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before he fired. The shot went the most violent seas. The wide, and then he staggered ship was making water cerbadly as a sea crashed on the tainly, but no more than the counter.
pumps could cope with, thank “Jack had snatched a pin the Lord. up, reached him somehow be “ Before they started pumpfore he could recover, and ing, though, Wilkes ordered them knocked him senseless, then to go and secure the engineer. wrenched the revolver away He feared that madman might from his convulsive grasp. be doing damage.
“Old Wilkes had never “They could not find him. moved, completely taken by He was gone : washed off the surprise. Jack shook him, poop, or jumped in panic. No shouting, 'Get to Connor's one ever knew. cabin, quick. Find the am “It was no time for regrets. munition. I'm going to save The pumps were manned; Brown the ship. I'll shoot the barrels !'hauled out to help among the
“The lightning lit a night- hands, and all that weary night mare scene. There in glisten they pumped to save the ship. ing oilskins Jack crouched by “ With the dawn came blessed the break of the poop, firing hope. The gale was moderating rapidly when the flashes lit the and the damage could be rebarrels hurtling in the waist, paired. Captain Wilkes, Jack showing them up momentarily Handley, and the Minerva had black against the foam on deck. won through." It was snap-shooting. Desperate work and difficult, but the Marshall ceased abruptly. stakes were high enough. His yarn was finished.
“There was no lack of am “Bless my soul! Bless my munition, and Jack riddled all soul!” said the Colonel. those barrels. The oil ran out “What an experience ! ” of them, and helped to smooth “What about Wilkes after the breaking seas a bit ; and that! Did he give up the then the barrels, lightened of sea ?” I asked. their load, floated buoyant over Oh no," said Marshall. side washed clear into the “Wilkes still runs the Minerva smother down to leeward. with Jack Handley. He swears,
“The crisis of the storm at of course, he's losing money length had passed, and if only on her. Does it for a hobby, the hatches had not been too so he says. Anyway, he has badly battered by the barrels, scrapped the engines, and now the ship could weather through they're advertised for sale.
“ The crew were summoned “But don't talk about auxilto the pumps, which fortu- iary power for sailing-ships if nately were aft, away from you should ever meet him.”
THE LAST OUNCE.
THE process of extracting porters, in the Dail; vox et the last ounce from the Irish præterea nihil is a good axiom Peace Treaty is an art akin to when the utterances of legisthat of driving coaches-and-lators are being valued. But four through Acts of Parlia- it is in the legislation itself ment. In both, the objects are that the whole trend of Free eminently laudable, from the State ideas can be found, not standpoint of the coachman, so indeed in the general subjectthat the observations which matter, which must inevitably follow are not to be regarded follow the ordinary course of as a censure on the Free State civilised institutions, but in Government. That Govern- occasional clauses. As few senment is merely carrying to its sible persons ever read an Act foregone conclusion what both of Parliament and none Free sides intended when the Treaty State statutes, some examples was signed ; it is interpreting of those “tendencies” may the Treaty in the spirit in possess an atmosphere of freshwhich it was granted. It is ness. certain that no one in Great In the Free State, much as Britain really cares what preci- the Cumann na n-Gaedhael ous essence is extracted from (Anglice, Sinn Fein) may disit, and it is probable that even like the fact, statute law is at the general body of Unionists present almost solely Britishin the Free State, whose sole made law. The Brehon code of interest in the legislative activi- laws may have been excellent ties of the Dail has hitherto for shepherds or forest kernes, been confined to the subject but it smells somewhat musty of double income tax and the when applied to publicans or payment of awards for their old-age pensioners, who form destroyed property, have not such a large proportion of the realised to the full what potion Free State inhabitants. ACis being gradually brewed. cordingly, though no doubt
The public utterances of Free early opportunity will be taken State Ministers, like those of to repeal British laws, as alpoliticians in every country ready has been done with the under the sun, are made to most objectionable statutes, suit their momentary audience, such as those relating to the and no particular importance Royal Irish Constabulary or need be attached to them. Of to Criminal Injuries, the counas little importance is their try obeys, as far as it feels eloquence, or that of their sup- inclined, British law. No at
tempt has yet been made to to deny increases of pensions repeal the Habeas Corpus Act, to certain pensioned teachers though a cynic might imagine on the verge of starvation livthat its title had been amended ing in Great Britain and Northto that of Habeas Cadaver. ern Ireland is quite immaterial Yet Free State legislation has to it. already done something to alle After this beginning, it would, viate this blot upon the fair of course, be unreasonable to scutcheon of Saorstat Eireann. look for any references to his These British Acts, whose pres- Majesty in this legislation, alence is as inconvenient as that though so far we have been of the Imperial High Court spared any statutory reference Judges who still sit in the to "the late king.” There are Dublin Supreme Court, were doubtless some matters of which passed by the Parliament of the King's representative in Irethe United Kingdom of Great land would have to take cogBritain and Ireland. Let us, nisance. But let us abolish his however, refer in our Irish Majesty as far as we dare. statutes to “the late” United Any reference to the presenKingdom, and we can flatter tation of an address to his ourselves that our independ- Majesty by both Houses of ence is complete. So through Parliament shall mean a referall their new Acts runs the ence to the passing of a resoluphrase, though Westminster still tion by either House." regards the kingdom as one. oath of the Judges or MagisWe read of “the Government trates must not breathe the of the late United Kingdom ” name of this foreign king, nor and “the late British Govern must the officers in the Free ment in Ireland," and for fear State Army hold his Majesty's that there shall be any mistaken commission, “trusting in your idea that Ireland can possibly loyalty” (so it runs), not to be part of the United Kingdom, your king, indeed, but “to our we are told that “the name country, the Executive Council Ireland, when used by implica- appoints you to be a (Captain, tion as being included in the or Colonel, or Knight-at-Arms): expression United Kingdom, you will bear true faith and shall mean Saorstat Eireann." allegiance to our country, and
