Part 4 out of 10
was a good and willing _slave_ in his day: I mind him working with
myself in the shrubberies at Clonbrony Castle, when I was a boy--but
I'll not be detaining your honour, now the road's better."
The postilion drove on at a good rate for some time, till he came to
a piece of the road freshly covered with broken stones, where he was
obliged again to go slowly.
They overtook a string of cars, on which were piled up high, beds,
tables, chairs, trunks, boxes, band-boxes.
"How are you, Finnucan? you've fine loading there--from Dublin, are
"And what news?"
"_Great_ news and bad for Old Nick, or some belonging to him, thanks
be to Heaven! for myself hates him."
"What's happened him?"
"His sister's husband that's failed, the great grocer that was, the
man that had the wife that _ow'd_ the fine house near Bray, that
they got that time the parliament _flitted_, and that I seen in her
carriage flaming--well, it's all out; they're all _done up_."
[Footnote 1: Owned.]
"Tut! is that all? then they'll thrive, and set up again grander than
ever, I'll engage: have not they Old Nick for an attorney at their
back? a good warrant?"
"Oh, trust him for that! he won't go _security_, nor pay a farthing,
for his _shister_, nor wouldn't, was she his father; I heard him
telling her so, which I could not have done in his place, at that
time, and she crying as if her heart would break, and I standing by in
"The _neger_! And did he speak that way, and you by?"
[Footnote 1: _Neger_, quasi negro; meo periculo, _niggard_]
"Ay, did he; and said, 'Mrs. Raffarty,' says he, 'it's all your own
fault; you're an extravagant fool, and ever was, and I wash my hands
of you.' that was the word he spoke; and she answered, and said, 'And
mayn't I send the beds and blankets?' said she, 'and what I can, by
the cars, out of the way of the creditors, to Clonbrony Castle? and
won't you let me hide there, from the shame, till the bustle's over?'
'You may do that,' says he, 'for what I care; but remember,' says he,
'that I've the first claim to them goods;' and that's all he would
grant. So they are coming down all o' Monday--them are the band-boxes,
and all--to settle it; and faith it was a pity of her! to hear her
sobbing, and to see her own brother speak and look so hard! and she a
"Sure, she's not a lady born, no more than himself," said Larry; "but
that's no excuse for him. His heart's as hard as that stone," said
Larry; "and my own people knew that long ago, and now his own know it:
and what right have we to complain, since he's as bad to his own flesh
and blood as to us?"
With this consolation, and with a "God speed you," given to the
carman, Larry was driving off; but the carman called to him, and
pointed to a house, at the corner of which, on a high pole, was
swinging an iron sign of three horse-shoes, set in a crooked frame,
and at the window hung an empty bottle, proclaiming whiskey within.
"Well, I don't care if I do," said Larry; "for I've no other comfort
left me in life now. I beg your honour's pardon, sir, for a minute,"
added he, throwing the reins into the carriage to Lord Colambre, as he
leaped down. All remonstrance and power of lungs to reclaim him were
vain! He darted into the whiskey-house with the carman--re-appeared
before Lord Colambre could accomplish getting out, remounted his seat,
and, taking the reins, "I thank your honour," said he; "and I'll bring
you into Clonbrony before it's pitch-dark, though it's nightfall, and
that's four good miles, but 'a spur in the head is worth two in the
Larry, to demonstrate the truth of his favourite axiom, drove off at
such a furious rate over great stones left in the middle of the road
by carmen, who had been driving in the gudgeons of their axletrees to
hinder them from lacing, that Lord Colambre thought life and limb
in imminent danger; and feeling that, at all events, the jolting and
bumping was past endurance, he had recourse to Larry's shoulder, and
shook and pulled, and called to him to go slower, but in vain: at
last the wheel struck full against a heap of stones at a turn of the
road, the wooden linchpin came off, and the chaise was overset: Lord
Colambre was a little bruised, but glad to escape without fractured
[Footnote 1: _Opening_; perhaps, from _lacher_, to loosen.]
"I beg your honour's pardon," said Larry, completely sobered; "I'm as
glad as the best pair of boots ever I see, to see your honour nothing
the worse for it. It was the linchpin, and them barrows of loose
stones, that ought to be fined any way, if there was any justice in
"The pole is broke; how are we to get on?" said Lord Colambre.
"Murder! murder!--and no smith nearer than Clonbrony; nor rope even.
It's a folly to talk, we can't get to Clonbrony, nor stir a step
backward or forward the night."
"What, then, do you mean to leave me all night in the middle of the
road?" cried Lord Colambre, quite exasperated.
"Is it me? plase your honour. I would not use any jantleman so ill,
_barring_ I could do no other," replied the postilion, coolly: then,
leaping across the ditch, or, as he called it, the _gripe_ of the
ditch, he scrambled up, and while he was scrambling, said, "If your
honour will lend me your hand, till I pull you up the back of the
ditch, the horses will stand while we go. I'll find you as pretty
a lodging for the night, with a widow of a brother of my shister's
husband that was, as ever you slept in your life; for Old Nick or St.
Dennis has not found 'em out yet: and your honour will he, no compare,
snugger than at the inn at Clonbrony, which has no roof, the devil a
stick. But where will I get your honour's hand; for it's coming on so
dark, I can't see rightly. There, you're up now safe. Yonder candle's
"Go and ask whether they can give us a night's lodging."
"Is it _ask_? when I see the light!--Sure they'd be proud to give the
traveller all the beds in the house, let alone one. Take care of the
potatoe furrows, that's all, and follow me straight. I'll go on to
meet the dog, who knows me, and might be strange to your honour."
"Kindly welcome," were the first words Lord Colambre heard when he
approached the cottage; and "kindly welcome" was in the sound of the
voice and in the countenance of the old woman who came out, shading
her rush-candle from the wind, and holding it so as to light the path.
When he entered the cottage, he saw a cheerful fire and a neat pretty
young woman making it blaze; she curtsied, put her spinning-wheel out
of the way, set a stool by the fire for the stranger, and repeating,
in a very low tone of voice, "Kindly welcome, sir," retired.
"Put down some eggs, dear, there's plenty in the bowl," said the old
woman, calling to her; "I'll do the bacon. Was not we lucky to be
up?--The boy's gone to bed, but waken him," said she, turning to the
postilion; "and he'll help you with the chay, and put your horses in
the bier for the night."
No: Larry chose to go on to Clonbrony with the horses, that he might
get the chaise mended betimes for his honour. The table was set; clean
trenchers, hot potatoes, milk, eggs, bacon, and "kindly welcome to
"Set the salt, dear; and the butter, love: where's your head, Grace,
"Grace!" repeated Lord Colambre, looking up: and, to apologize for
his involuntary exclamation, he added, "Is Grace a common name in
"I can't say, plase your honour; but it was give her by Lady
Clonbrony, from a niece of her own, God bless her! and a very kind
lady she was to us and to all when she was living in it; but those
times are gone past," said the old woman, with a sigh. The young woman
sighed too; and, sitting down by the fire, began to count the notches
in a little bit of stick, which she held in her hand; and after she
had counted them, sighed again.
"But don't be sighing, Grace, now," said the old woman; "sighs is bad
sauce for the traveller's supper; and we won't be troubling him with
more," added she, turning to Lord Colambre with a smile.
"Is your egg done to your liking?"
"Perfectly, thank you."
"Then I wish it was a chicken, for your sake, which it should have
been, and roast too, had we time. I wish I could see you eat another
"No more, thank you, my good lady; I never ate a better supper, nor
received a more hospitable welcome."
"Oh, the welcome is all we have to offer."
"May I ask what that is?" said Lord Colambre, looking at the notched
stick, which the young woman held in her hand, and on which her eyes
were still fixed.
"It's a _tally_, plase your honour. Oh, you're a foreigner;--it's
the way the labourers do keep the account of the day's work with the
overseer, the bailiff; a notch for every day the bailiff makes on his
stick, and the labourer the like on his stick, to tally; and when we
come to make up the account, it's by the notches we go. And there's
been a mistake, and is a dispute here between our boy and the
overseer: and she was counting the boy's tally, that's in bed, tired,
for in truth he's overworked."
"Would you want any thing more from me, mother?" said the girl, rising
and turning her head away.
"No, child; get away, for your heart's full."
She went instantly.
"Is the boy her brother?" said Lord Colambre.
"No; he's her bachelor," said the old woman, lowering her voice.
"That is, her sweetheart: for she is not my daughter, though you heard
her call me mother. The boy's my son; but I am _afeard_ they must give
it up; for they're too poor, and the times is hard, and the agent's
harder than the times: there's two of them, the under and the upper;
and they grind the substance of one between them, and then blow one
away like chaff; but we'll not be talking of that, to spoil your
honour's night's rest. The room's ready, and here's the rushlight."
She showed him into a very small but neat room.
"What a comfortable-looking bed!" said Lord Colambre.
"Ah, these red check curtains," said she, letting them down; "these
have lasted well: they were give me by a good friend, now far away,
over the seas--my Lady Clonbrony; and made by the prettiest hands ever
you see, her niece's, Miss Grace Nugent's, and she a little child that
time; sweet love! all gone!"
The old woman wiped a tear from her eye, and Lord Colambre did what
he could to appear indifferent. She set down the candle, and left the
room; Lord Colambre went to bed, but he lay awake,
"Revolving sweet and bitter thoughts"
The kettle was on the fire, tea-things set, every thing prepared for
her guest by the hospitable hostess, who thinking the gentleman would
take tea to his breakfast, had sent off a _gossoon_ by the _first
light_ to Clonbrony, for an ounce of tea, a _quarter of sugar_, and
a loaf of white bread; and there was on the little table good cream,
milk, butter, eggs--all the promise of an excellent breakfast. It was
a _fresh_ morning, and there was a pleasant fire on the hearth, neatly
swept up. The old woman was sitting in her chimney corner, behind a
little skreen of whitewashed wall, built out into the room, for the
purpose of keeping those who sat at the fire from the _blast of the
door_. There was a loop-hole in this wall, to let the light in, just
at the height of a person's head, who was sitting near the chimney.
The rays of the morning sun now came through it, shining across the
face of the old woman, as she sat knitting: Lord Colambre thought
he had seldom seen a more agreeable countenance, intelligent eyes,
benevolent smile, a natural expression of cheerfulness, subdued by age
"A good morrow to you kindly, sir, and I hope you got the night
well?--A fine day for us this holyday morning; my Grace is gone to
early prayers, so your honour will be content with an old woman to
make your tea. Oh, let me put in plenty of tea, for it will never be
good; and if your honour takes stirabout, an old hand will engage to
make that to your liking, any way; for by great happiness, we have
what will just answer for you of the nicest meal the miller made my
Grace a compliment of, last time she went to the mill."
