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only of upright walls, without pillars or arches; the construction of which it is pretended they were entirely ignorant of” (Grose). Yet this opinion is now universally acknowledged to be erroneous, and I trust I shall clearly prove that the generally adopted conclusion as to the recent date of our ecclesiastical stone buildings is erroneous also.
It is by no means my wish to deny that the houses built by the Scotic race in Ireland were usually of wood, or that very many of the churches erected by that people, immediately after their conversion to Christianity, were not of the same perishable material. I have already proved these facts in my essay on the ' Ancient Military Architecture of Ireland anterior to the Anglo-Norman Conquest. But I have also shown in that essay that the earlier colonists in the country, the Firbolg and Tuatha De Danann tribes, which our historians bring hither from Greece at a very remote period, were accustomed to build, not only their fortresses, but even their dome-roofed houses and sepulchers, of stone without cement, and in the style now usually called Cyclopean and Pelasgic. I have also shown that this custom, as applied to their forts and houses, was continued in those parts of Ireland in which those ancient settlers remained, even after the introduction of Christianity, and, as I shall presently show, was adopted by the Christians in their religious structures. As characteristic examples of these ancient religious structures still remaining in sufficient preservation to show us perfectly what they had been in their original state, I may point to the monastic establishment of St. Molaise, on Inishmurry, the bay of Sligo, erected in the sixth century; to that of St. Brendan, on Inishglory, off the coast of Erris, in the county of Mayo, erected in the beginning of the same century; and to that of St. Fechin, on Ard-Oilean, or High Island, off the coast of Connamara, in the county of Galway, erected in the seventh century. In all these establishments the churches alone, which are of the simplest construction, are built with lime cement. The houses or cells erected for the use of the abbot and monks are of a circular or oval form, having dome roofs, constructed like those of the ancient Greek and Irish sepulchers, without a knowledge of the principle of the arch, and without the use of
cement; and the whole are encompassed by a broad wall composed of stones of great size, without cement of any kind.
Such also or very nearly appears to have been the monastic establishment constructed on the island of Farne, in Northumberland, in the year 684, by St. Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, who is usually reputed to have been an Irishman, and, at all events, received his education from Irish ecclesiastics. This monastery, as described by Ven. erable Bede in the seventeenth chapter of his Life of that distinguished saint, was almost of a round form, four or five perches in diameter from wall to wall. This wall was on the outside of the height of a man, but was on the inside made higher by sinking the natural rock, to prevent the thoughts from rambling by restraining the sight to the view of the heavens only. It was not formed of cut stone, or brick cemented with mortar, but wholly of rough stones and earth, which had been dug up from the middle of the inclosure; and of these stones, which had been carried from another place, some were so large that four men could scarcely lift one of them. Within the inclosure were two houses, of which one was an oratory or small chapel, and the other for the common uses of a habitation; and of these the walls were in great part formed by digging away the earth inside and outside, and the roofs were made of unhewn timber thatched with hay. Outside the inclosure, and at the entrance to the island, was a larger house for the accommodation of religious visitors, and not far from it a fountain of water. ..
That these buildings were, as I have already stated, erected in the mode practiced by the Firbolg and Tuatha De Danann tribes in Ireland, must be at once obvious to any one who has seen any of the Pagan circular stone forts and beehive-shaped houses, still so frequently to be met with along the remote coasts, and on the islands of the western and southwestern parts of Ireland-into which little change of manners and customs had penetrated that would have destroyed the reverence paid by the people to their ancient monuments--the only differences observable between these buildings and those introduced in the primi. tive Christian times being the presence of lime cement, the use of which was wholly unknown to the Irish in Pagan times--and the adoption of a quadrangular form in the construction of the churches, and, occasionally, in the interior of the externally round houses of the ecclesiastics, the forts and houses of the Firbolg and Tuatha De Danann colonies being invariably of a rotund form, both internally and externally. ..
It is remarkable, however, that the early Irish Christians do not appear to have adopted all at once the quadrangular form and upright walls characteristic of the houses of the Romans, and observable in the churches still existing, the erection of which is ascribed to St. Patrick and his successors. In the remote barony of Kerry called Corcaguiny, and particularly in the neighborhood of Smerwick Harbor, where the remains of stone fortresses and circular stone houses are most numerously spread through the valleys and on the mountains, we meet with several ancient oratories exhibiting only an imperfect development of the Roman mode of construction, being built of uncemented stones admirably fitted to each other, and their lateral walls converging from the base to their apex in curved lines ;-indeed their end walls, though in a much lesser degree, converge also. Another feature in these edifices worthy of notice, as exhibiting a characteristic which they have in common with the Pagan monuments, is, that none of them evince an acquaintance with the principle of the arch, and that, except in one instance, that of Gallerus, their doorways are extremely low, as in the Pagan forts and houses. ...
