21 AUGUST 1886, Page 5


eetings,—or shall we call them acts of a which began in Chicago this day week rehearsal of the main interest of the melo- unter between Congressman Finerty and will be very little more than a development es sown by the more celebrated Congress at which Mr. Parnell himself announced the hich he has since so disingenuously attempted he avowal. It was he who in February, 1880, e which Mr. Davitt now finds it so embar- eal with,—that Irishmen would never rest till " the which binds Ireland to England was broken. And tunately for Mr. Davitt, is the attitude which pays .a. Orations like those of Congressman Finerty bring ash, while orations of the pacific school, like those THE series of melodrama with a prelimina drama,—the e Michael Davitt of the difficu Cincinnati, i doctrines of to repudiat took the rassing to last link ' that, un in Ame in the of Mr. Davitt and Mr. Devoy, do not produce the same effect in drawing subscriptions to the common purse. For it is a common purse after all, whether Congressman Finerty roars, or whether Dr. Wallace argues. Whatever the Irish-American gives, some- how swells the fund of which Mr. Parnell disposes. And this Mr. Parnell knows so well, that the testimonial silver service which has been this week presented to Mr. Patrick Egan,— formerly at all events the representative of the roaringest of all the roarers among the war party,—was accompanied by an illuminated address signed by Mr. Parnell, Mr. O'Brien, Mr. M'Carthy, and Mr. Davitt himself, and, in fact, all the leaders of what is now called the moderate party. Nothing can show more convincingly that the split between the two parties at the Chicago Convention, is a split for show rather than a split of real meaning. It has become theatrically necessary that Mr. Parnell shall now drop the language which he is proved to have used in 1880, and that he shall assume to frown on it, as he did by conveniently forgetting a few months ago that he had ever used it, and by sending out Mr. Davitt to try to look angry when Congressman Finerty hectors in his usual fashion. But after all, Mr. Parnell knows well that he cannot dispense with the violent orators ; so he signs illu- minated addresses to the most conspicuous of these heroes with one hand, and with the other gesticulates horror when the views of Mr. Finerty are expressed in public. It is all a melodrama, as no one knows better than the Irish

National League itself. They must have their peace party to encourage Mr. Gladstone, and they must have their war party to bring in the money ; and while the two affect to quarrel with each other in public, every one knows that it is all a farce ; that Mr. Parnell himself has acted both parts willingly enough, and is prepared to act both again ; that if he was determined to "break the last link" between England and Ireland six years ago, and is willing now to accept as final Mr. Gladstone's offer, it will be just as easy for him to repu- diate his " final " acceptance of that offer six years hence, as it was to repudiate a few months ago that deliberate deter- mination to " break the last link ' between England and Ireland which he announced at Cincinnati in 1880. These Irish politicians must not be taken very seriously. Mr. Parnell himself, when he first inaugurated the Land League, explained that he would not have taken off his coat to deal with the land question if he had not believed that that was the best way to pro- mote the success of the political agitation for the repeal of the Union. That probably was the sincerest speech he ever made, though it is a hazardous thing to select the sincerest speech from among the speeches of a man who plays habitually so double

a political game as Mr. Parnell. But, so far as we can judge, Mr. Parnell is sincere in intending to do all he can to break the bond between England and Ireland, and has been heartily sincere in little else. A leader who sends out an envoy to protest against Mr. Patrick Egan and his allies, and who joins that very envoy in acknowledging Mr. Egan's great services in an illuminated address, cannot be surprised if the public select rather arbitrarily, on evidence not intentionally furnished by himself, to which of his more important state- ments they will attach credit as representing his real mind, and to which they will attach none.

Amidst the scenes of this unreal and melodramatic quarrel which has gone on at Chicago for the benefit of the various Irish parties in the United States, tome of whom have their eye fixed chiefly on the elections in that country, some on the best means of bringing in subscription!, and very few, we fear, —in the Congress at least,—on any red benefit that they can do to Ireland,—we in Great Britain ought to remember that our chief strength lies in keeping steadily in view the two per- manent grounds which justify us in refusing all these wild demands,—first, that with a divided Ireland, it can only injure Ireland to give her up to civil war ; next, tlat so far as regards Great Britain, nothing can be so mischievois as to enter once more on a quasi-international relation to Inland in which we cannot possibly be of any benefit to her, and n which we may be of the greatest possible mischief. The insncerity and un- reality which break up the Irish-Americans inta so many atti- tudinising parties, betray their real weakness. ['he simplicity and tenacity with which we stand to our unassaiable position, will be our strength. Nothing the Chicago orators can say or do, can for a moment weaken the effect of the Belfast riots in showing to the world what would happen if Ireland were really left to be governed by an Executive of Nationalists. Nothing the Chicago orators can say or do, can havetny effect except to make it clear to every reasonable intellee that an Irish Parliament more or less influenced by the power which now prevail at Chicago,—and certain to be a good deal irfluenced by them,—would render the relations between Great Britain and Ireland intolerable, and make it quite necessary for any strong Government here to choose at once between a restoration of the Union, and complete separation. Now, so far as we cau judge, it is quite as hard to bring the Irishmen to utter the word Separation' seriously, as it is the Englishmen. Directly they begin to realise what it means for Ireland to have a Navy and Army of her own, to depend only on her own rescurces in times of famine, as well as to be responsible for the order of the people of Ireland, they shrink into themselves, and say that that is not what they desire at all. Very well, then, let them choose between the two alternatives,—Separation, that is, complete independence of Great Britain ; and Union, with complete dependence on Great Britain. It is absurd to cry out on us because we reject as abso- lutely intolerable to us the notion of a compromise in which there would be more seeds of future disorder than even in the arrangements of the past. These melodramatic expressions of hatred and animosity are all very well ; but do they mean what they say ? Do the Irish really wish to have the last link broken ? If they do, why do they ignore the very word ' Separation $' That would at least leave Great Britain tolerably strong, and would weight Ireland with the full respon- sibility which is the only thing that can steady such a State as that. But that is, we believe, the true reason why the word is never spoken. It would mean too much. It would be used not for the effects of a melodrama, but for a serious purpose.

The strength of our position consists in this,—that we acknowledge fully to ourselves the truth of the situation ; that we admit the seriousness of the agrarian problem, which we believe, indeed, to be at the bottom of everything, and to have been Mr. Parnell's only effective instrument ; that we recognise the dislike of the Irish for us, and the justification of that dislike ; that we are determined, so far as we can, to remove that justification ; but most of all, that we are not going to give ourselves to any play-acting such as has been going on at Chicago, and that while we resolutely maintain the Union, and so long as it is possible will work away at removing the grievances which prevent a true Union, we will keep steadily in view that if this policy is really to fail, and to fail after full trial, then the remedy would not be a miserable compromise, full of the potentialities of worse and more serious quarrels, but a sober Separation, which would give both England and Ireland complete freedom from those irritating relations which have poisoned the history of so many hundred years. Let us leave melodrama to the American-Irish.