CELT document E722000-001


Thomas O'Sullevane


Thomas O'Sullevane's Dissertation

 263 p.cxvii

This is what I thought proper to write upon these Memoirs, by way of Illustration, and to open some of the State-Intrigues of those Times, either not well discerned, or wittingly omitted, by such as have treated of the Affairs of the said Kingdom, in the Course of that War. 1 And it may be assuredly said,  p.cxviii that the Accounts given, not only of the Irish Transactions then, but before and after, are very imperfect, and deserve to be corrected and supply'd; especially now, when fresh Endeavours are in foot to impose upon the World in a grosser manner, by an English Version of Doctor Keating's pretended History, which is getting ready for the Press. Concerning which, I shall, for the sake of Truth, and in Vindication of the real Antiquities of that Nation, (without any other View or Design  264 whatsoever) venture to say that it will not at all answer the Character, given it in late Advertisements; as being, for the most part, an heap of insipid, ill-digested Fables, and the rest but very indifferently handled. The Owner of the Copy (for the Original belongs to the Lord Baron of Cahir in Ireland) assumes the Name of an Irish Antiquary, which (for ought I know) he may make some claim or Title to; tho' I verily believ'd there was none of that sort remaining in the Country. The Study of the present Generation reaching no farther than to comprehend and write the common Dialect of their Language; and not one in six thousand that can pretend even to that, which doubtless has occasioned this unpardonable Presumption. Nor could it have been well  p.cxix otherwise, where not so much as one Country School of that kind, hath been frequented since the Beginning of the Wars of 1641; the Gentlemen, and Quality, for the most part, that countenanc'd and supported that sort of Learning, having been thrust out of their Estates, tho' under the Peace of 48, and the general Indemnity, or Pardon, sent from Breda, a little before the Restoration. But if reading and writing alone be sufficient to make an Antiquary, modestly speaking, there are three Parts of four, of the People in Great Britain, Antiquaries too; and so in the same Proportion in other Kingdoms.

The first Part of this Work consists of idle Stories, first vented by Druids or Bards, soon after the Propagation of the Gospel in Ireland, when a Notion of the Flood, and the Ancient World, first came to be establish'd there: And these were then receiv'd or suffer'd by way of Romance, for Pastime and Diversion only, which some in the late Degeneracy of the Times (when the Irish Literature became almost extinct) finding written, took them for Genuin and good History. Whence it is, that we are told of a Colony settled in Ireland, so many Days or Months before the Flood; and that all the Inhabitants thereof, were not lost in the Flood itself:  p.cxx of many Settlements very early after the Flood, with particular Circumstances to each; and so down to to the Arrival of the Milesians, or old Spaniards, which alone of all they have hitherto deliver'd, seems to be justifiable: Yet not upon their Authority, (which is none at all) but because it may be otherwise sufficiently accounted for.

The Levity of the former Relations, is also clear'd by the Conveyance, which is as odd, as the things themselves there treated of. For there was no Tradition or Writing in the Case, but some of the Druids, that had seen all the Changes and Alterations, which happened in the said Isle from the Beginning, liv'd (as it seems) to the time aforesaid; not in the same Shapes or Forms, as Men do now-a-days, but under several, succeeding each other; as that of a Hind, that of a Wolf, that of a Roe, Kite, Eagle, Salmon, and other Creatures in their Turns. Giraldus Cambrensis, who accompanied  265 the Earl of Morton (afterwards King John) into Ireland, and there pick'd up all that fell in his Way, in order to write a History of the country; assures us, that one Ruanus (which he, or his Copist mistook, for Tuan, or Fiontuan, for so also it is sometimes written) having liv'd from near the Flood to St. Patrick's  p.cxxi time, (that is to the middle of the 5th Century) acquainted him with all that had pass'd in the said Kingdom before; which shews what sort of Antiquaries Cambrensis convers'd with there. To make amends for the Extravagancy of this Account, taken, as Cambrensis pretends, out of the most ancient Histories of the Country, he adds this for a Salvo or Excuse: Sed qui Historias primo scripserint, ipsi viderint, historiarum enimvero enucleator venio, non impugnatur: Let them that have broach'd those things, answer for the Reality of 'em; for I don't take upon me to criticize, but to illustrate Matters; which alone may demonstrate, that his full Design was to ridicule the said Histories under the Colour of those Fables, that are no Part of 'em. Doctor Keating likewise, either ignorantly or designedly, fell into the same gross Error; and after him, little Peter Walsh, who tho' he owns it was not well done of the Doctor, to have minded such silly Tales; yet for fear they should be lost, minutely sets 'em forth himself in their bright Colours. So that Bishop Stillingfleet in his Origines Britannicae &c. having no other Handle to make Sport with the Irish Antiquities, than the said Fables, publish'd by the above-mentioned Walsh, had more expos'd himself, than by  p.cxxii any thing else if the Grounds of his Reflections were known.

The pretended Transmutation of the Irish Druids and bards as is aforesaid, was agreeable to the Pythagorean Doctrine in that Respect; as certainly the Tenets of the Gallick Druids have been, from whom the former might have receiv'd theirs: whereof the Learned Mr. Edward L'huid, in his Archaeologia Britannica, (under the Title of Irish Manuscripts, Page 136,) gives a Specimen, which he found in an old Irish Volume kept in the Bodley Library at Oxford: These are his Words: ‘This Book, as is common in old Irish Manuscripts, has here and there some Latin Notes, intermix'd with Irish, and may possibly contain some Hints of the Doctrine of the Druids; as may be guess'd from these Words in the 103d Leaf: (the Irish Caracters I only change into the common, and what is left in that Language, I express in Latin along with the rest, to make the Sense perfect, to such as may not understand the former.) Tuan fuit in forma viri centum annis, postea apud Hibernos viginti annis in forma cervi, centum annis in forma aquilae, sex annis sub aquis in forma piscis: iterum in forma hominis, dum venerit ad tempus Finneni, ab nepotis Fiathaci.’ () And such are the choice Historians  266 followed by Cambrensis, Keating, Walsh, and the learned Bishop  p.cxxiii Stillingfleet himself; which (if they had been of any Weight whatsoever) 'tis not very probable, that either Innisfalensis in his Enquiry into the Antiquities of that Country, Tiegernacus in his Chronicle, or the Writers of the Ulster Annals, all ancient and reputable Authors, would have pass'd by them, and their Accounts, in deep Silence. I said reputable Authors, for so they are generally taken to be, being capable of undergoing the severest Criticism, and Scrutiny imaginable; unless you would think the learned Primate Usher was out in his Judgment, who found such an Exactness and Veracity in them, and especially in the Ulster Annals, that he gives them preference to several of the kind, and thereby corrects many ancient and modern Writers, even venerable Bede himself in things that fell out about the time he was born 712, &c., and the age next before. But why do I mention that learned Prelate, with Relation to these presumptive Historiographers of our own Time. They know as much of him, as of the Authors now named, tho' Natives of the same Land; and as much of both, as they do of the Thracian Orpheus, or Sanchoniathon, who wrote before the Trojan War.

It's worth observing also, that the above-quoted Mr. L'huid, in the Catalogue he gives,  p.cxxiv in the same Place, of the Irish Manuscripts of Trinity College in Dublin, which were thoroughly view'd, and examin'd by himself, mentions no such Book as Psaltair-Tara or Tarach, which our Present Antiquary pretends in his very Advertisements to be there; and that he has a Transcript, or some Part of it copied from thence, to embellish and enlarge his said Keating with. And it is very strange, it being only to be translated by him, that he would give himself the Liberty to add to, or make any Variation from the Original; (I mean the Copy in his Hands.) But the truth is, his Name is only made use of for a flourish, or outward shew, whilst others behind the Curtain are hard at Work, in licking this ill-born Cub into some Shape, under the Direction of a certain Gentleman, who already has render'd himself famous by new Schemes of Doctrine and Religion, upon the Authority of some old Manuscripts no body else could see or come at besides himself. But finding by the printed Papers, that the said Gentleman, who was Mr. Toland2, is now dead, I'll cease (Quia de mortuis nil nisi bonum) to say more of him, only this, that he seem'd to be so well qualified for the Work, he was employed in, that the loss of the Undertakers must be very sensible to them,  p.cxxv and hardly to be retriev'd. As to Dr. Keating, because it was in Esteem with the Bards of the Time, that ingenious and noble Lord, the Earl of Orrery, Grandfather to the present Earl, (out of Curiosity to know the Contents) had it translated into English for him about the Year 1668; 3  267 which the before-mentioned Walsh, in his Prospect of Ireland, says, he had borrowed from the Earl of Anglesea Lord Privy-Seal, to furnish him with Matter for his said Book. But neither the illustrious Owner, nor any of the Family ever since, that appears, thought it deserv'd being brought to Light, and therefore 'twas condemn'd to perpetual Darkness. Now, indeed it may be, this new Translation will fetch it out again, which I would have the present Undertakers take particular Notice of; that they may act with all Candour, and Sincerity.

Having spoken of the Nature of this Collection, 'tis but just I should say something of the Author; how qualified to write, what Motives he had in making the said Collection, and whether he design'd it for a just History of the Country.

Dr. Keating was born towards the End of Queen Elizabeth's Reign, in the County of Tipperary, ten Miles to the South-West of Clonmell,  p.cxxvi near a Village call'd Burgess; where a Seminary or School for Irish Poetry had been kept for a considerable time. As his Parents (who were of good Reputation, and in warm Circumstances) design'd him for the Service of the Church, they took care to give him early Education, such as that part of the Country could best afford; so that being often in Company with the Masters and Scholars of the said Seminary, by Conversation and Use, he attain'd to a competent Skill in the Dialect, and Strains peculiar to that Profession: Hereof there are many instances; and, among the rest, two elegant Poems, viz. an Elegy upon the Death of the Lord Desies, and a Burlesque Poem, in praise of a Servant of his own, nam'd Symon, whom he compares with the ancient Heroes. Being arriv'd at a proper Age, he took holy Orders, and went abroad to perfect his Studies. Upon his Return, (which was about the second Year of King Charles the First's Reign) he preached in many Places, and in a little time gain'd great Applause: So that where-ever he was to preach next, (which always was advertis'd at the last meeting) a vast Concourse of People flock'd to partake of his Instructions.

