Historical Reprints History History of Ireland, An Illustrated - AD 400 To 1800

History of Ireland, An Illustrated - AD 400 To 1800

History of Ireland, An Illustrated - AD 400 To 1800
Catalog # SKU1587
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 2.10 lbs
Author Name Mary Francis Cusack
 
$37.95
Quantity

Description

An Illustrated
History of Ireland
From
AD 400 To 1800


by
Mary Frances Cusack
'The Nun of Kenmare'

The history of the different races who form an integral portion of the British Empire, should be one of the most carefully cultivated studies of every member of that nation. To be ignorant of our own history, is a disgrace; to be ignorant of the history of those whom we govern, is an injustice.

We can neither govern ourselves nor others without a thorough knowledge of peculiarities of disposition which may require restraint, and of peculiarities of temperament which may require development. We must know that water can extinguish fire, before it occurs to us to put out a fire by the use of water.

We must know that fire, when properly used, is a beneficent element of nature, and one which can be used to our advantage when properly controlled, before we shall attempt to avail ourselves of it for a general or a particular benefit. I believe a time has come when the Irish are more than ever anxious to study their national history. I believe a time has come when the English nation, or at least a majority of the English nation, are willing to read that history without prejudice, and to consider it with impartiality.

When first I proposed to write a History of Ireland, at the earnest request of persons to whose opinion. I felt bound to defer, I was assured by many that it was useless; that Irishmen did not support Irish literature; above all, that the Irish clergy were indifferent to it, and to literature in general. I have since ascertained, by personal experience, that this charge is utterly unfounded, though I am free to admit it was made on what appeared to be good authority. It is certainly to be wished that there was a more general love of reading cultivated amongst the Catholics of Ireland, but the deficiency is on a fair way to amendment. As a body, the Irish priesthood may not be devoted to literature; but as a body, unquestionably they are devoted-nobly devoted-to the spread of education amongst their people.

With regard to Englishmen, I cannot do better than quote the speech of an English member of Parliament, Alderman Salomons, who has just addressed his constituents at Greenwich in these words:-

"The state of Ireland will, doubtless, be a prominent subject of discussion next session. Any one who sympathizes with distressed nationalities in their struggles, must, when he hears of the existence of a conspiracy in Ireland, similar to those combinations which used to be instituted in Poland in opposition to Russian oppression, be deeply humiliated. Let the grievances of the Irish people be probed, and let them be remedied when their true nature is discovered. Fenianism is rife, not only in Ireland, but also in England, and an armed police required, which is an insult to our liberty. I did not know much of the Irish land question, but I know that measures have been over and over again brought into the House of Commons with a view to its settlement, and over and over again they have been cushioned or silently withdrawn. If the question can be satisfactorily settled, why let it be so, and let us conciliate the people of Ireland by wise and honorable means.

The subject of the Irish Church must also be considered. I hold in my hand an extract from the report of the commissioner of the Dublin Freeman's Journal, who is now examining the question. It stated what will be to you almost incredible-namely, that the population of the united dioceses of Cashel, Emly, Waterford, and Lismore is 370,978, and that of those only 13,000 are members of the Established Church, while 340,000 are Roman Catholics. If you had read of this state of things existing in any other country, you would call out loudly against it. Such a condition of things, in which large revenues are devoted, not for the good of the many, but the few, if it does not justify Fenianism, certainly does justify a large measure of discontent. I am aware of the difficulties in the way of settling the question, owing to the fear of a collision between Protestants and Catholics; but I think Parliament ought to have the power to make the Irish people contented."

This speech, I believe, affords a fair idea of the opinion of educated and unprejudiced Englishmen on the Irish question. They do not know much about Irish history; they have heard a great deal about Irish grievances, and they have a vague idea that there is something wrong about the landlords, and something wrong about the ecclesiastical arrangements of the country. I believe a careful study of Irish history is essential to the comprehension of the Irish question; and it is obviously the moral duty of every man who has a voice in the government of the nation, to make himself master of the subject. I believe there are honest and honorable men in England, who would stand aghast with horror if they thoroughly understood the injustices to which Ireland has been and still is subject. The English, as a nation, profess the most ardent veneration for liberty.

To be a patriot, to desire to free one's country, unless, indeed, that country happen to have some very close connexion with their own, is the surest way to obtain ovations and applause. It is said that circumstances alter cases; they certainly alter opinions, but they do not alter facts. An Englishman applauds and assists insurrection in countries where they profess to have for their object the freedom of the individual or of the nation; he imprisons and stifles it at home, where the motive is precisely similar, and the cause, in the eyes of the insurgents at least, incomparably more valid. But I do not wish to raise a vexed question, or to enter on political discussions; my object in this Preface is simply to bring before the minds of Englishmen that they have a duty to perform towards Ireland-a duty which they cannot cast aside on others-a duty which it may be for their interest, as well as for their honour, to fulfil. I wish to draw the attention of Englishmen to those Irish grievances which are generally admitted to exist, and which can only be fully understood by a careful and unprejudiced perusal of Irish history, past and present. Until grievances are thoroughly understood, they are not likely to be thoroughly remedied. While they continue to exist, there can be no real peace in Ireland, and English prosperity must suffer in a degree from Irish disaffection. It is generally admitted by all, except those who are specially interested in the denial, that the Land question and the Church question are the two great subjects which lie at the bottom of the Irish difficulty.

The difficulties of the Land question commenced in the reign of Henry II.; the difficulties of the Church question commenced in the reign of Henry VIII. I shall request your attention briefly to the standpoints in Irish history from which we may take a clear view of these subjects. I shall commence with the Land question, because I believe it to be the more important of the two, and because I hope to show that the Church question is intimately connected with it.


Softcover, 10.75h" x 8w", 480+ pages
Perfect-Bound - Illustrated

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