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with members of the Executive Committee; in the course of which I was assured that if the Irish desired to join hand ia hand with them, they would certainly be welcome; and that they would make a platform which should be acceptable to Doth parties. I communicated these proposals to the most influential members of the Provisional Fenian Government. The most intelligent amongst them were of opinion that it would be well to come to an understanding; others, the more narrowminded, would listen to nothing except the "Irish centres." I cut these short, and, taking with me men the most influential, M well as belonging to the highest class in the Fenian hierarchy, I repaired with them to the house of one of the most important members of the Committee of the Reform League, and there the basis of an agreement between Fenianism and the Reform League was agreed upon.
It was at the close of these negotiations that the meeting in Trafalgar Square took place, and certainly if the police and the army had chosen to oppose it, I can assure them that on that day all the Fenians in London, who are many, would have withstood them like one man, and a good many resolute Englishmen would have aided them. Government was well advised to let them alone, and to allow them to take their course. In France it would have been a revolution.
I must not forget to say that I had a long interview with John Bright in hia own house; bat as Ireland did not come in question, there is no necessity for enlarging upon this now. For the rest, the members of the Committee of which he was the president had no confidence in him; they followed him, but they also watched him.
In the evening of the day upon which M. and F. ought to have commenced their campaign, I chanced to meet the former about eleven o'clock at night, completely drunk, and smoking expensive cigars, and making a display of his money. I went immediately to rouse up K., in order to entreat him by all means to have M. put into safe keeping, and to deprive him both of authority and money. Unfortunately I was too late; I could not find K.; and the next that I heard of M. was the news of his arrest, and of his treachery.
The following is the narrative I had from an eye-witness, who came in all haste to tell me what had happened, and to give me warning to escape.
The town of (I cannot recollect the
name of it) had been pointed out to M. as
the rendezvous for the concentration of different Fenian contingents. On arriving there M. found the place filled with English soldiers, who had recently come in, and who were all as drunk as lords. Instead of retiring prudently and waiting for the columns from Tipperary, who were not far off, and who would not have made more than a mouthful of this English detachment, M. found himself taken ill, made a noise, and was made prisoner. A man who allows himself " to be taken ill" under such circumstances cannot be much of a soldier. M. was not one at all. lie at once denounced all and everyone, me in particular. It seems that this man had lately married, and was very much in love with his wife, more so than with his honour. In order to see her again he sacrificed everything; he sold himself, and he sold his comrades also. I do not believe that this man was either a coward or a spy in the common acceptation of the terms. He had fought well m the War of Secession.
No, he was only one of those characters whom one so often finds; they are weak and foolish, and they must not be trusted in important matters. As captain, or corporal, he would have done very well; but as a general he was deplorable. But let those who have had the management of insurrections say whether they have obedient subjects, and whether they have any great choice. They have to take what comes to their hand, and to make the best of it. To be the general of a regular army is comparatively child's play; to command an irregular one is a task of infinite difficulty; it is to command men who are insubordinate by temperament, without organization, without any framework of officers and non-commissioned officers to keep the men together, and to direct their movements. It is to be without resources; it is to be responsible for everything, even for human stupidity, blind passions, and ignorance. This sort of thing wears out life quickly. Whoever has not gone through this experience knows only the rose-coloured side of existence.
Being entirely without luggage, as I always take care to be in circumstances of this kind, I was not long in quitting England; that very night I was upon the sea.
I need scarcely add that the insurrection, deprived of direction and of arms, never broke out. There were only a few hot-headed fools here and there, who attacked with sticks strong places defended by policemen armed with rifles. They were brave fellows, who fell honestly and foolishly. To rise in arms with the certainty of being massacred is a double folly; not only do such men deprive their cause of its best defenders, but they help to give the enemy all the advantage of the prestige of victory. Such people do not reflect that tiro policemen armed and standing behind a battlement, could hold it till they died of natural exhaustion, against thousands of men armed with sticks and stones.
What bravery there wss on the side of these latter 1 what weakness on the side of the former! Nevertheless there were ovations for those, whilst the others were the objects of abuse, bad jests, and ridicule! Thus goes the world; success and riches gain the credit for possessing all virtues as well as all talents in the opinion of those whom I, with more justice and reason than M. Thiers, call the vile multitude. If Napleons I. and III., if Garibaldi had been unsuccessful, they would have been the Cartouches and Mandrins of their epoch. If I had succeeded in defending Paris (and I was beaten by those whom I defended), I should have been called a great man, and I should have been adulated and flattered by all those men who at Versailles expectorate from the depths of their white cravats those atrocious words and sentences which render France an object of universal pity. England, fortunately for her, had not had to sustain twenty years of imperial regime; thanks to this providential mercy, she still contains a number of sound hearts and free mind. It is to these enlightened intelligences that I address the following reflections.
