My justification for publishing my thoughts on Home Rule is that the movement in favour of the Parliamentary independence of Ireland constitutes, whether its advocates recognise the fact or not, a demand for fundamental alterations in the whole Constitution of the United Kingdom; and while I may without presumption consider myself moderately acquainted with the principles of Constitutional law, I entertain the firmest conviction that any scheme for Home Rule in Ireland involves dangerous if not fatal innovations on the Constitution of Great Britain.
ht to produce academic calmness; a class-room is after all a better place for quiet reflection than the House of Commons or the hustings.
The second of the advantages which marks the proposed mode of argument is that a line of thought which fixes a reader's attention all but exclusively upon the probable effects of Home Rule is a preservative against the errors which arise from introducing into a dispute, bitter enough in itself, all the poisonous venom of historical recrimination, and all the delusions which are the offspring of the misleading tendency to personify nations. The massacres of 1641, the sack of Drogheda, the violated treaty of Limerick, the follies strangely mingled with the patriotism of Grattan's Parliament, the outrages which discredited the rebellion of 1798, and the cruelties which disgraced its suppression; the corruption which carried the Union, and the broken pledges which turned political union into a source of fresh sectarian discord; the calamities, the mistakes and the crimes
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