A Mistaken Frenchman

When travelling in France, during the time of his sojourn at St. Omer's,

O'Connell encountered a very talkative Frenchman, who incessantly poured

forth the most bitter tirades against England. O'Connell listened in

silence; and the Frenchman, surprised at his indifference, at last


Do you hear, do you understand what I am saying, sir?

Yes, I hear you, I comprehend you perfectly.

Yet you do not seem angry?

Not in the least.

How can you so tamely bear the censures I pronounce against your


Sir, England is not my country. Censure her as much as you please, you

cannot offend me. I am an Irishman, and my countrymen have as little

reason to love England as yours have, perhaps less.