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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/172

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i6o The European Sky-God.

but, if I am not much mistaken, a common attribute of early Irish kings. In the Royal House at Emain Macha, where Conchobar king of Ulster kept his court, there was a chamber faced with bronze below and silver above, surmounted by golden birds glittering with carbuncles. Over Conchobar himself rose a silver wand with three golden apples on it. When he shook this wand or raised his voice, all in the house became absolutely silent.^ Sometimes he would strike his silver wand against the bronze post of his chamber,^ and so allay a quarrel. Similarly in the palace at Cruachan, the capital of Con- naught, Ailill and Medb had a chamber faced with silver and bronze : beside the couch and in front of Ailill was a silver wand, with which he used to strike the central post of his palace when he wished to rebuke people.^ A

^D'Arbois V^popie celtiqtie p. I2 f. , Lady Gregory Ctichtilain of Muir- thenine p. 43. Cp. O'Curry On the Alanners and Ctistoms of the Ancient Irish London 1873 i. p. cccxlvii n. 598 ' The couch of Conchobar was in the front of the house. It had pillars of Creduuia [copper or bronze], with capitals of gold on their heads, and gems of Carrmocall [carbuncles] in them, so that the day and the night were equally lightsome in it [the house]. It had a Steill or canopy of silver over the king, extending to the Ardliss, or top of the kingly house. When Conchobar used to strike the Steill, with a kingly silver rod, the Ultonians all became silent. The twelve couches of the twelve champions encircled that couch all round ' (from the Brit. Mus. MS. Egerton 5280 and the Lebor na h-Uidri p. 121 col. i).

^D'Arbois Uipopie celtiqtie p. 95, Lady Gregory Cuchulain of Muir- themne p. 56.

^D'Arbois Vdpopee celtiqtie p. 118, Lady Gregory Cuchulain of Miiir- themne p. 149. Cp. O'Curry Mantters and Customs i. p. cccxlviii n. 598 'The couch of Ailill and Medb [was] in the middle of the house ; a facing of silver all around it, and a Steill of Creduma ; a wand of silver in front of the couch before Ailill; it would reach the middle of the Liss of the house to pacify the household at all times' (from the Lebor na h-Uidri p. 107 col. l), eund. ib. iii p. 10 f. and A. H. Leahy Heroic Eoiiiances ii. 16 ' Four beams of brass on the apartment of Ailill and Medb, adorned all with bronze, and it in the exact centre of the house. Two rails of silver around it under gilding. In the front a wand of silver that reached the middle rafters of the house ' ( Tain bo Fraich or ' Driving of the Cattle of Fraech ').