Part 3 out of 6
puts the Englishman in a fine point of view--a generous fellow, sharing
his supper with his enemy whose sword may be through his body in the next
"But the Frenchman was generous to him first," remarked the Squire.
"Certainly--I admit it," said Randal. "In short, they were both fine
"Oh, sir," said Father Phil, "the French are not deficient in a chivalrous
spirit. I heard once a very pretty little bit of anecdote about the way
they behaved to one of our regiments on a retreat in Spain."
"_Your_ regiments!" said Moriarty, who was rather fond of hitting
hard at a priest when he could; "a regiment of friars is it?"
"No, captain, but of soldiers; and it's going through a river they were,
and the French, taking advantage of their helpless condition, were
peppering away at them hard and fast."
"Very generous indeed!" said Moriarty, laughing.
"Let me finish my story, captain, before you quiz it. I say they were
peppering them sorely while they were crossing the river, until some
women--the followers of the camp--ran down (poor creatures) to the shore,
and the stream was so deep in the middle they could scarcely ford it; so
some dragoons who were galloping as hard as they could out of the fire
pulled up on seeing the condition of the women-kind, and each horseman
took up a woman behind him, though it diminished his own power of speeding
from the danger. The moment the French saw this act of manly courtesy,
they ceased firing, gave the dragoons a cheer, and as long as the women
were within gunshot, not a trigger was pulled in the French line, but
volleys of cheers instead of ball-cartridge was sent after the brigade
till all the women were over. Now wasn't that generous?"
"'T was a handsome thing!" was the universal remark.
"And 'faith I can tell you, Captain Moriarty, the army took advantage of
it; for there was a great struggle to have the pleasure of the ladies'
company over the river."
"I dare say, Father Phil," said the Squire, laughing.
"Throth, Squire," said the _padre_, "fond of the girls as the
soldiers have the reputation of being, they never liked them better than
that same day."
"Yes, yes," said Moriarty, a little piqued, for he rather affected the
"I see you mean to insinuate that we soldiers fear fire."
"I did not say 'fear,' captain--but they'd like to get out of it, for all
that, and small blame to them--aren't they flesh and blood like
"Not a bit like you," said Moriarty. "You sleek and smooth gentlemen who
live in luxurious peace know little of a soldier's danger or feelings."
"Captain, we all have our dangers to go through; and may be a priest has
as many as a soldier; and we only show a difference of taste, after all,
in the selection."
"Well, Father Blake, all I know is, that a true soldier fears nothing!"
said Moriarty with energy.
"Maybe so," answered Father Phil, quietly. "It is quite clear, however,"
said Murphy, "that war, with all its horrors, can call out occasionally
the finer feelings of our natures; but it is only such redeeming traits as
those we have heard which can reconcile us to it. I remember having heard
an incident of war, myself, which affected me much," said Murphy, who
caught the infection of military anecdote which circled the table; and
indeed there is no more catching theme can be started among men, for it
may be remarked that whenever it is broached it flows on until it is
rather more than time to go to the ladies.
"It was in the earlier portion of the memorable day of Waterloo," said
Murphy, "that a young officer of the Guards received a wound which brought
him to the ground. His companions rushed on to seize some point which
their desperate valour was called on to carry, and he was left, utterly
unable to rise, for the wound was in his foot. He lay for some hours with
the thunder of that terrible day ringing around him, and many a rush of
horse and foot had passed close beside him. Towards the close of the day
he saw one of the Black Brunswick dragoons approaching, who drew rein as
his eye caught the young Guardsman, pale and almost fainting, on the
ground. He alighted, and finding he was not mortally wounded, assisted him
to rise, lifted him into his saddle, and helped to support him there while
he walked beside him to the English rear. The Brunswicker was an old man;
his brow and moustache were grey; despair was in his sunken eye, and from
time to time he looked up with an expression of the deepest yearning into
the face of the young soldier, who saw big tears rolling down the
veteran's cheek while he gazed upon him. 'You seem in bitter sorrow, my
kind friend,' said the stripling. 'No wonder,' answered the old man, with
a hollow groan. 'I and my three boys were in the same regiment--they were
alive the morning of Ligny--I am childless to-day. But I have revenged
them!' he said fiercely, and as he spoke he held out his sword, which
was literally red with blood. 'But, oh! that will not bring me back
my boys!' he exclaimed, relapsing into his sorrow. 'My three gallant
boys!'--and again he wept bitterly, till clearing his eyes from the tears,
and looking up in the young soldier's handsome face, he said tenderly,
'You are like my youngest one, and I could not let you lie on the field.'"
Even the rollicking Murphy's eyes were moist as he recited this anecdote;
and as for Father Phil, he was quite melted, ejaculating in an under tone,
"Oh, my poor fellow! my poor fellow!"
"So there," said Murphy, "is an example of a man, with revenge in his
heart, and his right arm tired with slaughter, suddenly melted into
gentleness by a resemblance to his child."
"'T is very touching, but very sad," said the Squire.
"My dear sir," said the doctor, with his peculiar dryness, "sadness is the
principal fruit which warfare must ever produce. You may talk of glory as
long as you like, but you cannot have your laurel without your cypress,
and though you may select certain bits of sentiment out of a mass of
horrors, if you allow me, I will give you one little story which shan't
keep you long, and will serve as a commentary upon war and glory in
"At the peace of 1803, I happened to be travelling through a town in
France where a certain count I knew resided. I waited upon him, and
he received me most cordially, and invited me to dinner. I made the
excuse that I was only _en route_, and supplied with but traveling
costume, and therefore not fit to present myself amongst the guests
of such a house as his. He assured me I should only meet his own
family, and pledged himself for Madame la Comtesse being willing
to waive the ceremony of a _grande toilette_. I went to the
house at the appointed hour, and as I passed through the hall I cast
a glance at the dining-room and saw a very long table laid. On arriving
at the reception-room, I taxed the count with having broken faith
with me, and was about making my excuses to the countess when she assured
me the count had dealt honestly by me, for that I was the only guest to
join the family party. Well, we sat down to dinner, three-and-twenty
persons; myself, the count and countess, and their _twenty children!_
and a more lovely family I never saw; he a man in the vigour of life, she
a still attractive woman, and these their offspring lining the table,
where the happy eyes of father and mother glanced with pride and affection
from one side to the other on these future staffs of their old age. Well,
the peace of Amiens was of short duration, and I saw no more of the count
till Napoleon's abdication. Then I visited France again, and saw my old
friend. But it was a sad sight, sir, in that same house, where, little
more than ten years before, I had seen the bloom and beauty of twenty
children, to sit down with _three_--all he had left him. His sons had
fallen in battle--his daughters had died widowed, leaving but orphans. And
thus it was all over France. While the public voice shouted 'Glory!'
wailing was in her homes. Her temple of victory was filled with trophies,
but her hearths were made desolate."
"Still, sir, a true soldier fears nothing," repeated Moriarty.
"_Baithershin,_" said Father Phil. "'Faith I have been in places of
danger you'd be glad to get out of, I can tell you, as bould as you are,
"You'll pardon me for doubting you, Father Blake," said Moriarty, rather
"'Faith then you wouldn't like to be where I was before I came here; that
is, in a mud cabin, where I was giving the last rites to six people dying
in the typhus fever."
"Typhus!" exclaimed Moriarty, growing pale, and instinctively withdrawing
his chair as far as he could from the _padre_ beside whom he sat.
"Ay, typhus, sir; most inveterate typhus."
"Gracious Heaven!" said Moriarty, rising, "how can you do such a dreadful
thing as run the risk of bearing infection into society?"
"I thought soldiers were not afraid of anything," said Father Phil,
laughing at him; and the rest of the party joined in the merriment.
"Fairly hit, Moriarty," said Dick.
"Nonsense," said Moriarty; "when I spoke of danger, I meant such open
danger as--in short, not such insidious lurking abomination as infection;
for I contend that--"
"Say no more, Randal," said Growling, "you're done!--Father Phil has
"I deny it," said Moriarty, warmly; but the more he denied it, the more
every one laughed at him.
"You're more frightened than hurt, Moriarty," said the Squire; "for the
best of the joke is, Father Phil wasn't in contact with typhus at all, but
was riding with me--and 'tis but a joke."
Here they all roared at Moriarty, who was excessively angry, but felt
himself in such a ridiculous position that he could not quarrel with
"Pardon me, my dear captain," said the Father; "I only wanted to show you
that a poor priest has to run the risk of his life just as much as the
boldest soldier of them all. But don't you think, Squire, 't is time to
join the ladies? I'm sure the tay will be tired waiting for us."
Mrs. Egan was engaged in some needlework, and Fanny turning over the
leaves of a music-book, and occasionally humming some bars of her
favourite songs, as the gentlemen came into the drawing-room. Fanny rose
from the pianoforte as they entered.
"Oh, Miss Dawson," exclaimed Moriarty, "why tantalise us so much as to let
us see you seated in that place where you can render so much delight, only
to leave it as we enter?"
Fanny turned off the captain's flourishing speech with a few lively words
and a smile, and took her seat at the tea-table to do the honours. "The
captain," said Father Phil to the doctor, "is equally great in love or
"And knows about as little of one as the other," said the doctor. "His
attacks are too open."
"And therefore easily foiled," said Father Phil; "How that pretty
creature, with the turn of a word and a curl of her lip, upset him that
time! Oh! what a powerful thing a woman's smile is, doctor? I often
congratulate myself that my calling puts all such mundane follies and
attractions out of my way, when I see and know what fools wise men are
sometimes made by silly girls. Oh, it is fearful, doctor; though, of
course, part of the mysterious dispensation of an all-wise Providence."
