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Title: One Irish Summer

Author: William Eleroy Curtis

Release date: October 9, 2013 [eBook #43921]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by KD Weeks, Greg Bergquist and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)


Transcriber’s Note

Please consult the detailed notes at the end of this text for the resolution of any transcription issues that were encountered.


An Ancient Celtic Cross at Glendalough


The Yankees of the East,” “Between the Andes and the Ocean
Modern India,” “The Turk and his Lost Provinces
To-day in Syria and Palestine,” etc.



Copyright, 1908,
By William E. Curtis

Copyright, 1909,
By Duffield & Company



I.A Summer in Ireland1
II.The Cathedrals and Dean Swift15
III.How Ireland is Governed34
IV.Dublin Castle53
V.The Redemption of Ireland60
VI.Sacred Spots in Dublin77
VII.The Old and New Universities97
VIII.Round about Dublin115
IX.The Landlords and the Landless130
X.Maynooth College and Carton House143
XI.Drogheda, and the Valley of the Boyne159
XII.Tara, the Ancient Capital of Ireland174
XIII.Saint Patrick and his Successor188
XIV.The Sinn Fein Movement202
XV.The North of Ireland209
XVI.The Thriving City of Belfast222
XVII.The Quaint Old Town of Derry237
XVIII.Irish Emigration and Commerce247
XIX.Irish Characteristics and Customs260
XX.Wicklow and Wexford268
XXI.The Land of Ruined Castles283
XXII.The Irish Horse and his Owner300
XXIII.Cork and Blarney Castle312
XXIV.Reminiscences of Sir Walter Raleigh330
XXV.Glengariff, the Loveliest Spot in Ireland343
XXVI.The Lakes of Killarney366
XXVII.Intemperance, Insanity, and Crime391
XXVIII.The Education of Irish Farmers404
XXIX.Limerick, Askeaton, and Adare417
XXX.County Galway and Recent Land Troubles432
XXXI.Connemara and the Northwest Coast443
XXXII.Work of the Congested Districts Board459


An Ancient Celtic Cross at GlendaloughFrontispiece
 Facing Page
The Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary8
Holycross Abbey, County Tipperary10
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin16
The Tomb of Strongbow, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin32
The Earl of Aberdeen, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1906–934
The Countess of Aberdeen36
The Four Courts, Dublin48
The Castle, Dublin; Official Residence of the Lord Lieutenant and Headquarters of the Government54
The Customs House, Dublin78
The Bank of Ireland, Old Parliament House, Dublin80
St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin90
Quadrangle, Trinity College, Dublin98
Main Entrance, Trinity College, Dublin102
Sackville Street, Dublin, showing Nelson’s Pillar116
Lighthouse at Howth, Mouth of Dublin Bay122
Portumna Castle, County Galway; the Seat of the Earl of Clanricarde138
Maynooth College, County Kildare144
Carton House, Maynooth, County Kildare; the Residence of the Duke of Leinster152
A Celtic Cross at Monasterboice, County Louth166
Ruins of Mellifont Abbey, near Drogheda, County Louth168
Carrickfergus Castle180
St. Patrick’s Cathedral at Armagh, the Seat of Cardinal Logue, the Roman Catholic Primate of Ireland194
Cathedral, Downpatrick, where St. Patrick lived, and in the Churchyard of which he was buried196
The Village of Downpatrick200
Rosstrevor House, near Belfast, the Residence of Sir John Ross, of Bladensburg210
Shane’s Castle, near Belfast, the Ancient Stronghold of the O’Neills, Kings of Ulster216
Queen’s College, Belfast226
Albert Memorial, Belfast228
The Giant’s Causeway, Portrush, near Belfast244
Bishop’s Gate, Derry297
Irish Market Women260
An Ancient Bridge in County Wicklow268
The Vale of Avoca, County Wicklow272
The River Front at Waterford290
Lismore Castle, Waterford County; Irish Seat of the Duke of Devonshire292
An Irish Jaunting Car308
Going to Market310
Queen’s College, Cork314
Blarney Castle, County Cork322
Kilkenny Castle; Residence of the Duke of Ormonde326
The Ancient City of Youghal, County Cork; the Home of Sir Walter Raleigh330
Myrtle Lodge; the Home of Sir Walter Raleigh338
Lake Gougane-Barra, County Cork348
Chapel erected by Mr. John R. Walsh of Chicago on the Island of Gougane-Barra350
The Pass of Keimaneigh through the Mountains between Cork and Glengariff352
Glengariff Bridge356
Kenmare House, Killarney372
Upper Lake, Killarney376
Ross Castle, Killarney380
Muckross Abbey, Killarney384
A Window of Muckross Abbey, Killarney388
Treaty Stone, Limerick422
Adare Abbey, in the Private Grounds of the Earl of Dunraven, near Limerick428
Fish Market, Galway438
Salmon Weir, Galway442
A Scene in Connemara444
Clifden Castle, County Galway448
A Scene in the West of Ireland; Lenane Harbor450
Barnes Gap, County Donegal460
An Irish Cabin in County Donegal464
The Old: A Laborer’s Sod Cabin; The New: Example of the Cottages built in Connemara by the Congested Districts Board470
Interior and Exterior of One-Story Cottages erected by the Congested Districts Board472



For those who have never spent a summer in Ireland there remains a delightful experience, for no country is more attractive, unless it be Japan, and no people are more genial or charming or courteous in their reception of a stranger, or more cordial in their hospitality. The American tourist usually lands at Queenstown, runs up to Cork, rides out to Blarney Castle in a jaunting car, and across to Killarney with a crowd of other tourists on the top of a big coach, then rushes up to Dublin, spends a lot of money at the poplin and lace stores, takes a train for Belfast, glances at the Giant’s Causeway, and then hurries across St. George’s Channel for London and the Continent. Hundreds of Americans do this each year, and write home rhapsodies about the beauty of Ireland. But they have not seen Ireland. No one can see Ireland in less than three months, for some of the counties are as different as Massachusetts and Alabama. Six weeks is scarcely long enough to visit the most interesting places.

The railway accommodations, the coaches, the steamers, and other facilities for travel are as perfect as those of Switzerland. The hotels are not so good, and there will be a few discomforts here and there to those who are accustomed to the luxuries of London and Paris, but they can be endured without ruffling the temper, simply by thinking of the manifold enjoyments that no other country can produce.

And Ireland is particularly interesting just now because of the mighty forces that are engaged in the redemption of the people from the poverty and the wretchedness in which a large proportion of them have been submerged for generations. No government ever did so much for the material welfare of its subjects as Great Britain is now doing for Ireland, and the improvement in the condition of affairs during the last few years has been extraordinary.

In order to observe and describe this economic evolution, the author spent the summer of 1908 visiting various parts of the island and has endeavored to narrate truthfully what he saw and heard. This volume contains the greater part of a series of letters written for The Chicago Record-Herald and also published in The Evening Star of Washington, The Times of St. Louis, and other American papers. By permission of Mr. Frank B. Noyes, editor and publisher of The Chicago Record-Herald, and to gratify many readers who have asked for them, they are herewith presented in permanent form.

About three hundred passengers landed with us at Queenstown. Most of them were young men and young women of Irish birth, returning after a few years’ experience in the United States. Several had come home to be married, but most of them were on a visit to their parents and other relatives. Among those who disembarked were several older men and women who were born in Ireland, but had been taken to America in infancy or in childhood and were now looking upon the fair face of Erin for the first time.

There is an astonishing difference in the appearance and behavior of the steerage passengers who are sailing east from those who are sailing west. A few years, or even a few months, in America causes an extraordinary change in the dress and the manners of a European peasant. You can see it in the passengers that land at Genoa and Naples, and those that land at Hamburg and Trieste. But it is even more noticeable in the Americanized Irish who land at Queenstown by the thousand every summer from New York. The Italian, the Hungarian, or the Pole who goes aboard a steamer to America with his humble belongings and his quaint looking garments is a very different person from the man who sails from New York back to the fatherland a few years later. And the Irish boys and girls who went ashore with us just as the sun was waking up Ireland were as hearty, well dressed, and prosperous looking as you would wish to see. And every young woman had a big “Saratoga” in place of the “cotton trunk with the pin lock” that she carried away with her when she left the old country for America the first time. I don’t know what was in those big trunks, although one can get a glimpse of their contents if he stands by while the customs officers are inspecting them, but you can see the names “Delia O’Connell, New York,” “Katherine Burke, Chicago,” and “Mary Murphy, Baltimore,” marked in big black letters at either end. And what is most noticeable, the trunks are all new. They have never crossed the ocean before, but will be going back again to America in a few months. Their owners will not be contented with the discomforts they will find at their old homes. Ireland is more prosperous today than for generations, but conditions among the poorer classes are very different from those that exist in the new world.

The purser told me that he changed nearly $4,000 of American into English money the day before we landed, for third-class passengers alone. One man had $400; that was the maximum, but the rest of those who disembarked at Queenstown had from $50 up to $250 and thereabouts in cash, with their return tickets.

Queenstown makes a brave appearance from the deck of a ship in the bay, even before sunrise. It lies along a steep slope, with green fields and forests on either side, and the most conspicuous building is a beautiful gothic cathedral, with an unfinished tower, that was commenced in 1868 and has cost nearly a million dollars already. The hill is so steep that a heavy retaining wall has been built as a buttress to make the cathedral foundations secure, and the worshipers must climb a winding road or a sharp stairway to reach it. A little farther along the hillside is an imposing marine hospital and group of barracks, from which we could hear the bugles sounding “reveille” as we landed. There are compensations to those who are marooned at Queenstown before daylight, and one of them is the picturesque surroundings of the ancient homes of the O’Mahony’s, who ruled this part of Ireland for many generations long ago.

The harbor is like an amphitheatre, entirely inclosed by hills, three hundred or four hundred feet high, that are covered with frowning battlements. Every hilltop is strongly fortified. The bay, which is four miles long and about two miles wide, contains several islands, upon which the government has built warehouses, repair shops, shipyards, and the other appurtenances of a naval station, guarded by Fort Carlisle, Fort Camden, and other modern fortresses. Upon Haulbowline Island is a depot for ammunition and other ordnance stores, and the pilot told me that on Rocky Island near by were two magazines—great chambers chiseled out of the living rock by Irish convicts who were formerly confined there—and that each of them contained twenty-five thousand barrels of powder belonging to the British navy.

Queenstown has many handsome estates overlooking the sea and the bay from the hills that inclose the harbor. There is an old ruined castle at Monkstown that was built in 1636 by Anastasia Gould, wife of John Archdecken, while her husband was at sea. She determined that she would surprise him when he returned home. So she hired a lot of men to build a castle with only the material they found on the estate, and made an agreement with them that they should buy the food and clothing necessary for their families from herself alone. It is the first record of a “company store” that I know of. When the castle was finished and the accounts were balanced it was found that the cost of the labor had been entirely paid for by the profits of this thrifty woman’s mercantile transactions, with the sum of four pence as a balance to her credit. Her husband returned in due time and was so delighted with his new home that he never went to sea again. His estimable wife died in 1689, and was buried in the churchyard of Team-*pulloen-Bryn, where this story is inscribed with her epitaph.

On Wood’s Hill, overlooking the bay, is a handsome estate that once belonged to Curran, the famous lawyer and orator, whose daughter was the sweetheart of Robert Emmet, the Irish martyr. Her melancholy romance is related in Washington Irving’s story called “The Broken Heart” and in one of Tom Moore’s ballads.


It is 165 miles from Queenstown to Dublin, and the railroad passes through several of the counties whose names are most familiar to Americans, for they have furnished the greater portion of our Irish immigrants—Cork, Limerick, Tipperary, Queens, and Kildare. Most of the passengers who landed with us took the same train, and they were so many that they crowded the little railway station to overflowing and created a scene of lively confusion. Some of them had been met by brothers, fathers, sweethearts, and friends, who were waiting two hours before daylight, and the hearty greetings and enthusiasm they showed were contagious. The sweethearts were easy to identify. The demonstrations of affection left no doubt, but all the world loves a lover, and we rejoiced with them. In the long line that stood before the ticket seller’s window at the railway station they chattered unconsciously like so many sparrows, their arms around each other, with an occasional embrace, a sly kiss and a slap to pay for it, tender caresses upon the shoulder or the head, and other expressions of a happiness that could not have been concealed. The home-bred young men gazed with wonder and admiration at the finery worn by their sweethearts from America, who, by the way, although they came third class, and were undoubtedly chambermaids or shop girls in our cities, were the best-looking and the best-dressed women we saw in Ireland. The pride of the parents at the appearance and the manners of their sons or daughters showed that they appreciated the accomplishments that American experience acquires.

One of the younger passengers, a boy of twenty years, perhaps, told me that he had come from Ohio to persuade his father to send his two younger brothers back with him. They live in Tipperary, where “there is no show for a young man now.” Another young man had a tiny American flag pinned to the lapel of his coat, and when I said, “You show your colors,” the lassie who clung to his arm turned at me with a determined expression on her face and remarked:

“I’ll be takin’ that off and pinnin’ a piece of green in its place vera soon.”

“No, you don’t, darlin’; none o’ that,” he replied. “I’m an American citizen, and I don’t care who knows it. If you don’t want to be one yourself, I know another girl who does.”

The country through which the railway to Dublin runs affords a beautiful example of Irish scenery. As far as Cork the track follows the bank of the River Lee, which is inclosed on either side by a high ridge crowned with stately mansions, glorious trees, and handsome gardens. Several of the places are historic, and the scenery has been frequently described in verse by the Irish poets.

Father Prout, a celebrated rhymemaker of Cork, has described one of the villages as follows:

“The town of Passage is both large and spacious,
And situated upon the say;
’Tis nate and dacent and quite adjacent
To Cork on a summer’s day.
There you may slip in and take a dippin’
Foreninst the shippin’ that at anchor ride,
Or in a wherry you can cross the ferry
To Carrigaloe on the other side.”

We could not see much from the car window, but we saw enough on the journey to understand why it is called “The Emerald Isle” and why the Irish people are so enthusiastic over its landscapes. The river is walled in nearly all the distance to Cork, and there are many factories, storehouses, and docks on both sides. Quite a fleet of steamers ply between Queenstown and Cork, and trains on the railroad are running every hour. Small seagoing vessels can go up as far as Cork, but the larger ones discharge and receive their cargoes at Queenstown. We couldn’t see much of the towns because the railway tracks are either elevated so that only the roofs and chimney pots are visible, or else they are buried between impenetrable walls or pass through tunnels on either side of the station. But when the train passed out into the open a succession of most attractive landscapes was spread before us as far as the horizon on either side, and the fields were alive with bushes of brilliant orange-colored gorse, or furze, as it is sometimes called. They lit up the atmosphere as the burning bush of Moses might have done. Very little of the ground is cultivated. Only here and there is a field of potatoes and cabbages, but the pastures are filled with fine looking cattle and sheep, for this is the grazing district of Ireland, from whence her famous dairy products and the best beef and mutton come.

Beyond Portarlington we got our first glimpses of the bogs, with which we are told one-sixth of the surface of Ireland is covered, an area of not less than 2,800,000 acres. Bogs were formerly supposed to be due to the depravity of the natives, who are too lazy to drain them and have allowed good land to run to waste and become covered with water and rotten vegetation, but this theory has been effectively disposed of by science. Everybody should know that the bogs of Ireland are not only due to the natural growth of a spongy moss called sphagnum, but furnish an inexhaustible fuel supply to the people and have a value much greater than that of the drier and higher land. The report of a “bogs commission” describes them as “the true gold mines of Ireland,” and estimates them as “infinitely more valuable than an inexhaustible supply of the precious metal.” The average Irish bog will produce 18,231 tons of peat per acre, which is equivalent to 1,823 tons of coal, thus making the total supply of peat equivalent to 5,104,000 tons of coal, capable of producing 300,000 horse power of energy daily for manufacturing purposes for a period of about four hundred and fifty years. With coal selling at $2 a ton in Ireland to-day, this makes the bogs of Ireland worth $10,000,000,000. The “bog trotter” is an individual to be cultivated, for when our coal deposits in the United States are exhausted we may have to send over and buy some of his peat for fuel. It is proposed to utilize these deposits and save transportation charges by erecting power-houses at the peat beds and furnish electricity over wires to the neighboring towns and cities for lighting, power, and other purposes, “for anybody having work to do from curling a lady’s hair to running tramways and driving machinery.” The writer refers to recent installations of electric works in Mysore, India, for working gold fields ninety miles distant, and quotes the late Lord Kelvin’s opinion that the city of New York will soon be getting its power from Niagara, four hundred miles away. We saw them digging peat in the fields and piling it up like damp bricks to dry in the sun. Freshly dug peat contains about seventy per cent of moisture, but when cured the ratio is reduced to fifteen or twenty per cent.

A peat bog is not always in a hollow, but often on a hillside, and sometimes at considerable height, which contradicts the theory that bogs are due to defective drainage. Science long ago determined that Irish peat was the accumulation of a peculiar kind of moss which grows like a coral bank in the damp soil, and continues to pile up in layers year after year, century after century, until it forms a solid mass, several feet thick, seventy per cent moisture and thirty per cent fibre, which burns slowly and furnishes a high degree of heat. We see bogs on all sides of us where the peat is three and four feet thick, and with a long straight spade that is as sharp as a knife, it is cut into blocks about eight or ten inches long and about four inches square. A sharp spade will slice it just as a knife would cut cheese or butter, and after the blocks have lain on the ground a while they are stacked up on end in little piles to dry. Then, when they have been exposed to the weather for three or four weeks, they are stacked in larger piles, from which they are carted away and sold or used as they are needed.

The Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary

Four tons of peat are equal in caloric energy to one ton of coal. I noticed in the papers that a bill is pending before the House of Commons to grant a charter to a company to erect a station in a bog near Robertson, Kings County, twenty-five miles from Dublin, for generating electricity from peat, the power to be transmitted to Dublin and the suburban towns for lighting, transportation, and manufacturing purposes. Several other projects of a similar sort have been suggested for utilizing the peat at the bog instead of carting it into town.

Beyond the peat beds rises a chain of low mountains with a curious profile that runs west of the town of Templemore. Like every other freak of nature in Ireland, they are the scenes of many interesting legends. The highest peak is called “The Devil’s Bit,” and the queer shape is accounted for by the fact that the Prince of Darkness in a fit of hunger and fatigue once took a bite out of the mountain, and, not finding it to his taste, spat it out again some miles to the eastward, where it is now famous as the Rock of Cashel.

Cashel, at present a miserable, deserted village, was once the rich and proud capital of Munster. Adjoining the ruins of the cathedral is the ancient and weather-worn “Cross of Cashel,” which was raised upon a rude pedestal, where the kings of Munster were formerly crowned. The ruins are more extensive than anywhere else in Ireland, for Cashel at one time was the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland and its greatest educational centre. Here the Pope’s legates resided and here Henry II., in 1172, received the homage of the Irish kings. But what gives the place its greatest sanctity is the fact that St. Patrick spent much time there and held there the first synod that ever assembled in Ireland, about the middle of the fifth century. That is supposed to have been the reason for the erection of so many sacred edifices and monasteries in early days. St. Declan lived there, too, and commemorated his conversion to Christianity by the erection of one of the churches. Donald O’Brien, King of Limerick, erected another, and his son Donough founded an abbey in 1182. Holy Cross, beautifully situated in a thick grove on the banks of the River Suir, was built in 1182 for the Cistercian order of monks. It derived its name because a piece of the true cross, set with precious stones and presented to a grandson of Brian Boru by Pope Pascal II., was kept there for centuries, and made the abbey the object of pilgrimages of the faithful from all parts of Ireland. This precious relic is now in the Ursuline convent at Cork.

Cashel was destroyed during the civil wars. The famous Gerald Fitzgerald, the great Earl of Kildare, had a grudge against Archbishop Cragh and burned the cathedral and the bishop’s palace. He excused the act before the king on the ground that he “believed the archbishop was in it.”

A little beyond Templemore, at Ballybrophy Junction, a branch of the main line of the railway leads to the town of Birr, which is famous as the seat of the late Earl of Rosse, whose father erected an observatory there many years ago, with one of the largest and finest telescopes in the world. It is twenty-seven feet long, with a lens three feet in diameter. Some of the most important discoveries of modern astronomy have been made there, and Birr has been the object of pilgrimages for scientific men for more than half a century. The old Birr castle has been much enlarged and modernized by the late earl, who died in September, 1908, and is surrounded by an estate of thirty-six thousand acres, upon which is one of the best built and well kept towns in Ireland. He was a scholar and scientist of reputation, president of the Royal Irish Academy and the Royal Dublin Society, and interested in important manufactories and enterprises. He was especially active in developing the steam turbine.

All of that section of Ireland covered by the journey between Dublin and Cork is associated with heroic struggles. It has been fought over time and again by the clans and the factions that have struggled to rule the state. Every town and every castle has its tragic and romantic history. Almost every valley is associated with a legend or an important event. The woods and the hills are still peopled with fairies, and local traditions among the humble folks are the themes of fascinating tales and songs. But the natives one sees at the railway stations do not look at all romantic. A sentimental person is compelled to endure many severe shocks when he comes in contact with the present generation of Irish peasants.

Holycross Abbey, County Tipperary

The people of Ireland are more prosperous to-day (July, 1908) than they have been for generations. Their financial condition is better than it ever has been, and is improving every year. The bank deposits, the deposits in postal savings banks, the government returns of the taxable property, have advanced steadily every year for the last ten years, and in Ireland, during the last ten years, there has been a gradual and healthful improvement in every branch of trade and industry. The people are more prosperous than in England or Scotland, except in certain sections where poverty is chronic because of climatic reasons and the barrenness of the soil. Nevertheless, they are not so prosperous as they ought to be under the circumstances, and it would require a book, and a large book, to repeat the many theories that are offered to explain the situation. It is a question upon which very few people agree, and they probably never will agree. There are almost as many theories as there are people. Therefore a discussion is not only disagreeable but it would lead immediately into politics. It is safe to say, however, that every Irishman who is willing to take a farm and cultivate it with intelligence and industry will prosper if he will let politics and whisky alone. Idleness, neglect, intemperance, and other vices produce the same results in Ireland as elsewhere, and under present conditions industry and thrift will make any honest farmer prosperous.

The moral and intellectual regeneration of the country is keeping step with the material regeneration. All religious qualifications and disqualifications have been removed; the church has been divorced from the state, and each religious denomination stands upon an equality in every respect.

The penal laws have been repealed and the tithe system has been abolished.

Local representative government prevails everywhere.

Nearly every official in Ireland is a native except the lord-lieutenant, the treasury remembrancer, and several agricultural experts who are employed as instructors for the farmers and fishermen by the Agricultural Department, and the Congested Districts Board.

The primary schools of Ireland are now free; free technical schools have been established at convenient locations for the training of mechanics, machinists, electricians, engineers, and members of the other trades.

Two new universities have been authorized,—one in the north and the other in the south of Ireland,—for the higher education of young men and women.

Temperance reforms are being gradually accomplished by the church and secular temperance societies, which are working in harmony; the license law has been amended so as to reduce the number of saloons, and three-fourths of the saloons are closed on Sunday throughout the island. The Father Mathew societies are gaining in numbers; the use of liquor at wakes and on St. Patrick’s Day has been prohibited by the Roman Catholic bishops, and the number of persons arrested for drunkenness and disorderly conduct is decreasing annually.

Every tenant that has been evicted in Ireland during the last thirty years has been restored to his old home, and the arrears of rent charged against him have been canceled.

The land courts have adjusted the rentals of 360,135 farms, and have reduced them more than $7,500,000 a year.

More than one hundred and twenty-six thousand families have been enabled to purchase farms with money advanced by the government to be repaid in sixty-eight years at nominal interest.

Several thousand families have been removed at government expense from unproductive farms to more fertile lands purchased for them with government money to be repaid in sixty-eight years.

Thousands of cottages, stables, barns, and other farm buildings have been built and repaired by the government for the farmers, and many millions of dollars have been advanced them for the purchase of cattle, implements, and other equipment through agents of the Agricultural Department.

More than twenty-three thousand comfortable cottages have been erected for the laborers of Ireland with money advanced by the government to be repaid in small instalments at nominal interest.

The landlord system of Ireland is being rapidly abolished; the great estates are being divided into small farms and sold to the men who till them. The agricultural lands of Ireland will soon be occupied by a population of independent farm owners instead of rent-paying tenants.

The Agricultural Department is furnishing practical instructors to teach the farmers how to make the most profitable use of their land and labor, how to improve their stock, and how to produce better butter, pork, and poultry.

The Agricultural Department furnishes seeds and fertilizers to farmers and instructs them how they should be used to the best advantage.

The Irish Agricultural Organization Society has instructed thousands of farmers in the science of agriculture and has established thousands of co-operative dairies and supply stores to assist the farmers in getting higher prices for their products and lower prices for their supplies.

The Congested Districts Board has expended seventy million dollars to improve the condition of the peasants in the west of Ireland; to provide them better homes and to place them where they can get better returns for their labor.

Thousands of fishermen have been furnished with boats, nets, and other tackle; they have been supplied with salt for curing their fish; casks and barrels for packing them; have been provided with wharves for landing places and warehouses for the storage of their implements and supplies; and government agents have secured a market for their fish and have supervised the shipments and sales.

Thousands of weavers have been furnished with looms in their cottages at government expense, so that they can increase their incomes by manufacturing home-made stuffs.

Schools have been established at many convenient points in the west of Ireland, where peasant women and girls may learn lace-making. The government furnishes the instruction free, supplies the materials used, and provides for the sale of the articles made.

Work has been furnished with good wages for thousands of unemployed men in the construction of roads and other public improvements.

District nurses have been stationed at convenient points along the west coast, where there are no physicians, to attend the sick and aged and relieve the distress among the peasant families, and hospitals have been established for the treatment of the ill and injured at government expense.


St. Patrick’s Cathedral is, perhaps, the most notable building in Ireland, and one of the oldest. During the religious wars and the clashes of the clans in the early history of Ireland it was the scene and the cause of much contention and violence. Its sacred walls were originally arranged as fortifications to defend it against the savage tribes and to protect the dignitaries of the church, who resided behind embattled gates for centuries. At one time St. Patrick’s was used as a barrack for soldiers, and the verger will show you an enormous baptismal font, from which he says the dragoons used to water their horses, and the interior was fitted up for courts of law. Henry VIII. confiscated the property and revenues because the members of its chapter refused to accept the new doctrines, and nearly all of them were banished from Ireland. He abolished a small university that was attached to the cathedral by the pope in 1320 for the education of priests. For five hundred years there was a continuous quarrel between St. Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedral, which stands only two blocks away, because of rivalries over ecclesiastical privileges, powers, and revenues. Finally a compromise was reached, under which there has since been peace between the two great churches and relations similar to those of Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s in London. Christ Church is the headquarters of the episcopal see of Dublin, and St. Patrick’s is regarded as a national church. The chief reason why St. Patrick’s has such a hold upon the affections and reverence of the people is because it stands upon the site of a small wooden church erected by St. Patrick himself in the year 450 and within a few feet of a sacred spring or well at which he baptized thousands of pagans during his ministry. The exact site of the well was identified in 1901 by the discovery of an ancient Celtic cross buried in the earth a few feet from the tower of the cathedral. The cross is now exhibited in the north aisle. The floor of the church is only seven feet above the waters of a subterranean brook called the Poddle, and during the spring floods is often inundated, but in the minds of the founders the sanctity of the spot compensated for the insecure foundations.

St. Patrick’s little wooden building, which is supposed to be the first Christian sanctuary erected in Ireland, was replaced in 1191 by the present lofty cruciform edifice, three hundred feet long and one hundred and fifty-seven feet across the transepts. It was designed and erected by Comyn, the Anglo-Norman archbishop of Dublin, is supposed to have been completed in 1198, and was raised to the rank of a cathedral in 1219. There were frequent alterations and repairs during the first seven centuries of its existence, until 1864-68, when it was perfectly restored by Sir Benjamin Guinness, the great brewer, who also purchased several blocks of dilapidated slums that surrounded it, tore down the buildings, and turned the land into a park which not only affords an opportunity to see the beauties of the cathedral, but gives the poor people who dwell in that locality a playground and fresh air. Sir Benjamin purchased several of the adjoining blocks and erected upon them a series of model tenement-houses, the best in Dublin, and rents them at nominal rates to his employees and others. On the other side of the cathedral are several blocks of the most miserable tenements in the city, and sometime they also will be cleared away. A bronze statue has been erected in the churchyard as a reminder of his generosity.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin

Benjamin Guinness was the great brewer of Dublin. In 1756 one of his ancestors started a little brewing establishment down on the bank of the Liffey River in the center of the city, which has been extended from time to time until the buildings now cover an area of more than forty acres. The property and good will were transferred by the Guinness family to a stock company for $30,000,000 in 1886, and since then the plant has been enlarged until it now exceeds in extent all other breweries in the world, represents an investment of $50,000,000, and turns out an average of two thousand one hundred barrels of beer a day.

Sir Benjamin’s son, Edward Cecil Guinness, was elevated to the peerage as Lord Iveagh and is the richest man in Ireland to-day. He is highly respected, has married into the nobility, is a great favorite with the king, is generous and philanthropic, encourages and patronizes both science and athletic sports, and is said to be “altogether a very good fellow.” Another son is Lord Ardilaun, who is equally rich and popular, and owns several of the finest estates in the kingdom.

Sir Benjamin expended $1,200,000 in restoring St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Lord Iveagh, his son, added $350,000 more. The driver of the jaunting car that carried us there told me how many billion of glasses of beer those gifts represented, and made some funny remarks about all the profit being in the froth. But if all men were to make such good use of their money there would be no reason to complain.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the official seat of the Knights of St. Patrick, and their banners, helmets, and swords hang over the choir stalls, while in one of the chapels is an ancient table and a set of ancient chairs formerly used at their gatherings. Since 1869 they have met at Dublin castle. Many tattered and bullet-riddled battle flags carried by Irish regiments hang in other parts of the cathedral, and if they could tell the stories of the many brave Irishmen who have fought and perished under their silken folds, it would be more thrilling than fiction. Ireland has furnished the best fighting men in the British Army, both generals and privates, since the invasion of the Normans. The king’s bodyguard of Highlanders is now almost exclusively composed of Irish lads. In the north transept is a flag that was carried by an Irish regiment at the skirmish at Lexington at the beginning of our Revolution and at the attack on Bunker Hill. They brought it away with them to hang it here with the trophies of Irish valor of a thousand years.

St. Patrick’s is the Westminster Abbey of Ireland, and many of her most famous men are either buried within its walls or have tablets erected to their memory. John Philpott Curran, the great advocate and orator, and Samuel Lover, the song writer and novelist, whose “Handy Andy” and “Widow Machree,” are perhaps the best examples of Irish humor in literature, are honored with tablets; and Carolan, the last of the bards for whom Ireland was once so celebrated. He died in 1788. M.W. Balfe, author of that pretty little opera, “The Bohemian Girl,” and many beautiful ballads, including “I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls,” has a tablet inscribed with these words:

“The most celebrated, genial and beloved of Irish musicians, commendatore of Carlos III. of Spain, Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. Born in Dublin, 15 May, 1808, died 20th of Oct., 1870.”

Balfe was born in a small house on Pitt Street, Dublin, which bears a tablet announcing the fact.

The man who wrote that stirring poem, “The Burial of Sir John Moore,” which begins,

“Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried,”—

lies in St. Patrick’s. His name was Charles Wolfe, and he was once the dean of the cathedral.

In the right-hand corner of the east transept is a monument to the memory of a certain dame of the time of Elizabeth, named Mrs. St. Leger. She was thirty-seven years old at the time of her death, and, her epitaph tells us, had “a strange, eventful history,” with four husbands and eight children, all of whom she made comfortable and happy.

On the other side is a tablet to commemorate the fact that Sir Edward Fitten, who died in 1579, was married at the age of twelve years and became the father of fifteen children,—nine sons and six daughters.

The famous Archbishop Whately, the gentleman who wrote the rhetoric we studied in college, and who once presided over this diocese, is buried in a stately tomb, and his effigy, beautifully carved in marble, lies upon it.

The most imposing monument of all, and one which is associated with much history and tragedy, was erected in honor of his own family by Richard Boyle, the first Earl of Cork, who was a great man in his day. So pretentious was the monument that Archbishop Laud ordered it removed from the cathedral. This was done by Thomas Wentworth, afterward Earl of Strafford, who was sent over by King Charles with an armed force to govern Ireland. Boyle, who had himself designed and expended a great deal of money upon “the famous, sumptuous, and glorious tomb,” which was to immortalize him and sixteen members of his family, was so indignant that he never forgave Strafford, and afterward caused the latter to be betrayed to a shameful death at the hands of his enemies.

The most interesting historic relic in the cathedral is an ancient oaken door with a large hole cut in the center of it. It bears an explanatory inscription as follows:

“In the year 1492 an angry conference was held at St. Patrick, his church, between the rival nobles, James Butler, Earl of Ormonde, and Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, the said deputies, and their armed retainers. Ormonde, in fear of his life, fled for refuge to the Chapiter House, and Kildare, pressing Ormonde to the Chapiter House door, undertooke on his honor that he should receive no villanie. Whereupon the recluse, craving his lordship’s hand to assure him his life, there was a clift in the Chapiter House door pearced at trice to the end that both Earls should shake hands and be reconciled. But Ormonde surmising that the clift was intended for further treacherie refused to stretch out his hand—” and the inscription goes on to relate that Kildare, having no such nervousness, thrust his hand through the hole and without the slightest hesitation. Ormonde shook it heartily and peace was made.

For centuries it was said that whoever might be Viceroy of Ireland it was the Earl of Kildare who governed the country. A long line of Kildares succeeded each other, and their living successor, better known as the Duke of Leinster, is now the premier of the Irish nobility, although he is still a boy, just twenty-one. Both the Kildares and the Earls of Desmond were descended from Gerald Fitzgerald, who in the thirteenth century founded that powerful clan known as the Geraldines. In the fifteenth, and at the beginning of the sixteenth, century they exercised absolute control in Ireland, and Garrett, or Gerald Fitzgerald, the eighth Earl of Kildare, known as “The Great Earl,” had greater authority than any other Irishman has ever displayed in his native island since the days of Brian Boru. At one time his daughter, wife of the Earl of Clanricarde, appealed to her father from a quarrel with her husband. The old gentleman took her part, ordered out his army, and met his son-in-law in the battle of Knockdoe, where it is said eight thousand men were slain.

Near the entrance to St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a long, narrow, brass tablet upon which are inscribed the names of the fifty-seven deans who have had ecclesiastical jurisdiction there from 1219 to 1902. The most famous in the list is that of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, D.D., author of “Gulliver’s Travels,” “The Tale of a Tub,” and other equally well-known works. He presided here for more than thirty years, and was undoubtedly the most brilliant as well as the most remarkable clergyman in the history of the diocese of Dublin. He was the greatest of all satirists, one of the most brilliant of all wits, and an all-around genius, but was entirely without moral consciousness, altogether selfish, inordinately vain, and one of the most eccentric characters in the history of literature. He was born in Dublin Nov. 30, 1667; educated at Trinity College, where he distinguished himself only by his eccentricities; was curate of two churches, and dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral for more than thirty years, although neither his manners nor his morals conformed to the standards that are fixed for clergymen in these days. He was more famous for his wit than his wisdom; for his piquancy than for piety. He spent most of his life in Dublin, died there, was buried in St. Patrick’s Cathedral by the side of a woman whose life he wrecked, and left his money to found an insane asylum which is still in existence.

The house in which Jonathan Swift was born can still be seen in Hoey’s Court, which once was a popular place of residence for well-to-do people, and has several mansions of architectural pretensions, but has degenerated into a slum, one of the many that may be found in the very center of the business section of the city. He came of a good Yorkshire family; his mother had aristocratic connections and was one of those women who seem to have been born to suffer from the failings of men. His father was a shiftless adventurer, following several professions and occupations in turn without even ordinary success in any. Jonathan went to the parish schools in Kilkenny for a time when his father happened to be living in that locality, and when he was seventeen years old passed the entrance examinations to Trinity College, Dublin. He was a willful, independent, eccentric person, of a lonely and sour disposition, and refused to be bound by the rules of the university. He would not study mathematics or physics, but delighted in classical literature, and furnished many witty contributions to college literature which gave promise of genius. He wrote a play that was performed by the college students with great success. His degree was reluctantly conferred by the faculty through the influence of Sir William Temple, a famous statesman of those days, whose wife was a distant relative of Swift’s mother.

Shortly after graduation he became private secretary to Sir William Temple and attended him in London during several sessions of parliament. While there, under some influence that has never been explained in a satisfactory manner, Swift decided to enter the ministry, and took a course of theology at Oxford. After his ordination in 1695 Sir William Temple got him a living in a quiet, secluded village called Laracor, in central Ireland, near Tara, the ancient capital, in a church that long ago crumbled to ruins and has been replaced by a modern building. It was a small parish consisting of not more than ten or twelve aristocratic families, among them the ancestors of the great Duke of Wellington. The young curate’s congregation was not very regular in its attendance, and you will remember, perhaps, an amusing story, how the Rev. Mr. Swift, when he came from the vestry one Sabbath morning, found no one but the sexton, Roger Morris, in the pews. He read the service, as usual, however, and with that quaint sense of humor which cropped out in everything he did, began solemnly:

“Dearly beloved Roger, the Scripture moveth us in sundry places,” etc.

Coming to the conclusion that he was not fitted for parish work, Swift obtained the position of private secretary to Earl Berkeley, one of the lord justices of Ireland, but, after a while, got another church, and tried preaching again. But he spent more of his time in writing political satires than in prayer or sermonizing. He edited Sir William Temple’s speeches and wrote his biography, and went to London, where he became a member of an interesting group of politicians and pamphleteers, who supported Lord Bolingbroke. He contributed to The Tattler, The Spectator, and other publications of the time, and soon became recognized as one of the most brilliant and savage satirists and influential political writers of the day. Through political influence, and not because of his piety, he was appointed dean of St. Patrick’s, the most prominent and famous church in Dublin. He had not been in his new position long before he created a tremendous sensation and set all Ireland aflame by writing a political pamphlet signed “M.B. Drapier.”

In 1723 Walpole’s government gave to the Duchess of Kendall, the mistress of George I., a concession to supply an unlimited amount of copper coinage to Ireland, and she took William Wood, an iron manufacturer of Birmingham, into partnership. There was no mint in Dublin and no limitation in the contract, so the firm of Kendall & Wood flooded the island with new copper pence and half-pence upon which they made a profit of 40 per cent. The coins became so abundant that they lost their value. Naturally the contract created not only scandal, but an intense indignation. Many pamphlets were published and speeches were made denouncing the transaction. The most telling attack came from what purported to be an unpretentious Dublin dry goods merchant, who told in simple language the story of the coinage contract and related anecdotes of Dublin women going from shop to shop followed by carloads of copper coins from the factory of the Duchess of Kendall. He mentioned a workingman who gave a pound of depreciated pennies for a mug of ale, and declared that they were so worthless that even the beggars would not accept them.

The money was not really so much depreciated as Swift represented, but the merchants of Dublin followed the advice of the simple draper and refused to accept it any longer in trade. The government authorities made a great fuss and arrested many of the repudiators, but the grand juries refused to indict them, and on the contrary threatened to indict merchants who accepted the shameful money. The printer of the pamphlet was arrested, but never punished. The authorship became an open secret, but the authorities dared not arrest the dean, whose popularity was so great and who exercised such an extraordinary influence over the common people that they accepted whatever he said as inspired and paid him the greatest respect possible. His influence is illustrated by a story that is related about a crowd which blocked the street around St. Patrick’s Cathedral one night to watch for an eclipse of the moon, and obstructed traffic, but promptly dispersed when he sent one of his servants to tell them that the eclipse had been postponed by his orders. He wrote “Gulliver’s Travels” about this period of his life in the deanery of St. Patrick’s, which was a part of what is now the barracks of the Dublin police force. The present deanery, a modern building near by, contains portraits of Swift and other of the fifty-seven clergymen who have served as deans of St. Patrick’s.

About the same time he wrote another masterpiece of satire upon the useless and impractical measures of charity for the poor adopted by the government. It was entitled:


He wrote several bitter satires on ecclesiastical matters, which would have caused his separation from the deanery under ordinary circumstances, but the archbishop as well as the civil authorities was afraid of his caustic pen. In discussing the bishops of the Church of Ireland at one time he declared that they were all impostors. He asserted that the government always sent English clergymen of character and piety to Ireland, but they were always murdered on their way by the highwaymen of Hounslow Heath and other brigands, who put on their robes, traveled to Dublin, presented their credentials, and were installed in their places over the several dioceses of Ireland.

In 1729 the parliament of Ireland was installed in the imposing structure that stands in the center of the city of Dublin opposite the main buildings of Trinity College. Although the people had been demanding home rule and a legislature of their own for years, the new parliament soon lost its popularity. Its action provoked the hostility of the fickle people and it was attacked on all sides for everything it did. Swift took his customary part in the criticisms and christened the parliament “The Goose Pie” because, as he said, the chamber had a crust in the form of a dome-shaped roof and it was not remarkable for the intellect or knowledge of its members.

One of his lampoons, directed at parliament under the name of “The Legion Club,” begins as follows:

“As I stroll the city, oft I
See a building large and lofty,
Not a bow-shot from the college,
Half the globe from sense and knowledge.
Tell us what the pile contains?
Many a head that holds no brains.
Such assemblies you might swear
Meet when butchers bait a bear.
Such a noise and such haranguing
When a brother thief is hanging.”

This does not sound very dignified for the dean of a cathedral, but it was characteristic of Swift.

He became a physical and mental wreck in 1742 and died an imbecile from softening of the brain Oct. 9, 1745. His will, written before his mind gave way, was itself a satire, and appropriately left his slender fortune to found an insane asylum. The original copy may be seen in the public records office in a beautiful great building known as the Four Courts, the seat of the judiciary of Ireland, where the archives of the government are kept. The insane asylum is still used for that purpose and is known as St. Patrick’s Hospital for Lunatics. It stands near the enormous brewery of the Guinness company. It was the first of the kind in Ireland, and was built when the insane were restrained by shackles, handcuffs, and iron bars, but more humane modern methods of treatment were introduced long ago and it is considered a model institution. The corridors are three hundred and forty-five feet long by fourteen feet wide, with little cells or bedrooms opening upon them. Swift’s writing desk is preserved in the institution.

His whimsicalities are illustrated in the cathedral more than anywhere else and among them is the “Schomberg epitaph,” found in the north aisle to the left of the choir, chiseled in large letters upon a slab of marble. Duke Schomberg, who commanded the Protestant army of King William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne, and was killed toward the end of that engagement, July, 1690, was buried in St. Patrick’s at the time of his death, but his grave remained unmarked. His bones were discovered, however, in 1736, during some repairs, while Swift was dean of the cathedral. In order that their ancestor’s character and achievements might be properly recognized and called to the attention of posterity, Swift applied to the head of the Schomberg family for fifty pounds to pay the expense of a memorial, which they declined to contribute. Then Swift, whose indignation was excited, paid for the slab himself and punished them by recording upon it in Latin that the cathedral authorities, having entreated to no purpose the heirs of the great marshal to set up an appropriate memorial, this tablet had been erected that posterity might know where the great Schomberg lies.

“The fame of his valor,” he adds, “is much more appreciated by strangers than by his kinsmen.”

Upon the other farther side of the church, between the tombs of the Right Honorable Lady Elizabeth, Viscountess Donneraile, and Archbishop Whately, the gentleman who wrote the rhetoric we studied at college, is buried the body of an humble Irishman, who was Dean Swift’s body servant for a generation. He was eccentric but loyal, and as witty as his master. One morning the dean, getting ready for a horseback ride, discovered that his boots had not been cleaned, and called to Sandy:

“Why didn’t you clean these boots?”

“It hardly pays to do so, sir,” responded Sandy, “they get muddy so soon again.”

“Put on your hat and coat and come with me to ride,” said the dean.

“I haven’t had my breakfast,” said Sandy.

“There’s no use in eating; you’ll be hungry so soon again,” retorted the dean, and Sandy had to follow him in a mad gallop into the suburbs of Dublin without a mouthful.

When they were three or four miles away they met an old friend who asked them where they were going so early. Before the dean could answer, Sandy replied:

“We’re going to heaven, sir; the dean’s praying and meself is fasting; both of us for our sins.”

The epitaph of Sandy in St. Patrick’s Cathedral reads as follows:


His Grateful Master Caused This Monument to Be Erected in Memory of His Discretion, Fidelity and Diligence in That Humble Station.

That long-suffering woman known as Stella, whose relations with Dean Swift have been discussed for a century and a half, and are still more or less of a mystery, was Mrs. Hester (sometimes spelled Esther) Johnson, a relative of Sir William Temple, whose private secretary Jonathan Swift, her inconstant and selfish lover, was for several years. Swift called her “Stella” because her name, “Hester,” is the Persian for “star,” and first met her while he was curate of a little village church at Laracor, where she lived with a Mrs. Dingley, a companion or chaperon, who seemed to be always by her side, whether she was in Dublin or London. From the beginning of their acquaintance she shared the inner life of Swift and exercised an extraordinary influence over him. When he left Laracor for London to become the private secretary of Sir William Temple their remarkable correspondence commenced, and he wrote her a daily record of his life, his thoughts, his whims, and his fancies. Those letters have been published under the title of “Swift’s Journal to Stella,” and the book has been described as “a giant’s playfulness, written for one person’s private pleasure, which has had indestructible attractiveness for every one since.”

She followed him to London and, when he became dean of St. Patrick’s, returned with him to Dublin and lived near the deanery with Mrs. Dingley as her chaperon until her death. But Swift was not true to her. This eminent author and satirist, this merciless critic of the shortcomings of others, this doctor of divinity, this dean of the most prominent cathedral in Ireland, had numerous flirtations with other women, and Stella must have known of them, although there is no evidence that her loyal heart ever wavered in its devotion.

In 1694 he fell desperately in love with a Miss Varing, but seems to have escaped without any damage to himself or his reputation, although we do not know what happened to her. A few years later he became involved in an entanglement with a Miss Van Homrigh, which ruined her life and effectually destroyed his peace of mind. The character of their acquaintance is shown by a series of poems which passed between them as her passion developed, and he allowed it to drift on uninterrupted from day to day, evidently giving her encouragement by tongue as well as pen. His poetical communications to her were signed “Cadenus,” the Latin word for dean, and hers were signed “Vanessa,” a combination of her Christian and surname.

It was not a very dignified situation for the dean of St. Patrick’s, and the flirtation caused a decided scandal in Dublin. It appears that Vanessa expected Swift to marry her and he undoubtedly gave her good reasons, while Mrs. Johnson was regarded as his mistress to the day of her death and bore the odium with uncomplaining resignation. Long after both of them were buried under the tiles of St. Patrick’s Cathedral it was discovered that they had been secretly married in 1716, but why she consented to keep that fact a secret has never been explained except upon the theory that she was afraid of what Vanessa Van Homrigh might do. The latter, however, having lost her patience and becoming hysterical with jealousy, wrote to Stella, inquiring as to the real nature of her relations with Swift and demanding that she should relinquish her claims upon him. Stella replied promptly by sending Vanessa indisputable evidence that they had been married seven years before. Vanessa, who lived at Marley Abbey, Celbridge (now Hazelhatch Station), ten miles from Dublin, on the railway to Cork, sent Stella’s letter to Swift and retired to the house of a friend in the country, where she died a few months later of a broken heart. Swift never replied; he never saw her or communicated with her after that day, and seems to have dismissed the affair with the same indifference that he always showed concerning the interests of other people.

Five years later Stella died and was buried in the cathedral at midnight by Swift’s orders, but he did not attend the funeral. She lived in the neighborhood of the deanery, and from one of its windows he witnessed the passage of the casket to the tomb. “This is the night of the funeral,” he writes in his diary, “and I moved into another apartment that I may not see the light in the church, which is just over against the window of my bed chamber.” He then sat down at his desk and described her devotion and her love for himself and her virtues in language of incomparable beauty. His tribute, written at that moment, is one of the most beautiful passages in English literature. He preserved a lock of her hair upon which he inscribed the words:

“Only a woman’s hair!”

“Only a woman’s hair!” comments Thackeray. “Only love, fidelity, purity, innocence, beauty; only the tenderest heart in the world, stricken and wounded, and pushed away out of the reach of joy with the pangs of hope deferred. Love insulted and pitiless desertion. Only that lock of hair left, and memory, and remorse for the guilty, lonely, selfish wretch, shuddering over the grave of his victim.”

Swift’s extraordinary vanity is illustrated in the inscription he placed over Hester Johnson’s grave and his selfishness by his neglect to vindicate her reputation by announcing their marriage. The mistress of a dean is not usually buried in a cathedral over which he presides, but no one has ever questioned the right of Stella’s dust to be there. Her epitaph, which was written by his own pen, runs:

“Underneath is interred the mortal remains of Mrs. Hester Johnson, better known to the world by the name of Stella, under which she was celebrated in the writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift, dean of this cathedral.

“She was a person of extraordinary endowments and accomplishments in body, mind, and behavior; justly admired and respected by all who knew her on account of her many eminent virtues, as well as for her great natural and acquired perfections.

“She died Jan. 27, 1727, in the forty-sixth year of her age, and by her will bequeathed £1,000 toward the support of the hospital founded in this city by Dr. Steevens.”

Although Swift did his best work after Stella’s death, he was never himself again. He became sour, morose, and misanthropic. His soul burned itself out with remorse. The last four years of his life were inexpressibly sad, and the retribution he deserved came from inward rather than outward causes. He was harassed by periodical attacks of acute dementia, to which his wonderful brain gradually yielded, and before his death he became an utter imbecile. He seemed to anticipate and prepare himself for such a fate, because among his papers was found his will, in which he bequeathed his entire estate to found an asylum for just such creatures as he himself became. He prepared his own epitaph, which reads as follows:

“Hic Depositum est Corpus.
Jonathan Swift, S.T.P.
Hujus, ecclesiae cathedrae decani ubi saeva
Indignatio ulterius cor lacerare nequit.
Abi viator, et imitare, si poteris,
Strenuum pro virili libertatis vindiceim.”

A liberal translation reads: “Here is deposited the body of Jonathan Swift, dean of this cathedral, where cruel indignation can no longer lacerate the heart. Go, stranger, and imitate, if you can, his strenuous endeavors in defense of liberty.”

The vault in which the two bodies rest has been twice disturbed during repairs of the cathedral, in 1835, when casts of their skulls were taken, and in 1882, when a new floor was laid. It is now marked by a modest tablet of tiles near the south entrance to the cathedral. Upon a bracket near by is a bust of Swift contributed by Mr. Faulkner, the nephew and successor of his original publisher.

Many anecdotes are told of Swift’s peculiarities. He must have filled a large place in the life of Dublin during the thirty years that he was the dean of the cathedral. He was prominent in political, social, and ecclesiastical affairs during all that period and always welcome as a guest at the houses of the aristocracy in this neighborhood. In the suburb of Glasnevin was an estate called Hildeville, belonging to a generous but pretentious patron of the arts and sciences, named Dr. Delany, where the brilliant minds of that day used to gather for a good time. Swift is closely associated with the place and was one of Dr. Delany’s most frequent and regular visitors. He called it “Hell-Devil,” and chose for its motto “Fastigia Despicet Urbis,” in which the verb is used in a double sense.

Many of his most stinging satires were written there, including his ferocious libel on the Irish parliament. A reward was offered for the discovery of the author, and although a hundred members of the commons knew that it was from Swift’s pen, no attempt was ever made to punish him and he was never even denounced publicly. And he wasn’t above ridiculing his host, for here is an extract from an ode addressed to Dr. Delany of “Hell-Devil,” when he was the latter’s guest:

“A razor, though to say ’t I’m loath,
Might shave you and your meadow both,
A little rivulet seems to steal
Along a thing you call a vale,
Like tears adown a wrinkled cheek,
Like rain along a blade of leek—
And this you call your sweet meander,
Which might be sucked up by a gander,
Could he but force his rustling bill
To scoop the channel of the rill.
In short, in all your boasted seat,
There’s nothing but yourself is—great.”

“Is it singin’ yees want?” said the verger of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, when we entered that ancient sanctuary shortly before the hour for worship on a gloomy, drizzly Sabbath morning. “Then yees have come to the roight place. The choir of Christ Church is the finest in all Ireland, and mebbe in the whole wurrld, I dunno. Thay’s twinty-four b’ys and min, and every mother’s son iv thim is from the first families of Dooblin. The lads has been singin’ frum their cradles, and they make the swatest music that ears ever heard; blessed be the Lord! Not as if they had no mischief in thim, for b’ys will be b’ys, singin’ or no singin’; and thim that has the medals hangin’ on their chists is the best behaved and the least mischaveous.”

We remained after the service to look about, and when the verger asked what I thought of the sermon I told him.

“It’s not of much consequence!” observed the cynic. And when I told him that the singing wasn’t much better than the preaching, and that the boys sang out of tune, he replied apologetically:

“I hope your honor won’t think the liss of thim for that; they’re all honest, well-meaning lads, an’ what harm is it at all, at all, if they do sing out of chune betimes?”

Christ Church is one of the oldest structures in Ireland, was originally erected in 1038 by the Danish king Sigtryg, “Of the Silken Beard,” and in 1152 was made the seat of the archbishop of Dublin. In 1172 Strongbow, the Welch Earl of Pembroke, leader of the Norman invasion, swept away the original building to make room for the present edifice, which was fifty years in building. The present nave, transepts, and crypt are those that Strongbow erected, having been thoroughly repaired and restored by Henry Roe, a wealthy distiller, at a cost of £220,000, between 1870 and 1878. In 1178 Strongbow died of a malignant ulcer of the foot, which his enemies attributed to the vengeance of the early Irish saints whose shrines he had violated, and he is buried within the church he built. His black marble tomb is on the south side, with a recumbent effigy in chain armor lying upon the sarcophagus. A smaller effigy in black marble, representing the upper half of a human form, lies beside him and is said to mark the tomb of Strongbow’s son, whom his father literally cut in half with his mighty sword for showing cowardice in battle. Sir Henry Sidney, who discussed the question at length in 1571, declares that there is no doubt that the remains of Strongbow were deposited here, but there is another tomb, with a similar effigy of one-half of his son lying beside it, in an ancient church at Waterford, where Strongbow dwelt in a castle and made his headquarters. The claims of the Waterford tomb are considered much stronger than those of Christ Church in Dublin, because that was where he died and where his wife and family lived after him.

The interior of the church has many points of beauty, especially the splendid stone work of the nave and aisles and the graceful arches which, although very massive, are chiseled with such delicacy that their heaviness does not appear. The floor is covered with modern tiles which are exact copies of the originals, and in the restoration of the building the architect has shown similar conscientiousness in all his work. The great age of the stone gives it a rich and mellow tone, and although here and there one may come across evidences of decay or damage, it is in better condition than most of the modern churches of Ireland.

Across the street and connected by a bridge with the cathedral is the Synod Hall, the headquarters of the general synod, which has control of the affairs of the Episcopal Church of Ireland since it was separated from the Church of England and made independent of the state by an act of parliament July 26, 1869. This was called “The Disestablishment”—a long and awkward word—but such words are common in English and Irish official literature. It is often difficult for an American to understand the meaning of the terms used in acts of parliament and reports of the officials of the government.

The Tomb of Strongbow, Christ Church, Dublin


Ireland is nominally governed by a lord lieutenant or viceroy of the king, who, since December, 1905, and at present, is John Campbell Gordon, Earl of Aberdeen. He occupied the same position in the ’90’s, and has since been governor-general of Canada. Both Lord and Lady Aberdeen are well known in the United States, where Lady Aberdeen has taken an active interest in the work of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and many benevolent enterprises and social reforms. She will be particularly remembered as the promoter of the Irish village at the Chicago Exposition in 1893, and for her successful endeavors to introduce Irish homespun, lace, linen, and other products, and to make them fashionable among the American people. She is a woman of great energy, executive ability, and determination, and has been applying those qualities very effectively in Ireland in local reforms. She has organized societies of women throughout the island to encourage the virtues and restrain the vices of the people, to relieve their distress and advance their welfare, physically, mentally, and morally, by a dozen different movements of which she is the leader and director. She started a crusade against the great white plague, brought Dr. Arthur Green from New York as an organizer, while Nathan Straus of New York has been co-operating with her in setting up establishments for the sterilization of the milk sold in Irish cities. She is president of almost everything, has a dozen secretaries and agents carrying out her orders, and is altogether the busiest woman in the United Kingdom.

The Earl of Aberdeen, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1906–8

The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland has very little to do except to open fairs, lay corner stones, preside at public meetings, give dinners, and look pleasant. He is nominally the head of everything as the representative of his sovereign, the king, and is supposed to rule Ireland in his majesty’s name, but, like the Governor-General of Canada, the office is a sinecure. Its incumbent is allowed a salary of $100,000, a castle in the city, and a country lodge in Phœnix Park, a liberal allowance to maintain them and to expend in hospitality, a staff of secretaries and aids-de-camp, a full outfit of servants, and various other perquisites which would be appreciated by our President and all others in authority. And all this without any responsibilities, except to be tactful, amiable, and diplomatic, and to make friends with the people.

The actual ruler of Ireland is the Chief Secretary to the lord lieutenant, who is a member of the cabinet of the king, and spends most of his time in London, where he devises and directs the political policy of the government toward that distracted but improving portion of his majesty’s empire, looks after legislation in parliament, and attends to whatever is necessary for the good of the island. He is the Right Hon. Augustine Birrell, who is carrying out the lines of policy inaugurated by Mr. Bryce at the incoming of the present liberal government. The chief secretary is expected to spend a portion of each year in Ireland, so that he can keep in touch with affairs and get his cues from public opinion. He has a salary of $35,000 and a residence, fully equipped and appointed, near that of the lord lieutenant in Phœnix Park.

The man on the ground, the general manager of the government, and the de facto head of the executive administration, is known as the Under Secretary, who also has a handsome residence in Phœnix Park and all worldly comforts provided for him. He presides at the ancient castle in the center of the city of Dublin, surrounded by a staff of subordinates and clerks, and supervises the work of the several executive departments, most of them being scattered in rented quarters in different parts of the city. The government has long ago outgrown the castle and has appointed many officials and boards of commissioners and organized new executive departments without erecting buildings to accommodate them. Sir Antony Patrick MacDonnell, who resigned the office of under secretary, and was elevated to the peerage as Lord MacDonnell upon his retirement, is an Irishman who has spent his entire life in the service of his king, the greater part of it in India, where he was governor of four different provinces in succession and showed remarkable administrative ability. Retiring voluntarily, he came home to Ireland and was soon appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of under secretary, where he was very active, very positive in his convictions, and very determined in his methods. He made numerous recommendations that have not been adopted, and attempted to carry out a policy that was not acceptable to the politicians of Ireland, who rejected his plans for self-government and refused his overtures.

The Countess of Aberdeen

Sir Antony MacDonnell was the author of what is called the “devolution policy.” That’s a big word and has little meaning in America, but in Ireland it is in common use and full of significance; first being applied to a certain political project in Ireland by Lord Dunraven in 1904. If you will look in the dictionary you will see that “devolution” means “the act of devolving, transferring, or handing over; transmission from one person to another; a passing or falling to a successor, as of office, authority, or real estate.” In its application to the Irish situation devolution means the devolving upon the Irish people of purely local affairs, to transfer their management from the British government with a string tied to them, and that is what the Irish political leaders will not consent to. Their motto is aut home rule, aut nullus. With the co-operation of the Earl of Dunraven and others, Sir Antony MacDonnell prepared a plan of limited home rule in 1907. It gave the government of Ireland entirely into the hands of the people with the exception of the police, the courts, and the lawmaking power, which were retained under British control. The proposition was discussed by the largest convention ever held in the country and was unanimously rejected on the theory that it did not go far enough. The Irish people will never be satisfied until they are permitted to make their own laws. There were many grounds of objection from the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical authorities and others, who declare that Sir Antony’s plan of government, which was based upon his experience in India, could not be applied successfully to conditions in Ireland. Sir Antony is a very positive man, and when his solution of the Irish problem, to which he had given years of thought and study, was rejected, he concluded that he was not the man to rule that country and sent in his resignation, which was accepted with great reluctance by the government and with sincere regret by a majority of the people, who admire his ability and have confidence in his integrity and intentions.

His successor is Sir John Dougherty, his chief assistant, who has been in the office of the under secretary in Dublin Castle all his life, and has been promoted grade after grade from an ordinary clerkship to his present position because of his ability and his sterling qualities. Although he is not a man of marked individuality and initiative, like Sir Antony MacDonnell, he is considered a safe, conservative, and judicious administrator.

The next in importance, who, perhaps, should be ranked first of all, is a mysterious and autocratic official, known as the Treasury Remembrancer. He was described to me as “a lord over all, and the best hated man in Ireland. Nobody knows him or cares to know him. His fellow officials seldom hear or speak his name. He is a spy and a spotter and has arbitrary authority to disallow accounts, withhold allowances, and lock up the money chest whenever he likes. There is no statute authorizing his appointment, and there is no law or regulation defining his duties or limiting his authority, which he receives from the chancellor of the exchequer in London and to whom alone he reports.” The office pays $7,500 a year without any known perquisites, although the remembrancer is supposed to have mysterious sources of revenue that have never been found out. He cannot, however, spend the money of the crown. His authority is limited to preventing expenditures. He is “the watchdog of the treasury” in Ireland, and combines in one the duties and powers which are intrusted to the comptroller and auditors of the treasury in the United States. He interprets appropriation bills, customs laws, and decides how much money can be expended for this purpose and that. He audits all accounts, rejects many, disallows overcharges, and makes everybody who has to do with government finances a great deal of trouble. Hence his unpopularity and his habitual reserve.

In addition to these chief officials there are numerous secretaries and assistant secretaries, commissioners and boards of various jurisdictions, and executive departments, with corps of clerks similar to those in Washington. Each has its functions over some branch of the administration and all are subject to the supervision of the under secretary and the chief secretary in London. Their commissions are signed by the lord lieutenant, who knows nothing about them, has no authority over them, and acts only in a formal capacity, as the representative of the king. There is a great deal of complaint as to the excessive number of “civil servants,” as they call them over there, although such a term would be resented by the employees of the civil service in the United States. All railway officials are called “servants” in Great Britain. Every salaried person comes within that designation. Any one who will look over the printed register of government employees in Ireland will conclude that home rule has already been adopted, because the treasury remembrancer is said to be the only Englishman on the pay roll, except the lord lieutenant, several of his secretaries, and the military officers at the garrison, and several Scotch experts in the employ of the Agricultural Department and Congested Districts Board. But what spoils it all to the people of Ireland is that these officials receive their appointments from what they consider an alien authority. The touch of the English giver poisons the gift. They will never be satisfied until their commissions are signed by an Irish name. Nobody in the employ of the government is loyal. Every man hates and loathes England, and doesn’t hesitate to say so in public and in private, on all occasions, although he draws his rations from the British government. And when you remind him of that he answers promptly that the money comes from the pockets of the Irish rate-payers and England grabs £3,000,000 of it for herself.

Ireland contributes an annual average of £10,500,000 in taxes to the imperial treasury and £7,500,000 of it is expended in maintaining her government and constructing her public works. The remaining three millions is her contribution toward the support of the British empire, the wages of the king, the expenses of parliament, the support of the army and navy, and the interest upon the public debt, which is not kept separately for Ireland, and for various other purposes.

Ireland has twenty-three peers in the House of Lords and one hundred and two representatives in the House of Commons, of whom eighty-two are nationalists or home rulers. The remaining twenty are conservatives, unionists, and anti-home rulers, who believe in maintaining the present system of government and the existing relations between Great Britain and Ireland. The Irish members of parliament have been a thorn in the flesh of John Bull for many years, ever since Daniel O’Connell was admitted to the imperial legislature in 1829. They have fought fiercely for concessions term after term, have built fires in the rear of the government and have attacked it upon all sides until they have accomplished a great many reforms and are near to the point of achieving final success. If the liberal party wins at the next election every patriotic Irishman expects political emancipation, because its leaders are pledged to complete home rule on the same basis that Mr. Gladstone proposed several years ago, when he was prime minister.

The Irish peerage, like that of Scotland, are not entitled to all the rights and prerogatives enjoyed by the British peerage, and have only twenty-eight seats in the House of Lords. The total peerage of Ireland consists of two dukes, ten marquises, sixty-three earls, thirty-six viscounts, and sixty-four barons, a total of one hundred and seventy-five nobles, of whom seventeen also have titles in the English peerage, nearly all by inheritance.

The Irish peerage are represented in the House of Lords by twenty-eight of their members who are elected for life. As soon as one of these representative peers dies two or more of his colleagues notify the lord high chancellor of England of the vacancy. The latter thereupon issues a writ in the name of the king under the great seal proclaiming an election. Copies of this writ are served upon every Irish peer through the clerk of the crown at Dublin naming a date for an election. Each of the one hundred and seventy-five Irish peers has a vote, but they never assemble. They merely write to the clerk of the crown at Dublin, naming their choice, and forward a duplicate of the letter to the clerk of the House of Lords at London.

Scotland has only sixteen representative peers, who are elected by an assemblage at Holyrood Palace at Edinburgh when notified of a vacancy. There is considerable formality in the proceedings, and every peer is required to present himself to answer the roll call before he is allowed to vote. There is a good deal of preliminary canvassing in both Scotland and Ireland, and that was particularly the case of Lord Curzon of Kedleston, who was elected to the House of Lords as an Irish peer after his return from India. The candidates for the vacancy usually visit their fellow peers personally and solicit their support. Social influences go a great way. Lord Curzon was handicapped in many respects, but was elected by a large majority because of the high esteem in which he is held.

When the ballots are all in the clerk of the crown at Dublin makes up a tabulated statement which he sends with his report to the clerk of the House of Lords. The latter checks it off from his own records and announces the result to the lord high chancellor and to each of the Irish peers in person.

The representative peers at present are the Earls of Annesley, Bandon, Belmore, Darnley, Drogheda, Kilmory, Lucan, Mayo, Rosse, and Westmeath, Viscounts Bangor and Templeton, and Barons Bellew, Castlemaine, Clonbrock, Crofton, Curzon, Dunalley, Dunboine, Headley, Inchiquin, Kilmaine, Langford, Massey, Musckerry, Oranmore, Rathdonnell, and Ventry.

The premier of the Irish peerage is Maurice Fitzgerald, who is the Duke of Leinster and also is Marquis of Kildare, and represents the most distinguished and celebrated family in Ireland. His dukedom dates back to 1766. The second in rank is the Duke of Abercorn, James Hamilton, who is also Marquis of Hamilton. The third is James Edward William Theobold, twenty-seventh Marquis of Ormonde, and the fourth is Rudolph Robert Basil Aloysius Augustine Fielding, Earl of Desmond, who is also Earl of Denbigh.

The oldest titles in the Irish peerage are the following:

All the remaining peerages of Ireland were created later than the year 1700.

The people as a rule are respectful towards the nobility, and treat them with a consideration which is not always deserved. The bitterness of politics is more intense in Ireland than in any other country, and, as Sydney Brooks in his recent book on “Ireland in the Twentieth Century” says, “Class distinctions are not mitigated by political agreement. Differences of creed are not assuaged by harmony of economic interests. The cleavages of racial temperament are not, as in other countries, bridged over by a sense of national unity. On the contrary, all the bitterness of caste and creed, of political and material antipathies and contrast, instead of losing half their viciousness in a multiplicity of cross-currents, are gathered and rigidly compressed in Ireland into two incongruous channels. Throughout the country you can infer a man’s religion from his social position; his social position from his religion, and his views on all Irish questions from both; and nine times out of ten you infer rightly.”

That is strictly true. Nowhere in the world is a man’s politics so influenced by his religion and his social position as in Ireland. Although you will find home rulers in all classes of the English population, you will never find them outside one class in Ireland. If you are told what business he is engaged in or what church he belongs to in Ireland, it is not necessary for you to ask his politics.

While the ancient nobility of Ireland is gradually becoming extinct and their estates are being divided up among the farmers who till them, a new aristocracy is developing. The sons of what is called the middle class are invading the sacred haunts of the ancient aristocracy and are taking the places of the dukes and earls as the latter retire. Every peer that has been created in Ireland of late years has been a son of a manufacturer, a tradesman, or a country gentleman of the middle class, and at the present rate the descendants of earls and marquises will be compelled to stand back and give the sons of brewers, distillers, and other manufacturers their places at the front of the stage.

A century or even half a century ago no Irish trader or contractor, lawyer or doctor, unless he could produce the proper sort of pedigree, could enter the social world or the best clubs of Dublin and other Irish cities or participate in the sports of the gentry and aristocracy. But to-day their grandsons have the entrée to that gilded gate which hangs upon broken hinges and will soon be entirely removed. This is the result of the decadence of one class and the advance of another. A brewer or a distiller who can obtain a seat in the House of Lords must necessarily be eligible to the clubs where his colleagues meet. Nearly all of the twenty-three peers created by the present government in England have sprung from families of humble origin and are sons of men who made their money in manufacturing and trade. And there is room for more of them in the peerage. You hear irreverent people talking about “breeding up the peerage of Great Britain,” just as they talk about improving their cattle, horses, and swine, and in the clubs of London this subject is revived every time the son of a decaying family of the nobility marries the daughter of a wealthy tradesman, or the daughter of an earl weds the son of a wealthy commoner.

In Ireland the shopkeeper now educates his son for a profession. The sons of contractors become architects and civil engineers. The sons of lawyers and doctors enter the army and navy and diplomatic service. Among the large families of the middle class you will find one son a lawyer, another a doctor, and the other two in the army and navy. In order to keep pace with them and be able to appear properly in the society which their brothers enter, and in order that they may be considered suitable wives for the sons of similar families who are on the upward grade, the daughters of the middle classes of Ireland are sent to the best schools and colleges and spend their winters in Paris.

For these reasons very little is said about pedigree in Ireland these days. The army that is advancing does not look back. The decaying nobility dare not question nor criticise lest they may be trampled upon. The only people who talk about their ancestors are the peasants, who trace their descent from the Irish kings.

Mrs. O’Leary met Mrs. O’Donahue one day and in the course of conversation asked if she had ever looked up her pedigree.

“Phwat’s that?” inquired Mrs. O’Donahue.

“The people you sprang from,” was the reply.

“I’d have you know that the O’Donahues never sprang from anybody,” was the indignant retort. “They sprang at ’em.”

Every influential leader of the liberal party is a home ruler. The Earl of Aberdeen, the present lieutenant governor, Earl Dudley, his predecessor, who is now governor-general of Australia, James Bryce, recently chief secretary for Ireland and now British ambassador at Washington, and many other influential men in high places, are earnest in supporting the Irish claims for self-government, and the national party, which, after the death of Charles S. Parnell, became demoralized and split into factions under the leadership of John Redmond, John Dillon, and others, has been a unit since 1900 and is working harmoniously. The liberal leaders have promised to make home rule the leading issue at the next parliamentary election, which will probably occur in two years or so. In the meantime the Irish party in parliament will continue to pursue the policy that has already been so successful in securing concessions for the relief of the people and the promotion of the welfare and prosperity of Ireland.

The city government of Dublin is very much like that of London. The lord mayor is second in official rank to the lord lieutenant, and within the precincts of the city takes precedence of everybody except that official (who is the personal representative of the king), the royal family, and foreign ambassadors. He precedes the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the primate of England, the two archbishops of Armagh, the primates of all Ireland, the Archbishop of Dublin, the chief secretary for Ireland, and even the prime minister of England, while the lady mayoress has the right to walk before every duchess, marchioness, and woman of title in the kingdom except the royal family. The salary of the lord mayor is $15,000 a year, and he has a beautiful old house to live in—one of the most attractive in Dublin. It is situated on Dawson Street near Stephen’s Green and is surrounded by a picturesque garden. Here in olden times the lord mayor used to entertain like a prince. It was a matter of pride that the Mansion House should never be outdone by the castle in the magnificence of its hospitality. But of late years the civic entertainments, as they were called, have been abandoned and the lady mayoress has not attempted to shine in society.

The Right Honorable Gerald O’Reilly was Lord Mayor of Dublin when I was there in 1908, and he managed to look after his private business as grocer and liquor dealer at Towns End in connection with his official duties. He was elected to office by the nationalists and the labor element, who control the politics not only of Dublin but of all Ireland, and have elected his predecessors for many years. And they have been men of the people without exception. No aristocrat, no landlord, no member of the nobility could ever hope to become Lord Mayor of Dublin.

Mr. O’Reilly was born, reared, and educated in County Carlow, where his father was a groceryman and liquor dealer like himself. When he became of age he came up to Dublin, went into business on his own account and prospered. He is not a rich man, but well to do, with a good patronage, a good reputation, and a large influence in politics. For twenty years he has served as a member of the common council and the board of aldermen, where he has proved his usefulness and his right to promotion. Mr. O’Reilly’s predecessor was an actual workingman, G.P. Nanetti, a son of an Italian artist who came to Ireland fifty years ago to engage in his profession as a decorator. Mr. Nanetti was born in Dublin, educated in the national schools, learned his trade as printer in the office of that ancient and well-known paper, the Freeman’s Journal, and was advanced from grade to grade until he became the foreman of the composing-room. In the meantime he went into politics, became a leader among the workingmen, was elected to the common council and then to the board of aldermen, and, after serving two terms as lord mayor, was elected to parliament as the representative of the business district of Dublin, which surrounds the Bank of Ireland and Trinity College. Before him Timothy Harrington was lord mayor for three terms, a longer period than any of his predecessors since the creation of the title by King Charles I. on the twenty-ninth day of July, 1641. He, too, was a great success in the office and was sent to parliament for the district which includes the docks.

The Mansion House is well adapted for entertainment. The main room is a large circular chamber, adorned with statuary, which was built especially for the reception of George IV. when he visited Ireland. The Oak Room is entirely sheathed, floor, ceiling, and walls, with a rich reddish brown oak, delicately carved. Over the fireplace is a rack for the reception of the mace and sword which are the symbols of office, and formerly, when the lord mayor went about on official occasions, they were carried before him, but Mr. O’Reilly and his recent predecessors have abolished many of those interesting old ceremonies.

There are some fine pictures in the Mansion House, portraits of Charles II. by Sir Peter Lely, George IV. by Sir Thomas Lawrence, the Earl of Northumberland by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and the Earl of Westmorland by Romney. In the entrance hall are preserved the mace and sword carried by the lord mayor who fought for James II. at the battle of the Boyne. When he fled with the rest of James’s forces he dropped the heavy insignia, which fell into the hands of the Williamites and were retained by them until a duplicate set had been furnished, many years after.

Many famous men have been entertained at the Mansion House, including General Grant, who visited Dublin during the holidays of 1878; Capt. Edward E. Potter, commander of the United States man-of-war Constellation, which brought a cargo of food to the starving people of Ireland in 1880; the Hon. Patrick A. Collins, while he was Mayor of Boston, who, by the way, is recorded as a senator from Massachusetts, a distinction he never attained. The Hon. Richard Croker, formerly of New York, received the freedom of the city of Dublin several years ago, and has been a frequent guest at the Mansion House, although he moves about very modestly and puts on no airs.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin is elected annually on the 23d of December by the aldermen and councilmen and must be one of their number. He has a deputy who exercises authority during his illness or absence. There are fifteen aldermen and forty-five members of the council, whose authority and powers are very much the same as in our cities at home.

The headquarters of the mayor are in the City Hall, which was formerly the Royal Exchange, where merchants met daily to make bargains and sign contracts. It was used as a prison during the rebellion of ’98, and has had other experiences. As you enter the building through the vestibule you pass into a large circular room, with a dome sustained by many columns, which was formerly the trading place, but is now the anteroom to the mayor’s office and is usually filled with politicians and place hunters, which are quite as numerous in Ireland as they are anywhere else.

The name of the capital of Ireland is a compound of two Gaelic words, Dubh-Linn, which signify “the black pool,” and was bestowed upon it more than two thousand years ago. There is a complete history of the city since the year 150 A.D., when a warlike king called “Conn of a Hundred Battles,” who had long been the overlord of all Ireland, was defeated by his rival, “Mogh of Munster,” and compelled to consent to a division of territory, the line being drawn from High Street, Dublin, across to the Atlantic Ocean near Galway. Three centuries later St. Patrick stopped on his way from Wicklow to his home at Armagh. The people complained to him of the bad quality of the water they were obliged to drink and he relieved them by causing a miraculous fountain to spring up near the site of the present cathedral that bears his name. In 1152 Dublin became the seat of an archbishopric by a decree of the pope and, shortly after the landing of Henry II., became the seat of the English government. In 1210 King John visited Ireland again and conferred many privileges upon the city. In 1394 King Richard came over with an army of thirty-four thousand and lived in great splendor in Dublin. All of the Irish chieftains submitted to his conciliatory policy. The great O’Neill, King of Ulster; MacMurrough, King of Leinster; O’Brien of Munster, and O’Connor of Connaught, the four kings of Ireland, were knighted and promised allegiance, but no sooner had Richard returned to England than the country was again in confusion.

In 1409 the “pale” (or inclosure) of Ireland was established, with the city of Dublin as its capital, a narrow strip of land thirty miles long by twenty wide, which alone was under English control and whose inhabitants alone in all Ireland could be relied upon to respect the royal commands. Dublin has been besieged, invaded by pirates, has been swept with plague and pestilence, and has been fought over by rival princes, but has kept growing, and in Queen Elizabeth’s time reached such commercial importance that it was necessary to erect a custom-house and a lighthouse to show the channel to those who went down to the sea in ships. The people were famous for their wealth and fashion. An official band of musicians played three times a week through the chief streets, there was a city physician, a fire department, an attempt at sanitation and waterworks were introduced, each citizen being allowed as much water daily as would flow through a quill.

In 1661 the people of Dublin spent $150,000, which was an enormous sum in those days, to celebrate the restoration, with banquets, fireworks, a pageant, and various other evidences of rejoicing. And the king, as an acknowledgment, sent the mayor a gold chain and conferred upon him the title of “The Right Honorable, the Lord Mayor of Dublin.” Under the administration of Ormonde, Dublin expanded on all sides, and has since been growing, although from time to time there have been periods of distress and disorder.

The Four Courts, Dublin

Gradually, however, matters settled down into civilization and order. Courts were established, and an imposing building called “The Four Courts” was erected to accommodate the four divisions of the judiciary,—chancery, king’s bench, exchequer, and common pleas. In early times each term of court was opened by a religious service, when the choir of Christ Church would sing an anthem and the dean would offer prayer. One of the boundaries of the Four Courts was a dark, narrow passage, which a wit, struck with its gloom, nicknamed “Hell,” and carried out his idea by erecting at the entrance a fantastic figure supposed to represent the evil one. A Dublin newspaper of that date contains an advertisement reading as follows:

“Lodgings to let in Hell, suitable for a lawyer.”

You will remember Burns’s line: “As sure ’s the deil ’s in hell, or Dublin city.”

Dublin now has 300,000 population, and, although it is not so enterprising as Belfast, is one of the few cities in Ireland that shows growth. The population is divided as follows: Roman Catholic, 237,645; Church of Ireland, Episcopal, 41,663; Presbyterian, 4,074; Methodist, 2,342.

The means of grace are greater than the hope of glory. Promises of salvation are offered from fully eighty churches, as follows:

Church of Ireland20
Church of Ireland (chapels)20
Roman Catholic9
Roman Catholic (chapels)6
Primitive Methodists2
Friends’ meeting-houses2

The “disestablishment” of the Church of Ireland, by which is meant the separation of the Protestant Episcopal denomination from the government, occurred in 1869 under the leadership of Mr. Gladstone as the price of peace and the termination of the rebellion in Ireland. It was demanded by the Roman Catholic bishops, who saw the injustice of compelling people of all denominations, without discrimination, to pay taxes to support an official church and the propaganda of a faith which they did not profess. So that branch of the Established Church of England which was found across St. George’s Channel was forcibly divorced and given alimony amounting to £8,080,000, or about $39,000,000 in American money. This represented a commutation in advance of the stipends to which the clergy of that church were entitled under the ecclesiastical laws for a term of fourteen years, as well as a vast amount of real estate and other property which belonged to the Established Church and was transferred to the new organization represented by a commission appointed for that purpose. At the same time the Presbyterian church of Ireland received £750,000, the Roman Catholic College of St. Patrick at Maynooth, £3,372,331, the board of intermediate education for school purposes, £1,000,000, the pension fund for teachers in Ireland, £1,127,150 and the Congested Districts Board, £1,500,000. Since that time these funds have increased in value considerably, and the incomes from them are devoted to the purposes named. They were paid in lieu of the annual contributions from the Established Church which had been enjoyed for many years and were capitalized on the basis of fourteen years’ income; that is, the government in order to satisfy everybody advanced in lump sums what it would have given in annual installments for the next fourteen years if the “disestablishment act” had not been passed.

The general synod which controls the affairs of the Episcopal Church of Ireland is composed of the two archbishops, the bishops, the deans, and canons of cathedrals, and archdeacons of diocese. The property of the church has advanced in value until it is now estimated at more than £12,000,000, or $60,000,000, and the income is now more than $2,000,000 a year, which is very large in proportion to its numbers.

Total population of Ireland (1901)4,386,035
Roman Catholic3,308,661
Church of Ireland581,080

These are the figures furnished by the different church organizations, but you will notice they exceed the total population by the latest census and therefore are only approximately correct.

At the time of the disestablishment in 1889 the adherents of the Church of Ireland numbered 693,347, which is a decrease of 112,258 since that time. This corresponds very accurately with the general decrease of the population of the island.

There are now 1,628 churches and chapels belonging to the Church of Ireland, which is an average of one for every 350 people, and from my short experience I should say that the members of the church were very negligent in attending worship.

The Roman Catholic church is the largest, the most prosperous, the most energetic, and has greater vitality than any other denomination, and is involved in all the politics and secular affairs as well as the ecclesiastical administration of the country, which is perfectly natural, because 74 per cent of the entire population belong to that denomination, and the number as reported—3,308,661—are divided among 1,084 parishes with 2,350 houses of worship, churches, and chapels.

The constant stream of emigration which flows from Ireland to the United States, Canada, Australia, and other more progressive and prosperous countries comes chiefly from the Roman Catholic church, which lost 238,646 members, or 6.7 per cent of its numbers, between the last two official censuses of the country. The Church of Ireland lost 3.2 per cent from a total of 13 per cent, the Presbyterians 0.4, while the Methodists increased 11.7 per cent, the Jews increased 119 per cent, and other religious persuasions 9.1 per cent.

But it is strange to say that the numbers of priests and monks and nuns are increasing every year, while the number of parishioners is falling off. In 1851, when the island had twice its present population, there were 2,291 priests in Ireland; in 1901 there were 3,157, of whom 4 were archbishops, 27 bishops, 392 monks, and the remainder parish priests, including chaplains and professors in educational institutions. The total of priests increased 307 during the last ten years. There are many monasteries, nunneries, and other monastic and educational houses in Ireland—93 for men and 242 for women.

The Presbyterians are third in numerical strength, wealth, and influence, and are found mostly in the northern part of the country. The membership represents the manufacturing, mercantile, and commercial classes, while the Church of Ireland represents the landowners, the government officials, the aristocracy, nobility, and the gentry. The Presbyterians have a higher average of wealth than any other denomination. Their contributions to benevolent purposes in 1907 were $1,040,000, which is very large for a population of 443,494 and 106,000 communicants. There were 96,000 children on the roll of the Presbyterian Sunday schools in 567 churches, which are distributed among 36 presbyteries and 5 synods. The minutes of the recent general assembly show 650 clergymen of that faith.

The Methodists are active and energetic, and ever since John Wesley appeared in Ireland in August, 1747, they have been strong in the faith. They are mostly in the cities among the middle classes, and the latest returns show 250 churches, 248 ministers and evangelists, 358 Sunday schools, and 26,000 scholars, for a total population of 61,255.

There are several other denominational organizations. Friends’ meeting-houses are found in several of the cities of Ireland, and the members of that faith have been here for centuries. Macroom Castle, in which William Penn was born, is still standing, and the Castle of Blackrock, the place where he embarked for America, is now a popular Sunday resort for the working people of that city.


Dublin Castle does not correspond with the conventional idea of what a castle should be. It looks more like the dormitory of an ancient university or a hospital or military barracks, although there are two ancient towers in which many men have been imprisoned and in which several patriots have died, and the south side of the pile, which overlooks a beautiful lawn in the very center of Dublin, has quite the appearance of a fortress. It has been the scene of much bloody history, much treachery and cruelty, and many deeds of valor have been done in the two courtyards. One of the viceroys of the sixteenth century, in a letter to the King of England describing its partial destruction by fire, wrote that he had “lost nothing but a few barrels of powder and the worst castle in the worst situation in Christendom”.

A certain portion of the building is reserved for the official residence of the lord lieutenant, and there are long suites of quaint old rooms with antique furniture, usually disguised with its summer wrapping of pink-flowered chintz, in which kings and queens and dukes and earls have been entertained for centuries. In olden times it was the habit of the lord lieutenant to permit his guests to go to the wine cellar with glasses in their hands and drink from whatever hogshead they pleased, and it is recorded that some gentlemen who were imbibing longer than usual sent the cellarer to the Duke of Ormonde, who then occupied the office, to provide them with chairs. With that true wit that distinguishes the Irish race, high and low, the duke replied that he did not encourage his guests to drink any longer than they could stand. This custom was abandoned by the Earl of Halifax, owing to the carelessness of certain bewildered gentlemen who left the wine running out of the spigot and lost him many gallons of precious Madeira.

The present lord lieutenant, Lord Aberdeen, spends as little time in the castle as possible, because the viceregal lodge, his country residence, which is only half an hour’s drive distant in Phœnix Park, is so much more comfortable and homelike, but all state ceremonies must take place at the castle, and their excellencies and the household usually bring in their court costumes early in February, for the season commences on the second Tuesday with a levee, a drawing-room on Wednesday, a reception on Thursday, and on Friday a banquet. During the ensuing week a state ball is given, and twice a week thereafter entertainments until the 17th of March, when the season is finished with St. Patrick’s ball. The presentation of guests may be arranged for at the levees or the drawing-room, and everybody who has been presented can go to the ball. The inauguration of a new viceroy takes place in the throne-room, where also a farewell reception is held when he retires.

The castle dates back to the days when it was necessary to have some stronghold, as the king said, “to curb the city as well as to defend it,” and to provide a safe place for the custody of the royal treasure. It was located in the center of the present city of Dublin, but at the time was outside the original walls of the town, upon what is called Cork Hill, because Richard Boyle, the Earl of Cork, had his castle upon the slight elevation it now occupies. Meiller Fitzhenry, an illegitimate son of Henry II., designed and began the building. It was finished in 1213, and from that period has been the center of Irish history. Very little of the original structure remains—only a portion of the walls. The towers have been cut down and modernized. One of them is now used for a supper-room for social occasions, and a kitchen is on the lower floor. The other, which was originally a prison, and is the most complete surviving fragment of the ancient fortress, is a repository for historical documents and the records of the government for the last four or five centuries. There are three circular rooms, one above the other; the walls are nineteen feet thick in places, and four or five long, narrow cells are built into them like recesses and lighted only by a narrow strip at the far end. One of these cells has a secret chamber hidden in the wall, and accessible only by a revolving door, which is difficult to distinguish from the rest of the stone.

The Castle, Dublin; Official Residence of the Lord Lieutenant and Headquarters of the Government

The tower has not been used as a prison since 1798 and 1803, the rebellions of Emmet and Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and the documents relating to their conspiracy are preserved there in the very cells where the men who were convicted by them lay awaiting trial and execution. The late Mr. Lecky, the historian, searched them thoroughly, and gave a surprising account of the character of the private papers that were seized with the effects of the patriots in those days. Love letters, poems, reflections on various subjects, rules of conduct, maxims of the sages, drafts of speeches, and proclamations in soaring language, and many attempts at literary work are mixed up with the reports of spies, informers, detectives, and officials,—some of them from comrades whose treachery was never suspected and which Mr. Lecky was not permitted to publish even at this late day. Some people think these malicious and incriminating documents should be destroyed lest they may sometime come to light and ruin the reputation of men who are highly esteemed by their fellow countrymen. But no one seems willing to give the instructions.

In 1583 a “trial by combat” took place in the courtyard of the castle between Connor MacCormack O’Connor and Teague Kilpatrick O’Connor to settle the responsibility for the murder of a clansman. The weapons were sword and shield. The lord justices and the councillors, the governor-general, the sheriffs, and other officials were present to witness the trial. As was the custom and usage in trials by combat, each man was made to take an oath that he believed his quarrel just, and was ready to maintain it to the death. After a fierce struggle Teague cut off the head of his cousin and presented it on the point of his sword to the lord justices. For many generations the Irish parliament used to assemble at the castle. The first was called in 1328, another in 1585, another in 1639, and the accounts of the expenses of the lord lieutenant show that during the two weeks that parliament was in session the viceregal household consumed ten bullocks, forty sheep, sixteen hogsheads of beer, and various other refreshments to a similar extent.

Oliver Cromwell, when in Dublin, resided at the castle, and in 1654 his youngest son was born there. While Henry Cromwell was viceroy he was driven from the castle and went to live at the viceregal lodge. In 1689, after the battle of the Boyne, in which William of Orange defeated James Stuart, the latter took possession of the castle, but slept there only one night.

The court of Dublin has been insignificant but lively, and has reflected the characteristics of the Irish nobility, who were as fond of a frolic as they were of a fight, and never allowed their sense of decorum or the laws of etiquette to interfere with their pleasure. A hundred years ago ladies, upon being presented for the first time, were solemnly kissed by the viceroy, which was more or less agreeable to him, according to the age and attractions of his guests. One of them who was noted for his wit remarked that he got his kisses as a spendthrift borrows from a usurer, “part in old wine, part in dubious paintings, and part in bright gold and silver.” With all its wit and brilliancy the court has at times been noted for a low state of morality, and at one period that portion of the castle which contains the state apartments was nicknamed “hell’s half-acre” by a satirist.

