We readily feel the heat poured forth by the sun or by a fire, but we are usually not conscious of the fact that we ourselves are constantly radiating heat; yet if we hold out a hand towards a radiometer the delicate instrument will respond to the heat imparted by that hand even at a distance of several feet, and will begin to revolve. We say that a rose has a scent and that a daisy has none; yet the daisy is throwing off particles just as much as the rose, only in the one case they happen to be perceptible to our senses, and in the other they are not.
From early ages men have believed that the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars exercised a certain influence over human life. In the present day most people are content to laugh at such a belief, without knowing anything about it; yet anyone who will take the trouble to make a careful and impartial study of astrology will discover much that cannot be lightly thrown aside. He will meet with plenty of errors, no doubt, some of them ridiculous enough; but he will also find a proportion of accurate results which is far too large to be reasonably ascribed to coincidence.
His investigations will convince him that there is unquestionably some foundation for the claims of the astrologers, while at the same time he cannot but observe that their systems are as yet far from perfect. When we remember the enormous space that separates us from even the nearest of the planets, it is at once obvious that we must reject the idea that they can exercise upon us any physical action worth considering; and furthermore, if there were any such action, it would seem that its strength should depend less upon the position of the planet in the sky than upon its proximity to the earth-- a factor which is not usually taken into account by astrologers.
The more we contemplate the matter the less does it seem rational or possible to suppose that the planets can affect the earth or its inhabitants to any appreciable extent; yet the fact remains that a theory based upon this apparent impossibility often works out accurately. Perhaps the explanation may be found along the line that just as the movement of the hands of a clock shows the passage of time, though it does not cause it, so the motions of the planets indicate the prevalence of certain influences, but are in no way responsible for them.
Let us see what light occult study throws upon this somewhat perplexing subject. Occult students regard the entire solar system in all its vast complexity as a partial manifestation of one great living Being, and all its parts as expressing aspects of Him. Many names have been given to Him; in our Theosophical literature He has often been described under the Gnostic title of the Logos-- the Word that was in the beginning with God, and was God; but now we usually speak of Him as the Solar Deity.
All the physical constituents of the solar system-- the sun with its wonderful corona, all the planets with their satellites, their oceans, their atmospheres and the various aethers surrounding them-- all these are collectively His physical body, the expression of Him in the physical realm. In the same way the collective astral worlds-- not only the astral worlds belonging to each of the physical planets, but also the purely astral planets of all the chains of the system such, for example, as planets B and F of our chain -- make up His astral body, and the collective worlds of the mental realm are His mental body-- the vehicle through which He manifests Himself upon that particular level.
Every atom of every world is a centre through which He is conscious, so that not only is it true that God is omnipresent, but also that whatever is is God. Thus we see that the old pantheistic conception was quite true, yet it is only a part of the truth, because while all nature in all its worlds is nothing but His garment, yet He Himself exists outside of and above all this in a stupendous life of which we can know nothing-- a life among other Rulers of other systems.
Just as all our lives are lived literally within Him and are in truth a part of His, so His life and that of the Solar Deities of countless other systems are a part of a still greater life of the Deity of the visible universe; and if there be in the depths of space yet other universes invisible to us, all of their Deities in turn must in the same way form part of One Great Consciousness which includes the whole. I am not speaking here of our usual division of the worlds and their subsections-- a division which is made according to the density of the matter, so that in the physical world, for example, we have the solid, liquid, gaseous, etheric, super-etheric, sub-atomic and atomic conditions of matter-- all of them physical, but differing in density.
The types which I mean constitute a totally distinct series of cross-divisions, each of which contains matter in all its different conditions, so that if we denote the various types by numbers, we shall find solid, liquid and gaseous matter of the first type, solid, liquid and gaseous matter of the second type, and so on all the way through.
These types of matter are as thoroughly intermingled as are the constituents of our atmosphere. Conceive a room filled with air; any decided vibration communicated to the air, such as a sound, for example, would be perceptible in every part of the room. Suppose that it were possible to produce some kind of undulation which should affect the oxygen alone without disturbing the nitrogen, that undulation would still be felt in every part of the room.
If we allow that, for a moment, the proportion of oxygen might be greater in one part of the room than another, then the oscillation, though perceptible everywhere, would be strongest in that part. Just as the air in a room is composed principally of oxygen and nitrogen, so is the matter of the solar system composed of these different types; and just as a wave if there could be such a thing which affected only the oxygen or only the nitrogen would nevertheless be felt in all parts of the room, so a movement or modification which affects only one of these types produces an effect throughout the entire solar system, though it may be stronger in one part than in another.
This statement is true of all worlds, but for the sake of clearness let us for the moment confine our thought to one world only. Perhaps the idea is easiest to follow with regard to the astral. It has often been explained that in the astral body of man, matter belonging to each of the astral sub-sections is to be found, and that the proportion between the denser and the finer kinds shows how far that body is capable of responding to coarse or refined desires, and so is to some extent an indication of the degree to which the man has evolved himself.
Similarly in each astral body there is matter of each of these types, and in this case the proportion between them will show the disposition of the man-- whether he is devotional or philosophic, artistic or scientific, pragmatic or mystic. Now each of these types of matter in the astral body of the Solar Deity is to some extent a separate vehicle, and may be thought of as also the astral body of a subsidiary Deity or Minister, who is at the same time an aspect of the Deity of the system, a kind of ganglion or force-centre in Him. Indeed, if these types differ among themselves, it is because the matter composing them originally came forth through these different living Centres, and the matter of each type is still the special vehicle and expression of the subsidiary Deity through whom it came, so that the slightest thought, movement or alteration of any kind in Him is instantly reflected in some way or other in all the matter of the corresponding type.
Naturally each such type of matter has its own special affinities, and is capable of vibrating under influences which may probably evoke no response from the other types. Since every man has within himself matter of all these types, it is obvious that any modification in or action of any one of these great living Centres must to some degree affect all beings in the system. The extent to which any particular person is so affected depends upon the proportion of the type of matter acted upon which he happens to have in his astral body.
Consequently we find different types of men as of matter, and by reason of their constitution, by the very composition of their astral bodies, some of them are more susceptible to one influence, some to another. The types are seven, and astrologers have often given to them the names of certain of the planets. In addition to the forty-nine definite sub-types thus obtained, there are any number of possible permutations and combinations of influences, often so complicated that it is no easy matter to follow them.
Nevertheless, this gives us a certain system of classification, according to which we can arrange not only human beings, but also the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, and the elemental essence which precedes them in evolution. Everything in the solar system belongs to one or other of these seven great streams, because it has come out through one or other of these great Force-Centres, to which therefore it belongs in essence, although it must inevitably be affected more or less by the others also.
This gives each man, each animal, each plant, each mineral a certain fundamental characteristic which never changes-- sometimes symbolised as his note, his colour or his ray. This characteristic is permanent not only through one chain-period, but through the whole planetary scheme, so that the life which manifests through elemental essence of type A will in the due course of its evolution ensoul successively minerals, plants, and animals of type A; and when its group-soul breaks up into units and receives the Third Outpouring, the human beings which are the result of its evolution will be men of type A and no other, and under normal conditions will continue so all through their development until they grow into Adepts of type A.
In the earlier days of Theosophical study we were under the impression that this plan was carried out consistently to the very end, and that these Adepts rejoined the Solar Deity through the same subsidiary Deity or Minister through whom they originally came forth. Further research shows that this thought requires modification. We find that bands of egos of many different types join themselves together for a common object. For example, in the investigations connected primarily with the lives of Alcyone it was found that certain bands of egos circled round the various Masters, and came closer and closer to Them as time went on.
One by one, as they became fit for it, these egos reached the stage at which they were accepted as pupils or apprentices by one or other of the Masters. To become truly a pupil of a Master means entering into relations with Him whose intimacy is far beyond any tie of which we know on earth. It means a degree of union with Him which no words can fully express, although at the same time a pupil retains absolutely his own individuality and his own initiative.
In this way each Master becomes a centre of what may be truly described as a great organism, since his pupils are veritably members of Him. When we realise that He Himself is in just the same way a Member of some still greater Master we arrive at a conception of a mighty. Such an organism is the Heavenly Man who emerges as the result of the evolution of each great root-race.
In Him, as in an earthly man, are seven great centres, each of which is a mighty Adept; and the Manu and the Bodhisattva occupy in this great organism the place of the brain and the heart centres respectively. Round Them-- and yet not round Them, but in Them and part of Them, although so fully and gloriously ourselves-- shall we, Their servants, be; and this great figure in its totality represents the flower of that particular race, and includes all who have attained Adeptship through it.
Each root-race is thus represented at its close by one of these Heavenly Men; and They, these splendid totalities, will, as Their next stage in evolution, become Ministers Themselves of some future Solar Deity. Yet each one of these contains within Himself men of all possible types, so that each of these future Ministers is in truth a representative not of one line but of all lines. When looked at from a sufficiently high level the whole solar system is seen to consist of these great living Centres or Ministers, and the types of matter through which each is expressing Himself.
Let me repeat here for the sake of clearness, what I wrote some time ago on this subject in The Inner Life, vol. Each of these great living Centres has a sort of orderly periodic change or motion of his own, corresponding perhaps on some infinitely higher level to the regular beating of the human heart, or to the inspiration and expiration of the breath. Some of these periodic changes are more rapid than others, so that a complicated series of effects is produced; and it has been observed that the movements of the physical planets in their relation to one another furnish a clue to the operation of these influences at any given moment.
Each of these Centres has His special location or major focus within the body of the sun, and a minor exterior focus which is always marked by the position of a planet. The exact relation can hardly be made clear in our three-dimensional phraseology; but we may perhaps put it that each Centre has a field of influence practically co-extensive with a solar system; that if a section of this field could be taken it would be found to be elliptical; and that one of the foci of each ellipse would always be the sun, and the other would be the special planet ruled by that Minister.