Lord Colambre observed, that this miller had good taste; and his
lordship paid some compliment to Grace's beauty, which the old woman
received with a smile, but turned off the conversation.
"Then," said she, looking out of the window, "is not that there a nice
little garden the boy dug for her and me, at his breakfast and dinner
hours? Ah! he's a good boy, and good warrant to work; and the good son
_desarves_ the good wife, and it's he that will make the good husband;
and with my good-will he, and no other, shall get her, and with her
good-will the same; and I bid 'em keep up their heart, and hope the
best, for there's no use in fearing the worst till it comes."
Lord Colambre wished very much to know the worst. "If you would not
think a stranger impertinent for asking," said he, "and if it would
not be painful to you to explain."
"Oh, impertinent, your honour! it's very kind--and, sure, none's a
stranger to one's heart, that feels for one. And for myself, I can
talk of my troubles without thinking of them. So, I'll tell you
all--if the worst comes to the worst--all that is, is, that we must
quit, and give up this little snug place, and house, and farm, and
all, to the agent--which would be hard on us, and me a widow, when my
husband did all that is done to the land; and if your honour was a
judge, you could see, if you stepped out, there has been a deal done,
and built the house, and all--but it plased Heaven to take him. Well,
he was too good for this world, and I'm satisfied--I'm not saying
a word again' that--I trust we shall meet in heaven, and be happy,
surely. And, meantime, here's my boy, that will make me as happy as
ever widow was on earth--if the agent will let him. And I can't think
the agent, though they that know him best call him Old Nick, would be
so wicked to take from us that which he never gave us. The good lord
himself granted us the _lase_; the life's dropped, and the years is
out; but we had a promise of renewal in writing from the landlord. God
bless him! if he was not away, he'd be a good gentleman, and we'd be
happy and safe."
"But if you have a promise in writing of a renewal, surely you are
safe, whether your landlord is absent or present."
"Ah, no! that makes a great _differ_, when there's no eye or hand over
the agent. I would not wish to speak or think ill of him or any man;
but was he an angel, he could not know to do the tenantry justice, the
way he is living always in Dublin, and coming down to the country only
the receiving days, to make a sweep among us, and gather up the rents
in a hurry, and he in such haste back to town--can just stay to count
over our money, and give the receipts. Happy for us if we get that
same!--but can't expect he should have time to see or hear us, or mind
our improvements, any more than listen to our complaints! Oh, there's
great excuse for the gentleman, if that was any comfort for us," added
"But, if he does not live amongst you himself, has not he some under
agent, who lives in the country?" said Lord Colambre.
"He has so."
"And he should know your concerns: does he mind them?"
"He should know--he should know better; but as to minding our
concerns, your honour knows," continued she, smiling again, "every one
in this world must mind their own concerns: and it would be a good
world, if it was even so. There's a great deal in all things, that
don't appear at first sight. Mr. Dennis wanted Grace for a wife for
his bailiff, but she would not have him; and Mr. Dennis was very sweet
to her himself--but Grace is rather high with him as proper, and he
has a grudge _again'_ us ever since. Yet, indeed, there," added she,
after another pause, "as you say, I think we are safe; for we have
that memorandum in writing, with a pencil, given under his own hand,
on the back of the _lase_ to me, by the same token when my good lord
had his foot on the step of the coach, going away; and I'll never
forget the smile of her that got that good turn done for me, Miss
Grace. And just when she was going to England and London, and, young
as she was, to have the thought to stop and turn to the likes of me!
Oh, then, if you could see her, and know her, as I did! _That_ was the
comforting angel upon earth--look, and voice, and heart, and all! Oh,
that she was here present, this minute!--But did you scald yourself?"
said the widow to Lord Colambre. "Sure you must have scalded yourself;
for you poured the kettle straight over your hand, and it boiling!--O
_deear_; to think of so young a gentleman's hand shaking so like my
Luckily, to prevent her pursuing her observations from the hand to the
face, which might have betrayed more than Lord Colambre wished she
should know, her own Grace came in at this instant--"There it's for
you, safe, mother dear--the _lase_!" said Grace, throwing a packet
into her lap. The old woman lifted up her hands to heaven, with the
lease between them--"Thanks be to Heaven!" Grace passed on, and
sunk down on the first seat she could reach. Her face flushed, and,
looking much fatigued, she loosened the strings of her bonnet and
cloak--"Then, I'm tired;" but, recollecting herself, she rose, and
curtsied to the gentleman.
"What tired ye, dear?"
"Why, after prayers, we had to go--for the agent was not at prayers,
nor at home for us, when we called--we had to go all the way up to the
castle; and there, by great good luck, we found Mr. Nick Garraghty
himself, come from Dublin, and the _lase_ in his hands; and he sealed
it up that way, and handed it to me very civil. I never saw him so
good--though he offered me a glass of spirits, which was not manners
to a decent young woman, in a morning--as Brian noticed after. Brian
would not take any either, nor never does. We met Mr. Dennis and the
driver coming home; and he says, the rent must be paid to-morrow, or,
instead of renewing, he'll seize, and sell all. Mother dear, I would
have dropped with the walk, but for Brian's arm."
"It's a wonder, dear, what makes you so weak, that used to be so
"But if we can sell the cow for any thing at all to Mr. Dennis, since
his eye is set upon her, better let him have her mother, dear; and
that and my yarn, which Mrs. Garraghty says she'll allow me for, will
make up the rent--and Brian need not talk of America. But it must be
in golden guineas, the agent will take the rent no other way; and you
won't get a guinea for less than five shillings. Well, even so, it's
easy selling my new gown to one that covets it, and that will give me
in exchange the price of the gold; or, suppose that would not do, add
this cloak--it's handsome, and I know a friend would be glad to take
it, and I'd part it as ready as look at it--Any thing at all, sure,
rather than that he should be forced to talk of emigrating: or, oh,
worse again, listing for the bounty--to save us from the cant or the
jail, by going to the hospital, or his grave, maybe--oh, mother!"
"Oh, child! This is what makes you weak, fretting. Don't be that way.
Sure here's the _lase_, and that's good comfort; and the soldiers will
be gone out of Clonbrony to-morrow, and then that's off your mind.
And as to America, it's only talk--I won't let him, he's dutiful; and
would sooner sell my dresser, and down to my bed, dear, than see you
sell any thing of yours, love. Promise me you won't. Why didn't Brian
come home all the way with you, Grace?"
"He would have seen me home," said Grace, "only that he went up a
piece of the mountain for some stones or ore for the gentleman,--for
he had the manners to think of him this morning, though, shame for me,
I had not, when I come in, or I would not have told you all this, and
he by. See, there _he_ is, mother."
Brian came in very hot, out of breath, with his hat full of stones.
"Good morrow to your honour. I was in bed last night; and sorry they
did not call me up to be of _sarvice_. Larry was telling us, this
morning, your honour's from Wales, and looking for mines in Ireland,
and I heard talk that there was one on our mountain--may be, you'd be
_curous_ to see, and so I brought the best I could, but I'm no judge."
"Nor I, neither," thought Lord Colambre; but he thanked the young man,
and determined to avail himself of Larry's misconception of false
report; examined the stones very gravely, and said, "This promises
well. Lapis caliminaris, schist, plum-pudding stone, rhomboidal,
crystal, blend, garrawachy," and all the strange names he could think
of, jumbling them together at a venture.
"The _lase_!" cried the young man, with joy sparkling in his eyes, as
his mother held up the packet. "Lend me the papers."
He cracked the seals, and taking off the cover--"Ay, I know it's the
_lase_ sure enough. But stay, where's the memorandum?"
"It's there, sure," said his mother, "where my lord's pencil writ it.
I don't read. Grace, dear, look."
The young man put it into her hands, and stood without power to utter
"It's not here! It's gone!--no sign of it."
"Gracious Heaven! that can't be," said the old woman, putting on her
spectacles; "let me see,'--I remember the very spot."
"It's taken away--it's rubbed clean out!--Oh, wasn't I fool?--But who
could have thought he'd be the villain!"
The young man seemed neither to see nor hear, but to be absorbed
in thought. Grace, with her eyes fixed upon him, grew as pale as
death.--"He'll go--he's gone."
"She's gone!" cried Lord Colambre, and the mother just caught her in
her arms as she was falling.
"The chaise is ready, plase your honour," said Larry, coming into the
room. "Death! what's here?"
"Air!--she's coming to," said the young man--"Take a drop of water, my
"Young man, I promise you," cried Lord Colambre, (speaking in the tone
of a master,) striking the young man's shoulder, who was kneeling at
Grace's feet, but recollecting and restraining himself, he added, in
a quiet voice--"I promise you I shall never forget the hospitality I
have received in this house, and I am sorry to be obliged to leave you
These words uttered with difficulty, he hurried out of the house, and
into his carriage. "Go back to them," said he to the postilion: "go
back and ask whether, if I should stay a day or two longer in this
country, they would let me return at night and lodge with them. And
here, man, stay, take this," putting money into his hands, "for the
good woman of the house."
The postilion went in, and returned.
"She won't at all--I knew she would not."
"Well, I am obliged to her for the night's lodging she did give me; I
have no right to expect more."
"What is it?--Sure she bid me tell you,--'and welcome to the lodging;
for,' said she, 'he's a kind-hearted gentleman;' but here's the money;
it's that I was telling you she would not have at all."
"Thank you. Now, my good friend, Larry, drive me to Clonbrony, and do
not say another word, for I'm not in a talking humour."
Larry nodded, mounted, and drove to Clonbrony. Clonbrony was now a
melancholy scene. The houses, which had been built in a better style
of architecture than usual, were in a ruinous condition; the dashing
was off the walls, no glass in the windows, and many of the roofs
without slates. For the stillness of the place Lord Colambre in some
measure accounted, by considering that it was holiday; therefore, of
course, all the shops were shut up, and all the people at prayers. He
alighted at the inn, which completely answered Larry's representation
of it. Nobody to be seen but a drunken waiter, who, as well as he
could articulate, informed Lord Colambre, that "his mistress was in
her bed since Thursday-was-a-week; the hostler at the _wash-woman's_,
and the cook at second prayers."