A figure of Justice which adorns the pediment of the main gate has been the object of much wit and satire for two centuries. Dean Swift once declared that she sat with her face to the viceroy and her back to the people. There are a few good portraits and other pictures in the residence portion of the building, including some pretty medallions in the wall of the throne-room, which are credited to Angelica Kauffman, but nobody knows when or how she happened to paint them.

The mantel of one of the rooms is of black Spanish oak taken from the cabin of the flagship of the Spanish Armada which was wrecked on the Irish coast after the great sea battle of 1588.

The finest of all the rooms is St. Patrick’s Hall, which was designed by the great Lord Chesterfield when he was lord lieutenant of Ireland, and has always been much admired by architects because of its proportions and its lofty painted ceilings representing events in Irish history. The banners of the twenty-four knights of St. Patrick are suspended from either side, and the crimson draperies and upholstering of Irish poplin give the apartment an attractive color. Duplicates of these banners hang in the choir of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where the knights used to meet before 1869, but they have always had their headquarters in the castle, and the Ulster king of arms, the executive officer of the order, is the master of ceremonies at the castle, senior officer in the household of the lord lieutenant, the highest authority on rank and precedent in Ireland, and his seal is necessary to give legal value to patents of Irish peerages. He decides all questions of etiquette, nominates the persons who are presented at the viceregal drawing-room, arranges for all ceremonies, and in processions of state he rides or walks immediately in front of the lord lieutenant, carrying the sword of state as the emblem of the authority of the king.

The office has been in existence since the Middle Ages. Its incumbent was formerly the custodian of the arms, the chief of the heralds, and the keeper of the royal jewels. He has an office in what is known as Bedford Tower, immediately facing the principal entrance to the viceroy’s residence, with a large suite of rooms for his own use, and two or three clerks to look after his business. Otherwise the office carries no compensation except £20 a year and such few fees as are paid for searching the records of the Irish peerage and furnishing certificates of pedigree and title similar to those that are sought at the College of Heralds in London.

The office was held for many years by Sir Bernard Burke, the most eminent of modern genealogists, the originator and author of “Burke’s Peerage,” which is authority on all questions affecting the nobility. His successor was Sir Arthur Vicar, son of the late Colonel Vicar, who commanded the Sixty-first Irish Fusiliers, and is a cousin of half the nobility of Ireland. Sir Arthur is a bachelor, a member of the principal clubs of London and Dublin, president of the Kildare Archæological Society and of the “Ex-Libris Society,” whose members follow the fad of collecting book plates. He is the highest authority on questions affecting the Irish nobility since the death of Sir Bernard Burke, and is the editor of “Lodge’s Peerage,” a volume which relates exclusively to them. Sir Arthur has been a great favorite with everybody. He is an amiable, gentle, witty man, with winning manner, a charming conversationalist, has a keen sense of humor, and has been the confidant of half the peers of Ireland in their sorrows and their difficulties.

In October, 1907, when preparations were being made to invest Lord Castledown as a knight of St. Patrick, it was discovered that the regalia of that order was missing, and no trace has ever been found of it, nor have the detectives obtained a single clew to the mystery. The jewels have an intrinsic value of quarter of a million dollars, but the historical and sentimental value of the articles stolen cannot be estimated. They were kept in a safe in the office of Sir Arthur Vicar as master at arms at the right of the entrance to his private quarters, and the room was usually occupied in the daytime by two clerks and carefully locked at night. This valuable property had been kept in that place for more than two hundred years, and nobody ever dreamed that it might be stolen. The discovery, which was kept secret for several months at the request of the police, caused a postponement of the ceremony, and the chief secretary for Ireland called for the resignation of Sir Arthur as master at arms on the ground that he failed to take proper precautions for the safety of the valuables in question. He was not accused or even suspected of having participated in the robbery, or having any knowledge of it, but there cannot be the slightest doubt that the theft was committed by some person familiar with affairs in the castle, and hence all the employees, everybody, from Lord Aberdeen down, has shared in the humiliation. Sir Arthur Vicar refused to resign, demanded a court of inquiry, and selected Timothy Healy, a member of parliament of the nationalist party from Dublin, as his counsel, and has ever since been appealing for vindication.


While the circumstances of the agricultural class in Ireland are by no means ideal, a great deal has been done to improve them. At the present rate of progress, however, it will take from twenty to twenty-five years, if not much longer, to accomplish the results intended by the Wyndham Land Act of 1903, which was expected to bring about the Irish millennium. That act provides that an owner of a large estate may sell to his tenants the holdings they occupy, and his untenanted land to any one who desires to buy it, in such tracts and at such prices as may be agreed upon, corresponding to the income now derived from that particular property. No landlord can sell a few acres here and there of good land under this act, although, of course, he is at liberty to dispose of any part of his estate at any time at any price that he may consider proper. But the terms and privileges of the Wyndham Act can only be enjoyed by a community of tenants in the purchase of the whole or a considerable portion of an estate. A board of commissioners which sits in the old-fashioned mansion in which the Duke of Wellington was born, on Merrion Street, Dublin, is authorized to use its discretion in the application of the law and in granting its privileges to those for whose benefit it is intended. Nothing can be done without their approval. The landlord and the tenants may arrange their own bargains to their own satisfaction, but they must be submitted to the board before they are carried out.

When such agreements are reached and approved by the commission,—including the area sold, the price, and other terms,—the government is expected to furnish the purchase money from the public treasury. The landlord is entitled to receive the cash in full, and the tenant, who pays nothing, gives a mortgage, as we would call it, upon the property to the government for sixty-eight years or less, and agrees to pay an annual installment of 3¼ per cent of the purchase price, of which 2¾ per cent is interest and ½ per cent goes into a sinking fund to cover the purchase money at the end of sixty-eight years. A purchaser may pay off the mortgage at any time he pleases, and receive a clear title to the land; or he may sell it whenever he chooses, subject to the mortgage, which follows the land and not the person. If he is unable to pay his annuities, the government can turn him out and dispose of the land, subject to the same terms and conditions, to another person. It can make no allowance for crop failures or cattle diseases. It cannot extend or modify its credits.

Nearly all of the landlords are willing to sell their estates; many are glad to get rid of them, because the average tenantry in Ireland are a very determined class, and are always making trouble. There have been almost continuous disturbances over land questions of one form or another in Ireland since the beginning of time. The rents are low compared with the American standard, but have been difficult to collect, and when there is a failure of crops they cannot be collected at all. The landlords complain that all the laws that have been enacted of late years are entirely in the interest of the tenants; that the landlord has no show at all. And perhaps that is true, because public sympathy is invariably with the tenants, and they cast many votes, while the landlord has only one, even if he tries to vote at all.

Since 1881 the land courts have adjusted the rents of 360,135 farmer tenants, involving 10,731,804 acres of land. The total rents paid for these lands annually before adjustment was £7,206,079. They were reduced by judicial order to a total of £5,715,158, a difference of about $7,500,000 a year in American money, in favor of the tenants.

Therefore it is perfectly natural that landowners—and especially those who have had a good deal of trouble with their tenants—are anxious to dispose of their estates for cash, which they can invest to much better advantage. The Duke of Leinster, for example, who is a minor, has realized more than £800,000 in cash, which his trustees have invested in brewery stocks, railway bonds, and other securities which pay regular dividends and give him no anxiety.

Mr. Bailey, one of the commissioners, told me that the good estates have been disposed of without difficulty. The disposition of the poor land has been more difficult, because the tenants are not as eager to get it, the owner is not always satisfied with the price, and the commission is not willing to make advances upon small bits of land among the bogs and rocks and other tracts of unfertile soil that would not be considered good security by anybody. The commissioners have treated these transactions very much as they would have done if they were mortgage bankers. They have refused to make advances on land that a banker would not have considered good security. They have not been willing to make advances on farms that cannot be made to pay. There have been complications in certain cases that have perplexed them, but, as a rule, the law has been working out in a most satisfactory and gratifying manner. The chief object of the commission and the purpose of the law has been to break up the great estates of Ireland so far as possible in farms of not more than one hundred acres, and sell them to the occupants, so as to create a nation of peasant proprietors, and that, he says, is being accomplished more rapidly than any one had reason to expect. Of course Mr. Bailey does not pretend that everybody is satisfied. That would be impossible. The millennium has not yet come, and the Wyndham Act has not brought it, although it has undoubtedly done more than any previous legislation to promote peace in this distracted country, and offers promises of future prosperity and contentment.

Naturally some of the landowners have not been willing to sell their property, and their tenants have been trying to force them to do so. That accounts for the “cattle driving” and similar disturbances that you read about in the newspaper cablegrams from Ireland. It is to be regretted that the tendency of the newspapers is to publish sensational occurrences and unfortunate events. If a man commits a great crime it is advertised from one end of the world to the other. If he does a good deed very little is said about it, and a false impression concerning conditions in Ireland has been created by the widespread publication of every little outrage or disturbance that occurs over there, while the enormous usefulness and the satisfactory application of the Wyndham Land Act has been almost entirely neglected by newspaper writers.

There have, however, been a good many little disturbances occasioned by the efforts of the tenants of certain estates, particularly those that are now devoted to cattle-breeding, to force their landlords to divide up the pastures and sell them. At present there is more money in the cattle and sheep business than in any other kind of farming in Ireland, and, as you drive out into the interior, you can see the loveliest pastures in the world filled with fat, sleek animals feeding upon the luscious grass. I do not believe there are richer or more beautiful pastures in any land, and Irish beef and mutton command a premium because of their flavor and tenderness. Hence prosperous cattle-breeders cannot be blamed for refusing to sell their pastures and go out of business, and there is no law to compel them to do so. But the rough and reckless elements in the villages, and in many cases among their own tenantry, often try to persecute them by cattle and sheep “driving,” as it is called, until they are willing to cry quits. The popular method is to break down the gates or the hedges,—they do not have fences in Ireland,—turn the cattle and sheep into the road, and run them as far as possible away from their proper pastures, scattering them over the country. This is done in the night, and the next morning the owner is compelled to take such measures to recover as many of the strays as he can. Various means are adopted to prevent such outrages. Armed guards are employed who defend their cattle, sometimes at the cost of life and bloodshed, which, of course, provokes bad feeling and greater trouble. Hundreds of men have been arrested and punished by long terms of imprisonment, but “cattle-driving” still goes on in various parts of the country with some serious results. But it is comparatively insignificant when compared with the great good that is being accomplished by the breaking up of the big estates whose owners are willing to dispose of them.

Thus far the Wyndham Act has been carried out without much friction; the chief difficulty having arisen from the eagerness of the landlords to dispose of their estates, which is so much greater than anticipated, that the funds provided have not been sufficient, and the landlords who have sold their property have been compelled to wait for their pay. In November, 1908, Mr. Augustine Birrell, chief secretary for Ireland in the British cabinet, introduced into the House of Commons a bill for the appropriation of more than $760,000,000, to be raised by an issue of bonds to pay for the estates that have already been sold and for those that may be sold in the future. That amount of money he asserted would be necessary to carry out the plans of the government under the Land Act of 1903.

This proposition of Mr. Birrell is without doubt the most stupendous munificence ever offered by any government to its subjects. The money thus appropriated does not pay for any service performed. It is a direct appropriation from the public treasury to the people of Ireland for the simple purpose of relieving their poverty and placing them in circumstances which will permit them to enjoy life without the hardships and sufferings and fruitless labor which they and their forefathers have for generations endured.

The advances of the British government to the Irish peasants, if this bill becomes a law, will reach nearly $1,000,000,000, but it is to be repaid by them in small installments. Mr. Birrell, in his explanation of the purpose of the bill to the House of Commons, stated that up to the 31st of October £25,000,000 in round numbers (which amounts to about $125,000,000 in our money) had already been expended by the estates commissioners in purchasing farms from the large landholders in Ireland for the benefit of the tenants who occupy them, and that £52,000,000 (which is the equivalent of about $260,000,000) is due to other landowners who have sold their estates under the Act of 1903. These transactions have been completed with the exception of payment of the price.

The transactions concluded under the Land Act of 1903 up to Oct. 31, 1908, provide farms for about 126,000 Irish families, at a cost of $385,000,000 to the British treasury, which is to be refunded by the owners of the farms in sixty-eight years, with interest at 3¼ per cent. Three-fourths of 1 per cent of this annual interest, to be paid by the man who owns the farm, goes into a sinking fund to meet the principal of bonds which have been issued to provide the purchase money. The remaining 2½ per cent is paid by the farmer in lieu of rent, and is used to meet the annual interest upon the bonds. Thus the farmer gets his land in perpetuity by the payment of sixty-eight annual installments of an amount equal to 3¼ per cent of its present value. The average cost of the 126,000 farms thus far purchased is $1,790.

The British government advances the money and becomes responsible for the payment of the interest and principal. The annual interest is only a trifle. In some cases it is only a shilling a week, and it runs up to as high as a pound or two a week in special cases, the average being estimated at $59 a year for the 126,000 farms, or $5 a month for the purchase of a farm, and whatever improvements may happen to be upon the land. If these improvements are not adequate, if the house is not comfortable, and if barns, stables, fences, and other permanent improvements are needed, the government advances the money to provide for them upon the same terms,—sixty-eight annual payments of 3¼ per cent of the cost.

Mr. Birrell in his explanation estimated on Oct. 31, 1908, that the additional sum of $760,000,000 will be necessary to complete the work, to provide every family in the rural districts of Ireland with a farm of their own, and with the intention of doing that he asks an appropriation of that amount, which will bring the cost of the Irish land policy of the British government up to nearly $900,000,000.

This does not include the expenditures of the Congested Districts Board, which have been $440,000 annually for several years, and in the future are to be $1,250,000 a year.

Nor does it include several millions of dollars which have been expended under previous land acts, to purchase farms for the tenant occupiers.

Nor does it include the $25,000,000 appropriated several years ago upon the motion of James Bryce, now British ambassador at Washington, to build cottages for the agricultural laborers,—the farm hands of Ireland.

Mr. Wyndham, the author of the Land Act of 1903, stated in the House of Commons that 159,000 farmers had applied for the assistance of the government to purchase their holdings, and that 176,000 more would probably apply, out of a total of 490,000 farmers in Ireland. His estimates are not so high as those of Mr. Birrell; he believed that $600,000,000, or $800,000,000 at the outside, would be sufficient, instead of $900,000,000, as estimated by Mr. Birrell. He is convinced that 20 per cent of the 490,000 farmers in Ireland would not apply for farms, and that the average price of the farms purchased would not exceed $1,500.

Of the farms already purchased, the average price in Leinster province was £528 ($2,640); in Munster, £452 ($2,260); in Ulster, £242 ($1,210); and in Connaught, £211 ($1,055).

Connaught is the poorest of the poor provinces, and in 1908, out of a total of 29,000 farmers who applied, only 2,000 came from Connaught. Taking the most liberal estimate that he could imagine, Mr. Wyndham stated that $800,000,000 would be the maximum required.

The Wyndham Land Act is not the first experiment of the kind. It is not the first attempt of the government to break up the big estates of Ireland into small farms and homes for the people who are now working them under the present system. W.F. Bailey, one of the commissioners who are carrying out the provisions of that act, gave me an interesting sketch of the history of the movement from the date of the passage of what is known as “the Irish Church Act” in 1869, which was the original endeavor to create a peasant-proprietor system by the aid of state loans.

“Under the Irish Church Act,” said Mr. Bailey, “commissioners were appointed to sell to the tenants of lands belonging to the church their holdings at prices fixed by the commissioners themselves. If the tenant refused to buy on the terms offered, the commissioners were authorized to sell to the public for at least one-fourth and as much more as they could get in cash, and the balance secured by a mortgage to be paid off in thirty-two years in half-yearly installments. They sold farms to 6,057 tenants, and the government loaned the purchasers a total of £1,674,841 which was issued by the commissioners of public works.

“In 1870, the following year, what is known as the Landlord and Tenant Act was passed by Parliament, under which the commissioners were authorized to advance two-thirds of the purchase money agreed upon instead of one-fourth, to be repaid in thirty-five years with 5 per cent interest, and all agricultural and pastural lands in Ireland were included in its provisions. Under this act 877 tenants purchased their holdings for a total of £859,000, of which the government advanced £514,526.

“This act was amended in 1881 to provide that three-quarters instead of two-thirds of the purchase money might be advanced by the government on the same terms, and 731 tenants took advantage of it. The advances amounted to £240,801.

“What was known as the Ashbourne Act was passed in 1885, appropriating the sum of £5,000,000 to enable the commissioners to purchase estates for the purpose of reselling them to the tenants and others, and they were authorized to furnish the entire purchase money, to be repaid in annual installments extending over a period of forty-nine years, with interest at 5 per cent. In 1888 an additional sum of £5,000,000 was advanced for the same purpose, and 25,368 tenants on 1,355 estates purchased their holdings with £9,992,640 advanced by the government.

“These funds having been exhausted, Mr. Balfour in 1891 introduced a new system under which the landlord, instead of cash, was paid in guaranteed stock exchangeable for consols equal in amount to the purchase money, and running for thirty years with interest at 2¾ per cent. This stock was guaranteed by the Irish probate duty, the customs, and excise taxes, and certain local grants. The amount of stock that could be issued for any county was limited, however, and when that limit was reached the sales had to stop. The advances under this act were £39,145,348.

“The Act of 1891 was amended in 1896 in various respects. The annual installments were fixed at 4 per cent, 2¾ per cent being for interest and 1¼ per cent to create a sinking fund for the repayment of the capital. The number of purchases arranged under this act was 36,994, and the total amount advanced was £10,809,190.

“The following table will give the number of tenants who have purchased their holdings from their landlords with the assistance of the government under these various acts and under the Wyndham Act of 1903 from 1869 to the 31st of May, 1908:

Irish Church Act of 18696,057£1,674,841  
Act of 1870877514,536  
Act of 1881731240,801  
Act of 188526,3679,992,536  
Act of 189146,80613,633,190  
Act of 190346,57617,657,279  
Total to date named127,414£43,713,183”

The following table shows the number of tenant purchasers under the three land purchase acts of 1885–88, 1891–96, and 1903; the amount due from them annually, the number who were in arrears, and the amount of money unpaid on July 1, 1908:

Number and
amount unpaid.
Act of    

This is an extraordinary statement. It shows that 116,992 Irish farmers have had farms purchased for them by the government, which they are under obligations to pay for by installments amounting annually to $7,240,000. Only 1,033, or less than 1 per cent, of them are in arrears in their payments, and the amount unpaid is only about $50,000. The statement shows that only 120 are in arrears for more than one installment. This is conclusive evidence that the peasant farmers of Ireland are carrying out in good faith the generous arrangement that has been made for them by the British Parliament.

In addition to the actual tenants, the estates commissioners have provided farms for 2,647 persons who are not tenants, but are the sons of farmers or laborers upon the farms. These are called “landless” persons, and they are the ones who are making the trouble for the government in several of the counties by driving off the cattle and otherwise annoying the landlords and lessees of ranches that are being used for pasturage while they are without farms. To such persons 70,326 acres, an average of 35 acres each, have been allotted and paid for by the government.

“The fortunes of the Irish peasantry will soon be in their own hands,” said Mr. Bailey. “Ireland is soon to be like Denmark, a peasant state; and the wealth-producing capacity of the country will be in the hands of small farmers who own their homes and will have the entire benefit of the results of their labor.

“It is often complained,” continued Mr. Bailey, “that the farmers of Ireland are not good cultivators, and perhaps that is true in a measure, except down in Wexford and other parts of the east coast south of Dublin and in the north of Ireland. But there are very good reasons for it. The Irish farmers never had any instruction until lately. Before the famine they merely raised enough to supply their own wants and, having no interest in the land, did nothing to improve it. Since the famine, however, and within the last few years there has been a very great advance in agricultural conditions, and as the older generation dies off and the younger generation comes on there will be better farming, because they will know how to apply their labor. One reason for the lack of good farming and the carelessness and neglect was that there was no fixed tenure for the tenants, and as they naturally hated their landlords, they were not willing to do anything to improve the value of the property. Another reason is that they have been raising cattle so long that they have forgotten how to cultivate the land. The area of pasturage in Ireland has been gradually increasing and the acreage plowed has been gradually decreasing, until now, of the 20,000,000 acres of land of Irish territory only 2,357,530 are devoted to crops, and no less than 14,712,849 are devoted to meadows and pastures. The area under cultivation has been growing smaller every year. In 1875 it was 5,332,813 acres, in 1895 it was 4,931,000, in 1905 it was 2,999,082, while in 1907 it was 2,357,530 acres.

“Another reason for poor farming is that the best element, the most active and enterprising of our people, have gone to America, which has increased the ratio of those who are physically and intellectually inferior. Then, again, it has become a matter of fashion to neglect the soil. Our people prefer to live in the towns rather than on the farms. The Irish are a social race, and, as has been demonstrated by the emigrants to America, they prefer a crowded tenement house to plenty of room on a farm.”

“That the farms of the tenant purchasers have largely improved in all parts of Ireland, as regards cultivation and general conditions, is unquestionable,” said Mr. Bailey. “The exceptions to this rule are so few and of such a nature as to emphasize rather than detract from the good effect of the land reforms, as shown by the general condition of the farms we have been able to visit. In the great majority of cases we found that the purchasers have devoted their energies and their savings to the improvement of the land and of the buildings. In many districts, especially those in the provinces of Leinster and Munster, the tenants have hitherto been more anxious to increase the productive power of the soil than to add to their comforts or the appearances of their homes, or to make permanent improvements. But we found improvements in fencing, draining, in the cleaning of fields, in the re-making of farm roads, and in other respects, as well as by increasing the fertility of the soil by manuring and top-dressing. We found also that the actual productiveness of the land in many cases had been increased since its purchase, by improved management.

“On some estates conditions have not improved, because of various reasons. Some lazy people, unfortunately, have no desire to change. They live a dull, commonplace life, without enterprise, energy, or ambition. Some of them are affected by their environment, as in the case of small farmers who are in the midst of a community of large cattle-growers. Again, the cost of labor is so great that many cannot afford to hire help to do what they cannot do themselves, and have postponed improvements until a more favorable opportunity.

“However, that the dwellings, outhouses, stables, and barns of tenant purchasers have materially improved throughout Ireland is certain. The testimony on this point from every part of the four provinces is uniform and conclusive. A considerable number of new buildings have been erected either by home labor or capital already in hand, and many farmers are taking advantage of the loans offered by the board of works. This is particularly true in the counties of Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, and Wexford. On some estates there is a great deal of rivalry among the new purchasers as to which shall have the best showing in the way of buildings. In other cases, I regret to say, the houses and barns continue in a very neglected state.

“It is also gratifying to be able to say that in the large majority of cases throughout Ireland the credit of the tenant purchasers has improved very considerably since they bought their holdings. Such is the universal testimony of local bank managers, shopkeepers, ministers of religion, and other representative persons whom we have consulted. And this improvement in credit is perhaps most marked in localities where farmers were worse off in former times. The explanation is that the farmers have now been started on new careers free from obligations, and are able to devote all of their attention and energies to improving their condition without being worried by financial and other troubles.

“The ‘Gombeen man,’ the money-lender, the Shylock, who has been the curse of Ireland, has actually disappeared from many districts, and in others he is rapidly losing his business. The men who have bought their farms under the Wyndham Act do not ask for credit. They pay in cash very generally, and wherever they do borrow, they are able to get better terms, because they have something substantial behind them and are not likely to be thrown out into the street at any time as formerly. Those who are borrowing money now want it for improvements, and not to pay off old mortgages or meet previous obligations.

“The first, and in many respects the most important, consequence of owning farms is the contentment that it has given to the people. Their minds are at ease. Their anxiety as to their future treatment from their landlord or his agent has vanished, and the misfortunes which often distressed them have disappeared. In their investigations the commissioners and the inspectors employed by them have met very few tenant purchasers who have any fault to find with the conditions under which they are now living. We have met several men who had lost their cattle by disease, and others whose crops had failed; but they seemed to be cheerful, and were confident that with care and industry they would soon be on their legs again.

“In the poorer districts on the west coast of Ireland little improvement has been made, and little more can be expected for a generation; yet there has been progress, and the Congested Districts Board is doing a great deal by its liberal policy. The people are very poor, but they do not complain of their poverty. They freely admit that their standard of living has improved of recent years, and more especially since they became owners. ‘Purchase has brought peace,’ said a parish priest. ‘People are more industrious, more temperate, more saving, and more cheerful.’ In many places which had formerly been troublesome, the constabulary report that quietness and order and a supreme feeling of contentment and satisfaction with present conditions prevailed. At Fermanagh the parish priest said that the consumption of liquor had fallen one-half since the farmers had purchased their own farms, and that the money which had been spent for drink was now being saved for improvements on the farms, and for better clothes, for implements, and for other purposes, which show an increased pride in appearances and a sense of responsibility.

“There is no question but that the standard of living in every respect has been raised since the people of Ireland have been allowed to own the farms they till,” continued Mr. Bailey. “This appears in their personal appearance as well as in the food provided for their tables. It is due to the greater self-respect that has been inspired by a sense of proprietorship. The most important and fundamental benefit that the Irish people are enjoying from the ownership of their farms is the elevation of their own opinion of themselves—the self-respect and ambition that a proprietor always feels. They wear better clothes, they take better care of their persons, and they require better food. On many farms in the west of Ireland, where the people lived almost exclusively on porridge and potatoes, they now use bread, eggs, American bacon, and tea. American bacon is used in preference to Irish bacon because it contains more fat and makes a better dish for a large family when boiled with cabbage. The improvement in clothing occurs simultaneously with the improvement in food and farming tools, and both follow immediately after the title to the land is secured. People often explain that formerly they ‘had to scrape together every penny to pay the rent, but now we can live decently.’

“But the sanitary arrangements throughout western Ireland still need a great deal of attention. The manure heap is still in unpleasant proximity to the dwelling place, and the practice of keeping cattle, pigs, and chickens under the same roof and often in the same room with the family has not disappeared as rapidly as one might hope. We inspected a farm in Mayo where the family and the cow lived in the same room, but it was kept remarkably clean and tidy. Every part of the earthen floor outside the corner that was alloted to the cow was carefully swept, and the ‘dresser,’ the chief article of furniture in an Irish cabin, showed taste and neatness, and was well stocked with very good china in which the owner seemed to take great pride. When we remarked on the presence of the cow in the cabin he replied, ‘Sure, I could not leave the poor animal out in the cold.’ The tenant purchaser of a farm in Galway said she had to keep the cow in the house because she could not afford to erect a barn, and if the animal died she would be ruined. But the practice is being slowly abandoned, and since the land act was enforced many people who formerly sheltered their cattle, pigs, and poultry in the same dwelling-place as themselves in their long and severe winters have been building separate houses for them. We were told that this was the exception before purchase, and that it is now the rule. The tendency is undeniably toward neatness, good repairs, and sanitary improvements, and although it is slow it is certain.

“The scarcity of farm labor and the high rates of wages that are now demanded are keeping back improvements that farmers cannot make without assistance, but the people are beginning to realize the advantages of co-operation, and are helping each other in such a way that it seldom becomes necessary to call outside labor. A holding that can only be worked by the aid of paid labor under present circumstances is not profitable, and a large farm cannot be worked to an advantage unless the owner has a son to assist him. Not only have the wages of farm labor increased, but its efficiency has decreased. Hired workmen now insist upon better food and better accommodations.

“There was undoubtedly ample room for improvement in the wages, the food, and the treatment of farm laborers throughout Ireland. The laborers cannot be blamed for demanding it; but a higher standard in each of these respects meant an increase in the cost of cultivating the soil and a decrease in the profits of the farmer. The labor situation is due first to the emigration of the young men to America, and second to the migration from the farms to the cities.

“The estates commission has received very little complaint of the regulations which require the punctual payment of installments and interest money to the government. Here and there a purchaser objects because he has to sell cattle or make some other sacrifice at an inconvenient time to raise the money, and asserts that under the landlord system he would have been allowed time; but such instances are extremely rare, and very few persons admitted that they prefer a private individual to the government as a landlord. The purchasers of farms almost unanimously agree that their annual installments due the government are very considerably less than the rents they were paying, and they now have to sell a much smaller portion of their produce than formerly to meet the rent.

“It is right and proper that I should speak of the almost invariable courtesy that has been shown to the commissioners and our inspectors when we have visited the farmers,” said Mr. Bailey in conclusion. “Very rarely has any suspicion been exhibited, and the fullest information has been given to us. This courtesy and good feeling was especially manifested by the smaller and poorer farmers in the west and south of Ireland. There was no spirit of cringing or cowardice. Both men and women spoke with dignity and independence, and almost invariably expressed themselves as gratified that a great department of the government should wish to learn how they were getting along. They were pleased that a government official should show sufficient interest in their welfare to come and talk with them sympathetically. Many of them inquired as to the workings of the new act in other parts of Ireland, and asked advice on various small matters, which to them were of importance.”


There are many imposing public monuments in Dublin, the most conspicuous of which is a massive pillar, one hundred and thirty-four feet high, erected in 1808 in honor of Lord Nelson, hero of the battle of Trafalgar. In Phœnix Park another native of Dublin, equally famous as a fighter, is honored by a stubby sort of square shaft after the pattern of the Washington monument in Washington, and a little more than one-third of the height. On the four sides of the pedestal the Duke of Wellington’s greatest victories are illustrated by battle scenes in bronze panels. Near this monument is the magazine in which the British soldiers keep their ammunition. It was the subject of Dean Swift’s last epigram:

“Behold! a proof of Irish sense;
Here Irish wit is seen.
When nothing’s left that’s worth defense,
We build a magazine.”

There is a fine equestrian statue of Lord Gough in Phœnix Park, cast from the cannon taken by his command, and a bronze phœnix erected by Lord Chesterfield when he was lieutenant-governor.

Daniel O’Connell’s great services to Ireland are commemorated by the finest bridge over the Liffey River, and an imposing and elaborate monument facing it upon the principal street of the town. It is a little confusing because of the many figures that surround it. The statue of O’Connell is twelve feet high, and is surrounded by fifty small statues, all allegorical, the chief being that of “Erin” casting off her fetters and pointing to the liberator as if to say, “He told me to do it.” Father Mathew is represented by a marble figure with a noble pose and an unusually expressive face. It was made by a woman, a Miss Redmond. There are also statues of Grattan, Curran, Edmund Burke, Thomas Moore, Oliver Goldsmith, Sir Robert Stewart the musician, Smith O’Brien, Sir John Grey, William of Orange, George I., George II., George III.; and Queen Victoria sits in bronze upon a massive pedestal, surrounded by famous figures representing the various colonies of the British Empire upon which it has been frequently stated that the sun never sets. Of modern men, Sir Benjamin Guinness, the brewer, his son, Lord Ardilaun, and the late Archbishop Plunkett are honored, and some of the figures, particularly the latter, are very good.

At the “top” of O’Connell Street, as they say here, corresponding to the O’Connell monument, will soon stand a tall shaft surmounted by a statue of the late Charles Stewart Parnell. The money was raised in America by John E. Redmond and Daniel Tallon, recently Lord Mayor of Dublin, and the monument was designed and the figure cast by the late Augustus Saint Gaudens. It was his latest and one of his most effective works. It was quite appropriate that Saint Gaudens, who was an Irish boy, should have been commissioned for this statue, which many consider the most beautiful of all the many monuments in Dublin.

Parnell’s grave in Prospect Cemetery is not neglected, although I have seen it stated repeatedly that such was the case. It occupies the most prominent place in the cemetery, on the western side of the memorial chapel, on a spot corresponding with that occupied by the towering monument of Daniel O’Connell on the eastern side. The grave is in the center of a large circle, surrounded by an iron fence, shaded by beautiful trees, and large foliage plants which were in full bloom. The turf is well kept, and here and there are memorial wreaths preserved under glass globes. In the center of the circle is a high mound, protected by a hedge of arbor vitæ, and ornamented by several rose bushes. The grave is in the center of the mound. At the head is an iron cross six feet high, and at the foot the name “Parnell” is worked out in large letters of box.

The Customs House, Dublin

One of the employees of the cemetery, who showed us around, said that it was the intention of Parnell’s friends to erect a monument to correspond with that of Daniel O’Connell on the other side of the chapel, but after a discussion of several years they had decided to place the memorial downtown at the site I have already mentioned, where it would always be before the eyes of the public. O’Connell’s body is buried in a crypt underneath the monument. His heart is in a casket in the chapel of the Irish College at Rome.

Several other famous Irish patriots are buried in Prospect Cemetery, and I asked the guide where the body of Robert Emmet was laid.

“That’s a great sacret,” he answered mysteriously, “an’ I wouldn’t tell it to yer honor avin if I knew; with all respict to yer honor. It woul’ be the same as me life is worth. The soul of Robert Emmet has gone to God. His bones is in the hands of the friends of Ireland, but will remain in their prisint sacred hiding place until Ireland is free.”

Michael Davitt is buried in the town of Straid, County Mayo, where he was born and where his parents were evicted from their home during his childhood. The grave is marked with an ordinary stone. There has been no movement thus far for a monument in his honor. His widow lives at Dalkey, the lovely suburb of Dublin by the sea, which I describe elsewhere. She is in excellent circumstances financially, has a comfortable home,—much more comfortable than any she had during her husband’s lifetime,—and is educating her four children, two boys and two girls, at the best schools. The oldest son, now a young man of twenty-two, is studying law, and promises to show much of the ability of his father.

One bright day I made a pilgrimage to the birthplaces and homes of famous Irishmen in Dublin. It is to be regretted that the people of that city feel so little respect for the memory of their heroes as to permit the scenes that were associated so closely with their careers to become filthy whisky dives. Several of these sacred places are among the most disreputable saloons in Dublin.

Henry Grattan was born in 1746 in a house on Fishamble Street, near the old church where Handel first produced his famous oratorio “The Messiah,” and was baptized in the Church of St. John near by. He was educated in Trinity College, Dublin, and the trustees of that institution have erected a statue in his honor outside the old house of parliament, now the Bank of Ireland, which was the scene of his most eminent services. He is represented in the attitude of pleading with uplifted hands for the liberty of Ireland. The figure is the personification of eloquence.

Grattan spent his early life in Dublin, was admitted to the bar in 1773, and entered parliament at the age of twenty-nine in 1775. He immediately assumed the leadership of the opposition to the government, and it was through his ability and able management that the king and the British Parliament were compelled to give Ireland free trade and the constitution in 1782. What was called “Grattan’s parliament” lasted nineteen years, and its activity was tremendous and comprehensive, and the results may now be seen in every direction. It conferred innumerable benefits upon the city of Dublin and upon the country at large. During the nineteen years it was in session it made greater public improvement than occurred in any single century before. It built the two greatest edifices in Ireland,—the Four Courts and the customs house,—which are beautiful examples of the classic school of architecture, and each cost several millions of dollars. The Bank of Ireland was founded as the financial agent of the government, but Grattan, when he moved its establishment, little dreamed that it would store its gold and transact its business in the very chamber where the act was passed. The Royal Irish Academy was founded to promote “the study of science and polite learning and antiquities.” Three great hospitals were built; the College of Physicians and Surgeons was incorporated and erected, a dignified and stately building upon Stephen’s Green. The commerce of the country was developed and large warehouses and mercantile establishments were erected to accommodate it. Many new manufactories were established. Highroads were built in every direction, coach lines were inaugurated to accommodate travel, and sailing packets to carry passengers and mails across the sea. The canal was built, one hundred miles long, to bring freight to the city. Penny post was introduced. The Guinness brewery was developed, with a great profit to the proprietors, and began to send to England the beer it had been selling for local customers for half a century.

The Bank of Ireland, Dublin

Grattan was the leader of all this prosperity, and introduced many and advocated all of the laws to encourage it. As an acknowledgment of his services, Parliament voted him a gift of $250,000, which enabled him to settle down as a country gentleman at a seat called “Tinnehinch,” near the town of Enniskerry, a few miles south of Dublin, near the watering-place called Bray. The British government offered him the viceregal lodge, now occupied by the lord lieutenant, in Phœnix Park; but Grattan declined it, for fear the gift might be misinterpreted.

This period of self-government, which might be called “the golden age” of Ireland, lasted nineteen years, when “Grattan’s parliament” fell, as so many other good things have fallen, because it became “vain of its own conceit.” It is not expedient, it is not wholesome, for the same party to remain in control of affairs too long. Its members become corrupt, extravagant, selfish, intolerant, and indifferent to the public welfare, and Grattan’s parliament acquired all of these faults. The great leader—and he was one of the ablest political leaders that ever came upon the theater of public affairs—was unable to control his followers. They became restless, they favored measures that he could not approve, and advocated a radical policy toward the British government that he opposed with all his energy and eloquence.

He was soon displaced from leadership by the extremists, who demanded absolute separation from England and encouraged the revolutions of 1798 and 1803. These movements were undoubtedly encouraged by the example of the French Revolution, when the hot heads came into control. Ireland burst into rebellion, which was put down with the utmost severity, and William Pitt, Prime Minister of Great Britain, introduced the act of union which was adopted by the Irish house through bribery, bulldozing, and other disreputable measures.

Grattan was very ill, but, leaning on the shoulders of two friends, and dressed in his old volunteer uniform, he entered the Irish house of parliament, now the cash-room of the Bank of Ireland, and made the greatest speech of his life. But he failed to change the destiny of his country. He did not change a vote, and the bond which now binds Ireland to Great Britain, and which the Irish people have been trying to dissolve ever since, was passed against his vehement protests. If his advice had been followed by the Irish parliament, if its members had listened to his pleadings, the disturbances, the distress, the bloodshed of a century would have been spared. William Pitt bought a majority of the votes and paid for them with pensions, official positions, titles of nobility, and other forms of reward.

The debate provoked a duel between Grattan and Correy, chancellor of the exchequer. Shots were exchanged and Correy was wounded in the hand.

Grattan pronounced the funeral oration of the Irish parliament in the words that are immortal:

“I do not give up my country,” he said. “I see her in a swoon, but she is not dead. Though in her tomb she lies helpless and motionless there is upon her lips a spirit of life, and on her cheek a glow of beauty—

“‘Thou art not conquered; beauty’s ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
And death’s pale flag is not advanced there.’”

It is true, as the man of the cemetery told us, that the burial place of Robert Emmet is unknown. Many people believe that his body was given to the surgeons of Trinity College after his execution, because if it had been given to his friends they would have erected a monument to mark his grave. No one of all the many people who admired and loved him has ever been able to obtain a clew to its disappearance. It is a popular belief, which the leaders of patriotic movements encourage, that the burial place is known and will be disclosed, as the man at the cemetery said, when the flag of freedom floats over “The Ould Sod,” but there is no good reason for such a romantic hope. Several of those who would be informed if there were any foundation for such an expectation have told me that it is all romance; that Emmet’s grave has never been discovered and probably never will be, because it doesn’t exist.

I went to the home of Robert Emmet in Marchalsea Lane, near the debtor’s prison, where he used to meet his fellow conspirators while organizing the insurrection of the United Irishmen in 1803. Emmet was a brilliant, eager boy, only twenty-four, and had been expelled from the University of Dublin for sympathy with the revolution of 1798. He went to Paris, remained there for a while until things had quieted down, and then returned to Dublin, where he conceived a rash project to seize the castle and the fort. The authorities were taken entirely by surprise, but the country contingent which had been promised to support him failed to arrive, and Emmet, with less than a hundred men, armed with pikes—simply spearheads mounted on the ends of poles—marched against the castle and, of course, were immediately overcome. Many of his followers, who fled to their homes, were killed at their own doors, and Emmet became a fugitive.

Robert Emmet was born in Dublin in 1778 and was a playmate and schoolfellow of Thomas Moore, the poet. His brother, Thomas Addis Emmet, born in 1764, was involved in the revolution of 1798 and fled to America, where he became eminent at the bar of New York, serving at one time as attorney-general of that State. He left several sons and grandsons.

When Robert Emmet escaped, after the failure of his foolish attack upon the castle, he took refuge among friends in the Wicklow Hills, south of Dublin, to await an opportunity to cross over to France. Against their protests he went at night to say good-by to his sweetheart, Sarah Curran, daughter of the famous advocate, was arrested and tried for high treason. He conducted his own defense with extraordinary ability. His closing speech stands as one of the greatest examples of eloquence in the English language. He was condemned to death and hanged outside of St. Catherine’s Church, upon the spot where Lord Kilwarden, an eminent judge of the highest integrity, was killed by some of Emmet’s men while returning with his nephew and daughter from a visit to the country.

Emmet, in his farewell speech, asked that his epitaph should not be written until Ireland was free, and that undoubtedly suggested the popular belief that his burial place is known and will be disclosed in due time.

Sarah Curran died soon after in Sicily of a broken heart, and Tom Moore, one of Emmet’s most beloved friends and also devoted to Miss Curran, enshrined the pathetic story in a touching ballad:

“She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps,
And lovers are round her sighing;
But coldly she turns from their gaze and weeps,
For her heart on his grave is lying.
“She sings the wild songs of her native plains,
Every note which he loved awaking;
Ah! little they think, who delight in her strains,
How the heart of the minstrel is breaking.”

Near by the place where Emmet and his fellow conspirators planned the revolution of 1803, is No. 151 Thomas Street, the house in which Lord Edward Fitzgerald, leader of the insurrection of 1798, was captured after desperate struggle, and it is a curious coincidence that he and Emmet should both have been arrested by the same man, a certain Major Sirr, in command of a regiment at the castle. Lord Edward’s refuge was the house of a tailor who sympathized with the insurrection, as almost every other artisan in Ireland did, and sheltered him for several days before the arrest. The house is marked with a tablet and an appropriate inscription. Lord Edward was wounded in the shoulder by Major Sirr and carried away to prison, where he died before he could be brought into court.

The Corn Market of Dublin is just beyond the house, and the name of the thoroughfare is there changed to Thomas Street, which is customary in Dublin. Sometimes there is a different name for every block, and it is very puzzling to a stranger. You walk from Clare Street into Merrion Street and from Merrion Street into some other; from Dame Street into the Corn Market, and from the Corn Market into Thomas Street, all unconscious, but the names are plainly posted on the walls of the corner houses both in English and Gaelic, so that he who runs may read.

Thomas Street is very wide, and that is understood when you know it was formerly an open market-place outside the city walls for the sale of country produce. The octroi tax levied by the corporation on the farmers who brought in vegetables, butter, chickens, and eggs was paid in kind, a measure of corn from each sack, a pound of butter from each firkin, and one egg from every twelve, which was the origin of a proverb that eleven eggs make a dozen in Ireland. The taxes were farmed out to the highest bidder, who exacted every penny possible from the farmers and used every means of extortion that could be devised to increase his profit. The most odious of all the Dublin tax contractors in history was a woman named Kate Strong, and they hated her so that after her death the farmers erected a gross caricature of her person holding a large toll dish in her hand. It stood for several years.

James Street succeeds Thomas Street on the same thoroughfare and runs down upon the river quay, where the enormous brewery establishment of the Guinness Company begins.

Across the river from the big brewery is No. 12 Arran Quay, named for the son of the Duke of Ormonde, where Edmund Burke was born in 1729 of a Protestant barrister and a Catholic mother. He was educated at a Quaker school at Ballitore, County Kildare, and at Trinity College, where in 1747 he organized a debating club, which still exists.

After finishing his course in 1750 he went to London “to keep terms at the Temple,” that is, to finish his law studies and prepare for his examinations; but suddenly, owing to some disappointment, he conceived a strong distaste for his profession, and plunged into a wild career of dissipation. He was introduced by Goldsmith to that circle of Bohemians which gathered nightly at the Cheshire Cheese Inn and similar resorts. He was a close companion of Garrick, Johnson, and others, and became one of the many devoted attendants of his beautiful countrywoman, Peg Woffington, the famous actress.

His dissipation gave his family great distress and caused his father to cut off his allowance. This compelled him to do something for himself. He went into politics, and soon made a reputation as a speaker and writer and political manager. He wrote a great deal that was serious and even sublime, and, mending his ways, secured the patronage of the Marquis of Buckingham, the prime minister, who opened the doors of the House of Commons for him. In a very short time he became the most effective debater and the most influential leader of his party. Then his abilities were fully recognized and his fame encircled the world.

He was the ablest friend of the American colonies in England during the Revolution, and harassed Lord North more than any other man. He reached the summit of his influence at the impeachment of Warren Hastings for misgovernment and treason while viceroy in India; and then Burke’s sun began to set. He retired upon a pension, and passed from history with the eighteenth century. One of his eulogists has said that “notwithstanding some eccentricities and some aberrations, he made the tide of human destiny luminous.”

Near Burke’s birthplace is the oldest and the quaintest church in Dublin, built by the Danes before the English came to Ireland and consecrated to St. Michan, a Danish saint. Within its walls is the penitential stool, where “open and notorious naughty livers” were compelled to stand and confess their sins in public and make pledges of repentance and reform. The officiating minister, reciting the fifty-first Psalm, led the offending sinner from the altar to the foot of the pulpit,—barefooted, bareheaded, and draped in a long white sheet,—and placed him upon the stool of repentance to hear a sermon directed at his particular sins.

The tower of St. Michan’s dates from the twelfth century, and is one of the most beautiful things in Dublin. The view from the top of it includes all the city, which is divided into two almost equal parts by the River Liffey and spreads over an uneven surface from the dark green woods of Phœnix Park to the dark blue waters of the Irish Sea.

Handel used to play the organ in St. Michan’s Church, and it was there the public first heard the score of “The Messiah.”

The most remarkable feature of St. Michan’s, however, is a peculiar preservative effect from the soil in the crypt upon the bodies that are buried there. They mummify before decay sets in and turn into a leathery brown, similar to the mummies of Egypt. The vaults are filled with remains that have lain there for centuries. Among them is the body of one of the kings of Leinster, and beside him is the corpse of a baby, from whose tiny wrists white ribbon has been hanging since its funeral in 1679. Every corpse in the crypt is mummified in the same way, and it is the only place in Dublin where this phenomenon occurs. Nor is there any satisfactory explanation of the phenomenon. The vaults are absolutely dry. The popular theory is that a subtle gas arising from the peaty soil suspends nature’s law of decay.

There will always be a controversy among Irishmen as to whether Edmund Burke or Daniel O’Connell was the greater man. They were so different in their characteristics that it is difficult to draw a comparison. O’Connell was not a native of Dublin. He was born at the humble village of Cahirciveen, in County Kerry, one of the most forlorn, impoverished, and hopeless sections of the west coast. He was the son of an exile who fled to escape arrest and entered the service of France, and from him O’Connell inherited an intense prejudice and hatred of everything English and Protestant. He was educated in Cork for the priesthood, but changed his mind and was called to the bar when he was twenty-three years old. He immediately made a reputation, and by the time he was thirty was regarded as the ablest advocate in Ireland, without an equal in oratory. Probably no man ever surpassed him before a jury.

O’Connell is regarded by many as the ablest of all Irishmen, but, as I have said, this claim is disputed in favor of Edmund Burke. He was equally strong as a politician and undertook the cause of Catholic emancipation in his very youth. In those days all Catholics were disenfranchised; they could not hold office or even vote; the schools were closed to them, and a Catholic child could only be taught by a private tutor or governess. Daniel O’Connell organized the parish priests for the movement and was the first to bring the clergy into politics. Through them he organized the people, and regular contributions were collected in the churches to pay the expenses of the campaign.

O’Connell was the first Catholic to enter parliament, and the Duke of Wellington confessed that this was permitted only to avert a civil war. In 1828 he was elected to the British House of Commons, but was not admitted because he refused to take the anti-Catholic oath. He came back to his constituents and was elected again, and they continued to elect him, just as the merchants and bankers in the city of London continued to elect Baron Rothschild, who was refused admission for the same reason,—because he would not take the oath. He was the first Jew, as Daniel O’Connell was the first Roman Catholic, to obtain a seat upon the floor.

O’Connell was elected lord mayor of Dublin in 1841 and was the first Catholic to hold that office. At the height of his fame and power he might have been a lord protector or the king of Ireland, but he advocated peaceful revolutions, and, like Grattan, lost his influence because he would not consent to the policy and the methods of the radical and revolutionary element. In 1847 he went to address a meeting of his sympathizers at Clontarf, a suburb of Dublin, where Brian Boru won his great victory over the Danes in the last battle between Christianity and heathenism upon the soil of Ireland. The meeting had been forbidden by the authorities, and O’Connell was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison for two months. This broke him down. When he was released he left Dublin, started for Rome, and died at Genoa on his way. He is buried in Prospect Cemetery under a lofty tower. His will may be seen in the public records office in the Four Courts. He married his cousin, Mary O’Connell, and had four sons, all of whom were men of character and ability and have served in the British parliament.

The anniversary of the birth of Thomas Moore is celebrated in Dublin every summer, and a programme of his “Irish Melodies” is sung by local musicians—sweet old-fashioned ballads like “The Harp That Once through Tara’s Halls,” “Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms,” and others like them. The proceeds of the concert are devoted to a fund which is to be raised to erect a monument in memory of this most popular of Irish poets, whose songs are heard in every cottage in Ireland. His most pretentious poem, a Persian epic called “Lalla Rookh,” brought $15,000,—the highest price ever paid for a poem. Scott’s “Lady of the Lake” and some of Tennyson’s and perhaps Kipling’s poems and other poets’, have received larger sums in royalties, but no other man was paid so much for his verses in advance of their publication.

Moore was born in a little house on Aungier Street, Dublin, which is unfortunately now a filthy saloon. He was educated in a little grammar school in Johnston’s Court, off Grafton Street, near the Shelbourne Hotel, where Richard Brinsley Sheridan was also a pupil. Petty, the first great Irish scientist, who was also a physician and surveyor, was educated there. His book of surveys made for Oliver Cromwell is still used by the authorities.

Tom Moore was a chum of Robert Emmet at Trinity College. After graduation he entered journalism and was connected with the London Times and the London Chronicle. He went to Bermuda as British consul in 1803, and visited the United States before he returned. He was lionized everywhere because his plaintive Irish ballads, which he set to the music of the oldest peasant airs, were in the portfolio of every musician in the civilized world, and his social attractions made him a welcome guest. When he returned to England he was given a pension of $1,000 a year until his death.

Volumes might be written concerning the literary reminiscences of Dublin. Addison was private secretary to the notorious viceroy Wharton, and the evidence indicates that his behavior was not so blameless as the readers of Macaulay’s sketch of his life would infer. His official correspondence shows that he was not exempt from the usual weaknesses of humanity and not above making an honest penny out of his office. He seemed to be avaricious, and, although holding a position of the closest confidence to the lord lieutenant, took an interest in several commercial ventures that were not entirely beyond criticism.

Samuel Lover and Charles Lever, those two greatest of all delineators of Irish character, were both born and educated in Dublin and did most of their work there. Their graphic sketches of Irish life may have been accurate in their day, and now and then, I am told, appears one of the rollicking types of the Irishman they describe; but, while the character of the race may not be changed, its habits and customs are quite different from those of the period they describe. There’s a grammar school at which Tom Moore and Richard Brinsley Sheridan both received their education. Sheridan was born on the same block, and the house is marked by a tablet. Another tablet near the entrance of a house only a few steps distant shows where Sir William Hamilton, the great Irish mathematician, lived. Mrs. Hemans, that gentle hymn writer, whose lines were much more familiar to the reading public half a century ago than they are to-day, lived and died in the same neighborhood, and was buried in St. Anne’s Church, near by. Her epitaph, taken from one of her own serene poems, reads:

“Calm on the bosom of thy God,
Fair spirit, rest thee now!
Even while with us thy footsteps trod,
His seal was on thy brow.”
St. Stephen’s Green. Dublin

Near by the home of Mrs. Hemans is the Royal Irish Academy, occupying a fine old mansion, once the residence of Lord Northland. It is the oldest and most influential of the learned societies of Ireland, and possesses a large number of ancient manuscripts in the Gaelic tongue, most of them, despite their great age, beautifully clear and legible. The academy, according to its charter, was founded “for the encouragement of science, polite literature, and antiquities.” There is a good deal of interest in the attempt to revive the Gaelic tongue, but the bitter partisanship of politics renders polite literature quite useless.

There is a great deal that is green about Dublin, and the remark is not intended as a joke. There are several fine parks and breathing-places scattered about the city. Many of the residences have large back yards filled with trees and flowers that are hidden from the public by the high walls that guard them from the street, but one can see them from the tops of the tram cars as he rides about. The suburbs of the city are very attractive, with plenty of large trees and vine-clad walls and pretty gardens, and here and there a tennis court. As you look down upon the city from a tall tower there is almost as much foliage as in Washington. Phœnix Park is famous, and one of the largest public playgrounds in the world.

St. Stephen’s Green is a rectangular inclosure, twenty-two acres in extent and corresponding to four city blocks, in the fashionable quarter, and is surrounded by the mansions of the nobility and the homes of the rich. Lord Iveagh, the representative of the Guinness Brewery family, has a residence on one of the sides, and the archbishop’s palace is on the other side, near the Shelbourne Hotel, which is the best in the city, and several clubs. St. Stephen’s is handsomely laid out, and has what I have never seen before in a city square,—a bridle-path nearly a mile long around the interior of the fence, where several gentlemen take their exercise on horseback in the morning.

Sir Walter Scott was entertained in what he writes was “a very large and stately house in Stephen’s Green, which I am told is the most extensive square in Europe,” and, writing to his wife, he said, “The streets contain a number of public buildings of the finest architecture I have seen anywhere in Britain.”

A few blocks away from St. Stephen’s Green is another large park known as Merrion Square, which is a private inclosure like many of the small parks in the city of London, and is accessible only to the residents of the neighborhood, who, I understand, purchased the land and made it into a park two or three hundred years ago, so that the public has no rights there. Each of the leaseholders who are entitled to its privileges is required to pay $5 a year for maintaining it and “half a crown for a key to the gates,” as I was informed by a policeman on that beat. It is a pretty place, with deep, lustrous turf such as you seldom see outside of the British Isles, and find in Ireland smoother and richer and greener than anywhere else. There are a pond and several tennis courts, cricket and croquet grounds, which are occupied every afternoon by the rich families in the neighborhood; and it makes you feel a little resentful to see the children of the poor, who need that breathing space more than the owners, peeking through between the iron pickets. It is said that this square plot of ground, which is equal to four ordinary squares in area, was formerly a pond, and that the Duke of Leinster in early days used to sail a boat upon it. But it was drained two hundred years ago or more, and the splendid great trees that are growing there now were then planted. Leinster House is in the neighborhood.

The residences around St. Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square are built of ugly brown bricks, but are spacious in their proportions, and were intended for large families of ample means, and the aristocracy have always occupied them. The Duke of Rutland has one of the largest, and in Merrion Street, just around the corner, at No. 24, in a large house now occupied by the land commission, the great Duke of Wellington was born. It was the town residence of the Earl of Mornington, his father, and her ladyship came in from Dangan Castle, twenty-four miles outside the city, and the country residence of the family, a few days before the event, which occurred on April 29, 1769. There is nothing either in the castle or in the town house to interest people to-day, except that they were the birthplace and the home of one of the greatest of Irishmen, and his fellow countrymen have raised a shaft, similar to that at Washington, in Phœnix Park in his honor.

Across from Merrion Square is the National Gallery of Ireland, which was built in 1864, and contains a fine collection of paintings, numbering about five hundred, which have been presented and purchased from time to time. All of the old masters are well represented, and the Dutch school is especially strong. Attached to the gallery is the Metropolitan School of Art, which is liberally supported by the British government, and has a large number of students. Corresponding to the Art Gallery, on the opposite side of a quadrangle known as Leinster Lawn, formerly the garden of the Earl of Kildare, is the Science and Art Museum and the Museum of Natural History. Both are well arranged and full of interesting things, particularly Irish antiquities, historical relics, and examples of Irish industries. The most precious object is an iron bell shaped like an ordinary cow-bell and riveted on each side, which, it is said, St. Patrick used to carry about with him and ring to call the people together to hear mass. It is accompanied by a silver “shrine” or case for its protection, made in the year 1100 at the expense of Donald O’Laughlan, king of Ireland from 1091 to 1105. The “Annals of Ulster,” written in the year 552, refer to this precious object as “The Bell of the Will,” and its history is known from that date. It came into possession of the Archbishop of Armagh in 1044, and was among the relics in the cathedral there until it was brought to the museum in 1869. No one here seems to doubt that it is genuine.

In the adjoining case is another “shrine,” as the case or covering for sacred relics is called, that contains a tooth of St. Patrick, which, according to the tradition, was loosened and fell from his mouth on the door-sill of St. Brone’s Church at Killaspugbrone in County Sligo, and can be accounted for all these years.

A brooch formerly worn by the King of Tara is also shown as an example of the prehistoric work of the silversmiths of Ireland, with many other beautiful pieces of silver and gold which were dug up in the bogs.

Between the museum and the library is a fine old mansion known as Leinster House, or Kildare House, erected by the great earls of Kildare, the leaders of the Geraldines, who chose this spot four hundred years ago for the location of the largest and at that time the most magnificent city residence in Ireland. It once stood in the center of large grounds, but they have been sold off from time to time, and nearly a hundred years ago the residence passed into the possession of the Royal Dublin Society, which has made it the center of activity during its long and honored career in encouraging and developing the arts, science, and industries of Ireland. The membership of the Royal Dublin Society for two centuries has included all of the famous men of this nation, and they have rendered a very important service. The Royal Library, the National Gallery, the Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Antiquities owe their existence to this venerable institution, and its influence has gathered the greater part of the pictures in the gallery and the articles of interest in the museums.

Kildare House is a severe pile of black stone, and the guide-book says that “the White House at Washington is largely a reproduction of its main features, though the American building has a semicircular colonnaded porch, which rather conceals the likeness.” But a resident of Washington would find little resemblance between the two buildings, except that they are about the same size and both have windows and a roof.

The corner stone bears a curious inscription in stilted Latin, which illustrates the lofty pride of the earls of Kildare. It is addressed to “The Casual Explorer, who may find it among the stately ruins of a fallen house, and bids him mark the greatness of the noble builders and the uncertainty of all things terrestrial, when the men who raise such splendid monuments can rise superior to misfortune.”

There are several other fine old edifices in the neighborhood, but unfortunately many of the historic houses are passing away from the families who built and lived in them, and are now being used for public offices or business purposes.

About half a mile from Trinity College, on the road to Phœnix Park, is the ancient prison of Dublin, called Newgate, after a similar institution in London, and it has had a similar history. It has been the scene of horrible incidents; it has detained many of the purest and ablest martyrs for Irish liberty within its walls, and a hundred years ago it was frequently described in sketches of Irish life, in terms similar to those that were written of the Fleet Prison and Newgate in London. It was customary to have executions outside the walls in public, and the night before they were hung favored criminals were allowed to entertain their friends in a reckless, disgraceful carousal. Such a scene is described in a ribald song entitled “The Night before Larry was Stretched.”

“Then in came the priest with his book,
And spoke to him smooth and so civil.
Larry tipped him a Kilmainham look,
Then pitched his big wig to the devil;
Then raising a little his head,
To get a swate drop of the bottle,
And painfully sighing he said,
O, the hemp will be soon round my throttle.”

Phœnix Park has about eighteen hundred acres of lawn, flower beds, forest, meadow, and pasture, and nineteen miles of perfect roadway. It is open to the public at all times and there are no restrictions. A horseback rider can gallop over the grass anywhere, cricket matches can be played wherever is most convenient to the players. Racing meetings are held on the turf several days in each month, the course being laid out by movable fences. Polo, hockey, football, and all other kinds of outdoor games are going on all the time, and almost the entire working population of Dublin may be seen scattered over the park during these long summer evenings, when one can read outdoors until after nine o’clock. There is no more beautiful park, and no greater enjoyment is found in any similar place in the world.

The viceregal lodge, in which the lord lieutenant of Ireland resides nine months in the year, is in the center of the park, surrounded by an inclosure of fifteen acres with a garden, stables, and cottages for the servants. The chief secretary of Ireland and the under secretary have official residences in the same neighborhood, provided by the state. Immediately before the windows of the viceregal lodge Lord Frederick Cavendish, chief secretary for Ireland, and Thomas H. Burke, the under secretary, were assassinated in 1882. The assassination was witnessed by the occupants of the lodge, but before they could reach the place the assassins had escaped. The spot is now marked in an unobtrusive manner.

Phœnix Park was formerly owned by the Knights of St. John. When their lands were confiscated by Henry VIII. at the time of the Reformation, the monastery was selected as the official residence of the viceroy. Additional grounds were purchased later by the Duke of Ormonde, when he was viceroy, and the great Chesterfield, when he held the office, did the landscape gardening, which illustrates his exquisite taste. The park is beautiful always, they say, but it could not be more beautiful than it is in May, when the hawthorn trees are white with blossom, the furze bushes are blazing with orange, and the rhododendrons, which grow to enormous size, are great banks of purple against the rich, deep foliage. Every flower that grows in that climate seems to be in bloom, and Phœnix Park looks as if it had just left the hands of the Creator.


Imagine a university and a campus of forty-seven acres of lawn and grove where Trinity Church stands in New York or where the post office stands in Chicago or St. Louis. In Washington we have something like it in the mall where the National Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Agricultural Department are. Trinity College, Dublin, has an equally expansive setting of green grass and grove and flowering shrubs, cricket grounds, and tennis courts, surrounded on all sides by business houses, clubs, and hotels. It is like an island of verdure in the midst of an ocean of trade and commerce. On one side of the campus the outside world is kept at bay by a continuous line of dormitories and lecture-rooms which overlook a busy street from the windows of one wall and a peaceful lawn from the windows of the other. On the south side the barrier is a high iron picket fence hidden in a wonderful hedge of hawthorn and laburnum bushes. On the other side of that hedge are shops, and a street-car line that leads to the more attractive part of the city. There are only two entrances to the college green, one at the east end and the other at the west, and it is nearly a half mile walk from one to the other across the green and among the buildings. The main entrance and the main buildings face the Bank of Ireland and look upon Dame Street, which is the Wall Street of Dublin. There is a little green crescent to divide the entrance from the street, with bronze figures of Edmund Burke and Oliver Goldsmith, two of the most distinguished of the alumni.

The main building is a fine example of architecture, and the house of the provost, which adjoins it, is a gem of the Elizabethan type. The other buildings are unpretentious. They are rather low and long and plain, in excellent proportions, but without particular individuality, although the engineering building, which stands out on the campus, is an exquisite example of modern architecture, and Ruskin pronounced it the most beautiful modern structure in the United Kingdom.

As you enter through a low archway under the main building you come into a quadrangle formed by a dormitory and an examination hall at the right. Beyond that is a library. Another dormitory stands on the left, and the chapel and the dining-hall (the last two have Grecian porticos), and directly before you a bell tower of beautiful and original design erected about one hundred years ago. Beyond the first quadrangle is another, which is gloomy and uninviting. The buildings are plain, and the dark stone of which they are made is not cheerful. The students call it “Botany Bay,” because of the prison-like style of the architecture and its uninviting appearance. The buildings surrounding it are dormitories, and in one of them, No. 11, Oliver Goldsmith roomed. He wrote his autograph with a diamond upon one of the panes of glass, which has since been removed and preserved in the library, where it lies in a case beside the original manuscript of Handel’s oratorio, “The Messiah,” which was given there for the first time in 1745. A portion of it was written in England, but it was completed in Dublin and sung by a Dublin choral society immediately after.

In “Botany Bay” is a pump of great age and much history. In early days it was the focus of academic disorder, and any policeman, sheriff, or bailiff who dared violate the sacred precincts of Trinity was purged of his guilt by a thorough ducking. The origin of this form of punishment is attributed to a famous Dr. Wilder, who for many years was provost of the college. He happened to be crossing the campus one day, when a bailiff, who had a writ to serve, was being baited by a group of students, and called out to them something like this: “Young gentlemen, be careful that you do not put him under the pump,” and they took the hint.

Quadrangle, Trinity College, Dublin

Another version of the story is that Dr. Wilder cried out, “Young gentlemen, for the love of God don’t be so cruel as to nail his ears to the pump;” and certain authors have claimed that they interpreted him to mean the reverse, and did what he had forbidden them. But I am assured by competent authority that the former and more humane version is the true one, and all agree that ever since those boisterous days every officer of the law who has been caught within the college grounds has been given an involuntary bath from “Old Mary.”

The war between the students and the police has continued ever since the foundation of the college, and as the buildings are situated in the very center of the city these conflicts have been unexpected and more frequent than they might have been otherwise. In former days “Trinity boys” never went out of the grounds without their peculiar weapons, which were the massive keys of their rooms, about six inches long and weighing a half a pound or more, which they would sling in handkerchiefs or in the skirts of their gowns and use very effectively for offense or defense, as the case might be. On one occasion several students were captured and hustled off from their fellows to a butcher-shop, where they were hung from the meat hooks. The rumor ran like a prairie fire that the captives had been impaled, but when the rescuing party arrived it was discovered that they were hanging only by the waistbands of their breeches.

The walls of Examination Hall are hung with portraits of eminent men, and in one corner is a full-length painting of Queen Elizabeth, the founder. There is a superstition among the students that the picture has an evil eye, and that whoever sits within her sphere of influence at examinations is bound to fail. Hence the benches in that neighborhood are empty. But a certain alcove in the library is quite crowded. Several full sets of examination papers are preserved from year to year in that particular alcove, and every day during examination weeks it is filled with students cramming from them.

Across the quadrangle is the chapel. It is not specially interesting, although there is some fine wood-carving in the stalls. The students are required to wear surplices, and look very awkward in them, although the white gowns light up the room and make it much more cheerful than if they wore black. When I attended service Sunday morning two-thirds of the stalls were vacant, although attendance is supposed to be compulsory. I counted exactly one hundred and four persons present, including the preacher, the professors, and ten boys in the choir. These boys belong to the choir of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and are loaned to the college authorities in order to increase the interest of the Sunday services. It is considered the finest choir in Ireland, but that isn’t saying much.

The organ in the gallery has a curious history. It was made in the Netherlands for some church in Spain, and was on its way when the ship was captured in 1702. The Duke of Ormonde, serving in the fleet, claimed the organ as his part of the prize money, and presented it to the college. Many of the old pipes have been replaced, but the case remains the same. Another interesting relic is a great chandelier which formerly hung in the House of Commons when the Irish parliament occupied the building now used for the Bank of Ireland.

Beyond the chapel is a curious-looking recumbent statue made of onyx, which has been crumbling so rapidly for years that it now bears very little resemblance to a human form, and the features are entirely effaced. The students claim that it was intended for Queen Elizabeth, the founder, but it was really a figure of Luke Chaloner, one of the first promoters of the institution.

The grounds occupied by the college once belonged to All Hallows monastery, which was suppressed by Henry VIII. and the property confiscated. It stood well outside of the city walls and was unoccupied when, toward the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, a number of Dublin scholars raised a fund of £2,000 to establish an institution for higher education. Queen Elizabeth gave the confiscated estates of several rebel chiefs and James I. increased the endowment, but it was not until the reign of William and Anne that the college was really prosperous. They were very generous toward it, and the Irish parliament made liberal grants. But many a time the fellows have been compelled to melt up the college plate and resort to other desperate means to find money to pay for food and fuel.

During the entire history of the institution its faculty and students have been loyal to the British government and to the Protestant church. It has refused to receive Roman Catholics into the faculty, and for centuries Roman Catholics were prohibited from enjoying its advantages in education. Therefore it is not strange that it is under the ban of that church, and there has not been a Catholic student upon the rolls for many years. An Irish Roman Catholic gentleman remarked one day to a member of the faculty: “If I had wanted to send my son to Trinity I would have to fight first my priest, second my bishop, and third my wife. Therefore I sent him to Oxford.”

There are now five departments in the university,—the regular academic department, and schools of law, medicine, theology, and engineering. There are in attendance to-day twelve hundred and forty-one students.

Although the institution is familiarly known as Trinity College, that is the title of the academic department, and with its affiliated schools it constitutes the University of Dublin. The charter bears date of March 24, 1591, under the title of “The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, near Dublin.” Previous to 1873 the faculty, the fellows, and those who held scholarships must be members of the Church of Ireland. Since then all restrictions or disabilities have been removed, although the history and traditions of the institution will not permit any self-respecting Roman Catholic to send his son there.

Rank is strictly recognized among the students. Noblemen, sons of noblemen, and baronets are matriculated as such under the titles of nobilis, filius nobilis, and equas; ordinary students are called pensioners. Sizars are students of limited means, who must make oath that their fathers’ incomes are less than $500 a year, which exempts them from all fees and gives them their commons or meals free of expense. Pensioners pay $60 a year, fellow commoners $150, and noblemen $300. When a young man enters in either of these classes he selects his tutor and makes application for a room, which is assigned him as vacancies occur, and he is recorded. A deposit of from $40 to $150 is required as security against any injury to the property. The room rent varies from $20 to $100 a year. All students are compelled to attend chapel, both in the morning at half-past eight and in the evening at nine o’clock, and wear surplices, but upon certificates may be allowed to attend one of the Presbyterian churches.

At half-past ten every Saturday morning the junior dean appears at the hall and reads out the names of all students who have violated the rules or neglected their duties during the week, and those who are present may offer excuses, which may or may not be accepted by the dean. If they are not accepted the student is fined a sum of money in lieu of other punishment, and these fines are added to the commons fund, which goes to pay for the meals of the students and is controlled by the “clerk of the buttery books.”

Fellow commoners pay seven shillings and sixpence a week for board, pensioners five shillings, and members of the nobility ten shillings. A fine of five shillings a week is imposed upon all students actually resident in college who do not take their meals at the commons.

Ten students holding scholarships, called “waiters,” are annually appointed to say grace before and after meat in the commons hall, which must be repeated in Latin in a form prescribed by the statutes of the college. All students are required to be in the college grounds before nine o’clock for roll-call. After roll-call no one is permitted to pass the gates without a written order from the dean. Those who do so are severely fined.

Main Entrance, Trinity College, Dublin

Trinity College is one of the few great institutions of Europe which give full degrees to women on the same terms as to men. There is no distinction in rules or conditions or in any other respect. Women are admitted to all of the several schools—arts, science, engineering, law, and medicine—on an equal footing. There are now about one hundred in attendance. At first the university gave degrees to all women who could pass the regular examinations, and they came here in droves from Oxford, Cambridge, and other institutions where they had been hearing lectures but are not given degrees. All they had to do was to enter the examinations and fulfill the requirements. But two years ago this practice was stopped, and now no degrees are conferred upon young women who do not take the full course at Trinity. The fees are the same as for men—$50. The women students are mostly Irish, although a few English girls, who are not satisfied with the certificates given them at Cambridge and Oxford, come over here from Girton and other institutions and work for the full degrees of B.A., B.S., Ph.D., and even for diplomas in law and medicine. To accommodate them the university has recently purchased a fine old mansion in Palmerston Park, where fifty or sixty girls are now lodged under the care of a matron, subject to rules similar to those which govern the men students in the dormitories on University Green. Twenty-two degrees were granted to women in 1908, and about the same number in 1907, chiefly in the department of arts, which is the same as our academic courses, and most of the recipients are intending to be teachers in women’s schools and colleges.

The story of the invasion of Trinity College by women is quite interesting. The charter, which was granted by Queen Elizabeth, recognizes no distinction of sex, race, or religion, and when Professor Sylvester, now in the chair of mathematics in one of our American colleges, was refused a degree at Cambridge because he was a Jew, he came here, passed his examinations, and was given one. This opened the gates, and several young women who had been denied degrees at Oxford and Cambridge came to test their rights. On June 9, 1903, the senate of the university passed a resolution “that it is desirable that the degrees of Trinity College, Dublin, shall be open to women, and that his majesty’s government be requested to obtain a king’s letter empowering the university to grant degrees to women on such terms and conditions as may seem to the board and council, within their respective provinces, on full consideration, to be most expedient.”

On January 16, 1904, “Edward VII., by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, sends greetings to all to whom these presents shall come, with information that by the advice of our Right Trusty and Right Well Beloved Cousin and Councillor, William Humble, Earl of Dudley, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order; Lord Lieutenant General and Governor-General of that part of our said United Kingdom called Ireland, do by these presents authorize and empower the said Provosts and Senior Fellows and their successors in office, and the said Senate of the University of Dublin, and the Caput of the said Senate and all members thereof and all other persons or bodies whose concurrence is necessary for the granting of degrees, to interpret the charter and the statutes of said college in such a manner that women may obtain degrees in the said University, all previous laws, ordinances, and interpretations notwithstanding.”

Under this authority on May 5, 1904, the board adopted rules admitting women to all lectures, examinations, degrees, and prizes except fellowships and scholarships, their fees being the same as those for men, and all the rules applying to them equally, except that in the medical department “women shall practice dissection separately from men and medical lectures shall be given them either separately or in conjunction with men, as the professors may think best.”

In June, 1904, the senate also passed “a grace” for giving degrees to women who had attained a certain prescribed status in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and had passed all the examinations and fulfilled all the other requirements for the granting of degrees for men at Trinity.

The regulations require that women shall pay the same fees except those for the commons (meals); that “except when entering or leaving college they shall wear caps and gowns upon the college grounds unless accompanied by a chaperon.” They are not expected “to remove their caps in the presence of the provost and fellows, and may wear them during lectures and examinations.” They are not permitted to visit the rooms of men students in college unless accompanied by a chaperon. They are examined separately; they are not required to attend chapel, and Miss Lucy Gwynn was appointed lady registrar to act generally as adviser to the women students and to report upon their conduct.

Later it was decreed by the provost and senior fellows that scholarships should be established for women upon the same terms as men to the value of $150 a year and exemption from ordinary college dues, and several women have already obtained them.

The library of Trinity College is one of the most interesting places in all Ireland and it has two relics which are incomparable in historic and artistic value. One is the harp of Brian Boru, the greatest king in Irish history. He ruled all Ireland for forty years, in the tenth and eleventh centuries, and it is said that he was the only native that ever was successful in keeping Ireland in peace. This is “The Harp that Once through Tara’s Halls,” inspiring that beautiful ballad of Tom Moore. Its authenticity has been questioned, and some people assert that it once belonged to Henry VIII. of England, but no loyal Irishman will admit the possibility of such a thing.

The other relic, which cannot be questioned, is a copy of the four gospels, known as “The Book of Kells,” because it was made by the monks of a monastery founded in 546 by St. Columkills, or St. Columba,—the name is spelled both ways,—and the antiquarians think that it dates back very nearly to that year. It is often described as “the most beautiful book in the world,” and one may easily believe such a claim to be true. About three hundred pages, eight by fifteen inches in size, are covered with the most exquisite pen-work that you can imagine, embossed with gold leaf and illuminated in brilliant water-colors with perfect harmony and marvelous skill. I have seen all of the great collections of missals in the world, but have never found so fine and perfect an example as this. There are many equally fine, but of smaller size, in the museums in London and the continental cities. Pierpont Morgan has several specimens of that sort of work, but the “Book of Kells” is unsurpassed both for its artistic perfection and the size of its pages, which are two, three, and four times larger than the best of the other works of the sort. Each page must have required months to execute; each is different in design and coloring, but is harmonious with the rest, and it is difficult to say which is the most wonderful and the most beautiful.

The book was in the monastery at Kells in 1601 when that institution was raided by the Spaniards, and having valuable covers of gold, was stolen by some ignorant soldier who stripped it and threw the text into a bog where it was found coverless by a peasant a few days later and taken to Archbishop Ussher. He recognized it and kept it in his library until his large and unique collection of books and manuscripts was purchased by Cromwell and presented to Trinity College. There are other remarkable books in the collection, including several chronicles of the early history of Ireland, which are priceless, and one marvels at the artistic skill and labor that they represent. They are also important as illustrating the culture and learning of the people of Ireland at a period when England and the continental countries of Europe were still submerged in the barbarism of the Middle Ages.

The library of Dublin University is one of several government depositories, under the Stationer’s Act, and receives a copy of every book printed in the United Kingdom. By this method its shelves have been rapidly filled and the catalogues contain more than a million entries.

There is another, known as the National Library, only a few squares away. It occupies a beautiful building erected at a cost of $750,000 to correspond with the National Museum, which occupies the other side of a quadrangle. It was opened in 1890 and has about three hundred thousand volumes. There is a reading-room seventy-two feet square, with a glass dome, where many people come daily to consult works of reference, and certain persons have the privilege of taking books away.

A bill that had been pending in the British parliament for several years was passed in the summer of 1908 authorizing the establishment of two new universities, one at Belfast, under the auspices of the Presbyterian church, and the other at Dublin, under the control of the Roman Catholics, although both theoretically will be non-sectarian, and no religious tests will be required or allowed at either.

The enactment of this law is a part of the contract agreed upon between the liberal government and the leaders of the Irish party in parliament, which is being carried out in good faith, and will be concluded at the next general election, when it is hoped that the question of home rule in Ireland will be submitted to the people of the United Kingdom.

The Irish Catholics have been demanding a university of their own supported by the state for many years. There has been no institution for higher education at which a self-respecting Catholic could seek an education, because the University of Dublin represents the Church of Ireland, just as Oxford and Cambridge represent the Church of England, and until a few years ago placed a ban upon Catholics and would not permit them to have anything to do or say about the management. It was perfectly natural, therefore, that when the trustees of Trinity took off the ban, the synod of Maynooth should put it back, and Catholic students were forbidden to attend lectures there by what is known as Decree XXXVII. of the synod of Maynooth, declared in 1875 and confirmed by Pope Pius IX.

Religious tests at Oxford and Cambridge were abolished in 1871, at the same time as at Trinity. In 1874 an attempt was made by the famous Monseigneur Capel, who is now living in California, to found a Roman Catholic university in England, but it failed, and since then the young men of that church have attended Cambridge and Oxford, by permission of the hierarchy, but the ban has never been removed from Trinity College, Dublin. And one cannot blame them for not removing it. They cannot forget the past. The Roman Catholics of Ireland were deprived of educational privileges for centuries, and under the penal statutes of Queen Anne were debarred from the learned professions. There are no religious tests in Trinity College to-day, it is true, and students who do not belong to the Church of Ireland are not required to attend chapel. But the atmosphere and the influences and every tendency at Trinity are naturally toward the Church of Ireland, which has a theological school as a department of the university.

Three independent non-sectarian institutions, known as Queen’s colleges, were founded by Queen Victoria about forty years ago, at Belfast, Galway, and Cork. These are known as “godless colleges” because they have no chapels, no religious exercises, and no religious instruction. Queen’s College at Belfast, however, is distinctively a Presbyterian institution. Nearly all the faculty are prominent and active members of that denomination, and students who are intending to enter the ministry go from Queen’s to Magee College, Londonderry, which is under the care of the Presbyterian general assembly. Therefore Queen’s College, Belfast, occupies a relation to the Presbyterian denomination quite as intimate as that of Trinity with the Episcopalians.

The same conditions apply to both the Roman Catholic theological seminary at Maynooth and the Presbyterian theological seminary at Magee. The students at both of these institutions will be excused from residing in the new universities, and may continue their studies exactly as at present, going up to Dublin and to Belfast only to receive their degrees. Several of the Roman Catholic colleges and the two “godless colleges” now supported by the state at Cork and Galway are to be made a part of the Roman Catholic university at Dublin, but Section 3 of the bill provides that “no test whatever of religious belief shall be imposed upon any person as a condition of his becoming or continuing to be a professor, lecturer, fellow, scholar, exhibitioner, graduate, or student of, or of his holding any office or emolument, or exercising any privilege in, either of the two new universities or any constituent college. Nor in connection with either of the new universities or any such constituent college shall any preference be given or advantage withheld from any person on account of his religious belief.” It will be permitted, however, for religious denominations to erect chapels or other houses of worship in connection with either of the new universities with their own funds for the accommodation of students professing their faith, but no students shall be required to attend religious exercises or religious instruction, and they shall be entirely voluntary. It is well understood, however, and the bill is intended precisely for that purpose, that one of the universities shall be Roman Catholic and that the other shall be Presbyterian, just as the present University of Dublin represents the Protestant Episcopal Church of Ireland.

Education and religion have always gone hand in hand both in ancient and modern Ireland. The history of one is the history of the other. Instruction has always been given either by or under the supervision of priests and monks, and there have been regular teaching orders, like the Christian Brothers, which combine religious with secular instruction, with the catechism as their chief text-book. As early as the middle of the sixth century the monastery schools of Ireland were famous all over the world, and even at that date there were three thousand students at Clonarde College, and an equal number at Bangor, at Monasterboice, and several other centers of learning. The sons of kings, chiefs, nobles, and other favored classes lived in the monasteries with their instructors, but usually each ordinary student had a little hut of sod built by himself, and often those from the same locality or the same clan built houses for their common use.

All of the more important schools had students from foreign lands. An English bishop, writing in the year 705, says that they came in “fleet loads” from Great Britain and the Continent. Many of them were princes of royal houses. Several of the early kings of France and other countries were educated in Ireland, which was for three or four centuries the most learned country in the world. Great numbers of Irishmen were employed as professors and teachers in the schools and colleges of England and the Continent. Charlemagne, Charles the Bold, and other monarchs of the Middle Ages called learned men from Ireland as guests and as tutors in their courts, and the influence of Irish scholars was greater than that of those from any other country. For four or five hundred years after the time of St. Patrick the monasteries of Ireland were the center and source of science, and art and learning of every kind and the literature of the Gaelic reached its highest glory. The Danish invasion destroyed these conditions and threw everything into disorder. The monasteries were sacked, the monks were scattered, the students fled to their homes, and the development of learning and art suddenly was arrested. There was another revival during the reign of Brian Boru, but that was interrupted by the Anglo-Norman invasion, and Irish learning never again reached its previous fame.

During the Reformation all the monasteries throughout Ireland except in a few remote districts were suppressed. More than four hundred were entirely destroyed and their inmates were turned out upon the world by the agents of Henry VIII. Cromwell’s governors were even more severe and cruel, and the parliaments of 1692 and 1695 passed penal laws forbidding the Catholic children of the country to be educated, either in schools or in private houses. Education practically came to a standstill, although many Irish Protestants all through the country did a great deal in a quiet way to provide instruction for the children of Catholic friends and neighbors.

The Relief Act of 1782 allowed Roman Catholics to open schools of their own, and the present national system, inaugurated in 1831, afforded means of education for children of all denominations under the supervision of their own priests, although members of different denominations are required to receive religious instruction separately and interference with the religious principles of any child is forbidden. From that time to the present the number of schools has been gradually extended, their efficiency has been improved, and the government appropriations for education have been slowly increased from year to year.

The schools of Ireland are now governed by an act of parliament passed in 1892, and Dr. W.M.J. Starkie, national commissioner of education, explained the system to me as follows:

“We have eight grades of primary schools,” he said, “from kindergartens, which receive pupils three years of age, up to the eighth grade, which corresponds very nearly to that of the public schools in America, with pupils fourteen or fifteen years of age. We have a compulsory education law, but it is enforced according to the local conditions of different districts,—a sort of local option which is applied where the people of the counties of the districts desire it. The schools are practically free. By the reorganization of 1892 certain schools were permitted to charge fees, but no more than 1 per cent of them do so, and they are all Protestant. No Catholic school collects tuition.

“The schools of Ireland are controlled by a national board of twenty members, appointed nominally by the lord lieutenant, one-half Protestant and one-half Catholic, and an executive council in charge of administration, also appointed by the lord lieutenant, one of whom, that is myself, is always on duty at the headquarters of the board in Dublin.

“Funds for the support of the schools are voted by parliament every year with the usual budget, which are absolutely controlled by the board, who make an annual report of their disposition. This year we have £1,600,000, which is equivalent to about eight million dollars in your money. The larger amount, which is about £1,250,000, goes to the payment of the salaries of teachers; the next for the construction of new buildings and repairs; the next item is for the maintenance of central model schools, which are object lessons. The rate of expenditure per pupil is about £3, or $15, a year, and has been gradually increasing from time to time with the allowances that have been given us by the government. Ten years ago the allowance for primary education was about £1,250,000 or $6,250,000 in American money, and the per capita was about $12.50.

“There are now about 8,600 primary schools in Ireland, with 16,000 teachers and an average daily attendance of 490,000 out of a school population enrolled of 730,000.

“The following table will show the number and the average daily attendance at the different schools:

 No. Schools.Av. Attend.
Ordinary schools8,100401,000
Model schools736,955
Convents and monasteries38480,712

“The money is divided among these different schools as follows:

 Amount.Per Capita.
Ordinary schools£1,038,854£2 13s 10d
Model schools27,7553 19s 10d
Convents and monasteries164,0482   7s   6d

“The average daily attendance seems very small, and is due to several reasons: first, the lack of accommodations and the long distances between schoolhouses in the thinly settled sections along the west coast of Ireland, where some families are many miles from a schoolhouse, and where the children have no means of conveyance to reach them. In all the poorer sections of the country, where the men of the family go off to England or Scotland to do labor, the children have to stay at home and look after the place. They take care of the cows and the sheep and the pigs. Many parents make their children work where the compulsory education law and the child labor laws are not enforced. In the factory towns of northern Ireland the laws prohibit children under eleven years old working, and they are pretty well enforced.

“The following table will show the number of children of the different religious denominations enrolled in the national schools:

Roman Catholic541,638, or 74.4 per cent
Church of Ireland87,904, or 12.1 per cent
Presbyterian82,434, or 11.3 per cent
Methodists9,387, or  1.3 per cent
Others6,794, or  0.9 per cent

“Of the Catholic children a large number, perhaps 112,000, are in the convents. The Catholic families prefer to send their girls to be taught by the nuns. And about 10,000 boys are in the monasteries.

“Every teacher is required to pass an examination prepared by the commissioner of education as a test of his or her qualifications, and the teacher is responsible to the educational department for the enforcement of the rules and the application of the methods of instruction that have received its indorsement. But, as a rule, teachers are nominated by the priests of the Roman Catholic church or the clergy of the Church of Ireland or those of the non-conformist churches, as the case may be. The consequence is that there have to be separate schools for each denomination, which naturally adds to the cost of maintenance. In two-thirds of the schools, however, you will find both Protestant and Catholic children. Any sect that can furnish twenty pupils can have a school of its own, to run it as it likes at the expense of the government and select its own teachers, provided the persons selected demonstrate their qualifications by submitting to the regular examinations.

“Religious instruction, prayer, and other exercises of worship may take place before and after the ordinary school hours, during which all the children of whatever denomination may attend, but the regular school business cannot be interrupted or suspended for any religious instruction or worship or any arrangement that will interfere with its usefulness or cause any pupils inconvenience in attendance.

“No pupil who is registered as a Protestant is permitted to remain in attendance during the time of religious instruction in case the teacher is a Roman Catholic, and no pupil who is registered as a Roman Catholic can remain in attendance during religious instruction by a teacher who is not a Roman Catholic, and further, no pupil can remain in attendance during any religious instruction whatever if his parents or guardians object. A public notification of the hours of religious instruction must be made in every school and kept posted in large letters for the information of the public as well as the pupils. No schoolroom can be connected with any place of worship; no religious emblems or emblems of a political nature can be exhibited in any schoolroom, and no inscription which contains the name of any religious denomination.

“Thus we have, as you will see, all points guarded against religious proselyting[** proselytizing]. Monks and nuns are eligible as teachers if they pass the examinations, and any convent or monastery can be made a national school by accepting the regulations and observing them.

“The salaries for men teachers range from £77 to £175, and for women from £65 to £141, according to length of service, experience, the grade of the school, and the number of pupils.

“We are introducing some modern ideas similar to those you have in America. We have already introduced cooking into a thousand schools and are introducing Gaelic as fast as the teachers can be found, but they are very scarce. We furnish special instruction in the teachers’ colleges, or normal schools as you call them, and to excite the interest of the children special prizes are offered for proficiency in Gaelic.

“We are improving our school buildings generally, and parliament has allowed £40,000 a year for three years for building new primary schoolhouses.

“Our secondary or intermediate schools are under the supervision of a different board, also appointed by the lord lieutenant, and they distribute £85,000 a year in grants to about four hundred different institutions, preparatory, collegiate, and university.”

“What is the ratio of illiteracy in Ireland?”

“It has gradually been reduced from 53 per cent of the population in 1841, the first census taken after the establishment of the national school system, to 18 per cent in 1891 and 14 per cent in 1901. The ratio of illiterates is being reduced nearly 1 per cent per year, and it is calculated from five years old and upward. If the minimum age were made seven years the ratio would be very much less. It is the old people and the little ones under seven years who cannot read and write, and many adults claim that they are unable to do so for their own reasons.”


The street-car system of Dublin is excellent. It reaches every part of the city and all the lovely suburbs, and every line starts at a lofty column, which was erected many years ago in the middle of the principal street in honor of Horatio Nelson, the greatest of Irish sailors, the hero of the battle of Trafalgar. The cars are large and neatly kept, the conductors and motormen are very polite and love to give information to strangers, although they are paid only thirty and thirty-six shillings a week, which would certainly make men of their occupation very reticent in America. The roofs of the cars are arranged with comfortable seats, from which one can see everything within the range of human vision and gratify his curiosity about what is behind the high stone walls, green with lichen and ivy and overhung with lustrous boughs. There isn’t much satisfaction going about in an automobile in the immediate vicinity of Dublin, because the roadways are mere tunnels between walls eight feet high and overhung with foliage, which makes a perpetual twilight, a damp, cool atmosphere, a dustless ride, and a picturesqueness that an artist would admire. The owners of suburban homes have shut themselves in so successfully that nobody can see what they are doing or enjoy the wondrous beauties of their private parks. But the seats on the top of a tram car permit the public to penetrate their secrets, give an abundance of fresh air, gratify the love of motion that we all inherited from our savage ancestors, and enable us to look beyond the barriers into beautiful gardens and groves.

