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LONDONDERRY.

137

They did wander everywhere
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And they served the fairy qneen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her ponsioners be ;
In their gold coats spots you see,
Those be rubies, fairy-favours ;
Puck must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear."

Here it was that “the knavish sprite,” called, also, Robin Goodfellow,

“ Did fright the maidens of the villageree ;

Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern,
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
And sometimes make the drink to bear no barmo;
Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm;"

and here, according to that Midsummer Night's Dream, which will live when many waking speculations are forgotten, did “ all the merry elves for fear," when, by reason of their domestic differences, the fairy monarchs, Oberon and Titania,

“ Never met in grove, or green,
By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen,
But they did square,
Creep into acorn-cups, and hide them there."

Thus rich in poetic associations, as well as in romantic loveliness, Steep Hill, with the neighbouring wild bay of Puckaster, may well attract the notice of the tourist; who, whether he visit it when the broad, clear light of a summer morning brings out in strong relief its matchless beauties, or when, touched by the crimson rays of the setting sun, its woods and rocks glow with an indescribable glory, will bring away with him an unfading recollection of a prospect, which, “take it for all in all,” is, perhaps, scarcely to be surpassed in any country in the world.

LONDON DER RY, IRELA N D.

LONDONDERRY, the chief city of the north of Ireland, is the capital of the county from which it takes its name, and which lies in the province of Ulster. It is finely placed on an eminence, which is situated on the western bank of the river Foyle; which noble river is here as wide as is the river Thames at Greenwich; being navigable for the largest vessels, and expanding itself, about four miles below the city, into an extensive bay, called Lough Foyle. The houses of Londonderry rise one above another from the water's edge to the very summit of the hill, on which stands the venerable cathedral, surmounted by a "starry-pointing” spire.

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This ancient city, known also by the name of Derry, is connected alike with ecclesiastical and secular history. It is said to have been founded, in the sixth-century, by the justly-renowned Columb, or Colomban, an Irish Christian preacher, whose disciples bore practical witness, by the sanctity of their lives, to the truth and efficacy of the doctrines which he laboured to disseminate. Colomban died in the year 590; and may well be regarded as one of the few shining lights which illuminated the generally dark period during which he flourished.

With the secular and military annals of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Londonderry is connected by associations of a much more recent date; and of a very different character from those which carry us back with so vivid an interest to the times of the evangelist sometimes called St. Columb.

At the time of the ever-memorable revolution of 1688, Ireland, generally, took part with the dethroned king, James II. That monarch, as it is superfluous to say, had given, while on the throne, unquestionable indications of his favourable disposition toward the restoration of popery within his dominions. One among these indications, many of which will at once present themselves to the reader's recollection, was the elevation to the lord-lieutenancy of Ireland, of Talbot, Lord Tyrconnel, a nobleman who made it his boast that he would speedily restore to the Romish church in that country, its former supremacy and affluence. Under such a vice-regal government, it is little matter of wonder that Romanism became predominant, and that Ireland was soon in a state of insurrection. We need not, however, enter at large into the history of the period. It may suffice to say, that in the province of Ulster, where Protestants were numerous, and more especially in the counties of Down and Derry, a disposition to support the reformed cause was strongly manifested.

At this juncture, the deposed monarch landed at Kinsale, in Cork. It is needless to dwell on matters so well known as his subsequent entry into Dublin, attended by a solemn procession of the popish bishops and their clergy ; and the persuasion entertained by his Protestant subjects, that his professions of good-will towards them were worthless and hypocritical. We hasten to the siege of Londonderry, the governor of which place secretly favoured James.

At this memorable siege, which took place in December, 1688, and at which, with an army of twenty thousand well-equipped men, the deposed king appeared in person; the garrison of Londonderry consisted of about seven thousand four hundred men; the whole population of the city amounting to about thirty thousand. The governor, on the ex-king's appearance in arms, refused to defend the city, and proposed its immediate surrender. The utmost consternation prevailed; for it was felt that the religious and political destinies of the empire hung in the balance ; for if James had obtained possession of Londonderry, he would have been virtually master of Ireland. At this crisis, the enthusiastic energy of a few apprentice-boys was the means of turning the important scale. These valiant youths—they were but nine in number-just as James's troops approached the ferry-gate which communicates with the river, raised the drawbridge, and locked the gate. The three other gates of the city were secured in the

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