We arrived at Kilkenny in the evening, and after having dined, I had a sight of life in an Irish town, on the eve of a great horserace. Kilkenny has now about 25,000 inhabitants, and is, with
p.196respect to size, about the eighth town in Ireland; but as half the population of the surrounding country had streamed in on account of the races, the number was increased to about 40,000 during the three days they lasted. This great crowd of people wandered about I know not why,standing, sauntering, singing, and performing music in the streets; so that the place seemed like a great mercantile town in Germany during the annual fair.
On these and similar occasions of popular excitement in Ireland, the most remarkable objects are the ballad-singers, who are in no country so numerous as here. In Kilkenny there were literally twice as many ballad-singers as lamp-posts standing in the street. Their usual stand is in the gutter which separates the footpath on which the foot-passengers walk from the carriage-way; and in this kennel they are perpetually strolling up and down. They are generally provided with a number of printed copies of the ballads which they sing, and their principal employment consists in the sale of these songs, which they are continually waving in the air, with a peculiar and stereotyped motion of the hand. Ballad-singers are also to be found in the streets of other countries, and here and there some one listens, and a rich passer-by gives them a trifle; but in Ireland the ballad-singers have not such an easy life: crowds of poor people, beggars and rabble, perseveringly swarm around them, follow them step by step, and listen to them with a degree of eagerness, which may partly be attributed to the fact that the singers proclaim their own misfortunes, which they have turned into verse, but still more to the great delight which the Irish take in music and singing, and in every thing new that passes in the streets.
In every corner of the great main street, which otherwise presented nothing very remarkable(for Kilkenny is not what is termed a thriving town, but has rather an air of antiquity, and is one, perhaps the largest, of the inland towns before mentioned)bagpipes were snuffling, violins squeaking, melancholy flutes blowing, and ragged Paddies dancing; in a word, with the universal revelry was mingled a mass of misfortune, misery, and mourning, such as in any other country can very seldom be seen united.
The horse-race was fixed for the following day, and as the hippodrome, or race-course, as the English term it, was three miles distant from the town, the racing actually commenced at the outskirts and in the streets; that is to say, among the coaches, fiacres, omnibuses, one and two-horsed, long and short-seated cars, the elegant equipages of the gentry, and the carts of the peasantry, uncovered, or covered with tents, in which many thousands of people were setting out to enjoy the excitement of riding a race.
Accompanied by one of my fellow-travellers, I took an outside place on a stage-coach which we had hired for the day, that we might command a better view of the spectacle before us. Stage-coaches are decidedly preferable on these occasions, because they are usually stationed nearer the course than the stands erected for spectators, and whilst one sits on them high enough to see every thing, he may also venture to leave his place without danger of losing it. After rolling through the thick cloud of dust which was raised on the road, the broad, level field which constituted the race-course of Kilkenny lay before our eyes. It is naturally an important, and frequently a difficult matter to find, in the neighbourhood of an English town, a spot which affords all the requisites for a race-course: the ground must be dry, elastic, level, and sufficiently extensive; and besides being level, it must also present that variety of surface which adapts it for all kinds of races. In the United Kingdom there are not less than 120 race-courses. One of the most perfect in every respect, and at the same time one of the most celebrated courses in Europe, is the Curragh of Kildare, which is said to owe its extraordinary elasticity, so much admired by racing men, to the worms which are continually piercing its surface. In this famed racing-ground are eighteen different courses, which all differ from one another, on account of the varieties of hill, valley, plain, sloping surface, &c., and therefore enable the entre-preneurs of the races (the match-makers) to select according to their taste, the capabilities of their horses, or the nature of the race.
We took our station in the midst of a prodigious throng of spectators and carriages, at a point between the so-called Stand and the Weighing-house, which afforded a convenient view of the entire scene. The stand, also called the Grand Stand, is a large house, usually close to the course, which is fitted up with convenient galleries for spectators. At some of the great corsos, as, for example, at Doncaster, Epsom, and Ascot-heath, this stand is a large ornamental building; and in some places a hill or a rock is tilted for the same purpose, like an amphitheatre, or the natural advantages of the situation are made available in some other way. The weighing-house is a small building adjoining the course, and opposite the grand stand, where the jockeys are weighed; its upper part also serves as a stand for the stewards of the race. Near the weighing-house is always placed the winning-post, at which the result of the race is determined. The various starting-posts, whence the horses start, are fixed at different points, according to the distance to be run. The Rubbing-house, which at the same time usually serves as the Saddling-house, is
p.198another small building near the course, where the horses are rubbed down after the race. At some race-courses there is also a Betting-house, or sort of exchange, where the turf speculators meet on certain days to make their bets, and where afterwards the payments are adjusted. The most celebrated betting-place of this description is at Newmarket, the racing metropolis, as it is termed by the English.
