didn't every one take a bottle of Bass's bitter beer! Did you ever know such inconsistency?"
The quirks and quips of the Irish character would puzzle a Philadelphia lawyer. Spinning along the lane to Killaloe, with Mr. Beesley, of Leeds, and Mr. Abraham Keeley, of Mallow, balanced on opposite sides of a jaunting car, we came on a semi-savage specimen of the genuine Irish sort. Semi-savage! he was seven-eighths savage, and semi-lunatic, just clever enough to mind the cows and goats which, with a donkey or two, grazed by the way-side. He might be five-and-twenty, and looked strong and lusty. His naked feet were black with the dirt of his childhood, and not only black, but shining and gleaming in the sun. His tattered trousers were completely worn away to the knee, showing his muscular legs to perfection. The rags that clothed his body were confusing and indefinite. You could not tell where one garment ended and another began, or whether there were more than one at all. Cover a pump with boiling glue, shake over it a sack of rags, and you will get an approximate effect of his costume. His tawny, matted hair and beard had never known brush, comb, or steel. It was a virgin forest. He scratched his head with the air of the old woman who said "Forty years long have this generation troubled me;" and ran after the car with outstretched hand. I threw him a penny, upon which he threw himself at full length, his tongue hanging out, a greedy sparkle in his eye. My Irish friend instantly stopped the car.
"Now I'll show you something. This man is more than half an idiot, but watch him." Then he cried:
"Come here, now, I'll toss you for the penny."
The man came quickly forward.
"Now then, put down your penny, and call. What is it? Head or harp, speak while it spins!"
"Head," shouted the savage, and head it was.
He picked up the second penny with glee, and said with a burst of wild laughter. "Toss more, more, more; toss ever an' always; toss agin, agin, agin."
The car-driver was disgusted. "Bad luck to ye for a madman. Ye have the gamblin' blood in ye. Bedad, ye'd break Monty Carly, ye would."
Then looking at the gambler's black and polished feet, he said:—
"Tell me, now, honey, is it Day an' Martin's ye use?"
Ennis (Co. Clare), April 29th.
No. 16.—CIVIL WAR IN COUNTY CLARE.
The name of Bodyke is famous throughout all lands, but few people know anything about the place or the particulars of the great dispute. The whole district is at present in a state of complete lawlessness. The condition of matters is almost incredible, and is such as might possibly be expected in the heart of Africa, but hardly in a civilised country, especially when that country is under the benignant British rule. The law-breakers seem to have the upper hand, and to be almost, if not quite, masters of the situation. The whole estate is divided into three properties, Fort Ann, Milltown, and Bodyke, about five thousand acres in all, of which the first two comprise about one thousand five hundred acres, isolated from the Bodyke lands, which latter may amount to some three thousand five hundred acres. Either by reason of their superior honesty, or, as is sometimes suggested, on account of their inferior strategic position, the tenants of the Fort Ann and Milltown lands pay their rent. The men of Bodyke are in a state of open rebellion, and resist every process of law both by evasion and open force. The hill-tops are manned by sentries armed with rifles. Bivouac fires blaze nightly on every commanding eminence. Colonel O'Callaghan's agent is a cock-shot from every convenient mound. His rides are made musical by the 'ping' of rifle balls, and nothing but the dread of his repeating rifle, with which he is known to be handy, prevents the marksmen from coming to close quarters. Mr. Stannard MacAdam seems to bear a charmed life. He is a fine athletic young man, calm and collected, modest and unassuming, and, as he declares, no talker. He has been described as a man of deeds, not words. He said, "I am not a literary man. I have not the skill to describe incident, or to give a clear and detailed account of what has taken place. I have refused to give information to the local journalists. My business is to manage the estate, and that takes me all my time. You must get particulars elsewhere. I would rather not speak of my own affairs or those of Colonel O'Callaghan."
