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LONDON, SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 1867.
a fossil tooth suggested the form, through all the
minute details of construction, of an extinct CONTENTS.-No 295,
species of animals. The modern discoveries of NOTES :--- By whom was the Harp brought into Europe? geographers
, archæologists, ethnologists, and phithe Irish Parp, 141 – May-Fires, Isle of Man, 141- Thé lologers have served to disclose some of the hidden Seven Ages of Jan - Rattening" Writing on the treasures of the past--the migrations, conquests, Ground - Dramatic Critics - Washington Relics - Origin of Mottoes - Oxymeli Epistolare - Town and College
and defeats of the successive swarms of Celts, Conduit Mead – The Three oldest Towns in the United Iberians, Teutons, Scandinavians, and Sclaves. States, 145.
Indeed, as has been well observed, “ the hills, the QUERIES:- Colonel John Vernon, 147 – - Aphorisms valleys, and the rivers are writing tablets on
Harvest Home - N. L. W.-- Key.cold: "Key: Quay-Nor which the nations of olden times have inscribed ris. Danica Nointed -- Petting Stone - The Protesting their records." Bishops — Arms of Prouy - Quotation wanted -"Sawney's Mistake" — Family of Serle, 148.
With the aids of such lights as the traditions QUERIES WITH ANSWERS:- Ste. Ampoule - M. de La.
and antiquities of Ireland, the testimony of exmoignon's Library - T. K. Hervey Playing Cards terns, and the deductions from accepted facts supRichard Corbet Songe d'un Anglais ” — “ A Vision,” ply, I venture to offer some remarks elucidatory, &c. - “ Venella,” 149.
if not quite satisfactory, in reply to the query: REPLIES:- Rev. John Wolcot, M.D., alias Peter Pindar, Esq., 151 - Immersion in Holy Baptism, 152 — Brignoles,
The first mention of the harp yet found in 16. - Earl St. Vincent, 153 — Parc-aux-Cerfs, Ib. - As Irish MSS. is in the “Dinn Seanchas” compiled sumption of a Mother's Name, 154 "Albumazar
by Amergin Mac Amalgaid, A.D. 544. It is there Henry Alken, Artist - The Late Rev. R. H. Barham Classic -- Campbell's “Hohenlinden”-Smith Queries
related that in the time of Geide, monarch of IreDundrennan Abbey - Family, of Fisher, Roxburghshire land, A.M. 3143, “the people deemed each other's -Leo pugnat cum Dracone - Lines on the Eucharist - Mrs. Lawrence, of Liverpool - Needle's Eye - Courts
voices sweeter than the warblings of a melodious of Queen's Bench and Exchequer—“Excelsior :". Excel, harp, such peace and concord reigned among sius - Quotations wanted - Marquis D'Aytone Married
them.” In the earliest Irish records, some of on Crooked Staff – "The Three Pigeons" Battle of Baugé - Quarter-Masters, &c., 155.
which are transcribed in the Books of Leacan and Notes on Books, &c.
Ballymote, a very remote antiquity is claimed for the Irish harp.
Some writers have concluded
that there is indeed a probability that it is indiNotes.
genous, and from the most early period in common
use among the Irish, Britons, Gauls, and ancient BY WHOM WAS TIIE HARP BROUGHT INTO
Germans, and all the “ubiquitous ” Celtic nations. EUROPE? THE IRISH HARP.
(Walker's Irish Bards, Appendix, p. 115, 4to, The reply of Sp.* to the query—“By whom Lond. 1786; Leslie's Races of Scotland, p. 448, was the harp brought into Europe ? not the 8vo, Edinb. 1866.) It was also well known lyre of the Greeks, but the great triangular- throughout Asia, and is thought to be the earliest shaped harp, as used by the Irish and Welsh, and musical instrument with which man was acas seen on the monuments of Egypt and As- quainted. It has been found on sculptured stones syria” t-does not appear to apply to the “drift in these islands, and on a monument in Brittany of the query;" indeed, my conviction is that, described by Penhouet in the Archeologie Armoevidence as it undoubtedly is of the biblical re ricaine. A legend of the invention of the Irish search and ingenious speculations of the writer, harp is given in an Irish romance, “The Introduche has drifted far and widely away from it. From tion to Tain-Bo-Cuailgne,” Cattle Prey of Coolhis conclusions I am forced to dissent, for my ex ney - a copy of which, written in the twelfth perience has taught me to have some faith that the century, exists, supposed to have been transcribed aids which inquiries such as the query is calcu- from a book of the seventh century. lated to stimulate, are not only “pleasing exertions The tracts referred to above in the Books of of ingenuity, and to a certain extent useful,” Leacan and Ballymote report that the harp was but that they also “worm out,” with occasional brought into Ireland by the Tuatha-de-Danaans, reliability," the secrets of the speechless past.”