It fell out very unluckily, that to one of his Sermons came a Gentlewoman, whose  p.cxxvii Maiden Name was Elinor Laffan, then married to 'Squire Moclar, an easy good sort of Gentleman. She was very handsome, and somewhat vain from hearing much of her own Praises, and the Perfections of her Beauty. This the Libertines, who knew her weak Side, never miss'd of filling her Ears with, as the Musick she lik'd best, and so getting into a greater Freedom and Familiarity with her, might possibly have improv'd some few Minutes to her Disadvantage; in so much that she became the common Subject of Discourse in those Parts. To make the Accident more fatal to her, and the Preacher, his Sermon was chiefly upon  268 Morality, and the Blessings which commonly attend it, with relation to either Sex. In the Detail, as he spoke of Modesty on the one side, he touch'd upon Lubricity and Vice on the other; and even enlarg'd upon the last, as if of set purpose to work a present Reformation in this Gentlewoman. Whether he levell'd at her in this Discourse, is now hard to be rightly guess'd at; nor is it very material, since she took it so, and would not be persuaded to the contrary: But what much added to her Confusion was, that when ever the Priest hinted upon any amorous Intrigue, that was suitable to her Conduct, most of  p.cxxviii the Congregation would turn their Faces towards her; perhaps out of Curiosity to see, whether she kept her Countenance, under so severe a Lecture. In a Word, she was upon tenters till the Entertainment was over, and then retir'd galled to the Heart; and full of Wrath and Revenge against an Enemy, that had so publickly declar'd himself against her, as she verily thought he did. Nor was her Stay longer at home, than she could get her Equipage ready for a Journey; having (through the Indulgence of an over-fond Husband) the reins of Government in her own Hands.

Amongst her Admirers was a noble Earl, then Lord President of the Province, upon whom, it seems, she had conferr'd some of her Favours. To him she goes streight, he being then at Lymerick, and lays open the harsh Treatment she had met with, from first to last. That upon his Account she had been made a Game of, and expos'd to Ridicule in the Face of the whole Country, &c. Therefore if he expected the Continuance of her Good-will, he must vindicate her Honour, by an exemplary Punishment upon the Person, who in so open and vile a Manner, took the Liberty to tarnish it.

The Eloquence of Demosthenes, or Cicero, never more effectually wrought upon the  p.cxxix Passions of their Auditories, nor excited a greater Heat in them, than did these the Complaints of the said Lady mingled with her Tears, operate upon that Lord; he taking the Indignity as partly done to himself, and that thereby he ran a risque of losing a Conversation, that was so very dear to him. The Result was, that Orders were immediately issued for Horse and Foot, to go in quest of our Preacher, as obnoxious to the Laws provided against Seminary Priests, &c. and a great Reward was offer'd to any that should apprehend him. This so scar'd the poor Man, that immediately he chang'd both Garb and Name, kept in close Retirements for some Months, and at length quitted the whole Province. In this Misfortune, he lurk'd, sometimes in one Place, and sometimes in another, but mostly at the Abodes of the Poets, with whom he had contracted a Friendship in his Youth; where meeting with good Store of old Books, and Manuscripts, to divert his Thoughts, he would now and then look over some, and copy out what he took a  269 Fancy for. Which being continued for about two Years, and in several Places, at last compleated this Collection, which now goes under his Name. The Bards and Poets, indeed, extremely lik'd it, because it would save them  p.cxxx the Trouble of searching for Characters that were suitable to their Occasions, and for that reason took several Copies of it, in the Beginning. But when the Storm blew over, and the Doctor had an Opportunity to confer with more judicious Men, concerning his Work, he found it would not stand the test of an History; not only for that the first Part of it, which preceded the Milesian Conquest, was without any Probability or Appearance of Truth; as having ever been exploded by all Criticks, (I mean the Substance and Contents of it, gather'd from the empty Notions of the Metempsychosis, or Shape-changing Doctrine of the Druids) but because in the second, which reaches down from the said Conquest; though the Series, and Succession of the Kings, with many of their Actions, might be depended upon, in the main, for reality; yet these also were so blended and interwoven with Fables, that they would carry no greater Weight than the first. Since therefore he could not help what was done, by getting in the Copies already taken, which was not in his Power to accomplish; he desir'd it should never be translated into any other Language, nor otherwise regarded than as a Miscellany of indigested things, wherein judicious and discerning Natives  p.cxxxi might find something worth their perusal at leisure Hours. This took well for a time, and the nature of the Work itself made that Caution necessary; so that tho' several English Gentlemen in high Posts in that Country, desir'd a Translation of it at any Price, yet none ever prevail'd, before the said noble Lord; and it was the Father of a Gentleman lately deceas'd in London, (who commonly went by the Name of Count Conniers) that was won by this Lord (he being a Neighbour, and one who understood the Irish pretty well) to perform that Task. This was so generally resented, that he gain'd not only the Ill-will of many, but was even attack'd, and in danger of losing his Life several times on the same Account. Such as it is, let it have its Weight: But as 'tis far from being an History, I believe no man of Judgement will take it for one, or from the Imperfection thereof, censure the real and ancient Monuments of that Kingdom; which may deserve a better Consideration. What hath pass'd hitherto, might have been done out of Ignorance, and want of a right information of the Case, as is here set forth; but if another new Translation of the Fables above-mentioned be obtruded upon the World, for the sake of a little present Gain, I believe that every  p.cxxxii true and understanding Native will look upon it as an Injury done to their Country, and explode it accordingly. 4

Having before mention'd a Seminary, or School for Poetry; to obviate a Notion, which otherwise might be entertained, viz. that it was of the same nature with Schools and Colleges in other Countries, in which not only Poetry, but the other liberal Sciences, with the learned Languages, are taught and acquir'd: I think I may in this Place shew the Difference, it being of another kind; as rather agreeing with Customs us'd in very ancient and remote Parts, where no one eminent Calling was suffer'd to interfere with any other, each having their Professor peculiar to themselves, and these within certain Tribes strictly tied up to it, under very severe Penalties provided against Transgressors: Which as to Poetry, and most of the rest, was still preserv'd in Ireland upon the same Footing, till the Beginning of the Troubles in 1641. This is an Argument of the great Antiquity of the People, and that their Origin was very wide of those Nations, Mr. Camden, and other modern Writers would fetch it from, grounding themselves upon Conjectures, that seem not to have very much in 'em; and passing  p.cxxxiii (at the same time) such clear Indications as could not (being well weighed) but have afforded them a great deal of Light in their Searches, and at last perhaps have gratified their Labour, by the Discovery of the thing, they sought for. That this was the Custom of the Irish, viz. that the liberal Arts and Sciences should be in collegiat, and hereditary Bodies alone; you have the Testimony of the same Mr. Camden. ‘These Lords (says he) have their Historians about them, who write their Acts and Deeds: They have their Physicians also; and Rymers, whom they call Bards; yea and their Harpers, who have every one of them their several Livelihoods, and Lands set out for them. And of these there be in each Territory several Professors; and those within some certain, and several Families; That is to say the Brehons (Judges) be of one Stock, and Name, the Historians of another; and so of the rest, who instruct their own Children and Kinsmen, and have some of them always to be their Successors.’ () In like manner does Sir John Davis, Attorney-General to King James I., in that Kingdom, observe in his Treatise of Ireland, who hereupon is quoted by the former: which Institution was the very same formerly in Use with the Arabians, Egyptians, Chaldeans, and some other Asiatic Nations, while they  p.cxxxiv enjoyed their own Laws and Liberties, as Herodotus, 5 Diodorus Siculus, the Geographer, and others inform us. Nor is this the only Argument that can be made use of in such an Enquiry: There are several besides as convincing, especially those brought from Manners, and Customs at large, from Laws, Rites, Worship, the Language of the Natives, with its Idioms, and Dialects, proper Names of Men, Women, Names of Mountains, Rivers, Promontories, &c. These and the like, the Judicious Varro, and Tacitus, think very fit to be examin'ed upon such Occasions, so that without 'em, hardly any Certainty can be attain'd; which having not been done by such as have professedly treated of Ireland, (except as hereafter mentioned) 'tis not to be wonder'd they had so little Success. And perhaps that was the reason, which occasioned a Censure by this Verse upon the said Mr. Camden:

  1. Perlustras Anglos oculis, Cambdene duobus,
    Uno oculo Scotos, caecas Hibernigenas.
who certainly was a Learned Writer, and very capable of making better Discoveries, with relation to Ireland, if he had either had the Assistance of any honest and judicious Native thereof, or had seen more of the ancient  p.cxxxv Historians, and other Writers of that Place, than he did. The Affinity he found between some Words us'd by the ancient Gauls, Britons and Irish, chiefly made him conclude; That from the first, the second were descended, and from these the last. But it is more than probable, and perhaps demonstrable, that the said Words originally were neither Gallick nor British, but foreign to both Nations, till introduc'd therein upon Commerce; and Intercourse had with Strangers, as divers religious Rites and Customs were by the same means establish'd. So that if a thing, which with humble Submission, I think, is very probable, may be suppos'd (and the Learned Bochart in a great Measure has already done it to my Hands) Mr. Camden's Scheme or Account loses all its Force, and falls to the Ground. For I take it for granted, that the Notion of all Countries to have been first inhabited, viz. each from the next adjoyning, to be now too threadbare to sway with any body, when the Phoenicians and the Greeks are irrefragably known to have inhabited Places at vast Distances from home. And Tacitus acquaints us, (de morib. German.) that such as in ancient Times made remote Settlements, had steer'd their Course thither by Sea, and not by Land. But 'tis otherwise with Mr. Camden, when  p.cxxxvi he treads upon sure Grounds, as may appear by his Derivation of Jerin, or Erin, the principal Name of Ireland, which he fetches from the Word Hiere, signifying in the Language or Tongue of the old Natives, West. This Conjecture, he corroborates from the Situation of the Isle, being reputed, till of late, the most Western Part of the known World; and the same Name in remote Antiquity fix'd upon a Cape or Promontory, in the very extreme of Spain to the West, doubtless then believ'd also to be the End of the World, and a nihil ultra on that Side; whence Hercules was suppos'd to have erected his Pillars there; also the most Western River in Spain nam'd Jerna, and another of the like Signification in Ireland, &c. But besides these, mention'd by the said Author to have had an affinity to the aforesaid Name; and a Mountain in the former bordering upon the Ocean so call'd, there was another much to his Purpose, viz. Erythia, an Isle three Miles long and one broad, as Pliny tells us, stretching in sideways between Cales and the main Continent of Spain, long since sunk, or overwhelmed by the Salt Water, which Hesiod in his Story of the Theban Hercules, calls Iere, or Ierne;  p.cxxxvii adding that it was from thence the said Hero had carried off the Herd of the famous Geryon, upon vanquishing him there. Pliny in the same Place calls it Erythia, upon the Authority of Ephorus, and Philistides from Timaeus, and Silenus Aphrodisias from the Natives of the Place, the Isle of Juno. Strabo also speaks of it, and many other both Greek and Latin Authors. But why was it called Iere, unless for the Situation of it in the West, as the said other Places mention'd? For without doubt they that first impos'd the Name, had a regard to the Position to the Place's particular Quality, or some visible distinguishing Marks upon them; as in that of Albion, reputed the most ancient Name of Great Britain, to which the white Cliffs of it on the Channel, as the common Opinion is, had probably given Occasion. But there being nothing of that sort on the West of Spain, which was very particular, the Situation seems to have been chiefly consider'd on this Occasion. And therefore the said Name might have well had its Birth from thence in the said different Places: For the reason of severally imposing it must have been common to all the Places so nam'd, and nothing was so but the Site, or Position as aforesaid. It likewise follows from thence, that the Word  p.cxxxviii Hiere or Iere, implying the West, had the same Acceptation in the Language of those that impos'd the said Names; as, on t'other side, the Identity and perfect Agreement of the Name in several Places, implies, that the Authors us'd the same Language, or some Dialects of it, which is all one.

