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THE EVENING WORLDjHURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 1922.
Michael Collins.Emancipator dr Ireland
. , . N
Michaol Co'lins as an orator and, at the right, Collins in
. his military uniform as leader of the Free State troops.
By Marguerite Mooers Marshall
'T of the welter ot
propaganda and cross-,
propaganda, of accu
sations anil oratory, of
Mood and burning, of
loyally and betrayal,
that lias been to moat
Americana "the news
of Ireland" during these last troubled
years, tho flguro of a great man -slowly
but, certainly shaped Itnelf. Ami that
man Is dead.
Michael Collins, wild boy rebel,
"gunman" of the British Tory
papers, grew before our eyes and In
our minds Into tho likeness of one of
tho world's great soldlcr-statcsmcn,
tho Irish Emancipator, tho Lincoln ot
"Erin. And Michael Collins Is dead.
Like many another Irishman, he
fought for his country with weapons
In his hands. Unlike many nnother
Irishman, he fought for her with that
keener and far more valuable, weapon,
his mind, love of country to him
was not merely a matter of emotion.
It was a mailer ot brains. And bo,
even when Arthur Griffith died tho
other day, thoughtful Americans did
not despair of peaceful freedom for
the Irish Free State. "Michael Col
lins Is left," they said to themsolves.
It Is these Americans Ireland has
no raoro' earnest and unprejudiced
well-wishers who felt something very
like despair when they opened thel
Tinners and saw there. "Michael Col-
Una Is dead." Again, an after our own
, Civil War, a people is bereft of Its
bravest, wisest, most devoted leader
In an hour when victory over the
forces of disunion and disorder Is
barely achieved If at all.
The strange parallel between Col
lins and Lincoln a parallel holding
true even to the hour and the manner
of their deathB Is forced upon one
who would give even tho briefest pic
ture of tho great, dead Irish patriot.
' Like Lincoln, Michael Collins was
a poor country boy. self-educated
Like Lincoln, again, his early career
was ot the humblest ho was an em
ployeo In tho London Post Office lie.
fore ho returned to Ireland and fought
In tho Easter rising of 1916.
Ho had Lincoln's lemarkable cap
acity for getting along with men.
Lincoln's sagacity neither ho nor our
irreat Trcsldcnt was an "imposslbll
1st." He had Lincoln's knack of in
spiring the most devoted loyaltj .
Lincoln's unflinching ndurnnco ot
ciitlclsm and brutal hostility, even
fiom those who should hao known
and behoved In him most. He was
like Lincoln In never lraiing a
grudge. And he had Lincoln's gift
Traitorously shot down In the hour
of his ever-Increasing triumph by his
own countrymen a fate historically
paralleled by our own martyred
rrctldent Michael Collins died with
br Prui rubllBhlnr Compinj. ESiiiBs sMil(S 1
tho wor(jSi "Forgive
There U another, lighter tale of his
incapacity to harbor ill-will agaln.it
an enemy; a talo which also Illus
trates' his humor. All the nntl-Insh
elements In England referred to him
for months boforo tho signing of tho
treaty as "tho gunman." It was
Lloyd Gcorgo's own pet namo for
him. The historic conference in
Downing Street had ended in tho cre
ation of tho Irish Free State. The
tired but successful conferees Irish
nnd English stepped outsldo to meet
the newspaper men. Tho tall "black
Irishman," "Mike" Collins, suddenly
grabbed a rlflo from a sentry or a
guncaso some where nearby and
started for Lloyd George.
Tho "littlo Welshman" looked let
us say, Interrogative.
"Miko" Collins grinned at him.
"Come havo your plcturo taken
with tho gunman," he said.
That was tho first great hour of
victory. When we read of the fight
ing hours that preceded It tho hours
of hiding and hunting, of planning
and privation, of dancer and devotion,
In tho Irish countryside and In mean
streets ot Dublin, it becomes harder
them" on lit' HRH
First Sinn Fein Bail Eireann, Many of
The first Sinn I cm D;ul I ircinn (lush Parlt m l
the men in the picture suffered privations ami imI m ihm luh.lv
and many of them sacrificed their lives.