The River Liffey, as I have told you in a previous chapter, divides all Dublin into two parts and empties into a bay about four miles below the business limits of the town. The bay is famous for its beauty, and is closely embroidered with history, legend, and romance. One street-car line follows the river and the north shore as far as the ocean, and then turns northward to accommodate the population of several pretty watering-places and fishing-towns. Another line, also starting from Nelson’s Pillar, follows the south bank of the Liffey and the bay and encircles a most picturesque and romantic landscape. It takes three hours to make a round trip by either of these routes, and one can spend an entire afternoon or indeed a whole day with profit on both of them.

We will take the south side first. The track runs through the best residence section of the city and several of the prettiest suburbs down to the port of Kingston, where all deep-draft steamers have to receive and discharge their passengers and cargoes because the water is too shallow for them above. The turbine ferries that cross St. George’s Channel from England land their passengers there and send them by rail into the city.

Between the frequent villages along the train line are comfortable and spacious mansions surrounded by beautiful grounds owned and occupied by the wealthy citizens of Dublin, and occasionally there is a long row of “semi-detached villas” occupied by “the prosperous middle classes,”—brick houses of two and three stories built in pairs, with strips of lawn on either side and quite a little space for a garden at the back. Every house has a name painted on the gatepost as well as a number, and that is a matter of great importance, because, when Miss Genevieve says she lives at Heatherhurst, Princes’ Crescent, it sounds a great deal more aristocratic than No. 1660 Rockville Road. Princes’ Crescent is a long block of two-story brick houses on a curve in the street; Heatherhurst is one of them, situated about the middle, twenty feet front and sixty feet deep, with thirty feet of lawn in the foreground and a garden at the rear. And these houses are much more comfortable than any the city can furnish, and I do not know of any town so well provided with suburbs as Dublin.

Sackville Street, Dublin, Showing Nelson’s Pillar.

There are several historical places on the road. Beyond Booterstown is Blackrock, where an ancient granite cross in the center of the main street marks the limit of jurisdiction of the lord mayor. Many years ago it was customary for that official after his installation to ride out there and fling a dart into the waters of the bay, as a symbol of his right of admiralty; but these old-fashioned demonstrations of power and prerogative have been abandoned for stupid parades and long speeches.

Just before entering Blackrock the tramway passes the entrance of a lovely estate christened “Frascati,” after a favorite resort of Rome. It formerly belonged to the Duke of Leinster, and was an early seat of the Kildare family, and one of the strategic rendezvous of the Geraldines, for two centuries the strongest clan in Ireland. Frascati has a pathetic interest to every one, and particularly to all Irish patriots, because for several years it was the home of Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Pamela, his mysterious French bride. It was there they spent their honeymoon and there he left that fascinating little person while he was off on political missions preparing for the Revolution of 1798. Her letters, full of domestic details and loving prattle, written during this period, have been preserved, and give us a charming impression of the character of a woman who suffered much for the cause of Irish liberty, even poverty and shame.

Edward Fitzgerald was a brother of the Duke of Leinster and the Earl of Kildare, an amiable, high-minded, warm-hearted, gallant fellow of learning and culture and fine manners. He served as a major in the British forces during the American Revolution, and for a time was an aid-de-camp on the staff of Lord Howe. He was dismissed from the British army, however, for active sympathy with the French Revolution, went to France, and took refuge among the friends he had made there. There he met and married Anne Syms, better known as “Pamela,” a woman of great personal and mental attractions, whose origin was involved in a mystery that was never revealed, and concerning whom many romantic stories have been written and told. It is generally believed that she was an illegitimate daughter of Philippe Égalité, Duke of Orleans, sometimes called “Philip the Handsome,” by an Irish woman named Syms, and was, therefore, a half-sister of King Louis Philippe of France. By Edward Fitzgerald she had three children: Edward Fitzgerald, who was an officer in the British army; Pamela, who became the wife of Sir Guy Campbell; and Lucy, who became the wife of Captain Lyon of the Royal Navy. Several years after Fitzgerald’s tragic end she married John Pitcairn, an American, with whom she came to the United States, and lived in Philadelphia until her death in 1831.

While he was in Paris Lord Edward met Wolfe Tone, the leader of the Revolution of 1798, Arthur O’Connor, Thomas Addis Emmet, an elder brother of Robert Emmet, and other fellow countrymen, who were conspiring with the French directoire for an attack upon Ireland. He joined the movement with great earnestness and enthusiasm, and finally arranged with the French government to send a fleet of forty-three vessels with fifteen thousand troops under General Hoche, Wolfe Tone being attached to the commander’s staff, to attack the Irish coast simultaneously with an uprising of the people. Ireland was taken by surprise and thrown into a panic, but Providence intervened. A violent gale arose, the landing was postponed, the French fleet became separated, and each vessel found its way back to the Continent.

Lord Edward remained in France until March, 1798, when he returned to Dublin, was betrayed by a man named Mangan, and a guard of soldiers was sent to arrest him in 151 Thomas Street, just below the Bank of Ireland. A tablet with an inscription now marks the house. There was a desperate struggle, in which the captain of the guards was killed by Lord Edward, and the latter received a bullet in the shoulder, from which he died in prison a few days later at the age of thirty-two. As everybody knows, the rebellion was a failure, and nearly all the other leaders were captured and executed. Wolfe Tone was betrayed by an old school friend and sentenced to be shot. He tried to kill himself in prison. The wound, though fatal, was not immediately so, and he lay ill for several months before death rescued him. Poor Pamela lived in poverty and distress for several years before she was able to return to her friends in France. “Frascati,” her home, now belongs to a prosperous Dublin tradesman.

A little farther down on the shore of the bay is a monument marking the spot where the transport Rochdale, carrying the entire Ninety-seventh Regiment of Foot, went ashore a hundred years ago, and the names of an entire regiment, officers and men, were instantly erased from the British army list. Since then an artificial harbor has been inclosed by long breakwaters of masonry, giving a place of refuge for ships in distress.

The tram line terminates in a pretty and picturesque village, called Dalkey, which was a medieval stronghold and the scene of many fierce fights, first between the earls of the Pale of Dublin and invading Danes, and after that with the pirates who haunted this coast for a century. It was a Danish settlement for several centuries, and afterward the most important outpost of Dublin, defended by seven great castles, three of which still remain in partial ruins. One of them is now remodeled for use as a town hall. They are imposing piles of masonry, and thick mats of ivy conceal the ancient wounds.

We took an “outside car” at the end of the tram line at Dalkey to drive around the shore of the bay, which the driver assured us was the most beautiful in the world and even surpassed the Bay of Naples, which it is said to resemble, and for that reason many of the names are the same. The resemblance might possibly be detected by a person with a vigorous imagination. Killiney Bay, however, is a lovely sheet of water, surrounded by high bluffs that are clad in June with glowing garments of gorse and hawthorn. The first is a low bush which has a brilliant yellow flower, and the hawthorn trees are as white as banks of snow. The land is divided into meadows and pastures on the slopes by hedges of hawthorn, and the turf is concealed by millions of buttercups as yellow as gold. It is a rocky coast. Rugged crags that break out give a stern expression to the picture, and sometimes rise a hundred feet or more in frowning precipices of black granite.

Here and there the towers of a castle or the chimneys of a villa arise from banks of foliage, and, perched along the bluff above the seashore, like the chalets of Switzerland, are comfortable cottages and mansions in which rich people from Dublin dwell. Clinging to the side of the bluff and protected by a stone wall is a splendid roadway encircling the entire bay, quite as beautiful, although on a smaller scale, as the Corniche road from Nice to Monte Carlo. The deep blue of the water, the vivid green of the foliage, which seems more pronounced in Ireland than anywhere I have ever been, the great white banks of hawthorn, the yellow of the buttercups and the gorse give a brilliancy to the landscape that does not appear anywhere on the Riviera or anywhere else I know.

The winding road with this wonderful panorama always before you leads finally through a glen into a park named after the late Queen Victoria,—a wild stretch of rocky woodland and pasture, which in ancient days was one of the principal meeting places of the Druids, and it was well chosen. The land was purchased by subscription to commemorate the queen’s jubilee in 1897, and has been thrown open to the public ever since. From the number of people who are present every Sunday afternoon one would think the money was well invested.

A winding path leads to the summit, which is cleared of trees, and in the center a shaft of stone rises about sixty feet, which, the inscription tells us in quaint and laconic manner, was erected by John Mapas, Esquire, June, 1742, in order to give employment to his less fortunate neighbors, “last year being hard with the poor.” A hundred yards distant is a round, conical tower marked, “Mont Mapas.” Nobody seems to know who erected it or what it is for. And there is a pyramid of seven tiers of stone thirty feet square at the base and eighteen feet high, with a flat stone at the top.

There is a monument to mark the spot where the Duke of Dorset was killed by being thrown from his horse in 1815, and what is more interesting, four Druid judgment seats, formed of rough granite blocks about twelve feet long, two feet high, and three and a half feet wide at the top. They are situated in pairs some distance from each other, and tradition says that the Druid chiefs in prehistoric times sat in judgment upon them to settle disputes between their people and to receive petitions from the members of their tribes. Of course, we know that Ireland was held by the Druids once, and it is very certain that they could not have found a more appropriate or a lovelier place than this for their assemblies.

We took our luncheon at the Washington Inn at Dalkey, where a large and familiar engraving of George Washington, a picture of Sulgrave Manor, the English home of the Washingtons, a pedigree of the family, and a representation of its coat of arms, showing its development into the Stars and Stripes, hung upon the wall. I asked the landlady the whys and wherefores of all this, and she told me that her name is Martha Washington and that she is very proud of it. Her ancestors came from Sulgrave, where they trace their relationship to the Father of our Country.

Another trolley line, with cars marked “Howth” (pronounced Ho-th), starting from the same place, Nelson’s Pillar, on Sackville Street, will take you entirely around the great island hill at the north entrance of the harbor of Dublin and for a mile or two on the shore of the Irish Sea. For the first fifteen or twenty minutes the car runs through the busy streets of the city, past the Amiens railway station, which, a friendly priest who occupied the adjoining seat told me, occupies the site of the house in which Charles Lever wrote “Harry Lorrequer,” “Charles O’Malley,” and other famous novels, and the good father sighed when he said that the reckless gayety and the jolly folks that Lever painted with his pen existed no longer. He was a most interesting companion was this friendly priest, and talked incessantly of the scenes and associations through which our little journey led.

We passed a monumental gate supported by two classic columns. One of them was marked in large letters “Deo Duce” and the other “Ferro Comitante” (With God for my guide and a sword by my side), which, he told me, was the motto upon the coat of arms of the great Lord Charlemont, who had taken so active a part in the history of Ireland. It was a famous family, he said, although the present earls are decadents and have no place in public affairs.

This ancient family seat, called “Marino,” was built at a tremendous cost by a dilettante earl who never allowed his expenditures to trouble him, but left the anxiety entirely to his creditors. The interior of the villa at the time it was built was the perfection of art and luxury. The floors, the ceilings, and the wainscoting were of mosaic. The walls were hung with the finest Irish poplin and decorated by the most noted artists of the time. The villa has been the scene of ghastly carousals and assemblies of the finest intellects in Ireland. The grave and the gay have gathered and dined beneath its roof, but the estate was sacrificed to the extravagance of the family, and its splendor, somewhat tarnished and rusty, to be sure, is now enjoyed by the students of the Christian Brothers, who occupy the beautiful villa for a school.

On one side of the car line high walls shut out to the ordinary passer-by the beauties they are intended to protect, but from the top of the tram cars any one can share them for “tuppence.” On the other side is the water, the Bay of Dublin, and, running parallel with the shore, is a long spit of land called the North Bull, which was formerly a terrible menace to the commerce of the coast. Nearly every winter’s gale sent a ship or two to destruction, and the bodies of hundreds of poor seamen have been washed up where the children are now playing in the sand. Here and there the skeletons of dead vessels may yet be seen, but the North Bull is no longer dangerous. Modern devices protect navigation, and in the midst of the heather and the glowing yellow gorse golf links have been laid out and a clubhouse has been erected, surrounded by lilacs, laburnums, and hawthorns, now in the full glory of their bloom. It is only twenty minutes’ ride by street car from the center of Dublin, and the business men can come out here to spend the long summer evenings at their sport.

Bailey Light at Howth, Mouth of Dublin Bay

A little farther on is a beautiful mansion built in 1835 upon the site and with the materials of Clontarf Castle, one of the oldest and most famous within the English Pale—which was an area sixty miles long and thirty miles wide around the city of Dublin. The castle originally belonged to the Knights Templar, and from them passed to the Knights of St. John. In 1541 it was surrendered to the crown by Sir John Rawson, prior of Kilmainham, who was created Viscount of Clontarf as compensation.

The famous battle of Clontarf, the final struggle between Christianity and heathenism on the soil of Ireland, was fought here on Good Friday in the year 1014 between the Danes under Sigtryg, the Viking, and the Irish under Brian Boru. Eight thousand men were slain on one side and four thousand on the other, including every prominent chief. The Irish were victorious, and, although the Danes were not immediately driven from the island, it was the end of their domination. They came in a thousand boats all the way from Denmark, from Scotland, the Orkneys, and from the many islands of the north, and when their leaders were killed they fled to the water to regain their ships, which lay at anchor or were beached on the shore of Dublin Bay. The Irish warriors followed and continued to slay them until the sea was crimson with heathen blood.

Brian Boru was not a myth, although we commonly associate him with fairy tales. He was the real thing, and it is often said that he was the only Irishman that ever did rule successfully over all Ireland. He was the first of the O’Briens and was King of Munster. His early career was very much like that of Alfred the Great, who lived but a short time before him in the middle of the ninth century, and he was not only the greatest warrior, but the greatest lawgiver and executive, and the greatest benefactor of his native country in the semi-savage days. His rival was Malachi the Great, the first of the O’Neills, who became king of Meath in 980 and reigned at Tara. To keep the peace Brian Boru and Malachi agreed to divide Ireland between them; but they did not get along well together, and Brian drove Malachi from his capital far into the north. Malachi finally submitted, and then all Ireland, for the first time in its history, was at peace under a single monarch for nearly forty years.

Brian devoted himself to the development of the industries, the encouragement of agriculture, and the education of the people. He made wise laws and enforced them with justice. He founded schools and colleges. He encouraged art and science, he built roads in every direction, and he gave the distracted country the blessings of peace and prosperity. Instead of fighting among themselves, the people gave their attention to farming, cattle-breeding, trade and manufacturing, literature and the polite arts, and the historians say that another twenty years of Brian’s reign would have changed the entire history of the country. Rare Tom Moore has given us a picture of Ireland in those days, when, according to his verses, a beautiful young lady, “Rich and rare were the gems she wore,” traversed the entire country, from north to south and from east to west, without being molested.

When Brian became an old man, Mailmora, king of Leinster, conspired with the Danes, the Manxmen, the chiefs of the Orkneys, and the Scots to overthrow him. Sigtryg of the Silken Beard arranged with them to consolidate their forces to overcome the Irish. Sigurd, Earl of Orkney, brought an army ten thousand strong. Broder, the great Viking of the Isle of Man, brought a fleet of two hundred ships and ten thousand men, covered with mail from head to foot, to meet the Irish, who always fought in tunics. Broder had once been a Christian, but had fallen from grace. He was the tallest and the strongest man of his time. His hair was so long that he had to tuck it under his belt. He wore a coat of mail “on which no steele could bite,” and he had “no reverence for God or for man, for church or sanctuary.”

The venerable Brian Boru, then seventy-three years of age, was camped in what is now Phœnix Park, surrounded by twenty thousand warriors representing the different Irish clans. His sons prevailed upon him not to engage in the battle, and he gave the command to his son Morrough. But he led the column to the Hill of Clontarf on the morning of Good Friday, and when the invaders were in plain sight Brian Boru, holding aloft a crucifix, rode from rank to rank reminding his men that on that day their Lord had died for them, and exhorting them to smite the heathen hip and thigh for their religion and their homes. Then, giving the signal for the onset, he withdrew to his tent at the top of the hill, where he could observe the conflict.

Battles in those days were a series of hand-to-hand encounters. The commanders selected each other for single combat. The fighting extended for two miles along the shores of the Bay of Dublin, and human beings were cut down like stalks of corn. The aged king remained in his tent engaged in earnest prayer for victory while the air was filled with the clash of steel, and the Danes and his own soldiers were dying by thousands around him. Toward nightfall the heathen gave way and began to retreat. Their commanders were all slain or desperately wounded. Brian’s grandson, Thorlough, smote the Earl of Orkney with his battle-axe and cleft his head down as far as his neck. Broder, the great Viking, desperately wounded, was flying from the field when he recognized Brian of the Long Beard at the door of his tent. He rushed upon the old man with a double-edged battle-axe. Brian seized his trusty sword and they struck together. Brian’s head was amputated and Broder’s legs, one at the knee and the other from the ankle. At sunset when they returned from the battle, Brian’s servants found their king dead and Broder stretched by his side.

The body of Brian and that of his son Morrough were conveyed with great solemnity to Armagh and laid at rest in the cathedral, but their tombs have disappeared. The funeral ceremonies lasted for a fortnight, and all Ireland was filled with lamentation. Every petty chief and prince in the island tried to grasp the power. As the old song runs—

“Each man ruled his own tribe,
But no man ruled Erin.”

And that condition continued for a century and a half, all Ireland being distracted by the rivalries of the several chiefs, the O’Briens, the O’Neills, the O’Connors, and the O’Loughlins.

That part of the battleground lying on the shore of the bay has been built over, and behind it the land has been divided into small country places where the rich men of Dublin spend their idle hours. Their homes are encircled with high fences, and are divided by a maze of roads and lanes concealed by canopies of green foliage that overhangs the walls.

A little farther on are the ruins of a church surrounded by a silent battalion of gravestones. It was the Abbey of Kilbarrack, and one of the tombstones, badly defaced, marks the burial place of Francis Higgins, a detested government spy who betrayed Lord Edward Fitzgerald to the government in the insurrection of 1798. He is known as “The Sham Squire,” because for a time he succeeded in passing himself off as a country gentleman of wealth and was married to a lady of good family. When the fraud was detected he was sent to jail, and she died of shame and mortification. Being boycotted by all honorable men, he became a spy and informer, and popular hatred pursued him to the graveyard, which had to be watched because the people resented his burial in consecrated ground and would have thrown his body into the bay.

The car line follows the curves of the coast down to the shore of the Irish Sea, where a monstrous mass of rocks, covered with heather and rhododendrons and gorse, now as yellow as gold, rises five hundred or six hundred feet, with here and there a dense mass of foliage. It is known as the Hill of Howth, and is considered one of the most picturesque places in Ireland. At its foot is the village of Howth, and on either side are the ruins of ancient strongholds, located so as to command the entrance to the harbor.

The title of the Earl of Howth dates back to 1177, and was bestowed in battle. It has been held honorably by the Lawrence family, one of the oldest in Ireland. They won their name and their lands by the sword. The founder of the house was Amory Tristam, a Norman adventurer, who followed Strongbow to the conquest of Ireland, and has been immortalized in Wagner’s opera, “Tristam and Isolde.” While Tristam, loyal knight and true, was attending a red-haired Irish princess to her destined husband, the King of Cornwall, they drank by mistake a love potion which bound them forever in a frenzied romance. It ended with Tristam dying in his castle and Isolde coming over the sea to perish like Juliet upon her husband’s lifeless form.

Amory Tristam assumed the name of St. Lawrence, because of a great victory that he won over the Danes on the anniversary of that saint; and Howth Castle has been the seat of the family from the beginning. A long line of overlords lie under the shadow of a ruined old abbey, and the present earl, William Ulick Tristam St. Lawrence, must join them soon, because he is more than eighty years of age. He was a member of parliament in his younger days, succeeded to the earldom in 1874, and until he became too feeble was a famous sport. His son and heir, Thomas Tristam St. Lawrence, is a man of fifty, who married the daughter of Benjamin Lee Guinness, the great brewer of Dublin, and inherited many millions from her father.

Many interesting legends are told of the hill and the Castle of Howth and of events that have occurred during the eight hundred years since it became a center of activity. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the Princess of Connaught, Grace O’Malley, landed at Howth on her return from England and found the gates of the castle closed. The warder refused her entrance because the family were at dinner. Indignant at this breach of hospitality she returned to her ships, and meeting on the way the heir of the house, she picked him up and carried him off to Mayo, where she held him until she had obtained a pledge from the earls of Howth that they would never again close the doors of their castle against hungry travelers. And they have faithfully kept the vow.

The Howth family holds the almost unique distinction in Ireland of perpetual loyalty to the English crown.

Another trolley line runs out to Donnybrook, the scene of the famous fair, which was abolished, however, nearly one hundred years ago, even before the time of Sir Walter Scott’s visit to Ireland in 1825, for he says: “We dined at Walter’s, and in the evening drove to Donnybrook—the scene of the noisy fair which is now dissolved and abolished. It was a charming ride, thick with villas and all the insignia of ease and opulence; in fact, not to be distinguished from the innumerable hosts of jaunting cars plowing the fine road in every direction at a speed apparently most cruel.” Sir Walter’s description holds good to-day. Donnybrook is the most respectable and aristocratic of all the suburbs of Dublin. The tract of land where the cattle fair was formerly held in the fall of each year is still vacant and is used for a pasture. A “merry-go-round,” or a “whirl-about,” as they call it here, was the only diversion that we could find in the silent and orderly surroundings, but every year in August on the adjoining land and reached by parallel roads the Dublin horse show is held, and it is the great event of the season socially, and otherwise. It brings over from London and other parts of England large crowds of fashionable people, it draws the sporting element from every part of the kingdom, and all Ireland is represented.

Donnybrook, originally Dombenach Broc, in Gaelic, is a small but rapid stream, which comes down from the hills of Wicklow and empties into the Bay of Dublin. The cattle-dealers of Ireland for two hundred years used to meet upon its banks for the sale, exchange, and exhibition of animals for eight days in the month of August annually, and drew around them saloon and restaurant keepers, peddlers of every sort, and shopkeepers, who went out from Dublin with stocks of goods and exposed them as a temptation to the men who had sold their cattle and had the money in their pockets. In addition to the tradesmen, itinerant shows gathered to entertain the ranchmen, strolling players, jugglers, Irish bards with harps and songs, bagpipes, and other public entertainers made it their rendezvous. Naturally these attractions called together the lads and the lasses, who flirted, danced to the music, and had a good time generally.

“Donnybrook capers, that bothered the vapors,
And drove dull care away.”

But the entertainments were not entirely innocent, and the fair finally became such a scene of disorder, thievery, and murder that the authorities were compelled to abolish the annual festivities. It attracted all the toughs and roughs and the desperate characters in Ireland, and the old rhyme says:

“Such crowding and jumbling,
And leaping and tumbling,
And kissing and grumbling,
And drinking and swearing,
And stabbing and tearing,
And coaxing and snaring,
And scrambling and winning,
And fighting and flinging,
And fiddling and singing.”

More misery and madness, more crime and unhappiness, more devilment and debauchery, vice, and treachery was crowded into that little space for a fortnight annually than might have occurred during an entire year in any country of Europe. In those days fighting was a common pastime. But the “broth of a boy” with his “shillelah” of black bog thorn wood, is no longer seen dragging his coat over the ground at Donnybrook and inviting any gentleman present to step on the tail of that garment. Those days, as I say, are over, and Dublin is one of the most orderly cities on earth, except for the drunkenness.


The population of Ireland by the census of 1901 was 4,450,456, a falling off of 248,204 in ten years since the previous census. In 1848, before the great famine, the population was 8,295,000, which shows that it has decreased nearly one-half since that time, during the last sixty years.

The area of Ireland is 20,157,557 acres, including bog and mountain. Of this area only 2,357,530 acres are under the plow, 14,712,849 acres are devoted to hay and pasture, of which it is estimated that 12,000,000 acres could be cultivated to crops. But it is a question whether such a thing would be desirable, considering the great demand and the high price for hay and cattle, beef and mutton. It would give employment to a large number of people if 12,000,000 acres more were plowed and planted, no doubt, but the experts assert that the profits on hay and cattle are larger than on grain and potatoes.

Next to hay, the largest area, something more than 1,000,000 acres, is planted to oats and only 590,000 acres to potatoes, which is surprising when you consider that potatoes are the principal food of the Irish peasant, and, as some one has remarked, “are his food and drink and clothing.”

William F. Bailey, one of the gentlemen intrusted with the work of settling the land question and distributing the population of the island more evenly than at present, estimates that thirty acres of average land in Ireland is necessary to support a family, but the tax returns show that the 20,000,000 acres are divided among 68,716 owners; that is, one person in sixty-four is a landowner, with an average of 300 acres each, counting men, women, and children, although that is not a fair basis of calculation in Ireland, because so many of the young and middle-aged people emigrate and leave more than a natural proportion of old men and young children on the island.

The tax returns show that the land in 1907 was actually divided among the 68,716 owners as follows:

Owning 100,000 acres or more3
Between 50,000 and 100,00016
Between 20,000 and 50,00090
Between 10,000 and 20,000185
Between 5,000 and 10,000452
Between 2,000 and 5,0001,198
Between 1,000 and 2,0001,803
Between 500 and 1,0002,716
Between 100 and 5007,989
Between 50 and 1003,479
Between 10 and 507,746
Between 1 and 10 acres6,892

The changes in the size of Irish farms has been remarkable. In 1841, 81 per cent of the holdings were less than ten acres. To-day, as you will see by the table, out of 68,000 farms, only 6,892 are of ten acres and less.

The following is a list of Irish landlords who owned more than 30,000 acres each, and the average annual rentals collected from their tenants prior to the passage of the Wyndham Land Act of 1903, which authorizes the purchase with government funds of their estates, and the division into small farms for the tenants who occupied them:

Law Life Assurance Company165,804£6,384
Marquess of Lansdowne123,63432,412
Marquess of Sligo122,90216,018
Marquess of Downshire107,82886,269
Earl of Kenmore105,35926,951
Lord Ventry91,50515,282
Earl Fitzwilliam89,46845,568
Viscount Dillon78,89816,933
Sir Roger W.H. Palmer74,85712,829
Earl of Bantry73,36011,628
Duke of Leinster71,58148,841
Marquess of Waterford71,05633,412
Lord O’Neil65,85745,308
Marquess of Hertford63,26575,699
Earl of Lucan59,47812,194
Earl of Kingston54,16532,565
Duke of Abercorn51,91926,689
Marquess of Clanricarde51,00618,472
Sir Charles H. Bart Coote48,73918,691
Viscount Powerscourt47,55113,563
Marquess of Ely47,07622,126
Earl of Bandon46,12920,438
Trustees of Kilmorrey Estate46,05420,663
Earl of Annesley45,26322,297
Capt. Henry A. Herbert42,9399,695
Thomas S. Carter41,4062,138
Earl of Leitrim39,3829,890
Lord Laconfield39,04816,558
W.H. and John T. Massey37,2419,001
Viscount Lismore37,13714,113
Lord Stuart DeDecies36,78815,473
Earl of Bessborough36,37222,649
Viscount Clifden36,16619,705
George Clive35,513836
Marquess of Londonderry34,94930,617
Lord of Antrim34,49312,600
H.L. Barry34,37626,464
Marquess of Conyngham33,69318,373
Lord DeFreyne33,12012,719
Earl of Devon33,10012,764
Duke of Devonshire32,77619,441
T.C. Bland32,5402,638
Hon. H.L. King-Harman32,53117,090
Sir George V. Colthurst31,99311,042
Lord Annaly31,82613,740
Marquess of Ormonde31,79417,457
Earl of Erne31,06916,758
Earl of Granard30,72515,816
Lord Digby30,62713,409
Earl of Caledon30,50215,725
Earl of Arran30,3467,111
Lord Farnham30,19119,347
Earl of Enniskellen30,14613,883

The owners of other large tracts and the persons who own between 10,000 and 30,000 acres are also nearly all noblemen. It would seem that titles of nobility and large estates go together over here. That is the rule in other countries, and is perfectly natural, because a poor man has no use for a title of nobility and a rich man is usually anxious to get one.

A peer has just as much right to own land as anybody, and the complaints heard in Ireland are not on account of the rank or the station of the landlords, but because of their neglect of their interests and their tenants, especially because most of them do not spend the incomes from their estates in making improvements or for the benefit of their own people; they do not spend it in Ireland, but reside in London most of the time and spend the money there, where the people who earn it receive no benefit from it directly or indirectly. It is unnecessary to discuss the evils of large estates. They are too numerous to mention, especially when they are owned by people who live outside of the country. That is the great obstacle to the development of Mexico, where millions of acres in large tracts, granted to Spanish grandees before independence, still remain in the ownership of their descendants, who live in Spain or Paris, and spend the revenues there. It is true, also, of Russia, Poland, Austria, and of many other countries, and to a certain extent of Cuba, where a number of the valuable and productive plantations belong to families who are living in Spain, Paris, or New York, and never even visit them.

A few years ago, by order of Parliament, an investigation was made to ascertain the habits of the large Irish landowners in connection with their estates, and the following table shows the result:

Resident on or near the property5,5898,880,549£4,718,497
Residing elsewhere in Ireland, occasionally on property377 852,818371,123
Residing elsewhere in Ireland4,4654,362,4462,128,220
Residing out of Ireland but occasionally on property180 1,368,347601,072
Never resident in Ireland1,4433,145,5141,538,071
Owned by charitable institutions or corporations,161 584,327234,678
Not ascertained1,350615,308331,633

No country ever suffered so much from absentee landlordism as Ireland, and many great estates here have been entirely neglected, or practically abandoned and allowed to go to ruin by the owners who intrusted them to dishonest or incompetent managers and took no interest in their own property. No one can blame the tenants upon such estates for their enmity and resentment toward the proprietors, or condemn them for their refusal to pay rent when they received very little or nothing in return. But the system in Ireland has been very much improved of late years by various acts of parliament, and many people think that the tenants now have the advantage in every respect. Fifty years ago the landlord was the owner and autocrat of the soil and everything that stood upon it. The tenant had no legal rights beyond what was written down in his lease, and when that expired the landlord could raise or lower his rent or drive him off the land at pleasure.

Nearly every one of the peers who has sold his estates in Ireland under the land act has taken the cash and has gone to London to live, and if home rule is ever granted to the Irish people there will be little room left for those who remain. Most of the Irish peers spend the greater part of their time in London. Some of them never come to Ireland at all except for the shooting season or horse show. Several prominent English peers have estates in Ireland inherited from ancestors who have intermarried with the Irish nobility. The Duke of Devonshire, for example, owns one of the largest and finest estates in the kingdom at Lismore, a few miles north of Cork. The late duke, who died in 1907, took a great interest in the property and spent a great deal of time there.

Forcible evictions are things of the past. Several years ago the demands for “The Three Fs”—free sale, fair rent, and fixed tenure—were complied with, and to-day the farms in Ireland are subject to what is called “a dual ownership,” peculiar to this country. No landlord can rob a tenant any longer. Disputes concerning rent are now settled by a tribunal which takes all the circumstances into consideration and decides upon the equities rather than the technicalities of the case. This has revolutionized the land system of Ireland, and by a succession of acts of parliament during the past few years the government has gone a great way toward equalizing ownership and creating a nation of peasant proprietors, which, according to their ideas over here, is the ideal condition.

During the last quarter of a century from six thousand to eight thousand farmers have been evicted from farms in Ireland because they refused or were unable or neglected to pay their rent. Some of them have remained in the neighborhood and have squatted where they could, and waited their chance to recover their holdings; others have emigrated to America; others have gone into different parts of Ireland; others have engaged in business of various sorts. Between five thousand and six thousand have already applied for restoration under the Act of 1907, most of them through the agency of the United Irish League. Of these, 1,595 families had been restored up to July, 1908, most of them to the actual farms from which they were expelled, not as tenants, however, for they will never be asked to pay any more rent, but as the owners of the property and improvements, purchased for them by the government, with money to be repaid, not by them unless they choose to do so, but by their posterity in the year 1975, or thereabouts. The only financial obligation imposed upon them is to pay an interest of 3½ per cent upon the purchase money, which has been borrowed by the government upon bonds running for sixty-eight years, at 3 per cent interest. The additional one-half per cent goes into a sinking fund to pay the bonds at maturity.

About 75 per cent of the claims that have been filed under the Evicted Tenants Act have been genuine; the remainder are apparently fraudulent or in doubt, and some of those that have been already allowed are questionable. I heard of a case in which a tenant who was evicted in 1889 for refusal to pay his rent was restored to his old home under rather peculiar circumstances. His misfortunes were voluntary, and due to political reasons rather than from the lack of means, and when he was thrown off his farm he went into business as a cattle broker and became rich. But, in common with his former neighbors, he filed his claims under the act, was restored to his old home, and the generous agents of the estates commission bought a couple of cows, a few sheep, and hogs from his own pastures, paid him for them, and then gave them to him. He is now occupying the place and cultivating it by hired labor, and will be asked to refund the money the government has advanced for him in the year 1975.

In the application of the provisions of the act no distinction is made between those who were evicted because of their poverty and those for political reasons. About one thousand evictions were the result of what is known as the “Plan of Campaign” adopted in 1887, when the National League determined to force the issue and organized a general strike among the farmers against the payment of rent upon certain estates selected because their landlords were habitual absentees, who spent the revenues they derived from their estates outside of Ireland and were oppressive to their tenants and generally offensive. As a rule, the tenants paid half a year’s rent to the agents of the league for a war fund, so far as they were able. Most of them were able to pay, although there was a great deal of suffering and privation among about a thousand families who were thrown out of their homes during one land war which lasted for two or three years. Practically all of them have already been restored to their former farms.

In 1901 another land war was inaugurated, under the direction of Dennis Johnston and John Fitzgibbons of the United Irish League, in Roscommon and neighboring counties, and a large number of tenants who had voluntarily agreed not to pay their rents were thrown off their farms as voluntary martyrs in a campaign which finally resulted in the enactment of the act of 1907, which was prepared and introduced into parliament by George Wyndham, chief secretary for Ireland under the late conservative government. This act authorizes the estates commission having in charge the administration of the Land Act of 1903 to acquire by force if necessary eighty thousand acres of land wherever they consider it expedient, to be sold under mortgages of sixty-eight years at 3½ per cent interest to families who have been evicted from their former homes. The commissioners are required to investigate the claims of those who have been evicted, through their staff of inspectors, and if found genuine to serve notice upon the owner to vacate the farms from which they were evicted within a certain time. The landlord has the right of appeal, but every one of the owners of lands from which tenants were evicted has voluntarily consented to their restoration except the Marquess of Clanricarde, and a Mrs. Lewis who has a large estate in County Galway and has been one of the most vindictive and oppressive of all the landlords. She is a woman of very determined character, and will not even answer letters addressed to her by the officials of the government.

The Marquess of Clanricarde is nearly eighty years old, very eccentric, a miser, dresses very shabbily, lives like a recluse and pays no bills. He has visited his Irish estates but once since he inherited them in 1874, He was in the diplomatic service as a young man during the ’fifties, and at one time was a member of parliament. His name is Hubert George de Burg Canning, Marquess of Clanricarde, Viscount Burke and Baron Dunkellin, and he has several other titles, but has no family—a childless widower.

The Clanricarde estates lie directly west from Dublin in Galway County and were obtained by his ancestor, William FitzAnselm de Burg, the founder of the Burke family, under a grant from Henry I., and he founded the town of Galway. To this day the whole province of Connaught is dotted with the ruined castles of the De Burg family, monuments of four or five centuries of uninterrupted fighting with the O’Neills, the O’Donnells, the O’Flahertys, the O’Connors, and other powerful clans in the early history of Ireland. The battle of Knockdoe, fought in the fourteenth century between an undisciplined horde of native clansmen under the Earl of Clanricarde, was provoked by an insult he offered to his wife. She was the daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald the Great, Earl of Kildare, and her affectionate father in vengeance attacked his son-in-law with a disciplined force loaned him by his neighbors, the lords of the Pale of Dublin. It is said that eight thousand dead bodies were left upon the field. Those were strenuous days, and the earls of Clanricarde have been reckoned among the fiercest fighters from the time they came over from England in the fourteenth century. Sometimes they have been on one side and sometimes on the other, but like most genuine Irishmen, they have usually been “agin the government,” whatever, policy it represented. There have been several earnest patriots in the line. An old Irish ballad begins with the line, “Glory guards Clanricarde’s grave!” but the present earl is not the one referred to.

The late earl was very popular with his tenants, and so liberal and lenient was he, according to the gossip, that they got into bad habits, and when the present earl came into the property in 1874 he pulled them up very sharply and demanded a prompt and full payment of all their obligations. Being unaccustomed to such stern measures, they were resentful, and a quarrel began which has lasted until now, and Clanricarde, convinced that he has right and justice on his side, has used the mailed hand. There have been more trouble and disturbance upon his estates than upon any other in Ireland. Every one of his tenants has been evicted, and sometimes a succession of them, and their farms have been let to what are called “planters,”—a term used in Ireland to describe families imported from a distance and planted upon land which no person in the neighborhood will rent because the previous tenant has been evicted from it. Every man on the Clanricarde estates is a “planter.” After the passage of the act of 1907 the estates commissioners requested him to sell his entire holding under the act of 1903, but he not only rejected the proposition, but has declined even to discuss the subject, and has maintained that uncompromising attitude from the beginning, an embittered, relentless, vindictive old man.

Portumna Castle, County Galway; the Seat of the Earl of Clanricarde

When the commission undertook to apply the compulsory clause of the Evicted Tenants Act and published the notice in the Dublin Gazette, the earl filed a protest. Mr. Justice Wiley of the Lower Court sustained the commission, but the Court of Appeals, composed of twelve judges, unanimously reversed the decision and decided that the estates commission has no power to forcibly dispossess any bona fide “planter” from land already under lease.

This decision technically justified the position that the earl has taken, and it applies to the estates of Mrs. Lewis also, so that the commissioners cannot go any farther in their work of restoring the evicted tenants upon those two properties. As soon as the decision was rendered a bill was introduced in parliament confiscating the entire Clanricarde estates. It is not expected to pass, but was intended to advertise the situation and create public opinion. The government, however, took the matter promptly in hand, and the Earl of Crewe introduced a bill authorizing the estates commissioners to take by force, after the usual legal proceedings, any occupied land they may think necessary and proper for the restoration of evicted tenants, provided they can obtain the consent of the occupant. This act was passed, and notice was immediately given in the Dublin Gazette that the estates commissioners intend, under the Evicted Tenants Act, to acquire compulsorily upwards of eighteen hundred acres of land on the estate of Lord Clanricarde in County Galway. This means that the owner of the property is to have nothing to say about the matter, but a bona fide tenant, who in good faith is occupying a farm from which his predecessor has been evicted, cannot be ejected without his consent. We are familiar with the methods of “persuasion” that have been used for years by the United Irish League and other patriotic organizations, and it is entirely probable that they will prove sufficient in all cases that will arise under this new provision. Therefore, as soon as the proposed act is passed, the tenants upon the Clanricarde estates will be looking for trouble.

The Earl of Clanricarde cannot expect to live a great while longer. He is already an infirm old man and his heir, Lord Sligo of Westport, a nephew, is almost as old as he. Lord Sligo is one of the largest land holders in Ireland. He owns 114,000 acres in the north, which is mostly grazing land, and his tenants are miserably poor, living in squalid hovels scattered over the estate. He does nothing for them, and exacts the last halfpenny of his rent. His heir, who will soon come into both the Clanricarde and Sligo estates, is his son, Lord Henry Ulick Browne, of whom very little is known. He is fifty-eight years of age and lives at Westport Castle, Westport, Ireland. As he has had the management of much of his father’s property for many years, it is generally believed that he is responsible for the harsh policy that has been followed toward the tenants, and that they can expect no better treatment when he becomes their lawful lord.

The British Parliament has published a return (No. Cd. 4093) covering all the proceedings under the Act of April, 1907, to restore evicted tenants in Ireland; giving particulars in each case in which an evicted tenant, or a person nominated by the estates commissioners to be a personal representative of the deceased evicted tenant, has with the assistance of the commission been reinstated, either by the landlord or by the estates commissioners, or provided with a new parcel of land under the Land Purchase Act.

It is a quarto pamphlet of forty-seven pages, and gives in fine type the names of all the farmers in Ireland who have been evicted since 1876, with the dates of the evictions, the area they formerly occupied, the rent they formerly paid, the arrears of rent due at the time of the eviction, the value of the property, the name of the landlord, the name of the estate, the name of the town and the county, the date of restoration, the price paid by the estates commissioners for each tract, the valuation of the buildings and other improvements on the property, and the compensation given to outgoing tenants who surrender their holdings under the law, to those who were formerly evicted from them.

This report shows that forty tenants have been restored to the Blacker-Douglass estates in Armagh, thirty-two have been restored on the Charlemont estates in the same county; forty-four of those evicted from 1887 to 1889 by Lord Massareene in County Meath have been restored, and thirty-nine on the estate of the Marquess of Lansdowne in Queen’s County. On the estates of Sir G. Brooke, in Waterford, seventy-eight families, evicted in 1887 and 1888, have been restored; twenty-six on the estate of A.L. Tottenham, Leitrim; thirty-four on the Vandaleur estates in Leitrim; thirty on the estates of C.W. Warden in County Kerry; thirty-three on the estates of the Earl of Listowel, and similar numbers elsewhere.

So far as is known, every family in Ireland that has been evicted from a farm during the last fifty years for non-payment of rent, or for political reasons, has been restored wherever they are living, and, if the head of the family at the time of the eviction is dead, his heirs have been placed in possession of the place. And all this has been done by the government at the expense of the taxpayers as a vindication of the policy of the Irish Land League, the United Irish League, and other organizations which have conducted the land wars.

The restoration of the evicted tenants was not voluntary on the part of the British government. It was forced upon the parliament by the Irish agitators. In a debate on this act in the House of Lords, the Marquess of Lansdowne, who had evicted a large number of tenants from his estates, admitted that he and other landlords accepted the proposition with great reluctance, and “only because the government had represented to them very earnestly, indeed, that the measure formed an integral part of a policy of pacification which they desired to bring about in Ireland, and if the landlords took the responsibility of rejecting this particular item, the entire programme was destined to failure. It is on the strength of these representations,” said the Marquess of Lansdowne, “that we ask the House of Lords to agree to the restoration of all Irish tenants who have been evicted at any time for political reasons as well as for failure to pay their rents.”

The members of the National Party in Ireland concede this point cheerfully. They willingly admit that they insisted upon the restoration of all evicted tenants as the first and the most important proposition in the programme of pacification in Ireland, and they agreed with the Marquess of Lansdowne that it would have been a failure otherwise. It should also be stated that all arrears of rent for which families have been evicted from Irish farms have been cancelled, and the restored tenants have become the actual owners of the land, the houses, and all improvements. Instead of paying rent to a landlord, they become the landlords themselves. The purchase money in every case has been advanced by the government, and is to be repaid by the purchaser in sixty-eight years with interest at three and one quarter per cent per annum. This sum represents two and one-half per cent interest upon bonds issued to raise the funds and three-fourths of one per cent for a sinking fund to meet the bonds at maturity.


Two-thirds and perhaps as many as three-fourths of the Roman Catholic priests in Ireland were educated at the College of Maynooth, which turns out one hundred and fifty or more earnest, zealous, able young clergymen every year, and is the most conspicuous and influential educational institution in Ireland. Comparatively few of the graduates go to the United States. Dr. Hogan, professor of modern languages and literature, explained that nearly all of the Irish priests who emigrated to America were educated at the missionary college of All Hallows, near Dublin, for the United States was until recently counted as a mission field by the holy see and was under the jurisdiction of the prefect of the propaganda of the holy faith at Rome. There are quite a number of Maynooth graduates in America, and during the recent visit of Cardinal Logue they gave a dinner in his honor in New York.

Dr. Hogan took us through the buildings, which are spacious and surround two large quadrangles. They are built of stone, four stories in height, are entirely modern and fitted up with all the conveniences and accessories that belong to an up-to-date institution of learning. The chapel is also modern, built within the present generation and entirely conventional. It is not large enough to accommodate all of the students, and the underclass men attend mass elsewhere.

Beyond the second quadrangle is a campus of seventy acres of lawn and garden and grove, where five hundred young men were engaged in taking their daily supply of fresh air and exercise when we passed through the archway. Almost every kind of game was going on, from croquet to football. There were several cricket contests in progress; others were playing at hockey and basketball; others were on the track running, and the lazy ones were lying stretched out on the velvet grass. There are now five hundred and sixty-two students, nearly all of them theologs, and one hundred and twenty graduated in 1908. They come chiefly from Ireland, a few from Irish families in England, a few more from Australia, but at present there is no representative of the United States. When I asked a group of young men how they got along without any Americans, one of them illustrated the quick wit of his race by replying promptly: “We hope never to have them here, sir; they are altogether too smart for us. If they keep on, the Americans will run the world.”

It costs very little to get an education at Maynooth. The fees are small,—$20 for matriculation, $25 for tuition, $150 a year for board, and other small fees for electric light, rent of furniture, etc., which brings the total up to about $225 a year. There are two hundred and seventy scholarships which have been founded by friends of the institution and societies in the different parishes, and they pay an average of $150 a year. There is a fine library with forty thousand volumes, and a gymnasium and everything else that is needed.

The ancient castle of Maynooth, built by the Earl of Kildare in 1427, stands at the gateway of the college, and occupies the site of the original stronghold of the family, built in 1176 by the first Maurice Fitzgerald, who came over with the Strongbow at the time of the Conquest. It has been a ruin since 1647, and a beautiful ruin it is—one of the largest and most picturesque in the kingdom.

Maynooth College County Kildare

Until 1895, when the centenary of Maynooth College was celebrated, six thousand priests and prelates of Irish birth had been educated within the walls of that “mother of love, and of fear and of knowledge, and of holy hope,” as her alumni call her. And now the number exceeds seventy-five hundred. Most of them have been, and those now living are still, doing pastoral work in Ireland, and nearly two thousand of the alumni have gone abroad into the United States, England, Scotland, Australia, South Africa, and other English-speaking countries. During the first three-quarters of the eighteenth century and for several hundred years before Catholic education was prohibited in Ireland, but it was not possible for the British authorities to prevent young men from crossing the sea, and during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a number of Irish colleges were founded in the Peninsula, in France, and in Flanders, and there most of the Irish priests of that long period received their education. It has been often asserted that the Catholic faith might have disappeared in Ireland but for the ardent piety and ambition of these young students, who found the preparation they needed for parish work from the Irish faculties of divinity schools on the Continent. In 1795, at the time Maynooth College was founded, about four hundred young Irishmen were attending such institutions, and in 1808 a printed report names twelve colleges with four hundred and seventy-eight Irish students.

Most of these institutions were in France, and they were closed and desecrated by the French Revolution, which expelled their inmates, profaned their altars, and confiscated their possessions. The Irish bishops, in consequence, found themselves confronted with an alarming situation. The foreign supply of priests was entirely cut off and the laws of Parliament prohibited their education at home. In this extremity they applied to the government, asking permission to found seminaries for educating young men to discharge the duties of Roman Catholic clergymen in the kingdom. William Pitt, then prime minister, was persuaded that it was safer for England to grant this request than to permit the young priests to imbibe the hatred of England and the democratic and revolutionary principles that pervaded society on the Continent. Edmund Burke and Earl Fitzwilliam acted in behalf of the bishops, and the latter was instructed by the prime minister to supervise the establishment of a new institution. Dr. Hussey, confidential agent of the English government in Dublin, was appointed the first president. He is described as a scholar, statesman, diplomatist, and orator; he had a checkered and eventful career; he undertook many things and excelled in them all. He was a fellow of the Royal Society, a preacher of remarkable power, and the intimate friend of such statesmen as Edmund Burke. He had the confidence of William Pitt and was the trusted agent of princes and statesmen. He was a native of County Meath, was educated at the ancient University of Salamanca of Spain, and originally entered a Trappist monastery, but left it shortly after and became chaplain of the Spanish embassy in London. The British government, recognizing his ability and integrity, sent Dr. Hussey on two confidential missions to the court of Spain, and rewarded his success by granting him a liberal pension for life and appointing him as confidential agent of the government in its negotiations with the bishops, and afterward to be president of the first Catholic theological seminary in Ireland. After two years at the head of the institution he was appointed bishop of Waterford, where he remained until his death in 1803.

Instruction was commenced in a private house belonging to an agent of the Duke of Leinster. The foundations of a new building were laid on the 20th of April, 1796, and seven months later it was opened with fifty students on the roll. The Duke of Leinster, although a Protestant, anxious to have the college on his estate, made very liberal terms, and successive generations of the house of Kildare, of which he is the representative, have been not only friendly but generous to the institution.

Everything about the college reminds the student of the famous class of Geraldines. The ancient castle of the Kildares, built by Maurice Fitzgerald the Invader, and enlarged by John, the sixth earl, in the year 1426, stands at the gate, and on either side of the main walk are fine old yew-trees planted more than seven hundred years ago. According to local legends that vain and reckless youth, “Silken Thomas,” sat beneath its spreading branches and played his harp three hundred and seventy-five years ago, on the evening before he started for Dublin to relinquish his trust as temporary viceroy and assault the castle. His five uncles were hanged at Tyburn mainly because they were Catholics. At the fall of the house the sole surviving heir was saved by his tutor, a Catholic priest, who afterward became Bishop of Kildare. Several generations later the earls of Kildare and the dukes of Leinster became Protestants, but they always advocated the emancipation of their Catholic fellow-countrymen, and have always been fair and honorable in their dealings with the institution.

It was a difficult task to get a faculty in those days, as there had not been a Catholic college in Ireland for centuries. But the French Revolution had cast upon the shores of Ireland many competent exiles, who were placed in charge of the various departments, and among the clergy of Ireland were found a sufficient number of scholars to complete the staff of instructors. The Revolution of 1798 broke out two years after the college was opened, and many of the students were stirred by aspirations which caused their expulsion. It was a test that many felt to be very severe; but the faculty were determined to keep faith with the government, and sixteen students were expelled. In 1803, the year of Emmet’s insurrection, there was a good deal of insubordination, which has been described as a “ground swell from the outside agitation.” Six students were expelled, one of whom, Michael Collins, afterward became Bishop of Cloyne.

The original grant of Parliament was $40,000 a year. In 1807 this was increased to $65,000, which was expended in buildings. It was afterwards reduced, and until 1840 was about $50,000. At that time there were four hundred students, who could not be properly accommodated. In 1844 the trustees drew up and forwarded to the government a strong memorial, which was read in the House of Commons by Sir Robert Peel, who declared that such a state of things was discreditable to the nation and that Parliament should either cut Maynooth College adrift altogether, or maintain it in a manner worthy of the state. In the face of resolute opposition of a majority of his own party, he carried through a proposal to give the sum of $30,000 for new buildings and an annual grant of $26,360 for the maintenance of the college. Mr. Gladstone supported the prime minister, Mr. Disraeli, then leader of the opposition, attacking the bill fiercely. Thomas Babington Macaulay and Dr. Whately, the rhetorician, both made eloquent and convincing speeches in its support. In 1869, when the bill to dissolve the relations between the Protestant church in Ireland and the government was passed, Mr. Gladstone, then prime minister, was compelled to treat Maynooth College on the same terms that he gave the Irish Episcopal branch of the Established Church, and the Presbyterian, giving each a sum of money equal to fourteen installments of its annual grants.

The interest upon that sum at three and one-half per cent is not sufficient for the proper support of so large an institution, but the college has had many generous friends, and with economy has been able not only to maintain itself but to strengthen its position, enlarge its facilities, and give its students better accommodations and greater advantages year by year. The several bishops of Ireland have raised funds to endow many scholarships, so that the expenses incidental to student life have been very much reduced for those who are unable to pay the full fee. Nevertheless, there is great anxiety among the trustees and the professors to extend the buildings, add several chairs to the faculty, and obtain more endowments.

Maynooth is the rendezvous of the Catholic hierarchy of Ireland, being conveniently located and accessible to all the bishops. They meet here frequently to discuss ecclesiastical matters and determine upon church policies. His Eminence Cardinal Logue is president of the board of trustees. His Grace the Most Rev. William J. Walsh, D.D., Archbishop of Dublin, is vice-president. The Archbishop of Cashel, the Archbishop of Tuam, and twelve bishops make up the board. The president of the college is the Right Rev. Mgr. Mannix, D.D.; the vice-president is the Very Rev. Thomas P. Gilmartin, D.D., and the deans of the different schools are the Rev. Thomas T. Gilmartin, D.D., Rev. James Macginley, D.D., and the Rev. Patrick Morrisroe.

Religion is a live thing in Ireland, and the Roman Catholic churches are always filled to overflowing at every service with as many men as women, which is unusual in other countries. In Ireland the situation seems to be different, and the congregations are invariably composed about equally of the two sexes. The Church of Ireland is comparatively weak in numbers, and has more houses of worship than it needs, having inherited many of them from the confiscation edicts of the English kings. Naturally they are not so well filled, but the Roman Catholics are compelled to have three or four services every Sunday in order to accommodate the worshipers, and the priest is invariably the most influential man in the parish. He enters directly into the life of his parishioners, the parish boundaries are sharply divided, and his jurisdiction is so well defined that he knows all the sheep and all the goats that belong to his flock, over whom he exercises a parental as well as a spiritual care. They come to him in all their troubles and in their joys. He advises them about social, political, commercial, domestic, and personal as well as spiritual affairs, and is the court of highest resort in all disputes and family matters. No other authority reaches so far or is rooted so deep in the community, and this peculiar relation grows closer with years.

I formed a high opinion of the Irish priesthood from the examples I was able to meet and to know. They impressed me as an unusually high class of men intellectually as well as spiritually, and every one must admire their devotion, their sincerity, and their self-sacrifice. Some of them naturally become dictatorial, for it is often necessary for them to assume an air of authority to preserve discipline in their parishes, but I think that is more or less the rule in other countries and in all denominations. You cannot talk back to a judge or a school-teacher or a parson. And that is undoubtedly the ground for the charge so frequently made that Ireland is “priest ridden.” But the average of intelligence, culture, and efficiency among the Irish priesthood is probably higher than it is in any other country, and their influence is correspondingly greater. There is a great deal of criticism in certain quarters about the activity of the Irish priests in politics and that I found to be largely a misrepresentation. Many of the priests do take an active part in political affairs, but it is entirely a matter of individual taste and inclination, and the proportion is probably no larger than it is among ministers of all denominations in the United States. Those who are well posted on this subject assured me that about one-third of the total number of Catholic priests habitually interest themselves in political affairs, local as well as national; a still larger number take an active part in educational matters, and about one-half of them let politics entirely alone. This is probably a fair estimate and will apply to the clergy of the Church of Ireland and the nonconformist denominations with equal accuracy, although they are much less numerous than the Roman Catholic clergy.

It is always interesting to attend mass at a Roman Catholic church on Sunday in Ireland, particularly in the smaller towns and country parishes, where everybody except those who are too infirm to come out is present in his best clothes, and, no matter how poor he may be, no one passes the man who stands with a box at the entrance without dropping in something, most of them only a penny or a halfpenny, but none without an offering. The appearance of the people, and particularly the women, is in striking contrast to that on week-days, and I am told that this depends very largely upon the priests, many of whom insist that every man, woman, and child shall have a suit of Sunday clothes and “wash up” before coming to the house of God.

The Christian Brothers Educational Order of the Roman Catholic Church of Ireland was organized in Waterford in 1802 by Edmund Rice, a wealthy merchant who lamented the number of neglected boys he saw in the streets and consulted Bishop Hussey, the first president of Maynooth College, as to what he could do to rescue them. Mr. Rice sold his business and opened a free school in his residence while a large building was being erected for his use. The cornerstone was laid June 1, 1802. It was finished the next year, was called Mount Zion, and is still in operation, although very much enlarged. It has been the father house and headquarters of the Irish Christian Brothers from the beginning. Within a few years similar schools were opened in Dungarvan, Limerick, Cork, Dublin, and later in every city and town in Ireland. In 1820 the order was chartered by the Pope, and it has grown until there are now more than one thousand brothers, all engaged in teaching day schools of various standards, from primary instruction up to colleges. They have technical and trade schools, commercial schools, orphanages, and schools for the deaf and dumb and the blind all over the world, in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, India, Gibraltar, and one house in New York. It is independent of the American order of Christian Brothers, which was founded in France in the seventeenth century by St. John Baptiste de la Salle, a French abbé who was canonized by the Pope about four years ago.

In Ireland the Christian Brothers receive no grant from the government, and all their primary schools are free. Tuition is charged at the secondary and technical schools and the remainder of the support comes from legacies, private and public contributions, collections in churches, and other sources.

Edmund Rice died in 1844 at the age of eighty-two, and is buried in Waterford cemetery, with this simple epitaph:

Founder of Christian Schools
In Ireland and England.

Carton House, the seat of the earls of Kildare, is on the opposite side of Maynooth from the college. It is the present home of Maurice Fitzgerald, Duke of Leinster, a young man who came of age in March, 1908. He carries more rank and titles than any other person in Ireland, and has more money than any Irishman except Dublin’s titled brewer. He spends much of his time at Carton House, which looks like a Florentine palace, but is completely modernized and fitted up with electric light, telephones, and elevators, and stands upon an eminence in the center of a park inclosed within eight miles of stone wall ten feet high. It is a drive of three miles from his front gate to the threshold of his front door, and there are more than thirty miles of macadamized roadway within the demesne. There are hills and dales, twelve lakes, and four waterfalls, one of them thirty-nine feet high. There is a garden of sixty acres laid out in the French style, with fourteen or fifteen fountains and many arbors, kiosks, and pergolas. There are meadows, pastures, vegetable gardens, and fields of oats and other grain, but three-fourths of the park is primeval forest, that has never heard the sound of an axe, and most of the trees are as old as history. I am told that no private park in the world surpasses the grounds of Carton House. Among other curiosities is a cottage built entirely of shells, to commemorate a visit of Queen Victoria, who describes her experiences in “Leaves from Our Life,” and tells of jaunting cars, Irish jigs, and bagpipes. The shell cottage is now used as a museum to contain the family relics.

The young duke has several other residences. One of them is Kilkea Castle, County Kildare, which came into the family in the thirteenth century, with ninety thousand acres of farm land, which has just been sold to his tenants under the Wyndham Land Act for more than $6,000,000. The Duke of Leinster has also disposed of his farming lands in the neighborhood of Maynooth for more than $800,000. The estates commission, which has the responsibility of carrying out the provisions of the land act, has purchased more land from him than from any other landlord, and he has received from them in payment nearly one-fourth of the entire amount of money that has been paid under the act by the government. He has a plain but spacious town house on Dominick Street, Dublin, and Mrs. John W. Mackay now occupies his London residence, 6 Carlton House Terrace, under a long lease. His wealth is estimated at $50,000,000. He is unmarried, and has no attachments so far as known. His accumulation of titles is even greater than his wealth. He is the sixth duke of Leinster, which title dates from 1761, and was bestowed by Queen Anne; he is the twenty-fifth earl of Kildare, which title dates from 1316; and the thirty-first baron of Offlay, a title that has been in the family since 1168. He is the premier duke, the premier marquis, the premier earl, and the premier baron; the head of the Irish nobility. And all this rank and responsibility is borne by a frail boy of twenty-one.

Carton House, Maynooth, County Kildare; the Residence of the Duke of Leinster

He spent the winter of 1907-8 in America, incognito, under the name of Maurice Fitzgerald. He and his tutor visited Quebec, Montreal, and Ottawa, and all the principal cities in the United States. They inspected Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago, and Stanford University, for the young duke has recently taken a degree at Oxford, and was naturally curious to see some American institutions. He spent some time in New York, and was in Washington for a couple of days without disclosing his rank. He enjoyed himself immensely during the entire journey and escaped all the matchmakers, the lion hunters, and the society cormorants. He was not in search of a wife, but was seeking health and completing his education. I am told that he is an exceedingly sensible young fellow, modest, intelligent, thoughtful, and studious. He does not need to marry for wealth nor for position. He can pick his own wife, and has plenty of time to consider the choice.

The duke has been very carefully brought up and educated. His mother died when he was nine years old. She was Lady Hermione Duncombe, daughter of the Earl of Faversham. His father died at the age of forty-two, when he was fourteen. The present duke inherits his delicate, frail constitution, and has symptoms of tuberculosis, which has been the death of many Geraldines. To preserve himself from its dreaded grasp he has lived an outdoor life under the care of a physician, and every preventive that medical science can devise has been used for his protection. Since the death of his mother he has been under the care of three aunts,—Lady Cynthia Graham, Lady Ulrica Duncombe, and Lady Helen Vincent,—his tutor, Rev. the Marquis of Normanby, and his trustee, the Earl of Faversham. He has had governesses and tutors, spent two years at Eton and three years at Oxford, although his studies have been frequently interrupted by sea voyages and camping tours in the mountains for his health. He has a brother, Desmond, two years his junior, and another, Edward, who is fourteen years old.

The Duke of Leinster is prepared to take his proper place in public life, and has recently been appointed master of the horse to the Earl of Aberdeen, lord lieutenant of Ireland. His acceptance of this post indicates that he is a liberal in politics and a home ruler; and, indeed, the tendency of his education has been in that direction. His tutors and trustees are all home rulers and liberals. He is in training for the viceregal throne of Ireland, which so many of his ancestors have occupied, and that is his ambition. If Ireland should be granted autonomy under the plan proposed by Mr. Gladstone twenty-five years ago and demanded as their ultimatum by the Irish national party, the Duke of Leinster will be the most available candidate for lord lieutenant, and for many reasons his selection would be agreeable to those most interested on both sides of St. George’s Channel. His advent in politics is an event of great importance, and therefore will be watched with anxiety.

The mansion at Maynooth is an immense building of more than two hundred rooms, sumptuously furnished. There are fourteen drawing-rooms, and the banqueting hall will seat three hundred people. The library contains one of the largest and most valuable collections of books in Ireland, and the pictures are of great value as well as artistic interest.

The Leinster coat of arms is a monkey stantant with plain collar and chained; motto, “Crom-a-boo” (“To Victory”). This is the only coat of arms, I am told, that has ever borne a monkey in the design, and it was adopted by John Fitzthomas Fitzgerald in 1316 for romantic reasons. While an infant he was in the castle of Woodstock, now owned by the Duke of Marlborough, which caught fire. In the confusion the child was forgotten, and when the family and servants remembered him and started a search they found the nursery in ruins. But on one of the towers was a gigantic ape, a pet of the family, carefully holding the young earl in its arms. The animal, with extraordinary intelligence, had crawled through the smoke, rescued the baby and carried it to the top of the tower. When he grew to manhood the earl discarded the family coat of arms and adopted a monkey for his crest, which has been retained to this day, and wherever you find a tomb of a Fitzgerald you will see the figure of a monkey at the feet of the effigy or under the inscription.

Fitzthomas Fitzgerald, the child thus miraculously saved, was the hero of many romances and adventures, and for his eminent services to the crown King Edward II. created him the first Earl of Kildare, May 14, 1316. He was the ancestor of the famous earls, dukes, and marquesses of Ormonde and the earls, dukes, and marquesses of Desmond, although those branches of the family afterward became the rivals and the foes of the Kildares. The Duke of Leinster, by reason of the marriages of his ancestors and collateral members of the family, is related to almost every noble in the kingdom.

The Fitzgeralds are descended from the Gherardini family of Florence, one of whom passed over into Normandy in the tenth century and thence to England, where he became a favorite of Edward the Confessor, and was appointed castellan of Windsor and warden of the forests of the king. In 1078 he is mentioned in Doomsday Book as the owner of enormous areas of land in England and Wales. In 1168 Maurice Fitzgerald, whose name was anglicized and who was the father of the Irish branch of the family, accompanied Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, better known as Strongbow, in the invasion of Ireland and was granted large estates. He died at Wexford in 1177 and was buried in the Abbey of the Grey Friars outside the walls of that town. One of his sons became Baron of Offlay, another became Baron of Nass, and Thomas, the third, was the ancestor of the earls of Desmond. The next earl was a man of great piety. In 1216 he introduced into Ireland the Order of the Franciscans and built them an abbey at Youghal. In 1229 he induced the Dominicans to send a band of missionaries and built them an abbey at Adair. And his son was equally devoted to the church.

The castle at Maynooth, which for several centuries was one of the largest and strongest in Ireland, was built by Gerald, the fifth earl, in 1427, whose second son was the founder of the house of Ormonde and was created earl of that name.

For sixteen generations the earls of Kildare were the most active men in Ireland, and the history of their adventures would fill a book as big as a dictionary. There was always “something doing” wherever they went; they were on all sides of all questions and were sometimes fighting each other as fiercely as the family foes. They led rebellions against their sovereign, have suffered imprisonment, and have been executed at Tyburn and the Tower. They have been the boldest and most powerful defenders of British authority in Ireland and several times have saved the island to the British throne. More lords lieutenants have come from the Kildares than from any other family, and among the long list of earls have been some splendid characters.

The eighth earl subdued all the native chieftains and made them submit to English authority. An early historian describes him as “A mightie man of stature, full of honoure and courage, who has bin Lord Deputie and Lord Justice of Ireland three and thirtie yeares. He was in government milde, to his enemies stearne, he was open and playne; hardley able to rule himself, but could well rule others; in anger he was sharp and short, being easily displeased and easily appeased.”

Thomas Gerald, the twelfth earl, having incurred the enmity of Cardinal Wolsey, was called to England and committed to the Tower for treason. When he left Ireland he intrusted his official authority and responsibilities to his son and heir, familiarly known as “Silken Thomas,” because of the gorgeous trappings of his retinue. The boy was then but twenty-one, bold, brave, patriotic, and generous, and became the victim of a plot devised by agents of Cardinal Wolsey, who spread a report that his father had been beheaded in the Tower. The impetuous young lord left the Castle of Maynooth, rode into Dublin, and, entering the chamber where the council sat, openly renounced his allegiance to the King of England, gave his reasons and laid mace and sword, the symbols of office, upon the table. Archbishop Cromer, the lord chancellor, besought him to reconsider, explaining that the rumor from London might be false, and the young earl was about to yield when the voice of the family bard, who had followed him to Dublin, was heard through the window singing the death song of the Kildares. “Silken Thomas” seized his sword, summoned the Geraldines, the family clan, which was the mightiest and most numerous in Ireland, assaulted the castle, and soon involved the entire country in a desperate revolution. When the old earl heard the news in his cell in the Tower he sent a message to Henry VIII. asking pardon for the rashness of his son and then died of a broken heart.

All Ireland was in flames; three-fourths of Kildare County and the greater part of Meath was burned; thousands of innocent people died of starvation and thousands in battle before the rebellion was suppressed. Finally Kildare, who was then but twenty-four, surrendered upon a promise that he should receive full pardon when he arrived in London and renewed his allegiance personally to the king. This pledge was shamefully violated. Henry VIII. refused to receive him, and sent him to the Tower, where for eighteen months he lay neglected and in great misery. He wrote an old servant asking money for clothes, saying: “I have gone shirtless and barefoot and bare-legged divers times, and so I should have done still but that poor prisoners of their gentleness hath sometimes given me old hosen and shirts and shoes.”

Five of his uncles, although it was well known that three of them had remained stanch adherents of the crown, were hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn, Feb. 8, 1537, and orders went forth from Henry VIII. that the house of Kildare should be exterminated.

Gerald, the baby heir, the only survivor of his race, was wrapped in warm flannels by Thomas Leverus, afterward Bishop of Kildare, carried across bog and mountain, and committed to the protection of the O’Brians, who by sending the infant from place to place were able to save its life. The O’Brians passed the child over to the MacCarthys, and Lady Eleanor MacCarthy, a widow, disguised as a peasant, conveyed him to St. Mels, France, upon a fishing boat. Even there he was pursued from one place of refuge to another, by detectives and adventurers in hopes of the great reward, until finally he obtained a safe retreat in Rome, where Cardinal Pole, a distant relative, protected and educated him. When he grew to manhood he entered the service of Cosmo de Medicis, the great Duke of Florence, with whom he remained until Henry VIII., the vindictive enemy of his family, was dead. He could then return in safety to his native country, and Queen Mary soon after pardoned him and restored his hereditary titles and estates. Fourteen generations of Kildares have passed across the stage since then, and the present Duke of Leinster represents a family that has had more exciting experiences than any other in the United Kingdom.


One of the loveliest railway or automobile rides in Ireland is from Dublin northward to the ancient town of Drogheda (pronounced Drawdah). The railroad runs parallel with the highway along the shore of St. George’s Channel. Both touch several popular seaside resorts, fishing settlements, and busy manufacturing towns, which alternate with beautiful pastures filled with sleek cattle and unshorn sheep, and here and there ivy-clad towers and little groups of chimney pots rise above the foliage. The pastures and meadows, when we saw them, blazing with yellow buttercups, looked like the Field of the Cloth of Gold. They are divided into small plots by hedges of hawthorn twelve and fifteen feet high, which in the early summer are as white as banks of snow, and so fragrant that the perfume floated into the car windows.

Between the meadows and the pastures along the coast are plots of cultivated ground, gardens of potatoes, cabbages, and other vegetables and glorious groves. It isn’t a bit like the Ireland one expects to see after reading newspaper accounts of the terrible conditions that the politicians complain of. It is not a country of downtrodden peasants and a wretched tenantry crushed under the heels of oppressive landlords. Right is not upon the scaffold in that section of Ireland, nor is wrong upon the throne. On the contrary, every evidence of prosperity and contentment and happiness abounds. The neatly whitewashed, straw-thatched cottages are surrounded with gay gardens filled with old-fashioned flowers, such as you see in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Large stables and storehouses are attached to almost every cottage, which indicates that the farmer has something to put in them. The traveler cannot see the mansions of the rich, because they are hidden in glorious parks and protected by high walls. Occasionally in the distance, however, he can catch glimpses of the towers of ancient castles, each having a romance or a tragedy, and sometimes several of both, contained in their history.

At Malehide forty or fifty golf players alighted from the train, with kits of clubs over their shoulders, for there are two links near that village—one for an exclusive club of rich Dubliners, and the other for any one who is able to pay half a crown for the privilege of chasing a little gutta-percha ball over the grass. Malehide is a lovely place, situated on the seashore at the mouth of a little stream called Meadow Water, with hotels of all grades and prices, fashionable and unfashionable, and some of them are open for health seekers the year around.

The chief attraction to tourists is the ancient castle of the Talbot family, who have owned and occupied it continuously for seven hundred years, an unusual record for Ireland or for anywhere else. The original castle, built about 1180, in the reign of Henry II., is still standing, although modern restorations and additions have changed it much. The exterior has suffered more than the interior. The dining-hall, a very large apartment, is considered one of the finest rooms in Ireland. The wainscoting and the ceiling are of oak, richly carved, and mellowed by exposure for more than six centuries. The chimney-piece, an exquisite example of fourteenth century carving, represents the Conception. From 1653 to 1660 the castle was inhabited by Miles Corbet, the regicide, and the very day he took possession of the place, according to tradition, the figure of the Blessed Virgin was mysteriously detached from the rest of the carving and disappeared until the night after the unholy tenant fled from the place, when it was miraculously restored.

There is a fine collection of paintings in the castle, including portraits by Van Dyck and other famous artists, three panels of scripture subjects by Albert Dürer, which formerly belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots, and were purchased by Charles II. for $2,000. The library is a treasure-house of old tomes and manuscripts, and upon the wall, in a heavy oaken frame, hangs the original patent by which the estate was granted to the Talbot family by King Edward IV.

Within the roofless walls of an ancient abbey near by is the altar-tomb of Maud Plunkett, whose husband, Sir Richard Talbot, according to the epitaph, “fell in a fray immediately after the wedding breakfast, thus making her maid, wife, and widow in a single day.”

The village of Swords, three miles distant, has another ancient castle, where the bodies of Brian Boru and his son Morrough rested the first night after the battle of Clontarf while they were being carried to their final tomb at Armagh.

All the little towns along the coast of the Irish Channel are associated with St. Patrick and St. Columba, who spent more or less time there, founding monasteries and building churches. One of the monasteries, called “the Golden Prebend” because it was so rich, was held by William of Wykeham in 1366 and was the seat of a cardinal for a century or two.

A mile and a half from the main line, beyond Swords, is the village of Portraine, where Dean Swift’s “Stella” lived for several years, and where a branch of the insane asylum he founded in Dublin has since been erected. It stands upon lands given by Sigtryg of the Silken Beard, the Danish king of Dublin, for the endowment of a Christian church. The house was occupied for many years by the nuns of St. Augustine, where “the womankind of the most part of the whole Englisher of this land are brought up in virtue, learning and in the English tongue and behaviour.”

The little town of Rush, famous for its early potatoes and its tulip bulbs, is called “Holland in Ireland.” It has an old church, with beautiful pointed arches, which dates back to the sixteenth century, and contains a richly decorated monument to Sir Christopher Barnwell and his beloved wife, who died in 1607.

Skerries is a fishing-town, where St. Patrick lived for several years, and a quaint little chapel, like many others in Ireland, is attributed to him, although it could not possibly have been built for several centuries after his time. But in the history of these ancient sanctuaries a few hundred years do not count.

While ruins are picturesque and ivy-clad castles that date back beyond the Middle Ages have a fascination for tourists from a new world like ours, it was a relief when the chauffeur brought us up to the entrance of an old-fashioned factory in the compact little town of Balbriggan, which has given its name to a certain kind of knitted goods that are worn the world over. It is a quaint mass of high houses, built of stone and brick on both sides of narrow but neatly kept streets, which seems unnecessary when miles of green fields and glowing gardens encircle them and give them every chance to spread out. But you will find the same tendency to snuggle up as closely as possible in all the manufacturing communities of Europe.

The men folks at Balbriggan fish and farm the soil, and the women work in the mills, but the law, which is strictly enforced there, prohibits child labor and compels the children to attend school for at least one hundred and twenty-eight days in the year until they pass their fourteenth birthday. The superintendents of the mills tell the same story that I heard in the cotton factories of South Carolina and Georgia, that they prefer adult operatives; that the children are careless and inefficient and seldom earn their wages, but they are compelled to employ them or lose the services of the parents. There are two factories in Balbriggan for the manufacture of knitted hosiery and underclothing by machinery invented here more than one hundred and fifty years ago and since imitated everywhere. Both factories still remain under the control of the families which founded them, but the shares are distributed among a larger number of people by inheritance from generation to generation.

Scattered along the coast at intervals of two or three miles, and generally at the summits of hills overlooking the sea, are “martello towers,” fifty, sixty, and sometimes ninety feet high, and from forty to a hundred feet in diameter. They were erected early in the nineteenth century as defensive watch-towers, when the country was in dread of an invasion by Napoleon. The name was taken from similar towers in Corsica and Sardinia, where they were erected for protection against pirates in the time of Charles V. These towers are said to have originally had bells which were struck by hammers to alarm the people in case of danger; hence they were called “martello” towers, that being the Italian word for “hammer.”

It makes a Protestant ashamed when he reads the history of Drogheda and sees the ruins that Cromwell left there. Thousands of men and women and children were butchered in the name of the Lord by Cromwell’s soldiers when he took that quaint old town by storm in September, 1649. It was a ferocious massacre, and Cromwell admitted the facts while proclaiming himself the agent of the Almighty to punish a rebellious people. This is what he wrote with his own hand:

“The governor, Sir Arthur Aston, and divers considerable officers being there, our men, getting up to them, were ordered by me to put them all to the sword, and, indeed, being in the heat of action, I forbade them to spare any that were in arms in the town; and I think that night they put to death about two thousand persons. Divers officers and soldiers being fled over the bridge into the other part of the town, where about a hundred of them possessed St. Peter’s Church steeple, some the West Gate, and others a strong round tower next to the gate called St. Sundays. These being summoned to yield for mercy refused. Whereupon I ordered the steeple of St. Peter’s Church to be fired. The next day the other two towers were summoned. When they submitted their officers were knocked on the head and every tenth man of the soldiers was killed. The rest shipped for the Barbadoes. The soldiers in the other tower were all spared as to their lives only and shipped likewise for the Barbadoes.

“I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches who have imbued their hands in so much innocent blood; and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future.”

Two of the towers have remained these two hundred and fifty years just as grim old Oliver left them, and there is much else of interest to the antiquarian in the town, although today it is given up to linen factories, flour mills, tanneries, and soap works, and has a large provision trade with England. It is the center of a prosperous agricultural community, and everybody seems to be doing well.

The greatest attraction is the ruins of Monasterboice, an extensive monastery, founded by St. Patrick, like every other ecclesiastical institution in this country, and three magnificent crosses which arise among them, about six miles from town. We tried to get a carriage instead of a jaunting car for the drive, because the latter allows you to see only one side of the roadway, but Mrs. Murphy, who has a livery stable and a tongue that is hung in the middle, could furnish us nothing else. It is a delightful drive. On the outward journey we saw what there is to see on one hand, and coming back we saw everything on the other.

The ruins of Monasterboice cover a large area, for five hundred monks and several thousand students were there eight or nine hundred years ago. It was one of the largest educational institutions in the world, as well as a religious retreat. It dates back to the fifth century, and was probably founded by St. Patrick,—certainly by one of his disciples,—although there is no tangible evidence to prove that fact. A “round tower” still in good condition, dates from the ninth century. It is one hundred and ten feet high and fifty-one feet in diameter at the base. It was intended for observation, for signaling to the country around, for the storage of valuables and military supplies, and for defensive purposes. Strangely enough, it sits in a hollow, in the lowest part of an amphitheater, surrounded by hills, but the Irish monks as well as the Irish warriors of ancient times always built beside streams of running water and not upon the heights, like the Goths, the Huns, the Teutons, and the Romans.

There are similar “round towers” at Cashel, Glendalough, Kildare, Antrim, and other places in the interior of Ireland which have long been subject of an irreconcilable dispute among archæologists. While no one knows definitely who built them, or what they were for, the most credited theory is that I have given above.

Dr. Petrie, who is a high authority, believes that they were built between the years 890 and 1238, when the Danes were in the habit of invading Ireland and plundering the ecclesiastical establishments. One of the most perfect of these towers, at Antrim, is ninety-two feet in height and forty-nine feet in circumference at the bottom; the summit terminates in a cone twelve feet high, which, with the tower itself, is of undressed stone, the walls being two feet nine inches in thickness. The door is on the north side at a height of seven feet nine inches from the ground. The tower was apparently divided into four stories by timber floors, which, of course, vanished long ago. Each of the three lower stories is lighted by a square window, and the upper story by four square perforations opening to the cardinal points. It stands in the grounds of a mansion. The turf between the two shows the dim outline of buildings, supposed to be those of a monastery founded by Aodh, a disciple of St. Patrick, the earliest notice of which occurs in the year 495. It was destroyed during the Danish incursions.

The walls of the chapel at Monasterboice are standing firm and strong, but without a roof, and the grounds surrounding them and the ruins of the monastery are still used for the burial of the families of the parish. It is a free cemetery and belongs to the government and not to the Catholic Church. Anybody—Protestant, Quaker, or Jew—can lay his tired bones down under the hospitable trees by application to the secretary of the board of public works. The oldest grave is that of Bishop O’Rourke, who was buried there in 982; the latest, marked by a clumsy wooden cross, was made in 1907.

What people go there to see are three splendid Celtic crosses, the finest specimens of the kind in Ireland, and that means the universe. They are believed to have been erected in the fifth century in honor of St. Patrick, St. Columba, and St. Bridget. This, however, is questionable. One of them bears the inscription, “A prayer for Murriduch, by whom was made this cross.” From the Irish Annals it may be learned that two men of that name have lived in this neighborhood, both of wealth and distinction, and they died, one in the year 844 and the other in 924. It is entirely probable that either of them may have erected the splendid monoliths. The largest is twenty-seven feet high, and all of them are covered with carvings of religious subjects. The crosses of Monasterboice have been photographed and reproduced many times, and models have been shipped to all parts of the world. Perfect replicas may be found in the museum at Dublin.

Four miles further on are the ruins of Mellifont Abbey, which was founded in the twelfth century, and has had an important part in the political as well as the ecclesiastical history of Ireland.

There are several drawbacks to motoring in Ireland, the chief of which is that the country is so short on good hotels and so long on showers. The next is the inability to see through or over walls of stone and hedges that rise twice as high as one’s head. Nevertheless, wherever there is much to see and little time to see it in, one has to put up with some annoyances, and an automobile is no longer a luxury or a mere convenience, but an actual necessity.

The Irish climate is like the Irish character. A witty native once said of his fellow countrymen, “They smile aisy and they cry aisy,” and that describes the habits of the heavens also. Clouds assemble and do business in quicker time than in any other place I have ever been, but, although it will “rain cats and dogs” for fifteen or twenty minutes, the sun will be shining almost instantly afterward, as if nothing had happened.

A Celtic Cross at Monasterboice, County Louth

Unfortunately the hotel proposition is not so easily disposed of. Most of the inns of the country districts and in the small cities are absolutely intolerable. It isn’t so much because of a lack of luxuries and modern conveniences that the traveler finds in England, Scotland, and on the Continent at similar places, as it is the excess of dirt and bad smells. In the average country hotel in Ireland everything is in disorder and out of repair. The bells don’t work; the furniture is crippled and decrepit; the mattresses are lumpy and half the springs are broken or out of joint; the bedrooms are seldom swept, the table cloths are seldom washed; sheets and pillow-cases, are seldom changed, and if a guest should call for a clean towel the landlord would be likely to ask what is the matter with the one he gave him a few days ago. The only alternative to stopping at a dirty hotel is to ride on until you come to a clean one, and that may be as far as the ends of the earth. The more practical, and indeed the only, way is to accept the situation good naturedly and get the best you can out of it. Any person who takes an interest in this subject can find further and accurate information in that charming book, “Penelope’s Irish Experiences,” by Kate Douglas Wiggin. It is asserted by those who know that there are only five good hotels in Ireland. We found nine, but did not keep count of the other kind. They are too numerous to mention.

The road from Drogheda to Tara, the ancient capital of Ireland, follows the valley of the famous Boyne River, and passes through the famous battlefield where William of Orange, with thirty thousand men, in 1690, overcame James II. with twenty-three thousand, and deprived the latter of his dominion and his crown and gave the Protestants control of Ireland for the next two hundred and fifty years. A stately monument has been erected upon the field, and various small markers have been placed about to show where important incidents took place.

The Valley of the Boyne is extremely beautiful. The banks are densely wooded for miles, and the river flows through many fine estates owned and occupied by rich people from London, Dublin, and other cities. The climate is agreeable and healthful for nine or ten months in the year. Only February, March, and April are unpleasant, because of the winds. The scenery is peaceful and attractive, the foliage of the groves and forests is rich beyond comparison, and it is difficult to conceive of more desirable surroundings for a summer home for men of wealth and leisure. To the antiquarian and the archæologist there is an unlimited field for exploration that has only been touched thus far.

Only a few miles from Drogheda, and on the direct road to Tara, is a collection of tumuli which are unsurpassed in Europe or any other part of the world. They mark the location of Brugh-Na-Boinne, the royal cemetery of ancient Ireland, the burying-ground of the kings of Tara for centuries before the history of the country began. Although they do not show the same architectural skill or artistic taste or mechanical mysteries, and do not compare in magnitude with the pyramids and other tombs of the kings of Egypt, they nevertheless have an entrancing interest to those who love archæology and prehistoric lore. The tumuli are scattered over a large area, and, according to the theories of scientists who have explored them, contained the bodies of successive royal families of Ireland until the invasion of the Danes, when they were desecrated, looted, and nearly destroyed, just as the tombs of the kings of Egypt were stripped of their treasures by the Assyrians and other invaders.

Ruins of Mellifont Abbey, near Drogheda, County Louth

The most remarkable tumulus, at New Grange, has been described at length by several eminent antiquarians. It stands on elevated ground, and covers about three acres, the main part being two hundred and eighty feet in diameter and about one hundred and twenty feet high. It is now covered with dense vegetation. It is a vast cairn of loose stones, estimated at one hundred thousand tons, those at the base being very large—from six to eight feet long and four or five feet thick. They are arranged in a circle without masonry; simply laid in order and smaller stones placed inside and on top of them until an artificial cavern was created, which was reached by a passage sixty-two feet long, formed of enormous upright stones from five to eight feet high and roofed with flagstones of great size. This passage leads to a low dome-roofed chamber, nearly circular, whose ceiling is supported by eleven upright pillars. The ceiling is nineteen and a half feet from the ground. There are three other chambers, measuring eighteen by twenty-one feet in size, which at one time were doubtless filled with the bodies of the royal families. The archæologists compare them to the beehive tombs of Mycenæ, known as “The Treasury of Atreus,” and find many resemblances. The surfaces of some of the stones are rudely carved with cryptographs and ornamental designs.

There are several other tumuli in the neighborhood of different dates and dimensions and of absorbing interest to science; and all of them we know, from that accurate and comprehensive chronicle, “The Annals of the Four Masters,” were plundered by the Danes in the year 801. Those vandals left nothing but bones and cinerary urns; they took away or destroyed everything else. The tumuli are now in the custody of the board of works, which is taking care of them, and is having careful scientific excavations and other examinations made by competent authorities.

There are several other cemeteries in the neighborhood that are not so old, and they also are supposed to contain the dust of kings; but few of the graves have been identified. One of them, marked with two tombstones set with their tops together like the gable of a house, has been declared to be of greater antiquity than any other Christian tomb in Ireland, and is supposed to contain the remains of St. Eric, the first bishop consecrated by St. Patrick. He died toward the end of the fifth century. It is said that his custom was to stand immersed in the Boyne River up to his two armpits from morn till evening, having his psalter lying before him on the strand where he could read its pages, and continually engaging in prayer.

In another grave lie the bones of Cormac, the greatest of the kings of Tara, who was a Christian, having been converted by St. Patrick. His death was brought about by the Druid priests, who cast a spell over him and caused a bone of salmon to stick in his throat. He commanded his people not to bury him at Brugh-Na-Boinne among his royal ancestors, because it was a cemetery of idolators, but to place his body humbly in consecrated ground, with his face to the east. These injunctions were clear and positive, but the king’s servants required a miracle to induce them to obey. Three separate times they started from the palace at Tara for the royal burying-ground at Brugh-Na-Boinne, when the river miraculously rose to such a height that they could not cross. After so many warnings their stupid brains finally saw the light and they laid his majesty’s ashes in consecrated ground, as he had commanded.

The little antiquated village of Kells, with pleasant surroundings and glorious foliage, sleeps unconscious of its fame. It is of the greatest interest to Christian archæologists, because it was the home of St. Columba (or Columbkill), second only to St. Patrick in influence and in the work of evangelizing Ireland. He was born in Donegal in 521, of royal blood, being the great-great-grandson of King Niall of the Nine Hostages, founder of the O’Neill family. Having heard the truth of the gospel, he gave up his princely heritage for the service of his Master and became a monk. He traveled for sixteen years, preaching from place to place, founding churches and monasteries all over the country, which are still venerated by the people, and are among the most interesting ruins in Ireland. At Kells he built a famous monastery in the year 550, and the cost was paid by Dermot, son of Fearghus, king of Tara, at that time.

St. Columba made his headquarters there for many years and then crossed the channel to the little Island of Iona, on the west coast of Scotland, which had been granted him by his relative, the king of that country. He founded a monastery there, from which he and his disciples traversed all Scotland and the Hebrides, preaching the gospel, baptizing the people, building churches and monasteries, until half the Scotch were converted to Christianity. The rest of Great Britain was converted from paganism by the missionaries he educated and sent out. After a life of extraordinary activity and usefulness he died at Iona in the year 597 at the age of seventy-six years and was mourned by every one on the shores of the four seas. His funeral lasted three days and three nights, and he was buried within the walls of the monastery of Iona, whence his remains were afterward removed to Downpatrick and buried in the same grave as those of St. Patrick and St. Bridget.

A portion of the house of St. Columba still remains at Kells, half concealed by a cloak of wonderful ivy. There is a tower one hundred feet tall, and in the neighboring churchyard are several crosses of the Celtic fashion, similar to, but not so large or so fine as those at Monasterboice. They are, however, sacred in the eyes of all Irishmen and date back to the tenth century.

The “Annals of the Four Masters” record many exciting incidents and important events that have occurred in the history of the town of Kells. It has been invaded and looted by Irish clansmen, Norwegian hordes, and Danish Vikings. It has been devastated many times by fire, sword, and pestilence. Sigtryg of the Silken Beard burned it to the ground in 1019, and Edward Bruce in 1315, but it has arisen serene and smiling as often as it has been destroyed, and prosperity has been restored again. It was in the great monastery founded by St. Columba that the famous illuminated “Book of the Gospels,” preserved in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, was made by the monks in the eighth century. Mr. Westwood, a very high authority, pronounces it “the most elaborately executed monument of early Christian art in existence.” Kells was also noted for its metal work in the Middle Ages. At present it is merely an agricultural market and the seat of the Marquess of Headfort, who has a large estate and a beautiful chateau surrounded by a wooded demesne and a hunting preserve. There are several other delightful residences in the neighborhood, and if there were a decent hotel within walking or driving distance, Kells might have many visitors, but those who go there are compelled to hurry away to find some place to stay overnight.

Navan, a neat little manufacturing town with a woolen mill and other industries, has a reasonably good hotel, but you have to come back about ten miles from Kells. There is another neat little town called Trim, where it is possible to stay overnight and even to pass a day or two. The country around Trim is lovely. The landscapes in every direction would fascinate an artist, and the ruins of “King John’s Castle,” built on the banks of the Boyne by Hugh de Lacy, are among the most extensive and beautiful in the world. The walls, four hundred and eighty-six yards long, with ten circular towers at nearly equal distances, are still well preserved and there is a lofty keep, seventy feet high, with beautiful turrets and flanked on either side with rectangular towers. There is nothing to surpass it in Ireland for picturesqueness, and its associations give it additional interest, for King John, Edward II., Richard, Earl of Ulster, and Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and other famous characters, have lived there. Henry of Lancaster, afterward Henry IV. of England, was imprisoned there; the parliament of Ireland met within its walls, year after year, and it was once the mint of the kingdom. In later days it was occupied by the Duke of Wellington, who received his early education in the diocesan school within the grounds.

