Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/168

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the others, is unworthy of rational and respectable beings. No wonder that people who do not know us, who only see us as we represent ourselves on the stage, should judge us harshly and wrongly. It is in the power of every person, and of every family, especially of Irish extraction, to do something toward the removal of this evil by refusing support to these vulgar libelers of our national character."

In February of this year (1871), O'Reilly received the sad news of the death of his father, who had survived his beloved wife but two years. He was buried beside her in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, the following inscription being placed on his coffin plate:

Aged sixty-three years.
Died February 17, 1871.
deceased was father of
John Boyle O'Reilly,

A good Irish Soldier.
Convicted by English court-martial, and self-amnestied
by escaping from Western Australia to America.
May the brave son live long, and may the
remains of the noble father rest
in peace!

O'Reilly's place was soon allotted him among the journalists of Boston. He appreciated the grave responsibilities of his profession as few men have done. Replying to a toast for the Press at a banquet given to the Irish Band which attended the great Peace Jubilee at Boston, in July, 1873, he said:

To me, at times, the daily newspaper has an interest almost pathetic. Very often we read the biography of a man who was born, lived, worked, and died, and we put the book on our shelves out of respect for his memory. But the newspaper is a biography of something greater than a man. It is the biography of a Day. It is a photograph, of twenty-four hours' length, of the mysterious river of time that is sweeping past us forever. And yet we take our year's newspapers, which contain more tales of sorrow and suffering, and joy and success, and ambition and defeat, and villainy and virtue, than the greatest book ever written, and we give them to the girl to light the fire. It is a