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Newspaper Page Text
Is our boasted civilization really civilized? Are we really
( making any progress except the progress of dollars?
In spite of optimism, we are sometimes stunned by a sudden
revelation of brute barbarism in the midst of our enlightenment, of
cruelty, greed and oppression in this boasted land of freedom and
Such a shock is dealt by Mary Boyle O'Reilly in her startling
report in the columns of this newspaper of the conditibns under
which wretched toilers live and work in the canning factories that
supply the nation with food.
She has seen, heard and felt thesame bitter facts that were
learned years before by her father, John Boyle O'Reilly, the famous
Irish-American patriot and poet, and which he put intd words of
bitter irony and truth in this virile poem:
The earth was not made for its people; that cry has been hounded
down as a social crime;
The meaning of life is to barter and buy; and the strongest and
shrewdest are masters of time.
God made the millions to serve the few, and their questions of right
are vain conceits;
To have one sweet home that is safe and true, ten garrets must reek
in the darkened streets.
'Tis Civilization, so they say, and it cannot be changed for he weak
ness of men.
Take care! Take care! 'Tis a desperate way to goad the wolf to the
end of his den. 1
Take heed of your Civilization, ye, on your pyramids built of quiv-"
ering hearts; ' .
There are stages, like Paris in '93, where the commonest men play
most terrible parts.
Your statutes may crush, but they cannot kill the patient sense of
natural right; ' t -
It may slowly move, but the People's will, like the ocean o'er Hol-
land, is always in sight.
"It is notour fault !" say the rich ones. No, 'tis the fault fr ,a system
old and strong; , .
But men are the makers of systems; so' the cure will come if we own
It will come in peace if. the Man Right lead; it will sweep in storm
if it be 'denied;