Maria Edgeworth: Quotations

From the Works
Castle Rackrent (1800)
Ennui (1809)

See full-text version of “The Limerick Gloves” (from Popular Tales, 1804)
in RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics” - attached.

Author’s Remarks
On Castle Rackrent
Letter to M. P. Pakenham (1834)
Cracked looking-glass …
Marriage stakes
Landlord Meliorism
Social Class
The lower Irish …
Irish Catholics
Irish Language
Land fit for absentees …
Verses on Ireland
Welsh harpers

Two MS stories ...

See full text versions of selected texts see RICORSO Library ...
Castle Rackrent (1800) [incls. “An Apology”]
“The Limerick Gloves” (in Popular Tales, 1804)

Note: Sebastian Barry (q.v.) employs a passage from the Preface to Castle Rackrent (1800) as an epigraph for The Secret Scripture (2008): ‘Of the numbers who study, or at least read history, how few derive any advantage from their labours! [...; &c.]’. See under Barry > Life > Notes - as supra.

Irish realities in 1834 …
The Irish Looking-glass: ‘It is impossible to draw Ireland as she how is in the book of fiction - realities are too strong, party passion too violent, to bear to see, or care to look, at their faces in a looking-glass. The people would only break the glass and curse the fool who held the mirror up to nature - distorted nature, in a fever. We are in too perilous a case to laugh, humour would be out of season, worse than bad taste. Whenever the danger is past, as the man in the sonnet says, “We may look back at the hardest part and laugh.” Then I shall be ready to join in the laugh. Sir Walter Scott once said to me, “Do explain to the public why Pat, who goes forward so well in other countries, is so miserable in his own.’” A very difficult question: I fear above my power. But I shall [178] think of it continually, and listen, and look, and read.’ (Letter to Michael Pakenham Edgeworth, Esq., [written at] Edgeworthstown, 19 February 1834; quoted in Declan Kiberd, ‘Irish Literature and History’ [appendix], in R. F. Foster, Illustrated History of Ireland, OUP 1989, p.306-07.) [Note: The recipient was in India at the time.

Cure for hypochrondia: ‘I should recommend to the wealthy hypochondriacs a journey to Ireland, preferaby to any country in the civilised world. I can promise them, that they will not only be moved to anger often enough to make their blood circulate briskly, but they will even, in the acme of their impatience, be thrown into salutary convulsions of laughter, by the comic concomitants of their disasters.’ (Ennui; q.p.; quoted in Heidi Hansson, Writing the Interspace (Cork UP).


Bibliographical note: The above epistolary remarks were first printed in A Memoir of Maria Edgeworth, with a Selection from her Letters by the late Mrs. Edgeworth, edited by her children, 3 vols. [privately published 1867], Vol. III, p.88; rep. in Life and Letters, ed. A. J. C. Hare [2 vols.] (NY 1895, Vol. II, p.550; rep. in The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, ed. Seamus Deane, et al., Derry: Field Day Company 1991, Vol. 2, p.202 - where they are referenced to Augustine Martin, Genius of Irish Prose (1984). Also cited by various authors including Benedict Kiely, Poor Scholar [1947] (1972 Edn.), p.95; Patrick Sheeran, “The Novels of Liam O’Flaherty: A Study in Romantic Realism” [Ph.D. Diss.] (UCG 1972), p.179; John Cronin, ‘The Creative Dilemma of Gerald Griffin’, in Talamh an Eisc: Canadian and Irish Essays, ed. Cyril J. Byrne & Margaret Harry (Halifax: Nimbus Publ. Co. 1986), p.117; Tom Dunne, ‘Fiction as “the best history of nations”: ‘Lady Morgan’s Irish Novels’, in The Writer as Witness: Literature as Historical Evidence, ed. Dunne (Cork UP 1987), pp.118-1; David Lloyd, Anomalous States (1993), p.134, and Conor McCarthy, Modernisation, Crisis and Culture in Ireland 1969-1992 (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2000), p.125 [citing Lloyd and ascribing it erroneously to a letter to ‘her father’, Richard Lovell Edgeworth].

