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every portion of such a Bill, and, backed up by his fellow-Obstructives, he is able to cause prolonged discussions in Committee, not only upon every clause, but almost upon every line. This is the course he has pursued with regard to the Army Discipline Bill. He has wearied the House; he has obstructed the progress of business; he has irritated Ministers and their supporters; but he has infringed no rule of Parliament, whilst he has undoubtedly brought to light many flaws in the Government measure, and has led to its being improved in many important respects.

Thus he has succeeded, by merely doing his work well with regard to a single Bill, in demonstrating the fact that the House of Commons cannot possibly do all that it is now required to do. If he had contented himself during his Parliamentary career with pursuing this policy, it is possible -though I hardly dare to say that it is

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probable—that he would never have incurred the odium from which he now suffers. But, at the outset of his life in the House of Commons, he set himself somewhat ostentatiously in opposition to the conventional usages of that assembly. He had not then mastered its rules so thoroughly as he has since done, and he was in consequence constantly coming into collision with the Speaker and the majority of Members. Thus he gained for himself an unenviable notoriety, and created that bitter feeling of antagonism between himself and the House which still exists. Latterly he has avoided the blunders of his early Parliamentary career, and though some of his companions still do and say many foolish things, Mr. Parnell himself is careful not to trespass either on the written or unwritten code of the House, and to show marked deference to Parliament and its traditions. Perhaps it may be his very skill in avoiding any breach of the rules that is most offensive to the Tories. At all events, they seem to be irritated beyond measure by his proceedings, and very frequently their anger so far gets the better of their discretion, that they put themselves completely out of order in opposing him, and thus give him the chance of an easy victory.

That any man should think it his duty to demonstrate the incompetence of Parliament to the country at large, must be a matter of great regret, and the regret is increased when one finds so able a man as Mr Parnell undertaking this task. I give him full credit for honesty and conscientiousness in the course he is taking. I cannot even deny that he is strictly within his rights as an English citizen and a Member of Parliament in taking it. But it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that whether he succeed or fail, he must do more harm than good to those Parliamentary institutions which are the glory of this country. The British House of Commons is not theoretically perfect; but such as it is, it has been able during many centuries to do what no other legislative body in the world has accomplished. It has held aloft the standard of freedom and of popular rights, not always, one must admit, in the best way, or without some grievous failures, but upon the whole, in a manner in which it has been equalled by no other Legislature in existence. Deliberately to attempt to destroy the reputation of such an assembly by an unrestrained use of those prescriptive rights which Members have gained, because they have shown themselves able to exercise them with moderation and discretion, is to behave in a manner that cannot be called either wise or patriotic. Mr. Parnell may have the purest of motives; he may skilful in his mode of conducting his peculiar warfare; and he may even have accomplished some good in the course of his operations, as for example in the changes introduced into the Army Discipline Bill of the present session. But it is impossible for any thoughtful

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person to regard his conduct as justifiable. His is, to use a slang phrase, “a game at which two can play ;' and the Member for Meath ought to remember that the tactics he now employs against the Government could be just as easily employed against himself if he were ever to attempt constructive instead of destructive legislation; or if he were at some future period to become the leader of such an Irish Parliament as he has in view. One cannot but hope that he will change his policy. Its effect, so far, has been anything but satisfactory to the public; and it is hard to suppose that it can have been satisfactory to himself. It has damaged the great reputation of Parliament; it has led to

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