Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/189

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HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES.
on Ireland. There is no blame attached to the Irish "street arabs" for their poverty,—not an atom. Nobody but an exasperated and impotent old man would scoff at them. God help them, and God pity their forefathers, who lived under the penal laws, who could not help leaving after them a legacy of poverty and crime!

When Brownson's Review passed out of existence in the following October, with some sharp denunciations of the Pilot, in its valedictory, O'Reilly, always generous to a foeman, Avrote:

Farewell, stanch and fearless old man! You have done a large labor, and have done it in full manhood and good faith. Those who objected shall be the first to praise. Your life has been a success, as every life must be that follows principle through light and darkness. Not mockingly do we write these words of respect, but with all sincerity, admiring an individualized, noble nature. Not in any belittling spirit do we say that the death of Brownson's Review reminds us of the last hour of the old pagan bard converted by St. Patrick!

"I give glory to God for our battles won
By wood or river, by bay or creek;
For Noma who died ; for my father Conn;
For feasts and the chase on the mountain bleak.
I bewail my sins, both known and unknown,
And of those I have injured forgiveness seek.
The men that were wicked to me and mine
(Not quenching a wrong, nor in war nor wine)
I forgive and absolve them all, save three,
And may Christ in his mercy be kind to me."

Nobody could better appreciate a vigorous antagonist than Dr. Brownson himself, of whom a characteristic anecdote is told, during his early life, when he was a Unitarian minister. Being in a bookstore on a certain occasion, he had a controversy with Mr. Trask, the famous anti-tobacco apostle. Mr. Brownson became irritated at some remark of Mr. Trask, and promptly knocked him down. The by-standers protested earnestly, and Mr. Brownson as promptly made a humble and complete apology for his loss of self-control. The apology was accepted and the conversation resumed, but Mr. Trask overdid his magnanimity by saying, once or twice afterward, "I forgive you." At last