« PředchozíPokračovat »
mists, how utterly impracticable this is ; and at Killarney, driven to wish the utter ruin of that which they cannot this year, the potato-cultivation was increasing instead redress, than of grave counsellors, which ought to think of diminishing. A practical philanthropist, Mr. Nicholls, nothing so hard but that through wisdom it may be has made the matter very intelligible to those who will mastered and subdued.” More religiously, and therethink. He is asked:
fore more wisely, do the Society of Friends in Ireland “Taking those parts of Ireland where the population say—“ It is not for us to attempt to penetrate the is in excess, do you think it will be possible to introduce secret designs of the Most High; but we may without such improved agriculture as will support the people presumption regard the mysterious dispensation with upon corn, their numbers having been created by living which we have been visited, in the blight of the potato, upon potatoes, without diminishing their numbers ?
as a means permitted by an all-wise Providence to exhibit “I think not; I could not hope to effect such im- more strikingly the unsound state of our social condition.” provement in cultivation as would enable the same When the history of the Famine shall be written by number of persons to obtain subsistence from corn crops some one who will look upon Ireland without the preas is obtained from potato culture.”
judices of party or sect,—without an insane batred of Hear, again, Colonel Clarke, the Inspector of Unions the England of 1849, or a stupid and base depreciation in the West :
of the Irish as a race,--then will it be shown how “Without contemplating the fearful alternative of steady has been the growth of that greatest of evils, a decrease of population by death, or the extreme suf- the abuse of the right of property in land, -- which renfering of the population, which may show itself in the dered the condition of the Irish peasantry, long before diminution of births, and the power of rearing children, this time, inferior to that of any other peasantry in are there not along those shores with which you are Europe. The childish habit of too many to ascribe familiar, districts in which it is difficult to anticipate that this inferiority to the character of the race, and of some a population bred upon the potato food, can, within to religion, must give place, above all things, to more their own district, find the means of support upon just and charitable views. Hear what an eloquent cereal food ?
foreigner, Count Strzelecki, who has been resident in “ They cannot.
Ireland for some years, says on this point: “ It is impossible ?
“I saw Irishmen in the United States, in Canada, Totally impossible, unless a greater quantity of land and in Australia, living as well as the Anglo-Saxons, be brought under cultivation."
acquiring their grumbling habits, and thus improving The question of transforming the Irish cottier popu- continually their condition. I saw many of those people lation into labourers at wages, by a sudden movement, who never tasted animal food in Ireland, coming to is very quickly disposed of by a few figures :- The Australia, and becoming fastidious about the quality gross number of holdings, as shown by agricultural of the meat and tea which was served to them ; so that returns, in 1847, was 935,939; of these 135,341 were the low condition in which they are to be observed in under one acre ; 50,355, of from one to two acres ; | Ireland is not to be attributed to the inherent character 121,595, of from two to five acres. Here, then, are
of the race. I do not believe that it is owing to religion, about 500,000 acres maintaining, wretchedly enough, because they are professing the same religion in the about 300,000 families. In England, one labourer country where they go to settle. This difference may, is employed to about fifteen acres of arable land. If perhaps, be more successfully traced to the consequences the process of converting small holdings into large of the transplantation from a narrow and confined moral could be suddenly effected by any supernatural power, and physical sphere of action, to a larger space, with there would be supported about 35,000 labourers at more freedom and more cheerful prospects of life, and wages, instead of 300,000 cottier tenants, upon these of which they have none at home.” – (Lords' Com500,000 acres. What is to become of the superfluous mittee Report.) 265,000 cottier tenants and their families, amounting Hear, further, what one, amongst the soundest thinkers to a million of people, at the least? This is a grave of our day, says of the great social curse of Ireland : question, which we fear is not speedily to be solved. " With individual exceptions (some of them very
But there is one view of the condition of Ireland honourable ones), the owners of Irish estates do which admits a ray of hope. The Irish are beginning nothing for the land but drain it of its produce. What to understand their real position; and Englishmen, has been epigrammatically said in the discussions on slowly and doggedly, are looking into causes below the peculiar burthens' is literally true when applied to surface for that misery and degradation which for ages them; that the greatest 'burthen on land' is the has been indirectly coming home to ourselves. It was landlords. Returning nothing to the soil, they conan opinion in Spenser's time, that Ireland remained sume its whole produce, minus the potatoes strictly wretched and disturbed," for some secret scourge which necessary to keep the inhabitants from dying of shall by her come unto England ;" and some, in their famine; and when they have any notion of improve. ignorant impatience (as too many of us have done), ment, it usually consists in not leaving even this “ wished that all that land were a sea-pool.” Truly pittance, but turning out the people to beggary if not does Spenser say of such impious desires, “this kind to starvation. When landed property has placed itself of speech is the manner rather of desperate men, far upon this footing it ceases to be defensible, and the time has come for making some new arrangement of shawls, worn as gracefully as if arranged by the most the matter.
