Skip to main content

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

See other formats

^ET> 23]                               FENIANISM                                      45
prevailed there gradually disappeared, and Ireland came to have a foremost place in the thoughts of the family. Mrs. Parnell especially took a keen interest in the movement, and did not hesitate to express her views and sympathies in the Government circles in which she moved. Lord Carlisle, the Lord Lieutenant in 1864, was a friend of the Parnell household. Mrs. Parnell, both at his table and at her own, felt no hesitation in condemning British misrule and justifying Irish discontent. In 1865 there was a crisis: the Government swooped down on the ' Irish People/ and arrested the editor and some of the leading members of the staff. State trials, the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, and an abortive insurrection followed. Fenianism was the question of the hour. People thought and spoke of nothing else. The whole empire watched the Fenian trials with interest and anxiety. In the dock the Fenian prisoners demeaned themselves like men of faith, courage, and honesty. They neither faltered nor flinched. Baffled for the moment, they believed that their cause would yet triumph, and they boldly told their judges that they neither repented nor despaired. * You ought to have known,' said Judge Fitzgerald, in passing sentence on O'Leary, ' that the game you entered upon was desperate—hopeless.'
O'Leary. 'Not hopeless/
Judge. 'You ought further to have known that insurrection in this country or revolution in this country meant not insurrection alone, but that it meant a war of extermination/
O'Leary. 'No such thing/
Judge. ' You have lost/
O'Leary. ' For the present/
Judge. ' It is my duty to announce to you that the