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Castle Rackrent (1800), Preface [orig. Apology]: ‘[…] We cannot judge either of the feelings or of the characters of men from their actions or their appearance in public; it is from their careless conversations, their half finished sentences, that we may hope with the greatest probability of success to discover their real characters’; ‘The life of a great or of a little man written by himself, the familiar letters, the diary of any individual published by his friends, or by his enemies after his decease, are esteemed important literary curiosities. We are surely justified in this eager desire to collect the most minute facts relative to the domestic lives, not only of the great and good, but even of the worthless and insignificant, since it is only by a comparison of their actual happiness or misery in the privacy of domestic life, that we can form a just estimate of the real reward of virtue, or the real punishment of vice’. Further: ‘[…] The merits of a biographer are inversely as to the extent of his intellectual powers and his literary talents. A plain unvarnished tale is preferable to the most highly ornamented narrative. Where we see that a man has the power, we may naturally suspect that he has the will to deceive us, and those who are used to literary manufacture know how mush is often sacrificed to the rounding of a period or the pointing an antithesis.’ [Calls Thady’s idiom ‘incapable of translation’ into plain English.] ‘It is a problem of difficult solution whether the Act of Union will hasten or retard the amelioration of this country’; ‘Nations as well as individuals gradually lose attachment to their individuality, and the present generation is amused rather than offended by the ridicule that is thrown upon their ancestors … When Ireland loses her identity by an union with Great Britain, she will look back with a smile of good-humoured complacency on the Sir Kits and Sir Condys of her former existence.’ (1800 Edn., pp.x-xi; Everyman Edn. 1964; p.1-5.)

[Ending:] The Editor hopes his readers will observe, that these are ‘tales of other times’; that the manners depicted in the following pages are not those of the present age: the race of the Rackrents has long since been extinct in Ireland, and the drunken Sir Patrick, the litigious Sir Murtagh, the fighting Sir Kit, and the slovenly Sir Condy, are characters which could no more be met with at present in Ireland, than Squire Western or Parson Trulliber in England. There is a time when individuals can bear to be rallied for their past follies and absurdities, after they have acquired new habits and a new consciousness. Nations as well as individuals gradually lose attachment to their identity, and the present generation is amused rather than offended by the ridicule that is thrown upon their ancestors. [/] Probably we shall soon have it in our power, in a hundred instances, to verify the truth of these observations. When Ireland loses her identity by an union with Great Britain, she will look back with a smile of good-humoured complacency on the Sir Kits and Sir Condys of her former existence. (Quoted in Joep Leerssen, Remembrance and Imagination: Patterns in the Historical and Literary Representation of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century [Field Day Monographs: Critical Conditions 4], Cork UP 1996, pp.8-9; note: Leerssen"s copy shows no paragraph-break her given as [/]. For full version, see under RICORSO > Library > Authors > Maria Edgeworth > Castle Rackrent - as attached.)

See also page-images from Castle Rackrent, Preface (3rd edn. 1801) with associated text - as attached.

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Castle Rackrent (1801) [THADY:] ‘to look at me, you would hardy thing “poor Thady” was the father of attorney Quirk; he is a high gentleman and never minds what poor Thady says, and having better than 1,500 a year, landed estate, looks down upon honest Thady, but I wash my hands of his doings, as I have lived so will I die true and loyal to the family.’ (OUP edn., p.8.)

LADY MURTAGH RACKRENT’S ECONOMY: ‘However, my lady was very charitable in her own way. She ha[d] a charity school for poor children, where they were taught to read and write gratis, and where they were kept well to their spinning gratis for my lady in return; for she had always heaps of duty yarn from the tenants, and got all her husband’s linen out of the state from first to last […] With these ways of managing, ’tis surprising how cheap my lady got things done, and how proud she was of it.’ (p.13.) [Note that Edgeworth calls Thady’s idiom ‘incapable of translation’ into plain English. For longer extracts, see attached - or go to full text in RICORSO Library, “Irish Classics”, via index, or direct.]

