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Isle of the Shamrock
THE GIANTS CAUSEWAY
THE most primitive electric road in existence is probably an eight-mile line in the north of Ireland, connecting Port Rush with the Giant’s Causeway. At all events, I have never met with anything of the sort slower or more clumsy. Along one side of the track runs a continuous iron rail about two feet above the ground, from which, by means of contact with brushes rubbing its surface, the electric current is conveyed to the machinery of the cars. The tramway company claim that this exposed rail is harmless, yet warnings are posted not to touch it, and the local inhabitants declare that it is the cause of numerous fatalities to man and beast, and that the danger is serious and ever present. The truth of such stories is denied by the railway officials, who say the fatalities are due to something besides electricity. Their explanation is that the natives along the route are in the habit of bringing out their sick farm animals, when hope of recovery is past, and leaning them against the electric rail, intending to have the creatures die in that position, and give their owners a plausible claim to damages. Whatever the facts, the device looked crude and awkward enough to be capable of all the mischief attributed to it.
The tramway trip is a very pleasant one in fine weather. For a large part of the distance the sea is in sight, and you get glimpses of many great chalk cliffs fronting the ocean. These are curiously worn by the waves, and among the rest of Neptune’s fantastic carvings, is the profile of a gigantic man’s head wrought on a mighty buttress of the coast, and including the cliff’s full height. There are the forehead, nose, eye, and a laughing mouth, astonishingly perfect, while the sea foaming at the neck of the vast head is very like the frill of an old-fashioned shirt bosom.
A GATHERER OF WINKLES AND LIMPETS
Another striking object on the way is the extensive ruin of Dunluce Castle perched high on a rugged promontory of black basalt. Dunluce figures in the old Irish wars, and has been made the scene of a romantic novel; but the incident in its history which gave the ruin most interest to me was the story of the tragic fall of a portion of its walls in 1639, carrying eight servants over the precipice to their death. I fancied I could see the exact part of the castle where this casualty had occurred, and discern the scar left on the cliffs by the slipping away of a huge mass of the rock underlying the ancient outlines of the building.
The Causeway is not far from the end of the tram-route; yet on a hilltop directly in the path thither stands Mary Jane Kane’s Royal Hotel, by far the most conspicuous feature of the landscape. The position of the hotel seemed to thrust on me the duty of engaging lodging there before I went farther. This I did, and found the hostelry a very comfortable one, though the “Royal” portion of its name was not as realistically descriptive of it as the “Mary Jane Kane” part. Indeed, grandiloquent titles are favorites among the Irish, and “Royal” Hotels and “Palace” Hotels are as likely as not to prove the opposite.
To get to the Causeway I had to descend a long, steep slope at the back of the hotel, and follow the shore half a mile eastward. On the way I loitered along the beach, and stopped to watch some boys with forks getting kelp from among the rounded, waterworn boulders that strewed the shore. They gathered the wet, slippery seaweed into several great heaps, and presently loaded it on a heavy farm cart and drove off up the steep incline.
Then I noticed two women picking about among the black rocks well out toward the sea. One was elderly, and the other young, and both were bareheaded, barefooted, and tattered. I was curious to know what they were doing, but at my approach they desisted from their work, and the elder of the two sat down and did her best to look melancholy. The other promptly addressed me, and said her companion, or, to use her words, “that woman,” was her mother, a widow, poor, and in trouble, and all that sort of thing. They had come down to the shore this morning to get dulse, periwinkles, and limpets, in part for their own eating, and in part to sell. Some small coins from my purse assuaged the widow’s sorrows for the time being, and cheered the daughter, and the two resumed their search for humble treasures among the pools and boulders.
