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freedom of your institutions? Where is the vaunted impartiality, clemency, and mildness of your Courts of Justice, if an unfortunate prisoner, whom your policy, and not your justice, is about to deliver into the hands of the executioner, is not suffered to explain his motives sincerely and truly, and to vindicate the principles by which he was actuated?

during his trial, by charging him with ambition, and attempting to cast away, for a paltry consideration, the liberties of his country? Why did your lordships insult me? or rather, why insult justice in demanding of me why sentence of death should not be pronounced? I know, my lord, that form prescribes that you should ask the question—the form also prescribes the right of answering. This, no doubt, may be dispensed with, and so might the whole ceremony of the trial, since sentence was already pronounced at the Castle before the jury was empannelled. Your lordships are but the priests of the oracle, and I submit ; but I insist on the whole of the forms.

My lords, it may be a part of the system of angry justice to bow a man's mind by humiliation to the proposed ignomy of the scaffold-but worse to me than the purposed shame, or the scaffold's terrors, would be the shame of such foul and unfounded imputations as have been laid against me in this Court. You, my lord, are a judge; I am the supposed I am charged with being an emissary culprit; I am a man, you are a man of France. An emissary of France! and also by a revolution of power we might for what end? It is alleged I wish to sell change places, though we never could the independence of my country! and characters. If I stand at the bar of this for what end? Was this the object of Court, and dare not vindicate my cha- my ambition?-and is this the mode by racter, what a farce is your justice! If I which a tribunal of justice reconciles constand at this bar and dare not vindicate tradictions? No, I am no emissary; my character, how dare you calumniate and my ambition was to hold a place it? Does the sentence of death, which among the deliverers of my country-not your unhallowed policy inflicts on my in power, not in profit, but in the glory body, also condemn my tongue to silence of the achievement. Sell my country's and my reputation to reproach? Your independence! and for what? Was it executioner may abridge the period of for a change of masters? No, but for my existence, but whilst I exist I shall ambition! Oh, my country! was it pernot forbear to vindicate my character and sonal ambition that could influence me? motives from your aspersions; and as a Had it been the soul of my actions, could man, to whom fame is dearer than life, I I not, by my education and fortune-by will make the last use of that life in doing the rank and consideration of my family justice to that reputation which is to live-have placed myself among the proudest after me, and which is the only legacy I can leave to those I honour and love, and for whom I am proud to perish.

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of my oppressors? My country was my
idol; to it I sacrificed every selfish,
every endearing sentiment, and for it Í
now offer up my life.
O God! No, my
lord; I acted as an Irishman, determined
on delivering his country from the yoke
of a domestic faction, which is its joint
partner and perpetrator in the parricide,
for the ignominy of existing with an
exterior of splendour and a conscious
depravity: it was the wish of my heart
to extricate my country from the doubly.
riveted despotism. I wished to place her
independence beyond the reach of any
power on earth-I wished to exalt her to
that proud station in the world.

Connections with France were indeed intended-but only as far as mutual interest would sanction or require. Were they to assume any authority inconsistent with the purest independence, it would be the signal for its destruction; we sought aid, and we sought it as we had assurance we should obtain it-as auxiliaries in war and allies in peace.

Were the French to come as invaders or enemies, uninvited by the wishes of the people, I should oppose them to the utmost of my strength. Yes, my countrymen, I should advise you to meet them on the beach with a sword in one hand and a torch in the other; I would meet them with all the destructive fury of war, and I would animate my countrymen to immolate them in their boats, before they had contaminated the soil of my country. If they succeeded in landing, and if forced to retire before superior discipline, I would dispute every inch of the ground, burn every blade of grass, and the last entrenchment of liberty should be my grave. What I could not do myself, if I should fall, I should leave as a last charge to my countrymen to accomplish, because I should feel consicous that life any more than death is unprofitable when a foreign nation holds my country in subjection.

But it was not an enemy that the succours of France were to land. I looked indeed for the succours of France; but I wished to prove to France and to the world, that Irishmen deserved to be assisted; that they were indignant at slavery, and ready to assert the right and independence of their country.

I wished to procure for my country the guarantee which Washington procured for America. To procure an aid which by its example, would be as important as its valour-disciplined, gallant, pregnant with science and experience; who would perceive the good and polish the rough points of our character; they would come to us as strangers and leave us as friends, after sharing our perils and elevating our destiny. These were my objects-not to receive new taskmasters, but to expel old tyrants. These were my views, and these only became Irishmen.

It was for these ends I sought aid from France, because France, even as an enemy, could not be more implacable than the enemy already in the bosom of my country.

I have been charged with that importance in the efforts to emancipate my country as to be considered the keystone of the combination of Irishmen, or, as your lordship expressed it, "the life and blood of the conspiracy;" you do me honour overmuch; you have given to the subaltern all the credit of a superior. There are men engaged in the conspiracy who are not only superior to me, but even to your own estimation of yourself, my lord, before the splendour of whose genius and virtues I should bow with respectful deference, and who would think themselves dishonoured to be called your friends; who would not disgrace themselves by shaking your blood-stained hand.

