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made, addresses delivered, funds solicited and collected, as if the country were Ireland herself, or, at least, a British colony; our candidates for public office are interrogated, indirectly at least, as to their views and feelings in relation to Ireland; and the reputation of Anglo-American Catholics depends with their religious brethren, in no small degree, on the views they take or do not take of Irish politics. It is thus that the question is made an American question, with important bearings on American politics and American social life. It is brought home to our very bosoms and business, and we cannot blink it with safety to ourselves, even if we would. And now, during the lull in Irish agitation, now that both moral force and physical force have failed, at least for the present, is the proper time for discussion, for taking a new observation, and determining the proper course to steer the vessel hereafter. With this view, we have taken up the subject, and thrown out such thoughts as have occurred to us in the course of our reading and reflection on it, for several years. We have thrown them out as suggestions, to go simply for what they are worth. If the friends of Ireland find nothing better, let them be accepted ; if they find and can agree on something better, let them be rejected, and the better adopted. All we want is the real welfare of Ireland, and we shall be satistied, if that is secured, whether it be secured by means of our suggesting, or by means suggested by others who differ from us. Certain it is, that the great body of the real friends of Ireland cannot be rallied under either of the banners that have heretofore been unfurled, and that, to secure unanimity and concert, a policy somewhat different from O'Connell's and from Smith O'Brien's must now be adopted. We can, as at present informed, see nothing more promising than the course we have suggested. If others can, we shall be happy to surrender to their superior wisdom and better judgment.
But we have nearly lost sight, in following out our own speculations, of the admirable work before us. We intended to make several extracts from it, as specimens of its style and thought, but we have reserved no place for them,which is the less to be regretted, because before this, we presume, it has found its way to all our readers, and they have enjoyed it as well as we. The work is not faultless. We have signified, together with our reasons, our dissent from a few important points, which the author appears to us not to have duly considered. As a literary work, it has great
merits. Its style is clear, rich, racy, flowing, but somewhat careless, and occasionally inexact; the characters are, in general, well drawn, but the action is too hurried, and the events are too crowded. The effect is somewhat injured, also, by selecting as representatives of Protestants, individuals, not worse, indeed, than can be found in actual life, but yet worse than the average of the class they are intended to represent. The faults which are depicted Protestants will ascribe to the individual, not to their system. Ellen O'Donnell is a noble, a high-spirited girl, but we should like her better if she had more repose of manner, and a little more quiet dignity. The most tonching scene to us, and the most true to nature, in the whole book, is the scene before her miserable liovel between Kathleen and Colonel Templeton. It is a scene drawn from nature by a genuine artist. We like Captain O'Brien, a man, a gentleman, and a patriot, but we wish he had been converted before his betrothal to Ellen. We wish the union of Catholic Ireland and Protestant Ireland, intended to be symbolized by the marriage of Ellen O'Donnell and Captain O'Brien, but only by the conversion of the latter, and we wish to make sure of the conversion before we propose the union. There occnrs, too, a passage about the “plagne spot,” which we shall liope to see expunged in the second edition. But, upon the whole, we like Shandy
, M'Guire; we like it for its fun, we like it for its genuine tenderness and its deep pathos; we like it for its bold and manly tone, its free and independent spirit, and above all, for its uncompromising Catholicity, which will not abate a single genuflection to please all the lieretical kings in Christendom. Thank yon, Paul Peppergrass, Esq., for that expression, which, though not to be taken nor intended to be taken to the strict letter, conveys the only sentiment worthy of one who belongs to a church made and directed by God, and not by man. The work cannot fail to do good. It will tend to awaken more manly feelings and induce a more manly bearing in the Irish themselves; it can hardly fail to elevate the Irish character in the estimation of our community, and to create a more respectful and a more kinly feeling towards our Irislı population. It will enable the American people to account for many of those traits which offend them in the Irish character, and without discredit to the Irish; it will make thein feel that the Irish must be a wonderful people, and richly favored by divine grace, or they could not be what they are,-could not have retained a single human virtue, a single noble or generous quality. All that malice backed by power and ingenuity could do to brutalize them, and obliterate every trace of the image of God to which they were created, has been done, and yet they remain human, and, in spite of all their faults, in spite of all the objectionable features of their national character, and they are many, they compare in all the nobler moral virtues and religious excellences more than favorably with any other people on the globe. Their worst side is their outside. What is objectionable in their character lies on the surface, and is seen at a glance. Their virtues lie deeper, and are known only after an intimate acquaintance, often are known at all only to Hinn for whose sake alone they are cultivated. Their vices are in a great measure the result of the condition in which they have been placed, the evasions they have been obliged to study in order to live, the cruelty and contempt with which they have been treated; their virtues, through divine grace, are their own, and place them first on the list of nations. They have so prospered spiritually under their temporal adversity, that we almost dread to see them exposed to the temptations of temporal prosperity. They are now fulfilling an important mission in evangelizing the world; through them, we trust, the revolted Saxon will be conquered to his allegiance, and great will be their reward in heaven. O, would that our own country enjoyed the riches possessed by Ireland, and could indulge the glorious hopes of her oppressed and earth-abandoned children! Happy would it be for our boasted and loud-boasting republic; for what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
WEBSTER'S ANSWER TO HÜLSEMANN.*
[From Brownson's Quarterly Review for April, 1851.]
