Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/162

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narrator of the story, "will refuse to sympathise with the emotion which that simple memento of a far-distant land excited in the breasts of those who were thus feelingly reminded of the emblem of their country and the verdure of its soil?"

Speaking of the strength and the perpetuity of the chain of affection that has always connected the Irish abroad and their kindred at home, the same gentleman once publicly stated from a Melbourne platform: "It is a fact—without a parallel I should suppose in the world's history—that in seven years the Irish in America sent £7,520,000 to their friends and relations at home. The aggregate remittances from the colony of Victoria to Ireland must be something considerable, and the eagerness with which our Irish fellow-colonists poured in their applications and their money for passage-warrants, under the Assisted Immigration regulations, is another and a most creditable proof of the strength of their family affections. I know of three sisters—unsophisticated but warm-hearted Irish girls, domestic servants in this city—who regularly remit one-third of their earnings every year to Ireland in order to support an aged and widowed mother in comfort and independence. Acts on filial piety like these—and they are very common among the class I speak of—say more for the character of the Irish people, and for the depth and durability of the ties which bind them to their kindred, than the most eloquent eulogy which could be pronounced upon them. These are not such actions as court notoriety and obtain applause. They are secretly performed, and spring from a loving impulse, while they are consecrated by a solemn conviction of duty; and believe that no Australian mail is delivered in Ireland this does not carry succour to the destitute, comfort to the aged