Skip to main content
f>40 CHAELES STEWART PARNELL [1880
A voice. ' Nor we.'
Another voice. ' Away with them.'
Parnell. ' But it will be because they see that behind this movement lies a more dangerous movement to their hold over Ireland ; because they know that if they fail in upholding landlordism here—and they will fail—they have no chance of maintaining it over Ireland; it will be because they know that if they fail in upholding landlordism in Ireland, their power to misrule Ireland will go too/ (Cheers.) Then he uttered one of those sentences which, coming straight from the heart, and disclosing the real thoughts and feelings which animated him, burned themselves into the minds of his hearers. 'I wish to see the tenant farmers prosperous; but large and important as this class of tenant farmers is, constituting, as they do, with their wives and families, the majority of the people of the country, I would not have taken off my coat and gone to this work if I had not known that we were laying the foundation in this movement for the regeneration of our legislative independence. (Cheers.) Push on, then, towards this goal, extend your organisation, and let every tenant farmer, while he keeps a grip on his holding, recognise also the great truth that he is serving his country and the people at large, and helping to break down English misrule in Ireland.'
The Land League now grew in importance and influence day by day. Money poured into its treasury, not only from Ireland, but from America. Its branches extended all over the country. Its mandates were everywhere obeyed. It was, in truth, nothing more nor less than a provisional Irish Government, stronger, because based on popular suffrage, than the Government