Skip to main content

Full text of "West Irish folk-tales and romances"

See other formats











Collected and {Translated 






WHATEVER profit might, from the scien- 
tific point of view, be considered likely 
to spring from a study of Gaelic folk-lore, 
it would probably be considered beforehand that 
it would come from the study of the material 
as a single body, uniform throughout, and, as 
such, to be brought into comparison with the 
folk-lore of other countries. When, however, we 
come to an actual survey of the material, certain 
appearances present themselves which lead us to 
expect that, possibly, a large part of our gain will 
accrue from the observation of the differences 
which characterise different parts of the material 
within itself. Ireland, though an island of 
moderate extent, is yet sufficiently large to con- 
tain districts far enough apart to isolate in some 
degree their respective peasant populations ; while 
it is also admitted that the homogeneity of the 
Gaelic tongue does not indicate a corresponding 
homogeneity of race. It may turn out, in fact, 

vi Introduction. 

ultimately, that we have in Ireland, not one, but 
several bodies of folk-lore placed in relations most 
favourable for aiding in the solution of certain 
problems ; while, finally, we shall, by a comparison 
with the Gaelic folk-lore of Scotland, obtain a still 
wider field for similar observations and inferences. 

It is true, unfortunately, that our Irish material 
is not by any means what it might have been, 
either in quantity or quality; its defects being 
such that any conclusions arrived at through the 
line of investigation here to be suggested must at 
present be considered of a very provisional nature. 
Of the folk-lore of the large province of Munster 
we know next to nothing. I have myself hitherto 
been able to make no attempt at collection in the 
southern counties. Some of Mr. Curtin's stories 
were probably obtained in Kerry ; but he has not 
told us which. We have, therefore, nothing to fall 
back upon but the somewhat sophisticated little 
fairy tales of Crofton Croker. For Leinster, we 
are better off, as we have the Wexford tales of 
Kennedy. For the inland parts of Conn aught we 
have Dr. Hyde's volume; for the coast of Con- 
naught and Donegal, the tales included in this 
book, and many others in my possession not yet 

With regard to Crofton Croker's tales, it needs 
but a small acquaintance with Ireland to be 
assured that they are not peculiar to Munster. 

Introduction. vii 

The duricaun still pursues his trade of boot- 
making by the shores of Achill Sound in Mayo. 
Donegal knows all that the south ever knew on 
the subject, and has perhaps even a greater wealth 
of information. It is admitted that in the city of 
Dublin the tribe does not now exist ; but such is 
not the case even in this highly-civilised watering- 
place of Bray, only twelve miles distant from the 
metropolis. In a word, this minor mythology 
was, may we not say still is, common to the 
whole island. 

The fairies, however, do not very often form 
the subjects of the longer detailed narratives. 
Let me now turn to these. Among the Con- 
naught stories I have found a good many parallels 
on the coast to those of the inland districts, 
though I have not included any in this volume. 
In Donegal, on the other hand, while I have 
obtained only two partial variants of the inland 
Connaught tales, I have found several close 
parallels to the Connaught coast tales a fact, 
however, which may be accounted for by the 
partially Donegalese descent of the Achill people. 
If we now bring the Wexford tales into com- 
parison, it will be found that they do not contain 
many parallels to those of the other districts. I 
know of only five from Connaught, and two from 
the more distant Donegal, both variants of two 
of the Connaught tales, one of them, perhaps 

viii Introduction. 

the best known of all such stories no other, 
indeed, than Mr. Lang's "far-travelled tale" 
that of " The Three Tasks " ; the other, of which 
I obtained complete versions in Galway and in 
Mayo, and which I know to exist in Donegal, 
is represented in this volume by " Morraha Brian 
More," and in Kennedy by the " Fis fa an aon 
Sgeul." Now this latter does not appear to be 
much known except in Ireland ; but it will hardly 
be contended that it was independently invented 
in the four Irish counties in which it has been 
discovered. Still less would this be maintained 
regarding the other. The tale, which has proved 
its popularity by flourishing in three quarters of 
the globe, shows the same quality on a smaller 
scale by flourishing in at least three provinces of 

And perhaps this is the best place to note that 
the theory of independent origin is contrary to 
one of the closest analogies to be observed in 
nature. When animals and plants of the same 
species are found in widely-distant regions, no 
naturalist assumes for a moment that they origi- 
nated separately. However puzzling the problem 
may be, the student of nature seeks to solve it by 
explanations of a very different kind ; and already 
many of the most difficult cases have yielded their 
secret to patient investigation. It will assuredly 
turn out to be the same with folk-tales. As 

Introduction. ix 

regards Ireland we see that there is a presumption, 
which will scarcely be contested, in favour of the 
view that certain entire tales were dispersed from 
a common centre, thus showing on a small scale 
the working of the whole process. When, how- 
ever, we come to parts of tales, such as special 
phrases, rhymes, etc., the evidence of a common 
origin is beyond question. There are plenty of 
minor examples in this volume ; but here I would 
direct special attention to the three sea-runs which 
occur in " Bioultach," " King Mananaun," and 
" The Champion of the Red Belt," found in Gal- 
way, Mayo, and Donegal respectively (see Note, 
pp. 253-4). I think it difficult for any one who 
reads these and notes their likenesses and their 
differences, not to believe that they were originally 
composed by one person. The variations are easily 
accounted for by imperfect recollection, substi- 
tutions for forgotten phrases, and all the gradual 
alterations sure to arise in the case of irregular 
oral transmission among peasant narrators. 

The evidence, then, seems so far to show that 
the fairy belief is common to all Ireland ; that of 
the more elaborate traditional narratives, a certain 
small proportion seems to be widely diffused, 
while the larger portion separates into divisions 
peculiar to certain districts, the greatest diverg- 
ence between one locality and another occurring 
when the localities are most widely separated. 


Now, that there should be any considerable 
divergence seems surprising when the facts are 
fully taken into account. Ireland is not a large 
country. For centuries we do not know how 
many before the Norman invasion, the inhabitants 
had spoken Gaelic. The absence of political 
unity, the ceaseless wars and forays, must all 
have tended to fuse the population and obliterate 
original differences much more than a settled state 
of society. Yet they exist. .The differences in 
folk-lore are not greater than other differences. 
Ethnologists know that the so-called Gaelic race 
is really a compound one, containing in addition 
to the true Celtic (Aryan) element probably two 
that are not Aryan a Mongolian or Finnish 
element, and an Iberian element. Very little 
attempt has hitherto been made to settle in what 
parts of the country these elements respectively 
preponderate ; but that there must be some pre- 
ponderance of different races in different localities 
is shown clearly enough by the varying physical 
types. It is beyond question that Donegal differs 
from Connaught, and that both differ from 
Munster ; and when we find that, in spite of a 
coexistence of at least two thousand years in the 
same island, and the possession of a common 
language, different districts have a different folk- 
lore, is it extravagant to surmise that these different 
bodies are due to varying racial deposits ? 

Introduction. xi 

Let us now compare Ireland as a whole with 
the Scotch Highlands. The language of both is 
still, as for fifteen hundred years, practically the 
same. The inhabitants are of closely-allied race, 
in part identical, and for many centuries a constant 
communication was kept up between both coun- 
tries. The folk-lore is partly alike, partly unlike. 
The similarity is occasionally very great. There 
are entire tales which are all but identical as told 
on both sides of the sea. There is identity of 
phrases and sentences. In Campbell's version of 
the "far-travelled tale," "The Battle of the Birds," 
occurs a striking phrase, in which the raven is said 
to have carried a man "over seven benns and 
seven glens and seven mountain moors." Nearly 
the same phrase occurs in Kennedy's version 
" seven mountains (benns), seven glens and seven 
moors," which is the more surprising, as this story 
had passed, one does not know how long before, 
from its Gaelic into its English dress. Compare 
the phrase from "Morraha" in the present volume 
"he sat down and gave a groan and the chair 
broke in pieces " with Campbell's " The King of 
Assaroe" "his heart was so heavy the chair broke 
under him." Many other examples could be 
given. We have before our eyes, so far as Irish 
and Scotch folk-lore are similar, an example of 
how two branches of a race originally so closely 
united as almost to form one, have for some 

xii Introduction. 

hundreds of years drifted or been forced apart, 
the process being thus unfolded to us in the full 
light of history by which a body of folk-lore, 
originally one, has separated into divisions showing 
distinct characteristics, while it retains the strongest 
tokens of its original unity. 

But it seems as if there was a large amount of 
folk-literature in each country which the other 
never possessed. To this I shall come presently, 
after I have first brought forward a comparison 
with German folk-lore. But before attempting 
that, it is desirable first to offer a few remarks 
on the style of the stories in this volume. 

It will, I hope, be observed that the style is not 
uniform, but that it differs considerably from one 
story to another, and not so much in accordance 
with the narrator as with what he narrates. I must 
of course partially except the case of P. Minahan, 
whose individuality is stamped on everything that 
comes from him ; but this is not so with the other 
narrators. If " The Gloss Gavlen " be compared 
with the only other tale of M'Ginty's, "The King 
who had Twelve Sons," it will be seen that the 
style of the two is quite distinct, the first being 
noticeable for a certain archaic simplicity of which 
there is no trace in the other. Again, the style 
of " Bioultach " is surely quite different from that 
of T. Davis's other contribution, " The Story," in 
" Morraha," while the opening of the latter from 

Introduction. xiii 

M c Grale is easily distinguishable from that of 
" The Little Girl who got the better of the Gen- 
tleman," or cc Gilla of the Enchantments." Even 
Minahan varies with his subject, as will appear from 
a comparison of " The Woman who went to Hell " 
with " The Champion of the Red Belt." It seems 
from this as if some of the tales had a certain 
indestructibility of style, an original colour which 
passed unaltered through the minds of perhaps 
generations of reciters, this colour being deter- 
mined at first by the character of the subject. In 
general, the tales of fierce fighting champions, of 
the more terrible monsters, sorcerers and the like, 
have a certain fierceness, if one may use the word, 
of style ; while those of more domestic incident 
are told with quietness and tenderness. 

Let me now briefly compare the folk-tales of 
Germany with those of the Scotch Highlands. 

It cannot, I think, escape notice in reading 
Grimm's collection, that a very large number of 
the tales bear a strong impress of quiet domesticity. 
They are very properly named "household" in 
more senses than one. And this is a matter not 
merely of style but of substance. The incidents 
are, to a vast extent, domestic 'in character. There 
is no occasion to give a long list of the tales I 
refer to. I may mention as types " The Three 
Spinners," which turns entirely on the results of 
domestic drudgery to the female figure ; and 

xiv Introduction. 

"Thrush-Beard," a tale analogous to "The Taming 
of the Shrew " legend. But this domestic stamp 
becomes more fully apparent when we bring into 
contrast the Highland stories. Among these there 
are indeed parallels to Grimm ; but they are rela- 
tively few, and there is a whole class of incidents 
and stories of which little trace is found in the 
German collection. The domestic incident all but 
disappears. The tales are more romantic, pic- 
turesque, extravagant. The giants and monsters 
are more frequent and fearful. The stories of 
helping animals and this is very characteristic 
though not entirely absent, are far less numerous 
than in Grimm. 

Now, turning to Ireland, we find that both 
classes of story meet upon Irish soil. Without 
making any allowance for the imperfect collection 
of our folk-lore, and the quantity that must have 
been lost owing to the lateness of our attempts to 
rescue it, it must be admitted that we have the 
domestic story fairly well developed. The two 
tales from Grimm that I have named, as well as 
many others, have the closest possible parallels in 
Kennedy, and I have myself met with additional 
examples on the coast of Connaught. The 
romantic and extravagant class of tales which 
flourish in the Highlands have also good repre- 
sentatives in our oral literature. Some specimens 
may be read in this volume. In one story, " Gilla 

Introduction. xv 

of the Enchantments," is found a striking com- 
bination of the two. The story is, in part, a close 
variant of Kennedy's " Twelve Wild Geese/ 1 but 
it also contains, in addition to other matter, the 
wild incident of the daily cutting off of the 
brothers' heads by the sister, which is equally 
wanting in the variant to be found in Grimm. 

The question now arises, How are these con- 
trasts and similarities to be accounted for ? Must 
we suppose them to be due to mere accident ? If 
not, what law has been at work? Why have 
different kinds of tales drifted in different direc- 
tions? What current of distribution has carried 
one set of tales to Scotland, part of the same and 
part of a different set to Ireland, while Germany 
has received a much larger share of the latter than 
Ireland, though in the other she has been left 
poor ? It is clearly not commercial intercourse 
that has been at work, nor exogamy, nor slavery. 
Some other agency has to be sought for. 

In the case of ancient Greece we have an 
instance in which an exceptionally rich body of 
legend has been proved to consist of elements 
brought from divers nations and races. The 
birthplace of many of the most considerable per- 
sonages in Greek mythology has been found in 
Asian lands. The Centaurs, Perseus, Dionysus 
and Semele, Artemis, Adonis and Aphrodite her- 
self, are believed to be all Asiatic in origin. Nay, 

xvi Introduction. 

more. These Orientals are shown to belong to 
two distinct races commingled in Babylonia : the 
Semites, who may have had distant affinities with 
the Iberians of the West ; and the Accadians, whose 
connections were Mongol. It is true that the 
Greeks are held to have received these additions 
to their own store by means of commercial inter- 
course. The Phoenicians, those restless honey- 
gatherers of the old Mediterranean world, went 
about everywhere fertilising Western flowers with 
Eastern pollen; but in the case of the wild and 
barbarous north-west a similar agency cannot be 
found ; and while we are justified in taking the 
hint supplied by the discovery of the compound 
racial nature of Greek myth, we are compelled by 
circumstances to seek for a different solution of 
the problem. 

I have already adverted to the differences of 
race which exist in Ireland, more or less masked 
by the long predominance of the Aryan Gael. 
Such differences are not confined to Ireland. It 
is now admitted that the apparent predominance 
of the Aryan over most of Europe is, to a great 
extent, one of language merely. Furthermore, 
the elements which make up our population are 
found everywhere; the differences, mental and 
physical, which characterise different nations, 
being mainly due, first, to the minor variations 
which mark the branches of the great stocks, such 

Introduction. xvii 

as Celt, Teuton, and Slav among the Aryans, and 
secondly, to the continually varying proportions 
in which the different elements are blended. The 
principal fact is, that far the larger part of the Old 
World, excluding Africa, is occupied by three or 
four varieties of man, such as the Aryan, the 
Mongol, and the Iberian ; the others, even when 
as important as the Semitic, holding very limited 
areas, and subject to continual contact with those 
more predominant. Of these again, it is worthy 
of remark that the most widely spread is not the 
Aryan, but the Mongol. The latter, in addition 
to the vast regions which are his openly, such as 
Japan, China, Central Asia, and his outlying posts 
in Europe, Finland, Hungary, and Turkey, is 
recognised by the type as leading a masked exist- 
ence in the most western portions of our quarter 
of the globe. " Scratch the Russian and you will 
find the Tartar" is a saying which may be applied, 
mutatis mutandis^ to many a nation much more 
remote from Central Asia ; nor can we be surprised 
that such should be the case when we call to mind 
that this powerful branch of mankind has actually, 
within recent historical times, run the Aryan a neck- 
and-neck race for outward supremacy, while to the 
Semites he has scarcely left even their deserts. 

With regard to the Iberian race, it has only to 
be noted that its distribution in the south and 
west of Europe is very extensive. It is still almost 


xviii Introduction. 

wholly predominant in Spain and Portugal. It 
probably constituted in old times, as now, the 
main non- Aryan element in Mediterranean Europe. 
North-westward it has had a wide extension into 
France, Britain, and Ireland, and probably into 
Scandinavia and other countries; while it is not 
impossible that to it also belong in part the non- 
Aryan inhabitants of Hindustan. 

Applying these facts to Germany, the Scotch 
Highlands, and Ireland, do we not obtain a hint 
as to the phenomenon of folk-lore distribution ? 
One race, let us say mainly Aryan, in Germany ; 
another race, much less Aryan, in the Scotch 
Highlands ; a third, a more even blend of the two 
of Aryan and non-Aryan in Ireland. 

This theory seems to me to be only such a 
modification of a theory which originally pre- 
vailed as is now required by the facts. It was 
at first believed, apparently is still believed by 
some, that all these tales originally belonged to 
the Aryans alone. As soon, however, as it was 
found that many of them were the possession of 
races far removed from Aryan contact, it was 
at once seen that a modification of view was 
imperative. Then came the independent origin 
theory ; and, amongst others of later birth, one 
which has recently attracted much attention the 
Indian theory. This seems to me to involve 
the truth of several propositions which are surely 

Introduction. xix 

a little hard to accept. We must hold, first, that 
the Aryans, when they entered India, had no folk- 
tales, because, according to the hypothesis, they 
carried none elsewhere ; next, that the tales were 
either invented by the Aryans after they entered 
India, or were learned by them from the earlier 
peoples of that country. But that tales of one 
country, or one race, should have had a peculiar 
ability to diffuse themselves, wanting to all others, 
is a proposition that tries one's faith. Reverting 
again to the analogy already used, we know that 
there are animals common to India and Ireland 
whose original home was in neither country. 
There are men of the same Aryan descent by 
the Shannon and by the Indus whose ancestors 
had not their first common habitation by either 
river. And the folk-tales, so far as they are 
Aryan, did not originate south of the Himalayas, 
or west of the Irish Sea. But they cannot all 
be Aryan. Nothing could antecedently be more 
improbable than the suggestion that they were ; 
and we might fairly regard it as refuted even if we 
had nothing to go on but the literary character of 
the tales. They bear the stamp of the genius of 
more than one race. The pure and placid but 
often cold imagination of the Aryan has been at 
work on some. In others we trace the more pic- 
turesque fancy, the fierceness and sensuality, the 
greater sense of artistic elegance belonging to races 

xx Introduction. 

whom the Aryan, in spite of his occasional faults 
of hardness and coarseness, has, on the whole, left 
behind him. But as the greatest results in the 
realm of the highest art have always been achieved 
in the case of certain blends of Aryan with other 
blood, I should hardly deem it extravagant if it 
were asserted that in the humbler regions of the 
folk-tale we might trace the working of the same 
law. The process which has gone on may in 
part have been as follows : Every race which has 
acquired very definite characteristics must have 
been for a long time isolated. The Aryans, 
during their period of isolation, probably developed 
many of their folk-germs into their larger myths, 
owing to the greater constructiveness of their 
imagination, and thus, in a way, they used up part 
of their material. Afterwards, when they became 
blended with other races less advanced, they ac- 
quired fresh material to work on. We have in 
Ireland an instance to hand, of which a brief dis- 
cussion may help to illustrate the whole race theory. 
The larger Irish legendary literature divides 
itself into three cycles the divine, the heroic, the 
Fenian. Of these three the last is so well known 
orally in Scotland that it has been a matter of 
dispute to which country it really belongs. It 
belongs, in fact, to both. Here, however, comes 
in a strange contrast with the other cycles. The 
first is, so far as I am aware, wholly unknown in 

Introduction. xxi 

Scotland, the second comparatively unknown. 

What is the explanation ? Professor Zimmer 

not having established his late-historical view as 

regards Fionn, and the general opinion among 

scholars having tended of recent years towards 

the mythical view, we want to know why there 

is so much more community in one case than in 

the other. Mr. O'Grady long since seeing this 

difficulty, and then believing Fionn to be historical, 

was induced to place the latter in point of time 

before Cuchullin and his compeers. But this view 

is, of course, inadmissible when Fionn is seen not 

to be historical at all. There remains but one 

explanation. The various bodies of legend in 

question are, so far as Ireland is concerned, only 

earlier or later as they came into the island with 

the various races to which they belonged. The 

wider prevalence, then, of the Fionn Saga would 

indicate that it belonged to an early race occupying 

both Ireland and Scotland. Then entered the 

Aryan Gael, and for him, henceforth, as the ruler 

of the island, his own gods and heroes were sung 

by his own bards. His legends became the 

subject of what I may call the court poetry, 

the aristocratic literature. When he conquered 

Scotland, he took with him his own gods and 

heroes ; but in the latter country the bardic 

system never became established, and hence we 

find but feeble echoes of the heroic cycle among 

xxii Introduction. 

the mountains of the North. That this is the 
explanation is shown by what took place in Ireland. 
Here the heroic cycle has been handed down in 
remembrance almost solely by the bardic literature. 
The popular memory retains but few traces of it. 
Its essentially aristocratic character is shown by 
the fact that the people have all but forgotten it 
if they ever knew it. But the Fenian cycle has 
not been forgotten. Prevailing everywhere, still 
cherished by the conquered peoples, it held its 
ground in Scotland and Ireland alike, forcing its 
way in the latter country even into the written 
literature, and so securing a twofold lease of 
existence. That it did not deserve this wider 
popularity is evident enough. Interesting though 
it be, it is not equal in interest to the heroic cycle. 
The tales of the latter, though fewer in number, 
less bulky in amount, have upon them the impress 
of the larger constructive sweep of the Aryan 
imagination. Their characters are nobler ; the 
events are more significant. They form a much 
more closely compacted epic whole. The Fenian 
tales, in some respects more picturesque, are less 
organised. It would be difficult to construct out 
of them a coherent epic plot ; and what is, 
perhaps, not the least in significance, they have far 
more numerous, more extended, more intimate 
connections with the folk-tale. 

The Fenian cycle, in a word, is non-Aryan folk- 

Introduction. xxiii 

literature partially subjected to Aryan treatment. 
It occupies accordingly a middle position. Above 
the rank of the folk-tale it has been elevated ; 
but to the dignity of the heroic legend 'it has not 

The tales included in the present volume form 
part of a large collection, which I began to make as 
far back as the year 1884. All have been taken 
down in the same way that is to say, word for 
word from the dictation of the peasant narrators, 
all by myself, with the exception of two taken 
down by Mr. Lecky in precisely similar fashion ; 
difficult and doubtful parts being gone over again 
and again. Sometimes the narrators can explain 
difficulties. Sometimes other natives of the place 
can help you. But after every resource of this 
kind has been exhausted, a certain number of 
doubtful words and phrases remain, with regard 
to which well, one can only do one's best. 

The districts from which the tales were obtained 
are three in number, each represented by two 
narrators. Renvyle, the most southern of the 
three, is situated in Connemara. It is a narrow 
peninsula, forming the extreme north-western 
point of the county of Galway, jutting out oppo- 
site Mayo. Terence Davis is a labourer pure 
and simple, a man of about forty-five years of 
age, and blind of one eye. Some of his tales 

xxiv Introduction. 

he got from his mother. Michael Faherty was, 
when I first made his acquaintance, a lad of about 
seventeen. He was recommended, as the best 
pupil in the National School, to Mr. Lecky, who, 
finding him intelligent, selected him as the best 
person from whom, on account of his youth, the 
very latest development of the language could be 
learnt. He lived with his uncle, who had, or has 
still, a small holding on the Blake property, and 
who was also a pilot and repairer of boats. Both 
his tales were taken down by Mr. Lecky. Next 
in order, going northward, comes Achill Island, 
distant some twenty-five miles from Renvyle by 
sea, more than sixty miles by land.* Two nar- 
rators from that locality are also represented in 
the book. One of them, Pat. M'Grale, is a man 
of middle age, a cottier with a small holding, and 
besides, a Jack-of-all-trades, something of a boat- 
man and fisherman, " a botch of a tailor," to use 
his own words, and ready for any odd job. He 
can read Irish, but had very little literature on 
which to exercise his accomplishment. He knows 
some long poems by heart, and is possessed of 
various odds and ends of learning, accurate and 
not. John M'Ginty, a man of Donegal descent 
and name, has also some land ; but his holding is 
so small that he is to a great extent a labourer for 
others, and was engaged on relief works when I 
* The Sound, very narrow, is now bridged over. 

Introduction. xxv 

first came to know him. He, also, is a middle- 
aged man. He knows many Ossianic poems by 
heart, which, he told me, his father taught him, 
verse by verse. 

Glencolumkill is the extreme south-west corner 
of Donegal, remote, like Achill and Renvyle. It 
is chiefly represented by the tales of Pat. Minahan, 
from whom I obtained more stories than from 
any other one man. He said he was eighty years 
of age ; but he was in full possession of all his 
faculties. He also had a holding on which he 
still worked industriously. He had no children ; 
but his nephew, who lived with him, made up 
for all deficiencies of that nature. His style, with 
its short, abrupt sentences, is always remarkable, 
and at its best I think excellent. Jack Gillespie, 
known as Jack- Anne the latter his mother's name 
to distinguish him from other Jack Gillespies, 
was a man of sixty or over, also a cottier. 

The tales were written down in places suf- 
ficiently varied ; from the Renvyle library to the 
neat little farmhouse parlour at Malinmore, where 
I spent so many a winter's evening, solitary but 
for the occasional visits of some one or other of 
my story-tellers ; from little smoky cabins, with 
inquisitive hens hopping on the table, to the 
unroofed freedom of rock or brae, under 
summer skies, by those thrice-lovely shores of 
Renvyle ; by the scarcely less beautiful, though 

xxvi Introduction. 

far more rugged, crags and cliffs of Achill ; 
by <c the wild sea-banks " of what has been 
described as the " grandest coast in Europe " 
that of Glencolumkill. 

The beauty of Scotch scenery has been dis- 
covered by one critic to be reflected in the 
picturesqueness of the Scotch tales. I am not 
without hope that a like influence has contributed 
something of a like quality to those now submitted 
to the reader. 





Narrator, JOHN M'GlNTY, Valley, Achill Island, co. Mayo. 


Narrator, P. M'GRALE, Dugort, Achill Island, co. Mayo. 


Narrator, MICHAEL FAHERTY, Renvyle, co. Galway. 


Narrator, TERENCE DAVIS, Renvyle, co. Galway. 


Narrator, P. M'GRALE, Achill. 


Narrator, P. M IN AH AN, Malinmore, Glencolumkille t co. 

JACK - 106 

Narrator, P. MiNAHAN, Malinmore, Glencolumkille, co. 


Narrator, P. MiNAHAN, Malinmore, Glencolumkille, co. 

xxviii Contents. 



Narrator, MICHAEL FAHERTY, Renvyle, co. Gal-way. 


Narrator, P. M'GRALE. Achill, co. Mayo. 


Narrator, P. MiNAHAN, Malinmore, Glencolumkille, co. 

GRIG - 1 68 

Narrator, JACK GILLESPIE, Glen, Glencolumkille, co. Donegal. 



Narrator, P. M'GRALE, Achill, co. Mayo. 


Narrator, P. M'GRALE, Dugort, Achill, co. Mayo. 


Narrator, P. MINAHAN, Malinmore, Glencolnmkille, co. 


Narrator, JOHN M'GiNTY, Valley, Achill Island. 

THE RED PONY - - 211 

Narrator, P. MiNAHAN, Malinmore, co. Donegal. 


Narrator, P. MiNAHAN, Malinmore, co. Donegal. 

THE PHONETIC TEXT - - - - 232 


NOTES ..... - 251 


Narrator, JOHN McGiNTY, Valley, Achill Island, 
co Mayo. 

^HE Gobaun Seer and his son went eastward 
JL to the eastern world to Balar Beimann to 
make for him a palace. "Shorten the road, my 
son," said the father. The son ran out before him 
on the road, and the father returned home on that 
day. The second day they went travelling, and 
the father told his son to shorten the road. He 
ran out in front of his father the second day, and 
the father returned home. 

" What's the cause of your returning home like 
that ? " said the wife of the young Gobaun. 

" My father asks me to shorten the road. I 
run out on the road before him, and he returns." 

<c Do you begin to-morrow at a story he has 
never heard, and I'll go bail he will not return. 
And do you never be in any place that the women 
are not on your side." 

They went travelling the third -day, and the 

T'he Gloss Gav/en. 

young Gobaun began at a story his father never 
heard, and he returned no more till they came to 
the eastern world. Then they made the palace for 
Balar Beimann, and he did not wish to let them 
go back, for fear they should make for another 
man a palace as good as his. 

" Take away the scaffolding" (said he) ; for he 
wanted to let them die on the top of the building. 
Balar Beimann had a girl, who went by under the 
building in the morning. 

" Young Gobaun," said she, " go on thy 
wisdom. I think it is easier to throw seven 
stones down than to put one up as far as 

" That's true for you," said young Gobaun. 

They began to let down the work. When 
Balar Beimann heard that they were throwing 
down the works, he ordered back the scaffolding 
till they were down on the ground. 

"Now," said the old Gobaun Seer, a there is a 
crookedness in your work, and if I had three 
tools I left after me at home, I would straighten 
the work, and there would not be any work in 
the world to compare with it. The names of 
the tools are Crooked against Crooked, Corner 
against Corner, and Engine against deceit ; * and 
there is not a man to get them but your own son. 
You will find," said he, " a woman with one hand, 
* Or, perhaps, " trick against treachery." 

Tlie Gloss Gavlen. 3 

and a child with one eye, in the house, and a stack 
of corn at the door." 

The father then gave him a ship and sent him 
over to Erin. He was travelling ever till he 
found out the house ; and he went into it. He 
asked if that was the house of young Gobaun. 
The woman said it was. 

" He said to me there was a woman with one 
hand, and a child with one eye in the house, and 
a stack of corn at the door." 

" Don't you see," said she, " that I have only 
one hand, and don't you see this stick in the hand 
of the child ? I don't know what moment he 
won't put it in his eye and take the eye out of 
himself; and don't you see the stack of corn 
outside at the door ? " 

He asked then for the three tools. 

" What three tools ? " said she. 

" They are Corner against Corner, Crooked 
against Crooked, and Engine against deceit." 

She understood then that they (i.e. her husband 
and his father) would never come home, if she 
did not understand these words. 

"The three tools that are called Crooked against 
Crooked, Corner against Corner, and Engine against 
deceit, they are down in this chest." 

She went then and opened the chest, and told 
him to stoop down to the bottom, that she was not 
tall enough. He stooped, and when she got him 

The Gloss Gav/en. 

bent down, she threw him into the chest and 
closed it, and told him he should stay there till 
young Gobaun and old Gobaun came home and 
their pay for their service with them. 

She sent word to Balar Beimann that she had 
his son in confinement, till young Gobaun and old 
Gobaun came home. He gave them a ship and 
sent them home with their pay ; and she let Balar 
Beimann's son back to him again. When they 
were going home, Balar asked Gobaun, what smith 
would he get to put irons on his palace. 

' c There is no smith in Erin better than Gavid- 
jeen Go." 

When .the old Gobaun came home he told 
Gavidjeen Go to take no pay from him for putting 
the irons on his palace, except the Gloss : 

" If twenty barrels were put under her, she 
would fill the twenty barrels." 

Balar Beimann then wrote to the Gavidjeen Go 
that he would give him the Gloss if he would 
make irons for his palace. But when he sent the 
Gloss, he did not give the byre-rope, and he knew 
that when he did not give that, she would go 
from him. 

This is the bargain that Gavidjeen Go made 
then with every champion that came to him : to 
mind the cow and bring her safe home to him 
at evening ; he would make a sword for every 
champion who would mind her. She would pas- 

The Gloss Gavlen. 

ture in the daytime at Cruahawn, of Connaught, 
and drink at Loch Ayachir-a-Guigalu, in Ulster, 
in the evening. 

Kian, the son of Contje, came to him to have 
a sword made. He told him he would make it, 
but that the bargain would be to mind the Gloss 
that day. 

" If she is not home with you to me in the even- 
ing, you must lay down your head on the anvil, 
that I may cut it off with your own sword." 

Kian, the son of Contje, went then and took 
hold of her by the tail. When he came home in 
the evening, " Here is the Gloss outside," said he 
to Gavidjeen Go. There was a champion inside 
in the forge, whose name was the Laughing 
Knight. He ran out and said to Kian : 

" The smith is about to put tempering on your 
sword, and unless you have hold of it, there will 
be no power in it when you wield it." 

When Kian, the son of Contje, went in, he 
forgot to drive in the Gloss. Gavidjeen Go 
asked him, " Where is the Gloss ? " 

" There she is, outside the door." 

" Put her in," said he. 

When he went out she was gone. 

" Lay down your head upon the anvil, that I 
may cut it off you." 

<C I am asking of you the favour of three days, 
to go and seek her." 

The Gloss Gav/en. 

" I will give you that/' said he. 

He went with himself then, and was following 
her tracks till he came to the sea. He was up 
and down on the shore, plucking his hair from 
his head, in trouble after the Gloss. There was 
a man out on the sea in a currach. He rowed 
in to him. It was the tawny Mananaun, the son 
of Lir. He asked him 

" What is the matter with you to-day ? " 

He told him. 

<c How much will you give to any one who will 
leave you in the place where the Gloss is ? " 

<c I have nothing to give him." 

" I will ask nothing of you, but the half of all 
you gain till you come back." 

" I will give you that," said Kian, son of 

" Be into the currach." 

In the winking of an eye he left him over in 
the kingdoms of the cold ; nor on that island was 
a morsel cooked ever, but they ate every kind of 
food raw. Kian, son of Contje, made a fire, and 
began to cook his food. When Balar Beimann 
heard the like was there, he took him to be his 
cook, his story-teller, and his fireman. Well, 
Balar Beimann had one daughter, and a prediction 
was made that she would have a son, who would 
kill his grandfather. He then put her into prison 
for fear a man would come near her ; and it was 

'The Gloss Gav/e?2. j 

he himself who would go to her with food, and 
the companion with her was a dummy woman. 
Mananaun left this enchantment with Kian, son 
of Contje, that any lock he laid his hand on 
would open and shut after him. He was looking 
at Balar Beimann going to this house, to his 
daughter, with food for her, and he went himself 
after him to the house, and he laid his hand on 
the lock and opened the door, and found none 
but the two women there. He made a fire for 
them. He was coming there ever, till a child 
happened to her. He was then going to depart, 
when the boy was born. He went to the king 
and told him he must depart. 

" Why are you going ? " said he. 

cc It is because accidents have happened to me 
since I came into this island. I must go." 

" What is the accident ? " said he. 

" A child has happened to me." 

Balar had two sons on another island learning 
druidism. They came home to the palace to their 

* c Father," said a man of them, cc your story- 
teller, your cook, and your fireman will give you 
your sufficiency of trouble." 

Kian, son of Contje, was listening to them 
speaking. He went to the daughter of Balar 
Beimann, and told her what her brother said. 

" Well," said she, "it is now time for you to 

8 The Gloss Gavlen. 

be going. That is the byre-rope of the Gloss, 
hanging on the wall. She will be as quick as 
you; and take with you the boy." 

He went then till he came to the place where 
Mananaun put him out. Mananaun told him, 
when he was in difficulty, to think of him and 
he would come. He now came on the instant. 

" Be in the currach," said Mananaun, " and 
make haste, or Balar Beimann will drown us, if 
he can. But greater is my druidism than his," 
said the tawny Mananaun, the son of Lir. 

He jumped into the currach, and the Gloss 
jumped in as soon as he. Balar Beimann followed 
them, and raised the sea in a storm before them 
and behind them, nor did Mananaun aught but 
stretch out his hand and make the sea calm. 
Balar then set fire to the sea before them in hopes 
of burning them, but Mananaun threw out a stone, 
and extinguished the sea. 

cc Now, Kian, son of Contje, you are safe and 
sound home, and what will you give me for it ? " 

" I have nothing but the boy, and we will not 
go to make two halves of him, but I will give 
him to you entirely." 

" I am thankful to you. That is what I was 
wanting. There will be no champion in the 
world as good as he," said Mananaun. 

This is the name that Mananaun baptized him 
with the Dul Dauna. He brought him up with 

The Gloss Gavlen. 

feats of activity and championship. He and 
Mananaun were out one day on the sea, and they 
saw the fleet of Balar Beimann sailing. The Dul 
Dauna put a ring to his eye, and he saw his 
grandfather on the deck walking, but he did not 
know it was his grandfather. He (took) a dart 
from his pocket and flung it at him and killed 
him. The prophecy was then fulfilled. 



Narrator, P. McGRALE, Dugort, Achill Island, co. Mayo. 

MORRAHA rose in the morning and washed 
his hands and face, and said his prayers,, 
and ate his food ; and he asked God to prosper 
the day for him ; and he went down to the brink 
of the sea, and he saw a currach, short and 
green, coming towards him ; and in it there was 
but one youthful champion, and he playing hurly 
from prow to stern of the currach. He had a 
hurl of gold and a ball of silver ; and he stopped 
not till the currach was in on the shore ; and he 
drew her up on the green grass, and put fastening 
on her for a day and a year, whether he should 
be there all that time or should only be on land 
for an hour by the clock. And Morraha saluted 
the young man in words intelligent, intelligible, 
such as (were spoken) at that time ; and the other 
saluted him in the same fashion, and asked him 


would he play a game of cards with him; and 
Morraha said that he had not the wherewithal; 
and the other answered that he was never without 
a candle or the making of it ; and he put his hand 
in his pocket and drew out a table and two chairs 
and a pack of cards, and they sat down on the 
chairs and went to the card-playing. The first 
game Morraha won, and the slender red champion 
bade him make his claim ; and he said that 
the land above him should be filled with stock 
of sheep in the morning. It was well ; and he 
played no second game, but home he went. 

The next day Morraha went to the brink of 
the sea, and the young man came in the currach 
and asked him would he play cards ; and they 
played ; and Morraha won. And the young man 
bade him make his claim ; and he said that the 
land above should be filled with cattle in the 
morning. It was well ; and he played no other 
game, but went home. 

And on the third morning Morraha went to 
the brink of the sea, and he saw the young man 
coming. And he drew up his boat on the shore 
and asked him would he play cards. And they 
played, and Morraha won the game ; and the 
young man bade him give his claim. And he 
said he should have a castle and of women the 
finest and the fairest ; and they were his. It 
was well ; and the young man went away. 

1 2 Morraha. 

On the fourth day the woman asked him how 
he had found himself, and he told her. "And 
I am going out " (said he) " to play again to- 

" I cross " (forbid) " you to go again to him. 
If you have won so much, you will lose more ; 
and have no more to do with him." 

But he went against her will, and he saw the 
currach coming ; and the young man was driving 
his balls from end to end of the currach ; he had 
balls of silver and a hurl of gold, and he stopped 
not till he drew his boat on the shore, and made 
her fast for a year and a day. And Morraha 
and he saluted each other ; and he asked Morraha 
if he would play a game of cards, and they played, 
and he won. And Morraha said to him, " Give 
your claim now." 

Said he, " You will hear it too soon. I lay on 
you the bonds of the art of the druid, not to sleep 
two nights in one house, nor finish a second meal 
at the one table, till you bring me the sword of 
light and news of the death of Anshgayliacht." 

He went home to his wife and sat down in 
a chair, and gave a groan, and the chair broke in 

" It is the son of a king under spells you are," 
said his wife ; " and you had better have taken 

my counsel than that the spells should be on 



He said to her to bring news of the death 
of Anshgayliacht and the sword of light to the 
slender red champion. 

" Go out," said she, " in the morning of the 
morrow, and take the bridle in the window, and 
shake it ; and whatever beast, handsome or ugly, 
puts the head in it, take that one with you. Do 
not speak a word to her till she speaks to you ; 
and take with you three pint bottles of ale and 
three sixpenny loaves, and do the thing she tells 
you ; and when she runs to my father's land, on 
a height above the court, she will shake herself, 
and the bells will ring, and my father will say 
Brown Allree is in the land. And if the son of a 
king or queen is there, bring him to me on your 
shoulders ; but if it is the son of a poor man, let 
him come no further/' 

He rose in the morning, and took the bridle 
that was in the window, and went out and shook 
it ; and Brown Allree came and put her head in 
it. And he took the three loaves and three 
bottles of ale, and went riding ; and when he 
was riding she bent her head down to take hold 
of her feet with her mouth, in hopes he would 
speak in ignorance; but he spoke not a word 
during the time, and the mare at last spoke 
to him, and said to him to dismount and give 
her her dinner. He gave her the sixpenny loaf 
toasted, and a bottle of ale to drink. "Sit up 

1 4 Morraha. 

now riding, and take good heed of yourself : 
there are three miles of fire I have to clear at a 

She cleared the three miles of fire at a leap, 
and asked if he were riding, and he said he was. 
They went on then, and she told him to dismount 
and give her a meal; and he did so, and gave 
her a sixpenny loaf and a bottle ; and she con- 
sumed them, and said to him there were before 
them three miles of hill covered with steel thistles, 
and that she must clear it. And she cleared the 
hill with a leap, and she asked him if he were 
still riding, and he said he was. They went on, 
and she went not far before she told him to give 
her a meal, and he gave her the bread and the 
bottleful. And she went over three miles of sea 
with a leap, and she came then to the land of 
the King of France ; and she went up on a height 
above the castle, and she shook herself and neighed, 
and the bells rang ; and the king said that it was 
Brown Allree was in the land. cc Go out," said 
he, " and if it is the son of a king or queen, carry 
him in on your shoulders ; if it is not, leave him 

They went out ; and the stars of the son of a 
king were on his breast ; and they lifted him high 
on their shoulders and bore him in to the king. 
And they passed the night cheerfully, with play- 
ing and with drinking, with sport and with 

Morraha. 1 5 

diversion, till the whiteness of the day came upon 
the morrow morning. 

Then the young king told the cause of his 
journey, and he asked of the queen her counsel 
and consent, and to give him counsel and good 
luck, and the woman told him everything she 
advised him to do. " Go now," said she, " and 
take with you the best mare in the stable, and 
go to the door of Rough Niall of the speckled 
rock, and knock, and call on him to give you 
news of the death of Anshgayliacht and the sword 
of light ; and let the horsed back be to the door, 
and apply the spurs, and away with you." 