There was nothing for it but to turn my unwilling back on this veritable gold mine. But although Mr. MacAdam could not or would not speak, others were not so reticent, and once in the neighbourhood the state of things was made plainly evident. The road from Ennis to Bodyke is dull and dreary, and abounds with painful memories. Half-an-hour out you reach the house, or what remains of it, of Francis Hynes, who was hanged for shooting a man. A little further and you reach the place where Mr. Perry was shot. A wooded spot, "convaynient" for ambush, once screened some would-be murderers who missed their mark. Then comes the house of the Misses Brown, in which on Christmas Eve shots were fired, by way of celebrating the festive season. From a clump of trees some four hundred yards from the road the police on a car were fired upon, the horse being shot dead in his tracks. The tenantry of this sweet district are keeping up their rifle practice, and competent judges say that the Bodyke men possess not less than fifty rifles, none of which can be found by the police. Said one of the constabulary, "They lack nerve to fire from shorter distances, as they think MacAdam is the better shot, and to miss him would be risky, as he is known to shoot rabbits with ball cartridge. At the same time, I remember Burke of Loughrea, who was shot, had also a fine reputation as a rifleman, but they settled him neatly enough. I saw him in the Railway Inn, Athenry, just before he was killed, with a repeating rifle slung on his back and a revolver on his hip. I saw him ride away, his servant driving while Burke kept the cocked rifle ready, the butt under his armpit, the trigger in his hand. He sat with his back to the horse, keeping a good look-out, and yet they shot both him and his servant as they galloped along. The horse and car came in without them. To carry arms is therefore not a complete security, though no doubt it is, to some extent, a deterrent. But my opinion is that when a man is ordered to be shot he will be shot. Clare swarms with secret societies, and you never know from one moment to another what resolutions they will pass. I don't know what the end of it will be, but I should think that Home Rule, by giving the murderers a fancied security, would in this district lead to wholesale bloodshed. The whole country would rise, as they do now, to meet the landlord or his agent, but they would then do murder without the smallest hesitation."
His companion said—the police here are never alone—"The first thing Morley did was to rescind the Crimes Act. When we heard of that we said 'Now it's coming.' And we've got it. Every man with a head on him, and not a turnip, knew very well what would happen. The police are shot at till they take no notice of it. Sometimes we charge up the hills to the spot where the firing started, but among the rocks and ravines and hills and holes they run like rabbits, or they hand their arms to some fleet-footed chap to hide, while they stay—aye, they do, they actually stand their ground till we come, and there they are working at a hedge or digging the ground, and looking as innocent and stupid as possible. They never saw anybody, and never heard any firing—or they thought it was the Colonel shooting a hare. We hardly know what to do in doubtful cases, as we know the tenants have the support of the Government, and it is as much as our places are worth to make any mistake under present circumstances. The tenants know that too, so between them and Morley we feel between two fires."
The trouble has been alive for fifteen years or so, but it was not until 1887 that Bodyke became a regularly historic place. The tenants had paid no rent for years, and wholesale evictions were tried, but without effect. The people walked in again the next day, and as the gallant Colonel had not an army division at his back he was obliged to confess himself beaten at every point. He went in for arbitration, but before giving details let us first take a bird's eye view of his position. I will endeavour to state the case as fairly as possible, premising that nothing will be given beyond what is freely admitted by both parties to the dispute.
The Colonel, who is a powerfully-built, bronzed, and active man, seemingly over sixty years old, left the service just forty years ago. Four years before that his father had died, heavily in debt, leaving the estate encumbered by a mortgage, a jointure to the relict, Mrs. O'Callaghan, now deceased (the said jointure being at that time several years in arrear), a head rent of a hundred guineas a year to Colonel Patterson, with taxes, tithe rent-charges, and heaven knows what besides. In 1846 and 1847 his father had made considerable reductions in the rents of the Bodyke holdings, but the tenants had contrived to fall into arrears to the respectable tune of L6,000, or thereabouts. Such was the state of things when the heir came into his happy possessions.
A Protestant clergyman said to me—"Land in Ireland is like self-righteousness. The more you have, the worse off you are." Thus was it at Bodyke.
