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more than their own foot !!!” Would any Englishman have supposed such a fact as this to be possible? But to shew the utter ignorance of agricultural pursuits among these simple creatures, those who used farming implements were in the habit of tying the harrows to the ponies' tails !!! And this also was done in Mayo, where at last the practice was put an end to by a gentleman making a countryman draw a weight after himself by the skirts of his coat: and that man is now living! Such was the state of affairs when the kind-hearted nobleman, Lord George Hill,-honor be to him for it—determined “to put, if possible, the people in a better way. He learned their language, mixed among them, and taught them by example to do what he told them." Hear what Mr. Foster says :
“The land of the tenants was squared into ten acre farms, and they were required each to build his house on the farm. In this they were assisted. Premiums were offered for the neatest and cleanest cottages; for the best crop of turnips; for the greatest quantity of land brought into cultivation; for the best drained farm; for the best fences; for the best made stockings, and so on. Roads were made; an inn has been built, which rivals in comfort an English hotel; and large tracts of the bog-moor have been brought into cultivation.
“Though these improvements are thus trippingly related, nothing but the most persevering determination accomplished them. The people, utterly ignorant, and both mentally and physically degraded, resolutely opposed every step to improvement.”
“ The first year not a single individual,” says Lord George Hill, "could be induced to compete for the premiums, the people thinking it all a hoax, and that it was only an attempt to
humbug' them, being convinced that no gentleman would be so great a fool as to give his money merely to benefit others.” What a commentary upon the conduct of his Lordship’s predecessors! Some, after much persuasion, did come to work, but they would not begin till ten o'clock in the morning,-after breakfast: “they wern't used to work before breakfast, and they didn't like it?” Numberless were the obstacles that Lord Hill had to encounter, but he at length triumphed; and his success will be fully appreciated when the following testimony of the Times' Commissioner is read ;
“I yesterday went through some of the cottages, the tenants of which had won premiums for them. There was no dirt, no filth; they were well built and whitewashed; the crockery (they never had anything but an iron-pot before) was neatly arranged; there was no smoke in the houses ; and what was worth more than all, the women shewed their houses with pride, and were delighted at the commendations they received; and the men seemed no less proud of their little farms, and shewed their crops of turnips, oats, and improvements with evident pleasure."
Mr. Foster also states, his Lordship has built a corn-store at the mouth of the river, to receive all their produce if they wished to sell it. A quay was also built, and a sessions' house erected. “Then,” concludes he, “there followed a school, in which I yesterday saw some thirty as neatly dressed and clean looking children as can be seen in England !"
Reader! which of the two men do you think is the Irish Patriot-LORD GEORGE HILL or DANIEL O'CONNELL?
We have thus slightly touched upon the monster grievances of Ireland. It is quite evident from the testimony of Mr. Foster, whose veracity is unquestionable, that labor is required, and that labourers can be found. The great wrong doers are the absentee and neglectful landlords. We have seen what an enlightened, liberal-minded, energetic man can effect; oh! that others would take heart and do likewise. If they will not, government must adopt arbitrary remedial measures. A Coercion Bill is required for the Landowners, not for the miserable land-dwellers.
To the former we would say a day of reckoning is coming-look to it, ye worse than useless things! Your yoke can be borne no longer. He that will not work shall not eat--and ye are idlers all!
(BY S. G. GOODRICH.*)
As the infant begins to discriminate between the objects around, it soon discovers one countenance that ever smiles upon it with peculiar benignity. When it wakes from its sleep, there is one watchful form ever bent over its cradle. If startled by some unhappy dream, a guardian angel seems ever ready to sooth its fears. If cold, that ministering spirit brings it warmth ; if hungry, she feeds it ; if in pain, she relieves it ; if happy, she caresses it. In joy or sorrow, in weal and woe, she is the first object of its thoughts. Her presence is its heaven. The mother is the DEITY OF INFANCY !
Now reflect a moment upon the irrepressible, the susceptible character of this little being, and consider the power of this mother in shaping the fine clay that is intrusted to her hands. Consider with what authority, with what effect, one so loved, so reverenced, so adored, may speak!
* An American author, who, under the name of PETER PARLEY, has done so much to instruct the "little men and women" of the world.
Thus, in the budding spring of life, infancy is the special charge, and subject to the special influence, of the mother. But it soon advances to childhood. Hitherto, it has been a creature of feeling ; it now becomes a being of thought. The intellectual eye opens upon the world. It looks abroad, and imagination spreads its fairy wing. Everything is beautiful, everything is wonderful. Curiosity is perpetually alive, and questions come thick and fast to the lisping lips. What is this? Who made it? How? When? Wherefore ?
These are the eager interrogations of childhood. At this period, the child usually becomes fond of the society of his father. He can answer his questions. He can unfold the mysteries which excite the wonder of the childish intellect. He can tell him tales of what he has seen, and lead the child forth in the path of knowledge. The great characteristic of this period of life is an eager desire to obtain new ideas. New ideas to a child are bright as gold to the miser, or gems to a fair lady. The mind of childhood is constantly beset with hunger and thirst for knowledge. It appeals to the father, for he can gratify these burning desires.
