21 JUNE 1913, Page 13



Sin,—You draw attention to Sir Henry Blake's article in the Nineteenth Century in which he says, "There is a widespread belief that under Home Rule the Irish Government will, without delay, open mines in every direction. The belief is quite independent of the existence of minerals. It is there ; and one might as well argue on the non-existence of fairies who are, as all the world knows, potent for good or evil." Pompey (according to Plutarch), on his arrival before Carthage, bad to witness a similar belief among his soldiers, some of whom had alighted on hidden treasure and set agoing the impression that the soil teemed with untold wealth, concealed by the Carthaginians in their period of disaster. For days his army got quite out of hand, bent as it was in digging for the sup- posed treasure, and all he could do was to walk about and enjoy the humour of the situation, thousands of linesmen turning up the soil with feverish energy. At last, having found nothing, they bade him lead them wherever be liked, confessing that they had been sufficiently punished for their folly. Is a similar disillusion in store for the Irish peasantry under Home Rule P—I am, Sir, &c.,