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than a criticism. The want of such a book has long been felt, and, ■without further preface, we may note the excellence of the printing and copiousness of the illustration, and pass to its contents.
The author limits himself as much as possible to the "historic period," on the vague limit of which " we stand near the outer margin of the fog, and observe and delineate the people as they emerge from darkness and twilight."
Dr. Joyce finds traces of national growtli " slow and methodical, duly subordinated from the highest grades of the people to the lowest." He accordingly opens his work on the extremely complex system of monarchy which prevailed. So definite were the marks of rank, that it is stated that even St. Patrick modelled his household on that of the nobility, even to the extent of keeping a "champion" or "strong man," who among the laity was mainly employed to avenge any insult offered to his patron, but whom the pacific saint employed to carry him over streams.
We cannot go at much length into the fascinating picture of royalty "as it ought to have been " ; the ideal, though only an ideal, was a mark of nobility in those who created it. Had monarchy got the strength in Ireland which it acquired elsewhere, a very different history might have come down to us, instead of the blood-soaked records of meaningless little civil wars which deface our Annals for nearly a thousand years. Dear indeed must learning, art, and religion have been to the people ■who preserved even a shadow of these through the fearful ninth and tenth centuries; but it is sad to read of as many raids of Irishmen on their fellow-countrymen as of those made by the Norsemen.
"Warfare naturally takes an important place in the work. The native records retain echoes of the strife which we hear from distant foreign sources, the poems of Claudian, and the Histories of the wars of Theodosius and Stilicho. St. Patrick himself was one of "many thousand men" captured and brought to slavery by Irish conquerors. Whether (in view of the Silchester Ogham) we are to regard the Ogamic inscriptions in Wales as proofs of Irish invasion and settlement need not be discussed here. It is not as conquerors and oppressors that the Irish are best known in history.
Dr. Joyce's happy knowledge shows itself incidentally in interesting lights on the names of his heroes and heroines. Very suggestive in its coincidence is his equation of the names of the first and latest recorded queens regnant in Britain—Boadicea = Buadac = Victoria. The "professional lady-soldier " is'almost confined to the ancient Irish. Suchwas Cuchullin's teacher in arms, Scathach-Buanand. It was only as the " Faith " gained a firm position in Ireland that the women (697) and the clergy (803) were set free from military service. The picture of the "Hospital " or "Asylum" for worn-out warriors (if not wholly mythical) marks an advanced view of national responsibility as yet hardly realised. Very chivalrous, too, is the non-usage of armour; the Anglo-Normans, however, soon cured the Irish of this romantic notion. Objection has been made to illustrating the legends as found in the Middle Ages by early bronze weapons; but can we be sure that the use of such things did not really continue to late times? for old weapons may have been found and used, or at least described. Ireland was ever a land of survivals; small "long dolmens," made in the middle of the late century, still exist in Kerry graveyards; and finds often reveal most heterogeneous collections of bronze and iron implements of widely different dates.
We may here note the critical, yet unhesitating, use made by Dr. Joyce of statements of the much-abused Giraldus Cambrensis—the Herodotus of his period—prejudiced, but essentially a victim of hearsay, like many a later traveller in our island. Masterly, too, is Dr. Joyce's condensation of the elaborate code of the Brehon laws.
At chapter ix. we are brought face to face with Irish Paganism. This subject always suggests to us the sad fact that there is no Irish "Edda." How priceless any undoubted Pagan poem of the Irish would be, and (apart from magic rites and ceremonies) how little can be gathered, and what impersonal phantoms we find in their pantheon, compared with the Teutonic, Grecian, and Roman gods. "Thou hast conquered, Nazarene," is especially the motto of Irish mythology. Their gods' "memorial is perished with them." Only Mannanan, the sea-god, the beneficent Dagda, and the fearful Badbh, have any form or personality. How far the alleged Pagan doctrines catch reflected light from the Christianity of their recorders it is difficult to say.