Some individuals are so fortunate in betting at races, as thereby to have laid the foundations of extraordinary fortunes. Others are enabled to speculate pretty safely, and to arrive at a tolerably correct result, by skilfully combining a perfect knowledge of the nature of the course and of the horses, with the state of the weather, and other accidental circumstances; as, for instance, one horse will run against a contrary wind much better than another. The celebrated Mr. Crockford, formerly a petty trader, has amassed a fortune, almost entirely from betting, that must excite astonishment: his capital is reported to amount to £300,000; and he is the proprietor of several remarkably handsome houses in James's-street, besides a beautiful country residence near London.
In all races, the business of the turf is regulated by the stewards, who are generally selected from the nobility or gentry of the surrounding country. Their proceedings are under the superintendence of a clerk of the course, whose duty includes the preparations for the races, and their subsequent management; and the stewards also direct and regulate the balls, dinners, and other festivities of the race week. One of the stewards of the Kilkenny races, on the present occasion, was the well-known Marquis of Waterford, who possesses a yearly income of £70,000, and was the observed of all observers.
The most active, and, in some respects, the most important personages in the whole concern, are the jockeys, many of whom, from personal advantages and their superior horsemanship, frequently acquire as much fame as the horses they ride. Great strength of body united with a small figure, personal intrepidity and courage, a strong and enduring constitution, and an unblemished character, are the principal characteristics of a jockey. The last is most essential; for when we consider the immense sums frequently staked on a race, the loss or gain of which may depend on a stroke of his whip, or a gentle pull at his rein, it may readily be supposed that attempts to bribe the jockey, and induce him to play the knave, are by no means rare. He has also not only to work hard, but during his preparation for the race he must observe the abstinence of an Arab, and at meals act merely the part of a spectator,and all this in order that, at the races, he may risk his
p.198neck for a few guineas. A well-known jockey, named Pratt, once rode no less than eighty-eight miles, in one day in this state of abstinence. Such distinguished jockeys, when they win a race, are usually rewarded with extra presents to a large amount, by which means they frequently amass considerable wealth. But the equestrian mania is not confined to this class of men: gentlemen not only often ride their own horses in a race, but even perform the same service for others. Sir Tatton Sykes is named as one of those distinguished gentlemen-jockeys.
The privations which the regular jockeys undergo for some weeks previous to a race, are intended to reduce their weight and strengthen their wind, for which purpose they eat little, and no food of a very nutritious characterfish, bread, and tea being their principal articles of diet; half the day they lie in bed, and the other half they ramble about, or take long walks, loaded with clothes, in order to perspire freely. Thus they fast and sweat as if for a wager; and if the desired effect is not produced quickly enough by these means, Glauber salts, and other purgatives, are freely used. It may be supposed that the breeding and training of the horses themselves is proceeded with in a still more artistic and scientific manner; and, in fact, to such a degree of perfection are these matters brought in England, that one must read the books written on the subject to learn how carefully and perfectly every point is considered and illustrated.
The entire field was covered with thousands of spectators; the grand stand was crowded from top to bottom, as well as two other temporary buildings, erected for the occasion; but the greater number had placed themselves in their equipages, which, like a crowded city of carriages, were drawn up at the edge of the course,first an endless file of carts, in which every place was hired, and behind these the stage-coaches and the carriages of the gentry. On the other parts of the ground, and on every little height and hillock, groups were collected to behold the spectacle; whilst hundreds of horsemen, and crowds of gigs and tilburies, galloped or drove about in the space between, now here now there, where any thing excited their curiosity. About noon, the gallant steeds were brought out, and the glorious bustle of the course commenced. All eyes were turned upon them: their appearance, gait, and condition were strictly scrutinized, and bets and speculations grounded thereon. As the old well-known horses appeared, the history of their career was called to mind, anecdotes were related of them, and the circumstances under which they gained the victory on former occasions; whilst the victor of the day is generally named in anticipation by the connoisseurs. A remarkable
p.200share of attention is usually devoted to the younger horses which come forward for the first time, and adventurous speculators, or those who know their spirit and breeding, frequently back them in preference to the old ones, and confidently predict their success.
