Page images

on the priest came forward, and bade them all enter the church, which they did.

Now,' said he, 'I will marry this maiden to both these men, in the name of the blessed Ste. Ninoc'h, who will reveal which is the true one. Till to-night, let every one watch in the churchyard; the bride and the two bridegrooms shall remain close to the altar with me, and Heaven will provide for the rest.'

All was done as the priest had commanded, and they remained in prayer during the rest of that day. At the close of evening the churchyard gate suddenly opened next the wood, and in the sight of all a little white fawn came trotting up to the church-porch. As soon as one of the bridegrooms saw this he became agitated, and uttered strange sounds; his garments began to rustle, and his body to swell: suddenly he burst forth with a long loud howl, his clothes disappeared, and a hideous wolf darted out of the church in pursuit of the white fawn, which bounded off into the wood.

The true Kerias and his beloved remained thunderstruck, and falling on their knees at the altar thanked the blessed saint for their deliverance. The dwarf of the mill was never seen again alive; but his spirit may be sometimes beheld hovering amongst the ruins of the mill of Pouldu, sometimes in the shape of an aged and deformed man, sometimes as a Loup-garou, when he utters such hideous and appalling howls, that the old mill trembles, and



ADIEU, the city's ceaseless hum,

The haunts of sensual life, adieu!
Green fields, and silent glens, we come,

To spend this bright spring-day with you.

Whether the hills and vales shall gleam
With beauty, is for us to choose;
For leaf and blossom, rock and stream,
Are coloured with the spirit's hues.

Here to the seeking soul is brought
A nobler view of human fate,
And higher feeling, higher thought,
And glimpses of a higher state.

Through change of time, on sea and shore,
Serenely nature smiles alway;
Yon infinite blue sky bends o'er
Our world, as at the primal day.

The self-renewing earth is moved
With youthful life each circling year;
And flowers that Ceres' daughter loved
At Enna, now are blooming here.

Glad Nature will this truth reveal,
That God is ours, and we are His ;
Oh! friends! my friends! what joy to feel
That He our living Father is!




There wasn't a and even if

I HAD grown tired of home, and small blame to me. fox from Kilnaghee to Brownstown but we had exterminated; a straggler was to be found, the hounds, alas! were no longer likely to be forthcoming. The colonel who kept the dogs so long, and used to make them go in such sporting style, was gone to the dogs himself; the doctors had got hold of Mark Nolan; the sheriff of Hubert Brown; Luke Battersby was off to the Continent, to prevent his bodily health being put in similar peril; the races of Listurrock had followed the fate of the Olympian games; and, save and except the fair of Ballinasloe, and an odd shindy with the military at Athlone or Loughrea, the devil an inducement was in the whole province to cause a reasonable man to abide within it for a fortnight. So much for the want of fun,-no small want for a Connaught man under any circumstances, but an especial want to me, who had nothing else to tempt me to stay in the world at all, let alone in Connaught, at least unless the times got better, and half a score creditors were to go to their rest, leaving no heirs behind them.

My poor father was, you know, up to the nose in debt; profession or occupation had I none; and when it pleased heaven to call him to the rest of the Donnellans, I had nothing else to expect but the pleasure of being compelled to divide his effects among his creditors, at the rate of ten shillings in the pound, and turn out on the world a walking gentleman.

I had revolved in my mind every method whereby I had ever heard money had been made in a hurry, from pitch-and-toss to horse-racing and gold-finding, without meeting anything to please me, and was fretting away in a most melting state of uncertainty, when it pleased Rody Fitzgerald to return home from Demerara, 'a made man,' as his trumpeters declared him. Rody always had a taste for description, and what between the flattering pictures he drew, and the still more seducing testimony his own good fortune lent to his eloquence, it was not long until my mind was made up to cross the Atlantic, and do wonders like my neighbours. I hadn't much difficulty in persuading the people at home of the propriety of my resolution, if only the needful could be raised for the purpose; and having, by the sale of a couple of hunters, helped to remove that obstacle, there was shortly nothing to prevent me from setting out at once to my destination.