"That fools should have the mastery, is it?" inquired the doctor, drily,
with a mischievous query in his eye as well. "Tut, tut, tut, doctor,"
replied Father Phil, impatiently; "you know well enough what I mean, and I
won't allow you to engage me in one of your ingenious battles of words. I
speak of that wonderful influence of the weaker sex over the stronger, and
how the word of a rosy lip outweighs sometimes the resolves of a furrowed
brow; and how the--pooh! pooh! I'm making a fool of myself talking to
you--but to make a long story short, I would rather _wrastle_ out a
logical dispute any day, or a tough argument of one of the fathers, than
refute some absurdity which fell from a pretty mouth with a smile on it."
"Oh, I quite agree with you," said the doctor, grinning, "that the fathers
are not half such dangerous customers as the daughters."
"Ah, go along with you, doctor!" said Father Phil, with a good-humoured
laugh. "I see you are in one of your mischievous moods, and so I'll have
nothing more to say to you."
The Father turned away to join the Squire, while the doctor took a seat
near Fanny Dawson and enjoyed a quiet little bit of conversation with her,
while Moriarty was turning over the leaves of her album; but the brow of
the captain, who affected a taste in poetry, became knit, and his lip
assumed a contemptuous curl, as he perused some lines, and asked Fanny
whose was the composition.
"I forget," was Fanny's answer.
"I don't wonder," said Moriarty; "the author is not worth remembering, for
they are very rough."
Fanny did not seem pleased with the criticism, and said that, when sung to
the measure of the air written down on the opposite page, they were very
"But the principal phrase, the _'refrain'_ I may say, is so vulgar,"
added Moriarty, returning to the charge. "The gentleman says, 'What would
you do?' and the lady answers, 'That's what I'd do.' Do you call that
"I don't call _that_ poetry," said Fanny, with some emphasis on the
word; "but if you connect those two phrases with what is intermediately
written, and read all in the spirit of the entire of the verses, I think
there is poetry in them--but if not poetry, certainly feeling."
"Can you tolerate '_That's what I'd do'?_--the pert answer of a
"A phrase in itself homely," answered Fanny, "may become elevated by the
use to which it is applied."
"Quite true, Miss Dawson," said the doctor, joining in the discussion.
"But what are these lines which excite Randal's ire?"
"Here they are," said Moriarty. "I will read them, if you allow me, and
then judge between Miss Dawson and me.
'What will you do, love, when I am going,
With white sail flowing,
The seas beyond?
What will you do, love, when--'"
"Stop thief!--stop thief!" cried the doctor. "Why, you are robbing the
poet of his reputation as fast as you can. You don't attend to the rhythm
of those lines--you don't give the ringing of the verse."
"That's just what I have said in other words," said Fanny. "When sung to
the melody, they are smooth."
"But a good reader, Miss Dawson," said the doctor, "will read verse with
the proper accent, just as a musician would divide it into bars; but my
friend Randal there, although he can tell a good story and hit off prose
very well, has no more notion of rhythm or poetry than new beer has of a
"And why, pray, has not new beer a notion of a holiday?"
"Because, sir, it works of a Sunday."
"Your _beer_ may be new, doctor, but your _joke_ is not--I have
seen it before in some old form."
"Well, sir, if I found it in its old form, like a hare, and started it
fresh, it may do for folks to run after as well as anything else. But you
shan't escape your misdemeanour in mauling those verses as you have done,
by finding fault with my joke _redevivus._ You read those lines, sir,
like a bellman, without any attention to metre."
"To be sure," said Father Phil, who had been listening for some time;
"they have a ring in them--"
"Like a pig's nose," said the doctor.
"Ah, be aisy," said Father Phil. "I say they have a ring in them like an
owld Latin canticle--
'What _will_ you _do,_ love, when I am _go_-ing,
With white sail _flow_-ing,
The says be_yond?_'
"To be sure," said the doctor. "I vote for the Father's reading them out
on the spot."
"Pray, do, Mister Blake," said Fanny.
"Ah, Miss Dawson, what have I to do with reading love verses?"
"Take the book, sir," said Growling, "and show me you have some faith in
your own sayings, by obeying a lady directly."
"Pooh! pooh!" said the priest.
"You _won't_ refuse me?" said Fanny, in a coaxing tone.
"My dear Miss Dawson," said the _padre._
"_Father Phil!_" said Fanny, with one of her rosy smiles.
"Oh, wow! wow! wow!" ejaculated the priest, in an amusing embarrassment,
"I see you will make me do whatever you like." So Father Phil gave the
rare example of a man acting up to his own theory, and could not resist
the demand that came from a pretty mouth. He took the book and read the
lines with much feeling, but, with an observance of rhythm so grotesque,
that it must be given in his own manner.
WHAT WILL YOU DO, LOVE?
"What _will_ you _do_, love, when I am _go_-ing,
With white sail _flow_-ing,
The seas be-_yond?_
What _will_ you _do_, love, when waves di-_vide_ us,
And friends may chide us,
For being _fond_?"
"Though waves di-_vide_ us, and friends be _chi_-ding,
In faith a-_bi_-ding,
I'll still be true;
And I'll pray for _thee_ on the stormy _o_-cean,
In deep de-_vo_-tion,--
That's _what_ I'll do!"
"What _would_ you _do_, love, if distant _ti_-dings
Thy fond con-_fi_-dings
And I a-_bi_-ding 'neath sultry _skies_,
Should think other _eyes_
Were as bright as _thine_?"
"Oh, name it _not_; though guilt and _shame_
Were on thy _name_,
I'd still be _true_;
But that heart of _thine_, should another _share_ it,
I could not _bear it_;--
What _would_ I do?"
"What _would_ you do, when, home re-_turn_-ing,
With hopes high _burn_-ing,
With wealth for _you_,--
If my _bark_, that _bound_-ed o'er foreign _foam_,
Should be lost near _home_,--
Ah, what _would_ you do?"
"So them wert _spar_-d, I'd bless the _mor_-row,
In want and _sor_-row,
That left me _you_;
And I'd welcome _thee_ from the wasting _bil_-low,
My heart thy _pil_-low!--
THAT'S _what_ I'd do!"
[Footnote: NOTE TO THE THIRD EDITION.--The foregoing dialogue and
Moriarty's captious remarks were meant, when, they appeared in the first
edition, as a hit at a certain small critic--a would-be song-writer--who
does ill-natured articles for the Reviews, and expressed himself very
contemptuously of my songs because of their simplicity; or, as he was
pleased to phrase it, "I had a knack of putting common things together."
The song was written to illustrate my belief that the most common-place
expression, _appropriately applied_, may successfully serve the
purposes of the lyric; and here experience has proved me right, for this
very song of "What will you do?" (containing within it the other common-
place, "That's what I'd do") has been received with special favour by the
public, whose long-continued goodwill towards my compositions generally I
"Well done, _padre!_" said the doctor; "with good emphasis and
"And now, my dear Miss Dawson," said Father Phil, "since I've read the
lines at your high bidding, will you sing them for me at my humble
"Very antithetically put, indeed," said Fanny; "but you must excuse me."
"You said there was a tune to it?"
"Yes; but I promised Captain Moriarty to sing him _this_," said Fanny,
going over to the pianoforte, and laying her hand on an open music-book.
"Thanks, Miss Dawson," said Moriarty, following fast.
Now, it was not that Fanny Dawson liked the captain that she was going to
sing the song; but she thought he had been rather "_mobbed_" by the
doctor and the _padre_ about the reading of the verses, and it was
her good breeding which made her pay this little attention to the worsted
party. She poured forth her sweet voice in a simple melody to the
SAY NOT MY HEART IS COLD
"Say not my heart is cold,
Because of a silent tongue!
The lute of faultless mould
In silence oft hath hung.
The fountain soonest spent
Doth babble down the steep;
But the stream that _ever_ went
Is silent, strong, and deep.
"The charm of a secret life
Is given to choicest things:--
Of flowers, the fragrance rife
Is wafted on viewless wings;
We see not the charmed air
Bearing some witching sound;
And ocean deep is where
The pearl of price is found.
"Where are the stars by day?
They burn, though all unseen!
And love of purest ray
Is like the stars, I ween:
Unmark'd is the gentle light
When the sunshine of joy appears,
But ever, in sorrow's night,
'T will glitter upon thy tears!"
"Well, Randal, does that poem satisfy your critical taste?--of the singing
there can be but one opinion."
"Yes, I think it pretty," said Moriarty; "but there is one word in the
last verse I object to."
"Which is that?" inquired Growling.
"_Ween_" said the other, "'the stars, I ween,' I object to."
"Don't you see the meaning of that?" inquired the doctor. "I think it is a
very happy allusion."
"I don't see any allusion whatever," said the critic.
"Don't you see the poet alluded to the stars in the _milky_ way, and
says, therefore, 'The stars I _wean_'?"
"Bah! bah! doctor," exclaimed the critical captain; "you are in one of
your quizzing moods to-night, and it is in vain to expect a serious answer
from you." He turned on his heel as he spoke, and went away.
"Moriarty, you know, Miss Dawson, is a man who affects a horror of puns,
and therefore I always punish him with as many as I can," said the doctor,
who was left by Moriarty's sudden pique to the enjoyment of a pleasant
chat with Fanny, and he was sorry when the hour arrived which disturbed it
by the breaking up of the party and the departure of the guests.
When the Widow Rooney was forcibly ejected from the house of Mrs. James
Casey, and found that Andy was not the possessor of that lady's charms,
she posted off to Neck-or-Nothing Hall, to hear the full and true account
of the transaction from Andy himself. On arriving at the old iron gate,
and pulling the loud bell, she was spoken to through the bars by the
savage old janitor and told to "go out o' that." Mrs. Rooney thought fate
was using her hard in decreeing she was to receive denial at every door,
and endeavoured to obtain a parley with the gate-keeper, to which he
seemed no way inclined.
"My name's Rooney, sir?"
"There's plenty bad o' the name," was the civil rejoinder.
"And my son's in Squire O'Grady's sarvice, sir."
"Oh--you're the mother of the beauty we call Handy, eh?"
"Well, he left the sarvice yistherday."
"Is it lost the place?"
