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for here, after all that has been done, we have a book before us, containing the results of a gallant dash made into the enemy's country, no later than last summer, by Caesar Otway; and from the richness and raciness of the spoil he has brought away with him, one might easily believe that the track of tourist's foot had never marked the road by which he either went or came. We well remember with what a keen relish we enjoyed his "Sketches in Ireland," which we read for the first time-for we have read the book frequently-about six years ago, and of which we are happy to see a new edition is just issuing from the press. We have never met with any work in which the features of the country are so vividly drawn. The sands of Rosapenna, the ragged ridge of Muckish, the solitude of Glen Veagh, the long drawn defile of Bearnesmore--these and a hundred other striking scenes from Horn Head to Cape Clear, are realised in his pages with all the fidelity of images in a camera, though, indeed, with this difference, that the objects are occasionally magnified by the medium of a pardonable enthusiasm, through which the writer views every thing Irish. Then, if none, as we really believe is the case, can come up to him in painting the natural features of the land, so there are few, (not more than two or three,) who surpass him in drawing the moral portraits of the people. He sets the Irish peasant before you, full of humorous simplicity and reverential superstition--garrulous, pious, careless, patient. But his peasants are all guides, and as might be expected, the one character serves in a great measure for all. They rarely, if ever, exhibit pathos, passion, or conscious humour; and, indeed, why should they? seeing that they have all been picked up on the road-side to serve the tourist's turn, not so much by letting out their own feelings and opinions, as by rhyming over the hereditary legends of the several places. At the same time, no one tells a story of life and manners more pleasantly than the writer himself. He sparkles and overflows with anecdote, often brilliant, and always entertaining; but, as we have said, things, acts, and circumstances are what he brings best before the reader-touches of character, sentiment, and passion being here by no means so numerous or effective as in the works of certain other Irish writers,
Such is the estimate of the Rev. Cæsar Otway as a writer, that we have formed from the perusal of his works at large. It is now high time to speak more particularly of this his last volume, which is the immediate subject of review, and which in every way sustains the high reputation of the author as a man of humour, observation, and learning. He enters Connaught, for with that part of the work only that relates to Connaught have we space to deal, by the bridge of Athlone. Making short sojourn among the sons of Suck, he proceeds to Ballinasloe, and thence to Tuam, visiting on his way the field of Aughrim, and the ruined abbeys of Kilconnell and Knock moy.
Those who wish for the most authentic narrative of the battle of Aughrim, may look in Story; those who wish for the most stirring and Napier-like account had better refer to Otway. We, who are just now in no humour for fighting battles o'er again, willingly leave St. Ruth lying dead under his cloak, at the foot of Kilcommodon hill, and hurry forward to Kilconnell, where C. O. no sooner enters the churchyard than he disentombs a sufficiently charight racy story of the parish priest. racteristic legend of the founder, and a We give them both as a fair specimen of the lighter portion of the volume:
"At the time that Connell was about building the steeple of his abbey, another saint, one Kerrill, was intending to do the same at a place called Clonkeen, about seven miles to the west, and it so happened that Connell had his materials ready first, and he came to the other and said Brother Kerrill, let me now have your masons to help mine, and when you back along with your own, and so there are ready I will in return send you mine will be no time lost to either of us.' Agreed,' says Kerrill. So Connell soon ran up his steeple, and was proud, as he by, when Kerrill was ready, he sent to well might, of his edification-but by and Connell for all the masons-but he, it is tentions are to be fulfilled, it is no harm supposed, conceiving that when pious into break a promise, said, that indeed he was busy in building a chapel for the Virgin, and he could not send his people until that good work was finished. So Kerrill, in great wrath, came over to Kilconnell, and then the two saints set to rating one another most roundly; and not content with this public strife of tongues, they retired to a lonesome field, called Ballyglass, about a mile off, where there were lofty echoing rocks, and each kneeling down, with his face to a high
