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MR MANTZ'S REPLY TO "IRISHMAN.", Issue 7940, 22 June 1889, Supplement
MR MANTZ'S REPLY TO "IRISHMAN."
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,— Thebes had her sphinx, so lias Dunedin in the person of "Irishman"; and, having broken "the spell of silence which has bound him long," he thinks we ought to close our eyes, open our mouths, and receive his enigmatical utterances as sterling facts and the very essence of wisdom. But with all his arrogance and assumption he shrinks from answering my questions—" Who he is? What he is ? and from whence he hails ?" Though he has inflicted upon your readers one and a-half columns of valueless matter, hashed up from Mr John Bright, ' Catholic Progress,' and the ' Standard,' he is still a shadowy phantom, enshrouded in the mists of prejudice and intolerance, and prefers "dragging like a wounded wake bis slow length along," distilling poison in his stealthy course, instead of coming to the front as a man, and boldly avowing his opinions. In this respect your fair correspondent "Kate Rosabotham" might bid him blush for shame. She speaks with the true instinct of an Irishwoman who has seen and knows the things upon which she writes, and every inquiring visitor who has made investigations in the localities she describes will endorse the facts she has adduced, and defy "Irishman" to disprove one of them. He may be an "obscure" individual, but this obscurity does not justify him in preferring "an indictment against a whole nation" and libelling its most trusted leaders. He may, as he tells us, have Irish blood of three or four generations coursing in his veins, be free from the taint of Orangcism, and have a thirty years' residential experience, but this will not constitute him an Irishman in the pure eense of the word. He is simply the withering stem of a noble stock, the degenerate offahoot of a healthy root, and is no more to be likened to his fathers than the present degraded African is to be compared to his intelligent ancestors, who erected the pyramids, cradled the sciences, and commenced the march of civilisation. "Irishman" is only an Irishman with all the instincts of his race eliminated from him. Tho vital current of his being has oozed through so many corrupting channels that there is nothing of the original element remaining. In a phrase furnished by the late Lord Lyndhurst, he is " an alien in blood, language, ond religion." With a man of his type we cannot expect he will have any thought, feeling, or sympathy for those poor Irish p3asittts who have been robbed of their soil, despoiled of their stock, and turned into the streets penniless. Orangeman or not, he is the apologist of that dominant brutality known better as English landlordism, which has reduced our unfortunate sister isle to her present abject condition. I have no objection to "Irishman" abiding in his own obscurity, but when he twits me with being as obscure as himself he drags me down to his own low level, a position which I must indignantly refuse to share, Had he qualified his insolence, and told your readers that I was only a new " chum " in the colonies, ho would have been nearer the mark. He insinuates that I am a "stump agitator." I hurl back the insult with scorn, and will condescend to tell him that, though I have spoken on moßt of tho public platforms in England, and taken my seat in many conferences in the cause of labor, I have never accepted one fraction in the way of compensation. As a member of the Press for the Inst thirty-five years, I have taken a prominiL.t part in all the political and social movements of the Old Country ; and having been a resident in London from the day of my birth, I presume I know more of the wants and requirements of both England and Ireland than the man whose vision for the past thirty years has been bo clouded with prejudice that he has neither the capacity i to note the signs of the times nor the 1 candor to admit the existence ot that long
reign of suffering which has afflicted his unhappy country. If it be true, as he alleges, that I am unknown in Dunedin, it is more my misfortune than my fault; but nevertheless it is a misfortune from which in a little while I shall recover, and even now I can say that since I have sojourned in the colony I have made n«:e friends and associated with more of its public men than " Irishman " has, or is ever likely to do, during the whole term of his naturul life. I have courted none, but I have cordially grasped the hand of fellowship with all who, like myself, desire to leave the world better than we found it upon our entrance on its stage. So much for personal matters. I will now deal with "Irishman's" arguments, or rather with those which he culis from authorities little more trustworthy than his own. It is something, even for him to admit, "that there was a time when the Irish were harshly treated," and this admission will spare me the necessity of bringing to his notice all the pains and penalties which were inflicted upon the Irish by their English oppressors from the time of Cromwell to the passing of Catholic Emancipation in 1829; but, says "Irishman," it is not so now. Indeed! Is he not aware that in eighty-eight years we have passed eighty-eight Coercion Acts, transported some of Ireland's purest patriots, including Smith O'Brien, Mitchell, Meagher, and Martin, imprisoned more than one-half of her living representatives, and trampled under foot every principle of freedom which we enjoy in England and Scotland ? Is he also oblivious of L?rd Salisbury's panacea "that Ireland only wants twenty years of resolute coercion to reduce her to law and order?"—a sentiment of brutality againat which the civilised world has protested from one end to the other. But these are not the only Satanic utterances which English statesmen have given expression to. One Colonel Yorck said : " Ireland should be placed for twenty-four hours under water, to reduce her to submission," and the late "Iron Duke" once exclaimed " that as Ireland was conquered by the sword, so by the sword should she be ruled." Happily, the English people are wiser than some of their statesmen, and they will not tolerate that Ireland shall be longer misrepresented and misgoverned. When men like Mr Gladstone, and Sir William Harcourt, who have been brought up in the hotbed of Toryism, can cast aside their old opinions and avow themselves converts to Home Rule, we may safely prophesy that the redemption of the Irish people is near at hand. " Irishman" would have us believe that where Protestants reside prosperity abounds, but where Roman Catholics abide " squalor and wretchedness" prevail. If this be so, how does "Irishman " account for the demand of Irish Protestants being as loud for Home Rule as their Roman Catholic brethren ? Again, how does lie reconcile the fact that the Roman Catholics, when forced to quit their mud cabins and their "squalor and wretchedness " for America and the colonies, become men of opulence, worth, and,power? Unfortunately " Irishman " has eyes that see not, ears that hear not, aud as his arguments, like an inverted cone, Lack a proper base to rest upon, he flounders in a sea of words, without chart or compass to guide him. A far greater man than "Irishman," no other than Goldsmith the poet, has written—--111 fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, Whro wca'th accumulates i\Dd men decay. Is not this the case with Ireland ? While the absentee landlords have raekrented their tenants, and drained every cent from their helpless victims to squander away iu England, the pea°ant has been reduced to pauperism and driven to seek his home in climea more congenial than his own. Iu the breasts of no people does the love of country glow more intensely than in the bosom of the Irishman, and rather than leave the soil of his birth he would cling to his bog, his mud hut, and endure privation of every kind. But coercion has done what want and misery failed to do. It has imparted "a throb to Labor's withering heart"; it has caused the chalice of bitterness to overflow, until the population has been reduced from 9,000,000 to about 4,500,000, and this in a less period than fifty years. Population and fertility of soil are the two great elements of national prosperity, and in both Ireland—thanks to her laud-grabbers—has sadly diminished; and yet " Irishman" tells us his countrymen have nothing to complain of.—l am, etc., E. S. Maxtz.
North-east Valley, June 17. [Otviug to the uuusual length of our correspondent's letter we are compelled to divide it into two parts, the latter of which shall appear in a future issue.—Ed. E.S,]
MR MANTZ'S REPLY TO "IRISHMAN.", Issue 7940, 22 June 1889, Supplement
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