Something had to be done. To ask the tenants for the L6,000 was mere waste of breath. The young soldier had no agent. He was determined to be the people's friend. Although a Black Protestant, he was ambitious of Catholic good-will. He wanted to have the tenants blessing him. He coveted the good name which is better than rubies. He wished to make things comfortable, to be a general benefactor of his species; if a Protestant landlord and a Roman Catholic tenantry can be said to be of the same species at all, a point which, according to the Nationalist press, is at least doubtful. He called the tenants together, and agreed to accept three hundred pounds for the six thousand pounds legally due, so as to make a fresh start and encourage the people to walk in the paths of righteousness. When times began to mend, the Colonel himself a farmer, commenced to raise the rents until they reached the amount paid during his father's reign. The people stood it quietly enough until 1879, when the Colonel appointed agents. This year was one of agricultural depression. A Mr. Willis succeeded the two first agents, but during the troubles he resigned his charge. The popular opinion leans to the supposition that his administration was ineffective, that is, that he was comparatively unused to field strategy, that he lacked dash and military resource, and that he entertained a constitutional objection to being shot. The rents came under the judicial arrangement, and reductions were made. Still things would not work smoothly, and it was agreed that bad years should be further considered on rent days. This agreement led to reductions on the judicial rent of 25 to 30 per cent., besides which the Colonel, in the arbitration of 1887, had accepted L1,000 in lieu of several thousand pounds of arrears then due. After November, 1891, the tenants ceased to pay rent at all, and that is practically their present position. The Colonel, who being himself an experienced farmer is a competent judge of agricultural affairs, thinks the tenants are able to pay, and even believes that they are willing, were it not for the intimidation of half-a-score village ruffians whose threatened moonlighting exploits, when considered in conjunction with the bloody deeds which have characterised the district up to recent times, are sufficient to paralyse the whole force of the British Empire, when that force is directed by the feeble fumblers now in office.
That they can pay if they will, is clearly proved by recent occurrences. Let us abandon ancient history and bring our story down to date. The number of incidents is so great, and the complications arising from local customs and prejudices are so bewildering that only after much inquiry have I been able to sort from the tangled web a few clear and understandable instances, which, however, may be taken as a fair sample of the whole.
New brooms sweep clean. The new agent, Mr. MacAdam, began to negotiate. Pow-wows and palavers all ended in smoke, and as meanwhile the charges on the estate were going on merrily, and no money was coming in to meet them, writs were issued against six of the best-off farmers; writs, not decrees, the writ being a more effective instrument. One Malone was evicted. He was a married man, without encumbrances, owed several years' arrears, had mismanaged his farm, a really good bit of land, had been forgiven a lot of rent, and still he was not happy. A relative had lent him nearly L200 to carry on, but Malone was a bottomless pit. What he required was a gold mine and a man to shovel up the ore, but unhappily no such thing existed on the farm. The relative offered to take the land, believing that he could soon recoup himself the loan, but Malone held on with iron grip, refusing to listen to the voice of the charmer, charmed he never so wisely. The relative wished to take the place at the judicial rent, and offered to give Malone the house, grass for a cow, and the use of three acres of land. Malone declined to make any change, and as a last resort it was decided to evict him. On the auspicious day MacAdam arrived from Limerick, accompanied by two men from Dublin, whom he proposed to instal as caretakers in Malone's house. The Sheriff's party were late, and MacAdam, waiting at some distance, was discovered and the alarm given. Horns were blown, the chapel bell was rung, the whole country turned out in force. Anticipating seizure, the people drove away their cattle, and shortly no hoof nor horn was visible in the district. A crowd collected and, observing the caretakers, at once divined their mission, and perceived that not seizure, but eviction, was the order of the day. They rushed to Malone's house, and, with his consent and assistance, tore off the roof, smashed the windows, and demolished the doors. The place was thus rendered uninhabitable.
This having been happily effected, the Sheriff's party arrived an hour or so late, in the Irish fashion. Possession was formally given to the agent, who was now free to revel in the four bare walls, and to enjoy the highly-ventilated condition of the building. The crowd became more and more threatening, and if they could have mustered pluck to run in on the loaded rifles, Sheriff, agent, and escort must have been murdered without mercy. The shouting and threatening were heard two miles away. But the tenants had taken other measures. A firing party was posted on a neighbouring hill, and as the Sheriff left the shelter of the walls a volley was poured in from a clump of trees four hundred yards away, one bullet narrowly missing a man who ducked at the flash. The riflemen were visible among the trees, and the Sheriff returned the fire. Several policemen also fired into the clump, but without effect, and their fire was briskly returned from the hill, this time just missing the head of a policeman covered by a bush, a bullet cutting off a branch close to his ear. The police then prepared to charge up the hill, when the firing party decamped. No arrests were made, although the marksmen must have been dwellers in the neighbourhood. A policeman said, "We know who they are; you can't conceal these things in a country place; but we have no legal evidence, and although we saw them at four hundred yards, who will accept our identification at such a distance? And of course no jury would convict. We have no remedy in this unfortunate country. So long as Gladstone and such folks are bidding for the people's votes so long we shall have lawlessness. But for the change of Government all would long have been settled amicably. But I heard a young priest say to the people, 'Hold on a bit till the new Government goes in.'"
