Page images
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]



WHITLEY STOKES, C.S.I., C.I.E., was born in 1830. He is the eldest son of Willian Stokes, regius professor of physic, Dublin. He married, the first time, Mary, the daughter of Colonel Bazely, of the Bengal Artillery, and the second time, Elizabeth (who died in 1901) the daughter of W. Temple. He was educated at the University of Dublin. He is an Honorary D.C.L of Oxford; an Honorary LL.D. of Dublin and Edinburgh; an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford; Foreign Associate of the Institute of France; Honorary Member of the German Oriental Society. He was a barrister in the Inner Temple in 1855; a pupil of A. Cayley, C. M. Crains, and T. Chitty; and he practiced as an Equity draftsman and conveyancer. He went to India in 1862. He was reporter to the High Court at Madras, and Acting Administrator-General from 1863 to 1864; Secretary to the Governor-General's Legislative Council, and then to the Government of India in Legislative Departments from 1865 to 1877, and a Law-member of the Council of the Governor-General from 1877 to 1882. He was President of the Indian Law Commission in 1879. He has been draftsman of many consolidation acts, of the bulk of the present Codes of Civil and Criminal Procedure, and of the acts dealing respectively with the transfer of property, trusts, easements, specific relief and limitation; and was the framer of the scheme for collecting and cataloguing Sanscrit manuscripts in India.




His publications are, legal-Treatise on the Liens of Legal Practitioners,' On Powers of Attorney,' 'Hindu Law Books,' 'The Indian Succession Act, with Commentary,' 'Indian Companies Act, with Notes,' The Older Statutes in Force in India, with Notes,' The Anglo-Indian_Codes'; philological-'Irish Glosses,' 'Three Irish Glossaries,' The Middle-English Play of the Sacrament,' 'The Passion,' a Middle-Cornish poem, The Creation of the World,' a Cornish mystery, Three Middle-Irish Homilies,' "Goidelica,' 'The Life of S. Meriasek,' a Cornish drama, 'Middle-Breton Hours,' 'The Calendar of Oengus,' 'Togail Troi,' 'Saltair, na Rann,' 'The Tripartite Life of St. Patrick,' 'The Old-Irish Glosses at Würzburg and Carlsruhe,' 'Lives of Saints from the Book of Lismore,' Urkeltischer Sprachschatz' (jointly with Prof. Bezzenberger), The Martyrology of Gorman,' 'Rennes Dindsenchas,' 'The Annals of Cigernach,' 'The Gaelic Marco Polo, Maundeville, and Fierabras, The Eulogy of St. Columba, 'Dá Choca's Hostel,' and 'Dá Derga's Hostel.' He was jointeditor of the Irische Texte Thesaurus Palæohibernicus,' the second volume of which appeared in 1904, and Archiv für Celtische Lexicographie.'



" 6


Foremost," says Mr. M. MacLean in his 'Literature of the Celts,'"of all living Celticists stands Dr. Whitley Stokes. Next to Zeuss he has done more than any other single man in this par


ticular department of study and research. His publications are a library in themselves, and deal with Cornish, Breton, Old Welsh, as well as Irish and Gaelic. He has made himself master of the field in a very thorough and scientific manner. In his Goidelica' (old and early-middle-Irish glosses, prose and verse) are given accurate translations of the Gaelic prefaces and hymns of the Liber Hymnorum—that ancient mythology which dates from the eleventh century.'

Dr. Stokes studied Irish with O'Donovan, and Sanskrit and comparative philology with Professor Siegfried in Dublin. It was in Calcutta that the foundation of his great reputation as a Celtic scholar was laid, and it was from that city that he first issued his ' Goidelica.'


From Goideliac.'

Patrick's Hymm. This is probably a genuine production of Saint Patrick. He died about the year 470. See also the much freer version by Mangan.-D. H.

I bind myself to-day to a strong virtue, an invocation of the Trinity;

I believe in Threeness with confession of a Oneness in the Creator of the Universe.

I bind myself to-day to the virtue of Christ's birth with his baptism,

To the virtue of his crucifixion with his burial,

To the virtue of his resurrection with his ascension,

To the virtue of his coming to the Judgment of Doom.

I bind myself to-day to the virtue of ranks of Cherubim,
In obedience of Angels,

In service of Archangels,

In hope of resurrection for reward,

In prayers of Patriarchs,

In predictions of Prophets,

In preachings of Apostles,
In faiths of Confessors,
In innocence of holy Virgins,

In deeds of righteous men.