"Oh dear! Ah, sir, let me up to the house and spake to his honour, and
maybe he'll take back the boy."
"He doesn't want any more servants at all--for he's dead."
"Is it Squire O'Grady dead?"
"Aye--did you never hear of a dead squire before?"
"What did he die of, sir?"
"Find out," said the sulky brute, walking back into his den.
It was true--the renowned O'Grady was no more. The fever which had set in
from his "broiled bones," which he _would_ have in spite of anybody,
was found difficult of abatement; and the impossibility of keeping him
quiet, and his fits of passion, and consequent fresh supplies of "broiled
bones," rendered the malady unmanageable; and the very day after Andy had
left the house the fever took a bad turn, and in four-and-twenty hours the
stormy O'Grady was at peace.
What a sudden change fell upon the house! All the wedding paraphernalia
which had been brought down lay neglected in the rooms where it had been
the object of the preceding day's admiration. The deep, absorbing, silent
grief of the wife,--the more audible sorrow of the girls,--the subdued
wildness of the reckless boys, as they trod silently past the chamber
where they no longer might dread reproof for their noise,--all this was
less touching than the effect the event had upon the old dowager mother.
While the senses of others were stunned by the blow, hers became awakened
by the shock; all her absurd aberration passed away, and she sat in
intellectual self-possession by the side of her son's death-bed, which she
never left until he was laid in his coffin. He was the first and last of
her sons. She had now none but grandchildren to look upon--the
intermediate generation had passed away, and the gap yawned fearfully
before her. It restored her, for the time, perfectly to her senses; and
she gave the necessary directions on the melancholy occasion, and
superintended all the sad ceremonials befitting the time, with a calm and
dignified resignation which impressed all around her with wonder and
Superadded to the dismay which the death of the head of a family
produces was the terrible fear which existed that O'Grady's body
would be seized for debt--a barbarous practice, which, shame to say,
is still permitted. This fear made great precaution necessary to prevent
persons approaching the house, and accounts for the extra gruffness of the
gate porter. The wild body-guard of the wild chief was on doubly active
duty; and after four-and-twenty hours had passed over the reckless boys,
the interest they took in sharing and directing this watch and ward seemed
to outweigh all sorrowful consideration for the death of their father. As
for Gustavus, the consciousness of being now the master of Neck-or-Nothing
Hall was apparent in a boy not yet fifteen; and not only in himself, but
in the grey-headed retainers about him, this might be seen: there was a
shade more of deference--the boy was merged in "_the young master_."
But we must leave the house of mourning for the present, and follow the
Widow Rooney, who, as she tramped her way homeward, was increasing in
hideousness of visage every hour. Her nose was twice its usual dimensions,
and one eye was perfectly useless in showing her the road. At last,
however, as evening was closing, she reached her cabin, and there was
Andy, arrived before her, and telling Oonah, his cousin, all his
misadventures of the preceding day.
The history was stopped for a while by their mutual explanations and
condolences with Mrs. Rooney, on the "cruel way her poor face was used."
"And who done it all?" said Oonah.
"Who but that born divil, Matty Dwyer--and sure they towld me _you_
were married to her," said she to Andy.
"So I was," said Andy, beginning the account of his misfortunes afresh to
his mother, who from time to time would break in with indiscriminate
maledictions on Andy, as well as his forsworn damsel; and when the
account was ended, she poured out a torrent of abuse upon her unfortunate
forsaken son, which riveted him to the floor in utter amazement.
"I thought I'd get pity here, at all events," said poor Andy; "but instead
o' that it's the worst word and the hardest name in your jaw you have for
"And sarve you right, you dirty cur," said his mother. "I ran off like a
fool when I heerd of your good fortune, and see the condition that baggage
left me in--my teeth knocked in and my eye knocked out, and all for your
foolery, because you couldn't keep what you got."
"Sure, mother, I tell you--"
"Howld your tongue, you _omadhaun!_ And then I go to Squire O'Grady's
to look for you, and there I hear you lost _that_ place, too."
"Faix, it's little loss," said Andy.
"That's all you know about it, you goose; you lose the place just when the
man's dead and you'd have had a shuit o' mournin'. Oh, you are the most
misfortunate divil, Andy Rooney, this day in Ireland--why did I rear you
"Squire O'Grady dead!" said Andy, in surprise and also with regret for his
"Yis--and you've lost the mournin'--augh!"
"Oh, the poor Squire!" said Andy.
"The iligant new clothes!" grumbled Mrs. Rooney. "And then luck tumbles
into your way such as man never had; without a place, or a rap to bless
yourself with, you get a rich man's daughter for your wife, and you let
her slip through your fingers."
"How could I help it?" said Andy.
"Augh!--you bothered the job just the way you do everything," said his
"Sure I was civil-spoken to her."
"Augh!" said his mother.
"And took no liberty."
"And called her Miss."
"Oh, indeed you missed it altogether."
"And said I wasn't desarvin' of her."
"That was thrue--_but you should not have towld her so_. Make a woman
think you're betther than her, and she'll like you."
"And sure, when I endayvoured to make myself agreeable to her----"
"_Endayvoured_!" repeated the old woman contemptuously. "_Endayvoured_,
indeed! Why didn't you _make_ yourself agreeable at once, you poor dirty
goose?--no, but you went sneaking about it--I know as well as if I was
looking at you--you went sneakin' and snivelin' until the girl took a
disgust to you; for there's nothing a woman despises so much as
"Sure, you won't hear my defince," said Andy.
"Oh, indeed you're betther at defince than attack," said his mother.
"Sure, the first little civil'ty I wanted to pay to her, she took up the
three-legged stool to me."
"The divil mend you! And what civil'ty did you offer her?"
"I made a grab at her cap, and I thought she'd have brained me."
Oonah set up such a shout of laughter at Andy's notion of civility to a
girl, that the conversation was stopped for some time, and her aunt
remonstrated with her at her want of common sense; or, as she said, hadn't
she "more decency than to laugh at the poor fool's nonsense?"
"What could I do agen the three-legged stool?" said Andy.
"Where was your _own_ legs, and your own arms, and your own eyes, and
your own tongue?--eh?"
"And sure I tell you it was all ready conthrived, and James Casey was sent
for, and came."
"Yis," said the mother, "but not for a long time, you towld me yourself;
and what were you doing all that time? Sure, supposing you _wor_ only
a new acquaintance, any man worth a day's mate would have discoorsed her
over in the time and made her sinsible he was the best of husbands."
"I tell you she wouldn't let me have her ear at all," said Andy. "Nor her
cap either," said Oonah, laughing.
"And then Jim Casey kem."
"And why did you let him in?"
"It was _she_ let him in, I tell you."
"And why did you let her? He was on the wrong side of the door--that's the
_outside_; and you on the right--that's the _inside_; and it was
_your_ house, and she was _your_ wife, and you were her masther,
and you had the rights of the church, and the rights of the law, and all
the rights on your side; barrin' right rayson--that you never had; and
sure without _that_, what's the use of all the other rights in the
"Sure, hadn't he his friends, _sthrong_, outside?"
"No matther, if the door wasn't opened to them, for _then_ YOU would
have had a stronger friend than any o' them present among them."
"Who?" inquired Andy.
"The _hangman_" answered his mother; "for breaking doors is hanging
matther; and I say the presence of the hangman's always before people when
they have such a job to do, and makes them think twice sometimes before
they smash once; and so you had only to keep one woman's hands quiet."
"Faix, some of them would smash a door as soon as not," said Andy.
"Well, then, you'd have the satisfaction of hanging them," said the
mother, "and that would be some consolation. But even as it is, I'll have
law for it--I will--for the property is yours, any how, though the
girl is gone--and indeed a brazen baggage she is, and is mighty heavy in
the hand. Oh, my poor eye!--it's like a coal of fire--but sure it was
worth the risk living with her for the sake of the purty property. And
sure I was thinkin' what a pleasure it would be living with you, and
tachin' your wife housekeepin', and bringing up the young turkeys and the
childhre--but, och hone, you'll never do a bit o' good, you that got sitch
careful bringin' up, Andy Rooney! Didn't I tache you manners, you dirty
hanginbone blackguard? Didn't I tache you your blessed religion?--may the
divil sweep you! Did I ever prevent you from sharing the lavings of the
pratees with the pig?--and didn't you often clane out the pot with him?
and you're no good afther all. I've turned my honest penny by the pig, but
I'll never make my money of _you_, Andy Rooney!"
There was some minutes' silence after this eloquent outbreak of Andy's
mother, which was broken at last by Andy uttering a long sigh and an
"Och? it's a fine thing to be a gintleman," said Andy.
"Cock you up!" said his mother. "Maybe it's a gintleman you want to be;
what puts that in your head, you _omadhaun_?"
"Why, because a gintleman has no hardships, compared with one of uz. Sure,
if a gintleman was married, his wife wouldn't be tuk off from him the way
"Not so soon, maybe," said the mother, drily.
"And if a gintleman brakes a horse's heart, he's only a '_bowld
rider_,' while a poor sarvant is a 'careless blackguard' for only
taking a sweat out of him. If a gintleman dhrinks till he can't see a hole
in a laddher, he's only '_feesh_--but '_dhrunk_' is the word for
a poor man. And if a gintleman kicks up a row, he's a 'fine sperited
fellow,' while a poor man is a 'disordherly vagabone' for the same;
and the Justice axes the one to dinner and sends th' other to jail.
Oh, faix, the law is a dainty lady; she takes people by the hand who can
afford to wear gloves, but people with brown fists must keep their
"I often remark," said his mother, "that fools spake mighty sinsible
betimes; but their wisdom all goes with their gab. Why didn't you take a
betther grip of your luck when you had it? You're wishing you wor a
gintleman, and yet when you had the best part of a gintleman (the
property, I mane) put into your way, you let it slip through your fingers;
and afther lettin' a fellow take a rich wife from you and turn you out of
your own house, you sit down on a stool there, and begin to _wish_
indeed!--you sneakin' fool--wish, indeed! Och! if you wish with one hand,
and wash with th' other, which will be clane first--eh?"
