(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Traits and stories of the Irish peasantry"

TRAITS AND STORIES 



OF 



THE IRISH PEASANTRY 



VOLUME ONE 















IRISH 














How the Beautiful Lady Assists Jack With His Tasks 

Etching from an Original Drawing by Phis 







siH rfJiW 



ateiaaA 



aril woH 










C5S 

^^ M^ **4Mh. *ir *^^^^ 

GRIGS 



IRISH 










tvs 



i: 




CELTIC 

which one thousand numbered 
and registered copies have been 



printed 



'Printed bu 

7T//E COLONIAL PRESS 
C. H. Simondi & Co., Boston, U.S.A. 



TO 



ISAAC BUTT, ESQ., LL.D., M.R.I.A., 

BARRISTER AT LAW 
AKD ONE OF THE ALDERMEN OF THE CITY OF DUBLIN. 



MY DEAR BUTT, 

IF there is anything that takes from the satis- 
faction I feel in dedicating to you this new and general 
issue of all my works, it is a regret that they are not more 
worthy of having such a name as yours prefixed to them, 
a name even already singularly distinguished in both litera- 
ture and eloquence and which promises to shed a lustre 
upon your profession and your country, unsurpassed by that 
which emanated from those great and brilliant spirits whose 
intellectual eminence reflects such glory upon Ireland. 

With sentiments of the highest esteem and admiration 
for your genius and principles, 

Believe me to be, my dear Butt, 

Most faithfully and sincerely yours, 

W. CARLETON. 
DUBLIN. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

NED M'KEOWN 1 

THE THREE TASKS 42 

SHANE FADH'S WEDDING 97 

LARRY M'FARLAND'S WAKE . . . . . .163 

BATTLE OF THE FACTIONS 226 

THE STATION . . . . . . . . V . 288 

WILDGOOSE LODGE .... 362 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

How the Beautiful Lady Assists Jack with His 

Tasks (See page 68) Frontispiece 

Jack Magennis Playing at Five and Ten ... 46 
Dublin Bay from Victoria Hill . . . * . , 106 
" The pig would brake into the hape of praty 
skins" . \ . . . . ' f /.'' "'. . . .178 

Mount Errigal 240 

Neal Malone " annigulating " the Miller . . . 282 
Irish Jaunting Car 360 



INTRODUCTION 

It will naturally be expected, upon a new 
issue of works which may be said to treat ex- 
clusively of a people who form such an im- 
portant and interesting portion of the empire 
as the Irish peasantry do, that the author should 
endeavour to prepare the minds of his readers 
especially those of the English and Scotch 
for understanding more clearly their general 
character, habits of thought, and modes of feel- 
ing, as they exist and are depicted in the subse- 
quent volumes. This is a task which the author 
undertakes more for the sake of his country than 
himself; and he rejoices that the demand for the 
present edition puts it in his power to aid in re- 
moving many absurd prejudices which have 
existed for time immemorial against his country- 
men. 

It is well known that the character of an 
Irishman has been hitherto uniformly associated 
with the idea of something unusually ridiculous, 
and that scarcely anything in the shape of lan- 
guage was supposed to proceed from his lips but 
an absurd congeries of brogue and blunder. The 
habit of looking upon him in a ludicrous light 
has been so strongly impressed upon the Eng- 
lish mind, that no opportunity has ever been 
omitted of throwing him into an attitude of 



vi INTRODUCTION 

gross and overcharged caricature, from which 
you might as correctly estimate his intellectual 
strength and moral proportions, as you would 
the size of a man from his evening shadow. 
From the immortal bard of Avon down to the 
writers of the present day, neither play nor farce 
has ever been presented to Englishmen, in which, 
when an Irishman is introduced, he is not drawn 
as a broad grotesque blunderer, every sentence 
he speaks involving a bull, and every act the 
result of headlong folly, or cool but unstudied 
effrontery. I do not remember an instance in 
which he acts upon the stage any other part than 
that of the buffoon of the piece, uttering lan- 
guage which, wherever it may have been found, 
was at all events never heard in Ireland, unless 
upon the boards of a theatre. As for the Cap- 
tain O'Cutters, O'Blunders, and Dennis Bul- 
grudderies of the English stage, they never had 
existence except in the imagination of those who 
were as ignorant of the Irish people as they were 
of their language and feelings. Even Sheridan 
himself was forced to pander to this erroneous 
estimate and distorted conception of our char- 
acter; for, after all, Sir Lucius O 'Trigger was 
his Irishman, but not Ireland's Irishman. I 
know that several of my readers may remind me 
of Sir Boyle Roche, whose bulls have become 
not only notorious, but proverbial. It is well 
known now, however, and was when he made 
them, that they were studied bulls, resorted to 
principally for the purpose of putting the gov- 
ernment and opposition sides of the Irish House 



TRAITS AND STORIES vii 

of Commons into good humour with each other, 
which they never failed to do thereby, on 
more occasions than one, probably, preventing 
the effusion of blood, and the loss of life, among 
men who frequently decided even their political 
differences by the sword or pistol. 

That the Irish either were or are a people re- 
markable for making bulls or blunders, is an 
imputation utterly unfounded, and in every 
sense untrue. The source of this error on the 
part of our neighbours is, however, readily 
traced. The language of our people has been 
for centuries, and is up to the present day, in 
a transition state. The English tongue is grad- 
ually superseding the Irish. In my own native 
place, for instance, there is not by any means so 
much Irish spoken now, as there was about 
twenty or five-and-twenty years ago. This fact, 
then, will easily account for the ridicule which 
is, and I fear ever will be, unjustly heaped upon 
those who are found to use a language which 
they do not properly understand. In the early 
periods of communication between the countries, 
when they stood in a hostile relation to each 
other, and even long afterwards, it was not sur- 
prising that " the wild Irishman " who expressed 
himself with difficulty, and often impressed the 
idiom of his own language upon one with which 
he was not familiar, should incur, in the opinion 
of those who were strongly prejudiced against 
him, the character of making the bulls and 
blunders attributed to him. Such was the fact, 
and such the origin of this national slander upon 



viii INTRODUCTION 

his intellect, a slander which, like every other, 
originates from the prejudice of those who were 
unacquainted with the quickness and clearness 
of thought that in general characterises the lan- 
guage of our people. At this moment there is 
no man acquainted with the inhabitants of the 
two countries, who does not know, that, where 
the English is vernacular in Ireland, it is spoken 
with far more purity and grammatical precision 
than is to be heard beyond the Channel. Those, 
then, who are in the habit of defending what are 
termed our bulls, or of apologising for them, do 
us injustice; and Miss Edgeworth herself, when 
writing an essay upon the subject, wrote an 
essay upon that which does not, and never did 
exist. These observations, then, easily account 
for the view of us which has always been taken 
in the dramatic portion of English literature. 
There the Irishman was drawn in every instance 
as the object of ridicule, and consequently of 
contempt ; for it is incontrovertibly true, that the 
man whom you laugh at, you will soon despise. 
In every point of view this was wrong, but 
principally in a political one. At that time 
England and Englishmen knew very little of 
Ireland, and consequently, the principal oppor- 
tunities afforded them of appreciating our char- 
acter were found on the stage. Of course, it 
was very natural that the erroneous estimate of 
us which they formed there should influence 
them everywhere else. We cannot sympathise 
with, and laugh at, the same object, at the same 
time; and if the Irishman found himself unde- 



TRAITS AND STORIES ix 

servedly the object of coarse and unjust ridicule, 
it was not very unnatural that he should requite 
it with a prejudice against the principles and 
feelings of Englishmen, quite as strong as that 
which was entertained against himself. Had 
this ridicule been confined to the stage, or 
directed at us in the presence of those who had 
other and better opportunities of knowing us, it 
would have been comparatively harmless. But 
this was not the case. It passed from the stage 
into the recesses of private life, wrought itself 
into the feelings until it became a prejudice, and 
the Irishman was consequently looked upon, and 
treated, as a being made up of absurdity and 
cunning, a compound of knave and fool, fit 
only to be punished for his knavery or laughed 
at for his folly. So far, therefore, that portion 
of English literature which attempted to de- 
scribe the language and habits of Irishmen, was 
unconsciously creating an unfriendly feeling be- 
tween the two countries, a feeling which, I am 
happy to say, is fast disappearing, and which 
only requires that we should have a full and fair 
acquaintance with each other in order to be re- 
moved for ever. 

At present, indeed, their mutual positions, 
civil, commercial, and political, are very differ- 
ent from what they were half-a-century ago, or 
even at a more recent period. The progress of 
science, and the astonishing improvements in 
steam and machinery, have so completely re- 
moved the obstructions which impeded their 
intercourse, that the two nations can now 



x INTRODUCTION 

scarcely be considered as divided. As a natural 
consequence, their knowledge of each other has 
improved; and, as will always happen with 
generous people, they begin to see that the one 
was neither knave nor fool, nor the other a churl 
or a boor. Thus has mutual respect arisen from 
mutual intercourse, and those who hitherto ap- 
proached each other with distrust, are beginning 
to perceive, that in spite of political or religious 
prejudices, no matter how stimulated, the truth- 
ful experience of life will in the event create 
nothing but good-will and confidence between 
the countries. 

Other causes, however, led to this; causes 
which in every state of society exercise a quick 
and powerful influence over the minds of men: 
I allude to literature. 

When the Irishman was made to stand forth 
as the butt of ridicule to his neighbours, the first 
that undertook his vindication was Maria Edge- 
worth. During her day, the works of no writer 
made a more forcible impression upon the circles 
of fashionable life in England, if we except the 
touching and inimitable Melodies of my country- 
man, Thomas Moore. After a lapse of some 
years, those two were followed by many others, 
who stood forth as lofty and powerful exponents 
of the national heart and intellect. Who can 
forget the melancholy but indignant reclama- 
tions of John Banim, the dark and touching 
power of Gerald Griffin, or the unrivalled wit 
and irresistible drollery of Samuel Lover? Nor 
can I omit remarking, that amidst the array of 



TRAITS AND STORIES xi 

great talents to which I allude, the genius of our 
female writers bore off, by the free award of 
public opinion, some of the brightest wreaths of 
Irish literature. It would be difficult indeed, in 
any country, to name three women who have 
done more in setting right the character of Ire- 
land and her people, whilst exhibiting at the same 
time the manifestations of high genius, than 
Miss Edgeworth, Lady Morgan, and Mrs. Hall. 
About the female creations of the last-named 
lady, especially, there is a touching charm, 
blending the graceful and the pensive, which re- 
minds us of a very general but peculiar style of 
Irish beauty, where the lineaments of the face 
combine at once both the melancholy and the 
mirthful in such a manner, that their harmony 
constitutes the unchangeable but ever-varying 
tenderness of the expression. 

That national works like these, at once so 
healthful and so true, produced by those who 
knew the country, and exhibiting Irishmen not 
as the blundering buffoons of the English stage, 
but as men capable of thinking clearly and feel- 
ing deeply that such works, I say, should en- 
able a generous people, as the English undoubt- 
edly are, to divest themselves of the prejudices 
which they had so long entertained against us, 
is both natural and gratifying. Those who 
achieved this great object, or aided in achieving 
it, have unquestionably rendered services of a 
most important nature to both the countries, as 
well as to literature in general. 

Yet, whilst the highly gifted individuals whom 



xii INTRODUCTION 

I have named succeeded in making their country- 
men respected, there was one circumstance 
which, notwithstanding every exhibition of their 
genius and love of country, still remained as a 
reproach against our character as a nation. For 
nearly a century we were completely at the 
mercy of our British neighbours, who probably 
amused themselves at our expense with the 
greater licence, and a more assured sense of im- 
punity, inasmuch as they knew that we were 
utterly destitute of a national literature. Un- 
fortunately the fact could not be disputed. For 
the last half century, to come down as far as we 
can, Ireland, to use a plain metaphor, instead of 
producing her native intellect for home con- 
sumption, was forced to subsist upon the scanty 
supplies which could be procured from the sister 
kingdom. This was a reproach which added 
great strength to the general prejudice against 
us. 

A nation may produce one man or ten men 
of eminence, but if they cannot succeed in im- 
pressing their mind upon the spirit and intellect 
of their own country, so as to create in her a 
taste for literature or science, no matter how 
highly they may be appreciated by strangers, 
they have not reached the exalted purposes of 
genius. To make this more plain I shall ex- 
tend the metaphor a little farther. During some 
of the years of Irish famine, such were the un- 
happy circumstances of the country, that she 
was exporting provisions of every description 
in the most prodigal abundance, which the gen- 



TRAITS AND STORIES xiii 

erosity of England was sending back again for 
our support. So was it with literature. Our 
men and women of genius uniformly carried 
their talents to the English market, whilst we 
laboured at home under all the dark privations 
of a literary famine. 

In truth until within the last ten or twelve 
years an Irish author never thought of publish- 
ing in his own country, and the consequence was 
that our literary men followed the example of 
our great landlords; they became absentees, and 
drained the country of its intellectual wealth pre- 
cisely as the others exhausted it of its rents. 

Thus did Ireland stand in the singular an- 
omaly of adding some of her most distinguished 
names to the literature of Great Britain, whilst 
she herself remained incapable of presenting 
anything to the world beyond a school-book or 
a pamphlet; and even of the latter it is well 
known that if the subject of it were considered 
important, and its author a man of any talent or 
station in society, it was certain to be published 
in London. 

Precisely in this state was the country when 
the two first volumes of the " Traits and Stories 
of the Irish Peasantry " were given to the public 
by the house of Messrs. Curry and Co., of 
Sackville-street. Before they appeared, their 
author, in consequence of their originating from 
an Irish press, entertained no expectation that 
they would be read, or excite any interest what- 
ever in either England or Scotland. He was 
not, however, without a strong confidence that 



xiv INTRODUCTION 

notwithstanding the wild and uncleared state of 
his own country at the time, so far as native 
literature was concerned, his two little pioneers 
would work their way with at least moderate suc- 
cess. He felt conscious that every thing de- 
picted in them was true, and that by those who 
were acquainted with the manners, and language, 
and feelings of the people, they would sooner 
or later be recognised as faithful delineations of 
Irish life. In this confidence the event justified 
him ; for not only were his volumes stamped with 
an immediate popularity at home, where they 
could be best appreciated, but awarded a very 
gratifying position in the literature of the day 
by the unanimous and not less generous verdict 
of the English and Scotch critics. 

Thus it was that the publication of two un- 
pretending volumes, written by a peasant's son, 
established an important and gratifying fact 
that our native country, if without a literature 
at the time, was at least capable of appreciating, 
and willing to foster the humble exertions of such 
as endeavoured to create one. Nor was this all; 
for so far as resident authors were concerned, 
it was now clearly established that an Irish writer 
could be successful at home without the neces- 
sity of appearing under the name and sanction 
of the great London or Edinburgh booksellers. 

The rapid sale and success of the first series 
encouraged the author to bring out a second, 
which he did, but with a different bookseller. 
The spirit of publishing was now beginning to 
extend, and the talent of the country to put itself 



TRAITS AND STORIES xv 

in motion. The popularity of the second effort 
surpassed that of the first, and the author had 
the gratification of knowing that the generosity 
of public feeling and opinion accorded him a still 
higher position than before, as did the critics of 
the day, without a dissentient voice. Still, as in 
the case of his first effort, he saw with honest 
pride that his own country and his countrymen 
placed the highest value upon his works, because 
they best understood them. 

About this time the literary taste of the 
metropolis began to feel the first symptoms of 
life. As yet, however, they were very faint. 
Two or three periodicals were attempted, and 
though of very considerable merit, and con- 
ducted by able men, none of them, I believe, 
reached a year's growth. The " Dublin Liter- 
ary Gazette," the " National Magazine," the 
" Dublin Monthly Magazine," and the " Dublin 
University Review," all perished in their in- 
fancy not, however, because they were un- 
worthy of success, but because Ireland was not 
then what she is now fast becoming, a reading, 
and consequently a thinking, country. To every 
one of these the author contributed, and he has 
the satisfaction of being able to say that there 
has been no publication projected purely for the 
advancement of literature in his own country, to 
which he has not given the aid of his pen, such 
as it was, and this whether he received remunera- 
tion or not. Indeed, the consciousness that the 
success of his works had been the humble means 
of inciting others to similar exertion in their own 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

country, and of thus giving the first impulse to 
our literature, is one which has on his part 
created an enthusiastic interest in it which will 
only die with him. 

