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matters somewhat above the superstitious absurdities of the consider superstitious prejudices can better be extinguished people.
than by inducing accuracy of observation of natural pheno“If you wish your daughter to be cured,” said he to her mena, which shows that nothing supernatural exists The father, *** leave the house you are now living in. Take her to second charge, that the hedgehog is a robber of orchards, is some part of the country where she can have companions of a very old one. Pliny, as translated by Holland, states her own class and state of life to mingle with ; bring her • Hedgehogs make their provision beforehand of meat for away from the place altogether ; for you may rest assured that winter in this wise: they wallow and roll themselves upon so long as there are objects before her eyes to remind her of apples and such fruit lying under foot, and so catch them up what happened, she will not mend on your hands."
with their prickles, and one more besides they take in their The father, although he sat rent free, took this excellent mouth, and so carry them into hollow trees." advice, even at a sacrifice of some comfort: for nothing short Now, this has no foundation in fact. True it is that the of the temptation of easy circumstances could have induced hedgehog is very often found in the neighbourhood of orany man to reside in so wild and remote a solitude. In the chards; but then this may be accounted for by the fact that course of a few days he removed from it with his family, and the fences of such places are usually of exactly the thick and came to reside amidst the cheerful aspect and enlivening in- unfrequented kind the animal best likes to inhabit.
Our retercourse of human life. The consequences were precisely as peated experience has never enabled us to discover that a the man had told him. In the course of a few weeks the little hedgehog will eat apples ; on the contrary, in early youth, girl began to find that the visits of the spectre were like those when imbued with the general belief that this fruit was their of angels, few and far between. She was sent to school, and diet, we have in more than one or two instances (most cruelly what with the confidence derived from human society, and as we now believe) starved to death unfortunate specimens, the substitution of new objects and images, she soon perfectly which we shut up in a box with an ample supply of apples, not recovered, and ere long was thoroughly set free from the fear- one of which they ever ate. That a magpie will steal and ful creation of her own brain.
hide silver spoons, or a raven silk stockings, we know, and Now, there is scarcely one of the people in my native pa- may use it as an argument that animals steal what they do rish who does not believe that the spirit of this man came back not want; but that a hedgehog steals apples in the way to the world, and actually appeared to this little girl. The stated, experiment will at once prove to be untrue, for, from time, however, is fast coming when these empty bugbears will the varied position of the points of the spines when fixed, it altogether disappear, and we shall entertain more reverend is impossible to fasten an apple upon them; and when they are and becoming notions of God than to suppose such senseless not fixed, they yield at once to the pressure made in the atpranks could be played by the soul of a departed being under tempt. Though domesticated hedgehogs can easily be brought his permission. We might as well assert that the imaginary to feed on bread and milk or dressed vegetables, yet all our beings which surround the couch of the madman or hypochon observation goes to prove that in a state of nature, or when driac have a real existence, as those that are conjured up by permitted to stray in a garden, they never eat any but animal terror, weak nerves, or impure blood.
food. This is at variance with the generally received opiThe spot where the body of M‘Kenna was found is now nion, which is supported by the authority of White, who, in marked by a little heap of stones, which has been collected his admirable History of Selborne, complains that hedgehogs since the melancholy event of his death. Every person who injured his garden by boring with their long snouts under the passes it throws a stone upon the heap; but why this old cus- plantain that grew in his grass walks, eating off the root uptom is practised, or what it means, I do not know, unless it wards, leaving the tufts of leaves untouched, and defacing his be simply to mark the spot as a visible means of preserving grounds by making unsightly holes. He then immediately the memory of the occurrence.
