Page images

himself in his former elegant attitude, he recommenced his INCANTIC jabber. ings, he repeated his manipulations in the manner above described. After some time, we observed the cloth gradually rising, rising, rising, and rising again in the centre, until it assumed a form somewhat conical, the apex of which was removed about two feet, or upwards, from the floor ; during the whole of this rising or ascending pro. gress, the manipulator remained with out moving from the spot where he had originally squatted, but he now assumed the erect posture of the “human form divine,” and again, and for the last time, he raised the cloth, when, wonder upon wonders! there were the six dishes, which, twenty or thirty minutes previously, we had seen arranged flat and symmetrically upon the floor, now piled one upon the other in regular order, commencing with the largest at the bottom, and each dish, in ascending order, being of diminished size, until the smallest crowned the top, the food remaining in the dishes, thus forming a pyramid of alternate layers of earthenware and viands. “Well," said a countryman of ours who was present, “if this does not bate Banagher, and sure ye know who he bate, wasn't it ould Nick himself ?" Alas! poor - ! for, shortly after, Death, the presiding genius of Hong-Kong, claimed him as a victim, and there his body rests, in the burial ground upon the hill, far from Erin's green isle, and those he loved so well.

been the witnesses of : but he treated all that he did seemingly as matters of common, ordinary, daily occurrence, which possibly they might have been, or were, with him. Amongst our Eng. lish exclamations of wonderment, it should not be forgotten that there were mingled in due proportion the YI-YAWS, and other expressions indicative of similar feelings on the part of the head domestics and their friends, who had crowded round the doors and windows to satisfy their not very unnatural curiosity; for we, although not at all times disposed to be good-natured, on this occasion, for very obvious reasons, followed laudably the course pursued by a certain “ Mitey Minister," and shut our eyes to avoid seeing what we felt we should have great difficulty in remedying. The emperor of all the conjurors, and we most fully acquiesce in according him the title, now took his leave with a "chin-chin," meaning, in good honest English, farewell; his coolee removing the teakwood box, and some of our own domestics carrying out the flowering shrub, in all its pristine beauty, and the pyramid of viands, of the latter of which we have no doubt they partook, in company with our friend the emperor, and washed them down with sundry cups of their favourite sam-shoo.

We must now conclude, by drawing an analogy between the peformances of the jugglers of the Celestial Empire and their brethren of the British possessions in India. We have not ourselves heard of anything analogous to the bowl of water and the fish ; but as regards the growing plant or shrub we have, and believe that it has been previously described by many; but, nevertheless, we will give it here concisely, as we have had it from the lips of an eye-witness, whose veracity is undoubted, and upon whom we can rely, and whose scars bear honourable testimony to the service which he has rendered his country. The performance we allude to is the production of a mangoe-tree. The juggler shews a stone of mangoe fruit, or the young plant, which he places in the earth, covering it with a mat; after a certain time he removes the mat, and the fruit-stone has either become a young plant, or the young plant has become a young tree, with branches clothed with leaves, as the case may

" Alag, poor Yorick, he was a fellow of infinite

mirth and merriment !"

Ah! well, it will not do for us to indulge in these melancholy reminis. cences.

With breathless astonishment we gazed upon this necromancer, half believing that it was not quite impossible that, upon more close inspection, we might discover the cloven hoofs, horns, tail, and other peculiarities appertain ing to his satanic majesty- true, there was a tail, but that was of hair, and being twined round his head, it could not very conveniently or legitimately be termed a dorsal termination! Dur. ing the whole of this time, he preserved bis imperturbable gravity, whilst we, unsophisticated mortals, were lost in very amazement at the wonders we had

be; it is again covered with the mat, which, after another space of time is removed, and you behold the tree in full blossom. The same process of co. vering and uncovering with the mat is repeated several times, and the various stages of the blossoms forming, blow. ing, the fruit forming, the green fruit and the ripened fruit are exhibited, according to their natural order, for inspection and observation. At the conclusion, the fruit is gathered, cut into pieces, and handed to the spec. tators; and our informant has assured us, that he not only partook of the fruit which was so produced, but that the appearance, smell, and flavour of them were equal to the finest fruit of that description which he had ever pre viously tasted. This operation of grow. ing mangoe-trees takes several hours, and, to the best of my recollection, five or six-So that, in point of time,

