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SHREDS of LIFE

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THE

NATURAL FOOD COMPANY

Niagara Falls, N. Y.

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NE of the latest publications of the English Historical Manuscripts Commission is a volume composed of documents in the possession of Mr. I. B. Fortescue, preserved at his family seat, Dropmore. The volume has been admirably edited by Mr. Walter Fitzpatrick, who has shown no desire to suppress anything tending to promote the interests of historic truth. As a result of his conscientiousness, the collection of papers now printed casts much light on the condition of things. prevailing in Dublin Castle and in the inner councils of the Irish Government during the period of the Rebellion of 1798.

The useful information thus conveyed is contained, for the most part, in a series of letters written from Dublin by the Marquis of Buckingham to his relative, Lord Grenville, then a member of the British Cabinet, as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. The Marquis came to Ireland as the professed friend of Lord Cornwallis, who had succeeded the Earl of Camden in the office of Lord Lieutenant. Camden, aided by the brutal exertions of Luttrell, Lord Carhampton,† who held

George, second Earl Temple, born 17th of June, 1753. Created Marquis of Buckingham, 4th of December, 1784. Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1782, and again in 1787. He died 11th of February, 1813. He was succeeded in his titles by his son, who was created Duke of Buckingham in 1822.

Henry Lawes Luttrell, second Earl of Carhampton, a man of infamous private and public character. General in the British army and Colonel of the Sixth Dragoon Guards. He held the position of Commander-in-Chief in Ireland in 1796-97. He was born August 7, 1743, and died April 25, 1821. As an Irish peer he was eligible for election to the Westminster House of Commons after the passage of the Act of Union, and was returned to Parliament as member for Okehampton in 1817. He retained the seat until his death.

Copyright. 1905. THE MISSIONARY SOCIETY OF ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE
IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
VOL. LXXXI.-28

the position of Commander-in-Chief, had been the person most responsible for goading the people into revolt, and for forcing the leaders of the United Irishmen to embark on a civil war for which their followers were but poorly prepared. It turned out, however, that both Camden aud Carhampton had allowed their hatred of the majority of the people of Ireland to hurry them into a course of action which did not at all accord with the military convenience of their masters in England. Camden, indeed, became panic-stricken at the result of the policy of torture, which he had set Carhampton and his soldiers loose to carry into effect, and wrote to London imploring Pitt and his colleagues to send over Cornwallis to take command of the army or as Viceroy. As a result of this appeal, the latter was appointed both Commander-in-Chief and Lord Lieutenant. When, however, the question of sending reinforcements to Ireland came to be considered, it was found that, outside of the brigade of Guards, the entire number of regular troops in Great Britain was something less than 4,000 men, many of them only recently enlisted. The Guards were 4.500 strong, but there was little inclination to send them across the St. George's Channel.

At this perilous juncture, Buckingham came to the succor of the Government and of Cornwallis with a suggestion which was promptly acted upon. He was Colonel of the Buckinghamshire Militia and, having sounded the feelings of the officers and men of that corps, proposed to Lord Grenville that a Bill should be introduced into Parliament permitting English Militia regiments to volunteer for service in Ireland for a certain limited period. The idea was gratefully approved and, in due course, Buckingham and his men were transported to the scene of conflict. They arrived, however, rather late in the day. The issue of the insurrection, regarded from a military point of view, had never been for a moment in doubt. Save in the County of Wexford, where Orange Protestant outrages had absolutely compelled not only the people but many of their priests to take up arms in self-defence, the bulk of the Catholic population and of their clergy held aloof from a movement which they fully recognized could only result in delivering them into the hands of their bitterest enemies.

