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THE MANNERS, CUSTOMS, LITERATURE, &c. of

IRELAND.

CHAP. I.

Literature of Ireland of great antiquitySir J.

Ware's account of Irish authors-Its modern literature-List of the celebrated men it has produced-Curran and Grattan----Specimens of their eloquence~Character of Grattan

-The manners and customs of the Irish-Extract from Dr. Crumpe-A philosophical investigation of the Irish character.

THE literature of Ireland has a claim to very high antiquity, for in the centuries immediately following the introduction of christianity many writers arose, whose works were not perhaps adapted to the popular taste as they consisted of lives of saints, and works of piety and discipline, but to the inquisitive reader, they present many singular features of the history of the human mind.

ссе

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(See Appendix to Lord Auckland's Speech on the Union.) This balanee has been considerably increased since the union, though it is in some measure counterbalanced by what goes out of the country in rents, &c. to absentees, and for the interest of loans raised in England. This latter evil, however, it is now endeavoured to obviate as far as possible by raising the loans in Ireland which was entirely accomplished in the last loan.

Literature of Ireland.

387

BOOK III.

THE MANNERS, CUSTOMS, LITERATURE, &c. OF

IRELAND.

CHAP. I.

Literature of Ireland of great antiquitySir J.

IVare's account of Irish authors Its moderir literature-List of the celebrated men it has produced Curran and Grattan- Specimens of their eloquence~Character of Grattan -The manners and customs of the Irish-Ertract from Dr. Crumpe-A philosophical investigation of the Irish character.

The literature of Ireland has a claim to very high antiquity, for in the centuries immediately following the introduction of christianity many writers arose, whose works were not perhaps adapted to the popular taste as they consisted of lives of saints, and works of piety and discipline, but to the inquisitive reader, they present many singular features of the history of the human mind.

ссе

The chief glory of the ancient Irish literature arises, however, from the diffusion of the rays of science, after it had almost perished in Europe, on the fall of the Roman Empire in the west. The Anglo-Saxons in particular derived their first illumination from Ireland; and in Scotland, literatūre continued to be the special province of the Irish clergy till the thirteenth century.

Sir J. Ware, an ingenious and respectable writer of the last century, published a small volume containing a chronological catalogue of Irish authors from about the year 450, to his own time, containing about 200 names: the tentii century, as usual in European literature, being the most barren, whence it is styled by literary men, the dark century. The modern literature of Ireland boasts of many names which need not fear comparison with those of any other and as a proof of this assertion' we select the following from among many. Usher, a learned chronologer, linguíst and biblical crític: Boyle, Sir J. Denham, Farquhar, Congreve, Sir Richard Steel, Sir Hans Sloane, Bishop Berkley, Lord Orrery, Parnell, Swift, Goldsmith, Sterne, Lord Charlemont, Kirwan, the celebrated inineralogist, - Bickerstaff, Macklin, . Canning (the present dis

tinguished statesman and writer) Brinsley Sheridan, Grattan, Burke, Dermody, Mrs. Brooke, Mrs. Sheridan, Miss Edgeworth, and Dean Kirwan, &c. &c. This is surely an honourable list; and in conformity with our plan we shall select two names

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