Lord Colambre walked to the church, but the church gate was locked and
broken--a calf, two pigs, and an ass, in the church-yard; and several
boys (with more of skin apparent than clothes) were playing at pitch
and toss upon a tombstone, which, upon nearer observation, he saw was
the monument of his own family. One of the boys came to the gate,
and told Lord Colambre, "There was no use in going into the church,
because there was no church there; nor had not been this twelvemonth;
beca-ase there was no curate: and the parson was away always, since
the lord was at home--that is, was not at home--he nor the family."
Lord Colambre returned to the inn, where, after waiting a considerable
time, he gave up the point--he could not get any dinner--and in
the evening he walked out again into the town. He found several
public-houses, however, open, which were full of people; all of them
as busy and as noisy as possible. He observed that the interest was
created by an advertisement of several farms on the Clonbrony estate,
to be set by Nicholas Garraghty, Esq. He could not help smiling at
his being witness _incognito_ to various schemes for outwitting the
agents, and defrauding the landlord; but, on a sudden, the scene was
changed; a boy ran in, crying out, that "St. Dennis was riding down
the hill into the town; and, if you would not have the licence," said
the boy, "take care of yourself, Brannagan." "_If you wouldn't have
the licence_," Lord Colambre perceived, by what followed, meant, "_If
you have not a licence_." Brannagan immediately snatched an untasted
glass of whiskey from a customer's lips (who cried, murder!), gave
it and the bottle he held in his hand to his wife, who swallowed the
spirits, and ran away with the bottle and glass into some back hole;
whilst the bystanders laughed, saying, "Well thought of, Peggy!"
"Clear out all of you at the back door, for the love of Heaven, if
you wouldn't be the ruin of me," said the man of the house, setting
a ladder to a corner of the shop. "Phil, hoist me up the keg to the
loft," added he, running up the ladder; "and one of _yees_ step up
street, and give Rose McGivney notice, for she's selling, too."
The keg was hoisted up; the ladder removed; the shop cleared of
all the customers; the shutters shut; the door barred; the counter
"Lift your stones, sir, if you plase," said the wife, as she rubbed
the counter, "and say nothing of what you _seen_ at all; but that
you're a stranger and a traveller seeking a lodging, if you're
questioned, or waiting to see Mr. Dennis. There's no smell of whiskey
in it now, is there, sir?"
Lord Colambre could not flatter her so far as to say this--he could
only hope no one would perceive it.
"Oh, and if he would, the smell of whiskey was nothing," as the wife
affirmed, "for it was every where in nature, and no proof again' any
one, good or bad."
"Now, St. Dennis may come when he will, or Old Nick himself!" So she
tied up a blue handkerchief over her head, and had the toothache "very
Lord Colambre turned to look for the man of the house.
"He's safe in bed," said the wife.
"In bed! When?"
"Whilst you turned your head, while I was tying the handkerchief over
my face. Within the room, look, he is snug."
And there he was in bed certainly, and his clothes on the chest.
A knock, a loud knock at the door.
"St. Dennis himself!--Stay, till I unbar the door," said the woman;
and, making a great difficulty, she let him in, groaning and saying.
"We was all done up for the night, _plase_ your honour, and myself
with the toothache, very bad--And the lodger, that's going to take an
egg only, before he'd go into his bed. My man's in it, and asleep long
With a magisterial air, though with a look of blank disappointment,
Mr. Dennis Garraghty walked on, looked into _the room_, saw the good
man of the house asleep, heard him snore, and then, returning, asked
Lord Colambre, "who he was, and what brought him there?"
Our hero said, he was from England, and a traveller; and now, bolder
grown as a geologist, he talked of his specimens, and his hopes of
finding a mine in the neighbouring mountains; then adopting, as well
as he could, the servile tone and abject manner, in which he found Mr.
Dennis was to be addressed, "he hoped he might get encouragement from
the gentlemen at the head of the estate."
"To bore, is it?--Well, don't _bore_ me about it. I can't give you any
answer now, my good friend; I am engaged."
Out he strutted. "Stick to him up the town, if you have a mind to get
your answer," whispered the woman. Lord Colambre followed, for he
wished to see the end of this scene.
"Well, sir, what are you following and sticking to me, like my shadow,
for?" said Mr. Dennis, turning suddenly upon Lord Colambre.
His lordship bowed low. "Waiting for my answer, sir, when you are at
leisure. Or, may I call upon you to-morrow?"
"You seem to be a civil kind of fellow; but, as to boring, I don't
know--if you undertake it at your own expense. I dare say there may be
minerals in the ground. Well, you may call at the castle to-morrow,
and when my brother has done with the tenantry, I'll speak to him
_for_ you, and we'll consult together, and see what we think. It's too
late to-night. In Ireland, nobody speaks to a gentleman about business
after dinner,--your servant, sir; any body can show you the way to the
castle in the morning." And, pushing by his lordship, he called to a
man on the other side of the street, who had obviously been waiting
for him; he went under a gateway with this man, and gave him a bag of
guineas. He then called for his horse, which was brought to him by a
man whom Lord Colambre had heard declaring that he would bid for the
land that was advertised; whilst another, who had the same intentions,
most respectfully held his stirrup, whilst he mounted without thanking
either of these men. St. Dennis clapped spurs to his steed, and rode
away. No thanks, indeed, were deserved; for the moment he was out of
hearing, both cursed him after the manner of their country.
"Bad luck go with you, then!--And may you break your neck before you
get home, if it was not for the _lase_ I'm to get, and that's paid
Lord Colambre followed the crowd into a public-house, where a new
scene presented itself to his view.
The man to whom St. Dennis gave the bag of gold was now selling this
very gold to the tenants, who were to pay their rent next day at the
The agent would take nothing but gold. The same guineas were bought
and sold several times over, to the great profit of the agent and loss
of the poor tenants; for as the rents were paid, the guineas were
resold to another set: and the remittances made through bankers to the
landlord, who, as the poor man that explained the transaction to Lord
Colambre expressed it, "gained nothing by the business, bad or good,
but the ill-will of the tenantry."
The higgling for the price of the gold; the time lost in disputing
about the goodness of the notes, among some poor tenants, who could
not read or write, and who were at the mercy of the man with the bag
in his hand; the vexation, the useless harassing of all who were
obliged to submit ultimately--Lord Colambre saw: and all this time he
endured the smell of tobacco and whiskey, and the sound of various
brogues, the din of men wrangling, brawling, threatening, whining,
drawling, cajoling, cursing, and every variety of wretchedness.
"And is this my father's town of Clonbrony?" thought Lord Colambre.
"Is this Ireland? No, it is not Ireland. Let me not, like most of
those who forsake their native country, traduce it. Let me not, even
to my own mind, commit the injustice of taking a speck for the whole.
What I have just seen is the picture only of that to which an Irish
estate and Irish tenantry may be degraded in the absence of those
whose duty and interest it is to reside in Ireland, to uphold justice
by example and authority; but who, neglecting this duty, commit power
to bad hands and bad hearts--abandon their tenantry to oppression, and
their property to ruin."
It was now fine moonlight, and Lord Colambre met with a boy, who said
he could show him a short way across the fields to the widow O'Neil's
All were asleep at the cottage, when Lord Colambre arrived, except
the widow, who was sitting up, waiting for him; and who had brought
her dog into the house, that he might not fly at him, or bark at his
return. She had a roast chicken ready for her guest, and it was--but
this she never told him--the only chicken she had left; all the others
had been sent with the _duty fowl_, as a present to the under-agent's
lady. While he was eating his supper, which he ate with the better
appetite, as he had had no dinner, the good woman took down from the
shelf a pocket-book, which she gave him: "Is not that your book?" said
she. "My boy Brian found it after you in the potatoe furrow, where you
"Thank you," said Lord Colambre; "there are bank notes in it, which I
could not afford to lose."
"Are there?" said she: "he never opened it--nor I."
Then, in answer to his inquiries about Grace and the young man, the
widow answered, "They are all in heart now, I thank ye kindly, sir,
for asking; they'll sleep easy to-night, any way, and I'm in great
spirits for them and myself--for all's smooth now. After we parted
you, Brian saw Mr. Dennis himself about the _lase_ and memorandum,
which he never denied, but knew nothing about. 'But, be that as it
may,' says he, 'you're improving tenants, and I'm confident my brother
will consider ye; so what you'll do is, you'll give up the possession
to-morrow to myself, that will call for it by cock-crow, just for
form's sake; and then go up to the castle with the new _lase_ ready
drawn, in your hand, and if all's paid off clear of the rent, and all
that's due, you'll get the new _lase_ signed: I'll promise you this
upon the word and honour of a gentleman.' And there's no going beyond
that, you know, sir. So my boy came home as light as a feather, and as
gay as a lark, to bring us the good news; only he was afraid we might
not make up the rent, guineas and all; and because he could not get
paid for the work he done, on account of the mistake in the overseer's
tally, I sold the cow to a neighbour, dog-cheap; but needs must, as
they say, when Old Nick _drives_," said the widow, smiling. "Well,
still it was but paper we got for the cow; then that must be gold
before the agent would take or touch it--so I was laying out to sell
the dresser, and had taken the plates and cups, and little things
off it, and my boy was lifting it out with Andy the carpenter,
that was agreeing for it, when in comes Grace, all rosy and out of
breath--it's a wonder I never minded her run out, nor ever missed her.
'Mother,' says she, 'here's the gold for you; don't be stirring your
dresser.'--'And where's your gown and cloak, Grace?' says I. But, I
beg your pardon, sir; may be, I'm tiring you?"
Lord Colambre encouraged her to go on.
"'Where's your gown and cloak, Grace?' says I. 'Gone,' says she. 'The
cloak was too warm and heavy, and I don' doubt, mother, but it was
that helped to make me faint this morning. And as to the gown, sure
I've a very nice one here, that you spun for me yourself, mother; and
that I prize above all the gowns ever came out of a loom; and that
Brian said become me to his fancy above any gown ever he see me wear;
and what could I wish for more?' Now I'd a mind to scold her for going
to sell the gown unknown'st to me, but I don't know how it was, I
couldn't scold her just then, so kissed her, and Brian the same, and
that was what no man ever did before. And she had a mind to be angry
with him, but could not, nor ought not, says I, 'for he's as good
as your husband now, Grace; and no man can part yees now,' says I,
putting their hands together. Well, I never saw her look so pretty;
nor there was not a happier boy that minute on God's earth than my
son, nor a happier mother than myself; and I thanked God, that had
given them to me; and down they both fell on their knees for my
blessing, little worth as it was; and my heart's blessing they had,
and I laid my hands upon them. 'It's the priest you must get to do
this for you to-morrow,' says I. And Brian just held up the ring, to
show me all was ready on his part, but could not speak. 'Then there's
no America between us any more!' said Grace, low to me, and her heart
was on her lips; but the colour came and went, and I was _afeard_
she'd have swooned again, but not for sorrow, so I carried her off.
