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Title: Thomas Davis, selections from his prose and poetry

Author: Thomas Davis

Commentator: T. W. Rolleston

Release date: April 24, 2007 [eBook #21210]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Juliet Sutherland and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at


Book cover

Drawing of Thomas Davis and his signature


Selections from his Prose and Poetry





Library of Irish Literature

General Editors: Alfred Perceval Graves, M.A.
William Magennis, M.A. Douglas Hyde, LL.D.
  1. Thomas Davis. Selections from his Prose and Poetry.
        Edited by T. W. Rolleston, M.A. (Dublin).
  2. Wild Sports of the West. W. H. Maxwell.
        Edited by The Earl of Dunraven.
  3. Legends of Saints and Sinners from the Irish.
        Edited by Douglas Hyde, LL.D. (Dublin).
  4. Humours of Irish Life.
        Edited by Charles L. Graves, M.A. (Oxon).
  5. Irish Orators and Oratory.
        Edited by T. M. Kettle, National University of Ireland.
  6. The Book of Irish Poetry.
        Edited by Alfred Perceval Graves, M.A. (Dublin).
Other Volumes in Preparation. Each Crown 8vo. Cloth,
with Frontispiece net $1.00


In the present edition of Thomas Davis it is designed to offer a selection of his writings more fully representative than has hitherto appeared in one volume. The book opens with the best of his historical studies—his masterly vindication of the much-maligned Irish Parliament of James II.[1] Next follows a selection of his literary, historical and political articles from The Nation and other sources, and, finally, we present a selection from his poems, containing, it is hoped, everything of high and permanent value which he wrote in that medium. The "Address to the Historical Society" and the essay on "Udalism and Feudalism," which were reprinted in the edition of Davis's Prose Writings published by Walter Scott in 1890, are here omitted—the former because it seemed possible to fill with more valuable and mature work the space it would have taken, and the latter because the cause which it was written to support has in our day been practically won; Udalism will inevitably be the universal type of land-tenure in Ireland, and the real problem which we have before us is not how to win but how to make use of the institution, a matter with which Davis, in this essay, does not concern himself.

The life of Thomas Davis has been written by his friend and colleague, Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, and an excellent abridgment of it appears as a volume in the "New Irish Library." In the latter easily available form it may be hoped that there are few Irishmen who have not made themselves acquainted with it. It is not, therefore, necessary to deal with it here in much detail. Davis was born in Mallow on October 14th, 1814. His father, who came of a family originally Welsh, but long settled in Buckinghamshire, had been a surgeon in the Royal Artillery. His mother, Mary Atkins, came of a Cromwellian family settled in the County Cork. It does not seem an altogether hopeful kind of ancestry for an Irish Nationalist, and his family were, as a matter of fact, altogether of the other way of thinking. But the fact that his great-grandmother, on the maternal side, was a daughter of The O'Sullivan Beare may have had a counteracting influence, if not through the physical channel of heredity, at least through the poet's imagination. As a child, Davis was delicate in health, sensitive, dreamy, awkward, and passed for a dunce. It was not until he had entered Trinity College that the passion for study possessed him. This passion had manifestly been kindled, in the first instance, by the flame of patriotism, but how and when he first came to break loose from the traditional politics of his family we have no means of knowing, unless a gleam of light is thrown on the matter by a saying of his from a speech at Conciliation Hall:—"I was brought up in a mixed seminary,[2] where I learned to know, and knowing to love, my countrymen."

At the University he sought no academic distinctions, but read omnivorously. History, philosophy, economics, and ethics were the subjects into which he flung himself with ardour, and which, in after days, he was continually seeking to turn to the uses of his country. By the time he had left College and was called to the Bar (1837) he had disciplined himself by thought and study, and was a very different being from the dreamy and backward youth described for us by the candid friends of his schooldays. A dreamer, indeed, he always was, but he had learned from Bishop Butler, whom he reverenced profoundly and spoke of as "the Copernicus of ethics," that there is no practice more fatal to moral strength than dreaming divorced from action. Some concrete act, some definite thing to be done, was now always in his mind, but always, it may be added, as the realisation of some principle arrived at by serious and accurate thinking. He had acquired clear convictions, his powers of application were enormous, he had a boundless fertility of invention, and was manifestly marked out as a leader of men. It is interesting to go through the pages of Davis's Essays and to note how many of his practical suggestions for work to be done in Ireland have been taken up with success, especially in the direction of music and poetry, of the Gaelic language, and of the study of Irish archaeology and the protection of its remains. But a new Davis would mark with keener interest the many tasks which yet remain to be taken in hand.

His connection with the Bar was little more than nominal; from the beginning, the serious work of his life seemed destined to be journalism. After some experiments in various directions, he, with Gavan Duffy and John Blake Dillon, during a walk in the Phœnix Park in the spring of 1842, decided to establish a new weekly journal, to be entitled, on Davis's suggestion, The Nation. Its purpose, which it was afterwards to fulfil so nobly, was admirably expressed in its motto, taken from a saying of Stephen Woulfe: "To create and foster public opinion in Ireland, and to make it racy of the soil." Davis's was the suggestion of making national poems and ballads a prominent feature of the journal—the feature by which it became best known and did, perhaps, its most impressive, if not its most valuable, work. His "Lament for Owen Roe," which appeared in the sixth number, worked in Ireland like an electric shock, and woke a sleeping faculty to life and action. Henceforth Davis's public life was bound up with the Nation. Into this channel he threw all his powers. What kind of influence he exerted from that post of vantage the pages of this book will tell.

Davis was naturally a member of O'Connell's Repeal Association, but took no prominent part in its proceedings, except on one momentous occasion on which we must dwell for a while. The debate was on the subject of Peel's Bill for the establishment of a large scheme of non-sectarian education in Ireland. Of this measure Sir Charles Duffy writes:—

"A majority of the Catholic Bishops approved of the general design, objecting to certain details. All the barristers and country gentlemen in the Association, and the middle class generally, supported it. To Davis it was like the unhoped-for realization of a dream. To educate the young men of the middle class and of both races, and to educate them together, that prejudice and bigotry might be killed in the bud, was one of the projects nearest his heart. It would strengthen the soul of Ireland with knowledge, he said, and knit the creeds in liberal and trusting friendship."[3]

But O'Connell, though he had previously favoured the principle of mixed education, now saw a chance of flinging down a challenge to the "Young Irelanders" from a vantage-ground of immense tactical value. He threw his whole weight against the proposal, taunted and interrupted its supporters, and seemed determined at any cost to wreck the measure on which such high hopes had been set. The emotion which Davis felt, and which caused him to burst into tears in the midst of the debate, seemed to some of his friends at the time over-strained. But he was not the first strong man from whom public calamities have drawn tears; and assuredly if ever there were cause for tears, Davis had reason to shed them then. More, perhaps, than any man present, he realised the fateful nature of the decision which was being made. He knew that one of the governing facts about Irish public life is the existence in the country of two races who remain life-long strangers to each other. Catholic and Protestant present to each other a familiar front, but behind the surface of each is a dark background which in later life, when associations, and often prejudices, have been formed, the other can rarely penetrate and rarely wishes to do so. It was Davis's belief that if the young people of Ireland were to be permanently segregated from childhood to manhood in different schools, different universities, where early friendships, the most intimate and familiar of any, could never be made, and ideas never interchanged except through public controversy, the barrier between the two Irish races would be infinitely difficult to break down, and no scheme of Irish government could be conceived which would not seem like a triumph to one of them and bondage to the other. The views of the Young Irelanders did not prevail, and Ireland as a nation has paid the penalty for two generations, and will probably pay it for many a day to come. It may, of course, be argued that religious interests are paramount, and that these are incompatible with a scheme of mixed education. This is not the place to debate such a question, nor can anyone quarrel with a decision arrived at on such grounds. But let it be arrived at with a clear understanding of the certain consequences, and let it be admitted that when Davis saw the wreck of the scheme for united education he felt truly that a long and perhaps, for many generations, irretrievable step was being taken away from the road to nationhood.

But after this despondent reflection, let us cheer ourselves by setting the proud and moving words with which Duffy concludes his account of the transactions in the Life of Davis:—

"I have not tacked to any transaction in this narrative the moral which it suggests; the thoughtful reader prefers to draw his own conclusions. But for once I ask those to whom this book is dedicated to note the conduct of Catholic young men in a mortal contest. The hereditary leader of the people, sure to be backed by the whole force of the unreflecting masses, and supported on this occasion by the bulk of the national clergy—a man of genius, an historic man wielding an authority made august by a life's services, a solemn moral authority with which it is ridiculous to compare the purely political influence of anyone who has succeeded him as a tribune of the people—was against Thomas Davis, and able, no one doubted, to overwhelm him and his sympathisers in political ruin. A public career might be closed for all of us; our journal might be extinguished; we were already denounced as intriguers and infidels; it was quite certain that, by-and-by, we would be described as hirelings of the Castle. But Davis was right; and of all his associates, not one man flinched from his side—not one man. A crisis bringing character to a sharper test has never arisen in our history, nor can ever arise; and the conduct of these men, it seems to me, is some guarantee how their successors would act in any similar emergency."

The year 1845 was loaded with disaster for Ireland. It saw the defeat of the Education scheme; it saw the advancing shadow of the awful calamity in which the Repeal movement, the Young Irelanders, and everything of hope and promise that lived and moved in Ireland were to perish—and it saw the death of Thomas Davis.

He had had an attack of scarlet fever, from which he seemed to be recovering, but a relapse took place—owing, perhaps, to incautious exposure before his strength had returned—and, in the early dawn of September 15th, he passed away in his mother's house. The years of his life were thirty-one; his public life had lasted but for three. His funeral was marked by an extraordinary outburst of grief and affection, which was shared by men of all creeds, all classes, all political camps in Ireland.

No mourning, indeed, could be too deep for the withdrawal at such a moment of such a leader from the task to which he had consecrated his life. That task was far more than the winning of political independence for his country. Davis united in himself, in a degree which has never been known before or since, the spirit of two great originators in Irish history—the spirit of Swift and the spirit of Berkeley—of Swift, the champion of his country against foreign oppression; of Berkeley, who bade her turn her thoughts inward, who summoned her to cultivate the faculties and use the liberties she already possessed for the development of her resources and the strengthening of her national character. Davis's best and most original work was educative rather than aggressive. He often wrote, as Duffy says, "in a tone of strict and haughty discipline designed to make the people fit to use and fit to enjoy liberty." No one recognised more fully than he the regenerative value of political forms, but his ideal was never that of a millennium to be won by Act of Parliament—he was ever on the watch for some opportunity to remind his countrymen of the indispensable need of self-discipline and self-reliance, of toil, of veracity, of justice and fairness towards opponents. No one ever said sharper and sterner things to the Irish people—witness his articles on "Scolding Mobs," on "Moral Force," and on the attack upon one of the jurors who had convicted O'Connell at the State Trial.[4] But Davis could utter hard things without wounding, for, when all is said, the dominant temper of the man was love. That, and that alone, was at the very centre of his being, and by that influence everything that came from him was irradiated and warmed. He had, as an Irish patriot, unwavering faith, unquenchable hope; he had also, and above all, the charity which gave to every other faculty and attainment the supreme, the most enduring grace.



The Irish Parliament of James II.


This enquiry is designed to rescue eminent men and worthy acts from calumnies which were founded on the ignorance and falsehoods of the Old Whigs, who never felt secure until they had destroyed the character as well as the liberty of Ireland.

Irish oppression never could rely on mere physical force for any length of time. Our enormous military resources, and the large proportion of "fighting men," or men who love fighting, among our people, prohibit it. It was ever necessary to divide us by circulating extravagant stories of our crimes and our disasters, in order to poison the wells of brotherly love and patriotism in our hearts, that so many of us might range ourselves under the banner of our oppressor.

Calumny lives chiefly on the past and future; it corrupts history and croaks dark prophecies. Never, from Tyrconnell's rally down to O'Connell's revival of the Emancipation struggle—never, from the summons of the Dungannon Convention to the Corporation Debate on Repeal, has a single bold course been proposed for Ireland, that folly, disorder, and disgrace has not been foreboded. Never has any great deed been done here that the alien Government did not, as soon as the facts became historical, endeavour to blacken the honour of the statesmen, the wisdom of the legislators, or the valour of the soldiers who achieved it.

One of the favourite texts of these apostles of misrule was the Irish Government in King James's time. "There's a specimen," they said, "of what an Irish Government would be—unruly, rash, rapacious, and bloody." But the King, Lords, and Commons of 1689, when looked at honestly, present a sight to make us proud and hopeful for Ireland. Attached as they were to their King, their first act was for Ireland. They declared that the English Parliament had not, and never had, any right to legislate for Ireland, and that none, save the King and Parliament of Ireland, could make laws to bind Ireland.

In 1698, just nine years after, while the acts of this great Senate were fresh, Molyneux published his case of Ireland, that case which Swift argued, and Lucas urged, and Flood and Grattan, at the head of 70,000 Volunteers, carried, and England ratified against her will. Thus, then, the idea of 1782 is to be found full grown in 1689. The pedigree of our freedom is a century older than we thought, and Ireland has another Parliament to be proud of.

That Parliament, too, established religious equality. It anticipated more than 1782. The voluntary system had no supporters then, and that patriot Senate did the next best thing: they left the tithes of the Protestant People to the Protestant Minister, and of the Catholic People to the Catholic Priest. Pensions not exceeding £200 a year were given to the Catholic Bishops. And no Protestant Prelates were deprived of stipend or honour—they held their incomes, and they sat in the Parliament. They enforced perfect liberty of conscience; nor is there an Act of theirs which could inform one ignorant of Irish faction to what creed the majority belonged. Thus for its moderation and charity this Parliament is an honour and an example to the country.

While on the one hand they restored the estates plundered by the Cromwellians thirty-six years before, and gave compensation to all innocent persons—while they strained every nerve to exclude the English from our trade, and to secure it to the Irish—while they introduced the Statute of Frauds, and many other sound laws, and thus showed their zeal for the peaceful and permanent welfare of the People, they were not unfit to grapple with the great military crisis. They voted large supplies; they endeavoured to make a war-navy; the leading members allowed nothing but their Parliamentary duties to interfere with their recruiting, arming, and training of troops. They were no timorous pedants, who shook and made homilies when sabres flashed and cannon roared. Our greatest soldiers, M'Carthy and Tyrconnell, and, indeed, most of the Colonels of the Irish regiments, sat in Lords or Commons;—not that the Crown brought in stipendiary soldiers, but that the Senate were fearless patriots, who were ready to fight as well as to plan for Ireland. Theirs was no qualified preference for freedom if it were lightly won—they did not prefer 'Bondage with ease to strenuous liberty.'

Let us then add 1689 to our memory; and when a Pantheon or Valhalla is piled up to commemorate the names and guard the effigies of the great and good, the bright and burning genius, the haughty and faithful hearts, and the victorious hands of Ireland, let not the men of that time—that time of glory and misfortune—that time of which Limerick's two sieges typify the clear and dark sides—defiance and defeat of the Saxon in one, trust in the Saxon and ruin on the other—let not the legislators or soldiers of that great epoch be forgotten.

Thomas Davis.
July, 1843.



How far the Parliament which sat in Dublin in 1689 was right or wrong has been much disputed. As the history of it becomes more accurately and generally known, the grounds of this dispute will be cleared.

Nor is it of trifling interest to determine whether a Parliament, which not only exercised great influence at the time, but furnished the enactors of the Penal Laws with excuses, and the achievers of the Revolution of 1782 with principles and a precedent, was the good or evil thing it has been called.

The writers commonly quoted against it are, Archbishop King, Harris, Leland; those in its favour, Leslie, Curry, Plowden, and Jones.[5] Of all these writers, King and Lesley are alone original authorities. Harris copies King, and Leland copies Harris, and Plowden, Curry, and Jones rely chiefly on Lesley. Neither Harris, Leland, nor Curry adds anything to our knowledge of the time. King (notwithstanding, as we shall show hereafter, his disregard of truth) is valuable as a contemporary of high rank; Lesley, also a contemporary, and of unblemished character, is still more valuable. Plowden is a fair and sagacious commentator; Jones, a subtle and suggestive critic on those times.

If, in addition, the reader will consult such authorities as the Letters of Lord Lieutenant Tyrconnell;[6] the Memoirs[7] of James the Second by himself; Histoire de la Révolution par Mazure;[8] and the pamphlets quoted in this publication, and the notes to it, he will be in a fair way towards mastering this difficult question.

After all, that Parliament must be judged by its own conduct. If its acts were unjust, bigoted, and rash, no excuse can save it from condemnation. If, on the other hand, it acted with firmness and loyalty towards its king—if it did much to secure the rights, the prosperity, and the honour of the nation—if, in a country where property had been turned upside down a few years before, it strove to do justice to the many, with the least possible injury to the few—if, in a country torn with religious quarrels, it endeavoured to secure liberty of conscience without alienating the ultra zealous—and, finally, if in a country in imminent danger from a powerful invader and numerous traitors, it was more intent on raising resources and checking treason than would become a parliament sitting in peace and safety, let us, while confessing its fallibility, attend to its difficulties, and do honour to its vigour and intelligence.

Before we mention the composition of the Parliament, it will be right to run over some of the chief dates and facts which brought about the state of things that led to its being summoned. Most Irishmen (ourselves among the number) are only beginners at Irish history, and cannot too often repeat the elements: still the beginning has been made. It is no pedantry which leads one to the English invasion for the tap-root of the transactions of the seventeenth century.

Four hundred years of rapacious war and wild resistance had made each believe all things ill of the other; and when England changed her creed in the sixteenth century it became certain that Ireland would adhere to hers at all risks. Accordingly, the reigns of the latter, and especially of the last of the Tudors, witnessed unceasing war, in which an appetite for conquest was inflamed by bigotry on the English side, while the native, who had been left unaided to defend his home, was now stimulated by foreign counsels, as well as by his own feelings, to guard his altar and his conscience too.

James the First found Ireland half conquered by the sword; he completed the work by treachery, and the fee of five-sixths of Ulster rewarded the "energy" of the British. The proceedings of Strafford added large districts in the other provinces to the English possessions. Still, in all these cases, as in the Munster settlement under Elizabeth, the bulk of the population remained on the soil. To leave the land was to die. They clung to it amid sufferings too shocking to dwell on;[9] they clung to it under such a serfhood as made the rapacity of their conquerors interested in retaining them on the soil. They clung to it from necessity and from love. They multiplied on it with the rapidity of the reckless. Yet they retained hope, the hope of restitution and vengeance. The mad ferocity of Parsons and Borlace hastened the outbreak of 1641. That insurrection gave back to the native his property and his freedom, but compelled him to fight for it—first, against the loyalists; next, against the traitors; and lastly, against the republicans. After a struggle of ten years, distinguished by the ability of the Council of Kilkenny, and the bravery of Owen Roe and his followers, the Irish sunk under the abilities and hosts of Cromwell. Those who felt his sway might well have envied the men who conquered and died in the breach of Clonmel, or fell vanquished or betrayed at Letterkenny and Drogheda. During the insurrection of 1641, the royal government, at once timid and tyrannical, united with the sordid capitalists of London to plunder the Irish of their lands and liberty, if not to exterminate them.[10] In order to effect this, a system of unparalleled lying was set afoot against the natives of this kingdom. The violence which naturally attended the sudden resumption of property by an ignorant, excited, and deeply wronged people, was magnified into a national propensity to throat-cutting. Exaggerations the most barefaced were received throughout England. Deaths, which the English-minded Protestant, the Rev. Mr. Warner, has ascertained to have been under 12,000—reckoning deaths from hardships along with those by the sword—were rated in England at 150,000, and by John Milton at 616,000.[11] No wonder the English nation looked upon us as bloody savages; and no wonder they looked approvingly at the massacres and confiscations of the Lord Protector. But the Irish deemed they were free from crime in resuming by force of arms the land which arms had taken from them; they regarded the bloodshed of '41 as a deplorable result of English oppression; they fought with the hearts of resolved patriots till 1651.

The restoration of the Stuarts was hailed as the restoration of their rights. They were woefully disappointed. A compromise was made between the legitimists and the republicans; the former were to resume their rank, the latter to retain their plunder, Ireland was disregarded. The mockery of the Court of Claims restored less than one-third of the Irish lands. While in 1641 the Roman Catholics possessed two-thirds of Ireland, in 1680 they had but one-fifth[12] . Besides, the new possessors were of an opposite creed, and fortified themselves by Penal Laws. Under such circumstances the aim of most men would be much the same, namely, to take the first opportunity of regaining their property, their national independence, and religious freedom. With reference to their legislation on the two latter points, doubts may be entertained how much should be complained of; and even those who condemn that on the first, should remember that "the re-adjustment of all private rights, after so entire a destruction of their landmarks, could only be effected by the coarse process of general rules[13] ."

Let us now run over a few dates, till we come to the event which gave the Irish this opportunity. On the 6th of February, 1685, Charles the Second died in the secret profession of the Roman Catholic faith, and his brother, James Stuart, Duke of York, succeeded him.

James the Second came to his throne with much of what usually wins popular favour. He united in his person the blood of the Tudor, Plantagenet, and Saxon kings of England, while his Scottish descent came through every king of Scotland, and found its spring in the Irish Dalriad chief, who, embarking from Ulster, overran Albany. In addition, James had morals better than those of his rank and time, as much intellect as most kings, and the reputation acquired from his naval administration, graced as it was by sea-fights in which no ship was earlier in action than James's, and by at least one great victory—that over Opdam—fought near Yarmouth, on the 3rd June, 1665.

Yet the difference of his creed from that of his English subjects blew these popular recollections to shivers. He tried to enforce, first, toleration; and, secondly, perfect religious equality, and intended, as many thought, the destruction of that equality, by substituting a Roman Catholic for a Protestant supremacy; and the means he used for this purpose were such as the English Parliament had pronounced unconstitutional. He impeached the corporate charters by quo warranto, brought to trial before judges whom he influenced, as all his predecessors had done. He invaded the customs of the universities, as having a legal right to do so. He suspended the penal laws, and punished those who disobeyed his liberal but unpopular proclamations. Some noble zealots, the Russells and Sidneys, crossed his path in vain; but a few bold caballers, the Danbys, the Shaftesburys, and Churchills, by urging him to despotic acts, and the people to resistance, brought on a crisis; when, availing themselves of it, they called in a foreign army and drove out James, and swore he had abdicated; expelled the Prince of Wales, and falsely called him bastard; made terms with William, that he should have the crown and privy purse, and they the actual government; and ended by calling their selfish and hypocritical work, "a popular and glorious revolution."

It is needless to follow up James's quarrel with the university of Oxford, and his unsuccessful prosecution of the seven Bishops on the 29th of June, 1688, who, emboldened by the prospect of a revolution, refused to read his proclamation of indulgence. From the day of their acquittal, James was lost. Letters were circulated throughout England[14] and Ireland, declaring the young Prince of Wales (who was born 10th June) spurious, and containing many other falsehoods, so as to shake men's souls with rumours, and arouse popular prejudices. The army was tampered with; the nobles and clergy were in treaty with Holland. James not only refused to retract his policy till it was too late; but refused, too, the offer of Louis to send him French troops.

Similar means had been used by and against him in Ireland. Tyrconnell, who had replaced Clarendon as Lord Lieutenant in 1686, got in the charters of the corporations, reconstructed the army, and used every means of giving the Roman Catholics that share in the government of this country to which their numbers entitled them. And, on the other hand, the Protestant nobles joined the English conspiracy, and adopted the English plan of false plots and forged letters.

At length, on 4th November, 1688, Prince William landed at Torbay with 15,000 veterans. James attempted to bear up, but his nearest and dearest, his relatives and his favourites, deserted him in the hour of his need. It seems not excessive to say that there never was a revolution in which so much ingratitude, selfishness, and meanness were displayed. There is not one great genius or untainted character eminent in it. Yet it succeeded. On the 18th of December, William entered London; on the 23rd, James sailed for France; and in the February following the English convention declared he had abdicated.

These dates are, as Plowden remarks, important; for though James's flight, on the 23rd of December, was the legal pretence for insurrection in the summer of 1689, yet negotiations had been going on with Holland through 1687 and 1688,[15] and the Northern Irish formed themselves into military corps, and attacked the soldiers of the crown before Enniskillen, on the first week in December; and on the 7th December the gates of Derry were shut in the face of the king's troops,[16] facts which should be remembered in judging the loyalty of the two parties.



James landed at Kinsale, 12th March, 1689, about a month after the election of William and Mary by the English convention. He entered Dublin in state on the 24th March, accompanied by D'Avaux, as Ambassador from France, and a splendid court. His first act was to issue five proclamations—the first, requiring the return and aid of his Irish absentee subjects; the second, urging upon the local authorities the suppression of robberies and violence which had increased in this unsettled state of affairs; the third, encouraging the bringing provisions for his army; the fourth, creating a currency of such metal as he had, conceiving it preferable to a paper currency (a gold or silver currency was out of his power, for of the two millions promised him by France, he only got £150,000); the fifth proclamation summoned a parliament for the 7th May, 1689.

James also issued a proclamation promising liberty of conscience, justice and protection[17] to all; and, after receiving many congratulatory addresses, set out for Derry to press the blockade. On the 29th April he returned to Dublin. On the 7th May Ireland possessed a complete and independent government. Leaving the castle, over which floated the national flag, James proceeded in full procession to the King's Inns, where the Parliament sat, and the Commons having assembled at the bar of the Peers, James entered, "with Robe and Crown," and addressed the Commons in a speech full of manliness and dignity. At the close of the speech, the Chancellor of Ireland, Lord Gosworth, directed the Commons to retire and make choice of a Speaker. In half an hour the Commons returned and presented Sir Richard Nagle as their Speaker, a man of great endowments and high character. The Speaker was accepted, and the Houses adjourned.

The peers who sat in this parliament amounted to fifty-four. Among these fifty-four were six dignitaries of the Protestant Church, one duke, ten earls, sixteen viscounts, and twenty-one barons. It contained the oldest families of the country—O'Brien and DeCourcy, MacCarty and Bermingham, De Burgo and Maguire, Butler and Fitzpatrick. The bishops of Meath, Cork, Ossory, Limerick, and Waterford, and the Protestant names of Aungier, Le Poer, and Forbes sat with the representatives of the great Roman Catholic houses of Plunket, Barnewell, Dillon, and Nugent. Nor were some fresher honours wanting; Talbot and Mountcashel were the darlings of the people, the trust of the soldiery, the themes of bards.

King's impeachment of this parliament is amusing enough. His first charge is, that if the House were full, the majority would have been Protestant. Now, if the majority preferred acting as insurgents under the Prince of Orange, to attending to their duties in the Irish house of peers, it was their own fault. Certain it is, the most violent might safely have attended, for the earls of Granard and Longford and the bishop of Meath not only attended, but carried on a bold and systematic opposition. And so far was the House from resenting this, that they committed the sheriff of Dublin to prison for billeting an officer at the bishop of Meath's. Yet the bishop had not merely resisted their favourite repeal of the Settlement, but, in doing so, had stigmatized their fathers and some of themselves as murderous rebels.

King's next charge is, that the attainders of many peers were reversed to admit them. Now this is unsupported evidence against fact, and simply a falsehood. Then he complains of the new creations. They were just five in number; and of these five, two were great legal dignitaries—the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice of Ireland; the third was Colonel MacCarty, of the princely family of Desmond, and a distinguished soldier with a great following; the others, Brown, Lord Kenmare; and Bourke, Lord Bofin (son of Lord Clanricarde), men of high position in their counties.

Fitton, Lord Gosworth, occupied the woolsack. That he was a man of capacity, if not of character, may be fairly presumed from his party having put him in so important an office in such trying times.[18] He certainly had neither faction nor following to bring with him. Nor was he treated by his party below what his rank entitled him to. The appointments in his court were not interfered with: his decrees were not impeached, and in the council he sat above even Herbert, the Lord Chancellor of England. Yet, King describes this man as "detected of forgery," one who was brought from gaol to the woolsack—one who had not appeared in any court—a stranger to the kingdom, the laws, and the practice and rules of court;—one who made constant needless references to the Masters to disguise his ignorance, and who was brought into power, first, because he was "a convert papist, that is, a renegade to his country and his religion;" and, secondly, because he would enable the Irish to recover their estates by countenancing "forgeries and perjuries," which last, continues the veracious archbishop, he nearly effected, without putting them to the trouble of repealing the Acts of Settlement. King staggers from the assertion that Fitton denied justice to Protestants, into saying it was got from him with difficulty.

Thomas Nugent, Baron Riverstown, second son of the Earl of Westmeath, was chosen chairman of committees. King, who is the only authority at present accessible to us, states that Nugent had been "out" in 1641, but considering that he did not die till 1715, he must have been a mere boy in '41, if born at all; and, at any rate, as his family, including his grandfather, Lord Delvin (first Earl of Westmeath), and his father, carried arms against the Irish up to 1648, and suffered severely, it is most improbable that he was, as a child, in the opposite ranks.

The Irish had never ceased to agitate against the Acts of Settlement and Explanation. Thus Sir Nicholas Plunket had done legal battle against the first, till an express resolution excluded him by name from appearing at the bar of the council. Then Colonel Talbot (Tyrconnell) led the opposition effort for their repeal or mild administration. In 1686, Sir Richard Nagle went to England, as agent of the Irish, to seek their repeal. But the greatest effort was made in 1688. Nugent and Rice were sent expressly to London to press the repeal. Rice is said to have shown great tact and eloquence, but Nugent to have been rash and confused. Certain it is, they were unsuccessful with the council, and were brutally insulted by the London mob, set on by the very decent chiefs of the Williamite party.

Of the eighteen prelates, ten were Englishmen, one Welsh, and only seven Irish. Several had been chaplains to the different lords lieutenant. Eleven out of the eighteen were in England during the session. Of these, some were habitual absentees, such as Thomas Hackett, bishop of Down, deprived in 1691 by Williamite commissioners for an absence of twenty years. Others had got leave of absence during '87 and '88. Some, like Archbishop John Vesey of Tuam, and Bishop Richard Tennison of Killala, fled in good earnest, and accepted lecturerships and cures in London.

There was one man among them who deserves more notice, Anthony Dopping, lord bishop of Meath. He was born in Dublin, 28th March, 1643, and died 24th April, 1697. He was educated in St. Patrick's schools, and won his fellowship in T.C.D. in 1662, being only 19 years old. He led the opposition in the parliament of '89 with great vigour and pertinacity. He resisted all the principal measures, and procured great changes in some of them, as appears by "The Journal." He had a fearless character and ready tongue. He continued a leader of the Ultras after the battle of the Boyne, and quarrelled with the government. King William, finding how slowly the Irish war proceeded, had prepared and sent to Ireland a proclamation conceding the demands of the Roman Catholics, granting them perfect religious liberty, right of admission to all offices, and an establishment for their clergy.[19] While this was with the printers in Dublin, news came of the danger of Limerick. The proclamation was suppressed by the Lords Justices, who hastened to the camp, "to hold the Irish to as hard terms as possible. This they did effectually." Still these "hard terms" were too lenient for the Ultras, who roared against the treaty of Limerick, and demanded its abrogation. On the Sunday after the Lords Justices had returned, full of joy at having tricked the Irish into so much harder terms than William had directed them to offer, they attended Christ Church, and the bishop of Meath preached a sermon, whose whole object was to urge the breaking of the treaty of Limerick, contending (says Harris, in his Irish Writers in Ware, p. 215) that "peace ought not to be kept with a people so perfidious." The Justices, and the Williamite or moderate party, were enraged at this. The bishop of Kildare was directed to preach in Christ Church on the following Sunday in favour of the treaty; and he obtained the place in the privy council from which the bishop of Meath was expelled; but ultimately the party of the latter triumphed, and enacted the penal laws.

The list of the Lords Temporal has been made out with great care, from all the authorities accessible.

Ireland had then but two dukes, Tyrconnell and Ormond. Ormond possessed the enormous spoils acquired by his grandfather from the Irish, and was therefore largely interested in the success of the English party. He, of course, did not attend. His huge territory and its regal privileges were taken from him by a special act.

Considering the position he occupied, the materials on the life of Tyrconnell are most unsatisfactory. Richard Talbot was a cadet of the Irish branch of the Shrewsbury family, and numbered in his ancestors the first names in English history. His father was Sir William Talbot, a distinguished Irish lawyer, and his brother, Peter Talbot, was R.C. Archbishop of Dublin, and was murdered there by tedious imprisonment on a false charge in 1680. He was a lad of sixteen when Cromwell sacked Drogheda in September 1649, and he doubtless brought from its bloody ashes no feeling in favour of the Saxon. He was all his life engaged in the service of the Irish and of James. He was attached to the Duke of York's suite from the Restoration, and was taken prisoner by the Dutch, on board the Catharine, in the naval action at Solebay, 29th May, 1672.[20] After the Acts of Settlement and Explanation were passed, he acted as agent for the Irish Roman Catholics, urging their claims with all the influence his rank, abilities, and fortune[21] could command. His zeal got him into frequent dangers; he was sent to the Tower in 1661 and 1671 for having challenged the Duke of Ormond, and the English Commons presented an address in 1671, praying his dismissal from all public employments. He was selected by James, both from personal trust and popularity, to communicate with the Irish; and though Clarendon was first sent as Lord Lieutenant in '85, Tyrconnell had the independent management of the army,[22] and replaced Clarendon in 1686.

Sarsfield, who was at the head of "the French party," and most of the great Irish officers, thought him undecided, hardly bold enough, and with a selfish leaning towards England. Of his selfishness we have now a better proof than they had, a proof that might have abated his master's eulogy, given further on. We say might, for possibly Tyrconnell was in communication with James as to the French offers.

"It is now ascertained that, doubtful of the king's success in the struggle for restoring popery in England, he had made secret overtures to some of the French agents, for casting off all connection with that kingdom in case of James's death, and, with the aid of Louis, placing the crown of Ireland on his own head. M. Mazure has brought this remarkable fact to light. Bonrepos, a French emissary in England, was authorised by his court to proceed in a negociation with Tyrconnell for the separation of the two islands, in case that a Protestant should succeed to the crown of England. He had accordingly a private interview with a confidential agent of the Lord Lieutenant at Chester in the month of October, 1687. Tyrconnell undertook that in less than a year everything should be prepared."[23]

Tyrconnell was made Baron Talbotstown, Viscount Baltinglass, and Earl of Tyrconnell in 1686, and Duke and Marquis, 30th March, 1689.

From his coming to Ireland, he worked hard for his master and his countrymen. He gradually substituted Jacobite soldiers for the Oliverians, who till then filled the ranks. He increased the army largely, and lent the king 3,000 men in '88. Mischief was done to James's cause by this employment of Irish troops in England. He was active in calling in the corporation charters, and was exposed to much calumny on account of it. The means, doubtless, were indefensible (for the change should have been effected by act of Parliament, as it has at length been in our times), but the end was to put the corporations into the hands of the Irish people. And even in those new corporations, one-third of the burgesses were of English descent and Protestant faith; but this moderation is attempted to be shaved away by the Williamites, who insist that most of these Protestants were Quakers, whom they describe as a savage rabble, originally founded by the Jesuits[24] —with what injustice we need hardly say. James describes him "as a man of good abilities and clear courage, and one who for many years had a true attachment to his majesty's person and interest."[25]

Lord Clanrickarde represented the Mac William Uachdar, one of the two great branches of the De Burgos, who usurped the chieftaincy on the death of the Earl of Ulster in the year 1333. His father was the great Lord Clanrickarde, who held Connaught in peace and loyalty, from 1641 to 1650; when the troops for which he had negotiated with the Duke of Lorraine not arriving, he too yielded to the storm.

Mac Donnel Lord Antrim, also the representative of a great house (the Lord of the Isles), was equally dependant on his predecessor for notoriety. His elder brother, the Marquis and Earl of Antrim, played a notorious and powerful part on the Irish side, in the war, from 1642 up to 1650. This Earl Alexander also commanded an Irish regiment during the same war. He was within the treaty of Limerick, and saved his rank and fortune.

Lords Longford and Granard were Williamites in fact. This does not follow from their having acted so vigorously in the opposition in 1689, but from their having joined William openly the year after. Lord Granard had been offered the command of the Williamites of Ulster in 1688, and on his refusal, Lord Mount Alexander was appointed.

Among the earls, one naturally looks for the two famous names of Taaffe and Lucan. But Taaffe was then on an embassy to the emperor, and Patrick Sarsfield was not made Earl of Lucan till after. Indeed his patent is not entered in the rolls, from which 'tis probable he was not titled till after the battle of the Boyne.

Viscount Iveagh held Drogheda at the battle of the Boyne, and was induced to surrender it by William's ruffianly and unmilitary threat of "no quarter."

Lord Clare was father to the famous Lord Clare, whose regiment was the glory of the Irish Brigade, and who was killed at Ramillies in 1706. He was descended from Connor O'Brian, third earl of Thomond.

Lord Mountcashel, by his rapidity and skill, completely broke the Munster insurgents, and made that province, till then considered the stronghold of the English, James's best help. To him was intrusted the Bill repealing the Settlement in the Commons, where he sat as member for the county of Cork till that Bill passed the Commons, when he was called to the Upper House as Lord Mountcashel.

Lord Kinsale represented the famous John De Courcy, Earl of Ulster, and had the blood of Charlemagne in his veins. He served as Lieutenant-Colonel to Lord Lucan. His attainder under William was reversed, and he appeared at court, where he enforced the privilege peculiar to his family of remaining covered in the king's presence.



The number of members in the Commons, as the complement was made up under the monstrous charters of James I., Charles I., and Charles II., far outdoing in their unconstitutional nature any of the stretchings of prerogative in the reign of James II., amounted to 300. The number actually returned was 224. Of the deficiencies, no less than 28 were caused by the places being the seats of the war.

The character of this assembly must be chiefly judged by its acts, and we shall presently resume the consideration of them; but there are some things in the composition of the Commons whereby their character has been judged.

They have been denounced by King: but before we examine his statements, let us inquire who he was, lest we underrate or overrate his testimony; lest we unjustly require proof, in addition to the witness of a thoroughly pure and wise man; or, what is more dangerous, lest we remain content with the unconfirmed statements of a bigot or knave.

William King was the son of James King, a miller, who, in order to avoid taking the Solemn League and Covenant, removed from the North of Scotland, and settled in Antrim, where William was born, 1st of May, 1650. (See Harris's "Ware," Bishops of Derry.) He was educated at Dungannon, was a sizar, "native," and schoolmaster in T.C.D., and was ordained in 1673. Parker, archbishop of Tuam, gave him a heap of livings, and on being translated to Dublin, procured the Chancellorship of St. Patrick's for King in 1679. This he held during the Revolution. He was imprisoned in 1689 on suspicion, but after some months was released, through the influence of Herbert and Tyrconnell, and notwithstanding C. J. Nugent's opposition. Immediately on his release he wrote his "State of the Protestants of Ireland," printed in London, cum privilegio, at the chief Williamite printer's. It was written and published while the war in Ireland was at its height, and when it was sought at any price to check the Jacobite feeling then beginning to revive in England, by running down the conduct of the Irish, James's most formidable supporters. Moreover, King had been imprisoned (justly or unjustly) by James's council, and he obtained the bishopric of Derry from William, on the 25th of January, 1690 (old style), namely, within thirty-eight weeks before the publication of his book, which was printed, cum privilegio, 15th of October, 1691. Whether the bishopric was the wages of the book, or the book revenge for the imprisonment, we shall not say; but surely King must have had marvellous virtue to write impartially, in excited and reckless times, for so demoralized a party as the English Whigs, when he wrote of transactions yet incomplete, of which there was a perilous stake not only for him but for his friends, and when, of the parties at issue, one gave him a gaol and the other a mitre.

There is scarcely a section in his book that does not abound with the most superlative charges, put in the coarsest language. All the calumnies as to 1641, which are now confessed to be false, are gospel truths in his book. He never gives an exact authority for any of his graver charges, and his appendix is a valuable reply to his text.

When, in addition to these external probabilites and intrinsic evidences of falsehood, we add that, immediately on its publication, Lesley wrote an answer to it, denying its main statements as mere lies, and that his book was never replied to, we will not be in a hurry to adopt any statement of King's.

But in order to see the force of this last objection to King's credibility, something must be known of Lesley.

Charles Lesley, son of the bishop of Clogher, is chiefly known for his very able controversial writings against Deists, Catholics, and Dissenters. He was a law-student till 1680, when he took orders; and in 1687 became chancellor of Connor. When, in 1688, James appointed a Roman Catholic sheriff for Monaghan, Mr. Lesley, being then sick with gout, had himself carried to the courthouse, and induced the magistrates to commit the sheriff. In fact, it appears from Harris ("Life of William," p. 216, and "Writers of Ireland," pp. 282-6), that Lesley was notorious for his conversions of Roman Catholics, and his stern hostility to Tyrconnell's government. Lesley refused to take the oath of supremacy after the Revolution, and thereby lost all chance of promotion in the Church. He was looked on as the head of the nonjurors, and died in March, 1721-2, at Glaslough, universally respected.

Such being Mr. Lesley's character, so able, so upright, so zealously Protestant, he, in 1692, wrote an answer to King's "State," in which he accuses King of the basest personal hypocrisy and charges him with having in his book written gross, abominable, and notorious falsehoods, and this he proves in several instances, and in many more renders it highly probable. King died 8th May, 1729, leaving Lesley's book altogether unreplied to.

Here then was that man—bishop of Derry for eleven years and archbishop of Dublin for twenty-seven years—remaining silent under a charge of deliberate and interested falsehood, and that charge made by no unworthy man, but by one of his own country, neighbourhood, and creed—by one of acknowledged virtue, high position, and vast abilities.

Nor is this all; Lesley's book was not only unanswered; it was watched and attempted to be stopped, and when published, was instantly ordered to be suppressed, as were all other publications in favour of the Irish or of King James.

The reader is now in a position to judge of the credibility of any assertion of King's, when unsupported by other authority.

King's gravest charges are in the following passage:—

"These members of the House of Commons are elected either by freeholders of counties, or the freemen of the corporations; and I have already showed how king James wrested these out of the hands of Protestants, and put them into Popish hands in the new constitution of corporations, by which the freemen and freeholders of cities or boroughs, to whom the election of burgesses originally belongs, are excluded, and the election put into the hands of a small number of men named by the king, and removable at his pleasure. The Protestant freeholders, if they had been in the kingdom, were much more than the papist freeholders, but now being gone, though many counties could not make a jury, as appeared at the intended trial of Mr. Price and other Protestants at Wicklow, who could not be tried for want of freeholders—yet, notwithstanding the paucity of these, they made a shift to return knights of the shire. The common way of election was thus:—The Earl of Tyrconnell, together with the writ for election, commonly sent a letter, recommending the persons he designed should be chosen; the sheriff or mayor being his creature, on receipt of this, called so many of the freeholders of a county or burgesses of a corporation together, as he thought fit, and without making any noise, made the return. It was easier to do this in boroughs—because, by their new charters, the electors were not above twelve or thirteen, and in the greatest cities but twenty-four; and commonly, not half of these in the place. The method of the Sheriff's proceeding was the same; the number of Popish freeholders being very small, sometimes not a dozen in a county, it was easier to give notice to them to appear, so that the Protestants either did not know of the election or durst not appear at it."

First let us see about the boroughs. King, in his section on the corporations, states in terms that "they" (the Protestants) "thought it reasonable to keep these (corporate towns) in their own hands, as being the foundation of the legislative power, and therefore secluded papists," etc. The purport, therefore, of King's objection to the new constitution under King James's charters was the admission of Roman Catholics. Religious equality was sinful in his eyes.

The means used by James to change the corporations, namely bringing quo warrantos in the Exchequer against them, and employing all the niceties of a confused law to quash them, we have before condemned. In doing so, he had the precedents of the reigns called most constitutional by English historians, and those not old, but during his brother's reign; nor can anyone who has looked into Brady's treatise on Boroughs doubt that there was plenty of "law" in favour of James's conduct.[26] But still public policy and public opinion in England were against these quo warrantos, and in Ireland they were only approved of by those who were to be benefited by them.

But the means being thus improper, the use made by James of this power can hardly be complained of. The Roman Catholics were then about 900,000, the Protestants, over 300,000. James, it is confessed, allowed one-third of the corporations to be Protestant, though they were little, if at all, more than one-fourth of the population. This will appear no great injustice in our times, although some of these Protestants may, as it has been alleged, have been "Quakers."

It must also be remembered that those proceedings were begun not by James but by Charles; that the corporations were, with some show of law, conceived to have been forfeited during the Irish war, or the Cromwellian rule; and that being offered renewals on terms, they refused; whereupon the quo warrantos were brought and decided before the regular tribunals during the earlier and middle part of James's reign. On the 24th September, 1687, James issued his Royal Letter (to be found in Harris's Appendix, pp. 4 to 6), commanding the renewal of the charters. By these renewals, the first members of the corporations were to be named by the lord lieutenant, but they were afterwards to be elected by the corporations themselves. There certainly are non-obstante and non-resistance clauses ordered to be inserted, in the prerogative spirit of that day, which were justly complained of.

With reference to the number of burgesses, King's statement that the number of electors was usually twelve or thirteen, and in the greatest cities but twenty-four, is untrue. Most of the Irish boroughs were certainly reduced to these numbers under the liberal Hanoverian government, but not so under James. The members' names are given in full in Harris's Appendix, and from those it appears that no corporation had so few as twelve electors. Only five, viz.—Dungannon, Ennis, St. Johnstown (in Longford), Belturbet, and Athboy, were as low as thirteen; twenty-three, viz.—Tuam, Kildare, Cavan, Galway, Callan, Newborough, Carlingford, Gowran, Carysfort, Boyle, Roscommon, Athy, Strabane, Middletown, Newry, Philipstown, Banagher, Castlebar, Fethard, Blessington, Charleville, Thomastown, and Baltimore, varied from fourteen to twenty-four; most of the rest varied from thirty to forty. Dublin had seventy-three; Cork, sixty-one; Clonmel, forty-six; Cashel, forty-two; Drogheda, fifty-seven; Kilkenny, sixty-one; Limerick, sixty-five; Waterford, forty-nine; Youghal, forty-six; Wexford, fifty-three, and Derry, sixty-four. This is a striking proof of the little reliance to be placed on King's positive statements.

Harris, a hostile authority, gives the names and generally the additions of the members of each corporation, and the majority are merchants, respectable traders, engineers, or gentlemen. Moreover, in such towns as our local knowledge extends to, the names are those of the best families, not being zealous Williamites. As to the counties, King relies upon a pamphlet published in London in 1689, setting out great grievances in the title page, and disproving them in the body of the tract.

If many Protestant freeholders had fled to England, who was to blame?—Most assuredly, my Lord Mount Alexander and the rest of the right noble and honourable suborners, devisers, and propagators of forged letters and infamous reports, whereby they frightened the Protestants, in order to take advantage of their terror for their own selfish ends. The exposure of these devices by the publication of "Speke's Memoirs," by the confessed forgery of the Dromore letter, etc., have thrown the chief blame of the Protestant desertion off the shoulders of those Protestants, off the shoulders, too, of the Irish government, and have brought it crushingly upon the aristocratic cabal, who alone profited by the revolution, as they alone caused it.

In the absence of other testimony, we must take, with similar allowances, the story of Tyrconnell "commonly" sending an unconstitutional letter to influence the election. But how very good these Jacobite sheriffs and mayors were to let King into the secret, in 1691, when their destiny was uncertain! That such gossip was current is likely, but for a historian to assert on such authority is scandalous.

King asserts that the unrepresented boroughs were "about twenty-nine." Now, there were but eighteen boroughs unrestored; but King helps out the falsehood by inserting places—Thurles, Tipperary, Arklow, and Birr—which never had members before or since, by creating a second town of Kells, by transferring St. Johnstown in Longford which returned members, to St. Johnstown in Donegal, which was a seat of war, and by other tricks equally discreditable to his honesty and intelligence.

The towns unrestored could not have sent members to James's parliament, and it was apparently doubted whether they ought to have done so to William's in '92.

Against the Commons actually elected the charge is that only six Protestants were elected. In the very section containing the charge it is much qualified by other statements. "Thus," he says, "one Gerard Dillon, Sergeant-at-Law, a most furious Papist, was Recorder of Dublin, and he stood to be chosen one of the burgesses for the city, but could not prevail, because he had purchased a considerable estate under the Act of Settlement, and they feared lest this might engage him to defend it;" and therefore they chose Sir Michael Creagh and Terence Dermot, their Senior Aldermen, showing pretty clearly that the good citizens of Dublin set little value on the "furious Popery" of Prime Sergeant Dillon, in comparison with their property plundered by the Act of Settlement.

The election for Trinity College is worthy of notice. We have it set out in flaming paragraphs how horribly the College was used, worse than any other borough, "Popish Fellows" being intruded. "In the house they placed a Popish garrison, turned the chapel into a magazine, and many of the chambers into prisons for Protestants." (King, p. 220, Ed. 1744.) Yet, miraculous to say, in the heart of this "Popish garrison," the "turned-out Vice-Provost, Fellows, and Scholars" met, and elected two most bold, notable, and Protestant Williamites.

If this election could take place in Dublin, under the very nose of the Government, and in a corporation in which the king had unquestioned control, one will hesitate about the compulsion or exclusion in other places.

Besides Sir John Meade and Mr. Joseph Coghlan, the members for the College, there "were four more Protestants returned, of whose behaviour I can give no account," says King. Pity he does not give the names.

If we were to allow a similar error in King's account of the creed of the elected, that we have proved in his lists of the borough electors, it would raise the number of Protestants in the house to about fourteen.

Allowing then for the Protestants in arms against the Government—out of the country, or within the seat of war—the disproportion between their representatives and the Roman Catholics will lessen greatly.

One thing more is worth noticing in the Commons, and that is a sort of sept representation. Thus we see O'Neills in Antrim, Tyrone, and Armagh; Magennises in Down; O'Reillys in Cavan; Martins, Blakes, Kirwans, Dalys, Bourkes for Connaught; MacCarthys, O'Briens, O'Donovans for Cork and Clare; Farrells for Longford; Graces, Purcells, Butlers, Welshs, Fitzgeralds for Tipperary, Kilkenny, Kildare, etc.; O'Tooles, Byrnes, and Eustaces for Wicklow; MacMahons for Monaghan; Nugents, Bellews, Talbots, etc., for North Leinster.

Sir Richard Nagle, the Speaker, was the descendant of an old Norman family (said to be the same as the Nangles) settled in Cork. His paternal castle, Carrignancurra, is on the edge of a steep rock, over the meadows of the Blackwater, half-a-dozen miles below Mallow. It is now the property of the Foot family, and here may still be seen the mouldering ruin where that subtle lawyer first learned to plan. Peacefully now look the long oak-clad cliffs on the happy river.

Nagle had obtained a splendid reputation at the Irish Bar. "He had been educated among the Jesuits, and designed for a clergyman," says King, "but afterwards betook himself to the study of the law, in which he arrived to a good perfection." Harris, likewise, calls him "an artful lawyer of great parts." Tyrconnell valued him rightly, and brought him to England with him in the autumn of 1686. His reputation seems to have been great, for it seems the lords interested in the Settlement Act, "on being informed of Nagle's arrival, were so transported with rage that they would have had him immediately sent out of London."

He was knighted, and made attorney-general in 1687; and on James's arrival, March, 1688-9, he was made secretary of state. He is said, we know not how truly, to have drafted the Commons' bill for the repeal of the Settlement.

Let us mention some of the members.—Nagle's colleague in Cork was Colonel MacCarty, afterwards Lord Mountcashel. Miles de Courcy, afterwards Lord Kinsale, MacCarty Reagh, who finally settled in France. His descendant, Count MacCarty Reagh, was notable for having one of the finest libraries in Europe, which was sold after the Revolution.

The Rt. Hon. Simon Lutteral raised a dragoon regiment for James, and afterwards commanded the Queen's regiment of infantry in the Brigade. He was father to Colonel Henry Lutteral, accused of having betrayed the passage of the Shannon at Limerick; and though Harris throws doubt on this particular act of treason, his correspondence and rewards from William seem sufficient proof and confirmation of his guilt.

Lally of Tullendaly, member for Tuam, was the representative of the O'Lallys, an old Irish sept. His brother, John Gerard Lally, settled in France, and married a sister to Dillon, "colonel propriétaire" in the Brigade, and was Colonel commanding in this illustrious regiment. Sir Gerard was father to the famous Count Thomas Lally Tollendal, who, after having served from the age of twelve to sixty-four in every quarter of the globe, from Barcelona to Dettingen, and from Fontenoy to Pondicherry, was beheaded on the 9th of May, 1766. The Marquis De Lally Tollendal, a distinguished lawyer and statesman of the Bourbonist party, and writer of the life of Strafford, and many other works, was a grand-nephew to James Lally, the member for Tuam in '89.

Colonel Roger Mac Elligot, who commanded Lord Clancarty's regiment (the 12th infantry) in the Brigade, was member for Ardfert.

Limerick.—Sir John Fitzgerald was "col. propr." of the regiment of Limerick (8th infantry) in the Brigade.

Oliver O'Gara, member for Tulske, was Lieutenant-Colonel of the guards under Colonel Dorrington.

Hugh Mac Mahon, Gordon O'Nials Lieutenant-Colonel, was member for Monaghan.

The Right Hon. Nicholas Purcell, member for Tipperary, was a Privy Councillor early in James's reign. His family were Barons of Loughmoe, and of great consideration in those parts.

The first bill introduced into the Lords was on the 8th of May—that for the recognition of the king—and the same day committees of grievance were appointed.



It is needless for us to track the parliament through the debates of the session, which lasted till the 20th July. The few acts (thirty-five), passed in two months, received full and earnest discussion; committees and counsel were heard on many of them (the Acts for repealing the Settlement in particular), and this parliament refused even to adjourn during any holiday.

We trust our readers will deal like searchers for truth, not like polemics, with these documents, and with the history of these times. But, above all, let them not approach the subject unless it be in a spirit enlightened by philosophy and warmed by charity. Thus studied, this time, which has been the armoury of faction, may become the temple of reconciliation. The descendant of the Williamite ought to sympathise with the urgent patriotism and loyalty of the parliament, rather than dwell on its errors, or on the sufferings which civil war inflicted on his forefathers. The heir of the Jacobite may well be proud of such countrymen as the Inniskilliners and the 'Prentice Boys of Derry. Both must deplore that the falsehoods, corruption, and forgeries of English aristocrats, the imprudence of an English king, and the fickleness of the English people placed the noble cavalry which slew Schomberg, and all but beat William's immense masses at the Boyne, in opposition to the stout men of Butler's-bridge and Cavan. What had not the defenders of Derry and Limerick, the heroes of Athlone, Inniskillen, and Aughrim done, had they cordially joined against the alien? Let the Roman Catholics, crushed by the Penal Code, let the Protestants, impoverished and insulted by England, till, musket in hand and with banners displayed, they forced their rights from her in '82—let both look narrowly at the causes of those intestine feuds, which have prostrated both in turn before the stranger, and see whether much may not be said for both sides, and whether half of what each calls crime in the other is not his own distrust or his neighbour's ignorance. Knowledge, Charity, and Patriotism are the only powers which can loose this Prometheus-land. Let us seek them daily in our own hearts and conversation.

The Acts and other official documents of James's Parliament were ordered by William's Parliament to be burned, and became extremely scarce. In 1740 they were printed in Dublin by Ebenezer Rider, and from that collection we propose to reprint the most important of them, as the best and most solid answer to misrepresentation.

The Parliament which passed those Acts was the first and the last which ever sat in Ireland since the English invasion, possessed of national authority, and complete in all its parts. The king, by law and in fact—the king who, by his Scottish descent, his creed, and his misfortunes, was dear (mistakenly or not) to the majority of the then people of Ireland—presided in person over that Parliament. The peerage consisted of the best blood, Milesian and Norman, of great wealth and of various creeds. The Commons represented the Irish septs, the Danish towns, and the Anglo-Irish counties and boroughs. No Parliament of equal rank, from King to Commons, sat here since; none sat here before or since so national in composition and conduct.

Standing between two dynasties—endangering the one, and almost rescuing the other—acting for a nation entirely unchained then for the first time in 500 years—this Parliament and its Acts ought to possess the very greatest interest for the historian and the patriot.

This was the speech with which his Majesty opened the Session:—

My Lords and Gentlemen,

The Exemplary Loyalty which this Nation hath expressed to me, at a time when others of my Subjects undutifully misbehaved themselves to me, or so basely deserted me: And your seconding my Deputy, as you did, in His Firm and Resolute asserting my Right, in preserving this Kingdom for me, and putting it in a Posture of Defence; made me resolve to come to you, and to venture my life with you, in the defence of your Liberties and my Own Right. And to my great Satisfaction I have not only found you ready to serve me, but that your Courage has equalled your Zeal.

I have always been for Liberty of Conscience, and against invading any Man's Property; having still in my Mind that Saying in Holy Writ, Do as you would be done to, for that is the Law and the Prophets.

It was this Liberty of Conscience I gave, which my Enemies both Abroad and at Home dreaded; especially when they saw that I was resolved to have it Established by Law in all my Dominions, and made them set themselves up against me, though for different Reasons. Seeing that if I had once settled it, My people (in the Opinion of the One) would have been too happy; and I (in the Opinion of the Other) too great.

This Argument was made use of, to persuade their own People to joyn with them, and to many of my Subjects to use me as they have done. But nothing shall ever persuade me to change my Mind as to that; and wheresoever I am the Master, I design (God willing) to Establish it by Law; and have no other Test or Distinction but that of Loyalty.

I expect your Concurrence in so Christian a Work, and in making Laws against Prophaneness and all Sorts of Debauchery.

I shall also most readily consent to the making such Good and Wholesome Laws as may be for the general Good of the Nation, the Improvement of Trade, and the relieving of such as have been injured by the late Acts of Settlement, as far forth as may be consistent with Reason, Justice, and the Publick Good of my People.

And as I shall do my Part to make you Happy and Rich, I make no Doubt of your Assistance; by enabling me to oppose the unjust Designs of my Enemies, and to make this Nation flourish.

And to encourage you the more to it, you know with what Ardour and Generosity and Kindness the Most Christian King gave a secure retreat to the Queen, my Son, and Myself, when we were forced out of England, and came to seek for Protection and Safety in his Dominions; how he embraced my Interest, and gave me such Supplies of all Sorts as enabled me to come to you; which, without his obliging Assistance, I could not have done: This he did at a Time when he had so many and so considerable Enemies to deal with: and you see still continues to do.

I shall conclude as I have begun, and assure you I am as sensible as you can desire of the signal Loyalty you have expressed to me; and shall make it my chief study (as it always has been) to make you and all my Subjects happy.

These were the Acts of that memorable parliament.

Chapter I.

An Act of Recognition.

Chapter II.

An Act for Annulling and making Void all Patents of Officers for Life, or during good Behaviour.

Chapter III.

An Act declaring, That the Parliament of England cannot bind Ireland [and] against Writs of Error and Appeals, to be brought for Removing Judgments, Decrees, and Sentences given in Ireland, into England.

Chapter IV.

An Act for Repealing the Acts of Settlement, and Explanation, Resolution of Doubts and all Grants, Patents and Certificates, pursuant to them or any of them. [This Act will be dealt with separately in the next chapter.]

Chapter V.

An Act for punishing of persons who bring in counterfeit Coin of foreign Realms being current in this Realm, or counterfeit the same within this Realm, or wash, clip, file, or lighten the same.

Chapter VI.

An Act for taking off all Incapacities on the Natives of this Kingdom.

Chapter VII.

An Act for taking away the Benefits of the Clergy in certain Cases of Felony in this Kingdom for two Years.

Chapter VIII.

An Act to continue two Acts made to prevent Delays in Execution; and to prevent Arrests of Judgments and Superseding Executions.

Chapter IX.

An Act for Repealing a Statute, Entituled, An Act for Provision of Ministers in Cities and Corporate Towns, and making the Church of St. Andrews in the Suburbs of [the city of] Dublin Presentative for ever.

Chapter X.

An Act of Supply for his Majesty for the Support of his Army.

[The Act of Supply begins by giving good reasons for the making of it; namely, that the army cost far more than the king's revenue, and that that army was rendered necessary from the invasion of Ireland by the English rebels. It next grants the king £20,000 a month, to be raised by a land-tax, and this sum it distributes on the different counties and counties of towns, according to their abilities. The rebellious counties of Fermanagh and Derry are taxed just as lightly as if they were loyal. The names of the commissioners are, beyond doubt, those of the first men in their respective counties. The rank of the country was as palpably on James's side as was the populace.