the professors of the Celestial Empire are not inferior to those of British India ; and we have not the slightest doubt upon our minds, that they could produce fruit in a shorter time ; judging from what we have witnessed, seeing that the flowers were produced upon our shrub in about an hour and ten minutes from the planting of the seed, we may very fairly argue that fruit could have been produced in an hour longer.

We will not here enter into any description of, or dissertation upon, the feats of agility, or gymnastic exercises practised in the Celestial Empire, whatever we may be induced to do hereafter ; more particularly as we do not consider that they correctly come under the same class with those performances which we have just been describing.


“My Son O’NIALL,—Thou and thy fathers were ever faithful to the mother Church of Rome. His holiness, Paul, the present pope, and his council of holy fathers, have lately found an ancient prophecy of our St. Lazerianus, an Irish archbishop of Cashel. It saith, that the Church of Rome shall surely fall when the Catholic faith in Ireland is overthrown. Therefore, for the glory of the mother church, the honor of St. Peter, and your own security, suppress heresy, and oppose the enemies of his holiness. The council of cardinals have, therefore, thought it right to animate the people of the holy island in this sacred cause, being assured, that while the mother church hath sons like you, she shall not fall, but prevail for ever, in some degree at least, in Britain. We commend your princely person te the protection of the Holy Trinity, of the Virgin, of St. Peter, St. Paul, and all the host of heaven. Amen."

IN a paper, to which Mr. Wills “ Lives of Illustrious Irishmen" gave a title, in our last November number we took a rapid review of the early history of this country, and the remarkable men connected with that history, concluding with Gerald, sixteenth and last earl of Desmond. Resuming the subject, we shall briefly advert to a few of the distinguished native chief tains of the same period.

The Desmond Fitzgeralds are generally conceded the first place in power and pre-eminence among the Norman settlers, who established themselves in this country. The house of O'Neill may justly claim the same station among the native inhabitants. From the earliest periods to which our records reach, they had possessed terri. tories of immense extent in the north of Ireland ; and would appear even beyond the limits of those extensive territories to have established their do. minion, though not the right of property; exacting from the surrounding chieftains an acknowledgment of their supremacy. At first they had resist. ed, afterwards refused to acknowledge, the sovereignty of England ; finally, after long resistance, they yielded an apparent submission, cherishing in secret the most inveterate enmity. Hugh O'Niall disturbed the reign of John with frequent insurrections. Con O'Niall, who married a sister of the eighth Earl of Kildare, Tirlogh O Niall, and Art O'Niall, successively through the reigns of Henry VII. and Henry VIII., waged war with the lords deputies. Con Boccagh O'Niall first sought and received a confirma. tion of his title from the British go. vernment; he was made a knight, and for several years continued peaceable, and professed fidelity to the British connexion : afterwards he joined in the rebellion of his kinsman Silken Thomas ; and being thus once es. tranged from loyal influences, it became an object with the enemies of King Henry VIII. and the Reforma tion, to gain his alliance. A letter was addressed to himn by the Bishop of Metz and foreign cardinals, in these singular words:

Con for some years continued in hostility with various success ; at last, wearied of efforts which led to no decisive result, he made terms with the Lord Deputy, surrendered his estates to King Henry-received from him the earldom of Tyrone, and a grant of the country of Tyrone. The patent li. mited the earldom to him for life, with remainder to his son Matthew. The legitimacy of this Matthew was denied, and another son, Shane O'Neill, as. suming to be heir of the estate, by Irish law, though by the patent exclud. ed from the title, engaged in war against Matthew, in his father's lifetime, and put him to death.