Having now, as I trust, sufficiently shown that the Irish erected churches and cells of stone, without cement, at the very earliest period after the introduction of Christianity into the country,--and, if it had been necessary I might have adduced a vastly greater body of evidence to substantiate the fact, I may, I think, fairly ask :-Is it probable that they would remain much longer ignorant of the use of lime cement in their religious edifices, a knowledge of which must necessarily have been imparted to them by the crowds of foreign ecclesiastics, Egyptian, Roman, Italian, French, British, and Saxon, who flocked to Ireland as a place of refuge in the fifth and sixth centuries? Of such immigration there cannot possibly exist a doubt; for, not to speak of the great number of foreigners who were disciples of St. Patrick, and of whom the names are preserved in the most ancient Lives of that saint, nor of the evidences of the same nature so abundantly supplied in the Lives of many other saints of the primitive Irish Church, it will be sufficient to refer to that most curious ancient document, written in the year 799, the 'Litany of St. Aengus the Culdee,' in which are invoked such a vast number of foreign saints buried in Ireland. Copies of this ancient litany are found in the Book of Leinster, a MS. undoubtedly of the twelfth century preserved in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. ...
That the Saxons at a very early period, through the instruction of foreign missionaries, acquired the art of building with stone and lime cement, and also that in the erection of their most distinguished churches they even employed foreign architects and workmen, is a fact now so fully established that it is unnecessary for me to quote any of the evidences from which it can be proved. But it may be worthy of remark that the first church built of lime and stone in the Roman style="insolito Britonibus more," as Bede expresses it-in Scotland, that of Candida Casa, now Withern, erected by Ninian, the apostle of the Picts, about the year 412, being on the shore of Galloway, immediately opposite Ireland, and within sight of it, must have been an object familiar to at least the northern Irish; and, what is more to the point, it appears from an ancient Irish Life of St. Ninian, as quoted by Ussher, that this saint afterwards deserted Candida Casa, at the request of his mother and relations, and passed over to Ireland, where, at a beautiful place called Cluain-Coner, granted him by the king, he built a large monastery, in which he died many years afterwards.
Independently of the preceding considerations—which, however, must be deemed of great weight in this inquirya variety of historical evidences can be adduced from the Lives of the Irish saints and other ancient documents to prove that the Irish were in the habit of building their churches of lime and stone, though it is most probable that, in their monastic houses and oratories, they generally continued the Scotic mode of building with wood, in most parts of Ireland, till the twelfth or thirteenth century.
Time will roll on and carry on its wings the arts and luxuries of a new civilization, obliterating all the memorials of the old world, all the natural strength and freedom and tenderness that belonged to man in his simpler and in his less artificial state, and which he has expressed in his works. But the depths of feeling that are expressed in the natural works of man in this state of imperfect civilization, and particularly in the original music which comes direct from the heart, untrammeled by rules, will, however simple, possess charms of a more lasting and touching kind to those who retain the pure simplicity of man's nature, than the finest works produced by the brain or the fancy of the most skillful musicians of a cold and artificial age.
The music of Ireland has hitherto been the exclusive property of the peasantry-the descendants of the ancient inhabitants of the country.
It is characteristic of their ardent and impassioned temperament, and expressive of the tone of feeling that has been for ages predominant. The upper class are a different race a race who possess no national music; or, if any, one essentially different from that of Ireland.
They were insensible to its beauty, for it breathed not their feelings; and they resigned it to those from whom they took everything else, because it was a jewel of whose worth they were ignorant. He, therefore, who would add to the stock of Irish melody must seek it, not in the halls of the great, but in the cabins of the poor. He must accept the frank hospitality of the peasant's humble hearth, or follow him as he toils at his daily labors; but he must choose a season to do so—unlike the frightful Summer of 1822—when even the song of sorrow was only heard embodied with the song of death!
It is a great error to suppose that all the valuable mel. odies in Ireland have been gathered. I am satisfied—and I speak from experience, having for very many years been a zealous laborer in this way-I am satisfied that not the half of the ancient music of the country has yet been saved from the danger of extinction. What a loss would these be to the world! How many moments of the most delightful