Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/315

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301
A GROUP OF STATESMEN.

a privilege which can only belong to our posterity. We cannot, if we would, sacrifice our lives upon the altar of public good. No such opportunity has occurred, or probably will occur, to any of us. Yet, Sir, there is one heroic achievement open to us, and that is to confer upon this country that large measure of freedom, under the protecting shade and influence of which, an ennobling and exalting patriotism may at last arise, which will enable the youth of this colony—the youth of future ages—to emulate the ardour, the zeal and the patriotism of the glorious youth of Sparta and of Rome, and teach and make them feel that ennobling sentiment which is conveyed in the line of the Roman lyric, Dulce et decorum est pro patriâ mori. Sir, this is not our destiny, but I trust it will be the destiny of another generation who shall arise with larger feelings and, it may be, purer aims. Sir, this great charter of liberty, which I believe will be pregnant with these results in after ages, I leave now as my latest legacy to my country. It is the most endearing proof of my love to that country, which I can leave behind me. It is also the embodiment of the deep conviction which I feel, that the model, the type, from which this great charter has been drawn is, in the language of the eloquent Canning, the envy of surrounding nations and the admiration of the world. Sir, in the uncertainty which hangs over the destiny of the country—in this awful crisis of our fate—I can only hope that the deliberations of the country may be guided to a safe conclusion upon this vital question, and that by a large, a very large majority of the House, and of the community beyond it, the constitution will be gratefully and thankfully received."

The contemporary records declare that during the de-