Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/186

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disgrace even of Orangeism. O'Reilly's answer to Brownson is eloquent with the indignation of a man who had suffered from intolerance enough to detest it in every form. He says:

Dr. Brownson—angry Dr. Brownson—in reviewing an unfortunate book by a clever Irishman (Shelton McKenzie), steps off the path to take a howl in the primeval savagery of his nature. Of course, the first Irish head he meets—he is looking for Irish heads—is the Pilot's; after that come the Irish generally—and with the full force of his ancient Knownothingism, the Doctor "goes for" them. He says:

"Mr. McKenzie is a man of considerable literary ability and reputation, and, though a Protestant, we believe a genuine Irishman. Perhaps, we ought not to say though a Protestant, for our poetical friend of the Boston Pilot—a high authority in such matters—assured the public, not long since, that the truest and best Irishmen going are Protestants. Why, then, complain of 'Protestant ascendancy,' and denounce the Irish parliament of 1800, that sold the Irish nationality for British gold, every member of which was a Protestant? Grattan, Flood, Plunkett, Curran, and a few others, were, no doubt, able and eloquent, and regarded Ireland as their country, but they were powerless against the mass of their Protestant countrymen; and we have never seen, and never expect to see, any good come to Catholic Ireland from following Protestant and infidel leaders. We have much more confidence in the Catholic bishops and clergy than in Protestant and infidel 'head centers.' We have no confidence in those Catholics even who sink the religious in the national question, for no nation can be really free and independent that is not Catholic.

"Protestant Irishmen are for us neither more nor less than the Protestants of any other nationality; and Catholic Ireland has suffered far more from Protestant Irishmen than from Englishmen. Our interest is in Catholic Ireland; and Irish politics, save so far as they affect the Church, are no more to us than the politics of any other foreign nation. We have very little respect for those Irish patriots who think they can serve their country by leaving their religion in abeyance and acting under the lead of its enemies. If the Boston Pilot insists in glorying in 'our element,' let it visit our prisons, penitentiaries, almshouses, etc.; above all, let it look into the reports of our police courts and mark the frequency with which 'our element' is brought up for drunkenness, and husbands of the same element for brutally beating and kicking their wives, not seldom even to death. It may also count the 'street arabs,' belonging to. the same 'element' that swarm in our cities and live only by begging and stealing— chiefly by stealing. There it can find 'our element,' as also in the emigrants from remote Irish dis-