Notwithstanding the failure of the Periodicals 
just mentioned, it was clear that the intellect 
of the country was beginning to feel its strength, 
and put forth its power. A national spirit that 
rose above the narrow distinctions of creed and 
party began to form itself, and in the first im- 
pulses of its early enthusiasm a periodical was 
established, which it is only necessary to name 
the " Dublin University Magazine " a work 
unsurpassed by any magazine of the day; and 
which, moreover, without ever departing from 
its principles, has been as a bond of union for 
literary men of every class, who have from time 
to time enriched its pages by their contributions. 
It has been, and is, a neutral spot in a country 
where party feeling runs so high, on which the 
Roman Catholic priest and the Protestant par- 
son, the Whig, the Tory, and the Radical, 
divested of their respective prejudices, can meet 
in an amicable spirit. I mention these things 
with great satisfaction, for it is surely a gratifica- 
tion to know that literature, in a country which 
has been so much distracted as Ireland, is 
progressing in a spirit of noble candour and 
generosity, which is ere long likely to produce a 
most salutary effect among the educated classes 
of all parties, and consequently among those 
whom they influence. The number, ability, and 
importance of the works which have issued from 



TRAITS AND STORIES xvii 

the Dublin press within the last eight or ten 
years, if they could be enumerated here, would 
exhibit the rapid progress of the national mind, 
and satisfy the reader that Ireland in a few 
years will be able to sustain a native literature 
as lofty and generous, and beneficial to herself, 
as any other country in the world can boast of. 

This hasty sketch of its progress I felt myself 
called upon to give, in order that our neighbours 
may know what we have done, and learn to re- 
spect us accordingly; and, if the truth must be 
told, from a principle of honest pride, arising 
from the position which our country holds, and 
is likely to hold as an intellectual nation. 

Having disposed of this topic I come now to 
one of not less importance as being connected 
with the other, the condition and character of 
the peasantry of Ireland. 

It may be necessary, however, before entering 
upon this topic, to give my readers some satis- 
factory assurance that the subject is one which 
I ought well to understand, not only from my 
humble position in early life, and my uninter- 
rupted intercourse with the people as one of 
themselves, until I had reached the age of 
twenty-two years, but from the fact of having 
bestowed upon it my undivided and most earn- 
est attention ever since I left the dark mountains 
and green vales of my native Tyrone, and be- 
gan to examine human life and manners as a 
citizen of the world. As it is admitted, also, 
that there exists no people whose character is so 
anomalous as that of the Irish, and consequently 



xviii INTRODUCTION 

so difficult to be understood, especially by 
strangers, it becomes a still more appropriate 
duty on my part to give to the public, proofs 
sufficiently valid, that I come to a subject of such 
difficulty with unusual advantages on my side, 
and that, consequently, my exhibitions of Irish 
peasant life, in its most comprehensive sense, 
may be relied on as truthful and authentic. 
For this purpose, it will be necessary that I 
should give a brief sketch of my own youth, 
early station in society, and general education, 
as the son of an honest humble peasant. 

My father, indeed, was a very humble man, 
but in consequence of his unaffected piety and 
stainless integrity of principle, he was held in 
high esteem by all who knew him, no matter 
what their rank in life might be. When the 
state of education in Ireland during his youth 
and that of my mother is considered, it will not 
be a matter of surprise that what they did re- 
ceive was very limited. It would be difficult, 
however, if not impossible to find two persons in 
their lowly station so highly and singularly 
gifted. My father possessed a memory not 
merely great or surprising, but absolutely aston- 
ishing. He could repeat nearly the whole of the 
Old and New Testament by heart, and was, be- 
sides, a living index to almost every chapter and 
verse you might wish to find in it. In all other 
respects, too, his memory was equally amazing. 
My native place is a spot rife with old legends, 
tales, traditions, customs, and superstitions; so 
that in my early youth, even beyond the walls of 



TRAITS AND STORIES xix 

my own humble roof, they met me in every di- 
rection. It was at home, however, and from my 
father's lips in particular, that they were per- 
petually sounding in my ears. In fact his mem- 
ory was a perfect storehouse, and a rich one, of 
all that the social antiquary, the man of letters, 
the poet, or the musician, would consider valu- 
able. As a teller of old tales, legends, and 
historical anecdotes he was unrivalled, and his 
stock of them was inexhaustible. He spoke the 
Irish and English languages with nearly equal 
fluency. With all kinds of charms, old ranns, 
or poems, old prophecies, religious superstitions, 
tales of pilgrims, miracles, and pilgrimages, 
anecdotes of blessed priests and friars, revela- 
tions from ghosts and fairies, was he thoroughly 
acquainted. And so strongly were all these im- 
pressed upon my mind, by frequent repetition 
on his part, and the indescribable delight they 
gave me on mine, that I have hardly ever since 
heard, during a tolerably enlarged intercourse 
with Irish society, both educated and uneducated 
with the antiquary, the scholar, or the humble 
senachie any single tradition, usage, or legend, 
that, as far as I can at present recollect, was 
perfectly new to me or unheard before, in some 
similar or cognate dress. This is certainly say- 
ing much; but I believe I may assert with con- 
fidence, that I could produce, in attestation of 
its truth, the names of Petrie, Sir W. Betham, 
Ferguson, and O 'Donovan, the most distin- 
guished antiquaries, both of social usages and 
otherwise, that ever Ireland produced. What 



xx INTRODUCTION 

rendered this besides of such peculiar advantage 
to me in after life, as a literary man, was, that 
I heard them as often in the Irish language as 
in the English, if not oftener: a circumstance 
which enabled me in my writings to transfer the 
genius, the idiomatic peculiarity and conversa- 
tional spirit of the one language into the other, 
precisely as the people themselves do in their 
dialogue, whenever the heart or imagination hap- 
pens to be moved by the darker or better pas- 
sions. 

Having thus stated faithfully, without adding 
or diminishing, a portion, and a portion only, of 
what I owe to one parent, I cannot overlook the 
debt of gratitude which is due to the memory of 
the other. 

My mother, whose name was Kelly Mary 
Kelly possessed the sweetest and most ex- 
quisite of human voices. In her early life, I 
have often been told by those who had heard her 
sing, that any previous intimation of her pres- 
ence at a wake, dance, or other festive occasion, 
was sure to attract crowds of persons, many 
from a distance of several miles, in order to hear 
from her lips the touching old airs of their 
country. No sooner was it known that she 
would attend any such meeting, than the fact 
spread through the neighbourhood like wild-fire, 
and the people flocked from all parts to hear her, 
just as the fashionable world do now, when the 
name of some eminent songstress is announced 
in the papers; with this difference, that upon 
such occasions the voice of the one falls only 



TRAITS AND STORIES xxi 

upon the ear, whilst that of the other sinks 
deeply into the heart. She was not so well ac- 
quainted with the English tongue as my father, 
although she spoke it with sufficient ease for all 
the purposes of life; and for this reason, among 
others, she generally gave the old Irish versions 
of the songs in question, rather than the English 
ones. This, however, as I said, was not her sole 
motive. In the first place, she had several old 
songs, which at that time, I believe too I may 
add at this, had never been translated; and I 
very much fear that some valuable ones, both as 
to words and airs, have perished with her. Her 
family were all imbued with a poetical spirit, 
and some of her immediate ancestors composed 
in the Irish tongue, several fine old songs, in the 
same manner as Carolan did; that is, some in 
praise of a patron or a friend, and others to cele- 
brate rustic beauties, that have long since been 
sleeping in the dust. For this reason she had 
many old compositions that were almost peculiar 
to our family, which I am afraid could not now 
be procured at all, and are consequently lost. 
I think her uncle, and I believe her grandfather, 
were the authors of several Irish poems and 
songs, because I know that some of them she 
sang, and others she only recited. 

Independently of this, she had a prejudice 
against singing the Irish airs to English words; 
an old custom of the country was thereby in- 
vaded, and an association disturbed which habit 
had rendered dear to her. I remember on one 
occasion, when she was asked to sing the Eng- 



xxii INTRODUCTION 

lish version of that touching melody " The Red- 
haired Man's Wife," she replied, " I will sing 
it for you; but the English words and the air 
are like a quarrelling man and wife: the Irish 
melts into the tune, but the English doesn't " 
an expression scarcely less remarkable for its 
beauty than its truth. She spake the words in 
Irish. 

This gift of singing with such sweetness and 
power the old sacred songs and airs of Ireland, 
was not the only one for which she was remark- 
able. Perhaps there never lived a human being 
capable of giving the Irish cry, or Keene, with 
such exquisite effect, or of pouring into its wild 
notes, a spirit of such irresistible pathos and 
sorrow. I have often been present when she has 
" raised the keene " over the corpse of some rela- 
tive or neighbour, and my readers may judge 
of the melancholy charm which accompanied 
this expression of her sympathy, when I assure 
them that the general clamour of violent grief 
was gradually diminished, from admiration, un- 
til it became ultimately hushed, and no voice was 
heard but her own wailing in sorrowful bu( 
solitary beauty. This pause, it is true, was 
never long, for however great the admiration 
might be which she excited, the hearts of those 
who heard her soon melted, and even strangers 
were often forced to confess her influence by the 
tears which she caused them to shed for those 
whose deaths could, otherwise, in no other way 
have affected them. I am the youngest, I be- 
lieve, of fourteen children, and of course could 



TRAITS AND STORIES xxiii 

r 

never have heard her until age and the struggles 
of life had robbed her voice of its sweetness. I 
heard enough, however, from her blessed lips, to 
set my heart to an almost painful perception 
of that spirit which steeps these fine old songs 
in a tenderness which no other music possesses. 
Many a time, of a winter night, when seated at 
her spinning-wheel, singing the Trougha, or 
Shuil agra, or some other old " song of sorrow," 
have I, then little more than a child, gone over 
to her, and with a broken voice and eyes charged 
with tears, whispered " Mother dear, don't sing 
that song, it makes me sorrowful;" she then 
usually stopped, and sung some one which I 
liked better because it affected me less. At this 
day I am in possession of Irish airs, which none 
of our best antiquaries in Irish music have heard, 
except through me, and of which neither they 
nor I myself know the names. 

Such, gentle reader, were my humble parents, 
under whose untaught, but natural genius, set- 
ting all other advantages aside, it is not to be 
wondered at that my heart should have been so 
completely moulded into that spirit and those 
feelings which characterise my country and her 
children. 

These, however, were my domestic advan- 
tages; but I now come to others, which arose 
from my position in life as the son of a man 
who was one of the people. My father, at the 
farthest point to which my memory goes back, 
lived in a townland called Prillisk, in the parish 
of Clogher, and county of Tyrone; and I only 



xxiv INTRODUCTION 

remember living there in a cottage. From that 
the family removed to a place called Tonagh, or, 
more familiarly, Towny, about an English mile 
from Prillisk. It was here I first went to school 
to a Connaught-man named Pat Frayne, who, 
however, remained there only for a very short 
period in the neighbourhood. Such was the 
neglected state of education at that time, that 
for a year or two afterwards there was no school 
sufficiently near to which I could be sent. At 
length it was ascertained that a master, another 
Connaught-man by the way, named O'Beirne, 
had opened a school, a hedge-school, of course, 
at Findramore. To this I was sent, along 
with my brother John, the youngest of the 
family next to myself. I continued with him 
for about a year and a half, when who 
should return to our neighbourhood but Pat 
Frayne, the redoubtable prototype of Mat 
Kavanagh in " the Hedge School." O'Beirne, 
it is true, was an excellent specimen of the 
hedge-schoolmaster, but nothing at all to be com- 
pared to Frayne. About the period I write of, 
there was no other description of school to 
which any one could be sent, and the conse- 
quence was, that rich and poor (I speak of the 
peasantry), Protestant and Catholic, Presby- 
terian and Methodist, boys and girls, were all 
congregated under the same roof, to the amount 
of from a hundred to a hundred and fifty, or two 
hundred. In this school I remained for about 
a year or two, when our family removed to a 
place called Nurchasy, the property of the Rev. 



TRAITS AND STORIES xxv 

Dr. Story, of Corick. Of us, however, he 
neither could nor did know any thing, for we 
were under-tenants, our immediate landlord be- 
ing no less a person than Hugh Traynor, then 
so famous for the distillation, sub rosa, of ex- 
quisite mountain dew, and to whom the reader 
will find allusions made in that capacity more 
than once in the following volumes. Nurchasy 
was within about half-a-mile of Findramore, to 
which school, under O'Beirne, I was again sent. 
Here I continued, until a classical teacher came 
to a place called Tulnavert, now the property 
of John Birney, Esq., of Lisburn, to whom I 
had the pleasure of dedicating the two first 
volumes of my ' Traits and Stories." This 
tyrannical blockhead, whose name I do not 
choose to mention, instead of being allowed to 
teach classics, ought to have been put into a 
strait-waistcoat or the stocks, and either whipped 
once in every twenty-four hours, or kept in a 
madhouse until the day of his death. He had 
been a student in Maynooth, where he became 
deranged, and was, of course, sent home to his 
friends, with whom he recovered sufficiently to 
become cruel and hypocritical, to an extent which 
I have never yet seen equalled. Whenever the 
son of a rich man committed an offence, he 
would grind his teeth and growl like a tiger, but 
in no single instance had he the moral courage 
or sense of justice to correct him. On the con- 
trary, he uniformly " nursed his wrath to keep 
it warm," until the son of a poor man trans- 
gressed, and on his unfortunate body he was 



xxvi INTRODUCTION 

sure to wreak signal vengeance for the stupidity 
or misconduct of the wealthy blockhead. This 
was his system, and my readers may form some 
opinion of the low ebb at which knowledge and 
moral feeling were at the time, when I assure 
them, that not one of the humbler boys durst 
make a complaint against the scoundrel at home, 
unless under the certainty of being well flogged 
for their pains. A hedge-schoolmaster was then 
held in sucli respect and veneration, that no mat- 
ter how cruel or profligate he might be, his per- 
son and character, unless in some extraordinary 
case of cruelty, resulting in death or mutilation, 
were looked upon as free from all moral or legal 
responsibility. This certainly was not the fault 
of the people, but of those laws, which, by mak- 
ing education a crime, generated ignorance, and 
then punished it for violating them. 

For the present it is enough to say, that a 
most interesting child, a niece of my own, lost 
her life by the severity of Pat Frayne, the Con- 
naught-man. In a fit of passion he caught the 
poor girl by the ear, which he nearly plucked 
out of her head. The violence of the act broke 
some of the internal muscles or tendons, sup- 
puration and subsequently inflammation, first of 
the adjoining parts and afterwards of the brain, 
took place, and the fine intelligent little creature 
was laid in a premature grave, because the 
ignorance of the people justified a pedantic 
hedge-schoolmaster in the exercise of irrespon- 
sible cruelty. Frayne was never prosecuted, 
neither was the classical despot, who by the way 



TRAITS AND STORIES xxvii 

sits for the picture of the fellow in whose school, 
and at whose hands, the Poor Scholar receives 
the tyrannical and heartless treatment mentioned 
in that tale. Many a time the cruelty exercised 
towards that unhappy boy, whose name was 
Quin, has wrung my heart and brought the in- 
voluntary tears to my eyes, tears which I was 
forced to conceal, being very well assured from 
experience, that any sympathy of mine, if no- 
ticed, would be certain to procure me or any 
other friend of his, an ample participation in his 
punishment. He was, in truth, the scape-goat 
of the school, and it makes my blood boil, even 
whilst I write, to think how the poor friendless 
lad, far removed from either father or mother, 
was kicked, and cuffed, and beaten on the naked 
head, with a kind of stick between a horse-rod 
and a cudgel, until his poor face got pale, and 
he was forced to totter over to a seat in order to 
prevent himself from fainting or falling in con- 
sequence of severe pain. 

At length, however, the inhuman villain began 
to find, when it was too late, that his ferocity, 
in spite of the terror which it occasioned, was 
soon likely to empty his school. He now became 
as fawning and slavish as he had before been 
insolent and savage; but the wealthy farmers 
of the neighbourhood, having now full cogni- 
zance of his conduct, made common cause with 
the poorer men whose children were so shame- 
fully treated, and the result was, that in about 
six weeks they forced him to leave that part of 
the country for want of scholars, having been 



xxviii INTRODUCTION 

literally groaned out of it by the curses and in- 
dignation of all who knew him. 

