7 OCTOBER 1882, Page 13




'Sin,--Mr. Godkin, in his letter to you of August 22nd, cites, as a proof of the national prejudice felt by Englishmen against Irishmen, Cobden's avowal of the repulsion which he experienced towards O'Connell and his followers in the House of Com- mons. If ever there was a man free from national prejudice, or prejudice of any kind, he was Cobden, as all who knew him will bear witness; and I will venture to say that what repelled him in the Irish Members was not at all their nationality, but altogether their behaviour, by which Irishmen as well as English- men must expect to be judged. Mr. Godkin proceeds to introduce my name, and to state that I, writing in the Nineteenth Century, approve of Cobden's feeling, and "would apparently go further than Cobden, and base on it some kind of hostile legislation against those disagreeable and untrustworthy persons." This is not a correct representation. If I have advocated measures of repression, it was not because Irishmen were disagreeable and untrustworthy, but because Mr. Parnell and his party were abusing their powers and privileges as Members of the House of Commons, for the purpose of wrecking Parliamentary Government by Obstruction, in the interest of Disunion. Mr. Godkin will hardy doubt that if a party of Southern Members of Congress were to attempt, in the same manner, to wreck the American Legislature in the interest of Secession, they would be put down with as little compunction as was shown in repress- ing the Irish rising against the Conscription in New York. Of prejudice or unkind feeling against Irishmen in general, I believe my record as a writer on Ireland is pretty clear, But it seems to be forgotten that, in this agrarian reign of terror, the murdered are Irish as well as the murderers ; while the chief authors of the system are the Fenians of New York, whose organ, the Irish World, appears, like some other curious properties, to be owned by a Sew.

That, however, to which I most demur in Mr. Godkin's paper, is its appearing as "an American view of the Irish Question." It is the view, not of a native American, but of an Irish Nationalist, animated by the usual feelings of his party towards Great Britain and the Union,—I am, Sir, Ike.,