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Listening Drill 第13回

Reading Drill No.13

  The word blarney comes from the Blarnery Stone, a legendary block of bluestone built into the wall of Blarney Castle, in southern Ireland.  The stone is said to give the power of eloquence―the ability to speak persuasively―to anyone who kisses it.  Indeed, one Irishman associated with the stone and particularly known for his eloquence was Cormac Teige MacCarthy, Lord of Blarney Castle when ElizabethⅠwas Queen of England.  According to one story, in 1602 Sir George Carew, the Queen’s representative in Ireland, demanded that MacCarthy surrender his castle and lands to the English army as a sign of his loyalty to the Queen.  Many times MacCarthy said he would be delighted to do so while swearing his undying devotion to the Queen, but something always happened at the last moment to prevent his surrender.  His excuses became so frequent, but always sounding so sincere and believable, that Carew was unable to counter MacCarthy’s “fair words and soft speech.”  Once, when MacCarthy’s latest excuses were reported to the Queen, she is said to have exclaimed, “Oh, more Blarney talk!”  This seems to be the first use of the word, as we use it today, to describe such charmingly misleading talk.

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