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.

[84] Emania.—­The legend of the building of this palace will be given in a future chapter.

[85] France.—­It is said that foreigners who came with him from Gaul were armed with broad-headed lances (called in Irish laighne), whence the province of Leinster has derived its name.  Another derivation of the name, from coige, a fifth part, is attributed to the Firbolgs.

[86] Diction.-This tract contains a description of arms and ornaments which might well pass for a poetic flight of fancy, had we not articles of such exquisite workmanship in the Royal Irish Academy, which prove incontrovertibly the skill of the ancient artists of Erinn.  This is the description of a champion’s attire:—­“A red and white cloak flutters about him; a golden brooch in that cloak, at his breast; a shirt of white, kingly linen, with gold embroidery at his skin; a white shield, with gold fastenings at his shoulder; a gold-hilted long sword at his left side; a long, sharp, dark green spear, together with a short, sharp spear, with a rich band and carved silver rivets in his hand.”—­O’Curry, p. 38.  We give an illustration on previous page of a flint weapon of a ruder kind.

[87] Brains.—­My friend, Denis Florence MacCarthy, Esq., M.R.I.A., our poet par excellence, is occupied at this moment in versifying some portions of this romantic story.  I believe he has some intention of publishing the work in America, as American publishers are urgent in their applications to him for a complete and uniform edition of his poems, including his exquisite translations from the dramatic and ballad literature of Spain.  We hope Irish publishers and the Irish people will not disgrace their country by allowing such a work to be published abroad.  We are too often and too justly accused of deficiency in cultivated taste, which unfortunately makes trashy poems, and verbose and weakly-written prose, more acceptable to the majority than works produced by highly-educated minds.  Irishmen are by no means inferior to Englishmen in natural gifts, yet, in many instances, unquestionably they have not or do not cultivate the same taste for reading, and have not the same appreciation of works of a higher class than the lightest literature.  Much of the fault, no doubt, lies in the present system of education:  however, as some of the professors in our schools and colleges appear to be aware of the deficiency, we may hope for better things.

[88] Lands.—­Lhuid asserts that the names of the principal commanders in Gaul and Britain who opposed Caesar, are Irish Latinized.

[89] Received.—­“They are said to have fled into Ireland, some for the sake of ease and quietness, others to keep their eyes untainted by Roman insolence.”—­See Harris’ Ware.  The Brigantes of Waterford, Tipperary, and Kilkenny, are supposed to have been emigrants, and to have come from the colony of that name in Yorkshire.

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