Well, if she was not my own--but she is not my own born, so I may
say it--there never was a better girl, not a more kind-hearted, nor
generous; never thinking any thing she could do, or give, too much
for them she loved, and any thing at all would do for herself; the
sweetest natured and tempered both, and always was, from this high;
the bond that held all together, and joy of the house."
"Just like her namesake," cried Lord Colambre.
"Plase your honour!"
"Is not it late?" said Lord Colambre, stretching himself and gaping;
"I've walked a great way to-day."
The old woman lighted his rushlight, showed him to his red check bed,
and wished him a very good night; not without some slight sentiment
of displeasure at his gaping thus at the panegyric on her darling
Grace. Before she left the room, however, her short-lived resentment
vanished, upon his saying, that he hoped, with her permission, to be
present at the wedding of the young couple.
Early in the morning Brian went to the priest, to ask his reverence
when it would be convenient to marry him; and whilst he was gone,
Mr. Dennis Garraghty came to the cottage, to receive the rent and
possession. The rent was ready, in gold, and counted into his hand.
"No occasion for a receipt; for a new _lase_ is a receipt in full for
"Very well, sir," said the widow; "I know nothing of law. You know
best--whatever you direct--for you are acting as a friend to us now.
My son got the attorney to draw the pair of new _lases_ yesterday, and
here they are ready, all to signing."
Mr. Dennis said, his brother must settle that part of the business,
and that they must carry them up to the castle; "but first give me the
Then, as he instructed her, she gave up the key of the door to him,
and a bit of the thatch of the house; and he raked out the fire, and
said every living creature must go out. "It's only form of law," said
"And must my lodger get up, and turn out, sir?" said she.
"He must turn out, to be sure--not a living soul must he left in it,
or it's no legal possession, properly. Who is your lodger?"
On Lord Colambre's appearing, Mr. Dennis showed some surprise, and
said, "I thought you were lodging at Brannagan's; are not you the man
who spoke to me at his house about the gold mines?"
"No, sir, he never lodged at Brannagan's," said the widow.
"Yes, sir, I am the person who spoke to you about the gold mines at
Brannagan's; but I did not like to lodge--"
"Well, no matter where you liked to lodge; you must walk out of this
lodging now, if you please, my good friend."
So Mr. Dennis pushed his lordship out by the shoulders, repeating, as
the widow turned back, and looked with some surprise and alarm, "only
for form sake, only for form sake!" then locking the door, took the
key, and put it into his pocket. The widow held out her hand for it:
"The form's gone through now, sir; is not it? Be plased to let us in
"When the new lease is signed, I'll give you possession again; but not
till then--for that's the law. So make away with you to the castle;
and mind," added he, winking slily, "mind you take sealing-money with
you, and something to buy gloves."
"Oh, where will I find all that?" said the widow.
"I have it, mother; don't fret," said Grace. "I have it--the price
of--what I can want. So let us go off to the castle without delay.
Brian will meet us on the road, you know."
[Footnote 1: What I can do without.]
They set off for Clonbrony Castle, Lord Colambre accompanying them.
Brian met them on the road. "Father Tom is ready, dear mother; bring
her in, and he'll marry us. I'm not my own man till she's mine. Who
knows what may happen?"
"Who knows? that's true," said the widow.
"Better go to the castle first," said Grace.
"And keep the priest waiting! You can't use his reverence so," said
So she let him lead her into the priest's house, and she did not make
any of the awkward draggings back, or ridiculous scenes of grimace
sometimes exhibited on these occasions; but blushing rosy red, yet
with more self-possession than could have been expected from her timid
nature, she gave her hand to the man she loved, and listened with
attentive devotion to the holy ceremony.
"Ah!" thought Lord Colambre, whilst he congratulated the bride, "shall
I ever be as happy as these poor people are at this moment?" He longed
to make them some little present, but all he could venture at this
moment was to pay the priest's dues.
The priest positively refused to take any thing.
"They are the best couple in my parish," said he; "and I'll take
nothing, sir, from you, a stranger and my guest."
"Now, come what will, I'm a match for it. No trouble can touch me,"
"Oh, don't be bragging," said the widow.
"Whatever trouble God sends, he has given one now will help to bear
it, and sure I may be thankful," said Grace.
"Such good hearts must be happy,--shall be happy!" said Lord Colambre.
"Oh, you're very kind," said the widow, smiling; "and I wouldn't doubt
you, if you had the power. I hope, then, the agent will give you
encouragement about them mines, that we may keep you among us."
"I am determined to settle among you, warm-hearted, generous people!"
cried Lord Colambre; "whether the agent gives me encouragement or
not," added he.
It was a long walk to Clonbrony Castle; the old woman, as she said
herself, would not have been able for it, but for a _lift_ given to
her by a friendly carman, whom she overtook on the road with an empty
car. This carman was Finnucan, who dissipated Lord Colambre's fears of
meeting and being recognized by Mrs. Raffarty; for he, in answer to
the question of "Who is at the castle?" replied, "Mrs. Raffarty will
be in it afore night; but she's on the road still. There's none
but Old Nick in it yet; and he's more of a _neger_ than ever; for
think, that he would not pay me a farthing for the carriage of his
_shister's_ boxes and band-boxes down. If you're going to have any
dealings with him, God grant ye a safe deliverance!"
"Amen!" said the widow, and her son and daughter.
Lord Colambre's attention was now engaged by the view of the castle
and park of Clonbrony. He had not seen it since he was six years old.
Some faint reminiscence from his childhood made him feel or fancy
that he knew the place. It was a fine castle, spacious park; but all
about it, from the broken piers at the great entrance, to the mossy
gravel and loose steps at the hall-door, had an air of desertion and
melancholy. Walks overgrown, shrubberies wild, plantations run up into
bare poles; fine trees cut down, and lying on the ground in lots to
be sold. A hill that had been covered with an oak wood, where in his
childhood our hero used to play, and which he called the black forest,
was gone; nothing to be seen but the white stumps of the trees, for
it had been freshly cut down, to make up the last remittances.--"And
how it went, when sold!--but no matter," said Finnucan; "it's all
alike.--It's the back way into the yard, I'll take you, I suppose."
"And such a yard! but it's no matter," repeated Lord Colambre to
himself; "it's all alike."
In the kitchen, a great dinner was dressing for Mr. Garraghty's
friends, who were to make merry with him when the business of the day
"Where's the keys of the cellar, till I get out the claret for after
dinner," says one; "and the wine for the cook--sure there's venison,"
cries another.--"Venison!--That's the way my lord's deer goes," says
a third, laughing.--"Ay, sure! and very proper, when he's not here
to eat 'em."--"Keep your nose out of the kitchen, young man, if you
_plase_," said the agent's cook, shutting the door in Lord Colambre's
face. "There's the way to the office, if you've money to pay, up the
"No; up the grand staircase they must,--Mr. Garraghty ordered," said
the footman; "because the office is damp for him, and it's not there
he'll see any body to-day; but in my lady's dressing-room."
So up the grand staircase they went, and through the magnificent
apartments, hung with pictures of great value, spoiling with damp.
"Then, isn't it a pity to see them? There's my lady, and all
spoiling," said the widow.
Lord Colambre stopped before a portrait of Miss Nugent--"Shamefully
damaged!" cried he.
"Pass on, or let me pass, if you _plase_," said one of the tenants;
"and don't be stopping the door-way."
"I have business more nor you with the agent," said the surveyor;
"where is he?"
"In the _presence-chamber_," replied another: "Where should the
viceroy be but in the _presence-chamber_?"
There was a full levee, and fine smell of great coats.--"Oh! would you
put your hats on the silk cushions?" said the widow to some men in the
doorway, who were throwing off their greasy hats on a damask sofa.
"Why not? where else?"
"If the lady was in it, you wouldn't," said she, sighing.
"No, to be sure, I wouldn't: great news! would I make no _differ_ in
the presence of Old Nick and my lady?" said he, in Irish. "Have I no
sense or manners, good woman, think ye?" added he, as he shook the ink
out of the pen on the Wilton carpet, when he had finished signing his
name to a paper on his knee.
"You may wait long before you get to the speech of the great man,"
said another, who was working his way through numbers.
They continued pushing forward, till they came within sight of Mr.
Nicholas Garraghty, seated in state; and a worse countenance, or a
more perfect picture of an insolent, petty tyrant in office, Lord
Colambre had never beheld.
We forbear all further detail of this levee. "It's all the same!" as
Lord Colambre repeated to himself, on every fresh instance of roguery
or oppression to which he was witness; and having completely made
up his mind on the subject, he sat down quietly in the back-ground,
waiting till it should come to the widow's turn to be dealt with, for
he was now interested only to see how she would be treated. The room
gradually thinned I Mr. Dennis Garraghty came in, and sat down at the
table, to help his brother to count the heaps of gold.
"Oh, Mr. Dennis, I'm glad to see you as kind as your promise, meeting
me here," said the widow O'Neil, walking up to him;
"I'm sure you'll speak a good word for me: here's the _lases_--who
will I offer this to?" said she, holding the _glove-money_ and
_sealing-money_, "for I'm strange and ashamed."
"Oh, don't be ashamed--there's no strangeness in bringing money or
taking it," said Mr. Nicholas Garraghty, holding out his hand. "Is
this the proper compliment?"
"I hope so, sir: your honour knows best."
"Very well," slipping it into his private purse. "Now what's your
"The _lases_ to sign--the rent's all paid up."
"Leases! Why, woman, is the possession given up?"
"It was, _plase_ your honour; and Mr. Dennis has the key of our little
place in his pocket."
"Then I hope he'll keep it there. _Your_ little place--it's no longer
yours; I've promised it to the surveyor. You don't think I'm such a
fool as to renew to you at this rent."
"Mr. Dennis named the rent. But any thing your honour _plases_--any
thing at all that we can pay."
"Oh, it's out of the question--put it out of your head. No rent you
can offer would do, for I have promised it to the surveyor."
