Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 6.djvu/146

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I have labored to create a people in Ireland by raising three millions of my countrymen to the rank of citizens. I have labored to abolish the infernal spirit of religious persecution, by uniting the Catholics and Dissenters. To the former I owe more than ever can be repaid. The services I was so fortunate as to render them they rewarded munificently; but they did more: when the public cry was raised against me—when the friends of my youth swarmed off and let me alone—the Catholics did not desert me; they had the virtue even to sacrifice their own interests to a rigid principle of honor; they refused, tho strongly urged, to. disgrace a man who, whatever his conduct toward the government might have been, had faithfully and conscientiously discharged his duty toward them; and in so doing, tho it was in my own case, I will say they showed an instance of public virtue of which I know not whether there exists another example.[1]

  1. This paragraph in Tone's speech was long suppressed, being first published in 1859, with the "correspondence" of Cornwallis, the lord-lieutenant of Ireland of 1790.