The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, v3 by Charles James Lever

I thought it better to keep my own secret also; and it was therefore with a feeling of any thing but regret, that I received an order which, under other circumstances, would have rendered me miserable–to march on detachment duty.
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  • 02/1837
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[NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, or pointers, at the end of the file for those who may wish to sample the author’s ideas before making an entire meal of them. D.W.]


[By Charles James Lever (1806-1872)]



Volume 3. (Chapter XVIII-XXIII)


CHAPTER XVIII Detachment Duty–An Assize Town

CHAPTER XIX The Assize Town

CHAPTER XX A Day in Dublin

CHAPTER XXI A Night at Howth





As there appeared to be but little prospect of poor Fitzgerald ever requiring any explanation from me as to the events of that morning, for he feared to venture from his room, lest he might be recognised and prosecuted for abduction, I thought it better to keep my own secret also; and it was therefore with a feeling of any thing but regret, that I received an order which, under other circumstances, would have rendered me miserable–to march on detachment duty. To any one at all conversant with the life we lead in the army, I need not say how unpleasant such a change usually is. To surrender your capital mess, with all its well- appointed equipments–your jovial brother officers–hourly flirtations with the whole female population–never a deficient one in a garrison town–not to speak of your matches at trotting, coursing, and pigeon- shooting, and a hundred other delectable modes of getting over the ground through life, till it please your ungrateful country and the Horse Guards to make you a major-general–to surrender all these, I say, for the noise, dust, and damp disagreeables of a country inn, with bacon to eat, whiskey to drink, and the priest, or the constabulary chief, to get drunk with–I speak of Ireland here–and your only affair, par amours, being the occasional ogling of the apothecary’s daughter opposite, as often as she visits the shop, in the soi disant occupation of measuring out garden seeds and senna. These are indeed, the exchanges with a difference, for which there is no compensation; and, for my own part, I never went upon such duty, that I did not exclaim with the honest Irishman, when the mail went over him, “Oh, Lord! what is this for?”–firmly believing that in the earthly purgatory of such duties, I was reaping the heavy retribution attendant on past offences.

Besides, from being rather a crack man in my corps, I thought it somewhat hard that my turn for such duty should come round about twice as often as that of my brother officers; but so it is–I never knew a fellow a little smarter than his neighbours, that was not pounced upon by his colonel for a victim. Now, however, I looked at these matters in a very different light. To leave head-quarters was to escape being questioned; while there was scarcely any post to which I could be sent, where something strange or adventurous might not turn up, and serve me to erase the memory of the past, and turn the attention of my companions in any quarter rather than towards myself.

My orders on the present occasion were to march to Clonmel; from whence I was to proceed a short distance to the house of a magistrate, upon whose information, transmitted to the Chief Secretary, the present assistance of a military party had been obtained; and not without every appearance of reason. The assizes of the town were about to be held, and many capital offences stood for trial in the calendar; and as it was strongly rumoured that, in the event of certain convictions being obtained, a rescue would be attempted, a general attack upon the town seemed a too natural consequence; and if so, the house of so obnoxious a person as him I have alluded to, would be equally certain of being assailed. Such, at least, is too frequently the history of such scenes, beginning with no one definite object: sometimes a slight one–more ample views and wider conceptions of mischief follow; and what has begun in a drunken riot–a casual rencontre–may terminate in the slaughter of a family, or the burning of a village. The finest peasantry–God bless them–are a vif people, and quicker at taking a hint than most others, and have, withal, a natural taste for fighting, that no acquired habits of other nations can pretend to vie with.

As the worthy person to whose house I was now about to proceed was, and if I am rightly informed is, rather a remarkable character in the local history of Irish politics, I may as well say a few words concerning him. Mr. Joseph Larkins, Esq.–(for so he signed himself)–had only been lately elevated to the bench of magistrates. He was originally one of that large but intelligent class called in Ireland “small farmers;” remarkable chiefly for a considerable tact in driving hard bargains–a great skill in wethers–a rather national dislike to pay all species of imposts, whether partaking of the nature of tax, tithe, grand jury cess, or any thing of that nature whatsoever. So very accountable–I had almost said, (for I have been long quartered in Ireland,) so very laudable a propensity, excited but little of surprise or astonishment in his neighbours, the majority of whom entertained very similar views– none, however, possessing any thing like the able and lawyer-like ability of the worthy Larkins, for the successful evasion of these inroads upon the liberty of the subject. Such, in fact, was his talent, and so great his success in this respect, that he had established what, if it did not actually amount to a statute of exemption in law, served equally well in reality; and for several years he enjoyed a perfect immunity on the subject of money-paying in general. His “little houldin’,” as he unostentatiously called some five hundred acres of bog, mountain, and sheep-walk, lay in a remote part of the county, the roads were nearly impassable for several miles in that direction, land was of little value; the agent was a timid man, with a large family; of three tithe-proctors who had penetrated into the forbidden territory, two laboured under a dyspepsia for life, not being able to digest parchment and sealing-wax, for they usually dined on their own writs; and the third gave five pounds out of his pocket, to a large, fresh-looking man, with brown whiskers and beard, that concealed him two nights in a hay-loft, to escape the vengeance of the people, which act of philanthropy should never be forgotten, if some ill-natured people were not bold enough to say the kind individual in question was no other man than–

However this may be, true it is that this was the last attempt made to bring within the responsibilities of the law so refractory a subject; and so powerful is habit, that although he was to be met with at every market and cattle-fair in the county, an arrest of his person was no more contemplated than if he enjoyed the privilege of parliament to go at large without danger.

When the country became disturbed, and nightly meetings of the peasantry were constantly held, followed by outrages against life and property to the most frightful extent, the usual resources of the law were employed unavailingly. It was in vain to offer high rewards. Approvers could not be found; and so perfectly organized were the secret associations, that few beyond the very ringleaders knew any thing of consequence to communicate. Special commissions were sent down from Dublin; additional police force, detachments of military; long correspondences took place between the magistracy and the government–but all in vain. The disturbances continued; and at last to such a height had they risen, that the country was put under martial law; and even this was ultimately found perfectly insufficient to repel what now daily threatened to become an open rebellion rather than mere agrarian disturbance. It was at this precise moment, when all resources seemed to be fast exhausting themselves, that certain information reached the Castle, of the most important nature. The individual who obtained and transmitted it, had perilled his life in so doing–but the result was a great one–no less than the capital conviction and execution of seven of the most influential amongst the disaffected peasantry. Confidence was at once shaken in the secrecy of their associates; distrust and suspicion followed. Many of the boldest sunk beneath the fear of betrayal, and themselves, became evidence for the crown; and in five months, a county shaken with midnight meetings, and blazing with insurrectionary fires, became almost the most tranquil in its province. It may well be believed, that he who rendered this important service on this trying emergency, could not be passed over, and the name of J. Larkins soon after appeared in the Gazette as one of his Majesty’s justices of the peace for the county; pretty much in the same spirit in which a country gentleman converts the greatest poacher in his neighbourhood by making him, his gamekeeper.

In person he was a large and powerfully built man, considerably above six feet in height, and possessing great activity, combined with powers of enduring fatigue almost incredible. With an eye like a hawk, and a heart that never knew fear, he was the person, of all others, calculated to strike terror into the minds of the country people. The reckless daring with which he threw himself into danger–the almost impetuous quickness with which he followed up a scent, whenever information reached him of an important character–had their full effect upon a people who, long accustomed to the slowness and the uncertainty of the law were almost paralyzed at beholding detection and punishment follow on crime, as certainly as the thunder-crash follows the lightning.

His great instrument for this purpose was the obtaining information from sworn members of the secret societies, and whose names never appeared in the course of a trial or a prosecution, until the measure of their iniquity was completed, when they usually received a couple of hundred pounds, blood-money, as it was called, with which they took themselves away to America or Australia–their lives being only secured while they remained, by the shelter afforded them in the magistrate’s own house. And so it happened that, constantly there numbered from ten to twelve of these wretches, inmates of his family, each of whom had the burden of participation in one murder at least, waiting for an opportunity to leave the country, unnoticed and unwatched.

Such a frightful and unnatural state of things, can hardly be conceived; and yet, shocking as it was, it was a relief to that which led to it. I have dwelt, perhaps too long upon this painful subject; but let my reader now accompany me a little farther, and the scene shall be changed. Does he see that long, low, white house, with a tall, steep roof, perforated with innumerable narrow windows. There are a few straggling beech trees, upon a low, bleak-looking field before the house, which is called, par excellence, the lawn; a pig or two, some geese, and a tethered goat are, here and there musing over the state of Ireland, while some rosy curly- headed noisy and bare-legged urchins are gamboling before the door. This is the dwelling of the worshipful justice, to which myself and my party were now approaching, with that degree of activity which attends on most marches of twenty miles, under the oppressive closeness of a day in autumn. Fatigued and tired as I was, yet I could not enter the little enclosure before the house, without stopping for a moment to admire the view before me. A large tract of rich country, undulating on every side, and teeming with corn fields, in all the yellow gold of ripeness; here and there, almost hid by small clumps of ash and alder, were scattered some cottages, from which the blue smoke rose in a curling column into the calm evening’s sky. All was graceful, and beautifully tranquil; and you might have selected the picture as emblematic of that happiness and repose we so constantly associate with our ideas of the country; and yet, before that sun had even set, which now gilded the landscape, its glories would be replaced by the lurid glare of nightly incendiarism, and–but here, fortunately for my reader, and perhaps myself, I am interrupted in my meditations by a rich, mellifluous accent saying, in the true Doric of the south–

“Mr. Loorequer! you’re welcome to Curryglass, sir. You’ve had a hot day for your march. Maybe you’d take a taste of sherry before dinner? Well then, we’ll not wait for Molowny, but order it up at once.”

So saying, I was ushered into a long, low drawing-room, in which were collected together about a dozen men, to whom I was specially and severally presented, and among whom I was happy to find my boarding-house acquaintance, Mr. Daly, who, with the others, had arrived that same day, for the assizes, and who were all members of the legal profession, either barristers, attorneys, or clerks of the peace.

