Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/16

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movements, to study their mode of life under altered conditions, to ascertain the opinion held respecting them by people of other nationalities, and to determine whether or not the virtues characteristic of the old land flourish on the soil of the new. And splendidly have the Irish-Americans as a body borne this crucial test. Not on the authority of friendly critics alone, but many foes of his faith and fatherland have been forced to acknowledge the genuine worth of the typical Irish-American. They have given, perhaps unwillingly, the most conclusive testimony to his value as a citizen, his fidelity as a husband, his devotion as a father, and though last, not least, his loyalty as a Catholic. The Irish at home are proud to know, from the mouths of independent and even hostile witnesses, that though a stormy ocean separates their exiled brethren from the land of their affections, they are still as Irish in heart and feeling as ever; they still cherish the memories of the historic past, and their aspirations for national unity and local self-government are only intensified by distance. The poor persecuted peasant, whom, with weak wife and helpless family, a brutal landlord or pitiless agent has evicted in the depth of winter from the hallowed home of his ancestors, is traced across the Atlantic, followed into a newly-settled district and there discovered—a respected resident, a good neighbour, and, very often, an independent man. The ardent young patriot, who employs his talents in the cause of his country's freedom, and pays the orthodox penalty for loving one's country "not wisely but too well" by a compulsory residence for a season amongst convicted criminals, is seen receiving a cordial welcome on landing in the Empire City, and soon his name is referred to as being the occupant of a distinguished and honourable position, won by the exercise of those abilities for