Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/166

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It would be hard for the most critical of native Americans to find fault with the Americanism of the foregoing advice, or with the editoral appeal to his fellow-countrymen, in the following issue, to "Think it out"—to reflect and reason, before indorsing every well-meant, but ill-directed, project proposed to them.

The cause of Home Rule, then being discussed in Ireland, received his earnest support, as "a greater effort for political equality than any that Ireland has yet seen, not even excepting the agitation of Daniel O'Connell." The Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Fenian movement had done admirable service for the Irish cause, but the Home Rule movement was distinctly of home origin. Then says O'Reilly: "Why in the name of wonder is it that the Irish in America who profess to have such intense sympathy with Ireland's politics, are so silent or so ignorant of this great but quiet movement? Surely the people in Ireland have greater rights to decide what sort of government Ireland wants than the Irish people in America. Those who have left the motherland may love her as well as those who have remained; but the people there have more right to choose their government than the people here to choose it for them. There is a great deal that wants consideration in this question, and we earnestly advise our Irish-American journals, politicians, and people to quietly think it out!"

Again, he excoriates the blatant demagogue who asks for support in American politics, on the ground that, "He's a friend to an Irishman."

Of all the offensive sayings that are habitually uttered in this country, we are of opinion that this sentence is, or should be considered, the most offensive. And yet it has evidently originated from the very people it should insult. The Irish people have introduced it; they use it daily in their criticisms on public men; and it is no wonder that it should have become a "plank in the platform" of every one who seeks for Irish favor. If the phrase were used in England, or in any country where men were debarred from equality, we should commend it as a healthy rallying cry. But in this republic, where men, if they only will, can be "free and equal," the word becomes a confession of inferiority, an utterance of acknowledged childishness that should be