"Sir, Mr. Dennis knows my lord gave us his promise in writing of a
renewal, on the back of the _ould lase_."
"Here's the _lase_, but the promise is rubbed out."
"Nonsense! coming to me with a promise that's rubbed out. Who'll
listen to that in a court of justice, do you think?"
"I don't know, plase your honour; but this I'm sure of, my lord and
Miss Nugent, though but a child at the time, God bless her! who was by
when my lord wrote it with his pencil, will remember it."
"Miss Nugent! what can she know of business?--What has she to do with
the management of my Lord Clonbrony's estate, pray?"
"Do you wish to get Miss Nugent turned out of the house?"
"Oh, God forbid!--how could that be?"
"Very easily; if you set about to make her meddle and witness in what
my lord does not choose."
"Well, then, I'll never mention Miss Nugent's name in it at all, if it
was ever so with me. But be _plased_, sir, to write over to my lord,
and ask him; I'm sure he'll remember it."
"Write to my lord about such a trifle--trouble him about such
"I'd be sorry to trouble him. Then take it on my word, and believe
me, sir; for I would not tell a lie, nor cheat rich or poor, if in my
power, for the whole estate, nor the whole world: for there's an eye
"Cant! nonsense!--Take those leases off the table; I never will sign
them. Walk off, ye canting hag; it's an imposition--I will never sign
"You _will_, then, sir," cried Brian, growing red with indignation;
"for the law shall make you, so it shall; and you'd as good have been
civil to my mother, whatever you did--for I'll stand by her while
I've life; and I know she has right, and shall have law. I saw the
memorandum written before ever it went into your hands, sir, whatever
became of it after; and will swear to it too."
"Swear away, my good friend; much your swearing will avail in your own
case in a court of justice," continued Old Nick.
"And against a gentleman of my brother's established character and
property," said St. Dennis. "What's your mother's character against a
gentleman's like his?"
"Character! take care how you go to that, any way, sir," cried Brian.
Grace put her hand before his mouth, to stop him.
"Grace, dear, I must speak, if I die for it; sure it's for my mother,"
said the young man, struggling forward, while his mother held him
back; "I must speak."
"Oh, he's ruined, I see it," said Grace, putting her hand before her
eyes, "and he won't mind me."
"Go on, let him go on, pray, young woman," said Mr. Garraghty, pale
with anger and fear, his lips quivering; "I shall be happy to take
down his words."
"Write them; and may all the world read it, and welcome!"
His mother and wife stopped his mouth by force.
"Write you, Dennis," said Mr. Garraghty, giving the pen to his
brother; for his hand shook so he could not form a letter. "Write the
very words, and at the top" (pointing) "after warning, _with malice
"Write, then--mother, Grace--let me," cried Brian, speaking in a
smothered voice, as their hands were over his mouth. "Write then,
that, if you'd either of you a character like my mother, you might
defy the world; and your word would be as good as your oath."
"_Oath!_ mind that, Dennis," said Mr. Garraghty.
"Oh, sir! sir! won't you stop him?" cried Grace, turning suddenly to
"Oh, dear, dear, if you haven't lost your feeling for us," cried the
"Let him speak," said Lord Colambre, in a tone of authority; "let the
voice of truth be heard."
"_Truth!_" cried St. Dennis, and dropped the pen.
"And who the devil are you, sir?" said Old Nick.
"Lord Colambre, I protest!" exclaimed a female voice; and Mrs.
Raffarty at this instant appeared at the open door.
"Lord Colambre!" repeated all present, in different tones.
"My lord, I beg pardon," continued Mrs. Raffarty, advancing as if
her legs were tied; "had I known you was down here, I would not have
presumed. I'd better retire; for I see you're busy."
"You'd best; for you're mad, sister," said St. Dennis, pushing her
back; "and we _are_ busy; go to your room, and keep quiet, if you
"First, madam," said Lord Colambre, going between her and the door,
"let me beg that you will consider yourself as at home in this house,
whilst any circumstances make it desirable to you. The hospitality you
showed me you cannot think I now forget."
"Oh, my lord, you're too good--how few--too kind--kinder than my own;"
and, bursting into tears, she escaped out of the room.
Lord Colambre returned to the party round the table, who were in
various attitudes of astonishment, and with faces of fear, horror,
hope, joy, doubt.
"Distress," continued his lordship, "however incurred, if not by vice,
will always find a refuge in this house. I speak in my father's name,
for I know I speak his sentiments. But never more shall vice," said
he, darting such a look at the brother agents as they felt to the
back-bone--"never more shall vice, shall fraud enter here."
He paused, and there was a momentary silence.
"There spoke the true thing! and the _rael_ gentleman; my own heart's
satisfied," said Brian, folding his arms, and standing erect.
"Then so is mine," said Grace, taking breath, with a deep sigh.
The widow advancing, put on her spectacles, and, looking up close at
Lord Colambre's face--"Then it's a wonder I didn't know the family
Lord Colambre, now recollecting that he still wore the old great coat,
threw it off.
"Oh, bless him! Then now I'd know him any where. I'm willing to die
now, for we'll all be happy."
"My lord, since it is so--my lord, may I ask you," said Mr. Garraghty,
now sufficiently recovered to be able to articulate, but scarcely to
express his ideas; "if what your lordship hinted just now--"
"I hinted nothing, sir; I spoke plainly."
"I beg pardon, my lord," said Old Nick; "respecting vice, was levelled
at me; because, if it was, my lord," trying to stand erect; "let me
tell your lordship, if I could think it was--"
"If it did not hit you, sir, no matter at whom it was levelled."
"And let me ask, my lord, if I may presume, whether, in what you
suggested by the word fraud, your lordship had any particular
meaning?" said St. Dennis.
"A very particular meaning, sir--feel in your pocket for the key of
this widow's house, and deliver it to her."
"Oh, if that's all the meaning, with all the pleasure in life. I never
meant to detain it longer than till the leases were signed," said St.
"And I'm ready to sign the leases this minute," said the brother.
"Do it, sir, this minute; I have read them; I will be answerable to my
"Oh, as to that, my lord, I have power to sign for your father."
He signed the leases; they were duly witnessed by Lord Colambre.
"I deliver this as my act and deed," said Mr. Garraghty:
"My lord," continued he, "you see, at the first word from you; and had
I known sooner the interest you took in the family, there would have
been no difficulty; for I'd make it a principle to oblige you, my
"Oblige me!" said Lord Colambre, with disdain.
"But when gentlemen and noblemen travel _incognito_, and lodge in
cabins," added St. Dennis, with a satanic smile, glancing his eye on
Grace, "they have good reasons, no doubt."
"Do not judge my heart by your own, sir," said Lord Colambre, coolly;
"no two things in nature can, I trust, be more different. My purpose
in travelling _incognito_ has been fully answered: I was determined to
see and judge how my father's estates were managed; and I have seen,
compared, and judged. I have seen the difference between the Clonbrony
and the Colambre property; and I shall represent what I have seen to
"As to that, my lord, if we are to come to that--but I trust your
lordship will suffer me to explain these matters. Go about your
business, my good friends; you have all you want; and, my lord, after
dinner, when you are cool, I hope I shall be able to make you sensible
that things have been represented to your lordship in a mistaken
light; and, I flatter myself, I shall convince you, I have not only
always acted the part of a friend to the family, but am particularly
willing to conciliate your lordship's good-will," said he, sweeping
the rouleaus of gold into a bag; "any accommodation in my power, at
"I want no accommodation, sir--were I starving, I would accept of none
from you. Never can you conciliate my good-will; for you can never
"If that be the case, my lord, I must conduct myself accordingly: but
it's fair to warn you, before you make any representation to my Lord
Clonbrony, that, if he should think of changing his agent, there are
accounts to be settled between us--that may be a consideration."
"No, sir; no consideration--my father never shall be the slave of such
a paltry consideration."
"Oh, very well, my lord; you know best. If you choose to make an
assumpsit, I'm sure I shall not object to the security. Your lordship
will be of age soon, I know--I'm sure I'm satisfied--but," added he,
with a malicious smile, "I rather apprehend you don't know what you
undertake: I only premise that the balance of accounts between us is
not what can properly be called a paltry consideration."
"On that point, perhaps, sir, you and I may differ."
"Very well, my lord, you will follow your own principles, if it suits
"Whether it does or not, sir, I shall abide by my principles."
"Dennis! the letters to the post--When do you go to England, my lord?"
"Immediately, sir," said Lord Colambre: his lordship saw new leases
from his father to Mr. Dennis Garraghty, lying on the table, unsigned.
"Immediately!" repeated Messrs. Nicholas and Dennis, with an air of
dismay. Nicholas got up, looked out of the window, and whispered
something to his brother, who instantly left the room.
Lord Colambre saw the postchaise at the door, which had brought Mrs.
Raffarty to the castle, and Larry standing beside it: his lordship
instantly threw up the sash, and holding between his finger and thumb
a six shilling piece, cried, "Larry, my friend, let me have the
"You shall have 'em--your honour," said Larry.
Mr. Dennis Garraghty appeared below, speaking in a magisterial tone.
"Larry, my brother must have the horses."
"He can't, _plase_ your honour--they're engaged."
"Half a crown!--a crown!--half a guinea!" said Mr. Dennis Garraghty,
raising his voice, as he increased his proffered bribe. To each offer
Larry replied, "You can't, _plase_ your honour, they're engaged;" and,
looking up to the window at Lord Colambre, he said, "As soon as they
have ate their oats, you shall have 'em."
No other horses were to be had. The agent was in consternation. Lord
Colambre ordered that Larry should have some dinner, and whilst the
postilion was eating, and the horses finished their oats, his lordship
wrote the following letter to his father, which, to prevent all
possibility of accident, he determined to put, with his own hand, into
the post-office at Clonbrony, as he passed through the town.
"MY DEAR FATHER,
"I hope to be with you in a few days. Lest any thing should detain
me on the road, I write this, to make an earnest request, that you
will not sign any papers, or transact any farther business with
Messrs. Nicholas or Dennis Garraghty before you see
"Your affectionate son,
The horses came out. Larry sent word he was ready, and Lord Colambre,
having first eaten a slice of his own venison, ran down to the
carriage, followed by the thanks and blessings of the widow, her
son, and daughter, who could hardly make their way after him to the
chaise-door, so great was the crowd which had gathered on the report
of his lordship's arrival.