Nothing can be more certain than that, despite all the temptations of cruelty and tyranny, the great mass of the

Catholics of Ireland maintained their allegiance to the throne throughout 1798, and this despite circumstances of exasperation probably unparalleled in the history of Christendom. The explanation of their patience is not, however, far to seek. All power was in the hands of the landlord oligarchy, who dominated the Irish Parliament, exclusively Protestant as it was in composition. They realized that most of the wrongs which they endured were the creation of a bigoted and intolerant section of their fellow-countrymen, and many amongst them were, naturally enough, by no means disinclined to look to England for relief from native tyrants. Mr. Fitzpatrick quite correctly summarizes the events of the time in the following words:

When Bonaparte turned his mind, at the end of February, 1798, from an invasion of England to conquest in the East, the French Directory pledged itself to Wolfe Tone and Lewins, agents at Paris of the Society of United Irishmen, to equip and despatch simultaneously to convenient points of the Irish coast, several small expeditions in aid of a national insurrection. In France, however, performance lagged a long way behind promise. And the arrest of Lord Edward Fitzgerald and the Messrs. Sheares at Dublin in May disconcerted the plans of the Governing Council of the United Irishmen. A few partial outbreaks of civil war within the confines of the old English pale, and in one or two counties of Ulster gave little cause of apprehension. But the burnings and other outrages of bodies of yeomanry, living at free quarters among a Catholic population, provoked a semi-religious conflict in Wexford, which proved truly formidable, and threw the Irish Government into a state of panic.

It was under such circumstances that the Marquis of Buckingham and his militia regiment were sent to Dublin. Already, however, Nitt and Grenville had decided to make effort to subvert the Parliamentary Constitution of Ireland by means of a legislative union between that country and Great Britain. In pursuance of this policy, Buckingham, as an ex- Lord Lieutenant, was regarded as a suitable person to carry on certain extra-official negotiations likely to assist in the development of the scheme which found favor in the eyes of the two statesmen named.

The first of the Marquis' letters from Dublin, contained in the collection now published, dated July 6, 1798, was addressed

to Lord Grenville, was written in the Dublin barracks, in which Buckingham and his regiment were quartered and wherein, as he states, he had "taken refuge from all politics up three pairs of stairs." Nevertheless the letter shows that the writer was busily engaged in intrigue. It ran in part as follows:

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I have not time to say much to you, nor do I see my way clearly enough through all the difficulties of this moment to form any very decided opinions respecting the state of this kingdom. But it seems as if the moment was very critical, and certainly it will require Lord Cornwallis' best exertions to save Ireland from a very long and very fanatical war. Much as I had trusted to my knowledge of this country, I had not a conception of the extent to which the religious differences are now carried; or of the creed of persecution, preached by both sects as indispensable to the peace of the country. The barbarities and bigotry of the Catholics can only be equalled by the project of extirpation of which all good Protestants talk with great composure as the only cure for the present, and the only sure preventive for the future. Nor do I find one who does not believe that it is the interest and intention of Great Britain to fight that battle "usque ad internecionem,"

This description of the state of feeling between Catholics and Protestants cannot be regarded as over-colored. The most ruthless and sanguinary amongst those engaged in the suppression of the rebellion were the most determined and vehement opponents of any project of union with Great Britain, because they feared that, as actually happened, an Imperial Parliament would grant Catholic emancipation, and eventually put an end to Protestant ascendency in the administration of the local or provincial affairs of the country. The reality of the apprehensions which stimulated "patriots" of the type of Speaker Foster to hostility towards Clare and Castlereagh,

Right Hon. John Foster, born September 28, 1740, died August 23, 1828. His wife, who was a daughter of Mr. Thomas Burgh, M.P., of Bert, was created Baroness Oriel in 1790, and made Viscountess Ferrard in 1797. Foster obtained these dignities for his partner as he had no inclination to relinquish his lucrative position as Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, while he wished to secure the ennobling of his descendants. In September, 1785, he was elected Speaker, holding the office until the Union, when he obtained a pension of £5.038 per annum. He sat for the County of Louth in the Irish and English Parliaments from 1769 till July 17, 1821, when he was created Lord Oriel in the peerage of the United Kingdom. He was a bitter enemy of the Catholics of Ireland, and opposed the Union mainly because he regarded the College Green Parliament as the principal bulwark of Protetsant ascendency.

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