236 CHABLES STEWAET PAKNELL [1880
preached from the hilltops, and which the masses of the people willingly obeyed.
On September 19 Parnell attended a mass meeting at Ennis. There, in a speech which rang throughout the land, he struck the keynote of the agitation; he laid down the lines on which the League should work. Slowly, calmly, deliberately, without a quiver of passion, a note of rhetoric, or an exclamation of anger, but in a tone that penetrated his audience like the touch of cold steel, he proclaimed war against all who should resist the mandates of the League.
' Depend upon it that the measure of the Land Bill next session will be the measure of your activity and energy this winter. It will be the measure of your determination not to pay unjust rents; it will be the measure of your determination to keep a firm grip on your homesteads. It will be the measure of your determination not to bid for farms from which others have been evicted, and to use the strong force of public opinion to deter any unjust men amongst yourselves—and there are many such—from bidding for such farms. Now what are you to do to a tenant who bids for a farm from which his neighbour has been evicted ?'
Here there was much excitement, and cries of' Kill him!' ' Shoot him !' Parnell waited, with his hands clasped behind his back, looking quietly out upon the crowd until the tumult subsided, and then softly resumed : ' Now I think I heard somebody say " Shoot him ! "—(A voice : " Yes, quite right")—but I wish to point out to you a very much better way—a more . Christian and a more charitable way, which will give the lost sinner an opportunity of repenting/
Here there were inquiring glances, and a lull, and a