Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/211

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
173
HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES

mained; no one left in the trap; no price paid in human life or suffering. It was a clean thing from beginning to end; it was "well done."

They have a resemblance, these two rescues, and so they ought to have—for the same mind planned and the same hands carried both to a conclusion.

In both these desperate undertakings, John Breslin was "the man in the gap." In both John Devoy was his careful, patient, forethoughtful fellow-worker. Such men are not paid in words,—they are of that mold that draw their reward from the inner consciousness of achievement. But there is a public good in upholding the deed of bravery, modesty, and devotion; there is the highest teaching in silent, manly purpose; and Mr. Breslin and Mr. Devoy must pardon us for criticising their work without their consent. John J. Breslin has lived in Boston for many years. A man of few words, of small acquaintance, earning his bread in unassuming ways—few knew, and to few were shown, the culture and refinement behind the modest exterior. In thought and appearance eminently a gentleman; in demeanor dignified and reserved; In observance, rather distrustful, as if disappointed in his ideal man; somewhat cynical, perhaps, and often stubbornly prejudiced and unjust; a lover of and a successful worker in literature,—such is an outline of a character that may indeed be called extraordinary,—of a man who, if he break down the barrier of reserve that has hitherto hedged him round, has it in his hands to win brilliant distinction in any public career he may select.

The Irish nationalists, owners of the bark Catalpa, disposed of the vessel in a generous and highly creditable' way. Mr. John Devoy, of New York, and Mr. Reynolds of New Haven, Conn., in whose name the Catalpa was entered, visited New Bedford in February, 1877, and presented the vessel, as she stood, with her whaling inventory, to the three men who best deserved her, namely, John E. Richardson, the agent; George S. Anthony, the captain, and Henry C. Hathaway, the Chief of Police, whose fidelity and sagacity had so much to do with the success of the rescue. Devoy and Reynolds also settled with the crew on most liberal terms. The total expense of the expedition was about $25,000.