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THE STATE OF IRELAND
IN THE NINETEENTH
“How is it that the King is none the richer for Ireland ?”
E. P. DUTTON AND COMPANY
THERE is no gratitude in the world, which is a very lamentable consideration. Every man is born without his permission, and born graceless. A conclusive proof of the first is that men continue to be born, of the second that not half-a-dozen of them will thank the author for his trouble. To suppose such a thing provokes hilarity. And yet his book was written with a moral purpose. It is intended to gibbet the incompetence of Ireland's governors for five centuries, and, in suffusing British cheeks with shame, to evoke better intentions for the future. Its collateral object is to lay bare the secret of the repeated failures, the worm in the heart of the tree, the want of knowledge of Irish temperament and history, so conspicuous in the rulers of Erin. And yet hardly a man will feel indebted to the writer for these meritorious aspirations. Forty-two out of fortytwo millions will possibly skim the pages. Twenty-two of these may be Milesians, who will condemn them, because issuing from a Saxon who is not a “Home Ruler.” Fifteen of the other twenty will be bluff Britishers, who will vote them anti-English and lurch by on the other side. The remaining five may see that an intrinsic error lies curled up at the centre of Irish rule, and, if one of the five be destined some day to wield power sufficient to cure the disease, these leaves will not have been altogether stitched in vain.