Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/378

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and Taschereau, and other great civic and religious dignitaries. No layman in America stood higher in the estimation of his co-religionists at this time than John Boyle O'Reilly. No man, lay or secular, had done more in his life-time to make his religion respected by non-Catholics.

He had been invited to prepare a paper for the first Catholic Congress, held in Baltimore, on November 12. He attended the Congress, but for reasons explained in the following letter, could not take an active part in its proceedings:

Crawford House, White Mountains, N. H.,

September 25, 1889.

Dear Mr. Harson:

Your letter finds me here in the mountains trying to get over the effects of a year's incessant overwork, and, however kindly you express it, you ask me to begin overworking again,—before I am rested,—and with too short notice to prepare a paper for the Catholic Congress. I cannot leave here, wisely, for at least ten days more. I will then return to a mountainous accumulation of work. This will prevent me from giving due consideration to any subject suitable for an address at the Congress. It is not a place for hasty or raw expression, and I know that the gentlemen who have papers prepared have given them full and timely treatment.

Had I known a couple of months ago that I was to be asked to read an address I might have been able; but now it is quite too late,—under the circumstances,—and while thanking you for the invitation, and the delightful manner in which it is expressed, I congratulate the Congress on its escape.

I am deeply interested in the success of the Congress, and I beg that you will enable me to use the Pilot for that end.

I am just recovering from a repeated attack of insomnia, which has so alarmed my wife that I have promised her to abstain from all engagements, outside my editorial work, for a whole year.

I am, dear Mr. Harson,
Very truly yours,
J. Boyle O'Reilly.

M. J. Harson, Esq., Providence, R. I.

There is a pathetic interest in the prospectus which he issued the last week of this year, outlining the conduct of his paper for 1890, and looking hopefully to the close of Ireland's long struggle, when the "Irish Question" should