It is probable that, in the gradual condensation of the original glowing nebula from which the system was formed, the location of the planets was determined by the formation of vortices at these minor foci, they being auxiliary points of distribution of these influences-- ganglia, as it were, in the solar system.
It must of course be understood that we are referring here not to the curious astrological theory which considers the sun himself as a planet, but to the real planets which revolve round him. The influences belonging to these great types differ widely in quality, and one way in which this difference shows itself is in their action upon the living elemental essence both in man and around him.
Be it ever remembered that this dominance is exerted in all worlds, not only in the astral, though we are just now confining ourselves to that for simplicity' s sake. These mysterious agencies may have, and indeed must have, other and more important lines of action not at present known to us; but this at least forces itself upon the notice of the observer, that each Centre produces its own special effect upon the manifold varieties of elemental essence.
One, for example, will be found greatly to stimulate the activity and the vitality of those kinds of essence which specially appertain to the Centre through which it comes, while apparently checking and controlling others; the sway of another type will be seen to be strong over a quite different set of essences which belong to its Centre, while apparently not affecting the previous set in the least.
There are all sorts of combinations and permutations of these mystic powers, the action of one of them being in some cases greatly intensified and in others almost neutralised by the presence of another. Since this elemental essence is vividly active in the astral and mental bodies of man, it is clear that any unusual excitation of any of these classes of that essence-- any sudden increase in its activity-- must undoubtedly affect to some extent either his emotions or his mind, or both; and it is also obvious that these forces would work differently on different men, because of the varieties of essence entering into their composition.
These influences neither exist nor are exercised for the sake of the man or with any reference to him, any more than the wind exists for the sake of the vessel which is helped or hindered by it; they are part of the play of cosmic forces of whose object we know nothing, though we may to some extent learn how to calculate upon them and to use them. Such energies in themselves are no more good nor evil than any other of the powers of nature: like electricity or any other great natural force they may be helpful or hurtful to us, according to the use that we make of them.
Just as certain experiments are more likely to be successful if undertaken when the air is heavily charged with electricity, while certain others under such conditions will most probably fail, so an effort involving the use of the powers of our mental and emotional nature will more or less readily achieve its object according to the influences which predominate when it is made. It is of the utmost importance for us to understand that such pressure cannot dominate man' s will in the slightest degree; all it can do is in some cases to make it easier or more difficult for that will to act along certain lines.
In no case can a man be swept away by it into any course of action without his own consent, though he may evidently be helped or hindered by it in any effort that he chances to be making. The really strong man has little need to trouble himself as to the agencies which happen to be in the ascendant, but for men of weaker will it may sometimes be worth while to know at what moment this or that force can most advantageously be applied.
These factors may be put aside as a negligible quantity by the man of iron determination or by the student of true occultism; but since most men still allow themselves to be the helpless sport of the forces of desire, and have not yet developed anything worth calling a will of their own, their feebleness permits these influences to assume an importance in human life to which they have intrinsically no claim. For example, a certain variety of pressure may occasionally bring about a condition of affairs in which all forms of nervous excitement are considerably intensified, and there is consequently a general sense of irritability abroad.
That condition cannot cause a quarrel between sensible people; but under such circumstances disputes arise far more readily than usual, even on the most trifling pretexts, and the large number of people who seem to be always on the verge of losing their tempers are likely to relinquish all control of themselves on even less than ordinary provocation. It may sometimes happen that such influences, playing on the smouldering discontent of ignorant jealousy, may fan it into an outburst of popular frenzy from which wide-spread disaster may ensue. Even in such a case as this we must guard ourselves against the fatal mistake of supposing the influence to be evil because man' s passions turn it to evil effect.
The force itself is simply a wave of activity sent forth from one of the Centres of the Deity, and is in itself of the nature of an intensification of certain vibrations-- necessary perhaps to produce some far-reaching cosmic effect. The increased activity produced incidentally by its means in the astral body of a man offers him an opportunity of testing his power to manage his vehicles; and whether he succeeds or fails in this, it is still one of the lessons which help in his evolution. Karma may throw a man into certain surroundings or bring him under certain influences, but it can never force him to commit a crime, though it may so place him that it requires great determination on his part to avoid that crime.
It is possible, therefore, for an astrologer to warn a man of the circumstances under which at a given time be will find himself, but any definite prophecy as to his action under those circumstances can only be based upon probabilities-- though we may readily recognise how nearly such prophecies become certainties in the case of the ordinary will-less man.
From the extraordinary mixture of success and failure which characterise modern astrological predictions, it seems fairly certain that the practitioners, of this art are not fully acquainted with all the necessary factors. In a case into which only those factors enter which are already fairly well understood, success is achieved; but in cases where unrecognised factors come into play we have naturally more or less complete failure as the result. THOSE who are interested in astronomy will find the occult side of that science one of the most fascinating studies within our reach.
Obviously it would be at once too recondite and too technical for inclusion in such a book as this, which is concerned more immediately with such of the unseen phenomena as affect us practically in our daily life; but the connection of the sun with that life is so intimate that it is necessary that a few words should be said about him. The whole solar system is truly the garment of its Deity, but the sun is His veritable epiphany-- the nearest that we can come in the physical realm to a manifestation of Him, the lens through which His power shines forth upon us.
Regarded purely from the physical point of view, the sun is a vast mass of glowing matter at almost inconceivably high temperatures, and in a condition of electrification so intense as to be altogether beyond our experience. Astronomers, supposing his heat to be due merely to contraction, used to calculate how long he must have existed in the past, and how long it would be possible for him to maintain it in the future; and they found themselves unable to allow more than a few hundred thousand years either way, while the geologists on the other hand claim that on this earth alone we have evidence of processes extending over millions of years.
The discovery of radium has upset the older theories, but even with its aid they have not yet risen to the simplicity of the real explanation of the difficulty. One can imagine some intelligent microbe living in or upon a human body and arguing about its temperature in precisely the same way. He might say that it must of course be a gradually cooling body, and he might calculate with exactitude that in so many hours or minutes it must reach a temperature that would render continued existence impossible for him.
If he lived long enough, however, he would find that the human body did not cool, as according to his theories it should do, and no doubt this would seem to him very mysterious, unless and until he discovered that he was dealing not with a dying fire but with a living being, and that as long as the life remained the temperature would not sink. In exactly the same way if we realise that the sun is the physical manifestation of the Solar Deity, we shall see that the mighty life behind it will assuredly keep up its temperature, as long as may be necessary for the full evolution of the system.
A similar explanation offers us a solution of some of the other problems of solar physics. From their position they can be nothing else than masses of glowing gas at an exceedingly high temperature, and therefore of great tenuity; yet though they must be far lighter than any terrestrial cloud, they never fail to maintain their peculiar shape, however wildly they may be tossed about in the very midst of storms of power so tremendous that they would instantly destroy the earth itself.
When we realise that behind each of these strange objects there is a splendid Life-- that each may be considered as the physical body of a great Angel-- we comprehend that it is that Life which holds them together and gives them their wonderful stability. To apply to them the term physical body may perhaps mislead us, because for us the life in the physical seems of so much importance and occupies so prominent a position in the present stage of our evolution.
Madame Blavatsky has told us that we cannot truly describe them as solar inhabitants, since the Solar Beings will hardly place themselves in telescopic focus, but that they are the reservoirs of solar vital energy, themselves partaking of the life which they pour forth. Let us say rather that the willow-leaves are manifestations upon the physical level maintained by the solar Angels for a special purpose, at the cost of a certain sacrifice or limitation of their activities on the higher levels which are their normal habitat.
Remembering that it is through these willow-leaves that the light, heat and vitality of the sun come to us, we may readily see that the object of this sacrifice is to bring down to the physical level certain forces which would otherwise remain unmanifested, and that these great Angels are acting as channels, as reflectors, as specialisers of divine power-- that they are in fact doing at cosmic levels and for a solar system what, if we are wise enough to use our privileges, we ourselves may do on a microscopical scale in our own little circle, as will be seen in a later chapter.
We all know the feeling of cheerfulness and well-being which sunlight brings to us, but only students of occultism are fully aware of the reasons for that sensation. This is radiated on all levels, and manifests itself in each realm-- physical, emotional, mental and the rest-- but we are specially concerned for the moment with its appearance in the lowest, where it enters some of the physical atoms, immensely increases their activity, and makes them animated and glowing.
We must not confuse this force with electricity, though it in some ways resembles it. The Deity sends forth from Himself three great forms of energy; there may be hundreds more of which we know nothing; but at least there are three. Each of them has its appropriate manifestation at every level which our students have yet reached; but for the moment let us think of them as they show themselves in the physical world. One of them exhibits itself as electricity, another as vitality, and the third as the serpent-fire, of which I have already written in The Inner Life.
These three remain distinct, and none of them can at this level be converted into either of the others. They have no connection with any of the Three Great Outpourings; all of those are definite efforts made by the Solar Deity, while these seem rather to be results of His life-- His qualities in manifestation without any visible effort.
Electricity while it is rushing through the atoms, deflects them and holds them in a certain way-- this effect being in addition to and quite apart from the special rate of vibration which it also imparts to them. But the action of vitality differs in many ways from that of electricity, light or heat. Any of the variants of this latter force cause oscillation of the atom as a whole-- an oscillation the size of which is enormous as compared with that of the atom; but this other force which we call vitality comes to the atom not from without, but from within.
