Inspired by the fortitude of this noble woman, Tone went forth on his perilous mission, and similarly the Young Ireland leaders, Mitchel and Smith O’Brien, were sustained by the courage of their nearest and dearest. “Eva,” the poetess of the Nation, gave her troth-plight to one who had prison and exile to face ere he could claim her hand. Other names recur to me—“Speranza”, with her lyric fire; Ellen O’Leary, fervent and still patient and wise; Fanny Parnell and her sister.
And what of the women of Ireland today? Shall they come short of the high ideal of the past, falter and fail, if devotion and sacrifice are required of them? Never: whilst they keep in memory and honor the illustrious ones of whom I have written. The name of Irishwoman today stands for steadfast virtue, for hospitality, for simple piety, for cheerful endurance, and in a changing world let us trust it is the will of God that in this there will be no change.
On Ethne, mother of St. Columcille: The Visions, Miracles, and Prophecies of St. Columba (Clarendon Press Series). On Ronnat: S. Mac an Bhaird, Life (in Irish) of Adamnan (Letterkenny); Reeves, St. Adamnan’s Life of St. Columba; The Mother of St. Adamnan, an old Gaelic text, ed. by Kuno Meyer (Berlin). On Gormlai: Thomas Concannon, Gormflath (in Irish; The Gaelic League, Dublin). On Granuaile: Elizabethan State Papers (Record Office Series); William O’Brien, A Queen of Men. On Ineen-Dubh: O’Clery’s Life of Red Hugh (contemporary), ed. by Denis Murphy, S. J. (Dublin, 1894); Standish O’Grady, The Flight of the Eagle, or Red Hugh’s Captivity. On Rose, wife of Owen Roe O’Neill, see references in Father Meehan’s The Flight of the Earls, and in Sir John Gilbert’s History of the Confederate War (Dublin, 1885). On the wife of Wolfe Tone, see Wolfe Tone’s Autobiography, ed. by R. Barry O’Brien (London, 1894). The American edition has a fuller account of Tone’s wife, her courage and devotion in educating her son, and her interviews with Napoleon, and life in America. The women of the United Irish period are fully dealt with in K. R. Madden’s Lives and Times of the United Irishmen. On Mary McCracken, see Mrs. Milligan Fox, The Annals of the Irish Harpers. On the women of the Young Ireland period, see C. Gavan Duffy’s Young Ireland (Dublin), and John O’Leary’s Fenians and Fenianism. On the women of Limerick, see Rev. James Dowd, Limerick and its Sieges (Limerick, 1890). For the women under Cromwellian Plantation persecutions and the Penal Laws, see Prendergast’s Cromwellian Settlement, Rev. Denis Murphy’s Cromwell in Ireland, and R. R. Madden’s History of the Penal Laws.
By LORD ASHBOURNE
[NOTE.—This chapter was written by Lord Ashbourne in French, because he is so strong an Irishman that he objects to write in English. The translation has been made by the Editors.]