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Ennui (1809), Edgeworth envisages a ‘paradise in the wilds’ (Robert Wolff, ed., Garland Edn., 1978, p.158) based on a strong education system: ‘beginning with the children … they go on in the way they were taught, and prosper to our hearts content’ (p.160); Glenthorn finds ‘these people seemed born for my use … gave more the idea of vassals than tenants’ (p.76); later, ‘I was now to live … only for the service of my subjects. How these subjects of mine had contrived to go on for so many years in my absence, I was at a loss to conceive.’ (p.84). At the end, Christy Donoghue, the real Lord Glenthorn, has managed to burn the castle and ‘will go back to [his forge] and by the help of God forget … what has passed.’ (p.399). ORMOND, the hero moves between Castle Hermitage, The Black Isles, and Annaly. He foregoes France and his ‘course of dissipation’ (p.398), even an affair with Dora; Lady Annaly is gratified to see how the education she imparts to him produces ‘the perfect felicity which subsisted between her daughter and Ormond’ (IUP ed., 1972, p.400). ‘I hope,’ continued I, ‘that you will be as happy when you are Earl of Glenthorn, as you have been as Christy Donoghue’ (p.311); THE LETTER: ‘To Christy Donoghue, “Honoured foster-brother … misfortins has happened me … the castle’s burnt down all to the ground and my Johnny’s dead. I wish I was dead in his place … owing to the drink … candle &c.’” (p.397). Note var. orths. ‘O’Donaghue’ and ‘O’Donoghue’ here rendered Donoghue.]

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The Absentee (1812; The Absentee, ed. W. J. McCormack OUP 1987), Preface [contrib. by R. L. Edgeworth]: ‘[…] to warn the thoughtless and the unoccupied from seeking distinction by frivolous imitation of fashion and ruinous waste of fortune.’ LADY CLONBRONY: ‘A strong Hibernian accent she had, with infinite difficulty, changed into an English tone. Mistaking reverse of wrong for right, she caricatured the English pronunciation; and the extraordinary precision of her London phraseology betrayed her not to be a Londoner.’ (Chap. 1, p.5.) ‘Lady Clonbrony had not, for her own part, the slightest notion how people could be brought to this pass, nor how any body out of Bedlam could prefer, to a good house, a decent equipage, and a proper establishment, what is called love in a cottage.’ (Chap. IV.) LORD COLAMBRE: ‘The sound of various brogues, the din of men wrangling, brawling, threatening, whining, drawling, cajoling, cursing and every variety of wretchedness … Is this Ireland? No, it is not Ireland … what I have just seen is the picture only of that to which an Irish estate and Irish tenantry may be degraded in the absence of those whose duty and interest it is to reside in Ireland, to uphold justice by example and authority but who neglecting this duty, commit power to bad hands and bad hearts, abandon their tenantry to oppression and their property to ruin.’ (p.162).

The Absentee (1812): Index to chars. and episodes: Colambre, [passim]; Grace, 14, 32, 176 (grace); Broadbent, Miss, 75, only a citizen, 189; Lady Clonbrony, 60; Dashfort, 95, 105, 244; O’Halloran, 115, 125; Terence O’Fay, 22, goodnatured, 190; Isabel, 126; Larry Brady, 139 seq.; non-sectarian relations, cordiality, 133; Irishism, 16; Ireland, 162; Irish prince 183; the good agent, 132; judicious kindness, 129; absentee, 122; GENTRY/GENTILITY gentleman, 163, 168 (viceroy), 172 (Colambre, rael gent.); Geraghty, 163-8; Reyonlds, 235; Mrs Raferty, 148 (not a lady born) [BS.] For longer extract, see attached.]

