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T. W. HAZEN ROLLESTON From a photograph by Fred Hollyer, London


composition to a work of any length. The Colloquy opens by presenting us with the figures of Caeilte MacRonan and Oisin, son of Finn, each accompanied by eight warriors, all that are left of the great fellowship of the Fianna after the battle of Gabhra, and their later dispersion and melting away through old age and sorrow. A vivid picture is given us of the gray old warriors who had lived on into a new age, meeting for the last time at the dun of a once famous chieftainess named Camha, and their melancholy talk of old days, till at last a great silence settled on them all. Finally Caeilte and Oisin resolved to part, Oisin, of whom we hear little more, going to his mother, Blai, a woman of the Sidhe, whilst Caeilte takes his way over the plains of Meath till he comes to Drumderg, where he lights on St. Patrick and his monks. “ The clerics,” says the writer, “saw Caeilte and his band draw near them, and fear fell on them before the tall men with the huge wolf-hounds that accompanied them, for they were not people of one epoch or of one time with the clergy." Patrick then sprinkles the heroes with holy water, whereat legions of demons who had been hovering over them fly away into the hills and glens, and “the enormous men sat down.” Patrick, after inquiring the name of his guest, then says he has a boon to crave of him—he wishes to find a well of pure water from which to baptize the folk of Bregia and of Meath. Caeilte, who knows every brook and rath and wood and hill in the country, thereon takes Patrick by the hand, and leads him away till, as the writer says, “ right in front of them they saw a loch-well sparkling and translucid. The size and thick- . ness of the cress, and of the potlact or brooklime that grew on it was a wonderment to them; then Caeilte began to tell its fame and qualities, in doing of which he said: And then follows an exquisite little lyric on the well:

“O well of Traig da ban beautiful are thy cresses, luxurious, branching; since thy produce is neglected on thee thy brooklime is not suffered to grow. Forth from thy banks thy trout are to be seen, thy wild swine in the wilderness; the deer of thy fair hunting cragland, thy dappled and red-chested fawns! Thy mast all hanging on the branches of thy trees; thy fish in estuaries of the rivers; lovely the color of thy purling streams, 0 thou that

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art azure-hued, and again green with reflection of surrounding copse wood!”

After the warriors have been entertained, Patrick asks, “ Was he, Finn mac Cumall, a good lord with whom ye were?Upon which Caeilte replies:

“ Were but the brown leaf which the woodland sheds from it gold-were but the white billow silver-Finn would have given it all away.”

He then goes on to enumerate the glories of Finn's household, whereon Patrick says:

“ Were it not for us an impairing of the devout life, an occasion of neglecting prayer, and of deserting converse with God, we, as we talked with thee would feel the time pass quickly, warrior!'

Caeilte goes on with another tale of the Fianna, and Patrick now fairly caught in the toils of the enchanter, cries, “Success and benediction attend thee, Caeilte, this is to me a lightening of spirit and mind; and now tell us another tale."

And so ends the exordium of the Colloquy.' Nothing could be better contrived, the touch is so light, there is so happy a mingling of pathos, poetry, and humor, and there is so much dignity in the sketching of the human characters introduced that one is led to expect something very admirable when the plan of the writer develops. Unfortunately, the expectation is not wholly fulfilled. The rest of the piece consists in the exhibition of a vast amount of topographical and legendary lore by Caeilte, punctuated with the invariable “ success and benediction attend thee" of Patrick. They move together, on Patrick's journey to Tara, and whenever Patrick or some one else in the company sees a town or a fort, or a well he asks Caeilte what it is, and Caeilte tells its name and a Fenian legend to account for the name, and so the story wanders on through a maze of legendary lore, good, bad, or indifferent, until the royal company meet them, and the King takes up the role of questioner. The · Colloquy,' as we have it now, breaks off abruptly as Oisin is about to relate how the Lia Fail was carried away out of Ireland. A few fresh characters are introduced in the person of provincial kings whom Patrick meets with, but they have no dramatic or other significance, and are merely names. The interest of

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