stone, they set to, most methodically, to curse each other, and wish evil against whatever they respectively held dearest in the world. Among other anathemas, Connell hurled this at Kerrill-May Clonkeen Abbey never see a Monday morning come to noon, without a corpse coming to be buried.' Thank you for that,' says Kerrill; and now have you done your worst ?' 'Yes,' says Connell. Well, now,' replies Kerrill, see how I come over you and your pitiful cursefor my prayer is, and I am sure it will be granted, that the corpse that is to come shall be that of a blackbird'—and so it is, for every Monday morning since that day's cursing-match, a blackbird is found dead in Clonkeen Abbey. And now it came to Kerrill's turn to curse, and his was a most catholic and general curse, attending not only on the place of his dislike, but, as I deem, extending all over the land of Ire. His curse was- May Kilconnell never see a fair-day without a fight and may there be as many black eyes and bloody noses there and then, as there are cock blackbirds, with red bills, in Clonkeen.' Poor Connell was altogether powerless to avert this curse; fate was too stern for him, and so it is-every fair-day that comes, fighting follows as sure as a luck-penny concludes a bargain; and so when the cattle are driven out of the green, and whiskey has done its duty, then comes the clash of cloholpeens, and the joy of battle sparkles in each reddening eye- Bello gaudentes, prælio ridentes.' On they rush, the Kilconnellites to batter the Longfordites-and the ruxion rages. Reader, if ever you go to Kilconnell be sure to examine the heap of skulls you will see there; and pray observe the wonderful thickness of those brain bowls. Nothing but constant cudgelling could have caused this characteristic crassitude, and so St. Kerrill's prophecy is fulfilled to the letter and why should not the inhabitants of this barony continue, as long as fire burns or water flows, to fight at Kilconnell, to keep up the credit of St. Kerrill?
"Now, worthy reader, do you doubt the truth of this tradition? Rest satisfied that the facts are unquestionable, for there are visible proofs of its being well founded. I told you before that the conflicting saints retired to fight out their wordy duel, to a field surrounded by precipitous rocks and grassy hillocks; you were told that each saint, in order that his curse might reverberate and roll more imposingly upwards, turned his face, as he execrated, to the tall rock, and there and then holy rage was so great, and as they muttered their terrible rhymes, and 'Sternly shook their raven hair,'
blood spouted from their nostrils, and as the sanguine stream struck the rock, it forced an entrance as would an augerand there, even in the hard limestone, the red holes are to be seen to this day, and you may put your fingers in, if you will, where the hot and burning blood once penetrated. The fairies, who were ever and always fond of this grassy and sunny field, have no fondness for what are called holy priests, and excommunicators, and exorcisors. Now, there was in this neighbourhood a holy priest. My grandmother (says my informant) often drank the water steeped in the blessed clay in which he was buried, but no matter for that.' And the fairies had a grudge against Father Christy, and watched to take him at an advantage; so one night, it was close up Hollantide, if it was not the very eve of All Saints' itself; any how, Father Christy was coming home to Kilconnell, from the hospitable house of one of his gentlemen parishioners. I think the place is, or was called Hillswood, and the moon, the deceiving moon, was up, and she threw her shadows and shinings in such a way, that it would be hard for any man, especially when coming from a place overflowing with hospitality, to pick his way quite straight; but at any rate the priest thought he had the path, and on he went, expecting every moment to see the abbey tower-when, mighty strange!!! his reverence found himself at the door of a great house, and standing at the hall-door, clad in green and gold lace, was a servant who bid him welcome, took his horse, with a low bow, and pointed to the open hall-door, and requested him to enter, which he did, nothing loath, for all round seemed as kind as it was lightsome and gay. At the entrance of a splendidly lit up chamber, he met a lovely lady with a goblet of wine in her hand, as clear and sparkling and enchanting as her own dark rolling eye, and she led him into where tables were laid out, and gallant gentlemen and gorgeous dames sat intermingled, and, as the priest entered, one and all rose and cried, You're welcome, Father Christy;' and they were all equally so kind and so encouraging. Here's a seat by me,' says one; No,' says another,
come beside ME, and have your back to the fire this cold night, dear, sweet Father Christy.' But all this kind and invitatory bustle was set at rest by the little splendid man dressed in green cut velvet, with a golden hunting-cap on his head, who sat at the head of the table, and who summoned him, with an air of superiority, to take a chair at his right hand, as the post of honour. And now the work of the festive hour was being begun—each
seemed about to address him, or herself, to the food they liked best, when up stood the Amphitryon of the feast, and with that satisfied air which denotes that
the speaker is about to address a willing audience, he said, 'Gentlemen and ladies, before we set to, I propose that we drink the health of our guest, Father Christy,
AND LONG MAY HE REIGN AMONGST US.
