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80 CHAELES STEWAET PARNELL [1885
newspapers urging him to adopt Home Eule, without, however, intimating in any manner that I had reason to hope for a favourable answer.
When I arrived in Dublin I had immediately a letter from Lord Carnarvon, inviting me and my wife, who had accompanied me to Ireland, to an official dinner at the Castle on an early day, and an immediate conversation at the Viceregal Lodge in the Phoenix Park, where he was then residing. I excused myself from going to the Castle for any purpose; I had promised long ago never to enter its portals till it was occupied by a National Government or a Government in sympathy with the aims of the people, and it would seriously impair my usefulness in conferring with the National party if I accepted Castle hospitalities. But I went immediately to the Viceregal Lodge in the park, and I had a prolonged conversation with Lord Carnarvon on the business which brought me to Ireland.
Lord Carnarvon was not even now prepared to pledge himself to Home Eule, but he was prepared to inquire what specific measure of self-government would satisfy Nationalists, and whether the Protestant and propertied minority could be reconciled to such a claim. He hoped to collect a body of evidence which would enable his colleagues to come to a decision on the question, and he certainly desired that the decision might be a favourable one. He repeatedly said: 'I cannot answer for my colleagues; I can answer for no one but myself. But I will submit to them whatever information I can collect, and report to you frankly what they determine/ I had urged more than once or twice that if the Government would not be prepared to go to the country with a proposal for Home Eule, which I scarcely hoped, they might authorise him to promise