When Mr. Duffy expected arrest, some weeks ago, he drew up his profession of principles, "The Creed of The Nation." Under influences of similar feelings and considerations, though not exactly the same, nor excited by circumstances altogether alike, I hasten to put my own principles upon record. Until yesterday I did not intend to have done this for some weeks to come. The statement or confession of faith that follows

I could have wished for time to make more correct and complete. It is ill-framed, ill-connected, and wants completeness. But, even such as it stands, I do firmly believe that it carries the fortunes of Ireland;- and even such as it stands, I now send it forth to its fate, to conquer or be conquered. It may be master of Ireland and make her a Queen; it may lie in the dust and perish with her people.

Here, then, is the confession and faith of a Felon.

Years ago I perceived that the English conquest consisted of two parts combined into one whole, - the conquest of our liberties, the conquest of our lands.

I saw clearly that the re-conquest of our liberties would be incomplete and worthless without the re-conquest of our lands,- would not, necessarily, involve or produce that of our lands, and could not, on its own means, be possibly achieved; while the re-conquest of our lands would involve the other – would, at least, be complete in itself, and adequate to its own purposes; and could possibly, if not easily, be achieved.

The lands were owned by the conquering race, or by traitors to the conquered race. They were occupied by the native people, or by settlers who had mingled and merged.

I selected, as the mode of re-conquest, - to refuse payment of rent, and resist process of ejectment.

In that mode I determined to effect the re-conquest, and staked on it all my hopes, here and hereafter – my hopes of an effective life and an eternal epitaph.

It almost seemed to me as if the Young Ireland party, the quarrel, the secession, the Confederation, had all been specially pre-ordained and produced in order to aid me. My faith in the men who formed the Council of that body was then unbounded. My faith in them still is as firm as ever, though somewhat more measured. In the paper I published last week, and in a private correspondence that ensued with some of its members, I proposed that they should merge the Repeal question in a mightier project – that of wresting this island from an English rule altogether, in the only mode in which it could possibly be achieved. I endeavored to show them they were only keeping up a feeble and ineffectual fire from a foolish distance, upon the English Government, which stands out of reach and beyond our power; and urged them to wheel their batteries round and bend them on the English Garrison of landlords, who stand there within our hands, scattered, isolated, and helpless, girdled round by the might of a people. Except two or three of them, all refused at the time, and have persisted in refusing until now. They wanted an alliance with the landowners. They chose to consider them as Irishmen, and imagined they could induce them to hoist the green flag. They wished to preserve an Aristocracy. They desired, not a democratic, but merely a national revolution. Who imputes blame to them for this? Whoever does so will not have me to join them. I have no feeling but one of respect for the motives that caused reluctance and delay. That delay, however, I consider as a matter of deep regret. Had the Confederation, in the May or June of '47, thrown heart and mind and means and might into the movement I pointed out, they would have made it successful, and settled at once and for ever all quarrels and questions between us and England.

The opinions I then stated, and which I yet stand firm to, are these:-

I. That in order to save their own lives, the occupying tenants of the soil of Ireland ought, next autumn, to refuse all rent and arrears of rent then due, beyond and except the value of the overplus of harvest produce remaining in their hands after having deducted and reserved a due and full provision for their own subsistence during the next ensuing twelve months.

II. That they ought to refuse and resist being made beggars, landless and houseless, under the English law of ejection.

III. That they ought further, on principle, to refuse ALL rent to the present usurping proprietors, until the people, the true proprietors (or lord paramount, in legal parlance), have, in national congress, or convention, decided what rents they are to pay, and to whom they are to pay them.

IV. And that the people, on grounds of Policy and economy, ought to decide (as a general rule, admitting of reservations) that those rents shall be paid to themselves, the people, for public purposes, and for behoof and benefit of them, the entire general people.

These are the principles, as clearly and fully stated as limit of time will allow, which I advise Ireland to adopt at once, and at once to arm for. Should the people accept and adhere to them, the English government will then have to choose whether to surrender the Irish landlords, or to support them with the armed power of the empire.