That the said Part of Spain was generally reckon'd, in old Times, to be the most westerly of the World, is made out by the unanimous Sense and Concurrence of Ancient Writers. Many of the Greeks, till after Alexander's Time, took it for granted, that the Sun set on the Spanish Coast in the very Brink of the Ocean, with a terrible and tremendous Noise, occasion'd by the Intercourse of two contrary Elements, viz. Fire and Water; and that thereupon dark Night ensued, under which the rest of the Ocean, or outward Sea eternally, lay; of which Opinion was Pindaras, Possidonius, and Artemidorus, &c., as Strabo relates. But the going down of the Sun implies the West, as the rising of it does the East, acording to the common Notion of Mankind. The Roman Writers also, that improv'd by the Greeks, had the same Idea as to the Situation of that part of Spain, viz., that it was in the extreme West,  p.cxxxix whence Ovid speaking of it, delivers himself [1. Met.] thus,

  1. Vesper, & occiduo quae littora sole repescunt,
    Proximia sunt Zephyro.
And Claudian [L. 2 de Rap. Pros.]
  1. Solus amazonio cinctus Stymphalidas area
    Appetis: occiduo ducis ab orbe greges.
As also Horace [Lib. 1 Carm.]
  1. Qui nunc Hesperia victor ab ultima.

The Difficulty then lies, which of three Nations, (for none less could pretend to it) were those that have given the said Name to so many Places in Spain; whether the Aborigines, or first Inhabitants thereof; the Phoenicians who (in process of Time) made very early Voyages thither; or the Greeks, that likewise made Settlements there, if we may give Credit to Livy, [Dec. 3. lib. 1. Florus, &c.] and other late Authors. Not the last, because the said name has been fix'd many Ages, before ever they came so far Westwards, as may appear by the last mentioned Greek Authors, that were not very early, and yet knew nothing of those Parts, which has occasion'd their giving such fabulous Accounts of 'em. 'Tis true, Colaeus the Samian, sailing for Egypt, was in spight  p.cxl of himself and Crew, by a Storm and strong easterly Winds rising, forc'd back from his Course, and hurried all along to the Streights Mouth and Tartessus [L. 4 p. 314 ], as Herodotus writes; which Colaeus liv'd about 600 Years before the Birth of Christ, and is believ'd to have been the first Sailor of Greece, that ever reach'd to the Coast of Spain. But neither he, nor Posterity, were much improv'd thereby, as remaining still in the same Ignorance; which is plain by the Error of the Philosopher, who believ'd, that the Continent of India, was adjoyning to the Pillars of Hercules. And Herodotus absolutely denies the Being of an Ocean at all, or any Sea surrounding the main Continent; whereof, as far as it is habitable, Plato [Plat. in Phadere (?)] makes Phasis, a River of Colchis on the East, and the said Pillars of Hercules on the West, to be the two greatest Extremes. For what Homer, Hesiod, and Onomacritus the Writer of the Argonauts, have observ'd of the West of Europe, they had learnt it by hearsay, and chiefly from the Phoenician Traders, who from thence carried Tin, Lead, Amber, and other valuable Commodities to the Markets of Greece. And the said Notions being very exact, and form'd as it seems upon good Experience, it is very strange, that the subsequent Ages, till the Time aforesaid, viz., the  p.cxli Rise of the Macedonian Empire, had no manner of Regard thereto, so as to form a right Judgment by it, as they might have done. But the truth is, they took 'em to be purely poetical and fabulous, as most of the rest deliver'd by the said Authors. [Vid. Odys. et de Atlante & columnis Herc. Odys. 7 v. 254 & v. 267] As to the certainty of the said Notions, what can be more exact as to the Situation of Ireland in the Western Ocean, and the Distance of it from the Streights Mouth and the Mediterranean, than about ten Days sailing, which Homer gives Ulysses, as well as in his Course thither, as when he fetches him back from thence; wherein Onomacritus almost agrees with him, making the same Course, taken by the Argonauts, to have been of twelve Days only; and the small Difference noted might be imputed to the Accidents of the Wind and Weather, suppos'd to have serv'd on the said Occasions. Not that the said Voyages had ever been made by either Ulysses or the Argonauts; tho' the last of them, Olaus Rudbeck, 6 in his Atlantic, 7 would endeavour to justifie, discovering in the North, certain Channels and lakes, whereby he makes a Communication or Passage by Water, between the Tanais and the Baltick; as also Dr. Keating first fetching the Millesians or ancient Irish in Ships from Scythia that Way. But the Poets aforesaid hearing  p.cxlii of the Isles in the Western Ocean, to magnifie the Sea-Navigations of their Heroes, feigned them to have touch'd upon the most Western of all, which seems to be the reason why they mentioned Ireland, and no other; Orpheus or Onomacritus calling it by its most common Name Jerno, and Homer by that of Ogygia. 'Tis Pleasant enough that Sir James Ware, 8 against the Current of all Writers, would deny Ireland to be Ogygia, because Plutarch, tho' placing it to the West of Britain, makes the Distance between both to be five Days sailing. It might be so for ought Plutarch knew, as it takes up more very often in our own Time. And the Romans themselves, notwithstanding the vast Extent of their Power, did not as yet fully discover the Nature and Dimensions of the British and Irish Sea, as appears by Tacitus, in the Life of Agricola, by whom Britain itself was but a little before discover'd to be an Island; 9 and Solinus believ'd the said Sea to be navigable only a few Days in Summer. Nor was it a less Mistake of Mr. Camden to say, that Orpheus in the same Voyage meant Britain of the plentiful Isle under the Dominion of Ceres, when he expresses it was after twelve Days sailing from Ireland, and getting out of the Ocean, the sharp Lynceus made  p.cxliii it at a vast Distance, and for a farther Mark of it observes, that it was therein Proserpina being inveigled out by her Relations, (meaning Venus, and Pallas) under Pretence of gathering Flowers, had been betrayed by Pluto, which Particulars and Circumstances can relate to no other than Sicily alone; so that Mr. Camden's Labour upon the said Passage to prove the fertility of Britain, from the great Supplies of Corn sent from thence to the Roman Armies in Gaul, might have been well spar'd.

Hesiod also is right in his Description of his Spanish Ierne, otherwise Erythia, though wrong in making Geryon and the Theban Hercules to have been ever there, 10 being therein contradicted by sincere and good Authors in following Ages. The grounds of this Invention were, that the said Hesiod, and other Greek Writers, finding the Tyrian Hercules to have made several lucky Expeditions towards the Ocean, fix'd many Colonies of his People upon the Borders of it, and thereby got a great Renown, attributed most of his Actions to their own Hercules, who was ten Generations later than him. Nor is it to be omitted, that the Grecian Traders, upon several successful Voyages to Spain, and the Ocean, where-ever they found Iere, Ierin,  p.cxliv or any Declension of that Name, they translated it according to their own Sense of the Word, Sacred, for the meaning of Ieros, Iera, Ieron, being an Adjective of three Terminations in their Language, is Sacred; which the Romans likewise did upon their Authority. Whence we find Ireland called Insula Sacra,  11 that Cape of Spain upon the Ocean, formerly called Ierne, Promontorium Sacrum;  12 and even a whole Nation of People besides the Irish, from the Situation of their Country to the West, so call'd, as hereafter shall be seen, call'd by Mistake, or a wrong Exposition of the Word, which instead of Sacred should have been render'd Westerly, or on the West.

As to the Aborigines, or those beyond the Memory of all Times, planted in Spain, severally imposing the said Name; this could hardly be,  13 howsoever rich from the happy Soil they liv'd in, for so they are said to have been even upon the Testimony of holy Writ, as 'tis generally taken.  14 Yet as they were not strong enough to oppose the many Settlements that were made by Foreigners in their Country, and consequently not populous enough to occupy it all themselves, they did not give Names to several Places, and especially in the extreme Parts of the Land on the  p.cxlv side of the Ocean, when the first Adventurers came and settled there. Besides, the same People that established Iere in Spain, must be suppos'd to have done it in Ireland likewise, by reason of the Identity of the Name, and the Motives for it as strong here as in the former. But the Aborigines cannot be suppos'd to have gone so far by Sea, being found without Shipping, or any naval Stores worth taking Notice of. It naturally then follows, that the old Phoenicians, who began their Navigation in Joshua's time, if not before, sailed all over the Mediterranean; fix'd many Colonies on the Coasts of it; and finally, (which strengthens the rest) planted Colonies over all this 15 Wester Part, probably uninhabited before.  16 Were the true Authors of the said Name enquired into, their Language seems to have had so great an Affinity with the Hebrew, that any two of both Nations qualified to speak, might understand one another without Interpreters, as is visible by the Passage of the Spies of Joshua, and the Canaanitish, or Phoenician, (which are  p.cxlvi Synonimous) Harlot, that shelter'd them in her House, as the Scripture mentions; setting forth all the material Circumstances, even the very Names of all the Parties concern'd in that Transaction. But in one Sense, the West in this Tongue being Hereb, or Ere, which seems to include Hiere, at least to have the same Radix with it, may much conduce to justifie the true Meaning of the Word I(ere)[?] given as aforesaid, and in the Phoenician itself, Hereb properly signifies the West, which makes the Intendment stronger.  17