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Essay on Irish Bulls, by R. L. & Maria Edgeworth [1802] (NY: Garland Publ. 1979) [facs. rep.]: The authors attack the principle ‘that there exists among the natives of Ireland an innate and irresistible propensity to blunder.’ (p.3-4.) Further:—

- ‘That species of monopolising pride, which inspires one nation with the belief that all the rest of the world are barbarians, and speak barbarisms, is evidently a very useful prejudice, which the English, with their usual good sense, have condescended to adopt from the Greeks and the Romans.’ (p. 19.)
- ‘Impute a peculiar incurable mental disease to a given people, show that it incapacitates them from speaking or acting with common sense, expose their infirmities continually to public ridicule, and in time probably this people, let their constitutional boldness be ever so great, may be subjugated to that sense of inferiority, and to that acquiesence in a state of dependance, which is the necessary consequence of the conviction of imbecility.’ (p. 20.)
- ‘It was formerly in law no murder to kill a merus Hibernicas ; and it is to this day no offence against good manners to laugh at any of this species’. (p.57.)
‘It is a thousand times more consequence to have the laugh than the argument on our side ...’ (p.58.)
- ‘We need not in imitating them have any scruples of conscience.’ (p.58.)
- ‘[…] the Irish, if they be not blunderers, must continue to be thought absurd and ridiculous, from the unchangeable nature of the association of ideas.’ (p.191.)
- ‘[W]henever we hear the tone [brogue], we expect the blunder.’ (p.192.)
- ‘The dread of being the object of that species of antipathy or ridicule, which is excited by unfashionable peculiarity of accent, has introduced many of misguided natives of Ireland to affect, what they imagine to be the Engish pronunciation. They are seldom successful in this attempt ... To avoid the imputation of committing barbarisms, people sometimes run into solecisms, which are yet more ridiculous. Affectation is always more ridicular than ignorance.’ (p.193.)
- ‘The attempt to speak delicate English, which are made by son[s] of thy sons and daughters, who, ashamed of their country, betray themselves, by mincing out their abjuration. From all persons, of whatever sex, rank, or pretensions, what call table teebles, and chairs cheers, good Lord deliver us!’ (p.195.)
- ‘To many people the most stale and vulgar Irish bull would appear more laughable because it was Irish.’ (p.232.)
The foregoing largely quoted in Martin J. Croghan, ‘Maria Edgeworth and the Tradition of Irish Semiotics’, in A Small Nation’s Contribution to the World, ed. Donald E. Morse, et al., Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1993, pp.194-206.]

See also remarks on the ‘Irish bull’ in T. C. Croker, Irish Historical Songs (London: R. Richards for the Percy Society 1841) - as infra.

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Letters on Castle Rackrent (1): ‘How many things we have talked over together! Rackrent especially, which you first suggests to me, and encouraged me to go on with.’ (Letter to Mrs. Ruxton [her paternal aunt], 7 Aug., 1822; Memoir, 1867, ii, p.206; quoted in Watson, ed., Castle Rackrent [World Classics], OUP 1964, p.xi.)

