Mi. 31] THE PARLIAMENTARY RECESS 141
said: "Let us go in to this place/' and we went in. But he took little interest in the performance. He sat down in a dreamy state and seemed to me to be half asleep most of the time. But an acrobat soon appeared, and Parnell suddenly woke up. He watched this man all the while, then said to me, " Now, why should that man be tumbling about on the stage and I sitting here ? Why shouldn't I be on the stage and he here ? Chance, just that. You see everything is chance/'
' This seemed to show the democratic strain which ran through the Parnells' character. Aristocratic and autocratic as he was, he couldn't recognise anything but chance in the arrangement of things. The accident of birth was everything.'
Parliament was prorogued on August 14. No measure of any importance had been passed for Ireland. Another year of failure had been added to the record of the Parliamentarians.
Land, education, franchise, all questions great and small were left unsettled; while, as for Home Bule, the ' Times'1 well expressed English public opinion on the subject in the following contemptuous sentences:
1 Parliament will not, cannot grant Home Kule. The mere demand for it lies beyond the range of practical discussion. The utmost favour which the House of Commons can show to its advocates is to listen to them with patience and courtesy once a yoar.'tt England would not legislate for Ireland, nor allow Ireland to legislate for herself; that was the Kiluatiou.
1 Times, April 20,1877.
2 Butt's annual motion for an inquiry into the nuluro, ox tout, and grounds of the demand for Homo Kulc wan rcjoctcul in 1H77 (April 24) by 417 to C7 votes. The following EngliHh mombwH voted for th« motion: Barran (Leeds), Jacob Bright (Manchester), Gowloy (Burner land), Hibbert (Oldham), Lawson' (Carlisle), Mucdoiiuld (Stafford), Philips Bury), Cowen (Newcastle).