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Full text of "The Life Of Charles Stewart Parnell Vol - I"

290                CHARLES  STEWART  PAR3SHELL             [1881
ence^as they can use their batons, which they are not afraid to use, and which inflict just the right sort of chastisement.
' These are the general principles which are impressed upon each Resident Magistrate, but as to details he must, of course, in each individual instance use his own discretion. I have little more to recommend. The state of the country is very bad, after making every allowance for the exaggeration of the Press. Indeed, these very exaggerations are a proof of the uneasiness of public feeling. One of the worst points is the bad feeling which prevails in the south and west against the military and police. Worse still are the vast mobs which can be collected at a moment's notice.
1 In the autumn individual assassination was the great danger. Now, in addition to this is the danger of 11 sudden overwhelming, by sheer weight of numbers, of small bodies of police or military. One such catastrophe would be of incalculable evil. Besides the disgrace of the authorities, it would lead to after attempts of the same kind, and might actually be the beginning of a small civil war which could not be concluded without such an amount of bloodshed as would cause renewed bitterness of feeling against England for more than one generation. If the troops fire upon the people, as may be necessary at any moment, and loss of life, even indeed that of women and children, is the result, it must bo remembered their action may have saved the country from something even more deplorable.'
If the Government had hoped to conciliate the agitators by the introduction of a big Land Bill they were doomed to disappointment. The bitterness caused by the fight over the Coercion Bill and the imprison-