The clauses regarding the tenants are remarkably clear and liberal: "For as much," it says, "as it would be hard that the tenants should bear any proportion of the said sum, considering that it is very difficult for the tenant to pay his rent in these distracted times," it goes on to provide that the tax shall, in the first instance, be paid by the occupier, but that, where land is let at its value, he shall be allowed the whole of the tax out of his rent, notwithstanding any contract to the contrary; and that where the land was let at half its value or less, then, and then only, should the tenant pay a share (half) of the tax. Thus not only rack-rented farms, but all let at any rent, no matter how little, over half the value, were free of this tax. Where, in distracted or quiet times, since, has a parliament of landlords in England or Ireland acted with equal liberality?

The £20,000 a month hereby granted was altogether insufficient for the war; and James, urged by the military exigency, which did not tolerate the delay of calling a parliament when Schomberg threatened the capital, issued a commission on the 10th April, 1690, to raise £20,000 a month additional; yet so far was even this from meeting his wants, that we find by one of Tyrconnell's letters to the queen (quoted in Thorpe's catalogue for 1836), that in the spring of 1689, James's expenses were £100,000 a month. Those who have censured this additional levy and the brass coinage were jealous of what was done towards fighting the battle of Ireland, or forgot that levies by the crown and alterations of the coin had been practised by every government in Europe.]

Chapter XI.

An Act for Repealing the Act for keeping and celebrating the 23rd of October as an Anniversary Thanksgiving in this Kingdom.

Chapter XII.

An Act for Liberty of Conscience, and Repealing such Acts or Clauses in any Act of Parliament which are inconsistent with the same.

An Act concerning Tythes and other Ecclesiastical Duties.

Acts XIII. and XV. provide for the payment of tithes by Protestants to the Protestant Church and by Catholics to the Catholic Church.

Chapter XIV.

An Act regulating Tythes, and other Ecclesiastical Duties in the Province of Ulster.

Chapter XVI.

An Act for Repealing the Act for real Union and Division of Parishes, and concerning Churches, Free-Schools and Exchanges.

Chapter XVII.

An Act for Relief and Release of poor distressed Prisoners for Debts.

Chapter XVIII.

An Act for the Repealing an Act, Entituled, An Act for Confirmation of Letters Patent Granted to his Grace James Duke of Ormond.

[The list of estates granted to Ormond, under the settlement at the restoration, occupies a page and a half of Cox's Magazine. To reduce him to his hereditary principalities (for they were no less) which he held in 1641, was no great grievance, and that was the object of this Act.]

Chapter XIX.

An Act for Encouragement of Strangers and others to inhabit and plant in the Kingdom of Ireland.

Chapter XX.

An Act for Prevention of Frauds and Perjuries.

Chapter XXI.

An Act for Prohibiting the Importation of English, Scotch, or Welch Coals into this Kingdom.

Chapter XXII.

An Act for ratifying and confirming Deeds and Settlements and last Wills and Testaments of Persons out of Possession.

Chapter XXIII.

An Act for the speedy Recovering of Servants' Wages.

Chapter XXIV.

An Act for Forfeiting and Vesting in His Majesty the Goods of Absentees.

Chapter XXV.

An Act concerning Martial Law.

Chapter XXVI.

An Act for Punishment of Waste committed on Lands restorable to old Proprietors.

Chapter XXVII.

An Act to enable his Majesty to regulate the Duties of Foreign Commodities.

Chapter XXVIII.

An Act for the better settling Intestates' Estates.

Chapter XXIX.

An Act for the Advance and Improvement of Trade, and for Encouragement and increase of Shipping, and Navigation.

Chapter XXX.

An Act for the Attainder of Divers Rebels, and for the Preserving the Interest of Loyal Subjects.—(Dealt with in our sixth chapter.)

Chapter XXXI.

An Act for granting and confirming unto the Duke of Tyrconnel, Lands and Tenements to the Value of £15,000 per annum.

Chapter XXXII.

An Act for securing the Water-Course for the Castle and City of Dublin.

Chapter XXXIII.

An Act for relieving Dame Anna Yolanda Sarracourt, alias Duval, and her Daughter.

Chapter XXXIV.

An Act for securing Iron-works and Land thereunto belonging, on Sir Henry Waddington, Knight, at a certain Rate.

Chapter XXXV.

An Act for Reversal of the Attainder of William Ryan of Bally Ryan in the County of Tipperary, Esq.; and for restoring him to his Blood, corrupted by the said Attainder.



It appears from the Journal of the proceedings of the parliament, and from many other authorities, that no act of the Irish Parliament of 1689 received such full consideration as the following. Two bills were brought in for the purpose of repealing the acts of settlement—that into the House of Lords, on May 13, by Chief Justice Nugent; that into the House of Commons by Lord Riverstown and Colonel MacCarthy. Committees sat to inquire into the effects of the bills; many memorials were read and considered; counsel were heard, both generally on the bills and on their effects on individuals; the debates were long, and it was not till after several conferences between the two houses that the act passed. The act was deliberately and maturely considered.

The titles and some of the effects of the acts of settlement are given in the preamble to the following statute. The effect of those acts of settlement had been, in a great degree, to confirm the unprincipled distribution of Irish property, made by Cromwell's government, amongst those who had served it best, or, what meant nearly the same thing, who had most injured the Irish. The acts of settlement gave legality to a revolution which transferred the lands of the natives to military colonists. The repeal of those acts, within 24 years after they passed, and within about 37 years after that revolution took place, cannot excite much surprise. The one-third of their holdings (which the Cromwellian soldiers were obliged by the acts of the settlement to give up) could not have made a fund to reprize those who had been ousted from the entire. However, the giving up of that one-third was not strictly enforced, and the stock resulting was wasted by commissioners, and distributed as the applicants had interest at court, not as they had title to the lands. Thus, Lord Ormond got some HUNDRED THOUSAND acres; albeit he had done more substantial injury to the Irish, and to the royalist cause in which they foolishly embarked, than any of the parliamentarians, from Coote to Ireton. Under such circumstances, we are not exaggerating the effect of the acts of settlement, passed after the Restoration, in saying, that they confirmed by law the Cromwellian robbery. The testimony of all the credible writers of the time goes to the same effect. Indeed, the repeal of the acts of settlement would have been against the interests of the natives, if they had received justice from those acts. This, in itself, is sufficient to prove how much hardship they had caused. The repeal of those acts by the Irish, as soon as they were in power, seems natural, considering how great and how recent was the injury they inflicted. Still, as we said, 24 years had passed since those acts had become law. Many persons had got possession of properties under that law, and many of those properties had, doubtless, been sold, leased, subdivided, improved, and incumbered, upon the faith of that law. It might be urged that persons interested by such means in these properties had become so with full knowledge that they had been acquired by violence and injustice, and that the original owners and their families were in existence, ready and resolved to take their first opportunity of regaining their rights. Such reasoning fixes all who had advanced money, made purchases, or become in any wise interested under the acts of settlement, with such injustice and imprudence as to diminish their claim for compensation upon the repeal of those acts. But it only diminished, it did not destroy that claim. All those persons reposed some confidence in the security of the then existing government; and many of them found a justification for the Cromwellian conquest, in the conduct of the Irish, as the well-sustained falsehoods of the English describe it.

For these reasons, Chief Justice Keating prepared a long memorial, which Forbes, Lord Granard, presented to the king, during the discussions on the bills, in May, 1689, setting forth the claims of those who came in under the acts of settlement, as incumbrancers, purchasers, tenants, by marriage, etc. This memorial is dishonestly represented by the Whig writers, as directed against the repeal altogether; but any one who reads it (which he can do in the appendix to Harris's life of William) will find that it is an argument in favour of the classes described in the last sentence. From the long and careful clauses in the following act, for the reprisal and compensation of those classes, we must infer that Keating's memorial produced its intended effect. However, these clauses require to be carefully examined, to see whether they carry out this principle of compensation fairly and impartially. The character of this parliament for moderation depends greatly on their doings in this respect.

We now come to a second class, the Irish who, having been given the alternative of "Hell or Connaught" (as a certain bishop was of Heaven or Dungarvan), preferred the latter, and were located on the lands of the Connaught people. This class would generally come in for their old holdings in the other provinces, and required no compensation; but the distribution, under this act, of the incumbrances, etc., between them and the owners of their former and present lands, seems lawyer-like and reasonable.

The next great class are the "adventurers," those who got lands during the Commonwealth, and whose holdings were confirmed by the settlement. Their claim was boldly and ably urged by Anthony Dopping, bishop of Meath. His speech on the Repeal Bill is given in King's appendix, and is worth reading. He bases their claim upon the supposition of the Irish having been bloody rebels, rightly punished by the giving of their lands to their loyal conquerors. His speech gives the genuine opinion of the English at the time. The preamble to the following act, and that to the Commons' bill, give the Irish view of the war. These documents deny that the bulk of the Irish were engaged in the conspiracy of 1641; and the denial is true, although it is also true that more than a "few indigent persons" engaged in it, as is plain from Lord Maguire's narrative; and although it might have more become this Irish parliament to proclaim the absolute justice of the rising of 1641, on account of the sufferings of all ranks of Irish, in property and in political and religious rights; while they might have lamented that English atrocities had led to a cruel retaliation, though one infinitely less than it has been represented. However, the parliament, probably from delicacy to the king, based the rights of the Irish upon the peace of 1684, and the Restoration as restoring them to their loyalty, and to the properties possessed in 1641.

Most fair inquirers will allow the justice of this restoration of the Irish; but will lament that the act before us contains no provision for the families of those adventurers, who, however guilty when they came into the country, had been in it for from thirty to forty years, and had time and some citizenship in their favour. There had been sound policy in that too, but it was not done; and though the open hostility of most of those adventurers to the government—though the wants and urgency of the old proprietors, added to a lively recollection of the horrors which thronged about their advent, may be urged in favour of leaving them to work out their own livelihood by hard industry, or to return to England, we cannot be quite reconciled to the wisdom of the course. Yet, let any one who finds himself eager to condemn the Irish Parliament on this account read over the facts that led to it, namely: the conquest of Leinster before the Reformation; the settlements of Munster and Ulster, under Elizabeth and James; the governments of Strafford, and Parsons, and Borlace; Cromwell's and Ireton's conquest; the effects of the acts of settlement, and the false-plot reign of Charles II.; let them, we say, read these, and be at least moderate in censuring the Parliament of 1689.

The Preamble to the Act of Repeal of the Acts of Settlement and Explanation, etc., as it passed the House of Commons.[27]

Whereas the Ambition and Avarice of the Lords Justices ruling over this your Kingdom, in 1641, did engage them to gather a malignant Party and Cabal of the then Privy Council contrary to their sworn Faith and natural Allegiance, in a secret Intelligence and traitorous Combination, with the Puritan Sectaries in the Realm of Great Britain, against their lawful and undoubted Sovereign, his Peace, Crown, and Dignity, the Malice of which made it soon manifest in the Nature and Tendency of their Proceedings; their untimely Prorogations of a loyal unanimous Parliament, and thereby making void, and disappointing the Effects of many seasonable Votes, Bills, and Addresses which, passed into Laws, had certainly secured the Peace and Tranquility of this Kingdom, by binding to his Majesty the Hearts of his Irish Subjects, as well by the Tyes of Affection and Gratitude, as Duty and Allegiance there. The said Lords Justices traitorously disbanding his Majesty's well assured Catholick Forces, when his Person and Monarchy were exposed to the said Rebel Sectaries, then marching in hostile Arms to dispoil him of his Power, Dominion, and Life; their immediate calling into the Place and Stead of those his Majesty's faithful disbanded Forces, a formidable Body of disciplined Troops allied and confederated in Cause, Nation and Principles with those Rebel Sectaries; their unwarrantable Entertainment of those Troops in this Kingdom, to the draining of his Majesty's Treasury, and Terror of his Catholick Subjects, then openly menaced by them the aforesaid Lords Justices with a Massacre and total Extirpation, their bloody Prosecution of that Menace, in the Slaughter of many innocent Persons, thereby affrighting and compelling others in despair of Protection, from their Government, to unite and take Arms for their necessary Defence, and Preservation of their Lives; their unpardonable Prevarication from his Majesty's Orders to them, in retrenching the Time by him graciously given to his Subjects so compelled into Arms of returning to their Duty; and stinting the General Pardon to such only as had no Freehold Estates to make Forfeitures of; their pernicious Arts in way-laying, exchanging and wickedly depriving all Intercourse by Letters, Expresses, and other Communications and Privity betwixt your said Royal Father and his much abused People; their insolent and barbarous Application of Racks and other Engines of Torture to Sir John Read, his then Majesty's sworn menial Servant, and that upon their own conscience Suspicions of his being intrusted with the too just Complaints of the persecuted Catholick aforesaid; their diabolical Malice and Craft, in essaying by Promises and Threats, to draw from him, the said Read, in his Torments, a false and impious Accusation of his Master and Sovereign as being the Author and Promoter of the then Commotion, so manifestly procured, and by themselves industriously spread.

And whereas a late eminent Minister of State, for parallel Causes and Ends, pursuing the Steps of the aforesaid Lords Justices, hath by his Interest and Power, cherished and supported a Fanatical Republican Party, which heretofore opposed, put to flight, and chased out of this your Kingdom of Ireland, the Royal Authority lodged in his Person, and to transfer the calamitous Consequences of his fatal Conduct from himself, upon your trusty Roman Catholick Subjects, to the Breach of publick Faith solemnly given and proclaimed in the Name of our late Sovereign, interposed betwixt them and his late Majesty's general Indulgence and Pardon, and wrought their Exclusion from that Indemnity in their Estates, which by the said publick Faith is specially provided for, and since hath been extended to the most bloody and execrable Traitors, few only excepted by Name in all your Realms and Dominions. And further, to exclude from all Relief, and even Access of Admittance to Justice, to your said Irish Catholick People, and to secure to himself and his Posterity, his vast Share of their Spoils; he the said eminent Minister did against your sacred Brother's Royal Promise and Sanction aforesaid, advise and persuade his late Majesty to give, and accordingly obtained his Royal Assent to two several Acts. The one intituled, An Act for the better Execution of his Majesty's gracious Declaration for the Settlement of this Kingdom of Ireland, and Satisfaction of the several Interests of Adventurers, Soldiers, and other his Majesty's Subjects there. Which Act was so passed at a Parliament held in this Kingdom, in the 14th and 15th Years of his Reign. And the other, An Act intituled, An Act of Explanation, etc.

Which Act was passed in a Session of the Parliament held in this Kingdom, in the 17th and 18th Years of his Reign, most of the Members thereof being such, as forcibly possessed themselves of the Estates of your Catholic subjects in this Kingdom, and were convened together for the sole special Purpose of creating and granting to themselves and their Heirs, the Estates and Inheritances of this your Kingdom of Ireland, upon a scandalous, false Hypothesis, imputing the traitorous Design of some desperate, indigent Persons to seize your Majesty's Castle of Dublin, on the 23rd of October, 1641, to an universal Conspiracy of your Catholick Subjects, and applying the Estates and Persons thereby presumed to have forfeited, to the Use and Benefit of that Regicide Army, which brought that Kingdom from its due Subjection and Obedience to his Majesty, under the Peak and Tyranny of a bloody Usurper. An Act unnatural, or rather viperously destroying his late Majesty's gracious Declaration, from whence it had Birth, and its Clauses, Restorations and Uses, inverting the very fundamental Laws, as well of your Majesty's, as all other Christian Governments. An Act limiting and confining the Administration of Justice to a certain Term or Period of Time, and confirming the Patrimony of Innocents unheard, to the most exquisite Traytors, that now stand convict on Record; the Assigns and Trustees, even of the then deceased Oliver Cromwell himself, for whose Arrears, as General of the Regicide Army, special Provision is made at the Suit of his Pensioners. Now in regard the Acts above mentioned do in a florid and specious Preamble, contrary to the known Truth in Fact, comprehend all your Majesty's Roman Catholick Subjects of Ireland, in the Guilt of those few indigent Persons aforesaid, and on that Supposition alone, by the Clause immediately subsequent to that Preamble, vest all their Estates in his late Majesty, as a Royal Trustee, to the principal Use of those who deposed and murthered your Royal Father, and their lawful Sovereign. And furthermore, to the Ends that the Articles and Conditions granted in the Year 1648, by Authority from your Majesty's Royal Brother, then lodged in the Marquess of Ormond, may be duly fulfilled and made good to your Majesty's present Irish Catholick Subjects, in all their Parts and Intentions, and that the several Properties and Estates in this Kingdom may be settled in their antient Foundations, as they were on the 21st of October, 1641. And that all Persons may acquiesce and rejoyce under an impartial Distribution of Justice, and sit peaceably down under his own Vine or Patrimony, to the abolishing all Distinction of Parties, Countries and Religions, and settling a perpetual Union and Concord of Duty, Affection, and Loyalty to your Majesty's Person and Government in the Hearts of your Subjects, Be it enacted, etc.

[Here follows the Act of Repeal.]



Chapter XXX.

An Act for the attainder of various rebels, and for preserving the interests of loyal subjects.

The authenticity of this Act as printed by Archbishop King has been questioned, especially by William Todd Jones in 1793. But we believe its authenticity cannot be successfully contested. Lesley, in his "Reply" to King, makes no attempt to disprove its existence, but, on the contrary, alludes to it and applauds James for having opposed it. King, however, asserts that the Act was kept a secret; and that the persons attainted, or their friends, could not obtain a copy of it. For this Jones answers:—

"But the fact (as stated by King) is impossible: conceive the absurdity; an act of parliament is smuggled, where? through two houses of lords and commons; of whom were they composed? of catholics crowded with protestants; though Leland, upon the authority of King, says there were but fourteen real protestants. Well, what did these two houses do? They voted and passed a secret act of attainder of 2,500 protestants, which was to lie-by privately in petto, to be brought forward at a proper time; unknown, unheard of, by all the protestant part of the kingdom, till peace was restored: and that, according to King, was to be deemed the proper time for a renewal of war and devastation, by its publication and execution, and the secret was to be closely kept from nearly 3,000 persons by the whole house of commons; by fifty-six peers, including primate Boyle, Barry lord Barrymore, Angier lord Longford, Forbes, the incomparable lord Granard (of whom more in my next continuation), Parsons lord Ross, Dopping bp. of Meath, Otway bp. of Ossory, Wetenhal bishop of Cork, Digby bishop of Limerick, Bermingham lord Athenry, St. Lawrence lord Howth, Mallon lord Glenmallon, Hamilton lord Strabane, all protestants and many of them presbyterians, or rather puritans. It was kept close from 3,000 persons by all the privy council; by all the clerks of parliament who engross and tack together bills, it was to be kept an entire secret from all the protestants without doors, by all the protestants within the gates of parliament; and this probable, wise politic expectation was entertained by those Catholic peers and representatives, who through the cloud of war, passion, and uncertainty, could exercise the more than human moderation in solemnly prescribing the narrow bounds of thirty-eight years to all enquirers after titles under the revived court of claims: by those peers and representatives, whose patriotism, political knowledge, and comprehensive minds instructed them to declare the independence of the realm, the freedom of irish trade, and the inestimable value of a marine.—Good God, that any man, woman I mean, after such acknowledged, uncontroverted documents of the wisdom and reach of mind of that parliament, could be induced to credit and to advance the forgeries of a vicar of Bray under a persecuting protestant administration, for the wicked purpose of calumniating their memory, and defeating the efforts of their posterity for freedom....

"A secret conspiracy by way of statute against the lives of near three thousand people, appears in itself impracticable and fabulous; but that it should have been agitated in open parliament, and in the hearing of the protestant members, and yet expected to have been kept a secret from the protestants, by these protestant members, is childish and ridiculous.—In that parliament sat the venerable lord Granard, a protestant, and a constant adherent and companion of King James in Ireland—'This excellent nobleman had married a lady of presbyterian principles; was protector of the northern puritans; had humanely secreted their teachers from those severities which in England proved both odious and impolitic; and had gained them an annual pension of £500 from government.'—(Leland, vol. 3, p. 490). 'It was this lord Granard to whom the assembled protestants of Ulster, by colonel Hamilton of Tullymore, who was sent to Dublin for the sole purpose, unanimously offered the command of their armed association, from their confidence in his protestant principles; but he told Mr. Hamilton that he had lived loyal all his life, and would not depart from it in his old age; and he was resolved that no man should write rebel upon his gravestone.'—(Lesley's "Reply," pp. 79, 80.) ... Is it then likely that this man would be privy to a general protestant proscription, and not reveal it?—and it is probable that such a secret conspiracy by way of statute could pass the houses of commons, and lords, the privy council, and finally the king, and that it never should come to the knowledge of a peer of parliament, a favourite of the court, a resident in Dublin, and every day attendant in his place in the upper house?"

The intrinsic improbability is well proved here, and would suffice to show King's falsehood as to the secrecy of the act; but if further proof were needed, the authorities which prove the authenticity of the act utterly disprove the secrecy alleged by King. The act is well described, in the London Gazette of July 1 to 4, 1689, and the names are given in print, in a pamphlet licensed in London, the 2nd day of the year 1690 (March 26th, old style).

Jones's statement as to the destruction of all papers relating to that parliament having been ordered, under a penalty of £500 and incapacity from office, is certain, and we give the clause in our note;[28] but this clause was not enacted till 1695, and, therefore, could not have affected the acts of 1689, when King wrote in 1690.

Moreover, we cannot find any trace of Richard Darling (who professedly made the "copia vera" for King) as clerk in the office of the Master of the Rolls, or in any office, in 1690. A Richard Darling was appointed secretary to the commissioners for the inspection of forfeitures, by patent dated 1st of June, 5 William III. (1693)

There certainly are grounds for supposing that some great jugglery, either as to the clauses or names in the act, was perpetrated by this well-paid and unscrupulous Williamite. The temptation to fabricate as much of the act (clauses or names) as possible was immense. The want of scruple to commit any fraud is plain upon King's whole book. The likelihood of discovery alone would deter him. Probably every family who had a near relative in the "list" would be secured to William's interest, and no part of King's work could have helped more than this act to make that book what Burnet called it, "the best fitted to settle the minds" of the people of England, of any of the books published on the Revolution.

The preamble states truly the rebellion of the northerns to dethrone their legitimate king, and bring in the Prince of Orange; and that the insurgents, though offered full pardon in repeated proclamations, still continued in rebellion. It enacts that certain persons therein named, who had "notoriously joyned in the said rebellion and invasion," or been slain in rebellion, should be attainted of high treason, and suffer its penalties, unless before the 10th of August following (i.e., at least seven weeks from the passing of the act) they came and stood their trial for treason, according to law, when, if otherwise acquitted, the Act should not harm them. The number of persons in this clause vary in the different lists from 1,270 to 1,296.

It cannot be questioned that the persons here conditionally attainted were in arms to dethrone the hereditary sovereign, supported, as he was, by a regularly elected parliament, by a large army, by foreign alliances, and by the good-will of five-sixths of the people of Ireland. King he was de jure and de facto, and they sought to dethrone him, and to put a foreign prince on the throne. If ever there were rebels, they were.

As to their creed, there is no allusion to it. Roman Catholic and Protestant persons occur through the lists with common penalties denounced against both; but neither creed is named in it.

We do not say whether those attainted were right or wrong in their rebellion: but the certainty that they were rebels according to the law, constitution, and custom of this and most other nations, justified the Irish parliament in treating them as such; and should make all who sympathise with these rebels pause ere they condemn every other party on whom law or defeat have fixed that name. Yet even this attaint is but conditional; the parties had over seven weeks to surrender and take their trial, and the king could, at any time, for over four months after, grant them a pardon both as to persons and property—a pardon which, whether we consider his necessities and policy, his habitual leniency, or the repeated attempts to win back his rebellious subjects by the offer of free pardon, we believe he would have refused to few. This, too, is certain, that it has never been even alleged that one single person suffered death under this much talked of Act. Of the constitutional character of the Act, more presently.

The second article attaints persons who had absented themselves "since or shortly before" the 5th November, 1688, unless they return before the 1st of September, that is, in about ten weeks. Staying in England certainly looked like adhesion to the invader, yet the mere difficulty of coming over during the war should surely have been considered.

The third attaint is of persons absent before (some time probably before) 5th November, 1688, unless they return before the 1st October, that is, within about fourteen weeks.

Moreover, a certain number of the persons named in this conditional attaint are excepted from it specially, by a following clause, unless the king should go to England (their usual residence) before 1st October, 1689, and that after his arrival they should neglect to signify their loyalty to the satisfaction of his Majesty.

Yet Harris and "The List" licensed 26th March, 1690, have the audacity to add these English residents and make another list of attainted persons, instead of deducting them from the list under clause 3.

With similar want of faith, both these writers make out a fifth list of attaints of the persons explicitly not attainted, but whose rents are forfeited by sec. 8, so long as they continue absentees. Thus, two out of the five lists, by adding which Harris makes up his 2,461 attaints, are not lists of attainders at all, and one of them should be rather deducted from one of the three lists of real attaints. Harris has under this exception for English residents 547 names (though printed 647 in totting), and were we to deduct these and the fifth list of 85 persons, his number of attaints would fall to 1,829; though he himself confesses that there must be some small drawback for persons attainted twice under different descriptions; and though his own totting, without removing either the fourth or fifth list, is only 2,461, yet in his text he says, "about 2,600" were attainted.

Yet Harris and "The List" pamphlet, which give the names in schedules, were more likely to misplace the lists than King, and he certainly did so in reference to the fourth list.

King's first list, like the rest, contains 1,280
His second 455
And his third    197
And deducting the names in list 4     59
King's list falls to 1,873

Yet even in this many are attainted twice over.

Harris's second list and "The List's" third list, each of 79 names, should be under title 4, namely, English residents, containing 59 in King. Harris's third list of 454 names should be second, namely, Absentees since 5th November, containing in King 455, and in "The List" 480 names. Harris's fourth list of 547, and "The List's" fourth list of 528 names, should go to No. 3 in King, containing only 197 names, viz., of persons absent before 5th November. Without making these corrections, we would have the conditional attaints, under clauses 1, 2, and 3, amount in "The List" to 1,311, in Harris to 1,282, and in King to 1,873. But if we make these corrections, King's will remain at 1,873, Harris's rise to 2,218, and "The List" to 2,209.

It would, we think, puzzle La Place to calculate the probability of any particular name being authentic amid this wilderness of inaccuracies.

The fifth class of 85 persons are, as we said, not attainted at all. The 8th section declares them to be absent from nonage, infirmity, etc., and denounces no penalty against their persons, but "it being much to the weakening and impoverishing of this Realm, that any of the Rents or Profits of the Lands, Tenements, of Hereditaments thereof should be sent into or spent in any other place beyond the seas, but that the same should be kept and employed within the Realm for the better support and defence thereof," it vests the properties of these absentees in the King, until such time as these absentees return and apply by petition to the Chancery or Exchequer for their restoration. Harder penalties for absenteeism were enacted repeatedly before, and considering the necessities of Ireland in that awful struggle, this provision seems just, mild, and proper.

By the fourth section, all the goods and properties of all the first four classes of absentees were also vested in the King till their return, acquittal, pardon or discharge. By the 5th and 6th sections, remainders and reversions to innocent persons after any estate for lives forfeited by the Act, are saved and preserved, provided (by the 7th section) claims to them are made within 60 days after the first sitting of the Court of Claims under the Act. But remainders in settlements, of which the uses could be changed, or where the lands were "plantation" lands, etc., were not saved. Whether such a Court of Claims ever sat is at least doubtful.

By the 9th and 11th sections, the rights and incumbrances of non-forfeiting persons over the forfeited estates are saved, provided (by section 12) their claims are made, as in case of remainder-men, etc.

The 10th section makes void Lord Strafford's abominable "offices," or confiscations of Connaught, Clare, Limerick, and Tipperary, and confirms the titles of the right owners, as if these offices had not been found.

The 13th section repeals a private act for conferring vast estates on Lord Albemarle out of the forfeitures on the Restoration.

The remaining clauses, except the last, have nothing to do with the Attainders. They are subsidiary to the Act repealing the Acts of Settlement and Explanation. They reprize ancient proprietors, who had bought or taken leases of their own estates from the owners under the Settlement Acts.

The 17th section provides for the completion of the Down or Strafford Survey, and for the reduction of excessive quit rents. In this section the phrase occurs, "their Majesties," but this is probably a mistake in printing, though a crotchety reasoner might find in it a doubt of the authenticity of the Act.

The 21st and last section provides that any of the persons attainted "who shall return to their duty and loyalty" may be pardoned by royal warrant, provided that such pardon be issued "before the first day of November next, otherwise the pardon to be of no effect."



Let us now run our eyes ever the deeds of the Feis or parliament of 1689. It came into power at the end of a half century of which the beginning was a civil and religious, social and proprietal persecution, combining all the atrocities to which Ireland had been alternatively subject for four centuries and a half. Of this, the next stage was a partial insurrection, rendered universal by a bloody and rapacious government. The next stage was a war, in which civil and religious quarrels were so fiendishly combined that it could not end while there was any one to fight with; in which the royalist dignitaries were the cruelest foes of the royalist armies and people, and in which the services done by cool and patriot soldiers were rendered useless by factious theologians. The next stage was conquest, slaughter, exile, confiscation, and the repose of solitude or of slavery. The next was a Restoration which gave back its worst prerogatives to the crown, but gave the restorers and royalists only a skirt of their properties. Then came a struggle for proprietal justice and religious toleration, met by an infamous conspiracy of the deceptious aristocracy and the fanatic people of England, to blast the characters of the Irish, and decimate the men; and lastly, a king, who strained his prerogative to do them justice, is driven from England by a Dutchman, supported by blue guards, black guards, and flaming lies, and is forced to throw himself on the generosity and prudence of Ireland.

A faction existed who raised a civil war in every province; and in every province, save one, it was suppressed; but in that one it continued, and the sails of an invading fleet already flap in the Channel breeze when this parliament is summoned.

How difficult was their position! How could they act as freemen, without appearing ungenerous to a refugee and benefactor king? How guard their nationality, without quarrelling with him or alienating England from him? How could they do that proprietal justice and grant that religious liberty for which the country had been struggling? How check civil war—how sustain a war by the resources of a distracted country? Yet all this the Irish parliament did, and more too; for they established the principal parts of a code needful for the permanent liberty and prosperity of Ireland.

Take up the list of acts passed in their session of seventy-two days and run over them. They begin by recognising their lawful king who had thrown himself among them. They pledge themselves to him against his powerful foe. Knowing full well the struggle that was before them, and that lukewarm and malcontent agents might ruin them, they tossed aside those official claims, which in times of peace and safety should be sacred.

But their next act deserves more notice. It must not be forgotten that Molyneux's "Case of Ireland," which the parliaments of England and Ireland first burnt, and ended by declaring and enacting as sound law, was published in 1699, just ten years after this parliament of James's. Doubtless the antique rights of the native Irish, the comparative independence of the Pale, the arguments of Darcy, the memory of the council of Kilkenny, might suggest to Molyneux those principles of independence, which one of his cast of mind would hardly reach by general reasoning. But why go so far back, and to so much less apt precedents? Here, in the parliament of 1689, was a law made declaring Ireland to be and to have always been a "distinct kingdom" from England; "always governed by his majesty and his predecessors according to the ancient customs, laws, and statutes thereof, and that the parliament of Ireland, and that alone, could make laws to bind this kingdom;" and expressly enacting and declaring that no law save such as the Irish parliament might make should bind Ireland. And this act prohibited all English jurisdiction in Ireland, and all appeals to the English peers or to any other court out of Ireland. Is not this the whole argument of Molyneux, the hope of Swift and Lucas, the attempt of Flood, the achievement of Grattan and the Volunteers? Is not this an epitome of the Protestant patriot attempts, from the Revolution to the Dungannon Convention? Is not this the soul of '82? Surely, if it be, as it is, just to track the stream of liberation back to Molyneux, we should not stop there; but when we find that a parliament which sat only ten years before his book was published, which must have been a daily subject of conversation—as it certainly was of written polemics—during those ten years; when we find this upper fountain so obviously streaming into the thought of Molyneux, should we not associate the parliament of 1689 with that of 1782, and place Nagle and Rice and its other ruling spirits along with Flood and Grattan in our gratitude?

Moreover, the lords and commons expressly repealed Poyning's law, and passed a bill creating Irish Inns of Court, and abolishing the rules for keeping terms in London. But the king rejected these. We are to this day without this benefit which the senate of '89 tried to give us; and the future advocates and judges of Ireland are hauled off to a foreign and dissolute capital to go through an idle and expensive ceremony, term after term, as an essential to being allowed to practise in the courts of this their native kingdom.

The Act (c. 4.) for restoring the ancient gentry to their possessions, we have already canvassed. It were monstrous to suppose the parliament ought to have respected the thirty-eight years' usurpation of savage invaders, and to have overlooked the rights of the national chieftains, the plundered proprietors who lived, and whose families lived, to claim their rights. The care with which purchasers and incumbrancers were to be reprized we have already noticed; yet we cannot but repeat our regret that the bill of the Lords (which left the adventurers of Cromwell a moiety of their usurpations) did not pass.

Naturally related to this are the Acts, c. 24, for vesting attainted absentees' goods in the King, and c. 30, attainting a number of insurgents. We have already shown from King, that the Whigs had taken good care of the two things forfeited—their chattels, which they had sent to them, without opposition, during the month of March, and their persons, which they put under the guard of the gallant insurgents of Derry and Fermanagh, or in the keeping of William and the charity of England. How poorly they were treated then in England may be guessed at by the choice men of the impoverished defenders of Derry having been left without money, aye, or even clothing or food in the streets of London.

We heartily censure this Attainder Act. It was the mistake of the Irish Parliament. It bound up the hearts and interests of those who were named in it, and of their children, in William's success. It could not be enforced: they were absent. It could not be terrible till victory sanctioned it, and then it would be needless and cruel to execute. Yet, let us judge the men rightly. James had been hunted out of England by lies, treachery, bigotry, cabal, and a Dutch invader, for having attempted to grant religious liberty, by his prerogative. Those attainted were, nine out of ten, in arms against him and their country. They had been repeatedly offered free pardon. Just before the Act was brought in, a free pardon, excepting only ten persons, was offered, yet few of the insurgents came in; and James, instead of forbidding quarter, or hanging his prisoners, or any other of the acts of rigour usual in hereditary governments down to our own time, consented to an Act requiring the chief persons of the insurrection to come, in periods specified, and amply long enough, to stand their trials. Certain it is, as we said before, that though many of these were or became prisoners, none were executed. The Act was a dead letter; and considering the principles of the time, surely the Act was not wonderful.

In order, then, to judge them better, let us see what the other side—the immaculate Whigs, who assailed the Irish—did when they were in power. Of anything previous to the Revolution—of the treachery and blood, by law and without law, under the Plantagenets, Tudors, Stuarts, and the Commonwealth—'tis needless to speak. But let us see what their neighbours, the Williamites, did.

The Irish Attainder Act was not brought in till the end of June. Now, this is of great value, for the dates of the last papers on Ireland, laid before the English Commons, having been 10th June, 1689, they, on the 20th June, "Resolved, that leave be given to bring in a Bill to attaint of high treason certain persons who are now in Ireland, or any other parts beyond the seas, adhearing to their Majesties' enemies, and shall not return into England by a certain day."[29]

The very next entry is—"A Bill for the attainting certain persons of high treason, was read the first time." "Resolved, that the Bill be read a second time."

Here was a bill to attaint persons beyond seas in another kingdom where William had never been acknowledged—where James was welcomed by nine men out of ten—from whence, so far from being able to procure evidence or allow defence, they could but by accident get intelligence and reports once in some months. It is not here pretended that the attainted were habitual residents in England. The bill passed the second reading, and was committeed, June 22nd, with an instruction to the committee, "That they insert into the bill such other of the persons as were this day named in the house, as they shall find cause."

Again, on the 24th—"Ordered, that it be an instruction to the committee, to whom the bill for attainting certain persons is referred, that they prepare and bring in a clause for the immediate seizing the estates of such persons who are or shall be proved to be in arms with the late King James in Ireland, or in his service in France." On the 29th is another instruction to "prepare and bring in a clause that the estates of the persons who are now in rebellion (!) in Ireland be applied to the relief of the Irish Protestants fled into this realm; and also to declare all the proceedings of the pretended parliament and courts of justice, now held in Ireland, to be null and void;" the committee "to sit de die in diem, till the bill be finished."

Up to this time they could not have known that any attainder act had been brought in in Ireland. On the 9th July, Sergeant Trenchard reported, "That the committee had proof" (we shall presently see of what kind) "of several other persons being in Ireland in arms with King James, and therefore had agreed their names should be inserted in the bill." "Ordered, that the bill, so amended, be engrossed." On the 11th July the bill passed, inserting August, 1689, instead of August next, and inserting some Christian names.

The bill reached the Lords.

Upon the 24th July a message was sent to the Lords urging the despatch of the bill. On the 2nd August, at a conference, the Lords required to know on what evidence the names were introduced as being in Ireland, "for, upon their best inquiry, they say they cannot learn some of them have been there—they instanced the Lord Hunsden." On the 3rd of August, Mr. Sergeant Trenchard acquaints the house that the names of those who gave evidence at the bar of the house touching the persons who are named in the bill of attainder, being in Ireland, were Bazill Purefoy and William Dalton; and those at the committee, to whom the bill was referred, were William Watts and Math. Gun; four persons, two and two giving the whole evidence for the attainder of those who stood by King James in Ireland! This report was handed to the Lords on the 5th August.

On the 20th August the Lords returned the bill, with some amendments, leaving out Lord Hunsden and four or five more, and inserting a few others; and upon this day the parliament was prorogued.

Again, on the 30th October, a bill was ordered to attaint all such persons as were in rebellion against their Majesties. On the 26th November, certain members were ordered to prepare a bill attainting all who had been in arms against William and Mary, since 14th February, 1688-9, or any time since, and all who have been, or shall be, aiding, assisting, or abetting them. On the 10th December the bill was reported and read a first time, and the committee ordered to bring in a bill for sale of the estates forfeited thereby.

On the 4th April, 1690, another bill was ordered, and was read 22nd April.

Again, on 22nd October, another attainder and confiscation bill was brought and passed the Commons on the 23rd December.

Wearied at length by unsuccessful bills, which the better or more interested feeling of the Lords, or the policy of the King, perpetually defeated, they abandoned any further attainder bills, and merely advertized for money on the forfeited lands in Ireland.

The attainders in court might satisfy them. The commissioners of forfeitures, under 10 William III., c. 9, reported to the Commons on the 15th of December, 1699, that the persons outlawed for treason in Ireland since the 13th of February, 1688-9, on account of the late rebellion, were 3,921 in number. It was abominable for James's parliament to attaint conditionally the rebels against the old king, but reasonable for the Whigs to attaint about double the number absolutely, for never having recognized the new king! These 3,921 had properties, says the report, to the amount of 1,060,792 plantation acres, worth £211,623 a year, and worth in money, £2,685,130, "besides the several denominations in the said several counties to which no number of acres can be added, by reason of the imperfection of the surveys not here valued." Of these 3,921, there were 491 restored under the first commission on the articles of Galway and Limerick; and 792 under the second commission, having joint properties of 233,106 acres, worth £55,763 a year, or £724,923 purchase, leaving 2,638 persons having 827,686 acres, worth £155,859 a year, or £1,960,206. Yet the fees were monstrous, says the commissioners, in these Courts of Claims, £5 being the register's fees for even entering a claim. William restored property to the amount of 74,733 acres, worth £20,066 per annum, or £260,863 in all, which would leave as absolutely forfeited property 752,953 acres, worth £135,793 a year, and £1,699,343 in all; and even were we to deduct in proportion, which we ought not, as those pardoned were chiefly the very wealthy few, there would remain over 2,400 persons attained by office, after deducting all who carved out their acquittal with shot and sword, and all whom the tenderness or wisdom of the king pardoned.

The commissioners state that £300,000 worth of chattels were seized, not included in the above estimate; nor were 297 houses in Dublin, 26 in Cork, 226 elsewhere, mills, chief rents, £60,000 worth of woods, etc., in it.

Most of these properties had been given away freely by William. Amongst his grants they specify all King James's estates, over 95,000 acres, worth £25,995 a year, to Mrs. Elizabeth Villiers, Countess of Orkney. She was William's favourite mistress. James, to his honour be it spoken, had thrown these estates into the general fund for reprisal of the injured Irish.

Here, then, is certainly not a justification of the Parliament of 1689, in passing the Attainder Act, but evidence from the journals of the English Parliament and the reports of their commissioners, that they tried to do worse than the Irish Parliament (under far greater excuses) are accused of having done, and that the actual amount of punishment inflicted by the Williamite courts in Ireland far exceeded what the Irish Parliament of 1689 had conditionally threatened.

The next Acts as a class are c. 9, repealing ministers' money act; c. 12, granting perfect liberty of conscience to men of all creeds; c. 13, directing Roman Catholics to pay their tithes to their own priests; c. 14, on Ulster poundage; c. 15, appointing those tithes to the parish priests, and recognising as a Roman Catholic prelate no one but him whom the king under privy signet and sign manual should signify and recognize as such. All these acts went to create religious equality, certainly not the voluntary system; neither party approved of it then; but to make the Protestant support his own minister, and the Roman Catholic his own, without violation of conscience, or a shadow of supremacy. The low salaries (£100 to £200 a year) of the Roman Catholic prelates, and their exclusion from Parliament, were in the same moderate spirit.

Again, this Parliament introduced the Statute of Frauds (which, having been set aside, was not adopted until the 7th William III.); Acts for relief of poor debtors, for the speedy recovery of wages, and for ratifying wills and deeds by persons out of possession.

Chapter 21, forbidding the importation of foreign coals, was designed to render this country independent of English trade. At that time the bogs were larger and the people fewer. Their opinion that this importation which "hindered the industry of several poor people and labourers who might have employed themselves" in supplying the cities, etc., with turf, reminds us of Mr. Laing's most able notice in his "Norway" of the immense employment to men, women, and children, by the cutting of firewood; and what a powerful means this is of doing that which is as important as the production of wealth, the diffusion of it without any great inequality through all classes. Part of c. 29, encouraging trade, laying heavy import duties on English goods, and giving privileges to Irish ships over foreign, especially over English, was the result of sound, practical patriotism. It was necessary to guard our trade, manufactures, and shipping against the rivalry of a near, rich, and aspiring neighbour, that would crush them in their cradles. It was wise to raise the energies of infant adventure by favour, and not trust it in a reckless competition. The example, too, of all countries which had reared up commerce by their own favour and their neighbours' surrender of trade, would have justified them.

Besides the schools for the Navy under c. 29, c. 16 deals also with schools. We have not the latter Act; but, considering James's known zeal for education, his foundation of the Kilkenny college, and the spirit of the provision in c. 29, we may guess the liberality of the other. One of the most distinguished of our living historians has told us that he remembered having seen evidence that this Act established a school for general (national) education in every parish in Ireland.

C. 10, the Act of Supply; c. 25, Martial Law, and this Act, c. 29, were a code of defence. The supply was proportioned to their abilities: every exertion was made, and all efforts were needed. Plowden puts the effect of this c. 29 not ill:—

"Although James were averse from passing the acts I have already mentioned, he probably encouraged another which passed for the advance and improvement of trade and for encouragement and increase of shipping and navigation, which purported to throw open to Ireland a free and immediate trade with all our plantations and colonies; to promote ship-building, by remitting to the owners of Irish-built vessels large proportions of the duties of custom and excise, encourage seamen by exempting them for ten years from taxes, and allowing them the freedom of any city or seaport they should chuse to reside in, and improve the Irish navy by establishing free schools for teaching and instructing in the mathematics and the art of navigation, in Dublin, Belfast, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, and Galway. If James looked up to any probability of maintaining his ground in Ireland he must have been sensible of the necessity of an Irish navy. No man was better qualified to judge of the utility of such institutions than this prince. He was an able seaman, fond of his profession; and to his industry and talent does the British navy owe many of its best signals and regulations. The firmness, resolution and enterprise which had distinguished him, whilst Duke of York, as a sea officer, abandoned him when king, both in the cabinet and the field."

Thus, then, this Parliament exercised less severity than any of its time; it established liberty of conscience and equality of creeds; it proscribed no man for his religion—the word Protestant does not occur in any Act—(though, while it sat, the Westminster Convention was not only thundering out insults against "popery," but exciting William to persecute it, and laying the foundation of the penal code); it introduced many laws of great practical value in the business of society; it removed the disabilities of the natives, the scars of old fetters; it was generous to the king, yet carried its own opinions out against his where they differed; it, finally—and what should win the remembrance and veneration of Irishmen through all time—it boldly announced our national independence, in words which Molyneux shouted on to Swift, and Swift to Lucas, and Lucas to Flood, and Flood and Grattan redoubling the cry; Dungannon church rang, and Ireland was again a nation. Yet something it said escaped the hearing or surpassed the vigour of the last century; it said, "Irish commerce fostered," and it was faintly heard, but it said, "an Irish navy to shield our coasts," and it said, "an Irish army to scathe the invaders," and Grattan neglected both, and our coast had no guardian, and our desecrated fields knew no avenger.

We have printed the king's speech at the opening of this eventful parliament, the titles of all its Acts, and all the statutes summarized in full detail which we could in any way procure—sufficient, we think, with the scattered notices of the chief members, to make the working of this Parliament plain. We are conscious of many defects in our information and way of treating the subject; but we commenced by avowing that we were not professors but students of Irish history; trying to come at some clear understanding on a most important part of it, communicating our difficulties and offering our solutions, as they occurred to us, in hopes that some of our countrymen would take up the same study, and do as much or more than we have done, and possibly that one of those accomplished historians, of which Ireland now has a few, would take the helm from us, and guide the ship himself.

We have no reason to suppose that we succeeded in either object; yet we cling to the belief that, owing to us, some few persons will for the future be found who will not allow the calumnies against our noble old Parliament of 1689 to pass uncontradicted. It might have been better, but this is well.


Literary and Historical Essays.


"What good were it for me to manufacture perfect iron while my own breast is full of dross? What would it stead me to put properties of land in order, while I am at variance with myself? To speak it in a word: the cultivation of my individual self, here as I am, has from my youth upwards been constantly though dimly my wish and my purpose."

"Men are so inclined to content themselves with what is commonest; the spirit and the senses so easily grow dead to the impressions of the beautiful and perfect; that every one should study to nourish in his mind the faculty of feeling these things by every method in his power. For no man can bear to be entirely deprived of such enjoyments; it is only because they are not used to taste of what is excellent, that the generality of people take delight in silly and insipid things, provided they be new. For this reason, he would add, 'one ought at least every day to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.'"—Goethe.

We have been often asked by certain of the Temperance Societies to give them some advice on Self-Education. Lately we promised one of these bodies to write some hints as to how the members of it could use their association for their mental improvement.

We said, and say again, that the Temperance Societies can be made use of by the people for their instruction as well as pleasure. Assemblies of any kind are not the best places either for study or invention. Home or solitude are better—home is the great teacher. In domestic business we learn mechanical skill, the nature of those material bodies with which we have most to deal in life—we learn labour by example and by kindly precepts—we learn (in a prudent home) decorum, cleanliness, order—in a virtuous home we learn more than these: we learn reverence for the old, affection without passion, truth, piety, and justice. These are the greatest things man can know. Having these he is well; without them attainments of wealth or talent are of little worth. Home is the great teacher; and its teaching passes down in honest homes from generation to generation, and neither the generation that gives, nor the generation that takes it, lays down plans for bringing it to pass.

Again, to come to designed learning. We learn arts and professions by apprenticeships, that is, much after the fashion we learned walking, or stitching, or fire-making, or love-making at home—by example, precept, and practice combined. Apprentices at anything, from ditching, basket-work, or watch-making, to merchant-trading, legislation, or surgery, submit either to a nominal or an actual apprenticeship. They see other men do these things, they desire to do the same, and they learn to do so by watching how, and when, and asking, or guessing why each part of the business is done; and as fast as they know, or are supposed to know, any one part, whether it be sloping the ditch, or totting the accounts, or dressing the limb, they begin to do that, and, being directed when they fail, they learn at last to do it well, and are thereby prepared to attempt some other or harder part of the business.

Thus it is by experience—or trying to do, and often doing a thing—combined with teaching or seeing, and being told how and why other people more experienced do that thing, that most of the practical business of life is learned.

In some trades, formal apprenticeship and planned teaching exist as little as in ordinary home-teaching. Few men are of set purpose taught to dig; and just as few are taught to legislate.

Where formal teaching is usual, as in what are called learned professions, and in delicate trades, fewer men know anything of these businesses. Those who learn them at all do so exactly and fully, but commonly practise them in a formal and technical way, and invent and improve them little. In those occupations which most men take up casually—as book-writing, digging, singing, and legislation, and the like—there is much less exact knowledge, less form, more originality and progress, and more of the public know something about them in an unprofessional way.

The Caste system of India, Egypt, and Ancient Ireland carried out the formal apprenticeship plan to its full extent. The United States of America have very little of it. Modern Europe is between the two, as she has in most things abolished caste or hereditary professions (kings and nobles excepted), but has, in many things, retained exact apprenticeships.

Marriage, and the bringing up of children, the employment of dependants, travel, and daily sights and society, are our chief teachers of morals, sentiment, taste, prudence and manners. Mechanical and literary skill of all sorts, and most accomplishments, are usually picked up in this same way.

We have said all this lest our less-instructed readers should fall into a mistake common to all beginners in study, that books, and schooling, and lectures, are the chief teachers in life; whereas most of the things we learn here are learned from the experience of home, and of the practical parts of our trades and amusements.

We pray our humbler friends to think long and often on this.

But let them not suppose we undervalue or wish them to neglect other kinds of teaching; on the contrary, they should mark how much the influences of home, and business, and society, are affected by the quantity and sort of their scholarship.

Home life is obviously enough affected by education. Where the parents read and write, the children learn to do so too, early in life and with little trouble; where they know something of their religious creed they give its rites a higher meaning than mere forms; where they know the history of the country well, every field, every old tower or arch is a subject of amusement, of fine old stories, and fine young hopes; where they know the nature of other people and countries, their own country and people become texts to be commented on, and likewise supply a living comment on those peculiarities of which they have read.

Again, where the members of a family can read aloud, or play, or sing, they have a well of pleasant thoughts and good feelings which can hardly be dried or frozen up; and so of other things.

And in the trades and professions of life, to study in books the objects, customs, and rules of that trade or profession to which you are going saves time, enables you to improve your practice of it, and makes you less dependent on the teaching of other practitioners, who are often interested in delaying you.

In these, and a thousand ways besides, study and science produce the best effects upon the practical parts of life.

Besides, the first business of life is the improvement of one's own heart and mind. The study of the thoughts and deeds of great men, the laws of human, and animal, and vegetable, and lifeless nature, the principles of fine and mechanical arts, and of morals, society, and religion—all directly give us nobler and greater desires, more wide and generous judgments, and more refined pleasures.

Learning in this latter sense may be got either at home or at school, by solitary study, or in associations. Home learning depends, of course, on the knowledge, good sense, and leisure of the parents. The German Jean Paul, the American Emerson, and others of an inferior sort, have written deep and fruitful truths on bringing up and teaching at home. Yet, considering its importance, it has not been sufficiently studied. Upon schools much has been written. Almost all the private schools in this country are bad. They merely cram the memories of pupils with facts or words, without developing their judgment, taste, or invention, or teaching them the application of any knowledge. Besides, the things taught are commonly those least worth learning. This is especially true of the middle and richer classes. Instead of being taught the nature, products, and history, first of their own, and then of other countries, they are buried in classical frivolities, languages which they never master, and manners and races which they cannot appreciate. Instead of being disciplined to think exactly, to speak and write accurately, they are crammed with rules and taught to repeat forms by rote.

The National Schools are a vast improvement on anything hitherto in this country, but still they have great faults. From the miserably small grant the teachers are badly paid, and, therefore, hastily and meagrely educated.

The maps, drawing, and musical instruments, museums and scientific apparatus, which should be in every school, are mostly wanting altogether. The books, also, are defective.

The information has the worst fault of the French system: it is too exclusively on physical science and natural history. Fancy a National School which teaches the children no more of the state and history of Ireland than of Belgium or Japan! We have spoken to pupils, nay, to masters of the National Schools, who were ignorant of the physical character of every part of Ireland except their native villages—who knew not how the people lived, or died, or sported, or fought—who had never heard of Tara, Clontarf, Limerick, or Dungannon—to whom the O'Neills and Sarsfields, the Swifts and Sternes, the Grattans and Barrys, our generals, statesmen, authors, orators, and artists, were alike and utterly unknown! Even the hedge schools kept up something of the romance, history, and music of the country.

Until the National Schools fall under national control, the people must take diligent care to procure books on the history, men, language, music, and manners of Ireland for their children. These schools are very good so far as they go, and the children should be sent to them; but they are not national, they do not use the Irish language, nor teach anything peculiarly Irish.

As to solitary study, lists of books, pictures, and maps can alone be given; and to do this usefully would exceed our space at present.

As it is, we find that we have no more room and have not said a word on what we proposed to write—namely, Self-Education through the Temperance Societies.

We do not regret having wandered from our professed subject, as, if treated exclusively, it might lead men into errors which no afterthought could cure.

What we chiefly desire is to set the people on making out plans for their own and their children's education. Thinking cannot be done by deputy—they must think for themselves.


Something has been done to rescue Ireland from the reproach that she was a wailing and ignorant slave.

Brag as we like, the reproach was not undeserved, nor is it quite removed.

She is still a serf-nation, but she is struggling wisely and patiently, and is ready to struggle, with all the energy her advisers think politic, for liberty. She has ceased to wail—she is beginning to make up a record of English crime and Irish suffering, in order to explain the past, justify the present, and caution the future. She begins to study the past—not to acquire a beggar's eloquence in petition, but a hero's wrath in strife. She no longer tears and parades her wounds to win her smiter's mercy; and now she should look upon her breast and say:—"That wound makes me distrust, and this makes me guard, and they all will make me steadier to resist, or, if all else fails, fiercer to avenge."

Thus will Ireland do naturally and honourably.

Our spirit has increased—our liberty is not far off.

But to make our spirit lasting and wise as it is bold—to make our liberty an inheritance for our children, and a charter for our prosperity—we must study as well as strive, and learn as well as feel.

If we attempt to govern ourselves without statesmanship—to be a nation without a knowledge of the country's history, and of the propensities to good and ill of the people—or to fight without generalship, we will fail in policy, society, and war. These—all these things—we, people of Ireland, must know if we would be a free, strong nation. A mockery of Irish independence is not what we want. The bauble of a powerless parliament does not lure us. We are not children. The office of supplying England with recruits, artizans, and corn, under the benign interpositions of an Irish Grand Jury, shall not be our destiny. By our deep conviction—by the power of mind over the people, we say, No!

We are true to our colour, "the green," and true to our watchword, "Ireland for the Irish." We want to win Ireland and keep it. If we win it, we will not lose it nor give it away to a bribing, a bullying, or a flattering minister. But, to be able to keep it, and use it, and govern it, the men of Ireland must know what it is, what it was, and what it can be made. They must study her history, perfectly know her present state, physical and moral—and train themselves up by science, poetry, music, industry, skill, and by all the studies and accomplishments of peace and war.

If Ireland were in national health, her history would be familiar by books, pictures, statuary, and music to every cabin and shop in the land—her resources as an agricultural, manufacturing, and trading people would be equally known—and every young man would be trained, and every grown man able to defend her coast, her plains, her towns, and her hills—not with his right arm merely, but by his disciplined habits and military accomplishments. These are the pillars of independence.

Academies of art, institutes of science, colleges of literature, schools and camps of war, are a nation's means for teaching itself strength, and winning safety and honour; and when we are a nation, please God, we shall have them all. Till then we must work for ourselves. So far as we can study music in societies, art in schools, literature in institutes, science in our colleges, or soldiership in theory, we are bound as good citizens to learn. Where these are denied by power, or unattainable by clubbing the resources of neighbours, we must try and study for ourselves. We must visit museums and antiquities, and study, and buy, and assist books of history to know what the country and people were, how they fell, how they suffered, and how they arose again. We must read books of statistics—and let us pause to regret that there is no work on the statistics of Ireland except the scarce lithograph of Moreau, the papers in the second Report of the Railway Commission, and the chapters in M'Culloch's Statistics of the British Empire—the Repeal Association ought to have a handbook first, and then an elaborate and vast account of Ireland's statistics brought out.

To resume, we must read such statistics as we have, and try and get better; and we must get the best maps of the country—the Ordnance and County Index Maps, price 2s. 6d. each, and the Railway Map, price £1—into our Mechanics' Institutes, Temperance Reading-rooms, and schools. We must, in making our journeys of business and pleasure, observe and ask for the nature and amount of the agriculture, commerce, and manufactures of the place we are in, and its shape, population, scenery, antiquities, arts, music, dress, and capabilities for improvement. A large portion of our people travel a great deal within Ireland, and often return with no knowledge, save of the inns they slept in and the traders they dealt with.

We must give our children in schools the best knowledge of science, art, and literary elements possible. And at home they should see and hear as much of national pictures, music, poetry, and military science as possible.

And finally, we must keep our own souls, and try, by teaching and example, to lift up the souls of all our family and neighbours to that pitch of industry, courage, information, and wisdom necessary to enable an enslaved, dark, and starving people to become free, and rich, and rational.

Well, as to this National History—L'Abbé MacGeoghegan published a history of Ireland, in French, in 3 volumes, quarto, dedicated to the Irish Brigade. Writing in France he was free from the English censorship; writing for "The Brigade," he avoided the impudence of Huguenot historians. The sneers of the Deist Voltaire, and the lies of the Catholic Cambrensis, receive a sharp chastisement in his preface, and a full answer in his text. He was a man of the most varied acquirements and an elegant writer. More full references and the correction of a few errors of detail would render his book more satisfactory to the professor of history, but for the student it is the best in the world. He is graphic, easy, and Irish. He is not a bigot, but apparently a genuine Catholic. His information as to the numbers of troops, and other facts of our Irish battles, is superior to any other general historian's; and they who know it well need not blush, as most Irishmen must now, at their ignorance of Irish history.

But the Association for liberating Ireland has offered a prize for a new history of the country, and given ample time for preparation.

Let no man postpone the preparation who hopes the prize. An original and highly-finished work is what is demanded, and for the composition of such a work the time affords no leisure.

Few persons, we suppose, hitherto quite ignorant of Irish history, will compete; but we would not discourage even these. There is neither in theory nor fact any limit to the possible achievements of genius and energy. Some of the greatest works in existence were written rapidly, and many an old book-worm fails where a young book-thrasher succeeds.

Let us now consider some of the qualities which should belong to this history.

It should, in the first place, be written from the original authorities. We have some notion of giving a set of papers on these authorities, but there are reasons against such a course, and we counsel no man to rely on us—every one on himself; besides, such a historian should rather make himself able to teach us than need to learn from us.

However, no one can now be at a loss to know what these authorities are. A list of the choicest of them is printed on the back of the Volunteer's card for this year, and was also printed in the Nation.[30] These authorities are not enough for a historian. The materials, since the Revolution especially, exist mainly in pamphlets, and even for the time previous only the leading authorities are in the list. The list is not faulty in this, as it was meant for learners, not teachers; but anyone using these authorities will readily learn from them what the others are, and can so track out for himself.

There are, however, three tracts specially on the subject of Irish writers. First is Bishop Nicholson's "Irish Historical Library." It gives accounts of numerous writers, but is wretchedly meagre. In Harris's "Hibernica" is a short tract on the same subject; and in Harris's edition of Ware's works an ample treatise on Irish Writers. This treatise is most valuable, but must be read with caution, as Ware was slightly, and Harris enormously, prejudiced against the native Irish and against the later Catholic writers. The criticisms of Harris, indeed, on all books relative to the Religious Wars are partial and deceptious; but we repeat that the work is of great value.

The only more recent work on the subject is a volume written by Edward O'Reilly, for the Iberno-Celtic Society, on the Native Irish Poets: an interesting work, and containing morsels invaluable to a picturesque historian.

By the way, we may hope that the studies for this prize history will be fruitful for historical ballads.

Too many of the original works can only be bought at an expense beyond the means of most of those likely to compete. For instance, Harris's "Ware," "Fynes Moryson," and "The State Papers of Henry the Eighth," are very dear. The works of the Archæological Society can only be got by a member. The price of O'Connor's "Rerum Hibernicarum Scriptores Veteres" is eighteen guineas; and yet, in it alone the annals of Tigernach, Boyle, Innisfallen, and the early part of the "Four Masters" are to be found. The great majority of the books, however, are tolerably cheap; some of the dearer books might be got by combination among several persons, and afterwards given to the Repeal Reading-rooms.

However, persons resident in, or able to visit Dublin, Cork, or Belfast, can study all, even the scarcest of these works, without any real difficulty.

As to the qualities of such a history, they have been concisely enough intimated by the Committee.