His name, you know, was Arthur Wellesley. He was a son of Lord Mornington, of an old Irish family. His mother was a daughter of the Earl of Dungannon of Tyrone, and she lived to see four of her sons elevated to the peerage of Great Britain, not because of wealth or political influence, but because of their ability and usefulness. Richard, the eldest, was that celebrated statesman, the Marquis of Wellesley; the second, William, was also eminent in politics and civil affairs as Lord Mayborough; the third, Henry, Lord Crowley, spent his life in the diplomatic service and made an enviable name, while Arthur, hero of Waterloo and of the Spanish campaign, the man who broke the back of Napoleon the Great, was the fourth and most famous of them all.

Arthur Wellesley was born May 1, 1769, in Merrion Street, Dublin, in a house now occupied by the commissioners that are carrying out the land act, and he died Sept. 18, 1852. It may be said that no other Irish subject of a British king ever received greater honors or better deserved them.

Dungan Castle, the home of the Wellesleys, is near Trim, about twenty miles from Dublin, and the nearest railway station is Summer Hill. Laracor, a secluded little village where Dean Swift was once curate and where Stella lived with Mrs. Dingley, is only a mile or two distant.


In prehistoric times, before the conversion of Ireland to Christianity by St. Patrick, the clan system prevailed there, as it did in other countries of Europe. A “clan,” or “sept,” consisted of a number of families and was ruled by a patriarch, the greatest warrior, or the oldest man. A “tribe” was a larger group, consisting of several clans or septs more or less related to each other and occupying a distinct and separate territory under the command of a chieftain. Several tribes composed a nation, as the word is used among the North American Indians, ruled by a “ri,” or king, while the “ard-ri,” or over-king, a supreme monarch with jurisdiction extending to the remotest shores of Ireland, reigned and resided at Tara until the sixth century, with the province of Meath as his own exclusive demesne for the use and support of his family and his court. He received tribute from the local kings or “ri” and was elected by their votes. Occasionally at his call, or at stated intervals, the kings and chiefs would assemble at Tara to consider matters of importance to all, to adopt laws and regulations for preserving peace and promoting the welfare of their subjects and protecting their common interests. Several feasts, held there annually, were attended by the minor kings, chieftains, and nobles who were followed by large retinues. Their warriors engaged in games, sports, and tournaments to encourage the physical development of the race and teach the arts of war. From the throne of the ard-ri decrees were announced, laws proclaimed, justice dispensed, and prizes awarded. According to the annals of those early days, one hundred and forty-two kings reigned at Tara during a period of two thousand five hundred and thirty years, when the place was abandoned in consequence of a curse pronounced by St. Ruadhan of Lorrha for the failure to punish Hugh Garry for the murder of a monk. Until the time of Cormac Mac Art, greatest and most luxurious of all the ancient kings of Ireland, the rulers who sat at Tara were pagans, but he was converted to Christianity, and the annalists in glowing lines describe his piety and his devotions.

According to the ancient laws, the king of Ireland could not have a blemish upon his person, and Cormac was obliged to abdicate power and authority and retire to the top of the Hill of Skreen, across the valley from the Hill of Tara, because his left eye was put out by an arrow shot by Ængus, a rebellious chieftain, who is believed to have been under the influence of Druid priests, to punish Cormac for accepting Christianity.

Cormac’s administration was the golden age at Tara, and although there was no pretense of architectural display in the wicker palaces that were thatched with straw, nevertheless he and other kings of that period possessed great wealth and made gorgeous displays at the ceremonies of their courts. An early writer describes a banquet given by Cormac Mac Art to one hundred kings, chieftains, astrologers, bards, and other distinguished men, who were seated at twelve tables, sixteen attendants at each table, and two oxen, two sheep, and two hogs were consumed, besides other and many varieties of food.

“Beautiful was the appearance of Cormac,” says the ancient manuscript, “flowing slightly, curling golden hair upon him;

“A red buckler with stars and animals of gold and fastenings of silver upon him;

“A crimson cloak in wide descending folds upon him;

“Fastened at his breast by a golden brooch set with precious stones;

“A torque of gold of curious design and richly graven around his neck;

“A white shirt with a full collar intertwined with red gold thread upon him;

“A girdle of gold inlaid with precious stones around him;

“Two wonderful shoes of gold with runnings of gold upon him;

“Two spears with golden sockets in his hand.”

In such attire did the king appear at the banquet given in honor of his chieftains:

“The feis of Temur each third year,
To preserve the laws and rules
Was then convened firmly
By the illustrious King of Erin.”

The last ard-ri, or king of all Ireland, was Roderick O’Conor, who died in 1198.

The archæologists, judging by the ruins and the traces of the walls, find that the great banqueting hall was 759 feet long by 90 feet wide; the other buildings were circular or oval; and it is apparent that they were surrounded by walls of stone intended both for privacy and protection.

No doubt the royal residences and other buildings at Tara were of wicker construction. Furthest to the south, on the ridge or hill of Tara, is the Rath Laoghaire (Leary), built by an old king whom St. Patrick tried to convert, but without success; and somewhere in the rampart on the southern side of this are the bones of Laoghaire. He was buried as he ordered—in the bank of his rath, standing erect, with his shield and weapons, with his face turned southward toward his foes, the Lagenians (Leinstermen). Next northward is Rath na Riogh (Rath of the Kings), probably the oldest structure at Tara, and the royal residence. It is oval, and 853 feet long from north to south. Within its inclosure are: Teach Cormaic (Cormac’s House), a rath with an outer ring, probably built by Cormac Mac Art. Its diameter is about one hundred and forty feet. Next to the northwest, and joined to Teach Cormaic by a common parapet, is the Forradh (“place of meeting”). Its greatest diameter being 296 feet and the diameter of the inner circle 88 feet. To the north of these, but still within the Rath na Riogh, is a mound called Dumha na n-Giall (Mound of the Hostages), on the flat summit of which was probably a house wherein dwelt the hostages often required by the ard-ri of minor kings, of whose fealty he might have doubts. No doubt the hostages of Niall of the Nine Hostages were kept here. To the west of this mound are the remains of another, the Dumha na Bo, or Mound of the Cow. Outside the inclosure of the Rath na Riogh, on the north, is Rath na Seanaidh, or Rath of the Synods, so called because of the synods held there by St. Patrick and his successors, though it is of much older date.

Upon the summit of the hill is a rude statue of St. Patrick carved in granite by Mr. Curry, a stone cutter in one of the neighboring towns, and erected at the expense of local contributors many years ago. It bears no likeness to any human being, but the motive which erected it was pure and patriotic, and in a measure it is appropriate because on Easter morning in the year 433 St. Patrick proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ to the pagan priests and the King of Tara and his court, standing upon the very spot now occupied by his statue. Father Mathew once delivered a temperance speech from that holy spot, and in 1843 Daniel O’Connell addressed a monster meeting, attended by a quarter of a million people, many of whom came fifty miles or more to hear him advocate the political emancipation of the Roman Catholic population of Ireland. The meeting lasted two days and O’Connell spoke twice. It was one of his last meetings before his arrest and imprisonment at Dublin. On or near the Mound of the Hostages, according to the best authorities, stood the “Lia Fail,” or “Stone of Destiny,” upon which for ages the monarchs of Ireland were crowned. This stone, according to tradition, was the pillow of Jacob when he dreamed his dream and when the angels descended and ascended a golden ladder at his head. It was preserved by fugitive Israelites at the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the tribes, was brought to Ireland with the Ark of the Covenant, and passed into the possession of the early kings. This stone was carried to Scotland and preserved at Scone until Edward I. took it to London for his coronation, and ever since his day it has been the seat of the coronation chair. All of the kings of England have sat upon it while the crown of sovereignty was placed upon their heads, from Edward I. to Edward VII., and any one may see it in the coronation chair at Westminster Abbey.

Petrie, one of the highest authorities on Irish history, denies that the coronation stone of Scone, now in the coronation chair at Westminster Abbey, is the Lia Fail. He asserts that it never left Tara. And he believes it is now there—a stone pillar, standing erect on the Forradh, marking the place of the interment of a number of Irish who were killed in the rebellion of 1798. It is about eleven feet long, and about half of its length is in the ground, so that it appears but a rough, unhewn pillar, five feet three inches high.

A similar stone was used by the Ulstermen to inaugurate The O’Neill. It was in a rath at Tullyhogue, near Cookstown, County Tyrone, and was broken up by an English expedition in the time of Queen Elizabeth. The Clannaboy O’Neills used an inauguration chair, a fragment of gray sandstone in the shape of a chair with a high back, without the mark of chisel upon it—evidently found somewhere just as it was. It was kept at Castlereagh, on the hills overlooking Belfast on the southeast. It was found among the ruins of the castle about seventy-five years ago, and is now in the Museum at Belfast.

Joyce’s “History of Ireland” gives an interesting story of the taking of the Lia Fail to Scotland: The Irish, or Gaels, or Scots, of Ulster, from the earliest ages were in the habit of crossing over in their currachs to the coast of Alban, as Scotland was then called; and some carried on a regular trade therewith, and many settled there and made it their home. The Picts often attempted to expel the intruders, but the latter held their ground, and as time went on occupied more and more of the western coast and islands. About A.D. 200, a leader named Riada (meaning the long armed), a grandson of Conn of the Hundred Battles, and first cousin of Cormac Mac Art, settled among the Picts of Alban with a large following of Munster fighting men and their families. From him all this western portion of Scotland was called Dalriada (Riada’s portion). There was also an Irish Dalriada named for him, comprising what is now the northern portion of County Antrim. The Venerable Bede, in his “Ecclesiastical History,” also gives an account of Riada and his colony.

About A.D. 503, three brothers, Fergus, Angus, and Loarn, sons of a chief named Erc, and all Christians (Erc was a direct descendant of Riada), led a large body of colonists over to Alban. They united with the previous settlers from Ireland, and took possession of a large territory, which they formed into a kingdom, of which Fergus, the son of Erc (hence called Fergus Mac Erc), was made the first king. The Lia Fail was taken over from Tara in order that Fergus might be inaugurated king upon it, and was never brought back. So, if this is true, the Stone of Destiny had been taken from Tara a generation before the curse of St. Ruadhan caused Tara to be abandoned as a royal residence.

This Fergus is the reputed ancestor of the Scottish royal family, and from him, through the Stuarts, descended, in one of his lines of pedigree, King Edward VII. of England. Gradually the name of Scots, which was originally that of the people of Ireland, was transferred to the people of Alban, and the country of the latter finally assumed the name of Scotland.

Carrickfergus (the Rock of Fergus) takes its name from this Fergus, the first Scottish king. He was troubled with some ailment, and went over to Ireland to use the waters of a well (presumably considered holy). He was wrecked off the coast, and his body drifted ashore on the strand by the rock on which the castle is now built; so the rock was named for him.

Across the valley on the Hill of Skreen, where Cormac took refuge after his abdication, Father Mathew lived for several years, and the ruins of an abbey may be found there still.

So firmly convinced were some antiquarians who have investigated this place of the truth of the traditions of the coronation stone that they have dug up the ground in various places and searched for the Jewish Ark of the Covenant, which they believe was buried here by the Irish priests to escape capture at the time the palaces of Tara were looted and destroyed. But they have never been able to find any traces of it.

In 1798, during the rebellion, a battle was fought on Tara Hill between a body of about four thousand insurgents, composed chiefly of young farmers and peasant lads from the neighborhood, against nearly three thousand well-armed troops, who easily overcame them and put them to flight.

The Tara of to-day is a cluster of cottages, a post office, a police station, a blacksmith shop, a general store, and the inevitable “public house”—the curse of Ireland. The usual group of loafers were sitting inside chatting with a slattern behind the bar. It was a filthy place, and smelled of spilt liquor and bad tobacco, but, as usual, everybody was very polite to us, and, when we climbed out of the automobile a lame, round-shouldered, toothless old man came hobbling up to us crying in a wheezy voice:

“I’m the guide! I’m the guide! I’m the lawful guide, yer honors, and I’ll show yez around.”

Carrickfergus Castle

He was so deaf that he couldn’t understand us, and he mumbled his words so that we couldn’t understand him, except now and then a word, but he was so anxious to be of service, so eager to earn a tip, that he would repeat everything he said again and again, until we were able to comprehend it. With his crooked stick he pointed the way across the fields and we followed him. We wouldn’t have got much information, however, had not Mr. Wilkinson, the first citizen of Tara, come to our rescue. He saw us as we passed his house, which stands a little way down the road, and, as he explained, “Having nothing better to do, and always enjoying an opportunity to meet Americans,” he fortunately came over and joined our party and gave us intelligent and interesting explanations. He is a rugged old gentleman, is Mr. Wilkinson. Although more than eighty years of age, he “can do as big a day’s work, six days in the week, and enjoy the Lord’s day for rest as much as he did when he was only forty.” His great-grandfathers as far back as he knows, like himself, were born in the cottage in which he lives, and “I’ve seen things come and go for many a day,” he said. When Mr. Wilkinson had passed beyond hearing with the ladies, the old guide seized me by the arm, drew me anxiously to shelter and then in a whisper repeated several times until I was able to comprehend:

“’E’s the richest man in Tara and in all the country round about. ’E’s worth three thousand pun if he’s worth a penny, and he got it from his father before him. He’s a good man, too, and I dunno what we’d do here without Mr. Wilkinson.”

They led us to the top of the hill, where we could stand beside the spot once occupied by the coronation stone and admire all Ireland, spread out like a cyclorama around us. It is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the universe. There are no mountains, except in the far distance; there are no rocks or other ungainly objects in view, but as serene and peaceful and fertile a tract of territory as can be found upon God’s footstool. Ireland is the greenest country that ever was. The turf and the foliage have a brighter color and a richer luster than those of any other country. That, however, is not news. The fact was discovered centuries ago and has been disclosed by every son of old Erin who ever wrote poetry or prose. But nowhere is there such convincing proof that the Emerald Isle was appropriately named as is offered from the top of the Hill of Tara. You cannot transfer the testimony of the fields and the forests to paper, either with a pen or a brush, and certainly not with a typewriter. There are no words in the English language sufficient to convey to another mind what the eyes can see of this glorious landscape, and it is useless to multiply adjectives.

“Some sez it’s the place of the coronation chair,” mumbled the guide, as we stood on the crest of the hill. “Some sez it’s the king’s chair; but I calls it a very commandin’ spot. Two years ago,” he continued, “some friends of Lord Dunsany came here. May be they have a son married to his daughter, I dunno, but she was a very dacent lady. She wouldn’t walk any further than the hall, and she sez, sez she, ‘Me man, bide here with me,’ and I sez, sez I, ‘Have no fear, me lady, sit here on the soft sod and I’ll go with his lordship, for people are always comin’ from Scotland and Ameriky, and I always shows them about.’ There’s none else that can do it so well as meself, and when they came back his lordship gave me two shillin’, and he’s a vera dacent man.”

Mr. Wilkinson gave us some interesting history, and repeated many traditions and legends of the place. He told us how many parties of archæologists had been here digging for the Ark of the Covenant and had found nothing but dirt and stone. He took us through the modern churchyard and opened to us the little sanctuary where Rev. Mr. Handy preaches every Sunday morning and baptizes into the Church of Ireland the babies of Tara, that are very numerous in the short, narrow street. He told us that Mr. Briscoe was the largest landowner in the neighborhood, and had inherited from several generations the sacred hill upon which we stood. He had fenced in the remains to keep the cattle out and kept down the grass so that the outlines of the ruins could be followed. Mr. Briscoe has recently disposed of nearly all his holdings, under the new land act, to his tenants, who occupy them, and now nearly every acre within the range of human vision from the Hill of Tara belongs to the man who tills it.

After we had thanked Mr. Wilkinson for his attentions and parted with him on the roadside, a woman put her head out of one of the cottage windows and in a stage whisper said:

“He’s the best and richest man in Tara. He’s worth every penny of ten thousand pounds.”

Cambrensis, one of the oldest and earliest writers of Ireland, says: “There is in Mieth a hill called the Hill of Taragh, whereon is a plaine twelve score long which was named the King his hall; where the countrie had their meetings and folkmotes, as a place that was accounted the high place of the monarch. The historians hammer manie fables in this forge of Fin Mac Coile and his champions.”

While Tara was the seat of authority for all Ireland, and the center of military education and display, it was also the place where the bards used to assemble in early times for competitions in poetry and melody. Each year the troubadours of Ireland gathered there to recite heroic epics in praise of their patrons and sing the ballads they had composed for prizes. These musical and literary tournaments reached their greatest fame and influence during the days when Cormac Mac Art was king. He was not only the greatest warrior, but the greatest scholar and legislator and judge that the Irish knew during the period of which Tara was their capital. The poems and chronicles of his time describe him as a model of majesty, magnificence, and manly beauty. He founded three colleges in the neighborhood of Tara, one for the teaching of law, one for poetry, literature, history, and music, and the third for military science. He organized what was known as the “Fena of Erin,” a body of militia remarkable in many respects, which was under the command of Fin Mac Cool, his son-in-law, who of all the ancient heroes of Ireland is best remembered in tradition and combined the qualities of Hercules, Julius Cæsar, and Solomon.

But no reference in literature to this sacred place is more familiar than one of the ballads of Tom Moore. Indeed, the great majority of people never heard of Tara from any other source:

“The harp that once through Tara’s halls
The soul of music shed
Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls
As if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride of former days,
So glory’s thrill is o’er,
And hearts that once beat high for praise
Now feel that pulse no more!
“No more to chiefs and ladies bright
The harp of Tara swells;
The chord alone that breaks at night
Its tale of ruin tells.
Thus Freedom now so seldom wakes,
The only throb she gives
Is when some heart indignant breaks
To show that she still lives.”

The history of Tara, the proceedings of the nobles, kings, and learned men who met there at intervals, with the ard-ri at their head, to devise laws and promote the welfare of the kingdom, and to transact other important business, were all written down in a book called the Psalter of Tara. This book also contained a record of the “fes,” or tournaments, both military and athletic, that were held there, and contained a list of the prize winners, but, although the Psalter of Tara is frequently quoted by early writers the original of the book was lost or destroyed ages ago.

There are, however, many venerable tomes, epic poems, as well as history, that illuminate what are usually termed the prehistoric times in Ireland. The history of this country does not fairly begin until the time of St. Patrick and the introduction of Christianity and modern learning. Since then the records are practically complete. The many monasteries were filled with scriveners who kept a record of events with considerable detail and probable accuracy. But the more interesting period lies farther back, when the kings of Tara were in their glory and the sun shone upon the exploits of half-savage clans that lived by the chase and not by agriculture, as their descendants do. It is a familiar joke to say that one’s ancestors were kings of Ireland, but there is more truth than witticism in such remarks.

There is no reliable authority for the existence of any national military organization of professional or fighting men in Ireland other than chiefs, down to the reign of “Conn of the Hundred Battles,” who was monarch at Tara from 123 A.D. to 157 A.D., in which year he was slain. Still, it is stated that Conn himself came to the throne from the command of the celebrated national militia, popularly known as the “Fianna Eireann,” of whom the great Finn, Mac Cumhaill, and his father, Cumhaill, were the most famous commanders, just as many of the Roman emperors rose to the purple through the backing and from the command of the Prætorian Guards. This militia of ancient Ireland were accomplished athletes to a man, and their preparation and competition for enlistment were most arduous and remarkable. The name Fianna (hence the modern “Fenians”) is explained in an antique glossary preserved in a volume of the famous “Brehon Laws.” There were several severe conditions which every man who was received into the Fianna was obliged to fulfill.

The first was that he should not accept any fortune with his wife, but select her for her beauty, her virtue, and her accomplishments.

The second was that he should not insult any woman.

The third was that he should never deny any person asking for food.

The fourth was that he should not turn his back on less than nine foemen.

No man was received into the Fianna until a wide pit had been dug for him, in which he was to stand up to his knees, with a shield in one hand and a hazel stake the length of his arm in the other. Nine warriors, armed with spears, came within a distance of nine ridges of ground of him and threw their spears at him all at once. Should he be wounded, despite the shield and hazel staff, he was not received into the order of the Fianna.

No man was received into the Fianna until his hair was first braided. He was then chased by selected runners through a forest, the distance between them at the start being one tree. If they came up with him he could not be taken into the Fianna.

No man was received into the Fianna if his weapons trembled in his hands.

No man could be received if a single braid of his hair had been loosened by a branch as he ran through the forest.

No man was received into the Fianna whose foot had broken a withered branch in his course. (This to insure light and careful as well as swift runners, who left no trail.)

No man was received unless he could jump over the branch of a tree as high as his head and stoop under one as low as his knee.

No man was received unless he could pluck a thorn out of his heel without coming to a stand.

And finally, no man could be received until he had first sworn fidelity and obedience to the king and commander of the Fianna.

It’s a sin that there is no place for visitors to stay at Tara. The nearest hotel is seven miles away, and the lord of the manor cannot entertain every American tourist that comes along. I know of no lovelier landscape or more attractive site for a summer hotel, but I suppose the patronage would be limited, because Tara is a long way from the railroad and an automobile costs five guineas a day with an allowance of seven shillings for the board and lodging of the chauffeur and whatever gasoline may be used.

We were sorry to leave the historic place. One is sorry to leave almost every place in Ireland. It is such a fascinating country. But the next stop will develop something else quite as novel and interesting as it did to us at Castle Dunsany, the ancient home of the Plunkett family.

The “Annals of the Four Masters” relate that there were fierce lords upon the road from Dublin to Tara, and that if the traveler was not robbed by the Lord of Dunsany Castle he would be robbed by the Lord of Killeen, and if he managed to escape Killeen he was sure to be robbed at Dunsany. These two famous places stand on both sides of the highway not more than a mile apart, and, although both have been restored and remodeled for modern occupants they are still very old and associated with much interesting history. Dunsany Castle was built by Hugh de Lacy about the middle of the twelfth century. Killeen Castle was the seat of the Earl of Fingal. Both are surrounded by magnificent demesnes or wooded parks inclosed with high walls and filled with game, according to the Irish custom. Near by Castle Dunsany, in the midst of a glorious grove of trees that have been growing there for centuries, are the roofless walls of the ancient Church of St. Nicholas, rebuilt upon the site of an older sanctuary by Nicholas Plunkett in the fifteenth century and named in honor of his patron saint. His sarcophagus is in the center surrounded by other tombs of the Plunkett family for several generations. At Killeen is another church of similar age and in similar condition, and that also contains the monuments of the founder and his family for many generations.

Hugh de Lacy was the original owner and occupier of the Abbey of Bective, one of the finest of the many ruins in this section, and in its time a very important establishment. He was a Norman knight of ancient French family, who came over with Strongbow at the first English invasion of Ireland and was given the Province of Meath for his possessions. Although not the greatest fighter, he was the wisest and best governor of all the barons who served Henry II. in Ireland. He built strong castles in all parts of Meath, including Castle Dunsany and Castle Killeen, and greatly increased his power and influence by marrying a daughter of the old king of this province, Roderick O’Conor. He was accused of conspiring to make himself King of Ireland, and did not live to clear himself of the charge. One day while he was superintending the building of a new castle at Durrow a young Irishman drew a battle ax that was concealed under his cloak, and with one blow cut off the great baron’s head. The murderer afterward explained that it was done to revenge the desecration of a venerated oratory that had once been occupied by St. Columba and had been torn away by De Lacy.

Hugh de Lacy’s son and namesake, after his father’s death, attempted to seize the throne of Connaught and was betrayed and killed in the Cathedral of Downpatrick on Good Friday in the year 1204, where, barefooted and unarmed, he was saying his prayers and doing penance for his sins. When he was attacked he seized the nearest weapon, a large brass crucifix, and dashed out the brains of thirteen of his assailants with it before he was overpowered. When the elder Hugh de Lacy was murdered his head was taken to the Abbey of St. Thomas, in Dublin, according to the terms of his will, made several years previous. The monks demanded the remainder of the body, but the abbot of Bective would not surrender it until he had been commanded to do so by the pope.


The little cathedral city of Armagh (pronounced with a strong accent upon the last syllable) is the most sacred town of Ireland. It is the ecclesiastical headquarters of both the Roman Catholic and the Protestant churches, the seat of the most ancient and celebrated of Irish schools of learning; the burial place of Brian Boru, the greatest of all the Irish kings; the home of St. Patrick for the most important years of his life, and the cradle of the Christian church in the United Kingdom. It was from Armagh that the message of the gospel was sent to the people of Scotland and England, and there was the genesis of the faith that is now professed by all the nation.

Armagh is a quiet, well kept town of about eight thousand inhabitants, built on a hill around the cathedral founded by St. Patrick in the year 432, and the streets are steep and rather crooked. It resembles an English university town, and looks more like Cambridge or Winchester than the rest of Ireland. More than twelve hundred years ago it was the greatest educational center in the civilized world, and it still has several important schools, including a Roman Catholic theological seminary, a large convent for young women, a technological school, an astronomical observatory, a public library of twenty thousand volumes and a little old-fashioned Grecian temple of a building with a sign to advertise it as the rooms of the Philosophical Society. The houses are packed together very closely, as is the custom in all Ireland, although there is plenty of room for the town to spread out, if it were the fashion to do so. There are ranges of green hills all around, and their sunny slopes are closely planted to grain, and other crops. We saw them at harvest time when the song of the reaper and the mower was heard in the land. There are several linen factories in the neighborhood which furnish employment for the wives and daughters of the town, and a small automobile factory. The population is about equally divided between Protestant and Roman Catholic faiths. There are three Presbyterian churches and one Methodist, which assert themselves boldly even in the presence of an ecclesiastical see that is nearly fourteen hundred years old.

’Way back about the year 444 St. Patrick came to Armagh and built a church and a monastery upon the summit of a beautiful hill overlooking a most delightful country, where he established his ecclesiastical headquarters as Primate of Ireland. The land was given him by the King, whose royal palace stood there for centuries, and that estate has remained in the possession of the church ever since and is now occupied partly by the demesne that surrounds the palace of the Protestant archbishop and partly by the residences and business houses of the town, and the ground rents furnish a handsome endowment. The ancient episcopal palace is now occupied by the Rev. Dr. Alexander, Protestant Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of the Episcopal Church of Ireland.

Across the valley, upon a similar hill, is another cathedral, also dedicated to the glory of God and St. Patrick, and behind it, in a much more modest mansion, is the residence of Cardinal Logue, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland and a member of the sacred college of Rome. Thus in the same little town we have two cathedrals of St. Patrick, two archbishops of Armagh, and two primates of the Holy Catholic church, both claiming ecclesiastical authority inherited from St. Patrick, founder of the Christian church in Ireland, and first archbishop of Armagh, through one hundred and fourteen generations of archbishops who have lived and prayed and reigned in this picturesque little place.

In several cities there are two archbishops or bishops, one Roman Catholic and one of the Church of Ireland, and the duplication is often the cause of embarrassment and confusion. If you are seeking or even mentioning one of them it is necessary to make yourself clear by giving the name of the church or the name of the man as well as the title. I once addressed a letter to “His Grace, the Archbishop of Dublin,” and it was returned to me from the post office for more definite address. The post-office authorities would not take the risk of delivering it to the wrong man.

Archbishop Alexander and Cardinal Logue are the best of friends and see each other frequently, co-operating in works of charity and movements of public interest with cordiality and mutual esteem. When I was in Armagh Cardinal Logue had recently returned from a visit to America, where he went to assist in the celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the diocese of New York. He was enthusiastic about his reception and what he saw and did in the United States. He is a man of great dignity, ability, and usefulness, but with all has a keen sense of humor and a jolly disposition.

The town of Armagh is surrounded by scenes of transcendent historic and ecclesiastical interest. On a lovely hillside is a holy spring where St. Patrick baptized his first converts. A little farther away is a large artificial mound, about eleven acres in extent, covered with aged hawthorn trees, where stood the royal palace of Ulster, and it was occupied for a century after the arrival of St. Patrick. Within the grounds of the Protestant archbishop are the remains of a Franciscan monastery and a well beside which St. Bridget lived for several years. Eastward of the town, upon the hills, was located the ancient Catholic University of Armagh founded by St. Patrick in the year 455, where as many as seven thousand students gathered for instruction in literature, the arts, and theology, and until the Reformation it was one of the greatest schools of Europe.

Emania, now called the “Navan Fort,” the residence of the kings of Ulster, was founded by Queen Macha of the Golden Hair, whose legend is most interesting. It was founded about 300 B.C. It was a royal residence for six hundred years or more. It was then destroyed by the three Collas, and has remained a waste ever since. St. Patrick came nearly a century after its destruction. The petty king, Daire, who gave a site to St. Patrick, was probably king of Oriel, or possibly of one of the tribes which composed the kingdom of Oriel, or Oirgialla. Professor Bury, in his “Life of St. Patrick” says:

“King Daire ... dwelt in the neighborhood of the ancient fortress of Emania, which his own ancestors had destroyed a hundred years agone, when they had come from the south to wrest the place from the Ulidians [Ulidia is Ulster] and sack the palace of its lords. The conquerors did not set up their abode in the stronghold of the old kings of Ulster; they burned the timber buildings and left the place desolate.”

Patrick’s first foundation was not on the hill where the old cathedral now stands. He asked that site of Daire, but the latter refused, and gave him a site at the foot of the hill instead. The original church of St. Patrick is believed to have stood somewhere about the spot whereon the branch Bank of Ireland now stands in Armagh. Bury says of the original structures of Patrick:

“The simple houses which were needed for a small society of monks were built, and there is a record, which appears to be ancient and credible, concerning these primitive buildings. A circular space was marked out one hundred and forty feet in diameter, and inclosed by a rampart of earth. Within this were erected, doubtless of wood, a ‘great house’ to be the dwelling of the monks, a kitchen, and a small oratory.”

Ultimately, King Daire gave Patrick the hill he coveted, then called Drum-saileach, the “ridge of the willows.” The story is quaintly interesting. Daire brought to Patrick a bronze cooking-pot, as a mark of respect. Patrick merely said in Latin, “Gratias agamus” (“I thank thee”). This sounded, in the unlearned ears of the king, like “gratzacham.” Daire was annoyed that the pot should be received with no greater sign of satisfaction. So, when he reached home, he sent servants to bring back the cooking-pot, as something which the monk was not able to appreciate. When they came back with the pot, Daire asked what Patrick said, and was told “Gratzacham.” “What,” said Daire, “‘gratzacham’ when it was given, and ‘gratzacham’ when it was taken away! It is a good word, and for his ‘gratzacham’ he shall have his cooking-pot.” Then he went himself with the pot to Patrick, and said, “Keep thy cooking-pot, for thou art a steadfast and unchangeful man.” And he gave Patrick, besides, the hill on which the old cathedral stands.

The name Armagh is derived from that of Macha of the Golden Hair. It is “Ard-Macha,” that is, “Macha’s Height.” The legend is that she was buried on the hill where the cathedral stands, and that it was named for her in consequence. But some seven hundred years passed before Patrick obtained the hill; its name had been changed to “Drum-saileach”; but Patrick seems to have revived the old name. A spurious derivation is given by some--“Ardmagh,” the high plain; but there is no “high plain” there, and the “Four Masters” give it Ard-Macha.

Naturally, the object of supreme interest at Armagh is the ancient Cathedral of St. Patrick, the cradle of the Christian church in Ireland. The present building, however, dates back only to the seventeenth century, although portions of the walls were built as long ago as 830, when “the great stone church of Armagh” is described in detail in the “Annals of Armagh,” one of the oldest of human records. The church was partly destroyed by fire in 1268 and rebuilt. In 1367 it was restored again. During the rebellion in the reign of Queen Elizabeth it was used as a fortress by Shane O’Neill and burned by him. In 1613 it was thoroughly rebuilt, and in 1834 was restored to its present condition by Lord George Beresford, the wealthy archbishop of that date.

Although it has often been asserted that St. Patrick is buried in Armagh, no such claim is made here, and the authorities of both the Irish and the Roman Catholic churches accept the tomb at Downpatrick as genuine. But the old cathedral is the burial place of several other of the early saints, and somewhere under the tiling on the north side of the high altar lies the moldering dust of Brian Boru, the greatest of all the Irish kings, whose bleeding body was brought there after the battle of Clontarf in 1014, in obedience to his dying request. There is no trace of his tomb, which was destroyed centuries ago. All of the tombs within the church are comparatively modern. The oldest epitaph in the churchyard dates back to 1620, and most of the graves contain the dust of archbishops who have presided over this diocese. In the east and west aisles, in the center of the cathedral, are two beautiful sarcophagi of white Italian marble, carved by an eminent artist with effigies of two Beresfords, John George and Marcus Servais Beresford, father and son, who were successive archbishops of Armagh. The principal windows contain artistic memorials to their wives, Lady Catherine and Lady Anne Beresford.

After the Reformation the few Roman Catholic residents of Armagh who remained true to the church of Rome worshiped in “the old chapel,” as it is called, a humble structure erected in the seventeenth century to mark the site of the house where St. Malachi was born in 1094. And when the primatial see was revived at Armagh by the pope that old church was made the cathedral of Ireland. In 1835 Archbishop Crolly undertook to raise funds for a more appropriate building, and obtained two acres of land on the other side of town, adjoining Sandy Hill Cemetery, which is the oldest Christian burial place in the United Kingdom. His successors have since obtained seven acres more, and hope ultimately to secure a larger area. In 1840 Mr. Duff, a native architect, prepared plans for a cathedral of massive proportions, and the corner stone was laid on St. Patrick’s day of that year. A building committee of laymen was formed and priests were sent through the length and breadth of the land, and, indeed, throughout the world, to collect funds. Generous gifts came from the United States, from Canada, from Australia, and from every other country where Irish emigrants have gone, and a great bazaar was held in 1865 at which $35,000 was raised. The exterior was not completed until 1873, when the finishing touches were added to the spires, and on the 24th of August the temple was dedicated, as the inscription over the entrance reads, “To the One God, Omnipotent Three in Person, under the invocation of St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland.” Dr. M’Gettigan was archbishop then, and he lived until 1887, when he was succeeded by Michael Logue, who had been chosen as his coadjutor by the parish priests of Armagh.

Cardinal Logue was born in County Donegal in 1840, graduated from Maynooth College and was ordained in 1866. For several years he was professor of theology and belles lettres in the Irish College at Paris. In 1876 he was made dean of Maynooth and professor of dogmatic and moral theology. The following year, at the age of thirty-nine, he was consecrated Bishop of Raphoe and for eight years labored among the people of his native county with great energy and usefulness until he came to Armagh. In January, 1893, he was elevated to the college of cardinals, a dignity never before attained even by the greatest of the long line of one hundred and fourteen primates since St. Patrick that have presided over this see.

Immediately after going to Armagh in 1887 to assist his venerable predecessor, Cardinal Logue began to raise funds to complete the interior of the cathedral, which was then undecorated and fitted with temporary altars and seats. His appeals to Irish patriotism were responded to with great generosity, and in 1899 he organized the National Cathedral Bazaar, as it was called, which continued for two years and resulted in raising $150,000 to complete the cathedral, so that on July 24, 1904, the building was again solemnly dedicated with a great pageant and impressive ceremonies at which his Holiness, the Pope, was represented by his Eminence, Cardinal Bishop Vincente Vanuetelli.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral at Armagh, the Seat of Cardinal Logue, the Roman Catholic Primate of Ireland

Cardinal Logue resides in a modest mansion in the rear of the cathedral, between the synod house and the theological seminary. Many a parish priest in Ireland and America lives in greater style. His manner of life illustrates the simplicity of his character and tastes. His lack of ostentation is one of his most charming traits.

It seems very remarkable that St. Patrick, St. Bridget, and St. Columba, the three saints most venerated by Ireland, should be buried in the same grave in an obscure little churchyard at the village of Downpatrick, about twenty miles south of Belfast. There is nothing in the way of documentary evidence to prove that the bodies of St. Bridget and St. Columba were placed in St. Patrick’s tomb, but the fact is stated in the earliest histories of the church in Ireland, and is frequently referred to by writers in the tenth century and later. And the claims of Downpatrick to this great honor are not seriously disputed.

The “Annals of the Four Masters” refer to the death of St. Bridget in 525 as follows: “On February first, St. Bridget died and was interred at Dun [Down] in the same tomb with St. Patrick, with great honor and veneration.”

St. Patrick died in the year 465 at the Monastery of Saul, which he had founded at Downpatrick. It was his wish to be buried at Armagh, then, as now, the ecclesiastical headquarters of Ireland, and during the twelve days given up to mourning and funeral ceremonies a controversy arose between the monks of Armagh and those of Downpatrick, who claimed the body and insisted upon its burial in their cloisters. A wise old friar suggested that the decision be left to heaven, and after saying mass the coffin was placed upon a wagon and two young oxen were taken from the field and yoked for the first time. It was agreed that they should be started along the road to Armagh, and that wherever they stopped the grave of St. Patrick should be made. The oxen commenced their journey and the rival bodies of monks retired to their cloisters to pray.

The “Book of Armagh,” written in the year 802, and now in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, duly relates that, after proceeding for two miles down the road slowly, the oxen turned from the main thoroughfare and rested at Dundalethglass, the site of the present Cathedral of Down. The monks from Armagh submitted to the will of heaven, and there the sacred dust was laid. Shortly after this, about 495, a church was built upon the site now occupied by the present edifice. It was rebuilt in the twelfth century, a considerable portion of the original walls being retained and several interior arches. And those walls and arches remain to-day. It is therefore the oldest structure in Ireland and is entitled to the veneration it receives. It stands in a grove upon the summit of a hill, a plain, dignified pile of perfect proportions, with a square tower and four spires—in no way imposing, but beautiful in its simplicity.

Down Cathedral, Downpatrick, where St. Patrick Lived, and in the Churchyard of which He Was Buried

The interior of the church is said to be precisely as it was originally built, there having been no change in the arrangement. And most of the columns which sustain the arches and several of the arches were a part of the original building. The “Annals of Ulster” give the names of the abbots who had charge of the monastery that was built in connection with the church, as far back as the year 583, although there are several wide gaps in the records of the eighth, ninth, and thirteenth centuries. The abbey was plundered and partially destroyed on no less than eight occasions, between the years 824 and 1111, and the “Annals of Ulster” give the particulars of each invasion. In 1177 Sir John de Courcy, the most powerful and able lieutenant of Strongbow, who assumed authority over the kingdom of Ulster, made Downpatrick his principal residence and erected there a strong castle, the greater portion of which remained until about half a century ago. At his time the church and the monastery were occupied by Augustinian monks, who were driven out by De Courcy and replaced by Benedictines from the Abbey of Chester, England, and the church was rededicated in honor of St. Patrick, having previously borne the name of the Holy Trinity. And De Courcy gave the abbey a liberal endowment. He also erected a Celtic cross, which is believed to be the same that was recently recovered in fragments, carefully mended and placed in the churchyard. Among the endowments of the Downpatrick abbey were four of the principal ferries across the rivers of Ulster, forty-seven “town lands,” which probably correspond to our townships, and every tenth animal upon the farms of Ulster. Of the extensive monastic building erected by De Courcy’s generosity not a trace remains except the foundations, and these are covered with the accumulated débris of four centuries. The inhabitants of Downpatrick and all the country around have used the ruin as a quarry for building material. Nearly all of the old houses in the village are made of materials from that source.

The monastery was plundered and burned by Edward Bruce, brother of Robert Bruce, the Scottish chieftain, who caused himself to be proclaimed King of Ireland in 1315. It was rebuilt and burned again in 1512. Lord Grey, who was sent over by King Henry VIII. to quiet Ireland, profaned and destroyed it, as he did everything else in this section, in his attempts to exterminate the O’Neills. Lord Grey was executed in the Tower of London in 1541. The fourth charge in the indictment against him was that “He rased St. Patrick’s, his church, in the old ancient citie of Ulster and burnt the monument of Patricke, Brided and Colme, who are said to have been there intoombed. That without onie warrant from the King or Councill he profaned the Church of St. Patrick in Downe, turning it into a stable after plucked it down and ship the notable ring of Bels that did hang in the steeple, meaning to have sent them to England, had not God of His Justice prevented his iniquitie by sinking the vessels and passengers wherein the said bells should have been conveied.”

The “Annals of Ulster,” under date of 1538, record that “the monastery of Downe was burned and the relics of Patrick, Columcille Briget and the image of Catherine were carried off.”

The oldest inscription in the church is on a tombstone erected to the memory of Edward, Lord Cromwell and Baron Oakham, no relative of Oliver Cromwell, but a great-grandson of Thomas Cromwell, the famous minister of Henry VIII., who, after the pacification of the country obtained possession of the Downpatrick estates, which continued in his family until 1832, when they were purchased by David Kerr, and in 1874 sold to the late Lord Dunleath, who now owns the largest part of the surrounding country.

At the time of the Reformation, the monks of Downpatrick refused to subscribe to the new ordinances and were driven out of the monastery. The history of Downpatrick is quite vague from that time until affairs quieted down, but from 1662 the records are complete.

Rev. John Wesley visited Downpatrick in 1778, and in his diary he describes the ruins of the Abbey of Saul as “far the largest building I have ever seen in the kingdom. Adjoining it is one of the most beautiful groves which I have ever beheld with my eyes. It covers the sloping side of the hill and has vistas cut through it every way. There is a most lovely plain very near to the venerable ruins of the cathedral.” Wesley visited Downpatrick on four different occasions between 1778 and 1785, and during each visit preached in the grove he describes, using as a pulpit the pedestal upon which a statue of St. Patrick formerly stood.

Perhaps the most celebrated resident of Downpatrick was Rev. Jeremy Taylor, who, while bishop of this diocese, wrote his famous book, “Holy Living and Holy Dying.”

Nothing but the irregular surface of the ground upon a hill about two miles from Downpatrick marks the site of the ancient Monastery of Saul, which from the time it was founded by St. Patrick in 432 was for several centuries one of the most celebrated and influential educational institutions in the world. Like the monastery at Armagh, only twenty miles away, which was also founded by St. Patrick about the same time, it was attended annually by thousands of students from England, Scotland, France, Spain, and other countries of the continent to hear and absorb the learning of the Augustinian and afterward the Benedictine monks. Unfortunately, however, no records remain of the institutions farther than an occasional reference in the “Annals of Ulster.”

The sanctity of the place, however, is recognized by Christians of every race and sect, although the grave of St. Patrick—and of two other saints—which is a hundred feet from the entrance to the old cathedral church, is marked only by an enormous granite bowlder, almost as nature made it, bearing no inscription except the word “Patric” in celtic letters beneath a celtic cross chiseled on the surface of the stone. It is a most appropriate monument in its simple dignity, and one that you might imagine that St. Patrick would have preferred rather than a lofty and ornate tower. It is rather curious, however, that no movement has ever been started to erect an imposing memorial here; there is no evidence that any monument of size ever marked the grave, although the three most venerated saints in the Irish calendar lie here together. A distich, said to have been written by Sir John de Courcy in 1185, says:

“Hi tres Duno tumulo tumulantur in uno;
Brigidam, Patricius atque Colomba Pius”;

which is liberally translated as follows:

“Three Saints in Down, one grave do fill;
Saints Patrick, Bridget and Columbkill.”

Downpatrick is visited annually by thousands of pilgrims. The town is practically supported by them, and the tomb has to be guarded against vandalism, particularly on Sundays, Good Friday, Easter, and other religious holidays. Relic hunters have carried away tons of earth from about the grave, which they dig up with their fingers or trowels or sticks and consign to bottles, boxes, or baskets. As soon as the cavities become too large, the custodian hauls a cart of soil from the nearest field and fills them up.

It is asserted in the guide book that St. Patrick was never canonized by the pope, and that he is recognized as a saint only by the Irish people. This is a singular assertion. The Roman Catholic prayer book used in Ireland mentions March 17, the feast of St. Patrick, as one of the holy days upon which there is strict obligation to attend mass and to refrain from all unnecessary labor.

According to the best authorities, St. Patrick was born at Nemthur (the Holy Tower), now known as Dumbarton, Scotland, in the year 387, and his father, Palpurn, was a magistrate in the service of the Romans. When he was sixteen, in the year 403, Patrick was taken captive and sold as a slave. A rich man named Milcho brought him to Ireland and employed him to herd sheep and swine in County Antrim. At the end of six years of slavery he escaped, returned to his home and family and then went to a monastic school at Tours, France. After receiving his education and being ordained he went to Rome, where he was blessed by Pope Celestine and commissioned to go to Ireland as a missionary. He landed at the mouth of a little stream called the Slaney, only about two miles from Saul, and settled at Downpatrick, where the chief gave him the use of a sabhall or barn for divine service, and upon that site was erected the famous monastery which took its name, Saul, from the barn. He remained there for several years, teaching and training disciples, and then visited every part of the island, preaching the gospel to the kings and chiefs as well as to the poor half-civilized habitants of the mountains. He founded many churches and monasteries in different places and finally settled down at Armagh as Bishop of Ireland in 457, where he remained for eight years. In March, 465, when he was seventy-eight years old, while paying a visit to the monastery of Saul, the scene of his first ministrations in Ireland, he was seized with a fatal illness and breathed his last. The news of his death was the signal for universal mourning in Ireland, and thousands of the clergy and laity came from the remotest districts to pay their last tributes of love and respect to the greatest of missionaries.

The Village of Downpatrick

St. Bridget, who ranks next to St. Patrick in the veneration of the Irish, was the daughter of a nobleman, and was born at Fochard, a village near Armagh, in the year 453. Her great beauty and her father’s wealth and position caused her to be sought in marriage by several of the princes of Ireland, but early in life she became a convert to the new religion, consecrated herself to its service, and retired to a forest near Kildare, about twenty miles from Dublin. She built herself a cell in the trunk of a great oak, around which grew a great religious community. She died Feb. 1, 525, at the age of seventy-two years. For many years the nuns of Kildare kept a light burning constantly in her memory. “The bright light that shone in Kildare’s holy flame” was suppressed, however, by the Archbishop of Dublin for fear it would be interpreted as a pagan practice.

The body of St. Bridget was originally buried at Kildare, but in the year 1185 was translated with great solemnity to Downpatrick, attended by the pope’s legate, fifteen bishops, and a great number of clergy. Her head was carried to the convent of Neustadt, Austria, and in 1587 was removed to the Church of the Jesuits in Lisbon.

St. Columba, or St. Columbkill, died while kneeling before the altar of his church on the Island of Iona, a little after midnight, Jan. 9, 597. He was originally buried in his monastery, and his body was removed to Downpatrick the same year as that of St. Bridget.


The Sinn Fein movement (pronounced “shinn fane”) which promised so much is not making great progress. Some of its principles are admirable, and from a sentimental standpoint appeal to the patriotism of every Irishman, but the management is in the hands of impractical amateurs who have antagonized the Roman Catholic church, and that would be fatal to any movement in Ireland or any other country where three-fourths of the population profess that faith and the priesthood are as powerful as in Ireland. Furthermore, the young men who are directing affairs have gone into politics and have attempted to buck against the nationalist party, which controls three-fourths of the Irish vote. For these reasons the movement has suffered a setback, and it is doubtful whether it will ever recover the impetus it acquired two or three years ago. If it had been kept out of politics and out of religion like the Gaelic League, for example, which is aiming at a portion of the same objects, it might have done an immense amount of good. The leaders are earnest but inexperienced; they are long on ideas but short on common sense, and have more principles than votes, as has been illustrated at recent elections in Ireland. The leaders of the national party, bearing the scars of many political contests and familiar with all the tricks of their trade, regard the Sinn Fein advocates as enthusiastic schoolboys and play with them as a mastiff plays with a puppy.

The Sinn Feiners have formally demanded that the nationalist party shall abandon its present policy and adopt their platform—a proposition which its leaders consider very amusing, but when you can persuade them to discuss it seriously they say that they have accomplished too much and are too near the goal of home rule to abandon the present programme and adopt one that is new and untried.

Sinn Fein means “for ourselves,” and those two Celtic words describe the policy and the purpose of the organization. It demands that Ireland stand alone and work out her salvation by her own efforts, absolutely boycotting the British government, which they declare is the only enemy of Ireland and the cause of all the evils and the ills that afflict the Irish people. It is an imitation of the policy adopted by Ferencz Deák in the contest with Austria for Hungarian independence from 1849 to 1867. He organized a vast movement of passive resistance. Under his leadership the Hungarians refused to pay taxes unless levied and collected by their own officials; they refused to send Hungarian representatives to the imperial parliament; they built up an educational and administrative system of their own, and in less than twenty years achieved practical independence for Hungary, the right to make their own laws and administer their own government. The chief weapon was a national boycott, and it was successful.

In 1903 a young newspaper man named Arthur Griffith conceived the idea of applying the Hungarian policy to Ireland and boycotting the British government. He wrote a good deal for the newspapers, went around the island holding public meetings, organizing local societies, appealing to the patriotic sentiments of the young men of the country, and started a weekly newspaper as an organ of the cause. At first it was understood that the Sinn Feiners would abstain from politics like the Gaelic League, but the refusal of the politicians to join or assist them provoked animosities, and in retaliation the Sinn Feiners nominated candidates for several offices, who were in sympathy with them. This developed a positive contest, the Sinn Fein movement was placed under the ban by the Irish parliamentary leaders and soon became an independent political party.

A similar collision occurred with the Roman Catholic church chiefly because the ardent young leaders did not consult the priests and obtain the indorsement of the hierarchy, which might have approved the programme with some revision. The misunderstanding was allowed to grow until now the Sinn Feiners are under the ban of the church as well as that of the United Irish League and the parliamentary party, and the opposition of those three powers cannot be overcome or even resisted. Therefore the movement is doomed to failure. Nevertheless, the Sinn Feiners have succeeded in electing several of their number to office on their own platform. They now have twelve out of eighty members of the Dublin common council and board of aldermen, and in other cities of Ireland they have representatives in official positions. Not long ago they nominated a candidate for the House of Commons in the North Leitrim district, notwithstanding the fact that the first plank in their programme demands the complete boycott of the British parliament. It was an Irish bull and naturally excited much ridicule, but the Sinn Feiners succeeded in polling 1,100 out of a total of 6,000 votes, which was a great deal more than any one expected.

Some time ago the national council of the party devised a scheme for raising money to establish a daily newspaper. They printed and offered for sale very pretty postage stamps and asked everybody to buy them and place them on their letters in addition to the portrait of King Edward, which is required by act of parliament. It was a fatal error, because it was an absolute failure and disclosed the weakness of the movement and the insincerity of its members. I am told that less than five per cent of the stamps printed were ever disposed of.

Some of the propositions in the programme of the Sinn Fein party, as I have already said, appeal very strongly to the patriotism of the Irish people; others are so fantastic as to destroy confidence in the judgment of its leaders. For example, they issued an urgent appeal to the newspapers and to the public to use no paper or stationery except of Irish manufacture, which might have been to the advantage of the country if there were any paper mills in Ireland. Again, they advocate Irish ownership of all public utilities. They want Irish capitalists to buy up the stock of all the railways and street car lines and other public enterprises and employ none but Irishmen in their administration, which might be done if there were a good deal more capital in the country; but as long as the Irish people are too poor to pay for the stock, it would seem a little premature for them to undertake to carry out the Sinn Fein recommendations.

The first plank in the programme of the Sinn Fein platform is a national Irish legislature endowed with moral authority to enact laws and recommend policies for the adoption of the Irish people. This legislature is to be composed of the members of the county councils, the poor-law boards and harbor boards of all Ireland, to sit twice a year in Dublin, and to form a de facto Irish parliament. Associated with and sitting with this body would be the present Irish members of the House of Commons and their successors representing the constituencies as at present defined. Before taking this step, however, it is proposed that the Irish members of the House of Commons should make a dramatic demonstration in parliament, to emphasize the significance of their retirement. They are to rise in their seats and formally decline any longer to confer on the affairs of Ireland with foreigners in a foreign city.

Among other functions of the proposed Irish legislature shall be the assessment of a tax of one penny to the pound—that is, two cents for every five dollars’ worth of property—without regard to present taxation, and thus acquire a fund “to serve and strengthen the country in bringing about the triumph of the Sinn Fein policy.” This fund would be used in the payment of bounties to develop Irish industries, to establish libraries of Irish literature and museums of arts and antiquities; to establish gymnasiums for the physical training of the young people and schools for their moral training and discipline and instruction in Irish history.

The first laws to be passed by the legislature would exclude all goods of English manufacture from Ireland, prohibit the use of foreign articles by the government, forbid the appointment of any but natives of Ireland to public positions, withhold support from newspapers which publish emigration advertisements, require the study of the Celtic language in all the schools for certain hours and prepare text-books so that no other language would be necessary in instruction, raise the standard of wages among workingmen, increase their proficiency by technical instruction, develop the resources and industries of the country, and extend the area of tilled soil and the planting of forests.

After having accomplished these objects the Irish legislature, according to the programme of the Sinn Fein, should establish a national university, open and free to the poor as well as the rich, with none but Irish instructors and the Celtic language substituted for the English.

Next a union of manufacturers and farmers for co-operation, both pledging themselves to use none but Irish goods and products so far as possible. In cases where an Irish manufacturer cannot produce an article as cheaply as it is produced in England or other countries he is to be paid a bounty or protected by a tariff similar to that which has advanced the prosperity of the mechanical industries of the United States.

The next step is to establish an Irish mercantile marine similar to that of Scotland and Norway. Ireland has no steamers; Scotland has many and, according to the Sinn Feiners, there is no reason why there should not be as large a fleet sailing from that country.

It is proposed to establish an independent consular service of Irishmen in the principal capitals and commercial centers of the world where a market may be found for Irish produce. These consuls are to act independently of the regular representatives of Great Britain and devote themselves entirely to Irish interests.

The proposed parliament shall take immediate steps to plant trees all over the island, which, it is asserted, will result in raising the mean temperature at least four degrees and thus render the soil doubly fruitful. The tree planting is to be done under the direction of the poor-law boards, which are to employ the inmates of the poor-houses so far as their physical condition will permit, in planting, watering, and looking after the young trees.

The parliament is to establish national courts of law entirely independent of the present courts which are to be entirely boycotted by the people. It is declared to be the duty of every Irishman to submit all disputes to the arbitration of his neighbors who are to serve without pay. The national courts are to be composed of the justices of the peace already elected by the people, who shall sit outside the regular legal hours and terms of court, so as to avoid complications.

A national stock exchange is to be established which shall deal only in Irish securities, and a system of banks which shall limit their dealings to natives of Ireland and encourage the transfer of the $250,000,000 of Irish money alleged to be now deposited in the English banks and invested in English securities, to Irish banks and Irish securities, and to encourage its investments in active industries and public works, to develop the resources of Ireland and to give employment to Irish labor.

One of the principal planks in the Sinn Fein platform is to boycott the British army and navy. It is asserted that Ireland supplies more fighting men for the British empire than England; that 354 Irishmen out of every 10,000 of its population are British soldiers, while only 276 out of every 10,000 in England go into the army. If the Irish would refuse to enlist it would paralyze the military service of the empire, and deal a serious blow to British prosperity by drawing a large number of the employees of the shops and factories into the army and navy.

Another form of boycott recommended is for all Irishmen to refuse appointments in the British civil service and the constabulary on the theory that every Irishman who accepts employment from the British government takes up arms against Ireland and becomes the active enemy of his country, “being employed to keep a hostile country up, and to keep his own country down.”

A plank in the platform in which we are directly interested advocates an invitation of the natives of Ireland in America to invest their money in the development of Irish industries and resources. It says: “There are in the United States to-day thirty Irishmen or men of Irish blood whose names on a cheque would be good for £50,000,000. Few of these men take any public part in affairs, but all of them profess in private a desire to help Ireland. We invite them as men of business to undertake a work which will be mutually profitable to themselves and to Ireland.”

These propositions are embodied in a manifesto which has been printed and widely circulated throughout Ireland to explain the purpose of the Sinn Fein movement, and they have attracted a large number of active adherents to the cause and many silent sympathizers. But, as you may imagine, some of them do not appeal very strongly to practical men. If the Sinn Feiners had undertaken to do less, had kept out of politics and had avoided the enmity of the church they might have become a powerful and useful agency in promoting Irish industries and stimulating Irish patriotism, but the leaders have gone too far to retrace their steps. They cannot retract the unkind words they have said about the Irish parliamentary party or their bitter criticism of the interference of the bishops and the priests. It would be fatal for them to amend their programme by omitting the impractical portions. Hence it is not probable that the movement will gain much strength in the future, and, indeed, it is already on the decline.


The traveler from the south or west enters a zone of prosperity when he comes within forty miles of Belfast. The northern counties look like an entirely different world. The beautiful rolling landscape, with an occasional grove and flowering hedges, is similar to the rest of the east coast of the island, but the farms are larger and more thoroughly cultivated; very little of the land is given up to grazing, few cattle are seen, but fields of grain, flax, potatoes, turnips, and other vegetables take the place of pastures, and the large farmhouses are surrounded by well-kept gardens and big barns. There are no more filthy one-room cabins, with manure piles in front of the doors, and few signs of poverty or neglect. The people live in two-story houses and sleep in beds instead of on the mud floors; they have cook stoves and ranges instead of boiling their food in pots over a peat fire out of doors. There are no barefooted women; none with blankets over their heads. Every one seems to be well dressed and to have a pride of appearance as well as habits of neatness and bears evidences of comfortable circumstances. Tall chimneys rise from the centers of the towns. We see large factories in every village and square miles of linen cloth spread out upon the turf to bleach.

The north of Ireland is as different from the rest of the country as New England is from Alabama, and there is a corresponding difference in the character of the people. They are not so genial and gentle and obliging in the North; they are not so poetic, but are more practical, and they are looking out for themselves. The manners of the people of Belfast are said to be the worst in the world. They are often offensive in their brusqueness and abruptness, and a stranger is sometimes repelled by their gruff replies. The Belfasters make no pretensions to politeness, and speak their minds with a plainness and directness that are sometimes disagreeable. But they have a reputation for honesty, enterprise, industry, and morality, which they consider virtues of greater importance and of a higher value than the art of politeness.

There is a series of beautiful villages and towns along the coast south of Belfast, and one of them is called Rosstrevor because a gentleman by the name of Ross married an heiress by the name of Trevor, a younger daughter of the Viscount of Dungan. It is situated upon a height, with a background of wooded hills, plentifully sprinkled with villas. The village shows evidence of the fostering care of its late owner, Sir David Ross, and its present owner, Sir John Ross-of-Bladensburg, who is commissioner of police for Ireland, and is a person of great importance in his own estimation as well as that of others. He takes an active part in political and ecclesiastical affairs and is always occupying a front seat when anything is going on. He signs himself John Ross of Bladensburg, because his grandfather, Major General Ross, commanded the British troops at the battle of Bladensburg, and after one of the most bloody and important conflicts in the history of human warfare he led them triumphantly into the capital of the United States and destroyed the palace of the President, the parliament house, and the navy yard! All this and more appears in the much published biographies of the Ross family, and because of the glory thus acquired they added the word “Bladensburg” to their name when they were elevated to a baronetcy.

Rosstrevor House, near Belfast, the Residence of Sir John Ross of Bladensburg

The Ross family have erected an obelisk to the memory of their famous ancestor upon a promontory above the sea at Rosstrevor, and have inscribed upon it the following epitaph:

The Officers of a Grateful Army,
Which, Under the Command of the Lamented


Attacked and Defeated the American Forces
at Bladensburg on the 24th of August, 1814,
And on the Same Day
Victoriously Entered Washington,
The Capital of the United States,
Inscribe Upon This Tablet
Their Admiration of His Professional Skill
And Their Esteem for His Amiable
Private Character.

There are three other inscriptions of similar purport, one on each face of the pedestal. General Ross, it appears, is buried in Halifax.

Belfast is the center of a great manufacturing district. Each factory is surrounded by groups of neat two-story brick cottages, with gardens, churches, schoolhouses, and shops, which are very different from the rest of Ireland, and are similar to those in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Belfast ranks high among the manufacturing cities of the world. It is proud of the title of “The Chicago of Ireland.” The people are as boastful of their progress, their wealth, and their prosperity as those of its namesake. But for the strong Scotch accent one might imagine himself in Kansas City, Seattle, or Los Angeles because of their civic pride. Every man you meet tells you that a hundred years ago Belfast had only fifteen thousand population, while to-day it has nearly four hundred thousand; that its wealth has doubled six times in the last twenty-five years; that it has the largest shipyards, the largest tobacco factory, the largest spinning mills, and the largest rope walk in the world. When they take you up on the side of a high mountain and show you a view of the city spread out on both sides of the River Lagan, they defy you to count the chimneys and the church spires, which are as numerous as the domes of Moscow. Belfast is the most prosperous place in Ireland and an example of matchless concentration of power, industry, and ability.

The people have good ground for their vanity, and while their claims are somewhat exaggerated, few cities have so much to boast of. One of the shipyards has produced more than four hundred ocean steamers, another built the first turbine that ever floated on the ocean, and together they employ fifteen thousand hands. The machine shops of Belfast are also famous. They provide spinning and weaving machines for all the linen mills in the world, and ship them even to the United States. The engines, boilers, and other machinery that is turned out from the shops of Belfast are shipped to every corner of the world, and the product of the linen factories’ trade now amounts to more than sixty million dollars a year. The largest mill covers five acres, with 60,000 spindles, 1,000 looms, and more than 4,000 hands. A single tobacco firm pays $4,000,000 in taxes every year and a distillery has an annual output of $7,500,000.

Belfast has sixteen factories for the production of ginger ale, lemonade, soda, and other aërated waters, which are famous the world over. It manufactures agricultural implements and machinery for every kind of industry, and much of the machinery is the invention of its own citizens.

Belfast is no relation to the rest of Ireland. It is a Scottish town, and most of the people are of Scotch ancestry—all except the lowest class of labor, which has drifted in from the neighboring counties. The city lies at the head of a bay, or lough, as they call it there, nine miles long. The headlands at the mouth of the bay are only eighteen miles from the shores of Scotland, which may be seen very plainly on a clear morning.

The shortest distance between Ireland and Scotland is only twelve and three-quarter miles—between Torrhead and the Mull of Kintyre. The shortest practicable crossing, between Larne, a few miles north of Belfast, and Stranraer, Scotland, is thirty-nine miles, and is made in two hours by steamer. The crossing from Belfast is sixty-four miles, and it is five hours to Glasgow. There are steamers several times a day—in the morning, afternoon, and at night—and the largest part of the business as well as the sympathies of the people are with the Scots. Since the tunnel under the Hudson River has been completed between New York and Hoboken, the plan for an “under sea railway” between Larne and Port Patrick has been revived. The engineers have reported that they can make a tunnel from Ireland to Scotland, less than forty-five miles, one hundred and fifty feet below the sea level, at a cost of $60,000,000, and some day, perhaps, it will be possible to cross by train under the Irish Channel, rather than by boat over it.

The racial, religious, and political antagonisms between the north and south of Ireland are well known, and can never be removed. Three-fourths of the population in this section of the island are Protestants, mostly Calvinists of the sternest kind, and the portraits of John Knox and Oliver Cromwell hang on the walls of the houses rather than those of the popes. The religious feeling, however, is not so intense as formerly. A generation ago, the 12th of July (the anniversary of the battle of the Boyne, in which the Protestant army of William of Orange overcame and dispersed the Roman Catholic forces under James II.) never used to pass without a riot and many broken heads, but of recent years there have been very few collisions. Formerly, the Roman Catholics used to lie in wait at a certain bridge to attack the procession of Orange societies as it passed over, with shillalahs and stones. The Orangemen, who are mostly mechanics from the shipyards and machine-shops, always armed themselves with iron bolts and nuts for the fray, and missiles flew freely, leaving many unconscious and sometimes dead men on the ground. And on other holidays, whenever the representatives of either religious faith came out in force, the other usually attempted to interfere with them. But those days have passed. The rival religionists glare at and taunt each other now, but do not strike.

One cannot blame the Roman Catholics for their bitterness. In the middle of the sixteenth century, in consequence of the rebellion of the earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, the heads of the great clans of O’Neill and O’Donnell, against the authority of Queen Elizabeth, the territory belonging to them and their followers was confiscated by the crown and sold to Protestants, chiefly from Scotland, just as the southern counties were distributed among the “undertakers” from England, but with a difference. The “undertakers” who were granted the estates of the rebellious earls in southern Ireland were mostly adventurers and speculators. Many of them never came to Ireland at all. Few of them settled permanently upon their grants, while nearly all of those who undertook to carry out the contract of colonization were indifferent to the class of settlers they brought in. In Ulster Province, however, which is the northern third of Ireland, after the “flight of the earls,” their confiscated lands were taken up in small parcels by actual settlers from Scotland, whose descendants have occupied them until this day—a sturdy, thrifty, industrious, and prosperous race, and the children of these “Scotch-Irish” Protestants have borne as important a part in the settlement and development of the United States as the children of the Pilgrims have done.

The “planters,” who came over from Scotland, brought with them their morals and their religion, and most of them were Presbyterians. In 1637 the surveyor-general of the Ulster plantations reported to the king that there were forty Scots to one English, and fifteen Presbyterians to one of all the other sects combined. And the Presbyterians have ever since been the leading religious body in the north of Ireland. They are a stern, stolid, conservative race, stubborn of opinion, persistent of purpose, and fully conscious of their own rectitude. When William, Prince of Orange, invaded Ireland in 1689, after James II. abdicated his throne and fled from England, he landed at the little town of Carrickfergus, about six miles below Belfast, where he was received with great rejoicing. Here he unfurled his flag and displayed his motto, “The Protestant Religion and the Liberties of England I will maintain,” and the people of Belfast have endeavored to maintain them with vigor ever since. The term “Orangemen” has ever since been applied to organizations of Protestants of a political character, and they have received more or less support from the church. Most of them are semi-benevolent, like the Hibernian societies among the Catholic population of southern Ireland, and they are found in every town and village in the province of Ulster. There are Orange halls in every parish of Belfast and the surrounding country. They embrace in their membership representatives of all the Protestant denominations, the Church of Ireland and the Methodists as well as the Presbyterians—but the latter are most numerous and in some districts you will find none but Presbyterians.

The O’Neills were kings of Ulster in ancient times and their coat of arms was a red hand, whereby hangs a startling tale. According to tradition, the original O’Neill came over from Scotland with a party of invaders, among whom it was agreed that he should be king whose hand first touched the soil of Ireland. The boats were all stranded on the beach, and the captains and the crews were striving desperately to make the shore, when “The O’Neill,” with the nerve that has always distinguished his clan, drew his sword, chopped off his own left hand at the wrist, threw it upon the beach and claimed the throne, which was accorded him. Hence a red hand or “Lamh dearg” is on the coat of arms of Ulster, being placed upon a small shield in the center of a large shield, upon which appears the red cross of St. George, thus signifying England’s domination over Ulster.

Neill of the Nine Hostages, who reigned from A.D. 379 to 405, was the most warlike and adventurous of all the pagan kings, and, with two exceptions, all the overkings of Ireland, from the time that Red O’Neill tossed his amputated hand upon the shore, to the accession of Brian Boru, belonged to this illustrious family. And they gave England a great deal of trouble. In 1551, Conn O’Neill was created Earl of Tyrone, and Mathew, who claimed to be his son, was given the right of succession. “Shane, the Proud,” the legitimate son and heir, was a mere boy at that time, but when he grew to manhood he disputed his half-brother’s parentage and apologized for his father’s conduct with the remark that, “Being a gentleman, he never refused a child that any woman named to be his.”

After the death of Henry VIII. Shane O’Neill inaugurated a rebellion which cost England more men and more money than any struggle that has ever occurred in Ireland; an expenditure equal to $10,000,000 of our present money, besides tens of thousands of lives and millions of private property destroyed. After peace was restored in 1558, Shane was elected “The O’Neill,” in accordance with the ancient Irish custom, and in 1561 he accepted the olive branch from Queen Elizabeth and went to London at her invitation, followed by his gallowglasses in their strange native attire—loose, wide-sleeved, saffron-colored tunics, reaching to their knees, with shaggy mantles of sheepskin over their shoulders, their heads bare, their long hair curling down on their shoulders and clipped short in front, just above the eyes.

The last of the earls of Tyrone was Hugh O’Neill, a son of Shane, who organized another rebellion in 1584, and, being defeated, fled to his castle in the dense woods of Glenconkeine, and there awaited anxiously for Philip of Spain or Clement VIII., the reigning pope, to succor him. One by one O’Neill was deserted by all the Irish chieftains except Rory O’Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell, and as they saw no hope of relief they made peace with England. Several years later, in 1607, being accused of a plot, they fled from the shores of Ireland with a party of ninety-four kinsfolk and retainers. They finally found their way to Rome, where Paul V., the reigning pontiff, gave them shelter and expressed his deep sympathy with the Irish exiles. The following year Rory O’Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell, died of Roman fever, and in 1616 the last of the Irish kings bearing the name of O’Neill was laid to rest in the Church of San Pietro on the Janiculum, the same which claims the dust of St. Peter.

Shane’s Castle, near Belfast, the Ancient Stronghold of the O’Neills, Kings of Ulster

The misfortunes which always followed Hugh O’Neill’s footsteps continued to pursue his sons. Henry, the eldest, died in command of an Irish regiment in the Netherlands; John, his next brother, succeeded him and died in battle in Catalonia; Bernard was assassinated when but seventeen years old; Hugh died of Roman fever, and Conn, the youngest, who, for some unaccountable reason, was left in Ireland in the hurry of his father’s flight, was arrested, taken to London, and imprisoned in the Tower, where he was lost sight of, and the male line of the O’Neills became extinct. The living representative of the family, Baron Edward O’Neill of Shane’s Castle, Antrim, is descended in the female line. His name was Chichester until he was created baron in 1868, when he assumed that of his ancestors. He lives in the old castle, about fourteen miles north of Belfast.

The lord of the county, however, is the young Earl of Shaftesbury, grandson of the famous philanthropist, who inherits many of his grandfather’s traits and takes an active part in religious, philanthropic, political, and municipal affairs. He is very public-spirited, is always willing to do his part in charitable movements, has served as alderman and lord mayor of Belfast with great credit, and has held several other important positions. He was educated at Eton and Sandhurst Military School, was elected alderman in Belfast in 1905 and lord mayor in 1907. In 1899 he married Lady Constance Grosvenor, granddaughter of the late Duke of Westminster. He inherited Belfast Castle, the former seat of the Donegal family, which they have occupied ever since. It is about three miles from Belfast, and entirely modern. The state apartments and picture galleries on the main floor are very fine. A short distance from the castle is a beautiful little private mortuary chapel erected by the late Marquis of Donegal, as a burial place for the family.

On the opposite side of Belfast Lough is the seat of the late Lord Dufferin and Ava, one of the ablest and most useful men in the British empire for many years. His figure in bronze under a marble canopy in the City Hall Park reminds the people of Belfast of his ability, his patriotism, and his public services. He was Viceroy of India, Governor-General of Canada, ambassador to France, Italy, and Turkey, and held other important positions and received unusual honors, but he died here in 1902 broken hearted because his reputation had been used by a swindler, named Wright, in promoting an enterprise that seemed to him proper and promising, but turned out to be the worst kind of a fraud. His situation was similar to that of General Grant after the Grant-Ward failure in New York. Lord Dufferin gave up all his property as restitution to the victims of the scheme and retired to the seclusion of his ancestral home here. Wright was convicted and sentenced to twenty years in prison, but committed suicide before he was sent to the penitentiary. The dowager marchioness still occupies the family mansion with her younger children and is actively engaged in charitable work.

The young earl occupies an important position in the foreign office at London. He was born in 1866, and in 1903 married an American girl, Miss Florence Davis, daughter of John H. Davis, 24 Washington Square, New York City.

Upon the loftiest eminence overlooking Belfast Lough is a tall, round structure known as Ellen’s Tower, which the late marquis erected in memory of his late mother, Ellen Sheridan, a granddaughter of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the dramatist. She was a woman of great ability and exercised a wide influence. She wrote books and poetry and songs and was the author of the old-fashioned ballad that was very popular in your grandmother’s time: “I’m Sitting on the Stile, Mary.”

On the north side of the Bay of Belfast, about six miles below the city, is the ancient town of Carrickfergus, which is of peculiar interest to Americans, because the father of Andrew Jackson was born there and from there emigrated in 1765 and found a farm in the wilderness of North Carolina.

It was there also that John Paul Jones, with the Ranger, fought the Drake, a British sloop of war, April 24, 1778. The Drake was in the harbor near the Castle of Carrickfergus, when the Ranger came in sight, and coaxed her out for an engagement, which occurred promptly in midchannel, and for a while there was very lively action on both sides. The Drake carried twenty 4-pound guns and 142 seamen. The Ranger carried eighteen 6-pound guns and 155 seamen, several of whom were Irishmen from Belfast and one from Carrickfergus. The Drake was the larger vessel, but was not handled as easily as the Ranger. The fight lasted an hour and fifteen minutes when the Drake struck her colors. Her captain, Burder, by name, was killed; Lieutenant Dobbs, the next in command, was mortally wounded, and her deck was covered with the dead and the dying. The Ranger had only three killed and five wounded. Captain Jones remained in the bay for several days, making repairs, and sent all the wounded ashore to Carrickfergus. Lieutenant Dobbs died the morning after the battle and is buried in the churchyard of the little village of Lisburn near by, where he lies beside the great and good Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Armagh, who died in 1667.

It was on the day before the battle that Captain Jones made his raid upon the castle of Lord Selkirk at Kirkcudbright, Scotland, across the Irish Channel, and carried away with him the family plate, which was surrendered by Lady Selkirk to avoid a mutiny among the crew. But Captain Jones, after five years of persistent work, recovered the entire collection and restored it safely to its original owners, even paying for its carriage to Scotland. Captain Stockton, the American military attaché at London, sent to the Navy Department at Washington, copies of several characteristic letters written by John Paul Jones to Lady Selkirk and to Lord Selkirk, concerning the matter.

Belfast has had many distinguished sons in addition to those whom I have already named, but none more eminent and useful than James Bryce, British ambassador to Washington, who was born there May 10, 1838, and shares with Lord Kelvin the honor of being the most famous of all Belfasters. He went from there a young man to the University of Glasgow and there developed his extraordinary mental and physical energy. From Glasgow he went to Oxford, where he took his degree in 1862, and then to Heidelberg to perfect himself in German, of which he is a thorough scholar. We next find him studying law in London where he was called to the Bar in 1867 and immediately was recognized for his legal ability and learning. Only three years later he was invited to accept the Regius professorship of law at Oxford, which he held from 1870 to 1893. In the meantime he was the busiest man in England and engaged in the greatest variety of activities. He was writing history, exploring Iceland, climbing Mount Ararat, making records in the Alpine Club, studying Ireland, running for parliament, serving as parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs, and afterward as chief secretary for Ireland in the British cabinet and chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

And all this time, when he was not doing anything else, he was writing books, and almost all of his works are regarded as the best books ever written upon the subjects of which they treat. “The American Commonwealth” is acknowledged to be the best account of our institutions ever penned by a foreigner. “The Holy Roman Empire” is a model of historical literature, while Mr. Bryce’s other books, on a variety of subjects, are of equal rank in scholarship and in literary merit.

The late Rev. Dr. John Hall, in his day the most eminent Presbyterian divine in America, was born at Armagh, where Cardinal Logue, the Roman Catholic Primate of Ireland, presides over the ancient see of St. Patrick. Dr. Hall was born in 1829, entered Belfast College when he was only thirteen years old, and although the youngest in his class, ranked first in scholarship and took the largest number of prizes. He studied theology at the Presbyterian Seminary here, and when he was only twenty-two years old became pastor of the First Church at Armagh, his native town. In 1856 he was called to Dublin as pastor of the Rutland Presbyterian Church, and was appointed commissioner of education for Ireland. In 1867 he was sent to the United States as a delegate to the general assembly, and created such a favorable impression that he immediately received a call to the pulpit of the Fifth Avenue Church, Presbyterian, of New York, which he accepted and occupied the rest of his life.


Belfast has a population of 380,000, according to the most reliable estimates. The latest enumeration, in 1901, showed a population of 349,180, which is just double that returned by the census of 1871. Of this population 120,269 are Presbyterians, 102,991 are Episcopalians, 84,992 are Roman Catholics, 21,506 Methodists, and the remainder are divided among a dozen different religious denominations. It is distinctively a theological town.

You hear workingmen discussing theology in the street cars instead of politics, comparing the eloquence of their ministers and their soundness in the faith.

There is a remarkably large attendance at church. All the churches are crowded every Sunday. There is a difference of terms, however, with the several denominations. Catholics go to “mass” where a priest officiates; members of the Church of Ireland attend “service” which is performed by a parson; while the Presbyterians and other nonconformists go to “meeting” and hear the gospel expounded by a minister. The Presbyterian services are very long and heavy. They begin at 11 o’clock on Sunday morning and last till 1:30, and the Sunday school continues two hours. The congregation is never satisfied with a sermon less than an hour long, while an hour and a quarter is preferred, and they insist that their ministers shall expound doctrinal texts to their satisfaction or they criticise them freely and fiercely.

The Irish are the most old-fashioned kind of Presbyterians, being stricter than the Scotch. Few churches allow musical instruments or hymns that rhyme, and the congregations follow a precentor with a tuning fork in chanting Rouse’s version of the Psalms of David.

The people remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy only until afternoon. There are no railway trains or street cars running in the morning, and you cannot find a cab or a jaunting car on the street. No boats arrive or depart from the docks on Sunday, and when I took a walk along the river front one Sunday I found the men who were accustomed to work there all sitting around eating “willicks,” or periwinkles—a sort of water snails which are picked up on the beach of the bay and are peddled about by old women and small boys like chestnuts. You can buy half a pint of them for a penny. The peddler has a paper of long pins in his basket and gives one to each purchaser to pry the snails out of their shells. That seems to be the Sunday morning occupation. But Sunday afternoon everybody comes out for a good time, the streets fill up with promenaders and the cars are crowded with excursionists.

The Belfast directory gives a list of sixty orthodox Presbyterian churches, and they are numbered from the First Presbyterian Church consecutively to the Fifty-eighth Presbyterian Church, with two extras, called the Strand Presbyterian Church and Albert Hall Presbyterian Church. In addition to these are five “nonsubscribing” Presbyterian churches whose members have refused to subscribe to some article of the confession of faith, but are otherwise orthodox and are numbered with the elect; four “Reformed Presbyterian churches,” one “Original Secession Church Presbyterian,” one “East Reformed Presbyterian Church,” and one “United Free Presbyterian Church,” making altogether seventy-two Presbyterian churches in a city of three hundred and eighty thousand inhabitants, an average of one Presbyterian church for every five thousand inhabitants.

As I was passing under the archway of Queen’s College with a Presbyterian doctor of divinity from Cincinnati he intercepted an old gentleman and inquired the name of the church with the handsome spire across the street.

“That’s the Fifth Presbyterian Church,” was the polite reply.

“And what church is that over yonder, whose spire we see beyond the college?”

“That’s the Twenty-seventh Presbyterian Church.”

“You seem to have an abundance of Presbyterian churches in Belfast; you ought to feel certain of salvation.”

“I’m not so sure of that,” was the reply. “I’m not convinced that a Belfast Presbyterian is any more certain of salvation than the rest of us. We once had here a famous doctor of divinity. He was a great man and a good man, and you will see his statue in bronze down beyond the railway station in the middle of the square—Rev. Dr. Cooke. He was highly respected and revered by the community, but his son was a scapegrace and gave the old gentleman a great deal of trouble and anxiety. One Sunday morning the good doctor found Harry at breakfast and remarked pleasantly:

“‘I hope you are going to meeting this morning, Harry?’

“‘Well, I’m not,’ replied Harry with a grouch.

“‘And why not?’ asked his father.

“‘I’m never going to meeting any more; I never got any good from meetings.’

“‘You’ll find no meetings in hell, sir!’ said the doctor, solemnly.

“‘It’ll not be for the lack of the ministers!’, was Harry’s reply.”

And the genial old gentleman smiled grimly and passed on.

At least two of the public monuments in Belfast have been erected in honor of Presbyterian divines,—Rev. Dr. Cooke, of whom the above story is told, and Rev. Hugh Hanna; and one of the largest and most beautiful buildings in the city is the Presbyterian House, where there is an assembly hall that will seat twenty-five hundred people, smaller halls, and committee rooms, and the offices of the various missionary societies and other organizations belonging to that denomination. It was erected by private subscription and dedicated with great ceremony two years ago. It is the headquarters of Presbyterianism in the north of Ireland and its noble tower can be seen for a long distance.

On the second floor of the building are clubrooms, reading-rooms, and amusement halls, and other attractions for the young men of Presbyterian families, a sort of denominational Y.M.C.A.; and, strange to say, the amusement-room is fitted up with two billiard tables, which I am told are in great demand every evening. The janitor in charge admitted that some of the stricter members of the sect had made urgent objections against this form of entertainment, but the committee “was not willing to let the devil have all the fun.”

The general assembly of the Presbyterian church holds its annual sessions in the big hall of the new Presbyterian building, and all the other denominational gatherings are held there. At the last assembly Rev. Dr. McIlveen, the moderator, reviewed the progress of that denomination during the last forty years. It was true, he said, that its numbers, as reported by the official census, had not increased. In common with other religious denominations, the Presbyterians had lost largely by emigration. Many of their members, especially the young and vigorous, had gone forth to seek homes in the colonies of the empire, or the great republic of the West. In the period to which he was referring the population of Ireland had decreased more than a million, and while in comparison with the other large denominations the Presbyterians had suffered less proportional loss, yet their membership had decreased fifty-five thousand. Yet they had four thousand more families than they had forty years ago and six thousand more contributors to the stipend fund. The givings of the people to various objects had more than doubled. There had been an annual increase of $100,000 in the stipend fund; $75,000 in the ordinary Sabbath offerings, and more than $90,000 annually to missions. During the same time there had been invested more than $5,250,000 in the erection and repair of churches, manses, and other Presbyterian buildings; the Church House at Belfast had been erected at a cost of $400,000, and $5,250,000 had accumulated in the hands of the boards of trustees of different benevolences as capital.

In addition to the seventy-two Presbyterian churches in Belfast, the directory notes thirty-seven under the care of the Church of Ireland, thirty Methodist, eighteen Roman Catholic, seven Congregationalist, six Baptist, two Moravians, one Friends’ meeting-house, one Jewish synagogue and two societies called Plymouth Brethren, who announce “breaking of bread at 11:30 A.M. and gospel at 7 P.M.”—making a total of one hundred and seventy-six houses of worship.

The working people of Belfast do not live in tenement houses as is the custom throughout the rest of Europe, but every family has its own separate cottage, and there are long streets of neat brick, two-story, five-room houses very similar to those that you find in Philadelphia, only the rents are very much lower there. For ten dollars a month a Belfast mechanic can get a neat and comfortable six-room dwelling, 20 feet front and 36 feet deep, with a garden 100 feet in depth. For five dollars and seven dollars and fifty cents a month he can get four or five roomed cottages that are equally comfortable. And the mechanics there take a great deal more interest in their homes than those in the rest of Ireland. If you will look through the windows as you pass through the streets you will see them draped with neat Nottingham lace curtains and linen shades. There are shelves of books and pictures, neat carpets and center-tables with a family Bible and photograph album and religious newspapers and periodicals. There are often books on theology,—more than anything else,—commentaries on the Bible and other denominational works, for the well-to-do Belfast mechanic is a Presbyterian and always prepared to defend the doctrines of that faith. The manufacturers, the merchants, and the middle classes generally are Presbyterians. The land owners, the professional men, the nobility, and the aristocracy are nearly all members of the Church of Ireland, while the common laborers are Roman Catholics.

Queen’s College, Belfast

When the Scotch “planters” came to the north of Ireland they brought their love of learning and their scholarship with their religion, and Belfast has always been an educational as well as a denominational center, more noted than any other city in Ireland for the excellence of its schools. Queen’s College, founded nearly sixty years ago by Queen Victoria as a state institution, is at the head of the system and will soon be a university. Queen’s is one of the “godless” colleges that we hear so much about in ecclesiastical circles, because there is no chapel, no religious exercises or instruction. But the atmosphere of the institution is thoroughly Presbyterian, and Rev. Dr. Hamilton, the president, who will also be president of the proposed university, is one of the most eminent ministers in that denomination. The buildings of Queen’s College, six hundred feet long, are imposing in appearance and of solid construction, after the Tudor school of architecture, with a central tower and two wings, inclosing quadrangular courts. There is a school of law and a school of medicine, with more than four hundred students, and one of the most important in Ireland.

Just behind Queen’s College is the General Assembly’s Theological Seminary, founded in 1853 to train men for the Presbyterian pulpit. It occupies a massive building of red sandstone that is simple and severe. Across the way from Queen’s is a Methodist college with two hundred and fifty students, the building being after the same general plan as Queen’s. These three institutions are entirely in sympathy and are working together, although they have no legal or official relation.

The City Hall of Belfast is an imposing building, which cost a million and a half of dollars, and is very ornate for its purpose. It stands in the center of a large square, admirably located so that its fine proportions may be admired from all sides. The interior is very ornamental, the walls and stairways being of Carrara marble elaborately carved. On either side are handsome monuments. The building is 300 feet long and 240 feet deep; the façade is of the same design on each of the four sides, and there is a dome 175 feet high. There is a great hall for official ceremonies and public assemblies that will seat a thousand people, and several other state apartments handsomely decorated.

In front of the City Hall is a recent statue of Queen Victoria in marble, and a very good one it is. On another side the late Lord Dufferin is represented in bronze wearing the robes of a Knight of St. Patrick, while Sir Edward J. Harland, founder of the great shipyards at Belfast, is honored in a similar manner. Not far away is the Albert Memorial, a clock tower, 143 feet high, of Gothic design, which was erected to the memory of the Prince Consort in 1870. There are several other statues of local dignitaries in different parts of the city and a soul-stirring memorial to the members of the Royal Irish Rifles who died in the Boer war.

The business architecture of Belfast is unusually fine and in striking contrast to the rest of Ireland, where there has been very little building for a century. Belfast, however, is a distinctively modern city and up-to-date. There are no skyscrapers, and the limit of height seems to be six stories, but there is considerable architectural display; and the shopping streets are entirely modern, with large and attractive show windows.

You hear a great deal about the weather of Ireland, and I have already quoted an old and common joke that it never rains on the 31st of February. People never go out without an umbrella or a mackintosh, because it is always safer to carry them. It rains in the most unexpected way. The clouds gather very suddenly and the predictions of the weather bureau cannot be taken seriously. But the natives don’t seem to mind it. They are so used to getting soaked that it is a matter of no consequence, and over in the shipyards and elsewhere we saw men working on through a pouring rain without taking the slightest notice of it. Women who are compelled to weather the storms frequently line their skirts with rubber cloth or leather so as to keep their underclothing dry, and every man carries his mackintosh over his arm when he leaves home in the morning.

Albert Memorial, Belfast

The official reports show that in the year 1907 rain fell on 232 out of the 365 days, and in 1906 there were 237 rainy days. In October, 1907, there were twenty-nine rainy days; in December, twenty-seven; in May, twenty-two; but in September there were only nine rainy days, which might be called a drought. In 1906 January had twenty-nine rainy days, August twenty-four, April twenty-three, and November and December twenty-two each. The average annual rainfall for the last forty years has been 33,523 inches.

The highest temperature in 1907 was 79.8 degrees in the shade, and lowest, on the 30th of December, was 19 above zero.

Belfast is a very healthy city, however, the death rate averaging about twenty per one thousand. It has been very much reduced during the last fifteen or twenty years by the improvement of the water supply and sewerage. The birth rate is very high and has sometimes run up to thirty-seven per one thousand of population. Last year it was thirty-one per one thousand.

On Saturday and Sunday nights we saw a good many drunken men upon the streets. But I am told that there is a great improvement in this respect in recent years. The Orange associations of Protestants and the Hibernian and other friendly societies of Roman Catholics are both taking an active part in temperance work, from economical as well as moral motives, because they realize how much misfortune, poverty, sickness, and death—all of which increase their assessments—are due to drink.

I have not been able to find out how much money is spent for whisky in the Protestant counties. There is no way to ascertain or estimate it accurately, but the sum must be very large. But everybody agrees that it is diminishing. There is a less number of saloons by twenty-five or thirty per cent than there was ten years ago, and a corresponding decrease in the amount of drunkenness. The number of arrests for drunkenness and disorder have fallen off noticeably during the last few years. This has given a great deal of encouragement to the temperance advocates.

There is a much higher degree of intelligence and mechanical skill among the working people in Belfast than in any other part of Ireland, and the ratio of illiteracy is much lower in County Down and County Antrim than in any other part of the island. The highest degree of skilled labor is required in the machine shops and shipyards and commands the best wages that are paid to any artisans in Ireland. The women work in linen mills and shirt and collar factories.

A technical school for the specialized training of boys for mechanics was established here in 1902, evening instruction in the applied sciences, drawing, sketching, and the other arts, and in mathematics, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering, having been given for several years in classes maintained by voluntary subscriptions from citizens. Five such institutions were in existence at that time, having between seven and eight hundred students on their rolls. An act of parliament passed in 1899 authorized the consolidation of these schools, and a beautiful building in the very center of the city, admirably adapted to the purpose, was erected and equipped at the expense of $750,000. The school now has a stated income of $96,000 from regular taxation. In 1902 classes were opened with the total of 3,381 students. At present this number has been increased to 5,064 men, women, and children between fifteen and sixty-five years of age, representing all classes and castes, who are studying everything in the way of useful arts and trades. Thirty teachers are exclusively employed, with one hundred and thirty experts from different factories and machine shops, who give evening instruction or have special classes on certain days. Nothing is free. Everybody who enjoys the benefits of the institution is required to pay a fee ranging from one dollar a term upward to sixty dollars, according to the amount of attention required. The largest classes are in engineering, drawing, electricity, and the commercial occupations, but nearly every trade is taught in connection with the ordinary rudiments of English, mathematics, and geography in the evening classes to those whose early education was neglected.

