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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.

Cairbre died after five years of most unprosperous royalty, and his son, the wise and prudent Morann,[96] showed his wisdom and prudence by refusing to succeed him.  He advised that the rightful heirs should be recalled.  His advice was accepted.  Fearadhach Finnfeachteach was invited to assume the reins of government.  “Good was Ireland during this his time.  The seasons were right tranquil; the earth brought forth its fruit; fishful its river-mouths; milkful the kine; heavy-headed the woods."[97]

Another revolt of the Attacotti took place in the reign of Fiacha of the White Cattle.  He was killed by the provincial kings, at the slaughter of Magh Bolg.[98] Elim, one of the perpetrators of this outrage, obtained the crown, but his reign was singularly unprosperous; and Ireland was without corn, without milk, without fruit, without fish, and without any other great advantage, since the Aitheach Tuatha had killed Fiacha Finnolaidh in the slaughter of Magh Bolg, till the time of Tuathal Teachtmar.[99]

Tuathal was the son of a former legitimate monarch, and had been invited to Ireland by a powerful party.  He was perpetually at war with the Attacotti, but at last established himself firmly on the throne, by exacting an oath from the people, “by the sun, moon, and elements,” that his posterity should not be deprived of the sovereignty.  This oath was taken at Tara, where he had convened a general assembly, as had been customary with his predecessors at the commencement of each reign; but it was held by him with more than usual state.  His next act was to take a small portion of land from each of the four provinces, forming what is now the present county of Meath, and retaining it as the mensal portion of the Ard-Righ, or supreme monarch.  On each of these portions he erected a palace for the king of every province, details of which will be given when we come to that period of our history which refers to the destruction of Tara.  Tuathal had at this time two beautiful and marriageable daughters, named Fithir and Dairine.  Eochaidh Aincheann, King of Leinster, sought and obtained the hand of the younger daughter, Dairine, and after her nuptials carried her to his palace at Naas, in Leinster.  Some time after, his people pursuaded him that he had made a bad selection, and that the elder was the better of the two sisters; upon which Eochaidh determined by stratagem to obtain the other daughter also.  For this purpose he shut the young queen up in a secret apartment of his palace, and gave out a report that she was dead.  He then repaired, apparently in great grief to Tara, informed the monarch that his daughter was dead, and demanded her sister in marriage.  Tuathal gave his consent, and the false king returned home with his new bride.  Soon after her arrival at Naas, her sister escaped from her confinement, and suddenly and unexpectedly encountered the prince and Fithir.  In a moment she divined the truth, and had the additional anguish of seeing her sister, who was struck with horror and shame, fall dead before her face.  The death of the unhappy princess, and the treachery of her husband, was too much for the young queen; she returned to her solitary chamber, and in a very short time died of a broken heart.

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