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52 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [I860
ParnelTs favourite pastime was cricket. He became captain of the Wicklow Eleven, and threw himself with zest into the game. A strict disciplinarian, always bent on victory, and ever ready to take advantage of every chance (which the rules allowed) to outwit his opponents, reserved, uncompromising, self-willed, he was obeyed and trusted rather than courted or liked.
' Before Mr. Pamell entered politics,' says one who knew him in those days, ' he was pretty well known in the province of Leinster in the commendable character of cricketer. We considered him ill-tempered and a little hard in his conduct of that pastime. For example, when the next bat was not up to time, Mr. Pamell, as captain of the fielders, used to claim a wicket. Of course he was within his right in doing so, but his doing it was anything but relished in a country where the game is never played on the assumption that this rule will be enforced. In order to win a victory he did not hesitate to take advantage of the strict letter of the law. On one occasion a match was arranged between the Wicklow team and an eleven of the Phoenix Club, to be played on the ground of the latter in the Phoenix Park. Mr. Parnell's men, with great trouble and inconvenience, many of them having to take long drives in the early morning, assembled on the ground. A dispute occurred between Mr. Parnell and the captain of the Phoenix team. The Wicklow men wished their own captain to give in, and let the match proceed. Mr. Parnell was stubborn, and, rather than give up his point, marched his growling eleven back. That must have been a pleasant party so returning without their expected day's amusement, but the Captain did not care. In later years Mr. Parnell used