"What could I do agen eight?" asked Andy.
"Why did you let them in, I say again?" said the mother, quickly.
"Sure the blame wasn't with me," said Andy, "but with--"
"Whisht, whisht, you goose!" said his mother. "Av course you'll blame
every one and everything but yourself--'_The losing horse blames the
"Well, maybe it's all for the best," said Andy, "afther all."
"Augh, howld your tongue!"
"And if it _wasn't_ to be, how could it be?"
"Listen to him!"
"And Providence is over us all."
"Oh! yis!" said the mother. "When fools make mistakes they lay the
blame on Providence. How have you the impidence to talk o' Providence
in that manner? _I'll_ tell you where the Providence was. Providence
sent you to Jack Dwyer's, and kep Jim Casey away, and put the anger
into owld Jack's heart--that's what the Providence did!--and made
the opening for you to spake up, and gave you a wife--a wife with
_property!_ Ah, there's where the Providence was!--and you were
the masther of a snug house--that was Providence! And wouldn't myself
have been the one to be helping you in the farm--rearing the powlts,
milkin' the cow, makin' the iligant butther, with lavings of butthermilk
for the pigs--the sow thriving, and the cocks and hens cheering your
heart with their cacklin'--the hank o' yarn on the wheel, and a hank
of ingins up the chimbley--oh! there's where the Providence would
have been--that _would have been Providence indeed!_--but never
tell me that Providence turned you out of the house; _that_ was your
"Can't he take the law o' them, aunt?" inquired Oonah.
"To be sure he can--and shall, too," said the mother. "I'll be off to
'torney Murphy to-morrow; I'll pursue her for my eye, and Andy for the
property, and I'll put them all in Chancery, the villains!"
"It's Newgate they ought to be put in," said Andy.
"Tut, you fool, Chancery is worse than Newgate: for people sometimes get
out of Newgate, but they never get out of Chancery, I hear."
As Mrs. Rooney spoke, the latch of the door was raised, and a miserably
clad woman entered, closed the door immediately after her, and placed the
bar against it. The action attracted the attention of all the inmates of
the house, for the doors of the peasantry are universally "left on the
latch," and never secured against intrusion until the family go to bed.
"God save all here!" said the woman, as she approached the fire.
"Oh, is that you, ragged Nance?" said Mrs. Rooney; for that was the
unenviable but descriptive title the new-comer was known by: and though
she knew it for her _soubriquet_, yet she also knew Mrs. Rooney
would not call her by it if she were not in an ill temper, so she
began humbly to explain the cause of her visit, when Mrs. Rooney broke in
"Oh, you always make out a good rayson for coming; but we have nothing for
"Throth, you do me wrong," said the beggar, "if you think I came
_shooling._ [Footnote: Going on chance here and there, to pick up
what one can.] It's only to keep harm from the innocent girl here."
"Arrah, what harm would happen her, woman?" returned the widow, savagely,
rendered more morose by the humble bearing of her against whom she
directed her severity; as if she got more angry the less the poor creature
would give her cause to justify her harshness. "Isn't she undher my roof
"But how long may she be left there?" asked the woman, significantly.
"What do you mane, woman?"
"I mane there's a plan to carry her off from you to-night."
Oonah grew pale with true terror, and the widow screeched, after the more
approved manner of elderly ladies making believe they are very much
shocked, till Nance reminded her that crying would do no good, and that it
was requisite to make some preparation against the approaching danger.
Various plans were hastily suggested, and as hastily relinquished, till
Nance advised a measure which was deemed the best. It was to dress Andy in
female attire and let him be carried off in place of the girl. Andy roared
with laughter at the notion of being made a girl of, and said the trick
would instantly be seen through.
"Not if you act your part well; just keep down the giggle, jewel, and put
on a moderate _phillelew,_ and do the thing nice and steady, and
you'll be the saving of your cousin here."
"_You_ may deceive them with the dhress; and _I_ may do
a bit of a small _shilloo,_ like a _colleen_ in disthress,
and that's all very well," said Andy, "as far as seeing and hearing goes;
but when they come to grip me, sure they'll find out in a minute."
"We'll stuff you out well with rags and sthraw, and they'll never know the
differ--besides, remember, the fellow that wants a girl never comes for
her himself, [Footnote: This is mostly the case.] but sends his friends
for her, and they won't know the differ--besides, they're all dhrunk."
"How do you know?"
"Because they're always dhrunk--that same crew; and if they're not dhrunk
to-night, it's the first time in their lives they ever were sober. So make
haste, now, and put off your coat, till we make a purty young colleen out
It occurred now to the widow that it was a service of great danger Andy
was called on to perform; and with all her abuse of "_omadhaun_" she
did not like the notion of putting him in the way of losing his life,
"They'll murdher the boy, maybe, when they find out the chate," said the
"Not a bit," said Nance.
"And suppose they did," said Andy, "I'd rather die, sure, than the
disgrace should fall upon Oonah, there."
"God bless you, Andy dear!" said Oonah. "Sure, you have the kind heart,
anyhow; but I wouldn't for the world hurt or harm should come to you on my
"Oh, don't be afeard!" said Andy, cheerily; "divil a hair I value all they
can do; so dhress me up at once."
After some more objections on the part of his mother, which Andy
overruled, the women all joined in making up Andy into as tempting an
imitation of feminality as they could contrive; but to bestow the
roundness of outline on the angular form of Andy was no easy matter,
and required more rags than the house afforded, so some straw was
indispensable, which the pig's bed only could supply. In the midst of
their fears, the women could not help laughing as they effected some
likeness to their own forms, with their stuffing and padding; but to carry
off the width of Andy's shoulders required a very ample and voluptuous
outline indeed, and Andy could not help wishing the straw was a little
sweeter which they were packing under his nose. At last, however, after
soaping down his straggling hair on his forehead, and tying a bonnet upon
his head to shade his face as much as possible, the disguise was
completed, and the next move was to put Oonah in a place of safety.
"Get upon the hurdle in the corner, under the thatch," said Nance.
"Oh, I'd be afeard o' my life to stay in the house at all."
"You'd be safe enough, I tell you," said Nance; "for once they see that
fine young woman there," pointing to Andy, and laughing, "they'll be
satisfied with the lob we've made for them."
Oonah still expressed her fear of remaining in the cabin.
"Then hide in the pratee-trench, behind the house."
"That's better," said Oonah.
"And now I must be going," said Nance; "for they must not see me when they
"Oh, don't leave me, Nance dear," cried Oonah, "for I'm sure I'll faint
with the fright when I hear them coming, if some one is not with me."
Nance yielded to Oonah's fears and entreaties, and with many a blessing
and boundless thanks for the beggar-woman's kindness, Oonah led the way to
the little potato garden at the back of the house, and there the women
squatted themselves in one of the trenches and awaited the impending
[Illustration: The Abduction]
It was not long in arriving. The tramp of approaching horses at a sharp
pace rang through the stillness of the night, and the women, crouching
flat beneath the overspreading branches of the potato tops, lay breathless
in the bottom of the trench, as the riders came up to the widow's cottage
and entered. There they found the widow and her pseudo niece sitting at
the fire; and three drunken vagabonds, for the fourth was holding the
horses outside, cut some fantastic capers round the cabin, and making a
mock obeisance to the widow, the spokesman addressed her with--
"Your sarvant, ma'am!"
"Who are yiz at all, gintleman, that comes to my place at this time o'
night, and what's your business?"
"We want the loan o' that young woman there, ma'am," said the ruffian.
Andy and his mother both uttered small squalls.
"And as for who we are, ma'am, we're the blessed society of Saint Joseph,
ma'am--our coat of arms is two heads upon one pillow, and our motty,
'Who's afraid?--Hurroo!'" shouted the savage, and he twirled his stick and
cut another caper. Then coming up to Andy, he addressed him as "young
woman," and said there was a fine strapping fellow whose heart was
breaking till he "rowled her in his arms."
Andy and the mother both acted their parts very well. He rushed to the
arms of the old woman for protection, and screeched small, while the widow
shouted "_millia murther!_" at the top of her voice, and did not give
up her hold of the make-believe young woman until her cap was torn half
off, and her hair streamed about her face. She called on all the saints in
the calendar, as she knelt in the middle of the floor and rocked to and
fro, with her clasped hands raised to heaven, calling down curses on the
"villains and robbers" that were tearing her child from her, while they
threatened to stop her breath altogether if she did not make less noise,
and in the midst of the uproar dragged off Andy, whose struggles
and despair might have excited the suspicion of soberer men. They
lifted him up on a stout horse, in front of the most powerful man
of the party, who gripped Andy hard round the middle and pushed his
horse to a hand gallop, followed by the rest of the party. The proximity
of Andy to his _cavaliero_ made the latter sensible to the bad
odour of the pig's bed, which formed Andy's luxurious bust and bustle;
but he attributed the unsavoury scent to a bad breath on the lady's
part, and would sometimes address his charge thus:--
"Young woman, if you plaze, would you turn your face th' other way;" then
in a side soliloquy, "By Jaker, I wondher at Jack's taste--she's a fine
lump of a girl, but her breath is murther intirely--phew--young woman,
turn away your face, or by this and that I'll fall off the horse. I've
heerd of a bad breath that might knock a man down, but I never met it till
now. Oh, murther! it's worse it's growin'--I suppose 't is the bumpin'
she's gettin' that shakes the breath out of her sthrong--oh, there it is
It was as well, perhaps, for the prosecution of the deceit, that the
distaste the fellow conceived for his charge prevented any closer
approaches to Andy's visage, which might have dispelled the illusion under
which he still pushed forward to the hills and bumped poor Andy towards
the termination of his ride. Keeping a sharp look-out as he went along,
Andy soon was able to perceive they were making for that wild part of the
hills where he had discovered the private still on the night of his
temporary fright and imaginary rencontre with the giants, and the
conversation he partly overheard all recurred to him, and he saw at once
that Oonah was the person alluded to, whose name he could not catch, a
circumstance that cost him many a conjecture in the interim. This gave him
a clue to the persons into whose power he was about to fall, after having
so far defeated their scheme, and he saw he should have to deal with very
desperate and lawless parties. Remembering, moreover, the herculean frame
of the inamorato, he calculated on an awful thrashing as the smallest
penalty he should have to pay for deceiving him, but was, nevertheless,
determined to go through the adventure with a good heart, to make deceit
serve his turn as long as he might, and at the last, if necessary, to make
the best fight he could.
