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gards her prospect of recovering from her present partial embarrassment, her relative position with Ireland, and various other circumstances ; without taking the benefit of the doubt upon general reasoning, whether the plan would ultimately lead to the relief that is expected. Temporary relief might, be afforded to some districts. The difficulties and privations that individuals are struggling against, might in certain instances be alleviated, but upon the great scale we cannot believe that it would work well, even allowing the ne. cessity for it to exist in England in a much greater degree than is insisted upon, even by the advocates of the measure.
Emigration from England at this moment would only superinduce the Irish population to come over in greater numbers; and a vacuum of 10,000 Englishmen would be filled by as many Irishmen before the emigrants were half-way across the Atlantic, even if the operation went on simultaneously in Ireland. The political situation of that island is very different to that of England, but still we cannot think that emigration is the remedy to be applied to it. As regards all national relations, Ireland has been hitherto a chaos, but brighter prospects, we hope and believe, are in store for her, and justice, humanity, and sound policy will prevail. In that case, the capabilities of the country will be brought out by English capital and enterprise, and employment steadily present itself to her starving and wretched population. This, we are aware, will not rapidly occur, but if it proceed slowly, it will be constantly reducing the sum of misery. But then, it may be answered, a great proportion of distress remains behind, and why not assist in the dispersion of it by emigration? The degradation to which the Irish population is reduced takes from them all anxiety as to the maintenance of a family in any thing like common decency, in the very lowest acceptation of the term. The Irish peasant, in his present state, only requires a wretched hovel, without chimney or windows, and which he divides with his pigs, to place him in a condition to enable him to marry; and if his family can procure a tolerably ample supply of potatoes and buttermilk, their wants are chiefly supplied. In a state of society like this, we are not sanguine in the expectation that emigration would militate against redundancy of population. The wretched cabin that has been deserted by the emigrant to North America would be quickly re-occupied. The miserable pittance of support that he had derived, and upon which he had brought up a naked and halfstarved race of children, would be seized by another individual, who in his turn would probably become the father of a family, and every loop-hole for maintenance that has been left behind would be eagerly occupied. The true way to check an excess of population is to elevate the moral habits of the
in society are relative luxuries; in short, to surround marriage with greater difficulties, or in other words, to cause the bulk of the community to require more comforts before they enter upon it. As the use of these comforts, from improved habits, becomes more extended, the anxiety first to acquire, and subsequently to retain them, will create greater caution in entering upon matrimony. The Poor Laws, in their original condition, are congenial with the feelings of Englishmen. That the aged and infirm should be protected against the casualties and vicissitudes of life, is so just a principle, that we apprehend very few, even of the most indigent of those who pay their quota under these laws, would wish to see their original intention interfered with. It is the abuse, not the use, which is to be deprecated; and which prevents in England that wholesome restraint upon individuals in entering into matrimony which will always prove the most certain check upon redundant popu. lation. The Poor Laws, as they are at present administered, are to England what the poverty and wretchedness of the people are to Ireland, as far as marriage is concerned. Both circumstances encourage it. In the one instance, a certain asylum is afforded to the man and his family who cannot maintain himself and them, no matter whether he be able-bodied or not, or what has been his improvidence; he either meets with comforts in the poorhouse nearly equal to those that his own industry would afford him in his
own habitation, or he is supplied with the means of providing himself with them at home. The young bachelor is fully aware of this, and he is consequently the less anxious to guard against the chance of being unable to maintain a family; and the effect is to leave him chiefly to his own inclination as to the period of marriage. In the other instance, wants are reduced so low as to present no obstacle to matrimony. The payment of a proportion of wages out of the poor's rates in agricultural parishes, particularly, is a gross fraud upon those rate-payers who do not employ labourers. They, in fact, are made to pay a part of the expenses of those whose occupations require labourers, without gaining any advantage from their services.
It is true, that the present situation of Ireland is peculiar, inasmuch as the Disfranchisement Bill is increasing the general distress of the population; but to what extent must emigration be carried to relieve even a small portion of those who will suffer greater hardships under the operation of this act than they had previously done? The fact is, the demand for labour at this moment in Ireland is so limited, that to relieve the pressure by any general plan of emigration, the country would in a degree become depopulated, for one half of the operatives could be dispensed with. But even if that could be done by a wish, with the present prospects of Ireland would it be desirable? For any general advantage to Ireland, time, according to our views, must be given for the flow of English capital into it; the increased employment of the people arising out of that circumstance, and their consequent moral improvement. This is a slower, but we think a more certain process to insure success. One great step has already been taken for the introduction of the unemployed capital of this country into the Sister island, and if it be followed up by a steady course of enlightened policy, we are sanguine enough to hope that the process will be less tedious than at first sight may appear probable.
