The Dock and the Scaffold eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 52 pages of information about The Dock and the Scaffold.

So ends the story of the memorable events which gave three new names to the list of Ireland’s martyrs; so closes the sad and thrilling record which tells how Allen, Larkin, and O’Brien died.  Over the neglected plot in which their calcined remains are lying no stone stands inscribed with their names—­no emblem to symbolize their religion or their nationality.  But to that gloomy spot the hearts of the Irish people will ever turn with affectionate remembrance; and the day will never come when, in this the land that bore them, the brave men whose ashes repose within it will be forgotten.

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There was wild commotion among the Irish people in America, when, on the 6th of March, 1867, the Atlantic cable flashed across to them the news that on the previous night the Fenian circles, from Louth to Kerry, had turned out in arms, and commenced the long promised rebellion.  It was news to send a thrill of excitement through every Irish heart—­to fire the blood of the zealous men, who for years had been working to bring the Irish question to this issue; and news to cause profound and anxious thought to that large class of Irishmen who, deeply occupied with commercial and professional pursuits, are less energetic than the members of the Fenian Brotherhood in their political action, but who scarcely differ from them in principle.  It was, for all who had Irish blood in their veins and Irish sympathies in their hearts, a serious consideration that once again the banner of insurrection against English rule had been unfurled in Ireland, and that on many a spot of Irish earth the organized forces of England were in conflict with the hastily collected, ill-supplied, and almost unarmed levies of Irish patriotism.

The question whether the cause of Ireland would be advantaged or injured by the struggle and its inevitable results, was differently answered by different minds.  Some saw in the conflict nothing but defeat and suffering for the country—­more, gyves and chains—­more, sorrow and humiliation for her sons, and a fresh triumph for the proud and boastful power of England.  Others, while only too well convinced that the suppression of the insurrectionary movement was sure to be speedily accomplished, viewed the position with a certain fierce and stern satisfaction, and discerned therein the germ of high hopes for the future.

But to certain of the Fenian leaders and Fenian circles in America, the news came with a pressing and a peculiar interest.  They were largely responsible for the outbreak; the war was, in a manner, their war.  Their late head-centre, James Stephens, was chargeable with it only in a certain degree.  He had promised to initiate the struggle before the 1st of January of that year.  Conscious that his veracity was regarded in somewhat of a dubious light by many of his followers, he reiterated the declaration with

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The Dock and the Scaffold from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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