106 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1877
THE Queen's Speech in opening the parliamentary session of 1877 contained the following paragraph about Ireland:
'You will be asked to constitute one Supreme Court of Judicature for Ireland, and to confer an equitable jurisdiction in the county courts of that country.'
Every question that stirred the nation was calmly ignored — land, education, parliamentary franchise, Home Eule. The people had asked for bread in the shape of legislative freedom; they were offered a stone in the shape of a Judicature Bill. Yet Butt showed no disposition to harass the Government. He was resolved to bring forward his Irish measures, to fight them through the House of Commons in accordance with the ordinary rules of the game, and to abide the result. But Parnell and Biggar were now practically in revolt and on the war track. ' If we are to have parliamentary action/ said the former in one of those short, sharp, and decisive sentences which always meant business, 'it must not be the action of conciliation, but of retaliation/ and on the policy of retaliation he was now more than ever inexorably bent.