Part 8 out of 10
'Has she though? Faith, do you know I think Kilcullen has a mind to keep it
in the family. H's very soft on her, and she's just as sweet to him. I
shouldn't be surprised if he were to marry now, and turn steady.'
'Not at all; there are two reasons against it. In the first place, he's too
much clipped for even Fanny's fortune to be any good to him; and secondly,
'What, to Ballindine?' said Cokely.
'Exactly so,' said Mat.
'Ah, my dear fellow, that's all off long since. I heard Kilcullen say so
myself. I'll back Kilcullen to marry her against Ballindine for a hundred
'Done,' said Mat; and the bet was booked.
The same evening, Tierney wrote to Dot Blake, and said in a postscript, 'I
know you care for Ballindine; so do I, but I don't write to him. If he
really wants to secure his turtle-dove, he should see that she doesn't get
bagged in his absence. Kilcullen is here, and I tell you he's a keen
sportsman. They say it's quite up with him in London, and I should be sorry
she were sacrificed: she seems a nice girl.'
Lord Kilcullen had ample opportunities of forwarding his intimacy with
Fanny, and he did not neglect them. To give him his due, he played his
cards as well as his father could wish him. He first of all overcame the
dislike with which she was prepared to regard him; he then interested her
about himself; and, before he had been a week at Grey Abbey, she felt that
she had a sort of cousinly affection for him. He got her to talk with a
degree of interest about himself; and when he could do that, there was no
wonder that Tierney should have fears for his friend's interests. Not that
there was any real occasion for them. Fanny Wyndham was not the girl to be
talked out of, or into, a real passion, by anyone.
'Now, tell me the truth, Fanny,' said Kilcullen, as they were sitting over
the fire together in the library, one dark afternoon, before they went to
dress for dinner; 'hadn't you been taught to look on me as a kind of ogre a
monster of iniquity, who spoke nothing but oaths, and did nothing but sin?'
'Not exactly that: but I won't say I thought you were exactly just what you
ought to be.'
'But didn't you think I was exactly what I ought not to have been? Didn't
you imagine, now, that I habitually sat up all night, gambling, and
drinking buckets of champagne and brandy-and-water? And that I lay in bed
all day, devising iniquity in my dreams? Come now, tell the truth, and
shame the devil; if I am the devil, I know people have made me out to be.'
'Why, really, Adolphus, I never calculated how your days and nights were
spent. But if I am to tell the truth, I fear some of them might have been
passed to better advantage.'
'Which of us, Fanny, mightn't, with truth, say the same of ourselves?'
'Of course, none of us,' said Fanny; 'don't think I'm judging you; you
asked me the question and I suppose you wanted an answer.'
'I did; I wanted a true one for though you may never have given yourself
much trouble to form an opinion about me, I am anxious that you should do
so now. I don't want to trouble you with what is done and past; I don't
want to make it appear that I have not been thoughtless and
imprudent wicked and iniquitous, if you are fond of strong terms; neither
do I want to trouble you with confessing all my improprieties, that I may
regularly receive absolution. But I do wish you to believe that I have done
nothing which should exclude me from your future good opinion; from your
friendship and esteem.'
'I am not of an unforgiving temperament, even had you done anything for me
to forgive: but I am not aware that you have.'
'No; nothing for you to forgive, in the light of an offence to yourself;
but much, perhaps, to prevent your being willing to regard me as a personal
friend, We're not only first cousins, Fanny, but are placed more closely
together than cousins usually are. You have neither father nor mother; now,
also, you have no brother,' and he took her hands in his own as he said so.
'Who should be a brother to you, if I am not? who, at any rate, should you
look on as a friend, if not on me? Nobody could be better, I believe, than
Selina; but she is stiff, and cold unlike you in everything. I should be so
happy if I could be the friend the friend of friends you spoke of the other
evening; if I could fill the place which must be empty near your heart. I
can never be this to you, if you believe that anything in my past life has
been really disgraceful. It is for this reason that I want to know what you
truly think of me. I won't deny that I am anxious you should think well of
me: well, at any rate for the present, and the future, and charitably as
regards the past.'
Fanny had been taken much by surprise by the turn her cousin had given to
the conversation; and was so much affected, that, before he had finished,
she was in tears. She had taken her hand out of his, to put her
handkerchief to her eyes, and as she did not immediately answer, he
'I shall probably be much here for some time to come such, at least, are my
present plans; and I hope that while I am, we shall become friends: not
such friends, Fanny, as you and Judith O'Joscelyn friends only of
circumstance, who have neither tastes, habits, or feelings in
common friends whose friendship consists in living in the same parish, and
meeting each other once or twice a week; but friends in reality friends in
confidence friends in mutual dependence friends in love friends, dear
Fanny, as cousins situated as we are should be to each other.'
Fanny's heart was very full, for she felt how much, how desperately, she
wanted such a friend as Kilcullen described. How delightful it would be to
have such a friend, and to find him in her own cousin! The whole family,
hitherto, were so cold to her so uncongenial. The earl she absolutely
disliked; she loved her aunt, but it was only because she was her aunt she
couldn't like her; and though she loved Lady Selina, and, to a degree,
admired her, it was like loving a marble figure. There was more true
feeling in what Kilcullen had now said to her, than in. all that had fallen
from the whole family, for the four years she had lived at Grey Abbey, and
she could not therefore but close on the offer of his affection.
'Shall we be such friends, then?' said he; 'or, after all, am I too bad?
Have I too much of the taint of the wicked world to be the friend of so
pure a creature as you?'
'Oh no, Adolphus; I'm sure I never thought so,' said she. 'I never judged
you, and indeed I am not disposed to do so now. I'm too much in want of
kindness to reject yours even were I disposed to do so, which I am not.'
'Then, Fanny, we are to be friends true, loving, trusting friends?'
'Oh, yes!' said Fanny. 'I am really, truly grateful for your affection and
kindness. I know how precious they are, and I will value them accordingly.'
Again Lord Kilcullen took her hand, and pressed it in his; and then he
kissed it, and told her she was his own dear cousin Fanny; and then
recommended her to go and dress, which she did. He sat himself down for a
quarter of an hour, ruminating, and then also went off to dress; but,
during that quarter of an hour, very different ideas passed through his
mind, than such as those who knew him best would have given him credit for.
In the first place, he thought that he really began to feel an affection
for his cousin Fanny, and to speculate whether it were absolutely within
the verge of possibility that he should marry her retrieve his
circumstances treat her well, and live happily for the rest of his life as
a respectable nobleman.
For two or three minutes the illusion remained, till it was banished by
retrospection. It was certainly possible that he should marry her: it was
his full intention to do so: but as to retrieving his circumstances and
treating her well! the first was absolutely impossible the other nearly so;
and as to his living happily at Grey Abbey as a family man, he yawned as he
felt how impossible it would be that he should spend a month in such a way,
let alone a life. But then Fanny Wyndham was so beautiful, so lively, so
affectionate, so exactly what a cousin and a wife ought to be: he could not
bear to think that all his protestations of friendship and love had been
hypocritical; that he could only look upon her as a gudgeon, and himself as
a bigger fish, determined to swallow her! Yet such must be his views
regarding her. He departed to dress, absolutely troubled in his conscience.
And what were Fanny's thoughts about her cousin? She was much surprised and
gratified, but at the same time somewhat flustered and overwhelmed, by the
warmth and novelty of his affection. However, she never for a moment
doubted his truth towards her, or had the slightest suspicion of his real
Her chief thought was whether she could induce him to be a mediator for
her, between Lord Cashel and Lord Ballindine.
During the next two days he spoke to her a good deal about her brother of
whom, by-the-bye, he had really known nothing. He contrived, however, to
praise him as a young man of much spirit and great promise; then he spoke
of her own large fortune, asked her what her wishes were about its
investment, and told her how happy he would be to express those wishes at
once to Lord Cashel, and to see that they were carried out. Once or twice
she had gradually attempted to lead the conversation to Lord Ballindine,
but Kilcullen was too crafty, and had prevented her; and she had not yet
sufficient courage to tell him at once what was so near her heart.
'Fanny,' said Lady Selina, one morning, about a week after the general
arrival of the company at Grey Abbey, and when some of them had taken their
departure, 'I am very glad to see you have recovered your spirits: I know
you have made a great effort, and I appreciate and admire it.'
'Indeed, Selina, I fear you are admiring me too soon. I own I have been
amused this week past, and, to a certain degree, pleased; but I fear you'll
find I shall relapse. There's been no radical reform; my thoughts are all
in the same direction as they were.'
'But the great trial in this world is to behave well and becomingly in
spite of oppressive thoughts: and it always takes a struggle to do that,
and that struggle you've made. I hope it may lead you to feel that you may
be contented and in comfort without having everything which you think
necessary to your happiness. I'm sure I looked forward to this week as one
of unmixed trouble and torment; but I was very wrong to do so. It has given
me a great deal of unmixed satisfaction.'
'I'm very glad of that, Selina, but what was it? I'm sure it could not have
come from poor Mrs Ellison, or the bishop's wife; and you seemed to me to
spend all your time in talking to them. Virtue, they say, is its own
reward: I don't know what other satisfaction you can have had from them.'
'In the first place, it has given me great pleasure to see that you were
able to exert yourself in company, and that the crowd of people did not
annoy you: but I have chiefly been delighted by seeing that you and
Adolphus are such good friends. You must think, Fanny, that I am anxious
about an only brother especially when we have all had so much cause to be
anxious about him; and don't you think it must be a delight to me to find
that he is able to take pleasure in your society? I should be doubly
pleased, doubly delighted, if I could please him myself. But I have not the
vivacity to amuse him.'
'What nonsense, Selina! Don't say that.'
'But it's true, Fanny; I have not; and Grey Abbey has become distasteful to
him because we are all sedate, steady people. Perhaps some would call us
dull, and heavy; and I have grieved that it should be so, though I cannot
alter my nature; but you are so much the contrary there is so much in your
character like his own, before he became fond of the world, that I feel he
can become attached to and fond of you; and I am delighted to see that he
thinks so himself. What do you think of him, now that you have seen more of
him than you ever did before?'
'Indeed,' said Fanny, 'I like him very much.'
'He is very clever, isn't he? He might have been anything if he had given
himself fair play. He seems to have taken greatly to you.'
'Oh yes; we are great friends:' and then Fanny paused ' so great friends,'
she continued, looking somewhat gravely in Lady Selina's face, 'that I mean
to ask the greatest favour of him that I could ask of anyone: one I am sure
I little dreamed I should ever ask of him.'
'What is it, Fanny? Is it a secret?'
'Indeed it is, Selina; but it's a secret I will tell you. I mean to tell
him all I feel about Lord Ballindine, and I mean to ask him to see him for
me. Adolphus has offered to be a brother to me, and I mean to take him at
Lady Selina turned very pale, and looked very grave as she replied,
'That is not giving him a brother's work, Fanny. A brother should protect
you from importunity and insult, from injury and wrong; and that, I am
sure, Adolphus would do: but no brother would consent to offer your hand to
a man who had neglected you and been refused, and who, in all probability,
would now reject you with scorn if he has the opportunity or if not that,
will take you for your money's sake. That, Fanny, is not a brother's work;
and it is an embassy which I am sure Adolphus will not undertake. If you
take my advice you will not ask him.'