If it refuse to incur the odium and expense, and to peril the safety of England in a social war of extermination, then the landlords are nobodies, the people are lords of the land, a mighty social revolution is accomplished, and the foundation of a national revolution surely laid. If it should, on the other hand, determine to come to the rescue and relief of its garrison – elect to force their rents and enforce their rights by infantry, cavalry, and cannon, and attempt to lift and carry the whole harvest of Ireland – a somewhat heavy undertaking, which might become a hot one, too – then I , at least, for one, am prepared to bow with humble resignation to the dispensations of Providence. Welcome be the will of God. We must only try to keep our harvest, to offer a peaceful, passive resistance, to barricade the island, to break up the roads, to break down the bridges – and, should need be, and favourable occasions offer, surely we may venture to try the steel. Other approved modes of moral resistance might gradually be added to these, according as we should become trained to the system: and all combined, I imagine, and well worked, might possibly task the strength and break the heart of the empire.

Into artistic details, however, I need not, and do not choose, to enter for the present.

It has been said to me that such a war, on the principles I propose, would be looked on with detestation by Europe. I assert the contrary: I say such a war would propagate itself throughout Europe. Mark the words of this prophecy;- the principle I propound goes to the foundations of Europe, and sooner or later, will cause Europe to outrise. Mankind will yet be masters of the earth. The right of the people to make the laws – this produced the first great modern earthquake, whose latest shocks, even now, are heaving in the heart of the world. The right of the people to own the land – this will produce the next. Train your hands, and your sons' hands, gentlemen of earth, for you and they will yet have to use them. I want to put Ireland foremost, in the van of the world, at the head of the nations –to set her aloft in the blaze of the sun, and to make her for ages the lode star of history. Will she take the path I point out – the path to be free, and famed, and feared, and followed – the path that goes sunward? Or, onward to the end of time, will wretched Ireland ever come limping and lagging hindmost? Events must answer that. It is a question I almost fear to look full in the face. The soul of this island seems to sink where that of another country would soar. The people sank and surrendered to the famine instead of growing savage, as any other people would have done.

I am reminded that there are few persons now who trouble themselves about the "conquest," and there may be many - I know there are some - who assent to the two first of the four principles I have stated, and are willing to accept them as the grounds of an armed movement; but who object to the last two of them. I am advised to summon the land tenants of Ireland up in battle-array for an armed struggle in defence of their rights of life and subsistence, without asserting any greater or more comprehensive right. I distinctly refuse to do so. I refuse to narrow the case and claim of this island into any such petty dimensions, or to found it on the rogue's or the beggar's plea, the plea of necessity. Not as a starving bandit or desperate beggar who demands, to save life, what does not belong to him, do 1 wish Ireland to stand up, but as a decrowned Queen, who claims back her own with an armed hand. I attest and urge the plea of utter and desperate necessity to fortify her claim, but not to found it. I rest it on no temporary and passing conditions, but on principles that are permanent, and imperishable and universal;--available to all times and to all countries, as well as to our own,- I pierce through the upper stratum of occasional and shifting circumstance to bottom and base on the rock below. I put the question in its eternal form, - the form in which, how often soever suppressed for a season, it can never be finally subdued, but will remain and return, outliving and outlasting the corruption and cowardice of generations. I view it as ages will view it – not through the mists of a famine, but by the living lights of the firmanent. You may possibly be induced to reject it in the form I propose, and accept it in the other. If so, you will accept the question, and employ it as a weapon against England, in a shape and under conditions which deprive it of half its strength. You will take and work it fettered and handcuffed - not otherwise.

I trouble myself as little as any one does about the "conquest" as taken abstractedly - as an affair that took place long ages ago. But that "conquest' is still in existence, with all its rights, claims, laws, relations, and results. The landlord holds his lands by right and title of conquest, and uses his powers as only a conqueror may. The tenant holds under the law of conquest- vae victis.

What forms the right of property in land? I have never read in the direction of that question. I have all my life been destitute of books.  But from the first chapter of Blackstone's second book, the only page I ever read on the subject, I know that jurists are unanimously agreed in considering 'first occupancy" to be the only true original foundation on the right of property and possession of land.

