Part 1 out of 10
E-text prepared by Andrew Turek and revised and annotated by Joseph E.
THE KELLYS AND THE O'KELLYS
I. The Trial
II. The Two Heiresses
III. Morrison's Hotel
IV. The Dunmore Inn
V. A Loving Brother
VI. The Escape
VII. Mr Barry Lynch Makes a Morning Call
VIII. Mr Martin Kelly Returns to Dunmore
IX. Mr Daly, the Attorney
X. Dot Blake's Advice
XI. The Earl of Cashel
XII. Fanny Wyndham
XIII. Father and Son
XIV. The Countess
XV. Handicap Lodge
XVI. Brien Boru
XVII. Martin Kelly's Courtship
XVIII. An Attorney's Office in Connaught
XIX. Mr Daly Visits the Dunmore Inn
XX. Very Liberal
XXI. Lord Ballindine at Home
XXII. The Hunt
XXIII. Dr Colligan
XXIV. Anty Lynch's Bed-Side; Scene the First
XXV. Anty Lynch's Bed-Side; Scene the Second
XXVI. Love's Ambassador
XXVII. Mr Lynch's Last Resource
XXVIII. Fanny Wyndham Rebels
XXIX. The Countess of Cashell in Trouble
XXX. Lord Kilcullen Obeys His Father
XXXI. The Two Friends
XXXII. How Lord Kilcullen Fares in His Wooing
XXXIII. Lord Kilcullen Makes Another Visit to the Book-Room
XXXIV. The Doctor Makes a Clean Breast of It
XXXV. Mr Lynch Bids Farewell to Dunmore
XXXVI. Mr Armstrong Visits Grey Abbey on a Delicate Mission
XXXVII. Veni; Vidi; Vici
XXXVIII. Wait Till I Tell You
XXXIX. It Never Rains but It Pours
I. THE TRIAL
During the first two months of the year 1844, the greatest possible
excitement existed in Dublin respecting the State Trials, in which
Mr O'Connell,  his son, the Editors of three different repeal
newspapers, Tom Steele, the Rev. Mr Tierney--a priest who had taken
a somewhat prominent part in the Repeal Movement--and Mr Ray, the
Secretary to the Repeal Association, were indicted for conspiracy.
Those who only read of the proceedings in papers, which gave them as
a mere portion of the news of the day, or learned what was going on
in Dublin by chance conversation, can have no idea of the absorbing
interest which the whole affair created in Ireland, but more especially
in the metropolis. Every one felt strongly, on one side or on the
other. Every one had brought the matter home to his own bosom, and
looked to the result of the trial with individual interest and
[FOOTNOTE 1: The historical events described here form a backdrop
to the novel. Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847) came from
a wealthy Irish Catholic family. He was educated in
the law, which he practiced most successfully, and
developed a passion for religious and political
liberty. In 1823, together with Lalor Sheil and
Thomas Wyse, he organized the Catholic Association,
whose major goal was Catholic emancipation. This was
achieved by act of parliament the following year.
O'Connell served in parliament in the 1830's and was
active in the passage of bills emancipating the Jews
and outlawing slavery. In 1840 he formed the Repeal
Association, whose goal was repeal of the 1800 Act
of Union which joined Ireland to Great Britain. In
1842, after serving a year as Lord Mayor of Dublin,
O'Connell challenged the British government by
announcing that he intended to achieve repeal within
a year. Though he openly opposed violence, Prime
Minister Peel's government considered him a threat
and arrested O'Connell and his associates in 1843
on trumped-up charges of conspiracy, sedition, and
unlawfule assembly. They were tried in 1844, and all
but one were convicted, although the conviction was
later overturned in the House of Lords. O'Connell did
serve some time in jail and was considered a martyr
to the cause of Irish independence.]
Even at this short interval Irishmen can now see how completely they
put judgment aside, and allowed feeling and passion to predominate in
the matter. Many of the hottest protestants, of the staunchest foes
to O'Connell, now believe that his absolute imprisonment was not to
be desired, and that whether he were acquitted or convicted, the
Government would have sufficiently shown, by instituting his trial, its
determination to put down proceedings of which they did not approve. On
the other hand, that class of men who then styled themselves Repealers
are now aware that the continued imprisonment of their leader--the
persecution, as they believed it to be, of "the Liberator" --would
have been the one thing most certain to have sustained his influence,
and to have given fresh force to their agitation. Nothing ever so
strengthened the love of the Irish for, and the obedience of the Irish
to O'Connell, as his imprisonment; nothing ever so weakened his power
over them as his unexpected enfranchisement . The country shouted
for joy when he was set free, and expended all its enthusiasm in the
[FOOTNOTE 2: The Irish often referred to Daniel O'Connell as
[FOOTNOTE 3: enfranchisement--being set free. This is a political
observation by Trollope.]
At the time, however, to which I am now referring, each party felt the
most intense interest in the struggle, and the most eager desire for
success. Every Repealer, and every Anti-Repealer in Dublin felt that
it was a contest, in which he himself was, to a certain extent,
individually engaged. All the tactics of the opposed armies, down to
the minutest legal details, were eagerly and passionately canvassed in
every circle. Ladies, who had before probably never heard of "panels"
in forensic phraseology, now spoke enthusiastically on the subject;
and those on one side expressed themselves indignant at the fraudulent
omission of certain names from the lists of jurors; while those on the
other were capable of proving the legality of choosing the jury from
the names which were given, and stated most positively that the
omissions were accidental.
"The traversers"  were in everybody's mouth--a term heretofore
confined to law courts, and lawyers' rooms. The Attorney-General,
the Commander-in-Chief of the Government forces, was most virulently
assailed; every legal step which he took was scrutinised and abused;
every measure which he used was base enough of itself to hand down his
name to everlasting infamy. Such were the tenets of the Repealers. And
O'Connell and his counsel, their base artifices, falsehoods, delays,
and unprofessional proceedings, were declared by the Saxon party to be
[FOOTNOTE 4: traversers--Trollope repeatedly refers to the
defendants as "traversers." The term probably comes
from the legal term "to traverse," which is to deny
the charges against one in a common law proceeding.
Thus, the traversers would have been those who pled
The whole Irish bar seemed, for the time, to have laid aside the
habitual _sang froid_  and indifference of lawyers, and to have
employed their hearts as well as their heads on behalf of the different
parties by whom they were engaged. The very jurors themselves for a
time became famous or infamous, according to the opinions of those
by whom their position was discussed. Their names and additions were
published and republished; they were declared to be men who would stand
by their country and do their duty without fear or favour--so said the
Protestants. By the Roman Catholics, they were looked on as perjurors
determined to stick to the Government with blind indifference to their
oaths. Their names are now, for the most part, forgotten, though so
little time has elapsed since they appeared so frequently before the
[FOOTNOTE 5: sang froid--(French) coolness in a trying situation,
lack of excitability]
Every day's proceedings gave rise to new hopes and fears. The evidence
rested chiefly on the reports of certain short-hand writers, who had
been employed to attend Repeal meetings, and their examinations and
cross-examinations were read, re-read, and scanned with the minutest
care. Then, the various and long speeches of the different counsel,
who, day after day, continued to address the jury; the heat of one,
the weary legal technicalities of another, the perspicuity of a third,
and the splendid forensic eloquence of a fourth, were criticised,
depreciated and admired. It seemed as though the chief lawyers of the
day were standing an examination, and were candidates for some high
honour, which each was striving to secure.
The Dublin papers were full of the trial; no other subject, could, at
the time, either interest or amuse. I doubt whether any affair of the
kind was ever, to use the phrase of the trade, so well and perfectly
reported. The speeches appeared word for word the same in the columns
of newspapers of different politics. For four-fifths of the contents of
the paper it would have been the same to you whether you were reading
the Evening Mail, or the Freeman. Every word that was uttered in the
Court was of importance to every one in Dublin; and half-an-hour's
delay in ascertaining, to the minutest shade, what had taken place in
Court during any period, was accounted a sad misfortune.
The press round the Four Courts , every morning before the doors
were open, was very great: and except by the favoured few who were able
to obtain seats, it was only with extreme difficulty and perseverance,
that an entrance into the body of the Court could be obtained.
[FOOTNOTE 6: The Four Courts was a landmark courthouse in Dublin
named for the four divisions of the Irish judicial
system: Common Pleas, Chancery, Exchequer, and King's
It was on the eleventh morning of the proceedings, on the day on which
the defence of the traversers was to be commenced, that two young men,
who had been standing for a couple of hours in front of the doors of
the Court, were still waiting there, with what patience was left to
them, after having been pressed and jostled for so long a time. Richard
Lalor Sheil, however, was to address the jury on behalf of Mr John
O'Connell--and every one in Dublin knew that that was a treat not to
be lost. The two young men, too, were violent Repealers. The elder of
them was a three-year-old denizen of Dublin, who knew the names of
the contributors to the "Nation", who had constantly listened to the
indignation and enthusiasm of O'Connell, Smith O'Brien, and O'Neill
Daunt, in their addresses from the rostrum of the Conciliation Hall
; who had drank much porter at Jude's, who had eaten many oysters
at Burton Bindon's, who had seen and contributed to many rows in the
Abbey Street Theatre; who, during his life in Dublin, had done many
things which he ought not to have done, and had probably made as
many omissions of things which it had behoved him to do. He had that
knowledge of the persons of his fellow-citizens, which appears to be so
much more general in Dublin than in any other large town; he could tell
you the name and trade of every one he met in the streets, and was a
judge of the character and talents of all whose employments partook, in
any degree, of a public nature. His name was Kelly; and, as his calling
was that of an attorney's clerk, his knowledge of character would be
peculiarly valuable in the scene at which he and his companion were so
anxious to be present.
[FOOTNOTE 7: Conciliation Hall, Dublin, was built in 1843 as a
meeting place for O'Connell's Repeal Association.]
The younger of the two brothers, for such they were, was a somewhat
different character. Though perhaps a more enthusiastic Repealer
than his brother, he was not so well versed in the details of Repeal
tactics, or in the strength and weakness of the Repeal ranks. He was a
young farmer, of the better class, from the County Mayo, where he held
three or four hundred wretchedly bad acres under Lord Ballindine, and
one or two other small farms, under different landlords. He was a
good-looking young fellow, about twenty-five years of age, with that
mixture of cunning and frankness in his bright eye, which is so common
among those of his class in Ireland, but more especially so in
The mother of these two young men kept an inn in the small town of
Dunmore, and though from the appearance of the place, one would be
led to suppose that there could not be in Dunmore much of that kind
of traffic which innkeepers love, Mrs Kelly was accounted a warm,
comfortable woman. Her husband had left her for a better world some
ten years since, with six children; and the widow, instead of making
continual use, as her chief support, of that common wail of being a
poor, lone woman, had put her shoulders to the wheel, and had earned
comfortably, by sheer industry, that which so many of her class, when
similarly situated, are willing to owe to compassion.
She held on the farm, which her husband rented from Lord Ballindine,
till her eldest son was able to take it. He, however, was now a
gauger  in the north of Ireland. Her second son was the attorney's
clerk; and the farm had descended to Martin, the younger, whom we have
left jostling and jostled at one of the great doors of the Four Courts,
and whom we must still leave there for a short time, while a few more
of the circumstances of his family are narrated.