The municipality owns the building and supports the school. Sir James Henderson, editor of the Daily News-Letter, who was lord mayor of Belfast at the time that the school was established, is the chairman of the committee in charge, and is to be congratulated upon a great success. The attitude of the labor unions, which at first regarded the enterprise with distrust, is becoming more friendly, and they permit their members to avail themselves of the facilities provided by the school. The education of apprentices to trades without limitations is still a question of controversy. The attitude of the employers is more favorable, because nearly all of them recognized increased efficiency among their journeymen who have attended the school, and many of them are paying a part or the whole of the fees of all their workmen who will attend regularly the classes in their respective trades. The investment is, therefore, a good one for the city of Belfast. The technical school will certainly result in the improvement of the efficiency of the mechanics of the city.

Belfast has quite a number of municipal utilities. The city owns the gas works, the electric lighting plant, and all the street car lines, as well as the water supply. The gas works have proven to be a very profitable undertaking, and gas is furnished for sixty-seven cents a cubic foot, with a fair profit to the city. A municipal electric plant lights the streets and furnishes power for the street railway lines and also pays a profit. The street railway line, however, is not a profitable investment and is running behind under municipal management for several reasons.

The municipality also owns a large hall that will seat 2,097 persons, and a smaller hall that will seat 330. Each of these halls is rented for concerts, lectures, assemblies, exhibitions, conventions, balls, and for other purposes at a rate of twenty dollars per night for the smaller one and sixty dollars for the larger one, including light, heat, and attendance, and there is a good income from both. It also has a series of organ recitals in the large hall every winter, which are attended by audiences varying from six hundred to two thousand, who pay a nominal price for admission—from six to twelve cents, according to the seat—and thus the entertainments support themselves. The city also owns a number of private bathing houses, situated in different parts of the town, for which tickets can be bought for two cents and four cents, according to the accommodations. These are largely patronized by the working people, and are self-supporting. Altogether the municipal management of Belfast is admirable and affords examples which other cities may study with profit.

The advantages of Belfast for the manufacture of linen goods, the very damp climate which softens the thread so that it does not snap in the spindles or the looms and enables the fabric to be woven closer and softer, and the purity of the water for bleaching, were recognized long ago; and, after the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685, when six hundred thousand Protestants fled from France, a party of Huguenot refugees under Louis Crommelin were invited to come over and introduce that industry. Crommelin belonged to a family that had woven linen for four hundred years. He was a man of great business ability, common sense, energy, and perseverance, and they called him “Crommelin the Great.” Belfast certainly owes him a heavy debt, and it has not been paid. Although the Irish parliament passed a resolution thanking him for his services in 1707, his grave in the little churchyard at Lisburn, a suburban village, is marked only by an ordinary slab of stone. There is no monument to remind the people of the north of Ireland what they owe to his ability and devotion.

The business grew rapidly for the first century and a half, and as early as 1833 Belfast had eighty mills and was producing $25,000,000 worth of linen fabrics annually. In 1840 there were 250,000 spindles buzzing about this town, but the trade reached its maximum in the ’70s, and has not increased much since. There are in all of Ireland about 35,000 looms and 900,000 spindles, all of them in this immediate vicinity, except two factories at Dublin, one at Cork, and one at Drogheda.

These are divided among about two hundred factories with about one hundred and twenty thousand operatives, of whom two-thirds are women. Their wages range from three to four dollars a week, and for men from six to seven dollars a week, the week’s work under normal circumstances being fifty-five hours the year around, beginning at six o’clock in the morning, with an hour off for breakfast from eight to nine; another hour from one to two for lunch, and then they remain at work until six o’clock. An act of parliament does not permit operatives in textile factories to remain in the buildings where they work during the breakfast and lunch hours for any purpose whatever. If they bring their meals with them, they must eat them outside of the factory, for the purpose is to give them a change of air and require them to take a certain amount of exercise. Many of the companies here feed their hands in dining-halls connected with, but apart from, the workrooms.

Even these small wages have been increased from ten to twenty per cent within the last five years, and it is remarkable how people can live and support families upon such limited incomes. The wages are paid on Saturday noon—when a half-holiday is allowed, and the money is given to the hands in tin boxes. Each operative has his own number. As they pass the paymaster’s window they call out their number, receive their box, take out the change, and throw the empty tin into a bin that is placed near the door for that purpose.

There are not less than 78,000 persons employed in the linen trade and its allied industries in the city of Belfast, and not less than 130,000 people are dependent directly or indirectly upon that industry for support. The situation is quite different there from many cities, because the fathers and husbands can find work in the shipyards and foundries, and thus the whole family is able to get employment. The law does not allow children under fourteen years of age to work in the factories, but a large number of boys and girls between fourteen and seventeen are engaged at wages from one dollar to two dollars a week, and much is done in the way of embroidery, hemstitching, and other forms of finishing in the households. The patterns are stamped on the cloth and the pieces are given out to women and girls to finish in their homes.

The employers exercise personal interest and have a paternal policy for the treatment of their employees, which does not occur often in the United States and other countries. This is largely due to the fact that generations have worked in the same mills for the same companies. Our manufacturing industries are not old enough for such an experience. Labor is not migratory as it is in the United States. It is customary for sons to follow the trades of their fathers, and when the daughters are old enough to go into the mill, the mothers leave it. The workmen there are satisfied with small wages; their standard of living is so much lower than in the United States that they can get along very well, as their fathers and ancestors have done for generations, upon their scanty earnings. Very few of them save any part of their wages. Not five per cent of the wage-earners of Belfast patronize the savings banks. They live from hand to mouth, and, knowing this fact, their employers are compelled to look after them in hard times. If they did not, the operatives who are out of employment would scatter and when work was resumed it would be difficult to fill their places.

The work of the operatives in linen factories is very trying on the health, because the atmosphere of the rooms is kept as damp as possible in order to soften the threads and make them more pliable. Few of the operatives live past middle life unless they have unusually strong constitutions.

More than half of the flax used in Belfast comes from Russia. Only about twelve thousand tons is raised in Ireland, and that entirely in Ulster Province, where fifty-five thousand acres are devoted to its cultivation. An average of forty thousand tons a year is imported from Holland, Belgium, and other countries, as well as Russia. S.S. Knabenshue of Toledo, the American consul, attempted to induce farmers in the Northwest of the United States, who grow flax for the seed, to ship over here the straw they throw away, but he has not succeeded in arousing any interest, although they might find a permanent and profitable market.

Until recently the spinning of the flax into thread was done by separate companies and the thread was sold to the weavers, but several years ago a combine was organized and many of the spinning plants went into a trust, which has enabled them to command better prices and be more independent. The linen manufacturers, however, are practically dependent upon the United States. We take more than half the products of Irish linen. The average for the last forty years has been 51.1 per cent sold to the United States, 19.3 to the British possessions, and 29.6 per cent to other foreign countries.

In 1907 the value of the linen shipped to the United States was $14,970,051 out of a total export of $26,895,014. In 1906 our purchases were about $1,000,000 less, but the proportion remains about the same, and American buyers may be always found at the Belfast hotels, although most of the big manufacturers have their agencies in New York.

Belfast has the largest ropewalk in the world, which employs three thousand hands, and for years was under the management of the late W.H. Smiles, a son of Samuel Smiles, author of “Self-Help” and other well-known books. It is a model institution, and among other features the firm maintains a large cookhouse and dining-room, where the employees and their families can obtain wholesome meals much cheaper than they could be supplied at their own homes. Such a benevolence would serve to decrease the drunkenness of Ireland and Scotland more than any other measures that could be adopted. Medical authorities agree that the principal cause of alcoholism is insufficient nourishment and ill-cooked food, which creates a craving for stimulants, and argue that if the working people could have better food they would spend less money for drink.

Belfast is the greatest producer of ginger ale, bottled soda, lemonade, and other aërated waters in the world, and ships them to every corner of the globe. There are sixteen factories engaged in that business. It is asserted there that soda water was invented in Belfast. Although there is no positive evidence to that effect, there is no doubt that ginger ale was first made by a druggist named Grattan in 1822, who started a factory here that is still running and has had many imitators. The great advantage found there is in the quality of the water, which is especially adapted to aëration, just as that at Burton-on-Trent is adapted to the manufacture of ale.

Belfast has two celebrated shipyards which launched 137,369 tons of steamers in 1907 and 150,428 tons in 1906. The firm of Harland & Wolff launched 74,115 tons, and Workman, Clark & Co., 63,254. Harland & Wolff ranked fourth in the order of British shipyards and Workman, Clark & Co. stand ninth in the list.

The latter firm built the first ocean turbine steamers and Harland & Wolff the first ocean greyhound, the Oceanic, in 1870, which was the pioneer of fast sailing on the Atlantic and a notable advance in the science of navigation. She was an epoch-making vessel from the point of view of naval architects, because of her general design and construction, being of much greater length in proportion to her beam than any that had ever been built up to that time, and she represented the first attempt to insure the maximum of comfort and luxury in ocean travel by sacrificing freight space to passenger accommodations and locating the saloons and cabins amidship. Since then all of the steamship companies have adopted the same plan, and the comfort and conveniences that are now found upon vessels have no doubt enormously increased the passenger traffic.


Londonderry, usually called Derry, is an ancient burgh, in which much history has been enacted, and is unique in several respects among all the cities of the earth. It does not look like an Irish city at all. It resembles Plymouth, England. If you were dropped down from a balloon you might easily imagine yourself in that driving seaport, which is perfectly natural because everything in Derry is English and there is no sympathy with the rest of Ireland, or relationship either in race, religion, commerce, or customs. And the town is the property of the city of London, which accounts for the name.

It was called Derry in ancient times until King James I., in 1612, for money advanced him by the guilds of the city of London when he was hard up, gave them an area of two hundred thousand acres, confiscated from the O’Dohertys and the O’Neills for disloyalty. The grant includes every inch of land upon which Londonderry stands, “and the liberties thereof,” which means jurisdiction over everything within a radius of two miles around. The aldermen of the city of London, that small but wealthy community which surrounds the Bank of England and the Mansion House in the world’s metropolis, formed what is known as the Honorable Irish Society, composed of representatives of the different guilds, to hold the charter, and they hold it still. The aldermen of the city of London elect the governor of the society, who is now Sir Robert Newton, lord mayor of London, and the deputy governor, who is now a Mr. Gardiner, a resident of Londonderry, as is customary. The lord mayor’s functions are nominal. The deputy governor exercises full authority, assisted by a council of twenty-four members, selected from among the most prominent residents. The municipal expenses are paid by the ordinary forms of taxation and the government is conducted like that of any other city in Ireland, but the Honorable Irish Society collects ground rent from every house within a radius of two miles. It also owns the fisheries in the River Foyle. The money is not devoted to the payment of ordinary municipal expenses, but goes into the treasury of the society in London, and a portion of it is devoted to public objects here. Magee College, the Presbyterian institution, receives a generous grant. Foyle College, a nonconformist institution, and the Roman Catholic college, each gets something, and liberal subscriptions are made for the benefit of hospitals and other charities and the churches of the city. The Irish Society was purely Protestant at the time of its organization, and is Protestant still, but it is impartial in its contributions to the different religious sects. There are two cathedrals, two bishops, one Roman Catholic, and one Church of Ireland, and the latter holds the ancient cathedral which, with an abbey, was founded by St. Columba in the year 546 and still is called by his name. In the pedestal of a group of statuary, known as “the Calvary,” at St. Columba’s Roman Catholic Church, is a famous relic known as St. Columba’s stone, although his name is a misnomer. It is a massive block of gneiss, about six feet square, made with the prints of two feet, left and right, each about ten inches long.

This stone has been improperly associated in some way with St. Columba by the common people, but it has an equally interesting history, having been the crowning stone of the O’Neill clan for centuries. At his installation the newly chosen king was placed upon this stone, his bare feet in the footmarks, a willow wand was put into his hands as an emblem of the pure and gentle sway he should exercise over his people, an oath was administered to him by the chief ecclesiastic that he would preserve inviolable the ancient customs of the clan; that he would administer justice impartially among them, that he would sustain the right and punish the wrong, and that he would deliver the authority to his successor without resistance at the command of the tribe. Having taken this oath, “The O’Neill” turned his face to the four corners of Ireland to signify that he was ready to meet all foes from whatever quarter they might come; kissed his sword and his spear to signify that he was ready to use them wherever necessary, and then descended from the stone and was hailed with wild acclamations as the chief of the O’Neills, while his knights knelt before him pledging their loyalty and devotion.

At the time of Ireland’s conversion to Christianity by St. Patrick that holy man visited Londonderry, where Owen O’Neill, the King of Ulster, was converted from paganism to the new faith and baptized. And, at the same time, St. Patrick consecrated this stone and blessed it for ever.

The long line of the O’Neill ancestry was terminated in 1607 by the flight of Hugh, Earl of Tyrone, after his unsuccessful rebellion against Queen Elizabeth, and the O’Dohertys, who were not so powerful, were compelled to surrender to the English. They were expelled from their lands, with all the followers of the Earl of Tyrone. All of the county was confiscated and sold or granted to Englishmen and Scotchmen, who came in and took possession and hold it still. Large areas still belong to the guilds of London, to whom it was granted for money loaned by them to King James I. The Tailors’ Guild owns the city of Coleraine, a clean, busy town of seven thousand population, famous for its whisky and linen. It is governed by officials appointed by the Tailors’ Guild in London, which collects ground rents from all the inhabitants and derives a considerable revenue from the salmon fisheries. The Fishmongers’ Guild owns the town of Kilrea, the Drapers’ Guild owns Draperstown, and other ancient organizations of merchants in the city of London own other towns and villages in this country which they obtained in a similar manner.

Londonderry is unique for being the only city in Ireland where the ancient walls and fortifications are preserved in the most careful manner and kept in perfect order with the antique guns mounted as they were at the time of the siege 225 years ago. They do not inclose the entire city, but only the ancient part of it, and are about a mile in length, twenty-four feet high and nine feet thick. The top of the walls between the bastions is laid out as a promenade and is the favorite resort of the inhabitants, who may be found there in large numbers every day after the close of business hours. Some of the business houses and residences open upon the top of the walls, as do several popular resorts. The walls are pierced by several monumental gates, which remain precisely as they were in ancient times, and the old guns, which date back to 1635 and 1642, are kept as relics, precious as the Declaration of Independence in Washington. The bastions have been turned into little gardens, and here and there in the angles shrubs and flowers have been planted.

One of the guns which bears the name of “Roaring Meg” was presented to the city of Londonderry by the fishmongers of London and is the most precious object in the town, because of its effective work in the siege of 1689, when King James II., with an Irish army, besieged the city for 105 days, but its determined defenders succeeded in preventing his entrance. They suffered famine and pestilence, and were reduced to eating hides, tallow, and the flesh of cats and dogs. During the siege only eight of the defenders were killed by the enemy, but ten thousand persons perished from hunger, disease, and exposure in three and a half months. When the siege was lifted by the appearance of a squadron of ships laden with arms, ammunition, and provisions, King James and his army retired from one of the most important episodes in the history of Ireland. You can still see evidences of that terrible struggle. The cathedral is decorated with relics and trophies, including a bombshell which came over the wall, containing the terms of capitulation offered by King James. The laconic reply of the Rev. George Walker, rector of the Episcopal church, who was in command of the citizens, was “No surrender.”

A statue of Rev. Mr. Walker, whose courage, fortitude, and apostolic influence saved the city, was long ago erected upon the bastion which bore the heaviest fire during the siege. His noble figure stands upon the top of a shaft ninety feet high in the attitude which he is said to have assumed in the most terrible emergency, to revive and sustain the faltering courage of his parishioners. In one hand he grasps a Bible; the other is pointing down the river toward the approaching squadron of deliverance in the distant bay. At another point upon the walls is a Gothic castellated structure erected by public subscription as a clubhouse for the boys and young men of Londonderry. It is known as Apprentices’ Hall, and was erected as a memorial to the courage and foresight of a group of thirteen young apprentices who, during the excitement caused by the approach of the king’s army, had the presence of mind to drop the heavy gate without instruction from their elders, and thus made it possible to defend the city against the assault.

Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Lundy, who was in command of the garrison at the time, was a coward, and insisted upon surrendering the city to the king’s army, but was prevented from doing so by Rev. Mr. Walker, rector of the Episcopal church, and Adam Murray, an elder in the Presbyterian church. Lundy persisted in his purpose, carried on secret negotiations with the enemy, and was preparing to open the gates when his intentions were discovered. He escaped in disguise by climbing down the branches of a pear tree which grew against the wall on the east side.

Twice a year, on the 18th of December and the 12th of August, the dates of the beginning and the end of the siege, the apprentice boys of the city lead a procession of all the Protestant organizations to attend divine service at the Episcopal Cathedral and then pass the rest of the day as we celebrate the Fourth of July. At nightfall an effigy of Colonel Lundy is always burned in a prominent place. These celebrations are deplored by thoughtful people, as keeping alive religious animosities, but of recent years the collisions which used to occur between the Orange societies and the Roman Catholics have been avoided. The population of Londonderry is very largely Protestant.

The cathedral is an ugly old building, but quite interesting because of its historic associations and the relics it contains.

Magee College, the leading Presbyterian institution of Ireland, occupies a beautiful site about fifteen minutes’ walk from the center of the city. It was built and endowed by the widow of Rev. William Magee of Lurgan, was opened in 1865, and is under the care of the general assembly of the Irish Presbyterian Church. There are several departments, a staff of seven professors, and an average of two hundred and fifty students, most of whom are studying for the Presbyterian ministry. Magee is the only college in Ireland which has been founded and supported entirely by private benefactions. It has never received a dollar from the state, although there is an annual grant from the Irish Society, which owns the city of Londonderry. Under a recent act of parliament it is united with Queen’s College, Belfast, on equal terms in the new university bill. There is no religious test for students or professors, although the latter, upon accepting appointment, are required to sign a pledge that they “will not do, write, or say anything which might tend in any way to subvert the Christian religion or the belief of any person therein.” Magee has always taken a high stand for scholarship, and although the building is small it is noble in design, massive in construction, and well equipped for its purpose.

The principal business of Londonderry is to make shirts, collars, and cuffs, which are shipped to Australia, South Africa, India, and other British colonies. There are several large factories which employ about two thousand men to do the heavy work and twenty thousand women who do the stitching and laundering by old-fashioned methods. An American buyer I met in Belfast spoke rather contemptuously of the Londonderry shirt factories, which, he declared, “are not in it for a minute” with those of the United States. He insists that a single factory in Troy makes more shirts and collars than all the factories in Londonderry combined, and that by their modern machinery and processes the Troy factories can make and finish half a dozen shirts while they are making one there.

Londonderry is unique for another reason. The ordinary relations of husband and wife and their domestic responsibilities are reversed here. Many women work in the shirt factories whose husbands stay at home, keep the house, do the cooking and washing and take care of the children, because there is nothing else for them to do. There is a large excess of women in the population. They number two to one man, which is not due to natural causes, but because women are attracted here from the neighboring towns and counties to obtain work in the factories, and the young men have to leave Londonderry and go elsewhere to find employment.

Many of them go to the United States and Canada. Three lines of American steamers touch here every week—the Anchor Line, the Allan Line, and the Dominion Line—which offer low rates of transportation and carry many third-class passengers away.

The Giant’s Causeway, of which much has been written, for it is one of the wonders of the world, lies on the north coast of Ireland, about two hours by rail from Belfast, and there are several trains daily to the nearest town, called Portrush. There is an excellent hotel there, owned by the railway company, which ranks as one of the best in Ireland, and several other smaller hotels, inns, and boarding-houses innumerable for the accommodation of the crowds of people who go there every year as “trippers” and to spend their holidays.

The Giant’s Causeway, about five miles from Portrush, is reached by an electric railroad, which, I am told, was the first ever successfully operated in all the world. It was built in 1883, designed by the late Sir William Siemens, the celebrated electrician, and operated with power generated by the water of the Bush River. It was originally on the third-rail system, but was changed into an ordinary overhead trolley seven or eight years ago. The first trolley railroad was built in Richmond, Va., three years later than this.

The most interesting object at Portrush is an ancient but well preserved Irishman of the type you see in pictures and formerly on the stage, who stands at the street corner, where the railway tracks take a curve, with a big dinner bell and rings it with almost superhuman energy whenever the cars approach from either direction. This occupation engages him from some unknown hour in the morning until some unknown hour in the night, and if he ever eats or sleeps or rests that fact is not easily ascertained by a stranger. There are no bells on the cars, no alarm can be given for some reason, but nobody ever complained that he was not warned of danger at the crossing by the bell ringer, who seems to have a profound sense of his responsibilities.

It is a delightful ride along rocky cliffs that have been worn into fantastic forms by the incessant pounding of the ocean, and, although many people express their disappointment at the Giant’s Causeway, it is well worth a visit because it is unique in geology. A stream of lava, at the most twenty-six hundred feet wide and about fifteen miles long, was arrested by some means upon the extreme north coast of Ireland, and in cooling took the form of detached columns from six to thirty feet long and from eight to twenty-four inches in diameter. There are more than forty thousand of these columns in three parallel terraces, standing upright and presenting a smooth surface, but they are all separate and no two of them are of the same size or shape. There is said to be only one triangle, only one nonagon, and only one of diamond shape in all the forty thousand. Most of them are pentagons and hexagons and octagons.

The Giant’s Causeway, Portrush, near Belfast

In one place on the cliff there has been a landslide, which has thrown the pillars in that locality into horizontal positions, but elsewhere along the coast they are upright. At what is called the Giant’s Loom the columns are exposed for about thirty feet, but the rest of them form a curious and extraordinary mosaic flooring, stretching out into the sea and extending for several miles with remarkable regularity. Each column is absolutely distinct from the rest of the forty thousand; none of them are monoliths so far as can be seen, but they are divided into drums about two feet in thickness, which fit into each other like a ball and socket. The geologists generally agree that these extraordinary forms are the result of the contraction and division of the lava in cooling, and the process may be illustrated by the experiments with ordinary laundry starch, which takes the form of similar miniature columns when it cools.

Mr. S.S. Knabenshue, American Consul at Belfast, has been searching out the ancestry of the late President McKinley, who lived in the village Conagher in County Antrim in the north of Ireland. The family were Scotch Presbyterians and came over at some date unknown, and settled upon a little farm of forty-two acres. Generation after generation were born and lived and died there, leaving no record but that of honest, hardworking, God-fearing tillers of the soil. The family burying lot is in Derrykeighan Churchyard, where, among others, rest the remains of Francis McKinlay, who was executed for participation in the Revolution of 1798, and those of his wife and daughter. Francis J. Bigger, a widely known Irish archæologist and historian, has traced the descent of the late President from a great-great-grandfather who emigrated in 1743 and settled in York County, Penn. His son David McKinley emigrated to Ohio in 1814, and had a son named James whose son, William McKinley (Senior), was the father of the late President.

The cabin in which the family lived for generations is now used as a cow-shed, the present owner of the property having built himself a more pretentious residence. It has three windows and a door facing on the street. The door opens directly into a large room, which was the dining room and kitchen; the two bedrooms on each side of the fireplace have been turned into cow stables, the windows being cut down and replaced by doors so that the animals can enter from the outside.

In the Irish village at the recent Franco-British Exposition in London the McKinley cottage was reproduced, and the original doors, door frames, windows, attic floor, staircase, and the iron crane and the big pot from the fireplace all came from the real cottage, having been sold to the owner. Consequently there is nothing left of the original cottage except the stone walls and the thatched roof.

Bishop’s Gate, Derry


A gentleman from Erie, Penn., who had been traveling about Ireland for several weeks made a suggestion which seemed to me to be worth adopting, and I proposed it to several organizations for promoting the welfare of Ireland without exciting much enthusiasm. There seems to be an apprehension that somebody will make political capital out of it, and very little is done without such motives. Politics and whisky are the curses of Ireland. However, the plan is to apply to Ireland the principle of “the old home week” that has been so popular and successful in New Hampshire and other parts of New England, only it is proposed to make it a month instead of a week and have special days set apart for reunions in the different counties, at which as many natives of those counties and children of natives as possible may come over from the United States to visit their old homes and birthplaces. They can thus renew their acquaintances with their former neighbors and the playmates of their childhood, revive their interest in Irish affairs, and stimulate the patriotism and love of “the ould sod” which are marked characteristics of the race.

It would be easy to make arrangements with the different steamship lines to give low rates, not only those which touch regularly at Queenstown, but also the Holland, Antwerp, Italian, Scandinavian, and other lines which go by but do not stop at Irish ports. The tide of emigration is westward and there are comparatively few steerage and second-class passengers going east on the Cunard and White Star steamers that touch at Queenstown. The steamship companies would make a low rate for the round trip which would give an opportunity for thousands of Irish-born citizens of the United States to spend a short vacation across the sea visiting their old homes and the homes of their fathers. The fact that everybody is doing the same would be a great incentive, and for a few weeks Ireland would be crowded with her former sons and daughters.

A very important result of such a visitation would be to leave in Ireland large sums which would quicken business, increase the demand for labor, create a market for everything that is made or grows, and flood Ireland with money. Each visitor would contribute his share, although it might be a little, but the total of the expenditures of such pilgrims would be enormous and create a condition of prosperity greater than Ireland has ever seen. Five million dollars has been expended in New Hampshire by visitors from other States since the Old Home Week celebrations and the advertisement of abandoned farms were first undertaken. If that amount of money should be spent in Ireland it would be of everlasting benefit to the people. If ten thousand visitors came from the United States and spent only a hundred dollars each, which is a very low average, it would leave a million dollars in circulation here.

It might be natural also, as has occurred in New Hampshire, that many natives who went to the States in their childhood and have become wealthy and are now approaching the period of their rest and leisure would purchase homes in Ireland and spend their declining years in the scenes of their youth as Mr. Croker is doing, and three or four other persons I met. There was a man at the hotel from Chicago looking for a country place. He expects to invest a hundred thousand dollars in an Irish home somewhere near Dublin. Then, think of the contributions that would be made in aid of the churches, the benevolent institutions, and other charities as well as to insure the comfort and happiness of individuals in whom the visitors might be interested. One might suggest many other ways in which Ireland might be benefited by such celebrations, and those who participate in them will certainly have a deep sense of gratification for their share. Perhaps the most important result would be to correct the misapprehensions that are almost universal concerning the material condition of Ireland. Things are much different in many respects from what Irish-Americans have been led to believe by newspaper articles and other publications, and it is right and necessary that misapprehensions should be corrected.

If the month of July, three or four years ahead, were selected for reunions of the sons of Ireland, it would give sufficient time to make the necessary arrangements, and local organizations in the different countries could fix their own dates most convenient for reunions of those who would come from those particular localities. Irishmen in Australia, Canada, South Africa, and other parts of the world would be glad to join their American cousins in carrying out such a plan. I met an American priest at Cork who was enthusiastic over the suggestion and declared that twenty families in his own parish would undoubtedly come over on such an occasion to visit their old homes. And he expressed the surprise that I felt about the improved conditions of the Irish people and the prospects for peace and happiness and prosperity in the island.

There are now nearly two million natives of Ireland in the United States, and nearly six million people whose parents were born there or who were born there themselves.

The following statement will show the number of natives of Ireland in the United States as returned by each census since 1850:


The census of 1900 shows 3,991,417 citizens of the United States both of whose parents were born in Ireland.

Since the census of 1900 was taken the average arrivals from Ireland have been about thirty-eight thousand per year, which has added at least three hundred thousand to the total of 1900, and, making due allowance for deaths and departures, increased the number of natives in the United States to nearly two millions.

The improved conditions in Ireland during the last few years have caused a considerable decrease in emigration. At the present time a smaller number of people are seeking work in other countries than ever before since the famine of the ’40s. This is the most significant evidence of the prosperity of the country and the success of the government in promoting contentment and improving the condition of the peasants by the enactment of the land laws and the work of the Congested Districts Board, of which I have written at length in previous letters.

Low tide in emigration was reached during the first six months of 1908, when the total number departing from Ireland was only 13,511, being a decrease of 8,713 in comparison with the corresponding period of 1907. Of these 9,974 went to the United States and 1,598 to Canada; 1,868 went from Leinster Province, 3,762 from Munster, 4,611 from Ulster, and 3,270 from Connaught.

The total number of emigrants from Ireland in 1907 was 39,082, but unless something extraordinary happens the total for this year will fall below 25,000.

During the last fifteen years the population of Ireland has decreased 292,370, and during the last fifty years it has fallen off three and one half millions. During the last fifteen years the population of Scotland has increased 689,825 and that of England and Wales has increased 5,461,197. The birth rate in Ireland is larger than it is in either England or Scotland, and the death rate is about the same, so that the decrease in population has been entirely due to emigration.

Since the distribution of the great estates in Ireland among the tenants in small farms there is a growing complaint concerning the lack of labor; and the emigration of young men to the United States and the migration of farm laborers who spend from five to nine months in Scotland every year where wages are higher than in Ireland are creating a very serious problem.

There are in Ireland about 400,000 farms, of which 165,000, embracing three-fourths of the total area, average more than thirty acres, and that is all one man can cultivate. All farms more than thirty acres in extent, and many of smaller area, require hired labor, which has usually received about 12 shillings per week until the last two or three years, when farm wages were advanced to 14 shillings and 16 shillings a week—that is, $3.50 and $4. The recent census shows that 217,652 men are employed as laborers upon these 165,000 farms and that an average of 76,870 extra hands are employed during the harvest. During the last three years, although the area under cultivation has been growing smaller annually, it has been difficult to obtain a sufficient amount of labor to carry on the harvests, and wages, in many cases, have advanced to 18 shillings a week.

Notwithstanding the demand for home labor, 24,312 persons, including 750 women, left Ireland in May, 1907, and went to England and Scotland, where they remained to work on the farms until the following November. Most of them went from the northwestern part of Ireland, from counties Mayo, Roscommon, Donegal, Galway, and Sligo, which have the least land under cultivation in the country.

An investigation made by the estates commissioners showed that 3,245 of these persons had holdings of five acres, 987 had holdings of between five and ten acres, 912 between ten and fifteen acres, 458 between fifteen and twenty acres, 471 between twenty and twenty-five acres, 93 between twenty-five and thirty acres, 102 between thirty and forty acres, and 75 had farms of more than forty acres. Most of them left their little farms to be cultivated by their wives and sons and daughters during their absence. Among the migrants were 9,308 sons of farmers, who work on their father’s farms when they are in Ireland, but go to England and Scotland because they are able to make more money than by staying at home.

The average wages of these migrants was 26 shillings a week, and they varied from 20 to 30 shillings, according to intelligence, with food, lodging, and in many cases their traveling expenses one way. It is customary for the Scotch and English farmers to pay the railway fare over and leave the migrant to buy his ticket home in the fall. Most of the migrants save the larger part of their wages. It is estimated that the average net savings was £12, or $60 per person, and that the total amount taken back to Ireland at the end of the season was about £275,000, or $1,375,000 in American money. These savings are sufficient to keep their families through the rest of the year with the aid of their small farms, fishing, weaving, lacemaking, and other home industries.

According to the reports of the estates commission, the number of farm hands employed in 1871, in addition to the owners of the land and their families, was 446,782, or more than twice as many as are employed at present. In 1881 the number was 300,091. The number of occasional laborers or extra harvest hands employed in 1871 was 189,829, as against 76,870 employed in 1907, which indicates in a striking manner the decay of agriculture in Ireland.

At the same time wages have increased 30 per cent and the cost of boarding farm hands has increased 40 per cent. The hands now demand better accommodations and better food, and everything they require is much more expensive than it was thirty years ago. The average wages for steady farm hands in Ireland with board, according to the official statistics, is $12 a month, while ten years ago labor was plenty at $9 a month. Wages of household servants are about the same and have advanced as rapidly.

The census statistics of Ireland are quite interesting and show that for the last ten years the population has remained fairly stationary, the excess of births over deaths making up the loss by emigration. The latest vital statistics available are for the year 1905, which show a population of 4,391,565, an excess of births over deaths of 27,671; an emigration of 30,676, and a net decrease in population of 2,915. The following table shows the number of births, deaths, and emigrants for ten years:


Through the efforts of Mr. Boland, M.P., the foreign commerce of Ireland is now given independently in the statistical reports of the United Kingdom, and the following table shows the imports and exports for recent years:


It will be noticed that there was a considerable increase every year in both columns, but the increase in exports was considerably greater than in imports. This increase was particularly noticeable in live stock shipments to England. In 1905 there were 1,852,423 head of horses, mules, cattle, sheep, and swine shipped from Ireland to England, and in 1907 the shipments had increased to 2,025,292 head.

The exports of butter also increased, and Ireland now has the lead among the nations that contribute to the British poultry market. In 1907 the value of the poultry exported from Ireland to Great Britain was £725,441.

Ireland ought to furnish all the bacon that the British people eat. Irish bacon is the best in the world, and brings the highest prices, but, notwithstanding that fact, more bacon was imported into England from the United States, from Denmark, and from Canada than from Ireland.

The exports of manufactured goods—linens, woolens, and other textiles—from Ireland during the fiscal year 1907, exceeded £20,000,000. The imports of similar articles amounted to £27,000,000. The Irish import a vast amount of bacon from the United States when they ought to supply their own market.

The following table will show the commerce between the United States and Ireland during the last three years:

 Imports from
Exports to

The falling off of the exports from Ireland in 1908 was due entirely to the panic of that year in the United States, which caused an almost total stagnation of trade for several months.

There is no limit to the demand for Irish agricultural produce at good prices, but the cultivated area of the island continues to diminish annually, and the area given up to pasturage and the breeding of cattle and sheep increases. The Irish farmer has an unlimited market for bacon, hams, butter, eggs, poultry, potatoes, and other vegetables in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, and other great manufacturing cities which are now very largely fed by Holland and Denmark. More eggs and poultry, more butter and bacon, are imported into England from Denmark than from Ireland, notwithstanding the difference in distance and cost of transportation. The provision dealers of the great manufacturing cities of England always have agents in Ireland, and the Department of Agriculture and the Irish Agricultural Organization Society are both active and efficient in securing and cultivating markets for Irish products. They are advancing large sums of money to establish co-operative dairies and to improve the dairy cattle, the swine, and poultry of Ireland, but many of the farmers are indifferent to their opportunities and with the happy-go-lucky characteristic of the Irish race are happy and satisfied so long as they have enough to feed their own mouths.

Sir Horace Plunkett, who has been especially active in trying to improve the condition of the farmers of Ireland, says: “The settlement of the land question and the new system of governmental aid to agriculture are proceeding rapidly and doing great good, but along neither of those two lines of national advancement, nor along both combined, is agricultural prosperity to be attained. The result depends entirely upon voluntary individual effort and co-operation. The British market will take all the produce we can send, and the more we send of uniform quality—and this can be done by co-operation—the more it will pay for our produce. It follows that every dairy farmer in Ireland is not only interested in seeing that every farmer in his district forwards the best butter he can produce, but he is also concerned to see that farmers in other districts do the same. The ownership of the land by the occupier, which has been brought about by legislation, will not of itself give the Irish farmer the prosperity he hopes for. It is not only the farms, but the habits of the people upon the land which need improvement. Capable under certain influences of surprising industry, they lack the qualities which secure the fruits of industry, because their education and economic circumstances have not developed the industrial habit. They are surely clever in their resourcefulness and shrewd in their bargainings, but as a rule in the management of their farms and commercial dealings they display a total lack of the most elementary principles of either technical or business knowledge. In spite of a passionate devotion to their country, they emigrate to America whenever they can obtain the money to pay their passage, and seem to have no fixed purpose or ambition to develop the resources that lie around them.”

The factories of Ireland are confined almost entirely to the northern province of Ulster, although a few mills and other textile manufactories are scattered in other parts of the island. The textile and other manufacturing industries have enjoyed unprecedented and extraordinary prosperity for eight or ten years.

Household industries, particularly the manufacture of handwoven tweeds and various kinds of lace, received a gratifying impetus from the advertising obtained at the Irish village at the Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893, under the patronage of Lady Aberdeen, who for twenty years had interested herself in the practical and successful development of lacemaking and hand weaving of woolen fabrics. Her energetic efforts have been supplemented by the Royal Irish Industries Association and the Royal Dublin Society, both of which hold annual exhibitions, offer prizes for excellence of design and workmanship, and provide agencies for the sale of homemade and convent-made products in London and other cities.

The Congested Districts Board has given much practical aid and encouragement by loaning money to people who cannot afford to buy looms, by sending teachers in industries throughout the island into the households, by establishing fixed schools at central points, and by furnishing thread and other materials to lacemakers and weavers, for which it collects payments after the product is sold. All through the poor districts of Ireland, where for centuries there has been a desperate struggle for existence, thousands of looms and spinning-wheels may now be found in the cottages of the poor peasants, where both the parents and the children have been instructed in spinning and in weaving by government teachers. And in almost every village on the west coast there is a lace school attended by from twelve to fifty young women under the instruction of a patient and tactful teacher working with thread advanced to them without payment by the Congested Districts Board. The lace produced is sold for them at the agencies of the board, and they are thus enabled to contribute several pounds a month to the incomes of their families.

It is a familiar joke that our principal imports from Ireland are priests, politicians, policemen, and baseball pitchers, but they are not all by any means. I do not know what other country has furnished so many famous Americans—generals, admirals, statesmen, politicians, financiers, merchant princes, actors, writers, lawyers, and other professional men too numerous to mention. If you will look through the list of the generals during our Civil War, if some one will make up a catalogue of millionaires and mining kings and empire-builders and captains of industry they will realize that all the Irishmen who have come to the United States have not gone into politics or pugilism or baseball teams. I must say, however, that the Irish have almost the monopoly of the prize ring and the baseball diamond.

Cardinal Logue made a speech upon his return from America in 1908, in which he discussed this subject at length and related what he had himself seen of Irish millionaires and other successful business men in the United States. He spoke particularly of New York City, and alluded with gratification to the fact that the subway of New York City and the new tunnel under the Hudson River were both built by Irishmen.

“I was proud to know,” he said, “of the vast number of our countrymen who were honored citizens of the United States. They have asserted themselves, especially in New York, and occupy the leading positions there. You find Irishmen prominent in every walk of life, you find them among the most distinguished of the judges on the bench, you find them among the most successful barristers, you find them among the most eminent in medicine and in the other learned professions, and then I found that the largest contracts in New York [and he might have said in the entire country] had been allotted to Irishmen, because of their ability to organize and carry out great works. I visited the tunnel under the Hudson and was proud to think that that great work had been carried out by an Irishman who had carved out his own advancement and had made his own way in life by his native talent and genius. Then, again, when they were undertaking the stupendous work of building subways under the city of New York they gave that contract to an Irishman, who succeeded in completing it to the satisfaction of everybody, and it was one of the greatest works ever undertaken by man.

“And they succeed in other branches of life also, equally well,” continued the cardinal. “As I was sailing up the Hudson River one day we passed a city called Hoboken, and I was told that it was inhabited exclusively by Germans with the exception of two solitary Irishmen, and one of them, Lord, is mayor of the city and the other is prefect of police. That is an indication of how our people are going ahead in America. And even in the humbler walks of life I found them hard working, well educated, and giving every sign of having retained their own faith and that love for Ireland which is the characteristic of our race in every part of the world. Some of them of the third and fourth generations were as warm and as strong in their love for Ireland as those born in this dear old land of ours.”

Cardinal Logue forgets that the ancestors of the men he speaks of in America were once kings of Ireland, and they have the right to success; but I often wonder what would have happened if all the great Irishmen we read about—the Duke of Wellington, Lord Roberts, Lord Kitchener, General Sheridan, A.T. Stewart, John W. Mackey, John McDonald, Thomas F. Ryan, and the thousands of other famous Irishmen—had remained here instead of going out into a wider field of fame and usefulness. The result would be incomprehensible.

And there is a good deal of truth in the joke about the kings of Ireland. At the time of St. Patrick and up to the Norman invasion in the twelfth century Ireland was divided into many little kingdoms in addition to the four grand divisions which correspond to the provinces to-day. The O’Connors were kings of Connaught, the O’Brians of Munster, the O’Neills of Ulster, the McMurroughs of Leinster, the Kavanaughs of Wexford, the O’Carrolls of Tipperary, the MacCarthys of Cork, the O’Sullivans and the O’Donaghues ruled in the southwest, the O’Flahertys in Galway—and so on through a long list. What is a county now was a kingdom then, and the descendants of the rulers still bear their names.


If any one should write a book on Irish characteristics, I think he should rank good humor as the most prominent, and that makes up for a great many defects. We were on the island for nearly three months and visited more than half the counties, seeing a good deal of both city and country life, and coming in contact with all classes of people, and it is safe to say that no one uttered a cross or an unkind word to us, but everywhere and under all circumstances and from everybody we received a most cordial welcome and the most courteous treatment. And when we asked questions which many times must have seemed silly and unnecessary to the people to whom they were addressed, the replies have always been polite and considerate.

Irish retorts are proverbial. For “reppartay” the race is famous, and we have had numerous illustrations. Wit is spontaneous. It doesn’t take an Irishman long to frame an answer, and it is generally to the point. “Blarney” is abundant. Every old woman calls you her “darlin’,” and every man calls you “me lud” or “yer honor.” The insidious flattery that is used on all occasions does no harm to the giver or the receiver. It makes the world brighter and happier, though it may be flippant and insincere.

Irish Market Women

The man who “always said the meanest things in such a charming way” must have been an Irishman, although I do not remember to have heard a mean thing said of anybody over there. The Irish race are not diplomatic in their actions; history demonstrates that, but no race is so much so in conversation, and the tact and taffy shown in the treatment of strangers are admirable. Nor does the Irish peasant wear his heart upon his sleeve. He may be frank and sincere in his expressions, but it is quite as probable that he is otherwise. He has the faculty of concealing the bitterest malice under the gentlest smiles and flattering compliments.

It is always difficult to get a serious answer from a native in Ireland. The peasant is always suspicious, and, while he will make himself agreeable and amuse a stranger with his wit and humor, it is difficult to get deeper into his confidence and seldom safe to place any reliance upon what he says. This, I am told, is the result of centuries of persecution, treachery, and danger, so that the Irish race from necessity learned to wear the mask, until it is now a habit.

Notwithstanding their ready replies and their apparent frankness, you are never satisfied with the information they give you when you question them upon serious topics. You are convinced that they are not expressing their real opinions. I make it a rule to discuss the land laws and political policies with car drivers and other people I meet of the working class, but have never been able to get an opinion from them. I have never yet heard an Irish peasant express an unkind opinion of anybody. After talking with them about politicians, landlords, and others, I feel like the child in the cemetery who asked where bad people were buried.

But what you most admire is the witty and ingenious way in which they turn a mistake. A young Irishman stepped up to a gentleman the other day, and with a musical brogue inquired:

“I’m thinkin’, sir, that you are Mr. Blake.”

“You’re thinkin’ wrong,” was the surly reply.

“I beg yer honor’s pardon; I sez to mysilf, when I seen you, sez I, that must be Mr. John Blake for whom I have a missage; but if it’s not, sez I to mysilf, it’s a moighty fine upsthanding young gintleman, whoiver he may be.”

Sometimes there is a tinge of sarcasm, as when an old hag asked: “Won’t yer lordship buy an old woman’s prayers for a penny; that’s chape.”

“The hivins be your bed, me darlin’,” was the way an old beggar woman expressed her thanks.

Sir Walter Scott says: “I gave a fellow a shilling on one occasion when a sixpence was the proper fee.

“‘Remember you owe me a sixpence, Pat,’ I said.

“‘May yer honor live till I pay ye!’”

When he was leaving the ruins of the Seven Churches at Glendalough, Lord Plunkett, his escort, whispered to the custodian:

“That’s Sir Walter Scott; he’s a great poet.”

“Divil a bit,” was the reply, “he’s an honorable gintleman, an’ he gave me half a crown”—when the fee was a shilling.

Very often we hear poetic expressions from the most unexpected sources. As we were driving down to Ballyhack from Waterford, the jaunting car driver pointed at a mile stone with his whip and remarked:

“The most lonesome thing in Ireland; without another of its kind within a mile of it.”

The common use of the name of the Creator is often shocking to strangers and seems blasphemous, but it is an unconscious habit. The word is constantly on the tongue of the poor and not always in a profane sense. You hear, “God bless you,” “God prosper you,” “Praise God,” and similar expressions continually. One neighbor seldom greets another good morning or good night, without an appeal to the Almighty or the Redeemer or the Holy Virgin. “Howly Mother” is the commonest of ejaculations, but Irish profanity is always associated with blessings and not with curses. You never hear the anathemas that are so common in the United States. Nobody ever damns you; if the name of the Almighty is appealed to it is always for his blessing and not for condemnation.

Everybody in Ireland does not speak with a brogue. It has often been said that the purest English is spoken in Dublin and Aberdeen, but that is true to a very limited extent among the highly educated and the cultured classes with whom strangers do not often come in contact. In some places the brogue is so dense that a stranger requires an interpreter. It is difficult to understand an ordinary remark. And you hear the brogue in the pulpit as well as in the slums. There is no form of speech richer or more musical than the brogue of an eloquent Irishman, and his natural gifts of oratory enable him to convey the meaning of his words to the fullest degree by his accent. I never heard the service of the Episcopal church read in a more eloquent and impressive manner than by a young curate with a brogue “that you could cut with a knife,” as the saying is. There is nothing to compare with it except the “sweet, soft, southern accent in the United States.” When you inquire where the Irish got their brogue, the answer will be, “At the same shop that the Yankee got his twang.”

We know that one of the most conspicuous and charming traits of the Irish race is to have a pleasant word for everybody, no matter what is in their hearts, on the theory attributed to St. Augustine that a drop of honey will attract more flies than a barrel of vinegar. The Irish call it “deludering” and “soothering,” both very expressive words.

The pleasant way in which questions are answered is very gratifying, especially to a stranger. You never hear a gruff word in Ireland. An Englishman is brutally abrupt, but the Irish are always agreeable. The other day when I asked the guard of a railway train how soon it would start he replied promptly:

“Not till yer honor is aboard, sir.”

When I complained to the hotel porter that it was raining all the time in Ireland he replied apologetically:

“But it’s such a gintle rain, sir.”

Some of the retorts you hear from the common people are highly poetic. When I bought a bunch of flowers from an old woman in the street the other day she replied:

“God bless your kind heart, sir; your mother must have been a saint.”

“Good luck to your ladyship’s happy face this morning,” was the greeting of an old hag to my daughter.

“Oh, let me poor eyes look at ye, me lady, and your voice is as swate as your face.”

In a little book I picked up one day, I found a dialogue between a farmer and fox, as follows:

“Good morrow, Fox.”

“Good morrow, Farmer.”

“And what are ye ating, my dear little fox?” said the farmer insinuatingly. “Is it a goose you stole from me?”

“No, my dear farmer, it is the leg of a salmon.”

One day I was speaking to the jarvey who was driving us about in the jaunting car, of a neighbor I had met, who had spent some years in America. He had returned to his native place with a “tidy purseful” of money, and was looking around for some business in which to invest his little capital.

“He seems to think very well of himself,” I suggested.

“He acts as if he came over with Cromwell a thousand years ago, and he looks down on thim of us who was kings of all the counthry, even before the mountains was made.”

An American tourist said to his driver: “Why do you speak to your horse in English, when you talk Celtic to your friends on the road?”

“Sure, an’ isn’t the English good enough for a beast?” was the reply.

The term “himself” is used to describe the boss, the head of a family, the chief man in an association, the commander of a ship, or the colonel of a regiment. It is applied in the same way as the term “old man” that we are accustomed to in the United States. When a subaltern in the army speaks of “himself,” you may understand that he means the colonel of the regiment. When an employee of a railway company alludes to “himself,” it is the general manager. And when a sailor uses that term he means the captain of the ship. Wives use it to describe their husbands; children refer to their fathers in that manner and workmen to their superintendent or the boss of the gang:

“Did himself give yez the order?”

“I will not take any directions except from himself.”

“You’ll have to wait till himself comes in,” said a young boy behind the counter in a Dublin shop.

“We’re waiting for himself to come home to dinner,” was the remark of a good wife, when I inquired for her husband.

“Himself has not been very well lately.”

The word “Himself” is frequently written upon envelopes, where it has the same significance as the word “Personal” or “Private” with us, and is a warning that no one should open it but the person to whom it is addressed.

But these ancient customs are being abandoned, and most of the superstitions are dying out. The Irish people are the most highly imaginative and superstitious in the world, and the national schools are blamed for the change that is taking place among them in this respect. John Dillon told me in Dublin that he was not quite satisfied in his own mind whether this was a good thing for the country. Personally, he would much prefer that the people would adhere to the customs and preserve the superstitions of their ancestors. But there is more than one opinion on that subject. The superintendent of the insane asylum at Killarney asserts that the most prolific causes of insanity here are the imagination, the superstitions, and the habitual use of strong tea. But the national schools and the Christian religion have not been able to banish some of the most baneful spirits like the Banshee, which still gives notice of approaching death, sorrow, and misfortune, and still commands the faith and confidence of the great majority of the Irish people. Even those who ridicule the Banshee and deny its omens hate to hear the cry. The superstition is inborn. It is like the evil eye in Italy. People who do not believe in it will nevertheless dodge a person who is accused of carrying such a curse.

There is a great deal of regret, which all of us must share, that the common people of Ireland have abandoned many of the quaint and odd customs that gave them their individuality, and are taking up modern English notions instead. The old sports and games which were inherited from the Gaelic ancestors are becoming obsolete. The peasants never dance in the fields nowadays, and their festivals are very like those of the English yeomen. They are taking up cricket, golf, tennis, and other English games, which you see them playing in the parks and on the commons, instead of the distinctively Irish amusements that were so common in the past generation. The Celtic League is working for a revival with a little success.

A newcomer is always puzzled by the large number of names on the map beginning with the word “Bally.” In that amusing book called “Penelope’s Experiences in Ireland,” one of the girls suggested that in making up their itinerary they should first visit all the places called “Bally,” and after that all the places whose names end or begin with “kill.” That is the Gaelic word for a grove or a clump of trees.

The word “Bally” means “town,” and corresponds with the word “ville” in our geographical nomenclature. The map of Ireland is spattered with names with such a prefix. Here are some of them:

Each of these names has a significance. Ballyragget means a town where there is a ford, Ballyroe is a red town, Ballysallagn is a dirty town. Ballybunion was named in honor of a man called Bunion, Ballydoo is a black town, Ballykeel is a narrow town, Ballykill is the town of the wood or the town of the woods.

Kilcooly is the church of the corner, Kilcarne is the church of the carne or glen, Kilboy is a yellow church, Killduff is a church of black stone, Killroot is a red church, and so on. Almost every name in Ireland has some significance.

I saw only one harp during the three months we were in Ireland, and that was being played by a man in the street, who had an excellent touch and good expression. Street singers have almost entirely disappeared. The love of music and the love of fighting, however, cannot be eradicated from the race that has possessed them since creation, and the Celtic League is doing much to revive the ancient popular airs like “Home, Sweet Home,” “Annie Laurie,” and “Way Down on the Suwanee River.” All of these are adaptations from melodies that have been sung by mother and child among the peasants of Ireland for centuries. General Sherman used to tell of a joke on himself when he was visiting Ireland shortly after the war. Hearing a band coming down the street playing “Marching through Georgia” he naturally assumed that it was a serenade in his honor. He put on his other coat, brushed his hair and whiskers and sat down to await a summons which did not come. After the music had passed beyond hearing he asked his aid-de-camp to find out what had happened. Colonel Audenreid, who was with him, quickly returned to explain that a local military company had marched down the street to the music of an old Irish air which had been plagiarized for one of our war songs.

The last of the bards was Carolan, who died in 1788, and whose memory is preserved by a tablet in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. The ancient bards were more influential than warriors or priests or statesmen, and stood next in rank to the king. The praise or the censure of a bard was alike potent. Their satire was as much to be feared as the malediction of a priest, and their approval was as precious as the gifts of the gods.


South of Dublin, along the coast, is a string of summer resorts and bathing places which are attractive in their way, but ought to be very much more so. They are very different from what we are accustomed to. They look more like factory towns than summer resorts. Although land is cheap and there is plenty of it, the hotels and houses are built in solid blocks usually facing upon a highway that runs along the shore. There is no shade, no glorious groves like those which surround the country houses half a mile away; no lawns, no cozy green nooks; only masses of brick and mortar divided into tenements twenty-five feet wide, in the presence of the majesty of the sea. Across the roadway, on the beach, are rows of little frame houses painted dove color, that are called “bathing machines.” Each is independent of the other and is about four feet square, with a narrow door and, inside, a seat made of board resting on cleats nailed to the side, and hooks fastened above it on which the bather hangs his or her garments. When the bather is properly clad in the bathing suit, the “machine” is picked up by two stalwart attendants, who run poles through the sides of the house and carry it down to the edge of the water, where my lady may step into the surf.

An Ancient Bridge in County Wicklow

Back from the seashore all the way down to Waterford on the coast of St. George’s Channel is a succession of beautiful villas and mansions and farms, each surrounded by lawns and groves and, in some cases, primeval forests. It is the “Garden of Ireland” and there is no sign of poverty or oppression or unhappiness visible to the human eye. There is no lovelier land on earth. “The Fair Hills of Holy Ireland” are unsurpassed in gentle natural beauty, and about forty miles south of Dublin, in the Wicklow hills, is a little patch of Switzerland surrounded by mountains that rise as high as three thousand feet. You can go there by train from Dublin three or four times a day, taking a jaunting car at Rathdrum or Rathnew station. In the tourist season coaches await the arrival of every train and carry “trippers” through on excursion tickets and at very low rates.

The more enjoyable way, however, is to hire an automobile at Dublin (five guineas or $26.25 a day) and run down to Glendalough by one route, stay over night at the hotel on the lake and return the next day by another. In the meantime circle around through the country and catch its beauties as you go. The only drawback, as I have said before, is the high walls that hide the beautiful estates. These were erected, generations ago, I suppose, because the proprietors were afraid of losing their property. But notwithstanding these massive protections many an Irish estate has slipped out of the hands of its owner. It is a habit they formed about the time of the conquest and the invasion of the Normans.

Some of the most beautiful and valuable property in Ireland has been lost at the gambling table or at the race course; more has been sacrificed for political partisanship and more for religious causes. In the early days kings used to have a funny way of taking a man’s property from him because he didn’t go to the same church and confess the same creed. Half the land in Ireland has changed owners for this reason, and some of it several times. Henry VIII., as the newspapers might say, was a prominent real estate dealer along about 1540, and Queen Elizabeth did a large business about 1584, at the time of the “flight of the earls,” and nearly half the island changed hands by her majesty’s grace without the payment of a dollar. When the earls who had resisted her authority ran away to France, she calmly wiped their noble names off the books of the recorder of deeds and transferred their property to English “undertakers,” as they were called, because they “undertook” to drive off the rebellious Irish occupants and repopulate the land with loyal English colonists. Many of the great landlords of Ireland of to-day obtained their property and their titles at this time.

And then a gentleman named Oliver Cromwell went into the real estate business over in Ireland about the middle of the seventeenth century. He drove the inhabitants of a vast area from their farms and the towns in which they lived and compelled them to take refuge in other parts of the country, while he issued scrip that could be located upon the farms they left and paid his soldiers with it because he was short of cash. Many of his soldiers remained here and married and were the ancestors of the present population. Others sold their scrip to speculators who located upon large tracts and eventually disposed of them to men who had the money.

These real estate transactions of Henry VIII., Elizabeth, and Cromwell have been severely criticised, but they must have been right because we did very much the same thing with our Indians, the original owners of the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” Whenever an Indian tribe has rebelled about something, just as the Irish have rebelled from time to time since the conquest of Henry II., we have driven them from the homes of their forefathers; have penned them up in reservations, and have sold their lands to immigrants from Ireland, Sweden, and other European countries, precisely as the English sovereigns disposed of the homes and the farms of the Irish. We did it in the name of civilization; they did it, very often, because they could not worship the same God in the same way.

About an hour by automobile from Dublin, beyond Bray and Greystone and other summer resorts, is a lovely place that you will be pleased to hear about because there is a pretty story attached to it. It is an old Tudor mansion of the seventeenth century, covered with luxuriant ivy and half concealed by ilex, arbutus, hawthorn, and rhododendron bushes that are all in bloom in May. They call it “Hollybrook” and it is the seat of Sir Robert Adair Hodson, whose great-grandfather, Sir Robert Adair, a dashing soldier, was knighted by his king on the field of battle for the handy way he had of amputating the heads of his majesty’s enemies. He afterward became a lieutenant-general and one of the most famous soldiers in the United Kingdom. But what interests us more is that he was the young gentleman for whom the song “Robin Adair” was written by Lady Katherine Keppel. She loved him very much, they say, and broke her heart for him.

Just beyond the railway station of Rathdrum is the Avondale estate, the seat of the family of the late Charles S. Parnell, the Irish political leader, which has recently been purchased by the new Irish department of agriculture, as a school for the training of foresters. Here we enter that romantic region known as the Vale of Avoca, which has been described in a pretty ballad by Tom Moore, called “The Meeting of the Waters”—the rivers Avonbeg and Avonmore. Here was a meeting place of the Druids in ancient times. Their altars and seats of judgment remain, and you can see the hurling stone of the great Finn McCool, which is fourteen feet long, ten feet wide, and seven feet thick, but he was so strong that he had no trouble in tossing it about like a football.

Beyond “The Meeting of the Waters,” seven or eight miles over a very attractive road, are the Woods of Shillelagh, which gave their name to the traditional weapon of offense and defense, formerly carried by every Irishman, but long ago obsolete. You can buy genuine shillalahs at the curio stores, those that have been in actual use and “have cracked many a head,” as the dealer will tell you. You will find them also put away in the cabins with other heirlooms, with the christening clothes of the gossoons and the confirmation dresses of the colleens, but that interesting and typical weapon of the Irish peasant has entirely disappeared. It was a blackthorn stick, about eighteen inches long, from an inch to an inch and a half thick and a knot at one end of it. The best material in Ireland was found in the woods that surround the ancient little village of Shillelagh—hence the name.

Wicklow is especially fascinating to the artist and the antiquarian. The scenery is not so wild nor on so large a scale as that of the Alps, but bits of Switzerland in miniature are scattered about among the Wicklow hills and, indeed, several other very respectable mountains. Douce is 2,384 feet high, Duffhill 2,364, Gravale, 2,352, and Kippure 2,473 feet, and they rise immediately from the level of tide water within a few miles of the sea, so that they seem much higher. There are twenty-one mountains more than two thousand feet high, three more than two thousand five hundred, and one more than three thousand (Lugnaynilla) in this immediate neighborhood and within twenty miles of the coast. Concealed among them are several charming little lakes and rugged canyons and glens and dense forests. Nearly all of these are associated with religious history, with the lives of several saints who went there in retreat for meditation or lived like hermits in the caves and dells and prayed for the salvation of the world.

This was the home of Laurence Sterne, author of “Uncle Toby” and “Corporal Trim.” The record of his baptism is inscribed upon the registry of a quaint old church, and in 1720, according to the local traditions, he accidentally fell into a mill race and narrowly escaped being crushed to death by the water wheel which was working at the time. This was the land of the O’Tooles. The ruins of Castle Keven, the stronghold of the clan, are visited daily in the summer by hundreds of people.

The Vale of Avoca, County Wicklow

Glendalough is known as “the ancient City of Refuge,” and the weird, mysterious, somber scenery is associated with one of the strangest manifestations of human piety that may be seen anywhere. For there, within the shadow of gaunt and gloomy mountains, St. Kevin, “The Fair Born,” a prince of the House of Leinster, which produced five saints in a single generation, three brothers and two sisters, built seven tiny churches in a group. It is known as the Valley of the Seven Churches. Each of them has its own individuality. Each of them is dedicated to a different saint, and all have been the homes and the places of worship and the object of pilgrimage for holy men and devout Christians for thirteen hundred years. As Sir Walter Scott says, they are probably the oldest buildings now surviving in any country in which the Christian religion was taught, and naturally have a corresponding interest and sanctity to all who love their Lord.

St. Kevin died in 618 after a remarkable experience. The date of his birth is unknown. He stands in fame and sanctity among the Irish saints after St. Patrick, St. Bridget, and St. Columba only. His uncle, the Bishop of Ardstrad, was his preceptor, and, having renounced his claims to the throne of Leinster, and to all the pomps and vanities of the world, he retired to this retreat and here spent the rest of his life. His biography has been written several times, and as far back as the ninth century. It has recently been rewritten and published at the expense of the Marquis of Bute. One of the early writers calls him “A soldier of Christ in the land of Eire, a high name over sea and wave, chaste and fair, living in the glen of the broad line, in the valley of the two lakes.”

“Kevin loves a narrow hovel.
It is a work of religious mortification
To be everlastingly praying
But a great shelter against demons.”

St. Kevin lived in a hollow tree for seven years and afterward in a narrow cave in a precipice of great height overhanging the lake, to which there is no access but by a boat. According to tradition he came here to escape from “Eyes of Most Unholy Blue,” worn by a maid named Kathleen with whom he fell in love in spite of his monastic vows. The legend says that she traced him out, and when St. Kevin woke from his sleep one morning he found her sitting beside his bed. He rose and hurled her into the lake, afterwards whipping himself with nettles as penance. There are many other legends concerning him, but most of them are romance. There is no doubt, however, of his piety, and that he founded the Seven Churches. His feast is celebrated on June 3, the day on which he died, with great ceremony.

The Seven Churches are all small and stand in a group around a cathedral, within sight of each other, except for the foliage. They are roofless and partially ruined, but of late years the board of public works has taken possession of them, repaired them, and is keeping them in order. Several monasteries have been maintained there from time to time, and a thousand years ago Glendalough was one of the most famous seats of learning in the world. Scholars and students went there from all parts of Europe to study.

The cathedral, which is the center of interest, is probably the smallest sanctuary of that dignity in existence. The nave is only 48 feet long by 30 feet wide, and the chancel is 25 by 22 feet, but the masonry is massive. The Church of the Trinity has a chancel only 13 feet 6 inches long by 9 feet wide and a nave 29 by 17 feet. It contains the tomb of Mochuarog, son of Brachan, King of Britain, who was a disciple of St. Kevin and administered the last rites to him when he died. The Church of St. Savior is 45 by 19 feet; the Church of Our Lady has a nave 32 by 20 and a chancel 21 by 19; St. Chalaran’s has a nave 18 by 15 feet and a chancel 8 feet 8 inches by 8 feet 4 inches; Reefert Church has a nave 29 by 18 feet and a chancel 14 by 9 feet. This was the burial place of the O’Tooles and contains several tombs dating as far back as 1010. What is called “Kevin’s Kitchen” is an oblong oratory, 23 by 15 feet in size. There is a tower of imposing dimensions, 110 feet high and 52 feet in circumference, standing in the center of an ancient cemetery and surrounded by tombstones. There are several fine Celtic crosses of great age and sanctity before which pilgrims are constantly kneeling, and many other objects of great interest.

What was once a beautiful interlaced cross has been half carried away by vandals in chips as “mementos” from the grave of a “rale oulde Irish king.” One of the tombs has an inscription in Celtic, reading, “The body of King Mac Thuill, in Jesus Christ, 1010”; another is inscribed, “Pray for Carbre ma Cahail,” but most of the inscriptions are obscure.

A few miles down to the south of Glendalough, on the other side of the divide, is the village of Ennisworthy, where the great Grattan lived between the sessions of the Irish parliament, and where many scenes are associated with his memory. It was near Ennisworthy or Vinegar Hall that one of the fiercest battles was fought between the British troops and the Irish rebels on the 21st of June, 1798. The rebels threw up hurried earthworks around a ruined windmill and defended them with pikes, scythes, and other agricultural implements, for those were all the arms they had. The British assaulted the hill and massacred or captured the entire force. Five hundred are said to have been killed in the engagement.

The little place is called Ferns, is a favorite resort of rich Dublin people, and has many interesting historical associations. It was the seat of government of Leinster in early times, and the home of Dermot MacMurrough, who betrayed Ireland to the Normans. His castle, which stood upon an eminence overlooking the town, is believed to date back to the sixth century and was besieged and burned and partially destroyed several times. Near by is the ruin of an Augustinian monastery, with a tower seventy-five feet high, which was founded by MacMurrough in 1160, and in which he is buried. The Protestant Church of Ireland has a cathedral here and an Episcopal palace built in 1630 by Bishop Ram, then in charge of the ecclesiastical affairs of this diocese. Being of very advanced age when he built the house, he placed the following inscription over the entrance:

“This house Ram built for his succeeding brothers:
Thus sheep bear wool, not for themselves, but for others.”

We walked from the station at Wexford along a very narrow street to a deceptive hotel called the White’s. It has a dark, narrow, uninviting entrance, but extends back into the middle of the block like the roots of a tree, and contains comfortable beds, neat sitting-rooms, and a dining-room, wherein toothsome, orange-colored salmon just from the river and most excellent gooseberry tarts are served.

Wexford is very different from Dublin and every other place in Ireland that we saw, because of its narrow streets, which are more like those of a Spanish or oriental town, some of them so narrow that you can almost shake hands through the windows with your neighbor across the way. And it is a very clean town. And furthermore, all the children we met looked as if they were just from a bath. We saw troops of them in the street on their way to school with “shining morning faces” and neat jackets and frocks and wearing shoes and stockings, which is a rare sight in Ireland, therefore a welcome one to see. The contrast in the dress and general appearance of the people of Wexford and those of Dublin is so striking as to cause comment.

In a large plaza in front of the railway station is a monument in honor of John Edward Redmond, uncle of John and William Redmond, the present leaders of the Irish party in the British parliament. He represented this district in the House of Commons for many years and did a great deal for the town and the neighborhood. He got a breakwater, which makes the harbor safe, a bridge across the River Slaney, and an appropriation to construct a macadamized road along its banks. The Redmond family have lived here for generations and have been prominent in local affairs. Most of them have been engaged in the leather business and have had large tanneries. The inscription upon the monument to John Edward Redmond reads:

“My heart is with the town of Wexford. Nothing can extinguish that love but the cold sod of the grave, and when the day comes, I hope you will pay me the compliment I deserve of saying that I always loved you.” Last words of J.E. Redmond, 1865!

A deputation of farmers which appeared before Mr. Russell, the secretary of agriculture, at Dublin, asserted that Wexford is “the most agricultural county in Ireland.”

There is every appearance of prosperity about Wexford. The people are well dressed, the cattle are sleek, the horses are the best we have seen, and we are quite prepared to believe the assertion that this is the “Garden of Ireland.” There is a good deal of commerce at Wexford also, going out as well as coming in from a fine harbor which is formed by an estuary from the sea at the entrance to the Irish Channel. There is a long breakwater to protect the ships against storms; and quays, three thousand feet long, with double lines of railway track, and modern machinery for loading and unloading vessels. There are steamship lines to Liverpool, Bristol, and other markets in that hated and despised territory called England. Several sailing ships are now tied up at the dock which bring over coal and take back barley to make the British beer, for this is the headquarters of the barley trade in Ireland.

Wexford has been the scene of much political disturbance. The people are intense in their hatred of England, and every baby in the cradle is a violent home ruler. Perhaps this unanimous sentiment is in a measure due to the influence of the Redmond family, which belongs here.

On the site of an ancient bull ring is a bronze figure of a young man in a belligerent attitude with a long pike. He is called “The Insurgent” and the figures “1798” are on the pedestal—nothing more.

“It’s one of the patriots of ’98,” said the jaunting car driver. “They are putting up statues like that everywhere in Ireland now, to keep the events of the past in the memory of the people.”

There is a great deal of significance in that statue, and even more in the photographs and post cards of it which are hung for sale in the windows of every stationer and news stand and cigar-shop. Under the picture is printed in plain letters the words, “Who fears to speak of ’98?”

What are called “the twin churches” are two fine Roman Catholic houses of worship, exact duplicates of each other, within two or three blocks, with beautiful spires two hundred and thirty feet high. They cost $250,000 each and were paid for by the congregations of this city and neighborhood. It is astonishing how much money the people of Ireland spend upon their religion, and the twin churches of Wexford are illustrations of the display that is found in every part of the country. It is a common subject of comment and criticism that the bishops should permit such extravagance, but they reply that no man is ever poorer because of what he gives for his religion. It may be said, also, that all of the Roman Catholic churches are crowded on Sunday, early and late.

St. Sellskar’s Church is built upon the foundation of the Abbey of the Holy Sepulchre, which was established here a thousand years ago, and within it was signed the first treaty ever made between the English and Irish races. This was signed in 1169 by Dermot McMurrough, King of Leinster, and Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, better known by the name of Strongbow. And it was in this abbey that Strongbow resided, and in this church his sister, Bassilia de Clare, was married to Raymond le Gros in 1174. The Princess Eva, daughter of Dermot McMurrough, King of Leinster, who married Strongbow on the field of battle, is buried in a stone coffin at Bannow, in the suburbs of Wexford, down on the coast. It was formerly a populous and prosperous city, of which no traces can now be seen except the ruins of the church that contains her tomb. The rest of the town has been buried under the encroachments of the sea, and sand now lies ten and twenty feet deep upon the tops of the houses. Until a few years ago Bannow returned two members of parliament, although for many generations there was nothing for them to represent except the ruins of this church and a solitary chimney. However, for the loss of this franchise the British government paid £15,000 to the late Earl of Ely, whose seat is in the neighborhood. His ancestor, Rev. Adam Loftus, was lord high chancellor of Ireland during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He was one of the founders of Trinity College and the first provost. The romantic story of this extinct city is related in a novel entitled, “Eva, or the Buried City of Bannow,” and contains a good deal of interesting history mixed up with the fiction.

I suppose that sooner or later the energetic Normans would have found their way across the St. George’s Channel, but their invasion was invited in 1169 by Dermot McMurrough, King of Leinster, who is thus responsible for the loss of his country’s freedom, and subsequent centuries of bloodshed and distress. He was a good soldier, but the Christian influence under which he was educated did not remove all the savage traits from his system and he was guilty of many wicked, brutal, treacherous acts of tyranny and violence against his neighbors and his subjects. He kidnapped the wife of Ternan O’Rourke, King of Leitrim, and the latter persuaded the other kings in southern Ireland to join with him to punish the insult. McMurrough was driven from pillar to post and finally fled to the court of Henry II. in London, where he offered to betray Ireland to the English monarch.

The latter declined to give Dermot any personal assistance, but permitted his vassals to do what they liked, and a number of British and Welsh barons of broken fortunes, under the leadership of Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, organized an invasion. In May, 1169, they landed at Wexford with a force of two thousand well armed Normans, Englishmen, Welshmen, and renegade Irishmen. Strongbow was given the leadership of the expedition with a promise of the hand of Dermot’s daughter in marriage and the succession to the throne of Leinster. Before the invaders landed Dermot returned quietly to his castle at Ferns, and during the winter of 1168-69 pretended to do penance for his sins in the Augustinian monastery he had founded there, in order to throw his Irish enemies off their guard.

The King of Connaught, Roderick O’Conor, who was the acknowledged suzerain of all Ireland at that time, collected a large army and marched against the invaders, and he might easily have crushed them, but he was a weak and credulous man, without the ability or vigor of Brian Boru, and Dermot fooled him completely, promising to expel the foreigners provided he was restored to his kingdom. As soon as Roderick had marched away, however, and Dermot felt himself strong enough to break his promises, he led his allies with fire and sword into the city of Dublin and the English have occupied it ever since.

Strongbow’s wedding with Eva took place Aug. 25, 1170, upon the battle field near Waterford, among the corpses of the slain. There is a striking picture of the scene in the National Gallery at Dublin. And the bridegroom continued his career of massacre and devastation until he “had made a tremblin’ sod of all Ireland.”

Henry II., having heard of the conquest of Strongbow, became nervous for fear he might become too powerful, and prepared an expedition with which he landed at the little town of Crook, or at the still smaller town of Hook, near the mouth of the River Suir. Some said that he landed by Hook and some said he landed by Crook, and that was the origin of the saying that is heard to this day, “either by hook or crook.” Henry II. had about ten thousand fighting men and they were so well organized and armed that resistance was impossible. Almost all the Irish kings and chieftains came promptly to make submission, and the Irish bishops, presided over by Lawrence O’Toole, met in synod and acknowledged him as their sovereign. Their action was based upon a bull issued by Pope Adrian IV., authorizing Henry II. to take possession of Ireland. Adrian IV. was an English monk named Brakespear, and he was influenced by an unfair and exaggerated account of the influence of the Church in England and by misrepresentations of the state of religion in Ireland. Some historians have questioned the genuineness of this edict; others have declared that it was a myth, but there seems to be no reason to doubt that Adrian IV. did authorize Henry II. to invade Ireland, believing that a strong centralized government there would be for the advancement of religion and for the good of the people.

Troubles with the Holy See resulting from the assassination of Thomas à Becket called the king back to England before he had completed his plans of settlement, and he left Ireland in April, 1172, after remaining there less than six months. He had intended to erect a string of Norman castles at frequent intervals throughout the island and garrison them with English troops in order to overawe the native kings and chieftains, and so that his own earls might watch and check each other. But he left that work to his subordinates and rewarded them with grants of enormous area without regard to the rights of the native owners. Leinster was given to Strongbow with the exception of Dublin and two or three other towns on the coast; the province of Meath was given to Hugh de Lacy, and the province of Ulster to John de Courcy, and other tracts to the ancestors of many of the noble families of Ireland to-day.

Under Strongbow, after Henry II. left, Ireland fell into a state of anarchy and confusion. He was tyrannical and unreasonable. The native princes rebelled and almost overcame him. They drove him to Waterford and besieged him there, where he was rescued by Raymond le Gros, who demanded the hand of his sister Bassilia as his reward. They were married here, as I have told you, in the Abbey of the Holy Sepulchre.

Strongbow took up his headquarters at Dublin. He built Christ Church Cathedral and other churches and endowed several large religious establishments, although he had shown very little veneration for the relics of St. Patrick and other Irish saints. In 1176 he died of a malignant ulcer in his foot, which his enemies ascribed to a miracle of the Irish saints whose shrines he had desecrated. His sister Bassilia, who was a woman of strong character, concealed the fact of his death until she could communicate with her husband, Raymond le Gros, who was besieging an Irish king at Limerick, and prepare him to take advantage of the situation. As a letter might be captured and read, she sent him a courier with the message:

“The Great Jaw Tooth, which used to trouble us so much, has fallen out—wherefore return with all speed.”

Raymond understood the meaning and returned to Dublin, took charge of the government and buried Strongbow with great pomp in Christ Church Cathedral, which he had founded, the famous Lawrence O’Toole, Archbishop of Ireland, conducting the ceremonies. But King Henry had had enough of the Strongbow family, and when he heard of the great earl’s death appointed William de Burgo, founder of the Burke family, as viceroy.

Raymond le Gros, with Bassilia, retired to their castle in Wexford, where he resided quietly until his death in 1182.

And that is the way the English obtained possession of Ireland.


Waterford is a busy, clean, dignified old town with large shipping interests, which are conducted upon a wide quay that follows the bank of the River Suir and is faced with substantial walls of stone. The cargoes of the vessels are loaded and unloaded from the roadside. The commercial business consists of the export of bacon, which is famous, barley, and other agricultural produce. A good many live cattle are sent over the channel to feed the enemies of Ireland. The stores and shops are upon streets that run at right angles with the river. The professional men occupy blocks of former residences in the neighborhood of an ancient courthouse which faces a park, usually filled with babies and blue-eyed children playing on the grass. Back in the city the ground rises from the river to a hill that was once crowned with a castle, a cathedral, a monastery, and several other institutions of warfare, charity, learning, and religion. A “Home for the Widows of Deceased Clergymen of the Church of Ireland” occupies the site of the palace of King John. When I dropped a penny in the lap of an old crone, who squatted at the gate, she looked up at me with the winning smile of her race and said:

“May you have a happy life, sor, and a paceful death and a favorable joodgment.”

There are few beggars in the Irish cities to-day, such as you read about in the tales of travelers who were here twenty or even ten years ago. There are two or three in Dublin hanging around the entrance of the hotel, usually with flowers for sale or something else to offer as compensation for your money, and when one goes into the slums he is apt to be approached by drunken men and drunken women. But outside of Dublin we didn’t see a single beggar.

Besides being famous for the best bacon in the United Kingdom, Waterford is the ancestral home of Field Marshal Lord Roberts and that intrepid sailor, Lord Charles Beresford, who was annexed to the United States at a Gridiron dinner during a visit to Washington several years ago. It has a population of about thirty thousand, was founded by the Danish King Sigtryg of the Silken Beard, and for centuries was the seat of the McIvors, the Danish kings, who arrived in 870 and ruled until Strongbow and the other Norman adventurers came over from England in 1169. At the principal corner in the town are the remains of a castle built by Reginald McIvor in 1003, and it still bears his name. The city has endured many sieges and attacks. At one time it was almost entirely destroyed. For centuries it was the most important city in Ireland after Dublin, and is now the fourth seaport. It was loyal to the king when the pretender Perkin Warbeck claimed the throne of England, and Cromwell was unable to reduce it even after a long siege. It was the only city in Ireland that Old Ironsides did not conquer, and thereby it earned its motto, “Urbs Intacta.” Beside Reginald’s Tower very few of the ancient walls remain, but there are two old churches of great interest. One of them, the Protestant Cathedral, stands upon the site of a church built in 1050 and the bishop’s palace and deanery adjoin it. The present structure was erected in 1774 by John Roberts, architect, the great-grandfather of “Bobs,” the hero of Kandahar, now Earl Roberts of the British peerage. He was the architect of several other important buildings in the city.

In 1693 a colony of refugee Huguenots came to Waterford from France. They were kindly received and the bishop gave them the choir of an ancient monastic church as a place of worship. It became known as “the French Church” for that reason. Among the immigrants was a family named Sautelles, whose daughter married John Roberts, a rising young architect, in 1744. They had twenty-four children, and both are buried within the roofless walls of the chancel of the old church. One of the sons, Rev. John Roberts, rector of St. Nicholas’ parish, married the daughter of his associate, Rev. Abraham Sandys. Sir Abraham Roberts, their son, married Miss Sleigh, the daughter of a family prominent among the gentry of the neighborhood, and died in 1874, leaving issue Frederick Sleigh Roberts, the present earl, who spent his happy boyhood in an old manor-house in the suburbs of the city.

All of the Roberts family for several generations have been buried within the walls of the old French Church, and it is still used for the tombs of the passing generation of a few old families who possess that enviable privilege. The latest monument bears the date of 1881, and “siveral places are bespoke,” the custodian told me. The ruin is kept with the greatest care. The ivy mantle that covers the walls is tenderly trimmed each spring and fall, the turf is cut frequently, the gravel walks are raked every day, and when I remarked upon this peculiarity not often observed in the crumbling castles and churches of long ago, the custodian exclaimed with pride:

“It’s all thrue, as yer honor has said, ivery wurrd of it, an’ it’s as dacent a ruin as you’ll find in all Ireland.”

Several illustrious characters in Irish history are buried in the cathedral. Among them are Strongbow and his son who was carved in twain by his amiable father on the field of battle because he acted as if he was afraid of the enemy. It is entirely appropriate that so energetic and comprehensive a person as the first Earl of Pembroke should have two tombs, and no one has any right to complain. He is buried in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, as well as in the cathedral at Waterford, and lies quietly in both places. And only a few days ago I noticed that Edward VII., King of England, was paying a week’s-end visit to his descendant, the present Earl of Pembroke, at his country seat, Wilton House, in Wiltshire.

Everything in Waterford seems to be inclosed by high stone walls—even the bishop’s palace and the poorhouse—and when I asked a man I met on the street why it was so, he answered:

“They’re old walls, sir, very old, and were put up when they were needed. They’re not taken down, for they may be needed again. The poor guardians are afraid they’ll lose a pauper, and the bishop some of his prayers.”

The jarvey who drove our jaunting car told us that there are nine hundred people in the poorhouse and nine hundred more in the insane asylum, the latter “bein’ mostly women who came there from drinkin’ too much tay”—and the excessive use of that herb is destroying the nerves of the feminine population.

I have often been told to “Go to Ballyhack,” and many a time I have heard people wish that somebody they were offended at might go there, but I never had an opportunity to do so until I reached Waterford. Ballyhack is quite an attractive place, a pretty little fishing village of about one hundred people on the bank of the River Suir, eight miles south of the city and nine miles from the sea. It is not considered profane to condemn a person to Ballyhack any more than to Halifax, although you may have a warmer place in your mind. It is a delightful excursion from Waterford in a jaunting car, through fertile farms and velvety meadows, to the town of Passage, whence a boatman will take you across the river to Ballyhack, which is a group of stone buildings, fish-packing houses, and tenements of the fishermen, with a tall, picturesque old tower rising from their midst by the roadside. The top is crumbling, the stones are loose, but the walls for sixty feet or more from the ground are yet perfectly solid and quite as firm as they were when they were erected by the Knights Templar a thousand years ago to defend one of the most convenient landing places on the river.

It is believed that the tower of Ballyhack was intended as an outpost for the protection of these two monasteries against pirates and other marauders and that the monks stored their arms and munitions there and a supply of provisions. There is no dock. The fishboats are hauled up on the gravel beach and their cargoes are carried across a narrow roadway in big baskets to the packing-houses, where they are cleaned and salted or shipped fresh to London and Liverpool.

Curragmore, the seat of the famous Beresford family, is twelve miles in the opposite direction from Waterford, over hill and down dale, and through a most delightful country. It is an ancient place, for the Beresfords are a very old family, descended from Sir Robert la Poer, who landed with Prince John at Waterford in 1185 and was given a vast tract of land that had belonged to an Irish earl who refused to submit to the sovereignty of the Norman king. That was the fashion in those days when people were not so particular about the rights of others as at present. In this highly moral and righteous generation there’s a court sitting regularly to hear any complaints that a tenant may wish to make concerning the rent exacted for his farm or his cottage. A difference of opinion over a bed of turnips or a rabbit or “any other kind of bird” is argued one side and then the other by the lawyers, and many people are questioned to ascertain who is wrong and who is right. But at the date when the first Beresford arrived at Waterford from over the channel, his majesty the king decided the ownership of the territory in Ireland according to his whims. A frown could cost a man a farm and a smile could win him one. But life has not been all sunshine and taffy for the Beresfords. They have had their troubles like the rest of us. In 1310 the wife of John la Poer was burned as a witch—one of the grandmothers of that much beloved and hearty old sailor, admiral of the North Atlantic fleet of Great Britain, who visited us only a few years ago and made so many friends among the people of America.

The motto of the Beresford family is not exactly what one would expect, knowing the character and disposition and habits of the men. It is: “Nil Nisi Cruce” (No Dependence but the Cross). I suppose it is all right for Lord Charles Beresford, the “Fighting Bob” Evans of the British navy, to wear those words upon his crest, but his words and his acts do not always conform to such a pious phrase. The people round here are very proud of him and of Earl Roberts also—“Both fighters from their very cradles,” as a gentleman said.

“And there was Bill Beresford,” he continued, “a gallant soldier and the best horseman in Ireland—good, old ‘Ulundi Bill,’ as he was fondly known. There isn’t a man between the four seas to-day that can compare with him, either for a fight or a frolic. Bill Beresford overtopped them all. He did more to improve and encourage horse racing in Ireland than any man that ever lived except it was his father, Lord Henry Beresford, the third Marquis of Waterford. They called him the Nestor of the Irish turf, and he did deeds of daring and devilment in every corner of the world. His lordship was killed in the saddle, the place where he would prefer to die, for he loved horses as much as men, and there was mourning in all Ireland. His son Bill took closely after him. As colonel of the Ninth Lancers, Bill saved the British forces at the battle of Ulundi and was given a big jeweled star and a Victoria Cross for the job. But Charley is just as good a man as Bill. The Beresfords are all fighters. No family in Ireland has drawn the sword so often or so effectively, even if you go back to the invasion of the Normans when they first came into the country. And what’s the matter with the motto, ‘No dependence but the cross’?”

Lord “Bill” Beresford was laid to rest on the first day of the twentieth century and his obituaries said that he was the most popular man in Ireland. He was the third husband of that beautiful American woman, Lillian Warren-Hammersley-Churchill-Beresford, originally of Troy, N.Y., and afterward of Washington, widow of the late Duke of Marlborough and still one of the most charming women in London society. There was another brother, who recently died in Mexico, where he lived for many years as a ranchman, and left a large family of half-breed children.

The present Marquis of Waterford, Henri de la Poer Beresford, was born in 1875 and married Lady Beatrice, daughter of the Marquis of Lansdowne, in 1897. He is a lieutenant in the Horse Guards at London, is said to be a fine young fellow, and is developing the hereditary traits of the family. He has a son—the Earl of Tyrone, born in 1901—and three daughters who are younger.

Carrick Castle, which stands on the banks of the Suir not far from Waterford, is another beautiful place, built in 1309 by the great Earl of Ormonde. The Carricks were originally Butlers, and trace their descent as far back as Rollo, Duke of Normandy, grandfather of William the Conqueror. Edmund Butler was created Earl of Carrick in 1315, and his descendants have owned this estate ever since his time. The beautiful but unfortunate Anne Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII. and mother of Queen Elizabeth, was born in Carrick Castle and lived there until she was fifteen years old, when she went to England with Sir Thomas Boleyn, her father, and Lord Rochford, her brother, who was executed upon the same scaffold with herself.

The Province of Munster might be called properly “the Land of Ruined Castles,” for they are more numerous here than on the banks of the Rhine. You are scarcely ever out of sight of a crumbling tower or a useless gigantic wall wearing a mantle of ivy. Nearly all of these ruins are attributed to Cromwell and his army, who have no defenders, and the religious historians and local guides tell us that they were destroyed by that man of mighty prejudices and purposes in order to plant Protestantism upon the ruins of the papal power in Ireland. Cromwell was undoubtedly guilty of atrocious cruelty and devastation at the cost of thousands of innocent lives and hundreds of millions of property, but he could not have destroyed all these castles and monasteries if he had remained in Ireland ten times as long as he did, because many of them were in ruins when he arrived and many were not built until after his departure.

Torna, the Druid, prophesied that a wind from the southeast would fell the tree that covered Ireland. And that was always a vulnerable shore. Agricola planned to cross with his legions from the Cornish coast and add Eire, as this country was then known, to the Roman Empire. The southeastern corner, the counties of Wexford and Waterford, with their harbors open and undefended, were the gates through which many foreign invaders came and brought death and devastation with them. The harbor of Waterford was called the Haven of the Sun until the Danes came, but was afterward known as the Valley of Lamentation, because of the mourning that followed the battles that were fought there. And even the invaders did not do so much damage as domestic strife. The kings and the clans, the Desmonds and the Geraldines, the O’Briens and the O’Donoghues, the MacCarthys, the O’Connors, the O’Sullivans, and other local chiefs who occupied the southern third of Ireland, were always attacking each other, besieging the castles of their rivals and often leaving them as we see them now—green wrecks and grassy mounds. And they spared not the monasteries that were built near all the homes of the great. This was a form of munificence as well as piety which prevailed also in Italy and France in the Middle Ages, where every robber baron kept a small army of friars and monks to do his praying, just as he kept squadrons of knights to do his fighting. Hence you will invariably find in southern Ireland the ruins of an abbey or a monastery beside the ruins of a castle, and most of them are the result of duels and feuds between the native chieftains and their clans, although many were left in flames and gore by the forces of William of Orange, Henry VIII., and Queen Elizabeth, as well as Cromwell.

The River Front at Waterford

Ireland has never been at peace until now. No soil has been fought over so often. The mysterious round towers that we see on the hilltops and in the glens in their lonely majesty are evidence that it was necessary for the overlords to build places of refuge for their servants, and provide means for lighting signal fires to warn them against the enemies that surrounded them.

“In the Island o’ Ruins remembrance o’ grief
Hallows the hills as, when summer is slowly
Fadin’ in darkness, the fall o’ the leaf
Makes the woods holy.
“Green are the woods though the mountains are gray;
Spring is too young to remember old doin’s.
Ah! but I wish I was roamin’ to-day
In the Island o’ Ruins!”

The little station of Doneraile is the getting-off place for visitors who would see one of the most attractive ruins in Ireland, both for its picturesque beauty and for its historical associations. A solitary tower, standing by a small river in a lonely and deserted glen, is all that remains of Kilcolman Castle, one of the greatest strongholds of the Geraldines, afterward and at the time of its destruction the home of Ireland’s greatest poet, Edmund Spenser. He came here in 1580 as private secretary to Earl Grey, then lord lieutenant, and after one of the many rebellions he was given a little more than three thousand acres which surrounded this castle, confiscated from the Earl of Desmond, as one of the “undertakers,” as certain speculators and adventurers were called who agreed to colonize the country with English settlers. It was here and in the neighboring town of Youghal, the home of Sir Walter Raleigh, in 1589 and 1590, that Spenser wrote the “Faerie Queene,” which was published at the expense of Raleigh and dedicated to Queen Elizabeth. For this honor the queen proposed to give him quite a liberal pension. Lord Treasurer Burleigh remonstrated, saying:

“What? So much for a rhyme?”

“Well, then, give him what is reason,” said her majesty.

Nothing further was heard of the matter, however, until Spenser sent the Virgin Queen the following epigram:

“I was promised on a time
To have reason for my rhyme.
From that time, until this season,
I’ve had neither rhyme nor reason.”

Elizabeth was so pleased that she instantly ordered Spenser’s name to be put upon the pension rolls at fifty pounds a year.

Spenser married an obscure relative of the famous Earl of Cork, a Miss Boyle, and lived in the old castle until 1598, when it was sacked and burned by the rebels in the Tyrone uprising. His youngest son perished in the flames and, heart-broken and beggared, he took the rest of his family to London and died within a few months from starvation and grief. He was buried in Westminster Abbey at the expense of the Earl of Essex.

