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Full text of "The Life Of Charles Stewart Parnell - Ii"

6                    CIIAELES STEWART PABNELL            [1883
favoured a 'forward policy/ united extreme and moderate men, kept the agitation at fever heat, and fanned the flame of discontent into a blaze which overwhelmed the enemies of his country. "What was the result ? A measure of reform which revolutionised the system of land tenure in Ireland, and, despite grave defects, gave the masses of the people a chance—long withheld—of working out their own salvation by honest labour and industrious exertion. He had certainly never acted ' police' for the British Government; he riever would. 'He had never stretched forth a hand to arrest any movement tending to sap the foundation of British authority in Ireland, and he never wrould. Yet from the passing of the Land Act in 1881 to the hour of Mr. Eorster's indictment his influence had been used to hold the Extremists in check; not, indeed, in the interests of England, not under the pressure of English opinion, but in the interest of Ireland, and under the pressure of the conviction that, for her sake, the time had come to $low down the agitation. He met with opposition in his own ranks, made enemies in America, ran the risk of disunion; nevertheless he was bent on playing the part of moderator when, in the autumn of 1881, he was attacked by the English Press, denounced by the Prime Minister, and flung into jail by Mr. Forster. On his release he took up the work of slowing down the agitation precisely where he had left it on the day of his arrest. He had made a treaty with the Prime Minister, and was doing all in his power to keep it, though the Prime Minister had thrown almost insurmountable obstacles in his way. Determined on a * truce of God,' he had incurred the displeasure of Pavitt, earned the enmity of the ' Irish World/ and