As your country now finds itself again brought down into the deepest misery and prostration as a result of that universal character of the Irish—improvidence—I hope that your readers would be obliged to consider, in a series of letters, the suggestions of a concerned friend to the country for its immediate and sustained improvement.
Although not an Irishman, I have forever cherished the virtues and characters of this green and lovely land and I wish to see it swiftly restored to peace, happiness and prosperity. I propose to travel around the countryside, and to view for myself its present circumstances, gathering in a most impartial and empirical fashion those facts needed for its future growth and regeneration.
Situated as I am in Dublin as I write this letter, I hope that you will not consider me presumptious if I use the occasion of this opening of correspondence to supply you with some preliminary thoughts about this great metropolis.
I am sure that you will not deny that I am a lover of all that beautifies a city, and certainly there is nothing that beautifies like art. And yet I admit to having been profoundly disgusted at my first encounter with that object quaintly entitled ‘the millenium spire’. Surely it is a singular monstrosity, at least I have never seen anything of the like in all my travels, but it is a monstrosity nonetheless. After lengthy contemplation, however, I have arrived at what I believe to be a most ingenious and astonishing adaptation. If a spire of identical height and form were to be erected at the opposite side of the River Liffey, and a cord of sufficient strength and durability strung between the two spires, and ladders provided for each spire, this would create what is referred to in the circus as a ‘tight rope’. Just as the Romans were said to be kept in check by the provision of ‘bread and circus’, so too may the rabble of Dublin be kept loyal during straightened times by similar acts. The first use of the ‘tight rope’, then, would be as a means of testing the balancing abilities of those Irish bankers and property owners who the people now hold responsible for their straightened circumstances. While providing an excellent and harmless spectacle to serve as a distraction from greater cares, the tight rope act would also have the benefit for the country of neatly dispensing with those individuals, through their undoubted descent into the Liffey, whose daily appearance in newspapers around the world only serve to further erode the good image of Ireland which its generous and warm-hearted people have done much to build.
A friend to Ireland