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

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148                CIIAKLES STEWART PARNELL            [1877
porters to dislodge us. The coal-porters generally had the place of honour in these processions since O'ConnelTs time. In fact they used to be called "O'Connell's bodyguard." Well, so far as we were concerned we did not want a front place ; we dropped into the place as much by accident as anything else. The coal-porters came forward in great numbers. When they saw us with our banners flying, " Liverpool Home Rule Branch," " Manchester Home Rule Branch," and so forth, and at the head of all an amnesty car with the words " Freedom for the Political Prisoners," they simply cheered us and fell in, in the rear. Then P. J. Smyth—as a protest, I suppose, against our insubordination—swooped down on us with a number of men, and cut the traces of the amnesty car, and drove off the horses. Then I saw Parnell for the first time. He dashed to the front with a number of others—O'Connor Power was there and a lot more—and they seized the traces and dragged the car forward themselves, while we all cheered heartily. We then got to the place in Sackville Street where the centenary address was to be delivered. Lord O'Hagan had written the address. But we objected to his reading it. We said O'Hagan was a Whig, and the proper person to address us was Butt, the Home Rule leader. Butt could not be found, whereupon [X.] went off and discovered Butt at the Imperial Hotel, brought him along at once, and then he addressed us from the platform. So altogether the Irish in England asserted themselves pretty firmly. But we had plenty of sympathisers in Dublin. The Dublin Fenians and- the Fenians from the country of course stuck by our Fenians. Afterwards we adjourned to the Imperial Hotel, where we all talked