1SB CHARLES STEWABT PARNELL [1886
We then parted. As I left the club he said : •' Good-bye ; I wish I was on your side. I have been on the Irish side all my life, and now at the end of my life I do not like even to appear to be against you; but I cannot vote for this Bill. I have not spoken against it. I do not know that I will speak. against it, but (a pause) that is on account of Mr. Gladstone. My personal regard for him may prevent me from taking any part in the discussion.'
He said no more, and I came away. But liis opposition to the Bill did not weaken the affectionate regard in which I had ever held him; nor do I cherish, his memory the less now because he was not on the Irish side in the memorable struggle of twelve years ago. If; he went wrong then, I cannot forget that for the best part of his public life Ireland had no stauhcher friend in this country.
Two days after our conversation Mr. Bright declared publicly against Home Eule.
Writing to a friend in Birmingham on May 31 he said: ' My sympathy with Ireland, north and south, compels me to condemn the proposed legislation. I believe a united Parliament can and will be more just to all classes in Ireland than any Parliament that can meet in Dublin under the provisions of Mr. Gladstone's Bill. If Mr. Gladstone's great authority were withdrawn from these Bills,1 I doubt if twenty persons outside the Irish party would support them. The more I consider them, the more I lament that they have been offered to Parliament and the country/
While the debate on the second reading was proceeding rumours were afloat that the Government
1 The Home Kule Bill and the Land Bill. days ago—he does not know I saw it—a very long letter. I was much interested in it. I should like toy threw it over. * Whilepay it backuld legislate!?'ll had risen to in n shorter timo than I now take to tell the Htory. Whenoin Mr, (*lml**tunr,* Nr\t <luy tht*