More satisfactory is the picture given of early Irish learning. Despite its limitations, it seems to contrast favourably with the husks of science served out to the human mind in the later Middle Ages. Ethicus of Istria called the Irish literati, "unskilled toilers, and uncultivated teachers"; but he seems to have seen them in the third or fourth century, when presumably there was no Irish "learning" comprehensible to an Italian, and the difficulties of a foreigner getting any proper interpreter in Ireland must have been great indeed. He, however, mentions their "volumes"; and if this is correct, it opens up a most important question as to the existence of any sort of pre-Christian records. It certainly bears out Mr. James Ferguson's conclusion, though he does not seem to have known the testimony of Ethicus, that the Irish had books of the time of Cormac mac Airt., i.e., of the third century. The bardic curriculum was liberal. It consisted in the first year of fifty oghams or alphabets, grammar, and fifty tales. In the second year, more oghams, tales, and philosophy. In the third, more advanced study. Law and poems ciime into the course for the fourth and filth years. In the fifth, secret language of the poets was added; in the sixth, Bardic poetry; in the n.-xt three years, the more complex prosody; and in the next three the student continued these and more advanced studies, till (after the twelfth year) he emerged an Ollave confessed, a master of many tales and poems, and an accomplished poet. The clerical schools naturally taught divinity as the main subject, but they added history, illumination, arithmetic, astronomy, and "canonical wisdom." In poetry, as in war, the ladies asserted their claims. One of the early exponents of " higher education for woman," Uallech, chief poetess of Erin, died in 932. Greatly honoured was the "learned man " among the chiefs; not from fear, such as the satirist and bard excited, but from genuine admiration, he was rewarded and entertained by all.
Dr. Joyce deals at some length with Irish learning and art, with which vast subjects we cannot deal even so briefly as we have done with the previous sections. Let it suffice to say that the numerous illustrations of Irish Art, from the carvings of our tumuli to the masterpieces of Cong and Ardagh, give no slight amount of information in a condensed form, apart even from the elaborate letter-press. The first volume closes with the important subjects of medicine and surgery.
The second volume deals first with family life. The dowry and married woman's property were well secured—indeed the most complete equality prevailed between husband and wife. "Women could go to law and distrain on their own account. It is amusing to note the pompous verbal assertion of man's superiority in the preludes to all this practical assertion of women's rights. With fosterage the compilers of the code were naturally much concerned.
There are full particulars (based both on literature and remains) about Irish houses, from the roof-tree and knocker to the external defences of earth-works and stone walls. The castles and crannogs are no more neglected than the royal raths of Tara; and the article enumerates, with brief descriptions and many illustrations, some of the more noted or typical examples of the forts.
Chapter xxi. deals with the very important subjects of food, drink, fuel, and light. The menu of the ancient Irish is appetising, and was well calculated to satisfy the appetite created. One English article—salt— was highly appreciated. Refinement went so far as to make butter "prints" with elaborate ornaments. The great importance attached to honey, and the elaborate legislation as to bees, are well known.
Another fact worthy of high civilisation was the existence of public hostels and the biataghs.
Dress and personal adornment were not neglected: even cosmetics were used, and the fairest ladies " crimsoned " their nails and faces, and blackened their eye-brows. The men were equally particular about their flowing hair and beards, and bathing was not neglected. Indeed, if the legends represent Irish life truly, the Irish chief, like the Greek and Saxon, regarded a bath as no slight luxury. Even "Turkish" (or, as Germans say, "Irish") vapour-baths were not unknown. If Buskin is right in his dictum, ""Whenever men are noble they love bright colour," the Irishmen were noble indeed. Some of the combinations sound very
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badly, but con we say much against the taste of a nation that illuminated books, and ornamented metal and stone so beautifully? Cloaks, coats, capes, kilts, trousers, leggings, gloves, hats, and shoes clothed the men very comfortably, and the elaborateness of their ornaments is a commonplace.
Again, we must briefly run over the mere headings. "We find much about pasturage and tillage; workers in wood, metal, and stone; masons and other craftsmen; mills; the manufacturing of clothing; measures and weights; locomotion and commerce.
