/Ex. 37] LOUD SPKNCKU OX OUTJUAOKS 13
matter of tactics this audacious line was the hest the Irish leader could take. What he had done could not be defended to such an audience as the House of Commons. The right course was, as lawyers say, " to plead to the jurisdiction," and to deny the competence of the House, as a predominantly English body, to judge him. Mr. Forster's speech did, of course, produce an effect on English opinion, and quotations were often made from it. But as Mr. Parnell could not have refuted many (at least) of its statements, he lost nothing by his refusal to moot them, and his defiance of English opinion both pleased his own friends and made the Englishfec.il the hopelessness of the situation. It wanted a strong will and groat self-command, as well as perfect clearness of view, to hold this line xinder the exasperating challenges of Mr. Forster.
' Mr. Parnell was an extraordinary parliamentary tactician. Nobody except Mr. Gladstone surpassed him, perhaps nobody else equalled him. Mr. Gladstone was the only person he really feared, recognising in him a force of will equal to his own, an even greater fertility of resource/
The Phoenix Park inquiry—the peg upon which Mr. Forster had hung his speech —was soon over. The prisoners were committed for trial. Five were hanged, nine were sent into penal servitude.
Of coxirse the attempt to connect the Irish members with the crime failed utterly.
I had a conversation with Lord Spencer upon this subject, and upon the charge generally that Parnell and the Irish party helped to got up outrages.
He said: ' I never could get any trace that either ho or any of his party were concerned in getting up outrages, and I stated this publicly in a speech at