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WHEN I was first asked to reply to Mr. Froude'slectures, I was very unwilling to do it. As a priest, I felt reluctant to enter upon a controversy which promised to be purely secular. As an Irishman, I thought that Mr. Froude's was only one other utterance of those old anti-Irish calumnies which it has been the fashion of English writers to invent and repeat, and which have been discussed, answered, refuted a hundred times. My friends, however, urged their request, and Mr. Froude's lectures took a tone so damaging at once to the Irish character, and so bitterly hostile to the Catholic religion, that I felt justified in attempting to answer him in defense of my faith and my country.

I cannot claim for my lectures anything like completeness as an answer to Mr. Froude. The call upon me was so sudden, and the time so short; the ground which Mr. Froude covered was so extensive, and the means of meeting him-such as authorities, references, etc.—so limited on my part, that I am far from satisfied with my work, and I have heard with pleasure


that Mr. John Mitchel, whose great historical knowledge, vigorous style, and undoubted love for Ireland, render him eminently fitted for the task, has undertaken in a series of papers to meet and refute the views of the English historian. The warmth of debate led Mr. Froude, in his rejoinder to me, not only into a temporary forgetfulness of the usual courtesies of gentlemen, but also into assertions which have been repudiated and disproved; such for example as making the Catholic Church answerable for the bloody edicts of Charles the Fifth, a monarch who never hesitated to persecute the Church and her head whenever policies dictated, who coquetted with the reformers of the Reformation, until policy dictated an opposite course, and whose army committed more terrible ravages on Rome, than any that we read of Goth, Vandal, or Lombard.

The Church, however, that for nineteen hundred years has withstood and conquered every opponent, is not likely to fall before the small, though poisoned spear of a Froude ; and the Irish nationality, which has survived all the efforts of England and all the calumnies of her writers for seven hundred years, is not likely to be withered up by the scorn, nor made effete by the sneering sympathy of such a man as he who now stands before the American worid, pitying, reviling, scorning the Irish people and their history.

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