J. A. Froude, The English in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, 3 vols. [1872-74], rev. edn. (London: Longmans, Green 1886).

‘A natural right to liberty, irrespective of the ability to defend it, exists in nations as much as and no more than it exists in individuals. ... In a world in which we are made [1] to depend so largely for our well-being on the conduct of our neighbours, and yet are created infinitely unequal in ability and worthiness of character, the superior part has a natural right to govern; the inferior part has a natural right to be governed; and a rude but adequate test of superiority and inferiority is provided in the relative strength of the different orders of human beings.

Among wild beasts and savages might constitutes right. Among reasonable beings right is for ever tending to create might. Inferiority in numbers is compensated by superior cohesiveness, intelligence, and daring. The better sort of man submits willing to be governed by those who are nobler and wiser than themselves; organisation creates superiority of force; and the ignorant and the selfish may be and are justly compelled for their own advantage to obey a rule which rescues them from their own natural weakness. [...]

Individuals cannot be independent, or society cannot exist. [...; 2] As little can a claim to freedom be made coincidence with race or language. When the ties of kindred and of speech have force enough to bind together a powerful community, such a community may be able to defend its independence; but if it cannot, the pretension in itself has no claim to consideration. Distinctions of such a kind are merely fanciful and capricious. All societies of men are, in the nature of things, forced into relations with other societies of men. they exchange obligations, confer benefits, or inflict injuries on each other. [...; 3]

A tribe, if local circumstances are favourable, may defend its freedom against a more powerful neighbour, so long as the independence of such a tribe is a lesser evil than the cost of its subjugation; but an independence so protracted is rarely other than a misfortune. On the whole, and as a rule, superior strength is the equivalent of superior merit; and when a weaker people are induced or forced to part with their separate existence, and are not treated as subjects, but are admitted freely to share the privileges of the nation in which they are absorbed, they forfeit nothing [4] which they need care to lose, and rather gain than suffer by the exchange.

[...] Loyalty of this kind, though called contemptuously a virtue of barbarism, is a virtue which, if civilisation attempts to dispense with it, may cause in its absence the ruin of civilisation. [... &c.] There is no freedom possible to men except in obedience to law, and those who cannot prescribe a law to themselves if they desire to be free must be content to accept direction from others.

The right to resist depends upon the power [5] of resistance. [...] Liberty profits only those who can govern themselves better than other can govern them,. and whose who are able to govern themselves wisely have no need to petition for a privilege which they can keep or take for themselves. [6]

Ireland, the last of the three counties of which England’s interest demanded the annexation, was by nature better furnished than either of them [Wales and Scotland] with means to resist her approaches [...] a territory more difficult to penetrate and a population greatly more numerous. the courage of the Irish was undisputed. From the first mention of the Irishman in history, faction fight and foray have been the occupation and the delight of his existence. The hardihood of the Irish kern was proverbial throughout Europe. [...]

Could Ireland have fought as Scotland fought she would have been mistress of her own destinies. In a successful struggle for freedom, she would have developed qualities which would have made her worthy of possessing it. She would have been one more independent country added to the commonwealth of nations; and her history would have been another honourable and inspiriting chapter among the brighter records of mankind. She might have stood alone; [11] she might have united herself, had she so pleased, with England on fair and equal conditions; or she might have preferred alliance with the continental powers [...]

Again, could Ireland, on discovering like the Welsh that she was too weak or too divided to encounter England in the field, have acquiesced as the Welsh acquiesced, in the alternative of submission, there was not originally any one advantage which England possessed which she was not willing and eager to share with her. If England was to become a great power, the annexation of Ireland was essential to her, if only to prevent the present there of an enemy; but she had everything to lose by treating her as a conquered province, seizing her lands, and governing her by force; everything to gain by conciliating the Irish people, extending to them the protection of her own laws, the privileges of her own higher civilisation, and assimilating them on every side, so far as their temperament allowed, to her subjects at home.

