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Title: An Essay on the Antient and Modern State of Ireland
Author: Brooke, Henry, 1703?-1783
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Essay on the Antient and Modern State of Ireland" ***

                             An Essay On The

                         Ancient and Modern State

                                Of Ireland

                  With the Various Important Advantages

                            Thereunto Derived,

          under the auspicious Reign of His most sacred Majesty

                         King GEORGE the Second.

                      Including a particular Account

                        of the great and glorious

                               St. Patrick


                               Henry Brooke

                             Dublin: Printed

                            London: Re-Printed

                            for R. Griffiths.



The Farmer’s Case Of The Roman-Catholics Of _Ireland_.






Justly sensible, Sir, how sincerely You have the Character and Esteem of
our Native Country at Heart, I take Leave to offer to Your Perusal, and
commend to Your favourable Acceptance, the following Sheets.

What gave them Rise, was my happening, some Time since, to have fallen
into Company with two or three sprightly young Gentlemen, then just
returned from their Continental Rambles,—who—altho’ little burthened with
the Religion, Laws, Learning, Policy, Customs, Habits, Manners, or
Languages of any, or the several Countries they had scampered thro’,
affected, nevertheless, an high Contempt for this,—their Native.

I listened with silent Indignation, and determined to contribute my Mite
towards giving such unattentive, uninformed Youths, a more adequate Idea
of this Kingdom, under its ancient and under its present happy

The common Accidents of Time must lead them by better Authority to clearer
Knowledge: In the mean while, I profess my Obligations to them, as they
have given me this Opportunity of declaring my Regard to my Country in
general, and the particular Attachments that ever bind me, in the
strictest Sense of Fidelity and Esteem, to a Friend so worthy as You have
been to,

Your very obliged, and
Most obedient Servant.


In a Nation, where almost every Gentleman is better acquainted, and more
conversant, with the Nature and Circumstances of other Countries than
those of his own, the Publication of such Hints as may somewhat contribute
to remove so odd an Inattention, and induce those far better qualified to
render a Subject so interesting some Justice, will not, I hope, be deemed
an Impertinence; in one especially who, by this Essay, however feeble,
hath nothing beside the Honour and Advantage of _Ireland_ in View, a
Kingdom whereof he is, without Vanity, proud of being a Native.

As the Story of Savages and Barbarians can contain nothing instructive, or
entertaining, the _Antemilesian_ Inhabitants of this Land having been
mostly such, and all surviving Accounts of them almost totally overcast
with Fable, we are therefore, in treating of the antient _Scotia_, or
modern _Ireland_, to refer principally to three distinguished æras,
whereof the _first_ is, its being peopled by an _Iberian_ or _Spanish_
Colony: The _second_, truly glorious, the Arrival of St. _Patrick_, in his
most salutary Mission: The _third_ and last, its Cession to _Henry_ the
Second, King of _England_, (the first of the Royal Race of _Plantagenet_)
partly from a pretended Title of _Adrian_ the Fourth, Pope of _Rome_;
partly from the restless and insatiable Desires of _Henry_; _more_ from
the manifold Infirmities of the then reigning _Irish_ Chiefs—but above
all, from the peculiarly adverse Fate of _Roderick_, the last of our

The assiduous, exact, and candid Author of the _Dissertations_,(1) lately
published, on the Origin, Government, Letters, Sciences, Religion, Manners
and Customs of the antient Inhabitants of this Country, hath put all those
Matters in so clear and happy, and, at the same Time, in so strong a
Light, by the Powers of various foreign Testimonies, of undeniable
Authenticity, coincident with our own, that scarce any Thing new can be
offered on the same Subject.

It may, however, in general be observed, that _Milesius_, a _Spanish_
Prince, so far back as the Reign of _Solomon_ (instigated by Necessity, or
induced by Ambition) with a considerable Number of Associates and
Followers, landed from the Western Parts of _Spain_, on the Southern
Coasts of this Island, where it is probable they met little, or but faint
Opposition, from wild and undisciplined Inhabitants.

Those People, from their early Knowledge of the _Phœnician_ Arts and
Letters, imported such Rudiments of Government and Learning, as those
primitive Times admitted; a Truth visible from the Similarity or rather
Identity of the _Phœnician_ and _Scotic_ Alphabet.

This antient Colony quietly settled here, remote from the Storms and
Revolutions of the greater World, and secured by Situation from its
hostile Incursions, there is no Doubt but the Cultivation of Religion,
Philosophy, Politicks, Poetry, and Musick, became the chief Objects of
popular Study and Application: The Spirit of Ambition in succeeding Ages,
with its unhappy concomitant Train of Sedition, Faction, and Violence, the
foreign Invasions, and often the intestine Oppressions and Calamities, to
which our neighbouring Nations were subject, calling forth the protective
or conciliating Aids of those ancient Heroes, made them great Masters also
in the Art military.

The Pentarchy originally formed by those _Iberian_ or _Celtic Spaniards_,
with a popular Right of Election, was certainly a Kind of Government
extremely consistent with the Essence and Genius of true Liberty, and a
System derived from the Patriarchs themselves. For when the various
Necessities of Society required a Subordination, together with some stated
Maxims to go by, to avoid the confused and promiscuous Intercourse in a
State of Nature; then did the People elect the most Virtuous and Wise, to
lead and conduct them in Times of War and Trouble; to govern, inform, and
protect them, in milder and more auspicious Seasons. Then was the Motto of
the Crown, or of the chief Ensign of Pre-eminence, _Digniori detur_, and
so continued till the Degeneracy of Time, and the baneful Growth of
Avarice and Pride, with the feverish Lust of Power, perverted it
to—_Rapiat Fortior_!

Such, thro’ a long Succession of Ages, was the Condition, and such at
length the Fate of this Kingdom, destroyed after a longer Continuance than
any other can boast, by the Abuse of its own Powers; a sure Argument that
all created Beings, all sublunary Institutions, however wisely composed,
in the very Essence of their Creation, and in the very Rudiments of their
Formation, comprehend, at the same Time, the Seeds of Dissolution: Yet it
is not more remarkable than true, that in the most boisterous Periods of
this Kingdom’s antient Establishment, the Arts and Sciences, with the
fundamental Principles of Constitution, were preserved and cherished with
inviolable Assiduity. The Priests, Philosophers, Advocates, Annalists,
Poets and Musicians, were obliged to preserve Religion, political Wisdom,
Law, History, _&c._ hereditarily in their respective Tribes, and to
educate in these different Branches the Chiefs and Nobles of the Land, for
which they were graciously maintained in secure and splendid Tranquillity:
Those Sages attended the National Conventions, where all publick Acts were
religiously recorded, and all Abuses of Power and Government retrenched or
reformed; nor were they permitted, except in Case of extraordinary
Necessity, or uncommon Merit, to deviate from their proper and primitive
Spheres of Action: Since, where an harmonious Subordination of Rank and
Order hath not been duly preserved, even in free Estates, Liberty itself
(wisely attempered, the greatest of all social Blessings) hath often, from
Abuse and Neglect, sickened into Licentiousness, the immediate lewd Mother
of Anarchy! In the visible Creation, the direct Result of infinite Wisdom,
the lesser Planets do not interfere with, much less shock or oppose the
Motions and Revolutions of the greater; they constantly keep the Distances
first prescribed them, and all move regularly to their respective Ends.
The most verdant and fragrant Meadows may, from the too frequent Irruption
of muddy Waters, degenerate into noxious Marshes, if some Care was not
taken to divert those impure Gushings into their proper Channels. Hence it
may be inferred, that laying open the most honorary, as well as important
and useful Professions of Society, to the Intrusion, or rather pyratical
Invasions, of the Scum and Dregs of the People, cannot, however varnished
over with the fictitious Colourings of pretended Liberty, consist with
true Political Wisdom.

Those ancient _Sophi_ and _Literati_ enjoyed their Places with the greater
Security, that they were uninvadable by the inferior Classes of Mankind;
with the greater Content and Chearfulness, that much Esteem and Emolument
were connected with them: The Priest and Advocate informed and directed
the Conscience and Conduct; the Historian and Annalist recorded the
Institutions; the Poet and Musician celebrated and sung the Exploits of
their Kings and Leaders: No Wonder then this Kingdom should have been
revered at Home, and admired Abroad; when Religion formed, Erudition
nurtured, Philosophy strengthened, History preserved, Rhetorick adorned,
Musick softened, and Poesy refined, the National Wisdom and
Accomplishments; to all which was added, a thorough Knowledge of Tactics,
and great Skill and Agility in all the athletick Arts, and bodily

In the Versions of some original Codes exported by our Countryman, the
learned and pious St. _Fiechry_, still extant in the _Navarre_ Library at
_Paris_, the Constitutional Wisdom of _Ireland_ appears in a clear and
happy Light: Persons, Things, Actions, and Expressions, were cautiously
attended to, by the Laws; _Persons_, in their Minority, Youth, and
Manhood, according to their different Ranks in the State, so as by Care,
Education, and Discipline, to render them, some subservient, others
useful, some beneficial, and others ornamental thereunto. _Things_, so
carefully, as to prevent, by prohibatory Laws, Wastes of whatsoever Kind,
and to ascertain to each Individual, as well as Society, their proper and
distinct Rights. _Actions_, by directing those in general, and particular,
to the Honour of the Deity and Welfare of the Community: _Expression_, by
the penal Interdiction of prophane Cursing and Swearing, Obscenity,
Scurrility, Calumny, and Detraction, yet with a full Indulgence of proper
Satire against such as merited popular Reprehension, or Contempt; the
Satirist’s Pen in those Days being as much dreaded, or rather more so,
than the Magistrate’s Rod, and consequently as diligently avoided by a
Demeanour absolutely irreproachable.

It appeareth that, under the antient Government of _Ireland_, the
Education of the landed Gentry, when Luxury, with its wasteful Catalogue
of Vices, had not rendered Property so mutable and wavering as in modern
Ages, was provided for; whether by the immediate Care of Parents, or
essential Attention of Guardians, by the Laws of the Land; in order that
Gentlemen should, to the Antiquity of Birth and Possession, add the
important Dignity of Learning, and social Refinement of Arts: Since a Man
at the Head of an original Estate, who should want the necessary
Cultivation of Letters, was considered only as a Peasant in Disguise, and
not more respected than a Hewer of Wood, or Drawer of Water.

In these Writings of St. _Fiechry_, the legislative Wisdom of
_Olam-Fodla_; the philosophically-religious Capacity of _Cormac-O Quin_,
who, from the pure Light of Nature, in a great Measure defeated the absurd
_Polytheism_ of the _Druids_; the consummate Integrity and Impartiality of
_Federach_ the Just, and _Moran_ his Chief Justice; the Magnanimity of
_Con-Ked-Cathagh_; the Conquests of _Kineth Mac Alpin_; the long,
glorious, and peaceful Reign of _Conary_ the Great, _coæval_ with the
Birth of our Blessed Lord and Saviour _Jesus Christ_, (undoubtedly the
happiest, brightest, and most blissful Period the World ever saw;) are all
displayed in a copious masterly Style, yet with strict chronological

This learned St. _Fiechry_ was Founder of the University in _Paris_, in
the Beginning of the 8th Century. The better to enable him to carry on
that noble Work, he obtained of _Charles_ the Great a Tax on all
Wheel-Carriages, within the Barriers of that City: Whence, a Hackney-Coach
is at this Day technically term’d _Fiacre_.

_Charles_ the Great, in order to repair the cruel and truly lamentable
literary Dilapidations of the ferocious North-men, invited Numbers of the
learned and pious _Irish_ to the Continent, where he established and
entertained them with Dignity, Tenderness, and Respect. In a curious
Manuscript of _Nicholaus Gurtlerus_, (now in the _French_ King’s
_Parisian_ Library) Author of the _Origines Mundi_, where he alludes to
these Times, you find the following favourable, but true Account of
_Ireland_.—_Temporibus illis, barbaris Normannorum Cohortibus undequaque
irrumpentibus, Religio, Fides, Philosophia, Virtus, Hospitalitas,
Fortitudo, Castitas, necnon et Amœniores omnium generum Artes, Hibernia
solummodò natali, veluti Solo, viguerunt_; little Wonder that _Ireland_
should have been esteemed the _Ierne_, or sacred Isle of the _Greeks_, the
_Insula Sanctorum_, or Island of Saints of the _Romans_.—Would to Heaven
our Countrymen had, upon all considerable Occasions, recollected those
deserved Encomiums, thereby to approve them worthy their applauded Origin,
and native Soil!

We now proceed to consider _Ireland_ in her happiest and brightest View,
after the Admission and Propagation of Christianity. It is certain there
were many Christians in _Ireland_, before the Arrival of _Palladius_ in
431, or of St. _Patrick_ the Year following: St. _Kieran_, St. _Ailbe_,
St. _Declan_, and St. _Ibar_, whom _Ussher_ calls the Precursors, or
Forerunners of St. _Patrick_, are pregnant Proofs of this; they were of
the Birth of _Ireland_, from whence they travelled to _Rome_, in Search of
Education and Learning, where they lived some Years, were ordained, and
returned Home about the Year 402.

It seems that those early Preachers confined their Labours to particular
Places, in which they had considerable Success, but fell very short of
converting the Body of the Nation: However, they sowed the Seed which St.
_Patrick_ came after to water: And it is certain that St. _Patrick_ was so
well satisfied with the Progress they made, in their particular Districts
in _Munster_, that this was the last Province in _Ireland_ he thought
proper to visit. That there were many Christians in _Ireland_, at this
Period, seems to be confirmed by _Prosper_, who, in giving an Account of
the Mission of _Palladius_, says, that he was ordained by Pope _Celestin_,
and sent the first Bishop to the _Scots_ believing in Christ. This Passage
can mean nothing else, but that _Palladius_, born in Britain, was sent to
the Scots [i.e. the _Irish_] who had already formed Churches under
_Kieran_, _Ailbe_, _Declan_ and _Ibar_; and so the Bishop of St. _Asaph_
expounds it. This then was the next Attempt that was made for the
Conversion of the _Irish_: _Palladius_ engaged in a more ample and
extensive Design than his Predecessors, yet he failed in the Execution of
it, stay’d but a short Time in _Ireland_, and did little worth remembring;
he converted, however, a few, and is said to have founded three Churches;
but he had neither Courage to withstand the Fierceness of the heathen
_Irish_, nor Abilities, for Want of the Language, proper for the Work.

_Nathi_, the Son of _Garcon_, an _Irish_ Prince, opposed his preaching;
upon which _Palladius_ left the Kingdom, and died in the Land of the
_Picts_, on the 15th of _December_, 431. This glorious Work was reserved
for St. _Patrick_, to whose holy Life, divine Mission, and extraordinary
Success, I refer the Reader. This great Apostle of the _Irish_ founded and
built the Cathedral Church of _Ardmagh_, about the Year 444, or 45, which,
from that early Period to this, hath continued the Metropolitan Church of
all _Ireland_. So that 1194 Years passed away from the Founding of the
City of _Rome_, to that of _Ardmagh_.

