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that one fhould think it would alone have been fufficient to lead the grammarians to a knowledge of moft of the other conjunctions, as well as of itfelf: If that, an that, unless that, though that, but that, without that, left that, fince that, fave that, except that, &c.

AS is an article, and means the fame as it, that, which. In the German, where it ftill evidently retains its original fignification and ufe, as fo alfo does, it is written, es. Als, in our old English, is a contraction of al, and es or as, and this al (which in comparisons used to be very properly employed before the first es or as, but was not employed before the second) we now, in modern English, fupprefs, as we have done in numberless other inftances. Thus, As fwift as darts or feather'd arrows fly,'

In old English is written,

Als fwift as ganze or fedderit arrow fleis.' which means, With all that swiftnefs, with which, &c.'

Be-it, albeit, notwithstanding, nevertheless, fet, fave, except, out-cept, out-take, to wit, because, &c. are evident at first sight.

In this manner the ingenious author has traced all these fuppofed unmeaning, indeclinable conjunctions to their fource, and fhewn the precife meaning of each of them, with a perfpicuity and confiftency, which will at leaft entitle his hypothefis to the favourable confideration of every future etymologist and grammarian.

A General Hiftory of Ireland, from the earliest Accounts to the Clofe of the Twelfth Century, collected from the most authentic Records. By Mr. O'Halloran. 2 vols. 4to. 17. 11. 6d. in boards. Robinfon.

WHEN literary prejudices are attended with a competent

fhare of ingenuity and learning, there is hardly any hypothefis which a writer of character may not embellish with the air of plaufibility. Enough, we imagined, had been faid in refutation of the hiftorical authority of the Irish bards, fileas, and fenachies; but when the conteft feemed to be decided, another champion arifes, who afferts the cause of national honour with a degree of warmth, addrefs, and ability, fuperior to all his predeceffors. We are juftified in this remark, not only by the whole series of the prefent History, but by the Preliminary Difcourfe, in which Mr. O'Halloran has endeavoured to pave the way for the reception of his hypothefis, and has concentrated all the force of its collateral fupports. But we fhall immediately proceed to the Hiftory, which commences with the following chapter.

VOL, XLVI. July, 1778.

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In the year of the world, according to the Hebrew computation, 2736, in the month of Bel or May, and the 17th day of the moon's age, according to the relation of Amhergin, highprieft to this expedition, Ireland was invaded by a numerous body of felet troops, from Galicia in Spain. After fubduing the country, and establishing their government on a permanent bafis, as fhall be related in its place, they fet on foot an inquiry into the hiftory and antiquities of the people thus reduced, how long they had been in the kingdom, and what colonies had preceded them, &c. The refult of their researches produced the following relations, which have been as carefully tranfmitted from age to age, as those of their own particular exploits, and thefe of their ancestors.

In the year of the world 1956, Partholan, the son of Seara, the fon of Sru, the son of Eafru, fon of Framant, fon to "Fathocda, the fon of Magog, fon to Japhet. the son of Noah, landed in Ireland, accompanied by his wife, Ealga, or Ealgnait,.1 his three fons, Rughraidhe, Slainge, and Laighline, with their wives, and 1000 foldiers. The Book of Invafions, from which this relation is taken, fixes the time of his landing to be 278 years after the flood; but Mr. O'Flaherty makes it 35 years later; differences, however, of little confequence in transactions for remote and uninterefting. The caufe of his flying from his native country, Greece, we are told, was, the inhuman murder of his father and mother, with a refolution to cut off alfo his elder brother, in order to poffefs himself of the fupreme command; but his parricide and villany were fo univerfally detefted, that he was compelled to fly the country, and feek new abodes, and at length, as we fee, with his followers reached Ireland. The Book of Conquefts mentions-but as an affair not authenticated-that before the arrival of Partholan, Ireland was poffeffed by a colony from Africa, under the command of Ciocall, between whom and the new comers a bloody battle was fought, in which the Africans were cut off.

