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[72] more, and so on indefinitely. Mortgages brought a
chap. IV.} 1763.
new and numerous class of claimants. Thus humane connection between the tenant and landlord was not provided for. Leases were in the last resort most frequently given at will; and then what defence had the Irish Catholic against his Protestant superior? Hence the thatched mud cabin, without window or chimney; the cheap fences; the morass undrained; idleness in winter; the tenant's concealment of good returns: for to spend his savings in improving his farm would have been giving them to his immediate landlord.

To the native Irish the English oligarchy appeared not in the attitude of kind proprietors, whom residence and a common faith, long possession and hereditary affection united with the tenantry, but as men of a different race and creed, who had acquired the island by force of arms, rapine, and chicane, and derived revenues from it by the employment of extortionate underlings or overseers.

This state of society, as a whole, was what ought not to be endured, and the English were conscious of it. The common law respects the right of self-defence; yet the Irish Catholics, or Popish recusants as they were called, were, by one universal prohibition,1 forbidden using or keeping any kind of weapons whatsoever, under penalties which the Crown could not remit. Any two justices might enter a house and search for arms, or summon any person whomsoever, and tender him an oath, of which the repeated refusal was punishable as treason.

1 Irish statutes, 1695: Act for the security of Government.

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