Puslapio vaizdai

From the Táin Bo Chuailgné we get a good description of Queen Meave herself, Shelley's Queen Mab, drawn at a period when she was thought of less as a fairy, more as a historical person, but yet with some traces of the supernatural about her. Cuchulinn having defended Ulster a long while against Queen Meave's army, and having killed at the ford his old schoolmate and friend Ferdiadh, whom Meave enlisted in her cause, has retired to Ulster to cure his wounds, when Cethern, also grievously wounded, joins him. Cethern describes to him and the physician the appearance of each hero who inflicted a wound on him; among these Queen Meave has a place.

"Look at this blood for me, my good Fingin," said Cethern. Fingin examined this blood. "This is the deed of a haughty woman," said the physician. "It is true," said Cethern. "There came to me one beautiful, pale, longfaced woman with long flowing, golden-yellow hair upon her; a crimson cloak with a brooch of gold in that cloak over her breast; a straightridged slegh [or light spear] blazing red in her hand. She it was that gave me that wound; and she got a slight wound from me." "We know that woman well," said Cuchulinn; "she is Medbh, the daughter of Eochaid Feidlig, high king of Erinn."

In one copy of the Táin the brooch which this Amazon carries on her breast, and which she offers to Ferdiadh as another bribe to induce him to fight Cuchulinn, weighs thirty ounces. The queen appears to have had a tart temper. She left her first husband, Conchobar mac Nessa of Ulster, returned to her father, was made by him sub-queen of Connaught, married and lost a second husband, and finally chose Ailill for his youth and beauty. Even with him she was prone to quarrel. It was envy of a wonderful bull in the flocks of her husband that made her long to own the bull of Chuailgné, about which the war waged. Yield

ing to her bribes, Ferdiadh agrees to fight
Cuchulinn in the following stanza:
O Medb, abounding in venom,
Thou art not a sweet-tempered spouse to a consort.
It is true thou art the Brachial (shepherd ?)
Of Cruachan of the ramparts,
With lofty speech and despotic power.
Send me the beautiful speckled satin,
Give me thy gold and thy silver,
Since to me thou hast proffered them.

The Tochmarc, or courtship, of Eimer by Cuchulinn, as we get it in Irish literature, has traces of customs of two great subdivisions of men, the Turanians as well as the Aryans. For though he sets to work to gain the hand of Eimer in the Aryan way, and is refused because he is a mere champion and a youth, he ends by taking her in the Turanian way, at the point of the sword. The nations roughly embraced by that term have preserved till a late date the habit of going outside of the tribe for a bride. The Esthonians have the word Tombamine for bride-seizure, though the practice has gone out. Although in the Kalewala the tribes of Pohjola, or the Lapps, are considered foul magicians, and ever the foe of the heroes of Kaleva, or the Finns, yet it is from Pohjola that Waïnamoïnen and his comrades always take their brides by force or by purchase. Waïnamoïnen and Ilmarinen generally take the civilized method and bribe the hostess of Pohjola for her daughters, but Lemminkainen seizes against her will the beauty who says:

Why come wooing at my fireside,
Wooing me in belt of copper?

Have no time to waste upon thee;
Rather give this stone its polish,
Rather would I turn the pestle
In the heavy sandstone mortar.
But Lemminkainen has not made himself a
shepherd and fascinated the other dames and
maidens of the village by his pranks and dan-
cing for nothing. He comes in his wagon or
sledge to the level meadow where the dance
is to begin.

With the stallion proudly prancing,
Fleetest racer of the Northland,
Fleetly drives beyond the meadow
Where the maidens meet for dancing,

Lemminkainen and the coy Kyllikki, who presently resigns herself to her fate, turns out badly because the latter breaks her word and goes to the village dances after having made a compact with her husband that she should remain quietly at home while he refrained from war. When she breaks the compact Lemminkainen not only prepares for war, but says that he purposes to get another wife-plainly a wife from the same hostile tribe as before. This rule obtains still among Lapps and Samoyeds, poor and ignorant branches of the same race as the Finns, and among very many nations of the Turkish blood. We may look with confi



Snatches quick the maid Kyllikki,1
On the settle draws the maiden,
Quickly draws the leathern cover
And adjusts the birchen crossbar,
Whips his courser to a gallop,
With a rush and roar and rattle,

Speeds he homeward like the stormwind.

