An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 eBook

Mary Frances Cusack
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 779 pages of information about An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800.

[137] Always.—­National customs and prejudices have always been respected by the Church:  hence she has frequently been supposed to sanction what she was obliged to tolerate.  A long residence in Devonshire, and an intimate acquaintance with its peasantry, has convinced us that there is incalculably more superstitions believed and practised there of the grossest kind, than in any county in Ireland.  Yet we should be sorry to charge the Established Church or its clergy, some of whom are most earnest and hard-working men, with the sins of their parishioners.  The following extract from St. Columba’s magnificent Hymn, will show what the early Irish saints thought of pagan superstitions: 

“I adore not the voice of birds, Nor sneezing, nor lots in this world, Nor a boy, nor chance, nor woman:  My Druid is Christ, the Son of God; Christ, Son of Mary, the great Abbot, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

[138] Aengus.—­

“Died the branch, the spreading tree of gold, Aenghus the laudable.”

—­Four Masters, p. 153.  The branches of this tree have indeed spread far and wide, and the four great families mentioned above have increased and multiplied in all parts of the world.

[139] Year 503.—­The Four Masters give the date 498, which O’Donovan corrects both in the text and in a note.

[140] Broccan’s Hymn.—­This Hymn was written about A.D. 510.  See the translation in Mr. Whitley Stokes’ Goidilica, Calcutta, 1866.  Privately printed.

[141] Saints.—­St. Patrick, St. Columba, and St. Brigid.  See Reeves’ Ecc.  Anti. of Down and Connor, p. 225, and Giraldus Cambrensis, d. 3, cap. 18.

[142] Domhnach Airgid.—­See O’Curry, MS. Materials, p. 321, for a complete verification of the authenticity of this relic.  The Tripartite Life of St. Patrick mentions the gift of this relic by the saint to St. MacCarthainn.  Dr. Petrie concludes that the copy of the Gospels contained therein, was undoubtedly the one which was used by our apostle.  We give a fac-simile of the first page, which cannot fail to interest the antiquarian.

[143] Famine years.—­During the famous, or rather infamous, Partry evictions, an old man of eighty and a woman of seventy-four were amongst the number of those who suffered for their ancient faith.  They were driven from the home which their parents and grandfathers had occupied, in a pitiless storm of sleet and snow.  The aged woman utters some slight complaint; but her noble-hearted aged husband consoles her with this answer:  “The sufferings and death of Jesus Christ were bitterer still.”  Sixty-nine souls were cast out of doors that day.  Well might the Times say:  “These evictions are a hideous scandal; and the bishop should rather die than be guilty of such a crime.”  Yet, who can count up all the evictions, massacres, tortures, and punishments which this people has endured?

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An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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