And in the morning he did so, and he took 
the best horse from the stable and rode to the 
door of Niall, and turned the horse's back to 
the door, and demanded news of the death of 
Anshgayliacht and the sword of light ; and he 
applied the spurs, and away with him. And Niall 
followed him, and, as he was passing the gate, cut 
the horse in two. And the mother was there with 
a dish of puddings and flesh, and she threw it 
in his eyes and blinded him, and said, cc Fool, 
whatever kind of man it is that's mocking you, 
isn't that a fine condition you have got on your 
father's horse ? " 

On the morning of the next day, Morraha rose, 
and took another horse from the stable, and went 
again to the door of Niall, and knocked and de- 

1 6 Morraha. 

manded news of the death of Anshgayliacht and 
the sword of light, and applied the spurs to the 
horse and away with him. And Niall followed, 
and as he was passing the gate, cut the horse in 
two and took half the saddle with him ; and his 
mother met him and threw the flesh in his eyes 
and blinded him. 

And, on the third day, Morraha went also to 
the door of Niall ; and Niall followed him, and as 
he was passing the gate, cut away the saddle from 
under him and the clothes from his back. Then 
his mother said to Niall, 

" Whatever fool it is that's mocking you, he is 
out yonder in the little currach, going home ; and 
take good heed to yourself, and don't sleep one 
wink for three days." 

And for three days the little currach was there 
before him, and then his mother came to him and 

" Sleep as much as you want now. He is 

And he went to sleep, and there was heavy 
sleep on him, and Morraha went in and took hold 
of the sword that was on the bed at his head. 
And the sword thought to draw itself out of the 
hand of Morraha ; but it failed. And then it 
gave a cry, and it wakened Niall, and Niall said it 
was a rude and rough thing to come into his house 
like that ; and said Morraha to him, 

Morraha. 1 7 

" Leave your much talking, or I will cut the 
head off you. Tell me the news of the death of 

" Oh, you can have my head." 

<c But your head is no good to me ; tell me the 

" Oh," said Niall's wife, " you must get the 

cc Oh " [said Morraha], " is the woman your 
wife ? " 

" Oh," said the man, " it is not you who have 
the story." 

" Oh," said she, <c you will tell it to us." 

" Well," said the man, "let us sit down together 
till I tell the story. I thought no one would ever 
get it ; but now it will be heard by all." 


(The Story is from the narrative of TERENCE DAVIS, of 
Renvyle, co. Gal-way.) 

When I was growing up, my mother taught me 
the language of the birds ; and when I got married, 
I used to be listening to their conversation ; and 
I would be laughing; and my wife would be 
asking me what was the reason of my laughing, 
but I did not like to tell her, as women are always 
asking questions. We went out walking one fine 
morning, and the birds were arguing with one 
another. One of them said to another, 


1 8 Morraha. 

" Why should you be making comparison with 
me, when there is not a king nor knight that does 
not come to look at my tree ? " 

" Oh, what advantage has your tree over mine, 
on which there are three rods of magic and mastery 
growing ? " 

When I heard them arguing, and knew that the 
rods were there, I began to laugh. 

" Oh," asked my wife, " why are you always 
laughing ? I believe it is at myself you are jesting, 
and I'll walk with you no more." 

" Oh, it is not about you I am laughing. It 
is because I understand the language of the 

Then I had to tell her what the birds were 
saying to one another ; and she was greatly de- 
lighted, and she asked me to go home, and she 
gave orders to the cook to have breakfast ready at 
six o'clock in the morning. I did not know why 
she was going out early, and breakfast was ready 
in the morning at the hour she appointed. She 
asked me to go out walking. I went with her. 
She went to the tree, and asked me to cut a rod 
for her. 

"Oh, I will not cut it. Are we not better 
without it ? " 

f c I will not leave this until I get the rod, to see 
if there is any good in it." 

I cut the rod and gave it to her. She turned 

Morraha. 1 9 

from me and struck a blow on a stone, and 
changed it ; and she struck a second blow on 
me, and made of me a black raven, and she 
went home and left me after her. I thought she 
would come back ; she did not come, and I had 
to go into a tree till morning. In the morning, 
at six o'clock, there was a bellman out, proclaim- 
ing that every one who killed a raven would 
get a fourpenny bit. At last you would not find 
man or boy without a gun, nor, if you were to 
walk three miles, a raven that was not killed. I 
had to make a nest in the top of the parlour 
chimney, and hide myself all day till night came, 
and go out to pick up a bit to support me, till 
I spent a month. Here she is herself (to say) 
if it is a lie I am telling. 

" It is not," said she. 

Then I saw her out walking. I went up to 
her, and I thought she would turn me back to 
my own shape, and she struck me with the rod 
and made of me an old white horse, and she 
ordered me to be put to a cart with a man, to 
draw stones from morning till night. I was 
worse off then. She spread abroad a report that 
I had died suddenly in my bed, and prepared a 
coffin, and waked and buried me. Then she had 
no trouble. But when I got tired I began to kill 
every one who came near me, and I used to go 
into the haggard every night and destroy the 

2O Morraha. 

stacks of corn ; and when a man came near me 
in the morning I would follow him till I broke 
his bones. Every one got afraid of me. When 
she saw I was doing mischief she came to meet 
me, and I thought she would change me. And 
she did change me, and made a fox of me. 
When I saw she was doing me every sort of 
damage I went away from her. I knew there 
was a badger's hole in the garden, and I went 
there till night came, and I made great slaughter 
among the geese and ducks. There she is herself 
to say if I am telling a lie. 

" Oh ! you are telling nothing but the truth, 
only less than the truth." 

When she had enough of my killing the fowl 
she came out into the garden, for she knew I 
was in the badger's hole. She came to me and 
made me a wolf. I had to be off, and go to an 
island, where no one at all would see me, and 
now and then I used to be killing sheep, for there 
were not many of them, and I was afraid of being 
seen and hunted ; and so I passed a year, till a 
shepherd saw me among the sheep, and a pursuit 
was made after me. And when the dogs came 
near me there was no place for me to escape to 
from them ; but I recognised the sign of the 
king among the men, and I made for him, and 
the king cried out to stop the hounds. I took 
a leap upon the front of the king's saddle, and 

Morraha. 2 1 

the woman behind cried out, " My king and my 
lord, kill him, or he will kill you ! " 

" Oh ! he will not kill me. He knew me ; 
he must be pardoned." 

And the king took me home with him, and 
gave orders I should be well cared for. I was 
so wise, when I got food, I would not eat one 
morsel until I got a knife and fork. The man 
told the king, and the king came to see if it was 
true, and I got a knife and fork, and I took the 
knife in one paw and the fork in the other, and 
I bowed to the king. The king gave orders to 
bring him drink, and it came ; and the king 
filled a glass of wine and gave it to me. 

I took hold of it in my paw and drank it, and 
thanked the king. 

" Oh, on my honour, it is some king or other 
has lost him, when he came on the island ; and I 
will keep him, as he is trained ; and perhaps he 
will serve us yet." 

And this is the sort of king he was, a king who 
had not a child living. Eight sons were born to 
him and three daughters, and they were stolen the 
same night they were born. No matter what 
guard was placed over them, the child would be 
gone in the morning. The queen was now 
carrying the twelfth child, and when she was 
lying in the king took me with him to watch the 
baby. The women were not satisfied with me. 

2 2 Morraha. 

" Oh," said the king, cc what was all your 
watching ever ? One that was born to me I have 
not ; and I will leave this one in the dog's care, 
and he will not let it go." 

A coupling was put between me and the 
cradle, and when every one went to sleep I was 
watching till the person woke who attended in 
the daytime ; but I was there only two nights, 
when it was near the day, I saw the hand 
coming down through the chimney, and the 
hand was so big that it took round the child 
altogether, and thought to take him away. I 
caught hold of the hand above the wrist, and as 
I was fastened to the cradle, I did not let go my 
hold till I cut the hand from the wrist, and there 
was a howl from the person without. I laid the 
hand in the cradle with the child, and as I 
was tired I fell asleep ; and when I awoke, I had 
neither child nor hand ; and I began to howl, and 
the king heard me, and he cried out that some- 
thing was wrong with me, and he sent servants to 
see what was the matter with me, and when the 
messenger came, he saw me covered with blood, 
and he could not see the child ; and he went to 
the king and told him the child was not to be 
got. The king came and saw the cradle coloured 
with the blood, and he cried out " where was the 
child gone ? " and every one said it was the dog 
had eaten it. 

Morraha. 2 3 

The king said : " It is not : loose him, and he 
will get the pursuit himself." 

When I was loosed, I found the scent of the 
blood till I came to a door of the room in which 
the child was. I went to the king and took hold 
of him, and went back again and began to tear at 
the door. The king followed me and asked for 
the key. The servant said it was in the room of 
the stranger woman. The king caused search to 
be made for her, and she was not to be found. " I 
will break the door," said the king, u as I can't 
get the key." The king broke the door, and I 
went in, and went to the trunk, and the king 
asked for a key to unlock it. He got no key, 
and he broke the lock. When he opened the 
trunk, the child and the hand were stretched side 
by side, and the child was asleep. The king took 
the hand and ordered a woman to come for the 
child, and he showed the hand to every one in 
the house. But the stranger woman was gone, 
and she did not see the king ; and here she is 
herself (to say) if I am telling lies of her. 
" Oh, it's nothing but the truth you have ! " 
The king did not allow me to be tied any more. 
He said there was nothing so much to wonder at 
as that I cut the hand off, and I tied. 

The child was growing till he was a year old. 
And he was beginning to walk, and there was no 
one caring for him more than I was. He was 

24 Morraha. 

growing till he was three, and he was running out 
every minute ; so the king ordered a silver chain 
to be put between me and the child, so that he 
might not go away from me. I was out with 
him in the garden every day, and the king was 
as proud as the world of the child. He would 
be watching him every place we went, till the 
child grew so wise that he would loose the chain 
and get off. But one day that he loosed it I 
failed to find him ; and I ran into the house and 
searched the house, but there was no getting him 
for me. The king cried to go out and find the 
child, that he had got loose from the dog. They 
went searching for him, but they could not find 
him. When they failed altogether to find him, 
there remained no more favour with the king 
towards me, and every one disliked me, and I 
grew weak, for I did not get a morsel to eat half 
the time. When summer came, I said I would 
try and go home to my own country. I went 
away one fine morning, and I went swimming, and 
God helped me till I came home. I went into 
the garden, for I knew there was a place in the 
garden where I could hide myself, for fear she 
should see me. In the morning I saw my wife 
out walking, and my child with her, held by the 
hand. I pushed out to see the child, and as he 
was looking about him everywhere, he saw me 
and called out, " I see my shaggy papa. Oh ! " 

Morraha. 25 

said he ; " oh, my heart's love, my shaggy papa, 
come here till I see you ! " 

I was afraid the woman would see me, as she 
was asking the child where he saw me, and he 
said I was up in a tree ; and the more the child 
called me, the more I hid myself. The woman 
took the child home with her, but I knew he 
would be up early in the morning. 

I went to the parlour window, and the child 
was within, and he playing. When he saw me 
he cried out, <c Oh ! my heart's love, come here 
till I see you, shaggy papa." I broke the window 
and went in, and he began to kiss me. I saw 
the rod in front of the chimney, and I jumped 
up at the rod and knocked it down. " Oh ! my 
heart's love, no one would give me the pretty 
rod." I thought he would strike me with the 
rod, but he did not. When I saw the time was 
short I raised my paw, and I gave him a scratch 
below the knee. cc Oh ! you naughty, dirty, 
shaggy papa, you have hurt me so much, I'll give 
yourself a blow of the rod." He struck me a 
light blow, and as there was no one sin on him, 
I came back to my own shape again. When he 
saw a man standing before him he gave a cry, 
and I took him up in my arms. The servants 
heard the child. A maid came in to see what 
was the matter with him. When she saw me she 
gave a cry out of her, and she said, " Oh, my 

26 Morraha. 

soul to God, if the master isn't come to life 
again ! " 

Another came in, and said it was he really. 
And when the mistress heard of it, she came to 
see with her own eyes, for she would not believe 
I was there ; and when she saw me she said 
she'd drown herself. And I said to her, " If you 
yourself will keep the secret, no living man will 
ever get the story from me until I lose my head." 

Many's the man has come asking for the story, 
and I never let one return ; but now every one 
will know it, but she is as much to blame as I. 
I gave you my head on the spot, and a thousand 
welcomes, and she cannot say I have been telling 
anything but the truth. 

c< Oh ! surely ; nor are you now." 

When I saw I was in a man's shape, I said I 
would take the child back to his father and 
mother, as I knew the grief they were in after 
him. I got a ship, and took the child with me ; 
and when I was journeying I came to land on an 
island, and I saw not a living soul on it, only a 
court dark and gloomy. I went in to see was 
there any one in it. There was no one but an 
old hag, tall and frightful, and she asked me, 
cc What sort of person are you ? " I heard some 
one groaning in another room, and I said I was 
a doctor, and I asked her what ailed the person 
who was groaning. 

Morraha. 27 

" Oh," said she, " it is my son, whose hand has 
been bitten from his wrist by a dog." 

I knew then it was the boy who was taking 
the child from me, and I said I would cure him 
if I got a good reward. 

" I have nothing ; but there are eight young 
lads and three young women, as handsome as 
any one ever laid eyes on, and if you cure him 
I will give you them." 

" But tell me in what place his hand was cut 
from him ? " 

" Oh, it was out in another country, twelve 
years ago." 

" Show me the way, that I may see him." 

She brought me into a room, so that I saw 
him, and his arm was swelled up to the shoulder. 
He asked if I would cure him ; and I said I 
would cure him if he would give me the reward 
his mother promised. 

" Oh, I will give it ; but cure me." 

" Well, bring them out to me." 

The hag brought them out of the room. I 
said I should burn the flesh that was on his arm. 
When I looked on him he was howling with 
pain. I said that I would not leave him in pain 
long. The thief had only one eye in his fore- 
head. I took a bar of iron, and put it in the fire 
till it was red, and I said to the hag, "He will 
be howling at first, but will fall asleep presently, 

28 Morraha. 

and do not wake him till he has slept as much 
as he wants. I will close the door when I am 
going out." I took the bar with me, and I stood 
over him, and I turned it across through his eye 
as far as I could. He began to bellow, and tried 
to catch me, but I was out and away, having 
closed the door. The hag asked me, "Why is 
he bellowing ? " 

" Oh, he will be quiet presently, and will sleep 
for a good while, and I'll come again to have a 
look at him ; but bring me out the young men 
and the young women." 

I took them with me, and I said to her, " Tell 
me where you got them." 

" Oh, my son brought them with him, and they 
are all the offspring of the one king." 

I was well satisfied, and I had no liking for 
delay to get myself free from the hag, and I took 
them on board the ship, and the child I had my- 
self. I thought the king might leave me the 
child I nursed myself; but when I came to land, 
and all those young people with me, the king 
and queen were out walking. The king was very 
aged, and the queen aged likewise. When I came 
to converse with them, and the twelve with me, 
the king and queen began to cry. I asked, "Why 
are you crying ? " 

" Oh, it is for good cause I am crying. As 
many children as these I should have, and now I 

Morraha. 29 

am withered, grey, at the end of my life, and I 
have not one at all." 

"Oh, belike you will yet have plenty/' 

I told him all I went through, and I gave him 
the child in his hand, and cc These are your other 
children who were stolen from you, whom I am 
giving to you safe. They are gently reared." 

When the king heard who they were he 
smothered them with kisses and drowned them 
with tears, and dried them with fine cloths silken 
and the hair of his own head, and so also did 
their mother, and great was his welcome for me, 
as it was I who found them all. And the king 
said to me, " I will give you your own child, as 
it is you who have earned him best ; but you must 
come to my court every year, and the child with 
you, and I will share with you my possessions." 

" Oh, I have enough of my own, and after my 
death I will leave it to the child." 

I spent a time, till my visit was over, and I told 
the king all the troubles I went through, only I 
said nothing about my wife. And now you have 
the story. 

[The remainder is from P. McGRALE's Achill version. ~\ 

And now when you go home, and the slender 
red champion asks you for news of the death of 
Anshgayliacht and for the sword of light, tell 
him the way in which his brother was killed, and 

30 Morraha. 

say you have the sword; and he will ask the 
sword from you ; and say you to him, " If I pro- 
mised to bring it to you, I did not promise to 
bring it for you ; " and then throw the sword into 
the air and it will come back to me. 

He went home, and he told the story of the 
death of Anshgayliacht to the slender red cham- 
pion, " And here," said he, " is the sword." And 
the slender red champion asked for the sword, and 
he said, " If I promised to bring it to you, I did 
not promise to bring it for you ; " and he threw 
it into the air and it returned to Blue Niall. 


Narrator, MICHAEL FAHERTY, Renvyle, co. Galway. 

r I ^HERE was a man coming from a funeral, 
JL and it chanced as he was coming along by 
the churchyard he fell in with the head of a man. 
"It is good and right," said he to himself, "to 
take that with me and put it in a safe place." 
He took up the head and laid it in the church- 
yard. He went on along the road home, and he 
met a man with the appearance of a gentleman. 

"Where were you ? " said the gentleman. 

" I was at a funeral, and I found the head of a 
man on the road," 

" What did you do with it ? " said the gentleman. 

" I took it with me, and left it in the church- 

" It was well for you," said the gentleman. 

"Why so?" said the man. 

" That is my head," said he, " and if you did 
anything out of the way to it, assuredly I would 
be even with you." 

32 The Ghost and his Wives. 

" And how did you lose your head ? " said 
the man. 

"I did not lose it at all, but I left it in the 
place where you found it to see what you would 
do with it." 

" I believe you are a good person " (i.e. a 
fairy), said the man ; " and, if so, it would be 
better for me to be in any other place than in 
your company." 

"Don't be afraid, I won't touch you. I would 
rather do you a good turn than a bad one." 

" I would like that," said the man. " Come 
home with me till we get our dinner." 

They went home together. <c Get up," said 
the man to his wife, c< and make our dinner ready 
for us." The woman got up and made dinner 
ready for them." When they ate their dinner, 
" Come," said the man, " till we play a game 
of cards." 

They were playing cards that evening, and he 
(the gentleman) slept that night in the house ; 
and on the morning of the morrow they ate 
their breakfast together. When two hours were 

" Come with me," said the gentleman. 

cc What business have you with me ? " said 
the man. 

" That you may see the place I have at home." 

They got up and walked together till they 

'The Ghost and his Wives. 33 

came to the churchyard. " Lift the tombstone," 
said the gentleman. He raised the tombstone 
and they went in. " Go down the stairs," said 
the gentleman. They went down together till 
they came to the door ; and it was opened, and 
they went into the kitchen. There were two 
old women sitting by the fire. cc Rise," said the 
gentleman to one of them, " and get dinner ready 
for us." She rose and took some small potatoes. 

" Have you nothing for us for dinner but that 
sort ? " said the gentleman. 

" I have not," said the woman. 

" As you have not, keep them." 

" Rise you," said he to the second woman, 
<c and get ready dinner for us." 

She rose and took some meal and husks. 

" Have you nothing for us but that sort ? " 

" I have not," said she. 

cc As you have not, keep them." 

He went up the stairs and knocked at a door. 
There came out a beautiful woman in a silk dress, 
and it ornamented with gold from the sole of her 
foot to the crown of her head. She asked him 
what he wanted. He asked her if she could get 
dinner for himself and the stranger. She said she 
could. She laid a dinner before them fit for a 
king. And when they had eaten and drunk 
plenty, the gentleman asked if he knew the reason 
why she was able to give them such a dinner. 


34 'The Ghost and his Wives. 

<c I don't know," said the man ; " but tell me 
if it is your pleasure." 

" When I was alive I was married three times, 
and the first wife I had never gave anything to 
a poor man except little potatoes; and she must 
live on them herself till the day of judgment. 
The second wife, whenever any one asked alms 
of her, never gave anything but meal and husks ; 
and she will be no better off herself, nor any one 
else who asks of her, till the day of judgment. 
The third wife, who got the dinner for us she 
could give us everything from the first." 

" Why is that ? " said the man. 

"Because she never spared of anything she 
had, but would give it to a poor man ; and she 
will have of that kind till the day of judgment." 

" Come with me till you see my dwelling," said 
the gentleman. There were outhouses and stables 
and W9ods around the house ; and, to speak the 
truth, he was in the prettiest place ever I saw 
with my eyes. cc Come inside with me," said he 
to the man ; and I was not long within when 
there came a piper, and he told him to play, and 
he was not long playing when the house was 
filled with men and women. They began dancing. 
When part of the night was spent, I thought I 
would go and sleep. I arose and went to sleep; 
and when I awoke in the morning I could see 
nothing of the house or anything in the place. 


Narrator, TERENCE DAVIS, Renvyle, co. Galway. 

r INHERE was a king in Erin long ago, and 
X long ago it was. He had a pair of sons, 
Bioultach and Maunus. Bioultach was the elder. 
His father took him from school. The son said 
to him, " Will you give me no more schooling ? " 

" I will not give.' I think you have enough 
learning, and I am but poor." 

" I give you the quarters of the heaven^of the 
sea, and of the land, against my body and my 
soul, that a second meal I will not eat at the one 
table, that a second night I will not sleep in the 
one bed, till I go to seek my fortune." 

" Oh, my son ! evil is the oath you have taken, 
and it were better for you to watch over Erin. 
I think it were worth your while to stay at home, 
for when; you go some other nation will come 
and cut it off." 

" Oh ! it is one to me." 


36 The Story of Eioultach. 

He rose exceeding bright on the morning of 
the morrow. He rubbed palm to poll and palm 
to forehead, to make it be seen that he was the 
best in beauty and in courage. He struck down 
to the sea. He struck a plank on this side and 
a plank on that till he made a ship spacious and 
capacious. He struck on board the ship, and 
spent four nights and four days, till he landed 
in Spain without permission. 

The King of Spain was out of doors, and he 
saw the ship coming in without permission. He 
sent a messenger down to ask who was the 

The messenger came back and said to the king, 
" There is but one man on board, and handsomest 
of all men that ever I saw is he." 

" Oh ! give him an invitation to the court." 

The messenger went and gave the invitation. 
Bioultach spent a day and a year at the court. 

"Well," said the king, "you are at my court 
for a year, and I have never asked who you are." 

"If you asked me I would have told you. 
Bioultach am I, son of the High King of Erin, 
who left my father's court and pleasant home, 
since I thought little of the learning he was giving 
me ; and I think I will stay here no longer." 

" I don't know," said the king, " where you 
will go ; but t believe there is not a place in the 
world better than Greece, for there is no champion 

"The Story of Bioultach. 37 

at all, who is a good man, that it is not in Greece 
he is, in company with the king." 

Bioultach took leave of the king, and raised his 
ship with him, and stopped not till he came to 
Greece. The King of Greece was on a height 
(above the sea), and with him a pair of champions 
his own son, Splendour, and Splendour-of-the- 
Sun, son of the King of the Castle of the Stream. 

" Go down," said the king to Splendour-of-the- 
Sun, "and bring me word who is the champion 
that has come in without permission." 

He went down at the command of the king, 
and saluted the man in the ship. Said he, " The 
king has sent me to get word who you are." 

" Well, I never took from my ship word to 
give you, unless you get it from me by force." 

" I would get it if I had you here." 

" I will be there now, but I must secure my 
ship, that neither storm nor sun may hurt her." 

Bioultach went out, and he and the man on 
shore took hold of each other. Bioultach threw 
him and tied him tightly, and he fastened the five 
knots together, and threw him behind him. The 
king was looking on. 

" Go down, Splendour, son of the King of 
Greece," said he, "and bring me word who is 
the champion that has tied the other man." 

The son of the King of Greece went down, and 
he and Bioultach took hold of each other, and 

38 The Story of Bioultach. 

Bioultach threw him and tied him more tightly 
than the other, and laid him along with him. 
The king had nothing for it but to send a mes- 
senger down with a branch of green yew. When 
Bioultach saw the yew coming, he loosed the men, 
and the messengers bade him come with them to 
the palace. Bioultach went with them, and he 
spent a day and a year with the King of Greece, 
learning everything the king could teach him, and 
the king never asked who he was or 'whence he 
came. But at the end of a year the king asked, 

cc It were good to me to know your name. It 
was not good to me to put any telling on you ; 
but now I have a desire you should tell me who 
you are." 

" Oh, I will tell you, and a thousand welcomes. 
If you asked me at first I would have told you. 
Bioultach am I, son of the High King of Erin, 
who left my father's court and pleasant home, 
since I thought little of the learning he was giving 
me, and I spent a year with the King of Spain 
before I came here." 

Bioultach had a brother, who was but little 
when he went away. When he grew big he 
asked the king, 

" Dada, where went my brother ? " 

" I know not," said the king. u I never found 
out, either by praying or by paying." 

" Why did he go away ? " 

The Story of Bioultach. 39 

cc Because he thought little of the learning I was 
giving him." 

" I give you the quarters of heaven, of the earth, 
and of the sea, against my body and my soul, that 
a second night I will not sleep in one bed, that a 
second meal at the one table I will not eat, till I 
go in search of him." 

" Oh, my son, evil is the oath you have taken, 
and it were better for you to stay in Erin, nor 
leave it altogether without an heir." 

" More to me is my brother than all Erin." 

When Maunus arose in the morning he took 
leave of his father, and went down to the sea, and 
went on board ship, and stopped not till he came 
to Spain. He spent a day and a year there. The 
king asked him, 

" Whence are you ? I would like to get word 
of you." 

" Oh, you will get it. Maunus am I, son 
of the High King of Erin, who left the court and 
pleasant home of my father a year since, yesterday, 
to search for my brother, Bioultach." 

" Oh," said the king, " Bioultach spent a day 
and year with me here, and if he is alive he is 
with the King of Greece." 

" I will wait no longer till I see him." 

c< Oh," said the king, " if you reach Greece, do 
not rise in without permission, for you have no 
knowledge how to handle a sword." 

40 The Story of Bioultach. 

When Maunus came to Greece he ran in without 
permission. The King of Greece was out of 
doors, and Bioultach and Splendour, son of the 
King of Greece, and Splendour-of-the-Sun, son of 
the King of the Castle of the Stream. 

c< Oh, Bioultach, to-day it is three years and a 
day since you landed, and since then not a ship 
has come in without permission, and a ship has 
come in without permission to-day. Go down, 
Splendour-of-the-Sun, and get me knowledge who 
is the champion." 

" By my soul, I will not go. Three years from 
to-day Bioultach tied me, and I have never been 
well since then." 

" Go down, Splendour, and bring me word who 
is the champion." 

" I will not go. It was not I whom you told 
to go at first. If it were, I would have gone." 

" I believe it is I myself must go." 

Splendour-of-the-Sun went down, and he and 
the man on board the ship saluted each other. 
u Whether you are of the noble or ignoble of 
the world, whence are you ? " 

"Never from my ship have I given tidings to 
tell of me till they were got from me by force." 

" Oh ! I would do that same if I had you here." 

" Oh ! it is soon I will be there ; but I must 
secure my ship, that sun may not burn nor 
shingle hurt her." 

The Story of Eioultach. 41 

Maunus went out, and the two champions took 
hold of each other. Maunus threw the other, 
and as he never wrestled with a man before, this 
is what he made with him a ball, and he threw 
him behind him. 

" Oh ! " said the king, " Splendour, go down 
now ; he is killed yonder." 

Splendour, son of the King of Greece, went 
down, and Maunus tied him as he did the other 
man; and the king cried to Bioultach, "Thy 
friendship and thy fealty ; let not the sway from 
Greece, for I have no other but you." 

" If you asked me at first I would have gone." 

"If I had twelve sons I would send them 
before you." 

"I will go now." 

Bioultach went down, and he and Maunus 
saluted each other. 

" Of the noble or ignoble of the world, whence 
are you ? " 

" I never from my ship gave tidings to tell of 
me, unless you take them by force." 

c < I will take them if I can." 

Bioultach and Maunus caught hold of each 

other, and they spent a long part of the day, and 

neither of them threw the other. Said Bioultach, 

c To me it is not good at all to be like this. Let 

us get swords for each." 

4 To me it is no worse, if to you it is fine." 

42 The Story of Bioultach. 

" It were good to me if you would tell me who 
you are." 

" I will not tell you. But if you desire to fight, 
you will get that." 

" It is not good to me to be fighting with you." 

cc Well, I will not tell you who I am." 

Bioultach got a sword, and Maunus another, 
and they went fighting. Bioultach was wounding 
him with the sword, as Maunus did not know 
how to use it. 

" It is not good to me to wound you, and it 
were good to me if you would tell me who you 
are. I could have killed you twice ; but it is 
anguish on me to kill you." 

" Well, I never held a sword until to-day, and 
if I am wounded my skill increases ; and do not 
spare me, as I will not spare you if I get one 
chance at you." 

They fought for another while. 

" Oh ! it was good to me," said Bioultach, " you 
should tell me who you are, for I do not find it 
in my heart to be fighting with you." 

" Oh," said Maunus, " is it not great the asking 
you have after my name ? But do you tell me 
who you are." 

" Oh, I have not hidden my name, ever. Bioul- 
tach am I, son of the High King of Erin, who left 
my father's court and pleasant home four years 
and a day since, yesterday." 

"The Story of Bioultach. 43 

" Well," said Maunus, " had you a brother ? " 

" I had never but one brother, and sorry I am 
he is not so big as you yet." 

" Whether he is big or little, it is he that has 
been fighting with you since morning." 

"Oh," said Bioultach, "it cannot be that you 
are Maunus." 

They embraced one another, and Bioultach 
was weeping and kissing his brother. When the 
King of Greece came in among the men " Oh, 
Bioultach, what ails you ? " 

" My king and my lord, I am fighting with 
my 'brother since morning"; and if I killed him, 
I would do nothing but put my sword through 
my heart." 

" Oh, Bioultach, did you not know there was 
not another man able to fight with you but he ? " 

" I thought he was not yet so big." 

That was the time Maunus loosed the men, 
and they were only just alive. The king took 
them all with him Bioultach and Maunus, and 
Splendour son of the King of Greece, and 
Splendour-of-the-Sun. They went to the court 
of the High King of Greece. 

Bioultach rose in the morning, and he and 
Maunus went into the garden, and he began to 
ask Maunus how were his father and his mother 
and his sister, and how was Erin. But the High 
King of Greece had a daughter, and she was in 

44 The Story of Bioultach. 

a cloister in the garden. Maunus saw her going 
by, as a whiz of wind would go. " Oh, Bioultach, 
do you see that beautiful woman ? " 

" I do not see. She does not concern us. 
Perhaps she will never come by again." 

" Oh, Bioultach, I have never seen a woman as 
beautiful as she." 

" Well, you can see her no more. She goes 
by only once in a year." 

" I shall not live if I don't get another sight of 

" Oh ! I am sorry I ever saw you ; but if you 
had an hour of her company you would ask no 
more ? " 

" I would not ask." 

Bioultach turned a key in the door, and let in 
Maunus, who spent two hours and a-half inside. 

" Maunus, are you coming out ? " 

" Did you not promise me an hour ? " 

" I have given you two hours and a-half. Be 
coming out now." 

" I will not come. But I must get that woman 
in marriage, or I will not leave a head on you 
or on the king." 

" Oh, wait patiently till I tell you who she is." 

" Make haste and ask her of the king." 

Bioultach went in and threw himself on his 
knees before the king. " Bioultach," said the 
king, ct what is it you want P It cannot be that 

The Story of Bioultach. 45 

it is that hard-fortuned daughter of mine that 
Maunus has seen." 

" Oh, it is she ; and he says that unless he gets 
her in marriage he will not leave a head on your- 
self or on me." 

" Can this be possible ? But bid him to come 
in that I may see him and tell him of her doings, 
and if he is content I will give her to him, and 
a thousand welcomes; but let him have neither 
blame nor censure for me or you." 

Bioultach went out to Maunus. 

c< Ha, Bioultach, have you got the woman ? " 

" I have got. But rise and come to the king, 
and he will tell you how she has lived." 

Maunus went in to the king. 

" Ha, Maunus, have you seen that beautiful 
woman ? " 

"I have seen." 

"You say you must get her in marriage?" 

" I must, or I will not leave a stone in the 
place of your court." 

" Well, sit down," said the king, " and I will 
tell you everything now. 

<c When she was growing up there came Bocaw 
More, of Kri-na-Sorracha, otherwise Shamus Ele- 
vayreh, son of the King of Sorracha, and he saw 
her. He came and asked her in marriage. I 
refused him. He came again and asked her 
and I refused. He came the third time and 

46 'The Story of Bioultach. 

she would not marry him. He told her he 
would be even with her. It was well till 
two years were over her, and Blue Niall, son of 
the King of Spain, came here and asked her in 

" I told him what I am telling you. He said 
he was content with her. It was well till they 
were married, and when they went into their 
chamber, she never saw sight of him again, nor 
did any one else. It was very well till a year 
passed, and there came Feathery * Clerk, son of 
the King of the Western World, and asked her 
in marriage. I told him what I told the other 
man. He said he was content with her. When 
they were married and went to sleep, there was 
no getting him. She was in the bed, but there 
was no husband with her. She would not tell 
where he went, and we doubted that he could 
have gone and she not to know where. When 
I saw the two fine men were destroyed through 
her, there came on me a dislike to her, and I 
made her a dwelling in the garden, and put re- 
strictions on her not to see a man, for I did 
not like that another man should be destroyed 
by her. But now, if you are satisfied, and your 
brother, so that there will not be blame or censure 
with you for me if anything happens, I will give 
her to you and welcome. Now, Bioultach, I will 
* Or Left-handed. The Irish word means both. 

Story of Bioultach. 47 

make a house, and I will put bars of iron on it 
from ground to roof, and I will put three iron 
doors in it, and seven locks on every door, I will 
put eight hundred men round it, and Splendour, 
my own son, and Splendour-of-the-Sun, and your- 
self at the three doors before Maunus goes in." 

When they were married, and were going into 
the fastness, Bioultach said to the king, " I think 
it is on the outside the danger will come first, and 
I would not like any one to be destroyed but 
myself; I will go on the outer side entirely.'* 

Maunus and his wife went in, and the men 
were planted round about the house. Bioultach 
went on the outside altogether. The day grew 
big with lightning and thunder, and horror came 
on the day. When Bioultach saw that the men 
were frightened, he ran through them till he came 
to the door. He gave his shoulder to the door, 
and from door to door he broke till he came 
inside. The woman was in bed, and Maunus 
was not with her. 

" Ha ! my good girl, where is my brother 
Maunus gone ? " 

" I do not know." 

a Tell me where he is gone, quickly." 

cc Have sense." 

<c Tell me at once where he is gone." 

" Oh, you will never see Maunus again." 

" I give you the quarters of heaven, of the 

48 The Story of Bioultach. 

earth, and of the sea, against my body and my 
soul, that unless you tell me this moment where 
he is gone I will put my sword through your 

" Oh, Bioultach, your friendship and your pro- 
tection ! I cannot. But, if you are the good 
champion they say, take a table and place it 
yonder ; strip yourself, and leave on you nothing 
but your shirt and trousers. Stand on the table 
and defend that hole above. If a bar had been 
put there at first, it would have done the business. 
But take with you a sword, and I will say you 
are a good champion if you defend the hole, and 
I will tell you where Maunus is gone." 

Bioultach stripped himself, and went on the 
table and took a sword. When the man above 
saw the woman was going to tell the story, " Ha ! 
my good girl," said he, " are you going to tell 
the story ? " 

ct Oh ! don't heed him," said Bioultach ; " but 
tell the story, and be quick." 

" Short is the time since Maunus was here, and 
now he is in the Bake-house in the east, and three 
drops on him of the molten torrent, as he had 
three warnings." 

" Oh ! you thief, you wanton, do you desire to 
tell the story ? " 

cc My good girl," said Bioultach, " I will defend 

'The Story of Eioultach. 49 

" When I was growing up," said the woman, 
"he asked me in marriage. My father refused 
him three times ; and even if he accepted him, 
I would not marry him. He said he would be 
even with me. When Blue Niall married me he 
took him away, and put on him one drop of the 
molten torrent, as he had one warning. When, 
again, I was married to Feathery Clerk, he took 
him away with him, and put on him two drops, 
as he had two warnings." 

" Oh, you slut, go on with the story no farther ! " 
said the big man. 

" Do not fear," said Bioultach, " go on." 

" As Maunus got three warnings, on him there 
are three drops, and each drop goes to the bone." 

It was at this time the king came in through 
the men, and he saw Bioultach all red with blood. 

" Oh, Bioultach," said he, " you are killed ! " 

" I am not. I am coloured with the blood of 
the giant, but on myself there is no harm." 

" You are a good man, Bioultach," said the 
woman ; " I did not believe there was a man in 
the world would fight the giant. Now you can 
come down." 

Bioultach sat down till he told the king. CC I 
do not know what you will do," said the king. 
" But I will get ready a ship, and put on board 
eight hundred men of the pick of my kingdom, 
and the two champions along with you ; and, on 


50 The Story of 'Bioultach. 

my honour, it is worse to me to part with you 
than with them all." 

The king fitted out the ship, and he put on board 
the two champions and the eight hundred men, 
along with Bioultach. When Bioultach went on 
board the ship they raised their great sails, speckled, 
spotted, red- white, to the top of the mast ; and 
he left not a rope unsevered, nor a helm without 
* * * * % * j n {-fog pl ace where there were seals, 
whales, crawling, creeping things, little beasts of 
the sea with red mouth, rising on the sole and the 
palm of the oar, making fairy music and melody 
for themselves, till the sea arose in strong waves, 
hushed with magic, hushed with wondrous voices ; 
with greatness and beauty was the ship sailing, 
till to haven she came and harbour on the coast 
of the Land of Brightness. 

That was the first place where the giant had his 
habitation. Bioultach and the two champions 
went out on the shore. " I don't know what we 
shall do," said Bioultach ; <c but stay, I see a small 
little boat coming under great rowing, and in it I 
see but one man." 

When the boat came to land, there came out 
of her a ragged green man, the top of whose 
head was out through his old hat, the toes of 
his feet through his old boots, his elbows out 
through his coat, and his knees through his old 

The Story of Bioultach. 5 1 

" Ha, Bioultach, what likeness of adventure are 
you putting on yourself to-day ? " 

" Bad luck on you ! isn't it the same to you 
what likeness of adventure I am putting on my- 
self? " said Bioultach. 

" Oh, it is not equal. If I were as good as I 
might be, I should be beside you. But to-day let 
me go before you." 

" I will let you and welcome." 

"Leave the other men on board the ship, and 
we will go to see the giant. I will throw him, 
and we'll see if you can tie him. But, sorry I am, 
I can do nothing but throw him." 

Bioultach and the ragged green man went into 
the house, and when the giant saw them he was 
about to be away. The ragged green man caught 
him and threw him. Bioultach took hold of him 
and tied him tightly, and brought the five slenders 
together, so that the toes of his feet gave conver- 
sation to the holes of his ears, and no conversation 
did they give him but the height of mischief and 

" Take might and mastery, Bioultach ; I thought 
there was not a man in the world able to tie him." 

'"Oh, Bioultach," said the giant, "tightly, tightly 
have you tied me ; ease the fastening a little at 
the knot." 

"Oh, Bioultach," said the ragged green man, "it 
is better to sell than to buy." 

52 T'he Story of Bioultach. 

"Oh, Bioultach," said the giant, "do not heed 
that thief, but ease the fastening on the cord." 

Bioultach laid his hand on the rope, to ease the 
knot, and out with the giant through the window, 
and out with Bioultach after him. When the 
giant was high, Bioultach was low, till the night 
came, and Bioultach was forced to sit down, and 
he wept his fill. He saw a little light far from 
him, and he made for it. When he came in (to 
the house) there was a big cat in the ashes, and 
she got up and smothered him with the ashes. 

" May you be worse a year from to-day," said 
he ; and he sat down. It was not long till an old 
woman came down to. him. 

" Ha, Bioultach, it had been better for you to 
follow the counsel of the ragged green man than 
your own." 

" Bad luck to you ! Isn't it all the same to 
you whose counsel I follow ? " 

<c Oh ! it is not the same to me. Not on your 
own feet are you going since morning, but on the 
enchantments of the giant, and he is sailing a day 
and a year's journey from you. But I have here a 
little boat of lead, and I will give it to you, and in 
whatever place, in the four quarters of the world, 
you order it to be, there it will be in the morning, 
But you will grant me a request, if you come safe ; 
and, if you do not come, I will forgive you." 

She gave him a tablecloth : " Every time you 

The Story of Bioultach. 53 

spread it, there will be every kind of food and 
drink on it ; and fold it when you are done." 

" Oh, I will give you any request you ask, if 
I come safe." 

There came then from a room twelve * hags, 
the ugliest man ever saw. 

" Oh, the death-bands on you ! " said Bioultach. 

"Oh, Bioultach," said the hag, "on us before 
this was the beauty of youth, but now the decay 
of age, as on yourself it will yet be. But I hope 
you will get the better of the giant." 

Bioultach took the little boat. " Now, Bioul- 
tach, the sea is not far from you. Place the boat 
on the water, and ask of God and the miracles 
of the leaden boat that in whatever place is the 
Bocaw More of the Land of Sorracha you may be 
there at morning." 

Bioultach placed the boat on the water. "I 
ask of God and the miracles of the leaden boat 
that in whatever place is the Bocaw More I may 
be there at morning." 

When the day whitened Bioultach was in front 
of an island, and the haven took fire around him 
and the boat began to melt. He saw the ragged 
green man rising from a stone, and he rubbing his 
eyes after a while of sleeping. 

" Oh, Bioultach, you are badly off now, and I 
must make a gallon to put out the flame." 

* Eleven would apparently be the correct number. 

