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

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MT. 43]         THE  ' HISTORIC HANDSHAKE'                229
wood presided. Lord Spencer, Lord Eosebery, and Parnell were present. The Irish leader received a perfect ovation, and when he and Lord Spencer shook hands across Lord Eosebery there was an extraordinary scene of excitement and enthusiasm. ' That was the first time I had met Parnell since his entrance into public life/ says Lord Spencer, 'and then there was what Lord Eosebery called " the historic handshake " between him and me.'
' It was a wonderful scene/ said one who was present. ' But what struck me most was Parnell's indifference to all that went on around him. . He did not appear to be in the least moved by the warmth of his reception. He could not have had a more sympathetic audience, but he seemed not to care whether he was in touch with us or not. The man has no heart, I thought. But he made a speech which I have never forgotten. It was courageous and statesmanlike, and summed up the situation with incisive accuracy/
Parnell, who on rising was received with loud and prolonged cheers, the audience springing to their feet and waving their napkins over their heads, said:
' There is only one way in which you can govern Ireland within the constitution, and that is by allowing her to govern herself in all those matters which cannot interfere with the greatness and well-being of the Empire of which she forms a part. I admit there is another way. That is a way that has not been tried yet. . . . There is a way in which you might obtain at all events some present success in the government of Ireland. It is not Mr. Balfour's bastard plan of a semi-constitutional, a semi-coercive method. You might find among yourselves some great Englishman, or Scotchman, who would go over to Ireland—her parliamentary repre- 2                     t**