goes on to prove that these identical animals used beetles as Daly's house, the scene of the supposed apparition, is now
no inconsiderable portion of their food. Now, it strikes us a shapeless ruin, which could scarcely be seen were it not for that his previous observation was not made with his usual acthe green spot that was once a garden, and which now shines curacy, and that the hedgehogs did not eat the roots of planat a distance like an emerald, but with no agreeable or pleas- tain, but dug up where they had been to catch the larvæ of ing associations. It is a spot which no solitary schoolboy will beetles that had just devoured them. Thus rooks have been ever visit, nor indeed would the unflinching believer in the po- charged with wantonly plucking up grass, while the truth is, pular nonsense of ghosts wish to pass it without a companion. that they only pull up plants attacked at the root by the larræ It is under any circumstances a gloomy and barren place, but of the cockchaffer or some other of the Phytophagous coleop. when looked upon in connection with what we have just re
tera (as vegetable-eating beetles are called), catch in the fact cited, it is lonely, desolate, and awful.
the destructive insect, and so stop its ravages; thus rendering
important services to those who, for lack of accurate obserAn Ghraiñeogo-(THE HEDGEHOG.)
vation, falsely accuse and mischievously shoot them. Trust
ing we have satisfied you that the hedgehog does not steal apSOME twenty years ago it was not unusual in the south of ples, we come to the next charge, that he sucks cows. To Ireland to see boys assembled about a fire of straw, loudly refute this we have the best possible evidence in the animal's exulting over a flame-surrounded victim, whose attempts to mouth, the structure of which is completely unsuited to the escape, rendered nugatory by a timid retraction as it were accomplishment of such an object. That he will drink milk into himself, served but to call forth louder shouts of triumph with avidity when domesticated, is certain, but this is only a from his persecutors, who thought they justified their savage taste he acquires in common with hundreds of other animals : deed by proclaiming its hapless object as a witch, a robber of there is scarcely one that may not be induced to relish such orchards, and a sucker of cows. Leaving to our antiquarian diet. Having thus cleared our hero (a name he fully deserves, friends to discover whether the cruel act in question was not as he wins battles by passive resistance) from the charges a holocaust originating in the mystic rites of Pagan times, it brought against him, we proceed to give some anecdotes of is for us to vindicate the wronged, and show the absurdity of our personal knowledge, and shall finish with a few interesting the charges by which wrong has been maintained, and at the facts in his history, for the information of those who take pleasame time to indicate such matter as may serve to direct kind-sure in accurate acquaintance with nature's works. ness to that innocent victim of ignorance, the inoffensive Hedge- We have before mentioned our starving of hedgehogs by hog. That it is not a witch according to the old law, may be endeavouring to make them eat apples. In one of these cases proved in a court of justice spite of the popular opinion and we suffered no small retribution. We were at school in these in defiance of the authority of Shakspeare, whose witches in days, and a practice existed amongst us called “slating." Macbeth are warned that the proper time had come to com- It was an innocent imitation of the murderous attacks made mence their infernal incantations by “thrice and once the in Dublin by short-sighted combinators on such of their fel. hedge-pig whined.” We have no witness that a hedgehog low tradesmen as refused obedience to their mischievous laws. ever rode a broomstick or vomited knives, skewers, coals of With us it consisted in waylaying each other in the dark pasfire, or any such like legal proofs of witchcraft; neither, per- sages, and striking with the open palms the hats or caps of the haps you exclaim, is the writer of so much nonsense a witch. surprised over the eyes. Having been thus treated many True it is that the creature so named has its place nowhere times, we bethought ourselves of turning our starved hedgein the classification of a zoologist, yet still an undefined idea hog to account, and proceeded to skin him with the intent of of its existence floats in the imagination of the most ignorant, making a cap; so that when again “slated,” the attacking and it is not extraordinary that an opinion once universal party would find reason to call out in the words of Chaucer, should still linger in unenlightened minds. In no way do we
"Like sharpe urchins his hair was growe."