The situation both of England and Ireland at present is peculiar—a want of demand for labour is severely felt in both countries. In the former, we can see no reason to apprehend a long continuance of the evil, provided a mischievous vacillation of policy do not interfere with the course of circumstances that is now before us. Great Britain is every day resorting to sounder principles than she has hitherto acted upon. She will meet with many interruptions in her progress, but if she persist steadfastly in maintaining those principles which alone will enable her to continue in her present proud station, France and every other country must follow in her track ; imperious necessity will drive them into it, even should the intellects of their statesmen be so obtuse as not to see their own national interests sufficiently clear for them voluntarily to enter upon it.
We have now very shortly given our opinion upon the subject of emigration, and although we cannot arrive at the same conclusion as Mr. Wilmot Horton, we are deeply impressed with the value of his exertions with regard to it. If those exertions should not lead to any immediate result, they must nevertheless be collaterally useful, and we mistake if they will not be appreciated at a period, when his bigoted political adversaries and their vulgar taunts are together buried in oblivion.
The Vinegar Merchant.
To thee Afric's hero in glory must bow:
Was half so successful a warrior as thou.
Thy liquid attainments spread wider and quicker:
But thou through the world by the very same liquor.
SKETCHES OF TRAVELLING MANNERS AND SOCIETY.
AMONG the subjects of conversation started between travellers abroad, to wile away the tedious hours of a long evening at an auberge, or beguile the delay caused by the pelting rain on a dreary tract, that of the morals of other lands sometimes comes on the carpet. In the course of discussion, it is found that the opinions and ideas of many of the company have materially altered since they left their own shores ; that the virtue of one territory has been unaccountably exalted, the vices of another furiously enlarged. It has excited surprise how these errors of opinion should have so long and so generally passed current, when so many strangers travel incessantly to investigate manners, habits, and passions, as they prevail out of their own land. Much must be allowed for prejudice, so long cherished that the most stubborn facts can scarcely remove it; much for the proneness the many feel to follow the train of views and feelings of the more acute and arbitrary few who have gone before them.
It has long been the fashion to decry the morals of our French neighbours as notoriously bad, and to laud those of the tranquil and secluded Swiss as good, par ercellence. To both of these established opinions there are an infinite number of exceptions, more especially to the latter. To the old saying point d'argent, point de Suisse, may be added—“ seek not purity in the land where it is professed, as well seek it in a monastery.” Many instances may be given of this, of which the following may serve as a specimen ; though contrary, in its details, to the taste of those who see only innocence and simplicity in Alpine manners, and end their tours with the most delightful predilections for the people, In a sweet village near Thoun, in the Canton of Berne, was a very handsome paysanne, one of the five daughters of a bricklayer : beauty is rare in the Cantons, both in mountain and valley, so that the attractions of this girl paved the way to her speedy celebrity. She was taken into the service of an affluent family of Berne, that treated her with extreme kindness, and regarded her in a light rather above the station of a domestic. They had an only son, who fell desperately in love with this woman, and contrary to Swiss ideas in general on these subjects, (as a hundred louis d’or more or less will often break off an engagement, if the fair possessing them meets the lover's eye a few weeks before he is to wed another,) he resolved to marry her. The parents would not hear of such a proposal, and he was driven to adopt the alternative of waying the ceremony, as the fair paysanne did not testify any stern scruples. She was maintained by her lover in comfort and even splendour, and the young Bernois continued entirely devoted to his passion. The steps of this woman through life were doomed to be marked with tragical events; and were any Swiss endowed with dramatic power, they would furnish a sufficiently impassioned and varied subject. In spite of the attachment and study of the youth to gratify her in every thing, she either was not perfectly satisfied to inspire one dame alone, or else his own ardent feelings made him jealous on slight causes. He was jealous, however, with all the fury of an Italian, though this fury, instead of being turned on his mistress, was directed, unfortunately, solely against himself. One day he came resolved on deadly purposes to her door, being well-armed, and having an idea that
he should find the object of his suspicions in company with that of his love. They proved to be vain, as she was discovered sitting alone and tranquil. The infuriated Swiss drew a pistol from his pocket and fired at her, inflicting only a wound in the arm, which, together with the affright, caused her to fall helpless on the floor. Persuaded he had slain the fair paysanne, he retreated to the head of the stairs, and heroically blew his brains out with the remaining pistol. The anguish of the parents may be conceived, for he was their only child. The now lonely object of his affection, instead of losing her time in vain regrets and lamentations, determined, with the true feeling of her country, to draw some pecuniary advantage from the circumstance. She accordingly brought an action against the parents for the wound inflicted on her by the son, and the confinement that resulted from it. Strange to say, the former agreed to allow her an annual income, in order to hush the proceedings. Covered with the eclat of this tragical event, she was no sooner recovered, than she resolved on fresh conquests. Her personal