“I think this requires no comment. Public opinion is the best protection against tyranny, and your readers can judge how far the above narrative is consistent with the opinions expressed by Mr. Parnell and others as to the liberty and toleration which will be accorded to the loyal minority when the Land-National League becomes the undisputed Government of Ireland.
“Your obedient servant,
“Clonmell, December 27th.”
Again an important extract:—
“This is Mr. Parnell’s language at Nottingham, but would he venture to use the same arguments in this country? Would he enumerate clearly to an Irish audience the countless advantages they derive from Imperial funds and Imperial credit, and tell them that the first step to Home Rule is the sacrifice of all these advantages? Our great system of national education is provided out of Imperial funds to the extent of about a million a year; so are the various institutions for the encouragement of science and art which adorn Dublin and our other large towns. The Baltimore School of Fishery and other technical training places, the piers and harbours on the Irish Coast, the system of light railways, and the draining of rivers and reclamation of waste lands, are all supported out of the Imperial Exchequer. The Board of Works alone has been the medium of lending almost five millions of money on easy terms under the Land Improvement Acts in the country. Nor have the agricultural interests been neglected. For erecting farmhouses alone over L700,000 has been given, while immense sums have been spent in working the Land Acts. For drainage over two millions have been lent, and a sum of over one million has been remitted from the debt. A debt of eight and a-half millions appears in the last return as outstanding from the Board of Irish Public Works, besides three millions and a-half from the corresponding board in England. In fact, there is not a project enumerated by Mr. Parnell as necessary, under a new regime, to promote the ‘Nationality of Ireland,’ which is not at present being helped on by the funds or the credit of the ‘alien Government.’ All these national advantages the supporter of a shadowy Home Rule bids us give up.”
If ever there was a case of the spider and the fly in human affairs this mild and perfectly equitable reasoning of Mr. Parnell is the illustration. How about the djinn crying inside the sealed jar, and the fate of the credulous fisherman who obeys that voice and breaks the seal which Solomon the Wise set against him?
In writing this pamphlet I have not cared for graces of literary style or dramatic strength of composition; and I have largely supported myself by quotations as a proof that I am not a mere impressionist, but have a solid back-ground and a firm foothold for all that I have said. Judged by these extracts it would seem that, outside the right of full communal self-government, the cry for Home Rule is either interested