To return to the Malone affair, Mr. MacAdam applied to the police for resident protection not for himself, but for the caretakers, whom he now proposed to instal in a farmhouse in the occupation of one of the Colonel's servants, and from which no one had been evicted. The authorities refused protection on the very remarkable plea that the situation of the aforesaid premises was so dangerous! so that had the place been quite safe, they would have consented to protect it. MacAdam determined to carry out his plan, with or without protection. He left Limerick at midnight with an ammunition and provision train of seven cars, with two caretakers and four workmen, with materials to fortify the place. He had previously given the authorities notice that he meant to occupy Knockclare, the house in question, and before he started they sent a police-sergeant from Tulla, a twenty miles drive, to formally warn him off, for that his life would assuredly be taken, and the officer also demanded that he should be permitted to personally warn the caretakers of the risk they ran. This was granted, but the men stuck to their guns. At the eviction a man had funked, frightened out of his seven senses. The police declined all responsibility, but offered to guard the farm for a shilling per man per day. MacAdam thought this proposal without precedent, and left the police to their own devices, driving along the twenty miles of hilly road, with sorry steeds that refused the last hill, so that the loads had to be pushed and carried up by the men. This was at eight or nine in the morning, after many hours' toilsome march. The fun was not over yet. Like the penny show, it was "just a-goin' to begin."
The crowd turned out and with awful threats of instant death menaced the lives of the party, who, with levelled rifles, at last gained the building. The people brought boards, and showed the caretakers their coffins in the rough. They spoke of shooting, and swore they would roast them alive that night by burning the house in which they were sheltered. A shot was fired at MacAdam. A sergeant with one man arrived from Tulla police-barracks and urged the party to leave before they were murdered. MacAdam would hold his post at all risks. Later eight armed policemen arrived, and then two carmen started to go home. A wall of stones blocked the road. They somehow got over that, and found a second wall a little further on. Here was a menacing crowd, and the police who followed the car drew their revolvers, and with great determination advanced on the mob, saving the carmen's lives, for which they were publicly praised from the Bench. But the jarveys returned, and by a circuitous route reached Limerick via Killaloe, thanking Heaven for their whole skins, and vowing never to so risk them again. The County Inspector who refused the party police protection explained that he did so "out of regard for the safety of his men." He said, "I had more than Mr. MacAdam and his party to consider. I must preserve the lives of the men in my charge."
At present the two caretakers hold the citadel, which is also garrisoned by a force of sixteen policemen regularly relieved by day and by night, every man armed to the teeth. Now and then the foinest pisintry in the wuruld turn out to the neighbouring hills and blaze away with rifles at the doors and windows of the little barn-like structure. The marksmen want a competent instructor. Anyone who knows anything of shooting knows the high art and scientific knowledge required for long-range rifle practice. These men are willing, but they lack science. Knowledge to their eyes her ample page, Rich with the spoils of time, has ne'er unrolled. Mr. Gladstone might bring over from the Transvaal a number of the Boers whose shooting impressed him so much to coach these humble Kelts in the mysteries of rifle shooting. Such a measure would perceptibly accelerate the passage of the Home Rule Bill.
Such is the state of things in Bodyke at this moment. Colonel O'Callaghan has had no penny of rent for years—that is, nothing for himself. What has been paid by the tenants of Fort Ann and Milltown has been barely sufficient to meet the charges on the estate. The Colonel thinks that the more he concedes the more his people want. He has had many narrow escapes from shooting, and rather expects to be bagged at last. He seems to be constitutionally unconscious of fear, but the police, against his wish, watch over him. In the few instances in which Mr. MacAdam, his agent, has effected seizures, the people have immediately paid up—have simply walked into their houses, brought out the money, and planked down the rent with all expenses, the latter amounting to some 20 or 25 per cent. They can pay. The Colonel, who lives by farming, having no other source of income, knows their respective positions exactly, and declines to be humbugged. The tenants believe that they will shortly have the land for nothing, and they are content to remain in a state of siege, themselves beleaguering the investing force, lodged in the centre of the position. The fields are desolate, tillage is suspended, and the whole of the cattle are driven out of sight. Armed men watch each other by night and by day, and bloodshed may take place at any moment. The farming operations of the whole region are disorganised and out of joint. Six men have been arrested for threats and violence, but all were discharged—the jury would not convict, although the judge said the evidence for the defence was of itself sufficient to convict the gang. A ruffian sprang on MacAdam with an open knife, swearing he would disembowel him. After a terrible struggle the man was disarmed and secured, brought up before the beak, and the offence proved to the hilt. This gentleman was dismissed without a stain on his character. MacAdam asked that he should at least be bound over to keep the peace. This small boon was refused. Comment is needless. How long are the English people going to stand this Morley-Gladstone management?
