Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/348

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cleave to my mouth if I ever speak a word for man or cause in Faneuil Hall again.

I do not know that there is any man any more formally prepared to speak to you than I have been; but I would, in this instance and in this cause, call on any Boston man to speak and know that he would have to speak.

No single act or utterance of O'Reilly's life was so harshly criticized as this. He was accused of seeking to proscribe free speech. He was told sneeringly that Boston could survive such a catastrophe as that of O'Reilly and Father McKenna declining to speak in Faneuil Hall again; that their refusal would not affect anybody half so much as it would themselves. He replied, "That is true; and no one knew it so well as the men who made the resolution. They did not speak boastfully, but humbly and sorrowfully; it is their loss wholly. The gain of raising the Union Jack in Faneuil Hall is the gain of flunkeys and Tories in Boston, just as it was in the last century."

It was not necessary for him to repudiate the charge of intolerance. In joining those who protested against the desecration of Faneuil Hall he had acted as an adopted citizen, to whom Revolutionary traditions were as dear as they should have been to all citizens of Revolutionary descent. It would undoubtedly have been better if to these latter had been left the whole duty of protesting. They failed to look at the matter in the same light as he did. There is always a strong leaven of Toryism in the old rebel town of Boston. It was shown in the strenuous opposition to the erection of the Attucks monument; it was displayed again by members of the Bunker Hill Monument Association, who objected to the erection of tablets commemorating the patriot soldiers who died in that fight; one high officer of the association asserting that it would be a falsification of history to glorify, from an American standpoint, an event which was really an English victory.

As a matter of policy it would have been wiser to have wholly ignored the British-American admirers of Queen Victoria. They were not a representative body of any