Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/185

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147
HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES.

lished in the following week. It contains this striking figure, among others:

Dead! but the death was fitting:
His life to the latest breath,
Was poured like wax on the Chart of Eight,
And is sealed by the stamp of Death!

Within twenty days Ireland lost three of her most loyal sons, John Mitchell, John Martin, and Sir John Gray. Of them O'Reilly wrote: "All three were Protestants: and their death draws attention to the truth that no people in the world are so utterly without religious bigotry as the Irish. These three Protestants were the most beloved and trusted men in Ireland, and by the Irish Catholics and Protestants throughout the world. The only question Ireland asks her public men is—Are you true to my cause? England has tried with inhuman cunning to put the wedge between Protestant and Catholic in Ireland: she planted the seeds of Orangeism and Ribbonism, and watched and watered them to make them grow. But, thank God! the weed of religious hate will not spread on Irish soil. It is never the difference of religion that makes the bad blood; it is the taint of English money and English sympathy."

To this broad-minded editor nothing was more odious than the narrow bigotry which would array sect against sect, especially when displayed by Catholics. In this year, 1875, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mr. Peter Paul McSwiney, issued a circular calling for the formation of an "Irish Catholic party," saying: "To make a united Ireland, our motto must be 'Faith and Fatherland.' "The Irish Catholics indignantly repudiated the bigoted appeal, which O'Reilly stigmatized as "Catholic Know-nothingism."

He crossed swords with a foeman more worthy of his steel when Dr. Orestes A. Brownson, a convert to Catholicity, and, as converts sometimes are, one rather more zealous than discreet, took exception to the Pilot's honorable praise of the Irish Protestants who had served their country with a loyalty that redeems their class from the