I have not yet been able to interview Colonel O'Callaghan himself, but my information, backed by my own observation, may be relied on as accurate. The carman who drove me hither said "The Bodyke boys are dacent fellows, but they must have their sport. Tis their nature to be shootin' folks, an' ye can't find fault with a snipe for havin' a long bill. An' they murther ye in sich a tinder-hearted way that no raisonable landlord could have any objection to it."
I have the honour of again remarking that Ireland is a wonderful country.
Bodyke (Co. Clare), May 2nd.
No. 17.—RENT AT THE ROOT OF NATIONALISM.
The tenants of the Bodyke property stigmatise Colonel O'Callaghan as the worst landlord in the world, and declare themselves totally unable to pay the rent demanded, and even in some cases say that they cannot pay any rent at all, a statement which is effectually contradicted by the fact that most of them pay up when fairly out-generalled by the dashing strategy of Mr. Stannard MacAdam, whose experience as a racing bicyclist seems to have stood him in good stead. The country about Bodyke has an unfertile look, a stony, boggy, barren appearance. Here and there are patches of tolerable land, but the district cannot fairly be called a garden of Eden. Being desirous of hearing both sides of the question, I have conversed with several of the complaining farmers, most of whom have very small holdings, if their size be reckoned by the rent demanded. The farmers' homes are not luxurious, but the rural standard of luxury is in Ireland everywhere far below that of the English cottar, who would hold up his hands in dismay if required to accommodate himself to such surroundings. Briefly stated, the case of the tenants is based on an alleged agreement on the part of Colonel O'Callaghan to make a reduction of twenty-five per cent. on judicial rents and thirty-seven and a half per cent. on non-judicial rents, whenever the farming season proved unfavourable. This was duly carried out until 1891, when the question arose as to whether that was or was not a bad year. The tenants say that 1891 was abnormally bad for them, but that on attending to pay their rent, believing that the reductions which had formerly been made, and which they had come to regard as invariable, would again take place, they were told that the customary rebate would now cease and determine, and that therefore they were expected to pay their rents in full. This they profess to regard as a flagrant breach of faith, and they at once decided to pay no rent at all. The position became a deadlock, and such it still remains. They affect to believe that the last agent, Mr. Willis, resigned his post out of sheer sympathy, and not because he feared sudden translation to a brighter sphere. They complain that the Colonel's stables are too handsome, and that they themselves live in cabins less luxurious than the lodgings of the landlord's horses. There is no epithet too strong to express their indignation against the devoted Colonel, who was described by one imaginative peasant, who had worked himself up to a sort of descriptive convulsion, as a "Rawhacious Vagabone," a fine instance of extemporaneous word-coining of the ideo-phonetic school, which will doubtless be greedily accepted by Nationalist Parliamentarians who, long ago, exhausted their vocabulary of expletives in dealing with Mr. Gladstone and each other.
The Bodykers have one leading idea, to "wait yet awhile." Home Rule will banish the landlords, and give the people the land for nothing at all. The peasantry are mostly fine-grown men, well-built and well-nourished, bearing no external trace of the hardships they claim to have endured. They are civil and obliging, and thoroughly inured to the interviewer. They have a peculiar accent, of a sing-song character, which now and then threatens to break down the stranger's gravity. That the present state of things is intolerable, and cannot last much longer, they freely admit, but they claim to have the tacit sympathy of the present Government, and gleefully relate with what unwillingness police protection was granted to the agent and his men. They disclaim any intention of shooting or otherwise murdering the landlord or his officers, and assert that the fact that they still live is sufficient evidence in this direction. Said one white-headed man of gentle, deferential manner:—
"The days o' landlord shootin' is gone by. If the Boys wanted to shoot the Colonel what's to hinder them? Would his double-barrel protect him, or the four dogs he has about him, that he sends sniffin' an' growlin' about the threes an' ditches. If the word wint out he wouldn't live a day, nor his agint nayther. An' his durty emergency men, that's posted like spies at the house beyant, could be potted any time they showed their noses. An' couldn't we starve thim out? Couldn't we cut off their provisions? Why would we commit murther whin we have only to wait till things turn round, which wid the help of God will be afore long. We're harassed an' throubled, always pullin' the divil by the tail, but that won't last for ever. We'll have our own men, that ondershtands Oireland, to put us right, an' then O'Callaghan an' all his durty thribe'll be fired out of the counthry before ye can say black's the white o' my eye; an' black curses go wid thim."
