James Murphy, The Forge of Clohogue: A Story of The Rebellion of ’98, by James Murphy, author of ‘Lays and Legends of Ireland’, ‘The Flight from the Cliffs’, ‘Hugh Roach, the Ribbonman’, ‘The House on the Rath’, ‘The Shan Van Vocht’, &c. (Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son, Ltd [1st edn. 1885]), 332pp.

PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION: The singular favour with which “Hugh Roach the Ribbonman” has been received by the Irish public has induced me to issue the present volume - the second of the series.

It is intended to commemorate in attractive form the bravery and dauntlessness of the gallant Wexfordmen in the stormy days of ’98 The old people who bore the brunt of the struggle, and from whose lips I heard, around the winter fire, in earliest boyhood, the stories of the Rebellion, are dead and gone - and, I grieve to say it, with many in Ireland their high courage and manful bearing are fast becoming dim traditions.

Partly, my mind being thus filled with the scenes of the Rebellion, and more, I dare say, from the fact that the stories mine ears first hearkened to were associated with it, nearly all my novels have reference to that eventful period. The “Forge of Clohogue” is one of them.

Whether or not the freedom of our land can be achieved by peaceful means, or whether the exigencies of European conflict shall make it possible - or imperative - some day for Irishmen to stand with arms in their hands, is alone known to God; but in any case it can do no harm and much good to have the story of the bold uprising of the Wexfordmen told once more. The brave hearts, long laid to rest in the graveyards of their fair southern valleys - fairest and dearest to me of all that God’s sunlight shines down upon - taught by their lives two lessons worth some trouble to teach the youth of Ireland even now: - the great lessons of lofty unselfish patriotism and selfsacrificing dauntlessness.

The deeds of good men, it is said, live after them; and it is possible that the growing generation shall learn a brighter and bolder spirit of patriotism from the freshly-told story of those who conquered at Oulart Hill and stormed the Three Bullet Gate at Ross - nameless and forgotten though their graves may be. [1]

”The fields our fathers triumphed over a beaten foe,” though not rare in Ireland are not so numerous as to permit us to forget those whereon, less than ninety years ago, they displayed the unparalled bravery of their race and performed deeds of valour worthy of the proudest days of ancient Greece or Rome. If Irish History may not be taught in our schools, the next best thing is to teach it by way of story and romance; and if the “Forge of Clohogue” shall have contributed to this end - if it shall help to keep the memory of those times green in Irish hearts, or shall induce young people to read in more detail the lives of the true-hearted men who moved in them - it will have amply repaid the writer for his trouble. Feb., 1885.

PREFACE TO PRESENT EDITION. The astonishing popularity with which the “Forge of Clohogue” has been received has never been equalled by any work published in Ireland. It is over a quarter of a century since it was first issued, and the demand continUes as great now as then. In particular is this the ease with America. I supply this continuous and ever-increasing demand the present Edition has been brought forth. JAMES MURPHY. May, 1912.

CONTENTS (XXIII Chaps.) The Mysterious Visitor; Chrisimas Eve At The Crosses; The Ghost Of The Forge; The Two Travellers; The Overturned Mail; Watt Ov The Crosses; Grace Cottrell; The Accepted Suitor; Mehaul’s Adventures; Grace Cottrell’s Dream; Grace’s Engagement; Father John; Meeting Of Old Lovers; Before The Court Martial; The Mysterious Visitor; Grace Breaks The Engagement: The Escape; Old Friends Meet; Meeting The Soldiers; Kilbremmer; Grace’s Abduction; Searching For Grace; The Ride For Life; A Strange Meeting; The Burning Of Boolavogue; On Oulart Hill; On Oulart Hill (continued); After The Fight; Old Acquaintances Gather; The Battle Of Ross; Scullabogue; Conclusion.

[ back ]
[ top ]