The hungry aspect of the convives, no less than the speed with which dinner made its appearance after my arrival, showed me that my coming was only waited for to complete the party–the Mr. Molowny before alluded to, being unanimously voted present. The meal itself had but slight pretensions to elegance; there were neither vol au vents, nor croquettes; neither were there poulets aux truffes, nor cotelletes a la soubise but in their place stood a lordly fish of some five-and-twenty pounds weight, a massive sirloin, with all the usual armament of fowls, ham, pigeon-pie, beef-steak, &c. lying in rather a promiscuous order along either side of the table. The party were evidently disposed to be satisfied, and I acknowledge, I did not prove an exception to the learned individuals about me, either in my relish for the good things, or my appetite to enjoy them. Dulce est desipere in loco, says some one, by which I suppose is meant, that a rather slang company is occasionally good fun. Whether from my taste for the “humanities” or not, I am unable to say, but certainly in my then humour, I should not have exchanged my position for one of much greater pretensions to elegance and ton. There was first a general onslaught upon the viands, crashing of plates, jingling of knives, mingling with requests for “more beef,” “the hard side of the salmon,” or “another slice of ham.” Then came a dropping fire of drinking wine, which quickly increased, the decanters of sherry for about ten minutes resting upon the table, about as long as Taglioni touches this mortal earth in one of her flying ballets. Acquaintances were quickly formed between the members of the bar and myself, and I found that my momentary popularity was likely to terminate in my downfall; for, as each introduction was followed by a bumper of strong sherry, I did not expect to last till the end of the feast. The cloth at length disappeared, and I was just thanking Providence for the respite from hob- nobbing which I imagined was to follow, when a huge, square decanter of whiskey appeared, flanked by an enormous jug of boiling water, and renewed preparations for drinking upon a large scale seriously commenced. It was just at this moment that I, for the first time, perceived the rather remarkable figure who had waited upon us at dinner, and who, while I chronicle so many things of little import, deserves a slight mention. He was a little old man of about fifty-five or sixty years, wearing upon his head a barrister’s wig, and habited in clothes which originally had been the costume of a very large and bulky person, and which, consequently, added much to the drollery of his appearance. He had been, for forty years, the servant of Judge Vandeleur, and had entered his present service rather in the light of a preceptor than a menial, invariably dictating to the worthy justice upon every occasion of etiquette or propriety, by a reference to what “the judge himself” did, which always sufficed to carry the day in Nicholas’s favour, opposition to so correct a standard, never being thought of by the justice.

“That’s Billy Crow’s own whiskey, the ‘small still,'” said Nicholas, placing the decanter upon the table, “make much of it, for there isn’t such dew in the county.”

With this commendation upon the liquor, Nicholas departed, and we proceeded to fill our glasses.

I cannot venture–perhaps it is so much the better that I cannot–to give any idea of the conversation which at once broke out, as if the barriers that restrained it had at length given way. But law talk in all its plenitude, followed; and for two hours I heard of nothing but writs, detainers, declarations, traverses in prox, and alibis, with sundry hints for qui tam processes, interspersed, occasionally, with sly jokes about packing juries and confusing witnesses, among which figured the usual number of good things attributed to the Chief Baron O’Grady and the other sayers of smart sayings at the bar.

“Ah!” said Mr. Daly, drawing a deep sigh at the same instant–“the bar is sadly fallen off since I was called in the year seventy-six. There was not a leader in one of the circuits at that time that couldn’t puzzle any jury that ever sat in a box; and as for driving through an act of parliament, it was, as Sancho Panza says, cakes and gingerbread to them. And then, there is one especial talent lost for ever to the present generation–just like stained glass and illuminated manuscripts, and slow poisons and the like–that were all known years ago–I mean the beautiful art of addressing the judge before the jury, and not letting them know you were quizzing them, if ye liked to do that same. Poor Peter Purcell for that–rest his ashes–he could cheat the devil himself, if he had need–and maybe he has had before now, Peter is sixteen years dead last November.”

“And what was Peter’s peculiar tact in that respect, Mr. Daly?” said I.

“Oh, then I might try for hours to explain it to you in vain; but I’ll just give you an instance that’ll show you better than all my dissertations on the subject, and I was present myself when it happened, more by token, it was the first time I ever met him on circuit;– “I suppose there is scarcely any one here now, except myself, that remembers the great cause of Mills versus Mulcahy, a widow and others, that was tried in Ennis, in the year ’82. It’s no matter if there is not. Perhaps it may be more agreeable for me, for I can tell my story my own version, and not be interrupted. Well, that was called the old record, for they tried it seventeen times. I believe, on my conscience, it killed old Jones, who was in the Common Pleas; he used to say, if he put it for trial on the day of judgment, one of the parties would be sure to lodge an appeal. Be that as it may, the Millses engaged Peter special, and brought him down with a great retainer, in a chaise and four, flags flying, and favors in the postillions’ hats, and a fiddler on the roof playing the ‘hare in the corn.’ The inn was illuminated the same evening, and Peter made a speech from the windows upon the liberty of the press and religious freedom all over the globe, and there wasn’t a man in the mob didn’t cheer him, which was the more civil, because few of them knew a word of English, and the others thought he was a play-actor. But it all went off well, nevertheless, for Peter was a clever fellow; and although he liked money well, he liked popularity more, and he never went any where special that he hadn’t a public meeting of some kind or other, either to abolish rents, or suppress parsons, or some such popular and beneficial scheme, which always made him a great favourite with the people, and got him plenty of clients. But I am wandering from the record. Purcell came down, as I said before, special for Mills; and when he looked over his brief, and thought of the case, he determined to have it tried by a gentlemen jury, for although he was a great man with the mob, he liked the country gentlemen better in the jury box, for he was always coming out with quotations from the classics, which, whether the grand jury understood or not, they always applauded very much. Well, when he came into court that morning, you may guess his surprise and mortification to find that the same jury that had tried a common ejectment case, were still in the box, and waiting, by the chief justice’s direction, to try Mills versus Mulcahy, the great case of the assizes.

“I hear they were a set of common clod-hopping wretches, with frize coats and brogues, that no man could get round at all, for they were as cunning as foxes, and could tell blarney from good sense, rather better than people with better coats on them.

“Now, the moment that Mr. Purcell came into the court, after bowing politely to the judge, he looked up to the box, and when he saw the dirty faces of the dealers in pork and potatoes, and the unshaven chins of the small farmers, his heart fell within him, and he knew in a minute how little they’d care for the classics–if he quoted Caesar’s Commentaries itself for them–ignorant creatures as they were!

“Well, the cause was called, and up gets Peter, and he began to ‘express’, (as he always called it himself,) ‘the great distress his client and himself would labour under, if the patient and most intelligent jury then on the panel should come to the consideration of so very tedious a case as this promised to be, after their already most fatiguing exertions;’ he commented upon their absence from their wives and families, their farms neglected, their crops hazarded, and in about fifteen minutes he showed them they were, if not speedily released and sent home, worse treated and harder used than many of the prisoners condemned to three months imprisonment; and actually so far worked upon the feelings of the chief himself, that he turned to the foreman of the jury, and said, ‘that although it was a great deviation from his habitual practice, if at this pressing season their prospects were involved to the extent the learned counsel had pictured, why then, that he would so far bend his practice on this occasion, and they should be dismissed.’ Now Peter, I must confess, here showed the most culpable ignorance in not knowing that a set of country fellows, put up in a jury box, would rather let every glade of corn rot in the ground, than give up what they always supposed so very respectable an appointment; for they invariably imagine in these cases that they are something very like my lord the judge, ‘barrin’ the ermine;’ besides, that on the present occasion, Peter’s argument in their favour decided them upon staying, for they now felt like martyrs, and firmly believed that they were putting the chief justice under an obligation to them for life.

“When, therefore, they heard the question of the court, it did not take a moment’s time for the whole body to rise en masses and bowing to the judge, call out, ‘We’ll stay, my lord, and try every mother’s son of them for you; ay, if it lasted till Christmas.

“‘I am sure, my lord,’ said Peter, collecting himself for an effort, ‘I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude for the great sacrifice these gifted and highly intelligent gentlemen are making in my client’s behalf; for being persons who have great interests in the country at stake, their conduct on the present occasion is the more praiseworthy; and I am certain they fully appreciate, as does your lordship, the difficulty of the case before us, when documents will be submitted, requiring a certain degree of acquaintance with such testimonials sufficiently to comprehend. Many of the title deeds, as your lordship is aware, being obtained under old abbey charters, are in the learned languages; and we all know how home to our hearts and bosoms comes the beautiful line of the Greek poet ‘vacuus viator cantabit ante latronem.'” The sound of the quotation roused the chief justice, who had been in some measure inattentive to the preceding part of the learned counsel’s address, and he called out rather sharply, ‘Greek! Mr. Purcell–why I must have mistaken–will you repeat the passage?’

“‘With pleasure, my lord. I was just observing to your lordship and the jury, with the eloquent poet Hergesius, ‘vacuus viator cantabit ante latronem.’

“‘Greek, did you call it?’

“‘Yes, my lord, of course I did.’

“‘Why, Mr. Purcell, you are quoting Latin to me–and what do you mean by talking of the learned Hergesius, and Greek all this time?–the line is Juvenal’s.’

“‘My lord, with much submission to your lordship, and every deference to your great attainments and very superior talents, let me still assure you that I am quoting Greek, and that your lordship is in error.’

“‘Mr. Purcell, I have only to remark, that if you are desirous of making a jest of the court, you had better be cautious, I say, sir;’ and here the judge waxed exceeding wroth. ‘I say the line is Latin–Latin, sir, Juvenal’s Latin, sir–every schoolboy knows it.’

“‘Of course, my lord,’ said Peter, with great humility, ‘I bow myself to the decision of your lordship; the line is, therefore, Latin. Yet I may be permitted to hint that were your lordship disposed to submit this question, as you are shortly about to do another and a similar one, to those clear-sighted and intelligent gentlemen there, I am satisfied, my lord, it would be Greek to every man of them.’

“The look, the voice, and the peculiar emphasis with which Peter gave these words, were perfectly successful. The acute judge anticipated the wish of the counsel–the jury were dismissed, and Peter proceeded to his case before those he knew better how to deal with, and with whom the result was more certain to be as he wished it.”

To this anecdote of the counsellor, succeeded many others, of which, as the whiskey was potent and the hour late, my memory is not over retentive: the party did not break up till near four o’clock; and even then, our seance only concluded, because some one gravely remarked “that as we should be all actively engaged on the morrow, early hours were advisable.”



I had not been above a week in my new quarters, when my servant presented me, among my letters one morning, with a packet, which with considerable pains, I at length recognised to be directed to me. The entire envelope was covered with writing in various hands, among which I detected something which bore a faint resemblance to my name; but the address which followed was perfectly unreadable, not only to me, as it appeared, but also to the “experts” of the different post-offices, for it had been followed by sundry directions to try various places beginning with T, which seemed to be the letter commencing the “great unknown locality:” thus I read “try Tralee,” “try Tyrone,” “try Tanderagee,” &c. &c. I wonder that they didn’t add, “try Teheran,” and I suppose they would at last, rather than abandon the pursuit.

“But, Stubber,” said I, as I conned over the various addresses on this incomprehensible cover, “are you sure this is for me?”

“The postmaster, sir, desired me to ask you if you’d have it, for he has offered it to every one down in these parts lately; the waterguard officers will take it at 8d. Cir, if you won’t, but I begged you might have the refusal.”

“Oh! very well; I am happy to find matters are managed so impartially in the post-office here. Nothing like a public cant for making matters find their true level. Tell the postmaster, then, I’ll keep the letter, and the rather, as it happens, by good luck, to be intended for me.”

“And now for the interior,” said I, as I broke the seal and read:

“Paris, Rue Castiglione.