The caretakers are not accessible. Stringent orders forbid the giving of information to any person whatever. This is unfortunate, as a look at their diaries would prove amusing. They must feel like rabbits living in a burrow bored in a sporting district, or the man in the iron mask, or the late respected Damocles, or the gentleman who saw the handwriting on the wall. Their sleep must be troubled. They must have ugly dreams of treasons, stratagems, and spoils, and when they wake, swearing a prayer or two, they doubtless see through the gloom, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN (I quote from memory), in lurid letters on the ceiling of their stronghold. Their waking visions and their daily talk must be of guns and pikes, of graves and coffins, shrouds and skeletons. Perhaps they, like Mr. MacAdam and some others, have received missives sprinkled with blood, and ornamented with skulls and cross-bones, those famous national emblems which the Irish tenant sketches with a rude, untutored art; bold, freehand drawings, done in gore by hereditary instinct. It may be that they see the newspapers, that they learn how the other day the house of a caretaker at Tipperary was, by incendiaries, burned to the ground, the poor fellow at the time suffering from lockjaw, taking his food with difficulty, owing to his having some time previously been shot through the face. Or they may read of the shooting case at Castleisland, and how Mr. Magilicuddy suggests that such cases be made public, that the people may know something of the present lawlessness of the country, or of the narrow squeak of Mr. Walshe, a schoolmaster, living just outside Ennis, who barely escaped with his life from two bullets, fired at him, because his wife had been appointed mistress of the girls; or the sad affair of Mr. Blood of the same district, who being an admittedly kind and amiable man, is compelled to be always under the escort of four armed policemen for that he did discharge a herdman without first asking permission from the local patriots. Or they may meditate on the fate of the old man near Clonmel, who was so beaten that he has since died, his daughter, who might have aided him, having first been fastened in her room. These and a hundred similar instances of outrage and attempted murder have crept into print during the last few days. Red ruin and the breaking-up of laws herald the Home Rule Bill. And if the premonitory symptoms be thus severe, how shall we doctor the disease itself?
The other day I stumbled on Mr. Lynn, of Dublin, whom I first met at the Queen's Hotel, Portadown, County Armagh. He said, "We ought to know what the Home Rule Bill will do. We know the materials of which the dish is composed, we have seen their preparation and mixing, we now have the process of cooking before us, and when we get it it will give us indigestion."
The Bodykers have a new grievance, one of most recent date. They had found a delightful means of evasion, which for a time worked well, but the bottom has been knocked out of it, and their legal knowledge has proved of no avail. To pay rent whenever a seizure was effected was voted a bore, a calamitous abandonment of principle, and a loss of money which might be better applied. So that when MacAdam made his latest seizures, say on the land of Brown and Jones, these out-manoeuvred tenants brought forward friends named Smith and Robinson who deeply swore and filed affidavits to the effect that the cattle so seized belonged to them, Smith and Robinson to wit, and not to the afore-mentioned Brown and Jones, on whose land they were found. Here was a pretty kettle of fish. Colonel O'Callaghan, or his agent, were processed for illegal distraint, and the evidence being dead against the landlord, that fell tyrant had on several occasions to disgorge his prey, whereat there was great rejoicing in Bodyke. The new agent, however, is a tough customer, and in his quality of Clerk of Petty Sessions dabbles in legal lore. He found an Act which provides that, after due formalities, distraint may be made on any cattle found on the land in respect of which rent is due, no matter to whom the said cattle may belong. The tenants are said to have been arranging an amicable interchange of grazing land, the cows of Smith feeding on the land of Brown, and vice versa, so that the affidavit agreement might have some colour of decency. The ancient Act discovered by the ardent MacAdam has rendered null and void this proposed fraternal reciprocity, and the order to conceal every hoof and horn pending discovery of the right answer to this last atrocity has been punctually obeyed, the local papers slanging landlord and agent, but seemingly unable to find the proper countermine. No end of details and of incident might be given, but no substantial increase could be made to the information, given in this and my preceding letter. The tenants say that the landlord perversely refuses the reductions allowed in better times, and the landlord says that as a practical farmer he believes that those upon whom he has distrained or attempted to distrain are able to pay in full. He declares that he has not proceeded against those who from any cause are unable to meet their obligations, but only against the well-to-do men, who, having the money in hand, are deliberately withholding his just and reasonable due, taking advantage of the disturbed state of the country and the weakness of the Government to benefit themselves, regardless of the suffering their selfishness entails on innocent people.
