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  1. Hello, Chrissy. Thank you very much. It seems to me, your explanation the "lord of the forest" and go on is right. I have also some thing to make more clear the first case. After "give law to the land", Godwin says: "But, difficult or easy, the experiment never was tried. O'Neile, and most of the other heads of the conspiracy, were as bigoted, as hardened, and as brutal, as the lowest of their followers". Also, in another place, Phelim O'Neile himself says of the purposes of this revolt against English: "To-morrow all Ireland rises in the assertion of her rights. Our plan is entire and unbroken; Dublin is ours; every fort and garrison in Ulster, Leinster, Minster, and Connaught, is ours. We meditate no injury; not a drop of blood shall be shed, if it is in our power to avoid it. But we will have our rights. We will not be trampled upon as we have been by a handful of foreigners; we will not submit to have our estates turn from us, because we or our ancestors have meritoriously drawn our swords in the sacred cause of our couniry; we not allow our inability to produce certain deeds and musty parchments to be set up against immemorial possession to oust us of our lands; we are resolved that the holy Catholic faith, to which every man of Ireland is a sincere adherent, shall no longer go naked, like a dishonoured wanderer, but shall be clothed again in all her pristine magnificence and splendour". May be, it will furnish you more matter to explain the words.
  2. Hello. English is not my native language. Sometimes I have the difficulties when I am reading the 17-19 centuries English literature. Now I have the difficulties with the William Godwin's "Mandeville" tale. The tale came to the light in 1817 year. The first difficulty is "to give law to the land”. What does it mean? Codwin says, this had been the “strict purpose of the rebellion” he is talking about. This had been the Irish revolt that begun in 1641 year. The second difficulty is, the “lord of the forest engendering with a serpent, or the eagle with the wren”. Is this some old English fairy-tale? I had not found any hint of it in the Internet. The both parts are below. 1. Such were the tales that were daily, and sometimes hourly, brought to my father and his comrades in their confinement at Kinnard; and it was soon manifest that this war, which began with professions of clemency, was rapidly degenerating into a scene of cruelty and massacre, such as has rarely occurred in the annals of the world. The first excesses commenced among the rudest of the people, and were perpetrated by boors, unacquainted with almost the slightest tincture of civilization. Yet, once begun, it would have been difficult to stay their progress, especially in a case like this, where the affair was strictly a rising of the population to give law to the land. 2. The first person who was induced to remark the nature of the communication going on between Audley and Amelia was a servant-maid; and, as this female was of a fretful and malignant temper, to which nothing was so distressing as to see other persons delighted and happy, she did not fail officiously to communicate her observations to Mrs Dorothy. The old lady was astonished; she never could have believed it. It never could have come into her head, that the blood of the Mandevilles could degrade itself by an ill-assorted wedlock. She had indeed allowed herself to doubt, whether her brother, the commodore, had conducted himself with his usual propriety, in matching with the mother of Audley. But, that Audley himself should fix his choice on a degraded branch of his mother's family, a girl without a shilling, and whose father, if he had met with his deserts, would have paid the forfeit of his life to the injured laws of his country,—she would as soon have thought of the lord of the forest engendering with a serpent, or the eagle with the wren.