Part 9 out of 10
Barry only swore at her, and asked her 'what the d she meant by jabbering
there in that manner?' When, however, he did comprehend who his visitors
were, and where they were, he gnashed his teeth and clenched his fist at
the poor girl, in sign of his anger against her for having admitted so
unwelcome a party; but he was too frightened to speak.
Mr Armstrong soon put an end to this dumb show, by walking into the
bedroom, when the girl escaped, and he shut the door. Barry sat up in his
bed, rubbed his eyes, and stared at him, but he said nothing.
'Mr Lynch,' said the parson, 'I had better at once explain the
circumstances which have induced me to make so very strange a visit.'
'Confounded strange, I must say! to come up to a man's room in this way,
and him in bed!'
'Doctor Colligan is downstairs '
'D Doctor Colligan! He's at his lies again, I suppose? Much I care for
'Doctor Colligan is downstairs,' continued Mr Armstrong, 'and Lord
Ballindine, who, you are aware, is a magistrate. They wish to speak to you,
Mr Lynch, and that at once.'
'I suppose they can wait till a man's dressed?'
'That depends on how long you're dressing, Mr Lynch.'
'Upon my word, this is cool enough, in a man's own house!' said Barry.
'Well, you don't expect me to get up while you're there, I suppose?'
'Indeed I do, Mr Lynch: never mind me; just wash and dress yourself as
though I wasn't here. I'll wait here till we go down together.'
'I'm d d if I do,' said Barry. 'I'll not stir while you remain there!' and
he threw himself back in the bed, and wrapped the bedclothes round him.
'Very well,' said Mr Armstrong; and then going out on to the landing-place,
called out over the banisters 'Doctor Doctor Colligan! tell his lordship Mr
Lynch objects to a private interview: he had better just step down to the
Court-house, and issue his warrant. You might as well tell Constable
Nelligan to be in the way.'
'D n!' exclaimed Barry, sitting bolt upright in his bed. 'Who says I object
to see anybody? Mr Armstrong, what do you go and say that for?' Mr
Armstrong returned into the room. 'It's not true. I only want to have my
bedroom to myself, while I get up.'
'For once in the way, Mr Lynch, you must manage to get up although your
privacy be intruded on. To tell you the plain truth, I will not leave you
till you come downstairs with me, unless it be in the custody of a
policeman. If you will quietly dress and come downstairs with me, I trust
we may be saved the necessity of troubling the police at all.'
Barry, at last, gave way, and, gradually extricating himself from the
bedclothes, put his feet down on the floor, and remained sitting on the
side of his bed. He leaned his head down on his hands, and groaned
inwardly; for he was very sick, and the fumes of last night's punch still
disturbed his brain. His stockings and drawers were on; for Terry, when he
put him to bed, considered it only waste of time to pull them off, for
'shure wouldn't they have jist to go on agin the next morning?'
'Don't be particular, Mr Lynch: never mind washing or shaving till we're
gone. We won't keep you long, I hope.'
'You're very kind, I must say,' said Barry. 'I suppose you won't object to
my having a bottle of soda water?' and he gave a terrible tug at the bell.
'Not at all nor a glass of brandy in it, if you like it. Indeed, Mr
Lynch, I think that, just at present, it will be the better thing for you.'
Barry got his bottle of soda water, and swallowed about two glasses of
whiskey in it, for brandy was beginning to be scarce with him; and then
commenced his toilet. He took Parson Armstrong's hint, and wasn't very
particular about it. He huddled on his clothes, smoothed his hair with his
brush, and muttering something about it's being their own fault, descended
into the parlour, followed by Mr Armstrong. He made a kind of bow to Lord
Ballindine; took no notice of Martin, but, turning round sharp on the
'Of all the false ruffians, I ever met, Colligan by heavens, you're the
worst! There's one comfort, no man in Dunmore will believe a word you say.'
He then threw himself back into the easy chair, and said, 'Well,
gentlemen well, my lord here I am. You can't say I'm ashamed to show my
face, though I must say your visit is not made in the genteelest manner.'
'Mr Lynch,' said the parson, 'do you remember the night Doctor Colligan
knocked, you down in this room? In this room, wasn't it, doctor?'
'Yes; in this room,' said the doctor, rather sotto voce.
'Do you remember the circumstance, Mr Lynch?' 'It's a lie!' said Barry.
'No it's not,' said the parson. 'If you forget it, I can call in the
servant to remember so much as that for me; but you'll find it better, Mr
Lynch, to let us finish this business among ourselves. Come, think about
it. I'm sure you remember being knocked down by the doctor.'
'I remember a scrimmage there was between us. I don't care what the girl
says, she didn't see it. Colligan, I suppose, has given her half-a-crown,
and she'd swear anything for that.'
'Well, you remember the night of the scrimmage?'
'I do: Colligan got drunk here one night. He wanted me to give him a farm,
and said cursed queer things about my sister. I hardly know what he said;
but I know I had to turn him out of the house, and there was a scrimmage
'I see you're so far prepared, Mr Lynch: now, I'll tell you my version of
the story. Martin Kelly, just see that the door is shut. You endeavoured to
bribe Doctor Colligan to murder your own sister.'
'It's a most infernal lie!' said Barry. 'Where's your evidence? where's
your evidence? What's the good of your all coming here with such a story as
that? Where's your evidence?'
'You'd better be quiet, Mr Lynch, or we'll adjourn at once from here to the
'Adjourn when you like; it's all one to me. Who'll believe such a drunken
ruffian as that Colligan, I'd like to know? Such a story as that!'
'My lord,' said Armstrong, 'I'm afraid we must go on with this business at
the Court-house. Martin, I believe I must trouble you to go down to the
police barrack.' And the whole party, except Barry, rose from their seats.
'What the devil are you going to drag me down to the Court-house for,
gentlemen?' said he. 'I'll give you any satisfaction, but you can't expect
I'll own to such a lie as this about my sister. I suppose my word's as good
as Colligan's, gentlemen? I suppose my character as a Protestant gentleman
stands higher than his a dirty Papist apothecary. He tells one story; I
tell another; only he's got the first word of me, that's all. I suppose,
gentlemen, I'm not to be condemned on the word of such a man as that?'
'I think, Mr Lynch,' said Armstrong, 'if you'll listen to me, you'll save
yourself and us a great deal of trouble. You asked me who my witness was:
my witness is in this house. I would not charge you with so horrid, so
damnable a crime, had I not thoroughly convinced myself you were
guilty now, do hold your tongue, Mr Lynch, or I will have you down to the
Court-house. We all know you are guilty, you know it yourself '
'I'm ' began Barry.
'Stop, Mr Lynch; not one word till I've done; or what I have to say, shall
be said in public. We all know you are guilty, but we probably mayn't be
able to prove it '
'No, I should think not!' shouted Barry.
'We mayn't be able to prove it in such a way as to enable a jury to hang
you, or, upon my word, I wouldn't interfere to prevent it: the law should
have its course. I'd hang you with as little respite as I would a dog.'
Barry grinned horribly at this suggestion, but said nothing, and the parson
'It is not the want of evidence that stands in the way of so desirable a
proceeding, but that Doctor Colligan, thoroughly disgusted and shocked at
the iniquity of your proposal '
'Oh, go on, Mr Armstrong! go on; I see you are determined to have it all
your own way, but my turn'll come soon.'
'I say that Doctor Colligan interrupted you before you fully committed
'Fully committed myself, indeed! Why, Colligan knows well enough, that when
he got up in such a fluster, there'd not been a word at all said about
'Hadn't there, Mr Lynch? just now you said you turned the doctor out of
your house for speaking about your sister. You're only committing yourself.
I say, therefore, the evidence, though quite strong enough to put you into
the dock as a murderer in intention, might not be sufficient to induce a
jury to find you guilty. But guilty you would be esteemed in. the mind of
every man, woman, and child in this county: guilty of the wilful,
deliberate murder of your own sister.'
'By heavens I'll not stand this!' exclaimed Barry. 'I'll not stand this! I
didn't do it, Mr Armstrong. I didn't do it. He's a liar, Lord Ballindine:
upon my sacred word and honour as a gentleman, he's a liar. Why do you
believe him, when you won't believe me? Ain't I a Protestant, Mr Armstrong,
and ain't you a Protestant clergyman? Don't you know that such men as he
will tell any lie; will do any dirty job? On my sacred word of honour as a
gentleman, Lord Ballindine, he offered to poison Anty, on condition he got
the farm round the house for nothing! He knows it's true, and why should
you believe him sooner than me, Mr Armstrong?'
Barry had got up from his seat, and was walking up and down the room, now
standing opposite Lord Ballindine, and appealing to him, and then doing the
same thing to Mr Armstrong. He was a horrid figure: he had no collar round
his neck, and his handkerchief was put on in such a way as to look like a
hangman's knot: his face was blotched, and red, and greasy, for he had
neither shaved nor washed himself since his last night's debauch; he had
neither waistcoat nor braces on, and his trousers fell on his hips; his
long hair hung over his eyes, which were bleared and bloodshot; he was
suffering dreadfully from terror, and an intense anxiety to shift the guilt
from himself to Doctor Colligan. He was a most pitiable object so wretched,
so unmanned, so low in the scale of creation. Lord Ballindine did pity his
misery, and suggested to Mr Armstrong whether by any possibility there
could be any mistake in the matter whether it was possible Doctor Colligan
could have mistaken Lynch's object? The poor wretch jumped at this loop-
hole, and doubly condemned himself by doing so.
'He did, then,' said Barry; 'he must have done so. As I hope for heaven,
Lord Ballindine, I never had the idea of getting him to to do anything to
Anty. I wouldn't have done it for worlds indeed I wouldn't. There must be
some mistake, indeed there must. He'd been drinking, Mr Armstrong drinking
a good deal that night isn't that true, Doctor Colligan? Come, man, speak
the truth don't go and try and hang a fellow out of mistake! His lordship
sees it's all a mistake, and of course he's the best able to judge of the
lot here; a magistrate, and a nobleman and all. I know you won't see me
wronged, Lord Ballindine, I know you won't. I give you my sacred word of
honour as a gentleman, it all came from mistake when we were both drunk, or
nearly drunk. Come, Doctor Colligan, speak man isn't that the truth? I tell
you, Mr Armstrong, Lord Ballindine's in the right of it. There is some
mistake in all this.'
'As sure as the Lord's in heaven,' said the doctor, now becoming a little
uneasy at the idea that Lord Ballindine should think he had told so strange
a story without proper foundation 'as sure as the Lord's in heaven, he
offered me the farm for a reward, should I manage to prevent his sister's
'What do you think, Mr Armstrong?' said Lord Ballindine.
'Think!' said the parson 'There's no possibility of thinking at all. The
truth becomes clearer every moment. Why, you wretched creature, it's not
ten minutes since you yourself accused Doctor Colligan of offering to
murder your sister! According to your own showing, therefore, there was a
deliberate conversation between you; and your own evasion now would prove
which of you were the murderer, were any additional proof wanted. But it is
not. Barry Lynch, as sure as you now stand in the presence of your Creator,
whose name you so constantly blaspheme, you endeavoured to instigate that
man to murder your own sister.'
'Oh, Lord Ballindine! oh, Lord Ballindine!' shrieked Barry, in his agony,
'don't desert me! pray, pray don't desert me! I didn't do it I never
thought of doing it. We were at school together, weren't we? And you won't
see me put upon this way. You mayn't think much of me in other things, but
you won't believe that a school-fellow of your own ever ever ever ' Barry
couldn't bring himself to use the words with which his sentence should be
finished, and so he flung himself back into his armchair and burst into
'You appeal to me, Mr Lynch,' said Lord Ballindine, 'and I must say I most
firmly believe you to be guilty. My only doubt is whether you should not at
once be committed for trial at the next assizes.'
