CELT document E800002-039

Orange and Green

Thomas Osborne Davis

Edited by T.W. Rolleston

Orange and Green

Orange and Green


HERE it is at last—the dawning. Here, in the very sanctuary of the Orange heart, is a visible angel of Nationality:—

“If a British Union cannot be formed, perhaps an Irish one might. What could Repeal take from Irish Protestants that they are not gradually losing in due course?”

“However improbable, it is not impossible, that better terms might be made with the Repealers than the Government seem disposed to give. A hundred thousand Orangemen, with their colours flying might yet meet a hundred thousand Repealers on the banks of the Boyne; and, on a field presenting so many solemn reminiscences to all, sign the Magna Charta of Ireland's independence. The Repeal banner might then be Orange and Green, flying from the Giant's Causeway to the Cove of Cork, and proudly look down from the walls of Derry upon a new-born nation.”

“Such a union, not to be accomplished without concession on all sides, would remove the great offence of Irish Protestants—their Saxon attachment to their British fatherland. Cast off, as they would feel themselves by Great Britain, and baptised on the banks of the Boyne into the great Irish family, they would be received into a brotherhood which, going forward towards the attainment of a national object, would extinguish the spirit of Ribbonism, and establish in its place a covenant of peace.”

So speaks the Evening Mail, the trumpet of the northern confederates, and we cry amen! amen!

We exult, till the beat of our heart stays our breathing, at the vision of such a concourse. Never—never, when the plains of Attica saw the rivals of Greece marching to expel the Persian, who had tried to intrigue with each for the ruin of both—never, when, from the uplands of Helvetia, rolled together the victors of Sempach—never, when, at the cry of Fatherland, the hundred nations of Germany rose up, and swept on emancipating to the Rhine—never was there under the sky a godlier or more glorious sight than that would be—to all slaves, balsam; to all freemen, strength; to all time, a miracle!


If Ireland's wrongs were borne for this—if our feuds and our weary sapping woes were destined to this ending, then blessed be the griefs of the past! His sickness to the healed—his pining to the happy lover—his danger to the rescued, are faint images of such a birth from such a chaos.

It is something—the cheer of an invisible friend—to have, even for a moment, heard the hope. It must abide in the souls of the Irish, guaranteeing the moderation of the Catholic—wakening the aspirations of the Orangemen. There it is—a cross on the sky.

It may not now lead to anything real. Long-suffering, oft-baffled Ireland will not abandon for an inch or hour its selected path by reason of this message.

We hope from it, because it has been prompted by causes which will daily increase. Incessantly will the British Minister labour to gain the support of seven millions of freed men, by cutting away every privilege and strength from one million of discarded allies.

We hope from it, because, as the Orangemen become more enlightened, they will more and more value the love of their countrymen, be prouder of their country, and more conscious that their ambition, interest, and even security are identical with nationality.

We hope from it, because, as the education of People and the elevation of the rich progress, they will better understand the apprehensions of the Orangemen, allow for them in a more liberal spirit, and be able to give more genuine security to even the nervousness of their new friends.

We hope most from it, because of its intrinsic greatness. It is the best promise yet seen to have the Orangemen proposing, even as a chance, the conference of 100,000 armed and ordered yeomen from the North, with 100,000 picked (ay, by our faith! and martial) Southerns on the banks of the Boyne, to witness a treaty of mutual concession,  p.293 oblivion, and eternal amity; and then to lift an Orange-Green Flag of Nationhood, and defy the world to pull it down.

Yet 'tis a distant hope, and Ireland, we repeat, must not swerve for its flashing. When the Orangemen treat the shamrock with as ready a welcome as Wexford gave the Lily—when the Green is set as consort of the Orange in the lodges of the North—when the Fermanagh meeting declares that the Orangemen are Irishmen pledged to Ireland, and summons another Dungannon Convention to prepare the terms of our treaty; then, and not till then, shall we treat this gorgeous hope as a reality, and then, and not till then, shall we summon the Repealers to quit their present sure course, and trust their fortunes to the League of the Boyne.

Meantime, we commend to the hearts and pride of 'the Enniskilleners' this, their fathers', declaration in 1782:—

County Fermanagh Grand Jury

We, the Grand Jury of the county of Fermanagh, being constitutionally assembled at the present assizes, held for the county of Fermanagh, at Enniskillen, this 18th day of March, 1782, think ourselves called upon at this interesting moment to make our solemn declarations relative to the rights and liberties of Ireland.