The atom is itself nothing but the manifestation of a force; the Solar Deity wills a certain shape which we call an ultimate physical atom, and by that effort of His will some fourteen thousand million bubbles are held in that particular form. It is necessary to emphasise the fact that the cohesion of the bubbles in that form is entirely dependent upon that effort of will, so that if that were for a single instant withdrawn, the bubbles must fall apart again, and the whole physical realm would simply cease to exist in far less than the period of a flash of lightning. So true is it that the whole world is nothing but illusion, even from this point of view, to say nothing of the fact that the bubbles of which the atom is built are themselves only holes in koilon, the true aether of space.
So it is the will-force of the Solar Deity continually exercised which holds the atom together as such; and when we try to examine the action of that force we see that it does not come into the atom from outside, but wells up within it-- which means that it enters it from higher dimensions. The same is true with regard to this other force which we call vitality; it enters the atom from within, along with the force that holds that atom together, instead of acting upon it entirely from without, as do those other varieties of force which we call light, heat or electricity.
When vitality wells up thus within the atom it endows it with an additional life, and gives it a power of attraction, so that it immediately draws round it six other atoms, which it arranges in a definite form, this making what has been called in Occult Chemistry a hyper-meta-proto-element. But this element differs from all others which have so far been observed, in that the force which creates it and holds it together comes from the second Aspect of the Solar Deity instead of from the third This vitality-globule is drawn upon page 45 of Occult Chemistry, where it stands first at the left hand of the top line in the diagram.
It is the little group which makes the exceedingly brilliant bead upon the male or positive snake in the chemical element oxygen, and it is also the heart of the central globe in radium. These globules are conspicuous above all others which may be seen floating in the atmosphere, on account of their brilliance and extreme activity-- the intensely vivid life which they show. These are probably the fiery lives so often mentioned by Madame Blavatsky, though she appears to employ that term in two senses. In The Secret Doctrine, vol. While the force that vivifies the globules is quite different from light, it nevertheless appears to depend upon light for its power of manifestation.
In brilliant sunshine this vitality is constantly welling up afresh, and the globules are generated with great rapidity and in incredible numbers; but in cloudy weather there is a great diminution in the number of globules formed, and during the night the operation appears to be entirely suspended. During the night, therefore, we may be said to be living upon the stock manufactured during the previous day, and though it appears practically impossible that it should ever be entirely exhausted, that stock evidently does run low when there is a long succession of cloudy days.
The globule, once charged, remains as a sub-atomic element, and does not appear to be subject to any change or loss of force unless and until it is absorbed by some living creature. This vitality is absorbed by all living organisms, and a sufficient supply of it seems to be a necessity of their existence.
In the case of men and the higher animals it is absorbed through the centre or vortex in the etheric double which corresponds with the spleen. It will be remembered that that centre has six petals, made by the undulatory movement of the forces which cause the vortex. But this undulatory movement is itself caused by the radiation of other forces from the centre of that vortex. Imaging the central point of the vortex as the hub of a wheel, we may think of these last-mentioned forces as represented by spokes radiating from it in straight lines. Then the vortical forces, sweeping round and round, pass alternately under and over these spokes as though they were weaving a kind of etheric basket-work, and in this way is obtained the appearance of six petals separated by depressions.
When the unit of vitality is flashing about in the atmosphere, brilliant as it is, it is almost colourless, and may be compared to white light. But as soon as it is drawn into the vortex of the force-centre at the spleen it is decomposed and breaks up into streams of different colours, though it does not follow exactly our division of the spectrum.
As its component atoms are whirled round the vortex, each of the six spokes seizes upon one of them, so that all the atoms charged with yellow rush along one, and all those charged with green along another, and so on, while the seventh disappears through the centre of the vortex-- through the hub of the wheel, as it were. Those rays then rush off in different directions, each to do its special work in the vitalisation of the body.
As I have said, however, the divisions are not exactly those which we ordinarily use in the solar spectrum, but rather resemble the arrangement of colours which we see on higher levels in the causal, mental and astral bodies. For example, what we call indigo is divided between the violet ray and the blue ray, so that we find only two divisions there instead of three; but on the other hand what we call red is divided into two-- rose red and dark red.
The six radiants are therefore violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and dark red; while the seventh or rose red atom more properly the first, since this is the original atom in which the force first appeared passes down through the centre of the vortex. The dark blue expends itself in the lower and central parts of the brain, while the violet floods the upper part and appears to give special vigour to the force-centre at the top of the head, diffusing itself chiefly through the nine hundred and sixty petals of the outer part of that centre.
This is what is commonly described as vitality-- the specialised vitality which one man may readily pour into another in whom it is deficient. If the nerves are not fully supplied with this rosy light they become sensitive and intensely irritable, so that the patient finds it almost impossible to remain in one position, and yet gains but little ease when he moves to another.
The least noise or touch is agony to him, and he is in a condition of acute misery. The flooding of his nerves with specialised vitality by some healthy person brings instant relief, and a feeling of healing and peace descends upon him. A man in robust health usually absorbs and specialises so much more vitality than is actually needed by his own body that he is constantly radiating a torrent of rose-coloured atoms, and so unconsciously pours strength upon his weaker fellows without losing anything himself; or by an effort of his will he can gather together this superfluous energy and aim it intentionally at one whom he wishes to help.
The physical body has a certain blind, instinctive consciousness of its own, corresponding in the physical world to the desire-elemental of the astral body; and this consciousness seeks always to protect it from danger, or to procure for it whatever may be necessary. This is entirely apart from the consciousness of the man himself, and it works equally well during the absence of the ego from the physical body during sleep.
All our instinctive movements are due to it, and it is through its activity that the working of the sympathetic system is carried on ceaselessly without any thought or knowledge on our part. While we are what we call awake, this physical elemental is perpetually occupied in self-defence; he is in a condition of constant vigilance, and he keeps the nerves and muscles always tense. During the night or at any time when we sleep he lets the nerves and muscles relax, and devotes himself specially to the assimilation of vitality, and the recuperation of the physical body.
He works at this most successfully during the early part of the night, because then there is plenty of vitality, whereas immediately before the dawn the vitality which has been left behind by the sunlight is almost completely exhausted. This is the reason for the feeling of limpness and deadness associated with the small hours of the morning; this is also the reason why sick men so frequently die at that particular time. This vitality is indeed the food of the etheric double, and is just as necessary to it as is sustenance to the grosser part of the physical body.
Hence when the body is unable for any reason as through sickness, fatigue or extreme old age to prepare vitality for the nourishment of its cells, this physical elemental endeavours to draw in for his own use vitality which has already been prepared in the bodies of others; and thus it happens that we often find ourselves weak and exhausted after sitting for a while with a person who is depleted of vitality, because he has drawn away from us by suction the rose-coloured atoms before we were able to extract their energy. The vegetable kingdom also absorbs this vitality, but seems in most cases to use only a small part of it.
Many trees draw from it almost exactly the same constituents as does the higher part of man' s etheric body, the result being that when they have used what they require, the atoms which they reject are precisely those charged with the rose-coloured light which is needed for the cells of man' s physical body. This is specially the case with such trees as the pine and the eucalyptus; and consequently the very neighbourhood of these trees gives health and strength to those who are suffering from lack of this part of the vital principle-- those whom we call nervous people.
They are nervous because the cells of their bodies are hungry, and the nervousness can only be allayed by feeding them; and often the readiest way to do that is thus to supply them from without with the special kind of vitality which they need. This ray appears to include not only the orange and the darker reds, but also a certain amount of dark purple, as though the spectrum bent round in a circle and the colours began over again at a lower octave. In the normal man this ray energises the desires of the flesh, and also seems to enter the blood and keep up the heat of the body; but if a man persistently refuses to yield to his lower nature, this ray can by long and determined effort be deflected upwards to the brain, where all three of its constituents undergo a remarkable modification.
The orange is raised into pure yellow, and produces a decided intensification of the powers of the intellect; the dark red becomes crimson, and greatly increases the power of unselfish affection; while the dark purple is transmuted into a lovely pale violet, and quickens the spiritual part of man' s nature. The man who achieves this transmutation will find that sensual desires no longer trouble him, and when it becomes necessary for him to arouse the serpent-fire, he will be free from the most serious of the dangers of that process.
When a man has finally completed this change, this orange-red ray passes straight into the centre at the base of the spine, and from that runs upwards along the hollow of the vertebral column, and so to the brain. The flow of vitality in these various currents regulates the health of the parts of the body with which they are concerned.
If, for example, a person is suffering from a weak digestion, it manifests itself at once to any person possessing etheric sight, because either the flow and action of the green stream is sluggish or its amount is smaller in proportion than it should be. Where the yellow current is full and strong, it indicates, or more properly produces, strength and regularity in the action of the heart. Flowing round that centre, it also interpenetrates the blood which is driven through it, and is sent along with it all over the body.
Yet there is enough of it left to extend into the brain also, and the power of high philosophical and metaphysical thought appears to depend to a great extent upon the volume and activity of this yellow stream, and the corresponding awakening of the twelve-petalled flower in the middle of the force-centre at the top of the head.
Thought and emotion of a high spiritual type seem to depend largely upon the violet ray, whereas the power of ordinary thought is stimulated by the action of the blue mingled with part of the yellow. It has been observed that in some forms of idiocy the flow of vitality to the brain, both yellow and blue-violet, is almost entirely inhibited. Unusual activity or volume in the light blue which is apportioned to the throat-centre is accompanied by the health and strength of the physical organs in that part of the body. It gives, for example, strength and elasticity to the vocal chords, so that special brilliance and activity are noticeable in the case of a public speaker or a great singer.
Weakness or disease in any part of the body is accompanied by a deficiency in the flow of vitality to that part. As the different streams of atoms do their work, the charge of vitality is withdrawn from them, precisely as an electrical charge might be. The atoms bearing the rose-coloured ray grow gradually paler as they are swept along the nerves, and are eventually thrown out from the body through the pores-- making thus what was called in Man Visible and Invisible the health-aura.
