Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

DESPITE the intermixture of races, and the settlements and transactions of every hue which the
course of ages has produced, the old hatred of English government still subsists as a native passion
inherent in the mass of the Irish nation. From the first day of the invasion the will of that "ace
of men has been constantly opposed to the arbitrary will of the conquerors: it has detested 'T,tat
they have loved, and loved what they have detested. They, whose long misfortunes were in a great
measure caused by the ambition of the popes, wedded themselves to the dogmas of Catholicism, with
a sort of fury, so soon as England freed herself from the same. This unconquerable obstinacy, this
faculty of preserving and nourishing, through ages of physical misery, the remembrance of their lost
liberty, the disposition never to despair of a constantly vanquished cause, that has always been fatal
to all such among them as have dared to espouse and defend it, is perhaps the most extraordinary
and the greatest example that a people has ever given.-AUGUSTIN THIERRY'S History of the Norman







The origin of the following book may be shortly stated. Some time ago, desiring to obtain a full acquaintance with the history of Ireland subsequent to its connection with England, the author sought among the libraries and publishers for a work upon the subject. He was doomed to be disappointed ; for, though he found that many books had been written about Ireland, -one (Moore's) giving its history previous to the Reformation '; another (Leland's) bringing it down to the Revolution of 1688; a third (Taylor's) detailing the history of the Civil Wars of Ireland, but hastily passing over the last and (to the present generation of readers) the most important of all—the Rebellion of 1798; a fourth (Barrington's) giving the history of the Irish Parliament during the short, bright period of its glory, commencing in the year 1781; a fifth (Madden’s) giving the history of the United Irishmen at great length ;-yet in none could he find a clear and connected account of the current of Irish events down to the present time, such as is so much needed at this day, when Irish questions engross so large a share of public attention. In short, it was found that a very large number of books—many of them very expensive ones- must be perused, before anything like a correct idea could be formed of Irish history. The author therefore conceived the design of writing a book which should in some measure supply the deficiency, and give the English reader, within a small compass, a history of Ireland and the Irish People under the government of England, down to the period at which we live. No time was lost in putting this design into execution, and the following book is the result.

« PreviousContinue »