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The Ashburton Guardian. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1881. Rumored Quietness.

In a telegram from Home this week we published a rumor that agrarian outrages had almost ceased in Ireland for several weeks previous to the date of the telegram—the 5 th inst. The almost entire cessation of those outrages was attributed to the very prompt measures taken by Government to suppress disorder. Comparing this statement with accounts previously received of the state of the agricultural districts of Ireland, we are forced to take it with a grain of salt. But, assuming it to.be-true, it is the most satisfactory intelligence the cable has yet flashed across the ocean to this colony. The descriptions of how the Land League managed to recruit its ranks and exercised a terrorism over the .main body of the people were something more than alarming, and the unscrupulousness of the worst “rattening ” of the Sheffield grinders paled before the Nineteenth Century f Inquisition that had been established in Ireland We would only be too glad to believe that the outrages have ceased, but we are afraid that the cessation is, too sudden to be genuine. The disorder in Ireland was too great and-had continued too long to be put a stop to immediately by any measures, however " prompt, taken by the Government, short of actual slaughter jri’ and the feelings of those who sympathise with the Land League had ( been worked up to such a pitch that'measures taken by the Governwould require to be of the most stern, rigorous, and uncompromising character, to overawe the open defiance that has beent manifested Yet it was time some short,' sharp and decisive measures should be taken to stop the “Boycotting” reign that existed—a reign of terror thht appeared to be only the precursor of actual rebellion. This « Boycotting " .has been made use of for (|very purpose of the League. It was used as a means, of terrorising un- ’ just landlords, of compelling the quieter and more peace-loving farmers to supply funds to the’Land League, and :L give their countenance to itk . actions; it went further, it was used by unsqmpulous - men, under color of carrying put .the Land Leaguers’ de- : signs’,’as k means of gratifying private’

spite and glutting privates malice. “ Boycotting ” simply means the most horrible system of ** Coventry ” that could well be invented. Let any person—no matter who—dare to offend the Irish Land League, and a horrible web is an once woven around him. He is immediately isolated from his fellows. He cannot deal with a merchant, for that merchant fears the vengeance of the League, and avoids the proscribed one like a plague. Thus the “Boycotted” one cannot procure even the necessaries of life, however high a price he may be willing to pay for them. His servants of every class are withdrawn from him, and wherever he goes he finds that this infernal Inquisition has cast its blighting influence across his path, like a remorseless fiend that stops short only at the taking of his life. His cattle and horses die or silently disappear, he is left helpless for the ingathering of his crops, and his farm, however productive, is left valueless and useless to him. We are prepared to learn that the descriptions of the state of the country have been exaggerated, and that the horrible pictures have been too highly colored, but enough has been said to show that a great- / deal of - truth is in tlie descriptions, so that if the rumor we quoted at the outset is true, there will be huge reason for rejoicing. The thwarting of Parnell in the House of Commons which has been able to assert its powers in spite of the attempts of Parnell and his followers to rule the assembly, is also satisfactory, for now there is hope that the Legis lature will be able by the power it has taken, to repress disorder with a strong hand, while it directs its attention to reform in the laws relating to land, which reform was indeed imperatively necessary. We anticipate that the three “ fs” so much desired—“ fixity of tenure, fair rents, and free sale”—are now near realisation, but the revolutionary ideas promulgated by Michael Davitt are as distant of realisation in Ireland as they are in Middlesex. Michael Davitt was a moving spirit in the Land League, and' much of its defiance was fermented by his inflammatory and seditious talk. His voice is now hushed for a time, and it is quite probable—assuming the rumor of returning quietness to be true —that the dawn of peace is more attributable to the temporary extinction of this firebrand by his relegation to prison, to work out his unfinished sentence than to the prompt measures of repression taken by the Government. When the disturbing element is withdrawn, the necessity for the repressing element will soon disappear.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18810210.2.4

Bibliographic details

The Ashburton Guardian. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1881. Rumored Quietness., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 265, 10 February 1881

Word Count
807

The Ashburton Guardian. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1881. Rumored Quietness. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 265, 10 February 1881

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