.Mr. 20] 'THE TIMES1 ON IRELAND 87
who could hold the floor for four hours at a stretch when business had to be prevented.
Parnell from the outset seems to have thought that the atmosphere of the J louse of Commons was fatal to Irish activity, and that a healthy and vigorous public opinion in the country was absolutely necessary to save the. Irish representation from inertia and collapse. lie did nothing during the. session of LS75 which fixed the' public*, attention on him ; but it is abundantly clear thali even then he had resolved on his line, and that he only waited the opportunity to lake it. His faith was net in mere Parlianienlarianisui, but in forces outside, stronger than Parliamontarianism, which ho determined (o influence, and by whose, help ho hoped to dominate (he parliamentary army. ,Krom the moment he first thought seriously of politics he saw, as if by instinct, that Keniauism was the. key of Irish Nation-nlity ; and if be could or would not have, the, key in Iris hand, he was certainly resolved never to let it otit of bin night. We shull therefore sew him as the years roll by standing on the verge of treason-felony, but with marvellous dexterity always preventing himself from slipping over. Perhaps this was the secret of his power. But the year 1H75 ended without that power being revealed, or, indeed, oven dreamt of. !No one saw into the future. On the surface. Ireland was tranquil; there seemed no signs of coming storm in any part of the political hori/on ; all was apparently quiet, peaceful, prosperous. The "Dublin correspondent of the 'Times1 Hummed up the situation thus: 'The present circumstances of Ireland may be briefly Bummed up in the statement that at no period of her history did she appear more tranquil, more free from serious crime, more prosperous and contented, Hut few of the dis-