'Oh, my G ! ' exclaimed Barry, and for some time he continued blaspheming
most horribly swearing that there was a conspiracy against him accusing Mr
Armstrong, in the most bitter terms, of joining with Doctor Colligan and
Martin Kelly to rob and murder him.
'Now, Mr Lynch,' continued the parson, as soon as the unfortunate man would
listen to him, 'as I before told you, I am in doubt we are all in
doubt whether or not a jury would hang you; and we think that we shall do
more good to the community by getting you out of the way, than by letting
you loose again after a trial which will only serve to let everyone know
how great a wretch there is in the county. We will, therefore, give you
your option either to stand your trial, or to leave the country at once and
'And my property? what's to become of my property'?' said Barry.
'Your property's safe, Mr Lynch; we can't touch that. We're not prescribing
any punishment to you. We fear, indeed we know, you're beyond the reach of
the law, or we shouldn't make the proposal.' Barry breathed freely again as
he heard this avowal. 'But you're not beyond the reach of public opinion of
public execration of general hatred, and of a general curse. For your
sister's sake for the sake of Martin Kelly, who is going to marry the
sister whom you wished to murder, and not for your own sake, you shall be
allowed to leave the country without this public brand being put upon your
name. If you remain, no one shall speak to you but as to a man who would
have murdered his sister: murder shall be everlastingly muttered in your
ears; nor will your going then avail you, for your character shall go with
you, and the very blackguards with whom you delight to assort, shall avoid
you as being too bad even for their society. Go now, Mr Lynch go at
once; leave your sister to happiness which you cannot prevent; and she at
least shall know nothing of your iniquity, and you shall enjoy the proceeds
of your property anywhere you will anywhere, that is, but in Ireland. Do
you agree to this?'
'I'm an innocent man, Mr Armstrong. I am indeed.'
'Very well,' said the parson, 'then we may as well go away, and leave you
to your fate. Come, Lord Ballindine, we can have nothing further to say,'
and they again all rose from their seats.
'Stop, Mr Armstrong; stop,' said Barry.
'Well,' said the parson; for Barry repressed the words which were in his
mouth, when he found that his visitors did stop as he desired them.
'Well, Mr Lynch, what have you further to say.'
'Indeed I am not guilty.' Mr Armstrong put on his hat and rushed to the
door 'but ' continued Barry.
'I will have no "buts," Mr Lynch; will you at once and unconditionally
agree to the terms I have proposed?'
'I don't want to live in the country,' said Barry; 'the country's nothing
'You will go then, immediately?' said the parson. 'As soon as I have
arranged about the property, I will,' said Barry.
'That won't do,' said the parson. 'You must go at once, and leave your
property to the care of others. You must leave Dunmore today, for ever.'
'To-day!' shouted Barry.
'Yes, to-day. You can easily get as far as Roscommon. You have your own
horse and car. And, what is more, before you go, you must write to your
sister, telling her that you have made up your mind to leave the country,
and expressing your consent to her marrying whom she pleases.'
'I can't go to-day,' said Barry, sulkily. 'Who's to receive my rents?
who'll send me my money? besides besides. Oh, come that's nonsense. I ain't
going to be turned out in that style.'
'You ain't in earnest, are you, about his going today?' whispered Frank to
'I am, and you'll find he'll go, too,' said Armstrong. 'It must be to-
day this very day, Mr Lynch. Martin Kelly will manage for you about the
'Or you can send for Mr Daly, to meet you at Roscommon,' suggested Martin.
'Thank you for nothing,' said Barry; 'you'd better wait till you're spoken
to. I don't know what business you have here at all.'
'The business that all honest men have to look after all rogues,' said Mr
Armstrong. 'Come, Mr Lynch, you'd better make up your mind to prepare for
'Well, I won't and there's an end of it,' said Barry. 'It's all nonsense.
You can't do anything to me: you said so yourself. I'm not going to be made
a fool of that way I'm not going to give up my property and everything.'
'Don't you know, Mr Lynch,' said the parson, 'that if you are kept in jail
till April next, as will be your fate if you persist. in staying at Dunmore
tonight, your creditors will do much more damage to your property, than
your own immediate absence will do? If Mr Daly is your lawyer, send for
him, as Martin Kelly suggests. I'm not afraid that he will recommend you.
to remain in the country, even should you dare to tell him of the horrid
accusation which is brought against you. But at any rate make up your mind,
for if you do stay in Dunmore tonight it shall be in the Bridewell, and
your next move shall be to Galway.'
Barry sat silent for a while, trying to think. The parson was like an
incubus upon him, which he was totally unable to shake off. He knew neither
how to resist nor how to give way. Misty ideas got into his head of
escaping to his bed-room and blowing his own brains out. Different schemes
of retaliation and revenge flitted before him, but he could decide on
nothing. There he sat, silent, stupidly gazing at nothing, while Lord
Ballindine and Mr Armstrong stood whispering over the fire.
'I'm afraid we're in the wrong: I really think we are,' said Frank.
'We must go through with it now, any way,' said the parson. 'Come, Mr
Lynch, I will give you five minutes more, and then I go;' and he pulled out
his watch, and stood with his back to the fire, looking at it. Lord
Ballindine walked to the window, and Martin Kelly and Doctor Colligan sat
in distant parts of the room, with long faces, silent and solemn, breathing
heavily. How long those five minutes appeared to them, and how short to
Barry! The time was not long enough to enable him to come to any decision:
at the end of the five minutes he was still gazing vacantly before him: he
was still turning over in his brain, one after another, the same crowd of
'The time is out, Mr Lynch: will you go?' said the parson.
'I've no money,' hoarsely croaked Barry.
'If that's the only difficulty, we'll raise money for him,' said Frank.
'I'll advance him money,' said Martin.
'Do you mean you've no money at all?' said the parson.
'Don't you hear me say so?' said Barry.
'And you'll go if you get money say ten pounds?' said the parson.
'Ten pounds! I can go nowhere with ten pounds. You know that well enough.'
'I'll give him twenty-five,' said Martin. 'I'm sure his sister'll do that
'Say fifty,' said Barry, 'and I'm off at once.'
'I haven't got it,' said Martin.
'No,' said the parson; 'I'll not see you bribed to go: take the twenty-
five that will last you till you make arrangements about your property. We
are not going to pay you for going, Mr Lynch.'
'You seem very anxious about it, any way.'
'I am anxious about it,' rejoined the parson. 'I am anxious to save your
sister from knowing what it was that her brother wished to accomplish.'
Barry scowled at him as though he would like, if possible, to try his hand
at murdering him; but he did not answer him again. Arrangements were at
last made for Barry's departure, and off he went, that very day not to
Roscommon, but to Tuam; and there, at the instigation of Martin, Daly the
attorney took upon himself the division and temporary management of the
property. From thence, with Martin's, or rather with his sister's twenty-
five pounds in his pocket, he started to that Elysium for which he had for
some time so ardently longed, and soon landed at Boulogne, regardless alike
of his sister, his future brother, Lord Ballindine, or Mr Armstrong. The
parson had found it quite impossible to carry out one point on which he had
insisted. He could not induce Barry Lynch to write to his sister: no, not a
line; not a word. Had it been to save him from hanging he could hardly have
induced himself to write those common words, 'dear sister'.
'Oh! you can tell her what you like,' said he. 'It's you're making me go
away at once in this manner. Tell her whatever confounded lies you like;
tell her I'm gone because I didn't choose to stay and see her make a fool
of herself and that's the truth, too. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't move
a step for any of you.'
He went, however, as I have before said, and troubled the people of Dunmore
no longer, nor shall he again trouble us.
'Oh! but Martin, what nonsense!' said the widow, coaxingly to her son, that
night before she went to bed. 'The lord wouldn't be going up there just to
wish him good bye and Parson Armstrong too. What the dickens could they he
at there so long? Come, Martin you're safe with me, you know; tell us
something about it now.'
'Nonsense, mother; I've nothing to tell: Barry Lynch has left the place for
good and all, that's all about it.'
'God bless the back of him, thin; he'd my lave for going long since. But
you might be telling us what made him be starting this way all of a heap.'
'Don't you know, mother, he was head and ears in debt?'
'Don't tell me,' said the widow. 'Parson Armstrong's not a sheriff's
officer, that he should be looking after folks in debt.'
'No, mother, he's not, that I know of; but he don't like, for all that, to
see his tithes walking out of the country.'
'Don't be coming over me that way, Martin. Barry Lynch, nor his father
before him, never held any land in Ballindine parish.'
'Didn't they well thin, you know more than I, mother, so it's no use my
telling you,' and Martin walked of! to bed.
'I'll even you, yet, my lad,' said she, 'close as you are; you see else.
Wait awhile, till the money's wanting, and then let's see who'll know all
about it!' And the widow slapped herself powerfully on that part where her
pocket depended, in sign of the great confidence she had in the strength of
'Did I manage that well?' said the parson, as Lord Ballindine drove him
home to Kelly's Court, as soon as the long interview was over. 'If I can do
as well at Grey Abbey, you'll employ me again, I think!'
'Upon my word, then, Armstrong,' said Frank, 'I never was in such hot water
as I have been all this day: and, now it's over, to tell you the truth, I'm
sorry we interfered. We did what we had no possible right to do.'
'Nonsense, man. You don't suppose I'd have dreamed of letting him off, if
the law could have touched him? But it couldn't. No magistrates in the
county could have committed him; for he had done, and, as far as I can
judge, had said, literally nothing. It's true we know what he intended; but
a score of magistrates could have done nothing with him: as it is, we've
got him out of the country: he'll never come back again.'
'What I mean is, we had no business to drive him out of the country with
'Oh, Ballindine, that's nonsense. One can keep no common terms with such a
blackguard as that. However, it's done now; and I must say I think it was
'There's no doubt of your talent in the matter, Armstrong: upon my soul I
never saw anything so cool. What a wretch what an absolute fiend the fellow
'Bad enough,' said the parson. 'I've seen bad men before, but I think he's
the worst I ever saw. What'll Mrs O'Kelly say of my coming in this way,
The parson enjoyed his claret at Kelly's Court that evening, after his hard
day's work, and the next morning he started for Grey Abbey.
XXXVI MR ARMSTRONG VISITS GREY ABBEY ON A DELICATE MISSION
Lord Cashel certainly felt a considerable degree of relief when his
daughter told him that Lord Kilcullen had left the house, and was on his
way to Dublin, though he had been forced to pay so dearly for the
satisfaction, had had to falsify his solemn assurance that he would not
give his son another penny, and to break through his resolution of acting
the Roman father. He consoled himself with the idea that he had been
actuated by affection for his profligate son; but such had not been the
case. Could he have handed him over to the sheriff's officer silently and
secretly, he would have done so; but his pride could not endure the
reflection that all the world should know that bailiffs had forced an entry
into Grey Abbey.
He closely questioned Lady Selina, with regard to all that had passed
between her and her brother.
'Did he say anything?' at last he said 'did he say anything about about
'Not much, papa; but what he did say, he said with kindness and affection,'
replied her ladyship, glad to repeat anything in favour of her brother.
'Affection pooh!' said the earl. 'He has no affection; no affection for any
one; he has no affection even for me. What did he say about her, Selina?'
'He seemed to wish she should marry Lord Ballindine.'
'She may marry whom she pleases, now,' said the earl. 'I wash my hands of
her. I have done my best to prevent what I thought a disgraceful match for
'It would not have been disgraceful, papa, had she married him six months
'A gambler and a roué!' said the earl, forgetting, it is to be supposed,
for the moment, his own son's character. 'She'll marry him now, I suppose,
and repent at her leisure. I'll give myself no further trouble about it.'