How naturally does such a relation beget in the child both affection and reverence! He sees love in the eyes of the father, he hears it in the tones of his voice; and the echo of his young heart gives back love for love. He discovers too, that his father has knowledge which to him is wonderful. He can tell why the candle goes out, and though he may not be able to satisfy the child where the beautiful flame is gone, he can at least explain why it has vanished, and how it may be recalled. He can tell why the fire burns, why the stream flows, why the trees bow in the breeze. He can tell where the rain comes from, and unfold the mysteries of the clouds. He can explain the forked lightning and the rolling thunder. He can unravel the mighty mystery of the sun, the moon, and the stars. He can point beyond to that Omnipotent Being who in goodness and wisdom has made them all.
What a sentiment, compounded of love and reverence, towards the father is thus engendered in the bosom of the child! What a power to instruct, to cultivate, to mould that gentle being is thus put into the hands of this parent! How powerful is admonition from his lips, how authoritative his example! The father is the DEITY OF CHILDHOOD. The feeling of the child towards the father is the beginning of that sentiment which expands with the expanding intellect, and, rising to heaven on the wing of faith, bows in love and reverence before the Great Parent of the universe,
Let us go forward to the period of youth. The mother holds
the reins of the soul; the father sways the dominion of the intellect. I do not affirm that there is an exact or complete division of empire between the parents. Both exert a powerful influence over the mind and heart. I mean only to state generally that the natural power of the mother is exercised rather over the affections, and that of the father over the mind. It is a blended sway, and if exerted in unison, it has the force of destiny. There may be cases in which children may seem to set parental authority at defiance ; but these instances, if they actually occur, are rare, and may be regarded as exceptions, which are said to prove the rule. Remember the impressible character of youth, and consider its relation to the parent. Is not the one like the fused metal, and has not the other the power to impress upon it an image ineffaceable as the die upon steel ? Nay, is it not matter of fact, attested by familiar observation, that children come forth from the hands of their parents stamped with a character that seldom deserts them in after life? Are they not impressed with manners, tastes, habits, and opinions, which circumstances may modify, but never efface? If the countenance of the child often bears the semblance of the father or mother, do we not still more frequently discover in the offspring the moral impress of the parent?
Is it not true, then, that parents are the lawgivers of their children? Does not a mother's counsel, does not a father's example, cling to the memory, and haunt us through life? Do we not often find ourselves subject to habitual trains of thought, and if we seek to discover the origin of these, are we not insensibly led back by some beaten and familiar track, to the paternal threshold ? Do we not often discover some homechiseled grooves in our minds, into which the intellectual machinery seems to slide as by a sort of necessity? Is it not, in short, a proverbial truth, that the controlling lessons of life are given beneath the paternal roof? · I know, indeed, that wayward passions spring up in early life, and, urging us to set authority at defiance, seek to obtain the mastery of the heart. But, though struggling for liberty and license, the child is shaped and moulded by the parent. The stream that bursts from the fountain, and seems to rush forward headlong and self-willed, still turns hither and thither, according to the shape of its mother earth over which it flows. If an obstacle is thrown across its path, it gathers strength, breaks away the barrier, and again bounds forward. It turns, and winds, and proceeds on its course, till it reaches its destiny in the sea. But in all this it has shaped its course, and followed its career, from bubbling infancy at the fountain to its termination in the
great reservoir of waters, according to the channel which its parent earth has provided. Such is the influence of a parent over his child. It has within itself a will, and at its bidding it goes forward; but the parent marks out its track. · He may not stop its progress, but he may guide its course.
He may not throw a dam across its path, and say to it, Hitherto mayest thou go, and no farther; but he may turn it through safe, and gentle, and useful courses, or he may leave it to plunge over wild cataracts, or lose itself in some sandy desert, or collect its strength into a torrent, but to spread ruin and desolation along its borders.
The fireside, then, is a seminary of infinite importance. It is important because it is universal, and because the education it bestows being woven in with the woof of childhood, gives form and colour to the whole texture of life. There are few who can receive the honors of a college, but all are graduates of the hearth. The learning of the university may fade from the recollection; its classic lore may moulder in the halls of memory. But the simple lessons of home, enamelled upon the heart of childhood, defy the rust of years, and outlive the more mature but less vivid pictures of after days. So deep, so lasting, indeed, are the impressions of early life, that you often see a man in the imbecility of age holding fresh in his recollection the events of childhood, while all the wide space between that and the present hour is a blasted and forgotten
You have perchance seen an old and half-obliterated portrait, and in the attempt to have it cleaned and restored, you may have seen it fade away, while a brighter and more perfect picture, painted beneath, is revealed to view. This portrait
, first drawn upon the canvass, is no inapt illustration of youth; and though it may be concealed by some after design, still the original traits will shine through the outward picture, giving it tone while fresh, and surviving it in decay.
Such is the fireside—the great institution furnished by Providence for the education of man. Having ordained that man should receive his character from education, it was also ordained that early instruction should exert a decisive influence on character, and that during this important period of existence, children should be subject to the charge of their parents. The sagacity and benevolence displayed in this design afford a striking manifestation of that wisdom and goodness which we behold in all the works of God. It appears that, in every stage of society, parental education adjusts itself to the wants of children. In the savage state, where there is no division of property, no complicated system of laws and relations, no religion, save the naked idea of a God who rewards the good and punishes the