Obrazy na stronie

the sound of monosyllables only, they might write ou, ua, or oua, but O is undoubtedly most proper. O implies the son in excellence ; Mac a descendant, according to O'Brien: I believe he is right, for machar, in Chaldee, is spondere. The learned Rabbi Renaudot says, that the Egyptian name O'Siris, is formed of Chiri or Chiris, that is the Son, and (filius,) SON,- therefore,

CHIRIS or Osiris, is le fils de Soleil par excellence, the son of the Sun. And here occurs another Irish word Chris and Chreasan, i. e. holy, sacred. Crisean, i.e. Sagart (Vet. Gloss.) i. e Crisean the same as Sagart, a Priest. “Did we ever hear of a Mac-Morgan or an O'Griffith ? Was () or Mac a common name with the Gauls or Welsh Britons ? How came the Erse or Irish by these Oriental appellations ? or by the Egyptian Isis, the Moon, in Irish Eas, and Easconn, the full Moon."* Is it surprising that they, who possess an hereditary right to so honourable a prefix, should be punctilious in requiring that their friends should never fail to address them by this important title? The omission, I believe, has been sometimes considered an insult; although it has been occasionally found to be a serious hindrance to the promotion of an individual both in Church and State.

8. The natives of Ireland had no idea of confining their flocks to particular pastures, but retained the migratory practices of their ancestors, up to the period of the wise and salutary plantation of Ulster by James the First. They were then, as we learn from the “ Orders,” &c. issued for the regulation of the planters, which may be found in Hard's Hibernica, compelled to abandon their old habits of wandering from place to place, or creaghting (creac herd, as it was called, with their cattle, for the sake of pasture. Living without husbandry or tillage, they were accustomed, until this epoch arrived, to drive their herds from the level plains, when fodder became scarce, to the higber lands and mountains, knowing no boundaries of property. It was thus, it may be said, in the early history of all nations, as men in the first stages of society were devoted to pastoral occupations. But this peculiar feature of pastoral life belonged especially to that nation which owed its honourable descent to the exalted Patriarch, who, in the land of promise, being very rich in cattle, wandered about from district to district, as did also Isaac and Jacob, heirs with hom of the same promise. Hereafter does Isaiah expressly assure us, concerning their descendants, that when they shall be invited to come forth from the darkness that now envelopes them, They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in ALL HIGH PLACES.”+ Morier tells us, with the view of illustrating this passage, that the Eclants in Persia carry their flocks to the highest mountains, for pasturage and water : so did the Hebrewsso also did the Irish, as far as the circumstances of their country permitted.

9. The national hospitality of the lrish was carried to such an extent, that public provision was made for the entertainment of travellers. A house of accommodation was opened for them, and an officer of state was appointed over it, who had a grant of lands assigned him, and considerable privileges conferred on him, upon the sole tenure of his keeping open house for travellers, and giving them such entertainment as was suitable to their rank. The title borne by this officer was Bruigh; and his house was called the guirme. The names, as well as the custom itself, bear a close affinity with the Hebrew. Chald. *1153, burgna, means an entertainer of travellers ; and na, garm, à caravansera. Who is not at once reminded of that people, favoured above all nations, who were wont to entertain even angels unawares. Abraham knew not for whom it was he made such mighty preparations on the plains of Mamre, and for whom he engaged Sarah's services, as well as his own, when those three angels were prevailed on to partake of his food, who afterwards announced to him the birth of Isaac. Some slight vestiges of this generous practice are still observable in Palestine. Maundrell mentions a similar institution on his arrival at the Honey Kane, in the commencement of his “ Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem," in 1697:

* Val. Coll. No. XIII. p. 16.

+ Isaiah xlix. 9.

“ It must be noticed here, that, in travelling this country, a man does not meet with a market-town and ions every night, as in England : the best reception you can find here is either under your own tent, if the season permit, or else in certain public lodgments, founded in charity for the use of travellers. These are called by the Turks kanes ; and are seated sonetimes in the towns and villages, sometimes at convenient distances upon the open road. They are built in fashion of a cloister, encompassing a court of thirty or forty yards square, more or less, according to the measure of the founder's ability or charity. At these places all comers are free to take shelter, paying only a small fee to the kane-keeper, and very often without that acknowledgment; but must expect nothing here generally but bare walls: as for other accommodation, of meat, drink, bed, fire, provender-with these it must be every one's care to furnish himself.”

