Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/294

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those who had not inflicted but endured the pains of ascendancy. A ludicrous charge had been made against himself, that he had come to Australia to promote sectarian triumphs. He would not descend into the kennel even to defend himself, but let his life answer it. There were ten thousand Irish Protestants in that country, who were his contemporaries at home. They were to be found at the bar, in the church, behind the counter, and in the workshop. Let them answer it. Their opinion, whatever it was, would infallibly prevail in the end, and he was content to abide by the verdict. When canvassing in the west a few weeks previously, a local bigot had raised the same cry, and he answered him by appealing to his career in Ireland. Three gentlemen, then unknown to him, at once came forward and confirmed his words. The first declared that he was one of the young Protestants of Dublin, whom the Nation had won to nationality. The other two were the resident Presbyterian ministers, who declared that they were among the Ulster clergymen who had acted on the Tenant League, of which he was one of the founders. He was perfectly satisfied to leave his character to witnesses of that sort scattered over Australia. They could tell how the main part of his life in Ireland had been spent in combining hostile sects into a national party, and how in furtherance of that object he had co-operated with men of honour, wholly irrespective of creed. They must not shrink from the work before them, if they would not have that fine country swayed by the narrow spirit of a parish vestry, instead of the generous ambition of a young nation.

The above is only a summary of a very notable speech—the forerunner of many others based on the same theme, and preaching similar noble sentiments—compiled from the