Page images

enterprise, or by state intervention ; but between the latter principle, and the utter impracticability of establishing railway communication at all. That private enterprise would undertake no more than a few profitable portions of the great lines recommended is certain; for it is demonstrated that, upon the entire length of these lines, the return to the capitalist would be far from a fair remuneration for his outlay. The state must, therefore, interpose, or we must make up our minds to have no railroads inIreland; and to forego all the advantages resulting both from the employment afforded by the construction of such mighty works, and the development of the natural resources consequent upon their completion and full activity. And we are to deprive Ireland of these vast benefits, because they are not to be secured by the energies of private enterprise; as unquestionably they have been to a certain extent in England. We are not to act upon the principle of state intervention in Ireland, because in England the exertions of individual undertakers have anticipated public interposition. In almost the only instance where the course of policy pursued in England is utterly inapplicable, and certain to fail in Ireland, the principle of uniformity is contented for. When analogy was in favour of Irish interests, as in the case of Municipal Institutions, how the argument was scoffed at--with what scorn did the Tory chiefs repudiate it! When it is adverse to those interests, as in the present question, it is curious to observe with what pomp they parade the topic, and with what servency they cling to, and extol it. The just analogy was ridiculed and rejected;—the false one is held up as a sacred and fundamental principle. It was happily observed by the noble Secretary for Ireland, in bringing this vital question under the consideration of Parliament,— So far from the

treatment in some matters being necessarily the same for this • country, and a country situated like Ireland, it is singular that

the facts in some instances prevent it, and the present is a ques• tion to be resolved by Facts, and not by Theories. From which his Lordsbip went on to exhibit, in the following eloquent strains, the striking discrepancies between the two islands : Is Eng• land in want of the intervention of the state ? Look at the sur

face of England, and then contrast it with the surface of Ireland. • In the one country the soil is improved by all the matured pro• cesses of agriculture, in its produce, and its wealth distributed through countless channels, its mills and its workshops are clustered in every division, its factories are gathered on the banks of every river, and forests of masts are thickening in every port; in the other, the country is scantily cultivated, its plains are yet more fertile, and yet more level; but the hand of industry is not

[ocr errors]

• heard on every side; and on the yet more spacious and still * more rapid rivers, the easily counted sails drop down to the comparatively deserted harbours.'

The true policy is to aim in both countries at the same ends; and to shape our course to their attainment with prudent regard to the differences which the operation of various causes has, in the lapse of ages, produced between them. In the case before us, if private enterprise has answered, in the one country, all the great objects of public employment, commercial activity, and social improvement, to a degree that has excited universal admiration and astonishment; and if it is certain that the same effects are not to be expected in the other, from the operation of the same cause, although, from the working of a different principle they may be confidently reckoned on-surely the wise course is to introduce and apply the latter; and not to sacrifice the attainment of results the most beneficial to Ireland, because they are not to be arrived at by the same steps which have secured them for a country totally different in all the circumstances that affect the question.

The principle, besides, which is now repudiated in the case of Ireland, happens to be one of those few principles on which the British Government has heretofore acted in that country with complete success. When Sir Robert Peel employs the fact of the growing commercial activity and agricultural prosperity of Ireland, as an argument for leaving railways to the chances of private enterprise, he forgets or overlooks the circumstance, that these very advances are to be mainly attributed to the wise and seasonable interference of the state; in setting on foot and executing in that country various public works of the first order of utility, which, but for that interference, would never have been undertaken. He forgets that the present facilities of internal intercourse enjoyed by Ireland are mainly attributable to the advances of public money in enterprises, which, to the private capitalist, held out no encouragement ;-he forgets, too, that bis own official career in that country was honourably distinguished by more than one important undertaking, in which the friendly assistance of the state accomplished what the private capitalist was either too timid or too prudent to engage in. To tell us now that we must wait for the further progress of the island, before he will sanction the extension of the self-same policy to railways, is surely grossly inconsistent. Let it be recollected that it is no gift of the public money that is asked for: the appeal is not to the generosity, nor even to the justice of the British nation. No grant is solicited, like the Million that we presented so handsomely to the parsons, or the Twenty Millions that we gave so munificently to the planters: the proposition is no more than a Loan; a loan twice secured, first, by the produce of the lines proposed ; secondly, by the counties through which it is intended to carry them ;-a loan, as productive and advantageous to the lender as the borrower, advanced as it would be to increase the strength and the resources of the empire, by improving and exalting the condition of one of its greatest and most important limbs.* Ifever a proposition was recommended by the true principles of economy, it is the proposition in discussion. If ever a project promised its undertakers a rich return, it is the project of these great and beneficial works. The measure recommended is one of Work for the unemployed, and Food for the hungry; a measure of humanity, a measure of protection, a measure of security for the peace of society, a measure promoting the interests of all classes—giving scope to every improvement now in progress -opening a thousand avenues to public enterprise, and unlocking a thousand springs of wealth in a country whose great energies have too long slumbered, and whose vast resources have been too long unexplored. By measures such as this we may hope to assimilate Ireland to our own condition; and strengthen the bonds of a union which has hitherto been held together too much by arms, and too little by redress and justice. If to make Ire


