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JSi. 31] ' WAE TO THE KNIFE' 23o
relentless war against the Government. He did not throw all the blame for the rejection of the Compensation Bill on the House of Lords. ' If the Government/ he would say, 'had the people of England behind them the Lords dare not do this. "Well, we will stiffen the back of the Government. Then we shall see what the Lords will do.' He told the Ministers that they were half-hearted, that they did not believe in their own measures, that they wanted grit. He called upon them to give assurances of legislation for the next session, else they would receive little help from him. Lord Hartington—who was leading the House in the absence of Mr. Gladstone through serious illness—refused to give assurances, and said the Government had no further concessions to make. Parnell had thrown down the gauntlet. Lord Hartington picked it up. 'War to the knife, sir—war to the knife,' said Biggar. ' The next thing will be a State trial. The Whigs always start with a State trial. Something for the lawyers, you know. Whigs—rogues, sir.'
Eeturning to Ireland, Parnell flung himself heart and soul into the land agitation. The Government had failed to protect the tenants. The tenants should now protect themselves. The scenes of 1847 should not be re-enacted. No more peasants should be cast on the roadside to die. What the Government had failed to do the Land League would do. But the tenants must rally to the League; they must band themselves together; they must cast aside the weak and cowardly in their ranks, and fight sturdily for their homes and country against the destroying landlords and their ally, the Government of England. This was the doctrine which Parnell and the Leaguers