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refused to bow the knee to the invader; the rest of the preMilesian provinces lost, against their grain and their will, not only their soil but their independence. Are, then, the preMilesians still lords of the lands which they lost and did not renounce? Or were they so well governed by the Milesians that they gladly accepted the new sovereignty?
At the Norman Conquest the same thing happened again. The Geraldines, among others, turned the dispossessed Milesians into serfs, and seized their rich and fertile estates. Did the new masters become, de jure, owners of the soil? Did they receive the consent of the Gael to the new sovereignty? Assuredly not. The Norman invaders waited not for acquiescence; they took what they wanted, asking no questiens; and there was an end of it.
set forth clearly in the terms of logic. He reduces the point of view of Sinn Fein to the following syllogism: "No fully independent nation to be so de jure, except by the free consent of its people; but Ireland was once a nation fully independent, while its people never freely consented to resign that status; therefore she is de jure fully independent now." Here the major premiss purports to be a universal principle in Ethios, and it is particularised in the minor by two pretended statements of fact. If these three premisses hold good, then Ireland may be assumed to have made out her claim to be an independent nation. But are they true? Dr MacDonald deals with each of the three so forcibly as to leave no rag of covering upon the imposture of Sinn Fein. He states the opinion of Dr Coffey, an emiThus at each step in nent professor at Maynooth in the history of Ireland the these times: "No fully inde- rightful owner recedes more pendent nation dares to be so dimly into the past. The de jure unless by the free eon- Irish nation has ceased to be sent of the people." And he independent de facto over and proceeds to show how the over again, and unless we can principle works out in practice. come upon a large body of Indeed, if the principle be ac- pre-Milesians, to whom the cepted, it would be difficult to country may be restored, we discover the rightful owners shall never discover the brave of an independent Ireland. originals, who may claim to According to the Irish his- be, de jure, the independent torians the greater part of owners of the soil. And so Ireland was inhabited, from Dr MacDonald travels from the time of St Patrick to the Ireland to the New World, coming of the Normans, by a where fertile plains, once held race that is known as pre- by red or black men, are now Milesians. These poor folk held by whites. Pertinently he were subjugated by the asks his adversary, Dr Coffey, Milesians, but not completely. if, were he made Archbishop Ossory, Down, and Antrim of New York, or Boston, or
VOL. CCVII,-NO, MCCLI.
Sydney, "he would deem it his duty to hand over to the
natural heirs of its former proprietors the real estate of the diocese churches and presbyteries; diocesan seminary; and so much other ecclesiastical property." Of course Dr Coffey would not; and Dr MacDonald is perfectly right to "hold it as a principle of ethios that a nation fully independent at one time may become subject to another, usurping people, without any consent on the part of those who are subjected."
So much for the major premiss. Now for the minors. "Ireland was once a fully independent nation." Was she? The partisans of separation are never tired of declaring that Ireland is the most ancient small nation in Europe, except Greece. And Dr MacDonald has no difficulty in showing that if unity of rule and independence are the essentials of nationhood, as they are, then neither Ireland nor Greece was ever a nation at all. It is easy to prove that Greece in the time of Perioles, disturbed by tribal warfare, was in no sense a nation, and that the Greek nation, as we know it to-day, is less than fifty years old. What sort of a history, then, has Ireland, that she should be distinguished from ancient Greece and modern Germany? Dr MacDonald tears to pieces the old superstition. The Irish historians, when they are not on the platform, agree in confessing that Ireland was not at any time united and independent. In pagan times, we
are told by Mr D'Alton, Ireland was not a kingdom, but a confederation of small states or classes. Even when "the shadowy and nominal thing, which Mr MaoNeill calls "the high-kingship," came to Ireland, it "was not an institution of such efficient unity as to inspire greatness of literary design throughout the nation.' There were still four branches of the race struggling for the hegemony, and "the provincial kings gave hostages when they must, and refused them when they dared." In brief, to sum up the case in the words of Arthuar Na Clerigh, "the Gael remained a clansman when he ought to have been a patriot, and Erin oontinued to be a 'trembling sod' when it ought to have become a homogeneous and harmonious nation."
This, then, is Dr MacDonald's justified conclusion: "The truth seems to be that, during all these centuries of inter-tribal warfare, the Irish clans were struggling towards national unity, just like their neighbours in England, France, and elsewhere-with the difference, unfortunately, that whereas unity was achieved across the Channel, with us no native power grew strong enough to overbear the selfwill of the chiefs." Ireland, then, never was a fully independent nation, and her Sinn Feiners make a false appeal to history when they describe her and Greece as the two most ancient nations in Europe. Equally insecure is the second minor premiss,
that the Irish people never united, independent nation, freely consented to resign the and again and again has she status of an independent frankly consented to acknownation. On the contrary, ledge the sovereignty of Eng. they have admitted again land. If the past does not and again the authority of help them, they can get very the English sovereign. They little aid from the present. have received titles at the The Irish not only stayed out hands of English kings, kings, of the war on the false plea and have done the hom- that Ireland was a nation, but age required of them. Even they rebelled against Great the most bitterly Irish of Britain when Great Britain the Irish cannot dispute the was at war with Germany, unanimity with which the and thought it an aot of Stuarts were acknowledged as patriotism to murder innocent the lawful sovereigns of Ire- men who were doing their duty land; and the first act of the simply and honourably. Patriot Parliament of 1689, of which Davis said that "it was the first and last which ever sat in Ireland since the English invasion, possessed of national authority, and complete in all its parts," was an act of recognition of the sovereignty of James II., King of England.
