Abbildungen der Seite

less, and with but a few guineas in his purse. He never received of the charity of any man; he never borrowed of any man without repaying; he never had more than a few dollars at a time; he never had a patron, in the Church or out of it; and it is he who has the honour to address you now, as Catholic Bishop of New York.

I entered the College* the first day, an utter stranger to Bishop Dubois until then. I was to superintend the garden, as a compensation for my expenses in the house, until a vacancy should occur, by which I might be appointed a teacher for such classes as I should be fit to take charge of. I continued in this way, during the first nine months of my stay at the College, prosecuting my studies under a private preceptor. The rest of my time, between seven and eight years, I continued to prosecute my own studies, and at the same time, to teach the classes that were assigned to me.

At the end of that period, I was ordained Priest, and stationed in Philadelphia. Here my

* The Theological Seminary at Mount St. Mary's, near Emmetsburg, Maryland. This Institution is under the charge of the Sulpicians.



public life commenced. After eleven years from this time, I was sent, not by my own choice, to be the Assistant Bishop of New York. I had formed, during these years, friendships, ever to be cherished, in many of the most respectable families, Protestant as well as Catholic, in Philadelphia. I refer to them, without distinction of creed, for what was my character, as a clergyman and as a citizen. If, sir, you will weigh all these circumstances, you will perceive immediately, that were I person of the character assigned to me, in the late denunciations of those who assail me, it is hardly probable that I should be now occupying, by the judgment of others, the situation in which I am placed. I am a citizen. I understand the rights of a citizen, and the duties also. I understand the genius, and Constitution, and history of the country. My feelings, and habits, and thoughts, have been so much identified with all that is American, that I had almost Corgotten I was a foreigner, until recent circumstances have brought it too painfully to my recollection. This, and other matters yet to be treated of, must be my apology for bringing into public notice anything

so uninteresting as my personal or private affairs. The retrospect, however, has brought back to my mind the recollections of youth. I perceived then that the intolerance of my own country had left me no inheritance, except that of a name which, though humble, was untarnished. In the future, the same intolerance was a barrier to every hope in

my native land; and there was but one other country in which I was led to believe the rights and privileges of citizens rendered all men equal. I can even now remember


reflections on first beholding the American flag. It never crossed my mind that a time might come, when that flag, the emblem of the freedom just alluded to, should be divided, by apportioning its stars to the citizens of native birth, and its stripes only as the portion of the foreigner. I was, of course, but young and inexperienced; and yet, even recent events have not diminished my confidence in that ensign of civil and religious liberty. It is possible that I was mistaken; but still I clung to the delusion, if it be one, and as I trusted to that flag, on a Nation's faith, I think it more likely that its stripes will disappear altogether; and that before it shall be

employed as an instrument of bad faith, toward the foreigners of every land, the white portions will blush into crimson; and then the glorious stars alone will remain.—New York, 17th May,




It may be remarked that the Corps Diplomatique, resident at Washington, have not been alluded to in the preceding pages. It is equally due to the respect which I owe to the people of America, and to myself, to mention, that I carried out letters of introduction from Lord Aberdeen, the then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in London, to Mr. Pakenham. These letters were procured at the personal request of Lord Sandon, and, I believe, were drawn in the most favouring terms. I called twice on Mr. Pakenham, on affairs of business, once accompanied by my son, and once by Governor Seward, of New York. We found him civil, and he made an offer of his services. But I was in high hands, and required them not. The President himself, the Secretary of State, and every American took care of me.

I never became acquainted with any other Minister or Ambassador, with the exception of M. Serruys, the Belgian Minister, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the house of the late General Van Ness.

The time has arrived when the Courts of Europe will find it imperative upon them to send to Washington their most talented, influential, and popular Statesmen as their Representatives.

« ZurückWeiter »