The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Irish Penny Journal, Vol. 1 No. 29, January 16, 1841

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Title: The Irish Penny Journal, Vol. 1 No. 29, January 16, 1841

Author: Various

Release date: May 4, 2017 [eBook #54661]

Language: English

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[Pg 225]


Number 29. SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 1841. Volume I.
Kilbarron Castle


We think our readers generally will concur with us in considering the subject of our prefixed illustration as a very striking and characteristic one—presenting features which, except among the castles of the Scottish highland chiefs, will only be found on the wild shores of our own romantic island. It is indeed a truly Irish scene—poetical and picturesque in the extreme, and its history is equally peculiar, being wholly unlike any thing that could be found relating to any castle out of Ireland.

From the singularity of its situation, seated on a lofty, precipitous, and nearly insulated cliff, exposed to the storms and billows of the western ocean, our readers will naturally conclude that this now sadly dilapidated and time-worn ruin must have owed its origin to some rude and daring chief of old, whose occupation was war and rapine, and whose thoughts were as wild and turbulent as the waves that washed his sea-girt eagle dwelling; and such, in their ignorance of its unpublished history, has been the conclusion drawn by modern topographers, who tell us that it is supposed to have been the habitation of freebooters. But it was not so; and our readers will be surprised when we acquaint them that this lonely, isolated fortress was erected as an abode for peaceful men—a safe and quiet retreat in troubled times for the laborious investigators and preservers of the history, poetry, and antiquities of their country! Yes, reader, this castle was the residence of the ollaves, bards, and antiquaries of the people of Tirconnell—the illustrious family of the O’Clerys, to whose zealous labours in the preservation of the history and antiquities of Ireland we are chiefly indebted for the information on those subjects with which we so often endeavour to instruct and amuse you. You will pardon us, then, if with a grateful feeling to those benefactors of our country to whose labours we owe so much, we endeavour to do honour to their memory by devoting a few pages of our little national work to their history, as an humble but not unfitting monument to their fame.

We trust, however, that such a sketch as we propose will not be wholly wanting either in interest or instruction. It will throw additional light upon the ancient customs and state of society in Ireland, and exhibit in a striking way a remarkable feature in the character of our countrymen of past ages, which no adverse circumstances were ever able utterly to destroy, and which, we trust, will again distinguish them as of old—their love for literature and learning, and their respect for good and learned men. It will also exhibit another trait in their national character no less peculiar or remarkable, namely, their great anxiety to preserve their family histories—a result of which is, that even to the present day the humblest Irish peasant, as well as the estated gentleman, can not unfrequently trace his descent not only to a more remote period, but also with a greater abundance of historical evidence than most of the princely families of Europe. This is, indeed, a trait in the national character which philosophers, and men like ourselves, usually affect[Pg 226] to hold in contempt. But no species of knowledge should be despised; and the desire to penetrate the dim obscurities of time in search of our origin, as well as to speculate upon our future prospects, is one of the characteristics which distinguish the human from the lower animals of creation, and without which we should have little to boast of over them.

The family of O’Clery, or, as the name is now usually written, Cleary, and sometimes anglicized Clarke, is not of Tirconnellian origin, nor of very ancient standing in the country of the Kinel-Connell race, the present county of Donegal. Their original locality was in Hy-Fiachrach-Aidhne, a district comprising the entire of the present diocese of Kilmacduagh, in the present county of Galway, and of which their ancestors were, for a long period previous to the Anglo-Norman conquest, the hereditary lords or kings. As usual in ancient Irish topographical names, this territory derived its appellation from that of the tribe by whom it was formed into a principality, the name Hy-Fiachrach-Aidhne being the tribe name of the descendants of Fiachra, who was the son of Eochy-Moyvaine, King of Ireland in the fourth century. On the adoption of surnames, however, at the close of the tenth century, this tribe having split into several distinct families, assumed different surnames from their immediate progenitors, and of these families the most eminent were the O’Clerys, the O’Heynes, the O’Shaughnessys, the Mac Giolla Kellys, and the O’Moghans.

The occasion of the first settlement of the O’Clerys at Kilbarron, in the country of Tirconnell, will be best told in the simple statement of his descendants, as given in their genealogical work.

“The English power, that is to say, the power of the Burkes descended from William (Fitz Adelm) the Conqueror, having become in the ascendant over the descendants of Eochy Breac, the son of Dathi, the son of Fiachra, &c., several of the latter were separated, and dispersed into various districts, viz, Mac Giolla Kelly went into Western Erris, and a branch of the O’Clerys into Hy-awley Mac Fiachrach. Another branch of them passed into [East] Munster, and settled in the vicinity of Kilkenny, and another again passed into Breifney O’Reilly, and are there known as the Clan Clery.

After a lapse of time, a wise and intelligent man of the O’Clerys went from Tir-awley into Tirconnell. Cormac O’Clery was his name, and he was a proficient in both the laws, that is, the civil and the canon law. The monks and learned men of the monastery of St Bernard, called Assaroe (near Ballyshannon), conceived a great respect and affection for him, on account of his councils, his good morals, his wisdom, and his intellect, and they detained him among them for a time. He was at this period young and comely.

For a long time previously, O’Sgingin had been the ollave [chief historian] to the lord of the Kinel-Connell, that is the O’Donnell; and it was from Ard-Carne in Moy-Lurg of the Dagda that he came into Tirconnell.

When the Cormac O’Clery of whom we have spoken came into Tirconnell, Niall Garbh, the son of Hugh, the son of Donnell Oge, was lord of the country; and O’Sgingin, that is, Matthew, was ollave to him at the time; and there did not then live of children with O’Sgingin, nor yet of his tribe, but an only and beautiful daughter. And this daughter O’Sgingin gave as wife to this Cormac, and all he demanded for her as a dower[1] was, that if ever a son should be born to them, he should be trained up in the knowledge of literature and history, as his own family were all extinct in that country except this only daughter. Cormac promised to fulfil this request, and he did so.

A son was born of Cormac and O’Sgingin’s daughter, and he was named Giolla Brighde, in honour and remembrance of Giolla Brighde O’Sgingin, his maternal uncle, who was the intended ollave of Tirconnell, but had died some time before, in the year 1382.

Son to that Giolla Brighde O’Clery was Giolla Riabhach; and son to Giolla Riabhach was Dermot of the three schools, so called because he kept a school for literature, a school for history, and a school for poetry. It was to that Dermot that O’Donnell, that is, Niall, the son of Turlogh an fhiona, gave the territory called Creevagh, which was his principal residence for a time, and which was given him in addition to other lands which O’Donnell’s ancestors had previously given to O’Sgingin, in reward for his skill in the science which was hereditary to him, namely, history.

