Ulster's Stand For Union eBook

Ronald McNeill, 1st Baron Cushendun
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 329 pages of information about Ulster's Stand For Union.

From the Reform Club Carson, Londonderry, Beresford, and F.E.  Smith went to the Ulster Club, just across the street, where they dined as the guests of Lord Mayor McMordie before leaving for Liverpool; and it was outside that dingy building that the enthusiasm of the people reached a climax.  None who witnessed it can ever forget the scene, which the English newspaper correspondents required all their superlatives to describe for London readers next day.  Those superlatives need not be served up again here.  One or two bald facts will perhaps give to anyone possessing any faculty of visualisation as clear an idea as they could get from any number of dithyrambic pages.  The distance from the Ulster Club to the quay where the Liverpool steamer is berthed is ordinarily less than a ten minutes’ walk.  The wagonette in which the Ulster leader and his friends were drawn by human muscles took three minutes short of an hour to traverse it.  It was estimated that into that short space of street some 70,000 to 100,000 people had managed to jam themselves.  Movement was almost out of the question, yet everyone within reach tried to press near enough to grasp hands with the occupants of the carriage.  When at last the shed was reached the people could not bear to let Carson disappear through the gates. The Times Correspondent heard them shout, “Don’t leave us,” “You mustn’t leave us,” and, he added, “It was seriously meant; it was only when someone pointed out that Sir Edward Carson had work to do in England for Ulster, that the crowd finally gave way and made an opening for their hero."[39] There had been speeches from the balcony of the Reform Club in the afternoon; speeches from the window of the Ulster Club in the evening; speeches outside the dock gates; speeches from the deck of the steamer before departure; speeches by Carson, by Londonderry, by F.E.  Smith, by Lord Charles Beresford—­and the purport of one and all of them could be summed up in the familiar phrase, “We won’t have it.”  But this simple theme, elaborated through all the modulations of varied oratory, was one of which the Belfast populace was no more capable of becoming weary than is the music lover of tiring of a recurrent leitmotif in a Wagner opera.

At last the ship moved off, and speech was no longer possible.  It was replaced by song, “Rule Britannia”; then, as the space to the shore widened, “Auld Lang Syne”; and finally, when the figures lining the quay were growing invisible in the darkness, those on board heard thousands of Loyalists fervently singing “God save the King.”

FOOTNOTES: 

[37] The Standard, September 30th, 1912.

[38] Dr. D’Arcy, now (1922) Primate of All Ireland.

[39] The Times, September 30th, 1912.

CHAPTER XI

PASSING THE BILL

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Ulster's Stand For Union from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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