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Patrick,' a work, even in its interpolated state, anterior to the tenth century. Under the same name it has always been known among the peasantry down to this day: and the inscription, of various dates, on the case describes it as the reliquary in the possession of the Bishop of Clogher or Clones. A very full account of this relic has been given by Mr. Petrie in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy,' and to this we must refer for a more minute delineation.

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In the possession of the Rev. Mr. Brownlow, of the county of Derry, there is also the celebrated Book of Armagh, the identical book mentioned by St. Bernard (see Inquiry, p. 328) as one of the three relics of St. Patrick-the bell, the crozier, and the book -the possessor of which the people without inquiry recognised as their bishop. The bell also is still in existence, and the crozier is known to have been destroyed in Dublin at the Reformation. The manuscript was considered of such inestimable value that its safe stewardship, like that of so many other relics, became an hereditary office of dignity, and was held by a family connected with the church of Armagh, who derived their name, Mac Moyre, or son of the steward, from this circumstance, and as a remuneration for it held no less than eight townlands in the county, still known as the lands of Bally Mac Moyre, or Mac Moyre town.

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The subsequent history of this volume is given by the celebrated antiquary Humphrey Lhwyd, and is published in O'Conor's 'Rerum Hibernicarum Scriptores.' In 1680 it was taken to London by Florence Mac Moyre, who went there to give his evidence, probably false evidence, against Oliver Plunkett, titular Archbishop of Armagh, who was executed for high treason. Moyre fell into extreme poverty, pledged the volume to an ancestor of the present Mr. Brownlow for five pounds, returned to Ireland, died a beggar and an outcast, and his memory is at this day held in such detestation that the common people are in the habit of purposely defiling his grave. The manuscript itself is evidently not older then the seventh century, and is a transcript from an older one. It contains a copy of the Gospels, the Confession of St. Patrick, the oldest known lives of that saint, some epistles and canons, and a life of St. Martin of Tours. The silver shrine in which it was originally deposited is lost. But the outer case, or satchel, is still in existence, and is a very elegant specimen of stamped leather, of the workmanship of the tenth century, a fact which is ascertained by a record in the Annals of the Four Masters.'

In the 17th century we know that there was also in existence another copy of the Gospels given by St. Patrick to the first 2 D 2 Bishop

Bishop of Duleek, and preserved with similar care. All immediate traces of this have now been lost; although among the manuscripts of Trinity College there is one the age and character of which might justify us in supposing it to be the same.

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We find in the same library St. Cronan's copy of the Gospels, described by Sir W. Betham in the Antiquarian Researches,' and evidently of the date of the seventh century. There is also the great reliquary of the Cavanagh family, Kings of Leinster; by whose representatives it was deposited here. It is a small manuscript of the Gospels in the handwriting of St. Moling, a saint also of the seventh century. Both these manuscripts were preserved in silver covers richly ornamented, which still exist. These are but some of the many relics of the kind, of which there are traces in the manuscript records of Ireland, and which even now may be in existence, though known only to the possessors, and carefully hidden from profane eyes.

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But besides these relics so deeply interesting, there are in existence vast collections of manuscripts of a date anterior to the twelfth century: the works of the old poets, of the family historiographers, and chroniclers of the monasteries scripts which throw extraordinary light on the history and topography of the country; but from which we have only space to select one portion, the examination and publication of which is a duty imperative on the University of Dublin. These are the Brehon Laws. A very large collection of these was made by Humphrey Lhwyd, and from him passed into the possession of the Sebright family, by whom, at the suggestion of Mr. Burke, they were presented to the University, in the confident expectation that their contents would be made known to the world. The value of these, as the only records which could give us an insight into the state of society in Ireland anterior to the twelfth century, must be inestimable. The laws themselves are apparently pagan, but modified under the influence of the church to suit the Christian system. The documents contain the original laws, their modifications, and copious commentaries upon them. They did undoubtedly hold a very close relation to our own Anglo-Saxon codes. They exhibit a most minute detail, entering into every variety of crime, every ramification of domestic life, every branch of art and property as may be inferred even from the incidental notices of them with which Mr. Petrie has illustrated his present volume; especially one which prescribes the sum to be paid to the builder of a round tower, and the proportion which the tower should bear to the chapel-a proportion which even now may be detected

tected. Without a thorough examination of these records it is idle to think of inquiring into the early history of Ireland; and so long as they are permitted to sleep unknown and unnoticed upon the shelves of an Irish University, that University will forfeit one of its first claims to the respect of the nation.

If the University should much longer neglect this duty, there is still hope that it may be undertaken by the Irish Archæological Society, which has been formed under high auspices for the very purpose of exploring and laying open this field of inquiry. And the admirable manner in which, with small resources, they have already prosecuted their labours, demands the gratitude and encouragement of every one interested in the history and literature of Ireland.

