Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/391

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one may be taken as a specimen of what they are all to be—an audience of representative men listening to a series of papers that might just as well be published in magazines or papers, where they would reach a greater number.

For such a benefit to awaken the suspicions and doubts of our Protestant fellow-citizens, who are constantly of opinion that we Catholics are obeying "the orders of Rome," etc., is a questionable policy. If we had reason, as the German Catholics have had, to protest against national legislation, we should be only doing our duty in holding national conventions. But we have no reason of this kind, nor of any kind, that I can see. I do not believe that the judgment of the Catholics of the country advises the project of formulating any distinct Catholic policy in America.

For one,—and one called on to think for the best interests of the many,—I regard these conventions of Catholic laymen as unnecessary, prejudicial, and imprudent, and I shall not take part in their arrangement or progress.

Nevertheless, for the courteous treatment of the committee I shall be zealous and anxious; and if you will appoint a day when a few of us can lunch together and talk it over, I shall be much obliged.

I am, yours very truly,

J. B. O'Reilly.

On July 17, another distinguished. Irish-American poet and orator, Rev. Henry Bernard Carpenter, died suddenly at Sorrento, Me. He was fifty years old and had lived sixteen years in the United States. A great scholar, a fine poet, and a man of charming personality, he had been for years one of the most popular members of the Papyrus and St. Botolph clubs. When another Irish-American poet and Papyrus man, Dr. Robert Dwyer Joyce, went home to Ireland to die, in 1883, Mr. Carpenter wrote for the Pilot a beautiful farewell poem, entitled "Vive Valeque." O'Reilly, himself suffering from overmuch care and work, was deeply moved by the death of the simple-minded, generous, and brilliant Irish poet and orator, whom he was so soon to follow.

Another last characteristic work was his contribution of a long article to the Boston Evening Traveler, in July, on "Canoes and Boats." In it he extolled the merits of his favorite craft and condemned the rowboat, of which he said, "There is no good reason why another should ever