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Letters on Castle Rackrent (2): Letter to Mrs Stirk (1834): ‘[…] The only character drawn from the life in Castle Rackrent is “Thady” himself, the teller of the story. [90] He [viz., John Langan] was an old steward (not very old, though, at that time; I added to his age, to allow him time for the generations of the family). I heard him when I first came to Ireland, and his dialect struck me, and his character; and I became so acquainted with it, that I could think and speak in it without effort; so that when, for mere amusement, without any idea of publishing, I began to write a family history as Thady would tell it, he seemed to stand beside me and dictate; and I wrote as fast as my pen could go. The characters are all imaginary. Of course they must have been compounded of persons I had seen, or incidents I had heard, but how compounded I do not know; not by “long forethought,” for I had never thought of them till I began to write, and had made no sort of plan, sketch, or framework. There is a fact, mentioned in a note, of Lady Cathcart having been shut up by her husband, Mr. M’Guire, in a house in this neighbourhood. So much I knew, but the characters are totally different from what I had heard. Indeed, the real people had been so long dead, that little was known of them. Mr. M’Guire had no resemblance, at all events, to my Sir Kit, and I knew nothing of Lady Cathcart but that she was fond of money, and would not give up her diamonds. Sir Condy’s history was added two years afterwards: it was not drawn from life, but the good-natured and indolent extravagance was suggested by a relation of mine long since dead. All the incidents are pure invention; the duty work, and duty fowl, facts.’ (Edgeworthstown, 6 Sept. 1834; Memoir, 1867, iii, p.152; quoted in Emily Lawless, Maria Edgeworth, Macmillan 1904 [purportedly the first occasion]; also in John Cronin, ‘Castle Rackrent’ [chap.], in The Anglo-Irish Novel - Vol. I: ‘Nineteenth Century’, Belfast: Appletree 1980), p.26 [up to ‘pen could go ...’, and in George Watson, ed., Castle Rackrent, OUP 1964, p.xi.)

Letters on Castle Rackrent (3): Letter of July 1808: ‘John Langan says that Mistress Bellmore will be fit to be tied when she hears that the master has gone and given Pat Carroll four guineas a hundred for the butter, instead of three pound five for which Mrs. Bellmore bargained for it. But Kitty, my dear, if you had seen how happy Pat Carroll looked when he came to pay his rent and my father allowed him that unexpected price! His long chin became two inches shorter, and though he looked before as if he had never smiled since he was created, he then smiled without power to help it, and went away with as [96] sunshiny a face as ever you saw, carroll ing his Honor’s praises for the best landlord in the three counties.’ (dated ‘Wed. [July 1808]’; quoted in Emily Lawless, Maria Edgeworth, NY: Macmillan 1905, pp.95-96.)

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On Castle Rackrent (1800) - further epistolary references:
- ‘[The] Continuation was added two years afterwards, it was not drawn from life, but the good-natured and indolent extravagance were suggested by a relation of mine long since dead’; ‘My father wishes to have some additions made it & I fear in this instance additions will not according to the Irish usage be synonymous with improvements …’ (Unpubl. letter to C. Sneyd Edgeworth [her brother], March 1810; quoted in George Watson, ed., Castle Rackrent, OUP 1964, p.xiv.)
- ‘My father wishes to have some additions made to it, & I fear in this instance additions will not according to the Irish usage be synonymous with improvements. I am inclined to think that I could say better all my father wishes to have said about the modern manners of the Irish McQuirks [sic] in the story I am now writing of Patronage (Unpubl. letter to C. Sneyd Edgeworth, March 1810; quted in Watson, op. cit,, p.xiv.)
See also remarks on ‘levying a fine’ and ‘dock[ing] the entail’, probably in ref. to the glossary item on the Irish poor man’s knowledge of law in Castle Rackrent (Also, letter to her cousin, Sophie Ruxton, 7 May 1800), Note also that the glossary item ‘kilt’ is here parenthetically explained and more fully explained elsewhere by the author.
- ‘Will you beg dear Aunt Mary to look in my bureau for a note about fairies for Castle Rackrent. It is written in her own hand - if she finds it she will be so kind to send it to Johnson - he is going to publish a 4th Edn. of Rackrent.’ (Letter to Sneyd Edgeworth of Oct. 1802, written en route from Sittingbourne to Dover and Paris; the addition to the text unprinted and not extant; see Watson, op. cit., p.xiv.)
- ‘We hear from good authority that the King was much pleased with Castle Rackrent - he rubbed his hands and said what what - I know something now of my Irish subjects - I am more flattered by its being so well received by the Irish themselves - We were lately told by a very sensible man that it was considered by all the people he had met as representation of past manners which should flatter the present generation - In reality the family from whom the picture was chiefly taken has ceased to exist these forty years.’ (Letter to Dr. Beaufort in 1800; cited in Watson, op. cit., pp.xvi-xvii.);
- ‘[H]as Castle Rackrent ever reached you? - One of the notes in the Glossary is my father’s writing. - Guess which it is - if you think it worth while.’ [q. source.]

