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here ; secret societies have sprung but I kept him at a respectful distance. up; they have revived the old foolish I dont like such humbug ; no man story of their possessing the ancient should be ashamed of his name or his title deeds to the estates forfeited calling, if they are honest ones. Look under Elizabeth and the Stuarts, at the General, and compare this and have ventured to say that “the Kildoon with him : your uncle is a Darragh” and its castle, as they Bayard, sans peur et sans reproche; call this house, belong to Dominick he is a preux chevalier for honour; M'Hanlon, one of your tenants, and a pillar of integrity and truth, clear grandson to the farmer from whom as the day; you have a noble pattem the Admiral purchased this place atin him ; but, Walter, you are young, three times its value nearly a hundred and know nothing of mankind, and years ago.
like your uncle you are singularly “ These are bad—very bad things to unsuspicious. This Kildoon is seren hear, Gilbert,” said my uncle, “but or eight years your senior, and as kindness can do much. We must try knowing as a Doncaster jockey; and kill this evil spirit by the intro- watch him well, and don't trust himode duction of a good and forbearing inch beyond what you can help, for spirit of active and liberal bene- he is clever enough to give a much volence ; and should we fail, it will wiser man than you a heavy fall, and be consoling to remember that we did he may do so yet.” all we could."
So saying, the doughty Montfort So saying, he arose from the table stalked slowly into the drawing-room, and walked to the fire, Gilbert fol- leaving me not at all obliged, but on lowing him, and holding him in con- the contrary rather indignant at his versation, which gradually sunk to a speech : first, because he had ignored whisper : whereupon Mr. Montfort my knowledge of the world-a thing and I left the room, but not before we on which every lad of eighteen piques had heard the word "eviction," coupled himself, for it is not till he arrives with that gentleman's name, which
“At thirty, man suspects himself a fool." caused my friend to assume a stern look and very lofty port. We crossed I who had been educated at an Engthe hall. The moonbeams were play- lish school, and visited the Continent ing on the old oak settle and billiard on two occasions ! I not to know table, and we opened the house door mankind ! how extremely absurd of to look out on the night, and watch Mr. Montfort !—and secondly, I was the noon racing over the white storm- vexed at his depreciation of my patches in the sky. With a smile of cousin, who was at all events most contempt Montfort spoke ;
kind and attentive to me, and whom “Kildoon has been, I see, com I had no cause to suspect as Montplaining of my doings among my re- fort did. Truly, thought I, this Eng. fractory tenants to your uncle : I lishman takes great liberties; and so would advise him to let me and my with a mein as proud as my adviser's affairs alone. Walter," he added, “be I joined the party in the drawing always honest and straightforward; room. you have no example in your cousin, Gilbert left us early; he had only whom I consider a double-faced fel a short mile to ride across the park, low. He has much pride and vanity to a place called the Island House under all that surface of humility. where he lived. Before he mounted Last year we met in Germany, I his cob, he looked well to his priming think it was at Mayence, and there --we had no caps in those days; and Mr. Kildoon wrote his name in the he set off from the hall-door at a hotel visitors' book as “ Gilbert Nu- furious gallop on the grass. gent, Rentier,"-leaving out altoge- He took away all business with ther his real name, which at all him, and music commenced. Madeevents in these parts is rather ple line had a fine contralto, Montfort a beian, and subscribing himself as a well-taught bass, and I contributed “ rentier," when he has nothing to rather a sweet tenor. We sang the do with rents but the receiving of lovely melodies of Moore, just then them as a paid agent. Was not this becoming fashionable.--" The Fox's most contemptible? He wanted to Sleep," « The Young Man's Dream," make up to me at the “table d'hôte," "The twisting of the rope.” The
general paced the room with his chest expanded, his hands behind his back; the clouds of thought had fallen back from his brow, a sparkle was in his large eye, a smile on his happy lip, as he trod the carpet with a short
swinging cavalry step, a delighted and sympathizing auditor of our strains ; although a band of Caravats might have been platooning in his lawn at the very time, or skulking amidst the old forest paths of the Darragh.
"THE DARRAGH" AND ITS SHADOW.
Oh, heart of deep unrest,
By love and sorrow torn;
Thou stand'st forlorn.