Son to Dermot of the three schools was Teige Cam, who had the three celebrated sons, Tuathal, Gillareagh, and Dermot. It was by them that the stone houses were built in Kilbarron; for they and their ancestors were the occupants of Kilbarron since the time of Cormac already mentioned, who came first to Tirconnell; and they were also the occupants of Carrow-na-Caheragh, and Carrownty-clogh of the lands of the monastery of Assaroe. To them also belonged (as a gift) from O’Donnell, the quarter of Kildoney, the quarter of Coolremur, and the quarter of Drumincrin in Moy-Enné.

The children of Tuathal, the son of Teige Cam, the son of Dermot of the three schools, were Teige Cam, Giolla Riabhach, Mahon, and William. Teige Cam (the son of Tuathal) left no issue but one daughter, Sheela.”

The preceding extract furnishes us with a very striking evidence of the regard anciently entertained for learning in Ireland, and of the liberal endowments made for the support of its professors. The lands named as belonging to the ollaves of Tirconnell are still known by the appellations above given, and would at the present day produce a rental little short of two thousand a-year. Ah! it will be long till learning in the history and literature of our country be again thus nobly recompensed! But it may be asked, were these professors of old worthy of the liberal patronage thus afforded them—were they mindful of the duties imposed upon them in return for it? We answer, that we think they were, and in support of our opinion we adduce the following brief but expressive tributes to their memories as recorded by our Annalists:—

“1492. O’Clery, that is, Teige Cam (or the crooked), ollave to O’Donnell in science, poetry, and history, a man who had maintained a house of universal hospitality for the mighty and the needy, died, after having subdued the world and the devil.”

“1512. Tuathal O’Clery, the son of Teige Cam, a man learned in history and poetry—a man who kept a house of hospitality generally for rich and poor, died.”

“1522. This year was killed, besides two of the poets of O’Donnell, Dermot, the son of Teige Cam O’Clery, a man learned in history and poetry—a man who kept a house of hospitality universally for the rich and the poor.”

“1527. O’Clery, that is, Giolla Riabhach, the son of Teige Cam, learned in the sciences, in historical knowledge, in poetry, and in theological reading, a man respected and rich, died.”

“1583. In this year Turlogh Luineach O’Neal, having attacked O’Donnell at Drumleen, in revenge of the burning of Strabane by the latter some time previously, he was defeated by O’Donnell with great loss, and amongst the slain was Maelmurry (the son of Dermott, who was son of Mahon, who was son of Tuathal) O’Clery, the only hostage of O’Neill and the Kenel-Owen, for his father and O’Neill himself had been born of the same mother. Maelmurry, on account of his relationship with O’Neill, had been in possession of all O’Neill’s wealth, and O’Neill would have given three times the usual quantity of every kind of property for his ransom, if ransomed he could have been; but he was first mortally wounded and afterwards drowned by O’Donnell’s people, who were in high spirits, and rejoiced greatly at seeing him thus cut off.”

“1583. Cosnamhach, the son of Cucogry (or Peregrine), who was the son of Dermot, who was the son of Teige Cam O’Clery—a rich and flourishing man, who had maintained a house of hospitality at one time in Thomond and another in Tirconnell, died at Fuar-Chosach in Tirconnell, in the lent of this year, and was interred under the asylum of God and St Bernard, in the monastery of Assaroe.”

This devotion to literature was not, however, a characteristic of the O’Clerys in their days of wealth and prosperity only, but distinguished them with even greater lustre when reduced to poverty in after times, as will clearly appear from the facts we have yet to adduce. But as we are sketching their genealogical history, as well as their character, we must previously continue their pedigree from the period of their settlement at Kilbarron, to their extinction as professional ollaves, on the ruin of their patrons the O’Donnells, and, for the sake of clearness, we shall give it in a tabular form.

1. Cormac O’Clery, the first who settled in Donegal.

[Pg 227]

2. Giolla Brighde O’Clery.

3. Giolla Riabhach O’Clery.

4. Dermot of the three schools.

5. Teige Cam (or the stooped) O’Clery.

6. Dermot O’Clery.

7. Cucogry (or Peregrine) O’Clery.

8. Mac Con O’Clery; his brother, Cosnamach, died in 1584.

9. Lughaidh (or Lewis) Giolla Brighde, Mac Con Meirgeach, Cucogry, and Duigen O’Clery.

Of these sons, the eldest, Lughaidh, was the most distinguished of the Irish literati of the northern half of Ireland in his time, and the principal poetical combatant on the part of the northern bards in the contest with those of the southern division, which took place about the commencement of the seventeenth century, respecting the claims of the rival dynasties of the northern and southern divisions of Ireland to supremacy and renown. The poems written on this occasion are usually collected into a volume, entitled “Iomarbadh,” or, Contention of the Bards, and were long popular among the Irish people. He was also the compiler of Annals of his Own Times, which the Four Masters used in their great compilations. As chief of his sept, this Lughaidh, or Lewis O’Clery, held the entire of the lands bestowed on his ancestors, as well as the herenach lands of the parish of Kilbarron, as hereditary herenach, till the flight of the northern earls in 1607, when they were lost to him and his family in the general confiscation which followed, and became the property of the Lord Folliott and the Bishop of Raphoe. He held those lands, however, till the close of the year 1609, and was selected as one of the “good and lawful men” of the county, appointed in obedience to a commission to inquire into the king’s title to the several escheated and forfeited lands in Ulster, and which held an inquisition for this purpose at Lifford, on the 12th of September 1609. In this inquisition, which furnishes the most valuable information upon the nature of ancient Irish tenures, it is stated that “the parish of Kilbarron contains five quarters in all, whereof one quarter is herenach land possessed by the sept of the Cleries as herenaches, paying thereout yearlie to the lord busshopp of Raphoe thirteen shillings four pence Irish per annum, six meathers of butter, and thirty-four meathers of meale; and that there is one quarter named Kildoned, in the tenure of the said sept of the Cleries, free from any tithes to the busshopp,” &c. And again, “That there are in the said parishe three quarters of Collumbkillies land, everie quarter conteyninge sixe balliboes in the tenure of Lewe O’Cleerie, to whom the said lands were sithence mortgaged for fortie pounds, by the said late Earle of Tirconnell unto the said Lewe, who hath paid thereout yearly unto his Majestie, since the late earl’s departure, four poundes, two muttons, and a pair of gloves, but nothing to the said busshopp.”

Cucogry, or Peregrine O’Clery, the son of Lughaidh or Lewy, and chief of the name, held the half quarter of the lands of Coobeg and Dowghill, in the proportion of Monargane, in the barony of Boylagh and Bannagh, from hollandtide 1631 until May 1632, for which he paid eight pounds sterling per annum to William Farrell, Esq., assignee to the Earl of Annandale, as appears from an inquisition taken at Lifford on the 25th of May 1632, but “being a mere Irishman, and not of English or British descent or surname,” he was dispossessed, and the lands became forfeited to the king.

