246 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1880
the anti-rent agitation in Ireland. No possible application of a portion of the fund would to my mind be more legitimate, more in accordance with the desire of us all to help on towards the deliverance of our downtrodden people. That little bit of seed, the first advance from the Skirmishing Fund, has worked as great a miracle as the grain of mustard seed spoken of in the Sacred Scripture. Behold now 200 Land League branches established through Ireland with at least 500 members in each, and all in full cry against the land robbers. Behold almost as many more cooperating branches established in America, Canada, Australia, and in England, Scotland, and Wales. Will any man tell me that this movement will die out without lifting Ireland to a vantage ground on which she may declare and maintain her separate political existence? Wait till the numbers of the Land League branches swell to 300,000. Wait till they are enlightened with political knowledge, instructed in military drill, and armed with rifles, bullets, and buck-shot. One or two years more will work wonders.
' Don't quarrel, friends, about 1,000 dollars or 2,000 dollars. ... I pray and urge my friends at home and abroad to drop the controversy, and to unite against the common enemies of our people, the landlords of Ireland and of England, with their forces of armed men at their backs!'
While Davitt was helping to ' spread the light'x in America the state of Ireland was growing desperate.
1 On May 5 Davitt cabled to Ford: * Copies of Irish World shall be sent to all parts of Ireland. Bishop Moran, of Ossory (a nephew of Cardinal Cullen) denounced it and the Land League. May Heaven open his "eyes to the truth; " Spread the light." '