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and believers in hidden virtues and perfections, latent everywhere, and ever ready to step forth to view in operation and result. The 'gods of the hills and of the plain' are in this shape, perfectly familiar to their imaginations; they are prepared therefore to give a ready assent to any tolerably accredited, or vehemently affirmed tale of wonder. And truly, their rulers and teachers in things spiritual are no way backward in supplying the needs of the faithful in this particular. What with what they keep out, and with what they pour in ;-the knowledge of one kind that they exclude, leaving all dimness and mystery, and the knowledge of another kind, that they inculcate for unquestionable truth,-it must be admitted that they meet the national yearning most completely.
Our first instance shall be of the legendary lore of the hills, exhibiting a wonderful fusion of patriarchal, Christian, and carly Irish story. It is well known to all who know anything of Irish scenery, that S. Ķevin is the tutelar saint of the vale of Glendalough. We were not prepared, however, to find S. Kevin avowedly superseding, in the popular belief and reverence, S. John the Baptist himself, nor to hear him associated, in th: utmost good faith, with worthies of such widely remote generations. Happening to visit Glendalough on S. John the Baptist's day, we inquired whether the festival was made much of there, and were informed that it was not kept at all; “Sure it
was too disthressin' kapin' so many holidays; lashins 'o work to s do, and not a boy to do a band's turn at it.' Yet it appeared that the 3d of the same month of June, had been most religiously honoured as the day of S. Kevin. It will be seen presently that this was a piece of pure localism. On requesting particulars of S. Kevin's history, who flourished in the sixth century, we found him much mixed up with Fin M Coul in the third.
Fin M'Coul wasu't a Christian at all at all, at first, but a big haythen, and S. Kevin convarted him. Sure he was an Ephasian, and went every day to his sarvice at the temple of the great goddess Diana. When Fin M Coul first saw S. Kevin, he didn't think much av him, any way. Says he to him, “ Ye're nothing but an ould salutary (solitary) saint.” But S, Kevin had learnt letthers from Jeremiah, and he from Noah, so he soon insinsed him.'
An inquiry as to the period of these events elicited the following additional information:
* Fin M Coul was the only man alive at that time. Now it's well known' (this was usually the prelude to something of a less certain character than the rest) 'that the first place Noah dropped his anchor on was
1 Is this a remnant of the old Milesian story,' of Ireland having been colonized from Miletus, (to which Ephesus was the metropolis), arc. B.C. 500?
them hills above; and there Fin M Coul found it. Says he, “What's this ?" and so he took it to Vulcan, that was the first smith ever was, and bade him make bim a sword of it, and that's how he come by his sword. And hearing say, one day, that Romulus and Ramus, the haythens, were fighting hard by, and that Ramus was getting the best of it all to smithereens, he ran to help; and striking with his sword here and there, split the hills into three parts. Before that, it was all widout form :-and that's wbat made the scanery. Sure, he was a giant, like the rest of 'em. It's well known, that Adam was seven hundred feet high : and he to be seen, any day, walking up the Giant's Causeway, as unconsarnedly as possible. As for 8. Kevin, 'twas he built that round tower, widout ever a bit of mortier : and they can't build anything like it now, with all their combustibles. But there was many blessins in those days.'
Now we allow for a certain amount of wilful extravaganza in the above tissue of absurdities. But we could perceive that notions of this kind as to the elder days among the hills had some real hold upon the imaginations and the belief of the simple hearted inhabitants, and were not merely dressed up to make tourists stare, Neither are we insensible to the beauty, or the possible harmlessness, of this sort of mythology. There is a Titanic grandeur, amid all their absurdity, about some of these ideas and expressions. The Eildon hills will occur to every reader. And it is better to have the keen apprehension thus embodied, of the majesty and glory of the great features of nature, than to be insensible to it altogether. Whether it be also well that a Christian man's knowledge of the Old Testament should be confined to fragments served up in such a hotch-potch as this, is another question. We wish we could believe that any more intelligent notions on the subject lay hid under these grotesque legends. .
