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But the most popular of Mac Sweeny's compositions is an ironical description of a "Conamara Wedding," wherein he recapitulates, in a strain of considerable humour, the preparations made for the feast, and enumerates the guests to be invited on the occasion. It has been said of the description of an entertainment at Templehouse in Sligo, in the last century, that it might be considered "as the ne plus ultra of all the subjects, that the wit of man has ever devised, to excite and continue the loudest peals of laughter."—Walker's Memoirs of the Irish Bards, vol. i. p. 331, Dub. Ed. 1818. To apply this to the following effusion might be thought presumptuous; but we may safely affirm that no one who understands the Irish language can hear the "Conamara Wedding" recited or sung by a native, without acknowledging the comic powers of the author°. Had Mac Sweeny received the advantages of our well-known countryman, O'Keeffe, he would, probably, have displayed equal wit and humour.
» In the firet font stanzas, a rich assortment of music." The eatables are next provided, beginning dresses is ordered for the bride; and, for the feast, an in the fifth stanza, with a profusion of fish, from the abundant supply of wine and whiskey, beer in boat- herring to the "tortoise;" in the sixth stanza, wild loads, tea and spices of all kinds, including " nutmegs fowl in great variety; and in the seventh, all kinds and saltpetre:" with all the necessary apparatus of of meat, from the ox to the badger; with a humorous "knives and forks" (which, it appears, were not hint that it would be prudent to have these latter at that time in general use in Conamara), pipes, viands either boiled or roasted. In the three follow • tobacco, cards, backgammon boxes, and "bands of ing stanzas the guests are enumerated. These con
sist of the great Milesian families of Connaught, with some "Strongbonians" and "Cromwelliana," "j16 ndp COip"; and they end with the neighbouring gentry, and others of Iar-Connaught, who are summed up with some keen touches of wit. To complete the irony, the father of the bride is introduced, and the furniture of his cabin displayed, viz., a pot, a spinning-wheel, and a kneading-trough for dough; although bread was a luxury which the family never tasted. The spirit of this curious poem would be entirely lost by translation. See Tytler's "Principles," chap. xiii.
• "The wedding of Peggy O'Hara," but more generally called the "Conamara wedding." The number of English words, borrowed for want of corresponding terms in Irish, shews the increase of the Eng
lish language in Iar-Connaught . These alien additions would be indignantly rejected bythe older bards.
P Laurence Fechin, i. e. Laurence the son of Fechin. The surname was Coneely, for which see ante, p. 27, note '. It is common in the west of Ireland to make the Christian name of the father answer as a surname for the son. Hence Fechin Coneely's son is called Laurence Fechin. This practice has tended to multiply surnames. With this Laurence the irony commences. He was a little lame tailor of Cloghaun (Clifden), a bad horseman, and certainly the most unfit provider of a feast that could possibly be selected.
1 Rascal. A slang name formerly given in the west of Ireland to an outside great-coat . This is one of the borrowed words.