Like Dean Swift, Father O'Leary relieved, every Monday morning, a number
of reduced roomkeepers and working men. The average of his weekly
charity amounted to two, sometimes three pounds--though he had no income
except that derived from the contributions of those who frequented the
poor Capuchin little chapel.
* * * * *
After the publication of his Essay on Tol
ration, Father O'Leary was
elected a member of the Monks of St. Patrick, which took its rise
under the auspices of that great lawyer, Lord Avonmore, then Mr.
Yelverton. As a return for the honor thus conferred on him, he expressed
his gratitude in the dedication of his various productions, which he
collected together, and published in 1781.
* * * * *
At one of the meetings of the English Catholic Board, whilst O'Leary was
addressing the chairman, the late Lord Petre, it was suggested by the
noble president that the speaker was entering on topics not calculated
to promote the unanimity of the assembly. O'Leary, however, persevered:
on which Lord Petre interrupted him, adding, Mr. O'Leary, I regret much
to see that you are out of order. The reply was equally quick and
characteristic--I thank you for your anxiety, my lord; but I assure you
I never was in letter health in my life. The archness of manner with
which these words were uttered was triumphant, and every unpleasant
feeling was lost in the mirth which was necessarily excited.