254 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1880
language of one party, and certainly mitigated the panic of the other/
On November 2 the Government ' struck.' An information was on that day filed in the Crown Office of the Queen's Bench, Dublin, against the Land League for conspiracy to prevent the payment of rent, to resist the process of ejectment, to prevent the taking of farms from which tenants had been evicted, and to create ill-will among her Majesty's subjects.
The defendants named in the information were: Charles Stewart Parnell, M.P.; John Dillon, M.P.; Joseph G. Biggar, M.P.; T. D. Sullivan, M.P.; Thomas Sexton, M.P.; Patrick Egan (Treasurer), Thomas Brennan (Secretary), Michael 0'Sullivan (Assistant Secretary), M. P. Boyton (Organiser), Matthew Harris (Organiser), J. Nally, P. J.Gordon, John W. Walsh, P. Sheridan.
The determination of the Government to prosecute the League produced no effect on Parnell. He knew that a conviction was practically impossible ; the jury might disagree; they might acquit him. In either case the League would be triumphant. Two days after the information had been filed he referred to the matter with contemptuous brevity at a public meeting in Dublin.
'I regret,' he said, 'that Mr. Forster has chosen rather to waste his time, the money of Government, and our money in these prosecutions. He has begun in a bad way, and I fear that the result of his attempt to govern Ireland on these lines will be to shatter his reputation for statesmanship which he formerly acquired in another branch. He is surrounded by a landlord atmosphere at the Castle of Dublin, and although he may be able to resist the effect of that