dear Aunt, from your one or two letters. Please write her a letter as soon as you can. She is getting strong again, from the birth of our second baby—our Eliza Boyle O'Reilly. Is it not strangely touching to see this new generation with the old names—springing up in a new land, and cherishing as traditions all that we knew as facts? Somehow, I feel as old as you and Uncle James. It seems so long since I was a boy that I really do not, cannot, accept young men or their ways of thinking. It gives me the sincerest pleasure to know that Uncle James is doing so well. He has a good book-keeper when he has you; but I am sure he knows that God has blessed him with that greatest of all blessings—a good wife. Willy's good fortune is as dear to me as if he were my own brother. I always knew he would be a clever chemist, and I am sure he is. Please God, sometime, when the Government lets me, I shall walk into his shop and ask for a bottle of medicine. He would never know the bearded man, with streaks of gray, from the thoughtless boy he knew long ago. Nobody in England would know me but you: you could see the Boyle in me.
It will please you, I know, to know just how I am doing. I inclose a lot of extracts from the leading papers of America, which will show you that I do not lack literary reputation. My position in Boston—which is the chief city in this country for literature and general culture—is quite good. I am chief editor of the Pilot—which is the most influential Catholic paper in America, probably in the world. My salary is $3,000 a year (£2 a day); $4,000 next year. Besides, I write when I please for the leading magazines and literary papers—which also adds to my income. Of course, $3,000 a year does not represent its equivalent in English money in England. Everything is sold at a higher rate here. However, Mary, who is a wonderful manager, has saved a few thousand dollars (I give her all the money), and we are prepared for a rainy day. My health is excellent. I have just returned from a vacation, which I spent in the glorious Southern States of Maryland and Virginia. I visited Baltimore and Washington, and had an invitation to stay with the President of the Jesuit University, at Georgetown. I do not know what you think of America, Aunt, but it may surprise you to hear that the cities here are far greater and grander than those in the Old World, always excepting London for size, of course. Washington is the most magnificent city I ever saw. But what do you care for America! Give my love to all, and believe me, dear Aunt, to be,
Always your affectionate nephew,
John Boyle O'Reilly.
The great fire of Boston, beginning on Saturday evening, November 9, wiped out of existence the richest portion