Bottom row, left to right 1.. Ginnell, M. Collins. C. Brtigha
A. Griffith. President Dc Valcra. Count Plunkclt, V. MacNcillT L
Cosgravc, E. Bluthc.
Keen of Brain, Fearless in Courage, Loved by His,
Followers, Devoted, Like Our Own Lincoln, in Mind
And Heart to a ' Great Cause 9 Which He Placed Above
Everything Else, Collins, Self-Educated Country Lad,
Grew From a 'Wild Boy Rebel' to the Stature of
One of the World's Great Soldier-Statesmen.
'than over to teallzo that It was nn
lilsh bullet which killed Michael Col-
llns, that ho escaped nil his enemies
nt tho hands of hit) conn-
Bo many of them worshipped hlml
So many of them would havo died a
million deaths heforo betiaying him!
Typical la tho btory of tho poor It 1 to
Dublin waiter, who worked In n cheap
restnttrant where "Miko" look his
hlte and sup now and then, in the
harried day before tho tiucc.
A British omclaUolcl that starveling
waiter: "Wo'vo been watching your
"Tho Lincoln of Erin" they called Jllchncl Collins. The remark
able parallel between tbo IItcs of Lincoln and Collins, between their
diameters, their gerrlces to tbclr respective countries and between
the revolutions In English opinion regarding both, Is to be seen In re
rending of Tom Taylor's tribute to Lincoln, printed after his umnsi
untlon In the London Punch in 1865. .Most of the following lines from
Tnj lor' h fine, poem might be laid to-day as a tribute on the bier of
shallowv judgment I had
learned to rue,
Noting how to occasion's
height he rose,
How his quaint wit made home
truth seem more truei
iron-like, his temper
grew by blows.
"How humble, yet
he could be;
How, in good fortune
ill, the same;
Nor bitter in success, nor boast
Thirsty for gold, nor feverish
went about his
work as few
Ever had laid on head
heart and hand
one who knows where there's
a task to do,
Man's honest will must Heav
en's good grace command.
ho went forth to battle on
That he felt clear was Liber
ty's and Right's,
As in his peasant boyhood he
His warfare with rude Na
ture's thwarting mights.
vSo he grew up,
a destined work
And lived to do it;
And then he heard the
change to cheers,
place, .and wo know that "Mick" Col-
llns cornea In there frequently. Now
all that you bnvo to do tho next time
he comes in is to g'o to the telephone,
call up this number and say, 'Will
you fcnd a taxi, rlcase?" That's all
you havo to do, and jou'll bo taken
The waiter promised,
do the favor for the kind gentleman,
But never n word did the gentleman
hear In the weeks that followed,
The truce carne. like a miracle.
Mike Collins walked the streets with
no price on his head. It so happened
ft 11 f
becond mu- Maloncy, I. McSwiney, D. M Mulcahy, J.
Dohcrty, J. O'Mahoncy, J. Dolan, J. McGuinncss. P. O'Keefe, M.
Staines, J. McGrath, Dr. Cusack, L. Dc Roiste, V. Colivet, Father
OThnagan, Vice President of the republic.
Third row p. Ward, A. McCabe, D. Fitzgerald, J. Sweeney,
"The taunts to tribute, the abuie
And took both with the tame
Till, as he came on light, from
And seemed to touch the goal
from where he stood,
"A felon's hand, between the
goal and him,
Reached from behind his back;
a trigger prest,
And those perplexed and pa
tient eyes were dim,
Those gaunt, long-laboring
limbs were laid to restl
"The words of
mercy were upon
hfs heart and
on his pen,
When this vile murderer brought
To thoughts of peace on earth,
good will to men.