Catholicism is the source of clericalism or the spiritual hierocracy, which most surely destroys all nations that are weak enough to refrain from destroying this venomous plant in its germ. This crystallization of thought, of reason, of will
— in one word, of individual sovereignty
— destroys the expansive force of humanity by hierarchical centralization; it can have no other conclusion than the one we have seen going on for the last two centuries in the decadence and decreptitude of all clerical nations, la there one of' them that is in the way of prosperity?
France, by virtue of her geographical and ethnological constitution, quite peculiar to herself, has remained to the last; but she, too, has had to fall like her elder sisters, Italy and Spain. As for the lower classes of poor people, who only scramble through life from one day to the next, cler
icalism has only one level, subjection, one door, death.
And this law is universal and absolute.
Neither the greatness of a people nor the differences of climate can keep that country free the inhabitants of which are so unfortunate as to allow clerical influence to preponderate.
It is with monarchy of Charles V. aa with the dynasty of the Bourbons, with Italy as with Poland, with Ireland as with the Spanish republics in the New World, with the greatest things as with the least: none have escaped, not even Paraguay.
It is vain to attempt to account for this decay by appealing to natural or to local causes, or to political influences. A law so universal that it does not afford a single exception, obliges us to recognize and acknowledge if.
After all, it is only a logical result. Clerical domination cannot exist, unless it is allowed to rule supreme; and in order that clerical influence may be able to dominate over all things, it absorbs thought into ignorance: clericalism will not allow free discussion; neither will it tolerate the chief element of discussion, which is education, instruction. Hence it follows that ignorance is raised to the dignity of a virtue, of a moral principle. Hence the barren results of clerical societies. This inferiority extends from the schools to the tield of battle; for victory no longer encamps on the Champ de Mars, but sits still upon the benches of elementary schools. Prussia has taken on herself the task of setting forth this truth before the eyes of France. Men in spectacles may talk to me about the Emperor, about Le Boeuf, about Bazaine, about treasuries, and magazines, and arsenals all empty; I answer that nothing was well filled except men's bellies; and the worst of all was in the heads which were empty of brains — empty of all knowledge and of all intellectual culture. Ignorance in high places causes ignorance in the ranks below — a result at once logical and fatal — corruption everywhere.
If the people had been properly educated, they would have insisted upon having the control of their own affairs, and would have been capable of managing them. The war budget would never have been allowed to absorb the funds for public education; and if public education had been attended to, it would have prevented the funds of the war budget from going to supply the extravagances of imperial courtesans, instead of furnishing the military resources of the nation.
A well-educated and instructed nation ought not, however, to stand in need of an army; wise, it knows how to preserve internal order; strong, how to make itself respected by the nations around through the influence of its example.
Ireland, a clerical country par excellence, has fallen under the universal and fatal law.
Partial revolts do not prove anything. The worth of a resort to arms in an insurrectional movement is in the present day very doubtful. I myself have recently tried the experiment in Paris on the largest scale (as regards arms and munitions of war) that has been put into the power of any people for a very long time.
Ignorance and profligacy caused us to lose a victory, that would have been otherwise inevitable.
If, in addition to all this, we consider the new conditions under which war is carried on, both as regards the change that has taken place in weapons and engines of destruction, and the perfection to which the means of communication have been brought, it will be seen that success lies altogether in the hands of capital which can pet possession of magazines of war material, and prepare long beforehand those means of destruction which right and justice, where they rise in insurrection, are not able to obtain.
Let it not be supposed from this, that I wish to discourage men from the duty of rising up in insurrection iu the name of justice, and of fighting against those who oppress them. Insurrection has been, and always will be, the very holiest of duties. But if insurrection be the holiest of duties, Common Sense is the chief of privileges, and for men to go headlong and break themselves to pieces against an obstacle, instead of endeavouring to remove it by wise means, is to commit the treason of stupidity against reason.
When the spirit of insurrection has taken possession of the soul of an entire people, and has penetrated into the mass of those people who are usually indifferent — when public opinion takes it up by anticipation — then the insurrection will be successful; then good sense will co-operate with duty. This has been the case with those insurgents who have borne the names of Washington, Bolivar, Garibaldi, and earned their triumphs. It was thus that the revolutions of '89, 1830, 1818, and the 4th of September, 1870, were successful. Public opinion was so thoroughly in accord with the rights of the people, that in certain cases, as for example in that
of Garibaldi, the Government was the soul of the insurrection.