Accordingly, having hanged the animal up against a tree, we Having given you so much of his manners, let us turn to his were essaying, by pulling, to effect a solution of continuity, as structural peculiarities. He is a small animal, not much larger a surgeon would call it, between his body and skin, when the than a rat when stripped of his spines and the muscular appanail gave way, and he came down with considerable force on ratus connected with them. It is this that enables him to roll our forehead, accupuncturating us most awfully. The pain himself up so as to present a chevaux-de-frize-like defence, at the time was very great, and considerable soreness conti- impregnable to all ordinary enemies ; and as there is much nued for several days, so much so that we were induced to singularity in it, we will endeavour to describe it. On the suspect that some poisonous virus existed. We introduce this back of the animal, between the skin and ribs, there is a large story for the purpose of calling attention to the effects of the oval muscle with thickened edges, partially attached to the spines when brought into action. Though experience induces skin and spines. From this spring certain muscular bands, us to believe that their punctures are more painful than those which are fixed firmly at the other ends to the head, tail, of pins and needles, we have not been able to ascertain why breast, and other parts of the body. The whole may be they should be so. Disabled in our attempt, we abandoned likened to a sort of elastic mantle, kept on the back by straps. the skin, and it became common property. It was for some When the owner wishes to roll up, he bends his body, then time used as one of the instruments for initiating the Johnny tightening the straps, he pulls the edge of the elastic
mantle Newcomes into the mysteries of school life. Not a few will over, which contracting, draws it in as if it were a running recollect how, when chilled by a previous salting or seasoning, string in a bag ; at the same time the spines are fixed rigidly as we called it, of snow crammed into the mouth, eyes, nose, for defence by the straining of the muscles. There are many and down the back, their sense of vitality was aroused, when other interesting points in his anatomy. He possesses, as we escaping to bed they threw themselves on its thorny pre-occu- do, well developed clavicles or collar-bones, which only exist pant. Many, doubtless, then heartily wished themselves again in a rudimentary form in many quadrupeds. The peculiarities within the zone of mamma's apron-string ; but the affair usu- of his structure have exposed him to much, we will not say ally ended by storing up vengeance for, and the implement for wanton cruelty, as its object was the increase of knowledge; executing it on, the next comer. A few years afterwards we it therefore should not be heavily censured, while so many unprocured another hedgehog, and provided him with earth- meaning barbarities exist under the name of sports. 'It is worms, which he munged with great gusto. We mixed a few stated as a proof of his endurance, that he has died without a of them with bread and milk, and thus initiated him into this groan under the slow process of zootomy inflicted upon him new diet. We tried him with frogs, mice, sparrows, and va- while nailed to a table. Such practices are seldom if ever rious other animal matters, of all of which he partook freely, engaged in at the present time. and he soon became quite domesticated. We provided him a The hedgehog is certainly a very apathetic creature, and at bed made in an old footstool in the kitchen ; in this he remained a low temperature becomes torpid; when in this condition he is during daylight rolled up in a ball of hay, from which it was doubtless devoid of feeling.. Torpidity in many animals seems quite a troublesome matter to extricate him; he could not be to stand in the place of migration in others, as a necessary disentangled from it at all, without picking it carefully from his condition when provision of food depends on season: in this case spines. Yet when he pleased himself to move, he came forth the fact seems to argue in favour of our position—that the quite free, and did not drag a single filament out with him. hedgehog is in a state of nature strictly insectivorous ; were He soon acquired a habit of making his appearance wnen tea it not so, torpidity would not seem necessary, as roots of vewas being served; the hissing of the water in the urn seemed getables could be had with facility as well at one season as to be his signal that his only meal was ready, for he regularly the other. The hedgehog while torpid loses weight rather followed the servant who bore it into the tea-room, where he rapidly, so that the power of its remaining in this state is was indulged with a saucer of bread and milk on the rug be- limited perhaps to a very few months. fore the fire. Having eaten as much as he desired, he com- The French academicians maintained long since that there menced trotting about the room, taking precisely the same were two species of hedgehog in their country. In reference course round the legs of chairs and tables each time ; and so to this, Ray, with his usual sagacity, after describing the he continued without a moment's cessation to the latest hour common species, expresses a disbelief of there being another the household remained up. Like the Guinea-pig, he seemed in Europe ; a doubt since fully confirmed : for the dog and to have the greatest dislike to running across the room. In hog urchin, as the supposed species were called, have no more the morning he was always found snug in his bed. At length existence than the dog and hog badgers of our sportsmen have he disappeared, but previously did good service by devouring as distinct animals. Old authors notice several species under the cockroaches and beetles which infested the house. The the name of hedgehog ; but it appears by more accurate obdesire of the hedgehog to pursue a beaten track was further servation that bút two of the animals mentioned by them are evidenced by one we kept in a garden, which continued for entitled to this name, viz. the one in question and the longmonths the course he first took, though a portion of it con- eared urchin of Siberia. sisted in climbing with difficulty over some tiles, which a few Since 1832, at least three other species have been enrolled inches on either side would have avoided. We often put things in the records of science. It is said that when hedgehogs are in his path, and watched his proceedings : he shrunk at first born, their ears as well as their eyes are closed, and the on finding the obstruction, and then tumbled over it in the former circumstance is noticed as a unique fact ; however, best way he could.