The various and most signal Blessings derived to this Nation, from the
salutary Mission of this illustrious Saint, require, in Gratitude, our
giving the Reader yet a further Account of the Author of such Happiness
and Glory to _Ireland_.

He was born in the extreme Bounds of _Britain_, (in that Part thereof
which is now comprehended within the Limits of the modern _Scotland_) at a
Village called _Banaven_, in the Territory of _Tabernia_, (as he himself
saith in his Confession) in _Vico Banaven Taberniæ_, &c. He tells us that
he was born of a good Family. _Ingennuus fui secundum Carnem._ His Father
was _Calphurnius_, a Deacon, who was the Son of _Potitus_, a Priest; from
whence may be clearly inferred that the Clergy were not restrained from
Matrimony in that Age. He was just advanced into his sixteenth Year, when
he was taken Captive, the Manner of which is thus related by St. _Evin_
and others: His Father, Mother, Brother, and five Sisters, undertook a
Voyage to _Aremorick Gaul_, (now called _Bass Bretagne_) to visit the
Relations of his Mother _Couchessa_. It happened about this Time, that the
seven Sons of _Factmude_, a _British_ Prince, were banished, and took to
the Sea; that, making an Inroad into _Aremorick Gaul_, they took _Patrick_
and his Sister, _Lupita_, (some say _Tigrida_ also) Prisoners. They
brought their Captives to the North of _Ireland_, and sold _Patrick_ to
_Milcho Mac Huanan_, a Prince of _Dalaradia_: Others tell the Story in a
different Manner, and with a stronger Degree of Probability. That the
_Romans_ having deserted _Britain_, to preserve their own Country from the
barbarous Incursions of the _Northern Hive_, the _Irish_ made frequent
Conquests, in _North Britain_ especially, whence returning victorious, in
one of those Expeditions among others brought _Patrick_ Captive. But in
this they all agree, and he himself confirms it, that he continued
Prisoner in _Ireland_ six Years; he was sold to _Milcho_ and his three
Brothers, which gave Occasion of his changing his Name into _Cathraigh_,
or rather _Ceathir-Tigh_, because he served four Masters; _Ceathir_
signifying four, and _Tigh_ a House or Family. _Milcho_ observing the Care
and Diligence of his new Servant, bought out the Shares of his Brothers,
and made him his own Property. He sent him to feed his Hogs on
_Sliev-Mis_. And St. _Patrick_ himself tells us his Behaviour in this

“My constant Business was to feed the Hogs. I was frequent in Prayer; the
Love and Fear of God more and more inflamed my Heart; my Faith was
enlarged, and my Spirit augmented, so that I said an hundred Prayers by
Day, and almost as many by Night. I arose before Day to my Prayers, in the
Snow, in the Frost, and in the Rain, and yet I received no Damage; nor was
I affected with Slothfulness; for then the Spirit of God was warm within
me.” It was here he perfected himself in the _Irish_ Language, the
wonderful Providence of God visibly appearing in this Instance of his
Captivity, that he should have the Opportunity in his tender Years of
becoming well acquainted with the Language, Manners, and Dispositions of
that People, to whom he was intended as a future Apostle. He continued six
whole Years in Servitude, and in the seventh was released. There seems to
have been a Law in _Ireland_ for this Purpose, agreeable to the
Institution of _Moses_, that a Servant should be released the seventh

Having parted from his Master, after a great Variety of Distresses, he at
length arrived to his Parents, who received him with extraordinary Joy;
with these he remained two Years, and probably would much longer, had he
not by a Vision been quickened to a more active and glorious Life. In this
he thought he saw a Man coming to him from _Ireland_, whose Name was
_Victoricus_, with a great Number of Letters; that he gave him one of them
to read, in the Beginning of which were contained these Words,
_Vox-Hiberionacum_, the Voice of the _Irish_: While he was reading this
Letter, he thought the same Moment, that he heard the Voice of the
Inhabitants who lived near the Wood of _Foclut_, in the Barony of
_Tyr-Awley_, and County of _Mayo_, hard by the Western Sea, crying to him
with an audible and distinct Voice, “We intreat thee, holy Youth, to come
and walk among us.” He was greatly amazed at this Vision, and awoke; it
animated him, however, to his future Studies and heavenly Progress; so far
even, that he tells us himself, he thanked God, that after many Years he
had dealt with the _Irish_, according to their crying out.

These early Scenes of this great Saint’s Life, should, among many others,
serve as lessons of Charity, Consideration, and Humility, to the Rich, the
Great, the Proud, and the Wanton; who may recollect that, altho’ he was
well born, he was nevertheless, in the most vigorous Season of Life, a
Slave and a Swine-Herd: Happy, though wretched Servitude! In which, his
leisure Hours, mostly employed in Christian Confidence and Prayer, made
him so signally the Favourite of Heaven, that from those cloudy Dawnings,
he in Process of Time became a learned Doctor, a sanctified Missioner, a
venerable Prelate, an eminent Primate, a national Apostle, and the bright
Instructor of Kings! Such were the fruitful Rewards of uninterrupted
unshaken Devotion, Piety, and Zeal! From this Time he formed the steady
Resolution of converting the _Irish_; and, the better to accomplish the
heavenly Task, he undertook a laborious Journey to foreign Countries, to
enrich his Mind with Learning and Experience.

He continued abroad thirty-five Years, pursuing his Studies under the
Direction principally of his Mother’s Uncle, St. _Martin_, Bishop of
_Tours_, who had ordained him Deacon; and after his Death, partly with St.
_German_, Bishop of _Auxerre_, (who ordained him a Priest, and called his
Name _Magonius_, which was the third Name he was known by,) partly among a
Colony of _Hermits_ and _Monks_, in some Islands of the _Tuscan_ Sea; and
he employed a good Part of the Time in the City of _Rome_, among the
Canons Regular of the _Lateran_ Church: At length, having his Soul
thoroughly tempered with religious Virtue, enlightened with the true
Evangelical Faith, and his Understanding enlarged by the most profitable
and edifying Studies, he arrived in _Ireland_ about the 60th Year of his
Age; and in the Year of our Lord 432, landed in the County of _Wicklow_,
where he began his Ministry, by the Conversion of _Sinel_, a great Man in
that Country, the Grandson of _Finchad_, who ought to be remembered, as he
was the first Fruits of St. _Patrick_’s Mission in _Ireland_; he was the
8th in lineal Descent from _Cormac_, King of _Leinster_, and came
afterwards to be enumerated among the Saints of _Ireland_.

From this Country he sailed to an Island on the Coast of the County of
_Dublin_, called after him _Inis Phadring_, and by the _English_, _Holm
Patrick_ at this Day, where he and his faithful Companions rested after
their Fatigues. From _Inis Phadring_, he sailed Northward to that Part of
_Ulster_ called _Ulidia_, and put in at _Inbherslaying_ Bay. When he and
his Fellow Labourers landed, _Dichu_, the Son of _Trichem_, Lord of the
County, being informed that they were Pirates, came out with armed Men in
order to kill them: But being struck with the venerable Appearance of St.
_Patrick_, he gave him Audience, and listened attentively to the Word of
Life preached by him; he changed his wicked Purpose, believed, and was
baptized, and brought over all his Family to the Faith: It is further
observed of him, that he was the first Person in _Ulster_, who embraced
Christianity. He dedicated the Land whereon his Conversion was wrought to
the Service of God, where a Church was erected, changed after to an
eminent Monastery. He travelled hence by Land to _Clunebois_ in
_Dalaradia_, to endeavour the Conversion of his old Master _Milcho_, whose
Service he had left thirty-eight Years before; but this obstinate Prince,
hearing of the great Success of St. _Patrick_’s preaching, and ashamed to
be persuaded in his old Age, to forsake the Religion of his Ancestors, (by
one especially who had been his Servant, in a most inferior Station,) made
a funeral Pile of his House and Goods, and by the Instigation of the Enemy
of Mankind, burned himself therein: Thus ended _Milcho McHuanan_.

Hence St. _Patrick_ returned to _Inis_, the Habitation of _Dichu_, and in
his Journey converted great Numbers to the true Faith of _Christ_. In some
time, he took his Leave of _Dichu_, and bent his course Southward by Sea,
keeping the Coast on his Right-hand, and arrived at Port _Colbdi_, where
he landed, and committed the Care of his Vessel to his Nephew _Luman_,
desiring him to wait for him there forty Days, while he and his Disciples
were travelling in the inner Parts of the Country to preach the Gospel.
His Intention in this Journey was, to celebrate the Festival of _Easter_
in the Plains of _Bregia_, and to be in the Neighbourhood of the Great
Triennial Convention at _Tarah_, which at this Season was held by King
_Leogair_, and all his Tributary Princes, Nobles, _Druids_, _Annalists_,
_and Fileas_. St. _Patrick_ wisely foreseeing that whatever Impressions he
should make on this august Assembly must have an Influence on the whole
Kingdom, and therefore, being supported with invincible Christian
Fortitude, resolved not to be absent from a Place where his Presence was
so conducive to the Ends of his Holy Ministry.

Never did the Spirit of popular Freedom exert itself more powerfully or
harmoniously, than in those truly parliamentary Triennial Conventions of
_Ireland_, where the supreme Monarch, the Provincial Kings, the feudatory
Lords, the Nobles, landed Men, _Druids_, &c. by the unbiased Suffrages of
the People, convened for the Peace, good Government and Security of each
particular Province, as well as those of the whole Kingdom. Many Centuries
had this wise Constitution subsisted here, before our Neighbours, even of
_South Britain_, knew any thing relative to Houses, or Raiment; it being
notorious that so late as the Arrival of _Julius Cæsar_ among them, they
painted their Bodies, to render them terrible, and lived in the open
Fields. It is really somewhat surprzing that People so near in Situation,
should differ so essentially in Disposition, as the Inhabitants of those
Islands have in all Ages; Hospitality having been the distinguishing
Attribute of the _Irish_, and it’s opposite Defect, that of the _Britons_;
the Account given of them by _Horace_ 1700 and odd Years ago, _Visam
Britannes Hospitibus feros_, being as literally applicable to them at this
Day, where the Force of Education doth not operate to mitigate their
natural Ferocity.

But to return: St. _Patrick_ in his Way to _Tarah_, took up his Lodgings
at the House of the hospitable _Sesgnen_ in _Meath_, who kindly received
and welcomed him. St. _Patrick_ preach’d Christ and his Gospel to him; he
believed, and was baptized with his whole Family.

From the House of _Sesgnen_, he moved Westward, and arrived on _Easter
Eve_ at _Fierta-fir-feic_, on the Northern Banks of the River _Boyne_,
where he rested, resolving there to prepare for the next Day’s Solemnity.
It was penal for any Person at the Time of the Celebration of this solemn
Convention at _Tarah_, to kindle a Fire in the Province, before the King’s
Bonfire first appeared. I am of Opinion this was a religious Ceremony, as
the chief Deity of the ancient Inhabitants, in exterior Worship
especially, was _Bel_, or _Belus_; whence _Apollo_ or _Ap-haul_, the Son
of the Sun, whom they emblematically worshipped, by those fiery Offerings;
whence the first Day of _May_, peculiarly dedicated to this _Bel_, is even
now in _Irish_, called _Lha-Bel-Thinih_, and probably from the same Source
may be derived the Custom of lighting up Bonfires, and Sops, on the Eve of
the 24th Day of _June_. St. _Patrick_ however, either not knowing or not
minding this Ceremony, lighted up a Fire before his Booth, which altho’
eight Miles distant from _Tarah_, was very visible. It was seen with
Astonishment from Court, and the _Druids_ informed the King, that if he
did not immediately extinguish the Fire, he who kindled it, and his
Successors, should for ever hold the Principality of _Ireland_; which hath
hitherto turned out a true Prediction of those Heathen Priests, in a
Primatial and Spiritual Principality.

The King dispatched Messengers to bring _Patrick_ before him, and gave his
positive Orders, that nobody should presume to rise out of his Seat, or
pay him the least Honour: But _Ere_, the Son of _Dego_, ventured to
disobey this Command; he arose, and offered the Holy Father his Seat. St.
_Patrick_ preached to him and converted him. He became a Person of eminent
Sanctity, and after some Time was consecrated by St. _Patrick_, Bishop of

The Day following, when St. _Patrick_ and two of his Disciples appeared
unexpectedly at Court, and preached to the King and his Nobles, _Dubtach_,
the King’s Poet Laureat, payed Honour and Respect to the Saint, and was
converted by his Preaching. _Fiech_, a young Poet, who was under the
Tuition of _Dubtach_, was also converted, and afterwards made Bishop of
_Sletty_, and is said to have been the Author of a celebrated Poem,
composed in Praise of St. _Patrick_. _Anselm_, Arch-Bishop of
_Canterbury_, relates the Conversion of _Tingar_, the Son of _Clito_, (one
of the Nobles in this Assembly,) in the same Manner. The Queen also, and
many others of the Court, became Christians; and altho’ the King held out
for a long Time with great Obstinacy, yet at last he submitted to be
baptized. St. _Patrick_ is said here to have wrought many Miracles: There
could not truly, even according to the Purposes of human Wisdom, have
happened a more solemn or weighty Occasion, for God Almighty’s supporting
this Holy Preacher by Miracles, than when the collective Body of the whole
Nation was assembled together; from whose Report and Conviction, the
Influences of his blessed Works and Doctrine must of Course spread through
the whole Kingdom.

His Conduct and Proceedings here, with a particular Detail of the Miracles
wrought by him, may be had at large in the History of his Life, published
by _John Colgan_.

From _Tarah_, the Saint proceeded next to _Talten_, not far from thence,
at the Season of the Royal Diversions: Here he preached to _Cairbre_, and
_Conall_, the two Brothers of King _Leogin_; the former received him with
great Indignity, and perversely shut his Ears against his Doctrine; but
_Conall_ believed, and was baptized, and gave St. _Patrick_ a Place to
build a Church on.

