8ott CHARLES STEWART PARNELL [1882
it was the murder of Lord Frederick Cavendish which produced a real feeling of sorrow and of shame among the people. He was a stranger. lie had never up to that hour taken part in the government of the country. Ho was an * innocent* man. An old Fenian—a hater of tho Land Loaguo and all its works—told me the following anecdote, which I think fairly illustrates Irish popular feeling: 41 went into a shop/ he said, * in New York a few days after the murder to buy something. J naid casually to the man behind the counter : " This in luul work.1' Ho agreed, and denounced the crime in strong languages. Here, at all events, thought I, is a man who has escaped the Influence of the Land League. I turned to leave, and as I got to the door ho added : " What harm if it was only Burke ? But to kill the strange gentleman who did nothing to us 1 " That was what ho thought about it, and no doubt that was what a groat many other Irish people thought about it too.'
What thought Parnoll ? There cannot be a question tlult ho was profoundly moved by the event. It was not cany to startle him, to take him by surprise. But tho Phamix Park murders did both. An out-burnt of agrarianisni would probably have produced no effect upon him. The reports which he had received in prison rather prepared him for that. Hero, however, was a new development for which he was not prepared, and the exact meaning and extent of which he did not on the instant grasp. As a rule, no man was so ready in cases of emergency. Now he collapsed utterly. He read th$ news in the ' Observer' on Sunday morning, and went immediately to the Westminster Palace Hotel, where ho found Davitt. * He flung himself into a chair in my room/ says