54 The Story of Bioultach. 

" If I am here till you make a gallon, I shall be 

" I shall not be long away." 

It was not long till he came. He threw three 
palmfuls of water on the flame and put it out. 

cc Ha, Bioultach, I hope you will not let the 
giant go to-day. He has no expectation that we 
will come to-day." 

When they went in the giant was about to be 
off; but the ragged green man caught him and 
threw him. Bioultach caught him and tied him 
well, better than he tied him the day before." 

<c Oh, Bioultach, you have tied me more tightly 
to-day than yesterday ; but ease the tie a little." 

"It is better to sell than to buy," said the 
ragged green man. 

" Oh, if you are the son of a king by a queen, 
ease the knot. I am not asking you to set me 

Bioultach laid his hand to ease him, and away 
with the giant through the window, and away 
with Bioultach after him. He was but foolish to 
seek to get a hold of him. When the night fell 
Bioultach spread his tablecloth, and every sort of 
food and drink he wanted was upon it. He ate 
a great plenty, and he took the boat up. He laid 
it on the water. " I ask of God and the miracles 
of my boat that in whatever place is the Bocaw 
More I may be there in the morning." 

The Story of Bioultach. 55 

He was opposite an island, and the haven froze 
round him. It was not long till he saw the 
ragged green man coming from the side of a 
stone, and he rubbing his eyes. 

cc Oh, Bioultach, are you frozen there ? " 

"And here I shall stay." 

"Oh, you will not stay. I will go to the forge 
and make an axe to break the (ice)." 

He came back, and an axe with him. They 
broke the stone of ice. Bioultach came out. 
" Now, Bioultach, as we have come on two days 
unknown to the giant, he will send out two ball 
players, with hurls of gold and balls of silver ; 
you will think they are the two champions you 
left behind at the Island of the Torrent. If any 
limb of their limbs touches you, or the ball, you 
are a grey flagstone, and over you heaps of ice 
and snow, as big as if you were there for a 
hundred years." 

When they went up, he saw the two champions 
coming. It seemed to him it was Splendour 
and Splendour-of-the-Sun were there. They 
ran to him, and he was running to them in his 
delight. The ragged green man threw them, so 
that they failed. They took out the ball. A 
man of them struck the ball a blow, and it was 
coming straight to Bioultach. He put up his 
hand to keep off the ball from his eye. He was 
struck on the palm of the hand, and he fell, and 

56 The Story of Eioultach. 

became a grey flagstone, and a holly tree growing 
through him. When the ragged green man saw 
that he was destroyed, he bowed down and wept 
his fill ; then he went back to the Island of the 

" Oh," said the men to him, " is it not long 
that you have been within ? But where is 

" Oh ! go ye home. Bioultach is destroyed ; 
he is away from you, a day and a year's voyage 
before you could reach him. He is a grey flag- 
stone, and over him are heaps of ice and snow." 

"We will not go home ever. We have no 
business at home, but we will be travelling till we 
get as far as he is." 

" Do ye think that together ye could tie the 
giant ? " 

"Oh, I do not know." 

" Well, I will bring you there in the space of 
an hour." 

He took them with him as far as Bioultach, till 
they saw him and wept together. 

u Let us go in to see the Bocaw More." 

When they went in he was conversing with 
his wife. 

" Oh ! you have come, and your help is not 
with you." 

" Perhaps you are not a better man than my 

The Story of Bioultach. 57 

The ragged green man caught him and threw 
him. The two champions went to tie him, and 
he failed them. He sat down. 

" Oh, musha, the death-bands on you both ! 
Am I not sorry that ever I left harbour or haven 
with you ? If you two tied him, I would keep a 
knee on him, and Bioultach would be alive to me 
at the end of an hour." 

" Oh, I think that I could tie him by myself." 

The ragged green man threw him, and the two 
champions went and tied him tightly. 
. " Oh ! ease the knot on me a little." 

" You thief! we will not ease." 

" Oh, it is the good champions you are," said 
the ragged green man ; " I did not think it was 
possible to tie him ; but. you shall see yourselves 
that I shall have Bioultach now." 

He turned to the giant and cut fine pieces of 
his flesh, till he had the full of his hands, and 
he ran and squeezed the flesh down on the stone, 
and Bioultach arose alive again. They smothered 
him with kisses and drowned him with tears, and 
dried him with fine cloths silken, and with the 
hair of their heads ; and when Bioultach stooped 
under the door, the tree that was growing on him 

" Oh, Bioultach," said the giant, cc tightly, tightly 
it is they have tied me ; but do you ease the tie 
a little. ' 

58 The Story of Eioultach. 

"Oh, you thief!" said Bioultach, "I will not 
ease ; but tell me where is Maunus? " 

cc Oh ! he is in the Bake-house outside there." 

" How shall I get him out ? " 

" I will put out the flame with a whiff." 

Bioultach pulled the giant out, till he quenched 
the flame and Maunus came out. 

cc Where are the other two ? " 

" They are inside," said the giant. 

" Bring them to me," said Bioultach. 

They came out both. 

" Can it be lighted when it is empty ? " said 

<c Oh, it can," said the giant. 

" Kindle it," said Bioultach. 

The giant put three whiffs on it, and kindled it. 

" Well, I put yourself into it now, and three 
drops on you for ever." 

cc Oh ! Bioultach," said the ragged green man, 
" I will forgive you all that ever you did for 
putting the giant in. I was afraid you would not 
put him. But a thousand thanks to God that we 
have escaped him." 

Bioultach got healing water till he cured them ; 
and they went on their way till they came to the 
Island of the Torrent, where the eight hundred 
men were on board the vessel. 

" Oh ! I believe I have forgotten. I did not go 
to the hag. I must go to her now." 

The Story of Bioultach. 59 

" Will you let me with you ? " said the ragged 
green man. 

" I will let you, and welcome. Let us leave 
the men here ! " 

Bioultach and the ragged green man went as 
far as the hag. When Bioultach went into the 
house, the cat put seven barrels of ashes out of 
her skin. 

"Oh, may you be worse a year from to-day! 
you are gathering all that since I went away." 

Thereupon he sat down, and he did not know 
where the ragged green man was gone. It was not 
long till there came to him a beautiful woman, 
as beautiful as ever he saw, and she said, 

" Oh, Bioultach, thy hundred thousand wel- 
comes ! Good be with you. A thousand thanks 
to God that you accomplished the object of your 

"Oh, what good is it to me, when the hag 
has a request to make of me ? " 

"Oh, good was the hag herself in the time 
of your difficulty." 

" Oh, I know it is myself she is asking to marry 
her," said Bioultach. 

" Oh ! are you certain ? " said she. 

" Well, I would rather put the sword through 
my heart than marry her, after seeing you or the 
like of you." 

" Oh ! Bioultach, you have your choice. I am 

60 The Story of Bioultach. 

the woman who has the request to make ; and 
I will release you and bestow on you the boat for 
ever, marry or marry me not." 

cc Oh ! I will marry you, and a thousand wel- 
comes. But I don't know where my comrade is 
gone. The old clothes that were on him are like 
those I see thrown yonder." 

" Oh, you will see him, presently." 

There came to him eleven women, and he could 
not say which of them was the most beautiful. 
They sat down, and each one of them gave him 
welcome. There came a gentleman, who was 
the handsomest he ever saw, and took him by the 

"A hundred thousand welcomes to you, 
Bioultach ! I am Keeal-an-Iaran, son of the King 
of Underwaves, who was under bonds to the 
Bocaw More ; and my twelve sisters were hags, 
as you saw ; and I without power to wear any but 
old clothes, as you saw. Nor could I raise a hand 
against him. But when I saw you coming, I 
heard there was not a man to be got as good 
as you, and I said it was possible we might get 
the better of him. But we would not get the 
better of him for ever, only that you let him out 
each time. But, the thief! that was the thing was 
worst for himself. And now I will go with you 
till I leave you safe at home ; and my sister, if she 
is your choice. And if she is not, she will forgive 

The Story of Bioultach. 61 

you, and a thousand welcomes, as we are released 
from the hole in the earth where you saw us." 

<c Oh, I will marry my own wife, and will take 
her home." 

Bioultach, and Keeal-an-Iaran, and the woman 
went on board the leaden boat till they came to 
the Island of the Torrent, and they took the eight 
hundred men and Maunus into the leaden boat. 
They took Splendour, son of the King of Greece, 
Splendour-of-the-Sun, son of the King of the 
Castle of the Stream, Blue Niall, son of the King 
of Spain, and Feathery Clerk, son of the King 
of the Western World, on board the leaden 
boat. The prow to sea they turned, the stern to 
shore, and they hoisted the great sails, etc., till 
they came to haven and harbour on the coast of 

The King of Greece was out walking when 
he saw the hosts making for the court, and he 
recognised Bioultach. 

"Oh, my daughter," said he, " there are three 
husbands coming to you alive now ; I don't know 
to which of them you will be." 

" Oh, I do not know," said the daughter. 

Bioultach came, and all the champions, to the 
court, and the man of welcome was before them 
in the king. They passed the night, a third in 
story-telling, a third in conversation, and a third 
in soft sleep and deep slumber. 

62 The Story of Bioultach. 

When Maunus arose he asked where was his wife. 

" Oh, she is not your wife," said Blue Niall, 
" but she is my wife." 

" Oh, she is my wife," said Feathery Clerk. 

By the laws of the land she belonged to Blue 

" Well," said Maunus, " I will make laws for 
myself. Any man who will not go for a day and 
a year into the Bake-house, and suffer three drops 
of the molten torrent, he shall not get the woman. 
But any man of you two who goes there, he must 
get the woman and welcome." 

" Oh, we will not go there, as we have got our- 
selves out of it." 

" I will go for a year," said Maunus, a but I 
must get the woman when I come back." 

" Oh, we will bestow her on you, but you will 
not go there, nor any one else that we can keep 
out of it." 

Maunus got the wife ; and they prepared a 
month's fire and a year's embers, till he and the 
daughter of the High King of Greece were married 
together ; and they spent a fortnight after the 
month in celebrating the wedding with every sort 
of sport and play. When everything was ended, 
and each champion was going to his own home, 
Bioultach said, 

" I believe it is good and right for me to go 
home to see Erin, and my father and mother." 

'The Story of Bioultach. 63 

" Oh, you are settled now." 

"Oh," said Keeal-an-Iaran, "I will go with 
you to see you and my sister in your home." 

When Bioultach arose early, full of brightness, 
he rubbed palm to poll and palm to forehead, to 
let it be seen that he, as a lion in his valour, was 
the best in spirit, in beauty, and in courage. He 
went down to the sea, with his wife and her 
brother. They bade farewell to the king and the 
nobles of the court, and went on board the leaden 
boat. And they hoisted their great sails, etc., till 
to haven they came and harbour at Binn Edin Vik 
Shanla, the place where the first ship ever came 
to Erin. 

They found the ford, I the stepping-stones. 
They were drowned, and I came safe. 


Narrator, P. M'GRALE, AchilL 

was a king in Erin, whose name 
A was King Mananaun. He was the king 
of druidism and enchantments and devilscraft. 
A daughter was born to him, whose name was 
Pampogue, and she had twelve women attending 
her, and twelve maids serving her. There was 
another king in Erin, whose name was King 
Keeluch, and to him was born a son, whose name 
was Kaytuch. He took the son to the old wise 
man, and asked him where he should put his son 
to learn druidism and devilscraft, so that neither 
man nor weapon should get victory over him. 
The old wise man told him to put him with 
King Mananaun ; that he was the best man of 
druidism to be found. " And a year from this 
night" (said he) " there was a daughter born to 
him, and there are twelve women attending her, 
and twelve maids serving her, and his son would 

have the same." 


King Mananaun. 65 

There was a third king, whose name was Londu, 
son of the King of Gur, and to him a son was 
born ; and he also went to the wise old man to 
ask him where was the best place to put his son 
to learn druidism and devilscraft, and the wise old 
man told him to put him with King Mananaun. 

The three were going to school together when 
Pampogue was sixteen years old, Kaytuch fifteen, 
and Londu fourteen. They were coming home 
from school, and they went into the smith's 
forge ; and Kaytuch took a bar of iron and 
twisted it in his hand, and he threw it to Londu, 
and told him to straighten it. And he took a 
nail and asked the other prince what he would 
take to leave his hand on the anvil, and to leave 
the nail on his hand, and a blow of the great 
sledge-hammer to be struck on the nail ; and (the 
other) said he would give it, if he would allow 
him a blow without defence in the first battle 
between them ; and Kaytuch said he would allow 
it, and he drove the nail through the palm of 
Londu into the anvil. And she laughed, and 
went out and home to her father's house. 

When the smith saw what was done in the 
forge he asked Londu what he would give him 
to loose him. He said that he was a poor gentle- 
man, but that if he ever came into his heirship 
he would give him. the price of his service. The 
smith took hammering with him, and hammered 


66 King Mananaun. 

at the top of the nail, and he put something under 
the palm and raised it up. He went to the house 
of the king and said not a word ; but the king 
knew all. 

In the morning the king wrote to their fathers, 
and bade them come to dinner the next day ; and 
the two kings came and consumed the feast, 
and asked was it gold or silver was wanting to 
him ? if it was they would give it. And he said 
it was not, but that there was a dispute between 
their two sons, and he would like them to settle 
it. u And I know" (said he) "it is jealousy is the 
cause." The fathers said that whatever he would 
do they were satisfied. "I will open the doors, 
and I will put the three inside. Let one man 
come out by one door, and the other man by the 
other door, and whichever of them she follows, 
let her be his." 

When the fathers were gone he put the three 
into the house and opened the doors, and she 
followed Kaytuch. When Londu went out he 
saw Kaytuch, and asked if he remembered that 
he had a blow without defence to get on him in 
their first battle. Kaytuch said, in his opinion 
this was no battle. 

fc No battle at all is there greater than a fight 
ibout a woman." 

Kaytuch dropped his hands, and Londu drew 
his sword, and cut the head off him. Londu 

King Mananaun. 67 

asked her, "Will you take me now he is dead? " 
She refused, and said she would not marry him. 
She took Kaytuch and put him in a box, and 
herbs of the hill about him. She went then 
and fitted out a ship great and gallant, till she 
raised the great sails, speckled, spotted, as long, 
as high as the top of the mast ; and she left not 
a rope without breaking, an oar without tearing, 
with the crawling, creeping creatures, the little 
beasts, the great beasts of the deep sea coming' 
up on the handle and blade of the oar, till she let 
two thirds (of the sail) go, and one third held in, 
till the eels were whistling, the froth down, and 
the sand above ; till she overtook the red wind 
of March that was before her, and the red wind 
of March that was after did not overtake her ; 
and she was sailing nine months before she came 
to land. 

She came near land and cast anchor, and 
she saw two men coming, and they carrying 
a dead man with them. In the morning the 
three were going, and in the evening two were 
coming, carrying the dead man again, and it 
was like that for three days. One of the men 
went out in a currach, and asked her who she 
was, or what she was seeking. "If it's a 
husband that's wanting to you, come and you 
will get one." 

She told him to be off, or she would sink 

68 King Mananaun. 

himself and his old currach.* He went and told 
his brothers how she spoke, and the second of 
them went and she said the like to him. Said 
the third man "it is like this I have ever found 
you." He went out himself and spoke to her, 
and said " God save you, young maiden ! Is it 
harm for me to ask who you are, or how far you 
are going." 

" I will tell you. But will you tell me ? Every 
evening there are two carrying a dead man, and 
three go away alive in the morning." 

cc I will tell you that, young queen^ and wel- 
come. When my father and mother were living 
my father was a king, and when he died, there 
came Fawgawns and Blue-men on us, and banished 
us out of two islands ; and we are on the top of 
the third island with them, and as many of them 
as we kill are alive to fight us again in the 
morning ; and every day they kill one of us, and 
we bring him to life again with the healing 

"With me is a champion, the best that ever 
struck blow with sword ; and I promise you his 
help for a day if you bring him to life." 

The man went in, and brought the healing 
water, and rubbed it to the wound ; and Kaytuch 

* Aararax : an old-fashioned currach, without pointed bow 
a square box said to have been used in Achill within the 
memory of men now living. 

King Mananaun. 69 

arose alive again ; and he rubbed his eyes with 
his hands and said cc Great was the sleep that was 
on me " ; and she laughed and told him every- 
thing from the time the young king cut his head 
off. "I took you on board ship, and we were 
sailing for nine months before we came here ; and 
I promised your help for a day to this man if he 
would bring you to life ; but you will not go for 
a month until you grow strong." 

So he and she spent the night together a third 
in talking, a third in story-telling, and a third in 
soft rest and deep slumber, till the whiteness of 
the day came upon the morrow. 

Then he arose and washed his hands and face 
and ate his breakfast, and went out on the island 
and came to the house, and asked where they gave 
battle. Said they to him : " If you were a good 
champion you would have searched the place, and 
you would know in what place they give battle." 

That made him angry, and he went away 
and followed the little path that led from the 
house. He did not go far when he saw the 
blackness of the hill with people coming towards 
him. He ran through them as runs a hawk 
through flocks of wild birds, or a hound through 
flocks of sheep, till he made a heap of their 
heads, a heap of their feet, and a heap of their 
arms and clothes. They would be a prize for 
him if he thought them any good. 

jo King Mananaun. 

He stretched himself among the dead to see 
who else was coming. He was not long stretched 
before he saw an old man and an old woman 
coming, and a pot and a feather with them ; and 
they threw a dash on the men on this side and 
that, and they (were) rising alive like midges. He 
told them to make no more alive till he killed 
those they had brought to life. He killed every 
one of them, and the old man and the old woman; 
and the old woman put him under bond to tell 
the hag of the church that he had killed the Hag 
of Slaughter and Slaughter himself. He went 
with himself along the road till he met with a 
tall, toothless, rusty hag. He asked her if she 
was the hag of the church ; she said it was she. 
" I give you notice that I have killed the Hag of 
Slaughter and Slaughter himself/' She gave him 
a hundred welcomes, and she told him she had 
been three years in hell to learn druidism and 
devilscraft ; for it was foretold her that he would 
come against them that way. 

" Go home, and I forgive you." He said he 
would not go. Said she to him, " Use your 
sword." He drew a blow of the sword at her 
and struck her, and there was a dint in the sword 
that spoiled it for striking, and he put it up in 
the sheath. 

cc I forgive you now, and go home." He 
said he would not go. " Throw me into a ho]e 

King Mananaun. 71 

of water." He threw her; and she was three 
quarters of an hour in the hole, and he on top 
of her to keep her down. She got up as fresh 
as she was before he threw her down. 

" I forgive you, Kaytuch." 

" I forgive not you." 

" Throw me down into a pot of brimstone." 

He threw her ; and she was three quarters of 
an hour in it. She arose as fresh as she was at 
first. "I forgive you now." 

" I forgive not you. Defend yourself now." 

He drew his sword on her and struck her, but 
there was no good in the sword. She put her 
hands over and took hold of his skin, and put 
her nails into his blood, and took the full of her 
fist of his flesh with her. He was about to give 
up, when the bird spoke to him, to pull her head 
from its roots. He leaped high, and stood on 
her shoulders, and took hold of her head, and 
pulled it from its roots. She put druidism on 
him then. " Tell the Lamb of Luck that you 
have killed the Hag of Slaughter and Slaughter 
himself and the Hag of the Church." 

He went along the path, and he came to a great 
field, and in the field was nothing but a tree, and 
a big rock of stone, and the lamb. "Are you 
the Lamb of Luck ? " 

"I am." 

u I give you notice I have killed the Hag of 

J2 King Mananaun. 

Slaughter and Slaughter himself and the Hag of 
the Church." 

The lamb came running to him ; and there 
came near him nothing but the wind, and he fell 
on the ground ; and when he got up he went 
to the tree, and he and the lamb were running 
round the tree. He ran from the tree, and leaped 
round the rock. It was nine perches high and 
the same in breadth. The lamb leaped through 
the rock, and put his head into it ; and when his 
head was fastened in the rock, Kaytuch came and 
cut the head off with his sword. The lamb put 
him under spells : " Tell the cat of Hoorebrike * 
that you have killed the Hag of Slaughter and 
Slaughter himself and the Lamb of Luck." He 
met the cat of Hoorebrike at the edge of a glen, 
and he asked, "Are you the cat of Hoorebrike ? " 


He struck a blow of his sword at the cat and 
split it, and when the sword went through the 
cat fastened together again. He drew a second 
blow at the cat, and split it from the snout to 
the tip of the tail, and the cat fastened again. 
When he was drawing the third blow, the cat 
leaped and put the tip- of her tail into his side, 
and there was a barb of poison at the tip of the 
tail, and it took the heart of Kaytuch out ; and 

* Explained by the narrator to mean a speckled black 
and white cat. 

King Mananaun. 73 

Kaytuch took hold of the cat, and thrust his fist 
into her mouth, and took her heart and entrails 
out in his hand, and the cat and Kaytuch fell 

And one of the three men said, "Let us rise 
out, and let us help that man." Said another of 
them, " Oh ! it was for a day ; let it be for a 
day, and him do the work of the day himself; 
that they would go to help him on the next day/' 
They rose out and went with themselves after 
him, and as they were going they found the 
slaughter made, till they came and found himself 
and the cat killed. They took hold of the heart 
and insides that were in his fist, and put them 
into his belly again. They rubbed the healing 
water on him, and he was as well as he was ever 

They went with themselves, and there came a 
gust of wind and stirred a wisp, and the cat ran 
and struck her foot on the wisp. They said it 
was the cat's heart they put into him in place 
of his own ; and one of them went forward, 
and drew his sword, and cut his head off again. 
They took the cat's heart out, and put his own 
heart in again, and rubbed the healing water on 
him, and he was as well as he was at first. 

When they came home they had a pleasant 
night three-thirds of the night : one-third in 
talking, one-third in story-telling, and a third in 

74 King Mananaun. 

soft rest and deep slumber. Then came the three 
brothers in their arms to Kaytuch, and (asked) 
him to be king in their father's place, and they 
themselves would be his messengers. He said 
he would not ask their property from them, but 
it should remain with themselves. They asked 
him to divide the property between them. He 
gave the first island to the eldest, the second 
island to the second, and the island they were on 
to the youngest son. When Kaytuch parted from 
them, they gave him everything they had as a 
present. And Kaytuch and his wife, having taken 
farewell, went from the island for Erin. 

When they came to Erin, the place where they 
made haven and harbour was beneath the house 
of Finn McCool. Finn sent one of his men and 
told him he would give him five pounds and a 
suit of clothes if he brought him word who the 
man was. Conan went and asked him, "Who 
are you ? My master sent me to see, and said 
he would give me five pounds and a suit of 
clothes for bringing him word who you are." 

Kaytuch laid hold on him and bound him, and 
threw him under the molten torrent, in a place 
where every drop would go from the fat to- the 
marrow, and from the marrow to the inmost 
marrow, and left him there. When Finn saw 
what he did, he sent Keeltje to him ; and Keeltje 
saluted him, and spoke to him politely, and asked 

King Mananaun. 75 

him to tell him, if it were his honour's pleasure, 
who he was, that he might tell Finn. 

c< Tell Finn I will be with him for dinner." 
Then he released Conan, and told him never to 
bring a message again to a gentleman. 

Then he went part of the way with his wife, 
till he put her near her father's house, and he 
returned to Finn. Then they ate their dinner, 
and they went out hunting. Kaytuch said he 
was a stranger, and that he would take a glen 
to himself. And he took a glen to himself ; and 
as he was killing, he threw the game on the road, 
until he said it was time for him to go home. 
He tied the birds together, and made a bundle 
of them, until Finn and his hosts came, and he 
told them to take up the burden, but they were 
not able to raise the burden. He put the tip of 
his boot under it, and threw it over his shoulder, 
and ran home ; and Keeltje ran after him, and 
Kaytuch had his dinner eaten when Keeltje came, 
and they were together till morning. The second 
day they went hunting, and Kaytuch went this day 
to the glen they had the day before, and they 
had had but two birds of that glen, but he had 
the same burden. And the third day the like 
happened; and on the fourth day there came a 
great mist on them, and they knew not where 
they were going, and they went into a great 
castle, and there was food on the table, and they 

King Mananaun. 

sat down and were eating; and there came the 
shadow of a woman and took away the broken 
food, and laid more food on the table until they 
had eaten enough. Then there was a bed for 
every two, and a bed for Kaytuch and a bed 
for Finn. Then the young girl herself showed 
another bed, and told the kings to go down to 
the young girl ; but Kaytuch said he had a wife 
already, but that Finn had no wife, and for him 
to go down. Finn went to her, and spoke to 
her ; and she said that if he would give her the 
amber bracelet belonging to the daughter of the 
Blauheen Bloye, in the eastern world, he could 
come into the bed to her. So he went into the 
bed, and was with her till morning. 

On the morning of the morrow Kaytuch and 
Finn went to dinner to the house of King 
Mananaun, and there was great welcome for them, 
and mighty rejoicing that Kaytuch was come back 
alive to them. They prepared a great dinner for 
them, and when it was ready they sat down to 
eat, and Finn took his knife and fork and laid 
them on the food, and said he would not eat a 
bit until Pampogue granted him a request. 

" I will grant you any request, except to let 
my husband go to fight with the Blauheen 

" Unless you grant me that, I will not eat any 

King Mananaun. 77 

cc Sooner than you should be without eating, I 
will grant you even that. ' 

And when Kaytuch saw he was to go, he rose 
and threw his knife and fork from his hands, and 
he went with himself, and Finn followed him. 
And Pampogue followed Finn, and asked of him 
one favour, to bring her husband back to her, 
dead or alive ; and if he were alive, to hoist the 
grey-green sails, and, if dead, the red. 

Kaytuch and Finn and the Feni went to go the 
land of the eastern world, to the place where was 
the Blauheen Bloye. And when they came to 
harbour they secured the ship, and Kaytuch went 
to the door of the Blauheen Bloye, and 
knocked at the Cora Conra (? the knocker), and 
he was asked what he wanted. And he said, a 
house. And they said there was a house below, 
and in it were owas, and he was to go and take it. 
He went into that house, and the big owas began 
to laugh and the little owas began to cry ; and he 
asked them the cause ; and the big owas said they 
would have a bit off him, and the little owas said 
there would not be one bit for them to get. And 
every one of them got up and put a bolt on the 
door, and he put bolt and latch on the door ; and 
he caught hold of one of the owas by the foot, 
and struck another with him, and he was killing 
till he killed the last man of them. And he 
rose out to see if Finn and his men were coming, 

78 King Mananaun. 

and they were drawing near, twelve of the Feni, 
and the twelve could not throw out one man of 
the dead men. He took hold of them and threw 
them out. 

Then he went to the criers of the kitchen, 
and knocked at the door, and was asked what he 
sought. He said he was seeking food. They 
told him to go into the field and kill an ox. He 
went and he saw a bull, and the bull ran at him, 
and he ran away, and came into the house, and 
the bull followed him in, and he ran and closed 
the two doors, and he had the bull inside. He 
killed him and skinned him, and went out to see 
if his people were coming, and they came into the 
house, but they were not able to carry a quarter of 
the bull. He put the four quarters into the skin 
and carried them home. 

He went again to the criers of the kitchen, 
and he was asked, "What are you seeking now ?" 

" I am seeking turf to make a fire." 

"There is a stack outside, and take what you 

There was devilment in everything. He ran 
and took hold of the turf stack, and put his hands 
down and pulled out some of the turf, and ran as 
well as he could, and the turf was running after 
him to the door to smother him. Then he 
knocked for the keepers of the kitchen, and asked 
them for the making of a bed, and they told him 

King Mananaun. 79 

to take what he wanted from the haggard ; and 
he went and put his back to the haggard, and 
pulled out some of the straw, and the straw 
ran after him to the door to smother him, but 
he ran from the haggard. He went again to the 
criers of the kitchen, and they asked him 
what he was looking for. He said he was 
looking for water. 

cc There is a well outside, and take what you 
want of it." 

He went to the well and put his hands into the 
water, and took up some of it with him, and 
the water was running after him in the hope of 
drowning him, but he ran from it. Then again 
he knocked for the criers of the kitchen, and 

they asked him, "What are you looking for 



" Fire," said he, " and a pot." 

" Go to the house of the owas, Oramach;* there 
is fire and a pot there, and take them with you." 

He went into the house of the owas, Oramach, 
and the owas gave a laugh, and said the boiler 
was not cooking the meat for want of fire, and 
he would boil it with his head. And the two 
caught hold of each other in the keen, close 
clutches of wrestling. If you were to go seeking 
for fun from the west of the world to the fresh- 

* Possibly identical with the Amhas (pron. owtfs), Ormanach 
of Campbell's " Connal Gulban." 

80 King Mananaun. 

ness of the world, it is to that pair you would 
betake yourself. They made hard of the soft, 
and soft of the hard, till Kaytuch gave him a 
squeeze down, and put him on his knees; and 
he put his head down on the fire, and kept it 
there till the flesh was cooked. He took the 
pot with him, and the flesh, and he himself and 
Finn had enough to eat ; and he told the other 
people who were with him to prepare for them- 
selves and eat. And he asked them to give 
him leave to sleep, and for them to keep watch. 
Then he slept. And what woke him but their 
snoring in their sleep ? He rose out, and saw 
hundreds of people coming, and with them tarred 
wood and straw to set fire to the house. And 
Kaytuch killed them all, and went into the house 
and woke the others, and bade them keep better 
watch. He went to sleep, and slept not long till 
he woke again, and they asleep ; and he rose out 
and saw (people) coming the second time as they 
came first ; then he ran forward and killed them 
again, and he did that four times during the 
night. In the morning, when the day rose, he 
went to the criers of the kitchen, and knocked 
at the door, and they asked him what he 
was wanting. He said to them, " Three hun- 
dred men in front of me, three hundred behind 
me, three hundred on each side of me, and 
three hundred on each edge of my sword's 

King Mananaun. 81 

edges." And he had that on the spot. He ran 
through them as runs a hawk through flocks of 
birds, or a dog through flocks of sheep, till he 
made a heap of their heads, a heap of their feet, 
a heap of their arms and clothes. If they were 
a good prize they were no profit. And again 
he knocked for the criers of the kitchen, and 
he asked for six hundred men in front, six 
hundred behind, six hundred on each side, and 
six hundred on each edge of his sword's edges. 
And he had them on the spot, and he did to 
them as to the first. And then he asked for 
nine hundred, and treated them in the same way. 
And he knocked again, and Brailske More said 
he would go himself to battle, and it was three 
hours before he killed the Brailske. The Blauheen 
Bloye arose, and said it was a pity he did not go 
himself to battle at first, before his men were all 
killed. And Kaytuch and he went to fight on 
the ground, and the battle began between them 
till Kaytuch killed him. 

And he went into the house to the daughter, 
and she asked him where was he going, the man 
who killed her father and his hosts? 

"Am I not a better man for you than all of 
them ? " 

" If I had known that it was to me you were 
drawing, I myself would have helped you." 

The two went into bed, and he took from her 


82 King Mananaun. 

the amber bracelet, and was going. She asked 
him would he not stay with her, and he said 
he would not ; and he went to Finn, and they 
prepared to go home. 

When they went on board ship, he told Finn 
he was to be killed that day. He said he was 
two-and-twenty-years old that day. "The man 
that killed me at first is to kill me again to-day. 
He will come as a bird in the air, and will put 
the same form on himself as mine, and I will ask 
him to come up on board the vessel, and there 
will be a great battle between myself and Londu." 

Londu came on board the vessel. His ap- 
prenticeship was over that day, and he was cousin 
to the woman whom Kaytuch had treated so, and 
taken the amber bracelet from her. The two 
went to battle on board the ship. They began 
young like two little boys (and fought) until they 
were two old men. They fought from being two 
young pups until they were two old dogs ; from 
being two young bulls until they were two old 
bulls ; from- being two young stallions till they 
were two old stallions. Then they began a battle 
in the shape of birds ; and they were fighting as 
two hawks, and one of them killed the other. 
The one that was below struck the one that was 
above, and as the first one fell dead, he killed the 
other in falling on him ; and it was Londu, son 
of the king of Gur, that fell first. And he was 

King Mananaun. 83 

thrown out into the sea, and the other was brought 
home to the wife of Kaytuch, son of the king, 
Keelach. When they came to harbour they raised 
the grey-green * sails, and when they landed Kay- 
tuch's wife was there before them ; and they 
gave her the bird, and she said that was what 
she was to get in place of her husband. She wept 
bitterly, and she with the bird, and Finn and the 
Feni went home and gave her no heed. Then 
she saw two birds fighting in the air, and one of 
them killed the other. And birds came and put 
leaves of a tree on the bird that was killed ; and 
it was a half-hour of the clock, and (the bird) 
arose alive again. And she put the leaves on her 
own bird, and then there was half an hour of the 
clock, and the bird arose alive to her again. And 
he asked her if she had got the amber bracelet 
from Finn ; and she said she did not get it. Then 
she and he went to her father's house, and there 
was an invitation proclaimed for nine nights and 
nine days for eating and drinking in the house of 
King Mananaun, with exceeding joy that Kaytuch 
was come to them safe out of every battle. And 
the priest came and the pair were married. And 
Finn went to the woman who put the obligation 
on him to bring her the amber bracelet ; and he 

* This is not in accordance with the directions given. 
The red sails ought to have been up. 

84 King Mananaun. 

asked her and said to her, " If I promised to bring 
it to you, I did not promise to bring it for you, 
and I will not give it to you." So he gave it 
to the wife of Kaytuch when he heard he was 
alive again. 

And when everything was finished I had nothing 
after them but shoes of paper and stockings of 
buttermilk ; and I threw them to themselves, 
till I came home to you to the village of Kill-da- 
veac and Kill-da-woor, to the little turf bog, to 
the village where I was born, to the village at the 
beginning of week, till I fired the shot of a gun 
frilsjke, fraslsjke, kipini, qropaanax ; till I killed 
Londu, and the qaanax, till I got the load of thirty 
horses of marrow I took out of the body of the 
king of the wrens. * 

* These nonsense endings frequently contain untrans- 
latable words. I give these in the phonetic spelling : 
but I should add that qaanax means, probably, a kind of 
wild goose. Londu mean " blackbird " kipini, sticks, or 
dibbles used for planting. 


Narrator, P. MINAHAN, Malinmore, Glencolumkille, 
co. Donegal. 

THERE was a king and a queen, and they 
had three sons. She died with the third. 
The king married another queen. She had ill- 
feeling towards the children. The king had no 
rest till he would banish the children. She took 
to her bed and would not live if he would not do 
something or other with them. He went to an 
old man who was in the town. He told him in 
what way he was. The old man told him to get a 
barrel made and to put the children into it. " Put 
a red belt on one and a black belt on the other." 

He got the barrel made, and an air-hole in it, 
and a weight for ballast, to keep it from rolling. 
He put the children into the barrel then. He 
put two swords with them. He put them out 
on the sea. The barrel was going before the 
wind till it came under the court and castle of 
the King of Greece. 


86 The Champion of the Red Belt. 

The king had a herdsman ; the herdsman was 
herding cows. The king had one cow, and she 
was troublesome minding, licking the stones that 
were on the shore. There was seaweed growing 
on the stones. He ran down to the cow. He 
came to the stone. He saw a white spot on the 
stone. He kept looking at the stone, and he saw 
that it was wood was in it. He tumbled it and 
cut the end out of it. He found two children 
and two swords. He put his hand down into 
the barrel. He took up the two children. He 
never saw two that were so fair as they. He 
took the two children home. He said it was 
Providence sent them to him. 

They were with him. When he would hear 
anyone coming into his house, he ordered the 
children out of the room. It was told the king 
that the herdsman had two children (found) in a 
barrel on the shore. The king was not willing 
to believe it. He said he would go himself to 
the herdsman. He went to him. He asked him 
if he found two children. The herdsman said he 
did not find. " If you have found them," said 
the king, u do not conceal them from me." 

He said he had found. He told the children 
to come down out of the room. They came down 
to the king. The king took hold of the children 
with his hands. He viewed them. " Well," said 
the king, <c wherever it is the children have come 

The Champion of the Red Belt. 87 

from, there is royal blood in them." The king 
had no child but one little girl. 

"Give me the children. I will give them better 
care than you. I will support yourself and your 
old woman as long as you are alive." 

He could not refuse. The king took the 
children with him. He cared for them till they 
grew to be young men. The king's daughter 
thought they were her brothers. The king put 
learning on them. They were the two cham- 
pions. They were fowling every day that was 
fine. At that time there was a great hurling 
match to come off. The King of Lochlann sent 
a challenge to the King of Greece for a hurling 
match, kingdom to be staked against kingdom. 
There was a pretty strand under the court and 
castle of the King of Greece. When the day of 
the hurling match came, the King of Greece 
ordered the two champions to go hunting. They 
went hunting. They were not long gone from 
the house when they met five young men, every 
one of them with a hurling stick. " I don't know 
where they can be going," said the champion of 
the red belt. 

" I don't know," said the champion of the black 
belt. They saw five others coming the same way. 
He said to one of them he wondered where they 
were going. " I will tell you ; and it is a great 
wonder that you are going fowling to-day." 

88 The Champion of the Red Belt. 

" Why is that ? " said the champion. cc I 
believe you have heard all about it yourself." 

" I have heard nothing." 

" The kingdom of your father is staked against 
the kingdom of the King of Lochlann in a hurl- 
ing match to-day. We are going to the hurling 
match on behalf of your father." 

They returned home. They said to the King 
of Greece they would not lose his kingdom, but 
would play on his behalf. They threw off their 
hunting suits. They put on light suits for run- 
ning. They got two hurls. They went to the 
strand. There was a great crowd on the strand. 
The ball was going out. There were twenty-four 
men on each side. They said their father's 
kingdom should not be lost, that they would 
play on his behalf. Two were then put out, 
and they were put then in their place. There 
were riders keeping the strand clear. The ball 
was put in the middle of the strand down in 
the sand. The forty-eight men came round the 
ball. The champion of the red belt got the 
ball. He struck it. When it fell again he was 
shaking it, and he struck it again. He sent 
it to the other end. He said to the King of 
Lochlann that his kingdom was lost. The King 
of Lochlann said his men had not got fair play 
in the hurling. a I will give you fair play," 
said the champion of the red belt ; " myself 

The Champion of the Red Belt. 89 

and my brother to hurl against your four-and- 
twenty; and this is the bargain I'll make with 
you: Whoever it is that sends the ball to the 
goal is to have a blow with his hurl on the others: 
if your four-and-twenty men win the goal against 
us, they have four-and-twenty blows to strike on 
us. If we win the goal, we have a blow on every 
one of them." 

The ball was put in the sand. They gathered 
round it. The champion of the red belt had 
the ball. He struck it. When it fell he was 
shaking it again. Not one man on the strand 
got a blow at it till he put it to the goal. 

u Now," said he, " did you not get fair play ? " 

" I got it ; you are the best champion ever I 

cc Put the men in a row that I may get my 

He put the men standing in a row. " Now," 
said he to his brother, cc any man that I don't 
knock down, knock him down you. ' 

He struck the first blow. He killed. He 
struck the second blow then. He killed. He 
was striking and killing. There was one man at 
the end outside. When he came killing, drawing 
towards him, he went out of the row. He went 
up on the side of a hill. 

" Death and destruction and the death-bands on 
you, champion of the red belt ! It is you that are 

90 'The Champion of the Red Belt. 

doing the slaughter on this strand to-day. Don't 
you know what country you came out of ? that 
it is out of a two-ended barrel you came in to 
the court and castle of the King of Greece ? " 

"Sit down, and wait till I come to you." 

u I will not wait. I saw you killing many a 
one. Perhaps you will kill me." 

" My word to you, I will not touch you till 
you tell me about the barrel." 

"I will take your word." 

He went up then till he came to the place 
where he was sitting. " What is it you say about 
the barrel ? " 

" It is a two-ended barrel the old man found 
by the sea. He took you out of the barrel ; he 
took you home. The king heard he had found 
two children in the barrel. He did not believe 
it. He went down to the old man to see if 
he had found them. The old man said he had. 
He brought down the youngsters. The king sat 
down. He took hold of them by the hand. He 
viewed them. He said they had royal blood." 

"'Give me the children. I will care for them 
better than you.' 

" * It is hard for me to give them from me.' 

" He could not refuse the king. The king said 
he would not let them have a day of want. * I 
will support you and your old woman as long as 
you are alive.' 

The Champion of the Red Belt. 91 

" The King of Greece is not your father," said 
the man. cc He had no family but the one young 
girl in the house." 

"I am grateful to you for all that you have 
told me about the way I came here. If I live, I 
will do you a service." 

They were troubled. They knew not whence 
they had come. They went home. The King of 
Greece welcomed his two sons. 

" Put not your sonship upon us. We are only 
the children of a poor man who had no means to 
rear us. I will sleep no night but this night in 
your house till I find out how I came hither." 

" Do not so," said the king ; " stay in this place. 
I will give you the half of my kingdom." 

" I would not stay if you gave me your king- 
dom all." 

When the king's daughter heard he was not 
her brother, she was ready to die unless he married 
her. He said to her he would not marry her ; 
that he would wear his two legs down to his two 
knees till he found out how he came. " If I find 
that out, I will come to you and marry you." 

They were greatly troubled when they were 
departing. They went till they came to the sea. 
He threw his hat out. He made a ship of the 
hat, a mast of his stick, a flag of his shirt. He 
hoisted the sails speckled spotted, to the top of 
the straight mast. He turned the prow to sea, 

92 The Champion of the Red Belt. 

the stern to shore, and he left not a rope without 
breaking, nor a cable without rending, till he was 
listening to the blowing of the seals and the roar- 
ing of the great beasts, to the screams of the sea- 
gulls ; till the little red-mouthed fishes were rising 
on the sole and the palm of the oars ; till they 
steered the vessel in under court and castle of the 
King of the Under waveland. 

