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after another, to expa!riate themselves; and neighbour is appealed to, and his “saying” now, forty years having elapsed, we find ends it. Suppose the case, that the eldest, the chain all but severed,-ihe few links upon the facher's death, sets out to the assizes that remain being incapable of continuing town,-consults "Torney This, or gets the the hold; and it only remains to be seen,- written opinion of Counsellor That-some when it snaps,—will they cling to the side of well-deserving pillar of the law-who tells the land they have belonged to, or will they him, that his widowed mother has no right to follow the mass of their “ order,” long since her garden ; that his brothers and his sisters departed from her shores.
have no share or right in the land ; that it is There is, then, an utter dissimilarity in all his : the state and condition of property, in Ireland, and in Britain. A franchise which may
“ The court awards it, and the law doth give it :'' still meet a sufficient quantity of general that he may turn them out by the shoulapproval there, not to raise dissatisfaction, der-all-that night—and seize it-alldiscontent, and heart-burnings, will no longer for his own sole use and benefit; for he is answer here—its time has passed by—its “the heir :"days are numbered.
But it is not, merely, that the feudal sys- “ The law allows it, and the court awards it:" tem has thus failed adequately to popularize itself in Ireland, so as to admit of longer Is there an Irish peasant who will go continuing the attempt to engraft the fran- home and do it? The Englishman doeschise of the people upon its antiquated there they "obey the law;" and go by the stalk ;—the indigenous disposition, habits of law; it is their own; it grew up amongst thinking, and ingrained notions of right and them; and they are satisfied with it. But in equity in the people of Ireland are wholly Ireland, the Breitheamh* law respected the and essentially unfeudal,—unaristocratic equable partition of property; and although social.
that code has been extinct for centuries-a The landlord made his lease, long ago, law long unaduninistered by courts,-ils for the lives of a father and two infant sous, righteous and natural principle, in the custo the father " and his heirs,' in good set tom of dividing estates among children, phrase of English law. The father dies.- lives in the hearts and prevails in the dealings Does the eldest son usurp the whole, by and habits of the native people. right of primogeniture, because the father The property-laws and the property-fran wrote no will ? No; there is a widow, and chise-laws then, of England, are alike unseveral sons, and several daughters; the suited to them. father, perhaps, on his death-bed, has given There are, besides, circumstances in the some verbal directions and advice; they are present state of Ireland which render the religiously attended to, because their char- extinction of tenure, as an adjunct to proacter is 'paternal, and consonant to the perty qualification, desirable for the very notions and feelings of all his family. The sake of extending the grant of tenure. widow remains in possession of a portion of This will seem, to a British reader, paradoxthe house,—with her furniture, a little share ical. Amongst ourselves it is plain enough; of the stock, and a few acres of the land, but it is nothing but the anomalous state of sufficient to ensure to her her usual comforts the relation between landlord and tenant, (so for the reinainder of her days. The whole familiar to our minds,) which makes this family arrange their shares happily together, seeming parodox appear to us almost a -the girls are portioned and provided for truism. The solution is this :--the proout of the remaining stock and money, and prietors of the soil, throughout the greater the future earnings and savings of the boys, part of Ireland, are combined in a firm who inake up, or take upon themselves,“ the league-tacit, indeed, in many cases, but, in marriage portions” agreed upon; and then many also, express,-not to grant, to the ocmake an equitable distribution of the land cupying tenantry of their estates, any tenure amongst themselves, subject to those ar- of their lands, sufficient now to qualify them rangements. Perhaps a brother-in-law, if —or likely, as they suppose, to be made, by there be one, is admitted to a share; and any change of the law, sufficient to qualify perhaps a brother, who has put himself to a them after. This produces an unnatural trade, accepts, instead of land, a part of the and overstrained withholding of tenure over money and moveables for his “ divide.” But all is mutually, honestly, and ungrudgingly
* The native Irish judge, usually written agreed to. If a difference arise, some just “Brehon.”