The earl thought upon the subject, however, a good deal; and before Mr
Armstrong's arrival he had all but made up his mind that he must again
swallow his word, and ask his ward's lover back to his house. He had at any
rate become assured that if he did not do so, some one else would do it for
Mr Armstrong was, happily, possessed of a considerable stock of self-
confidence, and during his first day's journey, felt no want of it with
regard to the delicate mission with which he was entrusted. But when he had
deposited his carpet-bag at the little hotel at Kilcullen bridge, and found
himself seated on a hack car, and proceeding to Grey Abbey, he began to
feel that he had rather a difficult part to play; and by the time that the
house was in sight, he felt himself completely puzzled as to the manner in
which he should open his negotiation.
He had, however, desired the man to drive to the house, and he could not
well stop the car in the middle of the demesne, to mature his plans; and
when he was at the door he could not stay there without applying for
admission. So he got his card-case in his hand, and rang the bell. After a
due interval, which to the parson did not seem a bit too long, the heavy-
looking, powdered footman appeared, and announced that Lord Cashel was at
home; and, in another minute Mr Armstrong found himself in the book-room.
It was the morning after Lord Kilcullen's departure, and Lord Cashel was
still anything but comfortable. Her ladyship had been bothering him about
the poor boy, as she called her son, now that she learned he was in
distress; and had been beseeching him to increase his allowance. The earl
had not told his wife the extent of their son's pecuniary delinquencies,
and consequently she was greatly dismayed when her husband very solemnly
'My lady, Lord Kilcullen has no longer any allowance from me.'
'Good gracious!' screamed her ladyship; 'no allowance? how is the poor boy
'That I really cannot tell. I cannot even guess; but, let him live how he
may, I will not absolutely ruin myself for his sake.'
The interview was not a comfortable one, either to the father or mother.
Lady Cashel cried a great deal, and was very strongly of opinion that her
son would die of cold and starvation: 'How could he get shelter or food,
any more than a common person, if he had no allowance? Mightn't he, at any
rate, come back, and live at Grey Abbey? That wouldn't cost his father
anything.' And then the countess remembered how she had praised her son to
Mrs Ellison, and the bishop's wife; and she cried worse than ever, and was
obliged to be left to Griffiths and her drops.
This happened on the evening of Lord Kilcullen's departure, and on the next
morning her ladyship did not appear at breakfast. She was weak and nervous,
and had her tea in her own sitting-room. There was no one sitting at
breakfast but the earl, Fanny, and Lady Selina, and they were all alike,
stiff, cold, and silent. The earl felt as if he were not at home even in
his own breakfast-parlour; he felt afraid of his ward, as though he were
conscious that she knew how he had intended to injure her: and, as soon as
he had swallowed his eggs, he muttered something which was inaudible to
both the girls, and retreated to his private den.
He had not been there long before the servant brought in our friend's name.
'The Rev. George Armstrong', written on a plain card. The parson had not
put the name of his parish, fearing that the earl, knowing from whence he
came, might guess his business, and decline seeing him. As it was, no
difficulty was made, and the parson soon found himself tête-à-tête with the
'I have taken the liberty of calling on you, Lord Cashel,' said Mr
Armstrong, having accepted the offer of a chair, 'on a rather delicate
The earl bowed, and rubbed his hands, and felt more comfortable than he had
done for the last week. He liked delicate missions coming to him, for he
flattered himself that he knew how to receive them in a delicate manner; he
liked, also, displaying his dignity to strangers, for he felt that
strangers stood rather in awe of him: he also felt, though he did not own
it to himself, that his manner was not so effective with people who had
known him some time.
'I may say, a very delicate mission,' said the parson; 'and one I would not
have undertaken had I not known your lordship's character for candour and
Lord Cashel again bowed and rubbed his hands.
'I am, my lord, a friend of Lord Ballindine; and as such I have taken the
liberty of calling on your lordship.'
'A friend of Lord Ballindine?' said the earl, arching his eyebrows, and
assuming a look of great surprise.
'A very old friend, my lord; the clergyman of his parish, and for many
years an intimate friend of his father. I have known Lord Ballindine since
he was a child.'
'Lord Ballindine is lucky in having such a friend: few young men now, I am
sorry to say, care much for their father's friends. Is there anything, Mr
Armstrong, in which I can assist either you or his lordship?'
'My lord,' said the parson, 'I need not tell you that before I took the
perhaps unwarrantable liberty of troubling you, I was made acquainted with
Lord Ballindine's engagement with your ward, and with the manner in which
that engagement was broken off.'
'And your object is, Mr Armstrong ?'
'My object is to remove, if possible, the unfortunate misunderstanding
between your lordship and my friend.'.
'Misunderstanding, Mr Armstrong? There was no misunderstanding between us.
I really think we perfectly understood each other. Lord Ballindine was
engaged to my ward; his engagement, however, being contingent on his
adoption of a certain line of conduct. This line of conduct his lordship
did not adopt; perhaps, he used a wise discretion; however, I thought not.
I thought the mode of life which he pursued '
'Pardon me a moment, Mr Armstrong, and I shall have said all which appears
to me to be necessary on the occasion; perhaps more than is necessary; more
probably than I should have allowed myself to say, had not Lord Ballindine
sent as his ambassador the clergyman of his parish and the friend of his
father,' and Lord Cashel again bowed and rubbed his hands. 'I thought, Mr
Armstrong, that your young friend appeared wedded to a style of life quite
incompatible with his income with his own income as a single man, and the
income which he would have possessed had he married my ward. I thought that
their marriage would only lead to poverty and distress, and I felt that I
was only doing my duty to my ward in expressing this opinion to her. I
found that she was herself of the same opinion; that she feared a union
with Lord Ballindine would not ensure happiness either to him or to
herself. His habits were too evidently those of extravagance, and hers had
not been such as to render a life of privation anything but a life of
'I had thought '
'One moment more, Mr Armstrong, and I shall have done. After mature
consideration, Miss Wyndham commissioned me to express her sentiments and I
must say they fully coincided with my own to Lord Ballindine, and to
explain to him, that she found herself obliged to to to retrace the steps
which she had taken in the matter. I did this in a manner as little painful
to Lord Ballindine as I was able. It is difficult, Mr Armstrong, to make a
disagreeable communication palatable; it is very difficult to persuade a
young man who is in love, to give up the object of his idolatry; but I
trust Lord Ballindine will do me the justice to own that, on the occasion
alluded to, I said nothing unnecessarily harsh nothing calculated to harass
his feelings. I appreciate and esteem Lord Ballindine's good qualities, and
I much regretted that prudence forbad me to sanction the near alliance he
was anxious to do me the honour of making with me.'
Lord Cashel finished his harangue, and felt once more on good terms with
himself. He by no means intended offering any further vehement resistance
to his ward's marriage. He was, indeed, rejoiced to have an opportunity of
giving way decently. But he could not resist the temptation of explaining
his conduct, and making a speech.
'My lord,' said the parson, 'what you tell me is only a repetition of what
I heard from my young friend.'
'I am glad to hear it. I trust, then, I may have the pleasure of feeling
that Lord Ballindine attributes to me no personal unkindness?'
'Not in the least, Lord Cashel; very far from it. Though Lord Ballindine
may not be may not hitherto have been, free from the follies of his age, he
has had quite sense enough to appreciate your lordship's conduct.'
'I endeavoured, at any rate, that it should be such as to render me liable
to no just imputation of fickleness or cruelty.'
'No one would for a moment accuse your lordship of either. It is my
knowledge of your lordship's character in this particular which has induced
me to undertake the task of begging you to reconsider the subject. Lord
Ballindine has, you are aware, sold his race-horses.'
'I had heard so, Mr Armstrong; though, perhaps, not on good authority.'
'He has; and is now living among his own tenantry and friends at Kelly's
Court. He is passionately, devotedly attached to your ward, Lord Cashel;
and with a young man's vanity he still thinks that she may not be quite
indifferent to him.'
'It was at her own instance, Mr Armstrong, that his suit was rejected.'
'I am well aware of that, my lord. But ladies, you know, do sometimes
mistake their own feelings. Miss Wyndham must have been attached to my
friend, or she would not have received him as her lover. Will you, my lord,
allow me to see Miss Wyndham? If she still expresses indifference to Lord
Ballindine, I will assure her that she shall be no further persecuted by
his suit. If such be not the case, surely prudence need not further
interfere to prevent a marriage desired by both the persons most concerned.
Lord Ballindine is not now a spendthrift, whatever he may formerly have
been; and Miss Wyndham's princely fortune, though it alone would never have
induced my friend to seek her hand, will make the match all that it should
be. You will not object, my lord, to my seeing Miss Wyndham?'
'Mr Armstrong really you must be aware such a request is rather unusual.'
'So are the circumstances,' replied the parson. 'They also are unusual. I
do not doubt Miss Wyndham's wisdom in rejecting Lord Ballindine, when, as
you say, he appeared to be wedded to a life of extravagance. I have no
doubt she put a violent restraint on her own feelings; exercised, in fact,
a self-denial which shows a very high tone of character, and should elicit
nothing but admiration; but circumstances are much altered.'
Lord Cashel continued to raise objections to the parson's request, though
it was, throughout the interview, his intention to accede to it. At last,
he gave up the point, with much grace, and in such a manner as he thought
should entitle him to the eternal gratitude of his ward, Lord Ballindine,
and the parson. He consequently rang the bell, and desired the servant to
give his compliments to Miss Wyndham and tell her that the Rev. Mr
Armstrong wished to see her, alone, upon business of importance.
Mr Armstrong felt that his success was much greater than he had had any
reason to expect, from Lord Ballindine's description of his last visit at
Grey Abbey. He had, in fact, overcome the only difficulty. If Miss Wyndham
really disliked his friend, and objected to the marriage, Mr Armstrong was
well aware that he had only to return, and tell his friend so in the best
way he could. If, however, she still had a true regard for him, if she were
the Fanny Wyndham Ballindine had described her to be, if she had ever
really been devoted to him, if she had at all a wish in her heart to see
him again at her feet, the parson felt that he would have good news to send
back to Kelly's Court; and that he would have done the lovers a service
which they never could forget.
'At any rate, Mr Armstrong,' said Lord Cashel, as the parson was bowing
himself backwards out of the room, 'you will join our family circle while
you are in the neighbourhood. Whatever may be the success of your
mission and I assure you I hope it may be such as will be gratifying to
you, I am happy to make the acquaintance of any friend of Lord
Ballindine's, when Lord Ballindine chooses his friends so well.' (This was
meant as a slap at Dot Blake.) 'You will give me leave to send down to the
town for your luggage.' Mr Armstrong made no objection to this proposal,
and the luggage was sent for.
The powder-haired servant again took him in tow, and ushered him out of the
book-room, across the hall through the billiard-room, and into the library;
gave him a chair, and then brought him a newspaper, giving him to
understand that Miss Wyndham would soon be with him.
The parson took the paper in his hands, but he did not trouble himself much
with the contents of it. What was he to say to Miss Wyndham? how was he to
commence? He had never gone love-making for another in his life; and now,
at his advanced age, it really did come rather strange to him. And then he
began to think whether she were short or tall, dark or fair, stout or
slender. It certainly was very odd, but, in all their conversations on the
subject, Lord Ballindine had never given him any description of his
inamorata. Mr Armstrong, however, had not much time to make up his mind on
any of these points, for the door opened, and Miss Wyndham entered.
