Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 6.djvu/223
try, and enable him to institute in this land the glorious law of religious equality; the same God gave to me a mind that is my own—a mind that has not been mortgaged to the opinions of any man or any set of men; a mind that I was to use, and not surrender. My lord, in the exercise of that right, which I have here endeavored to uphold—a right which this association should preserve inviolate, if it desires not to become a despotism—in the exercise of that right, I have differed from Mr. O'Connell on previous occasions, and differ from him now.
In the existing circumstances of the country an excitement to arms would be senseless and wicked because irrational. To talk nowadays of repealing the Act of Union by force of arms would be to rhapsodize. If the attempt were made it would be a decided failure. There might be a riot in the street—there would be no revolution in the country. The secretary, Mr. Crean, will far more effectually promote the cause of repeal, by registering votes in Green Street than registering firearms in the head police office. Conciliation Hall on Burg Quay is more impregnable than a rebel camp on Vinegar Hill. The hustings at Dundalk will be more successfully stormed than the magazine in the park. The registry club, the reading-room, the polling booths,—these are the only positions in the country we can occupy. Voters' certificates books, pamphlets, newspapers,—these are the only weapons we can employ. Therefore, my