Sidor som bilder

publisher can be induced to hand over. Mr. Kohl, who has generally been described as a very observant travel. ler, some few years ago favoured us with a visit. In due time, a book on Ireland, from his pen, is published —from which book we make the following extract, for the length of which we must apologise to our readers :• The rags of Ireland” writes our visiter, "are quite as remarkable a phenomena as the ruins; as an Irishman seems to live in a house as long as it remains habitable, so he drags the same suit of clothes about with him as long as the threads will hold together.

No rags so completely worn away, so completely reduced to dust upon a human body, are elsewhere to be seen at the elbows, and at all the the other corners of the body the clothes hang like the drooping petals of a faded rose.” (Beautiful simile !) 6. The edges of the coat are formed into a sort of fringe, and often it is quite impossible to distinguish the inside from the outside of coat, or the sleeves from the body. The legs and arms are at length unable to find their accustomed way in and out, so that the drapery is, every morning, disposed after a new fashion ; and it might appear a wonder how so many varied fragments are held together by their va rious threads, were it not perfectly a matter of indifference whether the coat be made to serve for breeches, or the breeches for coat.”

But perhaps Mr. Kohl did not see, or could not notice, the garment in question. He seems to have been absorbed in the idea of Irishmen, as a body, being dressed, not in the working-man's dress, but in the wreck of the gentleman's ; that is, that the clotbes which are usually worn by our farmers and labourers, the

dress coat," for instance, with its long tail, usele:s collar, and flapping sides, is actually an article that had at one time moved in what Pecksniff calls “society,” in fact that, as a general rule, Pat had on his back the work of some highly-talented and distinguished artist, residing, perhaps, not far from Regent Street. It is a very common mistake made by superficial writers, when touching upon the subject of Irish male attire, that the body-coats of our peasantry are the cast-off's of gentlemen, or at least of people of some conditi n, and Mr. Kohl could not get out of the old tramway of error. A slight exercise of that power of observation for which he has at least the credit, would have shown him that the cloth is evidently of home manufacture, and that though the coat be “swallow-tailed,” it is in other respects a very different article from that which a gentleman usually exhibits at an evening party. But “there are none so blind as those who won't see,” aud our author, no doubt, felt the necessity of spicing his narrative, at Pat's expense, to suit the taste of his readers. Had Mr. Kohl visited even a few of the cabins in almost any district of Ireland, which he professes to describe, he might have seen the process of cl»th manufacture in full operation, the combing, carding, spinning, and weaving, and his ears might bave been refreshed with many an ancient Celtic air, with which the women and girls, engaged in a portion of the work, usually make the time pass cheerily. He might even

have seen the county tailor at work, cutting and stitching some of these very" dress coats" which he mistakes for cast-off gentlemen's apparel.

After reading such a description of the Irishman's dress-mind, reader, the remarks refer not to the rag3 of some wretched beggar-man, but to the ordinary dress of our fellow-countrymen,- we must wonder at the coolness of the observant traveller. But he is noc yet done upon the subject of coats. After making the discovery that Paddy's coat is not the dress of a working man, but the wreck of that of a gentleman, he proceeds“Often one-half of the swallow-tail is gone, and the other half may be seen, drooping in widowed sorrow over its departed companion, whom it is evidently prepared to follow on no very distant day. It seems never to occur to the owner, when one of these neglected laps haugs, suspended only by a few threads, that half-a dozen stitches would renew its connection with the parent coat, or that one bold cut would, at all events, pat it out of its lingering misery. No; morning after morning, he draws on the same coat, with the tail drooping in the same pity-inspiring condition, till the doomed fragment drops at last of its own accord, and is left lying in the street.”

Mr. Kohl must, indeed, have an extraordinary taste for the description of rags. We who know, or think we know, the country pretty well, have never been able to discover in the apparel of Paddy, the fringed retiquiæ so particularly described. We have laboured under the impression, that except in the case of an odd beggarman, who has reasons for his raggedness, the Irish working man usually possesses a very commodious garment which he styles “coatamore," and from which many gentlemen of wealth and position have their great travelling coats designed; and right comfortable protections they are, with their ample capes of native frieze, and flowing skirts, which usually descend below the knee. In fact, the "coatamore” may be considered as the successor and representative of the famous mantle, once universally adopted in Ireland, and against the wearing of whichbecause it was so useful and national an article of dress-Spen er, was pleased to devote a chapter, perhaps not the least characteristic in his often-quoted "Sate of Ireland."