It is said that the sins of the fathers are sometimes visited upon their children and children’s children, and this prophecy applies with singular aptness to the Spenser family, for the poet’s grandson was driven from his home at Kilcolman by Cromwell’s men, just as the Desmonds had been driven from the same place by Earl Grey.

It was a cheerful change to find a castle without a scar or a crumbling stone and all the modern improvements at Riding House, the Irish estate of the late Earl of Devonshire. He was one of the wealthiest, the ablest, and the most influential of the British nobility, and a conservative leader in the House of Lords, and died, universally lamented, a year or so ago. He was one of the largest landowners in Ireland, having more than a hundred thousand acres rented to tenants, and managed to get along with them without much friction, which is the highest proof that he was a just, honorable, tactful, and conscientious man. There are good landlords in Ireland; there are many of them, and it is not true in every instance that the tenants show little or no appreciation of their generosity, although, unfortunately, there have been some conspicuous cases of that kind. Several large property owners, who have endeavored to treat their tenants with kindness, have lowered their rents and made generous concessions to them, have been accused of cowardice by the very people they tried to please, and have been treated very badly. But the Duke of Devonshire was not one of those. He had honest, brave, fair-minded agents on the ground and looked closely after the management of his Irish property himself.

Lismore Castle, Waterford County; Irish Seat of the Duke of Devonshire

Riding House is near the town of Lismore, and, on the principle that to him who hath shall be given, it was inherited by the Duke of Devonshire in 1753 through his wife, Charlotte, daughter of Richard Boyle, fourth Earl of Cork, who was a munificent patron of literature and the arts and the friend of Pope, the poet. The Cork family is one of the most famous in the history of Ireland, although not one of the oldest. The first earl lived on Cork Hill, where the Castle at Dublin stands. He was a native of Hereford County, England, and was born in 1566. He studied law at the Middle Temple, London, and was called to the Bar, but, having no clients, he embarked for Ireland as an adventurer. After a while he obtained the favor and protection of Queen Elizabeth, which enabled him to amass considerable wealth and won him his title. His brother Michael, who went to Ireland with him, became Bishop of Waterford. Richard, a nephew, became Archbishop of Tuam, and his son, Michael, became Archbishop of Armagh.

The second Earl of Cork was a distinguished figure in camp, court, and in the literary world. He was lord lieutenant of Ireland under Cromwell. He was known as “the great Earl of Cork,” and lies in the old Church of St. Mary at Youghal with his figure at full length in marble in the center of an enormous monument that covers a quarter of an acre of wall. There is a duplicate quite as large in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin.

The present Earl of Cork was the largest landholder in this section except the Duke of Devonshire, but has sold most of his estate under the provisions of the Wyndham Land Act of 1903. The Devonshire estate is still intact, and, as the late duke had no sons, was inherited by Victor Cavendish, his nephew. The late Earl, Richard Edmund St. Lawrence Boyle, was an aid-de-camp to Queen Victoria, with whom he had a warm friendship. He was devoted to her all his life and was her master of horse and master of buckhounds for many years. He married in 1853 a sister of the present Earl of Clanricarde, who is fighting the Wyndham Land Act so bitterly. His eldest son and heir, late the Viscount Dungarvin, was born in 1861, served in the army for several years, and commanded the Twenty-second Battalion of Yeomanry against the Boers in South Africa. The second son of the late earl, Robert John Lascelle, born in 1864, married Josephine Hale, daughter of J.P. Hale of San Francisco, and the son of this American girl is the heir presumptive of the great Cork estate. One sister of the present earl married Francis Henry Baring of the famous London banking house, and another married Walter Long, one of the leaders of the unionist party in parliament. He represents a district of the city of Dublin, although he is an Englishman and never lived there.

“Tipperary is the deadest town in all Ireland,” said a bookseller of that place, of whom we were buying some postcards. “I don’t believe there was ever a deader town than Tip-rar-ry [for that is the way they pronounce it] and everybody is going to America who can get away.” And that seemed to be the prevailing sentiment among the people I talked with. It is the most pessimistic community I found in the country, without even a single good word for their own town. “There’s no business outside of cattle and dairying,” said another merchant. “Trade is so dull that the shopkeepers are loafing half the day.” But the people seem to keep up their interest in politics, and that they have some money left is evident, because at a meeting here, the day before my arrival, £95 was collected in a few minutes for the expense fund of the parliamentary Irish party. Outside, in the streets, there was a good deal of activity. It was market day and the farmers from all the surrounding country were in town to sell their produce and buy a stock of supplies for the ensuing week, but there was no vehicle, not even a jaunting car, at the railway station to take us to the hotel, and evidently nobody was expected. So we had to do the best we could and succeeded in persuading a farmer who was there with an “inside car” to carry us and our luggage, which he managed to do by sitting on the shafts himself. And afterward when we wanted to see the town we couldn’t find a vehicle in the street, although Tipperary is a town of six thousand population, and the hotel proprietor sent out to a livery stable for one.

Tipperary lies in the midst of a lovely country, more level than that we had been traveling through for the past three weeks, but there are only a few patches of timber and a few gentle slopes and no peat bogs so far as we could see from the railway train. The landscape reminded me of the Western Reserve of Ohio, with the exception that the Silievenarmick Hills rise in the background to the height of nine hundred and one thousand feet. The Aherlow River waters the plain and runs through the town. There doesn’t seem to be much cultivated ground in the neighborhood, but there are long stretches of meadow in which the farmers were cutting the hay, and we can perceive the perfume as we pass through them if we stand at the open window of the car. Alternating with the meadows are fine pastures, where large herds of sleek and fat cattle and many yearling colts and foal mares are feeding. There are several large stock farms in the neighborhood, and, as it was the season for county fairs when we were there, the Tipperary farmers are raking in prizes for all kinds of stock. In the town is a creamery which, we were told, is the largest in Ireland. It employs one hundred and twenty hands and its butter is shipped almost entirely to London.

The most interesting feature of Tipperary is the new town lying on the outskirts of the old, which represents an exciting incident in Irish history. During the land war of 1887 the leaders of the Irish party selected several landlords as examples for boycotting for the purpose of attracting attention to the conditions in the country and creating public opinion. This was called “The Plan of Campaign.” Among the places selected as storm centers were the Ponsonby estate near Cork, the Vandaleur estate in County Clare, the Defrayne estate in Roscommon, the Massaure estate in County Louth, and the Smith Barry estate in Tipperary. These estates were selected as battle grounds because the landlords were treating the tenants badly, were very exacting and oppressive, and furnished excellent examples to illustrate the evils of the Irish land and tenantry system. Some of the tenants were behind in their rents and, being unable to pay, were threatened with eviction unless they settled on or before a certain date.

Arthur Hugh Smith Barry, the landlord who was selected as an awful example at Tipperary, is descended from the Earl of Barrymore, whose title expired when the direct male line became extinct forty or fifty years ago. He came into possession by inheritance of a large tract of land near Cork and another tract covering between eight and nine thousand acres in this vicinity, which paid him an annual revenue of £7,368. His first wife was a sister of the present Lord Dunraven. His second and present wife was Elizabeth Wadsworth Post, a sister of former Congressman James Wadsworth of Geneseo, N.Y., and was the widow of a Mr. Post at the time of her marriage with Mr. Barry in 1889. They have a beautiful home at Fota on Fota Island, in Cork Harbor, near Queenstown, and a town residence in Berkeley Square, London. Mr. Barry has been a member of parliament and has served the government in different capacities with great credit to himself and usefulness to his country. For that reason the old title of his family was revived in 1902 and he was elevated to the peerage as Lord Barrymore.

The courage and determination he exhibited during the fight that was made upon him by the Land League was one of the reasons for giving him the honor. The boycott was managed on behalf of the Land League by William O’Brien, then, as now, member of parliament for that district. Under the latter’s direction between five and six hundred tenants of Mr. Barry stopped paying rent. Some were actually too poor to do so; others were perfectly able, but they all went in together and made a common cause and boycotted their landlord, who promptly took steps to evict them. Mr. O’Brien and other leaders of the Land League appealed to patriotic Irishmen all over the world and raised between £40,000 and £50,000—nearly $250,000—in America, Australia, Ireland, and elsewhere, with which they started to build a new town upon land belonging to Stafford O’Brien, who, by the way, is no relation of the member of parliament of the same name. Several blocks of tenement-houses were built of substantial materials and attractive appearance, and are models in their way. But when Mr. Barry got the machinery of the law in motion and wholesale evictions commenced, the managers put up cheap barracks of wood as rapidly as possible to accommodate those who were turned out of their homes.

There was a general and generous response to the appeal to the patriotism of Ireland, and people in this country who had no money gave material and labor to help the cause. Carpenters and stone masons, bricklayers, and other mechanics came to Tipperary from all parts of Ireland to work on the buildings, without wages, and within a short time all of the evicted tenants of the Barry estate were comfortably housed, free of rent, while his revenues ceased entirely and the boycott was complete. It was a significant illustration of the unity of purpose of the common people of Ireland; but, unfortunately, the leaders of the party quarreled before the demonstration was complete. The death of Charles S. Parnell in 1891, about eighteen months after the boycott was undertaken on the Barry estate, caused a split in the Irish party which continued until a few years ago. The effect of this division was to demoralize their followers at Tipperary, and the tenants of the Barry estate began gradually to slip back to their old homes and resume paying their rents. The houses at New Tipperary which were built at that time now belong very largely to Stafford O’Brien, who furnished the land upon which they were built. Others are still the property of the Land League, and the rent, which is collected by a committee, goes into the parliamentary fund.

Many people at Tipperary now declare that the “kick-up,” as they call the quarrel between the leaders of the Land League, ruined the town, because it broke the boycott and compelled the tenants to surrender to the landlords, who have had them under their heels ever since. Several people told me that the “kick-up” ruined the butter business, but I could not get anyone to explain why. At any rate, Tipperary lost a great deal of its prosperity as well as its commercial importance immediately after that trouble, especially because it was followed by a large exodus to the United States. As many of the Barry tenants as could raise the money emigrated when the support of the Land League was withdrawn from them. They refused to stay and surrender to the landlords. All the young people in the county caught the emigration fever and left for the United States as fast as they could get money enough to buy steamship tickets. I was told that several of them had come back, bringing a good deal of money with them, and had bought farms in the neighborhood, but they soon became discontented. The experience of a few years in the United States unfits people for the primitive methods and the monotony of life in Ireland; and the eagerness of everybody to get to the United States is very significant. The jaunting car drivers, the hotel porters, the dining-room waiters, the chambermaids at the hotels, and everybody of the working class that a traveler comes in contact with, always ask questions about the expense of the journey, the probabilities of securing employment in the United States, and express their determination to emigrate as soon as they can.

Tipperary also claims the authorship of that ancient and beautiful old air, “The Wearing of the Green.” It is one of the oldest of Irish melodies, but only modern words are sung to it now, and there are several versions. That which Henry Grattan Curran, who is an excellent authority, claims to be the original, was written at Tipperary and runs as follows:

“I met with Napper Tandy,
And he took me by the hand,
Saying how is old Ireland?
And how does she stand?
She’s the most distressful country
That ever yet was seen,
And they’re hanging men and women
For the wearing of the green.
“I care not for the thistle,
I care not for the rose,
When bleak winds round us whistle
Neither down nor crimson shows;
But, like hope to him that’s friendless,
When no joy around is seen,
O’er our graves with love that’s endless
Blooms our own immortal green.”

The late Dion Boucicault used to sing another version in one of his plays, which he said was made over from a street ballad that he once heard in Dublin. He was not able to get all of the words and filled in what was lacking himself, as follows:

“Oh, Paddy, dear, an’ did ye hear the news that’s goin’ round?
The Shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground:
No more St. Pathrick’s Day we’ll keep, his color can’t be seen,
For there’s a bloody law agin’ the wearing of the green.
I met with Napper Tandy and he tuk me by the hand
And he said, ‘How’s poor ould Ireland and how does she stand?
She’s the most disthressful counthry ever yet was seen,
For they’re hangin’ men and women there for wearing of the green.’
“Oh, if the color we must wear is England’s cruel red,
Let it remind us of the blood that Ireland has shed.
Then pull the shamrock from your hat and throw it on the sod,
Ah, never fear, ’twill take root there, though under foot ’tis trod.
When the laws can stop the blades of grass from growin’ as they grow.
And when the leaves in summer time their color dare not show,
Then I will change the color, too, that I wear in my caubeen;
But till that day, plaze God, I’ll stick to wearing of the green.”

The Earl of Lismore is the Lord of Tipperary, and the head of the O’Callaghan family, who were formerly kings of Munster and are descended from a famous Milesian prince. The various generations have taken an active part in the affairs of Ireland since history began. They have been bishops, statesmen, lawyers, soldiers, sailors, and priests; they have married the daughters of the most prominent houses in the kingdom and their sisters have been the wives and mothers of dukes. They live at Clogheen, in the famous Sharbally Castle, and occupy land which has been in the family for many centuries.


We attended the races at Leopardstown, about forty minutes south of Dublin by rail toward the picturesque Wicklow hills. The gate is at the railway station and the embankment upon which it stands gives an opportunity to see the entire panorama, and a beautiful one it is. One could not easily imagine a more peaceful, yet picturesque landscape, the race course being in the center of an amphitheater surrounded by wooded hills of lustrous green. I have said several times and will be apt to keep on saying—for it is the most interesting and the truest thing in Ireland—that the fields are greener and the foliage has a deeper tint than anywhere else I have been. And although it rains half the time and showers are more plentiful than sunshine, they make the grass and the leaves and the flowers more beautiful and rich in color and give old Mother Earth a brighter robe.

The horses run on the turf, and there is no such thing as a trotting race. All of the entries are from breeding farms, not from sporting stables. The winner cares more for the cup than the money, for he enters his horses to increase the reputation of his stud rather than the size of his purse. There is a great deal of betting, both by owners and by the general public, but that is a secondary consideration. The chief end of a race is glory, and not gain.

The course at Leopardstown is a perfect oval; the track runs between hedges instead of rails and is shaven like a lawn, but the grass is quite long in the infield, and cattle and sheep are grazing in bunches here and there. At one end is a group of vine-clad buildings, covered with red tiles, almost entirely hidden by overhanging boughs. A large stone house which used to be occupied by the farmer who owned this place is now the home of the caretaker, who sets a table for the trainers and the jockeys, and they sleep in the stables with their horses. I don’t know exactly where or how they make their beds; perhaps they lie on the straw in the mangers, but it is the practice over here, and a groom seldom leaves his horse. There is little trickery on the Irish race course, because it is patronized by men of the highest social standing and integrity. They not only frown upon all forms of sharp practice, but there is no penalty too severe for a man that cheats or a jockey or a groom that violates the regulations. You read in novels of English and Irish life about horses being dosed with “knockout drops” and various other disreputable proceedings to make the situations more dramatic and startling, but it is asserted that there hasn’t been a scandal of any consequence upon the Irish turf for the last ten years. As one enthusiastic horseman expressed himself, “It’s run as honestly as the church, and more so than the government.”

The admission to the grounds is a shilling for all comers, but after the spectators enter they are classified according to the dimensions of their purses. Anybody can get a seat upon the bleachers for another shilling, and the larger part of the crowd go that way, because the grand stand prices are almost prohibitive to the working classes, being $1.50 for ladies and $2.50 for gentlemen. The grand stand is small and is not patronized by many people because the cheaper seats attract the crowd and the members’ pavilion and clubhouse on the other side are open to all subscribers to the Jockey Club. As the privilege of membership can be had for a couple of guineas, nearly every gentleman of affairs who ever attends the races subscribes and that gives him admission to all the meetings and the privileges of the clubhouse. There were many carriages, motor cars, jaunting cars, and saddle horses in the infield, because the course is within driving distance from Dublin, and those who can prefer to come down that way. Under the grand stand is a restaurant, a tea-room, and a bar, all small and cozy and well kept, and the attendants are women,—cashiers, barmaids, waitresses, and cigar venders,—dressed in pretty liveries. The accommodations at the clubhouse are quite attractive as well as convenient, although they are closed to strangers like the ordinary clubs of the English and Irish cities. A member may invite a friend to luncheon or dinner, but he cannot put him up at a club in England and Ireland as we do in the United States. They are very selfish about such privileges.

Behind the grand stand and the clubhouse is a large shaded inclosure accessible to the occupants of both, where the horses are brought before the races and the jockeys are weighed. The horses are brought there after the races also and the people stand in large circles around them to see them rubbed down. The paddock looks more like a garden party than a stable yard, for it is filled with ladies and gentlemen chatting gayly, promenading, and sometimes drinking tea, eating ices, or taking other refreshments on the benches, under the trees between races, or standing at the scales discussing the horses and talking to their owners. You have read descriptions of such scenes in society novels, no doubt, for many authors introduce the races as a feature. Here and there you can see a party with their lunch spread on a white cloth that covers the grass, and I have no doubt a good deal of flirting is going on, although it is more interesting to watch the horses and the crowd.

There are many queer-looking people to be seen, in the oddest sort of clothes, from cap to boots. You cannot tell the rank of a person by looks, however. I have seen duchesses whose dresses didn’t fit them at all, and countesses whose faces are so plain that they would stop a clock. I worshiped beside the wife of a “belted earl” at St. Patrick’s Cathedral one Sunday, and her hat looked very much as if some one had sat upon it just before she started for church. The late Duke of Westminster, who was the richest man in the British Empire, had also the reputation of being the most slovenly. Dukes often look as if they were wearing “hand-me-downs,” and the smartest-looking man in an assembly may be the worst rascal of the humblest rank. And that rule, I was told, applies to the race track as well as to other gatherings of mankind.

I saw people who looked as if they had stepped out of the pages of Dickens or Thackeray, so old-fashioned were their garments, their hats, and their behavior. There were tall, gaunt farmers with fiery red faces; solid-looking burghers wearing silk hats and fringes of whiskers under their chins; jaunty military men, dashing young sports in riding habits, and hundreds of farmers in tweed and heavy woolen knickerbockers, nearly every one of them smoking a pipe. The stature of the men was noticeable. There are giants in Ireland in these days. Many of the women were very pretty and wore bright-colored gowns and sunshades that enlivened the scene. And several hideous old dowagers were very keen on betting, and pushed rudely to the front when the horses were running. You can always recognize a coachman, a groom, or a jockey in England or Ireland, and they were so numerous that they didn’t interest us.

The races were conducted very much like ours at home, and in the last one, as is usually the case, the horses were ridden by their owners. There was a field of sixteen, which caused confusion and delay at the starting post and a helter-skelter scramble along the track. Some of the gentlemen riders didn’t come in at all, others were distanced, and the winners were greeted with tremendous applause by their friends and acquaintances, although very little enthusiasm was shown over the ordinary races. In no case did the winner receive a demonstration such as we consider essential in the United States.

Mr. Richard Croker had two entries and should have won the second race, but Lucius Lyne, his Kentucky jockey, as the papers declared the following morning, went to sleep. He led the field easily all the way around and was cantering toward the wire without any show of speed when another horse under whip and spur overtook and overlapped him by a nose. As Croker’s horse was the favorite with long odds, considerable indignation was expressed. He could have won the race without an effort; or at least that is what the men who lost their money on him say.

Everybody bets on the races in Ireland, and the way in which the pink sporting supplements to the newspapers are grabbed on the streets by people in shabby garments indicates that the submerged section of the population feel an eager interest in the results of the races. An ordinary observer would infer that an equal number of people stake a similar amount of money in the United Kingdom and in the United States, but there seems to be no harm done there, or at least not enough to provoke the ban of the law. On the contrary, betting is “regulated.” Bookmakers are all licensed by the government, and if they do not conduct their business honestly, or if they transgress the proprieties in any way, their privileges are taken away from them.

They were scattered here and there among the spectators on the Leopardstown course, but there is evidently a rule requiring them to occupy a fixed place, because each of them stood upon a mat or a little wooden platform or a wagon cushion and never stirred from the spot. Some of them were dressed in a very conspicuous manner—indicating their individuality, I suppose, or carrying out some fad. One wore a bright orange suit that could have been seen a mile or two; another was in brilliant blue, a peculiar shade of that color I had never seen before, and his cap was of the same material. Another was in white duck, with his name painted in large, fancy red letters across his shoulders and across his breast. Each bookmaker wore a sash, upon which his name was plainly printed for identification, as well as the number of his license. Hence we knew that Mike Kelley, Joe Matterson, Timothy Burke, Patrick Sarsfield, George Bevers, and others, no doubt famous in their profession, were present. They were all in the open air in front of the stand, and each bookmaker had a book, a large one, in which he noted every bet as it was made and gave the bettor a ticket to identify it which corresponded with the number in the book. There is considerable clerical work in every transaction; and each bookmaker had a cashier beside him, wearing a leather pouch over his abdomen that hung from a strap around his neck. These pouches seemed to be uniform, and also bore the name and number of the man to whom they belonged. The cashier takes the money and makes the change while the bookmaker is booking the bet, and he cashes the tickets of the winners at the close of each race.

When the bookmaker wasn’t booking bets he was yelling like a lunatic to attract attention. When his lungs were exhausted his cashier relieved him, and in stentorian tones shouted his judgment as to the result of the next race. “Put your money on Cathie,” one of them would yell. “Put your money on Desmond,” came from a red-faced bookmaker a little distance away. “Bet your pile on the field,” roared a third. “Even money on Baker’s Boy.” “I’m giving five to one on Sweet Sister.” “I’m offering three to one on Silver Bell,” and so on. The air was filled with similar cries, which were unintelligible, or at least without significance to a stranger, but we assumed that each bookmaker had favorites that he was booming to the best of his ability.

Well-dressed, respectable-looking women were booking bets as well as men, and mingling with the crowd on even terms. There was no distinction of age or sex or rank or previous condition. And we were told that it was no sign of immorality and no violation of the laws of propriety for a lady to participate in the pools. Some of them, perhaps from a dislike to be jostled by the crowd, sent their escorts to book their bets, but messengers are evidently not allowed. I should judge that the stakes were small. I watched the cashing in of the winning tickets after several of the races, and it was mostly silver and a few pieces of gold that changed hands. I saw but one paper note passed, and you know that the lowest denomination of the paper money is £5. There was perfect order, although there seemed to be a great deal of drinking. There was always a large crowd before the bar between races, but no disturbance at all. The excitement seemed to occur just after the jockeys were weighed and while the horses were trotting slowly to the starting post. When the tapping of a bell told us they were off everybody was silent, and the victor received no applause when he passed under the wire. The winners turned their faces from the race track toward the bookmakers, cashed their checks, and the rest of the crowd strolled off toward the paddock to look over the candidates for the next running.

Richard Croker, late of New York, lives on a beautiful farm of five hundred acres overlooking the Irish Channel, about nine miles south of Dublin, about two miles from the coast and four miles north of the ancient town of Bray, which has been celebrated so many times in song and story. It is an ideal country seat. He has shown the highest degree of taste in selecting the site and improving the property. He calls it Glencairn, and the name is chiseled upon the massive pillars that support a pair of iron gates. These gates are usually open, for he retains his democratic habits and is an excellent exemplar of Irish hospitality. Following a short drive between masses of rhododendrons, laburnums, and hawthorn trees, with friezes and wainscotings of glowing flower beds, one soon reaches a handsome and well-proportioned miniature castle of white granite of pleasing architectural design. And from a flagpole that rises at the top of the tower Mr. Croker sometimes unfolds the Stars and Stripes.

Several people told me that there is no finer place for its size, and Mr. Croker’s home is estimated among the first dozen of country seats in Ireland. It was a rough tract of land when he bought it from one of the judges of the Irish courts, and had been neglected for many years. At a large expense and a great amount of labor he has turned it into a little paradise. What was formerly a wild waste is now one of the loveliest landscapes you can imagine. The house is surrounded by a lustrous lawn and a garden of flowers and foliage plants, and behind it is a series of large hothouses in which he is raising orchids and early fruits and vegetables. About one hundred acres are in wheat, oats, potatoes, and other crops, about ten acres in garden, and the remainder of the five hundred acres is meadow and pasture.

The interior of the mansion is handsomely furnished according to the conventional requirements of a wealthy country gentleman, and the walls are hung with paintings representing racing incidents and famous race horses of the present and the past. At one end of the portico at the main entrance is a large screen of white canvas covered with cryptograms of Egypt, cartouches of the Pharaohs and other designs which Mr. Croker brought back with him from his visit to the Nile last winter. And in the main hall are several other Egyptian souvenirs.

All of the work upon the place has been done by local artisans, and all of the employees of the stock farm belong to families in the neighborhood, for Mr. Croker believes in practical home rule. His chief trainer is an Irishman, like all his grooms, but Lucius Lyne, a Kentuckian, has ridden his horses since 1906. John Reiff, a famous American jockey, rode Orby when he won the Derby, and Mr. Croker will not trust any but American jockeys in his saddles. Every one else about the place, however, is Irish. And Mr. Croker has been a veritable fairy godfather to the poor people in his neighborhood, although his old friends in New York will agree that he does not look the part. He has not only given employment at good wages to almost every man in that locality, but has assisted several families in a substantial manner. His generosity seems to be boundless. He gave every dollar of his winnings at the Derby to Archbishop Walsh of Dublin for the charities of the church, and it would amuse you to hear the enthusiastic terms in which his neighbors praise him for his good heart and his good works.

He takes no part in local politics, although his sympathies are very strongly with the nationalist party, and at the last parliamentary election in 1906 he contributed generously to the campaign fund, and on election day loaned his automobile and his carriage to haul infirm and lazy voters to the polls. The contest was between Walter Long, an Englishman, who had been defeated for parliament by one English constituency and was sent over there by the conservative leaders in London to contest one of the Irish seats, and a labor leader named Hazelton, who had been nominated by the nationalist party. Mr. Croker took an unusual interest in the fight because, from his point of view, it was not only an impertinence but an indignity to set up an Englishman for the votes of an Irish constituency. And he was even the more indignant when Long was elected, as he claims, by the votes and influence of the officials and pensioners of the government and the soldiers of the garrison. He criticises the management of the nationalist committee for not looking after the registration of their voters. The registration laws are very strict over here and many of the poorer classes are disfranchised for not complying strictly with them. Mr. Croker says that if the contest had been in New York the Tammany leaders would have got out every vote and Long would have been defeated. Next time he will undoubtedly give the nationalist campaign managers some hints as to how an election should be conducted. Mr. Croker is an earnest home ruler, although he would prefer to see Ireland a republic, but he says that he does not intend to get mixed up in Irish politics. He considers his political career as finished and he intends to spend the rest of his life in the quiet seclusion of his present home with his horses and intimate friends.

He says that the Tammany people in New York do not bother him much with political matters. Occasionally he receives a cablegram, or a letter asking his advice or his influence, and occasionally somebody comes over to confer with him, but he considers himself “entirely out of it and does not want to be bothered.”

Mr. Croker showed us around the place in his silent, matter-of-fact manner, but could not suppress the pride he feels in his horses and his satisfaction with the record he has already made upon the turf in Ireland and England with his own colts, for he doesn’t own or race any but those that are foaled and bred and trained in his own stables. That is what he is here for, and that is his greatest gratification, and he likes it a great deal better than politics. He brought with him to Ireland a famous Kentucky mare named “Rhoda B.,” which we did not see because she was down in the pasture, and from her he has been breeding a string of colts that have had remarkable success. Every one of them has been foaled at Glencairn. He has won the English Derby and two Irish Derbys, and the English Newmarket, which is the third in order of the great events on the English turf. Rhodora won the thousand-guinea race in the Newmarket, and Mr. Croker is confident that another colt called “Alabama” will win the Derby just as Orby did.

An Irish Jaunting Car

Back of his mansion and his flower garden and his hothouses is a quadrangle of box stalls. In the center is a statue of Dobbin, the first horse Mr. Croker ever owned and for which he had great affection. There are a dozen stalls, and in the first he showed us Orby, a beautiful creature, as vain and conscious as a prima donna, that seems to realize the supreme importance of a Derby winner. Nailed upon the door is a gold plate properly inscribed and inclosed by one of the shoes worn in that race.

Across the quadrangle were a number of two-year-olds named Lusitania, Fluffy Ruffles, Lady Stepaside, Lotus, Lavalta, and one or two others, all foaled on the place, and six yearlings which Mr. Croker exhibited to us with the pride of possession, and one or two others which he said “were no good.” At the stable of Alabama he showed more animation and did more talking than those who know him would suppose him capable of. Mr. Croker has the reputation of being one of the most reticent and unemotional men in the world, as all American politicians know, and I never saw him warm up over anything before. He has a face like a bulldog, perfectly expressionless, and no one can ever tell whether he is pleased or displeased from the lines in his face or the tone of his voice, which is always low and deliberate. But when he showed us Alabama, the son of Americus and Rhoda B., he woke up and actually became animated as he described the fine points of the colt and told us what he had been doing and what he is expected to do.

Mr. Croker has an even dozen horses and colts in training, and he showed us some yearlings of great promise. His two-year-olds and three-year-olds are all entered for races in Ireland, and those that do well will be sent over to England. In 1907 his horses won forty races in both countries, and his stable has altogether about three hundred to its credit since he came to Ireland.

The horse show at Dublin in August is the greatest event in Ireland, and draws from the entire kingdom as well as from the Continent, thousands of horse breeders and horse owners and fashionable people. It is probably the most brilliant and important horse show in the world.

There are three kinds of jaunting cars,—“outside cars,” in which the passengers sit back to back with their feet on shelves over the wheels; “inside cars,” in which they sit face to face with their feet in the middle, and “single cars,” which have one seat accommodating two persons facing the horse. The latter are the most comfortable of all, but give the passengers a good shaking up, which we are told is excellent for the liver.

It is a curious fact that the jaunting car, although it is distinctively Irish, and would not be tolerated in any other country, was invented and introduced by an Italian, Charles Bianconi, a native of Milan, who arrived in Ireland about the year 1800 and set up at Clonmel as an artist and picture dealer. Being struck by the absence of vehicles in the country, for everybody went on horseback in those days, he built a conveyance of his own design which immediately became popular and was imitated by every one who had the means to build or buy a box and a pair of wheels.

Only in Dublin can you hire a covered carriage—four-wheelers or “growlers,” as they are called in London; but in Waterford, Cork, and Limerick are “covered cars,” which are without doubt the most uncomfortable vehicles that anybody ever rode in, unless it be a Chinese cart. They are “inside cars,” with a hood of canvas or leather over them, supported by an iron frame or hickory bows. Imagine a large, square box with one end knocked out of it, and replaced by a step or two for the passengers to enter; two seats, one on either side, upon which the passengers sit vis-a-vis, clinging to straps suspended from the roof. There are no windows, no place for ventilation except the open back, which is covered with a curtain that may be raised or not, according to the state of the weather.

Going to Market

Two things which everybody can commend in Ireland are the horses and the donkeys—the style, strength, beauty, and speed of the one and the uncomplaining endurance of the other. An Irish horse never gets tired, is never lazy, and never vicious—at least, that is what his breeders and owners say of him, and, of course, the Irish hunters are the best in the world. But the Irish donkey, who does the humble and insignificant traffic, who hauls the vegetables to market and does the teaming for the small farmers, is an object of universal admiration. Not for his beauty, of course, but for those higher qualities that make up character, for his strength of purpose, his untiring industry, his patient fidelity. They are the mainstay of the Irish poor, and, although the object of ridicule and wit, I think the people appreciate them, because they treat them so much better than the Italians and Spaniards and the peons of the Spanish-American republics of America.

“Go back to your brother!” said a street urchin the other day to a costermonger who left his donkey by the roadside for a few moments. “Go back to your brother!” said the chauffeur of our automobile to a woman who was driving a donkey cart and came across to inspect our machine. “Go back to your brother!” said a policeman to a young boy who was driving a donkey cart and had jumped off his ordinary seat upon the whiffletree to resent the attack of some street urchin. And when I asked the policeman about the use of that phrase, which one hears continually, he explained that it was common all over Ireland for a donkey driver to call his beast “brother,” and it deserves that name for its fidelity if for nothing more.


Cork is a neat but an ugly town, which had a hundred thousand population twenty years ago and now has only eighty thousand. The missing ones, they tell me, have gone to the United States. It is one of the most prosperous and one of the cleanest cities in Ireland, and, although in former years strangers complained of pestiferous beggars, we have not seen a single one. The common people are much better dressed and the children are much neater in their appearance than those of the similar class in Dublin. They don’t buy their clothing at a slopshop. They are more cheerful and happy, and the women show more pride and better taste in their apparel.

The River Lee, which rises over on the west coast, in Lake Gougane-Barra, near Killarney, divides into two streams just as it reaches the city of Cork, and embraces the business section of the town between the two channels. They are walled up with masonry, and wide quays on either side furnish plenty of room for handling the commerce, which seems to be considerable. Large sums of money have been spent to deepen the channel and furnish conveniences for handling the trade, and vessels drawing twenty feet of water can come up to the very center of the city at low tide, where they discharge Welsh coal and English merchandise and receive agricultural produce, bacon, woolen goods, hides, and leather, and various other products of Ireland. The walls of the quay are hung with unconscious artistic taste every morning with fishing nets. The fishermen bring their catch up the river to the very door of the market and spread their nets over the gray stones to dry. The entire distance from these quays to the Atlantic Ocean at Queenstown, about twelve miles, is a panorama of beauty. For the river on both sides is inclosed between high bluffs that are clad with the richest of foliage and flowering plants, among which you can catch glimpses of artistic villas. Tom Moore called it “the noble sea avenue of God.”

All tourists like Cork. It is a cheerful city. The atmosphere is brighter and the streets are more attractive than in Dublin. The shops are large and the show windows are well dressed, and on St. Patrick’s Street, which, of course, is the principal thoroughfare, there are several windows full of most appetizing buns and cakes and other things to eat. But the tradesmen are remarkably late about getting around in the morning. When I go out for my walk after breakfast, between eight and nine o’clock, most of the shops are still closed, the doors are locked, and the shutters are up. None of the retail merchants expect customers until after nine, and then they open very slowly. The markets do not commence business until nine o’clock and wholesale dealers and their clerks do not get down until ten. A gentleman of whom I inquired about this indolent custom declared that it was as ancient as the ruins of Fin-Barre Abbey. He declared, however, that although they lie abed late in the morning the business men of Cork made things hum when they once got started.

Cork is a city of churches and some of them are modern, which is a novelty. The Roman Catholic Cathedral is an imposing structure and the interior is magnificent.

One of the “Godless colleges” is in Cork—Queen’s College—which occupies a beautiful situation upon a bluff on the outskirts of the city, entirely hidden among venerable trees and flowering plants, with a swift flowing brook at its feet. It was the site of a monastery established here by Fin-Barre, the patron saint of Cork, who came here about the year 700, built a chapel, and started a monastic school that became famous and attracted many students from the continent of Europe. The city grew up around that monastery and was first composed of students who lived in huts and cabins of their own construction while they carried on their studies. Then business men and farmers began to come in and Cork became a place of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the Danish sea-rovers who, after plundering it again and again, took a fancy to the place and settled down here themselves. St. Fin-Barre was buried in his own church and his dust was afterward taken out of the tomb and enshrined in a silver reliquary which was carried away by one of the O’Briens when he drove the McCarthys, who happened to be a power in 1089, out of his stronghold and looted the place.

Over the arched entrance to the Queen’s College are the significant words:

“Where Fin-Barre Taught, Let Munster Learn.”

It is a modern college founded by Queen Victoria in 1849, together with two others of the same sort at Belfast and Galway, and the three are affiliated under the title of “The Royal University of Ireland.” That gives the degrees bestowed upon their graduates a higher character and a greater value according to the notions of the people here. The buildings are pretentious and of the Tudor order of architecture. They look very much like those of the Washington University at St. Louis, and are arranged in a similar manner, only the damp atmosphere here gives the stone a maturity of color that no college in the United States is old enough to acquire. There are no dormitories. The students room and board where they like. There are only lecture-rooms, examination halls, a library, and a museum. There is no chapel, no religious services, and no bishops or other clergymen are upon the board of trustees. That is why the institution is under the ban of the Catholic church, and is not patronized by the people of the Church of Ireland. There are departments of art, science, engineering, law, and medicine, but no theology. There is a school, at which the applied sciences and the trades are taught, occupying the old building of the Royal Cork Institute and attended by many ambitious young men and women. It is a sort of Cooper Institute, founded by a brewer named Crawford, who made his money here. There is also an agricultural and dairy school, with an experimental farm of one hundred and eighty acres on the hills about half a mile from the city, where instruction is given in butter and cheese making and in general agricultural science. Cork is the center of the dairy trade of Ireland and exports a great deal of butter to London.

Queen’s College, Cork

There are several Catholic seminaries and convents and Protestant boarding-schools for boys and girls and preparatory institutions of various grades attended by children from all parts of southern Ireland, which make Cork an educational center. There is a handsome library presented by Mr. Carnegie, adjoining the City Hall, with twelve thousand volumes and about three thousand ticket-holders, who, according to the report of the librarian, borrowed 85,406 books last year, of which 63,902 were works of fiction. There is another library belonging to a chartered association that is available only to its members. There is an opera-house and several theatres, and all the advantages and attractions that one would expect in a city of this size, with a race course of two hundred and forty acres on the banks of the river, just outside the city limits.

There is an attractive promenade, a mile long, called the Mardyke, sheltered by splendid old trees which form a natural arch overhead, which was fashionable for gossip and flirtation as long ago as 1720, but is now given up chiefly to servant girls and their lovers and nurses and children.

The birds sing more sweetly in Cork than any place we have been, or perhaps we have noticed them more readily than we have done elsewhere. Irish birds are as cheerful and happy as Irish people. When we were wandering through the campus of Queen’s College, just after a shower, the trees were alive with larks and thrushes. They had come out of their hiding places and were bursting with song.

I met an old woman, bent and gaunt and gray, with bright blue eyes and a canny expression, and asked her the way to the house I was seeking. She answered with politeness, and I gave her a penny.

“God welcome you to Ireland,” she said. “An’ may yer honor’s visit be prosperous. Yer honor is from America. I kin tell that by yer fine looks and yer fine manners, and I’ve a son over there meself. I’m nothin’ but a poor widdy on the edge of the grave, or I’d be follering him there at all, at all.”

And it is astonishing how many people we meet here, who have sons and brothers and sisters in the United States. Most of them seem to be in Chicago, Boston, and Brooklyn. Even a rosy-cheeked little newsboy from whom I bought a paper on the street recognized my nationality and remarked, “An’ I’ve a brother in Brooklyn, meself, sor.” At least one-fourth of the population of Cork have emigrated to the United States since the census was taken in 1891, and more are going by every steamer.

The Protestant Cathedral is a fine, modern building with a lofty central tower and four smaller towers of the same design surrounding it. It was finished only a few years ago and cost half a million dollars, most of the money being derived from legacies. It stands on the site of an ancient church built by St. Fin-Barre. The grounds are large and beautifully shaded, with here and there a tomb of some distinguished man. The service and the singing are quite impressive, and we heard the best choir we have found in Ireland.

But the church where everybody goes, which every tourist must visit, is St. Anne’s, on the other side of the river, on Shandon Street, which was built in 1722, and is remarkable for an extraordinary-looking tower one hundred and twenty feet high, faced on two sides with red stone and on the other sides with white stone. It is exceedingly ugly, but the people of Cork are very much attached to it, and particularly to the chime of eight bells which hang in the tower and have been immortalized in a simple little poem by “Father Prout,” who was the Rev. Francis Mahoney, and is buried in the churchyard in the tomb of his ancestors.

“Father Prout” was the nom de plume of this witty and sentimental clergyman, who was most prolific with his productions. He wrote odes to almost everything in Ireland—plain, simple, homely lines, but full of sentiment and the true poetic spirit. The common people admire them above all other literary works except the ballads of Tom Moore, and indeed Father Prout’s verses rank with Moore’s melodies in popularity. He also published a great deal of prose, stories and satires and anecdotes illustrating the thoughts and the habits of his fellow countrymen, and occasionally a political satire which involved him in a controversy with his bishop or some political leader. Father Prout in his famous lyric described the peculiar appearance of the spire of his church:

“Parti-colored like the people,
Red and white, stands Shandon’s steeple.”
“With deep affection
And recollection
I often think of
Those Shandon bells,
Whose sounds so wild would
In the days of childhood
Fling round my cradle
Their magic spells.
Their magic spells.
“On this I ponder
Where’er I wander,
And thus grow fonder,
Sweet Cork, of thee,
With thy bells of Shandon
That sound so grand on
The pleasant waters of
The River Lee.”

Most of the streets of Cork are wide and well paved, although they are entirely devoid of architectural features and, with the exception of the cathedral, Queen’s College, and the courthouse with a stately Grecian portico, there are no buildings in the city worthy of special mention. On the Parade, as one of the principal streets is called, is a conspicuous pile of carved granite that is intensely admired by everybody. It is designed like a shrine, and under a granite canopy is a rude statue of “Erin,” leaning upon a harp. Outside, at each corner of the pedestal, are still ruder figures intended to represent Wolf Tone, Davis, O’Neill, Crowley, and Dwyer, heroes of the continuous struggle against British domination. The faces of the pedestal are closely inscribed with names, with these lines in English and Gaelic:

“Erected through the efforts of the Cork Young Ireland Society to perpetuate the memory of the gallant men of 1798, 1803, 1848 and 1867, who fought and died in defense of Ireland, and to recover her sovereign independence. To inspire the youth of our country to follow in their patriotic footsteps and to imitate their heroic example.

“And righteous men will make our land
A nation once again.”

The breakfast-room at the Imperial Hotel one morning was filled with a lively and noisy crowd of gentlemen of all ages wearing red coats, waistcoats of startling pattern, jockey caps, leather leggings, and heavy brogans. I was told that they represented the nobility of County Cork, and had gathered to hunt otter along the River Lee and the creeks that feed it west of the city. There was one woman in the party, who wore a short skirt of gray tweed, a red jacket, a jockey cap, and high boots. In the stableyard was a pack of hounds in leash which had been brought in from the country. The Marquis of Conyngham was master of the hunt. Otter hunting in the summer along the swampy, muddy banks of the creeks of Ireland takes the place of fox hunting in the winter. The elusive otter is tracked to his hole by the hounds and is then stirred out by gallant gentlemen with pikes—long poles shod with iron tips—after they have chased him through the mud. They keep the skins for robes, stuff the heads for ornaments, and mount the tails for brushes. These hunts take place at least twice a week during the summer season and are sometimes attended by forty or fifty noblemen and gentry.

Cork is a very orderly city. The laws are strictly enforced. I noticed by the newspaper reports of the police courts that people are fined for profane swearing and for boisterous behavior. We didn’t see a drunken man or woman in Cork, and in Dublin they were common. This is largely due to the work of Bishop O’Callahan and the priests of his diocese and the influence of Father Mathew, the great apostle of temperance, who led a movement that reached every corner of the world about fifty years ago. There are monuments to Father Mathew in many of the cities of Ireland. There is one in Dublin on the principal street, between that of Daniel O’Connell and that now being erected to Parnell, while in Cork the statue of Father Mathew on St. Patrick’s Street is the center and focus of all activity. It faces the entrance to the principal bridge over the River Lee and all the street-car lines terminate there. A memorial church has been erected to his memory here, and the Church of the Holy Trinity, of which he was the pastor, has been restored and enlarged. Father Mathew is buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, on the outskirts of the city, which was formerly the Botanic Gardens, and was obtained by him for a burial place for his congregation in 1830. His precious dust is inclosed in a fine sarcophagus surmounted by the figure of an angel in white marble.

Theobold Mathew was a Capuchin friar, born in Cork, and was attached to the Church of the Holy Trinity in that city. In 1838 he joined a temperance society that had been started by some Protestant gentlemen, chiefly Quakers, for the purpose of offering an example to young mechanics in his parish. He soon became the leading spirit of the organization, was made its president, and finally started upon a mission throughout Ireland to organize similar societies and to promote total abstinence among the people. From that time he devoted his life to the work, and being an orator of remarkable power and possessed of extraordinary energy, zeal, and devotion, he excited the interest of every class of people and of every community on the island. The influence of his agitation was felt in England, Scotland, Australia, America, and in every other part of the world until his name became a universal synonym for temperance. Father Mathew’s Total Abstinence societies are still found in almost every city and town in which the English language is spoken. He addressed immense audiences and spoke twice on Tara Hill, which was the throne of the kings of Ireland before Julius Cæsar ruled at Rome. He administered total abstinence pledges to half the people in the country, and intemperance in drink, with its attendant evils and misery, almost disappeared from Ireland. The famine that followed his crusade destroyed much of the good effect, because it demoralized the people and many tried to drown their sorrows in drink. It has been said that Father Mathew died of a broken heart, because so many of his converts violated their pledges, but, since the days of Peter the Hermit, no individual has exercised such a moral influence.

“Now, Terence, me b’y, tell the loidies and gintlemen all ye know, an’ kape the rist to yoursilf,” was the parting injunction of the porter of the Imperial Hotel to the jarvey of the jaunting car, as he tucked the rugs around our legs and started us off for Blarney Castle, which is five miles from town. It is a delightful drive, for the suburbs of Cork are surrounded by fertile farms and the pastures are illuminated with buttercups in summer, and inclosed in hedges of hawthorn that are bright with blossoms. All nature seems to be in a cheerful mood these days, and the frequent rains, which interfere considerably with motoring, give an appearance of freshness to all the vegetation and a vitality to the trees and plants and flowers and everything growing. That is peculiar to Ireland. It is true that showers come down and cease with surprising suddenness and frequency, and the rain falls as if it was very heavy and had dropped a long distance, but if you carry an umbrella, and that is the universal custom, you are none the worse for it.

A narrow-gauge baby railway starts from outside the campus of Queen’s College in Cork and runs to Blarney, a town of about eight hundred inhabitants, mostly farmers, who cultivate the surrounding soil and breed cattle, while their wives and daughters work in a woolen factory belonging to the Mahoney brothers, which is said to produce the best tweed in the kingdom. And you can buy suitings at the shops in Cork. Nothing is sold at the factory.

Blarney Castle, as everybody knows, is one of the best preserved and most beautiful of the many ruins of Ireland, and is probably better known throughout the world than any other because of the marvelous qualities of a famous stone which forms a part of its walls. As Father Prout in one of his verses expresses it:

“There is a stone there
That whoever kisses,
Oh, he never misses
To grow eloquent.
’Tis he that may clamber
To my lady’s chamber,
Or become a member
Of parliament.”

The castle stands on the banks of a dashing stream called the Comane, full of trout and well protected, and is surrounded by a wonderful forest of cedar, birch, and beech trees that are centuries old. Their trunks are entwined with ivy, and the rocks and ledges upon which the castle stands are cushioned with the same material. I don’t know that I have ever seen such luxurious ivy or such sumptuous vegetation out of the tropics, or such fragrant shade. There are natural caves and grottoes in the cliffs, all of which have served a useful purpose in ancient times, and are associated with various fascinating legends. There is a difficult ascent to a natural terrace that is called “The Witch’s Stairs.” A thoughtful owner of this glorious forest has placed benches at easy intervals, where visitors may sit and read the history, traditions, and legends of the place and imagine that he can see the fairies that dance by moonlight on the carpet of ivy that conceals the earth. Every step is haunted by a goblin or a ghost, and every dark and gloomy corner has been the scene of a tragedy.

The castle is well kept, and Sir George Colthurst, the owner, makes it as pleasant as he can for the thousands of tourists who come here every year from all parts of the world, and of course a large majority of them are Americans. No tourist thinks of visiting Ireland without seeing Blarney Castle, and aside from the legends and the satisfaction of having been here it is well worth the trouble. The tower or “keep,” which was the fortified part of the building, is almost intact except the floors, but the residential portions have crumbled and fallen away. The castle was built by Cormack MacCarthy, Prince of Desmond, who ruled all of Ireland south of Cork, in 1173. The Desmond clan fought the Geraldines (the followers of the Earl of Kildare, whose territory adjoined them on the north) until 1537, when a league was formed between the two clans, with other princes, against the English, who were kept pretty busy within the Pale, as the territory immediately around Dublin was called.

Lady Eleanor MacCarthy saved the life of Gerald Fitzgerald, the son of Silken Thomas, Earl of Kildare, who rebelled against English authority. She succeeded in escaping from the country with him and taking him to Rome, where the babe, the only survivor of the vengeance of Henry VIII., was concealed and cared for by a cardinal who happened to be a distant relative. And it was thus, through the devotion of a brave woman, from its hereditary enemies, that the house of Kildare escaped extinction.

In the time of Queen Elizabeth, however, upon the suppression of what is known in history as the Geraldine rebellion, the vast estates of the Earl of Desmond and those of the MacCarthys and one hundred and forty other chiefs and landowners in Munster were confiscated by a parliament that met in Dublin, and were given to English adventurers for two pence and three pence an acre and sometimes for no price at all, upon agreements that they would colonize the lands with Englishmen. The head of the house at that date was imprisoned in the Tower of London with Sir Walter Raleigh, accused of treason, and it was he who outwitted Queen Elizabeth with his “deludering” until she coined the word “blarney” to describe his fluent conversation.

Blarney Castle, County Cork

The famous Blarney stone is as well known as the King of England, and the superstition is that whoever kisses it becomes instantly endowed with wonderful persuasion of speech. But very few people and only the most daring athletes have ever tried the experiment. The miraculous stone is the sill of a window, which projects from the main wall near the top of the tower. As it is eight or ten inches below the level of the floor and across an open space of about twenty or twenty-four inches, it is not only difficult, but dangerous to attempt to reach it. A slip would send you head first to the ground, one hundred and twenty feet below. The only way in which it can be done is for the person who tries to support himself over the edge of the wall by straps from the top, and, with his face upward, draw himself across until his lips can reach the stone. Almost everybody that visits Blarney Castle comes home with a tale of the time he had in kissing the Blarney stone, but no one has seen him doing so for years, and it can only be done by carrying tackle to the castle. Mrs. Hanna Ford, a gentle and considerate old lady, who has been custodian of the place for more than thirty-six years, told me that she had never known but half a dozen people to kiss the stone in all that time.

Sir George Colthurst, the owner, charges a sixpence of every visitor and collects scarcely enough to pay the expenses of keeping the place in order. The visitors average about one hundred a day during the summer months, but nobody ever goes out there during the winter.

Kilkenny is one of the prettiest and most interesting little cities of the kingdom, and is simply loaded with historical associations, political, personal, military, and religious. No town has more fascination for a student of the history of Ireland, because here was enacted that extraordinary and outrageous code known as the statute of Kilkenny of 1367, which was intended to exterminate everything Irish from the face of the earth. According to this law intermarriage, trade, and relations of every kind between the English settlers in Ireland and the natives was forbidden as high treason, and the punishment was death. It was intended to separate the two races entirely and forevermore. If any man wore Irish clothing, or used the Celtic language, or rode a horse without a saddle, as the Irish were accustomed to do, his lands and houses were forfeited and he was sent to prison. The Irish were forbidden to follow their ordinary customs and habits, and were commanded to speak only English, a language they did not know. It was forbidden them to speak Celtic, it was forbidden them to sing native songs or to receive or listen to Irish bards or pipers; no native could become a clergyman, a lawyer, or enter any of the professions, and every possible connection with the past was obliterated. All Irish books and manuscripts were ordered to be destroyed, and if the intention of the parliament which passed that law in Kilkenny in 1367 had been obeyed, every event, tradition, and legend concerning the Irish race would have been forgotten. But it soon became a dead letter. It could not be enforced, and the English and the Irish continued to live in a friendly way, and intermarry and enjoy themselves as much as ever before.

Then Kilkenny was the scene of the famous “Irish confederation,” which met here in 1642 with the intention of reconciling all the conflicting interests in Ireland and doing exactly the reverse of what was proposed by the statute of 1367. It was desirable to unite the Irish with the English to sustain King Charles I., and to defend the Roman Catholic religion against Cromwell and the parliament. Therefore Kilkenny became the object of resentment and vindictiveness to the parliamentary army when it invaded Ireland. The destruction committed by that army may be seen all through this part of the country. Kilkenny is in the midst of a land of ruins, and this county has been fought over for ages—one of the most frequent scenes of conflict in all the universe ever since history began.

There is an Irish town and an English town, as in Limerick, and the two are engaged in an eternal controversy, the racial prejudice being intense. This controversy, which at one time had nearly impoverished both communities, was illustrated by a writer two centuries ago by the famous story of the “Kilkenny Cats,” which, by the way, is said to be true. In the sixteenth century, during the time of Queen Elizabeth, some soldiers of the English garrison at Kilkenny Castle amused themselves one day by catching two vagrant cats, tying their tails together and hanging them over a line. An indignant officer coming up in the midst of their hilarity endeavored to separate the animals, and, being unable to do so, released them by slashing off the tails of both with his sword; and as their paws touched the ground, they fled into oblivion. The waggish soldiers preserved the remnants of the tails and showed them as evidence of the combative abilities of the cats of Kilkenny, which fought until nothing was left but their tails.

Kilkenny claims the most beautiful church in Ireland—the Cathedral of St. Canice, formerly Roman Catholic, but since the Reformation belonging to the Church of Ireland. It dates back to 1251, but was thoroughly restored in 1865, and is now in almost perfect condition. It is particularly rich in medieval monuments, and no other church in the country can compare with this for number, variety, artistic beauty, and historic interest. The Roman Catholic cathedral is also a gem and entirely modern, having been completed and consecrated in 1857. It is greatly admired for the symmetry and chasteness of its details.

Kilkenny is also famous as an educational center, having several noted schools. One of them, known as The College, has had Dean Swift, Bishop Berkeley (who went to America in 1728, and established schools and missionary stations), Congreve, and other famous Irishmen as pupils.

The Castle of Kilkenny, which was erected by William Le Mareschal, son-in-law of Strongbow, in 1191, is still in excellent condition, but has been added to and repaired from time to time during the centuries. It was thoroughly altered and restored about fifty years ago by the father of the present Duke of Ormonde, and has since been occupied the greater part of the year by the family. Fortunately, in the extensions and restorations, the original character of the structure has been preserved and its individuality has not been impaired. It forms three sides of a large quadrangle with three round towers, castellated in the style of the twelfth century. The dining-hall is one of the finest rooms in Europe and contains many pieces of gold plate, antique ivory, and china that have been in the family for centuries. The picture gallery is a splendid apartment, one hundred and twenty feet long and thirty feet wide, and contains more than one hundred and eighty pictures, including family portraits by Van Dyck, Holbein, Lely, Kellner, Reynolds, and others, and gems of Murillo, Correggio, Salvatore Rosa, Claude Lorrain, Tintoretto, and other great masters. In the drawing-room is a picture of the Virgin and Child, by Correggio, which was presented to the second Duke of Ormonde by the Dutch government in recognition of his services in the Low Countries during the reign of Queen Anne. The garden and the park are superb and the family are generous enough to permit the public to share in their enjoyment of them.

The Ormonde family stands next to the Geraldines at the head of the nobility, and the two have always been rivals in power and equals in renown. Their history has been the history of Ireland and fills many interesting pages from the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion. The surname of the family, Butler, originated in the appointment of Theobold Fitzwalter, who accompanied Henry II. as chief butler to the king and was granted the prisage of the wines of Ireland—a very valuable monopoly. He returned to England with his sovereign but afterward accompanied Prince John into Ireland in 1185, and was granted large tracts of land for his services. The family grew in numbers and in power and wealth and the rivalry with the Kildares began in 1300, although they were intermarried in several generations. James Butler was created the first Earl of Ormonde by Edward I. in 1321, and married a daughter of the king. He was granted the regalities, libraries, etc., of County Tipperary and built his castle there. James, the second Earl of Ormonde, was also a man of great importance. He was called the noble earl, because he was a grandson of King Edward I. and was Lord Justice of Ireland from 1359 to 1376.

Kilkenny Castle; Residence of the Duke of Ormonde

The Castle of Kilkenny was built by James, third Earl of Ormonde, in 1391. His daughter married the Earl of Desmond. James, the fifth Earl of Ormonde, was created Earl of Wiltshire in the peerage of England by Henry VI., and was lord high treasurer of England for many years, but was beheaded at Newcastle by the Yorkists. His titles and estates were confiscated, but were restored to John, sixth Earl of Ormonde, who was ranked the first gentleman of his age. He was a complete master of all the languages of Europe, was sent as ambassador to all of the principal courts, paid a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and King Edward IV. once said that if good breeding and liberal qualities were lost to the world, they might all be found in the Earl of Ormonde.

Thomas, the tenth in line and called from his complexion “The Black Earl,” was lord treasurer for Queen Elizabeth, with whom he was a great favorite. James, the twelfth earl, was made Duke of Ormonde in 1610 and was for many years lord lieutenant of Ireland, administering that high office with consummate ability during the civil war. He was known as the Great Duke of Ormonde and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

His son James was one of the first to join the standard of the Prince of Orange and, when the latter ascended the throne, was appointed high constable of England. He attended William to Ireland, fought by his side at the battle of the Boyne, and entertained his sovereign most sumptuously at the family castle at Kilkenny. He was made commander-in-chief of the army sent against France and Spain by Queen Anne in 1702; he destroyed the French fleet, sank the Spanish galleons in the harbor of Vigo, and remained as captain-general of the British forces until the treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Two years later, after George I. succeeded to the throne, Ormonde was impeached of high treason, his estates were declared forfeited, all his titles and honors were extinguished, and a reward of fifty thousand dollars was offered by the British parliament for his apprehension if he should attempt to return from France, where he had fled for refuge. His wife was the daughter of the Earl of Rochester, and, unfortunately, he had no sons, but one of his daughters married the Duke of Somerset and the other the Duke of Beaufort, two of the most eminent men in England. Ormonde resided in seclusion at Avignon until his death, in November, 1745, when his remains were brought to London and deposited in Henry VII.’s chapel at Westminster Abbey. His brother, the Earl of Arran, claimed the estate and the title, but it was decided that no proceedings of the English parliament could affect Irish dignities, and he never enjoyed them, but lived in Scotland.

In 1791 the House of Lords restored the ancient rights and estates to the eldest son of the eldest daughter. Walter, the eighteenth earl, in 1810 disposed of the prisage of the wines of Ireland granted to the fourth earl by Edward I., to the crown for £216,000, and the contract was approved by parliament. It was not until the coronation of George IV. that the family was entirely reinstated. James, the nineteenth earl, was then installed a knight of St. Patrick, was advanced to the dignity of a marquis of the United Kingdom, and was made lord lieutenant of Ireland. He had a large family and his sons and daughters married well. His son John, born in 1818, married the daughter of the Marquis of Annesley, and died Sept. 25, 1854, leaving two sons—James Edward William Theobold, the present marquis, and James Arthur Wellington Foley of the Life Guards, who in 1887 married Ellen Stager of Chicago, daughter of the late General Anson Stager, formerly president of the Western Union Telegraph Company. As the present duke has no direct heir, Nellie Stager’s son will inherit the titles and estates of one of the oldest and most famous families of Ireland.

At Clonmel, which claims to be the cleanest town in Ireland, is another fine castle over which an American girl presides—the wife of Lord Doughnamore. She was a Miss Grace of New York, a niece of the late William R. Grace and a daughter of Michael P. Grace, who owns and lives in that famous castle known as “Battle Abbey” in Kent County, England, near the city of Canterbury. Mr. Grace and Lord Doughnamore were partners for many years in what was known as the Peruvian Corporation—a company which assumed all of the foreign indebtedness of that republic and took over all of its railroads as compensation.


In the year of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne a terrible rebellion broke out in Ireland, led by the Earl of Desmond, chief of the Geraldines, the most powerful of all the clans, which was put down by Lord Grey of Wilton, who came over from England and laid the Kingdom of Munster in ashes. The great Earl of Desmond who had been master of almost half of Ireland and the owner of numerous castles, was defeated in many battles, his forces were scattered, his stronghold destroyed, and he was proclaimed an outlaw and hunted from one hiding place to another. In order to repopulate the country the vast estates belonging to him and one hundred and forty of his adherents were confiscated, and proclamation was made throughout all England inviting gentlemen to “undertake the colonization of this rich territory at the rate of two or three pence an acre.” None but English settlers were allowed, and tracts of land of four thousand acres and upward were granted to favorites of the throne, to enterprising English noblemen, and to worthless adventurers, very few of whom ever saw the property, but some of them organized colonies and sent them over to Ireland in charge of agents.

The Ancient City of Youghal, County Cork; the Home of Sir Walter Raleigh

Edmund Spenser, the poet, author of that famous poem, “The Faerie Queene,” was private secretary to Lord Grey, and received twelve thousand acres in County Cork, including Kilcolman Castle, the ruins of which, near the town of Buttevant, are visited by tourists still. Sir Walter Raleigh got forty-one thousand acres, also from the Desmond estate, in the counties of Cork and Waterford, and made his home in what is now known as Myrtle Lodge in the ancient town of Youghal. His house still stands very much as it was when he left it, and is owned and occupied by Sir Henry Blake, recently retired from the governorship of the British Colony of Hong-Kong. Lady Blake is a relative of the Duchess of St. Albans, whose husband is descended from the illegitimate son of Charles II. and Nell Gwynne. He is one of the most influential peers in the United Kingdom and kindly looks after his kin. The previous owner of the property, curiously enough, was Sir John Pope Hennessy, the predecessor of Sir Henry Blake as governor of Jamaica, of Ceylon, and of Hong-Kong.

Sir Walter Raleigh called Youghal his home from the time he first came to Ireland, twenty-eight years old, as a captain in the command of Lord Grey, and, according to the records, received a salary of four shillings a day for himself, two shillings a day for his lieutenant, fourteen pence a day each for four non-commissioned officers, and eight pence a day for every common soldier, all of whom were also provided with “good furniture,” that is, suitable armor and trappings, at the expense of the government. They were mostly Devonshire men, like their captain, full of reckless courage and energy, like their captain, and the amount of damage they committed under Sir Walter’s leadership was entirely out of proportion to their numbers and their pay. Sir Walter lived at Myrtle Lodge where he studied the chronicles of the Spanish and Portuguese explorers of South America, and started from there upon his ill-fated expedition to Virginia. He returned to this home whenever he could escape from the presence of his affectionate but fickle queen, and it was there that he wrote most of his poems and his letters and commenced his “History of the World.” After he lost his power and influence and was committed to the Tower as a traitor, his property was confiscated. Lady Raleigh was deprived of everything he left her, including an estate called “Tivoli,” in the neighborhood of Cork, and was actually in want of bread when James I., in response to a touching petition, gave her a pension of £400 per annum and a home for life. She was granted another special favor which she valued very highly. After Sir Walter’s execution his head was sent to her. She had it embalmed and carried it about with her wherever she traveled. At her death the ghastly relic was left to Carew Raleigh, who treasured it as highly as his mother had done, but, fortunately for subsequent generations, stipulated that it should be buried in his coffin with him when he died. Raleigh’s confiscated estates fell into the hands of Sir Richard Boyle, the second Earl of Cork, and were retained by that family after his death.

Lady Desmond, the widow of the great earl, who until his treason, was the richest man in Ireland, and was known as “Queen Elizabeth’s wealthiest subject,” was also compelled by her poverty to apply for a pension. Upon the recommendation of Sir Walter Raleigh Queen Elizabeth allowed twenty-two pounds a year to “this lady of princely castles and fair gardens,” whose gowns of cloth of gold are referred to in one of Raleigh’s letters. The royal warrant granting the pension, above the bold autograph of Elizabeth, is now among many other interesting relics in the old house at Youghal. Lady Desmond is buried in the ancient Church of St. Mary’s, which occupies the adjoining ground. She lies in a recess in the south wall with her effigy carved upon her sarcophagus. Her liege lord, the great Earl of Desmond, lies in a similar tomb in a similar recess in the opposite wall, although he lost his head in the Tower of London. Why the husband should rest on one side of the church and the wife on the other has never been explained. She must have been a very remarkable old lady, for, according to the records, she lived more than one hundred and forty years. She was born in 1502, married Thomas Fitzgerald, eighth Earl of Desmond, in 1520. His estates were confiscated in 1585; Raleigh first met her in 1589, and her pension was granted in 1598. Robert Sydney, second Earl of Leicester, refers to her about 1640, when he was ambassador at Paris, as follows: “The old Countess of Desmond was a marryed woman in Edward IV.’s time in England, and lived till toward the end of Queen Elizabeth, so she must needes be neare 140 yeares old. She had a new sett of teeth, not long afore her death, and might have lived much longer had she not mett with a kinde of violent death; for she would needes climbe a nut tree to gather nuts; so, falling down, she hurte her thigh, which brought a fever and that fever brought death. This, my cousin, Walter Fitzwilliam, tolde me.”

The wealth of the Earl of Desmond at the time of his rebellion may be judged from the fact that eight hundred thousand acres of his property were confiscated in County Cork, five hundred and seventy thousand acres in County Limerick, and over a million acres in Tipperary. All of this area, by virtue of a proclamation, reverted to the crown and was divided by Queen Elizabeth among her favorites and among the “undertakers” who agreed to settle the lands exclusively with Englishmen and to drive out the Irish from them entirely. There were other conditions, also. They were to encourage the English and discourage the Irish in every way possible and no natives of Ireland were to be allowed upon their possessions.

The Earl of Desmond is said to have owned thirty castles and fled from one to another, accompanied by his faithful wife, who never left him except occasionally when she went to intercede for him with his enemies. His grandson, William Fielding, was made Earl of Denbigh, in the English peerage, by Charles I., as a reward for his loyalty, and the family have been known since by the latter title. He was mortally wounded in a sharp skirmish at the head of the king’s forces against Cromwell in a battle near Birmingham and died soon after. His son attended Charles I. to the scaffold and received from his sovereign a few moments before his execution a ring in which his majesty’s miniature was set. That ring is now in possession of the family.

The present earl is Rudolph Robert Basil Aloysius Augustine Fielding, who was born in 1859 and married in 1884 to the daughter of Lord Clifford. He was a lord-in-waiting to Queen Victoria for several years, until her death, and is now a lord-in-waiting to his majesty, King Edward. He served as aid-de-camp to the Marquis of Londonderry when the latter was lord lieutenant of Ireland.

Canon Hayman, who was curate of St. Mary’s Church at Youghal for many years and made a thorough investigation of the history of the town and the church and all the remarkable incidents that have occurred here from the beginning of time, tells us that the Countess of Desmond was one hundred and thirty years old when she went to see Queen Elizabeth about her pension, and that she walked all the way from Bristol to London because she was too poor to hire a conveyance. And the young man who showed us about St. Mary’s Church added another interesting item to the already interesting story,—that her daughter, who was ninety years of age, made the trip with her, but became so weak and weary that the countess had to carry her on her back—which seems to be spreading it on a little thick.

In the garden of Myrtle Lodge Sir Walter Raleigh planted, probably in the year 1586, the first potatoes that were brought to Ireland. Potatoes are natives of Peru and their merits were discovered there by the Jesuits, who accompanied Pizarro during the conquest. They sent samples back to Spain, as they did with quinine or cinchona bark, which was named in honor of the Countess of Cinchona, wife of the Spanish viceroy of Peru. They also sent potatoes to the Spanish colonies in the West Indies, where Sir Walter Raleigh obtained the seed that he planted in his garden at Youghal, and the fruit of that seed has fed the population of Ireland for nearly three centuries. The garden is also interesting because the first cherry tree in Europe was grown there. Sir Walter Raleigh brought the seed of the affane cherry from the Azores Islands, whence it is believed to have been transplanted to America. The cherry orchards throughout the United Kingdom can nearly all be traced to this source.

You can run down to Youghal from Cork by rail in an hour, for the distance is only thirty miles and the train passes through a very pretty country. Shortly after leaving the station it dashes by Black Rock Castle, now a lighthouse and a storehouse for extra buoys and cables and lights for the harbormaster, the place from which William Penn embarked for America. His father, an admiral in the navy, lived at Macroom, about thirty miles west of Cork, where the great Quaker was born. On the other side, a little farther down, as we follow the banks of the River Lee, is Tivoli, an amusement resort, which was once the home of Sir Walter Raleigh, and Lady Raleigh lived there while he was off on his final expedition to America.

“Wood Hill” was the home of John Philpott Curran, the great orator and barrister, whose daughter was the sweetheart of Robert Emmet.

Youghal is a summer resort. There is sea bathing and boating and delicious salt air which gives one a lazy feeling and takes away his eagerness for antiquities and history. The only thing in the town to attract strangers is the home of Sir Walter Raleigh and St. Mary’s Protestant Church, which is said to be the oldest house of worship in which service is regularly held in all the world. It remains practically unaltered from the eighth century, and one of the transepts dates from the sixth century. There are tombs dating back to the eighth and ninth and tenth centuries, and a slab of marble upon the altar is said to have been taken from a Druid temple which stood on the same site.

Four holes about five inches in diameter have been made in the walls each side of the chancel about two-thirds of the way to the roof opening into large chambers within the walls. The verger told us that this was an invention to relieve an echo and had been entirely successful. I have never seen it anywhere else, and he insisted that it is unique.

He also pointed out Masonic emblems on tombs of the twelfth century and several quaint epitaphs. One of them was as follows:

“A burial for Cristas Harford
Here is made,
Where he and his intend
For to be laid.
His life is known
Both what he was and is.
Who hopes to end the
Same in Heavenly Bliss.
Mayor of Youghal and Knight,
Knight of the Garter.”

The tomb of Sir Edward Villiers, brother of the great Duke of Buckingham, is decorated with his lance and his banner. He died “Lord President of Munster, Anno Domini 1620,” and his epitaph reads:

“Munster may Curse
The time that Villiers came
To make us Worse.
While leaving such a Name
Of noble Parts
As none can Imitate.
But those whose Harts
Are married to the State.
But if they Press
To imitate his Fame
Munster may Bless
The time that Villiers Came.”

Mrs. Charles Fleetwood, daughter of Oliver Cromwell and widow of General Ireton, who died from wounds during the siege of Limerick, is buried in the center of the chancel. Cromwell had his headquarters here for some time and appointed his son-in-law, Fleetwood, lord deputy in 1649.

Raleigh was twenty-eight years old when he came to Ireland from Devonshire in 1579 as captain of a levy of troops, and Youghal is the only home he ever had so far as we know. He sailed from there upon his last and fatal voyage on Aug. 6, 1617.

There is still another association which will appeal with force to the majority of the masculine readers of these lines. From Myrtle Lodge Sir Walter Raleigh introduced tobacco into the United Kingdom, having brought it home from the West Indies where the Spaniards found the natives smoking it at the time of the discovery of America. Columbus and his followers carried it back with them to Spain. Fifty years afterward Sir Walter Raleigh introduced it at the court of Queen Elizabeth and brought to Youghal the first tobacco ever seen in Ireland, which he smoked under a group of four wonderful yew trees while he read the manuscript of Edmund Spenser’s “Faerie Queene,” which had been submitted for his criticism by the author. A considerable part of the fourth book of the poem was written at Myrtle Lodge while Spenser was Sir Walter’s guest, and the remainder at Kilcolman Castle on the River Blackwater. The poem was never finished, but its publication is due to Sir Walter, for he took the manuscript to London, placed it with the printer, and provided the means to pay the expense. He thought so highly of the poem that, in a double sonnet, composed while Spenser was visiting him at Youghal, he says:

“All suddenly I saw the Faerie Queene,
At whose approach the soul of Petrarch wept.”

It is therefore very natural that Spenser should reply in these lines:

“Thou only, fit this argument to write,
In whose high thoughts pleasure hath built her bower,
And dainty love learnt sweetly to indite.”

Spenser was a man of delicate sensibilities and great refinement of character, but lacked the masterful spirit, the ambition, the energy, and the dominating will of Raleigh. The latter, however, had rare literary taste. He is better known as soldier, adventurer, sailor, and explorer. Spenser called him the “shepherd of the seas,” but some of his sonnets are immortal. They rank with those of Shakespeare in poetic fancy, delicacy of expression, and sublimity of thought, and his prose work, especially his history of the world, which was begun at Myrtle Lodge and finished while he was a prisoner in the Tower of London, ranked among the literary triumphs of his day and generation.

Sir John Pope Hennessy, to whom I have already referred as the former owner of the home of Raleigh at Youghal, spent several years in an investigation of state papers and other historical material relating to the administration of Irish affairs during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and does not leave a fragment of Raleigh’s reputation as a man of honor. He has written a book entitled “Raleigh in Ireland,” which is begun and finished in an unfriendly spirit, and holds Raleigh responsible for all the troubles that occurred in Ireland at his time and since.

If one-half that Hennessy tells of Raleigh’s work in Ireland is true, he was a man of treachery, untruth, unbridled passion, and monstrous cruelty, but this is no place to discuss that question. Raleigh was a prisoner in the Tower of London with James, Earl of Desmond, successor of the man whose estates he confiscated and occupied. The death of the earl prompted Raleigh in a letter from the Tower to say:

“Wee shal be judged as wee judge—and bee dealt withal as wee deal with others in this life—if wee beleve God Hyme sealf.”

Myrtle Lodge; the Home of Sir Walter Raleigh

Myrtle Lodge remains very much as it was when Raleigh lived there. Few historical houses have been altered so little or have been preserved with greater care. Sir Walter’s study is hung with an original painting of the first governor of Virginia and a contemporary engraving of “Elizabeth, Queen of Virginia.” The long table at which he wrote, an oak chest in which he kept his papers, a little Italian cabinet filled with old deeds and parchments, some bearing his seal; two bookcases of vellum-bound volumes of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; and all of the furniture dates from his time. We are assured that there is nothing in the room that was not in the house at the time he occupied it. The dining-room is one of the choicest examples of fifteenth century domestic architecture that can be found, having a deep projecting bay window and porch, an orieled closet, a wide, arched fireplace, and walls wainscoted with rich, ripe Irish oak. The drawing-room has a carved oaken mantelpiece which rises to the ceiling. The cornice rests upon three figures representing Faith, Hope, and Charity. In the adjoining bedroom is another mantelpiece of oak, and the fireplace is lined with old Dutch tiles. Behind the wainscoting of this room, while repairs were being made fifty years ago, an ancient monkish library was found, which, it was thought, was hidden there to escape the Covenanters at the time of the Reformation.

A gentleman on our train to Youghal made the interesting statement that Sir Walter Raleigh was the first patron of Protestant foreign missions. He contributed £100 to start the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Lands. I had never heard of this fact before, but my informant said that it came out at the three hundredth anniversary of the organization of that society which was celebrated in London in 1906.

Until the Congested Districts Board undertook the work, lacemaking was practically confined to the convents. There are two classes of true Irish lace—needle-point, which is made by the needle, and the bobbin lace—the threads of which are twisted around small bobbins of bone, wood, or ivory. Both of these laces are made entirely by hand, which is not true of the Limerick and Carrickmacross laces. Needle-point lace was first introduced into Ireland by the sisters of the Presentation Convent of Youghal, as a means of helping the famine-stricken inhabitants to earn money in the terrible years of 1847-50. It was imitated from Italian models, but has since been much developed and enriched both in design and execution so that it may be considered original. Irish point lace has its individuality as strong as Brussels point.

The Presentation Convent was founded in 1833 by Rev. Mother Mary Magdalene Gould, a wealthy Irish woman, who had lived many years in foreign countries. She was distinguished for her benevolence and love for the poor, and consecrated her life and her property to the education of the children of the poor. When the famine occurred in 1847 she admitted to the convent every child that could be accommodated, and also gave asylum to many widows who were left homeless and destitute. In order to furnish her protégés some occupation and and enable them to earn a little for their own support, she decided to teach them the art of lacemaking, which had been carried on for centuries in the convents of Italy. She took some of her own lace, examined the process by which it had been made, unraveled the threads one by one, and put them back again over and over again until she at last succeeded in mastering the intricacies of the construction of needle-point. She next selected the brightest and most deft-fingered children and women in the convent and taught each separately what she herself had learned. Most of the women and girls displayed an aptitude for the work, and after the necessities of the occasion were over and the emergency passed, she had about her many well-trained lacemakers. Some of them developed considerable ingenuity and taste, inventing new designs and easier methods of handling the needle. Other convents throughout Ireland imitated the nuns of Youghal, and the same lace is now made in every part of the island.

Limerick lace is of two kinds, known as the “tambour” and “run lace.” “Tambour” is made on net and the pattern is formed by working with a tambour needle in white or colored thread. “Run lace” is made with an ordinary needle and a more open stitch. Limerick lace is in disfavor at present, owing to the large amount of miserable specimens that have been hawked about the streets of Limerick and forced upon the London markets.

Carrickmacross lace has been made in the neighborhood of that town, in County Monaghan, since the year 1820, when it was brought from Florence by Mrs. Grey-Porter, wife of the rector of the parish church, and introduced among the peasant women as a means of earning a livelihood. It is made upon a foundation of net. There are two varieties. In appliqué the pattern is traced out on fine muslin and sewed down round the edges to the net. So far it is not strictly a lace, but rather a sort of embroidery or net. Open spaces, however, are generally provided for, which leaves the effect and which are filled with lace stitches like those of flat point. In Carrickmacross guipure, much the same procedure as in appliqué is adopted, only that instead of the foundation being allowed to remain it is ultimately cut away, the figures of the pattern, which, as in appliqué, are wrought on muslin, being joined to each other by lace stitches known as “brides.” A very interesting and striking development of Carrickmacross lace is found in a combination of appliqué and guipure, the main design being appliqué, while the panels of guipure are introduced into it.

A little to the northward of Cork is the famous Trappist Monastery of Mount Mellery. It was founded here about thirty years ago upon the site of an ancient monastery by Cistercian monks who were expelled from France. They have about seven hundred acres of rich woodland, fertile pastures, and vegetable gardens, with large and comfortable buildings which they erected with their own hands. They maintain two schools, one free for poor children, and another for boarding pupils whose parents pay moderate fees for the instruction. There is a guesthouse in connection with the monastery, where all travelers are welcome to shelter, saint and sinner, Catholic and Protestant, Jew and Gentile, and no questions asked and no bills presented. Any person can have a bed with clean, sweet linen and a hard but comfortable mattress, coffee and rolls for breakfast, cold meat and milk for luncheon, soup and a roast and a tart or pie for dinner, without charge, although there is a box at the door where the guest at his departure is expected to drop a coin, large or small according to his means and disposition. There are limited accommodations for women, which are sparsely but comfortably furnished, and, what is more important, as clean as a Danish dairy—an unusual condition for Ireland.

There are seventy monks who dress in white and maintain perpetual silence, living entirely upon a vegetable diet with water and skimmed milk as their only drink. About twenty lay brothers, dressed in brown, do the heavy labor and the menial work about the place. The white monks rise at two o’clock in the morning and spend four hours in the chapel in silent devotion. Then they take a light meal and go to their work in the fields, the gardens, or the schoolroom, where the rule of silence is relaxed only enough to permit of imparting instruction. At six o’clock they have dinner, consisting of vegetable soup, boiled vegetables, bread, and skimmed milk, after which they spend two hours at prayer in the chapel, and retire at nine. This is the only Trappist community in Ireland, but there are two in the United States.

There has been very little trouble with the landlords in County Cork. Perhaps that is due to a considerable degree to the fact that the soil is rich and the harvests are good, and because the farmers are able to get a satisfactory return for their labor and their money. Nearly all the large estates are being broken up, however, and have been purchased by the tenants under the Act of 1903. Very soon County Cork and all the southern section of Ireland will be owned by the men who till the soil. Each farmer will have his own permanent home.


It isn’t far across the southern counties of Ireland and from Cork to Glengariff, the loveliest place in the United Kingdom and one of the loveliest spots on earth, only seventy-five miles. There are two routes. You can go by rail to the little old-fashioned town of Bantry at the head of Bantry Bay, which is the rendezvous of the British fleet and the place of their regular annual maneuvers, and from there by coach around the shore of the bay or by a little steamer across its matchless blue waters; or you can take the more interesting and picturesque route by rail as far as Macroom, and then by coach or carriage over the mountains, through the most picturesque canyon in Ireland and up and down the mountain sides. Glengariff is ’way down in the southwesternmost corner of Ireland, and as a gentleman said the other day in describing its location: “If you go jist one step further, there’ll not be a dry spot to rist yer foot on till you enter the harbor of New York, bedad, or maybe Boston.”

The best route in every respect and one of the most interesting journeys that can be found anywhere is by way of Macroom, and it is such a favorite with tourists that during the summer season there is an almost continuous procession that way. The arrangements for taking care of travelers are perfect, and all you have to do is to buy your tickets and let the attendant look after the rest. The railroad carries you about thirty miles, an hour’s ride from Cork, and there is a good deal of interest to be seen from the car windows on the way. The conductor sticks his head in the window every now and then and warns the passengers what to look out for. There is a castle on one side or a ruined abbey on the other or some sign of the devastation committed by Cromwell and his Covenanters when they were trying to convert the Irish to Protestantism, two or three centuries ago.

I became very skeptical about the Cromwellian ruins. Every time we came across an abandoned limekiln or the roofless walls of some cabin from which a family has been evicted and burned out, they told us that the damage was done by Cromwell’s soldiers. Kate Douglas Wiggin satirizes that situation in “Penelope’s Irish Experiences” by having her party occupy rooms in Irish hotels where Cromwell, in the confusion of his departure, forgot to sweep under the bed.

You can’t convert people from one religion to another by the use of the sword, by burning houses and sacking monasteries, and murdering innocent women and children. That has been clearly demonstrated by the Duke of Alva in the Netherlands, by Philip II. in Spain, and by Cromwell in Ireland. It partially restores one’s cheerfulness to be able to realize that such means of evangelization have been abandoned.

There are ruined castles and monasteries all the way from Cork to Glengariff, and nature has done her best to hide the shame and cruelty that are associated with them by the glorious mantles of ivy which cover their crumbling walls. Kilcrea Abbey, founded by Cormac MacCarthy, the king of this country in 1465, for the Franciscan friars, was the burial place of the MacCarthy family, the owners of Blarney Castle for two centuries or more. Several of the tombs are well preserved. A little farther along, at Crookstown, is another of the MacCarthy strongholds called Castlemore, and still farther are the ruins of Lissardagh and Clodagh, where they kept their forces and received the tribute of their dependents as they did at Blarney Castle, near Cork. Those ancient kings had strings of castles through their territories, each one of them in charge of a seneschal, who kept the place with a guard of retainers and received tribute from the peasant farmers of the surrounding country as payment for protection and blackmail. Within the thick walls the loot they brought from battle was stored; their prisoners were held for ransom, and there they entertained their allies and their friends, reveling for days and nights together in the spacious halls. The MacCarthys were energetic citizens and ruled the south shore of Ireland with a despotism that had no parallel in Ireland at the time. But they were as generous to their friends as they were vindictive to their foes.

This country used to abound in fairies, gnomes, koboles, pixies, and all kinds of queer little people, but they are all gone now. Our jarvey, as the driver of a jaunting car is called, insists that they have emigrated to America, but when I asked him where we could find them over there, he confessed that he didn’t know. He had no acquaintance with the place.

There are all kinds of fairies, or rather there used to be in Ireland, friendly and unfriendly, good and bad, and they formerly appeared in a great diversity of form and for a variety of purposes, but they are seldom seen nowadays, even among the ivy-draped ruins of the castles and among the moss-covered rocks where they used to make their homes.

Sidheog is a friendly fairy and Sidhean and Sheeaun are places where fairies live. Certain hills and forests which were thickly peopled with fairies in the early days can be identified by such names as Shean, Sheaun, and similar variations of the terms that are applied to haunted hills. There are “good people” and “bad people” who invade the privacy of those who dwell in mountain cottages and bring them blessings or treat them badly, as the case may be. At one time they were numerous up in these woods. The best known fairy, however, the busiest of them all, and an odd mixture of merriment, mischief, and malignity, is “Pooka,” who is known in England, in Germany, and other places under the name of “Puck.” Shakespeare describes him as “a merry wanderer of the night,” who boasts that he can “put a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes.” This capricious goblin is known to every child in the mountains, and stories are told of him in every cabin. Carrig-Peeka, the Pooka’s home in a great rock, can be seen two miles west of Macroom. It overhangs the Sullane River near the ruins of one of the MacCarthy castles. This rock is well known as the place where Daniel O’Rourke started on his celebrated voyage to the moon on the back of an eagle, and for generations Pooka made it his headquarters and used to play all kinds of pranks upon the peasants in that neighborhood.

There is a hideous kind of hobgoblin called a dullaghan who can take off and put on his head at will; in fact, people generally see him with that useful member under his arm or absent altogether, and on such an occasion it is well to pass on as quietly as possible without disturbing him. Sometimes giddy and frivolous bands of dullaghans have been seen in graveyards at midnight amusing themselves by flinging their heads at one another and kicking them about like footballs. Down in this neighborhood there is a little lake called Lough Gillagancan, which means “the Lake of the Headless Man,” because they are in the habit of haunting it during the long winter nights and playing their ridiculous games there.

Cleena is the queen of the fairies, and once exercised a powerful spell over the peasants around Glengariff, but she is losing her influence. The national school board is opposed to her. The teachers have disputed her power and authority with such persistence that she cannot exercise them among the present generation as she did among those of the past. It is only among the schoolless communities, far back in the rocky glens along the seashore, where the people cannot read or write and do not have candles to illuminate their lonely cabins during the long winter nights, that she is remembered at all. In more thickly settled parts of the country where the national schools stand at three-mile intervals, the children even scoff at her and ridicule her and say that she may play all the pranks she likes with them and welcome. Cleena has been a favorite of the Irish poets for ages, and appears in many old-fashioned love stories.

“God grant ’t is not Cleena, the queen that pursues me;
While I dream of dark groves and O’Donavan’s daughter.”

Cleena often did a kindly act, and when Dooling O’Hartigan, the bosom friend of Murrough, the eldest son and heir apparent of Brian Boru, was on his way to the battle of Clontarf, she met him and tried to persuade him to stay out of the fight. But nothing could induce him to abandon his friends in such an emergency, particularly as the aged king had given Murrough the command of the army that day. Having failed to persuade him, Cleena placed a magic cloak around O’Hartigan and warned him solemnly that he would certainly be slain if he threw it off. He fought fiercely all day by the side of his friend and made fearful havoc among the Danes. The field was strewn with the bodies of the men he slew, and Murrough, observing the slaughter, but being unable to recognize the cause of it, cried out:

“I hear the blows of O’Hartigan, but I cannot see him!”

In order to console and encourage his friend, O’Hartigan threw off the cloak that made him invisible. The moment he stood unprotected an arrow from the bow of a Dane smote him in the temple, and he died for neglecting Cleena’s words of warning.

It is only occasionally that the fairies interfere with people nowadays. Then it is to make trouble for innocent men who are out later than they should be and get bewildered in their brains or suffer other lapses that they are not responsible for. A friend of mine told an amusing story of his coachman, who frequently suffered from the mischievousness of a fairy not long ago, and explained in the morning:

“If yer honor will belave me, it’s the most mystarious thing that ever happened to a mortal man. I was coming p’aceably home along the roadside when I saw the strangest sight that mortal eyes ever looked upon, an’ the ground seemed to go away from me and funny little cr’atures were dancing from one side of the road to the other. Thin all at once I fell down, and I didn’t know another thing until I picked myself up from out of the ditch in the morning.

“Dhrinking, was it, ye say; divil a bit did I taste a drop at all, at all, that day, barring a few glasses I had wid me frinds on the way home.”

Macroom is a pretty village with a castle, of which Admiral Penn, father of the founder of Pennsylvania, was once in command, and where William Penn is said to have been born. The venerable old pile was built originally in the time of King John, more than seven hundred years ago, has been burned down no less than four times, and was besieged and plundered in the wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries again and again. It now belongs to Lord Ardilaun, one of the sons of Benjamin Guinness, the greatest brewer in the world, who has erected a beautiful modern residence near by and occasionally occupies it. Lord Ardilaun owns so many castles that he would find it difficult to live in all of them the same year. He would be kept moving about like a commercial traveler. He has a beautiful estate on one side of Glengariff and a shooting lodge on the other, and his favorite residence is a stately château near Muckross Abbey on the shores of the Lakes of Killarney. He has a shooting lodge at Ashford, and another at Ross Hill in Central Ireland, a fishing lodge at Kylemon Pass in Connemara, and city residences on Stephens Green, Dublin, and at No. 11 Carleton House Terrace, London.

The traveler bound for Glengariff changes from the railway train to an open coach at the railway station of Macroom. The coach is built for mountain travel, strong and heavy, and the seats, which extend from side to side, accommodate four people of ordinary dimensions. The handbags are stowed away under the seats and in a cavern which opens from the rear. A couple of steamer trunks can be taken along also. There is a roof to the stage, which is very much needed to keep off the rain, and it can be rolled up into a ridge in the middle of the supporting hoops in the sunshine.

Lake Gougane-Barra, County Cork

The driver of a stage in Ireland doesn’t flourish and crack his whip like the gentlemen who pursue that line of business in Montana and Colorado. He is usually a talkative chap, and tells interesting stories with a deep, rich brogue and quaint wit that is charming, but he drives quietly through the villages and pulls up at his destination as modestly as if he were on a cart instead of a coach full of tourists. In the Rocky Mountains the stage driver always “shows off” at the end of his journey, but he never tries to do anything of that sort in Ireland.

The road follows along the banks of the Sullane River until it reaches a string of lakes called Inchageela, which are dotted with lovely little islands, and are said to be full of fish. There is not a tree to be seen, but the ground is covered with a rich, thick, velvet turf, and myriads of wild flowers of all colors and all varieties—a crazy quilt of bloom. No one ever imagined that there could be so many wild flowers or such beautiful ones.

The little town of Inchageela is the lunch station, where we were served with a wholesome meal of roast mutton, potatoes, lettuce, and gooseberry tart that tasted as good as anything I ever had at the Waldorf, and the buxom, red-faced landlady gave us a hearty, cordial blessing as we climbed back into our seats to continue the journey. We passed several ruined castles, some of them near the roadside and the others picturesquely situated on the mountain slopes among the rocks. They all once belonged to the MacCarthys, who were kings in this country until they lost their power by foolish fighting, and to-day I have been assured that not one foot of sod in the County of Cork or in the County of Kerry is owned by a man of that name or clan.

