218 CHAELES STEWAET PAENELL [1880
'it will put out the fire.1 The Bill was not passed. The fire blazed up with increased and increasing fury. How was it to be ' put out' now ? The House of Lords would have no concessions. What was the alternative ? Coercion, pure and simple. The Land League had, in fact, become a rival Government. If the Queen's authority were to prevail, no choice remained but to crush the League. The question really was, whether Lord Cowper or Parnell should rule Ireland, for both the Viceroy and the Chief Secretary recognised that Parnell was the centre of disturbance.
'"When I was in Ireland,1 says Lord Cowper, * we considered Mr. Parnell the centre of the whole movement. We thought him the chief, if not the only, danger. We feared him because he had united all the elements of discontent, because we never knew what he would be up to, and we felt that he would stop at nothing. I certainly thought that his aim was separation, I thought that he used agrarian discontent for separatist purposes. There was very little said about Home Eule at that time. It was all agrarianism, with separation in the background, and Parnell was the centre of everything.
'He had no second, no one at all near him. I should say that the next man to him was Davitt; but he was a long way off. Mr. Healy was, I think, coming to the front then. We thought him clever, but he did not trouble us much. Mr. Dillon was better known, and he used to go about the country making speeches. But our view of him was that somehow he was always putting his foot in it. Our attention was concentrated on Parnell. We did not think he instigated outrages. We thought that he connive^ at them. We thought that he would stop