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MR MANTZ'S REPLY TO "IRISH MAN.", Issue 7946, 29 June 1889, Supplement
MR MANTZ'S REPLY TO "IRISH MAN."
TO THE EDITOR.
Slit, —"Irishman" pcrtiucntly asks: "Are the law 3 in Ireland more liberal for the Protestants thau the Catholics?" In the letter they aro not, but in tho administration they are protective to the former and fiendish towards the latter. Packed juries, partisau judges, and corrupt Castle influence, soil the ermine robes of justice, and render law a mockery. Protestants may organise their Orange Lodges and Frotcßtant Defence Associations, and forgo letters wholesale to blast tho characters of the Irish leaders, but boycotting and the Plan of Campaign, which are the only weapons to which the people can rc3ort, aro declared illegal, and put down with brutal ferocity. Protestants may threaten civil war should Home Rule be granted, but tho Catholics may not proclaim their wrongs in the Press or on the platform without incurring three to six months' imprisonment at the hands of magistrates who have no knowledge of law and are only appointed on account of their Conservative proclivities. Is this the equality of liberty which Englishmen and Scotchmen enjoy ? I opine not. So monstrous did this seem to the minds of Englishmen that the trades unionists could not believe it, and they appointed a special deputation from their body to visit the districts in Ireland where evictions prevailed,
when they by personal experience found it to be too true, and two of the membsra were sentenced to imprisonment under the Crimes Act for expressing sentiments which over and over again they had uttered on English platforms. And this is what ' Irishman " terms the ordinary law which guarantees the same liberty to Ireland as to the other portions of the United Kingdom. Driven home to furnish authorities for his statements, he falls back upon tho name of the late John Bright. With regard to this groat tribune of the English people, I will yield to none in reverence and respect, for, when in the zenith of his fame, no statesman felt more deeply for tho Irish than lie did, and none strove more earnestly to iinprovo their political and social condition ; but in hia latter days, like moßt aged politicians, ho became rather conservative in his views. He felt that with the abolition of elavery, the repeal of the Corn Lawn, the removal of the restrictions upon the l-'ress, and the extension of the frauchiso, his work was done, and that he might repose upon the laurels he had so nobly won, and no one begrudged him his honors. But in estimating John Bright's character we must not forget that he waa never a good representative of the cause of labor. He was a middle-class politician—an advocate of tho Manchester school—and ag such ho opposed the Factory Acts, and would not admit that labor required any protection whatever. This was a little fkw in a character of great excellence, and may be easily condoned by the masses now ho has departed to "that bourno from whence no traveller returns." They will think of him [ as he was when ho denounced the Crimean \\ ar, and tho noble part he played in defending the North against tho South in the American Civil War ; " for these are things that will not pass away." Like most Englishmen, I have been trained in the faith of my fathers, and, if tho circumstances of birth and education have enrolled me among the Protestants, I still can feel respect and toleration towards my Roman Catholic brethren. In the words of Bums : Shall I, for creeds I can't expound, CondemD my fellow man to bell 7 Shall I, like "Irishman," find gratification in fanning the flames of bigotry and passion —in denouncing Koman Catholics as the very incarnation of evil, and cursing their priests with spleen and bitterness? No! rather would I echo the words of Pope : For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight ; Hia can't bo wroop whose life is in tho right. And if " Irishman's" faith is not more charitable than his writings—if he cannot speak of his Catholic brethren in milder tones than cursing them with a viper's tongue, ho must not expect rational beings to side with him. His vituperation against the Catholics will afford no excuse for the long period of tyranny enjoyed by tho Irish