Here then was I once more at a loss for a 
school, and I must add, in no disposition at all 
to renew my acquaintance with literature. Our 
family had again removed from Nurchasy, to a 
place up nearer the mountains, called Spring- 
town, on the northern side of the parish. I was 
now about fourteen, and began to feel a keen 
relish for all the sports and amusements of the 
country, into which I entered with a spirit of 
youth and enthusiasm rarely equalled. For 
about two years I attended no school, but it was 
during this period that I received, notwithstand- 
ing, the best part of my education. Our farm 
in Springtown was about sixteen or eighteen 
acres, and I occasionally assisted the family in 
working at it, but never regularly, for I was not 
called upon to do so, nor would I have been per- 
mitted even had I wished it. It was about six 
months after our removal to Springtown, that 
an incident in my early life occurred which gave 
rise to one of the most popular tales perhaps, 
with the exception of the Miser, that I have 
written that is the Poor Scholar. There being 
now no classical school within eighteen or twenty 
miles of Springtown, it was suggested to our 
family by a nephew of the parish priest, then a 
young man of six or eight and twenty, that, 
under the circumstances, it would be a prudent 
step on their part to prepare an outfit, and send 
me up to Munster as a poor scholar, to complete 
my education. Pat Frayne, who by the way had 



TRAITS AND STORIES xxix 

been a poor scholar himself, had advised the same 
thing before, and as the name does not involve 
disgrace I felt no reluctance in going, especially 
as the priest's nephew, who proposed it, had 
made up his mind on accompanying me for a 
similar purpose. Indeed, the poor scholars who 
go to Munster are indebted for nothing but 
their bed and board, which they receive kindly 
and hospitably from the parents of the scholars. 
The masters are generally paid their full terms 
by these pitiable beings, but this rule, like all 
others, of course has its exceptions. At all 
events, my outfit was got ready, and on a beauti- 
ful morning in the month of May I separated 
from my family to go in quest of education. 
There was no collection, however, in my case, 
as mentioned in the tale ; as my own family sup- 
plied the funds supposed to be necessary. I 
have been present, however, at more than one 
collection made for similar purposes, and heard 
a good-natured sermon not very much differing 
from that given in the story. 

The priest's nephew, on the day we were to 
start, suddenly changed his mind, and I conse- 
quently had to undertake the journey alone, 
which I did with a heavy heart. The farther I 
got from home the more my spirits sank, or, in 
the beautiful image of Goldsmith, 

" I dragged at each remove a lengthening chain." 

I travelled as far as the town of Granard, and 
during the journey, it is scarcely necessary to 
say, that the almost parental tenderness and 



xxx INTRODUCTION 

hospitality which I received on my way could 
not be adequately described. The reader will 
find an attempt at it in the story. The parting 
from home and my adventures on the road are 
real. 

Having reached Granard my courage began 
to fail, and my family at home, now that I had 
departed from them, began also to feel some- 
thing like remorse for having permitted one so 
young and inexperienced as I then was, to go 
abroad alone upon the world. My mother's 
sorrow, especially, was deep, and her cry was, 
" Oh, why did I let my boy go? maybe I will 
never see him again ! " 

At this time, as the reader may be aware from 
my parental education, there was not a being 
alive more thoroughly imbued with superstition; 
and, whether for good or ill, at all events that 
superstition returned me to my family. On 
reaching Granard I felt, of course, fatigued, 
and soon went to bed, where I slept soundly. It 
was not, however, a dreamless sleep: I thought 
I was going along a strange path to some par- 
ticular place, and that a mad bull met me on the 
road, and pursued me with such speed and fury 
that I awoke in a state of singular terror. That 
was sufficient ; my mind had been already waver- 
ing, and the dream determined me. The next 
morning after breakfast I bent my steps home- 
wards, and, as it happened, my return took a 
weighty load of bitter grief from the heart of my 
mother and family. The house I stopped at in 
Granard was a kind of small inn, kept by a man 



TRAITS AND STORIES xxxi 

whose name was Peter Grehan. Such were the 
incidents which gave rise to the tale of ' The 
Poor Scholar." 

I was now growing up fast, and began to feel 
a boyish ambition of associating with those who 
were older and bigger than myself. Although 
miserably deficient in education for I had been 
well beaten but never taught yet I was looked 
upon as a prodigy of knowledge; and I can as- 
sure the reader that I took very good care not 
to dispel that agreeable delusion. Indeed, at 
this time, I was as great a young literary 
coxcomb as ever lived, my vanity being high and 
inflated exactly in proportion to my ignorance, 
which was also of the purest water. This van- 
ity, however, resulted as much from my position 
and circumstances as from any strong disposition 
to be vain on my part. It was generated by the 
ignorance of the people, and their extreme ven- 
eration for any thing in the shape of superior 
knowledge. In fact, they insisted that I knew 
every earthly subject, because I had been a 
couple of years at Latin, and was designed for 
a priest. It was useless to undeceive men who 
would not be convinced, so I accordingly gave 
them, as they say, " the length of their tether;" 
nay, to such purpose did I ply them with proofs 
of it, that my conversation soon became as fine 
a specimen of pedantic bombast as ever was 
uttered. Not a word under six feet could come 
out of my lips, even of English; but as the best 
English, after all, is but common-place, I pep- 
pered them with vile Latin, and an occasional 



xxxii INTRODUCTION 

verse in Greek, from St. John's Gospel, which 
I translated for them into a wrong meaning, 
with an air of lofty superiority that made them 
turn up their eyes with wonder. I was then, 
however, but one of a class which still exists, and 
will continue to do so until a better informed 
generation shall prevent those who compose it 
from swaggering about in all the pompous pride 
of young impostors, who boast of knowing " the 
seven languages." The reader will find an illus- 
tration of this in the sketch of " Denis O'Shaugh- 
nessy going to Maynooth." 

In the meantime, I was unconsciously but 
rapidly preparing myself for a position in Irish 
literature, which I little dreamt I should ever 
occupy. I now mingled in the sports and pas- 
times of the people, until indulgence in them 
became the predominant passion of my youth. 
Throwing the stone, wrestling, leaping, foot- 
ball, and every other description of athletic 
exercise filled up the measure of my early happi- 
ness. I attended every wake, dance, fair, and 
merry-making in the neighbourhood, and became 
so celebrated for dancing hornpipes, jigs, and 
reels, that I was soon without a rival in the 
parish. 

This kind of life, though very delightful to a 
boy of my years, was not, however, quite satis- 
factory, as it afforded me no ultimate prospect, 
and the death of my father had occasioned the 
circumstances of the family to decline. I heard, 
about this time, that a distant relative of mine, 
a highly respectable priest, had opened a classical 



TRAITS AND STORIES xxxiii 

school near Glasslough, in the county of Mon- 
aghan. To him I accordingly went, mentioned 
our affinity, and had my claims allowed. I at- 
tended his school with intermission for about two 
years, at the expiration of which period I once 
more returned to our family, who were then very 
much reduced. 

I was now about nineteen, strong, active, and 
could leap two-and-twenty feet on a dead level; 
but though thoroughly acquainted with Irish 
life among my own class, I was as ignorant of 
the world as a child. Ever since my boyhood, 
in consequence of the legends which I had heard 
from my father, about the far-famed Lough- 
derg, or St. Patrick's Purgatory, I felt my im- 
agination fired with a romantic curiosity to 
perform a station at that celebrated place. I 
accordingly did so, and the description of that 
most penal performance, some years afterwards, 
not only constituted my debut in literature, but 
was also the means of preventing me from being 
a pleasant, strong-bodied parish priest at this 
day; indeed, it was the cause of changing the 
whole destiny of my subsequent life. 

" The Lough-derg Pilgrim " is given in the 
present edition, and may be relied on, not so 
much as an ordinary narrative, as a perfect tran- 
script of what takes place during the stations 
which are held there in the summer months. 

Having returned from this, I knew not ex- 
actly how to dispose of myself. On one thing 
I was determined never to enter the Church; 
but this resolution I kept faithfully to myself. 



xxxiv INTRODUCTION 

I had nothing for it now but to forget my 
sacerdotal prospects, which, as I have said, had 
already been renounced, or to sink down as many 
others like me had done, into a mere tiller of the 
earth, a character in Ireland far more unpop- 
ular than that which the Scotch call " a sticket 
minister ! " 

It was about this period, that chance first 
threw the inimitable Adventures of the re- 
nowned Gil Bias across my path. During my 
whole life, I had been an insatiable reader of 
such sixpenny romances and history-books as the 
hedge-schools afforded. Many a time have I 
given up my meals, rather than lose one minute 
from the interest excited by the story I was 
perusing. Having read Gil Bias, however, I 
felt an irrepressible passion for adventure, which 
nothing could divert; in fact, I was as much the 
creature of the impulse it excited, as the ship 
is of the helmsman, or the steam-engine of the 
principle that guides it. 

Stimulated by this romantic love of adventure, 
I left my native place, and directed my steps to 
the parish of Killanny, in the county of Louth, 
the Catholic Clergyman of which was a nephew 
of our own Parish Priest, brother to him who 
proposed going to Munster with me, and an old 
school-fellow of my own, though probably twenty 
years my senior. This man's residence was 
within a quarter or half a mile's distance of the 
celebrated Wild-goose Lodge, in which some six 
months before a whole family, consisting of, I 
believe, eight persons, men, women and children, 



TRAITS AND STORIES xxxv 

had been, from motives of personal vengeance, 
consumed to ashes. I stopped with him for a 
fortnight, and succeeded in procuring a tuition 
in the house of a wealthy farmer named Piers 
Murphy, near Corcreagh. This, however, was a 
tame life, and a hard one, so I resolved once more 
to give up a miserable salary and my board, for 
the fortunate chances which an ardent tempera- 
ment, and a strong imagination, perpetually 
suggested to me as likely to be evolved out of 
the vicissitudes of life. Urged on, therefore, by 
a spirit of romance, I resolved to precipitate my- 
self on the Irish Metropolis, which I accord- 
ingly entered with two shillings and ninepence 
in my pocket; an utter stranger, of course 
friendless; ignorant of the world, without aim 
or object, but not without a certain strong feel- 
ing of vague and shapeless ambition, for the truth 
was I had not yet begun to think, and, conse- 
quently, looked upon life less as a reality than a 
vision. 

Thus have I, as a faithful, but I fear a dull 
guide, conducted my reader from the lowly 
cottage in Prillisk, where I first drew my 
breath, along those tangled walks and green 
lanes which are familiar to the foot of the 
peasant alone, until I enter upon the highways 
of the world, and strike into one of its greatest 
and most crowded thoroughfares the Metrop- 
olis. Whether this brief sketch of my early and 
humble life, my education, my sports, my hopes 
and struggles, be calculated to excite any partic- 
ular interest, I know not; I can only assure my 



xxxvi INTRODUCTION 

reader that the details, so far as they go, are 
scrupulously correct and authentic, and that they 
never would have been obtruded upon him, were 
it not from an anxiety to satisfy him that in 
undertaking to describe the Irish peasantry as 
they are, I approached that difficult task with 
advantages of knowing them, which perhaps few 
other Irish writers ever possessed ; and this is the 
only merit which I claim. 

A few words now upon the moral and physical 
condition of the people may not be unsuitable 
before I close, especially for the sake of those 
who may wish to acquire a slight knowledge of 
their general character, previous to their perusal 
of the volumes which are to follow. This task, 
it is true, is not one of such difficulty now as 
it was some years ago. Much light has been 
thrown on the Irish character, not only by the 
great names I have already enumerated, but by 
some equally high which I have omitted. On 
this subject it would be impossible to overlook 
the names of Lever, Maxwell, or Otway, or to 
forget the mellow hearth-light and chimney-cor- 
ner tone, the happy dialogue and legendary truth 
which characterise the exquisite fairy legends of 
Crofton Croker. Much of the difficulty of the 
task, I say, has been removed by these writers, 
but there remains enough still behind to justify 
me in giving a short dissertation upon the habits 
and feelings of my countrymen. 

Of those whose physical state has been and is 
so deplorably wretched, it may not be supposed 
that the tone of morals can be either high or 



TRAITS AND STORIES xxxvii 

pure; and yet if we consider the circumstances 
in which he has been for such a lengthened period 
placed, it is undeniable that the Irishman is a 
remarkably moral man. Let us suppose, for 
instance, that in England and Scotland the great 
body of the people had for a couple or three 
centuries never received an adequate or proper 
education : in that case, let us ask, what the moral 
aspect of society in either country would be to- 
day? But this is not merely the thing to be 
considered. The Irishman was not only not 
educated, but actually punished for attempting 
to acquire knowledge in the first place, and in 
the second, punished also for the ignorance 
created by its absence. In other words, the 
penal laws rendered education criminal, and then 
caused the unhappy people to suffer for the 
crimes which proper knowledge would have pre- 
vented them from committing. It was just like 
depriving a man of his sight, and afterwards 
causing him to be punished for stumbling. It 
is beyond all question, that from the time of the 
wars of Elizabeth and the introduction of the 
Reformation, until very recently, there was no 
fixed system of wholesome education in the coun- 
try. The people, possessed of strong political 
and religious prejudices, were left in a state of 
physical destitution and moral ignorance, such 
as were calculated to produce ten times the 
amount of crime which was committed. Is it 
any wonder, then, that in such a condition, social 
errors and dangerous theories should be gen- 
erated, and that neglect, and poverty, and 



xxxviii INTRODUCTION 

ignorance combined should give to the country 
a character for turbulence and outrage? The 
same causes will produce the same effects in any 
country, and were it not that the standard of 
personal and domestic comfort was so low in 
Ireland, there is no doubt that the historian 
would have a much darker catalogue of crime 
to record than he has. The Irishman, in fact, 
was mute and patient under circumstances which 
would have driven the better-fed and more com- 
fortable Englishman into open outrage and con- 
tempt of all authority. God forbid that I for 
a moment should become the apologist of crime, 
much less the crimes of my countrymen! but it 
is beyond all question that the principles upon 
which the country was governed have been such 
as to leave down to the present day many of 
their evil consequences behind them. The penal 
code, to be sure, is now abolished, but so are not 
many of its political effects among the people. 
Its consequences have not yet departed from the 
country, nor has the hereditary hatred of the 
laws, which unconsciously descended from father 
to son, ceased to regulate their conduct and 
opinions. Thousands of them are ignorant that 
ever such a thing as a penal code existed; yet 
the feeling against law survives, although the 
source from which it has been transmitted may 
be forgotten. This will easily account for much 
of the political violence and crime which mo- 
ments of great excitement produce among us; 
nor need we feel surprised that this state of 
things should be continued, to the manifest in- 



TRAITS AND STORIES xxxix 

jury of the people themselves, by the baneful 
effects of agitation. 

The period, therefore, for putting the charac- 
ter of our country fairly upon its trial has not yet 
arrived; although we are willing to take the 
Irishman as we find him; nor would we shrink 
even at the present moment from comparing him 
with any of his neighbours. His. political sins 
and their consequences were left him as an heir- 
loom, and result from a state of things which he 
himself did not occasion. Setting these aside, 
where is the man to be found in any country 
who has carried with him through all his priva- 
tions and penalties so many of the best virtues 
of our nature? In other countries the man who 
commits a great crime is always a great criminal, 
and the whole heart is hardened and debased, 
but it is not so in Ireland. The agrarian and 
political outrage is often perpetrated by men who 
possess the best virtues of humanity, and whose 
hearts as individuals actually abhor the crime. 
The moral standard here is no doubt dreadfully 
erroneous, and until a correct and Christian one, 
emanating from a better system of education, 
shall be substituted for it, it will, with a people 
who so think and feel, be impossible utterly to 
prevent the occurrence of these great evils. We 
must wait for thirty or forty years, that is, until 
the rising or perhaps the subsequent generation 
shall be educated out of these wild and destruc- 
tive prejudices, before we can fully estimate the 
degree of excellence to which our national char- 
acter may arrive. In my own youth, and I 



xl INTRODUCTION 

am now only forty-four years, I do not remem- 
ber a single school under the immediate superin- 
tendence of either priest or parson, and that in 
a parish the extent of which is, I dare say, ten 
miles by eight. The instruction of the children 
was altogether a matter in which no clergy of 
any creed took an interest. This was left alto- 
gether to hedge schoolmasters, a class of men, 
who, with few exceptions, bestowed such an 
education upon the people as is sufficient almost, 
in the absence of all other causes, to account for 
much of the agrarian violence and erroneous 
principles which regulate their movements and 
feelings on that and similar subjects. For 
further information on this matter the reader is 
referred to the " Hedge School." 

