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I. THE IRISH REPEAL QUESTION
II. SONNET.-By H. T. Tuckerman
III. ON THE ORIGin and Source OF GOVERNMENT.-By Orestes A.
IV. PROMETHEUS.-By J. R. Lowell
V. ODE.-By Miss Anne C. Lynch
VI. PENNINGS AND PENCILLINGS, IN AND ABOUT TOWN.-By Joseph
By Mrs. E. F. Ellet
IX. HAMPTON BEACH.-By J. G. Whittier.
X. ROGER MALVIN'S BURIAL.-By Nathaniel Hawthorne
Mental Hygiene, or an Examination of the Intellect and
XIV. STANZAS FOR MUSIC
XV. MONTHLY FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL ARTICLE
XVI. NEW BOOKS OF THE MONTH
XVII. MONTHLY LITERARY BULLETIN
THREE SHEETS and a half, of THIRTY-TWO PAGES EACH.
THE movement now so deeply agitating Ireland is, in several of its features, too remarkable a passage of contemporaneous history, not to arrest strongly the notice and interest of the general observer, independent of its peculiar claim upon the sympathies of the American democrat. Such a spectacle has certainly never been exhibited before, as that afforded at this moment by that noble and long-suffering people. We have heard a great deal of the power of Public Opinion in the present age,this movement appears the most complete instance yet witnessed of its embodiment, expression, and application to a particular point of action, as an actual practical force, sufficient to itself and to its object, and fearlessly confident in that sufficiency. If it is carried out to the end as it has been begun, as it has thus far proceeded, above all, if it shall achieve successfully the great national triumph to which it aspires, preserving still the white robe of its pure moral purpose unstained with the desecrating defilement of blood,—it will exhibit one of the most beautiful, as well as sublime spectacles the world has yet had to witness, in all the history of the perpetual struggle of Man against his Chains.
We watch its course with a deep and anxious interest. Faster and faster, nearer and nearer,-like some noble ship, land-locked on an iron coast, and sweeping on towards the breakers
which it is either to graze in triumphant safety or to strew with the shattered fragments of its wreck,-we behold it approaching the crisis of its fate. It seems scarcely worth while to speculate upon the doubtful issue to which so brief a period must now bring the solution. We can but hold our breath as we strain the eager eye, awaiting the imminent moment that is to decide whether the pent voice shall burst forth in a shout of exulting joy, or find an utterance only in the mournful accents of lament. But possibly meanwhile, distant and feeble though it may be, a cheer of encouragement may not be wholly useless to strengthen the hearts of the gallant crew; nor should the voice of any American freeman be wanting from that swelling acclamation of sympathy whose peal already burthens every western breeze that sweeps across the Atlantic.
God save and speed them! What should any of us care though their great leader should so little understand all the bearings of a difficult local question of our own, growing out of the peculiar institution respecting which those States possessing it are so nervously sensitive? What if O'Connell, in common with the general sentiment of his country and time, views from his trans-Atlantic distance the subject of American slavery in a light leading him to speak of it in a manner similar to that in which he is at the same time
denouncing the wrongs of England towards his own native land? His abolitionism has nothing to do with the wrongs of Ireland, nor with the remedy for them which she and he are alike struggling after. With all respect to the gentlemen concerned, the demonstrations recently made in some of our Southern cities on this point of offence, by dissolving their Repeal Associations, and withdrawing from the movement of Irish Repeal, all their expressions of sympathy and contributions of more practical aid, for the sole and simple reason of Mr. O'Connell's sentiments and language on this subject, strike us as absurd in the extreme; and as in truth far more injurious to ourselves, than to those against whom, as an act of resentment and hostility, they are directed.
The American reader needs perhaps to be made to understand rather better than is generally the case, the true meaning and merits of this movement, which have indeed been more obscured than illustrated by the speeches and proceedings of some of the recent meetings held in various parts of the country, by its enthusiastic, but rather hasty and hot-headed friends. On some of these occasions we have heard little else than the language of blood and war, as though it were a revolution of violence which was appealing to our sympathies. Donations have been given for buying "powder and ball," and the prospect held out of a "hundred thousand volunteers" ready and eager to follow their pecuniary contributions, to take part in the anticipated struggle of civil war,-with the intimation hinted, that after crossing an ocean it would not be worth while to stop short at a petty channel, while the three million Chartists of England's own tear-bedewed island await but such a signal to rise too against their oppression. Against all this, while we desire to express the sincere and earnest sympathy of American democracy with the cause of Irish emancipation, we cannot omit to record at the same time its equally sincere and earnest protest. Indeed those who thus deal with the subject, prove their own total and gross misconception of the true spirit of the whole movement, to which their misdirected zeal cannot fail to do much more harm than good. Its highest, its peculiarly ennobling
idea, as on all occasions declared by its head and representative, is its character of Peacefulness. It is purely a moral agitation. Even while it finds one mode of its expression in the collection of the physical masses, on a scale so stupendous as to be scarcely conceivable even to our American imaginations, familiar as we are with vast popular assemblages, it at the same time emphatically discountenances the idea of applying them to any other use, than an intense concentration of that moral power which asserts its own full ability to effect its whole aim; together with a sublime exhibition of the force and unanimity of a national sentiment. If a lion is introduced upon the scene of action, it is by a little child that it is led. Nothing in the nature of rebellion is spoken of, thought of. On the contrary, O'Connell has assumed ground of even extreme Quakerism. He has declared that could he obtain all that he aims at for his country at the expense of a drop of human blood, he would not pay that awful price for it. The military array of the ministry, against the great moral might of a peacefully determined people, he laughs at as no less absurd than brutal. No attempt is made at any kind of organization of a similar character on the popular side, such as have not been unfamiliar to the former history of the same unhappy country. On the contrary, he is constant in his cautions to the people to beware of affording to their adversaries the slightest pretext to charge upon them any violation of the law or disturbance of the peace.
