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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Henry Grattan

  • [An Irish statesman and orator; born in Dublin, 1750; elected to the Irish Parliament, 1775, from which he received in 1780 the sum of £50,000 “for his great national services;” after opposing the Union, entered the Imperial Parliament, 1805; died May, 1820: of him Sir James Mackintosh said, “The purity of his life was the brightness of his glory.”]
  • I sat by its cradle, I followed its hearse.

  • Of the rise of Irish independence in 1782, and its fall twenty years afterwards.
  • After an independent judiciary had been granted, he exclaimed in the Irish Parliament, “At length I address a new nation!”
  • He said of Dr. Lucas, who made a total failure in a speech in the Irish Parliament, “He rose without a friend, and sat down without an enemy.”
  • He remarked, of the probable character of the Irish representatives in the British Parliament after the Union, “You have swept away our constitution, you have destroyed our parliament, but we will have our revenge. We will send into the ranks of your parliament a hundred of the greatest scoundrels of the kingdom.”
  • When asked where he had heard something which was supposed to be a profound secret, he replied, “Where such secrets are kept,—in the street.”
  • His last words were, “I am perfectly resigned. I am surrounded by my family. I have served my country. I have reliance upon God, and I am not afraid of the Devil.” He had previously given his son some advice which shows the influence of the times, “Be always ready with the pistol.”