[FOOTNOTE 8: gauger--a British revenue officer often engaged in
the collection of duties on distilled spirits.]
Mrs Kelly had, after her husband's death, added a small grocer's
establishment to her inn. People wondered where she had found the means
of supplying her shop: some said that old Mick Kelly must have had
money when he died, though it was odd how a man who drank so much could
ever have kept a shilling by him. Others remarked how easy it was to
get credit in these days, and expressed a hope that the wholesale
dealer in Pill Lane might be none the worse. However this might be,
the widow Kelly kept her station firmly and constantly behind her
counter, wore her weeds and her warm, black, stuff dress decently and
becomingly, and never asked anything of anybody.
At the time of which we are writing, her two elder sons had left her,
and gone forth to make their own way, and take the burden of the world
on their own shoulders. Martin still lived with his mother, though his
farm lay four miles distant, on the road to Ballindine, and in another
county--for Dunmore is in County Galway, and the lands of Toneroe, as
Martin's farm was called, were in the County Mayo. One of her three
daughters had lately been married to a shop-keeper in Tuam, and rumour
said that he had got L500 with her; and Pat Daly was not the man to
have taken a wife for nothing. The other two girls, Meg and Jane, still
remained under their mother's wing, and though it was to be presumed
that they would soon fly abroad, with the same comfortable plumage
which had enabled their sister to find so warm a nest, they were
obliged, while sharing their mother's home, to share also her labours,
and were not allowed to be too proud to cut off pennyworths of tobacco,
and mix dandies of punch for such of their customers as still preferred
the indulgence of their throats to the blessing of Father Mathew.
Mrs. Kelly kept two ordinary in-door servants to assist in the work of
the house; one, an antiquated female named Sally, who was more devoted
to her tea-pot than ever was any bacchanalian to his glass. Were there
four different teas in the inn in one evening, she would have drained
the pot after each, though she burst in the effort. Sally was, in all,
an honest woman, and certainly a religious one;--she never neglected
her devotional duties, confessed with most scrupulous accuracy the
various peccadillos of which she might consider herself guilty; and
it was thought, with reason, by those who knew her best, that all the
extra prayers she said,--and they were very many,--were in atonement
for commissions of continual petty larceny with regard to sugar. On
this subject did her old mistress quarrel with her, her young mistress
ridicule her; of this sin did her fellow-servant accuse her; and,
doubtless, for this sin did her Priest continually reprove her; but
in vain. Though she would not own it, there was always sugar in
her pocket, and though she declared that she usually drank her tea
unsweetened, those who had come upon her unawares had seen her
extracting the pinches of moist brown saccharine from the huge slit
in her petticoat, and could not believe her.
Kate, the other servant, was a red-legged lass, who washed the
potatoes, fed the pigs, and ate her food nobody knew when or where.
Kates, particularly Irish Kates, are pretty by prescription; but Mrs.
Kelly's Kate had been excepted, and was certainly a most positive
exception. Poor Kate was very ugly. Her hair had that appearance of
having been dressed by the turkey-cock, which is sometimes presented by
the heads of young women in her situation; her mouth extended nearly
from ear to ear; her neck and throat, which were always nearly bare,
presented no feminine charms to view; and her short coarse petticoat
showed her red legs nearly to the knee; for, except on Sundays, she
knew not the use of shoes and stockings. But though Kate was ungainly
and ugly, she was useful, and grateful--very fond of the whole family,
and particularly attached to the two young ladies, in whose behalf she
doubtless performed many a service, acceptable enough to them, but of
which, had she known of them, the widow would have been but little
likely to approve.
Such was Mrs. Kelly's household at the time that her son Martin left
Connaught to pay a short visit to the metropolis, during the period of
O'Connell's trial. But, although Martin was a staunch Repealer, and had
gone as far as Galway, and Athlone, to be present at the Monster Repeal
Meetings which had been held there, it was not political anxiety alone
which led him to Dublin. His landlord; the young Lord Ballindine, was
there; and, though Martin could not exactly be said to act as his
lordship's agent--for Lord Ballindine had, unfortunately, a legal
agent, with whose services his pecuniary embarrassments did not
allow him to dispense--he was a kind of confidential tenant, and
his attendance had been requested. Martin, moreover, had a somewhat
important piece of business of his own in hand, which he expected would
tend greatly to his own advantage; and, although he had fully made up
his mind to carry it out if possible, he wanted, in conducting it, a
little of his brother's legal advice, and, above all, his landlord's
This business was nothing less than an intended elopement with an
heiress belonging to a rank somewhat higher than that in which Martin
Kelly might be supposed to look, with propriety, for his bride; but
Martin was a handsome fellow, not much burdened with natural modesty,
and he had, as he supposed, managed to engage the affections of
Anastasia Lynch, a lady resident near Dunmore.
All particulars respecting Martin's intended--the amount of her
fortune--her birth and parentage--her age and attractions--shall,
in due time, be made known; or rather, perhaps, be suffered to make
themselves known. In the mean time we will return to the two brothers,
who are still anxiously waiting to effect an entrance into the august
presence of the Law.
Martin had already told his brother of his matrimonial speculations,
and had received certain hints from that learned youth as to the proper
means of getting correct information as to the amount of the lady's
wealth,--her power to dispose of it by her own deed,--and certain other
particulars always interesting to gentlemen who seek money and love at
the same time. John did not quite approve of the plan; there might have
been a shade of envy at his brother's good fortune; there might be
some doubt as to his brother's power of carrying the affair through
successfully; but, though he had not encouraged him, he gave him the
information he wanted, and was as willing to talk over the matter as
Martin could desire.
As they were standing in the crowd, their conversation ran partly on
Repeal and O'Connell, and partly on matrimony and Anty Lynch, as the
lady was usually called by those who knew her best.
"Tear and 'ouns Misther Lord Chief Justice!" exclaimed Martin, "and are
ye niver going to opin them big doors?"
"And what'd be the good of his opening them yet," answered John, "when
a bigger man than himself an't there? Dan and the other boys isn't in
it yet, and sure all the twelve judges couldn't get on a peg without
"Well, Dan, my darling!" said the other, "you're thought more of here
this day than the lot of 'em, though the place in a manner belongs to
them, and you're only a prisoner."
"Faix and that's what he's not, Martin; no more than yourself, nor so
likely, may-be. He's the traverser, as I told you before, and that's
not being a prisoner. If he were a prisoner, how did he manage to tell
us all what he did at the Hall yesterday?"
"Av' he's not a prisoner, he's the next-door to it; it's not of his own
free will and pleasure he'd come here to listen to all the lies them
thundhering Saxon ruffians choose to say about him."
"And why not? Why wouldn't he come here and vindicate himself? When you
hear Sheil by and by, you'll see then whether they think themselves
likely to be prisoners! No--no; they never will be, av' there's a ghost
of a conscience left in one of them Protesthant raps, that they've
picked so carefully out of all Dublin to make jurors of. They can't
convict 'em! I heard Ford, the night before last, offer four to one
that they didn't find the lot guilty; and he knows what he's about, and
isn't the man to thrust a Protestant half as far as he'd see him."
"Isn't Tom Steele a Protesthant himself, John?"
"Well, I believe he is. So's Gray, and more of 'em too; but there's a
difference between them and the downright murdhering Tory set. Poor Tom
doesn't throuble the Church much; but you'll be all for Protesthants
now, Martin, when you've your new brother-in-law. Barry used to be one
of your raal out-and-outers!"
"It's little, I'm thinking, I and Barry'll be having to do together,
unless it be about the brads; and the law about them now, thank God,
makes no differ for Roman and Protesthant. Anty's as good a Catholic
as ever breathed, and so was her mother before her; and when she's Mrs
Kelly, as I mane to make her, Master Barry may shell out the cash and
go to heaven his own way for me."
"It ain't the family then, you're fond of, Martin! And I wondher at
that, considering how old Sim loved us all."
"Niver mind Sim, John! he's dead and gone; and av' he niver did a good
deed before, he did one when he didn't lave all his cash to that
precious son of his, Barry Lynch."
"You're prepared for squalls with Barry, I suppose?"
"He'll have all the squalling on his own side, I'm thinking, John. I
don't mane to squall, for one. I don't see why I need, with L400 a-year
in my pocket, and a good wife to the fore."
"The L400 a-year's good enough, av' you touch it, certainly," said the
man of law, thinking of his own insufficient guinea a-week, "and you
must look to have some throuble yet afore you do that. But as to the
wife--why, the less said the better--eh, Martin?
"Av' it's not asking too much, might I throuble you, sir, to set
anywhere else but on my shouldher?" This was addressed to a very fat
citizen, who was wheezing behind Martin, and who, to escape suffocation
in the crowd, was endeavouring to raise himself on his neighbour's
shoulders. "And why the less said the better?--I wish yourself may
never have a worse."
"I wish I mayn't, Martin, as far as the cash goes; and a man like me
might look a long time in Dublin before he got a quarter of the money.
But you must own Anty's no great beauty, and she's not over young,
"Av' she's no beauty, she's not downright ugly, like many a girl that
gets a good husband; and av' she's not over young, she's not over old.
She's not so much older than myself, after all. It's only because her
own people have always made nothing of her; that's what has made
everybody else do the same."
"Why, Martin, I know she's ten years older than Barry, and Barry's
older than you!"
"One year; and Anty's not full ten years older than him. Besides,
what's ten years between man and wife?"
"Not much, when it's on the right side. But it's the wrong side with
"Well, John, now, by virtue of your oath, as you chaps say, wouldn't
you marry a woman twice her age, av' she'd half the money?--Begad you
would, and leap at it!"
"Perhaps I would. I'd a deal sooner have a woman eighty than forty.
There'd be some chance then of having the money after the throuble was
over! Anty's neither ould enough nor young enough."
"She's not forty, any way; and won't be yet for five years and more;
and, as I hope for glory, John--though I know you won't believe me--I
wouldn't marry her av' she'd all Sim Lynch's ill-gotten property,
instead of only half, av' I wasn't really fond of her, and av' I didn't
think I'd make her a good husband."
"You didn't tell mother what you're afther, did you?"
"Sorrow a word! But she's so 'cute she partly guesses; and I think Meg
let slip something. The girls and Anty are thick as thiefs since old
Sim died; though they couldn't be at the house much since Barry came
home, and Anty daren't for her life come down to the shop."
"Did mother say anything about the schame?"
"Faix, not much; but what she did say, didn't show she'd much mind for
it. Since Sim Lynch tried to get Toneroe from her, when father died,
she'd never a good word for any of them. Not but what she's always a
civil look for Anty, when she sees her."
"There's not much fear she'll look black on the wife, when you bring
the money home with her. But where'll you live, Martin? The little shop
at Dunmore'll be no place for Mrs Kelly, when there's a lady of the
name with L400 a-year of her own."
"'Deed then, John, and that's what I don't know. May-be I'll build up
the ould house at Toneroe; some of the O'Kellys themselves lived there,
"I believe they did; but it was years ago, and very many years ago,
too, since they lived there. Why you'd have to pull it all down, before
you began to build it up!"