She was dressed in black, for she was, of course, still in mourning for her
brother; but, in spite of her sable habiliments, she startled the parson by
the brilliance of her beauty. There was a quiet dignity of demeanour
natural to Fanny Wyndham; a well-balanced pose, and a grace of motion,
which saved her from ever looking awkward or confused. She never appeared
to lose her self-possession. Though never arrogant, she seemed always to
know what was due to herself. No insignificant puppy could ever have
attempted to flirt with her.
When summoned by the servant to meet a strange clergyman alone in the
library, at the request of Lord Cashel, she felt that his visit must have
some reference to her lover; indeed, her thoughts for the last few days had
run on little else. She had made up her mind to talk to her cousin about
him; then, her cousin had matured that determination by making love to her
himself: then, she had talked to him of Lord Ballindine, and he had
promised to talk to his father on the same subject; and she had since been
endeavouring to bring herself to make one other last appeal to her uncle's
feelings. Her mind was therefore, full of Lord Ballindine, when she walked
into the library. But her face was no tell-tale; her gait and demeanour
were as dignified as though she had no anxious love within her heart no one
grand desire, to disturb the even current of her blood. She bowed her
beautiful head to Mr Armstrong as she walked into the room, and, sitting
down herself, begged him to take a chair.
The parson had by no means made up his mind as to what he was to say to the
young lady, so he shut his eyes, and rushed at once into the middle of his
subject. 'Miss Wyndham,' he said, 'I have come a long way to call on you,
at the request of a friend of yours a very dear and old friend of mine at
the request of Lord Ballindine.'
Fanny's countenance became deeply suffused at her lover's name, but the
parson did not observe it; indeed he hardly ventured to look in her face.
She merely said, in a voice which seemed to him to be anything but
promising, 'Well, sir?' The truth was, she did not know what to say. Had
she dared, she would have fallen on her knees before her lover's friend,
and sworn to him how well she loved him.
'When Lord Ballindine was last at Grey Abbey, Miss Wyndham, he had not the
honour of an interview with you.'
'No, sir,' said Fanny. Her voice, look, and manner were still sedate and
courtly; her heart, however, was beating so violently that she hardly knew
what she said.
'Circumstances, I believe, prevented it,' said the parson. 'My friend,
however, received, through Lord Cashel, a message from you,
which which which has been very fatal to his happiness.'
Fanny tried to say something, but she was not able.
'The very decided tone in which your uncle then spoke to him, has made Lord
Ballindine feel that any further visit to Grey Abbey on his own part would
be an intrusion.'
'I never ' said Fanny, 'I never '
'You never authorised so harsh a message, you would say. It is not the
harshness of the language, but the certainty of the fact, that has
destroyed my friend's happiness. If such were to be the case if it were
absolutely necessary that the engagement between you and Lord Ballindine
should be broken off, the more decided the manner in which it were done,
the better. Lord Ballindine now wishes I am a bad messenger in such a case
as this, Miss Wyndham: it is, perhaps, better to tell you at once a plain
tale. Frank has desired me to tell you that he loves you well and truly;
that he cannot believe you are indifferent to him; that your vows, to him
so precious, are still ringing in his ears; that he is, as far as his heart
is concerned, unchanged; and he has commissioned me to ascertain from
yourself, whether you have really changed your mind since he last had the
pleasure of seeing you.' The parson waited a moment for an answer, and then
added, 'Lord Ballindine by no means wishes to persecute you on the subject;
nor would I do so, if he did wish it. You have only to tell me that you do
not intend to renew your acquaintance with Lord Ballindine, and I will
leave Grey Abbey.' Fanny still remained silent. 'Say the one word "go",
Miss Wyndham, and you need not pain yourself by any further speech. I will
at once be gone.'
Fanny strove hard to keep her composure, and to make some fitting reply to
Mr Armstrong, but she was unable. Her heart was too full; she was too
happy. She had, openly, and in spite of rebuke, avowed her love to her
uncle, her aunt, to Lady Selina, and her cousin. But she could not bring
herself to confess it to Mr Armstrong. At last she said:
'I am much obliged to you for your kindness, Mr Armstrong. Perhaps I owe it
to Lord Ballindine to to . . . I will ask my uncle, sir, to write to him.'
'I shall write to Lord Ballindine this evening, Miss Wyndham; will you
intrust me with no message? I came from him, to see you, with no other
purpose. I must give him some news: I must tell him I have seen you. May I
tell him not to despair?'
'Tell him tell him ' said Fanny, and she paused to make up her mind as to
the words of her message, 'tell him to come himself.' And, hurrying from
the room, she left the parson alone, to meditate on the singular success of
his mission. He stood for about half an hour, thinking over what had
occurred, and rejoicing greatly in his mind that he had undertaken the
business. 'What fools men are about women!' he said at last, to himself.
'They know their nature so well when they are thinking and speaking of them
with reference to others; but as soon as a man is in love with one himself,
he is cowed! He thinks the nature of one woman is different from that of
all others, and he is afraid to act on his general knowledge. Well; I might
as well write to him! for, thank God, I can send him good news ' and he
rang the bell, and asked if his bag had come. It had, and was in his bed-
room. 'Could the servant get him pen, ink, and paper?' The servant did so;
and, within two hours of his entering the doors of Grey Abbey, he was
informing his friend of the success of his mission.
XXXVII VENI; VIDI; VICI
The two following letters for Lord Ballindine were sent off, in the Grey
Abbey post-bag, on the evening of the day on which Mr Armstrong had arrived
there. They were from Mr Armstrong and Lord Cashel. That from the former
was first opened.
Grey Abbey, April, 1844
You will own I have not lost much time. I left Kelly's Court the day before
yesterday and I am already able to send you good news. I have seen Lord
Cashel, and have found him anything but uncourteous. I have also seen Miss
Wyndham and though she said but little to that little was just what you
would have wished her to say. She bade me tell you to come yourself. In
obedience to her commands, I do hereby require you to pack yourself up, and
proceed forthwith to Grey Abbey. His lordship has signified to me that it
is his intention, in his own and Lady Cashel's name, to request the renewed
pleasure of an immediate, and, he hopes, a prolonged visit from your
lordship. You will not, my dear Frank, I am sure, be such a fool as to
allow your dislike to such an empty butter-firkin as this earl, to stand in
the way of your love or your fortune. You can't expect Miss Wyndham to go
to you, so pocket your resentment like a sensible fellow, and accept Lord
Cashel's invitation as though there had been no difference between you.
I have also received an invite, and intend staying here a day or two. I
can't say that, judging from the master of the house, I think that a
prolonged sojourn would be very agreeable. I have, as yet, seen none of the
ladies, except my embryo Lady Ballindine.
I think I have done my business a little in the veni vidi vici style. What
has effected the change in Lord Cashel's views, I need not trouble myself
to guess. You will soon learn all about it from Miss Wyndham.
I will not, in a letter, express my admiration, &c., &c., &c. But I will
proclaim in Connaught, on my return, that so worthy a bride was never yet
brought down to the far west. Lord Cashel will, of course, have some pet
bishop or dean to marry you; but, after what has passed, I shall certainly
demand the privilege of christening the heir.
Believe me, dear Frank,
Your affectionate friend,
Lord Cashel's letter was as follows. It cost his lordship three hours to
compose, and was twice copied. I trust, therefore, it is a fair specimen of
what a nobleman ought to write on such an occasion.
Grey Abbey, April, 1844.
My dear lord,
Circumstances, to which I rejoice that I need not now more particularly
allude, made your last visit at my house a disagreeable one to both of us.
The necessity under which I then laboured, of communicating to your
lordship a decision which was likely to be inimical to your happiness, but
to form which my duty imperatively directed me, was a source of most
serious inquietude to my mind. I now rejoice that that decision was so
painful to you has been so lastingly painful; as I trust I may measure your
gratification at a renewal of your connection with my family, by the
acuteness of the sufferings which an interruption of that connexion has
I have, I can assure you, my lord, received much pleasure from the visit of
your very estimable friend, the Reverend Mr Armstrong; and it is no slight
addition to my gratification on this occasion, to find your most intimate
friendship so well bestowed. I have had much unreserved conversation to-day
with Mr Armstrong, and I am led by him to believe that I may be able to
induce you to give Lady Cashel and myself the pleasure of your company at
Grey Abbey. We shall be truly delighted to see your lordship, and we
sincerely hope that the attractions of Grey Abbey may be such as to induce
you to prolong your visit for some time.
Perhaps it might be unnecessary for me now more explicitly to allude to my
ward; but still, I cannot but think that a short but candid explanation of
the line of conduct I have thought it my duty to adopt, may prevent any
disagreeable feeling between us, should you, as I sincerely trust you will,
do us the pleasure of joining our family circle. I must own, my dear lord,
that, a few months since, I feared you were wedded to the expensive
pleasures of the turf. Your acceptance of the office of Steward at the
Curragh meetings confirmed the reports which reached me from various
quarters. My ward's fortune was then not very considerable; and, actuated
by an uncle's affection for his niece as well as a guardian's caution for
his ward, I conceived it my duty to ascertain whether a withdrawal from the
engagement in contemplation between Miss Wyndham and yourself would be
detrimental to her happiness. I found that my ward's views agreed with my
own. She thought her own fortune insufficient, seeing that your habits were
then expensive: and, perhaps, not truly knowing the intensity of her own
affection, she coincided in my views. You are acquainted with the result.
These causes have operated in inducing me to hope that I may still welcome
you by the hand as my dear niece's husband. Her fortune is very greatly
increased; your character is--I will not say altered is now fixed and
established. And, lastly and chiefly, I find I blush, my lord, to tell a
lady's secret that my ward's happiness still depends on you.
I am sure, my dear lord, I need not say more. We shall be delighted to see
you at your earliest convenience. We wish that you could have come to us
before your friend left, but I regret to learn from him that his parochial
duties preclude the possibility of his staying with us beyond Thursday.
I shall anxiously wait for your reply. In the meantime I beg to assure you,
with the joint kind remembrances of all our party, that I am,
Most faithfully yours,
Mr Armstrong descended to the drawing-room, before dinner, looking most
respectable, with a stiff white tie and the new suit expressly prepared for
the occasion. He was introduced to Lady Cashel and Lady Selina as a valued
friend of Lord Ballindine, and was received, by the former at least, in a
most flattering manner. Lady Selina had hardly reconciled herself to the
return of Lord Ballindine. It was from no envy at her cousin's happiness;
she was really too high-minded, and too falsely proud, also, to envy
anyone. But it was the harsh conviction of her mind, that no duties should
be disregarded, and that all duties were disagreeable: she was always
opposed to the doing of anything which appeared to be the especial wish of
the person consulting her; because it would be agreeable, she judged that
it would be wrong. She was most sincerely anxious for her poor dependents,
but she tormented them most cruelly. When Biddy Finn wished to marry, Lady
Selina told her it was her duty to put a restraint on her inclinations; and
ultimately prevented her, though there was no objection on earth to Tony
Mara; and when the widow Cullen wanted to open a little shop for soap and
candles, having eight pounds ten shillings left to stock it, after the wake
and funeral were over, Lady Selina told the widow it was her duty to
restrain her inclination, and she did so; and the eight pounds ten
shillings drifted away in quarters of tea, and most probably, half noggins
In the same way, she could not bring herself to think that Fanny was doing
right, in following the bent of her dearest wishes-in marrying this man she
loved so truly. She was weak; she was giving way to temptation; she was
going back from her word; she was, she said, giving up her claim to that
high standard of feminine character, which it should be the proudest boast
of a woman to maintain.
It was in vain that her mother argued the point with her in her own way.
'But why shouldn't she marry him, my dear,' said the countess, 'when they
love each other and now there's plenty of money and all that; and your papa
thinks it's all right? I declare I can't see the harm of it.'
