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It would be no more than a very humble acknowledgment of the rich provision made for themselves, that the upper and middle class should thus think for their inferiors in rank. If it be an undeniable truth, as we have no doubt it is, that the occupant of a cottage in Great Britain or Ireland, whose income does not exceed a few hundred pounds a year, may, without extravagance, furnish his little library so as that its stores of thought shall be more abundant than Macenas or Cicero could gather around them with all their opportunities, and in their sumptuous palaces, surely some acknowledgment ought to be made for such a bounty. It can be made appropriately, if not adequately, by aiding the multitudes of readers who are daily craving for intellectual food, and are willing to pay for it in making their election between the wholesome and the deleterious.
And here, in considering the ad. vantages offered to readers of all tempers and purposes with which this age is fraught, one of the publications from which we have cited compels from us a parting expression of thankfulness and praise. We allude to “ Mrs. Loudon's Ladies' Companion
At Home and Abroad.” It is emi. nently creditable to a people that such a publication shall be otiered to their patronage as the enterprise of an in. dividual that not alone qualities so graceful, and of so sterling merit as those of its editor, shall be bent on the conducting of such a work, but that the resources of art and literature shall have been explored to so good effect to enhance and recommend its merits. The editor of a weekly periodical who offers to her subscribers, at so low a cost, such attraction and interest as are to be found in the analyses and illustrations of ancient and imediæval art, and in contributions from the author of “ Two Old Men's Tales," and who associates such achievements in art and literature with prose and “nimerous rhyme," and artistic embellish. ments worthy to be associated with them in all fair variety of form, and on all topics that may fairly claim attention, does honour to the people to whom the issue of the enterprise is committed; and as we confidently predict she will not disappoint the expectation she has raised, so do we earnestly hope that her own just expectations will not be disappointed.
BY THE REV. GEORGE HILL.
Loch Neagh, I stood at close of day upon thy silent strand,
In the course of time, the English invasion of this country introduced a better state of things; but when it first happened, and for a long series of years afterwards, it was, in most instances, the triumph of might over right.
Niall Naighiallach, " of the Nine Hostages," and, in the history of Ireland, known also as Niall the Great. The following account of this once powerful family is extracted from the admirable work, by Mr. Reeves, on the “ Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Down and Connor and Droinore." " In the year 1230, died Aodh Macaomh Toiuleasc O'Neill, the chief of his princely race, leaving two sons, Niall Roe, and Aodh Meith, in whose respective descendants the common stock struck off into two distinct branches. To the senior line the representation of the race and lordship of Tyrone was, with a few early exceptions, confined.”
Anne, daughter of Bryan Carragh O'Neill, was the second wife of Shane O'Neill, of Shane's Castle, from whose third son, Phelim Dhu, the present Viscount O'Neill is the fifth in lineal descent.” Who shall represent this ancient house when the present Lord O'Neill has passed away?
How many a tale of human grief, sweet lake, thy waters know,
Loch Laogh! whilst thy broad expanse reflects th' impending sky,
Why comes he not?” sweet Mora cried, “the days are long and drear, As by Loch Laogh's verdant side he hunts the flying deer; Why comes he not?” “ He will not come." She heard the mournful tale, And soon from all her sorrows free, she slept in Ollar's & vale.
And many a nameless grave since then thy caverns have supplied
Alas! though feudal terror cease, thy children suffer still,
“ Loch Neagh,” with drooping hearts, they say “we loved thy pleasant shore,
Eachaidh, from whom Lough Neagh derives its name, was drowned in its eruption, with all his children. The earliest form of the word is Loch-n-Eachach.
† The Irish anpals relate that, in the year of the world 3506, “ Loch Laogh broke forth." Tigervach, at the year 161 of the Christian era, thus records the reign of a king of Ulster:“ Bresal, son of Brian, reigns in Emania nineteen years, who was drowned in Lough Laiglı ; bis spouse, Mora, died of grief for his death ; from her Rath-mòr, in Moylinny, is named.” -See Reeves' Eccles. Antiq., pp. 272-280. Mr. O'Donovan, in translating this passage (Dublin Penny Journal, vol. ii. p. 38), erroneously supposes Lough Laighe to be Larne Lough.