"May-be I'd build a new house, out and out. Av' I got three new lifes
in the laise, I'd do that; and the lord wouldn't be refusing me, av' I
"Bother the lord, Martin; why you'd be asking anything of any lord, and
you with L400 a-year of your own? Give up Toneroe, and go and live at
Dunmore House at once."
"What! along with Barry--when I and Anty's married? The biggest house
in county Galway wouldn't hould the three of us."
"You don't think Barry Lynch'll stay at Dunmore afther you've married
"And why not?"
"Why not! Don't you know Barry thinks himself one of the raal gentry
now? Any ways, he wishes others to think so. Why, he'd even himself
to Lord Ballindine av' he could! Didn't old Sim send him to the same
English school with the lord on purpose?--tho' little he got by it,
by all accounts! And d'you think he'll remain in Dunmore, to be
brother-in-law to the son of the woman that keeps the little grocer's
shop in the village?--Not he! He'll soon be out of Dunmore when he
hears what his sister's afther doing, and you'll have Dunmore House to
yourselves then, av' you like it."
"I'd sooner live at Toneroe, and that's the truth; and I'd not give
up the farm av' she'd double the money! But, John, faith, here's the
judges at last. Hark, to the boys screeching!"
"They'd not screech that way for the judges, my boy. It's the
traversers--that's Dan and the rest of 'em. They're coming into court.
Thank God, they'll soon be at work now!"
"And will they come through this way? Faith, av' they do, they'll have
as hard work to get in, as they'll have to get out by and by."
"They'll not come this way--there's another way in for them: tho' they
are traversers now, they didn't dare but let them go in at the same
door as the judges themselves."
"Hurrah, Dan! More power to you! Three cheers for the traversers, and
Repale for ever! Success to every mother's son of you, my darlings!
You'll be free yet, in spite of John Jason Rigby and the rest of 'em!
The prison isn't yet built that'd hould ye, nor won't be! Long life to
you, Sheil--sure you're a Right Honourable Repaler now, in spite of
Greenwich Hospital and the Board of Trade! More power, Gavan Duffy;
you're the boy that'll settle 'em at last! Three cheers more for the
Lord Mayor, God bless him! Well, yer reverence, Mr Tierney!--never
mind, they could come to no good when they'd be parsecuting the likes
of you! Bravo, Tom--Hurrah for Tom Steele!"
Such, and such like, were the exclamations which greeted the
traversers, and their _cortege_, as they drew up to the front of the
Four Courts. Dan O'Connell was in the Lord Mayor's state carriage,
accompanied by that high official; and came up to stand his trial for
conspiracy and sedition, in just such a manner as he might be presumed
to proceed to take the chair at some popular municipal assembly; and
this was just the thing qualified to please those who were on his own
side, and mortify the feelings of the party so bitterly opposed to him.
There was a bravado in it, and an apparent contempt, not of the law so
much as of the existing authorities of the law, which was well
qualified to have this double effect.
And now the outer doors of the Court were opened, and the crowd--at
least as many as were able to effect an entrance--rushed in. Martin
and John Kelly were among those nearest to the door, and, in reward of
their long patience, got sufficiently into the body of the Court to be
in a position to see, when standing on tiptoe, the noses of three of
the four judges, and the wigs of four of the numerous counsel employed.
The Court was so filled by those who had a place there by right, or
influence enough to assume that they had so, that it was impossible
to obtain a more favourable situation. But this of itself was a great
deal--quite sufficient to justify Martin in detailing to his Connaught
friends every particular of the whole trial. They would probably
be able to hear everything; they could positively see three of the
judges, and if those two big policemen, with high hats, could by any
possibility be got to remove themselves, it was very probable that
they would be able to see Sheil's back, when he stood up.
John soon began to show off his forensic knowledge. He gave a near
guess at the names of the four counsel whose heads were visible,
merely from the different shades and shapes of their wigs. Then he
particularised the inferior angels of that busy Elysium.
"That's Ford--that's Gartlan--that's Peirce Mahony," he exclaimed, as
the different attorneys for the traversers, furiously busy with their
huge bags, fidgetted about rapidly, or stood up in their seats,
telegraphing others in different parts of the Court.
"There's old Kemmis," as they caught a glimpse of the Crown agent;
"he's the boy that doctored the jury list. Fancy, a jury chosen out of
all Dublin, and not one Catholic! As if that could be fair!" And then
he named the different judges. "Look at that big-headed, pig-faced
fellow on the right--that's Pennefather! He's the blackest sheep of the
lot--and the head of them! He's a thoroughbred Tory, and as fit to be a
judge as I am to be a general. That queer little fellow, with the long
chin, he's Burton--he's a hundred if he's a day--he was fifty when he
was called, seventy when they benched him, and I'm sure he's a judge
thirty years! But he's the sharpest chap of the whole twelve, and no
end of a boy afther the girls. If you only saw him walking in his
robes--I'm sure he's not three feet high! That next, with the skinny
neck, he's Crampton--he's one of Father Mathews lads, an out and out
teetotaller, and he looks it; he's a desperate cross fellow, sometimes!
The other one, you can't see, he's Perrin. There, he's leaning
over--you can just catch the side of his face--he's Perrin. It's he'll
acquit the traversers av' anything does--he's a fair fellow, is Perrin,
and not a red-hot thorough-going Tory like the rest of 'em."
Here John was obliged to give over the instruction of his brother,
being enjoined so to do by one of the heavy-hatted policemen in his
front, who enforced his commands for silence, with a backward shove of
his wooden truncheon, which came with rather unnecessary violence
against the pit of John's stomach.
The fear of being turned out made him for the nonce refrain from that
vengeance of abuse which his education as a Dublin Jackeen well
qualified him to inflict. But he put down the man's face in his
retentive memory, and made up his mind to pay him off.
And now the business of the day commenced. After some official delays
and arrangements Sheil arose, and began his speech in defence of John
O'Connell. It would be out of place here to give either his words or
his arguments; besides, they have probably before this been read by all
who would care to read them. When he commenced, his voice appeared, to
those who were not accustomed to hear him, weak, piping, and most unfit
for a popular orator; but this effect was soon lost in the elegance of
his language and the energy of his manner; and, before he had been ten
minutes on his legs, the disagreeable tone was forgotten, though it was
sounding in the eager ears of every one in the Court.
His speech was certainly brilliant, effective, and eloquent; but it
satisfied none that heard him, though it pleased all. It was neither
a defence of the general conduct and politics of the party, such as
O'Connell himself attempted in his own case, nor did it contain a chain
of legal arguments to prove that John O'Connell, individually, had
not been guilty of conspiracy, such as others of the counsel employed
subsequently in favour of their own clients.
Sheil's speech was one of those numerous anomalies with which this
singular trial was crowded; and which, together, showed the great
difficulty of coming to a legal decision on a political question, in
a criminal court. Of this, the present day gave two specimens, which
will not be forgotten; when a Privy Councillor, a member of a former
government, whilst defending his client as a barrister, proposed in
Court a new form of legislation for Ireland, equally distant from that
adopted by Government, and that sought to be established by him whom he
was defending; and when the traverser on his trial rejected the defence
of his counsel, and declared aloud in Court, that he would not, by his
silence, appear to agree in the suggestions then made.
This spirit of turning the Court into a political debating arena
extended to all present. In spite of the vast efforts made by them
all, only one of the barristers employed has added much to his legal
reputation by the occasion. Imputations were made, such as I presume
were never before uttered by one lawyer against another in a court of
law. An Attorney-General sent a challenge from his very seat of office;
and though that challenge was read in Court, it was passed over by four
judges with hardly a reprimand. If any seditious speech was ever made
by O'Connell, that which he made in his defence was especially so, and
he was, without check, allowed to use his position as a traverser at
the bar, as a rostrum from which to fulminate more thoroughly and
publicly than ever, those doctrines for uttering which he was then
being tried; and, to crown it all, even the silent dignity of the
bench was forgotten, and the lawyers pleading against the Crown were
unhappily alluded to by the Chief Justice as the "gentlemen on the
Martin and John patiently and enduringly remained standing the whole
day, till four o'clock; and then the latter had to effect his escape,
in order to keep an appointment which he had made to meet Lord
As they walked along the quays they both discussed the proceedings of
the day, and both expressed themselves positively certain of the result
of the trial, and of the complete triumph of O'Connell and his party.
To these pleasant certainties Martin added his conviction, that Repeal
must soon follow so decided a victory, and that the hopes of Ireland
would be realised before the close of 1844. John was neither so
sanguine nor so enthusiastic; it was the battle, rather than the thing
battled for, that was dear to him; the strife, rather than the result.
He felt that it would be dull times in Dublin, when they should have
no usurping Government to abuse, no Saxon Parliament to upbraid, no
English laws to ridicule, and no Established Church to curse.
The only thing which could reconcile him to immediate Repeal, would be
the probability of having then to contend for the election of an Irish
Sovereign, and the possible dear delight which might follow, of Ireland
going to war with England, in a national and becoming manner.
Discussing these important measures, they reached the Dublin brother's
lodgings, and Martin turned in to wash his face and hands, and put on
clean boots, before he presented himself to his landlord and patron,
the young Lord Ballindine.
II. THE TWO HEIRESSES
Francis John Mountmorris O'Kelly, Lord Viscount Ballindine, was
twenty-four years of age when he came into possession of the Ballindine
property, and succeeded to an Irish peerage as the third viscount; and
he is now twenty-six, at this time of O'Connell's trial. The head of
the family had for many years back been styled "The O'Kelly", and had
enjoyed much more local influence under that denomination than their
descendants had possessed, since they had obtained a more substantial
though not a more respected title. The O'Kellys had possessed large
tracts of not very good land, chiefly in County Roscommon, but partly
in Mayo and Galway. Their property had extended from Dunmore nearly to
Roscommon, and again on the other side to Castlerea and Ballyhaunis.
But this had been in their palmy days, long, long ago. When the
government, in consideration of past services, in the year 1800,
converted "the O'Kelly" into Viscount Ballindine, the family property
consisted of the greater portion of the land lying between the villages
of Dunmore and Ballindine. Their old residence, which the peer still
kept up, was called Kelly's Court, and is situated in that corner of
County Roscommnon which runs up between Mayo and Galway.
The first lord lived long enough to regret his change of title, and to
lament the increased expenditure with which he had thought it necessary
to accompany his more elevated rank. His son succeeded, and showed in
his character much more of the new-fangled viscount than of the ancient
O'Kelly. His whole long life was passed in hovering about the English
Court. From the time of his father's death, he never once put his foot
in Ireland. He had been appointed, at different times from his youth
upwards, Page, Gentleman in Waiting, Usher of the Black Rod, Deputy
Groom of the Stole, Chief Equerry to the Princess Royal, (which
appointment only lasted till the princess was five years old), Lord
Gold Stick, Keeper of the Royal Robes; till, at last, he had culminated
for ten halcyon years in a Lord of the Bedchamber. In the latter
portion of his life he had grown too old for this, and it was reported
at Ballindine, Dunmore, and Kelly's Court,--with how much truth I don't
know,--that, since her Majesty's accession, he had been joined with
the spinster sister of a Scotch Marquis, and an antiquated English
Countess, in the custody of the laces belonging to the Queen Dowager.