They put fastening on the ship. They went 
on the land. They were going with themselves. 
There was no one at all coming towards them. 
They were all going one way, so that there was a 
great crowd where they were stopping. Said the 
brother, " Perhaps you will find some one in the 
crowd to tell you how we came" (i.e. y our origin). 

They went on with themselves. A man met 
them. They asked him what was the cause why 
the people on the island were all going one way. 

" It has happened you were not reared in the 
island when you do not know the reason of the 
people's going. The King of Underwaveland 
has but one daughter. She is going to be married 
to-morrow to the son of the King of the Eastern 
World. There is an invitation to the wedding to 
all the island. There are open cellars. There is 
eating and drinking to all that come." 

They went on till they came to the king's house. 
There was a great crowd there. They were 
strangers in it. No one gave them any heed. 

The Champion of the Red Belt. 93 

No one was there without an invitation except 

u Stand at the door behind/' said the champion 
of the red belt to his brother ; " I will stand at 
this door." 

No one went in or out that they did not strike. 
They were killing them. The king got word 
there were two blackguards at the door who were 
killing numbers of people. The king rose out. 
He said he thought there was not a blackguard 
at all in the crowd ; that there was eating and 
drinking for every one to get. The champion of 
the red belt said they were not blackguards at all ; 
they were two strangers on the island ; they would 
demean themselves by coming uninvited. The 
king bowed to them and gave them an invitation. 
He would invite (he said) any company in which 
they were. 

He drew them into the parlour. The bride was 
there getting ready for the marriage. She and her 
mother began to converse. The bride said that if 
she knew he had no wife, she would not marry a 
man but him. The mother told the king what the 
bride said. The king told the champion of the red 
belt what the bride said. The champion of the red 
belt said, " I have a wife. My brother is single ; 
and if it is her will to marry him, I am satisfied." 

She sent a letter to the son of the King of the 
Eastern World that she had a husband she preferred 

94 The Champion of the Red Belt. 

to him. He sent a letter to her that he would 
not give up his wife to any man, without his 
fighting for her. The champion of the black belt 
sent a letter to him that he would fight at midday 
on the morrow, in such and such a place. When 
the morrow came the champion of the black belt 
washed himself for the fight. He told the 
champion of the red belt to take care of the 
woman till he came back. He went then. He 
was going up the road. He met an old red man 
sitting by the road side. He had a great harp ? 
and he was playing on it. He asked the champion 
of the black belt to sit down while he played him 
a tune. He said he had no time, that he was 
going to battle ; but the old man told him to 
stand a little while till he played him one tune, 
He stood a while ; the first strain the old man 
played, he fell asleep. He was sleeping there 
then till the son of the King of the Eastern World 
came. He jumped down from his carriage, and 
cut his head off. He went riding back. The 
champion of the red belt knew nothing till he 
came to the hall door. 

" My brother is killed," said he ; " short it is till 
I kill you." 

" Don't do that," said the bride ; " leave it to 
me to do." 

" If you don't do it I will destroy the island." 

The son of the King of the Eastern World 

The Champion of the Red Belt. . 95 

came up to the hall door. She rose out. She 
caught him by the hand. He said he was fatigued 
after the battle. They went into the house. She 
opened a cupboard ; she gave him a cup of 
drink. He drank her health. When he raised 
the cup of drink he bent his head backwards. 
She drew a sword from under her apron. She 
lopped the head from him. 

cc If you had not been so quick doing it, I 
would have done the same to you as to him," said 
the champion of the red belt. 

He went then to the place where his brother 
was killed. When he came to it he was troubled. 
There came a lump of mist out of the head. 
Some one spoke to him out of the mist : 

" Go to the Eastern World ; the children of 
Kanikinn have a bottle of the water of healing 
that brings the dead to life." 

It put great joy on him. He went then towards 
the Eastern World. He could get no information 
of it. He then went on three days. He could 
get no information of it. Then he went on for 
three days more. Every one had information to 
give him then. An old man was putting bad 
spirits on him. 

" There is a yard around the court ten feet 
high. It is written on the gate : " If you go in 
you will never come out alive." 

He went up to the gate. He cleared it at a 

96 The Champion of the Red Belt. 

leap. There were three sons of Kanikinn in an 
alley playing ball. They spied the champion 
coming in the gate. Said one of the young men, 

" You have come in very nimbly ; not so nimbly 
will you go out." 

" He will go," said the eldest ; " any champion 
who could make that leap is a gentleman. Don't 
speak an angry word till I permit." 

The champion of the red belt then came 
forward and saluted them as politely as he could. 
He told them how things were with him ; that he 
had come there to seek the bottle of the water of 
healing that made the dead alive. 

"Well!" said the other, "there is ill luck on 
you. The king knight of the black castle took 
that bottle from me seven years ago. There is 
not a day he does not kill three hundred men, and 
it is better for you to tarry here with me ; I will 
give you a third of my possessions, for I fear he 
will kill you." 

" I am thankful to you for your kindness : since 
I have come so far I will go to meet him whether 
I live or die." 

He asked was there any short way at all to 
the castle. He showed him a short way. He 
said farewell. He went on till he came to the 
gate, till he cleared the gate out with a leap. 
He was going with himself then for a while till 
he saw the black castle. He went into the yard. 

The Champion of the Red Belt. 97 

He could see no one. He feared to go in. 
Night was coming, and he went in, whether he 
was to live or die. There was no one within, 
but the house was full of feathers. He said it 
was like a slaughter-house. He heard a loud 
sound coming into the house. He was startled. 
There was a barrel at the side of the house. He 
went behind it. Then the light burst from the 
door, and the king knight of the black castle 
came. He hung his sword on a peg. The blood 
was dripping from the tip of it. He had on a 
coat of steel. He went to put off the coat. The 
champion of the red belt rose from behind the 
barrel. " If that is your fighting suit, do not put 
it off you till you fight with me." 

Said the king knight of the black castle, " It is a 
man without life you are. I am only after drawing 
my sword out of the last man of three hundred, 
but I will not fight you till morning. If it is 
lodging for the night you want, you will get it." 

"That is what I want/' 

" Don't be afraid. I will not touch you till 

The king knight of the black castle set to 
till he lighted the fire with sticks and faggots. 
He told the other to sit near the fire. The 
champion of the red belt was watching the door. 
He asked him was there any one there except 
himself. The king knight of the black castle 


98 The Champion of the Red Belt. 

said there was not ; " and great joy is there on 
me to have you here to-night. I have talked 
with no one for seven years." 

The champion of the red belt said he had 
heard that there was with him a bottle of the 
water of healing, that made the dead alive ; that 
his brother was killed. Would he give him the 
loan of the bottle ? 

" I have not got the bottle. That is the bottle 
that makes people alive. My stepmother took it 
from me seven years ago. There is not a day I 
don't kill three hundred men, and my stepmother 
brings them to life again. A hag of sorceries she 
turned out, to put pains on me, that they will 
never be killed for me, while I live ; and but that 
providence puts strength in my heart, I would 
not get the better of them." 

When they took their supper the champion of 
the red belt asked him, cc Have you any one at 
all but yourself ? " 

" No/' said the king knight of the black castle. 
Then he asked if he had been brought up on the 
island. He said, u Not he ; that it was a son 
of the King of Erin was in it ; that his mother 
died when he was born ; that the king married 
another queen." 

"Were there any other (children) but your- 
self ? " said the champion of the red belt. 

" There were two other brothers." 

The Champion of the Red Belt. 99 

" Are they alive ? " 

" Oh ! I think not. They were put in a two- 
ended barrel." 

" Did you hear that your father put any mark 
on them ? " 

" He said he put a red belt on one, a black belt 
on the other." 

fc True it is ; people meet and the hills meet 
not. I am your brother ; but the champion of 
the black belt is dead." 

He stripped and showed him the belt. The 
two fell into an embrace. Then they went to rest. 
When the day came on the morrow the king knight 
of the black castle rose. He told his brother 
not to rise, as he was tired, before breakfast was 
ready. Then he got up and washed himself. 
They took their breakfast. The king knight of 
the black castle said it was a pity he could not 
stop during the day to keep him company. 

cc Stay here, you, till I go and do my sufficiency 
of killing as quickly as I can." 

" What would you think if I went in your 
place to-day ? " 

" It would be no use for you to go with only 
the strength providence has given you. You 
would not get the better of them." 

Said the champion of the red belt, " We are two 
brothers. It is a poor thing for me if I can't kill 
for one day what you are killing for seven years." 

ioo The Champion of the Red Belt. 

The champion of the red belt took his sword. 
The other was not satisfied at all to let him go, 
He would not stay on his advice. 

c< Put on my suit of steel ; I could not do much 
without that." 

<c I will not put it on. Unless I fight in the 
suit that's on me, I am beaten." 

He went till he came to the three hundred men, 
He asked them if they were ready. They said 
they were. When they saw the little man coming 
they were laughing and mocking him. He went 
straight in through them. He made heaps of 
their heads and their feet, a prize of their arms 
and their clothes. When he killed the three 
hundred, he stood up. He said what was the 
good of killing them, and they to be alive again 
in the morning? Then he lay down among the 
dead men to see what it was brought them to life. 
There came a hag, with one leg out of her 
haunch, one eye in her forehead, a bottle of the 
water of healing on a button that was on her 
breast. There was a feather in the bottle. She 
rubbed the feather on the first man she came to. 
She made nine of them alive. The champion of 
the red belt arose and killed the nine. Then he 
and the one-legged hag struck together. They 
were fighting a long time. He got angry that he 
was wasting the day. He lopped the head off 
her. He took the bottle that was hanging on her 

The Champion of the Red Belt. i o I 

breast. He hung it on the button that^was on his 
coat. Then said the hag, when she was falling, 

' c I lay on thee the spells of the art of the druid, 
to be feeble in strength as a woman in travail, in 
the place of the camp or the battle, if you go not 
to meet three hundred cats. Tell them you have 
slain three hundred men and the one-legged hag." 

He went forward then till he came to the three 
hundred cats. He cried out to them that he had 
killed three hundred men and the one-legged hag. 

Said they : " It is dearly you will pay for that." 

He and the cats went to battle. The cats 
leaped above him. He made a rush at them. He 
was killing them as fast as he could, till he killed 
them all but the great old speckled cat. Said she 
when she was falling, 

"I lay on thee the spells of the art of the druid, 
to be feeble in strength as a woman in travail, 
in the place of the camp and the battle, if you 
go not to fight the Wether of Fuerish Fwee-ere. 
Tell him you have slain three hundred men, 
three hundred cats, and the one-legged hag." 

He went forward in the camp. He and the 
Wether of Fuerish Fwee-ere went to battle. He 
came behind him to come on him with a run to 
kill him. He missed him the first time. He 
went behind him again. He came at him with a 
run. When the champion of the red belt saw the 
Wether approaching him, he made ready not to 

102 The Champion of the Red Belt. 

miss him. The Wether came forward. The 
champion of the red belt put the sword through 
his heart. Said he, when he was falling, 

cc I lay on thee the spells of the art of the druid, 
to be feeble in strength as a woman in travail, in 
the camp and the battle, till thou goest to meet 
the king cat of the Western Island. Tell him you 
have slain three hundred men, and three hundred 
cats, and the one-legged hag, and the Wether of 
Fuerish Fwee-ere." 

He went forward in the camp. He met the 
king cat of the Western Island. 

" Death on you ! Short is your own life now. 
Little I thought I was not done with you the day 
that I put you in the barrel." 

" Hideous hag ! I am stronger to-day than I 
was that day." 

He and the hag struck together, till he made 
hard of the soft, and soft of the hard, and (made) 
the fresh-water wells in the middle of the grey 
stones. From the hollows of the world to the 
heights of the world they came to look on at the 
fight was between them. 

She had a long tail. There was a poison spot 
on the tail. There was a great claw at the tip of 
the tail. She rose on high. She came down on 
his head. He met her with the sword. She 
curved her tail and put the claw in his hand. 
He was bleeding. The day was hot and he was 

The Champion of the Red Belt. 103 

bleeding greatly. Down she came with a slap. 
She put the poison spot through his heart. She 
got the claw fixed in his heart. She drew out his 
heart on his side. When the man was falling, the 
cat opened her mouth as wide as she could with 
the rage that was on her ; and when he saw her 
mouth open, and he falling, he thrust his hand 
into her mouth and pulled out her heart. The 
two fell dead. ^They were lying dead then. 

The king knight of the black castle was troubled 
that he let his brother go to fight in his place. 
He went on his track to see how he was doing. 
He went forward in the camp. He found the 
three hundred men killed. He went forward 
farther in the camp. He found the one-legged 
hag killed. He went still forward in the camp. 
He found the three hundred cats killed. He 
went still forward in the camp. He found the 
Wether of Fuerish Fwee-ere killed. He went on 
and found his brother and his stepmother killed. 
Then he did not know what to do. He was afraid 
lest he might put the cat's heart into the man ; 
for the evil temper of the cat might drive the man 
mad and kill him. The lump of mist came. 
It spoke to him : <c Is it not easy for you to dis- 
tinguish between the big heart of the man and the 
little heart of the cat ? " 

He took up the big heart. He washed it and 
fixed it in his brother. He found the bottle of the 

1 04 The Champion of the Red Belt. 

water of healing that was hanging on his brother. 
He dipped a feather in the bottle and rubbed it 
to his brother's mouth. His brother arose alive. 

" I seem as if I was asleep." 

u Did you not wonder then ? It was provi- 
dence saved me when I did not come to battle 
with you on the night when you rose up from 
behind the barrel, or you would have killed me 
as you have done (to the others) to-day." 

" What good is it for you to be big when you 
are not a good soldier ? " 

" It is long since I have had time any day to 
kill birds. Many's the time I was hungry when 
I killed the three hundred men. I had no time 
to kill birds for my breakfast in the morning. 
To-day I have time to kill plenty." 

" You will not kill a beast to-day," said the 
champion of the red belt. 

He then went killing. He killed. The big man 
went among the gathering of the birds. He was 
killing till night. He said he had enough killed. 

Then they went home. They got ready their 
supper. They took their supper. They went 
to rest them. The king knight of the black 
castle was not going to rise very early. He had 
nothing to kill. 

They were going to take a walk in the wood. 
<c Is there a woman at all who is good for much 
on the island ? " said the champion of the red belt. 

The Champion of the Red Belt. 105 

" There is a king's daughter on the island, and 
I think I would get her in marriage." 

He and his brother went to the king's house. 
He got the king's daughter in marriage. Came 
the priest of the pattens and the clerk of the bell. 
The pair were married. The wedding lasted nine 
nights and nine days. He took her home then. 
They stayed at home a couple of days until he rested. 

" Now/' said the champion of the red belt, 
<c you have a wife ; it is time for me to go to 
my brother to make him alive." 

" I will be with you," said the king knight of 
the black castle. 

They came to his brother. He made his brother 
alive as well as ever he was. They went to the 
house of the King of Underwaveland. There 
was great joy on the bride to see her husband. 
Came the priest of the pattens and the clerk of the 
bell. The pair were married. 

" Now," said the champion of the red belt, 
" you have both your wives. It is right for you 
to go with me till I get my wife." 

They went on then to the island of the King of 
Greece. When the daughter of the King of Greece 
saw the champion of the red belt there was great joy 
on her. They told the King of Greece what their 
birth was. Came the priest of the pattens and the 
clerk of the bell. The pair were married. The 
wedding lasted nine nights and nine days. 


Narrator, P. MINAHAN, of Malinmore, Glencolumkille, 
co. Donegal. 

I ^ HERE was a master, and he went to look for 

X a servant boy. He fell in with Jack. He 

hired him. He took him home. On the morning 

of the morrow the master was leaving home, Jack 

asked him what he should do that day. 

"Go threshing in the barn," said the master. 

" Shall I thresh anything but what is there ? " 

" Do not," said the master. " If you thresh all 
that's there, thresh no more." 

" What'll I go to do then ? " said Jack. 

" Don't do a turn till night." 

The master went away then, and Jack went 
to the barn and began threshing. The chaff 
began flying about, and he slashed through the 
barn, and there was not a grain of it left in 
an hour by the watch. Jack cleared the barn. 
He shook the straw. He cleaned up the barn. 
He went into the house and sat down by the 


Jack. 1 07 

fire. The mistress bade him bring in a basket 
of turf. He said he would not. "You won't 
be there," said the mistress, u unless you do 
some work." 

tc I won't do one turn till night." 

cc Musha, you won't be there," said the 

The two quarrelled. She put him out of the 
house. He went out and stayed about the place 
till night. 

When Jack went out a neighbour came in. 
The mistress got dinner for him. When he was 
going, she went with him part of the way. They 
came to an old lime-kiln. They went into it. He 
kissed the mistress. Jack was watching them 
always. " If I knew," said she, " where you 
would be working to-morrow, I would bring you 
your dinner." 

" I'll be at work ploughing at the east end of 
the village. Til have a white horse and a black 

When night came, Jack went into the byre. 
The master came home. He asked where the 
boy was. 

cc I don't know where he is," said the mistress. 
"He came in here and sat down by the fire. I 
bade him bring in a cleeve of turf. He said he 
wouldn't. I said he shouldn't be there if he 
didn't work. He said he wouldn't do a turn till 

io8 Jack. 

night. We had a quarrel. I haven't set eyes on 
him since then." 

They went to bed. They heard a noise in the 
byre. " The cattle have broken loose," said the 
mistress. "They are goring one another." The 
master called to the servant-girl to go out and 
look into the byre ; that the cattle were broken 
loose. The girl got up and went out. She was 
a while outside. She couldn't catch the cattle. 
The master got up himself and went out. The 
girl was in the byre before him. He kissed the 
girl. They came in. The master said two of 
the cattle were broken loose. Jack was in the 
byre all the time watching them, and when they 
went to bed he came into the house and went to 
bed. He got up on the morrow morning. "I 
never saw the work I'd rather do than ploughing," 
said he. " It's time to turn the soil up. Let us 
go ploughing to-day." 

"I don't care," said the master. They got the 
breakfast ready. They took the beasts with them 
to go ploughing. The two beasts were black. 
" I never saw anything I disliked more than a 
black beast." Jack went in and brought out a 
white sheet. He put it on one of the beasts. He 
then had a black beast and a white beast. They 
went ploughing the land that was nearest to them. 
When the middle of the day came, Jack raised his 
head, and he ploughing. He looked before him. 

Jack. 109 

He saw the woman coming near them, with a 
bundle in her hand. " I don't know," said he y 
" who that woman over there is." The master 

c< It is my wife," said he, " coming with our 

" What a right sort of woman ! " said Jack. 

" When the mistress came to them she was 
ashamed to go past. They sat down and went 
to take their dinner. They had a good dinner. 
There were a great many eggs. 

" It's a pity," said the master, " the man over 
there hasn't some dinner." 

"Musha," said Jack, "I'll go and bring him 

" Do," said the mistress. 

Jack got up, and said he, cc I'll take some eggs 
to be eating on the way." He took a handful of 
eggs. When he was gone a little way from them 
he let one of the eggs fall on the ground. He 
was dropping the eggs on the road. When he got 
as far as the man he sat down and began chatting. 

Said the mistress, cc He won't come over till the 
dinner's good for nothing." 

"I'll go over myself," said the master. He 
got up and he went over, but he wasn't gone 
far when he came on an egg. He stooped and 
picked it up. He was gathering the eggs on 
the road. 

1 1 o Jack. 

"What's the man beyond gathering ? " said the 
other man to Jack. 

cc He's gathering white stones to kill you for 
being with his wife yesterday in the lime-kiln." 

" Did he hear of that ? " 

" He heard," said Jack. 

cc I'll stay here no longer/' said the man. 

He got up and went running away as fast as 
he could. The master began to call after him. 
He wouldn't turn back. The master kept run- 
ning after him. When Jack saw the two of them 
travelling he went back to the dinner. 

cc Where is he gone to ? " said the mistress. 

"He's after that man for his doings with you 
in the lime-kiln yesterday." 

The master came back to his dinner. When 
the mistress saw him coming she got up and took 
to her heels. When the master saw that, he 
asked where was she going ? 

c< She's going to drown herself," said Jack, " for 
your kissing the servant girl in the byre last 

" Did she hear of that ? " said the master. He 
went running after her. " Come back," said he, 
<c and I'll never do it again." 

" Oh, don't kill me," said she, " and I'll never 
do it again." 

She returned then and they took their dinner, 
but it was good for nothing. They ploughed till 

Jack. 1 1 1 

night-time. Jack was a good servant-boy. He 
put in his time. 

When he left his master he went to the big 
town. He went tailoring. His master had twelve 
boys before he came. Jack wasn't long with him 
when he was a great hand at the sewing. His 
time was nearly up. His master thought he would 
keep no one but Jack. The times were hard. 
He dismissed them every one but Jack. He kept 
him. They were tailoring one day. The master 
said to Jack it was a bad year. 

''Don't be afraid," said Jack. "Do you see 
that field full of cattle over there ? " 

When night came Jack and his master went out. 
They went to the field. Jack took one of the 
bullocks. He skinned the skin off it. He cut 
the flesh off the bones. He sewed the skin on the 
bullock again. They went home, and two loads 
of meat with them. They had enough that time. 
To make a long story short, they didn't leave a 
bullock in the field but they did the same to. 
When the last of the cattle was eaten, they began 
with the sheep. They played the same trick on 
the sheep. 

When the king thought it was time to kill a 
bullock he went to the butcher. They went to 
the field. When they went to look at a bullock, 
the bullock was barely able to walk. They were 
all like that. The king couldn't tell what hap- 

1 1 2 Jack. 

pened them. They went to the field where the 
sheep were. They were in bad condition. There 
wasn't a sheep or a head of cattle that Jack and 
the tailor hadn't eaten the flesh off. 

The king went home, and he didn't know what 
to do. He went to the old man who was in the 
town to tell him what happened to them. 

" There's some neighbour of yours that's smart." 
tc I don't know how I can get hold of him." 
" I know," said the old man. " The first fine 
day that comes take some gold and silver, spread 
it out, and leave it outside till the dark comes. 
Whoever is playing the tricks on you will spy 
it. He'll try for it. When night comes, take in 
the money and put out a barrel of pitch." 

The king did so. Jack looked out at the 
window. He saw the king spread out the money. 
" Do you see," said he, " what the man is doing 
yonder ? " Jack was watching the money all day. 
Night was coming on, and nobody was going near 
the money. " He has forgotten it," said Jack ; 
" no one will come near it till morning." 

When night came Jack and his master went 
drawing near the money, to take home the full of 
a bag with them. They went to the place where 
the money was. There was a barrel of pitch 
there. " Which will you do, stoop into the barrel,, 
or watch ? " The tailor said he would stoop. He 
stooped into the barrel ; he stretched his two 

Jack. 113 

hands down to get a handful. The two hands 
stuck in the pitch. He was caught then. He 
could not stir. He called to Jack to draw him 
out of the barrel. Jack went to draw him. He 
failed to draw him. He placed his two hands on 
his body and shoved him down on the crown of 
his head. He left him there. 

The king came in the morning. He found the 
thief caught in the barrel. He couldn't tell then 
who he was, he was so black with pitch. He was 
as bad as ever. He went to the old man again. 
He said the thief was caught by him, but he 
didn't know who he was. 

" Do you know what you'll do ? Take a beast 
and tie him to the beast's tail. Whoever it is that 
has lost her husband, when she sees him she will 
go crying." 

He tied a rope on the man. He put him behind 
the beast. He went through the big town with 
him. He did not go far till he came to the house 
of the tailor. When the tailor's wife saw him 
she gave a roar of lamentation out of her. Jack 
caught hold of the scissors and cut the tip of his 
finger. The king came in. He said she was 
caught. The tailor (i.e., Jack) looked round. 
" What ails you ? " said Jack. 

cc It is your wife who has lost the man and is 
crying there." 

" It was I cut my finger," said Jack, " and she 


H4 Jack. 

thought I was killed, and that's what she was cry- 
ing for. You may go off with yourself. There's 
nothing for you to get here." 

The king went away. He was up and he was 
down. If he were to be walking till now he 
wouldn't get one to go crying. He had nothing 
for it but to go home. The tailor's wife and Jack 
were married then. 


Narrator, P. MINAHAN, Malinmore, Glencolumkille, 
co. Donegal. 

was a rich farmer there. He was 
-L gi n g from home to buy cattle The 
king and the farmer met. Each of them got a 
letter that there was a young son born to the 
farmer, a young daughter to the king. They 
were rejoiced when they heard it. They went both 
into a tavern to drink a glass. They made it up 
that if the children would agree to it they would 
have them married. They went home then. They 
were rejoiced at the children. 

It was not long after that when the farmer died. 
His wife was broken up. She had nothing but 
the child. She had to sell the farm and the stock. 
She was not worth a penny. She was bringing 
up the child till he was fit to go to school. He 
would be out on the street, and anyone who would 
have anything to carry, the boy would carry it for 

* Or "Spouse of Poverty." 


1 1 6 'The Servant of Poverty. 

him. They would give him sixpence or a shilling. 
He would give that to the master of the schoo^ 
till the last of it was spent. He was coming on 
with his learning, till he was a good scholar. He 
was on the street one day. The king was there. 
The king bought a quarter of mutton. The king 
looked about him. He saw the little boy opposite 
watching him. He asked him would he carry it. 
The- boy said he would carry. The king went 
with the boy. When they came to the house the 
king gave him half-a-crown. The boy went home 
rejoiced. He gave that to the master. He was 
at school till the half-crown was spent. One day 
the daughter of the king was on the street. She 
bought a parcel of clothes. She looked about her. 
The boy was behind her. She asked him would 
he carry the parcel. He said he would carry. 
The two went to the king's house. When the 
king saw the two coming in, he went laughing. 
The girl gave the boy another half-crown. She 
asked her father what was the reason of his laugh- 
ing. Her father said there was none. The girl 
said there was no harm in it. The king said that 
at one time the boy was as good as herself. He 
told her everything that had passed, nor did she 
pretend anything. She had an eye on the boy 
from that out. She was giving him money to 
keep him at school, till he was a good scholar, 
till he was growing too big to be at school. 

The Servant of Poverty. 1 1 j 

" What would you think of being a pedlar ? " 
said she. 

cc I have no money/' said the boy. 

She gave him five pounds. He went to buy 
hardware. He met a fighting cock. He bet his 
five pounds on the cock. The cock was beaten, 
and his five pounds were lost on him. He went 
home then. She met him at the end of a couple 
of days. 

cc How did you get on ? " said she. 

cc I met a fighting cock. I bet my five pounds 
on the cock. The cock was beaten. I lost the 
five pounds." 

" Well ! here are five other pounds," said the 
girl. " Do no foolishness with them, till you buy 
the hardware." 

He went then. He fell in with a race-horse. 
He took a conceit on the horse. He bet the five 
pounds. The beast was beaten. The five pounds 
were lost. He had to go home. He was afraid to 
come across the girl. He was leaving the way for 
fear he should meet her. He met her one day. 

tc Well, how did you get on ? " said she. 

" I believe you will kill me," said he. " I lost 
the five pounds again." 

" Well," said she, u unless there was venture in 
you, you would not have lost them. If you got 
five pounds more, I think you would not lose 
them.' 5 

1 1 8 The Servant of Poverty. 

" I would not," said he. 

She gave him five pounds more. He went. 
He bought the five pounds' worth of hardware. 
He came home. He went pedlaring. He was 
doing well till he sold everything. He doubled 
his money. He came home then. She met him. 

" You have made your way home/' said she. 

<c I have made," said he. 

" How did you get on ? " said she. 

u Very well," said he. " I have doubled my 

" Buy ten pounds' worth now," said she. 

He bought the ten pounds' worth. He struck 
to pedlaring again, till he sold the ten pounds' 
worth. He came home then. She met him. 

" You have got home," said she. 

" I have got," said he. 

cc How did you succeed ? " said she. 

" Very well," said he ; "I have twenty pounds 


cc Good you are," said she. " Buy twenty 
pounds' worth now." 

He was buying and selling, till his pack was 
so heavy that he was tired with it. He came 
home. She met him. He said he was growing 
tired carrying the pack. Would she give him 
leave to buy a beast to carry it ? She said she 
would give him leave. He went to buy a beast. 
He was buying and selling then till he had a great 

'The Servant of Poverty. 119 

deal of money. He came home then. She came 
to him. He asked her would she give him leave 
to set up a shop in the town. He was afraid he 
would be killed for his money. She said she 
would give him leave. He set up a shop then 
and he laid in a stock. He was selling as much 
as any twq in the city. 

The king was dealing with a merchant from 
London. He came to Dublin to settle with the 
king. They went to settle. They could not 
agree. They got a couple of clerks to settle 
between them. The clerks could not settle it all. 
They were three days sitting at the settling. 
They failed. The king came home at night. 
His daughter came to him. 

" How are you and the London man getting 
on ? " 

" They have failed to settle it," said the king. 

"Did you try the shopman?" said she. "They 
say he has good learning." 

"We did not try," said he. 

" Try him to-morrow," said she. 

He went on the morning of the morrow. They 
sat down to the settling again. They sent word 
for the shopman. He came. He began to look 
into the books. He made it up in a moment 
between the king and the man from London. 
The king was satisfied then. He went home. 
His daughter asked him how he got on. The 

120 The Servant of Poverty. 

king said he got on very well, that he never saw 
a better scholar. The London man came to the 
young man the next day, to find out how much 
he would take for a year. The young man said 
he could not leave his shop. The London man 
said he would give him more than he would make 
by his shop in a year. He made advice to go 
with him. He went home. He went* to find out 
if she would give him leave. She said she would 
give. He put his shop to auction. He sold it 
out. He made ready to go with the man from 
London. He went with him then. He was 
sending letters to her. She was reading them. 
When the year was up, he was making ready to 
go home. The London man said to him to stay 
another year. He made advice to stay. He 
remained another year. When the year was up 
he made ready to go. He filled a ship full of 
every kind of goods. He bade the captain go to 
Dublin in the name of Kayleh-na-Bochtjinacht. 
When the captain came to Dublin there was no 
one at all of that name to be found. He did not 
know what to do. He had nothing for it but to 
return home. He was angry. The king was in 
the city. He went to tell at home that there was a 
ship was come from London with a cargo of goods, 
in the name of Kayleh-na-Bochtjinacht, and that 
there was no one at all in the place of that name. 
" Well," said the king's daughter, " the cargo 

*The Servant of Poverty. 121 

will go to loss. Prepare a store of your own, and 
empty the cargo into it. Perhaps the owner will 
come to look for it." 

The king got men, and they unloaded the 
cargo into the store. The captain was rejoiced 
when he got the vessel unloaded,. When two 
years were up with Kayleh-na-Bochtjinacht he was 
coming home. He was walking round by the foot 
of the sea, A collegian met him, going the same 
road. He asked Kayleh-na-Bochtjinacht where 
he was going. Kayleh answered he did not know 
well where he was going ; that he made a herring- 
net, and the first night he put it out he had not 
seen it since ; that he was walking round by the 
foot of the sea to look if he could find it rolled 
on to a stone. 

" Where are you going yourself? " 

" I am going to Dublin, to be married to the 
daughter of the king." 

" Well, I will be with you a bit of the way." 

A rainy day came on them, and they were 
greatly wet. This young man, he was all but 
perished with cold. 

" If you had your own house from the town 
with you, you would not be wet." 

They went on till they came to a river. There 
was no bridge at all on the river. Kayleh-na- 
Bochtjinacht went out into the river. He went 
across. The young champion went out after him 

122 The Servant of Poverty. 

till he was all but lost. When he got to the other 
side of the river, cc I was all but lost/ ' said he. 

" Well, if you had your own bridge with you, 
you would not be lost." 

They went on another while. The champion 
said he was hungry. Kayleh said, <c If you had 
your mother with you* from home, you would not 
be hungry." 

Kayleh had a loaf with him. He drew it out 
and took his dinner. They went on then till they 
came to Dublin. Kayleh stopped at the end of 
the town. The young champion went to the 
king's house. He was all but famished. He 
went into the parlour then. They took their 
dinner. They were passing fun. The young 
woman was with them. 

" Well," said the young champion, " there was 
a fine man with me to-day, he had the silliest talk 
ever I heard. When I met him, I asked him how 
far he was going. He said he did not well know ; 
that he made a herring-net ; the first night he put 
it out into the sea he never had a sight of it since ; 
that he was walking by the foot of the sea, to look 
if he would fall in with it in a creek, or rolled on 
a rock. We went on another while. A day of 
rain came. We were wet greatly. I called out 
that I was wet. 

" c Well,' said the man, ' if you had your house 
with you, you would not be wet.' 

T'he Servant of Poverty. 123 

cc We went on another while, till we came to a 
river. There was a great flood in the river. The 
man went out. He went to the other side. I 
went out after him, so that I was all but lost. I 
said I was all but lost. c If you had your bridge 
with you, you would have had no fear of being 
lost/ We went on another while. I said I was 
hungry. ' Well/ said the man, c if you had your 
mother with you from home, you would not have 
been hungry/ ' The king was listening to him. 

"Well," said he, "when you called out that you 
were wet, that man had a top-coat on, that didn't 
let a drop in. When you called out you were all 
but lost on the river, if you had a nag you would 
not have been afraid. The other man had a good 

" He had," said the champion. 

" As good as I ever saw," said the king's daughter. 

cc How far was he with you ? " 

" He was with me to the end of the city." 

She arose standing. She went out, nor did she 
stop till she was in the city, in the place where 
was Kayleh-na-Bochtjihacht. She took a hold of 
him by the hand. She bade him welcome home. 
He got up and opened a travelling bag. He gave 
her a silk gown. He put it on her. He put 
silk clothes entirely on her. The two went till 
they came to the king's house. The king and the 
champion thought the bride was in a room inside. 

124 Tfc Servant of Poverty. 

There was a knock at the door. The housemaid 
arose and opened it. The young couple came in. 
They asked the maid if the priest was in the 
king's house. She said he was ; that the champion 
and the king's daughter were to be married. " I 
would like to see the king," said Kayleh. The 
maid went to the king. She told him there 
was a gentleman to see the wedding. The king 
arose. He opened the parlour door. Kayleh 
came to him. He said he was a stranger, that 
he had a woman with him to get married to ; he 
would be thankful to the king to get the first 
chance of being married. The king said he 
would give it to him and welcome. The young 
couple went into the room where the priest was. 
They were married. They came out and they 
married. The bride came forward to the king 
and the champion. She took hold of the young 
champion by the shoulder. She told him to go 
home to his mother "The silly man that was with 
you to-day, I am married to him now." cc You 
thought you were wise," said the king ; " but it 
is you were the fool, not that man." He had 
nothing for it then but to get up and go home. 
The king's daughter then told her father who 
the husband was she had. There was great joy 
on the king then that the lad got on so well. 

They built a big house then in the city. When 
it was ready, they put into it the goods that were 

The Servant of Poverty. 125 

in the store. The master that was in London 
came into the harbour with his ship. When 
Kayleh heard he was there he was rejoiced. He 
went out to see him. The captain was rejoiced 
to see him. Kayleh went praising his wife. cc You 
are a fool," said the captain ; " maybe she's the 
worst in the world." cc How much will you wager 
on it ? I'll lay my shop against your ship that 
you won't find her yielding." 

They laid the wager. The captain was going 
out then. " What proof shall I bring that I have 
had my way with her." " There is a gold ring 
on her finger. Have that for me." " Stay you 
here," said the captain, " till I come." 

The captain went on shore. He went to her. 
She was rejoiced to see him. She said to herself 
that the captain was taking liberties with her. She 
went into a room. She locked the door and left 
his sight. The captain did not know then what 
to do. He was afraid his ship was lost. He 
went to the kitchen to the maid. He drew out 
a purse of money. He said he would give her 
the purse if she would open the door of the room. 
She covered the money. She took the lock off" the 
door. The captain went to the woman. He said 
he would not leave the room till she drank a drop 
of his whiskey. To get rid of him she drank a 
drop of the whiskey. What was in it but a sleep- 
ing drop ! She fell asleep. The captain took the 

ia6 The Servant of Poverty. 

ring from her finger. He went to Kayleh. When 
Kayleh saw he had the ring, the shop was lost. 
He went home. When the woman saw she had 
lost the ring, she knew it was all over with her. 
She went away. He was raging with anger. If 
he got hold of her he would kill her. She went 
away ashamed. The captain went to live in the 
house. He was selling the goods. Kayleh went off 
wandering. She went and put a man's clothes on 
her. She went to a city. She went to a tailor's 
shop. She asked the tailor if he wanted a young 
man. The tailor said he would not mind taking 
one. She made it up with him. She would sell 
as much as three. He thought it was a man was 
with him. He was with him for a year. A poor 
man came to the city selling brooms. He spent 
a couple of days in the city. The mob was 
casting it up to that tailor that a man from his 
country was selling brooms. She said there was 
never a man from her country who sold brooms. 
She rose out one evening. She went through the 
city to try if she could find him. She met him, 
and he with a load of brooms. She asked him 
if that was his means of living. The poor man 
said it was that he was all that day, and few were 
the brooms he sold. She asked him how much 
he got for them apiece. He said he got only a 
halfpenny. She put her hand in her pocket and 
gave him the price of his load. 

'The Servant of Poverty. 127 

" Throw them away from you. Have you any 
learning at all ? " said she. 

" I have a trifle," said the poor man. 

" Do you think you could do as a clerk in a 

" I think I could do." 

The tailor went and bought a suit of clothes for 
him. She put them on him. He and the tailor 
went to the shop. 

"Here's a young man I have got for you/ 
said she. 

He hired the young man for a year. The 
young man came to him and was serving him well. 
Better was the learning that he had than the shop- 
man's. The tailor was content as they were 
together. They were the two comrades ; nor did 
he ever recognise the tailor. They were a couple 
of years in the city. One day the tailor said they 
were there long enough, and would go home for 
a while now. He said he would never go home. 
She said she would, that they would get a place as 
good as to be there. They got ready and were 
drawing towards Dublin. The clerk said he 
would not go near the city. She said she would 
go. They walked on till they came to the city. 
There was no going through the street for the 
clerk. He became sorrowful and troubled. They 
were walking till they came to the house they used 
to live in. 

128 The Servant of Poverty. 

" This is a good house," said the tailor ; " we'll 
go in to see if they will keep us for the night." 

"We will not go into that house on any 

"We'll go to no other place but that," said the 

They went in and got place till morning. The 
captain was living there always. There were 
gentlemen dining with him. The tailor was 
making fun for the girls in the kitchen. He 
began dancing and singing. The clerk was sitting 
under the window, with his head bent down. 
When the gentlemen heard the singing and the 
dancing in the kitchen, they opened the parlour 
door to see the tailor playing his music. They 
bade him come up to the parlour, to themselves. 
He said he would like to have his companion 
with him. They bade the two come. The two 
went up. They got whiskey. They made the 
tailor sing. He was performing a while. He 
looked about him. 

"This is a fine house you have," said he. "I 
have travelled far enough, but I never in my travel- 
lings met with a better house than this of yours." 

"Simply I got this house." He told the 
gentlemen how he came into the house. 

"Well," said the tailor, "you bear witness to 
everything you have heard. I was the woman, 
that was in the house, to whom that happened." 

The Servant of Poverty. 129 

She opened her bosom to show it was a woman. 

"Get up, you' gillie over there." She locked 
the parlour door. Kayleh went for the police. 
The police came. They arrested the captain. The 
gentlemen were witnesses. The captain was put 
in prison. She put off the tailor's clothes then. 
They arrested the maid and put her in prison. 
They fell into their house and place again. They 
were then as they were ever. The report went 
out through the city that Kayleh and the king's 
daughter were in their own house again. The 
king then made a dinner and invited them to it. 
They were eating and drinking for three nights 
and three days. 


Narrator, MICHAEL FAHERTY, Renvyle, co. Galway. 

LONG ago there was a king's son called Simon, 
and he came in a ship from the east to 
Eire. In the place where he came to harbour he 
met with a woman whose name was Margaret, 
and she fell in love with him. And she asked 
him if he would take her with him in the ship. 
He said he would not take her, that he had no 
business with her, " for I am married already," 
said he. But the day he was going to sea she 
followed him to the ship, and such a beautiful 
woman was she that he said to himself that he 
would not put her out of the ship ; cc but before I 
go farther I must get beef." He returned back 
and got the beef. He took the woman and the 
beef in the ship, and he ordered the sailors to make 
everything ready that they might be sailing on the 
sea. They were not long from land when they 
saw a great bulk making towards them, and it 
seemed to them it was more like a serpent than 


Simon and Margaret. 131 

anything else whatever. And it was not long till 
the serpent cried out, "Throw me the Irish person 
you have on board." 

" We have no Irish person in the ship," said the 
king's son, " for it is foreign people we are ; but 
we have meat we took from Eire, and, if you wish, 
we will give you that." 

a Give it to me," said the serpent, <c and every- 
thing else you took from Eire." 

He threw out a quarter of the beef, and the 
serpent went away that day, and on the morrow 
morning she came again, and they threw out 
another quarter, and one every day till the meat 
was gone. And the next day the serpent came 
again and she cried out to the king's son, " Throw 
the Irish flesh out to me." 

" I have no more flesh," said the prince. 

" If you have not flesh, you have an Irish 
person," said the serpent, " and don't be telling 
your lies to me any longer. I knew from the 
beginning that you had an Irish person in the 
ship, and unless you throw her out to me, and 
quickly, I will eat yourself and your men." 

Margaret came up, and no sooner did the 
serpent see her than she opened her mouth, and 
put on an appearance as if she were going to 
swallow the ship. 