“For, it is a fit house for an outlaw, a meete bed for a rebel, and an apt cloak for a thief. In summer he can wear it loose, in winter he can wrap it close ; and at all times he can use it ; never heavy, never cumbersome.”

We do not, of course, wish to intimate that no second or third hand clothes are imported to Ireland from the “ sister country.” There can be no doubt that a considerable - traffic in such articles exists, but the purchasers are not the peasantry, or indeed cuntry people at all. In large cities in Ireland, in Dublin an i Cork for iostance, there are many dealers in left-off clothes ; but their customers are almost invariably townspeople, hunble persons of small means, wh), however, must to a ceriain extent keap up appearance'. Mr. Kohl,could not get out of the beaten track, he must write of rags, rags, rags; and it is not difficult to trace the sonrce of his inspimost horrible nightmare never had conceived. Tue rain poured down upon their tangled and ancovered heads, seaming, with its cleansing torrents, faces so hollow, so degraded in expression, and withal so clothed with filth and neglect, that they seemed like features of which the very owners had long lost, not only care, but consciousness and remembrance; as if in the horrors of want and idiotcy, they had anticipated the corrupting apathy of the grave, and abandoned everything except the hunger which gnawed them into memory of existence. The feeble blows and palsied fighting of these hag-like spectres for the pence thrown to them from the coach, and the howling, barsh, and unnatural voices in which they imprecated on each other in the fury of the struggle, have left a remembrance in my mind, which deepens immeasurably my fancied nadir of human abandonment and degradation. God's image so blasted, so defileil, so sunk below the beasts that perish,' I would not have believed was to be found in the same world with hope."

This indeed is “ doing” Ireland with a vengeance, and we are less surprised at the gross falsehood of the account, than at the daring of the writer, who must have known that many of his readers, even in England would give his account of perhaps the most comfortable, and certainly the richest district in Ireland, its proper


ration. A former tourist, a Mr. Willis, in his “Pencil. lings by the Way,” had evidently struck the key-note, and the rags must be done to perfection, or the book would not claim that satisfactory attention on the other side of the Channel which would make the matter a profitable speculation. He was also preceded by a Mr. Barrow, who has certainly had the honesty to admit that in some parts of Ireland the prospect was cheerful enough-that his gratification was great at finding the people of Antrim, for instance, cheerful, well-behaved, and generally well-clothed.

From “the Scenery and Antiquities of Irelan),” written by Willis, and illustrated by Bartlett, we make the following elegant extract :

As we drove into Drogheda we entered a crowd, which I can only describe as suggesting the idea of a miraculous arlvent of rags. It was market day; and the streets were so thronged that you could scarce see the pavement except under the feet of the horses, and the public square was a sea of tatters. Here, and all over Ireland, I could but wonder where and how these rent and frittered habiliments har gone through the preparatory stages of wear and tear. There were no degrees- nothing above rags to be seen in coat or petticoat. waistcoat or breeches, cloak or shirt. Even the hats and shoes were in rags ; not a whole covering, even of the coarsest material, was to be detected on a thousand backs about us : nothing shabby, nothing threadbare, nothing mended, except here and there a hole in a beggar's coat stuffed with straw. Who can give me the genealogy of Irish rags ? Who took the gloss from these ccats, once broadcloth? Who wore them? Who tore them? Who sold them to the Jews ? (for, by the way, Irish rags are fine rags, seldom frieze or fustian). How came the tatters of the entire world, in short, assembled in Ireland ? for if, as it would seem, they have all descended from the backs of gentlemen, the entire world must contribute to maintain the supply.”

This is indeed a very sad account of Paddy's wardrobe, but we happen to know the people and district thus descanted on pretty well, and thus we can safely affirm that Mr. Willis never saw what he has thus described. Mark, reader, his account of the beggars of the then and still flourishing town of Drogheda.