This _Conall_ was Great-Grand-Father to _Columb-Kill_. He spent the
Remainder of this Year in _Meath_ and _Louth_, and the Districts
adjoining, preaching, and converting great Numbers of People. The
_Taltenian_ Sports above-mentioned, have been much celebrated by the
_Irish_ Historians, and Antiquaries. They were a kind of warlike
Exercises, somewhat resembling the _Olympick_ Games, consisting of Racing,
Tilts, Tournaments, Wrestling, Leaping, Vaulting, and all other manly and
martial Exercises, which gave Rise to the many hyperbolical Tales,
formerly related of those _Taltenian_ Sports. They were exhibited every
Year at _Talten_, a Mountain in _Meath_, for fifteen Days before, and
fifteen Days after the First of _August_. Their first Institution is
ascribed to _Lughaid-lam-fadha_, the twelfth King of _Ireland_, who began
his Reign _A. M._ 2764 (a sufficient Proof of _Ireland_’s Antiquity as a
Kingdom). They were ordained by _Lughaid_, in Gratitude to the Memory of
_Tailte_, the Daughter of _Magh-More_, (a Prince of some Part of _Spain_)
who having been married to _Eochaid_, King of _Ireland_, took the same
_Lughaid_ under her Protection, and had the Care of his Education in his
Minority. From this Princess both the Sports, and the Place where they
were celebrated, took their Names: From _Lughaid_, the First of _August_
was called _Lugnasa_, or the Memory of _Lughaid_, _Nasa_ signifying
Memory, in the _Irish_ Language.

In the Year of the World 2700, _Gideon_ then reigning fourth Judge of the
_Hebrews_, appear’d many Heroes, as _Hercules_, _Orpheus_, _Castor_,
_Pollux_, the _Argonauts_, _Jason_, _Laomedon_, _Thesæus_, _Dedalus_, &c.
The _Amazones_, Heroines of _Scythic_ Extraction, having lost their
Husbands in Battle, took up Arms themselves, with a manly Spirit of
Resentment, and (inspired with Love of their deceased Husbands, and Grief
for so great and irretrievable a Loss!) subdued _Asia_, and built
_Ephesus_. _Hercules_ and _Thesæus_ waged War against those Heroines, and
defeated them, more to the Glory of the Vanquished than their own, those
Matrons having defended themselves with surprizing Resolution. They cut
off the Guards set over them, and escaped the Severity and Pride of their
Conquerors. _Hercules_, in Honour of such extraordinary heroick Females,
instituted the _Olympick_ Games; as likewise did _Thesæus_, the
_Isthmian_, in the Year of the World, about 2700, the _Taltenian_ Sports,
the very same with the _Olympick_, brought sixty-four Years after from
_Spain_ into _Ireland_, by _Tailte_, and her Followers. Now this _Tailte_,
Queen of _Ireland_, was the Grand-daughter of an _Amazone_ Princess, those
immortal Females having, with their Progeny, Friends and Followers, to
avoid the ruinous Hostilities of _Hercules_ and _Thesæus_, sought Shelter
in _Spain_, whither they imported the Learning of _Trismegistus_, the
Grandson of _Mercury_, and Glory of _Ægypt_, together with all the
literary Arts derived into _Greece_, from _Phœnicia_, by _Cadmus_, the
Brother of _Europa_, about the Year of the World 2530, _Othoniel_ then
reigning the first Judge of the _Hebrews_. The Posterity of this ancient
and illustrious Colony, about the Year of the World 3000, (_Solomon_ then
reigning with great Splendour, third King of the _Hebrews_) settled in
this Kingdom, as before observed: So that, by an impartial Estimate of
Dates, Periods, and Facts, our Origin is well ascertained, our early
Possession of Letters, wise Policy, and the politer Arts, proved, and the
Remark of an _Italian_ Monk in the 7th Century, from the University of
_Mongret_, in an Epistle to his Correspondent at _Rome_, justified, _Nil
mirum Populum hunc Celtico Scythicum è præclarâ Amazonidum stirpê
oriundum, verâ Religionê et __ incorruptâ Fide illuminatum, sapientia
Doctrina optimisque Morbidus ornatum, viros fortes et Fæminas castas
plerumque procreare_. A Rescript of this Original Epistle still extant, in
the _Vatican_ Library, some Years ago in the Hands of Father Don _Levy_,
may therefore, I believe, be found in the College of _Lombard_ at _Paris_.

In this shining Period were Cathedrals and Churches erected, Universities
founded and established, Colleges, Seminaries and Schools propagated in
many Parts of this Kingdom, which, at the same Time, became a peaceful and
hospitable Retreat to religious and learned Men, disturbed on the
Continent of _Europe_, by the frequent Invasions, and cruel Hostilities of
the North-men, whose Piracies and Barbarity, even _Ireland_ could not
always escape! For, from the Time of _Artigrius_, Archbishop of _Ardmagh_
in 822, for near 200 Years the cruel _Danes_ miserably ravaged this
Kingdom, destroying, by Fire and Sword, every Establishment, as well of
Piety as Learning, (to both which, and to all religious Maxims of
civilized Society, they had been avowed implacable Enemies) till they were
themselves, in 1014, totally defeated at _Clontarf_, by the invincible
Arms of the Great Monarch, _Bryan Borou_, from whom descended a Race
conspicuous for exemplary Prelates, heroick Leaders, and steady Patriots.

The learned Author of the _Dissertations_ before-mentioned, charges this
Hero with a Violation of the Constitution of his Country: Yet the
Violation seems of far earlier Date, when the supreme Monarchy was, by the
_Hugonian_ Law, inalienably united to one Family, whose Sovereignty,
however founded originally, whether by Birth, or Election, was essential
to the public Welfare: For we must allow that the Preservation of the
People is the principal Law to which all others are subordinate. _Salus
Populi suprema Lex_; and equally, that not only the Necessities, but the
Safety also of the People, at that Time of Danger and Distraction, eagerly
called forth the Conduct and Valour, the protective and restorative
Abilities of that great and virtuous Man, of whom a faithful Historian, in
his Detail of the Battle of _Clontarf_, says; _Integrâ prius adept a
Victoriâ rebus humanis eodem Diê excessit vir Bellô ac Pacê summus,
Justitiæ, Religionis, Literarum, Cultor eximius, et cum Carolo Magno
utique comparandus_.

In the 239th Page of the _Dissertations_, the excellent Author expresseth
himself as follows:

“I now proceed to give some Account of the second Royal House of _Scots_,
the oldest of the _Milesian_ Race, and the Posterity of _Eber_.” This Race
then being avowed the oldest, in Respect of Primogeniture, must, of
Course, have been prior in Point of Dignity and Sway, or at least, equally
entitled to the Election of the People to such Ranks; were not those by
violent Measures annexed to the _Heremonian_ Line: Yet, however this might
have been, certain it is, that no Houses that we read of, ancient or
modern, have produced a greater Number of truly heroick Princes, or of
longer Continuance, than those of the North and South _Hy-Nial_; from whom
also issued many noble Families of real Worth, and equal Renown. With
_Bryan_, the happy Genius of _Ireland_, in a great Measure, expired: For
the cruel _Danes_ had, for near 200 Years before, so wofully overturned
the Universities of _Ardmagh_, _Dondaleith-Glass_, _Mongret_, and
_Lismore_, with all other Seminaries of Piety and Learning, (the only
genuine Sources of national Greatness, Concord, good Discipline, and
Happiness) had obliged, in the 8th Century, so many learned Men to seek
that Shelter and Security on the Continent, which the barbarous
Hostilities, and impious Manners of those Northerns, denied them at Home;
had made such frequent lamentable Breaches in the antient, wise
Constitution of the Kingdom; had, by the fatal Example of their profligate
dissolute Lives, so vitiated the national Morality; and finally, had left
behind them so many noxious Seeds of Faction and Anarchy, as, in less than
two Centuries, gave up a Kingdom, of above 2000 Years Establishment, the
unaccountable Prey of a few adventurous _Normans_!

_Patrick_ governed the See of _Dublin_ about ten Years, and, in a Voyage
to _England_, perished by Shipwreck, in the _British_ Sea, on the 16th of
_October_, 1084; having been sent to _Lanfranc_, Archbishop of
_Canterbury_, by King _Tirdelvac_.

_Donat_, or _Dongus O’Haingly_, having spent some Time in the Study of
useful Learning in _Ireland_, went over into _England_, and became a
Benedictine Monk at _Canterbury_. He was afterwards, (by the Consent of
King _Tirdelvac_, and the Clergy of _Dublin_) consecrated, _A. D._ 1085,
in the Cathedral of _Canterbury_, by the before-mentioned _Lanfranc_, to
whom he made the following Profession of Obedience:

“I, _Donat_, Bishop of the See of _Dublin_ in _Ireland_, do promise
Canonical Obedience to you, _O’ Lanfranc_, Archbishop of the holy Church
of _Canterbury_, and to your Successors.”

It is evident that the Title of the Kings of _England_ to this Kingdom, by
Papal Donation, or Appointment, was very insufficient, if not absolutely
trifling: Nor could a Right of Conquest be urged in any Period of the
Reign of _Henry_ the Second, or his Descendants. But the Great and Royal
Families of _Ireland_, long the Prey of Faction, deliberately preferred a
limitted and stipulated Submission to foreign Authority, to the various
Evils arising from intestine Feuds and Animosities; and this, had the wise
Conditions thereof been constantly attended to, with mutual Observance,
had been a sound Title, well and judiciously founded.

True it is, that after the Surrender of the Crown by King _John_ to the
See of _Rome_, the Pope exerted some temporal Authority in this Kingdom,
instanced in his having created _Mc. Con More Mc. Namaras_(2) Duke of
_Klan Cullane_, a Man of great Valour and Piety, supported by ample
Possessions in the Baronies of _Tulla_ and _Bunratty_, in the County of
_Clare_; which extensive Districts entirely belonged to that ancient,
hospitable, martial, and religious Race, of which _Mc. Con More_ was
Chief: The _Mc. Namaras_, more or less, have in all Ages made, and still
continue to make, a distinguished Figure, as well in the Field, as in the
learned Professions; and were formerly so warlike a People, that of
themselves they formed an heroic Cavalry, justly stiled the _Phalanx_ of
that Part of _Ireland_ wherein they resided.

How our Neighbours came to call us _waild Ayrish_, I am a Loss to
conjecture; it being evident we have been a thousand Years, at least, in
Possession of Letters, Laws, and Civility, before the Arrival of _Julius
Cæsar_ in _Britain_.

I am equally at a Loss to know why a Man should become a standing Jest for
his Ignorance in an alien Tongue, almost the constant Fate of our
Countrymen in _Britain_, where, whoever is not smartly expert in the
_English_ Language, is immediately denominated a _Teague_, a _Paddy_, or I
know not what, in the Stile of Derision: At the same Time that the most
awkward-tongued _Irishman_ in _London_ speaks _English_ with far more
Propriety, and a better Accent, than the smartest _British Petit Maitre_
in _Paris_ doth _French_.

Some dramatick Scriblers, (probably of our own degenerate Growth) the
better to qualify them for eleemosinary Dinners, gave Rise to this
impertinent Treatment of a Nation, which, from the concurrent Testimonies
of all the Dispassionate and Learned, can, in Reality, be as little the
Object of Scurrility, as any other.

Why should even poor _Teague_ prove so constant a Butt, to Farce-wrights,
and Hackney Laughers; when, upon Examination, he is, by a thousand
Degrees, preferable to the _British_ Hobbinol, or _French_ Gregoire? For
_Teague_ is a very Pattern of Hospitality; so much so, that if a Gentleman
should happen to miss his Road, and be nessitated to seek the Shelter of
_Teague_’s Cabbin, or Hut, was poor _Teague_ trusting to two Sheep for his
worldly Subsistance, he would kill one, and sell the other, at the next
Village or Inn, for the better Entertainment of his Guest, and think
himself happy in such an Occasion of approving his Generosity and Respect:
He would the next Morning abandon his Spade, and chearfully trot ten Miles
to shew such bewilder’d Gentleman the right Road. He is naturally civil,
generous, and hospitable, (for scarce a Night passeth that poor Travellers
are not entertained in his Cottage,) extremely respectful to his
Superiors, and to his Lord and Master faithful to Death. The military
Annals of _Europe_ proclaim his Capacity and Taste for Fighting; then if
you should take this identical _Teague_’s infant Son, and give him a
regular liberal Education, it is one hundred to one, but he turns out a
Gentleman of Merit, Learning, Worth, and Politeness; whereas it would
certainly require more than _Herculean_ Labour to chissel a _French
Paisan_, a primitive _Westmoreland_, or _Devonshire_ Boor, not only into
the Form of an elegant, but even into that of a sociable Creature.

The Insignificancy of those Jesters and Spatterers, will more clearly
appear, if we look back to the wise, free, and truly parliamentary
Constitution of this Kingdom; if we recollect the vast Length of its
Duration, as a free and independant State; the military Prowess of its
Inhabitants in all Ages; their victorious Conflicts with the _Romans_, and
with the _French_ under _Henry_ the Vth, and the Black _Prince_; their
having founded a Monarchy in _North Britain_, whence, by a Right of
Descent, in Addition to every other, his present Majesty, (whom God long
preserve,) by the special Providence and infinite Mercy of Heaven, ruleth
over us: If we consider the Number of our Universities, Colleges, and
Academies, religious Monasteries and pious Seminaries, resorted to from
all civilized Parts of _Europe_, our Metropolitical and Diocesan
Cathedrals; on such impartial Review, surely, the foregoing Tribe of
Sneerers and Flouters must dwindle into deserved Contempt.

I shall close this feeble Attempt on the antient State of _Ireland_, with
the Description thereof by _Donat_, Bishop of _Fesulæ_, near _Florence_,
in the 7th or 8th Century; referring, at the same Time, to the most
authentick _British_ Antiquaries, _Campden_, _Giraldus Cambrensis_,
_Buchanan_, _Ware_, &c. for Confirmation of what hath been previously
observed on the same Subject.

_Finibus Occiduis describitur optima Tellus,_
_Nomine et Antiquis __SCOTIA__ scripta Libris——_
_Insula dives Opum, Gemmarum, Vestis et Auri,_
_Commoda Corporibus, Aere sole Solo;_
_Melle fluit pulchris et lacteis __SCOTIA__ Campis_
_Vestibus atque Armis, frugibus, arte viris._
_Ursorum Rabies, nulla est ibi; sæva Leonum_
_Semina, nec unquam __SCOTICA__ Terra tulit_
_Nulla Venena nocent, nec Serpens serpit in Herbâ,_
_Nec conquesta canit Garula Rana Lacu;_
_In qua __SCOTORUM__ Gentes habitare merentur_
_Inclita Gens Hominum Milite, Pace, Fide._

Thus Englished by the Ingenius and Reverend Mr. _Dunkin_:

“Far Westward, lies an Isle of antient Fame,
By Nature bless’d, and SCOTIA is her Name;
Enroll’d in Books: Exhaustless is her Store
Of veiny Silver, and of Golden Ore:
Her fruitful Soil for ever teams with Wealth,
With Gems her Waters, and her Air with Health:
Her verdant Fields with Milk and Honey flow;
Her woolly Fleeces vie with Virgin Snow:
Her waving Furrows float with bearded Corn,
And Arms and Arts her envy’d Sons adorn.
No savage Bear, with lawless Fury, roves;
No rav’nous Lion, thro’ her peaceful Groves;
No Poison there infects; no scaly Snake
Creeps thro’ the Grass, nor Frog annoys the Lake:
An Island worthy of its pious Race,
In War triumphant, and unmatch’d in Peace.”

