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memory remains, can Ireland forget the home of her emigrant, and the asylum of her exile. No matter whether their sorrows sprung from the errors of enthusiasm, or the realities of suffering - from fancy or infliction ; that must be reserved for the scrutiny of those whom the lapse of time shall acquit of partiality. It is for the men of other ages to investigate and record it: but surely it is for the men of every age to hail the hospitality that received the shelterless, and love the feeling that befriended the unfortunate. Search creation round, where can you find a country that presents so sublime a view, so interesting an anticipation ? What noble institutions! What a comprehensive policy! What a wise equalization of every political advantage! The oppressed of all countries, the martyrs of every creed, the innocent victim of despotic arrogance or superstitious phrenzy, may there find refuge; his industry encouraged, his piety respected, his ambition animated; with no restraint but those laws which are the same to all, and no distinction but that which his merit may originate. Who can deny that the existence of such a country presents a subject for human congratulation! Who can deny, that its gigantic advancement offers a field for the most rational conjecture! At the end of the very next century, if she proceeds as she seems to promise, what a wondrous spectacle may she not exhibit! Who shall say for what purpose a mysterious Providence may not have designed her! Who shall say that when in its follies or its crimes, the old world may have interred all the pride of its power, and all the pomp of its civilization, human nature may not find its destined renovation in the new! For myself, I have no doubt of it. I have not the least doubt that when our temples and our trophies shall have mouldered into dust—when the glories of our name shall be but the legend of tradition, and the light of our achievements only live in song; philosophy will rise again in the sky of her Franklin, and glory rekindle at the urn of her Washington. Is this the vision of romantic fancy? Is it even improbable? Is it half so improbable as the events, which, for the last twenty years have rolled like successive tides over the surface of the European world, each erasing the impressions that preceded it? Thousands upon thousands, Sir, I know there are, who will consider this supposition as wild and whimsical ; but they have dwelt with little reflection upon the records of the past. They have but ill observed the
never-ceasing progress of national rise and national ruin. They form their judgment on the deceitful stability of the present hour, never considering the innumerable monarchies and republics, in former days, apparently as permanent, their very existence become now the subjects of speculation—I had almost said of scepticism. I appeal to History! Tell me, thou reverend chronicler of the grave, can all the illusions of ambition realized, can all the wealth of an universal commerce, can all the achievements of successful heroism, or all the establishments of this world's wisdom, secure to empire the permanency of its possessions ? Alas, Troy thought so once; yet the land of Priam lives only in song! Thebes thought so once, yet her hundred gates have crumbled, and her very tombs are but as the dust they were vainly intended to commemorate! So thought Palmyra-where is she? So thought Persepolis, and now
“Yon waste, where roaming lions howl,
Where sports the warbling muse, and fancy soars sublime." So thought the countries of Demosthenes and the Spartan, yet Leonidas's is trampled by the timid slave, and Athens insulted by the servile, mindless, and enervate Ottoman! In his hurried march, Time has but looked at their imagined immortality, and all its vanities, from the palace to the tomb, have, with their ruins, erased the very impression of his footsteps ! The days of their glory are as if they had never been ; and the island that was then a speck, rude and neglected in the barren ocean, now rivals the ubiquity of their commerce, the glory of their arms, the fame of their philosophy, the eloquence of their senate, and the inspiration of their bards! Who shall say, then, contemplating the past, that England, proud and potent as she appears, may not one day be what Athens is, and the young America yet soar to be what Athens was! Who shall say, when the European column shall have mouldered, and the night of barbarism obscured its very ruins, that that mighty continent may not emerge from the horizon, to rule, for its time, sovereign of the ascendant!