It is recorded, that at this time, there were found in Ire-* land but three lakes and nine rivers, whofe names are particularly mentioned; but from this it appears probable that the parts. of the country, in which these lakes and rivers appeared, were only what were then known; and that as their fucceffors began to explore and lay open other parts, the rivers and lakes then appearing, were entered into the national annals, as they were discovered; but as no previous mention could have been made of them, and that the different periods in which they were found out, were diflinctly marked, fucceeding annalifts have dated the first bursting forth of each, from the time of its difcovery. Our writers are very exact in the times in which thefe lakes and rivers appeared: it cuts a confpicuous figure in our history, and proves the extreme accuracy of our early writers; but a very unjuftifiable credulity in their fucceffors, who could fuppofe the firit difcovery of them to be their first rise, though the learned

Dr.

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Hutchinfon, bishop of Down and Conner, has taken no fmall pains to defend it. But as it appears to me almost a certainty, that (with a very few exceptions) rivers and lakes are nearly coeval with the creation, the reader will I hope excufe my taking no farther notice of this part of our history.

Soon after the landing of Partholan, his fon Slainge died, and was interred in the fide of a mountain, in the prefent county of Down, from him denominated Sliabh-Slainge, fliabh being; Irish for a mountain. Laighline alfo died, and was buried near a lake in Meath, from him called Loch-Laighline; and from. the place of Rughraidhe's interment, the adjoining lake was called Loch-Rughraidhe. After a reign of thirty years, Par tholan quitted this life, at Magh-Alta, in Meath, leaving the kingdom between his four fons, born in Ireland, whofe names. were Ear, Orba, Fearn, and Feargna.

We are furprised to find in the retinue of this prince, four men of letters, three druids, three generals, a knight, a beatach or keeper of open houfe, and two merchants, whofe names are preferved in our annals. The fons of Partholan, we are told, governed with great wisdom, as did their fucceffors for fome generations, till at length a violent plague broke out, which fwept away the greatest part of this colony. By this means the kingdom, which for near 300 years was governed by the pofterity of this prince, continued for thirty years after in a state of anarchy. The greatest number that were carried off by this contagion, was at Ben-Hedir, now Hoath, near Dublin, and the places adjacent: from which circumftance, we may infer, that it was brought into the kingdom by fome fhip or ships: the mortality was fo rapid, that experience pointed out the utility (instead of different burial places, which only ferved to spread the disorder) of fixing on one common place, in which the dead were to be thrown indifcriminately; and which from this circumftance, fays the Book of Conquefts, was ever after called Taimhleacht-Muinter Phartholan, or the burial place of the pofterity of Partholan. After the reception of Chriftianity, a celebrated monaftery was founded on this ground, to this day called Taimhleacht."

It is, we readily agree with Mr. O'Halloran, furprising to find in Partholan's retinue two men of letters, three druids, a knight, &c. (though knights errant may have exifted in all ages); but we are more furprised to find any credit given to a narrative that pretends to fo high antiquity, when the parti culars are furprifing in any degree.

In book II. chap. I. the hiftorian relates, that Phænius, the inventor of letters, is claimed as the founder of the Irish or Milefian race. This perfonage is faid to be the son of Baath, the fon of Magog, the fon of Japhet, the fon of Noah. But, fays Mr. O'Halloran, if we admit of this ge nealogy, we will at the fame time fee the neceffity for fup D 2

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pofing that fome more generations must have intervened between Phænius and Noah, to account for the great increase of mankind in his days.' This anecdote is to us another fubject for furprize; and when the author acknowledges that there is a neceffity for recurring to fuppofition, to render the story credible, the most natural suppofition would be, to renounce the whole as a fiction.

Of the incidents related in this work, which concludes with the arrival of Henry II. in Ireland, it is fufficient to observe, that Mr. O'Halloran has delivered, in an uninterrupted feries, the whole mafs of Irifh hiftorical documents, from the alledged commencement of the monarchy to that time; and we shall therefore return to make a few remarks on the Preliminary Difcourfe.