When I at length neared the Causeway I found my path intercepted by a high iron fence, and I could go no farther save by paying sixpence. I produced the requisite coin, passed through a turnstile, and had the famous specimen of Nature’s handiwork immediately before me. After all, the Causeway in itself was in no wise striking or imposing — just a low rock pier running out seaward for about two hundred yards, and descending gradually till it sank below the waves. The formation, however, made it strangely impressive and interesting, for it is composed of some forty thousand great, upright, stone columns, averaging from fifteen to twenty inches in diameter. An odd characteristic of the pillars is that they are in joints from one to two feet in length, compactly fitted together, the upper end slightly concave, the lower slightly convex. They are mostly five, six, or seven-sided, but occasionally you find those with four or eight sides, while a very few are nine-sided, and a single one occurs which is triangular. The cracks between are always distinct, though the separation is so slight as to be almost non-existent. Taken as a whole, the make-up of the Causeway, in its dissimilarity to the usual shapelessness of rock formations, is very suggestive of a Titanic piece of mechanical construction. You can easily fancy that it is the work of an actual flesh-and-blood giant of the past, as the legend states. This personage, Fin MacCoul by name, was the champion warrior of all Ireland, and he was naturally much disturbed to learn that a certain Scotch giant, safe across the channel, was given to boasting he would swim over and give Fin a drubbing if it were not for wetting himself. Fin could not abide such talk, and he fell to and built a road of stone straight across the channel, that the braggart might have no further excuse for not coming over to make good his boasts. A fight ensued, and Fin was of course the victor. One would have thought that his Causeway, made of this almost indestructible basalt, might have withstood the ocean storms, and lasted entire to this day, but the fragments remaining are still sufficient to give color to the legend.
Another story of Fin MacCoul, which seems to me particularly entertaining, relates that while he and his gigantic relatives were working at the Causeway, he took a notion to go home and see how his wife, Oonagh, got on in his absence. But concern for his wife was not his only reason for this visit. It seems there was one giant in the world of whom Fin was afraid. His name was Cucullin, and such was his strength that the stamp of his foot, when vexed, shook the country for miles around. His fame had spread far and wide, and it was said that nothing in the form of a man had any chance in a fight with him. It was also common report that by one blow of his fist he had flattened a thunderbolt, and this thunderbolt, shaped like a pancake, he carried around with him in his pocket to show to his enemies when they were about to fight him. He had given every giant in Ireland, excepting Fin MacCoul, a considerable beating, and he swore he would never rest night or day, winter or summer, till he could serve Fin with the same sauce.
Fin had hitherto kept dodging about from place to place, as often as he got word that Cucullin was on his scent, so that no encounter had occurred; and it was chiefly the rumor that Cucullin was coming to the Causeway to have a trial of strength with him, which resulted in his being seized with a very warm and sudden fit of affection for his wife. He only paused to pull up a fir tree and lop off the roots and branches to make himself a walking-stick, and then set out for his home on the top of Knockmany Hill.
There he spent two or three happy days with Oonagh, but the dread of Cucullin grew on him until his wife could not help perceiving that something lay on his mind, which he was keeping altogether to himself. Finally, he confessed his trouble, and added that he was assured Cucullin would shortly follow him from the Causeway to his home.
“Well,” said Oonagh, “don’t be cast down; depend on me;” and she hastened to send around to the neighbors, and borrow a score or so of iron griddles. These she kneaded into the hearts of as many cakes of bread, baked the cakes on the fire, and set them aside afterward in the cupboard.
About two o’clock the next day, Cucullin was seen coming across the valley, and Oonagh immediately got out the household cradle, and had Fin lie down in it, and cover himself up with the clothes. “You must pass for your own child,” she told him; “so just you lie there snug, and say nothing, but be guided by me.”
She had hardly finished tucking Fin in the cradle when Cucullin walked in. “God save all here!” said he. “Is this where the great Fin MacCoul lives?”
“Indeed it is,” Oonagh replied. “God save you kindly — won’t you be sitting?”
“Thank you, ma’am,” said he, taking a chair. “You’re Mrs. MacCoul, I suppose?”
“I am,” was the response; “and I have no reason, I hope, to be ashamed of my husband.”
“No,” returned the other; “he has the name of being the strongest and bravest man in Ireland; but for all that, there’s a man not far from here that’s very desirous of taking a shake with him. Is he at home?”
“Why, then, no,” she declared; “and if ever a man left his home in a fury, he did. It appears that someone told him of a big basthoon of a giant called Cucullin being down at the Causeway to look for him, and so he set out to try if he could catch him. Troth, I hope, for the poor giant’s sake, he won’t meet him, for, if he does, Fin will make paste of him.”
“Aha!” exclaimed the visitor, “I am Cucullin, and I have been seeking Fin these twelve months.”
“Did you ever see Fin?” inquired Oonagh.
