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46                 CHARLES STEWART PAENELL             [1885
estimate your powers ?' He answered : ' No ; I could not explain to you what a strain it is to have to fight him. I know it. I have fought him, and am ready to fight him again; but he knows more moves on the board than I do/ He then paused; an Irish member entered from the Terrace. Parnell, shaking the ashes from a cigar, looked at him, adding quickly, with an arch smile, 'But he thinks he is a match for Mr. Gladstone.3
Man for man, Parnell would rather have Mr. Gladstone on his side than anyone in England. Party for party, he preferred the Tories to the Liberals. * The Tories,' he said, ' can carry a Home Eule Bill •through the Lords. Can the Liberals ?' Hoping to convert the Tories, he believed nevertheless that Mr. Gladstone would in the end outstrip all competitors in the race for the Irish vote. The greatest parliamentary tactician of the age, the chances were he would out-manoeuvre every antagonist. He might even out-manoeuvre Parnell himself. Still the course of the Irish leader was perfectly clear. He had to threaten Mr. Chamberlain with Lord Eandolph Churchill, and Mr. Gladstone with both, letting the whole world know meanwhile that his weight would ultimately be thrown into the scale which went down upon the side of Ireland. His first move was against the Government. He wished to make the Liberals feel the power of the Irish vote. That could be done by beating them with the Irish vote.
On May 15 Mr. Gladstone announced the determination of the Cabinet to renew the Crimes Act.1 The
1 Mr. Gladstone's Cabinet had decided, according to the account given by the Prime Minister,' with the Queen's permission,' to abandon the coercion clauses of the Act, but to invest the Viceroy by statute with power to enforce, wherever and whenever necessary, the 'Procedureillion voices that the