This _Donat_, Bishop of _Fesula_, was an _Irishman_, of the antient and
hospitable Family, afterwards _O Hogan_; a Family which held ample and
fair Possessions in the Province of _Munster_, and which, in former Times,
adorned the See of _Killaloe_, with four very learned and exemplary
Prelates; namely, with _Matthew O Hogan_, who succeeded to this
Bishoprick, in the Reign of _Henry_ the IIId, and in the Year of our Lord
1267; and who, having much enlarged his Diocese, and done many signal Acts
of popular Charity, died in the Year, 1281, and was buried in _Limerick_,
in a Convent of _Dominican_ Friars. To this Bishop succeeded _Maurice O
Hogan_, who governed this See with peculiar Zeal and Charity, upwards of
sixteen Years, and died in 1298, or the Year following, and was buried in
his own Church. _Thomas O Hogan_, Canon of _Killaloe_, was consecrated in
1343, and died on the 30th of _October_, 1354; five Days after which, he
was buried among his worthy Ancestors at _Nenagh_; as may be seen in the
Annals of that Place.

_Richard O Hogan_ succeeded to the See of _Killaloe_, in 1525, and was in
1539 translated to _Clon Mac Nois_: He was a Prelate of great Learning and
Capacity, in all spiritual and ecclesiastical Matters.

This antient Family is, at this Time, represented by _Edmund O Hogan_,
Esq; High Sheriff of the County of _Clare_, a Gentleman, who, by the whole
Tenor of his Life, hath proved Generosity of Heart, Charity, and
Hospitality, to be Qualities inherent.

_Dermod Mac Murchad_, sovereign Prince of _Hy-Kinsellagh_, banished by
_Roderick O Connor_, King of _Ireland_, for his various and high State
Crimes, sought Sanctuary and Redress in the Court of _England_; where, in
the Absence of _Henry_, then in _Normandy_, diverse adventurous _Normans_,
_Flemings_, _Saxons_, and old _Britons_, (being themselves unsettled, and
unestablished) acceded to the Fate and Fortunes of _Dermod_, under the
Conduct of _Strongbow_, Earl of _Pembroke_; whose casual Success in
_Ireland_, against _Roderick_ (owing _more_ to the general Defection, at
that fatal Period, of the _Irish_ Chiefs against their lawful Sovereign,
than to any _superior Valour_ or Address of those Adventurers) induced
_Henry_ to a deliberate and grand Invasion of a Kingdom, to which he could
lay no Claim on the Score of Nature, Reason, or Right, and whither his
pretended Mission, on the Score of collecting St. _Peter_’s Dues, (which
St. _Peter_ himself never once thought of, or imagined) was as
_ridiculous_ as _groundless_. The _Summa Dies_, however, arrived: and the
People of _Ireland_, wearied out with intestine Strife, acknowledged
_Henry_ for their Sovereign Lord; and a grand Charter of Rights and
Covenants, mutual Protection and Allegiance, was entered into, anteriorly
to that of _England_. How well this Charter was _observed_ on the
_protective_ Side, the absolute Anarchy of near four Centuries, from its
original Date and Perfection, to the Reign of Queen _Elizabeth_,
demonstrates: A whole Nation, that sought Protection, and that _agreed_
for quiet, regular, and lawful Government, upon rationable Terms, deprived
of the Power of ordaining Laws for its own Security and Well-being, and
precluded (all to four or five great and favourite Families) from the
Benefits and Advantages accruing from those of that Kingdom, to which it
had voluntarily united itself; exposed, through such a Length of Time, to
arbitary Depredations, and unpunished, unredressed, uncensured Rapine,
_Quis talia sando temperet a Lachrymis_!

King _Henry_ called back into _England_, to lay the Storms raised by his
rebellious Sons, with whom and _Thomas Becket_, Archbishop of
_Canterbury_, he was so constantly embroiled to the End of his Life, that
he could little attend to the Settlement of the Affairs of this new
acquired Sovereignty.

_Richard_ the First, his immediate Successor, called away to the Holy Wars
against the _Saracens_, had as little Leisure as his Predecessor to
promote the Quiet, or Happiness of _Ireland_.

From the usurped Authority of King _John_, a continued Series of Papal
Animosity, Bloodshed, Calamities and Piracies, closed at last by Poison;
little beside political Disasters of all Sorts, could be expected.

_Henry_ the Third, through a Reign of Fifty-six Years, was continually
involved in Troubles and Hostilities, with his inflexible _English_

_Edward_ the First, a great and warlike Prince, was, throughout his whole
Reign, engaged in the Reduction of the _Welch_ and _Scots_, and so intent
thereon, that he could turn his Thoughts to no other Object.

_Edward_ the Second, indeed, sent _Gaveston_ hither, more to screen him
from the implacable Resentments of the stubborn _English_ Nobility, than
to render any good Offices to the Inhabitants of this Country; who,
indiscriminately, (_Strongbownians_ as well as _Irish_) felt the Severity
of that insolent Favourite’s Measures.

_Richard_ the Second visited this Kingdom in Person, with the good
Intentions of establishing Peace, Order, and Harmony, in a valuable but
long neglected Estate: Yet his own adverse Fate, conspiring with that of
this Land, called him back, before he could carry his favourable
Resolutions into Execution, to defend his _English_ Dominions from the
hostile Attacks of _Henry_, Earl of _Hereford_, who, with the Duke of
_Norfolk_, Son to _John_ of _Gaunt_, had some Years before been banished
by _Richard_, to prevent a personal Combat: This King, worthy more
propitious Stars, long agitated and afflicted by the Turbulence and
irreconcilable Obstinacy of his _British_ Subjects, perished at last under
the impious Hands of Sir _Pierce_ of _Exton_, who, at the Head of eight
barbarous armed Assassins, rushed into his Chamber, and murdered him.

The Reign of _Henry_ the Fourth was short, tumultuous, and bloody; Deluges
of noble Blood having been shed by the bare Hands of the common
Executioner, to confirm a Throne acquired by abominable Crimes, and
Violence! And no sooner had these dreadful Storms begun to abate, than
_Henry_ was forced to depart from a Scene he had more adorned, (for he
was, without Question, a great and valiant Man) had not his Ambition
blindly hurried him beyond the Bounds of Justice and Nature.

_Henry_ the Fifth, his Son and Successor, and truly Inheritor of his
Ambition and warlike Genius, imagining himself aggrieved by the _Salique
Law_, which excluded his Great Great-Grandmother, _Isabel_, from the
Monarchy of _France_, turned his elevated Thoughts intirely to the
Conquest of that Kingdom: Wherein, by his own vast Merit in martial
Affairs, and the Co-operation of the Queen of _France_, (Consort of
_Charles_ the Sixth, then frantick,) and that of the Duke of _Burgundy_, a
great and powerful Prince, he so far succeeded, as, after his Marriage
with _Catharine de Valois_, Daughter of _Charles_ the Sixth, to be
crowned, and acknowledged King of _France_.

To this great and victorious Monarch succeeded _Henry_ the Sixth, who,
through a long, various, and constantly clouded Reign, seemed the very
Play of Fortune! This Day a King, the next a Prisoner! One Day acknowleged
by his Parliament, the next attainted! One Day a Conqueror, and the next a

Fierce, frequent, and bloody, were the Conflicts between the Houses of
_York_ and _Lancaster_, the _White_ and _Red Roses_; the former
endeavouring to recover its Loss, the latter to maintain its usurped
Authority. In this dreadful Quarrel perished two hundred thousand of
private Soldiers; ten thousand of the Nobility, Gentry, and Persons of
Distinction; three Kings; and, at last, the entire Race of _Plantagenet_.

_Edward_ the Fourth soon fell, by his natural Intemperance, or rather by
the insatiable Cruelty of _Gloucester_; who had already sacrificed his
Brother _Clarence_, to pave his Way to the Throne. Nor better fared it
with _Edward_ the Fifth, who, by all the Arts of Seduction and Delusion,
which his unnatural Uncle and Guardian, _Richard_, practised on the Fears
and Weakness of the Queen Dowager; was, with his Brother the Duke of
_York_, conveyed with great Pomp to the Tower; where the bloody Tyrant,
aided by the Duke of _Buckingham_, soon sacrificed those young, innocent
and hopeful Princes to his wicked and boundless Ambition. But he soon
after lost his own flagitious Life, and a most cruelly-acquired Crown, on
the Plains of _Bosworth_.

To him succeeded _Henry_ the Seventh, and the first of the Race of
_Tudor_, a great, wise and valiant Prince, but rather too much inclined to
Rigour, and Avarice; Imperfections which extremely blemished his other
great Qualities.

In the tenth Year of this Reign, the Parliamentary Constitution of
_Ireland_ received a deeper Stab than had ever before, or since, been
inflicted thereon, by a Statute Law, commonly called _Poynin_’s Act; by
which a new, and, till that wretched Period, an unheard of Order, was
added to the three established Ranks of the State. By this Law, the
_English_ Privy-Council may impose a _Negative_ on the _free_ and
_unanimous_ Parliamentary Ordinances of the representative Body of the
Kingdom of _Ireland_; a manifest Injury to the Authority and Dignity of
Parliament; and an equal Diminution of the Royal Prerogative, that only
should include, and should alone exert, a Power so important.

In Times dark, tumultuated and dangerous, no Wonder extraordinary Laws
should pass: _Desperate Diseases_ require _desperate Remedies_: But when
the _Fever_ is removed, it certainly is a horrid Management to leave the
blistering Plaister _still sticking_ to the _recovered_ Patient’s Back.

The Distempers of this Nation were heavy, complicated and chronic; and
finally curable, only by the salutary all-healing Hands of our present
King, and present Parliament.

To _Henry_ the Seventh succeeded _Henry_ the Eighth, as consummate a
Tyrant, in every Sense, as ever swayed the _British_, or any other
Sceptre; whose whole Life was so continued a Scene of wanton Dissipation,
Lust, Cruelty, Rapine, Bloodshed and Sacrilege, that it must have been a
peculiar Happiness, to any Part of his Dominions, to have been _neglected_
or _forgotten_ by him: Nor could the two succeeding Reigns of _Edward_ the
Sixth, and Queen _Mary_, short, various, cloudy, and vastly agitated on
the Score of Religion, (which, in those two Reigns, took Faces almost
diametrically opposite,) afford this Kingdom much reflected Sunshine.

To those ensued that of Queen _Elizabeth_, a Princess of powerful
Abilities, who, truly intent on the Peace and Welfare of her Subjects,
caused her Laws to operate, and Justice to circulate in this Kingdom,
abandoned, as hath been observed, to a State almost of Anarchy, thro’ a
dismal Series of seventeen Reigns: But the Reformation in Religion, which
she established in _England_, and introduced in _Ireland_, much obviated
her Purposes for the latter Kingdom: For, the _Irish_, more tenacious of
their Altars, than of their Fire-places, could not easily reconcile
themselves to the Exchange of a Religion they deemed a _new one_, for
_that_ they had been in Possession of from the fourth, to the fifteenth
Century: Which produced a rebellious Defection, in a few of the principal
Chieftains of this Land, and gave Occasion to the greedy Provincial
Precedents, of trumping up _imaginary Rebellions_, to pave the Way to
_real Forfeitures_; thereby to aggrandize their own Houses; what some of
them effectually accomplished, to the Ruin and Extirpation of many honest

This great and illustrious Princess, (whose Reign had remained
untarnished, had it not been for the Death of the ill-fated Queen of
_Scotland_) was succeeded by _James_ the Sixth of _Scotland_, and the
first of the _Stuart_ Race that governed _England_: From this Prince,
descended of _Irish_ Kings, the People of _Ireland_ might have expected
many Favours and Immunities; wherein, however, they were miserably
disappointed: Which, with a Train of other Hardships and antiparental
Severities, (particularly his alienating, at _one Stroke_, six of the best
Counties in the Kingdom, on the _procured_ Testimony of an obscure
wretched Individual, one _Teige Lenane_,) is too sufficient and too
lasting a Proof of: _Heu! tot Conquesta Annorum, hauserit una Dies!_ The
Possession of at least twenty Centuries, of the great and good, the heroic
and hospitable _O Neils_, _O Donnels_, _Mac Guires_, _Mac Gennises_, _O
Reillys_, _O Cahanes_, &c. ravished away to gratify hungry Favourites, and
indigent Relatives! the six Counties, however, as the Law Term has it,
_escheated_. Had the _Highlands_ of _Scotland_, at that unhappy Period,
been more populated, probably six or eight Counties _more_ had been
procured to _escheat_, and there had been _a braa Clutch of bonny
Traitors_; the _O Connors_, _Mac Carthys_, _O Briens_, _O Donnels_, _O
Hares_, _O Malones_, &c. had been _all_ in the _same Bottom_ with the
Families above mentioned; especially, as they could not, according to
_James_ the First’s own Phrase, _look to the Pope, and row with him_.

To _James_ the 6th of _Scotland_, and first of _England_, succeeded
_Charles_ the First; who, notwithstanding his eminent Possession of all
the Virtues that adorn and illustrate human Nature, could neither divert
the adverse Fate of Subjects, or prevent his own.

The Disseisin of many honest Families in the County of _Kilkenny_, and
elsewhere, by the Earl of _Strafford_, on stale Pretences of _Non
Performance of Covenants_ on their Part; his Attempt of confiscating
twenty-five Parts in thirty of the whole Province of _Connaught_, on a
Claim of Descent, dormant 300 Years, and _originally ill founded_, with
the arbitrary Steps by him taken to the Accomplishment of this wasteful
Purpose; too clearly proved that Nobleman a second _Verres_. The cruel and
intoxicated Administration of the Rump Parliament; the insolent,
licentious, and riotous Controul of the military _Independents_; the
abject Tyranny of _Oliver Cromwell_, who prostrated Constitution, Church
and State, will always be recollected with the Contempt, Horror, and
Detestation of every good Subject.

The Calamities from 1641, to the happy Restoration of King _Charles_ the
Second, in 1660, being common to all good Subjects, were the more
tolerable, _ferre quam sortem patiuntur omnes, nemo recusat_: But now or
never, surely, might his ever loyal, ever faithful _Irish_ Subjects have,
with the most reasonable Assurance, hoped, if not for publick and lasting
Rewards, the common Wages of uncommon Fidelity; at least, for a
Restitution of what had been their own, through Ages immemorial.