Now I am prepared to prove that "occupancy" wants every character and quality that could give it moral efficacy as a foundation of right. I am prepared to prove this, when "occupancy" has first been defined. If no definition can be given, I am relieved from the necessity of showing any claim founded on occupancy to be weak and worthless.

To any plain understanding the right of private property is very simple. It is the right of man to possess, enjoy, and transfer, the substance and use of whatever he has himself CREATED. This title is good against the world; and it is the sole and only title by which a valid right of absolute private property can possibly vest.

But no man can plead any such title to a right of property in the substance of the soil.

The earth, together with all it spontaneously produces, is the free and common property of all mankind, of natural right, and by the grant of God; - and all men being equal, no man, therefore, has a right to appropriate exclusively to himself any part or portion thereof, except with and by the common consent and agreement of all other men.

The sole original right of property in land which I acknowledge to be morally valid, is this right of common consent and agreement. Every other I hold to be fabricated and fictitious, null, void, and of no effect.

In the original and natural state of mankind, existing in independent families, each man must, in respect of actual fact, either take and hold (ASSUME OCCUPANCY as well as maintain possession of ) his land by right and virtue of such consent and agreement as aforesaid, with all those who might be in a position to dispute and oppose his doing so: or he must take and maintain possession by force. The fictitious right of occupancy – invented by jurists to cover and account for a state of settlement otherwise unaccountable and indefensible on moral principle - this right would be utterly worthless, and could seldom accrue; for except in such a case as that of a single individual thrown on a desert island, the question of right would generally arise, and require to be settled before any colourable "title by occupancy" could be established, or even actual occupation be effected. And then – what constitutes occupancy? What length of possession gives "title by occupancy"?

When independent families have united into separate tribes, and tribes swelled into nations, the same law obtains;- each tribe or nation has but either one or another of two available rights to stand upon – they must take and maintain territorial possession by consent and agreement with all other tribes and nations; or they must take and hold by the

tenure of chivalry in the right of their might.

Putting together and proceeding on the principles now stated, it appears that, if those principles be sound, no man can legitimately claim possession or occupation of any portion of land or any right of property therein, except by grant from the people, at the will of the people, as tenant to the people, and on conditions made or sanctioned by the people; - and that every right, except the right so created and vesting by grant from the people, is nothing more or better than the right of the robber who holds forcible possession of what does not lawfully belong to him.

The present proprietors of Ireland do not hold or claim by grant from the people, nor even - except in Ulster - by any species of imperfect agreement or assent of the people. They got and keep their lands in the robber's right - the right of conquest-in despite, defiance, and contempt of the people. Eight thousand men are owners of this entire island,--claiming the right of enslaving, starving, and exterminating eight millions. We talk of asserting free-government, and of ridding ourselves of foreign domination - while, lo! eight thousand men are lords of our lives - of us and ours, blood and breath, happiness or misery, body and soul. Such is the state of things in every country where the settlement of the lands has been effected by conquest. In Ulster the case is somewhat different, much to the advantage of the people, but not as much as it ought to have been. Ulster was not merely conquered but colonized – the native race being expelled, as in the United States of America: - and the settlement that prevails was made by a sort of consent and agreement among the conquering race.

No length of time or possession can sanction claims acquired by robbery, or convert them into valid rights. The people are still rightful owners, though not in possession "Nullum tempus occurit Deo,- nullurn tempus occurit populo."

 In many countries besides this, the lands were acquired, and long held, by right of force or conquest. But in most of them the settlement and laws of conquest have been abrogated, amended, or modified, to a greater or lesser extent. In some, an outrise of the people has trampled them down – in some. the natural laws have triumphed over them,- in some, a despotic monarch or minister has abolished or altered them. In Ireland alone they remain unchanged, unmitigated, unmollified, in all their original ferocity and cruelty, and the people of Ireland must now abolish them, or be themselves abolished, and this is the move urgent business.

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