the whole country. The consequences are been but few and trifling. So seem, to those ruinous-it needs no argumentation to show, who look to, and know, and feel for their that men-deprived of all permanent interest wrongs, seeing that they are ground to the in the soil they occupy—tenants at the earth) --so seem their uprisings against their mere will of their lords,— liable to be ejected private oppressors. It is remarkable, that, yearly, under the summary process which under the most hopeless sufferings, they are follows upon a well-penned “ notice,” given no suicides as the English are. We
it in the usual pertinent terms, to quit, at in no pharisaical spirit, and merely to record the end of the year of your tenantcy, which a curious and important fact. The crime is shall expire next after the end of half-a-year unknown among them. Why? Because they from the time of your being served with will endure to the last. While there is life, this notice”-it is plain that men so circum- they hope. Again, it is no less remarkable, stanced,-cannot be expected to improve their that, when the ray of certain hope once farms with much advantage either to them- beams upon them, the effect is electric. It selves or to the community they live in. A needs but that they should understand the country may struggle on where such cases means-perceive that their cause is right occur; but where the amount of property and just—and see clearly that the accomthus circumstanced is daily and steadily en- plishment is within their own power-and creasing—and is likely, before long, to com- then, it is not in a district, here or there, that prise the nine-tenths of our land, owned in the effect is to be found—it flies through the perpetuity by proprietors miscalled “con- whole land, animates, energizes, and posservative"—the effect must be the utter disa sesses all. couragement of tillage-the conversion of
If we go back far, in tracing instances of Ireland back again into a land of pasture this national characteristic, we are not theremerely—and the total overthrow and undoing, fore to be sneered at by those who, (as Lord probably within the second quarter of the Plunket forcibly expressed it,) look upon nineteenth century, of all that was effected history as no better than an old almanack. with much care, pains, and labour of the We invent nothing :Irish legislature during the latter half of the
bilem aut risum fortasse quibusdam eighteenth century, and of all that followed
Moverat, ut mendax aretalogus ; upon the peculiar events which fostered our agricultural advancement in the first quarter but, even though certain atrabilarious gentleof the present.
men may scoff, we think it no whit the less But let the temptation thus held out, by important to note the evidence carrying us the state of the franchise-law, to the with back to the remotest period within our ken; holding of long terms, be once removed, and for the farther back it is, that proof is found every thing of the kind will speedily find its of the existence of a decided character in a natural level ; length of title will be con- people, the more reason we have for believferred, as the joint and mutual interests if ing that modern exhibitions of the same both parties require it, irrespectively of poli- character are, not bubbles of casual ebultical views, or the quackery of partizanship; lition merely, but the result of fixed, settled, and then, by the encrease of substantial and deep-seated causes. tenures throughout the country, the inde- Upon the introduction of Christianity pendence of the voters will follow no less into Ireland, when the holy Patrick appeared, steadily and generally, than the numbers of the people flocked to him—the sacrifices to the voters are now diminishing and dwin- Baal were abolished-the idols were desdling, daily, towards complete extinction. troyed-and, in an incredibly short space
Beyond the reasons, of special force and of time, the religion of the blessed Jesus was application, which we have thus far adduced, established throughout the country; in the there are still wider--more momentous, north, in the south, in the east, and in the and more urgent considerations to be at- woest. tended to. They arise from the essential
Among the ancient Irish, none were decharacter of the Irish people, attested by graded in slavery—the Breitheamh law alhistory.
