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

JKr. 31]                         ' AT PLAY'                                   139
these two sovereigns.'* Well, I laughed at the notion; but he was so earnest that I went off to the band. The bandmaster was a German. I did not ask him to play " God save Ireland," for I knew he would not understand it. But I asked him to play " Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are marching," which is the same tune. He said : " Oh, now we have played ' God save the Queen ' it is all over." I explained to him that "Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are marching" was very appropriate, and that O'Leary, who had won, was anxious to hear it. The German smiled at this, and seemed to think there was something in it. At the same time I slipped four sovereigns into his hand (two from myself as well as Parnell's two), and the band immediately struck up "Tramp, tramp," &c., to the delight of Parnell and to the bewilderment of everybody else. I remember Sir John Astley was there, and he was very vexed/
' Had Parnell any sense of humour ? '
X. 'Oh, yes, he had, but it was very peculiar. He would never laugh at the ordinary good story. In fact, you never could tell what would exactly amuse him. Certain things used to tickle him very much, though other people used not to see much fun in them. For instance, John Barry and Garrett Byrne, two of the stoutest men of the Irish party, were "paid off" on one occasion to " schedule " the distressed districts. Parnell used to smile immoderately at this (he never laughed outright). "Look," he would say, "at the tellers for the distressed districts," and he would enjoy the joke very quietly to himself. His face used quite to beam at the idea when he would see Barry or Byrne, fat and well favoured, walking across the lobby. There was a farmer in County "Wicklow named Codd