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rushed forth at the sound of the horse's feet, and with hands shading their uncovered faces from the sun, stood gazing in earnest surprise at the unexpected visitant: last of this singular group, followed O'Leary himself, in learned dishabille : ‘his customary suit,' an old great coat fastened with a wooden skewer at his breast, the sleeves hanging unoccupied, Spanish-wise, as he termed it; his wig laid aside, the shaven crown of his head resembling the clerical tonsure; a tattered Homer in one hand, and a slip of sallow in the other, with which he had been lately distributing some well-earned pandies to his pupils: thus exhibiting, in appearance, and in the important expression of his countenance, an epitome of that order of persons once so numerous, and still far from extinct in Ireland, the hedge schoolmaster. O'Leary was learned in the antiquities and genealogies of the great Irish families, as an anci
ent* Senachy; an order, of which he believed himself to be the sole representative,credulous of herfables, and jealous of her ancient glory; ardent in his feelings, fixed in his prejudices; hating the Bodei Sassoni or English churls, in proportion as he distrusted them; living only in the past, contemptuous of the
* The Seanachaiahe* were antiquaries, genealogists, and historians; they recorded remark. able events, and preserved the genealogies of their patron, in a kind of poetical stanza.Each province prince, or chief, had a senacha; and we will venture to conjecture, that in each province there was a repository, for the collec. tions of the different Seanachaiahe belonging to it, with the care of which an Ollamh.le-Seanacha was charged: the ancient college of arms of Ulster is still maintained. Walker's Hist. of Irish Bards.
* The very common word, says Gen. Vallency, is peculiar to Ireland ; It is, indeed, daily used in the corruption of Shannos.-Och! he has fine old Shanaos, or old talk is frequently applied to, and family history, &c.
Duald Mac Firbis, who was murdered at Dunslin in Sligo, A. D. 1670, closed the line of the hereditary antiquaries of that province, to whom it may be supposed that for one inspired ten thousand were possessed.
present, and hopeless of the future; all his national learning, and national vanity, were employed on his history of the Macarthies More, to whom he deemed himself hereditary senachy, while all his early associations and affections were occupied with the Fitzadelm family; to an heir of which he had not only been foster father, but, by a singular chain of occurrences, tutor and host. Thus, there existed an incongruity between his prejudices and his affections, that added to the natural incoherence of his wild, unregulated, ideal character. He had as much Greek and Latin as generally falls to the lot of the inferior Irish priesthood, an order to which he had been originally destined: he spoke Irish, as his native tongue, with great fluency; and English, with little variation, as it might have been spoken in the days of James or Elizabeth; for English was with him acquired by study, at no early period of life, and principally obtained from such books as came
within the black letter plan of his antiquarian pursuits. 66 Words that wise Bacon and grave Raleigh
spoke" were familiarly uttered by O'Leary, conned out of old English tracts, chronicles, presidential instructions, copies of patents, memorials, discourses, and translated remonstrances, from the Irish chiefs, of every date since the arrival of the English in the island; and a few French words, not unusually heard among
the old Irish Catholics, the descendants of the faithful followers of the Stuarts, compleated the stoek of his philological riches. *
Several of the obsolete terms of Shakespeare and Spenser are to be fouod in daily use among the Catholics of Ireland. In the conversation of the higher orders, not upfrequently,
“ A bold expressive phrase appears,
The strong line of demarkation drawn be. tween the Catholic and Protestant gentry of the country, and which renders them a distinct society, explains the fact. Both in their speech
O'Leary now advanced to meet his visitant with a countenance radiant with the expression of complacency and satisfaction, not unmingled with pride and importance, as he threw his eyes round on his numerous disciples. To one of these the Commodore gave his horse; and drawing his hat over his eyes, as if to shade them from the sun, he placed himself under the shadow of the Saxon arch, observing,
“ You see, Mr. O'Leary, I very eagerly avail myself of your invitation : but I fear I have interrupted your learned avocation."
“ Not a taste, your honor, and am going to give my classes an holiday, in respect of the turf, Sir. What do's
yez all crowd round the gentlemen for : Did never yez see a raal gentleman
and manners the latter are singularly attached to old modes; and they still preserve that pe. culiar courteousness of address, which is now considered as almost exclusively to be found in France,