Page images
PDF
EPUB

has no relation to the judicial aspect of the law. But I am writing for practical purposes, and not for argument. What I want is to know the feeling of the Liberal clergy, and your own. Do you still adhere to your purpose of ignoring the judgment altogether? It is, at any rate, hardly likely that Llewellyn Davies, Stanley, Brooke, or others would feel it possible or dignified to do this, and I should like to know what their course is likely to be.

"One advantage now is, that Voysey is off the board. No one can talk any more of him or his 'extreme way of putting things.' We have only to do with the judgment and its relation to ourselves, and that relation seems to me very grave indeed. Already people do not believe in our honesty as a body of teachers. What will they believe if we stand by and let the work we have done, and the teaching we have most dwelt on, be proclaimed not to be within the bounds of the Church of England by its highest Court 1 I am not talking of secession. But might not the leading Liberal clergy meet and draw up a clear and succinct declaration of their belief on the three points in question, and tale steps (by a friendly suit or otherwise) for a more deliberate and final decision than could be arrived at from the peculiar statements and position of Voysey?

"I wish to write to Brooke to-day on this point, so forgive this short letter, and let us hear from you without delay. I am very anxious to know what is felt about the matter.

"Ever yours,

"J. R. Green."

From this letter it appears that Mr. Green fully recognized the distinction between Voysey and the bulk of the Liberal clergy—nor did he ever recommend me to secede—" I am not talking," he says, "of secession." What he was anxious to see was an open and manly statement of policy and general doctrinal opinion, drawn up by the Liberal clergy in the teeth of the Privy Council judgment, inviting a further definition of our legal status by means of a new and friendly suit.

That I at once saw to be impossible. The strength and weakness of the Liberal clergy lay just in this—they did not aspire to be one party more in the Church; they said there were sects enough, but they aspired to leaven all parties; they stood for candour and freedom all round, and chiefly for the historical interpretation and critical understanding of all creeds and formularies; but in detail they never have agreed, and never will agree amongst themselves.

It only remained for individuals of the Broad Church party to express individual opinions and take individual action.

Mr. Green did so by quietly withdrawing into his study, and congratulating himself upon being, as he used to say, "out of it."

Mr. Stopford Brooke in due time "seceded"—I have never quite understood where, or exactly to what.

Stanley lectured on Subscription.

I expressed later on before the clergy at Sion College, in the ConTemporary Review, and in a letter issued to my own congregation, my determination to teach openly what I believed, in the Church of England—leaving the Administration to deal with me as it thought fit. Other members of the so-called party, entitled to attention, the Rev. Llewellyn Davies, Canon Oakley, &c., showed the general disunion in the Liberal camp, by repudiating my views, and Brooke's, and Voysey's, &c.

As everybody repudiated everybody all round, no one could fairly complain; and in view of all these astonishing and contradictory expressions of "Liberal opinions," the bewildered Administration, which had tackled Voysey, and even Mackonochie, with some spirit, fled in despair, and for a season at least hid its diminished head. Long may it rest from its labours.

I have exceeded the space allotted to me. I can say but little more here.

Of Mr. Green's religious opinions I feel it is not for me further to speak; nor of his marriage, which was one of unmixed happiness, and doubtless a step greatly instrumental in prolonging his life and enabling him to do so much of his life-work; nor of his varied literary, journalistic, and editorial activities; nor of his vast erudition—his accumulative, distributive, and critical faculties; nor of his interesting relations with the large number of eminent persons attracted to him by his great powers of mind, brilliant conversation, literary fame, and winning manners.

I have only given here a chapter of personal relations and memories, which seems to supply a side view of the lamented historian's character which only his intimate friends could know anything about, and to portray an almost entirely unknown phase of his early career which none but those who happened to know him intimately at that time can form any idea of.

Circumstances may have parted us in later years more than I could have ever thought possible once; but I owe him so much, I loved him so well, I feel his loss so irreparable, I believe so ardently in the excellence, beauty, and power of his work, that I cannot help bringing to his grave this little wreath of personal memories, which I think will have some fragrance for those who never knew him, aud certainly for all who have been won and fascinated by " A Short History of the English People."

H. R. Haweis.

FENIANISM—PAST AND PRESENT.

"1st mein Gewissen gegen diesen Stwt
Gebunden? Hub' icii Pflichten gegen England t"

