198 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1887-88
Whatever Liberals may now say, there cannot be a doubt that the appearance of this document in a newspaper universally regarded as the Bible of English journalism threw the whole Liberal party into consternation.
'When I came down to breakfast on April 18,' said a Liberal friend, 'I took up my "Times." The first thing which met my eye was that infernal letter. Well, I did not much care about my breakfast after reading it. "There goes Home Bule," said I, "and the Liberal Party " too.'
I asked my friend if it did not occur to him that the ' Times' might have been mistaken—' let in.'
'The "Times" let in,' he exclaimed, 'the cleverest newspaper in the world let in! Why, that is the last thing that any man in England thought of. We were staggered, my dear sir, staggered—that is the plain truth of the business.'
Parnell's letter in the ' Times' was soon the talk of the town. An overwhelming blow had at length been dealt at the whole gang of rebels and murderers. Home Bule was laid in the dust. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that this was the thought and the hope of every Unionist in the land.
In the evening Parnell strolled leisurely down to the House of Commons. ' Have you seen the " Times " ' ? asked Mr. Harrington. 'No,' said the Chief, who rarely read any newspaper unless his attention was specially called to it. Then Mr. Harrington told him the news. ' Ah !' said Parnell, ' let me see it,' and they went to the Library. 'Parnell/ says Mr. Harrington, ' put the paper before him on the table, and read the letter carefully. I thought he would burst into some indignant exclamation, say " What damned scoundrels !ave not concealed the fact that Parnell rode into power on the of FenianiBm. But this