Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/335

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HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES

in the same month his ringing cheer for the victory of the American yacht Mayflower:

Thunder our thanks to her—guns, hearts, and lips!
Cheer from the ranks to her,
Shout from the banks to her—
"Mayflower!" Foremost and best of our ships.

In this month also appeared the last collection of his poems, the little volume, "In Bohemia," previously referred to. Small as it is, there is enough in it to have given the author a place among the foremost poets of his age, had he never written anything else.

An unexpected recognition of his literary fame came to him in the form of the following communication from a short-lived periodical, entitled Literary Life, printed in Chicago, by a publisher with the average publisher's appreciation of literary values:

Dear Sir:
We desire you to contribute a short article of from 1000 to 2000 words for Miss Cleveland's Magazine, Literary Life, on any subject of interest to our readers. Our terms for this series of articles is one cent a word. You may possibly consider this a small remuneration, but as Literary Life is a young magazine it will, we think, grow into a better market for writers in the near future. While devoted to the cause of literature in the West, we know that to succeed in an eminent degree we must enlist the services of the ablest writers, and hence address you this letter. Please let us have your article on time for our October issue. Payment will be made on receipt of article.

Out of respect for literary people, and to expose humbug and meanness, O'Reilly published this flattering offer in his paper, with his sharp reply:

I cannot see why you should appeal to the charity of literary people for the benefit of your magazine. If your letter is not an appeal for charity it is a humiliation and a disgrace to the literary profession.

He added this comment:

The Elder Publishing Company have advertised their magazine by using the name of Miss Cleveland as its editor, and by dazzling accounts of the enterprise of the firm in undertaking so expensive an arrangement. To buy articles from "the ablest writers" (generous