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GENERAL GRANT IN IRELAND. If anything was a moral certainty, it was that when General Grant visited Ireland he would meet with a popular reception of the most enthusiastic description. That he was a great and successful soldier was a high claim upon a people with such admiration of the chivalrous; that he had led to victory so many thousands of Irishmen and sons of Irishmen in the war for the Union, brought him still closer to them, for there is scarcely a household in all Ireland that has not some family link with the Irish beyond the Atlantic. To him Fame justly ascribes the salvation of that government and that flag under which the faminestricken, the oppressed and the evicted of Ireland had found homes, prosperity and freedom. During the war for the Union the people of Ireland prayed, like Lincoln at Get. tysburg, that this “government of the people, for the people and by the people, should not perish from the earth." They could not fit out ships to fight the Alabamas that-England was letting go, but they sent out many a sturdy son to do battle for the Union. To an immense proportion of the Irish people General Grant typifies the republican form of government which they hope for. By the officials of the British government General Grant was, of course, received as a foremost citizen of a friendly power; but it was in its popular feature that his visit was the most interesting.
General Grant and family, accompanied by Minister Noyes, arrived in Dublin, by boat, on the morning of January 3, 1879. The ex-President was met by representatives of the corporation. He was driven to the Shelbourne Hotel, and at once prepared to visit the City Hall to meet the Lord Mayor. The city was full of strangers, and much enthusiasm was manifested when the General and his party left their hotel to drive to the Mansion House. On arriving at the Mayor's official residence, they were cheered by a large crowd that had gathered to greet the illustrious ex-President. The LordMayor, in presenting the freedom of the city, referred to the cordiality always existing between America and Ireland, and hoped that in
America General Grant would do everything he could to ' help a people who sympathize with every American move. ment. The parchment, on which was engrossed the free. dom of the city, was inclosed in an ancient, carved bog-oak casket.
General Grant appeared to be highly impressed by the generous language of the Lord Mayor. He replied: “I feel very proud of being made a citizen of the principal city of Ireland, and no honor that I have received has given me greater satisfaction. I am by birth the citizen of a country where there are more Irishmen, native born or by descent, than in all Ireland. When in office I had the honor – and it was a great one, indeed - of representing more Irishmen and descendants of Irishmen than does Her Majesty the Queen of England. I am not an eloquent speaker, and can simply thank you for the great courtesy you have shown me." Three cheers were given for General Grant at the close of his remarks, and then three more were added for the people of the United States.
Mr. Isaac Butt, the well known home-rule member of Parliament, speaking as the first honorary freeman of this city, congratulated General Grant on having consolidated into peace and harmony the turbulent political and sectional elements over which he triumphed as a soldier,
His speech throughout was highly complimentary of the ex-President.
In the evening a grand banquet was given in honor of the ex-President, over two hundred guests being present.
The Lord Mayor presided. General Noyes returned thanks for a toast to President Hayes' health. When General Grant's name was proposed, the company arose and gave the Irish welcome.
The ex-President made in response the longest speech of his life, speaking in a clear voice, and being listened to with rapt attention. He referred to himself and fellow citizens of Dublin, and intimated, amid much laughter and cheering, that he might return to Dublin one day and run against Barrington for Mayor, and Butt for Parliament. He warned those gentlemen that he was generally a troub. lesome candidate.
Then passing to serious matters, the General said:“We have heard some words spoken about our country — my country, before I was naturalized in another. We have a very great country, a prosperous country, with room for a great many people. We have been suffering for some years from very great oppression. The world has felt it. There is no question about the fact that, when you have forty-five millions of consumers such as we are, and when they are made to feel poverty, then the whole world must feel it.
“You have had here great prosperity because of our great extravagance and our great misfortunes. We had a war which drew into it almost every man who could bear arms, and my friend who spoke so eloquently to you a few moments ago lost a leg in it. You did not observe that, perhaps, as he has a wooden one in place of it.
“When that great conflict was going on, we were spending one thousand million dollars a year more than we were producing, and Europe got every dollar of it. It made for you a false prosperity. You were getting our bonds and our promises to pay. You were cashing them yourselves. That made great prosperity, and made producers beyond the real necessities of the world at peace. But we finally got through that great conflict, and with an inflated currency which was far below the specie you use here. It made our people still more extravagant. Our speculations were going on, and we still continued to spend three or four hundred millions of money per year more than we were producing,
“We paid it back to you for your labor and manufactures, and it made you apparently and really prosperous. We, on the other hand, were getting really poor, but being honest, however, we came to the day of solid, honest payment. We came down to the necessity of selling more than we bought. Now we have turned the corner. We have had our days of depression; yours is just coming on. I hope it is nearly over. Our prosperity is commencing, and as we become prosperous you will, too, because we become increased consumers of your products as well as our own. I think it safe to say that the United States, with a few years' more such prosperity, will consume as much more as they did. Two distinguished men have alluded to this subject one was the President of the United States, and he said that the prosperity of the United States would be felt to the bounds of the civilized world. The other was Lord Beaconsfield, the most far-seeing man, the one who seems to me to see as far into the future as any man I know, and he says the same as President Hayes.”
General Grant's speech created a profound sensation, and was loudly cheered during its delivery.
The following morning ex-President Grant, Mr. Noyes and Mr. Badeau visited the Royal Irish Academy, in Kildare Street, in company with Lord Mayor Barrington.
Here, after some time spent in inspecting the treasures of ancient Irish art in gold, silver and bronze, Saint Patrick's bell and sacred cross, and O'Donnell's casque, the party went to the building that was the old Parliament house. It is now the bank of Ireland, and the walls which formerly echoed with the eloquence of Grattan, Curran and Plunk. ett, now resound with the chaffering of the money changers. Trinity College was then visited. The party was received by the Provost and Fellows and escorted through the library, chapel and halls of this venerable and majestic pile.
General Grant drove to the vice-regal lodge of the Duke of Marlborough, Phænix Park, early in the afternoon, where he had dejeuner with the Viceroy. He afterward visited the Zoological Gardens, then returned to his hotel, where he rested a couple of hours.
It may be interesting to notice the contrast between the generous welcome extended to General Grant by the people of Dublin, and the uncalled-for and spiteful slight aimed at him by a clique of the Cork City Council, as showing to what lengths sectional and religious agitation are sometimes carried. The United States Consul at Cork addressed a letter to the Council, announcing that Grant would probably arrive in Cork within a few days. Mr. Tracy, a nationalist, proposed at the Council meeting that the letter should simply be marked “read," and that no action should be taken. Mr. Harris, a conservative, said: “It will be to the interest of our fellow-countrymen in the United States if a proper reception is accorded to General Grant, who represents the governing party in that country. There can be no personal antipathy to the gentleman himself; neither was there anything in the government of the exPresident objectionable to the Irish people nor unpleasant to the Irish in America. Probably General Grant would again be at the head of the United States, in which event