As Lady Selina finished speaking she walked to the door, as if determined
to hear no reply from her cousin; but, as she was leaving the room, she
fancied that she heard her sobbing, and her heart softened, and she again
turned towards her and said, 'God knows, Fanny, I do not wish to be severe
or ill-natured to you; I would do anything for your comfort and happiness,
but I cannot bear to think that you should' Lady Selina was puzzled for a
word to express her meaning 'that you should forget yourself,' and she
attempted to put her arm round Fanny's waist.
But she was mistaken; Fanny was not sobbing, but was angry; and what Selina
now said about her forgetting herself, did not make her less so.
'No,' she said, withdrawing herself from her cousin's embrace and standing
erect, while her bosom was swelling with indignation: 'I want no affection
from you, Selina, that is accompanied by so much disapprobation. You don't
wish to be severe, only you say that I am likely to forget myself. Forget
myself!' and Fanny threw back her beautiful head, and clenched her little
fists by her side: 'The other day you said "disgrace myself ", and I bore
it calmly then; but I will not any longer bear such imputations. I tell you
plainly, Selina, I will not forget myself, nor will I be forgotten. Nor
will I submit to whatever fate cold, unfeeling people may doom me, merely
because I am a woman and alone. I will not give up Lord Ballindine, if I
have to walk to his door and tell him so. And were I to do so, I should
never think that I had forgotten myself.'
'Listen to me, Fanny,' said Selina.
'Wait a moment,' continued Fanny, 'I have listened enough: it is my turn to
speak now. For one thing I have to thank you: you have dispelled the idea
that I could look for help to anyone in this family. I will not ask your
brother to do anything for me which you think so disgraceful. I will not
subject him to the scorn with which you choose to think my love will be
treated by him who loved me so well. That you should dare to tell me that
he who did so much for my love should now scorn it! Oh, Selina, that I may
live to forget that you said those words!' and Fanny, for a moment, put her
handkerchief to her eyes but it was but for a moment.
'However,' she continued, 'I will now act for myself. As you think I might
forget myself, I tell you I will do it in no clandestine way. I will write
to Lord Ballindine, and I will show my letter to my uncle. The whole house
shall read it if they please. I will tell Lord Ballindine all the truth and
if Lord Cashel turns me from his house, I shall probably find some friend
to receive me, who may still believe that I have not forgotten myself.' And
Fanny Wyndham sailed out of the room.
Lady Selina, when she saw that she was gone, sat down on the sofa and took
her book. She tried to make herself believe that she was going to read; but
it was no use: the tears dimmed her eyes, and she put the book down.
The same evening the countess sent for Selina into her boudoir, and, with a
fidgety mixture of delight and surprise, told her that she had a wonderful
piece of good news to communicate to her.
'I declare, my dear,' she said, 'it's the most delightful thing I've heard
for years and years; and it's just exactly what I had planned myself, only
I never told anybody. Dear me; it makes me so happy!'
'What is it, mamma?
'Your papa has been talking to me since dinner, my love, and he tells me
Adolphus is going to marry Fanny Wyndham.'
'Going to marry whom?' said Lady Selina, almost with a shout.
'Fanny, I say: it's the most delightful match in the world: it's just what
ought to be done. I suppose they won't have the wedding before summer;
though May is a very nice month. Let me see; it only wants three weeks to
'Mamma, what are you talking about? you're dreaming.'
'Dreaming, my dear? I'm not dreaming at all: it's a fact. Who'd 've thought
of all this happening so soon, out of this party, which gave us so much
trouble! However, I knew your father was right. I said all along that he
was in the right to ask the, people.'
'Mamma,' said Lady Selina, gravely, 'listen to me: calmly now, and
attentively. I don't know what papa has told you; but I tell you Fanny does
not dream of marrying Adolphus. He has never asked her, and if he did she
would never accept him. Fanny is more than ever in love with Lord
The countess opened her eyes wide, and looked up into her daughter's face,
but said nothing.
'Tell me, mamma, as nearly as you can recollect, what it is papa has said
to you, that, if possible, we may prevent mischief and misery. Papa
couldn't have said that Fanny had accepted Adolphus?'
'He didn't say exactly that, my dear; but he said that it was his wish they
should be married; that Adolphus was very eager for it, and that Fanny had
received his attentions and admiration with evident pleasure and
satisfaction. And so she has, my dear; you couldn't but have seen that
'Well, mamma, what else did papa say?'
'Why, he said just what I'm telling you: that I wasn't to be surprised if
we were called on to be ready for the wedding at a short notice; or at any
rate to be ready to congratulate Fanny. He certainly didn't say she had
accepted him. But he said he had no doubt about it; and I'm sure, from what
was going on last week, I couldn't have any doubt either. But he told me
not to speak to anyone about it yet; particularly not to Fanny; only, my
dear, I couldn't help, you know, talking it over with you;' and the
countess leaned back in her chair, very much exhausted with the history she
'Now, mamma, listen to me. It is not many hours since Fanny told me she was
unalterably determined to throw herself at Lord Ballindine's feet.'
'Goodness gracious me, how shocking!' said the countess.
'She even said that she would ask Adolphus to be the means of bringing Lord
Ballindine back to Grey Abbey.'
'Lord have mercy!' said the countess.
'I only tell you this, mamma, to show you how impossible it is that papa
should be right.'
'What are we to do, my dear? Oh, dear, there'll be such a piece of work!
What a nasty thing Fanny is. I'm sure she's been making love to Adolphus
all the week!'
'No, mamma, she has not. Don't be unfair to Fanny. If there is anyone in
fault it is Adolphus; but, as you say, what shall we do to prevent further
misunderstanding? I think I had better tell papa the whole.'
And so she did, on the following morning. But she was too late; she did not
do it till after Lord Kilcullen had offered and had been refused.
XXXII HOW LORD KILCULLEN FARES IN HIS WOOING
About twelve o'clock the same night, Lord Kilcullen and Mat Tierney were
playing billiards, and were just finishing their last game: the bed-candles
were lighted ready for them, and Tierney was on the point of making the
'So you're determined to go to-morrow, Mat?' said Kilcullen.
'Oh, yes, I'll go to-morrow: your mother'll take me for a second Paddy Rea,
else,' said Mat.
'Who the deuce was Paddy Rea?'
'Didn't you ever hear of Paddy Rea? Michael French of Glare Abbey he's dead
now, but he was alive enough at the time I'm telling you of, and kept the
best house in county Clare well, he was coming down on the Limerick coach,
and met a deuced pleasant, good-looking, talkative sort of a fellow a-top
of it. They dined and got a tumbler of punch together at Roscrea; and when
French got down at Bird Hill, he told his acquaintance that if he ever
found himself anywhere near Ennis, he'd be glad to see him at Glare Abbey.
He was a hospitable sort of a fellow, and had got into a kind of way of
saying the same thing to everybody, without meaning anything except to be
civil just as I'd wish a man good morning. Well, French thought no more
about the man, whose name he didn't even know; but about a fortnight
afterwards, a hack car from Ennis made its appearance at Glare Abbey, and
the talkative traveller, and a small portmanteau, had soon found their way
into the hail. French was a good deal annoyed, for he had some fashionables
in the house, but he couldn't turn the man out; so he asked his name, and
introduced Paddy Rea to the company. How long do you think he stayed at
'Heaven only knows! Three months.'
'Seventeen years!' said Mat. 'They did everything to turn him out, and
couldn't do it. It killed old French; and at last his son pulled the house
down, and Paddy Rea went then, because there wasn't a roof to cover him.
Now I don't want to drive your father to pull down this house, so I'll go
'The place is so ugly, that if you could make him do so, it would be an
advantage; but I'm afraid the plan wouldn't succeed, so I won't press you.
But if you go, I shan't remain long. If it was to save my life and theirs,
I can't get up small talk for the rector and his curate.'
'Well, good night,' said Mat; and the two turned off towards their bed-
As they passed from the billiard-room through the hall, Lord Cashel
shuffled out of his room, in his slippers and dressing-gown.
'Kilcullen,' said he, with a great deal of unconcerned good humour affected
in his tone, 'just give me one moment I've a word to say to you. Goodnight,
Mr Tierney, goodnight; I'm sorry to hear we're to lose you to-morrow.'
Lord Kilcullen shrugged his shoulders, winked at his friend and then turned
round and followed his father.
'It's only one word, Kilcullen,' said the father, who was afraid of
angering or irritating his son, now that he thought he was in so fair a way
to obtain the heiress and her fortune. 'I'll not detain you half a minute;'
and then he said in a whisper, 'take my advice, Kilcullen, and strike when
the iron's hot.'
'I don't quite understand you, my lord,' said his son, affecting ignorance
of his father's meaning.
'I mean, you can't stand better than you do with Fanny: you've
certainly played your cards admirably, and she's a charming girl, a very
charming girl, and I long to know that she's your own. Take my advice and
ask her at once.'
'My lord,' said the dutiful son, 'if I'm to carry on this affair, I must he
allowed to do it in my own way. You, I dare say, have more experience than
I can boast, and if you choose to make the proposal yourself to Miss
Wyndham on my behalf, I shall be delighted to leave the matter in your
hands; but in that case, I shall choose to be absent from Grey Abbey. If
you wish me to do it, you must let me do it when I please and how I
'Oh, certainly, certainly, Kilcullen,' said the earl; 'I only want to point
out that I think you'll gain nothing by delay.'
'Very well, my lord. Good night.' And Lord Kilcullen went to bed, and the
father shuffled back to his study. He had had three different letters that
day from Lord Kilcullen's creditors, all threatening immediate arrest
unless he would make himself responsible for his son's debts. No wonder
that he was in a hurry, poor man!
And Lord Kilcullen, though he had spoken so coolly on the subject, and had
snubbed his father, was equally in a hurry. He also received letters, and
threats, and warnings, and understood, even better than his father did, the
perils which awaited him. He knew that he couldn't remain at Grey Abbey
another week; that in a day or two it wouldn't be safe for him to leave the
house; and that his only chance was at once to obtain the promise of his
cousin's hand, and then betake himself to some place of security, till he
could make her fortune available.
When Fanny came into the breakfast-room next morning, he asked her to walk
with him in the demesne after breakfast. During the whole of the previous
evening she had sat silent and alone, pretending to read, although he had
made two or three efforts to engage her in conversation. She could not,
however, refuse to walk with him, nor could she quite forgive herself for
wishing to do so. She felt that her sudden attachment for him was damped by
what had passed between her and Lady Selina; but she knew, at the same
time, that she was very unreasonable for quarrelling with one cousin for
what another had said. She accepted his invitation, and shortly after
breakfast went upstairs to get ready. It was a fine, bright, April morning,
though the air was cold, and the ground somewhat damp; so she put on her
boa and strong boots, and sallied forth with Lord Kilcullen; not exactly in
a good humour, but still feeling that she could not justly be out of humour
with him. At the same moment, Lady Selina knocked at her father's door,
with the intention of explaining to him how impossible it was that Fanny
should be persuaded to marry her brother. Poor Lord Cashel his life, at
that time, was certainly not a happy one.