The O’Clerys were thus wholly reduced to poverty, but not to idleness, in the service of their country’s literature. It was in this year 1632 that they commenced that series of works devoted to the preservation of Irish history, which has made their names so illustrious, and of which the celebrated annals, called the Annals of the Four Masters, are now the most popularly known. A full account of this great work, written by the author of this article, will be found in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, and reprinted in the first volume of the Dublin Penny Journal. The persons concerned in its compilation were, first, Teige of the Mountain O’Clery, who, after becoming a Franciscan friar, adopted the name of Michael, 2 Maurice O’Mulconary; 3 Fergus O’Mulconary; 4 Cucogry, the son of Lewy O’Clery; 5 Cucogry O’Duigen; 6 Conary O’Clery, the brother of Michael. The work was commenced in the monastery of Donegal, of which Father Bernardin O’Clery was guardian, on the 22d of January 1632, and finished in the same convent on the 10th of August 1636, the brotherhood supplying the transcribers with the necessary support.

The motives which actuated the O’Clerys to enter on a work of such labour as this, are very feelingly and prophetically expressed in the dedication to it by Michael, the superintendant of the work. “Judging that should such a compilation be neglected at present, or consigned to a future time, a risk might be run that the materials for it should never again be brought together,”—and such indeed would have been their fate. In the same spirit the O’Clerys compiled their Leabhar Gabhala, or book of the conquests of Ireland, containing the most valuable ancient historical poems preserved in the language; their book of Genealogies; their Reim riograidhe, or catalogue of kings; and their calendar and genealogies of the Saints or distinguished ecclesiastics of Ireland. In addition to these, Cucogry, the son of Lewy, wrote the Life of Red Hugh O’Donnell, a work of the greatest value and interest. Copies of all these works are now preserved in the library of the Royal Irish Academy, and with the exception of two of them, are in the autograph of Cucogry O’Clery, the best scribe of the family, or of the Four Masters conjointly.

The preservation of these remains, so essential to our history, is very interestingly connected with the subsequent fortunes of the O’Clery family.

Towards the close of the fatal troubles of the seventeenth century, the O’Clerys, with many other families of Tirconnell, were forced to seek shelter in the wilds of Erris, in Mayo, under the guidance of their natural leader Roger O’Donnell, the son of Colonel Manus O’Donnell, who was killed at Dungannon in 1646, and ancestor to the present Sir Richard O’Donnell of Newport. Of these O’Clerys, was Cucogry, one of the Four Masters, and senior representative of the name, who, carrying with him his books as his chief treasure, bequeathed them to his two sons Dermot and John. How strong this feeling of pride in his books, and his love of learning, continued in the midst of adversities, and even in death, will appear from the following extract from his autograph will, which was made at Curr-na-heilté, near Newport, and which is preserved in one of his works now in the library of the Academy. It is the first or principal item among his bequests:—“I bequeath the property most dear to me that ever I possessed in this world, namely, my books, to my two sons Dermot and Shane (or John.) Let them extract from them, without injuring them, whatever may be necessary to their purpose, and let them be equally seen and used by the children of my brother Cairbre as by themselves; and let them instruct them according to the (obliterated.) And I request the children of Cairbre to teach and instruct their children. And I command my sons to be loving, friendly, and kind to the children of Cairbre, and to their own children, if they wish that God should befriend them in the other world, or prosper them in this, and give them the inheritance of heaven.”

The injunctions thus solemnly laid on his posterity were faithfully fulfilled. His books were carefully preserved and studied by his descendants from generation to generation, till, being brought to Dublin about thirty years since, by John O’Clery, the eldest representative of his line, they got into the possession of the late Edward O’Reilly, at the sale of whose books and Irish MSS. they were purchased for the Royal Irish Academy.

This John O’Clery, who still lives, is the fifth in descent from Cucogry, the annalist, who died in 1664; and, like his ancestors, he is a good Irish scribe and scholar. We may also remark, that, though in very humble life, he can boast of a pedigree unbroken through fifty-two generations, from Eochy-Moyvaine, monarch of Ireland in the fourth century, and this on historical evidence that the learned could hardly venture to question.

To these notices we have only to add, in reference to the subject of our illustration, that though, from the account which we have already given from the O’Clery MS. it might be supposed that Kilbarron Castle was erected by them in the sixteenth century, the castle itself bears evidences in many parts that it is of much earlier antiquity. The tradition of the country, as stated by the author of the Donegal Statistical Survey, is, that it was originally erected by O’Sginneen or Sgingin; and this tradition is fully verified by an entry in the Annals of the Four Masters, which states that Kilbarron Castle was rased to the ground by Donnell, the son of Murtogh O’Connor, in 1390. The probability, therefore, is, that it was re-edified immediately afterwards by Cormac O’Clery, though houses of stone were not erected within its enclosures till a later period.


[1] Tinnscra, in the original—a reward, portion, or dowery—it being the custom among the Irish as among the Eastern nations, that the husband should make a present to his wife’s father, or to herself, upon his marriage. As Byron says—

“Though this seems odd
’Tis true; the reason is, that the bashaw
Must make a present to his sire-in-law.”

[Pg 228]


Among all the enjoyments of life, there was none which our great lexicographer esteemed superior to a “good talk.” It was to him as the supper of the Gods. He would walk a long way for it; and if he attained his end, he would express his highest feelings of satisfaction by saying, “Sir, we had a good talk.” What share he took in it himself on such occasions, it might have been interesting to inquire. That it was a large one, we may rest assured; but few probably complained of the circumstance—so capital a talker was our “British Socrates.” Yet to a good talk on equal terms, it will be allowed there should be some reciprocity. To “harangue” in company is not to talk fairly. It is a practice, indeed, common enough in the world; but if the just rules which ought to prevail in the conversational commonwealth be considered, it must be allowed to be a violation of them. The formality of the speech is utterly destructive to the freedom of the republic. Reciprocity is its very life and soul; but the speech-maker lays it up at once in a state of suspended animation. Next to the speech-maker, we may rank as the greatest infringer of these laws the determined “argufier,” or disputatious person, who loves an argument so much that you can advance no proposition that he is not ready immediately to controvert. In the presence of such a person, conversation shares the fate of true love, and never can “run smooth.” There is an appearance of equitableness about this character, that may render him less manifestly engrossing than the former; but his egotism is only a little better concealed, and he invariably achieves the same disagreeable result, namely, to silence every body else, and keep the field entirely to himself. Of such a person we shall say with Jacques, “I have been all day to avoid him. He is too ‘disputable’ for my company. I think of as many matters as he: but I give heaven thanks, and make no boast.”

There are two words in the English language which really comprise all the rules, laws, and regulations necessary for the good government of conversation, and these are “brevity,” “reciprocity.” If each individual would remember when he takes part in conversation that there are others to do so as well as himself, he would necessarily be brief in his own performances. And this brevity has many advantages. Our time is short; our meetings together for conversation are commonly, like angels’ visits, “few and far between,” and in general short; tediousness is the sure destroyer, as brevity is “the soul,” of wit, and therefore he that would enliven his hearers, and dispose them to hear him again, should be above all things “short.” It is acting upon the second golden line, also, and shows a proper consideration for the rights of others. It is doing as a man would be done by. In addition to which, we may observe, that each should listen, if he desire to be listened to—should hear, if he desire to be heard in return.

