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

"112                 CHARLES  STEWART PARNELL            [1877
conduct as any English member. Butt was not present. He was sitting quietly in the smoking-room. Thither several Irish members hastened to tell their leader what was going on, and to urge him to interfere-English members came to him too, and implored him to save the dignity of Parliament and suppress his unruly follower. Butt, after some hesitation, at length yielded to these importunities, rushed into the House flushed with passion and indignation, and pounced on the member for Meath. 'I regret,' he said, 'that the time of the House has been wasted in this miserable and wretched discussion. If at this hour of the night any member really wished to propose a serious amendment, I would support the motion to "report progress," and so also, I think, would the Secretary for War. But when there was no amendment to a number of clauses, I must express my disapproval of the course taken by the hon. member for Meath. It is a course of obstruction, and one against which I must enter my protest. I am not responsible for the member for Meath, and cannot control him. I have, however, a duty to discharge to the great nation of Ireland, and I think I should discharge it best when I say I disapprove entirely of the conduct of the hon. member for Meath.'
This speech was received with ringing cheers from all parts of the House. But how did the member for Meath take his castigation ? He sat calmly, cynically by, watching his leader with a placid smile. Well he knew that the English cheers which greeted Butt only sounded the political death knell of the Home Eule leader. No Irishman who had attacked a comrade in the face of the 'common enemy,' and because he fought the common enemy, could ever again command the