, and Henry Flood thrust Ireland
for a moment into the arena of British politics, a sturdy suppliant clamoring for justice; and Grattan
held her there an equal, and, as he thought, a nation, for a few years.
But the unscrupulous hand of William Pitt
brushed away in an hour all Grattan
Well might he say of the Irish Parliament
which he brought to life, “I sat by its cradle, I followed its hearse ;” since after that infamous union, which Byron
called a “union of the shark with its prey,” Ireland
sank back, plundered and helpless.
lifted her to a fixed and permanent place in English affairs,--no suppliant, but a conqueror dictating her terms.
This is the proper standpoint from which to look at O'Connell
This is the consideration that ranks him, not with founders of States, like Alexander
, and William the Silent, but with men who, without arms, by force of reason, have revolutionized their times,--with Luther, Jefferson
, Samuel Adams
, and Franklin
I know some men will sneer at this claim,--those who have never looked at him except through the spectacles of English critics, who despised him as an Irishman and a Catholic, until they came to hate him as a conqueror.
said of Kirwan
, “The curse of Swift
was upon him, to have been born an Irishman and a man of genius, and to have used his gifts for his country's good.”
Mark what measure of success attended the able men who preceded him, in circumstances as favorable as his, perhaps even better; then measure him by comparison.
An island soaked with the blood of countless rebellions; oppression such as would turn cowards into heroes; a race whose disciplined valor had been proved on almost every battlefield in Europe
, and whose reckless