National Geographic : 1969 Sep
time to fix. But you'll find the Book of Kells over there." Modestly displayed in a small glass case in the entrance hall, and opened to the Gospel of St. Mark, lay what many bibliophiles have called the finest illuminated manuscript in existence (page 366). It has lost several pages; been stolen, stripped of its golden cover, and buried; and a century ago was thoughtlessly trimmed by a careless binder, who even cut away the edges of some of the illuminations. Despite its misadventures, this ornately decorated Gospel survives as the crowning accomplishment of Celtic art. Scholars can detect the hands of at least four of the monk artists of St. Columba's Monastery of Kells, in County Meath, in the microscopic tracery of its initial letters. In them are entwined such light-hearted Celtic fancies as acrobats, birds and dragons, cats chasing mice, and men pulling each other's beards. Outside again, we sought some tangible reminder of Trinity's best-known graduate-though they could hardly have claimed him as such at the time. Jonathan Swift at tended Trinity for four years, beginning in 1682, but he squeaked through only by special dispensation. There was nothing at Trinity to evoke the ghost of Gulli ver's creator, so we took our search next morning to a more obvious place. The caustic dean himself occupies a tomb beneath the paving of Dublin's hallowed St. Patrick's Ca thedral, where he presided for 32 years. His beloved Stella rests only a few feet from him. But even here we got no sense of Swift the man. Indignation Lives On in Penciled Notes I mentioned my quest to Tom Sheehy of Ireland's admira ble Tourist Board, which operates under the Gaelic name Bord Failte-literally Board of Welcomes. Tom packed us off to St. Patrick's again. "You'll find Marsh's Library just back of the cathedral," he directed. "Oldest public library in Ireland. Ask to see Clarendon's History of the Rebellion." Inside a building obviously unchanged for centuries, a helpful librarian showed us the book-the great dean's own copy of the Earl of Clarendon's chronicle of the Cromwel lian wars. A passage detailing the fate of Scotland's Mar quis of Montrose caught my eye: "That he was... to be hanged upon a Gallows thirty foot high, for the space of three hours, and then to be taken down, and his head to be cut off upon a Scaffold, and hanged on Edenborough Tolbooth; his legs and armes to be hang'd up in other publick Towns of the Kingdom." In the margin beside it, a note penciled some 250 years ago still crackled with indignation. No admirer of the Scots for their support of Cromwell's revolution against the Crown, the intemperate Dean Swift had testily scrawled, "Oh if the whole Nation to a Man were just so treated.... Mad treacherous damnable infernall Scots for ever." Scholars love Marsh's Library, for it survives almost ex actly as it was in Swift's day. One, who came twice in 1902, did so to consult the Propheciesof Joachim,printed in 1589. Budding novelist James Joyce was then only 20. Joyce's flavorful Dublin probably attracts as many literary 364 Rough-and-tumble game of hurl ing-an Irish version of field hockey -p its determined rivals swinging three-foot-long ash sticks. They bat tle to swat the sliothar,or ball, un der the goal's crossbar for three points, or over it for one. Teams compete for an hour with one time out and three substitutions-for injuries only. In this semifinal game before 45,000 spectators at Limerick, blue and-gold-suited Tipperary bested Cork, then was defeated by Wexford for the all-Ireland championship in Dublin last September. Legend trac es the popular sport to ancient times, when Irish heroes proved their in vincibility on the hurling field.