Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/256

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car drove up, and four rough-looking fellows jumping from their seats, rushed on the two men with drawn knives and stabbed them to death. They then leaped upon the car and drove rapidly toward Chapelizod Gate, where they disappeared. It subsequently transpired that the assassins had intended to kill only one victim, and that Lord Frederick was murdered either to silence him, or because he had defended his companion.

When the news of the crime reached America, nothing was heard but horror and detestation of the act. The Irish-Americans of Boston held a mass meeting in Faneuil Hall; it was called to order by Mr. P. J. Flatley, Hon. P. A. Collins as chairman. O'Reilly spoke as follows:

Fellow-Citizens and Fellow-Countrymen: There is to me more of sorrow in this meeting than of indignation—sorrow and grief for the innocent hearts that are afflicted by the murderous blows of these assassins, and these include every Irish heart that throbs in Ireland today. The hearts and hands of the Irish people are innocent of this crime. There is not an Irish mark upon it. There is no indication here of hot Irish blood—of the sudden unpremeditated blow of passion—of the hasty vengeance which ever marks the awful presence of bloodshed in Ireland. No Irishman ever killed his enemy with a dagger. In all the history of the Irish people you cannot find an instance in which Irishmen premeditatedly killed each other with knives or daggers. The dagger never was and never shall be an Irishman's weapon. This assassination was coolly planned and was carried out with intellectual precaution and cruelty. It was perpetrated within shadow of the Lord-Lieutenant's house, the Viceregal Lodge, and within a few hundred yards of the Chief Constabulary barracks in Ireland. I declare here to-night, and confidently appeal to the future for the verification of the assertion, that the deed was not committed by the Irish people. I say that it was committed by the class known as gentlemen. It was perpetrated by the class whose power and livelihood were threatened by the death of coercion. Who were these men? The office-holders in Dublin Castle, the paid magistrates who commanded the military power, the officers of the brutal constabulary, the virulent "emergency men." These were the people to whom Lord Cavendish brought the message of doom. To these men his mission said, "Back! hold off your whips and bayonets from the people! Back with your constabulary bludgeons and swords! Your occupation, if not forever gone, is to be held in abeyance." This was the meaning of the new