Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/367

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
327
HIS LIFE, POEMS AND SPEECHES

the social ostracism to which colore, men were subjected in public places throughout various parts of that section, and came home more than ever an advocate of the oppressed black man.

Another delegation of Irish Nationalists came to America in October; they were Sir Thomas Henry Grattan Esmonde and Arthur O'Connor, members of Parliament. They were given an enthusiastic reception at the Boston Theater on the evening of October 9, Governor Ames presiding.

O'Reilly had not come prepared to address the meeting, but the repeated calls of the people drew out the following brief response, the allusion to General Paine being in connection with the victory of the latter' s yacht, Volunteer, in defense of the America's cup:

There is no other reason for the Governor calling upon me to-night than one of revenge because I am not a Republican. While Father McKenna was speaking about Faneuil Hall, I concluded that he was present at the reception the other night. The words in the Boston press that "blood told" reminded us that General Paine's grandfather signed the Declaration of Independence. General Paine got a great Boston reception, as great a reception as his grandfather could have got, or could have desired, and he deserved it. And the next great reception given is to the grandson of another great man who signed, who made, a nation's Declaration of Independence. Blood tells, and this man comes to speak with the blood of his great grandfather surging in his veins. He has come to the blue blood. He is come to the blood which supports the world: the blood of the working people, the blood of honest, industrious men and women. This is the blood which runs through revolutions. This is the blood of the Grattans. This is the blood of the O'Connors, splendidly presented to us in that Irishman (pointing to Arthur O'Connor), who has in the Nationalist ranks the name of being the ablest and safest man in the party next to Parnell. I have not a word to say but that.

I had not thought of being called on, but I say to Sir Thomas Esmonde to-night that he might come to America, with all the men with titles in England, and they never would get such a reception as he will get from Boston to the Pacific. I saw in an English paper that he had gone away from his class for the association of common people. You are speaking (turning to Mr. Esmonde) in England to 30,000,000 people; in America you are speaking to 60,000,000 people. We have