“My dear Mr. Lorrequer–As her ladyship and my son have in vain essayed to get any thing from you in the shape of reply to their letters, it has devolved upon me to try my fortune, which were I to augur from the legibility of my writing, may not, I should fear, prove more successful than the”–(what can the word be?) “the–the” –why, it can’t be damnable, surely?–no, it is amiable, I see– “than the amiable epistle of my lady. I cannot, however, permit myself to leave this without apprising you that we are about to start for Baden, where we purpose remaining a month or two. Your cousin Guy, who has been staying for some time with us, has been obliged to set out for Geneva, but hopes to join in some weeks hence. He is a great favourite with us all, but has not effaced the memory of our older friend, yourself. Could you not find means to come over and see us–if only a flying visit? Rotterdam is the route, and a few days would bring you to our quarters. Hoping that you may feel so disposed, I have enclosed herewith a letter to the Horse Guards, which I trust may facilitate your obtaining leave of absence. I know of no other mode of making your peace with the ladies, who are too highly incensed at your desertion to send one civil postscript to this letter; and Kilkee and myself are absolutely exhausted in our defence of you. Believe me, yours truly,


Had I received an official notification of my being appointed paymaster to the forces, or chaplain to Chelsea hospital, I believe I should have received the information with less surprise than I perused this letter– that after the long interval which had elapsed, during which I had considered myself totally forgotten by this family, I should now receive a letter–and such a letter, too–quite in the vein of our former intimacy and good feeling, inviting me to their house, and again professing their willingness that I should be on the terms of our old familiarity–was little short of wonderful to me. I read, too–with what pleasure?–that slight mention of my cousin, whom I had so long regarded as my successful rival, but who I began now to hope had not been preferred to me. Perhaps it was not yet too late to think that all was not hopeless. It appeared, too, that several letters had been written which had never reached me; so, while I accused them of neglect and forgetfulness, I was really more amenable to the charge myself; for, from the moment I had heard of my cousin Guy’s having been domesticated amongst them, and the rumours of his marriage had reached me, I suffered my absurd jealousy to blind my reason, and never wrote another line after. I ought to have known how “bavarde” [boasting] Guy always was– that he never met with the most commonplace attentions any where, that he did not immediately write home about settlements and pin-money, and portions for younger children, and all that sort of nonsense. Now I saw it all plainly, and ten thousand times quicker than my hopes were extinguished before were they again kindled, and I could not refrain from regarding Lady Jane as a mirror of constancy, and myself the most fortunate man in Europe. My old castle-building propensities came back upon me in an instant, and I pictured myself, with Lady Jane as my companion, wandering among the beautiful scenery of the Neckar, beneath the lofty ruins of Heidelberg, or skimming the placid surface of the Rhine, while, “mellowed by distance,” came the rich chorus of a student’s melody, filling the air with its flood of song. How delightful, I thought, to be reading the lyrics of Uhland, or Buerger, with one so capable of appreciating them, with all the hallowed associations of the “Vaterland” about us! Yes, said I aloud, repeating the well-known line of a German “Lied”–

“Bakranzt mit Laub, den lieben vollen Becher.”

“Upon my conscience,” said Mr. Daly, who had for some time past been in silent admiration of my stage-struck appearance–“upon my conscience, Mr. Lorrequer, I had no conception you knew Irish.”

The mighty talisman of the Counsellor’s voice brought me back in a moment to a consciousness of where I was then standing, and the still more fortunate fact that I was only a subaltern in his majesty’s __th–.

“Why, my dear Counsellor, that was German I was quoting, not Irish.”

“With all my heart,” said Mr. Daly, breaking the top off his third egg– “with all my heart; I’d rather you’d talk it than me. Much conversation in that tongue, I’m thinking, would be mighty apt to loosen one’s teeth.”

“Not at all, it is the most beautiful language in Europe, and the most musical too. Why, even for your own peculiar taste in such matters, where can you find any language so rich in Bacchanalian songs as German?”

“I’d rather hear the “Cruiskeen Lawn” or the “Jug of Punch” as my old friend Pat. Samson could sing them, than a score of your high Dutch jawbreakers.”

“Shame upon ye, Mr. Daly; and for pathos, for true feeling, where is there anything equal to Schiller’s ballads?”

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of his; but if you will talk of ballads,” said the Counsellor, “give me old Mosey M’Garry’s: what’s finer than”–and here began, with a most nasal twang and dolorous emphasis, to sing–

“‘And I stepp’d up unto her, An’ I made a congee– And I ax’d her, her pardon For the making so free.’

“And then the next verse, she says–

“‘Are you goin’ to undo me, In this desert alone?’–

“There’s a shake there.”

“For Heaven’s sake,” I cried, “stop; when I spoke of ballads, I never meant such infernal stuff as that.”

“I’ll not give up my knowledge of ballads to any man breathing,” said Mr. Daly; “and, with God’s blessing, I’ll sing you one this evening, after dinner, that will give you a cramp in the stomach.”

An animated discussion upon lyrical poetry was here interrupted by a summons from our host to set out for the town. My party were, by the desire of the magistracy, to be in readiness near the court-house, in the event of any serious disturbance, which there existed but too much reason to fear from the highly excited state of feeling on the subject of the approaching trials. The soldiers were, under the guidance of Mr. Larkins, safely ensconced in a tan-yard; and I myself, having consigned them for the present to a non-commissioned officer, was left at perfect liberty to dispose of my time and person as it might please me.

While these arrangements were taking place, I had entirely lost sight of Mr. Daly, under whose guidance and protection I trusted to obtain a place within the bar to hear the trials; so that I was now perfectly alone, for my host’s numerous avocations entirely precluded any thought of my putting myself under his care.

My first object was to reach the court-house, and there could be little difficulty in finding it, for the throng of persons in the street were all eagerly bending their way thither. I accordingly followed with the stream, and soon found myself among an enormous multitude of frize-coated and red-cloaked people, of both sexes, in a large open square, which formed the market-place, one side of which was flanked by the court- house–for as such I immediately recognized a massive-looking grey stone building–in which the numerous windows, all open and filled with people, exhaled a continued steam from the crowded atmosphere within. To approach it was perfectly impossible: for the square was packed so closely, that as the people approached, by the various streets, they were obliged to stand in the avenues leading to it, and regard what was going on from a distance. Of this large multitude I soon became one, hoping that at length some fortunate opportunity might enable me to obtain admission through some of my legal acquaintances.

That the fate of those who were then upon their trial for their lives absorbed the entire feelings of those without, a momentary glance at the hundreds of anxious and care-worn faces in the crowd, would completely satisfy. Motionless and silent they stood: they felt no fatigue–no want of food or refreshment–their interest was one and undivided–all their hopes and fears were centered in the events then passing at a short distance from them, but to which their ignorance imparted an additional and more painful excitement–the only information of how matters were going on being by an occasional word, sometimes a mere gesture from some one stationed in the windows to a friend in the crowd.

When the contemplation of this singularly impressive scene was beginning to weary from the irksomeness of my position, I thought of retiring: but soon discovered how impossible was such a step. The crowd had blocked up so completely all the avenues of approach, that even had I succeeded in getting from the market-place, it would be only to remain firmly impacted among the mob in the street.

It now also occurred to me, that although I had been assured by Larkins no call could possibly be made upon my services or those of my party, till after the trial, yet, were that to conclude at any moment, I should be perfectly unable to regain the place where I had stationed them, and the most serious consequences might ensue from the absence of their officer, if the men were required to act.

From the time this thought took possession of me, I became excessively uncomfortable. Every expression of the people that denoted the progress of the trial, only alarmed me for the conclusion, which I supposed, might not be distant, and I began, with all my ingenuity, to attempt my retreat, which, after half an hour’s severe struggle, I completely abandoned, finding myself scarcely ten yards from where I started.

At length, the counsel for the crown, who had been speaking to evidence, ceased; and an indistinct murmur was heard through the court-house, which was soon repressed by the voice of the crier calling “silence.” All now seemed still and silent as the grave–yet, on listening attentively, for some time, you could catch the low tones of a voice speaking, as it appeared, with great deliberation and slowness. This was the judge addressing the jury. In a short time this also ceased; and, for about half an hour, the silence was perfectly unbroken, and both within and without there reigned one intense and aching sense of anxiety that absorbed every feeling, and imparted to every face an expression of almost agonizing uncertainty. It was, indeed, a space well calculated to excite such emotions. The jury had retired to deliberate upon their verdict. At length a door was heard to open, and the footsteps of the jury, as they resumed their places, sounded through the court, and were heard by those without. How heavily upon many a stout heart those footsteps fell! They had taken their seats–then came another pause– after which the monotonous tones of the clerk of the court were heard, addressing the jury for their verdict. As the foreman rises every ear is bent–every eye strained–every heart-string vibrates: his lips move, but he is not heard; he is desired by the judge to speak louder; the colour mounts to his before bloodless face; he appears to labour for a few seconds with a mighty effort, and, at last, pronounces the words, “Guilty, my Lord–all guilty!”

I have heard the wild war-whoop of the red Indian, as, in his own pine forest, he has unexpectedly come upon the track of his foe, and the almost extinguished hope of vengeance has been kindled again in his cruel heart–I have listened to the scarcely less savage hurra of a storming party, as they have surmounted the crumbling ruins of a breach, and devoted to fire and sword, with that one yell, all who await them–and once in my life it has been my fortune to have heard the last yell of defiance from a pirate crew, as they sunk beneath the raking fire of a frigate, rather than surrender, and went down with a cheer of defiance that rose even above the red artillery that destroyed but could not subdue them;–but never, in any or all of these awful moments, did my heart vibrate to such sounds as rent the air when the fatal “Guilty” was heard by those within, and repeated to those without. It was not grief– it was not despair–neither was it the cry of sharp and irrepressible anguish, from a suddenly blighted hope–but it was the long pent-up and carefully-concealed burst of feeling which called aloud for vengeance– red and reeking revenge upon all who had been instrumental in the sentence then delivered. It ceased, and I looked towards the court- house, expecting that an immediate and desperate attack upon the building and those whom it contained would at once take place. But nothing of the kind ensued; the mob were already beginning to disperse, and before I recovered perfectly from the excitement of these few and terrible moments, the square was nearly empty, and I almost felt as if the wild and frantic denunciation that still rang through my ears, had been conjured up by a heated and fevered imagination.

When I again met our party at the dinner table, I could not help feeling surprised on perceiving how little they sympathized in my feeling for the events of the day; which, indeed, they only alluded to in a professional point of view–criticising the speeches of the counsel on both sides, and the character of the different witnesses who were examined.

“Well,” said Mr. Daly, addressing our host, “you never could have had a conviction to-day if it wasn’t for Mike. He’s the best evidence I ever heard. I’d like to know very much how you ever got so clever a fellow completely in your clutches?”

