160 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1878
prominent Fenian, with the result that after much argument things remained very much as they had been at the beginning, the M.P. producing little or no effect upon the possibly too uncompromising Fenian, and the Fenian probably producing no effect whatever on the M.P. In fact the chasm between them was too wide to be overleaped. What effect either, or anything that occurred, produced upon Parnell it would be hard to say; but most certainly Parnell, silent as he was, and possibly somewhat because of his silence, produced a very great effect upon everyone present. The Clan-na-Gael man met the M.P. some days after, and, no doubt, Parnell more than once. The prominent Fenian also had a long talk with Parnell some short time afterwards, without their coming any nearer to each other in policy, though then, as before and ever after, this Fenian was strongly impressed by the striking personality of Parnell.'l
Parnell had, as we have seen, the strongest sympathies with Fenianism, but he was resolved not to be managed by the Fenians—nor, indeed, by any force whatever. He believed profoundly in Fenian help, but saw the danger of Fenianism swamping the constitutional movement. His policy was to keep Parlia-mentarianism well in front, and to mass the Revolutionists behind it. The Fenians were to be his reserves. He certainly had no objection to an alliance between Fenianism and Constitutionalism, but he was determined that he should be master of the alliance. ' A true revolutionary movement in Ireland/ he said publicly, 'should, in my opinion, partake both of a constitutional and illegal character. It should be both an open and a secret organisation, using the constitu-
1 TMs account has been given to me by one who was present. Mr. " Martin " (ante, p. 65) was at this Craven Street meeting.