Will late Posterity _believe_, that, in Favour of mercenary Adventurers,
who advanced Money to provide for a desperate regicide Army; in Favour of
the Officers of this same Army, whom their Ringleader _Cromwell_, seared
as his Conscience was, indulged with no more than _temporary_ Grants of
the Estates belonging to the King’s most faithful Subjects: Will
Posterity, I say, believe, that, in special Favour of such Men, those
_identical Subjects_, the bravest Advocates, as well as the most
affectionate undeviating Friends of the Monarchy and Constitution, were
_for ever_ deprived of their Properties! To remunerate the _others_, the
most _inveterate_ and _implacable_ Enemies of EITHER! _Doing Good for
Evil_ is a Divine Precept, and certainly includes a most sublime Moral;
but _rendering Evil for Good_, is such a Principle as must carry Horror
with it, among savage Nations!

The King of _France_’s immediate Letter, on this Subject, to King
_Charles_ the Second, as it reflects Honour on the Memory of those
illustrious Sufferers, I therefore take Leave to transcribe in this Place.

                                * * * * *

_His Most Christian Majesty’s Letter to the King of __Great Britain__, in
Favour of the __Roman Catholicks__ of __Ireland__._

    “Most High, Most Excellent, and Most Potent Prince, our dear and
    well-beloved Brother and Cousin! At the same Time that we have
    been told of your Majesty’s great Goodness towards your Subjects,
    and the Precedent you have given of an extraordinary Clemency, in
    granting them your general Amnesty (some few only excepted, of
    those whom the Blood of their King, and that of his People, cry
    aloud to Heaven for Revenge against). We could not but let your
    Majesty know, that we were extremely surprized to hear, that the
    _Catholicks_ of _Ireland_ were _excluded_ from that Act of
    Oblivion, and, by that Means, put into the Number of the _most
    criminal_! This News has so much the more excited our Compassion
    towards them, that we have been informed, that, in _all the
    Changes_ which have hitherto happened in your Dominions, and in
    the almost general _Defection of_ your Subjects, _none_ stood
    _more constant_ to their lawful Sovereign, even in the greatest
    Streights, than the _Catholicks_: So that, if they are now branded
    for their Religion, it may be said, for their Honour, that, in
    Times past, none could be found _readier_, or more _cheerfully
    disposed_, than _they_, to serve and assist their Prince; and that
    with so much _Ardour_, that their Zeal then for the Royal Family
    was reckoned a certain Mark of their true Religion. It is for that
    Reason that we now become their Intercessors to you: For,
    otherwise, had they _failed_ in the Fidelity they owe you, instead
    of interceding for them, we would join with you in using them with
    all imaginable Rigour; and it would never come into our Thoughts
    to concern ourselves, as we do, for the _Catholicks_ of _Ireland_;
    though we _were obliged to it_, by the last Treaty of Peace made
    with the Marquess of _Ormond_, and which was granted them by our
    Mediation. And, as we are well assured, that, since the Conclusion
    of that Peace, they have done Nothing which can be called a
    _Failure of their Duty to you_, we find ourselves under so much
    the greater Obligation to conjure you, to make good that Treaty to
    them, in that they _religiously_ observed it on _their_ Side, in
    all its Parts: And to beseech you not to suffer, that either the
    Hatred, which an immoderate Zeal swells some bigotted Sectaries
    with, nor the unlucky Spoils of these poor People, render criminal
    or miserable the _most faithful_ of your Subjects; to whom their
    lawful King, as you are, is not _the less dear_, nor _less
    respected_, because of a _different Belief_ from _theirs_. We
    propose Nothing to ourselves in this, nor ask any Thing, but what
    we daily _practise_ (as you may know) towards those of our
    Subjects who are of the _reformed Religion_. And, as we have
    commanded the Sieur Marquis _de Rouvigny_ to explain our
    Sentiments more amply on this Subject to you, be pleased to give
    him a favourable Audience: And, above all Things, be perswaded,
    that, in this Affair, we have no less your own _true Interest_ in
    View, than what _natural Reason_ and _Equity_ requires; and that
    our sincere Friendship for you is the principal Motive of this
    Request. Dated at _Paris_, the 7th of _September_, 1660.”

The _good_ King _Charles_, regardless of this important Solicitation,
unattentive to the plain Suggestions of _common Right_, and unaccountably
forgetful of all their _past signal Services_ and inviolate Zeal; observed
indeed that those faithful _Irish_ Subjects had no Stock; consequently,
that dispossessing the Adherents of _Oliver_, who, with the Land, had
pirated the national Stock, would cause much Confusion. As for the
_former_, he hoped some Settlement might in Time be found for them; (in
Truth, I believe, for aught his Majesty in Reality concerned himself, this
might have been in _Terra Australis Incognita_). Their Want of Stock is
the less to be admired at, it being well known, that, with their Pay in
foreign Service, chiefly expended to contribute all in their Power to the
_Royal Support_, they even went so far as to sell their Plate, and
valuable Moveables, to answer the same _generous Purpose_: But, when every
known Acre in the Kingdom, that could be disposed of, was given away by
Wholesale to the Duke of _York_, the Heir-apparent of the Crown, (partial
Distribution!) to new-fangled Favourites, and the staunch old Enemies of
Church and Crown; it was hoped some Lands might be _yet_ discovered, to
satisfy and compensate those _Irish_ Worthies, who had Nothing left for
their Support, beside an inalienable Sense of Honour and Loyalty, and a
Character of invincible Fidelity (which all Nations admired and
applauded). No such Discovery, however, was made, nor any relative to the
_Irish_, under that Administration, but what tended to convince them, by
the famous Act of Settlement, _&c._ of the extraordinary severe
Peculiarity of their Fate! Yet, ordained to shew Posterity unprecedented
Specimens of Loyalty and Zeal, they still adhered, with inflexible
Constancy, to the Fortunes of King _James_ the Second, not mindful of
their Injuries by _James_ the First, their unexampled Sufferings by the
excessive harsh Measures of King _Charles_ the First, his Ministers, and
Deputies, or their unheard-of Treatment (I won’t say _Wrongs_, it being a
Maxim the King of _England_ can do none) by King _Charles_ II. Little
Wonder, a House, constantly sapping it’s own best Pillars, should at
length fall.

King _James_ the Second, constrained to abdicate the Throne of _England_,
endeavoured the Preservation of this his Kingdom of _Ireland_, where his
faithful Subjects, (a Remnant of the various and manifold Wastes of
foregoing Reigns) considering the thousand Disadvantages they laboured
under, made _such a Stand_ as later Ages will look up to with
Astonishment! A Parcel of Men, congregated in the utmost Hurry and
Confusion, undisciplin’d, unarm’d, uncloathed, unpaid! Yet did those very
Men, animated by the Example of their heroick Leaders, (I mean their
immediate Lords and Countrymen) on the Plains of _Aughrim_, convince the
best veteran Army that Day in _Europe_, superior in Numbers, excellently
provided for in every Respect, and conducted by a Prince of singular
Valour and Address, that _Irishmen_ were deserving of more auspicious

Never was a more gallant Defence than they, after this, made in
_Limerick_; where, although abandoned by the Prince, (whose Cause they had
so remarkably espoused) and his auxiliary _French_, they obtained an
honourable CAPITULATION from those in Commission under King _William_ the
Third, whose strict _Observance_ thereof, to the End of his glorious Life,
reflects, among many other his great Atchievements, deserved Honour on his

The distinguished Figure made by those Noblemen and Gentlemen, who,
regardless of _Property_ or _Ease_, followed the Destiny of that
hard-fated Prince, King _James_ the Second, (namely, the Lords
_Mount-Cashel_, _Tyrconnel_, _Clare_ and _Lucan_, the _Dillons_,
_Nugents_, _Rooths_, _Burkes_, _Lees_, _Fitz-Geralds_, _Cooks_, _Lacys_,
_Browns_, _Wogans_, _Baggots_, _Sheridans_, _Creaghs_, _Plunkets_,
_Barnewals_, _Neagles_, _Lallys_, _Mac Carthys_, _Mac Donnels_, _Mac
Guires_, _Mac Namarras_, _Mac Mahons_, _Mac Gennis’s_, _O Neils_, _O
Connors_, _O Donnels_, _O Briens_, _O Dwyers_, _O Shaghnussys_, _O
Mahonys_, _O Sullivans_, _O Kellys_, _O Ferralls_, _O Reillys_, _O Haras_,
_O Hogans_, _O Byrnes_, _O Daes_, &c. &c. &c. the military Annals of
_Germany_, _France_, _Spain_, _Flanders_, _Italy_, _Naples_, and
_Russia_), must bear ample and authentic Testimony of, to future Ages.

Those were they, of whom Dr. _Mac en Crow_ gives the following concise,
but just and happy Character.

    _Genus acre Bello, Studiis Genus acre Minervæ, Devotumque mori pro
    Rege, Fidêque tuendis._

Among those who followed the Fortunes of King _James_ the Second, were Sir
_Richard Neagle_, his Attorney-General, and Dr. _Moore_, Provost of
_Trinity-college_, near _Dublin_; two Gentlemen very justly distinguished
in their respective Spheres; the former, a Gentleman of unshaken
Integrity, and great Capacity in the Profession of the Laws; the latter,
of exemplary Piety, universal Learning, and fine Accomplishments. _Louis_
the Fourteenth, then King of _France_, protected those worthy deserving
Men, with singular Tenderness and Attention; and was instructed and guided
solely by Dr. _Moore_, in the restoring, establishing, and modelling the
University of _Paris_, at that gloomy Period! quite buried in perplexed,
unintelligible, peripatetic Philosophy, and disfigured with romantic
Legends, and Gothic Jingle! But, at the Doctor’s Appearance, Entities,
Quiddities, Sympathies, Antipathies, occult Qualities, substantial Forms,
metaphysical Degrees, Categories, and all this unideal wordy Stuff,
vanished; and were succeeded by a clear, concise Method of Reasoning, and
sound, useful, and experimental Philosophy. _Greek_, _Hebrew_, _Syriac_,
_Chaldaic_, and _Arabic_, were Languages _untaught_, _unknown_, in the
University of _Paris_, before Dr. _Moore_; for whom particularly, _Louis_
the Fourteenth founded, established, and endowed the Royal College, now
called _College du Cambray_: And how well our Doctor succeeded therein,
may be inferred from the Character and Writings of his Pupils and Hearers,
_Boileau_, _Fontinelle_, _Poréc_, _Montesquieu_, _Fleuri_, _Lauguet_, with
many others, and _Rollin_, his peculiar Favourite and immediate Successor,
_all_ great Genius’s, applauded Writers, and celebrated Wits. So that, as
_Ireland_ had the Honour of founding, it had also that of restoring and
reviving the great University of _Paris_, in the Persons of two of its
learned Natives.

The Reign of her Majesty Queen _Anne_ (glorious to her Arms, under the
Conduct of _John_, Duke of _Marlborough_, and her other Generals, and
justly distinguished by the Number of great Genius’s and Wits, who
enlightened that Period) was in this Kingdom chiefly employed in
_additional_ Acts against the further Growth of Popery: And many there
were, who deemed it an unparallel’d Severity in her Majesty, to give her
Royal Assent to them particular Laws; by which the _Roman Catholicks_ of
_Ireland_ (already ruined by their inimitable Allegiance to her Royal
Father, Uncle, and Grandfather) were _precluded_ from availing themselves,
by a tolerable easy Lease, of any Part or Parcel of these Estates,
forfeited by their Ancestors, thro’ their unremitting Endeavours, to
support and maintain that Stem, of which she was herself an immediate

So late even as this Reign, the whole Kingdom of _Ireland_ was a desolate
diffusive Scene of total Decay! covered with all the ghastly Symptoms of
the Consumption of Centuries! But, at length, on the happy Accession of
his late Majesty of glorious Memory, the blissful Morning of Peace and
Concord began its auspicious Dawn! Yet, as Time, publick Spirit,
Patriotism (in its highest Conception) and unwearied Diligence, were all
collectively essential to the giving Life, Vigour, and Activity, to
national Industry and Improvement, so very long in a melancholy State of
Languor and Oppression: Not before the present truly glorious Reign, did
_Hibernia_ tune her old Harp, now newly strung to universal Harmony and
Elegance, and rear her awful Head from the stupid dismal Dozes of Ages;
where comes the literal Application of my third Motto, RENASCIMUR.

    _Hinc priscæ redeunt Artes, felicibus inde Ingeniis aperitur iter,
    despectaque Musæ Colla levant.——_

Having travelled through a tedious Night, thick-set with Horrors of
various Hues! and thus come to the End of a painful Journey; give me
Leave, kind Reader, to indulge awhile with admiring the beautiful Variety
of Objects, which now surround me, to the serene Delight of the Mind, and
refined Gratification of Sense; before I attempt that Display of them to
which I have no Occasion of professing my Inequality.

In this Reign, and not before, our Linen Manufacture, in many Respects one
of the most profitable Branches of our national Commerce, received all the
Encouragement from Royal Bounty, and Parliamentary Sanction, that could be
reasonably hoped for.

Persons of the highest Rank, Dignity, and Fortune, were appointed
_Trustees_ for the Propagation, Encouragement, and Diffusion, of this
beneficial Trade, throughout the respective Provinces.

The _Linen-Hall_ was erected in _Dublin_, under as just and nice
Regulations as any commercial House in _Europe_.

The North of _Ireland_ began to wear an Aspect entirely new; and, from
being (through Want of Industry, Business, and Tillage) the almost
exhausted Nursery of our _American_ Plantations, soon became a populous
Scene of Improvement, Traffic, Wealth, and Plenty; and is, at this Day, a
well-planted District, considerable for Numbers of well-affected, useful,
and industrious Subjects.

Now arose, now shone forth, the ever Honourable DUBLIN SOCIETY; a Society
equalled by none. It is true, we read of Patriarchs, Philosophers,
Warriors, Orators, and Poets; of Senates, Parliaments, Councils, _&c._ but
we no where, abstracted from our own Country, meet a Set of pious
Patriots, from their _private Funds_, adorning their Country in general,
in every Degree and Branch of Industry, and Improvement; and, inspired
with Sentiments truly public and social, munificently rewarding their
Countrymen, of whatsoever Denomination, without Favour or Distinction; for
meliorating their proper Estates, or Farms; for excelling in any
Production of Nature, or Art; for any Discovery, or Invention, useful to
Mankind: A Set of _truly honourable_, and _generous_ Personages,
instructing their Countrymen with clear, yet philosophical Precepts,
encouraging them by their Example, and rewarding them from their
inexhaustible Bounty! _Such_, and _such unrivalled_, is the ILLUSTRIOUS
DUBLIN SOCIETY! What Pity, the ample Distributions, and instructive
Writings of this learned and munificent Body, are not regularly published,
in _Latin_, _English_, and _French_, for the peculiar Honour of this
Nation, the Edification of Posterity, and as a bright Pattern of Imitation
to all other civiliz’d Countries!

