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on their crowded paths of exile, on the sea and in the havens, and on the lakes, and along the rivers of this fardistant land. The chimes rung out by pity for his countrymen were O'Connell's fitting knell ; his soul went forth on clouds of incense that rose from altars of Christian charity; and the mournful anthems which recited the faith, and the virtue, and the endurance of Ireland were his becoming requiem.
But has not O'Connell done more than enough for fame? On the lofty brow of Monticello, under a green old oak, is a block of granite, and underneath are the ashes of Jefferson. Read the epitaph, — it is the sage's claim to immortality: “Author of the Declaration of Independence, and of the Statute for Religious Liberty.”
Stop now and write an epitaph for Daniel O'Connell : “He gave liberty of conscience to Europe, and renewed the revolutions of the kingdoms towards universal freedom, which began in America and had been arrested by the anarchy of France.”
Let the statesmen of the age read that epitaph and be humble. Let the kings and aristocracies of the earth read it and tremble.
Who has ever accomplished so much for human freedom with means so feeble? Who but he has ever given liberty to a people by the mere utterance of his voice, without an army, a navy, or revenues, — without a sword, a spear, or even a shield ?
Who but he ever subverted tyranny, and saved the lives of the oppressed, and yet spared the oppressor ?
Who but he ever detached from a venerable constitution a column of aristocracy, dashed it to the earth, and yet left the ancient fabric stronger and more beautiful than before ?
Who but he has ever lifted up seven millions of people from the debasement of ages, to the dignity of freedom, without exacting an ounce of gold, or wasting the blood of one human heart ?
Whose voice yet lingers like O'Connell's in the ear of tyrants, making them sink with fear of change; and in the ear of the most degraded slaves on earth, awaking hopes of freedom?
Who before him has brought the schismatics of two centuries together, conciliating them at the altar of universal liberty ? Who but he ever brought Papal Rome and Protestant America to burn incense together?
It was O'Connell's mission to teach mankind that Liberty was not estranged from Christianity, as was proclaimed by revolutionary France; that she was not divorced from law and public order; that she was not a demon like Moloch, requiring to be propitiated with the blood of human sacrifice; that democracy is the daughter of peace, and, like true religion, worketh by love.
I see in Catholic emancipation, and in the repeal of the act of union between Great Britain and Ireland, only incidents of an all-pervading phenomenon, - a phenomenon of mighty interest, but not portentous of evil. It is the universal dissolution of monarchical and aristocratical governments, and the establishment of pure democracies in their place.
I know this change must come, for even the menaced governments feel and confess it. I know that it will be resisted, for it is not in the nature of power to relax. It is a fearful inquiry, How shall that change be passed ? Shall there never be an end to devastation and carnage ? Is every step of human progress in the future, as in the past, to be marked by blood ?
Must the nations of the earth, after groaning for ages under vicious institutions established without their consent, wade through deeper seas to reach that condition of more perfect liberty to which they are so rapidly, so irresistibly impelled ?
Or shall they be able to change their forms of government by slow and measured degrees, without entirely or all at once subverting them, and from time to time to repair their ancient constitutions so as to adapt them peacefully to the progress of the age, the diffusion of knowledge, the cultivation of virtue, and the promotion of happiness ?
When that crisis shall come, the colossal fabric of the British Empire will have given way under its always accumulating weight. I see England, then, in solitude and in declining greatness, as Rome was when her provinces were torn away, as Spain now is since the loss of the Indies. I see Ireland, invigorated by the severe experience of a long though peaceful revolution, extending her arms east and west in fraternal embrace towards new rising states, her resources restored and improved, her people prosperous and happy, and her institutions again shedding the lights of piety, art, and freedom over the world.
Come forward, then, ye nations who are trembling between the dangers of anarchy and the pressure of despotism, and hear a voice that addresses the Liberator of Ireland from the caverns of Silence where Prophecy is born:
“To thee, now sainted spirit,
The purest streams of patient energy.”
LII.- HUBERT AND ARTHUR
The following scene is from “King John." Arthur, a young boy, is lawful heir to the crown of England, which has been usurped by his uncle, the king, who employs Hubert to put out his nephew's eyes.
PRINCE ARTHUR, HUBERT, and ATTENDANTS.
SCENE, - A room in the castle, Northampton.
Enter HUBERT and two ATTENDANTS.
UBERT. Heat me these irons hot; and look thou stand
Within the arras :* when I strike my foot
1st ATTENDANT. I hope your warrant will bear out the deed.
(Exeunt ATTENDANTS. Young lad, come forth; I have to
Enter ARTHUR. ARTHUR. Good morrow,
Good morrow, little prince,
HUB. Indeed, I have been merrier.
Mercy on me!
* Tapestry, or hangings, for rooms. † Christening, baptism.
I should be merry as the day is long;
HUB. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
ARTH. Are you sick, Hubert? You look pale to-day :
you more than
you HUB. His words do take possession of my bosom. — Read here, young Arthur. (Showing a paper.)
How now, foolish rheum !* (Aside.) Turning dispiteous t torture out of door! I must be brief ; lest resolution drop Out at mine eyes in tender womanish tears. Can you not read it? Is it not fair writ?
ARTH. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect. Must
with hot irons burn out both mine eyes ? HUB. Young boy, I must. ARTH.
And will you ? HUB.
And I will. ARTH. Have you the heart? When your head did but ache, I knit
my handkerchief about your brows (The best I had, a princess wrought it me), And I did never ask it you again : And with my hand at midnight held your head; And, like the watchful minutes to the hour, Still and anon cheered up the heavy time; Saying, What lack you! and, Where lies your grief? * Tears.
† Unpitying, cruel.