That O'Connell is himself sincere in this position, is doubted by few, we believe, even of those to whom he and all he does are most obnoxious-though whether it will be possible for him to carry out such a system to the end, with all the inflammable materials with which he has to deal, is a very different question. It is one consistent with his declarations and his conduct for many years back, anterior to the present occasion, for which it might otherwise be supposed to have been assumed as a mask for a different design, like a quaker garb cloaking a cuirass. As a powerful opponent of the punishment of death, he has made strong expressions of his sense of the sacred value of human life, -which may well, perhaps, have had its origin in the bitter hour when he
himself beheld an enemy stretched at his feet by the act of his hand. And at the period of the Canada rebellion, he was on frequent occasions severe against what he denounced as the folly as well as crime of the insurgents in having recourse to arms, and launching their cause on a sea of blood, instead of the purer waters of peaceful and legal agitation. There can be no doubt, we repeat, of his sincerity. Whether even his unparalleled degree of power over his countrymen, whose heaving millions he seems to sway as the moon the tides of the ocean, will suffice to restrain them from all the natural impulses of their brave spirits and quick hands, remains yet to be seen. God grant that he may! But if he does, it will be in spite of the difficulties created, or at least increased, by those intemperate friends, here or elsewhere, who, in direct opposition to him and his efforts, send to the Irish people such suggestions and such stimulations as those above alluded to.
The object in view is not, as so many seem to suppose, a dismemberment of the empire, the erection of a distinct national independence for Ireland. In point of population and revenue, indeed, that beautiful island, which has been not more adorned by the loveliness of her daughters than the genius of her sons, would be fully competent to maintain a national position of dignity and importance in the European scale: after the first-rate powers of France, Austria, Russia and Prussia, the only ones that would be entitled to rank on the same level with her being Spain and Turkey. But it is merely a legislative separation that is sought, and not a disjunction from the British empire and crown. The right of local selflegislation, by a domestic parliament, in connection still with a common executive, is what is demanded, such as, indeed, existed in Ireland, in full force, for a period of nearly twenty years anterior to 1800, the date of that act of union of which the abrogation is now sought. And, in fact, O'Connell has even declared himself willing to accept of an inferior local legislature, subject to the paramount control of an imperial parliament, if unable to obtain the full restoration of an equal and independent parliament,-though without any pledge of final contentment
with that instalment of right, if not found to work satisfactorily.
The catalogue of grievances of which the Irish have to complain under the Union, is a longer one than we have space, or than there is any occasion for us to detail. For this purpose, it is unnecessary to go back to the antiquities of the subject, though they too have their bearing upon even the actual present state of the question, from the consistent uniformity of ruthlessness, in every form of plunder and oppression, by which, from the earliest period, the English government of Ireland was characterized; and of which some of the fruits, to the present day, are to be found in that bitter hatred of English domination rankling yet so deeply in the Irish heart. This national feeling, even though its earlier roots may have to be sought centuries and centuries ago, in periods whose long-buried atrocities it is a worse than idle task to dig up now, out of the catacombs of the past to the horror and disgust of the present, yet constitutes a living and practical political fact, which the wise statesman cannot cast out of the account as an important element in the present question. And the period is, indeed, so recent down to which the tyrannical rule of Ireland by the "English Ascendency" continued animated by a spirit little better than that of its worst and bloodiest day-the forced relaxation of the chain of oppression, link after link, has been at once so reluctant and so ungracious-the remnants and results of the old treatment, with that relation of conquered subjection and degradation on which it was based, are yet so many and so galling-that it cannot be any subject of surprise that the hereditary transmission of this feeling, still perpetually, in greater or less degree, renewed and refreshed, should have thus kept it alive, and so deeply and thoroughly woven it into the texture of the national character.
The history of the Act of Union itself, too, while so recent as to be within the memory of many who can relate the recollections of those dark and disastrous days, and traditionally familiar to the whole people, presents such a mass of abomination and atrocity, of which that act was the object and the result, that it may be said itself alone to constitute the sufficient motive for