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Letter to M. P[akenham] Edgeworth, Esq., [dated] Edgeworthstown, February 19, 1834: ‘It is impossible to draw Ireland as she now is in a book of fiction - realities are too strong, party passions too violent to bear to see, or care to look at their faces in the looking-glass. The people would only break the glass, and curse the fool who held the mirror up to nature - distorted nature, in a fever. We are in too perilous a case to laugh, humour would be out of season, worse than bad taste. Whenever the danger is past, as the man in the sonnet says, / “We may look back on the hardest part and laugh.” / Then I shall be ready to join in the laugh. Sir Walter [88] Scott once said to me, “Do explain to the public why Pat, who gets forward so well in other countries, is so miserable in his own.” A very difficult question: I fear above my power. But I shall think of it continually, and listen, and look, and read.’ [For the full text of this letter, see attached.]

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Two stories from unpublished MSS

Source: Christina Colvin, ‘Two Unpublished MSS by Maria Edgeworth’ [1. “Langan’s Defeat”; 2. “An Irish Wedding”], in A Revew of English Literature, ed. A. N. Jeffares, VIII, 4 (Oct. 1967), pp.53-61 [as attached].

A gentleman who passed through Bridge Street in Dublin on the 12th of June last after the news of Langan the boxers defeat had reached Dublin saw a crowd of people assembled, listening to {53} a woman who stood with one arm akimbo mid with her stick in the other hand struck the ground exclaiming:
 ‘Oh Langan! Langan! Langan! Where are you now! You’re be’t! you’re be’t! - Bet by an English buck! - Well be’t so ye are & kicked - och! that ever I should see this day! - That Paddy’s land should ever see this day! - To see the shamrock trodden under fut (foot) [n.3] by an English buck! - But the devil mend ye!
  Oh Donolly Donolly! Sweet Dan Donolly! les you that could fight your way like a jantleman, so you could - You never was be’t, but you came home with your victories to die dacent in Paddy’s land. My darlant
See full text - attached.
II. AN IRISH WEDDING ( Aug. 5th 1829)
We were at a wedding a few days ago and I wish you had seen it - Peter Langans eldest daughter to Pat Green of the Hill - very well suited in age looks - everything - It had been going on many a month - Greens father wanted £200 - they split the differ and Peter gave 150 But begged it might not be mentioned - Would not have it known on any account that he would give so much - The marriage was all rightly done - No running away and acting of anger penitence and forgiveness [n.5]
 So we were all particularly glad to grace these proper nuptials with our presence - Grandmamma - Mamma - Honora - Maria Lucy walked to Peter Langans - day fine - He came out to receive us with a face shining with the oil of gladness - smooth-smooth shaved - (the sun illuminating his countenance as when we came home after the rebellion) - {55} a few years older than at that time but little the worse for the wear - He welcomed us with an air which many a born gentleman might have envied - led us in through kitchen with blazing hearth & preparations of roasting and boiling and pots of flesh &c like the wedding of Camachio the rich - & through an open door the boiling of pot seen in the yard.
See full text - attached.

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Marriage stakes: ‘I have no doubt that my happiness would be much increased by a union with a man suited to me in character, temper, and understing, and firmly attached to me, but deduct any of those circumstances and I think I should lose infinitely more than I should gain […] I am not afraid of being an old maid.’ (Quoted in Marilyn Butler, Maria Edgeworth: A Literary Biography, Oxford 1972, p.187; cited in Willa Murphy, ‘A Queen of hearts or an Old Maid?: Maria Edgeworth’s Fictions of Union’, Acts of Union: The Causes, Contexts and Consequences of the Act of Union, ed. Dáire Keogh & Kevin Whelan, Dublin: Four Courts Press 2001, p.188.)