What, my lord! shall you tell me on the passage to that scaffold, which the tyranny of which you are only the intermediary executioner has erected for my murder, that I am accountable for all the blood that has and will be shed in this struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor? Shall you tell me this, and shall I be so very a slave as not to repel it?

I do not fear to approach the Omnipotent Judge, to answer for the conduct of my whole life, and am I to be appalled and falsified by a mere remnant of mortality here? By you, too, who, if it were possible to collect all the innocent blood that you have shed in your unhallowed ministry in one great reservoir, your lordship might swim in it.

Let no man dare, when I am dead, to charge me with dishonour; let no man attaint my memory, by believing that I could have engaged in any cause but of my country's liberty and independence, or that I became the pliant minion of power in the oppression of the miseries of my countrymen. The proclamation of the Provisional Government speaks for our views; no inference can be tortured from it to countenance barbarity or

debasement at home, or subjection, humiliation, or treachery from abroad. I would not have submitted to a foreign oppressor, for the same reason that I would resist the present domestic oppressor. In the dignity of freedom, I would have fought on the threshold of my country, and its enemy should only enter by passing over my lifeless corpse. And am I, who lived but for my country, and who have subjected myself to the dangers of a jealous and watchful oppressor, and the bondage of the grave, only to give my countrymen their rights, and my country its independence-am I to be loaded with calumny, and not suffered to resent or repel it? No, God forbid !

If the spirits of the illustrious dead participate in the concern and cares of those who are dear to them in this transitory life, O ever dear and venerable shade of my departed father, look down with scrutiny upon the conduct of your suffering son, and see if I have ever for a moment deviated from those principles of morality and patriotism which it was your care to instil into my youthful mind, and for which I am now to offer up my life.

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LOOK at the world a hundred years after the seal of Pope Nicholas the Fifth had been affixed to the instrument which called your College into existence. find Europe, we find Scotland especially, in the agonies of that revolution which we emphatically call the Reformation. The liberal patronage which Nicholas, and men like Nicholas, had given to learning, and of which the establishment of this seat of learning is not the least remarkable instance, had produced an effect which they had never contemplated. Ignorance was the talisman on which their power depended, and that talisman they had themselves broken. They had called in knowledge as a handmaid to My lords, you are impatient for the decorate superstition, and their error prosacrifice-the blood which you seek is duced its natural effect. I need not tell not congealed by the artificial terrors that you what a part the votaries of classical surround your victim; it circulates warmly learning, and especially the votaries of and unruffled through the channels which Greek learning, the Humanists, as they God created for nobler purposes, but were then called, bore in the great movewhich you are bent to destroy for pur- ment against spiritual tyranny. They poses so grievous that they cry to Heaven. formed, in fact, the vanguard of that Be ye patient! I have but a few words movement. Every one of the chief Remore to say. I am going to my cold and formers-I do not at this moment rememsilent grave; my lamp of life is nearly ber a single exception-was a Humanist. extinguished; my race is run, the grave Almost every eminent Humanist in the opens to receive me, and I sink into its north of Europe was, according to the bosom! I have but one request to ask measure of his uprightness and courage, at my departure from this world; it is a Reformer. In a Scottish University I the charity of its silence! Let no man need hardly mention the names of Knox, write my epitaph; for as no man who of Buchanan, of Melville, of Secretary knows my motives dare now vindicate Maitland. In truth, minds daily nouthem, let not prejudice or ignorance | rished with the best literature of Greece asperse them. Let them and me repose and Rome necessarily grew too strong to in obscurity and peace, and my tomb be trammelled by the cobwebs of the remain uninscribed, until other times and scholastic divinity; and the influence of other men can do justice to my character. | such minds was now rapidly felt by the

whole community; for the invention of printing had brought books within the reach of yeomen and of artisans. From the Mediterranean to the Frozen Sea, therefore, the public mind was everywhere in a ferment, and nowhere was the ferment greater than in Scotland. It was in the midst of martyrdoms and proscriptions, in the midst of a war between power and truth, that the first century of the existence of your University closed.

Pass another hundred years, and we are in the midst of another revolution. The war between Popery and Protestantism had, in this island, been terminated by the victory of Protestantism. But from that war another war had sprung, the war between Prelacy and Puritanism. The hostile religious sects were allied, intermingled, confounded with hostile political parties. The monarchical element of the constitution was an object of almost exclusive devovion to the Prelatist. The popular element of the constitution was especially dear to the Puritan. At length an appeal was made to the sword. Puritanism triumphed. Puritanism was already divided against itself. Independency and Republicanism were on one side, Presbyterianism and limited Monarchy on the other. It was in the very darkest part of that dark time; it was in the midst of battles, sieges, and executions; it was when the whole world was still aghast at the awful spectacle of a British king standing before a judgment-seat, and laying his neck on a block; it was when the mangled remains of the Duke of Hamilton had just been laid in the tomb of his house; it was when the head of the Marquis of Montrose had just been fixed on the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, that your University completed her second century.