“By a mere accident, and very simply,” replied the justice. “It was upon one of our most crowded fair days–half the county was in town, when the information arrived that the Walshes were murdered the night before, at the cross-roads above Telenamuck mills. The news reached me as I was signing some tithe warrants, one of which was against Mickey. I sent for him into the office, knowing that as he was in the secret of all the evil doings, I might as well pretend to do him a service, and offer to stop the warrant, out of kindness as it were. Well, one way or another, he was kept waiting for several hours while I was engaged in writing, and all the country people, as they passed the window, could look in and see Mickey Sheehan standing before me, while I was employed busily writing letters. It was just at this time, that a mounted policeman rode in with the account of the murder; upon which I immediately issued a warrant to arrest the two MacNeills and Owen Shirley upon suspicion. I thought I saw Mike turn pale, as I said the names over to the serjeant of police, and I at once determined to turn it to account; so I immediately began talking to Mickey about his own affairs, breaking off, every now and then, to give some directions about the men to be captured. The crowd outside was increasing every instant, and you need not have looked at their faces twice, to perceive that they had regarded Mickey as an approver; and the same night that saw the MacNeills in custody, witnessed the burning of Sheehan’s house and haggart, and he only escaped by a miracle over to Curryglass, where, once under my protection, with the imputation upon his character of having turned King’s evidence, I had little trouble in persuading him that he might as well benefit by the report as enjoy the name without the gain. He soon complied, and the convictions of this day are partly the result.”

When the applause which greeted this clever stroke of our host had subsided, I enquired what results might, in all likelihood, follow the proceedings of which I had that day been a witness?

“Nothing will be done immediately,” replied the justice, “because we have a large force of police and military about us; but let either, or unhappily both, be withdrawn, and the cry you heard given in the market- place to-day will be the death-wail for more than one of those who are well and hearty at this moment.”

The train of thought inevitably forced upon me by all I had been a spectator of during the day, but little disposed me to be a partaker in the mirth and conviviality which, as usual, formed the staple of the assize dinners of Mr. Larkins; and I accordingly took an early opportunity to quit the company and retire for the night.



On the third day of my residence at Curryglass, arrived my friend, Mortimer, to replace me, bringing my leave from the colonel, and a most handsome letter, in which he again glanced at the prospect before me in the Callonby family, and hinted at my destination, which I had not alluded to, adding, that if I made the pretence of study in Germany the reason for my application at the Horse Guards, I should be almost certain to obtain a six months’ leave. With what spirits I ordered Stubber to pack up my portmanteau, and secure our places in the Dublin mail for that night, while I myself hurried to take leave of my kind entertainer and his guests, as well as to recommend to their favor and attention my excellent friend Mortimer, who, being a jovial fellow, not at all in love, was a happy exchange for me, who, despite Daly’s capital stories, had spent the last two days in watching the high road for my successor’s arrival.

Once more then, I bade adieu to Curryglass and its hospitable owner, whose labours for “justice to Ireland” I shall long remember, and depositing myself in the bowels of his majesty’s mail, gave way to the full current of my hopes and imaginings, which at last ended in a sound and refreshing sleep, from which I only awoke as we drew up at the door of the Hibernian, in Dawson-street.

Even at that early hour there was considerable bustle and activity of preparation, which I was at some loss to account for, till informed by the waiter that there were upwards of three hundred strangers in the house, it being the day of his majesty’s expected arrival on his visit to Ireland, and a very considerable section of the county Galway being at that moment, with their wives and families, installed, for the occasion, in this, their favourite hotel.

Although I had been reading of this approaching event every day for the last three months, I could not help feeling surprised at the intense appearance of excitement it occasioned, and, in the few minutes’ conversation I held with the waiter, learned the total impossibility of procuring a lodging anywhere, and that I could not have a bed, even were I to offer five guineas for it. Having, therefore, no inclination for sleep, even upon easier terms, I ordered my breakfast to be ready at ten, and set out upon a stroll through the town. I could not help, in my short ramble through the streets, perceiving how admirably adapted were the worthy Dublinites for all the honors that awaited them; garlands of flowers, transparencies, flags, and the other insignia of rejoicing, were everywhere in preparation, and, at the end of Sackville-street, a considerable erection, very much resembling an impromptu gallows, was being built, for the purpose, as I afterwards learnt, of giving the worshipful the lord mayor the opportunity of opening the city gates to royalty; creating the obstacle where none existed; being a very ingenious conceit, and considerably Irish into the bargain. I could not help feeling some desire to witness how all should go off, to use the theatrical phrase; but, in my anxiety to get on to the continent, I at once abandoned every thought of delay. When I returned to the coffee- room of my hotel, I found it crowded to excess; every little table, originally destined for the accommodation of one, having at least two, and sometimes three occupants. In my hurried glance round the room, to decide where I should place myself, I was considerably struck with the appearance of a stout elderly gentleman, with red whiskers, and a high, bald forehead; he had, although the day was an oppressively hot one, three waistcoats on, and by the brown York tan of his long topped boots, evinced a very considerable contempt either for weather or fashion; in the quick glance of his sharp grey eye, I read that he listened half doubtingly to the narrative of his companion, whose back was turned towards me, but who appeared, from the occasional words which reached me, to be giving a rather marvellous and melodramatic version of the expected pleasures of the capital. There was something in the tone of the speaker’s voice that I thought I recognised; I accordingly drew near, and what was my surprise to discover my friend Tom O’Flaherty. After our first salutation was over, Tom presented me to his friend, Mr. Burke, of somewhere, who, he continued to inform me, in a stage whisper, was a “regular dust,” and never in Dublin in his life before.

“And so, you say, sir, that his majesty cannot enter without the permission of the lord mayor?”

“And the aldermen, too,” replied Tom. “It is an old feudal ceremony; when his majesty comes up to the gate, he demands admission, and the lord mayor refuses, because he would be thus surrendering his great prerogative of head of the city; then the aldermen get about him, and cajole him, and by degrees he’s won over by the promise of being knighted, and the king gains the day, and enters.”

“Upon my conscience, a mighty ridiculous ceremony it is, after all,” said Mr. Burke, “and very like a bargain for sheep in Ballinasloe fair, when the buyer and seller appear to be going to fight, till a mutual friend settles the bargain between them.”

At this moment, Mr. Burke suddenly sprung from his chair, which was nearest the window, to look out; I accordingly followed his example, and beheld a rather ludicrous procession, if such it could be called, consisting of so few persons. The principal individual in the group was a florid, fat, happy-looking gentleman of about fifty, with a profusion of nearly white whiskers, which met at his chin, mounted upon a sleek charger, whose half-ambling, half-prancing pace, had evidently been acquired by long habit of going in procession; this august figure was habited in a scarlet coat and cocked hat, having aiguillettes, and all the other appanage of a general officer; he also wore tight buckskin breeches, and high jack-boots, like those of the Blues and Horse Guards; as he looked from side to side, with a self-satisfied contented air, he appeared quite insensible of the cortege which followed and preceded him; the latter, consisting of some score of half-ragged boys, yelling and shouting with all their might, and the former, being a kind of instalment in hand of the Dublin Militia Band, and who, in numbers and equipment, closely resembled the “army which accompanies the first appearance of Bombastes.” The only difference, that these I speak of did not play “the Rogue’s March,” which might have perhaps appeared personal.

As this goodly procession advanced, Mr. Burke’s eyes became riveted upon it; it was the first wonder he had yet beheld, and he devoured it. “May I ask, sir,” said he, at length, “who that is?”

“Who that is!” said Tom, surveying him leisurely as he spoke; “why, surely, sir, you must be jesting, or you would not ask such a question; I trust, indeed, every one knows who he is. Eh, Harry,” said he, looking at me for a confirmation of what he said, and to which, of course, I assented by a look.

“Well, but, my dear Mr. O’Flaherty, you forget how ignorant I am of every thing here–”

“Ah, true,” said Tom, interrupting; “I forgot you never saw him before.”

“And who is he, sir?”

“Why, that’s the Duke of Wellington.”

“Lord have mercy upon me, is it?” said Mr. Burke, as he upset the table, and all its breakfast equipage, and rushed through the coffee-room like one possessed. Before I could half recover from the fit of laughing this event threw me into, I heard him as he ran full speed down Dawson-street, waving his hat, and shouting out at the top of his lungs, “God bless your grace–Long life to your grace–Hurra for the hero of Waterloo; the great captain of the age,” &c. &c.; which I grieve to say, for the ingratitude of the individual lauded, seemed not to afford him half the pleasure, and none of the amusement it did the mob, who reechoed the shouts and cheering till he was hid within the precincts of the Mansion House.

“And, now,” said Tom to me, “finish your breakfast as fast as possible; for, when Burke comes back he will be boring me to dine with him, or some such thing, as a kind of acknowledgment of his gratitude for showing him the Duke. Do you know he has seen more wonders through my poor instrumentality, within the last three days in Dublin than a six months’ trip to the continent would show most men. I have made him believe that Burke Bethel is Lord Brougham, and I am about to bring him to a soiree at Mi-Ladi’s, who he supposes to be the Marchioness of Conyngham. Apropos to the Bellissima, let me tell you of a “good hit” I was witness to a few nights since; you know, perhaps, old Sir Charles Giesecke, eh?”

“I have seen him once, I think–the professor of mineralogy.”

“Well, poor old Sir Charles, one of the most modest and retiring men in existence, was standing the other night among the mob, in one of the drawing-rooms, while a waltzing-party were figuring away, at which, with that fondness for “la danse” that characterizes every German of any age, he was looking with much interest, when my lady came tripping up, and the following short dialogue ensued within my ear-shot:–”

“Ah, mon cher, Sir Charles, ravi de vous voir. But why are you not dancing?”

“Ah, mi ladi, Je ne puis pas, c’est a dire, Ich kann es nicht; I am too old; Ich bin–”

“Oh, you horrid man; I understand you perfectly. You hate ladies, that is the real reason. You do–you know you do.”

“Ah, my ladi, Gnaedige frau; glauben sie mir; I do loave de ladies; I do adore de sex. Do you know, my ladi, when I was in Greenland I did keep four womans.”

“Oh, shocking, horrid, vile Sir Charles, how could you tell me such a story? I shall die of it.”

“Ah, mine Gott, mi ladi; sie irren sich, vous, vous trompez. You are quite in mistake; it was only to row my boat!”

“I leave you to guess how my lady’s taste for the broad-side of the story, and poor Sir Charles’s vindication of himself, in regard to his estimation of ‘le beau sexe,’ amused all who heard it; as for me, I had to leave the room, half-choked with suppressed laughter. And, now, let us bolt, for I see Burke coming, and, upon my soul I am tired of telling him lies, and must rest on my oars for a few hours at least.”

“But where is the necessity for so doing?” said I, “surely, where there is so much of novelty as a large city presents to a visitor for the first time, there is little occasion to draw upon imagination for your facts.”