After a while we turned from the main road at a little village called Carrinacurrah, which is hardly as big as its name, and slowly climbed a picturesque hill to the mystic lake of Gougane-Barra, and stopped to rest the horses and ourselves at a neatly kept inn. As it was a holiday, all the people in the neighborhood were gathered at Cronin’s Inn when the two coachloads of passengers drove in from Macroom, and several of them accompanied us across to Gougane Island and told us the history of that sacred place. There was an old man with bog-oak walking sticks to sell, and boys with post cards, for there isn’t a spot in Ireland that hasn’t been photographed and transferred to a post card in hideous colors. Mr. Benjamin Shorten, a man of importance in the community, had hailed the coach when it passed his house, and was therefore not only an entertainer but a fellow-passenger of the strangers within his gate. And it was a strange story that he told us of the restoration of the ruins and the erection, by Mr. John R. Walsh of Chicago, in memory of his parents, of the little shrine on the site of St. Fin-Barre’s oratory which had been blessed by St. Patrick fourteen hundred years ago.

Mr. Walsh could not have chosen a more beautiful or a more appropriate place for a memorial to his parents, and the work has been well done. It is a sacred as well as a most romantic spot. Gougane-Barra is what they call a “tarn,” a jagged glen in the mountains nearly a mile long and about a quarter of a mile wide, almost entirely filled with water like a Norwegian fiord and entirely inclosed with walls of rock rising to a height of nearly eighteen hundred feet. The principal peaks are called Conicar (1,886 feet), Bealick (1,762 feet), and Foilasteokeen (1,698 feet). The cliffs cast a deep shadow over the water and add to the solemnity and mystery with which the place has been invested from its association with the patron saint of the city of Cork and one of the earliest apostles in Ireland. After heavy rains each mountain side becomes a foaming cataract, and the natives say that the sound of the water pouring down the rocks may be heard for miles. The lake is very deep and is the source of the River Lee, which runs sixty-five miles from here to the Bay of Cork.

The island is approached by a narrow, artificial causeway, at the head of which is an arched tomb built into the side of the mountain, in which Father Mahoney, a recluse, was buried in 1728. He was the last of the monks to live in the little abbey. He is regarded by the peasants as next to St. Fin-Barre in holiness, and Fin-Barre is ranked next to St. Patrick, only a little below him in their veneration. When the old women passed Father Mahoney’s tomb they knelt and kissed it and said their prayers.

Chapel Erected by Mr. John R. Walsh of Chicago on the Island of Gougane-Barra

The ruins of St. Fin-Barre’s hermitage, which has been carefully restored, consist of a quadrangle of stone about thirty-six feet square, and there are eight cells with arched entrances in which the monks used to live. Over the entrance to each cell are modern plaster casts of the stations of the cross, and in the center, upon a pyramid of five steps, a plain wooden cross has been erected.

The little chapel erected by Mr. Walsh upon the foundation of St. Fin-Barre’s Oratory is thirty-six feet long by fourteen feet broad with a simple little altar and an altar rail. The remainder of the space is filled with wooden seats. There is no organ or other musical instrument, and the services that are held there every third Sunday in the month by an itinerant priest are of the simplest order. But the celebration of the anniversary of the saint on the 24th of September brings the peasants from all the country around and is attended with great solemnity. The people carry their rations with them, and camp upon the shore of the lake and along the roadway that leads down from the tarn. When we were there in June the entire island was a mass of rhododendrons in the fullness of their purple glory. If you searched the world over you could not find a more beautiful abode for a saint in peace and retirement. It has been the theme of many poems, and a native bard has painted with graphic lines the scene that is hallowed by so many pious associations and surrounded with so much natural beauty.

It is one of the holiest places in Ireland, and the consecrated waters of a spring called St. Fin-Barre’s Well, which has been carefully walled in, have the power to heal all kinds of diseases except those that have been caused by dissipation. At the annual festival of St. Fin-Barre the peasants bring their sick children and even their ailing animals to be cured. And the neighboring bushes that surround the well and the wooden crosses that have been erected there in recognition of relief are hung with votive offerings. A penitent who comes to be cleansed of his sins may find full instructions engraven upon a large slab of brown stone. It is said to be more than two hundred years old, but records the good deeds of Rev. Dennis Mahoney, who died in 1728. It is necessary to say five “aves” and five “paters” at the first station of the cross within the ruins, and add five more at each as they are passed, making forty “aves” and forty “paters” at the last cell.

Of course, there is a legend connected with the well—there always is—and in this case St. Patrick, after banishing the reptiles from the country, overlooked one hideous snake. It crawled into the Well of Gougane to escape him, and it created serious depredation in the surrounding country, coming out at night to attack the flocks of sheep and the herds of goats and cattle, until St. Patrick came here and drove it out by sprinkling the well with holy water. “The ould enemy” vanished and has never since ventured to leave his loathsome slime upon the green banks of the island. In order to prevent his return St. Patrick sent St. Fin-Barre here to watch the well and exterminate the monster if it came again. But it has not reappeared, and as a token of gratitude St. Fin-Barre erected the Cathedral of Cork and founded a great monastery beside it, leaving several devoted priests here in his hermitage to keep watch of things.

The driver gave us an hour to see this lovely and sacred place, and then we returned to the main road, resumed our journey, and soon entered the Pass of Keimaneigh, which divides these savage mountains in twain and permits people to pass from the former kingdom of the MacCarthy clan to that of the outlawed O’Sullivans. The mountains were split by some terrible cataclysm ages ago, but Nature has done what she could to heal the wound. The almost perpendicular walls were clothed with wild ivy, arbutus, hawthorn, laburnum, rhododendron, and other trees and shrubs, which were glorious in color and light up the gloom of the gorge with wonderful beauty. We have many grander canyons in the Rocky Mountains, and several of the fiords on the Norwegian coast are grander and inclosed by loftier peaks and more precipitous walls, but none of them that I have seen are anywhere near as beautiful.

The Pass of Keimaneigh Through the Mountains Between Cork and Glengariff

Nor do I remember a panorama where the fiercer and the gentler moods of nature are expressed in such striking contrast. The eagles and hawks that soar in the narrow skyline, directly above our heads, and encircle the rugged and irregular peaks that rise on either side, look down upon an exhibition of wild flowers that was never surpassed, and the colors seem to be more brilliant than elsewhere.

People always ask, How did they come there?—these blotches of scarlet and purple and pink and blue and gold against the dark gray surface of the rock. The wind was the landscape gardener here, and a wonderful artist he is. The dust that gradually accumulated in the crevices and scars of this mountain wall was carried, storm by storm, from some dry spot, upon the wings of the wind. And the same messenger carried the seeds, perhaps for many miles, and dropped them in the nest that he had already provided, where the sun and the rain could reach them and they could germinate and their souls could awaken. The germs of life that lay hidden in their tiny cells then reached out for air and began to grow and bloom and illuminate this stern and gloomy canyon with their smiles. As the journey continues the gorge grows wilder, the walls higher, and the vegetation less, except in the turf beside the roadway, where the violet, the forget-me-not, the belated shamrock, and that other modest little flower called “London Pride,” sing a silent song of praise to Heaven.

They call Glengariff “the Madeira of Great Britain,” because its climate varies only a few degrees, winter and summer, and is about the same as that of the Madeira Islands, without a trace of frost or snow except up among the rugged mountains that protect it from the cold winds and make it an ideal resort for those who seek health, rest, or solitude. The name signifies “a rough glen,” and that describes it exactly—a deep cleft in the mountains, a gash which some irresistible glacier made ages ago in the rugged rocks, about three miles long and a quarter of a mile wide, which terminates upon an exquisite little sheet of water, a branch of the Bay of Bantry, on the far southwestern coast of Ireland. The glen is filled with wonderful trees and wonderful flowers, which seem to bloom perennially. The surrounding mountains are of the wildest description, being naked moorlands covered with heather and gorse and huge gray bowlders and peaks which project into the air. Among them, it is said, there are no less than 365 little lakes, that number having suggested to the pious peasants, who attribute everything to apostolic interposition, that some holy saint prayed effectually for a separate one to supply water for each day of the year. The rocks reach far away to the westward and down into the cold blue of an uneasy ocean, which beats impetuously upon the outer walls, but the water is seldom disturbed by more than a ripple within the bay. For a combination of ocean, mountains, lakes, rocks, waterfalls, forests, and flowers I have never seen the like, and any one can easily understand why Glengariff is called the most beautiful spot in Ireland.

The town of Glengariff is composed of fourteen houses, six saloons, a post office, a vine-covered headquarters for the constabulary, which looks altogether too picturesque and beautiful for such a practical purpose, a Catholic church, brand new and built with money from America, an old church where the Catholics formerly worshiped, now used as a school for teaching lace making, a pretty little Church of Ireland chapel, an ivy-clad rectory adjoining, and several comfortable hotels. There are four hundred inhabitants in the parish, mostly farmers, scattered within the glen and upon the surrounding rocks. They are mostly Harringtons, Sullivans, Caseys, and O’Sheas, and are nearly all related. All the population are Roman Catholics, except twelve families who belong to the Church of Ireland and are ministered to by the Rev. Mr. Harvey, who is paid a salary of £200 a year and is given a picturesque old manse in the midst of one of the loveliest gardens and groves you can imagine.

Eccles Hotel has been famous for more than a century. You will find a flattering account of it in Mrs. Hall’s book on Ireland, published in the ’50s. And, by the way, that work contains a charming description of the country, although so much in detail that it fills three ponderous volumes that weigh four or five pounds each. There have been many changes since the book was written, but they concern only the people and their customs. Its historical references, its legends, and descriptions of scenery hold good to-day.

The hotel, not the book, is a rambling, irregular structure with many gables and many chimneys, and is almost completely covered with a lustrous robe of English ivy. It sits at the foot of the glen where the rocks and the ocean meet and the prospect from the front windows is unsurpassed. The bay is enclosed like a wall with mighty mountains. Titanic rocks have rolled down into the water in some great cataclysm and now lie in picturesque shapes, here and there, as a tasteful artist would have arranged them, clad in vivid green. The outlines of the bay are irregular. Little arms of water reach up among the rocks that inclose it, and, when the tide goes out, it discloses deep beds of wondrous seaweed, curious vegetable and animal forms that Nature in her fantastic moods has designed in her studio under the waters of the sea. In the foreground at the right is a landing place for the little steamer that comes over from Bantry twice a day, and beyond it, rising from a rocky eminence, are the ruins of an ancient castle with a tower intact that was once a stronghold of the O’Sullivans, when they were kings in these parts. Now it belongs to the estate of the late Earl of Bantry.

On the other side of the bay a long point of land protrudes across the horizon, and there it was that the French troops intended to land under Wolfe Tone and General Hoche on Dec. 26, 1796. There were 17 ships of the line, 13 frigates, 5 corvettes, 2 gunboats, and 6 transports, with about 14,000 men and 45,000 stands of arms, and it was expected that the news of their landing would be the signal for an uprising of the Irish people. Simon White, who lived near the point where the landing was to be made, was a man of quick movements and energy, and as soon as the fleet was sighted he saddled his horse and rode direct to Cork—sixty-five miles—in half a dozen hours to notify the military commander and other authorities of the invasion. For that the king made him the Earl of Bantry and gave him a strip of land around the bay twenty-two miles on one side and twenty-two miles on the other, stretching back into the mountains an average of six miles. The title has lasted through three generations, but has expired because the third Earl of Bantry left no son to wear it when he died a few years ago.

Providence intervened, however, on the side of the English, and averted what might have been a disastrous struggle with France, with Ireland as the battlefield, as well as a civil war for the overthrow of British authority. A storm came up and dispersed the fleet. When the wind subsided, a dense fog overspread Bantry Bay and the ocean. When the air cleared the ships were so scattered that each sailed away on its own account during the next fortnight, and one by one they returned to the harbors of France. General Hoche, in the Fraternitie, finally reached Rochelle, after several narrow escapes, with his ship in a sinking condition. Several of the largest ships went upon the rocks, and about eighteen hundred sailors and soldiers perished. No Frenchman trod upon Irish soil with the exception of a lieutenant and seven seamen, who were sent out in a small boat from one of the ships during the fog to reconnoiter, and, running aground, were captured by James O’Sullivan.

Bantry Bay is a magnificent inlet twenty-one miles long, and with an average breadth of four miles and an average depth of sixty fathoms, without a shoal or sandbank or any other peril to navigation. It is completely sheltered from the weather and is considered the finest harbor in Ireland. It is the rendezvous of the British North Atlantic fleet and the fleet of the channel, which come here regularly to practice maneuvers, to correct their compasses and regulate their range finders and do light repairs. The only town on the bay is a village of the same name, which has been described as a seaport without trade, a harbor without shipping, and a fishery without a market. There is a convent, a monastery, and a factory for the manufacture of Irish tweeds.

Glengariff Bridge

Adjoining the village is Bantry House, a stately mansion surrounded by a beautiful lawn and grove, which was the residence of the late Earl of Bantry, and was inherited by his nephew, Leigh White. Another nephew, Simon White, occupies the ancient Glengariff Castle, which is nearer the head of the bay—a large and gloomy-looking structure almost entirely hidden by the surrounding trees. Thirty-one thousand acres of land around the bay was inherited by these two young men, but it is very poor land. Three-fourths of it is bare rock, and the entire population upon their holdings is only about four hundred men, women, and children. A daughter of the late Earl of Bantry married Lord Ardilaun, who was Arthur Edward Guinness, a son of the great brewer of Dublin and probably the richest man in Ireland. The hotel is inclosed in a beautiful hedge of fuchsias, which flourish in this climate, and are commonly used for hedges. The grounds of the hotel extend over two hundred and fifty acres, mostly dense forest, with a beautiful garden of twelve acres or more. All the vegetables, poultry, eggs, and other produce are raised on the place, and the milk and cream and butter come from a private herd of cows, which is a great luxury.

There is splendid fishing, both in the bay and in two small lakes, one hour’s walk from the hotel, also boating, swimming, and any number of beautiful walks and drives through the woods and along the mountain roads. The only antiquity in the immediate neighborhood is a picturesque ruin called Cromwell’s bridge. While the grim old Covenanter was passing up the glen with an escort to visit the O’Sullivans, citizens of Glengariff who had heard of the devastation he had created elsewhere tore down a bridge over a mountain gorge, hoping that it would turn him back. But after much trouble he and his men succeeded in crossing the canyon into the village, and there he summoned the inhabitants and told them that if they did not restore the bridge by the time he returned from his visit he would hang a man for every hour’s delay. The bridge was ready for him, “fur they knew the auld villain would kape his word.”

The surrounding country is sparsely settled by a hardy, stubborn race, who fish in the winter and farm in the summer, like the people who live on the bleak New England coast. The children herd cattle, sheep, and goats upon the mountain sides; the pigs and the poultry share the ancient stone hovels occupied by their owners; the women cultivate a little spot of soil wherever they can find it in the crevices among the rocks, raising a few potatoes and cabbages, and look after the chickens and the babies. Scattered over the mountain side and reached by steep but perfect roads, are the roofless walls of what once were the homes of neighbors who have emigrated to America. The fate of those who remained seemed hopeless until recently, but the benevolent purposes of the government are brightening the lives and improving the condition of many of them. At Glengariff I got my first chance to observe the work of the Congested Districts Board through which the government is trying to relieve the distress of the poor and make life worth living for those wretched but courageous souls who dwell always in the mists of the mountains and among the moorlands and the peat bogs on the west coast of Ireland. They are the poorest, the least nourished, and the most helpless portion of the population. They are scattered widely. The arable soil is so scarce that they cannot live in communities and survive. Here and there among the rocks, where the kindly winds have dropped grains of earth during the ages, they are cultivating little patches of potatoes and cabbage. They follow a few cows and goats that nibble at the blades of grass that grow in the cracks of the rock and keep a few chickens, which share with them the roof shelter of a leaky, straw-thatched cabin built of rough stone and with a mud floor.

The cabins are as comfortless as one can imagine, but they are no worse than thousands that may be found in our southern States, in the mountains of Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia. Thousands of “crackers” in Georgia have no better homes and no more consolations in life, but their cabins are more neatly kept and are not situated among such filthy and loathsome surroundings as those of the poor “bog-trotters” of Ireland.

The interior of the cabins is quite as repulsive as the exterior. The chickens run in and out with the children, and they “kape the pig in the parlor” because that is the only room in the house and there is no other pen. The inevitable baby—you never enter a cabin without finding one—is always in its mother’s arms and another is generally clinging to her skirts, while two or three more are playing in the filth around the door. There is only one room, where they all sleep, the elder ones upon rough benches, covered with pallets of straw, and the younger ones on the floor—grandparents, parents, children, pigs, and chickens—young and old, both sexes, lying side by side, with whatever covering their scanty earnings enable them to provide. There are no sheets or mattresses; no pillows, only comfortables that have been used for generations, and tattered blankets that are never washed. There is no furniture but a table and two or three stools. There are shelves, and a few nails and hooks driven into the walls. There is no stove, but a peat fire under the chimney where the mother cooks in pans and kettles when the weather is stormy and uses a rock outside for a kitchen when it doesn’t rain or blow. There are few dishes, mostly broken china, and the covers of tin cans. The walls are windowless; there is no light but that which comes through the door, and during the long winter nights, when, in this latitude, it becomes dark at four o’clock, the family hibernate in the darkness because candles are beyond their means and burning peat gives no light. You can understand why so many of these poor wretches lose their wits. The insane asylums of Ireland are filled with unfortunates from this coast, most of them are hereditary and chronic cases caused by melancholia, nervousness, and starvation. I have been trying in vain to find out how they spend their time during the long winter evenings, but have been unable to get any satisfactory information on that point.

Notwithstanding these conditions a stranger always receives a polite and a cordial welcome and usually an invitation to come in and rest and drink a cup of milk. There is no apology for poverty, or the appearance of things; there is no obsequiousness and no insolence, but a dignified, hearty handclasp at the coming and at the going and a cheerful invitation to call again. The Children of the Mist are invariably well behaved and polite. Although their clothes are ragged and their bodies are filthy with dirt, they have the same manners you would expect among the nobility. They are always obedient, deferential, and unselfish. They are kind and attentive to their younger brothers and sisters, and show perfect respect to their parents and elders. We have seen them in the cabins, in the fields, and in the schools. I have asked everybody where they get their manners, and who teaches them deportment in this barren wilderness of filth and bad smells. I asked Miss Walshe, the medical officer of the district, who goes from cabin to cabin as an angel of healing; I asked Miss O’Donnell, who has charge of the lace school; I asked the head constable at the police station; I asked the school-teachers and others, and they all say that the politeness of the Irish peasants, like their pride, is inborn and final proof that they are the descendants of kings. This pride is a strange thing, and it is most surprising. Every woman you find in a soiled and ragged dress in a wretched cabin receives you as her equal and talks with dignity and without restraint, and Mr. Duke, manager of the Eccles Hotel, told me this morning of a mountain peasant whose raggedness aroused his sympathy, but who would not accept a suit of clothes.

Miss O’Donnell, the lace teacher, and Miss Walshe, the nurse, told us that the pretty young women we saw in the lace school and the boys and girls we saw in the national school, all come from such cabins as I have described. Some of the blue-eyed, bare-footed urchins have complexions that society belles would give their souls for, and long, beautiful coal-black hair, yet they sleep on a mud floor with pigs and chickens, and many of them walk three and four miles and back for the privilege of attending school. With a little training these children make excellent servants, faithful, obedient, and tactful, and almost without exception they go to mass and confession regularly, and they have a high standard of morals and a conscientious devotion to duty. Although it costs as much to get married as it does to buy a ticket to America, there are no unmarried people living together here; illegitimate births are extremely rare and chastity is the commonest of virtues.

There is no compulsory education law, but the priests drive the children to school until they are fourteen and will not confirm them until they have passed a certain grade. A gentle, soft-voiced woman in a rude cabin in the mountain side told us the other day that her greatest trouble was that her daughter had been kept from school by sickness and she was afraid that the priest would not confirm her because she was so far behind the other girls in her lessons.

The same rule applies to the lace school which has been established by the government through the Congested Districts Board in the old building used by the Catholic church before the new one was erected. The government pays a teacher and advances the material. The girls get the price their lacework brings when sold in the shops of London or Dublin or at the Eccles Hotel here at Glengariff. Miss O’Donnell tells me that Mrs. Duke, the wife of the manager of the hotel, is their best sales agent, and a stock of samples is always kept where the guests can see them. Fifty-one girls are now attending the school, and some of them walk seven miles and back every day. Father Harrington will not allow them to attend the lace school until after they are confirmed, and it is a great inducement to join the church because they are able to earn forty, fifty, and some of them sixty pounds a year, which secures them better clothes, better food, and some comforts for their families. Last year this little school sold nearly three thousand dollars’ worth of lace, and the money was divided among fifty-one girls who made it.

Every young person who can get money enough goes to America. And if it were not for the money they send back here many of their parents and younger brothers and sisters would starve. A gentleman who handles the postal orders in one of the most forlorn and wretched villages of Ireland told me that the Christmas gifts of money that came from America kept many a family in food during the winter. It is the ambition of every young man and woman to go to the United States, and only the lack of steamship fare keeps them in Ireland. A sturdy lad of eighteen who guided us across the moor to the roadway this morning told me confidentially that he was going to Arizona as soon as his uncle, who was doing very well out there, was able to send him the price. He asked many questions about that part of the country. His uncle is working in a gold mine near Tombstone and is “earning more than a pound a day, steady, six days in the week, and they pay him double wages if he works on Sunday.” To a lad whose life is so barren and whose horizon is so narrow and who sees his father and his neighbors trying to wrest a scanty sustenance partly from the sea and partly from the land, and who scarcely catch enough fish or raise enough potatoes to feed the mouths of their own families, a pound a day looks like the income of an earl.

The Catholic church at Glengariff is a brand new building of stone, and looks large enough for ten times the population of this parish, which has only about four hundred souls, men, women, and children. It was built with American money raised by Father Brown, the late priest, who went to Brooklyn, Boston, and several other cities of the United States, hunted up the relatives of the people who live here and those who went from these parts, and obtained £3,000. He was a good man and took a great interest in the temporal as well as the spiritual welfare of his people. Since his death Father Harrington has succeeded him and serves four churches in a radius of seventeen miles.

We attended mass on Sunday. The church was crowded. All the aisles were filled with kneeling worshipers, up to the very feet of the altar and in the vestibule, or the steps, and around outside were forty or fifty men and women kneeling reverently upon the sod, although they couldn’t hear the voice of the priest. One of the men told me that he believed every person in the parish was present and that they always came unless they were too ill to move, that no storm could stop them. As a rule they came from mountain cabins five and six miles away, in carts and on foot, and some of them carried children in their arms the entire distance. Notwithstanding their poverty they were better dressed than the working people of Dublin. Their clothes were neat and well brushed and mended. However ragged the garments they wear on week days may be, they always have a decent suit to wear to the house of God. The solemnity of the service was very impressive. To these people the church is the gate of heaven. Its decorations and ceremonies appeal to their imagination, to their senses of color and sound, and the mystic rites sink into their souls.

Although there are six saloons for a parish of four hundred people the chief constable tells me there is very little drinking or disorder, and practically no crime. He hasn’t had a case of robbery for a year, and except upon convivial occasions like weddings and wakes the people are very orderly. Most of the saloons, he tells me, sell very little liquor, and some of their licenses run back for years, being renewed annually to the same family for generations. A liquor license in Ireland cannot be taken away except for serious reasons, as long as the annual fee is paid. They can be sold or transferred, but if they lapse they are cancelled.

In a neat stone cottage, surrounded by a well kept garden, among the rocky mountain sides that overlook Bantry Bay, lives Lacia Walshe, strong in body, strong in mind, and strong of purpose. She goes among the wretched hovels in this locality attending maternity cases which occur with amazing frequency, for the poorer the family the more children is the rule. Miss Walshe does not give her entire attention to midwifery, however, but treats every case of illness that comes within her ken, from sore fingers to delirium tremens. That is not a figure of speech, but an actual fact, for many a time at midnight has she been called from her cottage to some miserable stone hovel in the mountains to quiet with opiates a drunken ruffian who is haunted with reptiles and raving in his dreams. Miss Walshe belongs to the poor, and is kept here by a society with a name of fifteen words—“Lady Dudley’s Scheme for the Establishment of District Nurses in the Poorest Parts of Ireland.” She wears a badge the shape of a heart supporting a crown and in the center is a shamrock leaf encircled with the words of Another One who went about doing good as she does: “By love serve one another.”

The Countess of Dudley organized this work in 1903, beginning with two nurses in Geesala and Bealadangan, County Galway. And they did so much good that the number has now been increased to fifteen and they are located at as many places in the poorest districts of Ireland, where there are no physicians and where the people are too poor and the population too scattered to support a doctor if one could be induced to go there.

The most distressing cases are those of confinement in cabins of only one room, into which sometimes six, eight, and ten men, women, and children are crowded, sleeping upon the floor. We went into a hut of only one room, not more than twelve by fourteen feet in size, which is occupied at night by nine persons,—father and mother, and grandmother and six children, the oldest being eighteen years of age. We visited another hut where there were eight children living, and were told of one where there were seventeen, the births of most of them not more than a year apart. To relieve conditions that may be easily imagined, Lady Dudley’s society with the long name was formed, and is now doing an immense amount of good. Fifteen courageous and conscientious women are comfortably placed in localities where their services are most needed, at a cost of not more than a thousand dollars per year each, which includes a bicycle, the most convenient means of locomotion they can find, and an allowance for the hire of horses and jaunting cars when they can be obtained. Because it is impossible to find lodging and boarding places, it has been necessary to build cottages for the nurses, and in some cases the demands upon them are so great that they are allowed to employ assistance. They are equipped with surgical implements and medical stores. Each of the nurses has taken a course in surgery for emergency cases for they are frequently called upon to set bones and dress wounds and even to perform operations. They are also furnished with baby clothes, old linen, warm garments, stores of condensed milk and beef extract, and other delicacies, and although Florence Nightingale relieved thousands, her work did not compare in peril or privation or fatigue with the almost daily experience of some of these noble women.


The big stages that cross the mountains from Glengariff to Killarney are chiefly loaded with Americans. It is singular how few other nationalities are represented in the passenger traffic. The morning we crossed there were four great vehicles carrying twenty-four persons each, and every passenger, except one German bridal couple and a funny acting Englishman, was from the United States. In our coach were representatives from Cincinnati, Washington, St. Louis, Omaha, Texas, and Minnesota, and I suppose other sections were equally represented upon the three other coaches. Everybody who comes to Ireland takes this ride because it offers the grandest scenery and one of the most delightful experiences that tourists can enjoy. The coach begins to climb slowly through the beautiful glen as soon as it leaves the Eccles Hotel and continues climbing, up and up, for six miles through a dense forest of glowing green, until it emerges into a wilderness of rock and moorland, wild, picturesque, and almost entirely uninhabited. There is very little vegetation, only a few streaks and bunches of grass that grow along the cracks in the rocky surface, or in wind-carried soil that has been caught in crevices. It is one of the wildest places you can imagine, and as we go upward it becomes more so. The stage winds around the brow of a mountain that seems a solid mass of stone, and as far as one can see there is nothing else in the universe except a ribbon of silver that winds at the foot of the slope where we left a river when we began the journey. One has the sensation of awe that solitude often produces, but it is disturbed by the chatter of the passengers. It is as dreary and desolate and lonesome a place as the world contains.

This is a comparatively new road. It was not built until 1838, but, like all the roads of Ireland, it is solid and perfect and made to last forever. The old road, and the principal line of communication between the counties of Cork and Kerry for centuries, ran along the slope of Hungry Mountain, so called because it is so devoid of vegetation that a goat would have to take his luncheon if he went up there. And from there it crossed to the mountain of the “Priest’s Leap,” which was named from a legend that grows out of persecution of the Catholics in Cromwell’s time. The driver told it in this way:

“Ye see, yer honor, in Cromwell’s time there was a bounty of five pun’ fer the head of a wolf and five pun’ for the head of a priest; an’ a dale of money was made o’ both o’ ’em. Well, bedad, one foine day a priest was ridin’ over the hill, whin the Tories caught sight o’ him (we called thim Tories in those days, the blaggards that did be huntin’ o’ the priests), and them that purshued him were jist to lay their bloody hands upon his blessed robe, whin he prayed to St. Fiachna. The blessed saint heard him, and the donkey he was ridin’ gave a lape siven miles from one mountain to the ither, and yees can see the marks of the baste’s hoofs in the solid rock to this day.”

It takes but little encouragement and a minimum of material to supply legends in this desolate and weird region, where every sound seems unnatural and the trembling of a leaf causes the nerves to tingle. The road resembles Brünig Pass in Switzerland more than any other that I have seen, with the Lakes of Killarney corresponding to Lake Lucerne, but it is less civilized and there are very few human habitations.

The coach keeps climbing until we come to the grand divide, 1,233 feet above the sea, where the passage from the “Kingdom of Cork” to the “Kingdom of Kerry,” as once they were called, is made through a tunnel about six hundred feet long and two smaller ones that are cut through the peak of the Esk Mountain. Until these tunnels were built travelers were carried over the rocks to the other end of the road on the backs of men. The country improves a little after the divide is crossed, and there is a gradual descent into a rather good grazing country which belongs to the Marquis of Lansdowne, but even here it is a good deal of a job for a cow to make a living, and there is a proverb that “A Kerry cow never looks up at a passing stranger for fear it will lose the bite.”

The Earl of Lansdowne, who has been governor-general of Canada, governor-general of India, lord of the treasury, secretary of war, minister of foreign affairs, and has held other important offices in the British cabinet, is one of the largest landowners in Ireland, although he spends very little of his time there. He has a long list of Irish titles inherited from his ancestors. In addition to being Earl Wycombe, Earl of Kerry, and Earl of Shelburne, he is Viscount Clanmaurice, Viscount Fitzmorris, Baron of Lixnaw, Baron of Dunkerron, and Viscount of Calstone, and his eldest son is the Earl of Kerry. He traces his lineage to Maurice Fitzgerald, who came over with Strongbow, who also was the ancestor of the earls of Kildare and the Duke of Leinster. The Lansdowne family have intermarried with the Leinsters, the MacCarthys, the Desmonds, the Ormondes, and other of the great families of Ireland, and, near or far, the marquis can claim relationship with nearly all the Irish nobility.

Occasionally we saw a stone cabin in the far distance, from which a pale stream of smoke was arising, but until noonday, when we dropped into the valley and approached the little village of Kenmare, there was scarcely a human habitation. At Kenmare is an attractive hotel, at which a bountiful lunch is served for two shillings, and a little time is given the passengers to rest. Those who wish to do so can take a railway train here and run over to Killarney in three-quarters of an hour, but they will lose the most attractive part of the ride and some of the sublimest scenery in Ireland. The stage commences to climb again shortly after we leave Kenmare, and crawls along the mountain sides between the rocks and the heather all the afternoon. This country was fought over again and again ages ago. The mountain range was a sort of barrier between the warlike clans of MacCarthy and O’Sullivan, who met upon its rocky slopes and slew each other for any pretext, less for reason than for the love of fighting.

The war cries of all the clans of southern Ireland, however, have been heard upon these rocks. “Shannied-Aboo” was the cry of the earls of Desmond; “Crom-Aboo” was the cry of the Geraldines, and the Duke of Leinster has it for the motto upon his coat of arms. The word “aboo” is the Gaelic equivalent to our “hurrah.” The cry of the O’Neills was “Lamh-Dearg-Aboo” (Hurrah for the Red Hand, which was the crest of the O’Neills). The O’Brien cry was “Lamh-Laider-Aboo” (Hurrah for the Strong Hand). The Burkes cried “Galraigh-Aboo” (Hurrah for the Red Englishman). The Fitzpatricks, “Gear-Laider-Aboo” (Hurrah for the Strong and the Sharp).

In the tenth year of the reign of Henry VII. an act passed by parliament prohibited the use of these war cries in the following quaint terms:

“Item; Prayen the commons in this present parliament assembled; that for as much as there has been great variances, malices, debates and comparisons between divers lords and gentlemen of this land, which hath daily increased by seditious means of divers idle, ill-disposed persons, utterly taking upon them to be servants to such lords and gentlemen; for that they would be borne in their said idleness, and their other unlawful demeaning, and nothing for any favor or entirely good love or will that they bear under such lords and gentlemen. Therefore be it enacted and established by the same authority; That no person nor persons, of whatsoever estate, condition or degree he or they be of, take part with any lord or gentleman or uphold any such variances or comparisons in words or deeds as in using these words, Com-Aboo, Butler-Aboo, or other words like, or otherwise contrary to the King’s laws, his crown, his dignity and his peace; but to call on St. George in the name of his sovereign lord, King of England for the time being. And if any person or persons of whatsoever estate, condition or degree he or they be of, do contrary so offending in the premisses, or any of them be taken and committed to ward, there to remain without bayle or maiprixe till he or they have made fine after the discretion of the King’s Deputy of Ireland, and the King’s Counsail of the same for the time being.”

The above is a sample of British legislation at the period that act was passed, and that conglomerate of words means simply that enthusiastic Irishmen were forbidden to excite their own emotions and the emotions of others by the cries of their clan and were admonished to use only the war cry of the King of England, who in battle is supposed to appeal to St. George.

The first glimpse of the Lakes of Killarney is obtained as the coach comes around the point of a mountain, and a great green amphitheater with a body of glimmering water at the bottom is suddenly spread out before the passengers. The outlines are fringed with forests and the lakes are studded with tiny islands of different sizes and shapes, but all glow with a vivid color that is not found anywhere else. And this picture is before the vision until the stage plunges into a tunnel of foliage at the foot of the slope, near the ancient ruins of Muckross Abbey, and follows along through a tunnel made of high stone walls and overhanging boughs until the village of Killarney is reached.

Long, long ago there were two giants, the giant of Glengariff and the giant of Killarney, and they were very jealous of each other. They kept up a continual controversy, each boasting of his own strength and valor and daring the other to cross the mountains. Finally, after everybody got tired of these threats and challenges, just as people do nowadays about the talking matches of pugilists, the giant of Killarney decided to go over to Glengariff and see what sort of a person his foe might be. Disguising himself as a monk, he crossed the divide, came down into the village, and was shown the way to his enemy’s cabin. The giant of Glengariff, having heard of the approach of his rival, became very much frightened and hastily made a cradle big enough to hold his enormous carcass, and, lying down in it, ordered his wife to tuck him up with a blanket. And there he lay, pretending to be asleep, when the giant of Killarney approached the door and politely offered the compliments of the season to the lady he saw sitting on a three-legged stool with her knitting in her lap. Her hand was on the edge of a cradle twelve feet long, and she rocked it gently, crooning an old lullaby.

“Hush, you spalpeen, lest ye wake the baby!” and she continued to sing the slumber song in a soft, sweet voice.

“Let’s see your baby,” whispered the giant of Killarney, and she lifted the blanket gently from her husband’s face.

His enemy looked at him in amazement for an instant, and then, begging the good lady’s pardon for the intrusion, started back over the mountain trail as fast as his big legs could take him.

“If the baby’s as big as that, how big must the ould man be!”

Valentine Charles Browne, Earl of Kenmare, owns all of the Lakes of Killarney, all the land that surrounds them, and, according to the grant of James I., Feb. 16, 1622, “all the islands of, or in the same, and the fisheries of said lakes, and the soil and bottom thereof.” He owns all the mountains round about, and one of his stewards told me that they comprised 999,000 acres. He owns the village and everything within it, even the ground on which the railway station stands. All of the hotels occupy his soil under lease, and the insane asylum, with its six hundred patients, and the poorhouse for County Kerry, with four hundred friendless and destitute creatures within its walls.

Sir Valentine Browne, Knight of Totteridge, Lincolnshire, England, was constable, warden, victualler, and treasurer of Berwick in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who sent him with Sir Henry Wallop in 1583 to survey escheated lands in Ireland. He remained on the island, was subsequently sworn of the privy council, represented the County of Sligo in parliament in 1588, and in June of the same year purchased from MacCarthy More, Earl of Glencare, certain lands, manors, etc., in counties Kerry and Cork, and obtained by patents from Queen Elizabeth all the remainder of the Glencare estates. He was afterward quite useful to her majesty, as his posterity have been to her successors.

Sir Valentine Browne, his grandson, was created Baronet of Kenmare in 1622 and received a grant, from which I have quoted, of all the lakes and all the lands and mountains round about them to the very bottom thereof. In 1689 these estates were forfeited by his son because of his fidelity to the unfortunate James II., but were restored to the family in 1720, and in 1724 Valentine, the fifth viscount, was made an earl. The late earl was one of the most devoted councilors and confidential advisers of the late Queen Victoria. She was very much attached to him, and he had charge of her household as vice chamberlain and lord chamberlain from 1872 to 1886, and was one of her lords in waiting until her death. His mother was Gertrude Thynne, a niece of the Earl of Bath, and is still living. The father died in 1905 at the age of eighty, after a useful and honorable career.

The present earl was educated at Eton and Oxford, served for a time in the army, went to Australia as an aid-de-camp to the Governor of Victoria, was state steward to the Earl of Aberdeen during the first term of the latter as lord lieutenant of Ireland, and married Elizabeth Baring, daughter of Lord Revelstoke of the famous firm of Baring Brothers, bankers, London. He has a brother-in-law in New York. The Earl of Kenmare is the most prominent and influential Roman Catholic in the Irish peerage. He is devoted to the interests of the church, is devout in his habits, maintains a private chapel in his London residence and at his mansion here, and a family chaplain in the old-fashioned way. He never leaves his house in the morning without prayers at which all the household and guests are present and the servants are called in from their tasks. There is a cathedral of pretentious architecture upon his grounds in the village to which his father contributed a quarter of a million dollars. It has been built within the last few years by Bishop Mangan of this diocese, and is already being enlarged, although to a stranger it seems to be big enough as it is.

Kenmare House, Killarney

Kenmare House has one hundred and nine rooms. The grand reception salon is 135 feet in length and 42 feet in width, with a deep recessed fireplace and a massive oak mantel; the library is 48 by 42 feet, the state dining-room 52 by 30 feet, the drawing-room 36 by 24 feet, the smoking-room 25 by 17 feet, the family dining-room 21 by 16 feet, the earl’s study 24 by 16 feet, her ladyship’s boudoir 18 by 30 feet, the state bedroom 33 by 24 feet, and nine other state apartments of similar dimensions. There are sixteen family bedrooms, each with a bath attached, on the second floor, and twenty-six double and single bedrooms on the third floor, with a bachelor’s wing of fifteen rooms entirely separate from the rest of the house and reached by a long corridor. There is a nursery and schoolroom 36 by 18 feet, a servants’ hall 30 by 20 feet, and fifteen bedrooms for servants. Altogether there are eighty living-rooms, amply furnished, besides the kitchens, bakery, storerooms, pantries, and servants’ quarters. There is a garage, and stabling for seventeen horses, a dairy, a fish hatchery which stocks the brooks with trout and the lakes with salmon; seven thousand acres of forest preserve with deer and other game, and, altogether, more than one hundred thousand acres of shooting upon the hills and mountains, the bogs and forests surrounding the Lakes of Killarney. In 1907 the game bag included 2,500 rabbits, 470 pheasants, 400 woodcock, 200 grouse, 150 hares, 100 snipe, and 40 teal ducks, 14 stags, 6 hinds, and 4 does. No account was taken of the trout and the salmon which abound in the lake and in the several rivers and brooks which feed it. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and attractive estates in all the United Kingdom.

The fishing is very good in the spring. An Englishman at our hotel brought in several beautiful ten and twelve pound salmon, which he caught with a fly, although it was warm weather and the poorest time of year for the fishing. His lordship charges a fee of five dollars for the privilege of fishing in his lake. That pays for a license of one year, but is not transferable. A transient guest at a hotel, however, can go out with licensed fishermen as often as he likes. In the spring, when the salmon are running, nets are used, and his lordship gets the proceeds of the catch. The fish are shipped to Dublin and London, and the returns are $3,000 and $4,000 a year. His lordship allows none but rowboats upon the lakes. He will not permit a steamer or motor launch or even a naphtha launch, and every one who has a boat has to take out a license, for which he collects ten shillings. But the boatmen make it up during the tourist season.

The Earl of Kenmare will share his blessings, so far as his park is concerned, with you or any one else for a sixpence, and they are well worth it. I do not know any place where a lover of nature or one who is fond of strolling through the woods can get as much for his money. The demesne or park contains about nineteen hundred acres of forest and garden with many miles of walks and drives. The lodgekeepers at every one of the six gates are always alert to collect the sixpence and give you a ticket, numbered and stamped and good for that day only. But you can pass the gates with it as often as you like until they are closed at night, and a wise man will spend as much time as he can spare within the demesne every day. When we were there in June the trees were glorious; hundreds of acres of rhododendrons were in flower and made great banks of purple blossoms; the hawthorns, arbutus, laburnums, and other flowering trees and the woodbine were in their greatest glory. And when they fade we can admire the oaks and beeches that have been growing there for hundreds of years. Many of the trees were planted after designs. There are long avenues that are completely roofed by boughs, and at one place a magnificent cathedral of beeches has been devised of foliage, three wide aisles made by five rows of venerable beech trees more than three hundred years old, which were trimmed almost to the top when young and the branches trained to overlap so that they are almost a rain-proof roof. The trunks are smooth and almost straight, like the columns of a basilica, and the ground is covered with half decayed shells of beech nuts that have fallen during the centuries.

But the most glorious part of the demesne is the garden, which surpasses any that I have seen for years. It occupies a terrace surrounding Kenmare House upon the highest eminence in the demesne and overlooks the lakes. It is laid out in the Italian style, and the gardener told us that it was designed by the Dowager Lady Kenmare when she was a bride. If that is true her ladyship must have been a very clever landscape gardener. The most striking feature is a tennis court inclosed within a hedge of cypress ten feet high and six feet thick, with the top trimmed to represent the wall of a castle, with arches for entrances and bays and recesses where benches have been placed to accommodate spectators. This unique wall of cypress is so dense that a tennis ball will rebound from it. Adjoining the tennis court is a croquet ground, and just behind them an exquisite little cottage where her ladyship serves tea every summer afternoon to her guests.

I was told that no other garden in Ireland compares with this, and the only ones that approach it are those of the Duke of Devonshire at Lismore and the Duke of Ormonde at Kilkenny. Although those at Versailles and Fontainebleau are much more extensive, they are not so artistic.

The Lakes of Killarney are three in number and, strangely enough, have no romantic names. They really are only one lake, the Lower, Upper, and Middle lakes being connected by narrow channels only a few yards long. The three are thirty miles in circumference and the extreme end of Upper Lake is eleven miles from the extreme end of Lower Lake. The Lower Lake is the largest, being about five and a half miles long and two and a half miles wide at the widest place; Middle Lake and Upper Lake are each about two miles long at the greatest length and about three-quarters of a mile wide at the widest point. They all contain numerous islands of different sizes. Somebody has counted them, and I think has found sixty-five, large and small. One of them, Innisfallen Island, was occupied by a monastery back in St. Patrick’s time, and the famous “Annals of Innisfallen,” one of the earliest and most authentic of the ancient Irish histories, was written there by the monks, who began the manuscript at least twelve hundred years ago. The original is now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and is one of the most valuable manuscripts in the world, with fifty-seven leaves, closely covered with beautiful penmanship. The earlier portion consists of extracts from the Old Testament and a history of the world down to the arrival of St. Patrick in 432. From that time it treats exclusively of Irish affairs, terminating with the year 1319. It is evidently a record of certain facts which came to the knowledge of the monks of Innisfallen Abbey during a period of nearly seven hundred years until, in 1320, the abbey was plundered and the monks massacred by Maolduin O’Donaghue and the MacCarthys. It has since remained in ruins, a few broken walls covered with ivy, which are visited regularly by Augustinian brothers who come here on pilgrimages.

The lakes are surrounded almost entirely by a range of mountains, except on the north, where they break into low hills. There are six peaks rising over two thousand feet, including Carran-Tuel (3,314 feet), the highest mountain in Ireland; Mangerton (2,756 feet), Purple Mountain (2,739), Devil’s Punch Bowl (2,665), Toomies (2,500), and Torc (2,100). There are several other mountains which approach these in height, forming a mighty barrier between County Cork and County Kerry, and protecting Killarney from the cold southwest winds of the ocean. The Devil’s Punch Bowl is an extinct volcano, and gets its name from an enormous crater near its summit which is filled with water and fed from subterranean springs. There is no bottom so far as people have been able to discover. The crater reaches down into the bowels of the earth somewhere and furnishes an inexhaustible reservoir of pure, cold water, which is now piped down to the village of Killarney.

Upper Lake, Killarney.

By a curious freak of nature these mountains are all detached and separated by narrow valleys and gorges, although at a distance they seem to be in a cluster. The passes are watered with streams that fall over precipitous rocks and form numerous cascades. We came through one of them on our way from Glengariff, and nearly all the others have hard, smooth roads which are utilized for excursions on coaches, and in jaunting cars. Some of them are impassable except on horseback. They furnish delightful diversions for tourists and people who are spending the summer at the hotels, and give a good opportunity to see the scenery and Irish life. The excursion system is well organized. It is only necessary to buy a ticket and to “follow the man from Cook’s.” There are many short drives also and visits can be made to the islands by rowboats. There are several romantic old castles and the Earl of Kenmare has built tea houses at different points which are greatly appreciated.

There is no more delightful place in the world for rest and mild forms of enjoyment, but sporty people will find Killarney “beastly dull.” It is not in the least bit exciting; there is no dressing and there is no dancing, and some of the hotels are without barrooms. The most thrilling excitement is found in tennis, golf, fishing, walking, driving, and listening to a phonograph in the evening. There is an active rivalry between the worshipers of the Scotch and the English lakes and the admirers of the Lakes of Killarney. They all have a certain resemblance, and the latter are like Alpine lakes in miniature—not so much mountain, not so much water, but a similar canopy of blue sky and green settings. The mountains were grouped by a competent Artist and are embroidered and fringed with foliage, but are bare as a bone on their slopes and peaks. They are good for nothing but scenery. The grass is so scarce that it doesn’t pay to pasture cattle over them, and a goat would have nervous prostration from loneliness. There are said to be plenty of deer, but that is doubtful.

But as features of a picture the mountains around Killarney, with their shifting lights and shadows as the sun rises and declines, are exquisite pictures. They appear at their best when the sun goes down and the mist rises and softens their outlines. The lingering twilight leaves deep shadows of purple and blue, and every evening we sit on a bench in the hotel garden and watch them fade away like a scene in a theater when curtains of gauze are dropped one after another.

The vivid Irish imagination has furnished a volume of legends and superstitions about the lakes. Some of them have been handed down from the earliest generations. These attractions drew to them the lovers of the beautiful ages ago and they were originally known as “The Lakes of Learning,” because at one time there were three monasteries there, attended by multitudes of students from all over the world. They have been a favorite theme of all the Irish poets, and the scene of innumerable romances. The legends, which account for the origin of the lakes, are not consistent. Some one neglected to close the entrance to an enchanted fountain in the mountains, which caused a flood and covered fair and fertile fields and splendid palaces with water. One of the ancestors of the O’Donaghues, who originally owned all the water and all the mountains, as the Earl of Kenmare does at present, full of skepticism and wine, defied the gods, who threatened destruction if a stone from a certain sacred well should be disturbed. With the bravado that was characteristic of his descendants, he carried the stone to his castle. When the people heard of this impiety they fled to a neighboring mountain, and in the morning when the sun rose they looked down and saw that the valley in which their homes had been was covered with water.

The O’Donaghue is the hero of most of the legends. He is identified with almost every island and with almost every glen. The legends all agree that the men and women who inhabited the lovely valley did not perish with him, but The O’Donaghue lives at the bottom of the lake in a gorgeous palace, surrounded by congenial friends and enjoys feasting and folly as much as he did before the flood. Every seven years in the summer he comes to the surface, and makes a journey from one end of the lakes to the other, riding a splendid white stallion, in an armor of gold and a helmet that glitters with diamonds. He gallops through the town and around the mountains just as he did when he was the lord of the land, and will continue to do so until the silver shoes on the hoofs of his stallion are worn out. Blessings are showered upon every one who is fortunate enough to see him. If a girl can catch a glimpse of this brilliant knight as he makes his midnight journey she is sure to be married before the end of the year.

O’Donaghue’s horse, his prison, his stable, his library, his cellar, his pulpit, his table, his broom, and various other things that belonged to him are pointed out among the rocks upon the islands of the shore. Every freak of nature has some association with him.

Scores of peasants may be found who have actually seen him, and half the population believe in his seven-year visits. Many curious stories of which O’Donaghue is the hero have been invented in the generations that have passed by imaginative mothers to entertain their children. When I asked a thoughtful jaunting car driver if he believed in the periodical appearance of the ancient lord of the lake, he answered:

“Wall, I dunno’, I dunno’; me mither tould me the tale wid her own blessed lips; me wife has tould it jist the same to our own children, and I am shure The O’Donaghue isn’t in Killarney the rist of the toime, and why shouldn’t he have the pleasure of comin’ for one noight?”

St. Patrick never came to Killarney, but the legend is that he climbed up to the top of the tallest mountain, stretched out his hands over the lakes and said: “I bless all beyint the reeks” (mountains).

Fin MacCool kept his tubs of gold in the lake near Muckross Abbey and his dog Bran watched them. “One day a brute of an Englishman, an’ a great diver intirely, came over to git the goold, and when he wint down into the wather the dog Bran sazed him by the trousers and shook the life out of him until he died, and his ghost has been wanderin’ around there ivir sence.”

The shore of the lake under the windows of Ross Castle is strewn with curious-looking flat stones. They are the books of his library which The O’Donaghue threw out of the window when he was mad one day, and they turned to rocks.

When The O’Donaghue was a slip of a boy and was sitting in front of the castle an old woman came running along shrieking that the O’Sullivans had come through the pass from County Cork and were stealing the cattle. “The O’Donaghue, thin only thirteen years old, bedad, seizes an oulde sword and kills every mother’s son of the thaving blaggards, an’ sticks their bodies up agin the wall as a warning to all the ruffians of the clans beyant the mountains.

“When The O’Donaghue was a young man and went into his first battle he slew six hundred of his enemies in a single day. He fought so long and became so tired that his legs and arms would have fallen off his body if they hadn’t been held together by his armor.

“One day when Ossian, the poet, came to Killarney he met an old priest trying to carry a sack of corn on his back. Ossian relieved him of the burden. The priest called on the Holy Virgin to bless him, whereupon Ossian said, ‘I help you because you are an old man and not for the sake of virgins or married women or widdies,’ for Ossian was a hathen and he didn’t know any better, an’ how could he know what the holy father meant when he sphoke of the Blessed Virgin? But, nevertheless, the curse was on him, and in a minute he was an ould shrivelled, crippled crater, a dale oulder than the priest whose sack of corn he was carrying. And all this for takin’ the name of Blessed Virgin in vain, and not knowing any better. But the priest, with a few words of prayer, relaved the enchantment and converted Ossian to Christianity on the sphot.”

Ross Castle, Killarney

Ross Castle was the stronghold of the O’Donaghues. It was built somewhere about the twelfth century by the celebrated Hugh O’Donaghue, who lives in the lake and rides about the country every seven years. It is an historic fact that he lived there once, although the legends that are told of him go back for centuries before its foundation. There is a massive tower or keep, about one hundred feet high and one hundred feet square, “and ivy clasps the fissured stones with its entwining arms.” The walls of the tower are almost perfect. There is a long extension, however, entirely in ruins, but it gives an idea of the enormous dimensions of the castle. It was surrounded by outworks of great strength, and you can see traces of the round watch towers at the angles. A stone staircase leads to the top of the tower, where a beautiful view of the country can be obtained. Few ruins in Ireland are so extensive and so well kept.

Everybody has to pay a sixpence to see Ross Castle, and the money goes into the empty pocket of the Earl of Kenmare. You have to pay to see everything in this country, however, and sometimes the petty hotel charges are exasperating. They are insignificant, but everything goes in the bill; every time you draw a breath or ask a question it costs twopence. If the hotel managers would make a straight rate per day to cover all these trifles they would make a great deal more money and save a great deal of temper. The only free ruins are those of the ancient Abbey of Agahadoe, which occupy a conspicuous site on the ridge back of the town where they were built in the eighth century by Finian, the leper saint.

Ross Castle has withstood many a siege in its time, but was finally captured, dismantled, and left in its present condition during the civil war in 1652. It was attacked by General Ludlow with an army of four thousand footmen and two hundred horse, and defended by The O’Donaghue of that time. Finding it impregnable by land, Ludlow left a portion of his force to hold it in a state of siege, while he retired to Castlemaine and built a fleet of boats with which he made an attack by water. There was an ancient proverb that “Ross Castle will never fall until ships float in the Lake of Killarney,” hence, the garrison remembered that saying when they saw Ludlow’s flotilla approaching, and were so demoralized by the superstition that they abandoned it and laid down their arms. It was the last of the O’Donaghues. Their power and glory have never been regained.

The village of Killarney is unattractive and untidy, but it is a busy place. One doesn’t understand why in a country where there is so much room to spare, the villages should not be made up of detached cottages with gardens and lawns, hedges and shade trees, instead of sections of solid blocks that look as if they had been cut out of the tenement house districts of crowded cities. Killarney is a solid mass of brick and mortar, with stuccoed fronts, painted a dingy yellow, without the slightest thing to relieve the monotony until you suddenly pass the last house and the green fields begin.

It is a great tourist center, and there are a dozen hotels and boarding-houses of different pretensions and prices. There are “licensed houses” and “unlicensed houses” and some of them are licensed for seven days in a week, which means that the proprietor has permission to sell whisky and beer from two to five o’clock on the Sabbath day. Cook’s excursion parties come in like swarms of bees, buzzing around the hotels and shops where laces and other curiosities are for sale and carry off loads of queer things as souvenirs. They breakfast at seven o’clock in the morning and are piled into great four-horse coaches by nine and start off on excursions with their luncheons in baskets under the seats. They return at sunset completely tired out, but the next morning are off for Dublin or Glengariff. It is about as hard work to travel with an excursion party as anything I know of, for every moment must be economized and everybody feels under obligations to see everything.

Killarney is quite an educational center also. There are several popular schools there and several monasteries. The Franciscans conduct a theological seminary and the Christian Brothers have a college in connection with the cathedral. There are two or three convents where young ladies are educated, and a large institution in which two hundred and ten girls are being taught by the nuns to make lace, which is one of the most profitable occupations an Irish woman can engage in. And they have a School of Housewifery, conducted by the British government under the supervision of the minister of agriculture at Dublin. Paternalism is carried farther in Ireland than in Switzerland, Germany, or any other place I know of, as you will admit when you hear that twenty-three rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed mavourneens are being educated at the expense of the taxpayers as domestic servants. They are rescued from the filthy cabins in the mountains, washed, and clothed in neat liveries, natty little muslin caps are pinned to their raven tresses, frilled muslin aprons are fastened to their frocks, and they are taught how to wash dishes and cook and make beds and do plain sewing, and dust the bric-a-brac in the drawing-room and say, “Yes, me lady,” and “Yes, me lord,” and courtesy when they are spoken to. They learn to mend and embroider, to do up hair, to fasten dresses and other duties pertaining to the jurisdiction of a lady’s maid, and, after a year or so of this training, they are found positions in the households of the nobility, where they will spend their lives as servants and marry a footman or a gamekeeper, as will their children and grandchildren generations to come after them, because domestic service is a profession in Great Britain, and is followed by families who are trained for their work.

This school is a great thing for the Irish girls in the mountain cabins, whose lives might otherwise be hopelessly sunk in squalor and filth that seem to be inseparable from the peasant population. I have never been able to find anybody to explain why an Irish farmer piles his manure in front of the only door to his cabin. It is an habitual subject of witticism, just as it is in Switzerland, where similar customs prevail, but with thousands of acres of bare ground all around the cabin, it would seem that some other place might be found.

It occurred to me, too, as I was going through the School of Housewifery, that our government might do worse than establish similar schools in the Southern States for training colored girls in the same way, but I suppose the Supreme Court would pronounce such a scheme unconstitutional.

A house by the roadside now occupied by a farmer named McSweeny is pointed out as the birthplace of Robert Emmet.

Lord Kitchener was born about nineteen miles from here, at Crotto House, Tralee, where his father and mother were stopping for the summer. His father was a colonel in the army and was on leave from his regiment at the time of Kitchener’s birth.

The great Daniel O’Connell was also born in the neighborhood, and his nephew, Sir Maurice O’Connell, lives in a stately mansion that overlooks the lower lake in the middle of a beautiful grove.

Muckross Abbey ranks with Melrose Abbey in Scotland and Kenilworth Castle in England as among the most picturesque and interesting ruins in the world. The walls and the Gothic windows, the tower and several other distinctive features are well preserved, and the ivy drapery makes it an exquisite picture. The abbey stands within the park of two hundred and ninety acres that surrounds Muckross House and is the property of Lord Ardilaun, who has many beautiful places in different parts of Ireland, and cannot possibly enjoy them all; but none is so beautiful as Muckross House.

Muckross Abbey, Killarney

He purchased the property of the Herbert family who inherited it from Florence MacCarthy More, who, in 1750 married Agnes, daughter of Edward Herbert of this county, and they had one son who was the last MacCarthy More in the direct line, and that famous family became extinct, for he died without issue in 1770, and the estate passed into the possession of his mother’s family, being the nearest relatives. The Honorable Arthur Herbert died in 1866, and a beautiful Celtic cross has been erected to his memory upon the highest hill in the neighborhood, overlooking the park that he prized so highly, and where he enjoyed so much pleasure. His widow and daughters lived there for thirty years until they expired, when the place was offered at auction and Lord Ardilaun bid it in for £63,000 for the estate, and paid £10,000 more for furniture, pictures, live stock, and other property, making it cost him altogether about £73,000. And now he offers it for sale—the whole thing, a house of thirty-two rooms, a park of two hundred and ninety acres, the ruins of Muckross Abbey, and history and legends galore—for £75,000. And perhaps he would take less from the proper person. In 1907 a syndicate was organized to purchase the place and turn it into a Monte Carlo. They proposed to make the handsome old mansion a gambling-house and erect a large hotel with all possible allurements near by; but when Lord Ardilaun learned of the scheme, he instructed his solicitors to insert in the deed a clause stipulating that it should be used for residential purposes only, and that made it worthless to the syndicate. So Muckross Abbey and its beautiful surroundings are still in the market.

The abbey dates back to the dawn of Christianity in Ireland, and its site was originally occupied in the fourth or fifth century by a monastery founded by St. Finian of Innisfallen and his monks. The present building, however, was erected by Donald MacCarthy More, Prince of Desmond, in 1330, and was finished by his son in 1340 for the Franciscan friars, who occupied it as a monastery and as a college. There was some kind of an institution on the same site between the monastery of St. Finian and the present one, for an ancient manuscript in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, gives an account of its destruction by fire in the eleventh century. The founder, Donald MacCarthy More, built the beautiful chapel as a burial place for himself and his posterity. It is also the burial place of the O’Donaghues of the Glens, and in the very center of the choir is a large square tomb in which was deposited the body of “The Great O’Donaghue,” the chieftain of the lakes, of whom Mr. Maurice R. Moriarity, the custodian, gives many interesting legends in his history of the ruins.

The O’Donaghues were connected by marriage with the MacCarthys, kings of Munster, and had their headquarters at Blarney Castle, near Cork. Twelve generations, so far as the inscriptions can be deciphered, of that proud family are lying there, and more than twenty generations of O’Donaghues. The last MacCarthy buried here was Florence, husband of Agnes Herbert, who lived in Muckross House until his death in 1770. The last O’Donaghue buried here was Donal, a direct descendant of The O’Donaghue of the Glens, who was a member of parliament and died in 1889. His son Jeffrey, “The O’Donaghue,” as the head of the family is always called, is a barrister living in Dublin, a gentleman of high reputation and much influence, although he has lost almost everything but his proud name and a lineage that is interwoven with the history of Ireland since human actions were recorded.

The grandfather of “The O’Donaghue” was a captain in the Munster Fusiliers, which were recruited in County Kerry and was stationed at Chester, near Liverpool, the home of Gladstone, in 1860, during a religious agitation. A band of rioters were making ready to burn an effigy of the pope when Captain O’Donaghue warned the leaders that if such an insult to the holy father was offered the Kerry men of his regiment would burn the city of Chester to the ground. When this threat became known the mob dispersed, and there were no more religious demonstrations while Captain O’Donaghue and the men of Kerry were in the Chester barracks.

“The O’Donaghues were ginerally prayin’ when they woren’t foightin’ or dhrinkin’,” said the ancient oracle who gave me this information. “They feared none but God, and since Maolduin O’Donaghue burned the monastery of Innisfallen and murdered the monks in 1158 they have spint much toime doin’ pinnance for his sins.”

It is customary for the heads of these old families to use the word “The” as a prefix to their names to indicate their rank, and I have seen letters signed in that way, without the initials of the writer. For example, “The MacDermott” is a barrister of importance in Dublin. “The O’Donivan” lives at Cork and retains a part of the ancestral estates. “The O’Shea” is a clergyman of the Church of England stationed at Manchester and makes much of his position as the head of the clan. “The O’Neill” is the Lord of Londonderry, and “The O’Connor” lives at Sligo—a brother of the late Sir Nicholas O’Connor, who was British ambassador at Constantinople at the time of his death. “The O’Flaherty” is a justice of the peace near Galway, and a man of importance. And members of other old families recognize the head of their clan in a similar manner, although it carries nothing but glory and gratification with it.

“The O’Sullivans, the MacCarthys, and all the old families loike the O’Donaghues, are gone; played out, as ye moight say,” remarked the oracle. “For tin cinturies the O’Sullivans ruled whole counties in Ireland, but they have lost their proid as well as their property, and are now contint to kape pooblic houses [saloons] and sit around complaining of the hard toimes. The whole country south of here is full of O’Sullivans. There’s more of thim than of any other name. If anny wan were to sail across County Kerry in a balloon and cast out a bag of corn, ivery kernel would hit an O’Sullivan, but they are only proivates in the clan. The ruling line is extinct and no O’Sullivan now owns an acre of the old estates. Nor do the O’Donaghues; they’re as poor as church mice, having lost all but the name and the spirit of the race.

“Look at that grave there; it’s filled with the bones of Black Jeffery O’Donaghue. They called him the Black Prince of the Glenflesk. He lived at Killaha Castle, situated five moiles from here and built on a rock standin’ in the middle of a bog, and nobody could find the way but those who knew it. His spirit nothing could contain. He hated the English as no man ever hated thim before or since, and whin he saw an Englishman his temper would rise like the hair on the back of an angry dog. No Englishman ever came within soight of Killaha Castle and got home aloive. But Black Jeffery died in his bed after all, of tuberculosis; ye kin see the date on the tomb—1756, age 36.

“Did yez ivir hear about the midnight marriage of the master of Blarney Castle which took place here in the ruined abbey in the year 1590, which Quane Elizabeth an’ the intire parlymint did their best to prevint? It’s a great story. The heads of the two branches of the MacCarthy family were thin united in the persons of Florence MacCarthy of Blarney Castle, the same gintleman that deludered Quane Elizabeth with his soft words and caused the invintion of the word ‘blarney’ that is used so much these days. Waal, he was in love with Aileen MacCarthy, his cousin, daughter of Donal MacCarthy Mor, Earl of Glencare. The two factions had been inemies, and it was the policy of the English to kape thim apart, because a reconciliation would bring them togither an’ make thim more dangerous to British authority. And that was what Quane Elizabeth was trying to prevint. She feared that if the MacCarthy factions made frinds they would join Hugh O’Neill and the great Earl of Desmond, thin in rebellion, and so the marriage was forbidden by her majesty. An’ that made Florence MacCarthy all the more determined to wed Aileen, who had been his sweetheart in sacrit for several years, and one day he crossed the lake wid Lady Aileen and her mother in a boat rowed by four lusty gallowglasses with their battle-axes lyin’ where the oars had been.

“They landed at midnight at the abbey, thin half in ruins, solemn and mournful, in silence and decay. The moon shone through the roofless walls and the broken windows of the crumbling shrine of Irrelagh, upon the blissed head of a vinerable friar, Florence MacCarthy’s chaplain, who was awaiting thim himself—one of thim who, in the dark days of Henry VIII. was expelled from the abbey at the point of a Protestant sword. Wid him was O’Sullivan Mor, MacFinian, the Countess of Glencare, and the beautiful Lady Una O’Leary, and that was all. No bard was there to sing the bridal song, no harp to give swate sounds, no banner to wave, no clansmen to raise a joyous cheer, an’ no spear or battle-ax gleamed in the moonlight, but the Blissed Virgin and all the saints were lookin’ down all the while, approvin’, through the roofless aisles, when Florence MacCarthy and Aileen MacCarthy pledged their vows.

A Window of Muckross Abbey, Killarney

“This sacred marriage was proclaimed an act of treason by Quane Elizabeth, and for that Florence MacCarthy went to the Tower, but he got the bist of it after all.”

The windows of Muckross Abbey are the most perfect of any ruin in Ireland, and the moldings of several of the doorways are in a fine state of preservation, so that the carving can be carefully studied. There is a cloister thirty-three feet square, encircled by a vaulted corridor seven feet wide and lighted by twenty-two arched windows, which is as good as if it were built yesterday. And in the center of the quadrangle is a venerable yew tree, said to be the largest in the world, having been planted by the monks at the foundation of the abbey in 1340. It was usual, so I am told, for Franciscan monks to plant yew trees in the courtyards of their monasteries, and they are found frequently in ruins. The trunk of this tree is smooth and straight to a height of twenty feet, and is about twelve feet in circumference at the base. The branches spread over the inclosing walls like an umbrella and darken the entire quadrangle, which never had any other roof.

Several legends are woven around this majestic tree which, in the eyes and hearts of the people of Killarney, is an object of great veneration. If any one should injure it, even by breaking off a twig, he would excite popular indignation. They believe that such sacrilege will be punished by the death of the guilty person within a year, and it is a remarkable coincidence that such things have occurred several times.

The kitchen, the refectory, the chapter-rooms, and several other apartments are in an excellent state of preservation and are well cared for, but the cells of the dormitory have almost disappeared. The tower stands as it was five hundred years ago, but is an empty shell, having no roof, flooring, or staircase, and visitors are prohibited from climbing the walls.

Some of the graves are quite modern. Muckross Abbey is still open for the burial of members of four families, who have ancient rights. The latest grave was made in 1902. Several of the epitaphs are quite interesting, particularly those which bear testimony to the virtues and the happiness and usefulness of the women of the O’Donaghue and MacCarthy families. For example, one of them describes a beloved wife, “who, in her progress through life, fulfilled all its duties with uniform and exemplary prudence, whose respectful love as a daughter, whose affectionate kindness as a sister, whose fond and provident care as a mother, and whose endearing tenderness as a wife, were eminently conspicuous. Combining the discharge of social obligations with piety, edifying yet unobtrusive, she lived and died a Christian. To rescue her memory from oblivion, to preserve a remembrance of her virtues for the instruction and imitation of the young, this stone is erected by her disconsolate husband.”

If you want a description of Muckross Abbey that is worth reading you will find it in the works of Sir Walter Scott, who was there in 1825, and if you are pleased with that, and would like a little more of the same sort, read Lord Macaulay’s account of his visit in 1849; in which he says that one of the boatmen on Lake Killarney “gloried in having rowed Sir Walter Scott and Maria Edgeworth about the lake when they were here twenty-four years ago, and said it was a compensation to him for having missed a hanging which took place in the village that very day.”


There is a great deal of drunkenness in Ireland. There is more in Dublin than anywhere else, but not so much as in Scotland. In Ireland a saloon is called “a public house” and a saloon-keeper is called a publican. All liquor selling is done under licenses granted by the justices of the peace upon petitions signed by the people of the community in which the saloon is to be located. There is no limit to the number of licenses; and there seems to be no particular rule about granting them, except that the fee of one pound must be paid annually. A license once granted is perpetual as long as the annual fee is paid and the police do not show cause why it should be revoked. Licenses are held chiefly by ordinary merchants, at what we would call country stores, by the wayside, at “four corners,” where the peasants go to trade, and along highways frequented by teamsters, jaunting cars, bicyclers, and other people with vehicles. The publican usually puts a watering trough in front of his place, and thus affords refreshment for man and beast. In most of the rural districts licenses are held in families and handed down from generation to generation of storekeepers, who keep bottles on the shelves and manage to sell enough liquor to pay the fees. If the business is sold or inherited the license goes with the place, and many have been running for a hundred years or more.

Until recently anyone could get a license by obtaining a few signatures of political influence, but a recent act of parliament prohibits the issue of new licenses except for hotels, genuine clubs, and new villages of a certain population. The effect of this legislation will be to gradually reduce the number of liquor sellers and prevent the extension of the traffic except as new towns may be started, which is not common in Ireland, as it is in the United States.

In the five principal cities of Ireland, Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Limerick, and Waterford, special licenses are necessary, and the fees vary from one pound to sixty pounds per year, according to the amount of business done. There are “six-day licenses” and “seven-day licenses.” The latter permit liquor selling between two and five o’clock on Sunday afternoons and require an additional fee. The Sunday closing law is said to be well enforced throughout all Ireland, but in Dublin crowds of men and women can be seen standing around the “publics” during the open hours on Sunday afternoons.

For the year ending March 31, 1907, a total of 23,835 licenses were issued in Ireland, of which 17,496 were granted to publicans, 2,510 to wholesale dealers, and 1,022 to wholesale grocers who handle wine, beer, and spirits to be consumed off the premises; and 2,807 special licenses were issued for temporary privileges.

The public houses show a slight decrease. Ten years ago, in 1898, there were 17,407 licenses granted for them; in 1900 there were 17,596; in 1903 there were 17,749; in 1905 there were 17,571, and in 1907 there were 17,496, or an average of one to every 250 people. The licenses for the wholesale and grocery traffic also remain about the same.

W.R. Wigham, a Quaker, who is secretary of the Irish Association for the Prevention of Intemperance, told me that there is less private drinking and less habitual drinking in Ireland than is generally supposed. The Irish are a convivial people, but comparatively few men or women drink for the love of the liquor. Most of the drunkenness is seen at the fairs and cattle sales, the festivals and wakes, although the use of liquor at the latter has been forbidden by the bishops and is now much less frequent than formerly.

In England and Scotland drinking is more regular and general for the sake of the stimulant, while an Irishman very seldom drinks alone. In order to lessen intemperance from conviviality an anti-treating movement was started a few years ago. It was popularly known as “The League of the Lonely Pint,” and for a couple of years was quite successful, but it did not last.

The quantity of spirituous liquors consumed in Ireland is much less than in England or Scotland because the population is less, but the average is greater than in Scotland. The per capita consumption in England for 1906 of alcoholic liquors was 2,090 gallons, in Scotland, 1,430 gallons, and in Ireland 1,614 gallons.

The drink bill per capita is less in Ireland. Taking all liquors into the calculation the expenditure per capita for liquor in England last year was £3 19s. 9d., in Scotland £3 3s. 1d., and in Ireland £3 2s. 10d.

The number of arrests for drunkenness and for crimes and offenses which may be attributed to liquor have been decreasing in Ireland for several years. In 1902 in all Ireland, 80,054 men and 11,163 women, making a total of 91,217, were arrested for drunkenness. In 1906 the figures were 68,656 men and 8,606 women, making a total of 77,262. This is a decrease of 11,398 men and 2,557 women and a total decrease of 13,955 in four years.

In 1902 one person out of forty-eight was arrested for drunkenness in Ireland, in 1906 one in fifty-eight, which is a decided improvement; but think of 8,000 and 11,000 women being arrested for drunkenness!

The number of arrests for assault during the year 1907 in all Ireland was less than ever before, being only 16,055, in comparison with 24,027 in 1896, 22,065 in 1900, and 16,666 in 1904, while the number of persons arrested for disorderly conduct decreased from 90,233 to 77,262 during the same years. There is a terrible side to the picture. Of the women arrested for drunkenness in Ireland last year more than one thousand were under twenty-one years of age, 118 between sixteen and eighteen years of age, while 156 were over sixty.

The Sunday law is pretty well enforced, and during the last year, outside of the five principal cities, 2,289 persons were arrested for its violation. That is about the average for the last ten years.

In Dublin there has been a decided falling off in the arrests for drunkenness on Sunday; the total in 1898 was 1,280, while in 1907 it was only 404. The number of arrests for drunkenness on Sunday in Cork decreased from 265 to 193 during the same period, and those in Belfast from 537 to 434.

In the city of Dublin alone 1,772 women were arrested for drunkenness in 1907 and 2,941 men. In 1904, 1,976 women were arrested for drunkenness.

I don’t suppose there is any city in the world where there is so much drunkenness among women as there is in Dublin, except it be Glasgow and Edinburgh, although the number of drunken men arrested is not so much larger than the average in other cities of Europe and the United States. And what is even more lamentable, the public is so hardened to the repulsive spectacle that it does not attract as much curiosity as the appearance of an ordinary drunken man upon the streets of Chicago or New York. Women stagger from the doors of saloons along the sidewalks with disheveled hair and disordered garments without attracting any attention whatsoever.

The Roman Catholic clergy are doing a great deal to suppress disorder and promote temperance by prohibiting the use of liquor at wakes. Cardinal Logue and the several archbishops and bishops are determined to abolish the disgraceful orgies that have been so common on such occasions, and have forbidden priests to officiate at funerals or even to say masses for the souls of the dead where liquor is offered to the neighbors and mourners who sit up with the corpse. Some of the bishops require the remains to be brought to the church on the day before the funeral. As a consequence, the scandalous custom of holding a carousal the night before the funeral is almost entirely obsolete except in the slums of the large cities and in remote rural districts. As a rule throughout Ireland, where friends now gather to “sit up” with the corpse as a token of respect and sorrow, they are furnished with no stronger refreshments than tea. The teapot is placed upon the stove or upon the peat fire and the mourners help themselves as they desire; but if a bottle of liquor is passed around it is done with the greatest caution for fear the priest will hear of it.

Like the colored people of the United States, the peasants of Ireland are possessed with an ambition to have “a fine funeral.” Among the poor this form of extravagance has been the cause of a great deal of distress and privation, and formerly poor families often deprived themselves of food to supply liquor that was consumed at the wake. This hospitable custom, however, is rapidly passing away.

The Irish Association for the Prevention of Intemperance is composed of delegates from nearly all of the many temperance societies in Ireland, both Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Nonconformist, and Independent. There are many mutual benefit societies among workingmen which affiliate, and various associations of women and children. For the purpose of co-operation and economy and to avoid friction and duplication of labor, this central organization has been formed, and consists of one representative from every contributing society. The general council meets three times a year, has a complete organization, sends lecturers into the field, issues literature, makes investigations, and has committees to look after legislation that concerns the liquor traffic.

The special work of the council is to secure temperance legislation and the enforcement of laws that are already on the statute books, especially the Sunday closing act and the law which forbids the sale of liquor to minors. Another object is to encourage the formation of temperance clubs throughout the country, to organize opposition to applications for licenses, to promote meetings, to educate the people as to the evils of the liquor traffic, and to create public sentiment against it. It also has committees to encourage the establishment of restaurants at which liquor is not sold, to encourage healthful recreation, and to provide local amusements that will keep the men out of the public houses.

The president of the council is a Roman Catholic barrister; the secretary is a Quaker; the vice-presidents include all of the Roman Catholic and all of the Church of Ireland archbishops and several bishops of both denominations, the president of the Methodist conference, the president of the Maynooth College (Roman Catholic), the provost of Trinity College, the moderator of the Presbyterian general assembly, several earls and other members of the nobility, the leaders of the Irish party in parliament, and several other gentlemen of equal prominence and influence.

“The Church of Ireland has a very strong organization,” said Mr. Wigham, “but, of course, it is not so strong or so extensive as that of the Roman Catholics, because they constitute at least three-fourths of the population of Ireland. The Presbyterians and Methodists are also well organized and have a temperance society in every parish and connected with every chapel. Our central organization is supported by them all, and is entirely nonsectarian, as you will perceive upon examining our list of officers.

“Nearly all the temperance work in Ireland is done by religious organizations, and whatever may be the differences of the denominational leaders over theology and other matters, they are united and harmonious in their opposition to the liquor traffic. I should say that the influence of Maynooth College is greater than that of any other institution. The temperance sentiment under the influence of President Mannix is very strong there, and the students have a society called ‘The Pioneers,’ the members of which take a pledge that they will abstain from all intoxicating liquors during their entire life. No man can join ‘The Pioneers’ until after two years of probation, in order that he may take the vows with his eyes wide open and with plenty of reflection; but more than two-thirds of the priests that come out of that institution are ‘Pioneers.’

“There has been a decided change in the habits of the priesthood of Ireland during the last generation or two. Formerly it was not considered improper, and, indeed, it was customary, for a priest to set out a bottle and a glass for the refreshment of all visitors of importance, and his parishioners would feel very much mortified if they could not offer similar hospitality to the priest when he came to see them. It was common for a priest to have wine and whisky on his table and to linger with the rest of the guests at a dinner party when the ladies had left the dining-room. But that is the exception nowadays. Those customs are obsolete and most of the priests would as soon think of offering a dose of poison to a parishioner as to hand him a bottle of liquor. The old-fashioned rollicking parson has entirely disappeared from both the Roman Catholic church and the Church of Ireland, and the priesthood is at present composed almost entirely of earnest, devout men, who abstain entirely from liquor and try to promote habits of temperance among their parishioners. A majority of the bishops have forbidden the use of liquor at wakes and will not allow anything stronger than tea on those occasions. A majority of them will not confirm a child that will not take a pledge of total abstinence until it is twenty-one years of age. Some of them put the limit at twenty-five. A great work is also being done by the Jesuits, the Capuchins, and the Franciscans, who have been asked by the bishops recently to co-operate in a great propaganda that is to include the entire island.

“Dr. Walsh, the archbishop of Dublin, and other archbishops, have recently undertaken to secure the closing of all saloons on St. Patrick’s day, and it is proposed to boycott the publicans who keep open doors. Last year Archbishop Walsh published a pastoral in his diocese in which he said, ‘In certain districts, not a few of the licensed houses for the sale of intoxicating drinks are still kept open on that day. This continues to be done, although a number of the proprietors of licensed houses, indeed the majority of them, closed their establishments in honor of the holy festival of our national apostle. In so doing they did their part toward securing the observance of the national holy day that should not be marred by intemperance among the people. It is lamentable that the efforts thus made in so good a cause should be frustrated to a large extent by the selfish actions of those members of the licensed trade who are setting the healthy public opinion of the city at defiance and seem to make the praiseworthy action of others an occasion of profit to themselves. A vigorous combined effort should be made by the clergy to secure a general closing of licensed houses on St. Patrick’s day.’

“This patriotic action of Dr. Walsh has had a decided effect upon the celebration of St. Patrick’s day,” continued Mr. Wigham, “and it is now more of a religious festival than an occasion for carousing. Several other bishops have taken the same stand with similar results.

“The labor party has also taken an advanced position in favor of temperance legislation,” continued Mr. Wigham. “At the annual meeting of the labor unions last year a resolution was adopted in favor of local option. The resolutions declare that ‘the liquor traffic is a frightful source of poverty, crime, and lunacy,’ and demand a law ‘giving the inhabitants of every locality the right to veto any applications for either the renewal of existing licenses or the granting of new ones, seeing that public houses are generally situated in thickly populated working class districts.‘

“The vote on the adoption of this resolution was 666,000 against 103,000.

“The local option bill now pending before parliament applies to England only,” continued Mr. Wigham. “It does not affect Ireland, but we expect to see the passage of a law prohibiting liquor to be taken from the premises on which it is sold and also forbidding a man to use the wages of his wife and children or to pawn the property of his family for drink.”

“What is the drink bill of Ireland?” I asked, and in reply Mr. Wigham gave me the following table showing the total expenditure and the per capita expenditure of the people of Ireland for liquor annually for the last six years:

 Total.Per capita.
1902£14,257,751£3 4s  5d
190314,311,0343 4s 10d
190413,816,3183 2s 10d
190513,340,4723 0s 10d
190613,787,9703 2s 10d
190713,991,3143 3s 10d

The consumption of liquors in Ireland last year was as follows:

Distilled spirits (gallons)2,391,595
Beer (barrels)4,574,263
Wine (gallons)92,465
Other liquors (gallons)25,000
Average gallons per capita1,614

“The people of Ireland are drinking less spirits,” continued Mr. Wigham, “and more beer. Ten years ago, for example, they consumed 4,713,178 gallons of spirits, which has been reduced to 2,391,595. During the same time the consumption of beer has increased from 2,903,915 barrels to 4,574,263 barrels.

“Last year, by the official statistics, the Guinness brewery in Dublin produced 2,136,629 barrels of beer and other malt liquors, and paid £2,092,000 duty to the government, an average of £3,000 a day. Alsopps Company produced 1,125,178 barrels, another company 887,175 barrels, still another 827,997 barrels; so you see that the manufacture of malt liquors is very large and is increasing. Some people consider this a great improvement, but it is still very harmful, and it is a startling fact that the population of Ireland pay more money for whisky and beer than they pay for rents or for food or for clothing. The total income of the population of Ireland is given at £70,000,000, and, as you have seen from the table I have given you, they spent last year £13,991,314 for intoxicating drinks.”

The Guinness brewery is the largest establishment of the kind in the world. The buildings cover fifty acres of ground; 3,240 men are employed in them, and 10,000 people are dependent upon the wages paid. The brewery was founded in 1759 by an ancestor of the present owner, and did a purely local business until 1825, when the managers began to seek trade in England and Scotland. They undertook to secure a foreign market in 1860. At present the foreign trade is much larger than local consumption. Last year the total sales amounted to 76,540,000 gallons, which is an average of nearly two gallons per capita for every man, woman, and child in the kingdom. An average of 3,600 barrels of stout are produced daily in one brewery and a new brewery has a capacity of 2,100 barrels daily. The duty paid in 1907 was more than $10,000,000—one-fourteenth of the entire revenue collected on liquor in the United Kingdom. The cold storage capacity of the establishment is 200,000 hogsheads of beer of fifty-two gallons each. One vat will hold 1,700 hogsheads. The main warehouse contains an average of 1,000,000 bushels of malt and similar amounts of other supplies are required. From eight to ten thousand empty casks arrive at the wharf of Guinness & Co. daily, chiefly from London, where all the beer, ale, stout, and porter is sent by steamer in the wood to be bottled, and the fifteen hundred new casks, required each week, are supplied by cooper shops on the premises. The life of a cask averages ten years.

Although there is a deplorable amount of intemperance in Ireland, and according to the estimates of those who have made a study of that subject, at least one-fifth of the earnings of the people are spent for liquor, there is comparatively little crime. If the offenses growing out of the land troubles were deducted the criminal statistics would be very small and Ireland would rank, with Switzerland, Norway, and Denmark, among the most orderly and peaceful countries on the globe.

It may be said also that in comparison with the United States the criminal statistics are very much in favor of Ireland. For example, during the year 1906 there were only four murders in Ireland to eleven in the District of Columbia, and only eleven assaults with dangerous weapons in Ireland to fifty-three in the District of Columbia. During the year 1907 there were eight murders in Ireland and eighteen in the District of Columbia and only seventeen assaults with dangerous weapons in Ireland to fifty-one in the District of Columbia, notwithstanding the difference in population. The population of Ireland is 4,398,565, and that of the District of Columbia is 317,380.

During the year 1905 there were 9,728 persons indicted for crimes in Ireland; in 1906 the total was 9,465, and in 1907 it was 9,418, or 2.2 per 1,000 of the population. The same ratio is reported for 1897, and the average for the ten years was 2.5 per 1,000.

During the year 1906 there were 372 persons indicted for crime in the District of Columbia, or 1.17 per 1,000 of population, and in 1907 there were 381 indictments, or 1.20 per 1,000.

During the year 1906 there were 4,922 indictments found in Chicago (Cook County), with a population of 2,166,055, or less than one-half that of Ireland, the ratio to population being 2.27 per 1,000. For the year 1907 there were 4,699 indictments found in Chicago, which was 2.16 per 1,000 of the population.

In Ireland, however, at least one-fifth, and usually more of the indictments, are for cattle driving, for attempts to burn crops, hayricks, and stables, for killing and maiming cattle, and for writing threatening letters. The authorities are very severe in their efforts to suppress the land troubles, and sometimes half the population of a village will be indicted for using popular methods of persuasion to compel the large landowners to sell their farms. A great many threatening letters are written, for which there is a heavy penalty, and when some ranchman who has refused to divide up his pastures into farms and sell them to the “landless” finds his fences broken down and his cattle scattered all over the country, every suspected person is indicted for moral effect. There are very few convictions. The people who are engaged in the outrage will not testify against each other and there are no other witnesses.

In Ireland there are very few cases of robbery or burglary. Petty larceny is the principal item in the list of offenses. Grand larceny, embezzlement, forgery, and similar crimes are infrequent.

The largest buildings in the county towns of Ireland are workhouses, almshouses, and insane asylums, and they are always well filled. I visited an insane asylum at Killarney, which is an enormous building, well arranged and equipped with all modern conveniences, under the direction of Dr. Edward Griffin, and surrounded by a beautiful garden and hedges in the midst of an estate of sixty acres. It was opened in 1852. The number of inmates in 1908 was 619, of whom 299 were women and 320 men. During the last six or seven years the number of women has largely increased. The average age of the inmates is about thirty years. There are more young men than old men in the institution. Dr. Griffin told me that many causes lead to insanity. Whisky, however, has little to do with the condition of the inmates. In 1907 only five men and two women were there for that cause. Tea has a large number of victims, destroying the nervous system by excessive use. The largest proportion come from the country districts, especially from the seacoast, comparatively few from the towns and cities. The greatest number are of the farming and laboring classes, who made up three-fourths of the inmates received last year—common laborers and poor farmers with two acres of land and two cows. Those from certain districts are generally related, predisposition to insanity being manifest in many families. The farming class, coming from the moors and mountains with their barren soil and great privations, are inclined to insanity because of their impoverished conditions of life. Their only food is often tea, bread, and tobacco. The first treatment at the asylum is to give them plenty of nourishing food and build them up. They are furnished meat every day except Friday. Religious delusions have disturbed the minds of many who fear that they are damned forever and cannot enter heaven. They are hard to cure and the slowest of recovery. The influence of the chaplain in these cases is most beneficial. Under his ministration they receive temporary consolation, but after he has left they often relapse into their former melancholy.

The principal cause of insanity among those who come from the barren moors and desolate mountains is not so much their isolated condition or impoverished life, but their strange delusions. The mountain peasants are very superstitious and imaginative. They believe in fairies and bogies and hear strange voices in the air around them. They believe in leprecawns, which are little men that come out of the ground. They imagine that the fairies and goblins can come through the key-holes of their rooms in the asylum; they are ever hearing strange voices and seeing strange specters as they did upon the moors and mountains.

Of both men and women now in the institution at Killarney more than two hundred have come back to Ireland after a sojourn in America. The superintendent says that the dissipations and excitement of their experience in the United States have caused their mental breakdown after the quiet life and habits of the early days in Ireland. But hereditary predisposition exists in almost every case and in time would have caused the same affliction even though they had remained at home. Hereditary influence and generations of poverty and privation are the general causes of insanity. Very few recoveries are found among those who have been born of insane parents. Most of those dismissed are soon back again, broken down as before by poor nourishment, poverty, and want. The number of readmissions is very large. There are two chaplains, one of whom is Rev. Mr. Madden of the Protestant Church of Ireland. There are very few Protestant patients, however, only twenty being in the asylum at present, the population of the district being largely Roman Catholic. The Roman Catholic chaplain, Rev. D. O’Connor, is in constant attendance.


In connection with the breaking up of the big estates into small farms and the introduction throughout Ireland of the system of peasant proprietorship, the government has wisely provided for the education of the farmers so that they may enjoy a larger reward for their labors. There was some scientific farming on the large estates, but until recently 95 per cent of the tenants throughout the country have been simply scratching the land to raise a few potatoes and vegetables to supply their tables and “laving the pig to pay the rint,” as the saying goes. But now things are different. A department of agriculture has been organized, in some respects upon the lines of that in the United States, and after frequent consultation between Sir Horace Plunkett, who was the leader of the movement, and our own Secretary Wilson at Washington. The question of agricultural education was taken up seriously, and what is known as the “recess committee,” formed by Sir Horace Plunkett, during the winter of 1896, suggested a definite plan. The committee consisted of himself, Lord Mayo, Lord Monteagle, John Redman, T.P. Gill, and others.

They presented to the government a project for state aid toward the development of agriculture and mechanical industries with a minister responsible to parliament in charge, assisted by two councils—one for agriculture, the other for technical instruction, composed of gentlemen in touch with public opinion and familiar with the weaknesses and the requirements of the farmers and the small manufacturers. The act was passed by parliament in 1899 and a capital sum of $1,000,000 and an annual appropriation of $830,000 was made for its support.

The department was promptly organized with Sir Horace Plunkett, the leader of the movement, at its head, and various other branches of the public administration not originally contemplated were placed under his jurisdiction, including the quarantine of animals, the regulation of railway freights on agricultural products, county fairs and markets, the enforcement of the pure food and drugs laws, the fisheries, the collection and publication of statistics, the suppression of frauds in weights and in the sale of agricultural requirements and products, the colleges of science and art, the art galleries, the Royal Museum and library, and all technical education throughout the island. The department very naturally took up first the work of aiding the development and introducing improvements in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, dairying, the breeding of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, and bees; the protection of game and fish, the cultivation of flax, home and cottage industries, such as spinning, weaving, lace-making, and similar household arts; the improvement of cooking and household economy, nursing, and various other occupations and industries pertaining to the common people and of the utmost importance for their health, happiness, and prosperity.

