The following are the concluding remarks in the 1905 edition of the Christian Brothers History Reader intended to imbue students with a sense of patriotism.
Dear young friends, you are the offspring of an ancient race. Far, far back, in the long-distant ages, you seek for the beginnings of your history, and get lost in the search. Your ancestors, in days of old, were men of noble ideals, and singularly free from those ignoble qualities that disgraced the ancestors of others of the proud peoples of today.
Hence, the Christian Missionary found in Ireland a receptive soil in which to sow the seed of the Gospel, and that seed produced so rich a harvest, that the Irish Church was the wonder of the nations by the holiness of its members and the zeal of its missionaries. Learning was widely cultivated, monarchs sent to Ireland for teachers for their people, and students looked from lands afar to “the School of Western Europe,” for that knowledge they failed to find at home
Dark and evil days dawned on Ireland. Ruthless persecution burst upon the land, and strove by rack and fire and sword to kill the faith which Patrick brought to your ancestors. Violence failed, and next, the insidious bait of temporal interest, place and position, money and power were tried, and with equal ill success.
Your forefathers held with a firm grip the gift of God and no earthly power could force or filch it from them. To suffer violence for the faith will prob- ably never be required of you, but, as you pass through life, occasions will arise when the sacrifice of religious principle may appear to present some temporal advantage.
Ah ! then pause, and remember that no worldly gain, no social advantage, can justify any paltering with principle or any, even the slightest, act of infidelity.
Ireland was once an independent nation. She lost her independence not so much through the power of her enemies, as by the folly of her sons. Division and dissension forbade that union which makes for strength, and the invader, when once he had secured a foothold in the land, sedulously encouraged those evil allies of his interest to enable him to secure what he had acquired. Alas, alas ! too many Irishmen lent themselves to the plot.
In a few short years, you will go forth to take your place amongst men ; recall, then, this sad fact of the past, and learn from it, that if you are to help the cause of Faith and Fatherland, you must avoid dissension, and shun all that might tend to create disunion.
Be temperate. In common with men of other nations, many Irishmen have brought discredit to their country and ruin to their homes, by the beastly vice of intemperance. National pros- perity is impossible of attainment, unless it be promoted by a temperate race.
Live your life in Ireland. Emigration has impoverished the land and weakened the power of its people. Crowds of Irishmen have fled from Ireland ; many, no doubt, driven by want to seek for bread, but many, too, induced by love of adventure or lured by dreams of wealth, not destined to be realised.
Your native land is the home destined for you by Providence, and here, with the true spirit of a patriot, should you labour and live.
As men, have a share in every movement that makes for the betterment and well-being of your country. Learn its language, cultivate its music, cherish its traditions, use its products and promote its manufactures. In doing all this you discharge a sacred duty,