The mansion of Besborough contains some good paintings, and in other respects is said to be well worth visiting. We had, however, no time for inspecting it; besides I thought it more important to examine the agricultural state of the country, and to investigate the physical and moral condition of its people, than to wander through the stately interiors of the seats of noblemen. Lord Besborough had been making extensive improvements in more completely draining a tract ofboggy ground, by straightening and deepening the drains; the uneven surface and softness of the morass rendered the use of oxen necessary in the process of ploughing. His lordship's estate in this neighbourhood, contains about 25,000 acres, and the rental is nearly £16,000 per annum; coupled with the Carlow property, the amount is about £30,000.
Major Curry admitted that Poor Laws are inevitable; at the same time he was of opinion that the administration of them, and the discrimination of proper objects, would be attended with great difficulty. The money, he added, now so liberally bestowed upon mendicants, does not appear to be so much the consequence of real charity, as of a superstitious dread of beggars' curses.
Cheyte Sing received his liege lord with every mark of reverence, came near sixty miles, with his guards, to meet and escort the illustrious visiter, and expressed his deep concern at the displeasure of the English. He even took off his turban, and laid it in the lap of Hastings, a gesture which in India marks the most profound submission and devotion. Hastings behaved with cold and repulsive severity. Having arrived at Benares, he sent to the Rajah a paper containing the demands of the government of Bengal. The Rajah, in reply, attempted to clear himself from the accusations brought against him. Hastings, who wanted money and not excuses, was not to be put off by the ordinary artifices of Eastern negotiation. He instantly ordered the Rajah to be arrested and placed under the custody of two companies of sepoys.
Welsh courtship is a thorough-going business, earlyentered upon by the boys and girls of the Principality;and consequently most Welsh women marryyoung. The ancient laws of Howell the Good (died948) expressly provided that a woman should beconsidered marriageable from fourteen upwards, andshould be entitled to maintenance from that ageuntil the end of her fortieth year; ‘that is to say,from fourteen to forty she ought to be considered inher youth.’ By every sort of moral suasion it isdeemed right in Wales to encourage matrimony,and no where are old bachelors viewed with lessforbearance. There used to be a custom—I knownot whether it be extinct now—of expressing thepopular disapprobation for celibacy by planting onthe graves of old bachelors that ill-scented plant, therue, and sometimes thistles, nettles, henbane, andother unlovely weeds. The practice was even extended,most illiberally and unjustly, to the gravesof old maids, who certainly needed no such insultadded to their injury. Probably the custom wasnever very general, but grew out of similar—butother-meaning—customs which are still prevalent,and which are very beautiful. I refer to the plantingof graves with significant flowers in token of thevirtues of the dead. Thus where the red rose isplanted on a grave, its tenant is indicated as havingbeen in life a person of peculiar benevolence ofcharacter. The flower specially planted on thegrave of a young virgin is the white rose. Thereis also an old custom, at the funeral of a youngunmarried person, of strewing the way to the gravewith evergreens and sweet-scented flowers, and thecommon saying in connection therewith is that thedead one is going to his or her marriage-bed. Sad extremely,and touchingly beautiful, are these customs;but wherever such exist, there are sure to be ill-conditionedpersons who will vent spiteful feelings bysimilar means. Hence the occasional affront to the remainsof antiquated single folk, who had been perhapsof a temperament which rendered them unpopular.
Property is a nuisance.- Paul Erdos
The several failures that have occurred at Arigna, where success ought to have been the result, are attributed by Mr. Griffith, as stated by him in his evidence before a committee of the House of Commons, to improper management, and the frequent changes in the managers, who were not skilful or experienced men. Iron ore, in Roscommon, and many parts of Ireland, is almost inexhaustible.
Here lies a nuisance dedicated to sanity.- David Low
The church and the grave-yard are in the vicinity of the old palace on the hill. The former has suffered deplorably from the attempts of some rustic Vitruvius to modernize its exterior: fortunately, however, a fine old Saxon door-way has escaped the touch of the spoiler, and, being of hard stone, retains much of its original beauty and sharpness of execution. In the church-yard are many ancient tombstones; but the most noticeable object within its crowded precincts, is the tomb (overgrown with shamrock) of the learned and venerable Bedell, who was consecrated bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh, in the year 1629. The memory of this excellent prelate is piously cherished by men of all parties, as, indeed, it deserves to be. Bishop Bedell caused the Book of Common Prayer to be read in Irish every Sunday in his cathedral, and sought to propagate his own religion, not by adopting hostile measures against those of the opposite faith, but by circulating the Scriptures and useful tracts among the people, andby the example of a life unremittingly devoted to the purest and the holiest purposes. Bishop Bedell is remarkable, too, for the determined stand which he made against pluralities. In order the more effectually to put an end to a system which the majority of good men have concurred in condemning, he separated the see of Ardagh from that of Kilmore, though he had been at considerable expense in recovering some of its revenues. Since his time, however, they have been re-united. This venerable man died in the 71st year of his age; and, to mark the respect with which his character was regarded, the Irish rebels attended his funeral, and fired a volley over his grave, exclaiming, in Latin, "Requiescat in pace ultimus Anglorum May the last of the English rest in peace!" And a Roman Catholic priest, who was present on the occasion, is said to have paid him a tribute of respect and veneration in the following wish: "O sit anima mea cum Bedello! May my soul be with that of Bedell!"
Inspite of its rapid economic Problem of Begging in India.
In connection with the passage of the Reform bill, it is properto notice one of the foremost Englishmen of this century—. Nothing strikes one more forcibly in thelife of this extraordinary person than the number and varietyof the subjects upon which he has exerted his powers. Hispublished speeches and writings on either one of several of thepolitical measures he has advocated, if viewed merely as intellectualefforts, might satisfy the ambition of an honorable aspirantafter forensic or literary fame. The aggregate constituteshardly a tithe of his achievements in the cognate departmentsof public affairs. From his entrance into the House ofCommons down to the present time, his name glows on everypage of England's parliamentary history; and his posteritywill permit but few of the myriad rays that encircle it to beeffaced or obscured. As an advocate and a jurist, many ofhis speeches at the bar and opinions on the bench will live longafter the law of libel and the court of chancery cease to oppressand vex mankind. His services in the cause of popular education,whether we regard the time expended, the ability displayed,or the results attained, surpass the labors of many personswho have been assigned to a foremost place among theeminent benefactors of their age. His contributions to theEdinburgh Review, covering its whole existence, and a largecircle of literary, scientific, political, social, legal, and historicalsubjects, would class him with the highest rank of periodicalessayists. His more substantial works, as Sketches of EminentStatesmen, History of the French Revolution, Lives ofMen of Letters and Science, Discourse on Natural Theology,Political Philosophy, composed amidst the cares of public officialstation, would suffice to give him an enduring name inthe republic of letters.