An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 eBook

Mary Frances Cusack
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 946 pages of information about An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800.
The Chaldeans had just taken the palm in astronomical observations, and recorded for the first time a lunar eclipse; while the baffled Assyrian hosts relinquished the siege of Tyre, unhappily reserved for the cruel destruction accomplished by Alexander, a few centuries later.  The prophecies of Isaiah were still resounding in the ears of an ungrateful people.  He had spoken of the coming Christ and His all-peaceful mission in mystic imagery, and had given miraculous evidences of his predictions.  But suffering should be the precursor of that marvellous advent.  The Assyrian dashed in resistless torrent upon the fold.  Israel was led captive.  Hosea was in chains.  Samaria and the kingdom of Israel were added to the conquests of Sennacherib; and the kingdom of Judah, harassed but not destroyed, waited the accomplishment of prophecy, and the measure of her crimes, ere the most ancient of peoples should for ever cease to be a nation.

Ugaine Mor is the next monarch who demands notice.  His obituary record is thus given by the Four Masters:—­“At the end of this year, A.M. 4606, Ugaine Mor, after he had been full forty years King of Ireland, and of the whole of the west of Europe, as far as Muir-Toirrian, was slain by Badhbhchad at Tealach-an-Choisgair, in Bregia.  This Ugaine was he who exacted oaths by all the elements, visible and invisible, from the men of Ireland in general, that they would never contend for the sovereignty of Ireland with his children or his race.”

Ugaine was succeeded by his son, Laeghaire Lorc, who was cruelly and treacherously killed by his brother, Cobhthach Cael.  Indeed, few monarchs lived out their time in peace during this and the succeeding centuries.  The day is darkest before the dawn, in the social and political as well as in the physical world.  The Eternal Light was already at hand; the powers of darkness were aroused for the coming conflict; and deeds of evil were being accomplished, which make men shudder as they read.  The assassination of Laeghaire was another manifestation of the old-world story of envy.  The treacherous Cobhthach feigned sickness, which he knew would obtain a visit from his brother.  When the monarch stooped to embrace him, he plunged a dagger into his heart.  His next act was to kill his nephew, Ailill Aine; and his ill-treatment of Aine’s son, Maen, was the consummation of his cruelty.  The fratricide was at last slain by this very youth, who had now obtained the appellation of Labhraidh-Loingseach, or Lowry of the Ships.  We have special evidence here of the importance of our Historic Tales, and also that the blending of fiction and fact by no means deteriorates from their value.

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