We have devoted in the preceding and present numbers of this journal considerable space to the discussion of the late Hungarian rebellion, by a highly esteemed contributor, who shows, what an able contemporaryt has also shown, that the American sympathy with it, on the ground that it was a movement in favor of popular institutions similar to our own, was wholly misplaced, for it was not, in the American sense, either democratic or republican. But after all, this is only an argumentum ad hominem, and only proves that the sympathizers are inconsistent with themselves. We are disposed to take higher ground, and to maintain that if the Magyar rebellion had been in favor of democracy, or republican institutions like our own, the sympathy expressed with it would equally have been inisplaced. A rebellion for democracy or republicanism is as unjustifiable as a rebellion for aristocracy or monarchy. The end does not justify the means, and whether a given rebellion is stirred up for the purpose of establishing one form of government or another has nothing to do with its justice or injustice.
The Magyar movement was a rebellion,-a rebellion against the emperor of Austria, both as emperor of Austria and as king of Hungary. It is not true, either in fact or in law, as some would persuade us, that Hungary was an independent nation, having no connection with the Austrian empire but the mere accidental union of the crowns of each in the same person. Hungary was an integral part of the empire, and owed allegiance to the emperor as emperor of Austria, as well as king of Hungary. She had, it is true, a national diet or parliament under her king, for purely civil administration ; but the administration of her finances and the command of her military were vested in
* Correspondence of the Austrian Chargé d'Affaires and Mr. Webster, Secretary of State. Communicated to the Senate by the President, December 30, 1850. Washington, D. C.: 1851.
+ The North American Review.
the emperor, not merely in the king, and pertained to the imperial chancery at Vienna. Whether, then, the Magyars attempted to şubvert the authority of the emperor of Austria, or of the king of Hungary, they were alike rebels, and, as they attempted to subvert both, they were undeniably rebels, and their inovement a rebellion, in the strictest sense of the word. We do not say
that a rebellion is never in any case or under any circumstances justifiable; but we do say that a rebellion for the purpose of changing the form of government, whether from a monarchy to a republic or from an aristocracy to a democracy, whether from a democracy to an aristocracy or from a republic to a monarchy, is always unjustifiable, and the highest crime known to the law; for all" these several forms of government may be legitimate and also illegitimate, and no one of them is per se more legitimate or illegitimate than another. There is no one form of government that has the right to establish itself everywhere, or that is universally obligatorv. The popular or republican form in certain times and places may be legitimate, and most certainly is so in t is country; but it is not the only legitimate form of government possible. Monarchical forms are as legitimate in Great Britain, Spain, and Austria, as repnblican forms are with us. None of the recognized forms of government are per se in contravention of the divine law or of the natural rights of men, or per se tyrannical and oppressive, and therefore resistance to any one of them on the part of its subjects can never per se be lawful, or otherwise than criminal. Monarchy is per se no more in contravention of natural right or of natural freedom than is democracy, and hence it is as criminal to rebel against monarchy for the sake of instituting democracy, as it is to rebel against democracy for the sake of instituting monarchy.
If rebellion is ever justifiable, it is only for reasons independent of the form of the government. * Undoubtedly, the people of a given country, when the previous authority has been subverted, and there is no longer either in fact or in law any existing political order, may reconstitute government in such form as they judge best; but they can never lawfully overthrow an established government for the sake of adopting another political form, even though fully persuaded of its superiority. The right, if such right there be, to subvert an existing government, never grows out of its