Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/183

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JAMES BRYCE

��masses of the people in the interest of a landlord class. A democracy has a tender conscience, and a dislike — perhaps too strong a dislike — of severe methods; it would be pained by the fear that it was doing injustice and sanctioning harshness. A democracy loves freedom, and it would refuse to put into the hands of a government such as the Marquis of Salisbury contemplates that suspension of the Irish representation, that sub- jection of Ireland to arbitrary rule, which would be necessary for his purpose. I am not arguing now whether in all this democracy may be right or wrong, or whether we have done foolishly or wisely in making our government a democracy. With such questions I am not concerned, for what I ask the House is to realize the present facts and their consequences. I say that we are a democracy, and that we must, therefore, govern on democratic principles.

I have noticed that throughout this debate honorable members have been appealing to the Civil War in America, and the conduct of the Northern States in that supreme crisis, as a reason and precedent for our keeping down Ire- land. The argument, when once the facts have been duly mastered, points the other way. A part of the United States rebelled on behalf of one of the worst of causes in which men ever took up arms. The North, animated by a strong sentiment of nationality, and by a hatred of slavery, determined to put that rebellion down, and did put it down. So we, if Ireland were to 157

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