" I will not be guilty of the death of you all," 
said Margaret ; " get me a boat, and if I go far 

132 Simon and Margaret. 

safe it is better ; and if I do not go, I had rather I 
perished than the whole of us." 

" What shall we do to save you ? " said Simon. 

cc You can do nothing better than put me in the 
boat," said she, <c and lower me on the sea, and 
leave me to the will of God." 

As soon as she got on the sea, no sooner did 
the serpent see her than she desired to swallow 
her, but before she reached as far as her, a billow 
of the sea rose between them, and left herself and 
the boat on dry land. She saw not a house in 
sight she could go to. cc Now," said she, c< I am 
as unfortunate as ever I was. There is no place 
at all for me to get that I know of, and this is no 
place for me to be." She arose and she began to 
walk, and after a long while she saw a house a 
good way from her. " I am not as unfortunate as 
I thought," said she. " Perhaps I shall get lodging 
in that house to-night." She went in, and there 
was no one in it but an old woman, who was 
getting her supper ready. " I am asking for 
lodging till morning." 

cc I will give you no lodging," said the old 

" Before I go farther, there is a boat there 
below, and it is better for you to take it into your 

" Come in," said the old woman, cc and I will 
give you lodging for the night." 

Simon and Margaret. 133 

The old woman was always praying by night 
and day. Margaret asked her, " Why are you 
always saying your prayers ? " 

<c I and my mother were living a long while ago 
in the place they call the White Doon, and a giant 
came and killed my mother, and I had to come 
away for fear he would kill myself; and I am 
praying every night and every day that some one 
may come and kill the giant." 

The next morning there came a gentleman and 
a beautiful woman into the house, and he gave the 
old woman the full of a quart of money to say 
paters for them till morning. The old woman 
opened a chest and took out a handsome ring, and 
tried to place it on his finger, but it would not go 
on. " Perhaps it would fit you," said she to the 
lady. But her finger was too big. 

When they went out Margaret asked the old 
woman who were the man and woman. " That 
is the son of a king of the Eastern World, and the 
name that is on him is Stephen, and he and the 
woman are going to the White Boon to fight 
the giant, and I am afraid they will never come 
back ; for the ring did not fit either of them ; and 
it was told to the people that no one would kill 
the giant but he whom the ring would fit." 

The two of them remained during the night 
praying for him, for fear the giant should kill 
him ; and early in the morning they went out to 

134 Simon and Margaret. 

see what had happened to Stephen and the lady 
that was with him, and they found them dead 
near the White Boon. 

" I knew," said the old woman, " this is what 
what would happen to them. It is better for 
us to take them with us and bury them in the 
churchyard." When they were buried, " Come 
home," said the old woman, "and we'll know 
who is the first person conies the same way 

About a month after a man came into the 
house, and no sooner was he inside the door than 
Margaret recognised him. 

a How have you been ever since, Simon ? " 

"I am very well," said he; "it can't be that you 
are Margaret ? " 

" It is I," said she. 

" I thought that billow that rose after you, 
when you got into the boat, drowned you." 

" It only left me on dry land," said Margaret. 

" I went to the Eastern World, and my father 
said to me that he sent my brother to go and fight 
with the giant, who was doing great damage to 
the people near the White Boon, and that my wife 
went to carry his sword." 

cc If that was your brother and your wife," said 
Margaret, "the giant killed them." 

"I will go on the spot and kill the giant, if I am 

Simon and Margaret. 135 

" Wait till I try the ring on your finger," said 
the old woman. 

" It is too small to go on my finger," said he. 

" It will go on mine," said Margaret. 

cc It will fit you," said the old woman. 

Simon gave the full of a quart of money to the 
old woman, that she might pray for him till he 
came back. When he was about to go, Margaret 
said, " Will you let me go with you ? " 

<C I will not," said Simon, "for I don't know 
that the giant won't kill myself, and I think it too 
much that one of us should be in this danger." 

" I don't care," said Margaret. " In the place 
where you die, there am I content to die." 

" Come with me," said he. 

When they were on the way to the White Boon, 
a man came before them. 

" Do you see that house near the castle ? " said 
the man. 

" I see," said Simon. 

" You must go into it and keep a candle lighted 
till morning in it." 

cc Where is the giant ? " said Simon. 

cc He will come to fight you there," said the 

They went in and kindled a light, and they 
were not long there when Margaret said to 

" Come, and let us see the giants." 

136 Simon and Margaret. 

" I cannot," said the king, " for the light will 
go out if I leave the house." 

" It will not go out," said Margaret ; " I will 
keep it lighted till we come back." 

And they went together and got into the castle, 
to the giant's house, and they saw no one there 
but an old woman cooking ; and it was not long 
till she opened an iron chest and took out the 
young giants and gave them boiled blood to eat. 

" Come," said Margaret, " and let us go to the 
house we left." 

They were not long in it when the king's son 
was falling asleep. 

Margaret said to him, " If you fall asleep, it will 
not be long till the giants come and kill us." 

u I cannot help it," he said. "I am falling 
asleep in spite of me." 

He fell asleep, and it was not long till Mar- 
garet heard a noise approaching, and the giant 
cried from outside to the king's son to come out 
to him. 

" Fum, faw, faysogue ! I feel the smell of a 
lying churl of an Irishman. You are too great 
for one bite and too little for two, and I don't 
know whether it is better for me to send you into 
the Eastern World with a breath or put you under 
my feet in the puddle. Which would you rather 
have striking with knives in your ribs or fighting 
on -the grey stones ? " 

Simon and Margaret. 137 

" Great, dirty giant, not with right or rule did 
I come in, but by rule and by right to cut your 
head off in spite of you, when my fine, silken 
feet go up and your big, dirty feet go down." 

They wrestled till they brought the wells of 
fresh water up through the grey stones with 
fighting and breaking of bones, till the night was 
all but gone. Margaret squeezed him, and the 
first squeeze she put him down to his knees, the 
second squeeze to his waist, and the third squeeze 
to his armpits. 

" You are the best woman I have ever met. I 
will give you my court and my sword of light and 
the half of my estate for my life, and spare to 
slay me." 

" Where shall I try your sword of light ? " 

" Try it on the ugliest block in the wood." 

" I see no block at all that is uglier than your 
own great block." 

She struck him at the joining of the head and 
the neck, and cut the head off him. 

In the morning when she wakened the king's 
son, " Was not that a good proof I gave of my- 
self last night ? " said he to Margaret. " That is 
the head outside, and we shall try to bring it 

He went out, and was not able to stir it from 
the ground. He went in and told Margaret he 
could not take it with him, that there was a 

138 Simon and Margaret. 

pound's weight in the head. She went out and 
took the head with her. 

cc Come with me," said he. 

<c Where are you going ? " 

" I will go to the Eastern World ; and come 
with me till you see the place." 

When they got home Simon took Margaret 
with him to his father the king. 

" What has happened to your brother and your 
wife? " said the king. 

"They have both been killed by the giants. 
And it is Margaret, this woman here, who has 
killed them." 

The king gave Margaret a hundred thousand 
welcomes, and she and Simon were married,* and 
how they are since then I do not know. 

* Simon's wife, mentioned at the beginning of the story, 
has apparently been forgotten. 


Narrator, P. M'GRALE, Achzll, co. Mayo. 

^HERE were giants at that time, and every 

JL. seven years three daughters of kings were 
left to them to be eaten, unless some one were 
found to fight them. In this year the kings came 
together, and they cast lots to see which of them 
should give his children to the giants to be eaten. 
And the lot fell on the High King of Erin to 
give his three daughters to the giants. Then came 
the son of the King of Prussia to ask the king's 
daughter in marriage, and the king said he could 
not give her to him unless he would fight the 
giants, and he said he would fight if he got good 

And the king asked him, " What sort of food 
would you like best ? " 

Said he, " Marrow of deer and sinews of beeves." 
And the king said he would give him that. 

There were servants killing for him his suf- 
ficiency of food, and he rose out, the son of the 


140 The Son of the King of Prussia. 

King of Prussia, and he went among the work- 
people, and when he would strike one of them 
a blow of his fist and kill him the king would 
not say anything for fear of making him angry. 
Then, when he came within a month of the time, 
he went to the glen, and tools with him to make 
a hole in the glen, and he was at home every 
evening, and he dirty. 

When it came within a week of the time, the 
son of the King of Scotland spoke to his father. 
Said he, " A good neighbour to you was the King 
of Erin ever." 

" Good he was, my son, and I to him likewise." 
" And he never put war nor battle on you." 
" Nor I on him, my son." 
<c I am making one request of you, father." 
" Every request you make of me I will give 
you, except to go to fight in Erin." 
" Won't you give me that, father ? " 
" I have fear of your getting married." 
" My hand and my word to you, father, that that 
woman I will not wed till I come back to you." 

" With that request, go, and I will give you my 

He went with himself, then, and he arrayed 
himself in his clothes, and the stars of the son of 
a king by a queen were on the breast of his coat, 
and a poor man's suit outside, till he came to the 
sea, and took a great ship, till he came to Erin, 

'The Son of the King of Prussia. 141 

and drew up his ship on the land, and put on her 
fastening for a day and a year, though he might 
chance to be there but an hour. 

He went then to the house of the hen-wife, and 
asked for lodging ; and he got lodging for the 
night ; and the old woman asked him what was 
the news, and he said he had no news at all unless 
he would get it from her. 

" I'd say," said she, tc that it was under a dock- 
ing you came out, when youVe heard nothing of 
the great gathering that's to be here to-morrow. 
There are three giants to come, on three days, 
one after the other, and they are to get the three 
daughters of the King of Erin, and the son of the 
King of Prussia, is to fight for them ; and, if he 
kills the giants, the first person to-morrow that 
brings the news the giant's head is cut off", will get 
a shovel of gold." 

Then the poor man and the hen-wife spent the 
night pleasantly, and in the morning he got up 
and washed his hands and his face, and ate his 
breakfast, and went to the glen, and he sat down 
in a clump of ferns, brambles, and nettles, and 
there was he. 

Then the king and his people went drawing to 
the glen, and when they were near it the son of the 
King of Prussia told them to go home, for fear 
the giant might come and kill some of them before 
he could stop him. The king and his people 

142 T/ie Son of the King of Prussia. 

went home and left the son of the King of Prussia 
and the young girl in the glen, and she sat down 
on a stone chair, and the son of the King of 
Prussia was coming about her, thinking to make 
free with her, till he ran to his hole and left 
her there. 

Then he saw the ship coming under sail, three 
lengths before she came near to land, and the giant 
cast anchor, and gave a step on the land, and he 
all but sank the ship after him; and the land, when 
he came on it, shook so greatly that the old castles 
fell, and the castles that were made last stooped ; 
every (old) tree was broken, and the young tree 
was bent ; and he left not foal with mare, nor calf 
with cow, nor lamb with sheep, nor hare in a bush, 
nor rabbit in hole, that didn't go off in terror. 
And he came up to the girl and put the tip of his 
finger under the edge of her girdle, and threw her 
over the tip of his shoulder. 

" My mischief and misfortune ! Hadn't your 
father a man, cow-boy nor sheep-boy, to-day to 
fight me ? Or where is the son of the King of 
Prussia, who has been feeding for a year to fight 
me ? Don't think it's on feather beds I'll put 
you, nor up the stairs, when I bring you home ; 
but you are big for one bite and small for two, 
and if I had a grain of salt I would eat you at one 
bite ; and small is the morsel you are between 
myself and my two brothers." 

'The Son of the King of Prussia. 143 

He went with her, drawing to the ship to get 
on board ; and the son of the King of Scotland 
spoke to him, and said he should not get her like 
that without fighting. And the giant said that 
it wasn't worth his while to let her out of his 
hands, but for him to come and prevent him 
taking her with him. But the other man said 
that was not right, that he should put the woman 
down on the land, and fight honourably. And 
then the giant asked him which he liked best, 
wrestling on the red flagstones, or green knives 
at the top of his ribs. He said that he liked best 
wrestling on the red flagstones, in the place where 
his noble white feet should be rising above the 
giant's clumsy club feet. The two champions 
caught hold of each other in the grip of the close, 
keen wrestling. If you were to go seeking for 
sport from the west of the world to the world's 
beginning, it is to that pair you would go. They 
made soft of the hard, and hard of the soft, till 
they drew the springs of fresh water under the red 
stones ; till the son of the King of Scotland re- 
membered that he came there without the King 
of Erin knowing, nor his daughters, that he was 
come ; and also that his father was not pleased 
with his coming ; and he gave the giant a squeeze, 
and put him down to his two knees in the ground, 
and the second squeeze to the waist of his trousers, 
and the third squeeze to the back of his neck. 

144 ^ 2e Son of the King of Prussia. 

" A green sod over you, churl ! " 

" Stay, stay ! best of champions that ever I saw. 
I am but a third of the world, and my brother is 
the half of the world, and the other is as strong 
as the world ; and if you spare me, I and my 
brothers will be your helpers, and we will conquer 
the world." 

" That's not what I will do," said the son of 
the King of Scotland ; " but I will cut the head 
off you." 

And he caught hold of his sword and cut the 
head off the giant. And the young girl all the 
time was watching the young champion ; and she 
ran to him and kissed him, and asked him if he 
would come home with her, and he said he would 
not come. She took a pair of scissors and cut 
away a piece of the champion's suit that was 
on him. 

He went with himself then, and came to the 
hen-wife, and told her that the giant's head was cut 
off ; and she asked him if any one was before her 
to the king with the news. And she ran to the 
king and told him the giant's head was cut off, 
and he gave her a shovel of gold as the reward of 
her trouble. 

When the son of the King of Scotland was gone, 
the son of the King of Prussia arose out of his 
hole, and he took with him a book and a knife, 
and he swore that unless she said it was he had 

The Son of the King of Prussia. 145 

done the action, he would cut the head off her 
father and every one of them. He took his sword 
and he cut a piece from the giant's head, and took 
it home in proof that he killed the giant. 

The king came and his hosts before him, and 
they raised him on their shoulders and carried him 
home. And there was great joy on the king and 
his people that the giant was killed ; and the two 
other sisters were cheerful ; but there was dissatis- 
faction and sorrow and trouble on the third sister, 
and she spoke not a word to them except to say, 
" You will have it yet." 

The king spent the night cheerfully, till the 
whiteness of the day came upon the morrow. 

The next day the second sister went out, and 
the son of the King of Scotland fought for her, 
and when he would not go home with her, she cut 
off a lock of his hair ; but the son of the King of 
Prussia said it was he killed the giant. And the 
next day the third sister went out, and the son of 
the King of Scotland killed the third giant. The 
girl asked him would he go home with her, and 
he said he would not, and she took with her one 
of his shoes. 

And when the son of the King of Prussia went 
home, and the third giant killed by the son of the 
King of Scotland, proclamation was made of the 
marriage of the son of the King of Prussia, and 
the daughter of the King of Erin. And when 


146 The Son of the King of Prussia. 

they ate their supper, word was sent to the priest 
of the pattens and the clerk of the table, (to come) 
to marry them. And the hen-wife came and the 
champion to the wedding ; and they arose that 
the pair might be married. The priest asked the 
girl if she would marry that man, and she said she 
would not. And he struck her a box with his 
fist, and said, " How do you know that you are 
my choice ? Haven't I my choice of the family 
to get ? " And the king said he had. 

Then came the second daughter, and the priest 
asked her, would she marry him ? and she said 
she would not. And he struck her a blow of his 
fist, and he said, " How do you know that you are 
my choice ? Haven't I my choice of you to get ? " 
And the king said he had. 

Then came the third girl, and the priest asked 
her, would she marry him ? and she said she would 
not. And the son of the King of Prussia gave 
her a blow of his fist, and he said, cc How do you 
know that you are my choice ? Haven't I my 
choice of you to get ? " And the king said he 

Then the Scotchman got up and he gave the 
son of the King of Prussia a blow with the tip of 
his boot and knocked him down. And the king 
offered a reward of five pounds to whoever would 
tell who struck the champion. And, as there 
were bad people present, he was told it was the 

'The Son of the King of Prussia. 147 

old man down there who had struck him. He 
was caught, and he was bound, and when the 
daughters saw him they knew him, and they 
threw themselves on their knees before their 
father and begged he would grant them one 
request ; and he said he would, but that one of 
them must marry the man. 

" It is not for that man we are asking, but for 
this one, who saved us." 

He put the three daughters in three rooms, and 
he called the eldest, and she came to him and told 
him that he was the man who saved her. She put 
her hand in her pocket and she took out the piece 
she cut from his champion's suit, and it answered 
to the coat. Then the king called the second 
daughter, and she said likewise, and showed the 
lock of hair, and her father was satisfied. He 
called the third daughter, and she showed the shoe, 
and she said she had no fear of him, that he it was 
who saved her. 

The Scotchman got up standing, and he bound 
the son of the King of Prussia, and they were 
going to put him to death. Then the daughters 
asked the son of the King of Scotland if he would 
marry any of them, and he said that to one of 
them he was bound ; but that when he knew what 
the son of the King of Prussia was going to do 
he came without^ his father's leave to Erin to 
* This contradicts what is stated on page 140. 

148 The Son of the King of Prussia. 

save them, " and I cannot marry a woman till I go- 
to my father and then I will come back to you." 

And the daughter said, " Marry one of us and 
then go to your father, and then you can come 

He said he could not do that, that he would go 
to his father first. Said she, 

<c If you do not marry one of us, I will put you 
for a year under disesteem and bad esteem ; every 
one will be spitting on you and cursing you ; who- 
ever is meanest you shall be under his curses; and 
till you marry one of us, or get cause for laughter, 
your mouth to be at the back of your head." 

And when he saw that, " If I were going this 
hour to marry you, I would not marry you now." 

The disfigurement came on him. He turned 
to the door and opened his hand, and all that 
were between him and the door he killed. He 
went on from place to place in hopes of getting a 
cure for himself, and he left not a doctor in the 
place that he was not getting the water of healing 
and every sort of drugs from them. 

He was going till a man met him who was 
giving food and work to every one, and he went 
to him and asked him for work. The man said 
he would give it if the workmen would take him. 
He had eighteen men, six of them each in dif- 
ferent places he had, and he went up to one set of 
six and said to them, "Here is a helper I am 

'The Son of the King of Prussia. 1 49 

bringing you ; I don't think he'll increase our 
work, and I myself will give him enough to eat." 

They spat upon him and said they would not 
have him. 

Then they came to another six, and they would 
not take him ; and they came to another, and they 
took him. And when the master went away, 
Crooked-mouth said he was sleepy, and asked for 
leave to sleep that day. And they gave him leave ; 
and in the night he told them not to go out to 
work in the morning until he came in to his 
breakfast, and when he came in to his breakfast 
the work of a week was done. And those six 
were walking about and not doing a turn. 

At that time a gentleman sent an invitation to 
dinner to the man (who had the workmen) and for 
his men to come with him. And they went draw- 
ing that way, and a robber met them on the road 
and bound every one of them and took his money 
from the master. And he told his men to bind 
Crooked-mouth, and Crooked-mouth said that not 
one should bind him but the robber himself. 

" Come up to me and I'll bind you. You won't 
be having your stories to make of me." 

When he went to bind him, Crooked-mouth 
laid hold of htm, and turned him round, and threw 
him on the ground, and told him to hand out his 
master's money quickly, or he would kill him. So 
he gave him the money back and loosed the men. 

150 The Son of the King of Prussia. 

" Master," said he, " here are twelve others for 
him, and I will do their work." 

"Oh!" said the master, "I will not ask one turn 
of you, except one meal and one drink for ever." 

So he gave over to the robber the twelve other 
men, who had refused to let him work with them. 
And before he parted with the robber he put him 
under obligations. 

" I will not kill you," said he, " this is O'Daly, 
and I am Gerald O'Daly, and anything at all that's 
ever asked of you by the honour of O'Daly, do 

Then they went on with themselves to the 
house, and there was a feast ready for them ; and 
they took their meal, and while they were eating, 
the twelve others he gave over to the robber came. 
One of them asked the robber to let them go their 
way by the honour of O'Daly, and he told them 
to go and a hundred welcomes, and if it were a 
greater thing (he would grant it). 

When Crooked-mouth ate his supper, he stretched 
himself under the table, and when the others ate 
their supper, (the gentleman) put them out to 
sleep in the barn, and when he came in he heard 
snoring, and he gave the man a kick, and asked 
him why he wasn't with the others, and he said 
he would not leave the house that night ; and the 
man of the house said that he must leave; that 
no one slept in the house for a year, and that he 

T/ie Son of the King of Prussia. 1 5 1 

should not sleep in it that night. But the other 
said he would sleep in it, and find out about 
everything in the house. He took the man of the 
house and put him in a basket, and put him in 
the chimney to smother him ; and he asked him, 
<c Let me down, and I will tell you." He let him 
down, but he would not tell him ; and he put 
him back three times one after another, and the 
third time he came down he told him. 

" I was one day standing at the gable of my 
house, and I saw a ship coming under full sail into 
the harbour, and a man and a woman jumped out 
(on the shore) and ran ; and I saw a great monster 
in the sea coming the same way, and the monster 
ran after them ; and the man put his hand in his 
pocket, and pulled out something, and flung it at 
the monster ; and the monster sent out such a 
spout of blood that the two were drowned in it. 
I took them with me and washed them, and I put 
herbs of the hill on them, and I have had them for 
two years, and there is not a night since that I don't 
burn a penny candle looking at their beauty." 

He opened a room and showed them to Crooked- 
mouth, and he took the water of healing and 
sprinkled some of it on them, and they arose alive 
again. And his mouth came as it was at first, and 
the disfigurement went from him, and he asked 
his brother what it was took him that way. And 
his brother said, 

152 The Son of the King of Prussia. 

" When you were gone a day and a year I went 
to the sea, hoping to see a ship or boat that would 
give me tidings of you, or to see if I would see 
a board that I would recognise ; and one day I 
met a pretty bird-serpent, and a stone with him, 
and it was written on the stone that that was the 
stone that would kill the bird ; and I took the 
stone and the bird home with me, and I put 
the bird into a cage, and kept it there for a week, 
and it became so big I had to put it into the 
stable ; and it went on growing bigger and bigger 
till I had to make a place for it in the wood, and 
to tie the brambles round it, and I had four men 
killing beef and giving it food. And one day I 
was walking round near it, and it made a lunge at 
me to eat me, and I said it would do that at last. 
I went and took a ship, and went to sea, and I was 
sailing three days when my sister rose up to me, 
and I did not know she was on board the ship. 
We were sailing till we came to the harbour, and 
the serpent was following us, and I went up on the 
land, and the serpent followed ; and, as God was 
helping me, I had my waistcoat on that day, and 
the stone was in the pocket, and I flung the stone 
at her, and she spouted so much blood that I 
and my sister were drowned. I don't know what 
happened to us since then." 

<c I took you with me, and cleansed you, and 
put herbs of the hill round about you, and there 

The Son of the King of Prussia. 153 

is not a night for two years I don't burn a penny 
candle looking on you, and I believe that it is I 
should get her in marriage." 

The four spent the night pleasantly, telling one 
another everything ; and in the morning when they 
arose, and the people who were at supper the 
night before were gathered together, the master 
did not recognise that Crooked-mouth was with 
him. But when Crooked-mouth told him that it 
was he was there, O'Daly bade him come with 
him, but he would not. He went with his brother 
and his sister and the other man to Scotland. 
And when they came to his father's court, his 
father was banished by Faugauns and Blue-men ; 
and he and the other people who were taking 
possession of his father's court began ; and he and 
they spent three nights and three days killing one 
another, and on the third day he had killed and 
banished them all. But when he and the cat met, 
the cat killed him and he killed the cat ; and his 
brother was going everywhere that he killed, and 
at last he found him and the cat dead. And he 
searched his pocket and found in it the bottle of 
healing-water, and as he was drawing the cork 
from the bottle, some of the water fell on the 
dead man, and he arose alive again. 

He went then with his sister and the other man 
who was in the place of husband to his sister ; and 
they cleansed the king's castle, and he brought his 

154 The Son of the King of Prussia. 

father and mother and their people home to the 
castle, and they were well from that out. Then 
he gave his sister in marriage to the man, who 
found himself and her on the day when the serpent 
drowned them. There came the priest of the 
pattens and the clerk of the table, and the pair 
were wedded. 

He himself then went back to Erin, and married 
the daughter of the King of Erin, who was to be 
eaten by the giants, and the son of the King of 
Prussia was to save her. 


Narrator, P. MINAHAN, Malinmore, Glencolumkzlle, 
co. Donegal. 

" I ^HERE was a king then, and he had but one 

JL son. He was out hunting. He was going 
past the churchyard. There were four men in the 
churchyard and a corpse. There was debt on the 
corpse. The king's son went in. He asked what 
was the matter. Said one of the men : 

" The dead man is in our debt. I am not 
willing to bury the body, till the two sons who 
are here, promise to pay the debts." 

" We are not able to pay," said one of them. 

"I have five pounds/' said the king's son ; "I 
will give them to you to bury the body." 

He gave the five pounds. The body was 
buried. The king's son went hunting. He went 
home in the evening. In the morning of the 
morrow there was snow. He went out hunting 
in the snow. He killed a black raven. He stood 
over it and looked at it. He said in his own 

156 Beauty of the World. 

mind he would never marry a woman whose head 
was not as black as the bird's wing, and her skin 
as white as the snow, and her cheeks as red as the 
blood on the snow. 

He went home. On the morning of the 
morrow, when he rose, he washed himself,, and 
he went away to find the woman. When he was 
going for a time, he met with a red-haired young 
man. The young man saluted him. He asked 
him where he was going. The king's son told 
him he was going to get one sight of that woman. 

cc It is better for you to hire me," said the 
young man. 

cc What wages do you be asking ? " 

" Half of all we gain, to the end of a year and 
a day." 

The two went on with themselves till the 
evening came. Said the red man : 

"There is a man related to me living in this 
wood below. Do you wait here till I go down to 

The red man went down to the house of the 
giant. The giant was sitting on a chair by the fire. 

<c Uncle, dear," said the red man, " is it like 
this you are P " 

a Yes, kinsman mine : what is coming to me ? " 

Said the red man : " The King of the prodigious 
Eastern World is coming up to kill you. Get out 
of the way as quick as you can." 

Beauty of the World. 157 

" I have an iron house outside there. Lock 
me into it." 

He locked the man in. He went to his master. 
He took his master up to the house of the giant. 
He got ready their supper. They went to rest. 
This was the giant's cry in the morning. <c Let 
them open." The red man went to him. He 
asked him what was the matter. 

" I am ready to perish with hunger. Let me 
out of this quickly." 

" I will not let you out," said the red man, " till 
you tell me where the dark cloak is." 

cc That is what I will never tell any one." 

" Well, if you like better not to tell, you will 
be there till you die." 

cc Sooner than be here any longer, it is hanging 
in such a room." 

cc I know where it is," said the red man. " Be 
here as long as you like." 

When the giant heard that he would not get 
out, he took a jump out between two bars of 
the iron house. Two halves were made of him. 
Half fell outside and half inside. The red man 
went to the giant's house. He got ready the 
breakfast. He and his master breakfasted. He 
took with them plenty of gold and silver, two 
horses and two saddles. They went till evening 
was there, and they went into another wood. 

u I have an uncle," said the red man, " living 

158 Beauty of the World. 

here. We shall get lodging to-night. Stay you 
here, till I go up." 

The red men went in to the giant's house. 

" Uncle, dear, is it here you are resting ? " 

<c Yes, kinsman, dear : what is coming on me ? " 

" The King of the prodigious East is coming to 
kill you. Hide yourself as quick as you can." 

"I have an iron house here outside. Lock me 
into it." 

He locked him in. He brought his master. 
They made ready their supper. This was the 
giant's cry in the morning, " Let them open." 

cc I will not open," said the red man, " till you 
tell me where are the slippery shoes." 

" They are under the bed." 

" I know myself where they are," said the red 
man. " Stop there as long as you like." 

When the giant saw he was not to get out, he 
took a leap between two bars of the iron house. 
Two halves were made of him. Half fell inside, 
and half out. 

The red man and his master went on travelling 
till evening. They came to another wood. There 
was a giant in the wood. The red man did to 
him as to the other giants. He took from him 
the sword of light, and plenty of gold and silver. 

" Now," said the red man to his master, " we 
shall be going home. We have got enough : 
go forward no farther. The woman you are 

Beauty of the World. 159 

approaching, there is not a tree in the wood 
on which a man's head is not hung, except one 
tree that is waiting for your head. We'll return 

" I will never go home," said the king's son, 
" till I get one sight of that woman." 

They went forward till they came to the king's 
house. The king made great welcome for them. 
They took their dinner. They spent the night 
in drinking and sport. When they were sitting 
to their supper she came down from the top of 
the house. Her head was as black as the bird's 
wing, her skin as white as the snow, and her 
cheeks as red as the blood. She came to them, 
to the place where they were eating. She threw 
him a comb. Said she, "If you have not that 
comb to give me to-morrow, I will cut your head 
from you." 

He took hold of the comb. He put it down 
in his pocket. When they were going to bed 
the red man said, " See if you have the comb." 
He put his fingers in his pocket. He had not 
the comb. His tears fell. 

" It's a pity I did not take your advice when 
you told me to return home." 

"Perhaps we shall get the better of her entirely," 
said the red man. He was comforting him till 
he got him to bed. When he got him to bed 
he put on the dark cloak. He took with him 

1 60 Beauty of the World. 

the slippery shoes and the sword of light. He 
went out and stood in the back yard. She came 
out. She made down to the sea. She came to 
the sea. She threw a shell from her pocket. 
She made a boat of it. She went into the boat. 
She began rowing with two paddles, till she eame 
in on an island that was in the sea. There was 
a great giant on the shore. " Have you got 
anything for me to-night ? " 

"I have not," said she; "but I'll have it 
to-morrow night. The son of the King of Erin 
is with me to-night. I shall have him for you 
to-morrow night." 

They went to the house. " Here is the comb 
I gave him to-night : it is yours/' 

The giant opened a chest. He left the comb 
in the bottom of the chest. The red man was 
standing by the chest. When the giant left the 
comb in it, the red man took it and put it in 
his pocket. The house was full of goats. She 
went to milk the goats, till she milked one part 
of milk, and one part of blood. She got the 
supper ready. That was the stuff they took. 
The giant drew out an iron harrow and the 
skin of a white mare. They lay upon that till 
morning. When the day came she arose and 
went away drawing to the sea. The red man 
followed her. When she came to the boat she 
put it in the water. She went into it. The 

Beauty of the World. 1 6 1 

red man followed her on the sea. He was 
dashing water on her with the sword. She did 
not know what was delaying her. When they 
got home the red man went to his master. He 
asked him was he asleep. The. king's son said 
he was not. 

"I have saved your head to-night. Here is 
the comb. Put it in your pocket." 

He put it in his pocket. The red man went 
to bed. When breakfast was ready in the morn- 
ing the bell rang. They rose and they washed. 
When they were taking their breakfast she came 
down from the top of the house. 

"Have you got the comb I gave you yester- 
day ? " 

He put his finger in his pocket. He threw 
the comb to her. When she saw he had the 
comb to get she went by with one sweep. She 
broke the half of what was on the table. cc I 
have a third of your daughter won," said the 
son of the King of Ireland. 

" You have," said the king ; " you are the best 
champion ever came into my house." 

They went hunting that day. When they came 
home they were making fun together till supper- 
time. When they were taking their supper, the 
beautiful woman came to them. She threw a 
pair of scissors to him : " Unless you have them 
for me to-morrow, I will have your head." 


1 62 Beauty of the World. 

He took the scissors. He put them in his 
pocket. When they were going to bed said the 
red man to his master, " Look and see if you have 
the scissors." 

u I have not,", said his master. 

" It's bad for you to lose them." 

He went lamenting. The red man was com- 
forting him till he got him to bed. When he 
slept, the red man went out. He put on the 
dark cloak and the slippery shoes, and took the 
sword of light. He stood outside the door. It 
was not long till she came out. She went down 
to the sea. She took a shell out of her pocket. 
She threw it on the sea and made a boat of it. 
She went to the island. The giant was on the 

" Have you got anything for me to-night ? " 

" I have not," she said ; " but I shall have the 
son of the King of Erin to-morrow night." They 
went to the house. " Here are the scissors I gave 
him to-night. They are yours." 

The giant opened a chest. He put the scissors 
in the bottom of the chest. The red man was 
standing by. When the giant put the scissors in 
the chest, the red man took them and put them 
in his pocket. 

They took their supper. The giant pulled out 
the harrow and the skin of the white mare. They 
lay upon that till morning. In the morning she 

Beauty of the World. 163 

went to the sea. The red man followed her. 
She put her boat on the water. She went into it. 
The red man followed her. He dashed in water 
on her with the sword. When they got home, 
the red man went to his master. He asked him 
was he asleep ? The king's son said he was not. 

" I have saved your head this night. Here are 
the scissors for you." 

In the morning, when breakfast was ready, she 
came down from the top of the house. She was 
wet and dripping. She asked him had he the 
scissors to give her. He put his hand in his 
pocket. He threw her the scissors. She gave 
one sweep. She did not leave a bit of delf on 
the table she did not break in her rage. The 
king's son said to the king he had two-thirds of 
his daughter won. 

" You have," said the king ; " and I hope you 
will win her altogether. I am tired of her." 

They went hunting that day till night came. 
When supper was ready, she came down with a 

" Unless you have the last lips I shall kiss this 
night, I'll have your head." 

" It's hard for me," said the king's son, u to 
know what are the last lips you kiss." 

He was so troubled he did not know what to 
do. The red man was comforting him till he got 
him to bed. Then he went out. She came out. 

1 64 Beauty of the World. 

She went to the island. When she got in on the 
island the giant was bellowing on the shore. 

" Have you anything for me ? " said the giant. 

u I will never give you anything more. You 
let the comb go ; you let the scissors go : he had 
the two to give me in the morning. To-night I 
put on him obligations for something he won't 
have to give me : that is, the last lips I shall kiss 
this night and those are your lips." 

She went to milk the goats. She mixed a part 
of blood, and a part of milk. She made ready 
the supper. They ate and drank enough. He 
got the iron harrow and the skin of the white 
mare. They lay upon that till morning. When 
the day came upon the morrow she kissed him 
three times. 

" Those are the last lips I shall kiss. He won't 
have them to give me to-morrow." 

She rose and she went. When she went out 
the red man whisked the head off the giant. 
He put a knot in the ear. He threw it over 
his shoulder. He was on the shore as soon as 
she was. She went into the boat. She was 
drawing to home. He went out after her. 
Much as he drenched her the nights before, twice 
as much did he drench her this night. They 
went home. The red man came to his master 
in bed. 

" Are you asleep, master ? " 

Beauty of the World. 165 

<C I am not now," said the king's son. 

" Here are the last lips she kissed last night, 
and, by my faith, they were ugly lips for a lady 
to be kissing." 

He took the head and threw it under the bed. 
When breakfast was ready in the morning she 
came down with a flight. She asked him, 

" Where are the last lips that I kissed last 
night ? " 

He put his hand under the bed. He took 
hold of the giant's head. He threw it over at 
her feet. When she saw the giant was dead she 
gave one sweep, and she left not a chair or a 
table, nor anything on the table, she did not make 
smash of, so great was her anger. 

" I have your daughter all won now," said the 
king's son. 

" You have ; and you are the best champion 
that came under my roof ever." 

" Well, we'll go hunting to-day," said the red 
man. They went hunting. The red man cut 
three bundles of rods. He made three flails. 
When they came home, u Now," said he, " bring 
your daughter out here." 

The king brought her out. " Tie her hands 
and feet," said the red man, " and leave her lying 
there." The king left her lying. The red man 
gave one flail to the king, and one to his master. 
cc Strike you the first blow." 

1 66 Beauty of the World. 

The king struck the first blow. The three 
were striking her for a long time. A blaze of 
fire came out of her mouth. " Strike ye more. 
There is more in her." 

They struck till another lump of fire came 
out of her mouth. "Strike," said the red man, 
"there is one more in her." 

They struck till the third came. " Now," said 
the red man, " strike her no more. Those were 
three devils that came out of her. Loose her 
now ; she is as quiet as any woman in the world." 

They loosed her and put her to bed. She was 
tired after the beating. 

The priest of the pattens and the clerk of the 
bells came. The pair were married. The red 
man stayed with them a year and a day. A 
young son was born to them. When the day 
and the year were up the red man said it was 
time for him to be going. 

" I don't know what I'll do after you," said 
the king's son. 

" Oh, make no delay," said the red man ; " the 
hire is just." 

" It is just," said the king's son. 

He made two halves of all he gained since he 
hired him. " I will give you my child all," said 
he ; "I think it a pity to go to cut him in two." 

" I will not take him all," said the red man ; 
"I will not take but my bargain." 

Beauty of the World. 167 

The king's son took a knife and was going to 
cut. cc Stop your hand," said the red man. "Do 
you remember the day you were going past the 
churchyard ? There were four men in the 
churchyard. They had a corpse, and they were 
arguing about the debts that were on the corpse. 
They were not willing to bury the corpse till the 
debts were paid. You had five pounds. You 
gave them to bury the corpse. It was I was in 
the coffin that day. When I saw you starting on 
your journey I went to you to save you, you 
were that good yourself, I bestow on you your 
child and your money. Health be with you and 
blessing. You will set eyes upon me no more. 1 * 


Narrator, JACK GILLESPIE, Glen, Glencolumkille, 
co. Donegal. 

MORROCHA heard that Grig would live 
for ever, until he was killed without sin. 
He left home to put Grig to death ; and he and 
his boy went one day on the hill, and there came 
on them rain and mist, and they went astray till 
night came ; and the boy said to Morrocha, " We 
shall be out this night." 

<c Oh, we shall not be," said Morrocha. And 
he went and looked through the mist. " I think 
I see a turf stack : it is not possible we are near 
a house ? " They went on for another bit, and 
Morrocha stood : <c I think," said he, " I hear the 
lowing of a cow." 

" We are near a house," said the boy, " and 
we'll get into the byre." 

Morrocha stood up, and he felt the breath of a 
man, and he came to him. <c Bless you," said 


Grig. 169 

" My blessing to you," said the man ; " for if 
you did not bless me, I would have your head or 
you would have mine." 

" The death-bands on you," said Morrocha ; 
" sorry I am I came to ask shelter of you." 

Said Theegerje, " I have no shelter to give you. 
There is not a house nearer to you than the house 
of Grig, and that is seven miles away ; and if you 
go there don't tell that you have seen me. I am 
his servant boy, and Grig is lying on the one bed 
for seven years, and if you go there tell him you 
are the best doctor ever stepped." 

Morrocha went on then, and when he came to 
Grig's house, said Grig, "If it were not that you are 
a good doctor, I would cut the head from you." 

" The death-bands on you," said Morrocha ; 
"sorry I am I came to cure you, above and 
beyond the report I heard about you at home and 

"And," said Grig, cc if I had Njuclas Croanj and 
my wife she would not be on your side." 

She was sleeping at Grig's back in the bed, and 
he told her to get up, and she did not stir, and 
Grig lifted his hand and struck her on the jaw- 
bone and put it out of joint, and she awoke and 
she said, " What made you do that to me ? " 

" Be silent, woman ; don't you see the Irish 
doctor that's come to cure me, and to see me hale 
and whole and as good as ever I was ? " 

1 70 Grig. 

cc Musha, it's a poor place he's come to. 
There isn't a wisp dry or wet that isn't under 
your side, and we haven't a stool better than the 
floor, or a chair better than a lump of clay, and 
we haven't as much fire as would cook the wing 
of a butterfly." 

" Be silent, woman," said Grig, " and take my 
old great coat and fix it under me." 

She did that ; and Theegerje came, and a load 
of faggots with him, and he put down a good fire, 
and Morrocha got food to eat, and when he 
warmed himself at the fire he was weary-wet, and 
he was falling asleep. 

" The death-bands on you," said Grig ; " you're 
not like a doctor, for you've never asked what 
kind of sickness is on me." 

" It is not that," said Morrocha ; " but there 
are numbers of people, and their blood runs all 
together when they see strangers." 

" I am of them," said Grig. 

"I was not going to feel your pulse until you 
got quiet." 

When he became quiet Morrocha arose and felt 
his pulse. 

" And great is the pity," said he, " that a fine 
man like you should be lying in that place on one 
bed, and I will cure you. If you got potatoes and 
butter, and ate the full of your fist, you would not 
be long sick." 

Grig. 171 

"That's true," said Grig, "and if Njuclas 
Croanj gave me that I wouldn't be lying here." 

Morrocha asked if they had any food in the 
house, and Njuclas Croanj said they had, that 
Theegerje was just after coming from the mill, 
and that he had three pecks of oatmeal. And 
Morrocha bade them give him a peck of meal, and 
she gave him that. And he asked if there was 
any butter in the house, and she said there was. 
cc Bring me down a crock of fresh butter," said 
he. And she brought that to him, and Morrocha 
mixed the meal and the butter up together, and 
he asked for a spoon, and he thrust the spoon into 
the dish. 

" Do you see that ? " said he. 

"I see," said Grig. 

"You won't get it," said Morrocha, "till you 
tell me what was the horde of people from whom 
you came." 

<c I will tell you that," said Grig. " I am Grig, 
son of Stubborn, son of Very-evil, Shanrach, son 
of Canrain, son of the Soldier, who made people 
loathe him greatly." 

"The death-bands on you," said Morrocha. 
" Weren't they ugly names they had ? " 

"The death-bands on you," said Grig. "Isn't 
it you that are ugly ? They were prosperous, 

" I give in that they were," said Morrocha. 