The race-horses, covered with their clothing, were first led up and down in the midst of a crowd of admirers and amateurs until the bell sounded to saddle, when the jockeys, having cast off their outer garments, came forward in their light, close-fitting costume, bearing the colours of their respective employers. The saddles, which are made extremely light, sometimes weighing only two or three pounds, the jockeys, the bridles,in short, every thing the horses are to carry, are then weighed, and the differences equalized. For this purpose hollow tubes filled with shot are generally used; and these tubes are either attached to the saddle, placed in the boots of the jockey, or bound round his body in a long leathern bag like a girdle. Great care is taken to fasten these tubes securely, as every thing is again weighed in a similar manner after the race; and should the jockey then be found to have lost any of his weight, his labour is all in vain, and even should he be first, he cannot be proclaimed the winner.
The bell rung a second time, and the jockeys assembled at the starting-post. This scene was concealed from our view, for the starting-post was some little distance from our station, and the throng of horsemen and carriages that surrounded it, prevented our seeing any thing distinctly. We did not even hear the trumpet that gave the signal for the commencement of the race. They are off, they are off! suddenly resounded from rank to rank in our neighbourhood: all necks were instantly outstretched; all eyes, spectacles, and glasses were turned on the course. Yet there was still a delay of some moments, until the cloud of horsemen who surrounded the starting-post had dispersed; and then the six racers, with their many-coloured jockeys, came on with long strides, and rushed past us like so many flashes of lightning. A universal movement took place among the spectators, a universal cry of beautiful! splendid! beautiful! Those who had favourites among the horses encouraged the riders with appropriate exclamations. That's right! Nimrod! bravo! go on! go on!No! no! Charley take care!That's right! spare your strength at first, and you'll pass him!See! see! he is closing with him! he has passed him already!O ho! it is Charley's race!No! no! it is Nimrod's race! It is Nimrod's race implies that the horse so called is the winner of the race.
But, on the whole, the spectacle of an English horse-race offers little that is pleasing to the eye of the painter; the gratification,
p.201so to speak, is more internal than external, and the appearance of the racers, as they rush suddenly past, is any thing but picturesque. The attitudes of the jockeys, sitting, kneeling, or apparently crippled together on their horses, are such as a painter, in a handsome picture of a rider, would studiously avoid. In the long-legged English race-horse, however, there are many hidden beauties, highly prized by the connoisseur, which the uninitiated either know not how to value, or deem positive defects. For picturesque effect, the waving line ought to predominate; but in these horses, every thing is a long linethe neck extended and stretched out, and the legs like stilts.
The Roman desultores, in their races, amused the people with varied feats of horsemanship, sometimes stretching themselves on the backs of their horses, or springing off and on in the greatest heat of the race. But no amusing by-play of this description is to be seen in an English race: the sole, exclusive aim of the riders is to pass one another. The entire pleasure of the spectators is, as I have said, of an internal character, and is derived from various sources, such as the great preparations, the excellence of the horses, the high prize which falls to the winner's lot, the large sums staked on the game, the multitude of spectators, with their whole attention directed to the single point, which horse's nose shall first reach the winning-post. This point, and every thing connected with its determination, constitutes the excitement which every one feels at the races in England.
The first race at Kilkenny was what is termed a steeple-chase. This kind of race is of Irish origin, and has from thence extended all over the United Kingdom. Like all Irish sports, and Irish hunting, it has something especially wild in its character. It is said to have derived its name from a steeple, or some high object in the distance, being fixed upon as the point towards which the high-mettled sons of Erin ran their course, rushing straight forward, headlong over stock and stone, hedge, ditch, wall, hill, and valley, until the appointed goal is reached. A steeple-chase, therefore, properly speaking, ought not to be run on a race-course: but as it is now frequently practised at these places, or somewhere in their vicinity, a steeple is no longer deemed a requisite ingredient in the sport. The direction of the course is pointed out by a double row of flags, between which the riders must keep, and between which they must not avoid any obstacle that presents itself. As only the strongest horses and the best riders are adapted for the steeple-chase, there is a marked distinction between field-riding and turf-riding. The former is, of course, attended with most danger; and as some of the best riders and
p.202horses have lately met with severe accidents, this description of sport is said to be somewhat on the decline.