Where life and gladness part-
Which prisons thine own heart?
Thy own hand wrought thee sorrow;
And bright may be thy morrow.
For pardened guilt and bootless ill;
Ireland, a Threnody.
ABOUT two milcs beyond our avenue gate, sat smiling conceitedly upon a hill the little town of Ballynatrasna Truth to say, it was a mere village, but the self-importance of the small locality had assumed the larger title, and custom had now converted it into an unquestioned fact. It was after all but a juvenile place, computing its age by civic chronology, having only been built about forty years. It was not exactly the county town, but rather the self-constituted metropolis of the neighbourhood where it presided, and was indeed the only emporium of trade and traític for many a circling mile; and having a good river, the Trasna, which was navigable from the sea up to its very streets, it waxed saucy, and prosperous in mercantile matters of a minute kind; trading in coals, corn, and fish; and, if the truth be told, not a little smuggled tea and tobacco. It had a small neat church, where the family at the Darragh attended on Sunday; a large straggling Roman Catholic chapel, with a bare and very damp interior, and clay floor; a ricketty tawdry inn, half hostel, half shebeenhouse, with the gentleman proprietor
lounging at the door in a torn coat. It had also a smug and solid limestone police barrack, standing coldly in a small cabbage garden, and having in its upper windows metal balconies pierced with round holes for the insertion of a musket barrel. It also exhibited the united triad of houses found in almost every country village in Ireland-namely, the apothecary's, the attorney's, and the parish priest's -three traders, respectively, on our stomach, our purse, and our inward man. The first of these mansions was dingy and unclean, like that of a man who was not succeeding in the world—the place being most unfortunately salubrious ; the second was a deep and solid house-clean, and large, and well painted, with bright brasses and shining windows-like that of a man who was doing right well in the world ; and the third was dark, blinded up and batchelorly, like that of a man who did not choose to let the world know what he was doing.
Up the street of this town, about a month after the conversation narrated in the foregoing chapter, rode three horsemen. First, there was
my uncle, with his kind smile and handsome person, mounted on one of his famous Yorkshire bays-a magnificent animal, which had cost him two hundred guineas, and which was the pride and wonder of the field in the hunting season. Next there was our friend Mr. Montfort, who bestrode a powerful brown horse, which carried him to cover and was a favorite. This gentleman, by virtue of his having purchased a property between Ballynatrasna and the sea, had now been given the commission of the peace, which office he prosecuted with zeal and unflinching activity. The third horseman was myself, mounted on an animal called “The Highflier,”—a strong half-bred, but very hot horse, which was well known by the country people as having been bred in my uncle's stables, and broken and trained by myself while yet a mere youth.
It was market-day at Ballynatrasna; the streets were lined on either side by cars, stalls, and tables containing goods for sale; the crowd was dense, and a sea of waving caubeens appeared to occupy the centre of the road, and fill the space between the booths ; save when its surface was broken by the disturbance caused by some perverse pig, who, held by a cord tied to his leg, straggled and struggled against its fetter, screaming loudly as if it were appealing to the sympathy of the whole porcine population around, against the illegality of its detention; or again, when the crowd was cleft asunder by some old green gig, advancing slowly anridst the hats and cloaks, like a boat amidst the breakers ; and containing either a superannuated farmer, too fat or too lazy to walk, or haply the priest from a neighbouring parish, come to look after some of his fourlegged sheep, or dispose of a fat heifer. The peasantry wore their ap propriate costume: the men were mostly purple-hosed and frieze-coated; brogued and shillelaed ; the women red-cloaked and blue-petticoated; most of them having dark Spanish faces, and light and even graceful figures : either party forming a living hedge on the right hand and on the left, and staring hard at us with wondering and upturned faces, as we slowly rode through them. We were recognized by many, and voices would ex
claim, “ Your Honour is welcome to the country," and “Well, but I'm proud to see you, General," issued from many a lip in the rich and cordial brogue of the M- peasantry. “ Well, Master Walter, but it's tall you are ; troth and it's the very moral of the General you are getting, alanna.” “And sits on the highfljer like a huntsman, bedad." These and sundry other remarks, polite and personal, were discharged at us like bons-bons at a Roman carnival, as we rode between the ranks of the complimentary public : but I remarked that no man greeted Montfortwhich I ascribed at the time not to any personal unpopularity, but to his being an Englishman and a stranger.
