Sydney Smith - Various Quotations

‘Before you refer to the turbulence of the Irish to incurable defects in their character, tell me if you have treated them as friends and equals? [...] Nothing of all this. What then? Why you have confiscated the territorial surface of the country twice over; you have massacred and exported her inhabitants; you had deprived four fifth of them of every civil privilege; you have at every period made her commerce and manufactures slavishly subordinate to yor own; and yet the batred which the Irish bear to you is the result of an original trubulence of character, and of a primtive, obdurate wildness, utterly incapable of civilisation.’ (Quoted in S. Deane, A Short History of Irish Literature, 1986, p.60; cited in Kevin Whelan, ‘The Other Within [... &c.]’, in Keogh and Whelan, Acts of Union, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2001, p.26.)

John Bowen, reviewing Jim Cooke, Charles Dickens’s Ireland: An Anthology including an Account of His Visits to Ireland (Inchicore: Woodfield Press), notes that Sydney Smith’s “The spade in Ireland” is included but not the preceeding two articles in the series to which it belongs. (Times Literary Supplement, 12 Dec. 1999, p.22.)

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