Throughout the entire field the course of the bounding steeds was followed by all eyes; and although the circle they described extended upwards of three miles, there was always some individual, who, whilst watching the motions of one particular horse with marked attention, could also tell with astronomical exactness the exact position of every animal. The most interesting moment of the entire race is, of course, that which immediately precedes the arrival at the goal. Now were all hopes and expectations strained to the highest pitch, and the greatest efforts were made by all. The horses seemed to stretch their long legs over a still larger space, the riders twisted themselves like worms, and increased their exertions, and the spectators sharpened their eyes to the utmost to discover the horse which should first step beyond the destined point, and occasion the winning or losing of so many thousands. A few minutes before all had displayed the highest spirits, and it appeared as if every one felt perfectly sure in his saddle, and certain of winning; but now some appeared completely crest-fallen, and others in a state of the greatest excitement. At last the horses approached the winning-post. Some had already given up the contest and remained far behind, but one or two still struggled on; they were pretty well matched in strength and elastic energy. The contest was for a moment doubtful: now one, now another, appeared to have the advantage; the cheers of the partisans of the various horses swelled almost into an involuntary and vehement shout; suddenly one of the animals strained his strength one degree more, sprang forward, and first passed the post, closely followed by the others; and the whole rushed far beyond the appointed spot before the jockeys were able to check their impetuous career.
One of the jockeys had fallen in the last struggle, a little before reaching the winning-post. He is killed! was the first exclamation from the ranks of spectators. He is killed! he has broken his neck! Poor man! But we had no time to think more of him: the strain of excitement at the closing moment is too great to permit the attention to be diverted, even on account of a dying man; and our eager eyes flew on with the eager runners. Accidents of a fatal nature are not uncommon at English races, more especially in a steeple-chase. After the race, we inquired for the poor jockey, who had remained lying on the course. He has broken his neck, I believe, said one. No! he is safe, said another; he has only broken two of his ribs!
Neither Charley nor Nimrod, upon whom so much had been
p.203staked, was the winner, but Mr. Almore's Lucifer, a young animal, which no one had thought of, and which now trod the turf for the first time. As the jockeys slowly returned with their trembling and panting horses, the people surrounded the winner, surveyed him from head to foot, patted and caressed him in a hundred different ways, and accompanied him in triumph to the weighing-house, where every thing was found correct.
The second race was what is termed a hurdle race. The English word hurdle signifies wattled work, and the term includes the fascines used by the soldier, as well as the pens of the peaceful shepherd. A hurdle race is therefore a race in which various obstacles, generally hurdles, are placed across the course. It is said that George IV., when Prince of Wales, accompanied by Mrs. Fitzherbert and the officers of the 10th dragoons, of which regiment he was colonel, was one day out upon a hunting excursion on the downs near Brighton; but, being unable to find suitable game, his Royal Highness, who loved excitement, proposed jumping matches over the hurdles which the shepherds had erected on the downs for their sheepfolds. The company derived so much pleasure from this amusement, that hurdle races have ever since been enrolled in the catalogue of English sports. The specimen of this race which I saw at Kilkenny proved a failure. One jockey fell from his horse; another did not keep the right line of the course, and was consequently obliged to withdraw; and at last it was announced that Mr. Soloway's Countess walked over the course. Having no other competitors, she had no occasion to waste her strength with running, and therefore walked slowly to the goal. Many people cried humbug, and alleged that some deception had been practised; but the true cause of this unpleasant termination I did not discover.
Last came the farmers' horses, most of which were ridden by their owners; and this race afforded me the greatest pleasure. About fifteen started, and the spectacle was enlivened by the great variety of colours. This description of racing is the only branch of the sport in which I could perceive any utility, since it evidently tends to improve the breed of horses. But as regards the great and renowned racers, they are useless either for the purposes of agriculture or of war, or indeed any thing except betting, which sacrifices the money, time, and peace of mind, of countless thousands, and is of no service to the state.