lowed it not. In England, at the same There is no people more patient, more en- time, slavery was common, and the merduring. They will bear, in private calamity chants brought their English slaves to and public misfortune, to an extent unpar- Ireland, and sold them. The bad neighalleled. Their rebellions, under the English bourhood of bad men subjected Ireland to and British, compared with their provoca- conquest. The afliction of the cruel Nortions to rebellion from misgovernment, have man invasion was sore upon the land ; the
people were afraid with great amazement, passing before our own eyes, when hundreds of and said,—“ It is a scourge sent by God to thousands, heretofore the victims of an odious punish us for our sins.” So, they held a system of revenue, (which, for the sake of council at Armagh, and came to the opinion filthy lucre, inundated the country with madthat the misfortunes of the country were dening alcohol,) have rushed to meet the owing to their wickedness, in buying slaves man, so justly stiled “ the Great Apostle of the English merchants. And, instantly. of Temperance," and pledged themselves everywhere, all the English held in bond- against the use of all intoxicating liquors ? age were restored to liberty. The people To these and other instances we might acted nobly, gloriously, and with a holy advert, and they show more than we have fear. Alas! they knew not the full extent called them up to tell ; they prove that, in the of the social law of our nature, and the present hour, Ireland has become essentially penalties which follow its infringement; the country of the movement; and they porthey saw not, that a nation is interested and tend, that, in it, an attempt to retard, to frusbound to advance the cause of social order trate, or to damage the grant of social right in other communities—just as the individual and franchise—which the people see is justly is with his neighbour—and that it is as dan- to be conceded to them, has come within gerous to be indifferent to a system of buc- their reach, and upon which they have set caneering in the one case, as to habits of their hearts,-must be in the highest degree slave-holding, thieving, or robbery in the perilous. other.
GIVE The long oppression of the nation, which SATISFACTION. followed, worked no suppression of the na- - No
cramping by imposing qualifications tional character. It awoke, with the regene- of “tenure,” be that tenure long or short, can ration of the country; and 1782 beheld remedy the evil, or restrain the impulse of created, as by a miracle, the powerful and the national will. peaceful armament of the Irish volunteers. The idea thrown out, of still maintaining It was universal as it was rapid, and the some certain measure of value “over and independence of Ireland was achieved. above rent and charges," and using the
Again, at the institution of the Catholic poor law valuation as the test of such value, rent, it was a demonstration, that, from the would be no less unsatisfactory; it would be smallest individual means, amongst united absurd, even though it should be no more millions, there could be created an element than a reduced franchise of forty shillings. of vast power, by a mode of action perfectly The poor-law act had no sooner been legal, and requiring only complete combina- passed, than it might easily have been pretion. The national organization was formed dicted that a low scale of valuation of proat once. It had not subsisted long, when perty would be adopted generally under it : the thought occurred, that the law which a valuation not only far below the amount prevented Catholics from sitting in parlia- which a farmer, by hired labourers, using ment did not prohibit the people from re- ordinary industry in the usual course of the turning them to the bar of the House of husbandry of his ground, would be able to Commons, and all Ireland was ready to have clear out of it, one year with another ; but acted upon the thought, and to have sent far below the estimate, in matter of opinion, none else thither--the Clare election came; which might be made by a man acquainted and the experiment, though tried but in that with the rent actually paid, as to the one instance, was so complete and so suc- probable rent, over and above the actual cessful, against the bitterest opposition and rent, which a solvent tenant might be found, most tremendous obstacles, that that effort or could afford with justice to himself, to alone, in the return of Daniel O'Connell to pay for it; in other words, far below either the Imperial Parliament, achieved the blood- ihe “ beneficial interest,” as it is called, or less victory of emancipation.
