Nemedius (a wanderer from the East) and his thousand men reached Erinn from Thule (Jutland, or the Belgian Peninsula), in thirty skin-covered corrachs. He employed four Phoenician or African architects to raise four palaces for him in different parts of the island; and to prevent thalr doing as much for any other chief or prince, and thus detracting from his own greatness, he had each skilful artist pitched from the battlements as soon as his work was achieved. But there was such a principle as poetical justice extant in Erinn, even so early as the days' of Abraham. The Fomorians from Africa--all cousins-german to Rog, Robog, Rodin, and Rooney, the murdered men--assailed Nemidh from the bleak northern Isle of Torry, deprived the four castles of their master, by sending him to Tir-na-n-oge, and scattered his people to east, south, and north. Some under the leader Jarvan sailed to the Danish Isles, and the south of Sweden; and their descendants established themselves in four cities--Falias, Gorias, Finias, and Murias--and taught the simple Scandinavians magic rites, and the other branches of the polite literature of the day. After a few hundred years, their descendants took the resolution of seeking out the pleasant isle of their forefathers, and set sail, bringing from city No. 1 a magic glaive, from No. 2 a magic spear, from No. 3. an enchanted caldron, and from No. 4 the Liai Fall, or "Stone of Destiny," at present resting in the lower part of St. Edward's Chair, in Westminster Abbey. [a]
At the time of their approach to the island, it was held by a kindred race, the Firbolgs lately returned from Greece, to which country they had fled when routed by the Fomorians. The new-corners, landing somewhere in the north-west, enwrapped themselves in a druidical (magical) fog, and were never seen by. mortal till they had attained the plain of southern Moy-tuir (plain of the tower), near Cong. The Firbolg king, Achy (Eochaidh, Chevalier), sent a herald to demand their business. They said they merely wanted possession of the country, and would allow their cousins in the tenth degree--the Firbolgs--to retire to the islands of Arran, Inisbofine, &c.
moreover, that it was useless to brandish sword, or fling spear at them, as their Druids, on the morn after a battle, would pass through the slain, and by their spells of power recall every dead warrior to his pristine life and strength. "We defy your Druids," said the Firbolg spokesman. "Every one of our curai (companions) shall be attended by a kern bearing twenty sharpened stakes of the rowan-tree; and as every Danaan warrior falls in fight his body shall be pinned to the sod by one of these charmed staves."
The threat had its effect; and the succeeding battles were fought without the aid of draoideacht on either side. The Firbolgs being defeated, were allowed to people the islands off the western coast; and it is supposed that Dun Aengus in Arran, and other stupendous caisiols (stone forts), are the architectural remains of this brave but unsuccessful people. The ancient martial games and marriage-fairs held at Tailtean, now Teltown, in Meath, were instituted in honour of Tailte, wife of the brave Firbolg king slain at Moy-tuir.
[a] Dr. Petrie insists that the Stone of Destiny is the Dallan still to be seen on Tara Hill. He may be right; but we are determined not to believe him while treating the present subject. This was written when we had the amiable archeologist still amongst us.