Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/392

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be built, except for suicide." After summing up the many pleasures and benefits to be derived from the sport, he says:

If this paper has a purpose other than mere relation, it is to encourage tiie exercise of canoeing and to express my belief that there is no rest so complete and no play so refreshing as that which brings us face to face with primitive nature. It is good to get away from the customs and conventionalities of city life to the sound of running water and rustling leaves and birds; to be free again as a boy, enjoying what the boy loves; to depend on one's self for all that is needed to make the day delightful; to realize the truth that natural pleasures are not limited to a few years of childhood, but that all the joys of childhood are joys for life if not incrusted by the petty artificialities of business and society, and the still more deplorable and deadening assumption of solemn wisdom that is supposed to be "serious" and "respectable."

His last editorial utterance, in the Pilot Of August 9, was an appeal to two eminent friends of the Irish cause, one of whom had made certain injurious reflections upon the other. Commenting on the latter's defense, O'Reilly wrote:

We notice the defense just to remark that it was as unnecessary as the attack was uncalled for. Therefore, both will pass with slight public notice. The only surprising thing about such episodes is the readiness with which many leading Irishmen, heated in a personal controversy, will ascribe the most dishonorable motives to their opponents. This is unworthy men like —— and ——. The public will not believe either that the other is a bad man; they show the worst thing about themselves in the making of such charges and insinuations.

On Wednesday, August 6, a very sultry day, he attended the games of the National Irish Athletic Association at Oak Island Grove, Revere Beach, acting as judge and referee in the contests. About four thousand people were present on the crowded grounds. The day was exceedingly warm, and O'Reilly was compelled to leave the ground, in almost a fainting condition, before the sports were over.

As he was a member on the committee of reception for the Grand Army demonstration which was to take place in Boston the following week, he had made arrangements to spend some nights at a hotel in the city. On Wednesday