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tion will merit the indulgence of the learned, the candid, and the patriotic.
It was towards the clofe of the 5th century, that St. Pa trick established here the monkish profeffion; fimplicity and purity of manners, and the most rigid mortification, were well calculated to infpire Pagans with veneration for fuch miffionaries and their doctrines, and the Irish received, with the rudiments of their faith, a predilection for the monastic state. Congal, Carthag, and Columba, in the fixth century, carried monkery to greater fplendor and perfection by their rules and noble foundations, and by their eminent talents, and diftinguished zeal; they were the fruitful parents of a numerous progeny of monks, who, in the next century, multiplied to fuch numbers, that bishop Nicholson, an excellent judge, pronounces them equal to all the other inhabitants of the kingdom. In fucceeding ages, every improvement of drefs or difcipline was quickly adopted here; and the long catalogue of Auguftinians, Benedictines, Ciftertians, and the reft, grace our monaftic annals. Our ancient abbies and monafleries, adorned with every fculptural and architectural ornament, fpeak the tafte of the times, the public generofity, and the opulence of thefe communities. These are facts imperfectly known to the natives, and not at all to foreigners; it shall therefore be the bufinefs of the following pages, to draw them from obscurity, and place them in a clearer light.'
At this moment the establishment of the Proteftant religion, as Mr. Archdall obferves, is only partial; and he mentions the evidence of Dr. Burke, late titular bishop of Offory, that in the year 1756, there were in Ireland, of the Dominican order only, 181 monks: the Francifcans were much more
Sir James Ware first began the collections for an Irish Monafticon; but he was too clofely connected with public bufinefs, and his attention too much distracted by various avocations, to proceed far in the defign. He drew, fays Mr. Archdall, a tolerably correct outline of our cenobitic eftablishments, but very imperfect as to their private history and property.' In 1690, Ware's catalogue was enlarged, from the hiftoriographers of the different monaftic orders, by M. Allemande; tranflated again from the French, and published by captain Stevens, in 1722. Mr. Harris, the editor of Ware, changed the form of the work, but has contracted it too much to render it fatisfactory.
In this imperfect state our author found his fubject. His enquiries began at the inftigation of doctor Pococke, bishop of Offory and Meath; and he now, after many years inceffant toil, and much expence, publishes an epitome of the records and documents which he has collected. The reafon of not
publishing the whole, we have already noticed. The bulk would form two volumes in folio; and the expence would exceed the fortune of a private clergyman.' The work is undoubtedly of great confequence in different views; and we would recommend the author to try the liberality of the public, if it be not poffible to procure parliamentary aid, which certainly would be exerted with great propriety on a work of national confequence.
There is much information in this volume, relating to the establishment, the revenues, and peculiar fituation of various monaftic inftitutions, the arrangement of which is illuftrated by a map. The habits of the different orders are also explained, both by defcriptions, and fuitable engravings.
It is difficult to give a fpecimen of a work which confifts of fhort, detached, and almost independent facts. We fhall, however, felect an extract of fome curiofity, relating to ChriftChurch in Dublin.
Involved in darkness and obfcurity, in vain we fearch for the origin of our religious foundations, the improbabilities and fictions of monkish legends are often our only evidences; and we are frequently obliged to adopt the palpable anachronisms of fuch writings, in the place of authentic documents, and chronological certainty.
On the prefent occafion we are fortunately relieved from thefe difficulties by the teftimony of a venerable record, the Black Book of Christ Church, which informs us, that about the year of our Lord 1038, Sitric, the fon of Ableb, or rather Aulif, the Danish prince of Dublin, gave to Donat, bishop of that fee, a place, where the arches or vaults were founded, to erect a church to the honour of the Bleffed Trinity.
Ware, Harris, and other antiquaries, who have mentioned thefe circumstances, give us the extract without fubjoining any elucidation, which however it feems to call for.
From the practice of thofe ages, we know that it was usual to build fmall oratories, and to arch that part in which the fhrine of the faint, or other facred depofit was placed. The ftone roofing prevented accidents from fire, and at the fame time preferved a reference to thofe cryptical monaftic cells, then held in general veneration. When a large edifice was conftructed, as was particularly the cafe at Cafhell, these ancient vaulted oratories were religiously preferved, and were looked on as indubitable proois of the antiquity and holiness of the church. From this explanation and inftance, a doubt cannot be entertained of thefe arches being the foundation of an ancient oratory, and which the donations of Sitric enlarged and furnished with convenient and neceffary offices; for fo the words fufficienter ad ædificandam ecclefiam cum tota curia" are to be interpreted.'
Perhaps we shall alfo be excufed for adding the following legendary tradition, relative to the ftaff of Jefus, given to St. Patrick, which he used to carry in his hands.
St. Patrick, moved by divine instinct, or angelic revelation, vifited one Juftus, an afcetic who inhabited an ifland in the Tyrhene fea, a man of exemplary virtue and most holy life. After mutual falutations and difcourfe, he prefented the Irish apostle with a ftaff, which he averred he had received from the hands of Jefus Chrift himself. In this ifland were some men in the bloom of youth, and others who appeared aged and decrepit; St. Patrick converfing with them, found that thofe aged perfons were fons of thofe feemingly young; astonished at this miraculous appearance, he was told, "that from their infancy they had ferved God, that they were constantly employed in works of charity, and their doors ever open to the traveller and diftreffed; that one night a ftranger, with a staff in his hand, came to them, whom they accommodated to the beft of their power; that in the morning he bleffed them, and faid, I am Jefus Christ whom you have always faithfully ferved, but last night you received me in my proper perfon; he then gave his staff to their fpiritual father, with directions to deliver it to a ftranger named Patrick, who would fhortly vifit them; on faying this he afcended into heaven, and left us in that ftate of juvenility in which you behold us; and our fons, then young, are the old decrepit perfons you now fee." Jocelyn goes on to relate, that with this ftaff our apoftle collected every venomous creature in the island to the top of the mountain of Cruagh Phadruig, in the county of Mayo, and from thence precipitated them into the ocean.'
