There are others, too, mentioned in my narrative, whose likenesses I would feel delighted to present to my readers, and some, who although cursorily or not at all mentioned, acted a noble and devoted part. Of the first, are the companions of my wanderings, James Stephens and John O’Mahony; and of the second, Doctor Antisel, Richard Dalton Williams, James Cantwell, Richard Hartnet, Patrick O’Dea, and indeed many others, of whose efforts and sacrifices it would be a source of pride to me to make honourable mention.
I may be permitted to take this opportunity to assure them and others of whom I have not spoken that no name has been omitted by me from any feelings of dislike or any desire to depreciate the services and sacrifices of a single man among the hundreds, whose exile or ruin attests the sincerity of their convictions and the purity of their patriotism. Even with men who do not take the same view of last year’s history as I do, their names and characters will go far to redeem its darkest traces from shame and obloquy. They are now scattered over the wide earth, and there is not one among them from the highest to the humblest, whom I do not hold in the utmost honour and esteem.
New York, September 21, 1849.
[Footnote 1: I am glad it has been found easy to supply these in this edition of the work.—Ed.]
[Footnote 2: Some of these will also be found in the present gallery—Ed.]
[Illustration: William Smith O’Brien]
RETROSPECT—COMMENCEMENT OF THE REPEAL STRUGGLE.—EARLY DAYS OF THE ASSOCIATION.
The appearance of this narrative will surprise no one. For apology, if any be needed, the writer may trust to his own share in the transactions with which it deals; and still more so perhaps to the misrepresentation to which, during their progress, he had been personally subjected. But personal vindication imparts neither interest nor importance to history, while it necessarily detracts from its dignity and good faith. Besides, time with the disastrous events marking its more recent course, have silenced the voice of calumny; and the writer undertakes his task with no personal feeling to gratify or even to consult. The character of others, now unable to be heard, is far dearer to him than his own: and while he aspires to justify, before the world, their singular career, distinguished throughout by generous and lofty passions, surpassing intellect and measureless love of their country and countrymen—a career so brilliant and instructive even in the last hours of gloom—he will endeavour to infuse into the history of their struggles and their fate, that generous tenderness toward others, that spirit of self-sacrifice and supreme love of truth, which were among their noblest characteristics.