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TI E FAMINE. (From the Tablet.) Still this hideous famine. Still death, slow death, falling upon thousands. Still, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, grown children and infhnts looking helplessly and hopelessly on each other, while the gaunt monster, whose arms embrace them as with bonds of iron, and who within them begins to live as they begin to die, drains drop by drop the life that God has given. The strong man-once strong, and still in the flower of his age-falls by the way-side like ripe fruit in autumn, and in ditch, or bog, or meadow, yields himself up to fatten and enrich by his corruption the earth by whose produce he should have been sus tained. He falls down, and there is none to mark his calamity, for multitudes are hastening to the same end; and the care of Priest, or patron, or neighbourhood, fails by reason of the multitude. The soul takes its flight to God, and the wasted form-so wasted that even the nearest and dearest cannot recognise the changed lineaments of him who was once their joy-lies unheeded and exposed, till a more complete destruc tion resolves them into their original ele
ments; while it home-what was once home-wife and children, parents and kinsfolks have hardly strength to bewail the calamity. they are so soon to share. His death is to them so bereavement; for they, too, are marked for the shambles. The infant looks up to the face that once beamed joy upon him, and to the hands that once supplied his food, and he sees empty hands and a countenanbe'stiff with the rigidity of death. His last words are, " Mother, give me three grains of torn," and then the last born, with a mournful celerity, speeds on to the bosom of the Almighty to tell of the coming of her who gave him birth. Sad, and yet joyful; for they have done with earth. Their pangs are ended. The cruel gripings of famine are for them no ,more. ?lkL wolfish madness which hianger generates is at an end. The living death has by death been changed into life. The merciful God has made himself their refuge, and with everlasting pity receives them into eternal bliss. B3it those who survive; the tenants of those thousand huts whose mi serable walls still shut in the more wretched for whom Death has no mercy, and whom he smites yet leaves alive ; those whose purgatory on earth is still prolonged; whose sufferings continue and increase; whom a parsimonious charity keeps alive only for the prolongation of anguish; who with limbs hardly able to carry themselves have to pretend to labour for the bread that keeps them wretched ; for whom death would seem a desirable consummation, and almost to be prayed for; what, Christian reader, do you think of these ?-what will you do for these ? Still, we say, these calamities continue; and would to God that were the end of our story. Alas I it is only the beginning; the end is not yet. As yet God has sounded but the prelude of His judgments. It is the overture that we have been listening to, for the hideous drama itself the curtain has not yet been drawn up. If it be true that the public wisdom and forethought of the country have done their utmost, what issue are we to look for when on New Year's Day the profoundest wisdom is not able, in many districts, so much as to find coflins for the burial of the dead ' Hitherto the wealth of those who were once the wea'thior classes has availed something. Scaled by the prospect before them, they have per haps shrunk from exhausting their means at the beginning of the trouble, and in many instances have not done so much as might be fitting; but, at all events, they have done something hitherto. I-low will it be before five desolate months have rolled over our heads? before five, six, or seven months have reduced many of them to the verge of destitution, and have worn down to very sleider dimensions the barrier that fences off' their class from that of the hun ger-stricken peasant ? In the county of Mayo, for instance, there are at this very moment thousands of men employed at public wages on the public works, and yet there (and elsewhere) Famine rides tri umphant before the year has well com menced. Will aflhirs have improved in February ? in March ? in April ? Will the landlords, the shopkeepers, the merchants -whatever of middle class there is in the country-be better able to cope with the affliction when another fruitless and barren quarter-day shall have left us behind ? No, no: without a miracle this cannot be. Al ready discerning persons see the coming on of more hideous symptoms ; that the en forced poverty of the landlords will com plete the work of nature by exterminating the famished peasant from, the soil. " 1 repeat," says a most intelligent cor respondent of the Freeman's Journal, who has just been exploring some of the less destitute parts of Mayo-" I repeat that the symptoms of a wide spread systematic extermination are just beginning to exhibit themselves. This is the first time, I be lieve, that public attention has been called to this subject, but ere many months go by, unless deterring measures are adopted, all Ireland will ring with it-all Ireland may be convulsed by it. Fortunately this is a matter that timely legislation may check. Pray heaven that Ministers may have pru dence enough not to disregard the little cloud as it now rises upon the horison. If they arestatoesmen they will fix their atten tion upon it at once, and be prepared to meet it when it envelopes and bursts upon the country, as burst upon the country it most assuredly will. I am not speaking under the influence of any prejudice against the landlord class. Let none of your readers set down to the account of such a feeling my present warning, as to thie wholesale system of ejectment that is now in prepa ration. This system of ejectment is only a part of the train of evils that hang, by a necessity almost as inevitable as a mathle matical deduction, upon the calamity whose first pressure we are now experiencing. The potato cultivation being extinguished for at least a time, thie peasant cultivators can pay no rents; sheep and horned cattle can pay rents, and smart rents too; there fore the sheep and the cattle shall have the lands, and the peasants shall be ousted from them. A very simple and most inevitable conclusion, as you see-one that can be drawn with as satisfactory a certainty byany pale student in his closet, who has the po tato fatilure given to him for his postulate, as by the tenant in Mayo, who knows that on the estate of a single proprietor in that county there are already served more than six hundred processes foibrrent--served with the declared intention of using an execution against the person of the tenant, as the shortest and easiest method of compelling a surrender of thie land. I acknowledge to the utmost extent the dimfculty in which
