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PREFACE.

HAVING lately had a month's tour in Ireland, with a view of seeing something of the people, and especially of the working of the Coercion Act, I have put down on paper an account of my experiences, and venture to think that it may be not uninteresting to English readers, as giving some picture of a system of society and government differing considerably from anything which either Conservatives or Liberals approve of in England.

My first chapter has already appeared in the columns of the Times under the somewhat pretentious heading (for which I am not responsible) of a Political Tour in Ireland'; but the point of view taken in the account, and the criticisms on the system of government by means

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of sub-inspectors of police, seem to have alarmed the editor, who refused to insert the rest of my contributions, leaving my first letter in the absurd position of a beginning without middle or end.

I have been sharply criticised in several Conservative papers as “a pretentious prig,' for having had the impudence to imagine that these jottings from my diary while in Ireland could have any possible interest for English readers. I am described as a 'shallow globe-trotter,

' who has unfortunately had the chance of airing his 'secondhand views,' while pretending that he went to Ireland with an unprejudiced mind; and the public is seriously warned against accepting either his fallacious facts or his foolish opinions. In spite, however, of the indignation my impertinence has already aroused, I venture to print the rest of my experiences, and to present to the public the genuine account of a very interesting tour, but one which nobody is bound either to buy or to believe. I lay no claim to an impossible impartiality, but I have put down the things that I heard and saw in Ireland, whether they told for the landlords or for

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