“I thought so, I judged as much; and if you take my advice, you’ll pray night and day that you never may see him; for I tell you, it will be a black day for you when you do. But might I ask you to favor me with a little help, seeing as Fin’s not here. You see, after this long stretch of dry weather we’ve had, we’re badly off for want of water. Now, Fin says there’s a fine spring-well somewhere under the crag just down the hill, and it was his intention to pull the rock asunder and find it; but when he heard of you, he left the place in such a fury he never thought of the water I’m needing, and if you would be so good as to do the job, I’d feel it a great kindness.”
This request was a startler to Cucullin, but he arose and went with Oonagh to see the place, and after looking at it for some time, he pulled the middle finger of his right hand until it cracked nine times. Then he stooped, and tore a cleft about four hundred feet deep and a quarter of a mile in length, which has since been named Lumford’s Glen.
The sound of rending rocks came to the ears of Fin, lying in his cradle, and made the perspiration start from every pore of his body; but Oonagh still kept up courage, depending on her woman’s wit to carry her through.
“You’ll now come in,” said she to Cucullin, “and eat a bit of such humble fare as we can give you. Even if you and Fin are enemies, I am sure he would have me treat you hospitably.”
Cucullin entered the house again, and she placed before him half a dozen of the special cakes she had baked, together with a firkin or two of butter, a side of boiled bacon, and a stack of cabbage.
The giant put one of the cakes in his mouth, and took a huge bite out of it; and, of course, his teeth, much to their detriment, struck the gridiron. “Blood and thunder!” he cried, “what kind of bread is this you gave me?”
“Why,” replied Oonagh, calmly, “that’s Fin’s bread — the only bread he ever eats when he’s at home; but, indeed, I forgot to tell you that nobody can eat it but himself, and that child in the cradle there. I thought, however, as you were reported to be rather a stout fellow of your size, you might be able to manage it, and I did not wish to affront a man who thinks himself able to fight Fin. Here’s another cake that’s maybe a bit softer.”
Cucullin took the second cake, and nibbled at the edges. It seemed to be all right, and he was hungry. So he bit vigorously into the middle, and met with the same painful surprise as before. It made him exclaim loudly and wrathfully.
“Well,” commented Oonagh, “if you’re not able to eat the bread, say so quietly, and not be wakening the child.”
At this juncture, Fin gave a skirl that made the giant visitor jump, coming, as it did, from the infant Fin was represented to be.
“Arrah, now,” said Oonagh, “the boy’s hungry;” and she went over and put into his hand a cake which looked like those she had set before Cucullin, but which lacked the griddle. It soon disappeared, much to Cucullin’s astonishment, who secretly thanked his stars that he had missed meeting the father of a child who could eat such bread as that.
“I’d like to take a glimpse at the lad in the cradle there,” said Cucullin to Oonagh; “for I can tell you that the infant who can manage the like of that nutriment is no joke to look at, or to feed of a scarce summer; and do you mind if I just take a feel at his teeth before I go?”
“With all the pleasure in life,” Oonagh responded; “only, as the best of them are far back in his head, ‘twould be well to put you fingers a good ways in.”
This was Fin’s opportunity, and no sooner were the fingers of Cucullin’s right hand in his mouth than he bit off the middle one, on which, in some occult way, his enemy was wholly dependent for his strength. Then Fin leaped from his cradle, and Cucullin soon lay before him a corpse.
The moral of this story, in its Irish telling, is that, “the women, if they bring us into many an unpleasant scrape, can sometimes succeed in getting us out of others that are as bad.”
THE KITCHEN DRESSER
At the time of my visit to the Causeway, sea pinks were blossoming in the crevices of the pillars, and where it joined the mainland was turf sprinkled with daisies and primroses. There were lesser piers in the neighborhood, and on one of these was a group of columns which formed a chair, mainly used by sentimental maidens for wishing purposes. Every distinctive feature of the neighborhood had a name, and this nearly always was connected with the giant — as the giant’s organ, chimneys, spectacles, pulpit, etc. But some of the islets offshore had names wholly their own, and their own legends, likewise — Sheep Island, for instance — whereon it is said just twelve sheep can be pastured. If there is one more than that number, they exhaust the feed and starve; if one less, they die from overeating.