"The old world and
from sea to sea,
Utter one voice of
Sore heart, so stopped w
at last beat high;
Sad life, cut short just
"Vile hand, that brandest mur
der on a strife,
Whate'er its grounds, stoutly
and nobly striven;
And with the martyr's crown
crownest a life
With much to praise, little to
that one day he walked Into the little,
cheap restaurant with a British offi-
clal tney had truco business to dis-
Then the waiter
woke up! Then
he clutched "Mike'
frantically by the
"Mike!" he almost moaned. "Do
ye know who it is that ye're sittin'
down with? Look out for yourself,
for the love of the saints! That's
the murderin' devil that offered me
two thousand pounds wud I only tell
him how to get at ye!"
That is how Irishmen loved Michael.
Whose Members Sacrificed
Collins as he appeared at the time of his elec
tion to leadership in the Provisional Government.
And Irishwomen loved htm. One in
Particular Kitty Klernan, beauty of
Longford County. They met when,
before tho treaty, sho laced tluoiigh
the woods to warn him of Impending
capture by the Blark and Tans, whoso
plan to surround his hidden cabin sho
had somehow learned. They fled to-
gether, tho pretty Irish girl and tho
talll, black-haired, smiling Irishman
and lieforc they parted he promised
to claim her as his biide, "when Ire-
land was free." Tliry were to marry
after tho signing of tho treaty, but
lccauso of tho disaffection of Do Vol-
. Hayes, C Collins, P O Maillic, J 0 Marra, B O'lliggins. J.
Burke, K. O'lliggins.
Fourth row J. McDonagh, J. Mclintcc.
Fifth row P. Beasley, R. Barton, P. Galligan.
Sixth row P. Shanahan, S. Etchingham.
era and his group, Collins decided ho
must continue, for a time, to devote
blmsclf wholly to his country,
What did he look like? Here is a
composite description from men who
knew him well: "A comet. Ho walks
fast, ho talks fast, ho thinks fast,
His snapping black eyes dart from
one place to another: they meet other
ryes with almost disconcerting In-
tensity. Ho is six feet tall nnd walks
with a lunging bttide. Ills face is
boyish; he doesn't look even thirty,
He has a shock of heavy black hair,
and a lock ot It usually tumbling
Miss Kilty Kiernan, fiancee
down over hla high white forehead,
and then ho pushes It back with an
"His hands aio strong and In
lingers muscular but well shapr-"!.
pointed at the tips almost a scult
tor's hands. lie is continually snul
ing, with u wide giln that expose
his teeth. But abovo all, don't foi - '
get his eyes which are tho piercing
eyes of a young hawk who fears
nothing that men cun devise."
Daring, high-hearted, nfrald of no
physical danger or discomfort; a
auperb natural orator; a bravo and
resourceful lighter no vottheless, the
tiling that ruined Michael Collins to
the dominating, position ho occupied
in Irish arfaiis was, simply and
iieoiIy, his intelligence.
Ho was more efficient, more valuable-
lo the lrtt.li Free .State ns Mlnlxtei
i.l I'm. nun in the Da 1 1 Klreann Cabinei
II..H1 Cuinniundcr-iii-L'lilef of the
.inn v. He met the bent brains In the
Hriiiali Kmpire and won from them all
tin Mih:.Uii-e ot the freedom for which
I i- iniintrymen have been fighting
ti.. - hundreds of years. Ami ulthougli
a..), i of them coul 1 not dating ilsli
miti.-iaa. . from shallow it .set ma t .
conte.1,,1 t hit. by his thinness, in
moral courage in witli.Mnmling insult
and enmity fioin his own, his wisdom,
he was converting nil groups of the
Ii1-.Ii people to a i-oliey of "lihuty
WD union" at tho tliuo of his kill
Ing l rum ambush.
When Lincoln fell before an a.s.sis
a n s lunlrt, the South iiiuurneil witn
ho Ninth; tho Urst 1Cal cmot ). I
i c union afler srKu-.ittnn ,ni. in '
i . nH it I , toi ik pkiec.
Will Mk'lunl Collins, in hit,
death, do what een In louhl ii"t
quite accomplish 'in his llfr 'hrliig tu
gether men of tlio lush Iiee Siii
and Irish Hepubltr.uiR, end In .
appalling warfare ol brut her ;iuiii
If that bo Ireland's futuir, Michael
Collins died for it a happy warrior,