Thus commenced the career of John, better known by his Irish name of Shane O'Neill, the great leader of the disaffected in Ulster, during the earlier part of Elizabeth's reign, and one of the most remarkable and dangerous of the chiefs, who have at any time rebelled against the English supremacy.

Possessed of prodigious physical strength, he was able to endure any fatigue, and indulge in any excess. His mental abilities, naturally considerable, were little indebted to education ; but he had those natural quali. ties which, when sharpened by exercise

and intercourse with men and business, tinued steadily to strengthen his own supply the defects of education, and power, and awaited only the favour. conduct their possessor, if not with able moment to break into rebellion. equal honour, often with greater suc- At length he burst upon Armagh with cess, through intricate affairs-quick flame and sword, and advanced southness of apprehension, foresight, pru. ward as far as Dundalk. Receiving dence, and the power of dissembling. there a check, he returned home, only Thus fitted for the stirring scene on to meet new enemies in the neighbour. which he was to act, he found the cir ing chieftains, who had risen against cumstances of the time and the temper him, and took advantage of his re. of men's minds admirably adapted for treat to press him on every side. his views of independence. The Edg. Abandoned by his old allies, conscious lish language and laws had made little he had offended Elizabeth too deeply progress among the mass beyond the and too repeatedly to be again for. immediate neighbourhood of Dublin. given, he sought refuge with the Scots The Norman and Native chiefs were who had established themselves in Anequally unwilling to submit to any yoke, trim, and whom he had, a few years or to be guided by any rule except previously, assailed with his whole their own arbitrary wills. The lower force. classes rather existed than lived; bar. A drunken quarrel, eventuating in barous, beyond any other district in an armed conflict, between his follow. Europe, in their habits, and utterlyers and a party of the Scots, termiunenlightened by any knowledge or in- nated at once his life and his intrigues. formation whatever, more than was re- Piers, an English captain, who not quisite to provide their miserable sub. improbably fomented the dissension, sistence from day to day. The Refor. cut off the head of the deceased chief, mation had been introduced within the and carried it to the Lord Deputy to English pale, and under the preaching Dublin. His headless trunk was bu. of Browne, Archbishop of Dublin, and ried near Cushendun, on the coast of many of his clergy who embraced its Antrim ; and tradition still points out doctrines, had made some progress in the grave of the great Shane O'Neill! Dublin, and to such extent around it O n the death of Shane, there were as the English language was spoken. two claimants for his power and posiEverywhere else the ignorance of the tion--Tyrlogh O'Neill, his uncle, and peasantry and clergy, and their natural Hugh O'Neill, son of Matthew, who hostility to any system that came from had been slain by Shane. Tyrlogh those masters against whose political claimed to be the O'Neill, by virtue of predominance they were, however un. the Irish laws, and also on account of successfully, still pertinaciously strug. the alleged illegitimacy of Matthew ; gling, opposed insurmountable obsta Hugh derived his claims by the pacles to its dissemination. Erroneous tent from the crown, which limited views, prevalent at that period, and the estates and earldom, on the death shared in by but too many of the best of Con O'Neill, the first earl, to his and ablest statesmen, of the duty of son Matthew and his issue. Eventually the state to proselytise, and use even the claims of Hugh prevailed. force, if necessary, for the purpose, Hugh O'Neill was bred in Eng. produced measures that were met by land; and his first occupation was in obstinate resistance ; and the intrigues the queen's service, as captain of a of foreign ecclesiastics, and the ambi. troop in the war with Desmond. While tion of individual chieftains, perverted engaged on that service, he is said to and inflamed the antipathies of reli. have attained a high reputation for gious discord.