Now likewise appeared the _Philharmonic Society_, that, (from a few
Gentlemen, who used _occasionally_ to meet, in order to while away an Hour
with a gentle Tune, and chearful Glass) grew into an harmonious Body, not
alone for the Improvement of the charming Art of Music, but for the
_effectual Relief_ also of successive Thousands, from Misery, Famine, and
Confinement: _Concordiâ res parvæ crescunt_. ORPHEUS, we are told, built
the Walls of _Thebes_, by the irresistible Powers of Harmony: Be this true
or fabulous; how many Iron Gates have we not seen open, to the persuasive
Charities of this tuneful Society! how many gloomy Cells vacated by their
Charms! This elegant Society, by moderate Loans, Interest-free to the
industrious Poor, prevents many such from getting into the Distress of
Prisons, or following offensive Courses; and, by enabling them to obtain
an honest Livelihood, rendereth them useful Members to the Community: So
that, of this Society, it might have been justly said,

_Omne tulit Punctum quæ miscuit utile dulci._

In this happy Reign was incorporated, under the protective Sanction of
Royal Bounty, a Society, truly Christian, for the pious Establishment of
_Protestant_ CHARTER-SCHOOLS throughout the Kingdom: An Institution far
more productive of national Morality, and Reformation, than
excommunicative Discipline, or restrictive penal Statutes; since
Persuasion and Rewards have ever been, and must ever continue to be, more
consistent with the meek and benevolent Temper of true Christianity, more
effectual, Apostolic, and Catholic, than _Punishments_, _Persecution_, or

In this Reign shines out a Christian Divine, who, in the inestimable
individual Dr. _Madden_, collects _a whole Society of Patriots_; a
venerable Man, not alone the Guide of his particular Congregation, but a
pure, also clear and lasting Light of Perfection, and noble Imitation, to
his Countrymen in general.

On _Madden_, kindred Angels smile!
Bright Mirrour to his native Isle!
To whom old Age shall say, and Youth,
With grateful and prophetic Truth,

_Semper Honos, Nomenq; tuum, Laudesq; manebunt._

St. _Patrick’s_ Hospital, for the Reception of Lunaticks and Ideots, a
lasting Monument of the late Dean _Swift’s_ Charity, as are his various
Writings, of his great Genius and Wit: _Mercer’s_ charitable Hospitable in
_Stephen-street_: The noble Hospital for the Relief of poor
Lying-inn-Women, of the Projection of our late excellent Countryman, Dr.
_Bartholomew Mosse_; by which a great Number of Women and Children are
preserved from miserable and untimely Ends: The _Charitable Infirmary_ on
the _Inns-Quay_: The New Hospital for _Incurables_, on _Lazer’s-Hill_: St.
_Nicholas’s_ Hospital, in _Francis-street_: The _Meath_ Hospital, in
_Skinner’s Alley_: The _Lock_ Hospital, in _George’s-Lane_, for hapless
Women and Children, tainted with the Venereal Infection: And the
Charitable Hospital in _King-street, Oxmantown_, are all the humane and
pious Growth of this transcendent Reign.

Those Hospitals are duly and regularly attended, by the most eminent
Physicians, and skilful Surgeons, without Fee or Reward: So that, from
this obvious Consideration, the frequent and large Collections in our
Churches, for the comfortable Support, and Christian Education, of
indigent Boys; the stated Distributions of our Chief Magistrates, to the
Helpless and Needy; and, in Truth, from the general Disposition of its
worthy Inhabitants; we may, without any Risque of incurring the least
Censure of Adulation, or Vanity, pronounce DUBLIN as charitable a
Metropolis as any in the known World. In the beautiful new Garden, plann’d
by Dr. _Mosse_, breathing in all the natural Fragrance of the Spring,
adorned with all the Elegancies of Art, all the Splendor of Illumination,
and inspired with the most soothing Charms of delightful Harmony; to
behold Crowds of young Ladies, in the full Glow of Beauty, and Bloom of
Youth, finely habited, and elegantly decorated in the Manufactures of our
own Country, (and finished in the most exquisite Taste, by our own
Artizans); to behold them, I say, converting their very Amusements and
Recreations to the heavenly Purposes of relieving the Distressed, must, to
every thinking _Irish_ Spectator, afford a Prospect of the utmost rational

As all Men, who render their Country distinguished Honour, or singular
Service, deserve, therefore, lasting Monuments of public grateful
Acknowledgment to their Memories; it is hoped that, in this Respect, Dr.
_Mosse_ will not be forgotten by those who are evidently fond of
encouraging and rewarding public Zeal:

Eternal Joys to _Mosse_ kind Heaven give,
By whom, on Earth, so many Thousands live!

The _Marine Society_, of recent Institution also, disposeth many poor
young Men into a Condition of acquiring an honest, and praise-worthy
Livelihood, and of becoming useful Members of the Community; by serving on
Board of his Majesty’s Fleets in War-time, and serving our Merchants in
Times of Peace; and, in this double Capacity, of contributing to the
general Welfare of their Mother-Country, to which they may otherwise prove
a Burden.

Our publick Entertainments of various Kinds are, for the most Part,
conducted with strict Propriety, and real Politeness; those especially of
the Theatre, which should, by no Means, pass for Matter of slight or
casual Consideration; seeing the _Romans_, the greatest of all People,
esteemed the Theatre worthy the Attention of particular Laws, _Roscia Lex
Theatralis_, &c. Mr. _Sheridan_’s general Merit as a _Player_ stands
confessed; but as a _Manager_, that Gentleman’s falling frequently under
the heavy Displeasure of the Public, (whether from an haughty Distaste to
his Profession, or indulged Arrogance of Temper) with his violent
Introduction of anti-dramatick Rope and Wire-dancing, Tumbling, and
Fire-eating, to the visible Degradation of a liberal Stage, whereon
nothing mean, shocking, or monstrous, should ever appear; he hath not
succeeded so well: Then, his Scheme of uniting an Academy, for the sober
regular Education of Youth, with a publick Theatre, seemed rather the
feverish Delusion of a distempered Brain, and heated Imagination, than the
cool deliberate Result of rational Judgment; from which fermented Source,
also seem’d directly to flow his avowed Concern for the _long lost Art of
Oratory_ among us: Had Mr. _Sheridan_ attended to the Debates of our High
Court of Parliament; been frequent in our different Churches, and at the
Bars of our Courts of Judicature; and had, in this Case, formed a
comparative Judgment, from the Writings of _Demosthenes_, _Plato_,
_Isocrates_, _Cicero_, and _Pliny_ the Younger; from the Rules and
Precepts of _Aristotle_, _Longinus_, _Horace_, _Quinctilian_, _Scaliger_,
_Rapin_, _Porée_, and _Rollin_; he had been _then_ convinced how little
Occasion there was for his _lamenting_ the _Loss_ of an Art in this
Kingdom, which breathes there in full Maturity of all it’s persuasive
Charms. This his dogmatical Assertion of the _long-lost Art of Oratory_,
his wild _Academical_ Projects, with the foregoing theatrical
Inconsistencies, too much subject that Gentleman to the Character given,
by the _Roman_ Satirist, of an assuming sharp-set _Greekling_:

    _Gramaticus, Rhetor, Geometres, Pictor, Aliptes, Augur,
    Scœnobates, Medicus, Magus, omnia novit._

Upon the Whole, I will readily grant Mr. _Sheridan_ a _Roscius_, if the
Name can sooth him; a _Critic_; nay, an _Orator_; but I shall be bold to
assert, that we have many, very many, in this Kingdom, of far greater
Powers than that Gentleman, whereof some of his Orations, _so called_, are
incontrovertible Testimonies.

This Kingdom hath of late Years exhibited as justly celebrated Male and
Female Players, as any other; evinced in the Characters of Messieurs
_Quin_, _Ryan_, _Delane_, _Sheridan_, _Barry_, _Mossop_, _Dexter_,
_Sparks_, Mrs. _Woffington_, the inimitable Mrs. _Fitz-Henry_, and several
others, of either Sex.

Mr. _Barry_’s Capacity, as a Manager, appeareth equal to his
eminently-affecting Powers in Tragedy, (so generally known, and so
unexceptionably confessed) from the magnificent Theatre, erected by that
Gentleman, with amazing Expedition, in Grandeur, Convenience, and
Elegance, preferable to any in _London_, or _Paris_: From the obliging
Decency the respective Performances thereof are conducted with, and
evidently from the surpassing theatrical Abilities of the Company, that,
with the most engaging Variety, entertains the Publick in _Crow-street_
Play-house. I have sometimes seen, and have been as often delighted, with
Performances of the Gentlemen just mentioned, as with those of the admired
Mr. _Garrick_, and the famous Messieurs _Dufrésne_, _Gossin_, and
_Quinault_; and, if I may take Leave to declare my Opinion, am therein
clear that Mr. _Barry_, in the exquisitely pathetick Strokes of deep
Tragedy, touches the Soul with as much delicate Sensibility, and, in the
irrefrainable Sallies of the more boisterous Passions, soars with as
majestick Wings, as any one of them, I will not say higher. To behold Mr.
_Barry_, sublimely struggling in a Storm of Adversity, with the sudden
Shocks, and unexpected Blows of Fortune; _then_, (when all human Efforts
must yield to inevitable Necessity) sinking in the irretrievable Plunge of
Sorrow and Calamities, with that calm Resignation ever attendant on true
Heroism; must convince any judicious Spectator of his being born a
Tragedian. I must here declare, that what I have advanced on this Subject
neither ariseth from Prepossession on one Side, or Prejudice on the other;
having no Manner of Connection, nay, not even a personal Acquaintance,
with Mr. _Barry_; nor any Objection to Mr. _Sheridan_, but such as must
naturally issue from my just Resentment against any Individual, of
whatsoever Rank, Character, or Denomination, who should prove so ignorant,
and yet so hardy, as to declare _Elocution lost_ in our native Country; an
illiberal Censure, which, if true, had necessarily wrapped our High Court
of Parliament, the whole Body of our Clergy, our University, Bench and
Bar, in Shades that, I am certain, had been never dispell’d by the
Approach of Light, so dim and glimmering as that Gentleman’s.

Let us now take a summary View of the Inhabitants of _Ireland_, in their
respective Ranks: And to begin with the Peers: Are they not such
Personages, as, by their Munificence, Affability of Manners, Easiness of
Comportment, Propriety of Appearance, and Generosity in dealing, reflect
true Honour on Nobility; and, Reality, derive their superior Rank, as much
from the Pre-eminence of their Virtues, as from the constitutional Dignity
of their Titles?

The Encrease of our People, Wealth, Commerce, Industry, Arts, Inventions;
the extraordinary additional Number, in this happy Reign, of our beautiful
Seats, elegant Improvements, useful and ornamental Plantations, extensive
Inclosures, excellent high Roads, (formerly almost impassable,) with the
visible Reformation in national Harmony, and Allegiance, will best suggest
an Idea of the Honourable the House of Commons of _Ireland_, composed of
such candid Spirits, as, neither the Smiles or Frowns of superior
Influence, popular Views, or private Connections, can bend from the
various essential Duties due to their King, their Country, and themselves;
constant in their Attendance; careful in their Protection; and zealous in
their Promotion of publick Felicity; not more extensive in their noble
Projects, for this great Purpose, than expeditious in carrying those into

Our Constitution, partly of _Gothic_, partly of _Norman_ Institution, (the
first High Court of Parliament on the present Establishment, having been
ordained in the Reign of _Henry_ the First, Son of _William_ the
Conquerer) avoiding the turbulent Licentiousness of a _Democracy_, the
factious domineering Temper of _Aristocracy_, and the variable oppressive
Sway of _Arbitrary Monarchy_; but including, by an harmonious Assemblage,
the essential Virtues of those different Systems of Government; is
unquestionably the _best digested_ and _wisest_ in the known World: Under
which, the King and the Nobles, with the Commons, _unite_, to extend the
Commerce, promote the Happiness, guard over the Safety, preserve the
Lives, defend the Characters, support the Liberties, and protect the
Property of the People. Bless’d Constitution! O! may it ever flourish!
under whose mild and preservative Influence, a few only feel Restraint;
except from the Commission of private Evil, or social Injury.

I have said a _Few only_; because there are some among us, who, on the
Score of Religion, are secluded from permanent Property: And even Those,
it is hoped, will, in Consideration of the invariable Tenor of their
humble and pacific Conduct, from the Capitulation of _Limerick_, to this
Day; and from their unanimous and chearful Obedience to our Civil
Government, e’re long obtain some Mitigation of their Affairs; such the
benevolent Temper and Disposition of the present incomparable Reign! Some
late excellent(3) Pamphlets, wherein these Gentlemen’s political
Principles are fully and clearly explained, shew of what signal Advantage
it had been to the Numbers, Industry, Health, Wealth, and Beauty of this
Kingdom, to indulge them a Property, even in our uncultivated Mountains,
dreary Wastes, and noxious Marshes: Which Measure, should it appear in a
true Light to our worthy Representatives, we may in a few Years more, hope
to see _Ireland_ one of the most beautiful, best-improved,
best-conditioned Islands in the Universe. Our Bench is adorned with
Honourable Personages, conspicuous for Learning, Integrity, Humanity, and
Impartiality; of whom, it may be boldly affirmed, and with the strictest
Truth, that they are not Favourers of Persons. The present Lord Chief
Justice of the _King-Bench_, the late Master of the Rolls, and Chancellor
of the Exchequer, Natives of _Ireland_, formed a Triumvirate, whose
Learning, Worth, and distinguished Abilities, had rendered them eminently
respectable in the brightest Æras, either of the _Roman_ Commonwealth, or

Our Attorney and Solicitor General, our Serjeants at Law, and King’s
Council, with many eminent Barristers, and a Set of learned eloquent young
Gentlemen, all shining out together; such as _Tully_, _Hortensius_, and
_Pliny_, had with fond Tenderness cherished and with pleasing Pride,
avowed for their Pupils; form as distinguished a Body of Advocates and
Orators, as adorn any Courts of Judicature in _Europe_.