“ I had been rather surprised at the scarcity of beggars in Belfast, but the beggars in Drogheda fully came up to the traveller's descriptions. They were of every possible variety. At the first stop the coach made in the town, we were very near running over a blind man, whó knelt in the liquid mud of the gutter (the calves of his legs covered by the pool, and only his heels appearing above), and held up in his hands the naked and footless stumps of a boy's legs. The child sat in a wooden box, with his back against the man's breast, and ate very unconcernedly of a loaf of bread, while the blind exhibitor turned his face up to the sky, and waving the stumps slightly from side to side, kept up a vociferation for charity that was heard above all the turmoil of the market-place. When we stopped to change borses, the entire population, as deep as they could stand, at least, with any chance of being heard, held out their hands, and in every conceivable tone and mode of arresting the attention, implored charity. The sight was awful; old age in shapes so hideous I should think the

The idea of people stopping the holes in their dress with straw, is excessively rich and original. The streets were so thronged, that be could not see the pavements, except under the feet of the horses ! Wonderful man, or rather wonderful horses with the transparent feet. No degrees of ruin, nothing shabby, nothing threadbare, nothing mended, except the holes stopped with straw! Really Mr. Willis, you should have looked a little sharper. Where were the rich well-to-do gentlemen wbo, to our own knowledge, attend this very market, for the purpose of buying and selling stock ? Where were the fat, comfortable Meath farmers? where the jobbers with their generally well-lined pockets, men who can freight steamers with livestock for the markets of almost every considerable city or town in England? We think you may “ go down Sir,” though not to posterity, as a conscientious truth-telling writer.

Barrow's book is everyway less offen-ive to Irishmen than either of the two which we have noticed. Its author gives, however as a frontispiece, a rank caricature of an Irish jaunting-car, drawn, we regret to say, by our justly-celebrated countryman, Daniel Maclise. The machine represented never existed, except in the imagination of the painter, and Mr. Barrow's description of our natioual vebicle was evidently manufactured by him, in order to introduce a smart saying supposed to have been made by a jarvey, in his definition of an outside car, as distinguishing it from an inside car. --viz. that the former had its wheels inside, while the latter had its wheels outside. In order to be very smart he describes the well of an Irish car as being usually full of water. By the by, our cars seem usually to attract the attention of writers upon Irish subjects.



SAVE the quick patter of descending hail
A solemn, gloomy silence holds the world.
Above me, and around, a sullen, cheerless
Void of changeless black; deep, dense, dim. No star,

of star; not e’en the glance of meteor.
Air, earth and sea are black ! 0, glorious
Light, thou mirror of great nature, in which
The Godhead sees his works ; celestial
Voucher of omnipotence, how joyless
Were this world without thy cheering beams.


Behold where yonder in the murky east
The faintly greyish glimmer of the dawn
Relieves the broad opaque ; aud as a slaggard,
Morning lifts her lids and closes them again.
At length aroused by the circling hours,
She leaves her bed, unwilling to reveal
Her drowsy face, portentous of a day
Most bleak and bitter. Clouds of sickly white
Precede the struggling gleams of distant day,
While felon-favouring darkness steals away
From the pursuing strides of searching light.

Englishmen generally cannot understand them. We see tourists from the sister isle, when driving through our streets, convulsively clutching the driver's box or the back of the seat, in mortal fear of their legs being knocked off by some passing vehicle. In drawings, the outside car is always caricatured, as is also its driver, who is almost invariably represented in tatters, and with the pipe stuck in the band of a shocking bad hat. Why this should be the case we cannot say, for beyond question our jarveys are as decent a set of men of their class as can be found elsewhere. Were they dirty or ragged to nearly the degree represented in the ordinary caricature, or were their vehicles or harness out of condition, they would soon have to appear before a magistrate. But we cannot be allowed fair play in either literature or art. A friend of ours, possessed of very considerable information on subjects connected with the natural history and scenery of Ireland, visited London in the course of last summer. He there met an old acquaintance, who was about investing a large sum of money in the purchase of a large painting in oil, said to represent a well-known scene at Killarney. It was proposed that both gentlemen should proceed to the artist's studio, and that our friend, who was supposed to be quite skilled in the

