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Title: Romantic Ireland; volume 1/2
Author: M.F, Mansfield, B. McM.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Romantic Ireland; volume 1/2" ***

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                           Romantic Ireland

                               Volume I.

                    Travel Lovers' Library

             _Each in two volumes, profusely illustrated_

              Florence                             $3.00
                  By GRANT ALLEN

              Romance and Teutonic Switzerland      3.00
                  By W. D. MCCRACKAN

                The Same.--Unillustrated            1.50

              Old World Memories                    3.00
                  By EDWARD LOWE TEMPLE

              Paris                                 3.00
                  By GRANT ALLEN

              Feudal and Modern Japan               3.00
                  By ARTHUR MAY KNAPP

                The Same.--Unillustrated            1.50

              The Unchanging East                   3.00
                  By ROBERT BARR

              Venice                                3.00
                  By GRANT ALLEN

              Gardens of the Caribbees              3.00
                  By IDA M. H. STARR

              Belgium: Its Cities                   3.00
                  By GRANT ALLEN

              Rome                            _net_ 2.40
                  By WALTER TAYLOR FIELD

              Romantic Ireland                _net_ 2.40
                  By M. F. & B. MCM. MANSFIELD


                         L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
                         New England Building
                             Boston, Mass.

[Illustration: THE ROCK OF CASHEL.

(_See page 271_).]


                      M. F. and B. McM. Mansfield

                            IN TWO VOLUMES
                                VOL. I.

                            _Illustrated by
                      BLANCHE McMANUS MANSFIELD_

                       [Illustration: colophon]

                         L. C. Page & Company

                           _Copyright, 1904_
                        BY L. C. PAGE & COMPANY

                         _All rights reserved_

                        Published October, 1904

                           _COLONIAL PRESS_
           _Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co.
                       Boston, Mass., U. S. A._



CHAPTER                                       PAGE

   I. INTRODUCTORY                               1

  II. A TRAVEL CHAPTER                          16

 III. THE LAND AND ITS PEOPLE                   37

  IV. ROMANCE AND SENTIMENT                     82


  VI. THE SCOTCH-IRISH BLEND                   136

 VII. IRISH INDUSTRIES                         155

VIII. DUBLIN AND ABOUT THERE                   176

  IX. KILKENNY TO CORK HARBOUR                 242


List of Illustrations



THE ROCK OF CASHEL (_See page 271_) _Frontispiece_

MUCKROSS ABBEY                                11


MAP OF IRELAND                 (_facing_)     22

THE CLIFFS OF MOHER                           25

MCCARTHY MORE'S CASTLE                        29

ST. DOULOUGH                                  41

PEAT-CHOPPERS                                 47

A WEST OF IRELAND FARM                        55

BOG LAND, KERRY                               59

A JIG DANCER                                  69

THE GENUINE IRISH PEASANT                     83

BOG LAND, KERRY                               87

AN IRISH LASS                                 99

A BROOCH FROM THE HILL OF TARA               107

THE HILL OF TARA                             113

ROUND TOWER, ARDMORE                         117

DOWNPATRICK                                  129

THE BELL OF ST. PATRICK                      133

DUNLUCE CASTLE                               149

LIMERICK PIGS                                157

TORC CASCADE                                 161

A COTTAGE SPINNER                            165

A COTTAGE LOOM                               169

EMBROIDERING                                 173

NEW GRANGE                                   177

DUBLIN CASTLE                                199

ENNISKERRY                                   207

GLENDALOUGH                                  217

ST. KEVIN'S KITCHEN                          221

THE VALE OF AVOCA                            225

THE MEETING OF THE WATERS                    229

REGINALD'S TOWER, WATERFORD                  235


KILKENNY CASTLE                              245

   THE ROUND TOWER, KILKENNY                 253

RHINCREW CASTLE                              257

CAPPOQUIN                                    261

LISMORE CASTLE                               265

THE CROSS OF CASHEL                          273

                           Romantic Ireland



In times past books of travel were frequently written for the perusal of
"a few intimate friends." Such was the purpose of a little pamphlet
entitled "A Trip to Ireland," which a few years ago fell into the hands
of the writer. Its author and place of publication are unknown, but it
bore the date of 1836.

The writer of this book has not the excuse of this unknown author and
admirer of Ireland's sylvan, historical, and romantic beauties for
compiling the present work, nor is he possessed of the belief that he is
called upon to attempt the task of merely imparting knowledge to the
untravelled. But, since his attention was thus first directed to
Ireland,--with the result that he has made a more or less intimate
acquaintance with the allurements and charms of this delectable, if
impoverished, land,--he has come to believe that there are a large
number of interested people who would be glad to have an attractive
presentation of some of the sights, scenes, and incidents which come to
those who are fortunate enough to be able to sojourn there for a time.

In other words, this book is a record of, and some impressions of, a few
of those ever-present charms of the green isle which have so permeated
its history, its romance, and its literature.

As a record of a pilgrimage, this book will doubtless appear less
satisfactory than as a presentation of facts relative to both the
storied past and present-day affairs of the country, though it deals not
so much with political issues and economic aspects as it does with the
more pleasing and more tangible features of historic sites and scenes.

It is not expected that this book will escape criticism; probably it
will not. It is impossible to attempt to compress a history of Ireland,
a monograph on its ancient civilization, a treatise on manners and
customs, or even an account of its architectural remains, at all
consistent with the deserts of the subject, within the confines of a
work such as this.

All that is claimed is that it is a résumé of the facts and the romance
which, garnered from various sources, have impressed themselves upon the
minds of the collaborators of this book in their journeyings through
Erin's Isle.

It is hoped, however, that these chapters, or, perhaps, more assuredly,
the pictures with which they are adorned, will awaken a curiosity on the
part of some to know more of Britain's sister-isle.

Unfortunately, to many travellers--and to most American
travellers--Ireland is a mere name, with a handle at either end,
Queenstown in the south, and Londonderry or Moville in the north, where
ships stop, in the dead of night, to land or embark the mails.

Usually, travellers from the Western world are in too much of a hurry to
partake of the delights of London or the "dainty prettiness" of the
Thames valley, the sanctity of the cathedral precincts of Canterbury or
Salisbury, or even the more alluring attractions which lie "across
Channel," to think for a moment of disembarking at Cork harbour, with
the mails, on board a rather uncomfortable "tender," and, usually, amid
much discomfort of weather.

Once the opportunity is missed, they are unlikely to retrace their steps
in that direction, since one's enthusiasm or desire pales before charms
and attractions then present.

It ought to be a part of every traveller's experience for him to pay a
visit to Ireland--the "Emerald Isle," or "Romantic Ireland"--and judge
of its attractions, the places and the people, as seen on their native

With a warm heart she will welcome him; with lip-liveliness and
sparkling language she will entertain him; with impulsive zeal she will
conduct him over her diversified domain, and bring under his eye scenes

    "Grace and Terror smiling stand
     Like sisters hand in hand."

Though less fastidious than England, and without the canny cautiousness
of Scotland, yet, of the Three Graces of the United Kingdom, fair Erin,
for natural gifts and spontaneous beauties, stands preëminent.

"To the Bretons, the Basques, and the Irish," says an observant French
writer, "races not dissimilar in their hidden habits of thought and in
the vague sadness of their eyes, the Atlantic Ocean is a boundary for
the mind.... It is their climate background, resting-place, and grave
... the green hills into which Europe breaks to meet the southwest

All this, and more, is the Atlantic to the whole of northwest
Europe,--Ireland in particular,--and its influences are not only great,
but far-reaching.

The Irish, they say, have never been great seafarers. This, it is
feared, is true to no small extent. They are not even great fishermen,
as they well might be in their sea-girt isle. The Irishman himself will
tell you that it is because the thrifty and hardworking west-coast
Scotch have usurped their market. This may be so to a certain degree;
but, to a still greater degree, their lack of capital to properly equip
the industry is the reason why the harvest of the sea is garnered under
their very sight.

It is not given to all who would travel and muse _en route_ to be able
to express their thoughts with that beauty of language which graces the
lines of Stevenson or of Sterne. One may not even have the temerity to
attempt to imitate their style.

He may, however,--and with propriety, thinks the writer,--consider, if
he will, that theirs was the view-point of the acute observer and lover
of the beautiful, and, as near as may be, imbibe somewhat of the
emotions and sentiments with which these masters beheld the spots
covered by their wanderings. Their words have come down to us as a
variety of topographical description which can only be recognized as a
new and precious thing, compared to the descriptions before and since.

With such an end in view were the various wanderings which are set forth
in these pages undertaken. Not consecutively, nor even methodically, was
the route laid out, but in the end it covered practically the entire
island at varying seasons and under equally varying conditions of
comfort or discomfort, though no hardships or disagreeable experiences
were encountered, and it is confidently asserted that nothing of the
kind would be met with by any who might make the journeys under similar

"June the nineteenth, arrived at Holyhead after an instructive journey
through a part of England. Found the packet, the _Claremont_, Captain
Taylor, would sail very soon.

"After a tedious passage of two and twenty hours, landed on the
twentieth, in the morning, at Dunleary (now Kingstown), four miles from
Dublin, a city which much exceeded my expectation."

Thus wrote Arthur Young in his simple and quaint phraseology in 1776.

Arthur Young was a great traveller, one might say an inveterate
traveller. He observed and wrote mostly of matters agricultural, but his
side-lights thrown upon the screen--if not exactly illuminating it to a
marked degree--were of far more interest and value to the general reader
or travel-lover than the dicta of pedants or the conjectures of

Arthur Young was an agriculturist, an economist, or whatever you like to
think him; but he evidently could not repress the temptation to put the
results of his observations into print, as the many scores of entries
to his credit in the history of book-making and authorship will show.

He sought to chronicle his "Tour in Ireland" for posterity, and
conceived the thought of publishing the work "by subscription." This he
did in the year 1780--and a most unlovely specimen of book-making it
was. It was foredoomed to failure, and it apparently met it forthwith;
for the author states in his preface that he was only able to complete
the work at great expense to himself.

No further criticism shall be made. It remains now but to praise. The
book is a veritable mine of fact--with precious little fancy--of the
farming, fishing, weaving, and allied interests of the Ireland of that
day, with not a little detail concerning the history, romance, and plain
matter-of-fact social and economic conditions of life.

To-day, conditions for all but the well-to-do classes have changed but
little, and here is a splendid framework to suggest a line of thought as
far different from that conveyed by the "impressions" of one travelling
for mere pleasure, as it is from the cut-and-dried bits of scrappy
information which fill the guide-books to-day.

Until the indefatigable German comes to the rescue, it may be ventured
that we shall have no comprehensive, concise, and correct guide-book to
Ireland, and will have to take our pickings where we find them.

This book attempts merely the task of compiling fact and fancy, drawn
from many sources, in connection with current comment--based upon actual

There is much contributory and allied matter to be found in the wealth
of illustration "done by the artist on the spot," which, like the
letter-press, professes truthfulness and attractiveness in its

Such economic questions as are dealt with herein are those only which
would be observed by all, no matter how rapid their passage; and
references to political questions have only been made when they bear
some relation to historical events of a past long gone by.

The controversial side of the religious question is omitted, though,
considering the many noble monuments, ancient shrines, ruined abbeys,
and existing church edifices throughout the land, references to it, and
many of its acts and functions, were here and there necessary.

So, too, mention has been made of many of the romantic and eery legends
of the country, many of which are, in the light of recent history,
considered somewhat apocryphal as to their genuineness. But, reader,
what would you? You surely would not go to Ravenna and not see Juliet's
tomb, even though you know that Juliet had no real identity. Neither
would you go to that gay little city of mid-France, Nevers, without
visiting the tomb of "all the Montmorencies," nor to Warwickshire
without going to Stratford. Hence you must, if you would know aught of
Ireland, see Muckross Abbey, Blarney Castle, and the Giant's Causeway.
The harps, the shamrocks, the blackthorns, and the peat-bogs, all of
which are genuine enough, will then fit themselves accommodatingly into
the ensemble, and you will have a picture so impressed upon the memory
that the recollection of it will rival most things of this earth with
which one has had but a passing intimacy.

This work, then, may in some small measure

[Illustration: MUCKROSS ABBEY.]

give a more favourable impression of the country than has commonly been
produced even by Ireland's pseudo-humourous novelists--that it is simply
a land where mud huts, misery, discord, and violence predominate--by
recognizing it as a land blessed by Heaven, in the first instance, at
any rate, with nearly every natural gift.

If there be no end to the making of books, there should at least be a
suitable and preconceived ending to all so made; and herein lies the
difficulty for most writers.

The popular fictionist seems under the impression that the public want
close upon a couple of hundred thousand words, filling a plump,
ungraceful volume, for their few modest pennies; the compiler of books
of pedantic information pads his product into a stately quarto, and the
guide-book maker descends to small type and badly designed pages and
crowds as much as he can into a small pocketable volume.

From these species of printed things ramify many varieties, and the
author of this work has many times been placed in a quandary as to what
mammoth proportions it might not assume were he to allow his
predilections to run riot through its pages.

It is easy to say with Sterne, "Let us write a duodecimo," but with what
measure may an enthusiastic or just admiration be limited as to the
overflowing volume of appreciation?

Mere cubic capacity as to size of the volume, or the superficial area of
its pages, will not serve. The arts of the publisher and his printer can
nullify any preconceived plans of this nature.

A judicious selection of the material to be used would be much more
likely to bring about the desired result, though again we are confronted
by the moving question as to how elaborate or extensive a work is
necessary in order to cover the ground as minutely or as broadly as
might be desired.

The result will not be found to approach the completeness of an
historical record, nor yet the flimsiness of a mere sentimental journey
along well-worn roads. It fills, rather, the gap which lies between, in
view of the greater interest which is daily being shown in all things
relating to Ireland--its literature, its history, its architecture, and
its arts. Hence to a considerable public, which, it may be presumed,
will ultimately show an interest therein, it is offered as an
appreciation of the Ireland of the past and the present, based upon
something more than a personally conducted tour to Killarney, or a
jaunting-car ride about Queenstown, while awaiting the departure of the
Atlantic mail-boat.



The true peripatetic philosopher is the only genuine traveller, and the
vagabond and the pilgrim are but varieties of the species. The
"personally conducted," alone or in droves, have no realization of the
unquestionable authority by which nature "sets up her boundaries and
fences; and so circumscribes the discontent of man," to borrow the words
of Sterne.

The individual who merely wants to "get there" in the shortest possible
time, and by the most direct road, knows not the joys of travel, nor
ever will.

The moods of the traveller are likewise a varied thing; circumstances
never alter cases more than when met with unexpectedly by him who
travels for business or pleasure.

With Ireland the above singularly applies.


Similar conditions must exist in order for one to see it in just the
same phase.

The Liffey, which flows through Dublin's streets, may be dirty,
picturesque, or beautiful according to whether you view it on one part
or another.

Blarney Castle does not look as if it were made to kiss, and so some are
disappointed therein.

Cork harbour is one of the most charming landlocked waters one may see;
but, if he views it from Queenstown heights and is pestered meanwhile by
a shabby, loafing beggar for an "American nickel or dime," the onlooker
will doubtless form a mental reservation which will linger as long as
the lovely memory itself.

Killarney may, or may not, come up to his preconceived ideas, and
Slievemore, that majestic peak which towers sugar-loaf fashion quite two
thousand feet from the water's edge, may seem grim and bare where he
would have found it forest-grown. The Giant's Causeway, but for the
recollection of its various legends, might suggest something quite
different. And so the whole scheme, viewed in a pessimistic manner,
leaves no such impression as otherwise would have been the case.

For him, then, who would like his way smoothed,--his travel-routes laid
down and simplified,--the present chapter, it is hoped, will be found

The approach to Ireland from England is, at best, not so very
comfortable or attractive. The Holyhead mail-boats are so timed as to
accomplish remarkable regularity of passage in all weathers, but, at
times, with no little discomfort to passengers.

The crossing from Holyhead to Kingstown is the Pas de Calais over again;
with an exaggeration of length and, if possible, of boisterousness. It
lasts two and three-quarters hours, and, in any but the most temperate
mood of wind and wave, would be a good test of one's fitness for a
seafaring life. The passage from Stranraer to Larne is better, being
less than two hours and not all of that in the open sea; while from
Milford Haven to Waterford, in the south, is some six or eight hours'
journey; and that of Holyhead to Greenore, or Liverpool to Belfast, is
worse in every particular. On the whole, Holyhead--Kingstown is the
route which may best be followed, under normal conditions and
circumstances, in reaching Ireland from England.

Anglesea Island, on which is Holyhead, is the "Lands End" of North Wales
and the natural gateway for reaching Ireland, hence it is a foregone
conclusion that the route should be popular. Holyhead, itself, offers
little suggestion of the dense forests of druidical times. It is
popularly supposed to have been devastated by the Romans, who
slaughtered those pitiless hierarchs, the druids, and put an end to
human sacrifice--cutting down with sharp axes the sacred shady groves
which once dotted the island.

As the South Stack is left behind,--that beacon-light by which passes
all of that vast sea-borne traffic to and from Liverpool _via_ St.
George's Channel,--the mail-packet begins to find herself; and, in the
course of time, wind, and tide, the greensward of Dalkey and the heights
of Howth--guarding Dublin Bay on the north and south--come into view.

It has seldom, if ever, been claimed that the shores of Ireland actually
denote hospitality; in fact, it is doubtful if this be true of any land
north of tropic climes.

Dublin has not an ideal situation for a touring centre, in fact, it is
not central at all; but it is the best that offers, and is the gateway
through which by far the majority of travellers make their entrance.

Four great topographical divisions lie north, south, and west of this
gateway, and arrange themselves naturally enough along the
boundary-lines of the ancient political divisions of Leinster, Munster,
Ulster, and Connaught, which have descended in historical lore and
association from the Irish kings.

Each of these topographical divisions forms a centre of itself, and each
is equally accessible from Dublin.

In popular sentiment, the south, perhaps, stands at the head, with
Connemara and the western highlands next, and lastly the colder north.
The entire island is but three hundred miles in length by one hundred
and eighty miles in width. Naturally such a circumscribed area offers
but little difficulty for modern means of transport, and, did one but
have the time and inclination, it would be hard to find a more
entrancing journey on foot than to walk around the island along its
wonderfully picturesque coast roads.

This procedure will doubtless not be practicable to every one; but he
who is able to do so is strongly recommended to so accomplish a portion
of the round, if only that small portion which lies between Bantry and
Killarney or Clifden, in Connemara and Sligo.

If he would not tramp, he can find "car" accommodation in summer; or he
may make the journey with much pleasure by means of his bicycle, or,
more progressively, by motor-car. In any event, he will then see and
realize to the full some of the things that the average person sees only
in pictures, and reads of only in books.

It is a question as to how far the casual traveller likes to be left to
his own resources to discover new or latent beauties of landscape or
environment; but, while the spirit of adventure need not necessarily be
great in one's soul, it is unquestionably with somewhat of the feeling
that the old explorers must have had that one comes suddenly upon a
vista miles and miles in extent, with perhaps not a sign of human
habitation or of human life in any form to be noted in any direction.

There may be other populous countries of Europe where this is equally
possible, as well as Ireland, but assuredly not more so.

There is in the two localities before mentioned, and in the Donegal
Highlands, an isolation as primitive and unworldly as the mind of man,
used to the civilization of cities, can possibly conceive; and, yet, all
is within a couple of hours' ride by rail of centres of population
which, if not entitled to be classed as great cities, are resplendent
with electric-lights and under the spell of motor-cars and electric

The railway routes, generally speaking, also readily lend themselves to
this arrangement of the topographical divisions into the south, the
north, and the west. Thus one may go to Cork either _via_ Mallow, the
junction for Killarney, or _via_ the easterly coast through the "Garden
of Wicklow," Wexford, Waterford, and Youghal.

Until Cork is reached, the tourist journeys rapidly or slowly, as the
places _en route_ may or may not have an appealing interest for him;

[Illustration: THE CLIFFS OF MOHER.]

but, once Cork, or Mallow, is reached, he is put to it to decide his
future movements with something of the precision of a time-table,
depending on whether he has much or little of the well-recognized
commodity of time at his disposal.

To know and appreciate the full charm of that jagged corner of southwest
Ireland which lies between Cork harbour--whence so many sunny-spirited
Hibernians have migrated to America during the last fifty years--and
Tralee, in County Kerry, one should journey around the coast by steamer.

One week, not less, should without question be devoted to Killarney and
about there, if one would enjoy it to the full, though the week can
perhaps be made to include the tour between Dublin and Limerick, as well
as the coach trip from Bantry Bay to Killarney _via_ Glengarriff.
Another week--it can hardly be accomplished in less time--should be
passed between Limerick and Sligo, including Galway, Connemara,
Achill,--that lone peak rising from the sea,--and such of the western
highlands, in general, as it may be possible to cover in this time. A
final week, all too short, may be given to the Donegal Highlands, the
Giant's Causeway, and around the coast to Belfast, whence one completes
the round by returning to Dublin, or crossing to England by way of
Greenore to Holyhead, Belfast to Liverpool, or Larne to Stranraer.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such, in brief, is the general outline of the methods which will enable
the traveller to make the round with the most economical expenditure of
time and money. In the height of the season, July and August,--one
should not, however, go anywhere in "the height of the season,"--there
are charming variations of travel by lake or river, or coasting trips by
steamer around the greater part of the island, which lend not only
variety, but offer to some a more pleasant method than even travel by

The longest, and by far the best appointed, of these communications by
inland waterways is a stretch of something over a hundred miles of the
noble river Shannon,--"Our own romantic stream, green Erin's lovely
river,"--which, in conjunction with a series of beautiful lakes, extends
from Killaloe, in the south

[Illustration: McCARTHY MORE'S CASTLE.]

(near Limerick), to Dromod, in the north (near Sligo). During the summer
the journey is made in comfortable and well-appointed steamers, and
throughout is intensely interesting and full of variety. About Killaloe
the views are very fine. The mountains of Clare and of Tipperary shadow
the town on either side, and away to the north for three and twenty
miles stretches Lough Derg, crowded with islands and lined, one might
almost say, on both shores by ruined castles. From Portumna, at the head
of Lough Derg, and Banagher are the rich meadow-lands of Galway, along
which the river winds tranquilly, passing hundreds of beautiful islets,
its banks green with rich, low-lying pasture-lands. A few miles from
Shannon Bridge is Clonmacnoise, over which hang many memories of
learning, of wars, and of worship. Above Athlone the waters of Lough Ree
are entered, with its rocky shores full of indentations and its myriads
of sparkling islands--one of the loveliest prospects to be seen in
Ireland, rivalling even Killarney itself.

The actual expense of travel in Ireland is little. How could it be? The
distances are not great, and the cross-channel absurdly short, as
sea-voyages go. One may, of course, spend "anything he likes," as the
man in the streets puts it, and get no more for it than another who
disburses half as much.

The trip has, by some, been accounted an expensive one; but assuredly
such is not the case. Hence it is to be hoped that this practical
chapter, as the writer is pleased to think it deserves to be called, may
make possible to some that which was heretofore thought to be impossible
or, at least, impracticable.

What the real travel-lover wants, however, is, or ought to be, to
partake of the life of the people, to see and know truthfully how they
live, what they eat, what are their pleasures and their vocations, and
how and why they so conduct themselves. One does not tour France to eat
_tables d'hôte_ served after a conventional _menu du jour_, which is
much the same the world over, or to America or England, or to Germany or
Russia to do the same thing. What he really wants, or what he would
really like, did he but know how to get it, or were he possessed of
sufficient unconventionality, would be to eat snails in Burgundy,
bouillabaisse in Marseilles, saddle of mutton in England, baked beans
and pumpkin pie in New England, and the best of beef and hog products in
Ireland. This last may sound a bit strange, but it is a fact that the
larger number of bullocks brought to English ports for slaughter come
from Ireland, and not from the Argentine or America, as the English
fiscal reformers would have us believe.

The old though unidentified adage, "When in Rome do as the Romans do,"
should be more largely applied by all whose province and wish it is to
roam, as, for instance, "When abroad do as the natives do." Thus, when
in Ireland, keep away from the establishments which cater for the
"tripper" _pur sang_; follow the unworn track, which, perhaps, will lead
you now and then into a quandary, but which will mean no great hardship
or inconvenience, and, on the whole, will give one a far more
interesting and satisfying view-point than any other, and a knowledge of
the land and the people which is positively profound, as compared with
the usual variety.

