Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/255

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HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES

All I have done was to send you a lecture which you need not acknowledge, above all, need not feel it your duty to read.

I am thankful that you are with us as a representative Americanized Irishman.

Very truly yours,

O. W. Holmes.

O'Reilly's prediction of the consequence of coercion in Ireland was literally verified. Early in March, Secretary Forster had made the foolish threat, "When outrages cease the suspects will be released." The "outrages," usually the most trifling of technical offenses, such as whistling "Harvey Duff" and other treasonable airs, did not cease; there was nobody, their leaders being in jail, to repress the discontent of the people. Unfortunately for the Irish cause, the inflamed people, hunted and harassed by the petty tyranny of constables and magistrates, were driven into secret conspiracy, the result of which was the awful tragedy of the Phoenix Park murders. Before that dire crime was committed, Gladstone had recognized the futility of his coercive policy, and ordered the release of Parnell, Dillon, and O'Kelly. They were set free on the 2d of May, 1882. Lord-Lieutenant Cowper and Chief Secretary Forster resigned their offices. Earl Spencer and Lord Frederick Cavendish being respectively appointed to succeed them. An era of conciliation seemed to have opened; the true friends of peace rejoiced; but there were some reckless spirits to whom peace was the least welcome of conditions. Their leader and subsequent betrayer was James Carey, a man who had held the office of Town Councilor in Dublin and was for a time locally prominent in the Land League movement. Half a dozen desperate, unthinking fanatics plotted and carried out a scheme for the murder of Under-Secretary Burke, an official who had made himself especially odious to the people. On the afternoon of May 6, the day of his installation as Chief Secretary, Lord Frederick Cavendish, in company with Burke, left Dublin Castle and walked through Phoenix Park, to the Chief Secretary's Lodge. As they were crossing the path, a common hack--