With respect to these darker shades of the 
Irish character, I feel that, consistently with that 
love of truth and impartiality which has guided, 
and I trust ever shall guide, my pen, I could 
not pass them over without further notice. I 
know that it is a very questionable defence to 
say that some, if not principally all, of their 
crimes originate in agrarian or political venge- 
ance. Indeed, I believe that, so far from this 
circumstance being looked upon as a defence, it 
ought to be considered as an aggravation of the 
guilt ; inasmuch as it is, beyond all doubt, at least 
a far more manly thing to inflict an injury upon 
an enemy face to face, and under the influence 
of immediate resentment, than to crouch like a 
cowardly assassin behind a hedge and coolly 
muroler him without one moment's preparation, 



TRAITS AND STORIES xli 

or any means whatsoever of defence. This is a 
description of crime which no man with one gen- 
erous drop of blood in his veins can think of 
without shame and indignation. Unhappily, 
however, for the security of human life, every 
crime of the kind results more from the dark 
tyranny of these secret confederacies, by which 
the lower classes are organized, than from any 
natural appetite for shedding blood. Indi- 
vidually, the Irish loathe murder as much as any 
people in the world ; but in the circumstances be- 
fore us, it often happens that the Irishman is not 
a free agent, very far from it: on the contrary, 
he is frequently made the instrument of a system, 
to which he must become either an obedient slave 
or a victim. 

Even here, however, although nothing can or 
ought to be said, to palliate the cowardly and 
unmanly crime of assassination, yet something 
can certainly be advanced to account for the 
state of feeling by which, from time to time, and 
by frequent occurrence, it came to be so habit- 
ual among the people, that by familiarity it be- 
came stripped of its criminality and horror. 

Now it is idle, and it would be dishonest, to 
deny the fact, that the lower Irish, until a 
comparatively recent period, were treated with 
apathy and gross neglect by the only class to 
whom they could or ought to look up for 
sympathy or protection. The conferring of the 
elective franchise upon the forty shilling free- 
holders, or in other words upon paupers, added 
to the absence of proper education, or the means 



xlii INTRODUCTION 

of acquiring it, generated, by the fraudulent 
sub-division of small holdings, by bribery, per- 
jury, and corruption, a state of moral feeling 
among the poorer classes which could not but be 
productive of much crime. And yet, notwith- 
standing this shameful prostitution of their 
morals and comfort, for the purposes of political 
ambition or personal aggrandisement, they were 
in general a peaceable and enduring people; and 
it was only when some act of unjustifiable 
severity, or oppression in the person of a middle- 
man, agent, or hard-hearted landlord, drove 
them houseless upon the world, that they fell 
back upon the darker crimes of which I am 
speaking. But what, I ask, could be expected 
from such a state of things? And who gener- 
ated it? It is not, indeed, to be wondered at 
that a set of men, who so completely neglected 
their duties as the old landlords of Ireland did, 
should have the very weapons turned against 
themselves which their own moral profligacy first 
put into the hands of those whom they corrupted. 
Up to this day the peasantry are charged with 
indifference to the obligation of an oath, and in 
those who still have anything to do in elections, 
I fear with too much truth. But then let us 
inquire who first trained and familiarised them to 
it? Why, the old landlords of Ireland; and 
now their descendants, and such of themselves 
as survive, may behold, in the crimes which dis- 
grace the country, the disastrous effects of a bad 
system created by their forefathers or them- 
selves. 



TRAITS AND STORIES xliii 

In the mean time, I have no doubt that by the 
removal of the causes which produced this de- 
plorable state of things, their disastrous effects 
will also soon disappear. That the present land- 
lords of Ireland are, with the ordinary number 
of exceptions, a very different class of men from 
those who have gone before them, is a fact which 
will ultimately tell for the peace and prosperity 
of the country. Let the ignorance of the people, 
or rather the positive bad knowledge with which, 
as to a sense of civil duties, their minds are filled, 
be removed, and replaced with principles of a 
higher and more Christian tendency. Let the 
Irish landlords consider the interests of their 
tenantry as their own, and there is little doubt 
that with the aids of science, agricultural im- 
provement, and the advantages of superior ma- 
chinery, the Irish will become a prosperous, 
contented, and great people. 

It is not just to the general character of our 
people, however, to speak of these crimes as na- 
tional, for, in fact, they are not so. If Tip- 
perary and some of the adjoining parts of 
Munster were blotted out of the moral map of 
the country, we would stand as a nation in a far 
higher position than that which we occupy in the 
opinion of our neighbours. This is a distinction 
which in justice to us ought to be made, for it 
is surely unfair to charge the whole kingdom 
with the crimes which disgrace only a single 
county of it, together with a few adjacent dis- 
tricts allowing, of course, for some melancholy 
exceptions in other parts. 



xliv INTRODUCTION 

Having now discussed, with I think sufficient 
candour and impartiality that portion of our 
national character which appears worst and 
weakest in the eyes of our neighbours, and at- 
tempted to show that pre-existing circumstances 
originating from an unwise policy had much to 
do in calling into existence and shaping its evil 
impulses, I come now to a more agreeable task 
the consideration of our social and domestic 
virtues. And here it is where the Irishman im- 
measurably outstrips all competitors. His hos- 
pitality is not only a habit but a principle; and 
indeed of such a quick and generous tempera- 
ment is he, that in ninety cases out of a hun- 
dred the feeling precedes the reflection, which 
in others prompts the virtue. To be a stranger 
and friendless, or suffering hunger and thirst, 
is at any time a sufficient passport to his heart 
and purse; but it is not merely the thing or vir- 
tue, but also his manner of doing it, that con- 
stitutes the charm which runs through his 
conduct. There is a natural politeness and sin- 
cerity in his manner which no man can mistake; 
and it is a fact, the truth of which I have felt a 
thousand times, that he will make you feel the 
acceptance of the favour or kindness he bestows 
to be a compliment to himself rather than to you. 
The delicate ingenuity with which he diminishes 
the nature or amount of his own kindness, proves 
that he is no common man either in heart or in- 
tellect; and when all fails he will lie like Lucifer 
himself, and absolutely seduce you into an ac- 
ceptance of his hospitality or assistance. I 



TRAITS AND STORIES xlv 

speak now exclusively of the peasantry. Cer- 
tainly in domestic life there is no man so ex- 
quisitely affectionate and humanized as the 
Irishman. The national imagination is active 
and the national heart warm, and it follows very 
naturally that he should be, and is, tender and 
strong in all his domestic relations. Unlike the 
people of other nations, his grief is loud but last- 
ing, vehement but deep; and whilst its shadow 
has been chequered by the laughter and mirth of 
a cheerful disposition, still in the moments of 
seclusion, at his bedside prayer, or over the grave 
of those he loved, it will put itself forth after 
half a life with a vivid power of recollection 
which is sometimes almost beyond belief. 

The Irish, however, are naturally a refined 
people ; but by this I mean the refinement which 
appreciates and cherishes whatever there is in 
nature, as manifested through the influence of 
the softer arts of music and poetry. The effect 
of music upon the Irish heart I ought to know 
well, and no man need tell me that a barbarous 
or cruel people ever possessed national music 
that was beautiful and pathetic. The music of 
any nation is the manifestation of its general 
feeling, and not that which creates it; although 
there is no doubt but the one when formed per- 
petuates and reproduces the other. It is no 
wonder, then, that the domestic feelings of the 
Irish should be so singularly affectionate and 
strong, when we consider that they have been, 
in spite of every obstruction, kept under the 
softening influence of music and poetry. This 



xlvi INTRODUCTION 

music and poetry, too, essentially their own 
and whether streaming of a summer evening 
along their pastoral fields, echoing through their 
still glens, or poured forth at the winter hearth, 
still, by its soft and melancholy spirit, stirring 
up a thousand tender associations that must 
necessarily touch and improve the heart. And 
it is for this reason that that heart becomes so 
remarkably eloquent, if not poetical, when 
moved by sorrow. Many a time I have seen a 
Keener commence her wail over the corpse of a 
near relative, and by degrees she has risen from 
the simple wail or cry to a high but mournful 
recitative, extemporized, under the excitement of 
the moment, into sentiments that were highly 
figurative and impressive. In this she was aided 
very much by the genius of the language, which 
possesses the finest and most copious vocabulary 
in the world for the expression of either sorrow 
or love. 

It has been said that the Irish, notwithstand- 
ing a deep susceptibility of sorrow, are a light- 
hearted people; and this is strictly true. What, 
however, is the one fact but a natural conse- 
quence of the other? No man for instance ever 
possessed a high order of humour, whose tem- 
perament was not naturally melancholy, and no 
country in the world more clearly establishes 
that point than Ireland. Here the melancholy 
and mirth are not simply in a proximate state, 
but frequently flash together, and again separate 
so quickly, that the alternation or blending, as 
the case may be, whilst it is felt by the specta- 



TRAITS AND STORIES xlvii 

tors, yet stands beyond all known rules of 
philosophy to solve it. Any one at all ac- 
quainted with Ireland, knows that in no country 
is mirth lighter, or sorrow deeper, or the smile 
and the tear seen more frequently on the face 
at the same moment. Their mirth, however, is 
not levity, nor their sorrow gloom; and for this 
reason none of those dreary and desponding re- 
actions take place, which, as in France especially, 
so frequently terminate in suicide. 

The recreations of the Irish were very varied 
and some of them of a highly intellectual cast. 
These latter, however, have altogether disap- 
peared from the country, or at all events are 
fast disappearing. The old Harper is now 
hardly seen; the Senachie, where he exists, is 
but a dim and faded representative of that 
very old Chronicler in his palmy days; and the 
Prophecy-man unfortunately has survived the 
failure of his best and most cherished predictions. 
The poor old Prophet's stock in trade is nearly 
exhausted, and little now remains but the 
slaughter which is to take place at the naill of 
Louth, when the mill is to be turned three times 
with human blood, and the miller to have six 
fingers and two thumbs on each hand, as a col- 
lateral prognostication of that bloody event. 

The amusement derived from these persons 
was undoubtedly of a very imaginative character, 
and gives sufficient proof, that had the national 
intellect been duly cultivated, it is difficult to 
say in what position as a literary country Ireland 
might have stood at this day. At present the 



xlviii INTRODUCTION 

national recreations, though still sufficiently 
varied and numerous, are neither so strongly 
marked nor diversified as formerly. Fun, or 
the love of it, to be sure, is an essential principle 
in the Irish character; and nothing that can hap- 
pen, no matter how solemn or how sorrowful it 
may be, is allowed to proceed without it. In 
Ireland the house of death is sure to be the 
merriest one in the neighbourhood; but here the 
mirth is kindly and considerately introduced, 
from motives of sympathy in other words, for 
the alleviation of the mourners' sorrow. The 
same thing may be said of its association with 
religion. Whoever has witnessed a Station in 
Ireland made at some blessed lake or holy well, 
will understand this. At such places it is quite 
usual to see young men and women devoutly cir- 
cumambulating the well or lake on their bare 
knees with all the marks of penitence and con- 
trition strongly impressed upon their faces; 
whilst again, after an hour or two, the same in- 
dividuals may be found in a tent dancing with 
ecstatic vehemence to the music of the bagpipe 
or fiddle. 

All these things, however, will be found, I 
trust I may say faithfully, depicted in the fol- 
lowing volumes together with many other im- 
portant features of our general character; which 
I would dwell on here, were it not that they are 
detailed very fully in other parts of my works, 
and I do not wish to deprive them of the force of 
novelty when they occur, nor to appear heavy 
by repetition. 



TRAITS AND STORIES xlix 

In conclusion, I have endeavoured, with what 
success has been already determined by the voice 
of my own country, to give a panorama of Irish 
life among the people comprising at one view 
all the strong points of their general charac- 
ter their loves, sorrows, superstitions, piety, 
amusements, crimes and virtues; and in doing 
this, I can say with solemn truth that I painted 
them honestly, and without reference to the ex- 
istence of any particular creed or party. 

DUBLIN, 1854. 



IRELAND 
TRAITS AND STORIES 

NED M'KEOWN 

Ned M'Keown's house stood exactly in an 
angle, formed by the cross roads of Kilrudden. 
It was a long, whitewashed building, well 
thatched and furnished with the usual appurte- 
nances of yard and offices. Like most Irish 
houses of the better sort, it had two doors, one 
opening into a garden that sloped down from the 
rear in a southern direction. The bar was a con- 
tinuation of the dwelling-house, and might be 
distinguished from it by a darker shade of colour, 
being only rough-cast. It was situated on a 
small eminence, but, with respect to the general 
locality of the country, in a delightful vale, which 
runs up, for twelve or fourteen miles, between 
two ranges of dark, well-defined mountains, that 
give to the interjacent country the form of a low 
inverted arch. This valley, which altogether, al- 
lowing for the occasional breaks and intersections 
of hill-ranges, extends upwards of thirty miles in 
length, is the celebrated valley of the " Black 
Pig," so well known in the politico-traditional 
history of Ireland and the legends connected 

with the famous Beal Dearg. 1 That part of it 
l-i 



2 IRELAND 

where Ned M'Keown resided was peculiarly 
beautiful and romantic. From the eminence on 
which the house stood, a sweep of the most 
fertile meadow-land stretched away to the foot 
of a series of intermingled hills and vales, which 
bounded this extensive carpet towards the north. 
Through these meadows ran a smooth river, 
called the Mullin-burn, which wound its way 
through them with such tortuosity, that it was 
"proverbial in the neighbourhood to say of any 
man remarkable for dishonesty, "he's as crooked 
as the Mullin-burn," an epithet which was some- 
times, although unjustly, jocularly applied to 
Ned himself. This deep but narrow river had 
its origin in the glens and ravines of a mountain 
which bounded the vale in a south-eastern di- 
rection; and after sudden and heavy rains, it 
tumbled down with such violence and impetu- 
osity over the crags 'and rock-ranges in its way, 
and accumulated so amazingly, that on reaching 
the meadows it inundated their surface, carrying 
away sheep, cows, and cocks of hay upon its yel- 
low flood. It also boiled and eddied, and roared 
with a hoarse sugh, that was heard at a consider- 
able distance. 

On the north-west side ran a ridge of high 
hills, with the cloud-capped peak of Knockmany 
rising in lofty eminence above them: these, as 
they extended towards the south, became grad- 
ually deeper in their hue, until at length they 
assumed the shape and form of heath-clad 
mountains, dark and towering. The prospect on 
either range is highly pleasing, and capable of 



TRAITS AND STORIES 3 

being compared with any I have ever seen, in 
softness, variety, and that serene lustre which re- 
poses only on the surface of a country rich in the 
beauty of fertility, and improved by the hand 
of industry and taste. Opposite Knockmany, 
at a distance of about four miles, on the south- 
eastern side, rose the huge and dark outline of 
Cullimore, standing out in gigantic relief against 
the clear blue of a summer sky, and flinging 
down his frowning and haughty shadow, almost 
to the firm-set base of his lofty rival; or, in 
winter, wrapped in a mantle of clouds, and 
crowned with unsullied snow, reposing in un- 
disturbed tranquillity, whilst the loud voice of 
storms howled around him. 

To the northward, immediately behind Culli- 
more, lies Althadhawan, a deep, craggy, precipi- 
tous glen, running up to its very base, and 
wooded with oak, hazel, rowan-tree, and holly. 
This picturesque glen extends two or three 
miles, until it melts into the softness of grove 
and meadow, in the rich landscape below. 
Then, again, on the opposite side, is Lumfordfs 
Glen, with its overhanging rocks, whose yawn- 
ing depth and silver waterfall, of two hundred 
feet, are at once finely and fearfully contrasted 
with the elevated peak of Knockmany, rising 
into the clouds above it. 

From either side of these mountains may be 
seen six or eight country towns the beautiful 
grouping of hill and plain, lake, river, grove, and 
dell the reverend cathedral 2 the white-washed 
cottage, and the comfortable farm-house. To 



4 IRELAND 

these may be added the wild upland and the 
cultivated demesne, the green sheep-walk, the 
dark moor, the splendid mansion, and ruined 
castle of former days. Delightful remem- 
brance! Many a day, both of sunshine and 
storm, have I, in the strength and pride of happy 
youth, bounded, fleet as the mountain roe, over 
these blue hills! Many an evening, as the yel- 
low beams of the setting sun shot slantingly, like 
rafters of gold, across the depth of this blessed 
and peaceful valley, have I followed, in solitude, 
the impulses of a wild and wayward fancy, and 
sought the quiet dell, or viewed the setting sun, 
as he scattered his glorious and shining beams 
through the glowing foliage of the trees, in the 
vista where I stood ; or wandered along the river, 
whose banks were fringed with the hanging 
willow, whilst I listened to the thrush singing 
among the hazels that crowned the sloping green 
above me, or watched the plashing otter, as he 
ventured from the dark angles and intricacies of 
the upland glen, to seek his prey in the meadow- 
stream during the favourable dusk of twilight. 
Many a time have I heard the simple song of 
Roger M'Cann, coming from the top of brown 
Dunroe, mellowed, by the stillness of the hour, 
to something far sweeter to the heart than all 
that the laboured pomp of musical art and 
science can effect; or, the song of Katty Roy, 
the beauty of the village, streaming across the 
purple-flowered moor, 

" Sweet as the shepherd's pipe upon the mountains." 