This nobleman, publicly useful as his life had no doubt been, had done
little for his own tenants, or his own property. On his father's death,
he had succeeded to about three thousand a-year, and he left about one;
and he would have spent or mortgaged this, had he not, on his marriage,
put it beyond his own power to do so. It was not only by thriftless
extravagance that he thus destroyed a property which, with care, and
without extortion, would have doubled its value in the thirty-five
years during which it was in his hands; but he had been afraid to come
to Ireland, and had been duped by his agent. When he came to the title,
Simeon Lynch had been recommended to him as a fit person to manage his
property, and look after his interests; and Simeon had managed it well
in that manner most conducive to the prosperity of the person he loved
best in the world; and that was himself. When large tracts of land fell
out of lease, Sim had represented that tenants could not be found--that
the land was not worth cultivating--that the country was in a state
which prevented the possibility of letting; and, ultimately put himself
into possession, with a lease for ever, at a rent varying from half a
crown to five shillings an acre.
The courtier lord had one son, of whom he made a soldier, but who never
rose to a higher rank than that of Captain. About a dozen years before
the date of my story, the Honourable Captain O'Kelly, after numerous
quarrels with the Right Honourable Lord of the Bedchamber, had, at
last, come to some family settlement with him; and, having obtained
the power of managing the property himself, came over to live at his
paternal residence of Kelly's Court.
A very sorry kind of Court he found it,--neglected, dirty, and out of
repair. One of the first retainers whom he met was Jack Kelly, the
family fool. Jack was not such a fool as those who, of yore, were
valued appendages to noble English establishments. He resembled them in
nothing but his occasional wit. He was a dirty, barefooted, unshorn,
ragged ruffian, who ate potatoes in the kitchen of the Court, and had
never done a day's work in his life. Such as he was, however, he was
presented to Captain O'Kelly, as "his honour the masther's fool."
"So, you're my fool, Jack, are ye?" said the Captain.
"Faix, I war the lord's fool ance; but I'll no be anybody's fool but
Sim Lynch's, now. I and the lord are both Sim's fools now. Not but I'm
the first of the two, for I'd never be fool enough to give away all my
land, av' my father'd been wise enough to lave me any."
Captain O'Kelly soon found out the manner in which the agent had
managed his father's affairs. Simeon Lynch was dismissed, and
proceedings at common law were taken against him, to break such of the
leases as were thought, by clever attorneys, to have the ghost of a
flaw in them. Money was borrowed from a Dublin house, for the purpose
of carrying on the suit, paying off debts, and making Kelly's Court
habitable; and the estate was put into their hands. Simeon Lynch built
himself a large staring house at Dunmore, defended his leases, set up
for a country gentleman on his own account, and sent his only son,
Barry, to Eton,--merely because young O'Kelly was also there, and he
was determined to show, that he was as rich and ambitious as the lord's
family, whom he had done so much to ruin.
Kelly's Court was restored to such respectability as could ever belong
to so ugly a place. It was a large red stone mansion, standing in
a demesne of very poor ground, ungifted by nature with any beauty,
and but little assisted by cultivation or improvement. A belt of
bald-looking firs ran round the demesne inside the dilapidated wall;
but this was hardly sufficient to relieve the barren aspect of the
locality. Fine trees there were none, and the race of O'Kellys had
never been great gardeners.
Captain O'Kelly was a man of more practical sense, or of better
education, than most of his family, and he did do a good deal to
humanise the place. He planted, tilled, manured, and improved; he
imported rose-trees and strawberry-plants, and civilised Kelly's Court
a little. But his reign was not long. He died about five years after he
had begun his career as a country gentleman, leaving a widow and two
daughters in Ireland; a son at school at Eton; and an expensive
lawsuit, with numerous ramifications, all unsettled.
Francis, the son, went to Eton and Oxford, was presented at Court by
his grandfather, and came hack to Ireland at twenty-two, to idle away
his time till the old lord should die. Till this occurred, he could
neither call himself the master of the place, nor touch the rents. In
the meantime, the lawsuits were dropped, both parties having seriously
injured their resources, without either of them obtaining any benefit.
Barry Lynch was recalled from his English education, where he had not
shown off to any great credit; and both he and his father were obliged
to sit down prepared to make the best show they could on eight hundred
pounds a-year, and to wage an underhand internecine war with the
Simeon and his son, however, did not live altogether alone. Anastasia
Lynch was Barry's sister, and older than him by about ten years. Their
mother had been a Roman Catholic, whereas Sim was a Protestant; and, in
consequence, the daughter had been brought up in the mother's, and the
son in the father's religion. When this mother died, Simeon, no doubt
out of respect to the memory of the departed, tried hard to induce his
daughter to prove her religious zeal, and enter a nunnery; but this,
Anty, though in most things a docile creature, absolutely refused to
do. Her father advised, implored, and threatened; but in vain; and the
poor girl became a great thorn in the side of both father and son.
She had neither beauty, talent, nor attraction, to get her a husband;
and her father was determined not to encumber his already diminished
property with such a fortune as would make her on that ground
acceptable to any respectable suitor.
Poor Anty led a miserable life, associating neither with superiors
nor inferiors, and her own position was not sufficiently declared to
enable her to have any equals. She was slighted by her father and the
servants, and bullied by her brother; and was only just enabled, by
humble, unpresuming disposition, to carry on her tedious life from year
to year without grumbling.
In the meantime, the _ci-devant_  Black Rod, Gold Stick, Royal
Equerry, and Lord of the Bedchamber, was called away from his robes and
his finery, to give an account of the manner in which he had renounced
the pomps and vanities of this wicked world; and Frank became Lord
Ballindine, with, as I have before said, an honourable mother, two
sisters, a large red house, and a thousand a-year. He was not at all
a man after the pattern of his grandfather, but he appeared as little
likely to redeem the old family acres. He seemed to be a reviving chip
of the old block of the O'Kellys. During the two years he had been
living at Kelly's Court as Frank O'Kelly, he had won the hearts of all
the tenants--of all those who would have been tenants if the property
had not been sold, and who still looked up to him as their "raal young
masther"--and of the whole country round. The "thrue dhrop of the ould
blood", was in his veins; and, whatever faults he might have, he wasn't
likely to waste his time and his cash with furs, laces, and hangings.
[FOOTNOTE 9: ci-devant--(French) former, previous]
This was a great comfort to the neighbourhood, which had learned
heartily to despise the name of Lord Ballindine; and Frank was
encouraged in shooting, hunting, racing--in preparing to be a thorough
Irish gentleman, and in determining to make good the prophecies of his
friends, that he would be, at last, one more "raal O'Kelly to brighten
And if he could have continued to be Frank O'Kelly, or even "the
O'Kelly", he would probably have done well enough, for he was fond of
his mother and sisters, and he might have continued to hunt, shoot, and
farm on his remaining property without further encroaching on it. But
the title was sure to be his ruin. When he felt himself to be a lord,
he could not be content with the simple life of a country gentleman;
or, at any rate, without taking the lead in the country. So, as soon as
the old man was buried, he bought a pack of harriers, and despatched
a couple of race-horses to the skilful hands of old Jack Igoe, the
Frank was a very handsome fellow, full six feet high, with black hair,
and jet-black silky whiskers, meeting under his chin;--the men said he
dyed them, and the women declared he did not. I am inclined, myself,
to think he must have done so, they were so very black. He had an eye
like a hawk, round, bright, and bold; a mouth and chin almost too well
formed for a man; and that kind of broad forehead which conveys rather
the idea of a generous, kind, open-hearted disposition, than of a deep
mind or a commanding intellect.
Frank was a very handsome fellow, and he knew it; and when he commenced
so many ill-authorised expenses immediately on his grandfather's death,
he consoled himself with the idea, that with his person and rank, he
would soon be able, by some happy matrimonial speculation, to make up
for what he wanted in wealth. And he had not been long his own master,
before he met with the lady to whom he destined the honour of doing so.
He had, however, not properly considered his own disposition, when he
determined upon looking out for great wealth; and on disregarding other
qualifications in his bride, so that he obtained that in sufficient
quantity. He absolutely fell in love with Fanny Wyndham, though her
twenty thousand pounds was felt by him to be hardly enough to excuse
him in doing so,--certainly not enough to make his doing so an
accomplishment of his prudential resolutions. What would twenty
thousand pounds do towards clearing the O'Kelly property, and
establishing himself in a manner and style fitting for a Lord
Ballindine! However, he did propose to her, was accepted, and the
match, after many difficulties, was acceded to by the lady's guardian,
the Earl of Cashel. It was stipulated, however, that the marriage
should not take place till the lady was of age; and at the time of
the bargain, she wanted twelve months of that period of universal
discretion. Lord Cashel had added, in his prosy, sensible, aristocratic
lecture on the subject to Lord Ballindine, that he trusted that, during
the interval, considering their united limited income, his lordship
would see the wisdom of giving up his hounds, or at any rate of
withdrawing from the turf.
Frank pooh-poohed at the hounds, said that horses cost nothing in
Connaught, and dogs less, and that he could not well do there without
them; but promised to turn in his mind what Lord Cashel had said
about the turf; and, at last, went so far as to say that when a good
opportunity offered of backing out, he would part with Finn M'Coul and
Granuell--as the two nags at Igoe's were patriotically denominated.
They continued, however, appearing in the Curragh lists in Lord
Ballindine's name, as a part of Igoe's string; and running for Queen's
whips, Wellingtons and Madrids, sometimes with good and sometimes with
indifferent success. While their noble owner, when staying at Grey
Abbey, Lord Cashel's magnificent seat near Kilcullen, spent too much
of his time (at least so thought the earl and Fanny Wyndham) in seeing
them get their gallops, and in lecturing the grooms, and being lectured
by Mr Igoe. Nothing more, however, could be done; and it was trusted
that when the day of the wedding should come, he would be found minus
the animals. What, however, was Lord Cashel's surprise, when, after an
absence of two months from Grey Abbey, Lord Ballindine declared, in the
earl's presence, with an air of ill-assumed carelessness, that he had
been elected one of the stewards of the Curragh, in the room of Walter
Blake, Esq., who had retired in rotation from that honourable office!
The next morning the earl's chagrin was woefully increased by his
hearing that that very valuable and promising Derby colt, Brien Boru,
now two years old, by Sir Hercules out of Eloisa, had been added to his
Lord Cashel felt that he could not interfere, further than by remarking
that it appeared his young friend was determined to leave the turf with
eclat; and Fanny Wyndham could only be silent and reserved for one
evening. This occurred about four months before the commencement of my
tale, and about five before the period fixed for the marriage; but, at
the time at which Lord Ballindine will be introduced in person to the
reader, he had certainly made no improvement in his manner of going
on. He had, during this period, received from Lord Cashel a letter
intimating to him that his lordship thought some further postponement
advisable; that it was as well not to fix any day; and that, though
his lordship would always be welcome at Grey Abbey, when his personal
attendance was not required at the Curragh, it was better that no
correspondence by letter should at present be carried on between him
and Miss Wyndham; and that Miss Wyndham herself perfectly agreed in the
propriety of these suggestions.
Now Grey Abbey was only about eight miles distant from the Curragh,
and Lord Ballindine had at one time been in the habit of staying
at his friend's mansion, during the period of his attendance at the
race-course; but since Lord Cashel had shown an entire absence of
interest in the doings of Finn M'Coul, and Fanny had ceased to ask
after Granuell's cough, he had discontinued doing so, and had spent
much of his time at his friend Walter Blake's residence at the Curragh.