another instance of imperforate ears occurred to us, in the case Again we got another, and having heard that he may be at of a black bear cubbed at the gardens of the Royal Zoologi. once tamed by indulging him in whisky, we mixed some cal Society of Ireland : it lived but a few hours. The ear of in a saucer with sugar, and dipping his nose into it, he licked the hedgehog, in the structure of its bony parts, presents some bis chops, then ventured to make a lap at the enticing mate- peculiarities strikingly different from most other quadrupeds. rial, and, "startled at the sound himself had made," he shrunk The hedgehog is said to feed occasionally on cantharides ; a in, but came out again presently and lapped away most eagerly. single beetle of which would occasion death or serious injury
The spirit soon showed its power, and like other beasts that to most animals. If this be true, it is only another example of indulge in it, he was any thing but himself; and his lack. what often occurs in nature, illustrating the old. proverb lustre leaden eye was rendered still less pleasing by its inane “what is one's meat is another's poison." In addition to the drunken expression. He staggered towards us in a ridicu- use of the hedgehog as the destroyer of cockroaches, his skin lously get-out-of-my-way sort of manner; however, he had was an important monopoly in the time of the Romans, being not gone far before his potation produced all its effects; used both as a clothes-brush and an instrument for hackling he tottered, then fell on his side; he was drunk in the hemp. His calcined eyes formed part of an ointment which full sense of the rd; he could not even hold by the the ancients tell us had such a wonderful efficacy as to enable ground. We could then pull him about by the feet, open his persons using it to see in the dark. His gall was used to take mouth, twitch his whiskers, &c. : he was unresisting. There off hair, his fat to put it on, &c. was a strange expression in his face of that self-confidence He is still eaten in the south of Europe; but, judging from which we see in cowards when inspired by drinking. We his food and appearance, we would not recommend the pracput him away, and some twelve hours afterwards found tice here. The hedgehog, or urchin, as he is sometimes called, him running about, and, as was predicted, quite tame, his belongs to the order of Insectivora, and possesses much of the spines lying so smoothly and regularly that he could be stroked character and habits of shrews. His scientific name is Erinadown the back, and handled freely. We turned him into the ceus Europæus; but we have headed this article with his Irish kitchen to kill the cockroaches, and know nothing further of appellation, which is perhaps the only one not inserted in our him,
WATERPROOFING OF CLOTH, SILK, &c.
which aims at the prevention rather than the alleviation of
evil. It is a nobler charity to prevent destitution, crime, and TO THE EDITOR OF THE IRISH PENNY JOURNAL. ignorance, than to relieve individuals who nerer ought to have SIR-) would feel happy should the few remarks I will at been made destitute, criminal, and ignorant. present offer be found worthy of insertion in your columns-- EMPLOYMENT FOR THE UNHAPPY.- The unhappy are in. it is on the subject of waterproofing cloth, or other fabrics, disposed to employment : all active occupations are weari. cotton, silk, leather, &c.
