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      house is--and with what anxiety we wipe our feet before we step in!the weather. There are such lots of adventures out in the fields!


      FOOTNOTES:


      There is a disposition to assume that events like that just recounted were a consequence of the contact of white men with red; but the primitive Indian was quite able to enact such tragedies without the help of Europeans. Before French or English influence had been felt in the interior of the continent, a great part of North America was the frequent witness of scenes still more lurid in coloring, and on a larger scale of horror. In the first half of the seventeenth century the whole country, from Lake Superior to the Tennessee, and from the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, was ravaged by wars of extermination, in which tribes, large and powerful by Indian standards, perished, dwindled into feeble remnants, or were absorbed by other tribes and vanished from sight. French pioneers were sometimes involved in the carnage, but neither they nor other Europeans were answerable for it.[286]

      As winter approached, the state of things assumed a more portentous aspect. The leading agitators were themselves dismayed when they looked down the precipice to the edge of which they had brought the nation. O'Connell at the end of September issued an address, urging the people to discontinue their assemblies, and they obeyed. His lieutenants were exceedingly anxious that the Liberal Protestants should take an active part as mediators in order, if possible, to avert a disastrous collision. A good occasion was offered by the visit of Lord Morpeth to Ireland. This enlightened and accomplished noblemanalways the friend of civil and religious liberty, destined to preside over the Government of Ireland, as Viceroy, when the rgime of civil equality was fully established, and to be the congenial interpreter of its spiritwas then invited to a great banquet, which was attended by all the leading friends of civil and religious liberty in and about Dublin, Protestant and Catholic. The Duke of Leinster was in the chair, and Mr. Sheil appealed to him, in the most eloquent terms, by all that was patriotic and glorious in the history of his ancestors the Geraldineswhich for seven hundred years formed a great part of the history of Ireland, and who were in past times considered more Irish than the Irish themselvesto put himself at the head of the Liberal party.


      to pay for them.

      [241] A full report of this conference was printed at the time in Boston. It is reprinted in N. H. Historical Collections, ii. 242, and N. H. Provincial Papers, iii. 693. Penhallow was present at the meeting, but his account of it is short. The accounts of Williamson and Hutchinson are drawn from the above-mentioned report.

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      Meanwhile, Sir Robert Peel applied himself with great energy and diligence to the legislative work that he had proposed for his Government. On the 17th he moved for leave to bring in a Bill to relieve Dissenters from the disabilities under which they laboured with regard to the law of marriage. It was felt to be a great grievance that Nonconformists could not be married except according to the rites of the Established Church, to which they had conscientious objections. Attempts had been made by the Whigs to relieve them, but in a hesitating manner, and with only a half recognition of the principle of religious equality. Sir Robert Peel took up the subject in a more liberal spirit and with more enlightened views. He proposed that, so far as the State had to do with marriage, it should assume the form of a civil contract only, leaving the parties to solemnise it with whatever religious ceremonies they chose. The Bill for this purpose met the approval of the House, and would have satisfied the Dissenters if Sir Robert Peel had remained in office long enough to pass it. All the committees of the preceding year were reappointed, in order to redeem, as far as possible, the time lost by the dissolution. A measure was brought forward for the improvement of the resources of the Church of England, by turning some of the larger incomes to better account, and by creating two additional bishoprics, Ripon and Manchester. The Premier did not act towards the Dissenters in the same liberal spirit with regard to academic education as he did with regard to marriage. They were excluded from the privileges of the Universities; and yet when it was proposed to grant a charter to the London University, that it might be able to confer degrees, the Government opposed the motion for an Address to the king on the subject, and were defeated by a majority of 246 to 136.

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      During the summer, meetings of a similar character were held at Cork, Longford, Drogheda, Kilkenny, Mallow, Dundalk, Baltinglass, Tara, and other places. At Tara, in the county Meath, on the 15th of August, an immense multitude was assembled250,000, at the lowest estimate, but represented by the Repeal journals as four times that number. The place was selected because of its association with the old nationality of the country, where its ancient kings were elected and crowned. O'Connell's speech on this occasion was defiant in tone, and in the highest degree inflammatory. Referring to a speech of the Duke of Wellington, he said, "The Duke of Wellington is now talking of attacking us, and I am glad of it. The Queen's army is the bravest army in the world, but I feel it to be a fact that Ireland, roused as she is at the present moment, would, if they made war upon us, furnish women enough to beat the whole of the Queen's forces." The Lord Chancellor Sugden having recently deprived of the commission of the peace all magistrates who were members of the Repeal Association, Mr. O'Connell announced that the dismissed magistrates would be appointed by the Repeal Association as arbitrators to settle all disputes among the people, who were not again to go to the petty sessions. He pronounced the union to be null, to be obeyed as an injustice supported by law, until they had the royal authority to set the matter right and substitute their own Parliament. In his speech after dinner to a more select audience, he said that the statesman was a driveller who did not recollect the might that slumbers in a peasant's arm, and who expected that 700,000 such men would endure oppression for ever. An outbreak would surely come, though not in his time, and then the Government and gentry would weep, in tears of blood, their want of consideration and kindness to the country whose people could reward them amply by the devotion of their hearts and the vigour of their arms. What were the gentry afraid of? It could not be of the people, for they were under the strictest discipline. No army was ever more submissive to its general than the[527] people of Ireland were to the wishes of a single individual.2nd June

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      [222] The Acadians to Saint-Ovide, 6 May, 1720, in Public Documents of Nova Scotia, 25. This letter was evidently written for them,no doubt by a missionary.FOOTNOTES:


      alllittle