44 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1869
the rebellion of 1798 from the peasants in the neighbourhood, but the effect of these stories was transient.
How came Parnell, then, to turn his attention to Irish affairs ? He has himself answered this question. He has told us that it was the Fenian movement that first awakened his interest in Ireland.
Most of my readers know that about the year 1859 two men who had taken part in the Young Ireland risingóJohn O'Mahony and James Stephensóformed a political organisation for the purpose of separating Ireland from England and of establishing an Irish republic. This organisation, called by its founders and members the Irish Eevolutionary Brotherhood, was popularly known as the Fenian Society. It grew steadily in numbers and influence. Fenian bodies were scattered throughout Ireland, Scotland, England, and America, and within five years of its formation it had already become a power in the land.
In 1863 a Fenian newspaper, the ' Irish People,' was founded, under the management of John O'Leary, assisted by Thomas Clarke Luby and Charles Kick-ham. Its office was within a stone's-throw of Dublin Castle, and there, under the very shadow of the authorities, it preached week by week a crusade of insurrection and war. Among the contributors to the ' Irish. People ' was a handsome young girl, who used to come to the office accompanied by a tall lanky youth. Entering the editor's room, she would place her ' copyJ in his hands and depart. The ' copy' generally consisted of some stirring verses which breathed a spirit of treason and revolt. The girl was Miss Fanny Parnell, and the youth her brother John. Fenianism soon invaded Avondale. The political indifference which had hitherto