As it happened, luck favoured Andy in his adventure, for the hero of the
blunderbuss (and he, it will be remembered, was the love-sick gentleman)
drank profusely on the night in question, quaffing deep potations to the
health of his Oonah, wishing luck to his friends and speed to their
horses, and every now and then ascending the ladder from the cave, and
looking out for the approach of the party. On one of these occasions, from
the unsteadiness of the ladder, or himself, or perhaps both, his foot
slipped, and he came to the ground with a heavy fall, in which his head
received so severe a blow that he became insensible, and it was some time
before his sister, who was an inhabitant of this den, could restore him to
consciousness. This she did, however, and the savage recovered all the
senses the whisky had left him; but still the stunning effect of the fall
cooled his courage considerably, and, as it were, "bothered" him so, that
he felt much less of the "gallant gay Lothario" than he had done before
The tramp of horses was heard overhead ere long, and _Shan More_, or
Big John, as the Hercules was called, told Bridget to go up to "the
darlin'," and help her down.
"For that's a blackguard laddher," said he; "it turned undher me like an
eel, bad luck to it!--tell her I'd go up myself, only the ground is
slipping from undher me--and the laddher--"
Bridget went off, leaving Jack growling forth anathemas against the
ground and the ladder, and returned speedily with the mock-lady and
her attendant squires.
"Oh, my jewel!" roared Jack, as he caught sight of his prize. He scrambled
up on his legs, and made a rush at Andy, who imitated a woman's scream and
fright at the expected embrace; but it was with much greater difficulty he
suppressed his laughter at the headlong fall with which Big Jack plunged
his head into a heap of turf, [Footnote: Peat] and hugged a sack of malt
which lay beside it.
Andy endeavoured to overcome the provocation to merriment by screeching;
and as Bridget caught the sound of this tendency towards laughter between
the screams, she thought it was the commencement of a fit of hysterics,
and it accounted all the better for Andy's extravagant antics.
"Oh, the craythur is frightened out of her life!" said Bridget. "Leave her
to me," said she to the men. "There, jewel machree!" she continued to
Andy, soothingly, "don't take on you that way--don't be afeerd, you're
among friends--Jack is only dhrunk dhrinking your health, darlin', but he
adores you." Andy screeched.
"But don't be afeerd, you'll be thrated tender, and he'll marry you,
darlin', like an honest woman!"
"But not to-night, jewel--don't be frightened."
Andy gave a heavy sob at the respite.
"Boys, will you lift Jack out o' the turf, and carry him up into the air?
't will be good for him, and this dacent girl will sleep with me
Andy couldn't resist a laugh at this, and Bridget feared the girl was
going off into hysterics again.
"Aisy, dear--aisy--sure you'll be safe with me."
"Ow! ow! ow!" shouted Andy.
"Oh, murther!" cried Bridget, "the sterricks will be the death of her!
You blackguards, you frightened her coming up here, I'm sure."
The men swore they behaved in the genteelest manner. "Well, take away
Jack, and the girl shall have share of my bed for this night."
Andy shook internally with laughter.
"Dear, dear, how she thrimbles!" cried Bridget, "Don't be so frightful,
_lanna machree_--there, now--they're taking Jack away, and you're
alone with myself and will have a nice sleep."
The men all the time were removing _Shan More_ to upper air; and the
last sounds they heard as they left the cave were the coaxing tones of
Bridget's voice, inviting Andy, in the softest words, to go to bed.
The workshops of Neck-or-Nothing Hall rang with the sounds of occupation
for two days after the demise of its former master. The hoarse grating
sound of the saw, the whistling of the plane, and the stroke of the mallet
denoted the presence of the carpenter; and the sharper clink of a hammer
told of old Fogy, the family "milliner," being at work; but it was not on
millinery Fogy was now employed, though neither was it legitimate tinker's
work. He was scrolling out with his shears, and beating into form, a plate
of tin, to serve for the shield on O'Grady's coffin, which was to record
his name, age, and day of departure; and this was the second plate on
which the old man worked, for one was already finished in the corner. Why
are there two coffin-plates? Enter the carpenter's shop, and you will see
the answer in two coffins the carpenter has nearly completed. But why two
coffins for one death? Listen, reader, to a bit of Irish strategy.
It has been stated that an apprehension was entertained of a seizure of
the inanimate body of O'Grady for the debts it had contracted in life, and
the harpy nature of the money-lender from whom this movement was dreaded
warranted the fear. Had O'Grady been popular, such a measure on the part
of a cruel creditor might have been defied, as the surrounding peasantry
would have risen _en masse_ to prevent it; but the hostile position
in which he had placed himself towards the people alienated the natural
affection they are born with for their chiefs, and any partial defence the
few fierce retainers whom individual interest had attached to him could
have made might have been insufficient; therefore, to save his father's
remains from the pollution (as the son considered) of a bailiff's touch,
Gustavus determined to achieve by stratagem what he could not accomplish
by force, and had two coffins constructed, the one to be filled with
stones and straw, and sent out by the front entrance with all the
demonstration of a real funeral, and be given up to the attack it was
feared would be made upon it while the other, put to its legitimate use,
should be placed on a raft, and floated down the river to an ancient
burial-ground which lay some miles below on the opposite bank. A facility
for this was afforded by a branch of the river running up into the domain,
as it will be remembered; and the scene of the bearish freaks played upon
Furlong was to witness a trick of a more serious nature.
While all these preparations were going forward, the "waking" was kept up
in all the barbarous style of old times; eating and drinking in profusion
went on in the house, and the kitchen of the hall rang with joviality. The
feats of sports and arms of the man who had passed away were lauded, and
his comparative achievements with those of his progenitors gave rise to
many a stirring anecdote; and bursts of barbarous exultation, or more
barbarous merriment, rang in the house of death. There was no lack of
whisky to fire the brains of these revellers, for the standard of the
measurement of family grandeur was, too often, a liquid one in Ireland,
even so recently as the time we speak of; and the dozens of wine wasted
during the life it helped to shorten, and the posthumous gallons consumed
in toasting to the memory of the departed, were among the cherished
remembrances of hereditary honour. "There were two hogsheads of whisky
drank at my father's wake!" was but a moderate boast of a true Irish
squire, fifty years ago.
And now the last night of the wake approached, and the retainers
thronged to honour the obsequies of their departed chief with an
increased enthusiasm, which rose in proportion as the whisky got
low; and songs in praise of their present occupation--that is, getting
drunk--rang merrily round, and the sports of the field and the sorrows and
joys of love resounded; in short, the ruling passions of life figured in
rhyme and music in honour of this occasion of death--and as death is the
maker of widows, a very animated discussion on the subject of widowhood
arose, which afforded great scope for the rustic wits, and was crowned by
the song of "Widow Machree" being universally called for by the company;
and a fine-looking fellow with a merry eye and large white teeth, which he
amply displayed by a wide mouth, poured forth in cheery tones a pretty
lively air which suited well the humorous spirit of the words:--
"Widow _machree_, it's no wonder you frown,
Och hone! widow machree:
'Faith, it ruins your looks, that same dirty black gown,
Och hone! widow machree.
How altered your hair,
With that close cap you wear--
'Tis destroying your hair
Which should be flowing free:
Be no longer a churl
Of its black silken curl,
Och hone! widow machree.
"Widow machree, now the summer is come,
Och hone! widow machree;
When everything smiles, should a beauty look glum!
Och hone! widow machree.
See the birds go in pairs,
And the rabbits and hares--
Why even the bears
Now in couples agree;
And the mute little fish,
Though they can't spake, they wish,
Och hone! widow machree.
"Widow machree, and when winter comes in,
Och hone! widow machree,
To be poking the fire all alone is a sin,
Och hone! widow machree,
Sure the shovel and tongs
To each other belongs,
And the kittle sings songs
Full of family glee,
While alone with your cup,
Like a hermit _you_ sup--
Och hone! widow machree.
"And how do you know, with the comforts I've towld,
Och hone! widow machree,
But you're keeping some poor fellow out in the cowld,
Och hone! widow machree.
With such sins on your head,
Sure your peace would be fled,
Could you sleep in your bed,
Without thinking to see
Some ghost or some sprite,
That would wake you each night,
Crying, 'Och hone! widow machree.'
"Then take my advice, darling widow machree,
Och hone! widow machree,
And with my advice, 'faith I wish you'd take me,
Och hone! widow machree.
You'd have me to desire
Then to sit by the fire;
And sure hope is no liar
In whispering to me
That the ghosts would depart,
When you'd me near your heart,
Och hone! widow machree."