In striking contrast to the turbulence of the Bodyke men is the peaceful calm of the Castleconnel people. I have had several pleasant interviews with Lady de Burgho, whose territory embraces some sixty thousand acres, and who, during a widowed life of twenty-two years, has borne the stress and strain of Irish estate administration, with its eternal and wearisome chopping and changing of law, its labyrinthine complications, its killing responsibilities. Lady de Burgho is, after all, very far from dead, exhibiting in fact a marvellous vitality, and discoursing of the ins and outs of the various harassing Land Acts, and the astute diplomacy needful to save something from the wreck, with a light, airy vivacity, and a rich native humour irresistibly charming. The recital of her troubles, losses, and burdens, the dodgery and trickery of legal luminaries, and the total extinction of rent profits is delivered with an easy grace, and with the colour and effervescence of sparkling Burgundy. To be deprived of nine-tenths of your income seems remarkably good fun; to be ruined, an enviable kind of thing. Lady de Burgho commenced her reign with one fixed principle, from which nothing has ever induced her to deviate. Under no conceivable circumstances would she allow eviction. No agent could induce her to sign a writ. "I could not sleep if I had turned out an Irish family," says Lady de Burgho, adding, with great sagacity, "and besides eviction never does any good." So that this amiable lady has the affections of her people, if she handles not their cash. And who shall estimate the heart's pure feelings? Saith not the wisest of men that a good report maketh the bones fat? Is not the goodwill of the foinest pisintry in the wuruld more to be desired than much fine gold? Is it not sweeter also than honey or the honeycomb?
Certain mortgagees who wished to appropriate certain lands offered liberal terms to Lady de Burgho on condition that she would for three years absent herself from Ireland, holding no communication with her tenants during that period. Lady de Burgho objected. She said, "If I accepted your terms my people on my return would believe, and they would be justified in believing, that I had been for three years incarcerated in a lunatic asylum." Tableau! Three American gentlemen visiting Castleconnel told Lady de Burgho that the success of the present agitation in favour of Home Rule would be the first step towards making Ireland an American dependency, a pronouncement which is not without substantial foundation. The feeling of the masses is towards America, and away from England. To the New World, where are more Irish than in Ireland (so they say) the poorer classes look with steadfast eye. To them America is the chief end of man, the earthly Paradise, the promised land, the El Dorado, a heaven upon earth. Every able-bodied man is saving up to pay his passage, every good-looking girl is anxious to give herself a better chance in the States. Nearly all have relatives to give them a start, and glowing letters from fortunate emigrants are the theme of every village. The effect of these epistles is obvious enough. Home Rule, say the Nationalists, will stop emigration. That this is with them a matter of hope, or pious belief, is made clear by their conversation. They give no good reason for their faith. They are cornered with consummate ease. The plausibilities gorged by Gladstonian gulls do not go down in Ireland. They are not offered to Irishmen. "Made in Ireland for English gabies" should be branded upon them. The most convincing arguments against the bill are those adduced by Home Rulers in its favour. Here is a faithful statement of reasons for Home Rule, as given by Alderman Downing, of Limerick, and another gentleman then present whose name I know not:—
"When you allow the Irish Legislature to frame its own laws, disorder and outrage will be put down with an iron hand. We have no law at present. Put an Irish Parliament in Dublin, and we would arrange to hang up moonlighters to the nearest tree. Everybody would support the law if imposed from Dublin. They resent it as imposed by Englishmen in London."
