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ty of these.
ations of the two bards are so clearly described, that a person the least acquainted with the country, could have no difficulty in pointing them out, and the other places discovered by the certain
It will be recollected that there are two chains of hills which run nearly parallel with Belfast Loch, and between its western shore and Connor. The one is Cromla, the other Mora. The intermediate space is that vale, I imagine, that the poet names the Vale of Lubar, through which the Six Mile Water winds in the most beautiful serpentine wanderings.
In the battle of Oscar and Cairbar, in which the latter fell, he lay like a shattered rock which Cromla shakes from his craggy side ! On the north-east end of Cromla (Cave-hill) near Belfast, the rocks seem jutting out as if ready to fall; and many are the fragments it has shaken from its craggy side-to be seen at the foot of the hill. It is also worthy of remark, that the Cave-hill is the highest in that neighbourhood; and the only one that has such a picturesque craggy side !
Thus having found each part strictly analogous, and consistent with all, and indeed more generally uniform throughout the whole of the preceding enquiry, than is usually found in poetical descriptions, so I feel the greatest confidence in submitting the reşult to an enlightened public, as a part of my leisure hours' pastime; conscious that, though such communications are not of the most valuable sort, yet, I presume this will be acknowledged a gratifying one :-hence, it remains only for me to conclude, by repeating my opinion, that Fingal's progress in Ireland appears to have not exceeded twenty miles from the coast of Ulster; and that, never to the southward of Moileny, nor to the westward of Connor (Te-mora); and Lochneagh (the Lake of Roes). A most convincing proof, that the allegations of the historians Keating and O'Flaherty, with regard to Fingal having been an Irishman, are wholly inconsistent with reason.
-For we may safely assert, that, had he been a native of Ireland, he would have chosen a more extended field for his exploits, than that portion of lovely Inisfail, confined within the above limits. But, instead of taking advantage of his numerous conquests, and the respect or terror which his redoubted name created in the minds of all the warriors wherever he went, we find him represented to have been only the virtuous and prudent warrior, and the active friend of distress. Peaceably inclined, he was anxious only to preserve the land of his young kinsman, and careless of extending his conquests, even when his frequent victories, if we may credit his son, could have given him an easy supremacy over then, as now, distracted Ireland. No; after his victories and treaties, we find him invariably return to Morven, adored by his friends, and esteemed by his late enemies: more pleased within himself at the idea of having performed his part faithfully as a friend, and gallantly as a warrior, than if he had ambitiously laid countries desolate, and deprived millions of their natural rights and inheritance.
To conclude,--if Fingal was an Irishman, his son Ossian and his translator, have more than ingeniously evaded giving any hint by which he might be correctly ascertained to have been born in Ireland.-And, on the contrary, have given the most convincing proofs that he was a Caledonian, and that his frequent descents upon Ireland were solely occasioned by the wants of his kinsmen of the race of Connor! Now, as there is every reason to believe that Mr. Macpherson never was in Ireland, nor any of those from whom he had the oral originals of the elegant poems of Ossian; and, as the geographers of that excellent island are wholly silent on many of the places, which I have here attempted to bring to light, as sacred to the heroic actions of Fingal, and the never languid, never dying strains of his noble-minded son; so, I presume, it may be safely asserted, that the poems of Ossian are the genuine effusions of that father of Scottish and of sublime poetry ; who, from a state of rude, though polished barbarism, (if I may use the expression,) poured forth a stream of sensibility, dazzling by the brightness of bravery and enthusiasm of patriotism, that, had it come down to us by an explorer of Herculaneum, as the work of a Greek or Roman, instead of through the long-doubted hands of the inconsistent Macpherson-it would have invaded our partial and too fastidious hearts with the irresistible force of lightning, and with the electric ardor of every idea that conspires to animate, exalt, and at the same time, to astonish and chain the intellectual empire, as by magic, to all that is truly feeling, noble, and sublime. Without the passport from the classic vine-covered hills of Italy, I know those on whom the poems of Ossian have had the above ennobling effect, though they came from the rugged mountains of Caledonia.
London, May 26th, 1819.
