Rome-Rule in Ireland: A Lecture Delivered Before the Independent Religious Society, Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Sunday at 11 A. M (Classic Reprint)
For many reasons Ireland is one of the most interesting countries in the world. It is also one of the most beautiful. Its varied scenery of lake, mountain and sea-shore, in point of loveliness and grandeur, is not a whit behind those of more pretentious countries. Ireland has also a very agreeable climate - with enough sunshine and shower to keep hill and dale in perennial green. Physically, the impression which Ireland made upon me I could only liken to that of a bright and laughing face. It was a pleasure to visit the island, to breathe its wholesome air, to behold its luxuriance, and to become familiar with its many natural charms.
And I liked the people of Ireland equally well. There is a fund of natural gaiety in the Irish character which serves as an excellent preservative. The Irishman makes a charming host, an admirable traveling companion, and a devoted friend. His heart is big, his feelings are intense, and there is a goodly share of the element of idealism in him: his unfailing and unconscious humor, on the other hand, is the envy of the world. If one could only introduce America, that is to say, opportunity, into Ireland, what a change that would make!
There is not another country in the world of whose people it could be said what is so very true of the Irish - that they find themselves and their possibilities only when they leave their own country. Give the Irishman a fair field, and in all the walks of life - in literature, poetry, eloquence, the drama, diplomacy, business - he can climb to the top of the ladder, or carry off the laurels as easily as anybody else.
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