Newspaper article inserted at back of Grahamís copy of his publication THE IRISH WOLFHOUND 1885 edition, typed out as it could not be copied successfully.

Fr Hogan, S.J. in the Preface to his book The Irish Wolfdog
refers to this Article written by "St Bernard" and writes

In the Dublin Evening Telegraph of December 12, under the name of "Swaran", I quoted more than twenty instances in which "St Bernard" showed want of respect for accuracy of statement or the requirements of logic.

 

 

A Peep into the Past

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THE IRISH WOLFHOUND

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Vindicated Against Ignorant English Critics -- History at Home and on the Continent --- An interesting and Remarkable Record.

Good Words of December , 1896, has an article on "Notable Dogs of the Chase ; the Irish Wolfhound. Illustrated by R. H Moore." The writer, who signs himself "St Bernard," shows considerable knowledge of his interesting subject, but also sows want of respect for accuracy of statement of the requirements of logic in the following instances:-

1. "What kind of dog this dog of exceptional size was there is now nothing to assure us, except that he was used for the destruction of wolves." (1) There is more than that since the writer says he was 2the giant of his race," "the great beast." (2) It is found for certain that he was a great greyhound ; (3) that he was taller and stroger than a mastiff ; (4) that he was a better fighter than a mastiff or bulldog ; (5) that he was able to hunt, catch, and kill the stag, wolf, and wild boar ; (6) that he was used in Ireland to hunt wolves ; (7) that he was imported into Spain to hunt wolves up to the year 1775 ; (8) that he was sent as a present to Kings, Emperors, Great Moguls, Sultans, Shahs, Ambassadors, Grandees, Grand Dukes," etc.

2. "What manner of beast this giant of his race was no one knows."

Captain George A Graham, of Rednock, Dursley, and the nobleman and gentleman of the Irish Wolfhound and Kennel Clubs of England know, and this is answered in the remark on No 1.

3. Opinions are divided into three camps, One holds that he was shaggy-coated, a larger edition in fact of the modern deerhound ; the second maintains that it was a smooth coated animal, and rather resembled the Great Dane, while the third asserts that there never was any such dog at all.

1st. So the third as to "what manner of beast," "what kind of dog" it was, is that there never was any such dog at all. What is the native place of "St Bernard?"

2nd. "St B" modestly omits a fourth "camp" which he has all to himself. He denies that the dog had either a rough coat or a smooth coat; and therefore, must hold that he had no coat at all. He "says - It seems certain that (of) the first two sets of disputants neither can be right."

4. He "demolishes" the first opinion thus- "It is sufficient to ask, how could the Irish dog been the same as the Scotch when we find Irishmen bringing their dogs over to Scotland as present for the King?" (1) The could if all or some Irish dogs were "larger editions," as is previously stated; (2) there is no evidence to show that the scotch dogs were equal in size to the Irish dogs at the time of that "King," whenever he lived. (3) even supposing the Irish and Scotch to have been generally the same in size as "St Bernards" now may be, they are then as now individual dogs of special merit and beauty. Could not Master Mcgrath have been presented to the Prince of Wales?

5. He "demolishes" the second opinion by saying- "How could it have been a Great Dane when Buffon compares, as to size, with the Dane?" (1) The champions of the second opinion do not hold that it was a Great Dane, but as "St B" himself says, rather resembled what we call the "Great Dane": (2) Buffon does more than once compare the Irish dog with the Great Dane; (3) Buffon says the Irish Hound differed from the Great Dane by his enormous height, par líenormite de sa taille.

6. "The famout picture by Reinagle, A R A (in 1803), was drawn from fancy, and, oddly enough, accompanies text which does not support the illustration; and moreover, assumes that the breed was then extinct. So that Reinagle evolved the dog from his inner consciousness." (1) The argument-- It was drawn from fancy, therefore it was drawn from fancyí is good. (2) Rather the text accompanies the picture and does not support it, "so that" the text was drawn from fancy and inner consciousness. Jesse says of this work, "It is more remarkable for the truth and fineness of its engravings than for the matter contained in it. (3) As the text is taken from a previously published account, and that of no value, the picture is more trustworthy. (4) As Reinagle (the elder), in the teeth of the text, drew the dog as he did, he may, or must have had a dog shown (or described) to him as a specimen of the wolfhound, why must he have drawn from fancy.

(No section 7, assume to be typing error. No gap in text)

8. "It is curious, when one comes to study the subject, how very seldom historians refer to the Irish as being fond of the chase."

The conclusion suggested is that they were not fond of the chase. (1) "When one comes to study the subject." Perhaps, when one has gone into the study of the subject, one finds, that Sir James Ware says, "I shall but just hint at the Eagerness of the Irish in the chase as in hunting wolves and stags." 2nd. Historians do not refer to it often, because the Irish were fonder of chasing each other, and the Danes and the English-- "not that they loved Caesar less, but that they loved Rome more." 3rd. The names of Irishmen show that they were fond of dogs of the chase--Cu Chulaind, Cu Rei, Cu Mide, Cu Chonnacht, and so on. 4th. The Irish literature refers very often to the fondness of the Irish for the chase.

9. It is "still more odd that there is no mention made of the gigantic hound that is alleged to have chased, overtaken, and killed wolves" Surely mention is very frequently made of such a dog by Peter Lombard, the Nunzio Rinuccini, and many others.