For the rest, it is urged that the traveller, either for education or
pleasure, be forewarned and forearmed as to the possibility of time
slipping away unawares, and his not being able to accomplish all of what
he may have set forth to do. This will most likely be the case; but he
should curtail his tour abruptly and not by piecemeal, omitting, if
necessary, the northerly portion entire, and returning to Dublin from
Galway or Sligo. By no means, however, should he cut out the western
highlands, or even Achill, for here lies that which is, as yet, the part
of Ireland least known to the great mass of tourists.

It is taken for granted that he will feel that he must, happen what may,
"do" the Killarney district; and, after all, if it is the most
sentimental and daintily composed of all the land, it is not the less
appealing to him who is strong of girth and rugged in his instincts. It
is, moreover, the region wherein are to be found the most complete
"creature comforts," as civilization knows them, albeit the charges for
them may in many cases rise to heights which are unknown outside of
really fashionable tourist points. Still, in this respect, there has
been a great improvement of late, and, unless one insisted upon
surrounding himself with those more or less unnecessary adjuncts of a
metropolitan life,--which he ought to have left behind him with his
other cares,--he will find that, for simple and comfortable
accommodation, he will need to pay no more than in that Mecca of the
cheap tourist, Brittany.

The hotel accommodations of Ireland have often been reviled; but, if not
luxurious, they are at least as comfortable as in many other more
popular regions, Brittany, North Spain, or Tuscany, for instance; and,
while large and populous modern towns are not frequent, accommodations
of an acceptable character are to be found in most places where the
traveller has a right to expect them.

The many and varied elements which make Ireland attractive unconsciously
weave a spell which, mayhap, will allure many another to seek for
himself the charm of Ireland, in preference to all other neglected
tourist points. It certainly stands first and foremost as a new
touring-ground for those who would not perforce wander too far afield,
or at too remote a point from a metropolitan daily paper.

Not that the mountain fastnesses or the isolated headlands and
unfrequented lakes and loughs are always within quick communication with
more populous centres of civilization. Far from it; one may journey many
a weary hour from some remote hamlet in order to strike again the
railway which is to take him to some newer and possibly more appealing
centre of interest; and, when he reaches that same railway, or one of
its newly made tentacles, which are for ever reaching out toward new
lands to conquer, he may be forced to pass an equally lonely, though
perhaps awe-inspiring, vigil at the base of some bald, bare
mountain-peak, awaiting the main line connection which was due at this
point a couple of hours before. All of which, were one imbued with
anything but the spirit with which he ought to be imbued, might gall and
chafe, with some sense of reason, but which, for the true vagabond, even
though he may not choose to travel by foot and on the road, ought to be
the very essence of enjoyment.



One hundred or more years ago, when Arthur Young first wrote his journal
of a tour in Ireland, those who had Ireland's welfare most at heart
deplored the fact that "her greatness was still practically unexplored,
and the early history of her brighter days excited no interest even
among her own people."

Doctor Johnson felt this himself when he wrote, "I have long wished that
Irish literature were cultivated, as Ireland is known by tradition to be
a seat of piety and learning, ... and surely it would be very acceptable
to be further informed regarding a people at once so ancient and

It has been said, too,--the words are taken from the mouth of a poor
parish priest,--that "the Celt is melting like the snow: he lingers in
little patches in the corner of the field, and hands are stretched on
every side. It is human to stretch hands to fleeting things, but as well
might we try to retain the snow."

From this it would appear that Ireland and its institutions, as they
have existed in the past, and as they exist to no small extent to-day,
are not yet the familiar ground that many might suppose.

Just what the reason for this indifference to its charms may be, it is
impossible for any one to state; but, at all events, it is traditional
to a large extent, and is a long time being lived down.

During the period of the varied fortunes of the ancient kings of
Ireland's four great divisions--from perhaps the fifth century until the
coming of Henry II. of England--there was little connection between
Ireland and the outside world, excepting always the Church which
attached Ireland to Christendom.

It was, perhaps, small wonder that the Plantagenet Henry, who was in
favour at Rome, was desirous of uniting the four kingdoms of Ireland as
a Roman Catholic whole. He had already sent three bishops to Rome, and
its most famous of all "Irish bulls," if the levity be pardoned, came
forth naturally from Nicholas Breakspeare, the English Pope.

The Church in Ireland, or, rather, religion in Ireland, is a subject
that one approaches with dread. So much so, that it had best be avoided
altogether so far as its controversial elements are concerned.

The real significant ecclesiastical aspect of Ireland of the past--or of
the present, for that matter--can be discussed with less trepidation.

Of the devotion of the people to their Church there can be no question,
though it smacks not a little of the devotion of the ivy to the tree.

It has been said before now that "the houses of the people are
indecently poor and small, and the houses of the Church are indecently
rich and large. Out of the dirt and decay they rise always proud and
sometimes ugly and substantial, as though to inform the world that at
least one thing is not dying and despondent, but keeps its loins girded
and its lamps trimmed."

All of which is,--or was,--perhaps, true enough in the abstract; but,
_tempus fugit_, and Ireland, if not actually grown, as yet, more
prosperous, or, in many parts, any less primitive, is without question
becoming, throughout, more enlightened; and the traveller, walking or
driving across the wastes of the west, will not cavil at the fact that
the first thing to break the monotony of the horizon is a church spire
or tower, or that it towers over a little group of cottages huddled
about it. Sometimes, indeed, these church buildings are poor and rough;
but these are becoming fewer and fewer, and are now gradually, even in
the poorest districts, being replaced by more pretentious structures.
The last few years have seen in Ireland a great activity in the building
of these chapels, though they are not always of the artistic value of
many of the older examples.

The economists and political agitators have, of late, drawn attention to
the "positive sinfulness" of the increase of chapels and religious
buildings side by side with the increase of poverty. This may have
existed up to the last half-century, but, as surely as the seasons
change, a new era for Ireland is close upon it,

[Illustration: ST. DOULOUGH.]

and the increase of what is called the "religious vocation" is not the
bugaboo that it once was.

One should pay a hearty tribute to the patriotic efforts of the Gaelic
League to inspire throughout Ireland a wholesome and invigorating sense
of nationality, and to guide its energies into industrial and
intellectual channels. This movement, from within and without, is doing
noble work, and, if it is uninterrupted in its progress by religious or
political jealousies, Ireland may yet come to her own again.

More than seven centuries have rolled onward since the English have
become intimately connected with Ireland, and yet how little is really
known of the land and its people, in spite of all that the political
economists, the ecclesiasts, and the antiquarians have written
concerning it.

Professor Van Raumer, a German, in his "Letters from Three Kingdoms"
(which it is only proper to say has been criticized before now as a mass
of bold trivialities and solemn inaccuracies), says that he never knew
what poverty meant until he travelled in Ireland. Its existence, to a
very large extent, is undeniable; and, in times of stress and strife, it
has even become virulent; but ragged dress, frugal fare, and mean houses
do not always indicate actual distress. The trouble seems to be with
those who commit themselves to written observations that they never
appear as apologists, but condemn, from the start, anything and
everything which falls below a certain preconceived standard which they
may have unknowingly set.

In spite of the fact that the population in certain parts of Ireland was
proclaimed as being, at the beginning of the Victorian era, at its
lowest ebb,--in many parts of Ulster conditions have since changed but
little,--there was often no apparent haggardness or lack of nourishment
to be observed; the children notably, like the children of the slums in
great cities, were rosy, chubby, and high-spirited--a very good
indication of the general health of a community. This is one of the
anomalies of travel and observation which cannot be explained.

A statement was made in the public prints, at the beginning of the year
1903, that Ireland had lost, in the twelvemonth previous, a population
equal to that of Limerick, the fourth largest Irish municipality, and
greater than that of at least one Irish county (Carlow). This awful
drain by the outflow of the virile young of both sexes should be
controlled by the well-wishers of Ireland's prosperity.

What the future is to bring forth for Ireland is doubtless quite
problematical; but there is no gainsaying that the hour is ripe for any
action which it may seem advisable to take. It is difficult to believe
that even the fieriest of the patrons of Ireland can fail to perceive
England's present willingness to make what perhaps she thinks is a
sacrifice, but which in any event is intended as an atonement for the
past, and an eager desire for the prosperity of the country at her
doors. There are many respects in which Ireland is eminently fitted by
nature for prosperity. There is hardly to be found anywhere in the world
such natural facilities for the development of a great mercantile marine
as exist on the eastern coast from Londonderry and Antrim to Waterford
and Cork, and Belfast to-day contains one of the world's greatest and
most able ship-builders. There is, it is said, no part of the country
which stands at a greater distance from a waterway to the sea than four
and twenty miles. The country has immense stores of iron, still
unutilized, mainly because of the scarcity of native coal; but some day,
in this epoch of cheap and rapid transportation, they will yield a rich
harvest. There was once a considerable industry carried on in the
copper-mines of counties Waterford, Wicklow, and Cork, but of late it
has greatly declined. So it is with the sulphur-mines of Wicklow, which
at one time yielded nearly a hundred thousand tons per annum. The bogs,
which cover one-seventh part of the surface of the whole island, have
never yet been turned to such economic uses as most certainly await
them--the production of a really well-cured compressed peat fuel. There
are vast deposits of lignite, already proved to be of great depth, but
which can be worked on a large scale only at a greater expenditure of
capital than has yet been applied. In point of fact, Ireland is
potentially a rich country, but her mineral deposits have been
practically neglected. It will be a happy day for England when she
finds, as she yet may,

[Illustration: PEAT-CHOPPERS.]

a prosperous and contented Ireland at her doors.

A prosperous Ireland means, ultimately, a healing of whatever sore
remains open; and may, perhaps, mean the removal of the last bar against
the real federation of the English nation. The recent visit of Britain's
king and queen may be taken as a good omen, and its effects may turn out
to have been far-reaching. At its least, it stimulates good-will on
either side, and does its own quota of work in the inspiration of a
hopeful spirit in a natively buoyant people, who have long chafed at
neglect. At its best, it may hope to make one of the loveliest countries
in the world a place of popular resort, with the inevitable result that
its advantages will become more widely known and better exploited than
they have hitherto been.

It has long been the opinion of many Irishmen, and of many British
well-wishers of Ireland, that the permanent establishment of a royal
court would be of much service to the country. It is claimed that this
idea is not dictated by any spirit of "flunkeyism," but rests on a sound
business basis, which, after all, if a sordid view, is an essentially
practical one. Such a court would promote trade, and trade would feed
industries that are now starving; and, while it would carry these
material blessings in its train, it would have its proper sentimental
value also, and would do its share, and no small share, either, in the
final reconciliation of two countries which have long, to their common
disadvantage, been divided.

Any one who reads has heard considerable of "the unfinished chapter" of
the nineteenth century of Ireland; how Ireland "oft doomed to death, is
fated not to die;" and of "the Exodus." Yet, after all, these affairs of
apparent moment have really very little import to-day. Ireland is by no
means dead, nor ever will be, as things point now.

The history of Ireland during the past hundred years has indeed been
vivid. So has the history of most other lands. It is merely a sign of
the times.

The year 1849 found Ireland in as wretched a condition politically, and
socially, as she ever had been. 1846 and 1847 had been famine years,
when people lay perishing and the land lay untilled. No crops were
raised and no rents were paid. The corn laws had come into effect in
England, and the tax on foreign corn, which gave to Ireland a real
advantage with respect to grain, was withdrawn. The economists advised
cattle-raising as a substitute, and pointed to the fact that, as an
English statesman had said, "Ireland was clearly intended to grow meat
for the great hives of English industry." How the transformation from a
grain-raising to a cattle-growing country was to be made,
instantaneously, he did not say.

The project did not receive immediate favour, as might be presumed, and
was the real cause of the impetus given to migration to the United
States, "the home of the free."

The streams of fugitives swelled to dimensions that startled
Christendom; but the English press burst into a pæan of joy and
triumph--for now at last the Irish question would be settled! Now at
last England would be at ease. Now at last this turbulent, disaffected,
untamable race would be cleared out. "In a short time," said the London
_Times_, "a Catholic Celt will be as rare in Ireland as a red Indian on
the shores of Manhattan."

The press, indeed, in England, was most uncharitable, and, assuredly, in
more instances than one, quite ignorant of that about which they were

Religion was, of course, their chief point of attack. It is always a
safe card to play, if one wants notoriety merely, not only for as
impersonal a thing as a public journal, but for an individual as well.

The Irishmen who remained, the emigrants' kindred, their own flesh and
blood, their pastors and prelates, could not witness unmoved this
spectacle, unexampled in history; the flight _en masse_ of a
population--as it then seemed, and the figures are truly
astonishing--from their own beautiful land, not as adventurers, but as
heart-crushed victims of expulsion. Some voices, accordingly, were
raised to deplore this calamity; to appeal to England; to warn her that
evil would come of it in the future. But England did not see this; at
least, did not see it _then_. There were philosopher-statesmen ready at
hand to argue that the flying thousands were "_surplus population_."
This was the cold-blooded official way of expressing it; but the English
press, however, went farther. They called the sorrowing cavalcade,
wending its way to the emigrant ship, a race of assassins, creatures of
superstition, lazy, ignorant, and brutified. The London _Saturday
Review_ made the following reply to a very natural expression of
sympathy and grief wrung from an Irish prelate witnessing the departure
of his people:

"The Lion of St. Jarlath's surveys with an envious eye the Irish exodus,
and sighs over the departing demons of assassination and murder. So
complete is the rush of departing marauders, whose lives were profitably
occupied in shooting Protestants from behind a hedge, that silence
reigns over the vast solitude of Ireland."

Volumes might be filled with the same sort of comment, and yet other
volumes with an impartial review of events as they really were; but even
then the story would not be told, and hence the impossibility of
entering into the controversial aspect of the question here.

Tears may trickle down the cheeks, and hearts may palpitate with
emotion, when the sons and daughters of the soil view for the last time
the streams which sparkle in the glens, the lakes which bosom themselves
in the mountains, and the bowers of fairyland with which every Irish
wood is endowed; but, yet, one may depend upon it that as bright or a
brighter future awaits the emigrant who goes out into the world than
remains for him who stays at home.

It seems paradoxical to see in emigration at once the hope and the curse
of Ireland; but, after all, perhaps it is not wholly a detriment. The
area of Ireland is comparatively small, its productiveness limited, and
its population still relatively great, in spite of the fact that some
five millions have emigrated to America alone since 1840.

Manifestly it has been for years, and must be for some years yet, mainly
emigration to which Ireland must look for improvement of the social
conditions of those who are left behind--provided, of course, that home
conditions are sufficiently encouraging to the tillers of the fields,
the cattle-growers, the men and women in the great flax and linen
factories, the ship-building establishments, and the fisheries. These
industries alone, with the increasing

[Illustration: A WEST OF IRELAND FARM.]

trade outside their own country for the native products, ought in a
measure to win increased prosperity.

In addition, too, it is fondly hoped by many, and predicted by a few,
that a great tide of tourist travel will turn toward Ireland, and that,
in time, it will become as busy catering to the wants of pleasure-loving
tourists as are Switzerland and Norway.

Perhaps this is not altogether to be desired, from many points of view,
but it appears inevitable.

The political aspect of affairs in Ireland is ever and ever improved by
the periodic and frequent visits of royalty. These ought to do much
good, for the idea should be fostered that the people of Ireland have
the same king as Britain across the Channel. Some there be, in both
islands, who would have this forgotten, and many happy ideas for the
encouragement of Irish affairs have been strangled by hands both from
within and without the green isle.

Forgetfulness _may_ account for this, but more probably it does not, and
many entirely ignore the fact that Great Britain's king has also the
words "and Ireland" attached to his title. At the end of a recent visit
of King Edward, the London papers, almost without exception, referred to
his return as a "home-coming," as if he had returned from an alien

The fact was passed unnoticed, apparently, but there was a sting in it
which the Irish themselves, one may be sure, did not overlook.

The Irish land and tenant problem is one which cannot be ignored, and
has given great concern to those responsible for Ireland's welfare.

It is impossible, and it would not be meet, to attempt to deal, even
superficially, with the question here; but it cannot be overlooked by
one who knows anything of Ireland and the present-day aspect and
conditions of life there; nor can it by even the "butterfly" tourist,
who does the round of Killarney's fair lakes in a personally conducted
party. Even he, if he is at all observant, will see evidences of certain
conditions of life with which he has not become acquainted elsewhere.

The question for the landlords--leaving the rights and wrongs out of
it--was, and is, how rentals can be collected.

It certainly cannot always be expected to be

[Illustration: BOG LAND, KERRY.]

paid out of the land. The eight or nine acres of reclaimed bog-land,
which often constitute the tenants' holding, can produce nothing in the
nature of rent after the occupants have secured any sort of subsistence.
But that is only half the case. There is, or is supposed to be, another
very large class of holdings in the poorest districts, which cannot even
produce a bare subsistence for an average family. It is possible that
the demerits of bog-land are greatly exaggerated. When reclaimed it is,
it is said, in a sense, easy to till and productive. But, on the other
hand, it rapidly impoverishes itself and deteriorates by periodical
flooding,--the curse of all the west,--and its productivity is but

On the De Freyne estate at Castlerea there are hundreds of acres of rich
grassland with scarcely a house upon them, "cleared" years ago by the
landlord when prices were high and there was a chance of profitable
sales,--which sales, however, apparently did _not_ materialize. On the
other hand, there are hundreds of acres of bog-land, with the little
cabins crowding close upon one another as far as the eye can see, which
certainly indicates that there is a demand for this class of holding.
Rents are not high, as rents go elsewhere; but they cannot be paid out
of the land, and the sons and the daughters, in order to live, must
leave it. In cottage after cottage one may hear the same story. An old
man and his wife with one daughter left at home; two sons in England;
two daughters in America,--all sending over a pound now and then to keep
the roof over their parents' heads. And these people cleared the land
themselves. "It was all red bog, sorr, like yon," they tell you.

A peasant in the townland of Cloomaul gives these figures. He is
sixty-seven years old, and until 1860 the rent of his holding was £5 a
year. In 1860 it was raised to £11 5_s._ 0_d._; twenty-eight years later
the Land Commission reduced it to £6 5_s._ 0_d._ Meanwhile great became
the stimulus to emigration, and once again the old story of "me sons
beyond the sea" is given out. In some sections there is scarce a young
man or a young woman to be seen. The evictions, that throughout Ireland
raise the countryside as nothing else does, only bring together, with a
few rare exceptions, a band of women, children, and old men. The hay
harvest in England calls many of the able-bodied away temporarily, and
the colonies and the United States call those who would go farther

The moral aspect of the whole problem is thus put in a nutshell by the
economists and Ireland's well-wishers:

"Irish landlordism to-day represents little more than an enormous tax
upon the industry of the people. It does nothing in return for the money
it receives. It is, to a very large extent, non-resident. Much of it is
in a bankrupt condition."

And no wonder, when one remembers the vast proportion that is "spent out
of the country."

Mr. T. W. Russell, M.P., contributed a recent paper to the _New Liberal
Review_ on "Disturbed Ireland." In it he takes a very gloomy view of the
present situation. He says that a grave crisis is rapidly approaching,
which will shake things to their foundations in Ireland; and points out
that since 1868 the whole of the Irish governing class has been
disestablished and disendowed. Before that year, Ireland was governed by
its Protestant landlord garrison. First by one measure of reform and
then by another, every cartridge has been withdrawn from the bandoliers
of the garrison, which is now as powerless as it was once all-powerful.
England is dealing with an absolutely crimeless country. White gloves
are the order of the day, blank court calendars are reported all over
the country, yet boycotting is wide-spread, and intimidation is rampant.
A conspiracy to boycott is punishable, but boycotting is not in itself
an offence. Hence the great part of the country has passed under the
dominion of the United Irish League. What the future will actually bring
forth for "poor, distressed Ireland" it is impossible to predict, but it
may be presumed that other lands will go on enriching themselves by the
accumulation, as citizens, of the flower of Ireland's flock, and that
this is in fact but a natural enough thinning-out process, which has
obtained among other nations before now.

What the further and yet dimmer future will be, no one can tell; but the
above seems a plausible opinion which has much to justify it, both in
precedent of the past and with due regard to the racial characteristics
of the people.

Others hold out more hope. The Right Hon. George Wyndham, M. P., chief
secretary for Ireland, stands sponsor (1903) for the fact that it is the
wish of the people at large that "the evening star of the Empire,
shedding a sad light in the west, shall rise toward the zenith and shine
out from amid the brightest constellations in the imperial empyrean."

With Mr. Wyndham's appointment to the secretaryship, it is thought by
many Ireland's great revival is at hand.

Already opposing partisans have begun to realize that the genius of the
Celt disposes the Irish to take kindly to coöperative efforts for their
welfare; and more stimulating than all else will be found to be the
great Celtic revival among all classes.

Forty years ago the great Protestant revival in Ulster had for its
object, or at least its main object, a passionate and more or less
selfish personal aspiration.

To-day the movement is even greater, while it leaves religion aside, and
is essentially national.

Study has taken the place of idleness; grammars have replaced playing
cards. On St. Patrick's Day the Irish celebrate the restoration of their
ancient language to its ancient dignity. The public-houses are shut up
instead of being crowded. A new hope, a new motive, a new
incentive,--all these are visible in Ireland. They find practicable
expression in the enthusiasm with which the Irish language is being
studied everywhere.

This latter may be a pure fad, but it is in no way an unhealthy one. How
far the chief secretary's attitude actually goes in behalf of Ireland,
his own words will best tell.

In the House of Commons he asked:

"Was it necessary to dread any dire political consequences from the
spread of the Celtic renaissance? He thought the object, the brightening
of the intellect of the Irish child, was a good one; and he did not
think the political consequences would be very harmful. If, as a result
of such instruction, Irish lads in fifty years gave up the practice of
singing, on certain anniversaries, inspiring ditties which enjoin the
propriety of kicking the Crown or the Pope into this or that river, and
preferred to sing the Irish song:

    "'Oh! where, Kincora, is Brian the great,
       Where is the beauty that once was thine,
     Where are the princes and nobles that sate
       To feast in thine halls and drink the red wine?'

he could not see that the change would be politically deleterious. They
could not make a Scotsman into a better engineer by confiscating his
heirloom; and their language was an heirloom of the Irish. Its
usefulness was not immediately obvious; but that was true of most
household gods, and yet a tutelary reverence for household gods had
often nerved heart and hand for utilitarian contests. There was no
heresy to the Union in permitting to Ireland that which they promoted in
Scotland and in Wales; on the contrary, it was an article of the
Unionist creed that within the ambit of the Empire there should be room
for the coöperation of races, maintaining each its memory of its own
past as a point of departure for converging assaults on the problems of
the future."

There can be no doubt but that the chief secretary for Ireland has been
baptized with the spirit of the Irish revival. He believes in Ireland.
He loves the Irish people. To him the witty and mercurial Celt is much
more sympathetic than the more stolid Englishman. Ireland, like the fair
damozel in Spenser's poem, has a singular fascination for the Sir
Calidores and Sir Artegalds who stray within range of the magic of her

As to what were the real beginnings of Ireland, and whence came the
original Celt, we must for a time longer, it seems, remain in doubt. The
more the pity, for the character of a people is in large measure due to
inheritance. Here, for centuries long gone past, there was isolation in
manners, customs, and forms of government. But then, Ireland being
insular, the chances were that many people of a different race might
have mixed their blood with that of the early settlers. Still, there
never was a country which delighted more in legends and of which the
past was more legendary. And, above all, the Irishman always respects
these antiquated stories, whether authenticated by later scholarship or

[Illustration: A JIG DANCER]

Therein lies the charm of association which surrounds the very shores
and rocks and rills of Ireland.

Here are a few brief lines from McCarthy which express it far more
succinctly and with more feeling than it would perhaps be possible for
any other living historian to write, be he Irishman or not:

"Every stream, well, and cavern, every indentation of the seashore,
every valley and mountain peak, has its own stories and memories of
beings who did not belong to this earth. A distinguished Englishman once
said that whereas in the inland counties of England he had found many a
peasant who neither knew the name of the river within sight of his
cottage, nor troubled himself about its early history, he never met with
an Irish peasant who was not ready to give him a whole string of legends
and stories about the stream which flowed under his eyes every day."

