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then earnestly recommend to your perusal, the work of Mr. Plowden, which, however undigested, and perhaps faulty in point of induction, is yet, considering the short time in which it was compiled, and the many disadvantages of writing such a history, a monument of everlasting honor to the abilities and integrity of its author.
Causes of the Troubles in Ireland—A brief Review of
IN what manner to treat this subject how-to wade through oceans of iniquity and bloodshed-how to relate the long, uninterrupted calamities of the most oppressed of nations--if there be any way of passing over this without sinking the mind into the gloom of tragedy, let us seek it--for my heart has already bled enough. Let us rather travel lightly over the vantage grounds of this history, than descend into the dismal vale of death!
Perhaps, if the feelings of generous indignation could be so far subdued, the most beneficial moral that could be extracted from the Anglo-Irish tyranny, would be its absurdity. There are men of ambition so depraved, who would rejoice to be called wicked, if with that they could appear what the corruptions of the world, and the servility of historians have denominated GREAT. But these same men would never have courage to consummate their crimes, were they taught that these crimes would render them contemptible, and still more, ridiculous. Let us then, I pray you, take that view which may be most useful, and will be least dispiriting. Give me your hand let us call this an historical ramble-let us avoid all tedious method and detail ; and if there few flowers, let us cull the fruit.
Irish Antiquity-An Historical Ramble.
I OFTEN wonder why men set so much value
upon ancestry. For as all moralists agree, that fraud and violence prevail in this life, over gentleness and virtue ; so, to say that we had great ancestors, is too often the same as to say, that we descend from great knaves. However, if it be a boast, the Irish, like other nations, have their origin in the clouds. ' I respect the researches of antiquarians, because they open interesting prospects of human things, enlarge our narrow views, and are auxiliaries to philosophy and truth. But as to any view of civil polity, or any right one nation has to usurp upon another, because it is more ancient, they are absurd. Indeed the antiquity claimed by the Indians, and other nations of the East, are good arguments to silence all who can make no pretentions beyond the creation. Therefore,
our business is to skip at once over the creation and the deluge, and begin where profit begins.
One historian has made of Ireland, the Ogyges, the Ultima Thulé, the Island of Calypso, and more, which I have forgotten: I have only my frail memory to consult.
Of the origin of the Milesian Race, and the Irish
BEFORE I enter upon this important office, of tracing the descent of the Irish monarchs, I will, as the historian's titles may reflect upon his works, profer my own more modest claims of ancestry.
It is some years since one of my uncles delivered to the dowager Lady Moira, a pedigree authenticated by the Herald's office, wherein our line was traced through Joseph of Aramathea. How much higher it went I do not remember ; but as that ancestor may stand weil with Jew or Gentile, I am not too proud to abide by him, if you think it dignity sufficient to qualify me to be the herald of the Irish kings.
For the same good reason that we skipped over the creation, and jumped across the deluge, we will, with your leave, pass by the Parthalonians, Nemedes, Belgians, Dannonians, Galenians, and Davans, all Asiatic Scythians, as they say, who arrived at different times; when, I will not declare; nor indeed if I would, could I.
Blessed be the time when the Bards got leave to sing their histories, and accompany them with their harps—the music helped the story: for, as Figaro says, “ what is not good enough to be said, will do very well to sing.” If I could play this over with my fiddle, how easy would it be.
But we that undertake to be historians now-a-days, must write in straight prose line, and keep our balance like rope-dancers; for, if we make a false step, there are more to laugh at than to pity us. We must therefore steer between Scylla and Charibdis. We must avoid on the one hand that gross and indolent ignorance, which, too dull and too lazy to examine and compare, finds it shorter to deny and contradict. On the other hand, we must avoid that more amiable folly of enlightened credulity, which sins through the too passionate love of discovery and research.
The following account of the Milesian race, is pretty fully substantiated :-Near one thousand years before Christ, three sons of Milesius, Heber, Ere, mon, and Ith, came with a colony from Gallicia, in Spain, into Ireland. And from thence were descended the great monarchs of Ireland. These Milesians were of Scythian origin, their ancestors having migrated to Phænicia; the Phænicians having, as every body knows, founded Carthage, and these Carthaginians having gone to the maritime coast of Spain, came from thence into Ireland.
Colonel Valancy has proved this Carthaginian origin in a variety of ways. Two of them principally I can call to mind. First, the arms and armour dug up
in Ireland, of which the form and composition are evidently Carthaginian ; and, secondly, the language, which he has shewn to be the same ; and produced some lines of Carthaginian and Irish, where there is not the variation of a syllable ; and this opinion is sanctioned by Sir Laurence Parsons.
Colonel Valancy also shews, that the speech of Hamo, the Carthaginian, in the play of Plautus, entitled Penulus, is Irish. I have this day laid my
hand by chance
the second volume of Plautus Tauðmanni ; and in the first scene of the fifth act of that play, I find it asserted,* that Casaubonus* affirmed to Suetonius, that the idiom of the Carthaginians was derived from the Syriac. And in another note upon the words Ythalonim Walonith (gods and goddesses) they are said to be the same as Ethelijonim Vaholjonoth. Superos Superasque ( Deos Deasque.) And Joseph. Scaliger, in his epistle to Stephan. Ubertus, says, “that † this Punic dialect of Plautus, is little different from pure Hebrew. And it is asserted on the same authorities, that I the language of the bible is falsely denominated Hebrew, being Syriac, and the opinion of Wilhel. Postellus, agrees with that of Scaliger.
Sir William Jones has discovered, that the Shanscrite, is the same as the Persee, or ancient Persian;
* Notis. * Pænorum autem idioma syriaco tractum docet Casaubonus ad suet.
† Plautinæ Pænoli dialectus parum abest a puritate Hebraismi.
# Lingua quam Hebraicam vocamus & qua utuntur sacra sacra biblia falsò eo nomine nobis appellatur cum sit Phænicia.