19 March 1840
St Patrick’s Day
We gave in our last statement of the intended order or procession in which the Society proposed to move from Mr. McAuley’s Hotel, and we cannot be satisfied with simply stating that the processions took place, and with good effect. We agree with our contemporary of the Messenger, that there is something in these annual festivals that come particularly home to the hearts and feelings of all who remember with affection their native land; and with hearts thus prepared and softened, it is no matter of surprise that the eloquent discourse of the Reverend Mr. Larkin made so deep an impression. The first fruits of the attention which that Reverend gentleman comanded, were displayed in the collection so immediately raised, and which amounted to about 100 dollars. The other good effects arising from the annual celebration of the festival were also conspicuously displayed.
To appreciate these we must follow the procession to the Nelson Hotel, where this numerous assemblage of the sons of Erin sat down to a sumptuous repast, and indulged in that social and unreserved intercourse, in which they so greatly and so properly delight. Here was indeed a feast, for which, in its first and substantial form, they were indebted to the active and liberal exertions of Mr. McAuley; but here was also a feat of another and a higher order, the “feast of reason.” Well has it been written “out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” Every Irishman’s heart was full: and the consequences was several speeches, which by their nobleness of sentiment, expressed in-most eloquent language, reflect the greatest honor upon those who uttered them, and those who so cordially responded to their touching appeals.
It is impossible for us to be insensible to the extent of the power, and influence of the Irish portion of this community, or to the great card they have to play in swaying the future destinies of Canada; and it would be absurd to suppose that Irishmen are themselves unconscious of their position. Giving them credit then for only common sense, and they are without boasting as shrewd a race of men as any in the wide world, an immense local importance attaches to the Saint Patrick’s Society- and it was truly edifying to perceive the LOYALTY, as well as the Union ad cordiality, which pervades Her Majesty’s Irish subjects in Canada. If, as we have stated in the previous paragraph, there was a “feast of reason” – there was most assuredly, also “the flow of soul.”