'I don't say there's harm, mother,' said Lady Selina; 'not absolute harm;
but there's weakness. She had ceased to esteem Lord Ballindine.'
'Ah, but, my dear, she very soon began to esteem him again. Poor dear! she
didn't know how well she loved him.'
'She ought to have known, mamma to have known well, before she rejected
him; but, having rejected him, no power on earth should have induced her to
name him, or even to think of him again. She should have been dead to him;
and he should have been the same as dead to her.'
'Well, I don't know,' said the countess; 'but I'm sure I shall be delighted
to see anybody happy in the house again, and I always liked Lord Ballindine
myself. There was never any trouble about his dinners or anything.'
And Lady Cashel was delighted. The grief she had felt at the abrupt
termination of all her hopes with regard to her son had been too much for
her; she had been unable even to mind her worsted-work, and Griffiths had
failed to comfort her; but from the moment that her husband had told her,
with many hems and haws, that Mr Armstrong had arrived to repeat Lord
Ballindine's proposal, and that he had come to consult her about again
asking his lordship to Grey Abbey, she became happy and light-hearted; and,
before Griffiths had left her for the night, she had commenced her
consultations as to the preparations for the wedding.
XXXVIII WAIT TILL I TELL YOU
There was no one at dinner that first evening, but Mr Armstrong, and the
family circle; and the parson certainly felt it dull enough. Fanny,
naturally, was rather silent; Lady Selina did not talk a great deal; the
countess reiterated, twenty times, the pleasure she had in seeing him at
Grey Abbey, and asked one or two questions as to the quantity of flannel it
took to make petticoats for the old women in his parish; but, to make up
the rest, Lord Cashel talked incessantly. He wished to show every attention
to his guest, and he crammed him with ecclesiastical conversation, till Mr
Armstrong felt that, poor as he was, and much as his family wanted the sun
of lordly favour, he would not give up his little living down in Connaught,
where, at any rate, he could do as he pleased, to be domestic chaplain to
Lord Cashel, with a salary of a thousand a-year.
The next morning was worse, and the whole of the long day was insufferable,
lie endeavoured to escape from his noble friend into the demesne, where he
might have explored the fox coverts, and ascertained something of the
sporting capabilities of the country; but Lord Cashel would not leave him
alone for an instant; and he had not only to endure the earl's tediousness,
but also had to assume a demeanour which was not at all congenial to his
feelings. Lord Cashel would talk Church and ultra-Protestantism to him, and
descanted on the abominations of the National system, and the glories of
Sunday-schools. Now, Mr Armstrong had no leaning to popery, and had nothing
to say against Sunday schools; but he had not one in his own parish, in
which, by the bye, he was the father of all the Protestant children to be
found there without the slightest slur upon his reputation be it said. Lord
Cashel totally mistook his character, and Mr Armstrong did not know how to
set him right; and at five o'clock he went to dress, more tired than he
ever had been after hunting all day, and then riding home twelve miles on a
wet, dark night, with a lame horse.
To do honour to her guest Lady Cashel asked Mr O'Joscelyn, the rector,
together with his wife and daughters, to dine there on the second day; and
Mr Armstrong, though somewhat afraid of brother clergymen, was delighted to
hear that they were coming. Anything was better than another tête-à-tête
with the ponderous earl. There were no other neighbours near enough to Grey
Abbey to be asked on so short a notice; but the rector, his wife, and their
daughters, entered the dining-room punctually at half-past six.
The character and feelings of Mr O'Joscelyn were exactly those which the
earl had attributed to Mr Armstrong. He had been an Orangeman, and was a
most ultra and even furious Protestant. He was, by principle, a charitable
man to his neighbours; but he hated popery, and he carried the feeling to
such a length, that he almost hated Papists. He had not, generally
speaking, a bad opinion of human nature; but he would not have considered
his life or property safe in the hands of any Roman Catholic. He pitied the
ignorance of the heathen, the credulity of the Mahommedan, the desolateness
of the Jew, even the infidelity of the atheist; but he execrated, abhorred,
and abominated the Church of Rome. 'Anathema Maranatha; get thee from me,
thou child of Satan go out into utter darkness, thou worker of
iniquity into everlasting lakes of fiery brimstone, thou doer of the
devil's work thou false prophet thou ravenous wolf!' Such was the language
of his soul, at the sight of a priest; such would have been the language of
his tongue, had not, as he thought, evil legislators given a licence to
falsehood in his unhappy country, and rendered it impossible for a true
Churchman openly to declare the whole truth.
But though Mr O'Joscelyn did not absolutely give utterance to such
imprecations as these against the wolves who, as he thought, destroyed the
lambs of his flock or rather, turned his sheep into foxes yet he by no
means concealed his opinion, or hid his light under a bushel. He spent his
life an eager, anxious, hard-working life, in denouncing the scarlet woman
of Babylon and all her abominations; and he did so in season and out of
season: in town and in country; in public and in private; from his own
pulpit, and at other people's tables; in highways and byways; both to
friends who only partly agreed with him, and to strangers, who did not
agree with him at all. He totally disregarded the feelings of his auditors;
he would make use of the same language to persons who might in all
probability be Romanists, as he did to those whom he knew to be
Protestants. He was a most zealous and conscientious, but a most indiscreet
servant of his Master, he made many enemies, but few converts. He rarely
convinced his opponents, but often disgusted his own party. He had been a
constant speaker at public meetings; an orator at the Rotunda, and, on one
occasion, at Exeter Hall. But even his own friends, the ultra Protestants,
found that he did the cause more harm than good, and his public exhibitions
had been as much as possible discouraged. Apart from his fanatical
enthusiasm, he was a good man, of pure life, and simple habits; and
rejoiced exceedingly, that, in the midst of the laxity in religious
opinions which so generally disfigured the age, his wife and his children
were equally eager and equally zealous with himself in the service of their
A beneficed clergyman from the most benighted, that is, most Papistical
portion of Connaught, would be sure, thought Mr O'Joscelyn, to have a
fellow-feeling with him; to sympathise with his wailings, and to have
similar woes to communicate.
'How many Protestants have you?' said he to Mr Armstrong, in the drawing-
room, a few minutes after they had been introduced to each other. 'I had
two hundred and seventy in the parish on New Year's day; and since that
we've had two births, and a very proper Church of England police-serjeant
has been sent here, in place of a horrid Papist. We've a great gain in
Serjeant Woody, my lord.'
'In one way we certainly have, Mr O'Joscelyn,' said the earl. ' I wish all
the police force were Protestants; I think they would be much more
effective. But Serjeant Carroll was a very good man; you know he was
removed from hence on his promotion.'
'I know he was, my lord just to please the priests just because he was a
Papist. Do you think there was a single thing done, or a word said at Petty
Sessions, but what Father Flannery knew all about it? Yes, every word. When
did the police ever take any of Father Flannery's own people?'
'Didn't Serjeant Carroll take that horrible man Leary, that robbed the old
widow that lived under the bridge?' said the countess.
'True, my lady, he did,' said Mr O'Joscelyn; 'but you'll find, if you
inquire, that Leary hadn't paid the priest his dues, nor yet his brother.
How a Protestant government can reconcile it to their conscience how they
can sleep at night, after pandering to the priests as they daily do, I
cannot conceive. How many Protestants did you say you have, Mr Armstrong?'
'We're not very strong down in the West, Mr O'Joscelyn,' said the other
parson. 'There are usually two or three in the Kelly's Court pew. The
vicarage pew musters pretty well, for Mrs Armstrong and five of the
children are always there. Then there are usually two policemen, and the
clerk; though, by the bye, he doesn't belong to the parish. I borrowed him
Mr O'Joscelyn gave a look of horror and astonishment.
'I can, however, make a boast, which perhaps you cannot, Mr Joscelyn: all
my parishioners are usually to be seen in church, and if one is absent I'm
able to miss him.'
'It must paralyse your efforts, preaching to such a congregation,' said the
'Do not disparage my congregation,' said Mr Armstrong, laughing; 'they are
friendly and neighbourly, if not important in point of numbers; and, if I
wanted to fill my church, the Roman Catholics think so well of me, that
they'd flock in crowds there if I asked them; and the priest would show
them the way for any special occasion, I mean; if the bishop came to see
me, or anything of that kind.'
Mr O'Joscelyn was struck dumb; and, indeed, he would have had no time to
answer if the power of speech had been left to him, for the servant
The conversation was a little more general during dinner-time, but after
dinner the parish clergyman returned to another branch of his favourite
subject. Perhaps, he thought that Mr Armstrong was himself not very
orthodox; or, perhaps, that it was useless to enlarge on the abominations
of Babylon to a Protestant peer and a Protestant parson; but, on this
occasion, he occupied himself with the temporal iniquities of the Roman
Catholics. The trial of O'Connell and his fellow-prisoners had come to an
end, and he and they, with one exception, had just. commenced their period
of imprisonment. The one exception was a clergyman, who had been acquitted.
He had in some way been connected with Mr O'Joscelyn's parish; and, as tile
parish priest and most of his flock were hot Repealers, there was a good
deal of excitement on tile occasion,- rejoicings at the priest's acquittal,
and howlings, yellings, and murmurings at the condemnation of the others.
'We've fallen on frightful days, Mr Armstrong,' said Mr O'Joscelyn:
'frightful, lawless, dangerous days.'
'We must take them as we find them, Mr O'Joscelyn.'
'Doubtless, Mr Armstrong, doubtless; and I acknowledge His infinite wisdom,
who, for His own purposes, now allows sedition to rear her head unchecked,
and falsehood to sit in the high places. They are indeed dangerous days,
when the sympathy of government is always with the evil doers, and the
religion of the state is deserted by the crown.'
'Why, God bless me! Mr O'Joscelyn! the queen hasn't turned Papist, and the
Repealers are all in prison, or soon will he there.'
'I don't mean the queen. I believe she is very good. I believe she is a
sincere Protestant, God bless her;' and Mr O'Joscelyn, in his loyalty,
drank a glass of port wine; 'but I mean her advisers. They do not dare
protect the Protestant faith: they do not dare secure the tranquillity of
'Are not O'Connell and the whole set under conviction at this moment? I'm
no politician myself, but the only question seems to be, whether they
haven't gone a step too far?'
'Why did they let that priest escape them?' said Mr O'Joscelyn.
'I suppose he was not guilty;' said Mr Armstrong; 'at any rate, you had a
staunch Protestant jury.'
'I tell you the priests are at the head of it all. O'Connell would be
nothing without them; he is only their creature. The truth is, the
government did not dare to frame an indictment that would really lead to
the punishment of a priest. The government is truckling to the false
hierarchy of Rome. Look at Oxford a Jesuitical seminary, devoted to the
secret propagation of Romish falsehood. Go into the churches of England,
and watch their bowings, their genuflexions, their crosses and their
candles; see the demeanour of their apostate clergy; look into their
private oratories; see their red-lettered prayer-books, their crucifixes,
and images; and then, can you doubt that the most dreadful of all
prophecies is about to be accomplished?'
'But I have not been into their closets, Mr O'Joscelyn, nor yet into their
churches lately, and therefore I have riot seen these things; nor have I
seen anybody who has. Have you seen crucifixes in the rooms of Church of
England clergymen? or candles on the altar-steps of English churches?'
'God forbid that I should willingly go where such things are to be seen;
but of the fearful fact there is, unfortunately, no doubt. And then, as to
the state of the country, we have nothing round us but anarchy and misrule:
my life, Mr Armstrong, has not been safe any day this week past.'
