The Kiltartan History Book

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CROMWELL'S LAW

"I'll tell you about Cromwell and the White Friars. There was a White Friar at that time was known to have knowledge, and Cromwell sent word to him to come see him. It was of a Saturday he did that, of an Easter Saturday, but the Friar never came. On the Sunday Cromwell sent for him again, and he didn't come. And on the Monday he sent for him the third time, and he did come. 'Why is it you did not come to me when I sent before?' said Cromwell. 'I'll tell you that,' said the White Friar. 'I didn't come on Saturday,' he said, 'because your passion was on you. And I didn't come on the Sunday,' he said, 'because your passion was not gone down enough, and I thought you would not give me my steps. But I came to-day,' he said, 'because your passion is cool.' When Cromwell heard his answer, 'That is true,' he said, 'and tell me how long my law will last in Ireland.' 'It will last,' says the White Friar, 'till yesterday will come (that was Easter Sunday) the same day as our Lady Day.' Cromwell was satisfied then, and he gave him a free leg, and he went away. And so that law did last till now, and it's well it did, for without that law in the country you wouldn't be safe walking the road having so much as the price of a pint of porter in your pocket."

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