To which all, with one accord, assented, and were in the act of filling bumpers, and crying hip, hip, three-times-three, when the priest, on being offered the wine, as it went round, with all due gravity, and as became his calling, said, Most noble, my unknown entertainer, and you, ye gay gentlemen and gracious ladies, I do, from my heart, respond to your hospitalities, and shall most willingly partake of your cheer, and especially your wine, for as you all may know it is more pleasant to set to drinking again than to eating; but this I must say, that it has ever been my own practice, and I do my endeavour, as becomes my cloth, to teach it to others, never to sit down to table without saying grace,' and with that his reverence, with his usual slight and agility, cut the sign of the cross on his breast, and said off his Latin with such holy rapidity, that none but a practised eye
and ear could see or hear the reverend office; but wondrous were its effects:
like a flash of lightning, or the shifting of
the FATA MORGANA in the straits of Mes
sina, or on the coast of the Giant's Causeway, all vanished-light, people, goblets, and good cheer; and lo! the priest rubbed his eyes, and felt very much as if he had been just a-sleeping, at the stump of an ash tree near the village, and nothing was very wrong about him, save that the knee of his thickset small-clothes was burst, and the rein of his good and quiet mare broken, which was altogether of no consequence, as the gentle beast was grazing but a few yards off. The priest used, in after times, when wrought up to good humour at a station, to tell this adventure amongst the fairies."
Our readers are probably so well acquainted with all that is interesting at Abbey Knockmoy, both from the frequent notices the ruins have received in popular works, and from the pains recently taken by one portion of the press to celebrate the victory gained here by O'Connor over the Englishwhich led to the foundation and naming of the place--" Abbatiam de Colle Victoria" that we will not linger among the tombs of the Frenches with the learned tourist, although he is no where more graphic or more amusing, but proceed through Tuam by Headford
to the next point of marked interest in the journey westward :
"On leaving Headford, on my way to Cong, I saw, about a mile to the northwest, and on the banks of the river that divides Galway from Mayo, a ruin of very formed was the Abbey of Ross Reilly. considerable magnitude, which I was inhad such an imposing appearance, that I These ruins appeared of such extent, and determined to visit them; so leaving the jaunting-car on the road side, we proceeded in their direction, and indeed the approach was by no means easy, for they makes its slow sluggish bends through are nearly surrounded by the river, which bog, morass, and meadows. We, thereground, and had to scramble over sundry fore, endeavoured to keep along the high dry walls enclosing potato fields, where the process of either burning or planting was going on; but at length, with no arrived at the ruin. small exercise of our active powers, we It fully comes up
to the description given of it in an old Monasticon which Dutton quotes that this place is very lonesome, encompassed on all sides with water, and is only one way accessible, and was not many years the Earls of Clanricarde. It certainly since preserved entire by the interest of is the most entire of any of the Irish abbeys-the walls are all standing, not a breach in any one of them. One chapel even has its flagged roof still remaining.