There are five ancient castles in the county of Antrim, of which there are no records when they were built; but their appearance renders it beyond a doubt, that they are of the first stone and lime buildings erected in Ireland. They are the ruins of Connor Palace (the ancient Te-mora); Carrickfergus castle (Tura); Shanes Castle on the banks of Lochneagh (Lake of Roes); the seat of the O'Neils, for many centuries chieftains in Ulster; and the old building in Carmona bay, called the White Housewhich tradition would make the first house in Ireland, and may have been the Selma, mentioned near Tura, from its beautiful situation.-The old round tower near the town of Antrim, is evidently of a more modern date-perhaps of the thirteenth or fourteenth century. Carrickfergus Castle is traditionally reported to have been built by Fergus, the first king of Scotland, who, according to Fordun and others, went from Ireland to govern the Scots who had emigrated from Ireland to Scotland about the time of Alexander the Great, or three hundred years before Christ. But that must be a misrepresentation, for we have the authority of several of the Roman writers to counteract that tradition, who all agree their account of the barbarous mode in which our forefathers lived. The Romans found no stone and lime buildings in these countries; consequently, they were the first who introduced them. And there is every reason to imagine that the before-mentioned castles have been byilt between the first landing of the Romans and the time of Fingal — say 300 years! This will exactly correspond with the time Connor is supposed to have been called to govern Ireland, and will bear out the Irish historian, who says Connor's castle was the first stone and lime building in Ireland. The Romans had been in possession of South Britain and the South of Scotland nearly 150 years before Connor the grand-uncle of Fingal was elected King of Ireland ; consequently there was sufficient time for the Aborigines to learn the art of building from the indefatigable Romans; hence is it not probable that Connor, on finding his election and right to the Crown of Ireland doubted, had recourse to the building discovered at Connor, whose walls appear more like those of a fortification than of a common dwelling? add to this its central situation in the county, and vicinity to the coast. VOL. XV. Pam. . NO. XXIX.
The antiquary, on having read the foregoing pages, will agree with me, I presume, in the remark which naturally arises from a review of the whole-namely, that that tract of Antrim county, to which my observations have been directed, is apparently the same which the learned Archbishop Usher designated the Route of Dalriada !-whence report would colonise the neighbouring island of Scotland. Be that as it may, however, there is no part of Ireland, over which I have travelled, that contains so many rude vestiges of antiquity; nor one whose local situation is more likely to have received inhabitants from, or given them to, the sister Island. -Ne plus ultra!
It is rather a matter of regret that the Irish history should be so fabulous even at a comparatively modern date. A developement of proofs, however, of the Irish being in some measure a florishing country in possession of the arts and sciences, and the repository of learned men before Scotland and England, is annually taking place. Indeed I am fully disposed to side with Sir James Ware, Lord Lyttleton, and Dr. Whitaker, occasionally in opposition to Archbishop Usher, on the veracity of their statements.
Irish history, or rather printedtradition, describes a celebrated king-by the style of Malachi of the gold collar. As his name is a scripture one, I infer that he must have lived since the days of St. Patrick-and that he wore a collar of gold I am not willing to doubt. A few Sundays ago I had the pleasure of handling several of those rich ornaments of the early Irish, at the house of that venerable and excellent man Sir Joseph Banks. It is scarcely necessary to add that they were dug out of Irish bogs, where they were no doubt deposited during the troubles of that hapless country, and forwarded to the President of the Royal Society by different noblemen who had purchased them from the peasantry who found them. Their massy construction proved that gold was no rarity in Ireland in the early ages, and they are in size fitted to the neck and body of the largest man. The workmanship is by no means of the rudest cast; though certainly wanting the finish of the artists of our day.
All these circumstances go far to partly affirm the unrecorded part 0,f Irish history--and to give to what without them would, like the poems of Ossian, be “ airy nothing”- - a local habitation and a name !"
THE PHENOMENA OF
CASUAL AND PERIODICAL INFLUENCE
PECULIAR STATES OF THE ATMOSPHERE
ON HUMAN HEALTH AND DISEASE.
BY THOMAS FORSTER, M.B. F.L.S.
OF CHRIST CHURCH COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. Corresp. Mem. Acad. Nat. Sciences Philadelphia, &c. &c. &c. AUTHOR OF RESEARCHES ABOUT ATMOSPHERIC
PHENOMENA, &c. &c. &c.