An American writer, Horatio Krans, has recently attempted to dissect the
motives of the Irish novelist of the first half of the nineteenth
century. He has put his finger upon one notably weak spot in the earlier
novels,--the delineation of female character. He claims particularly
(though the Irish novelist is not alone in this sinning) that the
heroines, with a few exceptions,--Lady Geraldine in Miss Edgeworth's
"Ennui" and Baby Blake in "Charles O'Malley,"--are hopelessly
conventional in speech, in sentiment, and in manner; all of which is
undeniably true.

The Irish novelists of the time divided their product into two distinct
classes, "the novels of the gentry" and "the novels of the peasantry,"
and there is, as a fact, much in favour of the heroine of the peasantry

The names of the novelists of that time most generally known, and most
readily recalled, are unquestionably, first of all, Goldsmith, then
perhaps Miss Edgeworth, Charles Lever, Maxwell, and Samuel Lover. Among
themselves they have apportioned the various types which we of a later
generation have come to recognize as of the soil. The most notable, and
one common to all, is that strange product of Irish life (to which, it
may be observed, Oliver Goldsmith called attention), the "squireen," who
was without an idea beyond a dog, a gun, and a horse.

It is a commonplace to remark here that many of the gentry of that time
lived in barbaric and slovenly splendour, led devil-may-care lives,
hunted during the day, and drank, played cards, and quarrelled at night.

But new forces are certainly bestirring themselves in the Ireland of
to-day, and a new standard of life, a wider knowledge, and a finer
culture is broadcast. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the realm of
Ireland's imaginative literature, in prose as well as verse.

Of the actual life of the times, the present-day Irish novelist draws
not with so firm a hand as his predecessor, but he makes a more pleasing

The duel, as an institution, is extinct to-day, but much the same mode
of life as that of a former day is depicted in the stories of Miss
Sommerville and Miss Martin Ross. In these modern novels are found the
horse-dealing, hunt-loving gentry; but the peasants appear only as
retainers and as necessary adjuncts to the occupations of their betters.
The Ireland of these writers, then, is a land of happy-go-lucky and
thriftless enjoyment and cheerful impecuniosity, with an occasional
glimpse of tragedy. Miss Katherine Tynan, too, deals with the same
class and succeeds in depicting Irish landscape, in its quick-changing
colours, its gloom and sunshine strangely mingled, mountain and bog, dew
and rain, in a manner which suggests that her books are a genuine
distillation of Ireland itself.

The soul of a country is to be sought in the literature of the people,
and the literature of Ireland is yet, to the vast majority, an unopened
book; and, paradoxically, it is in the pages of fiction that one seeks a
record of many facts which are otherwise unwritten.

Besides the "gentry" and the "peasantry," the two distinctive classes
into which writers divide the Irish, there is another class in Ireland,
and an important class, which has been practically neglected by Irish
writers of fiction,--the shopkeeper. Here Ireland is at once the most
aristocratic as well as the most democratic country in the world. In the
learned professions you will find the sons of butchers and publicans
jostling the offspring of peers and gentlemen of lineage in the race for
preferment, and, like enough, beating them at their own game. In England
the expected sometimes happens; in Ireland even the fairy-tales _may_
come true; and there will be found a delicate refinement in life which,
those competent to explain suggest, has been imported by the daughters
of the house from the convents of Ireland, of France, and of Belgium.

Few countries so small have given the same opportunities to the novelist
as has Ireland. Village life is dull enough from within, no doubt; from
without, unlike English village life, it is, in Ireland, quite dramatic.
It has been said that the people are unconsciously dramatic and that
even their grief is picturesque. The possibilities of the race are

An Irish villager may become a Dublin shopkeeper, a London barrister,
or, in America, a politician of the first rank. He would never once so
much as get a glimmering of this in his native village; but news of the
outside world filters through and attracts the ingenious and soulful
Irishman to the betterment of himself, and, truly enough, in many cases
no doubt, to the poverty of Ireland; for it has come to be admitted that
the desertion of Ireland by those who have since become classed among
the world's great is one of the plausibly acceptable explanations of
Ireland's poverty.

Every French soldier was said to carry the field-marshal's baton in his
knapsack. Every Irish peasant who crosses the Atlantic has his marshal's
baton in his knotted handkerchief on the end of his blackthorn. It is a
young race in modern development; its energies are fresh and
unexhaustible, and therein lies a field for the novelist which is not
yet worked out.

One other type should be mentioned here, if only to proclaim their
unselfish devotion to their vocation,--that of the parish priest, the
poor cleric who, with a parish of a few score of souls in some barren
bog, finds his life-work full in ministering to their souls, and often,
as well, to their bodies.

The pseudo-Irish priests of melodrama, and too frequently of novels, are
huge travesties on the devoted and valiant fathers who are hidden away
in innumerable corners of Ireland, surrounded only by a dwindling score
of communicants.

The Ireland with which the present-day traveller has most to do is the
Ireland which came more or less under English influences in the time of
Henry II.

The legendary and romantic period of the Phoenician settlers, the
Spanish colonists, and the warfares of petty kings and chieftains has
left little but a vague impress upon Irish national life and sentiment,
if we except a certain imaginative and romantic temperament, which seems
to be the true birthright alike of the Irish poet, peasant, and

The crafty, ambitious Henry obtained from Adrian II., the first and only
English Pope, in 1159, a bull authorizing him "to enter Ireland and
execute therein whatever should pertain to the honour of God and the
welfare of that land."

English power in Ireland rooted, grew, and flourished, and propagated no
end of internal troubles, which are to this day, if we are to believe
all that we see and hear, the cause of much of Ireland's unrest.

During four centuries Ireland was visited by but three English
sovereigns, Henry II., John, and Richard II., and during the fourteenth
and fifteenth centuries English influences gradually declined, reaching
their lowest ebb at the time of Henry VII. The Reformation, under Henry
VIII., took place in 1536, and was in all respects the most remarkable
era of Ireland's history, and from that time on--until the events which
rose out of the tenantry laws, and home rule, and their attendant and
satellite conditions--her troubles have been solely a warfare more or
less dependent upon religious influences and conditions.

Commencing with the seventeenth century, the population sprang forward
with leaps and bounds. Its estimated growth for the succeeding two
hundred years is as follows:

  1652        850,000
  1672      1,100,000
  1712      2,099,094
  1787      3,001,200
  1792      4,088,226
  1805      5,395,456

According to the old historians, there were anciently many divisions of
Ireland, made at various times by the several petty kings and chiefs who
had possession of them.

There is an element of uncertainty about all the information concerning
these ancient political divisions; some, indeed, may have been purely
apocryphal, hence writers have mostly contented themselves with defining
and delimiting the more modern divisions of Ulster, Leinster, Munster,
and Connaught.

These four great divisions were subdivided into thirty-two counties, 256
baronies, and 2,293 parishes.

The province of Ulster took in the northern part of the island, and
extended from sea to sea. What has always rendered this province
superior, in prosperity, to the rest of the island is its great industry
of linen manufacture.

The province of Leinster, in which is situated Dublin, Wicklow, etc.,
has the sea only on the east. The writers of a century or more ago were
prone to remark that here the inhabitants approached the nearest to
English manners and customs, and with some truth this is so.

The province of Connaught, with the sea on its western boundary,
containing the counties of Mayo, Galway, and Sligo, through the city of
Galway early arrived at a commercial prominence which later eras have
not sustained.

Munster crosses the southern part of the island, extending itself
northward on both the east and west coasts. Its principal and most
famous city is Cork, and the whole county abounds in that wild romantic
scenery which has fondly inspired so many poets and painters.

To these four provinces some ancient writers added a fifth, called
Meath, formed by a small part taken from each of the other provinces,
but independent of all of them.

Of the ancient commerce of Ireland Tacitus wrote: "Its channels and
harbours are better known to merchants than those of Britain," which
eulogy, of course, referred to the first century.

The Phoenicians are reputed to have worked the mines which existed in
the neighbourhood of the lakes of Killarney, and to have acquired the
art of "extracting the celebrated Tyrian purple from the juice of

Cæsar's invasion of what are known as the British Isles was supposed to
have been instigated by the export from Ireland of the "margaritas"
taken from these Killarney mines.

That the commerce referred to by Tacitus was that carried on by the
Phoenicians, is deduced from the fact that the Romans knew nothing of
the country at that time.



The ingredients which most writers on Ireland, the historians, the
antiquarians, the political agitators, the publicists, the poets, and,
last but not least, the fictionists--from the days of Samuel Lover to
George Moore and Bernard Shaw--have used as a basis for their written
word have been many and varied.

Some have pictured it as a land of desolation and poverty, rich in
nothing, while others have descanted elaborately upon its treasures and
wealth of historical, architectural, and ecclesiological remains; the
beauty of the literature of its native legends; its poetry and music;
and erstwhile its native tongue, which may have a latent charm to those
versed therein, but which will never become a popular speech, as an
Irish member must have hoped

[Illustration: _The Genuine Irish Peasant_]

when he recently attempted to make a speech therein in the British House
of Commons.

No one but an encyclopedist could hope to embrace, within the confines
of a single work, a tithe of the accessible material which should
contribute to the making of an exhaustive work on the subject, and the
monumental work is as yet unwritten, and, for aught the present writer
knows, unplanned.

Perhaps the more interesting detail of any picture which attempts to
limn the outline of an Irish landscape, is that which unmistakably
indicates the unique character of the inhabitant himself.

There may live an Irishman without humour, without sentiment, without
"wrongs;" men and women who marry early, without love, and settle down
to a hopeless life of dreary toil, too discouraged to even resent the
misery of their lot; but, if so, it is in the pages of the novelist.
Those who have in them anything of the real native spirit of youth and
courage emigrate, a procedure which, however, deprives the country of
much of its soundest raw material. George Moore ascribes this condition
to the Irish clergy, who cripple their parishioners with taxes to build
unnecessary churches, and who crush out of them all the joy of life by
an enforced asceticism.

But all that is decidedly another story and quite apart, and is really
not so obvious as is at first apparent. The real, genuine Irish peasant
is not found, to-day at least, in the pages of the novelist, nor in the
verses of the poet, nor in the songs of the opera-house. Tom Moore
pictured him with some of the truthfulness of the time, and there is a
realization of certain well-recognized local sentiment and colour in
"Kathleen Mavourneen." In the main, however, the joyous Irish peasant,
as full of wit as of knavery; the poetic Irish peasant, living in an
atmosphere of quaint legend and of charming superstition; the political
Irish peasant, member of the Land League, and noble patriot, or
treacherous ruffian, according to the attitude which we take toward the
Irish question; the romantic Irish peasant, warbling cadences to the
faithful girl of his heart, does not exist,--at least he does not in
sufficient numbers to project himself into view at every turn, as he
does in

[Illustration: BOG LAND, KERRY.]

the comic-opera chorus and the pages of the humourous (_sic_) Irish
tales of to-day.

Romance and legend have associated the shamrock, the shillalah, and the
dudeen with nearly every mood of Irish fact and fancy; but the casual
traveller and seeker after new sensations will see little of any one of
these three more or less visionary attributes of the landscape in
general. To be sure, if he insists on being brought at once under the
spell of the environment which he has pictured to himself as being the
one universal accessory of every patch of the "ould sod," or of every
gathering of its inhabitants, he will, if he goes to the right places to
look for them, discover the whereabouts of most things of this world's
civilization, of all eras, from the stone hatchet of the ancient Celt,
to the motor-bicycle of the Dublin barrister out on a holiday; and from
the rancorous peat-bog with its cave-like habitation and straw-bedded
floor, to the damask and fine linen of the last joint-stock enterprise
of the hotel-keeper, in such advanced centres of progress as Dublin, or
more particularly Belfast.

If he takes his standard of judgment from the view-point of food for
man, he will find it, in some remote and more poverty-stricken
localities, to be something very akin to what he has always believed to
be mere fodder for beasts; and again, in the aforesaid luxurious
caravansaries, to be the same as that which grace the average _tables
d'hôte_ of the great establishments the world over, be they situated in
Paris, Vienna, London, or San Francisco.

The "Green Isle" is always green, and the native is always picturesque.
Sometimes, far away from the centres of population, he is dirty, but not
offensively so, at least, not more so than the Italian or Spaniard under
similar circumstances.

What memories are conjured forth, even to the untravelled, by the mere
mention of such places as Killarney, Cork harbour, or Blarney Castle in
the south, or Moville, Londonderry, or the Bloody Foreland in the north;
and, to specialize for a moment, who among students of history does not
give a deservedly high place, among the things of the world beautiful,
to the arts of the early builders of Christian edifices in Ireland?

In all manner of building, theirs was an art-expression as far above
that of the pagan Britons in the neighbouring isle as is possible to

Ireland, indeed, in the sixth and seventh centuries, was the chief
centre of Christian activity, of Christian missionary work, and of
Christian art in the islands. So strong an influence was this that it is
recorded that Irish missionaries went not only afield into England, but
even to Italy.

The antiquarian and geologist have proved beyond a doubt--what is easy,
however, for even the layman to believe--that the Ireland of to-day was
originally merely one of the outlying parts of the mainland, and the
expression of the customs and arts of the inhabitants of the two at that
time did not then differ greatly one from the other. This was
maintained, the scholars tell us, through the neolithic and the bronze
ages, at which period Ireland came to part company with the mother

The transition came when the Romans occupied Britain. Roman towns sprang
up which had no counterparts in Ireland, and usage and custom developed
an entirely new condition of life.

Thus Ireland retained a crudity of strength and expression which early
evinced itself in its Christian art, and which was added to but slowly.

As to what may have been the early religion of the Irish, we are still
in the dark. That there were druidical priests seems probable. Legend
says that St. Patrick had been a slave in Ireland, having been brought
from Scotland, and that even in his days of slavery he formed an
affection for the country and its population. The date of St. Patrick's
coming to Ireland, as a bearer of the gospel, is said to have been in
the year 430-432, when he returned from Rome after having escaped his
bondage. The difficulty is to understand how, at once, Ireland became
Christian and, according to the old traditions the "home of
Christianity," and, on that account, called "the Isle of Saints."

St. Patrick's birthplace is much in dispute, and Armorica, Gaul,
Scotland, Wales, England, and Ireland contend for the honour. Much wordy
warfare has left the question still undecided, but it is of little
moment, since the main facts in the life of this holy man are known,
and his devotion to Ireland recognized by all.

To come to a latter-day aspect of Ireland, in its relation to world
affairs, let us pray that there are signs that the night of hatred and
the twilight of suspicion are brightening into a new dawn in partnership
between Great Britain and Ireland--into a day of mutual understanding,
respect, and, in the end, affection.

To realize all that this means, one must understand something of the
peculiarities of the Celtic race and their finer traits, even making
allowance for their less amiable qualities. To do this, without too
great an expenditure of time, one could hardly do better than to digest
Justin McCarthy's recently published book (1903) entitled "Ireland and
Her Story." He will then be, if ever, in a fit mood for appreciation of
the lovable and inspiring qualities to be observed in the land itself,
no less than in the inhabitants themselves.

Mr. George Moore, in his play, "The Bending of the Bough," has attempted
to draw a comparison between the temperament and characteristics of two
distinct classes, one resident in a town in the Celtic north of
Ireland, and the other in the Saxon south of Scotland. The work is a
satire, no doubt, but it shows how widely dissimilar are the majority of
the representatives of the two races, and should do much to throw
additional light on the subject of the alliance of the two nations. When
all is said and done, one comes naturally to the opinion that it was the
Irish race, of tradition, at least, that gave the major portion of the
romance and fairy-lore to European literature in general--excepting, of
course, the sages of the Northland. As Mr. Yeats says, though with a
pardonable bias, "Daily life has fallen, for the most part, among
prosaic and ignoble things, but in our dreams (we) remember the
enchanted valleys."

The modern novelists have given us more than our due share of localized
Irish. Mr. George Moore, among all their number, spares us the false,
perverted language which some are wont to admire, fondly believing it to
be of the earth earthy. For not attempting or perpetrating Irish dialect
upon us we should all be grateful to Mr. Moore.

In Moore's books you meet with no such monstrosities as "praste" for
priest, "quane" for queen, "belave" for believe, or, worst of all, "yez"
for you. Another overworked word in the vocabularies of most writers of
Irish fiction or narrative is sure (usually spelt "shure"). Thackeray is
supposed to have understood its use better than any other, and as an
example one may cite Miss Fotheringay, when she said, "Sure, I made a
beefsteak pie." The "divil" comes frequently to the fore in Irish
conversation, or at least there are those who would have us so believe,
but its use is more often a perversion than not.

It is well recognized that no one laughs so heartily at the attempt to
revive the old Irish language as the modern Celt himself. An anecdote
has recently gone the rounds that in literary Dublin, which has for its
gods Yeats and George Moore, some one has recently made a printed
announcement in Erse, but attached thereto, as a sort of sub-section, is
a further admonition in the supposedly much hated Anglo-Saxon.

An intrepid individual once tried his small store of Gaelic on a native,
who replied that he did not speak French, though from his appearance,
his age, particularly, he was naturally (_sic_) thought to be one of
those who still spoke the venerable tongue of his race.

An Irish automobilist, who had lost his way at a cross-roads because of
an enigmatic sign-board, spent much time in roundly cursing the language
of his fathers as being entirely worthless and incomprehensible.

Many have taken a grim inquisitorial pleasure in showing to a likely
Irishman something written in Erse characters and demanding a
translation, which, of course, they could not get.

Occasionally one sees in the Irish daily papers a picturesque
Greek-looking inscription, but few know what it means save the
perpetrator, who probably copied it from some old phrase-book. "Ceade
mille Failthe" we all know, but there our knowledge ends.

All this proclaims loudly the fact that the common people--the middle
class, if you like, or what is known elsewhere as the middle class--care
and know very little of the motive which inspires the profound scholars
of Ireland's ancient tongue to seek to perpetuate its use.

Since, however, Celtic art is the fad of the day, it is but natural that
the Celtic tongue should claim some share of attention; but to expect it
to make any serious inroads in the national life, or, indeed, in the
lives of the "transplanted Irish" of America and elsewhere, is sheer
folly. It were easier to have hoped for the success of Volapuk, which,
itself, a dozen or more years ago, died of its own sheer weight of

Now that Ireland is supposedly prospering at the hands of a solicitous
foster-mother, the "Board of Agriculture," the demand for Irish products
and the interest in Irish art and history are undoubtedly increasing.
So, too, the interest in Irish literature, in the abstract; but the
Irish tongue itself has a poor chance for popularity.

It is well to recall that the mass of the Irish people speak the English
tongue alone, a tenth part, perhaps, being able to speak both Gaelic and
English, with but a very few who know Gaelic alone. In the south and
west the latter is much more spoken than in the north and east, where it
is fast disappearing. The Irish Gaelic, or Erse, resembles both the
Scottish and the Welsh Gaelic. Some common words frequently met with in
travelling about Ireland are:

  Agh, field.
  Ard, eminence.
  Ath, ford.
  Aun, river.
  Bally, town.
  Ban or Bane, white or fair.
  Beg, little.
  Ben, mountain.
  Bun, base or bottom.
  Car or Cahir, city.
  Carrick, Carrig, Carrow, a rock.
  Cork, Corcagh, marsh.
  Clar, plain.
  Croagh, Croghan, peak.
  Clogh, Clough, stone.
  Curragh, moor.
  Clon, meadow.
  Col, Cul, corner.
  Deargh, red.
  Derry, oak grove.
  Dhu, Dua, black.
  Don or Dun, fastness.
  Donagh, church.
  Drom, hill-range.
  Inch, Inis, island.
  Ken, head.
  Kil, church or burying-ground.
  Knock, hillock.
  Lick, flat stone.
  Lough, lake.
  Magh, plain.
  Main, collection of hillocks.
  Mor, great.
  Muck, sow.
  Rath, mound or fort.
  Ross, headland, also a wood.
  Shan, old.
  Sliebh, range of mountains.
  Teach, house.
  Temple, church.
  Tom, Toom, tumulus.
  Tra, strand.
  Tober, Tubber, well or spring.
  Tullagh, Tully, knell.

In the little country towns, where the blue cloaks gather thick upon the
platforms of the

[Illustration: AN IRISH LASS.]

stations, the musical Irish tongue begins to sound. "To swear in, to
pray in, and to make love in," Irish has no rival among languages dead
or living. There are twenty ways and more of saying "darling," and at
least as many ways of sending a man to the devil. When the Saxon coldly
orders an enemy to "go to the devil," the Celt fiercely breathes the
wish, "May the devil sit upon your breast-bone, barking for your soul!"
and the "Go and hang yourself!" of the Englishman becomes "The cry of
the morning be upon you!"--embodying in this brief sentence a detailed
wish that the enemy may die a sudden and unprepared death in his bed,
and that his relatives, entering in the morning, may find him dead, and
shriek over his remains. It is a picturesque and forcible tongue, most
assuredly, though one needs a glossary and a thesaurus to correctly
estimate the values of these pet phrases.

The various blended emotions and sentiments current everywhere in
Ireland are the product of tradition in which legend and superstitious
belief play an important part. They may not actually enter into every
hour of one's life, but they are ever-present and the supply is

George Moore has said that every race has its own peculiar genius. "The
Germans have music; the French and Italians have painting and sculpture;
the English have, or had, poetry; and the Irish had _and still have_
their special genius for the religious vocation."

There is no more popular legend or superstition in Ireland, unless it be
that of the Blarney Stone, than that referring to St. Patrick's having
driven the snakes from the country. According to the report of
tradition, nothing venomous is ever brought forth, nourished, or lives
in Ireland. Naturalists do not, however, agree with this.

The Venerable Bede evidently believed it, and that the freedom of
Ireland from venom was due to the efficacious prayers of St. Patrick.

Another authority (Keating) remarks it, and finds it due to a prophecy
of Moses that wherever his posterity should inhabit, the country would
not be infested with poisonous creatures. The superstition is already
hoary with age, but is a perennial topic of conversation and source of
argument with the natives in all parts.

The literary associations of Ireland are so numerous and of so fresh a
character as to suggest the compilation of a great, if not an
exhaustive, work on the subject. At any rate, they are too voluminous to
record here, even though the geniuses of Swift, of Lover, of Goldsmith,
and of Moore stand out as if to compel attention, as they certainly do,
in the same convincing manner that Swift's "Gulliver" influenced a
certain Irish bishop, who accepted the tale as the truth, "although not
a little amazed at some of the things stated."

Writers on early Irish literature have often overlooked or ignored the
fact that, besides the chroniclers of fame and note who indited learned
historical works or majestic verse, there are, too, existing poems by
various ladies of early Ireland, generally daughters of kings. Another
Meave, called the Half-red, has some of the characteristics of Queen
Meave herself: "The strength and power of Meave was great over the men
of Erinn," says the introduction to her poem over the grave of her first
husband, whom she deserted for a better man; for it was she that would
not permit any king in Tara without his having herself as wife.

    "My noble king, he spoke not falsehood;
     His success was certain in every danger
     As black as a raven was his brow,
     As sharp was his spear as a razor,
     As white was his skin as the lime.
     Together we used to go on refections;
     As high was his shield as a champion,
     As long his arm as an oar;
     The house prop against the kings of Erinn sons of chiefs,
     He maintained his shield in every cause.
     Countless wolves fed he with his spear,
     At the heels of our man in every battle."

Ireland's daughters must have been a glorious and mighty race; indeed,
they are so to-day, and one does not need to go back to Moore for
endorsement, though he contrasts with marked effect the native elegance
of Erin's daughters with the affected fashionable city belle:

    "Lesbia wears a robe of gold,
       But all so close the nymph has laced it,
     Not a charm of beauty's mould
       Presumes to stay where nature placed it.
     Oh! my Nora's gown for me.
       That floats as wild as mountain breezes,
     Leaving every beauty free
       To sink or swell as Heaven pleases.
       Yes, my Nora Creina dear,
     My simple, graceful Nora Creina,
               Nature's dress
               Is loveliness--
     The dress you wear, my Nora Creina."

This was doubtless true enough in Moore's time, and is so to-day, in
spite of the fact that they no longer stand picturesquely around and
display their charms in just the manner expressed by the poet.

One hears frequent references to the laureate Spenser's life in Ireland,
of his verses in praise of its charms, and of his undoubted love for it,
which certainly was as great, if different, as that of Ireland's
recognized "national poet." Irish sentiment has never allowed
recognition to Spenser's accomplishments, however. The Irish themselves,
who are always ready to turn the dull side of the gem toward the light,
are not in complete accord on the question of Spenser's love for Erin,
as one will infer from the following, taken from "A Brief Account of
Ireland and Its Sorrows:"

"Among those who lived here was Spenser, a gentle poet but a rapacious
freebooter. His poesy was sweet and full of charms, quaint, simple, and
eloquent. His politics were brutal, venal, and cowardly. He wooed the
muses very blandly, living in a stolen home, and philosophically
counselled the extirpation of the Irish owners of the land, for the
greater security of himself and fellow adventurers."