It is to be A History. One of the most absurd pieces of cant going is that against history, because it is full of wars, and kings, and usurpers, and mobs. History describes, and is meant to describe, forces, not proprieties—the mights, the acted realities of men, bad and good—their historical importance depending on their mightiness, not their holiness. Let us by all means have, then, a "graphic" narrative of what was, not a set of moral disquisitions on what ought to have been.

Yet the man who would keep chronicling the dry events would miss writing a history. He must fathom the social condition of the peasantry, the townsmen, the middle-classes, the nobles, and the clergy (Christian or Pagan), in each period—how they fed, dressed, armed, and housed themselves. He must exhibit the nature of the government, the manners, the administration of law, the state of useful and fine arts, of commerce, of foreign relations. He must let us see the decay and rise of great principles and conditions—till we look on a tottering sovereignty, a rising creed, an incipient war, as distinctly as, by turning to the highway, we can see the old man, the vigorous youth, or the infant child. He must paint—the council robed in its hall—the priest in his temple—the conspirator—the outlaw—the judge—the general—the martyr. The arms must clash and shine with genuine, not romantic, likeness; and the brigades or clans join battle, or divide in flight, before the reader's thought. Above all, a historian should be able to seize on character, not vaguely eulogising nor cursing; but feeling and expressing the pressure of a great mind on his time, and on after-times.

Such things may be done partly in disquisitions, as in Michelet's "France"; but they must now be done in narrative; and nowhere, not even in Livy, is there a finer specimen of how all these things may be done by narrative than in Augustine Thierry's "Norman Conquest" and "Merovingian Scenes." The only danger to be avoided in dealing with so long a period in Thierry's way is the continuing to attach importance to a once great influence, when it has sunk to be an exceptive power. He who thinks it possible to dash off a profoundly coloured and shaded narrative like this of Thierry's will find himself bitterly wrong. Even a great philosophical view may much more easily be extemporised than this lasting and finished image of past times.

The greatest vice in such a work would be bigotry—bigotry of race or creed. We know a descendant of a great Milesian family who supports the Union, because he thinks the descendants of the Anglo-Irish—his ancestors' foes—would mainly rule Ireland, were she independent. The opposite rage against the older races is still more usual. A religious bigot is altogether unfit, incurably unfit, for such a task; and the writer of such an Irish history must feel a love for all sects, a philosophical eye to the merits and demerits of all, and a solemn and haughty impartiality in speaking of all.

Need we say that a history, wherein glowing oratory appeared in place of historical painting, bold assertion instead of justified portraiture, flattery to the living instead of justice to the dead, clever plunder of other compilers instead of original research, or a cramped and scholastic instead of an idiomatic, "clear and graphic" style, would deserve rejection, and would, we cannot doubt, obtain it.

To give such a history to Ireland as is now sought will be a proud and illustrious deed. Such a work would have no passing influence, though its first political effect would be enormous; it would be read by every class and side; for there is no readable book on the subject; it would people our streets, and glens, and castles, and abbeys, and coasts with a hundred generations besides our own; it would clear up the grounds of our quarrels, and prepare reconciliation; it would unconsciously make us recognise the causes of our weakness; it would give us great examples of men and of events, and materially influence our destiny.

Shall we get such a history? Think, reader! has God given you the soul and perseverance to create this marvel?


There was once civilisation in Ireland. We never were very eminent, to be sure, for manufactures in metal, our houses were simple, our very palaces rude, our furniture scanty, our saffron shirts not often changed, and our foreign trade small. Yet was Ireland civilised. Strange thing! says someone whose ideas of civilisation are identical with carpets and cut-glass, fine masonry, and the steam engine; yet 'tis true. For there was a time when learning was endowed by the rich and honoured by the poor, and taught all over our country. Not only did thousands of natives frequent our schools and colleges, but men of every rank came here from the Continent to study under the professors and system of Ireland, and we need not go beyond the testimonies of English antiquaries, from Bede to Camden, that these schools were regarded as the first in Europe. Ireland was equally remarkable for piety. In the Pagan times it was regarded as a sanctuary of the Magian or Druid creed. From the fifth century it became equally illustrious in Christendom. Without going into the disputed question of whether the Irish church was or was not independent of Rome, it is certain that Italy did not send out more apostles from the fifth to the ninth centuries than Ireland, and we find their names and achievements remembered through the Continent.

Of two names which Hallam thinks worth rescuing from the darkness of the dark ages, one is the Irish metaphysician, John Erigena. In a recent communication to the "Association" we had Bavarians acknowledging the Irish St. Killian as the apostle of their country.

Yet what, beyond a catalogue of names and a few marked events, do even the educated Irish know of the heroic pagans or the holy Christians of Old Ireland? These men have left libraries of biography, religion, philosophy, natural history, topography, history, and romance. They cannot all be worthless; yet, except the few volumes given us by the Archæological Society, which of their works have any of us read?

It is also certain that we possessed written laws with extensive and minute comments and reported decisions. These Brehon laws have been foully misrepresented by Sir John Davies. Their tenures were the gavelkind once prevalent over most of the world. The land belonged to the clan, and on the death of a clansman his share was re-apportioned according to the number and wants of his family. The system of erics or fines for offences has existed amongst every people from the Hebrews downwards, nor can anyone, knowing the multitude of crimes now punishable by fines or damages, think the people of this empire justified in calling the ancient Irish barbarous because they extended the system. There is in these laws, so far as they are known, minuteness and equity; and what is a better test of their goodness we learn from Sir John Davies himself, and from the still abler Baron Finglass, that the people reverenced, obeyed, and clung to these laws, though to decide by or obey them was a high crime by England's code. Moreover, the Norman and Saxon settlers hastened to adopt these Irish laws, and used them more resolutely, if possible, than the Irish themselves.

Orderliness and hospitality were peculiarly cultivated. Public caravansarais were built for travellers in every district, and we have what would almost be legal evidence of the grant of vast tracts of land for the supply of provisions for these houses of hospitality. The private hospitality of the chiefs was equally marked; nor was it quite rude. Ceremony was united with great freedom of intercourse, age, and learning, and rank, and virtue were respected, and these men, whose cookery was probably as coarse as that of Homer's heroes, had around their board harpers and bards who sang poetry as gallant and fiery, though not so grand, as the Homeric ballad-singers, and flung off a music which Greece never rivalled.

Shall a people, pious, hospitable, and brave, faithful observers of family ties, cultivators of learning, music, and poetry, be called less than civilised because mechanical arts were rude and "comfort" despised by them?

Scattered through the country in MS. are hundreds of books wherein the laws and achievements, the genealogies and possessions, the creeds and manners and poetry of these our predecessors in Ireland are set down. Their music lives in the traditional airs of every valley.

Yet mechanical civilisation, more cruel than time, is trying to exterminate them, and, therefore, it becomes us all who do not wish to lose the heritage of centuries, nor to feel ourselves living among nameless ruins, when we might have an ancestral home—it becomes all who love learning, poetry, or music, or are curious of human progress, to aid in or originate a series of efforts to save all that remains of the past.

It becomes them to lose no opportunity of instilling into the minds of their neighbours, whether they be corporators or peasants, that it is a brutal, mean, and sacrilegious thing to turn a castle, a church, a tomb, or a mound into a quarry or a gravel pit, or to break the least morsel of sculpture, or to take any old coin or ornament they may find to a jeweller, so long as there is an Irish Academy in Dublin to pay for it or accept it.

Before the year is out we hope to see A Society for The Preservation of Irish Music established in Dublin, under the joint patronage of the leading men of all politics, with branches in the provincial towns for the collection and diffusion of Irish airs.[31]

An effort—a great and decided one—must be made to have the Irish Academy so endowed out of the revenues of Ireland that it may be A National School of Irish History and Literature and a Museum of Irish Antiquities on the largest scale. In fact, the Academy should be a secular Irish College, with professors of our old language, literature, history, antiquities, and topography; with suitable schools, lecture-rooms, and museums.


We were a little struck the other day in taking up a new book by Merimée to see after his name the title of "Inspector-General of the Historical Monuments of France." So then France, with the feeding, clothing, protecting, and humouring of thirty-six million people to attend to, has leisure to employ a Board and Inspector, and money to pay them for looking after the Historical Monuments of France, lest the Bayeux tapestry, which chronicles the conquest of England, or the Amphitheatre of Nimes, which marks the sojourn of the Romans, suffer any detriment.

And has Ireland no monuments of her history to guard; has she no tables of stone, no pictures, no temples, no weapons? Are there no Brehon's chairs on her hills to tell more clearly than Vallancey or Davies how justice was administered here? Do not you meet the Druid's altar and the Gueber's tower in every barony almost, and the Ogham stones in many a sequestered spot, and shall we spend time and money to see, to guard, or to decipher Indian topes, and Tuscan graves, and Egyptian hieroglyphics, and shall every nation in Europe shelter and study the remains of what it once was, even as one guards the tomb of a parent, and shall Ireland let all go to ruin?

We have seen pigs housed in the piled friezes of a broken church, cows stabled in the palaces of the Desmonds, and corn threshed on the floor of abbeys, and the sheep and the tearing wind tenant the corridors of Aileach.

Daily are more and more of our crosses broken, of our tombs effaced, of our abbeys shattered, of our castles torn down, of our cairns sacrilegiously pierced, of our urns broken up, and of our coins melted down. All classes, creeds and politics are to blame in this. The peasant lugs down a pillar for his sty, the farmer for his gate, the priest for his chapel, the minister for his glebe. A mill-stream runs through Lord Moore's Castle,[32] and the Commissioners of Galway have shaken and threatened to remove the Warden's house—that fine stone chronicle of Galway heroism.

How our children will despise us all for this! Why shall we seek for histories, why make museums, why study the manners of the dead, when we foully neglect or barbarously spoil their homes, their castles, their temples, their colleges, their courts, their graves? He who tramples on the past does not create for the future. The same ignorant and vagabond spirit which made him a destructive prohibits him from creating for posterity.

Does not a man, by examining a few castles and arms, know more of the peaceful and warrior life of the dead nobles and gentry of our island than from a library of books; and yet a man is stamped as unlettered and rude if he does not know and value such knowledge. Ware's Antiquities, and Archdall, speak not half so clearly the taste, the habits, the everyday customs of the monks, as Adare Monastery,[33] for the fine preservation of which we owe so much to Lord Dunraven.

The state of civilisation among our Scotic or Milesian, or Norman, or Danish sires, is better seen from the Museum of the Irish Academy, and from a few raths, keeps, and old coast towns, than from all the prints and historical novels we have. An old castle in Kilkenny, a house in Galway give us a peep at the arts, the intercourse, the creed, the indoor and some of the outdoor ways of the gentry of the one, and of the merchants of the other, clearer than Scott could, were he to write, or Cattermole were he to paint, for forty years.

We cannot expect Government to do anything so honourable and liberal as to imitate the example of France, and pay men to describe and save these remains of dead ages. But we do ask it of the clergy, Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenting, if they would secure the character of men of education and taste—we call upon the gentry, if they have any pride of blood, and on the people, if they reverence Old Ireland, to spare and guard every remnant of antiquity. We ask them to find other quarries than churches, abbeys, castles and cairns—to bring rusted arms to a collector and coins to a museum, and not to iron or goldsmiths, and to take care that others do the like. We talk much of Old Ireland, and plunder and ruin all that remains of it—we neglect its language, fiddle with its ruins, and spoil its monuments.[34]


There is on the north (the left) bank of the Boyne, between Drogheda and Slane, a pile compared to which, in age, the Oldbridge obelisk is a thing of yesterday, and compared to which, in lasting interest, the Cathedrals of Dublin would be trivial. It is the Temple of Grange. History is too young to have noted its origin—Archæology knows not its time. It is a legacy from a forgotten ancestor, to prove that he, too, had art and religion. It may have marked the tomb of a hero who freed, or an invader who subdued—a Brian or a Strongbow. But whether or not a hero's or a saint's bones consecrated it at first, this is plain—it is a temple of nigh two thousand years, perfect as when the last Pagan sacrificed within it.[35]

It is a thing to be proud of, as a proof of Ireland's antiquity, to be guarded as an illustration of her early creed and arts. It is one of a thousand muniments of our old nationality which a national government would keep safe.

What, then, will be the reader's surprise and anger to hear that some people having legal power or corrupt influence in Meath are getting, or have got, a presentment for a road to run right through the Temple of Grange!

We do not know their names, nor, if the design be at once given up, as in deference to public opinion it must finally be, shall we take the trouble to find them out. But if they persist in this brutal outrage against so precious a landmark of Irish history and civilisation, then we frankly say if the law will not reach them public opinion shall, and they shall bitterly repent the desecration. These men who design, and those who consent to the act, may be Liberals or Tories, Protestants or Catholics, but beyond a doubt they are tasteless blockheads—poor devils without reverence or education—men, who, as Wordsworth says—

"Would peep and botanise

Upon their mothers' graves."

All over Europe the governments, the aristocracies, and the people have been combining to discover, gain, and guard every monument of what their dead countrymen had done or been. France has a permanent commission charged to watch over her antiquities. She annually spends more in publishing books, maps, and models, in filling her museums and shielding her monuments from the iron clutch of time, than all the roads in Leinster cost. It is only on time she needs to keep watch. A French peasant would blush to meet his neighbour had he levelled a Gaulish tomb, crammed the fair moulding of an abbey into his wall, or sold to a crucible the coins which tell that a Julius, a Charlemagne, or a Philip Augustus swayed his native land. And so it is everywhere. Republican Switzerland, despotic Austria, Prussia and Norway, Bavaria and Greece are all equally precious of everything that exhibits the architecture, sculpture, rites, dress, or manners of their ancestors—nay, each little commune would guard with arms these local proofs that they were not men of yesterday. And why should not Ireland be as precious of its ruins, its manuscripts, its antique vases, coins, and ornaments, as these French and German men—nay, as the English, for they, too, do not grudge princely grants to their museums and restoration funds.

This island has been for centuries either in part or altogether a province. Now and then above the mist we see the whirl of Sarsfield's sword, the red battle-hand of O'Neill, and the points of O'Connor's spears; but 'tis a view through eight hundred years to recognise the Sunburst on a field of liberating victory. Reckoning back from Clontarf, our history grows ennobled (like that of a decayed house), and we see Lismore and Armagh centres of European learning; we see our missionaries seizing and taming the conquerors of Europe, and, farther still, rises the wizard pomp of Eman and Tara—the palace of the Irish Pentarchy. And are we the people to whom the English (whose fathers were painted savages when Tyre and Sidon traded with this land) can address reproaches for our rudeness and irreverence? So it seems. The Athenæum says:—

"It is much to be regretted that the society lately established in England, having for its object the preservation of British antiquities, did not extend its design over those of the sister island, which are daily becoming fewer and fewer in number. That the gold ornaments which are so frequently found in various parts of Ireland should be melted down for the sake of the very pure gold of which they are composed, is scarcely surprising; but that carved stones and even immense druidical remains should be destroyed is, indeed, greatly to be lamented. At one of the late meetings of the Royal Irish Academy a communication was made of the intention of the proprietor of the estate at New Grange to destroy that most gigantic relic of druidical times, which has justly been termed the Irish pyramid, merely because its vast size 'cumbereth the ground.' At Mellifont a modern cornmill of large size has been built out of the stones of the beautiful monastic buildings, some of which still adorn that charming spot. At Monasterboice, the churchyard of which contains one of the finest of the round towers, are the ruins of two of the little ancient stone Irish churches, and three most elaborately carved stone crosses, eighteen or twenty feet high. The churchyard itself is overrun with weeds, the sanctity of the place being its only safeguard. At Clonmacnoise, where, some forty years ago, several hundred inscriptions in the ancient Irish character were to be seen upon the gravestones, scarcely a dozen (and they the least interesting) are now to be found—the large flat stones on which they were carved forming excellent slabs for doorways, the copings of walls, etc.! It was the discovery of some of these carved stones in such a situation which had the effect of directing the attention of Mr. Petrie (then an artist in search of the picturesque, but now one of the most enlightened and conscientious of the Irish antiquaries) to the study of antiquities; and it is upon the careful series of drawings made by him that future antiquarians must rely for very much of ancient architectural detail now destroyed. As to Glendalough, it is so much a holiday place for the Dubliners that it is no wonder everything portable has disappeared. Two or three of the seven churches are levelled to the ground—all the characteristic carvings described by Ledwich, and which were 'quite unique in Ireland,' are gone. Some were removed and used as keystones for the arches of Derrybawn bridge. Part of the churchyard has been cleared of its gravestones, and forms a famous place, where the villagers play at ball against the old walls of the church. The little church, called 'St. Kevin's Kitchen,' is given up to the sheep, and the font lies in one corner, and is used for the vilest purposes. The abbey church is choked up with trees and brambles, and being a little out of the way a very few of the carved stones still remain there, two of the most interesting of which I found used as coping-stones to the wall which surrounds it. The connection between the ancient churches of Ireland and the North of England renders the preservation of the Irish antiquities especially interesting to the English antiquarian; and it is with the hope of drawing attention to the destruction of those ancient Irish monuments that I have written these few lines. The Irish themselves are, unfortunately, so engrossed with political and religious controversies, that it can scarcely be hoped that single-handed they will be roused to the rescue even of these evidences of their former national greatness. Besides, a great obstacle exists against any interference with the religious antiquities of the country, from the strong feelings entertained by the people on the subject, although practically, as we have seen, of so little weight. Let us hope that the public attention directed to these objects will have a beneficial result and ensure a greater share of 'justice to Ireland'; for will it be believed that the only establishment in Ireland for the propagation and diffusion of scientific and antiquarian knowledge—the Royal Irish Academy—receives annually the munificent sum of £300 from the Government! And yet, notwithstanding this pittance, the members of that society have made a step in the right direction by the purchase of the late Dean of St. Patrick's Irish Archæological Collection, of which a fine series of drawings is now being made at the expense of the Academy, and of which they would, doubtless, allow copies to be made, so as to obtain a return of a portion of the expense to which they are now subjected. Small, moreover, as the collection is, it forms a striking contrast with our own National Museum, which, rich in foreign antiquities, is almost without a single object of native archæological interest, if we except the series of English and Anglo-Saxon coins and MSS."

The Catholic clergy were long and naturally the guardians of our antiquities, and many of their archæological works testify their prodigious learning. Of late, too, the honourable and wise reverence brought back to England has reached the Irish Protestant clergy, and they no longer make antiquity a reproach, or make the maxims of the iconoclast part of their creed.

Is it extravagant to speculate on the possibility of the Episcopalian, Catholic, and Presbyterian clergy joining in an Antiquarian Society to preserve our ecclesiastical remains—our churches, our abbeys, our crosses, and our fathers' tombs, from fellows like the Meath road-makers? It would be a politic and a noble emulation of the sects, restoring the temples wherein their sires worshipped for their children to pray in. There's hardly a barony wherein we could not find an old parish or abbey church, capable of being restored to its former beauty and convenience at a less expense than some beastly barn is run up, as if to prove and confirm the fact that we have little art, learning, or imagination.

Nor do we see why some of these hundreds of half-spoiled buildings might not be used for civil purposes—as almshouses, schools, lecture-rooms, town-halls. It would always add another grace to an institution to have its home venerable with age and restored to beauty. We have seen men of all creeds join the Archæological Society to preserve and revive our ancient literature. Why may we not see, even without waiting for the aid of an Irish Parliament, an Antiquarian Society, equally embracing the chief civilians and divines, and charging itself with the duties performed in France by the Commission of Antiquities and Monuments?

The Irish antiquarians of the last century did much good. They called attention to the history and manners of our predecessors which we had forgotten. They gave a pedigree to nationhood, and created a faith that Ireland could and should be great again by magnifying what she had been. They excited the noblest passions—veneration, love of glory, beauty, and virtue. They awoke men's fancy by their gorgeous pictures of the past, and imagination strove to surpass them by its creations. They believed what they wrote, and thus their wildest stories sank into men's minds. To the exertions of Walker, O'Halloran, Vallancey, and a few other Irish academicians in the last century, we owe almost all the Irish knowledge possessed by our upper classes till very lately. It was small, but it was enough to give a dreamy renown to ancient Ireland; and if it did nothing else, it smoothed the reception of Bunting's music, and identified Moore's poetry with his native country.

While, therefore, we at once concede that Vallancey was a bad scholar, O'Halloran a credulous historian, and Walker a shallow antiquarian, we claim for them gratitude and attachment, and protest, once for all, against the indiscriminate abuse of them now going in our educated circles.

But no one should lie down under the belief that these were the deep and exact men their contemporaries thought them. They were not patient nor laborious. They were very graceful, very fanciful, and often very wrong in their statements and their guesses. How often they avoided painful research by gay guessing we are only now learning. O'Halloran and Keatinge have told us bardic romances with the same tone as true chronicles. Vallancey twisted language, towers, and traditions into his wicker-work theory of Pagan Ireland; and Walker built great facts and great blunders, granite blocks and rotten wood, into his antiquarian edifices. One of the commonest errors, attributing immense antiquity, oriental origin, and everything noble in Ireland to the Milesians, originated with these men; or, rather, was transferred from the adulatory songs of clan-bards to grave stories. Now, it is quite certain that several races flourished here before the Milesians, and that everything oriental, and much that was famous in Ireland, belonged to some of these elder races, and not to the Scoti or Milesians.

Premising this much of warning and defence as to the men who first made anything of ancient Ireland known to the mixed nation of modern Ireland, we turn with pure pleasure to their successors, the antiquarians and historians of our own time.

We liked for awhile bounding from tussuck to tussuck, or resting on a green esker in the domain of the old academicians of Grattan's time; but 'tis pleasanter, after all, to tread the firm ground of our own archæologists.


Accustomed from boyhood to regard these towers as revelations of a gorgeous but otherwise undefined antiquity—dazzled by oriental analogies—finding a refuge in their primeval greatness from the meanness or the misfortunes of our middle ages, we clung to the belief of their Pagan origin.

In fancy we had seen the white-robed Druid tend the holy fire in their lower chambers—had measured with the Tyrian-taught astronomer the length of their shadows—and had almost knelt to the elemental worship with nobles whose robes had the dye of the Levant, and sailors whose cheeks were brown with an Egyptian sun, and soldiers whose bronze arms clashed as the trumpets from the tower-top said that the sun had risen. What wonder that we had resented the attempt to cure us of so sweet a frenzy?

We plead guilty to having opened Mr. Petrie's work strongly bigoted against his conclusion.

On the other hand, we could not forget the authority of the book. Its author we knew was familiar beyond almost any other with the country—had not left one glen unsearched, not one island untrod; had brought with him the information of a life of antiquarian study, a graceful and exact pencil, and feelings equally national and lofty. We knew also that he had the aid of the best Celtic scholars alive in the progress of his work. The long time taken in its preparation ensured maturity; and the honest men who had criticised it, and the adventurers who had stolen from it enough to make false reputations, equally testified to its merits.

Yet, we repeat, we jealously watched for flaws in Mr. Petrie's reasoning; exulted as he set down the extracts from his opponents, in the hope that he would fail in answering them, and at last surrendered with a sullen despair.

Looking now more calmly at the discussion, we are grateful to Mr. Petrie for having driven away an idle fancy. In its stead he has given us new and unlooked-for trophies, and more solid information on Irish antiquities than any of his predecessors. We may be well content to hand over the Round Towers to Christians of the sixth or the tenth century, when we find that these Christians were really eminent in knowledge as well as piety, had arched churches by the side of these campanilia, gave an alphabet to the Saxons, and hospitality and learning to the students of all western Europe—and the more readily, as we got in exchange proofs of a Pagan race having a Pelasgic architecture, and the arms and ornaments of a powerful and cultivated people.

The volume before us contains two parts of Mr. Petrie's essay. The first part is an examination of the false theories of the origin of these towers. The second is an account not only of what he thinks their real origin, but of every kind of early ecclesiastical structure in Ireland. The third part will contain a historical and descriptive account of every ecclesiastical building in Ireland of a date prior to the Anglo-Norman invasion of which remains now exist. The work is crowded with illustrations drawn with wonderful accuracy, and engraved in a style which proves that Mr. O'Hanlon, the engraver, has become so proficient as hardly to have a superior in wood-cutting.

We shall for the present limit ourselves to the first part of the work on the


The first refutation is of the


John Lynch, in his Cambrensis Eversus, says that the Danes are reported (dicuntur) to have first erected the Round Towers as watch-towers, but that the Christian Irish changed them into clock or bell-towers. Peter Walsh[37] repeated and exaggerated the statement; and Ledwich, the West British antiquary of last century, combined it with lies enough to settle his character, though not that of the towers. The only person, at once explicit and honest, who supported this Danish theory was Dr. Molyneux. His arguments are that all stone buildings, and, indeed, all evidences of mechanical civilisation, in Ireland were Danish; that some traditions attributed the Round Towers to them; that they had fit models in the monuments of their own country; and that the word by which he says the native Irish call them, viz., "Clogachd," comes from the Teutonic root, clugga, a bell. These arguments are easily answered.

The Danes, so far from introducing stone architecture, found it flourishing in Ireland, and burned and ruined our finest buildings, and destroyed mechanical and every kind of civilisation wherever their ravages extended—doing thus in Ireland precisely as they did in France and England, as all annals (their own included) testify. Tradition does not describe the towers as Danish watch-towers, but as Christian belfries. The upright stones and the little barrows, not twelve feet high, of Denmark, could neither give models nor skill to the Danes. They had much ampler possession of England and Scotland, and permanent possession of Normandy, but never a Round Tower did they erect there; and, finally, the native Irish name for a Round Tower is cloic-theach, from teach, a house, and cloc, the Irish word used for a bell in Irish works before "the Germans or Saxons had churches or bells," and before the Danes had ever sent a war-ship into our seas.

We pass readily from this ridiculous hypothesis with the remark that the gossip which attributes to the Danes our lofty monumental pyramids and cairns, our Druid altars, our dry stone caisils or keeps, and our raths or fortified enclosures for the homes or cattle of our chiefs, is equally and utterly unfounded; and is partly to be accounted for from the name of power and terror which these barbarians left behind, and partly from ignorant persons confounding them with the most illustrous and civilised of the Irish races—the Danaans.


Among the middle and upper classes in Ireland the Round Towers are regarded as one of the results of an intimate connection between Ireland and the East, and are spoken of as either—1, Fire Temples; 2, Stations from whence Druid festivals were announced; 3, Sun-dials (gnomons) and astronomical observatories; 4, Buddhist or Phallic temples, or two or more of these uses are attributed to them at the same time.

Mr. Petrie states that the theory of the Phœnician or Indo-Scythic origin of these towers was stated for the first time so recently as 1772 by General Vallancey, in his "Essay on the Antiquity of the Irish Language," and was re-asserted by him in many different and contradictory forms in his Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis, published at intervals in the following years.

It may be well to premise who


was. His family were from Berry, in France; their name Le Brun, called De Valencia, from their estate of that name. General Vallancey was born in Flanders, but was educated at Eton College. When a captain in the 12th Royal Infantry he was attached to the engineer department in Ireland, published a book on Field Engineering in 1756, and commenced a survey of Ireland. During this he picked up something of the Irish language, and is said to have studied it under Morris O'Gorman, clerk of Mary's Lane Chapel. He died in his house, Lower Mount Street, 18th August, 1812, aged 82 years.

His Collectanea, and his discourses in the Royal Irish Academy, of which he was an original member, spread far and wide his oriental theories. He was an amiable and plausible man, but of little learning, little industry, great boldness, and no scruples; and while he certainly stimulated men's feelings towards Irish antiquities, he has left us a reproducing swarm of falsehood, of which Mr. Petrie has happily begun the destruction. Perhaps nothing gave Vallancey's follies more popularity than the opposition of the Rev. Edward Ledwich, whose Antiquities of Ireland is a mass of falsehoods, disparaging to the people and the country.


Vallancey's first analogy is plausible. The Irish Druids honoured the elements and kept up sacred fires, and at a particular day in the year all the fires in the kingdom were put out, and had to be re-lighted from the Arch-Druid's fire. A similar creed and custom existed among the Parsees or Guebres of Persia, and he takes the resemblance to prove connection and identity of creed and civilisation. From this he immediately concludes the Round Towers to be Fire Temples. Now there is no evidence that the Irish Pagans had sacred fires, except in open spaces (on the hilltops), and, therefore, none of course that they had them in towers round or square; but Vallancey falls back on the alleged existence of Round Towers in the East similar to ours, and on etymology.

Here is a specimen of his etymologies. The Hebrew word gadul signifies great, and thence a tower; the Irish name for a round tower, cloghad, is from this gadul or gad, and clogh, a stone: and the Druids called every place of worship cloghad. To which it is answered—gadul is not gadclogh, a stone, is not cloch, a bell. The Irish word for a Round Tower is cloich-theach, or bell-house, and there is no proof that the Druids called any place of worship cloghad.

Vallancey's guesses are numerous, and nearly all childish, and we shall quote some finishing specimens, with Mr. Petrie's answers:—

"This is another characteristic example of Vallancey's mode of quoting authorities: he first makes O'Brien say that Cuilceach becomes corruptly Claiceach, and then that the word seems to be corrupted Clogtheach. But O'Brien does not say that Cuilceach is corruptly Claiceach, nor has he the word Culkak or Claiceach in his book; neither does he say that Cuilceach seems to be a corruption of Clog-theach, but states positively that it is so. The following are the passages which Vallancey has so misquoted and garbled—

"'Cuilceach, a steeple, cuilceach Cluan-umba, Cloyne steeple—this word is a corruption of Clog-theach.

"'Cloig-theach, a steeple, a belfry; corrupte Cuilg-theach.'

"Our author next tells us that another name for the Round Towers is Sibheit, Sithbeit, and Sithbein, and for this he refers us to O'Brien's and Shaw's Lexicons; but this quotation is equally false with those I have already exposed, for the words Sibheit and Sithbeit are not to be found in either of the works referred to. The word Sithbhe is indeed given in both Lexicons, but explained a city, not a round tower. The word Sithbhein is also given in both, but explained a fort, a turret, and the real meaning of the word as still understood in many parts of Ireland is a fairy-hill, or hill of the fairies, and is applied to a green round hill crowned by a small sepulchral mound.

"He next tells us that Caiceach, the last name he finds for the Round Towers, is supposed by the Glossarists to be compounded of cai, a house, and teach, a house, an explanation which, he playfully adds, is tautology with a witness. But where did he find authority for the word Caiceach? I answer, nowhere; and the tautology he speaks of was either a creation or a blunder of his own. It is evident to me that the Glossarist to whom he refers is no other than his favourite Cormac; but the latter makes no such blunder, as will appear from the passage which our author obviously refers to—

"'Cai i. teach unde dicitur ceard cha i. teach cearda; creas cha i. teach cumang.'

"'Cai, i.e., a house; unde dicitur ceard-cha, i.e., the house of the artificer; creas-cha, i.e., a narrow house.'"

The reader has probably now had enough of Vallancey's etymology, but it is right to add that Mr. Petrie goes through every hint of such proof given by the General, and disposes of them with greater facility.

The next person disposed of is Mr. Beauford, who derives the name of our Round Towers from Tlacht—earth; asserts that the foundations of temples for Vestal fire exist in Rath-na-Emhain, and other places (poor devil!)—that the Persian Magi overran the world in the time of the great Constantine, introducing Round Towers in place of the Vestal mounds into Ireland, combining their fire-worship with our Druidism—and that the present towers were built in imitation of the Magian Towers. This is all, as Mr. Petrie says, pure fallacy, without a particle of authority; but we should think "twelfth" is a misprint for "seventh" in the early part of Beauford's passage, and, therefore, that the last clause of Mr. Petrie's censure is undeserved.

This Beauford is not to be confounded with Miss Beaufort. She, too, paganises the towers by aggravating some misstatements of Mason's Parochial Survey; but her errors are not worth notice, except the assertion that the Psalters of Tara and Cashel allege that the towers were for keeping the sacred fire. These Psalters are believed to have perished, and any mention of sacred fires in the glossary of Cormac M'Cullenan, the supposed compiler of the Psalter of Cashel, is adverse to their being in towers. He says:—

"Belltane, i.e., bil tene, i.e., tene bil, i.e., the goodly fire, i.e., two goodly fires, which the Druids were used to make, with great incantations on them, and they used to bring the cattle between them against the diseases of each year."

Another MS. says:—

"Beltaine, i.e., Bel-dine; Bel was the name of an idol; it was on it (i.e., the festival) that a couple of the young of every cattle were exhibited as in the possession of Bel; unde Beldine. Or, Beltine, i.e., Bil-tine, i.e., the goodly fire, i.e., two goodly fires, which the Druids were used to make with great incantations, and they were used to drive the cattle between them against the diseases of each year."

Mr. Petrie continues:—

"It may be remarked that remnants of this ancient custom, in perhaps a modified form, still exist in the May-fires lighted in the streets and suburbs of Dublin, and also in the fires lighted on St. John's Eve in all other parts of Ireland. The Tinne Eigin of the Highlands, of which Dr. Martin gives the following account, is probably a remnant of it also, but there is no instance of such fires being lighted in towers or houses of any description:—

"'The inhabitants here (Isle of Skye) did also make use of a fire called Tin Egin (i.e.), a forced Fire, or Fire of necessity, which they used as an Antidote against the Plague or Murrain in cattle; and it was performed thus: All the fires in the Parish were extinguish'd, and eighty-one marry'd men, being thought the necessary number for effecting this Design, took two great Planks of Wood, and nine of 'em were employed by turns, who by their repeated Efforts rubb'd one of the Planks against the other until the Heat thereof produced Fire; and from this forc'd Fire each Family is supplied with new Fire, which is no sooner kindled than a pot full of water is quickly set on it, and afterwards sprinkled upon the people infected with the Plague, or upon cattle that have the Murrain. And this, they all say, they find successful by experience.'—Description of the Western Islands of Scotland (second edition), p. 113.

"As authority for Miss Beaufort's second assertion, relative to the Tower of Thlachtga, etc., we are referred to the Psalter of Tara, by Comerford (p. 41), cited in the Parochial Survey (vol. iii., p. 320); and certainly in the latter work we do find a passage in nearly the same words which Miss Beaufort uses. But if the lady had herself referred to Comerford's little work, she would have discovered that the author of the article in the Parochial Survey had in reality no authority for his assertions, and had attempted a gross imposition on the credulity of his readers."

Mr. D'Alton relies much on a passage in Cambrensis, wherein he says that the fishermen on Lough Neagh (a lake certainly formed by an inundation in the first century, a.d. 62) point to such towers under the lake; but this only shows they were considered old in Cambrensis's time (King John's), for Cambrensis calls them turres ecclesiasticas (a Christian appellation); and the fishermen of every lake have such idle traditions from the tall objects they are familiar with; and the steeples of Antrim, etc., were handy to the Loch n-Eathac men.

One of the authorities quoted by all the Paganists is from the Ulster Annals at the year 448. It is—"Kl. Jenair. Anno Domini cccc.xl°.viii°. ingenti terræ motu per loca varia imminente, plurimi urbis auguste muri recenti adhuc reædificatione constructi, cum l.vii. turribus conruerunt." This was made to mean that part of the wall of Armagh, with fifty-seven Round Towers, fell in an earthquake in 448, whereas the passage turns out to be a quotation from "Marcellinus"[38] of the fall of part of the defences of Constantinople—"Urbis Augustæ!"

References to towers in Irish annals are quoted by Mr. D'Alton; but they turn out to be written about the Cyclopean Forts, or low stone raths, such as we find at Aileach, etc.


Dr. Charles O'Connor, of Stowe, is the chief supporter of the astronomical theory. One of his arguments is founded on the mistaken reading of the word "turaghun" (which he derives from tur, a tower, and aghan, or adhan, the kindling of flame), instead of "truaghan," an ascetic. The only other authority of his which we have not noticed is the passage in the Ulster Annals, at the year 995, in which it is said that certain Fidhnemead were burned by lightning at Armagh. He translates the word celestial indexes, and paraphrases it Round Towers, and all because fiadh means witness, and neimhedh, heavenly or sacred, the real meaning being holy wood, or wood of the sanctuary, from fidh, a wood, and neimhedh, holy, as is proved by a pile of exact authorities.

Dr. Lanigan, in his ecclesiastical history, and Moore, in his general history, repeat the arguments which we have mentioned. They also bring objections against the alleged Christian origin, which we hold over; but it is plain that nothing prevailed more with them than the alleged resemblance of these towers to certain oriental buildings. Assuredly if there were a close likeness between the Irish Round Towers and oriental fire temples of proved antiquity, it would be an argument for identity of use; and though direct testimony from our annals would come in and show that the present towers were built as Christian belfries from the sixth to the tenth centuries, the resemblance would at least indicate that the belfries had been built after the model of Pagan fire towers previously existing here. But "rotundos of above thirty feet in diameter" in Persia, Turkish minarets of the tenth or fourteenth centuries, and undated turrets in India, which Lord Valentia thought like our Round Towers, give no such resemblance. We shall look anxiously for exact measurements and datas of oriental buildings resembling Round Towers, and weigh the evidence which may be offered to show that there were any Pagan models for the latter in Ireland or in Asia.

Mr. Windele, of Cork, besides using all the previously-mentioned arguments for the Paganism of these towers, finds another in the supposed resemblance to The Nurraggis of Sardinia, which are tombs or temples formed in that island, and attributed to the Phœnicians. But, alas, for the theory, they have turned out to be "as broad as they're long." A square building, 57 feet in each side, with bee-hive towers at each angle, and a centre bee-hive tower reaching to 45 or 65 feet high, with stone stairs, is sadly unlike a Round Tower!

The most recent theory is that the Round Towers are


Mr. Windele and the South Munster Antiquarian Society started this, Sir William Betham sanctioned it, and several rash gentlemen dug under towers to prove it. At Cashel, Kinsale, etc., they satisfied themselves that there were no sepulchres or bones ever under the towers, but in some other places they took the rubbish bones casually thrown into the towers, and in two cases the chance underlying of ancient burying-grounds, as proofs of this notion. But Mr. Petrie settles for this idea by showing that there is no such use of the Round Towers mentioned in our annals, and also by the following most interesting account of the cemeteries and monuments of all the races of Pagan Irish:—


"A great king of great judgments assumed the sovereignty of Erin, i.e., Cormac, son of Art, son of Conn of the Hundred Battles. Erin was prosperous in his time, because just judgments were distributed throughout it by him; so that no one durst attempt to wound a man in Erin during the short jubilee of seven years; for Cormac had the faith of the one true God, according to the law; for he said that he would not adore stones, or trees, but that he would adore Him who had made them, and who had power over all the elements, i.e., the one powerful God who created the elements; in Him he would believe. And he was the third person who had believed in Erin before the arrival of St. Patrick. Conchobor MacNessa, to whom Altus had told concerning the crucifixion of Christ, was the first; Morann, the son of Cairbre Cinncait (who was surnamed Mac Main), was the second person; and Cormac was the third; and it is probable that others followed on their track in this belief.

"Where Cormac held his court was at Tara, in imitation of the kings who preceded him, until his eye was destroyed by Engus Gaibhuaiphnech, the son of Eochaidh Finn Futhairt: but afterwards he resided at Acaill (the hill on which Serin Colaim Cille is at this day), and at Cenannas (Kells), and at the house of Cletech; for it was not lawful that a king with a personal blemish should reside at Tara. In the second year after the injuring of his eye he came by his death at the house of Cletech, the bone of a salmon having stuck in his throat. And he (Cormac) told his people not to bury him at Brugh (because it was a cemetery of Idolaters), for he did not worship the same God as any of those interred at Brugh; but to bury him at Ros-na-righ, with his face to the east. He afterwards died, and his servants of trust held a council, and came to the resolution of burying him at Brugh, the place where the kings of Tara, his predecessors, were buried. The body of the king was afterwards thrice raised to be carried to Brugh, but the Boyne swelled up thrice, so that they could not come; so that they observed that it was 'violating the judgment of a prince' to break through this testament of the king, and they afterwards dug his grave at Ros-na-righ, as he himself had ordered.

"These were the chief cemeteries of Erin before the Faith (i.e., before the introduction of Christianity), viz., Cruachu, Brugh, Tailltin, Luachair, Ailbe, Oenach Ailbe, Oenach Culi, Oenach Colmain, Temhair Erann.

"Oenach Cruachan, in the first place, it was there the race of Heremon (i.e., the kings of Tara) were used to bury until the time of Cremhthann, the son of Lughaidh Riabh-n-derg (who was the first king of them that was interred at Brugh), viz., Cobhlhach Coelbregh, and Labhraidh Loingsech, and Eocho Fedhlech with his three sons (i.e., the three Fidhemhna—i.e., Bres, Nar, and Lothoe), and Eocho Airemh, Lughaidh Riabh-n-derg, the six daughters of Eocho Fedhlech (i.e., Medhbh, and Clothru, Muresc, and Drebrin, Mugain, and Ele), and Adill Mac Mada with his seven brothers (i.e., Cet, Anlon, Doche, et ceteri), and all the kings down to Cremhthann (these were all buried at Cruachan). Why was it not at Brugh that the kings (of the race of Cobhthach down to Crimthann) were interred? Not difficult; because the two provinces which the race of Heremon possessed were the province of Gailian (i.e., the province of Leinster), and the province of Olnecmacht (i.e., the province of Connaught). In the first place, the province of Gailian was occupied by the race of Labhraidh Loingsech, and the province of Connaught was the peculiar inheritance of the race of Cobhtach Coelbregh; wherefore it (i.e., the province of Connaught) was given to Medhbh before every other province. (The reason that the government of this land was given to Medhbh is because there was none of the race of Eochaidh fit to receive it but herself, for Lughaidh was not fit for action at the time.) And whenever, therefore, the monarchy of Erin was enjoyed by any of the descendants of Cobhthach Coelbregh, the province of Connaught was his ruidles (i.e., his native principality). And for this reason they were interred at Oenach na Cruachna. But they were interred at Brugh from the time of Crimthann (Niadh-nar) to the time of Loeghaire, the son of Niall, except three persons, namely, Art, the son of Conn, and Cormac, the son of Art, and Niall of the Nine Hostages.

"We have already mentioned the cause for which Cormac was not interred there. The reason why Art was not interred there is because he 'believed,' the day before the battle of Muccramma was fought, and he predicted the Faith (i.e., that Christianity would prevail in Erin), and he said that his own grave would be at Dumha Dergluachra, where Treoit [Trevet] is at this day, as he mentioned in a poem which he composed—viz., Cain do denna den (i.e., a poem which Art composed, the beginning of which is Cain do denna den, etc.). When his (Art's) body was afterwards carried eastwards to Dumha Dergluachra, if all the men of Erin were drawing it thence, they could not, so that he was interred in that place because there was a Catholic church to be afterwards at the place where he was interred (i.e., Treoit hodie). because the truth and the Faith had been revealed to him through his regal righteousness.

"Where Niall was interred was at Ochain, whence the hill was called Ochain, i.e., Och Caine, i.e., from the sighing and lamentation which the men of Erin made in lamenting Niall.

"Conaire More was interred at Magh Feci in Bregia (i.e., at Fert Conaire); however, some say that it was Conaire Carpraige was interred there, and not Conaire Mor, and that Conaire Mor was the third king who was interred at Tara—viz., Conaire, Loeghaire, and * * *

"At Tailltin the kings of Ulster were used to bury—viz., Ollamh Fodhla, with his descendants down to Conchobhar, who wished that he should be carried to a place between Slea and the sea, with his face to the east, on account of the Faith which he had embraced.

"The nobles of the Tuatha De Danann were used to bury at Brugh (i.e., the Dagda with his three sons; also Lughaidh and Oe, and Ollam, and Ogma, and Etan, the Poetess, and Corpre, the son of Etan), and Cremhthann followed them because his wife Nar was of the Tuatha Dea, and it was she solicited him that he should adopt Brugh as a burial-place for himself and his descendants, and this was the cause that they did not bury at Cruachan.

"The Lagenians (i.e., Cathair with his race and the kings who were before them) were buried at Oenach Ailbhe. The Clann Dedad (i.e., the race of Conaire and Erna) at Temhair Erann; the men of Munster (i.e., the Dergthene) at Oenach Culi, and Oenach Colmain; and the Connacians at Cruachan."


Because Simon Stylites lived in a domicile, sized "scarce two cubits," on a pillar sixty feet high, and because other anchorites lived on pillars and in cells, Dean Richardson suggested that the Irish Round Towers were for hermits; and was supported by Walter Harris, Dr. Milner, Dr. King, etc. The cloch angcoire, or hermit's stone, quoted in aid of this fancy, turns out to be a narrow cell; and so much for the hermits!

The confusion of


is a stupid pun or a vulgar pronunciation in English; but in Irish gave rise to the antiquarian theory of Dr. Smith, who, in his History of Cork, concludes that the Round Towers were penitential prisons, because the Irish word for a penitential round or journey is turas!


never had any support but poor Henry O'Brien's enthusiastic ignorance and the caricaturing pen of his illustrator.

We have now done with the theories of these towers, which Mr. Petrie has shown, past doubt, to be either positively false or quite unproved. His own opinion is that they were used—1, as belfries; 2, as keeps, or houses of shelter for the clergy and their treasures; and 3, as watch-towers and beacons; and into his evidence for this opinion we shall go at a future day, thanking him at present for having displaced a heap of incongruous, though agreeable, fancies, and given us the learned, the most exact, and the most important work ever published on the antiquities of the Ancient Irish Nation.


When valour becomes a reproach, when patriotism is thought a prejudice, and when a soldier's sword is a sign of shame, the Irish Brigade will be forgotten or despised.

The Irish are a military people—strong, nimble, and hardy, fond of adventure, irascible, brotherly, and generous—they have all the qualities that tempt men to war and make them good soldiers. Dazzled by their great fame on the Continent, and hearing of their insular wars chiefly through the interested lies of England, Voltaire expressed his wonder that a nation which had behaved so gallantly abroad had "always fought badly at home." It would have been most wonderful.

It may be conceded that the Irish performed more illustrious actions on the Continent. They fought with the advantages of French discipline and equipment; they fought as soldiers, with the rights of war, not "rebels, with halters round their necks"; they fought by the side of great rivals and amid the gaze of Europe.

In the most of their domestic wars they appeared as divided clans or abrupt insurgents; they were exposed to the treachery of a more instructed, of an unscrupulous and a compact enemy; they had neither discipline, nor generalship, nor arms; their victories were those of a mob; their defeats were followed by extermination.

We speak of their ordinary contests with England from the time of Roderick O'Connor to that of '98. Occasionally they had more opportunities, and their great qualities for war appeared. In Hugh (or, rather Aodh) O'Neill they found a leader who only wanted material resources to have made them an independent nation. Cautious, as became the heir of so long a strife, he spent years in acquiring military knowledge and nursing up his clan into the kernel for a nation; crafty as Bacon and Cecil, and every other man of his time, he learned war in Elizabeth's armies, and got help from her store-houses. When the discontent of the Pale, religious tyranny, and the intrigues and hostility of Spain and Rome against England gave him an opening, he put his ordered clan into action, stormed the neighbouring garrisons, struck terror into his hereditary foes, and gave hope to all patriots; but finding that his ranks were too few for battle, he negotiated successfully for peace, but unavailingly for freedom; his grievances and designs remained, and he retired to repeat the same policy, till, after repeated guerillas and truces, he was strong enough to proclaim alliance with Spain and war with England, and to defeat and slay every deputy that assailed him, till at last he marched from the triumph of Beal-an-ath Buidhe[39] (where Marshal Bagenal and his army perished) to hold an almost royal court at Munster, and to reduce the Pale to the limits it had formed in the Wars of the Roses; and even when the neglect of Spain, the genius of Mountjoy, the resources and intrigues of England, and the exhaustion and divisions of Ireland had rendered success hopeless, the Irish under O'Ruarc, O'Sullivan, and O'Doherty vindicated their military character.

From that period they, whose foreign services, since Dathi's time, had been limited to supplying feudatories to the English kings, began to fight under the flags of England's enemies in every corner of Europe. The artifices of the Stuarts regained them, and in the reign of Charles the First they were extensively enlisted for the English allies and for the crown; but it was under the guidance of another O'Neill, and for Ireland,[40] they again exhibited the qualities which had sustained Tyrone. The battle of Benburb affords as great a proof of Irish soldiership as Fontenoy.

But it was when, with a formal government and in a regular war, they encountered the Dutch invader, they showed the full prowess of the Irish; and at the Boyne, Limerick, Athlone, and Aughrim, in victory or defeat, and always against immensely superior numbers and armaments, proved that they fought well at home.

Since the day when Sarsfield sailed the Irish have never had an opportunity of refuting the calumny of England which Voltaire accepted. In '98 they met enormous forces resting on all the magazines of England; they had no officers; their leaders, however brave, neither knew how to organise, provision, station, or manœuvre troops—their arms were casual—their ignorance profound—their intemperance unrestrainable. If they put English supremacy in peril (and had Arklow or Ballinahinch been attacked with skill, that supremacy was gone), they did so by mere valour.

It is, therefore, on the Continent that one must chiefly look for Irish trophies. It is a pious and noble search; but he who pursues it had need to guard against the error we have noticed in Voltaire, of disparaging Irish soldiership at home.

The materials for the history of the Irish Brigade are fast accumulating. We have before us the Military History of the Irish Nation, by the late Matthew O'Conor. He was a barrister, but studied military subjects (as became a gentleman and a citizen), peculiarly interested himself in the achievements of his countrymen, and prepared materials for a history of them. He died, leaving his work unfinished, yet, happily sufficiently advanced to offer a continuous narrative of Irish internal wars, from Hugh O'Neill to Sarsfield, and of their foreign services up to the Peace of Utrecht, in 1711. The style of the work is earnest and glowing, full of patriotism and liberality; but Mr. O'Conor was no blind partisan, and he neither hides the occasional excesses of the Irish, nor disparages their opponents. His descriptions of battles are very superior to what one ordinarily meets in the works of civilians, and any one reading them with a military atlas will be gratified and instructed.

The value of the work is vastly augmented by the appendix, which is a memoir of the Brigade, written in French, in 1749, and including the War Office orders, and all the changes in organisation, numbers, and pay of the Brigade to that date. This memoir is authenticated thus:—

"His Excellency, the Duke of Feltré, Minister of War, was so kind as to communicate to me the original memoir above cited, of which this is a perfect copy, which I attest.

"De Montmorency Morres (Hervé),

"Adjutant-Commandant, Colonel.

"Paris, 1st September, 1813."

To give any account of the details of Mr. O'Conor's book we should abridge it, and an abridgment of a military history is a catalogue of names. It contains accounts of Hugh O'Neill's campaigns and of the wars of William and James in Ireland. It describes (certainly a new chapter in our knowledge) the services of the Irish in the Low Countries and France during the religious wars in Henri Quatre's time, and the hitherto equally unknown actions abroad during Charles the Second's exile and reign.

The wars of Mountcashel's (the old) Brigade in 1690-91, under St. Ruth in Savoy, occupy many interesting pages, and the first campaigns of the New Brigade, with the death of Sarsfield and Mountcashel, are carefully narrated. The largest part of the work is occupied with the wars of the Spanish succession, and contains minute narratives of the battles and sieges of Cremona, Spire, Luzzaca, Blenheim, Cassano, Ramilies, Almanza, Alcira, Malplaquet, and Denain, with the actions of the Irish in them.

Here are great materials for our future History of Ireland.


Of the long line of Protestant patriots Grattan is the first in genius, and first in services. He had a more fervid and more Irish nature than Swift or Flood, and he accomplished what Swift hardly dreamed, and Flood failed in—an Irish constitution. He had immeasurably more imagination than Tone; and though he was far behind the great Founder of the United Irishmen in organising power, he surpassed him in inspiration. The statues of all shall be in our forums, and examples of all in our hearts, but that of Grattan shall be pre-eminent. The stubborn and advancing energy of Swift and Flood may teach us to bear up against wrong; the principles of Tone may end in liberation; but the splendid nationality of Grattan shall glorify us in every condition.

The speeches of Grattan were collected and his memoirs written by his son. The latter is an accessible and an invaluable account of his life; but the speeches were out of print, not purchasable under five or six guineas, and then were unmanageably numerous for any but a professed politician. Mr. Madden's volume gives for a trifle all Grattan's most valuable speeches, with a memoir sufficient to explain the man and the orator.

On the speeches of Grattan here published we have little to say. They are the finest specimens of imaginative eloquence in the English, or in any, language. There is not much pathos, and no humour in them, and in these respects Grattan is far less of an Irishman, and of an orator too, than Curran; but a philosophy, penetrating constitutions for their warnings, and human nature for its guides—a statesman's (as distinguished from an antiquarian's) use of history—a passionate scorn and invective for the base, tyrannical, and unjust—a fiery and copious zeal for liberty and for Ireland, and a diction and cadence almost lyrical, made Grattan the sudden achiever of a Revolution, and will make him for ever one of the very elements of Ireland.

No other orator is so uniformly animated. No other orator has brightened the depths of political philosophy with such vivid and lasting light. No writer in the language except Shakespeare has so sublime and suggestive a diction. His force and vehemence are amazing—far beyond Chatham, far beyond Fox, far beyond any orator we can recall.

To the student of oratory Grattan's speeches are dangerously suggestive, overpowering spirits that will not leave when bid. Yet, with all this terrible potency, who would not bask in his genius, even at the hazard of having his light for ever in your eyes. The brave student will rather exult in his effulgence—not to rob, not to mimic it—but to catch its inspiration, and then go on his way resolved to create a glory of his own which, however small, being genuine, shall not pale within its sphere.

To give a just idea of Grattan's rush and splendour to anyone not familiar with his speeches is impossible; but some glimmer may be got by one reading the extracts we shall add here. We shall take them at random, as we open the pages in the book, and leave the reader, untaught in our great orator, to judge, if chance is certain of finding such gems, what would not judicious care discover! Let him use that care again and again.

"Sir, we may hope to dazzle with illumination, and we may sicken with addresses, but the public imagination will never rest, nor will her heart be well at ease; never! so long as the parliament of England exercises or claims a legislation over this country: so long as this shall be the case, that very free trade, otherwise a perpetual attachment, will be the cause of new discontent; it will create a pride to feel the indignity of bondage; it will furnish a strength to bite your chain, and the liberty withheld will poison the good communicated.

"The British minister mistakes the Irish character; had he intended to make Ireland a slave he should have kept her a beggar; there is no middle policy; win her heart by the restoration of her right, or cut off the nation's right hand; greatly emancipate, or fundamentally destroy. We may talk plausibly to England, but so long as she exercises a power to bind this country, so long are the nations in a state of war; the claims of the one go against the liberty of the other, and the sentiments of the latter go to oppose those claims to the last drop of her blood. The English opposition, therefore, are right; mere trade will not satisfy Ireland—they judge of us by other great nations, by the nation whose political life has been a struggle for liberty; they judge of us with a true knowledge and just deference for our character: that a country enlightened as Ireland, chartered as Ireland, armed as Ireland and injured as Ireland, will be satisfied with nothing less than liberty.

"Impracticable! impracticable! impracticable! a zealous divine will say; any alteration is beyond the power and wisdom of parliament; above the faculties of man to make adequate provision for 900 clergymen who despise riches. Were it to raise a new tax for their provision, or for that of a body less holy, how easy the task! how various the means! but when the proposal is to diminish a tax already established, an impossibility glares us in the face, of a measure so contrary to our practices both in church and state."

We were wrong in saying there was no humour in Grattan. Here is a passage humorous enough, but it is scornful, rhetorical humour:—

"It does not affect the doctrine of our religion; it does not alter the church establishment; it does not affect the constitution of episcopacy. The modus does not even alter the mode of their provision, it only limits the quantum, and limits it on principles much less severe than that charity which they preach, or that abstinence which they inculcate. Is this innovation?—as if the Protestant religion was to be propagated in Ireland, like the influence of a minister, by bribery; or like the influence of a county candidate, by money; or like the cause of a potwalloping canvasser, by the weight of the purse; as if Christ could not prevail over the earth unless Mammon took him by the hand. Am I to understand that if you give the parson 12s. in the acre for potatoes and 10s. for wheat, the Protestant religion is safe on its rock? But if you reduce him to 6s. the acre for potatoes and wheat, then Jupiter shakes the heavens with his thunder, Neptune rakes up the deep with his trident, and Pluto leaps from his throne! See the curate—he rises at six to morning prayers; he leaves company at six for evening prayer; he baptises, he marries, he churches, he buries, he follows with pious offices his fellow creature from the cradle to the grave; for what immense income! what riches to reward these inestimable services? (Do not depend on the penury of the laity, let his own order value his deserts.) £50 a year! £50! for praying, for christening, for marrying, for churching, for burying, for following with Christian offices his fellow-creature from cradle to grave; so frugal a thing is devotion, so cheap religion, so easy the terms on which man may worship his Maker, and so small the income, in the opinion of ecclesiastics, sufficient for the duties of a clergyman, as far as he is connected at all with the Christian religion.

"By this trade of parliament the King is absolute; his will is signified by both houses of parliament, who are now as much an instrument in his hand as a bayonet in the hands of a regiment. Like a regiment we have our adjutant, who sends to the infirmary for the old and to the brothel for the young, and men thus carted, as it were, into this house, to vote for the minister, are called the representatives of the people! Suppose General Washington to ring his bell, and order his servants out of livery to take their seats in Congress—you can apply this instance.

"It is not life but the condition of living—the slave is not so likely to complain of the want of property as the proprietor of the want of privilege. The human mind is progressive—the child does not look back to the parent that gave him being, nor the proprietor to the people that gave him the power of acquisition, but both look forward—the one to provide for the comforts of life, and the other to obtain all the privileges of property."

But we have fallen on one of his most marvellous passages, and we give it entire:—

"I will put this question to my country; I will suppose her at the bar, and I will ask her, Will you fight for a Union as you would for a constitution? Will you fight for that Lords and that Commons who, in the last century, took away your trade, and, in the present, your constitution, as for that King, Lords, and Commons who have restored both? Well, the minister has destroyed this constitution; to destroy is easy. The edifices of the mind, like the fabrics of marble, require an age to build, but ask only minutes to precipitate; and as the fall of both is an effort of no time, so neither is it a business of any strength—a pick-axe and a common labourer will do the one—a little lawyer, a little pimp, a wicked minister the other.

"The Constitution, which, with more or less violence, has been the inheritance of this country for six hundred years—that modus tenendi parliamentum, which lasted and outlasted of Plantagenet the wars, of Tudor the violence, and of Stuart the systematic falsehood—the condition of our connection—yes, the constitution he destroys is one of the pillars of the British Empire. He may walk round it and round it, and the more he contemplates the more must he admire it—such a one as had cost England of money millions and of blood a deluge, cheaply and nobly expended—whose restoration had cost Ireland her noblest efforts, and was the habitation of her loyalty—we are accustomed to behold the kings of these countries in the keeping of parliament—I say of her loyalty as well as of her liberty, where she had hung up the sword of the Volunteer—her temple of fame as well as of freedom—where she had seated herself, as she vainly thought, in modest security and in a long repose.

"I have done with the pile which the minister batters, I come to the Babel which he builds; and as he throws down without a principle, so does he construct without a foundation. This fabric he calls a Union, and to this, his fabric, there are two striking objections—first it is no Union; it is not an identification of people, for it excludes the Catholics; secondly, it is a consolidation of the Irish legislatures—that is to say, a merger of the Irish parliament, and incurs every objection to a Union, without obtaining the only object which a Union professes; it is an extinction of the constitution, and an exclusion of the people. Well! he has overlooked the people as he has overlooked the sea. I say he excludes the Catholics, and he destroys their best chance of admission—the relative consequence. Thus he reasons, that hereafter, in course of time (he does not say when), if they behave themselves (he does not say how), they may see their subjects submitted to a course of discussion (he does not say with what result or determination); and as the ground for this inane period, in which he promises nothing, and in which, if he did promise much, at so remote a period he could perform nothing, unless he, like the evil he has accomplished, be immortal. For this inane sentence, in which he can scarcely be said to deceive the Catholic, or suffer the Catholic to deceive himself, he exhibits no other ground than the physical inanity of the Catholic body accomplished by a Union, which, as it destroys the relative importance of Ireland, so it destroys the relative proportion of the Catholic inhabitants, and thus they become admissible, because they cease to be anything. Hence, according to him, their brilliant expectation: 'You were,' say his advocates, and so imports his argument, 'before the Union as three to one, you will be by the Union as one to four.' Thus he founds their hopes of political power on the extinction of physical consequence, and makes the inanity of their body and the nonentity of their country the pillars of their future ambition."

We now return to the memoir by Mr. Madden. It is not the details of a life meagre for want of space, and confused for want of principles, as most little biographies are; it is an estimate—a profound one—of Grattan's original nature, of the influences which acted on him from youth to manhood, of his purposes, his principles, and his influence on Ireland.

