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of Paradise, warn off with her sword of fire the barbarians who have forfeited their right of citizenship. Trammelled, as we have said, by a constitution that no mere reform could mend, preyed upon by parricidal factions, often represented in the field by a few thousand lances, when she might have disposed of as many myriads, yet even thus she propagated her boundaries year after year, absorbed vast provinces, annihilated armies sixteen times the strength of her own, gave laws in the Kremlin, and nearly half a century after heaven and the constitution had wrought her downfall, maintained with the resources of four millions of Poles the struggle we have seen, against the master of forty millions of Russians. It is difficult to understand how these circumstances should not have forced themselves more peremptorily, not upon the statesmen but upon the people of these countries. We do not think there is virtue, genius or courage in our government to face such a solution of the question, nor is it to be expected that any pressure of events outside our own four seas will put that dish of skimmed milk into motion. The treaty that may be supposed to follow our successes, and put a restraint upon Russian encroachment, will be our own handiwork, the contrivance of man, whereas Poland is conspicuously marked by the finger of God to be the rampart of liberty and Christianity. That rampart is prostrate but not demolished, and it rests with us to build it up "e vivis et electis lapidibus." While Poland yet existed, it was part of the constitutions of Polish chivalry that, during the chaunting of the gospel at the altar, the knightly worshipper should stand with his sword half drawn, an attitude sublimely indicative of his place and functions in the economy of European society. When Europe comes to feel the value of Poland, and realize the truth that society is a commonwealth of nations, in which every individual people has its allotted part, not to be usurped by any other without derangement of her entire polity-when she comes to understand further, that the place so long held by Poland, and now so long vacant, is necessary to the general security, and can be filled by Poland alone-when the people of this empire will be careful to separate the cause of Poland from that of other nationalities whose claims, supposing them to have any, cannot be urged with profit to them, or without disaster to the cause of Poland-when all this comes to pass, there will be some hope of the only issue to the present contest
worth the struggle. The fiction of the preservation of Turkey has drifted and cleared away with the smoke of the first shot. It is for Europe, for ourselves, we stand; and even upon no higher, no more dignified principle, the restoration of Poland ought to be the rallying word upon every hustings. On no pretence of embarrassing the course of negotiations, of detaching Austria from the allies, or of provoking the hostility of Prussia, should evasion of this question be permitted. We, for our part, have never triumphed in the weakness or humiliation of Austria; we have no sympathy with her rebels or her defamers; the dearest action of Irishmen has been spent in her service; we are bound to her for a generous and openhearted hospitality in evil times; and we would not willingly deprive her of a foot of territory or a scruple of influence. We have no particular grudge against Prussia, if we take anything from her it must be at a valuation. Let Austria have the Danubian provinces and something more; mediatize half a dozen of German princes and throw their dukedoms to Prussia, but let Poland be revived at any cost. Gratify the pride, make safe the interests of Austria and Prussia as events, may permit; the means will not be wanting if the determination be adopted and adhered to. Austria and Prussia will be more immediate gainers; Austria, no doubt, is aware of this, but her position is lamentably peculiar. She owes it to Russia that she exists. When all Europe, and Engr land more particularly, stood by and flouted her in the death struggle with democracy upon all her frontiers, Russia interposed and saved her. And has Russia no claim upon her gratitude? Alas, Poland was her first deliverer, and gratitude never interposed to forbid the partition, though the partition was simply a crime, while the reduction of Russian power is a necessity. After a little decent reluctance, and a little ceremonious pressure from without, Austria, we may be assured, will come to terms. Prussia, too, it is likely, will come to understand her own interests, and may be brought to surrender Posen for a proper equivalent; but she is under the fascination still, and will require more peremptory dealing. In a word, Europe can have no faith in moral obligations, she must have her "material guarantee" or nothing. Russian and European interests can have nothing in common; their enmity is instinctive, their antipathy invincible, their union impossible, their very co-existence scarce conceivable
Statesmen are not even yet disabused of the idea that Russian and European destinies, like the lines of the parabola, can approach for ever without ever coming into contact. Men seem to think that some squinting treaty looking every way and no way, or blinking the only interest it would appear to stare upon, is the necessity of the time-Diplomatists, if it be left to them, will continue to substitute darkness for safety, ambiguity of clauses for opposition of forces, paper for iron, and back-doors for ramparts in front-Poland is the only rampart that will stand; and unless we raise it up, ministers may outwit each other upon details and win their little victories with their customary little arts; but the solid victory will remain with Russia-nay we can suppose her to play the part of the penitent and vanquished, and consent like Sampson to be bound with bonds of her own choosing, that she can snap without an effort; but we, who know the secret of her strength, how long are we to trifle with our opportunity ?-Let us lay it to heart that Russia is beyond her own control, and that nothing short of a physical obstacle can arrest her progress. A great and fanatical people set in motion by the superstition of a destiny, is no more master of its own will than an avalanche detached from the mountain; and you might as well attempt to arrest the one by artificial obstructions as the other. It is only the opposite mountain, the natural barrier in a word, that can offer an effectual resistance-Poland, we say once again, is that barrier, and can expect to have no other-Poland belongs to the West by religion, civilization, tradition, manners, feelings, instincts, antipathies; and while Russia holds a single fort in the West, Europe is threatened and defied-Goldsmith, a mere poet, an unfortunate scholar, a philanthropic vagabond, who never learned diplomacy, and had as little acquaintance with red tape as with the red ribbon; a few years before the first partition of Poland, felt and described the danger of Russian preponderance in the West more forcibly than any one of us all appears to understand it now. "A fort in the power of this people," he says, "would be like the possession of a flood-gate; and when ambition, interest, or necessity prompted, they might then be able to deluge the world with a barbarous inundation." When Goldsmith wrote, the possession of a single fort by Russia in Western Europe was almost an improbable event. We now find her conterminous with Austria, Prussia, and Turkey; overawing the first, fascinating the second, and on the point of swallowing the third.