By the time that they leave the body most of them have lost the rose-coloured light, so that the general appearance of the emanation is bluish-white. That part of the yellow ray which is absorbed into the blood and carried round with it loses its distinctive colour in just the same way. The atoms, when thus emptied of their charge of vitality, either enter into some of the combinations which are constantly being made in the body, or pass out of it through the pores, or through the ordinary channels. The emptied atoms of the green ray, which is connected chiefly with digestive processes, seem to form part of the ordinary waste material of the body, and to pass out along with it, and that is also the fate of the atoms of the red-orange ray in the case of the ordinary man.
The atoms belonging to the blue rays, which are used in connection with the throat-centre, generally leave the body in the exhalations of the breath; and those which compose the dark blue and violet rays usually pass out from the centre at the top of the head. When the student has learnt to deflect the orange-red rays so that they also move up through the spine, the empty atoms of both these and the violet-blue rays pour out from the top of the head in a fiery cascade, which is frequently imaged as a flame in ancient statues of the BUDDHA and other great Saints.
I landed upstate in Syracuse. That same day German forces began a blockade of Leningrad and exterminated the entire Jewish community of Meretsch, Lithuania. It was in the first hours of our life. This much older time offers sparse comfort. A great national malaise continues unabated. A number of my dearest pals for decades have become bitter old white guys. Others join me in concerned astonishment that these mutual acquaintances have become oblivious to what seems obvious.
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It is discontentment born of disconnection. They are mentally living off the grid — 21st Century Ted Kaczynskis — hermetically secure in a mind cabin of self-restricted consciousness -- sealed away from all but the balm of ever more righteous right wing radicalism. Crazy is contagious. But God-fearing Republicans may yet save us all. They do know how.
Hannity insanity is almost finished running its brilliantly manipulative multi-million dollar course. Fifteen years ago I spent one evening sharing a few serious adult beverages with Sean and his former partner, the late Alan Colmes. I was with Comcast at the time. Guests included Ollie North and G. Gordon Liddy. It was quite a night. Sean had just released his first book. He finally ran out of books. Alan and I stood aside and marveled. He and Sean had started with successful radio careers in an industry where everyone used to know everyone else.
We shared many memories. Look at the ratings! He provides pure performance and delivers what works. A happy ending? Sean never plays that part of the record. Your uncle with the crumpled red Trump hat that smells like Bud Light should keep that in mind. Elvis was that cool. The nuns were shocked and alarmed. It was further confirmation of what Father Shannon has assured them. He heard Confessions. Elvis and his family moved to Memphis when he turned He was neither. When Eileen and I finally visited Sun Studio, I was amazed to see how tiny it was -- not much bigger than a large family garage.
We also spent time at Graceland, now located in a fairly sketchy part of Memphis. It was seamless -- unlike those pants. I happened to be at the radio station when our red UPI Bulletin Light started flashing in the newsroom. It was an early Tuesday evening. Elvis DEAD? With Elvis -- forty years gone. Today is August 10th — the nd day of Our grandkiddies in Tennessee have already returned to school.
The wheel of the seasons turns with increasing speed as our lives race on, hurling toward the finish line with relentless subconscious impatience, the promise of a new beginning impressed or implied by every major world religion since time, itself, began. What appears like an eternal summer through the eyes of childhood now seems to flash in a day, then dashes away.
In my own reflections generated by the bittersweet departure of summer, I find myself facing the choice of being frightened — or enlightened. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. But the sacred part of him, his awareness, remained an unwavering band of light. At the core of each person who reads this book is a band of unwavering light. A band of unwavering sacred light — as autumn closes in.
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And the night moves. Years later, legal papers estimated his net worth at over fifty million dollars, the bulk of it accidentally earned when Walt Disney chickened out at the last minute and allowed him and partners to acquire, release and distribute a new film Disney had bankrolled. Michael Moore had just turned Moore had just been voted onto the Davison Board of Education at the age of 18, becoming at the time the youngest person ever elected to public office in the history of the United States.
Mike played no small part. In , Michael started working on a movie about Flint, personally handling every aspect of preparation, production and promotion. The rest is history. Seats are quickly selling out. Thanks, Mr. President, for giving my old pal work. Thank The Lord Mariposa still stands.
It provided a dramatic reminder that Cal Fire and associated professional responders regularly meet such challenges with speed, accuracy and outstanding endurance in a consistently reliable display of heroic performance. It also offered stark confirmation of recent predictions by fire and police authorities that may witness the most destructive fire months in California state history. This is a big deal. There were countless stories of neighbors helping neighbors, providing food, shelter and clothing at a time of harried need.
Some shelters even offered room for evacuated pets and livestock. Many of them are people too! Wildfires are as natural as the wind. Native Americans were regularly burning parts of their ecosystems going back thousands of years, promoting a diversity of habitats to provide greater stability and security in their lives, but being cautious not to purposely burn when forests were vulnerable to catastrophic conflagration. We will be living these next few months with possible catastrophe a single spark away.
A hastily abandoned campfire, a handful of illegal fireworks, or one carelessly tossed cigarette can explode into a wall of flames just as quickly as a lightning strike, airborne embers or other unavoidable phenomena. Oakhurst is not new to evacuations. A bit of family strategizing with various contingencies in mind, including alternative planning seems like a fine idea. It could be worse.
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations report a Yellowstone National Park earthquake swarm has registered 1, events since June 12th, including one of 4. Washington is having a hot summer too. Exactly 97 years ago this week July 26, -- cultural critic and iconoclastic journalist H. This is a family newspaper. Using Roman numerals seemed to add a certain ecclesiastical cachet. Times were much more restrictive back then. Another forbidden word was not allowed. More research by the National Commission on Aging found that women say sex over 70 is more satisfying than that experienced in their 40s.
And dump all copies of Penthouse where I left those Hustlers. Looking at sex from a purely mechanical perspective, it seems silly. Can there be a more vivid illustration of ecstasy ignoring embarrassment? We follow powerfully transcendent instinctive inclinations and gain ultimate pleasure in unqualified surrender. Many anecdotes about senior sex can now be safely and publicly shared. Hearing that her elderly grandfather had passed away, little Suzie rushed to comfort her 95 year-old grandmother. When asked what happened, Suzie was told he had a heart attack while they made love that Sunday morning.
Horrified, Suzie told her grandmother having sex at such an advanced age was looking for trouble. It was just the right rhythm, Nice and slow and easy. Nothing too strenuous. Earlier this year, Susan and Rich decided to head for exciting new high-tech opportunities in Nashville, departing last week with Allison, Asher, Isaac, two cats and two fish.
They got there in four days. This leaves our entire immediate family well east of the Mississippi, but not abandoned to strangers. But is this the time to consider geographic transition ourselves? Or stronger. Or faster. Perhaps wiser. Or Super Glue. Or those two Quesadillas I ate late last night before sliding into bed. Nine more reasons come quickly to mind, listed as a matter of personal priority.
See if any click with you. Herds of Mule Deer, flocks of Wild Turkey, squads of squirrels and coveys of quail abound in these foothills. October brings Tarantula time. Virtually every major religious group finds representation in Eastern Madera County, as well as evolving philosophical thought. I am particularly impressed by such prominent Oakhurst originals as Angelo Pizelo and his work with the Emerson Institute, now of nationally renown.
Angie always makes me laugh. Similarly, District Attorney David Linn has opened a satellite office at that same location to make his services more accessible. We are blessed with friends and acquaintances of all kinds and minds. Designated a World Heritage Site in , Yosemite is celebrated internationally for its granite cliffs, crystal streams, dramatically plunging waterfalls, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, glaciers and biological diversity.
And here we are with Half Dome in our own backyard. Five million visitors are expected this year. But we get to stay. Here in the Misty Mountains. Where the spirits go. Over the hills, where the spirits fly. I remember Jim Brown jogging on the sidewalk in front of our house on Ackerman Avenue when I was a kid. We enjoyed a great week with family and friends, including several days at Alexandria Bay near the Thousand Island Bridge on the St.
Lawrence River, now at its highest level in memory and threatening to flood the city of Montreal upstream. Many of the little islands are completely underwater. Tourism has been greatly curtailed and it has recently kept on raining days at a time. Then I suddenly started feeling weird and super tired. I could barely stand up. Ejection fraction is a measurement of the percentage of blood leaving your heart each time it contracts.
An LV ejection fraction of 55 percent or higher is considered normal. I was clocked at 30 — a little over half of that. Stroke City, here we come. Such warranted four days of hospital stay, but all has been successfully addressed. Happily there was no permanent heart muscle damage as originally anticipated when treatment was initiated.
But Eileen and I did miss our Tuesday flight home. Arranging our delayed return home, an exercise complicated by heavy Fourth of July bookings, brought an unpleasant encounter with corporate compassion. Although armed with a handwritten note on hospital stationary penned by a prominent Syracuse cardiologist explaining my plight, it cost more for us to fly back to Fresno than the price of our original round-trip tickets. Company policy! Climate change deniers must be in charge. When it comes to appearance, a quality he constantly brings up criticizing others, Donald himself looks absolutely disgusting.
Hermes House is an imprint of
This guy is a menace. Trump AM — 15 June Nice. Mister President? We do need to move along, discarding you on the trash heap of history as a mock messiah unworthy of memory for having shamed us all with bitter betrayal, national disgrace and global dishonor. The self-indicting tweet confirmed a report in the Washington Post that the Republican President was personally the subject of an extensive criminal investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for obstructing justice.
Upon learning of same, Trump seriously contemplated firing Mueller just as he had FBI Director James Comey, but was finally dissuaded by the few clear heads left in his inner circle. Not you Steve Bannon. Rolling Stone magazine counted 25 separate times Pee Wee encountered a major memory lapse while testifying. They might have been stoned. Several other publications came up with Chairman, the witness should be allowed to answer the question! Adding intentional avoidance to chronic amnesia has started quite a fuss. Some feel Pee Wee should be charged with Contempt of Congress.