I had still, however, a lingering idea that if I could manage to spend a week or so in Dublin previously, I might perhaps fall on a readier method of raising the name of Donnellan; for my vanity told me I had made something more than a common impression on Grace Seymour; and, independent of my being sunk into the lowest pit of love on her account, report gave out that whoever won Grace would stand in good repute at the

[blocks in formation]

Bank of Ireland. Our acquaintance commenced at a sort of ball that was given after the races of Kilnacoppul about a twelvemonth before, at which, notwithstanding that, to my taste at least, she was the prettiest girl in the room, she was likely to remain idle for want of a partner, owing to the awkwardness of her chaperons, some people from the far end of the county, with whom she was on a visit, and who knew nobody.

'Get a partner, Bob,' says old Mrs. O'Dowd to me, while the set was forming, and she hooked me at once, with the intention of compelling me to relieve one of her daughters from their ornamental position in the corner behind the door. I saw that I should either submit to be immolated, or else do something desperate; and, as I threw my eye round the room in search of some one whom I might make the instrument of my escape from Miss Winny's bad dancing, or Miss Marcy's confounded dulness, my glance fell on Grace, and sought to go no farther. Muttering something about a lady of my acquaintance being in want of a partner, I fled from the baffled dowager, and, as the emergency of the case admitted of no delay, mustered up as much assurance as I could, and advancing to the pretty little stranger, claimed the honour of her hand,-was accepted, I suppose for want of a better, and, before our acquaintance dated ten minutes, we were figuring down a line of a dozen couples, to the joint performance of two fiddles and a bagpipe. She was a little shy or so at first, as was but natural, until the first couple was turned; by the time we reached the second we were a trifle more intimate; but according as the fun grew warmer and the noise louder, her reserve began gradually to melt; so that when our labours ceased we knew each other as well, ay, as if we had been born on the one bog.

As I had the name of being rather quarrelsome in such matters, no one asked to interfere between me and my prize; so I had her to myself nearly all the remainder of the evening, and right well resigned to her fate she appeared to be moreover. As for me, I began to feel very queer all over the left side of my body, and the gipsy looked as if nothing on her part should be wanting to further the sensation. In the course of a little innocent flirtation, I drew out of her that she lived in Dublin, and was then on a visit with a Galway relation, but expected to return home in a few days, and a great many other little etceteras, that it wouldn't do to make parish news of. Before we parted, the affair had assumed a very promising appearance; and my joy reached its climax when she intimated to me, that if ever I visited the metropolis, she would take it as a great unkindness in me if I did not call on her and her mother to renew the acquaintance so auspiciously begun. I swore, of course, that if it was for no other purpose but to see her again, I would be in Dublin almost as soon as herself; and so I saw her into her vehicle, after many protestations, and sundry hand-squeezings, and returned home a woe-begone man, smitten to the core by the charms of Grace Seymour.

Things of this kind are seldom secrets, and I was rallied on all hands; but it ceased to be a joke with me when, with the laudable communicativeness always exhibited by one's friends, when they have some execrable piece of bad news to dispose of, I was informed after a time that she was just going to be married to a gentleman, with whom her friends were very anxious she should be united; while, with a charitable anxiety to lighten the blow to me, they added, that I might derive some consolation from the fact, that the happy man

preferred to me was about as great a scamp as Dublin, rich enough in that commodity, had ever produced, a gambler and a roué. No doubt, this latter circumstance should have reconciled me to my lot; for it is a wonderful gratification on such occasions to be able to indulge in a good laugh at the choice which is made to your detriment. It had a contrary effect with me, however; and, lightly as I seemed to take it, I mentally swore that, sooner than resign the lady so coolly to such an unworthy rival, I would make my way to the city how I could, and compel the aforesaid gentleman some fine sunny morning to try conclusions among the daisies with me on the subject. The present was the first opportunity that af forded itself to enable me to put my designs in execution, and test the constancy of my ball-room inamorata, and was, of course, eagerly embraced. So I left home with a threefold chance of disposing of myself. Imprimis, I might have the luck to be shot in the contemplated duello; secondly, I might have the luck to get married; and thirdly and lastly, if neither of these fatalities befell me, I was to go to Demerara and make my fortune. And with these compound views I made my first entry into the metropolis, a passenger on the top of the Galway day-coach, and, like a true patriot, took up my quarters at 'The Hibernian.'

It took me two mortal hours next morning after breakfast ere my looking-glass assured me I was all right, and complete in everything needful to a man who would fain look to advantage on the very important visit I was about paying. One bottle of port I emptied ere I felt my nerves up to proof on the occasion, and three Havannahs I consumed ere I could arrange the speech with which I intended to open the affair; and at length, when all these preliminaries had been settled, I stood upon the steps ready to proceed to Mrs. Seymour's.

