The peasants feared him more than they did their master.
The closing of the French market to Sicilian produce, the devastation wrought by the phylloxera and the decrease of the sulphur trade had combined to produce in Sicily a discontent of which Socialist agitators took advantage to organize the workmen of the towns and the peasants of the country into groups known as fasci.
They rode at a footpace to the barn, where a large crowd of peasants was standing.
The crown paid the landlord in obligations representing the capitalized rent, and the peasants had to pay the crown, for forty-nine years, 6% interest on this capital.
Instantly the movement was diverted from its original object, and the peasants and their leaders began a war of extermination against the landlords.