As it was then, so it has been ever since. O'Connell, by taking his seat at Westminster, acknowledged the validity of the Union. The Catholic Church in Ireland, by forbidding the sacraments and Church burial to the Fenians, proclaimed that the Government against which the Fenians were plotting was legitimate. And all through the Home Rule agitation it was admitted on all hands that in imperial matters the Imperial Parliament had a just right to govern Ireland. Thus has it been from the beginning; thus is it to-day; and when the Sinn Feiners assert that history fights upon their side, they say that which is not true. Ireland has never been a free,
Truly, they can find little comfort in what they have done and said in the last five years. And all the while they hug their pretended grievances, as though it was not they who had done the injury. They pose as poor neglected oreatures, and their very pose assures us that nothing will ever be done to their satisfaction. Such men as the leaders of Sinn Fein would be unhappy if they thought that they had no cause of
complaint; and even when history, in the main, fails them, they fumble in their annals for some poor semblance of injustice. For instance, it pleases them to believe that after the Union the population of Ireland began to decline. Of course, the truth is precisely opposite. Between 1800 and 1846 the population of Ireland almost doubled, and it was only after the repeal of the Corn Laws-a repeal for which the Irish Famine was made an excuse by Sir Robert Peel, and which the Irish
and an empty
members might have opposed, if they liked that the prosperity of Ireland began to fall, We put this admirable good and the population to fall with sense against the interested it. And even now, after the ignorance of the United States experience of many years, with the utmost confidence. Dr Ireland still insists upon divi- MacDonald is a Home Ruler, sion, when union of commerce but a Home Ruler whose brain and customs is the only thing is not bemused with idle rhewhich will profit both Ire- toric. He is resolute to disland and England. It is, cover the facts of the case, 88 Dr MacDonald says, a and to draw from them the matter of business, and yet only just conclusions. Greatly the hugging of false griev- daring, he discusses the active ances and a misreading of policy of Sir Edward Carson history seem more important without flinching and without in the eyes of Sinn Feiners prejudice. He admits that Sir than the happiness and com- Edward Carson threatened fort which prosperity brings. armed resistance, but he did Left alone and to herself, Ire- not actually resist. "He did land would relapse into the not," to quote Dr MacDonald's backwardness of a small state. own words, "openly ally himHer hope still lies in a natural self in revolt with an enemy alliance with her neighbour, at war with the Empire, the Great Britain. "Let these most powerful that ever atislands do their very best," tacked it, the Irish revolution writes Dr MacDonald in the being timed to synchronise eloquent summing-up of his with England's greatest peril. well-argued oase, "standing Above all, Sir E. Carson did loyally back to back, dealing not actually shoot down four or equal justice, man and master five hundred people, soldiers making equal sacrifice, and and civilians. Had he done all still they will find it hard to this, he too would have been live and keep their trade in shot, like Messrs Pearce and the days that any one can see Connolly." That is a statement coming. Let us pull against which the Sinn Feiners will one another-Labour against find it impossible to confute. Employer, Briton against Irish- Nor was there any reason why man; each striving to get the Sir Edward Carson should not other to bear more than his be invited to join the Governshare of the common burden ment. "Mr J. Redmond," as -and we are all sure to go Dr MacDonald points out, down together. Should the "also had enrolled, drilled, trade of Britain fail-as is but and armed volunteers, yet was too possible-I do not know offered a seat in the Cabinet, how ours is to maintain itself. ... and it is but fair to Sir But I, for one, do not want E. Carson and his adherents the self-determination that to say that the arms they preis allowed to rule a bare oured were meant to preserve
their people from subjection to an alien rule which they detest; whereas we Celts refused Home Rale when we found that it did not empower us to govern, with ourselves, another race who detest our government." The argument could not be more rightly or concisely put; and when we remember that Dr MacDonald is a Celt, a Catholic, and a Home Ruler, we have still some hope that the chain will be preserved. If Mr Lloyd George once more gives way to the clamour, as is his wont, or surrenders to the illinformed prejudices of American word-politicians, then he will encourage the spirit of murder, which stalks abroad by day and by night, and postpone the prosperity of Ireland for half a century.
Of all the young poets who have “learned in suffering what they taught in song," none has a better claim to remembrance than Charles Sorley. The little sheaf of his poems, deft in form, honest in thought, makes us wonder what more he would have done and said in the world. The wonder grows when we read the volume of his letters, wisely edited and prepared by a brief biography, which says precisely all that we would know about him. For it is not too much to say that better letters than these were never written by a boy. The talent of writing was inborn in him. At sixteen he could express himself with an ease and clarity and a quiet
humour, to which few ever attain at any age. And he wrote and thought always as a boy. He was not a man before his time. There is no hint in his letters of a tiresome precocity. He is never selfconscious, never on parade. He writes down what is in his mind with a frank simplicity; and because he had from the beginning a natural gift of prose, his letters will always be read with pleasure. And now that they gathered together in a volume, they present a portrait of one who, whether schoolboy or soldier, is always candid, understanding, and enthusiastic-of one who loved the open air, and who loved books when they seemed to him an interpretation of life and action. He had in him the makings of a scholar who took no pleasure in pedantry. For him the personages of the Odyssey, which of all his favourite books kept the longest sway over him, are real and alive. By their qualities he judged the men and women whom he met in his brief journey through life. He was quick to detect resemblances between the Hun fraus of Germany and Homer's heroines. When he was in the trenches he regretted that he had not brought his Odyssey with him across the sea, and yet he saw about him the same things happening that happened long ago in the Greece that he knew and loved. "But you'll remember,
1 The Letters of Charles Sorley. Cambridge: At the University Press.