This brings me naturally to speak of Ireland. Ireland will never enfranchise herself by means of violent insurrection, but only by a general agreement of opinion. It is the English revolution which will enfranchise Ireland; it is by identifying the interests and uniting the British Isles in fraternity that Ireland will succeed. Thus Fenianism ought to mingle and coalesce with the advanced Liberal party in England. This is what I endeav. oured to promote in 1867, and in which I was partially successful, by inducing certain Fenian chief* to join with some of the heads of the Reform League.
The two elements Celtic, and Saxon, as represented by Ireland and England, are each the complement of the other. England will never begin a revolution of herself, and Ireland by herself will never bring one to a successful result; but, united, they could both begin one and carry it through to the end; which is to say, that it united they would succeed.
Once free from the hindrances and en" cumbrances of mutual prejudices, inde" pendent, and yet federally united, what more could Ireland desire? Any other combination is purely chimerical, both as regards means or results.
How can Ireland hope to achieve her own enfranchisement single-banded? And whence can she expect to obtain help? From France V or from America? From France? Poor France! she has enough to do not to sink beneath her own burden. Eaten up as she is with a social gangrene, she has no strength to spare to take' thought for others. Besides, who amid all the parties in France knows or cares about Ireland?
M. de IJoissy and those things of which he was the representative? — the dregs of the last of the Voltigeurs of Louis XIV.; 1'inii- de pigeon and the talon rouge; le roy spelled with a y, and I'wtel, which most people write l'li&el\ It is easy to calculate the influence of this party in France. As to the adherents of Orleanism, thoy are traditionally the very humble servants of England; those who have paid the Pritchard indemnity are not likely to equip a fleet and come to the assistance of Ireland.
Bonapartisra? Born in the blood of December and fallen into the mud of Sedan, it will never be restored; and even if it were, what could it do for Ireland? It is better for it that Bonaparte should remain buried for ever in his blood-sta ned and polluted shroud. The personal friend of the Queen of England, the ally of the Crimean war, the free-trader, the special constable who beat the Chartists, he would never see in the people of Ireland anything but people who were poorly clad, ill-conducted, hungry, and poor. All these things are what he the most detests.
One of his ministers and friends, who was my friend before he wag his, clapped his hand"! and applauded when lie heard my project of fighting for Ireland; because ha was in those d:iys crippled with debt, find a revolutionist. Since that time Napoleon has paid his debts, made him a minister, and given him nn estate; at this moment Cldment Duvernois is at the head of a Spanish bank. If he were capable of blushing, he would blush that he ever knew me, and that he had ever applauded our attempts to raise an insurrection.
There is nothing to be hoped for from that quarter.
There remains the Republican party, with all its shades and half-shades.
On the whole, Ireland is looked upon by the Republican party as a nest of Catholicism to be stifled rather than encouraged.
Then there is the Republican party of Gambetta, of the Lauriers, of Jules Simon, and tulti quanti.
It is all nothing but Bonapartism without its trappings; it is the continuation of the old grinding down of the people, for the luxury of the few.
Egoism never put arms into the hands of any, except those of kings and emperors.
Socialism remains; it is the party of labour. Labourers work, and never fight but for themselves except when they see the moon at midday, as in 1830, and in 1848, and in 1870; they caine to their senses in 1871.
If the Commune spoke to me of Fenianism as an accusation, it is well to observe, firs}, that it was the majority who accused me, and it was the minority who defended me; and the majority were not Socialists, but Jacobins: it was only the minority who were Socialists. Secondly, that the members of the majority were so ignorant that they did not know the first elements of Fenianism; they talked for the sake of talking, without knowing what they were Baying. Even if they had succeeded (which was not possible) in founding any government at all, the very first thing they would have done would have been to anathematize Catholic Ireland.
Believe me, O Irishmen, when I say that
| you have absolutely nothing to hope or 'expect from France.
Now let us look at America.
I do not find there anyone who loves you. The Democratic party, knowing the influence of New York over the other parts of the Union, has used you for its own purposes, and nothing more. To get your votes it has' traded on your poverty, and has helped on your demoralization by Whisky. The bars in New York — the real electoral temples of the Democratic party — were your eancturies; you had the right of asylum in them. Murder was sheltered there; but what about hunger?
What has Democracy done for you when their party was in power V Did they even, as they did for Cuba, arm, or allow the smallest force to arm itself?
Did they furnish Ireland, as they did Cuba with a Walker or a Lopez? No. The reason is not far to seek. The men forming the party are, and only can be, egoists.