Thus these two words “brevity” and “reciprocity” form a concise but plain and simple code upon the subject. Much might be said, indeed, in the way of commentary; but commentary sometimes tends rather to obscure than to elucidate, and in this case is manifestly uncalled for.

It must be remembered, however, that these laws can only conduce to the improvement and regulation of conversational intercourse, but are wholly inadequate to originate or insure that “good talking” of which the report has come down to us. This is an object not to be accomplished by rule. The proverb of the wise man says that “out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh;” and we may safely affirm that where there is plenty of matter weighing upon the mind, and where it is of a kind that interests the feelings, there will be at least no lack of utterance. Under an opposite state of things, a contrary result may be expected, and cannot, by any rule of art that we have ever heard of, be contravened. But we must proclaim a truce with this train of observation. We feel that we have been twaddling after the manner of some of our elder essayists, oblivious of the age in which we actually exist. Who has time to think now of good talking, or of talking at all?

The age of Johnsonism is departed; and in these days, instead of running after a “good talk,” there is nothing which the people would run more resolutely from. This is the age of hurry and bustle, and of doing, not talking. It is the age of machinery and iron. We do every thing by mechanical contrivance: we print by it, travel by it, count by it, and very soon, we expect, we shall talk by it. All our great discoveries and inventions are unfavourable to speech. What need to speak, indeed, when almost every thing we may wish to say or hear of is printed? No occasion to ask our neighbour questions, or to moot points of any kind with us: the press answers and discusses them all most satisfactorily. Printing is driving conversation out of the world. It is rendering it not only superfluous, but impracticable; for how is it possible to find time to read all that is given us to read in these days, and to go on talking after the old fashion? The thing is manifestly impossible; and our own conclusion is, that we are hurrying on rapidly to the age of pure taciturnity. When the sun of this solemn age shall have reached its meridian, talking will have passed into the mouths of old women and sucklings, or of merely professional people. We say professional people, because, though conversation in general will have become monosyllabic, or be carried on perhaps by signals, without the use of speech at all, we yet think it highly probable that there will be persons who will occupy themselves with it as a profession. This will be only a carrying out of the grand principle of the division of labour; and their occupation, being followed professionally, will be executed in the very best style, and on the most scientific principles. Professional talkers will then be engaged for large parties just as singers are now, and will amuse the company with studiously prepared anecdotes, beautifully executed disquisitions, flashes of merriment, repartees, rejoinders, grave remarks, useful hints, and whatever else can conduce to entertain or instruct—whilst hosts and guests will on their part sit at ease in all the luxury of silence.

As to the rules of “good talking” which we began by laying down, we are sensible that in a short time they must become quite obsolete. Conversation is even now as the “last rose of summer,” and going out very fast indeed. If what we have said can be of any use to cheer or improve its declining years, we shall be amply rewarded; but if we are already too late, then let it be kept, and in some twenty years more it may be looked upon as a decided curiosity. “See here what I have found,” may somebody “use the machine” to intimate, for as to speaking so many words together, nobody will do it. “See what I have found in an early number of the Irish Penny Journal—‘Rules for good talking!’—well, now, what could that have been? Dear me, what strange habits they must have had in those days!”

X. D.


The Jacobite relics of England, and to a still greater extent those of Scotland, have been given to the world, and are well deserving of such preservation; for they reflect no small light on the character and temperament of the English and Scottish people during the last century. But until the appearance of Mr Hardiman’s Irish Minstrelsy it was hardly known that in their political enthusiasm for the fate of a decaying family the Irish people participated with so large a portion of those of the sister islands, and that it gave birth to an equal number of poetical effusions in our own country—but with this difference, that their sentiments are usually veiled under an allegorical form, and always in the Irish language. To Mr Hardiman we are indebted for the preservation of the originals of many of those productions, and also for translations of them. These translations are however too free to enable the English reader to form any very accurate idea of the Irish originals, and we are therefore tempted to present a series of these relics to our readers, with translations of a more literal and faithful description; not limiting ourselves to those which have already appeared in Mr Hardiman’s work—as in the specimen which we have selected to commence with, which is still popularly sung in Ireland to the old melody called “Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan.”

We may observe, that the name of the author of this song, if ever known, is no longer remembered; but there seems to be no doubt that the song itself is of Munster origin.


Long they pine in weary woe, the nobles of our land,
Long they wander to and fro, proscribed, alas! and banned;
Feastless, houseless, altarless, they bear the exile’s brand,
But their hope is in the coming-to of Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan!
Think her not a ghastly hag, too hideous to be seen,
Call her not unseemly names, our matchless Kathaleen;
Young she is, and fair she is, and would be crowned a queen,
Were the king’s son at home here with Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan!
[Pg 229]
Sweet and mild would look her face, O none so sweet and mild,
Could she crush the foes by whom her beauty is reviled;
Woollen plaids would grace herself and robes of silk her child,
If the king’s son were living here with Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan!
Sore disgrace it is to see the Arbitress of thrones,
Vassal to a Saxoneen of cold and sapless bones!
Bitter anguish wrings our souls—with heavy sighs and groans
We wait the Young Deliverer of Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan!
Let us pray to Him who holds Life’s issues in His hands—
Him who formed the mighty globe, with all its thousand lands;
Girdling them with seas and mountains, rivers deep, and strands,
To cast a look of pity upon Kathaleen Ny-Houlahan!
He, who over sands and waves led Israel along—
He, who fed, with heavenly bread, that chosen tribe and throng—
He, who stood by Moses, when his foes were fierce and strong—
May He show forth His might in saving Kathaleen-Ny-Houlahan!


“Well,” said Hubert Dillon to me one day, “did you ever hear or read of such an unlucky being as that Charley Malone?”

“Indeed I did,” was my reply; “on the contrary, I look upon him as one of the most fortunate men in existence.”

“Tut, tut! how can you say that, unless it be for the pure love of contradiction?—how long is it ago, I ask you, since he almost broke his neck riding the steeple-chase in Mullaghmoran?”

“Why, my dear fellow,” I rejoined, “I consider him most miraculously fortunate in not having broken his neck altogether on the occasion; he was warned before hand that the horse couldn’t possibly carry him over such a leap; and how he escaped so safely, will always remain a puzzle to me.”

“Well, I’ll give you another instance—the very morning he was to have fought Cornet Bagley, didn’t the police catch him, and get him bound over?”

“And devilish well for him they did, let me tell you, otherwise poor Charley would have been a case for the coroner before dinner time. The cornet’s a dead shot, and you know yourself that Charley couldn’t hit a turf clamp.”

“Didn’t he lose fifty pounds at hazard to George Byrne last winter in one night?”