The singer was honoured with a round of applause, and his challenge for
another lay was readily answered, and mirth and music filled the night and
ushered in the dawn of the day which was to witness the melancholy sight
of the master of an ample mansion being made the tenant of the "narrow
In the evening of that day, however, the wail rose loud and long; the
mirth which "the waking" permits had passed away, and the _ulican_,
or funeral cry, told that the lifeless chief was being borne from his
hall. That wild cry was heard even by the party who were waiting to make
their horrid seizure, and for _that_ party the stone-laden coffin was
sent with a retinue of mourners through the old iron gate of the principal
entrance, while the mortal remains were borne by a smaller party to the
river inlet and placed on the raft. Half an hour had witnessed a sham
fight on the part of O'Grady's people with the bailiffs and their
followers, who made the seizure they intended, and locked up their prize
in an old barn to which it had been conveyed, until some engagement on the
part of the heir should liberate it; while the aforesaid heir, as soon as
the shadows of evening had shrouded the river in obscurity, conveyed the
remains, which the myrmidons of the law fancied they possessed, to its
quiet and lonely resting-place. The raft was taken in tow by a boat
carrying two of the boys, and pulled by four lusty retainers of the
departed chief, while Gustavus himself stood on the raft, astride over the
coffin, and with an eel-spear, which had afforded him many a day's sport,
performed the melancholy task of guiding it. It was a strangely painful
yet beautiful sight to behold the graceful figure of the fine boy engaged
in this last sad duty; with dexterous energy he plied his spear, now on
this side and now on that, directing the course of the raft, or clearing
it from the flaggers which interrupted its passage through the narrow
inlet. This duty he had to attend to for some time, even after leaving
the little inlet; for the river was much overgrown with flaggers
at this point, and the increasing darkness made the task more difficult.
In the midst of all this action not one word was spoken, even the sturdy
boatmen were mute, and the fall of the oar in the rowlock, the plash of
the water, and the crushing sound of the yielding rushes as the "watery
bier" made its way through them were the only sounds which broke the
silence. Still Gustavus betrayed no emotion; but by the time they reached
the open stream, and that his personal exertion was no longer required, a
change came over him. It was night,--the measured beat of the oars sounded
like a knell to him--there was darkness above him and death below, and he
sank down upon the coffin, and plunging his face passionately between his
hands, he wept bitterly. Sad were the thoughts that oppressed the brain
and wrung the heart of the high-spirited boy. He felt that his dead father
was _escaping_, as it were, to the grave,--that even death did not
terminate the consequences of an ill-spent life. He felt like a thief in
the night, even in the execution of his own stratagem, and the bitter
thoughts of that sad and solemn time wrought a potent spell over after-
years; that one hour of misery and disgrace influenced the entire of a
On a small hill overhanging the river was the ruin of an ancient early
temple of Christianity, and to its surrounding burial-ground a few of the
retainers had been despatched to prepare a grave. They were engaged in
this task by the light of a torch made of bog-pine, when the flicker of
the flame attracted the eye of a horseman who was riding slowly along the
neighbouring road. Wondering what could be the cause of light in such a
place, he leaped the adjoining fence and rode up to the grave-yard.
"What are you doing here?" he said to the labourers. They paused and
looked up, and the flash of the torch fell upon the features of Edward
O'Connor. "We're finishing your work," said one of the men with malicious
"My work?" repeated Edward.
"Yes," returned the man, more sternly than before--"this is the grave of
The words went like an ice-bolt through Edward's heart, and even by the
torchlight the tormentor could see his victim grew livid.
The fellow who wounded so deeply one so generally beloved as Edward
O'Connor was a thorough ruffian. His answer to Edward's query sprang not
from love of O'Grady, nor abhorrence of taking human life, but from the
opportunity of retort which the occasion offered upon one who had once
checked him in an act of brutality.
Yet Edward O'Connor could not reply--it was a home thrust. The death of
O'Grady had weighed heavily upon him; for though O'Grady's wound had been
given in honourable combat, provoked by his own fury, and not producing
immediate death; though that death had supervened upon the subsequent
intractability of the patient; yet the fact that O'Grady had never been
"up and doing" since the duel tended to give the impression that his wound
was the remote if not the immediate cause of his death, and this
circumstance weighed heavily on Edward's spirits. His friends told him he
felt over keenly upon the subject, and that no one but himself could
entertain a question of _his_ total innocence of O'Grady's death; but
when from the lips of a common peasant he got the answer he did, and
_that_ beside the grave of his adversary, it will not be wondered at
that he reeled in his saddle. A cold shivering sickness came over him, and
to avoid falling he alighted and leaned for support against his horse,
which stooped, when freed from the restraint of the rein, to browse on the
rank verdure; and for a moment Edward envied the unconsciousness of the
animal against which he leaned. He pressed his forehead against the
saddle, and from the depth of a bleeding heart came up an agonised
A gentle hand was laid on his shoulder as he spoke, and, turning round, he
beheld Mr. Bermingham.
"What brings you here?" said the clergyman.
"Accident," answered Edward. "But why should I say accident?--it is by a
higher authority and a better--it is the will of Heaven. It is meant as a
bitter lesson to human pride: we make for ourselves laws of _honour_,
and forget the laws of God!"
"Be calm, my young friend," said the worthy pastor; "I cannot wonder you
feel deeply--but command yourself." He pressed Edward's hand as he spoke
and left him, for he knew that an agony so keen is not benefited by
Mr. Bermingham was there by appointment to perform the burial service, and
he had not left Edward's side many minutes when a long wild whistle from
the waters announced the arrival of the boat and raft, and the retainers
ran down to the river, leaving the pine-torch stuck in the upturned earth,
waving its warm blaze over the cold grave. During the interval which
ensued between the departure of the men and their reappearance, bearing
the body to its last resting-place, Mr. Bermingham spoke with Edward
O'Connor, and soothed him into a more tranquil bearing. When the coffin
came within view he advanced to meet it, and began the sublime burial-
service, which he repeated most impressively. When it was over, the men
commenced filling up the grave. As the clods fell upon the coffin, they
smote the hearts of the dead man's children; yet the boys stood upon the
verge of the grave as long as a vestige of the tenement of their lost
father could be seen; but as soon as the coffin was hidden, they withdrew
from the brink, and the younger boys, each taking hold of the hand of the
eldest, seemed to imply the need of mutual dependence:--as if death
had drawn closer the bond of brotherhood.
There was no sincerer mourner at that place than Edward O'Connor, who
stood aloof, in respect for the feelings of the children of the departed
man, till the grave was quite filled up, and all were about to leave the
spot; but then his feelings overmastered him, and, impelled by a torrent
of contending emotions, he rushed forward, and throwing himself on his
knees before Gustavus, he held up his hands imploringly, and sobbed forth,
The astonished boy drew back.
"Oh, forgive me!" repeated Edward--"I could not help it--it was forced on
As he struggled for utterance, even the rough retainers were touched, and
one of them exclaimed, "Oh, Mr. O'Connor, it was a fair fight!"
"There!" exclaimed Edward--"you hear it! Oh, give me your hand in
"I forgive you," said the boy, "but do not ask me to give you my hand
"You are right" said Edward, springing to his feet--"you are right--you
are a noble fellow; and now, remember my parting words, Gustavus:--Here,
by the side of your father's grave, I pledge you my soul that through life
and till death, in all extremity, Edward O'Connor is your sworn and trusty
While the foregoing scene of sadness took place in the lone churchyard,
unholy watch was kept over the second coffin by the myrmidons of the law.
The usurer who made the seizure had brought down from Dublin three of the
most determined bailiffs from amongst the tribe, and to their care was
committed the keeping of the supposed body in the old barn. Associated
with these worthies were a couple of ill-conditioned country blackguards,
who, for the sake of a bottle of whisky, would keep company with Old Nick
himself, and who expected, moreover, to hear "a power o' news" from the
"gentlemen" from Dublin, who, in their turn did not object to have their
guard strengthened, as their notions of a rescue in the country parts of
Ireland were anything but agreeable. The night was cold, so, clearing away
from one end of the barn the sheaves of corn with which it was stored,
they made a turf fire, stretched themselves on a good shake-down of straw
before the cheering blaze, and circulated among them the whisky, of which
they had a good store. A tap at the door announced a new-comer; but the
Dublin bailiffs, fearing a surprise, hesitated to open to the knock until
their country allies assured them it was a friend whose voice they
recognised. The door was opened, and in walked Larry Hogan, to pick up his
share of what was going, whatever it might be, saying--
"I thought you wor for keeping me out altogether."
"The gintlemin from Dublin was afeard of what they call a riskya"
(rescue), said the peasant, "till I told them 't was a friend."
"Divil a riskya will come near you to-night," said Larry, "you may make
your minds aisy about that, for the people doesn't care enough about
_his_ bones to get their own broke in savin' him, and no wondher.
It's a lantherumswash bully he always was, quiet as he is now. And there
you are, my bold squire," said he, apostrophising the coffin which had
been thrown on a heap of sheaves. "Faix, it's a good kitchen you kep',
anyhow, whenever you had it to spind; and indeed when you _hadn't_
you spint it all the same, for the divil a much you cared how you got it;
but death has made you pay the reckoning at last--that thing that filly-
officers call the debt o' nature must be paid, whatever else you may owe."
"Why, it's as good as a sarmon to hear you," said one of the bailiffs. "O
Larry, sir, discourses iligant," said a peasant.
"Tut, tut, tut," said Larry, with affected modesty: "it's not what
_I_ say, but I can tell you a thing that Docthor Growlin' put out on
him more nor a year ago, which was mighty 'cute. Scholars calls it an
'epithet of dissipation,' which means getting a man's tombstone ready for
him before he dies; and divil a more cutting thing was ever cut on a
tombstone than the doctor's rhyme; this is it--
'Here lies O'Grady, that cantankerous creature,
Who paid, as all must pay, the debt of nature;
But, keeping to his general maxim still,
Paid it--like other debts--against his will.'"
[Footnote: These bitter lines on a "bad pay" were written by a Dublin
medical wit of high repute, of whom Dr. Growling is a prototype.]
"What do _you_ think o' that, Goggins?" inquired one bailiff from the
other; "you're a judge o' po'thry."
"It's _sevare,"_ answered Goggins, authoritatively, "but _coorse,_
I wish you'd brile the rashers; I begin to feel the calls o' nature,
as the poet says."
This Mister Goggins was a character in his way. He had the greatest
longing to be thought a poet, put execrable couplets together sometimes,
and always talked as fine as he could; and his mixture of sentimentality,
with a large stock of blackguardism, produced a strange jumble.
