Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/350

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CHAPTER XVII.

Public Addresses—Author's Reading—The Irish Flag in New York—"Athletics and Manly Sport" Published—His Cruise in the Dismal Swamp—Interesting Letters to E. A. Moseley—Speech at the C. T. A. U. Banquet—Bayard, Chamberlain, and Sackville-West—Presidential Election—Poem on Crispus Attucks—Death of Corporal Chambers—Speech for the Heroes of Hull.


THERE was no trait of O'Reilly's character more gracious than the genuine delight which he felt in the discovery and recognition of any talent, literary or artistic, in a young neophyte. The delight was manifoldly enhanced when the candidate was one of his own race. He was one of the first to recognize and the most generous to encourage any aspirant for fame whose credentials bore the Gaelic stamp. More than half a score of poets and litterateurs in Boston alone, received their first welcome plaudits and substantial rewards from the kindly editor of the Pilot.

Toward the close of 1887 John Donoghue, a young sculptor, whom Oscar Wilde had "discovered" three or four years previously in Chicago, and who had successfully exhibited his works in the Paris salon, took up his residence in Boston. He exhibited three of his works in Boston in January, 1888, "The Young Sophokles," "The Hunting Nymph," and "The Boxer," this last being a statue from the life. His model was the famous pugilist, John L. Sullivan. O'Reilly wrote of it as follows:

In the exhibition of statues by John Donoghue, now open in Horticultural Hall, Boston, the tremendous figure of "The Boxer" stands in the center, between the wonderful "Young Sophokles" and "The Hunting Nymph." These two are noble sculptures, varied in grace, beauty and eloquent action. But the latest work of John Donoghue is held by many—and certainly I am one of them—to be the greatest of the three. This is "The