“Sign’s on it, he booked himself against the bones for ever and a day as soon as he got up next morning, and by consequence may be expected to have something to leave to the heirs of his body, when he has them.”

“Well, talking of heirs: what have you to say to his matrimonial speculations, this last affair particularly—to lose such a girl and such a fortune by his own confounded blundering. You’ll not call that good fortune surely.” But our reminiscences of “Charley’s last,” thus recalled, were too much for mortal gravity to bear, and laughter, long, loud, and uproarious, cut short the argument, leaving me still however impressed with the belief, that, only for himself, Charley would be a second Fortunatus; at all events, that he could not justly announce himself a martyr to the frowns of the goddess.

In the first place, two uncles, five cousins, and an elder brother of his own, had all stood between him and the family property, worth three hundred a-year, or thereabouts, but with an alacrity and good nature quite exemplary to all uncles and cousins under similar circumstances, they all within a couple of years quitted the scene. Before the last of them was sodded, however, Charley took it into his head to borrow some money, on the chance of his inheritance, at twenty per cent. As the aforesaid chance was rather a good one, he was soon accommodated; but the wax on the bond was scarce cold when he was called to the joy of mourning at the funeral of his last impediment. Oh, if he had had but the luck to wait one week!—he was the most unfortunate dog in the world!

Still, matrimony might enable him to retrieve all, and accordingly to work he went, and wild work, sure enough, he made of it. His last affair in that line, however, being that which fairly convinced him of the unprofitable nature of his pursuit, and likewise being rather a good thing in its way, is the only one which I shall offer in illustration of Charley’s luck and Charley’s mode of managing it.

A letter, directed in female fashion, was handed to him one morning by the postmaster of B——, the town contiguous to which lay his mansion; thus ran its contents, with the commentary of the reader:—

“Dear Charles—[has she the tin, I wonder?] a severe attack of rheumatism [pooh! it’s from my aunt Bindon—hum—ay—Marsh’s prescriptions—Mr Gregg’s new chapel—have to sacrifice all and quit Dublin—hallo! what’s this?] Your cousin Lucy [they say she has three thousand] has suffered so much from the bad air of the city, that I must endeavour to procure her the benefit of a country residence. I would prefer the town of B——, if there be a good house to let in it. Pray let me know as soon as you can, and the rent, and every thing about it, &c. &c.—Your attached aunt,

Lucy Bindon.”

Who shall say now that Charley wasn’t a lucky dog, with a handsome heiress almost thrown into his arms by a dowager-guardian, with whom he stood as dear Charles? What numberless opportunities would he not enjoy! Sole protector of two lone women; the one laid up by rheumatism, and fully occupied by devotion and card-playing; the other dying for the want of country air and exercise, and in all probability not at all averse to the idea of sharing her delights with a companion. They would be absolutely his own fee-simple property. Such good fortune was not an every-day affair, and deserved more than every-day exertion to second and secure it. So Charley set about his aunt’s commission in earnest, and before nightfall succeeded in ferreting a half-pay lieutenant and his family out of the best house in the town, to make room for the dowager and her daughter; wrote in reply an account of his doings, with such a list of the amenities of the locality as would have added fifty per cent, at least, to its value if it were to be sold by auction; and inclosed at the same time a well-authenticated statement of a most extraordinary cure of rheumatism which had been effected by the waters of a blessed well in the neighbourhood.

In due course of time the ladies were domiciled in their new dwelling, with Charley, of course, for their factotum and natural protector. The blessed well began to work a miracle on the aunt, and the country air would have done as much for Lucy if she required it; but deuce a bit of it she wanted; her cheeks were as red and her step as firm as if she had been born and bred within the precincts of the parish; and whatever was the cause of her rustication, Charley could swear it was not bodily weakness. Ill-natured people said she had been a thought too sweet to an attorney’s apprentice in the city, and that therein lay the secret of her mother’s forsaking the delights of Marsh’s prescriptions and Gregg’s new chapel—that prudent personage not approving of the connection. If that be the case, a tough heart had Lucy Bindon, and never may it be my lot to make such a faint impression on womankind as was made by that luckless apprentice; for a merrier laugh never rang in the precincts of B——, and a brighter pair of eyes never glittered in its dull, quiet street. But, oh! that laugh and those eyes, they played the devil entirely with the heart of her cousin Charley.

And he was a happy man, as why the deuce shouldn’t he? philandering, morning, noon, and night, with his merry cousin in the fields and in the woods, and at the fireside and by the piano, not to talk of all the dangerous little reunions on the stairs or in the lobby, until at last the dowager began to smell a rat, and hint her scruples about the propriety of cousin-work. In vain did Lucy disclaim all matrimonial intents, and assure her that it was all innocence, mere flirting, a bit of fun and no more, upon her word and honour. Still the poor woman would not be comforted; she knew, she said, several cases of cousins getting married, and somehow or other something or other happened to point out the impropriety in each case. In one, both parties died before they were twenty years married—indeed, they were a little oldish and sickly; in another, the gentleman got into debt and ruined himself; in another, the lady took to drinking; and in another, sundry and several small infants exchanged their cradles for coffins; all which terrible examples, however, and their strange and unusual phenomena, had no effect at all on Charley, for he was determined to win his point in spite of all the dowagers that ever took snuff, or all the enumerated horrors of their experience.

After all, though, there were not so many obstacles to encounter in that quarter as at first appeared, there being one great recommendation in his favour, inasmuch as he was neither counsellor nor attorney, in embryo or in esse; from the members of both which learned and respectable professions the defunct Mr Bindon had received in his day so many unneighbourly offices, that his relict conceived it a sacred duty to the dead to hate the aforesaid with all the hatred of which a stiff-necked Irish dowager was capable; and, then, he was her own flesh and blood, and who had such a good right to Lucy and her three thousand? or who would be so much[Pg 230] benefited by it? and when Lucy liked him, why should she, the dowager, gainsay it, and so on until all her objections evaporated, and at last she became as anxious for the match as if she had come down on purpose to promote it. But, Lucy—oh woman! woman! she did not wish to get married at all—couldn’t think of quitting her own dear mamma; of course, if mamma insisted, she would obey, but, ’deed and word, she’d much rather not. In short, she exhibited to the wondering eyes of her bothered lover as pretty a piece of coquetry as ever baulked a gentleman on the highroad to his desires. Things, however, went on promising enough, for Charley found it impossible to despair with so much odds in his favour, particularly while the lady was as frank and merry as ever. And thus, between laughing and quarrelling, the month of February arrived, in which Mrs B. and her future son-in-law intended the marriage should take place, if Lucy’s consent could be won in any form. Charley, for the purpose of raising the wind for the occasion, had arranged to send a horse to Dublin to be sold, and some whim seized him to ride the animal himself, and be present at the sale. The day before he was to depart, he intimated his intention to his beloved, inquiring if she had any commands.