Senator Elizabeth Warren flatly stated he should be immediately dismissed. Others swear they will never again eat Keebler Cookies. Trump will be going down. All loyal hangers-on will be going down. History will be unforgiving. The ultimate end will be a dollars deal. It usually is. Forget the Yellow Brick Road, Dorothy. Follow the money. As with other super heroes packing movie theaters through succeeding generations, the Batman character epitomizes beliefs, balances and behaviors commonly regarded by the greatest majority of our citizenry through the years as core national values.
The kinds of things you teach your kids. Perhaps Superman proclaimed it best. I found him clearly confident and highly credible. As any professional pool player would quickly recognize, Comey brilliantly set the table for future things to come. You bet. These were lies — plain and simple. Marc arrives on the scene quite cozy with the subject at hand since Kasowitz recently represented a major Russian bank, OJSC Sberbank and one particular company owned by billionaire Oleg Deripaska with proven connections to the Kremlin.
As you may have read, Betty is retiring from the Star at the end of this week, but surely not from Oakhurst and all the friends and admirers who love her dearly. Thank you Betty for being there for all of us, right, left and center, all the time every time. For the first time in my 75 years of life, an American President is no longer leader of the free world.
When our Demander- in - Chief cut and ran from a signed global commitment to the Paris Accords, his disgusting display of woeful ignorance represented a federal government in full flight from rational responsibility, signaling to the rest of the planet cowardly surrender to naive nationalism at its most pernicious and imperiling. When the door hits a certain prodigious posterior on its way out of Pennsylvania Avenue, President Pudge. Macron is the one who delivered an unanticipated and prolonged power handshake to Trump when they met in Brussels.
On the brighter side, it also seems that there is wide support among American business leaders, local mayors and state governors such as our own Jerry Brown to step in where Donald has struck out, embracing the immediate need for critical change. That might still save us all. Prioritization often provides insight. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety! Had he been spending the preceding night in Oakhurst, Trump probably would have slept through till Noon and missed an extraordinary opportunity to be both brightened and enlightened.
Tim Z. Suffice it to observe, the location was rabble free and safe from any madding crowd, particularly those perceived as dauntingly different. Cries of spirited affirmation filled the room. Gasping for sanity as soon as I got in my car to head home with a dazzling, fiery red summer sunset blazing on the horizon, I dialed up It turns out "La Raza Chronicles" was scheduled in that time slot, except that "Plane Wreck" selection was playing when I tuned in, but was followed by some sort of interview in Spanish joined in progress at the end of the song.
In any event, that particular selection after that specific meeting couldn't have been more perfect. So -- Do you have any idea what happened and who did that version? It featured a powerful Bruce Springsteen-like vocalist and wonderful slide guitar with someone softly speaking Spanish in the background.
Maybe it was some sort of magical hallucination. I've had stranger things happen. Hernandez as a matter of pure random chance. Early this year, I discovered Dr. It tells a remarkable story with precision and perseverance, presenting a brilliant, experience driven narrative with deeply personal compassion and powerfully persuasive insight. I immediately tracked down Mr. Hernandez and asked him to visit Oakhurst. He said he would be pleased to do so. Our featured speaker will be Tim Z. Recipient of numerous national book awards, Hernandez is an American writer, poet and performer.
Tim was raised in the San Joaquin Valley, the son of migrant farm workers. In his adolescent years he became immersed in school plays and recitation, eventually studying poetry and performance at California State University in Long Beach. If you buy one, be sure to have it at the meeting for signing. See you Saturday. Bring friends. From California to the New York island. From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters. This land was made for you and me. This was tantamount to sworn testimony.
The Kid left a few things out. In what must have been a temporary burst of amicable amnesia, Kushner neglected to include dozens of dalliances, including a meeting only weeks before with Russian ambassador Sergey I. That would be yet another Sergey, Sergey N. It is said to achieve distinction at The Institute, one must learn to disappear in an empty room.
This Memorial Day Weekend, we should not forget. Not a bad look.
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While being lavishly entertained like the monarch he seeks to be, Trump was joined by his Secretary of Commerce, 79 year-old Wilbur Ross, Jr. Speaking of which, Wilbur was there with his third wife, the blond and beautiful Hillary ironic, eh? Wilbur offers a prime example of vulture capitalism at its worst -- awful, but lawful. And our current Secretary of Commerce was only two short years ago Vice-Chairman of the Bank of Cyprus -- generally recognized as being primarily created to launder dark Russian money with deep ties to Vlad the Bad.
It is heavily rumored that, in many ways, as Vice-Chairman of the Bank, Ross reported directly to Putin. Everyone there had big money. Lots of it. That brings me to Netflix. Watch it more than once. It pretty much explains everything we are experiencing in the hallucinogenic-like, mind-mauling horror of our 45th President as we continue tripping with Trump.
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Accordingly to the Washington Times, Stone recently admitted that he has been in private communications with Russian-connected hackers into Democratic National Headquarters. Roger Stone goes back to Goldwater. He is a colorful cockroach of a character — delightfully diabolical. Allegiance is shifting. Self-survival requires nothing less.
Tipping point reached, balance lost, we now witness rapid acceleration of a plunging decline to eventual abandonment as former Trump supporters, shocked and silenced by behavior as bewildering as his broken promises, firmly and finally withdraw open endorsement.
Clinton — virtually everyone still agrees that Comey nevertheless was and remained valiantly virtuous by almost every other measure during his long and dedicated years of government service. For such extended devotion to honor and duty he was abruptly dismissed without fair warning or the slightest pretense of proper protocol — ignominiously fired before millions on cable TV. That came down as item 1. He even made up some fresh fibs -- straight from the oven steaming hot. Sniff the snit. Everyone else? The campaign? Those Russian guys taking pictures in the Oval office?
Who knows? Saudi Arabia. The Vatican. What can possibly go wrong? Horrid organizer. Pathetic planner. Destructive delegator. Move over, Miley.
Donald J. Trump is the ultimate wrecking ball. Nothing bad ever is. Donald feels his good things include Pee Wee. Oh, wait! Sessions later allowed that he had met with the Russian Ambassador twice in , but not as part of the Trump campaign. Mandatory sentencing for drug users has been controversial of late with significant bipartisan support building for review and revision.
Many reflective Republicans now oppose the concept as proven to be unfair, ineffective and far too costly. Not Sessions. Pee Wee likes the P. Obstruction of justice was one of the first charges outlined in the proposed impeachment of Richard M. Nixon on July 27, When the investigated Donald dismisses his primary investigator James , this would seem to offer a classic definition of such obstruction. Political reality made impeachment seem premature. No longer. Tom McClintock -- or They count every call.
Spawned once again in the darkest part of night, the monster rose anew. The have-it-alls get more. Frankensteins by the dozen celebrated their vivisection resurrection with beer by the barrel on White House steps, led by President Pretense and his precious Prince Pence. Pass the pretzels, Poodle. Victory was staggering. It was another historic, off the charts, big league landslide.
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Check out those Town Hall Meetings from coast to coast if you can get in the door anywhere. This is statistically indisputable. Ask anyone in the insurance business, not Donald J. The brakes were hit in when the provisions of the Act were fully in place. Anyone shoved head first into a high-risk pool might be able to draw upon this fund for assistance. Glub - Glub. Taking cowardly cover from this cynical last minute cosmetic, enough earlier wobblers came on board to breath life into the creature. This included our own Tom McClintock. How can you kiss your wife with those lips? Bob Derlet having decided to sit this one out.
They have lots to say. Zombie Trumpcare elevates and celebrates the worst instincts of self-serving economic privilege. It momentarily pacifies the young, outrageously services the wealthy and permanently injures the old, sick and poor. Zombie Trumpcare is the Sermon on the Mount upside down.
Zombie Trumpcare sucks. Although he and I share little concurrence in specific political outlook, I have always admired conservative pundit George Will for his diligent pursuit of truth, intellectual prowess and mastery of language. And I also love baseball, as does George. Pejoratives offer nothing more than a partial panacea at best and overt overkill at worst. A single column by George Will was the talk of Washington last week. I found it brilliantly inspirational and utterly fascinating. I close this column with his words. This seems to be not a mere disinclination, but a disability.
It is not merely the result of intellectual sloth but of an untrained mind bereft of information and married to stratospheric self-confidence. The dangerous thing is that he does not know what it is to know something. In fact, it still remains a fragile commodity. These are grouped into 5 different categories measuring pluralism, civil freedoms and political culture. In addition to a numeric score and comparative ranking, the Index then rates nations as one of four regime types — full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes.
Of the countries most recently reviewed, the United States ranks 21st on the list with North Korea coming in last. No surprise there. The American Civil Liberties Union ACLU is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization dedicated to defending and preserving guaranteed individual rights and liberties. It has over a million members.
In , it will be one hundred years old. Get ready to stand back from all the candles on that cake. The ACLU was formed in by a group of prominent citizens concerned about government censorship. This had become commonplace. Magazines were regularly being confiscated under anti-obscenity laws. Permits for labor rallies were often denied. Right-wing groups were enjoying enormous political power, while anyone promoting unionization, socialism or governmental reform was branded as being un-American and unpatriotic.
Supreme Court in by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Felix served for 23 years through Many say Darrow plain wore him out and actually carried the day by favorably introducing the ACLU to millions of newspaper readers across the nation. They followed the trial on a daily basis thanks to extensive syndicated coverage by the legendary H. Not so fast. Allies in litigation through the years have included the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Rifle Association.