the “ solvent tenant” probable rent, as sworn Shall we say nothing of “passive resist- to under the act of 1829, 10 Geo. IV. c. 8. ance," which with such rapidity first extin- In the first place, all the usual causes guished the odious vestry cess, and then a of depreciation in making a valuation, to be portion of the tithe; and would have destroyed used for the purposes of taxation, would The whole, had not a change in the law shifted operate. Upon such occasions, no man in the legal burden to the landlords, and thereby ordinary life makes high estimates. This is taken away the means of continuing the the case even where relative value is not the organized resistance from the occupiers ? question. For instance, amongst notaries pubShall we say nothing of the things that are lic, it is a well-known and established usage,
when they are valuing property for the pur- tion has not at all become understood; and
; poses of stamp duty (such as upon probates, the landlords, as a class, are so blinded with intestacies, and the like,) never to certify to political fury and bigotry, and hatred of the the full probable price. But when several people, that they have not yet even stood items are to be stated at their comparative still to consider their own position. They value, new causes of depreciation operate. know froin the municipal bill and many The moment any one happens to be entered other infallible symptoms, that rate and at a moderate estimate, every body else cries franchise are gradually becoming-must and out, “Oh! I am rated too high ! look at will become-correlative ; Lord Stanley and this, and compare us." Nobody is inclined the bigots of England have raised in them to the unkind course of asking “why don't the hope of substantially disfranchising the you raise it on neighbour Luckydog ?” Mr. Irish tenantry; and they have thought, that Goodfellow will prefer saying, “our friend by applying the rate as the test of value here is all right-fairly dealt with ; had you above rent, upon a franchise (such as the valued my house as his, you should have present,) they would succeed in the utter anhad no complaints-strike £20 off me, and nihilation of tenant's political rights, which then all will be quite proportional.” The they view as nothing but nuisances. Hence, valuator thinks to himself,“ so far as the cess to in place of attending to their direct intebe imposed in consequence of this valuation rests in the matter, and endeavouring to keep is concerned, it is really all one, whether all the standard of valuation up to its maxithese tenements are stated at their utmost va- mum, they have every where encouraged the lue,or whether one-half, one-third, one-fourth, valuators rather to depreciate the interests or any other proportion is knocked off all ge- of the occupiers. nerally;" for where all the values are propor
If a landlord look at his case, simply, as tionately encreased or diminished, the ulti- between him and his tenant of twenty acres, mate result as to the proportions of the cess Tim Murphy, who pays him twenty pounds is the same. He is, therefore, very easy a-year; he says,
“ It is all one to my purse with the parties in reducing and lowering his whether Tim is valued at thirty pounds or at valuations; and he finds that by so doing he thirteen ; for the poundage is six-pence, and makes himself extremely popular and agree- whichever way it be, he, Tim, will deduct from able. Every body imagines that he has me just the same twenty three-pences; five been handsomely treated; no one can say shillings out of my rent. If he be valued that an exorbitant amount has been fixed at thirty pounds, there is a freehold in every upon his property; and the valuator is satis- sense of the word; whereas if it be only fied that the cess will be fairly applotted. thirteen, off goes Tim's name from the re
In the case of the Irish poor-law, there was gister of voters some fine morning; at all a reason why these considerations ought not events, after we get Stanley's bill.” He has to have had so much weight with valuators as not reflected, that if all the Tims in the parish in the case of any former assessment. This had been rated at the full value, the poundlay in the clause which directs that the land- age required would have been three-pence lords and rent-receivers shall contribute to only; and this deduction would have been the tax; they being made liable to the oc- no more than two shillings and six pence; cupiers, who alone are directly taxed, in a or twenty three-halfpences; and so with all deduction of half the poundage-rate to be the Tims in the parish. taken from each pound of their rents. From To this it must be added, that the poorthat it follows, that if the occupants, gene- law act has given very specific hints to the rally, be valued low, a high poundage-rate valuators, that existing valuations are to be must be imposed, in order to produce the looked to by them, and more or less folamount required for the general purposes ; lowed. Now, what were these ? whilst if the occupants be valued higher, a less “Minister's money”in cities and towns :poundage-rate will suffice. The difference this until a late period governed all taxation, will be scarcely perceptible to the owners of and still governs much. It was struck at sınall isolated properties ; but to the pro. ONE-SIXth of the computed annual value prietors of rich estates, and enormous tracts at the time of valuation ; that is, sometime of country, so common in Ireland, the re- between the reign of Charles II. and yestersult will soon be found to be serious enough. day.