Nor do I think it too bold to advance, that the famous Cerne, a little Isle over-against the most westerly Point of Africk, has the same Origin, for the Reasons above-mentioned, and that by right it should be written Jerne and not Cerne; for this we have from suspected Hands, Greeks, and Romans, each of whom was apt to model Foreign Names on the Genius of his own Tongue: and sometimes in old manuscripts one Letter by Erasion, or some accidental Blemish, might be so alter'd, as afterwards to pass for another, as may be seen by several Passages in the Classics whose Sense by that means became doubt[ed?]: In the Cadmean or old Ionick Alphabet, which was first had from the Phoenicians, and afterwards practised by both the said Nations,  p.cxlvii Gamma, that therein did the Function of e, differs but very little from the small Iota, which likewise might have occasioned the Mistake. This Supposition is the more rational, in that the Natives of this Tract of Afric, over-against Cerne, were called Ieroi, or Sacred; which must be taken for dwelling on the West, for the Reasons given before: as also the Region it self most sacred, or rather the most westerly Part of the Continent: For so Scylax Caryandaeus in his Periplus, or Sea Circuit, calls both the said Nation and Region. Whence it is plain, there were more Irelands formerly than one; and that the present Irish were not the only People that were called from the Situation of the Country they liv'd in. So that Mr. Camden's Conjecture seems not to be without a solid Foundation, and if he had work'd farther in the same Mine, 'tis probable he might have found a great deal more of pretious Oar there; whereas rambling at large, or out of the way, is subject to Incertainties and lots of Time,  p.cxlviii in a great Measure, as has been the Fate of most of the said Authors, that have treated of Ireland. For it is not the bare Authority of a Writer, that will prevail with Men of Sense, in Dissertations of this kind, but the coercive Force of his Arguments, and the Clearness of his Reasons, grounded upon Principles and Authorities that are solid, and agreeable to the things treated of. Now compare the Derivation of Ierin, brought by Mr. Camden, as aforesaid, with that of the fabulous Druids in Keating, which is to the effect, viz. that when the old Spaniards invaded the said Isle, the Government thereof was in a legue Brothers, three by Name, Ethur, Cethur, and Tethur, otherwise called, Mac Cuil, Mac Ceit, and Mac Greine; that these being respectively married to three Women, viz. Fodhla, Banaba, and Eire, they govern'd in their turn each for a Year; the King in being giving the Name of his Queen to the Country during Administration: whence Ireland ever afterwards retain'd the said three Names, Eire, Banaba, and Fodhla; the first indeed commoner than any of the rest, for that Eire and her Husband were the last that had the Regency, when expell'd by force to yield to the said conquering invaders. I say, upon comparing those two Derivations, the Solidity of the one, and  p.cxlix Levity of the other, will appear at first View. For the Druids (like ancient Philosophers, who to cover their Ignorance, or Laziness, set up hidden Qualities, as the only Reasons to be given of natural Effects, which they could not account for,) meeting with hard Names of Countries, Rivers, Mountains, &c. they invented Heroes, or great Actors, as of remote Antiquity, in affinity of Sound with the same, pretending they were the true Authors thereof. As Geoffrey of Monmouth, or the first Broacher of that History of the ancient Britons, that is commonly taken for his Work, attributes the Name Britain, to his intraceable Brutus; but the more Judicious concur with the learned Bochart18, who apprehends it to be a Compound of two Words, 19 viz. Boerat and anac, signifying the distinctive, Land, and Tin; but together, as here, Land or Country, where Tin is found, and traffick'd with as a Native Commodity; in which they follow the Direction of Plato, in his Cratylus, with relation to the ancient Names of Places, viz. that the Etymology of 'em should be sought for among Foreigners, whereby he meant those Foreigners, who had in the earliest Times frequented the said Places. In like manner, Bishop Lesley, in his History of the Scots, relating many  p.cl things out of the Archives of their Kingdom, in the North of Great Britain, of higher Date than the Birth of Christ by several Centuries, among their great Men produces on Thanaus, a Person of wonderful Sagacity and Wisdom, come from Spain into Ireland, to compose some intestin Broils between the Scots then living there; who upon Success therein, advis'd them to chose a King, and propos'd Simon Breck as the Man, which being done accordingly, (as our Historian reports) the said Simon, out of Gratitude promoted him to great Preferments; and that it was from the said Thanaus, 20 that the chief Governors of Provinces in Scotland even in latter times were called Thanes, &c. And yet it does sufficiently appear, that the Word Thane is of German or Teutonick Extraction still in Use amongst the Danes, in the very Sense of the Prelate; and consequently borrowed from, or introduc'd by them in the said Kingdom, upon their reducing a great Part of it under their Dominion. But it may be said in favour of the Bishop, that his Derivation of the Thanes, is by a great deal modester, than the aforesaid Stroke of the Druids in Keating, concerning the Origin of the name Eire. For how came such a fantastical Government to have enter'd into the  p.cli Brains of any Man, without either Precedent or Reason to recommend it? that one or other of the said three Collegues should be king'd, and unking'd every Year, and that peaceably, and without Bloodshed, so contrary to the Nature of Royalty, and the sad Experience of all Ages, whereby we find that old Remark to be very just, Infida Regni Societas; or as Philip, the last of that Name, King of Macedon, in the Feud between his two Sons, about the Succession of his Kingdom, expresses it in Livy21Nec Fratrem, nec Patrem potestis Pati. Nihil Chari, nihil Sancti est, in omnium vicem, Regni unius insatiabilis Amor successit. What then became of the Ex-rex? or how was he regarded during his Recess? Why the Name of the Country changeable every Year along with the Queen? or was the Authority vested in the governing Woman alone, that she could name the Kingdom as she pleas'd? And this being yielded, what prevail'd with the Conquerors, to jump in the same Whim and Humour, with the Conquer'd. As to the Men Cethur, Ethur, and Tethur, why so call'd, and in what Language or Tongue to be accounted for? Or if the said Kings were Sons of Cearmada, as our goodly Authors say, why were they nicknam'd by the Mac Cuil,  p.clii Mac Ceit, Mac Greine, and not every one of them Mac Cearmada, which should have been, by the ancient Custom of the Country, 22 which never till the Invention of Sirnames therein, about the eleventh Century, added Mac to any but the Name of the Father when both affirmed of the Son by way of Distinction. But the more one enquires into the said Fiction, and the like; the greater light he gets of these Impostures, which should be the only reason of making the least mention of 'em, and consequently they are to be exploded by all sincere and judicious Men.

The Custom touch'd above, restraining the Practice of Sciences to certain Families or Tribes, in every large Territory tho' not entertain'd any where else in Europe had Motives of its own, perhaps not very contemptible. For the Experience being engross'd by People of the same Consanguinity, nothing was made a Secret, and every one improv'd, as well by the Essays, or Tryals of each other, as by his own, and vice versa. Then the Observation of all, that had pass'd before, within the same Country and People lay ready for their Perusal, either recorded in Books, or otherwise conceiv'd in such a manner as might serve to inform their Understanding;  p.cliii and not only the said Observations, but the great Dispositions, or prevailing Humours of the great Families they had in their Care. As for Example, in curing the Ailings of human Bodies, of what use would it be to know the natural Inclinations of the Patient, and the Habits receiv'd by him from his Parents, together with his Blood? which being well consider'd of by an able Physician, with the Indication then appearing, could not but confer much to his making a speedy and effectual Cure. And what is said of Pharmacy alone, may relate as well to other Professions. Besides, in the said Colleges, Nature had no sooner done her own Work in ripening the Comprehension of the Youth for Learning, than he was enter'd upon the Rudiments thereof, under careful Masters, whose Interest it was to promote him therein as soon as possible; so that he became an able Proficient, if not a Master in his Profession, before Men otherwise apply themselves. Then being destin'd to the one Calling from his Birth, he made that his sole Business, having neither Ambition nor Inclination for any other, because debarr'd by the Constitution. For having the Advantages of his own, he might not with Impunity encroach upon the Province of another; whereas with us, or such  p.cliv Nations as exclude the said Custom, the Reverse is observ'd for the most part. We spend a good part of our Youth (not to speak of the avocations of Pleasure, and Libertinism,) in the inferior Schools, where no more than small Gleanings of Erudition at best, and thin Sketches of the learned Languages, are gone through; a Misfortune, the Circumstances of many Ages make us lyable to, not at all, or but very little experienc'd by the Ancients. So that before a fit Disposition for the Sciences is acquir'd, we are pretty far gone in Years; and having afterwards run out the time appointed in Universities, or elsewhere, for taking Degrees in any Faculty, tho' we be allowed of as capable to Practice, and do receive Credentials for the same; yet our Knowledge being but a Theory, and mere Speculation, we are still to seek, and therefore must run out a long course of dangerous Experiments, before we fix our Notions right, and that generally at the Cost or Danger of such as seek our Help. And it falls out very often, that useful Discoveries or Secrets are lost, upon the Surprize of the Party that has 'em, by Death; as perhaps having no Children, or near Relations of his own, to acquaint them therewith in time; which Misfortune would be prevented the other  p.clv way. Add to this, that an early Application having not been fix'd, the Students are seldom hearty and in earnest, gratifying rather Parents, Friends or Relations, who might have made the choice for 'em, than their own Inclinations; whence being come to riper Years, and left at full Liberty, they may take to any other Calling, and consequently be short in the necessary Perfections, either of the one or the other. Nor is there any effectual Course taken with Empericks, or Quacks, that intermeddle in Professions they have not been brought up to, with so much Injustice to the real Professors of 'em, and Risque to those that have the Misfortune to come under their Hands. As we have but a slender Notion of that excellent Institution, which center'd the Knowledge and Experience of many Ages in every Master of Arts, the great Advantages receiv'd by it, cannot be so well apprehended by us, being Strangers, as those that felt and perceiv'd 'em themselves in Fact. I'll instance one ancient Writer upon this very Head, viz. Diodorus Siculus, [L. 3 c. 8] who, making a Parallel between the Chaldean Sages, and the Graecian Philosophers, starts most of the Differences aforesaid.  p.clvi “Now,” says he, “that nothing worth relating should be omitted by us, it seems meet we should speak of the Chaldeans of Babylon, who (being of a very ancient Standing) had the Place or Rank allotted them there, which the Order of the Priests held in Egypt. For being chiefly addicted to the Worship of the Gods, they studied Philosophy most of their Time, and besides other Heads of it cultivated by them, they were reputed to be very profound, and knowing in Astrology. For it is not after the manner of the Greeks that they acquire Learning, the Children being always confin'd to the Business of the Tribe, are carefully instructed therein by their Parents, not minding any other Cares; so that the Dificulties of the Art being easily overcome by a constant Application begun in a very tender Age, at last they become most accomplish'd and learned. But amongst the Greeks, 'tis only in riper Years any can attain a Proficiency, and even then it self very fickle, and unsteady therein they commonly give themselves over to more profitable Employments, and but very few mind the former Study. Nor are they constrain'd by their Laws to the respective Callings of their  p.clvii Families, but suffer'd to follow whatever they may have a fancy for; whereas Foreigners with great Constancy persist in the same Application or Exercise all along. But the former, for the sake of Lucre, as hinted before, running to Novelties, and strenuously contending with one another, even in matters of the greatest Moment, are so far from preparing the Youth, under their Care, with just Notions of things, that (as far as it lies in them) they rather confound and leave 'em without any solid Foundation, in a Fluctuation or Uncertainty the whole Course of their Lives. So if one did but enquire into the Opinions of the most famous of their Philosophers, he would find them very different, and bandyed about with great Heat, and Obstinacy by their Followers. But the Chaldeans unanimously hold, that the World had no Beginning, nor shall have any End. That the wonderful Order, and beautiful Variety to be seen in the Universe, are truly owing to divine Providence, as their efficent Cause. That the Heavens, the celestial Orbs, and all that's contain'd therein, were not the Work of Chance, or produc'd by themselves, but brought forth, and fix'd by the determinate Will  p.clviii and Power of the Gods, acting by the most perfect Reason and Judgment imaginable. The said Chaldeans, having by diligent Observations, and length of Time, rightly apprehended the Oppositions, Motions, and Course of the Planets, and what thereupon usually falls out in the inferior World, which receives an Impression or Influences from them. They foretel many things which happen, and that with a great deal of Truth and Certainty.”

