Castle Rackrent eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 165 pages of information about Castle Rackrent.

Mr. Young’s picture of Ireland, in his tour through that country, was the first faithful portrait of its inhabitants.  All the features in the foregoing sketch were taken from the life, and they are characteristic of that mixture of quickness, simplicity, cunning, carelessness, dissipation, disinterestedness, shrewdness, and blunder, which, in different forms and with various success, has been brought upon the stage or delineated in novels.

It is a problem of difficult solution to determine whether a union will hasten or retard the amelioration of this country.  The few gentlemen of education who now reside in this country will resort to England.  They are few, but they are in nothing inferior to men of the same rank in Great Britain.  The best that can happen will be the introduction of British manufacturers in their places.

Did the Warwickshire militia, who were chiefly artisans, teach the Irish to drink beer? or did they learn from the Irish to drink whisky?


Some friends, who have seen Thady’s history since it has been printed
have suggested to the editor, that many of the terms and idiomatic
phrases, with which it abounds, could not be intelligible to the English
reader without further explanationThe editor has therefore furnished
the following glossary.


Thady begins his memoirs of the Rackrent Family by dating Monday morning, because no great undertaking can be auspiciously commenced in Ireland on any morning but Monday morning.  ’Oh, please God we live till Monday morning, we’ll set the slater to mend the roof of the house.  On Monday morning we’ll fall to, and cut the turf.  On Monday morning we’ll see and begin mowing.  On Monday morning, please your honour, we’ll begin and dig the potatoes,’ etc.

All the intermediate days, between the making of such speeches and the ensuing Monday, are wasted:  and when Monday morning comes, it is ten to one that the business is deferred to the next Monday morning.  The Editor knew a gentleman, who, to counteract this prejudice, made his workmen and labourers begin all new pieces of work upon a Saturday.


—­Let alone, in this sentence, means put out of consideration.  The phrase, let alone, which is now used as the imperative of a verb, may in time become a conjunction, and may exercise the ingenuity of some future etymologist.  The celebrated Horne Tooke has proved most satisfactorily, that the conjunction but comes from the imperative of the Anglo-Saxon verb (BEOUTAN) to be out; also, that if comes from GIF, the imperative of the Anglo-Saxon verb which signifies to give, etc.

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Castle Rackrent from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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