The above is but a note in the gamut, but it is a true one, and it does
not ring false, and, while the moral aspect of Spenser's right to his
livelihood in Ireland is left out of the question here, one can but feel
that if the Irishman were less emotional and more forgiving much would
come to him that he now lacks.

[Illustration: _A Brooch from the Hill of Tara_]



It has been claimed that Ireland has no distinctive art or architecture,
and that the venerable ruins of monasteries and churches, the stone
crosses, the curiously interwoven traceries of stone carving, the
illuminated manuscripts, and even the famous round towers themselves
were all transplanted from a former home; and that the jewelry, bangles,
brooches, and rings, which we fondly believe are Celtic, are nothing
more than Byzantine or Eastern motives, which found their way to Ireland
in some unexplained manner.

Whether this be acceptable to the average reader or not, whether he
remarks the similarity between certain of the Celtic (?) motives and
similar decorative effects in wood and stone known to belong to the
Northmen, or whether he prefers to think them an indigenous growth and
development of Ireland itself, matters little, in a broad way.

Nowhere but in Ireland are there so splendidly executed and preserved
traceries of the peculiar sort which is shown in the crosses at Kells
and Monasterboice, and, in manuscript, in the "Book of Kells." Nowhere
are there more numerous or more gracefully proportioned round towers
than in the Emerald Isle, and nowhere are there more consistently and
thoroughly expressed Norman and Gothic forms than in the many
ecclesiastical remains which exist to-day, though many of these
establishments have not the magnitude or splendour of others elsewhere.

The palaces of the Irish kings would have, perhaps, the chief interest
for us to-day, did they but exist in more tangible form than reputed
sites and mere heaps of stones. From the chronicles we know that they
were splendid residential establishments, but not much more.

The chief of the palaces whose splendours are celebrated in Irish
history were the Palace of Emania, in Ulster, founded or built by Macha,
queen of Cinbaeth the First, about the year B.C. 700; Tara, in Meath;
Cruachan, in Conact, built by Queen Meave, the beautiful, albeit
Amazonian, Queen of the West, about the year B.C. 100; and Ailech, in
Donegal, built on the site of an ancient sun-temple, or Tuatha de
Danaan, fort-palace.

Kincora had not at this period an existence, nor had it for some
centuries subsequently. It is said to have never been more than the
local residence, though a palatial one, of Brian Boru.

Emania, next to Tara the most celebrated of all the royal palaces of
ancient Erin, stood on the spot now marked by a large rath called the
Navan Fort, two miles to the west of Armagh. It was the residence of the
Ulster kings for a period of 855 years.

The mound or Grianan of Ailech, upon which, even for hundreds of years
after the destruction of the palace, the O'Donnells were elected,
installed, or "inaugurated," is still an object of wonder and curiosity.
It stands on the crown of a low hill by the shores of Lough Swilly,
about five miles from Londonderry.

Royal Tara has been crowned with an imperishable fame in song and
story. The entire crest and slopes of Tara Hill were covered with
buildings at one time; for not only did a royal palace, the residence of
the Ard-Ri (or High King) of Erin, stand there, but, moreover, the
legislative chambers, the military buildings, the law courts, and royal
universities surrounded it. Of all these nought now remains but the
moated mounds or raths that mark where stood the halls within which bard
and warrior, ruler and lawgiver, once assembled in glorious pageant.

The round towers of Ireland form a subject of curious and speculative
interest to him who views them for the first time, as, indeed, they do
to most folk, learned or otherwise. The actual invention and
construction of these round towers are clothed in much darkness. It had
previously been supposed that these extraordinary erections were the
work of the Danes, but this position seems to be entirely untenable on
many grounds, the chief being that no similar structures exist, or
probably ever have existed, in the native country of the Danes, and are,
indeed, notably absent from many parts of Ireland where the Danes

[Illustration: THE HILL OF TARA.]

are known to have been, and yet are found in other localities which were
never occupied by the Danes.

The great question with regard to these lone towers is whether or no
they are, or were, Christian structures. No such monuments are found
elsewhere in the known world, except in India or Persia, where,
manifestly, their inception was not due to Christian influences.

In a way, a very considerable way, they resemble the minarets and turret
towerlets of a Cairene or Damascene mosque, where often, in the smaller
mosques, at least, the sky-piercing pointed towerlet is the chief and
most imposing part of the structure.

They may have been signal-towers; they may even have been refuges,
though they could not shelter any very great numbers, save in the
buildings which often flocked around their bases. In this case they
performed much the same functions as the watch-tower or turreted
donjon-keep of a castle. At any rate, they were of profound moral and
significantly Christian motive, rather than pagan, as he who reads may

The power of the Church in Ireland grew as it did elsewhere, in France
in particular, largely from the foundation of those great secular
religious bodies, the abbeys and monasteries.

From the time when St. Patrick--carried in slavery from Scotland to
Ireland, and subsequently escaping--returned to Ireland in 430-432 to
convert the island to Christianity, to the present day, is a long period
for any particular institution to have survived and still continue its
functions in the same abode. For this reason it is unreasonable to
suppose that there is much more than tradition, however well supported,
to connect the personality of St. Patrick and his immediate successors
with any edifices, however humble or fragmentary, which exist to-day. If
they do exist, as popular report would seem to indicate, they most
likely are rebuilt structures upon the reputed ancient sites, with the
bare possibility that somewhere, down in the cavernous depths of their
underpinning, exist the stones of wall and pavement which may have known
these early pioneers of Christianity. The art and influences of
Christianity, both in Ireland and Scotland, are, from the sixth century,
at least,

[Illustration: ROUND TOWER, ARDMORE.]

similar as to the development. This was but natural, considering that
its great impetus in Scotland only came in the sixth century with the
advent of St. Columba, an Irish monk, who was exiled from his own
country in 563, and who, coming to Iona at that time, founded a
monastery there, and thence passed over to the mainland of Scotland.

In France, about 646, Arbogast, an Irish monk, founded an oratory, and
Gertrude, the daughter of the illustrious Pepin, sent to Ireland for
"further persons qualified to instruct the _religieuse_ of the Abbey of
Neville, not only in theology and pious studies, but in psalm-singing as
well" ("_Pour instruire la communate dans le chant des Pseaumes et la
meditation des choses saintes._"). Charlemagne, too, placed the
universities of Paris and Ticinum under the guidance of two Irishmen,
Albin and Clements, who had previously presented themselves, saying that
they had learning for sale.

The "Monasticum Hibernicum" enumerates many score of abbeys, priories,
and other religious establishments in Ireland.

One is inclined, in this progressive age, to marvel when he
contemplates the universality, among all nations, of that religious zeal
which drew its thousands from the elegance and comforts of all classes
of society to the sequestered solitude of monastic life.

Its history is well known and it is generally recognized that, as the
enthusiasm of the Crusades subsided, many influences, which otherwise
made for the aggrandizement of the religious orders, became, if not
negative, at least impotent.

There were, perhaps, some solitaries in the third century, but it was
not till after the conversion of Constantine, A. D. 324, that the
practice of seeking seclusion from the world became general.

Monasticism came to Rome, where St. Patrick received his inspiration,
from Egypt, and made its way into Gaul, the monks of St. Martin's time
reproducing the hermit system which St. Anthony had practised in Egypt.
Gallic monasticism, during the fifth and sixth centuries, was thoroughly
Egyptian in both theory and practice.

St. Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism, was born about A. D.
480, and began his religious life as a solitary; but when, early in the
sixth century, he "wrote his rule," "it is noteworthy," says a French
authority, "that he did not attempt to restore the lapsed practices of
primitive asceticism, or insist upon any very different scheme of
regular discipline." His rule was dominated by common sense, and
individualism was merged in entire submission to the judgment of the
superior of the house.

Ireland was in the very forefront of the movement, though St. Patrick's
monkish possessions here did not take shape until well into the fifth
century; but it was about fifty years, more or less,--authorities
differ,--after St. Benedict's death that Augustine arrived in England
(A. D. 597). He and his monks introduced the "Rule" into England. Celtic
monasticism did not greatly differ from Western monasticism, which under
many names, and with many variations in detail, ever since St.
Benedict's time down to our own day, has been Benedictine at bottom.

Congal, Carthag, and Columba continued in St. Patrick's footsteps, in
the sixth century, and carried monastic life to still greater splendour
and perfection by their rules and foundations. Then followed throughout
Ireland, in a long and splendid succession, many Augustinian,
Benedictine, and Cistercian foundations.

Besides their glorious ecclesiastical monuments, these bodies were
possessed of great wealth in lands, and even in gold. In fact, public
generosity, and the opulence of the communities which sheltered them,
gave them an almost supreme power, and from obscurity they rose to be
all-powerful factors in the life of the times.

The prostrating fury of the Reformation moved more slowly here than in
England. Ireland had no Wyclif to raise his voice against Rome, and the
people in general were, and wished to be, passive subjects of the
sovereign pontiff.

The Augustinians exceeded in numbers those of any other order in
Ireland, but the Arrosians, the Premonstratensians, the Benedictines,
the Cistercians (a branch of the Benedictines), the Dominicans (founded
by St. Dominic, a Spaniard born about 1070), and the Franciscans
(founded by St. Francis of Assisi), and various other orders, were also
well established.

In addition, the military orders were likewise represented by the
Knights Hospitallers, or Knights of St. John, and the Knights Templars,
so called from the fact of their original home having been near the Holy

The heads of the monastic houses were the abbot, who governed the abbey,
and whose possessions were often so great, in Ireland, as to entitle him
to a seat in the parliament amongst the peers; the abbess, who presided
over her nuns in much the same manner as the abbot governed his monks;
and the prior, who was often the head of a great monastic foundation,
and many of whom also had seats in Ireland's parliament.

The military order of Knights Hospitallers also were builders, erecting
castles on their manors, such establishments being known as
commanderies, while the knight who superintended was styled preceptor,
or commendator. Whenever the Knights Templars followed this example of
the Knights Hospitallers, their castles were called preceptories.

The almoner had the oversight of the alms which were daily distributed;
the chamberlain the chief care of the dormitory; the cellarer procured
the provisions for the establishment; the infirmarius took care of the
sick; the sacrist was in charge of the vestments and utensils, and the
precentor, or chantor, directed the choir service.

Throughout Ireland, too, were erected many hospitals, friaries, and
chantries, for the most part presided over and controlled by members of
the higher orders. The friaries had seldom any endowments, being
inhabited only by mendicants. Chantries were endowments for the
maintenance of one or more priests, who were to daily say mass for the
souls of the founder and his family. There were formerly many such in
Ireland, usually connected with the larger churches. Hermitages were
obviously devoted to the residence of solitaries who secluded themselves
from the world and followed an ascetic life of confinement in small

This brief résumé is given solely from the fact that it is a commentary
on many references which are made elsewhere in this volume, and not in
any sense as an assumption that these facts are not otherwise readily
accessible to the general reader.

It shows, moreover, that monkery was cultivated in Ireland as zealously,
and to as great an extent, as in any other nation in Europe, and in
addition had, for centuries, supplied many brethren to other
establishments throughout the known world, notably to seminaries at
Rome, and in Spain, Portugal, and the Low Countries.

At the time of the Revolution the number of "regulars" in Ireland was
above two thousand, and these all in addition to the regular
ecclesiastical establishment and its clergy.

The mere attempt to define and describe the cathedrals of Ireland as
they exist to-day, or as they existed at the disestablishment, in a work
such as this, would be fated to disaster from the very first lines.

No brief explanation, even, as to why their numbers were so great, their
size so attenuated, or their architectural qualifications so minor,
would be satisfactory, and for that reason they must, as a class, be
dismissed with a word.

The minor county cathedrals of Ireland are almost unknown to all but
the historian and archæologist.

The larger and more important examples--as in Dublin, Kilkenny, and
Cork--are possessed of considerably more than a local repute, though
none are architecturally pretentious or great, as compared with the
cathedral churches of England or the Continent.

The cathedrals of Ireland are in many instances commonplace little
countryside churches, insignificant and inaccessible, and many of them,
in fact, of no great age or beauty; but they claim, rightly enough,
along with many more ambitious edifices elsewhere, the proud distinction
of once having been cathedral churches.

The largest and most splendid is St. Patrick's at Dublin. Kilkenny,
which next approaches it, falls considerably short of it in size; while
St. Patrick itself takes a very low rank indeed as compared with
England's noble minsters.

The cruciform plan, with two westerly towers and a huge central
spire,--the typical English type,--never fully developed in Ireland. It
is stated, indeed, that no such example exists in any church edifice in
Ireland, though of cruciform churches with a central tower alone there
are examples at Armagh, Dublin (Christchurch), Cashel, Kildare,
Kilkenny, and Killaloe.

Of cruciform churches with a tower elsewhere than in the centre,
specimens are found at Ardfert, Limerick, Clonfert, and Dublin (St.

Waterford had formerly a curious and attractive old cathedral with a
square fortified tower placed midway along its southern wall; but what
amounted to nothing more than a sheer act of vandalism caused it to be
pulled down and a thoroughly hideous, unchurchly, unbeautiful
structure--which might be a brew-house but for its steeple--erected in
its place.

Down Cathedral looks like the typical large parish church of England's
shores, and Derry from the southwest resembles nothing so much as a
fortification, not unlike the cathedral of St. Samson at Dol, in

The restored cathedral of Kildare looks too painfully new to be really
beautiful. It must have been much more satisfying as a ruin, judging
from contemporaneous prints.

The ancient cathedral on the rock at Cashel was unroofed and dismantled
in 1748, and its functions taken up by a structure described as "stately
Georgian" in style, but which is very ugly.

Cloyne Cathedral, though restored and refurbished, has some resemblance
left of its former outlines. It is without a spire, and is a long, low,
unmajestic building, curiously placed in juxtaposition with a
neighbouring round tower, which serves the province of a steeple, at
least as a landmark.

Killaloe Cathedral is impressively picturesque, perhaps more so by
reason of its situation than anything else, though its ample and hardy
central tower gives a dignity that otherwise would be lacking.

Lismore Cathedral hardly dignifies the title, and has a weak, attenuated
little spire which has no element of beauty in its make-up. Otherwise
this cathedral is charming, though unpretentious.

The cathedral at Ross is curious; a long, low structure, mostly nave,
surmounted at its

[Illustration: DOWNPATRICK.]

westerly termination with a spire which of itself is not attractive, but
which mingles with the landscape, from every view-point, in an
exceedingly gratifying manner.

Clonfert Cathedral is a wonderful old church, one of the most curious
and most beautiful in Ireland; its western doorway has a crudity almost
barbaric, but it is very beautiful nevertheless.

Killala Cathedral is a severe, unelegant structure, but it has a
westerly spire of considerable proportions.

Kilmacduagh Cathedral is a roofless ruin, kept company by a solitary
round tower of a considerable height and remarkable preservation. The
diocese was of a very limited extent--but eighteen miles in length by
twelve in breadth.

Tuam is an ancient, and once a metropolitan, see. The present cathedral
is a modern lack-lustre structure, built since 1861.

Of all Ireland's cathedrals, Downpatrick alone has a truly imposing and
commanding situation, albeit its dimensions are not grand, nor is it a
very ornate or even a splendid structure. Its graveyard professes to be
the burial-place of St. Patrick; the simple boulder is there, at any
rate, which marks the spot confidently claimed as being that where the
bones of the saint rest.

In a general way, certain of the characteristics of some of the more
notable of Ireland's cathedrals are thus given.

Where great architectural charm or ruined picturesqueness of more than
unusual remark are found, they are mentioned elsewhere, but the above
fragmentary descriptions should serve to impress upon the mind the
comparative simplicity of the ecclesiastical architecture of Ireland.

In the large towns are various modern Roman Catholic cathedrals, but
their consideration is quite apart from the architectural remains which
are here considered.

Ulster, the most prosperous division of modern Ireland, has been
entirely despoiled of its ancient cathedrals. In the other three
divisions or provinces the remains are about equally divided.

The history of church-bells in Ireland is of great moment, in that they
are supposed to have been in use as early as the days of St.

[Illustration: _The Bell of St. Patrick_]


Patrick. St. Dagans, too, had a great genius, it is said, "in making
useful articles of iron, brass, and precious metals for the use of the
church." The celebrated Gildas is said to have sent St. Brigid a small
bell which he had cast, while St. Adamnan mentions the use of bells "for
the more speedily calling people to church." St. Nennin's bell, and
those of certain other venerated persons, were frequently tendered to be
sworn upon. Iron bells were introduced into the churches constructed in
Iceland by Irish monks, and these same missionaries are reputed to have
brought their bells from Ireland, for the monasteries which they built
in France and Italy, in the seventh and eighth centuries.



Those who have studied deeply the subject of the ethnology of the Scotch
and Irish races will know, and have often used as an illustration, the
likeness, which is discernible to all, between the inhabitants of the
Hebrides, off the coast of Scotland, and those who people the islands
off Mayo and Galway, and indeed those who live on the western shores of
the Irish mainland itself.

In the Scottish islands Gaelic is still spoken, of a variety easily
understood by Irish-speaking people. Observing the striking similarity
in language, physique, and mode of life, one is led to investigate the
history, social and otherwise, of these islands, and learn something of
their past records. With advantages for travel existing in this
twentieth century, one is prone to underrate the intercourse that took
place between the peoples living widely apart in ancient times. As far
as the Hebrides are concerned, their intercourse with Ireland was much
greater centuries ago than it is now. In the early ages of Christianity,
and for many centuries afterward, the Irish had a great disposition for
roaming all over Western Europe, either as teachers, missionaries, or

Before the Christian era, one can trace many connecting links between
the Scottish Isles and Ireland. It is recorded that one of the very
first Irish kings, Lugh Lamhfada, spent his early years in the island of
Mull, and, closer to Christian times, Irish warriors crossed the sea to
Alba for their military training. The renowned Ulster hero, Cuchullain,
with several companions, visited the island of Skye for the same
purpose, and a range of hills called the Cuchullins in that island still
retains his name.

A little to the east of Ballycastle, toward Fair Head, is a long,
projecting rock, which forms a little sheltered spot still known as Port
Usnach. In the first century of our era there was here perpetrated a
great massacre of the royal family and Milesian nobility of Ireland,
known in history as the Attacotti rebellion. The son of a Scottish
princess came in after years to revenge the treachery, and was joined by
a great number of local sympathizers. A great battle was fought, in
which the stranger was entirely successful, with the result that he
became king, and was known as Tuathal Teachtmar.

He reigned wisely and well for many years after, and the country became
ever and ever more prosperous. The incident is mentioned here as showing
a connecting link between Ireland and Scotland at a very remote time.

Passing through the centuries, the intercourse between Ireland and the
Scottish Isles became very close indeed. About the year A. D. 500, a
great colony left what is now County Antrim and sailed in their curraghs
across the narrow sea that separates it from the Mull of Cantire, whence
they colonized Islay, Jura, and Iona, and other Scottish islands, where
their direct descendants still live. To understand this migration, one
must recall that about the year 500 A. D. a great movement of this sort
occurred in the north of Ireland to the opposite coast of Alba, now
called Scotland. Three brothers, who were paramount chiefs of a
territory known as Dalriada, called Loarn, Angus, and Fergus, removed
with their people to Cantire. These brothers were great-grandsons of
Colla Uaish, a King of Tara, who wedded a Scottish princess. Colla Uaish
was one of the three Collas who invaded Emania two centuries before the
northern Irish province was ruled from Emania by the Clan Rury for over
six hundred years. On leaving Antrim, Loarn, the eldest brother,
occupied the territory in the west of Scotland, still known as Lorne,
and from which the eldest son of the Duke of Argyle takes his title as
Marquis of Lorne. The next brother, Angus, occupied the islands of
Islay, Jura, and Iona. Fergus, the youngest brother, who had the largest
following, occupied Cantire, Cowal, and Argyle. Fergus survived his two
brothers, and, after their death, consolidated the three territories
into a kingdom, which he called Dalriada, after his native territory in
Ireland. This kingdom was the foundation of the Scottish kingdom, and
extended from the estuary of the Clyde in the south to Lough Broom in
Sutherland in the north, and was separated from the Pictish kingdom on
the east by a chain of mountains; it also included the Hebrides and
other islands of the west coast.

Fergus's residence in Scotland was Dunstaffnage, on the west coast, near
to the Sound of Mull, which continued to be the residence of the
Scottish kings for many centuries afterward. King Edward VII. traces his
pedigree back through the Scottish Stuarts to this King Fergus. At a
late period of his life, Fergus wished to revisit his native country,
but was unfortunately wrecked on the voyage and drowned. His body was
landed at Carrickfergus, from which incident that ancient town derived
its name. For half a century this domain in Scotland was held by the new
settlers, under three different kings, but the king of the Picts gave
them a severe defeat in the year 560.

It was at this time that Columba formed the idea of going to Scotland
and attempting the conversion of the Picts to Christianity. He had spent
the first forty years of his life in Ireland, founding churches and
monasteries, and, as an itinerant missionary, preaching all over
Ireland. He started from Derry, where stood his favourite monastery, and
proceeded, accompanied by twelve of his followers, along the beautiful
shores of Lough Foyle to Innishowen Head, where the little bay is still
shown from which his curragh sailed to the Scottish Isles. It was about
the year 563 when he left Ireland, and, as he was born in 521, he was
then forty-two years of age. Monasticism had already taken a firm hold
in Ireland, and the more zealous of the Irish monks were founding
monasteries in the islands around the Irish coast, as well as on islands
in the larger lakes. Islands were the favourite spots where these
institutions flourished. What was for their safety and security at
first,--that is, their isolated position,--ultimately, during the Danish
period, led to their destruction. Columba stopped at several islands on
his way. He called at Oransay with the idea of remaining, but, as he
could see the summits of the mountains of Ireland from it, he proceeded
to Iona, where he got a grant of land and founded his famous monastery.
For two years he never left the island, getting the little community
into order, building his monastery, and tilling his ground. By his holy
life, example, and conversation, he impressed most favourably all who
came in contact with him. His little colony was like an oasis in the
desert of that wild country. During this period he was studying the
Pictish tongue, of the same family as the Gaelic, as the most likely
means to succeed in his mission. He formed the bold resolution of going
direct to King Brude, and preaching first to him, well knowing that if
he succeeded with the king the nobles and people would follow. The
stronghold of the king of the Picts was situated near Inverness. Columba
was wise, for he took with him two of his disciples, who were Irish
Picts by birth, namely, Comghal, who was born at Muckamore, and
afterward founded the great monastery of Bangor, and Canice, who
afterward gave his name to the church and the town of Kilkenny. King
Brude was at first unwilling to receive Columba, as one learns from the
history of his life, written by his successor, Adamnau, Abbot of Iona.
This life, as is well known, was translated by Bishop Reeves, and,
thanks to Adamnau and Bishop Reeves, there is no saint in the early
Irish calendar of whom so much is known. He was entirely successful in
his mission to the Pictish king, who became a convert to the Christian
faith. The leading nobles followed, and, for years after, his labours
amongst the Pictish nation never flagged until the whole nation embraced
Christianity. The result which he anticipated followed, and the
mellowing influence of the gospel caused a marked improvement in the
relations between the Picts and the Scots, and led to their ultimate
union into one Scottish kingdom.

The monastery of Iona became celebrated over Western Europe, and for
centuries afterward shone as a bright beacon of Christianity in this
far-off isle of the sea. In the burial-ground known as the Relig Oran
there are buried forty-eight Scottish kings, four Irish kings, eight
Norwegian kings, and Egfrid, a King of Northumbria; few spots on earth
contain more remains of illustrious dead than does Iona. It was the
parent of many monasteries, not alone in Scotland and the isles, but in
Ireland and the north of England. The monastery of Kells, in Meath, also
acknowledged Iona as the head of the Columban monasteries. During all
the time it remained a Columban monastery, the abbots were Irishmen,
that is, for a period of almost seven hundred years.

