Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/229

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


CHAPTER XI.


Elected President of the Papyrus Club, and also of the Boston Press Club—Interesting Addresses Delivered before Both—Speech at the Moore Centenary—Letter to the Papyrus Club—His Home at Hull—Visit of Parnell to America—Founding of the St. Botolph Club and the "Cribb Club"—Justin McCarthy Describes the Poet-athlete—Russell Sullivan's "Here and Hereafter."


O'REILLY had the distinction of holding the office of president in two organizations during the year 1879, the Papyrus Club and the Boston Press Club; he was elected to the former on the 4th of January. In his inaugural address he said:

To be made the president of this club would be an honor to any literary man in the country. The charm of the Papyrus is that it is essentially an ideal club. The charm of the club to its members will be proportionate to our enthusiasm to work for this ideal; this is our pride. Dining, wining, the patronage of millionaires and politicians, the gorgeous service and elaborate style, are as vapor and mud beside the beauty of standing up for our independent, brotherly, anti-shoddy, aesthetic, and ideal Papyrus. Better for us the expression of a single thought, or the admiration of a high ideal, than all the gold-plated enjoyment of other orders of clubs.

Two years before, at the dinner of the Papyrus, on February 3, Mr. William A. Hovey presented the club with a beautiful crystal loving cup. O'Reilly wrote for the occasion his beautiful poem, "The Loving Cup of the Papyrus."

For brotherhood, not wine, this cup should pass;
Its depths should ne'er reflect the eye of malice;
Drink toasts to strangers with the social glass,
But drink to brothers with this loving chalice.

The first "ladies' night" of the Papyrus Club was held on February 22, 1879, during his presidency, and was one