David Hume on the Irish

‘The Irish, from the beginning of time, had been buried in the most profound barbarism and ignorance; as they were never conquered or even invaded by the Romans, from whom all the western world derived its civility, they continued still in the most rude state of society, and were distinguished only by those vices to which human nature, not tamed by education or restrained by laws, is for ever subject.’

(Quoted in Mary Campbell, Lady Morgan: The Life and Times of Sydney Owenson, Pandora 1988, p.4; also [in part] in Len Platt, ‘Corresponding with the Greeks: An Overview of Ulysses as an Irish Epic’, in James Joyce Quarterly, Spring 1996, p.516, citing The History of England: From the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution in 1688, London; Jones & Company 1829, p.454.)

[ back ]
[ top ]