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Full text of "The Life Of Charles Stewart Parnell Vol - I"

DEATH  OF  SIR  II.  PARNELL                  15
pendent views and a sturdy spirit. At first interesting himself chiefly in Irish and financial questions, he soon pushed forward along the whole line of Liberal reform. He advocated the extension of the franchise and vote by ballot, the shortening of Parliaments, the repeal of the corn laws, and a rigorous policy of retrenchment in all public departments. Nearly half a century later his grand-nephew took a leading part in the agita-. tion for the abolition of flogging in the army. But Sin Henry anticipated the movement, and, in. office and out of office, condemned the lash with uncompromising hostility. Like his father, he was no orator, but a plain, businesslike, matter-of-fact speaker, who, however, possessed a complete mastery of every subject on ^vhich he touched, and was always listened to with attention and respect. His appearance in the House of Commons is thus described by a contemporary authority : ' Sir Henry Parnell is a respectable, but by no, means a superior, speaker. He has a fine clear voice,: but he never varies the key in which he commences., He is, however, audible in all parts of the House. His utterance is well timed, and he appears to speak with great ease. He delivers his speeches in much the same way as if he were repeating some pieces of writing he had committed to his memory in his schoolboy years., His gesticulation is a great deal too tame for his speeches-to produce any effect. He stands stock still, except when he occasionally raises and lets fall his right hand.. Even this he does in a very gentle manner. What he* excels in is giving a plain, luminous statement of complex financial matters. In this respect he has no superior. Sir Henry is gentlemanly in his, appearance; so is he also in reality. His manners are highly courteous. His stature is of the middle size, rather inclining to