CHAPTER VIII.

From Irish Pictures Drawn with Pen and Pencil Richard Lovett

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Donegal Castle
Donegal Castle

DONEGAL HIGHLANDS

THE Donegal Highlands offer many and great attractions to the stranger. He finds there much wild and enticing mountain scenery; he can explore a magnificent coast, indented by numerous loughs and arms of the sea, and adorned by a succession of bold headlands; he treads a land classic in Irish story, and renowned for the men who there took part in both internecine struggles and in the conflict with the Saxon race; and he finds in the people of to-day a primitive and most interesting peasantry. He can visit the scenes of Columba's boyhood, and of Hugh Roe's brave efforts for freedom. If interested in political and social questions, he can study typical representatives of landlord and tenant, and typical conflicts between the National League and Dublin Castle. He will find the Celtic imagination even more lively in Donegal than in most parts with a firm belief in fairies, and in a store of legends associated with mountain and river, castle and hamlet.

Great are the charms of Wicklow and Kerry, manifold are the beauties of Mayo and Antrim; yet upon any one who wishes to see Ireland at its best, that is, as least affected by outside influences, Donegal should have the prior claim. More than equal to her rivals in natural beauty, there is also a stronger element of the 'mere Irish' in the people, and in their habits of life.

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