In another bride-seeking in the Kalewala the luckless Aino appears to have had no choice when Waïnamoïnen the rich asked for her hand; so she drowned herself. But Kyllikki disposed of her own life as she chose. So in Ireland the rule seems to have been that the parents of the bride decided when she should marry; but many exceptions are found. It is curious to note that the marriage between

1 This maiden's name, Kylli or Kyllikki, means the "tinkling one," owing to the use of metal plates and even little bells on the clothes of a rich man's daughter. It appears in Irish as kill, "church," owing to the impression made on the pagans by the tinkling hand-bells of the missionaries, and comes obviously up out of the Turanian underfolk of Ireland. But it has been shown conclusively that our word church, which is "kirk" in

dence among the non-Keltic tribes of Ireland for traces of similar customs, which are founded on the true instinct against interbreeding.

Eocaidh Ainkenn, a king of the province of Leinster, was so well pleased with one daughter of Tuathal Techtmar, the king of all Ireland, that he came for another before his first wife died. The king gave him his second daughter, Fithir, to wife, but when she reached her palace at Magh Lugadh and found her sister alive she fell dead from shame; whereupon Darinni, the first wife, lamented her for a time and died of grief. The story is obviously parallel with the classic one in Greece which accounts for the song of the nightingale, but is not necessarily an echo in Ireland of that tale; it may easily the dialect of Scotland, derives through kilicne, kiricne from the same root "kil," and signifies the place of bells. Kilkka in Finnic, it became cirice in AngloSaxon. It is only one of a thousand instances where Turanian words, having become excellent Gaelic in Ireland and Scotland, have entered our own tongue very early and are to all appearance English from the old rock until their origin is shown.

be native there also. A volume were needed to cite the adventures of noted women in Irish history of the pagan and early Christian epochs, point out their Aryan qualities and habits and customs similar to those prevalent among women of Turanian stock in Central Asia, define their status before the law, and give particulars in connection with bride-buying, bride-seizing, elopements, childbirth, and customs at funerals. In a long poem on the Fair of Carman the poet brushes aside all other derivations for that word, which O'Curry thought was the ancient Gaelic name for the site of Wexford, a late Norse colony:

It was not men, and it was not an angry man,
But a single woman, fierce and revengeful,
Loud her rustling and her tramp,

From whom Carmán received its first name.

This magician queen and her sons came to Ireland from Greece by way of Spain, so it would appear, and wrought frightful injuries to the fields and cattle of the Dé Danann tribes; but the Druids of the latter were too strong for them. They were forced to depart, leaving their mother Carmán in pledge. She was placed in a tomb alive, where apparently she starved to death. But her captors thought enough of her to come every third August to mourn her, and the wake of the old war-witch was the fair. Horse-races and trials of power between men were part of the triennial honors to "old crooked Garmán," her husband, as well as to Carmán, his wife, as another verse has it. These rites over the graves of great leaders are exactly the same among the Turkish tribes of Central Asia, according to Vámbéry. The fair of Carmán must have grown to very large proportions before A. D. 1000, if we are to believe the poet whose account of it is preserved in the Book of Leinster.

No man goes into the women's assembly,
No woman into the assembly of fair clean men ;
No abduction here is heard of,

Nor repudiation of husbands nor of wives.
Seven mounds without touching each other,
For the oft-lamenting of the dead;
Seven plains, sacred, without a house,
For the sports of joyous Carmán were reserved.
Three markets were held within its borders:
A market for food; a market for live cattle;
The great market of the foreign Greeks,
In which are gold and noble clothes.

The slope of the steeds, the slope of the cooking,
The slope of the assembly of embroidering women.
No man of the happy host

Receives adulation, receives reproach.

A right understanding of the Irishman is difficult for Englishmen and Americans because those immigrants who are recognized as Irish are, as a general thing, from the rural populaVOL. XXXVIII.— 58.

tion, and do not represent the educated classes. But to Americans the difficulty is much increased by the fact that Ireland furnishes also the great body of women servants, whose ignorance of our ways of life forms the despair of housewives. Americans who despair of Irish servants will do well to remember that the women of Ireland also present the most remarkable extremes of dullness and quickness. Some there are whom it is hopeless to train; but others, by the readiness with which they acquire skill in all the walks of life, show that their ancestry was an educated one.

The right of women to inherit property was admitted at a very early period, certainly long before their exemption from war, if we can be sure that it really was St. Adamnan who secured their freedom from obligation to serve, and not some early pagan legislator of whose act this is merely a Christian echo. Tradition states that it was a learned woman who secured for women in Ireland a part of any succession, namely, a third part of the landed estate if there were no sons. Later the whole property went to the daughters in default of male heirs.