The two cousins walked some way, nearly in silence. Fanny felt very little
inclined to talk, and even Kilcullen, with all his knowledge of
womankind with all his assurance, had some difficulty in commencing what he
had to get said and done that morning.
'So Grey Abbey will once more sink into its accustomed dullness,' said he.
'Cokely went, yesterday, and Tierney and the Ellisons go today. Don't you
dread it, Fanny?'
'Oh, I'm used to it: besides, I'm one of the component elements of the
dullness, you know. I'm a portion of the thing itself: it's you that must
'I feel it? I suppose I shall. But, as I told you before, the physic to me
was not nearly so nauseous as the sugar. I'm at any rate glad to get rid of
such sweetmeats as the bishop and Mrs Ellison;' and they were both silent
again for a while.
'But you're not a portion of the heaviness of Grey Abbey, Fanny,' said he,
referring to what she had said. 'You're not an element of its dullness. I
don't say this in flattery I trust nothing so vile as flattery will ever
take place between us; but you know yourself that. your nature is intended
for other things; that you were not born to pass your life in such a house
as this, without society, without excitement, without something to fill
your mind. Fanny, you can't be happy here, at Grey Abbey.'
Happy! thought Fanny to herself. No, indeed, I'm not happy! She didn't say
so, however; and Kilcullen, after a little while, went on speaking.
'I'm sure you can't be comfortable here. You don't feel it, I dare say, so
intolerable as I do; but still you have been out enough, enough in the
world, to feel strongly the everlasting do-nothingness of this horrid
place. I wonder what possesses my father, that he does not go to London for
your sake if for no one else's. It's not just of him to coop you up here.'
'Indeed it is, Adolphus,' said she. 'You mistake my character. I'm not at
all anxious for London parties and gaiety. Stupid as you may think me, I'm
quite as well contented to stay here as I should be to go to London.'
'Do you mean me to believe,' said Kilcullen, with a gentle laugh, 'that you
are contented to live and die in single blessedness at Grey Abbey ?that
your ambition does not soar higher than the interchange of worsted-work
patterns with Miss O'Joscelyn?'
'I did not say so, Adolphus.'
'What is your ambition then? what kind and style of life would you choose
to live? Come, Fanny, I wish I could get you to talk with me about
yourself. I wish I could teach you to believe how anxious I am that your
future life should be happy and contented, and at the same time splendid
and noble, as it should be. I'm sure you must have ambition. I have studied
Lavater well enough to know that such a head and face as yours never
belonged to a mind that could satisfy itself with worsted-work.'
'You are very severe on the poor worsted-work.'
'But am I not in the right?'
'Decidedly not. Lavater, and my head and face, have misled you.'
'Nonsense, Fanny. Do you mean to tell me that you have no aspiration for a
kind of life different from this you are leading? If so, I am much
disappointed in you; much, very much astray in my judgment of your
character.' Then he walked on a few yards, looking on the ground, and said,
'Come, Fanny, I am talking very earnestly to you, and you answer me only in
joke. You don't think me impertinent, do you, to talk about yourself?'
'Impertinent, Adolphus of course I don't.'
'Why won't you talk to me then, in the spirit in which I am talking to you?
If you knew, Fanny, how interested I am about you, how anxious that you
should be happy, how confidently I look forward to the distinguished
position I expect you to fill if you could guess how proud I mean to be of
you, when you are the cynosure of all eyes the admired of all
admirers admired not more for your beauty than your talent if I could make
you believe, Fanny, how much I expect from you, and how fully I trust that,
my expectations will be realised, you would not, at any rate, answer me
'Adolphus,' said Fanny, 'I thought there was to be no flattering between
'And do you think I would flatter you? Do you think I would stoop to
flatter you? Oh! Fanny, you don't understand me yet; you don't at all
understand, how thoroughly from the heart I'm speaking how much in earnest
I am; and, so far from flattering you, I am quite as anxious to find fault
with you as I am to praise you, could I feel that I had liberty to do so.'
'Pray do,' said Fanny: 'anything but flattery; for a friend never
But Kilcullen had intended to flatter his fair cousin, and he had been
successful. She was gratified and pleased by his warmth of affection. 'Pray
do,' repeated Fanny; 'I have more faults than virtues to be told of, and so
I'm afraid you'll find out, when you know me better.'
'To begin, then,' said Kilcullen, 'are you not wrong but no, Fanny, I will
not torment you now with a catalogue of faults. I did not ask you to come
out with me for that object. You are now in grief for the death of poor
Harry' Fanny blushed as she reflected how much more poignant a sorrow
weighed upon her heart 'and are therefore unable to exert yourself; but, as
soon as you are able when you have recovered from this severe blow, I trust
you will not be content to loiter and dawdle away your existence at Grey
'Not the whole of it,' said Fanny.
'None of it,' replied her cousin. 'Every month, every day, should have its
purpose. My father has got into a dull, heartless, apathetic mode of life,
which suits my mother and Selina, but which will never suit you. Grey Abbey
is like the Dead Sea, of which the waters are always bitter as well as
stagnant. It makes me miserable, dearest Fanny, to see you stifled in such
a pool. Your beauty, talents, and energies your disposition to enjoy life,
and power of making it enjoyable for others, are all thrown away. Oh,
Fanny, if I could rescue you from this!'
'You are inventing imaginary evils,' said she; 'at any rate they are not
palpable to my eyes.'
'That's it; that's just what I fear,' said the other, 'that time, habit,
and endurance may teach you to think that nothing further is to be looked
for in this world than vegetation at Grey Abbey, or some other place of the
kind, to which you may be transplanted. I want to wake you from such a
torpor; to save you from such ignominy. I wish to restore you to the
'There's time enough, Adolphus; you'll see me yet the gayest of the gay at
'Ah! but to please me, Fanny, it must be as one of the leaders, not one of
'Oh, that'll be in years to come: in twenty years' time; when I come forth
glorious in a jewelled turban, and yards upon yards of yellow satin fat,
fair, and forty. I've certainly no ambition to be one of the leaders yet.'
Lord Kilcullen walked on silent for a considerable time, during which Fanny
went on talking about London, Almack's, and the miserable life of lady
patronesses, till at last she also became silent, and began thinking of
Lord Ballindine. She had, some little time since, fully made up her mind to
open her heart to Lord Kilcullen about him, and she had as fully determined
not to do so after what Selina had said upon the subject; but now she again
wavered. His manner was so kind and affectionate, his interest in her
future happiness appeared to be so true and unaffected: at any rate he
would not speak harshly or cruelly to her, if she convinced him how
completely her happiness depended on her being reconciled to Lord
Ballindine. She had all but brought herself to the point; she had almost
determined to tell him everything, when he stopped rather abruptly, and
'I also am leaving Grey Abbey again, Fanny.'
'Leaving Grey Abbey?' said Fanny. 'You told me the other day you were going
to live here,'
'So I intended; so I do intend; but still I must leave it for a while. I'm
going about business, and I don't know how long I may he away. I go on
'I hope, Adolphus, you haven't quarrelled with your father,' said she.
'Oh, no,' said he: 'it is on his advice that I am going. I believe there is
no fear of our quarrelling now. I should rather say I trust there is none.
He not. only approves of my going, but approves of what I am about to do
before I go.'
'And what is that?'
'I had not intended, Fanny, to say what I have to say to you for some time,
for I feel that different circumstances make it premature. But I cannot
bring myself to leave you without doing so;' and again he paused and walked
on a little way in silence 'and yet,' he continued, 'I hardly know how to
utter what I wish to say; or rather what I would wish to have said, were it
not that I dread so much the answer you may make me. Stop, Fanny, stop a
moment; the seat is quite dry; sit down one moment.'
Fanny sat down in a little alcove which. they had reached, considerably
embarrassed and surprised. She had not, however, the most remote idea of
what he was about to say to her. Had any other man in the world, almost,
spoken to her in the same language, she would have expected an offer; but
from the way in which she had always regarded her cousin, both heretofore,
when she hardly knew him, and now, when she was on such affectionate terms
with him, she would as soon have thought of receiving an offer from Lord
Cashel as from his son.
'Fanny,' he said,' I told you before that I have my father's warmest and
most entire approval for what I am now going to do. Should I be successful
in what I ask, he will be delighted; but I have no words to tell you what
my own feelings will be. Fanny, dearest Fanny,' and he sat down close
beside her 'I love you better and how much better, than all the world holds
beside. Dearest, dearest Fanny, will you, can you, return my love?'
'Adolphus,' said Fanny, rising suddenly from her seat, more for the sake of
turning round so as to look at him, than with the object of getting from
him, Adolphus, you are joking with me.'
'No, by heavens then,' said he, following her, and catching her hand; 'no
man in Ireland is this moment more in earnest: no man more anxiously,
painfully in earnest. Oh, Fanny! why should you suppose that I am not so?
How can you think I would joke on such a subject? No: hear me,' he said,
interrupting her, as she prepared to answer him, 'hear me out, and then you
will know how truly I am in earnest.'
'No, not a word further!' almost shrieked Fanny ' Not a word more,
Adolphus not a syllable; at any rate till you have heard me. Oh, you have
made me so miserable!' and Fanny burst into tears.
'I have spoken too suddenly to you, Fanny; I should have given you more
time I should have waited till '
'No, no, no,' said Fanny, 'it is not that but yes; what you say is true:
had you waited but one hour but ten minutes I should have told you that
which would for ever have prevented all this. I should have told you,
Adolphus, how dearly, how unutterably I love another.' And Fanny again sat
down, hid her face in her handkerchief against the corner of the summer-
house, and sobbed and cried as though she were broken-hearted: during which
time Kilcullen stood by, rather perplexed as to what he was to say next,
and beginning to be very doubtful as to his ultimate success.
'Dear Fanny!' he said, 'for both our sakes, pray try to be collected: all
my future happiness is at this moment at stake. I did not bring you here to
listen to what I have told you, without having become too painfully sure
that your hand, your heart, your love, are necessary to my happiness. All
my hopes are now at stake; but I would not, if I could, secure my own
happiness at the expense of yours. Pray believe me, Fanny, when I say that
I love you completely, unalterably, devotedly: it is necessary now for my
own sake that I should say as much as that. Having told you so much of my
own heart, let me hear what you wish to tell me of yours. Oh, that I might
have the most distant gleam of hope, that it would ever return the love
which fills my own!'
'It cannot, Adolphus it never can,' said she, still trying to hide her
tears. 'Oh, why should this bitter misery have been added!' She then rose
quickly from her seat, wiped her eyes, and, pushing back her hair,
continued, 'I will no longer continue to live such a life as I have
done miserable to myself, and the cause of misery to others. Adolphus I
love Lord Ballindine. I love him with, I believe, as true and devoted a
love as woman ever felt for a man. I valued, appreciated, gloried in your
friendship; but I can never return your, love. My heart is wholly, utterly,
given away; and I would not for worlds receive it back, till I learn from
his own mouth that he has ceased to love me.'
