of their title to be considered statesmen.
To do it, as Martin Luther
did, when one must ingeniously discover or invent his tools, and while the mightiest forces that influence human affairs are arrayed against him, that is what ranks O'Connell
with the few masterly statesmen the English-speaking race has ever had. When Napoleon
's soldiers bore the negro chief Toussaint L'Ouverture
into exile, he said, pointing back to San Domingo
, “You think you have rooted up the tree of liberty, but I am only a branch.
I have planted the tree itself so deep that ages will never root it up.”
And whatever may be said of the social or industrial condition of Hayti during the last seventy years, its nationality
has never been successfully assailed.
is the only Irishman
who can say as much of Ireland
From the peace of Utrecht
, 1713, till the fall of Napoleon
, Great Britain
was the leading State in Europe
; while Ireland
, a comparatively insignificant island, lay at its feet.
She weighed next to nothing in the scale of British politics.
The Continent pitied, and England
despised her. O'Connell
found her a mass of quarrelling races and sects, divided, dispirited, brokenhearted, and servile.
He made her a nation
whose first word broke in pieces the iron obstinacy of Wellington
, tossed Peel
from the cabinet, and gave the government to the Whigs
; whose colossal figure, like the helmet in Walpole
's romance, has filled the political sky ever since; whose generous aid thrown into the scale of the three great British reforms,--the ballot, the corn-laws, and slavery,--secured their success; a nation whose continual discontent has dragged Great Britain
down to be a second-rate power on the chess-board of Europe
I know other causes have helped in producing this result, but the nationality which O'Connell
created has been the main cause of this change in England