Now, Handicap Lodge offered much more dangerous quarters for him than
did Grey Abbey.
In the meantime, his friends in Connaught were delighted at the
prospect of his bringing home a bride. Fanny's twenty thousand were
magnified to fifty, and the capabilities even of fifty were greatly
exaggerated; besides, the connection was so good a one, so exactly
the thing for the O'Kellys! Lord Cashel was one of the first resident
noblemen in Ireland, a representative peer, a wealthy man, and
possessed of great influence; not unlikely to be a cabinet minister if
the Whigs came in, and able to shower down into Connaught a degree of
patronage, such as had never yet warmed that poor unfriended region.
And Fanny Wyndham was not only his lordship's ward, but his favourite
niece also! The match was, in every way, a good one, and greatly
pleasing to all the Kellys, whether with an O or without, for "shure
they were all the one family."
Old Simeon Lynch and his son Barry did not participate in the general
joy. They had calculated that their neighbour was on the high road to
ruin, and that he would soon have nothing but his coronet left. They
could not, therefore, bear the idea of his making so eligible a match.
They had, moreover, had domestic dissensions to disturb the peace of
Dunmore House. Simeon had insisted on Barry's taking a farm into his
own hands, and looking after it. Barry had declared his inability to
do so, and had nearly petrified the old man by expressing a wish to go
to Paris. Then, Barry's debts had showered in, and Simeon had pledged
himself not to pay them. Simeon had threatened to disinherit Barry; and
Barry had called his father a d----d obstinate old fool.
These quarrels had got to the ears of the neighbours, and it was being
calculated that, in the end, Barry would get the best of the battle;
when, one morning, the war was brought to an end by a fit of apoplexy,
and the old man was found dead in his chair. And then a terrible blow
fell upon the son; for a recent will was found in the old man's desk,
dividing his property equally, and without any other specification,
between Barry and Anty.
This was a dreadful blow to Barry. He consulted with his friend Molloy,
the attorney of Tuam, as to the validity of the document and the power
of breaking it; but in vain. It was properly attested, though drawn up
in the old man's own hand-writing; and his sister, whom he looked upon
but as little better than a head main-servant, had not only an equal
right to all the property, but was equally mistress of the house, the
money at the bank, the wine in the cellar, and the very horses in the
This was a hard blow; but Barry was obliged to bear it. At first, he
showed his ill-humour plainly enough in his treatment of his sister;
but he soon saw that this was folly, and that, though her quiet
disposition prevented her from resenting it, such conduct would drive
her to marry some needy man. Then he began, with an ill grace, to try
what coaxing would do. He kept, however, a sharp watch on all her
actions; and on once hearing that, in his absence, the two Kelly girls
from the hotel had been seen walking with her, he gave her a long
lecture on what was due to her own dignity, and the memory of her
He made many overtures to her as to the division of the property; but,
easy and humble as Anty was, she was careful enough to put her name to
nothing that could injure her rights. They had divided the money at the
banker's, and she had once rather startled Barry by asking him for his
moiety towards paying the butcher's bill; and his dismay was completed
shortly afterwards by being informed, by a steady old gentleman
in Dunmore, whom he did not like a bit too well, that he had been
appointed by Miss Lynch to manage her business and receive her rents.
As soon as it could be decently done, after his father's burial, Barry
took himself off to Dublin, to consult his friends there as to what he
should do; but he soon returned, determined to put a bold face on it,
and come to some understanding with his sister.
He first proposed to her to go and live in Dublin, but she said she
preferred Dunmore. He then talked of selling the house, and to this she
agreed. He next tried to borrow money for the payment of his debts; on
which she referred him to the steady old man. Though apparently docile
and obedient, she would not put herself in his hands, nor would her
agent allow him to take any unfair advantage of her.
Whilst this was going on, our friend Martin Kelly had set his eye upon
the prize, and, by means of his sister's intimacy with Anty, and his
own good looks, had succeeded in obtaining from her half a promise to
become his wife. Anty had but little innate respect for gentry; and,
though she feared her brother's displeasure, she felt no degradation at
the idea of uniting herself to a man in Martin Kelly's rank. She could
not, however, be brought to tell her brother openly, and declare her
determination; and Martin had, at length, come to the conclusion that
he must carry her off, before delay and unforeseen changes might either
alter her mind, or enable her brother to entice her out of the country.
Thus matters stood at Dunmore when Martin Kelly started for Dublin, and
at the time when he was about to wait on his patron at Morrison's
Both Martin and Lord Ballindine (and they were related in some distant
degree, at least so always said the Kellys, and I never knew that the
O'Kellys denied it)--both the young men were, at the time, anxious to
get married, and both with the same somewhat mercenary views; and I
have fatigued the reader with the long history of past affairs, in
order to imbue him, if possible, with some interest in the ways and
means which they both adopted to accomplish their objects.
III. MORRISON'S HOTEL
At about five o'clock on the evening of the day of Sheil's speech, Lord
Ballindine and his friend, Walter Blake, were lounging on different
sofas in a room at Morrison's Hotel, before they went up to dress for
dinner. Walter Blake was an effeminate-looking, slight-made man, about
thirty or thirty-three years of age; good looking, and gentlemanlike,
but presenting quite a contrast in his appearance to his friend Lord
Ballindine. He had a cold quiet grey eye, and a thin lip; and, though
he was in reality a much cleverer, he was a much less engaging man. Yet
Blake could be very amusing; but he rather laughed at people than with
them, and when there were more than two in company, he would usually
be found making a butt of one. Nevertheless, his society was greatly
sought after. On matters connected with racing, his word was
infallible. He rode boldly, and always rode good horses; and, though
he was anything but rich, he managed to keep up a comfortable snuggery
at the Curragh, and to drink the very best claret that Dublin could
Walter Blake was a finished gambler, and thus it was, that with about
six hundred a year, he managed to live on equal terms with the richest
around him. His father, Laurence Blake of Castleblakeney, in County
Galway, was a very embarrassed man, of good property, strictly
entailed, and, when Walter came of age, he and his father, who could
never be happy in the same house, though possessing in most things
similar tastes, had made such a disposition of the estate, as gave the
father a clear though narrowed income, and enabled the son at once to
start into the world, without waiting for his father's death; though,
by so doing, he greatly lessened the property which he must otherwise
Blake was a thorough gambler, and knew well how to make the most of the
numerous chances which the turf afforded him. He had a large stud of
horses, to the training and working of which he attended almost as
closely as the person whom he paid for doing so. But it was in the
betting-ring that he was most formidable. It was said, in Kildare
Street, that no one at Tattersall's could beat him at a book. He had
latterly been trying a wider field than the Curragh supplied him and
had, on one or two occasions, run a horse in England with such success,
as had placed him, at any rate, quite at the top of the Irish sporting
He was commonly called "Dot Blake", in consequence of his having told
one of his friends that the cause of his, the friend's, losing so much
money on the turf, was, that he did not mind "the dot and carry on"
part of the business; meaning thereby, that he did not attend to the
necessary calculations. For a short time after giving this piece of
friendly caution, he had been nick-named, "Dot and carry on"; but that
was too long to last, and he had now for some years been known to every
sporting man in Ireland as "Dot" Blake.
This man was at present Lord Ballindine's most intimate friend, and he
could hardly have selected a more dangerous one. They were now going
down together to Handicap Lodge, though there was nothing to be done in
the way of racing for months to come. Yet Blake knew his business too
well to suppose that his presence was necessary only when the horses
were running; and he easily persuaded his friend that it was equally
important that he should go and see that it was all right with the
They were talking almost in the dark, on these all-absorbing topics,
when the waiter knocked at the door and informed them that a young man
named Kelly wished to see Lord Ballindine.
"Show him up," said Frank. "A tenant of mine, Dot; one of the
respectable few of that cattle, indeed, almost the only one that I've
got; a sort of subagent, and a fifteenth cousin, to boot, I believe.
I am going to put him to the best use I know for such respectable
fellows, and that is, to get him to borrow money for me."
"And he'll charge you twice as much for it, and make three times as
much bother about it, as the fellows in the next street who have your
title-deeds. When I want lawyer's business done, I go to a lawyer; and
when I want to borrow money, I go to my own man of business; he makes
it his business to find money, and he daren't rob me more than is
decent, fitting, and customary, because he has a character to lose."
"Those fellows at Guinness's make such a fuss about everything; and I
don't put my nose into that little back room, but what every word I
say, by some means or other, finds its way down to Grey Abbey."
"Well, Frank, you know your own affairs best; but I don't think you'll
make money by being afraid of your agent; or your wife's guardian, if
she is to be your wife."
"Afraid, man? I'm as much afraid of Lord Cashel as you are. I don't
think I've shown myself much afraid; but I don't choose to make him my
guardian, just when he's ceasing to be hers; nor do I wish, just now,
to break with Grey Abbey altogether."
"Do you mean to go over there from the Curragh next week?"
"I don't think I shall. They don't like me a bit too well, when I've
the smell of the stables on me."
"There it is, again, Frank! What is it to you what Lord Cashel likes?
If you wish to see Miss Wyndham, and if the heavy-pated old Don doesn't
mean to close his doors against you, what business has he to inquire
where you came from? I suppose he doesn't like me a bit too well; but
you're not weak enough to be afraid to say that you've been at Handicap
"The truth is, Dot, I don't think I'll go to Grey Abbey at all, till
Fanny's of age. She only wants a month of it now; and then I can meet
Lord Cashel in a business way, as one man should meet another."
"I can't for the life of me," said Blake, "make out what it is that has
set that old fellow so strong against horses. He won the Oaks twice
himself, and that not so very long ago; and his own son, Kilcullen, is
deeper a good deal on the turf than I am, and, by a long chalk less
likely to pull through, as I take it. But here's the Connaught man on
the stairs,--I could swear to Galway by the tread of his foot!"--and
Martin knocked at the door, and walked in.
"Well, Kelly," said Lord Ballindine, "how does Dublin agree with you?"
And, "I hope I see your lordship well, my lord?" said Martin.
"How are they all at Dunmore and Kelly's Court?"
"Why thin, they're all well, my lord, except Sim Lynch--and he's dead.
But your lordship'll have heard that."
"What, old Simeon Lynch dead!" said Blake, "well then, there's
promotion. Peter Mahon, that was the agent at Castleblakeney, is now
the biggest rogue alive in Connaught."
"Don't swear to that," said Lord Ballindine. "There's some of Sim's
breed still left at Dunmore. It wouldn't be easy to beat Barry, would
"Why then, I don't know; I wouldn't like to be saying against the
gentleman's friend that he spoke of; and doubtless his honour knows him
well, or he wouldn't say so much of him."
"Indeed I do," said Blake. "I never give a man a good character till I
know he deserves it. Well, Frank, I'll go and dress, and leave you and
Mr. Kelly to your business," and he left the room.
"I'm sorry to hear you speak so hard agin Mr. Barry, my lord," began
Martin. "May-be he mayn't be so bad. Not but that he's a cross-grained
piece of timber to dale with."
