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.

[49] Writers.—­The circumnavigation of Africa by a Phoenician ship, in the reign of Neco, about 610 B.C., is credited by Humboldt, Rennell, Heeren, Grote, and Rawlinson.  Of their voyages to Cornwall for tin there is no question, and it is more than probable they sailed to the Baltic for amber.  It has been even supposed that they anticipated Columbus in the discovery of America.  Niebuhr connects the primitive astronomy of Europe with that of America, and, therefore, must suppose the latter country to have been discovered.—­Hist. of Rome, vol. i. p. 281.  This, however, is very vague ground of conjecture; the tide of knowledge, as well as emigration, was more probably eastward.

[50] Procopius.—­Hist.  Gen. d’Espagne, vol. i.c.l. p.4.

[51] Chief.—­De Antiq. et Orig.  Cantab.  See D’Alton’s Essay, p. 24, for other authorities.

[52] Poem.—­There has been question of the author, but none as to the authenticity and the probable date of compilation.

[53] Ogygia.—­Camden writes thus:  “Nor can any one conceive why they should call it Ogygia, unless, perhaps, from its antiquity; for the Greeks called nothing Ogygia unless what was extremely ancient.”

[54] Fish.—­And it still continues to be a national article of consumption and export.  In a recent debate on the “Irish question,” an honorable member observes, that he regrets to say “fish” is the only thing which appears to be flourishing in Ireland.  We fear, however, from the report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the question of Irish sea-coast fisheries, that the poor fishermen are not prospering as well as the fish.  Mr. Hart stated:  “Fish was as plenty as ever; but numbers of the fishermen had died during the famine, others emigrated, and many of those who remained were unable, from want of means, to follow the pursuit.”  And yet these men are honest; for it has been declared before the same committee, that they have scrupulously repaid the loans which were given them formerly; and they are willing to work, for when they can get boats and nets, they do work.  These are facts.  Shakspeare has said that facts are “stubborn things;” they are, certainly, sometimes very unpleasant things.  Yet, we are told, the Irish have no real grievances.  Of course, starvation from want of work is not a grievance!

Within the few months which have elapsed since the publication of the first edition of this History and the present moment, when I am engaged in preparing a second edition, a fact has occurred within my own personal knowledge relative to this very subject, and of too great importance to the history of Ireland in the present day to be omitted.  A shoal of sprats arrived in the bay of ——­ and the poor people crowded to the shore to witness the arrival and, alas! the departure of the finny tribe.  All their nets had been broken or sold in the famine year; they had, therefore, no means of securing what

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