“Going to ride to Dublin!” exclaimed the astonished Lucy. “Seventy miles at the least. Why, man, you have such a happy knack of blundering that you’ll most certainly lose your way. Good bye, Charley; I’ll never see your face again.”

“Tut!” rejoined Charley indignantly, “how could I miss my way when there’s a milestone on every inch of the road from this to Dublin?”

“Not on every inch, Charley,” continued the provoking girl, “only on every mile; but I always give you leave to speak twice, you know. Well, and when do you expect to reach Dublin, please the milestones?”

“I shall set off to-morrow morning,” answered he, a little sulkily, “and I’ll be in Dublin the evening after.”

“Humph! this is the eleventh, that will be the thirteenth. Yes; it will just do. Well, Charley, I believe I will entrust you with a letter; but you must promise and vow that you will put it into the penny-post the very evening you arrive, or I’ll not give it to you; for it must be delivered the morning after, or the Lord knows what would happen.”

“You needn’t be afraid, Lucy,” answered her beau; “you know very well”——

“Oh! to be sure I do,” exclaimed she, interrupting him. “I declare I was very near forgetting all that. This evening, then, I’ll send the letter over to you; and now good-bye, and go get ready.”

With the help of the milestones, as Lucy said, he arrived in Dublin on the evening he proposed, and having left his steed at Dycer’s, and seen him carefully made-up, proceeded to the Hibernian, discussed his dinner and a couple of tumblers, and then, for the poor fellow was terribly tired, sank into a slumber, and finally rose into a snore, from which he was aroused by the waiter recommending him to adjourn to his room; a piece of advice which Charley very gratefully followed. Next morning Lucy’s letter rose in judgment against him; there was only one way to atone for his neglect, and that was, to deliver it personally, no matter at what trouble or inconvenience. So, hastily dressing himself, he took the letter out of his valise, and examined the direction. He had his misgivings; it bore for its superscription the name Edward Fitzgerald, Esq. whose place of abode it indicated was number something in Dominick Street. He could not help asking himself what business had Lucy—his Lucy—corresponding with any male member of the human family whatever. Still, as any assertion of his rights in that particular would be rather premature at present, he determined to execute the commission faithfully, since he had undertaken it; but as soon as she became Mrs Malone, if he’d let such a thing occur again, then might he, Charley, be eternally doomed to a place that shall be nameless.

On reaching the domicile of Mr Fitzgerald, and inquiring if he was at home, our friend was ushered into the presence of a most alarmingly spruce young gentleman, six feet high in his stockings, handsome enough to be a handsome man, and with a head of hair that awfully contrasted with the rather carroty wisp which lay between Charley and high heaven. To him, on questioning him fully as to his identity, he delivered the letter, and likewise the speech which he had been composing on the subject all the morning.

“This letter, sir,” quoth Charley, “was entrusted to my care by a very pretty girl, to whom I pledged myself that I would put it in the penny-post last night, but I was so cursedly tired, that, hang me if I ever thought of it; and so, to redeem my pledge, I have come to place it in your hands, Miss Bindon having some reason best known to herself for wishing it should reach you to-day.”

“Miss Bindon, did you say?” exclaimed the young man, looking very much like a personage who had been wakened out of a dream.

“Yes, sir, Miss Lucy Bindon,” answered Charley, and to prevent mistakes he added with rather a significant tone, “and a young lady, by the bye, in whom I take a very especial interest. You understand me?”

“Oh! perfectly,” stammered the young man in answer. “Somebody told me she was going to be married.”

“I don’t know how that may be, sir,” said Charley, with a sort of simpering consciousness; “but this at least I can say, that he’ll be a devilish lucky man who gets her.”

“Yes,” responded Mr Edward Fitzgerald, with a bitter sigh; “she is in truth a beautiful girl. Such animation!”

“And such a fine fortune!” continued Charley, rubbing his hands with triumph.

“Amiable, excellent, fascinating!” said the doleful Mr Fitzgerald; and a pause ensued of most lugubrious silence, during which his eyes were fastened on the letter, seemingly unconscious of the presence of its bearer.

“Excuse me,” said Charley at last; “you are impatient to read it, so I’ll be off. Good morning.”

The young man rose with all the amiability he could summon, and quitted the apartment with him to show him the way.

“Thunder and turf, sir!” ejaculated Charley; “is it out on the skylight you want to send me?” And, certainly, the direction in which the gentleman pointed would have led to some such exit.

“Oh! pardon me,” exclaimed the other, covered with confusion; “I really forgot—your way is down stairs, not up.”

“All right—all right,” chuckled Charley to himself as he sprang down, taking a flight at each bound; “this is some fellow that she used to care for before she saw me; and now, to have every thing fair and straight, the gipsy has sent him his dismissal in form. Poor devil! he seems disposed to take it to heart very much. Right—right! Best to be off with the old love before you be on with the new, as the song says. I declare I like her the better for it; and to save the poor fellow’s feelings, she never even hinted to me what the letter was about.” And laying this flattering unction to his soul, he went about his business in the best of good humour with himself and all the world besides.

“Well, Charley,” said Lucy to him on his return to the country, “I know beforehand you forgot all about my letter; so give it back to me, if you have not lost it. I should not like my billet-doux to remain with the rest of your good intentions; give it back to me now, like a good fellow, and I’ll forgive you. It’s not your fault, but your misfortune.”

“I am happy to tell you,” answered he, “that all your forebodings have proved groundless; and I’m sure, Lucy, that, giddy and careless as you may pretend to be, it will give you satisfaction to know that I perfectly approve of your conduct.”

Lucy, a little puzzled by this gratifying intimation, received it in silence, making a low curtsey in reply, as in duty bound.

“Yes, Lucy,” continued he, “it has made you dearer than ever to me.”

“Will you allow me to ask you one question, Mr Charles Malone?” demanded the puzzled lady, “and pray be intelligible if possible in your reply. Did you put my letter in the penny-post?”


“I thought as much—and pray what have you done with it?”

“You will understand all my allusions,” replied Charley tenderly, “when I tell you I delivered it myself into the hands of this Mr Fitzgerald.”

“What! but he didn’t know who you were, did he?” exclaimed she, in utter dismay.

“I rather think he guessed,” was the sly reply: “and from the manner in which he spoke of you, I was able to guess something too; but you needn’t blush now; we’ll say no more about it. Such things will occur in the best regulated families.”

“Spoke of me!” said Lucy, in a low and frightened tone; “and had you the assurance to mention my name?”

[Pg 231]

“Why, why not? I hope there was nothing particular in the letter. I thought”——

“Oh, you odious blundering wretch!” she exclaimed, interrupting him, and bursting into tears; “it was nothing but an innocent, harmless valentine; and now look at all the mischief you have put into it.”

