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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.
at court, and the latter took an important part in the funeral ceremonies for the King’s eldest son, Arthur.  The Earl continued in office during the reign of Henry VII.  An interesting letter, which he wrote in reply to an epistle from the Gherardini of Tuscany, is still extant.  In this document he requests them to communicate anything they can of the origin of their house, their numbers, and their ancestors.  He informs them that it will give him the greatest pleasure to send them hawks, falcons, horses, or hounds, or anything that he can procure which they may desire.  He concludes: 

“God be with you; love us in return.

“GERALD, Chief in Ireland of the family of Gherardini, Earl of Kildare, Viceroy of the most serene Kings of England in Ireland.”

Eight years after this letter was written, Ariosto writes thus of a brave old man, whose fame had passed long before to distant lands: 

    “Or guarda gl’ Ibernisi:  appresso il piano
     Sono due squadre; e il Conte di Childera
     Mena la pinna; e il Conte di Desmonda,
     Da fieri monti ha tratta la seconda.”

[Illustration:  ROUND TOWER, DONAGHMORE, CO.  MEATH.]

[Illustration:  RUINS OF SELSKER ABBEY, WEXFORD.]

FOOTNOTES: 

[362] Them.—­Gilbert’s Viceroys, p. 292.

[363] Annals.—­Four Masters, vol. iv. p. 791.

[364] Master.—­Gilbert’s Viceroys, p. 347.

[365] Shave.—­There are no monumental effigies of Henry VI.  His remains were removed several times by Richard III., who was annoyed at the popular belief that he worked miracles; but the costume of the period may be studied in an engraving by Strutt, from a scene depicted in the Royal M.S., 15E 6, which represents Talbot in the act of presenting a volume of romances to the King and Queen.  Henry was notoriously plain in his dress, but his example was not followed by his court.  Fairholt says:  “It would appear as if the English nobility and gentry sought relief in the invention of all that was absurd in apparel, as a counter-excitement to the feverish spirit engendered by civil war.”—­History of Costume, p. 146.

[366] Soul.—­Duald Mac Firbis.—­Annals.

[367] History.—­The scene is laid at the Abbey of Bury.  A Poste enters and exclaims—­

Poste.—­Great lords, from Ireland am I come amain, To signify that rebels there are up, And put the Englishmen unto the sword.  Send succours (lords), and stop the rage betime, Before the wound do grow uncurable; For being green, there is great hope of help.”

_—­King Henry VI.  Part ii.  Act 3._

[368]

People.—­“I twise bore rule in Normandy and Fraunce, And last lieutenant in Ireland, where my hart Found remedy for every kinde of smart; For through the love my doings there did breede, I had my helpe at all times in my neede.”

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