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a future life. And they never see what yet is written on every page that this spirituality, that these eschatological myths of Plato have their root in one supreme passion of his mind-the love of justice. The passage of the thirteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians appeals to such readers as a thing of life and power. But the famous 'paradox' of the 'Gorgias,' that it is better to suffer injustice than to do it, is for them only a sentiment, a beautiful idea and thing of culture.' Now this sense of justice is not among the Greeks confined to Plato and to Socrates, though to themselves it often seemed so to be; for it is the moral counterpart of all the Hellene's sense of proportion, which is his sense of art. It lies concealed in all Hellenic culture,' but in the poets it continually comes to light also. The paradoxes of their own creed are due more than everything else to this foundation of their minds. At whiles they, like Job, come to the conclusion that the heavenly powers are invincible, and that, whether they be just or no, it is no use. complaining. At whiles, again, they do complain, or, with Prometheus and Ajax, defy Olympus. But oftener yet they trust with Plato that the Olympians are indeed just.

Οὐ γὰρ τί μοι Ζεὺς ἦν ὁ κηρύξας τάδε

Οὐδ ̓ ἡ ξύνοικος τῶν κάτω θεῶν Δίκη.

By missing, then, this essential of the moral force of Paganism, Shorthouse really slid aside of the question he tried to solve. This is not written in any controversial spirit, nor with any desire to prejudice the question of a possible union of Christianity with Hellenism. But it is certain that such a union can never be planned by those who rest content with the surface of Hellenism, the flower of beauty growing above it, like the water lily on the water not troubling themselves concerning the depths below.


1. Report on the Manuscripts of Mrs. Stopford-Sackville of Drayton House, Northamptonshire. Vol. I. London: Printed for His Majesty's Stationery Office. 1904.


T has been justly remarked of Irish history that it embraces periods of political calm as remarkable as those storms, often as sudden in their uprising as destructive in their course, which challenge the attention of the reader at so many stages in the record of the relations between Great Britain and Ireland. If we analyse the Irish chronicle from the Revolution of 1688 to the present day, we shall find periods, sometimes covering a whole generation, which remain almost complete blanks upon the page of history. Thus, in the nineteenth century there are the long silences which intervened between the Union and Catholic Emancipation, between the Repeal and the Home Rule agitations. And in the eighteenth century the pauses are still longer and the silences yet deeper. Between the events that immediately followed the Battle of the Boyne and those that closely preceded the creation of an independent legislature, there intervened a space of something like ninety years. Yet, save for the brief squall that raged over Wood's halfpence, there was, throughout that lengthened period, no popular movement serious enough to threaten gravely the repose of English Ministers, much less to engross the attention of the general public of the three kingdoms. To the first sovereigns of the House of Brunswick, Ireland gave ttle concern through the greater part of their reigns. To them it appeared, to use Horace Walpole's expression, no 'more than a remote part of their dominions which was not 'accustomed to figure on the theatre of politics.'

This characteristic is best explained by the consideration that in Ireland, though the materials for agitation are never far to seek, the master-spirits capable of giving cohesion and a common purpose to scattered and often antagonistic factions have appeared only at rare intervals. In Ireland, the personal element has always been the dominant factor. Many have aspired to ride the Irish whirlwind, only a very few have proved themselves capable of directing the storm; and the hour of apprehended danger has often passed harmlessly by because it has not brought with it the man who could convert difficulty into disaster. Thus it comes about that Irish history has been characterised by a certain lack of pro

portion. Swift's brief irruption into Irish politics has been fully explored by historians and exhausted by the biographers of the author of the Drapier's Letters.' The story of Grattan and his Parliament is a literature in itself. O'Connell and his triumphs, though still awaiting the final verdict of the impartial historian, are in no danger of being forgotten. But while it is natural that the stirring incidents which cluster round strong personalities should concentrate attention on such movements as those which are inspired by the genius of a Grattan or an O'Connell, it is none the less essential to a right understanding of Irish problems that the less conspicuous landmarks of the past should be observed. For it is in the examination of hidden history that the true origin of familiar events is most often revealed. The darker periods of history are not always the least attractive: the obscure is not necessarily the uninteresting. And the investigator is unfortunate who, delving in the dead past, is not occasionally rewarded by the discovery of the secret springs of some long famous but only half-understood event.

