Preface to a Tragedy: Part One

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“The following pages are the result of no stretch of imagaination, no creation of fancy. The Glenveigh evictions, by which two hundred and forty human beings were cast homeless, and, I might add, hopeless, on the waves of the world, must still be fresh in the recollection of the most of my readers. Their rents were paid up to the day; they committed no crime under heaven to draw such fearful retribution on their heads, and its consequent misery was the bitter expiation of no fault, no failing of theirs. It was suspected, forsooth, that a few of them were implicated in, and all of them aware of, the murder of a Scotch shepherd, to whom the landord, the infamous John George Adair, rented the mountains he took from the tenants; but, as is shown in the text, that murder was concocted by Adair himself, and executed by his bastard son and his villanous bailiff.

Adair is the real name of the inhuman ruffian who desolated Glenveigh and Derryveigh, - turned them into a howling wilderness, for the gratification of his diabolical cruelty. In the text, the name of the landlord is Adams, for the simple reason that my pen positively refutes to write the real one. There is an alliterative affinity between Adair, despot and demon, - and I am persuaded, there is a real relationship between them, also.

God only knows the subsequnt sufferings of those poor people. The pen of the recording angel would fail to chronicle them, and the mond of all, save that of the All-knowing, would far fail to conceive them.

I think this an apropos place for a ballad on these wholesale evictions, written by a true Irish gentleman, who, though a barrister of the English Bar, has lain in Omage jail, “suspected” of loving his oppressed, impoverished, degraded contry, and having a strong inclincation, in common with all Irishmen, to assist in raising his prostrate Erin from the slough in which alien oppression has flung and trod her; to wash off the slime of slavery, even in the blood of her tyrants, from her fair lmbs, and give her a new and noble life, enshined in the Godlike temple of self-goverfnement, and basking in the invigorating sunshine of a liberty as free in its spirit as the four winds of heaven, as broad in its principles, and as deep in its sense of human rights as the illimitable ocean… Cassidy was born in Dunkinelly, County Donegal, circa 1852. In his teens, he came to Lake Gartan to stay with his uncle, where he learned of the Derryveagh Evictions.