We pledge ourselves to this our country, that we will never pay obedience to any law made, or to be made, to bind Ireland, except those laws which are and shall be made by the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland.

Signed by order, Arthur Cole Hamilton, Foreman.

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Title (uniform): Orange and Green

Author: Thomas Osborne Davis

Editor: T.W. Rolleston

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compiled by: Beatrix Färber

proof corrections by: Margaret Bonar

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2. Second draft.

Extent: 2150 words

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Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2005

Date: 2011

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: E800002-039

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Source description

Editions of this text and/or other writings by Thomas Davis

  1. Thomas Davis, Essays Literary and Historical, ed. by D. J. O'Donoghue, Dundalk 1914.
  2. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy (ed.), Thomas Davis, the memoirs of an Irish patriot, 1840–1846. 1890.
  3. Thomas Osborne Davis, Literary and historical essays 1846. Reprinted 1998, Washington, DC: Woodstock Books.
  4. Essays of Thomas Davis. New York, Lemma Pub. Corp. 1974, 1914 [Reprint of the 1914 ed. published by W. Tempest, Dundalk, Ireland, under the title 'Essays literary and historical'.]
  5. Thomas Davis: essays and poems, with a centenary memoir, 1845–1945. Dublin, M.H. Gill and Son, 1945. [Foreword by an taoiseach, Éamon de Valera.]
  6. Angela Clifford, Godless colleges and mixed education in Ireland: extracts from speeches and writings of Thomas Wyse, Daniel O'Connell, Thomas Davis, Charles Gavan Duffy, Frank Hugh O'Donnell and others. Belfast: Athol, 1992.

