The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps)

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CHAPTER IV.

O'CONNELL'S ORATORY—ITS THEMES—THE WHIGS—DAVIS AND THE "NATION"—THE YOUNG AGITATORS—TARA MEETING—COUNCIL OF THREE HUNDRED—THE "QUEEN'S SPEECH" AGAINST REPEAL—GREAT MEETING AT MULLAGHMAST—MEETING AT CLONTARF FORBIDDEN.

I have sought to give somewhat like a correct idea of Daniel O'Connell; yet feel that an extract here and there from speeches is but a brick from Babylon. This orator was no maker of sentences; and when he attempted now and then to perorate, the thing was a failure. His power lay in his perfect knowledge of the people he addressed, their ways of life, wants and aspirations; and his intensely human sympathy with all. Thus it needed but a small joke from him to convulse a large meeting, because his lip and eye quivered with inexpressible fun. His pathos had no occasion for modulated periods, because when he told in simplest words some tale of sorrow and oppression (and many a sorrow and oppression was close at hand to point the moral),—and when the deep music of his voice grew husky, and clenched hand and swelling chest revealed the wrath and pity that burned and melted within him,—the passions of mighty multitudes rose and swayed and sunk again beneath his hand, as tides heave beneath the moon.

Every day's history gave him his theme and his illustrations.

From a Londonderry newspaper, I cut an advertisement, signed by one M'Mullin, "Emigration Agent," which will show what was going on throughout Ireland in the spring of this year, better than particular details could do:—

"NOTICE.—A favourable opportunity presents itself, in the course of the present month, for Quebec, to gentlemen residing in the counties of Londonderry, Donegal, Tyrone, or Fermanagh, who wish to send to the Canadas the overstock tenantry belonging to their estates—as a moderate rate of passage will be taken, and six months' credit given for a lump sum to any gentleman requiring such accommodations," &c.

The mode in which the "overstock tenantry" are persuaded in Ireland to embark for America, is ejecting them, and pulling down their houses. And in 1843, and many years before and since, this process has been going on so extensively and notoriously, that I shall have no further occasion to refer to it, until ...continue reading »

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Page 30

The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps)

by John Mitchel


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