Page images

tinge, and are still said to be the nation of the Blue Devils?

Horace represents them as a nation of aliens or foreigners in the universe, and calls them—“ Penitus toto disjunctos orbe Rritannos.If this was not true, in fact, when Horace wrote it, it was a true prophesy; for though they have pretended that the Irish patriots would be received in no country, it is they themselves who are now in that predicament. There is scarcely a nation with whom they are not in hostility; not even their Antipodes, the Chinese. But it is time, having brought both parties into court, to give them a day, and make a short adjournment of the cause.


Historical Ramble continuedFirt Visit of our Eng

lish Ancestors to our Irish Ancestors Beginning of the DISPUTE.

THE first visit or visitation of our English ancestors to our Irish ancestors, came about in this manner :-O'Rourke, king of Breffiny, went upon a pilgrimage-better he had staid at home; for Dermod M'Murrogh, king of Leinster (Oh these kings!) carried off his wife in his absence; and this was about the year 1166, as near as I can learn.-

Roderick O'Connor was master-king of all Ireland, and the poor pilgrim applied to Roderick for his prò. tection. The adulterer went with his story to King Henry the Second: and the Plantagenet king who was then in Aquatine, in France (God knows what his own wife was about then) took the part of the adulterer against the pilgrim, and applied to the pope. And the pope (Adrian) who was an Englishman, took the part of the English king and the adulterer, against the Irish king and the pilgrim, and so the dispute began. The English pope Adrian gave a Bull to the English king Henry, worse than any Irish Bull, and granted him “all Ireland,” be the same more or less, in consideration of natural love and affection, the pilgrim and the pilgrim's wife to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding. And he ordered the Irish to receive this English king honorably, and reverence him as their lord. With this monstrous bull, and five hundred men besides, he came and formed with little opposition, a settlement, which they called the English pale, having first cantoned out the whole island to ten men, and so began that dispute.

“ Never ending-still beginning

“ Fighting still--and still destroying," Which has since deluged this unfortunate country in blood, with little intermission, for near seven hundred years.

How the Irish reverenced the English king, and what cause they had, appears from a remonstrance to Pope John XXII. in the reign of Edward II. as folJows:

[ocr errors]


Extracts from the Irish Remonstrance,

to Pope John XXII. “ It is extremely painful to us, that the viperous detractions of slanderous Englishmen, and their iniquitous suggestions against the defenders of our rights, should exasperate your holiness against the Irish nation. But alas, you know us only by the misrepresentation of our enemies, and you are exposed to the danger of adopting the infamous falsehoods, which they propagate, without hearing any thing of the detestable cruelties they have committed against our ancestors, and continue to commit even to this day against ourselves. Heaven forbid, that your holiness should be thus misguided ; and it is to protect our unfortunate people from such a calamity, that we have resolved here to give you a faithful account of the present state of our kingdom, if indeed a kingdom we can call the melancholy remains of a nation, that so long groans under the tyranny of the kings of England, and of their barons ; some of whom, though born among us, continue to practise the same rapine and cruelties against us, which their ancestors did against ours heretofore. We shall speak nothing but the truth, and we hope, that your holiness will not delay to inflict condign punishment on the authors and abettors of such inhuman calamities.

“ Know then, that our forefathers came from Spain, and our chief apostle St. Patrick, sent by your predecessor, Pope Celestin, in the year of our Lord, 435, did, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, most effectually teach us the truth of the Holy Roman Ca-, tholic faith, that was preached to them, have, in num ber, sixty-one, without any mixture of foreign blood, reigned in Ireland to the year 1170. And those kings were not Englishmen, nor of any other nation but our own, who with pious liberality bestowed ample endowments in lands, and many immunities on the Irish church, though in modern times our church es are most barbarously plundered by the English, by whom they are almost despoiled. And though those'our kings, so long and so strenuously defended, against the tyrants and kings of different regions the inheritance given by God, preserving their innate liq berty at all times inviolate ; yet, Adrian IV. your predecessor, an Englishman, more even by affection and prejudice, than by birth, blinded by that affection and the false suggestions of Henry II. king of England, under whom, and perhaps by whom, St. Thomas of Canterbury was murdered, gave the dominion of this our kingdom by a certain form of words to that same Henry II. whom he ought rather to have stript of his own on account of the above crime.

“ Thus, omitting all legal and judicial order, and alas ! his national prejudices and predilictions blindfolding the discernment of the pontiff, without our being guilty of any crime, without any rational cause whatsoever, he gave us up to be mangled to pieces by the teeth of the most cruel and voracious of all monsters. And if sometimes nearly flayed alive, we escape from the deadly bite of these treacherous and greedy wolves, it is but to descend into the mise ble abysses of slavery, and to drag on the doleft

[ocr errors]

mains of a life more terrible than death itself. Ever since those English appeared first upon our coasts in virtue of the above surreptitious donation, they entered our territories under a certain specious pretext of piety and external hypocritical shew of religion ; endeavoring in the mean time, by every artifice malice could suggest, to extirpate us root and branch, and without any other right, than that of the strongest, they have so far succeeded by base and fraudulent cunning, that they have forced us to quit our fair and ample habitations and paternal inheritances, and to take refuge, like wild beasts, in the mountains, the woods, and the morasses of he country ; nor can even the caverns and dens protect us against their insatiable avarice. They pursue us into these frightful abodes, endeavoring to dispossess us of the wild uncultivated rocks, and arrogating to themselves the property of every place, on which we can stamp the figure of our feet; and through an excess of the most profound ignorance, impudence, arrogance, or blind insanity scarce conceivable, they dare to assert, that not a single part of Ireland is ours, but by right entirely their own.

“ Hence the implacable animosities and exterminating carnage, which are perpetually carried on between us ; hence our continual hostilities, our detestable treacheries, our bloody reprisals, our numberless massacres, in which since their invasion to this day, more than 50,000 men have perished on bith sides : not to speak of those who died by famine, despair, the rigors of captivity, nightly marauding,

« PreviousContinue »