Landlord meliorism: being the concern with ‘not only what could be done, but what had been done, by the influence of great proprietors residing on their own estates, and encouraged the people by judicious kindness.’ (Absentee, Chap. IX; quoted in Watson, ed. Castle Rackrent, OUP 1964, xxii.)

Social class in Ireland: ‘The question, whether society could exist without the distinction of ranks, is a question involving a variety of complicated discussions, which we will leave to the politician and the legislator … At present it is necessary that the education of different ranks should, in some respects, be different. They have few ideas, few habits in common.’ (Preface to The Parent’s Assistant, 1796).

The lower Irish: ‘The lower Irish are such acute observers, that there is no deceiving them as to the state of the real feelings of their superiors. They know the signs of what passes within, more perfectly than any physiognomist, who every studied the human face, or human head’ (Memoirs, 1820, ii., p.241; cited in Watson, ed., Castle Rackrent, OUP, 1964, 1969, Introduction, p.xxiv.)

Irish Catholics: ‘Catholics can and should have equal rights [but] must not have a dominant religion.’ (Quoted in Michael Hurst, Maria Edgeworth and the Public Scene, Macmillan 1969, p.223.)

The Irish language: ‘The Irish language is now almost gone into disuse, the class of people all speak English except in their quarrels with each other …’ (1782; quoted in Butler, p.91; quoted in Rolf Loeber & Magda Loeber, A Guide to Irish Fiction, 1650-1900, Dublin: Four Courts Press 2006, p.lvii.)

A land fit for absentees: ‘[…] but it is reasonable that a country should be rendered fit to live in before we complain more of Absentees’ (1839; quoted in Marilyn Butler, Maria Edgeworth: A Literary Biography, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1972, pp.452-53).

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Verses on Ireland: ‘Ireland, with all thy faults, thy follies, too, / I love thee still, still with a candid eye must view / They wit too quick, still blundering into sense, / Thy reckless humour, and improvidence, / And even what sober judges follies call […] / I, looking at the Heart, forget them all.’ (Maria Edgeworth, “Wetmore”; quoted in Gordon Wetmore, Ireland [with a foreword by Princess Grace of Monaco], London: Thomas Nelson 1980], p.108.)

Welsh harpers: ‘The old harper who used to be the delight of travellers at this inn [in Conway, Wales] is now sitting in an arm chair in the little parlor within the kitchen in a state of dotage. His harp stood in the room in which I slept carefully buckled up in its green cover. At Bangor there was no harper. The waiter told us they were “no profit to master and was always in the way in the passage so master never let none come now.”’ (Letter to Mary Sneyd, March 31, 1819; quoted in Katie Trumpener, Bardic Nationalism: The Romantic Novel and the British Empire, Princeton UP 1997, p.3 [epigraph to Introduction].)

Maria Edgeworth on punishment and pedagogics:

“For what purpose do I punish you””?
“Not because you like to give pain, but to hinder me from doing wrong again.”
“How will punishment hinder you from doing wrong again?”
“You know, papa, I should be afraid to have the same punishment again, if I were to do the same wrong again.”

—In Eliza Robbins, ed., American Popular Lessons, chiefly selected from the writings of Mrs Barbauld, Miss Edgeworth and Other Approved Writers (NY: Roe Lockwood and son 1839, p.44 [compiled for NY City public schools; quoted in Robert Hampson, ‘Allowing for Possible Error’: Education and Cathecism in “Ithaca”, in Joyce’s “Ithaca”, ed. Andrew Gibson (Amsterdam & Atlanta: Rodopi 1996, p.237.)

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