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It is not an abundance that Pat calls a plenty,
Of plain simple fare the potato supplies;
But milk, beef, and butter, and bacon so dainty,
Hens, ducks, geese, and turkeys, and fat mutton-pies.
Sweet roots of Erin! we can't do without them;

No tongue can express their importance to man. Poor Corporal Cobbett knows nothing about them; We'll boil them and eat them as long as we can.

In the skirts of our bogs, that are covered with rushes,
In dales, that we till with the sweat of our brow,
On the wild mountain side, cleared of heath, rocks, and


We plant the kind root with the spade or the plough. Then come the south breezes, with soft vernal showers, To finish the process that man has begun, And orange, and purple, and lily-white flowers, Reflect in bright lustre the rays of the sun. Sweet roots of Erin, &c.

The ground, too, thus broke and brought in by potatoes, Produces the cream of our northern cheer

In crops of rich barley, that comfort and treat us

To Innishone whisky, and Maghera beer.

Then here's to the brave boys that plant them and raise


To fatten their pigs, and their weans, and their wives: May none of the corporal's principles seize them,

To shorten their days, or embitter their lives.
Sweet roots of Erin, &c.


"BLESSINGS on the man,' says Sancho Panza, 'who invented sleep! it covers one all over as with a blanket.' Blessings on the man, says Pat, who invented poteen! it brings one's heart into the mouth; it's better than an outside coat; it makes one spake out, and care not a fig for the pope, the priest, or the devil.”

Thus does Mr. John Barrow apostrophise the national spirit of Ireland, about which a superabundance of twaddle has been published of late by political economists, and Temperance Society speechifiers; the former being in general men who are unable prudently to conduct their own affairs, and the latter notorious drunkards.

In 1835, when John Barrow visited

"The houseless wilds of Connemara,"

he paid his respects to the chief of the gigantic race of Joyce, distinguished as "Big Jack Joyce," by whom this adventurous traveller amongst the rude Irish was most hospitably received and entertained.



"On the poteen," says Barrow, “ being produced, I hoped he (the aforesaid Big Jack Joyce') would not oblige me to drink alone; but it was not without much entreaty I could prevail upon him to take a single glass, which he did only, he said, to welcome my arrival. Tempora mutantur,' thought I, and some of us are changed with them; for it was scarcely a twelvemonth since Inglis visited him, when room was found on the table for a double-sized flagon of whisky, and water appeared to be a beverage not much in repute.' The mystery was soon unriddled by his telling me that he-Joyce, of all men in the world had become a member of a Temperance Society and had taken a vow (on three months' trial) not to drink spirits, save and except on such an occasion as the present, and when necessary to do so medicinally. He, however, gave me to understand that he had taken his fair share of poteen in his day, and was nothing the worse of it.

"It is to be hoped," adds Barrow, "that this honest fellow will not endeavour to prevail on his poor neighbours to forego entirely this necessary beverage; absolutely necessary, as I am assured by a medical gentleman of great eminence, to prevent scorbutic habits in those whose chief or sole food is the potato, which Cobbett not improperly calls the root of poverty.' Rice has not much more nutrition in it than potatoes, and yet the millions of India and China feed upon little else; but they never eat it alone; it is either dressed in the shape of curries,


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or highly seasoned with pepper and other hot spices, which answers the purpose of whisky."

The Editor is inclined to assign the introduction of the manufacture of whisky into the Green Island to the fourteenth century, although the precise period has not been satisfactorily determined by antiquaries. Before the progress of whisky, leperhouses, which, as Dr. Ledwich observes, "were every where to be found" in Ireland, rapidly disappeared; and hence this healing spirit was termed the water of life, or aqua vitæ, which words rendered into Irish, are uisge beaċa, or usquebagh, emphatically called uisge; or, to use the expression of Sir Walter Scott, "by way of eminence termed the water," and from uisge is our common word whisky derived.

By the old physicians this charming cordial was recommended as a means of prolonging life, and it was, consequently, eagerly and universally sought after. Fennel-seeds, saffron, and other pungent matters, were mingled with it; but these were soon found to be only whimsical adulterations of the sublime purity of an inestimable extract. Fynes Moryson, although little inclined to admit the excellence of any thing Irish, says, "The Irish aqua vitæ, vulgarly called usquebagh, is held the best in the world of that kind; which is also made in England, but nothing so good as that which is brought out of Ireland." As something to be proud of, the superiority of this manufacture may be traced in the

national character. Between both there is a certain degree of similitude. In both the same volatile properties exist, when fresh, wild, and fiery; when mellowed by time and travel, the delight of all circles. It is admitted that there are few better things in company than an Irish gentleman and a bottle of old whisky; most welcome are they both in society good humour and cheerfulness are their associates. Dr. Madden evidently saw the parallel, and what an exquisite relish they produce, when he said, "We have got the character of bearing our national miseries with the best grace; nay, of being the most boon companions, and the fairest drinkers of Europe."

To understand the merits either of the Irish character or of whisky-punch, which does so much for it, requires a certain experience of both. With respect to the latter, Dr. Campbell, in "A Philosophical Survey of the South of Ireland," made by him in 1775, recording his visit to Spring House, near Tipperary, says, “After supper I, for the first time, drank whisky-punch, the taste of which is harsh and austere, and the smell worse than the taste. The drinkers of it say it becomes so palatable that they can relish no other; which may very possibly be the case, for I suppose that claret is not relished by any palate at first.

"The spirit was very fierce and wild, requiring not less than seven times its own quantity of water to tame and subdue it." He then speaks of usque

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