58 CHARLES STEWART PAKNELL [1874
THE HOME RULE MOVEMENT
1 WELL/ said an Old Icelander to me towards the end of the year 1870, 'out of evil comes good. The "unfortunate Fenians have made the English disestablish the Church (1869) and pass the Land Act (1870). But, poor devils ! what good have they done for themselves ? Penal servitude and the gallows/ ' You are right enough, sir/ said a Fenian who was standing by. ' The difference between the Whigs and Fenians is, the Fenians do good for Ireland but no good for themselves, the Whigs do good for themselves and 110 good for Ireland.' 'Begad, I believe you are right/ said the Old Irelander, who was a frank and genial old fellow.
Old Irelander and Fenian were both right. Feniaii-ism had roused the English conscience, had ' rung the chapel bell/ and the result was disestablishment and the first great measure of land reform. Mr. Gladstone has made the matter very plain. ' It has only been since the termination of the American war/ he said,c and the appearance of Fenianism that the mind of this country has been greatly turned to the consideration of Irish affairs. ... In my opinion, and in the opinion of many with whom I communicated, the Fenian conspiracy has had an important influence with respect to Irish policy; but it has not been an influence in