Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/418

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broken mother and family, while he lay in Arbor Hill prison, I quote:

They all like me here, and if I sent you all the notes I get thrown to me for "dear J. B." or "J. B. O." you would be amused. There's a fine young fellow here, a Preston Irishman, named Kelly. He begged even a button from me, for a keepsake. I gave him the ring of my plume, and he's as happy as possible.

In the same letter, while expressing his belief that his sentence would be less severe if the threatened Fenian uprising should fail to occur, he writes in confident expectation and hope that it will take place:

Perhaps you think there will be none, but you'll see, either this or next month, please God. Even in here we get assurances of not being forgotten, and that the work goes on better than ever. Never grieve for me, I beg of you, God knows I'd be only too happy to die for the cause of my country. Pray for us all; we are all brothers who are suffering.

When the suspense was ended, he sent these brave words of comfort to his loved ones:

I wrote these slips before I knew my fate, and I have nothing more to say, only God's holy will be done! If I only knew that you would not grieve for me I'd be perfectly happy and content. My own dear ones, you will not be ashamed of me at any rate; you all love the cause I suffer for as well as I, and when you pray for me pray also for the brave, true-hearted Irishmen who are with me. Men who do not understand our motives may call us foolish or mad, but every true Irish heart knows our feelings and will not forget us. Don't come here to bid me good-by through the gate. I could never forget that. I'll bid you all good-by in a letter.

God bless you!


"God's holy will be done!" That was the key-note of his character. "It is the will of God, or I'd not get a day," he wrote when speaking of his sentence. His faith was as simple as the life which it inspired was upright and honorable. "It would hardly appear to some people," writes his close friend, Mr. Moseley, "but the great thing that impressed me in Boyle's character was bis manliness, his