Concerning the Poetical Seminary, or School, from which I was carried away to clear other things that fell in my way; it was open only to such as were descended of Poets, and reputed within their Tribes: And so was it with all the Schools of that kind in the Nation, being equal to the Number of Families, that followed the said Calling: But some more or less frequented for the Difference of Professors, Conveniency, with other Reasons, and seldom any come but from remote Parts, to be at a distance from Relations, and other Acquaintance, that might interrupt his Study. The Qualifications first requir'd, were reading well, writing in the Mother-tongue, and a strong Memory. It was likewise necessary the Place should be in the solitary Recess  p.clix of a Garden, or within a Sept or Inclosure, far out of reach of any Noise, which an Intercourse of People might otherwise occasion. The Structure was a snug, low Hut, and Beds in it at convenient Distances, each within a small Apartment, without much Furniture of any kind, save only a Table, some Seats, and a Conveniency for Cloaths to hang upon. No Windows to let in the Day, nor any Light at all us'd but that of Candles, and these brought in at a proper Season only. The Students upon thorough Examination being first divided into Classes; wherein a regard was had to every ones Age, Genius, and the Schooling had before, if any at all; or otherwise. The Professors, (one or more as there was occasion) gave a Subject suitable to the Capacity of each Class, determining the Number of Rhimes, and clearing what was to be chiefly observ'd therein as to Syllables, Quartans, Concord, Correspondence, Termination, and Union, each of which were restrain'd by peculiar Rules. The said Subject (either one or more as aforesaid) having been given over Night, they work'd it apart each by himself upon his own Bed, the whole next Day in the Dark, till at a certain Hour in the Night, Lights being brought in, they committed it to writing.  p.clx Being afterwards dress'd, and come together into a large Room, where the Masters waited, each Scholar gave in his Performance, which being corrected, or approv'd of (according as it requir'd) either the same or fresh Subjects were given against the next Day. This part being over, the Students went to their Meal, which was then serv'd up; and so, after some time spent in Conversation, and other Diversions, each retir'd to his Rest, to be ready for the Business of the next Morning. Every Saturday, and on the Eves of Festival Days, they broke up and dispers'd themselves among the Gentlemen and rich Farmers of the Country, by whom they were very well entertain'd, and much made of, till they thought fit to take their Leaves, in order to reassume their Study. Nor was the People satisfied with affording this Hospitality alone, they sent in by turns every Week from far and near, Liquors, and all manner of Provision towards the Subsistence of the Academy, so that the chief Poet was at little or no Charges, but on the contrary got very well by it, besides the Presents made him by the Students, upon their first coming, which always was at Michaelmas; and from thence till the 25th of March, during the cold Season of the Year only, did that close Study  p.clxi last. At that time the Scholars broke up, and repair'd each to his own Country, with an Attestation of his Behaviour and Capacity, from the chief Professor, to those that had sent him.

The resaon for so long a Vacation was, that being under the hard Duties of the School, the Students could not bear the intense Heat of the other six Months. Nor did they feel much Cold in the very rigour of Winter; whether from the Closeness of the Place, there being but little or no Passage for the cold Air to enter; or so great an Occupation of the Brain, and inward Senses, that the outward were stupefied, or became blunt in their Functions, is matter of Reflection, the Fact it self being very true. But certain it is, that the Imagination, or more immediate working of the Soul, is stronger, and of greater Force, than that which depends upon the ministry of the Organs; as may be seen by lunatic, hair-brain'd People, and Madmen, who tho' tenderly brought up, yet being in the Transports of the said Distempers, undergo many Extremes, which otherwise they could never bear; even so as to lie, and walk naked in bad Weather, without receiving much Harm by it, that can be discern'd. And in Ireland, before the Woods  p.clxii were destroyed, and Mountains clear'd of over-grown Heath, Furze, and other Embarassments, nothing was commoner, than to find many of both Sexes, who from too much Melancholy, or some such prevailing Cause occasioned by Grief, Love, Fright or eminent Danger of Life, being turn'd in the Brains, had ran thither, and there liv'd in Tatters several Years, subsisting upon Herbs, Berries, raw Fruit, and the like, as mostly the brute Beasts do; which has given Occasion to a Report of the being of wild People in that Country. Wild indeed they were during the time; and when any of 'em were taken, (which was very difficult to ///compal...[? meant: to do] by reason of their great Nimbleness, and Pernicity, exceeding even that of the common Game) it was with long and extraordinary Care and Management, that they were brought to their Senses again, but ever remain'd affected or light. And perhaps if Bedlam were set open, there would be some living Scarecrows to be soon heard of, and seen, in the Woods and Mountains of England also; as in the like case it would be in other Countries.

The Reason of laying the Study aforesaid in the Dark, was doubtless to avoid the Distraction, which Light, and the variety of Objects represented thereby, commonly occasions.  p.clxiii This being prevented, the Faculties of the Soul occupied themselves solely upon the Subject in hand, and the Theme given; so that it was soon brought to some Perfection, according to the Notions or Capacities of the Students. Yet the Course was long and tedious, as we find; and it was six or seven Years, before a Mastery, or the last Degree was conferr'd; which you'll the less admire, upon considering the great Difficulty of the Art, the many kinds of their Poems, the Exactness and Nicety to be observ'd in each; which was necessary to render their Numbers soft, and the Harmony agreeable and pleasing to the Ear. Examples hereof may be seen in the Preface of Mr. Lhuid's Irish Vocabulary, annex'd to his Archaeologia Britannica mention'd above; which being in a great Variety, saves me the Trouble of enlarging upon 'em here. I have read several of the said Poems, but could not in any of 'em, observe either Dress or Fancy in Imitation of the Classick Poets, or those usually read in the Latin Schools. The greatest Beauty of the Composition consisting in a certain Contexture of corresponding Vowels and Consonants, so plac'd in every Metre, which contain'd four equal Sentences or Parts, that it made it very taking to such as had a Gust  p.clxiv that way. For which, both Vowels and Consonants receiv'd several Divisions; the first, (being either bare Vowels, Dipthongs, or Tripthongs,) into Broad and Small, Short, Long, Midling or variable. The second also were no less distinguish'd, and set apart in Ranges, each by it self, under certain Denominations; as Changeable and Permanent, Soft and Hard, Rough and Robust, Light, Weak, Barren, and Hollow: The Distinctions, and several Uses whereof, especially in Verse, was a sort of Learning that requir'd time, and very necessary to any that might pretend to an Insight in Irish Poetry, which may be us'd as a strong Argument, that Letters being essential thereunto, especially short and long Vowels, * 23 the Use of 'em hath accompanied all along. And there are elegant Pieces of this kind still extant, whose Date vastly exceeds the Beginning of the 5th Century, when Father Bolandus, in his Account of St. Patric, 24 thinks  p.clxv that Country had first receiv'd Letters. But so grossly mistaken he is, that upon Request of the Natives, as we read, one of the Tryals there, 25 between the said Bishop Patric, and his Clergy on the one side, and the Heathen Druids on the other, was by the Books of Rites belonging to each Party, viz. that they should be left under Water for a considerable Time, the Victory to be of that Side, whose Books should be found less blemish'd, or chang'd by that Element; which accordingly was put in Execution, and the Issue prov'd (as Authors report) to the Advantage of Christ and the Gospel. But there was a Christian Church settled there, and Episcopal Chairs, and Jurisdictions, long before the said Bishop carrying his Mission thither; and even the Light of the Gospel was known in the said Land from the Apostle's time, if we may believe Eusebius, Pamphili, Nicephorus, Callisthus, and many other excellent Authors, hereupon quoted by the Learned Primate Usher.  26 But the Nature of the Irish Alphabet, what it is, whence had, and how long practis'd in that Kingdom, requiring a Treatise by it self, I'll say no more of it at present; it being sufficient to shew, that it is of greater Antiquity, than the said Bolandus imagined; or those than would fetch it from the Saxons of  p.clxvi Great Britain, wherein they are contradicted by the above-mention'd Mr. Camden, 27 and other more judicious Writers, than themselves, who upon good Grounds advance the quite reverse of that Assertation, viz. that the British Saxons had their Letters from the Irish; nor could they, speaking of the thing it self, have well avoided it, when they knew upon the Authority of venerable Bede, 28 that most of the Northern and Inland Saxons, down from the Borders of the Kingdom of Kent, had been converted to Christianity by Irish Missioners and Bishops, and consequently first had their Letters and Learning from them; for which end the said Missioners not only educated English Youth, in Great Britain, but also sent vast Numbers of 'em into Ireland; to whom, as the said venerable Author expressly has it, the Nation, or People there gave free Entertainment, Books, Instruction, and Schooling Gratis. It adds much Strength to this, that it does not fully appear by any one Instance, that the said Saxons had the Use of Letters before; but the contrary is implied by the said Bede, 29 where he observes, that the old Saxons in general made their Computations of Months and Years, by the Spring and Neip-tides, which happen at stated Times. For as Germany it self had not the Use of  p.clxvii Letters, as is clear by Tacitus, 30 it probably remain'd in the same Ignorance till Charlemaign's Time, 31 by the means of whose Victories the Gospel got a footing in those Parts, and consequently Letters, that never fail to accompany it.

