HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES
In response to a request from the New York World, O'Reilly wrote his poem "The Press Evangel," for an anniversary number of that journal, which had then attained a daily circulation of a quarter of a million copies.
Queen Victoria celebrated, in 1887, the jubilee anniversary of her accession to the throne. "Why should not Ireland jubilate over Queen Victoria's benignant rule?" asked O'Reilly.
According to the eminent statistician, Mulhall, quoted by Mr. Gladstone recently in the House of Commons, the following figures attest the blessings enjoyed by Ireland during the past glorious fifty years:
The bulk of the exiles came to America, where they have produced, according to the same statistician, wealth to the amount of $3,275,000,000. Let us do Her Avaricious Majesty the justice to say that the last item will strike her soul with genuine regret. For the rest, Irishmen should be as thankful for the reign of Victoria as they might be for the plagues of Egypt.
William O'Brien, M.P., paid a visit to America in May, being warmly received throughout the United States, and having his life attempted in Canada. On his arrival in Boston he was given a public reception in the Boston Theater, on Sunday evening, May 29. Nearly 5000 people were present. John Boyle O'Reilly presided and introduced the Irish patriot in the following speech:
Ladies and Gentlemen: This immense meeting of the people of Boston is the first note of the American celebration of the Queen of England's jubilee. It is a meeting of welcome and honor—and also of indignation and protest. We honor a distinguished and devoted patriot, who came to this continent in the interests of a poor and oppressed people, and who has told in burning words their woeful story to every heart in two English-speaking nations, appealing against their oppressor, not in passion or violence, but in the spirit of true reform, of argument and public morality. We protest, as Massachusetts citizens, against the legalized degradation of men, by which a single aristocrat has power to sweep from their homes hundreds, aye, thousands of industrious and virtuous people and banish them from their native land forever. We