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we are not so violently anxious as we ought to be to determine whether or not the language spoken by the Phænician slave, in Terence's play, was Irish ; nay, we should not break our hearts if it could never be satisfactorily proved that Albion is only another name for Ireland.* We moreover candidly confess that we are more interested in the fate of the present race of its inhabitants than in the historian of St. Patrick, St. Facharis, St. Cormuc; the renowned Brien Boru; Tireldach, king of Connaught; M‘Murrough, king of Leinster; Diarmod; Righ-Damnha; Labra-Loing-seach ; Tighermas; Ollamh-Foldha ; the M Giolla-Phadraigs; or even the great William of Ogham ; and by this declaration we have no fear of giving offence to any but rusty antiquaries. We think it somewhat more to the honour of Ireland to enumerate the names of some of the men of genius whom she has produced : Milton and Shakspeare stand unrivalled ; but Ireland can boast of Usher, Boyle, Denham, Congreve, Molyneux, Farquhar, sir Richard Steele, Bickerstaff, sir Hans Sloane, Berkeley, Orrery, Parnel, Swift, T. Sheridan, Welsham, Bryan Robinson, Goldsmith, Sterne, Johnson, Tickel, Brooke, Zeland, Hussey Burgh, three Hamiltons, Young, Charlemont, Macklin, Murphy, Mrs. Sheridan,† Francis Sheridan, Kirwan, Brinsley Sheridan, and Burke.

* See O'Halloran's History of Ireland. + Author of Chrysal, or Adventures of a Guinea. * Author

the utiful moral tale Nourjahad.

We enter into no invidious comparisons: it is our sincere wish to conciliate both countries ; and if in this slight essay we should succeed in diffusing a more just and enlarged idea of the Irish than has been generally entertained, we hope the English will deem it not an unacceptable service. Whatever might have been the policy of the English nation towards Ireland whilst she was a separate kingdom, since the union it can no longer be her wish to depreciate the talents or ridicule the language of Hibernians. One of the Czars of Russia used to take the cap and bells from his fool, and place it on the head of any of his subjects whom he wished to disgrace. The idea of extending such a punishment to a whole nation was ingenious and magnanimous ; but England cannot now put it into execution towards Ireland. Would it not be a practical bull to place the bells upon her own imperial head ?

1801.

APPENDIX.

The following collection of Foreign Bulls was given us by a man of letters, who is now father of the French Academy.

A

RECUEIL DE BETISES.

Toutes les nations ont des contes plaisans de bêtises échappées non seulement à des personnes vraiment bêtes, mais aux distractions de gens qui ne sont pas sans esprit. Les Italiens ont leurs spropositi, leur arlequin ses balourdises, les Anglois leurs blunders, les Irlandois leurs bulls.

Mademoiselle Maria Edgeworth ayant fait un recueil de ces derniers, je prends la liberté de lui offrir un petit recueil de nos bêtises qui méritent le nom qu'elles portent aussi bien que les Irish bulls. J'ai fait autrefois une dissertation où je recherchois quelle étoit la cause du rire qu'excitent les bêtises, et dans laquelle j'appuyois mon explication de beaucoup d'exemples et peut-être même du mien sans m'en appercevoir ; mais la femme d'esprit à qui j'ai adressé cette folie la perdue, et je n'ai pas pu la recouvrer.

Je me souviens seulement que j'y prouvois savamment que le rire excité par les bêtises est l'effet du contraste que nous saisissons entre l'effort que

fait l'homme qui dit la bêtise, et le mauvais succès de son effort. J'assimilois la marche de l'esprit dans celui qui dit une bêtise, à ce qui arrive à un homme qui cherchant à marcher légèrement sur un pavé glissant,

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