Random Ramblings from a Republican
Thursday, January 15, 2004
  From the letters of John Mitchel

1. "In plain English, my Lord Earl, the deep and irreconcilable disaffection of this people to all British laws, lawgivers, and law administrators shall find a voice. That holy hatred of foreign dominion which nerved our noble predecessors fifty years ago for the dungeon, the field or the gallows (though of late years it has worn a vile nisi prius gown, and snivelled somewhat in courts of law and on spouting platforms) still lives, thank GOD! and glows as fierce and as hot as ever. To educated that holy hatred, to make it know itself and avow itself and at last fill itself full, I hereby devote the columns of the United Irishman."

2. "I will not believe that Irishmen are so degraded and utterly lost as this. The earth is awakening from sleep: a flash of electric fire is passing thru the dumb millions. Democracy is girding himself once more like a strong man to run a race; and slumbering nations are arising in their might, and 'shaking their invincible locks.' Oh! My countrymen, look up, look up! Arise from the death-dust where you have long been lying, and let this light visit your eyes also, and touch your souls. Let your ears drink in the blessed words, 'Liberty! Fraternity! Equality!' which are soon to ring from pole to pole! Clear steel will, ere long, dawn upon you in your desolate darkness; and the rolling thunder of the people's cannon will drive before it many a heavy cloud that has long hidden from you the face of heaven. Pray for that day; and preserve life and health, that you may worthily meet it. Above all, let the man amongst you who has no gun sell his garment and buy one."

3. "For me, I abide my fate joyfully; for I know that, whatever betide me, my work is nearly done. Yes: Moral Force and 'Patience and Perseverance' are scattered to the wild winds of heaven. The music my countrymen now love best to hear is the rattle of arms, and the ring of the rifle. As I sit here and write in my lonely cell, I hear, just dying away, the measured tramp of ten thousands marching men - my gallant confederates, unarmed and silent, but with hearts like bended bow, waiting til the time comes. They have marches past my prison windows, to let me know there are ten thousands fighting men in Dublin - 'felons' in heart and soul.

I thank God for it. The game is afoot at last. The liberty of Ireland may come sooner or later - but it is sure; and wherever between the poles I may chance to be, I will heart the crash of the downfall of the thrice-accursed British Empire."

4. "Neither the jury, nor the judges, nor any other man in this court presumes to imagine that it is a criminal who stands in this dock.

I have sown what the law is made of in Ireland. I have shown that, her Majesty's government sustains itself in Ireland by packed juries, by partisan judges and by perjured sheriffs."

5. "I have acted all thru this business, from the first, under a strong sense of duty. I do not repent anything that I have done, and I believe that the course which I have opened is only commenced. The Roman who saw his land burning to ashes before the tyrant, promised that three hundred should follow out his enterprise. Can I not promise for one, for two, for three, aye for hundreds?" 
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Ta ar la anois.

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