The Danish invasion of Ireland, which began toward the end of the eighth
century, had an important effect on the Scottish Isles as well as on
Ireland. For more than two centuries the northerners dominated
everything in both countries. In the twelfth century, however, a great
leader arose in Argyle, called Somerled, who drove the Northmen out of
the west of Scotland as well as from the isles. He was the ancestor of
the Macdonnells, Lords of the Isles, and it was he who laid the
foundations of their power. This great leader was ultimately
assassinated, and was succeeded by his son Randal, who had two sons,
Donal and Rorie. The first was founder of the Macdonnells of Islay, and
the latter of the MacRories. Islay was the territory and residence of
the Macdonnells, Lords of the Isles, and Bute that of MacRory.

O'Donnell, of Tyconnell, employed these two sons of Randal to cross over
and assist him against the O'Neills. They arrived in their galleys in
Derry in the year 1211, with over a thousand followers. Three hundred
and fifty years later, Red Hugh O'Donnell employed a large number of
these Scotchmen, who arrived from the isles in seventy galleys, to
assist him against the English. O'Cleary, in his life of Red Hugh
O'Donnell, describes these Highland mercenaries as follows: "These were
recognized among the Irish soldiers by the difference of their arms and
clothing, their habits and language, for their exterior dress was
mottled cloaks to the calf of the leg, with ties and fastenings. Their
girdles were over the loins outside the cloaks. Many of them had swords
with hafts of horn, large and fit for war, from their shoulders. It was
necessary for the soldier to put his two hands together at the very haft
of his sword when he would strike a blow with it. Others of them had
bows of carved wood, strong for use, with well-seasoned strings of hemp,
and arrows, sharp-pointed, whizzing in flight."

From this point onward it is more easy to follow the development of the
special characteristics caused by the intermingling of the Scotch and
Irish races.

Donal was succeeded in Islay by his son Angus. He brought the Norwegian
King Hako to assist the islanders against Alexander, the third King of
Scotland, when they fought the battle of Largs. Angus had a son, Angus
Oge, who succeeded him. He married a daughter of O'Cahan, an Irish
chieftain of the family of O'Neill, who owned all the territory of the
present County Derry. Angus had greatly befriended Robert Bruce in the
time of his adversity; he brought him to Rathlin Island, off the Giant's
Causeway, and kept him there when pursued by his enemies. When Bruce
became king, he rewarded Angus Oge by granting him the isles of Mull,
Jura, Coll, and Tiree; he previously owned Islay and Cantire. Angus was
succeeded by his son John, who married for his second wife Margaret
Stuart, daughter of King Robert the second, the first Stuart king of
Scotland. John had by her several sons and one daughter, who married
Montgomery of Eglinton. John was the first of the island kings to make
an alliance with England,--a policy continued by his successors, and
which ultimately led to the downfall of his principality.

It is easy to trace the progress by which the Macdonnells became
connected with Antrim, and formed an Irish family, whose head is the
Earl of Antrim. John Mor Macdonnell, son of Eion of Islay, and grandson
through his mother of King Robert the Second, came to Antrim to seek the
hand of Margery Bysett, the heiress to all the lands included in the
Glens of Antrim. The Bysetts were an outlawed Scotch family who, about
the year 1242, were exiled from Scotland on a charge of supposed murder.
With their means they acquired their Irish territory. This lady's father
had married a daughter of the O'Neill, and, being the only child, the
property fell to her. After the marriage between John Macdonnell and
Margery Bysett in 1399, a greater number of the islanders settled in the
Glens, which continued to be a favourite resort and hiding-place when
any trouble arose in Scotland. The intercourse between Antrim and the
Isles, particularly Islay and Cantire, from this time became very close.
There was constant going to and from the Isles, and occasional forays
were made as far as Castlereagh, whence large preys of cattle would be
driven back to the Glens, and thence to Rathlin, to be taken afterward
to Islay at their convenience. In the year 1551 a feud existed between
the O'Neills of Castlereagh and the Macdonnells, "and the latter made an
incursion into Clannaboy, from which a great prey of cattle and other
valuables were lifted and removed to Rathlin."

The Macdonnells were able to strike a blow at England more easily
through the north of Ireland than any other quarter, and the government
in Dublin made up its mind to put them down. In 1551 four ships were
fitted out, and a large number of soldiers placed on board to proceed to
Rathlin, and, if possible, to carry off the plunder which was supposed
to be stored there. The ships, on their arrival, proceeded to land an
armed force of three hundred gunners and archers. The Macdonnells
awaited them on the shore, prepared to give them a warm reception. By a
sudden upheaval of the sea, the boats were driven high on the rocks,
and, before they could recover themselves, the Macdonnells attacked and
slew every man, except the two captains of the expedition. These were
retained as hostages,

[Illustration: DUNLUCE CASTLE.]

and afterward exchanged for the younger brother of the chief, the
afterward celebrated Sorley Boy, who was then a prisoner in Dublin

The intimacies and relations between the Scotch and the Irish were
growing more and more involved, and a new race--a blend of the most
admirable qualities of both--was being propagated. The Macdonnells at
this time owned Dunluce Castle, which had been taken from the
MacQuillans, also Kenbane Castle and Dunanynie Castle, built on a cliff
near the sea at Ballycastle. Ballycastle, previously called Port
Brittas, was the place principally used for landing or embarking for
Cantire. It was also from here that Fergus was supposed to have embarked
when he and his brothers founded the Scottish kingdom. A little to the
east of Ballycastle is Port Usnach, whence Naysi and Derdrie sailed to
Alba. There were frequent intermarriages between the Macdonnells and the
leading families in the north of Ireland. John Mor, as already stated,
married Margery Bysett. Donald Ballach married a daughter of the
O'Donnells of Donegal. John of Islay married a daughter of the
O'Neills. Shane Cathanach married a daughter of Savage of the Ards.
James Macdonnell married Agnes, daughter of the Earl of Argyle, and
their daughter married Hugh, Prince of Tyconnell, and became the mother
of the celebrated Red Hugh O'Donnell. After the death of James
Macdonnell, his widow, the Lady Agnes, became the second wife of
Turlough Luineach O'Neill, and thus mother and daughter married the two
most powerful chiefs in Ulster.

James Macdonnell died in the dungeons of Shane O'Neill, and was
succeeded by his younger brother, Sorley Boy, the greatest of all the
Macdonnells of Antrim. During the latter half of Queen Elizabeth's
reign, Sorley Boy was able to hold his own against all the queen's
generals, as well as against the MacQuillans, O'Cahans, and O'Neills. He
died in 1589 in his castle of Dunanynie, and was buried at Bun-na-Margie
Abbey. His wife was Mary O'Neill, daughter of Conn, first Earl of
Tyrone, who died in 1582. He left five sons, and was succeeded by his
third son, who died suddenly in Dunluce Castle on Easter Monday, 1601.

His younger brother, Randal, next succeeded, who, in the reign of James
the First, was, in 1618, created Viscount Dunluce, and two years later,
in 1620, Earl of Antrim. James gave him a grant of all the lands lying
between the Bann of Coleraine and the Corran of Larne, a territory equal
to the ancient kingdom of Dalriada.

The second earl succeeded in 1644, and was created a marquis by Charles
the First. He was afterward deprived of his vast property by the
Cromwellians. In the reign of Charles the Second, after many
difficulties had been surmounted, he had the greater part of it
reconveyed to him. He died in 1682, and was succeeded by his younger
brother, Alexander, who was in time succeeded by his son Randal, who
died in 1721. The Macdonnells succeeded in holding a large portion of
their Irish property, whilst they lost Islay and Cantire.

From these brief facts one readily evolves the process by which grew up
the ancient and intimate connection between the Scotch and the Irish.
One realizes full well, too, that the peoples of the north of Ireland
and of the Scottish Isles were of the same race and language, and to a
great extent are so to-day.

In manners, customs, and arts, as well, there is a blending greatly to
be remarked. In Dunvegan Castle in Scotland one is shown a drinking-cup
made in the north of Ireland four hundred years ago. Naguire, of
Fermanagh, in the fifteenth century, married a lady from Skye, Catherine
Magrannal, and this cup was made at her expense and forwarded as a
present to her relatives there. The high crosses of Ireland are
reproduced in Scotland and the Isles, and the island monasteries of
Ireland and Scotland were similar in both architecture and discipline,
and ruins in the Flannan Islands and North Rona have their counterparts
in Innismurray, Arran, and the Skelligs.



It is usually supposed that there is very little romance about industry
or business of any sort. In general, this is doubtless true, but there
is an element which enters into certain kinds of industry, which if not
exactly romantic, is assuredly not prosaic.

The cottage industries, as they have come to be popularly known, of
Ireland, have this element of romanticism, or assuredly picturesqueness,
which is not usually associated with the matter-of-fact throbbing loom
and busy shuttle.

This particular phase of industry has of late become somewhat of a fad,
so far as people taking an interest in its product goes, though there is
a very real, tangible, and practical side to it for the workers, who,
perforce, might otherwise be in idleness.

The public-spirited men and women who have encouraged this special
industry, or industries rather, for it comprehends lace-making,
embroideries, and homespun woollens, are to be thanked and congratulated
by reason of the success which has resulted from their efforts.

Everybody has a vague idea that there are certain products which come
out of Ireland in large quantities. When called to specialize or
enumerate them, they stop short at fine linen and bacon. Beyond
this--what? There is but one way to find out, if one is not to visit
Ireland itself, and that is from the government publications, Chamber of
Commerce reports, and the like. These are dry reading, however, for some
people impossible reading, and there is very little romance about them.

When one actually visits Ireland, and sees the Limerick pig in all his
gaucheries, and his product in sausages, hams, and bacons, there is
perhaps more romance connected with it, for there is a certain
picturesqueness which invariably surrounds him. It may be a red-skirted,
blue-coated colleen, or it may be a green-trousered, pot-hatted gossoon,
who is

[Illustration: _Limerick Pigs_]


driving him to market, or it may be that the environment of his home is
so squalid as to be picturesque, and suggests primitive conditions and
romantic times that have long gone past in other parts of the world.

To consider seriously just why the industries of Ireland are at the low
ebb that they are, one has to realize that Ireland has ever been
backward and unprogressive in developing her resources, though mostly
this is because of oppression, as they call it in Ireland, and
oppression, as a matter of fact, it is, or has been.

Primarily there is a scarcity of coal in Ireland. There are no workings
that are profitable, and of a good quality, that are opened up at the
present time; at any rate, not of a quality to be compared with that
obtainable elsewhere and in countries which have prospered more fully
than has Ireland.

One thing Ireland has, and has wofully neglected, is its supply of
water-power such as has made many similar regions on the Continent of
Europe thrifty and prosperous.

It might be used to generate electricity; it assuredly could do so, as
there are several swift flowing waters that would fill the requirements
admirably,--the Falls of Ballyshannon, for instance. Perhaps some day,
when some ingenious individual succeeds in getting motive-power out of
the rise and fall of the tides, Ireland will become the most prosperous
of any country in the world.

In the seventeenth century, smelted iron--Ireland being very rich in
iron ore--was exported to London in large quantities. This trade does
not exist to-day. As early as the sixth century Irish woollens were
exported to Nantes, and in the fourteenth century there was a large
demand for Irish serges in Italy.

The woollen industry was given a great impetus in 1667 by the Duke of
Ormonde, who induced five hundred Walloon families to settle at
Clonmell, at Killarney, and at Carrick-on-Suir; but in 1698 the English
manufacturers persuaded the Irish Parliament to prohibit the exportation
of woollens.

From Dean Swift we learn that by this act twelve thousand families were
thrown out of employment in and near Dublin, and thirty thousand more

It is of late years only that the cottage

[Illustration: TORC CASCADE.]

handicrafts, knitting, spinning, weaving of homespuns, and lace-making,
have been given the great impetus which has now made them established
industries, like the cottage cutlers of Barmen and Essen, in Germany,
who fashion knife-blades from the crude product which they obtain from
the large steel works near by.

Formerly paper-making was very extensively conducted in the county of
Dublin; but this is no longer the case. Who does not know the famous
Irish linen? Strange to say, the best quality was known as _Royal_ Irish
linen. This assuredly was an effort on the part of some astute Irishman
to capture outside trade, but his astuteness apparently did not extend
to other things.

The dictionaries received a new word in Balbriggan, which was the name
of the cotton hosiery first made a hundred and fifty or more years ago
at Balbriggan.

Irish whiskey distilleries and the breweries of porter and stout have
come to be recognized as premier establishments in their line, and,
whatever the opponents of the liquor trade may say, these industries
have done Ireland much good. Far more good, be it acknowledged, than
that other brewer, Cromwell, ever did for it.

The shipbuilding industry of Belfast ranks among the first
establishments, if it is not the very first, in the world, and the
allied industries, which produce ropes, cables, chains, and rigging, are
likewise foremost in their class. These are mainly centred around
Belfast, but an echo is heard at Londonderry, on the north coast.

Porcelain of a rare and unique quality is manufactured at Belleek. So
frail and delicate and so translucent is this ware that it stands quite
in a class by itself.

The paramount industry of Ireland is the spinning and weaving of linen
and flax, mostly centred around Belfast. The great linen ware-houses of
Belfast, with branches throughout the English-speaking world, and even
on the Continent, are almost household names, and no product of a
similar nature elsewhere produced at all enters into competition with
the real Irish product. Besides the great establishments at Belfast,
there are others, nearly as great, at Ballymena, Londonderry, Coleraine,
and Lisburn.

[Illustration: _A Cottage Spinner_]


This great industry grew up at the summary closing of the woollen mills,
prospered, and, if at first it did not take the place entirely of the
woollen industry, it did so finally.

In the mid-nineteenth century it has already reached huge proportions,
and, while to-day the public undoubtedly buys a great deal that is _not_
linen in the expectation that it _is_ linen, and a great deal of linen
that is _not_ Irish linen in the hope or the belief that it _is_ Irish
linen, there is no question but that the trade has already advanced
beyond the point where it was when it stood alone and supreme in the

The trade has reached its present magnitude from the very small
beginnings of a Huguenot refugee named Crommelin, who settled originally
at Lisburn.

The superiority of Irish linen is due primarily to the bleaching, which,
of itself, depends upon the water and atmosphere, which at Belfast and
the other places mentioned is apparently not equalled elsewhere in the

To get the same results, it is said that a certain German manufacturer
buys Irish yarn,--that is, linen spun in Ireland,--weaves it into cloth
in Bohemia, sends it back to Belfast to be bleached, finally brings it
back to his establishment in Germany, and sells it as--what?

The most varied and most successful cottage industries are at Limerick,
Carrickmacross, Cork, Youghal, Kinsale, Crosshaven, Ardora, and Clones.
Their specialty is lace of a delicate and elegant variety.

The cottage woollens are mostly made in Donegal and Connemara, while the
art of embroidery is followed most extensively at Belfast, Dublin,
Dalkey, Garryhill, Sligo, Strabane, and Ballintra.

There is one phase of trade that the Irish have neglected to develop of
late,--the fisheries. More or less philosophically, as they think, they
lay this to the Scotch, who are much more successful at the industry
than themselves. This is not the fault of the Scotch; it is the folly of
the Irish. At any rate, there is an inexhaustible supply of mackerel,
herring, cod, hake, sole, turbot, lobsters, and even oysters to be found
on the south and southwest coast of Ireland.

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries this

[Illustration: A COTTAGE LOOM.]

was a trade which was worked, and successfully worked, as records show,
by Spaniards, Dutch and French fishermen, who came from their own
fishing-grounds to angle in these more plethoric Irish waters.

It was only in the nineteenth century that the Irish took up the
industry in at all a commensurate manner, and by the famine years of the
late forties they had 19,833 vessels, manned by 130,000 men and boys, in
the trade. Then it steadily declined through succeeding years until
1894. In 1900 there were only 6,500 registered boats, employing 25,360
men, and the harvest which they gathered from the sea had but the value
of £300,000. Truly this is a sad tale, and not a creditable one. The
chief fishing stations are at Kinsale, Baltimore, Valentia, and
Bearhaven. There are salmon to be had in almost every river estuary, and
the taking of them has not been neglected, as has deep-water fishing.

The chief industry of most countries is perhaps agriculture. Even in
Ireland crops are raised,--crops of a sort must be raised,--but they are
grown to nothing like the extent that they ought to be.

Probably Ireland's record is not as bad as England's in this respect;
but landlordism, whatever that vague term may really mean, is certainly
responsible for the minute proportions of this industry. In 1831
1,270,000 were engaged in agriculture, approximately 65-1/2 per cent. of
the population; in 1891, 49-1/2 per cent., showing plainly that
agriculture in Ireland is rapidly on the down grade.

The most fertile counties are Tipperary and Limerick; Kerry is generally
poor; but "Mounster," as Spenser called it, was "of the sweetest soyle
of Ireland."

Cattle-raising in Ireland is truly preëminent, as bald, unromantic
statistics show. In Ireland there are 138 horses per thousand of the
population. In England, but 36 only. There are 996 cattle in Ireland as
against 152 in England; 951 sheep as against 511; and 278 pigs as
against 69.

The small farmer in Ireland is, it is true, uneducated to a surprising
degree. He knows nothing of rotation of crops, and cultivates seldom
more than two varieties. Artificial enrichment of the soil is a profound
mystery to him, and he apparently would rather work

[Illustration: EMBROIDERING.]

a piece of reclaimed peat-bog than the most fertile valley that ever
grew the products of the field.

Truth to tell, the genuine Irish peasant hates the cultivation of the
soil; he dislikes to dig in the earth, as he does to fish in the sea;
but he rejoices in cattle-raising, and, above all, cattle-trading. He
likes to drive them to market; he makes a regular holiday of it, and so
do the rest of his family, as one who has ever met such a composite
caravan on the road well knows.

It is said that twenty thousand Irish go to England every autumn for the
harvest. It seems a pity that these twenty thousand workers could not
have the opportunity of working at home. The author does not pretend to
explain this; he recounts it simply as current rumour, which doubtless
could be authenticated.



The environment of Dublin, so far as its immediate surroundings are
concerned, is exceedingly attractive to the jaded inhabitant of brick
and mortar cities.

Phoenix Park, belonging anciently to the Knights Templars, is more
beautiful, as a city park, than those possessed by any other city of the
size of Dublin in the British Isles, and is, moreover, of great extent.
It is densely wooded, has lovely glades, and is plentifully stocked with
herds of deer, who seem unconsciously to group themselves picturesquely
at all times.

It is in no sense grand, nor, indeed, are the views of the lovely
country lying immediately to the southward; but the distant views of the
Wicklow peaks are full of quiet, restful beauty, which must help to make
life in a great

[Illustration: NEW GRANGE.]

centre of population, such as Dublin, livable at all seasons of the

The Viceregal Lodge is in Phoenix Park, and near it is the spot where
Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke were walking together on the
night of May 6, 1882, when they were assassinated by the "Invincibles."

The "Fifteen Acres," where now horses are exercised, was a very
favourite duelling-ground in olden times. A local description of this
"bloody ground" states:

"There is not a single one of its acres that has not been stained with
blood over and over again, in those gray mornings of the eighteenth
century, when Dublin beaux, half-sobered after a night's debauch, used
to confront one another in the dew-drenched grass, and startle the
huddled herds of deer with the deadly crack of pistols at twelve paces."

Beyond Phoenix Park is Lucan, four miles up the Liffey, near the
river's celebrated salmon-leap.

Clondalkin, six miles from Dublin, possesses one of the finest and most
perfect round towers in Ireland, eighty feet in height, and forty-five
in circumference at the base.

The Falls of the Liffey, at Poula-Phooka, twenty miles from town, flow
under a graceful viaduct. Here the foam-whitened river casts itself down
a succession of rocky leaps, and through a richly wooded gorge, into the
smoother plain below. This is a scenic gem, such as amateur
photographers love, and its picturings are found in the album of almost
every Irish traveller. Its name enshrines one of the best known of the
many Celtic fairy myths,--that of the Phooka. Certainly, the wild, lofty
defile of splintered rock, through which the fall leaps down, must have
been exactly the sort of place to allure the goblin horse that had such
an unpleasant fancy for breaking people's necks.

The legend of the Phooka is one familiar in many forms to all lovers of
folk-lore. It is claimed to be of Celtic origin, but with equal
assurance it is said to be Norse, and again Indian. The apparition is a
weird ghost-like horse-shape, not unlike the steed which Ichabod Crane
saw mounted by a headless horseman.

Kingstown, seven miles from Dublin, has no great interest for the lover
of artistic or historic shrines, though the view of its harbour, with
its cross-channel shipping, its fishing-boats, and its long, jutting
piers, composes itself gaily enough, on a bright summer's day, into a
pleasing picture.

Originally named Dunleary, the town received its present title in 1821,
after the departure of George IV. An obelisk, surmounted by a crown, and
placed upon four stone balls, stands near the harbour entrance, and
commemorates--what? The king's coming? Not at all. He landed at Howth,
and no one, apparently, thought that incident worthy of a memorial. The
Kingstown obelisk commemorates his _departure_ from his Irish dominions.

This seems significant, but it will not do to condemn Irish hospitality
on this score. Perhaps it is an attempt at humour. If so, it is not
wholly unsuccessful.

Just north of Dublin are two spots famed alike of history and
legend,--at least most of the local story-tellers' tales sound like
legends,--Clontarf and Howth.

As the Hill of Howth is one of the first of Ireland's landmarks which
come to the vision of the majority of visitors from England, it may
perhaps be permissible to include the following lines here. They were
written many years ago by a local poet whose, name is lost in obscurity,
but whose verse is sufficiently apropos to-day to need no qualifying

    "Well might an artist travel from afar,
     To view the structure of a low-backed car;
     A downy mattress on the car is laid,
     The father sits beside his tender maid.
     Some back to back, some side to side are placed,
     The children in the centre interlaced.
     By dozens thus, full many a Sunday morn,
     With dangling legs the jovial crowd is borne;
     Clontarf they seek, or Howth's aspiring brow,
     Or Leixlip smiling on the stream below."

"The Hill" is a bold peninsula at the mouth of Dublin Bay, above whose
waters, and those of the Irish Sea, the rugged promontory rises to the
height of 563 feet. The whole mount abounds in precipitous rocky
formations, blended most artistically with fields of heather and of
greensward in a manner apparently possible only in Ireland. From the
cliffs over-looking the sea, the outlook embraces the counties of
Dublin, Meath, and Louth; the Mourne Mountains and County Down,
Ireland's Eye and Lambay Island; while to the south loom the Wicklow
Hills, Bray Head, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Dalkey Island, Kingstown Harbour,
and Dublin, showing a variety of form which contrasts strangely with the
placid sea, sky, and hills.

Howth itself is a village of one long, rambling street,--or was; of late
it has grown more pretentious, and has thereby lost some of its pristine

Off Howth Harbour is "Ireland's Eye," which in ancient works is printed
_Irlandsey_. Thus its evolution is easily followed.

The island has some fragmentary remains of the old church of St. Nessan,
showing portions of a still more ancient round tower.

The ancient castle of Howth is the family seat of the St. Lawrences, the
Earls of Howth, who have held it since the time of their ancestor, Sir
Armoric Tristram de Valence, who arrived here in the twelfth century. It
is said that the family name was Tristram, and that even Sir Armoric
never bore the present family title, but that a descendant or relative
assumed it on the occasion of a battle won by him on St. Lawrence's
Day. The castle was in a great measure rebuilt by the twentieth Lord of
Howth in the sixteenth century. It consists of an embattled range,
flanked by towers. The interior of the castle is rich in historical
associations, founded as it was by one of the most chivalrous of the
Anglo-Norman settlers in Ireland.

One sad blow was struck at the founder's dignity by the graceless Grace
O'Malley, or Granuaile, or Grana Uile, a western chieftainess, who,
returning from a visit to Queen Elizabeth at London, landed at Howth and
essayed to tax the hospitality of the lordly owner, who refused to give
her any refreshment. Determined to have her revenge, however, and to
teach hospitality to the descendant of the Saxon, she kidnapped the heir
and kept him a close prisoner until a pledge was obtained from his
father that on no pretence whatever were the gates of Howth Castle to be
closed at the hour of dinner. A painting of the incident exists, or did
exist, in the oak-panelled dining-hall of the castle. In the hall also
is the two-handed sword which won that St. Lawrence's Day battle. It
measures, even in its mutilated state, five feet, seven inches, the hilt
alone being twenty-two inches long.

St. Mary's Abbey, Howth, is a great ruined, roofless structure, which,
in spite of its decrepitude, tells a story of great and appealing
interest to the student of architecture. Its foundation by Luke,
Archbishop of Dublin, dates from 1234, and it is one of those
picturesque ruins which, while by no means so grand, will rank in the
memory with Melrose and Muckross. As a well-preserved ruin, it still
exists and shows unmistakable evidences of having been inspired by some
Burgundian or Lombard architect-builder.