'Good Heaven, Mr O'Joscelyn your life not safe! I thought you were as quiet
here, in Kildare, as we are in Mayo.'
'Wait till I tell you, Mr Armstrong: you know this priest, whom they have
let loose to utter more sedition? He was coadjutor to the priest in this
'Was he? The people are not attacking you, I suppose, because he's let
'Wait till I tell you. No; the people are mad because O'Connell and his
myrmidons are to be locked up; and, mingled with their fury on this head
are their insane rejoicings at the escape of this priest. They are,
therefore or were, till Saturday last, howling for joy and for grief at the
same time. Oh! such horrid howls, Mr Armstrong. I declare, Mr Armstrong, I
have trembled for my children this week past.'
The earl, who well knew Mr O'Joscelyn, and the nature of his grievances,
had heard all these atrocities before; and, not being very excited by their
interest, had continued sipping his claret in silence till he began to
doze; and, by the time the worthy parson had got to the climax of his
misery, the nobleman was fast asleep.
'You don't mean that the people made any attack on the parsonage?' said Mr
'Wait till I tell you, Mr Armstrong,' replied the other. 'On Thursday
morning last they all heard that O'Connell was a convicted felon.'
'Conspirator, I believe? Mr O'Joscelyn.'
'Conspiracy is felony, Mr Armstrong and that their priest had been let
loose. It was soon evident that no work was to be done that day. They
assembled about the roads in groups; at the chapel-door; at Priest
Flannery's house; at the teetotal reading-room as they call it, where the
people drink cordial made of whiskey, and disturb the neighbourhood with
cracked horns; and we heard that a public demonstration was to be made.'
'Was it a demonstration of joy or of grief?'
'Both, Mr Armstrong! it was mixed. They were to shout and dance for joy
about Father Tyrrel; and howl and curse for grief about O'Connell; and they
did shout and howl with a vengeance. All Thursday, you would have thought
that a legion of devils had been let loose into Kilcullen.'
'But did they commit any personal outrages, Mr O'Joscelyn?'
'Wait till I tell you. I soon saw how the case was going to be, and I
determined to be prepared. I armed myself, Mr Armstrong; and so did Mrs
O'Joscelyn. Mrs O'Joscelyn is a most determined woman a woman of great
spirit; we were resolved to protect our daughters and our infants from ill-
usage, as long as God should leave us the power to do so. We both armed
ourselves with pistols, and I can assure you that, as far as ammunition
goes, we were prepared to give them a hot reception.'
'Dear me! This must have been very unpleasant to Mrs O'Joscelyn.'
'Oh, she's a woman of great nerve, Mr Armstrong. Mary is a woman of very
great nerve. I can assure you we shall never forget that Thursday night.
About seven in the evening it got darkish, but the horrid yells of the wild
creatures had never ceased for one half-hour; and, a little after seven,
twenty different bonfires illuminated the parish. There were bonfires on
every side of us: huge masses of blazing turf were to be seen scattered
through the whole country.'
'Did they burn any thing except the turf, Mr O'Joscelyn?'
'Wait till I tell you, Mr Armstrong. I shall never forget that night; we
neither of us once lay down; no, not for a moment. About eight, the
children were put to bed; but with their clothes and shoes on, for there
was no knowing at what moment and in how sudden a way the poor innocents
might be called up. My daughters behaved admirably; they remained quite
quiet in the drawing-room till about eleven, when we had evening worship,
and then they retired to rest. Their mother, however, insisted that they
should not take off their petticoats or stockings. At about one, we went to
the hall-door: it was then bright moonlight but the flames of the
surrounding turf overpowered the moon. The whole horizon was one glare of
'But were not the police about, Mr O'Joscelyn?'
'Oh, they were about, to be sure, poor men; but what could they do? The
government now licenses every outrage.'
'But what did the people do? said Mr Armstrong.
'Wait till I tell you. They remained up all night; and so did we, you may
be sure. Mary did not rise from her chair once that night without a pistol
in her hand. We heard the sounds of their voices continually, close to the
parsonage gate; we could see them in the road, from the windows crowds of
them men, women and children; and still they continued shouting. The next
morning they were a little more quiet, but still the parish was disturbed:
nobody was at work, and men and women stood collected together in the
roads. But as soon as it was dusk, the shoutings and the bonfires began
again; and again did I and Mrs O'Joscelyn prepare for a night of anxious
watching. We sat up all Friday night, Mr Armstrong.'
'With the pistols again?'
'Indeed we did; and lucky for us that we did so. Had they not known that we
were prepared, I am convinced the house would have been attacked. Our
daughters sat with us this night, and we were so far used to the state of
disturbance, that we were able to have a little supper.'
'You must have wanted that, I think.'
'Indeed we did. About four in the morning, I dropped asleep on the sofa;
but Mary never closed her eyes.'
'Did they come into the garden at all, or near the house?'
'No, they did not. And I am very thankful they refrained from doing so, for
I determined to act promptly, Mr Armstrong, and so was Mary that is, Mrs
O'Joscelyn. We were both determined to fire, if we found our premises
invaded. Thank God the miscreants did not come within the gate.'
'You did not suffer much, then, except the anxiety, Mr O'Joscelyn?'
'God was very merciful, and protected us; but who can feel safe, living in
such times, and among such a people? And it all springs from Rome; the
scarlet woman is now in her full power, and in her full deformity. She was
smitten down for a while, but has now risen again. For a while the right
foot of truth was on her neck; for a while she lay prostrated before the
strength of those, who by God's grace, had prevailed against her. But the
latter prophecies which had been revealed to us, are now about to be
accomplished. It is well for those who comprehend the signs of the coming
'Suppose we join the ladies,' said the earl, awakened by the sudden lull in
Mr O'Joscelyn's voice. 'But won't you take a glass of Madeira first, Mr
Mr Armstrong took his glass of Madeira, and then went to the ladies; and
the next morning, left Grey Abbey, for his own parish. Well; thought he to
himself, as he was driven through the park, in the earl's gig, I'm very
glad I came here, for Frank's sake. I've smoothed his way to matrimony and
a fortune. But I don't know anything which would induce me to stay a week
at Grey Abbey. The earl is bad nearly unbearable; but the parson! I'd
sooner by half be a Roman myself, than think so badly of my neighbours as
he does. Many a time since has he told in Connaught, how Mr O'Joscelyn. and
Mary, his wife, sat up two nights running, armed to the teeth, to protect
themselves from the noisy Repealers of Kilcullen.
Mr Armstrong arrived safely at his parsonage, and the next morning he rode
over to Kelly's Court. But Lord Ballindine was not there. He had started
for Grey Abbey almost immediately on receiving the two letters which we
have given, and he and his friend had passed each other on the road.
XXXIX IT NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS
When Frank had read his two letters from Grey Abbey, he was in such a state
of excitement as to be unable properly to decide what he would immediately
do. His first idea was to gallop to Tuam, as fast as his best horse would
carry him; to take four horses there, and not to stop one moment till he
found himself at Grey Abbey: but a little consideration showed him that
this would not do. He would not find horses ready for him on the road; he
must take some clothes with him; and it would be only becoming in him to
give the earl some notice oh his approach. So he at last made up his mind
to postpone his departure for a few hours.
He was, however, too much overcome with joy to be able to do anything
rationally. His anger against the earl totally evaporated; indeed, he only
thought of him now as a man who had a house in which he could meet his
love. He rushed into the drawing-room, where his mother and sisters were
sitting, and, with the two letters open in his hand, proclaimed his
intention of leaving home that day.
'Goodness gracious, Frank! and where are you going?' said Mrs O'Kelly.
'To Grey Abbey.'
'No!' said Augusta, jumping up from her chair.
'I am so glad!' shouted Sophy, throwing down her portion of the worsted-
'You have made up your difference, then, with Miss Wyndham?' said the
anxious mother. 'I am so glad! My own dear, good, sensible Frank!'
'I never had any difference with Fanny,' said he. 'I was not able to
explain all about it, nor can I now: it was a crotchet of the earl's only
some nonsense; however, I'm off now I can't wait a day, for I mean to write
to say I shall be at Grey Abbey the day after to-morrow, and I must go by
Dublin. I shall be off in a couple of hours; so, for Heaven's sake, Sophy,
look sharp and put up my things.'
The girls both bustled out of the room, and Frank was following them, but
his mother called him back. 'When is it to be, Frank? Come tell me
something about it. I never asked any questions when I thought the subject
was a painful one.'
'God bless you, mother, you never did. But I can tell you nothing only the
stupid old earl has begged me to go there at once. Fanny must settle the
time herself: there'll be settlements, and lawyer's work.'
'That's true, my love. A hundred thousand pounds in ready cash does want
looking after. But look here, my dear; Fanny is of age, isn't she?'
'She is, mother.'
'Well now, Frank, take my advice; they'll want to tie up her money in all
manner of ways, so as to make it of the least possible use to you, or to
her either. They always do; they're never contented unless they lock up a
girl's money, so that neither she nor her husband can spend the principal
or the interest. Don't let them do it, Frank. Of course she will be led by
you, let them settle whatever is fair on her; but don't let them bother the
money so that you can't pay off the debts. It'll be a grand thing, Frank,
to redeem the property.'
Frank hemmed and hawed, and said he'd consult his lawyer in Dublin before
the settlements were signed; but declared that he was not going to marry
Fanny Wyndham for her money.
'That's all very well, Frank,' said the mother; 'but you know you could not
marry her without the money, and mind, it's now or never. Think what a
thing it would be to have the property unencumbered!'
The son hurried away to throw himself at the feet of his mistress, and the
mother remained in her drawing-room, thinking with delight on the renovated
grandeur of the family, and of the decided lead which the O'Kellys would
again be able to take in Connaught.
Fanny's joy was quite equal to that of her lover, but it was not shown
quite so openly. Her aunt congratulated her most warmly; kissed her twenty
times; called her her own dear, darling niece, and promised her to love her
husband, and to make him a purse if she could get Griffiths to teach her
that new stitch; it looked so easy she was sure she could learn it, and it
wouldn't tease her eyes. Lady Selina also wished her joy; but she did it
very coldly, though very sensibly.
'Believe me, my dear Fanny, I am glad you should have the wish of your
heart. There were obstacles to your union with Lord Ballindine, which
appeared to be insurmountable, and I therefore attempted to wean you from
your love. I hope he will prove worthy of that love, and that you may never
have cause to repent of your devotion to him. You are going greatly to
increase your cares and troubles; may God give you strength to bear them,
and wisdom to turn them to advantage!'
The earl made a very long speech to her, in which there were but few
pauses, and not one full stop. Fanny was not now inclined to quarrel with
him; and he quite satisfied himself that his conduct, throughout, towards
his ward, had been dignified, prudent, consistent, and disinterested.
These speeches and congratulations all occurred during the period of Mr
Armstrong's visit, and Fanny heard nothing more about her lover, till the
third morning after that gentleman's departure; the earl announced then, on
entering the breakfast-room, that he had that morning received a
communication from Lord Ballindine, and that his lordship intended reaching
Grey Abbey that day in time for dinner.
Fanny felt herself blush, but she said nothing; Lady Selina regretted that
he had had a very wet day yesterday, and hoped he would have a fine day to-
day; and Lady Cashel was overcome at the reflection that she had no one to
meet him at dinner, and that she had not yet suited herself with a cook.
