118 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1886
the question of Irish government in a Just and liberal spirit. This wise and generous suggestion met with no response from the Prime Minister, who had, indeed, now made up his mind not to touch the Irish question on any account.
On January 12, 1886, Parliament met. An English Eadical was deputed by one of Mr. Gladstone's friends to sound Parnell on the situation ; to see how much, or how little, he would take. This Eadical was authorised to show a copy of the Hawarden pronunciamento to the Irish leader, but enjoined not to part with it. ' I showed him the paper/ said the Eadical, ' one evening in the House of Commons. He glanced hurriedly over
- it, then coolly folded it and put it into his pocket. " Oh," I said, " you cannot do that. I have been told not to let the paper out of my hand." "Do you suppose," replied Parnell, "that I can give you an answer now on so serious a matter. I must take this paper away, and read it carefully. Then I shall be able to tell you what I think." So saying he buttoned up his coat and walked off. Some days later he saw the Eadical again, and said that if Mr. Gladstone brought in a Bill upon the lines foreshadowed in the paper, which was really a forecast of the Home Eule Bill of 188G, the Irish would support it.J
On January 26 the Government declared war against Parnell. Lord Randolph Churchill announced in the House of Commons that a Bill would immediately be introduced to suppress the Land League. The Irish alliance was no longer of any use, and Ministers made " a virtue of necessity and repudiated it. ' I will only say,' exclaimed Parnell a year later, ' that history will not record a more disgraceful and unscrupulous volte-
• face than that executed by the Tory party when theytUltul Mi\ Mt»rlry» ' if tlii.** U* tnir I will !.*tvnk \\ith CUmialu*rhtin un«l join Mr, (*lml**tunr,* Nr\t <luy tht*