Benjamin Spock and Dick Gregory, but was equally energized and effective in providing critical legal assistance to staunch conservatives Henry Ford, Oliver North and Rush Limbaugh during troubled times. But the defense of freedom of speech is most critical when the message is one most people find repulsive. Breakfast will be served starting at AM with our program beginning at In fact, you are in the American majority by a 2 to 1 margin according to late breaking polls.
Your tummy turns every time you see his boastful, bloating, blubbering body bulge across your TV screen? Our Crybaby-in-Chief -- tail firmly trailing between his legs -- will observe the occasion by scurrying away from the annual White House Correspondence Dinner in Washington where they might make fun of him. Matt accepted both with an appreciative smile, never attempting argument.
Counting all the spectacular achievements as President constantly touted by Trump at every turn, I come up with one — Neil Gorsuch — the latest Supreme. It can take a month to build a house, yet just a minute to bulldoze it down. I am not a fan of mindless negation — however convenient and time efficient. So much for calming down frazzled foreign fears especially our closest allies. We should excuse them if they take a few steps back. This was supposed to be a message sent.
Operations pretty much returned to normal at the installation the following day with renewed attacks by Syrian and Russian jets on Khan Sheikhoun, the same poor little town that had earlier undergone poisonous chemical exposure, precipitating American intervention in the first place. No voice was louder than his in urging President Obama not to intervene with air power in Syrian affairs. Hooray for Tom McClintock! No matter how strongly we may feel about the actions of the Syrian government, the President had no legal or constitutional authority to order this attack without the consent of Congress.
This action crosses a bright line that separates the fundamental powers of our government and risks a constitutional crisis if continued. Then in August of -- a team of UN weapons inspectors confirmed that the nerve gas sarin had been unleashed on the Ghouta agricultural belt -- killing more than 1, people with thousands more seriously injured. In reviewing any number of unpleasant options, the President decided that choosing sides in a civil war of infinite complexity would be ill advised. Instead, he welcomed a proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin that called on the Syrian government to destroy all remaining chemical weapons under its control.
In fact, Putin offered a personal guarantee this would happen. Now look. Oh, Vlad. He also describes the festivity. And notwithstanding the devices of "artful Cecil," the country then lacked that noblest institution of the nineteenth century, a rural police. In fact, therefore, he might, as is alleged, have written or completed the history in Aherlow woods, now one of the loveliest mountain valleys in Ireland. The glen of Aherlow, as the place is called, extends along the northern base of the Galtees, a distance of twelve miles from the village of Bansha to Galbally.
It is sheltered at the north by the low range of the Clan William mountains. It was theretofore the asylum of " Rebels," who mayhap had thrice denied the spiritual supremacy of Elizabeth, which, on one occasion, they sorely rued, for they received a friendly visit from Carew and his retinue of hangmen, the object and achievement of which he thus describes: "The president dire4ed his forces into east Clan William, and harassing the country, killed all mankind that were found therein; thence we came into Arloghe woods, where we did the like, not leaving behind us man or beast, corne or cattle.
Nor were its solitude and quiet unsuited to the labor of the historian. There is no good reason then to question the story that hallows the scene. The tradition has long survived the wood, and all traces of the hiding place. The rich sheen of the meadow and the golden hue of the harvest glalden the Glen of Aherlow now. But those who dwell there, love to recall the gloomy memories of that gloomy time, and by many a fireside is whispered lowly in the olden tongue the bloody raid of Carew's gallows tree, and then, more loudly and exultingly, the inviolability of Keating's retreat.
This fact has become the "genius loci " or spirit of the spot, and even though we could dissipate the spell with which it has invested that lovely vale, where so oft we roamed exulting in the strife and freedom we had fondly hoped for, we would not touch with disturbing, hand a tradition so characteristic of those mournful times. But there is no reason to doubt its truth, and we hold that Doctor Keating either wrote the whole or a great part of the "' Foras feasa ar Erinn," in the woods of Aherlow. Being unable to fix the date of Keating's separation from his duties or that of the commencement of his history, or whether he ever again returned to the ministry, we shall glance briefly at the history of his family from his time downward.
Early in the reign of Charles I. His brother Richard Keating's daughter was married to Wall, of Coolnamuck, on the right bank of the Suir, two miles from Carrick. The sole male representative of these Keatings died at Annapolis, in Maryland, towards the close of the last century.
Cotemporaneous with them was Michael Keating, of Shanbally, who was married to Lord Dpnboyne's sister. John Keating, his son, was married to Miss Kearney, of Kappagh. He was cotemporaneous with the Doctor and his nearest relative. This John was called the " baron " and " knight of the fleece. Michael married the sister of Lady Ferrand, and left issue one son, who was Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin; but whether he left any issue we cannot say. The name of Mandeville is on the muster roll of William of Norniandy and that of the barons of Rumnymede, and in the family Ballydine was an inheritance for years.
Whether Maurice Keating has left any male issue, we cannot say. John left no issue, Roger only one daughter, the late Mrs. Nixon, of the county of Meath. Henry married a Miss Singer, sister of the fellow of that name of. XV Dublin College. He joined the army and rose rapidly. He commanded the attack on the Isle of Bourbon; and on the news reaching England, was made major-general. He was afterwards appointed governor of the Isle of France, created baronet, and invested with the order of the Bath. He died recent. George left one son, Henry George, who lately lived near Mallow, and if alive is perhaps the only male representative of the family in Ireland.
William, the youngest of these brothers, fell in a duel. Robert Keating of Garranlea, claims a relationship with this family, but what it is, or whether he has any, does not appear. Thus there seems but doubtful conjecture, that there is, at least in his proper rank and position, one representative of the male line of the Keatings in Ireland. The Doctor's History, after all, is their noblest monument. It is, in truth, "pe;eIlnius sere.
The Everards held princely sway in their feudal hold at Fethard, whose walls, yet standing, attest its strength and their grandeur. The last of this race was the Archbishop of Cashel, who died in The Mandevilles are seen no more at Ballydine, and that ancient patrimony has passed away from the name for ever. The last of the Dunboynes was Bishop Butler, who abandoned creed and crozier to take a wife and title. He is buried in the old Augustinian Abbey, in Fethard. His monument is extremely simple, but extremely beautiful. It is a mournful record of his times, for it testifies that he repented of his " reformation," and renounced the new creed and title on the bed of death.
Of Doctor Keating's later life or death, no record remains, except the inscription on the old ruins at Tubrid. The date, as will be seen, in the copy given below, is This inscription indicates that Doctor Keating was never parish priest, for the designation " vicar" is added to the Rev. Duhy's name. He obtained sake, the disinheritor of Ballydine, also married large grants of land, extending nearly from Car- to one of the Hacketts, left issue Francis of New rick to Clonmell, on the left bank of the Suir, Castle, and James, who adopted his mother a from Henry It.
The castle of Ballydine, built name and the arms of her family. He entered by him, was the residence of the head of the the East India service and rose to high rank. A house for over six hundred years. Towards the large family now inherit his name and fortunes close of the last century, Thomas Mandeville. Tohirn also he disposed issue were John, the father of James, jun. Mandeville of Ballyqc rkeen. If the latter, then it may be possible that Doctor Keating lived, as Mr.
O'Donovan is inclined to believe, until Otherwise it is undoubted that he was dead in , for beyond all question he was dead when the inscription was written, although by some incomprehensible mode of reasoning, the author of the life prefixed to Halliday's translation concludes, that the request to pray for his soul and those of the others, whose bodies lay buried in the church, was conclusive proof that he was then living.
We are informed that the church was built by " leave of Parliament," and this "leave" must have been obtained in the early part of Charles I. Once again the flag of the red hand dawned on the gladdened fields of Tirowen and the flood of the Blackwater. He met Munroe at Benburb, and with a force inferior in numbers to that general's veterans, utterly routed him. Munroe's retreat was a flight, and he left nearly four thousand of his " roundheads " dead on the field.
O'Neil was preparing to pursue him, when, fatal order! In or 8, he was marching at the head of the confederate army in pursuit of Cromwell, then on his way to Clonmell, when at Tandaragee the bowl of the assassin laid in death this last hope of Erin. Had Doctor Keating lived in these times, he would leave some record of the ruin that swept over Munster. In his preface, he'says that he was then an old man. In the manuscript copy from which the following translation has been made, and for which the translator is indebted to the kindness of Mr.
Cork, Ireland, a postscript is appended, dated This date clearly establishes as that of his birth, which would leave him then nearly sixty years of age. There is reason to believe, too, that Mr. Sheehan's manuscript is very old, and is a copy of the original, and was very carefully compared with it. It has been traced to the possession of the Rev'd Mr.
O'Keefe, nearly contemporary with the historian. In closing this brief and uncertain memoir, let us be permitted to hope, that those who may be in possession of authentic records relative to Doctor Keating, will communicate the same to some person who can use it, so as that they may fix such facts and dates in reference to the great historian as can be knowh. We subjoin the Tubrid inscription, most fervently joining in the prayer it invokes.
Orate pro animabus Rev. Patris Eugenii Duhuy, vicarii de Tubrid, et D. Doctoris Keating, hujusce sacelli fundatorum necnon et pro omnibus allis tain sacerdotibus quam laicis, quorum corpora in eodem jacent. Pray for the souls of the Reverend Father Euoene Duhy, vicar of Tubrid, and the learned Doctor Keating, the founders of this church; and, also f tl those of all others, whether lay or clerical, whose bodies are therein interred.
And, because I have undertaken to write and publish a History of Ireland, I deem myself obliged to complain previously of some of the wrongs and acts of injustice practiced towards its inhabitants, as well tbwards the Old Gauls 2 Anglo-Irish , who have been in possession of the country for more than four centuries since the English invasion, as towards the Gaels,3 who have owned it for nearly three thouDr.
KEATING styles his prelimi- manners and habits of the Irish, with nary discourse "Dion-bhrollach," whom they quickly amalgamated, and Deen-vrollagli, a compound term, they became, as the English writers of meaning, literally, "a guard for the the day said of them, " ipsis flibernis breast.