In the Diocese of _Dublin_ existeth a truly pious Society for the Relief
and Support of the Widows and Children of the inferior Clergy thereof. It
is, indeed, surprizing in a Kingdom, such (thank Heaven) as _Ireland_ is,
that the Example of this charitable Society, hath not been _universally_
followed. It hath often affected me to the Quick, to have seen a learned
Divine, after a tedious and painful Free-School Institution, and expensive
University Education, struggling, upon a poor Pension or Salary of _Forty_
Pounds a Year, to maintain an honest Gentlewoman, Children, and Servants,
(and really with some Decency of Hospitality) sedulously discharging, at
the same Time, the different Duties of the pastoral Function; when a
_foreign Fidler_ shall run away with tripple that Sum, or more, for one
Night’s Performance. I would by no Means be understood to derogate from
the Merits of fine Performers in the different Parts of Musick, or
endeavour to diminish their reasonable Perquisites: But, surely, such Men
and such Things are not to be thought of, in Competition with those, who,
by Teaching and Preaching, refine our Morals, instruct our Understandings,
inform our Lives, and enlighten our Souls with the celestial Spirit of the
Christian Faith; and thereby happily lead us, through this transient and
precarious State, to eternal Tranquilly and Bliss. I am not a Preacher;
but thus far shall venture: As the Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of
Wisdom, our generally following the heavenly Example of this venerable
Society, must be a great Test as well of the one, as the other. If the
Bishops, the temporal Lords, and great estated Men of each Diocese, would
but graciously lead the Way, it is not unlikely they had been attended by
Crowds of zealous Followers: And, in Fact, a _small_ Matter _annually set
apart_, from even the superfluous Outgoings of the Wealthy and Opulent, of
different Ranks, would very happily answer the generous noble End of
preserving, from an anxious State of particular Dependance, Numbers of
virtuous, well-educated Gentlewomen, and their Children, from the various
Miseries, which the untimely Death of a Father, and narrow Circumstances,
but too frequently expose them to; an End so every Way worthy the natural
Disposition, the benevolent Temper, the inherent Hospitality, and the
essentially-charitable Character of _Ireland_.

Our _Protestant_ Brethren, the _Dissenters_, by a prudent and pious
Regulation of secreting one Pound a Year, each parochial Minister, for
this religiously humane Purpose, have constantly a Fund sufficient to
allow the Relict of each Clergyman twenty Pounds a Year, (which preserves
her from the Miseries of Want and Dependance) and have, at some Periods,
where-with to set their Children up, in an honest and creditable Way of
living. As we are emulously fond of adopting the Wisdom and Virtues of
each Christian Sect and Society, it is fervently hoped we will also this
tender and pious Scheme; a Scheme so comprehensive of true Charity, and so
productive of social and happy Effects! How difficult is it for Minds,
crowded with Cares, and beset with the pressing Calls of
Family-preservation, to attend, with due Composure and Inclination, to the
various indispensible Duties of the pastoral Office? But how chearfully
would those Reverend Gentlemen proceed in their divine Mission, when, by
some visible Provision for the proper Objects of their present Cares and
future Concern, they should, in a great Measure, be released from
domestick Anxiety, from gloomy Apprehensions, and alarming Prospects, into
the temporal Futurity of those, for whom they must be necessarily affected
with the most tender Feelings!

The most convincing and decisive Method of adjudging Causes, being by a
comprehensive View and critical Examination of their Effects; of Streams,
by a nice Scrutiny and Investigation of their Sources; hence may we, from
the shining Characters, and extensive Abilities of our Divines and
Barristers, frame a just Idea of the University of _Dublin_, which, for
Compass and Extent of the Sciences, Variety of elegant Arts, found
Erudition, and polite Literature therein taught, in the most regular and
perspicuous Methods, is equalled by few, excelled by none.

The Students are carefully instructed in the more refined Parts of
classical Learning; oriental, antient, and modern Languages; Criticism,
sacred and profane History, Oratory, Logick, Ethicks, and Metaphysicks; in
natural and experimental Philosophy; Anatomy, Botany and Chymistry; the
mathematicks, in Theory and Practice; Civil and Canon Laws; Theology,
Controversy, and Ecclesiastical History: So that, with a good Capacity,
and regular Application, one may depart this University, as completely and
happily instituted for the honorary Professions of Life, as may be
reasonably expected from any Nursery of Learning extant. The obtaining a
Fellowship in this University, is a demonstrative Test of comprehensive
native Talents, thorough intellectual Cultivation, deep and various
learned Acquirements.

The _Newtonian_ Philosophy, the excellent _Boyle_’s experimental
Philosophy, and Mr. _Locke_’s Metaphysicks, prevail much in the College of
_Dublin_: Which, for Extent, Convenience, Magnificence, and a most
sumptuous elegant Library, exceeds any one College in _Europe_. The
beautiful Parks belonging to it, seem actually, on a serene Evening, the
delightful Vale of _Tempe_, or enchanting Recesses of _Parnassus_,
inhabited by all the Muses, all the Graces, with their charming Train.

The Trade of _Ireland_, however in former Times miserably restrained and
limited, hath in this happy Reign received considerable Enlargements; such
as, the opening several Wooll-Ports; the Bounty on _Irish_ Linens, now our
staple Commodity, imported into _Great-Britain_; and the Immunity lately
granted of importing thither Beef, Butter, Tallow, Candles, Pork, Hides,
live Cattle, _&c._ a Privilege that, in its Consequences, must prove of
signal Advantage to both Nations; to _this_ especially, as we shall hereby
be enabled, upon any occasional Exigency, to supply our protecting
Friends, and proportionably stint the Hands of our Enemies, who, (by the
Profusion of Wines and spirituous Liquors, annually exported from _France_
to Ireland, in Exchange for our Beef, Butter, _&c._ to pass over the Gluts
of Teas and Spirits, _&c._ smuggled thence by the _western_ Runners) have
constantly the Balance on their Side. Our Exports, with those already
mentioned, consist in a few Cheeses, Salmon and Kelp: But, as our Linens
are, without Question, become the vital Spring of _Irish_ Commerce, it is
Matter of great Concern and equal Surprize, that the other Provinces do
not more _universally_ and _effectually_ follow the lucrative Example of
the _North_! since, it is evident, nothing but _equal Industry_ can be
wanting to render them _equally flourishing_, The Over-growth of Graziers
and Stockmasters, is the strongest Indication that can be of national
Waste and Decay, in respect of Inhabitants. What could a Foreigner,
travelling among us, particularly in the _western_ Counties, some Summers
past, judge of our national Wisdom and Oeconomy? Would he not start even
at our Humanity, on seeing the best arable Grounds in the Kingdom, in
immense Tracts, wantonly enjoyed by the Cattle of a few petulant
Individuals; and at the same Juncture, our high Ways and Streets crowded
with Shoals of mendicant fellow-creatures! reduced, through Want of proper
Sustenance, to the utmost Distress? Would not a _Frenchman_ for Example,
give a Shrug extraordinary, at finding, in every little Inn, _Bourdeaux_
Claret and _Nantz_ Brandy, though, in all Likelihood, not a Morsel of
_Irish_ Bread?

It is much to be hoped, That, when the Spirit of Tillage should become
more general and active, our Farmers more attentive to the Growth of the
best Kinds of Grain, and our Brewers, more attentive to the Rules and
Precepts for that Purpose laid down by the Honourable the DUBLIN SOCIETY;
we shall have little or no Occasion for that Inundation of _London
Porter_; (an heavy, cloudy, intoxicating, ill-flavoured Liquor) that
annually overflows this City and other Parts of the Kingdom; as, in the
above Case, we may have a sufficient Plenty and Variety of Malt Liquors,
our own native Produce, far better than any imported; and, in Case of a
Redundancy of Grain, (a Matter not very likely to happen) may, with
moderate Care, have Spirituous Liquors of far a more wholesome Nature,
exquisite Taste, and delicate Flavour, than those imported at an
extraordinary Expence; and but too often adulterated, in the first

We have, in several Parts of this Kingdom, (in the Province of _Munster_
especially) a recy, spirituous, fine-flavoured Cyder, very little, if at
all, inferior to the best imported White Wines; and a moderate Plenty of
grateful Honey-Liquors, which, with our prime Beef, Mutton, Pork, Veal,
Lamb, Variety of Fowls, tame and wild; red and fallow Deer; Hares,
Rabbits, Pidgeons, Pheasants, Grouse; and Partridge; wild Duck, Plover,
Snipe, _&c._ Lake, River, Shell and Sea Fish, of all Kinds; the Produce of
the Garden, (Horticulture having of late Years so vastly improved among
us, that we now have many curious Plants, Fruits, and Flowers, not only
not _known_, but never even _heard of_, in former Times) and _all_ in such
Plenty and Perfection, as demonstrate _Ireland_ happier than most other
Countries, in regard of the Necessaries and even of the Delicacies of
Life; to which may be added, the great Number of our beautiful Lakes,
noble Rivers, pure Fountains, limpid Streams, and Health-restoring mineral
Wells.(4) In this Country are bred valuable Horses, for the Draught, Road,
and Chace; and for the Course, as high-formed ones, as in any Part of
_Europe_; and large horned Cattle, and Sheep in Abundance.

It must afford real Satisfaction to consider the universal and visible
Reformation in the Lives and Morals even of our common People, clearly
evinced in this, that (thank Heaven) fewer legal Punishments succeed an
entire Circuit, in our happy Days, than did a single Assize in former
Reigns: And, without Question, this Reformation must still rise higher, in
Proportion to the Lenity of our worthy Legislature, and wise Indulgence of
our landed Men, who must certainly find it more conducive to the Welfare
of the State, and to their own Strength, Honour, and Interest, to have
their Estates farmed and inhabited by a great Number of honest, laborious
improving Families, than wasted by a few Purse-proud Bullock-Brokers, who
rarely allow the wretched Herd of an hundred, as much Ground for his own
and poor Family’s Support, as is equal to that of two Bullocks.

Suppose a Gentleman was to let two thousand Acres of arable Ground to
farm; were it not demonstrably more conducive to all the foregoing
Motives, to dispose of these to twenty honest, industrious Families, at an
hundred Acres each, than to any one Beau-Grazier whatever? From the twenty
Tenures, the Landlord may, in any national Shock, raise a considerable
Number of effective Hands, and zealous Hearts, for the Service of the
Crown, or Defence of his Country; and reap many signal Advantages to the
public and private Concernments of Life, not possibly derivable from the
anti-social Monopolizers and Forestallers of Farms; who ever fondly
attribute their Growth to their own Sagacity and Cleverness, without any
the least Gratitude or Obligation to the Land-owner. These Sentiments, it
is hoped, will every Day gain more and more Consideration with our wise
and beneficent Legislature, Nobility and Gentry.

Many intelligent Persons, of all Ranks, complain much of the Want of some
Establishment in the Way of a national Bank, to secure popular Credit, and
the Kingdom from the various alarming Shocks it is so frequently incident
to, on Account of the Failure of particular Banks.

The Nobility and Gentry of _Ireland_, are Loyalists and Patriots by
Principle and Education: They are brave, without Arrogance; gay, without
Levity; polite, without Affectation; charitable, without Ostentation;
religious, without Formality; affable, without Meanness; generous, without
View; and hospitable, without Reserve: In their Converse, easy; in their
Dealings just; placable in their Resentments, in their Friendship
steady:—They have neither the volatile Airyness of the _Frenchman_, the
stated Gravity of the _Spaniard_; the supicious Jealousy of the _Italian_;
the forbidding Haughtiness of the _German_; the saturnine Gloominess of
the _Flandrican_, nor the sordid Parsimony of the _Dutchman_: In short,
they are neither whimsical, splenetic, sullen or capricious:—And, as for
Cunning, Craft, or Dissimulation, these are such sorry Guests as never
found Shelter in the generous Breast of an _Irish_ Noble or Gentleman; so
that, if we consider this Country, with regard to its military Fame,
constitutional Wisdom, Learning, Arts, Improvements, and natural
Advantages; and above all, the benevolent Temper, charitable and
hospitable Disposition of its Inhabitants; it is true, we may find many of
more popular Bustle and Eclat, more extensive Commerce, greater Opulence
and Pomp; but none of more general, solid, and intrinsick Worth, than

I shall conclude with the following Proposition to any one, who may
arrogate to himself Praise or Wit, by ridiculing _Ireland_.

_Si quid Novisti rectius istis—_
_Candidus imperti; Si non, his utere mecum._




I think myself indebted to any Occasion that restores you to a Friend,
whom I feared you had long forgotten. But I confess, at the same Time,
that the Pleasure of hearing from you, after a Silence of Several Years,
is, in some Measure, damped by the Censure that seems to constitute the
chief Intent of your Letter.

You tell me that you lately happened upon some Papers that were entitled
The FARMER’s LETTERS, _&c._ which were imputed to me as the Author. And,
after some Compliments on Spirit, and Genius, and so forth, in order to
palliate, as I suppose, what you purpose to administer, you charge me, by
Implication, with Crimes, whose smallest Tendency I should abhor in
myself, as in any Man breathing.

You say, favourably enough for your own Disposition, that you have long
looked on the _Roman-Catholics_ of these Kingdoms as a discountenanced and
pitiable People. That you would choose to allow to others the same
Latitude of Conscience that you like for yourself. That it is not a Part
of Humanity to break a Reed already bruised. That such a Treatment would
be blameable respecting any Individual; how much more so, in Prejudice of
a whole People. That those Papers are pointed with a Keenness of Enmity,
for which the Talents, which you are pleased to ascribe, cannot
sufficiently apologize. And, that you did not think me capable of
exasperating Government and Power against a Set of Men who were already
under the Displeasure and Depression of the Law.

These, my dear Friend, are home and heavy Accusations, however tempered by
Expressions of Kindness and Affection from the Man whom I sincerely love
and respect.

But, if I know any-thing of myself, the Quality, called Ill-nature, is not
my Characteristic. I would not exchange one Grain of Good-heart for all
the Wit of a _C----d_ or Comprehension of a _P--tt_, independent of their
Virtue. And I may say, with great Truth, that an Excess of Humanity hath
occasioned all the Misfortunes and Distresses of my Life.

I most solemnly assure you, that when I wrote those Letters I was in
perfect Love and Charity with every _Roman Catholic_ in the Kingdom of
_Ireland_. I knew that they were a depressed People. I had long pitied
them as such. I was sensible that the Laws, under which they suffered, had
been enacted by our Ancestors, when the Impressions of Hostility were
fresh and warm, and when Passion, if I may venture to say so, co-operated,
in some Measure, with Utility and Reason. I will go a Step further. I
thought those Laws not severe enough to suppress them as Enemies, nor yet
sufficiently favourable to attach them to us as Friends. They were not so
cruel as, wholly, to serve for quelling; and yet they had a Poignancy that
might tend to provoke. And all this I imputed to the Resentment that was
blended with the Humanity of our Ancestors. Their Humanity left to Papists
a Power of hurting, while their Resentment abridged the Inducements that
might engage them to serve us.

Believe me, Sir, I never was of a cruel or persecuting Disposition. I was
grieved to see the Discouragements under which the _Roman Catholics_ of
this Kingdom laboured, but these very Discouragements made me fear them
the more.

