ページの画像
PDF
ePub

repaid me twenty times over, by works of art or literature, which mark their feeling to merit (real or supposed), and are monuments of their own superior abilities: Canova, Denon, Gerard, Robert Le Fevre, David, Lawrence, Cosway, Berthon, Bartolini, Raphael Morghen, Mayer, Stroeling, Davis, Turnerelli, Bate, Behnes, and many other younger friends, * who have already given their promise to posterity, though yet unknown to that fame, which can only come through time and industry, the true and best friends of even the highest genius.

* The arts are now making a struggling effort in Ireland, where there is no want of genius, though great want of all means of rendering it available. The commodity is there ; but where is the market ? Two young artists of distinguished merit, the pupils of the school of sculpture in the Dublin Institution, are now I believe studying with their distinguished countryman Behnes, and have produced two original compositions of considerable talent. Their names are Panormo and Gallagher. Of the young artists, with whom I am personally acquainted, Mr. Lover, as a miniature painter, and Mr. Mulrennan, as a faithful and exquisite copyist of the old masters, only want a fair field, both of study and encouragement, to become distinguished in the art to which they are devoted. But though Ireland has given birth to some of the most eminent artists of the British school, to Jarvis, Bindon, Roberts, Robertson, Hamilton, Barret, Shea, Barry, Ashworth, Comerford, Smith, Kirk, &c. &c., still it can never be the country of the arts. It may produce artists for other markets ; it will never have a mart of its own. In the present state of the country, I would rather bind my son apprentice to the meanest mechanical trade, than see him devote hiş time, talent, and energy, to the arts in the service of a nation, where excellence can only tend to generate disappointed ambition and indignant and ineffectual regret.

Such are the great, to whom alone talent should stand indebted; and these are glorious times, when patronage is reduced to a party given and returned by the man of rank to the man of letters ; and when the mutually exchanged rites of hospitality, replace the literary dependance of the Spencers and the Savages, or the insolent protection of the Medici and D’Este.

NO ONE A PROPHET IN HIS OWN

COUNTRY."

An immensity has been written on absenteeism, (I have written a volume on it myself,) yet it remains pretty much where it was. Every body sees and feels, (at least every body who resides in Ireland does so,) that the absence of the rich proprietors of the soil works misery for the country which endures it. Yet Macculloch's logic is very close, if not very convincing. Under these eircumstances, argument will do nothing. The deficiency is in facts. The whole data for arriving at a satisfactory conclusion have not yet been obtained ; and one observation or experiment, judiciously conducted, is worth an hundred ergos. Let Mr. Macculloch, therefore, come and pay us a visit, somewhat longer than the few days he bestowed upon us at his last avatar, and his truly national perspicacity will not long remain at fault. Let me take this opportunity of recommending

may con

Ireland “ to all and every one whom it cern,” as one of the richest cadavres that ever offered itself to the inspection of the morbid anatomist,- one of the best furnished elaboratories for political analysis. No where will the suckling statesman and political economist find a richer harvest of elementary instruction, in all that it is necessary for a legislator and a citizen to avoid.

Without, however, pausing to consider what are the effects of absenteeism on the country, it may be worth while to inquire what are its consequences on the individual himself,-a theme of some importance, that has but seldom been

It is ordinarily, and in some degree justly, said, that the absentee loses immeasurably by expatriation. Unquestionably the person who derives all his importance and consequence from the possession of “lands and beeves," will sink into the class of non-proprietors, in a foreign country; and with all his expenditure, will find ' it very difficult to impress on his continental acquaintance a proper respect for his title-deeds and his manors.

I remember a noble lord, who held a high office in the British revenue, being much

touched upon.

surprised, and more mortified, by finding that his official dignity procured him neither respect nor forbearance from the administrators of the French Douane. The same must pretty generally be the case with our travelling Justice Shallows, who, however capable of committing themselves, can commit no body else, beyond the boundaries of their own county.

The case, however, is something different with those whose qualifications are more personal, and whose titles to esteem may be transplanted more readily than the family oaks. Man is no where an apostle in his own country ; but the proverb is only true, in all its intensity, in Ireland. In a country where every one is morbidly desirous of distinction, and where the master caste has so long been every thing, personal qualities are disregarded by the privileged few, and are objects only of jealousy and dislike with the degraded many. In Ireland, there is as little affection for merit, as there is market; nor could it possibly be otherwise, in a country so governed as Ireland has been. It is not so much the fault, as the misfortune of the people ; but whether fault or misfortune, it is a very good reason for render

« 前へ次へ »