Well, what stopped me ?

By the powers! I had never up to that moment thought of finding out where Mrs. Seymour lived, barring that it was somewhere in Dublin ! The discovery left me almost breathless. Three days only could I remain in the city before the vessel sailed in which I had arranged to go, if go I should. What was to be done? To depart without seeing Grace was out of the question; but how to make her out, under the circumstances, was a problem that would bother Trinity. A lucky thought seized me amid my despair. I ran into one of those shops in which ladies' wear is the merchandise, and, while the simpering attendant was papering up the watch-riband which I purchased, took the liberty of inquiring whether he was honoured with the custom of one Miss Grace Seymour, a young lady with flaxen hair, light blue eyes, and about five feet three in her stockings. The man smiled in commiseration of my ignorance, and told me there wasn't a young lady in all Dublin, who was a young lady at all, but dealt with him, although, from their number, he was quite unable to particularise. In like manner I tried another, and another, and another, and so on, until I had my pockets crammed with a commodity of threads, tapes, and other small wares, enough to set up a seamstress, or form a very respectable assortment for a pedlar's basket; but no Miss Grace Seymour was to be found; and I could have almost danced with rage when obliged to confess to myself that my notable expedient had turned out a failure.

The second morning of my sojourn in Dublin arose without bringing me much additional hope, although I had lain awake half the previous night revolving the various modes whereby I might discover my lost one.

One plan after another had presented itself, and been rejected. To advertise for her in Saunders would probably give offence; to send round a bellman might have a similar result; and the only thing that seemed at all practicable or likely to succeed was, that I should provide myself with a map of the city, and perambulate every street that had the appearance of decency, when, if I had but patience enough to peruse the names on a few hundred brass plates, it was a moral impossibility but I would bring my labours to a happy consummation. Nor was even this without its diffi culties; the foremost of which was, that reading of any kind had never been a very favourite accomplishment with me, much less the deciphering of all the cramp alphabets in which it pleased several of the Dublin gentry to conceal their names on their hall-doors, not to say that infernal running hand, so difficult to me to read at any time, a difficulty doubled by the circumstance of myself being almost running during the study. This, however, with some others, I succeeded in surmounting, no doubt with great advantage to my education, owing to the great practice; but it was all I had for my trouble. Not a single Mrs. Seymour could I detect in the whole city, although I had been ten hours or more occupied without cessation in the pursuit. (Hereafter let no man fall in love without first making himself acquainted with the geography of the lady. If he does, may he have to go look for her, may he have to study brass plates until his face assumes the colour and nature of a candlestick, and after all be nothing the wiser. Grace Seymour seemed lost to me for ever; and, what was worse, I had no chance even of getting a shot at my rival. Demerara was my doom; it was vain to struggle against it any longer; so I determined at last to meet it like a man, and, leaving matrimony and manslaughter to those whose luck lay in that line, abandon my hopes, and put an extinguisher on my enmities.

Another day, however, remained to be disposed of,-the eighteenth of June, the anniversary of undying Waterloo,-a day which need never hang heavy on a resident in Dublin, since it affords the dwellers of the fair city one of the most agreeable holidays in their calendar,-the day of 'the big review,' which, as all the world knows, is held annually in the Phoenix Park on that day of many reminiscences. Hither I proposed betaking myself, in order to drown the lugubrious thoughts which I could not prevent now and then from getting the better of me; for, to tell the truth, I found I had managed to get deeper into love than is either prudent or convenient for any gentleman who is fond of enjoying his natural rest in the night, and getting up with an appetite for breakfast in the morning. To the Park accordingly I repaired, amid a very whirlwind of hacks, coaches, carriages, britzkas, jaunts, jingles, gigs, garrons, and every other locomotive engine of any denomination whatsoever, which even Irish ingenuity could apply to such a use. Erin go bragh!-it's the only spot on the habitable earth where a rookawn's kept up as it ought to be-the only place where a holiday is properly treated.

The Lord Lieutenant and I arrived on the ground together, he on a dashing charger, I the sixth occupant of an old yellow jingle. Bang went the artillery to salute us; his Majesty's lieges shouted in rivalry; the bands struck up their music in unison; and if the lookers on didn't grow merry, that you and I may !

Wearied at length with the glare of shifting brilliancy which the magnificent spectacle presented, I turned my eyes to reconnoitre the carriages

« PreviousContinue »