Skip to main content

Full text of "The Life Of Charles Stewart Parnell - Ii"

See other formats

/Ex. 37]              REPLY TO  MR. FORSTER                        7
been constrained to dispense with the services of Mr. Dillon, Mr. Egan, and Mr. Bremian.
It was at this moment, when all his efforts were "being used to keep the peace in Ireland, that Mr. Forster decided to hold him up to public odium as a criminal, with whom no honourable man could associate. But what was Mr. Forster, what was English opinion, to him ? He had to think of his own countrymen, and of his own countrymen only. Mr. Forster's attack and the English cheers which welcomed it would serve him with them. That was the main fact. The answer to the Extremists, who called him a reactionary, would be Forster's speech; thus fortified he could moderate the agitation without exposing himself to the odious charge of Whiggery. He could hold them in check without forfeiting his reputation as an advanced politician; he could keep all the Nationalist forces together without breaking the treaty of Kilmainham. The expression—sometimes indifferent,. sometimes scornful, sometimes sinister —which passed over his face while Mr. Forster wras speaking faithfully reflected the thoughts within. Only for an instant did he show the least sign of emotion. It was when the late Chief Secretary said : ' It is not that he himself directly planned or perpetrated outrages and murders, but that
he  either connived  at  them,  or,  when  warned------*
4 It is a lie/ cried Parnell, darting a fierce glance at his antagonist, and relapsing again into silence. When Mr. Forster sat down, everyone expected that Parnell would spring to his feet to repel the charges hurled at him. But he quietly kept his seat. There was a painful pause, an awful silence. Parnell did not stir. The whole House swayed with emotion. His own party were touched by the scene and stung by the