Such a period is that which intervened between the age of Swift and the rise of Flood and Grattan. It is a period of which less is known, perhaps, than of any other in the history of Ireland since the Revolution. Yet it forms a chapter which is far from unimportant, and some knowledge of which is requisite to a right conception of the more stirring era which followed. If it is deficient in pre-eminent and dominating personalities, it is not without its share of interesting personages in politics, literature, and religion. The period which witnessed the rise of a parliamentary Opposition under Anthony Malone at College Green, and of popular agitation under Charles Lucas, has great importance and suggestiveness in relation to the subsequent movement for legislative independence. And the Dublin of Lord Chesterfield's Viceroyalty, and of Mrs. Delany's Letters, is not lacking in social distinction. The importance of such a period cannot be more conveniently indicated than in the form of a notice such as is here attempted of some of its more picturesque figures, and of the once famous controversy over the altered Money Bill which, according to Edmund Burke, first showed that the English in Ireland had begun to recollect that they had a country and to transform themselves openly and avowedly into an independent Irish interest.

Perhaps Irish politics have never been so narrowly provincial as during the middle period of the eighteenth century. Scarcely any question of importance then occupied the

attention of the statesmen who were responsible for the welfare of the country. This apathy was due in the main to the neglect of their viceregal functions by the noblemen from time to time sent over by English Ministers to govern the country. It was the heyday of that extraordinary system of government by Undertakers which prevailed through the earlier part of the century, and was only destroyed by the Octennial Act of 1767. Of this system, by which so many successive Viceroys practically abrogated their functions in favour of certain of the more wealthy and ambitious members of the Irish aristocracy, it is impossible to give a more accurate description than that which has been left us by one of the most eminent of the Lords-Lieutenant who experienced its effects. Writing in 1758, Chesterfield, whose Viceroyalty has been justly praised by Lecky as one of the most successful of the century, gives the following description of his own experience of this curious system:

'The Lord-Lieutenant may, if he pleases, govern alone, but then he must, as I know by experience, take a great deal more trouble upon himself than most Lord-Lieutenants care to do, and he must not be afraid. But as they commonly prefer otium cum dignitate, their guards, their battleaxes, and their trumpets, not to mention perhaps the profits of their post, to a laborious execution of it, they must necessarily rule by a faction, of which faction for the time being they are only the first slaves. The condition of the obligation is this. "Your Excellency or Your Grace wants to carry on His Majesty's business smoothly, and to have it to say when you go back that you met with no difficulties. This we have sufficient strength in Parliament to engage for, provided we appear to have the favour and counten ance of the Government. The money, be it what it will, shall be cheerfully voted. As for the public, you shall do what you will, or nothing at all, for we care for that no more than we suppose Your Grace or Your Excellency does. But we repeat it again, our recommendations to places, pensions, &c., must prevail, or we shall not be able to keep our people in order." These are always the expressed, or at least the implied, conditions of these treaties, which either the indulgence or the insufficiency of the Governors ratify. Thus from that moment these Undertakers bury the Governor alive, but indeed pompously.'

Much too self-confident and, indeed, too honest to acquiesce in such an effacement of his office, and chafing throughout his government under the control of a plebeian oligarchy, for which, though unable to withstand it, he felt a most patrician contempt, Chesterfield appears to have conceived an intense disgust for the whole system of Irish government. The references to Ireland in his subsequent corre

spondence are permeated with a contemptuous cynicism which never varies. Thus, in a letter to his friend Chenevix, Bishop of Waterford, a prelate who owed to Chesterfield's patronage a mitre which he adorned by a life of the simplest piety, he expressed his opinion with uncompromising frankness. Parties in Ireland, he did not scruple to say, thought no more of the public good than they did of the squaring of the circle. The question with them was by no means how Ireland should be governed, but by whom ; and whoever prevailed, the difference to the country would be no more than that between a cat in a hole and a cat ' out of a hole.'

If it be urged that the impressions of an Englishman and a stranger like Chesterfield, notwithstanding that his position gave him so full an opportunity of judging at first hand of the political system he was appointed to preside over, were jaundiced by his unsympathetic temperament, no such objection can be urged against the estimate formed of the Undertakers by an Irish politician whose honesty and sagacity were so conspicuous as to win him the reputation of a statesman, even under a system which hardly left room for statesmanship. Edmond Sexton Pery, who, for a score of years prior to his elevation to the Speakership in 1771, held a seat in the Irish House of Commons, has left us in a masterly review of the state of parties in Ireland, addressed in 1757 to the Duke of Bedford, a succinct account of the state of parties in Ireland, as it appeared to one who had the best means of judging of its operation from within. It is precisely to the same effect as Chesterfield's, though, being addressed to a Viceroy, the language of condemnation is more decorous. According to this candid observer, the one point on which men of all parties were agreed was that the Chief Governor should not be permitted to interfere in the domestic administration of the kingdom. And the same authority averred that the Undertakers' notion of 'doing the King's business' in each biennial Session consisted in pro'curing the supplies which were thought proper to be ' demanded by the English Minister, and in preventing the Parliament from examining into the accounts of the previous 'years.'

For some years prior to the period with which we are now concerned, the principal Undertaker had been Henry Boyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, a scion of that remarkable house which had been founded more than a century earlier by the great Earl of Cork. Down to the

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