The convents are the principal, as they are also, at present, the most comfortable places of resort for travellers in Palestine. “A Field Officer of Cavalry” whose interesting " Diary" in that country was printed by Hatchard in 1823, mentions that on the occasion even of his forcible detention by a party of Arabs, in a small khan, on his road from Nahem to Acre, he was most“ hospitably provided for by the Scheikh, " with an Arab dinner, such as it was,” and for which he adds,“ we were grateful, being convinced it was the best in his power to procure. The bill of fare was as follows: thin rice, with a few bits of roast meat, cut quite small, to season it; yaourt,” (sour milk, of the consistence of jelly-buttermilk would have been substituted in Ireland ;) “and unleavened dhourra cakes" (the prototypes of our Hibernian slim-cakes) of about the size and thickness of very thin pancakes.”

Khan is a word which is probably derived from the Hebrew 17, an establishment, a place of residence, and which, as a verb, signifies to make ready, prepare, establish. This root occurs in Ze.

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chariah xi. 7, in the sense of feeding the destitute. “I will feed,that is confirm or strengthen them with provisions, “ I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock.” In Irish the word cean denotes charity or love.

10. A remarkable custom prevails still amongst the Irish of raising a heap of stones over the spot where any person has met with a sudden and calamitous death. It is considered a religious act amongst the natives of Connaught for every passenger who goes by the way, to add three stones to the heap, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. A large heap of this description having encroached inconveniently on a road which passed through a friend's property, in my neighbourhood, he placed a monumental slab in the adjoining wall, and removed the nuisance; thinking that the respect he showed to the memory of the departed, would satisfy the feelings of the people, and prevent the recurrence of the obstruction. But such was their superstitious adherence to their ancient usage, that the heap was speedily renewed, and is now nearly as large as ever. A monument of this kind is called leačo in Irish. It will be seen by a reference to Vallancey's Law Glossary, that the same word denotes a compact or covenant; and that he considers it to be derived from 75, accipere, which be takes to have been the same in import with 1795, which denotes a mutual giving and receiving. *

Is there not a remarkable coincidence between this practice and that of the Israelites, under similar circumstances ? On three several occasions, when life was awfully and suddenly arrested, did all Israel, as we learn from the sacred historians, raise such monu. mental mounds of stone as we have been describing, over the unfortunate dead. After the execution of the mournful sentence which justice pronounced on the avaricious son of Carmi had taken place, “ They raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day.”+ When the sun went down on the eve of that day which

• What Vallancey further observes on this subject is worthy of note: “From the Holy Scriptures we learn, that the supremacy of government among the Hebrews, was by drawing lots, and to whichever cbief of a tribe this lot fell, the others did enter into a federal compact with him, in token ofallegiance and subjection. This drawing by lots is expressed in Hebrew by 15, lachad, which Josephus expressed in Greek by layxave. Thus, when Benjamin was elected ruler, 1 Kings X. ; the Hebrew is 735. lachad, est tribus Benjamin ; and the Hebrew word for a tribe is UV, shebet, that is a rod, or stick, a WORD COMMON TO THE ANCIENT IRISH AND THE Jews, to signify a tribe, viz. seible, whence the English sept, which Doctor Johnson says is of Irish origin. Isacchus, in his Arcanorum Sacræ Script. Myr. L. iii. p. 831, well explains this passage:

Lachad shebet Benjamin literally means,” says he, “ capta est tribus Benj. vel si magis rigorem verborum tenuere velimus, dicendum erit, et capta est virga Benj, ; because the lot was drawn by shebet, or sticks, on which was written the name ; and hence shebet signifies not only a tribe, but the chief of that tribe, because he carried a staff, as a token of his ofice- eodem igitur pacto in institutione regis sortitur fuisse dixerim in quærendo tribu, cui regnum destinandum esset. So, in Irish, crann signifies a stick, and crannas, or crannadh, or craun-cor, is to draw lots by sticks, In Chaldee, din, kranas, is explained by sors,—but which is the root I pretend not to determine.'

+ Joshua vii, 25.

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saw the king of Ai suspended from one of his own trees, “ Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day."* When illfated Absalom met with his untimely end, they took him, “and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him.”'t To this usage was it, also, that the Prophet Jeremiah alluded in his Lamentations : “ They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.” There is no reason for supposing that he was stoned, but that he was as much cut off from society, as if the monumental leachd had been raised over him, there can be no question. ,

The Hebrews were accustomed to raise heaps of this kind to notify the ratification of their covenants, as was the case between Jacob and Laban. These heaps were circular, and the parties partook together of a sacrificial feast spread out upon them. The Hebrew name of these circular heaps is za, gal; in Irish geal signifies a covenant or pledge, and gal a heap of stones. The double import of gal, as also that of leaċo, already noticed, even more than the practice itself, is sufficient to confirm the Hebrew origin of our Irish usage.