'Dear me,' exclaimed her ladyship; 'I wish we'd got this letter yesterday;
no one knows now, beforehand, when people are coming. I'm sure it usen't to
be so. I shall be so glad to see Lord Ballindine; you know, Fanny, he was
always a great favourite of mine. Do you think, Selina, the O'Joscelyns
would mind coming again without any notice? I'm sure I don't know I would
not for the world treat Lord Ballindine shabbily; but what can I do, my
'I think, my lady, we may dispense with any ceremony now, with Lord
Ballindine,' said the earl. 'He will, I am sure, be delighted to be
received merely as one of the family. You need not mind asking the
'Do you think not? Well, that's a great comfort: besides, Lord Ballindine
never was particular. But still, Fanny, had I known he was coming so soon,
I would have had Murray down from Dublin again at once, for Mrs Richards is
not a good cook.'
During the remainder of the morning, Fanny was certainly very happy; but
she was very uneasy. She hardly knew how to meet Lord Ballindine. She felt
that she had treated him badly, though she had never ceased to love him
dearly; and she also thought she owed him much for his constancy. It was so
good of him to send his friend to her and one to whom her uncle could not
refuse admission; and then she thought she had treated Mr Armstrong
haughtily and unkindly. She had never thanked him for all the trouble he
had taken; she had never told him how very happy he had made her; but she
would do so at some future time, when he should be an honoured and a valued
guest in her own and her husband's house.
But how should she receive her lover? Would they allow her to be alone with
him, if only for a moment, at their first meeting? Oh! How she longed for a
confidante! but she could not make a confidante of her cousin. Twice she
went down to the drawing-room, with the intention of talking of her love;
but Lady Selina looked so rigid, and spoke so rigidly, that she could not
do it. She said such common-place things, and spoke of Lord Ballindine
exactly as she would of any other visitor who might have been coming to the
house. She did not confine herself to his eating and drinking, as her
mother did; but she said, he'd find the house very dull, she was
afraid especially as the shooting was all over, and the hunting very nearly
so; that he would, however, probably he a good deal at the Curragh races.
Fanny knew that her cousin did not mean to be unkind; but there was no
sympathy in her: she could not talk to her of the only subject which
occupied her thoughts; so she retreated to her own room, and endeavoured to
compose herself. As the afternoon drew on, she began to wish that he was
not coming till to-morrow. She became very anxious; she must see him,
somewhere, before she dressed for dinner; and she would not, could not,
bring herself to go down into the drawing-room, and shake hands with him,
when he came, before her uncle, her aunt, and her cousin.
She was still pondering on the subject, when, about four o'clock in the
afternoon, she got a message from her aunt, desiring her to go to her in
'That'll do, Griffiths,' said the countess, as Fanny entered her room; 'you
can come up when I ring. Sit down, Fanny; sit down, my dear. I was thinking
Lord Ballindine will soon be here.'
'I suppose he will, aunt. In his letter to Lord Cashel, he said he'd be
here before dinner.'
'I'm sure he'll be here soon. Dear me; I'm so glad it's all made up between
you. I'm sure, Fanny, I hope, and think, and believe, you'll be very, very
'Dear aunt' and Fanny kissed Lady Cashel. A word of kindness to her then
'It was so very proper in Lord Ballindine to give up his horses, and all
that sort of thing,' said the countess; 'I'm sure I always said he'd turn
out just what he should be; and he is so good-tempered. I suppose, dear,
you'll go abroad the first thing?'
'I haven't thought of that yet, aunt,' said Fanny, trying to smile.
'Oh, of course you will; you'll go to the Rhine, and Switzerland, and Como,
and Rome, and those sort of places. It'll be very nice: we went there your
uncle and I and it was delightful; only I used to be very tired. It wasn't
then we went to Rome though. I remember now it was after Adolphus was born.
Poor Adolphus!' and her ladyship sighed, as her thoughts went back to the
miseries of her eldest born. 'But I'll tell you why I sent for you, my
dear: you know, I must go downstairs to receive Lord Ballindine, and tell
him how glad I am that he's come back; and I'm sure I am very glad that
he's coming; and your uncle will be there. But I was thinking you'd perhaps
sooner see him first alone. You'll be a little flurried, my dear that's
natural; so, if you like, you can remain up here, my dear, in my room,
quiet and comfortable, by yourself; and Griffiths shall show Lord
Ballindine upstairs, as soon as he leaves the drawing-room.'
'How very, very kind of you, dear aunt!' said Fanny, relieved from her most
dreadful difficulty. And so it was arranged. Lady Cashel went down into the
drawing-room to await her guest, and Fanny brought her book into her aunt's
boudoir, and pretended she would read till Lord Ballindine disturbed her.
I need hardly say that she did not read much. She sat there over her aunt's
fire, waiting to catch the sound of the wheels on the gravel at the front
door. At one moment she would think that he was never coming the time
appeared to be so long; and then again, when she heard any sound which
might be that of his approach, she would again wish to have a few minutes
more to herself.
At length, however, she certainly did hear him. There was the quick rattle
of the chaise over the gravel, becoming quicker and quicker, till the
vehicle stopped with that kind of plunge which is made by no other animal
than a post-horse, and by him only at his arrival at the end of a stage.
Then the steps were let down with a crash she would not go to the window,
or she might have seen him; she longed to do so, but it appeared so
undignified. She sat quite still in her chair; but she heard his quick step
at the hail door; she was sure she could have sworn to his step and then
she heard the untying of cords, and pulling down of luggage.
Lord Ballindine was again in the house, and the dearest wish of her heart
was accomplished. She felt that she was trembling. She had not yet made up
her mind how she would receive him what she would first say to him and
certainly she had no time to do so now. She got up, and looked in her
aunt's pier-glass. It was more a movement of instinct than one of
premeditation; but she thought she had never seen herself look so
wretchedly. She had, however, but little time, either for regret or
improvement on that score, for there were footsteps in the corridor. He
couldn't have stayed a moment to speak to anyone downstairs however, there
he certainly was; she heard Griffiths' voice in the passage, 'This way, my
lord in my lady's boudoir;' and then the door opened, and in a moment she
was in her lover's arms.
'My own Fanny! once more my own!'
'Oh, Frank! dear Frank!'
Lord Ballindine was only ten minutes late in coming down to dinner, and
Miss Wyndham not about half an hour, which should be considered as showing
great moderation on her part. For, of course, Frank kept her talking a
great deal longer than he should have done; and then she not only had to
dress, but to go through many processes with her eyes, to obliterate the
trace of tears. She was, however, successful, for she looked very beautiful
when she came down, and so dignified, so composed, so quiet in her
happiness, and yet so very happy in her quietness. Fanny was anything but a
hypocrite; she had hardly a taint of hypocrisy in her composition, but her
looks seldom betrayed her feelings. There was a majesty of beauty about
her, a look of serenity in her demeanour, which in public made her appear
superior to all emotion.
Frank seemed to be much less at his ease. He attempted to chat easily with
the countess, and to listen pleasantly to the would-be witticisms of the
earl; but he was not comfortable, he did not amalgamate well with the
family; had there been a larger party, he could have talked all dinner-time
to his love; but, as it was, he hardly spoke a word to her during the
ceremony, and indeed, but few during the evening. He did sit next to her on
the sofa, to be sure, and watched the lace she was working; but he could
not talk unreservedly to her, when old Lady Cashel was sitting close to him
on the other side, and Lady Selina on a chair immediately opposite. And
then, it is impossible to talk to one's mistress, in an ordinary voice, on
ordinary subjects, when one has not seen her for some months. A lover is
never so badly off as in a family party: a tête-à-tête, or a large
assembly, are what suit him best: he is equally at his ease in either; but
he is completely out of his element in a family party. After all, Lady
Cashel was right; it would have been much better to have asked the
The next morning, Frank underwent a desperate interview in the book-room.
His head was dizzy before Lord Cashel had finished half of what he had to
say. He commenced by pointing out with what perfect uprightness and wisdom
he had himself acted with regard to his ward; and Lord Ballindine did not
care to be at the trouble of contradicting him. He then went to the subject
of settlements, and money matters: professed that he had most unbounded
confidence in his young friend's liberality, integrity, and good feeling;
that he would be glad to listen, and, he had no doubt, to accede to any
proposals made by him: that he was quite sure Lord Ballindine would make no
proposal which was not liberal, fair, and most proper; and he said a great
deal more of the kind, and then himself proposed to arrange his ward's
fortune in such a way as to put it quite beyond her future husband's
control. On this subject, however, Frank rather nonplussed the earl by
proposing nothing, and agreeing to nothing; but simply saying that he would
leave the whole matter in the hands of the lawyers.
'Quite right, my lord, quite right,' said Lord Cashel, 'my men of business,
Green and Grogram, will manage all that. They know all about Fanny's
property; they can draw out the settlements, and Grogram can bring them
here, and we can execute them: that'll be the simplest way.'
'I'll write to Mr Cummings, then, and tell him to wait on Messrs. Green and
Grogram. Cummings is a very proper man: he was recommended to me by
'Oh, ah yes; your attorney, you mean?' said the earl. 'Why, yes, that will
be quite proper, too. Of course Mr Cummings will see the necessity of
absolutely securing Miss Wyndham's fortune.'
Nothing further, however, was said between them on the subject; and the
settlements, whatever was their purport, were drawn out without any visible
interference on the part of Lord Ballindine. But Mr Grogram, the attorney,
on his first visit to Grey Abbey on the subject. had no difficulty in
learning that Miss Wyndham was determined to have a will of her own in the
disposition of her own money.
Fanny told her lover the whole episode of Lord Kilcullen's offer to her;
but she told it in such a way as to redound rather to her cousin's credit
than otherwise. She had learned to love him as a cousin amid a friend, and
his ill-timed proposal to her had not destroyed the feeling. A woman can
rarely be really offended at the expression of love, unless it be from some
one unfitted to match with her, either in rank or age. Besides, Fanny
thought that Lord Kilcullen had behaved generously to her when she so
violently repudiated his love: she believed that it had been sincere; she
had not even to herself accused him of meanness or treachery; and she spoke
of him as one to be pitied, liked, and regarded; not as one to be execrated
And then she confessed to Frank all her fears respecting himself; how her
heart would have broken, had he taken her own rash word as final, and so
deserted her. She told him that she had never ceased to love him, for a
day; not even on that day when, in her foolish spleen, she had told her
uncle she was willing to break off the match; she owned to him all her
troubles, all her doubts; how she had made up her mind to write to him, but
had not dared to do so, lest his answer should be such as would kill her at
once. And then she prayed to be forgiven for her falseness; for having
consented, even for a moment, to forget the solemn vows she had so often
repeated to him.
Frank stopped her again and again in her sweet confessions, and swore the
blame was only his. He anathematised himself, his horses, and his friends,
for having caused a moment's uneasiness to her; but she insisted on
receiving his forgiveness, and he was obliged to say that he forgave her.
With all his follies, and all his weakness, Lord Ballindine was not of an
unforgiving temperament: he was too happy to be angry with any one, now. He
forgave even Lord Cashel; and, had he seen Lord Kilcullen, he would have
been willing to give him his hand as to a brother.
Frank spent two or three delightful weeks, basking in the sunshine of
Fanny's love, and Lord Cashel's favour. Nothing could be more obsequiously
civil than the earl's demeanour, now that the matter was decided. Every
thing was to be done just as Lord Ballindine liked; his taste was to be
consulted in every thing; the earl even proposed different, visits to the
Curragh; asked after the whereabouts of Fin M'Coul and Brien Boru; and
condescended pleasantly to inquire whether Dot Blake was prospering as
usual with his favourite amusement.
