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THE following pages are designed to place before the reader a
review of the salient features of Irish history from a strictly neutral standpoint, so far as such history bears upon the political complications involved in the relationship of Great Britain and Ireland.
Party predilections, together with national aspirations and prejudices, have for many years been, and still remain, so strong, with reference to the subject, that it may appear almost impossible for any one to be really neutral, however much he may profess or desire to be so. It necessarily arises that the very attempt to preserve neutrality may have compelled the treatment of many points with an apparent indulgence on the one hand or with a severity on the other, that can scarcely escape the charge of partizanship, according to the preconceived notions of various readers.
The only appeal in such a case is to facts. Irish affairs have been subjected to so much comment of late years that there has scarcely been room for facts. Passions and prejudices have too often kept facts out of sight, and the consequence has been that imagination has carried away the judgment.
In appreciation of the nature of these circumstances, we have