Skip to main content

Full text of "The Life Of Charles Stewart Parnell - Ii"

See other formats

,Ei. 40]      REJECTION OF HOME HULE BILL            155
of all future generations that England and her Parliament, in this nineteenth century, were wise enough, brave enough, and generous enough to close the strife of centuries, and to give peace and prosperity to suffering Ireland.'
'England and her Parliament' were not 'wise enough/ 'brave enough/ or 'generous enough' to close the ' strife of centuries' by accepting Mr. Gladstone's Bill. It was rejected in a full House by 343 to 313 votes. A Dissolution immediately followed, and in July the three kingdoms were once more in the whirl of a general election. In December 1885 the Liberals had gone to the country denouncing Parnell and the Irish. In July 1886 they went to the country in alliance with Parnell and the Irish. This extraordinary revolution was due to the genius and character of a single man— Mr. Gladstone. Liberals indeed there were—a mere handful—who had given in their adhesion to Home Rule before the conversion of Mr. Gladstone, but the bulk of the Liberal party had yielded to the personal influence and authority of the Liberal leader. Parnell had conquered Mr. Gladstone; Mr. Gladstone conquered the Liberal party.
While the election was pending it occurred to me that in the changed condition of affairs some effort ought to be made to educate the English constituencies. One day Mr. George Meredith had said to me : ' Why is not something done to inform the public mind on Home Rule ? I admit the necessity of agitation, but you want something besides. Having blazed- on the English lines with the artillery of agitation, you ought now to charge them with the cavalry of facts.' I made my proposal first to Mr. Davitt. He cordially accepted it. ''Parnell/ he said,' has neglected the English democracy.ill ho told for the admirationor              a                   put on their trial) ; youw take to tell the Htory. Whenoin Mr, (*lml**tunr,* Nr\t <luy tht*