scenery of Ireland in general, and in that of Killarney in particular, should give an opinion as to the correctness of the work. They went accordingly, and the picture is produced, a large composition, of more than an average degree of merit, but as unlike any view about Killarney as could well be. However, there were rocks, water, mountain, and an abundance of wood, and on a sward sloping to the lake's edge, a pic-nic party of very innocent and interesting-looking young ladies and gentlemen at dinner. This, our readers, will suppose was a very appropriate passage in the foreground of a supposed representation of one of the greatest show-places in Ireland—but there was another figure in the picture, half hidden by foliage, leaning over a rock, and levelling a blunderbuss at the unsuspecting revellers—a native is represented. His dress, of course, was rags (rags again); his hat exhibited the regulation number of holes, and of course there was the everlasting pipe ! My friend remonstrated with the painter, but all was in vain. He was quite sure of selling the picture through the introduction of that little passage so strongly objected to ; for did not such affairs take place in Ireland every day?“ By Jove, sir, that blunderbuss will sell the picture !” We are happy to say it did not, on that occasion.

We commenced this little notice of " How Tourists • Do' Ireland,” when Ireland is concerned, by stating that the writers appear to have seen many wonderful things which a native could not see. What wonderful manner of men must they be—not to have come and made such astounding discoveries ; but to have been able to cram so many often ingeniouely devised misrepresentations into a few little books.

'Tis dawn; and cver the awakening earth
Aurora breathes in chilling exhalations.
How different she now seems, vested in all
Of white; her whilome rosy fingers cramped
And hueless ; and her brows so lately wreathed
With flowers; encircled with diadem
Of glittering sparks that mock the diamond ;
Unreal lustre theirs ; 'tis like the glare
That, for a moment occupies the eye
Of man but late departed.

In indistinct perspective
The barren bleakness of the distant hills
Shews out; while their jagged sides impregnable
To storms, look wintry as the season.
Forth from beneath the fuel-making furze,
Silvered with hoar frost, creeps the wily fox,
Eying with cautious glance the hills around;
And as the clarion of the stately cock
Reverberates in the air, he sniffs the gale,
And with fell purpose dodges tow'rds the barn
Where chanticleer exulting flaps his wings,
Giving his welcome to the risen day.

Repulsive frowns old ocean.

Over his waves, Scanning with hungry scowl their dismal depths, The harsh-voiced seagull floats, seeking his morning meal. In the offing, lo ! the fisher, seaworn And weary, drags o'er his crazy wherry's Tarless side the net, instinct with ocean's Denizens, that upwards spring, as if they Would assail their captor, who, snaring, lured Them from their free domain. He, reckless, heeds


Tiem not; striking his numbel and scaly han 13
Alternately against his fearnought sides,
Exciting warmth where all around is chill.
With anxious eye, high on a beetling cliff,
Ilis new-made wife looks out, piercing the mist
T, hail his well-known skiff. The riven clouds
Seud quickly : lo! the heaving swell fortells
A géle approaching. Towards the lowering sky
The seaman looks distrustful, as the waves
Surge higher, tossin; his yielding bout.
To ’scape the fury of the gathering storm
lle makes for shore, but all too late—it bursts
In dark’ning horror bellowing o'er his head ;
And fiercely rushing from the deep, upsweeps
The mounting terrors of the sea into
A sheet of hissing foam. Anear the shore,
Now loud resounding with the mad wave's wrath,
The urresis:ing skiff is driven — Now,
Within the gorge of two tremendous billows
It seems swallowed. Now bigh aloft 'tis flung,
And for a while scuds safely onward, till
The mighty waters burst toppling o'er it,
And down with awful ruin fierce descend.
Struggling amid the war of winds and waves,
Behold the seaman with desp'rate courage
Battling for his life! No aid, no succour,
And a raging world of foes around him.
On the clits in that dread, awful moment
Ile heholds his wife, and ere the next, sinks
Buried deep for ever.

says :

Louder and fiercer roars the rattling tempest,
As if exulting over haughty man
Who dared oppose its might. Shrieking upon
The beach, alas! the wife, wild as the wiud,
And heedless of its fury, calls upon
The sea to render back the dead; alınost
Impugning the Divine decree!

