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of ostentation. I dare say, Sir, you have wondered what becomes of those crowds of women and children, belonging to soldiers who have been sent abroad, and of the other poor whom you see constantly returning from different parts of England, to their native country, Ireland ; especially as you know there are no poor rates in that island, nor any other legal provision for the support of the indigent. The fact is, the charity and hospitality of the people supersede the necessity of poor laws. Every cottage is open to each poor person who chooses to enter into it. There the stranger fares as the family fare, and there he or she is sheltered from the weather, and reposes upon as good a couch as they themselves do.
You will perhaps accuse me of drawing a flattering portrait of the poor calumniated Irish: hear, then, what other late writers of acknowledged talents and character, and to whom you will not attribute the same motives of partiality which perhaps you ascribe to me. "Every unprejudiced traveller," says the celebrated Arthur Young, who visits Ireland, will be as "much struck and pleased with the cheerfulness, as obliged by the hospitality of the inha"bitants, and will find them a brave, polite, "liberal, learned, and ingenious people*.""It is well known," says another intelligent philosophic writer, "that many Englishmen who
went to Ireland teeming with contempt and de
*Tour to Ireland, vol. ii.
"testation of the people of that country, after a few years association with them, have returned to "their own with a disposition to become, on all "occasions, their strenuous encomiasts." The same accurate observer justly celebrates "The "excessive hospitality of the Irish, their native good humour, their boundless charity, their "uniform readiness to oblige and assist, their uncommon propensity to commiseration, &c.+" But I have run to the length of my paper, and therefore remain, for the present,
Dublin, July 8, 1807.
O not fancy that I am the blind and unqualifying panegyrist of the Irish. I can see their faults as well as their good qualities.
Essays on the Population of Ireland, and The Character of the Irish by a Member of the last Irish Parliament, p. 41.
+ Essays, &c. p. 47.
Indeed, there is no good quality or virtue which, without prudence and fortitude, will not lead us into a sort of congenial fault or vice. Thus the quickness and warmth of sentiment which I have ascribed to this people, dispose them to be more susceptible of affronts and injuries, and more violent in their resentment than others who are more cool and phlegmatic. This disposition evidently tends to produce frequent broils amongst the lower order of them, and numerous duels amongst those of higher rank. I am told that this most absurd and inhuman practice is become less common in Ireland than it used to be: certainly it is more common in England than it was heretofore. But since in both countries it is, alas too frequent, and since it is considered as indispensable with respect to certain cases in that military life to which you, Sir, have now devoted yourself for the defence of your country, friendship induces me to give you my thoughts upon it, in the hopes, under God, of withdrawing you from a most criminal disposition of mind, in which, I fear, you are at present habitually living. My thoughts naturally turn to this subject, whilst I hear every one around me lamenting the premature end of the amiable and peaceable Mr. Colclough, the popular candidate for Wexford, lately killed in a duel.
Supposing, then, Sir, you set no great store by your life, in as much as it is your own, and that, in consequence, you are ready to expose it rather than put up with an affront or injury, yet
can you forget that your king and country have a claim upon it, both as a citizen, capable of rendering them service, and as a soldier, sworn to devote your life to their cause? By exposing yourself then to death, in order to avenge your own private wrong, you are guilty of a much greater injury to your king and country, than if you had attempted to rob the public trea> sury, in as much as a good citizen and soldier is of more value to them than a sum of money.
But, moreover, you have a parent, a wife, and three young children, who have each of them the strongest claim to your protection, support, and love. What a crying injustice, what an unnatural barbarity would it not be, to reject these claims, and rather than lose a mistaken point of honour for yourself, to expose your dearest connections to a real and irreparable loss! But it is not only the loss of certain advantages you would expose them to, in the case supposed, but also the positive and irremediable misery you draw down upon them. For, O! what heartbreaking grief must overwhelm that parent, that wife, and those children, when the news first reaches them that you have come to an untimely end that you have died in the actual transgression of every law human and divine! Must not their countenances, from that day forward, be marked with sorrow and confusion? Must not tears and horror be the portion of their future lives?— O! think of your mother, your wife and your children, when you are affronted by a giddy
comrade, or are challenged to fight a duel. think you owe more to them, than to the erring opinion of the world.
Independently, however, of these considerations, remember you are a Christian; that is to say, a disciple of him who has made the forgiveness of injuries (great as well as little, for there is no distinction) the characteristic of those who belong to him, and who, to confirm his doctrine by his example, died praying for the wretches who were shedding his blood. By consenting to a duel, you abjure his gospel in its most essential point: you consent to the murder of your brother, and to his murdering you, not knowing which of the two events may follow. Should you die under the guilt of selfmurder, (for self-murder it is when you deliberately go out to receive the ball of your adversary) what must be your surprise and horror the moment after death, when your spirit finds itself in the regions of eternity! When it rushes into the presence of its tremendous Judge, uncalled for by him, and polluted with the foulest guilt! O! daring wretch, if God is infinitely just and true, you must be everlastingly miserable!-"And what will it avail you," says Tertullian, "to be extolled as a man of honour where you "are not, and to be tormented where you are ?”
-I will suppose, however, that you come off victorious in the contest, which is to say, that you have murdered your fellow Christian, and sent him, in the circumstances above described,