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Christianity is an exalted commentary upon its truth and reason, and whose life was a glorious example of its fruits in man; administering human justice with a wisdom and purity drawn from the pure fountain of the Christian dispensation, which has been and will be, in all ages, a subject of the highest reverence and admiration.
But it is said by Mr. Paine, that the Christian fable is but the tale of the more ancient superstitions of the world, and may be easily detected by a proper understanding of the mythologies of the heathens. Did Milton understand those mythologies? Was he less versed than Mr. Paine in the superstitions of the world? No; they were the subject of his immortal song; and though shut out from all recurrence to them, he poured them forth from the stores of a memory rich with all that man ever knew, and laid them in their order as the illustration of that real and exalted faith, the unquestionable source of that fervid genius, which cast a sort of shade upon all the other works of
He pass'd the bounds of flaming space,
ON THE IRISH DISTURBANCE BILL
Daniel O'Connell, the great Irish orator and statesman, was born at Carhen House, Cahirciveen, County Kerry, Ireland, Aug. 6, 1775, and died in Genoa, Italy, May 15, 1847. He stood in the front rank as an advocate, and hardly had an equal in the power of winning juries to his way of thinking; as an orator he ranked with Plunket, and, while his style at times was faulty, he possessed a manly power, and a subtle skill, which enabled him to achieve surprising results.
DO not rise to fawn or cringe to this House ;
I do not rise to supplicate you to be merciful toward the Nation to which I belong,
- toward a Nation which, though subject to England, yet is distinct from it. It is a distinct Nation; it has been treated as such by this country, as may be proved by history, and by seven hundred years of tyranny. I call upon this House, as you value
I the liberty of England, not to allow the present nefarious bill to pass.
In it are involved the liberties of England, the liberty of the Press, and of every other institution dear to Englishmen. Against the bill I protest, in the name of the Irish people, and in the face of Heaven. I treat with scorn the puny and pitiful assertions, that grievances are not to be complained of, and our redress is not to be agitated; for, in such cases, remonstrances cannot be too strong, agitation cannot be too violent, to show to the world with what injustice our fair claims are met, and under what tyranny the people suffer.
The clause which does away with trial by jury,
- what, in the name of Heaven, is it, if it is not the establishment of a revolutionary tribunal? drives the judge from his bench; it does away with that which is more sacred than the Throne itself, that for which your King reigns, your lords deliberate, your
assemble. If I doubted, before, of the success of our agitation for repeal, this bill, - this infamous bill — the way in which it has been received by the House; the manner in which its opponents have been treated; the personalities to which they have been subjected; the yells with which one of them has this night been greeted, all these things dissipate my doubts, and tell me of its complete and early triumph. Do you think those yells will be forgotten? Do you suppose their echo will not reach the plains of my injured and insulted country; that they will not be whispered in her green valleys, and heard from her lofty hills? Oh, they will be heard there! — yes; and they will not be forgotten. The youth of Ireland will bound with indignation,— they will say, “We are eight millions; and you treat us thus, as though we were no more to your country than the isle of Guernsey or of Jersey!”
I have done my duty. I stand acquitted to my conscience and my country. I have opposed this measure throughout; and I now protest against it, as harsh, oppressive, uncalled for, unjust; as establishing an infamous precedent, by retaliating crime against crime, as tyrannous,- cruelly and vindictively tyrannous!
PUBLIC SPIRIT OF THE ATHENIANS
Demosthenes, the greatest of Grecian orators, was born about 383 B. C., and died at Calaureia, 322 B, C. As a youth he showed no indication of that great ability for public speaking which he afterwards displayed, being nervous, timid, and weak, and grew up with a tendency to effeminacy; he was awkward in motion, defective in speech, and possessed none of the qualities commonly ascribed to the orator. All these natural disadvantages he overcame by, incessant labor, and finally became the greatest orator of Athens, and of all Greece.
YOU, Athenians, were never known to live con
tented in a slavish though secure obedience to unjust and arbitrary power. No. Our whole history is a series of gallant contests for preeminence: the whole period of our natural existence hath been spent in braving dangers, for the sake of glory and renown. And so highly do you esteem such conduct, as characteristic of the Athenian spirit, that those of your ancestors who were most eminent for it, are ever the most favorite objects of your praise. And with reason: for, who can reflect, without astonishment, on the magnanimity of those men who resigned their lands, gave up their city, and embarked in their ships, rather than live at the bidding of a stranger? The Athenians of that day looked out for no speaker, no general, to procure them a state of easy slavery. They had the spirit to reject even life, unless they were allowed to enjoy that life in freedom. For it was a principle fixed deeply in every breast, that man was not born to his parents only, but to his country. And mark the distinction. He who regards himself as born only to his parents waits in passive submission for the hour of his natural dissolution. He who considers that he is the child of his country also, volunteers to meet death rather than behold that country ‘reduced to vassalage; and thinks those insults and disgraces which he must endure, in a state enslaved, much more terrible than death.