On reaching the well-conditioned mansion before mentioned, my uncle and I alighted, while Montfort rode down the banks of the river to visit his newly purchased farm, where he talked of erecting a fishing lodge. In this house dwelt Mr. M'Clintock, a keen but kind man, and an able but thoroughly honest attorney. He was the General's law agent, and was greatly respected and entirely trusted by him. His wife was a pleasant unaffected gentlewoman; his daughters well educated and pious, good girls; sons he had none. M'Clintock him. self was a middle sized stout man, with a compressed mouth, a keen blue eye, a bald and well knobbed forehead, and a strong seasoning of the northern accent in his habitual vernacular. We spent two hours there; lunching with him and his family: and were sorry to find that his account of the position of the country was, if anything, more gloomy than that of my cousin Gilbert. He said the people seemed grateful for the General's kindness and liberality; "yet still,” added he, “the bad spirit is greatly on the increase among them; and what I dread is, that it will hardly pass away without some erplosion which will end in mischief to themselves.”
“The eviction of two families of the Aherns from the Long Holme farms by Mr. Mortfort's Dublin agent has thoroughly angered the people. For my part, I think it was well done, and a good riddance off the land, for these Xherns are worthless fellows-smuggling and thieving evermore, and
payin; neither rate nor rent: but they are an ancient stock-old 'residenters,' as they say, and the peasantry value them not for any moral excellence, of which they don't indeed Fossess an atom, but because they are of long standing in the place; and now having been evicted, they have by the custom of the country been regularly installed as martyrs, which no doubt adds in no small measure to the amount of sympathy felt for them. I do repeat that the eviction of such men is a public benefit; yet I will honestly say that I wish Mr. Montfort—who however knows his own business best—had delayed a little till this cloud had blown by, when his stringent measures could have been put in force as effectually, and perhaps with more safety."
A little after this conversation Montfort called for us, and remounting our horses we rode out of the town, which was still extremely full of people; the men standing grouped in knots on the street, or gathering themselves into public houses to consummate some half-closed bargain; the women for the most part on their way home. After a brisk trot my uncle suddenly pulled up, and addressed Montfort. He told him much of what Mr. M'Clintock had said, to all of which his auditor listened with a sturdy smile-“Well, my dear Montfort, I am glad to see you bear the intrusion of my opinions upon you so good-naturedly ; but still I must feel that these Aherns are ugly folk to meddle with just now, and that in putting them to the sword, you have, as it were, thrust a stick into a wild wasp's nest. M'Clintock tells me that Dermid Ahern, the old man's nephew, is now in the country. I have had him twice in jail for poaching, and he is a desperate though a successful smuggler, and a lawless man. I well know how fearless you are, yet it is hard to provide against treachery, and these fellows are very guerillas in their method of attack and warfare."
“My dear general," answered Montfort, “I told these Aherns two years ago, that I should resume their farms when the last life in their lease dropt; and this took place at Christmas. I have never had one shilling of rent from them ; but, on the contrary, I ordered my agent to
pay them fifteen pounds a man, and forgive them all rent due, on condition that they would unroof their houses (which have been dens for smuggling these six years), and bring the keys of the doors of their miserable wigwams to my agent. To all this they appeared to assent heartily; they took off their roofs and unhinged their doors, and I fitted up the best of the tenements for my bailiff, Cowan. And now after three months comes this smuggling mate of a Dutch lugger
this illconditional contrabandistawho ought to be hung for his misdeeds--this nephew, Dermid Ahern, and raises a tumult in the country ; and I do believe had the audacity to address a threatening letter to that very honest and manly fellow, James Cowan, warning him off my premises, which has compelled me to furnish him with arms and means of self-defence.
“For my part, my dear general, I am as a magistrate determined to lay hold on this Dermid Ahern, or any other disturber of the peace whom I can catch in an overt act against the law; and as a man and an Englishman I need not say that the idea of fear could never trouble the mind of John Montfort.”
He spoke this firmly, but with rather a proud smile, sitting very erect in his saddle, the very form and glass of an honest, inflexible, but somewhat over-confident Englishman. The general looked at him with a grave and fixed attentiveness; and then, as if some thought crossed his brow like a gleam, he smiled.
