22 OCTOBER 1881, Page 1


ON Tuesday the Irish Land League shot its last bolt,—by the issue of a Circular enjoining on the Irish farmers the ab- solute refusal of all rent till Mr. Parnell and his colleagues have been liberated. The circular is exceedingly violent in tone, but not drawn up without a considerable amount of rhetorical ability. It states that the time has come " to test whether the great -organisation built up during years of patient labour and sacri- fice, and consecrated by the allegiance of the whole Irish race the world over, is to disappear at the summons of a brutal tyranny." The crisis, it goes on, is not of the Land League's making. The Government are determined, says the Mani- festo, " to strike down the only power which could have extracted any solid benefits for the tenant-farmers of Ireland from that Act, and to leave them once more helplessly at the mercy of a law intended to serve landlordism, and administered by landlord minions ;" and so forth. Where- fore, the only weapon left is to withhold every penny of rent till the Land League is again at work,—a command which is accompanied by a variety of furious attacks on the British Government. The Irish will not believe Mr. Serjeant O'Hagan, Mr. Litton, and Mr. Vernon to be "landlord minions," and they will not believe that the new Land Act was passed for the sole benefit of Irish landlords. The Manifesto professes to be signed by the men in jail, some at least of whose signatures must have been affixed for them, and in Davitt's case, prob- ably without even his knowledge of the contents of the address. The great thunderbolt will bury itself impotently in the earth.