Cork, we find a yet more earnest avowal of pacific principles.
‘It may be stated,’ said he, ‘to countervail our efforts, that this struggle will involve the destruction of life and property; that it will overturn the framework of civil society, and give an undue and fearful influence to one rank to the ruin of all others.
These are awful considerations, truly, if risked.
I am one of those who have always believed that any political change is too dearly purchased by a single drop of blood
, and who think that any political superstructure based upon other opinion is like the sand-supported fabric,–, beautiful in the brief hour of sunshine, but the moment one drop of rain touches the arid basis melting away in wreck and ruin!
I am an accountable being; I have a soul and a God to answer to, in another and better world, for my thoughts and actions in this.
I disclaim here any act of mine which would sport with the lives of my fellowcrea-tures, any amelioration of our social condition which must be purchased by their blood
. And here, in the face of God and of our common country, I protest that if I did not sincerely and firmly believe that the amelioration I desire could be effected without violence, without any change in the relative scale of ranks in the present social condition of Ireland
, except that change which all must desire, making each better than it was before, and cementing all in one solid irresistible mass, I would at once give up the struggle which I have always kept with tyranny.
I would withdraw from the contest which I have hitherto waged with those who would perpetuate our thraldom.
I would not ’