By William O'Brien
THE LOST OPPORTUNITIES OF THE IRISH GENTRY
MAY it please your Grace, my Lord Mayor, Ladies, and Gentlemen,--I cannot tell you how deeply I feel this wonderful scene of enthusiasm around me here to-night. I should be more or less than human if my heart was not thrilled to the core by the kindness which my fellow-countrymen have extended to me--kindness which I think Irishmen have never failed yet to extend to any man that they believed was doing his honest best for Ireland. I suppose it is at a moment like this that a man is particularly sensitive about such matters; but I do, indeed, desire in the most earnest words that I can command to express my gratitude to this enormous audience, and in a very special manner to express my gratitude to your Grace for the courage you have shown in taking your place amongst us here to-night, and for the noble and touching, and, I am afraid, all too generous, words that you have spoken about my humble self. I have a very miserable and haunting consciousness that I will stand in need of all your indulgence and of all your good-nature to-night, because I must tell you candidly that I have had something to do of late besides preparing ornamental lectures. ...continue reading »
 Lecture delivered in the Leinster Hall, Dublin, on September 8, 1887, on the night before the Mitchelstown massacre and the prosecution of the lecturer. The Archbishop of Dublin presided.
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