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[394] themselves to the mad purpose of the people, and crushed it by a stern resistance. No demagogue would have offered himself to a race like the Irish as the apostle of peace, pledging himself to the British government, that, in the long agitation before him, with brave millions behind him spoiling for a fight, he would never draw a sword.

I have purposely dwelt long on this view, because the extent and the far-reaching effects of O'Connell's work, without regard to the motives which inspired him, or the methods he used, have never been fully recognized.

Briefly stated, he did what the ablest and bravest of his forerunners had tried to do and failed. He created a public opinion, and unity of purpose,--no matter what be now the dispute about methods,--which made Ireland a nation; he gave her British citizenship, and a place in the imperial Parliament; he gave her a press and a public: with these tools her destiny is in her own hands. When the Abolitionists got for the negro schools and the vote, they settled the slave question; for they planted the sure seeds of civil equality. O'Connell did this for Ireland,--this which no Irishman before had ever dreamed of attempting. Swift and Molyneux were able. Grattan, Bushe, Saurin, Burrowes, Plunket, Curran, Burke, were eloquent. Throughout the Island courage was a drug. They gained now one point, and now another; but, after all, they left the helm of Ireland's destiny in foreign and hostile hands. O'Connell was brave, sagacious, eloquent; but, more than all, he was a statesman, for he gave to Ireland's own keeping the key of her future. As Lord Bacon marches down the centuries, he may lay one hand on the telegraph, and the other on the steam-engine, and say, “These are mine, for I taught you how to study Nature.” In a similar sense, as shackle after shackle falls from Irish

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