some and disgusting in prospect, at a time when every thing, When the matter first came before the public, being deter- life itself, is full of weariness and disgust. Yet the unhappy mined if possible to ascertain the secret, after many unsuccess- must be employed, or they will go mad. Comparatively ful experiments I found all the requisite properties to consist blessed are they, if they are set in families, where claims and in a concentrated solution of acetate of alumina, which can be duties abound, and cannot be escaped. In the pressure of procured at a cheap and a moderate rate, by mixing equal business there is present safety and ultimate relief. Harder quantities of sulphate of alum (common alum) and acetate of is the lot of those who have few necessary, occupations, enlead (sugar of lead), and dissolving them in water: one forced by other claims than their own harmlessness and propound of each may be purchased for one shilling, which may fitableness. Reading
often fails. Now and then it may be be dissolved in one gallon and a half of boiling water, and well guile ; but much oftener the attention is languid, the thoughts mixed; when cold, the supernatant liquid should be removed wander, and associations with the subject of grief are awak. from the sediment, which consists of sulphates of lead, potash, ened. Women who find that reading will not do, will obtain &c. Any article of dress, no matter how slight the fabric, if no relief from sewing. Sewing is pleasant enough in moderawell saturated in it, and allowed to dry slowly, will bear the tion to those whose minds are at ease the while; but it is an action of boiling water, and not permit it to pass through: it employment which is trying to the nerves when long continued, is a remarkable fact, and there are many others connected at the best ; and nothing can be worse for the harassed, and with the same solution well worthy of investigation. for those who want to escape from themselves. Writing is should be glad if some of your learned correspondents would bad. The pen hangs idly suspended over the paper, or the favour us with the reason why the boiling water will not pass sad thoughts that are alive within write themselves down. through, and the stean of the water will. Thinking it a sub- The safest and best of all occupations for such sufferers as are ject not totally unworthy of examination, I remain, Sir, your fit for it, is intercourse with young children. An infant might most obedient servant,
have beguiled Satan and his peers the day after they were Apothecary and Chemist, 48 Cuffe St. couched on the lake of fire, if the love of children had chanced
to linger amidst the ruins of their angelic nature. Next to
this comes honest, genuine acquaintanceship among the poor ; A SCENE AT SEA.
not mere charity-visiting, grounded on soup-tickets and
blankets, but intercourse of mind, with real mutual interest " I saw the ship go dancing on before the favouring gale,
between the parties. Gardening is excellent, because it unites And like the pinions of a swan was spread each swelling sail ; But ere again uprose the sun, rose many a shriek and wail;
bodily exertion with a sufficient engagement of the faculties, Ere morn the gallant ship was gone-vanished the snowy sail !" while sweet, compassionate nature is ministering cure in every The ship rode far upon the silent main ; 'twas night,
sprouting leaf and scented blossom, and beckoning sleep to A beautiful, still night; no muon was there,
draw nigh, and be ready to follow up her benignant work. But the bright stars were hanging overhead
Walking is good, not stepping from shop to shop, or from In golden clusters; and the breathless sea
neighbour to neighbour, but stretching out far into the coun. Gave them all back; while the tall vessel seemed
try, to the freshest fields, and the highest ridges, and the A fairy home, suspended 'twixt two heavens.
quietest lanes. However sullen the imagination may have been And there were happy hearts within her then :
among its griefs at home, here it cheers up and smiles. HowThat eve they had descried the distant shore
ever listless the limbs may have been when sustaining a too Of their own land ; and all had gone to rest
heavy heart, here they are braced, and the lagging gait beIn the dear hope that ere another day
comes buoyant again. However perverse the memory may Their feet would press again their native soil :
have been in presenting all that was agonizing, and insisting Then the rich merchant dreamed how his gay stores
only on what cannot be retrieved, here it is first disregarded, Would well reward his exile ; and the youth
and then it sleeps; and the sleep of the memory is the day Thought of his loved one, and in fancy touch'd
in Paradise to the unhappy. The mere breathing of the cool Already her rose-lips ; while the fond sire
wind on the face in the commonest highway is rest and comDreamed of his wife and children, and his hearth
fort which must be felt at such times to be believed. It is With their bright faces gathered round, like stars,
disbelieved in the shortest intervals between the seasons of onTo hearken to the marvels of his voyage.
joyment; and every time the sufferer has resolution to go
forth to meet it, it penetrates to the very heart in glad surThere is a stillness over sea and heaven
prise. The fields are better still : for there is the lark to A placid calm, a holy peace : alas !