It was with a sorrowing heart that Charley wended his way homeward that evening, after enduring such a mortifying discovery, and the disagreeable consequences entailed thereon, and putting in extreme jeopardy his chance of the incensed Lucy, and her very desirable three thousand appurtenances; but as he passed the little inn where temporary sojourners in B—— were made as comfortable as the nature of the circumstances would permit, he caught a glimpse of the figure of a man standing in the hall, closely muffled and enveloped in that most successful of all disguises which a gentleman can assume, a rough pee-jacket. Could it be? it was decidedly like him; but what could bring him there? Nay, by Jove! it was the identical Mr Edward Fitzgerald himself, arrived, most unaccountably, at the very nick of time, to explain to Lucy how inadvertently her name had been alluded to, and thus get him out of the scrape. Led by this gleam of hope, he hurried up to the stranger, and eagerly claimed his recognition by seizing his hand without ceremony, and welcoming him to B——.

“Down about business, I presume?” quoth Charley.

“No—yes—exactly,” stammered the surprised new-comer.

“Egad, you can do my business at all events,” continued Charley. “I suppose you know by this time what a cursed mistake I made the other day about Miss Bindon’s letter. Oh, you may laugh; but faith it has been no laughing matter to me. However, you can set all to rights, if you choose, by writing a few lines, saying how it occurred, and that it was quite an accident, and all that. Do now, like a good fellow, and I’ll just run back with it, and make my peace.”

“You mean,” observed Fitzgerald, “that I should write to Miss Bindon. My dear fellow, I shall be delighted; but of course you’ll deliver it under the rose. It wouldn’t be the thing, you know, to let the old lady into the secret;” and laughing heartily, and displaying the most laudable alacrity to extricate Charley from his dilemma, he led the way into the parlour, and having procured writing materials, sat down, wrote a few hurried lines, which he said would fully explain the whole occurrence and set it in a proper light, sealed his note, and delivered it to the anxious swain for whose behoof he had penned it, and who hastened away with his prize so quickly, that before the ink was dry, he placed it in the reluctant hands of the still pouting Lucy. “There!” exclaimed he, triumphantly; “since you won’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe that. Now, pray don’t throw it into the fire,” continued he, as a very unambiguous motion of the young lady seemed to imply was her intention; “only read it, and if that don’t satisfy you, I’ll say you’re hard to be pleased, and that’s all.”

Moved by this powerful appeal, Lucy cast her eye on the billet; a strange sort of emotion passed across her face, and she abruptly broke the seal, and proceeded to peruse the contents, while Charley applied himself, with equal zeal, to the perusal of her countenance. In it he could read, first, surprise, extreme and undisguised; secondly, confusion; and lastly, something undefinable, which at all events was not displeasure, for she concluded by looking fixedly at him for a moment or two, and then yielding to a most unladylike fit of laughter.

“Well, Lucy, is all right?” asked Charley, delighted at this demonstration.

“All, all,” she responded. “Why, Charley, you must be canonized for your punctuality in the delivery of letters. But remember, not a word to mamma—mum, Charley. And now be off, lest she should come down, and ask what brought you back.”

“But, Lucy,” interrupted the ardent lover, “now that’s all settled, I think you might”——

“Well, here—take it—anything to get rid of you.”

“Oh, Lucy! Lucy!”

Next morning terrible was the hubbub in the household of Mrs Bindon. Miss Lucy was nowhere to be had; in fact, had eloped with a gentleman who had arrived at the inn the evening before, though by what means she could have communicated with him, or he with her, must, as the story-books say, for ever remain a mystery, unless we are to suppose the gentleman had the audacity to make Charley the bearer of his proposals in his exculpatory letter; at least, one to the following purport was found in her room next morning:—

“Dearest Lucy—So you have not forgotten me! It is needless to say I know you to be the writer of the sweet valentine I received last week. It has awakened new hopes in me—hopes that I have ventured here to put to the test. In a word, will you be mine?—if so, we have nothing to hope from your mother. We must elope this night, and I shall accordingly have a carriage in readiness near your door until morning. Pray excuse the bearer all his mistakes, and this last particularly.—Ever your own

E. F.”

The dowager recognised the initials, but all the rest was heathen Greek to her. “Oh, Lucy! Lucy!” she exclaimed, in the bitterness of her grief, “did I ever think I was rearing you up to see you make a man of the house, at last, out of an attorney’s skip!”

A. M’C.



It cannot have escaped the observation of the most inattentive, the tendencies which roots have generally to descend into the ground, and which stems have as commonly to grow upwards towards the sky; yet the very commonness of these things may have prevented their obtaining the attention that they merit; for it must be acknowledged, that to a mind directed to them they appear, however frequent their occurrence, not the less difficult to explain. It is sufficiently hard to comprehend why roots and stems should grow in different directions, the one downwards, and the other upwards; but when we add to these the constant manner in which the darker surface of a leaf is turned upwards, and the part of a flower painted with the most gorgeous colours is directed always towards the light, the subject becomes more interesting, and the more vexatious ought to be our ignorance: and, then, there are phenomena, produced by unusual circumstances, calculated to puzzle us still further, and increase our bewilderment. Such are the manner in which a geranium, growing at a window, bends its stems and leaves towards the glass; the manner in which a potato plant, growing in a cellar into which the light is admitted by a single chink, will acquire a most unusual height, and follow a most devious and uncommon track to reach that ray of which it appears enamoured; and the mode in which a root will descend, along the face of a bare rock, an extraordinary distance, in order to arrive at some spring or stream. These are objects well worthy of contemplation. A remarkable example of one of the facts just alluded to occurred many years ago in the tower of an old cathedral in England: a potato plant grew to the height of between thirty and forty feet, to get at the glimmering light of a partially closed window.

The final causes of many of these facts are easy to comprehend: the reason why a root grows down into the earth, is for the purpose of obtaining that sustenance which is necessary for the growth of the plant of which it is a part; and stems grow upwards, and towards the light, because the influence of this element is necessary for the elaboration of the sap; as a result of which process, stems grow in thickness, roots in length, flowers are developed, and the proper juices of vegetables become formed. We are likewise not without the means of explaining the proximate cause of one of these phenomena, for we have shown in our articles on Vegetable Sap that it is by the ascending sap that stems grow in length, and that, when light is excluded, no other sap can be formed; this causes the ascending sap to accumulate under such circumstances, and, consequently, in the dark, stems may be expected to acquire an enormous and very disproportionate length: thus we are enabled to understand why the potato, in the instance mentioned, should grow to so great a height. But admitting this explanation, how much seems incomprehensible in these common and too frequently neglected phenomena! We shall endeavour, in this and the following articles, to explain the manner in which these curious things occur.