Henry Grattan was twenty-nine years of age when he entered on politics, and in seven years he was the triumphant leader of a people free and victorious after hereditary bondage. He entered parliament educated in the meta-physical and political philosophy of the time, injured by its cold and epigrammatic verse and its artificial tastes—familiar with every form of aristocratic life from Kilkenny to London—familiar, too, with Chatham's oratory and principles, and with Flood's views and example. He came when there were great forces rushing through the land—eloquence, love of liberty, thirst for commerce, hatred of English oppression, impatience, glory, and, above all, a military array. He combined these elements and used them to achieve the Revolution of '82. Be he for ever honoured!

Mr. Madden defends him against Flood on the question of Simple Repeal. Here is his reasoning:—

"It is an easy thing now to dispose of the idle question of simple repeal. In truth, there was nothing whatever deserving of attention in the point raised by Mr. Flood. The security for the continuance of Irish freedom did not depend upon an English act of parliament. It was by Irish will and not at English pleasure that the new constitution was to be supported. The transaction between the countries was of a high political nature, and it was to be judged by political reason, and by statesmanlike computation, and not by the petty technicalities of the court of law. The revolution of 1782, as carried by Ireland, and assented to by England (in repealing the 6th George the First), was a political compact—proposed by one country, and acknowledged by the other in the face of Europe; it was not (as Mr. Flood and his partisans construed the transaction) of the nature of municipal right, to be enforced or annulled by mere judicial exposition."

This is unanswerable, but Grattan should have gone further. The Revolution was effected mainly by the Volunteers, whom he had inspired; arms could alone have preserved the constitution. Flood was wrong in setting value on one form—Grattan in relying on any; but both before and after '82 Flood seems to have had glimpses that the question was one of might, as well as of right, and that national laws could not last under such an alien army.

Taken as military representatives, the Convention at the Rotunda was even more valuable than as a civic display. Mr. Madden censures Grattan for having been an elaborate neutral during these Reform dissensions; but that the result of such neutrality ruined the Convention proves a comparative want of power in Flood, who could have governed that Convention in spite of the rascally English and the feeble Irish Whigs. Oh, had Tone been in that council!

In describing Grattan's early and enthusiastic and ceaseless advocacy of Catholic liberty, Mr. Madden has a just subject for unmixed eulogy. Let no one imagine that the interest of these Emancipation speeches has died with the achievement of what they pleaded for; they will ever remain divinest protests against the vice and impolicy of religious ascendency, of sectarian bitterness, and of bigot separation.

For this admirable beginning of the design of giving Ireland its most glorious achievement—the speeches of its orators—to contemplate, the country should be grateful; but if there can be anything better for it to hear than can be had in Grattan's speeches, it is such language as this from his eloquent editor:—

"Reader! if you be an Irish Protestant, and entertain harsh prejudices against your Catholic countrymen, study the works and life of Grattan—learn from him—for none can teach you better how to purify your nature from bigotry. Learn from him to look upon all your countrymen with a loving heart—to be tolerant of infirmities caused by their unhappy history—and, like Grattan, earnestly sympathise with all that is brave and generous in their character.

"Reader! if you be an Irish Catholic, and that you confound the Protestant religion with tyranny, learn from Grattan that it is possible to be a Protestant and have a heart for Ireland and its people. Think that the brightest age of Ireland was when Grattan—a steady Protestant—raised it to proud eminence; think also that in the hour of his triumph he did not forget the state of your oppressed fathers, but laboured through his virtuous life that both you and your children should enjoy unshackled liberty of conscience.

"But reader! whether you be Protestant or Catholic, or whatever be your party, you will do well as an Irishman to ponder upon the spirit and principles which governed the public and private life of Grattan. Learn from him how to regard your countrymen of all denominations. Observe, as he did, how very much that is excellent belongs to both the great parties into which Ireland is divided. If (as some do) you entertain dispiriting views of Ireland, recollect that any country containing such elements as those which roused the genius of Grattan never need despair. Sursum corda. Be not disheartened.

"Go—go—my countrymen—and, within your social sphere, carry into practice those moral principles which Grattan so eloquently taught, and which he so remarkably enforced by his well-spent life. He will teach you to avoid hating men on account of their religious professions or hereditary descent. From him you will learn principles which, if carried out, would generate a new state of society in Ireland."


'Twixt Croghan-Kinshela and Hook Head, 'twixt Carnsore and Mount Leinster, there is as good a mass of men as ever sustained a state by honest franchises, by peace, virtue, and intelligent industry; and as stout a mass as ever tramped through a stubborn battle. There is a county where we might seek more of stormy romance, and there is a county where prospers a shrewder economy, but no county in Ireland is fitter for freedom than Wexford.

They are a peculiar people—these Wexford men. Their blood is for the most part English and Welsh, though mixed with the Danish and Gaelic, yet they are Irish in thought and feeling. They are a Catholic people, yet on excellent terms with their Protestant landlords. Outrages are unknown, for though the rents are high enough, they are not unbearable by a people so industrious and skilled in farming.

Go to the fair and you will meet honest dealing, and a look that heeds no lordling's frown—for the Wexford men have neither the base bend nor the baser craft of slaves. Go to the hustings, and you will see open and honest voting; no man shrinking or crying for concealment, or extorting a bribe under the name of "his expenses." Go to their farms and you will see a snug homestead, kept clean, prettily sheltered (much what you'd see in Down); more green crops than even in Ulster; the National School and the Repeal Reading-room well filled, and every religious duty regarded.

Wexford is not all it might be, or all that, with more education and the life-hope of nationality, it will be—there is something to blame and something to lament, here a vice sustained, and there a misfortune lazily borne; yet, take it for all in all, it is the most prosperous, it is the pattern county of the South; and when we see it coming forward in a mass to renew its demand for native government, it is an omen that the spirit of the people outlives quarrels and jealousies, and that it has a rude vitality which will wear out its oppressors.

Nor are we indifferent to the memories of Wexford. It owes much of its peace and prosperity to the war it sustained. It rose in '98 with little organisation against intolerable wrong; and though it was finally beaten by superior forces, it taught its aristocracy and the government a lesson not easily forgotten—a lesson that popular anger could strike hard as well as sigh deeply; and that it was better to conciliate than provoke those who even for an hour had felt their strength. The red rain made Wexford's harvest grow. Theirs was no treacherous assassination—theirs no stupid riot—theirs no pale mutiny. They rose in mass and swept the country by sheer force.

Nor in their sinking fortunes is there anything to blush at. Scullabogue was not burned by the fighting men.

Yet nowhere did the copper sun of that July burn upon a more heart-piercing sight than a rebel camp. Scattered on a hill-top, or screened in a gap, were the grey-coated thousands, their memories mad at burned cabins, and military whips, and hanged friends; their hopes dimmed by partial defeat; their eyes lurid with care; their brows full of gloomy resignation. Some have short guns which the stern of a boat might bear, but which press through the shoulder of a marching man; and others have light fowling-pieces, with dandy locks—troublesome and dangerous toys. Most have pikes, stout weapons, too; and though some swell to hand-spikes, and others thin to knives, yet, for all that, fatal are they to dragoon or musketeer if they can meet him in a rush; but how shall they do so? The gunsmen have only a little powder in scraps of paper or bags, and their balls are few and rarely fit. They have no potatoes ripe, and they have no bread—their food is the worn cattle they have crowded there, and which the first skirmish may rend from them. There are women and children seeking shelter, seeking those they love; and there are leaders busier, feebler, less knowing, less resolved than the women and the children.

Great hearts! how faithful ye are! How ye bristled up when the foe came on, how ye set your teeth to die as his shells and round-shot fell steadily; and with how firm a cheer ye dashed at him, if he gave you any chance at all of a grapple! From the wild burst with which ye triumphed at Oulart Hill, down to the faint gasp wherewith the last of your last column died in the corn-fields of Meath, there is nothing to shame your valour, your faith, or your patriotism. You wanted arms, and you wanted leaders. Had you had them, you would have guarded a green flag in Dublin Castle a week after you beat Walpole. Isolated, unorganised, unofficered, half-armed, girt by a swarm of foes, you ceased to fight, but you neither betrayed nor repented. Your sons need not fear to speak of Ninety-eight.

You, people of Wexford, almost all Repealers, are the sons of the men of '98; prosperous and many, will you only shout for Repeal, and line roads and tie boughs for a holiday? Or will you press your organisation, work at your education, and increase your political power, so that your leaders may know and act on the knowledge that, come what may, there is trust in Wexford?


From 1793 to 1829—for thirty-six years—the Irish Catholics struggled for Emancipation. That Emancipation was but admission to the Bench, the Inner Bar, and Parliament. It was won by self-denial, genius, vast and sustained labours, and, lastly, by the sacrifice of the forty-shilling freeholders—the poor veterans of the war—and by submission to insulting oaths; yet it was cheaply bought. Not so cheaply, perchance, as if won by the sword; for on it were expended more treasures, more griefs, more intellect, more passion, more of all which makes life welcome, than had been needed for war; still it was cheaply bought, and Ireland has glorified herself, and will through ages triumph in the victory of '29.

Yet what was Emancipation compared to Repeal?

The one put a silken badge on a few members of one profession; the other would give to all professions and all trades the rank and riches which resident proprietors, domestic legislation, and flourishing commerce infallibly create.

Emancipation made it possible for Catholics to sit on the judgment seat; but it left a foreign administration, which has excluded them, save in two or three cases, where over-topping eminence made the acceptance of a Judgeship no promotion; and it left the local Judges—those with whom the people have to deal—as partial, ignorant, bigoted as ever; while Repeal would give us an Irish code and Irish-hearted Judges in every Court, from the Chancery to the Petty Sessions.

Emancipation dignified a dozen Catholics with a senatorial name in a foreign and hostile Legislature. Repeal would give us a Senate, a Militia, an Administration, all our own.

The Penal Code, as it existed since 1793, insulted the faith of the Catholics, restrained their liberties, and violated the public Treaty of Limerick. The Union has destroyed our manufactures, prohibits our flag, prevents our commerce, drains our rental, crushes our genius, makes our taxation a tribute, our representation a shadow, our name a by-word. It were nobler to strive for Repeal than to get Emancipation.

Four years ago the form of Repeal agitation began—two years ago, its reality. Have we not cause to be proud of the labours of these two years? If life be counted, not by the rising of suns, or the idle turning of machinery, but by the growth of the will, and the progress of thoughts and passions in the soul, we Irishmen have spent an age since we raised our first cry for liberty. Consider what we were then, and what we have done since. We had a People unorganised—disgusted with a Whig alliance—beaten in a dishonourable struggle to sustain a faction—ignorant of each other's will—without books, without song, without leaders (save one), without purposes, without strength, without hope. The Corn Exchange was the faint copy of the Catholic Association, with a few enthusiasts, a few loungers, and a few correspondents. Opposite to us was the great Conservative party, with a majority exceeding our whole representation, united, flushed, led by the craftiest of living statesmen, and the ablest of living generals. Oh, how disheartening it was then, when, day by day, we found prophecy and exhortation, lay and labour, flung idly before a distracted People! May we never pass through that icy ordeal again!

How different now! The People are united under the greatest system of organisation ever attempted in any country. They send in, by their Collectors, Wardens, and Inspectors, to the central office of Ireland, the contributions needed to carry on the Registration of Voters, the public meetings, the publications, the law expenses, and the organisation of the Association; and that in turn carries on registries, holds meetings, opens reading-rooms, sends newspapers, and books, and political instructions, back through the same channel; so that the Central Committee knows the state of every parish, and every parish receives the teaching and obeys the will of the Central Committee.

The Whig Alliance has melted, like ice before the sun, and the strong souls of our people will never again serve the purposes of a faction.

The Conservative party, without union and without principle, is breaking up. Its English section is dividing into the tools of expediency and the pioneers of a New Generation—its Irish section into Castle Hacks and National Conservatives.

Meantime, how much have the Irish people gained and done? They have received and grown rich under torrents of thought. Song and sermon and music, speech and pamphlet, novel and history, essay and map and picture, have made the dull thoughtful and the thoughtful studious, and will make the studious wise and powerful. They have begun a system of self-teaching in their reading-rooms. If they carry it we shall, before two years, have in every parish men able to manufacture, to trade, and to farm—men acquainted with all that Ireland was, is, and should be—men able to serve The Irish Nation in peace and war.

In the teeth, too, of the Government we held our meetings. They are not for this time, but they were right well in their own time. They showed our physical force to the Continent, to ourselves, to America, to our rulers. They showed that the people would come and go rapidly, silently, and at bidding, in numbers enough to recruit a dozen armies. These are literal facts. Any one monster meeting could have offered little resistance in the open country to a regular army, but it contained the materials—the numbers, intelligence, and obedience—of a conquering host. Whenever the impression of their power grows faint we shall revive them again.

The toleration of these meetings was the result of fear; the prosecution of their chiefs sprung from greater fear. That prosecution was begun audaciously, was carried on meanly and with virulence, and ended with a charge and a verdict which disgraced the law. An illegal imprisonment afforded glorious proof that the people could refrain from violence under the worst temptation; that their leaders were firm; and, better than all, that had these leaders been shot, not prisoned, their successors were ready. Such an imprisonment served Ireland more than an acquittal, for it tried her more; and then came the day of triumph, when the reluctant constitution liberated our chiefs and branded our oppressors.

This is a history of two years never surpassed in importance and honour. This is a history which our sons shall pant over and envy. This is a history which pledges us to perseverance. This is a history which guarantees success.

Energy, patience, generosity, skill, tolerance, enthusiasm created and decked the agitation. The world attended us with its thoughts and prayers. The graceful genius of Italy and the profound intellect of Germany paused to wish us well. The fiery heart of France tolerated our unarmed effort, and proffered its aid. America sent us money, thought, love—she made herself a part of Ireland in her passions and her organisation. From London to the wildest settlement which throbs in the tropics or shivers nigh the Pole, the empire of our misruler was shaken by our effort. To all earth we proclaimed our wrongs. To man and God we made oath that we would never cease to strive till an Irish nation stood supreme on this island. The genius which roused and organised us, the energy which laboured, the wisdom that taught, the manhood which rose up, the patience which obeyed, the faith which swore, and the valour that strained for action, are here still, experienced, recruited, resolute.

The future shall realise the promise of the past.


Bishop Berkeley put, as a query, could the Irish live and prosper if a brazen wall surrounded their island? The question has been often and vaguely replied to.

Dr. Kane has at length answered it, and proved the affirmative. Confining himself strictly to the land of our island (for he does not enter on the subjects of fisheries and foreign commerce), he has proved that we possess physical elements for every important art. Not that he sat down to prove this. Taste, duty, industry, and genius prompted and enabled him gradually to acquire a knowledge of the physical products and powers of Ireland, and his mastery of chemical and mechanical science enabled him to see how these could be used.

Thus qualified, he tried, in the lecture-room of the Dublin Society, to communicate his knowledge to the public. He was as successful as any man lecturing on subjects requiring accurate details could be; and now he has given, in the volume before us, all his lectures, and much more. He then is no party pamphleteer, pandering to the national vanity; but a philosopher, who garnered up his knowledge soberly and surely, and now gives us the result of his studies. There was undoubtedly a good deal of information on the subjects treated of by Dr. Kane scattered through our topographical works and parliamentary reports, but that information is, for the most part, vague, unapplied, and not tested by science. Dr. Kane's work is full, clear, scientific, exact in stating places, extent, prices, and every other working detail, and is a manual of the whole subject.

In such interlaced subjects as industrial resources we must be content with practical classifications.

Dr. Kane proceeds in the following order:—First, he considers the mechanical powers of the country—viz., its fuel and its water powers. Secondly, its mineral resources—its iron, copper, lead, sulphur, marble, slates, etc. Thirdly, the agriculture of the country in its first function—the raising of food, and the modes of cropping, manuring, draining, and stacking. Fourthly, agriculture in its secondary use, as furnishing staples for the manufacture of woollens, linens, starch, sugar, spirits, etc. Fifthly, the modes of carrying internal trade by roads, canals, and railways. Sixthly, the cost and condition of skilled and unskilled labour in Ireland. Seventhly, our state as to capital. And he closes by some earnest and profound thoughts on the need of industrial education in Ireland.

Now, let us ask the reader what he knows upon any or all of these subjects; and whether he ought, as a citizen, or a man of education, or a man of business, to be ignorant of them? Such ignorance as exists here must be got rid of, or our cry of "Ireland for the Irish" will be a whine or a brag, and will be despised as it deserves. We must know Ireland from its history to its minerals, from its tillage to its antiquities, before we shall be an Irish nation, able to rescue and keep the country. And if we are too idle, too dull, or too capricious to learn the arts of strength, wealth, and liberty, let us not murmur at being slaves.

For the present we shall confine ourselves to the subjects of the mechanical powers and minerals of Ireland, as treated by Dr. Kane.

The first difference between manufactures now and in any former time is the substitution of machines for the hands of man. It may indeed be questioned whether the increased strength over matter thus given to man compensates for the ill effects of forcing people to work in crowds; of destroying small and pampering large capitalists, of lessening the distribution of wealth even by the very means which increases its production.

We sincerely lament, with Lord Wharncliffe, the loss of domestic manufactures; we would prefer one housewife skilled in the distaff and the dairy—home-bred, and home-taught, and home-faithful—to a factory full of creatures who live amid the eternal roll, and clash, and glimmer of spindles and rollers, watching with aching eyes the thousand twirls and capable of but one act—tying the broken threads. We abhor that state; we prefer the life of the old times, or of modern Norway.

But, situated as we are, so near a strong enemy, and in the new highway from Europe to America, it may be doubted whether we can retain our simple domestic life. There is but one chance for it. If the Prussian Tenure Code be introduced, and the people turned into small proprietors, there is much, perhaps every, hope of retaining our homestead habits; and such a population need fear no enemy.

If this do not come to pass, we must make the best of our state, join our chief towns with railways, put quays to our harbours, mills on our rivers, turbines on our coasts, and under restrictions and with guarantees set the steam engine to work at our flax, wool, and minerals.

The two great mechanical powers are fire and water. Ireland is nobly endowed with both.

We do not possess as ample fields of flaming coal as Britain; but even of that we have large quantities, which can be raised at about the same rate at which English coal can be landed on our coast.

The chief seats of flaming coal in Ireland are to the west of Lough Allen, in Connaught, and around Dungannon, in Tyrone. There is a small district of it in Antrim.

The stone coal, or anthracite, which, having little gas, does not blaze, and, having much sulphur, is disagreeable in a room, and has been thought unfit for smelting, is found—first, in the Kilkenny district, between the Nore and Barrow; secondly, from Freshford to Cashel; and thirdly, in the great Munster coal country, cropping up in every barony of Clare, Limerick, Cork, and Kerry. By the use of vapour with it, the anthracite appears to be freed from all its defects as a smelting and engine coal, and being a much more pure and powerful fuel than the flaming coal, there seems no reason to doubt that in it we have a manufacturing power that would supply us for generations.

Our bogs have not been done justice to. The use of turf in a damp state turns it into an inferior fuel. Dried under cover, or broken up and dried under pressure, it is more economical, because far more efficient. It is used now in the Shannon steamers, and its use is increasing in mills. For some purposes it is peculiarly good—thus, for the finer ironworks, turf and turf-charcoal are even better than wood, and Dr. Kane shows that the precious Baltic iron, for which from £15 to £35 per ton is given, could be equalled by Irish iron smelted by Irish turf for six guineas per ton.

Dr. Kane proves that the cost of fuel, even if greater in Ireland, by no means precludes us from competing with England; he does so by showing that the cost of fuel in English factories is only from 1 to 1½ per cent., while in Ireland it would be only 2½ to 3½ per cent., a difference greatly overbalanced by our cheaper labour—labour being over 33 per cent. of the whole expense of a factory.

Here is the analysis of the cost of producing cotton in England in 1830:—

Cotton wool £  8,244,693 or per cent. 26.27
Wages 10,419,000 " 33.16
Interest on capital 3,400,000 " 10.84
Coals 339,680 " 1.08
Rent, taxes, insurance,
other charges, and profit
  8,935,320 "   28.65
  £31,338,693   100.00

In water-power we are still better off. Dr. Kane calculates the rain which falls on Ireland in a year at over 100 billion cubic yards; and of this he supposes two-thirds to pass off in evaporation, leaving one-third, equal to nearly a million and a half of horse-power, to reach the sea. His calculations of the water-power of the Shannon and other rivers are most interesting. The elements, of course, are the observed fall of rain by the gauge in the district, and the area of the catchment (or drainage) basins of each river and its tributaries. The chief objection to water-power is its irregularity. To remedy this he proposes to do what has increased the water-power on the Bann five-fold, and has made the wealth of Greenock—namely, to make mill-lakes by damming up valleys, and thus controlling and equalising the supply of water, and letting none go waste. His calculations of the relative merits of undershot, overshot, breast, and turbine wheels are most valuable, especially of the last, which is a late and successful French contrivance, acting by pressure. He proposes to use the turbine in coast mills, the tide being the motive-power; and, strange as it sounds, the experiments seem to decide in favour of this plan.

"The turbine was invented by M. Fourneyron. Coals being abundant, the steam engine is invented in England; coals being scarce, the water-pressure engine and the turbine are invented in France. It is thus the physical condition of each country directs its mechanical genius. The turbine is a horizontal wheel furnished with curved float-boards, on which the water presses from a cylinder which is suspended over the wheel, and the base of which is divided by curved partitions, that the water may be directed in issuing, so as to produce upon the curved float-boards of the wheel its greatest effect. The best curvature to be given to the fixed partitions and to the float-boards is a delicate problem, but practically it has been completely solved. The construction of the machine is simple, its parts not liable to go out of order; and as the action of the water is by pressure, the force is under the most favourable circumstances for being utilised.

"The effective economy of the turbine appears to equal that of the overshot wheel. But the economy in the turbine is accompanied by some conditions which render it peculiarly valuable. In a water-wheel you cannot have great economy of power without very slow motion, and hence where high velocity is required at the working point, a train of mechanism is necessary, which causes a material loss of force. Now, in the turbine the greatest economy is accompanied by rapid motion, and hence the connected machinery may be rendered much less complex. In the turbine also a change in the height of the head of water alters only the power of the machine in that proportion, but the whole quantity of water is economised to the same degree. Thus if a turbine be working with a force of ten horses, and that its supply of water be suddenly doubled, it becomes of twenty horse-power; if the supply be reduced to one-half, it still works five horse-power; whilst such sudden and extreme change would altogether disarrange water-wheels, which can only be constructed for the minimum, and allow the overplus to go to waste."

Our own predilection being in favour of water-power—as cheaper, healthier, and more fit for Ireland than steam—gave the following peculiar interest in our eyes:—

"I have noticed at such length the question of the cost of fuel and of steam power, not from my own opinion of its ultimate importance, but that we might at once break down that barrier to all active exertion which indolent ignorance constantly retreats behind. The cry of 'What can we do? consider England's coal-mines,' is answered by showing that we have available fuel enough. The lament that coals are so dear with us and so cheap in England, is, I trust, set at rest by the evidence of how little influential the price of fuel is. However, there are other sources of power besides coals; there are other motive-powers than steam. Of the 83,000 horse-power employed to give motion to mills in England, 21,000, even in the coal districts, are not moved by fire, but by water. The force of gravity in falling water can spin and weave as well as the elasticity of steam; and in this power we are not deficient. It is necessary to study its circumstances in detail, and I shall therefore next proceed to discuss the condition of Ireland with regard to water-power."

Dr. Kane proves that we have at Arigna an inexhaustible supply of the richest iron ore, with coals to smelt it, lime to flux it, and infusible sand-stone and fire-clay to make furnaces of on the spot. Yet not a pig or bar is made there now. He also gives in great detail the extent, analysis, costs of working, and every other leading fact as to the copper mines of Wicklow, Knockmahon, and Allihies; the lead, gold, and sulphur mines of Wicklow; the silver mines of Ballylichey, and details of the building materials and marbles.

He is everywhere precise in his industrial and scientific statements, and beautifully clear in his style and arrangement.

Why, then, are we a poor province? Dr. Kane quotes Forbes, Quetelet, etc., to prove the physical strength of our people. He might have quoted every officer who commanded them to prove their courage and endurance; nor is there much doubt expressed even by their enemies of their being quick and inventive. Their soil is productive—the rivers and harbours good—their fishing opportunities great—so is their means of making internal communications across their great central plains. We have immense water and considerable fire power; and, besides the minerals necessary for the arts of peace, we are better supplied than almost any country with the finer sorts of iron, charcoal, and sulphur, wherewith war is now carried on. Why is it, with these means of amassing and guarding wealth, that we are so poor and paltry? Dr. Kane thinks we are so from want of industrial education. He is partly right. The remote causes were repeated foreign invasion, forfeiture, and tyrannous laws. Ignorance, disunion, self-distrust, quick credulity, and caprice were the weaknesses engendered in us by misfortune and misgovernment; and they were then the allies of oppression; for, had we been willing, we had long ago been rich and free. Knowledge is now within our reach if we work steadily; and strength of character will grow upon us by every month of perseverance and steadiness in politics, trade, and literature.


The Committee of 1824 was but meagrely supplied with evidence as to foreign surveys. They begin that subject with a notice of the Survey of England, made by order of William the Conqueror, and called the Doomsday Book. That book took six years to execute, and is most admirably analysed by Thierry.

The following is their summary account of some modern surveys:—

"In France the great territorial survey or cadastre has been in progress for many years. It was first suggested in 1763, and after an interval of thirty years, during which no progress was made, it was renewed by the government of that day, and individuals of the highest scientific reputation, MM. Lagrange, Laplace, and Delambre, were consulted with respect to the best mode of carrying into effect the intention of government. Subsequent events suspended any effectual operations in the French cadastre till the year 1802, when a school of topographical engineering was organised. The operations now in progress were fully commenced in 1808. The principle adopted is the formation of a central commission acting in conjunction with the local authorities; the classification of lands, according to an ascertained value, is made by three resident proprietors of land in each district, selected by the municipal council, and by the chief officer of revenue. 'In the course of thirteen years, one-third only of each department had been surveyed, having cost the state £120,000 per annum. At the rate at which it is carried on, it may be computed as likely to require for its completion a total sum of £4,680,000, or an acreable charge of 8¾d.' The delay of the work, as well as the increase of expense, seem to have been the result of the minuteness of the survey, which extends to every district field—a minuteness which, for many reasons, your committee consider both unnecessary and inexpedient to be sought for in the proposed Survey of Ireland.

"The survey of Bavaria is of modern date, but of equal minuteness. It is commenced by a primary triangulation, and principal and verification bases; it is carried on to a second triangulation, with very accurate instruments, so as to determine 'all the principal points; the filling up the interior is completed by a peculiar species of plane table; and in order to do away with the inaccuracies of the common chain, the triangulation is carried down on paper to the most minute corners of fields.' The map is laid down on a scale of twelve inches to the mile, or one-five-thousandth part of the real size; and as it contains all that is required in the most precise survey of property, it is used in the purchase and sale of real estates.

"The cadastre of Savoy and Piedmont began in 1729, and is stated to have at once afforded the government the means of apportioning justly all the territorial contributions, and to have put an end to litigations between individuals, by ascertaining, satisfactorily, the bounds of properties.

"The Neapolitan survey under Visconti, and that of the United States under Heslar, are both stated to be in progress; but your committee have not had the means of ascertaining on what principles they are conducted."

The committee adopted a scale for the maps of six inches to a statute mile, believing, apparently with justice, that a six-inch scale map, if perfectly well executed, would be minute enough for buyers and sellers of land, especially as the larger holdings are generally townlands, the bounds of which they meant to include. And, wherever a greater scale was needed, the pentagraph afforded a sufficiently accurate plan of forming maps to it. They, in another point, proposed to differ from the Bavarian Survey, in omitting field boundaries, as requiring too much time and expense; but they stated that barony, parish, and townland boundaries were essential to the utility of the maps. They also seemed to think that for private purposes their utility would much depend on their being accompanied, as the Bavarian maps were, by a memoir of the number of families, houses, size, and description of farms, and a valuation. And for this purpose they printed all the forms. The valuation still goes on of the townlands, and classes of soil in each. The Statistical Memoir has, unfortunately, been stopped, and no survey or valuation of farms, or holdings as such, has been attempted. We would now only recall attention to the design of the Committee of 1824 on the subject.

They proposed to leave the whole Survey to the Board of Ordnance, and the Valuation to Civil Engineers.

The Valuation has been regulated by a series of Acts of Parliament, and we shall speak of it presently.

The Survey commenced in 1826, and has gone on under the superintendence of Colonel Colby, and the local control of Captain Larcom.

The following has been its progress:—First, a base line of about five miles was measured on the flat shore of Lough Foyle, and from thence triangular measurements were made by the theodolite and over the whole country, and all the chief points of mountain, coast, etc., ascertained. How accurately this was done has been proved by an astronomical measurement of the distance from Dublin to Armagh (about seventy miles), which only differed four feet from the distance calculated by the Ordnance triangles.

Having completed these large triangles, a detailed survey of the baronies, parishes, and townlands of each county followed. The field books were sent to the central station at Mountjoy, and sketched, engraved on copper, and printed there. The first county published was Derry, in 1833, and now the townland survey is finished, and all the counties have now been engraved and issued, except Limerick, Kerry, and Cork.

The Survey has also engraved a map of Dublin City on the enormous scale of five feet to a statute mile. This map represents the shape and space occupied by every house, garden, yard, and pump in Dublin. It contains antiquarian lettering. Every house, too, is numbered on the map. One of its sheets, representing the space from Trinity College to the Castle, is on sale, as we trust the rest of it will be.

Two other sets of maps remain to be executed. First—maps of the towns of Ireland, on a scale of five feet to a mile. Whatever may be said in reply to Sir Denham Norrey's demand for a survey of holdings in rural districts does not apply to the case of towns, and we, therefore, trust that the holdings will be marked and separately valued in towns.

The other work is a general shaded map of Ireland, on a scale of one inch to the statute mile. At present, as we elsewhere remarked, the only tolerable shaded map of Ireland is that of the Railway Commission, which is on a scale of one inch to four statute miles. Captain Larcom proposes, and the Commission on the Ordnance Memoir recommend, that contour lines should be the skeleton of the shading. If this plan be adopted the publication cannot be for some years; but the shading will have the accuracy of machine-work instead of mere hand skill. Contours are lines representing series of levels through a country, and are inestimable for draining, road-making, and military movements. But though easily explained to the eye, we doubt our ability to teach their meaning by words only.

To return to the townland or six-inch survey. The names were corrected by Messrs. Petrie, O'Donovan, and Curry, from every source accessible in Ireland. Its maps contain the county, barony, parish, townland, and glebe boundaries, names and acreage; names and representations of all cities, towns, demesnes, farms, ruins, collieries, forges, limekilns, tanneries, bleach-greens, wells, etc., etc.; also of all roads, rivers, canals, bridges, locks, weirs, bogs, ruins, churches, chapels; they have also the number of feet of every little swell of land, and a mark for every cabin.

Of course these maps run to an immense number. Thus, for the county of Galway there are 137 double folio sheets, and for the small county of Dublin, 28. Where less than half the sheet is covered with engraving (as occurs towards the edges of a county) the sheet is sold, uncoloured, for 2s. 6d.; where more than half is covered the price is 5s.

In order to enable you to find any sheet so as to know the bearings of its ground on any other, there is printed for each county an index map, representing the whole county on one sheet. This sheet is on a small scale (from one to three miles to an inch), but contains in smaller type the baronies and parishes, roads, rivers, demesnes, and most of the information of general interest. This index map is divided by lines into as many oblong spaces as there are maps of the six-inch scale, and the spaces are numbered to correspond with the six-inch map. On the sides of the index maps are tables of the acreage of the baronies and parishes; and examples of the sort of marks and type used for each class of subjects in the six-inch maps. Uncoloured, the index map, representing a whole county, is sold for 2s. 6d.

Whenever those maps are re-engraved, the Irish words will, we trust, be spelled in an Irish and civilised orthography, and not barbarously, as at present.

It was proposed to print for each county one or more volumes, containing the history of the district and its antiquities, the numbers, and past and present state and occupations of the people, the state of its agriculture, manufactures, mines, and fisheries, and what means of extending these existed in the county, and its natural history, including geology, zoology, etc. All this was done for the town of Derry, much to the service and satisfaction of its people. All this ought to be as fully done for Armagh, Dublin, Cork, and every other part of Ireland.

The commissioners recommend that the geology of Ireland (and we would add natural history generally) should be investigated and published, not by the topographical surveyors nor in counties, but by a special board, and for the whole of Ireland; and they are right, for our plants, rocks, and animals are not within civil or even obvious topographical boundaries, and we have plenty of Irishmen qualified to execute it. They also advise that the statistics should be entrusted to a statistical staff, to be permanently kept up in Ireland. This staff would take the census every ten years, and would in the intervals between the beginning and ending of each census have plenty of statistical business to do for parliament (Irish or Imperial) and for public departments. If we are ever to have a registry of births, deaths (with the circumstances of each case), and marriages, some such staff will be essential to inspect the registry, and work up information from it. But the history, antiquities, and industrial resources, the commissioners recommend to have published in county volumes. They are too solicitous about keeping such volumes to small dimensions; but the rest of their plans are admirable.

The value of this to Ireland, whether she be a nation or a province, cannot be overrated. From the farmer and mechanic to the philosopher, general, and statesman, the benefit will extend, and yet so careless or so hostile are ministers that they have not conceded it, and so feeble by dulness or disunion are Irishmen and Irish members, that they cannot extort even this.

We now come to the last branch of the subject—


The Committee of 1824 recommended only principles of Valuation. They were three, viz.:—

"§ 1. A fixed and uniform principle of valuation applicable throughout the whole work, and enabling the valuation not only of townlands, but that of counties to be compared by one common measure. § 2. A central authority, under the appointment of government, for direction and superintendence, and for the generalisation of the returns made in detail. § 3. Local assistance, regularly organised, furnishing information on the spot, and forming a check for the protection of private rights."

Accordingly, on the 5th of July, 1825, an Act was passed requiring, in the first instance, the entry in all the grand jury records of the names and contents of all parishes, manors, townlands, and other divisions, and the proportionate assessments. It then went on to authorise the Lord Lieutenant to appoint surveyors to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund. These surveyors were empowered to require the attendance of cess collectors and other inhabitants, and with their help to examine, and ascertain, and mark the "reputed boundaries of all and every or any barony, half barony, townland parish, or other division or denomination of land," howsoever called. The Act also inflicted penalties on persons removing or injuring any post, stone, or other mark made by the surveyors; but we believe there has been no occasion to enforce these clauses, the good sense and good feeling of the people being ample securities against such wanton crime. Such survey was not to affect the rights of owners; yet from it lay an appeal to the Quarter Sessions.

This, as we see, relates to civil boundaries, not valuations.

In May, 1820, another Act was passed directing the Ordnance officers to send copies of their maps, as fast as finished, to the Lord Lieutenant, who was to appoint "one Commissioner of Valuation for any counties"; and to give notice of such appointment to the grand jury of every such county. Each grand jury was then to appoint an Appeal Committee for each barony, and a Committee of Revision for the whole county. This Commission of Valuation was then to appoint from three to nine fit valuators in the county, who, after trial by the Commissioner, were to go in parties of three and examine all parts of their district, and value such portion of it, and set down such valuation in a parish field book, according to the following average prices:—


Wheat, at the general average price of 10s. per cwt., of 112 lbs.

Oats, at the general average price of 6s. per cwt., of 112 lbs.

Barley, at the general average price of 7s. per cwt., of 112 lbs.

Potatoes, at the general average price of 1s. 7d. per cwt., of 112 lbs.

Butter, at the general average price of 69s. per cwt., of 112 lbs.

Beef, at the general average price of 33s. per cwt., of 112 lbs.

Mutton, at the general average price of 34s. 6d. per cwt., of 112 lbs.

Pork, at the general average price of 25s. 6d. per cwt., of 112 lbs."

That is, having examined each tract—say a hill, a valley, an inch, a reclaimed bit, and by digging and looking at the soil, they were to consider what crop it could best produce, considering its soil, elevation, nearness to markets, and then estimating crops at the foregoing rate, they were to say how much per acre the tract was, in their opinion, worth.

From this Parish Field Book the Commissioner was to make out a table of the parishes and townlands, etc., in each barony, specifying the average and total value of houses in such sub-divisions, and to forward it to the high constable, who was to post copies thereof. A vestry of twenty-pound freeholders and twenty-shilling cesspayers was to be called in each parish to consider the table. If they did not appeal, the table was to stand confirmed; if they did appeal, the grand jury committee of appeal, with the valuation commissioner as chairman, were to decide upon the appeal; but if the assessor were dissatisfied, the appeal was to go to the committee of revision. The same committee were then to revise the proportionate liabilities of baronies, subject to an appeal to the Queen's Bench. The valuation so settled was to be published in the Dublin Gazette, and thenceforward all grand jury and parish rates and cesses were to be levied in the proportions thereby fixed. But no land theretofore exempt from any rate was thereby made liable. The expenses were to be advanced from the consolidated fund, and repaid by presentment from the county.

It made the proportionate values of parishes and townlands, pending the baronial survey and the baronial valuation, to bind after revision and publication in some newspaper circulating in the county; but within three years there was to be a second revision, after which they were to be published in the Dublin Gazette, etc., and be final as to the proportions of all parish or grand jury rates to be paid by all baronies, parishes, and townlands. It also directed the annexation of detached bits to the counties respectively surrounding them, and it likewise provided for the use of the valuation maps and field books in applotting the grand jury cess charged on the holders of lands, but such valuation to be merely a guide and not final. From the varying size and value of holdings this caution was essential.

Under this last Act the valuation has been continued, as every reader of the country papers must have seen by Mr. Griffith's Notices, and is now complete in twenty counties, forward in six, begun in two, and not yet begun in Cork, Kerry, Limerick, or Dublin.

Mr. Griffith's instructions are clear and full, and we strongly recommend the study of them, and an adherence to their forms and classifications, to valuators of all private and public properties, so far as they go. He appointed two classes of valuators—Ordinary Valuators to make the first valuation all over each county, and Check Valuators to re-value patches in every district, to test the accuracy of the ordinary valuators.

The ordinary valuator was to have two copies of the Townland (or 6-inch) Survey. Taking a sheet with him into the district represented on it, he was to examine the quality of the soil in lots of from fifty to thirty acres, or still smaller bits, to mark the bounds of each lot on the survey map, and to enter in his field book the value thereof, with all the special circumstances specially stated. The examination was to include digging to ascertain the depth of the soil and the nature of the subsoil. All land was to be valued at its agricultural worth, supposing it liberally set, leaving out the value of timber, turf, etc. Reductions were to be made for elevation above the sea, steepness, exposure to bad winds, patchiness of soil, bad fences, and bad roads. Additions were to be made for neighbourhood of limestone, turf, sea, or other manure, roads, good climate and shelter, nearness to towns.

The following classification of soils was recommended:—


All soils may be arranged under four heads, each representing the characteristic ingredients, as—1. Argillaceous, or clayey; 2. Silicious, or sandy; 3. Calcareous, or limy; 4. Peaty.

For practical purposes it will be desirable to sub-divide each of these classes:—

Thus argillaceous soils may be divided into three varieties, viz.—clay, clay loam, and argillaceous alluvial.

Of silicious soils there are four varieties, viz.—sandy, gravelly, slaty, and rocky.

Of calcareous soils we have three varieties, viz.—limestone, limestone gravel, and marl.

Of peat soils two varieties, viz.—moor, and peat or bog.

In describing in the field book the different qualities of soils, the following explanatory words may be used as occasion may require:—

Stiff—Where a soil contains a large proportion, say one-half, or even more, of tenacious clay, it is called stiff. In dry weather this kind of soil cracks and opens, and has a tendency to form into large and hard lumps, particularly if ploughed in wet weather.

Friable—Where the soil is loose and open, as is generally the case in sandy, gravelly, and moory lands.

Strong—Where a soil contains a considerable portion of clay, and has some tendency to form into clods or lumps, it may be called strong.

Deep—Where the soil exceeds ten inches in depth the term deep may be applied.

Shallow—Where the depth of the soil is less than eight inches.

Dry—Where the soil is friable, and the subsoil porous (if there be no springs), the term dry should be used.

Wet—Where the soil or subsoil is very tenacious, or where springs are numerous.

Sharp—Where there is a moderate proportion of gravel, or small stones.

Fine or Soft—Where the soil contains no gravel, but is chiefly composed of very fine sand, or soft, light earth without gravel.

Cold—Where the soil rests on a tenacious clay subsoil, and has a tendency when in pasture to produce rushes and other aquatic plants.

Sandy or Gravelly—Where there is a large proportion of sand or gravel through the soil.

Slaty—Where the slaty substratum is much intermixed with the soil.

Worn—Where the soil has been a long time under cultivation, without rest or manure.

Poor—Where the land is naturally of bad quality.

Hungry—Where the soil contains a considerable portion of gravel, or coarse sand, resting on a gravelly subsoil; on such land manure does not produce the usual effect.

The colours of soils may also be introduced, as brown, yellow, blue, grey, red, black, etc.

Also, where applicable, the words steep, level, shrubby, rocky, exposed, etc., may be used."

Lists of market prices were sent with the field books, and the amounts then reduced to a uniform rate, which Mr. Griffith fixed at 2s. 6d. per pound over the prices of produce mentioned in the Act.

Rules were also given for valuation of houses, but we must refer to Mr. Griffith's work for them.


While the Irish were excluded from English law and intercourse, England imposed no restrictions on our trade. The Pale spent its time tilling and fighting, and it was more sure of its bellyful of blows than of bread. It had nothing to sell; why tax its trade? The slight commerce of Dublin was needful to the comforts of the Norman Court in Dublin Castle. Why should it be taxed? The market of Kilkenny was guarded by the spears of the Butlers, and from Sligo to Cork the chiefs and towns of Munster and Connaught—the Burkes, O'Loghlens, O'Sullivans, Galway, Dingle, and Dunboy—carried on a trade with Spain, and piracy of war against England. How could they be taxed?

Commercial taxes, too, in those days were hard to be enforced, and more resembled toll to a robber than contribution to the state. Every great river and pass in Europe, from the Rhine and the Alps to Berwick and the Blackwater, was affectionately watched by royal and noble castles at their narrowest points, and the barge anchored and the caravan halted to be robbed, or, as the receivers called it, to be taxed.

At last the Pale was stretched round Ireland by art and force. Solitude and peace were in our plains; but the armed colonist settled in it, and the native came down from his hills as a tenant or a squatter, and a kind of prosperity arose.

Protestant and Catholic, native and colonist, had the same interest—namely, to turn this waste into a garden. They had not, nor could they have had, other things to export than Sydney or Canada have now—cattle, butter, hides, and wool. They had hardly corn enough for themselves; but pasture was plenty, and cows and their hides, sheep and their fleeces, were equally so. The natives had always been obliged to prepare their own clothing, and therefore every creaght and digger knew how to dress wool and skins, and they had found out, or preserved from a more civilised time, dyes which, to this day, are superior to any others. Small quantities of woollen goods were exported, but our assertion holds good that in our war-times there was no manufacture for export worth naming.

Black Tom Wentworth, the ablest of despots, came here 210 years ago, and found "small beginnings towards a clothing trade." He at once resolved to discourage it. He wrote so to the king on July 25th, 1636, and he was a man true to his enmities. "But," said he, "I'll give them a linen manufacture instead." Now, the Irish had raised flax and made and dyed linen from time immemorial. The saffron-coloured linen shirt was as national as the cloak and birred; so that Strafford rather introduced the linen manufacture among the new settlers than among the Irish. Certainly he encouraged it, by sending Irishmen to learn in Brabant, and by bringing French and Flemings to work in Ireland.

Charles the Second, doubtless to punish us for our most unwise loyalty to him and his father, assented to a series of Acts prohibiting the export of Irish wool, cattle, etc., to England or her colonies, and prohibiting the direct importation of several colonial products into Ireland. The chief Acts are 12 Charles, c. 4; 15 Charles, c. 7; and 22 and 23 Charles, c. 26. Thus were the value of land in Ireland, the revenue, and trade, and manufactures of Ireland—Protestant and Catholic—stricken by England.

Perhaps we ought to be grateful, though not to England, for these Acts. They plundered our pockets, but they guarded our souls from being anglicised. To France and Spain the produce was sent, and the woollen manufacture continued to increase.

England got alarmed, for Ireland was getting rich. The English lords addressed King William, stating that "the growth and increase of the woollen manufacture in Ireland had long been, and would be ever, looked upon with great jealousy by his English subjects, and praying him, by very strict laws, totally to prohibit and suppress the same." The Commons said likewise; and William answered comfortably:—"I shall do all that in me lies to discourage the woollen manufacture in Ireland, and to encourage the linen manufacture there, and to promote the trade of England."

He was as good as his word, and even whipped and humbugged the unfortunate Irish Parliament to pass an Act, putting twenty per cent. duty on broad and ten per cent. on narrow cloths—

"But it did not satisfy the English parliament, where a perpetual law was made, prohibiting from the 20th of June, 1699, the exportation from Ireland of all goods made or mixed with wool, except to England and Wales, and with the licence of the commissioners of the revenue; duties had been before laid on the importation into England equal to a prohibition, therefore this Act has operated as a total prohibition of the exportation."

There was nothing left but to send the wool raw to England; to smuggle it and cloths to France and Spain, or to leave the land unstocked. The first was worst. The export to England declined, smuggling prospered, "wild geese" for the Brigade and woollen goods were run in exchange for claret, brandy, and silks; but not much land was left waste. Our silks, cottons, malt, beer, and almost every other article was similarly prohibited. Striped linens were taxed thirty per cent., many other kinds of linen were also interfered with, and twenty-four embargoes in nineteen years straitened our foreign provision trade. Thus England kept her pledge of wrath, and broke her promise of service to Ireland.

A vigorous system of smuggling induced her to relax in some points, and the cannon of the Volunteers blew away the code.

By the Union we were so drained of money, and absentee rents and taxes, and of spirit in every way, that she no longer needs a prohibitory code to prevent our competing with her in any market, Irish or foreign. The Union is prohibition enough, and that England says she will maintain.

Whether it be now possible to create home manufactures, in the old sense of the word—that is, manufactures made in the homes of the workers—is doubted.

In favour of such a thing, if it be possible, the arguments are numberless. Such work is a source of ingenuity and enjoyment in the cabin of the peasant; it rather fills up time that would be otherwise idled than takes from other work. Our peasants' wives and daughters could clothe themselves and their families by the winter night work, even as those of Norway do, if the peasants possessed the little estates that Norway's peasants do. Clothes manufactured by hand-work are more lasting, comfortable, and handsome, and are more natural and national than factory goods. Besides, there is the strongest of all reasons in this, that the factory system seems everywhere a poison to virtue and happiness.

Some invention, which should bring the might of machinery in a wholesome and cheap form to the cabin, seems the only solution of the difficulty.

The hazards of the factory system, however, should be encountered, were it sure to feed our starving millions; but this is dubious.

A Native Parliament can alone judge or act usefully on this momentous subject. An absentee tax and a resident government, and the progress of public industry and education, would enable an Irish Parliament to create vast manufactures here by protecting duties in the first instance, and to maintain them by our general prosperity, or it could rely on its own adjustment of landed property as sufficient to put the people above the need of hazarding purity or content by embarking in great manufactures.

A peasant proprietary could have wealth enough to import wrought goods, or taste and firmness enough to prefer home-made manufactures.

But these are questions for other years. We wish the reader to take our word for nothing, but to consult the writers on Irish trade:—Laurence's Interest of Ireland (1682); Browne's Tracts (1728); Dobbs on "Trade" (1729); Hutchinson's Commercial Restraints (1779); Sheffield on "Irish Trade" (1785); Wallace on "Irish Trade" (1798); the various "Parliamentary Reports," and the very able articles on the same subject in the Citizen.

Do not be alarmed at the list, reader; a month's study would carry you through all but the Reports, and it would be well spent. But if you still shrink, you can ease your conscience by reading Mr. John O'Connell's Report on "The Commercial Injustices," just issued by the Repeal Association. It is an elaborate, learned, and most useful tract.


No one doubts that if he sees a place or an action he knows more of it than if it had been described to him by a witness. The dullest man, who "put on his best attire" to welcome Cæsar, had a better notion of life in Rome than our ablest artist or antiquary.

Were painting, then, but a coloured chronicle, telling us facts by the eye instead of the ear, it would demand the Statesman's care and the People's love. It would preserve for us faces we worshipped, and the forms of men who led and instructed us. It would remind us, and teach our children, not only how these men looked, but, to some extent, what they were, for nature is consistent, and she has indexed her labours. It would carry down a pictorial history of our houses, arts, costume, and manners to other times, and show the dweller in a remote isle the appearance of countries and races of his cotemporaries.

As a register of facts—as a portrayer of men, singly, or assembled—and as a depicter of actual scenery, art is biography, history, and topography taught through the eye.

So far as it can express facts, it is superior to writing; and nothing but the scarcity of faithful artists, or the stupidity of the public, prevents us from having our pictorial libraries of men and places. There are some classes of scenes—as where continuous action is to be expressed—in which sculpture quite fails, and painting is but a shadowy narrator.

But this, after all, though the most obvious and easy use of Painting and Sculpture, is far indeed from being their highest end.

Art is a regenerator as well as a copyist. As the historian, who composes a history out of various materials, differs from a newspaper reporter, who sets down what he sees—as Plutarch differs from Mr. Grant, and the Abbé Barthelemy from the last traveller in India—so do the Historical Painter, the Landscape composer (such as Claude or Poussin) differ from the most faithful Portrait, Landscape, or Scene Drawer.

The Painter who is a master of composition makes his pencil cotemporary with all times and ubiquitous. Keeping strictly to nature and fact, Romulus sits for him and Paul preaches. He makes Attila charge, and Mohammed exhort, and Ephesus blaze when he likes. He tries not rashly, but by years of study of men's character, and dress, and deeds, to make them and their acts come as in a vision before him. Having thus got a design, he attempts to realise the vision on his canvas. He pays the most minute attention to truth in his drawing, shading, and colouring, and by imitating the force of nature in his composition, all the clouds that ever floated by him, "the lights of other days," and the forms of the dead, or the stranger, hover over him.

But Art in its higher stage is more than this. It is a creator. Great as Herodotus and Thierry are, Homer and Beranger are greater. The ideal has resources beyond the actual. It is infinite, and Art is indefinitely powerful. The Apollo is more than noble, and the Hercules mightier than man. The Moses of Michael Angelo is no likeness of the inspired law-giver, nor of any other that ever lived, and Raphael's Madonnas are not the faces of women. As Reynolds says, "the effect of the capital works of Michael Angelo is that the observer feels his whole frame enlarged." It is creation, it is representing beings and things different from our nature, but true to their own. In this self-consistency is the only nature requisite in works purely imaginative. Lear is true to his nature, and so are Mephistopheles, and Prometheus, and Achilles; but they are not true to human nature; they are beings created by the poets' minds, and true to their laws of being. There is no commoner blunder in men, who are themselves mere critics, never creators, than to require consistency to the nature of us and our world in the works of poet or painter.

To create a mass of great pictures, statues, and buildings is of the same sort of ennoblement to a people as to create great poems or histories, or make great codes, or win great battles. The next best, though far inferior, blessing and power is to inherit such works and achievements. The lowest stage of all is neither to possess nor to create them.

Ireland has had some great Painters—Barry and Forde, for example, and many of inferior but great excellence; and now she boasts high names—Maclise, Hogan, and Mulready. But their works were seldom done for Ireland, and are rarely known in it. Our portrait and landscape Painters paint foreign men and scenes; and, at all events, the Irish people do not see, possess, nor receive knowledge from their works. Irish history has supplied no subjects for our greatest Artists; and though, as we repeat, Ireland possessed a Forde and Barry, creative Painters of the highest order, the pictures of the latter are mostly abroad; those of the former unseen and unknown. Alas! that they are so few.

To collect into, and make known, and publish in Ireland the best works of our living and dead Artists is one of the steps towards procuring for Ireland a recognised National Art. And this is essential to our civilisation and renown. The other is by giving education to students and rewards to Artists, to make many of this generation true representers, some of them great illustrators and composers, and, perchance, to facilitate the creation of some great spirit.

Something has been done—more remains.

There are schools in Dublin and Cork. But why are those so neglected and imperfect? and why are not similar or better institutions in Belfast, Derry, Galway, Waterford, and Kilkenny? Why is there not a decent collection of casts anywhere but in Cork, and why are they in a garret there? And why have we no gallery of Irishmen's, or any other men's, pictures in Ireland?

The Art Union has done a great deal. It has helped to support in Ireland artists who should otherwise have starved or emigrated; it has dispersed one (when, oh when, will it disperse another?) fine print of a fine Irish picture through the country, and to some extent interested as well as instructed thousands. Yet it could, and we believe will, do much more. It ought to have Corresponding Committees in the principal towns to preserve and rub up old schools of art and foster new ones, and it might by art and historical libraries, and by other ways, help the cause. We speak as friends, and suggest not as critics, for it has done good service.

The Repeal Association, too, in offering prizes for pictures and sculptures of Irish historical subjects, has taken its proper place as the patron of nationality in art; and its rewards for Building Designs may promote the comfort and taste of the people, and the reputation of the country. If artists will examine the rules by which the pictures, statues, and plates remain their property, they will find the prizes not so small as they might at first appear. Nor should they, from interest or just pride, be indifferent to the popularity and fame of success on national subjects, and with a People's Prizes to be contended for. If those who are not Repealers will treat the Association's design kindly and candidly, and if the Repealers will act in art upon principles of justice and conciliation, we shall not only advance national art, but gain another field of common exertion.

The Cork School of Art owes its existence to many causes.

The intense, genial, and Irish character of the people, the southern warmth and variety of clime, with its effects on animal and vegetable beings, are the natural causes.

The accident of Barry's birth there, and his great fame, excited the ambition of the young artists. An Irishman and a Corkman had gone out from them, and amazed men by the grandeur and originality of his works of art. He had thrown the whole of the English painters into insignificance, for who would compare the luscious commonplace of the Stuart painters, or the melodramatic reality of Hogarth, or the imitative beauty of Reynolds, or the clumsy strength of West, with the overbearing grandeur of his works?

But the present glories of Cork, Maclise and Hogan, the greater, but buried might of Forde, and the rich promise which we know is springing there now, are mainly owing to another cause; and that is, that Cork possesses a gallery of the finest casts in the world.

These casts are not very many—117 only; but they are perfect, they are the first from Canova's moulds, and embrace the greatest works of Greek art. They are ill-placed in a dim and dirty room—more shame to the rich men of Cork for leaving them so—but there they are, and there studied Forde, and Maclise, and the rest, until they learned to draw better than any moderns, except Cornelius and his living brethren.

In the countries where art is permanent there are great collections—Tuscany and Rome, for example. But, as we have said before, the highest service done by success in art is not in the possession but in the creation of great works, the spirit, labour, sagacity, and instruction needed by the artists to succeed, and flung out by them on their country like rain from sunny clouds.

Indeed, there is some danger of a traditionary mediocrity following after a great epoch in art. Superstition of style, technical rules in composition, and all the pedantry of art, too often fill up the ranks vacated by veteran genius, and of this there are examples enough in Flanders, Spain, and even Italy. The schools may, and often do, make men scholastic and ungenial, and art remains an instructor and refiner, but creates no more.

Ireland, fortunately or unfortunately, has everything to do yet. We have had great artists—we have not their works—we own the nativity of great living artists—they live on the Tiber and the Thames. Our capital has no school of art—no facilities for acquiring it.

To be sure, there are rooms open in the Dublin Society, and they have not been useless, that is all. But a student here cannot learn anatomy, save at the same expense as a surgical student. He has no great works of art before him, no Pantheon, no Valhalla, not even a good museum or gallery.

We think it may be laid down as unalterably true that a student should never draw from a flat surface. He learns nothing by drawing from the lines of another man—he only mimics. Better for him to draw chairs and tables, bottles and glasses, rubbish, potatoes, cabins, or kitchen utensils, than draw from the lines laid down by other men.

Of those forms of nature which the student can originally consult—the sea, the sky, the earth—we would counsel him to draw from them in the first learning; for though he ought afterwards to analyse and mature his style by the study of works of art, from the first sketches to the finished picture, yet, by beginning with nature and his own suggestions, he will acquire a genuine and original style, superior to the finest imitation; and it is hard to acquire a master's skill without his manner.

Were all men cast in a divine mould of strength and straightness and gallant bearing, and all women proportioned, graceful, and fair, the artist would need no gallery, at least to begin his studies with. He would have to persuade or snatch his models in daily life. Even then, as art creates greater and simpler combinations than ever exist in fact, he should finally study before the superhuman works of his predecessors.

But he has about him here an indifferently-made, ordinary, not very clean, nor picturesquely-clad people; though, doubtless, if they had the feeding, the dress, and the education (for mind beautifies the body) of the Greeks, they would not be inferior, for the Irish structure is of the noblest order.

To give him a multitude of fine natural models, to say nothing of ideal works, it is necessary to make a gallery of statues or casts. The statues will come in good time, and we hope, and are sure, that Ireland, a nation, will have a national gallery, combining the greatest works of the Celtic and Teutonic races. But at present the most that can be done is to form a gallery.

Our readers will be glad to hear that this great boon is about to be given to Irish Art. A society for the formation of a gallery of casts in Dublin has been founded.

It embraces men of every rank, class, creed, politics, and calling, thus forming another of those sanctuaries, now multiplying in Ireland, where one is safe from the polemic and the partisan.

Its purpose is to purchase casts of all the greatest works of Greece, Egypt, Etruria, ancient Rome, and Europe in the middle ages. This will embrace a sufficient variety of types, both natural and ideal, to prevent imitation, and will avoid the debateable ground of modern art. Wherever they can afford it the society will buy moulds, in order to assist provincial galleries, and therefore the provinces are immediately interested in its support.

When a few of these casts are got together, and a proper gallery procured, the public will be admitted to see, and artists to study, them without any charge. The annual subscription is but ten shillings, the object being to interest as many as possible in its support.

It has been suggested to us by an artist that Trinity College ought to establish a gallery and museum containing casts of all the ancient statues, models of their buildings, civil and military, and a collection of their implements of art, trade, and domestic life. A nobler institution, a more vivid and productive commentary on the classics, could not be. But if the Board will not do this of themselves, we trust they will see the propriety of assisting this public gallery, and procuring, therefore, special privileges for the students in using it.

But no matter what persons in authority may do or neglect, we trust the public—for the sake of their own pleasure, their children's profit, and Ireland's honour—will give it their instant and full support.


National art is conversant with national subjects. We have Irish artists, but no Irish, no national art. This ought not to continue; it is injurious to the artists, and disgraceful to the country. The following historical subjects were loosely jotted down by a friend. Doubtless, a more just selection could be made by students noting down fit subjects for painting and sculpture, as they read. We shall be happy to print any suggestions on the subject—our own are, as we call them, mere hints with loose references to the authors or books which suggested them. For any good painting, the marked figures must be few, the action obvious, the costume, arms, architecture, postures historically exact, and the manners, appearance, and rank of the characters strictly studied and observed. The grouping and drawing require great truth and vigour. A similar set of subjects illustrating social life could be got from the Poor Report, Carleton's, Banim's, or Griffin's stories, or, better still, from observation.

The references are vague, but perhaps sufficient.

The Landing of the Milesians.—Keating, Moore's Melodies.

Ollamh Fodhla Presenting his Laws to his People. Keating's, Moore's, and O'Halloran's Histories of Ireland.—Walker's Irish Dress and Arms, and Vallancey's Collectanea.

Nial and his Nine Hostages.—Moore, Keating.

A Druid's Augury.—Moore, O'Halloran, Keating.

A Chief Riding out of his Fort.—Griffin's Invasion, Walker, Moore.

The Oak of Kildare.—Moore.

The Burial of King Dathy in the Alps, his thinned troops laying stones on his grave.—M'Geoghegan, "Histoire de l'Irlande" (French edition), Invasion, Walker, Moore.

St. Patrick brought before the Druids at Tara.—Moore and his Authorities.

The First Landing of the Danes.—See Invasion, Moore, etc.

The Death of Turgesius.—Keating, Moore.

Ceallachan tied to the Mast.—Keating.

Murkertach Returning to Aileach.—Archæological Society's Tracts.

Brian Reconnoitring the Danes before Clontarf.

The Last of the Danes Escaping to his Ship.

O'Ruare's Return.—Keating, Moore's Melodies.

Raymond Le Gros Leaving his Bride.—Moore.

Roderick in Conference with the Normans.—Moore, M'Geoghegan.

Donald O'Brien Setting Fire to Limerick.—M'Geoghegan.

Donald O'Brien Visiting Holycross.—M'Geoghegan.

O'Brien, O'Connor, and M'Carthy making Peace to attack the Normans.—M'Geoghegan, Moore.