"Long life to your honour! Long life to your lordship!" echoed on all
sides. "Just come, and going, are you?"
"Good bye to you all, good people!"
"Then _good bye_ is the only word we wouldn't wish to hear from your
"For the sake both of landlord and tenant, I must leave you now, my
good friends; but I hope to return to you at some future time."
"God bless you! and speed ye! and a safe journey to your honour!--and
a happy return to us, and soon!" cried a multitude of voices.
Lord Colambre stopped at the chaise-door, and beckoned to the widow
O'Neil, before whom others had pressed. An opening was made for her
"There! that was the very way his father stood, with his foot on the
step. And Miss Nugent was _in it_."
Lord Colambre forgot what he was going to say,--with some difficulty
recollected. "This pocket-book," said he, "which your son restored to
me--I intend it for your daughter--don't keep it as your son kept it
for me, without opening it. Let what is withinside," added he, as he
got into the carriage, "replace the cloak and gown, and let all things
necessary for a bride be bought; 'for the bride that has all things to
borrow has surely mickle to do.' Shut the door, and drive on."
"Blessings be _wid_ you," cried the widow, "and God give you grace!"
Larry drove off at full gallop, and kept on at a good rate, till he
got out of the great gate, and beyond the sight of the crowd: then,
pulling up, he turned to Lord Colambre--"_Plase_ your honour, I did
not know nor guess ye was my lord, when I let you have the horses: did
not know who you was from Adam, I'll take my affidavit."
"There's no occasion," said Lord Colambre; "I hope you don't repent
letting me have the horses, now you do know who I am?"
"Oh! not at all, sure: I'm as glad as the best horse ever I crossed,
that your honour is my lord--but I was only telling your honour, that
you might not be looking upon me as a _timesarver_."
"I do not look upon you as a _timesarver_, Larry; but keep on, that
time may serve me."
In two words, he explained his cause of haste; and no sooner explained
than understood. Larry thundered away through the town of Clonbrony,
bending over his horses, plying the whip, and lending his very soul at
every lash. With much difficulty, Lord Colambre stopped him at the end
of the town, at the post-office. The post was gone out--gone a quarter
of an hour.
"May be, we'll overtake the mail," said Larry: and, as he spoke,
he slid down from his seat, and darted into the public-house,
re-appearing, in a few moments, with a _copper_ of ale and a horn in
his hand: he and another man held open the horses' mouths, and poured
the ale through the horn down their throats.
"Now, they'll go with spirit!"
And, with the hope of overtaking the mail, Larry made them go "for
life or death," as he said: but in vain! At the next stage, at his own
inn-door, Larry roared for fresh horses till he, got them, harnessed
them with his own hands, holding the six shilling piece, which Lord
Colambre had given him, in his mouth, all the while: for he could not
take time to put it into his pocket.
"Speed ye! I wish I was driving you all the way, then," said he.
The other postilion was not yet ready. "Then your honour sees,"
said he, putting his head into the carriage, "_consarning_ of them
Garraghties--Old Nick and St. Dennis--the best part, that is, the
worst part, of what I told you, proved true; and I'm glad of it, that
is, I'm sorry for it--but glad your honour knows it in time. So Heaven
prosper you! And may all the saints (_barring_ St. Dennis) have charge
of you, and all belonging to you, till we see you here again!--And
when will it be?"
"I cannot say when I shall return to you myself, but I will do my best
to send your landlord to you soon. In the mean time, my good fellow,
keep away from the sign of the Horseshoe--a man of your sense to drink
and make an idiot and a brute of yourself!"
"True!--And it was only when I had lost hope I took to it--but now!
Bring me the book one of _yees_, out of the landlady's parlour. By
the virtue of this book, and by all the books that ever was shut and
opened, I won't touch a drop of spirits, good or bad, till I see your
honour again, or some of the family, this time twelvemonth--that long
I live on hope,--but mind, if you disappoint me, I don't swear but
I'll take to the whiskey for comfort, all the rest of my days. But
don't be staying here, wasting your time, advising me. Bartley! take
the reins, can't ye?" cried he, giving them to the fresh postilion;
"and keep on, for your life, for there's thousands of pounds depending
on the race--so off, off, Bartley, with speed of light!"
Bartley did his best; and such was the excellence of the roads, that,
notwithstanding the rate at which our hero travelled, he arrived
safely in Dublin, just in time to put his letter into the post-office,
and to sail in that night's packet. The wind was fair when Lord
Colambre went on board, but before they got out of the Bay it changed;
they made no way all night: in the course of the next day, they had
the mortification to see another packet from Dublin sail past them,
and when they landed at Holyhead, were told the packet, which had left
Ireland twelve hours after them, had been in an hour before them.
The passengers had taken their places in the coach, and engaged what
horses could be had. Lord Colambre was afraid that Mr. Garraghty was
one of them; a person exactly answering his description had taken four
horses, and set out half an hour before in great haste for London.
Luckily, just as those who had taken their places in the mail were
getting into the coach, Lord Colambre saw among them a gentleman, with
whom he had been acquainted in Dublin, a barrister, who was come over
during the long vacation, to make a tour of pleasure in England. When
Lord Colambre explained the reason he had for being in haste to reach
London, he had the good-nature to give up to him his place in the
coach. Lord Colambre travelled all night, and delayed not one moment,
till he reached his father's house, in London.
"My father at home?"
"Yes, my lord, in his own room--the agent from Ireland with him, on
particular business--desired not to be interrupted--but I'll go and
tell him, my lord, you are come."
Lord Colambre ran past the servant, as he spoke--made his way into the
room--found his father, Sir Terence O'Fay, and Mr. Garraghty--leases
open on the table before them; a candle lighted; Sir Terence sealing;
Garraghty emptying a bag of guineas on the table, and Lord Clonbrony
actually with a pen in his hand, ready to sign.
As the door opened, Garraghty started back, so that half the contents
of his bag rolled upon the floor.
"Stop, my dear father, I conjure you," cried Lord Colambre, springing
forward, and snatching the pen from his father's hand.
"Colambre! God bless you, my dear boy! at all events. But how came you
here?--And what do you mean?" said his father.
"Burn it!" cried Sir Terence, pinching the sealing-wax; "for I burnt
myself with the pleasure of the surprise."
Garraghty, without saying a word, was picking up the guineas that were
scattered upon the floor.
"How fortunate I am," cried Lord Colambre, "to have arrived just in
time to tell you, my dear father, before you put your signature to
these papers, before you conclude this bargain, all I know, all I have
seen of that man!"
"Nick Garraghty, honest old Nick; do you know him, my lord?" said Sir
"Too well, sir."
"Mr. Garraghty, what have you done to offend my son? I did not expect
this," said Lord Clonbrony.
"Upon my conscience, my lord, nothing to my knowledge," said Mr.
Garraghty, picking up the guineas; "but showed him every civility,
even so far as offering to accommodate him with cash without security;
and where will you find the other agent, in Ireland, or any where
else, will do that? To my knowledge, I never did any thing, by word
or deed, to offend my Lord Colambre; nor could not, for I never
saw him but for ten minutes, in my days; and then he was in such
a foaming passion, begging his lordship's pardon, owing to the
misrepresentations he met with of me, I presume, from a parcel of
blackguards that he went amongst, _incognito_, he would not let me or
my brother Dennis say a word to set him right; but exposed me before
all the tenantry, and then threw himself into a hack, and drove off
here, to stop the signing of these leases, I perceive. But I trust,"
concluded he, putting the replenished money-bag down, with a heavy
sound on the table, opposite to Lord Clonbrony, "I trust my Lord
Clonbrony will do me justice; that's all I have to say."
"I comprehend the force of your last argument fully, sir," said Lord
Colambre. "May I ask, how many guineas there are in the bag?--I don't
ask whether they are my father's or not."
"They are to be your lordship's father's, sir, if he thinks proper,"
replied Garraghty. "How many, I don't know that I can justly,
positively say--five hundred, suppose."
"And they would be my father's, if he signed those leases--I
understand that perfectly, and understand that my father will lose
three times that sum by the bargain. My dear father, you start--but it
is true--is not this the rent, sir, at which you are going to let Mr.
Garraghty have the land?" placing a paper before Lord Clonbrony.
"It is--the very thing."
"And here, sir, written with my own hand, are copies of the proposals
I saw from responsible, respectable tenants, offered and refused. Is
it so, or is it not, Mr. Garraghty?--deny it, if you can."
Mr. Garraghty grew pale; his lips quivered; he stammered; and, after
a shocking convulsion of face, could at last articulate--only, "That
there was a great difference between tenant and tenant, his lordship
must be sensible--especially for so large a rent."
"As great a difference as between agent and agent, I am
sensible--especially for so large a property!" said Lord Colambre,
with cool contempt. "You find, sir, I am well informed with regard to
this transaction; you will find, also, that I am equally well informed
with respect to every part of your conduct towards my father and his
tenantry. If, in relating to him what I have seen and heard, I should
make any mistakes, you are here; and I am glad you are, to set me
right, and to do yourself justice."
"Oh! as to that, I should not presume to contradict any thing your
lordship asserts from your own authority: where would be the use?
I leave it all to your lordship. But, as it is not particularly
agreeable to stay to hear one's self abused--Sir Terence! I'll thank
you to hand me my hat!--And if you'll have the goodness, my Lord
Clonbrony, to look over finally the accounts before morning, I'll
call at your leisure to settle the balance, as you find convenient:
as to the leases, I'm quite indifferent." So saying, he took up his
"Well, you'll call again in the morning, Mr. Garraghty?" said
Sir Terence; "and, by that time, I hope we shall understand this
Sir Terence pulled Lord Clonbrony's sleeve: "Don't let him go with the
money--it's much wanted."
"Let him go," said Lord Colambre: "money can be had by honourable
"Wheugh!--He talks as if he had the bank of England at his command, as
every young man does," said Sir Terence.
Lord Colambre deigned no reply. Lord Clonbrony walked undecidedly
between his agent and his son--looked at Sir Terence, and said
Mr. Garraghty departed: Lord Clonbrony called after him from the head
of the stairs, "I shall be at home and at leisure in the morning."
Sir Terence ran down stairs after him: Lord Colambre waited quietly
for their return.
"Fifteen hundred guineas at a stroke of a goose-quill!--That was a
neat hit, narrowly missed, of honest Nick's!" said Lord Clonbrony.
