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ORATION ON THE DECLARATION OF
Sir, we may hope to dazzle with illumination, and we may sicken with addresses, but the public imagination will never rest, nor will her heart be at ease : never! so long as the Parliament of England exer- , cises or claims a legislation over this country. long as this shall be the case, that very free trade, otherwise a perpetual attachment, will be the cause of new discontent. I shall hear of ingratitude : I name the argument to despise it, and the men who make it. I know of no species of gratitude which should prevent my country being free--no gratitude which should oblige Ireland to be the slave of England. A nation's liberty cannot, like her treasure, be meted and parcell'd out in gratitude. No man can be grateful or liberal of his conscience, nor woman of her honor, nor nation of its liberty. I treat with contempt the charge that says Ireland is insatiable. Ireland asks nothing but that which Great Britain has robbed her of, her rights and her liberties. To say that Ireland will not be satisfied with liberty, because she is not satisfied with slavery, is folly. That there are precedents against us I allow—acts of power I would call them, not precedents; and I answer the English, pleading such precedents, as they answered their kings, when they urged precedents against the liberty of England-such things are the weakness of the
times; the tyranny of one side, the feebleness of the other, the law of neither. Do not then tolerate a power the power of the British Parliament over this land, which has no foundation in utility, or necessity, or empire, or the laws of England, or the laws of Ireland, or the laws of nature, or the laws of God ;- do not suffer it to have a duration in your mind. Do not tolerate that power which blasted you for a century, shattered your loom, banished your manufactures, dishonored your Peerage, and stopped the growth of your people; do not I say be bribed by an export of woollen, or an import of sugar, and permit that power which has thus withered the land to remain in the country, and have existence in your pusillanimity. Do not send the people to their own resolves for libcrty, passing by the tribunals of justice and the high court of Parliament; neither imagine, that, by any formation of apology, you can palliate such a commission to your hearts, still less to your children, who will sting you with their curses in your grave for having interposed between them and their Maker, robbing them of an immense occasion, and losing an opportunity which you did not create, and which you can never restore. Hereafter, when these things shall be in history, your sudden resurrection, commercial redress, and miraculous armament, shall the historian stop at liberty—and observe that here the principal men among US
fell into mimic trances of gratitude, that they were awed by a weak ministry and an empty treasury, -and when liberty was within their grasp, and the temple opened her folding doors, and the arms of the people changed, and the zeal of the nation urged and encouraged them on, that they fell down, and were prostituted on the threshold? I might as a constituent, come to your bar, and demand my liberty. I do call upon you, by the laws of the land and their violation, by the instruction of eighteen counties, by the arms, inspiration, and providence of the present moment, tell us the rule by which we shall go, assert the law of Ireland—declare the liberty of the land. I will not be answered by a public lie, in the shape of an amendment; neither, speaking for the subject's freedom, am I to hear of faction. I wish for nothing but to breathe, in this our island in common with my fellow subjects, the air of liberty. I have no ambition except it be the ambition to break your chain, and contemplate your glory. I never will be satisfied so long as the meanest cottager in Ireland has a link of the British chain clanking to his rags: he may be naked, but he shall not be in iron. The time is at hand, the spirit is gone forth, the declaration is planted; and though great men should apostatize, yet the cause will live ; and though the public speaker should die, yet the immortal fire shall outlast the organ which conveyed it, and the breath of liberty, like the word of the holy man, will not die with the prophet, but survive him.
SATAN, DEATH, AND SIN, AT THE INFER
-Before the gates there sat On either side a formidable shape; The one seemed woman to the waist and fair But ended foul in many a scaly fold Voluminous and vast; a serpent armed With mortal sting: about her middle round A cry of hell hounds never ceasing bark'd With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and rung A hideous peal. Far less abhorr'd than these V'ex'd Scylla, bathing in the sea that parts Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore : Nor uglier follow the night hag, when called In secret, riding though the air she comes Lured with the smell of infant blood, to dance With Lapland witches, while the lab'ring moon Eclipses at their charms. The other shape If shape it might be called, that shape had none Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb; Or substance might be call'd that shadow seem'd For each seem'd either black it stood as night Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell, And shook a dreadful dart: what seemed his head, The likeness of a kingly crown had on. Satan was now at hand—and from his seat The monster moving-onward came as fast
With horrid strides ;-hell trembled as he strode.