Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Auld Sod

(Note to loyalists: I'm sorry I've been so lax. I was afraid for awhile I'd lost interest. But I think it was just indigestion.)
On to Edmond Burke, whose writing I once recommended to a drunken bar manager calling himself a conservative though I, of course, have never read anything by Burke except the occasional apt quote. This part of a piece on Burke just struck home not because of him, but because of the sheer brutality of life in the 18th Century.
On the January day he was born Éamon de Búrca, in the old tongue, in 1729, on Arran Quay on the River Liffey in Dublin, the English penal laws forbade Catholics from holding public office, marrying Protestants, owning weapons, serving in the military or as a lawyer or judge, voting, receiving public education of any sort or redress from arrest without cause by a representative of the king, purchasing land, inheriting land from Protestants, leasing land for more than 31 years, owning a horse worth more than five pounds, speaking their native Irish language, and building churches. (In the few cases where churches were allowed to be built, imperial law forbade the use of stone.) 

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