Tower Hill. A bright and tranquil century, a century of religious toleration, of domestic peace, of temperate freedom, of equal justice, was beginning. That century is now closing. When we compare it with any equally long period in the history of any other great society, we shall find abundant cause for thankfulness to the Giver of all good. Nor is there any place in the whole kingdom better fitted to excite this feeling than the place where we are now assembled. For in the whole kingdom we shall find no district in which the progress of trade, of manufactures, of wealth, and of the arts of life, has been more rapid than in Clydesdale. Your University has partaken largely of the prosperity of this city and of the surrounding region. The security, the tranquillity, the liberty, which have been propitious to the industry of the merchant, and of the manufacturer, have been also propitious to the industry of the scholar. To the last century belong most of the names of which you justly boast. The time would fail me if I attempted to do justice, to the memory of all the illustrious men who, during that period, taught or learned wisdom within these ancient walls; geometricians, anatomists, jurists, philologists, metaphysicians, poets; Simpson and Hunter, Millar and Young, Reid and Stewart; Campbell, whose coffin was lately borne to a grave in that renowned transept which contains the dust of Chaucer, of Spenser, and of Dryden; Black, whose discoveries form an era in the history of chemical science; Adam Smith, the greatest of all the masters of political science; James Watt, who perhaps did more than any single man has done, since the New Atlantis of Bacon was written, to accomplish that glorious prophecy. We now speak the language of humility when we say that the University of Glasgow need not fear a comparison with the University of Bologna.

The evil days were over.

A hundred years more, and we have at length reached the beginning of a happier period. Our civil and religious liberties had, indeed, been bought with a fearful price. But they had been bought. Another secular period is now about to The price had been paid. The last battle commence. There is no lack of alarmhad been fought on British ground. The ists, who will tell you that it is about to last black scaffold had been set up on commence under evil auspices. But

from me you must expect no such gloomy prognostications. I have heard them too long and too constantly to be scared by them. Ever since I began to make observations on the state of my country, I have seen nothing but growth, and heard of nothing but decay. The more I contemplate our noble institutions, the more convinced I am that they are sound at heart, that they have nothing of age but its dignity, and that their strength is still the strength of youth. The hurricane which has recently overthrown so much that was great, and that seemed durable, has only proved their solidity. They still stand, august and immoveable, while dynasties and churches are lying in heaps of ruin all around us. I see no reason to doubt that, by the blessing of God on a wise and temperate policy, on a policy of which the principle is to preserve what is good by reforming in time what is evil, our civil institutions may be preserved unimpaired to a late posterity, and that under the shade of our civil institutions our academical institutions may long continue to flourish.

[CHARLES DICKENS. 1812-1870.] MECHANICS' INSTITUTES. Delivered at Manchester, 1843. I DON'T know whether, at this time of day, we need trouble ourselves very much to rake up the ashes of the dead-andgone objections that were wont to be urged by men of all parties against institutions such as this, whose interests we are met to promote; but their philosophy was always to be summed up in the unmeaning application of one short sentence. How often have we heard, from a large class of men, wise in their generation, who would really seem to be born and bred for no other purpose than to pass into currency counterfeit and mischievous scraps of wisdom, as it is the sole pursuit of some other criminals to utter base coin,-how often have we heard from them, as an all-convincing

argument, that "a little learning is a dangerous thing!" Why, a little hanging was considered a very dangerous thing, according to the same authorities, with this difference, that, because a little hanging was dangerous, we had a great deal of it; and because a little learning was dangerous, we were to have none at all. Why, when I hear such cruel absurdities gravely reiterated, I do sometimes begin to doubt whether the parrots of society are not more pernicious to its interests than its birds of prey. I should be glad to hear such people's estimate of the comparative danger of "a little learning," and a vast amount of ignorance; I should be glad to know which they consider the most prolific parent of misery and crime. Descending little lower in the social scale, I should be glad to assist them in their calculations, by carrying them into certain gaols and nightly refuges I know of, where my own heart dies within me when I see thousands of immortal creatures, condemned, without alternative or choice, to tread, not what our great poet calls

"The primrose path to the everlasting bonfire," but one of jagged flints and stones, laid down by brutal ignorance, and held together like the solid rocks by years of this most wicked axiom. Would we know, from any honourable body of merchants, upright in deed and thought, whether they would rather have ignorant or en lightened persons in their own employment? Why, we have had their answer in this building; we have it in this company; we have it emphatically given in the munificent generosity of your own merchants of Manchester, of all sects and kinds, when this establishment was first proposed. But, ladies and gentlemen, are the advantages derivable by the people from institutions such as this, only of a negative character? If a little learning be an innocent thing, has it no distinct, wholesome, and immediate influence upon the mind? The old doggrel rhyme, so often written in the beginning of books, says that— "When house and lands are gone and spent." Then learning is most excellent ;'

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