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Page 4. The counties of Ireland, both as to name and number, as enumerated and described in this page, are different from what are now acknowledged. There is, for example, at present, no such county as Desmond, and only one county of Tyrone ; nor any such county as Col, or Coleraine ; and Derry should be added to the author's list. Galloway and Slego should be Galway and Sligo.
Page 5. In his account of “The Cities and Chief Towns of Ireland,” it is singular that the writer, giving an estimate of the importance of the capital, should have omitted the circumstance of its being the seat of parliament.
In the scale, Galway is placed next in degree to Dublin. But since the work was written, Galway has greatly decayed; and the second town in Ireland is, and has long been, Cork; the third, the fourth, Limerick; fifth, Waterford; sixth, Londonderry. Cork, not Dublin, should have been the capital.
Page 10. “Lough Corbes,” should be Lough Corrib.
Page 14. “The which (havens) being deep enough, are but very little, and of a small pourprise.” According to Blount's Glossographia, 1656, pourpris signifies, in French, an enclosure.
Page 15. “ Cannot go nearer to Dublin than Ringsend." Ringsend is an absurd corruption of Wring Sand, the proper name of the suburb.
Page 91. “So that there be as few years of dearth in Ireland, as in any other country in Christendom;
In the year
and most years there is not only corn enough got for
Page 92. The writer having observed, that “The Irish air is greatly defectuous in this part, and too much subject to wet and rainy weather,” &c.; goes on to recommend the draining of bogs and marshy lands. But, first, I have to state that the celebrated Richard Kirwan, Esq., popularly called the Philosopher, published a register of the weather, kept carefully for thirty years, and compared with accurate diaries made in England, during the same period ; by which it appeared that more inches of rain had fallen in England and Wales in those thirty years, than in Ireland. Next, as to draining the swamps in Ireland, though it might somewhat amend the climate, this result would depend on the situation of the place so drained; for, bogs on levels would probably become as swampy and wet as ever in a few
Page 153. In a letter from Doctor Thomas Molyneux, to Doctor Martin Lister, on the subject of the Giant's Causeway, the writer says" For the vast quantity and spacious extent of this sort of work, which, though it is formed in such an abundance in this part of our country, none of just the same kind, for aught I can yet hear, is to be met with in any
other part of the world.” A similar natural production exists on the coast of Scotland, opposite to the Giant's Causeway. In 1833, was published in London, “ An Excursion in New Holland in 1830, 31, &c.," in one volume, 8vo, by Lieutenant Breton, R. N., in which the author says, “ We found a most singular mass of basaltic columns. None of the columnar fragments were more than three feet in length; nor were any under six, or above twelve inches thick. They had all either three, five, or six sides.” The Irish basaltic columns might be described in the same words.
In pages 28-9, the author avers the Irish Sea not to be so tempestuous as it is bruited to be." I have heard a different opinion from Captain Skinner, the commander of a packet, as it was termed, from Dublin to Holyhead. After being in that service more than forty years, and having made, on an average, at least two thousand voyages, in November, 1832, in a violent gale of wind, he, together with his mate, was swept off the deck by so heavy a sea, that the bulwark of the vessel was carried away; and it was supposed that Captain Skinner and the mate
were both killed by the force with which they were driven against the wooden work, as they were seen floating on their faces upon the billows. Skinner, who had been a midshipman in the Royal Navy, and had lost an arm in action, could not, in all probability, have saved himself in smooth water. He was an excellent navigator: and I have frequently heard him
say that he supposed no man had oftener escaped death than he had in his voyages across the Irish Sea. He conveyed George IV. in his steamer to Ireland.
JOURNAL OF AN OFFICER, &c.*
The author, a medical officer, and a native of Hanover, writes in a pleasant, soldier-like style, without any attempt at embellishment; but by the magical efficacy of truth, and the good fortune of being able to relate a great variety of adventures, has produced an extremely entertaining volume.
Page 20, Preface. He mentions General Mortier. I met the general and his forces at Utrecht, in the month of May, 1803, then on their march to Hano
I saw his troops paraded in the Plaas St. John. The general was a very tall, handsome man, all smiles, agility, and finery; and had that air of cheerfulness which belongs peculiarly to Frenchmen engaged in affairs of war, and with warlike adventures in view. Mortier was afterwards greatly distinguished as a leader; and, as Duke of Treviso, was killed, July 28, 1835, as he rode by the side of Louis Philippe, King of the French, to a review of the troops, by a discharge of bullets from a machine, contrived and fired by a mad assassin of the name of Fieschi. The death of Mortier is thus noticed in a Parisian report of the time :- -“ Le Maréchal Mortier, Duc de Trevise, atteint d'une balle à la tête. Mortier, élu en 1791, Capitaine de Volontaires, avait fait dépuis lors toutes les guerres de la République et de l'Empire, et conquis tous ses grades à la pointe de son epée. Expirer ainsi en pleine paix, au milieu d'une fête, sous le plomb d'un invisible assassin, c'était assurement un bien triste destinée pour un soldat qu'avaient épargné les boulets de l'ennemi à Diernstein, à Anclam, à Ocana, à Gebora, à Austerlitz, et dans cinquante autres batailles ; et qui avait echappé, comme par miracle, aux flammes de Moscou, et aux glaces de la Bérésina !” This is an exceedingly graceful tribute to the memory of a renowned warrior; nor could any thing have been more eloquently said of Bayard himself. The story of the day was, that reports of an intention to assassinate the king having gone abroad, the family of the Duke of Treviso besought him to absent himself from the review; to which he replied, with a smile, that, on the contrary, he would ride by the side of his Majesty, and shelter him by his great bulk, which it might almost be said he had done. The
* London, 1827.