It appears, indeed, to have been a general practice with the Israelites to raise a beap of stones to commemorate any remarkable event, or to preserve the recollection of any interesting spot. Thus, twelve stones were selected from the bed of the Jordan, and deposited at the landing-place of the Children of Israel, by the Divine command, to be a sign unto them, that when their children enquired in time to come, What mean ye by these stones? they might receive for reply the important information, " that the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the Children of Israel for ever."'S Thus, Wortley Montague relates, that “the Arabs, when they have any spot or stone in veneration, as Mahommed's Stone, or the like, after their devotion, lay some smooth stone upon it.”ll But the relation of Egmond and Hayman is even more to

rpose. The Mahomedans, (according to their narrative,) on their pilgrimage to Mount Sinai, invariably visit a rock which is stamped, as they imagine, with the impress of the foot of Ma. hommed's camel, and religiously add a stone to the great heap already collected at the spot. The Irish have also collected heaps in honour of events unconnected with the disastrous issue of human life. Thus, on the summit of Knockmah, a lofty hill in the neighbourhood of Tuam, and the supposed resort of Fin-Varrow, the supreme governor of the Connaught fairies, the people have erected a very picturesque heap of stones, in honour of that potent and ce


* Joshua viii. 29.

† Lam. iii. 53.
|| Phil. Trans. Volume 56.

t 2 Sam. xviii. 17.

Joshua iv, 7.
I Volume II. page 167.

2 N

brated personage. He was doubtless entitled to as much respect as Mahommed's camel.

11. The entertainments given by the Scotch and Irish on funeral occasions, and the wakes still observed in Ireland, were decidedly of oriental origin. The cessation of such feasts among the Jews was threatened by Jeremiah, as the very climax of their misery“ Both great and small shall die in this land : they shall not be buried; neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them; neither shall men tear themselves, (1079', same word which occurs in Isa. lviii. 7, divide,* deal out, i. e. their bread to them;) neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or their mother.” From the Hebrew word above noted comes the Irish word fuiras, an entertainment; and Fuirseoire, the title borne by the Master of the Ceremonies at Tamer Hall, and to whom it belonged, as Vallancey supposes there was great reason to believe, " to distribute the meat and drink at the funerals of any of the royal family." Harmer gives the following account from the MSS. of Sir J. Chardin :

“ The oriental Christians still make banquets of this kind,” (speaking of the ancient Jewish feasts of mourning, mentioned in Jeremiah xvi. 6, 7, and elsewhere,) “by a custom derived from the Jews; and I have been many times present at them, among the Armenians in PERSIA. The 7th verse speaks of those provisions which are wont to be sent to the house of the deceased, and of those healths that are drank to the survivors of the family, wishing that the dead may have been the victim for the sins of the family. The same, with respect to eating is practised among the Moors. Where we find the word comforting made use of, we are to understand it as signifying the performing these offices."

In like manner, he explains the bread of men, mentioned Ezek. xxiv. 17, as signifying the bread of others; the bread sent to mourners; the bread that the neighbours, relations, and friends sent.”+

12. The lamentations of the Irish on funeral occasions, over the dead, have often been admitted to be precisely similar to those anciently practised by the Jews. There are several allusions to the custom in Scripture: from thence we learn, that professional mourners were in as high repute in Judea, as they are now in Ireland.

Such were the minstrels, whose wailings over the daughter of Jairus were interrupted by the visit of the omnipotent Physician, who recalled her to life. Amos could not introduce a more appalling feature of desolation into his picture of wo, than the bands of mercenary mourners ;

Wailing shall be in the streets; they shall call such as are skilful in lamentation to wail.”

* See Bate.- Thus, also, Jarchi, Jos, Kimchi, and Abarbanel. Non divi. dent. Tigur. Vers.; partientur panem, Piscator; neque impertientur, sub. cibum, Jun. and Tremellius ; neque cibum dabunt, Schmidt. + Harmer's Observ, by. A. Clarke.-Lond. 1816. Volume III, page 18.

# Amos v. 16,

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