I These words refer to the following part of a legend in the Dinn Seanchus:-“ Mora said, • I think Bresal's absence too long. And a certain woman said to her,— It will be long to thee, indeed, for Bresal will never come back to his friends until the dead come back to theirs.' Mora then died suddenly, and her name remained on the Rath." $ The ancient name of the Six-Mile-Water.
The ancient Cladh, in its superticial extent, was vearly the same as the modern llster inasmuch as it contained Leuth, which is now in Leinster, instead of Cavan, which thion belonged to Connaught."-See Reeves' Eccl. Antiq., p. 552.
OUR PORTRAIT GALLERY.NO. LVIII.
THE EARL OF ROSSE, PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY.
The reader is to expect in this brief memoir no collection of private anecdotes or domestic details respecting the noble philosopher whose picture it accompanies. In these respects, it has always appeared to the writer, the great should enjoy the same sacred immunity from public intrusion as the little, whose insignificance protects them. The living statesman, philosopher, poet, or artist has no closer connexion with the inquisitive world, in his private concerns, than the humblest cottager ; nor can the public justly claim a right to know him otherwise than in the monuments of his virtue, his genius, and his skill. In the history of those labours which he has undertaken as the servant of his fellow. men, society has a legitimate interest ; but so far as he lives to himself and his family, the rest of the world have no property in him. He retains his personal rights. He is the minister of the public, not their slave.
Nor, for the most part, does curiosity lose much hy this exclusion. If the rule be in general a good one, that "the life of a philosopher is in his works," it may be expected to hold specially in the case of a high-born and opulent philosopher. The adventurous struggles through which needy genius makes its way to eminence, may have some romance in them to lend interest to the story of their fortunes; but the domestic life of one who devotes himself to science in affluent ease, will be apt to resemble those silent intervals of national prosperity, which, barren of incident and rich in happiness, wise men love better to enjoy than historians to relate.
Fortes creantur fortibus et bonis. The present peer was eldest son of the first Earl of Rosse, better known in Irish annals as that Sir Laurence Parsons whose almost prophetic sagacity enabled him to foresee and describe, from the outset, the successive consequences of that miserable system of paltry con ssion, which began in giving the franchise to the poorest and most ignorant class of Roman Catholics, while it kept their leaders still irritated by excluding them from constitutional power. The warnings of that eminent statesman were unheeded, like those of Cassandra ; but like hers, time has proved them true. No history, written after the facts, could more exactly describe, from point to point, what has actually happened, than the memorable speech to which we refer. Nor was it only as a statesman that the late earl was distinguished. His work on
6. The Evidences of Religion” shews him to us as a Christian philosopher, who, when retired from public life, found the noblest solace for his declining years in tracing the combined lessons of reason and revelation.
The present earl was born in 1800, and succeeded to the title on the death of his father, in 1841. His lordship is one of the Irish representative peers.
Beyond these dry particulars, our personal narrative does not extend itself. It is exclusively as a philosopher that we mean to speak of the illustrious nobleman who forms the subject of the present notice. If the aristocracy of these countries has given but few names to the annals of philosophy, it must be allowed that amongst those few are some of the most brilliant in the catalogue; and Ireland may be proud that, of these, two so distinguished as those of Boyle and Parsons are her own. On the lawn of Lord Rosse's castle stands, or rather hangs, the gigantic telescope which has made the name of the little country town where it is situated familiarly known wherever science is honored. In that dusky column is lodged the magic mirror, which renders visible to the eye of man those distant systems of worlds, thick sown through the immensity of space, whose remoteness thought itself is tasked in vain to estimate. How great has been the growth in size and power of this heaven-fathoming tube, since first the Tuscan artist looked out upon the moon,
- At evening, from the top of Fesole,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lande,