some) which live upon stealths and spoils, they are evermore succoured and find relief only in these boolies, being upon the waste places, whereas else they should be driven shortly to starve, or to come down to the towns to seek relief, where, by one means or other, they would soon be caught. Besides such stealths of cattle as they make, they bring commonly to those boolies, being upon those waste places, where they are readily received, and the thief harboured from danger of law, or such officers as might light upon him. Moreover, the people that thus live in those boolies, grow thereby the more barbarous, and live more licentiously than they could in towns, using what manners they list, and practising what mischiefs and villanies they will, either against the government there by their combinations, or against private men, whom they malign, by stealing their goods, or murdering themselves : for there they think themselves half exempted from law and obedience, and having once tasted freedom, do, like a steer that hath been long out of his yoke, grudge and repine ever after, to come under rule again.

They have another custoin from the Scythians, that is, the wearing of mantles, and long glibbs, which is a thick curled bush of hair hanging down over their eyes, and monstrously disguising them; which are both very bad and hurtful.



The next (custom] I have to treat of, is the manner of raising the cry in their conflicts, and at other troublesome times of uproar : the which is very natural Scythian, as you may read in Diodorus Siculus, and in Herodotus, describing the manner of the Scythians and Parthians coming to give the charge at battles ; at which it is said, that they came running with a terrible yell, as if heaven and earth would have gone together ; which is the very image of the Irish Hubbub, which their kern use at their first encounter. Besides, the same Herodotus writeth, that they used in battles to call upon the names of their captains or generals, and sometimes upon their greatest kings deceased, as in that battle of Tomyris and Cyrus: which custom to this day manifestly appeareth amongst the Irish. For at their joining of battle, they likewise call upon their captain's name, or the word of his ancestors. As they under Oneal cry, Laundarg-abo, that is, The bloody hand, which is Oneal's badge. They under Obrien call Laúnlaider, that is, The strong hand. And to their ensample the old English also, which there remaineth, have gotten up their cries Scythian-like, as Crom-abo, and Butler-abo. And here also lyeth open another manifest proof, that the Irish be Scythes or Scots; for in all their encounters, they use one very common word, crying, Ferragh, Ferragh; which is a Scottish word, to wit, the name of one of the first

kings of Scotland, called Feragus, or Fergus, which fought against the Picts, as you may read in Buchanan, De Rebus Scoticis : but as others write, it was long before that, the name of their chief captain, under whom they fought against the Africans; the which was then so fortunate unto them, that ever sithence they have used to call upon his name in their battles.

There be other sorts of cries also used amongst the Irish, which savour greatly of the Scythian barbarism; as their lamentations at their burials, with despairful outcries and immoderate wailings, the which Mr. Stanihurst might also have used for an argument to prove them Egyptians : for so in scripture it is mentioned, that the Egyptians lamented for the death of Joseph. Others think this custom to come from the Spaniards, for that they do immeasurably likewise bewail their dead. But the same is not

per Spanish, but altogether heathenisb, brought in thither first either by the Scythians, or the Moors that were Africans, and long possessed that country. For it is the manner of all pagans and infidels to be intemperatè in their wailings of their dead, for that they had no faith nor hope of salvation. And this ill custom also is specially noted by Diodorus Siculus, to have been in the Scythians, and is yet amongst 'the northern Scots at this day, as you may read in their Chronicles.

I will here take occasion, since I lately spake of their manner of cries, in joining of battle, to speak also somewhat of the manner of their arms, and are ray in battle, with other customs perhaps worthy the noting. And first of their arms and weapons, amongst which their broad swords are proper Scy thian; for such the Scythes used commonly, as you may read in Olaus Magnus, and the same also the old Scots used, as you may read in Buchanan, and in Solinus, where the pictures of them are in the same form expressed. Also their short bows, and little quivers, with short bearded arrows, are very Scythian, as you may read in the same Olaus. And the same sort both of bows, quivers, and arrows, are at this day to be seen commonly ainongst the northern Irish Scots, whose Scottish bows are not past three quarters of a yard long, with a string of wreathed hemp slackly bent, and whose arrows are not much above half an ell long, tipped with steel heads, made like common broad arrow heads, but much more sharp and slender; that they enter into a man or horse' most cruelly, notwithstanding that they are shot forth weakly. Moreover, their long broad shields, made up with wicker rods, which are commonly used among the said northern Irish, bụt especially of the Scots, are brought from the Scythians, as you may read in Olaus Magnus, Solinus, and others : likewise their going to battle with


out armour on their bodies or heads, but trusting to the thickness of their glibs, the which (they say) will sometimes bear off a good stroke, is mere Scythian, as you may see in the said images of old Scythes or Scots, set forth by Herodianus, and others. Besides, their confused kind of march in heaps, without any order or array, their clashing of swords together, their fierce running upon their enemies, and their inanner of fight, resembleth altogether that which is read in histories to have been used of the Scythians. By which it may almost infallibly be gathered together, with other circumstances, that the Irish are very Scots or Scythes originally, though sithence intermingled with many other nations repairing and joining unto them. And to these I may also add another strong conjecture which cometh to my mind, that I have often observed there amongst them, the which are also written by sundry authors, to have been observed amongst the Scythians, by which it may very vehemently be presumed that the nations were anciently all one. For Plutarch (as I remember) in his treatise of Homer, endeavouring to search out the truth, what countryman Homer was, proveth it most strongly (as he thinketh) that he was an Æolian born, for that in describing a sacrifice of the Greeks, he omitted the loin, the which all the other Grecians (saving the Æolians) use to burn in their sacrifices: also for that

« VorigeDoorgaan »