98 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1885
is not now a question of self-government for Ireland; it is only a question as to how much of the self-government they will be able to cheat us out of. It is not now a question of whether the Irish people shall decide their own destinies and their own future, but it is a question with, I was going to say, our English masters—but we cannot call them masters in Ireland —it is a question with them as to how far the day, that they consider the evil day, shall be deferred. You are, therefore, entitled to say that so far you have done well, you have almost done miraculously well, and we hand to our successors an unsullied flag, a battle more than half won, and a brilliant history. ... I hope that it may not be necessary for us in the new Parliament to devote our attention to subsidiary measures, and that it may be possible for us to have a programme and a platform with only one plank, and that one plank National Independence.'
This speech roused England. The Press with one voice denounced the Irish leader and the Irish programme. The' Times' said an Irish Parliament was c impossible.' The ' Standard' besought Whigs and Tories ' to present a firm uncompromising front to the rebel Chief.5 The ' Daily Telegraph ' hoped that the House of Commons would not be 'seduced or terrified into surrender.' The ' Manchester Guardian ' declared that Englishmen would ' condemn or punish any party or any public man who attempted to walk in the path j
traced by Mr. Parnell.' The ' Leeds Mercury' did not think the question of an Irish Parliament worth discussing ; while the ' Daily News' felt that Great Britain could only be saved from the tyranny of Mr. Parnell by ' a strong Administration composed of advanced Liberals.' altered at all; simply, heecent Hpeeehr^ tbut Mr. CtiiuiHtono wn« untdtiitlly iippri.nieiiiii^ litujit* Ituh*. ami if he coutd bit indiired to initke it »utti*fiu*tt<ryhem. His answer was that there were no such persons :