Many tourists were at the Causeway, strolling about, and sitting here and there among the columns. The waves constantly boomed and crashed along the shore on either hand, and out in the bay several cockleshell boats with their sightseers were tossing, now rising on the swells, now sinking out of sight, as if to be engulfed. These boats came from a cove near the hotel, and the passengers, after obtaining a sea view of the lofty coast cliffs, were landed at the Causeway. One load disembarked while I was there. The waves ran high, and dashed at frequent intervals far over the jagged rocks. The two rowers backed cautiously toward the Causeway, awaited a favorable opportunity, and then one of them leaped ashore. But a wave came, and the other rower had to pull off, while his fellow ran up the rocks to escape the foaming out-clutch of the breaker. Again the boat backed, and with the aid of the man on shore the three passengers, two of them ladies, were hastily jumped from the violently heaving craft and hurried from the wet lower rocks to safety farther up.
Within a mile of the Causeway three or four enormous pillared promontories jut out into the ocean, and their height and blackness and castellated form make the scenery very wild and majestic. The likeness of the cliffs to human masonry is in certain places so wonderfully close that one is quite prepared to learn that this similitude led astray here a warship of the ill-fated Spanish Armada. The captain mistook a group of shattered columns on a height for the pinnacles of Dunluce Castle, and, planning his course accordingly, his ship went ashore. Four only of the crew escaped, and 250 Spanish sailors lie drowned in the little creek beside the Causeway. In commemoration of this disaster the bay is named Port-na-Spania.
When I left the shore it was to continue eastward by a narrow, ascending path dug in the face of a steep slope. In places the path encountered slides of loose stones, or was hollowed out of the volcanic crags, and portions of it overhung such dizzy depths that signs had been put up to warn pedestrians of danger. At the worst points a wire cable was fastened along the wall for the explorer to grasp. The scenery among these high precipices was on a huge scale, and stirred the imagination much more powerfully than the view from the Causeway. Above were the buttresses of gray columns; down below, the sea, assaulting in vain the cliffs’ hard, black foundations that had been fused by enormous heat into an adamant defying destruction.
But as soon as I attained the summit of the heights the aspect of nature underwent an entire change. The landscape became wholly tranquil and pastoral, and round about were cultivated farmlands, sweeping away in gentle undulations as far as the eye could reach. Underneath the soil, however, was the basalt which forms the Causeway. It outcrops for a long distance on the Irish north coast, and in the ancient geological era, when it was deposited, its burning lava overflowed twelve hundred square miles, and buried the tract from ten to a thousand feet deep.
A few days at the Causeway sufficed, and then I journeyed inland one Sunday afternoon to Ballymoney. Like most Ulster towns, Ballymoney has a large Scotch population, which, I suppose, accounted for its Sabbath air of quiet; for the Scotch observe the day much more soberly and religiously than the Irish. At the little hotel where I stopped in quest of lodging, the parlor was occupied by a gray-bearded man and a sharp-featured old woman. The former sat by the fire with one eye to a hand-glass, reading a paper. The latter was at the table, leaning over a great family Bible outspread before her. My impression had been that family Bibles were for ornamenting the best room, rather than for reading; but this one showed the marks of being much used. I asked if I could get a room for the night.
“Ye can if ye are ceevil,” replied the woman, looking at me over her spectacles.
I promised to be that, and she agreed to take me in, though not without some preliminary questioning about my business, to satisfy herself that I was no tramp or desperado. This matter being settled, I went for a walk, and did not return till toward evening. The landlady was then hustling around getting my supper; but the gray-haired man still sat by the fire, with one eye applied assiduously to the hand-glass.
After I had eaten and a youthful maid had carried away the dishes, I drew my chair up to the fireplace, and the landlady brought me a pair of ragged, worsted slippers. She insisted, in her roughly-kind Scotch way, that I should take off my shoes, put on the slippers, and make myself comfortable. That attended to, she sat down, and we began a conversation which soon resulted in rousing the man with the hand-glass to take part. It seemed that he was a boarder, an Irish Protestant, and I was particularly interested in his comments on the relations of the religious sects in Ireland, for he spoke intelligently, without bitterness or intolerance. I would not vouch for all his theories, yet in large part they agreed with my own conclusions, drawn from what I had observed in my travels.
