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And may blessed repose

Be the guerdon of those
Who fell at Antietam and James' River ;
By the Rappalannock and Chickahominy;
Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine !

May their souls on the Judgment Day arise,
Et lux perpetua luceat eis !

Similar publications, but better printed and costing sixpence or sevenpence each, are now constantly met with: The Exile of Ireland Sung Book, The Green Flag Song Book, Irish Poems and Legends by T. C. Irwin, John K. Casey's Poems, Poems of Richard Dalton Williams, and the three octavo volumes called Penny Readings for the Irish People.

The Poems of Williams (well known as “Shamrock’of the Nation) are seen in every bookshop, and duplicate copies in the National League reading rooms; some of his poems are patriotic, some humorous, some intensely religious. His national verses are mainly historic: “ The Battle of Clontarf,” “The Munster War Song,' “The Patriot Brave,' “The Pass of Plumes. One of his Young Ireland songs is often recited, the song beginning

Steady! host of freedom, steady!

Ponder, gather, watch, mature.

Following his "Lament for Thomas Davis' (the gifted Protestant leader of the Young Ireland party) comes the · Hymn of St. Brigid,' “Stabat Mater, ‘Before the Blessed Sacrament,' and ` Kyrie Eleeison.'

But perhaps the favourite of the reading rooms, whether the National League reading rooms of the rural parishes, or the Catholic Young Men's Societies' reading rooms in the towns, is a book called Penny Readings for the Irish People. This compilation has now reached three small octavo volumes of about three hundred pages each. The first volume opens with an essay on the poetry and music of Ireland. The author, Mr. Henry Giles, thus introduces his subject :

Ireland is a land of poetry. It is a country of tradition, of meditation, and of great idealism. Monuments of war, princedom, and religion cover the surface of the land. The meanest man lingers under the shadow of piles which tell him that his fathers were not slaves. He toils in the field with structures before him through which echoes the voice of centuries—to his heart the voice of soldiers, of scholars, and of saints.

Who are the scholars whose writings are to be found in these volumes? Of course Thomas Davis, Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, Sir Samuel Ferguson, Denis Florence MacCarthy, and other well-known writers of the Young Ireland party, are there. But these Penny Readings bring other Irish scholars to the fireside of the Irish peasant, Jonathan Swift, Edmund Burke, Oliver Goldsmith, and Sheridan.

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The extracts from Swift and Burke uphold the general principles of human freedom and the particular doctrine of Irish legislative independence. Though mostly written in England, it is only in Ireland that any part of the political writings of Swift and Burke are now read as popular literature. Extracts from the writings of Irish scholars of a different class are also found in those Penny Readings, Eugene O'Curry on Ancient Irish Learning ; Dr. Petrie on Early Irish Churches ; Dr. Sigerson on The Habits and Social Condition of the Ancient Irish. In those pages are also stories by Banim, Carleton, Gerald Griffin, and Charles Lever. Specimens of Irish oratory are likewise provided for recitation classes from the speeches of Burke, Grattan, Curran, T. F. Meagher, and O'Connell.

Such are the books read by the Irish to-day. Nor is it in Ireland only that such books are read by the Irish.

Last year some Irish Bishops happened to meet at Harrogate with a pious English Catholic who was deploring the influence on the rising generation of the National League, when one of the prelates remarked, “You know as little about what the boys read in the League rooms as you do of the Brehon Laws!' He added, the Irish national literature that has found its way across the channel, and into the religious and social life of the poor, is some small antidote to the printed poison sold in the great towns here. What did a friend of mine see in Birkenhead early last May? A trashy and immoral Music Hall Song Book sent from Liverpool, and some illustrated publications from London-the Boy Burglars, the Police News, and the Freethinker, all selling to young English artisans, whilst the Irish dock labourers and their children were crowding into the Irish National League Hall in Watson Street to listen to a paper read by Mr. McNamara on 'The Life and Writings of Clarence Vangan.

About the same time that this reference was made to the reading of Clarence Mangan's poems to the Irish in Birkenhead, the Bishop of Clonfert wrote to the Secretary of the Southwark Junior Irish Literary Club, acknowledging a contribution of 71. 10s. for the poor in the West of Ireland, which had been collected at a recitation of national songs given by the Irish children of the Club. The Bishop was made acquainted with the rules :-“The subscription for each child is one penny per month.' • Tickets for recitation classes threepence each. “The Child's Irish Song Book, compiled by the Club, one penny.' · Irish parents in Southwark are earnestly requested to send their children to the Club to be trained in a knowledge and love of Ireland. In thanking the children for the money they sent to the poor people in his diocese, the Bishop thus wrote of the Child's Irish Song Book: “I need not say how fully I appreciate the force of the influence such songs exercise in keeping alive, in the minds of the exiled children of Ireland, the memory of the past.'


