158 GHAELES STEWART PARNELL [1878
He was always the master of himself, and ultimately became the master of us.
' In the spring of 1878, about the time I left the supreme council, the American Fenians sent an agent to London to discuss the question of united action with Parnell. But that part of the story belongs to the Clan-na-Gael. I can only speak of what happened between Parnell and the Clan by hearsay/
The Clan-na-Gael, be it said, was the American branch of the Fenian organisation. The Clan had watched Parnell closely, and wras interested in his operations. The question was what could be done with him. In the Clan-na-Gael, as in the I. E. B., there was a difference of opinion about the advisability of co-operating with the constitutional party. Some of the American leaders were heartily in sympathy with the supreme council of the I. B. B., and believed that it would be a mistake to corng into touch with the Parliamentarians in any way. Parliamentarianism, they said, would fizzle out, as it had always fizzled out; and then, if Fenianism were not kept intact, the people would be left without any political organisation. Let Fenianism—which was based on Nationality, and on nothing but Nationality—keep itself to itself. That, briefly, was the position of the no-alliance party in the Clan-na-Gael. But there was another party, led mainly by Mr. John Devoy, who favoured combined action between the parliamentary and the revolutionary forces. Fenianism, they said, had kept itself to itself far too much all the time. It ought now to mingle with the public life of the country, to interest itself in everything which interested any section of the population. In the old days the farmers had held aloof from Fenianism. Why ?