He said that the Catholics and Protestants in the north, while not warm friends, got along together very peaceably of recent years. You would rarely hear of serious outbreaks, or any marked display of ill-will. When there was trouble it was due to the roughs of either party, not to the rank and file. Drunkenness was the most common cause of belligerency. The truth of a man’s particular form of religion never came home to him so strongly as it did when he was intoxicated, and he would just as soon prove his loyalty to his own faith and his abhorrence of others’ errors with blows as not. Of the feeling that exists among the ruder elements of society one obtains an inkling by studying the scribblings in the railway carriages. The Pope gets a curious intermingling of curses and blessings in these shaky pencillings, and the name of King William is visited with like adoration and obloquy.
Intermarriage between the Scotch and Irish was formerly not infrequent; but the priests of late years will not allow the members of their flocks to go astray in that way. As a rule, Protestants trade with Protestants at the town shops, and Catholics with Catholics; yet this is the natural drift of like to like, and there is little religious significance in the fact. The drinking-places are generally in the hands of the Catholics; but otherwise the Protestants control nearly all the larger business interests. Prosperity inclines more toward the latter than toward the former, and the Catholics all over Ireland represent in the main the poorer and more ignorant classes. The Irish are as quick-witted and as capable as any race; but they are in the power of the priests, and their religion seems to narrow rather than broaden their intelligence. In the Protestant churches thought is stimulated, and discussion and disagreement are always rife. There is more harmony in the Catholic churches, but it proceeds from intellectual stagnation.
In education, even where the natural advantages are the same, the Catholic schools are inferior. The reputation of some of the private schools at monasteries and convents is excellent, but the public schools under Catholic auspices are rarely as well taught or have as good books as those of the Protestants.
It is the misfortune of the Irish to be much addicted to the drink habit; and while the attitude of the Church is less favorable to the liquor interests than it once was, its efforts for temperance are scattering and not often very strenuous. This is to be expected where nearly all the clergy are themselves drinkers, and very many of them are the sons of liquor-dealers. Indeed, it is something of a custom among Catholic dram-sellers, where there are a number of sons in a family, to educate one of them for the priesthood. Drinking among women is believed to be increasing. They do not often go openly to the saloons, but buy their liquor at the groceries, and consume it at home.
A peasant with ambition to gain wealth likes nothing better, after getting a little capital by scrimping and saving, than to start a small shop. In addition to buying and selling, he makes small loans, and charges a high rate of interest both on money lent and on unpaid bills. His patrons are improvident enough not to mind the per cent charged if they get credit for present needs. They are optimistic, and have no doubt of their ability to pay later. The racial optimism finds another illustration in the freedom with which the farmers go on each others’ notes. The business relations of neighbors become so entangled that when one fails it means the ruin of several. The average native’s lack of judiciousness is distinctly shown when you ask his opinion about the weather prospects, or inquire the distance to some place to which you are travelling. He nearly always encourages you with cheerful prophecies as to the weather, and diminishes the miles that lie before you amazingly. This is a pleasant sort of failing, but such mental aberration does not make for success and thrift.
Yet the condition of Ireland has been improving for years past. The law-makers have studied the country with honest intent to learn its real needs and apply remedies, and the people themselves have been gradually improving in agriculture, and are learning to adapt themselves to the needs of modern commerce. In 1841 the island had a population of eight millions. Now, owing to the immense outflow of emigrants, there are not much more than half that number. The decline is not due to English oppression, but has occurred because the people have been almost wholly dependent on the soil, because farms were small, the system of agriculture poor, and because it has been impossible to meet the competition resulting from the development of the new lands in North and South America and in Australia. The farmers, not only in Ireland, but in all the older countries, have seen hard times. This is true of England and Scotland and the continent, and, as well, of the longer-settled portions of America. Values have kept dropping both in products and in land.
Ireland has never been and probably never will be a manufacturing country. It possesses certain large brewing and distilling interests, and some cloth mills, but it is handicapped by its lack of coal deposits, lack of capital and skilled workmen, and its tendency to turbulence. Without question it has resources yet undeveloped; nevertheless, whatever affluence it wins must come through farming rather than manufacturing. The prospect would be brighter were it not that one-seventh of the island’s surface is covered with bogs. Their dampness is a potent cause of rheumatism, but they are not otherwise unhealthy, and exhale no miasma. However, no cultivation of their soil can possibly yield more than a scanty livelihood, and they are over-populated. Aside from the boglands, Irish soil has great natural productiveness, and the climate is so mild and the fertilizing rains so frequent that agriculture should have a future of at least moderate prosperity.