Selected further reading

  1. Arthur Griffith (ed.), Thomas Davis: the thinker & teacher; the essence of his writings in prose and poetry. Dublin: Gill 1914.
  2. William O'Brien, The influence of Thomas Davis: a lecture delivered by William O'Brien, M.P., at the City Hall, Cork, on 5th November 1915. Cork: Free Press Office, 1915.
  3. Johannes Schiller, Thomas Osborne Davis, ein irischer Freiheitssänger. Wiener Beiträge zur englischen Philologie, Bd. XLVI. Wien und Leipzig, W. Braumüller, 1915.
  4. Michael Quigley (ed.), Pictorial record: centenary of Thomas Davis and young Ireland. Dublin [1945].
  5. Joseph Maunsell Hone, Thomas Davis (Famous Irish Lives). 1934.
  6. M. J. MacManus (ed.), Thomas Davis and Young Ireland. Dublin: The Stationery Office, 1945.
  7. J. L. Ahern, Thomas Davis and his circle. Waterford, 1945.
  8. Michael Tierney, 'Thomas Davis: 1814–1845'. Studies; an Irish quarterly review, 34:135 (1945) 300–10.
  9. Theodore William Moody, 'The Thomas Davis centenary lecture in Newry'. An t-Iubhar (=Newry) 1946, 22–6.
  10. D. R. Gwynn, O'Connell, Davis and the Colleges Bill (Centenary Series 1). Oxford and Cork, 1948.
  11. D. R. Gwynn, 'John E. Pigot and Thomas Davis'. Studies; an Irish quarterly review, 38 (1949) 145–57.
  12. D. R. Gwynn, 'Denny Lane and Thomas Davis'. Studies; an Irish quarterly review, 38 (1949) 15–28.
  13. N. N., Clár cuimhneacháin: comóradh i gcuimhne Thomáis Daibhis, Magh Ealla, 1942. Baile Átha Cliath (=Dublin) 1942.
  14. Christopher Preston, 'Commissioners under the Patriot Parliament, 1689'. Irish Ecclesiastical Record, 5th ser., 74:8 (1950) 141–51.
  15. W.B. Yeats, Tribute to Thomas Davis: with an account of the Thomas Davis centenary meeting held in Dublin on November 20th, 1914, including Dr. Mahaffy's prohibition of the 'Man called Pearse,' and an unpublished protest by 'A.E.', Cork 1965.
  16. Theodore William Moody, 'Thomas Davis and the Irish nation'. Hermathena, 103 (1966) 5–31.
  17. Malcolm Johnston Brown, The politics of Irish literature: from Thomas Davis to W. B. Yeats. Seattle (University of Washington Press) 1973.
  18. Eileen Sullivan, Thomas Davis. Lewisburg, New Jersey: Bucknell University Press, 1978.
  19. Mary G. Buckley, Thomas Davis: a study in nationalist philosophy. Ph.D. Thesis, National University of Ireland, at the Department of Irish History, UCC, 1980.
  20. Giulio Giorello, "A nation once again": Thomas Osborne Davis and the construction of the Irish "popular" tradition. History of European Ideas, 20:1–3 (1995) 211–17.
  21. John Neylon Molony, A soul came into Ireland: Thomas Davis 1814–1845. Dublin 1995.
  22. Robert Somerville-Woodward, "Two 'views of the Irish language': O'Connell versus Davis." The History Review: journal of the UCD History Society, 9 (1995) 44–50.
  23. John Neylon Molony, 'Thomas Davis: Irish Romantic idealist'. In: Richard Davis; Jennifer Livett; Anne-Maree Whitaker; Peter Moore (eds.), Irish-Australian studies: papers delivered at the eighth Irish-Australian Conference, Hobart July 1995 (Sydney 1996) 52–63.
  24. David Alvey, 'Thomas Davis. The conservation of a tradition.' Studies; an Irish quarterly review, 85 (1996) 37–42.
  25. Harry White, The keeper's recital: music and cultural history in Ireland, 1770–1970. (Cork 1998).
  26. Joseph Langtry; Brian Fay,'The Davis influence.' In: Joseph Langtry (ed.), A true Celt: Thomas Davis, The Nation, rebellion and transportation: a series of essays. (Dublin 1998) 30–38.
  27. Joseph Langtry, 'Thomas Davis (1814–1845).' In: Joseph Langtry (ed.), A true Celt: Thomas Davis, The Nation, rebellion and transportation: a series of essays. (Dublin 1998) 2–7.
  28. Patrick Maume, 'Young Ireland, Arthur Griffith, and republican ideology: the question of continuity.' Éire–Ireland, 34:2 (1999) 155–74.
  29. Sean Ryder, 'Speaking of '98: Young Ireland and republican memory'. Éire–Ireland, 34:2 (1999) 51–69.
  30. Ghislaine Saison, 'L'écriture de l'histoire chez la Jeune Irlande: quelle histoire pour une nation du consensus et de la réconciliation?' In: Centre de recherche inter-langues angevin, Écriture(s) de l'histoire: Actes du colloque des 2,3 et 4 décembre 1999. (Angers 2001) 435–46.
  31. Gerry Kearns, 'Time and some citizenship: nationalism and Thomas Davis.' Bullán: an Irish Studies Review, 5:2 (2001) 23–54.
  32. Helen Mulvey, Thomas Davis and Ireland: a biographical study. Washington, D.C., Catholic University of America Press, 2003.

Davis, Thomas Osborne (1910). ‘Orange and Green’. In: Thomas Davis: Selections from his prose and poetry‍. Ed. by T. W. Rolleston. Dublin and London: The Talbot Press, pp. 291–293.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  author 	 = {Thomas Osborne Davis},
  title 	 = {Orange and Green},
  editor 	 = {T. W. Rolleston},
  booktitle 	 = {Thomas Davis: Selections from his prose and poetry},
  publisher 	 = {The Talbot Press},
  address 	 = {Dublin and London},
  date 	 = {1910},
  pages 	 = {291–293}


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Creation: by Thomas Davis

Date: 1840s

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  • The text is in English. (en)

Keywords: literary; prose; 19c

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(Most recent first)

  1. 2011-02-10: File updated; validated; new wordcount made. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2005-08-25: Normalised language codes and edited langUsage for XML conversion (ed. Julianne Nyhan)
  3. 2005-08-04T14:22:33+0100: Converted to XML (conversion Peter Flynn)
  4. 2005-07-25: File proofed (2), structural and content markup applied to names and titles; header inserted; file parsed. HTML file created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  5. 2005-07-15: File proofed (1). (ed. Margaret Bonar, Dublin)
  6. 1996: Text captured by scanning. (ed. Audrey Murphy)

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