Introduction - Story of Belfast

AN ancient book tells us of "an old pleasant custom of our ancestors " who gave on the first page of a volume, "The place—the time—the author—and the cause of writing this book," so I shall follow the same old plan. The place—is high up on a hillside not very far from "The Eagle's Nest," where one can see over Belfast with its encircling hills, from Divis " The Mount of Sorrow," past Ben Madhigan's lofty height and the long chain of hills above the ancient Castle of Carrickfergus, which still guards our Lough, and where Whitehead and Blackhead look across the Irish Sea. On this side the soft green hills of County Down form a foreground for the picture.

The time—in the last days of the dying year of 1912. The snow has fallen over the land, the giant face of the Cave Hill looks over a white world to-day, and earth has been washed clean and set to music.

The author—that matters least of all, but the author is one filled with a great love for her native land, and she wants all the young people to love it too, and to learn its story.

Now for the cause of writing this book.—It is strange how little the rising generation know about their own city. Belfast can boast of no very ancient history, but it has an interesting story to tell.

There have been many books written and many stories told about our city; but all for the "grown-ups." Now, if I can climb the Tree of Knowledge and shake the boughs again, perchance I may find some fruit still left that may be enjoyed by the younger people. If this small book of mine lives long enough to help anyone of the present time to understand and take an interest in the history of Belfast, I shall be more than satisfied.