“The English Church, it was claimed, was Catholicism purified and reformed. And what was the nature of this reform? The truth was that nobody, least of all Henry himself, had much idea.”
“That was the trouble with being too highly born, Finbarr considered. The gods paid too much attention to you. It was ever thus in the Celtic world. Ravens would fly over the house to announce the death of a clan chief, swans would desert the lake. A king’s bad judgement could affect the weather. And if you were a prince, the druids made prophesies about you from before the day you were born; and after that, there was no escape.”
“The great festival of Lughnasa was held at Carmun once every three years. The site of Carmun was eerie. In a land of wild forest and bog, it was an open grassy space that stretched, green and empty, halfway to the horizon. Lying some distance west of the point where, if you were following it upstream, the Liffey’s course began to retreat eastwards on the way to its source in the Wicklow Mountains, the place was absolutely flat, except for some mounds in which ancestral chiefs were buried. The festival lasted a week. There were areas reserved for food and livestock markets, and another where fine clothes were sold; but the most important quarter was where a large racetrack was laid out on the bare turf.”
“In recent decades, Ireland in general and Dublin in particular, have been very fortunate in the quality of the historical attention they have received. During the extensive research required to write this book, I have been privileged to work with some of Ireland’s most distinguished scholars, who have generously shared their knowledge with me and corrected my texts. Their kind contributions are mentioned in the Acknowledgements. Thanks to the scholarly work of the last quarter century, there has been a reevaluation of certain aspects of Ireland’s history; and as a result, the story that follows may contain a number of surprises for many readers. I have provided a few additional notes in the Afterword at the end of this volume for those curious to know more.”
“In less than a month it would be the magical feast of Samhain. Some years this took place at the great ceremonial centre of Tara; other years it was held at other places. At Samhain the excess livestock would be slaughtered, the rest put out on the wasteland and later brought into pens, while the High King and his followers set off on their winter rounds. Until then, however, it was a slow and peaceful time. The harvest was in, the weather still warm. It should, for the High King, have been a time of contentment.”
“We, the heirs of Saint Patrick, we who kept alive the Christian faith and the writings of ancient Rome when most of the world had sunk under the barbarians, we who gave the Saxons their education are to be taught a lesson in Christianity by the English?”
“This Plantagenet king comes from the devil.”
“We have all been robbed of the land we have loved for a thousand years. Do you not see that, Welshman? Can you not imagine his rage? We were not even conquered. We were deceived.”
“E outros em quem poder não teve a morte.”
“That computer is my rabbit hole; the internet is my wonderland. I am only allowed to fall into it when it doesn’t matter if I get lost.”
“Reacher nodded. “For a spell.” Then he said: “Plato is a weird name for a Mexican, don’t you think? Sounds more like a Brazilian name to me.” “No, Yugoslavian,” Peterson said. “Like that old dictator.” “That was Tito.” “I thought he was a South African bishop.” “That was Tutu.”
“Everything has changed. I cannot be used anymore. Those days are over. I know too much. What I do now, I do for me.”
“His reddish hair looked soft like rabbit fur. My fingers itched to touch but I knew I never would. I swallowed to try to gain some of my voice back and repeated myself. “A week, I think,” he said. “I keep meaning to come back out here to clear it out from the path but I’ve been putting it off. There was a bad storm before you moved”
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