FENIANISM was bred in the camps of the American civil war, if not actually born upon its battle-fields. Englishmen are accustomed to talk in a loose way about the Irish-American element in the Irish question, but as a rule all that the English public knows of Irish-Americans will be found to be composed of such deductions and conclusions as the average English editor draws from selected excerpts from the journals of Mr. Patrick Ford and Mr. O'Donovan Rossa, and from the ignoble bluster or more ignoble crime of a handful of anti-social desperadoes. It is probable that the most of the trouble which now confessedly arises from the so-called Dynamite Section is largely due to the fact that English public opinion, misled in many cases by reckless English politicians, has steadily refused to recognize any Irish-American feeling, except that which may be presented in the American correspondence of the Times, and the anti-Parnellite denunciations of Sir William Harcourt. There is a great deal of truth in the recent reproach of the New York Herald, that it is the manner in which England has paid exclusive attention to "men whose names are gist for our comic paragraphers," which has given to them a species of importance and a growing ascendancy over a revengeful mass of expatriated Irish, victims, or the heirs of victims of eviction, whom every remorseless clearance of the Irish hillsides at once recruits and exasperates by the same operation. If to-day both English and Irish homes in England are menaced by the explosion of hundredweights of dynamite and carboys of nitroglycerine, it is instructive to remember how a couple of yeais ago the receipt of a rusty pistol stuffed with burnt paper was converted by the rhetorical panic of a prominent minister into the most desirable advertisement for the obscure and uninfluential group—if, indeed, they even amounted to a group—of would-be terrorists. If a horrible and felonious aspect of the Irish question is now uppermost, if deeds deserving of the reprobation of mankind are contemplated in any quarter, it is on that account all the more urgent to remember that it has been the deliberate policy of too large a portion of English political society to see in Irish patriotism and Irish conspiracy nothing but the inspiration and the preparation of atrocity and outrage; and a glance at the early days of Fenianism, some adequate reflection upon the national forces to which Fenianism has appealed, will be all the more useful for Englishmen who are anxious to apply the methods of practical politicians to the settlement of the eternal Irish question.

The Irish And The American Civil War.

There is not a more glorious page in the history of any people than that which records the valour and the services of the Irish soldiers of the American Union. Splendid as is the military story of my countrymen in the armies of England and in the Irish Brigades of the Continent; not even in that Peninsular War, in which the flower as well as the mass of the battalions which scattered the marshals of Napoleon, consisted of the Gaels of Erin; not even on the hundred battle-fields of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, watered by the blood of the companions and successors of Sarsfield and Mountcashel; neither at Vimiera nor at Vittoria, neither at Marsaglia and Almansa, nor at Laufeldt and Fontenoy, did the courage of the race exhibit itself more brilliantly, or with more important results, than in the crisis of the American conflict, at Fair Oak and Fredericksburg, at Richmond and Antietam.

The eve of the civil war found the exiles still plunged in the brooding desperation which had taken the place of the enchanting visions of O'Connell's prime; still fettered to the sordid lot which awaited the evicted Irish farmer on the foreign shore to which he had escaped from famine and the workhouse. With the woe of the great expatriation writ large in the scantiness of their resources and the hardship of their life, the Irish masses in the United States appeared to be inextricably absorbed in the difficult task o! winning their daily bread in the rudest and roughest of all possible ways. The politico-economic systematizers who had banished them had not reckoned what might become of a whole agricultural population cast, without capital or instruction, upon a strange land, under unknown social conditions. They were like Issachar who stooped between two burthens. Their poverty, the product of the rack-rent and the famine, and their ignorance, the product of a secular proscription of education, weighed them down. The Know-Nothings had essayed to array against them the "native Americanism" of a couple of generations. The First Families of Manhattan only knew by a sort of grotesque repute the existence of a strong-backed multitude, who built docks and railroads, and expressed themselves in a dialect of English which scarcely constituted an improvement on the nerve and music of the Celtic tongue. There were, indeed, many conspicuous exceptions to the humiliation of the banished Irish. The upward impulse was asserting itself in spite of natural and artificial drawbacks. But the general aspect was too depressing to be relieved even by the importance of the Irish Vote to the ward-politicians and managers of the Republican or the Democratic party machine.

The Secessionist shot that struck down the Federal flag on the ramparts of Fort Sumter was the signal for many sublime and tragic changes. It operated the transfiguration of the Irish-American nation. Generally speaking, the exiles went with their States, on Home Rule principles, as it were. A gallant band of Irish residents in the South went with General Patrick Cleburne. The vast majority, immigrants and dwellers in the cities of the North, went with General Thomas Francis Meagher, the "Meagher of the Sword" of enthusiastic speech-making assemblies in Dublin twenty years before, and now to be the Meagher of the Sword in very grim and glorious earnest, in the most desperate days of the awful conflict which was commencing. When once the impetus was given, the Irish rush was tremendous and incalculable. The native American and the circumspect Dutchman were astounded by it. The Faugh-a-ballaghs stretched their strong arms in hundreds of thousands to rear up and bear onwards the Stripes and Stars. More Irishmen than died in the service of France during the century between the violation of the Treaty of Limerick and the fall of the French monarchy, stood at one moment shoulder to shoulder in defence of the American Union. In the crowning year of the war, 190,000 Irish recruits still pressed forward to fill the gaps caused by the genius of Robert Lee and the iron courage of Stonewall Jackson. After the terrible fight of Fredericksburg, the correspondent of the London Times wrote home to his journal how—

"To the Irish division, commanded by General Meagher, was principally committed the desperate task of bursting out of Fredericksburg, and forming under the withering fire of the Confederate batteries to attack Maire's height immediately in their front, and never at Fontenoy, at Albuera, or at Waterloo was more undaunted courage displayed by the sons of Erin than during the six frantic dashes which they directed against their foes."

If it had been an objection to some Irishmen that they obtained their American citizenship on terms arranged by wire-pulling politicians, the reproach was washed out on such battle-fields as these :—

"After witnessing the gallantry and devotion exhibited by Meagher's troops," continues the same correspondent, "viewing the hillsides for acres

« EelmineJätka »