speeches point to repeal as his ultimate object; indeed, he valued emancipation largely as a means to that end. No fair view of his whole life will leave the slightest ground to doubt his sincerity.
As for the reasonableness and necessity of the measure, I think every year proves them.
's position, I wholly sympathize in his profound and unshaken loyalty to the empire.
Its share in the British
empire makes Ireland
's strength and importance.
Standing alone among the vast and massive sovereignties of Europe
, she would be weak, insignificant, and helpless.
Were I an Irishman I should cling to the empire.
Fifty or sixty years hence, when scorn of race has vanished, and bigotry is lessened, it may be possible for Ireland
to be safe and free while holding the position to England
But during this generation and the next, O'Connell
was wise in claiming that Ireland
's rights would never be safe without “home rule.”
A substantial repeal of the union should be every Irishman's earnest aim. Were I their adviser, I should constantly repeat what Grattan
said in 1810, “The best advice, gentlemen, I can give on all occasions is, ‘ Keep knocking at the union.’
We imagine an Irishman to be only a zealot on fire.
We fancy Irish spirit and eloquence to be only blind, reckless, headlong enthusiasm.
But, in truth, Grattan
was the soberest leader of his day, holding scrupulously back the disorderly elements, which fretted under his curb.
There was one hour, at least, when a word from him would have lighted a democratic revolt throughout the empire.
And the most remarkable of O'Connell
's gifts was neither his eloquence nor his sagacity: it was his patience,--“patience, all the passion of great souls;” the tireless patience, which, from 1800 to 1820, went from town to town, little aided by