'Oh, Fanny! my poor Fanny!' said Kilcullen; 'if such is the case, you are
really to be pitied. If this be true, your condition is nearly as unhappy
as my own.,
'I am unhappy, very unhappy in your love,' said Fanny, drawing herself up
proudly; 'but not unhappy in my own. My misery is that I should be the
cause of trouble and unhappiness to others. I have nothing to regret in my
'You are harsh, Fanny. It may be well that you should be decided, but it
cannot become you also to be unfeeling. I have offered to you all that a
man can offer; my name, my fortune, my life, my heart; though you may
refuse me, you have no right to be offended with me.'
'Oh, Adolphus!' said she, now in her turn offering him her hand: 'pray
forgive me: pray do not be angry. Heaven knows I feel no offence: and how
strongly, how sincerely, I feel the compliment you have offered me. But I
want you to see how vain it would be in me to leave you leave you in any
doubt. I only spoke as I did to show you I could not think twice, when my
heart was given to one whom I so entirely love, respect and approve.' Lord
Kilcullen's face became thoughtful, and his brow grew black: he stood for
some time irresolute what to say or do.
'Let us walk on, Fanny, for this is cold and damp,' he said, at last.
'Let us go back to the house, then.'
'As you like, Fanny. Oh, how painful all this is! how doubly painful to
know that ray own love is hopeless, and that yours is no less so. Did you
not refuse Lord Ballindine?'
'If I did, is it not sufficient that I tell you I love him? If he were gone
past all redemption, you would not have me encourage you while I love
'I never dreamed of this! What, Fanny, what are your hopes? what is it you
wish or intend? Supposing me, as I wish I were, fathoms deep below the
earth, what would you do? You cannot marry Lord Ballindine.'
'Then I will marry no one,' said Fanny, striving hard to suppress her
tears, and barely succeeding.
'Good heavens!' exclaimed Kilcullen; 'what an infatuation is this!' and
then again he walked on silent a little way. 'Have you told any one of
this, Fanny? do they know of it at Grey Abbey? Come, Fanny, speak to me:
forget, if you will, that I would be your lover: remember me only as your
cousin and your friend, and speak to me openly. Do they know that you have
repented of the refusal you gave Lord Ballindine?'
'They all know that I love him: your father, your mother, and Selina.'
'You don't say my father?'
'Yes,' said Fanny, stopping on the path, and speaking with energy, as she
confronted her cousin. 'Yes, Lord Cashel. He, above all others, knows it. I
have told him so almost on my knees. I have implored him, as a child may
implore her father, to bring back to me the only man I ever loved. I have
besought him not to sacrifice me. Oh! how I have implored him to spare me
the dreadful punishment of my own folly wretchedness rather in rejecting
the man I loved. But he has not listened to me; he will never listen to me,
and I will never ask again. He shall find that I am not a tree or a stone,
to be planted or placed as he chooses. I will not again be subjected to
what I have to-day suffered, I will not I will not ' But Fanny was out of
breath; and could not complete the catalogue of what she would not do.
'And did you intend to tell me all this, had I not spoken to you as I have
done?' said Kilcullen.
'I did,' said she. 'I was on the point of telling you everything: twice I
had intended to do so. I intended to implore you, as you loved me as your
cousin, to use your exertions to reconcile my uncle and Lord Ballindine and
now instead of that '
'You find I love you too well myself?'
'Oh, forget, Adolphus, forget that the words ever passed your lips. You
have not loved me long, and therefore will not continue to love me, when
you know I never can be yours: forget your short-lived love; won't you,
Adolphus?' and she put her clasped hands upon his breast 'forget, let us
both forget that the words were ever spoken. Be still my cousin, my friend,
my brother; and we shall still both be happy.'
Different feelings were disturbing Lord Kilcullen's breast different from
each other, and some of them very different from those which usually found
a place there. He had sought Fanny's hand not only with most sordid, but
also with most dishonest views: he not only intended to marry her for her
fortune, but also to rob her of her money; to defraud her, that he might
enable himself once more to enter the world of pleasure, with the slight
encumbrance of a wretched wife. But, in carrying out his plan, he had
disturbed it by his own weakness: he had absolutely allowed himself to fall
in love with his cousin; and when, as he had just done, he offered her his
hand, he was quite as anxious that she should accept him for her own sake
as for that of her money. He had taught himself to believe that she would
accept him, and many misgivings had haunted him as to the ruined state to
which he should bring her as his wife. But these feelings, though strong
enough to disturb him, were not strong enough to make him pause: he tried
to persuade himself that he could yet make her happy, and hurried on to the
consummation of his hopes. He now felt strongly tempted to act a generous
part; to give her up, and to bring Lord Ballindine back to her feet; to
deserve at any rate well of her, and leave all other things to chance. But
Lord Kilcullen was not accustomed to make such sacrifices: he had never
learned to disregard himself; and again and again he turned it over in his
mind 'how could he get her fortune? was there any way left in which he
might be successful?'
'This is child's play, Fanny,' he said. 'You may reject me: to that I have
nothing further to say, for I am but an indifferent wooer; but you can
never marry Lord Ballindine.'
'Oh, Adolphus, for mercy's sake don't say so!'
'But I do say so, Fanny. God knows, not to wound you, or for any unworthy
purpose, but because it is so. He was your lover, and you sent him away;
you cannot whistle him back as you would a dog.'
Fanny made no answer to this, but walked on towards the house, anxious to
find herself alone in her own room, that she might compose her mind and
think over all that she had heard and said; nor did Lord Kilcullen renew
the conversation till he got to the house. He could not determine what to
do. Under other circumstances it might, he felt, have been wise for him to
wait till time had weakened Fanny's regret for her lost lover; but in his
case this was impracticable; if he waited anywhere it would be in the
Queen's Bench. And yet, he could not but feel that, at present, it was
hopeless for him to push his suit.
They reached the steps together, and as he opened the front door, Fanny
turned round to wish him good morning, as she was hurrying in; but he
stopped her, and said,
'One word more, Fanny, before we part. You must not refuse me; nor must we
part in this way. Step in here; I will not keep you a minute;' and he took
her into a room off the hall 'do not let us be children; Fanny; do not let
us deceive each other, or ourselves: do not let us persist in being
irrational if we ourselves see that we are so;' and he paused for a reply.
'Well, Adolphus?' was all she said.
'If I could avoid it,' continued he, 'I would not hurt your feelings; but
you must see, you must know, that you cannot marry Lord Ballindine.' Fanny,
who was now sitting, bit her lips and clenched her hands, but she said
nothing; 'If this is so if you feel that so far your fate is fixed, are you
mad enough to give yourself up to a vain and wicked passion for wicked it
will be? Will you not rather strive to forget him who has forgotten you?'
'That is not true,' interposed Fanny.
'His conduct, unfortunately, proves that it is too true,' continued
Kilcullen. 'He has forgotten you, and you cannot blame him that he should
do so, now that you have rejected him; but he neglected you even before you
did so. Is it wise, is it decorous, is it maidenly in you, to indulge any
longer in so vain a passion? Think of this, Fanny. As to myself, Heaven
knows with what perfect truth, with what true love, I offered you, this
morning, all that a man can offer: how ardently I hoped for an answer
different from that you have now given me. You cannot give me your heart
now; love cannot, at a moment, be transferred. But think, Fanny, think
whether it is not better for you to accept an offer which your friends will
all approve, and which I trust will never make you unhappy, than to give
yourself up to a lasting regret, to tears, misery, and grief.'
'And would you take my hand without my heart?' said she.
'Not for worlds,' replied the other, 'were I not certain that your heart
would follow your hand. Whoever may be your husband, you will love him. But
ask my mother, talk to her, ask her advice; she at any rate will only tell
you that which must be best for your own happiness. Go to her, Fanny; if
her advice be different from mine, I will not say a word farther to urge my
'I will go to no one,' said Fanny, rising. 'I have gone to too many with a
piteous story on my lips. I have no friend, now, in this house. I had still
hoped to find one in you, but that hope is over. I am, of course, proud of
the honour your declaration has conveyed; but I should be wicked indeed if
I did not make you perfectly understand that it is one which I cannot
accept. Whatever may be your views, your ideas, I will never marry unless I
thoroughly love, and feel that I am thoroughly loved by my future husband.
Had you not made this ill-timed declaration had you not even persisted in
repeating it after I had opened my whole heart to you, I could have loved
and cherished you as a brother; under no circumstances could I ever have
accepted you as a husband. Good morning.' And she left him alone, feeling
that he could have but little chance of success, should he again renew the
He did not see her again till dinner-time, when she appeared silent and
reserved, but still collected and at her ease; nor did he speak to her at
dinner or during the evening, till the moment the ladies were retiring for
the night. He then came up to her as she was standing alone turning over
some things on a side-table, and said, 'Fanny, I probably leave Grey Abbey
to-morrow. I will say good bye to you tonight.'
'Good bye, Adolphus; may we both be happier when next we meet,' said she.
'My happiness, I fear, is doubtful: but I will not speak of that now. If I
can do anything for yours before I go, I will. Fanny, I will ask my father
to invite Lord Ballindine here. He has been anxious that we should be
married: when I tell him that that is impossible, he may perhaps be induced
to do so.'
'Do that,' said Fanny, 'and you will be a friend to me. Do that, and you
will be more than a brother to me.'
'I will; and in doing so I shall crush every hope that I have had left in
'Do not say so, Adolphus: do not '
'You'll understand what I mean in a short time. I cannot explain everything
to you now. But this will I do; I will make Lord Cashel understand that we
never can be more to each other than we are now, and I will advise him to
seek a reconciliation with Lord Ballindine. And now, good bye,' and he held
out his hand.
'But I shall see you to-morrow.'
'Probably not; and if you do, it will be but for a moment, when I shall
have other adieux to make.'
'Good bye, then, Adolphus; and may God bless you; and may we yet live to
have many happy days together,' and she shook hands with him, and went to
XXXIII LORD KILCULLEN MAKES ANOTHER VISIT TO THE BOOK-ROOM
Lord Cashel's plans were certainly not lucky. It was not that sufficient
care was not used in laying them, nor sufficient caution displayed in
maturing them. He passed his time in care and caution; he spared no pains
in seeing that the whole machinery was right; he was indefatigable in
deliberation, diligent in manoeuvring, constant in attention. But, somehow,
he was unlucky; his schemes were never successful. In the present instance
he was peculiarly unfortunate, for everything went wrong with him. He had
got rid of an obnoxious lover, he had coaxed over his son, he had spent an
immensity of money, he had undergone worlds of trouble and self-
restraint; and then, when he really began to think that his ward's fortune
would compensate him for this, his own family came to him, one after
another, to assure him that he was completely mistaken that it was utterly
impossible that such a thing as a family marriage between the two cousins
could never take place, and indeed, ought not to be thought of.