“Ah, my dear Harry, how little do you know of life; there is a kind of man whose appetite for the marvellous is such, that he must be crammed with miracles or he dies of inanition, and you might as well attempt to feed a tiger upon pate de foie gras, as satisfy him by mere naked unvarnished truth. I’ll just give you an easy illustration; you saw his delight this morning when the ‘Duke’ rode past; well I’ll tell you the converse of that proposition now. The night before last, having nothing better to do, we went to the theatre; the piece was ‘La Perouse,’ which they have been playing here for the last two months to crowded houses, to exhibit some North American Indians whom some theatrical speculator brought over ‘expres’, in all the horrors of fur, wampum, and yellow ochre. Finding the ‘spectacle’ rather uninteresting I leaned back in my box, and fell into a doze. Meanwhile, my inquiring friend, Mr. Burke, who felt naturally anxious, as he always does, to get au fond at matters, left his place to obtain information about the piece, the audience, and, above all, the authenticity of the Indians, who certainly astonished him considerably.

“Now it so happened that about a fortnight previously some violent passion to return home to their own country had seized these interesting individuals, and they felt the most irresistible longing to abandon the savage and unnatural condiments of roast beef and Guinness’s porter, and resume their ancient and more civilized habits of life. In fact, like the old African lady, mentioned by the missionary at the Cape, they felt they could die happy if they ‘could only once more have a roast child for supper,’ and as such luxuries are dear in this country, stay another week they would not, whatever the consequences might be; the manager reasoned, begged, implored and threatened, by turns; all would not do, go they were determined, and all that the unfortunate proprietor could accomplish was, to make a purchase of their properties in fur, belts, bows, arrows, and feathers, and get them away quietly, without the public being the wiser. The piece was too profitable a one to abandon, so he looked about anxiously, to supply the deficiency in his corps dramatique. For several days nothing presented itself to his thoughts, and the public were becoming more clamorous for the repetition of a drama which had greatly delighted them. What was to be done? In a mood of doubt and uncertainty the wretched manager was taking his accustomed walk upon the light-house pier, while a number of unfortunate country fellows, bare legged and lanky, with hay ropes fastening their old grey coats around them, were standing beside a packet about to take their departure for England, for the harvest. Their uncouth appearance, their wild looks, their violent gestures, and, above all, their strange and guttural language, for they were all speaking Irish, attracted the attention of the manager; the effect, to his professional eye was good, the thought struck him at once. Here were the very fellows he wanted. It was scarcely necessary to alter any thing about them, they were ready made to his hand, and in many respects better savages than their prototypes. Through the mediation of some whiskey, the appropriate liquor in all treaties of this nature, a bargain was readily struck, and in two hours more, ‘these forty thieves’ were rehearsing upon the classic boards of our theatre, and once more, La Perouse, in all the glory of red capital letters, shone forth in the morning advertisements. The run of the piece continued unabated; the Indians were the rage; nothing else was thought or spoken of in Dublin, and already the benefit of Ashewaballagh Ho was announced, who, by the by, was a little fellow from Martin’s estate in Connemara, and one of the drollest dogs I ever heard of. Well, it so happened that it was upon one of their nights of performing that I found myself, with Mr. Burke, a spectator of their proceedings; I had fallen into an easy slumber, while a dreadful row in the box lobby roused me from my dream, and the loud cry of ‘turn him out,’ ‘pitch him over,’ ‘beat his brains out,’ and other humane proposals of the like nature, effectually restored me to consciousness; I rushed out of the box into the lobby, and there, to my astonishment, in the midst of a considerable crowd, beheld my friend, Mr. Burke, belaboring the box-keeper with all his might with a cotton umbrella of rather unpleasant proportions, accompanying each blow with an exclamation of ‘well, are they Connaughtmen, now, you rascal, eh? are they all west of Athlone, tell me that, no? I wonder what’s preventing me beating the soul out of ye.’ After obtaining a short cessation of hostilities, and restoring poor Sharkey to his legs, much more dead than alive from pure fright, I learned, at last, the teterrima causa belli. Mr. Burke, it seems, had entered into conversation with Sharkey, the box- keeper, as to all the particulars of the theatre, and the present piece, but especially as to the real and authentic history of the Indians, whose language he remarked, in many respects to resemble Irish. Poor Sharkey, whose benefit-night was approaching, thought he might secure a friend for life, by imparting to him an important state secret; and when, therefore, pressed rather closely as to the ‘savages’ whereabout’ resolved to try a bold stroke, and trust his unknown interrogator. ‘And so you don’t really know where they come from, nor can’t guess?’ ‘Maybe, Peru,’ said Mr. Burke, innocently. ‘Try again, sir,’ said Sharkey, with a knowing grin. ‘Is it Behring’s Straits?’ said Mr. Burke. ‘What do you think of Galway, sir?’ said Sharkey, with a leer intended to cement a friendship for life; the words were no sooner out of his lips, than Burke, who immediately took them as a piece of direct insolence to himself and his country, felled him to the earth, and was in the act of continuing the discipline when I arrived on the field of battle.”



“And must you really leave us so soon,” said Tom as we issued forth into the street; “why I was just planning a whole week’s adventure for you. Town is so full of all kinds of idle people, I think I could manage to make your time pass pleasantly enough.”

“Of that,” I replied, “I have little doubt; but for the reasons I have just mentioned, it is absolutely necessary that I should not lose a moment; and after arranging a few things here, I shall start to-morrow by the earliest packet, and hasten up to London at once.”

“By Jupiter,” said Tom, “how lucky. I just remember something, which comes admirably apropos. You are going to Paris–is it not so?”

“Yes, direct to Paris.”

“Nothing could be better. There is a particularly nice person, a great friend of mine, Mrs. Bingham, waiting for several days in hopes of a chaperon to take care of herself and daughter–a lovely girl, only nineteen, you wretch–to London, en route to the continent: the mamma a delightful woman, and a widow, with a very satisfactory jointure–you understand–but the daughter, a regular downright beauty, and a ward in chancery, with how many thousand pounds I am afraid to trust myself to say. You must know then they are the Binghams of–, upon my soul, I forget where; but highly respectable.”

“I regret I have not the pleasure of their acquaintance, and the more because I shall not be able to make it now.”

“As why?” said Tom gravely.

“Because, in the first place, I am so confoundedly pressed for time that I could not possibly delay under any contingency that might arise; and your fair friends are, doubtless, not so eagerly determined upon travelling night and day till they reach Paris. Secondly, to speak candidly, with my present hopes and fears weighing upon my mind, I should not be the most agreeable travelling companion to two ladies with such pretensions as you speak of; and thirdly,–”

“Confound your thirdly. I suppose we shall have sixteenthly, like a Presbyterian minister’s sermon, if I let you go on. Why, they’ll not delay you one hour. Mrs. Bingham, man, cares as little for the road as yourself; and as for your petits soins, I suppose if you get the fair ladies through the Custom-House, and see them safe in a London hotel, it is all will be required at your hands.”

“Notwithstanding all you say, I see the downright impossibility of my taking such a charge at this moment, when my own affairs require all the little attention I can bestow; and when, were I once involved with your fair friends, it might be completely out of my power to prosecute my own plans.”

As I said this, we reached the door of a handsome looking house in Kildare-street; upon which Tom left my arm, and informing me that he desired to drop a card, knocked loudly.

“Is Mrs. Bingham at home,” said he, as the servant opened the door.

“No sir, she’s out in the carriage.”

“Well, you see Harry, your ill luck befriends you; for I was resolved on presenting you to my friends and leaving the rest to its merits.”

“I can safely assure you that I should not have gone up stairs,” said I. “Little as I know of myself, there is one point of my character I have never been deceived in, the fatal facility by which every new incident or adventure can turn me from following up my best matured and longest digested plans; and as I feel this weakness and cannot correct it; the next best thing I can do is fly the causes.”

“Upon my soul,” said Tom, “you have become quite a philosopher since we met. There is an old adage which says, ‘no king is ever thoroughly gracious if he has not passed a year or two in dethronement;’ so I believe your regular lady-killer–yourself for instance–becomes a very quiet animal for being occasionally jilted. But now, as you have some commissions to do, pray get done with them as fast as possible, and let us meet at dinner. Where do you dine to-day?”

“Why, upon that point, I am at your service completely.”

“Well, then, I have got a plan which I think will suit you. You said you wished to go by Holyhead, for fear of delay; so, we’ll drive down at six o’clock to Skinner’s and dine with him on board the packet at Howth. Bring your luggage with you, and it will save you a vast deal of fuss and trouble in the morning.”

Nothing could be better management for me than this, so I accordingly promised acquiescence; and having appointed a rendezvous for six o’clock, bade O’Flaherty good by, inwardly rejoicing that my plans were so far forwarded, and that I was not to be embarrassed with either Mrs. Bingham or her daughter, for whose acquaintance or society I had no peculiar ambition.

My commissions, though not very numerous, occupied the few hours which remained, and it was already a few minutes past six o’clock when I took my stand under the piazza of the Post Office to wait for O’Flaherty. I had not long to do so, for immediately after I had reached the spot, he arrived in an open barouche and four posters, with three other young men, to whom he severally introduced me, but whose names I have totally forgotten; I only remember that two of the party were military men then quartered in town.

When I had taken my seat, I could not help whispering to Tom, that although his friend Skinner might be “bon” for a visitation or two at his dinner, yet as we were now so strong a party, it might be as well to dine at the hotel.

“Oh,” said he, “I have arranged all that; I have sent him a special messenger two hours since, and so make your mind easy–we shall not be disappointed, nor be short-taken.”

Our drive, although a long one, passed quickly over, and before we had reached our destination, I had become tolerably intimate with all the party, who were evidently picked men, selected by O’Flaherty for a pleasant evening.

We drove along the pier to the wharf, where the steamer lay, and were received at once by Tom’s friend with all the warm welcome and hospitality of a sailor, united with the address and polish of a very finished gentleman. As we descended the companion-ladder to the cabin, my mind became speedily divested of any fears I might have indulged in, as to the want of preparation of our entertainer. The table was covered with all the appanage of handsome plate and cut glass, while the side- tables glittered with a magnificent dessert, and two large wine-coolers presented an array of champagne necks shining with their leaden cravats that would have tempted an anchorite.

I remember very little else of that evening than the coup d’oeil I have mentioned; besides, were my memory more retentive, I might scruple to trespass farther on my reader’s patience, by the detail of those pleasures, which, like love-letters, however agreeable to the parties immediately concerned, are very unedifying to all others. I do remember, certainly, that good stories and capital songs succeeded each other with a rapidity only to be equalled by the popping of corks; and have also a very vague and indistinct recollection of a dance round the table, evidently to finish a chorus, but which, it appears, finished me too, for I saw no more that night.