A marked distinction Our author was fond of such compound was therefore made between them and titles. Thus he styles his history the ". His cleverest and most care- to them by the natives. They are alfully-written work, which he composed ways styled either " Brethnmaigh" Brehin deCfnce of his national religion, he nigh , i.
Th1ey were Sacrifice. For there is no historian that has written upon Ireland, since the event just mentioned, who does not strive to vilify and calumniate both the Anglo-Irish colonists and the Gaelic corrupt innovation, always replace the has thereby misled some really learned "ae" of the ancients by "ao. Moore used in translating the word, wherever quotes him as an authority upon what it is used in a national or generic sense.
The editor rejects the and' Gaedhal" or" Gael," were but diaform " Gadelian," because it disguises lectic variations of the same original the diphthong " ae," which he considers appellation. As a basis for his assumpan essentially radical element of the tion, Dr. O'Brien makes the following word, while it does not at all add to the assertion, which, after his own etymofacility of its pronunciation in English. Having remarked with " Gacetulus," or " Gaetuli," a name upon that property of the Gaelic tongue, by which a nation of northern Africa by which no two or more vowels coming was designated by the Romans.
The manner in tiplying their syllables, according to which it has been introduced into English the exigency of their rhymes, devised has misled many learned inquirers into the method of throwing in between comparative etymology, leading them the two vowels an adventitious consoto fancy that it had some relationship nant generally a' d' or' g' aspirated with the word, " Gallus," or "' Gaul," by'h' , in order to stretch and diother than that of most total opposition. As this consonant was " quite upon the subject, Dr. O'Brien, in re- foreign to the natural frame of the marlingr on the letter " a," in his Irish word, so it entirely corrupted and disDictionary, has devoted a large space to guised its radical form and structure.
His object in this forced, and, I letters he would style adventitious do am sorry to think, wilfully deceitful at- not belong either to the radical framze tempt, was, apparently, to support some of the word, or to its regular gramof the wild etymological fantasies of matical infiection. The proof that the General Vallancey, and antiquarians of letters are not adventitious may easily his school. Though the Doctor's reasons be had, by comparing the words in are beneath criticism, and perfectly which they occur with their cognate ridiculous to any one who knows even terms in other Indo-European dialects; a little of the Gaelic language, in which in some one of which the letters, mor.
The truth seems to white, or as any two terms can possi- to be, that these aspirations or silencbly be; still, I am induced to notice ings of medial and final letters, were his imposition here, by the fact that he the peculiar mode of corruption by.
Whether spoken language underwent from poputhat essential difference and one or two lar corruption. This is no place to other minor ones, was caused by either cite many examples of the class of Semitic, Uralian, or Finnish admix. Pictet, the investigation of the comparative upon the Analogies of the Sanscrit philologist. It would favor our Phe- with the Celtic tongues. O'Brien's assumpbelong altogether to the Gaelic, but tion, the cogener of the word we spell they pervade the whole family of the "Gaedal," but pronounce " Gael," is still tongues called Celtic.
In the Cimbric or Kimtioln of such silent letters, in the written ric, i. He will rather consid- pronounced as the " th" in the English er it a proof of the resistance given by the word "whither. For, if these name from books. They must have ollamhs and bards did innovate, how heard our forefathers, when first is it that, isolated, as they undoubtedly brought into contact with them, call were, from the learned of the wbrld, themselves Gaedail or Guydhill, soundthey always chanced to hit upon the ing the radical " d" fully.
Otherwise, proper radical letter that should be they would not have known that such inserted in order to make the written a letter existed in writing. Their own word correspond in outward appear- language is subject to. Are we to suppose ours is, but they write their words as that these ollamhs and bards, whose pronoun ced,heedless of radicals. Hence, edlucation was purely local and profes- without abiding too closely to the date sional, were skilled in the very recent which the bards give as the time, when science of comparative philology?
Are II Mlledh's sons first heard dread Ocean -we to believe all that the venerable Iis music beat on Eri's shores," Keating has transcribed for us of we must still put back the epoch, when the royal schoolmaster, Fenius Farsa, Gael and Cimber met in western Euand of that universal savant, Gaedal, rope, to an extremely remote period, son of Ethor? And yet we must that is, to some period when the " d" either do that, and allow a knowledge was fully sounded in Gaedal.
That it of comparative philology to our bards was not so sounded, when our Scottish and shanachies, of which the most kinsmen of Alba left us, some fourteen learned amongst modern philologists hundred years ago, we have living testimnight feel proud, or we must allow that mony. The Highlander aspirates or these silent and aspirated letters, which silences the same letters, in the same pervade the whole frame-work of the words, as the Munster-man.
It has Gaelic tongue, are not adventitious. It must have taken anwerefirst committed to writing, and that other, at least, equal' period to make the. English , who have treated of this country. So that, when they speak of the Irish, one would imagine that these men were actuated wide difference that exists between the, ral signification, and it is now forced as nevertheless, closely-allied languages of a national name upon the Cimbri, wheWales and Ireland.
This one example ther they will have it themselves or not. If the natives of the country, which this radical word " goedal," which called Gallia by the Latins, were the was,perhaps, more anciently "Gedalus," same as the Gael, their relationship "Gaetulus," rat-rvaog and ratOvtoq, must be proved by something better has been subjected, viz: "Amha" and founded than the accident by which "amhain," i. In the nouncel eeng, poetically eevinn; in old Angrlo-Saxon, its kindred term Latin, "amenus.
The German form of the word sword, vulgarly pronounced cloive, poet"Welschl" means foreign also-Italy is ically cl ghv; in Latin, "gladim;" their "Welschland" or "Foreigners' and in English, "glaive. Medhon," i e the until further proof be adduced in sup- mddle, vulgarly pronounced me. So of the poetically ooval; Latin, "humilis. XX1 by the instinct of the beetle;' for it is the nature of this animal, when it raises its head in the summer, to flutter about without stooping to the fair flowers of the meadow, or to the blossoms of the garden, though they were all roses and lilies; it bustles hurriedly round, until it meets writh some loathsome ordure, and it buries itself therein; so with the above-named writers, they never allude to the virtues and the good customs of the old Anglo-Irish and Gaelic nobility, who dwelt in Ireland in their time; they write not of their piety or of their valor, of what monasteries they founded-what lands and endowments theyv gave to the Church -what immunities they granted to the ollamhs,' or learned docIn fine, this list might be extended side, and the Sanscrit, that had perto a much greater length, did space al- haps ceased to be a vulgar tongue below.
Did I quote monosyllabic words, fore Homer composed his Iliad, and where the final letters are silent or consequently the purest and most permortified, it might be swelled to from feet specimen of the ancient Japetiau six hundred to a thousand radical tongue, on the other; with the Greek, words. It is this peculiar tendency of La-tin, Gothic, Slavic, Cimbro-Celtic or the Celtic vocal organs to mortify or Welsh, and the various dialects of our silence certain letters, that caused the own Ibero-Celtic, as connecting links begreat number of silent letters found in tweeh the two extremes, such evidence the Celto-Latin of France, that is, the cap be brought in support of the tramodern French-a much less portion dition of our own bards on the subject, of which is derived directly from the as must convince any really learned and Romans than is generally supposed.
By the silent, aspirated this subject than is usual in a note, but or mortified letters, and certain other he deems its importance to be an am- accidents, what I may call the stratipile excuse; for, not only does a good fied history of the Irish tongue, written deal relating to the filiation of the upon its very c ire by Nature's own hand, Irish and Scottish Gaels depend upon and its successive stages of formation, the retention or rejection of the rad- can be traced up to its primitive parent ical "d" in this particular case, but or parents in the East, with scarcely the, perhaps, much more important, less certainty than the history of the question of the possession of a.
Bards from the very earliest times, can, 4 The Beetle. This idea is also found in his opinion, be incontrovertibly in Lope de Vega, the Spanish dramatist proved by the existence of those very si- and poet. An ancient Latin naturalist lent letters, of which he has given exam- has said of this insect, "periit odore ples, when supported by strict propriety rosi," i. The maintainers literary and scientific professions. In of the truth of the ancient tradition, pagan times, they were presided over by that tells us of the uninterrupted use the Arch-Druid. They comprised the of letters amon our ancestors, should Druids Brethemhs Brehtave , i.
Brerest that much disputed question upon holns or Judges, the Bards, Historians, the internal structure of' our ancient Physicians, and Musicians. Each order written lang-uaae alone. With the mod- of these was presided over by an Ardt ern Irish and Alban Scotch on the one Ollamh, or chief doctor. Witness the meetings of the learned which they convened a custom unheard of amongst the other nations of Europe ; so that such was the force of generosity and liberality amongst the old Anglo-Irish and Gaels of Ireland, that they were not satisfied with distributing their bounties to those that claimed them but they also gave public invitations to all persons to come and partake of their favors, in order to find a wider scope for their desire of bestowing treasures and presents.
And yet nothing of all this can be found in the English writers of the time; but they dwell upon the customs of the vulgar, and upon the stories of ignorant old women, neglecting the illustrious actions of the nobility and all that relates to the ancient Gaels that inhabited this island before the invasion of the Anglo-Normans. Let us see did any nation in Europe oppose the Romans with more valor than they Add in their defence of Alba or Scotland. They forced the Britons to build a wall between Britain and Scotland, in order to protect themselves from the incursions of the Gaels; and, although there was constantly an army of Romans, amounting to 52, foot and horse, kept to defend that wall, together with 30, foot, and 1, horse for guarding the coasts and harbors of the country against the Scots a'nd Picts, nevertheless, according to the Chronicle of Samuel Daniel, the Gaels used to pass over the wall and ravage the country in spite of that large army.