fill up the hours with mirthful music; or, at worst, the robin Whence is that sudden cry--that rising flame
and the flocks of fieldfares, to show that the hardest day has That bursts from the fair vessel ?
its life and hilarity. But the calmest region is the upland, Of heaven, no angry lightning, that hath struck
where human life is spread out beneath the bodily eye, where And blasted it! A moment, and the scene
the mind roves from the peasant's nest to the spiry town, That was so fair is changed: the heavens above
from the schoolhouse to the churchyard, from the diminished And still as ever ; but the death-fire glows
team in the patch of fallow, or the fisherman's boat in the Upon the burnished waters ! Groans and prayers
cove, to the viaduct that spans the valley, or the fleet that Rise up all vainly! There's a sudden shriek,
glides ghostlike on the horizon. This is the perch where the Like to an earthquake ; and the hopes and fears
spirit plumes its ruffled and drooping wings, and makes ready Of many hearts, the vessel and its freight,
to let itself down any wind that heaven may send.-From Are vanished-scattered into nameless things,
Deerbrook, a Tale, by Harriet Martineau. And all is swallowed up and lost ! - From the Knickerbocker.
CHILDHOOD.–Childhood is like a mirror, catching and reflecting images from all around it. Remember that an im
pious or profane thought, uttered by a parent's lips, may TRUE CHARITY.-The lowest order of charity is that which operate on the young heart like a careless spray of water is satisfied with relieving the immediate pressure of distress thrown upon polished steel, staining it with rust which do in individual cases. A higher is, that which makes provision after scouring can efface. on a large scale for the relief of such distress; as when a nation passes on from common almsgiving to a general provi- Printed and published every Saturday by Gunn and Cameron, at the Office sion for the destitute. A higher still is, when such provision of the General Advertiser, No. 6, Church Lane, College Green, Dublin, is made in the way of anticipation, or for distant objects ; as Agents :-R. GROOMBRIDGE, Panyer Alley, Paternoster Row, London ; when the civilization of savages, the freeing of slaves, the
Simas and DINHAM, Exchange Street, Manchester ; C. Davies, North treatment of the insane, or the education of the blind and deaf
John Street, Liverpool ; J. DRAKE, Birmingham ; SLOCOMBB & SIMMS,
Leeds; Frazer and CRAWFORD, George Street, Edinburgh ; and and mutes, is undertaken. The highest charity of all is, that David ROBERTSON, Trongate, Glasgow,
"Tis no fire
THE CHURCH AND ROUND TOWER OF DONAGHMORE, COUNTY OF MEATH. ENGLISA and other visitors to our metropolis who dare the , Book, and is but little known even to the well informed of perils of the deep, and various other perils now equally ima- the citizens of Dublin themselves, more of whom have seen ginary, to see something of our Emerald Isle, are generally and enjoyed the scenery of the Thames than that of the Boyne, directed as a matter of course to our far-famed county of which is within four hours' journey. Yet the scenery of the Wicklow as the only picturesque lion within a few hours' jour. Boyne, following its course upwards from Drogheda to Naney; and certainly in this romantic region they will find much van, a distance of eleven miles, and the scenery of the Blackto gratify the taste, and which will remain indelibly fixed on water, a river tributary to the Boyne, ascending from Nayan the memory: But, delightful as such excursion undoubtedly to Kells, a distance of eight miles more, is, in its way, of a chais, it will only convey to a stranger's mind a partial and im-racter as beautiful and luxuriant as could be found anywhere, perfect impression of Irish scenery; and he will be apt to con- or even be imagined. Scenery of this class of equal richness clude that however rich we may be in the possession of lakes may be often found in England ; but we do not know of any and mountains—the grand buť solitary domains of nature-river's course of the same length in which natural beauty. so we are wholly wanting in scenery of a different class, that of happily combines with the artificial, or in which so many in. the richly wooded pastoral valley, blooming with artificial as teresting memorials of past ages could be found. Scattered well as natural beauty, the anciently chosen abodes of luxury in rich profusion along the banks of this beautiful river we and rank, and, as such, rich in memorials of the past, with their find the noblest monuments of the various races of men who attendant historical associations. Scenery such as this, the have held sway in Ireland : the great earthen fortresses, stone proud Briton will most probably think
the exclusive boast of circles and dome-roofed sepulchres of the Tuatha de Dananns his own favoured isle. He will not imagine that it is also to and the
Fir-Bolgs—the raths of the Milesians—the churches be found in equal perfection in Ireland, and even
within a short and round towers of the earliest Christian times--the proud distance of the metropolis. It is not in the Guide or Tour castles of the Anglo-Norman chiefs and their equally imposing
A TOO TRUE STORY.