Lying between Howth and Dublin is Clontarf, famous as the scene of Brian
Boru's victory over the Danes. Moore has perpetuated its glories in
verse, thus:

    "Remember the glories of Brian the brave,
     Though the days of the hero are o'er;
     Though lost to Mononia, and cold in the grave,
     He returns to Kinkora no more.
     That star of the field, which so often hath poured
     Its beam on the battle, is set;
     But enough of its glory remains on each sword
     To light us to victory yet."

Many have doubted whether the victory was really in favour of the Irish.
It is generally, however, conceded to have been in their favour.
Scotsmen will be interested to see the name of Lennox mentioned among
the soldiers of the patriot king. An Irish manuscript, translated for
the _Dublin Penny Journal_, after summing up the number of natives slain
on the side of Brian, says:

"The great stewards of Leamhue (Lennox) and Mar, with other brave
Albanian Scots, the descendants of Corc, King of Munster, died in the
same cause."

After the battle, great respect was shown to the body of the deceased
king by his devoted followers, who looked upon him in the light almost
of a saint. Wills, the historian, gives the following account of the
progress of his corpse:

"The body of Brian, according to his will, was conveyed to Armagh.
First, the clergy of Swords in solemn procession brought it to their
abbey, from thence the next morning the clergy of Damliag (Duleck)
conducted it to the church of St. Kiaran. Here the clergy of Lowth
(Lughmach) attended the corpse to their own monastery. The Archbishop of
Armagh, with its suffragans and clergy, received the body at Lowth,
whence it was conveyed to their cathedral. For twelve days and nights it
was watched by the clergy, during which time there was a continual scene
of prayers and devotion."

Few traces remain of this dreadful encounter, and one perforce takes a
good deal on faith, as one does much of history where architectural
remains are practically non-existent.

An ancient preceptory of the Knights Templars, a dependency of that at
Kilmainham, formerly occupied the site of Clontarf Castle, the seat of
the Vernons.

Dublin is the metropolitan county of Ireland, also its chief city. The
city is thought to have derived its name from the "black channel" of the
river Liffey, and to have communicated the name by some expansionist
process to the surrounding county, which comprised the six baronies of
Coolock, Balrothery, Nethercross, Castleknock, Newcastle, and
Uppercross, as well as half that of Rathdown.

Dublin County, unlike most other parts of Ireland, has no silver or
mirror lake. In this respect it has manifestly been cheated by nature.
Neither are there any of those deforming peat-bogs with which many of
Ireland's fairest lakes are surrounded.

There is a great distinction between legendary and monumental remains;
and, since Ireland is so full of both sorts, it behooves one to stop and
think for a moment, when viewing some shrine to which his fancy has led
him, whether it ever had a former, a real existence, or not. This opens
a vast field to research, controversy, and _soi-disant_ opinion.

Near Dublin, on the hill called Tallaght, there are mounds--existing
since time immemorial--referred to by the old historians on
pre-Christian Ireland as "the mortality tombs of the people of
Partholan," who first colonized Ireland. The mounds are there, and we,
perforce, have to imagine the rest, but there is good ground for
believing that these grass-grown mounds, the burial-places of thousands
of people, are as real and tangible memorials of the pre-Christian era
in the British Isles as are anywhere to be found.

The history of Dublin, like that of most capitals, has been momentous.
From the second century onward, it has encountered many battles, sieges,
and rebellions, and has been the centre of political activity in

For the average traveller Dublin is simply a great centre of modern life
and movement; for the student of history, architecture, archæology, and
such subjects it is much more.

The bird of passage, then, will only be visibly affected by that which
lies on the surface, or at least nearest thereto.

He will see that Dublin possesses all the component luxuries of a great
city; is progressive to the extent of having cut up its roadways with
tram-lines, and disfigured its streets with telegraph and electric-light
poles; and, in short, has all those attributes which make even the lover
of life in a large city sooner or later wish to put it all behind him.

The greatest novelties for the visitor are the two splendidly organized
bodies of constabulary,--the Dublin policemen and the Royal Irish

The Dublin Metropolitan Police is a fine semi-military force distinct
from the Royal Irish Constabulary, only acting within the metropolitan
district, and is reminiscent of foreign _gendarmerie_, with its dark
blue and silver uniform and smart appearance. The minimum height is five
feet, eleven inches, so that Dublin streets seem to be policed by a race
of amiable giants. In America the same type of constable is well known.
It is also well known that the "force" in America is organized on
somewhat different lines from that of its brothers in Dublin. The Royal
Irish Constabulary, who are to be seen in the neighbourhood of Phoenix
Park (and all over the country besides), are, physically, a magnificent
body of men, with as good, if not a considerably better training than
"Tommy Atkins" himself.

It is a curious present-day fact that Dublin, as the capital of a
Catholic country, not only possesses no Catholic cathedral, but has two
Protestant churches known as cathedrals.

Anti-Catholic writers have long found fault with, and traced certain of
Ireland's interior troubles to, the number and power of the Catholic
places of worship. That Dublin has two Protestant cathedrals has
apparently escaped their notice.

It is also true that not all the Protestant churches in Ireland are
overflowing with congregations, but most of the Catholic places of
worship are. This may mean much or little. Just what it does mean is
doubtful, but it is a well-known fact, and because of this it is
recorded here.

Christchurch Cathedral was founded by Sigtryg Silkbeard, a Danish king
who had become Christianized, and Donatus, a Danish bishop, in 1038. It
was dedicated to the Holy Trinity, with the Danish name of Christchurch;
later it was converted into a priory, which in turn was absorbed into an
Anglo-Norman cathedral, erected by Strongbow and others on the former
Danish foundation. The fabric is of much interest, although, owing to
various mishaps, such as the slipping away of the peat-bog on which it
was injudiciously built, the walls have many times fallen and been
renewed. In Christchurch Cathedral Lambert Simnel was crowned in 1486,
and mass was celebrated here during the sojourn of James II. Strongbow's
tomb is the most noted relic of the church. It has an inscription by
Sir Henry Sidney, the father of Philip Sidney, referring to "This
Ancyent Monument of Richard Strangbowe, called Comes Strangulensis, Lord
of Chepsto and Ogny, etc." The crypt is of interest from being mainly
built up from the rude early church of the Danish founder.

St. Patrick's Cathedral, the cathedral without the walls of ancient
Dublin, is larger and more imposing than Christchurch. It is cruciform
in plan, and altogether a beautiful and stately structure, partaking
largely after the style of the Anglo-Norman structures of England, but
not those of Normandy. Founded by Comyn, the Anglo-Norman Archbishop of
Dublin, in 1190, the ancient Celtic church of St. Patrick de Insula,
which stood without the city walls, and was specially held in reverence
from its association with the baptism of the saint, formed the nucleus
of the new establishment, which was self-contained and fortified. Its
exposed position, however, led it to be abandoned to the marauding
natives, and the buildings fell into decay. The present cathedral is of
the twelfth to fourteenth centuries. Cromwell desecrated it, as he did
many others, by using it for a justice court. Great churches have ever
been despoiled by fanatics in all lands.

James II. went one step farther (being James II. this seems inexplicable
to-day), and converted it into a stable.

The restoration of this shockingly desecrated shrine (at the expense of
more than £140,000) is to the credit of the family of Guinness, whose
name and product is a household word throughout the world.

Cromwell was a brewer, too, and supposed to have been a righteous, if
stern man, but his virtues were not as great as those of his latter-day

Since the visitor to Ireland is supposed to wander about with a volume
of Swift's "Life and Letters" in his hand, and to recall at appropriate
times the laurelled arbour-retreat near Celbridge, where, two hundred
years ago, the luckless Vanessa waited long, and often in vain, it will
be well for him to contemplate the two monuments in St. Patrick's
Cathedral, the one to Swift (who was Dean of St. Patrick's), and the
other to Miss Johnson, his Stella.

Another curious religious shrine is the church of St. Fichan, founded in
1095 by the pious Dane whose name it bears, though the present structure
dates only so far back as 1676. The square tower, however, is decidedly
venerable, and the vaults possess the peculiar property of preserving
the bodies entrusted to them in a perfect state, resembling in this
respect the Egyptian mummy-pits. Dryness, one great essential to the
preserving of animal matter, is complete here. But at one time, owing,
it is said, to the nightly visits of a rascally sexton, for the purpose
of stealing away the lead coffins from the dead, the damp night air
entered and bade fair to play havoc with the mummies.

There is a story told of his releasing from its coffin the body of a
lady, who, however, looked him fiercely in the face with a pair of
vengeful eyes, and so terrified him that he left his lantern and ran
home half-dead with fright. The lady is said to have taken advantage of
the light, and to have walked quietly to her own home, where for years
afterward she lived a happy life!

To many, Dublin will recall, first of all among its notables of the
past, or at least only second to Dean Swift, the name of Edmund Burke.

He was born in the Irish metropolis in 1729, when that city was at its
flood-tide of prosperity,--when it was a centre of commerce, art, and

His parents were of the plain people, and he himself, as he told his
Grace of Bedford, "was opposed at every toll-gate, obliged to show a
passport, and prove his title to the honour of being useful to Ireland."

Through this involved procedure, wherein his reputation as an agitator
loomed quite as large as his powers of oratory, for sixty-seven long
years he laboured at the business of state-craft; but, after all, he is
best known to us for his labours in letters.

Some one has said that "Rulers govern, but it is literature that
enlightens," and, concerning Burke, who shall not say that his writings
and his speeches, which latter have come to be accepted as but another
form of literary expression, were not even more productive of good than
were his political agitations. To Americans Burke should be doubly
endeared. He favoured American independence, though he was against the
revolution in France.

Richard Steele, though schooled at the Charterhouse in London, where he
first met that other master of delicately phrased English, Addison, was
born in Dublin in 1672 (d. 1729).

Steele has been reviled as a "fashionable tippler, an awful spendthrift,
and a creature of broken promises;" but it has remained for an American,
Donald G. Mitchell, to glorify him as "An Irish dragoon, not a grand man
or one of great influence, but so kindly by nature, and so gracious in
speech and writing, that the world has not yet done pardoning and
pitying." It is in the latter aspect that Dublin is wont to think of Sir
Richard Steele,--as the "Irish dragoon" of as many virtues as faults.

It would be impossible to mention, even, the many celebrities whose
names are identified with Dublin. Statecraft and letters alone number
them in hundreds, and that great institution of learning, Trinity
College, stands high among its kind.

The site of Trinity College was previously occupied by an important
monastery, suppressed by Henry VIII. The university was founded by Queen
Elizabeth, and endowed with the monastic property and many very valuable
private bequests. The college is Alma Mater to a long line of famous
men,--Ussher, Congreve, Swift, Goldsmith, Burke, to mention but a very

In the centre of the imposing front is the main gateway, flanked by the
statues of Edmund Burke and Oliver Goldsmith.

In days gone by, Donogh O'Brien, when driven from his titular
sovereignty by his nephew Tarlagh, journeyed to Rome, taking with him
his illustrious father's crown and harp as gifts to the Pope.

By some means or other, the harp--the once famous harp which had sounded
through Tara's halls--found its way back to Ireland, and is now, with
the "Book of Kells," the chief treasure of the library of Trinity

The architectural splendour of Dublin is not very great, although
certain of the chief buildings, other than the churches, are in many
ways remarkable.

Dublin Castle is a group of buildings covering ten acres of ground and
dating from 1205, when a castle was erected for the defence of the city.
Since the time of Queen Elizabeth it has been the official residence of
the viceroy. The buildings are grouped around two courts, with a chief
gateway on Cork Hill. The presence-chamber, ballroom (Hall of St.
Patrick), portrait-chamber, and private drawing-room are handsome and
historic apartments. The lower court contains the Bermingham Tower
(formerly the state prison and now used as a depository for state
records), the chapel royal, and the armory.

The Bank of Ireland, formerly the Irish Parliament House, has a finely
designed Ionic façade, with various adorning statues and escutcheons.

The National Gallery of Ireland ranks among the world's great
collections of pictures, and is exceedingly rich in portraiture. Some
one has said that there are but three truly great--in just what way the
reader may judge for himself--business streets in the world. The

[Illustration: DUBLIN CASTLE.]

first is the Rue de la Paix in Paris; the second, Princes Street in
Edinburgh; and the Third, Sackville Street in Dublin. All will at once
notice and admire its great width, its splendid dimensions, and its
singularly attractive disposition of public and commercial buildings.
The chief is the general post-office, with a fine portico and pediment
bearing figures of Hibernia, Mercury, and Fidelity.

The little parish of Laracor, north of Dublin, came to Swift shortly
after his return to Ireland as chaplain to Lord Berkeley. "Here he had a
glebe and a horse, and became domesticated," so far as it was possible
for the man to be domesticated anywhere.

Swift's fluctuations between Ireland and London have been the subject of
much comment and criticism. He had by no means settled down to the
"jog-trot duties" of a small Irish vicar. Swift, the churchman, the
litterateur, and the politician were much one and the same thing; and,
in spite of his indiscretions, he did good service, though, to be sure,
his sincerity was doubted. A story is told, of the occasion when he was
urged for Bishop of Hereford, that the Archbishop of York stated to his
queen "that inquiries should first be made as to whether the man is
really a Christian." He did not achieve the office, but was reconciled
with the less influential deanery of St. Patrick's at Dublin.

Swift was born in Dublin at a house in Hoey's Court, now (?)
disappeared, in 1667. He died in 1745, and is buried, not among the
literary giants at Westminster, but in St. Patrick's at Dublin, the
venue of his deanship.

Swift as a satirist was unassailable in his time, and his literary
reputation in general is without doubt--by reason of its
versatility--greater than many a more prolific writer.

The first announcement of this master, at once comic and caustic, was
the "Tale of a Tub" and "The Battle of the Books," when followed in
rapid review various political and social tracts, the inimitable
"Gulliver" (1727) and the "Polite Conversation." "Cadenus and Vanessa"
appeared without the author's consent soon after the death of its
heroine, Miss Hester Vanhomrigh, in 1723; but the "Diary to Stella," the
lady whom he afterward married, did not appear until long after the
author's death.

Swift's literary reputation--"at the head of the English
prose-writers"--has been best summed up by his friend Pope in six short

    "...Whatever title please thine ear,
     Dean, Drapier, Bickerstaff or Gulliver!
     Whether you choose Cervantes' serious air,
     Or laugh and shake in Rabelais' easy chair,
     Or praise the court, or magnify mankind,
     Or thy grieved country's copper chains unbind."

As the river Liffey, which flows through Dublin, joins the Irish Sea, it
expands into a noble bay, which is guarded on the one side by the Hill
of Howth, and on the other by Killiney Hill, near Kingstown.

Dublin has long been famous for the manufacture of poplin, dear to the
hearts of the ladies. For many years the manufacture had declined, but a
recent stimulus appears to have been given it. It was about the year
1780 that the trade first assumed a degree of importance in Dublin,
though it had been introduced by the French Huguenots in the reign of
William III. From that period till the Union in 1800, it had been
gradually increasing in extent; but suddenly declined after the
transference of the Irish Parliament to London; and Irishmen are fain to
link the two events together as cause and effect.

As the author has had occasion to say before, Ireland is not the
saddened, sodden, blighted land that the calamity howlers and pessimists
in general would have us believe.

Certainly, in that beauteous country which lies immediately to the
southward of Dublin, from Kingstown to Queenstown, there is no great
evidence of sorrowing poverty; though, to be sure, there are in many
parts no indications of great prosperity. There is a sort of happy mean
in the lives of the Irish people; and, since the inhabitants of this
particular region are domiciled in so lovely a spot, apparently they
concern themselves little with regard to material wealth.

From Dublin, south, is a veritable fairy-land of splendid hills and
groves, the famous garden of the county of Wicklow. Bray is admittedly
the best situated watering-place in the kingdom. But, more than all
else, its chief importance lies in its position as the gateway to all
the beauties of County Wicklow, whose residents go farther, and call it
the Garden of Ireland. One may truthfully say of Wicklow, as of the
other mountainous counties of Ireland, "the more one sees of it, the
more one wants to see." Its roads for the cyclist or the automobilist
are, like the Irish character, a blend of the seducing and the bold,
corrugated and rough in places, but withal fascinating and appealing, if
only for their variety. Powerscourt, the Dargle, the Glen of the Downs,
and the Devil's Glen are the chief points of interest upon which one
first comes from Dublin. The Dargle is a wooded glen of extreme beauty,
three miles from Bray, from which a little mountain stream runs at the
bottom of the gorge, quite hidden at times in a depth of wooded bank
which must approximate three hundred feet.

Powerscourt is beautiful enough, but it is more or less of the suburban
order of attractiveness, lying as it does so near to Dublin.

The waterfall at Powerscourt is the finest in Ireland. It pours down in
a long, diagonal slope over a rocky precipice three hundred feet high.
When George IV. came to Powerscourt, the whole fall had been dammed up
on the cliff above, with the object of letting it loose when the royal
party approached, so that a fine effect might be ensured. All this
trouble and expense, however, was thrown away, as the "_First Gentleman
in Europe_" lunched so liberally at Powerscourt House that he found
himself unequal to the exertion of seeing anything of the demesne.

The Dargle is rather of the conventional order of rivulet. It is not
much of a stream at its fullest, but charmingly set in the woods, with
mountain-tops rising over the trees, and some dainty waterfalls rather
difficult to find. The four miles of road eastward to Bray are quite
worth covering to see what the Dargle develops into near the coast; and,
also, for the sake of the trim, rose-clad cottages, which here suggest
none of that state of poverty we associate so recklessly with Ireland.
One may see on the roadside notice-boards the intimation "These lands
are poisoned," and dogs, could they read, would be informed of danger to
their persons. In Ireland they advertise in the papers that they are
poisoning their lands "from this date," and no dog has any remedy
against the proprietors if he suffers in consequence

[Illustration: ENNISKERRY.]

of his illiteracy, or perhaps his meanness in not subscribing to that
particular paper.

The metropolis of the Dargle valley is Enniskerry, which sounds
interesting, and proves upon acquaintance to be so, though there is
nothing of great moment connected with its past or present.

A few miles farther inland is Naas, the latter-day importance of which
is based almost wholly upon its proximity to the race-track of the plain
of Curragh and Punchestown. Naas is a delightfully quaint old town, its
broad High Street being lined with little whitewashed houses, many of
them tumbling down after long centuries of service. It has been narrated
dolefully how Naas had once been the residence of the Kings of Leinster,
but had now fallen from its high estate.

From Naas to the Punchestown race-course is down a long and winding road
through typical Irish scenery. The land along the roadside is dotted
with little Irish cabins, with thatched roofs and whitewashed walls, and
in the low doorways are gathered old grannies and swarms of little
barelegged children. On race-days it is pretty to see these little
dwellings, each with its piece of bunting tied to the chimney-stack.

One may see also such sights as a chubby bareheaded boy with his arm
affectionately around the neck of a fine fat pig; boy and animal equally
interested in passers-by.

It does not strike one as a genuine emotion, however; but, rather, as if
it were got up for the occasion and for the delectation of the throngs
who attend this most famous of all Irish race-meets. It is quite on a
par with the flags and festoons which decorate Naas itself on these
occasions, and the legends in old Celtic and English, which the
cottagers _en route_ display. "The top of the morning to ye," "Come back
to Erin," "A hundred thousand blessings on ye," and "A real Irish
greeting" are, after all, too forced to pass current with visitors from
across channel as genuine spontaneous emotion.

On the occasion of the spring race-meeting at Punchestown, the little
town of Naas is very animated. Inside the station-yard all the morning
there is a mass of cabs and cars, which are taken by storm every time a
train arrives from Dublin, and then with their load of passengers bump,
smash, or blarney their way out. Music resounds everywhere. Even the
local police have a band. This of course greatly facilitates the
departure of the cars, for the horses of scores of them run away every
time the band strikes up.

The three miles of narrow country lanes between Naas and Punchestown are
a flying procession of cars from eight o'clock till midday, most of them
moving at a cheerful stretching gallop, while children and
race-card-sellers run gaily in and out, and English or transatlantic
visitors hold on for dear life, wondering when and where all this
recklessness will end.

The Wicklow mountains stand out in bold relief toward the east, and the
clearness of the atmosphere ensures a magnificent view of a course which
is situated in one of the finest bits of natural hunting country in the
kingdom. The enclosures of Punchestown are very "select," although a
good deal of the riffraff is wont to assemble outside. The Irish police
are extremely tolerant, and a thriving business is done in games of
hazard, which have lately been ruthlessly extinguished at Epsom and
Newmarket, in England. The roulette-table, the man with three cards,
and his comrade with the thimble and the pea are among the recognized
adjuncts of Punchestown. The country folk on the whole appear to enjoy
the "sport," and if, as is usually the case, the odds happen to be
against them, they grin and bear it with naïve good humour. The
bookmakers are a noisy, but, on the whole, an honest and withal
humourous crowd, some offering to lay a starting price at "Newmarket,
Stewmarket, or any old market,--starting price anywhere and everywhere,"
while a rival will go so far as to declare: "We pay you whether you win
or not."

On a recent occasion, when King Edward visited the Punchestown races in
state, it was even a more brilliant event than usual. Here a great
concourse of people awaited the arrival of the king and queen, and the
grand stand was closely packed with a representative assembly of Irish
aristocracy. The racing provided some very excellent sport. There were
very full fields; and, when the horses got away, there was a splendid
splash of colour, as the jockeys in all the tints of the rainbow
streamed along the emerald course.

The return from Punchestown on this occasion, as the writer has reason
to remember, was far and away a wilder nightmare than any "Derby-day
drive back to town" which could possibly be recalled. Imagine a solid,
motionless block of cars nearly a mile long, with drivers, passengers,
and police storming, threatening, and entreating, till at last a passage
is slowly forced to the little wayside station at Naas. Here the railway
officials had long ago given up the traffic problem in despair, and
every train apparently got back to Dublin, or did not get back, by the
unaided wit of the engine-driver. Yet one arrived at last, and a request
to the officials for a full return of the killed and wounded was met
with derision.

From the newspaper accounts the next morning we learned that:

"At a quarter to six, nearly half an hour late, the king and queen
arrived in Dublin, and were met by all that was left of the population.
They drove rapidly to the Viceregal Lodge, along roads crowded with
cheering humanity, and looked very much pleased with their reception."

For ourselves, after this informal procedure, we had retired to our
hotel to remove somewhat the stains of pleasure-making,--which are often
as ineradicable as those of battle,--and, after the inevitable "meat
tea" of the smaller hostelries throughout the British Isles, followed
Mr. Pepys's practice, "_and so to bed_."

Near Curragh is Monasterevan, with its ruined refuge-sanctuary, and Lea
Castle. A prominent woody eminence is Spire Hill, beyond which are the
picturesque ruins of Strongbow's Castle on the isolated rock of
Dunamase. Beyond is Maryborough and the plantations of Ballyfin, which
clothe the feet of the Slievebloom mountains, and frame the flat bogland
district. At Aghaboe, _i. e._, Ox-field House, stands the ancient abbey
founded by St. Canice in the sixth century.

Near the river Suir is a plain-fronted, square-towered edifice, known as
Loughmore Castle, and a near-by ridge with a curious notched appearance
has for its name Sliav Ailduin,--the Devil's Bit Mountain. Here is
Thurles, the scene of William Smith O'Brien's capture. Here, also,
Doctor Cullen summoned a Romish council in the mid-nineteenth century.

Within three miles of Thurles is Holy Cross, where "_the wearied O'Brien
laid down at the feet of Death's angel his cares and his crown_."

    "There sculpture her miracles lavished around,
     Until stone spoke a worship diviner than sound;
     There from matins to midnight the censers were swaying,
     And from matins to midnight the people were praying;
     As a thousand Cistercians incessantly raised
     Hosannas round shrines that with jewelry blazed.
     While the palmer from Syria--the pilgrim from Spain--
     Brought their offerings alike to the far-honoured fane;
     And in time, when the wearied O'Brien laid down
     At the feet of Death's angel his cares and his crown,
     Beside the high altar, a canopied tomb
     Shed above his remains its magnificent gloom;
     And in Holy Cross Abbey high masses were said,
     Through the lapse of long ages, for Donald the Red.
     O'er the porphyry shrine of the founder, all-riven,
     No lamps glimmer now but the cressets of heaven!"