Established Church—an institution which has not only robbed the national religion f its funds, but repudiated its obligations in regard to its poor; and we owe many thanks to Mr Gladstone for blunting its talons. Church supremacy, whether Protestant or Catholic, is always the militant church of a dominant faction, and Quakers, Jews, Wcsleyans, and others have felt this supremacy to their bitter cost. For "Irishman's" edification 1 may tell him that an imposed religion bsars little affinity to morals. As Jeremy lientham truly said : "If you point out to mo tv man who profesHPs to be religious, Tam apt to ask What aro his morals ? But if you show mo a man whose deeds are known to bo moral, I never think of troubling myself about his religion." In this spirit I regard tho Irish priesthood, 1 I see them identifying themselves with tho people, shielding tho poor from want, and denouncing the oppressor who afflicts them ; and I admiro them for their moral courage, for their virtuo and good works, without exercising my mind as to the tenets of their faith. "Irishman" labors under the idea that Protestants and Catholics cannot coexist by tho aide of each other. This is another of the fallacies which weak-kneed politicians always entertain when dealing with the Irish question. lam therefore not surprised that "Irishman" grows rabid under this fe»r. But there are no grounds for it. Most of the trusted leaders of Ireland have been nurtured in the Protestant faith, and Mr Parnell at the preseut time enjoys the confidence of the people in equal degree to that enjoyed by his predecessor D.vniel O'Connell. To prove the utter depravity of the Irish nature ho parades once more before our eyes the brutalities inflicted upon dumb animals. Equally with him I denounce these outrages, and wish that punishment could be dealt out to the offenders. But he should remember that as we sow so shall be reap. Wo have accustomed the rude peasant to witness a savage soldiery dragooning the people—peaceful citizens batoned in the Btreets by police ruffians, and famished families turned out of their homes on the road sides in the depth of winter ; and then we wonder that he becomes brutal in his instincts, and puts into practice the precepts which his tyrants have inculcated. If you desire to raise the standard of a people you must treat tlnm as human beings, and not outrage them by deeds of the most wanton barbarity.' These deeds may be perpetrated by officers regarded as gentlemen, but they are the deeds of savages, nevertheless, and no Act of Parliament will lessen their enormity. I havo not time nor inclination to follow " Irishman" in his remarks about the Olphert Estate eviction?, as " Kate Rossbotham " has already done so to my satisfaction and with more perfect knowledge of the matter than I possess *, and it will tax him and the sourco of his inspira-
tion (the ' Standard') to tho utmost of their capacity to disprove her facts. " Irishman" cannot conclude his lengthy epistle without discharging a parting shot at the Roman Catholic priesthood. He advises them "to attend to their work," and "not run after every paid agitator." This is precisely what they are doing. Their work is to emancipate their countrymen, to raise their nationality to a higher Btandard, to give prosperity and peace to all classes, to root out the last remnants of religious bigotry, and to lend their effectual aid to the noble brotherhood, who in and out of Parliament arc incurring incarceration, obliquy, and insult, because they are determined that Ireland shall have the rights of a civilised people, We might as well attempt to stem tho waves of the ocean as to check the torrent of public opinion, or to quench the aspirations of a unitod people ; and could England give birth to a thousand Balfoura, and ten thousand Salisburys to boot, they could not put back the hand of Time, or avert the doom which will at the next election overwhelm the present Ministry. As Mr Gladstone recently said: "The handwriting is on the wall." The people oi this country no longer believe that their own free institutions arc compatible with the servitude of the Irish nation, and that withering curse which has blasted for generations the happiness of a warm-hearted race will soon be blotted out, and men of all creeds will learn to love a people which have suffered death and martyrdom to obtain the consummation of their wishes. The priest, the orator, the poet, and the politician aro all united to break down the adamantine wall which has separated two greaS and glorious peoples ; and throughout the whole civilised world, wherever the English language is spoken, the prayer will ascend to Heaven that fair Erin may arise from her abject condition, rend her bonds in twain, and take her proper place among thenationß of the earth.—l am, etc., fc E. S. Mantz. North-east Valley, June 17.
MR MANTZ'S REPLY TO "IRISH MAN.", Issue 7946, 29 June 1889, Supplement
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