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

-&T. 36]              PAKNELL AND DAVITT                      377
Davitt, we know, was the connecting-link with America, and Parnell's policy was to curb, not break with, the American Irish.    Davitt had therefore to be kept by his side, while Davitt's pet scheme of Land Nationalisation had to be flung to the winds. It was in the manipulation of affairs of this nature that Parnell excelled.    In such cases the charm of his personality, the strength of his character told.    He did not conquer you by argument. He threw over you the spell of irresistible fascination, or impressed you with an uneasy sense of relentless authority.    I have said that, ' had Davitt only spoken the word there would probably have been an internecine struggle full of peril to the national interests.*    He did not speak it.    He made no  attempt at revolt.     He tried to convert Parnell to his views.    He failed and submitted.
' Parnell and I differed seriously,' says Davitt, i but we remained fairly good friends almost to the end/
From 1882 onwards there was constant friction between Parnell and the Extremists. Nevertheless he held all the Nationalist forces together; he presented an unbroken front to the common enemy. It is dangerous for an Irish leader to be ' moderate/ He runs the risk of exposing himself to the fatal charge of ' Whiggery.' Yet in his ' moderate' days this charge was never levelled at Parnell. Why ? Simply because he never won, never wished to win, the applause of the British public. Butt's fate was sealed the moment he fell in any degree under English influence, the moment English cheers in the House of Commons became pleasant to his ears. Parnell never fell in the slightest degree under English influence, and he avoided an English cheei; .as a skilful pilot would keep clear of the breakers on a rock-bound coast. He did nothing to