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ought to be, whose virtue is most manifest, whose faith is most operative, who has the largest share of the higher life, the heavenly temper, the immortal hope. I believe, my Lords and Gentlemen, that Ireland has every material of greatness and of happiness, if she will only live. up to the full extent of her opportunities and her capacities.
MANSION HOUSE-MUNICIPAL BANQUET.
[FEBRUARY 13TH, 1863.]
THE RIGHT HON. JOHN P. VEREKER, LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN.
"The Health of the Earl of Carlisle, and Prosperity to Ireland."
MY LORD MAYOR, MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN,
T has happened to me now so often to stand in this place, and to return thanks for the same honour which has just been paid me with the same unabated kindness, that I almost flatter myself that I have accomplished rather a difficult feat, which is to have become acquainted with the divers echoes of this large circumference within which we are assembled. It has also happened to me, within the same protracted experience, to have sat at those large and genial banquets under varied auspices as the guest of Chief Magistrates-sometimes of one political creed, and sometimes of another-of each sometimes-and generally of men who, in the different paths of honourable and persevering industry, have founded their well-earned affluence and position upon their own exertions; and to-night I certainly find it no unpleasing novelty to see in this ancient office of the Lord Mayor of Dublin a gentleman directly connected with the hereditary nobility of the land. On a smaller theatre I had already seen such a connexion established among my own neighbours in the instance of the Lord Mayor of the city of York; and I am glad to find the same connexion has now been adopted in the metropolis of Ireland, because it seems to me an appropriate illustration of those reciprocal relations which unite the great abiding interest
of agriculture with the varied and multiform operations of commerce, and which, in this free and equal country, bind all the separate portions of our society into one not homogeneous but harmonious home. On some previous occasions it has been my good fortune in this place to dilate upon the favourable condition and satisfactory aspect of the country. On some previous occasions, I say, it has been my good fortune, without contradiction or objection, to do so. Last year I was not enabled to take so sanguine a view; and this year I feel more strongly, in common with the Lord Mayor, who has already addressed some observations to you on the subject, that three moist and ungenial summers have left their traces upon the land, and upon those who live by it. I concede that it is impossible to deny that considerable pressure now rests upon most of the agricultural classes. It has not, I am proud to think, made them indifferent to widespread distress in other quarters; and I trust that they will find such alleviation as may be requisite in local benevolence, and in local exertions, whether in the form of increased attention to drainage, or other methods of agricultural improvement. It is satisfactory to think that a considerable surplus is now still vested under the Landed Improvements Act, which may be applied to those purposes; and I cannnot fail with humble humility to breathe a fervent hope that under the blessing of Almighty Providence, and in accordance with what we may anticipate from its ascertained processes, a favourable cycle of seasons may soon await us. The city of Dublin has naturally had its share in the pressure of the times, which has been felt by the country at large; still these are not too discouraging circumstances. I find that the rateable valuation of the city of Dublin has sensibly increased, and that the rates proposed to be levied by the CollectorGeneral for the ensuing year are lower in amount than they have been in the past years. It cannot, I think, be denied that a very gratifying improvement must be acknowledged by all who walk the streets to have taken place in the architecture, not only of the more ambitious buildings, such as museums and churches, but in the shop fronts and in private dwellings; and, if we cannot get new bridges over our rivers, we are at least offered them over our streets. A considerable and very primary progress has been made in what concerns those two leading forces of our nature-fire and water. I believe a very well devised scheme to be in operation for putting at the command of the citizens of this metropolis a most abundant supply of pure fresh water; and by the
time that this new supply shall serve the tops of all your houses and sparkle in your fountains, I am glad to find that one, certainly not the least, of the advantages of a water supply will have been promoted by the formation of a Fire Brigade, which, under the auspices of this Corporation, is now in the course of operation. My Lords, the empire at large does not furnish me with any very salient grounds for comment, and as Her Majesty, in her own gracious speech to her Parliament, omitted any mention of particular measures, it does not seem to me to be incumbent upon her Viceroy to deviate from so august a model. The empire, we must all thankfully acknowledge, both at home and abroad, is in a state of profound tranquillity and peace; and even where there have been suffering and privation, the exemplary patriotism and uninterrupted harmony of all classes have only come out in more brilliant relief. Would that we could waft this blessed olive branch-I mean on the Galway line of packets-would that we could in any way waft this olive branch of our own