^ET. 33] A POLICY OF UNION 199
' Sufficient for the day is the work thereof'; that was practically his motto. He saw his way clearly to a given point; he went straight to that point, and then surveyed the situation afresh. ' The critical side of his character is too strongly developed. He can only see difficulties.' This has been said of an English Liberal statesman of our own day. It could not be said of Parnell. No man certainly was so quick in seeing, or rather in judging, difficulties; but neither was any man so adroit, so ready, so resourceful in overcoming them. Difficulties paralyse the mere mail of thought; they nerve the man of action. Parnell had the eye of a general. He took in the whole situation at a glance. He knew when to advance, when to retreat. He divined with the instinct of genius when a position had to be stormed, and when it could be turned with safety.
When the time for action came he made up his mind quickly; he did not hesitate, he did not flinch. His objective now was the union of all Irishmen, not only in Ireland but all over the world, against England. This was a vital point, and he was prepared to do anything, to risk anything, for it. The opinion of the House of Commons was nothing to him. The House, he felt, would give way quickly enough before a united Ireland; and of a united Ireland he thought alone The Irish in America were a great force. It was essential to bring them into line with the Irish at home. The Clan-na-Gael was probably not an immaculate organisation. But was the English Government in Ireland immaculate ? He would avail himself of every power within his reach to attack that Government; and would show exactly the same amount of ' scruple' n dealing with England that England had habitually