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A legion of tracts and pamphlets that might be counted by hundreds have rushed vainly to the
ministerial rescue. The doubt is as great and distressing as before Mr. Ridgway let them loose. The
two great reviews have also entered the lists of religious controversy: and it is an odd exemplification of
the probable effect of the coming discussion on political parties, that the Quarterly should be recommending
the state to consent to a concordat, with a view to peace with Rome; while the Edinburgh is declaring with
horror that no state ever signed a concordat without signing away some of its rights, and legalising
usurpation to the advantage of Rome. When established old doctors thus change sides, what hope of
agreement is there among people of no authority! Nevertheless it may be worth while to mention
what a third doctor remarks in one of the pamphletsprobably the only one worth separate mention.
Doctor Twiss declares conclusively that the Papal Brief constituting the new hierarchy entails in one of its
provisions a direct violation of the statute law of the land in reference to the see of St. David's; and
that in its general object of erecting sees for bishops in ordinary, within the dominions of an independent
sovereign without the consent of the crown, it involves a departure from long established practice
which in such matters constitutes the law. The law therefore, it is presumable, will have to apply itself
to these points; and it is more than probable that a fourth (this time a Right Reverend) doctor has hit
accidentally, yet precisely on the head, the legislative nail now shaping in the forge of St. Stephen's, when he
tells one of his "dear Mr. Archdeacons" in his diocese of Durham that it may probably be necessary to apply
some restrictions to the future introduction and circulation of Papal bulls in this island, to forbid the
existence of monastic institutions strictly so called, and to prohibit the assumption of episcopal titles
conferred by Rome and deriving their names from any locality in the kingdom. It would not be unsafe
to predict that somewhat after this design will be the plan of ministerial legislation against popery in the
forthcoming session of the British Imperial Parliament; and that great will be the difficulty, and manifold
the discontents, in legislating even thus far.


The leaders of the Irish Tenant League having
abandoned the idea of holding county meetings in Down
and Antrim, the plan of the campaign underwent
revision, and it was agreed to hold district meetings in
various portions of the two counties. The first of these
took place on the 30th December. The attendance was
very thin, and in Newtownards, part of the northern
estates of the Marquis of Londonderry, the proceedings
did not present a single feature of novelty. Mr.
Sharman Crawford was unable to attend, but wrote a
letter expressive of his views on the question, which
fully coincided with the objects of the meeting.

The Irish Poor-law Commissioners have dismissed
the Ennistymon Board of Guardians, on the grounds of
General bad management and repeated acts of
inhumanity to the paupers. A shocking instance of the
conduct of these Guardians will be found in the "Household
Narrative" for October last, page 224.

The Great Meeting of the Ulster Protestant
Association, on the 2nd, from which Irish Protestants
expected such a vigorous and influential demonstration
against the Roman aggression, proved a failure in point
of numbers: an extremely thin attendance throughout
the day is apologetically admitted, and the Northern
Whig ascribes the circumstance mainly to the fact that
in Ireland the agitation has been too exclusively clerical.
The resolutions were in character, and passed of course.

The Encumbered Estates Commissioners carry on
their proceedings in Dublin with much activity. Within
the week ending on the 2nd instant absolute orders for
sale were made in eleven cases, and conditional orders
in twelve others. Further orders for the payment of
money out of the proceeds of sales were made in fifty-five
matters, the amount paid being £29,128, which,
with £349,665 previously paid, makes the total sum
distributed by the commissioners £378,793. During the
same week eighteen new petitions have been filed, in
fifteen of them the owners being also the petitioners,
and the total number of petitions filed in the court to
the 2nd instant is 1,477. The fresh batch of petitions
present the same melancholy array of enormous
liabilities and inadequate assets exhibited by the vast
majority of those which have hitherto been brought
under the operation of this court.

A numerous meeting, on the subject of the Duty on
Paper, was held at the London Tavern on the 2nd
instant. Mr. Cowan, M.P., presided, and, in his opening
speech, forcibly sketched the oppressive limitations
which clog the manufacturer
"At the beginning of the century there were twenty-
seven exciseable articles; of which there remain but
six or seven at the present time. Of these there is but
one article which bears on the face of it prima facie
evidence of the duty having been charged by means of the
label fastened on it: that article is paper. The absence
of this label subjects the manufacturer to a tax of £10;
it used to be £100. There is but one article subject to
detention for a single moment after the duty has been
charged: that article is paper. Yet one would think
that it should be the other way, in consequence of
paper bearing the label on the face of it. But the
contrary is the fact, for the Excise obliges the manufacturer
to keep his paper twenty-four hours before he can send
it out; and this time is calculated from the period when
the officer visits his work. The process of charging the
paper is also a peculiar one, for the paper label which
is pasted on must be dry before the duty is charged.
When this has to be done with regard to every
description of paper and on every ream, and when moreover
it has to be weighed and wrapped up by the officer, it
imposes an amount of labour and consumes a quantity
of time, which is very singular in this so-called free-
trade country. If so much time were uselessly
expended in the manufacture of any other articlessuch
as gloves, for instanceit would not be allowed to
continue a week, for the voice of the country would be
instantly raised against it. It is because the paper-
manufacturers are a small body scattered over the
country, and are not concentrated in a particular locality
like the manufacturers of Birmingham and Sheffield,
that these unfair restrictions are allowed to continue.
Mr. Cowan showed the meeting some paper made in
Gloucestershire from wheat-straw; the cost of the raw
material was 2s. a hundredweight, and the tax on the
manufactured result is 14s. 9d. per hundredweight. Sir
Robert Peel took off a duty on cotton which was only
five-sixteenths or rather less than a third of a penny per
pound; but here the tax is more than a penny-half-
penny per pound; the tax is 700 or 800 per cent, on
the original value of the article; it is therefore a tax
on labour. In Paris, 30,000 females find employment
in making paper boxes; so that in that metropolis small
purchases are presented, not in white-brown paper, but
in elegant little boxes; those boxes come into this
country at 10 per cent, on their value, but if they were
made in this country they would be taxed 200 per cent,
on the value of the material." Mr. Cassell, a publisher,
showed the injurious manner in which the tax affected
cheap literature; he was publishing a history of
England for the working classes, which was brought out in
sixpenny volumes; and when the work was completed
the tax paid to the Government would not be less than
£200. If the tax were repealed, it would enable the
publishers of cheap literature to employ and pay the
first authors of the day, and to issue their publications
in a neat and handsome garb that would adorn the
shelves of the working classes. He could tell them that
there was nearly £300 of taxation upon every impression