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

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368                CHARLES  STEWART PAIttsELL        '     [1882
his authority or that of the Irish party. The result was the enactment of the perpetual Coercion Act of 1887 and the eviction of many tenants, whose fate deeply affected the Irish party in their decision in Room 15 against Mr. FarneU's leadership. Strangest of all, in view of his premonitions, is the fact that it was in the month of October that he died so unexpectedly in 1891. A belief that a particular month might be " influential" would probably react with depressing effect on physical health at the critical period, and thus weaken the resisting power at that time. Nevertheless, the stoutest disbeliever in unseen influence will deem the coincidences noteworthy.
1 On this Sunday of October 1882, while I worked away at the draft constitution of the National League in Morrison's Hotel, the sick man lay with his face to the wall, replying composedly now and again as to the points which remained to be settled in it. I wrote at a table by his bedside, on which four candles stood lighted. Hours passed by, and being engrossed in the work I did not heed the fact that one of the candles was burning to the socket and finally spluttered itself out. A Htir from the patient aroused me, and I looked up. With astonishment I saw that Mr. Parnell had turned round, raised himself in the bed, and, leaning over my table, was furiously blowing out one of the remaining candles. " What on earth is that for ? " said I, amazed at this performance. "I want more light than that.'' His eyes gleamed weirdly in their pale setting as he answered: "Don't you know that nothing is more unlucky than to have three candles burning ? " Almost petrified, I confessed that I did not. " Your constitution, then, would have been very successful/' said he with quiet sarcasm, and he turned his face to the wall