TRAITS AND STORIES 5 

Many a time, too, have I been gratified, in the 
same poetical hour, by the sweet sound of honest 
Ned M'Keown's ungreased cart-wheels, clack- 
ing, when nature seemed to have fallen asleep 
after the day-stir and animation of rural business 
for Ned was sometimes a carman on his re- 
turn from Dublin with a load of his own grocer- 
ies, without as much money in his pocket as 
would purchase oil, wherewith to silence the 
sounds which the friction produced regaling his 
own ears the while, as well as the music of the 
cart would permit his melody to be heard, with 
his favourite tune of Cannie Soogah. 3 

Honest, blustering, good-humoured Ned was 
the indefatigable merchant of the village; ever 
engaged in some ten or twenty pound specula- 
tion, the capital of which he was sure to extort, 
perhaps for the twelfth time, from the savings 
of Nancy's frugality, by the equivocal test of a 
month or six weeks' consecutive sobriety, and 
which said speculation he never failed to wind 
up by the total loss of the capital for Nancy, 
and the capital loss of a broken head for himself. 
Ned had eternally some bargain on his hands: 
at one time you might see him a yarn-merchant, 
planted in the next market-town, upon the upper 
step of Mr. Birney's hall-door, where the yarn- 
market was held, surrounded by a crowd of eager 
country-women, anxious to give Ned the prefer- 
ence, first, because he was a well-wisher; sec- 
ondly, because he hadn't his heart in the penny; 
and thirdly, because he gave sixpence a spangle 
more than any other man in the market. 



6 IRELAND 

There might Ned be found, with his twenty 
pounds of hard silver jingling in the bottom of 
a green bag, as a decoy to his customers, laugh- 
ing loud as he piled the yarn in an ostentatious 
heap, which, in the pride of his commercial 
sagacity, he had purchased at a dead loss. 
Again you might see him at a horse-fair, canter- 
ing about on the back of some sleek but broken- 
winded jade, with spavined legs, imposed on him 
as " a great bargain entirely," by the superior 
cunning of some rustic sharper ; or standing over 
a hogshead of damaged flaxseed, in the purchase 
of which he shrewdly suspected himself of having 
overreached the seller by allowing him for it a 
greater price than the prime seed of the market 
would have cost him. In short, Ned was never 
out of a speculation, and whatever he undertook 
was sure to prove a complete failure. But he 
had one mode of consolation, which consisted in 
sitting down with the fag-end of Nancy's capital 
in his pocket, and drinking night and day with 
this neighbour and that, whilst a shilling re- 
mained; and when he found himself at the end 
of his tether, he was sure to fasten a quarrel on 
some friend or acquaintance, and to get his head 
broken for his pains. 

None of all this blustering, however, happened 
within the range of Nancy's jurisdiction. Ned, 
indeed, might drink and sing, and swagger and 
' fight and he contrived to do so ; but notwith- 
standing all his apparent courage, there was one 
eye which made him quail, and before which he 
never put on the hector ; there was one, in whose 



TRAITS AND STORIES 7 

presence the loudness of his song would fall away 
into a very awkward and unmusical quaver, and 
under whose glance his laughing face often 
changed to the visage of a man who is disposed 
to anything but mirth. 

The fact was this : Whenever Ned found that 
his speculation was gone a shaughran* as he 
termed it, he fixed himself in some favourite pub- 
lic-house, from whence he seldom stirred while his 
money lasted, except when dislodged by Nancy, 
who usually, upon learning where he had taken 
cover, paid him an unceremonious visit, to which 
Ned's indefensible delinquency gave the colour 
of legitimate authority. Upon these occasions, 
Nancy, accompanied by two sturdy " servant- 
boys," would sally forth to the next market- 
town, for the purpose of bringing home 
" graceless Ned," as she called him. And then 
you might see Ned between the two servants, a 
few paces in advance of Nancy, having very 
much the appearance of a man performing a 
pilgrimage to the gallows, or of a deserter 
guarded back to his barrack, in order to become 
a target for the muskets of his comrades. Ned's 
compulsory return always became a matter of 
some notoriety; for Nancy's excursion in quest 
of the " graceless," was not made without fre- 
quent denunciations of wrath against him, and 
many melancholy apologies to the neighbours for 
entering upon the task of personally securing 
him. By this means her enterprise was sure to 
get wind, and a mob of the idle young men and 
barefooted urchins of the village, with Bob 



8 IRELAND 

M'Cann, " a three-quarter clift" 5 of a fellow 
half knave, half fool, was to be found a little 
below the village, upon an elevation of the road 
that commanded a level stretch of half a mile 
or so, in anxious expectation of the procession. 
No sooner had this arrived at the point of ob- 
servation, than the little squadron would fall 
rearward of the principal group, for the purpose 
of extracting from Nancy a full and particular 
account of the capture. 

" Indeed, childher, it's no wonder for yez to 
enquire! Where did I get him, Dick? musha, 
and where would I get him but in the ould place, 
a-hagur; with the ould set: don't yez know that 
a dacent place or dacent company wouldn't 
sarve Ned? nobody but Shane Martin, and 
Jimmy Tague, and the other blackguards." 6 

" And what will you do with him, Nancy? " 

" Och! thin, Dick, avourneen, it's myself that's 
jist tired thinking of that; at any rate, consumin 
to the loose foot he'll get this blessed month to 
come, Dick, agra ! " 

' Throth, Nancy," another mischievous monkey 
would exclaim, " if you hadn't great patience en- 
tirely, you couldn't put up with such threat- 
ment, at all at all." 

' Why thin, God knows, it's true for you, 
Barney. D'ye hear that, * graceless '? the very 
childher making a laughing-stock and a may- 
game of you! but wait till we get under the 
roof, any how." 

" Ned," a third would say, " isn't it a burning 
shame for you to break the poor crathur's heart, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 9 

this a-way? Throth, but you ought to hould 
down your head, sure enough a dacent 
woman! that only for her you wouldn't have a 
house over you, so you wouldn't." 

" And throth and the same house is going, 
Tim," Nancy would exclaim, " and when it goes, 
let him see thin who'll do for him; let him thry 
if his blackguards will stand to him, when he 
won't have poor foolish Nancy at his back." 

During these conversations, Ned would walk 
on between his two guards with a dogged-look- 
ing and condemned face; Nancy behind him, 
with his own cudgel, ready to administer an oc- 
casional bang, whenever he attempted to slacken 
his pace, or throw over his shoulder a growl of 
dissent or justification. 

On getting near home, the neighbours would 
occasionally pop out their heads, with a smile of 
good-humoured satire on their faces, which 
Nancy was very capable of translating: 

" Ay," she would say, addressing them, " I've 
caught him here he is to the fore. Indeed you 
may well laugh, Katty Rafferty; not a one of 
myself blames you for it. Ah, ye mane cra- 
thur," aside to Ned, " if you had the blood of a 
hen in you, you wouldn't have the neighbours 
braking their hearts laughing at you in sich a 
way ; and above all the people in the world, them 
Raffertys, that got the decree against us at the 
last sessions, although I offered to pay within 
fifteen shillings of the differ the grubs ! " 

Having seen her hopeful charge safely de- 
posited on the hob, Nancy would throw her 



10 IRELAND 

cloak into this corner, and her bonnet into that, 
with the air of a woman absorbed by the con- 
sideration of some vexatious trial ; she would then 
sit down, and, lighting her doodeen? exclaim 

" Wurrah, wurrah! but it's me that's the heart- 
scalded crathur with that man's four quarters! 
The Lord may help me and grant me patience 
with him any way! to have my little honest, 
hard-earned penny spint among a pack of vaga- 
bonds, that don't care if him and me wor both 
down the river, so they could get their skinful 
of drink out of him! No matther, agra! things 
can't long be this a- way; but what does Ned 
care? give him drink and fighting, and his 
blackguards about him, and that's his glory. 
There now's the landlord coming down upon us 
for the rint ; and unless he takes the cows out of 
the byre, or the bed from anundher us, what in 
the wide earth is there for him? " 

The current of this lecture was never inter- 
rupted by a single observation from Ned, who 
usually employed himself in silently playing 
with "Bunty:" a little black cur, without a 
tail, and a great favourite with Nancy; or, if 
he noticed anything out of its place in the house, 
he would arrange it with great apparent care. 
In the meantime Nancy's wrath generally evap- 
orated with the smoke of the pipe a cir- 
cumstance which Ned well knew; for after she 
had sucked it until it emitted a shrill, bubbling 
sound, like that from a reed, her brows, which 
wore at other times an habitual frown, would 
gradually relax into a more benevolent expres- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 11 

sion the parenthetical curves on each side of 
her mouth, formed by the irrascible pursing of 
her lips, would become less marked the dog or 
cat, or whatever else came in her way, instead 
of being kicked aside, or pursued in an underfit 
of digressional peevishness, would be put out of 
her path with gentler force so that it was, in 
such circumstances, a matter of little difficulty 
to perceive that conciliation would soon be the 
order of the day. Ned's conduct on these crit- 
ical occasions was very prudent and commend- 
able: he still gave Nancy her own way; never 
'jawed back to her;" but took shelter, as it 
were, under his own patience, until the storm 
had passed, and the sun of her good-humour be- 
gan to shine out again. Nancy herself, now 
softened by the fumes of her own pigtail, usually 
made the first overtures to a compromise, but, 
without departing from the practice and prin- 
ciples of higher negociators, always in an indi- 
rect manner: as, " Biddy, avourneen," speaking 
to her niece, " may be that crathur," pointing to 
Ned, " ate nothing to-day ; you had better, agra ! 
get him the could bacon that's in the cupboard, 
and warm for him, upon the greeshaugh* them 
yallow-legs? that's in the colindher; though 
God he knows it's ill my common 10 but no 
matther, ahagur ! there's enough said, I'm think- 
ing give them to him." 

On Ned seating himself to his bacon and po- 
tatoes, Nancy would light another pipe, and 
plant herself on the opposite hob, putting some 
interrogatory to him, in the way of business al- 



12 IRELAND 

ways concerning a third person, and still in a 
tone of dry ironical indifference : as 

" Did you see Jimmy Connolly on your trav- 
els?" 

" No." 

" Humph! Can you tell us if Andy Morrow 
sould his coult? " 

" He did." 

" Maybe you have gumption enough to know 
what he got for him? " 

" Fifteen guineas." 

" In troth, and it's more nor a poor body 
would get; but, any way, Andy Morrow de- 
sarves to get a good price; he's a man that takes 
care of his own business, and minds nothing else. 
I wish that filly of ours was dockt ; you ought to 
spake to Jim M'Quade about her: it's time to 
make her up you know, we'll want to sell her 
for the rint." 

This was an assertion, by the way, which Ned 
knew to have everything but truth in it. 

" Never heed the filly," Ned would reply, " I'll 
get Charley Lawdher n to dock her but it's not 
her I'm thinking of: did you hear the news about 
the tobacky?" 

" No; but I hope we won't be long so." 
' Well, any how, we wor in luck to buy in 
them three last rowls." 

" Eh? in luck? death-alive, how, Ned? " 
" Sure there was three ships of it lost last 
week, on their way from the kingdom of Swuz- 
zerland, in the Aist Indians, where it grows: we 
can raise it thruppence a-pound now." 



TRAITS AND STORIES 13 

" No, Ned! you're not in airnest? " 

" Faith, Nancy, you may say I am; and as 
soon as Tom Loan comes home from Dublin, 
he'll tell us all about it; and for that matther, 
may-be it may rise sixpence a-pound: any how 
we'll gain a lob by it, I'm thinking." 

"May I never stir, but that's luck! Well, 
Ned, you may thank me for that, any way, or 
sorra rowl we'd have in the four corners of the 
house; and you wanted to persuade me against 
buying them; but I knew betther for the to- 
backy's always sure to get a bit of a hitch at this 
time o' the year." 

" Bedad, you can do it, Nancy: I'll say that 
for you that is, and give you your own way." 

" Eh ! can't I, Ned? And, what was betther, 
I bate down Pether M'Entee three-ha'pence 
a-pound afther I bought them." 

" Ha! ha! ha! by my sannies, Nancy, as to 
market-making, they may all throw their caps at 
you, you thief o' the world; you can do them 
nately!" 

"Ha! ha! ha! Stop, Ned; don't drink that 
water it's not from the garden- well. I'll jist 
mix a sup of this last stuff we got from the 
mountains, till you taste it : I think it's not worse 
nor the last for Hugh Traynor's 12 an ould 
hand at making it." 

This was all Ned wanted: his point was now 
carried; but with respect to the rising of the 
tobacco, the less that is said about that the better 
for his veracity. 

Having thus given the reader a slight sketch 



14 IRELAND 

of Ned and Nancy, and of the beautiful valley 
in which this worthy speculator had his resi- 
dence, I shall next proceed to introduce him to 
the village circle, which, during the long winter 
nights, might be found in front of Ned's kitchen- 
fire of blazing turf, whose light was given back 
in ruddy reflection from the brighter pewter 
plates, that were ranged upon the white and 
well-scoured dresser in just and gradual order, 
from the small egg-plate to the large and capa- 
cious dish, whereon, at Christmas and Easter, 
the substantial round of corned beef used to rear 
itself so proudly over the more ignoble joints at 
the lower end of the table. 

Seated in this clear-obscure of domestic light 
which, after all, gives the heart a finer and 
more touching notion of enjoyment than the 
glitter of the theatre or the blaze of the saloon 
might be found, first, Andy Morrow, 13 the jury- 
man of the quarter-sessions, sage and important 
in the consciousness of legal knowledge, and 
somewhat dictatorial withal in its application to 
such knotty points as arose out of the subjects. 
of their nocturnal debates. Secondly, Bob Gott, 
who filled the foreign and military departments, 
and related the wonderful history of the ghost 
which appeared to him on the night after the 
battle of Bunkers'-hill. To him succeeded Tom 
M'Roarkin, the little asthmatic anecdotarian of 
half the country, remarkable for chuckling at his 
own stories. Then came old Bill M'Kinny, 
poacher and horse- jockey; little, squeaking, thin- 
faced Alick M'Kinley, a facetious farmer of 



TRAITS AND STORIES 15 

substance; and Shane Fadh, who handed down 
traditions and fairy tales. Enthroned on one 
hob sat Pat Frayne, the schoolmaster with the 
short arm, who read and explained the news- 
paper for " Ould Square Colwell," and was 
looked upon as premier to the aforesaid cabinet; 
Ned himself filled the opposite seat of honour. 

One night, a little before the Christmas holi- 
days, in the year 18 , the personages just 
described were seated around Ned's fire, some 
with their chirping pints of ale or porter, and 
others with their quantum of Hugh Traynor, or 
mountain-dew, and all with good humour, and a 
strong tendency to happiness, visible in their 
faces. The night was dark, close, and misty; so 
dark, indeed, that, as Nancy said, " you could 
hardly see your finger before you." Ned him- 
self was full of fun, with a pint of porter be- 
side him, and a pipe in his mouth, just in his 
glory for the night. Opposite to him was Pat 
Frayne, with an old newspaper on his knee, 
which he had just perused for the edification of 
his audience; beside him was Nancy, busily em- 
ployed in knitting a pair of sheep's-grey stock- 
ings for Ned; the remaining personages formed 
a semicircular ring about the hearth. Behind, 
on the kitchen-table, sat Paddy Smith, the 
servant-man, with three or four of the gorsoons 
of the village about him, engaged in a little 
under-plot of their own. On the other side, and 
a little removed from the light, sat Ned's two 
nieces, Biddy and Bessy Connolly, the former 
with Atty Johnson's mouth within whisper-reach 



16 IRELAND 

of her ear, and the latter seated close to her 
professed admirer, Billy Fulton, her uncle's 
shopman. 14 This group was completely ab- 
stracted from the entertainment which was go- 
ing forward in the circle round the fire. 

" I wondher," said Andy Morrow, " what 
makes Joe M'Crea throw down that fine ould 
castle of his, in Aughentain? " 

" I'm tould," said M'Roarkin, " that he ex- 
pects money; for they say there's a lot of it 
buried somewhere about the same building." 