Across the plain of Curragh is Kildare, _i. e._, Wood of Oaks, where St.
Bridget founded a nunnery, in which the vestal sisterhood guarded the
ever-burning fire, so beautifully and picturesquely alluded to by Moore:

    "Like the bright lamp that shone in Kildare's holy fane,
       And burnt through long ages of darkness and storm,
     Is the heart that deep sorrows have frowned on in vain,
       Whose spirit outlives them, unfading and warm."

This convent of St. Bridget's was founded in the fifth century, and its
perpetual fire was kept burning until the Reformation. The house where
it originally burned is still in evidence, and the cathedral castle and
round tower (130 feet in height) form a triumvirate of venerable
attractions for all.

To the northward is the Hill of Allen, once crowned, it is said, with
three royal residences belonging to the Kings of Leinster.

Wicklow Gap, Glendalough, and the Seven Churches next command attention,
as one journeys toward Wicklow town.

Glendalough is thirty miles from Dublin, locally known--and perhaps more
widely--as "The Valley of the Seven Churches." It is the _locale_ of the
legend of St. Kevin and Kathleen. The antiquarians have evolved an
elaborate thread of legend and tradition concerning

[Illustration: GLENDALOUGH.]

the founder of an ancient seat of learning here, but most of them
ultimately lost themselves in the intricacies of the web which they
wove. Moore, with all his popular and sentimental methods, gave the
story--though in this case he has tuned his lute with sadness--much more
pleasantly and lucidly, when he told of St. Kevin, who, like St.
Anthony, was tempted by the lovely Kathleen, herself so enamoured of him
that she was willing even to "lie like a dog at his feet."

These must have been trying times for St. Kevin, for, to continue
Moore's words, we learn that:

    "'Twas from Kathleen's eyes he flew,
     Eyes of most unholy blue!
     She had loved him well and long,
     Wished him hers, nor thought it wrong.
     Wheresoe'er the saint would fly,
     Still he heard her light foot nigh;
     East or west, where'er he turn'd,
     Still her eyes before him burned."

Thirteen hundred years ago, when England was still in a state of
modified barbarism, Glendalough was of great importance. It was then
that the famous churches, whose ruins still stand to-day, were built.
Nearly a thousand years ago, Glendalough had her mansions; her
treasure-houses, where the chieftains kept their stores of gold and
silver, precious stones, and armour; her famous colleges, to which came
students of high lineage from all Western Europe. It became known the
world over as a place of sacred associations, great learning, and
immense wealth. In the Dark Ages, there could be but one end to a city
possessing the last advantage, especially as it was small and easy to
besiege. After endless trouble from both Danes and English, the latter
nation finally sacked and burned the place in 1398. Glendalough never
really lifted up her head again, and is to-day but a hamlet of a few
score of cottages. "Dracolatria"--the serpent worship of the Irish
pagans--is supposed to have flourished here for ages before the founding
of the Seven Churches by St. Kevin; and various legends and traditions,
written and oral, are still current with reference to the practice.

Glendalough will endear itself to all who have not hearts of stone. St.
Kevin's ruins

[Illustration: ST. KEVIN'S KITCHEN.]

are up and down the glen, and his hermit bed still stands in the dug out
of the cliffs. That old, old cemetery of Reefert Church, with the
thorn-bushes around it, is reckoned among the unique things in Ireland
for its tomb of King O'Toole. The present cemetery, all about and within
the ruins of the "cathedral," is also characteristically Irish and
charming. There is a monument here which bears the inscription: "We
append a record, as far as obtainable, of clergymen buried in this
church," but has not a single name on it. Is this Irish humour, or is it
an indication of Irish poverty? The "oldest inhabitant" could not tell
the writer.

Hosts of other dead are commemorated in stone, and, moss-covered, the
headstones loll here at all angles, as do they elsewhere in Ireland.
Just below is St. Kevin's "kitchen," with a tower like that of the
broken, but still striking, round tower not far beyond. Formerly, it was
one of the hermit's churches (it was never a kitchen, in fact, and no
one seems to be able to explain the nomenclature); but it has now been
turned into a little museum of decidedly commonplace attractions.

In the church, the "lady-church" of this group of churches, is the
reputed burial-place of St. Kevin.

As might be expected, no memorial exists of the holy man but the walls
of this tiny church, if even they have genuinely survived his
epoch,--the sixth and seventh centuries. No indications point to the
exact resting-place of his bones, and the most that is known is that he
died at Glendalough in 618 A. D. at the advanced age of 102. "And that
is a doubtful fact," says the local cicerone.

Wicklow itself is a picturesque crescent-shaped coast town. Its name is
borne by the Gap at Glendalough, the county, and that famous headland
which juts out into St. George's Channel, as only a few promontories do
outside the school geographies.

The ancient Irish called it Gill-Mantain; but, when it fell before the
onrush of the Danes, its name was changed to Wykinlo. The chief
architectural remains are those of a Franciscan friary of the reign of
Henry III., and an Anglo-Norman castle completed in the fourteenth
century. Between Wicklow and

[Illustration: THE VALE OF AVOCA.]

Arklow lies the celebrated Vale of Avoca. It has been made immortal by
the poet Moore; but, though its fame is well deserved, and it is a spot
beloved by all who have ever seen it, it is in reality no more beautiful
than other similar spots elsewhere.

The Vale of Avoca shares with Killarney, Blarney Castle, and the Giant's
Causeway a popularity which is not equalled by any other of the beauties
of Ireland. Here "in this most pleasant vale," where the Avonbeg joins
the Avonmore, is the "Meeting of the Waters." Moore lavished his
choicest phraseology upon its charms; and tourists--since there have
been tourists--have devotedly stood by, book in hand, and attempted to
fit in the poet's words with each tree and stone and rivulet. For the
most part they have not been successful; and the words the poet sung--

    "There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet
     As the vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet.
     Oh! the last rays of feeling and life must depart,
     Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart.

           *       *       *       *       *

    "Sweet vale of Avoca! how calm could I rest
     In thy bosom of shade with the friends I love best,
     Where the storms that we feel in this cold world should cease
     And our hearts, like the waters, be mingled in peace "--

might quite as readily have applied to any other spot as fair.

It will never do to disparage Moore's poetry, and least of all in a
chronicle of Irish experiences; but, once and again, an idol does really
shatter itself, or at least totters unsteadily on its base; and when one
has made the round of all Ireland's fairest beauties, and heard Moore's
melodies dinned into his ears by importunate touts and mendicants
without number, the sentiment is apt to grow thin, and sooner or later
the soul rebels. At this point, then, the author's patience gave out,
and so he records his mood, however unseemly it may otherwise appear.

It is indeed a pretty valley, strangely pretty, if you like; and one can
hardly remain unmoved and unemotional before its expanse of green, its
oaks and beeches, its rocks and rills, its ivies, and more than all else
its sunsets. But when one has said with Prince Puckler Muskau--that
much-quoted royal German so


useful to makers of guide-books--that it is all "exquisitely beautiful,"
one has said the first and the last word on the subject. It should be
visited and seen in all its beauties; but the experience will not awaken
in the hearts of many the emotions which we may presume Moore felt.

Near by is Avondale, the former home of Charles Stewart Parnell. Where
the Avonbeg unites with the Avonmore is formed "The Meeting of the
Waters." Many painters have limned its beauties; and, like Killarney,
Loch Katrine, and Richmond Vale, on the Thames, replicas of its charms
used years ago to find their way in the "table books of art" and
"Treasuries," with which our parents and grandparents used to decorate a
small table set before the front window of the parlour.

The part played by the Norman invasion of Ireland has been neglected and
overlooked by many in favour of that more portentous invasion of

In Ireland the Normans first landed in a little creek on Bannon Bay on
the Wexford coast. The advance-guard was composed of thirty knights,
sixty men in armour, and three hundred foot-soldiery, under Robert
Fitzstephen. This brought on the siege of Wexford, of which the annals,
as well as the many remains of ruined castles and churches founded by
the invaders, tell.

All this ancient history pales, in the minds of the native bar-parlour
frequenters one meets in these parts, before the more vivid, or at least
more readily recollected "_little affair_" of Vinegar Hill and "the Men
of '98," the site of which, with Enniscorthy, lies just to the
northward. A half-century ago historians wrote of this as a "matter yet
fresh in the memory of living men," and the great rebellion--so great at
least to Ireland--has been dealt with by writers of all shades of
opinion _ad infinitum_. Even the music-hall songs have perpetuated the
belligerent aspect of the inhabitants of Enniscorthy, to say nothing of
Killaloe. Nevertheless, the incident of the Norman invasion of Ireland,
and the parts played therein by Fitzgerald, Diarmid, the traitorous
M'Murrogh, Roderick, Strongbow the Dane, and Prendergast,--named in
Irish history as "the faithful Norman,"--presents an inextricable tangle
of creeds and races which requires a singularly astute historian to
place in line.

It is now seven hundred years since the name of Prendergast was linked
with honour and chivalry in Ireland; but something of his earnestness
and spirit still lives amongst those who bear his name, if we may judge
from the tenor of a modern work by one Prendergast, entitled "The
Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland."

Aubrey de Vere, in his "Lyrical Chronicle of Ireland," has emblazoned
Prendergast's valour in verse:


    "Praise to the valiant and faithful foe!
       Give us noble foes, not the friend who lies!
     We dread the drugged cup, not the open blow:
       We dread the old hate in the new disguise.

    "To Ossory's king they had pledged their word.
       He stood in their camp, and their pledge they broke;
     Then Maurice the Norman upraised his sword;
       The cross on its hilt he kiss'd, and spoke:

    "'So long as this sword or this arm hath might,
       I swear by the cross which is lord of all,
     By the faith and honour of noble and knight,
       Who touches you, prince, by this hand shall fall!'

    "So side by side through the throng they pass'd;
       And Eire gave praise to the just and true.
     Brave foe! the past truth heals at last:
       There is room in the great heart of Eire for you!"

Round the coast from Wexford to Waterford one passes the famous Tuskar
lighthouse, which, with the Saltee light-vessel, thirty miles to the
southward, and Carnsore Point, which lies between, forms the
turning-point--or the corner which must be rounded--of the vast
sea-borne traffic bound up the St. George's Channel from the Atlantic.

The chief historical monument of Waterford, with the exception of the
reconstructed castle and Ballinakil House, the last halting-place of the
fleeing Stuart king, is a squat circular building known as "Reginald's
Tower." It sits close to the quayside, and is by far the most notable
landmark, viewed from either sea or land, which the city possesses. Its
erection is credited to Reginald, the Dane, some nine hundred and odd
years ago. Kingsley, in "Hereward the Wake," weaves much of romance
around its sturdy walls.

In 1171, when Strongbow and Raymond le Gros took Waterford, it was
inhabited by

[Illustration: _Reginald's Tower: Waterford_]


Danes, who, with the exception of the prince of the Danes and a few
others, were put to death. It was here that Earl Strongbow was married
to Eva, daughter of the King of Leinster; and here, too, that Henry II.
first landed in Ireland to take possession of the country which had been
granted to him by the bull of Pope Adrian.

Near Waterford is Dungarvan, once a fishing-town of considerable
importance. Its fishermen were bold, and went far out to sea, for it was
a Dungarvan man who was captured and made to act as pilot by the
corsairs of Algiers, who sacked the town of Baltimore, close to Cape
Clear, in 1631, when all the inhabitants were killed or carried off into
slavery. A curious page of the Irish history, and one which reads more
like romantic legend than fact. This man's name was Hackett, and the
story tells that his service to the Algerians was repaid, by his
outraged countrymen, with the halter.

Between Cork--with its poetic associations of the Shandon Bells, the
river Lee, and of Blarney Castle--and the glens and vales of Wicklow,
there is no spot to equal in picturesqueness and romantic environment
the celebrated valley of the Blackwater, which, forming a broad estuary,
mingles with the waters of the Atlantic at Youghal Harbour. The great
beauties of the Blackwater only unfold themselves as one ascends the
stream some twenty miles above Youghal, but the whole lower river has a
placid charm which is quite inexplicable.

For what is Youghal famous, say the untravelled? In matters Irish, for
many things, but the most lively interest is awakened by the
recollection of Myrtle Grove, the one-time residence of Sir Walter
Raleigh, Governor of the Virginia Colony in the New World, who, though
he had never been there, is popularly supposed to have introduced its
tobacco into Great Britain. As a matter of fact, he did not, but some
one of his understudies did; and it was at Myrtle Grove that his servant
sought to save him from incineration by deluging him with water while he
was smoking his favourite pipe. There is doubtless somewhat of legend
about this; and the incident has been worn threadbare in its use by an
enterprising firm of tobacco manufacturers; but, since Myrtle


Grove really exists, and Raleigh really lived there, there is some
excuse for it.

It was here, too that the potato, since become a too staple article of
diet, was first introduced to Irish soil.

Truly Raleigh is entitled to a reputation as a true benefactor of the
race exceeding that due to his reputed chivalry to Queen Elizabeth.
Without potatoes and tobacco, what might not have happened to the
British race long before now?



If Lismore is the most celebrated and stately of Irish castles,
Kilkenny, at least, comes more nearly to the popular conception of the
feudal stronghold of the romancers and poets, and, withal, it is
historic and is second in preeminence, only, to any other in the land.

Kilkenny itself is an ancient city, and it is something of a city as the
minor centres of population go. "Does it not contain," says the proud
inhabitant, "nearly fifteen thousand souls?" It does, indeed, but it is
more justly famous for its archæological remains than for its
manufactures of woollens, which formerly was great.

Probably the most novel impression the stranger will get of Kilkenny
will be that which he gains at the annual agricultural show or fair,
when the effect produced by the cheering of the crowds will sound
unlike anything ever heard elsewhere. It is a fact that this cheering is
peculiar to Kilkenny. These are no hurrahs of the ordinary British kind,
but every time the feelings of the people find a vent, a long, shrill
wail resounds over the fields, rising and falling, at its loudest, like
the shriek of a steamer's siren, and, when more subdued, like the
moaning of a winter wind. Perhaps this is the modern descendant of the
banshee's wail.

The history of the modern political and social events which took place
at Kilkenny, in times past, make curious and interesting reading. Many
"parliaments" were held here, and, in 1367, one of them ordained that
death should be the punishment of any Englishman who married an
Irishwoman. This was manifestly bigoted, uncharitable, and unkind, and
no wonder that here, and elsewhere in Ireland, English domination has so
often been reviled.

Its most famous and important political function took place in 1642,
when was held the Rebel, or Roman Catholic, Parliament, which gave to
Kilkenny the name of "The City of Confederation," though the same act
culminated in its siege by Cromwell, and its ultimate downfall into the
hands of "the Protector." The outcome of all this to-day has been the
indissoluble endearment of Kilkenny to all Irishmen of "the faith."

The history of Kilkenny's famous castle is more acceptable to those who
love Ireland in a familiar way. It is famous, some one has already said,
as being "one of the few places where Cromwell treated an Irish
gentleman politely."

The chronology of this stronghold of the middle ages--still the seat of
the Marquis of Ormonde, the founder of whose ancestors, Theobald
FitzWalter, was one of the retinue of Henry II.--is as follows:

It was built in 1195 on the site of a former edifice, erected by
Strongbow in 1172. Donald O'Brien destroyed it in the following year,
but again it took form as the ancestral home of a race of men whose
members have all figured more or less prominently in Irish annals since
the coming of the Normans.

It is one of the most ancient habitable buildings in the land, and also
one of the most picturesque. Its massive gray towers and ivy-grown walls
stand high upon a natural rampart

[Illustration: KILKENNY CASTLE.]

and overlook the slow-drifting river. The old stone bridge that spans
this river here mayhap was often crossed by Congreve and Swift on their
way to school in the city. Above, the castle rises boldly against the
wistful blue of Irish skies, while at night it looks like a true palace
of enchantment when the moon rises beyond its turrets and towers, and
throws indistinct, distorted, and mysterious shadows on the river's
surface. One feels a sense of complete repose,--but a repose that is
interrupted by the occasional shriek of a locomotive, the drowsy bell of
some convent, or the sharp notes of a military bugle.

A later Theobald became the sixth Butler of Ireland, and was made the
Earl of Carrick. His son was created Earl of Ormonde, and married
Eleanor de Bohun, the granddaughter of Edward I.

The second earl, James, became known as "the Noble Earl," from being the
great grandson of Edward I., and became Lord Chief Justice of Ireland,
and he it was, the second earl of the house of Ormonde,--the direct
ancestor of the present marquis,--who, in 1391, acquired the castle
from another branch, which had sprung from Theobald FitzWalter.

The Ormondes were a true race of noblemen, as history tells, although
their story is too elaborate to chronicle completely here.

The fourth earl, it is said,--by tradition, of course, and in this case
quite unsupported,--was favoured by the sun's having remained stationary
in its course long enough for him to have achieved a victory over a
hereditary enemy.

The fifth earl became Lord High Treasurer of England, but was
unfortunately beheaded, so his career did not end exactly gloriously.
The sixth earl was smitten by the fervour of the Crusades and died in
Jerusalem, and one of the daughters of the seventh earl married Sir
William Boleyn and became the mother of the unfortunate Queen Anne, and
grandmother of Elizabeth.

One of the most famous men of the line was James, the twelfth earl, who,
for services to Charles I., was created a marquis and raised to a
dukedom by Charles II. Bishop Burnett states that "He was of graceful
appearance, a lively wit, and a cheerful temper; a man of great
expense, but decent even in his vices, for he always kept up the forms
of religion; too faithful not to give always good advice, but, when bad
ones were followed, too complaisant to be any great complainer." For
thirty years he was Chief Governor and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, when
he incurred the hatred of a bold rascal, Thomas Blood, the son of a
black-smith, and a staunch supporter of Cromwell. After the Restoration
even, Blood plotted against royalty, one of his schemes being to
surprise Dublin Castle and to seize the lord lieutenant. This plot was
discovered, and Blood managed to escape, though his accomplices were
hanged. Blood swore that he who ordered their execution should share
their fate. A price was set upon the scoundrel's head, but he came to
London, and set about his vengeance on the Duke of Ormonde.

The Earl of Ossory, the duke's son, joined the invading forces of
William of Orange, fought for him at the Battle of the Boyne, and
entertained him sumptuously at Kilkenny Castle. Later, he became a
favourite of Queen Anne, and succeeded Marlborough as commander-in-chief
of the land forces of Great Britain. Suspected of plotting for the
Stuarts, he was attainted, his estates confiscated, his honours
extinguished, and a price set upon his head by the Parliament of George

The titles being extinguished, the earl's brother was allowed to
purchase Kilkenny Castle; but neither he nor his heirs and successors
assumed the titles until 1791, when the Irish Parliament decided that
the Irish Act of Attainder affected estates only, and not Irish titles,
though the English attainder included the loss of both. The Earldom of
Ormonde, a purely Irish title, was therefore restored to John Butler,
who became seventeenth in the line. The rank due to earls' daughters was
allowed to his sisters, of whom Lady Eleanor became famous as one of the
eccentric recluses known as the Ladies of Llangollen. The eighteenth
earl was created a marquis in 1816.

A writer in a recent review recounts a visit to Kilkenny Castle which
presents a wealth of detail that makes interesting reading for the
inquisitive. Among other things, she says,--assuredly it was a person of
the feminine persuasion who wrote:

"In the evening there was a great reception at the castle of the county
gentry, about four hundred ladies and gentlemen being included. If the
castle was picturesque in the day, it was doubly so at night. The town
itself was illuminated by countless fairy lamps, which marked the lines
of the streets with points of light, and outlined the old stone bridges
which cross the little river Nore, and--as it should--the full moon rose
in a sapphire sky behind the castle, whose shadow fell softly upon the
placid mirror of the water below, and the pale moonlight gleamed upon
the white houses and walls of the lower town. Every hotel and inn--and
there are many from some unexplained reason--was crowded with guests
invited to the castle, while in the doorways one caught glimpses of
officers in uniform and levee dress, and women in white gowns with
jewels that flashed in the lamplight, waiting for their carriages and
coaches to convey them to the castle entrance. Many of their vehicles
were of strange archaic shape, and might have done service in Kilkenny
when William the Silent was the guest of another Lord Ormonde in the
days of long ago. The streets were crowded with Kilkenny folk in quaint
old-world garments,--men in broad-brimmed, low-crowned hats, gray
breeches, and stockings, and others with leaden buckles; women with
shawls over their heads; here and there a monk in brown habit with rope
girdle, and groups of soldiers.

"Meanwhile, at the castle a brilliant scene was taking place in the long
picture-gallery, with its priceless paintings by old masters, where the
guests were being received. In the adjoining dining-room, glowing in the
candlelight, gleamed the wonderful and historic gold plate of Kilkenny
Castle, estimated to be worth a million and a quarter sterling.

"It was much after midnight before the guests left the castle, and far
into the early hours the city of Kilkenny was noisy with the merriment
of its citizens, who were loath to end a day that will be long
remembered in their history."

The above account is quoted here because it seems, to the writer, to
present in a few words the conventionalities of the occasion in a frame
of picturesqueness and environment which similar functions "in town"
lack in almost every way.


Certainly, convention is robbed of half its banality and insincerity
under such conditions, and, though most of us know it only in costume
novels, sword-and-cloak dramas, and comic-opera settings, it is
pleasurable to know that such things do really exist to-day.

In our day, Kilkenny Castle has been repaired, preserved, and restored,
as was its due, but with that paternal care and affection which would
not allow a child to be ill or inappropriately dressed. The adaptations
and modernizations have not discounted its grand towers, battlements,
and bastions, and though, chiefly, it is a modern building which
contains the greater part of the domestic establishment of the present
Marquis of Ormonde, the three massive central towers stand to-day
practically unaltered as to their walls.

In every way the castle suggests Spenser's epithet, "Faire Kilkenny."
Its picture-gallery reputedly contains the best private collection in
Ireland,--portraits by Holbein, Lely, Van Dyck, Kneller, and Sir Joshua,
of men who have illustrated those tragedies of history which, with time,
have assumed the rich colouring of romance. Their curious watchful eyes
have scanned royal guests; indeed, more than one of that now silent
company have intermarried with the scions of royalty.

In Kilkenny itself--though, for that matter, the castle abuts upon the
Market Place--is the Cathedral of St. Canice, founded about 1180, which
is the gem of Kilkenny's architectural remains. It is a cruciform church
in plain, simple Gothic style, small but stately, and has in its
collection of monuments the most varied and rich in Ireland. It also
possesses the "Chair of St. Kieran." Both the east and the west windows
are notable, and there is a well-preserved round tower over one hundred
feet high at the corner of the south transept.

St. John's (thirteenth century), with some beautiful windows; St.
Mary's, older even than the cathedral; the Black Abbey; the Franciscan
Friary; and the modern Roman Catholic Cathedral complete the galaxy of
ecclesiastical monuments of Kilkenny.

The Blackwater River is called by the guide-books one of the largest in
Ireland. The description is, however, misleading. It is neither a very
great river, a very long one, nor a very

[Illustration: RHINCREW CASTLE.]

important one in the world of commerce; but it is, truly, a romantic and
picturesque one.

Its panorama presents the following views, which are highly important
and interesting:

Just above the bridge on Youghal quay (Youghal derives its name from
yew-wood) rises a cliff which is surmounted by a ruined Knights
Templars' preceptory, known as Rhincrew Castle and founded by Raymond le
Gros in 1183. Ardsallat follows; and the square castle keep of Temple
Michael, one of the ancient fortresses of the Geraldines, is near

On the island of Molana are the ruins of the Abbey of Molanfidas, a most
ancient institution, founded by St. Fachman in 501. Raymond le Gros is
claimed to have been buried here, but no definite trace of the exact
location appears to be known.

Northward and westerly, to its source near Killarney, the
Blackwater--most picturesquely and significantly named--is a unique
succession of attractions such as is lacked by most streams of its size.
Strancally Castle is now but a moss-grown rock; but it possesses a
traditional tale of horror, which gives the waters at this point the
name of "The Murdering Hole." The Knockmeledown Mountains, a bare, bleak
range, stand out to the northward in strong contrast to the fertile

Dromona Castle, in part a modern structure, which abuts upon a more
ancient structure, is the remains of an old castle of the Fitzgeralds.
This ancient building was the birthplace of the Countess Catherine
Desmond, who died only, at the age of 140 years, by reason of having
fallen from a cherry-tree. It is not recorded as to how or why this
sprightly old lady came to be in, or up, a cherry-tree on that fatal
occasion, but Sir Walter Raleigh is blamed for the whole affair, in that
he first domesticated the cherry-tree in Ireland, having brought the
first member of that family from Grand Canary and replanted it near by.

