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of pieces of occasion on the war, and The dog-tax has inspired a bard to their singular confusion of facts, would protest against it in the following defy classification. The minstrels usu fashion :ally descend into the theological drift
“ You dog-fanciers of Ireland of every degree, at the close of their performances.
sir, “ If other Powers don't give them aid,
I hope you'll pay attention and listen unto I'm sure the French are not afraid ;
It's about the dogs I'm going to sing,-don't We wish them well-may they succeed,
think that I am larking, For they believe the Roman Creed !
You must all pay two-and-sixpence if you And now to end my warlike theme,
keep a dog for barking. The French and Irish are the same;
With your bow-wow-wow." And for their welfare now we hope, Because they love the present Pope !" During the siege of Paris, the street
minstrels continued to prophesy victory Prize-fighting has never flourished in Ireland. An Irishman is never mercenary
for the French, and defeat to the
Prussians constantly. where hard hitting is concerned, and the system and organization of the Ring is vir They think to conquer Paris, but its walls tually unknown in the island. The trans
are very strong. planted Irishman, however, occasionally
Brave Trochu and his army will die there to
a man ; distinguishes himself in the profession He's sworn that the Crown Prince and his of slogging, and his foreign reputation army he will defeat, is at once seized upon in his native
And what won't die outside the walls will
fall in the retreat." country as a fact to be proud of from a national and patriotic rather than from “A new Song on the Recapture of a P.R. aspect. Tradition and ballads
Orleans by the French,” by John O'Calinform us of a tremendous set-to on the
laghan, had a great run of popularity Curragh of Kildare, between Cooper of
last year. The chorus, “Tagimind suir England and Donnelly of Ireland, when mar a Ta shea,” is not easily translaDonnelly won the victory and the heart
table; it signifies literally " leave things of a countess who saw him fight. The as they are,” but it has an aside meangiant Baldwin, or O’Baldwin, who two ing implying a threat and punishment. years ago was, from stress of police and the unaccommodating disposition of rail “War to the knife now in France is the cry; way directors, unable to bring off his
Onward to glory, to conquer, or die. tussle for the belt in London, paid a
The Prussians and Germans in turn do fly,
I'm told they are falling in swarms; visit to Ireland, where he met with a I think they had better get ready in time, warm reception from the peasantry of And make no delay, but run back to the his natal parish, and a local poet laid
For as shure as the sun in the heavens do the following tribute of rhymes at his
They'll get Fagimind suir mar a Ta shea. “ You lovers all of manly art and self-defence, Here's a health to the French, who were attend
never afraid, The praises of a hero brave that lately I have And that fortune may learn the young Irish penned.
brigade. His name is Edward Baldwin, from the My curse on the blackguards who basely town of sweet Lismore ;
betrayed He now has challenged England for 1,0001. The soldiers of France and its people. and more.
When the Prussians are beaten and peace is Now, to conclude and finish, and end my
proclaimed, fighting song,
The Sardinian devil the Frenchmen will Let us drink unto brave Baldwin and Dan
tame, Donnelly that's gone ;
To imprison the l'ope shure he thought it no For so true and brave two Irishmen ne'er
shame, fought on British shore,
IIe'll get Fagimind suir mar a Ta shea." Not forgetting brave John Morrissey,a native of Templemore.”.
It will be understood that all the ex
tracts in the foregoing pages are strictly wallet without finding a single verse of taken from the common street ballads. a coarse description. The good time for They may serve to give the English the bard is the season of the contested reader a novel insight into certain ob election. He is then regularly retained, scure phases of Irish humour and senti and has his selected opponent, with ment. The airs to which the verses are whom he may probably attempt consung are almost invariably in minor clusions in the style of the pipers in the keys, and are often, I suspect, the in- “Fair Maid of Perth.” These election spirations of a moment, especially when lyrics are ferocious and eloquent in dethe ballad is bran-new and unattached nunciation, to a degree that often verges by tradition to a popular melody. The on what might be termed the poetry of singer walks slowly along while perform- unlimited abuse ; but the street mining the ditty, and offers copies for sale strel is decidedly most amusing when he without interrupting his chant. А treats of sporting, religion, war, love, crowd strolls after him, and for one who and politics, in the original fashion comes to buy, twenty stay to listen. which the reader has just þad an You might safely purchase the entire opportunity of inspecting, contents of the minstrel's portfolio or
MR. HELPS AS AN ESSAYIST.
BY CANON KINGSLEY.