"And why should you be sorry I'd speak against him? There's not more
friendship, I suppose, between you and Barry Lynch now, than there used
"Why, not exactly frindship, my lord; but I've my rasons why I'd wish
you not to belittle the Lynches. Your lordship might forgive them all,
now the old man's dead."
"Forgive them!--indeed I can, and easily. I don't know I ever did any
of them an injury, except when I thrashed Barry at Eton, for calling
himself the son of a gentleman. But what makes you stick up for them?
You're not going to marry the daughter, are you?"
Martin blushed up to his forehead as his landlord thus hit the nail on
the head; but, as it was dark, his blushes couldn't be seen. So, after
dangling his hat about for a minute, and standing first on one foot,
and then on the other, he took courage, and answered.
"Well, Mr. Frank, that is, your lordship, I mane--I b'lieve I might do
"Body and soul, man!" exclaimed the other, jumping from his recumbent
position on the sofa, "You don't mean to tell me you're going to marry
"In course not," answered Martin; "av' your lordship objects."
"Object, man!--How the devil can I object? Why, she's six hundred a
year, hasn't she?"
"About four, my lord, I think's nearest the mark."
"Four hundred a year! And I don't suppose you owe a penny in the
"Not much unless the last gale  to your lordship and we never pay
that till next May."
[FOOTNOTE 10: gale--rent payment. Gale day was the day on which
rent was due.]
"And so you're going to marry Anty Lynch!" again repeated Frank, as
though he couldn't bring himself to realise the idea; "and now, Martin,
tell me all about it,--how the devil you managed it--when it's to come
off--and how you and Barry mean to hit it off together when you're
brothers. I suppose I'll lose a good tenant any way?"
"Not av' I'm a good one, you won't, with my consent, my lord."
"Ah! but it'll be Anty's consent, now, you know. She mayn't like
Toneroe. But tell me all about it. What put it into your head?"
"Why, my lord, you run away so fast; one can't tell you anything. I
didn't say I was going to marry her--at laist, not for certain;--I only
said I might do worse."
"Well then; are you going to marry her, or rather, is she going to
marry you, or is she not?"
"Why, I don't know. I'll tell your lordship just how it is. You know
when old Sim died, my lord?"
"Of course I do. Why, I was at Kelly's Court at the time."
"So you were, my lord; I was forgetting. But you went away again
immediately, and didn't hear how Barry tried to come round his sisther,
when he heard how the will went; and how he tried to break the will and
to chouse her out of the money."
"Why, this is the very man you wouldn't let me call a rogue, a minute
or two ago!"
"Ah, my lord! that was just before sthrangers; besides, it's no use
calling one's own people bad names. Not that he belongs to me yet, and
may-be never will. But, between you and I, he is a rogue, and his
father's son every inch of him."
"Well, Martin, I'll remember. I'll not abuse him when he's your
brother-in-law. But how did you get round the sister?--That's the
"Well, my lord, I'll tell you. You know there was always a kind of
frindship between Anty and the girls at home, and they set her up to
going to old Moylan--he that receives the rents on young Barron's
property, away at Strype. Moylan's uncle to Flaherty, that married
mother's sister. Well, she went to him--he's a kind of office at
Dunmore, my lord."
"Oh, I know him and his office! He knows the value of a name at the
back of a bit of paper, as well as any one."
"May-be he does, my lord; but he's an honest old fellow, is Moylan,
and manages a little for mother."
"Oh, of course he's honest, Martin, because he belongs to you. You
know Barry's to be an honest chap, then."
"And that's what he niver will be the longest day he lives! But,
however, Moylan got her to sign all the papers; and, when Barry
was out, he went and took an inventhory to the house, and made out
everything square and right, and you may be sure Barry'd have to
get up very 'arly before he'd come round him. Well, after a little,
the ould chap came to me one morning, and asked me all manner of
questions--whether I knew Anty Lynch? whether we didn't used to be
great friends? and a lot more. I never minded him much; for though I
and Anty used to speak, and she'd dhrank tay on the sly with us two or
three times before her father's death, I'd never thought much about
"Nor wouldn't now, Martin, eh? if it wasn't for the old man's will."
"In course I wouldn't, my lord. I won't be denying it. But, on the
other hand, I wouldn't marry her now for all her money, av' I didn't
mane to trate her well. Well, my lord, after beating about the bush for
a long time, the ould thief popped it out, and told me that he thought
Anty'd be all the betther for a husband; and that, av' I was wanting
a wife, he b'lieved I might suit myself now. Well, I thought of it
a little, and tould him I'd take the hint. The next day he comes to
me again, all the way down to Toneroe, where I was walking the big
grass-field by myself, and began saying that, as he was Anty's agent,
of course he wouldn't see her wronged. 'Quite right, Mr. Moylan,' says
I; 'and, as I mane to be her husband, I won't see her wronged neither.'
'Ah! but,' says he, 'I mane that I must see her property properly
settled.' 'Why not?' says I, 'and isn't the best way for her to marry?
and then, you know, no one can schame her out of it. There's lots of
them schamers about now,' says I. 'That's thrue for you,' says he,
'and they're not far to look for,'--and that was thrue, too, my lord,
for he and I were both schaming about poor Anty's money at that moment.
'Well,' says he, afther walking on a little, quite quiet, 'av' you war
to marry her.'--'Oh, I've made up my mind about that, Mr. Moylan,' says
I. 'Well, av' it should come to pass that you do marry her--of course
you'd expect to have the money settled on herself?' 'In course I would,
when I die,' says I. 'No, but,' says he, 'at once: wouldn't it be
enough for you to have a warm roof over your head, and a leg of mutton
on the table every day, and no work to do for it?' and so, my lord, it
came out that the money was to be settled on herself, and that he was
to be her agent."
"Well, Martin, after that, I think you needn't go to Sim Lynch, or
Barry, for the biggest rogues in Connaught--to be settling the poor
girl's money between you that way!"
"Well, but listen, my lord. I gave in to the ould man; that is, I made
no objection to his schame. But I was determined, av' I ever did marry
Anty Lynch, that I would be agent and owner too, myself, as long as I
lived; though in course it was but right that they should settle it so
that av' I died first, the poor crature shouldn't be out of her money.
But I didn't let on to him about all that; for, av' he was angered, the
ould fool might perhaps spoil the game; and I knew av' Anty married me
at all, it'd be for liking; and av' iver I got on the soft side of her,
I'd soon be able to manage matthers as I plazed, and ould Moylan'd soon
find his best game'd be to go asy."
"Upon my soul, Martin, I think you seem to have been the sharpest rogue
of the two! Is there an honest man in Connaught at all, I wonder?"
"I can't say rightly, just at present, my lord; but there'll be two,
plaze God, when I and your lordship are there."
"Thank ye, Kelly, for the compliment, and especially for the good
company. But let me hear how on earth you ever got face enough to go up
and ask Anty Lynch to marry you."
"Oh!--a little soft sawther did it! I wasn't long in putting my
com'ether on her when I once began. Well, my lord, from that day
out--from afther Moylan's visit, you know--I began really to think of
it. I'm sure the ould robber meant to have asked for a wapping sum of
money down, for his good will in the bargain; but when he saw me he got
"He was another honest man, just now!"
"Only among sthrangers, my lord. I b'lieve he's a far-off cousin of
your own, and I wouldn't like to spake ill of the blood."
"God forbid! But go on, Kelly."
"Well, so, from that out, I began to think of it in arnest. The Lord
forgive me! but my first thoughts was how I'd like to pull down Barry
Lynch; and my second that I'd not demane myself by marrying the sisther
of such an out-and-out ruffian, and that it wouldn't become me to live
on the money that'd been got by chating your lordship's grandfather."
"My lordship's grandfather ought to have looked after that himself. If
those are all your scruples they needn't stick in your throat much."
"I said as much as that to myself, too. So I soon went to work. I was
rather shy about it at first; but the girls helped me. They put it into
her head, I think, before I mentioned it at all. However, by degrees, I
asked her plump, whether she'd any mind to be Mrs. Kelly? and, though
she didn't say 'yes,' she didn't say 'no.'"
"But how the devil, man, did you manage to get at her? I'm told Barry
watches her like a dragon, ever since he read his father's will."
"He couldn't watch her so close, but what she could make her way down
to mother's shop now and again. Or, for the matter of that, but what I
could make my way up to the house."
"That's true, for what need she mind Barry, now? She may marry whom
she pleases, and needn't tell him, unless she likes, until the priest
has his book ready."
"Ah, my lord! but there's the rub. She is afraid of Barry; and though
she didn't say so, she won't agree to tell him, or to let me tell him,
or just to let the priest walk into the house without telling him.
She's fond of Barry, though, for the life of me, I can't see what there
is in him for anybody to be fond of. He and his father led her the
divil's own life mewed up there, because she wouldn't be a nun. But
still is both fond and afraid of him; and, though I don't think she'll
marry anybody else--at laist not yet awhile, I don't think she'll ever
get courage to marry me--at any rate, not in the ordinary way."
"Why then, Martin, you must do something extraordinary, I suppose."
"That's just it, my lord; and what I wanted was, to ask your
lordship's advice and sanction, like."
"Sanction! Why I shouldn't think you'd want anybody's sanction for
marrying a wife with four hundred a-year. But, if that's anything to
you, I can assure you I approve of it."
"Thank you, my lord. That's kind."
"To tell the truth," continued Lord Ballindine, "I've a little of your
own first feeling. I'd be glad of it, if it were only for the rise it
would take out of my schoolfellow, Barry. Not but that I think you're a
deal too good to be his brother-in-law. And you know, Kelly, or ought
to know, that I'd be heartily glad of anything for your own welfare.
So, I'd advise you to hammer away while the iron's hot, as the saying
"That's just what I'm coming to. What'd your lordship advise me to do?"
"Advise you? Why, you must know best yourself how the matter stands.
Talk her over, and make her tell Barry."
"Divil a tell, my lord, in her. She wouldn't do it in a month of
"Then do you tell him, at once. I suppose you're not afraid of him?"
"She'd niver come to the scratch, av' I did. He'd bully the life out of
her, or get her out of the counthry some way."
"Then wait till his back's turned for a month or so. When he's out,
let the priest walk in, and do the matter quietly that way."
"Well, I thought of that myself, my lord; but he's as wary as a
weazel, and I'm afeard he smells something in the wind. There's that
blackguard Moylan, too, he'd be telling Barry--and would, when he came
to find things weren't to be settled as he intended."
"Then you must carry her off, and marry her up here, or in Galway or
down in Connemara, or over at Liverpool, or any where you please."
"Now you've hit it, my lord. That's just what I'm thinking myself.
Unless I take her off Gretna Green fashion, I'll never get her."
"Then why do you want my advice, if you've made up your mind to that? I
think you're quite right; and what's more, I think you ought to lose
no time in doing it. Will she go, do you think?"
"Why, with a little talking, I think she will."
"Then what are you losing your time for, man? Hurry down, and off with
her! I think Dublin's probably your best ground."
"Then you think, my lord, I'd betther do it at once?"
"Of course, I do! What is there to delay you?"
