140 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1877
Nicholas Codd; he was popularly called Nicky Codd. He had a dispute with his landlord. He offered the landlord a reduced rent, which the landlord would not accept. An ambassador was sent to Nicky to see if a compromise could be arranged. " But suppose, Mr. Codd," said the ambassador, "that the landlord insists on not accepting your offer, is there not some alternative/' " Yes," said Nicky, " there is." The ambassador was satisfied. He thought that they would at length arrive at a modus vivendi. " What is the alternative, Mr. Codd?" said he. "He may go to hell," said Nicky. I told this story to Parnell and it tickled him greatly. Afterwards, whenever he was engaged in negotiations himself, and whenever he made an offer which was refused, he would say, " Very well; they can take Nicky Codd's alternative." Nicky Codd's alternative became quite a saying of his.'
Another informant, one of Parnell's obstructive colleagues in the House of Commons, corroborates, more or less, X.'s statement about Parnell's 'social qualities.' This gentleman also said that Parnell was rather 'pleasant than genial, or sociable, though he always had a charm of manner which made him a most agreeable companion. We [the obstructives] used to dine together at Gatti's in the Strand. He certainly did not contribute much to the " fun " of the meeting. He never told a good story, he was not a good conversationalist in any sense, but he was appreciative and a splendid listener. We all talked around him, and he seemed to enjoy the conversation while taking little part in it. He was only " on the spot" when something had to be done. One evening he and I were walking along Oxford Street (I think). We passed a music-hall. He looked at the people going in and