Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/270

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Cavendish and Burke, the keynote of which was the characteristic declaration: "Othello was deeply guilty; but the devilish Iago who crazed him was more guilty still."

There had been a recurrence of the dynamite outrages in London during the month of March. Several men were arrested,—some probably guilty, many certainly innocent. "Why does not the Pilot sternly denounce the dreadful Irish dynamite policy?" asked a correspondent, and O'Reilly answered that he was tired of "sternly denouncing," especially when his denunciations were used to justify and intensify the still more dreadful English policies applied to Ireland. He continued:

Where are the men who always denounced violence and could do it more effectively than any other? Where is Michael Davitt to-day, that his voice is not heard? Where is T. M. Healy, one of the best Irish representatives? Where is Timothy Harrington, M.P. for Westmeath, a man whose word was respected throughout Ireland?

These men are all in English prisons, treated like dogs, compelled to perform the lowest servile labor, herded with criminals and "punished" with days of bread and water for protesting against the "dreadful" outrages perpetrated on them, and through them on the nation they represent.

We are sick of denouncing our own people. The English papers threaten a race war against the Irish in England. Bah! let them try it. There are a million English and their friends in Ireland who are dearer to the English Government than the two or three million Irish in England. If retaliation is going to be legitimized, and necks are going to be wrung on either side, Ireland has a decided advantage.

But we do not believe the English "people" are so bitterly stirred up against the Irish for their agitation nor even for their loudest protests. The English aristocracy are just brainless enough to attempt to ferment passionate divisions among the races. But they will only bring sorrow on their own heads.

For a dozen years past, we have done our share of "denouncing" violence; and we have always been in earnest. We have tried to generate a public Irish-American sentiment of conservative and moral agitation. What good has been done by it? Every indication of quietude on the Irish side has been seized on by the English as a sign of yielding. Coercion on top of coercion has been the answer to Irish mildness.

Irishmen of the conservative and moral-force idea have bad the leading word for years; and the response of England has been, and is,