"Too bad! too bad, faith!--I am much, very much obliged to you,
Colambre, for that hint: by to-morrow morning we shall have him in
"And he must double the bag, or quit," said Sir Terence.
"Treble it, if you please, Terry. Sure, three times five's
fifteen:--fifteen hundred down, or he does not get my signature to
those leases for his brother, nor get the agency of the Colambre
estate.--Colambre, what more have you to tell of him? for, since he
is making out his accounts against me, it is no harm to have a _per
contra_ against him, that may ease my balance."
"Very fair! very fair!" said Sir Terence. "My lord, trust me for
remembering all the charges against him--every item: and when he can't
clear himself, if I don't make him buy a good character dear enough,
why, say I am a fool, and don't know the value of character, good or
"If you know the value of character, Sir Terence," said Lord Colambre,
"you know that it is not to be bought or sold." Then turning from Sir
Terence to his father, he gave a full and true account of all he had
seen in his progress through his Irish estates; and drew a faithful
picture both of the bad and good agent. Lord Clonbrony, who had
benevolent feelings, and was fond of his tenantry, was touched; and
when his son ceased speaking, repeated several times, "Rascal! rascal!
How dare he use my tenants so--the O'Neills in particular!--Rascal!
bad heart!--I'll have no more to do with him." But, suddenly
recollecting himself, he turned to Sir Terence, and added, "That's
sooner said than done--I'll tell you honestly, Colambre, your friend
Mr. Burke may he the best man in the world--but he is the worst man to
apply to for a remittance or a loan, in a HURRY! He always tells me,
'he can't distress the tenants.'"
"And he never, at coming into the agency even," said Sir Terence,
"_advanced_ a good round sum to the landlord, by way of security for
his good behaviour. Now honest Nick did that much for us at coming
"And at going out is he not to be repaid?" said Lord Colambre.
"That's the devil!" said Lord Clonbrony: "that's the very reason I
can't conveniently turn him out."
"I will make it convenient to you, sir, if you will permit me," said
Lord Colambre. "In a few days I shall be of age, and will join with
you in raising whatever sum you want, to free you from this man. Allow
me to look over his account; and whatever the honest balance may be,
let him have it."
"My dear boy!" said Lord Clonbrony, "you're a generous fellow. Fine
Irish heart!--glad you're my son! But there's more, much more, that
you don't know," added he, looking at Sir Terence, who cleared his
throat; and Lord Clonbrony, who was on the point of opening all his
affairs to his son, stopped short.
"Colambre," said he, "we will not say any thing more of this at
present; for nothing effectual can be done till you are of age, and
then we shall see all about it."
Lord Colambre perfectly understood what his father meant, and what was
meant by the clearing of Sir Terence's throat. Lord Clonbrony wanted
his son to join him in opening the estate to pay his debts; and Sir
Terence feared that if Lord Colambre were abruptly told the whole sum
total of the debts, he would never be persuaded to join in selling or
mortgaging so much of his patrimony as would be necessary for their
payment. Sir Terence thought that the young man, ignorant probably of
business, and unsuspicious of the state of his father's affairs, might
be brought, by proper management, to any measures they desired. Lord
Clonbrony wavered between the temptation to throw himself upon the
generosity of his son, and the immediate convenience of borrowing a
sum of money from his agent, to relieve his present embarrassments.
"Nothing can be settled," repeated he, "till Colambre is of age; so it
does not signify talking of it."
"Why so, sir?" said Lord Colambre. "Though my act, in law, may not be
valid till I am of age, my promise, as a man of honour, is binding
now; and, I trust, would be as satisfactory to my father as any legal
"Undoubtedly, my dear boy; but--"
"But what?" said Lord Colambre, following his father's eye, which
turned to Sir Terence O'Fay, as if asking his permission to explain.
"As my father's friend, sir, you ought, permit me to say, at this
moment to use your influence to prevail upon him to throw aside all
reserve with a son, whose warmest wish is to serve him, and to see him
at ease and happy."
"Generous, dear boy," cried Lord Clonbrony. "Terence, I can't stand
it; but how shall I bring myself to name the amount of the debts?"
"At some time or other, I must know it," said Lord Colambre: "I cannot
be better prepared at any moment than the present; never more disposed
to give my assistance to relieve all difficulties. Blindfold, I cannot
be led to any purpose, sir," said he, looking at Sir Terence: "the
attempt would be degrading and futile. Blindfolded I will not be--but,
with my eyes open, I will see, and go straight and prompt as heart can
go, to my father's interest, without a look or thought to my own."
"By St. Patrick! the spirit of a prince, and an Irish prince, spoke
there," cried Sir Terence: "and if I'd fifty hearts, you'd have all in
your hand this minute, at your service, and warm. Blindfold you! After
that, the man that would attempt it _desarves_ to be shot; and I'd
have no sincerer pleasure in life than shooting him this moment, was
he my best friend. But it's not Clonbrony, or your father, my lord,
would act that way, no more than Sir Terence O'Fay--there's the
schedule of the debts," drawing a paper from his bosom; "and I'll
swear to the lot, and not a man on earth could do that but myself."
Lord Colambre opened the paper. His father turned aside, covering his
face with both his hands.
"Tut, man," said Sir Terence: "I know him now better than you; he will
stand, you'll find, the shock of that regiment of figures--he is steel
to the backbone, and proof spirit."
"I thank you, my dear father," said Lord Colambre, "for trusting
me thus at once with a view of the truth. At first sight it is, I
acknowledge, worse than I expected; but I make no doubt that, when
you allow me to examine Mr. Garraghty's accounts and Mr. Mordicai's
claims, we shall be able to reduce this alarming total considerably."
"The devil a pound, nor a penny," said Sir Terence; "for you have to
deal with a Jew and Old Nick; and, since I'm not a match for them, I
don't know who is; and I have no hope of getting any abatement. I've
looked over the accounts till I'm sick."
"Nevertheless, you will observe that fifteen hundred guineas have been
saved to my father at one stroke, by his not signing those leases."
"Saved to you, my lord; not your father, if you please," said Sir
Terence. "For now I'm upon the square with you, I must be straight
as an arrow, and deal with you as the son and friend of my friend:
before, I was considering you only as the son and heir, which is quite
another thing, you know; accordingly, acting for your father here,
I was making the best bargain against you I could: honestly, now, I
tell you. I knew the value of the lands well enough: I was as sharp
as Garraghty, and he knew it; I was to have had for your father
_the difference_ from him, partly in cash and partly in balance of
accounts--you comprehend--and you only would have been the loser, and
never would have known it, may be, till after we all were dead and
buried; and then you might have set aside Garraghty's lease easy, and
no harm done to any but a rogue that _desarved_ it; and, in the mean
time, an accommodation to my honest friend, my lord, your father here.
But, as fate would have it, you upset all by your progress incognito
through them estates. Well, it's best as it is, and I am better
pleased to be as we are, trusting all to a generous son's own heart.
Now put the poor father out of pain, and tell us what you'll do, my
"In one word, then," said Lord Colambre, "I will, upon two conditions,
either join my father in levying fines to enable him to sell or
mortgage whatever portion of his estate is necessary for the payment
of these debts; or I will, in whatever mode he can point out, as more
agreeable or more advantageous to him, join in giving security to his
"Dear, noble fellow!" cried Sir Terence: "none but an Irishman could
Lord Clonbrony, melted to tears, could not articulate, but held his
arms open to embrace his son.
"But you have not heard my conditions yet," said Lord Colambre.
"Oh, confound the conditions!" cried Sir Terence.
"What conditions could he ask, that I could refuse at this minute?"
said Lord Clonbrony.
"Nor I--was it my heart's blood, and were I to be hanged for it,"
cried Sir Terence. "And what are the conditions?"
"That Mr. Garraghty shall be dismissed from the agency."
"And welcome, and glad to get rid of him--the rogue, the tyrant," said
Lord Clonbrony; "and, to be beforehand with you in your next wish, put
Mr. Burke into his place."
"I'll write the letter for you to sign, my lord, this minute," cried
Terry, "with all the pleasure in life. No; it's my Lord Colambre
should do that in all justice."
"But what's your next condition? I hope it's no worse," said Lord
"That you and my mother should cease to be absentees."
"Oh, murder!" said Sir Terence; "may be that's not so easy; for there
are two words to that bargain."
Lord Clonbrony declared that, for his own part, he was ready to return
to Ireland next morning, and to promise to reside on his estate all
the rest of his days; that there was nothing he desired more, provided
Lady Clonbrony would consent to it; but that he could not promise for
her; that she was as obstinate as a mule on that point; that he had
often tried, but that there was no moving her; and that, in short, he
could not promise on her part.
But it was on this condition, Lord Colambre said, he must insist.
Unless this condition were granted, he would not engage to do any
"Well, we must only see how it will be when she comes to town; she
will come up from Buxton the day you're of age to sign some papers,"
said Lord Clonbrony; "but," added he with a very dejected look and
voice, "if all's to depend on my Lady Clonbrony's consenting to return
to Ireland, I'm as far from all hope of being at ease as ever."
"Upon my conscience, we're all at sea again," said Sir Terence.
Lord Colambre was silent; but in his silence there was such an air
of firmness, that both Lord Clonbrony and Sir Terence were convinced
entreaties would, on this point, be fruitless. Lord Clonbrony sighed
"But when it's ruin or safety! and her husband and all belonging to
her at stake, the woman can't persist in being a mule," said Sir
"Of whom are you talking, sir?" said Lord Colambre.
"Of whom? Oh, I beg your lordship's pardon--I thought I was talking to
my lord; but, in other words, as you are her son, I'm persuaded her
ladyship, your mother, will prove herself a reasonable woman--when she
sees she can't help it. So, my Lord Clonbrony, cheer up; a great deal
may be done by the fear of Mordicai, and an execution, especially now
there's no prior creditor. Since there's no reserve between you and
I now, my Lord Colambre," said Sir Terence, "I must tell you all,
and how we shambled on those months while you were in Ireland. First,
Mordicai went to law, to prove I was in a conspiracy with your father,
pretending to be prior creditor, to keep him off and out of his own;
which, after a world of swearing and law--law always takes time to do
justice, that's one comfort--the villain proved at last to be true
enough, and so cast us; and I was forced to be paid off last week. So
there's no prior creditor, or any shield of pretence that way. Then
his execution was coming down upon us, and nothing to stay it till I
thought of a monthly annuity to Mordicai, in the shape of a wager.