But if the imagination is thus left to run riot, on the one hand, in a shadowy region of semi-pàganism, there is, on the other, no lack of present and confidently-vouched Christian miracle to make up for the vagueness and indefiniteness as to past time. It was our fortune, on one occasion, to have laid open to us a fuller and more circumstantial view of the interior life of a religious Irishman of the lower classes, than is, perhaps, often enjoyed by a comparative stranger. These pages will never meet the eye, nor if they did, would they, we trust, hurt the feelings, of Larry Doherty, sometime assistant 'dhry-salter'in the fair city of Waterford, and now, or lately, common carman on his own account in the same. We desire to do all justice and all honour to the deep and earnest faith, the humble and obedient practice, which so unmistakeably came to light in our interview. His habit of making his prayer three times in the day, wherever he might bé, or however employed, for all whom it could by any possibility concern; his profoundly testified grief that he was forbidden to include in that number his
tent should a Christiaensible to mil glory of kien apg
departed Protestant masters or friends; his evidently habitual serse of the nothingness of time, as against eternity :- I take 'it, Sir, that this time that we're livin' now, is just a hand's * turn ; and the grate matter is to be ready again that day ;-his constant submissive reference of all things to the Divine disposal (a trait of his countrymen, of which Sir Francis Head has given some striking instances); and last, not least, his conscientious abandonment of the 'dhry-salting' trade,' «for 'fraid he'd break the pledge;' against these, in their line, we can have nothing to say. But he proceeded to give us some idea of the kind of knowledge and religious fact which this earnest heart of his was in the habit of feeding upon. We can select but two or three, out of a very host of marvels, which were familiar to his every-day experience. One of the most notable was of a fisherman of Dunmore, in those parts, who had been wont to ply his craft to the neglect of the due observance of S. John the Baptist's day, (following herein, it will be remarked, the use of Glendalough,) and who on that day, in the present year of grace 1853, captured and sold a large draught of fish, reserving but one for himself and the childre.' And when the fish came out of the pot,' said our informant, 'there, as plain as ever ye see, was writ the words, “ The Gospel of the day.”! This was the whole matter. But the fish so inscribed had been seen, he averred, by vast numbers of Romanists and Protestants alike, and may be seen at this moment, in a bottle, at the house of the titular bishop. Wasn't that a merracle, Sir?' was the triumphant conclusion. Another instance must be told in his own words. 'I knoo a man, Sir, that had been a very bad livin' man; .and then all at onst he turned and made a great change, and was 'very regular at his djooties, [duties, i.e. confession and commu‘nion.] « Ye're very much for your sowl,” says I. “ 'Deed I 'am,” says he. And so he went on for three years, very regular • at his djooties. And at the end of that time the blessed Virgin
salooted him. This was explained to mean, made an inclination of her head to him three times. “Wasn't that a merracle, Sir ?' We were constrained to admit that it was, if it took place. • And now, Sir, we're comin' to a place in the road where it happened, what I'm goin' to tell you. This anecdote was adduced in solution of a question which had often occurred to him, viz. whether the lost could ever be recovered. There was (a very bad livin' woman that died; and she was lost; and she • got no rest, but appeared to a great many people in this spot. • So the priest put his word upon her, and sent her off to the • Black Say—the Black Say, I think it was, but I'm not sure of 'the place. Well, when her time was up, she com back again, “and was seen again, till somebody said to her, “Bless the poor
sowl;" and after that she was never seen any more. And so • I'm apt to think, Sir, it may be as I've said.' It was natural to try to ascertain whether this intense faith and love of miracle had anything truer, of a kindred sort, to live upon. “Had he
ever heard that S Peter had once taken a miraculous draught • of fishes ?' 'Indade, no, Sir.' 'Or that he was a fisherman at
all? • Ah! thin, sakes o’mine! and he a fisherman! think o’that! One more question we asked him, the answer to which needs no comment of ours. “Did he know that our Lord had wrought miracles ? Never shall we forget the mixture of amazed and delighted bewilderment of his countenance, as so novel a conception dawned npon him. 'Is it merracles ? Would ye be pleased, Sir, to tell me about it?'
We could draw, from the simple case we have thus put before our readers, inferences not a few. One thing is plain, that here is a right noble soil, which rightly worked, might yield the fruits of a noble Christianity. Ireland was, in early days, the first among nations in the reception and propagation of the truth -doubtless on the ground of that fine and trustful, though easily perverted, native character, which has been handed down, in undying vigour and animation, as the one inalienable possession of her sons. Whether she shall as a nation find once more, in the records of truth and in the unfeigned marvels of divine grace, fit objects for that spirit of loving admiration and unquestioning belief in the existence here below of mighty powers and gracious influences, which is so eminently hers, is a questionand a deeply responsible one—for those in whose hands the shaping of her future is placed.
We seem to detect, on the one hand, the probable cause of that remarkable fact, which stands admitted by Romanists themselves, viz. the slight hold which their creed is found to have upon such of the population as have emigrated. No longer plied with wonders and legends, and having no great stock of truth to fall back upon, they are a prey to the first form of Protestantism which chances to present itself. And if, on the other, there are indications of the old spell, which bound the Irish peasant to what he has been taught to consider as exclusively the old persuasion,' having in some degree lost its power, even on Irish ground, it then becomes a matter of the deepest importance that, the faith and the practice which are to supersede it, be of a kind to absorb healthfully and effectually all the finer elements of Irish character. There must be something better offered to the acceptance of converts, than that meagre solifidianism which is shouted Sunday after Sunday from Irish pulpits. The Irish Church must catch somewhat more of that spirit of primitive and Catholic belief and practice which has been working now
for some years in the bosom of her English sister, ere she is qualified to call upon the Ronanist population to recognise her claims on their allegiance, and to worship at her altars. The Irish peasantry need to be told of the answer which genuine Christianity contains, to the craving which they feel within them, after beauty, and power, and wondrousness. They need to have exhibited to them the comeliness of the Christian sanctuary, and the present might of outward and visible signs' for the conveying of inward,' wonder-working 'grace.'
But not in religious matters only, but in secular, is the careful study of Irish character and its hidden springs most important. It has been observed by a contemporary journal that
• According to the accounts furnished from the Irish Exhibition, Irish industry has manifested a decided turn for the ornamental and artistic, the absence of which is but too perceptible amongst our own manufacturers. If this be so, then in this, as in so many other particulars, we and our fellowsubjects have been playing at cross-purposes. Here and in the United States it has hitherto been the fate of the Irishman to be employed almost exclusively in the rudest and most unskilled labour; his natural fancy and taste for the beautiful, in which he would appear to bear some resemblance to the Frenchman, have been altogether passed over. It would be remarkable, indeed, if Ireland - poor and despised Ireland-should some day soon be able to boast of having become indispensable to the manufacturing preeminence of her proud neighbour.'--Guardian.
So, too, it will doubtless be found, in the matter of education, that the people are capable of being interested in the higher and more imaginative walks of literature, to a degree which cannot be said of the same classes in this country.