Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/171

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HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES.

heard of his future wife through reading a little story written by her in The Young Crusader, a very successful juvenile magazine edited by Rev. William Byrne, the present Vicar-General of Boston. Something in the little story took his fancy; he made inquiries about the writer, whose nom de plume was "Agnes Smiley," and sought and obtained an introduction to her. A mutual love soon grew up between them. Miss Murphy was born in Charlestown on the 5th of May, 1850. Her parents were John Murphy, who was born in County Fermanagh, Ireland, in 1823, and died in Charlestown June 28, 1861, and Jane Smiley, born in County Donegal, Ireland, 1830, who came to Charlestown in early life, and still lives, a widowed mother with her widowed daughter.

O'Reilly and his bride made a brief wedding trip through New Hampshire and Maine, and on returning began the joys and cares of domestic life at their home on Winthrop Street, Charlestown. There were born to them four daughters: Mollie, on May 18, 1873; Eliza Boyle, July 25, 1874; Agnes Smiley, May 19, 1877, and Blanid, June 18, 1880. In naming the children, the first was called after her mother, the second after the poet's own mother, the third by the pretty name to which such tender associations were attached, and the fourth after the heroine of Dr. Joyce's Irish epic. The following letter, written two years later, gives a charming picture of the quiet, happy home which he had made for himself in a strange land:

The "Pilot" Editorial Rooms,

September. 7, 1874.

My Dear Aunt Crissy:

It was like listening to you and looking at you, to read your kind letter. It has made me so happy and yet so sad that I do not know which feeling is uppermost. I know you were pleased to see my poor book; but what would my own dear patient mother have felt when she saw me winning praise from men? Thank God! I have her picture—the girls and Edward were kind enough to send it to me—and I have it grandly framed, and hung in our parlor. My little Mollie loves to kiss it, and I can only allow her to kiss the frame for fear of injuring the picture. Mary loves to look at it as much as I do, and she loves you,