Page images
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

THE IRISH HARP: 1 Monthly Magazine of National and General Literature.

No. 1.]

MARCH, 1863.

[Vol. I.



THE two most remarkable outbursts of that ushered in the terrible epoch of which we fanaticism recorded in the history of the hu

propose to treat.

Ever faithful to the faith man race, occurred amongst the Saracens in of Patrick and the chair of Peter, the Cathothe seventh century, and amongst the English lics of Ireland stood unbendingly before the and Scotch Puritans in the seventeenth ; at a full force of the tide of the Reformation.” distance of just a thousand years. The for- After its first fury had passed, the old religion, mer was founded on the Koran, and Mahomet and most of its followers, were left stripped was its leader; the latter pretended to be of everything which impious and unscrupulous founded on the Bible, and had for its most men could grasp. Henry and Elizabeth had remarkable embodyment and representative, passed to their account, but their fearful Oliver Cromwell. There was a striking ana- deaths brought no warning to those who were logy between many leading characteristics of red with blood of the innocent, and loaded both movements. Rapacity and cruelty alike with sacrilege and plunder. The south of distinguish the followers of each. Mahomet, Ireland, after a brave but fruitless struggle, with the sword in one hand and the Koran in had been desolated and “planted;" but the the other, desolated the finest regions of the desperate valour and devoted fidelity of the East; Cromwell, with a sword still more un- followers of Tyrone, in Ulster, had secured sparing, announced the alternative of the Bi- some hold of the soil to the ancient septs of ble-as interpreted by his Ironsides—or death, that warlike province. to the Catholics of Ireland; while both were But some impenitent persecutors, and hypoequally hostile to the Cross, and held the doc- critical, slavish “ West Britons,” will perhaps trine of fatalism in common. There was how- exclaim—“Oh! why rip up those old sores ?” ever one point in which the respective disci- “Why not let bye-gones be bye-gones,' ples and followers of these fanaticisms differed and let all start anew, forgetting the errors materially. The Saracens were generally sin- of the past, and endeavouring to rival each cere--the Puritans still more generally were other in the race of improvement and civilizathe rankest of hypocrites ; while for remorse- tion for the future ?” Our reply is, that were less cruelty, rapacity, and falsehood, the latter the cry sincere we would gladly hearken to it. were incomparably more notorious than their But it is utterly insincere. And those who eastern prototypes.

use it, except indeed the few denationalized We must take a rapid glance at the events individuals alluded to, are, of all others, the

« PreviousContinue »