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'As the advocate of society, of peace, of domestic liberty, and the lasting union
of the two countries, I conjure you to guard the liberty of the press, that great
sentinel of the state, that grand detector of public imposture-guard it—because
when it sinks there sinks with it, in one common grave, the liberty of the
subject, and the security of the crown.'-CURRAN.



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[WE were labouring on a Preface, with the printer's devil at our elbow, when the following letter arrived by the two-penny post. Flattering as it is, we had no hesitation in substituting it for any thing we could have said in praise of ourselves; for what Editor could be otherwise than an egotist when writing a Preface to a Periodical-such as ours? ED.]


"MY DEAR SIR,-Permit me to congratulate you on the completion of your First Volume. A pretty octavo it will make. In a decent binding, the exterior will be inviting enough; but, what's of far greater consequence, there is abundance of fruit among the leaves. Why, man, if you go on thus, you will ruin the other Magazines! Here is more original matter, and, à la York, 'So help me God!' more useful matter for a few shillings, than Colburn gives in the New Monthly for three times the sum. There is no scissors and paste work in the Dublin and London,'-no extracts from newspapers,-no long and never-to-be-read lists of deaths and marriages,-nothing to deceive the eye and cheat the purchaser,—no body without soul:-all binds up together, and makes, at the conclusion of the year, a volume quite as large, and quite as handsome, as one of Tom Campbell's. Is it any wonder, therefore, that your first efforts have been successful, that you have been patronized both in England and Ireland, and that your readers are every day increasing? Blackwood and Colburn talk about selling three thousand numbers; but you pocket the cash for at least five thousand. MARK that, as Billy Cobbett would say.

"But, whilst your extraordinary success gives me, as your friend, real satisfaction, the good you have done the cause of my poor country excites in me unbounded gratitude. Ireland you have saved from the indiscretion of her friends. You have exalted her character in the estimation of Englishmen, while you have vindicated her rights. You have given a new impulse to thought, and counteracted erroneous opinions. The editors of Irish newspapers are beginning to catch a portion of your spirit. Spring Rice has admitted that your article on Trade and Manufactures' has rectified his notions; and George Ensor stands silenced and confuted by your reasoning on 'Absenteeism.' This is something; but more than this, you have awakened the dormant literature of Ireland. Murthagh O'Sullivan, the apostate, has brought out a Magazine in Dublin; and Bolster has announced another at Cork. The more the better. The reading appetite is increased by what it feeds on; and be it your praise, that at the commencement of your work there was not a single periodical in Ireland. Success was then problematical; but let me take some credit to myself for having, from the first, assured you, that to merit patronage was to secure it from my countrymen. Before this day twelvemonth your readers will be quadrupled, because Irishmen are beginning to see that they want services; that you advocate their cause on distinct and unequivocal principles; and that you are biassed by neither individuals nor party. You have praised and censured O'Connell; and you have opposed the political prejudices of those whose cause you have espoused.


"Lest you should become too vain, I must take the liberty to inform you, that, by right, you are not entitled to all this praise. What would you have been were it not for your legions of contributors? < Thine the spoil, ours the toil,' say the troops to their general; and we might address you in similar language. Now there is myself, I am certainly the ablest contributor you have; but modesty prevents me from dwelling on the services I have rendered you.


"The author of Robert Emmet and his Cotemporaries' has made Rebellion more feasible. A traitor himself, he has rendered treason amiable; and shown, in very unequivocal terms, how Ireland could emancipate herself. The fellow is dangerous-beware of him.



"Next comes the Hermit in Ireland,' an odd kind of recluse, very like a satirist. Pray, who is the author? The Love of Life,' by Furlong, is an exquisite fragment. Perhaps there is no other poet living, except yourself, who could have done it as well. Your other poetical contributors, particularly O. and R. have made that department of your work most respectable.