architectual structures dedicated to tne services of religion. the thirteenth century, when a variety of bells, and a different In the variety, if not the namber of such monuments here mode of hanging them, were brought into use by the Anglofound, the Boyne is without a rival in any Irish river, nor do Norman settlers. we think it could be paralleled by any river in the empire ; The Church of Donaghmore has been confounded by Archand we might truly add, that it is on its luxuriant banks, amid dall and subsequent writers with the ancient church of Domso many instructive memorials of past ages, that the history of nach-Tortain, also founded by St Patrick, but which was siour country, as traced in its monuments would be best stu- tuated near Ardbraccan.
It is from amongst these interesting remains that we have selected the subject of our prefixed illustration—the Church
THE DRUNK ARDS, and Round Tower of Donaghmore, situated a little more than a mile from Navan, on the road to Slane.
In one of those admirable tales which Mrs Hall is now pubThis religious establishment, which was anciently called lishing with the praiseworthy object of the melioration of the Domnach-mor muighe Echnach, owes its origin to St Patrick, Irish character, the ordinary effects of a too faint resistance to as will appear from the following passage translated from the the fascinations of strong drink are faithfully detailed. The life of the Irish apostle, attributed to St Evin :
moral which our generous countrywoman intended to convey “ While the man of God was baptising the people called is undoubtedly of universal application, but I am afraid that Luaignii, at a place where the church of Domnach-mor in the the circumstances I am about to relate will convey no moral. plain
of Echnach stands at this day, he called to him his dis. It is the simple and true record of an appalling calamity which ciple Cassanus, and committed to him the care of the church. befell the subjects of my story, with all the melancholy unacrecently erected there, preadmonishing him, and with prophetic countableness and fatality of lunacy. No one would warn his mouth predicting that he might expect that to be the place of fellow-creatures against the danger of madness-against any his resurrection; and that the church committed to his care unforeseen dispensation of God's wrath: it is in this sense, would always remain diminutive in size and structure, but then, that I am afraid I have no moral to convey in narrating great and celebrated in honour and veneration. The event an event of which I was all but a spectator. has proved this prophecy to be a true one, for St Cassanus's It must have struck every observer of human character that relics are there to be seen in the highest veneration among there are two classes of drunkards in this country. One class the people, remarkable for great miracles, so that scarcely is composed of those persons, who, at first being well enough any of the visitors go away without recovering health, or re- disposed to be temperate in all things, are insensibly led on ceiving other gifts of grace sought for."— Tr. Th. p. 130. by the charm of good fellowship to create for themselves an
But though the existing ruins of the Church of Donagh- artificial want, which in the end leaves them the helpless vicmore sufficiently indicate it to have been a structure“ di- tims of a miserable disease : they begin with a little—they minutive in size," its architectural features clearly prove continue the draught under the self-deceiving sophism " it's that it is not the original church of St Patrick's erection, but only a drop"—they fall into excess—they lose all sense of dea re-edification of the thirteenth century, in the usual style of corum and proper spirit—they become mean and unbashful in the parish churches erected by the Anglo-Norman settlers their craving after spirituous liquor, which condition unfits within the Pale. Neither can the Round Tower, though un. them for an upright and honourable course of thought and questionably a structure of much higher antiquity than the action in any of the details of daily existence—a mental dissipresent church, be referred to the time of the Irish apostle, or pation accompanies the bodily languor : while the hand tremperhaps to an earlier age than the ninth or tenth century. bles, the brain wanders, and the last scene of the tragedy is At all events, its erection cannot be ascribed to an earlier date delirium tremens. than that of the Tower of the Church of Kells—a religious es. But there is another class of drunkards—God forbid that I tablishment founded by St Columbkille in the sixth century should attribute any thing to the decrees of Providence incon-as these towers so perfectly agree in architectural style and sistent with mercy and justice-but I am almost tempted to masonwork, that they appear to have been constructed by the designate this class the drunkards by necessity. However same architects or builders.
