*<ET. 33] DEATH OF BUTT 181
ment, and we therefore impress upon the Home Rule members the necessity of increased activity and more regular attendance during the ensuing session." '
Butt defended his policy with much of the old fire and eloquence, and succeeded in defeating the resolution by eight votes.1
He was gratified with the result and left the hall in his usual genial pleasant way, leaning on the arm of a member of the ' forward' party. He never appeared on the political stage again. A short time afterwards he fell seriously ill, and on May 13 sank peacefully to rest.
The founder of the Home Rule movement has to some extent been overshadowed by the remarkable man who was so near bringing that movement to a successful issue. Nevertheless, Isaac Butt will always stand in the front rank of the Irish political leaders of the nineteenth century.
On the collapse of Fenianism there was every danger that Ireland would sink into the slough of Whiggery. Prom any danger of such a calamity he saved her. He created a great national movement, and led it with conspicuous ability and in a true spirit of chivalry. Under his command Ireland sent sixty Home Rule members to the House of Commons, the Irish vote in England was organised, and many English parliamentary candidates were constrained to take the Home Rule pledge. He had, however, the defects of his qualities. He was a scrupulous constitutional leader,
1 Technically, the division was taken on an amendment, proposed by Mr. D. B. Sullivan, to the effect that all reference to Mr. Butt should be omitted, and that merely the resolution passed at the conference of 1878 should be re-affirmed.