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PREFACE.

The book from which the following account of Ireland, at a most interesting period of its melancholy history, has been translated, was published at Paris in 1657, a previous edition having appeared in 1653. The author, who was born in the early part of the seventeenth century, died in Persia about 1668, and his extensive travels through the various countries of Europe, and also in the East, together with his short sojourn in Ireland, render him above the suspicion of Irish partizanship. Although, like most Frenchmen, he seems to have felt the conviction of the superiority of his own nation, he was a citizen of the world ; to him a chief of Ormuz and the Marquis of Ormond were indifferent, so were Bagdad and Bulgruddery—the Iran of the East and the Erin of the West. We have consequently received at his hands a faithful relation of his adventures in Ireland, and of his observations upon that country at a period generally misrepresented : and they therefore merit attention from all who appreciate the value of genuine contemporary narrative. I may add that the remark of a distinguished traveller and critic to me, after reading M. le Gouz's account of his tour in Ireland, was, that “the writer seems to have been a very honest fellow.”

It may be regretted that our traveller's stay in Ireland was so very short, scarcely exceeding two months (from May 15 to July 17, 1644,) but many larger books have been written upon visits of smaller duration, and he may have imbibed some party opinions had he remained longer. Of the sixtythree days which M. le Gouz passed in Ireland, three were employed in travelling from Dublin to Kilkenny, and two from Limerick to Cork; six days more were spent at Cashel, and eight at Cork, with his friend and companion Tom Neville. And of the thirty-one pages devoted by him to the account of his journey and observations upon national manners, &c. eight are consumed by his metaphysical contest with the friars at Cashel (which in the translation the reader will find, it is to be hoped, judiciously abridged,) while the account of Dublin is despatched in a single page. Nevertheless, the present publication, slender as is M. le Gouz’s narrative,

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