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LETTERS TO A FRIEND.
IRELAND's first name, in the native language, was Inis na bhfiodkbhuidhe, which signifies The Woody Isle. It was also called Inis Alga, The Noble Isle, and was inhabited by a race of people called Firbolgs, which claimed the same deșcent as the Scythians or Gadelians, originally from Magog, the son of Japhet.
This wandering tribe (the sons of Nemedius) were driven from their former settlement in Greece by harsh treatment. In order to keep down their growing power, they were compelled to carry earth in leathern bags from the vallies to the tops of the highest mountains and craggy rocks, that those places which nature had made bare and barren might become fertile. From this employment their name is derived. Fir signifies men; Bolg, bag. Ireland became their refuge, and resting-place from hard labours and tyranny, until they were again made to feel that they had ‘no abiding city here. New settlers arrived from Greece, by whom these older inhabitants were overcome, and mostly slain. Of these the ancient records state
• A hundred and ninety-seven years complete
I shall give you their history in Keating's lines :
The Tuatha de Danaus,
Resolved no longer to endure the yoke 2 CHAL boo W
Of servitude; a fleet prepared, and wandering to fit in
Long time from sea to sea, at length arrived, alal si With all his followers, on the coast of Norway. 12 5. The kind Norwegians ro
Norwegians received the strangers, es bus And hospitably lodged them from the cold ;
filosweglod But, when they saw their necromantic art, BOSS How they had fiends and spectres at command, 10 2016
And from the tombs could call the stalking ghosts,
Moirfhias the chief, a wizard of renown, -E51 SD And subtle Erus, Arias skill'd in charms. Barts And Semias fam'd for spells--these four presided alit
In the four towns, to educate the youth. digies siete At length these strolling necromancers sail'd Be From Norway, and landed on the northern shoreonor
Of Scotland; but perfidiously conveyed Tita YTOISTY od Four monuments of choice antiquity, bow From the four cities given them by the Danes: On bed
From Falias, the stone of destiny; wyd99991101 910W From Gorias, they brought the well-try'd sword tools Of Luighaidh; from Finias, a speari
9 1001SVO From Murias, a cauldron.'
They spent seven years in Scotland, and then removed to Ireland, and being resolved to fix them
selves in so desirable a country, they burned their ships.
The Irish poet says of the first-mentioned inhabitants
'Fifty-six years the Firbolg's royal line
Mention is made of one of the last of the Firbolgs, Lugbaidh, (surnamed The Long-Handed,) King of Ireland, as baving instituted the assembly of Tailtean, and appointed tilts and tournaments, resembling the old Olympic games, which were observed every year upon the first day of August, a day still distinguished by the name of Lughnansa, now called Lammas.
From the stone recorded in the foregoing lines, Ireland was called Inisfáil. The stone itself received the name of Lia fail, from the city Falias, from whence the Tuatha de Danaus removed it to Ireland. It was also called the fatal stone, or stone of destiny. Hector Boetius, in his history of Scotland, calls it Saxum fatale. It was held in high veneration as an enchanted stone, and is spoken of by many historians.
Its peculiar property was that of making a terrific sound, resembling thunder, so loud as to be heard at a great distance, when any of the royal Scythian race was crowned upon it, but the stone was silent if the elect sovereign was not of that race.
• Unless the fixed decrees of fate give way,
1 'From this strange stone did Inisfail obtain
Its name, a tract surrounded by the main.'
All the different monarchs of Ireland, in succession, were crowned upon this stone, until the year of our Lord 513, in the reign of Mortough, (the son of Earca,) whose brother, Fergus the Great, having subdued the Scottish nation, and obtained the crown, sent to Ireland for the stone of destiny, that on it he might be crowned, and thus secure the succession to the Scythian race.. Upon so great a consideration, Mortough, willingly yielding to his brother's wishes, parted with this treasure; and although, as Keating observes, from the birth of the Redeemer,' the stone lost its great charm of sending forth solemn sounds, still it was held in high veneration for some innate virtue it was supposed to possess.
You have no doubt seen the old chair in Westminster Abbey, in which is this famous stone. I searched for its history in Rapin's England, and found that in the year 1296, Edward the First, when he so easily obtained the title of Scotland's King, took possession of the stone on which the inauguration of their kings was performed. The people of Scotland bad all along placed in that stone a kind of fåtality. They 'fancied that whilst it should remain in their country, their state should be unshaken; but the moment it should be removed from thence, great revolutions would ensue. For this reason Edward had it conveyed from Scone, that he might make the Scots believe the time of the dissolution of their monarchy was come, and put them out of hopes of recovering their liberty.'
Kenith, King of the Scots, having made a great slaughter of the Picts, near the monastery of Scone,
1 'All idols and diabolical charms lost their force and virtue upon the birth of our Saviour.'
placed a stone there, enclosed in a wooden chair, for the inauguration of the kings. It had been brought out of Ireland into Argile, and King Edward caused it to be conveyed to Westminster. On it was engraven this distich :
Ni fallat Fatum, Scoti quocumque locatum,
Keating remarks that in its present position, under the coronation chair in Westninster Abbey, the prophecy concerning it seems to be accomplished, for the royal family of the Stuarts succeeded to the throne of England soon after the removal of this stone. This family being lineally descended from the Scythian race, from Maine Leamhna, son of Core, king of Munster, son of Luighdheach, son of Oilioll Floubeg, son of Fiacha Muilleathan, king of Munster, son of Eogan Mor, son of Oilioll Ollum, king of Munster, who descended lineally from Haberus Fionn, son of Milesius, king of Spain, every prince of which illustrious family successively received the crown upon this stone.
Fergus the Great, a descendant from Heremose, was the first king of Scotland of the Scythian or Gadelian race. He subdued the kingdom, and was the first absolute monarch of Scotland who acknowledged no foreign yoke. Some of the Picts had the title of kings of Scotland, yet they were no more than tributary princes to the kings of Ireland from the reign of Heremon, who drove them out of Ireland, and compelled them to settle in Scotland.
According to the testimony of the Irish antiquaries, “the Irish kings, of the line of O'Donill, sat upon the summit of a hill, surrounded with the principal nobi