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At home the priesthood fared full worse. In 1652, the Puritan commissioner proclaimed the 27th of Elizabeth to be the law of the commonwealth," as to priests and Jesuits. Twenty-eight days only were given all such persons to depart the kingdom. A great number emi. grated, but about an equal number remained. A thousand victims dared to remain to be captured and executed, and the cruel perseverance with which they were hunted down resembles more the revengeful horrors of romance than the truths of history. “Some of them were burned before a slow fire; some were put on the rack, and tortured to death; whilst others, like Ambrose Cahill and James O'Reilly, were not only slain with the greatest cruelty, but their inanimate bodies were torn into frag.

ments, and scattered before the wind."* The Dominican : order counts thirty Irish martyrs within its decade; the

Augustinians an equal number; the Franciscans still more; the losses of the Jesuits must have been great. Of the destruction of the secular clergy there is no record, but of near a thousand who remained in Ireland after the proclamation of 1652, it is certain not one half outlived Oliver Cromwell.

Fearful as was the persecution of the clergy, nobles, and peasants, the afflictions of those who lived in garrisoned districts were scarce less. Upon these the soldiery were billeted at free quarters, and from them their pay was collected weekly.

" Along with the three scourges of God," says an eye-witness, ---“ famine, plague, and war, there was “ another, which some called the fourth scourge, to wit, " the weekly exaction of the soldiers' pay, which was “ extorted, with incredible atrocity, each Saturday,

bugles sounding and drums beating. On these occa- sions the soldiers entered the various houses, and

pointing their muskets to the breasts of men and women, threatened them with instant death if the sum demanded was not immediately given. Should it * Croly's Life of Archbishop Plunket, Dublin, 1850, O'Daly's Geraldine, Dr. French's Tracts, and Peter Walsh's History of the Remon. strance, are the best contemporary authorities.

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" have so happened, that the continual payment of “ these pensions had exhausted the means of the people, “ bed, bedding, sheets, table cloths, dishes, and every "description of furniture, nay, the very garments of the

women, torn off their persons, were carried to the “market-place and sold for a small sum; so much so, " that each recurring Saturday bore a resemblance to " the day of judgment, and the clangor of the trumpet “smote the people with terror almost equal to that of “ doomsday."

Domiciliary visits were made at all hours of the night and day, and the godly soldiers of the Covenant, like other rigid theorists, showed, by the licentiousness of their lives, how very far an affected austerity is from real piety and purity.

Moreover, the “ navigation act," passed by the Protector ostensibly against the Dutch, struck still more severely at the Irish seaports. From them, nominally under the same government, all direct trade with the colonies was cut off

. By securing the monopoly of the “ carrying trade” to “ British bottoms," Ireland was ordered off the ocean as a trespasser; nor has she ever yet recovered what she lost during the long continuance of that most partial and unjust statute. This and other laws of the commonwealth were enacted

in London, the two kingdoms being placed by the Protector under one general legislature.

Oliver died in September, 1658, to the great delight of the Catholics. Immediately a presentiment of King Charles's return filled the minds of men. Though Richard Cromwell was proclaimed Protector, at London and Dublin, no one expected him to hold power. Imitating the adroit policy of General Monk, Broghill Coote, Inchiquin, and other Irish Puritans, besieged Athlone, Limerick, Clonmel, and Waterford, and de

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* Lynch's Life of Bishop Kirwan.

† Cromwell's navigation act, the basis of the maritime code of England, was reënacted by Charles II.'s first Parliament; repealed by the Irish Parliament in 1779, after operating above a century. It has been finally abolished in England, in 1849.

clared for the king. At the restoration, next year, Broghill was made Eati of Orrery, Coote Earl of Mountrath, and the rest confirmed in their parliamentarian grants. Though the greater part of their spoils were also secured to them, the Dublin Puritans, in common with their English brethren, never 'relished the restoration. In 1665, under Colonel Blood, they attempted to seize the Castle of Dublin but the plot failed.

Twenty years later we find them active against James, and devoted to William. A leaven of the old spirit of Hugh Peters and Stephen Jerome has always lingered in the Irish capital, but its activity has been only an irritant to the more powerful and better disposed classes of that population. Presbyterian Derry submitted to the restoration with similar insincerity.

The Puritan and Presbyterian powers had Ireland, as we have seen, at their mercy for a dozen years. They succeeded in destroying many, in converting none. They fought bravely, giving no quarter to “ the uncircumcised." They rooted out the Irish gentry, and exiled or martyred the clergy. They had imported into Ireland the seeds of every kindred sect, but not one of them took root.* They had violated shrines, defaced tombs, defiled altars, and beheaded priests; but they had not made twenty Puritans in all broad Ireland! It is recorded with wonderment in the records of Galway that in that populous city they had a solitary convert, one Lynch Fitz-Thomas, who, it is added, died of remorse and a broken heart. They were less successful even than Browne and St. Leger, than Strafford and Usher. These first reformers could fill a pew, at a pinch, but as for the poor Puritans, all their Irish converts might have been stowed into Hugh Peters's pulpit.

Of the chief of the ferocious sect, Oliver Cromwell, we need say but little. The perverse spirit of a litera

* “Independents, Anabaptists, Seceders, Brownists, Socinians, Millenarians, and Dissenters of every description formed of this new colony."-Speech of Lord Chancellor Clare, on the Irish Union, 1800.

ture whose boast is to glorify success and worship mere strength, has striven to exalt him into a hero. It entirely depends on the standard, whether or not you find him to be a hero. If candor, bravery, gentleness, justice, generosity, and unostentatious devotion bé heroic attributes, Oliver was none. If craft, courage, hypocrisy, and slaughter make a hero, he was selfmade.

Irish tradition has kept his memory in a proverb which makes his name synonymous with hunger and rapine. History, informed by the spirit of our holy religion, condemns him as one of the most wicked and detestable of the fallen children of Adam.

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