There have been, however, other causes “ Grand jury cess :"—this was founded which have contributed to make this state of upon ancient customary valuations, the facts hitherto almost wholly unobserved. In origin of which can not be ascertained; and the first place, the actual working of the taxa- although frequently most capricious, and
IN THE RATE
much legislated against, they have still very | annual letting value, but even far under the generally withstood the attacks upon them. rents paid for the tenements, even where reThey are often under A TENTH of the pre- served under leases made many years ago. sent value, upon any principle of estimation. The valuators take the lowest possible stand
“ Tithe compositions :"—these valuations ard, and, even where uncontrolled by previous were made at different periods, from 1823; valuations, will admit nothing which a scrubut under no system, and in such a manner, pulously prudent, and even reluctant tenant that every influence, regular and irregular, would not at once undertake to pay, reservhas operated upon them, so as to have ren- ing to himself full remuneration for his time dered them utterly unfit for adoption in any labour, and capital. Accordingly, the valuinstance.
ation, generally, is BELOW THE RENTAL. “ The ordnance survey" valuation was got That being the fact, we may say—as to up with more method ; but the statutes whịch value tested by the poor law,
over and authorised it, contained express provisions above rent,"—cadit questio; such a qualifithat all lands should be valued with reference cation would be a denial of franchise to the to certain average prices of produce, and all whole occupying tenantry; and no one but houses with a deduction of ONE-THIRD a nimny or a knave will venture to propose it. from the rent that could be got for them if Let the qualification, then, of the occupylet by the year.
ing tenant to vote depend upon nothing but With these, and other like documents be- the one simple test,—THE VALUATION OF fore them, the poor-law valuators would have his PROPERTY
FOR THE been bold men indeed, had they considered RELIEF OF THE POOR. This is what the themselves at liberty to value wholly re- people want-this is what they require. gardless of them. But they have done no They demand this, and nothing but this ; such thing.
and let all other schemes be set aside and The queer frame of the poor-law valuation abandoned. clause and its schedule, likewise, has con- Let any provisions for the correction, iintributed to promote depreciation. It would provement, or extension of the poor law vabe a strong measure to affirm, that the hand luation be made, which the experience of (head ? quære) which framed it, understood now three years may point out to be exits meaning. It has plainly bothered their pedient and proper. Let all notoriety be Highnesses, the Poor-law Commissioners; given for its inspection, amendment, and refor although they have "published and formation upon every rate; but then, let it caused to be published” rule upon rule, be final, as well for the liability of the oce order upon order, essays, tracts, reports, and cupier in respect of taxation, as for his pricirculars, they have no where furnished their vilege in respect of representation ; and let valuators with the smallest clue to show how all registration chicanery be prohibited. the eight compound columns, which, we are With regard to those who do not occupy, told, intervene between the “net annual the law may well remain as it is under the value" and the “ gross annual value," are to Reform Aci, with this modification, that the be understood ; in what inanner the contents claimant at the revision shall simply have of them are to be inquired into; or what use to show, that in the district where his prois to be made of them.
perty is situate, he is charged or chargeAccordingly, Paddy, going about to value, able to pay rate for the relief of the poor, candidly acknowledges—in a whisper to in respect of a profit rent of the required himself-that “it is all buz," and the less he amount. This would exclude and nullify says about the matter the better. Here is to fictitious qualifications. All voters, whether be the “gross" value, and there the “net" occupants or rent-receivers, would then devalue, and, between, the eight columns. pend upon this one general test; and no one Well, the best way is to make the greatest could complain, that men, thus contributpossible quantity of deductions and allowing to actual taxation, were any thing but ances;-"all kinds and sorts." The eight voters, bonâ fide, entitled to their franchise. ugly columns are to be filled up, and he We intimated to our readers at starting, does it with whatever figures come first into that we should throw our eyes around his head : he tots all up, and that makes among our neighbours, to know how matters the gross; but if you press him, he will tell of this description have been getting on you no lie; he neither knows how he did it, amongst them, and to see at what point nor why.
of comparative civilisation we have arrived The fact is now notorious, that the valua- by our noted Reform Bill, about which so tions have been made not only far below the much noise has been made. The few in