The one who effected this change for women. Senchan, chief poet and judge to King Conwas Brig or Brigit Ambui, the daughter of chobar mac Nessa of Ulster, and the third of her name. For her mother was Brig Brethach, mother Brig ban Brughad, or Brigit the Farmeror Brigit of the Judgments, and her grandwoman. The name recurring so often makes one suspect that we have to do with matters so far back that the name of Brig the goddess of learning has been varied to suit poetic treatment. It also shows that there were women who practiced the profession of the law, as there Scatach the teacher of Cuchulinn, and female were those who taught the military art, like physicians like Eaba, a lady who accompanied the queen who led one of the first swarms into Ireland; teachers like Fuaimnech, a princess who brought up the sons of kings and nobles; and poetesses like Fedelm and Ailbhe.

The last mentioned was a bluestocking of the deepest dye. Grainné having preferred the beautiful Diarmait to her affianced lord, Fion mac Cumhal, and eloped, the latter finally made the best of it and sought consolation in a lady of mind, but, it is to be feared, of little physical beauty. Ailbhé, daughter of Cormac mac Airt, was reputed the wisest woman of her time, and with her Fion entered into a conversation designed to show each speaker as the wisest and most eloquent person in the world. Doubtless he wooed her with success; wisdom might inhere in one of the multitudinous variants on the sungod, while she was granddaughter of the constellation called the Great Bear. Nothing is more indicative of the

cultivation of Irish literature for a long period than the completeness with which cosmical ideas became humanized and filled up in all details the dates, characters, appearance, and family relations being supplied. That this should go on without being extinguished by the changes of thought in the rest of Europe is most singular; it could only have existed among a people of imagination walled off from the rest of the world by straits of the sea and by prejudices of antique date.

We have poems by various ladies of early Ireland, generally daughters of kings. Another Meave, called the Half-red, has some of the characteristics of Queen Meave just noticed. "The strength and power of Meave was great over the men of Erinn," says the introduction to her poem over the grave of her first husband, whom she deserted for a better man; "for it was she that would not permit any king in Tara without his having herself as wife."

My noble king, he spoke not falsehood;
His success was certain in every danger.

As black as a raven was his brow,

As sharp was his spear as a razor,

As white was his skin as the lime.

Together we used to go on refections;

As high was his shield as a champion,

As long his arm as an oar;

Italian, and French romancers to little Ireland, where we may confidently predicate living women of the highest character as the cause and continuance of such ideas.

In perfecting the Irish woman the Christian faith did a great deal, though it is only fair to paganism to say that virtues existed in the people even before St. Patrick. But if we can recall the existence of woman in family life under the old paganism by what we are now learning of her habits among the nomad, half-nomad, and settled tribes of Asia, who are practically heathen still, the picture is indeed dark. It was an existence of relentless toil, with few periods of festivity and rare chances to improve her condition. A rich and powerful husband could put away his wife or force her to accept a rival. Unless hired mourners could be engaged she was expected to do the mourning on occasion of a death. If her husband died she must shriek and wail for a year, or until a mound or cairn was raised over his corpse. A very crude morality existed in pagan times which permitted a chief or hero rights over the persons of women that are sufficiently startling when met with all their unconscious naïveté in the oldest tales. Christianity tried to put order into this promiscuous condition of affairs, but it would never have

The house-prop against the kings of Erinn sons of succeeded as it has, were it not that the ma


He maintained his shield in every cause.
Countless wolves fed he with his spear,
At the heels of our man in every battle.

Records of such women are all the more precious because few nations keep any account of early women famous for literature. The Japanese, however, have a mythical account of the beginnings of literature with a woman deity, and mention many famous ladies who were wits and authors. The Muses and Sappho represent the same idea among the Greeks. Despite the degraded condition of women in early times, the Irish appear to have given them more chance and encouragement than other races. When all seems brutality in other nations of northern Europe, the Irish have traces of a nobler outlook and seem to be cherishing the seed of ideas from which sprung later the romantic view of women in countries of greater size and wealth—the view we express by the word chivalry. In all probability it was from Ireland that the troubadours got the spirit and many of the subjects of their lays; from Irish impulse came the revival in Wales of music and the ballads and stories clustering round the name of King Arthur, mixed with a great deal of old British matter. The high view of women which is the honor of the present may be traced back through English,

terial for the work was superior. In other matters heathenism held its own; but in morals, using the word in the stricter sense, it gave way. Christianity was not so successful in this particular elsewhere: the inference is that the Irish woman has high qualities by nature. From goddesses and banshees, from Druidesses who understand weapons as well as the black art, through queens and saints who are human in a gentler fashion, the line of brilliant and charming Irish women runs on unbroken from the very dawn of history to the present day. Surrey's poem on Elizabeth, the Fair Geraldine, might apply to many of the early women of Ireland, if we can judge by the adventures undertaken in their behalf and the expressions of bards in all centuries:

From Tuscane came my lady's worthy race, Fair Florence was sometime her ancient seat, The Western isle whose pleasant shore doth face Wild Camber's cliffs did give her lively beat. Fostered she was with milk of Irish breast, Her sire an Earl, her dame of Prince's blood, From tender years in Britain doth she rest. One generalization may be added. Irish women resume in themselves a good deal of this trait of the nation, a temperament in extremes. They are found in the old literature very feminine or very masculine, never lukewarm or doing things by halves.

Charles de Kay.


HE natives of India could not have adopted a more proper term by which to designate their intoxicating liquors than "Apka Shrab," or "Government Shame Water." By this they denote their contemptuous estimate of the fluids, and also of the strong hand of the Government which furnishes it to the 260,000,000 of the people of India at the very reasonable rate of four cents a bottle. The most ancient Hindu books, giving information which dates back three thousand years, inform us that the Aryans made intoxicating fluid of the juice of the soma, or moon plant. The gods drank freely of it, and the early Hindu sculptors were candid enough to bequeath to us images in stone of the more convivial gods in a state of drunkenness. But drinking by a god was generally regarded by a devotee as an infirmity, and never as a real virtue. Rishi says of Indra: "Thy inebriety is most intense, nevertheless thy acts for our good are most beneficent." During all of the ages of the development of the Indian race, after the Aryan conquest, the people remained temperate. When Vasco da Gama landed on the Indian coast he found a thoroughly abstemious population. The caste system of the Hindus prohibited intemperance, while the Koran enjoins total abstinence upon every Mohammedan.

The manufacture and use of all intoxicating liquors were discouraged by all the rulers, both Hindu and Mohammedan. Some of the Mogul emperors, and, notably, the great Akbar, indulged freely, but the people recognized the infirmity with both pity and censure. When the Maharajah of Kashmir gave encouragement to the Europeans to plant grapes and hops for wine and brewing, the orthodox Hindus seriously considered whether he ought not to be put out of caste. But his sickness and death followed soon after, and his subjects believed his fate to be an act of Heaven in its own behalf. All authority shows that, until the English Government took the manufacture of intoxicating liquors into its own hands, and then deliberately made itself the barkeeper for the Indian Empire, no native governments had ever reaped an excise revenue from the making and selling of an intoxicating liquor; that

tradition and social customs were in favor of temperance; and that the great body of the people not only were temperate by habit, but never acquired the passion for intoxicating drinks.

The excise regulations of the Government of India began in Bombay in the year 1790. It was claimed that the people began to develop a taste for liquor, and that the cost of a quart of mowah spirit, made of the juice of the palm, was so low-only a half-penny- that anybody could get drunk on it. Then the fallacy came at once to the front. Tax, and therefore restrict. Put a tax on the tree, and the people will drink less. This was the outspoken argument, a good exoteric weapon in defense of the excise. The real argument was nothing of the kind. Tax the juice of the tree, and the Government will have all the money it wants that was the whole philosophy, and it has been steadily adhered to in India for a whole century. The object of the Government of India has been to grind money out of a vice, and not to pulverize the vice.

Two systems have been adopted by the Government, which is the real purveyor of liquors to the people of India. The manufacture has not been allowed to everybody. That important work must be conducted in such way that fraud cannot be perpetrated; in other words, that every gallon of liquor distilled must be sure to pay its tax into the treasury of the Empire.

The first method adopted was that of the Government distillery. Its general name was the Sudder (District) Still system. There was one still, or only a very few, in the district. The arrangement was beautifully patriarchal. The Government was the responsible proprietor of every distillery in the land. It built large sheds for the distilleries, provided all the necessary utensils for distillation and measurement, and set apart special police to watch the pandemonium. It was the owner of the machinery. To do the work, there was a native contractor. He was closely watched. The amount turned out by each distillery was fixed by law. A duty was levied on still head; that is, a certain rate was levied per gallon according to strength. Only a certain number of distilleries were permitted in each district. Then only a limited amount of London proof liquor was allowed to be produced from a certain amount of material. For example, the rule was that only two and a half gallons of proof spirits were to be manufactured from eighty pounds of mowah cassia latifolia. The size of the stills was limited, and only pure liquor could be

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