This is but a glance at some of the wrongs to Ireland’s religious, intellectual, and material welfare, wrongs that have plunged her into an age-long poverty. But one of the greatest of all her sorrows has been the denial of her national life, the attempt to strangle her rightful aspirations as a free people. Her autonomy was taken from her; her smallest legislative act was the act of a stranger; in fine, every mark of political slavery was put upon her. A foreign soldiery was, and still is, quartered upon her soil. The control of her revenues, of the system of taxation, was wrested from her. These became the function of a hateful resident oligarchy, alien in everything to the Irish people, and of the English parliament, to which she was not admitted until the days of Daniel O’Connell. And then she was admitted only through fear of revolution.
The dawn has come. The dark night is almost past; the heroic struggle of Ireland is about to close in triumph. Her loyalty to her ideals of freedom and religion is to meet its reward. The epitaph of Robert Emmet will soon be written, for at last Ireland is certain of “taking her place among the nations of the earth.”
D’Alton: History of Ireland; J.P. Prendergast: Cromwellian Settlement; Barrington: Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation; McNevin: Confiscation of Ulster; R.R. Madden: History of the Penal Laws; Murphy: Cromwell in Ireland; T.A. Emmet: Ireland under English Rule, 2 vols.; Mrs. J.R. Green: Irish Nationality; Walpole: A Short History of the Kingdom of Ireland; A.M. Sullivan: Story of Ireland; Thomas Moore: History of Ireland; Edmund Spenser: View of the State of Ireland; C. Gavan Duffy: Four Years of Irish History, 1845-49; Isaac Butt: Land Tenure in Ireland; Justin McCarthy: History of our own Times; Johnston and Spencer: Ireland’s Story; MacGeoghegan’s History of Ireland and its continuation by John Mitchel; William Sampson: Memoirs of an Irish Exile, 1832; John Curry: A Historical and Critical Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland (1775); John Boyle: The Battlefields of Ireland (1879); Speeches of Edmund Burke, Daniel O’Connell, Henry Grattan; Wendell Phillips’s Speech on Daniel O’Connell; Father Tom Burke: Lectures on Ireland.
By SHANE LESLIE.
Irish leaders have proved far-famed but not long-lived. Their short and strenuous careers have burnt out in their prime, and their ends have been such as attend conflagrations. More often they have left a pall than a light in the heavens, for the most brilliant lives in Irish history have led to the most tragic deaths. The Destiny which allotted them impossible tasks has given them immortality on the scenes of their glorious failure.