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But now, even while I speak, who leads the British senate? A Protestant Irishman! Who guides the British arms? A Protestant Irishman! And why, why is Catholic Ireland, with her quintuple population, stationary and silent? Have physical causes neutralized its energies ? Has the religion of Christ stupified its intellect? Has the God of mankind become the partisan of a monopoly, and put an interdict on its advancement? Stranger, do not ask the bigoted and pampered renegade who has an interest in deceiving you; but open the penal statutes and weep tears of blood over the
Come, come yourself, and see this unhappy people: see the Irishman, the only alien in Ireland, in rags and wretchedness, staining the sweetest scenery ever eye reposed on, persecuted by the extorting middle-man of some absentee landlord, plundered by the lay-proctor of some rapacious and unsympathizing incumbent, bearing through life but insults and injustice, and bereaved even of any hope in death by the heartrending reflection that he leaves his children to bear like their father an abominable bondage! Is this the fact? Let any man who doubts it walk out into your streets, and see the consequences of such a system; see it rearing up crowds in a kind of apprenticeship to the prison, absolutely permitted by their parents from utter despair to lisp the alphabet and learn the rudiments of profligacy! For my part, never did I meet one of these youthful assemblages without feeling within me a melancholy emotion. How often have I thought, within
that little circle of neglected triflers who seem to Shave been born in caprice and bred in orphanage, there may exist some mind formed of the finest mould and wrought for immortality; a soul swelling with the energies and stamped with the paterft of the Deity, which under proper culture might perhaps bless, adorn, immortalize, or ennoble empires; some CINCINNATUS, in whose breast the destinies of a nation may lie dormant; some Milton, “pregnant with celestial fire ;" some CURRAN, who, when thrones were crumbled and dynasties forgotten, might stand the landmark of his country's genius, rearing himself amid regal ruins and national dissolution, a mental pyramid in the solitude of time, beneath whose shade things might moulder, and round whose summit eternity must play.
Even in such a circle the young DEMOSTHENES might have once been found, and Homer, the disgrace and glory of his age, have sung neglected A Have not other nations witDessed those things, and who shall say that natura has peculiarly degraded the intellect of Ireland: Oh! my countrymen, let us hope that under better auspices and a sounder policy, the ignorance that thinks so may meet its refutation. Let us turn from the blight and ruin of this wintry day to the fond anticipation of an happier period, when our prostrate land shall stand erect among the nations, fearless and unfettered; her brow blooming with the wreath of science, and her path strewed with the offerings of art; the breath of heaven blessing her dag, the extremities of earth acknowledging
her name, her fields waving with the fruits of agriculture, her ports alive with the contributions of commerce, and her temples vocal with unrestricted piety. Such is the ambition of the true patriot; such are the views for which we are calumniated! Oh, divine ambition ! Oh, delightful calumny! Happy he who shall see thee accomplished ! Happy he who through every peril toils for thy attainment ! Proceed, friend of Ireland and partaker of her wrongs, proceed undaunted to this glorious consummation. Fortune will not gild, power will not ennoble thee; but thou shalt be rich in the love and titled by the blessings of thy country; thy path shall be illumined by the public eye, thy labours lightened by the public gratitude; and oh, remember-amid the impediments with which corruption will oppose, and the dejection with which disappointments may depress you-remember you are acquiring a name to be cherished by the future generations of earth, long after it has been enrolled amongst the inheritors of heaven.
SP É E CH
AN AGGREGATE MEETING
THE ROMAN CATHOLICS
IT is with no small degree of self-congratulation
that I at length find myself in a province which every glance of the eye, and every throb of the heart, tells me is truly Irish; and that congratulation is not a little enhanced by finding that you receive me not as quite a stranger. Indeed, if to respect the Christian without regard to his creed, if to love the country but the more for its calamities, if to hate oppression though it be robed in power,
if to venerate integrity though it pine under persecution, gives a man any claim to your recognition; then, indeed, I am not a stranger amongst you. There is a bond of union between brethren, however distant; there is a sympathy between the virtuous, however separated; there is
a heaven-born instinct by which the associates of the heart become at once acquainted, and kindred natures as it were by magic see in the face of a stranger, the features of a friend. Thus it is, that, though we never met, you hail in me the sweet association, and I feel myself amongst you even as if I were in the home of my nativity. But this my knowledge of
you was not left to chance; nor was it left to the records of your charity, the memorials of your patriotism, your municipal magnificence, or your commercial splendour; it came to me hallowed by the accents of that tongue on which Ireland has so often hung with ecstasy, heightened by the eloquence and endeared by the sincerity of, I hope, our mutual friend. Let me congratulate him on having become in some degree naturalized in a province, where the spirit of the elder day seems to have lingered; and let me congratulate you on the acquisition of a man who is at once the zealous advocate of your cause, and a practical instance of the injustice of your oppressions. Surely, surely if merit had fair play, if splendid talents, if indefatigable industry, if great research, if unsullied principle, if a heart full of the finest affections, if a mind matured in every manly accomplishment, in short, if every noble, public quality, mellowed and reflected in the pure mirror of domestic virtue, could entitle a subject to distinction in a state, Mr. O'Connel should be distinguished; but, it is his crime to be a Catholic, and his curse to be an Irishman. Simpleton! he prefers his conscience to a place, and the love of