172 Grig. 

" It was ignorance made me say that. But what 
sort was that one, the son of the Soldier? " 

" This," said Grig, " was one of the fathers who 
came before me ; and the snout of a pig was on 
his forehead ; and he had two daughters, whose 
names were Maywa, the big, Molloy's daughter, 
and the other's Sahwa, the big, daughter of Cricheen, 
and they went to Cornelius (?) the tailor, and they 
gathered the clippings the tailors threw away, and 
they made up two lying books of them, and they 
failed to make the books agree upon one story ; 
and they struck one another, and the father came, 
and they struck their father and cut him ; and he 
went, and he in his blood, and the pig's snout on 
his forehead, and there is not one that saw him, 
but they would flee from him in thousands. And 
at last they got the two books to agree upon one 
story, and when the clergy heard they had the 
books, they desired to possess them, and they 
would not give them. And they banished them ; 
and if they banished them we will not leave the 
night supperless." 

" And now," said Morrocha, " I will give you 
supper." And he went and gave the dish to Grig, 
and he ate the peck of meal and the butter mixed 
together. " Now," said the other, cc thirst will 
come on you ; the butter was saltish, but do not 
drink a drop until I gather herbs that will help 
your sickness." He went and the boy, and Njuclas 

Grig. 173 

Croanj and Theegerje with them, and they put 
down a big pot full of water before they went, and 
Morrocha gathered the full of a basket of helle- 
bore (?) and he gathered tormentil, and he went 
into the house with Njuclas Croanj and Theegerje, 
and he bade them put the herbs into the pot and 
boil them, and when he grew thirsty to give him 
some of the liquor to drink, and, if he wished, some 
of the stalks to eat, " and I will gather more, and 
will come in to see if he is getting better." 

And Grig took a great thirst, and he set to 
drinking what was in the pot, and he drank it all ; 
and when Njuclas Croanj went in, Morrocha and 
his boy went away ; and when Grig drank the last 
of what was in the pot, he burst as he lay on the 
bed ; and when Njuclas Croanj saw he was dead, 
she followed Morrocha ; but since the Lord was 
with Morrocha, he escaped. 


Narrator, P. M'GRALE, Achill, co. Mayo. 

r I ^HERE was an old man with a little girl of 
JL seven years, and he was begging ; and he 
came to a gentleman, and begged of him ; and the 
gentleman said it would be better for him to go 
and earn wages than to be as he was begging ; 
and the man said he would go, and willingly, if 
he got any one to pay him, and the other said he 
would himself give him pay, and a house to live 
in for himself, and for the little girl to come to 
and wash and cook for him. He gave them the 
house, and they went to live in it. 

They were not long there when the gentleman 
came to the little girl one day, and thought to 
take liberties with her, but she kept herself free 
from him. When he saw that, he went to his 
workmen, and he spoke to her father, and said to 
him that he would hang him at twelve o'clock next 
day unless he told him which there was the greater 


The Little Girl and the Gentleman. 175 

number of, rivers or banks. His intention was to 
put the old man to death, that he might have his 
way with the little girl. And the old man went 
home sorrowful and troubled, and his daughter 
asked him what ailed him, and he told her he was 
to be hung at twelve o'clock next day unless he 
could tell which there was the greater number of, 
rivers or banks. 

" Oh, don't be sorrowful," said his daughter, 
" eat your supper, and sleep plenty, and eat your 
breakfast in the morning, and when you are going 
to work, I will tell you." 

In the morning said she to him, " Say, when he 
asks you the question, that there is not a river 
but has two banks." 

When he went to work the master came and 
asked him, " Which is there the greater number 
of, rivers or banks ? " 

" There is not a river," said he, " but has two 

" Your question is answered ; but you must tell 
me to-morrow the number of the stars." 

And he went home in the evening sorrowful 
and troubled. And his daughter asked him what 
ailed him, and he told her. She bade him not to 
be sorrowful, for she would tell him in the morning. 
And in the morning he went to his work, and his 
master came and asked him to count the number 
of the stars ; and he said, 

ij6 'The Little Girl who got 

" I will, if you put posts under them." 

And he could not do that, but he said, 

" I will hang you at twelve to-morrow, if you 
don't give me the measure of the sea in quarts." 

And he went home to his daughter and told 
her, and in the morning, as he was going to work, 
she said, 

" Let him stop the rivers that are going into the 
sea or out of it, and you will measure it in quarts." 

So he gave that answer to his master, and his 
master could not stop the rivers. 

Then he asked for the little girl in marriage, 
and the old man told him not to be making fun of 
the little girl, she was not fit for him. He would 
get a lady. 

" I will not do that," said he, " you must give 
her to me to marry." 

" Well, I must see the little girl ; she will know 
what she will do." 

He went to his daughter and told her what the 
gentleman said, and the little girl answered her 
father, and said to him, 

" I will marry him, but he must give me a 
writing under his hand that on the day when he 
puts me away he must give me my choice of all 

that's in his house, to take away three loads with 


And he said he would give her that, and she got 
it in his handwriting and signed by the lawyer. 

the Better of the Gentleman. 177 

Then the little girl came and lived in his house 
with him until she had two children. 

At that time there was a dispute in the village 
between two men, one of whom had a horse, and 
the other a mare and a foal, and the three beasts 
used to be together. And the man who owned 
the horse said that the foal belonged to the horse ; 
and the man of the mare, said no, that the foal 
was his; and the man who owned the horse put 
law on the man who owned the mare, and they 
left it to arbitration ; and the man who was 
brought in to decide was the gentleman, who said 
he would settle it between them. And this is the 
judgment he gave, "He would put the three beasts 
into an empty house, and he would open two 
doors, and which ever of the two the foal followed, 
she should be with that one." And he (did so) 
and opened the doors, and struck each beast, and 
prodded the horse ; and the horse went out first 
and the foal followed him. Then the foal was 
given to the man who owned the horse. 

All was well till there came some gentlemen to 
the house. They went out hunting. And when 
they were a while gone the woman took a fishing- 
rod, and she went fishing in the lake, and she was 
catching white trout until she saw the company 
coming, and she turned her back to the lake, and 
she began casting her line on the dry land. When 
her husband saw that, he went towards her, away 


178 The Little Girl and the Gentleman. 

from the other people, and he came and said it 
was a great wonder she should be casting her line 
on the dry ground and the lake on the other side 
of her ; and she said it was a great wonder that 
a horse without milk should have a foal. That 
made him very angry, and he said on the spot, 

"After your dinner get ready and go from me." 

c Will you give me what you promised? " 

" I will give it." 

After dinner, when the gentlemen were gone, 
he told her to be going, and she stood up and 
took with her her own child as a load and laid it 
down outside the door. She came in and took 
the second child as her load and put it outside. 
She came and she said, " I believe yourself are the 
load that's nearest to me." And she threw her 
arms round him and took him out as her third 
load. " You are now my own," said she, " and 
you cannot part from me." 

" Oh ! I am content," said he, cc and I promise 
I will not part from you for ever." 

They lived together then, and she took her 
father into the house, and he was with her unti 
he died. They had a long life after. 


Narrator, P. M'GRALE, Dugort, Ac kill, co. Mayo. 

THERE was a king in Ireland and his wife, 
and they had but one daughter, whose 
name was Gilla of the Enchantments, and she had 
a magic coat that her mother left her when she 
died. And there was a man courting her whose 
name was George na Riell, and the two were 

When her mother died the king made a fair 
and beautiful greenawn for his three sons on an 
island in the midst of the sea, and there he put 
them to live; and he sent his daughter to them 
with food every evening. 

It was not long after that till he married another 
wife, and by this wife he had three daughters. 
She was one day walking in the garden, and she 
got the corner of her apron under her foot and 
she fell. 

"May neither God nor Mary be with you," 
said the hen-wife. 


180 Gilla of the Enchantments. 

" Why do you say that ? " said the queen. 

* c Because the wife that was here before was 
better than you." 

" Was there a wife before me ? " 

" There was ; and that one is her daughter, 
and there are three sons also in an island in the 
sea, and the daughter goes every night to them 
with food." 

" What shall I do with the three of them, to 
put them to death ? " 

" I'll tell you," said the hen-wife, <c if you will 
do what I advise you." 

" I will do it," said she. 

" Promise a dowry to your eldest daughter if 
she will follow the (other) daughter out when she 
is going with food to her brothers." 

And she sent her daughter after the one who 
was going with food ; but she looked behind her 
and saw the other coming, and she made a bog 
and a lake between them, so big that she went 
astray. She came to her mother, and told her she 
was wandering all the night, and the mother went 
to the hen-wife again and told her that her daughter 
had not made her way to the men ; and the hen- 
wife said to her, " Promise a dowry to your second 

And she did this, and the second daughter 
followed as the first did, and fared in the same 
way, and she came and told her mother. And 

Gilla of the Enchantments. 1 8 1 

the mother went again to the hen-wife, and told 
her, and asked what she ought to do, and the 
hen-wife said, " Promise the dowry to your third 

And the third daughter followed Gilla of the 
Enchantments when she was going with the food ; 
and she did not look behind her till she came to 
the] house ; and she put a pot of water down, and 
cut off the heads of her three brothers, and washed 
them, and put them on their shoulders again. And 
the half-sister was at the window looking on at 
everything she did, and she went home through 
the sea, before the sea returned together ; and 
when they ate their supper, her sister came home. 

The mother went in the morning to the hen-wife 
and told her the third woman had succeeded, and 
had learned everything. And she asked her what 
she should do. 

4 Say, now, that your daughter is going to be 
married, and ask Gilla for the loan of the coat. 
She will not know that the power of the coat will 
be gone if she gives it away. So long as she keeps 
the coat herself she can do everything ; there are 
spells on the coat that the sea must open before it, 
without closing after it ; but she does not know 
that the spell of the coat will be lost." 

She gave the loan of the coat to her half-sister, 
but instead of going to be married this is what she 
did. When night came she put the coat on and 

1 82 Gilla of the Enchantments. 

went to the house of her half-brothers, knocked 
at the door, and asked them to open it. And one 
of the brothers said, " That is not my sister." But 
another looked out of the window and saw the 
coat and recognised it, and he opened the door 
and let her in. She cut the three heads off, and 
took them three quarters of a mile and put them 
into a hole in the ground, and went back to her 
mother and told her she had killed the three. She 
gave the coat back to Gilla of the Enchantments, 
and Gilla went in the evening to her brothers with 
food, and whatever sort of fastening the other one 
put on the door she could not open it, but had 
to go in by the window, and she found her three 
brothers dead. 

She wept and she screamed and pulled the hair 
from her head in her lamentations, till the white- 
ness of the day came upon the morrow. She had 
not one head of the heads to get ; but she followed 
the trace of the blood, and three quarters of a mile 
from the house were they in the place where they 
were buried. She dug them up, and took them to 
her, and washed and cleaned them, as was her 
wont, and put them on the bodies, but down they 
fell. She had to take them up at last, and cry to 
God to do something to them, that she might see 
them alive. And there were made of them three 
water-dogs (? otters) and she made another of 
herself. They were going in that way for a time, 

Gilla of the Enchantments. 183 

and then they made themselves into three doves, 
and she made of herself another dove. They were 
going forward and she was following, and the four 
came and settled on the gable of the house, and in 
the morning the man said to his wife, 

cc There is a barrel of water. Let it be wine 
with you in the evening." 

(He had a thought that it was not the right 
woman he had got.) 

Then said one of the brothers to the sister, 

"Go in, and do good in return for evil, and 
make wine of the water." 

She went down, and when she got in, and she in 
the shape of a dove, the old blind wise man, who 
was lying on the bed under the window, got his 
sight, and he saw her dipping her finger in the 
water and making of it wine cold and wholesome. 

And in the morning the man said to his wife, 

"Here is a barrel of water. Let it be wine 
with you in the evening." 

And the second brother said to his sister, 

"Go in, and do good in return for evil, and 
make wine of the water." 

She went down, and when she went in at the 
window, and she in the shape of a dove, the old 
wise blind man, who was lying on the bed under 
the window, got his sight, and saw her dipping her 
finger in the water and making it wine cold and 

1 84 Gilla of the Enchantments. 

And in the morning on the third day the wise 
old man spoke to the king, and said to him that 
he had seen a beautiful woman come in by the 
window on two days, and that he got his sight 
when she came in and lost it when she went out ; 
and (said he) C Stretch yourself here to-day, and 
when she comes in and makes wine of the water, 
catch her as she is going out." 

And he did so, and the third brother said to his 

" Go down to-day, and do good in return for 
evil, and make the wine." 

And she did this ; and as she was going out the 
man caught her. And when her brothers heard 
that she was caught they went away. And she 
asked him to give her leave to take just one look 
at her brothers. 

" Here's the corner of my apron." 

And he took hold of the corner of her 
apron, and she left him the apron and went 
away after her brothers. When they saw her 
coming again they waited for her, and she asked 
them if there was anything at all in the world 
that would make them alive again; and they 
said there was one thing only and that hard it 
was to do. 

" What is it ? " said she, " and I will try it." 

cc To make three shirts of the ivy-leaves in a 
day and a year, without uttering a word of speech 

Gilla of the Enchantments. 185 

or shedding a single tear, for if you weep^ we 
shall lose one member of our members." 

And she said to them to make a little hut for 
her in the wood, and they made the hut and went 
away and left her there. She was not long till she 
began to get material for the shirts, and she began 
to make them ; and she was not long in the house 
when George na Riell came to her, and he was 
with her till she had a child to him. 

A young man was in the wood one day and a 
dog with him, and the dog took him to the place 
where the woman was; and the man saw the 
woman and the child there, and he went home 
and told the queen that there was a beautiful 
woman in the wood. And she went and took the 
dog with her, as if the dog was with George na 
Riell. She went in and found the woman and the 
babe, and she killed the babe and caught some of 
the blood, and mixed the blood and ashes up to- 
gether and made a cake, and she sought to put a 
piece of the bread into the woman's mouth. And 
the woman dropped one tear from her eye ; but 
the other went away home to her wedded husband, 
and she said to him that great was the shame for 
him to have children by that woman, and that she 
had had to kill her own child and eat it. 

* The narrator knew his story imperfectly as regards 
this point, for she did shed one tear; but whether the 
brothers lost an eye in consequence he was not sure. 

1 86 Gil la of the Enchantments. 

"It is not possible," said he, "that she has 
killed my babe." 

"She killed and she ate." 

He went to her and found the child dead ; but 
she did not speak a word to him. He said then 
he would burn her at twelve o'clock on the next 
day, and that he would put a tree of one foot and 
hang her on it. He commanded that every one 
should come in the morning with sods of turf and 
sheets of paper and everything to make a fire. 
And he put the tree standing, and she was brought 
and put up on the top of the tree ; and she was 
sewing during this time. When it was twelve 
o'clock, sign was given she should be hung, and 
an old man in the crowd asked them to give her 
another hour by the clock; and when the hour 
was passed he asked again that they should give 
her a half-hour; the woman in it (he said) was 
under gassa. " You see that it is not her life that 
is troubling her, but that she is always sewing." 

It was not long till they saw a black cloud 
coming through the air, and they saw three things 
in the cloud coming. 

"Well," said the old man, "there are three 
angels from heaven, or three devils from hell, 
coming for her soul." 

There were three black ravens coming, and 
their mouths open, and as it were fire out of their 
mouths, till the three black ravens came and lay 

Gilla of the Enchantments. 187 

in their sister's bosom, and she on the top of 
the tree, and she put the three shirts on them, 
and said, 

cc Finn, Inn, and Brown Glegil, show that I am 
your sister, for in pain am I to-day." 

They took hold of her and lifted her down from 
the tree, and the brothers told George na Riell 
everything that the half-sister had done, first that 
she killed the three of them, and afterwards that 
it was she that killed their sister's child. 

Then she was put up on the tree, and she was 
hung, and then thrown into the fire. And they 
went home, and George na Riell married Gilla of 
the Enchantments and took her into his own 
house, and they spent the rest of their life as 
is right. 

I don't know what happened to them since 


Narrator, P. MINAHAN, Malinmore, Glencolumkille, 
co. Donegal. 

^HERE was a woman coming out of her 
JL garden with an apron-full of cabbage. A 
man met her. He asked her what she would 
take for her burden. She said it was not worth 
a great deal, that she would give it to him for 
nothing. He said he would not take it, but would 
buy it. She said she would only take sixpence. 
He gave her the sixpence. She threw the cabbage 
towards him. He said that was not what he 
bought, but the burden she was carrying. Who 
was there but the devil ? She was troubled then. 
She went home and she was weeping. It was a 
short time until her young son was born. He 
was growing till he was eighteen years old. He 
was out one day and fell, and never rose up till he 
died. When they were going to bury him, they 
took him to the people's house (i.e., the chapel). 
They left him there till morning. 

The Woman who went to Hell. 189 

There was a man among the neighbours who 
had three daughters. He took out a box of snuff 
to give (the men) a pinch. The last man to whom 
the box went round left the box on the altar. 
They went home. When the man was going to 
bed he went looking for his box. The box was 
not to be got. He said he had left it behind him 
in the people's house. He said he would not 
sleep that night until he got a pinch. He asked 
one of his daughters to go to the people's house 
and bring him the box that was on the altar. She 
said there was loneliness on her. He cried to 
the second woman, would she go ? She said she 
would not go ; that she was lonely. He cried to 
the third, would she go? And she said she would 
go ; that there was no loneliness on her in his 
presence (i.e., of the corpse). 

She went to the people's house. She found 
the box. She put it in her pocket. When she 
was coming away she saw a ring at the end of the 
coffin. She caught hold of it till it came to her. 
The end came from the coffin. The man that 
was dead came out. He enjoined on her not to 
be afraid. 

"Do you see that fire over yonder? If you 
are able, carry me to that fire." 

" I am not able," said she. 

u Be dragging me with you as well as you 

190 The Woman 'who went to Hell. 

She put him on her back. She dragged him 
till they came to the fire. 

<c Draw out the fire," said he, fc and put me 
lying in the midst of it ; fix up the fire over me. 
Anything of me that is not burnt put the fire on 
it again." 

He was burning till he was all burnt. When 
the day was coming she was troubled on account 
of what she had seen during the night. When 
the day grew clear there came a young man, who 
began making fun with her. 

" I have not much mind for fun on account of 
what I have seen during the night." 

" Well, it was I who was there," said the young 

"I would go to heaven if I could get an angel 
made by you left in my father's room." 

Three quarters (of a year) from that night she 
dressed herself up as if she was a poor woman. 
She went to his father's house and asked for 
lodging till morning. The woman of the house 
said that they were not giving lodging to any 
poor person at all. She said she would not ask 
but a seat by the fire. The man of the house 
told her to stay till morning. She stopped. They 
went both to lie down. She sat by the fire. In 
the course of the night she went into the room, 
and there she had a young son. He, i.e. 9 her 
husband, came in at the window in the shape of a 

The Woman who went to Hell. 191 

white dove. He dressed the child. The child 
began to cry. The woman of the house heard 
the crying. She would wager the lady had left a 
baby after her. She rose to get out of the bed. 
Her husband told her to lie quiet and have 
patience. She got up in spite of him. The door 
of the room was shut. She looked in through 
the keyhole. He was standing on the floor. She 
perceived it was her son who was there. She 
cried to him, was it he that was there ? He said 
it was. 

" One glance of your eye has sent me for seven 
years to hell." 

" I will go myself in your place," said his 

She went then to go to hell. When she came 
to the gate, there came out steam so that she was 
burnt and scalded. It was necessary for her to 
return. <c Well," said the father, " I will go in 
your place." It was necessary for him to return. 
The young man began to weep. He said he must 
go himself. The mother of the child said that 
she would go. 

" Here is a ring for you," said he. " When 
thirst comes on you, or hunger, put the ring in 
your mouth ; you will feel neither thirst nor 
hunger. This is the work that will be on you 
to keep down the souls ; they are stewing and 
burning in the boiler. Do not eat a bit of food 

192 'The Woman who went to Hell. 

there. There is a barrel in the corner, and all the 
food that you get throw into the barrel." 

She went to hell then. She was keeping down 
the souls in the boiler. They were rising in leaps 
out of it. All the food she got she threw into the 
barrel till the seven years were over. She was 
making ready to be going then. The devil came 
to her. He said she could not go yet awhile till 
she had paid for the food she had eaten. She 
said she had not eaten one morsel of his share : 
" All that I got, it is in the barrel." The devil 
went to the barrel. All he had given her was 
there for him. 

" How much will you take to stay seven years 

"Oh, I am long enough with you," said she; 
" if you give me the all that I can carry, I can 
stay with you." 

He said he would give it. She stopped. She 
was keeping down the souls during seven years. 
She was shortening the time as well as she could 
till the seven years were ended. Then she was 
going. When the souls saw she was going they 
rose up with one cry, lest one of them should 
be left. They went clinging to her ; they 
were hanging to her hair all that were in the 
boiler. She moved on with her burden. She 
had not gone far when a lady in a carriage 
met her. 

Woman 'who went to Hell. 193 

' c Oh ! great is your burden," said the lady ; 
" will you give it to me ? " 

" Who are you ? " said she. 

" I am the Virgin Mary." 

cc I will not give it to you." 

She moved on with herself. She had not gone 
far when a gentleman met her. 

" Great is your burden, my poor woman ; will 
you give it to me ? " 

" Who are you ? " said she. 

u I am God," said he. 

" I will not give my burden to you." 

She went on with herself another while. 
Another gentlemen met her. 

" Great is the burden you have," said the 
gentleman ; " will you give it to me ? " 

" Who are you ? " said she. 

" I am the King of Sunday," said he. 

" I will give my burden to you," said she. cc No 
rest had I ever in hell except on Sunday." 

<c Well, it is a good woman you are ; the first 
lady you met it was the devil was there ; the 
second person you met it was the devil was 
there, trying if they could get your burden from 
you back. Now," said God, " the man for whom 
you have done all this is going to be married 
to-morrow. He thought you were lost since you 
were in that place so long. You will not know 
till you are at home." 

194 T/ie Woman who. <went to He//. 

She did not know till she was at home. The 
house was full of drinking and music. She went 
to the fire. Her own son came up to her. 

She was making him wonder she was so worn 
and wasted. She told the child to go to his father 
and get a glass of whisky for her to drink. The 
child went crying to look for his father. He asked 
his father to give him a glass of whisky. His 
father gave it. He came down where she was by 
the fire. He gave her the glass. She drank it, 
there was so much thirst on her. The ring that 
her husband gave her she put in the glass. 

" Put your hand over the mouth of the glass ; 
give it to no one. at all till you hand it to your 

The lad went to his father. He gave him the 
glass. The father looked into it, and saw the 
ring, He recognised the ring. 

" Who has given you this ? " said he. 

" A poor woman by the fire/' said the lad. 

The father raised the child on his shoulders that 
he might point out to him the woman who had 
given him the ring. The child came to the poor 

" That is the woman/' said he, " who gave me 
the ring." 

The man recognised her then. He said that 
hardly did he know her when she came so worn 
and wasted. He said to all the people that he 

'The Woman 'who went to HelL 195 

would never marry any woman but this one ; that 
she had done everything for him ; that his mother 
sold him to the devil, and the woman had earned 
him back ; that she had spent fourteen years in 
hell, and now she had returned. 

This is a true story. They are all lies but this 


Narrator, JOHN McGiNTY, Valley, Ac hill Island. 

HE went down to the river every day and 
killed a salmon for each one of them, 
He saw a duck on the river and twelve (young) 
birds with her; and she was beating the twelfth 
away from her. He went to the old druid and 
asked what was the cause why the duck was 
beating away the twelfth bird from her. 

" It was this/' said the old druid ; " she gave 
the bird to God and the Djachwi." 

" Well, I have twelve sons," said the king ; 
"I will give one of them to God and to the 
Djachwi, as the duck is giving one of her birds 
to God and the Djachwi. The twelve are going 
to school, and you must tell me which of them 
it is best for me to give away." 

" Whichever of them is last at the gate in the 
evening, that is the man you will give away ; and 
whatever money you have left out to give him 
throw it to him over the gate, and tell him he 

must go and seek his own fortune." 


The King who had Twelve Sons. 197 

The younger children were running on first 
to the house, being hungry, and the eldest was 
coming, reading a book, after them. The father 
was standing at the gate on the inside, and he 
threw him a purse of money, and told him he 
must go seek his fortune, that he gave him to 
God and to the Djachwi. 

He went and spent that night with the old 
druid. He rose in the morning and washed his 
face, and prayed to God to put him in luck again 
until evening. He gave a good heap of the gold 
to the old druid. The old druid gave him a card 
and a bridle, and told him that any beast he would 
rub the card to, if his skin was full of disease, 
would be cured. * He went away that morning 
and he met with a king upon the road. The 
king asked him, 

" What are you seeking ? " 

"I am seeking a master," said he. 

" Your like is what I am wanting," said the 
king. " I have three hundred horses and there is 
not one of them fit to put to my carriage, they 
are so full of lumps in their skin." 

" I am able to cure them," said the other. 

" How much do you ask till the end of a day 
and a year ? " 

"I'll be asking of you nothing at all but the 

* It must be supposed that the druid gave him further 
directions for his conduct as appears by the sequel. 

198 'The King who had Twelve Sons. 

beast that comes and puts the head in this bridle 

" Very well," said the king. 

He was a good serving-boy, and he minded the 
horses. He was not two days with his master 
when two of them were cured, fit to go with the 
carriage. He went every evening to an old 
couple, and he used to get news in plenty from 

<c Did you hear the great news there is to- 
night ?" 

cc I did not hear. What is the news ? " 

" The daughter of the King of the great Wren 
is to be devoured to-morrow by a piast." 

" I did not hear it," said he. 

"Was it in a wood or a hole in the ground 
you've been that you didn't hear it ? Gentle and 
simple of the three islands are to be there to- 
morrow to look at the piast swallowing her at 
twelve o'clock to-morrow." 

(The next day) when he found that every one 
was gone to the place where the piast was to come 
on land, he called out for his second best suit of 
clothes, and it came to him with a leap ; and he 
shook the bridle, and the ugliest pony in the stables 
came to him and put her head into the bridle. 
"Be up riding on me with a jump" (said the pony) 

* Piast is a Gaelic monster, not exactly equivalent to 
either serpent or dragon. 

'The King who had Twelve Sons. 199 

lowering himself on his two knees. He gave his 
face to the way and he would overtake the wind 
of March that was before him, and the wind of 
March that was after would not overtake him. 
When he came in sight of the place where the 
gathering was, the piast was coming till she was 
half upon the land ; and he and the piast went 
fighting, till he tore her .with his mouth and feet. 

He came back and gave his face to the way, 
and he ran so near to the place where the king's 
daughter was to be swallowed that she caught the 
boot from the foot of the man who was riding 
on the pony. He came home and attended to 
his horses, and no one knew who was the man 
who was mounted on the pony that killed the 
piast. She proclaimed a gathering of all the men 
in the three islands, that she might see who the 
man was whom the shoe fitted. There was not 
a man at all coming whom the shoe would fit, 
and she was not going to marry any man but the 
one whom the shoe fitted. The old said it 
was right for him to go to her to see if the shoe 
would fit him. He called for the suit of clothes 
that he wore on the day when the pony killed the 
piast, and he went to her (the king's daughter). 
She knew him at once. The shoe was in her 
hand, and it leaped from her hand till it went on 
his foot. 

" You are the man that was on the pony on the 

2OO 'The King who had Twelve Sons. 

day that he killed the piast, and you are the man 
whom I will marry." 

He was seven nights and seven days at feast 
and festival, and they were married on the eighth 
day. They spent that night part in talking and 
part in story-telling ; till the early day came and 
the clear brightness on the morrow morning. 

He said to her that he would be riding in 
the morning on the pony ; and he was going, and 
he came on an apple of gold upon the strand, and 
the pony told him not to take up the apple or it 
would give him abundance of trouble. 

<c Whatever trouble it may give me I will take 
I j > 
it up ! 

He went home and the pearl of gold with him. 
In the morning he went to the old druid, and the 
old druid told him that it was the daughter of a 
king of the eastern world, who lost it from her 
hair ; that there was a pearl of gold on every 
rib of hair upon her head, and that she and her 
twelve attendant women were bathing in such a 
place the day she lost it. 

" I will never stop," said he, " till I see the 
woman who lost it." 

The pony told him she was hard to see. 

" There are seven miles of hill on fire to cross 
before you come to where she is, and there are 
seven miles of steel thistles, and seven miles of sea 
for you to go over. I told you to have nothing 

The King who had Twelve Sons. 201 

to do with the apple. All the same it is as good 
for you to go riding on me till we try to go to 
her place." 

He went on his two knees, and he went riding 
on him, till he crossed the seven miles of hill on 
fire, and the seven miles of steel thistles, and the 
seven miles of sea. When they came to the castle 
in which she was, there was a great dinner that 
day with her, and a great gathering of company. 
There were three-and-twenty feet of moat to cross 
before the pony could get in. He rose with a 
high leap and crossed the three-and-twenty feet. 
He came down on the inside of the moat, and a 
report went in (to the castle) that such and such a 
stranger was there ; and she heard it and sent one 
of her servants to him. He told the servant he 
could not go in till he got leave to put the pony 
in the stable. She herself came out to him, with 
a golden goblet in her hand full of wine, and she 
offered it to him ; but he said he would be obliged 
to her if she would drink of it first. She drank 
some of the wine first, and then held it out to 
him ; and what he did was to leap again upon the 
pony, and throw his arm round her waist, and lift 
her up beside him on the pommel ; and the pony 
gave his head towards the gates and crossed out 
beyond them, and made no stop till he came to 
their own castle with the lady. 

"Now," said the pony, "strike a blow with 

2O2 The King who had Twelve Sons. 

your rod of druidism upon me, and make of me 
a rock of stone, and whatever time at all you are 
in need of me, you have nothing to do but strike 
another blow on me, and I am up as I was 

The woman was with him then ; and the young 
queen he first married did not know there was 
such a person in the castle till the hen-wife told 
her. " Well ! " said the hen-wife, cc do you know 
what to do ? He has no regard for you beside 
the other. There is an apple of gold on every 
rib of hair upon her head. You and he will be 
(playing cards) together to-night, and you will 
win the first game, and you will put him under 
bonds to go and bring you the black horse of the 

The two went playing that night. She won 
the first game, and he was to bring her the 
black horse of the bank. He went to the pony 
and struck a blow with his rod of druidism on 
him, and told her the news, that she put him 
under bonds to bring her the black horse of the 
bank. " I told you the first day," said the pony, 
" to leave the pearl alone, or it would give you 
abundance of trouble ; you must go now and 
cover me with leather all over, and put pitch and 
tar on the outside of the leather. I will then go 
down to the cliff to fight with the black horse of the 
bank, till I see if I'll be able to bring him to you. 

'The King 'who had Twelve Sons. 203 

There is not a bit that he takes out of me that he 
will not get the full of his mouth of leather and 
pitch and tar, to my ribs." 

He went down, and he and the horse were 
fighting till he brought him down from the cliff 
to him, and he brought him home to his wife. 
She went then again to the hen-wife, to get more 
information from her. The hen-wife told her 
that unless she could win another game on him, 
and put him under bonds to bring her the skin of 
the wild pig from the eastern world, he and this 
young queen would put her to death. The two 
went playing that night, and he won the first 
game from her, and she said to him, cc Give your 
judgment now." "I perceive," said he, "that 
if it was you who had to give the first judgment, 
you would give a brief judgment on me. But 
now I put you under bonds to go, and not to 
sleep a wink, but for one night only in the one 
house, till you bring me the heads of the three 
black ravens that are in the eastern world." 

She arose in the morning and went to the 
hen-wife, and told her : and the hen-wife said, 
cc She had plenty of trouble before her ere she got 
the three black ravens from the eastern world. 
But now I have three brothers who are three 
giants, and to-night you will be with the first of 
them. I will give you a ring that will take you 
on your way swiftly to the king, and when you 

204 The King who had Twelve Sons. 

come to him you will give him the ring, and he 
will know who gave it to you. And great will be 
the welcome he will have for you, and he will 
give you every knowledge as far as the next 

She gave her the ring, and she was with him 
that night, and he told her that " he himself was 
as much as third of the world, that his second 
brother was two-thirds of the world, and the third 
brother three-thirds, and that all the birds of the 
air were under high tribute to him." 

She arose in the morning and washed her face 
and hands, and prayed to God, to put her in 
luck; and that night she was with the second 
brother ; and the third night she was with the 
third brother. She gave him the ring and he 
recognised it, and said he had not seen his sister 
for a hundred years. She told him the journey 
she was going. * "To-morrow," said he, "they 
are coming with their high tribute, and unless I 
can get tidings from them I cannot give you 
tidings." Then in the morning came all the 
birds of the air and paid to him their tribute, all 
except the eagle : <c And great is my wonder," 
said he, " that the eagle is last to-day, and no 
tidings are there with any other bird, unless it is 
with the eagle." He blew a whistle, and it was 
not long till he saw a black lump coming in the 
* i.e., the cause of her journey. 

The King who had Twelve Sons. 205 

sky, and who was it but the eagle ! He told the 
eagle he would remit to him the tribute of the 
seven years, if he could give him tidings of the 
three black ravens that are in the eastern world. 
" Well ! " said he, cc it is a year and a day since I 
saw them, and I'll take another year and a day 
before I can come to you with account of them/* 
" You must wait here " (said he to the woman) 
to the end of a year and a day till the eagle 
comes back to me with news, and you will have 
nothing to do but sit down." 

When the day and the year were ended, the 
eagle came back and the three black ravens with 
him, and he gave them to the giant, and the 
giant took them from him. u And now " (said 
he) cc when you go home he will ask you if you 
have them, and you will say you have not ; and 
he will say he believes you never went at all to 
look for them, and you will take them with you 
then, and show them to him and let them out of 
your hand, and they will not stop till they come 
to me here." 

When she came home her husband said to her, 
" Have you the three ravens ? " 

" If I promised to bring them to you, I did not 
promise to give them to you." And she let them 

He went that night to the old druid he had 
himself, and he told him the thing she said to 

206 The King who had Twelve Sons. 

him. And the old druid told him that unless he 
could succeed in banishing the hen-wife from the 
castle she would bring utter destruction on himself 
and the queen. " Go now, and there is not any 
way to banish her but the way I tell you. Send 
her word this night, and invite her to play cards 
with you ; and when you win the first game tell 
her she must go to the Gruagach of the Apple 
and bring to you the sword of light that is with 
the King of Rye, and then she has not a single 
chance of returning. The queen will have no 
one to tell her anything without the hen-wife, and 
you yourself and the other queen will be quiet 
and untroubled together then." 

He sent her word that night and she came, and 
he asked her would she play a game of cards ? 
She said she would play : that great was the 
practice she learned in the house of her father and 
mother when she was young, and that she was 
very proud that he paid her a compliment so great 
as to invite her. He drew out a table and a pack 
of cards, and the two sat down beside the table, 
and it was five hundreds they had in the game. 
He succeeded until she put out the five hundreds. 

"Now," said the hen-wife, "give your judg- 
ment on me." 

" I put you under bonds and under curse of a 
year to go to the eastern world and to bring the 
sword of light belonging to the King of Rye from 

The King who had Twelve Sons. 207 

the eastern world, and not to sleep a wink, but 
one night only, in the one house before you come 
back again." 

She went with herself, and stopped not till she 
came to the castle of the King of Rye in the 
eastern world, and knocked at the Cuille Coric, 
and the King of Rye came out and asked her 
what she was seeking. 

" I am seeking," said she, " your sword of light 
and the divided stone of your druidism." 

" Well, do you not see on the hill yonder all 
the heads of the champions who came to seek 
them from me, and never went man of them back 
to tell the story ? and you are come, a woman, 
to seek ! " 

" Well," said she, " it was not under protec- 
tion of your shield I came at all, but under the 
protection of my own shield and blade." 

She and the King of Rye then went at one 
another, and the King of Rye was getting the 
better of her, and she asked him to give her 
quarter for her life till morning. 

" Hold out your hand till I cut off the tips of 
your little finger that I may be able to recognise 
you, and you will not get quarter for your life but 
this turn, (not) if you come to-morrow." 

She went with herself and stopped that night 
at the smith's house ; and the smith said to her, 

" It's a bad journey you've come on your 

208 The King who had Twelve Sons. 

two feet. Many's the good champion I've seen 
crossing yonder bridge, and a man of them to 
tell the story came back never. Unless you do 
the thing I tell you, you will get the like death. 
Go to-night," said he, " and rise in the morning, 
and I will give you a sword if you pay me for my 
service ; and I will cut off the tip of the little finger 
on your other hand, and you will go to the hall- 
door at the time when he is at his breakfast, and 
he will ask you, ' Haven't you a sudden desire 
to die that you come to me so early ? ' 

She went in the morning to the hall-door of the 
King of Rye, and he said to her, 

" Sudden is your desire to die since you come 
to me so early, and haven't given me leave to eat 
my breakfast ; but that is the thing that will make 
your own life shorter. Stretch out your hand that 
I may see if it was you were here yesterday." 

She stretched out her two hands and he found 
the tips of her two little fingers were cut off, and 
he said she must have got advice from the smith 
when she did that. She took up from the ground 
the sword the smith gave her. When he saw the 
sword he begged for quarter for his life, for he 
knew the sword was equal to half the world, and 
that it was no good for him to fight against it. 
He said he would give her all he ever saw upon 
the earth, but would not face that sword she 

'The King who had Twelve Sons. 209 

" I am asking nothing of you except your 
sword of light and the divided stone of your 

" Those are the two things that it is worst for 
me to part from." 

He went in and brought them out to her, and she 
went with herself to the smith, and she spent that 
night at the smith's house, and gave him a good 
hansel of gold for the sword he gave her. " Now," 
said the smith, " though he put you under bonds 
to bring the sword to him, you did not promise 
more than to bring it to him. When you come 
to him and the things with you, and you take 
them up in your two hands and show them to 
him, you will say, though you promised to bring 
them to him, you did not promise to bring them 
for him and you will let them go, and they will 
be with me here in the winking of your eye. 
Unless they come back to me, the King of Rye 
will put me to death, as he knows I gave you my 
sword ; and there will be peace made between him 
and me, and the quarrel between us will be at an 

* * * # # 

And when the first wife saw the second wife 

* The narrator's memory failed him at this point, and 
he was unable to relate the further developments of this 
remarkable game of plot and counterplot. Although the 
hen-wife was successful in the last event mentioned, it 

2io 'The King who had Twelve Sons. 

with her own eyes, she could esteem herself no 
longer, and she died of a broken heart. 

must be inferred that she was ultimately defeated. I 
believe there are other deficiencies in the story. One 
hears nothing more of the skin of the wild pig after its 
first mention, p. 203. The same remark applies to the 
Gruagach of the Apple, p. 206. On the other hand, "the 
divided stone of druidism " is brought in without explana- 
tion. It had not been asked for. 


Narrator, P. MINAHAN, Malinmore, co. Donegal. 

HP* HERE was a poor man there. He had a 
JL great family of sons. He had no means 
to put them forward. He had them at school. 
One day, when they were coming from school, he 
thought that whichever of them was last at the 
door he would keep him out. It was the youngest 
of the family was last at the door. The father 
shut the door. He would not let him in. The 
boy went weeping. He would not let him in till 
night came. The father said he would never let 
him in ; that he had boys enough. 

The lad went away. He was walking till night. 
He came to a house on the rugged side of a 
hill on a height, one feather giving it shelter 
and support. He went in. He got a place till 
morning. When he made his breakfast in the 
morning, he was going. The man of the house 
made him a present of a red pony, a saddle, and 
bridle. He went riding on the pony. He went 
away with himself. 

212 The Red Pony. 

" Now," said the pony, " whatever thing you 
may see before you, don't touch it." 

They went on with theriiselves. He saw a 
light before him on the high-road. When he 
came as far as the light, there was an open box 
on the road, and a light coming up out of it. He 
took up the box. There was a lock of hair in it. 

" Are you going to take up the box ? " said 
the pony. 

<c I am. I cannot go past it." 

" It's better for you to leave it," said the pony. 

He took up the box. He put it in his pocket. 
He was going with himself. A gentleman met 

" Pretty is your little beast. Where are you 
going ? " 

" I am looking for service." 

"I am in want of one like you, among the 
stable boys." 

He hired the lad. The lad said he must get 
room for the little beast in the stable. The 
gentleman said he would get it. They went 
home then. He had eleven boys. When they 
were going out into the stable at ten o'clock each 
of them took a light but he. He took no candle 
at all with him. 

Each of them went to his own stable. When 
he went into his stable he opened the box. He 
left it in a hole in the wall. The light was great. 

The Red Pony. 213 

It was twice as much as in the other stables. 
There was wonder on the boys what was the 
reason of the light being so great, and he without 
a candle with him at all. They told the master 
they did not know what was the cause of the light 
with the last boy. They had given him no candle, 
and he had twice as much light as they had. 

" Watch to-morrow night what kind of light he 
has," said the master. 

They watched the night of the morrow. They 
saw the box in the hole that was in the wall, and 
the light coming out of the box. They told the 
master. When the boys came to the house, the 
king asked him what was the reason why he did 
not take a candle to the stable, as well as the other 
boys. The lad said he had a candle. The king 
said he had not. He asked him how he got the 
box from which the light came. He said he had 
no box. The king said he had, and that he must 
give it to him ; that he would not keep him 
unless he gave him the box. The boy gave it to 
him. The king opened it. He drew out the 
lock of hair, in which was the light. 

" You must go," said the king, " and bring me 
the woman, to whom the hair belongs." 

The lad was troubled. He went out. He 
told the red pony. 

" I told you not to take up the box. You will 
get more than that on account of the box. 

214 The Red Pony. 

When you have made your breakfast to-morrow, 
put the saddle and bridle on me." 

