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

lH)i                CHARLES  STEWART PARNELL             [1881
* When   in   doubt, do   nothing/   was   one   of   Lord Melbourne's   wise   maxims.    Parnell   resolved  to  do nothing for the present.    Before the first and second reading  of   the Bill   the   Easter   recess   intervened. During  that  time   he   kept  his  own counsel.    The general impression was, however,  that he meant to support the Bill.   ' People whispered: ' Parnell will take the moderate line, he will accept the Bill.'    A clique of Parliamentarians prepared to undermine his authority. A convention was summoned in Dublin to consider the situation.    Like Parnell, the convention decided to do nothing.    Every member of Parliament was to be left free to take any course he pleased, thus  leaving the question still open.    The second reading of the Bill was fixed for the 25th of April.
A few days previously the parliamentary party met to consider  finally  what  course  should be pursued.
* We were all assembled on the appointed day,' says tin Irish member.    'As usual, Parnell was not up to time, which gave an opportunity to the malcontents to grumblo.    At length ho arrived, walked straight to the chair, of course, made no apology for being late, sat down, then rose immediately and said: " Gentlemen, [  don't know   what   your view on  this   question is. I am against voting  for the second reading of the Bill.    We have not considered it carefully.   We must not make ourselves responsible for it.     Of course I do not want to force my views upon anybody, but I feel  so  strongly  on the  subject  that if   a majority of the party differ from me 1 shall resign at once." This \va,s a thunderbolt.    It took us all by surprise. The clique who were plotting against Parnell looked perfect fools.    He had trumped their card.    There was dead silence.    "I now move," said  Parnell, "that we