Annals of the Four Masters

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter II

The Annals of the Four Masters demand a larger notice, as unquestionably one of the most remarkable works on record. It forms the last link between the ancient and modern history of Ireland; a link worthy of the past, and, we dare add, it shall be also worthy of the future. It is a proof of what great and noble deeds may be accomplished under the most adverse circumstances, and one of the many, if not one of the most, triumphant denials of the often-repeated charges of indolence made against the mendicant orders, and of aversion to learning made against religious orders in general. Nor is it a less brilliant proof that intellectual gifts may be cultivated and are fostered in the cloister; and that a patriot's heart may burn as ardently, and love of country prove as powerful a motive, beneath the cowl or the veil, as beneath the helmet or the coif.