Irish Folklore

From An Illustrated History of Ireland by Margaret Anne Cusack

« start... Chapter X. ...continued

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The folklore of a people is perhaps, next to their language, the best guide to their origin. The editor of Bohn's edition of the Chronicle of Richard of Cirencester remarks, that "many points of coincidence have been remarked in comparing the religion of the Hindoos with that of the ancient Britons; and in the language of these two people some striking similarities occur in those proverbs and modes of expression which are derived from national customs and religious ceremonies."[5] We are not aware of any British customs or proverbs which bear upon this subject, nor does the writer mention any, in proof of his assertion: if, however, for Britons we read Irish, his observations may be amply verified.

The kindly "God save you!" and "God bless all here!" of the Irish peasant, finds its counterpart in the eastern "God be gracious to thee, my son!" The partiality, if not reverence, for the number seven, is indicated in our churches. The warm-hearted hospitality of the very poorest peasant, is a practical and never-failing illustration of the Hindoo proverb, "The tree does not withdraw its shade even from the woodcutter."

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[5] Ceremonies.—Bohn's edition, p. 431.


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