When he made his breakfast on the morning of 
the morrow, he put saddle and bridle on the pony. 
He went till they came to three miles of sea. 

" Keep a good hold now. I am going to give 
a jump over the sea. When I arrive yonder there 
is a fair on the strand. Every one will be coming 
up to you to ask for a ride, because I am such 
a pretty little beast. Give no one a ride. You 
will see a beautiful woman drawing near you, her 
in whose hair was the wonderful light. She will 
come up to you. She will ask you to let her ride 
for a while. Say you will and welcome. When 
she comes riding, I will be off.'* 

When she came to the sea, she cleared the 
three miles at a jump. She came upon the land 
opposite, and every one was asking for a ride 
upon the beast, she was that pretty. He was 
giving a ride to no one. He saw that woman in 
the midst of the people. She was drawing near. 
She asked him would he give her a little riding: 
He said he would give it, and a hundred welcomes. 
She went riding. She went quietly till she got out 
of the crowd. When the pony came to the sea 
she made the three-mile jump again, the beautiful 
woman along with her. She took her home to 
the king. There was great joy on the king to 
see her. He took her into the parlour. She said 

The Red Pony. 215 

to him, she would not marry any one until he 
would get the bottle of healing water that was in 
the eastern world. The king said to the lad he 
must go and bring the bottle of healing water 
that was in the eastern world to the lady. The lad 
was troubled. He went to the pony. He told 
the pony he must go to the eastern world for the 
bottle of healing water that was in it, and bring 
it to the lady. 

" My advice was good," said the pony, " on 
the day you took the box up. Put saddle and 
bridle on me." 

He went riding on her. They were going till 
they came to the sea. She stood then. 

" You must kill me," said the pony ; " that, or 
I must kill you." 

" It is hard to me to kill you," said the boy. 
" If I kill you there will be no way to myself." 

He cut her belly down. He opened it up. 
She was not long opened when there came two 
black ravens and one small one. The two 
ravens went into the body. They drank their 
fill of the blood. When they came out the 
little raven went in. He closed the belly of the 
pony. He would not let the little bird come 
out till he got the bottle of healing water was in 
the eastern world. The ravens were very troubled. 
They were begging him to let the little bird out. 
He said he would not let it out till they brought 

2i 6 The Red Pony. 

him the bottle. They went to seek the bottle. 
They came back and there was no bottle with 
them. They were entreating him to let the bird 
out to them. He would not let the bird out till 
he got the bottle. They went away again for 
the bottle. They came at evening. They were 
tossed and scorched, and they had the bottle. 
They came to the place where the pony was. 
They gave the bottle to the boy. He rubbed 
the healing water to every place where they were 
burned. Then he let out the little bird. There 
was great joy on them to see him. He rubbed 
some of the healing water to the place where he 
cut the pony. He spilt a drop into her ear. She 
arose as well as she ever was. He had a little 
bottle in his pocket. He put some of the healing 
water into it. They went home. 

When the king perceived the pony coming he 
rose out. He took hold of her with his two 
hands. He took her in. He smothered her with 
kisses and drowned her with tears : he dried her 
with finest cloths of silk and satin. 

This is what the lady was doing while they were 
away. She boiled pitch and filled a barrel, and 
that boiling. Now she went beside it and stripped 
herself. She rubbed the healing water to herself. 
She came out ; she went to the barrel, naked. 
She gave a jump in and out of the barrel. Three 
times she went in and out. She said she would 

The Red Pony. 217 

never marry any one who could not do the same. 
The young king came. He stripped himself. 
He went to the barrel. He fell half in, half out. 

He was all boiled and burned. Another gentle- 
man came. He stripped himself. He gave a 
jump into the barrel. He was burned. He came 
not out till he died. After that there was no one 
going in or out. The barrel was there, and no 
one at all was going near it. The lad went up to 
it and stripped himself. He rubbed the healing 
water on himself. He came to the barrel. He 
jumped in and out three times. He was watching 
her. She came out. She said she would never 
marry any one but him. 

Came the priest of the pattens, and the clerk of 
the bells. The pair were married. The wedding 
lasted three nights and three days. When it was 
over, the lad went to look at the place where the 
pony was. He never remembered to go and see 
the pony during the wedding. He found nothing 
but a heap of bones. There were two champions 
and two young girls playing cards. The lad went 
crying when he saw the bones of the pony. One 
of the girls asked what was the matter with him. 
He said it was all one to her ; that she cared 
nothing for his troubles. 

" I would like to get knowledge of the cause 
why you are crying." 

" It is my pony who was here. I never remem- 

2i 8 The Red Pony. 

bered to see her during the wedding. I have 
nothing now but her bones. I don't know what I 
shall do after her. It was she who did all that I 

The girl went laughing. "Would you know 
your pony if you saw her ? " 

"I would know," said he. 

She laid aside the cards. She stood up. 

cc Isn't that your pony ? " said she. 

" It is," he said. 

" I was the pony," said the girl, <c and the two 
ravens who went in to drink my blood my two 
brothers. When the ravens came out, a little bird 
went in. You closed the pony. You would not 
let the little bird out till they brought the bottle 
of healing water that was in the eastern world. 
They brought the bottle to you. The little bird 
was my sister. It was my brothers were the 
ravens. We were all under enchantments. It is 
my sister who is married to you. The enchant- 
ments are gone from us since she was married." 


Narrator, P. MINAHAN, Malinmore, co. Donegal. 

r I ^HERE was a king and a queen. They had 
JL but one son. The queen died. He married 
another queen. The queen was good to the child. 
She took care of him till he was a young man. 
She sent him away to learn chivalry. When he 
came home there was great joy on the queen. 
When he had rested at home, he and the hunts- 
man went hunting on the mountain. They found 
no game at all. They came to the lake. They 
sat down on a height beside the lake. They 
saw three swans coming towards the height. 
They rested on the lake. They swam in under 
the place where they were sitting. They came on 
the shore. They threw off them the transforming 
caps. They arose the three maidens. One woman 
of them was very comely. They came up to the 
young men. The comely woman was there. She 
and the king's son were talking until night. 
When they were going she asked him would he 


22O The Nine- Legged Steed. 

be there the next day. He said he would. The 
women went on the shore. They put on the 
transforming caps. They went away the three 
swans. The young men came home. There 
was great joy on the young queen. She asked 
the huntsman what kind of sport they had. He 
said they had none at all ; that three swans came 
from the eastern direction ; that they had settled 
on the lake ; that they swam in to the place where 
they were sitting ; that they rose up on the 
beach ; that they threw off the transforming caps ; 
that they rose the three maidens ; that one of 
them was very beautiful ; that he himself and the 
king's son were talking with the girl. 

The young queen said they were done with 
his master. " I will give you five pounds if you 
put the slumber-pin in his clothes. He will fall 
asleep then. She won't get a word of talk from 
him. He will be sleeping." 

The young man said he would do it. They 
took their supper. They went to lie down. 
When day came they arose. They washed them- 
selves. They took their breakfast. They went 
hunting. They found no sport at all till they 
came to the lake. They sat down on a pretty 
hillock. They saw the three swans coming. 
They settled on the lake. They came in on the 
shore. They threw off them the transforming 
caps. They rose the three maidens. When the 

'The Nine-Legged Steed. 221 

son of the king and the huntsman sat down, the 
huntsman put the slumber-pin in his clothes. He 
fell asleep. The girls came up. They sat by 
his side. 

" Great is the sleep that's on your master to- 

" That is no wonder for him/' said the huntsman. 
u He does not sleep one night at home, but is out 
rambling and courting." 

She was shaking him to wake him. She failed 
to wake him till it was time for her to be going. 
She said to the young man, " Tell your master 
we will come here to-morrow ; unless he is awake 
to-morrow to speak to us, we will come no more." 

They went away then. They put on them the 
transforming caps. They went away again the 
three swans. The young man took out the 
slumber-pin from his master's clothes. He awoke 
then. They went home then. He was not 
speaking a word. The young queen asked the 
huntsman how it happened with him to-day ? He 
said it happened well ; that he put him asleep 

" A good man you are," said she. " Here are 
five pounds more for you. Do the same to 

They took their supper. They went to lie 
down. When the day came on the morrow, they 
arose and took their breakfast. The king's son 

222 The Nine-Legged Steed. 

said to the huntsman that he would not go with 
him to-day ; that it was he was doing something 
or other to him. 

" It is not I," said the huntsman. 

The king's son went out. The huntsman 
followed him. When they were coming near the 
lake, he could not fasten the slumber-pin in him. 
When they were coming to the place where they 
sat he threw the slumber-pin. He got it fastened 
in his frock. He fell asleep on the instant. He 
took hold of him ; he drew him to the place 
where they used to sit. He sat down by his side. 
The three swans came. They settled on the lake. 
They swam in to the shore. They threw off them 
the transforming caps. They rose the three 
maidens. They came again to the place where 
the young men were. 

c< Is your master asleep to-day ? " 

" He is ; he has not slept a wink at home for 
three nights." 

She was shaking him to try if she could wake 
him. She failed. When she was going, "Say 
to your master that he will never see sight of me 
while streams run or grass grows." 

They went away then. The huntsman took 
the slumber-pin out. Then he awoke. He 
looked up at the sun. Night was at hand. He 
asked were the maidens there that day. The 
young man said they were. 

The Nine-Legged Steed. 223 

" What did they say when they were going ? ' 

"They said you would never have a sight of 
them while streams run or grass grows." 

" Don't come near me or I will kill you." 

Fear would not let the huntsman come near 
him. They went home then. The young queen 
asked the young man were the maidens with them 
that day. The young man said they were. 

" What did they say to you ? " 

" They said you would not see a sight of them 
while streams run or grass grows." 

" You are done with her," said the queen. 

They took their supper then and went to lie 
down. When the day came he arose and washed. 
He took his breakfast. He said good-bye to 
them. He said he would not sleep a second time 
for one night in one house ; that he would wear 
his legs to his knees till he got one sight of that 

He went with himself then. He was walking 
till it was night. He saw not a house at all that 
would give him lodging. He saw one house on 
the side of a hill, one feather giving it support 
and shelter. He went into the house. A horse- 
beast spoke to him from the side. He gave 
welcome to the son of the King of Erin. 

" Go down to the fire and warm yourself; when 
you have warmed yourself, go to the room, and 
there is food and drink on the table : don't be 

224 Th Nine- Legged Steed. 

afraid of anything at all. Nothing will happen to 
you till morning. When you have eaten enough 
come down and lie here on the grass under my 
head that I may talk with you." 

He came down and sat on the grass : " Have 
no wonder at anything you see." 

It was not long till he heard a troop coming 
into the house. Three seals came in. They 
came into the room. They threw off the trans- 
forming caps. They sat down to dinner. The 
son of the king wondered when he saw the three 
seals coming in. It was not long till he heard 
them talking and laughing. Said the eldest of 

" If I had the son of the King of Erin here I 
would give on him a gift. I would give him an 
apple. There is not a going astray, nor any 
(trouble), let him throw the apple in the air, there 
would come a court and castle in the track ; there 
would come food and drink in the track." 

Said the second son, " If I had the son of the 
King of Erin here, I would give him a ring ; and 
there is not a battle or breaking that would come 
on him, let him raise the ring between himself 
and his (enemies) he would blind them and kill 
them all." 

Said the son that was youngest, " If I had the 
son of the King of Erin here, I would give him 
the nine-legged steed for his riding." 

The Nine-Legged Steed. 225 

" Get up now," said the nine-legged steed; " get 
up and shake yourself out of the grass. Go 
forward. You will find three champions as hand- 
some as ever you saw. Salute them as politely as 
you can. Tell them you hope they will not be 
worse than their promise." 

He went forward and saluted them. He took 
them by the hand. He sat in their company till 
morning. When the day came they were going. 
They left a breakfast on the table. They gave 
him the three gifts. They went then and put on 
the transforming caps. They went away as three 
seals. The son of the king came down then, and 
sat under the beast's head. 

" Now," said the nine-legged steed, c< I have 
one fault, that a rider never gets on me but I 
must throw him three times. When you take 
your breakfast, get a saddle and bridle ; put them 
on me. Take me down to the soft ground ; go 
riding on me, and I must throw you." 

He took his breakfast. He went riding on 
her then. She asked him if he was ready. He 
said he was. 

"I will throw you as gently and quietly as I can." 

She walked a couple of steps. She lifted her 
rump and flung him. He was jerked up into the 
air, and fell down on the back of his head. 

She came about him. " I believe you are 

226 The Nine-Legged Steed. 

" I am not," said he. " I am none the worse." 

" You are a good man," said she ; " if you stand 
two other tumbles I will never throw you again." 

When he was rested, he went riding again. 
She lifted her rump again, and jerked him into 
the air. She came about him to see if he was 
killed. <c I believe you are killed." 

" I am none the worse," said he. 

"If you stand one more tumble, I will never 
throw you again." 

He rested himself. He went riding again. 
She asked him if he was ready. He said he was. 
She flung him again and tossed him into the air. 
He fell down on the back of his head. She 
looked about to see if he was alive. " Now," said 
she, <c I will never throw you again. Now when 
you are rested, and you run to your riding, do not 
pull the bridle on my head. I know where you 
are going. I will bring you to the place you are 
drawing to." 

She stretched herself to her full speed and red 

running ; 
So that she took the hill at a leap, the glen at a 

standing jump : 

So that she overtook the wind that was before her, 
And the wind behind did not overtake her : 
Till the cups of her two knees were rubbing her two 

jaws bare : 
So greatly she was running, 

till she came to the door of the king. 

The Nine-Legged Steed. 227 

" Give me to no one whatever till a red boy 
comes/' said the nine-legged steed. 

The king rose out. He gave welcome to the 
son of the King of Erin. Boys came up to the 
horse to put her in the stable. He did not give 
her to them. A red boy came. He asked would 
he give her to him. She told him to give her. 
They came into the parlour. 

He got dinner then. He was eating and 
drinking till it was well on in the night. The 
king said then that he had an island, and that he 
gained nothing by it for a long time : that Owases 
were risen up on it. 

" I am not going to give my daughter to 
any one who does not kill them and clear the 

"We will throw a look around to-morrow," 
said the son of the King of Erin. 

When he took breakfast on the morrow- 
morning, he went out to the nine-legged steed. 
She told him what was to be done. 

"Put saddle and bridle on me : go riding on 
me. There are three miles of sea between the 
land and the island. I will clear the three miles at 
a leap. Tie me to the stump of a tree." 

She went forward then, and he had the ring in 
his hand. The first Owas man that met him, he 
raised the ring between himself and him, and 
blinded him. He was killing and slaughtering 

228 The Nine-Legged Steed. 

till he killed the last on the island. He went 
down to the nine-legged steed. He went riding 
on her then, and she cleared the three miles. She 
told him not to look behind him till he came to 
the king's door. When he came up to the gate 
there was thunder and lightning, and he thought 
the mid-heaven was falling, such was the rattle. 
There was a great sink of mud at the door of 
the hen-wife, and when he was going past by 
the door he looked behind to see if there was 
anything. He fell into the mud and filth. He 
got up with dirt and sores on his skin. He was 
all covered with them. 

The daughter of the hen-wife asked leave of her 
mother to pull him in, or the pigs would tear him. 
Her mother told her to do it. She pulled him 
in. She put a wisp of straw under him. 

He asked her to go under the window of the 
greenawn on her two knees. "Ask the girl is 
there anything at all to do me good, if she 
hopes to see the man she left behind her at the 

The girl said, "Go into my father's garden. 
There ^s a well of fresh water there. There are 
rushes beside the well. Pull three stalks. Cut 
the white root. Get a bowl. Raise the full of 
the bowl out of the well. Rub the white roots in 
the water until they are melted. Rub the water 
to his skin. He will be as well as ever he was." 

'The Nine-Legged Steed. 229 

She rubbed the water then on every part of his 
body. He was as well as he ever was. He had 
nothing to put on him but old clothes. There 
was a butler in the great house. He saw the 
king's son falling. He ran to the place. He 
took away his clothes. He threw him his own 
clothes. The king's son had nothing to put on 
him but the butler's clothes. He went to the 
house of the king, and he was at work like the 
butler. The butler was in the king's house in 
the place of the son of the King of Erin. The 
king thought it was the son of the King of Erin 
that was with him. He published word through 
the island to come to the wedding. The gentle- 
men were gathered the next day. They went 
fowling. The king's son was carrying the dogs' 
food. There came a mist on the hill, and they 
lost their way. They said they would be lost. 
The man who was carrying the dogs' food said 
to the king that if he would give him his daughter 
in marriage he would save them all till morning. 
The king said his daughter was given to a gentle- 
man who had come there. The gentlemen then 
said that they would all be dead in the morning, 
and it was better for him to tell a lie and to save 

" Well ! I will give you my daughter if you 
save us," said the king. 

He threw down the bag with the dogs' food. 

230 The Nine-Legged Steed. 

Then he got the apple that he had as a gift. He 
threw it into the air. Where the apple fell there 
rose a court and castle. There came food and 
drink enough for a hundred men. They were 
hungry, and they ate enough and drank enough. 
Then they fell asleep. When they woke in the 
morning, they were lying in a smooth flat of 
rushes, and they sweating. There was great joy 
on them. The gentleman then said he should get 
the woman. When the butler came he had no 
wife to get. He was vexed. He went home 
then, and the woman who was in the greenawn 
said she would not marry a man at all, but the 
man who would ride the nine-legged steed under 
the window of the greenawn. The report went 
out through the island that any man at all who 
would ride the nine-legged steed, had the king's 
daughter to get. The people were all gathered. 
There was a great gathering there. The red boy 
brought out the nine-legged steed under the 
windows of the greenawn. The butler would let 
no one ride till he went riding himself the first time. 
Then he went riding on her. The nine-legged 
steed asked him was he ready ; he said he was. 
She lifted her rump and jerked him up in the air. 
He fell and was killed. Then there was another 
rider then and he went riding. She played the 
same trick with him. She was there, and no one 
at all was going to ride on her. The king's son 

The Nine-Legged Steed. 231 

went, and bought himself clothes. He put them 
on. He went riding then on the nine-legged 
steed. She walked up and down under the 
windows of the greenawn, and she stirred not 
head nor foot. The lady was looking out of the 
window. When she saw him riding, she knew 
him and she came down. She ran out and they 
caught hold of each other by the hands. There 
was great joy on her that she saw him. She 
smothered him with kisses, and drowned him with 
tears ; she dried him with finest cloths and 
with silk. 

Came the priest of the pattens and the clerk 
of the bells. The pair were married. When they 
were married there were three champions there. 
They asked him if he knew them. He said that 
he knew them ; that it was they gave him the 
gifts. There came a beautiful girl then. She 
asked him if he knew her. He said he did not 

" Well," said she, " I was in the place of the , 
nine-legged steed, and those are my three brothers, 
and I am sister to them. We were all under 
spells till your wife was married." 

I found the ford ; they the stepping-stones. 
They were drowned, and I came away. 


WHEN folk-lore is narrated by peasants in 
their own dialect, it seems desirable, for 
various reasons, that the tales should be recorded 
in that dialect, and not in some form of speech 
differing from it more or less widely. This being 
conceded, the question arises, when one takes to 
recording Irish folk-lore, how the object is to be 
attained. It needs but a very small acquaintance 
with the ordinary Irish orthography to perceive 
that, if it is adhered to, the object cannot be even 
aimed at. The greatest defect in the English 
language is admitted to be its extraordinary spel- 
ling. But in this respect it is completely outdone 
by Irish Gaelic, which is troubled in an aggravated 
form with every evil that afflicts English. 
Different sounds are written in the same way. 
Identical sounds are written in different ways. 
Silent letters attain to a tropical forestine luxu- 
riance, through which the tongue of the learner 

despairs of hewing a way. There are, moreover, 


"The Phonetic Text. 233 

cases in which there is no indication in writing of 
single sounds, and even syllables, which are actually 
pronounced ; and there is at least one case of a 
word being written as if it began with a vowel, 
while it really begins with a consonant. 

One of the chief reasons for this state of affairs 
is the attempt which has been made to represent 
an exceedingly numerous and varied series of 
sounds with a meagre alphabet of eighteen letters. 
The system of orthography developed, though 
highly ingenious, has proved entirely inadequate 
to its purpose. But if this be true of the so-called 
classical speech of the few educated persons, whose 
original pronunciation has been to some slight 
extent modified by the influence of books, far 
more decidedly must it be affirmed of the actual 
peasant dialects which, for two hundred years at 
least, have taken each of them its own way, 
uncontrolled by any central influence. Of these 
the mere sounds cannot be given at all on the 
basis of the common spelling. Here are two of 
the simplest examples. The Donegal pronuncia- 
tion of the word u ta " cannot be written by any 
device known to Irish orthography ; neither can 
the Kerry pronunciation of <c glean." The strange 
spectacle is sometimes witnessed of an attempt to 
give the actual sound of Irish words by means of 
a spelling based on English values, of Chaos 
applying for help to Confusion. 

234 The Phonetic Text. 

In addition to the reasons which might be urged 
generally in favour of recording folk-lore in the 
dialect of the narrators, is one which is largely 
peculiar to Irish tales. I will indicate it in the 
briefest manner. Words are of frequent occur- 
rence which are not to be found in the dictionaries. 
If one of these words contains the sound of v or 
w, you cannot tell, if writing in the ordinary way, 
whether to use b or m aspirated. If by mistake 
you choose the wrong letter, you may afterwards 
throw yourself or others entirely on a wrong scent, 
But if the actual v or w is written, you will not be 
responsible for misleading any one. It is further 
to be observed that these stones constitute the 
only body of matter having an intrinsic interest, 
which can be used as a vehicle for placing some 
considerable specimens of the spoken language 
before Continental and other students, who have 
little opportunity of gaining acquaintance with 
it directly. 

It is true that the difficulties in the way of 
accurately writing the dialects are formidable. 
Not only, as already remarked, are the sounds of 
Irish exceptionally numerous and subtle in any 
one dialect that may be chosen, but the dialects 
are well-nigh innumerable. While certain broad 
differences are characteristic of Kerry, Connaught, 
and Donegal respectively, there are minor varieties 
in every district, shading off in every possible 

The Phonetic Text. 235 

combination into those of the surrounding districts. 
The native of Ballymore does not speak as the 
inhabitant of Bjallybeg, only two miles away ; and 
the native of Ballybeg probably has several pro- 
nunciations, of which he will give you the benefit 
impartially. This last statement must appear 
almost incredible, but its truth is unquestionable. 
I have taxed the peasants with these variations, and 
they have admitted them, only observing " that's 
how the word's said there," i.e., in that context. 

The alphabet which now follows is the work of 
Mr. James Lecky, whose untimely death was a 
severe blow to the study of modern Irish. In 
addition to the list here given, Mr. Lecky had 
noted some additional distinctions, the precise 
value of which I do not understand. I have 
therefore not employed them in my own stories, 
and though I have included one story written 
down by himself, I have been obliged to omit 



a . 






e . 


laa . . 

. .la. . . . 

. dav 

baen . 

. . maith . . 
. . fainne . . 
. bean . 

. . good 
. . a ring 


. . fearr. . . 

. . better 

lesi . 

. . leis . . . 

. . with 

sjee . 

. . se. 

. he 


The Phonetic Text. 


eei . . . . eeisjg . . . eisg of a fish 

i min .... min meal 

'i or ii . . . sj'i . . . . sf she 

o qos .... cos foot 

00 .... boo .... b6 cow 

ou .... qoul . . . . ca bh-fhuil. . . where is ? 

01 .... oiarq. . . . adharc .... a horn 

u muq .... muc a pig 

uu . . . . tuu . . . . tu thou 

a, , i, o, u, are obscure sounds of the ordinary short vowels, 
a occurs frequently, the others rarely, i final has the value 
of y in English " city." 

b baan. . . . ban white 

d madu . . . madadh. ... a dog 

dj djaes. . . . deas pretty 

dd . . . . meeadd-sjin . meud-sin . . .all that * 

f fis .... fios knowledge 

fj fjuu . . . . fiu worth 

g (slender g) . gseaer . . . gearr .... short 
c (broad g) . cas .... gas '..... stalk 
9 (broad asp.) mo 9ort. . . mo ghort . . . my field 

h hue .... thug took 

hj mo hjool . . mo sheol . . . my sail 

j mo jaeaerher f. mo dhearbhrathair my brother 

k (slender c) . kool .... ce61 music J 

q (broad c) . qos .... cos foot 

x (q asp.) . . xirj . . . . chuir put 

1 lee .... 16 with 

Ij balje. . . . baile town 

11 llonc. . . . long ship 

llj lljsebwi . . . leaba .... bed 

m maq .... mac . . . . son 

n noos .... nos . . . . . custom 

nj njir .... nior neither 

nn . . . . bonn. . . . bonn bottom 

* Sound hard, as English d. 
t Donegal pronunciation. 
i k asp. = hj. 
q asp. often h. 

'The Phonetic Text. 237 


nnj .... qrinnju . . . cruinniughadh . assembly 

p paaisjdje . . paisde .... child 

r rud .... rud thing 

rj erjg .... aire attention 

! see remarks. 

s saal .... sal heel 

sj sjaen .... scan old 

t taa . . . . ta is 

tj tji'rj . . . . tir country 

tt * . . . . hitt-sjee . . thuit-sjee ... he fell 

v mo vaen. . . mo bhean . . . my wife 

. mharbh. . . killed 

) = a glide, (iota subscript) is the sign of nasality, mraeae. 

The most important features in the foregoing 
are, (i) the use of j, which when initial has the 
German value, to mark slenderness, when attached 
to another consonant ; (2) the use of c for broad 
g, dictated partly by the necessity of economising 
the resources of the Roman alphabet, and by the 
consideration that <:, in most alphabets of uncertain 
value, and therefore sometimes entirely discarded 
by phoneticians, is thereby fixed and utilised ; 
(3) the doubling of the vowels, a practice known 
in old Irish, to indicate length. The accents thus 
disappear, and, no dots to indicate aspiration being 
required, the diacritics, whose number is such a 
frequent source of error, are almost entirely got 
rid of, the only exception being ^ the mark of 
obscurity, which may be usually omitted without 

Sound hard. 

238 The Phonetic Text. 

harm, as it never appears except on an unstressed 
syllable. In the Connaught and Donegal dialects 
the stress is thrown forward. There are a few 
exceptions, which are the following : ansjin, ansjo, 
anoxt, amassg, alig (all), amax, amwijh, estjaex, 
estih, araan, anisj. All these have the stress on 
the last syllable, and the final vowel is in every case 
not obscure, rr, written in a few cases, is doubt- 
ful, rrj corresponding to llj and nnj does not, I 
think, occur on the coast of Connaught, and but 
rarely in Donegal. The j is, however, really pro- 
nounced as a separate consonant along with the 
following vowel. Thus, " T'icerr-je." 

The Connaught values of the letters, specially 
those of Renvyle, are the basis of the alphabet. 


Dialect of Renvyle^ co. Galway. 

Viaan faer tjiaxt aa hoxridj, acas qasu tjiaxt lee tiu tjsempall 
ee, qasu doo ql)egan dine. " S maih e kaert 90111 duurjtt sjee 
lesj been, " ee sjin a huurjtj Ijom acas a xirj an aatj haa- 
waaljtji." Hoog sjee lesj an ql)egan acas lljaec sjee 's a 
tjaempall ee. Qluuas sjee lesj erj a vaellax a walje, acas qasu 
doo faer an ourdu din uasal. " Kee ra tuu ? " duurjtj a din' 
uasal. " Vi mee eg soxridj acas qasu ?om ql)egan dine er a 
maellax '' " Keerj da rinnje tuu lesj ? " duurjtj a din' uasal. 
" Hue mee Ijom acas d'aac mee 's e tjaempall ee." " Njir woor 
ditj ?" duurjtj a din' uasal. " Kee an faa sjin ?" duurjtj a fasr. 
"Bwien ee ma xl)eganse" duurjtj a din' uasal, "acas daa 
nnjientaa taedi aes baellax lesj, 9a sjuuraaltji veensje suuas Iset." 
" Acas kee an xi ar xaalj tuu do xl(egan" duurjtj a faer. " Njirj 
xaalj mee xar a bih ee, ax d' aaca mee ins an aatj a wuuerj tis' ee, 
^a metts acam keerd a jienhaa lesj." " Krjedjim 9ar a dina maih 
'uu " duurjtj a faer acas maa sjaeae, b'aeaer Ijom an aatj a kintjaxt 
helenaa an do xooloodar." " Naa biaxfwatjis ort. Nji wanj-ha 
misje laet. Veeax foon oram nis muu lljaes ji'enu ^witj naa 
doxar." "Is maih Ijom sjin " duurjtj a faer. Tjaenuitj a walje 
Ijomse 93. waamidj e nnjinjeerj." Hjuul sjiad i-nnjeenjdji e 
walje. " Eirji da hi" duurjtj a faer lee na vsen, acas faa ar 
nnjineer ree duunnj. Dj' eirji an vaen, acas fuurj sji' an 
djineer ree doofj. Nuurj a dj ihjidar e nnjineer " tjaenuetj " 
duurjtj a faer " 93. nnjimreemidj qla)efe qaarti." Vi sjied an 
tranhoona sjin 'g imarjtj xaarti, acas xodil sjee an ihe sjin ins 
e tjaex. Acas erj madjin laarna waarjax, dj ihadar e mrikfwasta 
innjeenjdji. Nuurj e vi 9aa uurj qatji, " Tjaenuitj Ijomse'' duurjfj 


240 Appendix. 

a din' uasal lesj a vaer. " Kee an Qraeha taa acad diumw ? " 
duurjtj e faer. "a veki tu an aatj a taa acam 's a malje.'' 

Dj eerji sjied acas hjuul sjied innjeenjdji qa. nnjaexa sjied ca 
dji an tjsempall. " Toog an tombw)a" duurjtj a din' uasal. 
D'aarda sjee an tombwa acas fuue sj'ied isjtjax. " Tjeerji sj'is 
an sdoirje' 1 duurjtj a din' uasal lesj a vaer. Fuuadar sjis 
innjeendji ?a nnjaexi sjied 93. dji an doras, acas hiscliu ee, acas 
fuua sjied isjtjsex qa. dji an hjisjtjinax. Vi berjtj sjsen-vraa na 
siu xosj ne tjinu. "Eeirji" duurjtj a din' uasal lee baen aequ 
acas faa fwi rjeerj i nnjineerj duunnj." Dj'eerji sji acas hue 
sji lehi fati beaca. Wil acad Quunnj $a jineerj ax a kinaal 
sjin ? " duurjtj a din' uasal : " Njil " duurjtj an vaen. " Mar wil 
qonnji 'uu been ied. Eeirji hise " duurjtj sjee lesj a daarna 
baen, acas faa fwi rjeerj i nnjineerj duunnj." Dj eeirji sji acas 
hue sji lehi min acas qaanhini lehi. " Nnjaenax wil acad duunnj 
ax e kinaal sjin?" "Nil" duurjtj sji. "Mar bwil qonnji 
ee." Fuue sjee suuas an sdoirje acas wuuel sjee an doras. 
Haanik an vsen vraa amax ege fwi na qolhi sjida acas ee 
ooraaljtji aa voon a qosje 93, dji molax e kinnj. Dj ira sji 
keerd a vi taesdaal woi. Dj ira sjee i veetitt sji djineerj aal 
900 heen acas <?an strsensjeere. Duurjtt sji 93. veetax. Lljasc 
sji djineer anuues huqu vi veljuunjtj 93. ri. 

Acas nuurj a vi saa itji acas oolti asqu, dj' irhi an din' uasal 
9annj ser e rou 's ege kee an reesuun lee r eed sji i lljehedj 93, 
jineer huurjtj doofj. " Nil is acam " duurjtj an faer ; acas maa 
sjee da hel ee insji 9amw ee. " Nuurj a vi mee beoo, vi mee 
poosti tjri huurje, acas an hjeead vaen vi acam, nirj hue sj'i rjiu 
9an woxt ax fati beaca, acas qaha sji hiaxt suuas hi heen orhu 
93. laa 'n vjrjehunisj. An daarna baen, nuurj a dj irax a dine 
boxt djeerjke orhi, nir hue sji rjiu doofj ax min acas qaanhini, 
acas n'i veei sji nis faeaer eki heen naa din e bihj hele ires orhi 
ee erjisjtj, 93. laa 'n vjrjehunisj. An tjriwa basn lee r ir mee 
'rhi an djineerj aalj fwi rjeerj, dj eeadd sji sjin xalje hjinaal aa 
uus huurjtj duunnj." " Kee an faa lee r eedd sji sjin huurjtj 
duunnj acas naar eead an verjtj el' ee j'ienu ? " duurjtj a faer. 
" Mar nnjir spaaraal sji ruda bihj daa meax eki rjiu er a dine 
boxt, acas beei a kinaal sjin eki 93, dji laa 'n vjrjehunisj. 
Tjaenuitj Ijom sa " duurjtj a din' uasal lesj a vasr 93. veki tuu 
m' aatju." 

Appendix. 241 

Vi tjifwi acas staabli acas qoilltji tjimpal a hi, acas lesj a 
virinnje a jienu vi sjee er in aatj ba djesje henik mee lee ma 
$aa huul erj'iu. " Tjaenuitj Ijom sjtjaex insje " duurjtj a din' 
uasal lesj a vasr. Nji ra mee wad esjtjihj nuurj a haanik 
pibwirje acas dj insje sjee er sjinnim hjool : nji ra sjee wad i 
sjinnim nuuirj i Hjienu sjtjax a tjax lee firj acas lee mraa. 
Daati sjied erhu dousa. Nuurj a vi tamwal an ihje qatji 
huuru Ijom <?el a.xolu. Di eerji mee acas fuue mee a xolu acas 
nuuirj a Quusji mee erj madjin ni ra aenhe erj in aatj er a tjasx 

[The MS. ends here, but there are evidently only two or 
three words missing.] 


Dialect of Achill Island, co. Mayo. 

XUUI a Cobaan S'iar acas a maq sjerj in a doun sjerj ec Balar 
Beemann co djaanu quuirtj. " Gerji an boohar, a vik," ers an 

Rjih an maq amax rive an boohar, acas fillj an t-aeher a 
walje an laa sjin. An daera laa xuui sjiad erj sjuul, acas duuertj 
a t-aeher lesj a waq a boohar a jieru. Rjih sjee amax rive an 
t-asher an dasra laa acas fillj an t-a^her a walje. " Kee sjk'ial 
9iv a veeh pillju mar sjin ?" ers a baan Cobaain ooig. " larenn 
m'aeher orram an boohar iaru : rjih mee amax an boohar rive 
acas pillen sjee." " Tesji tuu maarax erj sjgeeal naex cuuali 
sjee erj'iu, acas misje mani ^it-sje nasx pilli sjee." Xuui sjeead 
erj sjuul an tjriwe laa, acas hesji an Cobaan ooc sjgeeal naex 
cooali an t-aeher erjiu acas nji'r fill sjee nis mp9, co djaexi sjiad 
in a doun herj. 

" Nisj," ers an vaen lee Cobaan ooc, " nasse bi in an aatj erjiu 
naex mee na wraa co moih c,itj." 

Rjinn sjeead ansjin an quuritj co Walar Beeman ; acas nji ra 
duul ege, a ligin erj aesj, fwatjis co njaanitt sjeead quuirtj canj 
ser ele qoo moih lesj a quuirtj a vi ege feen. 

" Tasa^rnnjiv woofe na staefolj ; " acas vi duul a xirj a maasj a 
maar a bildaale. Vi qaljin a Walar Beemann a col haeaert erj 
madjin fwi 'n vildal. 

" A Cobaain ooig," er sjisje, " xuui erj do xrinaxt : sjiUm cur 


242 Appendix. 

fusa sjaeaext qloxe xahu anuas naa aeaen kinn awaain a xirj co 
dji him." " Is fir gitj " ers a Cobaan ooc." Hesji sjiad a ligin 
anuas na hibrje. Nuuirj a xuuali Balar Beemann co ra sjiad a 
xahu anuas na hibrje, d'oordi sjee an staeful erjistj, cur i'sjle 
sjiad na taeluv. " Nisj ; " ers an sjaen Cobaan siar " taese qam 
in do xidj ibrje ; acas a meeu tjri wall ornesj taa mo jeei J sa 
walje acam, a ducenn sjiad qor an oie an xirj, qam an oie an 
xam, acas baeaertj an oie na cancedje, acas njir eean aer lee na 
waail seaex do waq feen, jiaroonj an obirj acas nji veeuv aeaen obirj 
ins a doun a qompeeraalje leehe. Jofi tuu," er sjesjan, " baen 
eean laav awaain ins a tjaex, acas paasjdje lljaeh-uuil ; acas 
qruuax aeruur ins a doras." 

Xirj an t-aeherj lesj llonc ansjin, acas xirj sjee naell co h-Eerje 
ee. Vi sjee erj sjuul erjiu co wuuirj sjee amax a tjaex : acas 
haenik sjee stjaex in a ti. 

Dj iari sjee erj, a veeu an tjaex Cobaain ooig ? Duuertj an 
vaen co mwi ee. " Duuertt sjee Ijom co ro baen erj lljaeh-laav, 
acas paasjdje lljaeh-uuil ins a tjaex, acas qruuax aeruur ins a 
doras." " Naex vekin tuu," er sisjan, *' naex wil acam aex 
lljaeh-laav, acas vekin tuu an proosjdje sjo erj laav a paasjdje ? 
nil is acam kee an moomeedj xirji sjee an proosjdje in a huul 
acas a mani sjee an tuul es feen ? acas vekin tuu an xruuax 
seruur amwihj ins a doras ? " 

Dj iar sjee ansjin na tjri wall. " Kee na tjri wall iad ? " er 
sjisjan. " Taa qor an oiS an xirj, qam in oie an xaem, acas 
baeaertj an oie na cancedje." Hig sji ansjin nax ducett sjeead 
erj aesj a xie, mar djicett sji na foqle-sjo. 

" Taa na tjri wall ins a xoora sjin his, a ducenn sjiad, qor an 
oie in xirj, qam in oig an xam, acas baeaertj in oie na 
cancedje." Xuua sji sjis acas doscel sji an xoora, acas duuertt 
sji lesj feen a qromu sjis co tuunj a xoora, co ro sji feen 
ennjisjal. Xrom sjee sjis, acas anuuirj fuuirj sji qrom ee, xa sji 
stjaex ins a xoor' ee, acas cjidj sji an xoora erj, acas duuertt sji 
lesj co wanitt sjee ansjin co djicu Cobaan ooc acas sjaen 
Cobaan a walje, acas luuax a sihirj Xor sji qontas ec Balar 
Beeman co ro waq a confinement, eki co dj icu Cobaan ooc 
acas sjaen Cobaan a walje. Xor sjee lljoofwe llonc acas xirj 
sjee a walj iad feen acas a paaie ; acas lig sjisje maq Walar 
Beemann erj aesj egesan. Nuuirj a vi sjiad ec imaext a walje, 

Appendix. 243 

dj iari Balar Beeman co Cobaan, kee an goue jofitt sjee a xirju 
iarenaxa lee hi an xuuirtj. " Nil eean gou 3 in Eerinn is faeaer 
naeae Cavidjin Coo." Nuuirj a haenik sjaen Cobaan a walje 
duuertt sjee lee Cavidjin Coo can eean paai erj bih a claqu 
wuui, erj iarenaxa a jaanu con quuirtj, aeaex a glas : ^aa curti 
fuuie fihje barillje co linitt sji lee bannje na fihje barillje. 

Sjkriu ansjin Balar Beeman co dji an Cavidjin Coo, co dooritt 
sjee 900 an ^las, aeaex a ieranaxa a jaanu con quuirtj : aeaex nji 
hue sjee an wuuerax 900 nuuirj a xirj sjee ege an ^las ; acas vis 
ege co nnjimoott sji wuua, nuuirj naex due sjee 900 an wuuerax. 

Sjee an maracu jaanitt Cavidjin Coo ansjin lee hole Caesjkiax 
a hicu ege ; asn 9las serje acas a hoort ege slaan a walje a 
traenoona ; jaanitt sjee qlaeve co hole caesjkiax a dj aerju i. Dj 
isitt sji feeur Qruuaxaan Qonaxta an laa, acas d 3 oolitt sji djox a 
Lax Eeaxirj a Cuuicalu a traenoona. 

Haenig Kian waq Qaantje ege, co waadd sjee qlave djaanti. 
Duuert sjee lesj co nnjaanu, aeaex cur a bee a waracu a vee ege, 
co coihitt sjee an 9las aerje an laa sjin. " Nae mar ro sji laet a 
walje acam traenoona, qoihi tuu do hjinn a ligin sjis erj anj 
inuur co mani mee an kinn j'iet, lee do xlave feen." 

Dj imi Kian waq Qaantje acas rue sjee grjim robel orhi. 
Nuuirj a haenik sjee a walje traenoona, " Sjo i, mwihj, a 9las " 
er sjesjan lee Cavidjin Cou. Vi Caesjkiax esti ins a hjaeaerta, 
Ridjirje an 9aairje. Rjih sjee amax, acas duuertt sjee lee Kian 
waq Qaantje, '* taeae 3 n con a xirj an ouertj in do xlave, acas mar 
ro grjim acad erj nji bee buui imaru acad." Nuuirj a xuui Kian 
waq Qaantje estjasx nji q)ivne sjee an 9las a xirj estjaex. Dj 
iari Cavidjin Cou 96 " Kee wil an 9las ? " " Sjo i amwihj ec 
an doras i." " Xirj estjaex i " er sjesjan. Nuuirj a xuui sjee 
amax, vi sji imi. " Lig sjis do hjinn erj anj inuur, co mani 
mee an konn diet." u Taeae mee iari onoorj hjri laa ort lee 
col a hiari." " Veerhi mee sjin ditj " er sjesjan. 