The whole covers, I am sure, an acre and a half of ground-and every accommodation that any monastery ever had seems here to be provided. It is a great burying-place, but luckily for it the choir, nave, and transepts, comprising the different side chapels, are, I suppose, only considered as holy ground, and are therefore only used for sepulture, and consequently they are the only places that are dilapidated and purposely dismantled their ornaments, as usual, all torn away. There were two sets of masons and stone-cutters repairing tombs and constructing vaults. We found a marble tablet, containing a large, and, to
the lines had jagged ends, and this was appearance, a poetical inscription, for my only means of guessing, for the marble artisans, who, rejoicing in their handiwork, was turned upside down by these tasteful scemed to take with perfect nonchalance the hint we suggested, that by their means the virtues of some worthy Blake, Bodkin, or Ffrench were to remain to dumb forgetfulness a prey.' They most Christianly felt resigned to the wrong they had inflicted, the thing was done, and there was no help for it. The whole of this cemetery forms one immense rabbit burrow. I think I have seldom seen a warren that
exhibited so many holes. In this uncouth habitation for conies, bones, skulls, and coffins lay all around, that the creatures had tossed about, and by their thus rooting up, they seem desirous to anticipate the usual short time allowed for bodies to lie entombed; and, therefore, besides the common quantity of these remains tossing all about, there was an immense heap lying outside the church; and as these bones seemed to have accumulated for ages, and as the place from the vicinity of the river was very damp, this immense 'ossarium,' if I may so name it, was covered with all sorts of verdure, mosses, lichens, sedums, saxifrages, and wild strawberries just showing their fruit between jaw-bones. It was curious to see skulls like wrens' nests and thigh bones as green as cabbage-stalks; the dry bones had, as it were, assumed a new mode of existence, and again served as the basis of a new life. It really was a scene on which a person might ponder and phrenologise; and I confess no collection of human bones I ever saw interested me moreno, not even that far-famed congeries which at Cologne assumes to be the remains of St. Ursula's eleven thousand virgins.
The Royal Irish Academy now possesses one of those " moss-bewigged" skulls which our adventurous tourist managed to carry off unseen by the country people. We say adventurous, for had he been detected he would have carried other broken bones into Cong that night besides those which he had outside his shirt. It is a pious duty with our country people, and one which they perform with more alacrity than most of their other religious exercises, to trounce unmercifully, nay, savagely, any one thoughtless enough publicly to select the least remnant of mortality as his memorial of such a scene. He may in many places break down and purloin a piece of carving, or deface an inscription of the 12th or 7th century, if he can find it; but he must not meddle with a single particle of such osseous dunghills as these, on pain of broken ribs or a fractured skull. But it is time for us to cast our eyes back over the country through which we have, so far, travelled, if we wish to keep its general features in our recollection; for we are here on the extreme verge of the central plain of Ireland, and a few hours' travelling will bury the tourist among those blue mountains which, for the last twenty miles of our journey, you may have remarked rising higher and higher along the whole line of the
western horizon. The country we have passed over is a wide, undulating, and, in its great features, an almost level plain-here a bog of five hundred acres, there a great house surrounded by woods, here straggling tracts of tillage, and yonder a green sweep of pasture. There is no great feature in view, but the aspect of the apparently interminable plain is solemn, if not beautiful. The fairy hill of Knockma, clad with the groves of Castle Hacket, is the only striking eminence between the eye and the low horizon. is no great river to be seen; if it be in summer there is no lake. We are
standing, we suppose, on the hill of Kilroe, above the ruins of Ross Reilly, looking back over the road by which we came. Let us now turn westward. If f you have not seen it before, you cannot help uttering exclamations of surprise and delight at the sight of this vast chain of lakes, which extends farther than the eye can follow it, both on the right hand and on the left, between the margin of the plain on which you stand and that magnificent array of mountains rising abruptly feet is Loch Corrib. along the opposite shore. This, at our Yonder, to the north, is Loch Mask. This bridgelike isthmus on our right separates their basins it is the causeway by which we travel to the Irish highlands. Here, at its eastern extremity, stands Cong, with all its ruins and relics crumbling and collapsing over their
cavernous foundations, where
'Mid the dancing rocks at once and ever Is flung forth momently the sacred river. And there, at the other end of the bridge-a tête du pont of nature's engineering-or a sentinel set by the Atlantic to guard the pass to our "hills that encircle the sea"-stands Ben Levah, the most advanced of the whole array of giants.