military talent. He was at all times Of these materials for civil war, remarkable for dissimulation, whether Shane O'Neill took that advantage natural, or acquired by the circumwhich might have been anticipated. stances in which he was placed. To While engaging in an extensive con this, and to his conciliating address, federacy with the discontented in every and Aattery used unsparingly and des. part of the island, he had the prudence terously on a visit to Elizabeth, was to veil his designs, and actually pass due his being established in his ancesover to London to pay his homage to tral possessions, with the reservation the queen. Thence returned, he con merely of two hundred and forty acres

for an English garrison. The Irish pared at home to enable his arrest with parliament, at the same time, declared safety, returned again to his own counhim entitled to the earldom of Tyrone, try, having, by his courageous conduct, which had been granted to his grand- disheartened his enemies, and infused father.

new vigour into his allies and friends. Much controversy has taken place As soon as the queen received inforbetween historians respecting the ori. mation of what had occurred, she exgin and causes of the subsequent quar- pressed, in strong terms, her displearel between O'Neill and the Eng. sure at the irresolution of the council, lish government. Some lay the blame and the error they had committed in on him; others on the lord deputy; permitting so dangerous a person to and Mr. Wills pretty equally on both. escape ; and, perceiving that the dar.

O'Neill, unquestionably, had within ing of O'Neill gave but too sure indi. the English pale a bitter enemy in Sir cations of the strength he had acquirHenry Bagnall. He had carried offed, and the preparations he was makand married the sister of this knight, ing, determined to check the growth and, to enable him to do so, had di. of his influence, and anticipate the hosvorced his own wife. And it is not tilities of the insurgent party, by esunlikely that the conduct of O'Neill tablishing a chain of fortresses, well was subject to misrepresentation and stored and garrisoned, across the suspicion, generated by the vindictive North of Ireland. O'Neill and O'Donfeelings of Bagnall. It seems, how. nell, foreseeing that were this once acever, certain, that he was but too well complished, their designs could never inclined to seize on any excuse to be realised, resolved, if possible, to shake off the yoke ; and that during prevent the measure being effected, all the period at which he made the and broke into open war. The former loudest professions of fidelity to the suddenly appeared, with a large force, government, he carried on secret com- on the Blackwater at Portmore, where munications of a very different ten- an English fort curbed the surrounddency with the insurgent native and ing district, stormed and seized the Anglo-Hibernian chiefs, and even with fort, expelled the garrison, and driving the King of Spain. Some of his in- them before him, advanced through surrectionary tendencies were certain. O'Reilly's country with unresisted sucly due to O'Donnell, another northern cess. O'Donnell simultaneously inchieftain, who had been seized by Sir vaded Sligo, and devastated a vast ex. John Perrott, under circumstances of tent of country, with fire and sword, disgraceful treachery, and who, escap- sparing no English adherent. The ing from imprisonment, fled to O'Neill, insurrection, with various incidents, and infused into the north his own ar- and with considerable intervals of dent and just indignation. O'Neill, truce, continued for a lengthened peindeed, wrote to the government that riod without any definite result. A he would persuade O'Donnell to loy. victory of considerable importance was alty, and in case he were obstinate, at length gained by O'Neill and the serve against him in person ; but it confederates near Clontibret, and subwas ere long seen that the principles sequently another near Portmore, and of his guest found from him a ready lastly one attended with the loss of fifsympathy and support, not the less teen hundred English soldiers, and dangerous because disguised. Private thirteen captains (among them Sir orders were issued to Sir Wm. Rus- Henry Bagnall), near Armagh, called sell, the then deputy, if practicable, to by some the battle of the Yellow-ford, seize O'Neill; and the language of and by others of the Blackwater. the court became, in the words of Contemporaneous with this defeat, Spenser_“ O'Neill, though lifted by the flame of rebellion was kindled in her Majesty out of the dust to that he the south by James Fitz Thomas, known hath now wrought himself unto, play as the Sugan Earl of Desmond; and eth like the frozen snake.” Deeming the historians of the period describe boldness the best defence, he suddenly the British authority as shaken to its appeared in Dublin, confronted his ac- foundation. “ The general voice," cusers, intimidated the viceroy, and, says Moryson, “ was of Tyrone before orders were received from Eng- amongst the English after the deland, or measures were sufficiently pre. feat of Blackwater, as of Hannibal

« PreviousContinue »