Lady Selina gave him the first check. On the morning on which Lord
Kilcullen made his offer, she paid her father a solemn visit in his book-
room, and told him exactly what she had before told her mother; assured him
that Fanny could not be induced, at any rate at present, to receive her
cousin as her lover; whispered to him, with unfeigned sorrow and shame,
that Fanny was still madly in love with Lord Ballindine; and begged him to
induce her brother to postpone his offer, at any rate for some months.
'I hate Lord Ballindine's very name,' said the earl, petulant with
'We none of us approve of him, papa: we don't think of supposing that he
could now be a fitting husband for Fanny, or that they could possibly ever
be married. Of course it's not to bethought of. But if you would advise
Adolphus not to be premature, he might, in the end, be more successful.'
'Kilcullen has made his own bed and he must lie in it; I won't interfere
between them,' said the angry father.
'But if you were, only to recommend delay,' suggested the daughter; 'a few
months' delay; think how short a time Harry Wyndham has been dead!'
Lord Cashel knew that delay was death in this case, so he pished, and
hummed, and hawed; quite lost the dignity on which he piqued himself, and
ended by declaring that he would not interfere; that they might do as they
liked; that young people would not be guided, and that he would not make
himself unhappy about them. And so, Lady Selina, crestfallen and
disappointed, went away.
Then, Lady Cashel, reflecting on what her daughter had told her, and yet
anxious that the marriage should, if possible, take place at some time or
other, sent Griffiths down to her lord, with a message 'Would his lordship
be kind enough to step up-stairs to her ladyship?' Lord Cashel went up, and
again had all the difficulties of the case opened out before him.
'But you see,' said her ladyship, 'poor Fanny she's become so
unreasonable I don't know what's come to her I'm sure I do everything I can
to make her happy: but I suppose if she don't like to marry, nobody can
'Make her? who's talking of making her?' said the earl.
'No, of course not,' continued the countess; 'that's just what Selina says;
no one can make her do anything, she's got so obstinate, of late: but it's
all that horrid Lord Ballindine, and those odious horses. I'm sure I don't
know what business gentlemen have to have horses at all; there's never any
good comes of it. There's Adolphus he's had the good sense to get rid of
his, and yet Fanny's so foolish, she'd sooner have that other horrid
man and I'm sure he's not half so good-looking, nor a quarter so agreeable
All these encomiums on his son, and animadversions on Lord Ballindine, were
not calculated to put the earl into a good humour; he was heartily sick of
the subject; thoroughly repented that he had not allowed his son to ruin
himself in his own way; detested the very name of Lord Ballindine, and felt
no very strong affection for his poor innocent ward. He accordingly made
his wife nearly the same answer he had made his daughter, and left her
anything but comforted by the visit.
It was about eleven o'clock on the same evening, that Lord Kilcullen, after
parting with Fanny, opened the book-room door. He had been quite sincere in
what he had told her. He had made up his mind entirely to give over all
hopes of marrying her himself, and to tell his father that the field was
again open for Lord Ballindine, as far as he was concerned.
There is no doubt that he would not have been noble enough to do this, had
he thought he had himself any chance of being successful; but still there
was something chivalrous in his resolve, something magnanimous in his
determination to do all he could for the happiness of her he really loved,
when everything in his own prospects was gloomy, dark, and desperate. As he
entered his father's room, feeling that it would probably be very long
before he should be closeted with him again, he determined that he would
not quietly bear reproaches, and even felt a source of satisfaction in the
prospect of telling his father that their joint plans were overturned their
schemes completely at an end.
'I'm disturbing you, my lord, I'm afraid,' said the son, walking into the
room, not at all with the manner of one who had any hesitation at causing
'Who's that?' said the earl 'Adolphus? no yes. That is, I'm just going to
bed; what is it you want?' The earl had been dozing after all the vexations
of the day.
'To tell the truth, my lord, I've a good deal that I wish to say: will it
trouble you to listen to me?'
'Won't to-morrow morning do?'
'I shall leave Grey Abbey early to-morrow, my lord; immediately after
'Good heavens, Kilcullen! what do you mean? You're not going to run off to
'A little farther than that, I'm afraid, will be necessary,' said the son.
'I have offered to Miss Wyndham have been refused and, having finished my
business at Grey Abbey, your lordship will probably think that in leaving
it I shall be acting with discretion.'
'You have offered to Fanny and been refused!'
'Indeed I have; finally and peremptorily refused. Not only that: I have
pledged my word to my cousin that I will never renew my suit.'
The earl sat speechless in his chair so much worse was this catastrophe
even than his expectations. Lord Kilcullen continued.
'I hope, at any rate, you are satisfied with me. I have not only implicitly
obeyed your directions, but I have done everything in my power to
accomplish what you wished. Had my marriage with my cousin been a project
of my own, I could not have done more for its accomplishment. Miss
Wyndham's affections are engaged; and she will never, I am sure, marry one
man while she loves another.'
'Loves another psha!' roared the earl. 'Is this to be the end of it all?
After your promises to me after your engagement! After such an engagement,
sir, you come to me and talk about a girl loving another? Loving another!
Will her loving another pay your debts?'
'Exactly the reverse, my lord,' said the son. 'I fear it will materially
postpone their payment.'
'Well, sir,' said the earl. He did not exactly know how to commence the
thunder of indignation with which he intended to annihilate his son, for
certainly Kilcullen had done the best in his power to complete the bargain.
But still the storm could not be stayed, unreasonable as it might be for
the earl to be tempestuous on the occasion. 'Well, sir,' and he stood up
from his chair, to face his victim, who was still standing and, thrusting
his hands into his trowsers' pockets, frowned awfully 'Well, sir; am I to
be any further favoured with your plans?'
'I have none, my lord,' said Kilcullen; 'I am again ready to listen to
'My plans? I have no further plans to offer for you. You are ruined,
utterly ruined: you have done your best to ruin me and your mother; I have
pointed out to you, I arranged for you, the only way in which your affairs
could be redeemed; I made every thing easy for you.'
'No, my lord: you could not make it easy for me to get my cousin's love.'
'Don't contradict me, sir. I say I did. I made every thing straight and
easy for you: and now you come to me with a whining story about a girl's
love! What's her love to me, sir? Where am I to get my thirty thousand
pounds, sir? and my note of hand is passed for as much more, at this time
twelve-month! Where am I to raise that, sir? Do you remember that you have
engaged to repay me these sums? do you remember that, or have such trifles
escaped your recollection?'
'I remember perfectly well, my lord, that if I married my cousin, you were
to repay yourself those sums out of her fortune. But I also remember, and
so must you, that I beforehand warned you that I thought she would refuse
'Refuse you,' said the earl, with a contortion of his nose and lips
intended to convey unutterable scorn; 'of course she refused you, when you
asked her as a child would ask for an apple, or a cake! What else could you
'I hardly think your lordship knows '
'Don't you hardly think? then I do know; and know well too. I know you have
deceived me, grossly deceived me induced me to give you money to incur
debts, with which I never would have burdened myself had I not believed you
were sincere in your promise. But you have deceived me, sir taken me in;
for by heaven it's no better! it's no better than downright swindling and
that from a son to his father! But it's for the last time; not a penny more
do you get from me: you can ruin the property; indeed, I believe you have;
but, for your mother's and sister's sake, I'll keep till I die what little
you have left me.'
Lord Cashel had worked himself up into a perfect frenzy, and was stamping
about the room as he uttered this speech; but, as he came to the end of it,
he threw himself into his chair again, and buried his face in his hands.
Lord Kilcullen was standing with his back resting against the mantel-piece,
with a look of feigned indifference on his face, which he tried hard to
maintain. But his brow became clouded, and he bit his lips when his father
accused him of swindling; and he was just about to break forth into a
torrent of recrimination, when Lord Cashel turned off into a pathetic
strain, and Kilcullen thought it better to leave him there.
'What I'm to do, I don't know; what I am to do, I do not know!' said the
earl, beating the table with one hand, and hiding his face with the other.
'Sixty thousand pounds in one year; and that after so many drains! And
there's only my own life there's only my own life!' and then there was a
pause for four or five minutes, during which Lord Kilcullen took snuff,
poked the fire, and then picked up a newspaper, as though he were going to
read it. This last was too much for the father, and he again roared out,
'Well, sir, what are you standing there for? If you've nothing else to say;
why don't you go? I've done with you you can not get more out of me, I
'I've a good deal to say before I go, my lord,' said Kilcullen. 'I was
waiting till you were disposed to listen to me. I've a good deal to say,
indeed, which you must hear; and I trust, therefore, you will endeavour to
be cool, whatever your opinions may be about my conduct.'
'Cool? no, sir, I will not be cool. You're too cool yourself!'
'Cool enough for both, you think, my lord.'
'Kilcullen,' said the earl, 'you've neither heart nor principle: you have
done your worst to ruin me, and now you come to insult me in my own room.
Say what you want to say, and then leave me.'
'As to insulting language, my lord, I think you need not complain, when you
remember that you have just called me a swindler, because I have been
unable to accomplish your wish and my own, by marrying my cousin. However,
I will let that pass. I have done the best I could to gain that object. I
did more than either of us thought it possible that I should do, when I
consented to attempt it. I offered her my hand, and assured her of my
affection, without falsehood or hypocrisy. My bargain was that I should
offer to her. I have done more than that, for I have loved her. I have,
however, been refused, and in such a manner as to convince me that it would
be useless for me to renew my suit. If your lordship will allow me to
advise you on such a subject, I would suggest that you make no further
objection to Fanny's union with Lord Ballindine. For marry him she
'What, sir?' again shouted Lord Cashel.
'I trust Fanny will receive no further annoyance on the subject. She has
convinced me that her own mind is thoroughly made up; and she is not the
person to change her mind on such a subject.'
'And haven't you enough on hand in your own troubles, but what you must
lecture me about my ward? Is it for that you have come to torment me at
this hour? Had not you better at once become her guardian yourself, sir,
and manage the matter in your own way?'
'I promised Fanny I would say as much to you. I will not again mention her
name unless you press me to do so.'
'That's very kind,' said the earl.
'And now, about myself. I think your lordship will agree with me that it is
better that I should at once leave Grey Abbey, when I tell you that, if I
remain here, I shall certainly be arrested before the week is over, if I am
found outside the house. I do not wish to have bailiffs knocking at your
lordship's door, and your servants instructed to deny me.'
'Upon my soul, you are too good.'
'At any rate,' said Kilcullen, 'you'll agree with me that this is no place
for me to remain in.'
'You're quite at liberty to go,' said the earl. 'You were never very
ceremonious with regard to me; pray don't begin to be so now. Pray
go tonight if you like. Your mother's heart will be broken, that's all.'
'I trust my mother will be able to copy your lordship's indifference.'
'Indifference! Is sixty thousand pounds in one year, and more than double
within three or four, indifference? I have paid too much to be indifferent.
But it is hopeless to pay more. I have no hope for you; you are ruined, and
I couldn't redeem you even if I would. I could not set you free and tell
you to begin again, even were it wise to do so; and therefore I tell you to
go. And now, good night; I have not another word to say to you,' and the
earl got up as if to leave the room.