Deep on his feet in Corrib's floods,
On his head lies the terrible cursingstone he is flanked by Maam Turk on the one hand, and Furmnamore on the other; his rear-rank man—that is Lugnabricka-stands two thousand feet in his tut! this is carrying our metaphor at the point of the bayonet. We say it is round the southern base of Ben Levah, that the road lies into Joyce country, and that we are too keen to breathe the mountain air to wait, on any account whatever, at
Cong. Away! we care nothing for your caves" Our heart's in the highlands" we are hill-folk-no troglodytes. Don't attempt to stop us with Patrick's tooth. Your piece of the true cross is nothing better, saving your presence, than a lump of bogoak. Your crozier ?-would it serve us for a walking-staff? would it help us up the long hill at Minterown? Your chronicles cut up into tailor's measures, would they, we beg to know, tell us the nearest way to Leenane ? We say the caves and cloisters may be got in the Penny Journal if any body
is at a loss for them, and the relics in the museum or transactions of the Academy. So come on, Dom Cæsar, and as we wend our way up the valley of the Bealnabrack, tell us something about this old castle, so like Kilchurn, that we see on the island at the head of the lake.
"Castle Hen is generally supposed to have been one of the inland castles of Grana Uaile, or Grace O'Maley, in whose time the fortresses around this secluded spot must have been almost unknown, if not inaccessible. Tradition says it was held by one of the O'Flahertys, who owed fealty to this chieftainess, and it is even supposed by some persons that it was here the heir of Howth was carried, when stolen by the O'Maleys as a punishment for the inhospitality of his parents, and only restored upon condition of the gates of Howth Castle remaining open during dinner time. Be this as it may, this castle, at the period of our history, was in possession of O'Flaherty; but whether the soubriquet of Na Cullugh,' (the cock,) was applied from his great personal courage, or his quartering a gallus gallinaceous' upon his escutcheon, history is silent: suffice it to say that he was known as O'Flaherty na Cullugh, and at constant war with the Joyces, by whom he was surrounded, each party looking upon the other as an intruder.
"As long as they feared the assisting of the chieftainess of the west, O'Flaherty remained the victor; but upon the death of that heroine, O'Flaherty being reduced to his own resources, the Joyces began a most fearful retaliation, and much blood was spilt on both sides. At length O'Flaherty and a few of his followers were surprised upon a hunting excursion in the neighbouring
mountains, cut off from the castle, and O'Flaherty na Cullugh slain.
"The Joyces now imagined the castle theirs; but though the cock was slain, his wife defended it with the greatest skill and heroism against all their attacks, acquiring for her the title of The Hen.' Hence the origin of Krishlane na Kirca."
Not the first hen this that has proved cock of the walk; but what a change of scene the last two hours' travelling has produced! The round-backed
hind, and on either side: houses we can
And, famed by Rumour's fifty voices,
If travellers' stories be authentic.
But these Connaught Patagonians must be satisfied to be taken down a peg; for the fact is, that they and the veritable Patagonians are pretty much on a par in point of stature; and, as Captain Fitzroy has pulled the former down from seven feet six to five feet seven, so does C. O. reduce the latter from the standard of Shawn a Bauneen* to that of Shawn Buie.t
"I was now in the centre of Joyce country-somehow or other I had formed a sort of emphatically romantic idea of this district. I had supposed it a mountain country (something like the border districts of Scotland) consisting of high but green, sheep depastured hills, and inhabited by a race of tall men, dissimilar in face, form, and manners, from the Celtic tribes around. In all this I was utterly disappointed. There really is nothing strange or extraordinary in this group of mountains-nothing in the appearance of the people. As the hills are not more lofty than other groups of Irish mountains, neither are the people. It is true, that the men you see labouring in the potato fields, along the valleys, or cutting their turf in the bogs, are of a taller and comelier race than those crowded together on the poor over-populated gravel hills of Roscommon: but they are not by any means, as far as I could see, decidedly superior to the mountaineers of
That is, Jack of the Flannel Jacket, the most hulking of the present generation of Joyces. That is, Orange Jack, the representative of the churl Saxon,