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and it was considerably augmented towards the beginning of the seventh century of the Roman æra, by a comparison between the true classical taste, which had been uniformly evinced by these unfortunate scholars [the Achæan hostages who were sent to Rome on the reduction of their own country] and the tribe of Latin sophists and declaimers, who, in consequence of their exile, sprang up and began to usurp their place; men who were bloated with conceit, instead of being inspired by wisdom, and who substituted the mere tinsel of verbiage, for the sterling gold of argument and fair, deduction. With this foppery of learning also, the Romar Government soon became disgusted, and in 661, sharing the fate of the Greek rhetoricians, it was formally banished from Rome."
There has been for some years, and now is, a class of men who profess to instruct the world by giving lectures in all that is worthy of attention, and above all things, in ELOCUTION. Advertisements have appeared in the newspapers inviting ladies and gentlemen, on paying for tickets, to hear lectures on elocution, and stating how important this study is to women, in the character of wives and mothers. The professor of elocution receives pupils, who can afford the expence, into his own house. Though they talk of elocution, they seem to mean something more-rhetoric, and even logic, for they profess the art of descanting on all subjects. Those vagrant orators affect to contemn the slow and monastic course of education at universities; and hence they are regarded with not a little favour by that class of people who are always nibbling at establishments in both church and state. There is a wonderful affinity and harmony between their ignorance and self-conceit, and that of those who think, that by listening to their lectures they may at once, without any labour, ascend to the summit of Parnassus. They are ignorant of the common divisions, or ramifications of science. These, at least, are learned at universities by the most negligent students; so that by an university education, men acquire at least the important knowledge of knowing their ignorance. It is a common and striking feature in the character of all those who boast of being self-taught geniuses, that they are conceited and arrogant to an amazing degree. We have already had occasion to make some strictures on this tinsel of verbiage, this foppery of learning, as Mr. Good very happily expresses it, in the course of noticing the deluges of English Grammars, Academit Speakers, Elements of Elocution, &c. &c. See our Review for November, 1805, page 293.
The Stranger in Ireland; or a Tour in the Southern and Western Parts of that Country, in the Year 1805. By John Carr, Esq. Author of a Northern Summer, &c. 4to. PP. 530. Plates. R. Phillips, 1806.
OUR opinion of Mr. Carr, as a pleasant and instru&ive traveller, and as an intelligent narrator of his own tours, has, on former occa
sions, been sufficiently explained, so as to render any repetition of it here perfectly unnecessary. In his tour, however, through a country, forming a part of his native realm, harassed by intestine broils, and in which religious and political differences of a serious and even radical nature, if we may so say, and productive of the most dire effects, prevail to an alarming extent, we were fully aware, that he would have difficulties to encounter which he had never before experienced, except, perhaps (though in a much inferior degree) in his visit to the Court of St. Cloud, during the dangerous truce of Amiens; and we think we have discovered, in the contents of the volume before us, sufficient grounds for believing that the difficulties to which we allude have, in many instances, given a bias to his opinions.
We shall not attempt to follow our tourist, step by step, nor yet to accompany him in his visits to buildings and places which have been described again and again, and which present little that is interesting, and nothing that is novel. But we shall stop with him at such spots as afford him matter for animadversion, and as have any thing either attractive in itself, or rendered so by his view or account of it.
Mr. Carr proceeded by the usual way through Wales to Dublin, which he made his head-quarters, and whence he issued, in different excursions, to view the country and its inhabitants. A necessary piece of information is given to such as mean to visit Ireland for the first time, that is, either to draw on England for their supplies, or to take guineas with them, the advantages of which precaution he clearly explains. The beggars of Dublin attracted Mr. Carr's attention, as they do that of every other man who reflects on the state of society in the country which he explores.
"Although the beneficence of the country has provided so many com. fortable asylums for the beggars of Dublin, they are numerous and wretched beyond conception: I think more so than in the provinces of France.Their dress is deplorably filthy, and induced a wit to say, that he never knew what the beggars of London did with their cast-off clothes, till he found they were sold to the Dublin beggars. I have heard of a wandering wretch, who, in passing over a corn-field, thought himself very fortunate in exchanging breeches with a mawkin, or scarecrow, set up to frighten away the birds; and such seems to be the condition of the mendicants. Their perseverance," (impudence, surely, had been a more appropriate word) is generally irresistible.