"Why, you see, my lord, the poor girl's as good as got no friends, and
I wouldn't like it to be thought in the counthry, I'd taken her at a
disadvantage. It's thrue enough in one way, I'm marrying her for the
money; that is, in course, I wouldn't marry her without it. And I tould
her, out open, before her face, and before the girls, that, av' she'd
ten times as much, I wouldn't marry her unless I was to be masther, as
long as I lived, of everything in my own house, like another man; and I
think she liked me the betther for it. But, for all that, I wouldn't
like to catch her up without having something fair done by the
"The lawyers, Martin, can manage that, afterwards. When she's once Mrs
Kelly, you can do what you like about the fortune."
"That's thrue, my lord. But I wouldn't like the bad name I'd get
through the counthry av' I whisked her off without letting her settle
anything. They'd be saying I robbed her, whether I did or no: and when
a thing's once said, it's difficult to unsay it. The like of me, my
lord, can't do things like you noblemen and gentry. Besides, mother'd
never forgive me. They think, down there, that poor Anty's simple
like; tho' she's cute enough, av' they knew her. I wouldn't, for all
the money, wish it should be said that Martin Kelly ran off with a
fool, and robbed her. Barry 'd be making her out a dale more simple
than she is; and, altogether, my lord, I wouldn't like it."
"Well, Martin, perhaps you're right. At any rate you're on the right
side. What is it then you think of doing?"
"Why, I was thinking, my lord, av' I could get some lawyer here to draw
up a deed, just settling all Anty's property on herself when I die, and
on her children, av' she has any,--so that I couldn't spend it you
know; she could sign it, and so could I, before we started; and then
I'd feel she'd been traited as well as tho' she'd all the friends in
Connaught to her back."
"And a great deal better, probably. Well, Martin, I'm no lawyer, but I
should think there'd not be much difficulty about that. Any attorney
could do it."
"But I'd look so quare, my lord, walking into a sthranger's room and
explaining what I wanted--all about the running away and everything. To
be sure there's my brother John's people; they're attorneys; but it's
about robberies, and hanging, and such things they're most engaged; and
I was thinking, av' your lordship wouldn't think it too much throuble
to give me a line to your own people; or, may-be, you'd say a word to
them explaining what I want. It'd be the greatest favour in life."
"I'll tell you what I'll do, Kelly. I'll go with you, to-morrow, to Mr
Blake's lawyers--that's my friend that was sitting here--and I've no
doubt we'll get the matter settled. The Guinnesses, you know, do all my
business, and they're not lawyers."
"Long life to your lordship, and that's just like yourself! I knew
you'd stick by me. And shall I call on you to-morrow, my lord? and at
"Wait! here's Mr Blake. I'll ask him, and you might as well meet me
there. Grey and Forrest's the name; it's in Clare Street, I think."
Here Mr Blake again entered the room.
"What!" said he; "isn't your business over yet, Ballindine? I suppose
I'm _de trop_ then. Only mind, dinner's ordered for half past six, and
it's that now, and you're not dressed yet!"
"You're not _de trop_, and I was just wanting you. We're all friends
here, Kelly, you know; and you needn't mind my telling Mr Blake. Here's
this fellow going to elope with an heiress from Connaught, and he
wants a decently honest lawyer first."
"I should have thought," said Blake, "that an indecently dishonest
clergyman would have suited him better under those circumstances."
"May-be he'll want that, too, and I've no doubt you can recommend one.
But at present he wants a lawyer; and, as I have none of my own, I
think Forrest would serve his turn."
"I've always found Mr Forrest ready to do anything in the way of his
"No, but--he'd draw up a deed, wouldn't he, Blake? It's a sort of a
"Oh, he's quite at home at that work! He drew up five, for my five
sisters, and thereby ruined my father's property, and my prospects."
"Well, he'd see me to-morrow, wouldn't he?" said Lord Ballindine.
"Of course he would. But mind, we're to be off early. We ought to be at
the Curragh, by three."
"I suppose I could see him at ten?" said his lordship.
It was then settled that Blake should write a line to the lawyer,
informing him that Lord Ballindine wished to see him, at his office,
at ten o'clock the next morning; it was also agreed that Martin should
meet him there at that hour; and Kelly took his leave, much relieved on
the subject nearest his heart.
"Well, Frank," said Blake, as soon as the door was closed, "and have
you got the money you wanted?"
"Indeed I've not, then."
"And why not? If your protege is going to elope with an heiress, he
ought to have money at command."
"And so he will, and it'll be a great temptation to me to know where I
can get it so easily. But he was telling me all about this woman before
I thought of my own concerns--and I didn't like to be talking to him of
what I wanted myself, when he'd been asking a favour of me. It would be
too much like looking for payment."
"There, you're wrong; fair barter is the truest and honestest system,
all the world over.--'Ca me, ca thee,' as the Scotch call it, is the
best system to go by. I never do, or ask, _a favour_; that is, for
whatever I do, I expect a return; and for whatever I get, I intend to
"I'll get the money from Guinness. After all, that'll be the best, and
as you say, the cheapest."
"There you're right. His business is to lend money, and he'll lend it
you as long as you've means to repay it; and I'm sure no Connaught man
will do more--that is, if I know them."
"I suppose he will, but heaven only knows how long that'll be!" and the
young lord threw himself back on the sofa, as if he thought a little
meditation would do him good. However, very little seemed to do for
him, for he soon roused himself, and said, "I wonder how the devil,
Dot, you do without borrowing? My income's larger than yours, bad as
it is; I've only three horses in training, and you've, I suppose, above
a dozen; and, take the year through, I don't entertain half the fellows
at Kelly's Court that you do at Handicap Lodge; and yet, I never hear
of your borrowing money."
"There's many reasons for that. In the first place, I haven't an
estate; in the second, I haven't a mother; in the third, I haven't a
pack of hounds; in the fourth, I haven't a title; and, in the fifth,
no one would lend me money, if I asked it."
"As for the estate, it's devilish little I spend on it; as for my
mother, she has her own jointure; as for the hounds, they eat my own
potatoes; and as for the title, I don't support it. But I haven't your
luck, Dot. You'd never want for money, though the mint broke."
"Very likely I mayn't when it does; but I'm likely to be poor enough
till that happy accident occurs. But, as far as luck goes, you've had
more than me; you won nearly as much, in stakes, as I did, last autumn,
and your stable expenses weren't much above a quarter what mine were.
But, the truth is, I manage better; I know where my money goes to,
and you don't; I work hard, and you don't; I spend my money on what's
necessary to my style of living, you spend yours on what's not
necessary. What the deuce have the fellows in Mayo and Roscommon done
for you, that you should mount two or three rascals, twice a-week,
to show them sport, when you're not there yourself two months in the
season? I suppose you don't keep the horses and men for nothing, if you
do the dogs; and I much doubt whether they're not the dearest part of
"Of course they cost something; but it's the only thing I can do for
the country; and there were always hounds at Kelly's Court till my
grandfather got the property, and they looked upon him as no better
than an old woman, because he gave them up. Besides, I suppose I shall
be living at Kelly's Court soon, altogether, and I could never get on
then without hounds. It's bad enough, as it is."
"I haven't a doubt in the world it's bad enough. I know what
Castleblakeney is. But I doubt your living there. I've no doubt you'll
try; that is, if you _do_ marry Miss Wyndham; but she'll be sick of
it in three months, and you in six, and you'll go and live at Paris,
Florence, or Naples, and there'll be another end of the O'Kellys, for
thirty or forty years, as far as Ireland's concerned. You'll never do
for a poor country lord; you're not sufficiently proud, or stingy.
You'd do very well as a country gentleman, and you'd make a decent
nobleman with such a fortune as Lord Cashel's. But your game, if you
lived on your own property, would be a very difficult one, and one for
which you've neither tact nor temper."
"Well, I hope I'll never live out of Ireland. Though I mayn't have tact
to make one thousand go as far as five, I've sense enough to see that
a poor absentee landlord is a great curse to his country; and that's
what I hope I never shall be."
"My dear Lord Ballindine; all poor men are curses, to themselves or
some one else."
"A poor absentee's the worst of all. He leaves nothing behind, and can
leave nothing. He wants all he has for himself; and, if he doesn't give
his neighbours the profit which must arise somewhere, from his own
consumption, he can give nothing. A rich man can afford to leave three
or four thousand a year behind him, in the way of wages for labour."
"My gracious, Frank! You should put all that in a pamphlet, and not
inflict it on a poor devil waiting for his dinner. At present, give
your profit to Morrison, and come and consume some mock-turtle; and
I'll tell you what Sheil's going to do for us all."
Lord Ballindine did as he was bid, and left the room to prepare for
dinner. By the time that he had eaten his soup, and drank a glass of
wine, he had got rid of the fit of blue devils which the thoughts
of his poverty had brought on, and he spent the rest of the evening
comfortably enough, listening to his friend's comical version of
Shell's speech; receiving instruction from that great master of the art
as to the manner in which he should treat his Derby colt, and being
flattered into the belief that he would be a prominent favourite for
that great race.
When they had finished their wine, they sauntered into the Kildare
Blake was soon busy with his little betting-book, and Lord Ballindine
followed his example. Brien Boru was, before long, in great demand.
Blake took fifty to one, and then talked the horse up till he ended by
giving twenty-five. He was soon ranked the first of the Irish lot; and
the success of the Hibernians had made them very sanguine of late. Lord
Ballindine found himself the centre of a little sporting circle, as
being the man with the crack nag of the day. He was talked of, courted,
and appealed to; and, I regret to say, that before he left the club
he was again nearly forgetting Kelly's Court and Miss Wyndham, had
altogether got rid of his patriotic notions as to the propriety of
living on his own estate, had determined forthwith to send Brien Boru
over to Scott's English stables; and then, went to bed, and dreamed
that he was a winner of the Derby, and was preparing for the glories of
Newmarket with five or six thousand pounds in his pocket.
Martin Kelly dined with his brother at Jude's, and spent his evening
equally unreasonably; at least, it may be supposed so from the fact
that at one o'clock in the morning he was to be seen standing on one of
the tables at Burton Bindon's oyster-house, with a pewter pot, full of
porter, in his hand, and insisting that every one in the room should
drink the health of Anty Lynch, whom, on that occasion, he swore to be
the prettiest and the youngest girl in Connaught.
It was lucky he was so intoxicated, that no one could understand him;
and that his hearers were so drunk that they could understand nothing;
as, otherwise, the publicity of his admiration might have had the
effect of preventing the accomplishment of his design.
He managed, however, to meet his patron the next morning at the
lawyer's, though his eyes were very red, and his cheeks pale; and,
after being there for some half hour, left the office, with the
assurance that, whenever he and the lady might please to call there,
they should find a deed prepared for their signature, which would
adjust the property in the manner required.
That afternoon Lord Ballindine left Dublin, with his friend, to make
instant arrangements for the exportation of Brien Boru; and, at two
o'clock the next day, Martin left, by the boat, for Ballinaslie, having
evinced his patriotism by paying a year's subscription in advance to
the "Nation" newspaper, and with his mind fully made up to bring Anty
away to Dublin with as little delay as possible.
IV. THE DUNMORE INN
Anty Lynch was not the prettiest, or the youngest girl in Connaught;
nor would Martin have affirmed her to be so, unless he had been very
much inebriated indeed. However young she might have been once, she was
never pretty; but, in all Ireland, there was not a more single-hearted,
simple-minded young woman. I do not use the word simple as foolish;
for, though uneducated, she was not foolish. But she was unaffected,
honest, humble, and true, entertaining a very lowly idea of her own
value, and unelated by her newly acquired wealth.
