only reply from Sir William Vernon Harcourt, "The Queen will not accord a full pardon to Michael Davitt."
The following July Mr. Gladstone carried his warfare on the Irish members to the extent of expelling Mr. Parnell and twenty-three others from the House of Commons, because they had "obstructed" the passage of his Coercion bill. The act was prearranged and the victims singled out. One of them at least, Mr. O'Donnell, had been absent from the House all night, and was therefore absolutely innocent of the alleged offense. Sir Lyon Playfair, when challenged to show in what way Mr. Parnell had obstructed the proceedings, said: "I admit, Mr. Parnell, that you have not obstructed the bill, or spoken much during its progress, but you belong to the party; I have therefore considered myself entitled to include you in the suspension." The Coercion bill was one of the most atrocious ever passed, even by the English Parliament; one of its clauses gave power to a judge, without a jury, to pass sentence of death on any person or persons for writing or speaking what he (the judge) might be pleased to consider treason. Mr. Gladstone sought to have some slight modification incorporated in the bill, but the Tories united with the English Whigs in defeating him. O'Reilly placed the responsibility where it belonged, when he wrote:
On July 20 the cause of Irish patriotism lost as devoted