A.M. 2539, a people learned in the arts and sciences, Hooke had a faith vital enough to animate him who occupied the island before the arrival of the with the hope of being able “ to raise a chronology Milesians, a kindred people who, through devious from the mere study of broken and fossiled shells," wanderings, had reached Egypt, and there soand to identify the intervals of time wherein such journed contemporaneously with the Israelites, catastrophes and mutations as have been noted and had arrived in that country in their migrahave happened, and the illustrious author of tions from the north-east, or Scythia, the cradle Cosmos accepted the assurance as of probable ac
of the race. Gildas, Nennius, Bede, Geoffrey of complishment. (Bohn's edition, p. 6.) To Cuvier Monmouth, the earliest of British chroniclers, and
several other authors record these facts, and quote 3rd S. xi. 391.
+ 3rd S. xi. 214. them expressly from the Irish annals. These
pretentions to so old an origin, and to a civilisation styled Asiatic. Heraclides of Lesbos supposed so advanced, of the ancient Irish, were for many it to have been invented by Amphion (Plut. ages deemed absurd and visionary. The study of De Musicá). Trepander, two hundred years after ethnology, philology, and geographical nomencla- Homer, was the first who became eminent as a tures, national customs and folk-lore, have contri- harper. Timotheus of Miletus, about four hundred buted to bring these claims within the pale of years B.C., added four to the seven strings prehistorical recognition.
viously in use. According to Athenæus, SophoBaxter, Lhuyd, Chalmers, Whitaker, Skene, cles calls it a Phrygian instrument. The mythoRobertson, Garnett, Davies, Pritchard, Betham, logical tradition pointed to an Egyptian origin, Williams, Latham, Zeuss, Taylor, and other representing Mercury as having found the tortoise, scholars, have, with their industrious explorations from the shell of which he framed the first in the rich soil of a productive field, educed evi- cithara, among the mud of the subsiding Nile. dences on which reliance may be placed, and have all authors agree that the Irish harp is very tracked the wanderings of the ubiquitous Gael; different from any stringed instrument used among have proved that large portions of Spain were the Romans; and Fortunatus (lib. vii. carm. 8) anciently Gaelic; have identified the limits of the mentions it as an instrument of the barbarians. Gaelic region in Italy; have followed in the foot Long before the lyre was known in Rome or steps of the Gael along the Alps, and gave to them Greece, the Gael of Ireland had attained a high the name; and have recognised the settlements of degree of perfection in the form and management the scattered clans, who, retracing their path, fixed of the harp. The Irish harper made use of two their abode in Asia Minor, and gave a patronymic kinds of instruments—the cruit and the clairseach. name to the district-Galatia, or the land of the The latter is supposed to have been employed in Gael. And there they long retained their lan- producing martial strains, and used in banquetguage and ethnical peculiarities. (Jerome, Com- halls; the former thrilled from its chords the mentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, Proæmium; softer breathings of love and sorrow. The pagan Taylor's Words and Places, p. 234.). Evidences Gael would listen to no instruction of Druid and of the relations of Ireland with Africa are crop- Ollav (priest and professor) that was not wedded ping daily to the surface, and the old and widely- to verse; their systems of physics and metaspread traditions of the blessed isles of the west physics, the precepts of their religion and their which mingle with the earliest details of the his- | laws, were enshrined in poetical compositions set toric period may yet be vindicated as the mythic i to music, and so conveyed and preserved from reliques of a primitive religion and a prehistoric generation to generation, and thus the art and civilisation.
science of music were not only religiously cultiIreland has been in possession of the triangu- vated by them, but were at all times esteemed lar-shaped harp from time immemorial. The the most polite branches of education; and even senachies (chroniclers) record that three harpers when the Christian dispensation had supplanted accompanied the Tuatha-de-Danaans to Ireland Druidism, they continued to be in equal repute. (A.M. 2539), and their conquerors, the Milesians; In rank, the minstrels were the coequals of the and that their conquerors, the Milesians (A.M. nobles, and at the festive boards to them were 2736, Keating), were accompanied by harpers. assigned seats of the highest honour; extensive Keating relates that Miled, the father of the land estates were settled upon them; many of princes who led this colony, had sent twelve them as late as the seventeenth century occuyoung men to learn the principal arts and sciences pied stately castles. The legal records of that of Egypt; that each of them became expert in period show that the annual rental of one of his own particular profession by the end of the this class was equivalent to 50001. of our present seven years they had resided in the land of the
money. Their persons and properties were held Pharaohs. (Hist
. of Ireland, p. 177. O'Mahony's.) inviolable by all classes ; the eric or compensaWhatever may be the value of this testimony, tion, levied under the brehon-law, for the killing it is generally admitted that the harp is the first of a chief professor was next in amount to that musical instrument with which man has been exacted for a prince or a king. acquainted. In the fourth chapter of Genesis the The Gael, as well as the Egyptains, must have invention of it is appropriated to the antediluvian paid great attention to the study of music, for era. Bruce discovered the triangular-shaped harp each arrived at a very accurate knowledge of the painted in a tomb called Bibán el Molook, near art; had it not been so they could never have the pyramid of Gízeh, in which the remains of possessed such scientifically constructed instrukings of Egypt were deposited. The harp was ments, nor have acquired so perfect an acquaintnot known to the early Greeks. Their stringed ance with the principles of harmony. Music, instruments as well as their letters were intro- like every science, as has been judiciously reduced from Asia, the cradle-land of the Gael. The marked, has its regular gradations of progression cithara, says Plutarch (De Musicd), was originally from infancy to maturity; and while improve
