From The Irish People, December 12, 1863.
One glorious characteristic of the true Irish is a constant stumbling-block to the West-Briton – that bastard Bull – and, to the legitimate Bull, a strong abomination. This characteristic is seen in the reluctance, aversion or horror with which the true Irish have been ever brought to place the life or liberty of any man, even a foe, in the power of the laws under which we pine and die. Both the Bulls – in brazen ignorance or loathsome slander – have bellowed forth the real causes of this black anomaly! The Legitimate assures the world that it has been owing to “vicious training,” “total absence of the moral sense,” and “inferiority of race!” And the Bastard, with a double baseness, accepts and echoes the sentence that would make him lower than a dog. Hateful tyrants and salves – or still more hateful hypocrites – the true Irish scorn your studied slanders and laugh at your purblind gropings towards the truth. The real seed and fosterage of this great characteristic are hidden from you in Cimmerian darkness; or, if ever you have dim gleamings of the fact, you dare not grasp and give it to the light. With a truer eye and a freer spirit, we know the Irish heart and will vindicate its glories to your shame.
The Irishman who spurns your gold and scorns your power is nobly gifted with “the moral sense,” and his “race” has no “superior” in the world.
“Why then so averse from bringing to punishment those who offend against the laws?”
Simply, because for aiding and abetting those laws he would renounce a right and fail in a duty; because those laws have wrought everlasting wrong and woe to him and his; because they are alien laws, not his, and he knows they are made to murder him as they have murdered so many millions before him; because, in short, he wants to have nothing to do with and would be rid of them for ever. Put the life or liberty of any man, even a foe, in the power of your laws! He fears that the bones of the many millioned dead would be stirred by the deed, and he knows that every true man of his race would deem his touch pollution. Are you answered now? So, then, with your hands and eyeballs uplifted in holy horror, we leave you to the jeers or pity of all worth caring for.
If this be – and it is and has always been – the feeling of the true Irish, at the bare thought of putting the life or liberty of any man, even a foe, in the power of those laws, what should they feel – what have they ever felt – in the case of the earnest toiler for the freedom of our land! In such cases, the deed of the informer has been a deed of everlasting horror. Wisely the thinking patriot has ever toiled to foster and develope this sound and sacred horror of the stag. Woe to the Irishman who would try to taint and weaken this essential strength and glory of our cause. And woe to the People, if they do not manfully confront and crush every such wrong-headed and base attempt. For our part, we shall have a watchful eye to every form this blind or malicious infamy may take, and, wherever detected, shall hold it up to the People.
Today we will merely note the fact that, for some time back, this national horror has been amongst us in a novel shape. To this shape we have given the name of Felon-setting. Its chief office is to denounce and “warn” the People, when they presume to think and act for themselves, and, at the same time, to profress the utmost love for, and devotion to the national cause! Having weighed these professions, the People take them at their just value. As to the warnings and denouncings, the People can denounce and warn, too. This is their first note of warning to all whom it may concern.