Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/239

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HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES

dition that Parnell should be allowed to appoint a proxy during his necessary absence in America. This condition the Herald refused to accept, saying, "What we desired was his (Parnell's) personal services."

"Certainly," commented O'Reilly; "why, not only the Herald, but the English government would give $100,000 to send back the man who has dared to answer the one, and hold the other up to shame in this country. It would be worth a million dollars to England to stop Parnell's mouth in America . . . . The week he sailed from Ireland, England officially denied that there was a famine, or danger of one, in Ireland."

The fact that the Herald had persistently endeavored to discredit the mission of Parnell in America, and had taken the landlord's side in the political contest, made its charity, generous as it was, seem like a contribution from the gift-bearing Greeks. "If he (Mr. Bennett) was wrong before," wrote O'Reilly, "he does not become right by giving a hundred thousand dollars to the famine fund, especially if he hands it over for distribution to the English official committee. Mr. Bennett's paper has been the voice of the landlords who have caused this famine. He cannot argue himself right by the brutal force of wealth. If the Irish people had reason to detest his policy, they cannot sell their principles for a hundred thousand or a hundred million dollars. Nevertheless," he continues, "we await further action before we judge the motives of the man who indorses his belief with a gift forty times as great as that of the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland."

On the 3d of January, 1880, the St. Botolph Club of Boston was established on the model of the famous Century Club of New York. O'Reilly was one of the original members, among whom were included the leading authors, artists, and other men of distinction in the city. It was a much more imposing club than the Papyrus, starting with a house of its own and a list of 260 members. Its success was assured from the beginning, for it possessed the happy combination, so seldom found, of brains and money.