How many men have commemorated the waking sensations of their fellow-men, after a night’s debauch; yet at the same time, I am not aware of any one having perfectly conveyed even a passing likeness to the mingled throng of sensations which crowd one’s brain on such an occasion. The doubt of what has passed, by degrees yielding to the half-consciousness of the truth, the feeling of shame, inseparable except to the habitually hard- goer, for the events thus dimly pictured, the racking headache and intense thirst, with the horror of the potation recently indulged in: the recurring sense of the fun or drollery of a story or an incident which provokes us again to laugh despite the jarring of our brain from the shaking. All this and more most men have felt, and happy are they when their waking thoughts are limited to such, at such times as these–the matter becomes considerably worse, when the following morning calls for some considerable exertion, for which even in your best and calmest moments, you only find yourself equal.

It is truly unpleasant, on rubbing your eyes and opening your ears, to discover that the great bell is ringing the half-hour before your quarterly examination at college, while Locke, Lloyd, and Lucian are dancing a reel through your brain, little short of madness; scarcely less agreeable is it, to learn that your friend Captain Wildfire is at the door in his cab, to accompany you to the Phoenix, to stand within twelve paces of a cool gentleman who has been sitting with his arm in Eau de Cologne for the last half-hour, that he may pick you out “artist-like.” There are, besides these, innumerable situations in which our preparations of the night would appear, as none of the wisest; but I prefer going at once to my own, which, although considerably inferior in difficulty, was not without its own “desagremens.”

When I awoke, therefore, on board the “Fire-fly,” the morning after our dinner-party, I was perfectly unable, by any mental process within my reach, to discover where I was. On ship-board I felt I must be–the narrow berth–the gilded and panelled cabin which met my eye, through my half-open curtains, and that peculiar swelling motion inseparable from a vessel in the water, all satisfied me of this fact. I looked about me, but could see no one to give me the least idea of my position. Could it be that we were on our way out to Corfu, and that I had been ill for some time past?

But this cabin had little resemblance to a transport; perhaps it might be a frigate–I knew not. Then again, were we sailing, or at anchor, for the ship was nearly motionless; at this instant a tremendous noise like thunder crashed through my head, and for a moment I expected we had exploded, and would be all blown up; but an instant after I discovered it must be the escape of the steam, and that I was on board a packet ship. Here, then, was some clue to my situation, and one which would probably have elicited all in due season; but just at this moment a voice on deck saved me from any further calculations. Two persons were conversing whose voices were not altogether unknown to me, but why I knew not.

“Then, Captain, I suppose you consider this as an excellent passage.”

“Yes, of course I do,” replied the captain, “it’s only five hours since we left Howth, and now you see we are nearly in; if we have this run of the tide we shall reach the Head before twelve o’clock.”

“Ha! ha!” said I to myself, “now I begin to learn something. So we have crossed the channel while I was sleeping–not the least agreeable thing for a man to hear who suffers martyrdom from sea sickness–but let me listen again.”

“And that large mountain there–is that Snowdon?”

“No. You cannot see Snowdon; there is too much mist about it; that mountain is Capel Carrig; and there that bold bluff to the eastward, that is Penmen Mawr.”

“Come, there is no time to be lost,” thought I; so springing out of my berth, accoutred as I was, in merely trowsers and slippers, with a red handkerchief fastened night-cap fashion round my head, I took my way through the cabin.

My first thought on getting upon my legs was how tremendously the vessel pitched, which I had not remarked while in my berth, but now I could scarce keep myself from falling at every step. I was just about to call the steward, when I again heard the voices on deck.

“You have but few passengers this trip.”

“I think only yourself and a Captain Lorrequer,” replied the captain, “who, by-the-by, is losing all this fine coast, which is certainly a great pity.”

“He shall not do so much loger,” thought I; “for as I find that there are no other passengers, I’ll make my toilet on deck, and enjoy the view besides.” With this determination I ascended slowly and cautiously the companion ladder, and stepped out upon the deck; but scarcely had I done so, when a roar of the loudest laughter made me turn my head towards the poop, and there to my horror of horrors, I beheld Tom O’Flaherty seated between two ladies, whose most vociferous mirth I soon perceived was elicited at my expense.

All the party of the preceding night were also there, and as I turned from their grinning faces to the land, I saw, to my shame and confusion, that we were still lying beside the pier at Howth; while the band-boxes, trunks, and imperials of new arrivals were incessantly pouring in, as travelling carriages kept driving up to the place of embarkation. I stood perfectly astounded and bewildered–shame for my ridiculous costume would have made me fly at any other time–but there I remained to be laughed at patiently, while that villain O’Flaherty leading me passively forward, introduced me to his friends–“Mrs. Bingham, Mr. Lorrequer; Mr. Lorrequer, Miss Bingham. Don’t be prepossessed against him, ladies, for when not in love, and properly dressed, he is a marvellously well-looking young gentleman; and as–”

What the remainder of the sentence might be, I knew not, for I rushed down into the cabin, and locking the door, never opened it till I could perceive from the stern windows that we were really off on our way to England, and recognized once more the laughing face of O’Flaherty, who, as he waved his hat to his friends from the pier, reminded them that “they were under the care and protection of his friend Lorrequer, who, he trusted, would condescend to increase his wearing apparel under the circumstances.”



When I did at last venture upon deck, it was with a costume studiously accurate, and as much of manner as I could possibly muster, to endeavour at once to erase the unfortunate impression of my first appearance; this, however, was not destined to be a perfectly successful manoeuvre, and I was obliged after a few minutes to join the laugh, which I found could not be repressed, at my expense. One good result certainly followed from all this. I became almost immediately on intimate terms with Mrs. Bingham and her daughter, and much of the awkwardness in my position as their chaperon, which bon gre, mal gre I was destined to be, was at once got over. Mrs. Bingham herself was of that “genre” of widow which comes under the “fat, fair, and forty” category, with a never-ceasing flow of high, almost boisterous, spirits–an excellent temper, good health– and a well-stocked purse. Life to her was like a game of her favourite “speculation.” When, as she believed, the “company honest,” and knew her cards trumps, she was tolerably easy for the result. She liked Kingstown–she liked short whist–she liked the military–she liked “the junior bar,” of which she knew a good number–she had a well furnished house in Kildare-street–and a well cushioned pew in St. Anne’s–she was a favourite at the castle–and Dr. Labatt “knew her constitution.” Why, with all these advantages, she should ever have thought of leaving the “happy valley” of her native city, it was somewhat hard to guess. Was it that thoughts of matrimony, which the continent held out more prospect for, had invaded the fair widow’s heart? was it that the altered condition to which politics had greatly reduced Dublin, had effected this change of opinion? or was it like that indescribable longing for the unknown something, which we read of in the pathetic history of the fair lady celebrated, I believe, by Petrarch, but I quote from memory:

“Mrs. Gill is very ill, Nothing can improve her, But to see the Tuillerie, And waddle through the Louvre.”

None of these, I believe, however good and valid reasons in themselves, were the moving powers upon the present occasion; the all-sufficient one being that Mrs. Bingham had a daughter. Now Miss Bingham was Dublin too –but Dublin of a later edition–and a finer, more hot-pressed copy than her mamma. She had been educated at Mrs. Somebody’s seminary in Mountjoy-square–had been taught to dance by Montague–and had learned French from a Swiss governess–with a number of similar advantages– a very pretty figure–dark eyes–long eye-lashes and a dimple–and last, but of course least, the deserved reputation of a large fortune. She had made a most successful debut in the Dublin world, where she was much admired and flattered, and which soon suggested to her quick mind, as it has often done in similar cases to a young provincial debutante, not to waste her “fraicheur” upon the minor theatres, but at once to appear upon the “great boards;” so far evidencing a higher flight of imagination and enterprise than is usually found among the clique of her early associates, who may be characterized as that school of young ladies, who like the “Corsair” and Dunleary, and say, “ah don’t!”

She possessed much more common sense than her mamma, and promised under proper advantages to become speedily quite sufficiently acquainted with the world and its habitudes. In the meanwhile, I perceived that she ran a very considerable risque of being carried off by some mustachoed Pole, with a name like a sneeze, who might pretend to enjoy the entree into the fashionable circles of the continent.

Very little study of my two fair friends enabled me to see thus much; and very little “usage” sufficed to render me speedily intimate with both; the easy bonhommie of the mamma, who had a very methodistical appreciation of what the “connexion” call “creature comforts,” amused me much, and opened one ready path to her good graces by the opportunity afforded of getting up a luncheon of veal cutlets and London porter, of which I partook, not a little to the evident loss of the fair daughter’s esteem.

While, therefore, I made the tour of the steward’s cell in search of Harvey’s sauce, I brushed up my memory of the Corsair and Childe Harold, and alternately discussed Stilton and Southey, Lover and lobsters, Haynes Bayley and ham.

The day happened to be particularly calm and delightful, so that we never left the deck; and the six hours which brought us from land to land, quickly passed over in this manner; and ere we reached “the Head,” I had become the warm friend and legal adviser of the mother; and with the daughter I was installed as chief confidant of all her griefs and sorrows, both of which appointments cost me a solemn promise to take care of them till their arrival in Paris, where they had many friends and acquaintances awaiting them. Here, then, as usual, was the invincible facility with which I gave myself up to any one who took the trouble to influence me. One thing, nevertheless, I was determined on, to let no circumstance defer my arrival at Paris a day later than was possible: therefore, though my office as chaperon might diminish my comforts en route, it should not interfere with the object before me. Had my mind not been so completely engaged with my own immediate prospects, when hope suddenly and unexpectedly revived, had become so tinged with fears and doubts as to be almost torture, I must have been much amused with my present position, as I found myself seated with my two fair friends, rolling along through Wales in their comfortable travelling carriage– giving all the orders at the different hotels–seeing after the luggage –and acting en maitre in every respect.

The good widow enjoyed particularly the difficulty which my precise position, with regard to her and her daughter, threw the different innkeepers on the road into, sometimes supposing me to be her husband, sometimes her son, and once her son-in-law; which very alarming conjecture brought a crimson tinge to the fair daughter’s cheek, an expression, which, in my ignorance, I thought looked very like an inclination to faint in my arms.

At length we reached London, and having been there safely installed at “Mivart’s,” I sallied forth to present my letter to the Horse Guards, and obtain our passport for the continent.

“Number nine, Poland-street, sir” said the waiter, as I inquired the address of the French Consul. Having discovered that my interview with the commander-in-chief was appointed for four o’clock, I determined to lose no time, but make every possible arrangement for leaving London in the morning.

A cab quietly conveyed me to the door of the Consul, around which stood several other vehicles, of every shape and fashion, while in the doorway were to be seen numbers of people, thronging and pressing, like the Opera pit on a full night. Into the midst of this assemblage I soon thrust myself, and, borne upon the current, at length reached a small back parlour, filled also with people; a door opening into another small room in the front, showed a similar mob there, with the addition of a small elderly man, in a bag wig and spectacles, very much begrimed with snuff, and speaking in a very choleric tone to the various applicants for passports, who, totally ignorant of French, insisted upon interlarding their demands with an occasional stray phrase, making a kind of tesselated pavement of tongues, which would have shamed Babel. Nearest to the table at which the functionary sat, stood a mustachoed gentleman, in a blue frock and white trowsers, a white hat jauntily set upon one side of his head, and primrose gloves. He cast a momentary glance of a very undervaluing import upon the crowd around him, and then, turning to the Consul, said in a very soprano tone–

“Passport, monsieur!”