" Jist as much as there's in my wig," replied 
Shane Fadh, " and there's ne'er a pocket to it 
yet. Why, bless your sowl, how could there be 
money in it, whin the last man of the Grameses 
that owned it I mane of the ould stock, afore 
it went into Lordy Mount joy's hands sould it 
out, ran through the money, and died begging 
af ther. Did none of you ever hear of 



Ould John Grame, 



' That swally'd the castle of Aughentain ! ' " 

' That was long afore my time," said the 
poacher; "but I know that the rabbit-burrow 
between that and Jack Appleden's garden will 
soon be run out." 

"Your time!" responded Shane Fadh, with 
contempt; "ay, and your father's afore you: 
my father doesn't remimber more nor seeing his 
funeral, and a merry one it was ; for my grand- 
father, and some of them that had a respect for 
the family and his forebarers, if they hadn't it 
for himself, made up as much money among 



TRAITS AND STORIES 17 

them as berried him dacently any how, -ay, and 
gave him a rousin' wake into the bargain, with 
lashins of whiskey, stout beer, and ale; for in 
them times God be with them every farmer 
brewed his own ale and beer; 15 more betoken, 
that one pint of it was worth a keg of this wash 
of yours, Ned." 

' Wasn't it he that used to appear? " inquired 
M'Roarkin. 

" Sure enough he did, Tom." 

" Lord save us," said Nancy, " what could 
trouble him, I dunna? " 

' Why," continued Shane Fadh, " some said 
one thing, and some another; but the upshot of 
it was this : when the last of the Grameses sould 
the estate, castle and all, it seems he didn't resave 
all the purchase money; so, afther he had spint 
what he got, he applied to the purchaser for the 
remainder him that the Mount joy family 
bought it from; but it seems he didn't draw up 
writings, or sell it according to law, so that the 
thief o' the world baffled him from day to day, 
and wouldn't give him a penny bekase he knew, 
the blaggard, that the Square was then as poor 
as a church mouse, and hadn't money enough to 
thry it at law with him; but the Square was al- 
ways a simple asy-going man. One day he went 
to this fellow, riding on an ould garran, with a 
shoe loose the only baste he had in the world 
and axed him, for God's sake, to give him some 
of what he owed him, if it was ever so little ; ' for,' 
says he, ' I have not as much money betune me 
and death as will get a set of shoes for my horse.' 

12 



18 IRELAND 

" * Well,' says the nager, ' if you're not able 
to keep your horse shod, I would jist recommend 
you to sell him, and thin his shoes won't cost you 
any thing/ says he. 

" The ould Square went away with tears in 
his eyes, for he loved the poor brute, bekase they 
wor the two last branches of the ould stock." 

" Why," inquired M'Kinley, in his small 
squeaking voice, " was the horse related to the 
family?" 

" I didn't say he was related to the fam 

Get out, you shingaun! " 16 returned the old man, 
perceiving by the laugh that now went round, 
the sly tendency of the question " no, nor to 
your family either, for he had nothing of the ass 
in him eh? will you put that in your pocket my 
little skinadhre 1T ha! ha! ha! " 

The laugh was now turned against M'Kinley. 

Shane Fadh proceeded: "The ould Square, 
as I was tellin' yez, cried to find himself an' the 
poor baste so dissolute; but when he had gone a 
bit from the fellow, he comes back to the vaga- 
bone ' Now,' says he, ' mind my words if you 
happen to live afther me, you need never expect 
a night's pace; for I here make a serous an' 
solemn vow, that as long as my property's in 
your possession, or in any of your seed, breed, 
or gineration's, I'll never give over hauntin' you 
an' them, till you'll rue to the back-bone your 
dishonesty an' chathery to me an' this poor baste, 
that hasn't a shoe to its foot.' 

" ' Well,' says the nager, ' I'll take chance of 
that, any way.' ' 



TRAITS AND STORIES 19 

" I'm tould, Shane," observed the poacher, 
" that the Square was a fine man in his time, that 
wouldn't put up with sich treatment from any- 
body." 

" Ay, but he was ould now," Shane replied, 
" and too wakely to fight. A fine man, Bill! 
he was the finest man, 'cepting ould Square 
Storey, that ever was in this counthry. I hard 
my granfather often say that he was six feet 
four, and made in proportion a handsome, 
black-a-vis'd 18 man, with great dark whiskers. 
Well ! he spint money like sklates, and so he died 
miserable but had a merry birrel, as I said." 

" But," inquired Nancy, " did he ever appear 
to the rogue that chated him? " 

" Every night in the year, Nancy, exceptin' 
Sundays; and what was more, the horse along 
with him for he used to come ridin' at midnight 
upon the same garran; and it was no matther 
what place or company the other 'ud be in, the 
ould Square would come reglarly, and crave 
him for what he owed him." 

"So it appears that horses have sowls," ob- 
served M'Roarkin, philosophically, giving, at the 
same time, a cynical chuckle at the sarcasm con- 
tained in his own conceit. 

" Whether they have sowls or bodies," replied 
the narrator, "what I'm tellin' you is thruth; 
every night in the year the ould chap would come 
for what was indue him; and as the two went 
along, the noise of the loose shoe upon the horse 
would be hard rattlin', and seen knockin' the fire 
out of the stones, by the neighbours and the thief 



20 IRELAND 

that chated him, even before the Square would 
appear, at all at all." 

" Oh, wurrah! " exclaimed Nancy, shuddering 
with terror. " I wouldn't take anything, and be 
out now on the Drumfurrar road, 19 and nobody 
with me but myself." 

" I think if you wor," said M'Kinley, " the 
light weights and short measures would be 
comin' acrass your conscience." 

" No, in throth, Alick, wouldn't they ; but may 
be if you wor, the promise you broke to Sally 
Mitchell might trouble you a bit: at any rate, 
I've a prayer, and if I only repated it wanst, I 
mightn't be afeard of all the divils in hell." 

' Throth, but it's worth havin', Nancy: where 
did you get it?" asked M'Kinley. 

" Hould your wicked tongue, you thief of a 
heretic," said Nancy, laughing, " when will you 
larn anything that's good? I got it from one 
that wouldn't have it if it wasn't good Darby 
M'Murt, the pilgrim, since you must know." 

' Whisht! " said Frayne: " upon my word, I 
blieve the old Square's comin' to pay us a visit; 
does any of yez hear a horse trottin' with a shoe 
loose? " 

" I sartinly hear it," observed Andy Morrow. 

" And I," said Ned himself. 

There was now a general pause, and in the 
silence a horse, proceeding from the moors in the 
direction of the house, was distinctly heard; and 
nothing could be less problematical than that one 
of his shoes was loose. 

" Boys, take care of yourselves," said Shane 



TRAITS AND STORIES 21 

Fadh, " if the Square comes, he won't be a pleas- 
ant customer he was a terrible fellow in his day : 
I'll hould goold to silver that he'll have the smell 
of brimstone about him." 

" Nancy, where's your prayer now? " said 
M'Kinley, with a grin: " I think you had bet- 
ther out with it, and thry if it keeps this old 
brimstone Square on the wrong side of the 
house." 

" Behave yourself, Alick; it's a shame for you 
to be sich a hardened crathur: upon my sannies, 
I blieve you're afeard of neither God nor the 
divil the Lord purtect and guard us from the 
dirty baste ! " 

"You mane particklarly them that uses short 
measures and light weights," rejoined M'Kinley. 

There was another pause, for the horseman 
was within a few perches of the cross-roads. At 
this moment an unusual gust of wind, accom- 
panied by torrents of rain, burst against the 
house with a violence that made its ribs creak; 
and the stranger's horse, the shoe still clanking, 
was distinctly heard to turn in from the road 
to Ned's door, where it stopped, and the next 
moment, a loud knocking intimated the horse- 
man's intention to enter. The company now 
looked at each other, as if uncertain what to do. 
Nancy herself grew pale, and, in the agitation of 
the moment, forgot to think of her protecting 
prayer. Biddy and Bessy Connolly started 
from the settle on which they had been sitting 
with their sweethearts, and sprung beside their 
uncle, on the hob. The stranger was still knock- 



22 IRELAND 

ing with great violence, yet there was no disposi- 
tion among the company to admit him, notwith- 
standing the severity of the night blowing, as 
it really did, a perfect hurricane. At length a 
sheet of lightning flashed through the house, 
followed by an amazing loud clap of thunder; 
while, with a sudden push from without, the door 
gave way, and in stalked a personage whose 
stature was at least six feet four, with dark eyes 
and complexion, and coal-black whiskers of an 
enormous size, the very image of the Squire they 
had been describing. He was dressed in a long 
black surtout, which made him appear even taller 
than he actually was, had a pair of heavy boots 
upon him, and carried a tremendous whip, large 
enough to fell an ox. He was in a rage on en- 
tering; and the heavy, dark, close-knit brows, 
from beneath which a pair of eyes, equally black, 
shot actual fire, whilst the Turk-like whiskers, 
which curled themselves up, as it were, in sympa- 
thy with his fury, joined to his towering height, 
gave him altogether, when we consider the 
frame of mind in which he found the company, 
an appalling and almost supernatural appear- 



ance. 





Confound you, for a knot of lazy scoun- 
drels," exclaimed the stranger, " why do you sit 
here so calmly, while any being craves admittance 
on such a night as this? Here, you lubber in the 
corner, with the pipe in your mouth, come and 
put up this horse of mine until the night settles." 
"May the blessed Mother purtect us!" ex- 
claimed Nancy, in a whisper to Andy Morrow, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 23 

" if I blieve he's a right thing! would it be the 
ould Square? Did you ever set your eyes upon 
sich a " 

" Will you bestir yourself, you boor, and not 
keep my horse and saddle out under such a tor- 
rent?" he cried, "otherwise I must only bring 
him into the house, and then you may say for 
once that you've had the devil under your roof." 

" Paddy Smith, you lazy spalpeen," said 
Nancy, winking at Ned to have nothing to do 
with the horse, " why don't you fly and put up 
the gintleman's horse? And you, Atty, avour- 
neen, jist go out with him, and hould the candle 
while he's doin' it: be quick now, and I'll give 
you glasses a-piece when you come in." 

" Let them put him up quickly; but I say, you 
Caliban," added the stranger, addressing Smith, 
" don't be rash about him, except you can bear 
fire and brimstone ; get him, at all events, a good 
feed of oats. Poor Satan ! " he continued, pat- 
ting the horse's head, which was now within the 
door, " you've had a hard night of it, my poor 
Satan, as well as myself. That's my dark spirit 
my brave chuck, that fears neither man nor 
devil." 

This language was by no means calculated to 
allay the suspicions of those who were present, 
particularly of Nancy and her two nieces. Ned 
sat in astonishment, with the pipe in his hand, 
which he had, in the surprise of the moment, 
taken from his mouth, his eyes fixed upon the 
stranger, and his mouth open. The latter no- 
ticed him, and stretching over the heads of the 



24, IRELAND 

circle, tapped him on the shoulder with his 
whip : 

"I have a few words to say to you, sir," he 
said. 

" To me, your honour ! " exclaimed Ned, with- 
out stirring, however. 

" Yes," replied the other, " but you seem to be 
fastened to your seat: come this way." 

" By all manner of manes, sir," said Ned, 
starting up, and going over to the dresser, 
against which the stranger stood. 

When the latter had got him there, he very 
coolly walked up, and secured Ned's comfortable 
seat on the hob, at the same time observing 

" You hadn't the manners to ask me to sit 
down ; but I always make it a point of conscience 
to take care of myself, landlord." 

There was not a man about the fire who did 
not stand up, as if struck with a sudden recol- 
lection, and offer him a seat. 

" No," said he, " thank you, my good fellows, 
I am very well as it is : I suppose, mistress, you 
are the landlady," addressing Nancy; "if you 
be, I'll thank you to bring me a gill of your best 
whiskey your "best, mind. Let it be as strong 
as an evil spirit let loose, and as hot as fire; for 
it can't be a jot too ardent such a night as this, 
for a being that rides the devil." 

Nancy started up instinctively, exclaiming, 
" Indeed, plase your honour's Reverence, I am 
the landlady, as you say, sir, sure enough; but, 
the Lawk save and guard us! won't a gallon of 
raw whiskey be too much for one man to drink? " 



TRAITS AND STORIES 25 

" A gallon! I only said a gill, my good hostess; 
bring me a gill but I forget I believe you have 
no such measure in this country; bring me a pint, 
then." 

Nancy now went into the bar, whither she 
gave Ned a wink to follow her; and truly was 
glad of an opportunity of escaping from the 
presence of the visitor. When there, she ejac- 
ulated 

" May the holy Mother keep and guard us, 
Ned, but I'm afeard that's no Christian crathur, 
at all at all! Arrah, Ned, aroon, would he be 
that ould Square Grame, that Shane Fadh, 
maybe, angered, by spakin' of him? " 

"Troth," said Ned, "myself doesn't know 
what he is; he bates any mortal / ever seen." 

' Well, hould, agra ! I have it : we'll see 
whether he'll drink this or not, any how." 

" Why, what's that you're doin'? " asked Ned. 

" Jist," replied Nancy, " mixin* the smallest 
taste in the world of holy wather with the 
whiskey, and if he drinks that, you know he can 
be nothing that's bad." 20 

Nancy, however, did not perceive that the 
trepidation of her hand was such as to incapaci- 
tate her from making nice distinctions in the ad- 
mixture. She now brought the spirits to the 
stranger, who no sooner took a mouthful of it 
than he immediately stopped it on its passage, 
and, fixing his eyes earnestly on herself, squirted 
it into the fire, and the next moment the whiskey 
was in a blaze that seemed likely to set the 
chimney in flames. 



26 IRELAND 

' Why, my honest hostess," he exclaimed, " do 
you give this to me for whiskey? Confound me, 
but two-thirds of it is water; and I have no no- 
tion to pay for water when I want spirits: have 
the goodness to exchange this, and get me some 
better stuff, if you have it." 

He again put the jug to his mouth, and hav- 
ing taken a little, swallowed it : " Why, I tell 
you, woman, you must have made some mistake; 
one-half of it is water." 

Now, Nancy, from the moment he refused to 
swallow the liquor, had been lock- jawed; the fact 
was, she thought that the devil himself, or old 
Squire Graham, had got under her roof; and she 
stood behind Ned, who was nearly as terrified as 
herself, with her hands raised, her tongue cling- 
ing to the roof of her mouth, and the perspira- 
tion falling from her pale face in large drops. 
But as soon as she saw him swallow a portion of 
that liquid, which she deemed beyond the degluti- 
tion of ghost or devil, she instantly revived her 
tongue resumed its accustomed office her cour- 
age, as well as her good-humour, returned, and 
she went up to him with great confidence, say- 
ing, 

' Why, then, your Reverence's honour, maybe 
I did make a bit of a mistake, sir," taking up the 
jug, and tasting its contents: " Hut! bad scran 
to me, but I did, beggin' your honour's pardon; 
how-an-diver, I'll soon rightify that, your Rev- 
erence." 

So saying, she went and brought him a pint 
of the stoutest the house afforded. The stranger 



TRAITS AND STORIES 27 

drank a glass of it, and then ordered hot water 
and sugar, adding 

" My honest friends here about the fire will 
have no objection to help me with this; but, on 
second consideration, you had better get us an- 
other quart, that, as the night is cold, we may 
have a jorum at this pleasant fire, that will do 
our hearts good; and this pretty girl here," ad- 
dressing Biddy, who really deserved the epithet, 
" will sit beside me, and give us a song." 

It was surprising what an effect the punch, 
even in perspective, had upon the visual organs 
of the company ; second-sight was rather its pre- 
cursor than its attendant; for, with intuitive 
penetration, they now discovered various good 
qualities in his ghostship, that had hitherto been 
beyond their ken ; and those very personal prop- 
erties, which before struck them dumb with 
terror, already called forth their applause. 

" What a fine man he is! " one would whisper, 
loud enough, however, to be heard by the object 
of his panegyric. 

" He is, indeed, and a rale gintleman," an- 
other would respond, in the same key. 

" Hut ! he's none of your proud, stingy, up- 
sthart bodaghs 21 none of your beggarly half- 
sirs," 22 a third would remark: "he's the dacent 
thing entirely you see he hasn't his heart in a 
thrifle." 

" And so sign's on him," a fourth would add, 
with comic gravity, " he wasn't bred to shabbi- 
ness, as you may know by his fine behaviour and 
his big whiskers/' 



28 IRELAND 

When the punch was made, and the kitchen- 
table placed endwise towards the fire, the 
stranger, rinding himself very comfortable, in- 
quired if he could be accommodated with a bed 
and supper, to which Nancy replied in the affirm- 
ative. 

" Then, in that case," said he, " I will be your 
guest for the night." 