10. Holinshed (1560) (or was it Campion ?) says--(1) Holinshed did not write in 1560; neither did Campion; (2) it was Campion in 1571

Section missing here, last part of 10 and beginning of 11 missing.

see complete quote of following at end.

out wolves, and greyhounds to hunt them, bigger of bone and limb than a colt. It is obvious that the writer never saw with his own eyes any of the greyhounds, which he endows with stature beyond the dreams even of Molossian ambition." (1) Campion spent about a year in the city and the county of Dublin in days when the lord Deputy and his wife "rode out a-hunting the wolf" (2) he lived wit the Stanibursts and with Sir P Barnwall, of Turvey, and was acquainted with other gentlemen of the Pale, whose flocks were exposed to the attacks of the wolves of the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains, and so must have seen these dogs with their own eyes in the year 1570-1571, as he himself says "Fither mine own observation hath found it, or some friend hath informed me, or companion opinion hath received it"; (3) by "colt" Campion must have meant a foal.

12. "Indeed one might almost, if not actually, say the discovery of the great beast was not really made until it had been extinct."

Indeed one might almost and actually say anything, but the Irish wolfhound was not was not extinct when Campion wrote in 1571, or when the learned William Bowles wrote in 1775, two centuries later.

13. It is an established fact in Ireland that Scotland was colonised from that country, and equally undisputed in Scotland that the original Irish were emigrants from Caledonis, and neither nation doubts that each of the colonising parties took their own dogs with them across the sea, and then if follows that the Highland deerhound and the Irish Wolfdog were each of them the progenitor of the other. This being so, it would scarcely be consistent, if Fingal had not more than one "native" country, and like a certain distinguished gentleman, a choice of birthplaces, and Fingalís dogs submitted to hunt and die at two places at once" . . .

Here "St B" gets dreadfully merry, and "one might almost say," dances a cancan diabolique down the page, kicking facts and logic to the winds.

1st. Suppose the premises and the conclusion (as a conclusion or as a statement) are true, which they are not, it is hard to see in it but a display of logic for its own sake or of fun for its own sake, or for the offence of the Irish or Scotch, or of the Irish Wolfhound Club or the English Kennel Club.

2nd. With the help of the Rontgen Rays we may find the following by logic buried in the argument-- The Irish dogs are the progenitors of the Scotch dogs. The Scotch dogs are the progenitors of the Irish dogs. Therefore the Irish and the Scotch dogs are progenitors of each other. Without wasting space deny or distinguishing the major, minor, and conclusion, I show the fallacy running through the argument in this way. Some Bernards of England, who were not saints, came to Ireland long ago, and were the progenitors of the Irish Bernards; years afterwards some descendents of the Irish Bernards went to England, and were the progenitors of the English Bernards. These are facts; but the conclusion. Therefore some Bernards of England and some Bernards of Ireland are progenitors of each other, is not true; as progenitor has three different meanings-- that is, in the first and second statements and in the conclusion. And you might as well say-- A is ancestor of B, B is an ancestor of C, therefore B and C, and A and B respectively ancestors of each other.

As to the "St.Bís" premises , which he lays down to laugh at, the first is certain not only in Ireland but everywhere, as it is well known that the Scots of Ireland settled in Scotland in 506, and before it; the second is nearly, if not wholly, certain, as can be seen in the Rev T A Finlayís "Chronological Outline of Irish History," which "St B" can get for threepence at 16 Lower Sackville Street.

14. "Neither nation doubts that each of the colonising parties took their dogs with them." This means that "St B" does doubt. (1) It is a priori, a simultaneio, and a posteriori probable, and almost certain that they did. (2) The sons of Uisnech on going into exile n Alba-- I e, Scotland, took 150 Irish greyhounds with them. (3) A low had to be made in the Cromwellian times to prevent the Irish exiles from taking their "wolfdogs" with them to foreign lands. (4) The author of "The Irish Hudibras", published in 1689, says the Irish took their dogs with them even into hell, there

"Stalking about the bogs . . .

Together with their own dogs. . . ."

15 "Fingal had more than one native country." (1) He had no native country save the brain of MacPherson. (2) Finn, son of Curnal, was a native of Scotia, the country of the Scots of Ireland, and of the Irish Scots, who afterwards gave its name and kings to Scotland.

16. "Nor have we any assistance from the ancients, for though dogs from various parts of Britain (of course he includes Ireland) "are mentioned as being imported to Rome, they were all of the mastiff kind. (1) There is no evidence for that statement; (2) the seven Scotie, i.e., Irish, dogs exhibited in Rome by Symmachus were not said by him to be mastiffs.

17. "Whether it was the original wolfhound or not there was abundant testimony to the existence of a large greyhound." And abundant testimony that the large greyhound hunted the wolf.

18. Lord Falkland: "after asking for some greyhounds for the Duke of Buckingham." This should be the Duke of Buccleugh.

19. "Did not Cromwell, in 1652, forbid the export from Ireland of such great dogs as are commonly called wolf dogs?" Cromwell did nothing of the kind.

20. "Every writer takes it for granted that the wolfhound must have been able to overtake the wolf ?" Not every writer. Rinnuccini and others who knew the dog, assert that he could.

21. "But it is certain that wolves were coursed ?" Perfectly certain.

22. "Are there any records of such hunts?" There are.

23. Ridinger and Schreber, who lived when some big Irish breed was really in existence, and who both of them depict it as smooth-coated, and not in the least like a deerhound, nor, indeed, any other sort of dog.

I should like to see those pictures of a big dog, "indeed not in the least like any other sort of dog" also that of a dog without any coat at all.

SWARAN

Full quotation, part missing above, taken from Grahamís The Irish Wolfhound.

Page 185 in the 1972 edition

Holinshedís, or rther Stanihurstís, description of Ireland, about 1560, contains this short account of the noble Wolfdog : "Ireland is stored of cows, excellent horses, of hawkes, fish, and fowle. They are not without wolves, and greyhounds to hunt them bigger of bone and limb than a colt."