Yet Ireland would neither resist courageously, nor would she honourably submit. Her chiefs and leaders [12] had no real patriotism. In Scotland ... they buried their feuds and stood side by side when there was danger from the hereditary foe. There was never a time when there was not an abundance of Irish who would make common cause with the English when there was a chance of revenge upon a domestic enemy, or a chance merely of spoil to be distributed. All alike, though they would make no stand for liberty, as little could endure order or settled government. Their insurrections, which might have deserved sympathy had they been honourable efforts to shake off an alien yoke, were disfigured with crimes which, on one memorable occasion at least, brought shame on their cause and name. When insurrection failed, they betook themselves to assassination and secret tribunals; and all theism while they were holding up themselves and their wrongs as if they were the victims of the most abominable tyranny, and inviting the world to judge between them and their oppressors./Nations are not permitted to achieve independence on these terms.

[... S]o followed in succession alternations of revolt and punishment, severity provoked by rebellion, and breeding in turn fresh cause for mutiny, till it seemed at last as if no solution of the problem was possible save the expulsion or destruction of the race which seemed incurable.’ [14; end Bk. 1, Sect. II.]

The incompleteness of character is conspicuous in all that they do and have done; in their history, in thei pratical habits, in their arts and in their literature. Their lyrical melodies are exquisite, their epic poetry is ridiculous bombast. In the lives of their saints there is a wild if fantistic splendour; but they have no secular history, for as a nation they have done nothing which posterity will not be anxious to forget; and if they have never produced a tolerable drama, it is because imagination cannot outstrip reality. In the annals of ten centuries there is not a character, male or female, to be found belonging to them with sufficient firmness of texture to be carved into dramatic outline. Their temperaments are singularly impressionable, yet the impression is incapable of taking shape. They have littel architecture of their own, and the forms introduced from England have been robbed of their gracve. Their houses, from cabin to castle, are the most hideous in the world. no lies of beauty soften anywhere the forbidding harshness of their provincial towns; rarely does climbing rose or [23] creeper dress the walls of farmhouse or cottage. The sun never shone on a loverelier country as nature made it. They have pared the forests to the stump, till it shivers in damp and desolation. The perceoption of taste which belong to the higher orders of uderstanding, are as completely absent as truthfulness of spirit is absent, or cleanliness of person and habit. The Irish are the spendthrift sister of the Arian race. Yet there is notwithstanding a fascination about them in their old land and in the sand an strange associations of their singular destiny. They have a power of attraction which no one who has felt it can withstand. Brave rashness, yet so inform of purpose, that unless they are led by others their bravery is useless to them; patriots, yet with a history which they must trick with falsehood to render it tolerable even to themselves; imaginative and poetical, yet unable to boast one single nationa work of art; attached ardently to their country, yet so cultivating it that they are the byeword of Europe; they appeal to sympathy in their very weakness; and they possess and have always possessed some qualities the moral worth of which it is impossible to overestimate, and which are rare in the choicest races of mankind.

Amid their weaknesses, their confident boastings and imperfect performances, the Irish have shown themselves at all times, and in all places, capable of the most loyal devotion to anyone who will lead and command them. They have not been especially attached [24] to the own chiefs of their own race’ [...]

Experience was to show that the Irish did not understand forbearance, that they interpreted lenity into fear, and respected only authority which they dared not trifle with. [End of Preliminary, English in Ireland, Bk. I].

Further: ‘Irish crime, where the victim was a Protestant, assumed the character of legitimate war.’ (English in Ireland, 1881 edn., Vol. I, p.491.)

