138 CHARLES STEWAET PARNELL [1877
Then lie was delightful to do business with: so quick, so ready, so clear-headed, and never in doubt about anything which ought to be done. He was a great man of action/
' Was he at this time pleasant, genial, sociable ?' X. ' Pleasant, certainly, but genial, sociable— scarcely. All the pleasure was in doing business with him. He was always at his best when dealing with practical questions. In general conversation he drooped, I think he hated talking. However, I have seen Parnell " at play." One evening coming from the House of Commons, in April 1877,1 said: " Mr. Parnell, do you ever go to places of amusement? " ."Oh, yes, sometimes," he said; "would you like to go to any place now? " I said, " Yes; let us go to the theatre." "Oh, no," said he, "let us go and see Dan O'Leary walk." l And we went to the Agricultural Hall to see the walking match between O'Leary and Weston. Parnell took a keen interest in the match, but the interest was centred entirely in O'Leary. O'Leary won and Parnell was highly pleased. The band struck up " God save the Queen " as soon as the match was over. " What nonsense! " said Parnell, " why, it ought to be ' God save Ireland' in honour of Dan O'Leary —the man who won. Make them play ' God save Ireland/ " I said that was impossible ; that it was the custom of the country to play "God .save the Queen" at the end of these entertainments. "Oh, nonsense! " said he, " they must compliment the man who won, that's only fair. Tell them to play 'God save Ireland '; explain the reason. Here, give them
1 Dan O'Leary was a native of Cork and a naturalised citizen of the United States. In April 1877 there was a great walking match between him and Weston (an American), at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, for 10002., or 500i5. aside. The match lasted six days and O'Leary won.