It is extraordinary that this love of racing, according to the English fashion, should have been so generally diffused over the whole Continent during the last ten years; and, like other English customs, find so many imitators in various countries. But scenes
p.204like some of those I witnessed from the high outside place of our stage-coach on the race-course at Kilkenny, it would still be difficult to meet with in other lands. For instance, looking down on an elegant carriage that had drawn up near us, I beheld, seated on the soft cushions of its interior, a young and handsome lady, the wife of Sir Frederick, who had taken his place on the box, alongside his coachman. In her hand was a small elegant pocketbook, in which, with evident excitement, she noted any thing remarkable that passed on the course. The names of the winner and his owner, as well as of the horse which had deviated from the course, and of the one which had walked over it, were all carefully entered, with numerous brief remarks of her own. Several young gentlemen were constantly around her, and as they stood on the carriage step, or climbed up behind, whispered or shouted the latest news of every thing that occurred. I was informed that this lady was passionately fond of all sports and racing matches; and similar patrons of the turf are not unusual amongst the fair sex in England.
As the races had congregated so great a multitude of people, many of whom preferred eating and drinking to fasting, betting, and taking notes, ample provision was made for this class. At a short distance from the course, behind a hill, a city of tents was erected, where every earthly desire an Irishman could form might be gratified. These tents were all long and large, and all constructed in the same manner,an alehouse in front, a large room with benches and tables behind, and in the middle a dancing-floor. This dancing-floor generally consisted of a door, or planks fastened together like a door, and placed over a hole in the ground so as to render it more elastic under the feet of the dancers, who were usually four in number, and jumped about to their heart's content. This scene was enacting in at least fifty tents, in one half of which whisky was to be had, whilst in the remainder tea only could be procured.
In the avenues of this city of tents were repeated the scenes I had witnessed in Kilkenny the evening before. At every step stood poor singing beggars,girls, boys, women, men, young and old,all clad in the strangest costume of rags and tatters, and all waving their printed ballads in the air. Some of them were literally misery personified: hunger and want were too evident on their haggard features, and care and anxiety sat in their sunken eyes. Yet they sang merry and comic songs, and endeavoured to throw into their meagre countenances the greatest possible expression of joviality. The number of bards is still quite as great in Ireland as in the time of Brian Boru and the great O'Nial. But,
p.205alas! they are no longer the companions of kings, and are fearfully fallen from their ancient greatness.
The shows and travelling theatres were congregated together in a thickly-crowded half-circle; and such was the incessant noise and clamour issuing from them, that no one could hear his own voice, much less understand what they said. In some of the huge waggons were to be found a collection of wild beasts; in others a puppet-show, a company of black Africans, or some similar wonder of the day. In front of each waggon a stage or balcony was erected, where the showmen, the trumpeters, the bagpipers, and the drummers, were constantly screaming, blowing, making speeches, or attempting, by pantomimic gestures, to make themselves understood by the gaping crowds around them. The chief inducement held out by them was, that the admission was only one halfpenny; and for the sake of this halfpenny they all shouted and gesticulated in opposition to each other, and in the most frantic manner. There can be no doubt that half the inhabitants of Kilkenny came out merely for the sake of the dancing-booths and the travelling exhibitions, and scarcely deigned to honour the hard-working racers with the slightest attention.
As I had no inclination to inhale a cloud of dust in the evening similar to that through which I had passed in the morning, I left the environs of the race-course earlier than the other spectators, and took my way on foot along the road, which I found, fortunately, almost deserted. I overtook one old man, who limped along, lame and slow, and I pitied him; he too had left the course early, through fear of the dust and the crowd. I inquired what had induced him, lame, sick, and old as he was, to make a pilgrimage to this tumultuous scene of youthful sport. He answered, that he was indeed old, sick, and weak, and for ten years past those epithets might be applied to him; but yet he went every year to the races. I see them with joy, he said; it delights my heart, rouses me, and almost makes me young again. Since I saw the jumping horses to-day, the lively scene of bustle, and the various critical moments of the race, I feel myself almost perfectly well, young, and strong again. We may thus perceive how even the sick and infirm in England are reinvigorated by this species of excitement. But I fear the sickly old men of Germany would be unable to derive a similar amount of comfort and relief from the sight of a horse-race. We regained the town by little by-ways, running through green meadows and fields, and, to our joy, only saw at a distance the rising dust, as it was again stirred up by the returning vehicles.