"The people here thought it nate, sir," said Larry.
"Oh, very well for the country!" said Goggins; "but 't wouldn't do for
"Misther Coggings knows best," said the bailiff who first spoke, "for he's
a pote himself, and writes in the newspapers."
"Oh, indeed!" said Larry.
"Yes," said Goggins, "sometimes I throw off little things for the
newspapers. There's a friend of mine you see, a gentleman connected with
the press, who is often in defficulties, and I give him a hint to keep out
o' the way when he's in trouble, and he swears I've a genus for the muses,
and encourages me--"
"Humph!" says Larry.
"And puts my things in the paper, when he gets the editor's back turned,
for the editor is a consaited chap that likes no one's po'thry but his
own; but never mind--if I ever get a writ against that chap, _won't_
I sarve it!"
"And I dar say some day you will have it agen him, sir," said Larry.
"Sure of it, a'most," said Goggins; "them litherary men is always in
"I wondher you'd be like them, then, and write at all," said Larry.
"Oh, as for me, it's only by way of amusement; attached as I am to the
legal profession, my time wouldn't permit; but I have been infected by the
company I kept. The living images that creeps over a man sometimes is
irresistible, and you have no pace till you get them out o' your head."
"Oh, indeed, they are very throublesome," says Larry, "and are the
litherary gintlemen, sir, as you call them, mostly that way?"
"To be sure; it is _that_ which makes a litherary man: his head is
full--teems with creation, sir."
"Dear, dear!" said Larry.
"And when once the itch of litherature comes over a man, nothing can cure
it but the scratching of a pen."
"But if you have not a pen, I suppose you must scratch any other way you
"To be sure," said Goggins, "I have seen a litherary gentleman in a
sponging-house do crack things on the wall with a bit of burnt stick,
rather than be idle--they must execute."
"Ha!" says Larry.
"Sometimes, in all their poverty and difficulty, I envy the 'fatal
fatality,' as the poet says, of such men in catching ideas."
"That's the genteel name for it," says Larry.
"Oh!" exclaimed Goggins, enthusiastically, "I know the satisfaction of
catching a man, but it's nothing at all compared to catching an idea. For
the man, you see, can give hail and get off, but the idea is your own for
ever. And then a rhyme--when it has puzzled you all day, the pleasure you
have in _nabbing_ it at last!"
"Oh, it's po'thry you're spakin' about," said Larry.
"To be sure," said Goggins; "do you think I'd throw away my time on prose?
You're burning that bacon, Tim," said he to his _sub_.
"Poethry, agen the world!" continued he to Larry, "the Castilian sthraime
for me!--Hand us that whisky"--he put the bottle to his mouth and took a
swig--"That's good--you do a bit of private here, I suspect," said he,
with a wink, pointing to the bottle.
Larry returned a significant grin, but said nothing. Oh, don't be afraid
o' me--I would n't'peach--"
"Sure it's agen the law, and you're a gintleman o' the law," said Larry.
"That's no rule," said Goggins: "the Lord Chief Justice always goes to
bed, they say, with six tumblers o' potteen under his belt; and dhrink it
"Arrah, how do you get it?" said Larry.
"From a gentleman, a friend o' mine, in the Custom-house."
"A-dad, that's quare," said Larry, laughing.
"Oh, we see queer things, I tell you," said Goggins, "we gentlemen of the
"To be sure you must," returned Larry; "and mighty improvin' it must be.
Did you ever catch a thief, sir?"
"My good man, you mistake my profession," said Goggins, proudly; "we never
have anything to do in the _criminal_ line, that's much beneath
"I ax your pardon, sir."
"No offence--no offence."
"But it must be mighty improvin', I think, ketching of thieves, and
finding out their thricks and hidin'-places, and the like?"
"Yes, yes," said Goggins, "good fun; though I don't do it, I know all
about it, and could tell queer things too."
"Arrah, maybe you would, sir?" said Larry.
"Maybe I will, after we nibble some rashers--will you take share?"
"Musha, long life to you," said Larry, always willing to get whatever he
could. A repast was now made, more resembling a feast of savages round
their war-fire than any civilised meal; slices of bacon broiled in the
fire, and eggs roasted in the turf-ashes. The viands were not
objectionable; but the cooking! Oh!--there was neither gridiron nor
frying-pan, fork nor spoon; a couple of clasp-knives served the whole
party. Nevertheless, they satisfied their hunger and then sent the
bottle on its exhilarating round. Soon after that, many a story of
burglary, robbery, swindling, petty larceny, and every conceivable crime,
was related for the amusement of the circle; and the plots and
counterplots of thieves and thief-takers raised the wonder of the
peasants. Larry Hogan was especially delighted; more particularly when
some trick of either villany or cunning came out.
"Now women are troublesome cattle to deal with mostly," said Goggins.
"They are remarkably 'cute first, and then they are spiteful after; and
for circumventin' _either_ way are sharp hands. You see they do it
quieter than men; a man will make a noise about it, but a woman does it
all on the sly. There was Bill Morgan--and a sharp fellow he was, too--and
he had set his heart on some silver spoons he used to see down in a
kitchen windy, but the servant-maid, somehow or other, suspected there was
designs about the place, and was on the watch. Well, one night, when she
was all alone, she heard a noise outside the windy, so she kept as quiet
as a mouse. By-and-by the sash was attempted to be riz from the outside,
so she laid hold of a kittle of boiling wather and stood hid behind the
shutter. The windy was now riz a little, and a hand and arm thrust in to
throw up the sash altogether, when the girl poured the boiling wather down
the sleeve of Bill's coat. Bill roared with the pain, when the girl said
to him, laughing, through the windy, 'I _thought_ you came for
"That was a 'cute girl," said Larry, chuckling.
"Well, now, that's an instance of a woman's cleverness in preventing. I'll
teach you one of her determination to discover and prosecute to
conviction; and in this case, what makes it curious is, that Jack Tate had
done the bowldest thing, and run the greatest risks, 'the eminent deadly,'
as the poet says, when he was done up at last by a feather-bed."
"A feather-bed," repeated Larry, wondering how a feather-bed could
influence the fate of a bold burglar, while Goggins mistook his
exclamation of surprise to signify the paltriness of the prize, and
therefore chimed in with him.
"Quite true--no wonder you wonder--quite below a man of his pluck; but the
fact was, a sweetheart of his was longing for a feather-bed, and Jack
determined to get it. Well, he marched into a house, the door of which he
found open, and went up-stairs, and took the best feather-bed in the
house, tied it up in the best quilt, crammed some caps and ribbons he saw
lying about into the bundle, and marched down-stairs again; but you see,
in carrying off even the small thing of a feather-bed, Jack showed the
skill of a high practitioner, for he descendhered the stairs backwards."
"Backwards!" said Larry, "what was that for?"
"You'll see by-and-by," said Goggins; "he descendhered backwards when
suddenly he heard a door opening, and a faymale voice exclaim, 'Where are
you going with that bed?'
"'I am going up-stairs with it, ma'am,' says Jack, whose backward position
favoured his lie, and he began to walk up again.
"'Come down here,' said the lady, 'we want no beds here, man.'
"'Mr. Sullivan, ma'am, sent me home with it himself,' said Jack, still
mounting the stairs.
"'Come down, I tell you,' said the lady, in a great rage. 'There's no Mr.
Sullivan lives here--go out of this with your bed, you stupid fellow.'
"'I beg your pardon, ma'am,' says Jack, turning round, and marching off
with the bed fair and aisy. Well, there was a regular shilloo in the house
when the thing was found out, and cart-ropes wouldn't howld the lady for
the rage she was in at being diddled; so she offered rewards, and the
dickens knows all; and what do you think at last discovered our poor
"The sweetheart, maybe," said Larry, grinning in ecstasy at the thought
of human perfidy.
"No," said Goggins, "honour even among sweethearts, though they do the
trick sometimes, I confess; but no woman of any honour would betray a
great man like Jack. No--'t was one of the paltry ribbons that brought
conviction home to him; the woman never lost sight of hunting up evidence
about her feather-bed, and, in the end, a ribbon out of one of her caps
settled the hash of Jack Tate."
From robbings they went on to tell of murders, and at last that
uncomfortable sensation which people experience after a feast of horrors
began to pervade the party; and whenever they looked round, _there_
was the coffin in the background.
"Throw some turf on the fire," said Goggins, "'t is burning low; and
change the subject; the tragic muse has reigned sufficiently long--enough
of the dagger and the bowl--sink the socks and put on the buckskins.
Leather away, Jim--sing us a song."
"What is it to be?" asked Jim.
"Oh--that last song of the Solicitor-General's," said Goggins, with an air
as if the Solicitor-General were his particular friend.
"About the robbery?" inquired Jim.
"To be sure," returned Goggins.
"Dear me," said Larry, "and would so grate a man as the Solicithor-General
demane himself by writin' about robbers?"
"Oh!" said Goggins, "those in the heavy profession of the law must have
their little private moments of rollickzation; and then high men, you see,
like to do a bit of low by way of variety. 'The Night before Larry was
stretched' was done by a bishop, they say; and 'Lord Altamont's Bull' by
the Lord Chief Justice; and the Solicitor-General is as up to fun as any
bishop of them all. Come, Jim, tip us the stave!"
Jim cleared his throat and obeyed his chief.
THE QUAKER'S MEETING
"A traveller wended the wilds among,
With a purse of gold and a silver tongue;
His hat it was broad, and all drab were his clothes,
For he hated high colours--except on his nose,
And he met with a lady, the story goes.
Heigho! _yea_ thee and _nay_ thee.
"The damsel she cast him a merry blink,
And the traveller nothing was loth, I think;
Her merry black eye beamed her bonnet beneath,
And the quaker, he grinned, for he'd very good teeth,
And he asked, 'Art thee  going to ride on the heath?'
Heigho! _yea_ thee and _nay_ thee.