I bind myself to-day to the virtue of Heaven,

In light of Sun,

In brightness of Snow,

In splendor of Fire,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

In speed of Lightning,

In swiftness of Wind,
In depth of Sea,

In stability in Earth,

In compactness of Rock.

I bind myself to-day to God's virtue to pilot me,

God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to guide me,
God's Eye to look before me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to speak for me,
God's Hand to guard me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to protect me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against snares of demons,

Against seductions of vices,
Against lusts of nature,

Against every one who wishes ill to me,

Afar and anear,

Alone and in a multitude!

So have I invoked all these virtues between me and these,
Against every cruel merciless power which may come against
my body and my soul;

Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of heathenry,
Against false laws of heretics,

Against craft of idolatry,

Against spells of women and smiths and druids,

Against every knowledge that defiles men's souls.

Christ to protect me to-day,

Against poison, against burning, against drowning, against deathwound,

Until a multitude of rewards come to me!

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind rae, Christ in me!

Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ at my right, Christ at my left!

Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height!
Christ in the heart of every one who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me!

I bind myself to-day to a strong virtue, an invocation of the Trinity.

I believe in a Threeness with confession of a Oneness in the Creator of the Universe!


This is taken from the Book of Lismore--a MS. of the fifteenth century. The Life may be as old as the tenth century.-D. H.

On the eighth (of the month) Brigit was born, on a Thursday especially: on the eighteenth she took the veil: in the eighty-eighth (year of her age) she went to heaven. With eight virgins was Brigit consecrated, according to the number of the eight beatitudes of the Gospel which she fulfilled, and of them it was the beatitude of mercy that Brigit chose.

Once when the high tide of Easter drew nigh, she desired through charity to brew ale for the many churches that were around her. And there was a scarcity of corn at that time in Meath, and Brigit had only one sieve of malt. Brigit's household, moreover, had no vessels save two troughs. They put the malt into one of the two troughs. They fill the other vessel with the ale. Then the ale was distributed by Brigit to seventeen churches of Fir Tulach, so that the produce of one measure of malt supplied them through Brigit's grace from Maundy Thursday to Low Sunday.

Once there came a certain leper unto Brigit to ask for a cow. Said Brigit to him, "Which seemeth best to thee, to take away a cow, or to be healed of the leprosy?" The leper said that he would rather be healed of the leprosy than be given the kingdom of the world. Brigit made prayer to God and healed the leper, and he afterwards served Brigit.

A certain nun of Brigit's household fell into sore disease and desired milk. There did not happen to be a cow in the church at that time, so a vessel was filled with water for Brigit, and she blessed it, and it was turned into milk. She gave it to the nun who at once became quite well.

Now when the fame and renown of Brigit had gone

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

throughout Ireland, there came to Brigit two blind men of the Britons and a leper to be healed. Said Brigit: "Stay outside at present till the celebration be over. " (Said the Britons), for they are impatient: "Thou healedst folk of thine own kin yesterday, and thou hast not waited to heal us to-day." Brigit made prayer, and the three of them were healed at once.

When the hightide of Easter was fulfilled, Brigit asked her maidens whether they still had the leavings of the Easter ale. Quoth the maidens: "God will give," say they. There came in two maidens having a pail full of water. "The Virgin's Son knoweth," saith Brigit, "that there is good ale there." It seemed to her that it was ale. As she said that (the water) was straightway changed into choice ale. It was afterward given to Bishop Mél, and also to the virgins.

At the same time came a disease of the eyes to Brigit, and her head seemed exceeding weary. When Bishop Mél heard of that he said: "Let us go together to seek a physician, that thou mayst have thy head cured." Said Brigit: "If thou hadst not been disobedient, I should not have desired any bodily physician; howbeit we will do what thou shalt say." As they were faring forth, Brigit fell out of her chariot and her head came against a stone, and she was greatly wounded and the blood gushed out. Then with that blood were healed two dumb women who were lying on the road. After that, the leech whom they were seeking chanced to meet them. When he saw the wound he said: "Thou shouldest not seek any other physician from this time forward, save the Physician who healed thee on this occasion; for though all the doctors of Ireland should be doctoring thee, they could do nothing better." So in that wise Brigit was healed.

Once the King of Teffia came into their neighborhood for a banquet. There was a covered vessel in the King's hand. A certain incautious man took it out of his hand, and it fell and fragments were made thereof. The man was seized by the King of Teffia. Bishop Mél went to ask for him, and nought was got from the King save his death. So Bishop Mél begged for the broken vessel, and took it with him to Brigit. Then Brigit put her breath around it, and it was renewed in a form that was

« PreviousContinue »