As every Professor, or chief Poet, depended on some Prince, or great Lord, that had endowed his Tribe, he was under strict Ties to him and Family; as to record in good Metre the Marriages, Births, Deaths, Acquisitions made in War and Peace, Exploits, and other remarkable things relating to the same. He was likewise bound to offer an Elegy, on the Decease of the said Lord, his Consort, or any of their Children; and a Marriage-song, when there would be Occasion. But as to any Epick, or Heroick Verse, to be made for any other Lord or Stranger, it was requir'd, that at least a Paroemion, or Metre therein, should be upon the Patron, or the Name in general. A pleasant Instance of this happen'd in the last Age, when Donough O Brian, Earl of Thomond, was Lord President  p.clxviii of the Province of Munster; to whom one of his Rhimers (to acquit himself of that Obligation) in a Panegyrical Poem compos'd by him, in Honour of a Gentleman of the Mac Carthies, who had much signaliz'd himself in Martial Exploits, wish'd that some warlike Lord, or Captain of the O Brians, then living, had by his Merit and Conduct acquir'd so excellent a Name. This immediately taking Wind, so disgusted the Earl, that in Revenge of the Slight or Affront, he vowed his Chastisement, whenever he fell into his Hands. Hereupon the Poet, dreading the Consequences, disappear'd, and kept out of the way for some Years. Notwithstanding, it happen'd that one time, going a Journey along with his Wife, they saw at a Distance the said Earl with his Equipage, and a great Company of Horse in his Attendance, coming towards them: There being no probability of escaping, the Poet told his Wife that he would feign himself dead as of a sudden, which she should humour by crying over him; that if the Earl ask'd the Reason, she should not conceal his Name, but beg Forgiveness for the great Folly he had been guilty of against his Lordship, and Family. The Woman acted her Part to the Life; and the Earl, when he was come up, being told  p.clxix whose the Corps was, he had the Curiosity to put questions himself to her, and ask'd whether the Poet had repented of his undutiful Expression, with relation to the O Brians? The Woman answer'd, he did heartily; and that being surpriz'd upon Sight of his Lordship's Equipage, the Horrour of his own Guilt most sensibly touching him, he fell down dead upon the Spot; but (in Addition) said farther, that since he was gone, and made some Atonement by the long Affliction, he had suffer'd under, his Lordship would forgive him; which accordingly the Earl did, being mov'd with Compassion, and flung down the Woman some Gold to bury her Husband. This being over, the reputed dead Man springs up in an Instant, and taking hold of the Reins of the Horse, on which the Earl was mounted, pronounc'd a very exquisite Poem in his Praise, which brought him into full Favour again. It was pretended, this Piece was extemporary, and made by the Poet whilst he there lay as dead. But 'tis more probable, that he had compos'd it before at his Leisure; and that all that was acted in this Place, was only a Farce design'd to gain a fit Opportunity, to beg and obtain the Earl's Pardon: For the Nature of the Poem, and great  p.clxx Beauty of it shew, that it was a Work of Study and Time.

The last Part to be done, which was the Action and Pronunciation of the Poem, in Presence of the Maecenas, or the principal Person it related to, was perform'd with a great deal of Ceremony, in a Comfort of Vocal and Instrumental Musick. The Poet himself said nothing, but directed and took care, that every body else did his Part right. The Bards having first had the Composition from him, got it well by Heart, and now pronounc'd it orderly, keeping even Pace with a Harp, touch'd upon that Occasion; no other musical Instrument being allow'd of for the said Purpose than this alone, as being Masculin, much sweeter, and fuller than any other. But the Harp, though the chief Ensign and Badge of the Country, is now neglected, and little understood in respect of what it has been, as may be gather'd from the Remark of the above quoted Cambrensis; who, tho' a Favourite at the Court of Henry II, King of England, and consequently no Stranger to good Musick, yet gave the said Instrument, as then manag'd, Preference above all that he had ever heard of, or seen of the kind, as these his own Words testify. “In musicis solum instrumentis commendabilem invenio gentis istius  p.clxxi diligentiam, in quibus prae omni Natione, quam vidimus, incomparabiliter est instructa. Non enim in bis sicut in Britannicis (quibus assueti sumus) instrumentis, tarda & morosa est modulatio, verum velox, & praeceps, suavis tamen & iucunda sonoritas. Mirum quod in tanta tam praecipiti digitorum rapacitate, musica servatur proportio arte per omnia indemni inter crispatos modulos, organaque multipliciter intricata, tam suavi velocitate, tam dispari paritate, tam discordi concordia, consona redditur & completur melodia.”

As to the Function of Poetry among the ancient Irish, besides the common Subjects of it, almost the same in all Nations, it had the municipal Laws, and authentick Histories of the Country, no other Diction or Phrase being allowed of for that Purpose, but Metre alone: Which also having been practis'd by the ancient Greeks, both before and after the Trojan War, 32 doubtless was a Consequence of the use of Letters, communicated to them by Cadmus; which Letters, some share of the Phoenician Polity and Customs, may be well suppos'd to have accompanied into Greece. It makes much for this Conjecture, that the Turduli and Turdetani, living upon the Borders of the Ocean in Spain, and consequently of the Phoenician Colonies settled in those Parts, likewise had their Laws and Histories in  p.clxxii Verse, as the Geographer 33 relates in this Manner. “Hi inter Hispaniae populos sapientia putantur excellere, & Litterarum studiis utuntur & memorandae volumina vetustatis habent, vatum codices: Leges quoque versibus conscriptas sex annorum millibus, ut aiunt.” As to the extravagant Date of the said Laws, reported by the Turduli, &c., the Author thinks it was a Mistake, viz. that the Thousands there were put for Hundreds. For he does not give it upon his own Knowlwdge, but therein refers to others, and especially to Polybius, 34, whom he prefers for several Reasons. Likewise the said Mistake might have been occasioned from this, that the first Reporters of that Account being Foreigners, did not perhaps well understand the Language of the Natives, or the Manner of their Calculation and Writing. Or (to draw a greater Esteem upon those Laws) the Judges that had the Exposition of them, might have pretended, that they were of so great an Antiquity; so that in reason that Expression ought not to be carried further, than that they were very Ancient, and exceeding the Memory of the present Age as to the Commencement of 'em.

But in the other Part of that Passage, which relates to the Histories of the Turduli, &c., Strabo is very careful not to give it any Date, even upon hearsay; for without doubt it  p.clxxiii receiv'd new Additions from time to time, as the Feats or Actions of the said People requir'd it. This being the first mention'd by him, I'll begin with the Affinity it had to the ancient Irish History, which likewise was compiled in Verse, as may appear from the common Tradition of Ireland, and the Footsteps of that Custom, therein formerly established, still remaining, which are very considerable. But I cannot at present determine, whether this Province belong'd to the Historians themselves, or profess'd Poets, they being different in their Callings. However, I think it was the Property of the first by Right, because comprehended in the main Business of their Profession, and that these historical Poems were of a different Nature and Strain from the Performances of the others. For there was nothing laid in them but matter of Fact, viz. the Causes and Turns of War, (it being he chiefest Subject) the just Characters and Casualties of the great Men and Captains concern'd therein, the Events by Peace, Composition or otherwise, with the Losses or Acquisitions occasion'd thereby: And all this in as brief and conspicuous a Manner as might be. No other Writings were counted more Authentic than these, and the truth of 'em was never doubted  p.clxxiv of, so that they pass'd for absolute Records. I have often met with Quotations from them in historical Tracts, to support the truth of such things, as otherwise might be controverted; but never saw more than one entire and that bearing Date about the Year of Christ 940. It contains the bloody War of Calachan (nick-nam'd of Cashel, the chief Seat of that Principality) King of Munster, and Leach Moagh35, or the Southern Irish, 36 whereby, in seventeen Battels, he destroyed the Power of the heathen Danes within his Dependencies, and delivered Cork, Lymerick, Waterford, with many other Towns thereof from their Exactions, and put many thousands of 'em to the Sword; so that though, upon fresh Supplies of Forces come out of the North of Germany to them, they made a Head again, and obtain'd some footing after his Decease in the said Principality, yet the total Destruction of 'em was left easy by him to Brian Boreamh, another Prince of the Line of Heber, 37 who afterwards came to the Regency of the said Province, and at length to the whole Kingdom. The said Calahan is (in the right Line)  p.clxxv great Ancestor to the noble Lord, the present Earl of Clancarthy; his Lordship being the Stock of that antient Tribe, and the three and twentieth in Descent from him; as another noble Lord, viz. the Earl of Thuomond, in like manner represents the former, as Heir and head of his Family.

The said Poem is intitled, The Marches of Calahan Cassuil; which being very Pithy and Concise, as comprehending only the main Particulars as aforesaid, has long Readings upon it, that take in all the Facts and Circumstances left out in the Text; which Method of commenting, I suppose, was always us'd upon Works of this Kind. Yet I am told, there are many other Irish Pieces of that sort still in Being: And the late Bishop Stillingfleet, speaks of a Chronological Poem of the Kings of Ireland,  38 written by one Coeman, in the[] 11th Century. Mr. O Flaherty39 likewise writes of a like Piece, in his own Hands, made for Malcolm, (nick-nam'd Ceanmore) whom Buchanan calls Milcolumbus II, King of the Scots in North Britain, by the chief Historiographer of the Royal Family there, and presented to him upon his Accession to that Throne. 'Tis a Chronology of all his Predecessors of the Scottish Race in the said Kingdom, from the first Foundation of  p.clxxvi it, whereof he makes the Number but fifty-two in all, varying therein from the said Buchanan, Fordon, Boetius, and the rest of the late Historians of that Country, both in the Names and Series of their Kings, and entirely excludes their first Line, in as much as he speaks not one Word of it: But which of 'em were in the right, perhaps the said Poem it self, and a little time, will clear, to the Satisfaction of such as love Truth, and are unbias'd.

