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

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jET. 32]                  THE  CLAST-NA-GAEL                            159
Because Fenianism had held aloof from them. The land question was a vital question ; the Fenians should not leave it wholly in the hands of the Constitutionalists. Every man would not become a Nationalist, because nationality was a high ideal. Most people were not influenced by high ideals. They were influenced by selfish considerations, and these considerations had, unfortunately, to be worked upon. If the Fenians helped the farmers, the farmers would help the Fenians. By co-operating, then, with the 'open movement,' by mingling in the public life of the country, by directing the current of agitation into channels favourable to Fenian expansion, the cause of nationality would best be served. Let the Fenians go into the constitutional movement and keep it on national lines. That was the true policy to follow.
'In the spring of 1878 one of the heads of the Clan-na-Gael, being in London, desired to bring about a meeting between ParneU and some of the Parliamentarians, and himself and some of the most influential among the Fenians. The meeting took place at the Clan-na-G-ael man's lodgings in Craven Street, Strand. There were present Parnell, an Irish member (who, it may as well be said, was selected by the Fenians because he had never been a Fenian and was not open to the fatal fault in their eyes of having taken two conflicting oaths), the chief official of the supreme council, one of the three most prominent Fenians then living, and, of course, the Irish-American gentleman himself. What occurred that night was shortly this. Parnell was mostly silent, but certainly impressively so. The Fenian official scarcely spoke at all, and the Clan-na-Gael man said but little. All the talking, roiighly speaking, was done by Parnell's colleague and the