It is now nearly thirty years ago that and approached by him in a proportionMr. Helps's name began to be revered ally different temper. They were inby many young men and women, who clined at first to accuse that temper of were struggling to arrive at some just dilettantism. It had no tincture of notion of the human beings around them, Cambyses' vein, none even of Shelley's. and of the important, and often frightful It threatened not thrones, principalities, problems of the time. They admired nor powers. It promised not to build him as a poet,and as an historian ; but up an elysium on their ruins. The sneer they valued him most as a critic, not of of lukewarmness rose to many men's art or of literature, but of men and the lips ; and the playful interludes which ways and needs of men. Dissatisfied were interspersed throughout the with the narrow religious theory then volumes seemed to justify their susfashionable in London pulpits, which picions. Were not these mere fiddlings knew no distinctions of the human while Rome was burning ? impertinent race save that between the “uncon- interruptions to the one great work of verted ” many and the “converted” setting the world to rights out of hand ? few, they seemed to themselves to But, as they read on, they found find in his essays views wider, juster, themselves compelled to respect the more humane, more in accord with the writer's temper more and more, even actual facts which they found in them- though it seemed to lack fiercer and selves and in the people round them, bolder qualities which they valued (and and more likely, too, to result in practical rightly) in some of their own friends. benefit to the suffering and the degraded. They were forced to confess at the outAnd well it was for them that they did set that Mr. Helps did not approach so. Some of them were tempted to rush social problems in that. spirit of selfish from one religious extreme into another, sentimentalism which regards the poor which offered them just then not only and the awful as divinely ordained the charms of novelty, but those of means by which the rich and the supergenius, of culture, of manly and devoted stitious may climb to heaven. Neither earnestness. Others were tempted in a did he approach them in the spirit (if very different direction. They were ready the word spirit can be used of aught to escape from a narrow and intolerant so spiritless) of that “philosophie du fanaticism into that equally narrow and néant," the old laissez-faire political intolerant revolutionist infidelity which economy which taught men, and taught has for the last eighty years usurped the little else, that it is good for mankind sacred name of Liberty.
that the many should be degraded in There were those among both parties order that the few may be rich. They saw who received at once from Mr. Helps's that Mr. Helps had, like Mr. John Stuart book an influence none the less powerful Mill, righteous and chivalrous instincts, because it calmed and subdued. It was which forbade them both to accept the new and wholesome for many, then in reasonableness of any reasoning which hot and hasty youth, to find the social proved that. They saw, too, that both problems which were so important to possessed elements of strength which them equally important to a man of they themselves lacked, namely, calm a training utterly different from theirs, and culture ; a calm and a culture
which did not interfere with a deep of the world were probably as necessary tenderness for the sorrows and follies now to the safe direction of human of mankind, and with a deep indigna- affairs, as they ever have been ; that the tion now and then at their wrongs; but weakness of the average ideologue lay which tamed them and trained them to in this not that he had too many use, converting them, to quote from ideas, but too few; that the danger memory an old simile of Mr. Carlyle's, now, as always, lay not in“ latitudina“from wild smoke and blaze into genial rianism” (whatever that may mean), inward heat.”
but in bigotry; not in breadth, but in I do not wish to push further the narrowness; and that “Cave hominem likeness between two remarkable men. unius Scientiæ," like “ Cave hominem But I am certain that many who owe unius Libri,” though undoubtedly true, much to them both, will feel that the was capable of an interpretation by no influence of both has been in some re means complimentary to the man of one spects identical, and that they have science. Good also for them was it, to learnt from both a valuable lesson on learn on the testimony of a witness the importance, whether to the thinker whom they could not well impeach, that or to the actor, of culture and calm. those who had then, and have still, the
It has been good then—to confine direction of public affairs were not myself to Mr. Helps's books—for many altogether the knaves and fools, the young men and women to be taught robbers and tyrants, which they were said that it is possible to discuss, fairly and to be by the then Press of Holywell fully, questions all-important, many ex Street, and even sometimes in the heat quisitely painful, some seemingly well of the Debating Society, by their own nigh hopeless, without fury, even with young kinsmen; that they were men out flurry ; that such a composure is a of like passions, and of like virtues, with sign, not of carelessness, but of faith in those who were so ready to take their the strength of right, and hope in its places, to do all that they had left final triumph; that, as the old seer says, undone ; that they were but too fully “ he that believeth will not make haste," aware of difficulties in any course of and that it is wise “not to fret thy- action, of which the outside aspirant self, lest thou be moved to do evil ;” knew nothing, and which he would that all passion, even all emotion, how be, therefore, still more unable to face ; ever useful they may be in the very heat that though the slothful man is too apt of battle, must be resolutely sent below, “there is a lion in the path,” and clapt under hatches, if we intend the fool is also too apt to say that there to ascertain our own ship's position, or is none; and that though anything to reconnoitre the strength of our like reverence