Previous to the Letters, which you censure so warmly, a dangerous
Rebellion had broken out in _Scotland_, in consequence of a _French_
Invasion, that was headed by a Popish Pretender to the Throne. Be pleased
to remember, (if it is not too mortifying a Recollection for a free-born
_Briton_) the Pannic into which all _England_ was struck by a few _Scotch_
Vassals, undisciplined, and unactuated by any Motive of Liberty or Virtue,
save the Virtue of being attached to their _Laird_ or their _Leader_.
Millions of _English_, at that Time, sunk in the Down of a long Peace, and
enervated by ministerial Corruption and Venality, feared that a Handful of
_Highlanders_ would win their Way to _London_, and, at one Stroke, put a
Period to the boasted Strength and Grandeur of the _British_ Constitution.

I was astonished at the Apprehensions that _England_ was under from so
contemptible an Armament. But I deemed the Case of _Ireland_ to be highly
alarming. The _Roman-Catholics_, at that Time, outnumbered us Five to One.
They were disarmed, it is true, but I was not equally sure that they had
Reason to be reconciled. As they were not admitted to realize their
Fortune, it consisted of ready Money, and that gave ready Power. As they
were not permitted to purchase, or accept a Tenure of any valuable Length,
Loyalty, perhaps, might induce them to fight for their King; but where was
the Stake to impel them to fight for a Country in which they had no
_Inheritance_? Without an Interest in Lands, they had little to lose by
any Change of Estate. Without a Loan lodged with Government, they had the
less to lose by a Change of Constitution.

I cannot conceive how _Religion_, or mere Difference of Opinion, should
prove a real Cause of Quarrel among Men; though it often serves as a _Word
of War_, or a _Term_ whereby to give Notice for Onset. On the contrary, I
had observed that wherever People are united by _Interest_, though of a
thousand opposite Sects, Persuasions and Professions, they never fail to
join in the Maintenance and Defence of _common Rights_.

I, therefore, did not fear the _Roman Catholics_, as having a different
_Religion_, but as having an _Interest_ that was different from the
Interest of _Protestants_. Were they a Compound of all the Follies,
Absurdities, and Contradictions that ever were generated by
Monster-bearing Superstition, had their Interest bound them to us, I
should not have feared their _Fealty_.

But this was not the Case. The _French_ Invasion of _Great Britain_ was
headed by a Person who was, by Birth, Education, Principle, and Interest,
an Enemy to the Freedom and Rights of a Constitution that was established
on the Dispossession of his Ancestors; and he was, consequently, an Enemy
to the general Change of Privilege and Property, that ensued on the said
Establishment. The said Change, as we all know, was to the Disadvantage of
_Roman Catholics_. Had the Invader prevailed, a Change would again have
ensued, in their Favour. Men naturally with Success to an Event from
whence they propose Benefit; and it is as natural for them to act
conformable to those Wishes.

Had _Roman Catholics_ been possessed of an unrestrained Property, along
with the other Liberties, Blessings, and Enjoyments, which they derived,
in common with us, from the Establishment at the Revolution, no spiritual
or temporal Power on Earth could have tempted them to permit, much less to
wish, a Change of a Constitution whose Equal they could not find upon

But as this was very far from being the Fact, I feared that _Interest_
might prove an Incentive to _Desire_; and Desire equally prove an
Incentive to _Action_; and, I am not ashamed to confess, that my
Expectations were greatly, though happily, disappointed, by the Steadiness
of their peaceful and loyal Demeanour on that trying Occasion.

Believe me, my Friend, at the Time that I wrote those Papers, which have
given you so much Offence, I looked upon the _Papists_ of this Kingdom, by
the Patronage of _France_ and _Spain_, by their Numbers, by their Wealth,
and by their Union with each other, to be vastly superior to _Irish
Protestants_, in Power; and my Spirit of Opposition rose, in Proportion to
my Idea of their Ability. But neither then, before, nor since, did I ever
mean to excite any Action, or Intention, against the Weak, or the
Oppressed, the Fallen, or the Afflicted.

When _Brutus_ unsheathed the reluctant Sword of Freedom against his
Friend, Humanity must suppose that his Heart was wrung with Compunction,
while his Country enjoined and impelled the Blow.

But further, Sir, there is a very wide Difference between a _Popish
Regency_ and a _Popish People_. The whole Intent and Virulence, as you
call it, of my Papers, is pointed and levelled against the _One_, but not
a Syllable uttered, from End to End, against the _Other_. A _Popish
Regency_, in Temporals alike as in Spirituals, I held to be, by Principle,
an arbitrary and oppressive Government; but I held a _Popish People_ to
be, of all People, the most amenable and submissive to Rulers, whatever
the Form or Nature of that State may be, under which they shall happen to
be subjected. And, on this very Account, I dreaded them the more, should
they become passive Instruments in the Hand of a Papal Dictator.

To apply a sure Test to the Propriety, or Impropriety, of my
Apprehensions, at the Period when I wrote the _Farmer’s Letters_, let us
suppose that no one of the Penal Laws, which were instituted during the
Reign of her Majesty Queen _Anne_, had yet passed into Form, but that
Matters had remained in the same Situation, in which the _Monarch_, of
_humane_, as well as _glorious Memory_, had left this unhappy People.
Well, what would have been the Consequence? Would _Papists_, in that Case,
have been less amenable to the Government, by which they had been
favoured, supported, and cherished? Would they have been the forwarder to
bring Damage and Destruction on a Country, because their own Interest was
connected therewith, and the Fortunes of their Posterity deposited
therein? Would they have been the readier to attempt the Overthrow of our
beneficent Constitution, because they enjoyed the Privileges and
Advantages thereof? No, Sir, no. The Absurdity of the Supposition is
inclusive of the Answer. Had this been the Case, the _Farmer’s Letters_
would not have existed to have caused the Renewal of our Acquaintance.

I have read and noted many Instances, in free States and Commonwealths,
where _Liberty_, when fermented into _Licentiousness_, hath occasioned
many partial Struggles for Power, many Broils and Factions, and much
Disturbance to the Community. But very few are the Instances of the
Insurrection of any People, who have not been goaded thereto by Severity
and Oppression. The inoffensive Stag grows formidable when _at __ Bay_.
The Worm turneth not, till it receiveth a Crush.

I forget the Book, though I remember the Passage, where a Prince demanded
of his favourite Minister, what he should do with a Number of the Commons
and Nobility, whom he had suppressed and taken Captive in the Act of
Rebellion? The Minister answered, _Put them, and their Adherents,
instantly to Death_. No, replied the Prince, that were an Act of such
Bloodshed and Barbarity, as neither Fear nor Revenge shall persuade me to
perpetrate. _Then, grant them all free Pardon_, rejoined the Minister.
How! said the Prince, must Rebellion go altogether unpunished? There is no
Medium that can assure your Safety, answered the Minister; you must either
pull this Party wholly up by the Root, so as to leave no Fibre from whence
future Enmity may grow; or else, you must change that Enmity into
Friendship, by binding their Gratitude to your Person and Interest, with
the kindliest of all Connections, that of your Goodness and Favour. _A
partial Punishment will be too little for your Safety; a partial Pardon
will not be enough._ You must either wholly annihilate their Power, by
their _Death_; or derive Strength to yourself, from that Power, by their

By disarming our Enemies, the utmost we can hope, is, to render them
impotent. The Diminution of _their_ Power adds nothing to our _own_.
Repentance is never so permanent or sincere, as when preceded by Pardon;
and Favour is, as the polar Attraction, to Inclination. Is there a Man
whose Love and Gratitude you desire to engage? Common Sense will direct
you to do him a Benefit. Would you bind him to your Service with Hoops of
Steel? You must make it his Interest, as well as his Duty, to befriend

It is, by no means, my Intention to arraign either the Wisdom or good
Policy of our Forefathers. But all Men are, in some Degree, fallible, as
well in the congregate, as in the individual; and the Shrewd may err as
much, by over-reaching their Aim, as the Ignorant, by falling short, or
deviating from it.

But, had a hundred _Pitts_, and a hundred _Cecils_, composed the Senate of
our Ancestors, at the Time that those _Penal Laws_ were enacted; had those
Laws been ever so wise and so just, so wholesome and necessary, and well
suited to the Season; is that a Reason that they should _continue so_ to
the End of Time? In a World where nothing is permanent; where Modes,
Manners, Principles, and Practice are at a Flux; where Life is uncertain,
and all it contains changeable; Nature and Reason will conform to
Situation and Circumstance; and where _Causes_ have ceased, in any Degree,
the _Consequences_ ought to cease in the same Proportion.

It is not now with _Rome_ as it was in the Days when Princes held her
Steed, and Emperors her Stirrup. The Kings of the Earth have, pretty
clearly, resumed her Usurpations and Acquisitions of temporal Dominion. It
is not now, as it was when she cried Peace! and it became Peace; or when
the Breath of her Mandate kindled the Nations to Battle. Even his
_Holiness_ is, now, but a poor limited Prince, pent up within his little
_Italian_ Demesne. If some few still acknowledge to hold of his Authority,
it is a Homage of Words, and not of Facts; they will not acknowledge to
hold of his Power. He is restored to the quiet and unenvied Possession of
all the Lordship and Interest he can acquire in Heaven. But the Sceptre,
even of his spiritual Dominion upon Earth, is, of late, as I take it, most
wonderfully shortened.

Matters are much altered with the ecclesiastical World, even since I wrote
the Letters that have roused your Spleen. Whether it be through a Decline
of the _Romish_ Religion, in particular; or, possibly, through a Decline
of all Religion, in general; the pontifical and episcopal Dictatorship and
Authority are wofully fallen, from the Chair of Infallibility, where they
had been seated by Opinion. The Sons of the most bigotted Ancestors do now
perceive, that Piety and Immorality are not rightly consistent. And even
the vulgar and ignorant, among the _Roman_ Laity, would grumble at
departing from an Inch of their Property, though the Priest should advise,
and the Pope, himself, should enjoin it.

But, Sir, if the Change of Times, and Principles, Situation, and
Circumstances; if the Change of every Cause that produced those penal
Laws, have not availed for a Change of _Consequences_; for some Mitigation
or Abatement of their Rigour, toward these my unhappy Brethren, the _Roman
Catholics of Ireland_: If no Argument, I say, that is taken from Changes,
may avail for the Purpose, I will take one from Permanence and Duration
itself, that shall strike Light and Conviction to the Eye of every
Beholder; that Power may _gainsay_, but cannot _refute_; that Malevolence
may _dispute_, but never can _answer_.

About six Generations have now passed away, according to the Rates of
Purchase and Estimate of the Life of Man, since these People have offended
in Word or in Deed. No Riotings have been heard in their Houses, no
Complainings in their Streets; they have been silent and harmless as Sheep
before their Sheerers. Our Parties, Factions, and Insurrections, as they
are merrily stiled in _England_, have been all among ourselves; this
People were neither Actors nor Partakers therein. They have offered
themselves to our Fleets, and to our Armies; to tend our Persons, to till
our Grounds, to hew our Wood, and to draw our Water. Where we admit them
to fight for us, they have ever proved valiant; where we admit them to
serve us, they are found loving, observant, and faithful. Temptations have
come to their Doors and called them forth; the Contagion of Rebellion hath
broken out among their Neighbours; they have yet remained quiet, and
continued untainted; still loyal to their Sovereign, amenable to
Government, and submissive to Law, through a long and trying Succession of
about seventy Years, they have scarce appeared to repine in the midst of
their Calamities.

When I look back on the querulous and restless Nature of Man: When I trace
the human Propensities through the Records of Ages and Nations: In all the
Histories of those States who had least Cause of Complaint: Throughout the
Commonwealths of _Asia Minor_, the _Archipelago_, the _Grecian Continent_,
_Italy_, the Islands of the _Mediterranean_, &c. where the RIGHTS OF
NATURE, under Forms of various Institution, were ASSERTED BY LIBERTY AND
CONTENT: I can find but few Instances of any People who, through such a
Length of Time, have continued firm and unshaken, in an uninterrupted
Loyalty and Submission to Government.

What then, do we look for further? What Proofs do ye yet require, of
Peacefulness and Attachment at the Hands of these our Brethren? Is no
Period to be put to their State of Probation? Must they _for ever_ keep
out upon _Quarantine_, without Harbour or Hopes of Rest or Reconciliation?
That were hard, indeed.

If it is Revenge that we seek, they have, already, suffered enough, not
for their own Faults, but for the Hostility of their Forefathers. If we
seek our Safety, alone; let us chace _them, at once, from Country and
Community_; or put an _End to our domestic Fears_, by giving them Cause to
defend us.

Indeed, Sir, neither common Sense, nor Sense of any Kind, can possibly
suppose, That Acts of Kindness which have been, from the Beginning of the
World, the Cement of Friendship to all other People, should prove the
reverse to these People alone.

Had they been to us, as the Swallow, in Autumn, who forsakes all
Connections on the Approach of Inclemency, I should never have pleaded for
any Confidence in them. But a People, who, through a Winter of seventy
Years Continuance, have never failed, or forsaken, or given us Cause of
Offence, surely merit some Consideration, some grateful and chearing Ray
to warm them to a Sense that _Protestants_ are not, by Choice, of a cruel,
unforgiving, and malevolent Nature.

Lastly, Sir, as I know you to be a Gentleman of a communicative
Disposition, and that you were, formerly, fond of exhibiting the
Sentiments of some of your Friends; should you impart this Letter to any
of your popish Acquaintance, I doubt they might be apt to give me more
Thanks than I am conscious I deserve. It is, therefore, but commonly
honest, to advertise you, and them, that while I write in the Favour of
_Papists_, the Interest of _Protestants_ is never out of my Eye.

When I thought your Favourites most formidable, I shewed I did not fear
them; and now, that I think them impotent, let them not think I flatter.

What I have hitherto hinted is but a narrow opening to the Concerns and
Interests of an unhappy Country, whereof I have the Misfortune to be a
helpless, though loving, Member. To promote the Advantage of _Ireland_, in
any respect, would be, to me, the cardinal Point of the whole Compass of
my Ambition; and a subsequent Letter may shew how far my Observations
relate to the Decline, or Prosperity, of my Country, whenever you confer
the Pleasure of an Answer on,

_Dear_ SIR,
_Your truly affectionate_, &c.


_    1 Dublin_, 1753, _M. Reilly_, Editor.

    2 This _Mac Con More Macnamara_, Duke of _Klan Cullane_, founded,
      erected, and amply endowed the beautiful Abbey of _Quin_; as did
      other Chieftains of his Name and Family, several Parochial Churches,
      with a great Number of magnificent Castles.

_    3 Seasonable Thoughts_, &c. published by _George Faulkner_; _the Case
      of the Roman Catholics_, and _the Principles of the Roman
      Catholics_, the two last published by _P. Lord_, in _Cook-street,

    4 To all the above Productions of _Ireland_, may be justly added, our
      inestimable Fisheries, and plentiful Mines, which, under due
      national Encouragement, would raise immense Treasures.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Essay on the Antient and Modern State of Ireland" ***

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