What does "brought home" in this sentence mean?

"others urged the impossibility of relying upon political understandings with one to whom habitual duplicity was believed to have been brought home."

For context:

*The passage below is talking about the adultery scandal of a 19th century Irish politician called Parnell and the backlash he got at the time.

The facts were plain, and Mr. Gladstone was keenly alive to the full purport of every one of them. Men, in whose hearts religion and morals held the first place, were strongly joined by men accustomed to settle political action by political considerations. Platform-men united with pulpit-men in swelling the whirlwind. Electoral calculation and moral faithfulness were held for once to point the same way. The report from every quarter, every letter to a member from a constituent, all was in one sense. Some, as I have said, pressed the point that the misconduct itself made co-operation impossible; others urged the impossibility of relying upon political understandings with one to whom habitual duplicity was believed to have been brought home. We may set what value we choose upon such arguments. Undoubtedly they would have proscribed some of the most important and admired figures in the supreme doings of modern Europe. Undoubtedly some who have fallen into shift and deceit in this particular relation, have yet been true as steel in all else. For a man's character is a strangely fitted mosaic, and it is unsafe to assume that all his traits are of one piece, or inseparable in fact because they ought to be inseparable by logic. But people were in no humour for casuistry, and whether all this be sophistry or sense, the volume of hostile judgment and obstinate intention could neither be mistaken, nor be wisely breasted if home rule was to be saved in Great Britain.

For more context: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/31711/31711-h/31711-h.html

Wiki page about the scandal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Stewart_Parnell#Divorce_crisis

According to online dictionaries, "bring someone home" can mean either

1. "to make someone fully aware of how serious or important something such as a problem, danger, or situation is,"

2. "to prove one's guilt―bring a charge home to a person."

However, I'm not sure which definition the "brought home" in the above text falls under. Could you explain this to me? Thank you.

1 Answer 1


It would appear to be definition 2. Parnell had been shown to be guilty of 'habitual duplicity', presumably because he had kept his relationship with Kitty O'Shea secret for a long time, as described in the Wikipedia article. Other politicians considered that they couldn't trust him politically if he had shown himself to be untrustworthy in his private life.

This seems to me to fit in with the general sense of the paragraph, more than Parnell being 'made aware' of his duplicity.

  • Thank you. If you can, could you explain why the definition 1 doesn't fit here?
    – noolodig
    Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 11:45
  • 1
    Answer amended. Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 12:03
  • That makes sense. Thank you. Much appreciated.
    – noolodig
    Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 12:28

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