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MY LORDS, LADIES, AND GENTLEMEN,
In offering this tribute of respect to the greatest power in the British Empire—the power established upon, and supported by, highly cultivated human intellect, which embraces within its ample scope all that is valuable in thought, and practically useful and agreeable in action, connected with the interests of mankind, the author hopes that his meaning may not be mistaken.
The work now respectfully offered to the notice of those whose powers of judgment in these affairs is supreme, because legitimate, is “A HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF DUBLIN ; or, as it might be termed, “ A History of the Academic Mind of Ireland for the last two hundred and fifty years,” that being about the space of time which has elapsed since its foundation. And as this is the first regular history of the origin, progress, and present condition, published, of that seat of classical and scientific learning, _with notices of the illustrious and eminent men who have been educated within its precincts,—and who have set, in the path of youth, the light of an inspiring example,-inculcating the discipline of thought, and the
pleasures of a mental existence;--the author hopes that the subject will plead his excuse for adopting this mode of appeal to the most competent tribunal of literary merit in existence; especially as he has felt it to be his bounden duty to state some facts intimately connected with this history,—and with which he has long been acquainted, -in language, not difficult to be comprehended, but rather opposed to the commonly received and conventional notions, or political mannerism, which have hitherto unhappily prevai'ed upon some important public subjects connected with Ireland, also deeply affecting the religious, moral, and humane character of the British people, and into which they should carefully make an investigation ; after which he has no doubt that they will sympathize with the view he has sketched out, of the unworthy policy which has for so many centuries, with one or two short exceptions, been practised towards Ireland ; and which is neither consistent with the duties of humanity, nor the mild and peaceful spirit of the GOSPEL OF Christ. And the Author earnestly prays that the great class, which he has the honour of addressing, will then strenuously urge upon the notice of the present enlightened government, which appears to contemplate a change of system,—the propriety and necessity of treating Ireland precisely in the same way, with respect to their feelings, interests, and political condition, as they do Yorkshire, or any
ther portion of England or Scotland. Such a power taking the field in the cause of Religion, Justice, and Humanity would be irresistible, and that desirable object would be obtained; for it is in such cases, and such only, that the noble truism holds good : Vox Populi, l'ox Dei. Then would Ireland become, throughout its entire area, as peaceful and as easily governed, as Kent, Essex, or Surrey; the Repeal folly would die a natural death, and Irish demagogues would shrink into their natural dimensions; even the art and mystery of Demagogy itself, would fall to a very low discount, instead of being, as it long appears to have been, at a premium. All this great work the edu.
cated classes of this great empire can attain, and ought to obtain, if they hope to hear the joyous sounds, “Come ye blessed children of my Father.” Then would educated humanity, not only dry up the orphan,' and the widows' tears, and make their hearts to sing for joy, and cause that moral desert to blossom as the rose, but they would prevent those political crimes which awfully increase the stock of widows and of orphans in that unhappy land, that Aceldama of political knavery. Then indeed might the humane and just authors of such glorious results be truly said to give “glory to God in the highest; on earth peace, and good-will towards men.”
With the most profound respect,
I have the honour to be,
And very humble servant,
WM. BENJ. SARSFIELD TAYLOR,
Founder and President of the Living Model Academy, &c.
20, Featherstone Buildings, near Gray's-Inn,
Dec. 24, 1844.