320 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1891
and which, although at first sight it appeared to him to be sufficient, after a consultation with me was found to require considerable alteration and modification in order to secure the necessary guarantees regarding the vital points in question.
' You now inform me that a new condition is insisted upon for the continuance of further negotiations—viz. that the question of the sufficiency of the guarantee is to be decided upon by O'Brien apart from me, and in conjunction with I know not whom, that he is to see the draft of the proposed public statement, and that he must bind himself to accept it as satisfactory before it is published, while I am not to be permitted to see it, to judge of its satisfactory character, or to have a voice in the grave and weighty decision which O'Brien and certain unknown persons were thus called upon to give on my behalf as well as his own. I desire to say that I fully recognise the candour which O'Brien has shown in this matter, and the absence of any disposition on his part to depart either from the spirit or the letter of our agreement without my knowledge and consent. It is unnecessary for me to enlarge upon the humiliating and disgraceful position in wrhich this fresh attempt at exaction on the part of the Liberal leaders would seem intended to place me. It suffices to say that my own self-respect—nor, I am confident, that of the Irish people—would permit me to occupy it for a single moment. Besides this consideration, I could not, with any regard for my public responsibility and declarations upon the vital points in reference to which assurances are required, surrender into unknown hands, or eVen. iato the hands of O'Brien, my right as to the sufficiency of those assurances and guarantees. But within the! tWejity hours information of a most startling* vory carefully twid on tlianlurt, than'it^ was a andry to nil} you