JEWISH AND RMAN LAWS RESPECTING INSOLVENTS. We can nowhere fiud a more lively picture of the ordi. nary condition of the unfortunate debtor than that which is given us in the twenty-ninth chapter of Ecclesiasticus, whose moral and economic lessons are so eminently cilculated to guide and console in all the upsand-downs of life. Considering the relations of man to man, and our mutal dependence on each other, the son of Sirach, or, as he is m re commonly styled, Ecclesiasticus, tells us is that he who showeth mercy lendeth to his neighbour,” or, in other words, that the law of charity counsels, if it does not compel, the rich and affluent min to relieve the necessities of bis indigent brother. Pursuing this train of thought, Ecclesiasticas

“He that is strongest in hand keepeth the commandments," or, in other words, he who is liberalhanded, generous, and sympathetic, observes that law of charity which obliges us to come to our neighbour's assistance when he is hard pressed by want or overtaken by adversity. “Lend to thy neighbour in the time of his need, and pay thy neighbour again in due time.” In this passage we clearly see the mutnal obligations of lender and borrower; and, in order that the latter might lack no instru on as to his duty, the inspired perman continues—" Keep thy word, and deal fairly with thy creditor, and thou shalt always find that which is necessary for thee.” Contrasting the honest and honourable borrower with the faithless and dishonest, the same inspired authority states, “that may have looked upon a thing lent as a thing found," disavowing all obligation of restitution, and acting as though the loan which had kept them from irretrievable ruin were a thing fund on the sea-shore or dag up out of the earth.

Debtors of this sort, it would appear, were numerous in the days when Ecclesiasticas flourished, two centuries before our era ; but, as he wrote for all times, we must be convinced that his descriptions were meant not ouly for the people of his own period, but for those of each succeeding age till the final consummation. How applicable to the disho nest borrower in our own times is the passage which describes the cajoling, cringing Jew in the days of Ecclesiasticus ! “ Till they receive, they kiss the hauds of the lender, and in promises they humble their voice ;" but when the day for payment comes, “they will ask time, and will return tedious and murmuring words, and will complain of the time,” trumping up i lle excuses, such as duluess of trade, failure of crops, heavy taxation, wars, and such like; nay, more, in many instances, when able to acquit themselves, if not of the whole, at least of part of their obligations, " they will stand off, and will scarce pay one hals, counting it as if they had found it.” How graphic and trutbful is this picture, drawn by the in-pired pencil, and with what convincing force does the same authority tell 03 that the individual whose necessities some generous man has relieved, from a feeling of pure charity and

Upon the land the swooping storm now revels,
Scouring the hills and deep secluded vales.
Trees bending low their naked heads to earth,
Confess its might, while tumbling torrents speak
Aloud its power.

Echoes the lordly
Hall, the tempests, howl. The church bell tolls
Destruction to its tower. Yon temple,
See, is riven, and the holy shrine lics
Prone 'neath masses of its fretted dome!
Streaming upon the wind, the yellow store
O1 autuinn fields is scattered. Lo! the birds
Of air promiscuous whirled along, while
Piercing the thick sky, the shafted lightuing
Darts o'er the swollen waters, blasts the oak,
And smites to death the image of his Maker!
Can words convey the volleying thunder peal
Which seems to rive the very vault of heuv'n !
The frighted earth feels shaken to the centre.
The beadlong tempest lords it uncontrolled,
Walking the world in fierce and fearful horror.


" De

questioned when exposing the vices of the Roman people, whom he knew so thoroughly. Let us hear him on the subject of breach of trust, and show from the few passages we subjoin how wide-spread, among other vices, was that of dishonesty among the Romans, and how little confidence anyone of them could place in another. Bantering a certain Calvinus, whose trustees bad robbed him of his property, the great satirist strives to reconcile him to his loss, and gives us an insight into the reckless mode of protesting, by which trust-breakers were in the habit of absolving themselves from all responsibility

“ And dost thou at a trivial loss repine !
What if another cry, a friend of thine,
Is stript of ten times more ! a third, again,
Of what his bursting chest would scarce contain !
For 'tis 80 common in this age of ours,
So easy to contemn the Immortal Powers,
That can we but elude man's searching eyes,
We laugh to scorn the witness of the skies.
Mark with how bold a voice and fixed a brow
The villain dares his treachery disavow!
By all the hallowed orbs that flame above,
I HAD IT nor! by the red bolts of Jove.
By the winged shaft that laid the centaur low,
By Dian's arrows, by Apollo's bow,
By the strong lance that Mars delights to wield,
By Neptune's trident, by Minerva's shield,
And every weapon that's to vengeance given
Stores the tremendous magazine of heaven,-
Nay, if I had, I'll slay this son of mine,
And eat his head soused in Egyptian brinc."

