Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/408

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tous for the World, that it might well make a man willing to die before he is fifty, if he could contribute but a little toward accomplishing it,—the reconciliation in this community between the Roman Catholic Irishman and the Protestant American.

That was the mission that Boyle O'Reilly seemed just as distinctly seat among us to do, as if he had been born with that mission stamped upon his forehead, and as if a hundred vicar-generals had annointed and ordained him for the work.

And in doing this work he showed not merely the lovableness of his temperament, but its far-sightedness. He knew that unless that work could be done, our city and our State and our country are confessed, failures. He knew that American civilization was a failure if it was only large enough to furnish a safe and convenient shelter for the descendants of Puritans and Anglo-Saxons, leaving Irishmen and Catholics outside.

As a literary man, Colonel Higginson gave O'Reilly a high place in the world of letters. As a patriot, he admired him for remembering and loving his native land. He continued:

I never have been among those who believed it to be the duty of an Irishman, as soon as he set foot on this soil and looked around for his naturalization papers, to forget the wrongs and sorrows he had left behind him.

I cannot complain of Boyle O'Reilly that through life in his spirit he kept the green flag waving beside the Stars and Stripes, any more than I can forget the recorded joy of McClellan in the terrible battles of the Wilderness when he saw the green flags borne by each regiment of Meagher's Irish Brigade come from the Second Army Corps to his relief.

In some ways Boyle O'Reilly was not enough of a reformer for me. I never could quite forgive him for not being—like my friend and his associate. Col. Taylor—a strong advocate of woman suffrage. But I can tell you that when the man who is doing two men's work all day still spends night after night in attending the invalid wife to whom he owes so much; and when, in making his last will, he has the courage and the justice to leave that wife in undisturbed possession of all his property and the executrix of his will, I am ready to sign an amnesty with him on the woman suffrage question.

Colonel Higginson was followed by President E. H. Capen, D.D., of Tufts College, who said of the deceased:

He was more than a patriot, because wherever he saw humanity oppressed he saw a brother in woe, and determined to give voice to the