"The author of Tales of Irish Life' has contributed two articles. They must be good; for nearly all the English papers, even the lofty Times, copied them. For the soul of me I cannot help thinking that this gentleman is the author of the Superstitions of the Irish Peasantry. I know no other, except Mr. Banim, who could have written them. Is it the. latter? These papers are, I have been told, to be published separately, as well as Robert Emmet.' Is this the fact? Two half guinea volumes taken from teu numbers of your Magazine!!! It's no wonder you have succeeded it would have been more wonderful if you had not. I had nearly forgotten the London Student,' and the Veteran Legioneer. An amusing vagabond this; and I am sure your readers, like myself, regret that both he and O'Toole have not been more industrious. Urge them on coming the new year.


"Excellent as your own papers and reviews have been, it is to your contributors you have been indebted for your success. You furnished the body. of the work, and they lent it wings to fly. The useful has been your own; the pleasing has been theirs: between both nothing has been left undone; and, therefore, go on and prosper. Relax not in your endeavours-secure additional literary aid-and teach the world that the editor of the Dublin and London,' is not one of those who Keep the word of promise to our ear, and break it to our hope.'


Bedford Square,

Nov. 30, 1825.

Believe me ever,

My dear Editor,

Yours very truly,
Rory O'Rourke.


MARCH, 1825.


THE 'long chain of silence,' which for ages bound in one link the body and the soul' of Ireland, has at length been burst asunder; and the affairs of that country may now be said to occupy exclusively the public mind. The press literally groans with strictures on the state of the island, and the senate of the nation seems to have no leisure for the discussion of any other questions than those relative to that kingdom. These are circumstances which augur well; for, though much ignorance exists on both sides of the Channel on Irish affairs, still there can be no doubt that discussion will terminate in a complete correction of the erroneous opinions which generally prevail.

Not only the enemies but the friends of Ireland have put forth, within the last few years, very inconsistent and contradictory statements; and, amidst the mass of conflicting evidence on the subject, it is not easy to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion. In and out of Parliament we have nothing but assertions as opposite to each other as light and darkness; and, as no one has brought forward any thing like proof, the public are totally at a loss whom to credit, where all are respectable, and where so few agree.

The people of Ireland have hitherto been viewed through a medium unfavourable to truth and candour; and as their apparent condition has been compared with the apparent condition of a people of dissimilar habits, and every way unlike, a conclusion disadvantageous to them has been erroneously drawn. Ireland and Irishmen have been described by foreigners and natives; and, if we examine the circumstances under which both have usually written, we shall readily discover very sufficient reasons for not finding truth or judgment in the works of either. The former, with very few excepVOL. I.-No. I.

tions, have been Englishmen; and, if we omit the names of Young and Wakefield, the remainder form a host of as imperious and ignorant calumniators as ever made observations on any country or people. No wonder, then, that a large portion of the public imbibed notions at variance with truth, and inimical to Ireland. To compare the population of that country with their own flattered their national vanity: but, to do them justice, they know both only through the misrepresentations of ignorant and venal writers; for, even at the present day, the inhabitants of London and other large cities are as ignorant of the condition of the English as they are of the Irish peasantry.

It is certainly somewhat singular that, while foreigners were industriously degrading Ireland, the natives themselves should join in the cry that hunted down the reputation of their country, and rival their calumniators in hideous pictures of national misery. From the venal, the interested, and the base, this might have been expected; but that those who really loved their country should, leperlike, drag the bandages from the ulcerated sores, and distort her features in the hope of awakening compassion, is perfectly incomprehensible, unless they supposed the legislature would do, from pity, what they would not do for merit—that they would grant to the tears of prostrate supplicants what they denied to the demands of justice. That this conduct was at least bad policy events have demonstrated; for those who have opposed the claims of Ireland uniformly drew their arguments from the imputed condition of the people; and, while the existence of misery was taken for granted, one ascribed it to the evil genius of popery,' and another to national and unconquerable indolence. Moderns, however, have discovered that Irish


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