MT. 34] BOYCOTTING 237
silence, which was scarcely broken until Parnell finished the next sentence—a long sentence, but every word of which was heard, as the voice of the speaker hardened and his face wore an expression of remorseless determination. 'When a man takes a farm from which another has been evicted, you must show him on the roadside when you meet him, you must show him in the streets of the town—(A voice: " Shun him! ")— you must show him at the shop counter, you must show him in the fair and in the market-place, and even in the house of worship, by leaving him severely alone, by putting him into a moral Coventry, by isolating him from his kind as if he was a leper of old —you must show him your detestation of the crime he has committed, and you may depend upon it that there will be no man so full of avarice, so lost to shame, as to dare the public opinion of all right-thinking men and to transgress your unwritten code of laws/
The closing sentence was received with a shout of applause; the doctrine of boycotting, as it afterwards came to be called, was accepted with popular enthusiasm.
Three days afterwards the peasants of Connaught showed how ready they were to practise as Parnell had preached. Captain Boycott, the agent of Lord Erne, had been offered by the tenants on the estate what they conceived to be a just rent. He refused to take it, and the tenants refused to give more; whereupon ejectment processes were issued against them.
On September 22 the process server went forth to serve the ejectments. He was met by a number of peasants, who forced him to abandon the work and retreat precipitately to the agent's house. Next day the peasants visited the house and adjoining farm, and ordered the servants in Captain Boycott's employ to