The articles which follow were contributed by me to Irish Freedom during the eight months extending from June 1913 to January 1914. They thus form a contemporary commentary on the period immediately preceding and covering the rise of the Irish Volunteers: a period which, when things assume their proper perspective, will probably be regarded as the most important in recent Irish history. I commenced the series with the deliberate intention, by argument, invective, and satire, of goading those who shared my political views to commit themselves definitely to an armed movement. I felt quite sure that the hour was ripe for such a movement, but did not in the beginning foresee the precise form it was to assume. When I wrote the article for November 1913 a group of Nationalists with whom I was in touch had decided to found the Irish Volunteers, and we were looking about for a leader who would command the adhesion of men less advanced than we
p.142were known to be: of our own followers we were sure. When I wrote the article for December 1913, Eoin MacNeill had (quite unexpectedly) published his article The North Began in An Claidheamh Soluis, and we had agreed to invite him to put himself at our head. The rest is a part of Irish history. In the article for August 1913, I have omitted part of the Open Letter to Douglas Hyde; and I have made one or two verbal changes in a few of the other articles.