Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/300

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deed of magnanimity and wisdom. It is not too late to win Irish loyalty for a union which leaves her as free as England—the only union that can satisfy Ireland and make the British Empire more powerful than ever."

England did not heed the warning of Irishmen at home and in America. They asked for the bread of justice, and she sent them a stone idol, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The answer came in the action of the Parnellite members voting with the Conservatives in the House of Commons on the 8th of June, and so turning the scale against the Gladstonians.

O'Reilly advocated Home Rule for his adopted home as vigorously as for the land of his birth. When the Legislature of Massachusetts in May, 1885, passed a bill taking away from the city of Boston the appointment of its own police, he condemned the act as a departure from the old Puritan system of the town meeting, the greatest safeguard of public representation . . . . "Their descendants were of the same mind; but they are destructive, while the fathers were constructive; the men of old made the town meeting, the men of to-day would destroy it. . . . . The Puritan element proves itself unworthy of life by attempting to cut its own throat!" This nucleus of all liberty, the town meeting, he subsequently glorified in his great poem at the celebration of the Landing of the Pilgrims.

Mr. Bayard, who had been appointed Secretary of State by President Cleveland, was the conspicuously weak element in the new administration. James Russell Lowell had made himself obnoxious to every patriotic American by utterly ignoring the rights of citizens unjustly imprisoned by the British Government during his term of office as Minister to England. On his return to America in June, he was represented as having said to a newspaper interviewer: "There is nothing but English blood in my veins, and I have often remarked that I was just as much an Englishman as they were;" and that he thoroughly approved of the treatment given to Ireland by the Gladstone administration. "We had earnestly hoped," says O'Reilly, "to see Mr.