John Redmond's Last Years eBook

Stephen Lucius Gwynn
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 339 pages of information about John Redmond's Last Years.
a creature of instinct; and the associations of his intimate life were all decided in these years.  His affection was given to those who were comrades in this pass of danger.  The only two exceptions to be made are, first and chiefly, Mr. Devlin, who was too young to be actively concerned with politics at the time of Parnell’s overthrow; and, to speak truth, it is not possible to be so closely associated as Redmond was with this lieutenant of his, or to be so long and loyally served by him, and not to undergo his personal attraction.  The other exception is Mr. J.J.  Mooney, who entered Parliament and politics later than the “split,” but whose personal allegiance to Mr. Redmond was always declared.  He acted for long as Redmond’s secretary and always as his counsellor—­for in all the detail of parliamentary business, especially on the side of private bill legislation, the House had few more capable members.  He was perhaps more completely than Mr. Devlin one of the little group of intimates with whom Redmond loved to surround himself in the country.  All the rest were old champions of the fight over Parnell’s body; but by far the closest friend of all was his brother Willie.  Their marriages to kinswomen had redoubled the tie of blood.

It should be noted here that Redmond married for the second time in 1899, after ten years of widowerhood.  His wife was, by his wish and her own, never at all in the public eye.  All that should be said here is that his friends found friendship with him easier and not more difficult than before this marriage, and were grateful for the devoted care which was bestowed upon their leader.  She accompanied him on all his political journeyings, whatever their duration, and gave him in the fullest measure the companionship which he desired.

FOOTNOTES: 

[Footnote 1:  This speech is included in “Home Rule:  Speeches of John Redmond, M.P.,” a volume edited in 1910 by Mr. Barry O’Brien.  It contains also the American addresses quoted in this chapter, and a speech to the Dublin Convention in 1907, quoted in the next.]

CHAPTER II

REDMOND AS CHAIRMAN

I

The Parliament of 1892-5 was barren of results for Ireland, being consumed by factious strife, at Westminster between the Houses and in Ireland between the parties.  With Gladstone’s retirement it seemed as if Home Rule were dead.  But thinking men realized that the Irish question was still there to be dealt with, and approach to solution began along new lines.  When Lord Salisbury returned to power in 1895, Land Purchase was cautiously extended with much success:  the Congested Districts Board, originally established by Mr. Arthur Balfour, was showing good results, and his brother Mr. Gerald Balfour, now Chief Secretary, felt his way towards a policy which came to be described

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