Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/195

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

Damon and Pythias of humble life, on becoming free, purchased a valuable farm on the alluvial banks of the Cowpasture River. After the death of one, by arrangement it passed into the possession of the survivor, who bequeathed it for the religious and educational advantage of the religious community, of which he and his compatriot in arms were members.

"On visiting the church of St. Pietro in Montorio, at Rome, many years afterwards, as I stood upon the ornamental and tessellated pavement, and gazed on the spot where repose the ashes of the Earl of Tyrconnell and Baron Dungannon, who died in exile at Rome in 1608, and there read that 'they were brave and valorous men, often engaged in paths of danger, in defence of their patrimony and their faith,' my mind strayed back to the unadorned stone and homely inscription, that marked the humble grave of Bryan and O'Connor in the little cemetery at the antipodes, their fate a common one—exiles from their native land—sufferers alike in the same cause—that cause the resistance to laws which Edmund Burke truly designated as 'the worst and most wicked that ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.'"

In addition to many of the rank and file, two of the leading spirits in the insurrection of '98 were sent to Sydney at the close of the struggle. They were General Joseph Holt and brave Michael Dwyer. The former received a free pardon in 1814 and returned to die on Irish soil. His life was prolonged for twelve years, during which he prepared his well-known "Memoirs," which were published in two volumes under the editorial supervision of Mr. T. Crofton Croker. Written in a simple homely strain, they contain a large amount of valuable first-hand information,