Next morning I applied myself to other pleasures and pursuits.
p.206The antiquity of Kilkenny is proved by the round tower which stands near the church, and rises high above it. This tower is in very good preservation, and is considered more remarkable from the nature of its site, which is an eminence about 100 feet high, against the rocky side of which part of the town leans. It is not surrounded by ruins of ancient churches like the other round towers I had previously seen, but is situated close to the cathedral, which stands on the same hill, and is shaded by beautiful old trees. The entire group forms a highly picturesque ensemble of hill and valley, ancient and modern buildings, stonework and foliage. The tower is 108 feet high; and the door, which we entered by a ladder, is eight or ten feet from the ground. Instead of the usual four windows, facing the four cardinal points, there are six, besides a small hole at the top. The stone of which the tower is built is said to be of a kind entirely different from that which is used for the church, and it is a common assertion in Ireland that the materials of all the round towers differ from those of the churches and other buildings around them. This assertion, were it based upon truth, might tend to strengthen the hypothesis, that they were erected at quite different periods, and by architects who confined themselves to the use of one particular kind of stone. But unfortunately for those who maintain this opinion, it is well known that the round towers are by no means every where built of the same materials, and sometimes it is evident they are built of the same materials as the surrounding churches; although in some cases it is equally evident that a different kind of stone has been used in their erection.
The cathedral, which stands near this tower, and the ruins of an old abbey at a short distance from it, but on the same hill, are highly interesting objects. The cathedral is one of the largest and most beautiful ecclesiastical structures in Ireland. Here were laid the first foundations of a church in Ireland, which was effected by a holy missionary thirty years before the arrival of St. Patrick. This church contains several interesting old monuments: amongst the number is that of an ancient knight of the 15th century, named Schorthals, a family at one period of great note in this district, but whose descendants live miserably poor; also that of a Fitz-Gerald, who on his death-bed renounced the Protestant for the Catholic religion; and that of a Lord Ormond, of the Galmoy branch. The effigy of the latter, in complete armour, is stretched out on his tomb-stone, his feet resting on the figure of a hound, in the manner so common in England. But the people who showed me the monument supposed that this figure represented an otter, which had once bitten Lord Ormond, and was thus
p.207immortalized in stone on his tomb. There is a delightful view from the church steeple of the ruins of the abbey, the opposite pillar-tower, and, far below, the town, and the valley of the river Nore.
The family name of the Lords Ormond is Butler: they are the principal people in this district, and are famous enough in Irish history. They have a beautiful old castle, with a park, adjacent to the town: it stands in the same relative position to Kilkenny as Windsor Castle does to the town of that name. This is the case with a great many old castles of the nobility in England and Ireland. Whoever has seen Windsor Castle, its ancient appearance, its antique gateway, and its old-fashioned towers, may form a good idea of all those old baronial mansions, most of which stand on an eminence in the neighbourhood of the town formerly under their sway.
Kilkenny Castle, amongst its other attractions, possesses a fine picture-gallery, which is arranged in a splendid hall of gigantic size. As the cathedral of Kilkenny was built by St. Rievan18, who preceded St. Patrick in preaching the gospel, so the castle was built by the Earl Strongbow, the warlike forerunner of Henry II. in the complete subjugation of Ireland. Strongbow is as famed in Ireland as Cortez in Mexico; but since the middle of the 15th century the family of Butler has remained here in uninterrupted possession.
Many families in England and Ireland still cling to their old recollections, with a peculiar and characteristic obstinacy. The trophies won by their forefathers, hundreds of years ago, in various party struggles, and the portraits and other relics of the leaders in those contests, are carefully preserved by their descendants, who seem fully to participate in the views and feelings of their ancestors. To such an extent do these opinions yet prevail, that, should the followers of the Red Rose ever again assert their claim, I am confident that numerous partisans of the White Rose would still be found ready to oppose them. There are many who yet cherish the memory of the Stuarts, and who are consequently the best Carlists and Jacobites in the world. Amongst these may be numbered the Butlers. Their castle is full of portraits of the time of the Stuarts, and we see there Charles I. himself, and his family, by Vandyke; the Earl of Stratford, who was beheaded in his reign; with many other Stuarts, and all the beautiful ladies of the court of Charles II., painted by Sir Peter Lely. No land, no people, preserve and cherish their entire history so warmly in their bosoms as England and the English. Among the other paintings in the gallery are many beautiful pieces of Ruisdael, Gasper Poussin, and other celebrated artists.
The park of the castle extends along the river Nore, and furnishes many delightful views. No Irish castle is without ivy. In Germany, ruins only are ornamented with this parasite; but in Ireland it is used as a common ornament, even for dwelling-houses. We Germans substitute for this purpose the vine, which Ireland does not possess, because, notwithstanding the mildness of the climate, it has not sunshine enough.