Being now come to the last publick Use Poetry had amongst the antient Irish, which was in exhibiting the Text of their Laws, I'll beg the Reader's Patience for little, and then shall have done. There may be good Reasons assign'd for this Custom also tho' the great Antiquity of it were Reason enough to justify the Practice, nothing being contain'd therein that was against the Dictates of God and Nature. For the Letter being once unalterably fix'd, (which has a Reference to the historical Poems also) the meaning of the Law, which is the Life of it, was not too difficult to be found out, or guess'd at, as otherwise it is, when Word or Syllables, might be easily ras'd away and others foisted in, that would make it quite another thing. This could not be so much apprehended in the former Way,  p.clxxvii because it resembled a Structure of certain Dimensions, built of polish'd square Stones, well put together, and cemented, to which no Addition could be made, but what would immediately be perceiv'd, nor no Breach of it repair'd with common Stones, or any other, but such as should come from the Hands of an able Artist. Then the Composition being in Metre, it much help'd the Memory, and it was not at all inconvenient, that the Laws, being the sacred Bands of Society, and the Fences of the People, should be conceiv'd in such a Manner and Style, as of it self drew Veneration and Attention. The Proof of this Custom also to have been observ'd by the ancient Irish, is the same with that urg'd for their History, viz. Tradition, and the Authority of their old Monuments, or Manuscripts, which acquaint us, that all along from the first coming of the said People into Ireland, to the time of Conchure, commonly call'd Connor, Son of Nessa Prince of Ulster, who flourish'd little less than a hundred Years before the Birth of our Saviour, the Poets alone there had the Forum, and Courts of Justice in their own Hands, as the ordinary Judges of the Kingdom: which Custom was probably introduc'd, and establish'd in the said Country,  p.clxxviii upon this People's carrying it by Conquest, or otherwise, as aforesaid. For if their Laws were conceiv'd in Verse, which is very likely, even from the Instance already given of the metrical Laws, of that Part of Spain, they had next before liv'd in, the Poets of Course might have claim'd a Preference to continue or explain the same, and consequently to exercise that Jurisdiction.

Mr. O Flaherty, in his Ogygia is right enough, in relating the same thing out of old Manuscripts perus'd by himself: these are his Words in one Place;—“Ab Amergino usque ad Cornelium Nesseidem aliquanto ante Salvatoris ortum viventem, legum Oracula penes Poetas & Philosophos erant: Nam sic promiscue sumebantur.” But he is very wrong in observing soon afterwards in this Manner; “Cornelii tempore ut dixi, leges fixas Scripto praefiniri comperimus, cum eo usque non Scripto jure, sed Poetarum placitis judicia instruerentur.” For first, his own Expressions are inconsistent, because “legum Oracula” implies a written or standing Law already defin'd and settled in Being; which excludes Placita, viz. the arbitrary Resolutions of Judges; unless he meant it of the Exposition of the standing Laws, with relation to Cases, or the Construction the said Judges were pleas'd to put upon them; which must  p.clxxix relate to Laws in Being, and therefore cannot be well called Placita. Nor is it probable that the regular and nice Verse of the said Amergin, (who had been made Chief Justice in Ireland, upon the first settling the Spanish Government there by the above-named Heber and Erimon his own Brothers:) being receiv'd Law in it self, was all along to the time aforesaid, viz. somewhat before our Saviour's Birth, not committed to Writing; when the Author brings it for an Argument against Bollandus, that the ancient Irish had the use of Letters, long before St. Patrick, the British Bishop's first coming there. I take it for granted, that Mr. O Flaherty's Notion in this Particular was right enough; and that the Inconsistency or Blunder, is owing to the imperfect manner of his Expression; it being in Latin, of which it does appear, he was no great Master: And that instead of saying, that the Laws of Ireland were not fix'd by Writing; he should have said, that the Judgments given thereupon with relation to Controversies, were not enter'd into Registers, and the same made Records and Precedents, fit to be produc'd in like Cases.

That this was the Point, I think (if I am not very much mistaken) I have as good Authority on my side, as the Author had, or as  p.clxxx otherwise can be brought, viz. a very old Irish Manuscript belonging to the Library of the noble Lord the Earl of Oxford, or the noble Lord Harley; to whom, both for their great Judgment in, and Expences by Purchasing a Multitude of most choice Books and Manuscripts, not only Ireland, but Great Britain also, is highly oblig'd. The said Manuscript handles the aforesaid Affair relating to the Jurisdiction of the Poets in Ireland, viz. shewing that it lasted from the Beginning of the Reign of the said Heber and Erimon, to the time of Connor aforesaid, when their Posterity were devested of it, (except in part of the North;) and that for these Reasons, viz. that no Hold could be laid on their Decisions in Civil Causes, because no body else could tell whether they were agreeable to Equity and Right or the contrary. That they made too many Mysteries in things that should be plain and open to the World; and always took care to give their Resolutions in such dark and crabbed Terms, that the Exposition and Meaning of 'em must be sought for from themselves alone. This could not have been so much complain'd of, if the Judgments and Reasons thereof upon the Cases rightly stated, had been enter'd upon Rolls, or otherwise preserv'd for the  p.clxxxi use of the Public. It is there also said, that the Princes and Nobility of the Nation being conven'd upon that Occasion, did depose or lay-by the Poets for those Reasons, and put other Persons in their Places. The Historian goes farther, and gives the particular Names of many Judges, who then soon and afterwards became famous for the Equity and Justice of their Judgments in Matters of Law: Which Judgments remain'd on Record, and were useful to Posterity. These are the respective Names of the Judges, viz. Eocha, the Son of Luchta; Fachna, the Son of Senchath; Moran; Eoghan Son of Durthacht; D. at Nemthinne; Brig Anidu[.]; Denchacht Oleg.—And so was the Jurisdiction at length taken away from the Poets, and vested in others, that were more careful to acquit themselves well, by an equal Distribution of Justice; at least it must have been so for a considerable time afterwards. The ancient Irish Law, (as that of most Countries) if not a Daughter of Reason, however is agreeable to the Dictates of it; otherwise would cease to be a Law, or bind at all, and therefore (of it self) requir'd no more than a plain Dress, little Ceremony, and a quick Dispatch. But Avarice, and greediness of Gain, so perplex'd it with abstruse Forms, preliminary Jangles, and winding Courses, that instead of remedying  p.clxxxii Grievances, it became a great one self in the Practice; and that has occasion'd the Abolition or Change in the Irish Tribunals as aforesaid.

As to the said old Irish Manuscript, it contains in the main two elaborate Pieces, the first in Metre, and the second in distinct Articles or Paragraphs in Prose, (as far as I can remember) both perfected much about the same time, viz. the Year of the Lord 431, when Patrick, the pious British Bishop above named, had converted to Christianity, most of the Princes and Nobility of that Kingdom, and became the Occasion of the said Work. For one of his Lay-attendants, by name Orano being without any Provocation slain by Euna nicknam'd the Red, General of the Horse to Loere or Legaire, the then supreme King of Ireland, a Complaint of the Murder was brought to the King; who immediately order'd it should be enquir'd into, and that thereupon Justice should be done to the said Prelate, for the loss of his Servant. This Enquiry, and the whole Affair, was by both Parties referred to Dubtach, the King's chief Poet, though a Convert to Christianity for some time before: Who accordingly having fully inform'd himself of the Fact and Circumstances, published his Award for a Mulct or Fine, which he comprehends in the said  p.clxxxiii Poem; the rest of it relates to Divinity, and Mysteries of the Christian Religion. There are large Notes and Illustrations upon it, that are suitable to the Subject.

The second Piece comprehends the Resolution of a Committee of nine, viz. three Princes, three Bishops, and three learned Antiquaries or Poets. The Prelates were Patrick himself, that promoted the Matter, Benen, and Carneach. The Poets, Dubtach aforesaid, Rossa and Daire. The Princes, Loere, (but whether the King or not, I can't tell;) Corc, and Feris; or as the lowland Scots pronounce the Name, Fergus. Their Business was to purge or alter such of the standing Laws and Customs, as were not agreeable to Christianity, whereof there is a long Detail. The said Resolutions (as the Poem aforesaid) are in the large Hand, but the Reading upon them in a small Character. The Scholiast here (in the Preface) is pretty full upon the Word Seanchas; because the Title of the Piece it self implies a Regulation of it, and shews, that tho' it be a Word of some Latitude, yet properly, and in it's genuin Sense, it signifies only the usual Ways and Customs of the Ancients, as it is taken in the said Piece. But Dr. Keating, and other modern Antiquaries, took the said Word to signify Chronology; and therefore gave out, that the said  p.clxxxiv Committee sat upon correcting that alone, which is quite wrong, if we may depend upon the Authority of the said Scholiast who seems to have been very well vers'd in the Dialects of the Old Irish Tongue. The said Reading is very long, and takes in here and there curious Pieces of ancient History, now hardly to be met with elsewhere. His Grace the Duke of Chandos, also has several valuable Manuscripts in his Library relating to Ireland, in which Collection are the Annals of Tiegernach, the Ulster Annals, and the Life of Columcil, in Irish, much larger than that in Latin in the 7th Centry, written by Adamnan, one of his Successors in the Abby of Hi, on the West of Scotland. The said Volume contains some hundreds of antient Irish Poems of all sorts, and possibly some very choice ones, which being already impair'd by Time, will probably be much more so soon, and even lost, if Copies be not taken from them.

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Title (uniform): Dissertation

Author: Thomas O'Sullevane

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  1. Dissertation, Memoirs of the Right Honourable The Marquis of Clanricarde, Lord Deputy General of Ireland, containing Several Original Papers and Letters of King Charles II, Queen Mother, the Duke of York, the Duke of Lorrain, the Marquis of Ormond, Archbishop of Tuam, Lord Viscount Taaffe, &c. relating to the Treaty between the Duke of Lorrain and the Irish Commissioners, from February 1650, to August 1653. Publish'd from his Lordship's Original MSS. To which is Prefix'd a Dissertation, wherein some Passages of these Memoirs are illustrated. With a Digression containing several curious Observations concerning the Antiquities of Ireland. (London 1722).
  2. Brian Ó Cuív, Éigse 9, 263–269, reproduced pp cxvii–cxxxii.


