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and learning that Scotia, or Ireland, became celebrated all over Christendom.
4. This lustre was diminished by the ravages of the Scandinavians, which began with the 9th century, and can hardly be said to have ceased when the English settlement commenced. The island had been split into numerous principalities, or kingdoms as they were styled; and though a Chief Monarch was acknowledged, yet his power was seldom efficient, and the constant dissensions of so many small tribes rendered the island an easy prey.
5. In the year 1170, Henry II. permitted RichardStrongbow, Earl of Pembroke, to effect a settlement in Ireland, which laid the foundations of the English possessions in that country. There are, however, coins of Canute, King of England, struck at Dublin, perhaps in acknowledgment of his power by the Danish settlers.
6. Ireland began to produce some manufac tures about the 14th century, and her sayes, or thin woollen cloths, were exported to Italy. It is probable these were produced by the Bristolian colony, which had passed to Dublin.
7. Richard II. King of England, attempted in person the conquest of Ireland, but being imprudent and ill served, nothing of moment was effected. The subsequent attempts of the English monarchs to accomplish this purpose need not be enumerated.
8. In the reign of James I. Ireland became
entirely subjugated, and colonies of English and Scots were established in the north.
9. The chief mean of the assimilation of the. countries having been compleatly neglected, namely, the universal institution of parochial schools for the education of children in the protestant religion and English language, the Irish continued a distinct people, and being instigated by their fanatic priests, executed their dreadful massacre of the English settlers in 1641. This insurrection was not totally crushed till Cromwell led his veterans into Ireland.
10. The appearance of James II. in Ireland to reclaim his crown may also deserve a place.
11. The amazing progress of Ireland in manufactures and commerce, within these twenty years, may be classed as the most illustrious of its historical epochs.
12. The deplorable events which have recently happened in Ireland have led the way to its union with Great Britain; a measure which it is eagerly to be hoped will be productive of great reciprocal advantages.
30 Original cause of the interference of England.
First interference of the English with respect to the affairs of Ireland-Irish gallantry and intrigue, the cause of that interference-Arrival of Henry II. in 1172-His proceedings--Summons a synod at Cashel-English form of government introduced among the followers of Henry; but restricted, at last, to what was called the Pale-Several acts passed with regard to the Irish-Commencement of English tyranny.
As I have disclaimed all enquiry into the annals of Milesian history, it will not be necessary that I should advert to the causes which led to the subversion of the Milesian dynasty, but it will be very requisite that the reader should know under what circumstances England first began to assume any interference with the sister island. During a long protracted period of nearly 300 years, namely, from the death of Turgesius in 868, to the landing of the English in 1169, the reader finds nothing in the Irish annals but an unbroken series of intestine wars and commotions. About the year 1162, we find Dermod Mac Morogh presiding as king over the province of Leinster, whose character and personal appearance are thus described
by Giraldus Cambrensis, a contemporary his
"Dermod Mac Morogh was a tall man of stature, and of a large and great bodie; a valiant and a bold warrior in his nation; and by reason of his continuale halowing and crieing, his voice was hoarse; he rather chose and desired to be feared than to be loved; a great oppressor of his nobilitie, but a great advancer of the poor and weak. To his own people he was rough and grievous, and hateful unto strangers; he would be against all men, and all men against him."
The reader will easily conceive from this amiable character of Dermod Mac Morogh, that he had few friends and many enemies. His ferocious conduct, indeed, soon drew upon him the resentment of Roderick O'Connor, the last king of Ireland. About the year 1155, Teighernan O'Rourke, king of Briefne, had married a lady, who happened to have less predilection for him than he had for her; and as her passions by no means tended to a platonic intercourse, she very naturally sought to gratify her appetites at the expense of her conjugal fidelity. The name of this lady, not the most adapted for pronunciation by the lips of love, was Dearbhforguill, the daughter of Mortough Mac Floinn, king of Meath. The object upon whom she pitched to accomplish her designs, was Dermod Mac Morogh, whom she very modestly invited to carry her off from her husband, whose embraces she detested. With
Conjugal kindness and fidelity.
that cautious spirit of intrigue also which a woman is always better able to regulate than a man in affairs of gallantry, she informed her lover that a very convenient opportunity for the execution of their scheme would soon occur, as her husband was shortly about to depart upon his pilgrimage to St. Patrick's purgatory; and I suppose she thought it an act of catholic zeal to keep him there as long as she could, by preparing another purgatory for him when he returned home.
Dermod received this message with all the joy that might be expected in a lover, and he lost no time in preparing to carry into execution the plan suggested by his mistress. He repaired to the appointed place, and found the lady ready to receive him. She sprung into his arms, and was placed on horseback behind one of Dermod's superior officers, who soon reached his palace in Leinster. It was necessary, however, that the lady should assume a virtue, if she had it not, and when she was seized, she did not fail to cry out, to call for help which she did not want, and to be clamorous about a situation in which she delighted to find herself. Geraldus very honestly tells his opinion of the matter: Rapta nimirum fuit, quia et rapi voluit: that is, she was ravished because she would be ravished.
Her husband, the king of Briefne, was, as has been already stated, at that time upon his pilgrimage; but when he returned home, and found that his wife had undertaken a pilgrimage of an