Leader of a Forlorn Hope

From a speech by Sir John A. Macdonald, House of Commons, April 7, 1868, following the assassination of Thomas D’Arcy McGee earlier that day. From Brian Busby (Ed.), Great Canadian Speeches: Words That Shaped A Nation (2008):

Mister Speaker, it is with pain amounting to anguish that I rise to address you. He who last night, nay this morning, was with us and of us, whose voice is still ringing in our statesmanship, and instructed us by his wisdom and his patriotism, is no more, is foully murdered…

I cannot but quote from his speech of last night. “…It is, sir, in my humble opinion, the leader of a forlorn hope who is ready to meet and stem the tide of temporary unpopularity, who is prepared, if needs be, to sacrifice himself in defence of the principles which he has adopted as those of truth who shows us that he is ready not only to triumpth with his principles, but even to suffer for his principles who has proved himself, above all others, worthy of peculiar honour.”

He is gone from us, and it will be long ere we find such a happy mixture of eloquence and widom, wit and earnestness. His was no artificial or meretriculous eloquence, every word was as he believed, and every belief, every thought of his, was in the direction of what was good and true.


About brucelarochelle

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