"I am not in favour of handing over the government of Ireland to the present leaders of the Irish party. I believe that, once granted Home Rule, they would disappear into private life, and that we should replace them by better men. What reason for believing this? Oh, I think the people would begin to feel their responsibility. Do I think the idea of 'responsibility' is their leading idea? Perhaps not at this moment, but they will improve. You think that the people may be fairly expected to return the same class of men? Perhaps so. I hope not. I should think they would see the necessity of sending men of position and property. Why don't they send them now? Simply because they won't come forward; that class of men do not believe in Home Rule."
I humbly submitted that this would prevent their coming forward in future, and that if Home Rule were admittedly bad under the present leaders, there was really no case to go to a jury, as there was no evidence before the court to show that the leaders would be dropped. On the contrary, there was every probability that the victorious promoters of the bill would be returned by acclamation. Further, that if Home Rule be gladly accepted as a pearl of great price, to drop the gainers thereof, to dismiss the men who had borne the burden and heat of the day, would be an act of shabbiness unworthy the proverbial gratitude and generosity of the Irish people.
Alderman Downing would only exclude them from Parliamentary place, and would not exclude all even then. The bulk of them might be found some sort of situation where decent salaries would atone for the dropping. Would that be jobbery? "Ah, you ask too many questions."
Let it be noted that although the greater part of the Irish Nationalist members are everywhere rejected beforehand by superior Home Rulers, as unfit for an Irish Parliament, they are apparently for that very reason sent to the House of Commons as the best sort to tease the brutal Saxon. The bulldog is not the noblest, nor the handsomest, nor the swiftest, nor the most faithful, nor the most sagacious, nor the most pleasant companion of the canine world, but he is a good 'un to hang on the nose of the bull.
The Great Unknown said:
"You must admit that English Rule has not been a success. Home Rule is admittedly an experiment—well, yes, I will accept the word risk—Home Rule is admittedly, to some extent, a risk, but let us try it. And if the worst comes to the worst we can go back again to the old arrangement."
The speaker was a kindly gentleman of sixty or sixty-five years, and, like Alderman Downing, spoke in a reasonable, moderate tone. Doubtless both are excellent citizens, men of considerable position and influence, certainly very pleasant companions, and, to all appearance, well-read, well-informed men. And yet, in the presence of Unionist Irishmen, the above-mentioned arguments were all they ventured to offer. Arguments, quotha? Is the hope that the ignorant peasantry of Ireland will return "the better class of men," who "do not believe in Home Rule" an argument? Is the as-you-were assertion an argument? What would the Irish say if Mr. Bull suggested this movement of retrogression? We should have Father Hayes, the friend of Father Humphreys, again calling for "dynamite, for the lightnings of heaven and the fires of hell, to pulverise every British cur into top-dressing for the soil." We should have Father Humphreys himself writing ill-spelt letters to the press, and denouncing all liars as poachers on his own preserves. We should have Dillon and O'Brien and their crew again leading their ignorant countrymen to the treadmill, while the true culprits stalked the streets wearing lemon-coloured kid gloves purchased with the hard-earned and slowly-accumulated cents of Irish-American slaveys. The Protestants would be denounced as the blackest, cruellest, most callous slave-drivers on God's earth. And this reminds me of something.
Doctor O'Shaughnessy, of Limerick, is the most wonderful man in Ireland. His diploma was duly secured in 1826, and Daniel O'Connell was his most intimate friend, and also his patient. The Doctor lived long in London, and was a regular attendant at the House of Commons up to 1832. Twice he fought Limerick for his son, and twice he won easily. The city is now represented by Mr. O'Keefe, and Mr. O'Shaughnessy is a Commissioner of the Board of Works in Dublin. The Doctor has conferred with Earl Spencer on grave and weighty matters, and doubtless his opinion on Irish questions is of greatest value. His pupil and his fellow-student, Dr. Kidd and Dr. Quain (I forget which is which), met at the bedside of Lord Beaconsfield, and medical men admit the doctor's professional eminence. His eighty-four years sit lightly upon him. He looks no more than fifty at most, is straight as a reed, active as a hare, runs upstairs like a boy of fourteen, has the clear blue eye and fresh rosy skin of a young man. He would give the Grand Old Man fifty in a hundred and beat him out of his boots. He might be Mr. Gladstone's son, if he were only fond of jam. The Doctor said several hundred good things which I would like to print, but as our many conferences were unofficial this would be hardly fair. However, I feel sure Doctor O'Shaughnessy will forgive my repeating one statement of his—premising that the Doctor is a devout Catholic, and that he knows all about land.