Shane Fadh now took courage to repeat the 
story of old Squire Graham and his horse with 
the loose shoe; informing the stranger, at the 
same time, of the singular likeness which he bore 
to the subject of the story, both in face and size, 
and dwelling upon the remarkable coincidence 
in the time and manner of his approach. 

" Tut, man! " said the stranger, " a far more 
extraordinary adventure happened to one of my 
father's tenants, which, if none of you have any 
objection, I will relate." 

There was a buzz of approbation at this; and 
they all thanked his honour, expressing the 
strongest desire to hear his story. He was just 
proceeding to gratify them, when another rap 
came to the door, and, before any of the inmates 
had time to open it, Father Ned Deleery and 
his curate made their appearance, having been 
on their way home from a conference held in the 
town of M , eighteen miles from the scene of 
our present story. 

It may be right here to inform the reader, 
that about two hundred yards from Ned's house, 
stood a place of Roman Catholic worship, called 
" The Forth," 23 from the resemblance it bore to 



TRAITS AND STORIES 29 

the Forts or Roths, so common in Ireland. It 
was a small green, perfectly circular, and about 
twenty yards in diameter. Around it grew a 
row of old overspreading hawthorns, whose 
branches formed a canopy that almost shaded it 
from sun and storm. Its area was encompassed 
by tiers of seats, one raised above another, and 
covered with the flowery grass. On these the 
congregation used to sit the young men chat- 
ting or ogling their sweethearts on the opposite 
side; the old ones in little groups, discussing the 
politics of the day, as retailed by Mick M'Caf- 
fry, 24 the politician; while, up near the altar, 
hemmed in by a ring of old men and women, 
you might perceive a voteen, repeating some new 
prayer or choice piece of devotion or some 
other, in a similar circle, perusing, in a loud 
voice, Doctor Gallagher's Irish Sermons, Pas- 
torini's History of the Christian Church, or 
Columbkill's Prophecy and, perhaps, a stroll- 
ing pilgrim, the centre of a third collection, 
singing the Dies irce, in Latin, or the Hermit of 
Killarney, in English. 

At the extremity of this little circle was a 
plain altar of wood, covered with a little thatched 
shed, under which the priest celebrated mass; 
but before the performance of this ceremony, 
a large multitude usually assembled opposite 
Ned's shop-door, at the cross-roads. This crowd 
consisted of such as wanted to buy tobacco, 
candles, soap, potash, and such other groceries 
as the peasantry remote from market-towns re- 
quire. After mass, the public-house was filled 



30 IRELAND 

to the door-posts, with those who wished to get 
a sample of Nancy's Iska-behagh; 25 and many 
a time has little Father Ned himself, of a frosty 
day, after having performed mass with a celerity 
highly agreeable to his auditory, come in to 
Nancy, nearly frost-bitten, to get his breakfast, 
and a toothful of mountain-dew to drive the cold 
out of his stomach. 

The fact is, that Father Deleery made him- 
self quite at home at Ned's, without any refer- 
ence to Nancy's saving habits; the consequence 
was, that her welcome to him was extremely 
sincere " from the teeth out." Father Ned 
saw perfectly through her assumed heartiness of 
manner, but acted as if the contrary was the 
case: Nancy understood him also, and, with an 
intention of making up by complaisance for her 
niggardliness in other respects, was a perfect 
honeycomb. This state of cross-purposes, how- 
ever, could not last long; neither did it. Father 
Ned never paid, and Nancy never gave credit; 
so, at length, they came to an open rupture : she 
threatened to process him for what he owed her, 
and he, in return, threatened to remove the con- 
gregation from " The Forth " to Ballymagowan- 
bridge, where he intended to set up his nephew in 
the " public line," to the ruin of Nancy's flour- 
ishing establishment. 

" Father Ned," said Nancy, " I'm a hard- 
working, honest woman, and I don't see why my 
substance is to be wasted by your Reverence, 
when you won't pay for it." 

" And do you forget," Father Ned would re- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 31 

ply, " that it's me that brings you your custom? 
Don't you know that if I remove my flock to 
Ballymagowan, you'll soon sing to another tune? 
so lay that to your heart." 

' Troth, I know that whatever I get I'm 
obliged to pay for it; and I think every man 
should do the same, Father Ned. You must get 
a hank of yarn from me, and a bushel or two of 
oats from Ned, and your riglar dues along with 
all; but, avourneen, it's yourself that won't pay 
a penny when you can help it." 

" Salvation to me, but you'd skin a flint! " 

" Well, if I would, I pay my debts first." 

"You do?" 

" Yes, troth, do I." 

" Why then that's more than you'll be able to 
do long, plase the fates." 

"If all my customers wor like your Rever- 
ence, it is." 

" I'll tell you what it is, Nancy, I often 
threatened to take the congregation from ' The 
Forth,' and I'll do it if I don't, may I never 
sup sorrow! " 

Big with such a threat, Father Ned retired. 
The apprehensions of Nancy on this point how- 
ever, were more serious than she was willing to 
acknowledge. This dispute took place a few 
days before the night in question. 

Father Ned was a little man, with a red face, 
slender legs, and flat feet; he was usually cased 
in a pair of ribbed minister's grey small clothes, 
with leggings of the same material. His coat, 



32 IRELAND 

which was much too short, rather resembled a 
jerkin, and gave him altogether an appearance 
very much at variance with an idea of personal 
gravity or reverence. Over this dress he wore 
in winter, a dark great-coat, with high collar, 
that buttoned across his face, showing only the 
point of his red nose; so that, when riding or 
walking, his hat rested more upon the collar of 
his coat than upon his head. 

The curate was a tall, raw-boned young man, 
with high jutting cheek-bones, low forehead, and 
close knees: to his shoulders, which were very 
high, hung a pair of long bony arms, whose mo- 
tions seemed rather the effect of machinery than 
volition. His hair, which was a bad black, was 
cropped close, and trimmed across his eyebrows, 
like that of a methodist preacher; the small- 
clothes he wore were of the same web which had 
produced Father Ned's, and his body-coat was 
a dark blue, with black buttons. Each wore a 
pair of grey woollen mittens. 

" There, Pether," said Father Ned, as he en- 
tered, " hook my bridle along with your own, 
as your hand is in. God save all here! Paddy 
Smith, ma bouchal, put these horses in the stable, 
till we dry ourselves a bit, Father Pether and I." 

" Musha, but you're both welcome," said 
Nancy, wishing to wipe out the effects of the 
last tift with Father Ned, by the assistance of 
the stranger's punch: "will ye bounce, ye spal- 
peens, and let them to the fire? Father Ned, 
you're dhreepin' with the rain; and, Father 



TRAITS AND STORIES 83 

Pether, avourneen, you're wet to the skin, 
too." 

* Troth, and he is, Nancy, and a little bit 
farther, if you knew but all. Mr. Morrow, 
how do you do, Sir? And eh? Who's this 
we've got in the corner? A gintleman, boys, 
if cloth can make one! Mr. Morrow, intro- 
duce me." 

" Indeed, Father Ned, I havn't the pleasure 
of knowin' the gintleman myself." 

' Well, no matter come up, Pether. Sir, 
I have the honour of introducing you to my 
curate and coadjutor, the Reverend Pether 
M'Clatchaghan, and to myself, his excellent 
friend, but spiritual superior, the Reverend Ed- 
ward Deleery, Roman Catholic Rector of this 
highly respectable and extensive parish; and I 
have further the pleasure," he continued, tak- 
ing up Addy Morrow's Punch, " of drinking 
your very good health, Sir." 

" And I have the honour," returned the 
stranger, rising up, and driving his head among 
the flitches of bacon that hung in the chimney, 
" of introducing you and the Rev. Mr. M' 
M< M' " 

" Clatcheghan, Sir," subjoined Father Ned. 

Peter M'lllclatchaghan, to Mr. Lon- 



ginus Polysyllabus Alexandrinus.' 

" By my word, Sir, but it's a good and appro- 
priate name, sure enough," said Father Ned, 
surveying his enormous length: "success to me 
but you're an Alexandrine from head to foot 
non solum Longinus f sed Alexandrinus" 

1-3 



34 IRELAND 

" You're wrong, Sir, in the Latin," said 
Father Peter. 

" Prove it, Pether prove it." 

" It should be non tantum, Sir." 

"By what rule, Pether?" 

" Why, Sir, there's a phrase in Corderius's 
Colloquies that I could condimn you from, if 
I had the book." 

" Pether, you think you're a scholar, and, to 
do you justice, you're cute enough sometimes; 
but, Pether, you didn't travel for it, as I did 
nor were you obliged to lep out of a college 
windy in Paris, at the time of the French 
Revolution, for your laming, as I was : not you, 
man, you ate the king's mutton comfortably at 
home in Maynooth, instead of travelling for it, 
like your betters." 

" I appale to this gintleman," said Father 
Peter, turning to the stranger. " Are you a 
classical scholar, Sir that is, do you under- 
stand Latin? " 

" What kind? " demanded the stranger dryly. 

" If you have read Corderius's Colloquies, it 
will do," said Father Peter. 

"No, Sir," replied the other, "but I have 
read his commentator, Bardolphus, who wrote 
a treatise upon the Nasus Rubicundus of the 
ancients." 

" Well, Sir, if you did, it's probable that you 
may be able to understand our dispute, so " 

" Pether, I'm afeard you've got into the wrong 
box; for I say he's no chicken that's read Nasus 
Rubicundus , I can tell you that; I had my own 



TRAITS AND STORIES 35 

trouble with it: but, at any rate, will you take 
your punch, man alive, and don't bother us with 
your Latin? " 

" I beg your pardon, Father Ned : I insist 
that I'm right; and I'll convince you that you're 
wrong, if God spares me to see Corderius to- 
morrow." 

" Very well then, Pether, if you're to decide 
it to-morrow, let us have no more of it to- 
night." 

During this conversation between the two 
reverend worthies, the group around the fire 
were utterly astonished at the erudition dis- 
played in this learned dispute. 

' Well, to be sure, larnin's a great thing, 
entirely," said M'Roarkin aside, to Shane Fadh, 

" Ah, Tom, there's nothing like it : well, any 
way, it's wondherful what they know!" 

" Indeed it is, Shane and in so short a time, 
too! Sure it's not more nor five or six years 
since Father Pether there used to be digging 
praties on the one ridge with myself by the 
same token, an excellent spadesman he was 
and now he knows more nor all the Protestant 
parsons in the Diocy." 

' Why, how could they know any thing, when 
they don't belong to the thrue church? " said 
Shane. 

' Thrue for you, Shane," replied M'Roarkin; 
" I disremimbered that clincher." 

This discourse ran parallel with the dispute 
between the two priests, but in so low a tone 
as not to reach the ears of the classical cham- 



86 IRELAND 

pions, who would have ill-brooked this eulogium 
upon Father Peter's agricultural talent. 

" Don't bother us, Pether, with your arguing, 
to-night," said Father Ned, " it's enough for 
you to be seven days in the week at your dis- 
putations. Sir, I drink to our better acquaint- 
ance." 

' With all my heart, Sir," replied the stranger. 

" Father Ned," said Nancy, " the gintleman 
was going to tell us a sthrange story, Sir, and 
maybe your Reverence would wish to hear it, 
docthor?" 

" Certainly, Nancy, we'll be very happy to 
hear any story the gintleman may plase to tell us ; 
but, Nancy, achora, before he begins, what if 
you'd just fry a slice or two of that glorious 
flitch, hanging over his head, in the corner? 
that, and about six eggs, Nancy, and you'll have 
the priest's blessing, gratis" 

' Why, Father Ned, it's too fresh, entirely 
sure it's not a week hanging yet." 

" Sorra matter, Nancy dheelish, we'll take with 
all that just try your hand at a slice of it. I 
rode eighteen miles since I dined, and I feel a 
craving, Nancy, a tvhacuum in my stomach, 
that's rather troublesome." 

' To be sure, Father Ned, you must get a slice, 
with all the veins of my heart; but I thought 
maybe you wouldn't like it so fresh: but what 
on earth will we do for eggs? for there's not 
an egg under the roof with me." 

" Biddy, a hagur," said Father Ned, " just 
slip out to Molshy Johnston, and tell her to 



TRAITS AND STORIES 37 

send me six eggs for a rasher, by the same token 
that I heard two or three hens cackling in the 
byre, as I was going to conference this morn- 
ing." 

'Well, Docthor," said Pat Frayne, when 
Biddy had been gone some time, on which 
embassy she delayed longer than the priest's 
judgment, influenced by the cravings of his 
stomach, calculated to be necessary, " Well, 
Docthor, I often pity you, for fasting so long; 
I'm sure, I dunna how you can stand it, at all, 
at all." 

'* Troth, and you may well wonder, Pat ; but 
we have that to support us, that you, or any 
one like you, know nothing about inward 
support, Pat inward support." 

"Only for that, Father Ned," said Shane 
Fadh, " I suppose you could never get through 
with it." 

* Very right, Shane very right : only for it, 
we never could do. What the dickens is keep- 
ing this girl with the eggs? why she might be 
at Mr. Morrow's, here, since. By the way, Mr. 
Morrow," he continued laughing, " you must 
come over to our church; you're a good neigh- 
bour, and a worthy fellow, and it's a thousand 
pities you should be sent down." 

' Why, Docthor," said Andy, " do you really 
believe I'll go downwards?" 

" Ah, Mr. Morrow, don't ask me that question 
out of the pale, you know out of the pale." 

" Then you think, Sir, there's no chance for 
me, at all? " said Andy, smiling. 



38 IRELAND 

" Not the laste, Andy, you must go this way," 
said Father Ned, striking the floor with the butt 
end of his whip, and winking " to the lower 
ragions; and, upon my knowledge, to tell you 
the truth, I'm sorry for it, for you're a worthy 
fellow." 

" Ah, Docthor," said Ned, " it's a great thing 
entirely to be born in the true church one's al- 
ways sure, then." 

" Ay, ay ; you may say that, Ned," returned 
the priest, " come or go what will, a man's al- 
ways safe at the long run, except he dies without 
his clargy. Shane, hand me the jug, if you 
please. Where did you get this stuff, Nancy? 
faith, it's excellent." 

" You forget, Father Ned, that that's a secret. 

But here's Biddy with the eggs, and now 

you'll have your rasher in no time." 

When the two clergymen had discussed the 
rashers and eggs, and while the happy group 
were making themselves intimately acquainted 
with a fresh jug of punch, as it circulated round 
the table 

" Now, Sir," said Father Ned to the stranger, 
" we'll hear your story with the greatest satis- 
faction possible; but I think you might charge 
your tumbler before you set to it." 

When the stranger had complied with this last 
hint, " Well, gentlemen," said he, " as I am 
rather fatigued, will you excuse me for the 
position I am about to occupy, which is simply 
to stretch myself along the hob here, with my 
head upon the straw hassock? and if you have 



TRAITS AND STORIES 39 

no objection to that, I will relate the story." 

To this, of course, a general assent was given. 
When he was stretched completely at his 
ease 

' Well, upon my veracity," observed Father 
Peter, " the gentleman's supernaturally long." 

"Yes, Pether," replied Father Ned, "but 
observe his position Polysyllaba cuncta supina, 
as Prosody says. Arrah, salvation to me, but 
you're dull man, afther all! but we're inter- 
rupting the gentleman. Sir, go on, if you please, 
with your story." 

" Give me a few minutes," said he, " until I 
recollect the particulars." 

He accordingly continued quiescent for two 
or three minutes more, apparently arranging the 
materials of his intended narration, and then 
commenced to gratify the eager expectations of 
his auditory, by emitting those nasal enuncia- 
tions which are the usual accompaniments of 
sleep ! 

' Why, bad luck to the morsel of 'im but's 
asleep," said Ned; " Lord pardon me for 
swearin' in your Reverence's presence." 

" That's certainly the language of a sleeping 
man," replied Father Ned, " but there might 
have been a little more respect than all that 
snoring comes to. Your health, boys." 

The stranger had now wound up his nasal 
organ to a high pitch, after which he commenced 
again with somewhat of a lower and finer tone. 

" He's beginning a new paragraph," observed 
Father Peter, with a smile at the joke. 



40 IRELAND 

" Not at all," said Father Ned, " he's turn- 
ing the tune; don't you perceive that he's snor- 
ing God save the king, in the key of bass 
relievo? " 

" I'm no judge of instrumental music, as you 
are," said the curate, " but I think it's liker the 
' Dead march of Saul,' than ' God save the 
King; ' however, if you be right, the gentleman 
certainly snores in a truly loyal strain." 

" That," said little M'Roarkin, " is liker the 
Swine's melody, or the Bedfordshire hornpipe 
he he he!" 