“Que voulez vous que je fasse,” replied the old Frenchman, gruffly.

“Je suis j’ai–that is, donnez moi passport.”

“Where do you go?” replied the Consul.


“Comment diable, speak Inglis, an I understan’ you as besser. Your name?”

“Lorraine Snaggs, gentilhomme.”

“What age have you?–how old?”


“C’est ca,” said the old consul, flinging the passport across the table, with the air of a man who thoroughly comprehended the applicant’s pretension to the designation of gentilhomme Anglais.

“Will you be seated ma’mselle?” said the polite old Frenchman, who had hitherto been more like a bear than a human being–“Ou allez vous donc; where to, ma chere?”

“To Paris, sir.”

“By Calais?”

“No, sir; by Boulogne”–

“C’est bon; quel age avez vous. What old, ma belle?”

“Nineteen, sir, in June.”

“And are you alone, quite, eh?”

“No, sir, my little girl.”

“Ah! your leetel girl–c’est fort bien–je m’appercois; and your name?”

“Fanny Linwood, sir.”

“C’est fini, ma chere, Mademoiselle Fanni Linwood,” said the old man, as he wrote down the name.

“Oh, sir, I beg your pardon, but you have put me down Mademoiselle, and– and–you see, sir, I have my little girl.”

“A c’est egal, mam’selle, they don’t mind these things in France–au plaisir de vous voir. Adieu.”

“They don’t mind these things in France,” said I to myself, repeating the old consul’s phrase, which I could not help feeling as a whole chapter on his nation.

My business was soon settled, for I spoke nothing but English–very little knowledge of the world teaching me that when we have any favour, however slight, to ask, it is always good policy to make the amende by gratifying the amour propre of the granter–if, happily, there be an opportunity for so doing.

When I returned to Mivart’s, I found a written answer to my letter of the morning, stating that his lordship of the Horse Guards was leaving town that afternoon, but would not delay my departure for the continent, to visit which a four month’s leave was granted me, with a recommendation to study at Weimar.

The next day brought us to Dover, in time to stroll about the cliffs during the evening, when I again talked sentiment with the daughter till very late. The Madame herself was too tired to come out, so that we had our walk quite alone. It is strange enough how quickly this travelling together has shaken us into intimacy. Isabella says she feels as if I were her brother; and I begin to think myself she is not exactly like a sister. She has a marvellously pretty foot and ancle.

The climbing of cliffs is a very dangerous pastime. How true the French adage–“C’est plus facile de glisser sur la gazon que sur la glace.” But still nothing can come of it; for if Lady Jane be not false, I must consider myself an engaged man.

“Well, but I hope,” said I, rousing myself from a reverie of some minutes, and inadvertently pressing the arm which leaned upon me–“your mamma will not be alarmed at our long absence?”

“Oh! not in the least; for she knows I’m with you.”

And here I felt a return of the pressure–perhaps also inadvertently given, but which, whether or not, effectually set all my reasonings and calculations astray; and we returned to the hotel, silent on both sides.

The appearance of la chere mamma beside the hissing tea-urn brought us both back to ourselves; and, after an hour’s chatting, we wished good night, to start on the morrow for the continent.



It was upon a lovely evening in autumn, as the Dover steam-boat rounded the wooden pier at Calais, amid a fleet of small boats filled with eager and anxious faces, soliciting, in every species of bad English and “patois” [vulgar] French, the attention and patronage of the passengers.

“Hotel de Bain, mi lor’.”

“Hotel d’Angleterre,” said another, in a voice of the most imposing superiority. “C’est superbe–pretty well.”

“Hotel du Nord, votre Excellence–remise de poste and ‘delays’ (quere relays) at all hours.”

“Commissionaire, mi ladi,” sung out a small shrill treble from the midst of a crowded cock-boat, nearly swamped beneath our paddle-wheel.

What a scene of bustle, confusion, and excitement does the deck of a steamer present upon such an occasion. Every one is running hither or thither. “Sauve qui peut” is now the watch-word; and friendships, that promised a life-long endurance only half an hour ago, find here a speedy dissolution. The lady who slept all night upon deck, enveloped in the folds of your Astracan cloak, scarcely deigns an acknowledgment of you, as she adjusts her ringlets before the looking-glass over the stove in the cabin. The polite gentleman, that would have flown for a reticule or a smelling-bottle upon the high seas, won’t leave his luggage in the harbour; and the gallantry and devotion that stood the test of half a gale of wind and a wet jacket, is not proof when the safety of a carpet- bag or the security of a “Mackintosh” is concerned.

And thus here, as elsewhere, is prosperity the touchstone of good feeling. All the various disguises which have been assumed, per viaggio, are here immediately abandoned, and, stripped of the travelling costume of urbanity and courtesy, which they put on for the voyage, they stand forth in all the unblushing front of selfishness and self-interest.

Some tender scenes yet find their place amid the debris of this chaotic state. Here may be seen a careful mother adjusting innumerable shawls and handkerchiefs round the throat of a sea-green young lady with a cough; her maid is at the same instant taking a tender farewell of the steward in the after-cabin.

Here is a very red-faced and hot individual, with punch-coloured breeches and gaiters, disputing “one brandy too much” in his bill, and vowing that the company shall hear of it when he returns to England. There, a tall, elderly woman, with a Scotch-grey eye, and a sharp cheek-bone, is depositing within her muff various seizable articles, that, until now, had been lying quietly in her trunk. Yonder, that raw-looking young gentleman, with the crumpled frock-coat, and loose cravat, and sea-sick visage, is asking every one “if they think he may land without a passport.” You scarcely recognise him for the cigar-smoking dandy of yesterday, that talked as if he had lived half his life on the continent. While there, a rather pretty girl is looking intently at some object in the blue water, beside the rudder post. You are surprised you cannot make it out; but then, she has the advantage of you, for the tall, well- looking man, with the knowing whiskers, is evidently whispering something in her ear.

“Steward, this is not my trunk–mine was a leather–”

“All the ‘leathers’ are gone in the first boat, sir.”

“Most scandalous way of doing business.”

“Trouble you for two-and-sixpence, sir.”

“There’s Matilda coughing again,” says a thin, shrewish woman, with a kind of triumphant scowl at her better half; “but you would have her wear that thin shawl!”

“Whatever may be the fault of the shawl, I fancy no one will reproach her ancles for thinness,” murmurs a young Guard’s man, as he peeps up the companion-ladder.

Amid all the Babel of tongues, and uproar of voices, the thorough bass of the escape steam keeps up its infernal thunders, till the very brain reels, and, sick as you have been of the voyage, you half wish yourself once more at sea, if only to have a moment of peace and tranquillity.

Numbers now throng the deck who have never made their appearance before. Pale, jaundiced, and crumpled, they have all the sea-sick look and haggard cheek of the real martyr–all except one, a stout, swarthy, brown-visaged man, of about forty, with a frame of iron, and a voice like the fourth string of a violincello. You wonder why he should have taken to his bed: learn, then, that he is his Majesty’s courier from the foreign office, going with despatches to Constantinople, and that as he is not destined to lie down in a bed for the next fourteen days, he is glad even of the narrow resemblance to one, he finds in the berth of a steam-boat. At length you are on shore, and marched off in a long string, like a gang of convicts to the Bureau de l’octroi, and here is begun an examination of the luggage, which promises, from its minuteness, to last for the three months you destined to spend in Switzerland. At the end of an hour you discover that the soi disant commissionaire will transact all this affair for a few francs; and, after a tiresome wait in a filthy room, jostled, elbowed, and trampled upon, by boors with sabots, you adjourn to your inn, and begin to feel that you are not in England.

Our little party had but few of the miseries here recounted to contend with. My “savoir faire,” with all modesty be it spoken, has been long schooled in the art and practice of travelling; and while our less experienced fellow-travellers were deep in the novel mysteries of cotton stockings and petticoats, most ostentatiously displayed upon every table of the Bureau, we were comfortably seated in the handsome saloon of the Hotel du Nord, looking out upon a pretty grass plot, surrounded with orange trees, and displaying in the middle a jet d’eau about the size of a walking stick.

“Now, Mr. Lorrequer,” said Mrs. Bingham, as she seated herself by the open window, “never forget how totally dependent we are upon your kind offices. Isabella has discovered already that the French of Mountjoy- square, however intelligible in that neighbourhood, and even as far as Mount-street, is Coptic and Sanscrit here; and as for myself, I intend to affect deaf and dumbness till I reach Paris, where I hear every one can speak English a little.”

“Now, then, to begin my functions,” said I, as I rung for the waiter, and ran over in my mind rapidly how many invaluable hints for my new position my present trip might afford me, “always provided” (as the lawyers say,) that Lady Jane Callonby might feel herself tempted to become my travelling companion, in which case–But, confound it, how I am castle- building again. Meanwhile, Mrs. Bingham is looking as hungry and famished as though she would eat the waiter. Ha! this is the “carte.”

“Allons faire petit souper.”

“Cotelettes d’Agneau.”

“Maionnaise d’homard.”

“Perdreaux rouges aux truffes–mark that, aux truffes.”

“Gelee au maraschin.”

“And the wine, sir,” said the waiter, with a look of approval at my selection, “Champagne–no other wine, sir?”

“No,” said I, “Champagne only. Frappe de glace, of course,” I added, and the waiter departed with a bow that would have graced St. James’s.

As long as our immaterial and better part shall be doomed to keep company with its fleshy tabernacle, with all its attendant miseries of gout and indigestion, how much of our enjoyment in this world is dependent upon the mere accessory circumstances by which the business of life is carried on and maintained, and to despise which is neither good policy nor sound philosophy. In this conclusion a somewhat long experience of the life of a traveller has fully established me. And no where does it press more forcibly upon the mind than when first arrived in a continental inn, after leaving the best hotels of England still fresh in your memory. I do not for a moment dispute the very great superiority in comfort of the latter, by which I would be understood to mean all those resemblances to one’s own home which an English hotel so eminently possesses, and every other one so markedly wants; but I mean that in contrivances to elevate the spirit, cheer the jaded and tired wayfarer by objects which, however they may appeal to the mere senses, seem, at least, but little sensual, give me a foreign inn; let me have a large spacious saloon, with its lofty walls and its airy, large-paned windows, (I shall not object if the cornices and mouldings be gilded, because such is usually the case,)–let the sun and heat of a summer’s day come tempered through the deep lattices of a well-fitting “jalousie,” bearing upon them the rich incense of a fragrant orange tree in blossom–and the sparkling drops of a neighbouring fountain, the gentle plash of which is faintly audible amid the hum of the drone-bee–let such be the “agremens” without–while within, let the more substantial joys of the table await, in such guise as only a French cuisine can present them–give me these, I say, and I shall never sigh for the far-famed and long-deplored comforts of a box in a coffee-room, like a pew in a parish church, though certainly not so well cushioned, and fully as dull, with a hot waiter and a cold beefsteak–the only thing higher than your game being your bill, and the only thing less drinkable than your port being the porter.