The community has too much tasteful of tire-women; but unquestionably these poor at stake in the proper cultivation of the land, and in girls knew the most pinching poverty. Not to give the conditions annexed to the occupancy of it, to leave was impossible—but no bounty could shake them off. these things to the discretion of a class of persons Some clung to the stirrups ; some laughed and sang; called landlords, when they have shown themselves and some told their sorrows with deep pathos. One and unfit for the trust. The legislature, which if it pleased all of these poor girls had a dream of some distant land, might convert the whole body of landlords into fund- where want should not beset them. Some had relaholders or pensioners, might, à fortiori, commute the tions in the United States. New Orleans was their average receipts of Irish landowners into a fixed rent- El Dorado. There, they fancied, they should marry, charge, and raise the tenants into proprietors; sup- and know something of comfort. Four pounds would posing always (without which these acts would be pay a passage. In the Evidence which we have repeatnothing better than robbery) that the full market value , edly quoted, one witness, speaking on the subject of of the land was tendered to the landlords, in case they Emigration, says, " It is a very extraordinary thing, the preferred that to accepting the conditions proposed.”- quantity of single women that go off by themselves, and John Mill, Principles of Political Economy. Vol. II. who seem to face the whole difficulty in the quietest way." p. 284-286.
Precisely in this spirit did these poor girls, who came And now, that we have disburthened our minds of out of the cabins on the side of Mangerton, speak of these thoughts and memories, let us surrender ourselves this great venture of life which they were anxious to to the pleasant recollections of the remainder of our make. Surely it is a terrible thing when the ties which sojourn in this land of natural beauty.
bind women to their native soil -- the ties of home The Mucruss Hotel, which we pass on the road which make ordinary poverty endurable — are thus to the Mangerton Mountain, is in some respects snapped asunder. It is no common misery which can more advantageously situated than the Victoria. It thus change the female character. The wanderings of commands no view of the Lakes, but it is close to the men in search of better fortune may fail to move our charming walks of the Mucruss Peninsula. A glance pity ;—but for a solitary woman to cast herself upon at the map will show all the advantages of this position: the .great wave of fate, unknowing where she may these walks extend for miles ; and the natural beauties drift, is the heroism of desperation. of this peninsula, dividing the two lakes, and com- For a mile or two in the channel of a torrent, and we manding the finest views of the scenery of each, have at length from Mangerton look over the Lower Lake. been improved by admirable taste. Mucruss Abbey Magnificent was the view-glorious was the day. But is a beautiful ruin : many parts are in good preserva- our trusty Spillane urged us forward, for he saw the tion. In the cloister is a most remarkable object—a mist gathering in the distance. We have hurriedly magnificent yew-tree springing up from the centre, its passed the hollow in which lies the famous tarn, “The spreading branches forming a graceful roof to the Devil's Punch Bowl," and are nearing the summit. arched walls. The trunk of this tree rises up to a Severe is the cold, even in the sun of a July day. greater height, without a limb, than we have before Now rest. We have given Wilson's description of the observed in any of these vegetable memorials of long scene, and how can we attempt to embody our own past generations. Its girth is inferior to many of impressions. For the first time we saw the Atlantic : our English yews. The east window, seen through there it sparkled, over the shoulder of one of the distant the pointed arch of the chapel, is very perfect. Within cluster of mountains. Why is it, that one glimpse of are some tombs and monuments, ancient and modern. the great highway of the world raises the spirit far The Abbey stands amidst the most luxuriant groves- more than the open prospect of the narrow seas? the vivifying power of nature cherishing the perishable works of man-and clothing decay with ever-springing
“ There is a magnet-like attraction in beauty. (Cut, No. 9.) Torc Waterfall is within a
These waters to the imaginative power
That links the viewless with the visible, walk of Muciuss, (Cut, No. 10); but we reserve that
And pictures things unseen. To realms beyond for the last look of Killarney!
