Kissing the Blarney Stone
What is Blarney
- Smooth, flattering talk.
- Deceptive nonsense.
Where Is It
Five miles north west of the small city of Cork is the village of Blarney - Cormac MacCarthy erected the present castle in 1446. Built on a rock, above several caves, the tower originally had three storeys. On the top storey, just below the battlements on the parapet, is the world famous Blarney Stone, said to give the gift of eloquence to all who kiss it. Kissing the stone is for some people a difficult physical feat. In past times, to kiss the Stone people were hung by their heels over the edge of the parapet. One day a pilgrim broke from the grasp of his friends and went hurtling downward to certain death. Since that time the stone has been kissed by another method. First, you sit with your back towards the stone and then someone sits upon your legs or firmly holds your feet. Next, leaning far back and downward into the abyss while grasping the iron rails, you lower yourself until your head is even with the stone to be kissed.
something to talk about - kissing the Blarney Stone
The Origin of Blarney
During the time of Queen Elizabeth I, Dermot McCarthy, the ruler of the castle, was required to surrender his fortress to the Queen as proof of his loyalty. He said he would be delighted to do so, but something always happened at the last moment to prevent his surrender. His excuses became so frequent and indeed so plausible that the official who had been demanding the castle in the name of the Queen became a joke at the Court. Once, when the eloquent excuses of McCarthy were repeated to the Queen, she said "Odds bodikins, more Blarney talk!" The term Blarney has thus come to mean 'the ability to influence and coax with fair words and soft speech without giving offense'.
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