“Well, general," said Montfort, reciprocating his smile with one of his own, “tell me what it is amuses you? I should always prefer seeing a smile on your lip to a care on your brow.”
“It was nothing," said my uncle, getting a little red, “nothing of any importance; it was a foolish thought and irrelevant to our subject; it was just a notion that came into my mind, Montfort ; what an efficient heavy dragoon you would have turned out, had you been present, just as you are now, at our famous cavalry action at E--, in the frontiers of Portugal !"
The sun was near to his setting as we rode up to the Darragh approach. Immediately inside the great gates, on the right hand lay a round hollow
or pond containing water, and resting tion, coming down the road in a canamidst green banks. On the side ter, very much flushed, thoroughly next the avenue was a bridle road, roused, sitting in his saddle like an much trodden and broken up by the ancient Paladin, and looking really feet of cattle, as the grooms brought magnificent in his generous indigna their horses to water there every day. tion. We turned down as we entered the He questioned the labourers from park, and Montfort rode first into the trenched field, but they had bean! the pond, as his custom was ; and as nothing, seen nothing, knew nothing, his horse stooped his neck to drink, a and seemed ready to ignore every figure, with a crape over his face, thing; they were mostly in their started from behind a thorn bush on shirt sleeves, and their large frieze the right bank, and levelling a gun, jocks were lying in a heap in a eart, fired right at that gentleman; but whose two horseless shafts reposed on happily without effect, the bullet the ground. It seemed plain that tearing away the peak of the saddle, these poor men had no knowledge of but doing no further mischief. In a the deed, nor could they furnish any second my uncle's usually placid tones clue to discover what the newspapers awoke in thunder.
in a day or two styled “the perpetra“Walter, ride right across the pond tor of the outrage.” and up the bank after that cowardly My uncle and Montfort were going
The rest of his sentence was back to Ballynatrasna to see M'Clinlost to me, as giving both the spurstock, and issue warrants; and I to my horse, he dashed in one returned home, where I found two bound violently into the pond with grooms doing their best to dry the me, and in a moment was straining Highflier, who was hot and wet, and Mazeppa-like, and mad with passion, had broken his girth in flying over up the opposite bank. On gaining the ha-ha, “wanting to make the the top, I plainly saw the figure of a short journey," said the groom," for man running most swiftly towards his stable." the fir plantation ; but though I went I got on Madeline's mare, and rode at him at a wild gallop, he had got after my uncle ; first cautioning the among the thick trees before I could men not to say a word about Mr. reach him. Here no horse could Montfort's having been shot at ; but penetrate; so leaping off mine, I my warning came too late, for when knotted the bridle on his neck, he we met at dinner, my poor Madeline plunging all the time, and resigned looked pale and most unhappy, and him to his own will, while I dashed asked many anxious questions; and on foot amidst the trees, searching though Montfort ate, and drank, and and listening every where, and every laughed, and was the joyfullest permoment, if haply I might come upon son of the party, yet I have often the assassin's trail. But when I had since remembered that that day seemreached the park-wall which ran alled to be the first period of the occulround the wood, and climbed it over tation of the bright star of joy and into the road, I saw no man, nothing hope which had risen on the loves and but the cold, clear evening calmly future prospects of my sister and her settling into night around me, and I lover. so hot and breathless, and fevered My cousin Gilbert dined with us, with excitement. In a hollow, on together with M'Clintock ; the forthe opposite side of the road from mer was all full of a soft and spruce the park-wall, was the eight-acre kind of sympathy, in keeping with his meadow, and at the far end of it some artificial manner ; but the latter exnine or ten men were digging lazily, pressed the greatest horror and indigand at their ease. I shouted to them nation at so audacious a deed, and to come over to me, but before they seemed low and unhappy. could answer, Mr. Montfort trotted But my uncle engaged most of my up the road from the gate, as cool as concern. Sorrow and disappointment if he was only about the unkenneling had clouded his noble features, and of a dog-fox, in place of arresting a hope was fled. He had laboured homicide. The general, who had gone much and brought home nothing; round the other way up the park, and all his liberality and thoughtfulnow joined us from an opposite direc- negs seemed to have produced no