Such, sir, is the natural progress of human operations, and such the unsubstantial mockery of human pride. But I should, perhaps, apologize for this digression. The tombs are, at best, a
sad although an instructive subject. At all events, they are ill suited to such an hour as this. I shall endeavour to atone for it, by turning to a theme which tombs cannot inurn, or revolution alter. It is the custom of your board, and a noble one it is, to deck the cup of the gay with the garland of the great; and surely, even in the eyes of its deity, his grape is not the less lovely when glowing beneath the foliage of the palm-tree and the myrtle.—Allow me to add one flower to the chaplet, which, though it sprang in America, is no exotic. Virtue planted it, and it is naturalized every where. I see you anticipate me- I see you concur with me, that it matters very little what immediate spot may be the birth-place of such a man as Washington. No people can claim, no country can appropriate him; the boon of Providence to the human race, his fame is eternity, and his resi. dence creation. Though it was the defeat of our arms, and the disgrace of our policy, I almost bless the convulsion in which he had his origin. If the heavens thundered and the earth rocked, yet, when the storm passed, how pure was the climate that it cleared; how bright in the brow of the firmament was the planet which it revealed to us! In the production of Washington, it does really appear as if nature was endeavouring to improve upon herself, and that all the virtues of the ancient world were but so many studies preparatory to the patriot of the new. Individual instances no doubt there were ; splendid exemplifications of some single qualification. Cæsar was merciful, Scipio was continent, Hannibal was patient; but it was reserved for Washington to blend them all in one, and like the lovely chef d'quvre of the Grecian artist, to exhibit in one glow of associated beauty, the pride of every model, and the perfection of every master. As a General, he marshalled the peasant into a veteran, and supplied by discipline the absence of experience; as a statesman, he enlarged the policy of the cabinet into the most comprehensive system of general advantage; and such was the wisdom of his views, and the philosophy of his counsels, that to the soldier and the statesman he almost added the character of the sage! a conqueror, he was untainted with the crime of blood; a revolutionist, he was free from any stain of treason; for aggression commenced the contest, and his country called him to the com mand.—Liberty unsheathed his sword, necessity stained, victory eturned it. If he had paused here, history might have doubted
what station to assign him, whether at the head of her citizens or her soldiers, her heroes or her patriots. But the last glorious act crowns his career, and banishes all hesitation. Who, like Washington, after having emancipated a hemisphere, resigned its crown, and preferred the retirement of domestic life to the adoration of a land he might be almost said to have created ?
“ How shall we rank thee upon glory's page,
Far less than all thou hast forborne to be !" Such, Sir, is the testimony of one not to be accused of partiality in his estimate of America. Happy, proud America ! the lightnings of heaven yielded to your philosophy! The temptations of earth could not seduce your patriotism!
I have the honour, Sir, of proposing to you as a toast, The IMMORTAL MEMORY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON.
DELIVERED AT AN AGGREGATE MEETING OF THE ROMAN
CATHOLICS OF THE COUNTY AND CITY OF DUBLIN.
Having taken, in the discussions on your question, such humble share as was allotted to my station and capacity, I may be permitted to offer my ardent congratulations at the proud pinnacle on which it this day reposes. After having combated calumnies the most atrocious, sophistries, the most plausible, and perils the most appalling, that slander could invent, or ingenuity devise, or power array against you, I at length behold the assembled rank and wealth and talent of the Catholic body offering to the legislature that appeal which cannot be rejected, if there be a Power in heaven to redress injury, or a spirit on earth to administer justice. No matter what may be the depreciations of faction or of bigotry ; this earth never presented a more ennobling spectacle than that of a christian country suffering for her religion with the patience of a martyr, and suing for her liberties with the expostulations of a philosopher; reclaiming the bad by her piety ; refuting the bigoted by her practice; wielding the Apostle's weapons in the patriot's cause, and at length, laden with chains and with laurels, seeking from the country she had saved, the constitution she had shielded! Little did I imagine, that in such a state of your cause, we should be called together to counteract the impediments to its success, created not by its enemies, but by those supposed to be its friends. It is a melancholy occasion; but melancholy as it is, it must be met, and met with the fortitude of men struggling in the sacred cause of liberty. I do not allude to the proclamation of your Board; of that Board I never was a member, so I can speak impartially. It contained much talent, some learning, many virtues. It was valuable on that account; but it was doubly valuable as being a vehicle for the individual sentiments of any Catholic, and for the aggregate sentiments of every Catholic. Those who seceded from it, do not remember that, individually, they are nothing; that as a body