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The English in Ireland (1881 Edn.), Vol. I, NEW PREFACE: ‘While twelve years ago Mr. Gladstone undertook to restore health to Ireland, many persons acquainted with the country believed that he was dealing with the outward symytoms merely of a disorder of which he mistook the nature, and that the measures which he was adopting would make the patient rather worse than better. / The type of Irish agitation is so changing that the disease at all times is obviously the same. Various modes of treatment have been tried for it, and tried unsuccessfully; and the political physician should thus have unusual means of learning the effect to be looked for from this or that proposed remedy. It did not appear, however, ten years ago, from the language of Mr. Gladstone and the supporters of his policy, that they had taken advantage of their opportunities. They talked vaguely and violently of past mistakes, but they betrayed an imperfect acquaintance with the character of those mistakes. The subject itself indeed seemed never to have been adequately studied; and the most important authorities were only accessible in manuscript. / A scientific account of the past can be the work only of many persons, one correcting the errors of another and adding something of his own. I undertook for myself to give as faithful a description as I could produce of the state of Ireland in the last century. The chapter of Irish history between the surrender of Limerick and the Act of Union is complete in itself. It opens with conquest and submission It ends with another rebellion, and the collapse of the form of government which we had established. I examined the story in the correspondence which passed between the English and Irish Administrations during the whole period in the proceedings of the Irish Parliament, and in the voluminous and miscellaneous reports on the condition of the country, which are preserved in Dublin Castle. The result was the present book, which was originally published seven years ago. The effect of Mr. Gladstone’s legislation has been precisely what my inferencees would have led me to anticipate; and that a new edition of the book is now called for implies, I hope, a belief that at the present crisis it may not be wholly unillustrative. / I have added a Supplementary Chapter; and I have used the opportunity to correet a few mistakes of detail which Sir Bernard Burke has kindly pointed out to me. Sir Bernard Burke has charge of the Dublin State Papers, and I have to thank him warmly for the courteous assistance which he has rendered to me throughout.’ (sign. J. A. Froude, Onslow Gardens, January, 1881 . (pp.iv-v.)

The English in Ireland (1881 Edn.), Vol. I: ‘The absenteeism of her men of genius was a worse wrong than the absenteeism of her landlords. If Edmund Burke had remained in the country where Providence had placed him, he might have changed the current of her history.’ Further, ‘In the summer of 1703, Queen Anne’s first Irish parliament was assembled for the most eventful session in that country’s history. Henry Maxwell expressing the general sense of intelligent Anglo-Irishmen, had foretold that, with discouraged industry and a continued separate political existence, Ireland must inevitably fall back into the hands of the Celts. The minds of Irish Protestants were set upon a Union. English politicians had determined that there should be no Union.’ (Vol. 1 [Bk. 2, Chap. 2, Sect. 2] p.325.)

‘Jealousy of the Presbyterians rankled still in the most powerful intellects which the Church of Ireland produced. It made useless to the true interests of his country the gigantic understanding of Swift. It led Berkeley to the same theories of passive obedience, which had crippled the resistance to Tyrconnell; had perplexed and irritated William; had divided those who, united, might have prevented the second civil war, and made unnecessary the second series of confiscations. Worse than all, it perpetuated the disunion of the two great branches of the Protestant colonists, who, if the Reformation was a lawful revolt against unjust authority, were in essentials one. It prolonged the disabilities of that section of the Protestants who alone possessed missionary power, whose crime was the ability to make proselytes among the Celtic Catholics. Last of all, in our own days, the spent force of the division of the Protestant interest in Ireland has shown itself in the disestablishment of the once haughty Church, which, had she taken the Presbyterians within her limits, when they were willing and eager to be her friends, might have defied for another century the malice of her enemies.’ (p.401). ‘Among the peculiarities of the Celtic peasantry, one of the most striking is a contempt for those who are afraid them; a submissiveness and even real attachment, which is proof against much injustice and many cruelties, to a master who is a master indeed. The relations of men to one another become healthy only when the truth is seen and confessed. Elizabeth forbade her viceroys to meddle with religion, and she had encounter three bloody insurrections. Under Charles the First there was a Catholic majority in the Irish Parliament with the practical enjoyment of civil and religious equality. The reward was the rebellion and massacre of 1641. A third of the confiscated estates was given back to the Catholics at the Restoration. The titular bishops were received at the Castle. Catholic laymen became magistrates, sheriffs, judges, officers in the army. At length they had their own Parliament and they showed their gratitude for these indulgence by repealing the acts of settlement, and by attainting 3000 Protestant landowners.’ (English in Ireland, 1881 Edn., Vol. I, p.404.)