An English member of Parliament, who has little or nothing in the shape of such popular national literature of his own to speculate about, may ask, Do the Irish read no newspapers? No doubt they do ; and the proprietors of The Freeman's Journal, The Nation, United Ireland, and other popular newspapers, have very substantial reasons for knowing that the Irish reading public is a large and increasing

But the humblest “gentleman of the press' must feel some interest in seeing what the Catholic bishop calls the memory of the past’ kept alive by a national literature more truly popular than any literature of the kind in Europe. The literary man may remember what Samuel Johnson said about Ireland having been the early home of religion and learning, and he may be interested in seeing how the Irish peasant knows this and is proud of it. In other respects, also, it may have an interest for the literary man. But has it any interest for the politician? That is a question for the politician to decide.

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THE Art Gallery in South London, part of the Free Library, is always open, and crowded, on Sunday afternoons and evenings. For this, whether it be bad or good, I am in part responsible; the rooms being opened simply because we find that on Sunday the attendance is very large. But this simple-minded fulfilment of our duties as trustees of works lent for public view, in a poor neighbourhood, has been a serious, well-nigh insurmountable, difficulty in the way of obtaining funds, and I have been driven to think whether I can justify the Sunday opening, whether I may not be wrong in setting up convenience as a standard of morals. The Continental Sunday' in particular became a nightmare, and to get rid of dreaming, and to form a waking conception of what the Continental Sunday is, I determined to see it with my own eyes, so far as I could. I have therefore visited most of the large towns in Western Europe, and made inquiries beyond my personal observation. I had before formed the idea that Sunday labour was decreasing on the Continent, and that, so far from England adopting the Continental Sunday,' it was rather the Continent adopting, gradually, and far from slowly, our customs; but this was only a mere chance impression, derived from ordinary pleasure rambles.

Leaving London on a Saturday evening, I reached Paris by noon on Sunday, and hastened to the Louvre, open from 12 to 2, to find it crowded. A large number of soldiers, and children with their parents, gave variety to the crowd that wandered through the rooms in that vague way that people do wander through museums, and makes one wish that guides or lecturers would tell us something of the things and their meanings, or that we all had education enough to be guides to ourselves. The rest of the day was spent in walking about Paris. One man was washing down the front of a house, two were repairing a gas-pipe, twelve men were mending a road, and two men and three horses were taking a girder to a house in course of erection. This was all the work I saw. In the evening many shops that had been closed were open, and the Boulevards were all alive with open shops and gas, but the trade done could not, accordin gto appearance, have

paid for a tenth part of the gas used. The number of people in the streets was enormous, the trams and omnibuses were crowded, the noise of voices, wheels, tram-horses, was very trying to any but very robust ears, but wanton noise or disorder was nowhere perceptible. The theatre doors were crowded, and there were several morning perform ances, one being at the Français.

I had hoped to be at Madrid by the following Sunday, but had not allowed for the devious routes of Spanish railways, and the slowness of Spanish trains. So Sunday morning found me at Burgos, where the Cathedral was crowded and the market-place busy; but in the afternoon the market was limited to a few vendors of fruit, all the shops being closed. The people loitered and crawled, rather than walked, about the streets. We wandered about the town and then out of it, up to the citadel, where, under the eye of the single sentinel, we repeopled, in fancy, the heights with the forces of Wellington, and enacted again the siege of seventy years ago. No single townsman followed us, though the day was bright, and, to our thinking, not cold, though it was December. We returned to the town to find the people still listlessly loitering about, apparently without active life of any kind.

The following Sunday we were at Cadiz. We could not well stay at Madrid till Sunday, but we found traces of Sunday visiting at the Escurial. Noticing that the lower parts of the frescoes in the galleries were all covered with what appeared, at a distance, to be representations of grass, we went closer, and found them all disfigured by scribbling, such as we see at Carisbrooke Castle, and other places of popular resort (where every wall is regarded as a visitor's book). The guide explained this to be the work, or play, of the Sunday visitors from Madrid ; and when we asked why it was allowed, he simply shrugged his shoulders as the only reply to so absurd a question. At Cadiz, we found Sundays as other days up to noon; in the afternoon the shops were shut, and the people walking about on the promenade, and round the bay. Walking about' is the one means of getting through a day of rest in any part of Europe. In the evening we went to a circus; of the two theatres one was shut up, and the other burnt down. A difference of opinion as to the repetition of a song by the clown provoked a riot, confined entirely to voices and legs, about a hundred shouting men leaping into the arena, and doing nothing when there. The appearance of a policeman in a huge sash, and more huge cocked hat, made an impression, and when he formally, and with much solemnity, drew forth a mighty sword, there was a general slinking back into the seats. As the structure was temporary and threatened to be more so than originally intended, we left as soon as we could, without appearing to be partisans in the dispute. The booth was very full, and there was much noise, but no real disturbance.

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