Handbook of Home Rule eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 329 pages of information about Handbook of Home Rule.

This was the thing most needed to make Home Rule safe and full of promise, because it affords a guarantee that in such political contests as may arise in future, the division will not be, as heretofore, between the Irish people on the one side and the power of Britain on the other, but between two parties, each of which will have adherents in both islands.  We may now at last hope that national hatreds will vanish; that England will unlearn her arrogance and Ireland her suspicion; that the basis is being laid for a harmonious co-operation of both nations in promoting the welfare and greatness of a common Empire.

Many of the Irish patriots of 1798 and 1848 desired Separation, because they thought that Ireland, attached to England, could never be more than the obscure satellite of a greater State.  When Ireland has been heartily welcomed by the democracy of Great Britain as an equal partner, the ground for any such desire will have disappeared, and Union will rest on a foundation firmer than has ever before existed.  Ireland will feel, when those rights of self-government have been secured for which she has pleaded so long, that she owes them, not only to her own tenacity and courage, but to the magnanimity, the justice, and the freely given sympathy of the English and Scottish people.

October, 1887.


[Footnote 69:  This article, which originally appeared in the American New Princeton Review, has been added to in a few places, in order to bring its narrative of facts up to date.]

[Footnote 70:  The experience of the last few months, which has shown us rural Boards of Guardians and municipal bodies over four-fifths of Ireland displaying their zeal in the Nationalist cause, has amply confirmed this anticipation, expressed nearly a year ago.]



It is a favourite line of argument to show that we have no choice between the maintenance of the Union and the concession to Ireland of national independence.  The evils of Irish independence are universally reckoned by Englishmen to be so intolerable that we shall never agree to it.  The evils of Home Rule are even more intolerable still.  Therefore, it is said, if we shall never willingly bring the latter upon our heads, a fortiori we ought on no account to invite the former.  The business in hand, however, is not a theorem, but a problem; it is not a thesis to be proved, but a malady to be cured; and the world will thank only the reasoner who winds up, not with Q.E.D., but with Q.E.F.  To reason that a patient ought not to take a given medicine because it may possibly cause him more pain than some other medicine which he has no intention of taking, is curiously oblique logic.  The question is not oblique; it is direct.  Will the operation do more harm to his constitution

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Handbook of Home Rule from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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