184 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1879
warned Parnell not to come. But he came, and delivered a stirring speech, which was long remembered by friends and foes.
' A fair rent is a rent a tenant can reasonably pay according to the times ; but in bad times the tenant cannot be expected to pay as much as he did in good times, three or four years ago. If such rents are insisted upon a repetition of the scenes of 1847 and 1848 will be witnessed. Now, what must we do in order to induce the landlords to see the position? You must show the landlords that you intend to hold a firm grip on your homesteads and lands. You must not allow yourselves to be dispossessed as you were dispossessed in 1847. You must not allow your small holdings to be turned into large ones. I am not supposing that the landlords will remain deaf to the voice of reason, I hope they may not, and that on those properties on which the rents are out of all proportion to the times that a reduction may be made, and that immediately. If not, you must help yourselves, and the public opinion of the world will stand by you and support you in your struggle to defend your homesteads. I should be deceiving you if I told you that there was any use in relying upon the exertions of the Irish members of Parliament on your behalf. I think that if your members were determined and resolute they could help you, but I am afraid they won't. I hope that I may be wrong, and that you may rely upon the constitutional action of your parliamentary representatives in this the sore time of your need and trial; but above all things remember that God helps him who helps himself, and that by showing such a public spirit as you have shown here to-day, by coming in your thousands in the face of every difficulty, you will do more to show the land-