ment follows improvement, the powers of the lently made, and in great repute, the inhabitants human mind must be stimulated and enlarged, of that island having practised upon it for many, and an exalted order of intellect attained. Beau- many ages." ford, no mean authority, opines that the Irish Several learned men, observes M. Guigene, are harp has the true musical figure, and that the of opinion that the Europeans are not indebted to Irish bards in particular seem, from experience and the Egyptians for the harp; and he adds the sinfrom practice, to have discovered a form found gular surmise that it originated in the North, and to have been constructed on true harmonic prin- was introduced into England, and subsequently ciples, challenging the strictest mathematical and into Ireland, by the Saxons. It is only in the dark philosophical scrutiny. (Walker's Irish Bards, days of Ireland's depression such a bold assertion Appendix 117, 4to. Lond. 1786.) He considers
, could be bazarded, when ages of intestine convuljudging from the form of the Egyptian harp as sion had all but extinguished her literature and given by Bruce (since then confirmed by Denon and eclipsed her olden fame. In days when it ceased Roscellini), that the endeavours of the Egyptian to be known that Irish armies occupied a consiartists were ineffectual to discover the true form derable portion of England. (Fide Ethelwerd's such as the Irish had ; " for,” he adds,“ no sys- Chronicle, A.D. 444; Annales Saxonici, 603 ; Gildas, tem of musical strings whose diameters are equal sect. 14.) When the Irish fleets swept her shores; can be tended on the given curve.” (Ibid. App. when Scotland was in her grasp; when the Isle of
Man, the Hebrides, the Orkneys, Iceland, and the Many writers have denied the antiquity and Faroe Isles were subject to her sway. (Dicuil, early civilisation claimed for Ireland, but it has Liber de Mensura Orbis, circa 825; Hardy's Denever been questioned that in the most remote scriptive Catalogue of Materials relating to Hist. times the Irish had a national music peculiar to of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. i. part ii. themselves, and that their bards and harpers were p. 500); and when her conquests extended from eminent in its performance, and were admittedly Armorica to the foot of the Alps. (Keating's Irethe best musicians in Europe. Giraldus Cam- land, edited by O'Mahony, New York, pp. 188, brensis, who had been sent to Ireland by Henry 395.) The only property the Saxon could have II. with his son John, prejudiced as he un had in the harp was its Teutonic name, which the doubtedly was, highly commends the Irish music, Gael never adopted. The instrument itself he reand says:
“In their musical instruments alone do I ceived from Ireland, as he did his letters. (Yeofind any laudable industry among the people, in well's Ancient British Church, p. 148.) That it these they are incomparably skilful, beyond all was of Irish origin the Norman kings admitted, other nations;” and he then remarks, that “ both for when they coined money for Ireland they imScotland and Wales strive to rival Ireland in the art pressed it with the harp as the national emblem. of music—the former from its community of race, I hope I am justified in concluding that the the latter from its antiquity.” (Topography of Ire- probabilities are corroborative of these deductions land, b. ii. c. 11.) The writer does not note that to Ireland the harp is indigenous, and from what, from its proximity to his time, must have an early period in use among the Irish, the Gauls, been known to him, that towards the close of the the ancient Germans, and all the Celtic nations; preceding century (about A.D. 1098) Griffith ap that in the remote past the Africans and the Gael Conan, King of North Wales, born in Ireland,
were not strangers to each other; that it is as and descended by his mother's side from Irish reasonable to assume that the Gael took their harp parents, brought with him from the land of his to Egypt as that they brought it from it. One birth “several skilful musicians that devised in assertion I hesitate not to make, that the Gael or manner almost all the instruments which were Celt spread widely over the western parts of the afterwards played in Wales, chiefly the harp or old world, north and south, and bore with them crowth (cruith), and the music that is there used, civilisation and arts anterior to those of Greece ; and which he was the first to bring over into and that during the social convulsions that revoluWales." (Caradoc of Llancarvan, Chronicle of tionised the continent, Ireland—the far isle of the Wales, p. 147, printed at Shrewsbury.) Wharton west, remote from war and its disturbing influ(Hist. of English Music) says that " as late as the ences-was the refuge, asylum, school, and strongeleventh century the practice continued among hold of the kindred clans; and that in that“sacred the Welsh bards of receiving instruction in the isle ” is now to be found the larger portion of what bardic profession from Ireland.”
survives of the memorials of the race-its lanThe Italians were in possession of the harp guage, its institutions, its traditions, its laws, before the time of Dante. Galilei the elder, and its history. John EUGENE O'CAVANAGH. writing about the middle of the sixteenth century, Lime Cottage, Walworth. records the fact: “This most ancient instrument was brought to us from Ireland, as Dante, born 1205, testifies, where they (the harps) are excel