|William Drennan, Edinburgh to Mrs Matty McTier, Belfast.
|Irish Emigration Database
|T 765/1/17: Obtained From Mrs. Duffin, Summerhill, Mount Pleasant, Belfast. #TYPE LET The Drennan Letters, 1776 - 1819: Extract of Letter From William Drennan, [Edinburgh?], 13 December, 1777 to Mrs. M. McTier, North Street, Belfast.
|Public Record Office Northern Ireland.
|22:02:1990 JM created 19:08:1991 SQ input 19:08:19
I received an answer yesterday to my Note to Gregory, and am
informed in the Haughty Professorial stile [style?], that my request is
granted. I shall therefore endeavor [endeavour?] to graduate next September,
and if I am rejected, the consequence will be an earlier vist to the
other world (I mean America) than I designed - certain it is, that
some who I firmly believe knew Physic much better than I do, have been
rejected - one in particular Last year after having been examin'd
[examined?] with applause was denied his Degree because he had
dedicated his Thesis to his uncle Mr. Zubly, a member of the
Continental Congress; the Principal threw his Roll at him and the poor
Fellow's Laurels were blasted the same instant he had gathered them.
I congratulate the people of Belfast and indeed all Mankind on the
Late Victory over Burgoyne and I charge you to give me a particular
Description of the manner in which the News was received by Both
Parties with you. What a noble subject for a Historical picture would
the House of Commons have presented on that Day when the ill-owen'd
[omened?] Germaine was obliged to publish News so dreadfully pleasing
as this must have been to the Minority, while Barre in the Front like
the Warrior Angel poured down his wrath in that noble invective, every
word of which must I think have shook Horror on the Ministerial Crew.
I am persuaded that the Event of the War will turn on this great
event, and it is probable that Future Historians will date the fall of
the British Empire from the 16th of October -77.
No object can be thought of, more melancholy, than a Great
Empire that has thus outlived itself, and is now degenerating into a
state of political Dotage, prophetical of its final Dissolution. Was
it for this shamefull Day that Sidney suffered, and that Hampden
bled? Were all the glories, triumphs, conquests, spoils this Nation
has acquired in the Defence of Liberty, thus meanly to be blasted in a
traitrous [traitorous?] attempt to destroy it. I remember a singular remark
made by an author which I think very applicable both to the old age of
Nations and of individuals. "If the Sun, says he, were not to rise
again, it would look greater to fall from the sky at Noon, than to
gain a course of four or five Hours only to languish and decline in" .
Marlborough and Swift lived to an old age and became Idiots.
Great Britian in her Dotage forgets her children and perhaps in some
future Day which may Heaven long avert, the Herculean Genius of
America will be dressed up in the guise of a slave and servilely
crouch at the Nod of some Capricious Girl. I long for futher
particulars of this action. It is curious, that the Man whom they
called one Arnold should be the person who in all probability will
determine the Fate of the British Empire....