attractions, and the notoriety so lately conferred, rendered this no difficult circumstanee, in a town the morals of which are so lax as at Berne. A wine merchant, in good circumstances, and a native of the place, was a successor in the attachment of this woman, whose extravagance and profusion, in the course of a couple of years, brought him to ruin and bankruptcy. When he was no longer able to supply the profusion of the fair paysanne, who seemed to regard all the good things of this life as made only for her enjoyment, she withdrew her countenance from him. The Bernois merchant was unable to endure the separation ; he strove in vain against the hardness of his fate; and then, to end at once his sufferings and his love, he also blew his brains out. These events caused great notice, as they were so unusual in the annals of Swiss history, political or domestic; it being very rare for love to possess so absorbing an influence on the mind in this country, as to induce a man to forego life, liberty, and above all, the enjoyment of a good property, merely for a sentimental affection. Werter, it is true, is read, but who ever heard of his example being followed in this land before? it absolutely filled the natives with astonishment. Where divorces take place with such cordial good-will on so many occasions, and are countenanced by the law-where love is lost and renewed, and lost again, by this calm, calculating people, in whose eye the glittering louis d'or has infinitely more charms than Cupid or his mother-it might well excite surprise and deep comment, that two men of note should be so desperate in folly as to send themselves into the other world for a light and changeable love. The Swiss have been patriots, and flaming ones, though now no more so, and as such have justly and conspicuously figured in history; but who ever thought, either in the drama or in the tale, of making them figure as dying and despairing lovers--as helpless subjects of the soft, sweet passion, of contemning all things for its sake-riches, glory, life, &c.! The thing would carry contradiction in the face of it; but these events prove, as Lord Bonce observed, that there are things at times, in real life, wilder and more strange than the wildest romance. Previous to the last circumstance, the object of these violent deeds had returned to the village of Thoun, near the home of her fathers ; where, installed in a good dwelling, she continued to receive the incense and adoration of admirers, neither shunned for her scandalous life, nor for the fatal events to which it had led; and at the intercession of one of the latter, who happened to be a man of greater note than those she had destroyed, was allowed by the magistrates often to come to Berne, although she had been exiled some time before to the distance of a few leagues; and this distinguished individual went weekly to the authorities to obtain permission that so shameless a character should enter gates where neither corruption nor an enemy's foot once dared to come. That these things should take place in a land of such extreme and strict morality, may well be matter of surprise ; but the boasted purity, as well as glory, of the land, is a thing now of record and remembrance, but not of practice.
At the distance of two leagues from the Lake of Thoun, in a retired and desolate site, was an old and cheerless-looking dwelling. It was full of empty and miserable apartments; the walls and floors seemed more suited to hold a captive for their inmate, than a man of large fortune and not a little celebrity. Near the dwelling was a still, marshy, and green-looking lake, on the banks of which no feeling of romance could kindle, no beautiful imagination could repose; high mountains rose close on each side, and inclosed this sad and religious retreat. It deserves the latter appellation, on account of the wealthy and zealous individual who for two years made it his abode, with the view chiefly of enlightening the natives of Switzerland in respect to their best interests. To accomplish this end, neither time, nor zeal, nor expense, was spared ; private visits, as well as the circulation of pamphlets, were resorted to. There was self-denial, as well as enthusiasm, displayed in the resolution to pass two years in a place like this, in the sole purpose of doing good to others. Dreary and solitary; three or four poor cottages near by, tenanted by coarse Swiss peasants ; not one intellectual being within reach, far or near ; what could induce a man of fine education and superior family to bury himself there for so long a time? Had he been an ardent lover of Nature, the fixing on so remote a place of abode had not been so extraordinary, as, though it possessed no beauty in itself, many of the most glorious scenes of Switzerland were within a short distance. The Jungfrau, and its grand attendant mountains, were seen exquisitely, by advancing a few miles only from the retreat ; the lovely scenery of the Lake of Thoun and its shores were also close at hand; but these occupied a small share of the attention of the recluse. His great and constant aim, by night and day, it might be said, was to instill purer and more correct views and feelings of religion, as he deemed it, into the minds of the natives, of low as well as of high rank. With this purpose was mingled, it must be confessed, a thirst to inspire others with his own peculiar sentiments: he was one, though the chief one, of a small and compact body, that made for some years determined, and, as the event proved, unsuccessful attempts to scatter truth, and to make proselytes both far and near. The effect these efforts have produced in. Switzerland will be mentioned hereafter ; but it was a peculiar instance how far devotedness to a beloved cause will carry a man, to induce him to reside willingly and exultingly for two years in a dreary Swiss solitude, one of the saddest and most unattractive in the whole land. There are spots, and “neither few nor far between," of singular loveliness, which an eye of taste might fix on, though human steps seldom came there, and the voice of intelligence and the charms of society could