At the bend of the river, where it turns sharply to the westward, the
steamboat journey of the tourist comes abruptly to an end at the most
lovely and interesting of all the kaleidoscopic views which it
exhibits,--the little town of Cappoquin. Cappoquin is a quaint townlet
of perhaps a thousand souls and a

[Illustration: CAPPOQUIN.]

single inn, and high above it rises the long ridge of Mount Melleray,
capped, in its turn, by a Trappist convent, which carries on an
industrial enterprise of the first rank.

The Abbey of Mount Melleray lies at the foot of the Knockmeledowns, and
is an institution traditionally celebrated as being the domicile of the
most severe and rigorous monkish discipline; unequalled elsewhere in any
land. The monks are, by their rules, vegetarians, and they observe the
rule punctiliously. They drink no stimulants, not even tea,--which is
probably a good thing,--and five or six hours' sleep suffices for their
resting moments. The rest is work, incessant and laborious, and,
greatest hardship of all,--at least it will seem so to many of us,--is
that they preserve a "discreet and wholesome silence" at all times, this
rule being only relaxed in their necessary intercourse with visitors and
the outside world. Of course, this procedure does not differ greatly
from the general practice in the monasteries of the Trappists elsewhere,
except that it is more punctiliously observed here.

The abbey was originally a foundation of the Cistercian monks, who were
driven from France by the Revolution of 1830; but to-day it is peopled
by natives of Ireland.

In all this region, no castle, country-seat, abbey, or church is more
famous or splendid than Lismore Castle, another foundation of the Earl
of Montaigne, afterward King John of England (1185). It is to-day the
Irish home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Lismore Castle is one
of the most beautiful seats in all Ireland. It has even been mentioned,
among the people here, as a prospective royal residence, though, like
enough, this is not to be taken as anything more than irresponsible
gossip, based on a wish that is father to the thought. It has been in
the possession of the Cavendish family since 1748, and the Duke and
Duchess of Devonshire spend some time every year in residence here in
the midst of their Irish tenantry. Royalty has frequently visited
Lismore Castle. It was an ancient fortress, and dates back to the days
of King John. It has been the scene of many a hard-fought fight,
especially in the wars of the Commonwealth, when Lord Castlehaven
captured it from the Roundheads in 1645. The

[Illustration: LISMORE CASTLE.]

present Duke of Devonshire and his predecessor have modernized the
castle and equipped it with interior luxuries without interfering in any
way with its noble and hoary exterior.

Lismore is in the very heart of the Blackwater country, amid some of the
most lovely scenery in the south of Ireland. Through Lismore Glen, where
the woods are thick on either side and the road is canopied over with
the spreading green foliage, one enters the Gap, a famous pass in the
Knockmeledown Mountains, where the hills rise on one side to frowning
heights, crowned in the gold of the gorse, which gives an additional
glory to the land, and, on the other side, fall sheer down in an almost
precipitous steep, across which there is a vast and enchanting view over
the rolling plains of Tipperary. As one passes through the Gap, either
on a car or coach, or on foot, the sun streams down with dazzling
brightness, and the little villages and townships, the tapering spires,
the tall watch-towers of antiquity, the whitewashed cottages, and gray
stone houses, standing solitary on green fields, the ranges of purple
hills, and the clumps of woods are all suffused with the yellow
mellowing glow of a glorious summer sun.

To all who visit the Blackwater, Lismore should be doubly dear; first,
because of its being a fine example of the fortified domestic Gothic
architecture of its time, and, secondly, because its present occupant is
generous enough to open its interior to view.

A MS. of very ancient date was recently discovered by some workmen
repairing the older portion of the castle. It is a most precious work on
vellum, recounting contemporary history in a manner which classes it as
one of the famous chronicles of English history, worthy, perhaps, to
rank with Froissart, Doomsday, and St. Albans. It is known as the "Book
of Lismore," and is now considered one of the chief treasures of the

One leaves Lismore with a certain feeling of sadness, if he is observant
and studies the straws and the winds.

Not many years ago the long mountain road, which runs from Lismore to
the Knockmeledown Mountains, had four or five little hamlets dotted
along it; to-day scarcely one house remains, and hardly a sign of life,
except a few sheep snatching at the precarious grazing. Of the 42,000
acres belonging to the Duke of Devonshire, only half are under
cultivation, and this is a very large proportion compared to the rest of
the surrounding estates.

Lismore, the town, has itself shrunk considerably during the past few
years. The aching desolation of it all gets on one's nerves after a
time, and, during a sojourn in this beautiful region, admiration of the
scenery is mingled with wonder as to whether nothing can or ever will be
done to brighten the mournful economic aspect of the agrarian situation.

Irish names have often a knack of being frankly pugnacious, so that even
a peaceful lord chief justice has had to bear the inciting-to-murder
sobriquet of Killowen. But the mountains, which form the background to
Lismore and Clogheen, the Knockmeledowns, are capable of an entirely
pacific interpretation. Commonly one says, "We are knocked down all in a
heap" by this or that which takes us by surprise, and these mountains
surprise all by their beauty. There is no lovelier sight in Ireland,
and, if an air of melancholy prevails, it is because the scene is
"somehow sad by excess of serenity," to quote a recent phrase of Mr.
Henry James, concerning a similar aspect elsewhere.

Between Lismore and Cork, _via_ Mallow, is Mitchelstown, which presents
an unusual series of attractions of the purely sentimental order.
Mitchelstown's Castle, Skereenarint (a "place for dancing in the wood"),
and the Caves of Coolagarranroe are the chief points of interest. It is
also the seat of an ancient bishopric, founded by St. Carthage in the
seventh century.

Health-giving and time-honoured Mallow, famed of Tacitus (Hist., lib.
i., c. 67) as the _locus amoens salubrium aquarium frequens_, is hardly
of great moment for the traveller of to-day, except as the gateway from
the north to Killarney.

Just north of Mallow, in the County Cork, is the rushing river Awbeg,
the "Mulla bright and fair," "Mulla mine," of Spenser. The poet himself
lived at Kilcoman Castle, some six miles off.

Near by is Buttevant, the Boutez-en-Avant, derived from the war-cry of
David de Barry. Significantly and strongly French, it reminds one of
the "Push forward" manoeuvre of Barry's men against the followers of
MacCarthy. The old name of this place was Kilnamullach, _i. e._, Church
of the Curse. The abbey in ruins reminds one that it was--

                        "Once the seat
     Of monkish ease and dark religious pomp:
     There many an antique monument is found
     Illegible and faithless to its charge."

    "That, deep insculped, once held in measured phrase
     The mighty deeds of those who sleep below,
     Of hero, sage or saint, whose pious hands--"

Cashel, known as "Cashel of the Kings," was the residence of the ancient
Kings of Ulster. The famous rock of Cashel is an eminence which rises
abruptly above the surrounding plain, and holds upon its summit a grand
assemblage of windowless and roofless ruins. These include various
ecclesiastical buildings and monuments of a great age,--a cathedral,
Cormac's Chapel, an episcopal palace, and various other edifices.
Cormac's Chapel and its round tower, commemorating the virtues of Cormac
MacCullinan, "at once King and Archbishop of Cashel," are justly
reckoned as among the best preserved and most curious erections in the
country. In that they were supposed to have been erected in Cormac's
time (he was born in 831), they certainly must be considered as in a
remarkable state of preservation, and, in every way, chronicles in stone
of the first importance.

Cormac has ascribed to his credit, too, the celebrated "Psalter of
Cashel" and "Cormac's Glossary," though there appears to be some doubt
as to whether he was the author or patron who inspired the production of
these works.

The "pointed" cathedral is of later date, and was, in part, destroyed by
fire in 1495. To-day it is a ruin, but a magnificent one, and its
outlines and proportions mark it as an important landmark for miles
around the great plain which surrounds "the rock."

The round tower's exact history is obscure; but, like most of its
fellows, it is of undoubted Christian significance. Twenty feet from the
ground, it is connected with the cathedral itself, while its completed
height rises ninety feet or more. Curiously enough, it is constructed
from quite a different stone from that

[Illustration: _The Cross of Cashel_]

used in the other buildings on the rock, and the supposition is that it
stood for centuries, silent and solitary, before the cathedral itself
took form, and perhaps before even Cormac's Chapel. The Cross of Cashel
is another celebrated feature of artistic and historical worth.

The "rock" was originally surrounded by a wall, which, though now gone
nearly to ruin, gives indications of great strength. In 1647 it was
stormed by Lord Inchquin, who took it and put to death the clergy who
had taken refuge thereon.



Achill, 27, 34.

Adamnan, St., 135.

Addison, 196.

Adrian II., 39, 77, 237.

Aghaboe, 214.

Ailech, Palace of, 111.

Albin, 119.

Angus of Dalriada, 139.

Angus Oge, 146.

Anne, Queen, 249.

Antrim, 45, 138, 139, 147, 148, 152, 153.

Arbogast, 119.

Ardfert, 127.

Ardora, 168.

Ardsallat, 259.

Arklow, 227.

Armagh, 111, 127, 186, 187.

Arran, 154.

Athlone, 31.

Attacotti Rebellion, The, 138.

Avoca (see Vale of Avoca).

Avonbeg, The, 227, 231.

Avondale, 231.

Avonmore, The, 227, 231.

Awbeg, The, 270.

Balbriggan, 163.

Ballach, Donald, 151.

Ballinakil House, Waterford, 234.

Ballintra, 168, 259.

Ballycastle, 137, 151.

Ballyfin, 214.

Ballymena, 164.

Ballyshannon, Falls of, 160.

Balrothery, 187.

Baltimore, 171, 237.

Banagher, 31.

Bann of Coleraine, The, 153.

Bannon Bay, 231.

Bantry Bay, 23, 27.

Barry, David de, 270-271.

Battle of the Boyne, 249.

Bearhaven, 171.

Belfast, 20, 28, 45, 89, 164, 168.

Belleek, 164.

Berkeley, Lord, 201.

Blackwater, The, 238, 256-268.

Blarney Castle, 10, 19, 90, 102, 227, 237.

Blarney Stone, The (see Blarney Castle).

Blood, Thomas, 249.

Bloody Forehead, The, 90.

Boleyn, Anne, 248.

Boru, Brian (see Brian Born).

Bray, 183, 204, 205, 206.

Breakspeare, Nicholas (see Adrian II.).

Brian Bora, 67, 111, 185-187.

Bridget, St., 215-216.

Brigid, St., 135.

Bun-na-Margie Abbey, 152.

Burke, Edmund, 195-196, 197.

Burke, Thomas, 179.

Burnett, Bishop, 248.

Buttevant, 270.

Bysett, Margery, 147, 151.

Canice, St., 142.

Cape Clear, 237.

Cappoquin, 260.

Carlow, 45.

Carrickfergus, 140.

Carrickmacross, 168.

Carrick-on-Suir, 160.

Cashel, 27-275.
  Cathedral, 127, 128, 271-275
  Cormac's Chapel, 271, 275.
  Cross, 275.
  Psalter, 272.
  Rock, 271-275.

Castlehaven, Lord, 264.

Castleknock, 187.

Castlerea, 61.

Castlereagh, 147, 148.

Cathanach, Shane, 152.

Cavendish, Lord Frederick, 179.

Caves of Coolagarranroe, 270.

Celbridge, 193.

Charles I., 248.

Charles II., 248.

Cinbaeth the First, 110.

Clannaboy, 148.

Clare Mountains, 31.

Clements, 119.

Clifden, 23.

Clogheen, 269.

Clondalkin, 179.

Clones, 168.

Clonfert, 127, 131.

Clonmacnoise, 31.

Clonmell, 160.

Clontarf, 181, 182, 185-187.
  Castle, 187.

Cloomaul, 62.

Cloyne, 128.

Coleraine, 153, 164.

Colla Uaish, 139.

Columba, St., 119, 121, 140-144.

Comyn, Archbishop of Dublin, 192.

Conact, 111.

Congal, 121.

Congreve, 197, 247.

Conighal, 142.

Conn of Tyrone, 152.

Connaught, 22, 79-80.

Connemara, 22, 23, 27, 168.

Coolock, 187.

Corc, King of Munster, 186.

Cork, 4, 19, 24, 27, 45, 46, 80, 90, 168, 237, 270.
  Cathedral, 126.

Cormac, 271-275.

Corran of Larne, The, 153.

Crommelin, 167.

Cromwell, 153, 164, 193, 233, 243-244

Crosshaven, 168.

Cruachan, Palace of, 111.

Cuchullain, 137.

Cullen, Dr., 214.

Curragh, 209, 214, 215.

Dagans, St., 135.

Dalkey, 21, 168, 183.

Dalriada, 139, 153.

Damliag, 186.

Dargle, The, 205, 206, 209.

De Freyne, 61.

Derdrie, 151.

Derry (see Londonderry).

Derry, County, 146.

Devil's Bit Mountain, 214.

Devil's Glen, 205.

Devonshire, Dukes of, 264-267, 269.

Diarmid, 232.

Donatus, Bishop, 191.

Donegal, 24, 28, 111, 151, 168.

Down, 127, 183.

Downpatrick Cathedral, 131.

Dromod, 31.

Dromona Castle, 260.

Dublin, 7, 19, 21, 22, 27, 28, 34,
   79, 86, 95, 148, 160, 163, 168,
   176-205, 210, 213, 216.
  Bank of Ireland, 198.
  Bermingham Tower, 198.
  Castle, The, 151, 198, 249.
  Christchurch Cathedral, 127, 191-192.
  Comyn, Archbishop, 192.
  Cork Hill, 198.
  "Fifteen Acres," 179.
  Hoey's Court, 202.
  Liffey, The (see Liffey).
  Luke, Archbishop, 185.
  National Gallery, 198.
  Phoenix Park, 176, 179, 190.
  Police Force, 189-190.
  Sackville St., 198.
  St. Fichan, Church of, 194.
  St. Patrick de Insula, Church of, 192.
  St. Patrick's Cathedral, 126, 127, 192-194, 202.
  Trinity College, 197.
  Viceregal Lodge, 179.

Duleck, 186.

Dunamase, 214.

Dunanynie Castle, 151, 152.

Dungarvan, 237.

Dunleary (see Kingstown).

Dunluce Castle, 151, 152.

Edgeworth, Miss, 72.

Edward I., 247.

Edward VII., 212-213.

Elizabeth, Queen, 184, 197, 198, 241, 248.

Emania (and Palace of), 110, 111, 139.

Enniscorthy, 232.

Enniskerry, 209.

Fachman, St., 259.

Fair Head, 137.

"Faithful Norman, The," 233-234.

Fergus of Dalriada, 139.

Fermanagh, 154.

Fitzgeralds, The, 260.

Fitzstephen, Robert, 232.

FitzWalter, Theobald, 244, 248.

Galway, 27, 31, 34, 79, 136.

Garryhill, 168.

George I., 250.

George IV., 181, 205-206.

Geraldines, The, 259.

Giant's Causeway, 10, 19, 28, 146, 227.

Gildas, 135.

Gill-Mantain (see Wicklow).

Glen of the Downs, 205.

Glendalough, 216-224.

Glengarriff, 27.

Glens of Antrim, The (see Antrim).

Goldsmith, 72, 130, 197.

Granuaile _or_ Grana Uile (see O'Malley, Grace).

Greenore, 20, 28.

Guinness Family, 193.

Hackett, 237.

Henry II., 38, 77, 237, 244.

Henry III., 224.

Henry VII., 78.

Henry VIII., 78, 197.

Hill of Allen, 216.

Holy Cross, 215.

Howth, 181, 183-185.
  Castle of, 183-185.
  Earls of, 183.
  Hill of, 21, 181-183, 203.
  St. Mary's Abbey, 185.

Inchquin, Lord, 275.

Innishowen Head, 141.

Innismurray, 154.

Ireland's Eye, 83.

James II., 191, 193.

James, Henry, 270.

John, King, 77, 264.

Johnson, Dr., 37.

Johnson, Esther ("Stella"), 194, 202.

Keating, 102.

Kells, 110.
  Book of Kells, The, 110, 197.
  Monastery of Kells, The, 143.

Kenbane Castle, 151.

Kerry, County, 27, 172.

Kevin, St., 216-224.

Kilcoman Castle, 270.

Kildare, 215-216.
  Cathedral, 127.

Kilkenny, 142, 242-244, 251-252, 256.
  Castle, 242, 244-256.
  Cathedrals of St. Canice, 126, 127, 142, 256.
  The Churches of, 256.

Killala Cathedral, 131.

Killaloe, 28, 31, 232.
  Cathedral, 127, 128.

Killarney, 15, 19, 23, 24, 27, 31, 34, 58, 80,
   90, 160, 227, 231, 259, 270.

Killiny Hill, 203.

Killowen, 269.

Kilmacduagh Cathedral, 131.

Kilmainham, 87.

Kilnamullach, 271.

Kincora, Palace of, 67, 111, 185.

Kingstown, 7, 20, 180-181, 183, 203, 204.

Kinsale, 168, 171.

Knockmeledown Mountains, 260, 263, 267, 268, 269-270.

Krans, Horatio, 71-72.

Lambay Island, 183.

Laracor, 201.

Larne, 20, 28, 153.

Lea Castle, 214.

Lee, The, 237.

Leinster, 22, 79, 209, 216, 237.

Leixlip, 182.

Lever, Charles, 72.

Liffey, The, 19, 179, 187, 203.
  Falls of, 180.

Limerick, 27, 31, 45, 156, 168, 172.
  Cathedral, 127.

Lisburn, 164, 167.

Lismore, 267, 269, 270.
  Book of Lismore, 268.
  Castle, 242, 264-268.
  Cathedral, 128.
  Gap, 267.
  Glen, 267.

Loarn of Dalriada, 139.

Londonderry, 3, 45, 90, 111, 141, 145, 164.
  Cathedral, 127.

Lough Derg, 31.

Lough Foyle, 141.

Lough Ree, 31.

Lough Swilly, 111.

Loughmore Castle, 214.

Louth, County, 183.

Lover, Samuel, 72, 82, 103.

Lowth, 187.

Lucan, 179.

Lugh Lamhfada, 137.

Lughmach, 187.

Luke, Archbishop of Dublin, 185.

MacCarthy, 271.

MacCullinan, Cormac, 271-275.

Macdonnell, Alexander, 153.

Macdonnell, James, 152.

Macdonnell, John More, 147, 151.

Macdonnell, Randal, 153.

Macdonnells, The, 148, 151, 152, 153.

Macha, Queen, 110.

MacQuillans, The, 151, 152.

Mallow, 24, 27, 270.

Marlborough, 249.

Maryborough, 214.

Maxwell, 72.

Mayo, 79, 136.

McCarthy, Justin, 71, 93.

Meath, 80, 111, 143, 183.

Meave, Queen, 103, 111.

Meave, The "Half-Red," 103.

"Meeting of the Waters," The, 227, 231.

Mitchell, Donald G., 196.

Mitchelstown, 270.

M'Murrogh, 232.

Molana, Island of, 259.

Molanfidas, Abbey of, 259.

Monasterboice, 110.

Monasterevan, 214.

Mononia, 185.

Moore, George, 82, 85, 93, 94-95, 102.

Moore, Thomas, 86, 103, 104-105, 185-186, 216, 219, 227-231.

Mount Melleray, 263.
  Abbey of, 263-264.

Mourne Mountains, 183.

Moville, 3, 90.

Muckamore, 142.

Muckross Abbey, 10, 185.

Munster, 22, 79-80, 172, 186.

"Murdering Hole, The," 260.

Muskau, Prince Puckler, 228.

Myrtle Grove, Youghal, 238-241.

Naas, 209-213.

Naguire of Fermanagh, 154.

Navan Fort, 111.

Naysi, 151.

Nennin, St., 135.

Nethercross, 187.

Newcastle, 187.

Nore, The, 251.

O'Brien, Donald, 244.

O'Brien, Donogh, 197.

O'Brien, William Smith, 214-215.

O'Cahans, The, 146, 152.

O'Cleary, 145.

O'Donnell of Tyconnell, 144-145.

O'Donnell, Red Hugh, 145, 152.

O'Donnells, The, 111, 151.

O'Malley, Grace, 184.

O'Neill, Mary, 152.

O'Neill, Shane, 152.

O'Neill, Turlough Luineach, 152.

O'Neills, The, 144, 146, 147, 148, 152.

Ormonde, Duke of, 160.

Ormonde Family, 244-251, 255.

O'Toole, King, 223.

Ox-field House, 214.

Parnell, Charles Stuart, 231.

Patrick, St., 92, 102, 116, 120, 121, 132.

Port Brittas, 151.

Port Usnach, 137, 151.

Portumna, 31.

Poula-Phooka, 180.

Powerscourt, 205-206.

Prendergast, Maurice, 232-234.

Punchestown, 209-213.

Queenstown, 3, 15, 19, 204.

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 238-241, 260.

Rathdown, 187.

Rathlin Island, 146, 147.

Raymond le Gros, 234, 259.

Reefert Church, 223.

Reeves, Bishop, 142.

Reginald's Tower, Waterford, 234.

Rhincrew Castle, 259.

Richard II., 77.

Roderick, 232.

Ross Cathedral, 128.

Ross, Miss Martin, 73.

Rruy, The Clan, 139.

Russell, T. W., 63.

Saltee Light-Vessel, 234.

Savage of the Ards, 152.

Seven Churches (see Glendalough).

Shandon Bells, 237.

Shannon Bridge, 31.

Shannon, The, 28-31.

Shaw, Bernard, 82.

Sidney, Sir Henry, 192.

Sidney, Sir Philip, 192.

Sigtryg Silkbeard, 191.

Simnel, Lambert, 191.

Skelligs, The, 154.

Skereenarint Castle, 270.

Sliav Ailduin, 214.

Slievebloom Mountains, 214.

Slievemore, 19.

Sligo, 23, 27, 31, 34, 79, 168.

Sommerville, Miss, 73.

Sorley Boy, 151-152.

Spenser, 68, 105-106, 172, 255, 270.

Spire Hill, 214.

St. Canice Abbey, Aghaboe, 214.

St. Fichan, Dublin, Church of, 194.

St. Kiaran, Church of, 187.

St. Lawrences, The, 183-184.

St. Mary's Abbey, Howth (see Howth).

St. Nessan, Church of, Ireland's Eye, 183.

St. Patrick de Insula, Dublin, Church of, 192.

Steele, Sir Richard, 196.

Sterne, 6, 14, 16.

Stevenson, R. L., 6.

Strabane, 168.

Strancally Castle, 259.

Strongbow, Richard, 191-192, 232, 234, 237, 244.

Strongbow's Castle, 214.

Sugar Loaf Mountain, 183.

Suir, The, 214.

Swift, Dean, 103, 160, 193-194, 195, 197, 201-203, 247.

Tallaght, 188.

Tara, Hill of (Palace), 104, 111-112, 139, 197.

Temple, Michael, 259.

Thurles, 214-215.

Tipperary, 31, 172, 267.

Tralee, 27.

Trinity College (see Dublin).

Tristam (see Valence).

Tuam Cathedral, 131.

Tuathal Teachtmar, 138.

Tuskar Lighthouse, 234.

Tyconnell, 144.

Tyconnell, Hugh, Prince of, 152.

Tynan, Miss Katherine, 74.

Tyrone, Conn, Earl of, 152.

Ulster, 22, 44, 65, 79, 110, 111, 132, 152.

Uppercross, 187.

Ussher, 197.

Vale of Avoca, 227-231.

Valence, Sir Armoric Tristam de, 183.

Valentia, 171.

Van Raumer, Prof., 43-44.

"Vanessa" (see Vanhomrigh, Hester).

Vanhomrigh, Hester, 193, 202.

Venerable Bede, The, 102.

Vere, Aubrey de, 233.

Vernons, The, 187.

Vinegar Hill, 232.

Waterford, 20, 24, 45, 46, 234-237.
  Cathedral, 127.

Wexford, 24, 231-234.

Wicklow, 24, 46, 79, 176, 183, 204-205, 211, 216, 224, 237.

William III., 203, 249.

Wills, the historian, 186.

Wood of Oaks (see Kildare).

Wykinlo (see Wicklow).

Wyndham, George, 65-68.

Yeats, Mr., 94, 95.

Youghal, 24, 168, 238, 259.

Young, Arthur, 7-8, 37.

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