So the morning after he cast us, I went to him: 'Mr. Mordicai,' says
I, 'you must be _plased_ to see a man you've beaten so handsomely;
and though I'm sore, both for myself and my friend, yet you see I
can laugh still, though an execution is no laughing matter, and
I'm sensible you've one in petto in your sleeve for my friend Lord
Clonbrony. But I'll lay you a wager of a hundred guineas on paper,
that a marriage of his son with an heiress, before next Lady-day, will
set all to rights, and pay you with a compliment too."
"Good heavens, Sir Terence! surely you said no such thing?"
"I did--but what was it but a wager? which is nothing but a dream;
and, when lost, as I am as sensible as you are that it must be, why
what is it, after all, but a bonus, in a gentlemanlike form, to
Mordicai? which, I grant you, is more than he deserves--for staying
the execution till you be of age; and even for my Lady Clonbrony's
sake, though I know she hates me like poison, rather than have her
disturbed by an execution, I'd pay the hundred guineas this minute out
of my own pocket, if I had 'em in it."
A thundering knock at the door was heard at this moment.
"Never heed it; let 'em thunder," said Sir Terence: "whoever it is,
they won't get in; for my lord bid them let none in for their life.
It's necessary for us to be very particular about the street-door
now; and I advise a double chain for it, and to have the footmen well
tutored to look before they run to a double rap; for a double rap
might be a double trap."
"My lady and Miss Nugent, my lord," said a footman, throwing open the
"My mother! Miss Nugent!" cried Lord Colambre, springing eagerly
"Colambre! Here!" said his mother: "but it's all too late now, and no
matter where you are."
Lady Clonbrony coldly suffered her son to embrace her; and he, without
considering the coldness of her manner, scarcely hearing, and not at
all understanding, the words she said, fixed his eyes on his cousin,
who, with a countenance all radiant with affectionate joy, held out
her hand to him.
"Dear cousin Colambre, what an unexpected pleasure!"
He seized the hand; but, as he was going to kiss it, the recollection
of _St. Omar_ crossed his mind: he checked himself, and said something
about joy and pleasure, but his countenance expressed neither; and
Miss Nugent, much surprised by the coldness of his manner, withdrew
her hand, and, turning away, left the room.
"Grace! darling!" called Lord Clonbrony, "whither so fast, before
you've given me a word or a kiss?"
She came back, and hastily kissed her uncle, who folded her in his
arms. "Why must I let you go? And what makes you so pale, my dear
"I am a little, a little tired--I will be with you again soon."
Her uncle let her go.
"Your famous Buxton baths don't seem to have agreed with her, by all I
can see," said Lord Clonbrony.
"My lord, the Buxton baths are no way to blame; but I know what is
to blame and who is to blame," said Lady Clonbrony, in a tone of
displeasure, fixing her eyes upon her son. "Yes, you may well look
confounded, Colambre; but it is too late now--you should have known
your own mind in time. I see you have heard it, then--but I am sure
I don't know how; for it was only decided the day I left Buxton. The
news could hardly travel faster than I did. Pray how did you hear it?"
"Hear what, ma'am?" said Colambre.
"Why, that Miss Broadhurst is going to be married."
"All! Now, Lord Colambre, you _reelly_ are too much for my patience.
But I flatter myself you will feel, when I tell you that it is your
friend, Sir Arthur Berryl, as I always prophesied, who has carried off
the prize from you."
"But for the fear of displeasing my dear mother, I should say, that
I do feel sincere pleasure in this marriage--I always wished it: my
friend, Sir Arthur, from the first moment, trusted me with the secret
of his attachment; he knew that he had my warm good wishes for his
success; he knew that I thought most highly of the young lady; but
that I never thought of her as a wife for myself."
"And why did not you? that is the very thing I complain of," said Lady
Clonbrony. "But it is all over now. You may set your heart at ease,
for they are to be married on Thursday; and poor Mrs. Broadhurst is
ready to break her heart, for she was set upon a coronet for her
daughter; and you, ungrateful as you are, you don't know how she
wished you to be the happy man. But only conceive, after all that
has passed, Miss Broadhurst had the assurance to expect I would let
my niece be her bride's-maid. Oh, I flatly refused; that is, I told
Grace it could not be; and, that there might be no affront to Mrs.
Broadhurst, who did not deserve it, I pretended Grace had never
mentioned it; but ordered my carriage, and left Buxton directly. Grace
was hurt, for she is very warm in her friendships. I am sorry to hurt
Grace. But _reelly_ I could not let her be bride's-maid:--and that, if
you must know, is what vexed her, and made the tears come in her eyes,
I suppose--and I'm sorry for it; but one must keep up one's dignity a
little. After all, Miss Broadhurst was only a citizen--and _reelly_
now, a very odd girl; never did any thing like any body else; settled
her marriage at last in the oddest way. Grace can tell you the
particulars. I own, I am tired of the subject, and tired of my
journey. My lord, I shall take leave to dine in my own room to-day,"
continued her ladyship, as she quitted the room.
"I hope her ladyship did not notice me," said Sir Terence O'Fay,
coming from behind a window-curtain.
"Why, Terry, what did you hide for?" said Lord Clonbrony.
"Hide! I didn't hide, nor wouldn't from any man living, _let alone_
any woman. Hide! no; but I just stood looking out of the window,
behind this curtain, that my poor Lady Clonbrony might not be
discomfited and shocked by the sight of one whom she can't abide, the
very minute she come home. Oh, I've some consideration--it would have
put her out of humour worse with both of you too; and for that there's
no need, as far as I see. So I'll take myself off to my coffee-house
to dine, and may be you may get her down and into spirits again. But,
for your lives, don't touch upon Ireland this night, nor till she has
fairly got the better of the marriage. _Apropos_--there's my wager
to Mordicai gone at a slap. It's I that ought to be scolding you, my
Lord Colambre; but I trust you will do as well yet, not in point of
purse, may be. But I'm not one of those that think that money's every
thing--though, I grant you, in this world there's nothing to be had
without it--love excepted,--which most people don't believe in--but
not I--in particular cases. So I leave you, with my blessing, and I've
a notion, at this time, that is better than my company--your most
[Footnote 1: Leaving any woman out of the question.]
The good-natured Sir Terence would not be persuaded by Lord Clonbrony
to stay. Nodding at Lord Colambre as he went out of the room, he
said, "I've an eye, in going, to your heart's ease too. When I played
myself, I never liked standers-by."
Sir Terence was not deficient in penetration, but he never could help
boasting of his discoveries.
Lord Colambre was grateful for his judicious departure; and followed
his equally judicious advice, not to touch upon Ireland this night.
Lady Clonbrony was full of Buxton, and he was glad to be relieved from
the necessity of talking; and he indulged himself in considering what
might be passing in Miss Nugent's mind. She now appeared in remarkably
good spirits; for her aunt had given her a hint that she thought
her out of humour because she had not been permitted to be Miss
Broadhurst's bride's-maid, and she was determined to exert herself
to dispel this notion. This it was now easy for her to do, because
she had, by this time, in her own imagination, found a plausible
excuse for that coldness in Lord Colambre's reception of her, by
which she had at first been hurt: she had settled it, that he had
taken it for granted she was of his mother's sentiments respecting
Miss Broadhurst's marriage, and that this idea, and perhaps the
apprehension of her reproaches, had caused this embarrassment--she
knew that she could easily set this misunderstanding right.
Accordingly, when Lady Clonbrony had talked herself to sleep about
Buxton, and was taking her afternoon's nap, as it was her custom to do
when she had neither cards nor company to keep her awake, Miss Nugent
began to explain her own sentiments, and to give Lord Colambre, as her
aunt had desired, an account of the manner in which Miss Broadhurst's
marriage had been settled.
"In the first place," said she, "let me assure you, that I rejoice in
this marriage: I think your friend, Sir Arthur Berryl, is every way
deserving of my friend Miss Broadhurst; and this from me," said she,
smiling, "is no slight eulogium. I have marked the rise and progress
of their attachment; and it has been founded on the perception of
such excellent qualities on each side, that I have no fear for its
permanence. Sir Arthur Berryl's honourable conduct in paying his
father's debts, and his generosity to his mother and sisters, whose
fortunes were left entirely dependent upon him, first pleased my
friend. It was like what she would have done herself, and like--in
short, it is what few young men, as she said, of the present day
would do. Then his refraining from all personal expenses, his going
without equipage and without horses, that he might do what he felt
to be right, whilst it exposed him continually to the ridicule of
fashionable young men, or to the charge of avarice, made a very
different impression on Miss Broadhurst's mind; her esteem and
admiration were excited by these proofs of strength of character, and
of just and good principles."
"If you go on you will make me envious and jealous of my friend," said
"You jealous!--Oh, it is too late now--besides, you cannot be jealous,
for you never loved."
"I never loved Miss Broadhurst, I acknowledge."
"There was the advantage Sir Arthur Berryl had over you--he loved, and
my friend saw it."
"She was clear-sighted," said Lord Colambre.
"She was clear-sighted," repeated Miss Nugent; "but if you mean that
she was vain, and apt to fancy people in love with her, I can assure
you that you are mistaken. Never was woman, young or old, more
clear-sighted to the views of those by whom she was addressed. No
flattery, no fashion, could blind her judgment."
"She knew how to choose a friend well, I am sure," said Lord Colambre.
"And a friend for life, too, I am sure you will allow--and she had
such numbers, such strange variety of admirers, as might have puzzled
the choice and turned the brain of any inferior person. Such a
succession of lovers as she has had this summer, ever since you
went to Ireland--they appeared and vanished like figures in a magic
lantern. She had three noble admirers--rank in three different forms
offered themselves First came in, hobbling, rank and gout; next, rank
and gaming; then rank, very high rank, over head and ears in debt.
All of these were rejected; and, as they moved off, I thought Mrs.
Broadhurst would have broken her heart. Next came fashion, with his
head, heart, and soul in his cravat--he quickly made his bow, or
rather his nod, and walked off, taking a pinch of snuff. Then came a
man of wit--but it was wit without worth; and presently came 'worth
without wit.' She preferred 'wit and worth united,' which she
fortunately at last found, Lord Colambre, in your friend, Sir Arthur
"Grace, my girl!" said her uncle, "I'm glad to see you've got up your
spirits again, though you were not to be bride's-maid. Well, I hope
you'll be bride soon--I'm sure you ought to be--and you should think
of rewarding that poor Mr. Salisbury, who plagues me to death,
whenever he can catch hold of me, about you. He must have our