The English in Ireland (1881 Edn.), Vol. II: ‘‘A free government depends for its successful working on the loyal co-operation of the people. Where the people do not co-operate, the forms of liberty are either a mockery, or an instrument of disunion and anarchy. Had the Irish been regarded from the outset as a conquered people whom a stronger neighbour had forced, for its own convenience, into reluctant submission, Ireland would have escaped the worst of her calamities. Her clans would have been held in awe by an army; public order would have been preserved by a police: but her lands would have been left to their native owners; her customs and her laws might have been untouched, and her religion need not have been interfered with. The nature of the English constitution forbade an experiment whieh might have been dangerous to our own [1] liberties. Ireland was in fact a foreign country; we preferred to assume that she was an integral part of the empire. We imposed upon her our own modes of self-government; we gave her a parliament, we gave her our trial by jury and our common law; we assimilated the Irish Church to our own; and these magnificent institutions refused to root themselves in an uncongenial soil. The Parliament was forbidden to legislate till its decisions had been shaped for it beforehand. The rule of feudal tenure inflicted forfeiture on rebellion; the native owners were therefore dispossessed for asserting the liberties of their country; and their estates were bestowed upon aliens. The Irish preferred their own laws to ours. They became in consequence ‘Irish enemies’ and outlaws, and might be wronged and killed with impunity. When we forced them at last to submit to our laws, trial by jury made the execution of those laws impossible; and with equal impunity the colonists eould then be murdered, their cattle houghed, and their daughters ravished by the natives. The Church being an estate of the realm and a governing section of the constitution, the Church in the two countries had to be shaped on the same pattern. At the conquest we forced the Irish Church into submission to the Papacy. At the Reformation we forced it to apostatise. As the Reformation pursued its course, the theory of our Church Establishment split the garrison of Protestants, whom we had planted in the island, into hostile camps. A free representative legislature which yet was not free and was not representative - a gentry who could not rule - a Church which could not teach - laws which eould not be enforced - these were the consequences which resulted from the preference [2] of unreality to fact. They might all have been avoided and the truth been acknowledged and acted on; but England was unable to recognise that constitutional liberty in our country might be constitutional slavery in another. / If the object was to absorb and extinguish the spirit of Irish nationality, it signally failed of success. Had the union been conceded for for which the presentiments of the Irish Parliament led them to petition in 1704; had trade and manufactures been allowed to develop, had the stream of British Protestant emigration been directed continuously into all parts of the island, the native population might have been overborne or driven out, and the mother eountry might have retained the affections of a people with whom she would then have been identified in interest and sentiment. By a contemptible jealousy she flung them back upon themselves, a minority amidst a hostile population, and condemned them to idleness and impoverishment; she left them to add their own grievances to the accumulated wrongs of the entire country; while she left them at the same time their own Parliament, in which the national discontent could find a voice; and taught them to look for allies among her own enemies.

The Protestant revolt will form the subject of the present volume. It was an aet of madness in the colony which revolted - madness in the mother country which provoked the quarrel. The colonists were an army of occupation amidst a spoliated nation who were sullenly brooding over their wrongs By [3] England’s help alone they could hope to retain their ascendancy. it was England’s highest interset to keep the garrison strong, if she was to escape a recurrence of the dangers which had already cost her so dear. The colonists in their own vanity and exasperation forgot or despised the period from a race whom they regarded as slaves. England, half conscious of an injustice which she was too proud or too negligent to redress, attempted to hold the colony in check by patronising and elevating the Catholic Celts.’ (1881 Edn., Vol. II, pp.1-4.)

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