Cormac MacCulinan6 also tells us, in his Psalter, that, in consequence of the ravages committed in Britain by the Gaels, and the "Cruithnigh," called also Picts, the Britons murdered their Roman governors three times, as a peace-offering to those plunderers. We can also understand from Geoffry of Monmouth.
We also read, in the Chronicle of Samuel Daniel, that the Romans had built fourteen fortresses in Britain, in order to resist the Scots and Picts, who continued to disturb that country, in spite of the Roman power, from the time of Julius Coesar to that of Valentinian the Third, 6 Cormac, sonof Culinan, Archbishop ster A. He was the compiler of Cashel, was prociaimed king of Mun- of the famous Psalter of Cashel.
Xxiii namely, for a space of years; for it was in the year of our Lord , that the Rolmans deserted their British province. A contest arose before that time between Theodosius and Maximus, which obliged the latter to bring a great body of Britons with him to Armorica,7 which is now called Little Britain Bretagne , in France; and, he having expelled the former inhabitants, gave that country to his British soldiers, whose posterity retain it to the present day. MIy answer to this charge is, that Strabo has lied, in thus asserting the Irish to be cannibals.
For, nowhere in our ancient records do we read of any person, that eat human flesh, except Ethni Uathach,9 daughter of Crimthann. The reader must understand, when our Shanachies would not conceal this shameful fact, so disgraceful to a daughter of a king of Leinstcr, and wife of a king of Munster, that they would not fail to expose it in people of inferior rank, if such a practice ever prevailed in this country; therefore Strabo is false, in asserting it to be a custom in Ireland to eat human flesh, when 7 Armorica is now called Bretagne.
But from It lies on the northwestern coast of this must be deducted the Basque or France. The rural inhabitants still Guipuscoan, which is not now held to be almost universally, speak a dialect of Celtic. Bretagne has given many disthe Celtic tongurle, closely akin to the tinguished men to France, among whom Welsh or Cimbric. They are a brave, was the celebrated poet, Chateaubriand. They in the days of Augustus and Tiberius.
The invasion, which our author here alludes, is much here referred to, was not one of extermi- celebrated. Keating shows how rigidly he but amalgamate with their own kins- interpreted the canon, he quotes a little folk. The Bretons are supposed to below, defining the historian's duties. It is, however, most likely, an idle In there were said to be some three slander thrown at the Munster tribes by millions speaking the Breton language their enemies, and taken hold of by In all France and Spain, it was then some strolling story-teller.
Keating supposed that there were some ten mill- did not sufficiently remember the fact,. AMy answer to St. Jerome,10 who makes the sanhm assertion, in writing against Jovinian, is, that he must have had his information from some vender of lies, and that it should not be credited to the prejudice of the Irish. Solinus," in his twenty-first chapter, tells us that there are no bees in Ireland; and goes on to state, that the male children, for the first month after birth, receive their food from the point of a sword.
He also says that the Irish, when they have killed an enemy, are wont to bathe thlemselves in his blood; but it is evident'frcm our own history that every word of this is false. Pomponius Mela,'2 speaking of the Irish, in his third book, calls them " a people'3 ignorant of every virtue. As these men have followed in the footsteps of Cambrensis,'6 we shall begin by that critical discrimination, also, was non solum alvearibus, sed etiam ar.
Jerome, or Hieronymus, a na- 16 Giraldus Cambrensis, I. Gerald tive of Pannonia, was distinguished for the Welshman, or Cambriani. This his zeal against heretics. He wrote first British calumrnniator of the Irish with great eloquence and elegance of nation was an Anglo-Norman ecclesistyle. In the instance here referred to, astic, who came over to Ireland A. He was pon wherewith he felled his enemy.
Julius Solinus wrote in the 1st ers of Ireland, and founder of the century. His work is called Polyhistor. Anglo-Irish sept of the Barries. Giral12 Pomponius Melt was a native of dus was the son of a Norman nobleman Spain. He was the writer of a geog- by a Welshwoman. He wrote many raphy, and flourished about A. The nos fide testes non habemus. XXV bringing his lies home to Cambrensis himself. This man asserts, that King Arthur received a tribute from Ireland, and that the place where he imposed that tribute was in the city of Leon, in the year of our Lord Campion, also, makes the same statement, in the second chapter of the second book of his chronicle, where he adds, that one Gilla-Jfltrc was king of Ireland at that time.
But, notwithstanding that both the author of i. Then, it was by the Scots and Picts that-King Arthur himself was killed. This Fergus, whom I have just imentioned, was, as I state, the first king of Alba of'the Scottish race; for though Hector Boethius,17 in his history of Scotland, reckons thirty-nine kings of that country before him, still not one of these predecessors of his were of the Scottish nation. There is also a mistake contained in the assertion that Fergus, son of l'earchaor, king of Ireland, was the first Scottish king of Scotland; for, there never was a king of Ireland named Fearchar, and therefore no son of such Fearchar could be kinc of Scotland, as Hector Boethius states.
Ireland and Scotland. IIence, it is not to be supposed, that so powerful a monarch should pay tribute to King Arthur. Speed'8 says in his Chronicle, that the Irish king was not tributary to King Arthur, but that a friendly leagac of mutual aid in their wars subsisted between them; so that if one of theml was oppressed by enemies, it was incumbent on the other to help him with an allied force: this Speed calls "jus bceli sociclis," i..
Such is the present alliance beDr. Lynch, of Galway, who lived dur- Scottish writer, who wrote the history of ins the reigns of Charles I. He was born at II. In like manner, if there existed any similar treaty between King Arthur and Aurkertacl; Mac Erca, King of Ireland, by which they were bound to assist each other mutually in the time of danger, it is not thence to be inferred that either was tributary to the other.
The truth of this opinion is more fully co-nfirmned by what Nubrigensis says, in the twenty-sixth chapter of the second book of his history: there, in speaking of Ireland, he says that "HIIbernia'9 Ireland never lay under any foreign sway. It is not to be supposed, that the Britons could have laid claim to any authority in this island, when the Romans themselves never dared to set their hands upon it: hnd so far was it from Ireland's being subject to the Romans or to any other stranger, that Camden,2' in his book, called Britanazzc Camdleni, gives the following testimony: " When the Romans22 had extended their empire on all sides, many, no doubt, came over here to Ireland from Spain, Gaul, i.
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France and Britain, in order to escape from the intolerable yoke of the Romans. The same Camden says again, in confuting the opinion of those, who irmagline, that it was likely that the Romans extended their dornination to Ireland: 23, I can scarcely bring my mind to believe, that this country had, at any time, fallen under the dominion of the Romans. He also says, that it was not the custom to pay tithes in Ireland, before the arrival of Cardinal Papiron.
This, howH9 lHibernia nunquam externoe sub- dique propagassent, multi proculdubio jacuit ditioni. The first edition of his "Brit- testatem ullo concessisse tempore creannia,", appeared in G. In treating of the natural curiosities wonders of Ireland, this writer says also, that there is a well in Munster which makes one gray upon washing one's hair therein, and that there is another well in Ulster, which prevents grayness.
Yet there are no such wells now in Ireland, nor do I think that there were any such in the country in the days of Cambrensis. He sets down these wonders, but to give a color to his other falsehoods. Cambrensis says also, in his twenty-second chapter, that when the nobles of Ireland ratify their alliances, in the presence of a bishop, they kiss the relies of the saints, and drink of each other's blood, though, while doing so, they are ready to betray and murder one another.
My answer to him here is, that there is no poem or passage, tradition or old writing, history or annals, that bears him out in this malicious statement. Now, it is a well-known fact, that the antiquaries were bound, on pain of losing their degree of "Ollamh" or Doctor, not only not to conceal any such evil custom, if it existed in Ireland in their day, but also to commit it to writing.
Hence, it is manifest that Cambrensis has told us a wilful lie in this matter. Again, in his tenth chapter, this man says, that "the Gaels are an inhospitable race. Cambrensis, elsewhere, says that it was the wife of the king of'Meath, that eloped with Diarmaid na n-Gall Dermott of the English ; yet this is not true, for, it was the wife of Tighernan O'ltuairc, king of Brefni, and daughter to Murcadh irac Flainn son of Maelsechlainn, king of Meath, that made that elopement.
The lady's name was Derborgaill. He again asserts that the rivers Suir, Nore, and Barrow rise in the mountain called SlieveBloom; but this is another misstatement; the Barrow, it is true, takes its rise on the eastern point of Slieve-Bloom, but the Suir and Nore flow from the side of Slieve Aldiuin,27 called also Slieve 24 Est autem gens hme inhospita.
He was so called from i. It was eorum domus frequentare. He also says, in this same work upon Ireland, that the king of 29Kinel-Conaill, that is, the O'Donnell, used to be inaugurated in the foUllowing inanner:-" All the inhabitants of his territory being assemlbled on a high hill in his domains, a white nnare was killed and put to boil in a large cauldron, in the middle of a field: when it was sufficiently boiled, the king used to lap up the broth with his mouth like a hound or dog and eat the flesh out of his hand, without using a knife or any other instrument to cut it; he then divided the rest of the flesh amongst the assembly and afterwards bathed himself in the broth.
The ceremony was performed thus: The king being seated on a hill, in the midst of the nobility and gentry of' his own territory, one of the chiefs of his nobles stood before him, bearing in his hand a straight, white wand, which he presented to the king, telling him, at the same time, " to receive the sovereignty of his country and to preserve equal and impartial justice between all portions of his dominions.
I wonder much how Cambrensis could have had the hardihood to invent such a lie, as that quoted above, and I am confident, that it was through pure malice alone, that he set it down in his book. For it is a well-known fact, that that tribe has been distinguished for godliness, piety and religion, and that several of its members who had taken orders, ended their days in sanctity and devotion.