Very interesting are the sections on the aenachs and assemblies often arising out of funeral games of the remotest past. The chase and games, social customs, pledging and borrowing, provision for the aged, and numerous other matters, bring us to the last scenes of all—the deaths and burials; the first varying, but varying as in all ages, the latter varying from the crypt of the cromlech and artificial cave, to the canopied tomb beside the altar. There is a long and helpful bibliography given at the end, and also a full index.
"We have been unable even to fully enumerate the various matters treated of by Dr. Joyce in this most elaborate work. The space available for this notice is more than filled, even by this imperfect precis. We can only express our pleasure in hailing a new book of reference of so careful a character, despite the great difficulties of the subject treated.
The Irish Dominicans of the Seventeenth Century. By Father John O'Heyne, o.p. Reprinted, with an English Translation, and an Appendix, by Rev. Ambrose Coleman, o.p., M.e.i.a. (Dundalk: "William Tempest, 1902.) Price 5*.
The books relating to Irish Ecclesiastical History that are not unduly influenced by sectarian feelings, or deeply impregnated with a maudlin sentimentality, which is quite as much to be deprecated, are so uncommon that the publication of one devoid of these peculiarities is calculated to occasion no little surprise. The present book is a pleasing departure from old, over-zealous, combative ways, and a triumph for scholarship. The editing is at once able and accurate, whilst the appendix to the book, compiled by the editor, is evidently the refined product of a long and deep research into the scattered muniments affecting the history of the ancient foundations of the Order of St. Dominic, or Friars Preachers in Ireland.
Father Coleman, in a lucid introduction of some thirty pages, devoted mainly to the history of the Order in Ireland, traces its growth, its periods of prosperity and of persecution; its dissolution and expulsion. Of the Dominican foundations in Ireland—thirty-eight in number before the dissolution—only one or two, situate amidst bogs and marshes, appear to have escaped the vigilance of government; and at the close of Elizabeth's reign, five or six aged friars, living apart in the houses of friends, were the sole representatives of that whilom rich, powerful, and wellrepresented Order. Their downcast fortunes soon began to assume a more favourable prospect, as, in the report of Father Boss Mageoghegan, the provincial, in the year 1622, there were seven convents and fortyseven friars in the country—numbers that kept rapidly increasing until the advent of Cromwell. The friars again enjoyed comparative peace on the restoration of Charles II., and returned in large numbers, to be scattered and banished once more by further penal enactments.
O'Heyne, doubtless owing to a very commendable modesty on his part, has left us only some scanty particulars concerning himself, which present a vivid picture of the life of a regular ecclesiastic in Ireland in the latter half of the seventeenth century. He studied at Salamanca, was a Bachelor of Sacred Theology, and taught philosophy in France, and at intervals in the College of Holy Cross at Louvain, where he was vicar for a year. "On his first return to Ireland, by command of Father William Burke, the provincial," he writes, "he taught a large school, until he was obliged by the violence of the persecution to hide, and be the companion for a year of the Bishop of Elphin. Thereupon, as he was specially sought after by the Protestants, he was compelled to fly from the kingdom. On finishing his term of regency at Louvain, he returned home a second time, and remained there for eight years evangelizing the people, and was Prior of Urlar. Finally, expelled with the rest of all the religious Orders, after the various mishaps of distressful exile, he is living in Louvain, at Holy Cross, in the sixtieth year of his age and the fortieth of his profession."
O'Heyne lived through an era during which great principles, both in Church and State, were at stake; and his book—largely a record of a stubborn resistance to an all-devouring authority—is tragic reading. He was frequently an eye-witness to the events recorded by him, and was acquainted with very many of his brethren, sketches of whose careers he has left us—circumstances that add considerably to the historical value of his work.
The book was originally published in Latin, at Louvain, in 1707; and even apart from the fact that only one complete copy of that, hitherto the only, edition is known to exist, namely, in the British Museum, its republication is certainly not premature or uncalled for.
The present edition is a comely one, and a good example of what a printer is still capable of accomplishing in an Irish provincial town.