for one's elders has enemies; that only by a just patience been voted out of court for at least a in preparation, can we save from dis- generation, yet a little humility as to aster an equally just fierceness in
our own value, a little charity towards execution ; that without ou posúvn, those who are trying to get the work done even Opoc, “the root of all the virtues, with such tools as the British nation is of no avail : because without it we allows them, might conduce to a better shall not have truly seen the object on understanding between private men, which the búpos is to work ; shall not and a better understanding of public have looked at it on all its sides, or men, of all parties and opinions. taken measure of its true proportions. No two men have done more, I Good it was for them, too, to find, as believe, to save this generation from two they read on through Mr. Helps's books, or even three extremes of fanaticism, that those sides, those proportions could than Mr. Carlyle and Mr. Helps; and only be ascertained by much culture, that because they have been just to all much reading, observation, reflection, that was vital and sound in the Middle concerning many
Ages, just to all that was vital and sound matters; that the scholar and the man in the French Revolution ; and, be it
remembered, to all that was vital and I believe that many ministers of resound in the young Puritan time of the ligion, of all parties and denominations, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. would agree with what I have said. Thus they have carned the right to be
Mr. Helps much heard, and they have on the whole been more than he knows, or than, perhaps, heard, when they have preached, not it is good for him to know. His inindeed content with the established fluence—though often of course indirect order of things, but at least patience, and unconscious-has been very potent charity, and caution in reforming it. for some years past among the most The extraordinary sale of the cheap rational and hearty of those who have edition of Mr. Carlyle's works, princi- had to teach, to manage, or to succour pally, I am told, among the hard-work their fellow-creatures ; and it is most ing classes, is a hopeful omen that the desirable just now that that influence “public," in spite of all its sillinesses, should increase, and lay hold of the is after all, though very slowly, amen young men who are growing up. It able to reason ; and the day may come is more than probable that the laity when a cheap edition of Mr. Helps's will, ere long, have a far larger share essays-at least a selection from them than hitherto, in the internal managemay find favour with those who are to ment of Church affairs; and to do that be (so we are told) henceforth the chief work well the religious layman will power in the British Empire ; and who require more than piety, more than therefore need to know what the British orthodoxy, indispensable as those will Empire is like, and how it can, and be. He will require a great deal of cannot, be governed. “Essays in the that practical humanity, and a great Intervals of Business,” “The Claims of deal of that common sense, of which Labour,"
,” “Friends in Council,” “ Com Mr. Helps's books are full; for without panions of my Solitude," and last, but not them, and as much of them as can be least, the recent “ Brevia” and “Thoughts obtained, both from laynen and clerks, on War and Culture”-all these would the Church of England will be in danfurnish to the poorest, as well as to the ger of being torn to pieces by small richest, many a weighty, and I believe minorities of factious bigots, who do many a welcome
lesson, concerning not see that she was meant to be, and himself, his family, his countrymen, his can only exist by being, a Church of country, and his duty to them all. If compromise and tolerance; that is, a it be objected that these essays are only Church of practical humanity, and adapted to cultivated men and women, practical common sense. and deal only with an artificial stately Tolerance—which after all is, as Mr. society, I should demur. Mr. Helps Helps says, only another name for that seems to me to ground his sayings, Divine property which St. Paul calls whenever he can, on truths which are charity,—that is what we all need to equally intelligible to, because equally make the world go right. If anyone true for, all men. His aphorisms, even wishes to know Mr. Helps's theological on Government, would stand good just opinions concerning it, let him study the as much for the grocer and his shop- last few noble pages of the second series boy as for the statesman and his of “Friends in Council.” And if he subordinate, and would "touch the wishes to know Mr. Helps's moral witness”—as Friends say-of the one opinions concerning it, whether or not neither less nor more than that of the he considers it synonymous with licence, other; while for manner, as well as for with indulgence either to our own mismatter, many a page of Mr. Helps's deeds or to those of others, let him read might be profitably intercalated into an whatever Mr. Helps has written on the average sermon, were it not that the point on which all men in all ages have "purpureus pannus" might not enhance been most “tolerant”—when their own the homespun, and much less the wives or daughters were not in question ; shoddy, of the rest of the discourse. the point on which this generation is