Page images

duced me to dedicate to your Lordship this TOPOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION of that country which had the honour to give you birth.

That, by the indulgenee of Heaven, you: may long adorn your elevated rank, and by many additional instances of benevolence and public spirit, continue to add new lustre to your justly merited fame, is the ardent wish

[blocks in formation]


In this enlightened period of society, when Scotland, England, and Wales, have been described by many elegant pens, it is rather surprising that Ireland, " a country particularly dignified by the magnificent hand of nature," has so long been neglected. To supply this defect, the local description of that island was undertaken, and, with no small degree of diffidence, is now presented to the public.

The importance of the undertaking, both: to the natives of Ireland, and to the inhabitants of the sister kingdoms, is obvious. It directs the attention of the former to the natural beauties and productions, together with the local scenes and advantages of their. Dative country, which naturally stimulates to improvement, and produces an increase of national wealth and internal prosperity. It qualifies the latter to make a proper estia.

mate of the value of Ireland, as constituting. a part of the British empire, and duly to appreciate the character and manners of this unjustly aspersed nation.

To promote this design, the Work contains a general description of the whole island, and of the four separate provinces. The interesting nature of the late rebellion suggested the propriety of devoting a few pages to a short view of the transactions which then convulsed that kingdom. The situation,—the climate,—the coasts,--the aspect,--the soil,—the mountains,—the rivers, the lakes,-the forests, the arıimals, -the minerals,--the fossils,-the mineralwaters, the agriculture, - the manufactúre,—the commerce, the religion, the character, the manners,—the literature, the population, the civil constitution, and history of Ireland, -are described or delineated during the progress of the Work. A description is also given of the more remarkable cities, towns, and villages ;-natural curiosities and singular antiquities; the venerable castles, and the modern man. . sions; the memorable events, and grateful

monuments. Nor does literary merit, and justly acquired fame, pass unregarded.

AMIDST such a multiplicity of minute particulars many inaccuracies must have happened. The size of the volume prevented the insertion of many facts, which would have greatly enriched the Work ; and it was found no small difficulty to make a proper selection,

The design of the Work will, it is hoped, apologize for its defects; and should the national, the political, the agricultural, the commercial, and the domestic prosperity of Ireland, be advanced by it, the author shall not reckon the labour bestowed, an unprofitable waste of his time, or employment of his talents.

GRATITUDE calls upon him to return cordial thanks to those who have so cheerfully supplied him with the books relative to the subject; and particularly to Profes sor COVENTRY, Dr MILLAR, and Dr ANDERSON, whose well-known abilities, and laudable exertions, to promote the improvement of agriculture, and the other sciences, are above any commendation from the Author. Nor must he neglect to express his acknow

ledgements to those gentlemen, who natives of Ireland, have by their local k ledge greatly assisted in rendering Work more perfect and accurate; ani so encouraged the same by their appre tion,

« PreviousContinue »