In one of its most recent serve and defend her against Acts, by severing itself from all her enemies whomsoever." the British Isles, the Free State This is the spirit in which one lays the foundation of a new becomes a member of "the geography, though how it can community of nations forming physically do so while there is the British Commonwealth of a land boundary between it Nations," to quote the wonderand Northern Ireland is diffi- ful words of the Treaty. But cult to determine. That to really, why mince matters at achieve this tour de force it has all ? Who set up the Free
State ! Most people imagine lation dealing with the Health that it was the creation of Mr Insurance of Irishmen disLloyd George in the first place, charged from the British Army, and, as an afterthought, of the a reference to the establishKing, the Lords, and Commons ment of a Military Forces in Parliament assembled. But (International Arrangements) it is nothing of the kind Insurance Fund” marks clearly “Dail Eireann" (that is to that Ireland (or rather, the say, the direct descendent of Free State portion of it) is not the illegal Republican Parlia- a member of the British Comments known by this name)- monwealth of nations, but a thus runs the Free State Con- foreign nation. The fact, too, stitution Act which ratified the that the haughty invader has Treaty — “Dail Eireann, ac- been driven out, and that we knowledging that all lawful can afford to be magnanimous, authority comes from God to can be emphasised by passing the people” (that is to say, it an “Indemnity (British Milidoes not come through his tary) Act, 1923,” which is cerMajesty or the British Parlia- tainly one of the strangest ment), “ hereby proclaims the pieces of play-acting legislation establishment of the Irish Free ever passed by any responsible State," which is as much as to legislature. It is “an Act to say that it has created itself— restrict the taking of Legal ex nihilo fit nihil-out of noth- Proceedings in respect of cering comes forth nothing.
tain acts done in the recent So much for the constitu- conflict with the British Gov. tional tendencies of the Free ernment, and it proceeds solState as evidenced by its own emnly to pass a self-denying statutes, but there is more to ordinance giving up the right follow. It is a small matter to sue any person who since to pose for your own people. 23rd April 1916” (the date of To pose to the world at large the Irish Rebellion) “did anyas an independent State is a thing in the execution of his far finer thing. A passing ref- duty while in the service of the erence to the Free State's ad- British Crown” (one would mission to the League of Na- have imagined it was and is tions and the theatrical display also the Irish Crown constituaccompanying it is hardly neces- tionally) " or the British Govsary, for the incident has fig- ernment, or was in good faith ured prominently in the Press, purported to be done for the and in any case such admission maintenance of the then existis granted to loyal Dominions. ing form of Government in But Customs instructions can Ireland," and "any Secretary be issued classifying ships from of State of the British GovernGreat Britain and Northernment” is invited to supply Ireland as ships arriving from certificates to the Free State “foreign ports," and in legis- certifying that such person had
acted in the discharge of his who "at the time he received duty. A most illuminating such wound was a member of document for the student of the Irish Volunteers or of the historical fiction !
Irish Citizen Army, provided, After reading what the Free however, that in estimating State Government is generously such pension all such persons prepared to do for its opponents who received a wound in the (i.e., it will not put the Irish rising of April and May 1916 Loyalists in jail), one is tempted shall be deemed to rank as offito ask what it has done for its cers." And for fear that any own supporters in the way of may be left out, we are given moral and material awards for a new definition of “killed," personal damage-awards to which shows how little we know which the taxes levied off the of the English language as seen loyal community largely con- through
through Free State eyestribute. The Superannuation “Killed shall include death as and Pensions Act, 1923, and an immediate result of refusing the Army Pensions Act, 1923, to take nourishment while desupply the answer. Civil ser tained in prison, and death by vants dismissed in recent years violence while a prisoner.” for refusing to take the oath “Political principles,” the of allegiance to the Crown (the phrase quoted above, are, in same Crown as theoretically fact, thrust into the most unthey are still serving) are rein- expected places. In the Licensstated with full pension rights ing Act, 1923, one finds the (most of them have been given drafting of legislation pushed Secretaryships of Departments) to the limit of detailed absurdMembers of the Dublin Metro- ity. An expired publican's politan Police who resigned or licence is not to be regarded as were dismissed “for political
“for political invalid in cases where “the reasons ” (i.e., owing to being holder of the licence refrained suspected of collusion with the from applying for a renewal I.R.A.) are to be regarded as solely on account of his adher“absent on leave without pay," ence to political principles inwhile members of the Royal consistent with a recognition of Irish Constabulary, “whose re the annual licensing Petty Sessignations or dismissals from sions as a competent authority 1st April 1916 are certified to grant licences”! under the hands of the Minister These are the weightier matof Home Affairs and Minister ters of the law. The lesser of Finance to have been caused things have an interest also by their national sympathies,” peculiarly their own. It might are similarly dealt with. These be imagined, for instance, that charters of liberties give pen- a Summer Time Act was unsions all round to the depend likely to afford much scope for ants of any person killed or to asserting the independence of the person himself if wounded, the Free State, especially as it