Oppressed in Ireland, you emigrated to America, where you obtained vote?, and supplied agricultural and other rough labour.
Consequently you have a value.
Enfranchised Ireland would recall all her sons, and keep them with her — a loss for the United States in general, and for the Democratic party in particular. You know now that you will never be enfranchised by the Democratic party, nor by the United States in a body.
The Democratic party is not any longer in the ascendant, and probably never will be again. After the scandals of the IrishDemocratic administration in New York, can you hope that the Republican party, which never either loved or esteemed you, because of your drunkenness and your reigious bigotry, which was incompatible with the institutions of the country, and only desired to get rid of you; do you suppose the Republican party would arm, or allow an expedition to arm itself, for
»ir benefit 'I
Besides, the Republican party is, of all the parties, the most conservative. The iiost conservative 1 that seems strange. The Republcan party, chiefly composed of men who have become rich, desires peace at any price, to have the free enjoyment of luxury — the full efflorescence of egosm. The egoism of the capitalist makes seace at any price his watchword, and it :onstitutes his platform. To the capitalist, f you are a source of embarrassment in one respect, you have a marketable value in another. You can work; therefore you are a mine that can be worked to advantage. You can bring in some profit; therefore you are worth keeping; for before all other things they arc traders.
The Republican party, like the Democratic party, ia used up. It has had its day. Filled and stuffed full with dollars, it is dying with plethora and indigestion. Let one or two more presidential elections pass over, and the party will transform itself into another shape and make way for another combination. This great party desires to absorb into itself all the best elements of the old parties. Let ine not be misunderstood. To the Un ted States belongs, in virtue of their liberty, the solution of the great problem of the nineteenth century: "What are the equitable relations between labour and capital?"
Already Wendell Phillips has taken the initiative and placed his splendid eloquence and generous heart on the side of justice. After having fought victoriously for the emancipation of the Negro race, he will again fight and conquer for the emancipation of while labour.
I declared at the beginning of this paper the solidarity that exists between the rights and liberties of all. The enfranchisement of the black race ought to lead inevitably to the setting free of the slave who is white. The social party in America will conquer. But does it thence follow that this party will come to the help of Ireland against England? No 1 not a thousand times no I
Help thyself, Irishman, and Heaven will help thee 1 In other words, make a beginning by trying to obtain instruction, and endeavouring to free thyself from the fetters of clerical domination.
Shake off the prejudices of superstition, become a man first, and an Irishman afterwards. Then it will be, that by thy free, intelligent, and energetic association with other men, by whatever name they may be called — English, American, or French — thy country will be restored to thee in one universal fatherland.
Learn the true significance of SolidArity. In hoc signo vinces. This is the first article in our creed. Labour as a member of the great universal family. Thy nearest neighbour, England, will be the first who will stretch out her hand and make the Irish Question her own.
Until then it is in vain that, like a squirrel in a page, thou turnest to and fro in thy insurrections, without any chance of escape. Above all, it is thy love of strong drink that makes thee poor; in it thy poor
head and thy country also are alike drowned.
My decided opinion may be summed up in one word — the alliance of Ireland with England on one common platform; the enfranchisement of both by one common bond of brotherhood.
So long as the people of England and Ireland shall stand looking upon each other like two dogs ready to fly at each other, the English aristocracy well despise both one and the other, will rub their hands and laugh at both.
From Macmillmi'a Magazine. THE 8TBANGE ADVENTURES OF A FHAETOX.
BY WILLIAM BLACK, AUTHOR OF "A DAUOHTHB
"As she fled fust through Bud and shade,
The rein with dainty finger-tips,
Upon her perfect lips."
This state of affairs could not last.
"Look here," I say to Queen Titania, 'we must cut the Lieutenant adrift."
"As you please," she remarks, with a sudden coldness coming over her manner.
"Why should we be embarrassed by the freaks of these two young creatures? All the sunshine has gone out of the party since Bell has begun to sit mute and constrained— her only wish apparently being to show a superhuman courtesy to this perplexing young Prussian."
"You very quickly throw over anyone who interferes with your own comfort," says my Lady, calmly.
"I miss my morning ballad. When one reaches a certain age, one expects to be studied and tended — except by one's wife."
"Well," says Tito, driven to desperation by this picture of Von Rosen's departure, 111 warned you at our setting-out that these two would fall in love with each other and cause us a great deal of trouble."
Who can say that this little woman is wanting in courage V The audacity with which she made this statement was marvellous. She never flinched ; and the brown, clear, true eyes looked as bravely uncon