Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/258

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has been stung, even by the intolerable wrongs of the last twenty months, to such an atrocious crime. Ireland's marvelous patience during the last twenty years entitles her to the benefit of such a doubt. Meanwhile, let us work patiently and earnestly to discover the real state of the case. It will be ample time then to analyze the occurrence and lay the blame where it belongs.

Very respectfully yours,

Wendell Phillips.

An informal meeting of well-known Irish-Americans of Boston had been held on the preceding day, at which it was decided to offer a reward for the arrest of the assassins, and the following cablegram was sent to Mr. Parnell:

To Charles Stewart Parnell, House of Commons, London:

A reward of $5000 (£1000) is hereby offered by the Irishmen of Boston for the apprehension of the murderers, or any of them, of Lord Cavendish and Mr. Burke, on Saturday, May 6.

On behalf of the Irishmen of Boston,

John Boyle O'Reilly,

Patrick A. Collins.

O'Reilly's instincts were at fault, unfortunately, when he supposed that the dastardly deed had been the work of emergency men, or other Government tools. It seemed incredible to him that any men of Nationalist feeling could have been blindly infatuated enough to commit such a crime at such a time. The patriotic papers of Ireland were equally mistaken; the crime, like the murder of President Garfield a year before, was so utterly devoid of reason, viewed from the Nationalist standpoint, that the theory of its perpetration by emergency men seemed the only one conceivable. England's response was the immediate passage of a coercion law, although Mr. Gladstone himself had said two days after the tragedy, "The object of this black act is plainly to arouse indignant passions, and embitter the relations between Great Britain and Ireland." Michael Davitt, who had been released conditionally, after fifteen months of imprisonment without, trial, offered to go to Ireland and do whatever he could "to further the peaceful doctrines I have always advocated," and received as his