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HER AGITATOR S.
W. J. O'N. DAUNT,
Author of "The Wife-Hunter, or Memoirs of M.P.'s," “ Hugh Talbot," "The Gentle.
man in Debt," &c.
ENLARGED, AND CAREFULLY REVISED BY THE AUTHOR.
“We know our duty to our Sovereign, and are loyal; we also know our duty to
“You may make the Union binding as a law, but you can never make it obligatory
exhibition of that resistance will be merely a
TO JOHN BRIGHT, ESQ., M.P.
Convinced that you are a sincere friend of my country, I dedicate this book to you.
Ireland has many grievances. Her worst grievance is the want of self-legislation. That grievance, in itself intolerable, is the root of nearly all the others. And it aggravates the evils of which it is not the direct cause. When other countries are in question, English public opinion has frequently recognised the important truth that Nationality is a great and vital principle, and that its claims cannot safely be ignored or disregarded. I hope that you, at least, will agree with me that the recognition of Ireland's Nationality in fact as well as in theory, is not only essential to her well-being, but would conduce to the permanent strength of the empire.
“I will trust the people,” said Grattan, “with the custody of their own liberty; but I will trust no people with the custody of liberty other than their own.”
Ireland, for sixty-six years, has been in the custody of England. You, Sir, know the results of that usurped guardianship.
I have the honour to subscribe myself, with sentiments of the highest consideration,
W. J. O'N. DAUNT. Kilcascan, November, 1867.
It is in the highest degree desirable that England and Ireland should entertain mutual sentiments of friendship, and that both should willingly occupy their appropriate positions as constituent parts of a great empire. It is in the highest degree desirable that all the inhabitants of Ireland should render to the throne of these kingdoms the homage of hearty and unqualified loyalty.
It is notorious that Ireland is dissatisfied with her position. The following work may help to elucidate the causes of her discontent. It is surely worth inquiry whether the position of Ireland is such as she ought to occupy-whether it is compatible with her rights, with her interests, and with her honour. And if it be compatible with none of these, it is worth inquiry whether a more satisfactory position could not be substituted for one which results in national suffering, in unnatural emigration, and in extensive disaffection.
The present condition of Ireland is a scandal to the civilised world, a curse to its inhabitants, and a disgrace to the imperial government. If experience can teach anything, the experience of sixty-six years of union unquestionably teaches that imperial legislation is incompetent to render Ireland prosperous and happy.
When Irish discontent is spoken of, English writers some