^ŁT. 34] ' THE DOMINION OF THE LEAGUE' 259
Lord Cowper to Mr. Gladstone
« November 23, 1880.
' You know my apprehensions as to an outbreak of crime in this country. I must repeat that there is nothing to prevent this, and if it does take place it will he because the landlords are afraid of exercising their power, and because the greater part of the country is under the absolute dominion of the Land League and all rights of property are at an end.
' The remedy, and the only remedy, for this state of things is, I feel quite sure, the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. I have been anxiously considering during the last few days whether, holding this opinion, I am. justified in retaining the position of Lord Lieutenant unless this remedy is provided. I am most unwilling to have the appearance of leaving the ship in the middle of the storm. I feel, also, as regards myself, that to resign now would be to put an end for ever to anything in the shape of a public career.
* I had, given up all hope of this till your offer to me last May of the high place I occupy made me feel I had an unexpected chance which it would be a great sacrifice for me to forfeit. I can honestly say that it is a great source of pride and pleasure to me to serve in the Government of one whom I have always regarded with such feelings of admiration. What, however, has most weighed with me is a sense of the embarrassment my retirement would cause others.
'I feel that if I went Mr. Forster's position would become almost untenable, all the more so as.I kjiow him to hold the same opinion as I do. Putting every r thing together, I have come to the conclusion tha%t ,1 will not do anything until January, but that if th,en I
• s 2