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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 41 pages of information about The Kiltartan History Book.

CROMWELL’S LAW

“I’ll tell you about Cromwell and the White Friars.  There was a White Friar at that time was known to have knowledge, and Cromwell sent word to him to come see him.  It was of a Saturday he did that, of an Easter Saturday, but the Friar never came.  On the Sunday Cromwell sent for him again, and he didn’t come.  And on the Monday he sent for him the third time, and he did come.  ’Why is it you did not come to me when I sent before?’ said Cromwell.  ‘I’ll tell you that,’ said the White Friar.  ’I didn’t come on Saturday,’ he said, ’because your passion was on you.  And I didn’t come on the Sunday,’ he said, ’because your passion was not gone down enough, and I thought you would not give me my steps.  But I came to-day,’ he said, ‘because your passion is cool.’  When Cromwell heard his answer, ‘That is true,’ he said, ’and tell me how long my law will last in Ireland.’  ‘It will last,’ says the White Friar, ’till yesterday will come (that was Easter Sunday) the same day as our Lady Day.’  Cromwell was satisfied then, and he gave him a free leg, and he went away.  And so that law did last till now, and it’s well it did, for without that law in the country you wouldn’t be safe walking the road having so much as the price of a pint of porter in your pocket.”

CROMWELL IN CONNACHT

“Cromwell cleared the road before him.  If any great man stood against him he would pull down his castle the same as he pulled down that castle of your own, Ballinamantane, that is down the road.  He never got more than two hours sleep or three, or at the most four, but starting up fearing his life would be peppered.  There was a word he sounded out to the Catholics, ‘To hell or Connacht,’ and the reason he did that was that Connacht was burned bare, and he that thought to pass the winter there would get no lodging at all.  Himself and his men travelled it, and they never met with anything that had human breath put in it by God till they came to Breffny, and they saw smoke from a chimney, and they surrounded the house and went into it.  And what they saw was a skeleton over the fire roasting, and the people of the house picking flesh off it with the bits of a hook.  And when they saw that, they left them there.  It was a Clare man that burned Connacht so bare; he was worse than Cromwell, and he made a great slaughter in the house of God at Clonmel.  The people have it against his family yet, and against the whole County of Clare.”

A WORSE THAN CROMWELL

“Cromwell was very bad, but the drink is worse.  For a good many that Cromwell killed should go to heaven, but those that are drunken never see heaven.  And as to drink, a man that takes the first glass is as quiet and as merry as a pet lamb; and after the second glass he is as knacky as a monkey; and after the third glass he is as ready for battle as a lion; and after the fourth glass he is like a swine as he is.  ’I am thirsty’ [Irish:  Ta Tart Orm], that was one of our Lord’s seven words on the Cross, where he was dry.  And a man far off would have given him drink; but there was a drunkard at the foot of the Cross, and he prevented him.”

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