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Our Author at first fetting out furnishes his readers with the difference between phyfical wants, and wants forced in upon us by civilization. The favage, fays he, is perfectly satisfy'd if he can fecure himself from the fury of wild beafts, from hunger, and from the inclemency of the feafons: unacquainted with trade, he does not look for refources from a foreign foil, but depends entirely upon his own.' On the contrary, • as the artificial wants of civilized nations multiply, their commerce increases; and the unhappiness of individuals, as well as of kingdoms, is in proportion as their wants exceed the means of gratifying them.' But here he fhould have told us, that commerce first introduced all our fantastical defires, and that upon our giving them fuch an hearty and kind reception, they are now become aflociated with, nay take the lead of our natural wants; for the man who can be content with the common neceffaries of life, takes a very fober and regular method to provide them; but when a favourite paffion is to be indulged, the very order of fociety, nay of nature itfelf, is difturbed, to obtain the means of gratifying the tyrant.
Our Author explains want to be nothing more than a restlefs fenfation or uneafinefs, which nature enjoins for the purpofe of roufing men from indolence and apathy.' We join with him in opinion, that when men were under the regular difcipline of nature, fhe took this neceffary care of them, that they might preferve their health, and fecure to themfelves a fubfiftence by induftry; but at this day, commerce has introduced a different kind of governess among us; luxury, by our connivance, is become a moft indefatigable fubftitute, and has faved our old friend nature much anxiety, by taking the most active part of the bufinefs out of her hands; the calls forth her attention, by the fame uncomfortable feelings, to every acquifition of voluptuoufnefs and fenfuality; upon this popular plan of adminiftration it is not more neceffary to fupply the moderate demands of nature, than to furnish materials to gratify the most inordinate defires. Our Author feems throughout particularly attentive to the allurements of commerce; and indeed, as affairs are now carried on in the political world, it behoves us all to be her friend, notwithstanding the has been fuch a jilt to us. It is found policy to be upon terms with our enemies, when our intereft is concerned in the treaty.
Mr. Dignan's attachment to commerce and agriculture is an appeal to the integrity of mankind, and if every man of fortune would read and confult the doctrine he lays down for the encouragement of both, this divided country would be enriched with the acquifition of patriots, who, tenacious of private, as well as public virtue, would be faithful to its honour and intereft.
As we look further into our Author's remarks on those ob jects that are moft obnoxious to the well-being of every state, we obferve that he speaks in plainer terms; his language is fomething more than an appeal, it is a remonstrance to the fentiments of every good citizen. Les confommateurs-as the Author introduces them, fignify more than common beggars, they are vagrants of an higher clafs; to interpret the spirit of the Author, we may say for him- Penfioners are the greatest burthen upon a nation: men, who having nothing of their own, force themselves upon their friends, and procure a living at their expence, from the most piteous infinuations: from an artful difplay of infirmities: from the most importunate folicitations, and humbleft petitions, and by other devices ftill more fhameful and unmanly. Thefe are the people who occafion the increase of taxes upon the induftrious citizen; and who only ferve to leffen the annual exportation; a wife legislator would do well to employ every method to prevent the increase, and if poffible to cut off every day from the lift fuch vaffals, so obnoxious to the good of the commonweal.'
In the fubfequent paragraph the Author does not feem at liberty to explain fully what he himself means by les confommateurs- I will not enter, fays he, upon the odious enumeration of these claffes of men who fall under this defcription,' &c. &c. The Author feems, by his effay, to be no bad politician, but this caution proves him a good one.
This Effay appears to be perfectly well adapted for the education of youth, as the language, in general, is easy and polite; and as the principles it inculcates would open, upon the young fufceptible mind, an idea of public virtue, which might happily expand and grow into practice, in the mature ftages of manhood. The Author, we are informed, is himself very young; yet, from the judgment he has fhewn in the arrangement of his materials, and the perfpicuity with which he has investigated the principles of political economy, we cannot but confider him as a very promifing writer.
ART. IX. An Hiftorical Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland, frem the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, to the Settlement under King William. Extracted from parliamentary Records, State Acts, and other authentic Materials. By J. C. M. D. Author of the Hifterical Memoirs of the Irish Rebellion in 1641 †. 4to.. 15 s. Boards. Dab. lin printed, and fold by Murray in London. 1775.
ANY vindications of the conduct of the Irish Roman Catholics, with respect to the memorable rebellion of 1641, have been published within a few years paft; and not
+ For an account of thefe Memoirs, fee Rev. vol. xxxvii. p. 133.
altogether without fuccefs. Warner's Hiftory of Ireland, Brooke's Vindication of the Irish Roman Catholics, and our Author's former work, above referred to (with fome others) have all contributed to leffen the general odium caft on the people of that perfuafion, by the Proteftants, on account of the horrid maffacres and cruelties faid to have been perpetrated by the former, on their fellow-fubjects of the English pale. The evidences have been re-examined; the facts newly ftated, on the most approved authorities; and additional lights have appeared. We now fee that much may be juftly faid in extenuation of the guilt of the Papifts; and that the Proteftants were, in many inftances, even more blameable. Great allowance, alfo, ought to be made for the former, from the many provocations given to them by government; whofe oppreffions (dictated, no doubt, by the policy and exigencies of the times) they had long and patiently endured, before they broke out into actual refiftance and when they had recourse to arms, it is no wonder that they aimed at the total extirpation of those troublefeme inmates whom they confidered as tyrannical, plundering invaders.
With regard to the cruelties and murders faid to have been committed by the Irish natives, fomented by religious zeal, the charge is strongly retorted on the other party; and is fupported by fuch evidence as will not fail to excite the candid attention of every impartial reader.