* It is almost impossible to conceive how a loan of money can be more amply secured than that required for the Irish railways. The sum demanded for the construction of a railway from Dublin to Cork, with branches to Limerick and Clonmel, is L.2,500,000. The repayment of interest on this, at the rate of 35 per cent., to the Government, would require an annual sum of L.87,500. The Commissioners calculate upon a return of 4 per cent., or L.100,000, upon the sum invested in the construction of the railway, which would exceed the sum required by L. 12,500. This calculation has been impeached by private speculators and their supporters as too low; but supposing it to exceed, by 1 per cent., the return which will actually be made-supposing the railway to yield but 25 per cent. on the sum expended upon its construction, or L.62,500, there would remain but L. 25,000 to be raised by the counties and cities through which the railway is to be pass. As there are eleven counties and three cities so situated, the sum required from each would amount to less than L. 1800 per annum, or an increase of something about Is. 2d. in the pound on the present Grand Jury assessments—a sum which would be repaid tenfold by the advantages likely to result from the establishment of railways. We are glad to find that the Grand Juries of the several counties alluded to, have not been deterred by the improbable supposition of the railway not fulfilling the anticipations of the Commis. sioners, from giving to the plan adopted by the Government their cordial support. We are glad to find them generally petitioning Parliament for the measure.

land English is our object, let us give her our English habits as well as our English laws, and our English comforts as well as our English institutions. Give her work for the industrious, and bread for the people. These are the foundations of public tranquillity amongst ourselves. If we enjoy a superior peace and a superior morality, these are the causes. Give Ireland the same advantages, and we may retrench the vast expenditure for police and military, rendered necessary by the want of the humane and civilized securities for order.

ART. VII. - Memoirs of the Life and Adventures of Colonel

Maceroni, late Aide-de-camp to Joachim Murat, King of Nuples. 2 vols 8vo. London : 1838.

This is a singularly interesting and entertaining publication,

and although written hastily, and with little method, it may well stand by the side of the most approved autobiographies, from the number of strange scenes in which the adventurous life: of the author has been passed, and the great frankness and sincerity with which he gives his description of them. He is evidently a man of great spirit, ingenuity, and resources; and, like others of this caste, he has had much to complain of in respect of worldly success; although, like them too, he is willing to make an unequal distribution of the cause of his failures, and to ascribe some things to fortune which belong to the province of wisdom and prudence.

The Colonel is of a noble Italian family, settled for ages at Rome, and proud of tracing its descent from the Maceri of antiquity. But his father_entered into commercial speculations, first in Italy, then in England; and the beginning of this work is employed in blaming for his misfortunes the conduct of his English partner. He hirmself was liberally educated by his parents, towards whom he displays an amiable affection and piety throughout his narrative. The feelings connected with domestic ties, indeed, appear to predominate in his nature; and the present publication is destined to contribute towards his children's support. It is none of the least pleasures attendant on a perusal of these volumes, that the author's manner of viewing all subjects is original; he is often wrong, and frequently pushes his opinions to violent extremes; but, without any affectation of leaving the ordinary tracts, he naturally falls into novel and unexpected views.

of the curious matters which this book contains, though we cannot afford space for extracts, we must give the following letter from Bonaparte to Talma, the celebrated tragedian. We only wishour author had favoured us with the original from which he translates.

My dear Talma,-1 have fought like a lion for the Republic; but, my good friend Talma, as my reward, I am left to die with hunger. I am at the end of all my resources : that miserable fellow Aubry (then Minister of War) leaves me in the mire, when he might do something for me. I feel that I have the power of doing more than Generals Santerre and Rossignol, and yet they cannot find a corner for me in La Vendée, or elsewhere, to give me employment! You are happy-your reputation depends upon yourself alone. Two hours passed on the boards, bring you before the public, whence all glory emanates; but for as soldiers we are forced to pay dearly for fame upon an extensive stage, and after all we are not allowed to attain it. Therefore do not repent the path you have chosen. Remain upon your theatre. Who knows if I shall ever make my appearance again upon mine? I have seen Monyel (a distinguished comedian and dramatic writer); he is a true friend. Barras (President of the Directory) makes me fine promises; but will he keep them ? I doubt it. In the mean-time, I am reduced to my last sous. a few crowns to spare me? I will not reject them, and I promise to repay you out of the first kingdom I shall win by my sword, How happy were the heroes of Ariosto; they had not to depend upon a minister of war ! Adieu, your affectionate

BUONAPARTE.' ' Toulon, January 3, 1794.'

Have you


Some singular anecdotes of Lady Hamilton, and of the Neapolitan Court, will amply gratify the lovers of such reading; but there is more instruction to be found than pleasure to be derived from contemplating the perfidy, cruelty, and oppression exhibited in such details.

As the Colonel was Murat's aide-de-camp, it may be supposed that he gives a full account of that brave but imprudent man's life; and our estimate of his courage, always very favourable, rises by these anecdotes to the highest pitch, and it seems to have been combined with a generous and manly disposition. The author was with this gallant soldier at his final capture, and in all his extremities did not forsake him. The particulars of these events are told in a most lively and entertaining manner; and give the Colonel occasion to enter upon many circumstances relating to Corsica, where they took refuge during the search for them by the Neapolitan government. It is remarkable that Murat always asserted the case with which the fate of Water

« PreviousContinue »