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

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156                CHARLES STEWART PARNELL            [1878
Confederation of Great Britain, drew some of the Fenians into it, and made Parnell president. The difficulties which X. had to encounter from the beginning in reconciling Fenianism with Parliamentarianism in any shape or form much increased in 1878. I shall, however, let him tell his story in his own way:
' I was always opposed by a party on the supreme council who wished to have nothing whatever to do with the Parliamentarians. They wished the Fenians to remain within their own lines, to go on collecting arms, drilling, keeping alive the separatist spirit, watching, waiting, preparing. They believed in a policy of open warfare. Parliamentarianism, they said, was bound, sooner or later, to undermine the secret movement. I had no objection to the policy of open warfare, but open warfare seemed a long way off, and here was a new field of activity, which ought not to be neglected. Our great idea was to keep the spirit of nationality alive. This could always be done by fighting England. In Parnell we had a man who hated England, and who was ready and able to fight her at every available point. I thought that such a man ought to be given his head. He had asked for a fair trial, and I felt he was entitled to it. However, in the spring of 1878 there was a crisis.
c The supreme council—which was the governing body of the Fenians on this side of the Atlantic— consisted of eleven members. It is an open secret that Kickham was a member of the supreme council, and the most important man among us. Well, Kickham was dead against any alliance with the Parliamentarians. He believed that contact with them was demoralising, and that Parliamentarianism was nothing more nor less than an Anglicising influ-