Yon highway of the world my fancy flies.” We mount our ponies. The ascent to the mountain
CAMPBELL. is very gradual-a bare and dreary road. On we go without any striking views for a mile or two, till the But the near mountains—they lie around us.
The way gets steeper and more rugged. Company begin light falls on one, the shadow on another,—they seem to gather about us. There is the regular Irish guide, to heave and swell like the vexed ocean. A mist who springs up at every turn of a road which leads to creeps over some summit far below us, and then sights. We soon get rid of him. But the mountain- plunges into the glen ;-up another craggy steep rises girls, with their goat's milk and potheen, are not so the mist from the valley, and hovers about till it easily disposed of. The troop gathered thick and fast mingles with the upper clouds. The Lakes seem to at every step of the ascent: no persuasions could wash the bases of these giant forms that close us in induce them to let us proceed in peace. Squalid want from all the outer world, except where the Kenmare was not apparent, -or it was hidden under their bright river brightens to the south, and the great sea to the
west. The monarchs of the solitude seem to look winter; cold as ice, they say, though Charles Fox down upon the beauty at their feet, solemn and sad, swam across it. We sit down under the shelter of a whether in glimmer or in gloom. We heed not their rude stone wall. We have sandwiches and potheennames, as they are repeated in our ear—Carran-Tual, and there are clear springs not far off. One of the Purple Mountain, Toomies, Glena, Torc, Drooping women that followed us up the mountain suddenly Mountain, Cahirna, Ierc, Sugar-Loaf. We regard not appears at our side. She sits down. With a mournful their comparative elevations. Carran-Tual is a thou- cadence she sings one of her native songs. Her sand feet higher than Toomies, and six hundred feet voice is sweet, is soft, is low.” Another, and another. above where we stand. They all seem to dwell close Her store is exhaustless. She gave us some little together in glorious companionship, and the equality argument to explain her ditties. They were unquesof brotherhood. And yet Carran-Tual is eight miles tionably the pastoral ballads of a mountain peasantry. away; though it seems as if the eagle could wing his One was a dialogue, similar, perhaps, to that which flight from one top to another as easily as the swallow Mr. Walsh has given in his "Irish Popular Songs :" skims from Innisfallen to Ross. But the mist is
“Oh! if thou come to Leitrim, sure nought can us sever, gathering, and we must descend. We send our ponies
A phlur na m-ban doun óg !* down before us ;--for we have a path to tread in Wild honey and the mead-cup shall feast us for ever, which our own feet will best serve us.
A phlur na m-ban doun óg ! We descend not far. We have crossed the sinking I'll show thee ships and sails, through the vistas grand, bog on the crest of Mangerton, and look down a steep As we seek our green retreat by the broad lake's strand, declivity into the glen in which lies the Devil's Punch And grief would never reach us within that happy land, Bowl. It is a melancholy place, amidst high rocks
A phlur na m-ban doun óg! the tarn which never plummet sounded,” dark as
* Flower of brown-hair'd maidens.
To Leitrim, to Leitrim, in vain thou wouldst lead me, the heron fishing. The owl now flaps by us, startled. Duirt plúr na m-ban doun óg!
We rest under Glena; and there, in the deep silence of When pale hunger comes, can thy melodies feed me?
midnight, we hear the mountain echo to the bugle in Duirt plúr na m-bau doun óg !
a voice which seems unearthly. A night ever to be Sooner would I live, and sooner die a maid,
remembered. Than wander with thee through the dewy forest glade, That thou art my beloved, this bosom never said,
Farewell, at last, to Killarney. The car is ready
that is to bear us to Kenmare. Duirt plúr na m-ban doun óg !”
Our way lies by the
new road-a great work, unsurpassed, perhaps, in these We again mount our ponies. A ride of two hours islands for its picturesque character. It passes close by brings us back to the Victoria.