The Author of the elaborate work before us does not seem to have entered this field of controverfy, armed with the weapons of religious bigotry and party prejudice. He appears to be a moderate, fenfible, and philofophic inquirer after truth, though not deftitute of zeal for that Church in behalf of which he has employed his researches and his pen: and he professes to have intended his work rather to conciliate than irritate;' to inftruct, not to mifreprefent.' And, as the ingenious writer of the introductory difcourfe obferves, No honeft man of the prefent age (Proteftant or Papift) is concerned in the conduct of Proteftant or Papift of any former age, otherwife than by contrafting the caufes and effects in the one with those in the other, and instructing us thereby to put a proper estimate on our prefent happiness, and to remove any ill impreffion the Public may ftill retain, in regard to times fo very different from our own. This is placing a mirror before the reader, wherein beauties and deformities are fairly reflected; and whereby deductions may be made, for improving our minds and manners, by the juftnefs of the reprefentation.'
The inftruction to be drawn from the perufal of this Hiftorical Review is judiciously pointed out, in the course of the introductory effay; which the Author concludes in the following terms:
If the Author has occafionally paffed cenfures on some of our Roman Catholic predeceffors, relatively to fome false judgments and opinions, he has not done it impertinently, to guard the prefent generation of Roman Catholics against fuch exploded notions. He knows them too well to need being fo guarded. The opinions he refers to (and they were no more than opinions) may be compared to chronic diftempers, which for a time make depredations on a found conftitution, and which fuch a conftitution will in time shake off. The birth and pårentage of thofe opinions can be easily traced, if men will be at the fmall pains of doing it. They were the offspring of local interefts, nurfed by the paffions, and adopted by the politics of the age. They are now no more, and the fhades which formerly enveloped the ignorant and unwary are difperfed. No Roman Catholic is now interested in errors which were but local, and have indeed been oppofed by Roman Catholics in the most clouded days. In the light which time hath spread about us, Papifts have got a full fight of their civil duty; and they profefs and practice it. To them we need not apply. Our prefent fuit is to Proteftants who ftill are jealous, and who may perhaps be loth to part with mistakes, they have been long in the habit of indulging. Some among them (and it is a good omen) have already haken off their captivity under thofe miftakes; and we wifh, and hope alfo, that others may make a philo ophic effort, and reflect that the opinions we have cenfured were no other than what we have reprefented them to be, mere temporary and tranfient evils, from which no party (Proteftant or Papift) was exempt in the times we speak of. At prefent no party fhould be punished for opinions or principles which they are ready to abjure. The Papifts, it is true, avow doctrines, which they are bound by confcience to retain, and which their adverfaries will always condemn. It is not in this cafe as in the other. The opinion is fugitive, the doctrine permanent. Relatively to tenets of faith, a charge made on one fide, is admitted to be just on the other. There can there. fore be no mistake in a cafe where all parties are agreed, and no good reafon can be affigned for charging men with doctrines they reject, when fo many are avowed, as would justify the charge of error, if ersor it could be proved. Human fociety expofed by nature to fundry evils, requires no adventitious fupply from caufes wherein nature revolts, inftead of bearing a part. If the terms of Chriftian communion professed by Ro man Catholics in every country, be deemed crimes punishable in any; they must ftand to this in every punishing country. They muft, in this cafe, oppofe the penalties of confcience to thofe of law, and refignedly yield to the leffer punifhment.
Enough is faid to fhew, that an union on civil principles and practices, under the prefent establishment, is fufficient for all the purposes of civil fecurity; and we need not go about to prove, that in our own Northern foil, and under our variable climate, the profperity admitted by both, cannot be obtained, without the co-operation and mutual confidence of all our people. They must be hands of mifchief indeed, that require to be tied up from this co-operation, and heads devoid of all honeft principle, who fhould be an obftacle to such confidence. The Roman Catholics are by law excluded from permanent property. Even infecurity is annexed to a flux monied property acquired by their induftry. But the penal laws they are exposed to, have long fince received a conftitutional ratification, and while fuch laws exift, their religion commands obedience, not refiftance. They have as little the inclination, as they have the right, to feek any alleviation of their fufferings, but what they may obtain, from a Prince who has approved himfelf the best of Kings, at the head of a wife parliament.'
Dr. Curry has confined himfelf to the most important period of the Irish history, as his title-page imports; but, as prior caufes led to the events which he takes into confideration, the writer of the introductory difcourfe has thought it not improper to give a fhort retrofpect of anterior times.'-He begins with what is called the Conqueft of Ireland, in the reign of Henry II. and briefly intimates in what manner those feeds of national diffenfion were fown, which fo rankly sprung up, in the time of Elizabeth: when the perverfenefs fo long im puted to the Irish, as a people, was no longer charged on their nature, but on their religion. Almoft every moral, and civil duty, was then confined within the pale of an ecclefiaftical party every fpecies of treachery was placed beyond it. Real crimes were difowned by one faction, imaginary crimes were imputed to another; and this ftate of things occafioned guilt on both fides, which in a different flate, would undoubtedly be avoided. High as most of thefe crimes were, yet moft were exaggerated, and the innocent fuffered with the guilty. To complete the mifery of the times, the gospel of peace was tortured to defend the measures, and fanctify the drunkenness of every governing, as well as every refifting fet of men; and thus it fared in Ireland, in fome time after the acceffion of Queen Elizabeth to the throne.'
In the courfe of his remarks, the Author of the introduction has thrown out fome ftrictures on certain celebrated hiftorical writers who have given us accounts of the affairs of Ireland,
The Introduction to Dr. Curry's Review appears to be the work of another hand.