Cork, 4th Feb. 1823.
…As for us, we are on the verge of a civil war. Cork has always been distinguished for moderation, but Dublin is in a flame… You would be perfectly amazed at the rabid fury of both parties, – for, accustomed as I have always been to outrageous contests, I confess I am a trifle flabbergasted. N’Importe. If there be a civil war I can lose nothing but my head, which is of use to no one but the owner – and may pick up something in the scramble. Old habits of authority have made it a fixed persuasion in Ireland among the Protestants that one Protestant could beat five Papists, and of course I have no fear for the result. Really, without jest, we are woefully insulted… our clergy are reviled and personally abused; our very private parties spied; our toasts controlled by authority; our churches polluted; the priests domineering, swaggering, and libelling our faith, our conduct, and our principles; and, worst of all, if we dare to say a word in reply to the most atricious calumnities or downright insults, we are denounced as not conciliatory… In a word, the question is now narrowed to this – Is the Protestant religion to be tolerated in Ireland? And the end will be that England will have to conquer the country again, which consummation I hope most devoutly to witness…
“Letter from Dr. Maginn to William Blackwood” qtd. in Margaret Oliphant, Annals of a Publishing House: William Blackwood and His Sons Vol 1. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1897. 389