^Bx. 32] THE PARLIAMENTARY MACHINE 161
tion for its own purposes, but also taking advantage of its secret combination/ l
At this time another attempt was made to draw him into the ranks of the I. E. B. A Fenian agent was once more deputed to call on him, and ask him to join the organisation. He again refused firmly. * I think/ he said, ' I can do good with the parliamentary machine. I mean to try it, at all events. Purely physical-force movements have always failed in Ireland/ The Fenian reminded him that purely constitutional movements had always failed too. Parnell agreed, saying: ' But I do not want to break up your movement. On the contrary, I wish it to go on. Collect arms, do everything that you are doing, but let the open movement have a chance too. We can both help each other, but I am sure I can be of more use in the open movement/ On another occasion he said to another Fenian: 'I am sure I can do something with the parliamentary machine. I cannot explain how I am going to do it, but I am quite satisfied I can do it. I see my way clearly/
Despite the attitude of the leaders of the I. E. B., Parnell was gaining some influence over the rank and file of the society. I asked the official of the Home Eule Confederation of Great Britain from whom I have already quoted2 how far the F.enians were helping the Home Eule movement in England in 1878 and 1879. He said : ' The leaders opposed us, but the rank and file were divided. Some supported us, others did nothing. When there was nothing particular doing, very few of the Fenians troubled themselves about us. But when there was something special afoot—a parliamentary election, a municipal
1 New York Herald, January 2, 1880. 2 Ante, p. 145.
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