M*. 34] A PROVISIONAL IRISH GOVERNMENT 241
of the Castle. ' Self-elected, self-constituted, self-assembled, self-adjourned, acknowledging no superior, tolerating no equal, interfering in all stages with the administration of justice, levying contributions and discharging all the functions of regular government, it obtained a complete mastery and control over the masses of the Irish people.'
So Canning described the Catholic Association. So might the Ministers of the day have described (so in effect they did describe) the Land League.
'Things are now come to that pass that the question is whether 0'Conn ell or I shall govern Ireland'—so said the Irish Viceroy, Lord Anglesea, in 1831. And Lord Cowper might have said in 1880: 'The question is whether Parnell or I shall govern Ireland.'
While Parnell, helped by the Fenian Treasurer Eganl and the Fenian Secretary Brennan, was driving-the League ahead in Ireland, Davitt was forming branches throughout the United States.
There was still a party in the Clan-na-Gael opposed to the new departure. The Clan-na-Gael man who had come to England in 1878 to see Parnell, and who was then favourably disposed to an alliance between the Eevolutionists and the Constitutionalists, had now gone quite round. In addition to his hostility to the policy of Devoy and Davitt, he had formed an intense dislike to Parnell, and was resolved, so far as he could, to break off all relations with the Parlia-^ mentarians. Davitt, who always kept himself well
1 Egan has been described by the late Mr. A. M. Sullivan in New Ireland. * He seldom or never made a speech. He aspired to no display on the platform, but was the ablest strategist of the whole campaign, and perhaps, except Davitt, the most resolate and invincible spirit amongst them all.'
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