An advisory council of one hundred and four members was formed, composed mostly of landowners and farmers, with a few merchants and clergymen, including the bishops of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland, and a board of technical instruction of a similar character, with several professional educators, the provost of Trinity College, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Dublin, and representatives of the clergy of the Presbyterian and other nonconformist churches.

After considering the problem of technical education, which had never been undertaken in Ireland to any extent, it was decided to commence by introducing ordinary instruction in the common schools, and the sum of $275,000 has annually been distributed, in proportion to population, among the various counties to train children in the secondary schools of the rural towns in trades and in the simple principles of the cultivation of the soil, the breeding of cattle, and other practical duties of farming life. In order to qualify teachers to give this instruction summer schools were established at Dublin, Belfast, Cork, and other central points, and in the cities evening schools were provided for those who could make use of them. Faculties of experts were employed for all these schools, and inspectors were sent about the island inquiring into the methods and reporting upon the competency of the teachers.

The Metropolitan School of Art and the Royal College of Science, which have been in existence at Dublin for many years, were re-organized on a practical basis, inspired with new vitality, and brought into full activity for the instruction of young men and women in various forms of arts and handicrafts which were practiced by their ancestors for centuries, but have long since been lost sight of or neglected. The Science and Art Museum on Kildare Street, which was seldom visited except by tourists, is now a live place, and every morning is filled with young men and women eager to learn lace-making, designing, decorating, and other arts and industries which have been allowed to languish in Ireland.

In connection with these schools instruction is given in domestic economy, in the chemistry of cooking, in nursing, in dressmaking, millinery, laundry work, and various other branches of domestic economy which have never before been taught in Ireland. For the benefit of those who cannot attend these schools twenty-nine itinerant instructors are sent throughout the country to give instruction to the wives and daughters of farmers and laborers, how to make the best use of foods and how to practice other economies in household administration; how to raise poultry and bees, do cottage gardening, the culture and the preserving of fruit, and other practical domestic sciences.

This is something entirely new in Ireland, and the reports of the itinerant instructors and of the inspectors who have followed them to observe their work have been most encouraging as regards the interest taken by the younger women and girls and the improvement that has already been made in the conditions of the households of the working classes in the country, for these efforts are confined to the rural districts. There has been some attempt at reforming the sanitary conditions of the tenement houses of Dublin and other cities, but they have scarcely gone beyond the experimental stage, for the task is greater than the department would dare undertake at present.

A large staff of itinerant instructors who are thoroughly posted and trained in agricultural science are employed among the farmers, and especially among those who have recently become the owners of small farms under the Land Act of 1903. A sense of the responsibility of proprietorship is being gradually developed. Heretofore those who have occupied rented lands have had no incentive to improve them or even keep them in good condition, because they never knew when they might be evicted. But to-day one-third of the farmers in Ireland own the soil they till, and when the government is able to furnish the money to pay for purchases that have already been arranged one-half of the entire number will have permanent homes and land of their own. Realizing this, they are willing and in many cases eager to learn how to make the best use of their possessions, how to get the largest returns for their labor, and how to increase the value of their property. The demoralized condition of the farming population caused by the frequent political agitations has made instruction in these lines of economy useless until recently; but now that the land wars are over and the causes for agitation are being removed, and the farmers of Ireland are coming into their own, they take a different view of life, and welcome every offer of instruction that will enable them to improve their situation.

The itinerant instructors are practical men. They work among the farmers in the fields in the summer, and during the winter deliver lectures with practical illustrations in the schoolhouses, the town halls, and other convenient places. There have never been any agricultural schools in Ireland, and it would be difficult to persuade the farmers to attend them, even if they were established. Therefore the officials of the department have undertaken their work with the children of the farms in the secondary rural schools with the hope and confidence that the next generation can be persuaded to follow up this rudimentary learning by taking advanced courses in agricultural science. Indeed, many of them have already done so. There are to-day one hundred and twenty-eight young men, all of them sons of poor farmers, studying agricultural science in different institutions of Ireland, and many of them are being assisted financially to gain a technical as well as a practical education. The department has provided a system of pecuniary aid so that boys who have shown special aptitude in the secondary schools may pass on to the agricultural college, and the reorganized college of science, and even to the university.

The itinerating instructors are introducing better varieties of potatoes, grain, and other crops. They advise farmers as to the selection of crops after making a chemical analysis of their soil; they encourage the purchase of the best qualities of seed, show how it should be planted, and conduct field experiments, inspect buildings and suggest improvements, show how simple remedies can be applied to diseases of live stock, explain the most approved methods of feeding dairy cattle and butter-making, fattening chickens for market, egg packing, and other little matters which are of the greatest value to those whose happiness and prosperity depend upon the intelligent application of their labor. In 1907, 8,394 farms were visited in this way by the instructors and 66,144 persons received instruction. More than two thousand lectures were given, with an average attendance of sixty-seven.

To improve the live stock of the country the department loans money to competent farmers to purchase high-class stallions, bulls, rams, and boars, and takes their notes to be paid in annual installments. Last year eleven stallions, one hundred and thirty-five bulls, seventy-four rams, and a proportionate number of other animals were purchased in that way. And to encourage breeding it offers prizes for the best stock in the different counties, of a sufficient value to be an inducement for competition. It gives financial subsidies for the aid of stock, poultry, horticultural and agricultural exhibitions, plowing matches, implement trials, labor competitions, and for the best yields of potatoes, grain, corn, and other staples. It offers prizes in the different counties for the best gardens, the best kept poultry-yards, and the best butter, which has excited a widespread interest and resulted in a general advancement of conditions.

As a result of prize competition a rivalry has sprung up among the cottagers all over Ireland to improve the appearance and convenience of their farms and buildings. The prizes are sufficiently large to make it an object to keep their residences and stables in repair and neat and clean, both inside and out. There is a similar improvement in cottage gardens for the same reason. Last year more than $25,000 was given in prizes in the different counties for the best kept cottages and house gardens.

The department is encouraging tobacco and flax growing, and a very fair quality of tobacco is now being raised in Ireland.

Special schools have been established for the instruction of creamery managers and attendants, and the department has inaugurated a series of inspections which are voluntary, but the certificate of the inspectors adds considerably to the value of the butter in the market. Last year 359 creameries invited inspection, as compared with 166 in 1906 and 82 in 1905. This indicates that the value of the inspectors’ certificates is becoming appreciated.

Forestry operations are being undertaken also, and eighteen young men are now under training for professional foresters. They are the first that have ever been known in Ireland.

If anyone should attempt to distribute the credit and honor that are due to those who have accomplished the good and promoted the prosperity that Ireland is now enjoying, he would find himself in serious trouble at once. Rivalries are very keen. Nowhere else is partisanship so pronounced and so intolerant. People of different political theories and policies are seldom willing to concede honest motives to their opponents. The leaders of the national party insist that all the beneficial legislation that has been enacted by the British parliament has been yielded reluctantly by the government, not from any interest in the welfare of the Irish people, but solely to avoid a revolution. But I am sure that no one will deny that Sir Horace Plunkett has been one of the most active and disinterested and effective agents in bringing about the great reforms that have been accomplished there within the last few years. He rushes about like an American hustler, carrying out his plans for the welfare of the farmers of Ireland with intense earnestness, independent of public opinion, and as confident of his success as he is of his integrity. He was described to me by one of his friends as “the most transparently sincere man in the kingdom, thoroughly unselfish, disinterested, and patriotic, and with a sanguine disposition that nothing can discourage.” He spends $10,000 a year from his own pocket in his benevolent work, and while he was at the head of the agricultural department he turned over his entire salary to the Irish Agricultural Organization Society, of which he is the founder and the president.

Sir Horace Plunkett is the son of the late Lord Dunsany of County Meath, a very old Irish family, descended from the ancient Lords of the Pale, who have lived in the same house for seven centuries and have had an active part in the history of Ireland from the beginning of days. A famous old Irish book called “The Annals of the Four Masters” says: “There are many fierce barons in the Pale, and the traveler leaving Dublin must pass between the Baron Killeen and the Baron Dunsany,” and Sir Horace referred to the reputation of his ancestors in a speech that he made not long ago, as follows:

“I was reared in one of those old castles of the Pale, almost under the shadow of the Hill of Tara, where the Plunkett family for seven centuries have managed to cling to the same house. Of course, in the good old days, we fought for what we considered our rights, which was to treat the inhabitants of the country as mere Irish and to avail ourselves of their long-horned cattle without payment. I have never started a new creamery without a sense of restitution for their little irregularities. An old chronicle we have in the family runs thus: ‘There be in Meath two Lords Plunkett, a Lord of Killeen and a Lord of Dunsany, and so it comes to pass that whoever can escape being robbed at Dunsany will be robbed at Killeen—and whoever can escape being robbed at Killeen will be robbed at Dunsany.’ This shows that our family took an interest in the tourist traffic in those days, though our methods of developing it, judged by the polite standards of to-day, may appear somewhat crude. You will notice also the germ of the co-operative idea.” (The point of this joke lies in the fact that Sir Horace Plunkett is the originator and the most active leader in establishing co-operative societies throughout the island.)

He was educated at Eton and Oxford, and, when he got his degree, went to the United States and bought a ranch in Wyoming, which he still owns in partnership with former Senator Carey of that State. He also has large interests in Nebraska and lived there for more than ten years. He keeps up his acquaintance by annual visits.

Sir Horace Plunkett came back from America to Ireland with his soul stirred by patriotism and an ambition to do something to improve the condition of his fellow countrymen. He realized the great disadvantages under which they were laboring in their antiquated methods of farming, their rude tools and their ignorance, and in 1894 proceeded to organize a nonpolitical movement to improve their condition by carrying instruction to them because they would not go anywhere to receive it. His enthusiasm and his activities attracted the sympathy and assistance of several other patriotic people, including Lord Monteagle and R.A. Anderson, who was then collecting rents and looking after the tenants of Lord Castledown. In 1894, their work having become too large to be carried on by individuals, they organized the Irish Agricultural Organization Society with about four hundred subscribers, mostly people who were not connected with agriculture. With the exception of Lord Monteagle, Colonel Everhart, Sir Henry Bellew, Sir Joslyn Bore Booth, and a few others, the landlord class took little interest in the movement, but they are beginning to recognize the value of the society and are giving it more sympathy and support than formerly.

R.A. Anderson, the permanent secretary of the society from the beginning, told me the story as follows:

“An adequate staff was first employed who went about among the farmers holding meetings, delivering lectures, talking with them privately, explaining the advantages of education and co-operation, and organizing local societies in every county and district to co-operate with the general society in Dublin. This work has been going on ever since until we have now about ninety thousand members, mostly small landowners and farmers, although in the southern counties we have several prominent ones.

“The next step was to organize co-operative creameries, the farmers contributing the capital and sharing the returns, as in the United States. They deliver their milk at the creameries every day and receive credit tickets for it, which are settled once a month. This has proven to be a great economy over the old plan, where each farmer made his own butter at home, because it was badly made as a rule, brought a low price, and kept down the reputation of the dairy industry in Ireland. We have now in operation three hundred and fifty co-operative creameries to which forty thousand farmers contribute. The butter is exported to England and Scotland by the managers under the supervision of a committee. The reputation of Irish butter has been restored. It commands twenty-two cents a pound, about the same as the Danish butter, whereas farm butter used to bring only fifteen or sixteen cents a pound, and it is difficult to sell it even at that price in these days in competition with the co-operative creameries.

“We have introduced the most modern methods of butter-making and machinery. Pasteurization is being generally adopted and our cooling machinery permits the ripening of cream much more accurately and the production of better butter with a lower per cent of moisture. The creameries are setting an excellent example in planting ornamental shrubs around the buildings and forest trees for shelter, while several have laid out attractive gardens. These external signs of care and taste make a favorable impression upon the public, and the creameries are being constantly visited by people from all parts of the country.

“Our next step was to organize societies among the farmers for the co-operative purchase of supplies of various kinds, for the purchase of seeds, manures, feeding stuffs, machinery, implements, carts, harness, and everything a farmer needs but his live stock. We have one central agency at Dublin acting for about two hundred local societies in different parts of Ireland, representing about seventeen thousand families, who buy everything they want in that way at much lower prices than are charged by the local dealers. They are always sure of getting wholesale prices, the best quality of articles, and there is no possibility of being swindled. Every buyer gets what he orders, which is very important, particularly if it concerns seeds. A farmer who wants a machine or a lot of seeds or a new kind of potatoes, or a cart, or anything else, fills up a blank prepared for that purpose, posts it to the secretary of the society, and the latter orders the article from the central agency, to be paid for upon shipment in cash. This co-operative movement has been a tremendous success and is entering directly into the lives of the people.

“The next step,” continued Mr. Anderson, “was to organize co-operative credit societies from which farmers who are members may borrow money at low rates and keep out of the hands of the ‘gombeen men’—the Celtic word for usurer—who bleed their clients in a merciless manner. The loans are made for productive purposes only—to buy better machinery, more cattle, sheep, swine, and horses, seeds and manures, and other things of tangible value. We do not loan money to pay debts or fines, or to get wild boys out of trouble, or to pay blackmail, or to provide dowries for marriageable daughters. All these things are prohibited, and the managers look to it that not a penny of the society’s money is invested in any speculative enterprise. There are 270 of these Agricultural Co-operative Credit Societies in Ireland under the supervision of our organization with about 20,100 members, and they handle an average of $300,000 in loans averaging not more than $25, which amount shows that they are serving the purpose for which they were intended—to help the small farmer to improve his condition.

“It is quite remarkable,” said Mr. Anderson, “that none of these societies has ever lost a penny. They are managed by committees appointed by the members, who borrow their capital from joint stock banks upon the individual and joint indorsement of the board—each individual being responsible. They get the money for four per cent and loan it for five or six per cent, thus leaving a margin which pays the expenses and leaves a surplus which is carried to a reserve that may also be lent out. These societies also receive deposits from their members and other people in the district and pay three per cent interest, the same as the savings banks. They sometimes obtain loans of £50 to £100 from the Department of Agriculture or the Congested Districts Board at three per cent, which they loan to their members in small amounts at from five to six per cent interest. Last year they got about $60,000 from those two sources.

“The great advantage of these credit societies, in addition to keeping their members out of the clutches of the gombeen men, is to teach them the proper use of credit, the difference between borrowing to make and borrowing to spend, to promote thrift by giving a fair interest upon deposits, to encourage sobriety and industry and to teach a sense of responsibility and the value of reputation, because a man’s character is the sole qualification to membership, and everybody wants to get in. To be admitted to membership is an indorsement that is very highly regarded, and when a man is in his neighbors look after him.

“There are various other co-operative societies,” continued Mr. Anderson. “Last year we organized thirty-two new co-operative credit societies, twenty-two co-operative purchasing societies, twelve co-operative creameries, five flax societies to encourage the cultivation and handling of flax, and six co-operative bacon-curing factories, where farmers can send their hogs to be slaughtered and cured in a proper manner, which enables them to get a quick sale and a higher price for their pork. We also organized a large number of co-operative poultry societies to promote the raising of hens and chickens, the shipment and sale of eggs and poultry, so that the farmers can get better prices, have reliable selling agencies, lower freight rates, and sure collections. Eggs are sold here by weight instead of by the dozen, so that people who raise large eggs have the advantage. The eggs are all tested, graded, and packed according to the continental system, which we prefer to the cardboard arrangements which you use in the United States. These co-operative poultry societies are improving the breeds of hens, are teaching the members how to raise poultry, protect it from diseases, and make the best use of the feed. This is a very important industry, and we have brought it up so that now the average revenue from twenty hens is equal to that from one cow.

“The farmers’ wives are also taught how to raise bees, although for the last few years there has been no money in them. We have had the worst years on record for honey.

“The latest attempt of the Irish Agricultural Organization Society is to introduce co-operation among the small farmers who have recently come into the ownership of their lands to assist each other in building more comfortable homes for themselves and better buildings for their cattle and the storage of their crops. This is in the line of self-help and mutual aid among neighbors and furnishes employment for many days during the winter season which otherwise would be spent in idleness. The most economical building material we have here now is cement blocks, which are easily made with a little instruction, and we are sending around instructors to show the farmers how to utilize their spare time in the winter in making a sufficient number of blocks of this artificial stone to build the walls of a house in the spring. The neighbors can then get together and help each other put them in place under the direction of the instructor of the society, just as your pioneers in America used to help each other put up their log cabins. There is a universal desire and ambition on the part of the two hundred and fifty thousand farmers who have recently become the owners of their places under the Land Act of 1903 to improve their dwellings, and the Irish Agricultural Organization Society is doing a great deal to encourage them in this way.”


Limerick looks like a medieval city, and it is one of the oldest in Ireland. There is an old tower that was built seven centuries ago, and portions of walls forty feet high and thirty-six feet thick which date back to the time of King John in the twelfth century. The castle is one of the finest Norman fortresses yet remaining in the kingdom and overlooks the River Shannon in a most formidable manner. The ancient gate is carefully retained and there is a bridge across the river approaching it that might have been built by the Romans. The Shannon is a good deal of a river, and has been walled in with cut stone and wide quays that are equipped with modern machinery for loading and unloading vessels, although there isn’t much commerce. Occasionally a steamer loaded with coal arrives, but there is no regular traffic, and we saw a big four-masted bark discharging a cargo of wheat that was brought all the way around Cape Horn from California and will be ground up in the mills of Limerick, because it is cheaper to bring it that distance than to raise wheat on the farms in that vicinity. It seems incredible, because there is so much land given up to pastures that might be plowed and sowed with grain. We rode about Limerick County in an automobile for several days and didn’t see a wheat field,—not one,—although there are several flour mills in the immediate neighborhood. In two grocery stores where I inquired they told me that they handled American flour or flour from American wheat almost exclusively, and that they were selling a good deal of bacon from the Chicago packing-houses, which also seems strange, because Limerick bacon is supposed to be the best in the world, and three big establishments, employing several hundred men, do nothing but cure bacon and hams. Each slaughters about ten thousand hogs a week, which doesn’t seem a very large business in comparison with that of the packing-houses of Chicago, Omaha, and Kansas City, but there it is something to brag about. Limerick bacon brings the highest price in the London market and sells at three or four cents a pound more than that which is imported from Chicago. In order to realize the difference the people of the city are willing to ship their bacon to England and eat the Chicago product.

Limerick is also the center of a large butter trade and has the biggest condensed milk factory in the kingdom, using the milk of ten thousand cows daily, which is gathered morning and evening by enormous motors that go thundering around the roads like Juggernauts. They look like steam-rollers, and are built the same way with four wheels that have tires more than a foot wide, and they serve a double purpose by rolling the roads daily while they are hauling in the milk. Each of these ponderous vehicles carries a large tank that will hold a hundred gallons of milk and hauls a trailer that carries two tanks of similar size, thus making about three hundred gallons to the load, but it makes noise enough for ten thousand gallons. The big tanks are painted white and the machines are polished like the knockers on the front doors of the Limerick houses. There are three of these machines, which start out at daylight in the morning, and each goes in a different direction, picking up the milk that is left in cans by the farmers at convenient cross-road stations. When the tanks are all filled the Juggernaut comes rumbling into town, making more noise than the railroad train, discharges its load at the condensed milk factory, and then starts out in another direction.

Limerick has a population of about forty thousand, which has been reduced from fifty thousand during the last ten or twelve years by emigration to America; and, as we find it the case everywhere, all the young men who can get money enough to pay their steamship fares are emigrating. Many young women go also, and “the best blood of the country is lost to us,” one of the priests remarked. The city has not increased in numbers for centuries. It has merely held its own, and some historians contend that it had more population five hundred years ago than it has now. It was founded before the beginning of history.

In 1168 lived and reigned Donald O’Brien, the last king of Limerick. He was fifth in descent from Brian Boru, and was among the first to swear allegiance to the Norman invader, King Henry of England, when the latter arrived, permitting an English governor to be placed in possession of the city. But after King Henry returned to England, Donald O’Brien lost no time in renouncing allegiance and declaring his independence. And from that time he fought the English with great energy until his death in 1194, after a reign of twenty-six years of almost continuous conflict. However, King Donald found time and money during the intervals of his wars to erect a splendid old church that still stands and is called St. Mary’s, the Protestant Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. He erected several other churches and monasteries in Limerick County which bear witness to the religious zeal of Donald O’Brien. The ruins at Cashel, which are the most extensive in all Ireland, are reminders of his piety, energy, and generosity in the Christian propaganda. He is supposed to have been buried in St. Mary’s Cathedral, and the most ancient and noteworthy monument in that venerable temple is a brown-stone slab covered with a Celtic cross and inscription that is supposed to be the lid of his coffin. This monument originally stood on the grounds outside the church and was moved inside in 1860.

On the other side of the chapel in which this precious relic is preserved is a monument erected to the memory of the soldiers of the Eighty-fifth Regiment of the King’s Light Infantry who have died in battle. And above it hang the flags which that regiment has carried during the last two hundred years, including the Crimean war, the South African, the war in Spain, the war against Napoleon, and the war for independence in the United States. Upon one of these flags is inscribed the name “Bladensburg,” the battle, or rather skirmish, that was fought a few miles from Washington in 1813, and it was this regiment which entered the city and burned the capitol, then unfinished, the White House, and the navy yard. Gen. Frederick Maunsell, who commanded the regiment at that time, is buried near by.

The old church was restored very carefully between 1879 and 1892 under the direction of the dean, Very Rev. Thomas Bunbury, D.D. The work has been admirably done at an expense of about $50,000, which was contributed by members of the parish and natives of Limerick, who are interested in preserving its antiquities. The present dean is Very Rev. Lucius Henry O’Brien, a son of that famous Irish patriot, William Smith O’Brien, who was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered for treason in the revolution of 1848, but fortunately escaped that barbarous penalty.

An interesting volume has been written concerning St. Mary’s Cathedral and its history and the curious tombs that are found under its roof. Some of the epitaphs are unique. Here is one:

“Johne Stretche, Aldermane, third son too Bartholomewe
This monument made in Febrarye most true,
Wher he and his heyres males resight theyre mortalle bons
Tyll Chryste do come to judge all mans atte ons.”

Another curious inscription upon a gravestone two feet square reads:

“Fifteen years a mayd, one year a wyfe,
Two years a mother, then I left this life.
Three months after me mine offspring did remain,
Now earth to earth we are returned again.”

And here is still another in memory of Geoffrey Arthur, treasurer of the cathedral, who died in 1519:

“Do thou excite the solemn train,
And with the doleful trumps proclaim
Eight times the mournful story
Then to Eana oblation make
Of eight prayers for the sake
Of his soul in pergatory.”

One of the bishops of the eighteenth century, named Adams, is buried in the church, and his monument consists of two slabs, one above and the other below a space which was evidently intended to contain a bust. On either side the emblems of the passion—the reed, the spear, the scourge, and the crown of thorns—are engraved, and after the name and biographical information are the lines:

“Sufficient God did give me, which I spent;
I little borrowed and as little lent;
I left them whom I loved enough in store,
Increased the bishoprick, relivd the poore.”

One of the tombs contains this laconic epitaph:

“Dan Hayes,
An honest man,
And a lover of his country.”

The bells of St. Mary’s Cathedral at Limerick are famous for their sweet tones, and a very pretty story is told about them. It is said that they were cast in Italy at the expense of a rich Italian and presented to a monastery in Italy. In a few years the monks became very poor and sold their bells to the Bishop of Limerick for money to relieve their immediate distresses. The Italian nobleman who had given them also met with misfortune and became a wanderer over the earth. Coming up the Shannon River from a long ocean voyage one day, the first sound that greeted him was the chimes from St. Mary’s tower. He instantly recognized the bells, the pride and the joy of his heart, and tried in vain until his death to recover them.

Although this story is touching, it is not true. The history of the chimes is perfectly well known. They were cast in that city about 1660 by William Perdue, a resident of Limerick, who is buried in the cathedral with an appropriate epitaph:

“Here is a bell founder, honest and true
Until the ressurection lies Perdue.
William Perdue
Obiat III X Xbris Ao. Dini MDCLXXIII.”

The royal capital of the O’Briens is often known as “The City of the Violated Treaty.” It was stoutly defended against Cromwell’s army in 1651 by Hugh O’Neill, but after a six months’ siege it was captured by General Ireton, the son-in-law of Cromwell, who became governor until his death of the plague the year following. The house in which Ireton lived and died stood next to the cathedral. It was torn down some years ago and the site added to the cathedral grounds.

Limerick was also besieged in 1691 during the war between James II and William of Orange. The latter captured the city with an army of twenty-six thousand men and made a treaty with Gen. Patrick Sarsfield, who surrendered Oct. 3, 1691. The ninth article of the treaty of surrender provided that Roman Catholics could enjoy the same privileges as Protestants and were given immunity for all religious offenses in the past. This article, however, was repeatedly violated by the Protestant authorities, although it was no fault of William of Orange. His representatives made it so hot for the Catholics who had served under James that they fled from Ireland for France and formed the Irish brigade that was so famous in continental wars during the next twenty years. Sarsfield, who was one of the ablest and bravest soldiers Ireland has ever produced, was killed in battle in 1693, and it is estimated that during the next half century four hundred and fifty thousand other Irishmen died fighting for the King of France.

A monument to Patrick Sarsfield has been erected near the Roman Catholic Cathedral with the following inscription:

“To commemorate
the Indomitable Energy
and stainless honor of
General Patrick Sarsfield,
Earl of Lucan,
the heroic defender of Limerick
during the sieges of 1690 and 1691.

“Sarsfield is the word,
And Sarsfield is the man.
’T would be a shame to let his name
Like other names decay.”
Treaty Stone, Limerick

The treaty of Limerick was drawn by Sir John Browne, a colonel in the service of King James and the first Marquis of Sligo. It was signed upon a large flat stone which now stands upon a pedestal at the entrance to the ancient bridge that crosses the Shannon River.

The women of the poorer classes in Tipperary and Limerick wear heavy woolen shawls made at Paisley, Scotland, and costing from five to ten dollars, according to the quality. They wear them over their heads in place of hats, and although it was very hot while we were there, it made no difference; they go around with their heads hidden in their shawls, as the Spanish women wear mantillas; and most of them are barefooted. Tipperary was the first place in Ireland where we saw barefooted women in the streets, and it isn’t an agreeable sight. We saw more in Limerick, and it was still less agreeable. The workingmen do not go barefooted, although many of them have shoes very much the worse for wear, but it seems to be the custom for the wives and mothers and daughters of the working classes to go about without shoes or stockings and with heavy shawls over their heads, which, like charity, cover a multitude of sins and other things. Their dresses are tattered at the bottom and often ragged and always greasy, and their hair, so far as it can be seen under the shawls, is very untidy, which gives them a disreputable and repulsive appearance, so different from the women we saw at Drogheda, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Blarney, and other places we had been to.

There is no occasion for the women of Limerick to dress as they do, because the town is prosperous and it used to boast of the reputation of having the prettiest girls in Ireland. Some poet who knew them long ago has written thus:

“The first time me feet got the feel of the ground
I was sthrollin’ along in an old Irish city,
That hasn’t its aquail the whole wurrld around,
For the air that is swate and the gurrls that are pretty.
And the lashes so thick round thim beautiful eyes
Shinin’ to tell you its fair time o’ day wid ’em.
Back in me heart wid a koind of sorprise
I think how the Irish girls has th’ way wid ’em.”

Judging from what we saw on the streets, at church, and in the parks on a Sunday, when all the feminine population of Limerick seemed to be out, we would think that the beauties had gone to America with the fairies.

There is “the Irish town” and “the English town” in Limerick, and between them is a good deal of animosity, which has continued for several hundred years and probably never will be entirely removed. The old castle built by King John in 1205, when the British first occupied Limerick, and considered one of the finest specimens of Norman military architecture in existence, is now used as an ordnance store for the military garrison. There is a romantic story associated with the old town and I cannot resist the temptation of telling it.

Toward the beginning of the ninth century the Danish King of Limerick, Turgesius, by name, who occupied a fortification that stood upon the site of the present castle, fell in love with the daughter of Malachi, the King of Meath—the same who

“Wore the collar of gold
Which he won from the proud invader.”

Turgesius demanded her hand in marriage and Malachi, who was not in very good shape for a fight, dare not deny him. The girl, however, had her wits about her and suggested to her timid father a plan to outwit the odious lover. At her suggestion he entreated Turgesius that his daughter might be received by him privately and at night, and promised to send as her attendants fifteen of the most celebrated beauties of his kingdom. The arrangement was acceptable, and, at the appointed time, the princess and her fifteen ladies-in-waiting arrived at Limerick and were conducted to the apartments of the king, who was eagerly awaiting them. When Turgesius took the princess in his arms the fifteen ladies-in-waiting immediately threw off their disguise and the astonished king of Limerick saw before him fifteen of the stoutest and bravest of the Irish chivalry, each with a flashing sword in his hand. Before he could recover from his astonishment Turgesius was seized and bound, his guards were surprised, and the gates of the fortress were opened to Malachi and the men of Meath, who massacred the entire garrison and thereafter ruled in Limerick.

The migration to America from County Limerick has been very large and every person we have met has one or more relatives in the United States. Every family is represented there and those who have not gone are anxious to go. Each spring and summer quite a number of young people return to their old homes, and the airs they put on and the raiment they wear are very amusing. We saw them at the railway stations, at church, on the streets, and elsewhere, surrounded by admiring and envious friends.

More laborers’ cottages have been erected by the government in County Limerick than in any other part of Ireland, and more are being built all the time. Any laboring man who wants a home of his own need only to make application for the assistance of the commissioner of the poor and express his preference for a site. The commissioners are not required to accept his choice, but usually do so when there is no particular objection, and he is entitled to an acre of ground for a garden. After certain legal preliminaries are fulfilled, they erect for him a two-story, five-room cottage, costing about $750, with an outhouse for fuel, storage, and the accommodation of a cow. They inclose the property in a stout fence and turn it over to the new owner without the expenditure of a farthing on his part. He, however, undertakes to reimburse the county for the investment it has made in his behalf at the rate of 3¼ per cent of the cost price, which usually amounts to about thirty dollars a year. The laboring class of no other country is so well treated.

Before I left Washington a highly esteemed friend, and one of the most charitable and public-spirited citizens of that city, intrusted me with a mission which was fulfilled as soon as possible after arriving in Limerick. It was to leave with the parish priest of his native village of Askeaton a generous sum of money for the benefit of the poor, and you may imagine the pleasure that attended our visit there for that reason. Askeaton is an ancient village of seven or eight hundred inhabitants about twenty miles from Limerick, where the River Deel tumbles over ledges of rocks into the Shannon and forms a series of cascades, which make it the second best water-power in Ireland and perpetuates the name of a Celtic chieftain, concerning whom nothing else is known.

We went down in an automobile, visiting several other places of interest by the way, passing Donmore, the seat of the Earl of Limerick, an ancient ruin in which a holy hermit lived several centuries ago, Dysart House, the seat of the Earl of Dysart, and a beautiful place called Holly Park, where resided a queer man by the name of Taylor. He inherited a fine farm and considerable wealth, but lived a bachelor until he was sixty years old, when he married his cook. There was nothing wrong with him except a mania for buying coats, and he used to haunt the second-hand stores of Limerick, Dublin, London, and wherever else he happened to go, picking up all the queer patterns and colors that he could find. He spent most of his time brushing and cataloguing them, and when he died last spring more than five thousand coats were found hanging on racks in the upper rooms and the attic of Holly Park. It took three big wagons to carry them away, for his wife, the former cook, got rid of them as soon after the funeral as she could arrange for.

Askeaton used to be a place of some importance, and at one time returned two members of parliament, but it has lost population and trade, and many years ago the franchise was taken away and the sum of $75,000 was paid as indemnity to Lord Massey, who controlled the suffrages. It isn’t far from the sea and there is a good deal of fishing, although agriculture is its chief dependence. There is a carbite factory owned by John B. Hewson, and a big flour mill, which, however, is idle because the people find it cheaper to buy American flour. The farmers here cannot compete with California wheat. They told me that it is more profitable to raise potatoes for market and turnips for cattle.

Askeaton has one irregular street and old-fashioned houses of brick and mortar, hugging closely to the walls of an ancient castle which was the stronghold of the earls of Desmond and the scene of much fighting in ancient times. It is one of the largest ruins in Ireland, a monstrous pile covering more than two acres, and the walls of stone, now standing, are more than ninety feet high and ten to fifteen feet thick. The great hall measures ninety by thirty feet and is lighted by four great windows in a fair state of preservation. Over the first arch from the stairway is a small chamber measuring eight by seven feet, called “Desmond’s prison,” in which Gerald, the twelfth Earl of Desmond, imprisoned by Edmond MacTeig, who contested his succession, “for six years pined in captivity, shut up in the castle of Askeaton, till his release, which was obtained by the intercession of his wife, who was related to Edmond.” A battlemented wall surrounds the entire structure, which could be entered only by a narrow pathway cut through the rock so that any attempt to force an entrance would be impossible.

Askeaton Abbey, which was founded under the protection of the castle for the Franciscan monks in 1420, by the seventh Earl of Desmond, is only a few steps distant, and, judging from the huge masses of masonry, it must have been an extensive and solid structure. Some of the walls are twenty feet thick and the lightest are four feet and a half thick. It is kept with great care by the board of public works and the cloister is remarkably perfect, being inclosed by twelve pointed arches of black marble. It was destroyed at the same time as the castle, and many of the monks were murdered by the Irish troops under the Earl of Ormonde and Sir Henry Pelham. In 1641 an attempt was made to restore the abbey to its former magnificence, but it was abandoned shortly afterward.

The parish church, which stands upon a hill on the edge of the village, was built by the Knights Templar, who had an establishment at Askeaton dating from the thirteenth century, but nothing remains of it now but a curious tower in the churchyard.

With Sergeant Quirk, the head constable, we inspected the ruins under the very best auspices, and I found Father Edmond Tracy, the parish priest, a most charming companion. He is an ideal type of the Irish priesthood, a man of culture, learning, and charming personality. He accepted the trust I was instructed to place in his care and told me that, although Askeaton was fairly prosperous and the people of the neighborhood parish were well to do, he frequently had appeals for charity that the scanty revenues of the church made difficult for him to respond to.

Upon our way back to Limerick we stopped at Adare, which is considered the model village and belongs to the Earl of Dunraven, who has the enviable reputation of being one of the best landlords in Ireland. The village of Adare has about six hundred people living in model cottages, which he and his father built for them, with vegetable and flower gardens and everything that an Irish peasant could ask for, including both Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. The former was once “The White Abbey,” founded by the Augustinians in 1230 and restored by the Earl of Dunraven in 1811 with great care. A portion of the monastery has been rebuilt for a national school and given to the Roman Catholics. The neighboring Franciscan Abbey, founded in 1315, was restored for use as the Protestant church in 1807. The Earl of Dunraven who lived in those days built a family mausoleum in connection with it, and turned the refectory of the monks into a schoolhouse for Protestant children. Although the earls of Dunraven have been members of the Church of Ireland, they have been generous and frequent benefactors of the Roman Catholic church, and there seem to have been successive generations of wise, thoughtful, and considerate men in that family.

Adare Abbey, in the Private Grounds of the Earl of Dunraven, near Limerick

The house of Dunraven enjoys the proud distinction of being one of the few of the ancient Celtic aristocracy to survive the vicissitudes of the centuries. The earl traces his lineage back to the chief of the Dalcassian clan of prehistoric days. He is of the same stock as the O’Briens of Limerick, who have a common ancestor in Cormac Cas, son of Olliol Olum, monarch of all Ireland at the beginning of the third century. And the present earl has a curious and interesting letter written by Thady Quin of Adare in the time of James I., giving the complete pedigree.

Adare Manor, as the estate of the Dunravens is known, is one of the most extensive and beautiful in Ireland. There is a stately mansion of the Tudor school of architecture, begun in 1832, upon the site of a former residence of the family and built entirely of material found upon the estate, by artisans of Adare. The material is gray limestone, relieved by blocks of red, and the striking feature is a tower which rises one hundred and three feet from the level of the ground. The stone work of the parapet which surmounts the front façade is inscribed in old English letters with the text, “Except the Lord build the house, their labor is in vain that build it.” The late earl seemed to be fond of inscriptions, for over the main entrance is carved in stone this admonition: “Fear God, honor the Queen, eschew Evil and do Good,” while upon a panel set into the front wall is the coat of arms of the Dunravens and the inscription:

“This goodly Home was erected by
Wyndham Henry, Earl of Dunraven,
And Caroline, his Countess
Without borrowing, selling or leaving a debt.”

“This goodly home” is surrounded by one of the finest parks in the world—about three thousand acres of glorious native forests, meadows, and pasture lands, all inclosed within a high wall. There are lakes and ponds and a roaring brook whose waters alternately dash over cascades and lie spread out in calm pools where trout and salmon can be seen motionless upon the bottom under the shadows cast by the overhanging trees. Roadways several miles in length reach every part of the demesne and permit views of the most picturesque portions of the scenery. They cross and recross the river over ancient bridges and through undulating pastures where the famous Dunraven herds are feeding, and follow long avenues between colonnades of very old trees.

There are several interesting ruins within the demesne, including those of the ancient castle of Adare, which was built some time before 1331, because a record of that date gives a description of its appearance. It was afterward strengthened and enlarged, and for several centuries was one of the most formidable strongholds in all Ireland. It was from this castle in 1520 that the Earl of Kildare, viceroy of Ireland, left for London to answer charges brought against him by Cardinal Wolsey, by whom he was imprisoned in the Tower.

There are ruins of several monasteries which also date back to the fourteenth century and are kept in perfect order. The most beautiful was once a monastery of the Franciscan order, and is within a step of the mansion, in the midst of the golf links.

The present Earl of Dunraven, Windham Thomas Wyndham-Quin, was born in 1844, educated at Eton and Christ Church College, Oxford, and in 1870 married Florence, daughter of Lord Charles Lennox Kerr, a member of parliament from County Wexford. Dunraven is one of the most active and versatile men in the kingdom, and is almost as well known in the United States, being soldier, sailor, horseman, sportsman, yachtsman, explorer, politician, newspaper correspondent, author, antiquarian, economist, and historian. After receiving his degree at Oxford Dunraven served for several years in the Life Guards, and in 1871 resigned upon succeeding to the title and estates. While he was in the army he gained the reputation of being the best steeple-chase rider in the kingdom. Upon leaving the army he became a correspondent of the London Daily Telegraph and represented that paper in an expedition to Abyssinia and during the Franco-Prussian war. He then went into politics and was under secretary for the colonies during two of Lord Salisbury’s administrations. He then went into parliament and made a reputation as chairman of committees on the sweating system and the housing of the working classes. He devoted much time and attention to horse breeding and has a stock farm adjoining his estate at Adare with “Desmond,” the most famous stallion in the kingdom, at the head of his stud. He has been offered $150,000 for the horse.

In 1874 Dunraven went to the United States with his wife and spent nearly a year in the Rocky Mountains hunting big game and exploring and climbing peaks and shooting buffaloes with General Sheridan and Buffalo Bill. He wrote a book giving an account of his experience. He then took up the Irish question, went into it very deeply, and has retained his interest until now. He has written several books on the land question and the other economic problems of Ireland. He has been a prolific contributor to the magazines, and was the inventor of what is known as the “devolution policy” as a substitute for home rule in Ireland, which Sir Antony MacDonnell worked up into the so-called “Irish councils bill,” which proposed to give home rule in every respect except the courts, police, and legislation. His lordship went through Ireland making speeches in favor of the project, but the leaders of the Irish parliamentary party declined to accept it and it fell to the ground.

The Earl of Dunraven is best known in the United States, however, as a yachtsman. For several years he was the leader of that sport in England, and in 1893, 1894, and 1895 sailed for the America’s cup with three successive yachts named Valkyrie. The third contest was a fiasco, as may be remembered. Lord Dunraven published a pamphlet setting forth his side of the controversy, which created a great sensation. His lordship has made a thorough study of the archæology of this section of Ireland, and has written several interesting volumes on the subject.


County Clare and County Galway are the districts of the greatest unrest in Ireland; and the largest number of boycotts, cattle drives, and evictions have occurred there of late years because certain large landowners, chief of whom is the Earl of Clanricarde, stubbornly refuse to sell their estates under the Land Act of 1903 or restore the tenants they have evicted or divide up their pastures into farms. The Earl of Clanricarde carried the matter into court, where he was sustained in his refusal to sell, on the ground that the law is not compulsory, and it is probable that parliament will adopt an amendment, now pending and introduced since the decision, requiring every large landowner in Ireland to divide up his estates among his tenants at prices to be fixed by the courts.

The disturbances that are taking place at present are gentle and mild compared with what have occurred during the land wars of the past, and they are confined to a limited area and a small number of estates. The methods of “persuasion” used by the tenants and the “landless” men, as those who are entirely without farms are called, are, however, very much the same as those adopted years ago, but they are not so effective as they used to be. They are severely punished by the courts, and the taxpayers are assessed for all the damages committed. If these assessments could be confined to the particular parish within which the outrages occur it would be very much better, for it is not fair to ask innocent property owners twenty and thirty miles from the scene to pay for the mischief of a few reckless and irresponsible persons over whom they have no control.

County Limerick is usually quiet. There has been no trouble there and the best of feelings prevail between the landlords and their tenants, with a few exceptions. There was only one criminal case (of infanticide) at the dockets of the courts in July, 1908, when I was there, two boycotts, and twenty-one complaints of intimidation, which, however, did not all relate to land matters. There were thirty-four evictions in County Limerick that year, most of them being due to poor crops and the lack of remittances from America.

Lough Rea, the seat of the Clanricarde, has been the residence of that family since the year 1300. Althenry, the neighboring town, is also very old, and has belonged to the earls of Clanricarde since 1238. There is a castle, a Dominican monastery, a Franciscan monastery, and several churches, all in ruins, destroyed by Red Hugh O’Donnell in 1596. The Earl of Clanricarde never visits his Irish property. He has never occupied his ancestral home and has been seen in the vicinity but once since he came into the inheritance thirty or forty years ago.

The boycott was invented at the little town of Ballinrobe, a pretty village of about fifteen hundred inhabitants, on Lough Mask, about twenty miles north of Galway. Charles S. Parnell made a speech at Ennis, the capital of County Clare, Sept. 19, 1880, advising the people to punish those who did not sympathize with them by “isolating them from their kind as if they were lepers.” This advice was first applied to Captain Boycott, agent for the estate of Lord Erne, near Ballinrobe, and he was a complete victim of the policy. The police could do nothing. There was no law under which dealers could be compelled to sell him food and drink, and all his supplies had to be shipped to him from Dublin. Nobody would speak to him, nobody would work for him, nobody would accept his money, and, as Parnell suggested, he was treated as if he were a leper. The plan was so successful that it was promptly adopted throughout Ireland, and has since been commonly used elsewhere under the name of the first victim.

But boycotting is growing unpopular in Ireland. It is condemned by the bishops and the clergy generally. They are taking more and more positive grounds, and many refuse the communion to persons who are guilty of either boycotting or cattle driving, because they are contrary to justice and charity and are therefore sinful. I heard one of the bishops preach an impressive sermon on the subject. He condemned all combinations of persons to cause suffering or distress in their neighbors as inhuman, immoral, and unjust. He declared that boycotting was worse than murder, because it caused a greater degree of suffering. When a man was shot he usually died without agony, but when he was boycotted he suffered the worse sort of mental torture, and to cause such sufferings was one of the worst of sins. Father Gilligan, parish priest at Carrick-on-Shannon, preached against boycotting the Sunday we were there. He said, in introducing the subject, that he deeply regretted that many of his parishioners had joined in a boycott for which they imagined they had a good excuse, but nothing would justify a boycott. It was a crime, and those who had engaged in it would not be admitted to communion until they had sincerely repented. Every effort had been made by advice, by intimidation, and even by threats of violence, to keep the people from dealing with some of the most respectable merchants in the town. There were three degrees of boycotting—mild, medium, and savage—and all three had been condemned by the Church. “Have nothing to do with it,” said Father Gilligan, “do not touch it with a pole that would reach New York.”

At present boycotting is applied to landlords and cattle men who are occupying their land that is wanted for farms. The cattle men have no permanent tenancy, they erect no buildings, they make no improvements, and the cattle business is so profitable that they are able to pay twice as much rent as the ordinary farming tenant. For those reasons, and because he has only one man to deal with, a landlord is always glad to rent his lands for grazing, and gradually Ireland is becoming one great pasture.

Cattle driving is another weapon used by the same people for the same purpose, and that is condemned by the bishops and the clergy with equal emphasis. Archbishop Fennely of Tipperary recently preached a sermon in which he expressed the hope that before he closed his eyes in death he would see every acre of land in Ireland owned by the men who tilled it, but he could not sympathize with and he must earnestly condemn every form of violence and every unlawful measure that was used to secure that end. He gave his diocese a solemn warning that cattle driving, boycotting, and similar unlawful practices would not be tolerated by the Church.

This form of argument, it must be admitted, is a great advance over the fierce methods that have been used in the past, when murder and bloodshed were quite common, and other damages that cannot be repaired by money or by the judgment of the court were suffered. It was a habitual jest to speak of the “closed season for landlords.”

The Irish never overlook the humor in a situation, and at a cattle drive which took place in 1908 at Tuam, which is a place of considerable ecclesiastical importance, being the residence of the Most Rev. John Healey, one of the ablest and most influential Roman Catholic bishops in Ireland, the following lines were pinned to the tail of one of the cows:


“Leave the way, for we are coming.
And, on my soul, we got a drumming;
They cleared us out so mighty quick,
And, faith, they used their hazel stick.
Well, now, Paddy, of you we implore,
Don’t put us through Cloomagh any more;
For if you do you’re bound to die,
And we have the powder fresh and dry;
God bless the Cattle Drivers.”

The taxpayers are compelled to pay damages for all cases of cattle driving, for loss of business in boycotting, and for other claims growing out of such outrages. Usually the courts assess one pound per head for cattle where no harm is done, five pounds per head where an animal is injured, and about one-third as much for sheep. Most of the cattle driving and the boycotting is committed by irresponsible young men who are led by mischief-makers with private grudges, and they never reason for themselves. It goes without saying that the love of fighting is one of the most conspicuous traits of the Irish character. The history of Ireland from the foggiest period of the past is a tale of continuous warfare. In the early days fighting was the chief end and aim of men, and women fought beside their fathers and husbands and brothers until St. Patrick forbade them to do so. And they thought very little of the consequences.

The case was well stated in a little poem from an American paper that was shown me by a friend the other day:

“‘Who says that the Irish are fighters by birth,’
Says little Dan Crone;
‘Faith, there’s not a more peacable race on the earth
If ye l’ave them alone.’”

But sometimes they won’t be let alone. In the summer of 1908 there was a riot in the town of Thurles and a mob did a lot of damage in order to show its disapproval of legal proceedings that had been taken against a fellow townsman. Richard Burke, who was “licensed to sell spirits not to be consumed on the premises,” was unable to meet his obligations and went into bankruptcy. The sheriff took charge of the establishment under the orders of the court, and the license, good will, and the stock in hand were offered for sale to the highest bidder. But the bids did not come up to the valuation of the court and were all rejected. A few days later a private offer from Mr. Cody, who has been competing with Mr. Burke to quench the thirst of Thurles for several years, to take the entire place for £2,000 was accepted. Mr. Burke, who has been in the habit of consuming too much of his own merchandise for the good of his business, became very indignant because his old enemy was going to step into his place, gathered together a few sympathetic friends, raided his own establishment, smashed the bottles, knocked in the heads of the barrels, and invited the whole town to help themselves, which they did with an energy that would have been commendable in another cause. Then, when almost every citizen of the town, young and old, was drunk, they started up the street smashing their own windows and doors and doing what is estimated at $15,000 worth of damages to their own property, besides $7,000 worth of destruction in Mr. Cody’s place.

Although Cody had signed the papers, he had not paid for Mr. Burke’s former stock, and naturally he now refuses to do so, since it does not exist, so that Mr. Burke and his creditors suffer the entire loss of his own raid and hospitality, and the taxpayers of Thurles have been assessed to pay for the other foolishness.

There are twenty thousand Galway people in the United States, or “across the herring pond,” as a banker there expressed it, who have been in the habit of making remittances to their fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters here in generous amounts, and many families are partly and a large number are wholly dependent upon them. Most of the Galway emigrants are in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and other large cities, earning good wages, but they were out of employment after the recent panic and have had all that they could do to take care of themselves. Hence very little money has been received here from America for nearly a year. The postmaster told me that the American money orders cashed at the Galway post office have averaged £40,000 a year for the last eight or ten years, and in 1908 the total will not reach £15,000. An even larger sum of money has been coming in checks and drafts and the bankers say that the remittances in that form are not more than ten per cent of the usual amount. The merchants complain that their customers are not bringing in any American checks, which have been presented in payment daily for ten or twelve years. Christmas checks were very scarce in 1907, and that is the principal reason for the poverty. Wages are very low in Galway—ten shillings a week, and two shillings a day is the average for ordinary labor. The Allan Line steamers have been touching at Galway since 1881, and have carried to Quebec an enormous number of emigrants for the United States as well as Canada, but the faster boats, touching at Queenstown, have reduced the business considerably. The steerage passage is $27.50 and $30; the average emigrants are chiefly between seventeen and twenty-three years of age, and most of them go to Boston.

Galway is a foreign-looking little town, unlike any other we saw in Ireland, and much of the architecture is Dutch and Spanish, departing from the plain, ugly brick front without cornice or eaves which is so common elsewhere. The streets are irregular and run all sorts of ways; some very narrow and some very wide, and they vary in width at different places, with occasionally an odd-shaped space at the intersection. Everything looks old and shabby and out of repair. It is queer as well as significant to see buildings half in ruins in the principal streets and others with the glass broken out of the windows. There are some smart-looking shops, however, and neatly kept residences, but they are not frequent. Nor is the town well kept. The Common Council evidently lacks a sense of the æsthetic, because the streets are dirty, the park is scraggly, and the grass and trees are very much neglected. It is altogether the untidiest public park I saw in Ireland. Many of the people we met on the principal streets, particularly the women, are repulsive in their rags and dirty faces and unkempt hair and bare feet. We saw a few barefooted women in Tipperary and Limerick, but in Galway none of the working women wears shoes, although the men seem to be well shod. The women cover their heads with thick shawls that are often greasy and torn, and their faces show evidences of sorrow and privation, and perhaps other causes have left a mark.

Fish Market, Galway

The foreign appearance of Galway is accounted for by the fact that many Frenchmen, Spaniards, and Dutchmen were in business there in early times. The town was named from the Gauls, and for centuries an extensive trade was carried on with the Continent by foreign merchants and foreign fleets. Richard de Burgo, founder of the Burke family, was given the country of Connaught by the king, and, having in 1232 crushed the O’Connors, who were formerly kings there, he enlarged the Castle of Galway and made it his residence, calling around him a flourishing foreign colony. But the “tribes of Galway,” as Cromwell called the natives, would not submit to him, and kept up a guerrilla warfare that was very annoying. The English took all the measures they could to protect themselves, and in 1518 a law was passed forbidding the people of the town “to recieve into their housses at Christemas, Easter nor no feaste elles, any of the MacWilliams, Kellies, Joyces, Lynches nor to cepte Elles without permission of the Mayor and Councill; on payn to forfeit £’5 and that no one called O’ nor Mac shalle strutte ne swaggere thro the streetes of Galway.” And the following inscription was formerly to be seen over the west gate to the city:

“From the fury of the O’Flaherties
Good Lord deliver us.”

There are some quaint old houses—one of them on the principal street, known as “the mansion,” being elaborately decorated with carved moldings, drip stones, cornices, balustrades, medallions, crests, coats of arms, and other ornaments in which the lynx and the monkey, which were used upon the family arms, appear frequently. The same story is told to account for the monkey that is used to explain the appearance of that animal upon the escutcheon of the Earl of Desmond—that the heir to the house was rescued by a monkey when it was burning.

The Burkes, the Joyces, and the Lynches were the leading families there. The records show that eighty-four members of the Lynch family have held the office of mayor. A tragic story of James Lynch, the second mayor after the charter of the city was granted by Richard III., is kept in the minds of the people by a tablet imbedded in the wall of a ruined house on one of the principal streets. It bears this inscription:

“This memorial of the stern and unbending justice of the chief magistrate of this city, James Lynch Fitzstephen, elected mayor, A.D. 1493, who condemned and executed his own guilty son, Walter, on this spot, has been restored to its ancient site, with the approval of the town commissioners, by their chairman, the Very Rev. Peter Daly, P.P. and Vicar of St. Nicholas.”

The Rev. Mr. Daly has immortalized himself in this simple way, and his character may be judged by the fact that his name appears even more prominently on the tablet than that of the unnatural father whose act he perpetuates. The story goes that Mayor Lynch, being one of the most successful of the shipping merchants in the city, visited Spain in the very year that Columbus discovered America, to make the personal acquaintance of his customers, and, being treated with generous hospitality, invited the son of one of his friends to return with him to Ireland. The young man spent several months in Galway, as the guest of Mayor Lynch, and as the companion of his son, Walter. The latter, a great favorite in the city, was engaged to a young lady of good family, who behaved rather imprudently with the young Spaniard. This excited the jealousy of Walter Lynch, who murdered his playmate, and then, from remorse, gave himself up to justice. He was tried, convicted, and condemned to death by his own father, sitting as judge of the court, and when the sheriff, in obedience to public opinion, refused to carry out the sentence, Judge Lynch hanged his own son with his own hands. As there were other judges and courts in Ireland and as changes of venue were common in those days, as they are now, one cannot sympathize with this Spartan heartlessness.

There is a quaint old church, built in 1320, in honor of St. Fechin, who was born about the year 600, in County Sligo, was the founder of numerous monasteries and churches along the western coast of Ireland, and was the first to bring the gospel to County Galway. Queen’s College, supported by the government, has a fine Gothic building, copied after All Souls of Oxford, with about three hundred students, and there is another college, under the Christian Brothers, which is very prosperous.

The most interesting sight in Galway is the thousands of fat salmon lying motionless on the bottom of the river which carries the water of Lough Corrib—one of the largest fresh-water lakes in the country—into Galway Bay. The river is short and swift and flows through the center of the city. Its banks are walled up with masonry and it is crossed by a series of ancient iron bridges. From the railings of the bridges one can see the salmon through the transparent water lying with their noses up stream so closely that the bottom of the river is hidden; and I am told that when they are running in the spring the stream is black with them. They come in from the sea and go up a ladder that has been built for them over the rapids into Lough Corrib.

The exclusive right of fishing that river was granted in 1221 by King John to one of his favorites, and the monopoly has been recognized ever since. It has been sold many times. The last purchaser was an ancestor of a Mrs. Hallett, who enjoys the privilege at present, and lives in a big stone house on the river banks, surrounded by high walls. A series of traps extends from her garden across the river, covering four-fifths of its width, one-fifth being always kept open by act of parliament, so that the fish can go up and down freely, but as they are all strangers in Galway, and young and reckless, many of them run into the traps instead of the passageway and become the property of Mrs. Hallett. She ships them to London and makes three or four thousand pounds a year by selling them. The fishermen in charge told me that in the spring they often caught as many as two or three hundred a day in each of the traps. Any one who desires to try his luck with a fly can do so by getting a permit from Mrs. Hallett, for which the fee is $2.50 a day or $25 a year.

Near the mouth of the river and at the head of the Bay of Galway is an ancient village called Claddagh, whose inhabitants have been engaged in the herring and salmon fisheries for ten centuries, and have lived apart from the world, having their own municipal organization, their own laws and courts and customs and manner of dress. From the beginning of time they have been ruled by one of their own number, elected by themselves for a term of years, who exercises executive, legislative, and judicial functions, from which there is no appeal. They have no written laws, no records of their judicial proceedings, but when there is a dispute between any of the fishermen they take it to their chosen umpire, who decides it according to the merits of the case. And his decision is always accepted. I am told that no citizen of Claddagh has ever been before a Galway court, either as a plaintiff or defendant. They live in low thatched cottages, grouped in irregular streets on the bank of the river, with a large and very modern-looking church, which they attend regularly. They are remarkable for their piety and their morals. They will not work, nor will they leave their village for any reason, on Sundays or religious holidays. They never allow strangers to live among them, their young men and women never marry outside of the colony, they take care of their own sick and poor, and, although they are only five minutes’ walk from the principal street of Galway, they are as isolated as if they were on an island in the middle of the ocean.

Formerly the Claddagh people wore a distinctive dress, resembling that of the fisher folks of Holland,—a red skirt, a blue waist, elaborate headdress, and bare feet and legs,—but this costume has been discarded by the younger women and is only worn by their grandmothers now. But all the women go barefooted. They never wear shoes or stockings. The men are engaged exclusively in fishing, although they do all of their own masonry, carpentering, and boat building. They pack their fish in the village, but carry a portion of each catch across the river to the fish market of Galway.

There is an attractive resort for city people on the Bay of Galway, with a long promenade, several hotels, and a number of comfortable villas.

Salmon Weir, Galway


Clifden is the extreme western point of Ireland, and for that reason Marconi selected it for his wireless telegraph station in communicating with Canada and the United States. It is 1,620 miles in a direct line of St. John, New Brunswick, and, as a native remarked, “There’s not a spheck of droy land upon which a burrd could rist the sole of its foot bechune this blessed spot and Americky.” If you will examine the map you will understand the situation better, and a geological chart of the island will show you that the western coast, from Mizzen Head to Bloody Foreland, is protected by a chain of mountains, bleak, rugged, and abrupt, which nature has placed as a buttress to support the rest of Ireland against the fierce attack of the Atlantic. They have terrible storms there, and a northwest gale several times a year that is terrific. The east winds, which we dread, bring good weather in Ireland, but the west wind brings storms and cold and mists that are almost as bad as the London fog.

Connemara is the congested district, but it does not bear that name because the population is overcrowded, but because there are too many people for the inhospitable soil to support. The inhabitants are scattered over a vast area. I could see everything from one point as far as a radius of twenty-two miles, and there wasn’t a human habitation in sight, nor was there any inducement to build one because the country was a bleak, barren, rocky wilderness without soil for crops or shelter for cattle. There is the greatest degree of poverty and suffering in Ireland, and there the government is doing its greatest benevolent work in trying to place the people upon farms that are large enough to support them, and finding them other occupations by which they can earn a few additional dollars.

A railway was built from Galway along the edge of the ocean to Clifden a few years ago, and the track hugs the coast as closely as possible. An hour after leaving Galway nature begins to disclose her unfriendliness, the mountains begin to loom up to a height of two thousand and twenty-two hundred feet, the landscape becomes stern and forbidding, and there is no vegetation except heather, which, when in full bloom, adds a purple hue to the wilderness. Heather seems to be as brave, as enduring, and as self-reliant as the sage brush that decorates the arid plains of our western States, and nothing seems to discourage its growth. Alternating with the rocks are peat beds, in which both men and women spend much time getting out a supply of fuel for the next winter and stacking it in little piles to dry.

The most prominent feature of the landscape is a group of mountains called the Twelve Bens—sometimes written the “Twelve Pins.” They are so called because of their conical, dome-like peaks and the similar individuality of each. They rise almost from the level of the Atlantic, and for that reason look higher than they really are. The highest is Ben Baun, 2,393 feet, and the lowest is Ben Brach, 1,922 feet. Their sides are scarred with the wounds of terrestrial convulsions and glacial action, and they are composed very largely of quartzite, which frequently furnishes a white surface that glistens in the sunlight and adds to the picturesque effect. From these mountains comes the Connemara marble, the most valuable stone in the United Kingdom, often as fine in grain as the malachite and lapis lazuli of the Urals and the onyx of Mexico. It is used both for construction and for ornamental purposes, and the quarries are very profitable.

A Scene in Connemara

The landscape is dotted with little lakes and ponds which have no visible outlet, but are all connected somehow underground. Most of them cover only an acre or two, but Lough Corrib is the largest in Ireland except Lough Neagh, near Belfast. Lough Mask and Lough Cong are also several miles in length and two or three miles in width. There are said to be 365 lakes in Ireland, and one would judge that the larger number of them are in Connemara. They are fed by springs and rainfall and are said to abound in fish. The railway companies advertise this as the best fishing ground in the world, and announce that they have leased several of the loughs in order to provide free fishing to all excursionists. That is a great attraction for city people when they take their vacations, because elsewhere as a rule when a man wants to go fishing he is compelled to take out a license and pay handsomely for the privilege—from $2.50 to $5 a day. Therefore the advertisements of free fishing in Connemara, combined with the scenery, which is highly admired and considered second only to that of Switzerland, tempt a great many people there. But most of them are disappointed. There is plenty of water to fish in, there are plenty of boats to hire, but fish are scarce, and, no matter where you go, the oldest inhabitant always insists that he never knew a time when fishing was so bad as it is now. There are many skeptics and a few cynics about who give you a true statement of the situation. “Boots” at the hotel asserted that if anything could be caught in the lakes we might be sure that the fishing would not be free, and added sarcastically that the only reason it was free was that nobody ever caught anything.

The O’Briens were once kings of that country and they were driven out by the O’Flahertys, who in turn were driven out by the English. You can see the ruins of Castle Bally Quirk, the principal fortress of the O’Flahertys, from the car window, and read the terrible story of how the chief of that clan was imprisoned in its keep in the time of Queen Elizabeth and starved to death. The O’Flahertys were always “agin the government,” and were so impertinent in their replies and so arrogant in their demeanor that Queen Elizabeth decided to bring them to submission, and nearly exterminated the family before she did so. “The O’Flaherty,” the head of the family at present, is a justice of the peace, who lives at Lemonfield, upon the ancient estates, but retains very little of them.

If Clifden wasn’t such a dirty town it might be made a popular health resort. The air is glorious; the natural surroundings are grand and would tempt many artists as well as admirers of scenery. There are excellent small hotels, but the town is decidedly unattractive, the streets are filthy, the walks in the neighborhood of the town are used so much by the cattle that they are quite unclean, and the people do not seem to have any idea of neatness or order. The principal business seems to be the sale of liquor, which can be purchased at thirty-three places within this little town of eight hundred people, as advertised by the sign boards. And they all look as if they were doing a good trade. There is considerable fishing at Cleggan, a neighboring village, which has been encouraged and assisted by the government, and large shipments of fish are made to Dublin every day. Early in the morning several ancient fishwives appear in a triangular space between the rows of houses in the center of the village with baskets of fish, and from our windows in the comfortable Railway Hotel we can see the inhabitants come strolling along in an indolent and indifferent manner to buy their breakfasts. They have the choice of a variety of fish, and the prices are remarkably low. A fine, fat mackerel costs a penny, a codfish sixpence, and for a shilling one can get a haddock big enough to last a large-sized family for a week.

Upon the hillside overlooking the town is an imposing church which has an air of magnificence in comparison with the rest of the town; it is ten times as large and ten times as glorious for Clifden as St. Peter’s is for Rome. It was built only a few years ago from the contributions of the peasants, the same people that the government is trying to make comfortable and aid in earning a living. It will seat nine hundred people and is filled twice on Sunday with devout worshipers. Father Lynch, the curate, told me that it was necessary to have two masses and sometimes three on Sunday to accommodate them all, and some of them come eleven and even twelve miles, most of them on foot, to attend worship. Here, as everywhere in Ireland, religion is the first and most important thing in life, and the church is the gateway to happiness and Heaven. There is also a Protestant church, much smaller, but not insignificant, which stands upon an opposite hill, surrounded by a graveyard, in which there are some venerable tombs.

Clifden is the seat of several important families, including the Martins, who formerly lived at Ballynaninch Castle, a plain, large, stern-looking embattled building, which was the scene of Charles Lever’s novel, “The Martins of Cro’ Martin.” It was the home of Col. Richard Martin, M.P., the inventor and organizer of the first society for the prevention of cruelty to animals in the world, and the author of “Martin’s Acts,” punishing those who are guilty of that offense. He spent large sums of money in the enforcement of this law and in organizing societies and establishing hospitals for diseased and wounded animals throughout the kingdom, but was otherwise extravagant and went through his fortune.

Colonel Martin was the original of “Godfrey O’Malley,” the hero of Lever’s novel, and the sketch is said to be very accurate. He was a reckless, extravagant, but generous, warm-hearted man and died a sacrifice to his efforts to relieve the sufferings of his tenants at the time of the famine.

His only child, Mary Martin, married an American, Colonel Bell of New York, and lived in that city until her death. Although she was known as the Princess of Connemara and inherited an empire in area, she was never able to maintain the state that her father was so proud of, and 192,000 acres of her vast domain was sold by the courts to settle his debts, being purchased by the Law Life Assurance Company. Richard Berridge, a London brewer, bought another tract of 160,000 acres and the young woman scarcely missed it, so extensive were her lands. But they were of little value, being mostly mountain peaks and barren moors. Colonel Martin once silenced the prince regent, who during the early part of Queen Victoria’s reign was boasting of the famous Long Walk of Windsor, by scornfully declaring that the avenue which led from his front gate to his hall door was thirty miles long; and that was very nearly the truth.

Clifden Castle is the seat of the De Arcy family, who built and owned the town of Clifden and were formerly very rich, but a very little is seen of them at present.

Marconi’s wireless telegraph station occupies a bleak, rocky promontory extending out into the sea about three miles from the village. It is surrounded by a large tract of barren moor and is inclosed in barbed wire fence, which no one is allowed to pass without a permit. There are several corrugated iron buildings, comfortable but temporary, for generating furnaces, offices, and dormitories for Mr. Marden, the superintendent, and seven assistants. There is a miniature railway connecting them with the harbor to bring up coal and other supplies from the bay, for it requires a lot of fuel to generate the tremendous voltage necessary to throw a message across the Atlantic Ocean. When the operators are sending a Marconigram the sound can be heard for half a mile—a deafening whirr and buzz like that of a sawmill, interspersed with sharp detonations, long and short, according to the dots and dashes of the Morse code. An ordinary operator could read the message a long distance away, but would not be able to understand it because every word is sent in cipher. This is the reason why people are kept out of the grounds and why so large an area is necessary for protection. The station is a profitable thing for the town, because about fifteen hundred dollars a month is spent for supplies and labor, and employment is given to a large gang of men.

After several romantic engagements to American girls, Signor Marconi finally married a local beauty, Miss O’Brien, daughter of “The O’Brien,” the representative of the family that were kings over this country in the early days.

Clifden Castle, County Galway

As Clifden is the terminus of the railway, we cruised around the rockbound coast of the Atlantic and across the bleak mountain sides to Westport, in what they call an “excursion car”—an exaggerated jaunting car on four wheels, drawn by two horses, with seats for six passengers on each side and a cavity in the center between them, opening from the end like a hearse, in which the baggage is carried. It is one of the most uncomfortable vehicles you can imagine. None of the passengers can see more than half the scenery, as they sit back to back and face out toward either side of the road. The ordinary jaunting car is quite as awkward and uncomfortable, and if you take a drive to see the scenery you have to go over the road twice because you can see only half of it at a time.

The scenery in Connemara reminds one very much of Norway except in the lack of the cleanliness for which the latter country is famous. The coast line is cut by deep jags and precipitous cliffs, like the fiords, and the mountains have the same stern and stony appearance, and the peat bogs that lie between them are similar to those in the Scandinavian countries, although the climate is much milder here. The fuchsia plant is commonly used for hedges, which all summer long is loaded with blossoms of purple and red. I had never seen a fuchsia hedge until I came to Ireland. The first was at Glengariff, on the southern coast, but since then we have found them everywhere along the Atlantic shore, in the western counties, hundreds of miles of them, inclosing pastures, meadows, and gardens and growing with wonderful luxuriance.

There is no fruit in Ireland, or at least very little. I didn’t see a respectable orchard all summer and saw no fruit trees except a few cherries and plums in gardens. Gooseberries seem to be the only “fruit of the season” at the hotels, and gooseberry tart is served for luncheon and for dinner every day. There are a few strawberries, but they are very expensive and are sold by the pound. They are never served upon the regular table d’hôte bills of fare, but are always extra.

We were told the Connemara was very picturesque, and the most interesting section of Ireland, both in scenery, in local color, and in costumes, but it is a disappointment in all three respects. The scenery is grand, as mountains always are, but it is very monotonous; the people are so poor and so dirty that they repel, and we seldom see them at work, except in the peat fields as we pass. The Connemara peasant woman always wears a red skirt, goes barefooted, and covers her tousled head under a heavy shawl. She works alongside of the men and does her share of the heavy as well as the light labor. She is expected to do as much manual labor as her husband or her brother, and judging from what we observed in the peat bogs, they give her the heavy end of the load.

We spent the night at Leenane, a little fishing village at the head of a fiord that comes up nine miles from the Atlantic into the mountains. There is a plain but good hotel, much patronized by fishermen. In the morning we continued our journey over the mountains through some very rugged country. We drove through the famous Pass of Kylemore, one of the most beautiful pieces of scenery in Ireland, and called “The Gem of Connemara.” It was particularly interesting to us because Kylemore Castle is the home of an American girl, the Duchess of Manchester, who was formerly Miss Helena Zimmerman of Cincinnati and is now the wife of the Duke of Manchester. It is one of the most beautiful residences in Ireland, and is situated upon the banks of a lovely little lake and at the base of a mountain called Doughraugh, which rises 1,736 feet behind it as a background and is covered with the most beautiful foliage. The castle is in the center of the pass, between two lofty mountains, and the roadway for miles passes through a forest and between fields that are inclosed with fuchsia hedges.

A Scene in the West of Ireland; Lenane Harbor

Kylemore Castle was built by Mr. Mitchell Henry, a home rule member of parliament in the ’60’s, about a hundred years ago, and cost him more than a million dollars. The chapel, which cost more than a hundred thousand dollars, was built by his son, who sold the place to the Duke of Manchester. As the latter was not able to pay for it, his father-in-law, Mr. Zimmerman, a railroad magnate of Cincinnati, president of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad, took it off his hands for £69,000 and presented it to his daughter, who spends most of her time there, because the climate is very agreeable throughout the entire year and she loves the seclusion. There isn’t a neighbor for several miles, except the people employed on the place. There are fourteen thousand acres of shooting, several small lakes, and about forty acres in garden.

This is the kingdom of Grace O’Malley, the famous Amazon daughter of Owen O’Malley, King of Connaught. She lived and reigned here in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and her castle is now used as a police barracks. While some of the legends of Grace O’Malley are doubtless fiction, many of them are founded upon fact. She was a real woman and a real queen with pride and power and all the other qualities that are attached to royalty. Queen Elizabeth, to whom she once paid a visit, offered to make her a countess, but Grace declined on the ground that the Queen of Connaught was the equal of the Queen of England, and could accept no favors. Her first husband was an O’Flaherty and her second was Sir Richard Burke. The second was a “trial marriage,” and it was agreed that after the end of one year the union could be dissolved by either husband or wife saying, “I dismiss you,” to the other, and Grace said it first.

We passed around the base of the mountain Crough Patrick, which rises with great abruptness to a height of 2,510 feet, almost directly from the Atlantic Ocean, and has a flat plain about half a mile square upon its summit. There are the remains of an ancient chapel, and a large Celtic cross stands boldly in the foreground, where it can be seen from all the country round. This is one of the most sacred spots in Ireland, because, according to Monk Jocelyn, who wrote a life of St. Patrick in the twelfth century, and other historians, that most venerated saint “brought together here all the demons, toads, serpents, creeping things, and other venomous creatures in Ireland and imprisoned them in a deep ravine on the sea front of the mountain known as Lugnademon (the pen of the demons) as fast as they came in answer to his summons, and kept them safely there until he was ready to destroy them. Then, standing upon the summit of the Crough, St. Patrick, with a bell in hand, cursed them and expelled them from Ireland forever. And every time he rang the bell thousands of toads, adders, snakes, reptiles, and other noisome things went down, tumbling neck and heels after each other, and were swallowed up forever in the sea.” A less reverent writer says:

“’Twas on the top of the high hill
St. Patrick preached his sarmints;
He drove the frogs from all the bogs
And banished all the varmints.”

It is a well-known phenomenon in natural history that there are no snakes, toads, moles, or venomous reptiles in Ireland, and the fact has always been accounted for in this way. St. Patrick’s miracle, performed at the summit of the Crough, in County Mayo, in the year 450, is accepted with as perfect faith as the story of the creation, and on the anniversary, during the month of July, thousands of pilgrims climb to the ruined chapel, some of them on their knees, to pray to the patron saint of Ireland.

As Westport is the nearest town of importance in Ireland to the United States, there have been several projects to take advantage of that fact by running a line of steamers from there. The distance to St. John, New Brunswick, is 1,656 miles; to Halifax, 2,165 miles; to Boston, 2,385 miles, and to New York, 2,700 miles, which in each case is much less than from Queenstown or any of the English ports. At the same time, however, passengers landing there would be subjected to a long railway journey and would be required to cross St. George’s Channel, which is not an amiable streak of water. It is subject to the same moods and tenses as the English Channel, and whoever crosses it must make sacrifices to Neptune in the form of discomfort if not other tribute. A company was formed some years ago to build docks here and to build steamers, but nothing has been heard from it of late, and the invention of the turbine engine and the construction of the fast steamers like the Lusitania make the voyage quite as short without the other drawbacks.

The Marquis of Sligo has his seat at Westport and is one of the largest landowners in Ireland, but he does not spend much time here. He prefers his townhouse at 10 Hyde Park Place, London. The greater part of his land is entirely worthless. He owns many square miles of rock, moorland, and mountain peaks in Connemara, which furnish admirable scenery but are good for nothing else. As General Sheridan once said of another place, under other circumstances, “It would be necessary for a crow to take his rations with him,” if he attempted to make the journey across his lordship’s estates. There is more waste land to the acre in Connemara than in any other part of the United Kingdom, and the Marquis of Sligo owns the largest share of it.

The Marquis of Sligo owns the town of Westport, and it is built around the entrance to his beautiful park. He is more generous than most of the earls, because he allows the public free of charge and without restriction to enjoy it with him. The gates are always open to young and old, rich and poor,—on foot, on bicycle, or in vehicles, except automobiles. He has a prejudice against them and they are not allowed to enter.

Across the roadway from the main entrance and nailed to the wall of an old-fashioned house is an ancient signboard, upon which are inscribed the tolls formerly demanded by the Marquis of Sligo upon the sales of produce in the market of this town. He owns the place; the land all belongs to him, and that which is not occupied by his houses pays him ground rent perpetually. He owns the market place, and instead of charging rental to the farmers who come there to sell their produce he used to tax each sale a penny for a dozen eggs, a penny for a chicken, tuppence for a sack of potatoes, and so on. There is a long list upon the signboard giving the exact toll for every article and animal that entered into the traffic of the market place, fish, fowl, fruit, vegetables, grain, and all other things. He owns the fair grounds also, and in olden times collected ten per cent of all the premiums and prizes that were awarded, and a corresponding toll upon the cattle that were bought and sold at the monthly and annual fairs. And this custom prevailed all over Ireland, until 1881, when the people decided that they would not submit to it any longer, and therefore refused to pay the collector when he came around. Finally, after a popular agitation which resulted in a good many broken heads and some loss of life, parliament abolished the privilege, and the tolls collected in the market houses now go into the common treasury.

Westport is the residence of Rev. J.M. Hannay, rector of the Church of Ireland here, who is better known to the world as George A. Birmingham, author of several political novels which have caused a great stir and have had an important influence upon land legislation. Mr. Hannay is an ardent patriot, but has the judicial faculty of looking upon both sides of a question, and in the vivid pictures he has drawn of the scenes and events and consequences of the land wars, stripping the screens from the motives of the leaders, he has convinced thousands of people where ordinary arguments would have entirely failed. His novel entitled “The Seething Pot” has frequently been recommended to me by the highest authorities as the best picture of Irish politics that was ever written.

There has always been a good deal of literary talent up this way. The County of Longford, just south of here, was the birthplace and home of two of the most famous of Irish writers,—Maria Edgeworth and Oliver Goldsmith. It is quite remarkable that both should have derived their early love and their knowledge of the Irish character from the same identical parish. Both received their early education at the same school, and the little hamlet Pallasmore, where the author of “The Vicar of Wakefield” first saw the light, is still, as it was in his time, the property of the Edgeworth family. It is now only a group of humble cabins. The house in which the poet was born, Nov. 10, 1728, long ago disappeared and there is not a relic left of himself or his family. Later Rev. Charles Goldsmith, his father, removed to the rectory of Kilkenny West, six miles from the city of Athlone. There the poet spent his boyhood days, and there his brother, Rev. Henry G. Goldsmith, continued to reside after his father’s death. And he was residing there when Oliver dedicated to him his poem, “The Traveler.”

A hundred years ago Maria Edgeworth was the most popular of English novelists. She was the daughter of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, an Irish literary man, and was born Jan. 1, 1767, in Berkshire, England, where her family was stopping temporarily. She made her reputation in 1801 by the publication of a novel called “Castle Rackrent,” which was followed by “Belinda,” “Leonora,” and other novels at the rate of one a year until she closed her labors in 1834 with a charming story for children called “Orlandino,” and died at Edgeworthstown, the family seat, which they still occupy, in 1849. Miss Edgeworth never married, although she is said to have been very attractive, and was an admired and courted favorite at the court at Windsor as well as among the peasants of Ireland. Her writings are noted for the simplicity and beauty of her style, originality of expression, truthfulness to nature, and the ingenuity of her situations.

Rathra, near Frenchport, County Roscommon, is the residence of Douglas Hyde, the organizer and president of the Gaelic League, which is intended to revive and restore to common use the ancient language and the ancient customs of Ireland. Dr. Hyde is the son of a Protestant clergyman, a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, a professional literary man, author of several books, and a lecturer and teacher at different times. Although he originated the Gaelic League movement, it was inspired by Prof. Hugo Meyer, a celebrated German linguist, who is familiar with forty languages, and in his studies, conceived a profound admiration for the Gaelic. He came to Ireland as a lecturer at the university, and there made the acquaintance of Douglas Hyde, who became his disciple, and by his advice and with his assistance inaugurated the movement which has since been so successful.

Dr. Hyde visited the United States in 1908, dined at the White House, spent two or three evenings with the President and made a disciple of him. He is a man of slender stature, delicate health, and intense nervous emotional nature. He has the faculty of hypnotizing the people he talks with, and his fascinating personality has been very effective in his crusade.

Irish ideals, traits, customs, and superstitions were fast disappearing; English sports, games, literature, and customs were being adopted. The legends and folklore of Ireland were being forgotten, and native ballads and melodies became obsolete with the harp, and, although a hundred years ago Gaelic was spoken by everybody up to the very gates of Dublin and Belfast, it has been practically forgotten by the people. The census of 1901 showed that 638,000 people could speak the language, but most of those could not read it, and knew only a few phrases and words they had learned from their grandmothers. It was ignored in the schools and in the printing houses. No Gaelic books had been published for generations. Since the time of Daniel O’Connell the Irish peasantry have been anxious to learn English so as to read his speeches.

This was the situation when Hugo Meyer and Douglas Hyde undertook to revive an interest in the native language, literature, and customs, and in 1893 they organized what was called the Gaelic League, a nonpolitical, nonsectarian society, which has now more than nine hundred local branches with two hundred thousand members, sending delegates to the annual ard-fheis or annual assembly. Since 1898 a weekly newspaper and a monthly magazine have been published in the Irish language, and both have become self-supporting; and the daily and weekly newspapers throughout Ireland, almost without exception, have a Gaelic department conducted in that language. The names of the streets are now posted in Gaelic in nearly all the towns and cities, and the English directions upon the signboards on the country roads are duplicated in that language.

Gaelic is taught for an hour a day in all the national schools, although a fee is charged for it, which the league is now trying to abolish. In 1907 there were 33,741 children in the primary schools and 2,479 in the secondary schools receiving paid instruction in Gaelic, an increase from 24,918 primary and 2,029 secondary pupils in 1906. It is confidently expected that the fee will be abolished during the coming year. The commissioners of education have recommended it. Gaelic is taught in all of the normal schools and is required in the examinations for teachers. The league maintains fourteen organizers and lecturers who go about organizing classes similar to the Chautauqua circles in the United States, and more than two hundred thousand adults are studying Gaelic in that way.

The movement is cordially indorsed by the Roman Catholic Church, by the Church of Ireland, by the Presbyterian general assembly, and the Methodist general conference, which is extraordinary. I am told that it is the only movement except temperance that has ever received the approval of all the religious sects. That indicates very clearly that its managers have carefully maintained the nonsectarian attitude which is one of the chief planks of the platform. And the fact that it has been kept out of politics is apparent from the indorsement it has received from the United Irish League and the Irish parliamentary leaders as well as the anti-home rulers. Dr. Hyde said the other day that

“For the first time in history, and through the influence of the league, priest and parson, landlord and tenant, Catholic and Protestant, Orangeman and nationalist, are working together. It cannot be said that the league has all parties behind it, but there is no party in Ireland of which some of the members are not with us, and I expect sooner or later we will succeed in bringing all conflicting interests in Ireland together in the movement to restore the language and the customs and the spirit of our ancestors to modern Ireland.

“In Toomebridge, in the north of Ireland, where for five generations the Protestant Orangemen and the Catholic nationalists have never met at a fair or a market without smashing each other and fighting with fist and stones and shillelah, all parties have come together peaceably at the assemblies of the league. They held a feis there last year, at which I was present, and as I looked over the heads of the multitude I could not say which were the more numerous, the Catholics or Protestants, the nationalists or Orangemen, and the feis adjourned with the best of feeling in everybody’s heart and without a single angry word having been exchanged. I am told that this was the first instance where such a thing has happened, but it has been several times repeated in different parts of Ireland since.”

Dr. Walsh, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, commends the league in the very highest terms, and takes a great interest in the movement. He told me it has had a beneficial effect upon the character and the habits of the people; it has encouraged education, temperance, self-respect, and has revived an interest in literature, music, oratory, sports, folklore, and history.


The term “congested districts” is used to describe those wild and rocky sections on the west coast of Ireland where fertile land is scarce and insufficient to support the population, who are compelled to eke out a miserable living by fishing and other employment. The population is not “congested” as we understand that word, but it is too numerous to be supported on that kind of soil, and the government is trying to remove a sufficient number of families to other sections of Ireland, where fertile farms can be found for them. In the newspapers and public documents these families are usually referred to as “congests.”

As one might naturally infer, the advent of parties of “congests” into localities where they do not belong is not welcomed by the local residents. On the contrary, there is a bitter and determined resistance from that class known as the “landless,” which is composed of the sons of farmers who are ambitious to have farms and homes of their own and cannot obtain them either because there are none to be bought or they, unfortunately, lack the price. Instead of dividing up the big estates in such localities among the “landless,” who consider themselves entitled to them because they are natives of the community and their families have lived there for generations and their ancestors once owned them, the government commissioners are giving preference to “congests.”

To ignore the claims of the “landless” means a fierce fight over every attempt at migration. The cattle-driving you read of in the newspapers is the latest method of persuading the landlords to sell, and the “landless” class—the young farmers who want farms of their own—is responsible for these outrages. Anyone who remembers the terrible passions which have been aroused over the land question in Ireland can imagine what may happen when “congests” from other portions of the island are forcibly brought into a community and placed upon farms which the former owners have been compelled to sell to the government in order that these aliens may have homes and be able to earn a living.

What is called the Congested Districts Board was created in 1891 to improve conditions on the west coast, where the standard of living is at the lowest point and the people are in a chronic state of famine because of the inferior quality of the soil. This district consists of the province of Connaught, the counties of Donegal, Kerry, and Clare, and the districts of Bantry, Castletown, Schull, and Skibbereen in the County of Cork. The land in those localities is very poor and is estimated at an average of eighty cents an acre, while farm lands in the rest of Ireland have an average value of $3.12 an acre. The majority of the people live on small plots, where they manage to raise a few potatoes and cabbages and keep a few cows, goats, pigs, and sheep of worn-out breeds, which they drive wherever they can find pasturage. Most of them try to earn a little more money by going to other parts of the kingdom to work as laborers for a portion of the year or by weaving homespun, fishing, gathering seaweed, and other home industries.

The act empowers the board to aid migration to other parts of Ireland, to assist in the improvement of live stock and the breeding of horses, cattle, sheep, donkeys, and swine, to encourage poultry farms, bee-keeping, basket-making, lace-making, knitting, and the manufacture of carpets, rugs, and other things that can be made at home, and to encourage the fishing industry by constructing piers and harbors and furnishing boats and gear.

Barne’s Gap, County Donegal.

Mr. James Bryce, British Ambassador to Washington, is the author of the act of parliament which authorized a loan of $22,500,000 to build laborers’ cottages in Ireland, and under it, according to the latest official returns, 22,500 comfortable new homes have been provided in different parts of the island, and are now occupied by families of farm laborers and other workingmen in the rural districts. Each cottage has from an acre to an acre and one-half of land for a garden. Some of them have barns and other outhouses. They are built of stone and brick of the most substantial character, with roofs of slate or tiles. Most of them have four rooms, two rooms upstairs and two downstairs, with large windows furnishing plenty of light and plenty of ventilation. The cost varies from $750 to $1,000 for a cottage, and is paid by the government with funds derived from the loan mentioned. The tenants pay an average rental of £4 17s. 6d. a year, which is equivalent to about twenty-four dollars in American money or two dollars per month, which covers the interest upon the cost of the cottage, and an installment which will cancel the indebtedness at the end of sixty-eight years. If the tenant owner for whom the cottage is built desires to pay for the property and get a fee simple, he is at liberty to do so at any time, but I did not hear of any such case. Most of the tenants are willing to let their indebtedness run along indefinitely. They can sell, lease, or dispose of the property in any way at any time. The incumbrance goes with the property and not with the man, and is assumed by the purchaser.

It is difficult to overestimate the vast amount of good this movement has accomplished. It is gradually changing the standard of life among the laboring classes throughout Ireland. It has not only furnished comfortable and decent homes for more than twenty-three thousand families, who have been living in miserable, filthy cabins for generations, but it has done much to improve their health. It will strengthen the physical constitutions of the coming generations by placing them in sanitary homes and clean surroundings.

Mr. John Redmond, in a speech in the House of Commons, said that “the agricultural laborers of Ireland had been living under conditions which were absolutely fatal to health and the habits of cleanliness, and which, in almost any other country in the world, would have proved fatal to religion and morality as well. But the Irish agricultural laborers are a remarkable race of men, highly intelligent, keen and brave, patriotic, and self-sacrificing in their patriotism. They have preserved through poverty and squalor a deep religious, spiritual feeling, and the highest possible standard of morality.”

The Congested Districts Board devotes its attention entirely to the people living in the bleak mountain lands on the west coast of Ireland, and its agencies are established at different points from the extreme south to the extreme north of the island. The poverty, the privation, the suffering, are chiefly found within a few miles from the coast, where the territory is divided into vast estates of almost worthless land, and where it is very difficult for any person to earn a living. The same conditions have existed for ages. The west coast of Ireland has never been prosperous, the soil has never been fertile, the people have never had any more comforts than they have to-day, but they have continued to live there, century after century, clinging to the rocks and suffering from the weather and the lack of food, which has been their inheritance, refusing to leave their wretched hovels for a more favorable climate and better opportunities of making a living.

It cannot be said that they remain there in ignorance, because thirty thousand or forty thousand men from the congested districts leave their cabins, their wives, and their families for several months every year and go to England and Scotland to supply the demand for labor in those countries. The migratory labor system has been going on for generations, and many of the men have gone to the same jobs generation after generation, spending half their time earning good wages in England and the other half looking after their little gardens and cattle and goats in Connaught Province, in Clare, Kerry, Galway, Sligo, and Donegal counties. It is one of the strangest phenomena in human life that they should cling as they do to their desolate, comfortless, filthy stone huts in these bleak mountains; but, be it ever so humble, be it ever so comfortless, there is no place like home.

One of the functions of the Congested Districts Board is to remove as many as possible of these families to localities where they can make a living with less labor and find more of the comforts and happiness of life; but the most pitiful and difficult part of its task is to persuade them to go. Mr. O’Connor, the solicitor of the board, told me of a wizen-faced old peasant who occupied a leaky stone hut on the mountain side, without the slightest comfort within or attraction without. He had a few acres of sterile soil, on which, with the greatest difficulty, he was able to produce enough cabbages and potatoes to keep his family from starvation, and a small herd of goats, lean and gaunt, that were trying to find sustenance in the heather and the mosses on the rocks; and yet, even in this condition, the old man stubbornly refused to move. No inducement could persuade him to abandon the worthless, filthy habitation, because it was his home. With the pride of a prince he defied the inspectors of the board, charging them with some malicious intent of depriving him of property that had been the home of his family, he declared, for nine hundred years. And nothing could induce him to leave it for a comfortable cottage and a productive farm fifty miles in the interior.

They told me, too, of a girl about eighteen years old, who, being injured by an automobile, was picked up and carried to the nearest hospital, which happened to be twenty miles or more from the place where she lived and the scene of the accident. She was being tenderly cared for in a neat, sunshiny ward, in a comfortable bed, with sheets and pillow cases of linen, with a nurse to attend her and every delicacy that could be furnished to eat, and yet she moaned and cried and begged to be taken home. Finally the Americans who had been in the automobile at the time of the accident, and had left a deposit of money to pay for every comfort and surgical attention that the girl could possibly need, consented to her removal, because the doctor said she was fretting herself into a fever. So they brought the automobile to the hospital, placed her carefully in a bed of pillows in the tonneau, and carried her back into the mountains to her “home,” a one-room cabin of the most repulsive and wretched sort, which, as my friend told me, he wouldn’t have kept his horse in. The walls were of rude stone piled one on another without mortar and the roof was made of straw. There was no floor but the earth, no furniture but a hard wooden bench, a table, and a three-legged stool. There was no window, and the only light that there was came through the door, which opened into a loathsome barnyard, where the filth was ankle deep and the stench almost insufferable. And yet when they laid the poor creature on the earthen floor she gave a long sigh of relief and satisfaction and thanked them for bringing her “home.” It is true the world over that people prize things that are worthless if they happen to be all the