With such exotic notions, figures vous, my dear reader, whether or not I felt happy as I found myself seated between my two fair friends doing the honours of a little supper, and assisting the exhilaration of our champagne by such efforts of wit as, under favourable circumstances like these, are ever successful–and which, being like the foaming liquid which washes them down, to be swallowed without waiting, are ever esteemed good, from the excitement that results, and never seriously canvassed for any more sterling merit. Nothing ever makes a man so agreeable as the belief that he is so: and certainly my fair companions appeared to have the most excellent idea of my powers in that respect; and I fancy, that I made more bon mots, hit off more epigrams, and invented more choice incidents on that happy evening, than, if now remembered, would suffice to pay my tailor’s bill, when collated for Bentley’s Miscellany, and illustrated by Cruikshank–alas! that, like the good liquor that seasoned them, both are gone by, and I am left but to chronicle their memory of the fun, in dulness, and counterfeit the effervescence of the grape juice, by soda water. One thing, however, is certain–we formed a most agreeable party; and if a feeling of gloom ever momentarily shot through my mind, it was, that evenings like these came so rarely in this work-a-day world–that each such should be looked on, as our last.

If I had not already shown myself up to my reader as a garcon volage of the first water, perhaps I should now hesitate about confessing that I half regretted the short space during which it should be my privilege to act as the guide and mentor of my two friends. The impetuous haste which I before felt necessary to exercise in reaching Paris immediately, was not tempered by prudent thoughts about travelling at night, and reflections about sun-stroke by day; and even moments most devoted to the object of my heart’s aspirations were fettered by the very philosophic idea, that it could never detract from the pleasure of the happiness that awaited me, if I travelled on the primrose path to its attainment. I argued thus: if Lady Jane be true–if–if, in a word, I am destined to have any success in the Callonby family, then will a day or two more not risk it. My present friends I shall, of course, take leave of at Paris, where their own acquaintances await them; and, on the other hand, should I be doomed once more to disappointment, I am equally certain I should feel no disposition to form a new attachment. Thus did I reason, and thus I believed; and though I was a kind of consultation opinion among my friends in “suits of love,” I was really then unaware that at no time is a man so prone to fall in love as immediately after his being jilted. If common sense will teach us not to dance a bolero upon a sprained ancle, so might it also convey the equally important lesson, not to expose our more vital and inflammatory organ to the fire the day after its being singed.

Reflections like these did not occur to me at this moment; besides that I was “going the pace” with a forty-horse power of agreeability that left me little time for thought–least of all, if serious. So stood matters. I had just filled our tall slender glasses with the creaming and “petillan” source of wit and inspiration, when the loud crack, crack, crack of a postillion’s whip, accompanied by the shaking trot of a heavy team, and the roll of wheels, announced a new arrival. “Here they come,” said I, “only look at them–four horses and one postillion, all apparently straggling and straying after their own fancy, but yet going surprisingly straight notwithstanding. See how they come through that narrow archway–it might puzzle the best four-in-hand in England to do it better.”

What a handsome young man, if he had not those odious moustaches. Why, Mr. Lorrequer, he knows you: see, he is bowing to you.”

“Me! Oh! no. Why, surely, it must be–the devil–it is Kilkee, Lady Jane’s brother. I know his temper well. One five minutes’ observation of my present intimacy with my fair friends, and adieu to all hopes for me of calling Lord Callonby my father-in-law. There is not therefore, a moment to lose.”

As these thoughts revolved through my mind, the confusion I felt had covered my face with scarlet; and, with a species of blundering apology for abruptly leaving them for a moment, I ran down stairs only in time sufficient to anticipate Kilkee’s questions as to the number of my apartments, to which he was desirous of proceeding at once. Our first greetings over, Kilkee questioned me as to my route–adding, that his now was necessarily an undecided one, for if his family happened not to be at Paris, he should be obliged to seek after them among the German watering- places. “In any case, Mr. Lorrequer,” said he, “we shall hunt them in couples. I must insist upon your coming along with me.”

“Oh! that,” said I, “you must not think of. Your carriage is a coupe, and I cannot think of crowding you.”

“Why, you don’t seriously want to affront me, I hope, for I flatter myself that a more perfect carriage for two people cannot be built. Hobson made it on a plan of my own, and I am excessively proud of it, I assure you. Come, that matter is decided–now for supper. Are there many English here just now?–By-the-by, those new ‘natives’ I think I saw you standing with on the balcony–who are they?”

“Oh! the ladies–oh! Yes, people I came over with–”

“One was pretty, I fancied. Have you supped? Just order something, will you–meanwhile, I shall write a few lines before the post leaves.”– Saying which, he dashed up stairs after the waiter, and left me to my meditations.

“This begins to be pleasant,” thought I, as the door closed, leaving me alone in the “salon.” In circumstances of such moment, I had never felt so nonplussed as now, how to decline Kilkee’s invitation, without discovering my intimacy with the Binghams–and yet I could not, by any possibility, desert them thus abruptly. Such was the dilemma. “I see but one thing for it,” said I, gloomily, as I strode through the coffee- room, with my head sunk and my hands behind my back–“I see but one thing left–I must be taken ill to-night, and not be able to leave my bed in the morning–a fever–a contagious fever–blue and red spots all over me –and be raving wildly before breakfast time; and if ever any discovery takes place of my intimacy above stairs, I must only establish it as a premonitory symptom of insanity, which seized me in the packet. And now for a doctor that will understand my case, and listen to reason, as they would call it in Ireland.” With this idea uppermost, I walked out into the court-yard to look for a commissionaire to guide me in my search. Around on every side of me stood the various carriages and voitures of the hotel and its inmates, to the full as distinctive and peculiar in character as their owners. “Ah! there is Kilkee’s,” said I, as my eye lighted upon the well-balanced and elegant little carriage which he had been only with justice encomiumizing. “It is certainly perfect, and yet I’d give a handful of louis-d’ors it was like that venerable cabriolet yonder, with the one wheel and no shafts. But, alas! these springs give little hope of a break down, and that confounded axle will outlive the patentee. But still, can nothing be done?–eh? Come, the thought is a good one–I say, garcon, who greases the wheels of the carriage here?”

“C’est moi, monsieur,” said a great oaf, in wooden shoes and a blouse.

“Well, then, do you understand these?” said I, touching the patent axle- boxes with my cane.

He shook his head.

“Then who does, here?”

“Ah! Michael understands them perfectly.”

“Then bring him here,” said I.

In a few minutes, a little shrewd old fellow, with a smith’s apron, made his appearance, and introduced himself as M. Michael. I had not much difficulty in making him master of my plan, which was, to detach one of the wheels as if for the purpose of oiling the axle, and afterwards render it incapable of being replaced–at least for twenty-four hours.

“This is my idea,” said I; “nevertheless, do not be influenced by me. All I ask is, disable the carriage from proceeding to-morrow, and here are three louis-d’ors at your service.”

“Soyez bien tranquille, monsieur, mi lor’ shall spend to-morrow in Calais, if I know any thing of my art”–saying which he set out in search of his tools, while I returned to the salon with my mind relieved, and fully prepared to press the urgency of my reaching Paris without any delay.

“Well, Mr. Lorrequer,” said Kilkee, as I entered, “here is supper waiting, and I am as hungry as a wolf.”

“Oh! I beg pardon–I’ve been getting every thing in readiness for our start to-morrow morning, for I have not told you how anxious I am to get to Paris before the 8th–some family business, which requires my looking after, compelling me to do so.”

“As to that, let your mind be at rest, for I shall travel to-morrow night if you prefer it. Now for the Volnay. Why you are not drinking your wine. What do you say to our paying our respects to the fair ladies above stairs? I am sure the petits soins you have practised coming over would permit the liberty.”

“Oh! hang it, no. There’s neither of them pretty, and I should rather avoid the risk of making a regular acquaintance with them” said I.

“As you like, then–only, as you’ll not take any wine, let us have a stroll through the town.”

After a short stroll through the town, in which Kilkee talked the entire time, but of what I know not, my thoughts being upon my own immediate concerns, we returned to the hotel. As we entered the porte-couchere, my friend Michael passed me, and as he took off his hat in salutation, gave me one rapid glance of his knowing eye that completely satisfied me that Hobson’s pride in my friend’s carriage had by that time received quite sufficient provocation to throw him into an apoplexy.

“By-the-by,” said I, “let us see your carriage. I am curious to look at it”–(and so I was.)

“Well, then come along, this way; they have placed it under some of these sheds, which they think coach-houses.”

I followed my friend through the court till we arrived near the fatal spot; but before reaching, he had caught a glimpse of the mischief, and shouted out a most awful imprecation upon the author of the deed which met his eye. The fore-wheel of the coupe had been taken from the axle, and in the difficulty of so doing, from the excellence of the workmanship, two of the spokes were broken–the patent box was a mass of rent metal, and the end of the axle turned downwards like a hoe.

I cannot convey any idea of poor Kilkee’s distraction; and, in reality, my own was little short of it; for the wretch had so far out-stripped my orders, that I became horrified at the cruel destruction before me. We both, therefore, stormed in the most imposing English and French, first separately and then together. We offered a reward for the apprehension of the culprit, whom no one appeared to know, although, as it happened, every one in a large household was aware of the transaction but the proprietor himself. We abused all–innkeeper, waiters, ostlers, and chambermaids, collectively and individually–condemned Calais as a den of iniquity, and branded all Frenchmen as rogues and vagabonds. This seemed to alleviate considerably my friend’s grief, and excite my thirst– fortunately, perhaps for us; for if our eloquence had held out much longer, I am afraid our auditory might have lost their patience; and, indeed, I am quite certain if our French had not been in nearly as disjointed a condition as the spokes of the caleche, such must have been the case.

“Well, Mr. Lorrequer, I suppose, then, we are not destined to be fellow- travellers–for if you must go to-morrow–”

“Alas! It is imperative,” said I.

“Then in any case, let us arrange where we shall meet, for I hope to be in Paris the day after you.”

“I’ll stop at Meurice.”

“Meurice, be it,” said he, “so now good night, till we meet in Paris.”


A c’est egal, mam’selle, they don’t mind these things in France
Accustomed to the slowness and the uncertainty of the law
Delectable modes of getting over the ground through life
Disputing “one brandy too much” in his bill
Enjoy the name without the gain
Listen to reason, as they would call it in Ireland
Nothing ever makes a man so agreeable as the belief that he is
Rather better than people with better coats on them
Sixteenthly, like a Presbyterian minister’s sermon
The “fat, fair, and forty” category
Whiskey, the appropriate liquor in all treaties of this nature