worldly condition, education, or other causes, may modify the This very beautiful tower is built entirely of limestone un result in individual cases, it is not the less certain that there dressed, except around the doorway and other apertures, and are persons--very many of them—who appear to have come is of admirable masonry. It has two projecting ledges or steps into the world predisposed to an inordinate desire for intoxiat its base, and six rests for stories, with intermediate pro- cating liquors. These wretched people do not begin with jecting stones or brackets in its interior. These stories are thimblesful, and end with gills—the stroke seizes them like a each, as usual, lighted by a single aperture, with the excep- thief in the night-sometimes in the prime of manhood-sometion of the upper one, which has two openings, one facing the times in the flush of youth-sometimes it is a fearful truth) east, and the other the west ; and the apertures present all in the thoughlessness of boyhood. It is a passion with them the architectural varieties of form observable in our most an- a madness. You may know one of these unhappy beings, escient churches. The circumference of this tower, near its base, pecially if he be a very young man, by the sullen and dogged is 66 feet 6 inches, and its height, to the slant of the roof, air with which, early in the morning, he enters the public which is wanting, is about 100 feet. The wall is 3 feet 9 house, and sits down in solitude and silence to his doubleinches in thickness, and the doorway is 12 feet from the shotted measure of undiluted whisky-whisky is the only ground. This doorway-which is of very beautiful execution, drink for one of this calibre—alas ! the worst and fiercest stuff and, as usual, faces the west end of the church_is 5 feet 2 that can be made is the most acceptable to him_his palate is inches in height, and has inclined sides, and a semicircularly too long palled to distinguish between tastes and flavours—it arched top. It is 2 feet 3 inches wide at bottom, and 2 feet is the liquid fire he wants ; you may know him at other times beneath the spring of the arch at top. Over the door there is by the pitiable imbecility which prompts him in his awful a figure of the Saviour sculptured in relief, partly on the key- craving to reach his tumbler to his lips with both his hands, stone and partly on the stone over it; and on each side of the till he finishes the draught with all the apparent eagerness of architrave there is a human head also in relief, as on the intense thirst; you may know such a one by his frightful doorway of the church of Kells.
sleeps, begun, continued, and closed in terrific dreams! The Some antiquaries, in their zeal to support the theory of the wife and family of the progressive or occasional drunkard are Pagan origin and the antiquity of the Round Towers, have wretched enough, as every body knows ; but, oh! who can asserted that this doorway is not the original one, but an possibly estimate the amount of misery which the wife and “after work.” But there is not the slightest ground for such children of a madman like this are destined to endure. & supposition, and this sculpture, as a profoundly
skilled ar- I have not overdrawn the picture in the abstract-take an chitectural antiquary, the late Sir Richard Colt Hoare, well individual instance :observed, furnishes" a decided proof that these buildings In the spring of 18_ I was living, on a visit with a friend, were not as some writers have conjectured) built by the in the neighbourhood of a small country town in one of the Pagans."
most fertile and prosperous districts of the island. The po. Å similar argument against the application of the Round pulation was almost entirely free from that abject and squalid Towers to the purposes of a belfry, has been grounded on the poverty which is the lot of the Irish peasantry beyond that of circumstance of the western front of the church having three all other descriptions of civilized people. I remarked parti. apertures for bells above its gable. But it should not be for- cularly of this neighbourhood that it had a larger proportion gotten that this structure has no claim to an earlier date than 1 of respectable farmers and of that species of country gentle