32 CHARLES STEWAKT PARNELL [1846
BIKTH AND EABLY DAYS
Dublin to Eathdrum is a pleasant run of an hour and a half by the Dublin, Wicklow, and Wexford Eailway along the edge of the sea. Eathdrum is a neat little village, the centre for visiting the Vale of Avoca, Glendalough, and other scenes of infinite beauty in the county of Wicklow.
Avondale lies close by, and thither one day in the September of 1896 I drove to visit the home of Parnell.
The one pervading influence of this beautiful spot is melancholy. Perhaps it is difficult to dissociate the place from the sorrowful memories wThich linger around the name of its late owner. But, however that may be, a feeling of sadness and gloom possessed me as I drove up the avenue leading to the house—a spacious, even in some measure a noble, residence. There was an appearance of neglect—a look, indeed, as if death had been there, and as if his shadow still overhung the stricken home.
As I alighted I was met at the door by the present owner, Mr. John Parnell—a quiet, courteous, hospitable, kindly gentleman. He, too, looked sad and thoughtful, and there was for a moment in his eyes that far-away look which those wTho knew Charles Stewart Parnell will never forget