"Some of the police, with a black covered cart, occasionally go round the city to pick up such mendicants as do not disappear as the terrific vehicle turns the corner of a street, and convey them to the house of industry, from which they escape the first opportunity. They prefer a precarius crust of bread, steeped in tears, with liberty, to comfort and protection in the shape of restraint.".
This really is as pretty a varnish as ever beggarly sloth received from the brush of a philosophical painter. It is the picture of a savage in the midst of society! But we proceed with the extract.
"In London we have many sights of sorrows before us, but they are generally confined to certain parts of the town; whereas in Dublin they affect the eyes, and ears, and disfigure the beauty of this superb city every where. As the present arrangements are so inadequate, the legislature cannot direct its eye with too much ardour and anxiety to the subject.— · To that legislature the poor mendicant may say, in the language of Shakspeare
"You taught me first to beg; and now methinks,
The poor mendicant may certainly say this; but it will be one lie added to the many which he is, it is to be feared, in the daily habit of uttering; for such language would be no more applicable to the situation of an Irish beggar, than that of any other two lines to be found in the same poet, and taken at hazard. This spirit of beggary, however, is a most grievous evil, and certainly demands the most serious attention of the legislature. We wish Mr. Carr's inquisitive mind had been directed to the discovery of its real source; it is a legitimate object of philosophical investigation; but it involves questions which are not likely to be discussed at such a time as this, by any writer who prefixes his name to his book. We now come to another important fact.
"The following is a lamentable picture of the defective state of the church establishment in Ireland. There are two thousand four hundred and thirty-six parishes, one thousand and one churches, and only three hundred and fifty-five glebe, or parsonage houses. The benefices, or union-parishes, amount to one thousand one hundred and twenty; so that there are two thousand and eighty-one parishes without any residence for the clergyman, and one thousand four hundred and thirty-five parishes without any churches. Where there are no glebe-houses, the resident clergyman rents a house," (not always); "where he does not reside, his curate performs the service," (not always); "and, I was informed, with tolerable regularity; but the inconvenience must be great, and residence from necessity rare."
Here again is a subject which opens a vast field for discussion, but into which discussion Mr. Carr forbears to enter. When we were first informed of this fact (but a few months ago) we were lost in astonishment; and we laid by the printed paper, containing the statement, with a full intent of animadverting upon it, much at large, as soon as a fit opportunity should occur. We have now looked for it, in order to compare it with Mr. Cari's account; but unfortunately we cannot find it. We have no doubt, however, of our author's accuracy, and therefore we shall take it for granted that the fact is as he states it. The paper to which we allude was printed at the time when Dr. Duigenan had brought in a bill for enforcing the residence of the Protestant clergy in Ireland; and the statement, we believe, had the effect of inducing that learned gentleman to withdraw his
Bill. It cannot be denied that the residence of the clergy is a matter of necessity in every country, but more particularly so, in such a country as Ireland, where so large a portion of the population as three-fifths, are Papists. But, at the same time, it would have been particularly hard to enforce residence, without previously providing a habitation for the clergy. Had Mr. Grattan (of whose abilities as a statesman, and of whose powers as an orator, Mr. Carr thinks much more highly than we do, as will be seen hereafter) built his opposition to the bill in question on this ground, he would have been entitled to credit; but he could have informed Mr. Carr, that a clergyman who does not rent a house in his parish, and who has no curate to perform the service for him, but who resides in his own mansion at a distance, and gallops over on a Sunday to do the duty of the day, earnestly entreated him to oppose the bill, which, he feared, would reduce him to the dire necessity of giving up a living, the revenue of which is small, and no object to him; and that, in point of fact (Mr. G.) did not oppose the bill till so entreated, and therefore it is natural to conclude, that he only opposed it in consequence of such entreaty.