The author feldom dwells on fuch trifles.-His book is chiefly filled with facts of importance, which explain the fituation, and the fources of the riches of the different monafteries. We wish well to his great work, and hope that he will meet with a liberal contribution.
An Historical and Critical Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland, from the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, to the Settlement under King William. With the State of the Irish Catholics, from that Settlement to the Relaxation of the Popery Laws, in the Year 1778. By John Curry, M. D. 2 Vols. 8vo. 10s. 6d. in Boards. Robinfons.
THE HE first appearance of this work was in 1775: it was mentioned at fome length, in our Forty-third Volume, P. 445. The name of the author was not then annexed; but we now find that it was the production of Dr. Curry, an able
man, and a judicious phyfician. It may be worth while to mention, from his life, the fource of works which were afterwards enlarged into the treatise we formerly reviewed.
In October, 1746, as he paffed through the Castle-yard, on the memorial day of the Irish rebellion in 1641, he met two ladies, and a girl of about eight years of age, who, ftepping on a little before them, turned about fuddenly, and, with uplifted hands and horror in her countenance, exclaimed, "Are there any of thofe bloody Papifts in Dublin ?" This incident, which to a different hearer would be laughable, filled the doctor with anxious reflections. He immediately inferred that the child's terror proceeded from the impreffion made on her mind, by the fermon preached that day in Chrift-church, whence thofe ladies proceeded; and having procured a copy of the fermon, he found that his furmife was well founded. In a fpirit very different from that of the preacher, he immediately, on returning to his houfe, fat down to give fome check to the hatred and afperity revived in these anniversary invectives, from feats fet apart for the propagation of truth and benevolence among men. His tract on this fubject he put in the form of a Dialogue, wherein one of the intercolutors fhews the unfairness, and abfurdity alfo, of charging to any religion whatever, the crimes which that religion condemns, but which fome of its profeffors may, at times, be guilty of. After fuch general reflections, he expofes the unfortunate caufes which led to the infurrection in 1641, and the fatal confequences which followed. Three kingdoms were then in a flame, and the moderation and good fenfe of a few could not flop the conflagration: though it might in the beginning be eafily quenched by thofe in power, had not their private views and felf-intereft biaffed them to fupply the fuel. The people of our days are no farther concerned in fuch evils, than to remind them of never repeating them. The cause removed, the effects fhould not be active, and be active, folely, from fuggeftions of the imagination. To this the adverfary to that interlocutor made anfwer, That though the evils complained of have long ceafed, yet that among Papists the principle remains, and muft juftify every legal penalty they are expofed to: he converted fuppofition into a fact which he could not prove. With no better argument, the Dialogue was attacked in a voluminous pamphlet, by Mr. Walter Harris, a gentleman unverfed in the philofophy of hiftory, and flagrantly abufive, but fit enough for his office of a compiler. Dr. Curry replied, in a book entitled Hiftorical Memoirs; a work well received by the public, and from which Mr. Brooke had his materials for his Trial of the Roman Catholics.'
We mentioned, in our former account of this work, that the author's great object was to counteract the misrepresentations of hiftorians, in refpect to Irifh tranfactions, for almost 200 years.
before. Ireland was undoubtedly treated with all the rigour. which conquered countries experience; the inhabitants, warm, intrepid, and independent, could ill brook this conduct; and to this imperfect fubjugation were at laft added the prejudices which a difference of religion will always produce. Henry and. Elizabeth could not infpire them with their own opinions. Dr. Curry, who was himself a Catholic, feels a little of these prejudices; he at times, as we have remarked, trufts too much to the vague fuggeftions of authors of his own party, and magnifies their opinions into facts. We do not mean to invalidate the authority of Dr. Curry's evidences: he is, in general, a candid hiftorian; and many of his fources of information are very respectable. He has fufficiently fhown that the conduct of the English governors was not fuch as to procure esteem or affection; but, at the fame time, he has not fully juftified many parts of the Irish conduct. It is now a calmer moment: the differences of religion no longer infpire hatred: these intolerant principles have declined; and we hope the penal exceptions to the Catholics, at leaft in that kingdom, will no longer difgrace the ftatute-books. They are perhaps the only impediments to a fincere and hearty union.
In this edition much new matter, from parliamentary journals, state acts, and other authentic documents, is added from the author's manufcripts. We are forry that he did not himfelf revise it; for we think much might have been foftened, and fomewhat changed. Yet this work will have its ufe: audi alteram partem,' is always a ufeful leffon to an hif torian.
To this edition is added, The State of the Catholics of Ireland, from the Settlement, under King William, to the Relaxation of the Popery Laws in 1778.' This narrative gives a favourable account of the conduct of the Catholics; and brings into full view, the infringement of the capitulation of Limerick, the increase of penal oppreffions, and the infults. which have occasionally been offered to the Catholics. The work is, properly speaking, a continuation of the civil history of the conduct of the Catholics, and their antagonists. It could not be added under the former title, because it includes no military tranfactions.
The Appendix contains many authentic documents, from the most refpectable collections, to confirm different parts of the detail. It is in many refpects a strong and fatisfactory body of evidence.