'Stop, my lord, you must listen to me,' said Kilcullen.
'Not a word further. I have heard enough;' and he put out the candles on
the book-room table, having lighted a bed candle which he held in his hand.
'Pardon me, my lord,' continued the son, standing just before his father,
so as to prevent his leaving the room; 'pardon me, but you must listen to
what I have to say.'
'Not another word not another word. Leave the door, sir, or I will ring for
the servants to open it.'
'Do so,' said Kilcullen, 'and they also shall hear what I have to say. I am
going to leave you tomorrow, perhaps for ever; and you will not listen to
the last word I wish to speak to you?'
'I'll stay five minutes,' said the earl, taking out his watch, 'and then
I'll go; and if you attempt again to stop me, I'll ring the bell for the
'Thank you, my lord, for the five minutes it will be time enough. I purpose
leaving Grey Abbey tomorrow, and I shall probably be in France in three
days' time. When there, I trust I shall cease to trouble you; but I cannot,
indeed I will not go, without funds to last me till I can make some
arrangement. Your lordship must give me five hundred pounds. I have not the
means even of carrying myself from hence to Calais.'
'Not one penny. Not one penny if it were to save you from the gaol to-
morrow! This is too bad!' and the earl again walked to the door, against
which Lord Kilcullen leaned his back.
'By Heaven, sir, I'll raise the house if you think to frighten me by
'I'll use no violence, but you must hear the alternative: if you please it,
the whole house shall hear it too. If you persist in refusing the small sum
I now ask '
'I will not give you one penny to save you from gaol. Is that plain?'
'Perfectly plain, and very easy to believe. But you will give more than a
penny; you would even give more than I ask, to save yourself from the
annoyance you will have to undergo.'
'Not on any account will I give you one single farthing.'
'Very well. Then I have only to tell you what I must do. Of course, I shall
remain here. You cannot turn me out of your house, or refuse me a seat at
'By Heavens, though, I both can and will!'
'You cannot, my lord. if you think of it, you'll find you cannot, without
much disagreeable trouble. An eldest son would be a very difficult tenant
to eject summarily: and of my own accord I will not go without the money I
'By heavens, this exceeds all I ever heard. Would you rob your own father?'
'I will not rob him, but I'll remain in his house. The sheriff's officers,
doubtless, will hang about the doors, and be rather troublesome before the
windows; but I shall not be the first Irish gentleman that has remained at
home upon his keeping. And, like other Irish gentlemen, 1 will do so rather
than fall into the hands of these myrmidons. I have no wish to annoy you; I
shall be most sorry to do so; most sorry to subject my mother to the misery
which must attend the continual attempts which will be made to arrest me;
but I will not put my head into the lion's jaw.'
'This is the return for what I have done for him!' ejaculated the earl, in
'Unfortunate reprobate! unfortunate reprobate! that I should be driven to
wish that he was in gaol!'
'Your wishing so won't put me there, my lord. If it would I should not be
weak enough to ask you for this money. Do you mean to comply with my
'I do not, sir: not a penny shall you have not one farthing more shall you
get from me.'
'Then good night, my lord. I grieve that I should have to undergo a siege
in your lordship's house, more especially as it is likely to be a long one.
In a week's time there will be a 'ne exeat' issued against me, and then it
will be too late for me to think of France.' And so saying, the son retired
to his own room, and left the father to consider what he had better do in
Lord Cashel was dreadfully embarrassed. What Lord Kilcullen said was
perfectly true; an eldest son was a most difficult tenant to eject; and
then, the ignominy of having his heir arrested in his own house, or
detained there by bailiffs lurking round the premises! He could not
determine whether it would be more painful to keep his son, or to give him
up. If he did the latter, he would be driven to effect it by a most
disagreeable process. He would have to assist the officers of the law in
their duty, and to authorise them to force the doors locked by his son. The
prospect, either way, was horrid. He would willingly give the five hundred
pounds to be rid of his heir, were it not for his word's sake, or rather
his pride's sake. He had said he would not, and, as he walked up and down
the room he buttoned up his breeches pocket, and tried to resolve that,
come what come might, he would not expedite his son's departure by the
outlay of one shilling.
The candles had been put out, and the gloom of the room was only lightened
by a single bed-room taper, which, as it stood near the door, only served
to render palpable the darkness of the further end of the chamber. For half
an hour Lord Cashel walked to and fro, anxious, wretched, and in doubt,
instead of going to his room. How he wished that Lord Ballindine had
married his ward, and taken her off six months since! all this trouble
would not then have come upon him. And as he thought of the thirty thousand
pounds that he had spent, and the thirty thousand more that he must spend,
he hurried on with such rapidity that in the darkness he struck his shin
violently against some heavy piece of furniture, and, limping back. to the
candlestick, swore through his teeth 'No, not a penny, were it to save him
from perdition! I'll see the sheriff's officer. I'll see the sheriff
himself, and tell him that every door in the house every closet every
cellar, shall be open to him. My house shall enable no one to defy the
law.' And, with this noble resolve, to which, by the bye, the blow on his
shin greatly contributed, Lord Cashel went to bed, and the house was at
About nine o'clock on the following morning Lord Kilcullen was still in
bed, but awake. His servant had been ordered to bring him hot water, and he
was seriously thinking of getting up, and facing the troubles of the day,
when a very timid knock at the door announced to him that some stranger was
approaching. He adjusted his nightcap, brought the bed-clothes up close to
his neck, and on giving the usual answer to a knock at the door, saw a
large cap introduce itself, the head belonging to which seemed afraid to
'Who's that?' he called out.
'It's me, my lord,' said the head, gradually following the cap. 'Griffiths,
'Lady Selina, my lord; her ladyship bids me give your lordship her love,
and would you see her ladyship for five minutes before you get up?'
Lord Kilcullen having assented to this proposal, the cap and head retired.
A second knock at the door was soon given, and Lady Selina entered the
room, with a little bit of paper in her hand.
'Good morning, Adolphus,' said the sister.
'Good morning, Selina,' said the brother. 'It must be something very
particular, which brings you here at this hour.'
'It is indeed, something very particular. I have been with papa this
morning, Adolphus: he has told me of the interview between you last night.'
'Oh, Adolphus! he is very angry he's '
'So am I, Selina. I am very angry, too so we're quits. We laid a plan
together, and we both failed, and each blames the other; so you need not
tell me anything further about his anger. Did he send any message to me?'
'He did. He told me I might give you this, if I would undertake that you
left Grey Abbey to-day:' and Lady Selina held up, hut did not give him, the
bit of paper.
'What a dolt he is.'
'Oh, Adolphus!' said Selina, 'don't speak so of your father.'
'So he is: how on earth can you undertake that I shall leave the house?'
'I can ask you to give inc your word that you will do so; and I can take
back the check if you refuse,' said Lady Selina, conceiving it. utterly
impossible that one of her own family could break his word.
'Well, Selina, I'll answer you fairly. If that bit of paper is a cheque for
five hundred pounds, I will leave this place in two hours. If it is not '
'It is,' said Selina. 'It is a cheque for five hundred pounds, and I may
then give it to you?'
'I thought as much,' said Lord Kilcullen; 'I thought he'd alter his mind.
Yes, you may give it me, and tell my father I'll dine in London to-morrow
'He says, Adolphus, he'll not see you before you go.'
'Well, there's comfort in that, anyhow.'
'Oh, Adolphus! how can you speak in that manner now? how can you speak in
that wicked, thoughtless, reckless manner?' said his sister.
'Because I'm a wicked, thoughtless, reckless man, I suppose. I didn't mean
to vex you, Selina; but my father is so pompous, so absurd, and so tedious.
In the whole of this affair I have endeavoured to do exactly as he would
have me; and he is more angry with me now, because his plan has failed,
than he ever was before, for any of my past misdoings. But let me get up
now, there's a good girl; for I've no time to lose.'
'Will you see your mother before you go, Adolphus?'
'Why, no; it'll be no use only tormenting her. Tell her something, you
know; anything that won't vex her.'
'But I cannot tell her anything about you that will not vex her.'
'Well, then, say what will vex her least. Tell her tell her. Oh, you know
what to tell her, and I'm sure I don't.'
'And Fanny: will you see her again?'
'No,' said Kilcullen. 'I have bid her good bye. But give her my kindest
love, and tell her that I did what I told her I would do.'
'She told me what took place between you yesterday.'
'Why, Selina, everybody tells you everything! And now, I'll tell you
something. If you care for your cousin's happiness, do not attempt to raise
difficulties between her and Lord Ballindine. And now, I must say good bye
to you. I'll have my breakfast up here, and go directly down to the yard.
Good bye, Selina; when I'm settled I'll write to you, and tell you where I
'Good bye, Adolphus; God bless you, and enable you yet to retrieve your
course. I'm afraid it is a bad one;' and she stooped down and kissed her
He was as good as his word. In two hours' time he had left Grey Abbey. He
dined that day in Dublin, the next in London, and the third in Boulogne;
and the sub-sheriff of County Kildare in vain issued half-a-dozen writs for
XXXIV THE DOCTOR MAKES A CLEAN BREAST OF IT
We will now return for a while to Dunmore, and settle the affairs of the
Kellys and Lynches, which we left in rather a precarious state.
Barry's attempt on Doctor Colligan's virtue was very unsuccessful, for Anty
continued to mend under the treatment of that uncouth but safe son of
Galen. As Colligan told her brother, the fever had left her, though for
some time it was doubtful whether she had strength to recover from its
effects. This, however, she did gradually; and, about a fortnight after the
dinner at Dunmore House, the doctor told Mrs Kelly and Martin that his
patient was out of danger.
Martin had for some time made up his mind that Anty was to live for many
years in the character of Mrs Martin, and could not therefore be said to be
much affected by the communication. But if he was not, his mother was. She
had made up her mind that Anty was to die; that she was to pay for the
doctor the wake, and the funeral, and that she would have a hardship and
grievance to boast of, and a subject of self-commendation to enlarge on,
which would have lasted her till her death; and she consequently felt
something like disappointment at being ordered to administer to Anty a
mutton chop and a glass of sherry every day at one o'clock. Not that the
widow was less assiduous, or less attentive to Anty's wants now that she
was convalescent; but she certainly had not so much personal satisfaction,
as when she was able to speak despondingly of her patient to all her
'Poor cratur!' she used to say 'it's all up with her now; the Lord be
praised for all his mercies. She's all as one as gone, glory be to God and
the Blessed Virgin. Shure no good ever come of ill-got money not that she
was iver to blame. Thank the Lord, av' I have a penny saved at all, it was
honestly come by; not that I shall have when this is done and paid for, not
a stifle; (stiver Mrs Kelly probably meant) but what's that!' and she
snapped her fingers to show that the world's gear was all dross in her
estimation. 'She shall be dacently sthretched, though she is a Lynch, and a
Kelly has to pay for it. Whisper, neighbour; in two years' time there'll
not be one penny left on another of all the dirty money Sim Lynch scraped
together out of the gutthers.'
