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change much, as we know. But in spite of the disasters which it occasioned, it could not stop the progress of the spirit with which the Church was leavening and has since leavened nations. And Protestantism even fell into line and coöperated. But it has always been with this remarkable difference: that the most beautiful thoughts of the most infidel mind are always Christian, sprung from the inspiration of the Church; while whatever is distinctly non-Catholic is distinctly neither beautiful nor moral.

All this, then, is ours. The beautiful and the moral, the intellectual and the true, all are ours in the right of our Catholicity. This is the positive side of our work, to exhibit all this to the world; and it is a work not restricted to the pulpit, but is common to it and to the professor's chair, and to the mission of lecturing on the secular platform. We cannot afford to leave our patrimony for strangers to appropriate. Nor can we give things which are holy to those who own them not. And, indeed, aliens claim these things, and arrogate them in such a vein that you would think all science was born with them, and the arts would have died but for them, and that letters are their handmaid, and all civilization only their precious heirloom to posterity. No, sancta sanctis, holy things to the holy, and truthful things to the true.



HE chances that a National Parliament will be again called


to meet in Dublin after nearly a century's efforts to force the unnatural Union with England on the Irish people, are now among the highly probable events of politics. After a lengthened period of refusal to even hear the Irish demand for self-government, and a few months of noisy protest against the idea of granting it, the English public appears to have settled down to regarding Irish Home Rule as inevitable, and though its national prejudices will no doubt flare out again and again during the discussion of the question, there will be no strong popular movement against its concession outside Parliament. The House of Lords will doubtless oppose the measure stubbornly, but in the present state of the British Constitution the Lords must and always do yield to a strong majority in the Commons. The question to be solved is, will the House of Commons decide in favor of granting Home Rule to Ireland? If it does, Home Rule will be an established fact in no very long time. If not, the Parliamentary struggle must be renewed between the English and the Irish representatives at Westminster, until the former are forced to yield.

Much of the hope of a speedy close of the struggle undoubtedly rests on the friendly disposition of Mr. Gladstone towards Irish Home Rule. His control over his own party in the House of Commons is almost absolute, and the great majority will follow wherever he leads. He carried the Disestablishment of the Irish State Church, with but little aid from the nominal representatives of Ireland, through Parliament, though it was a measure not less repugnant than Home Rule is to the blind prejudice which forms so marked a character of English public opinion. The regulation of the relations between landlord and tenant, independently of the will of the landlords, was equally unpalatable to the commercial instincts of the dominant trading classes in England who would hold, like Shylock, to the necessity of enforcing a bond at any cost. Both Disestablishment and the Land Bill were distinctively Gladstone's own measures. His colleagues at the time, as a rule, felt less interest in their success than even do their successors to-day in the granting of Home Rule, and yet both measures have been carried into law by the force of Mr. Gladstone's will. That the veteran statesman has, to a certain extent, sympathies with the

rights of nations even against English rule, is also true. He withdrew the English protectorate over the Ionian Islands more than twenty years ago in deference mainly to the demand of the people for union with Greece. He renounced, after a short struggle, the control over the Transvaal, which had been lawlessly seized by his predecessor. Small instances of generosity as those may seem to weigh against the bombardment of Alexandria, the invasion of the Soudan, and the seizure of Burmah, we believe they are unique in modern English history. The lawless annexations and invasions are a part of the common public policy of the Empire; the giving up of plunder freely is exclusively the act of Mr. Gladstone. All this is undoubtedly encouraging to the hopes which the majority of the Irish race now feel of the speedy restoration of their national government.

It will not do, however, to believe the victory already won because Mr. Gladstone is well-disposed, and the Irish members a formidable power in Parliament. The paths of politics, and especially those of English foreign politics, are dark. It is little over four years since Gladstone himself consigned Messrs. Parnell, Dillon, Sexton and O'Kelly to solitary imprisonment, on no charge but that of differing in opinion with himself on the value of his reform measures in Ireland. Mr. Forster commenced his career as Irish Secretary with the strongest professions of sympathy with the wrongs of the Irish people, and of his own determination to redress them. In four months time his system of redress reduced itself to the summary imprisonment of every Irishman who presumed to criticise his government. No voice was louder in its denunciation of the iniquity of English rule in Ireland than John Bright's twenty years ago, yet few English statesmen to-day are more bitterly opposed to the abolition of that rule, when its destruction is a question of practical politics and no longer one of mere declamation. Mr. Chamberlain's professions of the broadest liberality towards Ireland, three or four years ago, have not kept him from raising his voice fiercely against any project for allowing her people to govern themselves. With these examples before our eyes, it is only common sense for Irishmen to put little trust in the consistency or sense of justice of any English statesman, unless those qualities be stimulated by a sense of enlightened selfinterest.

