Page:A Compendium of Irish Biography.djvu/146

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stantly picking out his works. In the power of accumulating his subjects — whether masses of men or masses of architecture and other inanimate objects — he was equal to Martin or Turner. Over these principal subjects he threw an atmosphere of glow and sunshine, of solemn evening splendour, of mid-day glare or gorgeous sunset, or of warm voluptuous moonlight, that was altogether his. It may, however, be objected to many of his pictures, that his tints sometimes conveyed the idea of arid and fierce heat." His great painting of "The Opening of the Seventh Seal," in the Dublin National Gallery, was finished in 1828. Mr. Danby died at Exmouth, 17th February 1861, aged 68. He left two sons, both artists.

Darcy, Patrick, Count, an engineer officer, was born at Galway, 27th September 1723. He was sent to an uncle in Paris in 1739. There he studied under Clairaut, and at the age of seventeen distinguished himself by the solution of some extremely difficult mathematical problems. He made two campaigns in Germany and one in Flanders — being Colonel in the Irish Brigade at Rosbach in 1757. His essays on artillery and on scientific questions display genius and solidity of judgment. He died in Paris, of cholera, 18th October 1779, aged 56. A eulogium was pronounced upon him by Condorcet.

Dargan, William, contractor and financier, was born in the County of Carlow, 28th February 1799. On leaving school he was placed in a surveyor's office, where he showed great aptitude for business. Having gained some experience in England under Telford, he entered into a contract for the construction of the road from Dublin to Howth, in which work he was so successful that in 1831 he contracted for the construction of the Dublin and Kingstown Railway, the first in Ireland. As the railway system spread through the country, he undertook the construction of the principal lines — Great Southern and Western, Midland Great Western, and others, in all about 1,000 miles, and accumulated a large fortune, mostly invested in Irish railway shares. He undertook the financial risk of the Dublin Industrial Exhibition of 1853, and bore the deficit of about £10,000 resulting therefrom. On the occasion of its opening by the Queen he declined the honour of knighthood. To commemorate his active interest in the industrial progress of Ireland, his statue was erected in front of the National Gallery of Dublin, and from 1853 to 1865 he was among the most honoured men in the country, and was supposed to be one of the wealthiest. But a terrible reverse was impending. In 1866 he was severely injured by a fall from his horse, and soon afterwards, overstrained by innumerable undertakings, became bankrupt, and died, broken in health and spirits, 7th February 1867, aged nearly 68. He was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery. A small pension on the Civil List was granted to his widow.

Dathi, the last pagan king of Ireland, reigned twenty-three years, from 404 to 427. The early successes of his arms in Britain and emulation of his uncle Niall stimulated him to continental expeditions. Keating recounts the following legend of his death by lightning while passing through the Alps. "And the manner in which Dathi was slain was this; to wit, a flaming thunderbolt, shot from heaven, smote him upon the head whilst he was making conquests in Gaul. It was near the mountains called the Alps that he fell by the vengeance of God, for he had plundered, the sanctuary of a holy hermit Parmenius, who cursed him therefor." Dathi's death has formed a favourite subject for Davis, Mangan, Aubrey de Vere, Irwin, and other poets. It is related that his body was carried home by his followers, and interred at Rathcroghan, Tulsk, in Roscommon, where a pillar of red-grit sandstone still marks the spot. He was distinguished for his activity, sprightly manners, and ability in war.

Davies, Sir John, political writer and historian, was born at Chisgrove, Wiltshire, about the year 1570. He was author of a well-known poem, Nosce Teipsum, and other writings flattering to the vanity of Elizabeth. His abridgment of Coke's Reports showed that he was not destitute of legal acumen. In 1603, having secured Jamese's favour, he was sent to Ireland as Solicitor-General, and four years afterwards was knighted. He spent much of his leisure in studying the history and institutions of Ireland, and thereby acquired the knowledge of the country and interest in her affairs that distinguish his writings. His well-known Discovery of the True Cause why Ireland was never entirely Subdued till the beginning of His Majesty's Reign was published in 1612. The conclusions he arrives at in this work are: "First, the armies for the most part were too weak for a conquest; secondly, when they were of competent strength they were too soon broken up and dissolved; thirdly, they were ill paid; and fourthly, they were ill governed, which is always the consequent of ill-payment... The clock of the civil government is now