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In order to account for the fuppofed emigrations from the fouthern countries to Ireland, Mr. O'Halloran is inclined to admit that the ancients were acquainted with that property of the magnet by which it points to the north. But is it reafonable to imagine, that this effential property could have been entirely overlooked by all ancient writers, had they actually known it? The probability seems to be infinitely stronger in favour of one inference than the other.

In treating of every particular reign, fays our author, I have examined whatever had been advanced by different writers, either in print or manufcript, on the fubject. Even Routh, Ufher, Ward, Colgan, and other ecclefiaftical writers, were explored for information; and I have rejected whatever feemed improbable or ill-founded. Frequent mention is made, in early days of invafions from Africa, and of tranfactions between our ancestors and thefe people. As no other people of Africa but the Carthaginians were a maritime or commercial people, I began to fufpect that these were the very Fomharaigs fo often fpoken of. I confulted their hiftory, compared the eras in queftion, and fati fied myfelf, as I hope I fhall the public, that my fufpicions were well grounded. This explained and juftified the extent of our early commerce, the improvements in arts and manufactures, the working of our mines of copper, lead, and iron, the great riches of the country, and the fources from whence they flowed! Befides their extenfive commerce, for which the Carthaginians were fo renowned, it is a known fact, that, in their wars with the Romans, they hired mercenaries, not only in Iberia and Gaul, but drew troops from the Atlantic ifles. To illuftrate this, we find mention made of the FineFomharaig, or African legions, in our early records, who, I take for granted, to be Irish troops configned to that fervice: and for this reafon, that our bands in Gaul were called FineGall, as, in a fubfequent period, thofe in Scotland were called Fine-Albin, juft as the Romans denominated their legions after

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the countries in which they ferved. But, to fhew that there is fomething more than conjecture in what is here advanced, it evidently appears, that Carthaginian fwords, found near the plains of Canna, and ancient Irish fwords, fo frequently met with, are, as to shape, fize, and mixture of metals, fo exactly fimilar, that the affay mafter of the mint, who examined both, pronounced that they were caft in the fame chauldron !'

This anecdote relates to Governor Pownal's Account of fome Irish Antiquities, read before the Antiquarian Society, in 1774; but it cannot be conclufive of the inference in fupport of which it is cited. For as writers are agreed that the Phonician colonies traded with England for tin, at a very remote period, it is more probable, that thofe implements were imported from the fouth into England, and had afterwards been carried to Ireland by fome emigrant thither.

This ingenious author uniformly grants to the Irish records a degree of authenticity and credit, which we prefume, from the fagacity that he discovers in other points, he would not confider as due to thofe of any different country, in periods equally remote. The authentic hiftory of Greece has been fixed to the commencement of the Olympiads; and that of all the western, as well as northern nations of Europe, must be confined to much later epochas. The fuppofition that arts and learning ever flourished in Ireland in very remote times, is entirely repugnant to probability; because no local traces remain of such memorials as in every other country where those were cultivated, have transmitted to distant ages the proofs of their former existence. Mr. O'Halloran's narrative, however, may be regarded as a connected detail of the fabulous times in Ireland, preceding the dawn of its authentic annals in Dr. Leland's Hiftory,

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Obfervations made during a Voyage round the World, on Phyfical Geography, Natural Hiftory, and Ethic Philofopby. By John Reinhold Forster, LL.D. F. R. S. and S, A. 4to. 17. 15. in boards. Robinson.

IT IT is the bufinefs of philofophy to form general principles from a multitude of particular obfervations; and this Dr. Forster has endeavoured to effectuate in the work now before us. He begins with remarks on the earth and lands, their inequalities, ftrata, and conftituent parts. Refpecting this part of the fubject, one fection may ferve as a fpecimen.

ISLANDS;

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