One might imagine that the reason why roots grow into the earth, and stems grow out of it, is on account of the former being attracted, and the latter repelled, by the materials of which that earth is composed; or, on the other hand, by the stems being attracted, and roots repelled, by[Pg 232] atmospheric air. But such cannot be the case; for if seeds be made to germinate in the lower stratum of earth placed in a box furnished with holes in the bottom, the roots will descend into the air through those holes, while the stems will ascend into the earth. In a similar manner, it might and has been thought that roots are attracted, and stems repelled, by the moisture of the earth; but a seed made to germinate between two moist sponges will protrude its root downwards, and its stem upwards, without reference to the liquid in its vicinity. This explanation is therefore equally inadmissible. There are some who explain these, as well as all other things occurring in living beings, by the mysterious principle of life; but we only admit the existence of this principle, because there are some phenomena incapable of being accounted for by the ordinary laws that rule the universe, and that are common to all matter; and it is therefore unphilosophical to ascribe any effects to its operation, until they are found to be inexplicable by those ordinary laws. But we shall find that the facts in question do not in a great measure belong to these exceptions.

The particular directions of stems and roots are produced by a combination of causes: if an onion plant, exposed to daylight, be laid horizontally on the ground, the extremities of the stem and roots will in the course of a few hours turn themselves in their natural directions, the one upwards, and the other downwards; if a similar plant be placed in a dark cellar, to which no light has access, the same things will take place; but that which happens in a few hours, in the one instance, will require as many days in the other; and thus we learn that in the production of these effects two causes operate: first, the light; and, secondly, some other principle distinct from light. It will occur to the reader that the absorption of water from the earth, by the most depending part of the plant, and its evaporation above, might, by swelling the lower portion and contracting the upper, produce the upward curving of the stem; to obviate this objection, the plant was placed in water, where no evaporation could occur, and absorption must take place equally over the whole surface; and still it was found that the same things happened.

Light, therefore, is most powerfully influential in producing the particular directions of the parts of plants; but there is another principle, distinct from light, which acts in effecting the same phenomena in a minor degree, but not the less absolutely and even more generally. Let our readers bear in mind the existence of this principle, which will form the subject of a future article. For the present, we will examine the manner in which light operates in promoting the directions of stems and roots.

We have before hinted that the tendency of the organs of vegetables towards the light, bears a direct relation to the depth and brilliancy of their colours; roots which are usually destitute of colouring matter grow away from the light; the upper surfaces of leaves are always the most deeply coloured; and in those erect leaves which are equally exposed to light, both surface are similarly coloured; if the outer surface of a flower be richly tinted, it is pendent; in erect flowers, on the contrary, the internal surface is always the most brilliantly painted; and in some cases the direction of the flower and fruit is different, connected with similar conditions. But in all these instances we have reason to believe that the organ is not directed towards the light, because it is highly coloured; but that it is highly coloured, because it is presented to the light. In plants growing in the dark, all the organs are colourless; it is only when exposed to the light that they acquire their various hues. Even the extremities of the roots have been found in a singular experiment of Dutrochet’s to acquire a green colour by exposure to the influence of light.

Is this tendency of the coloured parts of plants to turn towards the light, due to an attraction exerted by this agent, or is it produced by a peculiarity of growth determined through its influence? A curious experiment has settled this question: A leaf, attached by its footstalk to a pivot, was so arranged that it could freely turn in every direction: under these circumstances, its under surface was exposed to light. If an attraction existed between the most deeply coloured portion and the light, the leaf might be expected to revolve on its pivot, in obedience to this attraction: but instead, the footstalk took on a spiral or corkscrew growth, by means of which the upper portion became in time presented to the light. Now, this experiment sufficiently showed that the manner in which light acts, is by its influence over vegetable growth.

But what is the influence of light over vegetable growth? We have already answered this question in our articles on the Sap: we have found that when light is present, the sap becomes elaborated in the green parts of plants; and the use of this elaborated sap is, by developing vegetable fibre, to increase the thickness of stems, and the length of roots. While the ascending sap, by forming vegetable flesh, lengthens the stems, and makes the root thick, the directions of the different parts of plants, by the agency of light, must be in obedience to these functions.

We are now in a condition to comprehend the cause of some phenomena. A geranium (Pelargonium) stem, placed at a window, curves towards the light: this takes place, because the portion of stem nearest the window elaborates most sap: consequently, in this portion most vegetable fibre is formed. The portion away from the light, on the contrary, has most ascending sap, which forms fleshy tissue, and lengthens the stem; the half of the stem remote from the light is therefore longer, that next the window is shorter; the former is fleshy and elastic, the latter is rigid and fibrous. Need we be surprised, then, that the short, rigid, and fibrous portion should draw down the long, fleshy, and elastic part, and curve it towards the light?—it is but the bending of a bow, by the agency of its string.

But why do roots curve away from the light? Neither is this difficult to understand. Roots do not elaborate the sap, nor form vegetable fibre of their own: what vegetable fibre they contain is pushed down through them from the stem: more of this vegetable fibre will force its way downwards, from the part of the stem nearest the light, than from that which is most remote: two forces of unequal intensity will push downwards, through opposite portions of the root; the greater pressure may be expected to overcome the lesser, and in obedience to this, the root will curve away from the light.

We have now endeavoured to demonstrate the manner in which light operates in causing the directions of stems and roots: but it will be recollected that there is another principle, less powerful but more universal, which shares in the production of these effects. The consideration of this will form the subject of our next article.

J. A.

Carolan the Harper.—Respecting the origin of Carolan’s fine air of “Bumper Squire Jones,” we have heard a different account from that given on O’Neill’s authority. It was told us by our lamented friend, the late Dean of St Patrick’s, as the tradition preserved in his family, and was to the following effect: Carolan and Baron Dawson, the grand or great grand-uncle of the dean, happened to be enjoying together, with others, the hospitalities of Squire Jones at Moneyglass, and slept in rooms adjacent to each other. The bard, being called upon by the company to compose a song or tune in honour of their host, undertook to comply with their request, and on retiring to his apartment, took his harp with him, and under the inspiration of copious libations of his favourite liquor, not only produced the melody now known as “Bumper Squire Jones,” but also very indifferent English words to it. While the bard was thus employed, however, the judge was not idle. Being possessed of a fine musical ear as well as of considerable poetical talents, he not only fixed the melody on his memory, but actually wrote the noble song now incorporated with it before he retired to rest. The result may be anticipated. At breakfast on the following morning, when Carolan sang and played his composition, Baron Dawson, to the astonishment of all present, and of the bard in particular, stoutly denied the claim of Carolan to the melody, charged him with audacious piracy, both musical and poetical, and, to prove the fact, sang the melody to his own words amidst the joyous shouts of approbation of all his hearers,—the enraged bard excepted, who vented his execrations on the judge in curses both loud and deep.—Dublin University Magazine.

The two most precious things on this side the grave are our reputation and our life. But it is to be lamented, that the most contemptible whisper may deprive us of the one, and the weakest weapon of the other. A wise man, therefore, will be more anxious to deserve a fair name than to possess it, and this will teach him so to live as not to be afraid to die.—Colton.

Printed and published every Saturday by Gunn and Cameron, at the Office of the General Advertiser, No. 6, Church Lane, College Green, Dublin.—Sold by all Booksellers.