Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, April 01, 1890, Page 3, Image 3

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During the Inst few yenrs Ireland Iins advanced with rap
id strill'cs toward the goal of independence. What was n vl
sion'Aryrjincl improbable scheme ten years ago is now almost a
rcnltty Ylic great success of the home rule party is largely
due to the brilliant qualities of Charles Stewart Parncll, a
man who will ivcr be honored as the highest type of pure
patriotism, of Unflinching courage and resolution, and of un
selfish devotion tb liberty, humanity, and the cause of his
suffering land.
He was reared among the mountains of Wicklow during a
time when famine and want were desolating Ireland; when
O'Conncll's highest hopes and brightest dreams were cruelly
shattered by a brutal government; when disappointment and
sorrr'ow, almost despair, were settling upon the people of un
happy Ireland. It is no wonder, then, that l'arncll felt a
deep' halved for the system that was sapping the very life
blood of his country and filling dungeons with men who in
any 'other land would' have been honored; a system that, un
der "shadow of law; was dragging weary women and hungry
children from their hovels and turning them out to die upon
the roadside.
It must be remembered that the present contest is waged
as much against a brutal, grinding, landed aristocracy as
against British misrule; that Ireland needs freedom from
landlordism as much as freedom from England.
For hundreds of years Ii eland has been overpowered,
crushed by force; she has been bound in fetters, but the spirit
of her people is still as uuconqucred as when first the Saxon
set foot upon her soil. Although a long night of darkness
his enveloped her unhappy island, hope has never been ex
cluded from the hearts of her people; for in every age noble
and heroic men have arisen that have urged them on Jo na
tional independence, and every page of her history is red
with the blood of her martyrs. The spectacle of so many he
rocs persisting in their lofty purpose in the shadow of defeat
and of death is sublime. One more timid than Parncll might
well shrink from an undertaking that has brought nothing but
suffering and disappointment to those who before him have
attempted to obtain justice for Ireland. But no fear of
failure prevents him from doing his duty. He knows what
the banc of his country is, and, true to his noble nature, is
using all his efforts to counteract it. It matters not to Panic)!
that defeat has ever been the reward of patriotic Irishmen;
that the life work of Grattan was fruitless; that O'Connell
died heart-broken because he was powerless to alleviate
the sufferings of his countrymen. To lead a forlorn hope is
noble; to champion a cause that has suffered innumerable de
feats is something more than noble it is heroic.
For hundreds of years Ireland has battled nobly for her
rights, Her poets and orators have fired the breasts of her
impulsive and liberty-loving sons with a desire for freedom.
Noble and lofty-minded men have wasted away in dungeons
what. might have been lives of peace and happiness. Martyrs
have freely' poured out their blood, that the tree of liberty
might be nourished on Erin's soil. Although Ireland has been
served by men who would do honor to any cause and any
land, it has been reserved for our age to behold the greatest
man that Ireland has ever produced Charles Stewart Par
nell." Far be it from my purpose to lay a desecrating hand
upon' the memory of O'Connell or of Grattan. Nor would I
despoil of a single gem the martyr crowns of Tone or of Em
melt, 3Y question their devotion to the pupose that led them
on to "their doom. All reverence to the memory of Moore,
whose melodies, inviting at one time to smiles, at another to
tears, so strangely move the heart. But, while paying the debt
of boundless love of reverence to the men whose deeds have
made their names immortal, let no one fail to do full justice
to Pr.rncll, whose unselfish patriotism has caused him to sac
rifice so much for his country; whose dauntless courage and
unerring foresight have so often plucked victory from the jaws
of defeat; whose perseverance has enlisted in the cause of
Ireland the most humane and liberal of English statesmen.
In order to fully appreciate the nobleness of PamelPs na
ture and his heroic self sacrifices, we must remember that he
is a landlord. Imagine yourself in the position of the great
patriot at the beginning of his career. He was absolute owner
of a large estate. He was an aristocrat. He belonged to a
family that had often been honored by the English govern
ment. Two courses were open to him: the one led to comfort
and ease, the other to toil and trouble; the one to wealth and
independence, the other to poverty and suffering. Pride,
comfort, desire for wealth, alluicd him to follow the one way;
duty, patriotism, conscience showed him that he should pur
sue the other, But, forgetting that he was an aristocrat, he
went about among the poor, like the Savior of the world, do
ing good. He forgot his own comfort; like Socrates, he sac
rificed gain for duty; r.nd like the Gracchi, he employed all
his resources that each citizen might have a hearth and a
home. Against the landlord system Parncll has declared a
war of extermination. The English aristocracy know this
well. In the crusade against the Irish landlords their Eng
lish brothers sec the handwriting upon the wall. If other
men have discovered the cause of Ireland's woe, they lacked
the courage to attempt to exterminate it. Parncll has seen
the cause of the havoc and ruin that has depopulated whole
districts in Ireland, and with unerring aim, in the shadow of
defeat and the dungeon, turning neither to the right nor to
the left, has fearlessly employed against it all the weapons
that his fertile brain could devise.
If justice is always triumphant, why is it that so often
attempts to establish freedom have been so ruthlessly
crushed? Why is it that today the mines of Siberia are filled
with the purest and most patriotic of Russians? On the side
of injustice, wealth and power, and influence arc generally
arrayed. At the beginning of PamelPs career he found not
only all the wealth of the country arrayed against him, but
even the genius of the greatest of English statesmen. It was
the Gladstone ministry that filled the jails of Ireland with
men who never were justly charged with the commission of
a crime. It was the Gladstone ministry that twice threw
Parncll into prison without telling him why.
Parncll docs not possess the great oratorical powers of
O'Connell, which swayed so strongly the minds of the hear
ers. He does not possess the persuasive powers of the fiery
Grattan, which, with the glittering bayonets of the volunteers,
wrung even from England a slight recognition of Ireland's
rights. Gifted with practical common sense and foresight,
he may well afford to dispense with oratorical display, for the
eloquence of Demosthenes multiplied a hundred fold would
be powerless to excite in John Bull any feeling for the suffer
ings of his unfortunate victims. The cold, cruel heart of
John Bull is not moved by eloquent appeals to his better na
ture; he is moved only when you touch his purse. Parncll
forced the Irish question upon the unwilling British
by preventing them from legislating for themselves until
they had first examined the condition of suffering Ireland.
For this he has been im'prisoncd and made tlic target for
every calumny. But Hie malignant slanders have left, un
stained the spotless purity of his character. The criminal
and malicious charges that have been fabricated by his cue