There was a degree of triumph in these lamentations, a tone of self-
satisfied assurance in the truth of her melancholy predictions, which
showed that the widow was not ill at ease with herself. When Anty was
declared out of danger, her joy was expressed with much more moderation.
'Yes, thin,' she said to Father Pat Geoghegan, 'poor thing, she's rallying
a bit. The docthor says maybe she'll not go this time; but he's much in
dread of a re-claps '
'Relapse, Mrs Kelly, I suppose?'
'Well, relapse, av' you will, Father Pat relapse or reclaps, it's pretty
much the same I'm thinking; for she'd niver get through another bout. God
send we may be well out of the hobble this day twelvemonth. Martin's my own
son, and ain't above industhrying, as his father and mother did afore him,
and I won't say a word agin him; but he's brought more throuble on me with
them Lynches than iver I knew before. What has a lone woman like me, Father
Pat, to do wid sthrangers like them? jist to turn their backs on me when I
ain't no furder use, and to be gitting the hights of insolence and abuse,
as I did from that blagguard Barry. He'd betther keep his toe in his pump
and go asy, or he'll wake to a sore morning yet, some day.'
Doctor Colligan, also, was in trouble from his connection with the Lynches:
not that he had any dissatisfaction at the recovery of his patient, for he
rejoiced at it, both on her account and his own. He had strongly that
feeling of self-applause, which must always be enjoyed by a doctor who
brings a patient safely through a dangerous illness. But Barry's iniquitous
proposal to him weighed heavy on his conscience. It was now a week since it
had been made, and he had spoken of it to no one. He had thought much and
frequently of what he ought to do; whether he should publicly charge Lynch
with the fact; whether he should tell it confidentially to some friend whom
he could trust; or whether by far the easiest alternative, he should keep
it in his own bosom, and avoid the man in future as he would an incarnation
of the devil. It preyed much upon his spirits, for lie lived in fear of
Barry Lynch in fear lest he should determine to have the first word, and,
in his own defence, accuse him (Colligan) of the very iniquity which he had
himself committed. Nothing, the doctor felt, would be too bad or too false
for Barry Lynch; nothing could be more damnable than the proposal he had
made; and yet it would be impossible to convict him, impossible to punish
him. He would, of course, deny the truth of the accusation, and probably
return the charge on his accuser. And yet Colligan felt that he would be
compromising the matter, if he did not mention it to some one; and that he
would outrage his own feelings if he did not express his horror at the
murder which he had been asked to commit.
For one week these feelings quite destroyed poor Colligan's peace of mind;
during the second, he determined to make a clean breast of it; and, on the
first day of the third week, after turning in his mind twenty different
people Martin Kelly young Daly the widow the parish priest the parish
parson the nearest stipendiary magistrate and a brother doctor in Tuam, he
at last determined on going to Lord Ballindine, as being both a magistrate
and a friend of the Kellys. Doctor Colligan himself was not at all
acquainted with Lord Ballindine: he attended none of the family, who
extensively patronised his rival, and he had never been inside Kelly's
Court house. He felt, therefore, considerable embarrassment at his mission;
but he made up his mind to go, and, manfully setting himself in his antique
rickety gig, started early enough, to catch Lord Ballindine, as he thought,
before he left the house after breakfast.
Lord Ballindine had spent the last week or ten days restlessly enough.
Armstrong, his clerical ambassador, had not yet started on his mission to
Grey Abbey, and innumerable difficulties seemed to arise to prevent his
doing so. First of all, the black cloth was to be purchased, and a tailor,
sufficiently adept for making up the new suit, was to be caught. This was a
work of some time; for though there is in the West of Ireland a very
general complaint of the stagnation of trade, trade itself is never so
stagnant as are the tradesmen, when work, is to be done; and it is useless
for a poor wight to think of getting his coat or his boots, till such time
as absolute want shall have driven the artisan to look for the price of his
job unless some private and underhand influence be used, as was done in the
case of Jerry Blake's new leather breeches.
This cause of delay was, however, not mentioned to Lord Ballindine; but
when it was well got over, and a neighbouring parson procured to preach on
the next Sunday to Mrs O'Kelly and the three policemen who attended
Ballindine Church, Mrs Armstrong broke her thumb with the rolling-pin while
making a beef pudding for the family dinner, and her husband's departure
was again retarded. And then, on the next Sunday, the neighbouring parson
could not leave his own policemen, and the two spinsters, who usually
formed his audience.
All this tormented Lord Ballindine. and he was really thinking of giving up
the idea of sending Mr Armstrong altogether, when he received the following
letter from his friend Dot Blake.
Limmer's Hotel. April, 1847.
One cries out, 'what are you at?' the other, 'what are you after?' Every
one is saying what a fool you are! Kilcullen is at Grey Abbey, with the
evident intention of superseding you in possession of Miss W , and, what is
much more to his taste, as it would be to mine, of her fortune. Mr T. has
written to me from Grey Abbey, where he has been staying: he is a good-
hearted fellow, and remembers how warmly you contradicted the report that
your match was broken off. For heaven's sake, follow up your warmth of
denial with some show of positive action, a little less cool than your
present quiescence, or you cannot expect that any amount of love should be
strong enough to prevent your affianced from resenting your conduct. I am
doubly anxious; quite as anxious that Kilcullen, whom I detest, should not
get young Wyndham's money, as I am that you should. He is utterly, utterly
smashed. If he got double the amount of Fanny Wyndham's cash, it could not
keep him above water for more than a year or so; and then she must go down
with him. I am sure the old fool, his father, does not half know the amount
of his son's liabilities, or he could not be heartless enough to consent to
sacrifice the poor girl as she will be sacrificed, if Kilcullen gets her. I
am not usually very anxious about other people's concerns; but I do feel
anxious about this matter. I want to have a respectable house in the
country, in which I can show my face when I grow a little older, and be
allowed to sip my glass of claret, and talk about my horses, in spite of my
iniquitous propensities and I expect to be allowed to do so at Kelly's
Court. But, if you let Miss Wyndham slip through your fingers, you won't
have a house over your head in a few years' time, much less a shelter to
offer a friend. For God's sake, start for Grey Abbey at once. Why, man
alive, the ogre can't eat you!
The whole town is in the devil of a ferment about Brien. Of course you
heard the rumour, last week, of his heels being cracked? Some of the
knowing boys want to get out of the trap they are in; and, despairing of
bringing the horse down in the betting by fair means, got a boy out of
Scott's stables to swear to the fact. I went down at once to Yorkshire, and
published a letter in Bell's Life last Saturday, stating that he is all
right. This you have probably seen. You will be astonished to hear it, but
I believe Lord Tattenham Corner got the report spread. For heaven's sake
don't mention this, particularly not as coining from me. They say that if
Brien does the trick, he will lose more than he has made these three years,
and I believe he will, lie is nominally at 4 to 1; but you can't get 4 to
anything like a figure from a safe party.
For heaven's sake go to Grey Abbey, and at once.
This letter naturally increased Lord Ballindine's uneasiness, and he wrote
a note to Mr Armstrong, informing him that he would not trouble him to go
at all, unless he could start the next day. Indeed, that he should then go
himself, if Mr Armstrong did not do so.
This did not suit Mr Armstrong. He had made up his mind to go; he could not
well return the twenty pounds he had received, nor did he wish to forego
the advantage which might arise from the trip. So he told his wife to be
very careful about her thumb, made up his mind to leave the three policemen
for once without spiritual food, and wrote to Lord Ballindine to say that
he would be with him the next morning, immediately after breakfast, on his
road to catch the mail-coach at Ballyglass.
He was as good as his word, or rather better; for he breakfasted at Kelly's
Court, and induced Lord Ballindine to get into his own gig, and drive him
as far as the mail-coach road.
'But you'll be four or five hours too soon,' said Frank; 'the coach doesn't
pass Ballyglass till three.'
'I want to see those cattle of Rutledge's. I'll stay there, and maybe get a
bit of luncheon; it's not a bad thing to be provided for the road.'
'I'll tell you what, though,' said Frank. 'I want to go to Tuam, so you
might as well get the coach there; and if there's time to spare, you can
pay your respects to the bishop.'
It was all the same to Mr Armstrong, and the two therefore started for Tuam
together. They had not, however, got above half way down the avenue, when
they saw another gig coming towards them; and, after sundry speculations as
to whom it might contain, Mr Armstrong pronounced the driver to be 'that
dirty gallipot, Colligan.'
It was Colligan; and, as the two gigs met in the narrow road, the dirty
gallipot took off his hat, and was very sorry to trouble Lord Ballindine,
but had a few words to say to him on very important and pressing business.
Lord Ballindine touched his hat, and intimated that he was ready to listen,
but gave no signs of getting out of his gig.
'My lord,' said Colligan, 'it's particularly important, and if you could,
as a magistrate, spare me five minutes.'
'Oh, certainly, Mr Colligan,' said Frank; 'that is, I'm rather hurried I
may say very much hurried just at present. But still I suppose there's no
objection to Mr Armstrong hearing what you have to say?'
'Why, my lord,' said Colligan, 'I don't know. Your lordship can judge
yourself afterwards; but I'd rather '
'Oh, I'll get down,' said the parson. 'I'll just take a walk among the
trees: I suppose the doctor won't be long?'
'If you wouldn't mind getting into my buggy, and letting me into his
lordship's gig, you could be following us on, Mr Armstrong,' suggested
This suggestion was complied with. The parson and the doctor changed
places; and the latter, awkwardly enough, but with perfect truth, whispered
his tale into Lord Ballindine's ear.
At first, Frank had been annoyed at the interruption; but, as he learned
the cause of it, he gave his full attention to the matter, and only
interrupted the narrator by exclamations of horror and disgust.
When Doctor Colligan had finished, Lord Ballindine insisted on repeating
the whole affair to Mr Armstrong. 'I could not take upon myself,' said he,
'to advise you what to do; much less to tell you what you should do. There
is only one thing clear; you cannot let things rest as they are. Armstrong
is a man of the world, and will know what to do; you cannot object to
talking the matter over with him.'
Colligan consented: and Armstrong, having been summoned, drove the doctor's
buggy up alongside of Lord Ballindine's gig.
'Armstrong,' said Frank, 'I have just heard the most horrid story that ever
came to my ears. That wretch, Barry Lynch, has tried to induce Doctor
Colligan to poison his sister!'
'What!' shouted Armstrong; 'to poison his sister?'
'Gently, Mr Armstrong; pray don't speak so loud, or it'll be all through
the country in no time.'
'Poison his sister!' repeated Armstrong. 'Oh, it'll hang him! There's no
doubt it'll hang him! Of course you'll take the doctor's information?'
'But the doctor hasn't tendered me any information,' said Frank, stopping
his horse, so that Armstrong was able to get close up to his elbow.
'But I presume it is his intention to do so?' said the parson.
'I should choose to have another magistrate present then,' said Frank.
'Really, Doctor Colligan, I think the best thing you can do is to come
before myself and the stipendiary magistrate at Tuam. We shall be sure to
find Brew at home to-day.'