Torc Waterfall, which we stop to view. It climbs the A night is before us, such as we cannot forget. mountain, and cuts through the rocks, heedless of Gansey, the famous piper of Killarney, gives us the obstacles. This is the way by which tourists reached pleasure of his company. A venerable man, blind ;- Killarney when the readiest passage was from Bristol a man of real genius—a gentleman. All the old to Cork. We are not sure that it is preferable to traditionary music of Ireland is familiar to him. He coming by the coach-road from Mallow, and gradually has his modern ballads for those who want an ordinary finding out the beauties of the Lakes. Here they are pleasure : but if he have “audience fit though few," revealed. The first impression of the scenery at the he will pour out strain after strain, wild and solemn, exquisite points of view which this road offers must gay or pathetis, with a power that seems like inspira- be ineffaceable. But we are satisfied to have won tion. Never heard we such effects from one instru- a growing delight, instead of being struck mute with a ment, since the days of Paganini's violin. Midnight first admiration. was passed before we ceased to listen, enraptured, to
Such an admiration-speechless wonder—is the view
of Glengariff and the great arm of Bantry Bay, which “ Many a bout Of linked sweetness, long drawn out.”
presents itself from the grand road recently com
pleted from Kenmare. We passed through that town; One more day at Killarney-and then, farewell! saw the improvements which a benevolent landlord How shall that day be passed by us? In perfect re- may effect in his district; saw dwelling after dwelling pose. One of our companions has gone to perform the on the hill-sides, which contrasted happily with the difficult feat of ascending Carran- Tual. We are to meet ancient mud cabin: and passing through a long tunnel, him with the boat long before sun-down, at the head such as railroads have made us familiar with, rapidly of the Upper Lake. We are true to the appointment descended the road which leads to Glengariff. And There is one with us watching for him with some then that prospect !-- Mountains — bays — islands anxiety; but the scene is so glorious that anxiety can and the great Atlantic rolling placidly in to kiss a scarcely find a place even in the breast of a loving wife. shelvy shore. The mountains are lighted up with all the most gorge- Glengariff- the glen itself-must remain unvisited. ous hues of heaven. The full moon is up—we wander No heavier clouds ever descended on Ireland than those on, far away from the lake, through the Black Valley. which fell at Glengariff when we rose on the morning (Cut No. 14.) Solemn and more solemn grow the after we left Killarney. Well, Otway has well described shadows of the mountains. The sun is altogether gone. it; and our readers will have no regret in missing our Then the rocks begin to put on mysterious forms. Not own description : a sound falls upon the hushed air. A footstep! one of "I do not know how to begin, or where to take up, our friend's guides is come to beg us yet to wait. It or in what way to put forth the dioramic conception I was a needless message. But that poor guide, he has have in my mind's recollection of this delightful glen. fallen in his rough descent, and is badly wounded. Mountains-why you have them of all forms, elevaFear then begins; but at length the wished-one comes, tions, and outlines. Hungry Mountain, with its cataract worn out, but safe. He has beheld sights from Carran- of eight hundred feet falling from its side ; Sugar-Loaf, Tual which we would see ourselves, if we were twenty so conical, so bare, so white in its quartzose formation ; years younger.
Slieve Goul, the pathway of the fairies; and Esk And now, one sight that all Killarney visitors should Mountain, over which I was destined to climb my
toilbehold, if possible, at the risk of some inconvenience- some way. Every hill had its peculiar interest, and a row of twelve miles, under the light of the summer each, according to the time of the day or the state of
As we came up the Lake, four hours ago, we the atmosphere, presented a picture so mutablemor marked every form of hill and island. They are now bright or gloomy, or near or distant-valleys laughing all blended in one faint tint, when
in sunshine, or shrouded in dark and undefined masses
of shade ; and so deceptive, so variable were the dis"A sable cloud Turns forth her silver lining on the night;"
tances and capabilities of prospect, that in the morning
you could see a hare bounding along on the ranges of or suddenly touched with the partial light of the full those hills, that, at noonday, were lost in the gray orb, which renders them even more indistinct in the indistinctness of distant vision. Then the glen itself, unshadowy splendour. In the evening glow we saw unlike other glens and valleys that interpose between