the landlords are placed. Their lands are peopled with peasant cultivators, who have been up to this moment abandoned by these landlords to the mercies of bailiffs and other rent-exactors, who enjoying but a precarious tenure of the land, have been exposed, upon accomplishing the slightest improvement in their farms, or exhibiting the least symptom of accumulating capital, to be pounced upon by the landlord and his harpies, for an increase of rent, an extra vagant bribe, or rent and bribe together, and who have, therefore, been reduced to the necessity of saving themselves from plunder by keeping themselves naked and poor. The nakedness of the peasant tenantry has been their only protection against robbery. Poor, miserable, and naked,-therefore, this calamity has found the peasant tenantry, without capital to support theis against it, without skill, energy, or means to recover them out of it. With such a tenantry have the landlords now to deal. While the potato lasted, this tenantry gave them, in the shape of rent, oats, pigs, cattle, everything the land pro duced, save only the potato on which they lived. The potato being gone, the peasant cultivator can now hardly produce from his few acres food for himself, much less a surplus for his landlord. Of course such a tenantry will infallibly be evicted. This is equally plain to the a priori reasoner on old familiar facts, as to the a postiori observer of all the new facts that are starting up through the country. I therefore cannot be sup posed to be misled by any animosity against the landlords, nor by any over-readiness to believe against them whatever savours most strongly of inhumanity, but am onlystating a stern fact which was to be expected from the first, and which there can be no reason for discrediting or doubting when we see it; -there is a system of who!esale ejectment of the peasant tenantry in preparation throughout the country. Government must meet it either by preventing it or by coun tervailing it. Now is the time to think of the matter, and to find the remedy-the prevention, the correction, or the compen sation, whichever of them it be that a wise and provident statesmanship may think fit to apply to the evil. Only let not the Go vernment put offI mending our roofs until the storm has swept down upon us. I repeat it-an universal system ofoousting the peasant tenantry is about to set in. Whether this results from the fault or from the necessities of the landlords it matters not. % hlether the landlord adopts such a course in heedless inhumanity, that his income may not be diminished, and himself baulked of his wonted luxuries, or whether he adopts it from the compulsion of his own inexorable circumstances, coerced by the pressure of his own debts, obliged to meet the interest accruing upon his own engagements, and bound therefore, to realise rent from his lands if he would save himself from eviction by his own mortgagee or other incumbran cer-the result is all alike ; the enormity of the coming evil is the same, and statesmen who would be equal to the emergency, must look at it, measure it, and provide against it, before the country is convulsed with its presence." Tile same writer, in another part of his letter, adds what follows: " In reference to anotlher topic of my letter-the resumption of the lands by the landlords-since I came to town I have conversed with many persons, lately arrived from different parts of the country, who had each some corroborative fact to state from his own locality. The number of civil bills issued by the landlords in all parts of the country is unprecedented. You will under stand that the course meant to be pursued for resumption of the lands from the present unfortunate occoupiers is this :-the tenant will be processed for the rent in the Assist ant-Barrister's court as for a simple debt, a decree will be obtained, an execution will then be issued against the person of the tenant, he will be arrested and get his choice to go to jail or to give up his land. He, of course, adopts the latter alternative. This proceeding costs but a few shillings, and can be all completed within a month or less I A summary process ofejectment this ! Already the country papers begin to give indication of what is about to happen. Take the fol lowing from the last Roscommon Journal: "The number of civil bills served by landlords for the approaching session of this town will treble those ever cent out for the last ten years." This being the state of things, it is idle to multiply words or to seek to move by rhetorick. The facts that are to be read an our, in every paper of the time, are there before the world-before Christians ofevery denomination-and those whom these facts do no move, those who can read with stony hearts and unmoistened eyes, those who can read without a wish to do their part towards the relief of these miseries, those who with a full knowledge of the case can lie down deliberately to sleep without taking the resolutiou a once to fulfil the duties of their state by almrdeeds--oh I God, where would such wretches go to iffrom that sleep they were never to wake again t We are very glad to inform our readers that the Bishop of the district--ever prompt in his attention to the calls of charity-has directed a public appeal and collection in overy one of his chapels for next Sunday, for to-morrow. WVe regret, however, to add that only half the proceeds of that collection are to be for the poor of Ireland. On the first hearing, this seemed reasonable enough; but we fully assent to the opinion of a correspondent-a lady who suggests that, greatas the distress may be in London (and great it uuquestionably is), our poor have at least the poor rates,
and an organised system of-out-door relief from tolerably ample funds to fall back upon. Their case is one of extreme seve rity, but not necessarily, or in many cases of death. It is a great freedom for us to take ; but we could have wished most earnestly that one day-one days's collec tion-might be set apart in this metropolis for the miseries of Ireland. Our own poor would still remain, and our own duties in regard to them. They would remain I not like the poor in Ireland, who remain not, but pass away from the scene altogether. Is it oven yet too late to adopt a different course ? Is it even yet too late to give one day to Skibbereen and Mayo ? . Would to God that all our readers would take ex ainille~eby the Congregation of Brewood, over which the Rev. Mr. Richmond so wor thily presides.