304 CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1881
Irish people, the more bitter will be their hatred, and the more sure they will be to go as far as fear of the people will allow them in keeping up the agitation which they cannot afford to part with on account of their ulterior ends. All we can do is to thin more and more the masses of their followers, to fine them down by good laws and good government; and it is in this view that the question of judicious releases from prison, should improving statistics encourage it, may become one of early importance.'
In September an election took place in the County Tyrone. Mr. T. A. Dickson, the Liberal candidate, gained a great victory over Parnell's nominee, the Bev. Harold Eylett, a Unitarian Minister. The result filled Mr. Gladstone with hope.
On September 8 he wrote to Mr. Forster, who had gone abroad for a short holiday:
Mr. Gladstone to Mr. Forster
' The unexpected victory in Tyrone is an event ot importance, and I own it much increases my desire to meet this remarkable Irish manifestation and discomfiture both of Farncll and the Tories with some initial act of clemency, in view especially of the coming election for Monaghan. I do not know whether the release of the priest (Father Sheehy) would be a seasonable beginning, but I shall be very sorry if we cannot do something to meet the various friendly and hopeful indications of which the Ulster election is the most remarkable. To reduce the following of Parnell by drawing away from him all well-inclined men seems to me the key of Irish politics for the moment. Though I felt reluctant that anything should be clone in your