The Same Three Victorious at the Battle of Thurles.—Moore and O'Conor's Rerum Hibernicarum Scriptores.

Irish Chiefs leaving Prince John.—Moore, etc.

M'Murrough and Gloster.—Harris's Hibernica, p. 53.

Crowning of Edward Bruce.—Leland, Grace's Annals, etc.

Edgecombe Vainly Trying to Overawe Kildare.—Harris's Hibernica.

Kildare "On the Necks of the Butlers."—Leland.

Shane O'Neill at Elizabeth's Court.—Leland.

Lord Sydney Entertained by Shane O'Neill.

The Battle of the Red Coats.—O'Sullivan's Catholic History.

Hugh O'Neill Victor in Single Combat at Clontibret.—Fynes Moryson, O'Sullivan, M'Geoghegan.

The Corleius.—Dymmok's Treatise, Archæological Society's Tracts.

Maguire and St. Leger in Single Combat.—M'Geoghegan.

O'Sullivan Crossing the Shannon.—Pacata Hibernia.

O'Dogherty Receiving the Insolent Message of the Governor of Derry.—M'Geoghegan.

The Brehon before the English Judges.—Davis's Letter to Lord Salisbury.

Ormond Refusing to give up his Sword.—Carte's Life of Ormond.

Good Lookers-on.—Strafford's Letters.

Owen Conolly before the Privy Council, 1641.—Carey's Vindiciæ.

The Battle of Julianstown.—Temple's Rebellion, and Tichbourne's Drogheda.

Owen Roe Organising the Creaghts.—Carte, and also Belling and O'Neill in the Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica.

The Council of Kilkenny.—Carte.

The Breach of Clonmel.—Do.

Smoking Out the Irish.—Ludlow's Memoirs.

Burning Them.—Castlehaven's Memoirs.

Nagle before the Privy Council.—Harris's William.

James's Entry into Dublin.—Dublin Magazine for March, 1843.

The Bridge of Athlone.—Green Book and Authorities.

St. Ruth's Death.—Do.

The Embarkation from Limerick.—Do.

Cremona.—Cox's Magazine.


Sir S. Rice Pleading against the Violation of the Treaty of Limerick.—Staunton's Collection of Tracts on Ireland.

Molyneux's Book burned.

Liberty Boys Reading a Drapier's Letter.—Mason's St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Lucas Surrounded by Dublin Citizens in his Shop.

Grattan Moving Liberty.—Memoirs.

Flood Apostrophising Corruption.—Barrington.

Dungannon Convention.—Wilson, Barrington.

Curran Cross-Examining Armstrong.—Memoirs.

Curran Pleading before the Council in Alderman James's Case.

Tone's First Society.—See his Memoirs.

The Belfast Club.—Madden's U. I., Second Series, vol. i.

Tone, Emmet, and Keogh in the Rathfarnham Garden.

Tone and Carnot.—Tone's Memoirs.

Battle of Oulart.—Hay, Teeling, etc.

First Meeting of the Catholic Association.

O'Connell Speaking in a Munster Chapel.—Wyse's Association.

The Clare Hustings.—Proposal of O'Connell.

The Dublin Corporation Speech.

Father Mathew Administering the Pledge in a Munster County.

Conciliation.—Orange and Green.

The Lifting of the Irish Flags of a National Fleet and Army.


Men are ever valued most for peculiar and original qualities. A man who can only talk commonplace, and act according to routine, has little weight. To speak, look, and do what your own soul from its depths orders you are credentials of greatness which all men understand and acknowledge. Such a man's dictum has more influence than the reasoning of an imitative or commonplace man. He fills his circle with confidence. He is self-possessed, firm, accurate, and daring. Such men are the pioneers of civilisation and the rulers of the human heart.

Why should not nations be judged thus? Is not a full indulgence of its natural tendencies essential to a people's greatness? Force the manners, dress, language, and constitution of Russia, or Italy, or Norway, or America, and you instantly stunt and distort the whole mind of either people.

The language, which grows up with a people, is conformed to their organs, descriptive of their climate, constitution, and manners, mingled inseparably with their history and their soil, fitted beyond any other language to express their prevalent thoughts in the most natural and efficient way.

To impose another language on such a people is to send their history adrift among the accidents of translation—'tis to tear their identity from all places—'tis to substitute arbitrary signs for picturesque and suggestive names—'tis to cut off the entail of feeling, and separate the people from their forefathers by a deep gulf—'tis to corrupt their very organs, and abridge their power of expression.

The language of a nation's youth is the only easy and full speech for its manhood and for its age. And when the language of its cradle goes, itself craves a tomb.

What business has a Russian for the rippling language of Italy or India? How could a Greek distort his organs and his soul to speak Dutch upon the sides of the Hymettus, or the beach of Salamis, or on the waste where once was Sparta? And is it befitting the fiery, delicate-organed Celt to abandon his beautiful tongue, docile and spirited as an Arab, "sweet as music, strong as the wave"—is it befitting in him to abandon this wild, liquid speech for the mongrel of a hundred breeds called English, which, powerful though it be, creaks and bangs about the Celt who tries to use it?

We lately met a glorious thought in the "Triads of Mochmed," printed in one of the Welsh codes by the Record Commission: "There are three things without which there is no country—common language, common judicature, and co-tillage land—for without these a country cannot support itself in peace and social union."

A people without a language of its own is only half a nation. A nation should guard its language more than its territories—'tis a surer barrier, and more important frontier, than fortress or river.

And in good times it has ever been thought so. Who had dared to propose the adoption of Persian or Egyptian in Greece—how had Pericles thundered at the barbarian? How had Cato scourged from the forum him who would have given the Attic or Gallic speech to men of Rome? How proudly and how nobly Germany stopped "the incipient creeping" progress of French! And no sooner had she succeeded than her genius, which had tossed in a hot trance, sprung up fresh and triumphant.

Had Pyrrhus quelled Italy, or Xerxes subdued Greece for a time long enough to impose new languages, where had been the literature which gives a pedigree to human genius? Even liberty recovered had been sickly and insecure without the language with which it had hunted in the woods, worshipped at the fruit-strewn altar, debated on the council-hill, and shouted in the battle-charge.

There is a fine song of the Fusians, which describes

"Language linked to liberty."

To lose your native tongue, and learn that of an alien, is the worst badge of conquest—it is the chain on the soul. To have lost entirely the national language is death; the fetter has worn through. So long as the Saxon held to his German speech he could hope to resume his land from the Norman; now, if he is to be free and locally governed, he must build himself a new home. There is hope for Scotland—strong hope for Wales—sure hope for Hungary. The speech of the alien is not universal in the one; is gallantly held at bay in the other; is nearly expelled from the third.

How unnatural—how corrupting 'tis for us, three-fourths of whom are of Celtic blood, to speak a medley of Teutonic dialects! If we add the Celtic Scots, who came back here from the thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries, and the Celtic Welsh, who colonised many parts of Wexford and other Leinster counties, to the Celts who never left Ireland, probably five-sixths, or more, of us are Celts. What business have we with the Norman-Sassenagh?

Nor let any doubt these proportions because of the number of English names in Ireland. With a politic cruelty the English of the Pale passed an Act (3 Edw. IV., c. 3) compelling every Irishman within English jurisdiction "to go like to one Englishman in apparel, and shaving off his beard above the mouth," "and shall take to him an English sirname of one town, as Sutton, Chester, Trym, Skryne, Corke, Kinsale; or colour, as White, Blacke, Browne; or art or science, as Smith or Carpenter; or office, as Cook, Butler; and that he and his issue shall use this name, under pain of forfeiting his goods yearly."

And just as this Parliament before the Reformation, so did another after the Reformation. By the 28th Henry VIII., c. 15, the dress and language of the Irish were insolently described as barbarous by the minions of that ruffian king, and were utterly forbidden and abolished under many penalties and incapacities. These laws are still in force; but whether the Archæological Society, including Peel and O'Connell, will be prosecuted seems doubtful.

There was, also, 'tis to be feared, an adoption of English names, during some periods, from fashion, fear, or meanness. Some of our best Irish names, too, have been so mangled as to require some scholarship to identify them. For these and many more reasons the members of the Celtic race here are immensely greater than at first appears.

But this is not all; for even the Saxon and Norman colonists, notwithstanding these laws, melted down into the Irish, and adopted all their ways and language. For centuries upon centuries Irish was spoken by men of all bloods in Ireland, and English was unknown, save to a few citizens and nobles of the Pale. 'Tis only within a very late period that the majority of the people learned English.

But, it will be asked, how can the language be restored now?

We shall answer this partly by saying that, through the labours of the Archæological and many lesser societies, it is being revived rapidly.

We shall consider this question of the possibility of reviving it more at length some other day.

Nothing can make us believe that it is natural or honourable for the Irish to speak the speech of the alien, the invader, the Sassenagh tyrant, and to abandon the language of our kings and heroes. What! give up the tongue of Ollamh Fodhla and Brian Boru, the tongue of M'Carty, and the O'Nials, the tongue of Sarsfield's, Curran's, Mathew's, and O'Connell's boyhood, for that of Strafford and Poynings, Sussex, Kirk, and Cromwell!

No! oh, no! the "brighter days shall surely come," and the green flag shall wave on our towers, and the sweet old language be heard once more in college, mart, and senate.

But even should the effort to save it as the national language fail, by the attempt we will rescue its old literature, and hand down to our descendants proofs that we had a language as fit for love, and war, and business, and pleasure, as the world ever knew, and that we had not the spirit and nationality to preserve it!

Had Swift known Irish he would have sowed its seed by the side of that nationality which he planted, and the close of the last century would have seen the one as flourishing as the other. Had Ireland used Irish in 1782, would it not have impeded England's re-conquest of us? But 'tis not yet too late.

For you, if the mixed speech called English was laid with sweetmeats on your child's tongue, English is the best speech of manhood. And yet, rather, in that case you are unfortunate. The hills, and lakes, and rivers, the forts and castles, the churches and parishes, the baronies and counties around you, have all Irish names—names which describe the nature of the scenery or ground, the name of founder, or chief, or priest, or the leading fact in the history of the place. To you these are names hard to pronounce, and without meaning.

And yet it were well for you to know them. That knowledge would be a topography, and a history, and romance, walking by your side, and helping your discourse. Meath tells it flatness, Clonmel the abundant riches of its valley, Fermanagh is the land of the Lakes, Tyrone the country of Owen, Kilkenny the Church of St. Canice, Dunmore the great fort, Athenry the Ford of the Kings, Dunleary the Fort of O'Leary; and the Phœnix Park, instead of taking its name from a fable, recognises as christener the "sweet water" which yet springs near the east gate.[43]

All the names of our airs and songs are Irish, and we every day are as puzzled and ingeniously wrong about them as the man who, when asked for the air, "I am asleep, and don't waken me," called it "Tommy M'Cullagh made boots for me."

The bulk of our history and poetry are written in Irish, and shall we, who learn Italian, and Latin, and Greek, to read Dante, Livy, and Homer in the original—shall we be content with ignorance or a translation of Irish?

The want of modern scientific words in Irish is undeniable, and doubtless we should adopt the existing names into our language. The Germans have done the same thing, and no one calls German mongrel on that account. Most of these names are clumsy and extravagant; and are almost all derived from Greek or Latin, and cut as foreign a figure in French and English as they would in Irish. Once Irish was recognised as a language to be learned as much as French or Italian, our dictionaries would fill up and our vocabularies ramify, to suit all the wants of life and conversation.

These objections are ingenious refinements, however, rarely thought of till after the other and great objection has been answered.

The usual objection to attempting the revival of Irish is, that it could not succeed.

If an attempt were made to introduce Irish, either through the national schools, or the courts of law, into the eastern side of the island, it would certainly fail, and the reaction might extinguish it altogether. But no one contemplates this save as a dream of what may happen a hundred years hence. It is quite another thing to say, as we do, that the Irish language should be cherished, taught, and esteemed, and that it can be preserved and gradually extended.

What we seek is, that the people of the upper classes should have their children taught the language which explains our names of persons or places, our older history, and our music, and which is spoken in the majority of our counties, rather than Italian, German, or French. It would be more useful in life, more serviceable to the taste and genius of young people, and a more flexible accomplishment for an Irish man or woman to speak, sign, and write Irish than French.

At present the middle classes think it a sign of vulgarity to speak Irish—the children are everywhere taught English, and English alone in schools—and, what is worse, they are urged by rewards and punishments to speak it at home, for English is the language of their masters. Now, we think the example and exertions of the upper classes would be sufficient to set the opposite and better fashion of preferring Irish; and, even as a matter of taste, we think them bound to do so. And we ask it of the pride, the patriotism, and the hearts of our farmers and shopkeepers, will they try to drive out of their children's minds the native language of almost every great man we had, from Brian Boru to O'Connell—will they meanly sacrifice the language which names their hills, and towns, and music, to the tongue of the stranger?

About half the people west of a line drawn from Derry to Waterford speak Irish habitually, and in some of the mountain tracts east of that line it is still common. Simply requiring the teachers of the national schools in these Irish-speaking districts to know Irish, and supplying them with Irish translations of the school books, would guard the language where it now exists, and prevent it from being swept away by the English tongue, as the Red Americans have been by the English race from New York to New Orleans.

The example of the upper classes would extend and develop a modern Irish literature, and the hearty support they have given to the Archæological Society makes us hope that they will have sense and spirit to do so.

But the establishment of a newspaper partly or wholly Irish would be the most rapid and sure way of serving the language. The Irish-speaking man would find, in his native tongue, the political news and general information he has now to seek in English; and the English-speaking man, having Irish frequently before him in so attractive a form, would be tempted to learn its characters, and, by-and-by, its meaning.

These newspapers in many languages are now to be found everywhere but here. In South America many of these papers are Spanish and English, or French; in North America, French and English; in Northern Italy, German and Italian; in Denmark and Holland, German is used in addition to the native tongue; in Alsace and Switzerland, French and German; in Poland, German, French, and Sclavonic; in Turkey, French and Turkish; in Hungary, Magyar, Sclavonic, and German; and the little Canton of Grison uses three languages in its press. With the exception of Hungary, the secondary language is, in all cases, spoken by fewer persons than the Irish-speaking people of Ireland, and while they everywhere tolerate and use one language as a medium of commerce, they cherish the other as the vehicle of history, the wings of song, the soil of their genius, and a mark and guard of nationality.


Judged by the Directory, Dublin is nobly supplied with institutions for the promotion of Literature, Science, and Art; and, judged by its men, there is mind enough here to make these institutions prosper, and instruct and raise the country. Yet their performances are far short of these promises, and the causes for ill-success are easily found. We believe these causes could be almost as easily removed.

In the first place, we have too many of these institutions. Stingy grants from Government and the general poverty of the people render economy a matter of the first consequence; yet we find these societies maintaining a number of separate establishments, at a great expense of rent and salaries.

The consequence, of course, is that none of them flourish as they ought—museums, meetings, lectures, libraries, and exhibitions are all frittered away, and nothing is done so well as it might be. Moreover, from the want of any arrangement and order, the same men are dragged from one society to another—few men do much, because all are forced to attempt so many things.

But 'tis better to examine this in detail, and in doing so we may as well give some leading facts as to the chief of these bodies. Take, for example, as a beginning, the


And first there is the Hibernian Academy. It was founded in 1823, received a present of its house in Abbey Street, and some books and casts, from Francis Johnston, a Dublin architect, and has the miserable income of £300 a year from the Treasury. It has a drawing-school, with a few casts, no pictures, bad accommodation, and professors whose pay is nearly nominal.

It undoubtedly has some men of great ability and attainments, and some who have neither; but what can be done without funds, statues, or pictures? To aggravate its difficulties, the Dublin Society has another art school, still worse off as to casts, and equally deficient in pictures. As a place of instruction in the designing of patterns for manufactures and the like, the Dublin Society school has worked well; and many of the best-paid controllers of design in the English manufactories were educated there; but as a school of fine arts it does little; and no wonder. Another branch of the Hibernian Academy's operations is its annual exhibition of pictures. These exhibitions attract crowds who would never otherwise see a painting, promote thought on art, and procure patronage for artists. In this, too, the Hibernian Academy has recently found a rival in the Society of Irish Artists, established in 1842, which has an annual exhibition in College Street, and pays the expenses of the exhibition out of the admission fees, as does the Hibernian Academy. We are not attaching blame to the Society of Irish Artists in noticing the fact of its rivalry.

There are three other bodies devoted to the encouragement of art. One of these is the Art Union, founded in 1840, and maintained entirely by subscriptions to its lottery. It distributes fine engravings from Irish pictures among all its members, and pictures and statues, bought in the exhibitions of the Hibernian Academy, and of the Society of Irish Artists, among its prize-holders; and it gives premiums for the works of native or resident artists. Its operation is as a patron of art; and, in order to get funds for this purpose, and also to secure superior works and a higher competition, it extends its purchases to the best foreign works exhibited here. It has no collection, and has merely an office in College Street—in fact, its best permanent possession is its unwearied secretary. The Society of Ancient Art was established last year for the formation of a public gallery of casts from classical and mediæval statues, and ultimately for purposes of direct teaching by lectures, etc. It obtained some funds by subscription; but under the expectation, 'tis said, of a public grant, has done nothing. Lastly, there is the "Institute of Irish Architects," founded in 1839 "for the general advancement of civil architecture, for promoting and facilitating the acquirement of a knowledge of the various arts and sciences connected therewith, for the formation of a library and museum," etc.

To us it is very plain that here are too many institutions, and that the efficiency of all suffers materially from their want of connection and arrangement. Some, at least, might be amalgamated with great advantage, or rather all, except the Art Union. That is only a club of purchasers, and any attempt materially to change its nature would peril its funds. Some such plan as the following would accomplish all that is vainly attempted now. Let the Government be pressed to give £2,000 a year, if the public supply £1,000 a year. Let this income go to a new Hibernian Academy—the present Hibernian Academy, Artists' Society, Society of Ancient Art, the Art Schools of the Dublin Society, and the Institute of Irish Architects being merged in it. This merger could be easily secured through the inducements secured by the charter, and by accommodation, salaries, and utility of the new body. The present property of these bodies, with some moderate grant, would suffice for the purchase of a space of ground ample for the schools, museums, library, lecture-room, and yards of such an institution.

At the head of it should be a small body governing and accounting for its finances, but no person should be a governing member of more than one of its sections. These sections should be for Statuary, Painting, Architecture, and Design Drawing. Each of these sections should have its own Gallery and its own Practice Rooms; but one Library and one public Lecture Room would suffice for the entire. The architectural section would also need some open space for its experiments and its larger specimens. A present of copies of the British Museum casts, along with the fund of the Ancient Art Society, would originate a Cast Gallery, and a few good pictures could be bought as a commencement of a National Gallery of Painting, leaving the economy of the managers and the liberality of the public gradually to fill up. Collections of native works in canvas and marble, and architectural models, could be soon and cheaply procured. The Art Library of the Dublin Society added to that of the Hibernian Academy would need few additions to make it sufficient for the new body.

Such an Institute ought not to employ any but the best teachers and lecturers. It should encourage proficiency by rewards that would instruct the proficient; it should apply itself to cataloguing, preserving, and making known all the works of art in the country; give prizes for artistical works; publish its lectures and transactions; issue engravings of the most instructive works of art; and hold evening meetings, to which ladies would be admitted. It should allow at least £400 a year for the support of free pupils. In connection with its drawing and modelling schools should be a professorship of anatomy, or, what were better, some arrangement might be made with the College of Surgeons, or some such body, for courses of instruction for its pupils. The training for its pupils in sculpture, painting, and design should include the study of ancient and modern costumes, zoology, and of vegetable and geological forms. For this purpose books should not be so much relied on as lectures in gardens, museums, and during student excursions. Of course the architectural pupils should be required to answer at a preliminary examination in mathematics, and should receive special instruction in the building materials, action of climate, etc., in Ireland.

Were the buildings standing, and the society chartered judiciously, the sum we have mentioned would be sufficient. Four professors at from £200 to £300 a year each, four assistants at £100 a year each, a librarian at the same rate, with payments for extra instruction in anatomy, etc., etc., and for porters, premiums, and so forth, would not exceed £2,000 a year. So that if £400 were expended on free pupils, there would remain £600 a year for the purchase of works for the galleries.

At present there is much waste of money, great annoyance and loss of time to the supporters of these institutions, and marvellously little benefit to art. The plan we have proposed would be economical both of time and money; but, what is of more worth, it would give us, what we have not now, a National Gallery of Statuary and Painting—good Exhibition Rooms for works of art—business-like Lecturers and Lectures—great public excitement about art—and, finally, a great National Academy.

If anyone has a better plan, let him say it; we have told ours. At all events, some great change is needed, and there can be no fitter time than this for it.

In any community it is desirable to have Literary Institutions, as well classified as legal offices, and as free from counteraction; but it is especially desirable here now. Our literary class is small, and its duties measureless. The diseased suction of London—the absence of gentry, offices, and Legislature—the heart-sickness that is on every thoughtful man without a country—the want of a large, educated, and therefore book-buying class—and (it must be confessed) the depression and distrust produced by rash experiments and paltry failure, have left us with few men for a great work. Probably the great remedy is the restoration of our Parliament—bringing back, as it would, the aristocracy and the public offices, giving society and support to Writers and Artists, and giving them a country's praise to move and a country's glory to reward them.

But one of the very means of attaining nationality is securing some portion of that literary force which would gush abundantly from it; and, therefore, consider it how you will, it is important to increase and economise the exertions of the literary class in Ireland. Yet the reverse is done. Institutions are multiplied instead of those being made efficient which exist; and men talk as proudly of the new "Teach-'em-everything-in-no-time-Society" as if its natty laws were a library, its desk a laboratory and a museum, and its members fresh labourers, when all they have done is to waste the time of persons who had business, and to delude those who had none, into the belief that they were doing good. Ephemeral things! which die not without mischief—they have wasted hours and days of strong men in spinning sand, and leave depression growing from their tombs.

It is a really useful deed to rescue from dissipation, or from idle reading, or from mammon-hunting, one strong, passionate man or boy, and to set him to work investigating, arranging, teaching. It is an honest task to shame the 'broidered youth from meditation on waistcoats and the display of polka steps into manly pursuits. It is an angel's mission (oftenest the work of love) to startle a sleeping and unconscious genius into the spring and victory of a roused lion. But it is worse than useless to establish new associations and orders without well considering first whether the same machinery do not already exist and rust for want of the very energy and skill which you need too. There is a bridge in a field near Blarney Castle where water never ran. It was built "at the expense of the county." These men build their mills close as houses in a capital, taking no thought for the stream to turn them.

We have already censured this in some detail with reference to societies for the promotion of the Fine Arts, and have urged the formation, out of all these fiddling, clashing bodies, of some one great institution for the promotion of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, with a Museum, a Library, a Gallery, and Lecturers, governed by professional minds, great enough to be known and regarded by the people, and popular and strong enough to secure Government support.

Similar defects exist everywhere. Take the Dublin Society for example. Nothing can be more heterogeneous than its objects. We are far from denying its utility. That utility is immense, the institution is native, of old standing (it was founded in 1731), national, and, when it wanted support, our pen was not idle in its behalf.

But we believe its utility greatly diminished by its attempting too many things, and especially by including objects more fitly belonging to other institutions; and on the opposite side it is maimed, by the interference of other bodies, in its natural functions. The Dublin Society was founded for the promotion of husbandry and other useful arts. Its labours to serve agriculture have been repeated and extensive, though not always judicious. It has also endeavoured to promote manufactures. It has gardens and museums fitter for scientific than practical instruction, admirable lecturers, a library most generously opened, a drawing-school of the largest purposes and of equivocal success, and various minor branches.

The Irish Academy has some of this fault. It endeavours to unite antiquarianism and abstract science. Its meetings are alternately entertained with mathematics and history, and its transactions are equally comprehensive. We yield to none in anxiety for the promotion of antiquarian studies; we think the public and the government disgraced by the slight support given to the Academy. We are not a little proud of the honour and strength given to our country by the science of MacCullagh, Hamilton, and Lloyd; but we protest against the attempt to mix the armoury of the ancient Irish, or the Celtic dialects, or the essay on Round Towers, with trigonometry and the calculus, whether in a lecture-room or a book.

Let us just set down, as we find them, some of the Literary and Scientific Institutions. There are the Royal Dublin Society, the Royal Irish Academy (we wish these royalties were dropped—no one minds them), the Irish Archæological Society, the Royal Zoological Society, the Geological Society, the Dublin Natural History Society, the Dublin Philosophical Society, the Royal Agricultural Society, etc., etc. Now, we take it that these bodies might be usefully reduced to three, and if three moderate government grants were made under conditions rewarding such a classification, we doubt not it would instantly be made.

In the first place, we would divorce from the Irish Academy the scientific department, requiring Trinity College to form some voluntary organisation for the purpose. To this non-collegiate philosophers should be admitted, and, thus disencumbered, we would devote the Academy to antiquities and literature—incorporate with it the Archæological Society—transfer to it all the antiques (of which it had not duplicates) in Trinity College, the Dublin Society, etc., and enlarge its museums and meeting-room. Its section of "polite literature" has long been a name—it should be made real. There would be nothing inconvenient or strange in finding in its lecture-rooms or transactions the antiquities and literature of Ireland, diversified by general historical, critical, and æsthetical researches.

The Dublin Society would reasonably divide into two sections. One, for the promotion of husbandry, might be aggrandised by tempting the Agricultural Society to join it, and should have a permanent museum, an extensive farm, premiums, shows, publications, and special lecturers. The second section, for the encouragement of manufactures, should have its museum, workshops, and experiment ground (the last, perhaps, as the agricultural farm), and its special lecturers. The library might well be joint, and managed by a joint committee, having separate funds. The general lecturers on chemistry and other such subjects might be paid in common. The drawing school (save that for pattern and machine drawing) might be transferred to the Art Institution; and the botanic garden and museum of minerals to a third body we propose.

This third body we would form from a union of the Zoological, the Geological, the Natural History, and all other such societies, and endow it with the Botanic and Zoological Gardens—give it rooms for a general and for a specially Irish museum, and for lecture-rooms in town, and supply it with a small fund to pay lecturers, who should go through the provinces.

We are firmly convinced that this re-arrangement of the Institutions of Dublin is quite practicable, would diminish unproductive expenses, economise the time, and condense the purposes of our literary, scientific, and artistical men, and increase enormously the use of the institutions to the public.

Of course the whole plan will be laughed at as fanciful and improbable; we think it easy, and we think it will be done.


When we are considering a country's resources and its fitness for a peculiar destiny, its people are not to be overlooked. How much they think, how much they work, what are their passions, as well as their habits, what are their hopes and what their history, suggest inquiries as well worth envious investigation as even the inside of a refugee's letter.

And there is much in Ireland of that character—much that makes her superior to slavery, and much that renders her inferior to freedom.

Her inhabitants are composed of Irish nobles, Irish gentry, and the Irish people. Each has an interest in the independence of their country, each a share in her disgrace. Upon each, too, there devolves a separate duty in this crisis of her fate. They all have responsibilities; but the infamy of failing in them is not alike in all.

The nobles are the highest class. They have most to guard. In every other country they are the champions of patriotism. They feel there is no honour for them separate from their fatherland. Its freedom, its dignity, its integrity, are as their own. They strive for it, legislate for it, guard it, fight for it. Their names, their titles, their very pride are of it.

In Ireland they are its disgrace. They were first to sell and would be last to redeem it. Treachery to it is daubed on many an escutcheon in its heraldry. It is the only nation where slaves have been ennobled for contributing to its degradation.

It is a foul thing this—dignity emanating from the throne to gild the filthy mass of national treason that forms the man's part of many an Irish lord.

We do not include in this the whole Irish peerage. God forbid. There are several of them not thus ignoble. Many of them worked, struggled, sacrificed for Ireland. Many of them were true to her in the darkest times.

They were her chiefs, her ornaments, her sentinels, her safeguards. Alas! that they, too, should have shrunk from their position, and left their duties to humbler, but bolder and better men.

Look at their station in the State. Is it not one of unequivocal shame? They enjoy the half-mendicant privilege of voting for a representative of their order, in the House of Lords, some twice or thrice in their lives. One Irish peer represents about a dozen others of his class, and thus, in his multiplex capacity, he is admitted into fellowship with the English nobility. The borrowed plumes, the delegated authority of so many of his equals, raise him to a half-admitted equality with an English nobleman. And, although thus deprived of their inheritance of dignity, they are not allowed even the privilege of a commoner. An Irish lord cannot sit in the House of Commons for an Irish county or city, nor can he vote for an Irish member.

But an Irish lord can represent an English constituency. The distinction is a strange one—unintelligible to us in any sense but one of national humiliation. We understand it thus—an Irish lord is too mean in his own person, and by virtue of his Irish title, to rank with the British peerage. He can only qualify for that honour by uniting in his the suffrages and titles of ten or twelve others. But—flattering distinction!—he is above the rank of an Irish commoner, nor is he permitted to sully his name with the privileges of that order. And—unspeakable dignity!—he may take his stand with a British mob.

There is no position to match this in shame. There is no guilt so despicable as dozing in it without a blush or an effort, or even a dream for independence. When all else are alive to indignity, and working in the way of honour and liberty, they alone, whom it would best become to be earliest and most earnest in the strife, sink back replete with dishonour.

Of those, or their descendants, who, at the time of the Union, sold their country and the high places they filled in her councils and in her glory, for the promise of a foreign title, which has not been redeemed, the shame and the mortification have been perhaps too great to admit of any hope in regard to them. Their trust was sacred—their honour unsuspected. The stake they guarded above life they betrayed then for a false bauble; and it is no wonder if they think their infamy irredeemable and eternal.

We know not but it is. There are many, however, not in that category. They struggled at fearful odds, and every risk, against the fate of their country. They strove when hope had left them. Wherefore do they stand apart now, when she is again erect, and righteous, and daring? Have they despaired for her greatness, because of the infidelity of those to whom she had too blindly trusted?

The time is gone when she could be betrayed. This one result is already guaranteed by recent teaching. We may not be yet thoroughly instructed in the wisdom and the virtue necessary for the independent maintenance of self-government; but we have mastered thus much of national knowledge that we cannot be betrayed. There is no assurance every nation gave which we have not given, or may not give, that our present struggle shall end in triumph or in national death.

The writers of The Nation have never concealed the defects or flattered the good qualities of their countrymen. They have told them in good faith that they wanted many an attribute of a free people, and that the true way to command happiness and liberty was by learning the arts and practising the culture that fitted men for their enjoyment. Nor was it until we saw them thus learning and thus practising that our faith became perfect, and that we felt entitled to say to all men, here is a strife in which it will be stainless glory to be even defeated. It is one in which the Irish nobility have the first interest and the first stake in their individual capacities.

As they would be the most honoured and benefited by national success, they are the guiltiest in opposing or being indifferent to national patriotism.

Of the Irish gentry there is not much to be said. They are divisible into two classes—the one consists of the old Norman race commingled with the Catholic gentlemen who either have been able to maintain their patrimonies, or who have risen into affluence by their own industry; the other, the descendants of Cromwell's or William's successful soldiery.

This last is the most anti-Irish of all. They feel no personal debasement in the dishonour of the country. Old prejudices, a barbarous law, a sense of insecurity in the possessions they know were obtained by plunder, combine to sink them into the mischievous and unholy belief that it is their interest as well as their duty to degrade, and wrong, and beggar the Irish people.

There are among them men fired by enthusiasm, men fed by fanaticism, men influenced by sordidness; but, as a whole, they are earnest thinkers and stern actors. There is a virtue in their unscrupulousness. They speak, and act, and dare as men. There is a principle in their unprincipledness. Their belief is a harsh and turbulent one, but they profess it in a manly fashion.

We like them better than the other section of the same class. These last are but sneaking echoes of the other's views. They are coward patriots and criminal dandies. But they ought to be different from what they are. We wish them so. We want their aid now—for the country, for themselves, for all. Would that they understood the truth, that they thought justly, and acted uprightly. They are wanted, one and all. Why conceal it—they are obstacles in our way, shadows on our path.

These are called the representatives of the property of the country. They are against the national cause, and therefore it is said that all the wealth of Ireland is opposed to the Repeal of the Union.

It is an ignorant and a false boast.

The people of the country are its wealth. They till its soil, raise its produce, ply its trade. They serve, sustain, support, save it. They supply its armies—they are its farmers, its merchants, its tradesmen, its artists, all that enrich and adorn it.

And, after all, each of them has a patrimony to spend, the honourable earning of his sweat, or his intellect, or his industry, or his genius. Taking them on an average, they must, to live, spend at least £5 each by the year. Multiply it by seven millions, and see what it comes to.

Thirty-five millions annually—compare with that the rental of Ireland; compare with it the wealth of the aristocracy spent in Ireland, and are they not as nothing?

But a more important comparison may be made of the strength, the fortitude, the patience, the bravery of those, the enrichers of the country, with the meanness in mind and courage of those who are opposed to them.

It is the last we shall suggest. It is sufficient for our purpose. To those who do not think it of the highest value we have nothing to say.


In a climate soft as a mother's smile, on a soil fruitful as God's love, the Irish peasant mourns.

He is not unconsoled. Faith in the joys of another world, heightened by his woe in this, give him hours when he serenely looks down on the torments that encircle him—the moon on a troubled sky. Domestic love, almost morbid from external suffering, prevents him from becoming a fanatic or a misanthrope, and reconciles him to life. Sometimes he forgets all, and springs into a desperate glee or a scathing anger; and latterly another feeling—the hope of better days—and another exertion—the effort for redress—have shared his soul with religion, love, mirth, and vengeance.

His consolations are those of a spirit—his misery includes all physical sufferings, and many that strike the soul, not the senses.

Consider his griefs! They begin in the cradle—they end in the grave.

Suckled by a breast that is supplied from unwholesome or insufficient food, and that is fevered with anxiety—reeking with the smoke of an almost chimneyless cabin—assailed by wind and rain when the weather rages—breathing, when it is calm, the exhalations of a rotten roof, of clay walls, and of manure, which gives his only chance of food—he is apt to perish in his infancy.

Or he survives all this (happy if he have escaped from gnawing scrofula or familiar fever), and in the same cabin, with rags instead of his mother's breast, and lumpers instead of his mother's milk, he spends his childhood.

Advancing youth brings him labour, and manhood increases it; but youth and manhood leave his roof rotten, his chimney one hole, his window another, his clothes rags (at best muffled by a holiday cotamore)—his furniture, a pot, a table, a few hay chairs and rickety stools—his food, lumpers and water—his bedding, straw and a coverlet—his enemies, the landlord, the tax-gatherer, and the law—his consolation, the priest and his wife—his hope on earth, agitation—his hope hereafter, the Lord God!

For such an existence his toil is hard—and so much the better—it calms and occupies his mind; but bitter is his feeling that the toil which gains for him this nauseous and scanty livelihood heaps dainties and gay wines on the table of his distant landlord, clothes his children or his harem in satin, lodges them in marble halls, and brings all the arts of luxury to solicit their senses—bitter to him to feel that this green land, which he loves and his landlord scorns, is ravished by him of her fruits to pamper that landlord; twice bitter for him to see his wife, with weariness in her breast of love, to see half his little brood torn by the claws of want to undeserved graves, and to know that to those who survive him he can only leave the inheritance to which he was heir; and thrice bitter to him that even his hovel has not the security of the wild beast's den—that Squalidness, and Hunger, and Disease are insufficient guardians of his home—and that the puff of the landlord's or the agent's breath may blow him off the land where he has lived, and send him and his to a dyke, or to prolong wretchedness in some desperate kennel in the next town, till the strong wings of Death—unopposed lord of such suburb—bear them away.

Aristocracy of Ireland, will ye do nothing?—will ye do nothing for fear? The body who best know Ireland—the body that keep Ireland within the law—the Repeal Committee—declare that unless some great change take place an agrarian war may ensue! Do ye know what that is, and how it would come? The rapid multiplication of outrages, increased violence by magistrates, collisions between the people and the police, coercive laws and military force, the violation of houses, the suspension of industry—the conflux of discontent, pillage, massacre, war—the gentry shattered, the peasantry conquered and decimated, or victorious and ruined (for who could rule them?)—there is an agrarian insurrection! May Heaven guard us from it!—may the fear be vain!

We set aside the fear! Forget it! Think of the long, long patience of the people—their toils supporting you—their virtues shaming you—their huts, their hunger, their disease.

To whomsoever God had given a heart less cold than stone, these truths must cry day and night. Oh! how they cross us like Banshees when we would range free on the mountain—how, as we walk in the evening light amid flowers, they startle us from rest of mind! Ye nobles! whose houses are as gorgeous as the mote's (who dwelleth in the sunbeam)—ye strong and haughty squires—ye dames exuberant with tingling blood—ye maidens, whom not splendour has yet spoiled, will ye not think of the poor?—will ye not shudder in your couches to think how rain, wind, and smoke dwell with the blanketless peasant?—will ye not turn from the sumptuous board to look at those hard-won meals of black and slimy roots on which man, woman, and child feed year after year?—will ye never try to banish wringing hunger and ghastly disease from the home of such piety and love?—will ye not give back its dance to the village—its mountain play to boyhood—its serene hopes to manhood?

Will ye do nothing for pity—nothing for love? Will ye leave a foreign Parliament to mitigate—will ye leave a native Parliament, gained in your despite, to redress these miseries—will ye for ever abdicate the duty and the joy of making the poor comfortable, and the peasant attached and happy? Do—if so you prefer; but know that if you do, you are a doomed race. Once more, Aristocracy of Ireland, we warn and entreat you to consider the State of the Peasantry, and to save them with your own hands.


There are (thank God!) four hundred thousand Irish children in the National Schools. A few years, and they will be the People of Ireland—the farmers of its lands, the conductors of its traffic, the adepts in its arts. How utterly unlike that Ireland will be to the Ireland of the Penal Laws, of the Volunteers, of the Union, or of the Emancipation?

Well may Carleton say that we are in a transition state. The knowledge, the customs, the superstitions, the hopes of the People are entirely changing. There is neither use nor reason in lamenting what we must infallibly lose. Our course is an open and a great one, and will try us severely; but, be it well or ill, we cannot resemble our fathers. No conceivable effort will get the people, twenty years hence, to regard the Fairies but as a beautiful fiction to be cherished, not believed in, and not a few real and human characters are perishing as fast as the Fairies.

Let us be content to have the past chronicled wherever it cannot be preserved.

Much may be saved—the Gaelic language and the music of the past may be handed uncorrupted to the future; but whatever may be the substitutes, the Fairies and the Banshees, the Poor Scholar and the Ribbonman, the Orange Lodge, the Illicit Still, and the Faction Fight are vanishing into history, and unless this generation paints them no other will know what they were.

It is chiefly in this way we value the work before us. In it Carleton is the historian of the peasantry rather than a dramatist. The fiddler and piper, the seanachie and seer, the match-maker and dancing-master, and a hundred characters beside are here brought before you, moving, acting, playing, plotting, and gossiping! You are never wearied by an inventory of wardrobes, as in short English descriptive fictions; yet you see how every one is dressed; you hear the honey brogue of the maiden, and the downy voice of the child, the managed accents of flattery or traffic, the shrill tones of woman's fretting, and the troubled gush of man's anger. The moory upland and the corn slopes, the glen where the rocks jut through mantling heather, and bright brooks gurgle amid the scented banks of wild herbs, the shivering cabin and the rudely-lighted farm-house are as plain in Carleton's pages as if he used canvas and colours with a skill varying from Wilson and Poussin to Teniers and Wilkie.

But even in these sketches his power of external description is not his greatest merit. Born and bred among the people—full of their animal vehemence—skilled in their sports—as credulous and headlong in boyhood, and as fitful and varied in manhood, as the wildest—he had felt with them, and must ever sympathise with them. Endowed with the highest dramatic genius, he has represented their love and generosity, their wrath and negligence, their crimes and virtues, as a hearty peasant—not a note-taking critic.

In others of his works he has created ideal characters that give him a higher rank as a poet (some of them not surpassed by even Shakespeare for originality, grandeur, and distinctness); but here he is a genuine Seanachie, and brings you to dance and wake, to wedding and christening—makes you romp with the girls, and race with the boys—tremble at the ghosts, and frolic with the fairies of the whole parish.

Come what change there may over Ireland, in these Tales and Sketches the peasantry of the past hundred years can be for ever lived with.


We no more see why Irish people should not visit the Continent than why Germans or Frenchmen ought not to visit Ireland; but there is a difference between them. A German rarely comes here who has not trampled the heath of Tyrol, studied the museums of Dresden and the frescoes of Munich, and shouted defiance on the bank of the Rhine; and what Frenchman who has not seen the vineyards of Provence and the bocages of Brittany, and the snows of Jura and the Pyrenees, ever drove on an Irish jingle? But our nobles and country gentlemen, our merchants, lawyers, and doctors—and what's worse, their wives and daughters—penetrate Britain and the Continent without ever trying whether they could not defy in Ireland the ennui before which they run over seas and mountains.

The cause of this, as of most of our grievances, was misgovernment, producing poverty, discomfort, ignorance, and misrepresentation. The people were ignorant and in rags, their houses miserable, the roads and hotels shocking; we had no banks, few coaches, and, to crown all, the English declared the people to be rude and turbulent, which they were not, as well as drunken and poor, which they assuredly were. An Irish landlord who had ill-treated his own tenants felt a conscientious dread of all frieze-coats; others adopted his prejudices, and a people who never were rude or unjust to strangers were considered unsafe to travel amongst.

Most of these causes are removed. The people are sober, and are rapidly advancing to knowledge, their political exertions and dignity have broken away much of the prejudices against them, and a man passing through any part of Ireland expects to find woeful poverty and strong discontent, but he does not fear the abduction of his wife, or attempts to assassinate him on every lonely road. The coaches, cars, and roads, too, have become excellent, and the hotels are sufficient for any reasonable traveller. One very marked discouragement to travelling was the want of information; the maps were little daubs, and the guide-books were few and inaccurate. As to maps we are now splendidly off. The Railway Commissioners' Map of Ireland, aided by the Ordnance Index Map of any county where a visitor makes a long stay, are ample. We have got a good general guide-book in Fraser, but it could not hold a twentieth of the information necessary to a leisurely tourist; nor, till the Ordnance Memoir is out, shall we have thorough hand-books to our counties. Meantime, let us not burn the little guides to Antrim, Wicklow, and Killarney, though they are desperately dull and inexact—let us not altogether prohibit Mrs. Hall's gossip, though she knows less about our Celtic people than the Malays; and let us be even thankful for Mr. O'Flanagan's volume of the Munster Blackwater (though it is printed in London) for his valuable stories, for his minute, picturesque, and full topography, for his antiquarian and historic details, though he blunders into making Alaster M'Donnell a Scotchman, and for his hearty love of the scenery and people he has undertaken to guide us through.

And now, reader, in this fine soft summer, when the heather is blooming, and the sky laughing and crying like a hysterical bride, full of love, where will ye go—through your own land or a stranger's? If you stay at home you can choose your own scenery, and have something to see in the summer, and talk of in the winter, that will make your friends from the Alps and Apennines respectful to you.

Did you propose to study economies among the metayers of Tuscany or the artisans of Belgium, postpone the trip till the summer of '45 or '46, when you may have the passport of an Irish office to get you a welcome, and seek for the state of the linen weavers in the soft hamlets of Ulster—compare the cattle herds of Meath with the safe little holdings of Down and the well-found farms of Tipperary, or investigate the statistics of our fisheries along the rivers and lakes and shores of our island.

Had a strong desire come upon you to toil over the glacier, whose centre froze when Adam courted Eve, or walk amid the brigand passes of Italy or Spain—do not fancy that absolute size makes mountain grandeur, or romance—to a mind full of passion and love of strength (and with such only do the mountain spirits walk) the passes of Glenmalure and Barnesmore are deep as Chamouni, and Carn Tual and Slieve Donard are as near the lightning as Mount Blanc.

To the picture-hunter we can offer little, though Vandyke's finest portrait is in Kilkenny, and there is no county without some collection; but for the lover of living or sculptured forms—for the artist, the antiquarian, and the natural philosopher, we have more than five summers could exhaust. Every one can see the strength of outline, the vigour of colour, and the effective grouping in every fair, and wake, and chapel, and hurling-ground, from Donegal to Waterford, though it may take the pen of Griffin or the pencil of Burton to represent them. An Irishman, if he took the pains, would surely find something not inferior in interest to Cologne or the Alhambra in study of the monumental effigies which mat the floors of Jerpoint and Adare, or the cross in a hundred consecrated grounds from Kells to Clonmacnoise—of the round towers which spring in every barony—of the architectural perfection of Holycross and Clare-Galway, and the strange fellowship of every order in Athassel, or of the military keeps and earthen pyramids and cairns, which tell of the wars of recent and the piety of distant centuries. The Entomology, Botany, and Geology of Ireland are not half explored; the structure and distinctions of its races are but just attracting the eyes of philosophers from Mr. Wilde's tract, and the country is actually full of airs never noted, history never written, superstitions and romances never rescued from tradition; and why should Irishmen go blundering in foreign researches when so much remains to be done here, and when to do it would be more easy, more honourable, and more useful?

In many kinds of scenery we can challenge comparison. Europe has no lake so dreamily beautiful as Killarney; no bays where the boldness of Norway unites with the colouring of Naples, as in Bantry; and you might coast the world without finding cliffs so vast and so terrible as Achill and Slieve League. Glorious, too, as the Rhine is, we doubt if its warmest admirers would exclude from rivalry the Nore and the Blackwater, if they had seen the tall cliffs, and the twisted slopes, and the ruined aisles, and glancing mountains, and feudal castles through which you boat up from Youghal to Mallow, or glide down from Thomastown to Waterford harbour. Hear what Inglis says of this Avondhu:—

"We have had descents of the Danube, and descents of the Rhine, and the Rhone, and of many other rivers; but we have not in print, as far as I know, any descent of the Blackwater; and yet, with all these descents of foreign rivers in my recollection, I think the descent of the Blackwater not surpassed by any of them. A detail of all that is seen in gliding down the Blackwater from Cappoquin to Youghal would fill a long chapter. There is every combination that can be produced by the elements that enter into the picturesque and the beautiful—deep shades, bold rocks, verdant slopes, with the triumphs of art superadded, and made visible in magnificent houses and beautiful villas with their decorated lawns and pleasure grounds."

And now, reader, if these kaleidoscope glimpses we have given you have made you doubt between a summer in Ireland and one abroad, give your country "the benefit of the doubt," as the lawyers say, and boat on our lake or dive into our glens and ruins, wonder at the basalt coast of Antrim, and soften your heart between the banks of the Blackwater.


No enemy speaks slightingly of Irish Music, and no friend need fear to boast of it. It is without a rival.

Its antique war-tunes, such as those of O'Byrne, O'Donnell, Alestrom, and Brian Boru, stream and crash upon the ear like the warriors of a hundred glens meeting; and you are borne with them to battle, and they and you charge and struggle amid cries and battle-axes and stinging arrows. Did ever a wail make man's marrow quiver, and fill his nostrils with the breath of the grave, like the ululu of the north or the wirrasthrue of Munster? Stately are their slow, and recklessly splendid their quick marches, their "Boyne Water," and "Sios agus sios liom," their "Michael Hoy," and "Gallant Tipperary." The Irish jigs and planxties are not only the best dancing tunes, but the finest quick marches in the world. Some of them would cure a paralytic and make the marble-legged prince in the Arabian Nights charge like a Fag-an-Bealach boy. The hunter joins in every leap and yelp of the "Fox Chase"; the historian hears the moan of the penal days in "Drimindhu," and sees the embarkation of the Wild Geese in "Limerick's Lamentation"; and ask the lover if his breath do not come and go with "Savourneen Deelish" and "Lough Sheelin."

Varied and noble as our music is, the English-speaking people in Ireland have been gradually losing their knowledge of it, and a number of foreign tunes—paltry scented things from Italy, lively trifles from Scotland, and German opera cries—are heard in our concerts, and what is worse, from our Temperance bands. Yet we never doubted that "The Sight Entrancing," or "The Memory of the Dead," would satisfy even the most spoiled of our fashionables better than anything Balfe or Rossini ever wrote; and, as it is, "Tow-row-row" is better than poteen to the teetotalers, wearied with overtures and insulted by "British Grenadiers" and "Rule Brittannia."

A reprint of Moore's Melodies on lower keys, and at much lower prices, would probably restore the sentimental music of Ireland to its natural supremacy. There are in Bunting but two good sets of words—"The Bonny Cuckoo," and poor Campbell's "Exile's of Erin." These and a few of Lover's and Mahony's songs can alone compete with Moore. But, save one or two by Lysaght and Drennan, almost all the Irish political songs are too desponding or weak to content a people marching to independence as proudly as if they had never been slaves.

The popularity and immense circulation of the Spirit of the Nation proved that it represented the hopes and passions of the Irish people. This looks like vanity; but as a corporation so numerous as the contributors to that volume cannot blush, we shall say our say. For instance, who did not admire "The Memory of the Dead"? The very Stamp officers were galvanised by it, and the Attorney-General was repeatedly urged to sing it for the jury. He refused—he had no music to sing it to. We pitied and forgave him; but we vowed to leave him no such excuse next time. If these songs were half so good as people called them, they deserved to flow from a million throats to as noble music as ever O'Neill or O'Connor heard.

Some of them were written to, and some freely combined with, old and suitable airs. These we resolved to have printed with the music, certain that, thus, the music would be given back to a people who had been ungratefully neglecting it, and the words carried into circles where they were still unknown.

Others of these poems, indeed the best of them, had no antetypes in our ancient music. New music was, therefore, to be sought for them. Not on their account only was it to be sought. We hoped they would be the means of calling out and making known a contemporary music fresh with the spirit of the time, and rooted in the country.

Since Carolan's death there had been no addition to the store. Not that we were without composers, but those we have do not compose Irish-like music, nor for Ireland. Their rewards are from a foreign public—their fame, we fear, will suffer from alienage. Balfe is very sweet, and Rooke very emphatic, but not one passion or association in Ireland's heart would answer to their songs.

Fortunately there was one among us (perchance his example may light us to others) who can smite upon our harp like a master, and make it sigh with Irish memories, and speak sternly with Ireland's resolve. To him, to his patriotism, to his genius, and, we may selfishly add, to his friendship, we owe our ability now to give to Ireland music fit for "The Memory of the Dead" and the "Hymn of Freedom," and whatever else was marked out by popularity for such care as his.

In former editions of the Spirit[45] we had thrown in carelessly several inferior verses and some positive trash, and neither paper nor printing was any great honour to the Dublin press. Every improvement in the power of the most enterprising publisher in Ireland has been made, and every fault, within our reach or his, cured—and whether as the first publication of original airs, as a selection of ancient music, or as a specimen of what the Dublin press can do, in printing, paper, or cheapness, we urge the public to support this work of Mr. James Duffy's—and, in a pecuniary way, it is his altogether.

We had hoped to have added a recommendation to the first number of this work, besides whatever attraction may lie in its music, its ballads, or its mechanical beauty.

An artist, whom we shall not describe or he would be known,[46] sketched a cover and title for it. The idea, composition, and drawing of that design were such as Flaxman might have been proud of. It is a monument to bardic power, to patriotism, to our music and our history. There is at least as much poetry in it as in the best verses in the work it illustrates. If it do nothing else, it will show our Irish artists that refinement and strength, passion and dignity, are as practicable in Irish as in German painting; and the lesson was needed sorely. But if it lead him who drew it to see that our history and hopes present fit forms to embody the highest feelings of beauty, wisdom, truth, and glory in, irrespective of party politics, then, indeed, we shall have served our country when we induced our gifted friend to condescend to sketching a title-page. We need not describe that design now, as it will appear on the cover of the second number, and on the title-page of the finished volume.


How slow we have all been in coming to understand the meaning of Irish Nationality!

Some, dazzled by visions of pagan splendour, and the pretensions of pedigree, and won by the passions and romance of the olden races, continued to speak in the nineteenth century of an Irish nation as they might have done in the tenth. They forgot the English Pale, the Ulster Settlement, and the filtered colonisation of men and ideas. A Celtic kingdom with the old names and the old language, without the old quarrels, was their hope; and though they would not repeat O'Neill's comment as he passed Barrett's castle on his march to Kinsale, and heard it belonged to a Strongbownian, that "he hated the Norman churl as if he came yesterday"; yet they quietly assumed that the Norman and Saxon elements would disappear under the Gaelic genius like the tracks of cavalry under a fresh crop.

The Nationality of Swift and Grattan was equally partial. They saw that the government and laws of the settlers had extended to the island—that Donegal and Kerry were in the Pale; they heard the English tongue in Dublin, and London opinions in Dublin—they mistook Ireland for a colony wronged, and great enough to be a nation.

A lower form of nationhood was before the minds of those who saw in it nothing but a parliament in College Green. They had not erred in judging, for they had not tried to estimate the moral elements and tendencies of the country. They were as narrow bigots to the omnipotency of an institution as any Cockney Radical. Could they, by any accumulation of English stupidity and Irish laziness, have got possession of an Irish government, they would soon have distressed every one by their laws, whom they had not provoked by their administration, or disgusted by their dulness.

Far healthier, with all its defects, was the idea of those who saw in Scotland a perfect model—who longed for a literary and artistic nationality—who prized the oratory of Grattan and Curran, the novels of Griffin and Carleton, the pictures of Maclise and Burton, the ancient music, as much as any, and far more than most, of the political nationalists, but who regarded political independence as a dangerous dream. Unknowingly they fostered it. Their writings, their patronage, their talk was of Ireland; yet it hardly occurred to them that the ideal would flow into the practical, or that they, with their dread of agitation, were forwarding a revolution.

At last we are beginning to see what we are, and what is our destiny. Our duty arises where our knowledge begins. The elements of Irish nationality are not only combining—in fact, they are growing confluent in our minds. Such nationality as merits a good man's help and wakens a true man's ambition—such nationality as could stand against internal faction and foreign intrigue—such nationality as would make the Irish hearth happy and the Irish name illustrious, is becoming understood. It must contain and represent the races of Ireland. It must not be Celtic, it must not be Saxon—it must be Irish. The Brehon law and the maxims of Westminster, the cloudy and lightning genius of the Gael, the placid strength of the Sasanach, the marshalling insight of the Norman—a literature which shall exhibit in combination the passions and idioms of all, and which shall equally express our mind in its romantic, its religious, its forensic, and its practical tendencies—finally, a native government, which shall know and rule by the might and right of all; yet yield to the arrogance of none—these are components of such a nationality.

But what have these things to do with the "Ballad Poetry of Ireland"? Much every way. It is the result of the elements we have named—it is compounded of all; and never was there a book fitter to advance that perfect nationality to which Ireland begins to aspire. That a country is without national poetry proves its hopeless dulness or its utter provincialism. National poetry is the very flowering of the soul—the greatest evidence of its health, the greatest excellence of its beauty. Its melody is balsam to the senses. It is the playfellow of childhood ripens into the companion of his manhood, consoles his age. It presents the most dramatic events, the largest characters, the most impressive scenes, and the deepest passions in the language most familiar to us. It shows us magnified, and ennobles our hearts, our intellects, our country, and our countrymen—binds us to the land by its condensed and gem-like history, to the future by examples and by aspirations. It solaces us in travel, fires us in action, prompts our invention, sheds a grace beyond the power of luxury round our homes, is the recognised envoy of our minds among all mankind and to all time.

In possessing the powers and elements of a glorious nationality, we owned the sources of a national poetry. In the combination and joint development of the latter we find a pledge and a help to that of the former.

This book of Mr. Duffy's,[47] true as it is to the wants of the time, is not fortuitous. He has prefaced his admirable collection by an Introduction, which proves his full consciousness of the worth of his task, and proves equally his ability to execute it. In a space too short for the most impatient to run by he has accurately investigated the sources of Irish Ballad Poetry, vividly defined the qualities of each, and laboured with perfect success to show that all naturally combine towards one great end, as the brooks to a river, which marches on clear, deep, and single, though they be wild, and shallow, and turbid, flowing from unlike regions, and meeting after countless windings.

Mr. Duffy maps out three main forces which unequally contribute to an Irish Ballad Poetry.

The first consists of the Gaelic ballads. True to the vehemence and tendencies of the Celtic people, and representing equally their vagueness and extravagance during slavish times, they nevertheless remain locked from the middle and upper classes generally, and from the peasantry of more than half Ireland, in an unknown language. Many of them have been translated by rhymers—few indeed by poets. The editor of the volume before us has brought into one house nearly all the poetical translations from the Irish, and thus finely justifies the ballad literature of the Gael from its calumnious friend:—

"With a few exceptions, all the translations we are acquainted with, in addition to having abundance of minor faults, are eminently un-Irish. They seem to have been made by persons to whom one of the languages was not familiar. Many of them were confessedly versified from prose translations, and are mere English poems, without a tinge of the colour or character of the country. Others, translated by sound Irish scholars, are bald and literal; the writers sometimes wanting a facility of versification, sometimes a mastery over the English language. The Irish scholars of the last century were too exclusively national to study the foreign tongue with the care essential to master its metrical resources; and the flexible and weighty language which they had not learned to wield hung heavily on them,

'Like Saul's plate armour on the shepherd boy,

Encumbering, and not arming them.'

If it were just to estimate our bardic poetry by the specimens we have received in this manner, it could not be rated highly. But it would manifestly be most unjust. Noble and touching, and often subtle and profound thoughts, which no translation could entirely spoil, shine through the poverty of the style, and vindicate the character of the originals. Like the costly arms and ornaments found in our bogs, they are substantial witnesses of a distinct civilisation; and their credit is no more diminished by the rubbish in which they chance to be found than the authenticity of the ancient torques and skians by their embedment in the mud. When the entire collection of our Irish Percy—James Hardiman—shall have been given to a public (and soon may such a one come) that can relish them in their native dress, they will be entitled to undisputed precedence in our national minstrelsy."

About a dozen of the ballads in the volume are derived from the Irish. It is only in this way that Clarence Mangan (a name to which Mr. Duffy does just honour) contributes to the volume. There are four translations by him, exhibiting eminently his perfect mastery of versification—his flexibility of passion, from loneliest grief to the maddest humour. One of these, "The Lament for O'Neil and O'Donnell," is the strongest, though it will not be the most popular, ballad in the work.

Callanan's and Ferguson's translations, if not so daringly versified, are simpler and more Irish in idiom.

Most, indeed, of Callanan's successful ballads are translations, and well entitle him to what he passionately prays for—a minstrel of free Erin to come to his grave,

"And plant a wild wreath from the banks of the river

O'er the heart and the harp that are sleeping for ever."

But we are wrong in speaking of Mr. Ferguson's translations in precisely the same way. His "Wicklow War Song" is condensed, epigrammatic, and crashing, as anything we know of, except the "Pibroch of Donnil Dhu."

The second source is—the common people's ballads. Most of these "make no pretence to being true to Ireland, but only being true to the purlieus of Cork and Dublin"; yet now and then one meets a fine burst of passion, and oftener a racy idiom. The "Drimin Dhu," "The Blackbird," "Peggy Bawn," "Irish Molly," "Willy Reilly," and the "Fair of Turloughmore," are the specimens given here. Of these "Willy Reilly" (an old and worthy favourite in Ulster, it seems, but quite unknown elsewhere) is the best; but it is too long to quote, and we must limit ourselves to the noble opening verse of "Turloughmore"—

"'Come, tell me, dearest mother, what makes my father stay,

Or what can be the reason that he's so long away?'

Oh! 'hold your tongue, my darling son, your tears do grieve me sore;

I fear he has been murdered in the fair of Turloughmore.'"

The third and principal source consists of the Anglo-Irish ballads, written during the last twenty or thirty years.

Of this highest class, he who contributes most and, to our mind, best is Mr. Ferguson. We have already spoken of his translations—his original ballads are better. There is nothing in this volume—nothing in Percy's Relics, or the Border Minstrelsy, to surpass, perhaps to equal, "Willy Gilliland." It is as natural in structure as "Kinmont Willie," as vigorous as "Otterbourne," and as complete as "Lochinvar." Leaving his Irish idiom, we get in the "Forester's Complaint" as harmonious versification, and in the "Forging of the Anchor" as vigorous thoughts, mounted on bounding words, as anywhere in the English literature.

We must quote some stray verses from "Willy Gilliland":—

"Up in the mountain solitudes, and in a rebel ring,

He has worshipped God upon the hill, in spite of church and king;

And sealed his treason with his blood on Bothwell bridge he hath;

So he must fly his father's land, or he must die the death;

For comely Claverhouse has come along with grim Dalzell,

And his smoking roof tree testifies they've done their errand well.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

"His blithe work done, upon a bank the outlaw rested now,

And laid the basket from his back, the bonnet from his brow;

And there, his hand upon the Book, his knee upon the sod,

He filled the lonely valley with the gladsome word of God;

And for a persecuted kirk, and for her martyrs dear,

And against a godless church and king he spoke up loud and clear.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

"'My bonny mare! I've ridden you when Claver'se rode behind,

And from the thumbscrew and the boot you bore me like the wind;

And while I have the life you saved, on your sleek flank, I swear,

Episcopalian rowel shall never ruffle hair!