In their way, the people of Erin have a genius for politics — a fact perhaps more fully realized in our American cities than anywhere else in the world; but in no other nationality do men attain position and power so little by solid ability and judicial poise, and so much by wire-pulling and imaginative fluency. A man with a racy tongue and a plausible way of putting things easily wins wide influence over the masses, and sways them as he wills. Under the circumstances, my Irish acquaintance at the Ballymoney hotel thought that home rule would mean chaos. One may not wholly agree with him in this or his other conclusions, but his views are certainly suggestive.
On Monday morning I walked out into the country a few miles and visited a farmhouse once occupied by the ancestors of our American President McKinley. The dwelling was a humble one-story building of whitewashed stone, with a roof of thatch. In its far end were the cowsheds. Two or three great stacks of peat were piled in the dooryard, and the house interior was as primitive as these accessories. The kitchen, with its broad fireplace and stone floor, was in wild disorder. A great churn stood in the middle of the room, a baby was creeping about underfoot, a girl bending over a piggin set in a chair was washing dishes, and a dishevelled woman was attending a black pot hung over the peat fire. Pretty soon the man of the house appeared and collected toll of me, explaining that this was customary, and that he expected to make a good deal of money out of the place, showing it to American visitors. The most interesting information he had to impart was that one of the ancestral McKinleys was “hung from the house” a hundred years ago.
I started back to Ballymoney presently, and later the same day went on to Antrim for the special purpose of seeing the Irish Round Tower there. It stands in the park of a gentleman’s estate, and is a very perfect specimen, tall and slender, and gently tapering upward from a basal diameter of seventeen feet. In 1822 lightning shattered its lofty shaft, but it has since been repaired, and is essentially the same as when it was first built. It reaches far above the treetops; for the apex of the conical roof by which it is crowned is ninety feet above the greensward at the foot of the column. A number of low windows occur at intervals all the way up, and at the very top are four, one looking toward each point of the compass. The only entrance is a door about ten feet from the ground, and as the wall below is perfectly blank I had no chance to get a glimpse inside.
Some jackdaws were fluttering around the summit and in and out the vacant loopholes, and I fancied they might have traditions of the uses of the old tower more authentic than any which have come down to us in history; for no human being now knows surely what were the original aims of these curious constructions. Cut in the stone over the door is a cross enclosed in a circle, and at the top of the tower are the remains of a beam on which it seems likely a bell sometime swung. These things would indicate that the tower’s later use, at least, was for Christian purposes. Indeed, the theory most generally accepted is that the round towers were religious in their use from the first. They date back nearly one thousand years, and have been in all cases in the immediate neighborhood of a church or monastery. Like other early church towers, it is assumed that they were symbols of dignity. That they served at the same time as watch towers and beacons, and were used as strongholds in times of danger, seems also probable. They could not be burned down like the timber churches and wattled cabins of the early days, and it is believed that during sudden raids they afforded places of security for the ecclesiastics and to some extent for the inhabitants of the country around. After the introduction of bells they are supposed to have been used as bell-towers to call students to school and the faithful to prayer.
There are more than one hundred round towers in Ireland, about twenty of them entire, or nearly so.
The latter are usually not far from eighty feet high, and as a rule are capped by a conical roof, and divided into stories. Immediately beneath the roof are four small windows, and a single narrow aperture affords light for each story below. Floors of masonry yet exist in some of the towers, though oftener the floors have been of wood, and long since fallen. Ladders were the means of communication from story to story. The door was nearly always at a considerable height above the ground, and here, too, a ladder was the only means of ascending and descending, and when this ladder was drawn up into the tower, the inmates were as snug and safe as they could desire.
Antrim was my last stop in Ireland of any consequence, and one evening I embarked at Larne to cross the Irish Sea. I watched the low green hills fade in the steamer’s wake into indistinct gray, and then went below to escape the cold wind that swept the decks, and the salt spray that now and then came spattering across the planking from the plunging bow. The tour had been replete with varied experiences, and was of never-failing interest; and I carried away with me a most pleasing memory of warm-hearted Irish hospitality, while, in a sober way, the island’s scenery had great charm in all its changes — from the placid, fertile south to the wild boglands and rude grandeur of the coast along the west and north. To be sure the Isle of the Shamrock has its drawbacks, and it does not wholly win a stranger’s affections, yet I cannot but wish that its future may realize all the brightness for which its scattered sons and daughters hope.