« PreviousContinue »
Portrait-JONATHAN SWIFT, D.D.-After the picture by Markham,.
On the Death of our Lord,
Extract from "Love's Kingdom,"
29 WILLIAM MOLYNEUX (1656–1698),
32 EARL OF ROSCOMMON (1633–1684),
The Day of Judgment,
Ode upon Solitude,
191 JOHN CUNNINGHAM (1729–1773),
[This celebrated Irish historian and divine, | portant History of Ireland, which was written to whose indefatigable labours Irish history in his native language, and ultimately comis so deeply indebted, was born at Tubbrid, pleted about the year 1625. It begins from near Clogheen, in county Tipperary, about the the earliest period (namely, the arrival of the year 1570. Of the details of his life there is three daughters of Cain, the eldest named left us but a scanty record. At an early age Banba, who gave her name to Ireland, which he was sent to Spain, and in the college of was called "the Isle of Banba"), and extends Salamanca he studied for twenty-three years. to the Anglo-Norman invasion. In 1603, On his return home he was received with however, Keating was enabled, owing to the great respect by all classes of his country- recall of the president, Sir George Carew, men, and after a tour through the country to England, to return to his parish, where was appointed to the ministry of his native he found a coadjutor, with whom he lived parish, Tubbrid, in county Tipperary. Here and laboured peacefully for many years. One he soon became famous for his eloquence, and of the joint works of the two men was the crowds came to hear him from the neighbour- erection of a church in 1644, over the door ing towns of Cashel and Clonmel. "Among of which may yet be seen an inscription speakothers," says the editor of Clanricarde's Me- ing of them as founders, and beside which moirs, “came a gentleman's wife whom com- was placed afterwards the following epitaph mon fame reported to be too familiar with on the poet-historianthe Lord-president of Munster. The preacher's discourse was on the sin of adultery, and the eyes of the whole congregation being on the lady, she was in great confusion, and, imagining that the doctor had preached that sermon on purpose to insult her, she made loud complaint of him to the president, who was so enraged that he gave orders for apprehending him, intending to punish him with all the rigour of the law." Before, however, the soldiers reached his house, the historian, warned by his friends, had fled for safety into the Galtee Mountains near at hand.
In the solitude of the mountains Keating caused to be brought to him the materials he had been collecting for years, and at once proceeded to write his well-known and imし
"In Tybrid, hid from mortal eye,
A priest, a poet, and a prophet lie;
All these and more than in one man could be
Keating's writings prove him to have been an eloquent preacher, a ripe scholar, a graceful poet, a skilful writer in Latin and Irish, and a patient enthusiast in the collection and study of the ancient annals and bardic works of his country.
As to Keating's History there are many and very varying opinions. Peter Talbot speaks of it as "an able but extravagantly mad performance." D'Arcy Magee calls it “a semibardic, semi-historic work, full of faith in legends and trust in traditions." He, however, acknowledges that "if it contains improba