commiseration, in many instances repays good with evil, nay, and by some secret perverseness of nature, becomes the deadliest enemy of his benefactor! frauding him of his money, he shall get bim for an enemy without cause, and, instead of honour and good turn, will repay him injuries."

The contrasted character of the generous lender and the ungrateful, dishonest borrower, so admirably portrayed in the passages we have quoted from Ecclesiasticus, did not escape the observation of the pagan moralists, who took special care to depict both in their true colours, challenging for the defrauded the sympathy of the virtuous, and for the ingrate defrauder the execration of the good and honest section of their readers. Nay, more in order to impress the people at large with a due horror of dishonesty and ingratitude, and to expose the heartlessness of those who, willingly forgetful of the benefits which they received in the trying moment of their distress, repaid good with evil, some of their dramatists exbibited on the pnblic stage representatives of both types—the generous, trusting friend and the scheming, fraudulent debtor-doubtless, with a view to make the spectators compassionate the one and detest the other. Thus, for example, Plautus, in a comedy, entitled Capitui, makes one of his personages moralise as follows :-"So it is with the great mass of mankind, whilst asking for what they capnot do without they are good and honest; but the moment they get what they ask, from good they become the very worst, and most fraudulent.” And in another piece called Trinummies, we find one of his heroes expressing similar sentiments thus :- “Now-a-days, if any one lends let him look upon his money as lost ; for should you a:k repayment, you will discover that you have either forfeited your property or found an enemy. The talent that I lent cost me a friend, and bought me hatred.” In the same strain does Aristophanes, another writer of comedics, show up the ingratitude and roguery of borlowers in bis day; and nothing can exceed the sly, bumorous sarcasm which we find in a dialogue between two of his personages, Socrates and Strasilces—whom he introduces in this fashion :

“Socrates-Does thy memory serve thee ?

“Strasilces-Ay faith, in a double sense--for if any. thing is due to me, my memory is wonderfully good ; but if I owe anything, it is wonderfully bad.”

Deplorable as were the relations between creditor and debtor in the pagan times, and so universal was the dishonesty of the latter, if we may credit the most celebrated of their writers, far worse indeed was the c ndition of those who placed money in the hands of trustees. We might multiply quotations to prove that breach of trust was a fact of every-day (ccurrence among the pagans, and that honesty or principle, as it is called, found no biding place in the world till Christianity came to establish the grand doctrine of rewards and punishments. Juvenal will always be regarded as a faithful painter of the manners of the times in which he lived, and authority such as his has never been

In such a state of society 'tis hard to imagine how men of wealth, or even moderate means, could place any reliance in each other; for indeed, as we learn from the satire which we have been quoting, honesty was regarded as something marvellous, as Juvenal bimself tells us in tbe following passages :

“Now, if a friend, miraculously just,
Restores the pledge with all its gathered rust,
'Tis deemed a present worthy to appear
Among the wonders of the Tuscan year-
A prodigy of faith which threats the state,
And a ewe lamb can scarcely expiate,-
Struck at the view, if now I chance to see
A man of ancient worth and probity,
To pregnant mules the monster I compare,

Or fish upturned beneath the wondering share.” Let us now give onr readers some idea of the manner in which the Jews and the ancient Romans dealt with their insolvent debtors. As for the former, it was customary with them to commit debtors to prison, either with a view to prevent them from eluding their creditors, or to punish their dishonesty according to the old maxim— qui non habet in ore, luat in corpore,” or, in other words he who cannot pay with his purse most be mulcted in his body. Varivus passages of the Holy Scriptures inform us that it was usual under the Mosaic dispensation for the creditor to seize the person of the debtor, and sell bim as a slave, not, however, to page ns or people of another nation, but to some individual of their own religion or tribe. The seizure or sale of the

« FöregåendeFortsätt »