'But, my lord,' said Colligan, 'I really had no intention of doing that. I
have no witnesses. I can prove nothing. Indeed, I can't say he ever asked
me to do the deed: he didn't say anything I could charge him with as a
crime: he only offered me the farm if his sister should die. But I knew
what he meant; there was no mistaking it: I saw it in his eye.'
'And what did you do, Doctor Colligan, at the time?' said the parson.
'I hardly remember,' said the doctor; 'I was so flurried. But I know I
knocked him down, and then I rushed out of the room. I believe I threatened
I'd have him hung.'
'But you did knock him down?'
'Oh, I did. He was sprawling on the ground when I left him.'
'You're quite sure you knocked him down?' repeated the parson.
'The divil a doubt on earth about that!' replied Colligan. 'I tell you,
when I left the room he was on his back among the chairs.'
'And you did not hear a word from him since?'
'Not a word.'
'Then there can't be any mistake about it, my lord,' said Armstrong. 'If he
did not feel that his life was in the doctor's hands, he would not put up
with being knocked down. And I'll tell you what's more if you tax him with
the murder, he'll deny it and defy you; but tax him with having been
knocked down, and he'll swear his foot slipped, or that he'd have done as
much for the doctor if he hadn't run away. And then ask him why the doctor
knocked him down? you'll have him on the hip so.'
'There's something in that,' said Frank; 'but the question is, what is
Doctor Colligan to do? He says he can't swear any information on which a
magistrate could commit him.'
'Unless he does, my lord,' said Armstrong, 'I don't think you should listen
to him at. all; at least, not as a magistrate.'
'Well, Doctor Colligan, what do you say?'
'I don't know what to say, my lord. I came to your lordship for advice,
both as a magistrate and as a friend of the young man who is to marry
Lynch's sister. Of course, if you cannot advise me, I will go away again.'
'You won't come before me and Mr Brew, then?'
'I don't say I won't,' said Colligan; 'but I don't see the use. I'm not
able to prove anything.'
'I'll tell you what, Ballindine,' said the parson; 'only I don't know
whether it mayn't he tampering with justice suppose we were to go to this
hell-hound, you and I together, and, telling him what we know, give him his
option to stand his trial or quit the country? Take my word for it, he'd
go; and that would be the best way to be rid of him. He'd leave his sister
in peace and quiet then, to enjoy her fortune.'
'That's true,' said Frank; 'and it would be a great thing to rid the
country of him. Do you remember the way he rode a-top of that poor bitch of
mine the other day Goneaway, you know; the best bitch in the pack?'
'Indeed I do,' said the parson; 'but for all that, she wasn't the best
bitch in the pack: she hadn't half the nose of Gaylass.'
'But, as I was saying, Armstrong, it would be a great thing to rid the
country of Barry Lynch.'
'Indeed it would.'
'And there'd be nothing then to prevent young Kelly marrying Anty at once.'
'Make him give his consent in writing before you let him go,' said
'I'll tell you what, Doctor Colligan,' said Frank; 'do you get into your
own gig, and follow us on, and I'll talk the matter over with Mr
The doctor again returned to his buggy, and the parson to his own seat, and
Lord Ballindine drove off at a pace which made it difficult enough for
Doctor Colligan to keep him in sight.
'I don't know how far we can trust that apothecary,' said Frank to his
'He's an honest man, I believe,' said Armstrong, 'though he's a dirty,
'Maybe he was drunk this evening, at Lynch's?'
'I was wrong to call him a drunkard. I believe he doesn't get drunk, though
he's always drinking. But you may take my word for it, what he's telling
you now is as true as gospel. If he was telling a lie from malice, he'd be
louder, and more urgent about it: you see he's half afraid to speak, as it
is. He would not have come near you at all, only his conscience makes him
afraid to keep the matter to himself. You may take my word for it,
Ballindine, Barry Lynch did propose to him to murder his sister. Indeed, it
doesn't surprise me. He is so utterly worthless.'
'But murder, Armstrong! downright murder; of the worst kind;
studied premeditated. He must have been thinking of it, and planning it,
for days. A man may be worthless, and yet not such a wretch as that would
make him. Can you really think he meant Colligan to murder his sister?'
'I can, and do think so,' said the parson. 'The temptation was great: he
had been waiting for his sister's death; and he could not bring himself to
bear disappointment. I do not think he could do it with his own hand, for
he is a coward; but I can quite believe that he could instigate another
person to do it.'
'Then I'd hang him. I wouldn't raise my hand to save him from the rope!'
'Nor would I: but we can't hang him. We can do nothing to him, if he defies
us; but, if he's well handled, we can drive him from the country.'
The lord and the parson talked the matter over till they reached Dunmore,
and agreed that they would go, with Colligan, to Barry Lynch; tell him of
the charge which was brought against him, and give him his option of
standing his trial, or of leaving the country, under a written promise that
he would never return to it. In this case, he was also to write a note to
Anty, signifying his consent that she should marry Martin Kelly, and also
execute some deed by which all control over the property should be taken
out of his own hands; and that he should agree to receive his income,
whatever it might be, through the hands of an agent.
There were sundry matters connected with the subject, which were rather
difficult of arrangement. In the, first place, Frank was obliged, very
unwillingly, to consent that Mr Armstrong should remain, at any rate one
day longer, in the country. It was, however, at last settled that he should
return that night and sleep at Kelly's Court. Then Lord Ballindine insisted
that they should tell young Kelly what they were about, before they went to
Barry's house, as it would be necessary to consult him as to the
disposition he would wish to have made of the property. Armstrong was
strongly against this measure but it was, at last, decided on; and then
they had to induce Colligan to go with them. He much wished them to manage
the business without him. He had had quite enough of Dunmore House; and, in
spite of the valiant manner in which he had knocked its owner down the last
time he was there, seemed now quite afraid to face him. But Mr Armstrong
informed him that he must go on now, as he had said so much, and at last
frightened him into an unwilling compliance.
The three of them went up into the little parlour of the inn, and summoned
Martin to the conference, and various were the conjectures made by the
family as to the nature of the business which brought three such persons to
the inn together. But the widow settled them all by asserting that 'a Kelly
needn't be afeared, thank God, to see his own landlord in his own house,
nor though he brought an attorney wid him as well as a parson and a
docther.' And so, Martin was sent for, and soon heard the horrid story. Not
long after he had joined them, the four sallied out together, and Meg
remarked that something very bad was going to happen, for the lord never
passed her before without a kind word or a nod; and now he took no more
notice of her than if it had been only Sally herself that met him on the
XXXV MR LYNCH BIDS FAREWELL TO DUNMORE
Poor Martin was dreadfully shocked; and not only shocked, but grieved and
astonished. He had never thought well of his intended brother-in-law, but
he had not judged him so severely as Mr Armstrong had done. He listened to
all Lord Ballindine said to him, and agreed as to the propriety of the
measures he proposed. But there was nothing of elation about him at the
downfall of the man whom he could not but look on as his enemy: indeed, he
was not only subdued and modest in his demeanour, but he appeared so
reserved that he could hardly be got to express any interest in the steps
which were to be taken respecting the property. It was only when Lord
Ballindine pointed out to him that it was his duty to guard Anty's
interests, that he would consent to go to Dunmore House with them, and to
state, when called upon to do so, what measures he would wish to have
adopted with regard to the property.
'Suppose he denies himself to us?' said Frank, as the four walked across
the street together, to the great astonishment of the whole population.
'If he's in the house, I'll go bail we won't go away without seeing him,'
said the parson. 'Will he be at home, Kelly, do you think?'
'Indeed he will, Mr Armstrong,' said Martin; 'he'll be in bed and asleep.
He's never out of bed, I believe, much before one or two in the day. It's a
bad life he's leading since the ould man died.'
'You may say that,' said the doctor 'cursing and drinking; drinking and
cursing; nothing else. You'll find him curse at you dreadful, Mr Armstrong,
'I can bear that, doctor; it's part of my own trade, you know; but I think
we'll find him quiet enough. I think you'll find the difficulty is to make
him speak at all. You'd better be spokesman, my lord, as you're a
'No, Armstrong, I will not. You're much more able, and more fitting: if
it's necessary for me to act as a magistrate, I'll do so but at first we'll
leave him to you.'
'Very well,' said the parson; 'and I'll do my best. But I'll tell you what
I am afraid of: if we find him in bed we must wait for him, and when the
servant tells him who we are, and mentions the doctor's name along with
yours, my lord, he'll guess what we're come about, and he'll be out of the
window, or into the cellar, and then there'd be no catching him without the
police. We must make our way up into his bed-room.'
'I don't think we could well do that,' said the doctor.
'No, Armstrong,' said Lord Ballindine. 'I don't think we ought to force
ourselves upstairs: we might as well tell all the servants what we'd come
'And so we must,' said Armstrong, 'if it's necessary. The more determined
we are in fact, the rougher we are with him, the more likely we are to
bring him on his knees. I tell you, you must have no scruples in dealing
with such a fellow; but leave him to me;' and so saying, the parson gave a
thundering rap at the hail door, and in about one minute repeated it, which
brought Biddy running to the door without shoes or stockings, with her hair
streaming behind her head, and, in her hand, the comb with which she had
been disentangling it.
'Is your master at home?' said Armstrong.
'Begorra, he is,' said the girl out of breath. 'That is, he's not up yet,
nor awake, yer honer,' and she held the door in her hand, as though this
answer was final.
'But I want to see him on especial and immediate business,' said the
parson, pushing back the door and the girl together, and walking into the
hall. 'I must see him at once. Mr Lynch will excuse me: we've known each
other a long time.'
'Begorra, I don't know,' said the girl, 'only he's in bed and fast.
Couldn't yer honer call agin about four or five o'clock? That's the time
the masther's most fittest to be talking to the likes of yer honer.'
'These gentlemen could not wait,' said the parson.
'Shure the docther there, and Mr Martin, knows well enough I'm not telling
you a bit of a lie, Misther Armstrong,' said the girl.
'I know you're not, my good girl; I know you're not telling a lie but,
nevertheless, I must see Mr Lynch. Just step up and wake him, and tell him
I'm waiting to say two words to him.'
'Faix, yer honer, he's very bitther intirely, when he's waked this early.
But in course I'll be led by yer honers. I'll say then, that the lord, and
Parson Armstrong, and the docther, and Mr Martin, is waiting to spake two
words to him. Is that it?'
'That'll do as well as anything,' said Armstrong; and then, when the girl
went upstairs, he continued, 'You see she knew us all, and of course will
tell him who we are; but I'll not let him escape, for I'll go up with her,'
and, as the girl slowly opened her master's bedroom door, Mr Armstrong
stood close outside it in the passage.
After considerable efforts, Biddy succeeded in awaking her master
sufficiently to make him understand that Lord Ballindine, and Doctor
Colligan were downstairs, and that Parson Armstrong was just outside the
bedroom door. The poor girl tried hard to communicate her tidings in such a
whisper as would be inaudible to the parson; but this was impossible, for