At length, the day was fixed for the marriage. It was to be in the
pleasant, sweet-smelling, grateful month of May the end of May; and Lord
and Lady Ballindine were then to start for a summer tour, as the countess
had proposed, to see the Rhine, and Switzerland, and Rome, and those sort
of places. And now, invitations were sent, far and wide, to relatives and
friends. Lord Cashel had determined that the wedding should be a great
concern. The ruin of his son was to be forgotten in the marriage of his
niece. The bishop of Maryborough was to come and marry them; the Ellisons
were to come again, and the Fitzgeralds: a Duchess was secured, though
duchesses are scarce in Ireland; and great exertions were made to get at a
royal Prince, who was commanding the forces in the west. But the royal
Prince did not see why he should put himself to so much trouble, and he
therefore sent to say that he was very sorry, but the peculiar features of
the time made it quite impossible for him to leave his command, even on so
great a temptation; and a paragraph consequently found its way into the
papers, very laudatory of his Royal Highness's military energy and
attention. Mrs O'Kelly and her daughters received a very warm invitation,
which they were delighted to accept. Sophy and Augusta were in the seventh
heaven of happiness, for they were to form a portion of the fair bevy of
bridesmaids appointed to attend Fanny Wyndham to the altar. Frank rather
pished and poohed at all these preparations of grandeur; he felt that when
the ceremony took place he would look like the ornamental calf in the
middle of it; but, on the whole, he bore his martyrdom patiently. Four
spanking bays, and a new chariot ordered from Hutton's, on the occasion,
would soon carry him away from the worst part of it.
Lord Cashel was in the midst of his glory: he had got an occupation and he
delighted in it. Lady Selina performed her portion of the work with
exemplary patience and attention. She wrote all the orders to the
tradesmen, and all the invitations; she even condescended to give advice to
Fanny about her dress; and to Griffiths, about the arrangement of the rooms
and tables. But poor Lady Cashel worked the hardest of all her troubles had
no end. Had she known what she was about to encounter, when she undertook
the task of superintending the arrangements for her niece's wedding, she
would never have attempted it: she would never have entered into
negotiations with that treacherous Murray that man cook in Dublin but have
allowed Mrs Richards to have done her best or her worst in her own simple
way, in spite of the Duchess and the Bishop, and the hopes of a royal
Prince indulged in by Lord Cashel. She did not dare to say as much to her
husband, but she confessed to Griffiths that she was delighted when she
heard His Royal Highness would not come. She was sure his coming would not
make dear Fanny a bit happier, and she really would not have known what to
do with him after the married people were gone.
Frank received two letters from Dot Blake during his stay at Grey Abbey. In
the former he warmly congratulated him on his approaching nuptials, and
strongly commended him on his success in having arranged matters. 'You
never could have forgiven yourself,' he said, 'had you allowed Miss
Wyndham's splendid fortune to slip through your hands. I knew you were not
the man to make a vain boast of a girl's love, and I was therefore sure
that you might rely on her affection. I only feared you might let the
matter go too far. You know I strongly advised you not to marry twenty
thousand pounds. I am as strongly of opinion that you would be a fool to
neglect to marry six times as much. You see I still confine myself to the
money part of the business, as though the lady herself were of no value. I
don't think so, however; only I know you never would have lived happily
without an easy fortune.' And then he spoke of Brien Boru, and informed
Lord Ballindine that that now celebrated nag was at the head of the list of
the Derby horses; that it was all but impossible to get any odds against
him at all that the whole betting world were talking of nothing else; that
three conspiracies had been detected, the object of which was to make him
safe that is, to make him very unsafe to his friends; that Scott's foreman
had been offered two thousand to dose him; and that Scott himself slept in
the stable with him every night, to prevent anything like false play.
The second letter was written by Dot, at Epsom, on the 4th of May, thirty
minutes after the great race had been run. It was very short; and shall
therefore be given entire.
Epsom, Derby Day,
Race just over.
God bless you, my dear boy Brien has done the trick, and done it well!
Butler rode him beautifully, but he did not want any riding; he's the
kindest beast ever had a saddle on. The stakes are close on four thousand
pounds: your share will do well to pay the posters, &c., for yourself and
my lady, on your wedding trip. I win well very well; but I doubt the
settling. We shall have awful faces at the corner next week. You'll
probably have heard all about it by express before you get this.
In greatest haste, yours,
The next week, the following paragraph appeared in 'Bell's Life in London.'
'It never rains but it pours. It appears pretty certain, now, that Brien
Boru is not the property of the gentleman in whose name he has run; but
that he is owned by a certain noble lord, well known on the Irish turf, who
has lately, however, been devoting his time to pursuits more pleasant and
more profitable than the cares of the stable pleasant and profitable as it
doubtless must be to win the best race of the year. The pick-up on the
Derby is about four thousand pounds, and Brien Boru is certainly the best
horse of his year. But Lord Ballindine's matrimonial pick-up is, we are
told, a clear quarter of a million; and those who are good judges declare
that no more beautiful woman than the future Lady Ballindine will have
graced the English Court for many a long year. His lordship, on the whole,
is not doing badly.'
Lord Cashel, also, congratulated Frank on his success on the turf, in spite
of the very decided opinion he had expressed on the subject, when he was
endeavouring to throw him on one side.
'My dear Ballindine,' he said, 'I wish you joy with all my heart: a most
magnificent animal, I'm told, is Brien, and still partly your own property,
you say. Well; it's a great triumph to beat those English lads on their own
ground, isn't it? And thorough Irish blood, too! thorough Irish blood! He
has the "Paddy Whack" strain in him, through the dam the very best blood in
Ireland. You know, my mare "Dignity", that won the Oaks in '29, was by
"Chanticleer", out of "Floribel", by "Paddy Whack." You say you mean to
give up the turf, and you know I've done so, too. But, if you ever do
change your mind-should you ever run horses again take my advice, and stick
to the "Paddy Whack" strain. There's no beating the real "Paddy Whack"
On the 21st of May, 1844, Lord Ballindine and Fanny Wyndham were married.
The bishop 'turned 'em off iligant,' as a wag said in the servants' hall.
There was a long account of the affair in the 'Morning Post' of the day;
there were eight bridesmaids, all of whom, it was afterwards remarked, were
themselves married within two years of the time; an omen which was presumed
to promise much continued happiness to Lord and Lady Ballindine, and all
belonging to them.
Murray, the man cook, did come down from Dublin, just in time; but he
behaved very badly. He got quite drunk on the morning of the wedding. He,
however, gave Richards an opportunity of immortalising herself. She
behaved, on the trying occasion, so well, that she is now confirmed in her
situation; and Lady Cashel has solemnly declared that she will never again,
on any account, be persuaded to allow a man cook to enter the house.
Lady Selina she would not officiate as one of the bridesmaids is still
unmarried; but her temper is not thereby soured, nor her life embittered.
She is active, energetic, and good as ever: and, as ever, cold, hard,
harsh, and dignified. Lord Kilcullen has hardly been heard of since his
departure from Grey Abbey. It is known that he is living at Baden, but no
one knows on what. His father never mentions his name; his mother sometimes
talks of 'poor Adolphus;' but if he were dead and buried he could not give
less trouble to the people of Grey Abbey.
No change has occurred, or is likely to take place, in the earl himself nor
is any desirable. How could he change for the better? How could he bear his
honours with more dignity, or grace his high position with more decorum?
Every year since the marriage of his niece, he has sent Lord and Lady
Ballindine an invitation to Grey Abbey; but there has always been some
insuperable impediment to the visit. A child had just been born, or was
just going to be born; or Mrs O'Kelly was ill; or one of the Miss O'Kellys
was going to be married. It was very unfortunate, but Lord and Lady
Ballindine were never able to get as far as Grey Abbey.
Great improvements have been effected at Kelly's Court. Old buildings have
been pulled down, and additions built up; a great many thousand young trees
have been planted, and some miles of new roads and walks constructed. The
place has quite an altered appearance; and, though Connaught is still
Connaught, and County Mayo is the poorest part of it, Lady Ballindine does
not find Kelly's Court unbearable. She has three children already, and
doubtless will have many more. Her nursery, therefore, prevents her from
being tormented by the weariness of the far west.
Lord Ballindine himself is very happy. He still has the hounds, and
maintains, in the three counties round him, the sporting pre-eminence,
which has for so many years belonged to his family. But he has no race-
horses. His friend, Dot, purchased the lot of them out and out, soon after
the famous Derby; and a very good bargain, for himself, he is said to have
made. He is still intimate with Lord Ballindine, and always spends a
fortnight with him at Kelly's Court during the hunting-season.
Sophy O'Kelly married a Blake, and Augusta married a Dillon ; and, as they
both live within ten miles of Kelly's Court. and their husbands are related
to all the Blakes and all the Dillons; and as Ballindine himself is the
head of all the Kellys, there is a rather strong clan of them. About five-
and-twenty cousins muster together in red coats and top-boots, every
Tuesday and Friday during the hunting-season. It would hardly be wise, in
that country, to quarrel with a Kelly, a Dillon, or a Blake.
We must now return to Dunmore, and say a few parting words of the Kellys
and Anty Lynch; and then our task will be finished.
It will be remembered that that demon of Dunmore, Barry Lynch, has been
made to vanish: like Lord Kilcullen, he has gone abroad ; he has settled
himself at an hotel at Boulogne, and is determined to enjoy himself.
Arrangements have been made about the property, certainly not very
satisfactory to Barry, because they are such as make it necessary for him
to pay his own debts; but they still leave him sufficient to allow of his
indulging in every vice congenial to his taste; and, if he doesn't get
fleeced by cleverer rogues than himself which, however, will probably be
the case he will have quite enough to last him till lie has drunk himself
After his departure, there was nothing to delay Anty's marriage, but tier
own rather slow recovery. She has no other relatives to ask, no other
friends to consult. Now that Barry was gone she was entirely her own
mistress, and was quite willing to give up her dominion over herself to
Martin Kelly. She had, however, been greatly shaken; not, by illness only,
but by fear also her fears of Barry and for Barry. She still dreamed while
asleep, and thought while awake, of that horrid night when lie crept up to
her room and swore that he would murder her. This, and what she had
suffered since, had greatly weakened her, and it was some time before
Doctor Colligan would pronounce her convalescent. At last, however, the
difficulties were overcome; all arrangements were completed. Anty was well;
the property was settled; Martin was impatient; and the day was fixed.
There was no bishop, no duchess, no man-cook, at the wedding-party given on
the occasion by Mrs Kelly; nevertheless, it was, in its way, quite as grand
an affair as that given by the countess. The widow opened her heart, and
opened her house. Her great enemy, Barry Lynch, was gone clean beaten out
of the field thoroughly vanquished; as far as Ireland was concerned,
annihilated; and therefore, any one else in the three counties was welcome
to share her hospitality. Oh, the excess of delight the widow experienced
in speaking of Barry to one of her gossips, as the 'poor misfortunate
crature!' Daly, the attorney, was especially invited, and he came. Moylan
also was asked, but he stayed away. Doctor Colligan was there, in great
feather; had it not been for him, there would probably have been no wedding
at all. It would have been a great thing if Lord Ballindine could have been
got to grace the party, though only for ten minutes; but he was at that
time in Switzerland with his own bride, so he could not possibly do so.
'Well, ma'am,' said Mrs Costelloe, the grocer's wife, from Tuam, an old
friend of the widow, who had got into a corner with her to have a little
chat, and drink half-a-pint of porter before the ceremony 'and I'm shure I
wish you joy of the marriage. Faux, I'm tould it's nigh to five hundred a-
year, Miss Anty has, may God bless and incrase it! Well, Martin has his own
luck; but he desarves it, he desarves it.'
'I don't know so much about luck thin, Mrs Costelloe,' said the widow, who
still professed to think that her son gave quite as much as he got, in
marrying Amity Lynch; 'I don't know so much about luck: Martin was very
well as he was; his poor father didn't have him that way that he need be
looking to a wife for mains, the Lord be praised.'