ark of safety to our warring and bleeding brethren in the other hemisphere. I do not believe, in the present position of circumstances in that great continent, and amidst the present passions of men's minds, the occasion has yet arisen when we could interfere with advantage or with efficacy. There are two points on which I feel anxious with respect to our own country. One is that, while we do not precipitate, we should not churlishly neglect any available opportunity for counselling peace. The other, which I feel still more strongly, is that we should keep ourselves thoroughly and entirely clear from complicity with slavery. I cannot, before I conclude, omit to advert to one topic which has already been the subject of graceful comment by the Lord Mayor-I mean the auspicious event shortly about to occur in the highest family in the realm. In this same gay apartment many of us not long ago saw the Prince of Wales joining in the festive amusements which became his youth and station, and we have now in the same room pledged the full wine cup to his approaching bridal day. Our hearts were with our act and with our voices-not merely, I will take upon myself to say, because the Prince of Wales is the heir apparent to the Throne of this wide-spread empire-not merely because he bears in his veins the blood of a hundred kings-not merely because the ice-bound tracts of Canada and the torrid plains of India, and the yet untrodden pastures of Australia shall call him master, but because he has his being in the sanctified love which nursed his cradle
and which watched his youth, and because, so far as we know, he has secured by his own choice those pure and unalloyed treasures of domestic happiness which, while they cheer and gild the lowly stations of this earth, also adorn and elevate the highest.
MANSION HOUSE-MUNICIPAL BANQUET.
THE RIGHT HON. PETER PAUL M'SWINEY, LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN. [FEBRUARY 4TH, 1864.]
"The Health of the Earl of Carlisle, and Prosperity to Ireland."
MY LORD MAYOR, MY LORDS, AND GENTLEMEN,
RETURN you my very sincere thanks for the honour you have done me in drinking my health, and for coupling it with that which is very near to my heart-the prosperity of Ireland. It is always with the utmost readiness and good will that I attend the summons of the Chief Magistrate of the city of Dublin to be present at the hospitable and imposing banquet which so brilliantly ushers in the civic new year. On this occasion the presence of the late Lord Mayor serves to remind us of the welcome and courtesy which we experienced during the last year; and the auspices under which we are now assembled give us every assurance that the chain of good feeling and good fellowship will remain unbroken. I feel only tempted to express some misgiving lest you should think it a matter of complaint that the same variety which you experience in your Lord Mayors does not follow you in the persons of your Viceroys, and that on this head you may have a well-founded charge of monotony and satiety. I shall best, perhaps, reassure myself by looking a very little way below me at your Recorder, whose unfailing attendance here is always greeted with the same pleasure, and who, I hope,
long after my voice is hushed here, and my presence shall be forgotten, will continue to fill his place at your board, respected, welcomed, and beloved. My Lords and Gentlemen, I do not feel that there is much in our internal affairs which appears to me to call for any especial comment from me on the present occasion, and, amidst a convulsed and warring world, this is not a little thing to say for ourselves; and I think it may in a great degree account for there being no exceptional mention of Ireland in Her Majesty's speech: The protracted pressure of unfavourable seasons, somewhat lightened and relieved by the last, has continued to make its strain felt upon the material resources of this country. Attention has been latterly directed to that which the Lord Mayor touched upon, to the greatly increased rate at which emigration from these shores is still going on. Now, undoubtedly it would be a much more agreeable subject of contemplation if we could witness the simultaneous boast of both wealth and population. It seems to be the modern idea of flourishing communities. I cannot, indeed, go along with the pathetic complaint of the pleasing poet with whose statue we have lately adorned our highways, when he says,
"Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay."
I believe there would be much more truth in the converse, and that worse would fare the land where men accumulate and wealth decays. The gentlemen below wish for more mouths, and less food to fill them. This state of things is not desirable; and least of all do I wish, and much do I regret, that Ireland should part with any of her hardy and generous sons merely to supply food for the vultures which hover over the Lethean plains of Virginia and Tennessee. But with respect to the general course and current of emigration, while any attempt forcibly to arrest it would be impossible as it would be cruel, I for one am not prepared to repine at it until the general average rate of wages in this country shall amount to at least 10s. a week. This is very far from being universally the case at present. I certainly am not prepared to follow the Lord Mayor into the details of the political questions, some of a very delicate nature, of which he has laid the heads before you. I think that one great want of Ireland is what sounds of a very homely and prosaic character; but I believe one great lever of Irish improvement would be found not so much in any great principle or doctrine, or in