Though sword to wield they've left me none—yet Wallace wight I wis,

Good battle did, on Irvine side, wi' waur weapon than this.'—

"His fishing-rod with both his hands he gripped it as he spoke,

And, where the butt and top were spliced, in pieces twain he broke;

The limber top he cast away, with all its gear abroad,

But, grasping the tough hickory butt, with spike of iron shod,

He ground the sharp spear to a point; then pulled his bonnet down,

And, meditating black revenge, set forth for Carrick town."

The only ballad equally racy is "The Croppy Boy," by some anonymous but most promising writer.

Griffin's "Gille Machree"—of another class—is perfect—"striking on the heart," as Mr. Duffy finely says, "like the cry of a woman"; but his "Orange and Green," and his "Bridal of Malahide," belong to the same class, and suffer by comparison, with Mr. Ferguson's ballads.

Banim's greatest ballad, the "Soggarth Aroon," possesses even deeper tenderness and more perfect Irish idiom than anything in the volume.

Among the Collection are Colonel Blacker's famous Orange ballad, "Oliver's Advice" ("Put your trust in God, my boys, but keep your powder dry"), and two versions of the "Boyne Water." The latter and older one, given in the appendix, is by far the finest, and contains two unrivalled stanzas:—

"Both foot and horse they marched on, intending them to batter, But the brave Duke Schomberg he was shot as he crossed over the water. When that King William he observed the brave Duke Schomberg falling, He rein'd his horse, with a heavy heart, on the Enniskilleners calling; 'What will you do for me, brave boys? see yonder men retreating, Our enemies encouraged are—and English drums are beating'; He says 'My boys, feel no dismay at the losing of one commander, For God shall be our King this day, and I'll be general under.'"

Nor less welcome is the comment:—

"Some of the Ulster ballads, of a restricted and provincial spirit, having less in common with Ireland than with Scotland; two or three Orange ballads, altogether ferocious or foreign in their tendencies (preaching murder, or deifying an alien), will be no less valuable to the patriot or the poet on this account. They echo faithfully the sentiments of a strong, vehement, and indomitable body of Irishmen, who may come to battle for their country better than they ever battled for prejudices or their bigotries. At all events, to know what they love and believe is a precious knowledge."

On the language of most of the ballads Mr. Duffy says:—

"Many of them, and generally the best, are just as essentially Irish as if they were written in Gaelic. They could have grown among no other people, perhaps under no other sky or scenery. To an Englishman, to any Irishman educated out of the country, or to a dreamer asleep to impressions of scenery and character, they would be achievements as impossible as the Swedish Skalds or the Arabian Nights. They are as Irish as Ossian or Carolan, and unconsciously reproduce the spirit of those poets better than any translator can hope to do. They revive and perpetuate the vehement native songs that gladdened the halls of our princes in their triumphs, and wailed over their ruined hopes or murdered bodies. In everything but language, and almost in language, they are identical. That strange tenacity of the Celtic race, which makes a description of their habits and propensities when Cæsar was still a Proconsul in Gaul true in essentials of the Irish people to this day, has enabled them to infuse the ancient and hereditary spirit of the country into all that is genuine of our modern poetry. And even the language grew almost Irish. The soul of the country, stammering its passionate grief and hatred in a strange tongue, loved still to utter them in its old familiar idioms and cadences. Uttering them, perhaps, with more piercing earnestness, because of the impediment; and winning out of the very difficulty a grace and a triumph."

How often have we wished for such a companion as this volume! Worse than meeting unclean beds, or drenching mists, or Cockney opinions, was it to have to take the mountains with a book of Scottish ballads. They were glorious, to be sure, but they were not ours—they had not the brown of the climate on their cheek, they spoke of places afar, and ways which are not our country's ways, and hopes which were not Ireland's, and their tongue was not that we first made sport and love with. Yet how mountaineer without ballads any more than without a shillelagh? No; we took the Scots ballads, and felt our souls rubbing away with envy and alienage amid their attractions; but now, Brighid, be praised! we can have all Irish thoughts on Irish hills, true to them as the music, or the wind, or the sky.

Happy boys! who may grow up with such ballads in your memories. Happy men! who will find your hearts not only doubtful but joyous in serving and sacrificing for the country you thus learned in childhood to love.


Of course the first object of the work we project[48] will be to make Irish History familiar to the minds, pleasant to the ears, dear to the passions, and powerful over the taste and conduct of the Irish people in times to come. More events could be put into a prose history. Exact dates, subtle plots, minute connections and motives rarely appear in Ballads, and for these ends the worst prose history is superior to the best ballad series; but these are not the highest ends of history. To hallow or accurse the scenes of glory and honour, or of shame and sorrow; to give to the imagination the arms, and homes, and senates, and battles of other days; to rouse, and soften, and strengthen, and enlarge us with the passions of great periods; to lead us into love of self-denial, of justice, of beauty, of valour, of generous life and proud death; and to set up in our souls the memory of great men, who shall then be as models and judges of our actions—these are the highest duties of history, and these are best taught by a Ballad History.

A Ballad History is welcome to childhood, from its rhymes, its high colouring, and its aptness to memory. As we grow into boyhood, the violent passions, the vague hopes, the romantic sorrow of patriot ballads are in tune with our fitful and luxuriant feelings. In manhood we prize the condensed narrative, the grave firmness, the critical art, and the political sway of ballads. And in old age they are doubly dear; the companions and reminders of our life, the toys and teachers of our children and grand-children. Every generation finds its account in them. They pass from mouth to mouth like salutations; and even the minds which lose their words are under their influence, as one can recall the starry heavens who cannot revive the form of a single constellation.

In olden times all ballads were made to music, and the minstrel sang them to his harp or screamed them in recitative. Thus they reached farther, were welcomer guests in feast and camp, and were better preserved. We shall have more to say on this in speaking of our proposed song collection. Printing so multiplies copies of ballads, and intercourse is so general, that there is less need of this adaptation to music now. Moreover, it may be disputed whether the dramatic effect in the more solemn ballads is not injured by lyrical forms. In such streaming exhortations and laments as we find in the Greek choruses and in the adjurations and caoines of the Irish, the breaks and parallel repetitions of a song might lower the passion. Were we free to do so, we could point out instances in the Spirit of the Nation in which the rejection of song-forms seems to have been essential to the awfulness of the occasion.

In pure narratives and in the gayer and more splendid, though less stern ballads, the song-forms and adaptation to music are clear gains.

In the Scotch ballads this is usual, in the English rare. We look in vain through Southey's admirable ballads—"Mary the Maid of the Inn," "Jaspar," "Inchcape Rock," "Bishop Hatto," "King Henry V. and the Hermit of Dreux"—for either burden, chorus, or adaptation to music. In the "Battle of Blenheim" there is, however, an occasional burden line; and in the smashing "March to Moscow" there is a great chorusing about—

"Morbleu! Parbleu!

What a pleasant excursion to Moscow."

Coleridge has some skilful repetitions and exquisite versification in his "Ancient Mariner," "Genevieve," "Alice du Clos," but nowhere a systematic burden. Campbell has no burdens in his finest lyric ballads, though the subjects were fitted for them. The burden of the "Exile of Erin" belongs very doubtfully to him.

Macaulay's best ballad, the "Battle of Ivry," is greatly aided by the even burden line; but he has not repeated the experiment, though he, too, makes much use of repeating lines in his Roman Lays and other ballads.

While, then, we counsel burdens in Historical Ballads, we would recognise excepted cases where they may be injurious, and treat them as in no case essential to perfect ballad success. In songs, we would almost always insist either on a chorus, verse, or a burden of some sort. A burden need not be at the end of the verse; but may, with quite equal success, be at the beginning or in the body of it, as may be seen in the Scotch Ballads, and in some of those in the Spirit of the Nation.

The old Scotch and English ballads, and Lockhart's translations from the Spanish, are mostly composed in one metre, though written down in either of two ways. Macaulay's Roman Lays and "Ivry" are in this metre. Take an example from the last:—

"Press where ye see my white plume shine, amid the ranks of war,

And be your Oriflamme to-day the helmet of Navarre."

In the old ballads this would be printed in four lines, of eight syllables and six alternately, and rhyming only alternately, thus:—

"Press where ye see my white plume shine,

Amid the ranks of war,

And be your Oriflamme to-day

The helmet of Navarre."

So Macaulay himself prints this metre in some of his Roman Lays.

But the student should rather avoid than seek this metre. The uniform old beat of eight and six is apt to fall monotonously on the ear, and some of the most startling effects are lost in it. In the Spirit of the Nation the student will find many other ballad metres. Campbell's metres, though new and glorious things, are terrible traps to imitation, and should be warily used. The German ballads, and, still more, Mr. Mangan's translations of them, contain great variety of new and safe, though difficult, metres. Next in frequency to the fourteen-syllable line is that in eleven syllables, such as "Mary Ambree" and "Lochinvar"; and for a rolling brave ballad 'tis a fine metre. The metre of fifteen syllables with double rhymes, (or accents) in the middle, and that of thirteen, with double rhymes at the end, is tolerably frequent, and the metre used by Father Prout, in his noble translation of "Duke D'Alençon," is admirable, and easier than it seems. By the way, what a grand burden runs through that ballad:—

"Fools! to believe the sword could give to the children of the Rhine,

Our Gallic fields—the land that yields the Olive and the Vine!"

The syllables are as in the common metre, but it has thrice the rhymes.

We have seen great materials wasted in a struggle with a crotchety metre; therefore, though we counsel the invention of metres, we would add that unless a metre come out racily and appropriately in the first couple of verses, it should be abandoned, and some of those easily marked metres taken up.

A historical ballad will commonly be narrative in its form, but not necessarily so. A hymn of exultation—a call to a council, an army, or a people—a prophecy—a lament—or a dramatic scene (as in Lochiel), may give as much of event, costume, character, and even scenery as a mere narration. The varieties of form are infinite, and it argues lack of force in a writer to keep always to mere narration, though when exact events are to be told that may be the best mode.

One of the essential qualities of a good historical ballad is truth. To pervert history—to violate nature, in order to make a fine clatter, has been the aim in too many of the ballads sent us. He who goes to write a historical ballad should master the main facts of the time, and state them truly. It may be well for those perhaps either not to study or to half-forget minute circumstances until after his ballad is drafted out, lest he write a chronicle, not a ballad; but he will do well, ere he suffers it to leave his study, to reconsider the facts of the time or man, or act of which he writes, and see if he cannot add force to his statements, an antique grace to his phrases, and colour to his language.

Truth and appropriateness in ballads require great knowledge and taste.

To write an Irish historical ballad, one should know the events which he would describe, and know them not merely from an isolated study of his subject, but from old familiarity, which shall have associated them with his tastes and passions, and connected them with other parts of history. How miserable a thing is to put forward a piece of vehement declamation and vague description, which might be uttered of any event, or by the man of any time, as a historical ballad. We have had battle ballads sent us that would be as characteristic of Marathon or Waterloo as of Clontarf—laments that might have been uttered by a German or a Hindu—and romances equally true to love all the world over.

Such historical study extends not merely to the events. A ballad writer should try to find the voice, colour, stature, passions, and peculiar faculties of his hero—the arms, furniture, and dress of the congress, or the champions, or the troops he tells of—the rites wherewith the youth were married—the dead interred, and God worshipped; and the architecture—previous history and pursuits (and, therefore, probable ideas and phrases) of the men he describes.

Many of these things he will get in books. He should shun compilations, and take up original journals, letters, state papers, statutes, and cotemporary fictions and narratives as much as possible. Let him not much mind Leland or Curry (after he has run over them), but work like fury at the Archæological Society's books—at Harris's Hibernica, at Lodge's Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica, at Strafford's Pacata, Spencer's View, Giraldus's Narrative, Fynes Moryson's Itinerary, the Ormond Papers, the State Papers of Henry the Eighth, Stafford's and Cromwell's and Rinuccini's Letters, and the correspondence and journals, from Donald O'Neill's letter to the Pope down to Wolfe Tone's glorious memoirs.

In the songs, and even their names, many a fine hint can be got; and he is not likely to be a perfect Balladist of Ireland who has not felt to tears and laughter the deathless passions of Irish music.

We have condemned compilations; but the ballad student may well labour at Ware's Antiquities. He will find in the History of British Costume, published by the Useful Knowledge Society, and in the illustrated work now in progress called Old England, but beyond all other books, in the historical works of Thierry, most valuable materials. Nothing, not even the Border Minstrelsy, Percy's Relics, the Jacobite Ballads, or the Archæological Tracts, can be of such service as a repeated study of the Norman Conquest, the Ten Years' Study, and the Merovingian Times of Augustine Thierry.

We know he has rashly stated some events on insufficient authority, and drawn conclusions beyond the warrant of his promises; but there is more deep dramatic skill, more picturesque and coloured scenery, more distinct and characteristic grouping, and more lively faith to the look and spirit of the men and times and feelings of which he writes, in Thierry, than in any other historian that ever lived. He has almost an intuition in favour of liberty, and his vindication of the "men of '98" out of the slanderous pages of Musgrave is a miracle of historical skill and depth of judgment.

In the Irish Academy in Dublin there is a collection (now arranged and rapidly increasing) of ancient arms and utensils. Private collections exist in many provincial towns, especially in Ulster. Indeed, we know an Orange painter in a northern village who has a finer collection of Irish antiquities than all of the Munster cities put together. Accurate observation of, and discussion on, such collections will be of vast service to a writer of historical Ballads.

Topography is also essential to a ballad, or to any Historian. This is not only necessary to save a writer from such gross blunder as we met the other day in Wharton's Ballad, called "The Grave of King Arthur," where he talks of "the steeps of rough Kildare," but to give accuracy and force to both general references and local description.

Ireland must be known to her Ballad Historians, not by flat, but by shaded maps, and topographical and scenic descriptions; not by maps of to-day only, but by maps (such as Ortelius and the maps in the State Papers) of Ireland in time past; and, finally, it must be known by the eye. A man who has not raced on our hills, panted on our mountains, waded our rivers in drought and flood, pierced our passes, skirted our coast, noted our old towns, and learned the shape and colour of ground and tree and sky, is not master of all a Balladist's art. Scott knew Scotland thus, and, moreover, he seems never to have laid a scene in a place that he had not studied closely and alone.

What we have heretofore advised relates to the Structure, Truth, and Colouring of ballads; but there is something more needed to raise a ballad above the beautiful—it must have Force. Strong passions, daring invention, vivid sympathy for great acts—these are the result of one's whole life and nature. Into the temper and training of "A Poet," we do not presume to speak. Few have spoken wisely of them. Emerson, in his recent essay, has spoken like an angel on the mission of "The Poet." Ambition for pure power (not applause); passionate sympathy with the good, and strong, and beautiful; insight into nature, and such loving mastery over its secrets as a husband hath over a wife's mind, are the surest tests of one "called" by destiny to tell to men the past, present, and future, in words so perfect that generations shall feel and remember.

We merely meant to give some "Hints on the Properties of Historical Ballads"—they will be idle save to him who has the mind of a Poet.


There are great gaps in Irish song to be filled up. This is true even of the songs of the Irish-speaking people. Many of the short snatches preserved among them from olden times are sweet and noble; but the bulk of the songs are very defective. Most of those hitherto in use were composed during the last century, and therefore their structure is irregular, their grief slavish and despairing, their joy reckless and bombastic, their religion bitter and sectarian, their politics Jacobite and concealed by extravagant and tiresome allegory. Ignorance, disorder, and every kind of oppression weakened and darkened the lyric genius of Ireland. Even these, such as they are, diminish daily in the country, and a lower class comes in. We have before us a number of the ballads now printed at Cork, in Irish, and English and Irish mixed. They are little above the street ballads in the English tongue. If Hardiman's and Daly's collections be fair specimens (as we believe they are) of the Irish Jacobite songs, we should not care to have more than a few of them given to the people; but, perhaps, there may be twenty, which, if printed clearly in slips, would sell as ballads in the Irish districts.

Assuming that the morsels given in O'Reilly's catalogue of Irish writers do not exaggerate the merits of the older bards, their works would supply numberless pastoral, love, joy, wailing, and war songs. A popular editor of these could condense them into three or four verses each—cut them so as exactly to suit the airs, preserve the local and broad historical allusions, but remove the clumsy ornaments and exaggerations. This is what Ramsay, Burns, and Cunningham did with the Lowland Scotch songs, and thus made them what they are—the best in Europe. This need not prevent complete editions of these songs in learned books; but such books are for libraries, not cabins.

There is one want, however, in all the Irish songs—it is of strictly national lyrics. They are national in form and colour, but clannish in opinion. In fact, from Brian's death, there was no thought of an Irish nation, save when some great event, like Aodh O'Neill's march to Munster, or Owen Roe's victory at Beinnburb, flashed and vanished. These songs celebrate M'Carthy or O'More, O'Connor or O'Neill—his prowess, his following, his hospitality; but they cry down his Irish or "more than Irish" neighbour as fiercely as they do the foreign oppressor. True it is, you will find amid the flight of minstrels one bolder than the rest, who mourns for the time when the Milesians swayed, and tells that "a soul has come into Eire," and summons all the Milesian tribes to battle for Ireland. But even in the seventeenth century, when the footing of the Norman and Saxon in Ireland was as sure as that of the once-invading Milesians themselves, we find the cry purely to the older Irish races, and the bounds of the nation made, not by the island, but by genealogy.

We may remark, in passing, that on no hypothesis did these same Milesians form more than the aristocracy of ancient Ireland—a class—a race of conquerors.

Dr. MacHale has made a noble attempt to supply this deficiency by his translation of Moore into Irish; but we are told that the language of his translation is too literary, and that the people do not relish these songs. A stronger reason for their failure (if in so short a time their fate can be judged) is, that the originals want the idiom and colour of the country, and are too subtle in thought. This remark does not apply to Moore's love songs, not to some, at least, of his political lyrics, and we cannot doubt that, if translated into vernacular Irish, and printed as ballads, they would succeed. For the present nothing better can be done than to paraphrase the Songs of the Nation into racy and musical Irish; though a time may come when someone born amid the Irish tongue, reared amid Gaelic associations, instructed in the state of modern Ireland, and filled with passion and prophecy, shall sing the union and destiny of all the races settled on Irish ground, till the vales of Munster and the cliffs of Connaught ring with the words of Nationality.

But whatever may be done by translation and editing for the songs of the Irish-speaking race, those of our English-speaking countrymen are to be written. Moore, Griffin, Banim, and Callanan have written plenty of songs. Those of Moore have reached the drawing rooms; but what do the People know even of his? Buy a ballad in any street in Ireland, from the metropolis to the village, and you will find in it, perhaps, some humour, some tenderness, and some sweetness of sound; but you will certainly find bombast, or slander, or coarseness, united in all cases with false rhythm, false rhyme, conceited imagery, black paper, and blotted printing. A high class of ballads would do immense good—the present race demean and mislead the people as much as they stimulate them; for the sale of these ballads is immense, and printers in Dublin, Drogheda, Cork, and Belfast live by their sale exclusively. Were an enterprising man to issue the choice songs of Drennan, Griffin, Moore, on good paper, and well printed, he would make a fortune of "halfpenny ballads."

The Anglo-Irish songs, though most of the last century, are generally indecent or factious. The cadets of the Munster Protestants, living like garrison soldiers, drinking, racing, and dancing, wrote the one class. The clergy of the Ulster Presbyterians wrote the other. "The Rakes of Mallow" and "The Protestant Boys" are choice specimens of the two classes—vigorous, and musical, and Irish, no doubt, but surely not fit for this generation.

Great opportunities came with the Volunteers and United Irishmen, but the men were wanting. We have but one good Volunteer song. It was written by Lysaght, after that illustrious militia was dissolved. Drennan's "Wake of William Orr" is not a song; but he gave the United Men the only good song they had—"When Erin First Rose." In "Paddy's Resource," the text-book of the men who were "up," there is but one tolerable song—"God Save the Rights of Man;" nor, looking beyond these, can we think of anything of a high class but "The Sean Bhean Bhochd," "The Wearing of the Green," Lysaght's "Island," and Reynolds' "Erin-go-bragh," if it be his.

Two of Lady Morgan's songs, "Savournah Dilis" and "Kate Kearney," have certainly gone through all classes; and perhaps we might add a little to these exceptions; but it is a sad fact that most of the few good songs we have described are scarce, and are never printed in a ballad shape.

There is plenty, then, for the present race of Irish lyrists to do. They have a great heritage in the national music. It has every excellence and every variety. It is not needful for a writer of our songs to be a musician, though he will certainly gain much accuracy and save much labour to others and himself by being so. Moore is a musician of great attainments, and Burns used to compose his songs when going over, and over, and over the tune with or without words. But constantly listening to the playing of Irish airs will enable any man with a tolerable ear, and otherwise qualified, to write words to them.

Here, we would give two cautions. First—that the airs in Moore's Melodies are very corrupt, and should never be used for the study of Irish music. This is even more true of Lover's tunes. There is no need of using them, for Bunting's and Holden's collections are cheaper, and contain pure settings. Secondly—that as there are hundreds of the finest airs to which no English words have been written, and as the effect of a song is greatly increased by having one set of words always joined with one tune, our versifiers should carefully avoid the airs to which Moore, Griffin, or any other Irishman has written even moderately good words.

In endeavouring to learn an air for the purpose of writing words to it, the first care should, of course, be to get at its character—as gay, hopeful, loving, sentimental, lively, hesitating, woeful, despairing, resolute, fiery, or variable. Many Irish airs take a different character when played fast or slow, lightly or strongly; but there is some one mode of playing which is best of all, and the character expressed by it must determine the character of the words. For nothing can be worse than a gay song to calm music, or massive words to a delicate air; in all cases the tune must suggest, and will suggest, to the lyrist the sentiment of the words.

The tune will, of course, fix the number of lines in a verse. Frequently the number and order of the lines can be varied. Three rhymes and a fall, or couplets, or alternate rhymes, may answer the same set of notes; or rhymes, if too numerous, may be got rid of by making one long, instead of two short lines. Where the same notes come with emphasis at the ends of musical phrases, the words should rhyme, in order to secure the full effect. The doubling two lines into one is most convenient where the first has accents on both the last syllables, for you thus escape the necessity of double rhyming. In the softer airs the effect of this is rather agreeable than otherwise.

Talking of double rhymes, they are peculiarly fitted for strong political and didactic songs, for the abstract and political words in English are chiefly of Latin origin, of considerable length and gravity, and have double accents. The more familiar English words (which best suit most songs) contain few doubly-accented terminations, and are, therefore, little fitted for double rhyming.

Expletive syllables in the beginning of lines where the tune is sharp and gay are often an improvement, but they should never follow a double rhyme.

In strong and firm tunes, having a syllable for every note is a perfection, though one hard to be attained without harshness, from the crowd of consonants in English. With soft tunes, on the other hand, it is commonly better to have in most lines two or more light notes to one syllable, so that the words may be dwelt on and softly sounded; but where and how must be determined by the taste of the writer.

The sound of the air will always show the current of thought, its pauses and changes; and a nice attention and bold sympathy with these properties of a tune is necessary to lyrical success.

A great advantage, too, of writing for existing airs is the variety of metres thus gained, and the naturally greater variety of thought and expression thus suggested.

We have spoken, in reference to Ballads, of the use of Choruses and Burdens, and said that we thought there were some Ballads which were injured by them; but all songs, save (perhaps) those of desperate sorrow, gain by burden lines and choruses. They are almost universal in the Native Irish and Lowland Scotch. Beranger has employed them in most of his songs, and Moore in many of his. A chorus should, of course, contain the very spirit of the song—bounding, if it be gay; fierce, if it be bold; doting, if it loves. Merely repeating one verse between, or at the head or tail of another, is not putting a chorus; it must be the verse which beats the best on your ear, and has the most echo in your heart. So, too, of burdens; they are not made merely by bringing in the same words in like places. They must be marked words forcibly brought in.

Irish choruses have often a glorious effect in English songs, nor need anyone familiar with the peasantry, or with Edward O'Reilly's Irish Writers, published as the first part of the Transactions of the Iberno-Celtic Society be at any loss for them.

These are some of the minutiæ of song-writing, which we note for the consideration of our young writers, leaving them to add to or modify these, according to their observation.

Of course, different men and different moods will produce various classes of songs. We shall have places for all, Songs for the Street and Field require simple words, bold, strong imagery, plain, deep passions (love, patriotism, conciliation, glory, indignation, resolve), daring humour, broad narrative, highest morals. In songs for the wealthier classes, greater subtlety, remoter allusion, less obvious idiom and construction, will be tolerable, though in all cases we think simplicity and heartiness needful to the perfect success of a song.

If men able to write will fling themselves gallantly and faithfully on the work we have here plotted for them, we shall soon have Fair and Theatre, Concert and Drawing-room, Road and Shop, echoing with Songs bringing home Love, Courage, and Patriotism to every heart.


"Educate, that you may be free." We are most anxious to get the quiet, strong-minded People who are scattered through the country to see the force of this great truth; and we therefore ask them to listen soberly to us for a few minutes, and when they have done to think and talk again and again over what we say.

If Ireland had all the elements of a nation, she might, and surely would, at once assume the forms of one, and proclaim her independence. Wherein does she now differ from Prussia? She has a strong and compact territory, girt by the sea; Prussia's lands are open and flat, and flung loosely through Europe, without mountain or river, breed or tongue, to bound them. Ireland has a military population equal to the recruitment of, and a produce able to pay, a first-rate army. Her harbours, her soil, and her fisheries are not surpassed in Europe.

Wherein, we ask again, does Ireland now differ from Prussia? Why can Prussia wave her flag among the proudest in Europe, while Ireland is a farm?

It is not in the name of a kingdom, nor in the formalities of independence. We could assume them to-morrow—we could assume them with better warrants from history and nature than Prussia holds; but the result of such assumption would perchance be a miserable defeat.

The difference is in Knowledge. Were the offices of Prussia abolished to-morrow—her colleges and schools levelled—her troops disarmed and disbanded, she would within six months regain her whole civil and military institutions. Ireland has been struggling for years, and may have to struggle many more, to acquire liberty to form institutions.

Whence is the difference? Knowledge!

The Prussians could, at a week's notice, have their central offices at full work in any village in the kingdom, so exactly known are their statistics, and so general is official skill. Minds make administration—all the desks, and ledgers, and powers of Downing Street or the Castle would be handed in vain to the ignorants of —— any untaught district in Ireland. The Prussians could open their collegiate classes and their professional and elementary schools as fast as the order therefor, from any authority recognised by the People, reached town after town—we can hardly in ten years get a few schools open for our people, craving for knowledge as they are. The Prussians could re-arm their glorious militia in a month, and re-organise it in three days; for the mechanical arts are very generally known, military science is familiar to most of the wealthier men, discipline and a soldier's skill are universal. If we had been offered arms to defend Ireland by Lord Heytesbury, as the Volunteers were by Lord Buckinghamshire, we would have had to seek for officers and drill-sergeants—though probably we could more rapidly advance in arms than anything else, from the military taste and aptness for war of the Irish People.

Would it not be better for us to be like the Prussians than as we are—better to have religious squabbles unknown, education universal, the People fed, and clad, and housed, and independent as becomes men; the army patriotic and strong; the public offices ably administered; the nation honoured and powerful? Are not these to be desired and sought by Protestant and Catholic? Are not these things to be done, if we are good and brave men? And is it not plain, from what we have said, that the reason for our not being all that Prussia is, and something more, is ignorance—want of civil and military and general knowledge amongst all classes?

This ignorance has not been our fault, but our misfortune. It was the interest of our ruler to keep us ignorant, that we might be weak; and she did so—first by laws, prohibiting education; then by refusing any provision for it; next, by perverting it into an engine of bigotry; and now, by giving it in a stunted, partial, anti-national way. Practice is the great teacher, and the possession of independence is the natural and best way for a People to learn all that pertains to freedom and happiness. Our greatest voluntary efforts, aided by the amplest provincial institutions, would teach us less in a century than we would learn in five years of Liberty.

In insisting on education we do not argue against the value of immediate independence. That would be our best teacher. An Irish Government and a national ambition would be to our minds as soft rains and rich sun to a growing crop. But we insist on education for the People, whether we get it from the Government or give it to themselves as a round-about, and yet the only, means of getting strength enough to gain freedom.

Do our readers understand this? Is what we have said clear to you, reader!—whether you are a shopkeeper or a lawyer, a farmer or a doctor? If not, read it over again, for it is your own fault if it be not clear. If you now know our meaning, you must feel that it is your duty to your family and to yourself, to your country and to God, to act upon it, to go and remove some of that ignorance which makes you and your neighbours weak, and therefore makes Ireland a poor province.

All of us have much to learn, but some of us have much to teach.

To those who, from superior energy and ability, can teach the People, we now address ourselves.

We have often before and shall often again repeat, that the majority of our population can neither read nor write, and therefore that from the small minority must come those fitted to be of any civil or military use beyond the lowest rank. The People may be and are honest, brave, and intelligent; but a man could as well dig with his hands as govern, or teach, or lead without the elements of Knowledge.

This however, is a defect which time and the National Schools must cure; and the duty of the class to which we speak is to urge the establishment of such Schools, the attendance of the children at them, and occasionally to observe and report, either directly or through the Press, whether the admirable rules of the Board are attended to. In most cases, too, the expenditure of a pound-note and a little time and advice would give the children of a school that instruction in national history and in statistics so shamefully omitted by the Board. Reader! will you do this?

Then of the three hundred Repeal Reading-rooms we know that some, and fear that many, are ill-managed, have few or no books, and are mere gossiping-rooms. Such a room is useless; such a room is a disgrace to its members and their educated neighbours. The expense having been gone to of getting a room, it only remains for the members to establish fixed rules, and they will be supplied with the Association Reports (political reading enough for them), and it will be the plain duty of the Repeal Wardens to bring to such a room the newspapers supplied by the Association. If such a body continue and give proofs of being in earnest, the Repeal Association will aid it by gifts of books, maps, etc., and thus a library, the centre of knowledge and nursery of useful and strong minds, will be made in that district. So miserably off is the country for books, that we have it before us on some authority that there are ten counties in Ireland without a single book-seller in them. We blush for the fact; it is a disgrace to us; but we must have no lying or flinching. There is the hard fact; let us face it like men who are able for a difficulty—not as children putting their heads under the clothes when there is danger. Reader! cannot you do something to remedy this great, this disabling misery of Ireland? Will not you now try to get up a Repeal Reading-room, and when one is established get for it good rules, books from the Association, and make it a centre of thought and power?

These are but some of the ways in which such service can be done by the more for the less educated. They have other duties often pointed out by us. They can sustain and advance the different societies for promoting agriculture, manufactures, art, and literature in Dublin and the country. They can set on foot and guide the establishment of Temperance Bands, and Mechanics' Institutes, and Mutual Instruction Societies. They can give advice and facilities for improvement to young men of promise; and they can make their circles studious, refined, and ambitious, instead of being, like too many in Ireland, ignorant, coarse, and lazy. The cheapness of books is now such that even Irish poverty is no excuse for Irish ignorance—that ignorance which prostrates us before England. We must help ourselves, and therefore we must educate ourselves.


We lately strove to induce our wealthier countrymen to explore Ireland before they left her shores in search of the beautiful and curious. We bid the economist search our towns and farms, our decayed manufactures, and improving tillage. Waving our shillelagh, we shouted the cragsman to Glenmalure and Carn Tual, and Achill and Slieve League. Manuscript in hand, we pointed the antiquary to the hundred abbeys of North Munster, the castles of the Pale, the palaces and sepulchres of Dunalin, Aileach, Rath Croghan, and Loughcrew, and we whispered to our countrywomen that the sun rose grandly on Adragool, that the moon was soft on Lough Erne ("The Rural Venice"), and that the Nore and Blackwater ran by castled crags like their sweet voices over old songs.

But there are some who had not waited for our call, but had dutifully grown up amid the sights and sounds of Ireland, and knew the yellow fields of Tipperary, and the crash of Moher's wave, and the basalt barriers of Antrim, and the moan or frown of Wexford over the graves of '98, and there are others not yet sufficiently educated to prize home excellence. To such, then, and to all our brethren and sisters going abroad, we have to say a friendly word.

We shall presume them to have visited London, Woolwich, the factories of Lancashire and Warwick, and to have seen the Cumberland lakes, and therefore to have seen all worth seeing in England, and that they are bound for somewhere else. For a pedestrian not rich there is Wales—the soft vales of the far North and South Clwyd, and the Wye and Llanrwst, and the central mountain groups of Snowdon, and still finer of Cader Idris. But if he go there we pray him not to return without having heard and, so far as he could, noted down a few airs from the harp and cruit, collected specimens of the plants and minerals of Wales for the museum (existing or to be) of his native town, studied the statistics of their great iron works or their little home-weaving; nor, if he has had the sense and spirit to take a Welsh and an Irish vocabulary, without some observations on the disputed analogy of the two languages, and how far it exists in general terms, as it certainly does in names of places. By the way, we warn him that he will know little of the peasantry, and come home in the dark about Rebecca, unless he can speak Welsh. The Welsh have been truer to their language than we were to ours; their clergy ministered in it; their people refused their tongues to the Saxon as if 'twere poison; and even their nobles, though tempted by England, welcomed the bard who lamented the defeat of Rhuddlan, and gloried in the frequent triumphs of Glendower.

But let us rather classify pursuits than countries.

We want the Irish who go abroad to bring something back besides the weary tale of the Louvre and Munich, and the cliffs of the Rhine, and the soft airs of Italy. We have heard of a patriot adventurer who carried a handful of his native soil through the world. We want our friends to carry a purpose for Ireland in their hearts, to study other lands wisely, and to bring back all knowledge for the sustenance and decoration of their dear home.

How pleasantly and profitably for the traveller this can be done. There is no taste but may be interested, no capacity but can be matched, no country but can be made tributary to our own. The historian, the linguist, the farmer, the economist, the musician, the statesman, and the man of science can equally augment their pleasure and make it minister to Ireland.

Is a man curious upon our language? He can (not unread in Neilson, nor unaccompanied by O'Reilly's Dictionary) trace how far the Celtic words mixed in the classical French, or in the patois of Bretagne or Gascony, coincide with the Irish; he can search in the mountains of North Spain, whether in proper names or country words there be any analogy to the Gaelic of the opposite coast of Ireland.

The proper names are the most permanent, and if there be any truth in Sir William Betham's theories, the names of many a hill and stream in Tuscany, North Africa, and Syria ought to be traceable to an Irish root. Nor need this language-search be limited to the south. Beginning at the Isle of Man, up by Cumberland (the kingdom of Strath Clyde), through Scotland, Denmark, Norway, to Ireland, the constant intercourse in trade and war with Ireland, and in many instances the early occupation by a Celtic race, must have left indelible marks in the local names, if not the traditions, of the country. To the tourist in France we particularly recommend a close study of the History of the Gauls, by Amadeus Thierry.

The student of our ecclesiastical history, whether he hold with Dr. Smiles that the Irish Church was independent, or with Dr. Miley, that it paid allegiance to Rome, may delight in following the tracks of the Irish saints, from Iona of the Culdees to Luxieu and Boia (founded by Columbanus), and St. Gall, founded by an Irishman of that name. Rumold can be heard of in Mechlin, Albhuin in Saxony, Kilian in Bavaria, Fursey in Peronne, and in far Tarentum the traveller will find more than one trace of the reformer of that city—the Irishman, St. Cathaldus. We cannot suppose that any man will stray from Stackallen, or Maynooth at least, without keeping this purpose in mind, nor would it misbecome a divine from that Trinity College of which Ussher was a first Fellow.

Our military history could also receive much illustration from Irish travellers going with some previous knowledge and studying the traditions and ground, and using the libraries in the neighbourhood of those places where Irishmen fought. Not to go back to the Irish who (if we believe O'Halloran) stormed the Roman Capital as the allies of Brennus of Gaul, nor insisting upon too minute a search for that Alpine valley where, says MacGeoghegan, they still have a tradition of Dathy's death by lightning, there are plenty of places worth investigating in connection with Irish military history. In Scotland, for example, 'twere worth while tracking the march of Alaster MacDomhnall and his 1,500 Antrim men from their first landing at Ardnamurchan through Tippermiur, Aberdeen, Fivy, Inverlochy, and Aulderne, to Kilsyth—victories, won by Irish soldiers and chiefs, given to them by tradition, as even Scott admits, though he tries to displace its value for Montrose's sake, and given to them by the highest cotemporary authorities—such as the Ormond papers.

Then there is the Irish Brigade. From Almanza to Fontenoy, from Ramillies to Cremona, we have the names of their achievements, but the register of them is in the libraries and war offices and private papers of France, and Spain, and Austria, and Savoy. A set of visits to Irish battle-fields abroad, illustrated from the manuscripts of Paris, Vienna, and Madrid, would be a welcomer book than the reiterated assurances that the Rhone was rapid, the Alps high, and Florence rich in sculpture, wherewith we have been dinned.

We have no lives of our most illustrious Irish generals in foreign services—Marshal Brown, the Lacys, Montgomery of Donegal, the rival of Washington; and yet the materials must exist in the offices and libraries of Austria, Russia, and America.

Talking of libraries, there is one labour in particular we wish our countrymen to undertake. The constant emigration of the princes, nobles, and ecclesiastics of Ireland, from the Reformation downwards, scattered through the Continent many of our choicest collections. The manuscripts from these have been dispersed by gift and sale among hundreds of foreign libraries. The Escurial, Vienna, Rome, Paris, and Copenhagen are said to be particularly rich in them, and it cannot be doubted that in every considerable library (religious, official, or private) on the Continent some MSS. valuable to Ireland would be found. In many cases these could be purchased, in some copied, in all listed. The last is the most practical and essential labour. It would check and guide our inquiries now, and would prepare for the better day, when we can negotiate the restoration of our old muniments from the governments of Europe.

A study of the monuments and museums throughout France, Spain, Italy, and Scandinavia, in reference to the forts, tombs, altars, and weapons of ancient Ireland, would make a summer pleasant and profitable.

But we would not limit men to the study of the past.

Our agriculture is defective, and our tenures are abominable. It were well worth the attention of the travelling members of the Irish Agricultural Society to bring home accurate written accounts of the tenures of land, the breeds of cattle, draining, rotation, crops, manures, and farm-houses, from Belgium or Norway, Tuscany or Prussia.

Our mineral resources and water-power are unused. A collection of models or drawings, or descriptions of the mining, quarrying, and hydraulic works of Germany, England, or France, might be found most useful for the Irish capitalist who made it, and for his country which so needs instruction. Besides, even though many of these things be described already, yet how much more vivid and practical were the knowledge to be got from observation.

Our fine or useful arts are rude or decayed, and our industrial and general education very inferior. The schools and galleries, museums and educational systems of Germany deserve the closest examination with reference to the knowledge and taste required in Ireland, and the means of giving them. One second-rate book of such observations, with special reference to Ireland, were worth many greater performances unapplied to the means and need of our country.

Ireland wants all these things. Before this generation dies, it must have made Ireland's rivers navigable, and its hundred harbours secure with beacon and pier, and thronged with seamen educated in naval schools, and familiar with every rig and every ocean. Arigna must be pierced with shafts, and Bonmahon flaming with smelting-houses. Our bogs must have become turf-factories, where fuel will be husbanded, and prepared for the smelting-house. Our coal must move a thousand engines, our rivers ten thousand wheels.

Our young artisans must be familiar with the arts of design and the natural sciences connected with their trade; and so of our farmers; and both should, beside, have that general information which refines and expands the minds—that knowledge of Irish history and statistics that makes it national, and those accomplishments and sports which make leisure profitable and home joyous.

Our cities must be stately with sculpture, pictures, and buildings, and our fields glorious with peaceful abundance.

But this is an Utopia! Is it? No; but the practicable object of those who know our resources! To seek it is the solemn, unavoidable duty of every Irishman. Whether, then, oh reader, you spend this or any coming season abroad or at home, do not forget for a day how much should be done for Ireland.


While the Gaelic-speaking people of Ireland were restricted to traditional legends, songs, and histories, a library was provided for those who used English by the genius and industry of men whose names have vanished—a fate common to them with the builder of the Pyramids, the inventor of letters, and other benefactors of mankind. Moore has given, in Captain Rock, an imperfect catalogue of this library. The scientific course seems to have been rather limited, as Ovid's Art of (let us rather say essay on) Love was the only abstract work; but it contained biographies of Captain Freney the Robber, and of Redmond O'Hanlon the Rapparee—wherein, we fear, O'Hanlon was made, by a partial pen, rather more like Freney than history warrants; dramas such as the Battle of Aughrim, written apparently by some Alsatian Williamite; lyrics of love, unhoused save by the watch; imperial works, too, as Moll Flanders; and European literature—Don Beliants, and the Seven Champions. Whether they were imported, or originally produced for the grooms of the dissolute gentry, may be discussed; but it seems certain that their benign influence spread, on one side, to the farmers' and shopkeepers' sons, and, on the other, to the cadets of the great families—and were, in short, the classics of tipsy Ireland. The deadly progress of temperance, politics, and democracy has sent them below their original market, and in ten years the collector will pay a guinea apiece for them.

During the Emancipation struggle this indecent trash shrunk up, and a totally different literature circulated. The Orange party regaled themselves chiefly with theology, but the rest of the country (still excepting the classes sheltered by their Gaelic tongue) formed a literature more human, and quite as serious. There occasionally is great vigour in the biographies of Lord Edward, Robert Emmet, and other popular heroes chronicled at that time; but the long interview of Emmet with Sarah Curran, the night before his execution, is a fair specimen of the accuracy of these works. The songs were intense enough, occasionally controversial, commonly polemical, always extravagant; the Granu Wails and Shan-Van-Vochts of the Catholic agitation cannot be too soon obsolete. The famous Waterford song:—

"O'Connell's come to town,

And he'll put the Orange down,

And by the heavenly G—— he'll wear the crown,

Says the Shan Van Vocht!"

is characteristic of the zeal, discretion, and style of these once powerful lyrics. A history of the authorship of these biographies and songs would be interesting, and is perhaps still possible. The reprint in the series of Hugh O'Reilly's Irish history—albeit, a mass of popular untruth was put at the end of it—shows as if some more considerate mind had begun to influence these publications. They, too, are fast vanishing, and will yet be sought to illustrate their times.

In the first class we have described there was nothing to redeem their stupid indecency and ruffianism; in the latter, however one may grieve at their bigotry, and dislike their atrocious style, there were purity, warmth, and a high purpose.

The "Useful Knowledge Society" period arrived in Britain, and flooded that island with cheap tracts on algebra and geometry, chemistry, theology, and physiology. Penny Magazines told every man how his stockings were wove, how many drunkards were taken up per hour in Southwark, how the geese were plucked from which the author got his pens, how many pounds weight of lead (with the analysis thereof, and an account of the Cornish mines by way of parenthesis) were in the types for each page, and the nature of the rags (so many per cent. beggars, so many authors, so many shoe-boys) from which the paper of the all-important, man and money-saving Penny Magazine was made. On its being suggested that man was more than a statistician, or a dabbler in mathematics, a moral series (warranted Benthamite) was issued to teach people how they should converse at meals—how to choose their wives, masters, and servants by phrenological developments, and how to live happily, like "Mr. Hard-and-Comfortable," the Yellow Quaker.

Unluckily for us, there was no great popular passion in Ireland at the time, and our communication with England had been greatly increased by steamers and railways, by the Whig alliance, by democratic sympathy, and by the transference of our political capital to Westminster. Tracts, periodicals, and the whole horde of Benthamy rushed in. Without manufactures, without trade, without comfort to palliate such degradation, we were proclaimed converts to Utilitarianism. The Irish press thought itself imperial, because it reflected that of London—Nationality was called a vulgar superstition, and a general European Trades' Union, to be followed by a universal Republic, became the final aspirations of "all enlightened men." At the same time the National Schools were spreading the elements of science and the means of study through the poorer classes, and their books were merely intellectual.

Between all these influences Ireland promised to become a farm for Lancashire, with the wisdom and moral rank of that district, without its wealth, when there came a deliverer—the Repeal agitation.

Its strain gradually broke the Whig alliance and the Chartist sympathy. Westminster ceased to be the city towards which the Irish bowed and made pilgrimage. An organisation, centring in Dublin, connected the People; and an oratory full of Gaelic passion and popular idiom galvanised them. Thus there has been, from 1842—when the Repeal agitation became serious—an incessant progress in Literature and Nationality. A Press, Irish in subjects, style, and purpose, has been formed—a National Poetry has grown up—the National Schools have prepared their students for the more earnest study of National politics and history—the classes most hostile to the agitation are converts to its passions; and when Lord Heytesbury recently expressed his wonder at finding "Irish prejudices" in the most cultivated body in Ireland, he only bore witness to an aristocratic Nationality of which he could have found countless proofs beside.

Yet the power of British utilitarian literature continues. The wealthy classes are slowly getting an admirable and a costly National Literature from Petrie, and O'Donovan, and Ferguson, and Lefanu, and the University Magazine. The poorer are left to the newspaper and the meeting, and an occasional serial of very moderate merits. That class, now becoming the rulers of Ireland, who have taste for the higher studies, but whose means are small, have only a few scattered works within their reach, and some of them, not content to use these exclusively, are driven to foreign studies and exposed to alien influence.

To give to the country a National Library, exact enough for the wisest, high enough for the purest, and cheap enough for all readers, appears the object of "The Library of Ireland."

Look at the subjects—A History of the Volunteers, Memoirs of Hugh O'Neill, of Tone, of Owen Roe, of Grattan, Collections of Irish Ballads and Songs, and so forth. It would take one a month, with the use of all the libraries of Dublin, to get the history of the Volunteers. In Wilson's so-called history you will get a number of addresses and 300 pages of irrelevant declamation for eight or ten shillings. Try further, and you must penetrate through the manuscript catalogues of Trinity College and the Queen's Inns (the last a wilderness) to find the pamphlets and newspapers containing what you want; yet the history of the Volunteers is one interesting to every class, and equally popular in every province.

Hugh O'Neill—he found himself an English tributary, his clan beaten, his country despairing. He organised his clan into an army, defeated by arms and policy the best generals and statesmen of Elizabeth, and gave Ireland a pride and a hope which never deserted her since. Yet the only written history of him lies in an Irish MS. in the Vatican, unprinted, untranslated, uncopied; and the Irishman who would know his life must grope through Moryson, and Ware, and O'Sullivan in unwilling libraries, and in books whose price would support a student for two winters.

Of Tone and Grattan—the wisest and most sublime of our last generation—there are lives, and valuable ones; but such as the rich only will buy, and the leisurely find time to read.

The rebellion of 1641—a mystery and a lie—is it not time to let every man look it in the face? The Irish Brigade—a marvellous reality to few, a proud phantom to most of us—shall we not all, rich and poor, learn in good truth how the Berserk Irish bore up in the winter streets of Cremona, or the gorgeous Brigade followed Clare's flashing plumes right through the great column of Fontenoy?

Irish Ballads and Songs—why (except that Spirit of the Nation which we so audaciously put together), the popular ballads and songs are the faded finery of the West End, the foul parodies of St. Giles's, the drunken rigmarole of the black Helots—or, as they are touchingly classed in the streets, "sentimental, comic, and nigger songs." Yet Banim, and Griffin, and Furlong, Lover and Ferguson, Drennan and Callanan, have written ballads and songs as true to Ireland as ever MacNeill's or Conyngham's were to Scotland; and firmly do we hope to see with every second lad in Ireland a volume of honest, noble, Irish ballads, as well thumbed as a Lowland Burns or a French Beranger, and sweetly shall yet come to us from every milking-field and harvest-home songs not too proudly joined to the sweetest music in the world.

This country of ours is no sand bank, thrown up by some recent caprice of earth. It is an ancient land, honoured in the archives of civilisation, traceable into antiquity by its piety, its valour, and its sufferings. Every great European race has sent its stream to the river of Irish mind. Long wars, vast organisations, subtle codes, beacon crimes, leading virtues, and self-mighty men were here. If we live influenced by wind and sun and tree, and not by the passions and deeds of the past, we are a thriftless and a hopeless People.


There is much doubt as to who were the first inhabitants of Ireland; but it is certain that the Phœnicians had a great commerce with it. The Firbolgs, a rude people, held Ireland for a long period. They were subdued by the Tuatha de Danaan, a refined and noble race, which in its turn yielded its supremacy to the arms of the Milesians. The dates during these centuries are not well ascertained.

The future is ours—for good, if we are persevering, intelligent, and brave; for ill, if we quarrel, slumber, or shrink.


Political Articles.


The British Parliament has refused to redress our wrongs, or even to inquire into them. For five long nights were they compelled to listen to arguments, facts, and principles proving that we were sorely oppressed. They did not deny the facts—they did not refute the reasoning—they did not undermine the principles—but they would not try to right us.

"We inherit the right of hatred for six centuries of oppression; what will you do to prove your repentance, and propitiate our revenge?"—and the answer is, "That's an old story, we wish to hear no more of it."

Legislature of Britain, you shall hear more of it!

The growing race of Irishmen are the first generation of freemen which Ireland nursed these three centuries. The national schools may teach them only the dry elements of knowledge adulterated with Anglicism, and Trinity College may teach them bigotry, along with graceful lore and strong science; but there are other schools at work. There is a national art, and there is an Irish literature growing up. Day after day the choice of the young men discover that genius needs a country to honour and be loved by. The Irish Press is beginning to teach the People to know themselves and their history; to know other nations, and to feel the rights and duties of citizens. The agitation, whose surges sweep through every nook of the island, converts all that the People learn to national uses; nothing is lost, nothing is adverse; neutrality is help, and all power is converted into power for Ireland.

Ireland is changing the loose tradition of her wrongs into history and ballad; and though justice, repentance, or retribution may make her cease to need vengeance, she will immortally remember her bondage, her struggles, her glories, and her disasters. Till her suffering ceases that remembrance will rouse her passions and nerve her arm. May she not forgive till she is no longer oppressed; and when she forgives, may she never forget!

Why need we repeat the tale of present wretchedness? Seven millions and a half of us are Presbyterians and Catholics, and our whole ecclesiastical funds go to the gorgeous support of the Clergy of the remaining 800,000, who are Episcopalians. Where else on earth does a similar injury and dishonour exist? Nowhere; 'twas confessed it existed nowhere. Would it weaken the empire to abolish this? Confessedly not, but would give it some chance of holding together. Would it injure Protestantism? You say not. Idle wealth is fatal to a Church, and supremacy bears out every proud and generous convert. Why is it maintained? The answer is directly given—"England (that is, the English aristocracy) is bigoted," and no Ministry dare give you redress. These are the very words of Captain Rous, the Tory member for Westminster, and the whole House assented to the fact. If you cannot redress—if you will not go into inquiry, lest this redress, so needed by us, should be fatal to your selfish power, then loose your hold of us, and we will redress ourselves; and we will do so with less injury to any class than you possibly could, for a free nation may be generous—a struggling one will not and ought not to be so.

We are most dishonestly taxed for your debts; the fact was not denied—an ominous silence declared that not a halfpenny of that mighty mortgage would be taken off our shoulders.

You raise five millions a year from us, and you spend it on English commissioners, English dockyards, English museums, English ambition, and English pleasures. With an enormous taxation, our public offices have been removed to London, and you threaten to remove our Courts of Justice, and our Lord Lieutenancy, the poor trapping of old nationhood. We have no arsenals, no public employment here; our literary, scientific, and charitable institutions, so bountifully endowed by a Native Legislature, you have forced away, till, out of that enormous surplus revenue raised here, not £10,000 a year comes back for such purposes, while you have heaped hundred upon hundred thousand into the lap of every English institution. For National Education you dribble out £50,000 a year—not enough for our smallest province. Will you redress these things? No, but you boast of your liberality in giving us anything.

"Oh, but you are not overtaxed," says Peel; "see, your Post-office produces nothing to the revenue." Ay, Sir, our Post-office, which levies the same rates as the English Post-office, produces nothing; Ireland is too poor to make even a penny-postage pay its own cost. No stronger mark of a stagnant trade could be adduced. "And then we lowered your spirit duty." Yes you did, because it brought in less than the lower duty. What single tax did you take off, except when it had been raised so high, or the country had declined so low, that it ceased to be productive? You increased our taxation up to the end of the war two and a half times more rapidly than you did your own, and you diminished our taxation after the war thirty times less rapidly.

You have a fleet of steamers now—you had none in 1817, says some pattern of English Senators, whose constituents are bound to subscribe a few school-books for him if they mean to continue him as their delegate.

And my Lord Eliot says our exports and imports have increased. We wish your Lordship would have separate accounts kept that we might know how much. But they have increased—ay, they have; and they are provisions. And our population has increased: and when we had one-half the number of People to feed we sent out a tenth of the provisions we send away now. This is ruin, not prosperity. We had weavers, iron-workers, glass-makers, and fifty other flourishing trades. They sold their goods to Irishmen in exchange for beef and mutton, and bread, and bacon, and potatoes. The Irish provisions were not exported—they were eaten in Ireland. They are exported now—for Irish artisans, without work, must live on the refuse of the soil, and Irish peasants must eat lumpers or starve. Part of the exports go to buy rags and farming tools, which once went for clothes and all other goods to Irish operatives, and the rest goes to raise money to pay absentee rents and imperial taxes. Will you tax our absentees? Will you employ our artisans? Will you abate your taxes, or spend them among us? No; you refuse redress—you refuse inquiry.

Your conquests and confiscations have given us land tenures alien to the country and deadly to the peasant. Will you interfere in property to save him, as you interfered to oppress him? You hint that you might inquire, but you only offered redress in an Arms' Bill—to prostrate the poor man, to violate the sanctity of his home, to brand him, and leave him at the mercy of his local tyrant.

Will you equalise the franchise, and admit us, in proportion to our numbers, into your Senate, and let us try there for redress? You may inquire, perhaps, some other time; if much pressed, you may consider some increase of the franchise—you decline to open the representation.

And if England will do none of these things, will she allow us, for good or ill, to govern ourselves, and see if we cannot redress our own griefs? "No, never, never," she says, "though all Ireland cried for it—never! Her fields shall be manured with the shattered limbs of her sons, and her hearths quenched in their blood; but never, while England has a ship or a soldier, shall Ireland be free."

And this is your answer? We shall see—we shall see!

And now, Englishmen, listen to us! Though you were to-morrow to give us the best tenures on earth—though you were to equalise Presbyterian, Catholic, and Episcopalian—though you were to give us the amplest representation in your Senate—though you were to restore our absentees, disencumber us of your debt, and redress every one of our fiscal wrongs—and though, in addition to all this, you plundered the treasuries of the world to lay gold at our feet, and exhausted the resources of your genius to do us worship and honour—still we tell you—we tell you, in the names of liberty and country—we tell you, in the name of enthusiastic hearts, thoughtful souls, and fearless spirits—we tell you, by the past, the present and the future, we would spurn your gifts, if the condition were that Ireland should remain a province. We tell you, and all whom it may concern, come what may—bribery or deceit, justice, policy, or war—we tell you, in the name of Ireland, that Ireland shall be a Nation!


By the People the People must be righted. Disunion, and sloth, and meanness enslaved them. Combination, calm pride, and ceaseless labour must set them loose. Let them not trust to the blunders of their enemies, or the miracles of their chiefs—trust nothing, men of Ireland, but the deep resolve of your own hearts.

As well might you leave the fairies to plough your land or the idle winds to sow it, as sit down and wait for freedom.

You are on the right road.

The Repeal Year is over—what then?—Call next year the Repeal Year if you have a fancy for names; and if that, too, searches your fetter-sores with its December blast, work the next year, and the next, and the next. Cease not till all is done. If you sleep, now that you have climbed so far, you may never wake again.

Abandon or nod over your task, and the foreign minister will treat you as mad, and tie you down, or as idiotic, and give you sugar plums and stripes. Every man with a spark of pride and manhood would leave you to bear alone the scorn of the world, and from father to son you would live a race of ragged serfs till God in his mercy should destroy the People and the soil.

You are on the right road. You don't want to go to war. Your greatest leader objects, on principle, to all war for liberty. All your friends, even those who think liberty well worth a sea of blood, agree with him that it is neither needful nor politic for you to embark in a war with your oppressor. It is not that they doubt your courage nor resources—it is not that they distrust your allies—but it is that they know you can succeed without a single skirmish, and therefore he who harms person or property in seeking Repeal is criminal to his country.

But if they preach peace loudly, they preach perseverance with still greater emphasis. It is the universal creed of all Liberals, that anything were better than retreat. One of the most moderate of the Whigs said to us yesterday: "I would rather walk at O'Connell's funeral than witness his submission." And he said well. Death is no evil, and dying is but a moment's pang. There is no greater sign of a pampered and brutish spirit in a man than to wince at the foot-sound of death. Death is the refuge of the wronged, the opiate of the restless, the mother's or the lover's breast to the bruised and disappointed; it is the sure retreat of the persecuted, and the temple-gate of the loving, and pious, and brave. When all else leaves us, it is faithful. But where are we wandering to pluck garlands from the tomb?

Retreat would bring us the woes of war, without its chances or its pride. The enemy, elate at our discomfiture, would press upon our rear. The landlord would use every privilege till he had reduced his farms to insurgentless pastures. The minister would rush in and tear away the last root of nationality. The peasant, finding his long-promised hope of freedom and security by moral means gone, and left unled to his own impulses, would league with his neighbour serfs, and ruin others, in the vain hope of redressing himself. The day would be dark with tyranny, and the night red with vengeance. The military triumph of the rack-renter or the Whiteboy would be the happiest issue of the strife.

If the People ought neither spring into war, nor fall through confusion into a worse slavery, what remains? Perseverance. They are on the right road, and should walk on in it patiently, thoughtfully, and without looking back.

The Repeal organisation enables the People to act together. It is the bark of the tree, guarding it and binding it. It is the cause of our unanimity; for where else has a party, so large as the Irish Repealers, worked without internal squabbles? It is the secret of our discipline. How else, but by the instant action of the Association on the whole mass of the People, through the Repeal Press and the Repeal Wardens, could our huge meetings have been assembled or been brought together?—how else could they have been separated in quiet?—how else could the People have been induced to continue their subscriptions month after month and year after year?

An ignorant or unorganised People would soon have tired of the constant subscriptions and meetings, and have broken into disorder or sunk into apathy.

He is a long-sighted and sober-minded man that lays out money on a complex yet safe speculation, or lays it by for an evil day. That is a People having political wisdom which denies itself some present indulgence for a future good. It had been pleasanter, for some at least of the People, to have spent in eating or clothing the shilling they sent to the Repeal Association, just as six years ago they found it pleasanter to spend the shilling, or the penny, or the pound, on the whiskey shop. But the same self-denying and far-seeing resolve which enabled them to resign drink for food, and books, and clothing, induced them to postpone some of these solid comforts to attend meetings, and to give money, in order to win, at some future time, fixed holdings, trade, strength, and liberty.

The People, if they would achieve their aim, must continue their exertions.

It will not do to say, wait till the trials are over. The rate of the trials will not determine Repeal.

The conviction, imprisonment, or death of their present leaders will not crush it. There are those ready to fill the vacancies in the column, and to die too. The rudest and the humblest in the land would grow into an inspired hero were leader after leader to advance and fall. Victory would be the religion of the country, and by one means or other it would triumph. A stronger spirit than his who died issues from the martyr's coffin.

Nor would the success of the accused carry Repeal.

It would embarrass the minister—it would gain time—it would give us another chance for peaceful justice.

But the Queen's Bench is not the imperial Parliament, nor is the Traversers' plea of "not guilty" a bill to overturn the Union, and construct Irish independence on its ruins.

To win by peace they must use all the resources of peace, as they have done hitherto.

Is there any parish wherein there are no Repeal Wardens active every week in collecting money, distributing cards, tracts, and newspapers? Let that parish meet to-morrow or to-morrow week, appoint active Wardens, send up its subscriptions, and get down its cards, papers, and tracts, week after week, till the year goes round or till Repeal is carried.

Is there any town or district which has not a Temperance Band and Reading-room? If there be, let that town or district meet at once, and subscribe for instruments, music, and a teacher; let the members meet, and read, and discuss, and qualify themselves by union, study, and political information to act as citizens, whether their duty lead them to the public assembly, the hustings, or the hill-side. By acting thus, and not by listening for news about trials, the People have advanced from mouldering slaves into a threatening and united People; continuing to act thus, they will become a triumphant nation, spite of fortified barracks, Wellington, Peel, and England. They are in the right road; let them walk on in it.