  1. John Toland, Christianity not mysterious (London 1696).
  2. R. H. Plomer, Irish Book Lover 3 (Dublin 1912) 127–25 [sequence of controversy between Thomas O'Sullevane and Dermot O'Connor].
  3. Terence Francis O'Rahilly, 'Irish scholars in Dublin in the early eighteenth century', Gadelica 1:3 (1913) 156–62 [poem by Tadhg Ó Neachtain about the Irish scholars in Dublin].
  4. Olof Rudbeck, [Atlantica:] Atland eller Manheim, in Swedish and Latin. Uppsala: Henricus Curio, '1675' [1681]; 1689; volumes III–IV: for the author, 1698–99; volume IV: Stockholm: 1863.
  5. Olaus Rubeck, Olof Rudbeks Atland, eller Manheim, Olaus Rudbecks Atlantica, svenska originaltexten. Pa uppdrag av Lärdomshistoriska samfundet utgiven av Axel Nelson (Uppsala 1937).
  6. C. E. and C. Ruth Wright (eds), The Diary of Humphrey Wanley, 2 vols. [Vol. 1 1715–1723; vol. 2 1724–1726] (London: Oxford University Press for the Bibliographical Society, 1966) [entries relating to Wanley's acquaintance with Thomas O'Sullevane].
  7. May H. Risk, (ed.), 'Two poems on Diarmaid Ó Conchubhair', Éigse 12 (1967/68) 37–38, 330.
  8. David Berman & Alan Harrison, 'John Toland and Keating's History of Ireland', Donegal Annual 36 (1984) 25–29.
  9. Diarmaid Ó Catháin, 'Dermot O'Connor: translator of Keating', Eighteenth Century Ireland: Iris an Dá Chultúr 2 (1987) 67–87.
  10. Alan Harrison, Ag Cruinniú Meala: Anthony Raymond (1625–1726), ministéir Protastúnach agus léann na Gaeilge i mBaile Átha Cliath (Baile Átha Cliath [Dublin]: An Clóchomhar, 1988) [much material on the controversy Anthony Raymond versus Dermot O'Connor on one hand; and Thomas O'Sullevane versus Dermot O'Connor on the other].
  11. Justin Champion, ''Manuscripts of mine abroad': John Toland and the circulation of ideas, c. 1700–1722', Eighteenth-Century Ireland: Iris an Dá Chultúr 14 (1999) 9–36.
  12. Alan Harrison, The Dean's Friend: Anthony Raymond 1675–1726, Jonathan Swift and the Irish Language. (Baile Átha Cliath [Dublin] 1999).
  13. Bernadette Cunningham, The World of Geoffrey Keating. History, myth and religion in seventeenth-century Ireland (Dublin 2000).
  14. Justin Champion, 'John Toland, the druids, and the politics of Celtic scholarship', Irish Historical Studies 32 (2001) 321–342.
  15. Diarmuid Breathnach & Máire Ní Mhurchú (eag.), 1560–781 Beathaisnéis, uimhir a seacht, Leabhair Taighde, an 89ú Imleabhar, (Baile Átha Cliath [Dublin]: An Clóchomhar, 2001) 171–172 s.v. Ó Súilleabháin [O'Sullevane], Tomás.
  16. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford 2004).

The edition used in the digital edition

O’Sullevane, Thomas (1722). ‘Dissertation’. In: Memoirs of the Right Honourable The Marquis of Clanricarde, Lord Deputy General of Ireland, containing Several Original Papers and Letters of King Charles II, Queen Mother, the Duke of York, the Duke of Lorrain, the Marquis of Ormond, Archbishop of Tuam, Lord Viscount Taaffe, &c. relating to the Treaty between the Duke of Lorrain and the Irish Commissioners, from February 1650, to August 1653. Publish’d from his Lordship’s Original MSS. To which is Prefix’d a Dissertation, wherein some Passages of these Memoirs are illustrated. With a Digression containing several curious Observations concerning the Antiquities of Ireland. London: Printed for James Woodman, at Camden’s Head, under Will’s Coffee-House, in Bow-Street, Covent-Garden, 1722‍. cxvii–clxxxiv. London: Printed for James Woodman.

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  author 	 = {Thomas O'Sullevane},
  title 	 = {Dissertation},
  booktitle 	 = {Memoirs of the Right Honourable The Marquis of Clanricarde, Lord Deputy General of Ireland, containing Several Original Papers and Letters of King Charles II, Queen Mother, the Duke of York, the Duke of Lorrain, the Marquis of Ormond, Archbishop of Tuam, Lord Viscount Taaffe, \&c. relating to the Treaty between the Duke of Lorrain and the Irish Commissioners, from February 1650, to August 1653. Publish'd from his Lordship's Original MSS. To which is Prefix'd a Dissertation, wherein some Passages of these Memoirs are illustrated. With a Digression containing several curious Observations concerning the Antiquities of Ireland. London: Printed for James Woodman, at Camden's Head, under Will's Coffee-House, in Bow-Street, Covent-Garden, 1722},
  address 	 = {London},
  publisher 	 = {Printed for James Woodman},
  date 	 = {1722},
  note 	 = {cxvii–clxxxiv}


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The present text represents pages 117–184 of the Dissertation prefixed to the Memoirs.

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Creation: By Thomas O'Sullevane

Date: 1722

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Keywords: political; prose; antiquarianism; Bardic Scools; Thomas O'Sullevane; Geoffrey Keating; Dermot O'Connor; 18c

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  1. The Confederate War of 164–1646 ending with the peace treaty 30 July 1646. 🢀

  2. John Toland (1670–1722), freethinker and philosopher. His most famous work, Christianity not Mysterious, anonymously appeared late in 1695 (1696 imprint). He had lifelong interests in religious toleration and civil liberty. All his life, even though he was erudite and polyglot, his many writings (and behaviour) continuously challenged propriety, which generated great hostility and prevented him from securing a steady office. He died in poverty in Putney, and was buried in an unmarked grave. (Source: DNB.) 🢀

  3. According to Cunningham (2000) 1668 refers to the year the copy of the translation was made, rather than the translation itself. 🢀

  4. Extract reproduced by Ó Cuív ends here. 🢀

  5. O'Sullevane's references are not reproduced, as the print copy is too poor to decipher them. 🢀

  6. Olof Rudbeck the Elder, or Olaus Rudbeckius (1630–1702), a Swedish scientist, linguist and writer, professor of medicine and author of the treatise Atlantis (Atland eller Manheim). in which he argued that Sweden was Atlantis and Swedish the language of the bible. He was criticized and satirized by other linguists for this. 🢀

  7. C. 26 See Hernius in his Maps. 🢀

  8. Disq. de Hib. (=De Hiberniae et antiquitatibus ejus disquisitiones) 6.1. 🢀

  9. p. 35. 🢀

  10. Apian in Iberici. Arian l. 2. Anabas. Eustach. in Dionisiac. 🢀

  11. Fest. Avienus in oris Maritim. 🢀

  12. Strab. lib. 🢀

  13. Arist. in mirabil. Herodot lib. 4 🢀

  14. Gen. x. 4. Ezech. xxvii. 27 🢀

  15. “Oram eam universam originis Poenorum existimavit Marcus Agrippa.” Plin lib 4. recte Plin. De nat. hist. 3.8; a variant reading is: “oram universum originis”. “Porro in isto littore stetere crebra civitates antea, Phoenix que ..tus habuit hos pridem locos.” Fest. Avienus ibid. recte Ora Maritima ll. 433–35: “Porro in isto litore / stetere crebrae civitates antea / Phoenixque multus habuit hos pridem locos.” (Avienus, Ora Maritima & Periegesis seu Descriptio Orbis Terrarum, in: Fontes Hispanicae Antiquae, vol. 1, ed. A. Schulten, Barcelona 1922.) 🢀

  16. Strab. l. 6. Sil. ital. l. 17, v. 25. 🢀

  17. Vide Frag...[?] San...[?] apud Eusebium Pamphili. 🢀

  18. Samuel Bochart, 1599–1667; French protestant pastor and biblical scholar. 🢀

  19. [l. 2 de Colon. & ling. Phoen. 🢀

  20. Ware, dis. de Hib. ... ... p. 29 🢀

  21. Dec.4 l. 10. 🢀

  22. Ware disq. de Hib. 🢀

  23. Short and long Vowels being chiefly regarded in Quantity, as the most perfect kind of Metre, called by the Greeks [///word of c 6 letters illegible] Emmetios8, imply Letters of Course: Whereas on the other [///word of 2 or 3 letter; illegible] corresponding Words or Syllables are only required, which for that Reason the term'd ///Greek ame...[only first three letters certain, another inedcipherable one follows rho] ... that is verse without Ad... ment. And this being natural, was practis'd by all Natives, even by the Greeks themselves, as may be gather'd from Eu..thius upon the first Iliad. 🢀

  24. ///Ad 17 Marti . . 🢀

  25. Vid. Prob. Joccl. aliosq; vita S. Patrici Script. 🢀

  26. De Prim. Eccl. Brit. p. 740. 🢀

  27. Camd. Rem p. 19 varr. asq. de Hib. 🢀

  28. Lib/ 3. Hist. Eccl. gent. Ang. c. 3 & c. 25. 🢀

  29. De nat. Rer. cap. 18. 🢀

  30. De Morib. Germ. 🢀

  31. This is meant of the common use of Letters, for Othfrid the Monk of Wittenburg, who flourish'd about the Year 876, is thus to have been the first, that committed the German Tongue to Writing. 🢀

  32. Vide Euseb. Chron. Plutarch. & Laert. in vit. Philosop. 🢀

  33. Strab. l. 3 🢀

  34. The Geography of Polybius is lost. 🢀

  35. Leath Moga 🢀

  36. See http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/G100030/index.html. 🢀

  37. Heber and Erimon were Brothers, and Spaniards born, who funded the Kingdom of the antient Scots, or Irish, in Ireland🢀

  38. Orig. sacr. in prooemio 🢀

  39. Roderic O'Flaherty, 1629-1718; Ogygia 1685. 🢀


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