We would willingly point out some few more relics among the many still remaining, which, with Mr. Petrie's information, to detail their history and association, must fill the most cold and sceptical inquirer with astonishment and interest. He will see in Mr. Petrie's own museum, in that of the Academy formed under his superintendence, and even in the hands of private individuals, bells, croziers, shrines, and other remains, of which there cannot be a doubt that they were fabricated for St. Patrick and St. Columba, and other most eminent saints of the Irish church. Like the copies of the Gospels belonging to those saints, they have been deposited in the hereditary keeping of certain families, and have been known and almost worshipped by the people through successive generations. Their existence is noticed repeatedly in the usual manuscripts. The evidence which authenticates them is irresistible: and many of them (the bells especially) are used at the present day for the very same purposes as of old-for enforcing oaths, honouring funerals, curing diseases, exercising a species of ordeal, and attending the festivals of the patron saint of the district-just as we find them used in most ancient histories of the country. The very last possessor of the celebrated bell of Armagh the identical bell noticed by St. Bernard as one of the three palladiums of the see-bore the same name as that of its hereditary keeper, inscribed upon its shrine of jewelled silver and gold in the eleventh century, when it was newly cased for the archbishop by Donald Mac Laughlan, then king of Ireland. These bells are usually from nine to twelve inches in height, and about six in width. They are formed of a dark bronze, and are remarkable for the sweetness of their tone. They are quadrangular like the Roman bells, from which they probably derive their shape. Sometimes they are cast in one piece; but at other times they are formed of two or three plates riveted together, and subse

quently

quently fused into one mass by some singular process of founding, which in the present day appears to have been lost.

The croziers of the founders of the churches in Ireland were preserved in like manner-short, simple-shaped, and yet elegant bronze crooks, remarkable chiefly for the beauty of their detailed workmanship, especially the interlaced triquetra filagree so peculiar to Ireland; and they are not unfrequently ornamented with enamel and jewels. Of these very many are still in existence, and may be authenticated as genuine relics of the most eminent saints of the sixth and seventh centuries, the original form being preserved, although repaired and embellished at different periods.

Of a still later date may be seen in the Museum of the Academy the most beautiful specimen of jeweller's work to be found in the empire, the celebrated cross of Cong-the identical cross, as inscriptions on it prove, made to receive the piece of the true cross' which was sent over by the Pope to Turlogh O'Conor king of Ireland in 1123; and the casing of which in gold is recorded in the Annals. In the abbey of Cong it was preserved apparently from the death of the last king of Ireland, Roderick, who died in the twelfth century within the walls of the abbey. At the dissolution of the body it passed into the hands of the priest of the parish, who still held the nominal office of abbot, as the head of the Augustinian order in Ireland, and was recognised as such by the people—even with the title of lord—though living in a poor cabin, and stripped of all the dignity of his order. With the death of the last priest this order became extinct; but before he died Mr. Petrie had obtained a sight of the relic—had learned that it had been found in an old oak chest, together with many illuminated manuscripts of exquisite beauty, which, during the absence of the priest on the continent, his curate had torn up and destroyed. At the death of the priest it became the property of his successor, by whom it was allowed to be exhibited in the chapel, and there most seriously injured; and from him it was obtained by Professor Mac Cullagh for the sum of one hundred guineas, and deposited in the Academy, of which it now forms the most remarkable ornament, though it must be added that as an ecclesiastical relic it might be deposited in a more appropriate locality. The ecclesiastical interest of this cross is not a little enhanced by remembering that it is a memorial of the strenuous efforts made at this period by the see of Rome to subjugate the Irish Church. And as a work of jewellery it is no less valuable from exhibiting, as the inscriptions on it prove, the extraordinary perfection of Irish art at a period when it is commonly imagined that the whole country was lost in barbarism

And now we must close these remarks with one practical sug

gestion,

gestion, with a view to which they have chiefly been made. To those who really understand the state of Ireland, it is obvious that any attempt to pacify, to elevate, or to purify it will be futile, which does not take into consideration two great elements on which an English politician in the nineteenth century will be very much disposed to look down as the extravagances of an idle enthusiasm-nationality and religious feeling. In what way these elements are to be dealt with, so as to draw most closely the ties which may bind together the hearts and minds of the Irish people to the British empire, is a question on which we have no intention to enter here; but to overlook them, or to think of extinguishing them, is as mischievous as it is idle. Such instincts in the minds of a people are vast powers, which a wise statesman will think not of destroying, but of employing to good. And we do believe that one of the great avenues to the hearts of the Irish nation is by recognising, fostering, appealing to, valuing as a great treasure, in which Englishmen have a common interest, their deeply cherished, worthily cherished nationality, fed as it is to this day by the traditions and memories of that very period to which Mr. Petrie's researches have carried us back. These memories have been never forgotten among the peasantry: and now that they have been exhumed and set before the more cultivated classes, they will produce on them also a very powerful impression. The nobility of Ireland are beginning to take in them deep and increasing interest. The formation of the Museum of Antiquities in the Academy, a work the merit of which must be given to Mr. Petrie, has given a powerful stimulus to his own branch of study. The cultivation of the Irish language is proceeding rapidly, and a class has been formed in the Academy itself. To the same Academy, and the Prize proposed by it for the Investigation of the Round Towers, we owe the present volume; and had the Society accomplished nothing more, it would deserve the support of every lover of Ireland. Within the last year, in consequence of the zealous energy of Lord Adare, three great exertions have been made, all bearing in the same direction. A large and valuable collection of Irish manuscripts has been purchased, and deposited in the library of the Academy. A College has been founded (under the highest ecclesiastical authority) for the purpose of providing for the higher classes in Ireland the highest form of education, and giving to them at the same time a knowledge of the Irish language, as the most powerful means of reaching the hearts and understandings of the people, whether as their landlords or their clergy. And efforts, we hope and believe not yet to be wholly despaired of,

have

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