Our history contains reasons for our extending the Foreign Policy of Ireland. This we tried to develop some months back.

The partial successes of the wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, from Hugh O'Neill to James the Second, were in no slight degree owing to the arms and auxiliary troops of Spain and France.

Our yet more complete triumphs in the political conflicts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries owed still more to our foreign connections—witness the influence of the American war on the creation of the Volunteers, the effect of the battle of Jemappes, and of the French Fraternity of Ulster on the Toleration Act of 1793, and how much the presence of American money, and the fear of French interference, hastened the Emancipation Act of 1829.

With reference to this last period, we may state that such an effect had the articles published in l'Etoile on Ireland that Canning wrote a remonstrance to M. de Villele, asking him "was it intended that the war of pens should bring on one of swords." The remonstrance was unavailing—the French sympathy for Ireland increased, and other offices than newspaper offices began to brush up their information on Ireland. But arms yielded to the gown, and the maps and statistics of Ireland never left the War Office of France.

But our own history is not the only advocate for a Foreign Policy for Ireland.

Foreign alliances have ever stood among the pillars of national power, along with virtue, wise laws, settled customs, military organisations, and naval position. Advice, countenance, direct help, are secured by old and generous alliances. Thus the alliance of Prussia carried England through the wars of the eighteenth century, the alliance of France rescued the wavering fortunes of America, the alliance of Austria maintains Turkey against Russia, and so in a thousand instances beside.

A People known and regarded abroad will be more dignified, more consistent, and more proud in all its acts. Fame is to national manners little less than virtue to national morals. A nation with a high and notorious character to sustain will be more stately and firm than if it lived in obscurity. Each citizen feels that the national name which he bears is a pledge for his honour. The soldier's uniform much less surely checks the display of his vices, and an army's standard less certainly excites its valour than the name of an illustrious country stimulates its sons to greatness and nobility. The prestige of Rome's greatness operated even more on the souls of her citizens than on the hearts of her friends and foes.

Again, it is peculiarly needful for Ireland to have a Foreign Policy. Intimacy with the great powers will guard us from English interference. Many of the minor German states were too deficient in numbers, boundaries, and wealth to have outstood the despotic ages of Europe but for those foreign alliances, which, whether resting on friendship or a desire to preserve the balance of power, secured them against their rapacious neighbours. And now time has given its sanction to their continuance, and the progress of localisation guarantees their future safety. When Ireland is a nation she will not, with her vast population and her military character, require such alliances as a security against an English re-conquest; but they will be useful in banishing any dreams of invasion which might otherwise haunt the brain of our old enemy.

But England is a pedagogue as well as a gaoler to us. Her prison discipline requires the Helotism of mind. She shuts us up, like another Caspar Hauser, in a dark dungeon, and tells us what she likes of herself and of the rest of the world. And this renders foreign information most desirable for us.

She calls France base, impious, poor, and rapacious. She lies. France has been the centre of European mind for centuries. France was the first of the large states to sweep away the feudal despotism. France has a small debt and an immense army; while England has a vast debt and scanty forces. France has five millions of kindly, merry, well-fed yeomen. England swarms with dark and withered artisans. Every seventh person you meet in France is a landowner in fee, subject to moderate taxation. Taxes and tenancies-at-will have cleared out the yeomanry of England. France has a literature surpassing England's modern literature. France is an apostle of liberty—England the turnkey of the world. France is the old friend, England, the old foe, of Ireland. From one we may judge all. England has defamed all other countries in order to make us and her other slaves content in our fetters.

England's eulogies on herself are as false and extravagant as her calumnies on all other states. She represents her constitution as the perfection of human wisdom; while in reality it is based on conquest, shaken by revolution, and only qualified by disorder. Her boasted tenures are the relics of a half-abolished serfdom, wherein the cultivator was nothing, and the aristocrat everything, and in which a primogeniture extending from the King to the Gentleman often placed idiocy on the throne, and tyranny in the senate, and always produced disunion in families, monopoly in land, and peculation throughout every branch of the public service. Her laws are complicated, and their administration costly beyond any others ever known. Her motley and tyrannous flag she proclaims the first that floats, and her tottering and cruel empire the needful and sufficient guardian of our liberties.

By cultivating Foreign Relations, and growing intimate with foreign states of society, we will hear a free and just criticism on England's constitution and social state. We will have a still better and fairer commentary in the condition and civil structure of other countries.

We will see small free states—Norway, Sweden, Holland, Switzerland, and Portugal—maintaining their homes free, and bearing their flags in triumph for long ages. We will learn from themselves how they kept their freedom afloat amid the perils of centuries. We will salute them as brethren subject to common dangers, and interested in one policy—localisation of power.

The Catholic will see the Protestant states of Prussia, Holland, Saxony, and America; and the Protestant will see the Catholic states of Belgium, Bavaria, and France, all granting full liberty of conscience—leaving every creed to settle its tenets with its conscience, and dealing, as states, only with citizens, not sects.

He who fancies some intrinsic objection to our nationality to lie in the co-existence of two languages, three or four great sects, and a dozen different races in Ireland, will learn that in Hungary, Switzerland, Belgium, and America, different languages, creeds, and races flourish kindly side by side, and he will seek in English intrigues the real well of the bitter woes of Ireland.

Germany, France, and America teach us that English economics are not fit for a nation beginning to establish a trade, though they may be for an old and plethoric trader; and therefore that English and Irish trading interests are directly opposed. Nor can our foreign trade but be served by foreign connections.

The land tenures of France, Norway, and Prussia are the reverse of England's. They resemble our own old tenures; they better suit our character and our wants than the loose holdings and servile wages system of modern England.

These, and a host of lessons more, will we learn if we study the books, laws, and manners, and cultivate an intimacy with the citizens of foreign states. We will thus obtain countenance, sympathy, and help in time of need, and honour and friendship in time of strength; and thus, too, we will learn toleration towards each other's creed, distrust in our common enemy, and confidence in liberty and nationality.

Till Ireland has a foreign policy, and a knowledge of foreign states, England will have an advantage over us in both military and moral ways. We will be without those aids on which even the largest nations have at times to depend; and we will be liable to the advances of England's treacherous and deceptive policy.

Let us, then, return the ready grasp of America, and the warm sympathy of France, and of every other country that offers us its hand and heart. Let us cultivate a Foreign Policy and Foreign Information as useful helps in that national existence which is before us, though its happiness and glory depend, in the first instance, on "ourselves alone." Ireland has a glorious future, if she be worthy of it. We must believe and act up to the lessons taught by reason and history, that England is our interested and implacable enemy—a tyrant to her dependants—a calumniator of her neighbours, and both the despot and defamer of Ireland for near seven centuries. Mutual respect for conscience, an avoidance of polemics, concession to each other, defiance to the foe, and the extension of our foreign relations, are our duty, and should be our endeavour. Vigour and policy within and without, great men to lead, educated men to organise, brave men to follow—these are the means of liberation—these are elements of nationality.


There are two ways of success for the Irish—arms and persuasion. They have chosen the latter. They have resolved to win their rights by moral force. For this end they have confederated their names, their moneys, their thoughts, and their resolves. For this they meet, organise, and subscribe. For this they learn history, and forget quarrels; and for this they study their resources, and how to increase them.

For moral success internal union is essential.

Ireland, through all its sects and classes, must demand Repeal before the English Minister will be left without a fair reason to resist it, and not till then we be in a state to coerce his submission.

Conciliation of all sects, classes, and parties who oppose us, or who still hesitate, is essential to moral force. For if, instead of leading a man to your opinions by substantial kindness, by zealous love, and by candid and wise teaching, you insult his tastes and his prejudices, and force him either to adopt your cause or to resist it—if, instead of slow persuasion, your weapons are bullying and intolerance, then your profession of moral force is a lie, and a lie which deceives no one, and your attacks will be promptly resisted by every man of spirit.

The Committee of the Repeal Association have of late begun to attend to the Registries. The majority of Irish electors belong to the middle class; and if all of that class who could register and vote did register and vote, it would be out of the landlords' power to coerce them. The landlords have awoken to a sense of their danger. They begin to know that if once the quiet patriots of this country conclude that reform of the landlords is hopeless, the only barrier between them and their tenants will sink, and they will sink too.

There will be less landlordism next election—at least we warn the landlords that there must be less.

If, then, the majority of members chosen by the middle class oppose Domestic Legislation, the middle class is suspected of not being truly national—the sincerity of the People is made doubtful—an impediment is opposed to Repeal, which the Repeal Association properly strive to upset.

Therefore do they and we urge the Repealers to serve notices diligently, accurately, and at once. Therefore do they and we prompt them to attend at the Sessions, and boldly claim their rights as citizens contributing to the State, and entitled to a vote in electing its managers; and therefore do they and we advise each constituency to consider well whether they have or can procure a representative whose purity of life, undoubted honesty, knowledge of politics, and devoted zeal to secure Domestic Government fit him to legislate in St. Stephen's, or to agitate in the Corn Exchange, or wherever else nationality may have a temple.

We say, the advocacy of a "Domestic Legislature," because that is what Ireland wants. We are a province, drained by foreign taxation and absentees, governed by a foreign legislature and executive. We seek to have Ireland governed by an Irish senate and executive for herself, and by Irishmen; and although a man shall add to this a claim for a share in the government of the empire, and of course a consent to give taxes and soldiers, therefore that (though to us it seems unwise) is not such a difference as should make us divide. He is a Repealer of the Union as decidedly as if he never called himself a Federalist. Such Repealing Federalists are Messrs. Crawford, Wyse, John O'Brien, Caulfield, Ross, O'Malley, O'Hagan, Bishop Kennedy, and numbers of others in and out of the Association. In selecting or in agitating about Members we must therefore never forget that a Federalist is quite as likely to be national as a technical Repealer, and that if his morals and ability be better than those of a so-called Repeal candidate, he is the better man.

We have also classed morals, ability, and zeal as being quite as requisite as national opinions in a Representative.

If our Members were a majority in the House, it might not be very moral, but at least it would have some show of excuse if we sent in a flock of pledged delegates to vote Repeal, regardless of their powers or principles; though even then we might find it hard to get rid of the scoundrels after Repeal was carried, and when Ireland would need virtuous and unremitting wisdom to make her prosper.

But now, when our whole Members are not a sixth of the Commons, and when the English Whigs are as hostile to Repeal as the English Tories, and more hostile to it than the Irish Tories—now, it is plain we must get weight for our opinions by the ability and virtue of our Members; and therefore we exhort the People, as they love purity, as they prize religion, as they are true to themselves, to Ireland, and to liberty, to spurn from their hustings any man who comes there without purity and wisdom, though he took or kept a thousand Repeal pledges.

We want men who are not spendthrifts, drunkards, swindlers—we want honest men—men whom we would trust with our private money or our family's honour; and sooner than see faded aristocrats and brawling profligates shelter themselves from their honest debtors by a Repeal membership, we would leave Tories and Whigs undisturbed in their seats, and strive to carry Repeal by other measures.

Conciliation, virtue, and wisdom are our moral means of success. They must be used and sought on the hustings as well as in the Conciliation Hall. We must not prematurely, and at Heaven knows what distance from an election, force a good and able man to accept a pledge or quarrel with us. Pledges are extreme things, hardly constitutional, and highly imprudent in a well-governed country. Nevertheless, they are sometimes needed, as are sharper remedies; and such need will exist here at the general election. No man must go in for any place where the popular will prevails unless he is a Repealer or a Federalist; and, what is equally essential, an upright, unstained, and zealous man, who will work for Ireland and do her credit. But it seems to us quite premature to insist on those pledges from honourable, proud, and patriotic men now, who will, in all likelihood, be with us before an election comes, provided they are treated with the respect and forbearance due to them whether they join us or not.

These are some of the canons of moral force; and if, as we trust, Ireland can succeed without cannon of another kind, it must be by using those we have here mustered.


The People of Ireland have done well in naming the scene of their future counsels the Conciliation Hall.

It intimates the cause of all our misery, and suggests the cure. Prostrated by division, union is our hope.

If Irishmen were united, the Repeal of the Union would be instantly and quietly conceded. A Parliament, at whose election mutual generosity would be in every heart and every act, would take the management of Ireland. For oh! we ask our direst foe to say from the bottom of his heart, would not the People of Ireland melt with joy and love to their Protestant brethren if they united and conquered? And surely from such a soil noble crops would grow. No southern plain heavy with corn, and shining with fruit-clad hamlets, ever looked so warm and happy as would the soul of Ireland, bursting out with all the generosity and beauty of a grateful People.

We trust that the opening of the Conciliation Hall will be a signal to Catholic and Protestant to try and agree.

Surely our Protestant brethren cannot shut their eyes to the honour it would confer on them and us if we gave up old brawls and bitterness, and came together in love like Christians, in feeling like countrymen, in policy like men having common interests. Can they—ah! tell us, dear countrymen!—can you harden your hearts at the thought of looking on Irishmen joined in commerce, agriculture, art, justice, government, wealth, and glory?

Fancy the aristocracy placed by just laws, or by wise concession, on terms of friendship with their tenants, securing to these tenants every farthing their industry entitled them to; living among them, promoting agriculture and education by example and instruction; sharing their joys, comforting their sorrows, and ready to stand at their head whenever their country called. Think well on it. Suppose it to exist in your own county, in your own barony and parish. Dwell on this sight. See the life of such a landlord and of such farmers—so busy, so thoughtful, so happy! How the villages would ring with pleasure and trade, and the fields laugh with contented and cheered labour. Imagine the poor supporting themselves on those waste lands which the home expenditure of our rents and taxes would reclaim, and the workhouse turned into an hospital, or a district college. Education and art would prosper; every village, like Italy, with its painter of repute. Then indeed the men of all creeds would be competent by education to judge of doctrines; yet, influenced by that education, to see that God meant men to live, and love, and ennoble their souls; to be just, and to worship Him, and not to consume themselves in rites, or theological contention; or if they did discuss, they would do so not as enemies, but inquirers after truth. The clergy of different creeds would be placed on an equality, and would hope to propagate their faith not by hard names or furious preaching, but by their dignity and wisdom, and by the marked goodness of their flocks. Men might meet or part at church or chapel door without sneer or suspicion. From the christening of the child, till his neighbours, Catholic and Protestant, followed his grey-haired corpse to the tomb, he might live enjoying much, honoured much, and fearing nothing but his own carelessness or vice.

This, 'twill be said, is a paradise.

Alas! no—there would still be individual crime and misfortune, national difficulties and popular errors. These are in the happiest and best countries.

But the condition of many countries is as Paradise to what we are.

Where else in Europe is the peasant ragged, fed on roots, in a wigwam, without education?

Where else are the towns ruined, trade banished, the till, and the workshop, and the stomach of the artisan empty? Where else is there an exportation of over one-third of the rents, and an absenteeism of the chief landlords? What other country pays four and a half million taxes to a foreign treasury, and has its offices removed or filled with foreigners? Where else are the People told they are free and represented, yet only one in two hundred of them have the franchise? Where, beside, do the majority support the Clergy of the minority? In what other country are the majority excluded from high ranks in the University? In what place, beside, do landlords and agents extort such vast rents from an indigent race? Where else are the tenants ever pulling, the owners ever driving, and both full of anger? And what country so fruitful and populous, so strong, so well marked and guarded by the sea, and with such an ancient name, was reduced to provincialism by bribery and treacherous force, and is denied all national government?

And if the answer be, as it must, "nowhere is the like seen," then we say that union amongst Irishmen would make this country comparatively a paradise. For union would peacefully achieve independence; would enable us to settle the landlord and tenant question; would produce religious equality, as the first act of independence; would restore the absentees by the first of our taxes; would cherish our commerce, facilitate agriculture and manufactures, and would introduce peace and social exertion, instead of religious and political strife.

Again, then, we ask the Protestant to ponder over these things—to think of them when he lies down—to talk over them to his Catholic neighbours—to see if he and they couldn't agree—and to offer up in church his solemn prayers that this righteous and noble conclusion of our mourning may be vouchsafed.

Where, in aught that has been said or done by the Catholic party, is there evidence of that intolerant and usurping spirit which the Protestants seem to dread?

Do they think it possible for a whole People of some millions of men, women, and children to tell a public lie, and to persevere in the giant falsehood for years? The present generation have been brought up in this faith of religious equality, and they would be liars, and apostates too, if they wished for ascendency. We may add it would not be safe nor possible for the Catholics to establish an ascendency, even if the Union were repealed; and, therefore, we again ask the Protestants, for the sake of peace, interest, and religion, to try if they cannot unite with the Catholics for the prosperity of Ireland.

To the Catholics we have nothing to say but to redouble their efforts.

Conciliation is a fixed and everlasting duty, independently of the political results it might have. If they despaired of winning the Protestants to Repeal, conciliation would still be their duty, as men and Christians. But there is every ground for hope. The Protestants, in defeating the rack-renters' anti-Repeal meeting, showed they began to see their interest. Something has been, more shall be done to remove the prejudice against the Catholics, derived from lying histories; and if we may take the stern reproof of the Banner of Ulster to the Evening Mail as speaking the sentiments of the Presbyterians of the North, then they begin to feel like religious Irishmen, and they will presently be with us.


Why on earth have so many of the People of Dublin made fools of themselves by getting together in Sackville Street every evening to hoot at coaches? The coach contract was an injury and an insult to us, but it is now irremediable. We have serious work before us, and let us have no by-battles. To the devil with the whole affair, rather than compromise our cause.

Nothing could please the Government more than frequent little rows, which would get up a hatred between the soldiers and police and the people. They are now very good friends. The armed men are becoming popular and patriotic, and the unarmed, we trust, more orderly, hospitable, and kindly every day. Let us have no more tussling and patrolling.

What do these mobs mean? A noisy mob is always rash—often cruel and cowardly. A good friendly shout from a multitude is well, and a passing hearty curse endurable. The silent and stern assemblage of orderly men, like the myriads of Tipperary, or like one of Napoleon's armies, is a noble sight and a mighty power; but a scolding, hooting mob, which meets to make a noise, and runs away from a stick, a horse, or a sabre, is a wretched affair.

"I hate little wars," said Wellington. So do we; and we hate still more a petty mob meeting without purpose, and dispersing without success. Perfect order, silence, obedience, alacrity, and courage make an assemblage formidable and respectable. We want law and order—we are seriously injured by every scene or act of violence, no matter how transient. Let us have no more of this humbug. If we are determined men we have enough to learn and to do without wasting our time in hissing and groaning coaches.

In reference to popular faults, we cannot help saying a word on the language applied to certain of the enemy's leaders, especially the Duke of Wellington. We dislike the whole system of false disparagement. The Irish People will never be led to act the manly part which liberty requires of them by being told that "the Duke," that gallant soldier and most able general, is a screaming coward and doting corporal. We have grave and solemn work to do. Making light of it or of our enemies may inspire a moment's overweening confidence, but would ensure ultimate defeat. We have much to contend against; but our resources are immense, and nothing but our own rashness or cowardice can defeat us.


The people of Munster are in want—will murder feed them? Is there some prolific virtue in the blood of a landlord that the fields of the South will yield a richer crop where it has flowed? As the Jews dashed their door-posts on the Passover, shall the blood of an agent shelter the cabins of Tipperary? Shame, shame, and horror! Oh! to think that these hands, hard with innocent toil, should be reddened with assassination! Oh! bitter, bitter grief, that the loving breasts of Munster should pillow heads wherein are black plots, and visions of butchery and shadows of remorse! Oh! woe unutterable, if the men who abandoned the sin of drunkenness should companion with the devil of murder; and if the men who, last year, vowed patience, order, and virtue, rashly and impiously revel in crime.

But what do we say? Where are we led by our fears? Surely, Munster is against these atrocities—they are the sins of a few—the People are pure and sound, and all will be well with Ireland! 'Tis so, 'tis so; we pray God 'tis so: but yet the People are not without blame!

Won't they come and talk to us about these horrid deeds? Won't they meet us (as brothers to consider disorders in their family) and do something—do all to stop them? Don't they confide in us? Oh! they know, well they know that our hearts love them better than life—well they know that to-morrow, if 'twould serve, we would be ready to die by their side in battle; but we are not ready to be their accomplices in crime—we would not be unsteady on the scaffold, so we honestly died for them, but we have no share with the murderer!

Nor is it we alone, who have ever professed our willingness to take the field with the people, who loathe and denounce these crimes. Let the men of Munster read the last Act of the Repeal Association, and they will find Daniel O'Connell, William Smith O'Brien, and the entire Repeal League confederated to proclaim and trample down the assassins. Let them enter their chapels, and from every altar they will hear their beloved priests solemnly warning them that the forms of the Church are as fiery coals on the heads of the blood-stained. Let them look upon government, and they will find a potent code and vast police—a disciplined army—all just citizens, combined to quell the assassin; and then let them with their consciences approach their God, and learn that the murderer is dark before Him.

Heaven and earth raise their voices against these crimes. Will they not be hopeless?—must they not be desperately wicked?

What chance has the guilty of success?—what right to commit so deadly a sin? These murders will not give the people the land, nor leases, nor low rents. When the country was in a rude state, intimidation easy, and concealment easier, they tried the same thing. They began butchering bailiffs—they rose to shooting landlords. Did they get nearer their object? Did they overpower their oppressors, stop the law, mitigate their condition?—No, but the opposite; the successors of the slaughtered men levied the rents and enforced the ejectments of the slain. They did so with greater zeal, for vengeance strengthened their resolve. They did so with greater effect, for the law that might have interfered where the people were oppressed, and society, which would have aided the wronged people, took arms against assassins, and the death groan of the victim was the best rallying cry of oppression.

So it will be again. Already men whose tongues, and pens, and hearts were busy pleading for better tenures and juster rents are silenced. They will not clamour for rights when assassins may recruit their gangs with the words of the innocent. Already minds deep in preparing remedies for popular suffering are meditating means of popular coercion. The justice, not only of government but society, has grown cautious of redress, and is preparing to punish—a repetition of guilt will aggravate that punishment and postpone that redress.

Headstrong and vain men, your sins will not give you a landlord the less nor a persecutor the less; while ever the land is liable to the rent there will be found men willing to hazard their lives to get it, and you but arm them with fresh powers, with the sympathy of the public and the increased force of law and government, to lean yet heavier on you.

Why, too, should Munster lead in guilt? Our richest province, our purest race, our fairest scenes—oh! why should its bloodshed be as plenteous as its rains? Other people suffer much. The peaceful people of Kerry, the whole province of Connaught, many counties of Leinster are under a harsher yoke than the men of North Munster: yet they do not seek relief in butchery.

Thank God! they do not. How horrid a blot upon earth were Ireland, if its poor had no reliance but the murder of the rich; better by far that that people rose and waged open war. That were wild—that were criminal; but 'twould be wisdom and mercy compared with these individual murders.

How horrible is the condition of a district subject to such crimes! Few are struck, but all suffer! 'Tis as if men knew assuredly that a spirit of plague were passing through the land, but knew not whom it would wither. Think of a district where there has been peace—the People are poor, but they are innocent; some of the rich are merciless, but some are just, and many are kind and sympathising; in their low homes, in their safe chapels, in the faith of their fellows, in the hope of better days, in the effort for improvement, but above all in their conscious innocence, the most trampled of them have consolation, and there is a sort of smile even on the wretched. But let some savage spirits appear among them—let the shebeen house supply the ferocity which religion kept down, and one oppressor is marked out for vengeance, his path is spied, the bludgeon or the bullet smites, and he is borne in to his innocent and loving family a broken and stained corpse, slain in his sins.

Pursuit follows—the criminals become outlaws—they try to shelter their lives and console their consciences by making many share their guilt—another and another is struck at. Haunted by remorse, and tracked by danger, and now intimate with crime, a less and a less excuse suffices. He began by avenging his own wrong, becomes the avenger of others, then perhaps the tool of others, who use the wrongs of the country as a cloak for unjustified malice, and the suspected tyrant or the rigid, yet not unjust, man shares the fate of the glaring oppressors. What terror and suspicion—what a shadow as of death is there upon such a district! No one trusts his neighbour. The rich, excited by such events, believe the poor have conspired to slay them. They dread their very domestics, they abhor the People, rage at the country, summon each other, and all the aid that authority can give to protect and to punish; they bar their doors before sunset, their hearths are surrounded with guns and pistols—at the least rustle every heart beats and women shriek, and men with clenched teeth and embittered hearts make ready for that lone and deadly conflict—that battle without object, without honour, without hope, without quarter.

Then they cover the country with patrols—they raise up a cloud of hovering spies—no peasant, no farmer feels safe. Those who connive shudder at every passing troop, and see an informer in every stranger. Those who do not connive tremble lest they be struck as enemies of the criminal; and thus from bad to worse till no home is safe—no heart calm of the thousands.

As yet no district has attained this horrible ripeness; but to this North Munster may come, unless the People interfere and put down the offenders.

Will they suffer this hell-blight to come upon them? Will they wait till violence and suspicion are the only principles retaining power among them? Will they look on while the Repeal movement—the educating, the ennobling, the sacred effort for liberty—is superseded by the buzz of assassination and vengeance? Or will they now join O'Connell and O'Brien—the Association, the Law, and the Priesthood; and whenever they hear a breath of outrage, denounce it as they would Atheism—whenever they see an attempt at crime, interpose with brave, strong hand, and, in Mr. O'Brien's words, "leave the guilty no chance of life but in hasty flight from the land they have stained with their crimes."

Once again we ask the People—the guiltless, the suffering, the noble, the brave People of Munster—by their patience, by their courage, by their hopes for Ireland, by their love to God, we implore them to put down these assassins as they would and could were the weapons of the murderers aimed at their own children.


It was a bold experiment to establish The Nation. Our success is more honourable to Ireland than to us, for it was by defying evil customs and bad prejudices we succeeded.

Let us prove this.

Religion has for ages been so mixed with Irish quarrels that it is often hard to say whether patriotism or superstition was the animating principle of an Irish leader, and whether political rapacity or bigoted zeal against bigotry was the motive of an oppressor. Yet in no country was this more misplaced in our day than in Ireland. Our upper classes were mostly Episcopalians—masters not merely of the institutions, but the education and moral force of the country. The middle ranks and much of the peasantry of one of our greatest provinces were Presbyterians, obstinate in their simple creed—proud of their victories, yet apprehensive of oppression. The rest of the population were Catholics, remarkable for piety and tenderness, but equally noted for ignorance and want of self-reliance. To mingle politics and religion in such a country was to blind men to their common secular interests, to render political union impossible, and national independence hopeless.

We grappled with the difficulty. We left sacred things to consecrated hands—theology and discipline to Churchmen. We preached a nationality that asked after no man's creed (friend's or foe's); and now, after our Second Year's Work, we have got a practical as well as a verbal admission that religion is a thing between man and God—that no citizen is to be hooted, or abused, or marked down because he holds any imaginable creed, or changes it any conceivable number of times.

We are proudly conscious that, in preaching these great truths with success, we have done more to convince the Protestants that they may combine with the Catholics and get from under the shield of England than if we had proved that the Repeal of the Union would double the ears of their corn fields.

There had been a long habit of looking to foreign arms or English mercy for redress. We have shared the labours of O'Connell and O'Brien in impressing on the People that self-reliance is the only liberator. We have, not in vain, taught that, though the concessions of England or the sympathy of others was to be welcomed and used, still they would be best won by dignity and strength; and that, whether they came or not, Ireland could redress herself by patience, energy, and resolution.

Yet, deficient as the People were in genuine self-reliance, they had been pampered into the belief that they were highly educated, nobly represented, successful in every science and art, and that consequently their misery was a mysterious fate, for which there was no remedy in human means. We believe we have convinced them of the contrary of this. Ireland has done great things. She has created an unrivalled music and oratory, taken a first place in lyric poetry, displayed great valour, ready wit—has been a pattern of domestic virtue and faith under persecution; and lately has again advanced herself and her fame by deliberate temperance, by organised abstinence from crime, and by increasing political discipline. Yet there is that worst of all facts on the face of the census, that most of the Irish can neither read nor write; there is evidence in every exhibition that this land, which produced Barry, Forde, Maclise, and Burton, is ignorant of the fine arts; and proof in every shop or factory of the truth of Kane's motto, that industrial ignorance is a prime obstacle to our wealth. We have no national theatre, either in books or performance; and though we have got of late some classes of prose literature—national fiction, for instance—we have yet to write our history, our statistics, and much of our science.

We have week after week candidly told these things to the People, and, instead of quarrelling with us, or running off to men who said "the Irish have succeeded in everything," they hearkened to us, and raised our paper into a circulation beyond most of the leaders of the London press, and immensely beyond any other journal that ever was in Ireland. What is more cheering still, they have set about curing their defects. They are founding Repeal Reading-rooms. They have noted down their ignorance in many portions of agriculture, manufactures, commerce, history, literature, and fine arts; and they are working with the Agricultural Societies, forming Polytechnic Institutions for the improvement of manufactures, and giving and demanding support to the antiquarian and historical and artistical books and institutions in Ireland. Large classes wished well to, and small ones supported each of these projects before; but in this journal all classes were canvassed incessantly, and not in vain—and if there be unanimity now, we claim some credit for ourselves, but much more for the People, who did not resent harsh truth, and took advice that affronted their vanity.

A political impatience and intolerance have too often been seen in this country. It is one of the vices of slaves to use free speech to insult all who do not praise their faults and their friends and their caprices. We rejoice, in looking over our files, to see how rarely we were personal and how generally we recognised the virtues of political foes. It is an equal pleasure to recall that in many questions, but especially in reference to the Liberal Members not in the Association, we stood between an impolitic fury and its destined victims. The People bore with us, and then agreed with us. We told them that men able and virtuous—men who had gone into Parliament when Repeal was a Whig buggaboo to frighten the Tories, were not to be hallooed from their seats because Repeal had suddenly grown into a national demand. These men, we said, may become your allies, if you do not put them upon their mettle by your rudeness and impatience. If they join you, they will be faster and more useful friends than men who compensate for every defect by pledge-bolting at command.

Mr. O'Connell, who had at first seemed to incline to the opposite opinion, concurred with us. Mr. O'Brien was zealous on the same side; the "premature pledges" were postponed to their fit time—an election—and the people induced to apply themselves to the Registries, as the true means of getting Repeal members.

We have maintained and advanced our foreign policy—the recognition and study of other countries beside England, and a careful separation of ourselves from England's crimes. We have, we believe, not neglected those literary, antiquarian, and historical teachings, and those popular projects which we pointed to last year as part of our labours; and we are told that the poetry of The Nation has not been worse than in our first year. But these things are more personal, less indicative of national progress, and therefore less interesting than our success in producing political tolerance, increased efforts for education, and that final concession to religious liberty—the right to change without even verbal persecution.

The last year has been a year of hard work and hard trial to the country and to us. Our first year was spent in rousing and animating—the second in maintaining, guiding, and restraining. Its motto is, "Bide your time." Never had a People more temptation to be rash; and it is our proudest feeling that in our way we aided the infinitely greater powers of O'Connell till his imprisonment, and of O'Brien thereafter, to keep in the passion, while they kept up the spirit of the People.

They and we succeeded.

The People saw the darling of their hearts dragged to trial, yet they never rioted; they found month after month go by in the disgusting details of a trial at bar, yet, instead of desponding, they improved their organisation, studied their history and statistics—increased in dignity, modesty, and strength. At length came the imprisonment; we almost doubted them, but they behaved gloriously—they recognised their wrongs, but they crossed their arms—they were neither terrified, disordered, nor divided—they promptly obeyed their new leaders, and, with shut teeth, swore that their "only vengeance should be victory." They succeeded—bore their triumph as well as their defeat, and are now taking breath for a fresh effort at education, organisation, and conciliation.

It is something to have laboured through a Second Year for such a People. Let them go on as they have begun—growing more thoughtful, more temperate, more educated, more resolute—let them complete their parish organisation, carry out their registries, and, above all, establish those Reading-rooms which will inform and strengthen them into liberty; and, ere many years' work, the Green Flag will be saluted by Europe, and Ireland will be a Nation. The People have shown that their spirit, their discipline, and their modesty can be relied on; they have but to exhibit that greatest virtue which their enemies deny them—perseverence—and all will be well.


Here it is at last—the dawning. Here, in the very sanctuary of the Orange heart, is a visible angel of Nationality:—

"If a British Union cannot be formed, perhaps an Irish one might. What could Repeal take from Irish Protestants that they are not gradually losing 'in due course'?

"However improbable, it is not impossible, that better terms might be made with the Repealers than the Government seem disposed to give. A hundred thousand Orangemen, with their colours flying, might yet meet a hundred thousand Repealers on the banks of the Boyne; and, on a field presenting so many solemn reminiscences to all, sign the Magna Charta of Ireland's independence. The Repeal banner might then be Orange and Green, flying from the Giant's Causeway to the Cove of Cork, and proudly look down from the walls of Derry upon a new-born nation.

"Such a union, not to be accomplished without concession on all sides, would remove the great offence of Irish Protestants—their Saxon attachment to their British fatherland. Cast off, as they would feel themselves by Great Britain, and baptised on the banks of the Boyne into the great Irish family, they would be received into a brotherhood which, going forward towards the attainment of a national object, would extinguish the spirit of Ribbonism, and establish in its place a covenant of peace."

So speaks the Evening Mail, the trumpet of the northern confederates, and we cry amen! amen!

We exult, till the beat of our heart stays our breathing, at the vision of such a concourse. Never—never, when the plains of Attica saw the rivals of Greece marching to expel the Persian, who had tried to intrigue with each for the ruin of both—never, when, from the uplands of Helvetia, rolled together the victors of Sempach—never, when, at the cry of Fatherland, the hundred nations of Germany rose up, and swept on emancipating to the Rhine—never was there under the sky a godlier or more glorious sight than that would be—to all slaves, balsam; to all freemen, strength; to all time, a miracle!

If Ireland's wrongs were borne for this—if our feuds and our weary sapping woes were destined to this ending, then blessed be the griefs of the past! His sickness to the healed—his pining to the happy lover—his danger to the rescued, are faint images of such a birth from such a chaos.

It is something—the cheer of an invisible friend—to have, even for a moment, heard the hope. It must abide in the souls of the Irish, guaranteeing the moderation of the Catholic—wakening the aspirations of the Orangemen. There it is—a cross on the sky.

It may not now lead to anything real. Long-suffering, oft-baffled Ireland will not abandon for an inch or hour its selected path by reason of this message.

We hope from it, because it has been prompted by causes which will daily increase. Incessantly will the British Minister labour to gain the support of seven millions of freed men, by cutting away every privilege and strength from one million of discarded allies.

We hope from it, because, as the Orangemen become more enlightened, they will more and more value the love of their countrymen, be prouder of their country, and more conscious that their ambition, interest, and even security are identical with nationality.

We hope from it, because, as the education of People and the elevation of the rich progress, they will better understand the apprehensions of the Orangemen, allow for them in a more liberal spirit, and be able to give more genuine security to even the nervousness of their new friends.

We hope most from it, because of its intrinsic greatness. It is the best promise yet seen to have the Orangemen proposing, even as a chance, the conference of 100,000 armed and ordered yeomen from the North, with 100,000 picked (ay, by our faith! and martial) Southerns on the banks of the Boyne, to witness a treaty of mutual concession, oblivion, and eternal amity; and then to lift an Orange-Green Flag of Nationhood, and defy the world to pull it down.

Yet 'tis a distant hope, and Ireland, we repeat, must not swerve for its flashing. When the Orangemen treat the shamrock with as ready a welcome as Wexford gave the lily—when the Green is set as consort of the Orange in the lodges of the North—when the Fermanagh meeting declares that the Orangemen are Irishmen pledged to Ireland, and summons another Dungannon Convention to prepare the terms of our treaty; then, and not till then, shall we treat this gorgeous hope as a reality, and then, and not till then, shall we summon the Repealers to quit their present sure course, and trust their fortunes to the League of the Boyne.

Meantime, we commend to the hearts and pride of "the Enniskilleners" this, their fathers', declaration in 1782:—


"We, the Grand Jury of the county of Fermanagh, being constitutionally assembled at the present assizes, held for the county of Fermanagh, at Enniskillen, this 18th day of March, 1782, think ourselves called upon at this interesting moment to make our solemn declarations relative to the rights and liberties of Ireland.

"We pledge ourselves to this our country, that we will never pay obedience to any law made, or to be made, to bind Ireland, except those laws which are and shall be made by the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland.

"Signed by order,

"Arthur Cole Hamilton, Foreman."


The rough outlines of a plan of Academical Education for Ireland are now before the country. The plan, as appears from Sir James Graham's very conciliatory speech, is to be found three Colleges; to give them £100,000 for buildings, and £6,000 a year for expenses; to open them to all creeds; the education to be purely secular; the students not to live within the Colleges; and the professors to be named and removed, now and hereafter, by Government.

The announcement of this plan was received in the Commons with extravagant praise by the Irish Whig and Repeal members, nor was any hostility displayed except by the blockhead and bigot, Sir Robert Inglis—a preposterous fanatic, who demands the repeal of the Emancipation Act, and was never yet missed from the holy orgies of Exeter Hall. Out of doors it has had a darker reception; but now that the first storm of joy and anger is over, it is time for the people of Ireland to think of this measure.

It is for them to consider it—it is for them to decide on it—it is for them to profit by it. For centuries the Irish were paupers and serfs, because they were ignorant and divided. The Protestant hated the Catholic, and oppressed him—the Catholic hated the Protestant, and would not trust him. England fed the bigotry of both, and flourished on the ignorance of both. The ignorance was a barrier between our sects—left our merchant's till, our farmer's purse, and our state treasury empty—stupefied our councils in peace, and slackened our arm in war. Whatsoever plan will strengthen the soul of Ireland with knowledge, and knit the sects of Ireland in liberal and trusting friendship, will be better for us than if corn and wine were scattered from every cloud.

While 400,000 of the poor find instruction in the National Schools, the means of education for the middle and upper classes are as bad now as they were ten or fifty years ago. A farmer or a shopkeeper in Ireland cannot, by any sacrifice, win for his son such an education as would be proffered to him in Germany. How can he afford to pay the expense of his son's living in the capital, in addition to Collegiate fees; and, if he could, why should he send his son where, unless he be an Episcopalian Protestant, those Collegiate offices which, though they could be held but by a few score, would influence hundreds, are denied him. Even to the gentry the distance and expense are oppressive; and to the Catholics and Presbyterians of them the monopoly is intolerable.

To bring Academical Education within the reach and means of the middle classes, to free it from the disease of ascendency, and to make it a means of union as well as of instruction, should be the objects of him who legislates on this subject; and we implore the gentry and middle classes, whom it concerns, to examine this plan calmly and closely, and to act on their convictions like firm and sensible men. If such a measure cannot be discussed in a reasonable and decent way, our progress to self-government is a progress to giddy convulsions and shameful ruin.

Let us look into the details of the plan.

It grants £100,000 and £18,000 a year for the foundation of three Provincial Colleges. The Colleges proposed are for the present numerous enough. It will be hard to get competent Professors for even these. Elementary Education has made great way; but the very ignorance for which these Institutions are meant as a remedy makes the class of Irishmen fit to fill Professors' chairs small indeed; and, small as it is, it yearly loses its best men by emigration to London, where they find rewards, fame, and excitement. The dismissal, hereafter, of incompetent men would be a painful, but—if pedants, dunces, and cheats were crammed into the chairs—an unavoidable task. A gradual increase of such Colleges will better suit the progress of Irish intelligence than a sudden and final endowment. But though the Colleges are enough, and the annual allowance sufficient, the building fund is inadequate—at least double the sum would be needed; but this brings us to another part of the plan—the residence of the students outside the College.

To the extern residence we are decidedly opposed. It works well in Germany, where the whole grown population are educated; but in Ireland, where the adult population are unhappily otherwise, 'tis a matter of consequence to keep the students together, to foster an academic spirit and character, and to preserve them from the stupefying influences of common society. However, this point is but secondary, so we pass from it, and come to the two great principles of the Bill.

They are—Mixed Education and Government Nomination; and we are as resolute for the first as we are against the second.

The objections to separate Education are immense; the reasons for it are reasons for separate life, for mutual animosity, for penal laws, for religious wars. 'Tis said that communication between students of different creeds will taint their faith and endanger their souls. They who say so should prohibit the students from associating out of the Colleges even more than in them. In the Colleges they will be joined in studying mathematics, natural philosophy, engineering, chemistry, the principles of reasoning, the constitution of man. Surely union in these studies would less peril their faith than free communication out of doors. Come, come, let those who insist on unqualified separate Education follow out their principles—let them prohibit Catholic and Protestant boys from playing, or talking, or walking together—let them mark out every frank or indiscreet man for a similar prohibition—let them establish a theological police—let them rail off each sect (as the Jews used to be cooped) into a separate quarter; or rather, to save preliminaries, let each of them proclaim war in the name of his creed on the men of all other creeds, and fight till death, triumph, or disgust shall leave him leisure to revise his principles.

These are the logical consequences of the doctrine of Separate Education, but we acquit the friends of it of that or any other such ferocious purpose. Their intentions are pious and sincere—their argument is dangerous, for they might find followers with less virtue and more dogged consistency.

We say "an unqualified separate Education," because it is said, with some plausibility, that the manner in which theology mixes up with history and moral philosophy renders common instruction in them almost impossible. The reasoning is pushed too far. Yet the objection should be well weighed; though we warn those who push it very far not to fall into the extravagance of a valued friend of ours, who protested against one person attempting to teach medicine to Catholics and Protestants, as one creed acknowledged miraculous cures and demoniacal possessions, and the other rejected both!

It should be noted, too, that this demand for separate Professors does not involve separate Colleges, does not assume that any evil would result from the friendship of the students, and does not lead to the desperate, though unforeseen, conclusions which follow from the other notion.

'Tis also a different thing to propose the establishment of Deans in each College to inspect the religious discipline and moral conduct of the students—a Catholic Dean, appointed by the Catholic Church, watching over the Catholic students; and so of the Episcopalians and Presbyterians. Such Deans, and Halls for religious teaching, will be absolutely necessary, should a residence in the Colleges be required; but should a system of residence in registered lodgings and boarding-houses be preferred, similar duties to the Deans might be performed by persons nominated by the Catholic, Protestant, and Presbyterian Churches respectively, without the direct interposition of the College; for each parent would take care to put his child under the control of his own Church. An adequate provision in some sufficient manner for religious discipline is essential, and to be dispensed with on no pretence.

These, however, are details of great consequence to be discussed in the Commons' Committee; but we repeat our claim for mixed education, because it has worked well among the students of Trinity College, and would work better were its offices free, because it is the principle approved by Ireland when she demanded the opening of those offices, and when she accepted the National Schools—because it is the principle of the Cork, the Limerick, and the Derry meetings; but above all, because it is consistent with piety, and favourable to that union of Irishmen of different sects, for want of which Ireland is in rags and chains.

Against the nomination of Professors by Government we protest altogether. We speak alike of Whig or Tory. The nomination would be looked on as a political bribe, the removal as a political punishment. Nay, the nomination would be political. Under great public excitement a just nomination might be made, but in quiet times it would be given to the best mathematician or naturalist who attended the levee and wrote against the opposition. And it would be an enormous power; for it would not merely control the immediate candidates, but hundreds, who thought they might some ten years after be solicitors for professorships, would shrink from committing themselves to uncourtly politics, or qualify by Ministerial partisanship, not philosophical study, for that distant day. A better engine for corrupting that great literary class which is the best hope of Ireland could not be devised; and if it be retained in the Bill, that Bill must be resisted and defeated, whether in or out of Parliament. We warn the Minister!

We have omitted a strange objection to the Bill—that it does not give mixed education. It is said the Colleges of Cork and Galway would be attended only by Catholics, and that of Belfast by Protestants. Both are errors. The middle class of Protestants in Cork is numerous—they and the poorer gentry would send their sons to the Cork College to save expense. The Catholics would assuredly do the same in Belfast; they do so with the Institution in the Academy there already; and though the Catholics in Cork, and the Protestants in Belfast, would be the majorities, enough of the opposite creed would be in each to produce all the wholesome restraint, and much of the wholesome toleration and goodwill, of the mixed system of Trinity. Were the objection good, however, it ought to content the advocates of separate education.

It has been said, too, that the Bill recognises a religious ascendency in the case of Belfast. This seems to us a total misconception of the words of the Minister. He suggested that the Southern College should be in Cork, the Western in Limerick or Galway, the Northern in Derry or Belfast. Had he stopped at Derry the mistake could never have occurred; but he went on to say that if the College were planted in Belfast, the building now used for the Belfast Academy would serve for the new College, and unless the echoes of the old theological professors be more permanent than common, we cannot understand the sectarianism of the building in Belfast.

A more valid objection would be that the measure was not more complete; and the University system will certainly be crippled and impotent unless residence for a year at least in it be essential to a University degree.

The main defect of the Bill is its omitting to deal with Trinity College. It is said that the property is and was Protestant; but the Bill of '93, which admitted Catholics to be educated on this Protestant foundation, broke down the title; and, at all events, the property is as public as the Corporation, and is liable to all the demands of public convenience. But it is added that the property of Trinity College is not more than £30,000 or £40,000 a year, and that the grant for Catholic Clerical Education alone is £26,000 a year; and certainly till the Protestant Church be equalised to the wants of the Protestant population there will be something in the argument. When that Reformation comes, a third of the funds should be given for Protestant Clerical Education, and the College livings transferred to the Clerical College, and the remaining two-thirds preserved to Trinity College as a secular University.

Waiting that settlement, we see nothing better than the proposal so admirably urged by the Morning Chronicle, of the grant of £6,000—we say £10,000—a year, for the foundation of Catholic fellowships and scholarships in Trinity College. Some such change must be made, for it would be the grossest injustice to give Catholics a share, or the whole, of one or two new, untried, characterless Provincial Academies, and exclude them from the offices of the ancient, celebrated, and national University. If there is to be a religious equality, Trinity College must be opened, or augmented by Catholic endowment. For this no demand can be too loud and vehement, for the refusal will be an affront and a grievance to the Catholics of Ireland.

We have only run over the merits and faults of this plan. Next to a Tenure or a Militia Bill, it is the most important possible. Questions must arise on every section of it; and, however these questions be decided, we trust in God they will be decided without acrimony or recrimination, and that so divine a subject as Education will not lead to disunions which would prostrate our country.


Poetical Works.



When boyhood's fire was in my blood

I read of ancient freemen

For Greece and Rome who bravely stood,

Three Hundred Men and Three Men.[52]

And then I prayed I yet might see

Our fetters rent in twain,

And Ireland, long a province, be

A Nation once again.


And, from that time, through wildest woe,

That hope has shone, a far light;

Nor could love's brightest summer glow

Outshine that solemn starlight:

It seemed to watch above my head

In forum, field and fane;

Its angel voice sang round my bed,

"A Nation once again."


It whispered, too, that "freedom's ark

And service high and holy,

Would be profaned by feelings dark

And passions vain or lowly:

For freedom comes from God's right hand,

And needs a godly train;

And righteous men must make our land

A Nation once again."


So, as I grew from boy to man,

I bent me to that bidding—

My spirit of each selfish plan

And cruel passion ridding;

For, thus I hoped some day to aid—

Oh! can such hope be vain?—

When my dear country shall be made

A Nation once again.



The Geraldines! the Geraldines!—'tis full a thousand years

Since, 'mid the Tuscan vineyards, bright flashed their battle-spears;

When Capet seized the crown of France, their iron shields were known,

And their sabre-dint struck terror on the banks of the Garonne:

Across the downs of Hastings they spurred hard by William's side,

And the grey sands of Palestine with Moslem blood they dyed;

But never then, nor thence, till now, has falsehood or disgrace

Been seen to soil Fitzgerald's plume, or mantle in his face.


The Geraldines! the Geraldines!—'tis true, in Strongbow's van,

By lawless force, as conquerors, their Irish reign began;

And, oh! through many a dark campaign they proved their prowess stern,

In Leinster's plains and Munster's vales on king and chief and kerne;

But noble was the cheer within the halls so rudely won,

And generous was the steel-gloved hand that had such slaughter done;

How gay their laugh, how proud their mien, you'd ask no herald's sign—

Among a thousand you had known the princely Geraldine.


These Geraldines! these Geraldines!—not long our air they breathed;

Not long they fed on venison, in Irish water seethed;

Not often had their children been by Irish mothers nursed;

When from their full and genial hearts an Irish feeling burst!

The English monarchs strove in vain, by law and force and bribe,

To win from Irish thoughts and ways this "more than Irish" tribe;

For still they clung to fosterage, to breitheamh[53] , cloak, and bard:

What king dare say to Geraldine, "your Irish wife discard?"


Ye Geraldines! ye Geraldines!—how royally ye reigned

O'er Desmond broad, and rich Kildare, and English arts disdained:

Your sword made knights, your banner waved, free was your bugle call

By Gleann's[54] green slopes, and Daingean's[55] tide, from Bearbha's[56] banks to Eóchaill.[57]

What gorgeous shrines, what breitheamh lore, what minstrel feasts there were

In and around Magh Nuadhaid's[58] keep, and palace-filled Adare!

But not for rite or feast ye stayed, when friend or kin were pressed;

And foemen fled, when "Crom Abu"[59] bespoke your lance in rest.


Ye Geraldines! ye Geraldines!—since Silken Thomas flung

King Henry's sword on council board, the English thanes among,

Ye never ceased to battle brave against the English sway,

Though axe and brand and treachery your proudest cut away.

Of Desmond's blood through woman's veins passed on th' exhausted tide;

His title lives—a Sacsanach churl usurps the lion's hide;

And, though Kildare tower haughtily, there's ruin at the root,

Else why, since Edward fell to earth, had such a tree no fruit?


True Geraldines! brave Geraldines!—as torrents mould the earth,

You channelled deep old Ireland's heart by constancy and worth:

When Ginckel 'leaguered Limerick, the Irish soldiers gazed

To see if in the setting sun dead Desmond's banner blazed!

And still it is the peasants' hope upon the Cuirreach's[60] mere,

"They live, who'll see ten thousand men with good Lord Edward here"—

So let them dream till brighter days, when, not by Edward's shade,

But by some leader true as he, their lines shall be arrayed!


These Geraldines! these Geraldines!—rain wears away the rock

And time may wear away the tribe that stood the battle's shock;

But ever, sure, while one is left of all that honoured race,

In front of Ireland's chivalry is that Fitzgerald's place:

And, though the last were dead and gone, how many a field and town,

From Thomas Court to Abbeyfeile, would cherish their renown,

And men would say of valour's rise, or ancient power's decline,

"'Twill never soar, it never shone, as did the Geraldine."


The Geraldines! the Geraldines!—and are there any fears

Within the sons of conquerors for full a thousand years?

Can treason spring from out a soil bedewed with martyrs' blood?

Or has that grown a purling brook, which long rushed down a flood?—

By Desmond swept with sword and fire—by clan and keep laid low—

By Silken Thomas and his kin,—by sainted Edward, no!

The forms of centuries rise up, and in the Irish line

Command their son to take the post that fits the Geraldine![61]


AirThe Piper of Blessington.


Tall are the towers of O'Ceinneidigh[63]

Broad are the lands of MacCarrthaigh[64]

Desmond feeds five hundred men a-day;

Yet, here's to O'Briain[65] of Ara!

Up from the Castle of Druim-aniar,[66]

Down from the top of Camailte,

Clansman and kinsman are coming here

To give him the cead mile failte.


See you the mountains look huge at eve—

So is our chieftain in battle—

Welcome he has for the fugitive,—

Uisce-beatha[67] fighting, and cattle!

Up from the Castle of Druim-aniar,

Down from the top of Camailte

Gossip and ally are coming here

To give him the cead mile failte.


Horses the valleys are tramping on,

Sleek from the Sacsanach manger—

Creachts the hills are encamping on,

Empty the bawns of the stranger!

Up from the Castle of Druim-aniar,

Down from the top of Camailte,

Ceithearn[68] and buannacht are coming here

To give him the cead mile failte.


He has black silver from Cill-da-lua[69]

Rian[70] and Cearbhall[71] are neighbours—

'N Aonach[72] submits with a fuililiú

Butler is meat for our sabres!

Up from the Castle of Druim-aniar

Down from the top of Camailte,

Rian and Cearbhall are coming here

To give him the cead mile failte.


'Tis scarce a week since through Osairghe[73]

Chased he the Baron of Durmhagh[74]

Forced him five rivers to cross, or he

Had died by the sword of Red Murchadh![75]

Up from the Castle of Druim-aniar,

Down from the top of Camailte,

All the Ui Bhriain are coming here

To give him the cead mile failte.


Tall are the towers of O'Ceinneidigh—

Broad are the lands of MacCarrthaigh—

Desmond feeds five hundred men a-day;

Yet, here's to O'Briain of Ara!

Up from the Castle of Druim-aniar,

Down from the top of Camailte,

Clansman and kinsman are coming here

To give him the cead mile failte.



The summer sun is falling soft on Carbery's hundred isles—

The summer sun is gleaming still through Gabriel's rough defiles—

Old Inisherkin's crumbled fane looks like a moulting bird;

And in a calm and sleepy swell the ocean tide is heard;

The hookers lie upon the beach; the children cease their play;

The gossips leave the little inn; the households kneel to pray—

And full of love and peace and rest—its daily labour o'er—

Upon that cosy creek there lay the town of Baltimore.


A deeper rest, a starry trance, has come with midnight there;

No sound, except that throbbing wave in earth, or sea, or air.

The massive capes and ruined towers seem conscious of the calm;

The fibrous sod and stunted trees are breathing heavy balm.

So still the night, these two long barques round Dunashad that glide,

Must trust their oars—methinks not few—against the ebbing tide—

Oh! some sweet mission of true love must urge them to the shore—

They bring some lover to his bride, who sighs in Baltimore!


All, all asleep within each roof along that rocky street,

And these must be the lover's friends, with gently gliding feet—

A stifled gasp! a dreamy noise! "the roof is in a flame!"

From out their beds, and to their doors, rush maid, and sire, and dame—

And meet, upon the threshold stone, the gleaming sabre's fall,

And o'er each black and bearded face the white or crimson shawl—

The yell of "Allah" breaks above the prayer and shriek and roar—

Oh, blessed God! the Algerine is lord of Baltimore!


Then flung the youth his naked hand against the shearing sword;

Then sprung the mother on the brand with which her son was gored;

Then sunk the grandsire on the floor, his grand-babes clutching wild;

Then fled the maiden moaning faint, and nestled with the child;

But see, yon pirate strangled lies, and crushed with splashing heel,

While o'er him in an Irish hand there sweeps his Syrian steel—

Though virtue sink, and courage fail, and misers yield their store,

There's one hearth well avengéd in the sack of Baltimore!


Mid-summer morn, in woodland nigh, the birds began to sing—

They see not now the milking maids—deserted is the spring!

Mid-summer day—this gallant rides from distant Bandon's town—

These hookers crossed from stormy Skull, that skiff from Affadown;

They only found the smoking walls, with neighbours' blood besprent,

And on the strewed and trampled beach awhile they wildly went—

Then dashed to sea, and passed Cape Cléire, and saw five leagues before

The pirate galleys vanishing that ravaged Baltimore.


Oh! some must tug the galley's oar, and some must tend the steed—

This boy will bear a Scheik's chibouk, and that a Bey's jerreed.

Oh! some are for the arsenals, by beauteous Dardanelles;

And some are in the caravan to Mecca's sandy dells.

The maid that Bandon gallant sought is chosen for the Dey—

She's safe—he's dead—she stabbed him in the midst of his Serai;

And when to die a death of fire that noble maid they bore,

She only smiled—O'Driscoll's child—she thought of Baltimore.


'Tis two long years since sunk the town beneath that bloody band,

And all around its trampled hearths a larger concourse stand,

Where high upon a gallows tree, a yelling wretch is seen—

'Tis Hackett of Dungarvan—he who steered the Algerine!

He fell amid a sullen shout, with scarce a passing prayer,

For he had slain the kith and kin of many a hundred there—

Some muttered of MacMurchadh, who brought the Norman o'er—

Some cursed him with Iscariot, that day in Baltimore.



"Did they dare, did they dare, to slay Eoghan Ruadh O'Neill?"

"Yes, they slew with poison him they feared to meet with steel."

"May God wither up their hearts! May their blood cease to flow!

May they walk in living death, who poisoned Eoghan Ruadh!"


"Though it break my heart to hear, say again the bitter words.

From Derry, against Cromwell, he marched to measure swords:

But the weapon of the Sacsanach met him on his way,

And he died at Cloch Uachtar,[78] upon St. Leonard's day.


"Wail, wail ye for the Mighty One! Wail, wail ye for the Dead!

Quench the hearth, and hold the breath—with ashes strew the head.

How tenderly we loved him! How deeply we deplore!

Holy Saviour! but to think we shall never see him more.


"Sagest in the council was he, kindest in the hall!

Sure we never won a battle—'twas Eoghan won them all.

Had he lived—had he lived—our dear country had been free;

But he's dead, but he's dead, and 'tis slaves we'll ever be.


"O'Farrell and Clanrickarde, Preston and Red Hugh,

Audley and MacMahon, ye are valiant, wise, and true;

But—what, what are ye all to our darling who is gone?

The Rudder of our Ship was he, our Castle's corner stone!


"Wail, wail him through the Island! Weep, weep for our pride!

Would that on the battle-field our gallant chief had died!

Weep the Victor of Beann-bhorbh[79] —weep him, young men and old;

Weep for him, ye women—your Beautiful lies cold!


"We thought you would not die—we were sure you would not go,

And leave us in our utmost need to Cromwell's cruel blow—

Sheep without a shepherd, when the snow shuts out the sky—

Oh! why did you leave us, Eoghan? Why did you die?


"Soft as woman's was your voice, O'Neill! bright was your eye,

Oh! why did you leave us, Eoghan? Why did you die?

Your troubles are all over, you're at rest with God on high,

But we're slaves, and we're orphans, Eoghan!—why didst thou die?"


AirThe Wheelwright.


Oh! weep those days, the penal days,

When Ireland hopelessly complained.

Oh! weep those days, the penal days,

When godless persecution reigned;

When year by year,

For serf and peer,

Fresh cruelties were made by law,

And filled with hate,

Our senate sate

To weld anew each fetter's flaw.

Oh! weep those days, those penal days—

Their memory still on Ireland weighs.


They bribed the flock, they bribed the son,

To sell the priest and rob the sire;

Their dogs were taught alike to run

Upon the scent of wolf and friar.

Among the poor,

Or on the moor,

Were hid the pious and the true—

While traitor knave,

And recreant slave,

Had riches, rank, and retinue;

And, exiled in those penal days,

Our banners over Europe blaze.


A stranger held the land and tower

Of many a noble fugitive;

No Popish lord had lordly power,

The peasant scarce had leave to live;

Above his head

A ruined shed,

No tenure but a tyrant's will—

Forbid to plead,

Forbid to read

Disarmed, disfranchised, imbecile—

What wonder if our step betrays

The freedman, born in penal days?


They're gone, they're gone, those penal days!

All creeds are equal in our isle;

Then grant, O Lord, thy plenteous grace,

Our ancient feuds to reconcile.

Let all atone

For blood and groan,

For dark revenge and open wrong;

Let all unite

For Ireland's right,

And drown our griefs in freedom's song;

Till time shall veil in twilight haze,

The memory of those penal days.




From Milan to Cremona Duke Villeroy rode,

And soft are the beds in his princely abode;

In billet and barrack the garrison sleep,

And loose is the watch which the sentinels keep:

'Tis the eve of St. David, and bitter the breeze

Of that mid-winter night on the flat Cremonese;

A fig for precaution!—Prince Eugene sits down

In winter cantonments round Mantua town!


Yet through Ustiano, and out on the plain,

Horse, foot, and dragoons, are defiling amain.

"That flash!" said Prince Eugene: "Count Merci, push on"—

Like a rock from a precipice Merci is gone.

Proud mutters the Prince: "That is Cassioli's sign:

Ere the dawn of the morning Cremona'll be mine;

For Merci will open the gate of the Po,

But scant is the mercy Prince Vaudemont will shew!"


Through gate, street, and square, with his keen cavaliers—

A flood through a gulley—Count Merci careers—

They ride without getting or giving a blow,

Nor halt till they gaze on the gate of the Po.

"Surrender the gate!"—but a volley replied,

For a handful of Irish are posted inside.

By my faith, Charles Vaudemont will come rather late,

If he stay till Count Merci shall open that gate!


But in through St. Margaret's the Austrians pour,

And billet and barrack are ruddy with gore;

Unarmed and naked, the soldiers are slain—

There's an enemy's gauntlet on Villeroy's rein—

"A thousand pistoles and a regiment of horse—

Release me, MacDonnell!"—they hold on their course.

Count Merci has seized upon cannon and wall,

Prince Eugene's headquarters are in the Town-hall!