[Footnote: The inferior class of quakers make THEE serve not only its
own grammatical use, but also do the duty of THY and THINE.]
"'I hope you'll protect me, kind sir,' said the maid,
'As to ride this heath over I'm sadly afraid;
For robbers, they say, here in numbers abound,
And I wouldn't "for anything" I should be found,
For, between you and me, I have five hundred pound.'
Heigho! _yea_ thee and _nay_ thee.
"'If that is thee own, dear,' the quaker he said,
'I ne'er saw a maiden I sooner would wed;
And I have another five hundred just now,
In the padding that's under my saddle-bow,
And I'll settle it all upon thee, I vow!'
Heigho! _yea_ thee and _nay_ thee.
"The maiden she smiled, and her rein she drew,
'Your offer I'll take, though I'll not take you;'
A pistol she held at the quaker's head--
'Now give me your gold, or I'll give you my lead,
'Tis under the saddle I think you said.'
Heigho! _yea_ thee and _nay_ thee.
"The damsel she ripp'd up the saddle-bow,
And the quaker was never a quaker till now;
And he saw by the fair one he wish'd for a bride
His purse borne away with a swaggering stride,
And the eye that looked tender now only defied.
Heigho! _yea_ thee and _nay_ thee.
"'The spirit doth move me, friend Broadbrim,' quoth she,
'To take all this filthy temptation from thee;
For Mammon deceiveth, and beauty is fleeting:
Accept from thy _maai-d'n_ a right loving greeting,
For much doth she profit by this quaker's meeting.
Heigho! _yea_ thee and _nay_ thee.
"'And hark! jolly quaker, so rosy and sly,
Have righteousness more than a wench in thine eye,
Don't go again peeping girls' bonnets beneath,
Remember the one that you met on the heath,
_Her_ name's _Jimmy_ Barlow--I tell to your teeth!'
Heigho! _yea_ thee and _nay_ thee.
"'_Friend_ James,' quoth the quaker, 'pray listen to me,
For thou canst confer a great favour, d' ye see;
The gold thou hast taken is not mine, my friend,
But my master's--and on thee I depend
To make it appear I my trust did defend.
Heigho! _yea_ thee and _nay_ thee.
"'So fire a few shots through my clothes, here and there,
To make it appear 't was a desp'rate affair.'
So Jim he popped first through the skirt of his coat,
And then through his collar quite close to his throat.
'Now once through my broad-brim,' quoth Ephraim, 'I vote.
Heigho! _yea_ thee and _nay_ thee.
"'I have but a brace,' said bold Jim, 'and they 're spent,
And I won't load again for a make-believe rent.'
'Then,' said Ephraim--producing his pistols--'just give
My five hundred pounds back--or, as sure as you live,
I'll make of your body a riddle or sieve.'
Heigho! _yea_ thee and _nay_ thee.
"Jim Barlow was diddled, and though he was game,
He saw Ephraim's pistol so deadly in aim,
That he gave up the gold, and he took to his scrapers;
And when the whole story got into the papers,
They said that '_the thieves were no match for the quakers_.'
Heigho! _yea_ thee and _nay_ thee."
"Well, it's a quare thing you should be singin' a song here," said Larry
Hogan, "about Jim Barlow, and it's not over half a mile out of this very
place he was hanged."
"Indeed!" exclaimed all the men at once, looking with great interest at
"It's truth I'm telling you. He made a very bowld robbery up by the long
hill there, on _two_ gintlemen, for he was mighty stout."
"Pluck to the back-bone," said Goggins.
"Well, he tuk the purses aff both o' them; and just as he was goin' on
afther doin' the same, what should appear on the road before him, but two
other travellers coming up forninst him. With that the men that was robbed
cried out, 'Stop thief!' and so Jim, seein' himself hemmed in betune the
four o' them, faced his horse to the ditch and took across the counthry;
but the thravellers was well mounted as well as himself, and powdhered
afther him like mad. Well, it was equal to a steeple chase a'most;
and Jim, seein' he could not shake them off, thought the best thing
he could do was to cut out some troublesome work for them; so he
led off where he knew there was the divil's own leap to take, and
he intended to 'pound [Footnote: Impound] them there, and be off
in the mane time; but as ill luck would have it, his own horse, that was
as bowld as himself, and would jump at the moon if he was faced to it,
missed his foot in takin' off, and fell short o' the leap and slipped his
shouldher, and Jim himself had a bad fall of it too, and, av coorse, it
was all over wid him--and up came the four gintlemen. Well, Jim had his
pistols yet, and he pulled them out, and swore he'd shoot the first man
that attempted to take him; but the gintlemen had pistols as well as he,
and were so hot on the chase they determined to have him, and closed on
him. Jim fired and killed one o' them; but he got a ball in the shouldher
himself, from another, and he was taken. Jim sthruv to shoot himself with
his second pistol, but it missed fire. 'The curse o' the road is on me,'
said Jim; 'my pistol missed fire, and my horse slipped his shouldher, and
now I'll be scragged,' says he, 'but it's not for nothing--I've killed one
o' ye,' says he."
"He was all pluck," said Goggins.
"Desperate bowld," said Larry. "Well, he was thried and condimned _av
coorse_, and was hanged, as I tell you, half a mile out o' this very
place, where we are sittin', and his appearance walks, they say, ever
"You don't say so!" said Goggins.
"'Faith, it's thrue!" answered Larry.
"You never saw it," said Goggins.
"The Lord forbid!" returned Larry; "but it's thrue, for all that. For you
see the big house near this barn, that is all in ruin, was desarted
because Jim's ghost used to walk."
"That was foolish," said Goggins; "stir up the fire, Jim, and hand me the
"Oh, if it was only walkin', they might have got over that; but at last
one night, as the story goes, when there was a thremendious storm o' wind
"Whisht!" said one of the peasants, "what's that?"
As they listened, they heard the beating of heavy rain against the door,
and the wind howled through its chinks.
"Well," said Goggins, "what are you stopping for?"
"Oh, I'm not stoppin'," said Larry; "I was sayin' that it was a bad wild
night, and Jimmy Barlow's appearance came into the house and asked them
for a glass o' sper'ts, and that he'd be obleeged to them if they'd help
him with his horse that slipped his shouldher; and, 'faith, afther
_that_, they'd stay in the place no longer; and signs on it, the
house is gone to rack and ruin, and it's only this barn that is kept up at
all, because it's convaynient for owld Skinflint on the farm."
"That's all nonsense," said Goggins, who wished, nevertheless, that he had
not heard the "nonsense."
"Come, sing another song, Jim."
Jim said he did not remember one.
"Then you sing, Ralph."
Ralph said every one knew he never did more than join a chorus.
"Then join me in a chorus," said Goggins, "for I'll sing, if Jim's
"I'm not afraid," said Jim.
"Then why won't you sing?"
"Because I don't like."
"Ah!" exclaimed Goggins.
"Well, maybe you're afraid yourself," said Jim, "if you towld thruth."
"Just to show you how little I'm afeard," said Goggins, with a swaggering
air, "I'll sing another song about Jimmy Barlow."
"You'd better not," said Larry Hogan. "Let him rest in pace!"
"Fudge!" said Goggins. "Will you join chorus, Jim?"
"I will," said Jim, fiercely.
"We'll all join," said the men (except Larry), who felt it would be a sort
of relief to bully away the supernatural terror which hung round their
hearts after the ghost story by the sound of their own voices.
"Then here goes!" said Goggins, who started another long ballad about
Jimmy Barlow, in the opening of which all joined. It ran as follows:--
"My name it is Jimmy Barlow,
I was born in the town of Carlow,
And here I lie in the Maryborough jail,
All for the robbing of the Wicklow mail.
Fol de rol de rol de riddle-ido!"
As it would be tiresome to follow this ballad through all its length,
breadth, and thickness, we shall leave the singers engaged in their
chorus, while we call the reader's attention to a more interesting person
than Mister Goggins or Jimmy Barlow.
When Edward O'Connor had hurried from the burial-place, he threw himself
into his saddle, and urged his horse to speed, anxious to fly the spot
where his feelings had been so harrowed; and as he swept along through the
cold night wind which began to rise in gusty fits, and howled past him,
there was in the violence of his rapid motion something congenial to the
fierce career of painful thoughts which chased each other through his
heated brain. He continued to travel at this rapid pace, so absorbed in
bitter reflection as to be quite insensible to external impressions, and
he knew not how far nor how fast he was going, though the heavy breathing
of his horse at any other time would have been signal sufficient to draw
the rein; but still he pressed onward, and still the storm increased, and
each acclivity was topped but to sweep down the succeeding slope at the
same desperate pace. Hitherto the road over which he pursued his fleet
career lay through an open country, and though the shades of a stormy
night hung above it, the horse could make his way in safety through the
gloom; but now they approached an old road which skirted an ancient
domain, whose venerable trees threw their arms across the old causeway,
and added their shadows to the darkness of the night.
Many and many a time had Edward ridden in the soft summer under the green
shade of these very trees, in company with Fanny Dawson, his guiltless
heart full of hope and love; perhaps it was this very thought crossing
his mind at the moment which made his present circumstances the more
oppressive. He was guiltless no longer--he rode not in happiness with
the woman he adored under the soft shade of summer trees, but heard the
wintry wind howl through their leafless boughs as he hurried in maddened
speed beneath them, and heard in the dismal sound but an echo of the voice
of remorse which was ringing through his heart. The darkness was intense
from the canopy of old oaks which overhung the road, but still the horse
was urged through the dark ravine at speed, though one might not see an
arm's length before. Fearlessly it was performed, though ever and anon, as
the trees swung about their heavy branches in the storm, smaller portions
of the boughs were snapped off and flung in the faces of the horse and the
rider, who still spurred and plashed his headlong way through the heavy
road beneath. Emerging at length from the deep and overshadowed valley, a
steep hill raised its crest in advance, but still up the stony acclivity
the feet of the mettled steed rattled rapidly, and flashed fire from the