Will it be credited in future ages, that, in the reign of a Prince, eminently religious himself, and most firmly attached, from connection and principle, as well as from duty, to the established religion of the realm, a large sum of money should have been voted for the erection of a Popish College in Ireland, while fourteen hundred and thirty-five Protestant parishes were left without a church, and two thousand and eighty-one Protestant ministers without a residence!
In a subsequent page Mr. Carr, very inconsiderately and very unjustly, censures Dr. Duigenan (whom he does not name) for having rebuked the clergy, in his capacity of Vicar-general of the Metropolitan Court of Armagh, for non-residence and the neglect of Parochial Schools. For our part, we can see no humiliation of the clerical charac ter in such rebuke; and if he had been present at our visitations in England, he would, probably, have found many similar causes of complaint. He ought, too, to have given that learned Doctor credit for having just grounds for his reproof; and to have recollected that it was his duty to enforce the topics on which he expatiated. What Mr. Carr means, by chaining the clergy" down to a spot at the mercy of one man," we cannot, for the life of us, conceive. It is the duty of a clergyman to reside where residence is practicable; he has solemnly undertaken the care of. the souls of his parishioners, and how that sacred trust is to be discharged without personal residence, Mr. Carr, we suspect, will find some difficulty in explaining. The supposition that the Vicar-general would seek to enforce residence where residence was impracticable, is too absurd to be entertained for a moment. We entertain as much respect and esteem for the learning and virtues of the Protestant clergy of Ireland as our tra. veller can do, but we cannot perceive in the alledged conduct of Dr. Duigenan, any thing derogatory to either.
We call upon the Protestant public of the United Kingdom, we' call, more imperiously, on the Protestant Prelates, to attend to this extraordinary fact, and to reflect on its necessary consequences! It is their bounden duty, (a duty to the neglect of which a very high degree of criminality, in our opinion, must attach), to press for the application of a remedy to this alarming evil. It is the duty of the Imperial Legislature to provide, and to apply, such a remedy. Surely while millions are annually raised for the purposes of war; while thousands and tens of thousands are supplied for the support of rank and conséquence, there can be no difficulty in raising, by way of loan, an adequate sum for the erection of the necessary number of Protestant churches and of parsonage houses in Ireland; when civil purposes are so abundantly provided for, something, we should think, might be done for the service of religion. But if it had been the intent of our government to defeat the object of the reformation in Ireland, to suppress the Protestant, and to encourage the Romish, religion," they could not easily have done more to carry it into effect, than they have done, as well by their activity in certain respects, as by their supineness in others! The Protestant Schools in Dablin, also require the immediate attention of government, for their better adaptation to the purposes for which they were erected. If the Popish College at Maynooth were in equal want of that attention, Dr. Troy's solicitations at the Castle would speedily secure it!
Mr. Carr gives an animated description of that building which, before the Union, was the Irish House of Commons; and laments' extremely that the British House of Commons is destitute of the same accommodations for strangers. We, too, lament, that the Commons of the United Kingdom have-not a place to assemble in more worthy of their country; but not for the same reason which our author assigns for his lamentations.
"One of the most distinguished orators of the age assured me, that he always felt himself encouraged and animated by a full audience, and particularly by a crowded gallery, in which, more than in the body of the House in general, a superior power of discriminating and relishing the beauties of an oratim is to be found; and that, under these circumstances, his most successful speeches had been made. He attributed the frequent absence of energetic declamation in the Upper House to the want of the animating presence of numbers; and, on that account, compared the soil of eloquence in that region to earth in a garden-pot, which wanted the invigorating and generous quality which it derived from manure, depth, expansion, and exposure. To which may be added, that, in a blissful Constitution like ours, the people appear to have a sort of inherent right to witness the conduct of their delegates (representatives), and ought not to be obliged to search for it in newspaper reports, and ephemeral pamphlets, in which, for a valuable consideration, meagre speeches may undergo any embellishment; and orations never spoken, not unfrequently excite the admiration of the breakfast-table."
We suspect the distinguished orator," from whom Mr. Carr received this notable piece of information, to be Mr. Grattan. But,
NO. XCVIII. VOL. XXIV.