Here and there, through the city, some readier band,

For honour and safety, undauntedly stand.

At the head of the regiments of Dillon and Burke

Is Major O'Mahony, fierce as a Turk.

His sabre is flashing—the major is dress'd,

But muskets and shirts are the clothes of the rest!

Yet they rush to the ramparts, the clocks have tolled ten,

And Count Merci retreats with the half of his men.


"In on them!" said Friedberg—and Dillon is broke,

Like forest-flowers crushed by the fall of the oak;

Through the naked battalions the cuirassiers go;—

But the man, not the dress, makes the soldier, I trow

Upon them with grapple, with bay'net, and ball,

Like wolves upon gaze-hounds, the Irishmen fall—

Black Friedberg is slain by O'Mahony's steel,

And back from the bullets the cuirassiers reel.


Oh! hear you their shout in your quarters, Eugene?

In vain on Prince Vaudemont for succour you lean!

The bridge has been broken, and, mark! how, pell-mell

Come riderless horses, and volley and yell!

He's a veteran soldier—he clenches his hands,

He springs on his horse, disengages his bands—

He rallies, he urges, till, hopeless of aid,

He is chased through the gates by the Irish Brigade.


News, news, in Vienna!—King Leopold's sad.

News, news, in St. James's!—King William is mad.

News, news, in Versailles!—"Let the Irish Brigade

Be loyally honoured, and royally paid."

News, news, in old Ireland!—high rises her pride,

And high sounds her wail for her children who died,

And deep is her prayer: "God send I may see

MacDonnell and Mahony fighting for me!"



Bright red is the sun on the waves of Lough Sheelin,

A cool, gentle breeze from the mountain is stealing,

While fair round its islets the small ripples play,

But fairer than all is the Flower of Finae.


Her hair is like night, and her eyes like grey morning,

She trips on the heather as if its touch scorning,

Yet her heart and her lips are as mild as May day,

Sweet Eily MacMahon, the Flower of Finae.


But who down the hill-side than red deer runs fleeter?

And who on the lake-side is hastening to greet her?

Who but Fergus O'Farrell, the fiery and gay,

The darling and pride of the Flower of Finae?


One kiss and one clasp, and one wild look of gladness;

Ah! why do they change on a sudden to sadness?—

He has told his hard fortune, no more he can stay,

He must leave his poor Eily to pine at Finae.


For Fergus O'Farrell was true to his sire-land,

And the dark hand of tyranny drove him from Ireland;

He joins the Brigade, in the wars far away,

But he vows he'll come back to the Flower of Finae.


He fought at Cremona—she hears of his story;

He fought at Cassano—she's proud of his glory.

Yet sadly she sings Siúbhail a rúin[80] all the day,

"Oh! come, come, my darling, come home to Finae."


Eight long years have passed, till she's nigh broken-hearted,

Her reel, and her rock, and her flax she has parted;

She sails with the "Wild Geese" to Flanders away,

And leaves her sad parents alone in Finae.


Lord Clare on the field of Ramillies is charging—

Before him, the Sacsanach squadrons enlarging—

Behind him the Cravats their sections display—

Beside him rides Fergus and shouts for Finae.


On the slopes of La Judoigne the Frenchmen are flying

Lord Clare and his squadrons the foe still defying,

Outnumbered, and wounded, retreat in array;

And bleeding rides Fergus and thinks of Finae.


In the cloisters of Ypres a banner is swaying,

And by it a pale, weeping maiden is praying;

That flag's the sole trophy of Ramillies' fray;

This nun is poor Eily, the Flower of Finae.


AirViva la.


When, on Ramillies' bloody field,

The baffled French were forced to yield,

The victor Saxon backward reeled

Before the charge of Clare's Dragoons.

The Flags we conquered in that fray

Look lone in Ypres' choir, they say,

We'll win them company to-day,

Or bravely die like Clare's Dragoons.


Viva la, for Ireland's wrong!

Viva la, for Ireland's right!

Viva la, in battle throng,

For a Spanish steed, and sabre bright!


The brave old lord died near the fight,

But, for each drop he lost that night,

A Saxon cavalier shall bite

The dust before Lord Clare's Dragoons.

For never, when our spurs were set,

And never, when our sabres met,

Could we the Saxon soldiers get

To stand the shock of Clare's Dragoons.


Viva la, the New Brigade!

Viva la, the Old one, too!

Viva la, the rose shall fade,

And the shamrock shine for ever new!


Another Clare is here to lead,

The worthy son of such a breed;

The French expect some famous deed,

When Clare leads on his bold Dragoons.

Our Colonel comes from Brian's race,

His wounds are in his breast and face,

The bearna baoghail[81] is still his place,

The foremost of his bold Dragoons.


Viva la, the New Brigade!

Viva la, the Old one, too!

Viva la, the rose shall fade,

And the shamrock shine for ever new!


There's not a man in squadron here

Was ever known to flinch or fear;

Though first in charge and last in rere,

Have ever been Lord Clare's Dragoons;

But see! we'll soon have work to do,

To shame our boasts, or prove them true,

For hither comes the English crew,

To sweep away Lord Clare's Dragoons.


Viva la, for Ireland's wrong!

Viva la, for Ireland's right!

Viva la, in battle throng,

For a Spanish steed and sabre bright!


Oh! comrades! think how Ireland pines,

Her exiled lords, her rifled shrines,

Her dearest hope, the ordered lines,

And bursting charge of Clare's Dragoons.

Then fling your Green Flag to the sky.

Be "Limerick" your battle-cry,

And charge, till blood floats fetlock-high,

Around the track of Clare's Dragoons!


Viva la, the New Brigade!

Viva la, the Old one, too!

Viva la, the rose shall fade,

And the shamrock shine for ever new!


AirContented I am.


The mess-tent is full, and the glasses are set,

And the gallant Count Thomond is president yet;

The veteran stands, like an uplifted lance,

Crying—"Comrades, a health to the monarch of France!"

With bumpers and cheers they have done as he bade,

For King Louis is loved by the Irish Brigade.


"A health to King James," and they bent as they quaffed,

"Here's to George the Elector," and fiercely they laughed,

"Good luck to the girls we wooed long ago,

Where Shannon and Barrow and Blackwater flow;"

"God prosper Old Ireland,"—you'd think them afraid,

So pale grew the chiefs of the Irish Brigade.


"But, surely, that light cannot come from our lamp,

And that noise—are they all getting drunk in the camp?"

"Hurrah! boys, the morning of battle is come,

And the générale's beating on many a drum."

So they rush from the revel to join the parade:

For the van is the right of the Irish Brigade.


They fought as they revelled, fast, fiery, and true,

And, though victors, they left on the field not a few;

And they who survived fought and drank as of yore,

But the land of their heart's hope they never saw more;

For in far foreign fields, from Dunkirk to Belgrade,

Lie the soldiers and chiefs of the Irish Brigade.




Thrice, at the huts of Fontenoy, the English column failed,

And twice the lines of Saint Antoine the Dutch in vain assailed;

For town and slope were filled with fort and flanking battery,

And well they swept the English ranks and Dutch auxiliary.

As vainly, through De Barri's wood, the British soldiers burst,

The French artillery drove them back, diminished, and dispersed.

The bloody Duke of Cumberland beheld with anxious eye,

And ordered up his last reserve, his latest chance to try,

On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, how fast his generals ride!

And mustering come his chosen troops, like clouds at eventide.


Six thousand English veterans in stately column tread;

Their cannon blaze in front and flank, Lord Hay is at their head;

Steady they step a-down the slope—steady they climb the hill;

Steady they load—steady they fire, moving right onward still,

Betwixt the wood and Fontenoy, as through a furnace blast,

Through rampart, trench, and palisade, and bullets showering fast;

And on the open plain above they rose and kept their course,

With ready fire and grim resolve, that mocked at hostile force:

Past Fontenoy, past Fontenoy, while thinner grew their ranks—

They break, as broke the Zuyder Zee through Holland's ocean banks.


More idly than the summer flies, French tirailleurs rush round;

As stubble to the lava tide, French squadrons strew the ground;

Bomb-shell and grape and round-shot tore, still on they marched and fired—

Fast from each volley grenadier and voltigeur retired.

"Push on, my household cavalry!" King Louis madly cried:

To death they rush, but rude their shock—not unavenged they died.

On through the camp the column trod—King Louis turns his rein:

"Not yet, my liege," Saxe interposed, "the Irish troops remain."

And Fontenoy, famed Fontenoy, had been a Waterloo

Were not these exiles ready then, fresh, vehement, and true.


"Lord Clare," he says, "you have your wish; there are your Saxon foes!"

The Marshal almost smiles to see, so furiously he goes!

How fierce the look these exiles wear, who're wont to be so gay,

The treasured wrongs of fifty years are in their hearts to-day—

The treaty broken, ere the ink wherewith 'twas writ could dry,

Their plundered homes, their ruined shrines, their women's parting cry,

Their priesthood hunted down like wolves, their country overthrown—

Each looks as if revenge for all were staked on him alone

On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, nor ever yet elsewhere,

Rushed on to fight a nobler band than these proud exiles were.


O'Brien's voice is hoarse with joy, as, halting, he commands

"Fix bay'nets!—charge!" Like mountain storm, rush on these fiery bands!

Thin is the English column now, and faint their volleys grow,

Yet, must'ring all the strength they have, they make a gallant show.

They dress their ranks upon the hill to face that battle-wind—

Their bayonets the breakers' foam; like rocks, the men behind!

One volley crashes from their line, when, through the surging smoke,

With empty guns clutched in their hands, the headlong Irish broke.

On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, hark to that fierce huzza!

"Revenge, remember Limerick! dash down the Sacsanach!"


Like lions leaping at a fold when mad with hunger's pang,

Right up against the English line the Irish exiles sprang:

Bright was their steel, 'tis bloody now, their guns are filled with gore;

Through shattered ranks and severed files the trampled flags they tore;

The English strove with desperate strength, paused, rallied, staggered, fled—

The green hill-side is matted close with dying and with dead.

Across the plain, and far away, passed on that hideous wrack,

While cavalier and fantassin dash in upon their track.

On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, like eagles in the sun,

With bloody plumes, the Irish stand—the field is fought and won!




The church of Dungannon is full to the door,

And sabre and spur clash at times on the floor,

While helmet and shako are ranged all along,

Yet no book of devotion is seen in the throng.

In the front of the altar no minister stands,

But the crimson-clad chief of these warrior bands;

And, though solemn the looks and the voices around,

You'd listen in vain for a litany's sound.

Say! what do they hear in the temple of prayer?

Oh! why in the fold has the lion his lair?


Sad, wounded, and wan was the face of our isle,

By English oppression and falsehood and guile;

Yet when to invade it a foreign fleet steered,

To guard it for England the North volunteered.

From the citizen-soldiers the foe fled aghast—

Still they stood to their guns when the danger had passed,

For the voice of America came o'er the wave,

Crying: Woe to the tyrant, and hope to the slave!

Indignation and shame through their regiments speed:

They have arms in their hands, and what more do they need?


O'er the green hills of Ulster their banners are spread,

The cities of Leinster resound to their tread,

The valleys of Munster with ardour are stirred,

And the plains of wild Connaught their bugles have heard;

A Protestant front-rank and Catholic rere—

For—forbidden the arms of freemen to bear—

Yet foemen and friend are full sure, if need be,

The slave for his country will stand by the free.

By green flags supported, the Orange flags wave,

And the soldier half turns to unfetter the slave!


More honoured that church of Dungannon is now,

Than when at its altar communicants bow;

More welcome to heaven than anthem or prayer

Are the rites and the thoughts of the warriors there;

In the name of all Ireland the Delegates swore:

"We've suffered too long, and we'll suffer no more—

Unconquered by Force, we were vanquished by Fraud;

And now, in God's temple, we vow unto God

That never again shall the Englishman bind

His chains on our limbs, or his laws on our mind."


The church of Dungannon is empty once more—

No plumes on the altar, no clash on the floor,

But the councils of England are fluttered to see,

In the cause of their country, the Irish agree;

So they give as a boon what they dare not withhold,

And Ireland, a nation, leaps up as of old,

With a name, and a trade, and a flag of her own,

And an army to fight for the people and throne.

But woe worth the day if to falsehood or fears

She surrenders the guns of her brave Volunteers!



In Bodenstown Churchyard there is a green grave,

And wildly along it the winter winds rave;

Small shelter, I ween, are the ruined walls there,

When the storm sweeps down on the plains of Kildare.


Once I lay on that sod—it lies over Wolfe Tone—

And thought how he perished in prison alone,

His friends unavenged, and his country unfreed—

"Oh, bitter," I said, "is the patriot's meed;


"For in him the heart of a woman combined

With a heroic life and a governing mind—

A martyr for Ireland—his grave has no stone—

His name seldom named, and his virtues unknown."


I was woke from my dream by the voices and tread

Of a band, who came into the home of the dead;

They carried no corpse, and they carried no stone,

And they stopped when they came to the grave of Wolfe Tone.


There were students and peasants, the wise and the brave,

And an old man who knew him from cradle to grave,

And children who thought me hard-hearted; for they

On that sanctified sod were forbidden to play.


But the old man, who saw I was mourning there, said:

"We come, sir, to weep where young Wolfe Tone is laid,

And we're going to raise him a monument, too—

A plain one, yet fit for the simple and true."


My heart overflowed, and I clasped his old hand,

And I blessed him, and blessed every one of his band:

"Sweet! sweet! 'tis to find that such faith can remain

To the cause, and the man so long vanquished and slain."


In Bodenstown Churchyard there is a green grave,

And freely around it let winter winds rave—

Far better they suit him—the ruin and gloom—

Till Ireland, a Nation, can build him a tomb.



A Nation's voice, a nation's voice—

It is a solemn thing!

It bids the bondage-sick rejoice—

'Tis stronger than a king.

'Tis like the light of many stars,

The sound of many waves,

Which brightly look through prison bars,

And sweetly sound in caves.

Yet is it noblest, godliest known,

When righteous triumph swells its tone.


A nation's flag, a nation's flag—

If wickedly unrolled,

May foes in adverse battle drag

Its every fold from fold.

in the cause of Liberty,

Guard it 'gainst Earth and Hell;

Guard it till Death or Victory—

Look you, you guard it well!

No saint or king has tomb so proud

As he whose flag becomes his shroud.


A nation's right, a nation's right—

God gave it, and gave, too,

A nation's sword, a nation's might,

Danger to guard it through.

'Tis freedom from a foreign yoke,

'Tis just and equal laws,

Which deal unto the humblest folk,

As in a noble's cause.

On nations fixed in right and truth,

God would bestow eternal youth.


May Ireland's voice be ever heard

Amid the world's applause!

And never be her flag-staff stirred,

But in an honest cause!

May Freedom be her very breath,

Be Justice ever dear;

And never an ennobled death

May son of Ireland fear!

So the Lord God will ever smile,

With guardian grace, upon our isle.



Though savage force and subtle schemes,

And alien rule, through ages lasting,

Have swept your land like lava streams,

Its wealth and name and nature blasting;

Rot not, therefore, in dull despair,

Nor moan at destiny in far lands!

Face not your foe with bosom bare,

Nor hide your chains in pleasure's garlands.

The wise man arms to combat wrong,

The brave man clears a den of lions,

The true man spurns the Helot's song;

The freeman's friend is Self-Reliance!


Though France that gave your exiles bread,

Your priests a home, your hopes a station,

Or that young land where first was spread

The starry flag of Liberation,—

Should heed your wrongs some future day,

And send you voice or sword to plead 'em,

With helpful love their help repay,

But trust not even to them for Freedom.

A Nation freed by foreign aid

Is but a corpse by wanton science

Convulsed like life, then flung to fade—

The life itself is Self-Reliance!


Oh! see your quailing tyrant run

To courteous lies, and Roman agents,

His terror, lest Dungannon's sun

Should rise again with riper radiance.

Oh! hark the Freeman's welcome cheer,

And hark your brother sufferers sobbing

Oh! mark the universe grow clear,

Oh! mark your spirit's royal throbbing—

'Tis Freedom's God that sends such signs,

As pledges of his blest alliance;

He gives bright hopes to brave designs,

And lends his bolts to Self-Reliance!


Then, flung alone, or hand in hand,

In mirthful hour, or spirit solemn;

In lowly toil, or high command,

In social hall, or charging column:

In tempting wealth, and trying woe,

In struggling with a mob's dictation;

In bearing back a foreign foe,

In training up a troubled nation:

Still hold to Truth, abound in Love,

Refusing every base compliance—

Your Praise within, your Prize above,

And live and die in Self-Reliance!


Why rings the knell of the funeral bell from a hundred village shrines?

Through broad Fingall, where hasten all those long and ordered lines?

With tear and sigh they're passing by—the matron and the maid—

Has a hero died—is a nation's pride in that cold coffin laid?

With frown and curse, behind the hearse, dark men go tramping on—

Has a tyrant died, that they cannot hide their wrath till the rites are done?

the chant.

"Ululu! ululu! high on the wind,

There's a home for the slave where no fetters can bind.

Woe, woe to his slayers!"—comes wildly along,

With the trampling of feet and the funeral song.

And now more clear

It swells on the ear;

Breathe low, and listen, 'tis solemn to hear.

"Ululu! ululu! wail for the dead.

Green grow the grass of Fingall on his head;

And spring-flowers blossom, 'ere elsewhere appearing,

And shamrocks grow thick on the Martyr for Erin.

Ululu! ululu! soft fall the dew

On the feet and the head of the martyred and true."

For awhile they tread

In silence dread—

Then muttering and moaning go the crowd,

Surging and swaying like mountain cloud,

And again the wail comes fearfully loud.

the chant.

"Ululu! ululu! kind was his heart!

Walk slower, walk slower, too soon we shall part.

The faithful and pious, the Priest of the Lord,

His pilgrimage over, he has his reward.

By the bed of the sick lowly kneeling,

To God with the raised cross appealing—

He seems still to kneel, and he seems still to pray,

And the sins of the dying seem passing away.

"In the prisoner's cell, and the cabin so dreary,

Our constant consoler, he never grew weary;

But he's gone to his rest,

And he's now with the bless'd,

Where tyrant and traitor no longer molest—

Ululu! ululu! wail for the dead!

Ululu! ululu! here is his bed!"

Short was the ritual, simple the prayer,

Deep was the silence, and every head bare;

The Priest alone standing, they knelt all around,

Myriads on myriads, like rocks on the ground.

Kneeling and motionless—"Dust unto dust.

He died as becometh the faithful and just—

Placing in God his reliance and trust."

Kneeling and motionless—"ashes to ashes"—

Hollow the clay on the coffin-lid dashes;

Kneeling and motionless, wildly they pray,

But they pray in their souls, for no gesture have they;

Stern and standing—oh! look on them now.

Like trees to one tempest the multitude bow;

Like the swell of the ocean is rising their vow:

the vow.

"We have bent and borne, though we saw him torn from his home by the tyrant's crew—

And we bent and bore, when he came once more, though suffering had pierced him through:

And now he is laid beyond our aid, because to Ireland true—

A martyred man—the tyrant's ban, the pious patriot slew.

"And shall we bear and bend for ever,

And shall no time our bondage sever

And shall we kneel, but battle never,

"For our own soil?

"And shall our tyrants safely reign

On thrones built up of slaves and slain,

And nought to us and ours remain

"But chains and toil?

"No! round this grave our oath we plight,

To watch, and labour, and unite,

Till banded be the nation's might—

"Its spirit steeled,

"And then, collecting all our force,

We'll cross oppression in its course,

And die—or all our rights enforce,

"On battle field."

Like an ebbing sea that will come again,

Slowly retired that host of men;

Methinks they'll keep some other day

The oath they swore on the martyr's clay.



We must not fail, we must not fail,

However fraud or force assail;

By honour, pride, and policy,

By Heaven itself!—we must be free.


Time had already thinned our chain,

Time would have dulled our sense of pain;

By service long, and suppliance vile,

We might have won our owner's smile.


We spurned the thought, our prison burst,

And dared the despot to the worst;

Renewed the strife of centuries,

And flung our banner to the breeze.


We called the ends of earth to view

The gallant deeds we swore to do;

They knew us wronged, they knew us brave,

And all we asked they freely gave.


We took the starving peasant's mite

To aid in winning back his right,

We took the priceless trust of youth;

Their freedom must redeem our truth.


We promised loud, and boasted high,

"To break our country's chains, or die;"

And, should we quail, that country's name

Will be the synonym of shame.


Earth is not deep enough to hide

The coward slave who shrinks aside;

Hell is not hot enough to scathe

The ruffian wretch who breaks his faith.


But—calm, my soul!—we promised true

Her destined work our land shall do;

Thought, courage, patience will prevail!

We shall not fail—we shall not fail!


Lines to Hogan.

Chisel the likeness of The Chief,

Not in gaiety, nor grief;

Change not by your art to stone,

Ireland's laugh, or Ireland's moan.

Dark her tale, and none can tell

Its fearful chronicle so well.

Her frame is bent—her wounds are deep—

Who, like him, her woes can weep?

He can be gentle as a bride,

While none can rule with kinglier pride;

Calm to hear, and wise to prove,

Yet gay as lark in soaring love.

Well it were, posterity

Should have some image of his glee;

That easy humour, blossoming

Like the thousand flowers of spring!

Glorious the marble which could show

His bursting sympathy for woe:

Could catch the pathos, flowing wild,

Like mother's milk to craving child.

And oh! how princely were the art

Could mould his mien, or tell his heart

When sitting sole on Tara's hill,

While hung a million on his will!

Yet, not in gaiety, nor grief,

Chisel the image of our Chief,

Nor even in that haughty hour

When a nation owned his power.

But would you by your art unroll

His own, and Ireland's secret soul,

And give to other times to scan

The greatest greatness of the man?

Fierce defiance let him be

Hurling at our enemy—

From a base as fair and sure

As our love is true and pure;

Let his statue rise as tall

And firm as a castle wall;

On his broad brow let there be

A type of Ireland's history;

Pious, generous, deep and warm,

Strong and changeful as a storm;

Let whole centuries of wrong

Upon his recollection throng—

Strongbow's force, and Henry's wile,

Tudor's wrath, and Stuart's guile,

And iron Strafford's tiger jaws,

And brutal Brunswick's penal laws;

Not forgetting Saxon faith,

Not forgetting Norman scath,

Not forgetting William's word,

Not forgetting Cromwell's sword.

Let the Union's fetter vile—

The shame and ruin of our isle—

Let the blood of 'Ninety-Eight

And our present blighting fate—

Let the poor mechanic's lot,

And the peasant's ruined cot,

Plundered wealth and glory flown,

Ancient honours overthrown—

Let trampled altar, rifled urn,

Knit his look to purpose stern.

Mould all this into one thought,

Like wizard cloud with thunder fraught;

Still let our glories through it gleam,

Like fair flowers through a flooded stream,

Or like a flashing wave at night,

Bright,—'mid the solemn darkness, bright.

Let the memory of old days

Shine through the statesman's anxious face—

Dathi's power, and Brian's fame,

And headlong Sarsfield's sword of flame;

And the spirit of Red Hugh,

And the pride of 'Eighty-Two,

And the victories he won,

And the hope that leads him on!

Let whole armies seem to fly

From his threatening hand and eye.

Be the strength of all the land

Like a falchion in his hand,

And be his gesture sternly grand.

A braggart tyrant swore to smite

A people struggling for their right;

O'Connell dared him to the field,

Content to die but never yield;

Fancy such a soul as his,

In a moment such as this,

Like cataract, or foaming tide,

Or army charging in its pride.

Thus he spoke, and thus he stood,

Proffering in our cause his blood.

Thus his country loves him best—

To image this is your behest.

Chisel thus, and thus alone,

If to man you'd change the stone.


AirIrish Molly O!


Full often when our fathers saw the Red above the Green,

They rose in rude but fierce array, with sabre, pike and scian,

And over many a noble town, and many a field of dead,

They proudly set the Irish Green above the English Red.


But in the end throughout the land, the shameful sight was seen—

The English Red in triumph high above the Irish Green;

But well they died in breach and field, who, as their spirits fled,

Still saw the Green maintain its place above the English Red.


And they who saw, in after times, the Red above the Green

Were withered as the grass that dies beneath a forest screen;

Yet often by this healthy hope their sinking hearts were fed,

That, in some day to come, the Green should flutter o'er the Red.


Sure 'twas for this Lord Edward died, and Wolfe Tone sunk serene—

Because they could not bear to leave the Red above the Green;

And 'twas for this that Owen fought, and Sarsfield nobly bled—

Because their eyes were hot to see the Green above the Red.


So when the strife began again, our darling Irish Green

Was down upon the earth, while high the English Red was seen;

Yet still we held our fearless course, for something in us said,

"Before the strife is o'er you'll see the Green above the Red."


And 'tis for this we think and toil, and knowledge strive to glean,

That we may pull the English Red below the Irish Green,

And leave our sons sweet Liberty, and smiling plenty spread

Above the land once dark with blood—the Green above the Red!


The jealous English tyrant now has banned the Irish Green,

And forced us to conceal it like a something foul and mean;

But yet, by Heavens! he'll sooner raise his victims from the dead

Than force our hearts to leave the Green, and cotton to the Red!


We'll trust ourselves, for God is good, and blesses those who lean

On their brave hearts, and not upon an earthly king or queen;

And, freely as we lift our hands, we vow our blood to shed

Once and for evermore to raise the Green above the Red.



From Carrick streets to Shannon shore,

From Slievenamon to Ballindeary,

From Longford Pass to Gaillte Mór,

Come hear The Vow of Tipperary.


Too long we fought for Britain's cause,

And of our blood were never chary;

She paid us back with tyrant laws,

And thinned The Homes of Tipperary.


Too long with rash and single arm,

The peasant strove to guard his eyrie,

Till Irish blood bedewed each farm,

And Ireland wept for Tipperary.


But never more we'll lift a hand—

We swear by God and Virgin Mary!

Except in war for Native Land,

And that's The Vow of Tipperary!



Let Britain boast her British hosts,

About them all right little care we;

Not British seas nor British coasts

Can match the Man of Tipperary!


Tall is his form, his heart is warm,

His spirit light as any fairy—

His wrath is fearful as the storm

That sweeps the Hills of Tipperary!


Lead him to fight for native land,

His is no courage cold and wary;

The troops live not on earth would stand

The headlong charge of Tipperary!


Yet meet him in his cabin rude,

Or dancing with his dark-haired Mary,

You'd swear they knew no other mood

But Mirth and Love in Tipperary!


You're free to share his scanty meal,

His plighted word he'll never vary—

In vain they tried with gold and steel

To shake the Faith of Tipperary!


Soft is his cailin's sunny eye,

Her mien is mild, her step is airy,

Her heart is fond, her soul is high—

Oh! she's the Pride of Tipperary!


Let Britain brag her motley rag;

We'll lift the Green more proud and airy—

Be mine the lot to bear that flag,

And head the Men of Tipperary!


Though Britain boasts her British hosts,

About them all right little care we—

Give us, to guard our native coasts,

The matchless Men of Tipperary!


AirThe Brink of the White Rocks.


When all beside a vigil keep,

The West's asleep, the West's asleep—

Alas! and well may Erin weep,

When Connaught lies in slumber deep.

There lake and plain smile fair and free,

'Mid rocks—their guardian chivalry—

Sing oh! let man learn liberty

From crashing wind and lashing sea.


That chainless wave and lovely land

Freedom and Nationhood demand—

Be sure, the great God never planned,

For slumbering slaves, a home so grand.

And, long, a brave and haughty race

Honoured and sentinelled the place—

Sing oh! not even their sons' disgrace

Can quite destroy their glory's trace.


For often, in O'Connor's van,

To triumph dashed each Connaught clan—

And fleet as deer the Normans ran

Through Corlieu's Pass and Ardrahan.

And later times saw deeds as brave;

And glory guards Clanricarde's grave—

Sing oh! they died their land to save,

At Aughrim's slopes and Shannon's wave.


And if, when all a vigil keep,

The West's asleep, the West's asleep—

Alas! and well may Erin weep,

That Connaught lies in slumber deep.

But, hark! some voice like thunder spake:

"The West's awake! the West's awake!"—

"Sing oh! hurra! let England quake,

We'll watch till death for Erin's sake!"


AirThe Peacock.


The tribune's tongue and poet's pen

May sow the seed in prostrate men;

But 'tis the soldier's sword alone

Can reap the crop so bravely sown!

No more I'll sing nor idly pine,

But train my soul to lead a line—

A soldier's life's the life for me—

A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!


No foe would fear your thunder words,

If 'twere not for your lightning swords—

If tyrants yield when millions pray,

'Tis less they link in war array;

Nor peace itself is safe, but when

The sword is sheathed by fighting men—

A soldier's life's the life for me—

A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!


The rifle brown and sabre bright

Can freely speak and nobly write—

What prophets preached the truth so well

As Hofer, Brian, Bruce, and Tell?

God guard the creed these heroes taught—

That blood-bought Freedom's cheaply bought

A soldier's life's the life for me—

A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!


Then, welcome be the bivouac,

The hardy stand, and fierce attack,

Where pikes will tame their carbineers,

And rifles thin their bay'neteers,

And every field the island through

Will show "what Irishmen can do!"

A soldier's life's the life for me—

A soldier's death so Ireland's free!


Yet, 'tis not strength and 'tis not steel

Alone can make the English reel;

But wisdom, working day by day,

Till comes the time for passion's sway—

The patient dint and powder shock,

Can blast an empire like a rock.

A soldier's life's the life for me—

A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!


The tribune's tongue and poet's pen

May sow the seed in slavish men;

But 'tis the soldier's sword alone

Can reap the harvest when 'tis grown.

No more I'll sing, no more I'll pine,

But train my soul to lead a line—

A soldier's life's the life for me—

A soldier's death, so Ireland's free.



Let the coward shrink aside,

We'll have our own again;

Let the brawling slave deride—

Here's for our own again!

Let the tyrant bribe and lie,

March, threaten, fortify,

Loose his lawyer and his spy—

Yet we'll have our own again!

Let him soothe in silken tone,

Scold from a foreign throne:

Let him come with bugles blown—

We shall have our own again!

Let us to our purpose bide,

We'll have our own again!

Let the game be fairly tried,

We'll have our own again!


Send the cry throughout the land,

"Who's for our own again?"

Summon all men to our band,—

Why not our own again?

Rich and poor, and old and young,

Sharp sword, and fiery tongue,

Soul and sinew firmly strung—

All to get our own again!

Brothers strive by brotherhood—

Trees in a stormy wood—

Riches come from Nationhood—

Sha'n't we have our own again?

Munster's woe is Ulster's bane!

Join for our own again—

Tyrants rob as well as reign—

We'll have our own again!


Oft our fathers' hearts it stirred,

"Rise for our own again!"

Often passed the signal word,

"Strike for our own again!"

Rudely, rashly, and untaught,

Uprose they, ere they ought,

Failing, though they nobly fought—

Dying for their own again!

Mind will rule and muscle yield

In senate, ship, and field:

When we've skill our strength to wield,

Let us take our own again!

By the slave his chain is wrought—

Strive for our own again.

Thunder is less strong than thought—

We'll have our own again!


Calm as granite to our foes,

Stand for our own again;

Till his wrath to madness grows,

Firm for our own again.

Bravely hope, and wisely wait,

Toil, join, and educate;

Man is master of his fate;

We'll enjoy our own again!

With a keen constrained thirst—

Powder's calm ere it burst—

Making ready for the worst—

So we'll get our own again.

Let us to our purpose bide,

We'll have our own again!

God is on the righteous side,

We'll have our own again!



We hate the Saxon and the Dane,

We hate the Norman men—

We cursed their greed for blood and gain,

We curse them now again.

Yet start not, Irish-born man!

If you're to Ireland true,

We heed not blood, nor creed, nor clan—

We have no curse for you.


We have no curse for you or yours,

But Friendship's ready grasp,

And Faith to stand by you and yours

Unto our latest gasp—

To stand by you against all foes,

Howe'er, or whence they come,

With traitor arts, or bribes, or blows,

From England, France, or Rome.


What matter that at different shrines

We pray unto one God?

What matter that at different times

Your fathers won this sod?

In fortune and in name we're bound

By stronger links than steel;

And neither can be safe nor sound

But in the other's weal.


As Nubian rocks, and Ethiop sand

Long drifting down the Nile,

Built up old Egypt's fertile land

For many a hundred mile,

So Pagan clans to Ireland came,

And clans of Christendom,

Yet joined their wisdom and their fame

To build a nation from.


Here came the brown Phœnician,

The man of trade and toil—

Here came the proud Milesian,

A hungering for spoil;

And the Firbolg and the Cymry,

And the hard, enduring Dane,

And the iron Lords of Normandy,

With the Saxons in their train.


And oh! it were a gallant deed

To show before mankind,

How every race and every creed

Might be by love combined—

Might be combined, yet not forget

The fountains whence they rose,

As, filled by many a rivulet,

The stately Shannon flows.


Nor would we wreak our ancient feud

On Belgian or on Dane,

Nor visit in a hostile mood

The hearths of Gaul or Spain;

But long as on our country lies

The Anglo-Norman yoke,

Their tyranny we'll stigmatize,

And God's revenge invoke.


We do not hate, we never cursed,

Nor spoke a foeman's word

Against a man in Ireland nursed,

Howe'er we thought he erred;

So start not, Irish-born man,

If you're to Ireland true,

We heed not race, nor creed, nor clan,

We've hearts and hands for you.


AirThe Protestant Boys.


Ireland! rejoice, and England! deplore—

Faction and feud are passing away.

'Twas a low voice, but 'tis a loud roar,

"Orange and Green will carry the day."

Orange! Orange!

Green and Orange!

Pitted together in many a fray—

Lions in fight!

And linked in their might,

Orange and Green will carry the day.

Orange! Orange!

Green and Orange!

Wave them together o'er mountain and bay.

Orange and Green!

Our King and our Queen!

"Orange and Green will carry the day!"


Rusty the swords our fathers unsheathed—

William and James are turned to clay—

Long did we till the wrath they bequeathed,

Red was the crop, and bitter the pay!

Freedom fled us!

Knaves misled us!

Under the feet of the foemen we lay—

Riches and strength

We'll win them at length,

For Orange and Green will carry the day!

Landlords fooled us;

England ruled us,

Hounding our passions to make us their prey;

But, in their spite,

The Irish Unite,

And Orange and Green will carry the day!


Fruitful our soil where honest men starve;

Empty the mart, and shipless the bay;

Out of our want the Oligarchs carve;

Foreigners fatten on our decay!


Therefore blighted,

Ruined and rent by the Englishman's sway;

Party and creed

For once have agreed—

Orange and Green will carry the day!

Boyne's old water,

Red with slaughter!

Now is as pure as an infant at play;

So, in our souls,

Its history rolls,

And Orange and Green will carry the day!


English deceit can rule us no more;

Bigots and knaves are scattered like spray—

Deep was the oath the Orangeman swore,

"Orange and Green must carry the day!"

Orange! Orange!

Bless the Orange!

Tories and Whigs grew pale with dismay,

When from the North

Burst the cry forth,

"Orange and Green will carry the day!"

No surrender!

No Pretender!

Never to falter and never betray—

With an Amen,

We swear it again,

Orange and Green shall carry the day.


AirGrádh mo chroidhe.


Sweet thoughts, bright dreams, my comfort be,

All comfort else has flown;

For every hope was false to me,

And here I am, alone.

What thoughts were mine in early youth!

Like some old Irish song,

Brimful of love, and life, and truth,

My spirit gushed along.


I hoped to right my native isle,

I hoped a soldier's fame,

I hoped to rest in woman's smile

And win a minstrel's name—

Oh! little have I served my land,

No laurels press my brow,

I have no woman's heart or hand,

Nor minstrel honours now.


But fancy has a magic power,

It brings me wreath and crown,

And woman's love, the self-same hour

It smites oppression down.

Sweet thoughts, bright dreams, my comfort be,

I have no joy beside;

Oh! throng around, and be to me

Power, country, fame, and bride.



'Tis pretty to see the girl of Dunbwy

Stepping the mountain statelily—

Though ragged her gown, and naked her feet,

No lady in Ireland to match her is meet.


Poor is her diet, and hardly she lies—

Yet a monarch might kneel for a glance of her eyes.

The child of a peasant—yet England's proud Queen

Has less rank in her heart, and less grace in her mien.


Her brow 'neath her raven hair gleams, just as if

A breaker spread white 'neath a shadowy cliff—

And love, and devotion, and energy speak

From her beauty-proud eye, and her passion-pale cheek.


But, pale as her cheek is, there's fruit on her lip,

And her teeth flash as white as the crescent moon's tip,

And her form and her step like the red-deer's go past—

As lightsome, as lovely, as haughty, as fast.


I saw her but once, and I looked in her eye,

And she knew that I worshipped in passing her by;

The saint of the wayside—she granted my prayer,

Though we spoke not a word, for her mother was there.


I never can think upon Bantry's bright hills,

But her image starts up, and my longing eye fills;

And I whisper her softly, "Again, love, we'll meet!

And I'll lie in your bosom, and live at your feet."


AirBlind Mary.


There flows from her spirit such love and delight,

That the face of Blind Mary is radiant with light—

As the gleam from a homestead through darkness will show

Or the moon glimmer soft through the fast falling snow.


Yet there's a keen sorrow comes o'er her at times,

As an Indian might feel in our northerly climes!

And she talks of the sunset, like parting of friends,

And the starlight, as love, that not changes nor ends.


Ah! grieve not, sweet maiden, for star or for sun,

For the mountains that tower or the rivers that run—

For beauty and grandeur, and glory, and light,

Are seen by the spirit, and not by the sight.


In vain for the thoughtless are sunburst and shade,

In vain for the heartless flowers blossom and fade;

While the darkness that seems your sweet being to bound

Is one of the guardians, an Eden around!


AirThe Swaggering Jig.


Oh! the marriage, the marriage,

With love and mo bhuachaill for me,

The ladies that ride in a carriage

Might envy my marriage to me;

For Eoghan[84] is straight as a tower,

And tender, and loving, and true;

He told me more love in an hour

Than the Squires of the county could do.

Then, Oh! the marriage, etc.


His hair is a shower of soft gold,

His eye is as clear as the day,

His conscience and vote were unsold

When others were carried away;

His word is as good as an oath,

And freely 'twas given to me;

Oh! sure, 'twill be happy for both

The day of our marriage to see.

Then, Oh! the marriage, etc.


His kinsmen are honest and kind,

The neighbours think much of his skill,

And Eoghan's the lad to my mind,

Though he owns neither castle nor mill.

But he has a tilloch of land,

A horse, and a stocking of coin,

A foot for a dance, and a hand

In the cause of his country to join.

Then, Oh! the marriage, etc.


We meet in the market and fair—

We meet in the morning and night—

He sits on the half of my chair,

And my people are wild with delight;

Yet I long through the winter to skim,

Though Eoghan longs more I can see,

When I will be married to him,

And he will be married to me.

Then, Oh! the marriage, the marriage,

With love and mo bhuachaill for me,

The ladies that ride in a carriage,

Might envy my marriage to me.


AirAn Cota Caol.


His kiss is sweet, his word is kind,

His love is rich to me;

I could not in a palace find

A truer heart than he.

The eagle shelters not his nest

From hurricane and hail,

More bravely than he guards my breast—

The Boatman of Kinsale.


The wind that round the Fastnet sweeps

Is not a whit more pure—

The goat that down Cnoc Sheehy leaps

Has not a foot more sure.

No firmer hand nor freer eye

E'er faced an autumn gale—

De Courcy's heart is not so high—

The Boatman of Kinsale.


The brawling squires may heed him not,

The dainty stranger sneer—

But who will dare to hurt our cot

When Myles O'Hea is here?

The scarlet soldiers pass along;

They'd like, but fear to rail;

His blood is hot, his blow is strong—

The Boatman of Kinsale.


His hooker's in the Scilly van

When seines are in the foam;

But money never made the man,

Nor wealth a happy home.

So, blest with love and liberty,

While he can trim a sail,

He'll trust in God, and cling to me—

The Boatman of Kinsale.



How soft is the moon on Glengariff,

The rocks seem to melt with the light:

Oh! would I were there with dear Fanny,

To tell her that love is as bright;

And nobly the sun of July

O'er the waters of Adragoole shines—

Oh! would that I saw the green banner

Blaze there over conquering lines.


Oh! love is more fair than the moonlight,

And glory more grand than the sun:

And there is no rest for a brave heart,

Till its bride and its laurels are won;

But next to the burst of our banner,

And the smile of dear Fanny, I crave

The moon on the rocks of Glengariff—

The sun upon Adragoole's wave.



She is a rich and rare land;

Oh! she's a fresh and fair land;

She is a dear and rare land—

This native land of mine.


No men than her's are braver—

Her women's hearts ne'er waver;

I'd freely die to save her,

And think my lot divine.


She's not a dull or cold land;

No! she's a warm and bold land;

Oh! she's a true and old land—

This native land of mine.


Could beauty ever guard her,

And virtue still reward her,

No foe would cross her border—

No friend within it pine!


Oh! she's a fresh and fair land;

Oh! she's a true and rare land;

Yes! she's a rare and fair land—

This native land of mine.



Let the feeble-hearted pine,

Let the sickly spirit whine,

But work and win be thine,

While you've life.

God smiles upon the bold—

So, when your flag's unrolled,

Bear it bravely till you're cold

In the strife.


If to rank or fame you soar,

Out your spirit frankly pour—

Men will serve you and adore,

Like a king.

Woo your girl with honest pride,

Till you've won her for your bride—

Then to her, through time and tide,

Ever cling.


Never under wrongs despair;

Labour long, and everywhere,

Link your countrymen, prepare,

And strike home.

Thus have great men ever wrought,

Thus must greatness still be sought,

Thus laboured, loved, and fought

Greece and Rome.


Shall they bury me in the deep,

Where wind-forgetting waters sleep?

Shall they dig a grave for me,

Under the green-wood tree?

Or on the wild heath,

Where the wilder breath

Of the storm doth blow?

Oh, no! oh, no!

Shall they bury me in the Palace Tombs,

Or under the shade of Cathedral domes?

Sweet 'twere to lie on Italy's shore;

Yet not there—nor in Greece, though I love it more,

In the wolf or the vulture my grave shall I find?

Shall my ashes career on the world-seeing wind?

Shall they fling my corpse in the battle mound,

Where coffinless thousands lie under the ground?

Just as they fall they are buried so—

Oh, no! oh, no!

No! on an Irish green hill-side,

On an opening lawn—but not too wide;

For I love the drip of the wetted trees—

I love not the gales, but a gentle breeze

To freshen the turf—put no tombstone there,

But green sods decked with daisies fair;

Nor sods too deep, but so that the dew,

The matted grass-roots may trickle through.

Be my epitaph writ on my country's mind,

"He served his country, and loved his kind."

Oh! 'twere merry unto the grave to go,

If one were sure to be buried so.



1 (Return)
This work, with the inclusion of the full text of the more important of the Acts of the Parliament of James II., and with an Introduction by Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, was reprinted from the Dublin Monthly Magazine of 1843 by Mr. Fisher Unwin in 1891 as the first volume of the 'New Irish Library.' It is now out of print.

2 (Return)
Mr. Mongan's School on Lower Mount Street.

3 (Return)
"Life of Davis," p. 286.

4 (Return)
"Life of Davis," pp. 218, 219.

5 (Return)
King's "State of the Protestants." Harris's "Life of King William," folio, Dublin, 1749, book 8. Leland's "History of Ireland," vol. 3, book 6, chaps. 5 and 6. Lesley's "Answer to King's State of the Protestants," London, 1692. Curry's "Review of the Civil Wars of Ireland." Plowden's "Historical Review of Ireland; also History of Ireland," vol. i., c. 9. Jones's "Reply to an anonymous writer from Belfast, signed Portia," Dublin, 1792.

6 (Return)
Thorpe's MSS.

7 (Return)
London, 2 vols. 4to, edited by Rev. J. Clarke.

8 (Return)
Paris, 1825, 3 vols. 8vo.

9 (Return)
Spenser's "View"; Fynes Moryson's "Itinerary"; Captain Lee's "Memoir"; Harris's "Letters"; and Carte's "Ormonde."

10 (Return)
See the proofs of this collected in Carey's "Vindiciæ Hibernicæ."

11 (Return)
Milton's "Eikonoclastes"; Warner's "History of the Rebellion"; Carey's "Vindiciæ"; and Pamphlets, Libraries of Trinity College and the Dublin Society.

12 (Return)
Sir W. Petty's "Political Anatomy of Ireland"; Lawrence's "Interest of Ireland"; "Curry's Review"; "Carte's Life and Letters of Ormonde," &c.

13 (Return)
Hallam's "Constitutional History," v. 3, p. 588, 3rd edition.

14 (Return)
Speke's "Memoirs."

15 (Return)
See the Declaration of Union, dated 21st March, 1688, in the Appendix to Walker's "Account of the Siege of Derry."

16 (Return)
These acts were done in good faith by the people, instigated by the devices of the nobles. A letter, now admitted to have been forged, was dispersed by Lord Mount Alexander, announcing the design of the Roman Catholics to murder the Protestants.

17 (Return)
See as to this, Melfort's letter to Pottinger, the sovereign of Belfast; "History of Belfast," pp. 72-3; Lesley proves, on Williamite authority, that the Protestants were worse treated by William's army than by James's. See Dr. Gorges in Lesley's Appendix.

18 (Return)
He was appointed in 1686 (see Appendix B). T. W. R.

19 (Return)
In July, 1691, William had offered these terms: 1st. The free public exercise of the Roman Catholic Religion. 2nd. Half the churches in the kingdom. 3rd. Half the employments, civil and military, if they pleased. 4th. Half their properties, as held prior to Cromwell's conquest. The terms were at once refused. The suppressed proclamation doubtless offered at least as much. (Harris's "William," and Plowden, b. 2.)

20 (Return)
Rawdon Papers, p. 253.

21 (Return)
Anthony Hamilton, in his "Memoirs of Grammont," exaggerates this to £40,000 a year, and attributes Miss Jennings' affection to its attractions. But besides that, by his statement, Tyrconnell had been a rival of Grammont with Miss Hamilton, there is enough in Grammont to account for it otherwise. Hamilton, an Irishman, and a Jacobite, seems to have sympathised with Tyrconnell. He describes him as "one of the largest and most powerful looking men in England," "with a brilliant and handsome appearance, and something of nobility, not to say haughtiness in his manners." He mentions circumstances, showing him bold, free, amorous, and, strange for a courtier, punctual in payment of debts. Yet this man, so full of refinement, and so trained, is described by King as addressing the Irish Privy Council thus:—"I have put the sword into your hands, and God damn you all if ever you part with it."

22 (Return)
Clarendon's "State Letters," vol. i. and the Diary.

23 (Return)
Hallam's "Constitutional History," v. iii., p. 530.

24 (Return)
State Tracts, Will. III.'s reign, H. R.'s App. to Cox.

25 (Return)
"Memoirs of James II.," by the Rev. —— Clarke, Chaplain to George IV. These memoirs seem to have been copies of memoirs written under James II.'s inspection, and deposited in the Scotch College in Paris. The originals perished at the French Revolution, and their copies came to Rome, from whence they were procured for the English government in 1805. See Mr. Clarke's preface, and Guizot's preface to his translation of them in the "Mémoires de la Révolution."

26 (Return)
Hallam ("Constitutional History," chaps. 13 and 14) contains enough to show the uncertainty of the law. Throughout these, as in all parts of his work, he is a jealous Williamite and a bigoted Whig. His treatment of Curry has been justly censured by Mr. Wyse, in his valuable "History of the Catholic Association," vol. i., pp. 36-7.

27 (Return)
This Preamble is James II.'s own writing, as appears by "The Journal."

28 (Return)
The clause for the destruction of the Records of the parliament of 1689, is in an act annulling the attainders and all acts of 1689.

"Be it enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal and commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That all and every the acts, or pretended acts, and the rolls whereon the said acts or pretended acts, and every of them, are recorded or engrossed, and all proceedings of what nature or kind soever had, made, done, or passed by the said persons lately so assembled at Dublin, pretending to be or calling themselves by the name of a Parliament, and also all writs issued in order to the calling of the said pretended Parliament, and returned into any office in this kingdom, and there remaining, and all the journals of the said pretended Parliament, and other books or writings in any wise relating thereunto, or to the holding thereof, shall, by the officers or persons in whose custody the same are, be brought before the lord deputy, or other chief governour or governours of this kingdom for the time being, at such time as the lord deputy, or other chief governour or governours for the time being shall appoint, at the council chamber in Dublin, and there shall be publicly and openly cancelled and utterly destroyed: and in case any officer or person in whose hands or custody the said acts and rolls or proceedings, or any of them, do or shall remain, shall wilfully neglect or refuse to produce the same, to the intent that the same may be cancelled and destroyed, according to the true intent of this act, every such person and officer shall be, and is hereby adjudged and declared to be from thenceforth incapable of any office or employment whatsoever, and shall forfeit and pay the sum of five hundred pounds, one-half thereof to his Majesty, and the other half to such person or persons that shall sue for the same by any action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in any court of record whatsoever."—7 Will. III. Ir. c. 1.

"It is possible an outline of some such bill might have been prepared by one of those hot-headed people of whom James had too many in his councils either for his safety or for his reputation, and they were chiefly English; and that such draft of a bill having been laid before parliament, that wise, patriotic and sagacious body did ameliorate and reduce it into 'the statute for the revival of the court of claims'; a law so unparalleled from its moderation in its review of forfeitures, by going back to Cromwell's debentures exclusively; a period of only thirty-eight years anterior to the date of their then sitting.

"Such a draft of a bill, like our own protestant bill for the castration of Romish priests, which did pass here but was cushioned in England,[1] or like the threat of a bill for levelling popish chapels, which I myself heard made when I sat in the house of commons, such a draft of a bill, I say, might have been found among the baggage of the Duke of Tyrconnel, of Sir Richard Nagle, or of the unfortunate sovereign himself, for Burnet acquaints us, That all Tyrconnel's papers were taken in the camp; and those of James were found in Dublin." (Burnet's "Own Times," Vol. 2nd, p. 30).

1 (Return)
This is not quite correct. The penalty in the Bill, as it passed the Irish House of Commons, was branding on the cheek. In sending the Bill on to England the Irish Privy Council substituted castration. The English Government restored the original penalty. The Bill ultimately fell through, but not, it would seem, on this point. See Lecky, "History of England," Vol. I., ch. ii.—T. W. R.

29 (Return)
The dates about the time of this revolution are most important. On the 10th October, 1688, William issued an address, dated at the Hague, and another from the same place, dated 24th October, intended to counterwork James's retractations. He landed at Torbay, November 5th, arrived in London December 17th. Some Whig Lords signed an association, dated December 19th, pledging themselves to stand by the prince, and avenge him if he should perish. December 23rd, William issued the letter calling the members of Charles II.'s parliament, the mayor, aldermen, and 50 councillors of London. December 26th they met, called on the prince to assume the government and issue letters for a convention, and they signed the association of the Whig Lords. They presented their address 27th December, it was received December 28th, and then this little club broke up. December 29th William issued letters for a convention, which met 22nd January, 1688-9, finally agreed on their declaration against James and his family, and for William and Mary, 12th February; and these, king and queen, were proclaimed 13th February, 1688-9. February 19th, a Bill was brought in to call the convention a parliament; it passed, and received royal assent 23rd February. By this the lords and gentlemen who met 22nd January were named the two houses of parliament, and the acts of this convention-parliament were to date from 13th February. This hybrid sat till 20th August, and having passed the Attainder Act was adjourned to 20th September, and then 19th October, 1689. This second session lasted till 27th January, 1689-90, when it was stopped by a prorogation to the 2nd April; but before that day it was dissolved, and a parliament summoned by writ, which met 20th March, 1689, and as a first law, passed an act ratifying the proceedings of the convention.

30 (Return)
The following is the list of books given as the present sources of history:—

some of the original sources of irish history.

ancient irish times.

Annals of Tigernach, abbot of Clonmacnoise, from A.D. 200 to his death, 1188, partly compiled from writers of the eighth, seventh, and sixth centuries.

Lives of St. Patrick, St. Columbanus, etc.

Annals of the Four Masters, from the earliest times to 1616.

Other Annals, such as those of Innisfallen, Ulster, Boyle, etc. Publications of the Irish Archæological Society, Danish and Icelandic Annals.

english invasion and the pale.

Gerald de Barri, surnamed Cambrensis, "Topography" and "Conquest of Ireland." Four Masters, Tracts in Harris's Hibernica. Campion's, Hanmer's, Marlborough's, Camden's, Holingshed's, Stanihurst's, and Ware's Histories. Hardiman's Statutes of Kilkenny.

Henry VIII. and Elizabeth.—Harris's Ware. O'Sullivan's Catholic History. Four Masters. Spencer's View. Sir G. Carew's Pacata Hibernia. State Papers, Temp. H. VIII. Fynes Moryson's Itinerary.

James I.—Harris's Hibernica. Sir John Davies' Tracts.

Charles I.—Strafford's Letters. Carte's Life of Ormond. Lodge's Desiderata. Clarendon's Rebellion. Tichborne's Drogheda. State Trials. Rinuccini's Letters. Pamphlets. Castlehaven's Memoirs. Clanrickarde's Memoirs. Peter Walsh. Sir J. Temple.

Charles II.—Lord Orrery's Letters. Essex's Letters.

James II. and William III.—King's State of Protestants, and Lesley's Answer. The Green Book. Statutes of James's Parliament, in Dublin Magazine, 1843. Clarendon's Letters. Rawdon Papers. Tracts. Molyneux's Case of Ireland.

George I. and II.—Swift's Life. Lucas's Tracts. Howard's Cases under Popery Laws. O'Leary's Tracts. Boulter's Letters. O'Connor's and Parnell's Irish Catholics. Foreman on "The Brigade."

George III.—Grattan's and Curran's Speeches and Lives—Memoirs of Charlemont. Wilson's Volunteers. Barrington's Rise and Fall. Wolfe Tone's Memoirs. Moore's Fitzgerald. Wyse's Catholic Association. Madden's United Irishmen. Hay, Teeling, etc., on '98. Tracts. MacNevin's State Trials. O'Connell's and Sheil's Speeches. Plowden's History.

Compilations.—Moore. M'Geoghegan. Curry's Civil Wars. Carey's Vindiciæ. O'Connell's Ireland. Leland.

Current Authorities.—The Acts of Parliament. Lords' and Commons' Journals and Debates. Lynch's Legal Institutions.

Antiquities, Dress, Arms.—Royal Irish Academy's Transactions and Museum. Walker's Irish Bards. British Costume, in Library of Entertaining Knowledge.

31 (Return)
Like many of the suggestions of Thomas Davis this has borne fruit. In our own day the Irish Folk Song Society (20 Hanover Square, London, W.) as well as the Feis Ceoil and the Gaelic League have done invaluable work in the direction indicated.—[Ed.]

32 (Return)
Mellifont, founded in 1142 by O'Carroll, King of Oriel.—C.P.M.

33 (Return)
See Irish Franciscan Monasteries, by C.P.M., C.C.

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Again we note that, though late in the day, Davis's appeal has been answered, and most of the important ancient monuments of the country placed under official protection. The real need now is for scientific exploration of the ancient sites.—[Ed.]

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The reader who wishes to know what modern archæology has to say of this great tumulus may be referred to Mr. George Coffey's "Newgrange," published by Hodges, Figgis & Co., 1912. It dates from about 1,000 years earlier than Davis supposed.

36 (Return)
The Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. xx. Dublin: Hodges & Smith, Grafton Street.

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A turbulent and learned Franciscan friar who figured in the Confederation of Kilkenny.—C.P.M.

38 (Return)
Author of the Life of Thucydides.—C.P.M.

39 (Return)
See Mitchel's Life of Hugh O'Neill, and Meehan's Flight of the Earls. Dublin: Duffy & Sons.

40 (Return)
Owen Roe, who defeated Monro, 1646.

41 (Return)
"The Select Speeches of the Right Hon. Henry Grattan. To which is added his Letter on the Union, with a Commentary on his Career and Character." By Daniel Owen Madden, Esq., of the Inner Temple. Dublin: James Duffy, 1845. 8vo, pp. 534.

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The Industrial Resources of Ireland, by Robert Kane, M.D., Secretary to the Council of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor of Natural Philosophy to the Royal Dublin Society, and of Chemistry to the Apothecaries' Hall of Ireland. Dublin: Hodges & Smith, 21 College Green.

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'Bright water' is the true rendering: Could Davis have been thinking of binn uisge, and supposing that binn meant sweet in taste as well as in sound?—[Ed.]

44 (Return)
Tales and Sketches illustrating the Irish Peasantry. By William Carleton. James Duffy, Dublin, 1845. 1 vol., 8vo., pp. 393.

45 (Return)
A splendid edition of this work, greatly enlarged, and printed in The Irish Exhibition Buildings, was issued by Messrs. Duffy and Sons, September, 1882.

46 (Return)
The artist referred to was Sir Frederick Burton. [Ed.]

47 (Return)
Ballad Poetry of Ireland,—Library of Ireland, No. II.

48 (Return)
A "Ballad History of Ireland."

49 (Return)
This essay, together with another of less value, was reprinted from The Nation by M. J. Barry as an introduction to his "Songs of Ireland" 1845. [Ed.]

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The withdrawal of the Coach Contracts from Ireland is but another instance of the same spiteful and feeble policy. Messrs. Bourne and Purcell had for years held the contract for building the Irish Mail Coaches. This contract was less a source of wealth to them than of support and comfort to hundreds of families employed by them. The contract runs out—Messrs. Bourne & Purcell propose in form for it—an informal proposal, at a rate inconsiderably lower, is sent in by another person, and is at once accepted. It is accepted notwithstanding its irregularity, and notwithstanding the offer of Messrs. Bourne & Purcell to take it, even at a loss, as low as anyone else. It is given to a foreigner. Were the difference triple what it was, that contract should have been left in Ireland.—Nation.

51 (Return)
From The Nation May 17, 1845.

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The Three Hundred Greeks who died at Thermopylæ, and the Three Romans who kept the Sublician Bridge.

53 (Return)
Angl. Brehon.

54 (Return)
Angl. Glyn.

55 (Return)
Angl. Dingle.

56 (Return)
Angl. Barrow.

57 (Return)
Angl. Youghal.

58 (Return)
Angl. Maynooth.

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Formerly the war-cry of the Geraldines, and now their motto.

60 (Return)
Angl. Curragh.

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The concluding stanza was found among the author's papers, and was inserted in the first edition. It is believed to have had a personal reference, not to any Geraldine but to William Smith O'Brien.—Ed.

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Ara is a small mountain tract south of Loch Deirgdheire, and north of the Camailte, or the Keeper, hills. It was the seat of a branch of the Thomond princes, called the O'Briens of Ara.

63 (Return)
Vulgo O'Kennedy.

64 (Return)
Vul. M'Carthy.

65 (Return)
Vul. O'Brien.

66 (Return)
Vul. Drumineer.

67 (Return)
Vul. Usquebaugh.

68 (Return)
Vul. Kerne.

69 (Return)
Vul. Killaloe.

70 (Return)
Vul. Ryan.

71 (Return)
Vul. Carroll.

72 (Return)
Vul. Nenagh.

73 (Return)
Vulgo, Ossory.

74 (Return)
Vul. Lurrow.

75 (Return)
Vul. Murrough.

76 (Return)
Baltimore is a small seaport in the barony of Carbery, in South Munster. It grew up round a Castle of O'Driscoll's, and was, after his ruin, colonized by the English. On the 20th of June, 1631, the crew of two Algerine galleys landed in the dead of the night, sacked the town, and bore off into slavery all who were not too old, or too young, or too fierce for their purpose. The pirates were steered up the intricate channel by one Hackett, a Dungarvan fisherman, whom they had taken at sea for the purpose. Two years after he was convicted and executed for the crime. Baltimore never recovered this. To the artist, the antiquary, and the naturalist, its neighbourhood is most interesting. See "The Ancient and Present State of the County and City of Cork," by Charles Smith, M.D.

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Commonly called Owen Roe O'Neill. Time, 10th November, 1649. Scene—Ormond's Camp, County Waterford. Speakers—A veteran of Eoghan O'Neill's clan, and one of the horsemen just arrived with an account of his death.

78 (Return)
Clough Oughter.

79 (Return)

80 (Return)
Shule aroon.

81 (Return)
Gap of danger.

82 (Return)
Written on the funeral of the Rev. P. J. Tyrrell, P.P., of Lusk; one of those indicted with O'Connell in the Government prosecution of 1843.

83 (Return)
Written in reply to some very beautiful verses printed in the Evening Mail, deprecating and defying the assumed hostility of the Irish Celts to the Irish Saxons.

84 (Return)
Vulgo, Owen, a name frequent among the Cymry (Welsh).