In speaking thus we are far from seeking to discourage the wellgrounded hopes of the Irish people for a speedy recovery of their national government. Those hopes rest on a much stronger basis than the good-will of any English minister; they rest on the growing strength and wisdom of the Irish race itself, and the necessities of the British Empire. But, looking back on history, we

cannot but remark how often the cause of the Irish people has been ruined for the time by an excessive trust in the honor of English ministers. Pitt's promise of Catholic Emancipation was an important factor in bringing about the ill-starred Union, and the deluded nation found too late that a temporary resignation of office was all that the all-powerful minister needed to relieve himself of his inconvenient pledge. The reluctant acknowledgment of Irish parliamentary independence, in 1782, was received with a shortsighted enthusiasm which allowed the quiet suppression of the volunteer force, which alone had extorted that measure from the fears of the government, but which was thoughtlessly attributed to its generosity. The pledged word of William of Orange, a century earlier, had induced the soldiers of Sarsfield to lay down their arms in the full confidence that their religious and personal liberties were secured; but that word was broken without a moment's hesitation, as soon as the French fleet had sailed from Limerick. The older Confederation of Kilkenny might have easily achieved national independence half a century before, if the majority of its leaders had not allowed their policy to be moulded by a blind trust in the promises of Ormond, rather than the rules of practical statesmanship. An unwarranted trust in the promises of the unworthy son of Mary Queen of Scots had brought about the cessation of Hugh O'Neill's struggle for Irish liberty, at the beginning of the same century, and paved the way for the Plantation of Ulster and the Penal Laws. "Put not your trust in princes," is a lesson written on every page of Irish history, and one which should never be forgotten by the Irish people.

To comprehend the reason of the excessive trust in the pledges of foreign statesmen, which has been so often shown by the Irish people, we must take a somewhat wider view than is usually done of the relations between England and Ireland. The struggle between the Irish and English races, the one seeking liberty and the other domination, and neither fully succeeding in its object, is on the whole unexampled in its duration in history. The strife between the Spanish Christians and the Moslem Saracens for the possession of the Peninsula is the nearest parallel to it, but with this important difference, that the contending races in the British Empire seem to have almost the same relative strength to-day as they had when the struggle began with Henry the Second. The ministers of Queen Victoria, in the nineteenth century, find it as hard a task to bring Ireland into full subjection to English rule as the Norman barons of the Plantagenets found it in the twelfth. Every century during the intervening time has seen the struggle go on with varying fortunes and under various forms, but with the one essential feature of Ireland against England. Normans and

Tudors, Cromwellians and Williamites have in turn established their various ascendancies only to pass away in a few generations, and to leave the population of Ireland still as distinct in blood and character from that of Britain as it was when Strongbow first set foot on Irish soil. The vitality of the Celtic race has not failed in the long contest, but its national organization has been shattered; and it is this circumstance which makes the struggle so peculiar a one. Race hostilities have, unhappily, been only too common in history, and have often lasted through long periods. The Hundred Years War between France and England, from Edward the Third to Henry the Sixth, the equally long contest between the House of Bourbon and that of Austria during the seventeenth century, and the antagonism between Russia and Poland, are examples of national quarrels lasting through many generations, but each of them is quite different from the struggle between the English and the Irish races. In the former cases it was government against another government as well as race against race. In Ireland it has been the struggle of a race without a national government against a hostile race fully organized. The forces of statecraft and diplomacy have been almost entirely on the side of England, and their very nature has scarcely been apprehended by the Irish people. That truth and honor have a different meaning in the mouths of rulers and politicians from that which they really bear amongst men, has never been realized fully in Ireland. Hence a readiness to accept specious promises from their adversaries, which in its turn has made such promises its favorite instrument with English statesmen in their dealings with Ireland. The attitude of the Irish people towards the English government has been not unlike that of a simple witness in the hands of a crafty and unscrupulous lawyer. The latter has a code of ethics of his own, distinct from the ordinary rules of intercourse between man and man, and he avails himself of it to the fullest to entrap his opponent. Pitted against an adversary like himself, he would not venture to expose himself to retorts in kind; but as he has no fears of such, he allows himself the fullest liberty to make truth appear falsehood and falsehood truth. Such has been to a great extent the conduct of English statesmen in the relations with Ireland. They recognize no obligations of right and wrong in general, even such as are universally accepted by civilized nations. The English Parliament would never dream of violating the Treaty of Ryswick or of Utrecht, but it felt no scruple about setting aside the equally solemn obligations of the Treaty of Limerick. The ministers of Elizabeth would hardly have ventured on employing assassins to take the life of Philip of Spain, and they would certainly have disowned such measures in public; but they felt no scruples about bargaining for the murder of Shane,

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