She had been so little thought of all her life by others, that she
had never learned to think much of herself; she had had but few
acquaintances, and no friends, and had spent her life, hitherto,
so quietly and silently, that her apparent apathy was attributable
rather to want of subjects of excitement, than to any sluggishness of
disposition. Her mother had died early; and, since then, the only case
in which Anty had been called on to exercise her own judgment, was in
refusing to comply with her father's wish that she should become a
nun. On this subject, though often pressed, she had remained positive,
always pleading that she felt no call to the sacred duties which would
be required, and innocently assuring her father, that, if allowed to
remain at home, she would cause him no trouble, and but little expense.
So she had remained at home, and had inured herself to bear without
grumbling, or thinking that she had cause for grumbling, the petulance
of her father, and the more cruel harshness and ill-humour of her
brother. In all the family schemes of aggrandisement she had been set
aside, and Barry had been intended by the father as the scion on whom
all the family honours were to fall. His education had been expensive,
his allowance liberal, and his whims permitted; while Anty was never
better dressed than a decent English servant, and had been taught
nothing save the lessons she had learnt from her mother, who died when
she was but thirteen.
Mrs Lynch had died before the commencement of Sim's palmy days. They
had seen no company in her time,--for they were then only rising
people; and, since that, the great friends to whom Sim, in his wealth,
had attached himself, and with whom alone he intended that Barry
should associate, were all of the masculine gender. He gave bachelor
dinner-parties to hard-drinking young men, for whom Anty was well
contented to cook; and when they--as they often, from the effect of
their potations, were perforce obliged to do--stayed the night at
Dunmore House, Anty never showed herself in the breakfast parlour,
but boiled the eggs, made the tea, and took her own breakfast in the
It was not wonderful, therefore, that no one proposed for Anty; and,
though all who knew the Lynches, knew that Sim had a daughter, it was
very generally given out that she was not so wise as her neighbours;
and the father and brother took no pains to deny the rumour. The
inhabitants of the village knew better; the Lynches were very generally
disliked, and the shameful way "Miss Anty was trated," was often
discussed in the little shops; and many of the townspeople were ready
to aver that, "simple or no, Anty Lynch was the best of the breed,
Matters stood thus at Dunmore, when the quarrel before alluded to,
occurred, and when Sim made his will, dividing his property and died
before destroying it, as he doubtless would have done, when his passion
Great was the surprise of every one concerned, and of many who were
not at all concerned, when it was ascertained that Anty Lynch was an
heiress, and that she was now possessed of four hundred pounds
a-year in her own right; but the passion of her brother, it would
be impossible to describe. He soon, however, found that it was too
literally true, and that no direct means were at hand, by which he
could deprive his sister of her patrimony. The lawyer, when he informed
Anty of her fortune and present station, made her understand that she
had an equal right with her brother in everything in the house; and
though, at first, she tacitly acquiesced in his management, she was not
at all simple enough to be ignorant of the rights of possession, or
weak enough to relinquish them.
Barry soon made up his mind that, as she had and must have the
property, all he could now do was to take care that it should revert to
him as her heir; and the measure of most importance in effecting this,
would be to take care that she did not marry. In his first passion,
after his father's death, he had been rough and cruel to her; but he
soon changed his conduct, and endeavoured to flatter her into docility
at one moment, and to frighten her into obedience in the next.
He soon received another blow which was also a severe one. Moylan, the
old man who proposed the match to Martin, called on him, and showed him
that Anty had appointed him her agent, and had executed the necessary
legal documents for the purpose. Upon this subject he argued for a
long time with his sister,--pointing out to her that the old man would
surely rob her--offering to act as her agent himself--recommending
others as more honest and fitting--and, lastly, telling her that she
was an obstinate fool, who would soon be robbed of every penny she had,
and that she would die in a workhouse at last.
But Anty, though she dreaded her brother, was firm. Wonderful as it
may appear, she even loved him. She begged him not to quarrel with
her,--promised to do everything to oblige him, and answered his wrath
with gentleness; but it was of no avail. Barry knew that her agent was
a plotter--that he would plot against his influence--though he little
guessed then what would be the first step Moylan would take, or how
likely it would be, if really acted on, to lead to his sister's comfort
and happiness. After this, Barry passed two months of great misery and
vexation. He could not make up his mind what to do, or what final steps
to take, either about the property, his sister, or himself. At first,
he thought of frightening Moylan and his sister, by pretending that
he would prove Anty to be of weak mind, and not fit to manage her own
affairs, and that he would indict the old man for conspiracy; but he
felt that Moylan was not a man to be frightened by such bugbears. Then,
he made up his mind to turn all he had into money, to leave his sister
to the dogs, or any one who might choose to rob her, and go and live
abroad. Then he thought, if his sister should die, what a pity it would
be, he should lose it all, and how he should blame himself, if she were
to die soon after having married some low adventurer; and he reflected;
how probable such a thing would be--how likely that such a man would
soon get rid of her; and then his mind began to dwell on her death,
and to wish for it. He found himself constantly thinking of it, and
ruminating on it, and determining that it was the only event which
could set him right. His own debts would swallow up half his present
property; and how could he bring himself to live on the pitiful
remainder, when that stupid idiot, as he called her to himself, had
three times more than she could possibly want? Morning after morning,
he walked about the small grounds round the house, with his hat over
his eyes, and his hands tossing about the money in his pockets,
thinking of this,--cursing his father, and longing--almost praying for
his sister's death. Then he would have his horse, and flog the poor
beast along the roads without going anywhere, or having any object in
view, but always turning the same thing over and over in his mind.
And, after dinner, he would sit, by the hour, over the fire, drinking,
longing for his sister's money, and calculating the probabilities of
his ever possessing it. He began to imagine all the circumstances which
might lead to her death; he thought of all the ways in which persons
situated as she was, might, and often did, die. He reflected, without
knowing that he was doing so, on the probability of robbers breaking
into the house, if she were left alone in it, and of their murdering
her; he thought of silly women setting their own clothes on fire--of
their falling out of window--drowning themselves--of their perishing
in a hundred possible but improbable ways. It was after he had been
drinking a while, that these ideas became most vivid before his eyes,
and seemed like golden dreams, the accomplishment of which he could
hardly wish for. And, at last, as the fumes of the spirit gave him
courage, other and more horrible images would rise to his imagination,
and the drops of sweat would stand on his brow as he would invent
schemes by which, were he so inclined, he could accelerate, without
detection, the event for which he so ardently longed. With such
thoughts would he turn into bed; and though in the morning he would try
to dispel the ideas in which he had indulged overnight, they still left
their impression on his mind;--they added bitterness to his hatred--and
made him look on himself as a man injured by his father and sister, and
think that he owed it to himself to redress his injuries by some
It was whilst Barry Lynch was giving way to such thoughts as these, and
vainly endeavouring to make up his mind as to what he would do, that
Martin made his offer to Anty. To tell the truth, it was Martin's
sister Meg who had made the first overture; and, as Anty had not
rejected it with any great disdain, but had rather shown a disposition
to talk about it as a thing just possible, Martin had repeated it in
person, and had reiterated it, till Anty had at last taught herself to
look upon it as a likely and desirable circumstance. Martin had behaved
openly and honourably with regard to the money part of the business;
telling his contemplated bride that it was, of course, her fortune
which had first induced him to think of her; but adding, that he would
also value her and love her for herself, if she would allow him. He
described to her the sort of settlement he should propose, and ended by
recommending an early day for the wedding.
Anty had sense enough to be pleased at his straightforward and honest
manner; and, though she did not say much to himself, she said a great
deal in his praise to Meg, which all found its way to Martin's ears.
But still, he could not get over the difficulty which he had described
to Lord Ballindine. Anty wanted to wait till her brother should go out
of the country, and Martin was afraid that he would not go; and things
were in this state when he started for Dublin.
The village of Dunmore has nothing about it which can especially
recommend it to the reader. It has none of those beauties of nature
which have taught Irishmen to consider their country as the "first
flower of the earth, and first gem of the sea". It is a dirty, ragged
little town, standing in a very poor part of the country, with nothing
about it to induce the traveller to go out of his beaten track. It is
on no high road, and is blessed with no adventitious circumstances to
add to its prosperity.
It was once the property of the O'Kellys; but, in those times the
landed proprietors thought but little of the towns; and now it is
parcelled out among different owners, some of whom would think it folly
to throw away a penny on the place, and others of whom have not a penny
to throw away. It consists of a big street, two little streets, and a
few very little lanes. There is a Court-house, where the barrister sits
twice a year; a Barrack, once inhabited by soldiers, but now given up
to the police; a large slated chapel, not quite finished; a few shops
for soft goods; half a dozen shebeen-houses , ruined by Father
Mathew; a score of dirty cabins offering "lodging and enthertainment",
as announced on the window-shutters; Mrs. Kelly's inn and grocery-shop;
and, last though not least, Simeon Lynch's new, staring house, built
just at the edge of the town, on the road to Roscommon, which is
dignified with the name of Dunmore House. The people of most influence
in the village were Mrs. Kelly of the inn, and her two sworn friends,
the parish priest and his curate. The former, Father Geoghegan, lived
about three miles out of Dunmore, near Toneroe; and his curate, Father
Pat Connel, inhabited one of the small houses in the place, very little
better in appearance than those which offered accommodation to
travellers and trampers.
[FOOTNOTE 11: shebeen-houses--unlicensed drinking houses, where
un-taxed ("moonshine") liquor was often served]
Such was, and is, the town of Dunmore in the county of Galway; and I
must beg the reader to presume himself to be present there with me on
the morning on which the two young Kellys went to hear Sheil's speech.
At about ten o'clock, the widow Kelly and her daughters were busy in
the shop, which occupied the most important part of the ground-floor
of the inn. It was a long, scrambling, ugly-looking house. Next to the
shop, and opening out of it, was a large drinking-room, furnished with
narrow benches and rickety tables; and here the more humble of Mrs.
Kelly's guests regaled themselves. On the other side of this, was the
hall, or passage of the house; and, next to that again, a large, dingy,
dark kitchen, over which Sally reigned with her teapot dynasty, and in
which were always congregated a parcel of ragged old men, boys, and
noisy women, pretending to be busy, but usually doing but little good,
and attracted by the warmth of the big fire, and the hopes of some
scraps of food and drink.
"For the widow Kelly--God bless her! was a thrue Christhian, and didn't
begrudge the poor--more power to her--like some upstarts who might live
to be in want yet, glory be to the Almighty!"
The difference of the English and Irish character is nowhere more
plainly discerned than in their respective kitchens. With the former,
this apartment is probably the cleanest, and certainly the most
orderly, in the house. It is rarely intruded into by those unconnected,
in some way, with its business. Everything it contains is under
the vigilant eye of its chief occupant, who would imagine it quite
impossible to carry on her business, whether of an humble or
important nature, if her apparatus was subjected to the hands of the
unauthorised. An Irish kitchen is devoted to hospitality in every sense
of the word. Its doors are open to almost all loungers and idlers; and
the chances are that Billy Bawn, the cripple, or Judy Molloy, the deaf
old hag, are more likely to know where to find the required utensil