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--ET. 30] THE ENGLISH LEADERS 45
Mr. Forster. Would they combine to carry Home llule ? No member of the Cabinet was more advanced on Irish questions than the Radical leader. He had prepared a scheme of self-government which gave the Irish everything but a Parliament. He had always considered, and even at times consulted, the Irish party on Irish subjects. He kept in touch with the Nationalists when his colleagues in the Cabinet shunned them as pariahs. He disbelieved in the policy of coercion. He was fully in sympathy with a policy of redress and reform. Assuredly, if there were any English politician with whom Parnell might be expected to cultivate cordial relations, it was with Mr. Chamberlain. Yet as the crisis approached he kept the member for Birmingham at arm's length.
Mr. Healy and Mr. Chamberlain saw a good deal of each other in those days. On one occasion Mr. Chamberlain asked Mr. Healy to dine with him in order to have a talk about Ireland. Mr. Healy asked ParneH's permission. Parnell said, ' No/ angrily, and showed very clearly that he did not desire the continuance of friendly relations between the two men. In fact, .Parnell seems to have made up his mind that Mr. Chamberlain would go to the verge of Home llule and stop there. Ho would make the running for Mr. Gladstone. Ho could be relied on to that extent, but no more.
Mr. Gladstone remained. Parnell had no love for Mr. Gladstone. J Jut he regarded every person in public life in England as an intellectual pigmy compared to the Grand Old Man. ' Ah,7 he once said to me in the Smoking-room of the House of Commons, f you do not know what it is to fight Mr. Gladstone. I am no match for him.' I said: c Don't you think you under- ought to address;ght to fix the boundary of the march of a nation. No man has a right totforms by a million voices that the