Dj imi sjee lesj ansjin acas vi sjee lljaenuintj a lorac co dsenik 
sjee co dji an aerige. Vi sjee sjir acas enjiar erj a traai, dasae 
taerentj a cruuege daa xlaecenn lee buuerhe eujeei na clasje. 
Vi faer amwihj erj an aerige in a xorax. Dj omirj sjee estjaex co 
dji ee, acas vi an faer sjin Mananaan bwi maq a Ljirj. Dj iari 
sjee 96 " Kee a taa ort ennju ? " Dj ini sjee 900. " Keeard a 
veerhaa con tjie d 3 aaqu huu ins an aatj a wil an 9las ? " " Nil 

244 Appendix. 

dasdi acam lee toortj 500." " Njir iari mee ort aeaex lljaeh a 
ncruui tuu co djige tuu erj assj. ;} " Veerhi mee sjin ditj " ers a 
Kian vvaq Qaantje. ' l Bi 3 s estjih ins a xorax." Lee locen do 
huul, d j aac sjee ee herj a riaxta na fuuariaxt ; njir brjihu eean 
grjim erjiu erj an ilaan-sjo, aeaex djih sjiad a hole hoort bi 
fuuar. Rjinn Kian waq Qaantje tjini, acas hesji sjas brjih an 
vi. Nuuirj a xuali Balar Beemann co ro lehidj onn, hooc sjee 
estjasx na qookerje, acas na sjgeeali, acas anj asr tjini ee. 
Well ; vi aeaen ien awaain ec Balar Beemann acas rjinnju 
tariceraeasxt cur bee an maq eki a warahu an t-aeherj woor. 
Xoi sjee ansjin in a confinement i, fwatjis co raehi anj ser daeae 
xooirj, acas ee feen a veeuv lee via eki ; acas sjee an companion 
eki, dummy mraa. D'aac Mananaan buui co Kian waq Qaantje 
~clas erj bih a luqett sjee laau erj fvvosceltj acas dridj na jeei. 
Vi sjee c' ouarq erj Balar Beemann a 90! co dji an tjasx-sjo donnj 
ien lee bia eki ; acas xuua 'sjee feen na jeei co dji an tjaex ; 
acas loc sjae laau erj an clas, acas doscel an doras ; nji wuuirj 
sjee aex an vertj wan onn. Rjinn sjee tjinni goofwe. Vi sjee 
tjaeasxt onn erjiu, cur qasu dine qlanne orhi. Vi sjee col ec 
imaeasxt ansjin nuuirj a rucu a paasjdje. Xuua sjee co dji an 
rji acas duuertt sjee lesj co coihitt sjee imaext. " Tige n imaeha ? " 
er sjesjan. " Taa, djeerji maelhoo gam oo hasnik mee in an 
ilaan-sjo. Qoihi mee imaext." " Kee an maelhu ee ? " er sjesjan. 
" Qasu dine xlanne orram." 

Vi bertj waq 500 erj an ilaan ele fjoolam driaxta. Haenik 
sjiad a walje erj xuuirtj ec an aeherj. " ^Eherj " ers a faar aqu, 
xirji do sjgeeali, do qookerje acas d j aer tjinu do haai feric ort." 
Vi Kian waq Qaantje c eesjtjaext gaa raeaeitj, xuua sjee co dji an 
ien Walar Beemann, acas dj 5 ini sjee an sjgeeal dih a d'inisj a 
drihaar. " Well!" er sjisje, "taa sjee an am acad a veeh 
c'imaeaext anisj. Sjin i, qruuaxt erj a walle, buuarax an clasje, 
acas beei an glas xoo luua last ; acas toor laet an paasjdje." Dj 
imi sjee acas anuuirj a haenik sjee co dji an spot a xirj 
Mananaan amax ee vi Mananaan onn erj a spot. " Bi estih ins 
axoraex"ers a Mananaan; "acas djaan djefirj, naeae baaihi 
Balar Beemann sjinn maa hig lesj ee ; aeaex is muu an driaxta 
taa acamsa naa ege," ers a Mananaan Bwi waq a Ljirj. Lljeein 
sjee estjasx ins a xorax acas lljeem an glas estjasx xoo lluua lesj. 
Lljaen Balar Beemann iad, acas hooc sjee an asrige in a stirm,. 

Appendix. 245 

rive acas na jeei : nji rjinn Mananaan aeaex a laau a h'inu amax 
acas rjinn sjee an aerige kuun. Lljaes Balar an aerige rive, duul lee 
co nuuihitt sjee iad ; stsex xoih Mananaan amax qlox acas xirj 
sjee es an aerige. 

" Nisj, a Hhji'an waq Oaantje, taeae tuu slaan, saawalti ins a 
walje ; acas keeard a verhis tuu Ijom erj a hon ? " 

" Njil dasdi acam lee toortj ditj aeaex a paasjdje acas nji 
raeaehimwidj a djaanu gaa llje ge, aeaex verhim gitj elig ee." 

" Taeae mee bwiax ditj : sjin ee an rud a vi mee iari. 
Nji veei eean caesjkiax ins a doun qoo maih lesj," ers a 

Hooc sjee suuas lee klaes luu acas caesjqu ee. Sjee an taenim 
a waasjtje Mananaan erj, a Doll Daana. Vi sjee acas Mana- 
naan laa amwihj erj an aerige, acas haenik sjiad fleet Walar 
Beemann a sjoolu. 

Xirj Doll Daana faainnje, erj a huul, acas haenik sjee an 
t-aeher moor erj a deck, a spasjdooraext. Nji rou 's ege cur 
bee ee an t-aeher moor. Losjk sjee lesj dart es a fooqa acas 
ware sjee ee. Vi an taeraceraeaext /##/- aaltji ansjin. 


Dialect of Glencolumktlle, co. Donegal. 

Vi rji ansjin acas nji roo ege aex an maq awaain. Vi sjee : mwih 
a sjelig. Vi sjee col haeaert na relig. Vi kaerher ins a relig acas 
qorp aqu. Vi feeax erj a xorp. Xuui maq rji estjaex. Dj' esa 
sjee codjee vi orhu. Ers a faer " Taeae feeaxa oinnje erj anj 'aer 
a taeae maru. Nil mee saeaesta qorp a xor, co nnjaeaeli gaeae waq 
taeae ansjo co nnjioli sjeead na feeaxa." " Nil sjinn aeaebult a 
nnjiol " ers a faer aqu." " Taeae quuig font oimsa " ers a maq a 
rji. " Veerhi mee giv ee erj a qorp a xor." Hue sjee c/>oif na 
quuig font. Qwirju an qorp. Dj 'imi maq a rji na helig. Xuua 
sjee a walje traenoona. Madjin laar na waarax vi sjnaeaext ann. 
Xuua sjee amax a helig erj a tjraeaexta. Ware sjee prjeeaxaan 
duh. Haes sjee na hjonn acas d ; ouer sjee erj. Duur sjee n 
intjin heen naeaex boositt sjee vaen a xie aex a vaen a meeu a 
kinn qoo duh lee kletj anj eein, noo qraekonn qoo gael lesj a 
tjraeaexta, gruuie qoo djaerac lesj an il. Haene sjee a walje. 
Laarna waarax nuuirj a dj eerji sjee nji sjee heen acas dj imi 

246 Appendix. 

sjee lesj co waadd sjee an vasn-sjo. Nuuirj a vi sjee sjuul lesj 
tasmal, qaesu buuaxoll ruua doo. Vasni a buuaxoll doo. Dj esa 
sjee qaeaed a vi sjee col. Dj inisj maq a rji doo c,o ra sjee col co 
vekitt sjee an ouerq awaain erj a vasn sjin. " 'S falser misj' 
aesdoo " ers a buuaxol ruua : " Codjee an tuu-arasdal vees tuu 
iari ? " " Lljash a sirashasmwidj konn laa acas blien." Hjuul a 
vertj lljoofwe co roo 'n trasasnoon' ann. Ers an fasr ruua " tasas 
fasr mwintjerasx duusa na xooni J s a xillj-sjo his. Fan his 5 ansjo 
co dj ige misje nis." Xuui an fasr ruua sjis co tjaex an ashi. Vi 
an faahax na hie erj qahirj ec an tjini. " Onkel jilisj " ers an 
fasr ruua " mar sjoo taeas tuu ? " " Sjaeae c,ine wintjerje jilisj ; 
codjee tasas tjaeasxt orram ? " 

Ers an fasr ruua " Rji an Boon hirj woor-vvantj rasas t tjaeasxt 
nuuas ansjin lee do warue. Coo a walax a hileshuu." (?) " Tasas 
tjaeaex ierennj oim mwih ansjo. Clasasasl mee stjasx ann." 
Clasaeasl sjee an fasr estjasx. Xuua sjee insjerj a woisjter. Hue 
sjee a woisjter huuas co tjasx an ashi. Rinn sjee roi a supasaer. 
Xuua sjeead a Hie. 

Sjee an jeemnasx vi ec an ashax erj madjin *' Woscel iad." 
Xuui a fasr ruua insjerj. Dj esa sjee codjee vi erj ? " " Tasas 
mee xooirj a veeh reei lesj an oqras. Lig amax es sjo mee 
klisju." (?) " Nji liki mee 'max huu " ers a fasr ruua co nj insji 
tuu duh qou'l a qlooxa doraxa." " Sjin ^rud nasx n' insji mee 
don 5 ine co brasas." " Well! maa's fasasr last can insje noo veeh 
ansjin co waa tuu baas." 

" Ol a ra mee nis fwidj ann, tasas sjee qroxt in a lljeehidd-sjo 

" Tasas 's oimsa " ers a fasr ruua, " qou'l sjee ; bi hise ansjin 
astts tol last." Nuuirj a xooli an fahax nasx witt sjee amax, hue 
sjee lljeem 'max edjirj gasas ronqa don tjasx iarenj. Rinnju ^asas 
lljeh doo. Hitj lljash amwih acas lljash estih. Xuui a fasr ruua 
co tjasx an ashi. Rinn sjee reei a mrikwast. Hue sjee lljoofwe 
nnjasrt ooirj acas asrigidj ; gasas jasrasn acas gasas jiolledj. Dj 
imi sjeead lljoofwe co ro 'n trasnoon 5 ann, co d'asni sjeead 
estjasx a collj ele. 

[In this wood is another giant, from whom in the same fashion 
he obtains the "brooca sjlouana"; and then they, go on to 
another wood, in which is another giant, from whom they obtain 
the " qelev solaste."] 

Appendix. 247 

" Nisj " ers an faer ruua, lee na woisjter " bimwidj a tjasxt a 
welje : taeae ar saeaeih oinnj. Naeae coo an tasi nis fwidje. Vaen 
a wil tuu taerentj orhi nil aen xraenn ins a xollj naex wil konn 
dine qroxt erj, aex aen qraenn awaain taeae fwirjaeaext lee do 
hjonn-sa. Pilamwidj a walje " ers a faer ruua. " Nji raeaehe 
mee a walje xie " ers a maq a rji " co veki mee 'n ouerq awaain 
erj a vaen sjin." 

Xo sjeead an tasi co djaehi sjaed (co) tjaex a rji. Rinn an rji 
fwaruaetje woor rive. Claq sjeead an ineerj. Xa sjeead an ih 
ec ool acas lee sport. Nuuirj a vi sjiad na sie ec na supaeaer 
haene sjisj anuuas a tjaex baar. Vi an konn qoo duh lee etje 
anj eein, qraekon qoo gael lesj a tjraeaexta acas cruuie qoo djaerac 
lesj an il. Haene sji aed lljoofwe J n aeaeitj a ra sjeead ec ihe. 
Xa sji qiar insjerj. Duur sji lesj mar meeu qiarsan ege lee 
toortj dih maarax co mwinett sji an konn dih. Rue sjee erj a 
xiar. Xor sjee sjis in a fooq'i. Nuuirj a vi sjeead a col a Hie, 
ers an faer ruua lesj " ouarq a wil a xiar oiad." Xor sjee veeur 
in a fooqa. 

Nji ro an xiar ege. Hilh na djoora. " Truua naer a (c)laqe 
mee do xoorlje, nuuirj a dj iar tuu orram pillju welje." " Beedjirj 
co wimisj buui alig erj " ers a faer ruua." Vi sjee a vlandar c6 
wuuirj sjee co Hi ee. Nuuirj a xirj a faer ruua a Hi ee xor sjee 
erj a qlooxa dorraxa. Hue sjee lesj na brooca sjlouana, acas a 
qelev salaste. Xo sjee amax acas haes sjee J s a ivack-yard. 
Haene sjisj' amax. Rinn sji sjis erj an aerige. Haene sji aed 
lesj an aerige. Xa sji bliasq es a fooqa. Rinn sji baad dih. 
Xo sji stjaex s a waad. Wuuil sji J c imaru lee caeae faedel, co 
d'aene sji sjtjaex erj an ilaeaen vi ins an aerige. Vi faehax moor 
erj a xladax. " Wil daedi laet huum anoxt ?" " Nil " er sjisje, 
"aexbeei sjee J s an ih maarax Ijom. Taeae maq rji Eerinne 
'noxt oim. Beei sjee Ijom insj' ortsa maarax." 

Xuua sjeead na tia ; " Sjoudj qiar hue misje goosan noxt. 
Taeae sji hisi." D'aescel a faehax qoora. D J aac sjee an xiar erj 
hoonj a xoora. Vi an faer ruua a haesu erj konn na xoora. 
Nuuirj a d' aac an faahax an xiar ins a xoora rue a faer ruu j orhi 
nuu cur xo sjee na fooq'i. Vi an tjaex laan cooirj. Xo sji blie 
na ncooirj cur vli sji tjrian muunj acas fole. Rinn sji reei a 
supaeaer. Claq sjeead a stuff sjin. Haerna fahax ege kleeorsi 
iarennj acas qraekon laarje baannje. Lli sjeead ansjin co madjin. 

248 Appendix. 

Nuuirj a haenik an laa, dj eerji sjisje acas dj imi sji taerentj 
erj an aerige. Lljaen a faer ruua i. Nuuirj a xo sji aed lesj 
a waad xor sji an baad erj an isjge. Xuua sji been estjaex 
inti. Lljaen a faer ruua i erj an aerige. Vi sjee sjkeetaeael insj' 
orhi lesj a qlev salasta. Nji roo J s ege codjee vi a flehu. 
Nuuirj a xo sjiad aed lesj a walje xuui a faer ruua insjerj a 
woisjter. Dj esi sjee ra sjee na xollu. Duurtj maq a rji naex 
roo. " Haeaewal misje do hjonn anoxt. Sjoudj a xir. Qwirj 
in do fooq' i." Xor sjee an xir in a fooqa. Xuui an faer ruua 
a Hie. Nuuirj a vi an brikwasta reei erj madjin rmg-sz&l 
an bell. Dj eerji sjeead acas nji sjeead iad been. Nuuirj 
a vi sjeead claqu mrikwasta haeni sjisj' anuuas an tjaex 
baar. " Wil a xir oiad hue misj ereeirj ? " Xor sjee veer in a 
fooqa. Xa sjee an xir insj orhi. Nuuirj a haene sji co roo an 
xir lee faail ege, haene sji haeaert lee sweep awaain. Vrjisj sji 
Hjaeh a vi erj a taabele. " Taeae tjrian don ine bontj oiam " ers 
a maq rji Eerinne. " Taeae " ers an rji. " 'S tuu an caesjkiax is 
faeaer a haenik in mo hi erjiu." 

Xo sjeead a helig an laa sjin. Nuuirj a haeni sjeead a walje 
vi sjeead djaenu grinn acas qodjaeaeta co d'aenik aem supaeaere. 
Nuuirj a vi sjeead claqu supaeaer haenik a vaen vrjee aed lljoofwe. 
Xa sji sjisuur insjerj. " Mar roo'sj oiad lee toortj duuh maarax 
beei do hjonn oiam." Rue sjee erj a tj-isuur. Xirj sjee na 
fooq ee. Nuuirj a vi sjeead a col a Hie " ouerq " ers a faer ruua 
lee na woisjter " wil a sjisuur oiad." " Nil " ers a moisjter. 
*' S daen a halj tuu ee." Xo sjee a x)inu. Vi J n faer ruua a 
vlandar co wuuirj sjee Hi ee. Nuuirj a xolle sjee, xuui a faer 
ruua amax. Xor sjee erj a qlooxa dorraxa acas na Brooca 
sjlouene, acas hue sjee qelev salaste. 

[The visit to the giant in the island is repeated, the red man 
bringing back the scissors as the comb.] 

Nuuirj a vi an brikwasta reei haene sji nuuas an tjaex waar. 
Vi sji flox, baaitji. Djesa sji dih ro 'n sjisuur ege lee toortj dih. 
Xor sjee a veer in a fooqa, xa sjee insj' orhi an sjisuur. Hue 
sji an sweep awaain, njir aac sji grim delf erj a taabele naer 
vrjisj sji lee mihaesu. Duurtj maq a rji co roo gaeae djrien an 
ine bontj enjuh ege. " Taeae " ers a rji " acas taeae huul oiam co 
mwine tuu' lig i : taeae misje torsaail lehi." 

Xa sjeead a laa sjin a sjelig, co d'aenik an ihe. Nuuirj a vi a 

Appendix. 249 

supasaer reel, hasne sjisj 3 anuuas lee flight. " Mar roo na 
pushini djerinaeaeha fooqas misj 3 anoxt, beei do hjonn oiam." 
" S deli duusa " ers a maq a rji, " fis a veeh oimsa codjee na 
pushini djerinaeaeha fooqas tise." Vi sjee co buuerhe naex roos 
ege codjee jaeenitt sjee. Vi 'n fer ruua das vlandar co wuuirj 
sjee n a Hi ee. 

[The red man goes with the cloak, &c., as before, and follows 
her to the island.] 

Nuuirj a xo sji a djirj erj an ilaesen, v'i an fahax a buuerfi erj 
a xladax. " Wil daedi het insj' orram ? ers an fahax. " Nji 
huuri mee an dash xi insj ort. Lig tuu erj sjuul a xir. Lig tuu 
erj sjuul a sjisuur. Vi an daeae qidj ege lee toort duuh erj 
madjin. Xirj misje gses anoxt erj nasx mien ege leetoortj duuh. 
Sjin i na pusjini djerinasaeha fookinj anoxt acas sjin hise." 

Xo sji na vlie na ncooirj. Wuun tjrien fala acas tjrien muunj. 
Rinn sji reei na hupaeaere. Dj ih sjeead acas ool sjeead a 
saeaeih doo. Fuuirj sjee qleeorsa iarenj, qraekon laairje baannje. 
Lli sjeead ansjin co madjin. Nuuirj a haenik an laa laarna waarax 
fooc sjisje tjri h-uuirje. " Sjin i na pusjini djerinasasha fooqas 
misje. Nji veei sjeead sjin ege lee toort ditj maarax." 

Dj eerji sji acas dj imi sji. Nuuirj a xo sji 'max, sjgib a faer 
ruua konn don aehax. Xor sjee gasd in a xluesj. Xa sjee erj a 
^ooalenj ee. Vi sjee erj a xladax qoo luua leehi-sje. Xo sjisj 
estjaex J s a waad. Vi sji taerentj erj a walje. Xo sjesjan amax 
na djeei. Erj veead a lljox sjee i na hihe hele lljox sjee ^aeae 
huuirj qoo moor an ihe sje. Xuua sjeead a walje. Xuui a fser 
ruua 'n aeaeitj a roo 3 n moisjter a Hie. " Will tuu do xollu, a 
woisjter ? " *' Nil mee anisj " ers a maq a rji. " Sjoudj na 
pusjini djerinasaeha fooc sjisj na reeirj, acas, lljooca, ba crasaena 
na pusjini iad ec lady a veeh boocu." Rue sjee erj a konn acas 
xa sjee fwi ; n lljasbwi ee. Nuuirj a vi 'n brikwasta reei erj 
madjin hasne sjisj' anuuas lee flight, Djesa sji 5ih " qoul na 
pusjini djerinaeasha fooc misj ereejrj ? " Xor sjee laau haerisj fwi 
'n lljasbwi. Rue sjee an konn an aehi. Xa sjee 'nonns na qasi. 
Nuuirj a hasne sjisje co roo faahax maru, hue sji sweep awaain ; 
njir aac sji taabel noo qahirj, noo daedi a roo erj a taabele nasx 
djasr sji smoloca dih, vi sji qoo mihaesta. " Taeas do nin alig 
buntj oiam " ers a maq a rji. " Taeas : acas is tuu an cassjkiax 
's fasasr a hasnik foo mo hasx erjiu." 

250 Appendix. 

" Well 7 rashaemwidj a helig enjuh" ers an faer ruua. Xuua 
sjeead a helig. Win an faer ruua tjri bueltj'in. Rinn sjee tjri 
huusjte. Nuuirj a xo sjeead a walje " nisj " ers a faer ruua, 
" tuurj amax do nin ansjo." Hue a rji amax "i. " Kaencel a 
qos acas a laawe " ers a faer ruua : " faac na Hi ansjo i." D'aac 
a rj'i na 111 i. Hue an fasr ruua suustje don rji acas konn do 
woisjter. " Buuil hise an hjeead wullje." Wuuil a rji an hjeead 
wullje. Vi an tjruur a buuelu erj feg tasmal fada. Djimi 
bloirje tjinu 'max ass a beeal. " Buuelici liv tjilu. Tasae tjilu 
intji." Wuuil sjeead lljoofwe cur imi kraep ele tjinu 'max aes a 
beeal. " Buuelici lif " ers a faer ruua. " Taeae konn ele intji ? " 
Wuuel sjeead lljoofwe cur imi an tjriwe konn. " Nasas buuelici 
nis moo" ers an fasr ruua. " Sjin tjri jiawal djimi esjtje. Scilici i 
'nisj. Taeas sji qoo saqirj lee aen vasn erj a walje." Scil sjeead 
i acas xor sjeead a Hi i. Vi sji torsaax a njeei a buuelu. 

Fuui a soiert meesje acas kleerjax qloihje. Poosu 'n laana- 
win. D'aen a faer ruua aqu laa acas blien. Ruucu maq ooc 
gooif. Nuuirj a vi an laa acas blien 'stih duuertj a fasr ruua 
cur vihidj lesj a veeh 'c imaeaext. " Nil is oims " ers a maq a 
rji codjee jaeasnhas misje do jeei." " Oh ! nji vee mwillj ort " 
ers a faer ruua ; " is qooirj an saqru.' ; " S qooirj." ers a maq a 
rji. Xoo (?) sjee gasae lljeh dasas wuuirj sjee a d'assdoo sjee ee." 
"Veerhi mee an paaisjdje alig 'itj" ers a maq a rji: "tasae 
truui orm a col a jaeru." "Nji claqi mee alig ee" ers a fasr 
ruua: "nji claqi mee aex mo waraca.'"' Rue maq a rji erj 
a sjgon (? sjgian) col a jaeru. "Stop do laau" ers a fser 
ruua. "Vi tuu heen fuuascoltjaex. A qiminaex last a laa vi" 
tuu col haert lesj a relig. Vi kasrherj ins a relig acas qorp 
ooqu, acas iad ec aerigasl. Vi feeax erj a xorp. Nji roo 
sjeead saeassta a xorp a xor co nnjialti na feeaxa. Vi quuig font 
oiadsa. Hue tuu gooif ee a xorp a xor. Misje vi 's a xoora 
an laa sjin. Nuuirj a haene misje hise col a konn a journey 
haenik misj insj ort lee do haeaswal, mar vi tuu heen qoo moih 
sjin. Pronam do faaisjdj' ort acas do xidj aerigidj. Slaan 
acas baenasast oiad. Nji eki tuu asn ouarq orramsa nis mpo." 

[Note. English words or parts of words retaining their 
pronunciation are in italics.] 


The spelling of the names in the English is English phonetic, with the 
exception of the use of J to denote slenderness or softness of the consonant. 
English readers are now familiar with a similar use of J in the Norwegian 
name Bjornsen. It is equivalent to the consonantal ute of English y. 

PAGE i. The "Gloss Gavlen" means simply the Grey 
(cow) of the Smith, gavlen being properly gavnen (gaibh- 
nenn) according to O' Donovan. The first part of the story 
has no real connection with' the second. The Gobaun seer, 
meaning the Smith-builder, w,as the famous mythic archi- 
tect, to whom was attributed the erection of various actual 
edifices, of which I can only recall at present the Round 
Tower of Killala. The latter part of the narrative is a genuine 
folk-reminiscence of some of the most striking characters and 
events in the oldest Irish mythology. Balar of the Blows 
(Bemann) was the leader of the Fohmors, the powers of 
darkness and evil, in the great battle of the northern Moy- 
tura, fought near Sligo, in which they were defeated by Lugh, 
Balar's daughter's son, also called Ildauna that is "of all 
arts and sciences," the Irish Apollo, or culture-hero. Of this 
name, the appellation of Dul Dauna, the Blind-Stubborn, 
here bestowed on him, appears to be a curious corruption. 
It is interesting to compare the whole of this account with 
that found by O' Donovan in Donegal. (See note to Annals 
of the Four Masters year of the world 3330.) It contains no 
reference to the education by Mananaun Mac Lir, the sea- 
god. It represents the Gloss as originally the property of the 
smith, Gavida, which appears to be correct. 

Page 5. " Cruahaun of Connaught," in the modern county of 
Roscommon, being separated from the nearest part of Ulster 
by the county of Leitrim, we gain an idea of what a formidable 
task it was to herd the Gloss. There is no mention of Ulster 
in the Irish version, but McGinty told me the lake was in that 

252 Notes. 

Page 6. "The Kingdoms of the Cold." This indicates a 
different geography from that of the opening, in which Balar 
is located in the East. It seems to identify Balar with the 
powers of the cold. For a full development of this idea, 
see the writer's poem "Moytura," in " Fand and Other 

Page 10. "Morraha." The title is curious. Binn Edin 
has not been identified (it can hardly be Binn Eadar, Howth), 
though the mention at the end of " Bioultach " places it 
on the coast. It occurs in other tales, Connal Gulban for 
example, and it seems to be famous in this kind of literature. 
The present tale has, so far as I know, only one printed 
variant, the " Fis fa an aon Sgeul" of Kennedy, not so inter- 
esting, I think, as this. The story having two parts, I have 
ventured to give the best version of each from two different 
narrators. Substantially both are alike throughout. In the 
Renvyle version of the opening, the hero is Brian Boru, 
the victor of Clontarf, and the enchanter is named Flauheen 
O'Neill. The woman is Flauheen's wife. The tone is prosy, 
all the picturesque incidents relating to the horse being 
absent. The "story," however, is better told than in the 
Achill version, except as regards one point, which supplies 
the wife's motive for treating her husband as she did. He 
had found in the woods a wild-man (geltj), whom he took into 
his house, cleaned and shaved, and made a servant of. This 
man became his wife's lover, and on his detecting the fact, 
she struck him with a rod of druidism, turning him first into 
a kitchen block, continually kicked and maltreated. I should 
have stated in the text that the brief conversation pre- 
ceding the "story" is from the Achill version. Anshgay- 
liacht, the name of the one-eyed monster who stole the 
children, was the brother of the champion who came in the 
currach. This name is strange, as it is simply an sjgeeliaxt 
i.e., " the story telling." In the Renvyle version of the con- 
clusion, the hero baffles the enchanter, by pretending to notice 
some writing on the sword after he has given it to Flauheen. 
The latter could not read, and gives it back to the other, who 
immediately cuts his head off. The Achill pretext for not 
giving the sword up at all, "though I promised to bring it 
as far as you, I did not promise to bring it for you," is 
a favourite device in the island. It will be found again 

Notes. 253 

in "King Mananaun," and twice in "The King who had 
Twelve Sons." 

The word translated "thistles" is snsehedi, which usually 
means needles. The narrator said it meant thistles here. 

Page 14. The bells rang : cf., 

" And when in Salamanca's cave 
Him listed his magic wand to wave, 
The bells would ring in Notre Dame." 

Page 15. Diversion. The word was so pronounced not 

Page 31. "The Ghost and his Wives." The word trans- 
lated churchyard usually means " church " only. 

Page 35. I know of no parallel to this story as a whole. 
"Bioultach" probably means "Yellow-hair" " bwi'-oltax." 
Is he a solar hero ? There is true painting of certain sides 
of Irish character in this tale ; the mutual affection of the 
brothers, their indifference to larger interests, must be noted. 

Page 50. This sea-run is a fairly good specimen of this 
style of composition. There are several words I am unable to 
translate. As regards the style of the runs in general in Celtic 
tales, I am unable to accept the view that it has anything in 
common with the well-known corrupt literary Irish style. There 
is this fundamental difference between the two. The bombast 
and exaggeration of the written literature is seriously given, 
seriously meant. In the "runs" of the oral literature the 
whole description is obviously fantastic, and meant for such. 
Popular taste would never have endured the laboured exag- 
geration which the pedantry of half-educated scribe composers 
thought so fine ; nor would the outrageous accumulation of 
alliterative adjectives, in which such persons indulged, have 
been possible of invention by oral reciters on the spur of the 
moment. The first of the runs here given shows, by the unin- 
telligibility of part of it, that the narrator was not inventing, 
but merely giving an imperfect version to the best of his ability. 
He did not know the meaning of half of it. I now add the Irish 
of this run, and for the purposes of comparison two others : 
" Hoog sji'ed suuas sjoolti moora, ba qoodjaxi, baa qoodjaxi, 
maan-jseraca, mar a craainj, nji'r aaci sjee tjee-tjirje can talhu 
naa haelamoodj can rooiv lesj na heegeealti (?), n' aaitj a ra 
roontji, mialti moora, llopidaan acas llapidaan, behi veaca 

254 Notes. 

bee-il djaeraca na farigg ec eirji erj wuuesj acas erj wasj a 
wadje raawe a dji'gna kool sji' acas keluaj 90oif feen ; cur 
eirji an aerig<5 na tonni tjreeana, saav lee sji', saav lee cloori 
cafi ; lee meedj acas lee bjraesextje v'i a llonc a sjoolu, cur 
sjtr'iqaalj sj'i quuan acas'qalhu stjaex co Krjih-na- Sorraxa." 

The next is from " King Mananaun " (see page 67) : 

"hlljeeas sji' llonc woor-woxtax woor-waxtax cur aardi sj'i 
sjoolti moora ba qoodjaxg baa qoodaxe xoo fada xoo haardj 
lee barra na craenn, naer aac sji tjee-tji'rje can brjisju, madje 
raawe can reebu, llopidaan acas llapidaan ec mi'alti bgaca, 
mialti moora na farige hir tjaeaext enji'r erj qos acas bos a wadje 
raawe, co due sj'i daa djri'Sn erj sjuul acas tjrie'n sqoodj, co 
ra na sesconi ruuaeaedali, quur enji'axtar doo acas cannjiv in 
uuaxtar, co meerhitt sji' erj a 91 ruua Wart do v'i rimpi acas 
nax meerhu an 9! ruua Wart vi' na djeei orhi ; acas do v'i sj'i 
sjoolu n'i m'i hoi do hsenik sj'i taelu." 

The third is from "The Champion of the Red Belt" (see 
page 86) : 

"Xo sjee amax a haeta; rinn sjee llonc do haeta, qraenn do 
wata, brata do Ijeeni. Hooc sjee hoolti, boqedje, baqedje, co 
baar na crann djirjS. Hue sjee oi-i erj mwirj acas djerju lee 
tj'irj, nj'ir aac sjee tjee-tji'rje can brjisju noo qaabgle can reebu, 
co ra sjee 'c i'sjtjaext lee sjeetjvaeaex na ro9ntji acas geemnaex 
na beesjtji moora, lee sjcraedi na wilin; co ro i'asci beaca 
beelj djaeric na faerige ec eerji erj hosj acas erj wasj a wadje 
raawS, cur sjtjuur sjiad seeax stjaex fwi xuuirtj acas xahirj rj'i 

Page 48. "The molten torrent," hile na riaxan. The 
translation is conjectural. From the context here something 
fiery is evidently meant. The expression occurs again in 
"King Mananaun" (page 74), where the narrator thought 
something very cold was intended. 

Page 64. "King Mananaun." The opening resembles a 
story of Curtin's. Mananaun, the sea-god, was a great en- 
chanter ; hence, no doubt, the name of the King in this story. 

Page 67. " The sea-run." See note to " Bioultach." 

Page 68. " Faugauns and Blue-Men." The first word 
appears to mean outlaws, and to be the origin of the word 
"fachan" in the Scotch stories, which has hitherto not been 
understood. Does Blue-men mean men stained with woad ? 

Page 74. " Na riaxan." See note to " Bioultach," page 48. 

Notes. 255 

Page 76. " Blauheen Bloye " appears to mean simply 
" smooth blossom." " The Amber Bracelet." Amber is not 
found in Ireland. It was formerly believed to have magical 
qualities. Pliny says, " True it is that a collar of amber beads 
worn about the necks of young infants is a singular preserva- 
tive to them against secret poison, and a counter-charm for 
witchcraft and sorceries " ; also, " The price of a small figure 
of it exceeds that of a healthy living slave." 

Page 77. "Owas." The "owas" must be regarded as a 
distinct personage in Gaelic mythology. They appear to have 
been human in shape at least. They are met with several 
times in the Scotch stories, where the word is written " amhus," 
pronounced " owas." They have sometimes definite names, 
of which an example occurs a little farther on. 

Page 78. " Criers " (of the kitchen). I am not sure this is 
the meaning of " clafirj." It may mean " gluttons." 

Page 82. This makes the fourth time the hero is killed and 

Page 86. " The Champion of the Red Belt." The general 
tone of the story is wild and barbarous. 

Page 86. "Providence." The Irish is "an rji'," a word 
frequently used in these Donegal stories in this sense. 

Page 87. Lochlann is usually supposed to mean Denmark, 
but is by some held to be a purely mythical country. 

Page 91. Another sea-run. Spe note to Bioultach. 

Page 95. "Yard round the court." Yard is the word in 
the original; it means wall apparently. There are numbers 
of English words in this story, such as strain (of music), bride, 
cupboard, apron, destroy, alley playing ball, slaughter. 

Page 100. The description of the hag corresponds closely 
with that of the "fachan" in the Scotch stories. It is inter- 
esting to compare the brief popular description of this monster 
with the laboured style of the written literature, as may be 
seen in the description of the hags in the " Cave of Kesh- 
corran," Mr. S. H. O'Grady's " Silva Gadelica." 

Page 1 06. The story of "Jack " has been given as a sample 
of the humorous story quite different, it will be seen, from the 
style of Kennedy, or of any writer who uses "broken English." 
I have many others. I do not understand how they come so 
often to be called "Jack," as they are, in the Irish. 

Page 107. Cleeve, an Irish word for basket. 



Page 115. "The Servant of Poverty." This curious story r 
with its prosaic details, is chiefly remarkable for the variant 
it contains of the Cymbeline legend. A version much wilder 
than this is found in Campbell's "The Chest." The tale is 
thus seen to belong to the three kingdoms. A parallel to the 
opening incident of the betrothal of two children born at the 
same time will be found in the story of ' ' The Wicked Greek 
Girl," given in Latin in " Silva Gadelica." Mr. O'Grady says 
it is not an Irish story. 

Page 121. " Collegian." This is the word in the original, 
and seems to mean "a swell." The three sayings about 
bridge, house, and nag, also occur in Campbell's " Baillie 

Page 125. "Covered the money" i.e., with her hand: 
accepted it. 

Page 139. "The Son of the King of Prussia." Perhaps 
the most remarkable thing in this story is the name. I think 
if the tale had been written down twenty-five years ago, the 
name would not have occurred. I believe it to be not older 
than 1870. In that year Prussia was intensely unpopular in 
Ireland, owing to the sympathy felt for France ; and some one, 
perhaps M'Grale himself, took this method of showing his 
dislike for the former country by substituting this name for 
some other previously borne by the coward. 

Page 149. "Crooked-mouth" is simply "Camp-bell," the 
order of adjective and noun Beeal-qam being reversed. 

Page 152. "Bird-Serpent" unique, I think. 

Page 155. " Beauty of the World." There is nothing new 
except in some of the details in this story ; but the compact 
energy of the style is surely remarkable as coming from an 
unlettered peasant of eighty. Part of the story corresponds 
with the King of Ireland's son (Hyde's Collection). There is 
also a parallel in Curtin. With regard to the red, white, and 
black incident, it is worth noting that all primitive ideas of 
beauty depend on colour alone. 

Page 156. " The red-haired young man" ought perhaps to 
be " the strong young man," in accordance with Mr. O'Grady's 

Pages 160 and 164. " Part of milk and part of blood." The 
full meaning is "one-third of milk, one-third of blood, and 
one-third of urine." 

Notes. 257 

Page 1 68. What the meaning of this strange tale may be 
I cannot conjecture. It is either an allegory the name "Grig" 
(gruig) signifies churlishness or it is a fragment of a rather 
ghastly piece of mythology. Several things in the translation 
are conjectural ; for the Irish is - full of difficulties, as the 
narrator, before I began to write, warned me would be 
the case. 

Page 172. " Cornelius" is a translation of despair. The 
Irish is "qornjili." 

Page 173. The word translated " hellebore " is " dseaehooh." 

Page 174. This little tale has a close parallel in Grimm, 
which is why I have printed it. There is also a version in 

Page 179. The end of the story is like Kennedy's "Twelve 
Wild Geese," and it has also a close parallel in Grimm. But 
all the earlier portion has no parallel in either. 

Page 187. The names of the three brothers are a little 
puzzling, as " Inn " seems to be only the aspirated form the 
vocative of Fionn which means fair, white; while Glegil 
means Clear-Bright. 

Page 1 88. This touching tale has a curious far-away re- 
semblance to certain classic legends. A good deal must be 
lost, and in consequence the long struggle of the young man 
with the devil has much that requires explanation. It is 
unique among Celtic stories. 

Page 196. "The Djachwi." I am not sure that this word 
is anything more than " deachmhadh," a tithe, which has 
been turned into a person, the meaning being forgotten. 
After the briefly told Andromeda episode the story takes a 
quite novel turn. Its resemblance in structure, as is the case 
also with some of the other stories, to many a modern novel is 
very apparent. 

Page 203. "The skin of the wild pig." The Irish of the 
two last words is " mwike tuusjke." I am doubtful as to the 
translation which was given by M'Ginty. In the story of the 
" Fate of the Children of Tuireann," one of the tasks imposed 
on the three brothers is to obtain the skin of a pig having 
marvellous qualities, which has to be taken from the King of 
Greece, whose name is Tuis. There appears to be some 

Page 21 1. "The Red Pony." The word translated pony 


2 5 8 


is, in this tale, " klebisjtji'n " ; in the preceding tale it is 
" plebisjtjin." Wonderful ''horse-beasts" thus occur four 
times in this volume. In two stories it will be noted that they 
are merely human beings, enchanted ; in the other two this is 
apparently not the case. The word rendered ' ' healing water ' ' 
is, in this, as in all the other stories in which it occurs, 
"i'qlsentj" (Donegal pron.), which literally means, "cure- 

Page 219. "The Nine-legged Steed." The opening re- 
sembles a story of Curtin's, in which, however, the step-mother 
acts from the motive of hate instead of, as here, from affection. 
The words translated "transforming caps" are "qahal" 
(cochal), which also means a cloak, and "qantrseltje," the 
translation of which is a guess. It must be inferred that of 
the three maidens, who came as swans, one was the nine- 
legged steed, another the lady in the greenawn. The third 
is not accounted for. " Greenawn '' (grianaan) means " sunny 
chamber." In Irish tales the ladies are generally described 
as occupying such apartments; a more general use of the 
word is found on page 179. 


Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, London, 







Gbe antiquities anb Curiosities of 
tbe JEycbequer, 


With Illustrations by RALPH NEVILL, F.S.A., and an Introduction by SIR 

"This, the first volume of a valuable series, is perhaps one of the most 
interesting works of this kind. The facts and anecdotes which are woven 
into the pages are curious, and no doubt will be perfectly new to many 
readers." Public Opinion. 

"Will be immensely superior to the ordinary kind of serial hand-books, 
if Mr. Hubert Hall's scholarly and well-written book is a fair sample. . . . 
His account of the origins of our national finance is full of valuable information 
which cannot be easily found elsewhere." St. James's Gazette. 

"A valuable addition to the Camden Library, and contains great wealth of 
information, every item of which belongs to the category of ' things not 
generally known.' It does great credit to the persevering industry, discrimi- 
nation, and literary skill of its author. . . . The book is admirably produced 
and indexed, and is readable throughout." Daily Telegraph. 


Sculpturefc Signs of Ib Xonbon, 

With Numerous Illustrations by PHILIP NORMAN, F.S.A. 
With an Introduction by HENRY B. WHEATLEY, F.S.A. 

In this volume the author has endeavoured to preserve a record, before 
it is too late, of relics hitherto little known, though in their way most 
interesting namely, the Sculptured House and Street Signs, put up as a 
rule immediately after the great fire, and which, when once removed, may 
soon and utterly be forgotten. The author deals with their meaning, 
associations, and many quaint stories relating to them. 

The following list of the chapters will show the character and scope of 
this interesting volume : 


The volume is incidentally full of pleasant chat concerning Old London, 
its citizens and their life and surroundings in the old times. It is fully 
illustrated by sketches and photographs taken on the spot by the author 
himself, many of the sculptured signs particularly lending themselves to 
picturesque treatment. 

Mr. H. B. Wheatley, F.S.A., the well known authority on London, has 
written an introduction to the volume, and a full index puts its stores of 
information at the reader's command.