We have no occasion to enumerate the successive encroachments of Russia, or mark them by degrees of latitude-The newspapers have done that sufficiently for any good purposeif there be any possibility of getting into the right track, we have every fact and every argument as broadly before us as human wit or divine Providence can shape them.-If we require time for deliberation at this stage of the question, enlightenment may come of it, one day or another, but meanwhile the world will go round and events will revolve without waiting for us.—We know all that we can hope to know, and unless we have to act upon the evidence before us we cannot expect to act at all-Are we to shut our eyes upon the sun and refuse his service, under promise of a ray that started from some yet undiscovered star in the morning of the creation, and will reach us in its own. good time, as it does not loiter on the way.-Public opinion as yet has never taken the direction of Poland-We yawn horridly over an occasional provincial meeting of more than average stupidity professedly in favor of Poland, but where that unhappy country, as unfortunate in her sympathizers as in her tyrants, is swamped in the perilous stuff thrown off about Italy and Hungary. The favours of England to distressed nationalities, have been as indiscriminate, as fallacious and as ruinous as a prostitute's. "A teeming mistress but a barren wife," she plighted her troth to liberty, and intrigued with revolution: she sinned with conspiracy and brought forth disaster.-A different course is open to her now-an opportunity of retrieval and reparation such as occurs but once in a history, has arisen, and is passing. The greatness of England, the greatness of France; liberty, civilization, progress, peace and safety for Europe, are concerned in her decision; but she deceives herself, she deceives the expectation of the world, she is false to her glory, false to her repose and false to her conscience, if she abandon PolandThe Restoration of Poland is still possible-how long will it continue so? In human affairs there can be eventually but one moment's interval between, time enough, and too late-Even now that moment would seem to be present; it solicits, but it cannot tarry. "O Jerusalem, would that thou hadst known and that in this thy day, the things that are for thy peace."
ART. VII. THE NATIONAL AND KILDARE PLACE SYSTEMS.
1. The Twenty-first Report of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, (for the year 1854). Dublin: Thom. 1855.
2. Fifteenth Report of the Church Education Society for Ireland. Being for the year 1854. Dublin: 1855.
Dull and thoughtless indeed must they be who can pass by the noble edifices raised for the education of the poor in our Metropolis without being moved with feelings of pride and gratification. Those buildings stand as so many testimonies of the good and noble-minded men who have struggled in the grand and glorious cause of Popular Education, and to whom the Irish poor are, and ever will be indebted.
Those acquainted with the state of education in Ireland some twenty years ago, can only appreciate the effects that the National System of Education has wrought upon the Country which then was steeped in ignorance, an ignorance which a grand system of education, like the National, alone could remove. In this great national system and as part of it, plans were devised and first adopted for securing in a peculiar way native talent, for the work of instruction and for training it where found in such a fashion as to make its re-production in teachers a second time most effectual-in this as in the great question of Religion, the Commissioners have set examples of ability and forethought to all who are, and may be engaged in a kindred cause.-Strenuously have they carried out the wise and judicious principles upon which the system has been founded, namely, absence of all compulsion, and avoidance of all restriction, as far as the religious feelings of the community are concerned. The failure of the Kildare Place Society, was to them a great lesson, and the present generation feels the practical effects of that lesson. The unwise policy of the supporters of the Kildare Place system, who foolishly thought that the Irish people would suffer their children to be instructed by a system of Education which aimed at the subversion of their peculiar religious convictions, was its ruin. The Roman Catholic part of the community saw that it was a "mockery, a delusion, and a snare," that when their children "asked for bread, they were offered a stone," and the slow conviction was at last forced on the Kildare Place Society itself, that their efforts were a vain and useless labor, and yet, though short the time was, that it was in operation, it produced some effects fraught with evil to the people of Ireland, and to the