;< The poor gintleman's tired," observed 
Nancy, " after a hard day's thravelHng." 

" I dare say he is," said Father Ned, in the 
sincere hospitality of his country ; " at all events, 
take care of him, Nancy, he's a stranger, and 
get the best supper you can for him he appears 
to be a truly respectable and well-bred man." 

" I think," said M'Kinley, with a comical grin, 
" you might know that by his high-flown manner 
of sleeping he snores very politely, and like a 
gintleman, all out." 

' Well done, Alick," said the priest, laugh- 
ing; "go home, boys, it's near bed-time; Paddy, 
ma bouchal, are the horses ready? " 

' They'll be at the door in a jiffey, your 
Reverence," said Paddy going out. 

In the course of a few minutes, he returned, 
exclaiming, " Why, thin, is it thinkin' to venthur 
out sich a night as it's comin' on yer Reverences 
would be? and it plashin' as if it came out of 
methers ! Sure the life would be dhrownded out 



TRAITS AND STORIES 41 

of both of ye> and yees might cotch a faver into 
the bargain." 

" Sit down, gintlemen," said Ned; " sit down, 
Father Ned, you and Father Pether we'll have 
another tumbler; and, as it's my turn to tell a 
story, I'll give yez something to amuse yez, 
the best I can, and, you all know, who can do 
more? " 

'Very right, Ned; but let us see" replied 
Father Ned, putting his head out of the door, to 
ascertain what the night did; "Come, Pether, 
it's good to be on the safe side of any house 
in such a storm; we must only content our- 
selves till it gets fair. Now, Ned, go on with 
your story, and let it be as pleasant as possible." 

" Never fear, your Reverence," replied Ned 
" here goes and healths a-piece, to begin 
with." 



THE THREE TASKS 

" Every person in the parish knows the purty 
knoll that rises above the Routing Burn, some 
few miles from the renowned town of Knockim- 
downy, which, as all the world must allow, wants 
only houses and inhabitants to be as big a place 
as the great town of Dublin itself. At the foot 
of this little hill, just under the shelter of a 
dacent pebble of a rock, something about the 
bulk of half a dozen churches, one would be apt 
to see if they knew how to look sharp, other- 
wise they mightn't be able to make it out from 
the grey rock above it, except by the smoke that 
ris from the chimbley Nancy Magennis's little 
cabin, snug and cosey with its corrag, 26 or ould 
man of branches, standing on the windy side 
of the door, to keep away the blast. 

" Upon my word, it was a dacent little resi- 
dence in its own way, and so was Nancy her- 
self, for that mather; for, though a poor widdy, 
she was very punctwell in paying for Jack's 
schooling, as I often heard ould Terry M'Phau- 
deen say, who told me the story. Jack, indeed, 
grew up a fine slip; and for hurling, foot-ball 
playing, and lepping, hadn't his likes in the 
five quarters of the parish. It's he that knew 
how to handle a spade and a raping-hook, and 
what was betther nor all that, he was kind and 

42 



TRAITS AND STORIES 43 

tindher to his poor ould mother, and would let 
her want for nothing. Before he'd go to his 
day's work in the morning, he'd be sure to bring 
home from the clear-spring well that ran out of 
the other side of the rock, a pitcher of water to 
serve her for the day; nor would he forget to 
bring in a good creel of turf from the snug little 
peat-stack that stood thatched with rushes be- 
fore the door, and leave it in the corner, beside 
the fire; so that she had nothing to do but put 
over her hand, without rising off of her sate, 
and put down a sod when she wanted it. 

" Nancy, on her part, kept Jack very clane 
and comfortable; his linen, though coorse, was 
always a good colour, his working clothes 
tidily mended at all times; and when he'd have 
occasion to put on his good coat to work in for 
the first time, Nancy would sew on the fore-part 
of each sleeve a stout patch of ould cloth, to 
keep them from being worn by the spade; so 
that when she'd rip these off them every Satur- 
day night, they would look as new and fresh 
as if he hadn't been working in them at all, 
at all. 

" Then when Jack came home in the winter 
nights, it would do your heart good to see Nancy 
sitting at her wheel, singing ' Stachan V or again! 
or 'Peggy Na Laveen, 3 beside a purty clear 
fire, with a small pot of murpliys boiling on it 
for their supper, or laid up in a wooden dish, 
comfortably covered with a clane praskeen on 
the well-swept hearth-stone; whilst the quiet, 
dancing blaze might be seen blinking in the nice 



44 IRELAND 

earthen plates and dishes, that stood over against 
the side-wall of the house. Just before the fire 
you might see Jack's stool waiting for him to 
come home; and on the other side, the brown 
cat washing her face with her paws, or sitting 
beside the dog that lay asleep, quite happy and 
continted, purring her song, and now and then 
looking over at Nancy, with her eyes half -shut, 
as much as to say, 'Catch a happier pair nor 
we are, Nancy, if you can.' 

" Sitting quietly on the roost above the door, 
were Dicky the cock, and half-a-dozen hens, 
that kept this honest pair in eggs and egg-milk 
for the best part of the year, besides enabling 
Nancy to sell two or three clutches of March- 
birds every season, to help to buy wool for Jack's 
big-coat, and her own grey-beard gown and 
striped red-and-blue petticoat. 

' To make a long story short No two could 
be more comfortable, considering every thing. 
But, indeed, Jack was always obsarved to have 
a dacent ginteel turn with him: for he'd scorn 
to see a bad gown on his mother, or a broken 
Sunday coat on himself; and instead of drink- 
ing his little earning in a sheebeen-house, and 
then eating his praties dry, he'd take care to 
have something to kitchen 27 them; so that he 
was not only snug and dacent of a Sunday, 
regarding wearables, but so well-fed and rosy, that 
the point of a rush would take a drop of blood out 
of his cheek. 28 Then he was the comeliest and 
best-looking young man in the parish, could tell 
lots of droll stories, and sing scores of merry 



TRAITS AND STORIES 45 

songs that would make you split your sides 
with downright laughing; and when a wake or a 
dance would happen to be in the neighbourhood, 
maybe there wouldn't be many a sly look out 
from the purty girls for pleasant Jack Magennis ! 

" In this way lived Jack and his mother, as 
happy and continted as two lords; except now 
and thin, that Jack would feel a little consarn 
for not being able to lay past anything for the 
sore foot, 29 or that might enable him to think 
of marrying for he was beginning to look about 
him for a wife; and why not, to be sure? But 
he was prudent for all that, and didn't wish 
to bring a wife and small family into poverty 
and hardship without means to support them, 
as too many do. 

" It was one fine, frosty, moonlight night-- 
the sky was without a cloud, and the stars all 
blinking that it would delight any body's heart 
to look at them, when Jack was crassing a bog 
that lay a few fields beyant his own cabin. He 
was just crooning the 'Humours of Glynn 3 to 
himself, and thinking that it was a very hard 
case that he couldn't save anything at all, at 
all, to help him to the wife, when, on coming 
down a bank in the middle of the bog, he saw 
a dark-looking man leaning against a clamp of 
turf, and a black dog, with a pipe of tobacky in 
his mouth, sitting at his ase beside him, and 
he smoking as sober as a judge. Jack, how- 
ever, had a stout heart, bekase his conscience 
was clear, and, barring being a little daunted, 
he wasn't very much afeard. * Who is this 



46 IRELAND 

coming down towards us ? ' said the black- 
favoured man, as he saw Jack approaching them. 
' It's Jack Magennis,' said the dog, making 
answer, and taking the pipe out of his mouth 
with his right paw; and after puffing away 
the smoke, and rubbing the end of it against 
his left leg, exactly as a Christian (this day's 
Friday, the Lord stand betune us and harm) 
would do against his sleeve, giving it at the same 
time to his comrade ' It's Jack Magennis,' says 
the dog, * honest Widow Magennis's dacent son.' 
* The very man,' says the other, back to him, 
' that I'd wish to sarve out of a thousand. 
Arrah, Jack Magennis, how is every tether- 
length of you? ' says the old fellow, putting the 
furratvn 30 on him ' and how is every bone in 
your body, Jack, my darling? I'll hould a 
thousand guineas,' says he, pointing to a great 
big bag that lay beside him, ' and that's only 
the tenth part of what's in this bag, Jack, that 
you're just going to be in luck to-night above 
all the nights in the year.' 

* And may worse never happen you, Jack, 
my bouchal,' says the dog, putting in Ms tongue, 
then wagging his tail, and houlding out his paw 
to shake hands with Jack. 

* Gintlemen,' says Jack, never minding to 
give the dog his hand, bekase he heard it wasn't 
safe to touch the likes of him ' Gintlemen,' says 
he, ' ye're sitting far from the fire this frosty 
night.' 

' Why, that's true, Jack,' answers the ould fel- 
low; ' but if we're sitting far from the fire, we're 





nsT brns r/rl " JB sni 



wo roo-\\ ftni 



IRELAND 

coming down towards us?' said the black- 

i man, as he saw Jack approaching them. 

Jack Magennis/ said the dog, making 

and taking the pipe out of his mouth 

^ right paw; and after puffing away 

the smoke, and rubbing the end of it against 

feu left leg, exactly as a Christian (this day's 

ay, the Lord stand betune us and harm) 

lo against his sleeve, giving it at the same 

time to } rade ' It's Jack Magennis/ says 

honest Widow Magennis's dacent son.' 

nan/ says the other, back to him, 

* that I'd wish to sarve out of a thousand. 

u. Jack Magennis, how is every tether- 



;: 

Jack, my darling? I'll hould a 

rhoa**;r .is/ says he, pointing to a great 

;t lay beside him, * and that's only 

\rt of what's in this bag, Jack, that 

net going to be in luck to-night above 

the year.' 

.ay worse never happen you, Jack, 

< metal/ says the dog, putting in his tongue, 

tiieii wagging his tail, and houlding out his paw 

is with Jack. 

iien/ says Jack, never minding to 

s hand, bekase he heard it wasn't 

uch the likes of him ' Gintlemen/ says 

;'ar from the fire this frosty 

Tack/ answers the ould fel- 
Inm thfi-faf, we're 

Jack Magennis Playing at " Five and Ten " 
Etching from an Original Drawing by Phis 



TRAITS AND STORIES 47 

sitting very near the makins of it, man alive/ 
So, with this, he pulls the bag of goold over to 
him, that Jack might know, by the jingle of 
the shiners, what was in it. 

' Jack/ says dark-face, * there's some born 
with a silver ladle in their mouth, and others 
with a wooden spoon; and if you'll just sit down 
on the one end of this clamp with me, and take 
a hand at the five and ten' pulling out, as he 
spoke, a deck of cards, ' you may be a made 
man for the remainder of your life/ 

' Sir/ says Jack, ' with submission, both 
yourself and this cur I mane/ says he, not 
wishing to give the dog offince, ' both yourself 
and this dacent gintleman with the tail and 
claws upon him, have the advantage of me, in 
respect of knowing my name; for, if I don't 
mistake/ says he, putting his hand to his caubeen, 
' I never had the pleasure of seeing either of 
ye before/ 

" ' Never mind that,' says the dog, taking 
back the pipe from the other and clapping 
it in his mouth ; * we're both your well-wishers, 
any how, and it's now your own fault if you're 
not a rich man/ 

" Jack, by this time, was beginning to think 
that they might be afther wishing to throw 
luck in his way; for he had often heard of men 
being made up entirely by the fairies, till there 
was no end to their wealth. 

" ' Jack/ says the black man, ' you had better 
be led by us for this bout upon the honour 
of a gintleman we wish you well: however, if 



48 IRELAND 

you don't choose to take the ball at the right 
hop, another may; and you're welcome to toil 
all your life, and die a beggar after.' 

" * Upon my reputation, what he says is true, 
Jack,' says the dog, in his turn ; ' the lucky 
minute of your life is come: let it pass without 
doing what them that wishes your mother's son 
well desire you, and you'll die in a ditch.' 

" * And what am I to do,' said Jack, ' that's 
to make me so rich all of a sudden? ' 

" ' Why only to sit down, and take a game 
of cards with myself,' says black-brow, ' that's 
all, and I'm sure it's not much.' 

" * And what is it to be for? ' Jack inquires; 
' for I have no money tare-nation to the rap 
itself's in my company.' 

" * Well, you have yourself,' says the dog, 
putting up his fore-claw along his nose, and 
winking at Jack ; ' you have yourself, man 
don't be faint-hearted: he'll bet the contents 
of this bag; ' and with that the ould thief gave 
it another great big shake, to make the guineas 
jingle again. ' It's ten thousand guineas in 
hard goold; if he wins, you're to sarve him for 
a year and a day; and if he loses, you're to have 
the bag.' 

"'And the money that's in it?' says Jack, 
wishing, you see, to make a sure bargain, any 
how. 

" * Ev'ry penny,' answered the ould chap, ' if 
you win it; and there's fifty to one in your 
favour.' 

" By this time the dog had got into a great 



TRAITS AND STORIES 49 

fit of laughing at Jack's sharpness about the 
money. ' The money that's in it, Jack ! ' says 
he; and he took the pipe out of his mouth, and 
laughed till he brought on a hard fit of cough- 
ing. * O, by this and by that,' says he, ' but 
that bates Bannagher! And you're to get 
ev'ry penny, you thief o' the world, if you win 
it!' but for all that he seemed to be laughing 
at something that Jack wasn't up to. 

" At any rate, surely, they palavered Jack 
betune them until he sot down and consinted. 
* Well,' says he, scratching his head, * why, 
worse nor lose I can't, so here goes for one 
trial at the shiners, any how ! ' 

* Now,' says the obscure gintleman, just whin 
the first card was in his hand, ready to be laid 
down, * you're to sarve me for a year and a day, 
if I win; and if I lose, you shall have all the 
money in the bag.' 

' Exactly,' says Jack, and, just as he said 
the word, he saw the dog putting the pipe in 
his pocket, and turning his head away, for fraid 
Jack would see him breaking his sides laughing. 
At last, when he got his face sobered, he looks 
at Jack, and says, ' Surely, Jack, if you win, 
you must get all the money in the bag; and, 
upon my reputation, you may build castles in 
the air with it, you'll be so rich.' 

" This plucked up Jack's courage a little, and 
to work they went; but how could it end other- 
wise than Jack to lose betune two such know- 
ing schamers as they soon turned out to be? 
For, what do you think? but, as Jack was be- 

14 



50 IRELAND 

ginning the game, the dog tips him a wink 
laying his fore-claw along his nose as before, as 
much as to say, ' Watch me, and you'll win ' 
turning round, at the same time, and showing 
Jack a nate little looking-glass, that was set in 
his oxther, in which Jack saw, dark as it was, 
the spots of all the other fellow's cards, as he 
thought, so that he was cock-sure of bating him. 
But they were a pair of downright knaves, any 
how; for Jack, by playing to the cards that he 
saw in the looking-glass instead of to them the 
other held in his hand, lost the game and the 
money. In short, he saw that he was blarnied 
and chated by them both; and when the game 
was up, he plainly tould them as much. 

" * What? you scoundrel!' says the black 
fellow, starting up and catching him by the 
collar; ' dare you go for to impache my hon- 
our? ' 

* Leather him, if he says a word,* says the 
dog, running over on his hind-legs, and lay- 
ing his shut paw upon Jack's nose. * Say 
another word, you rascal!' says he, * and I'll 
down you; ' with this, the ould fellow gives him 
another shake. 

' I don't blame you so much,' says Jack to 
him ; * it was the looking-glass that desaved me. 
That cur's nothing but a black-leg! ' 

' What looking-glass ? you knave you ! ' 
says dark-face, giving him a fresh haul. 

' Why, the one I saw under the dog's oxther,' 
replied Jack. 

" ' Under my oxther, you swindling rascal ! ' 



TRAITS AND STORIES 51 

replied the dog, giving him a pull by the other 
side of the collar ; * did ever any honest pair of 
gintlemen hear the like? but he only wants to 
break through the agreement : so let us turn him 
at once into an ass, and then he'll brake no more 
bargains, nor strive to take in honest men and 
win their money. Me a black-leg! ' So the 
dark fellow drew his two hands over Jack's 
jaws, and in a twinkling there was a pair of ass's 
ears growing up out of his head. When Jack 
found this, he knew that he wasn't in good 
hands; so he thought it best to get himself as 
well out of the scrape as possible. 

* Gintlemen, be aisy,' says he, * and let us 
understand one another; I'm very willing to 
sarVe you for a year and a day; but I've one 
requist to ax, and it's this: I've a helpless ould 
mother at home, and if I go with you now, she'll 
break her heart with grief first, and starve 
afterwards. Now, if your honour will give me a 
year to work hard, and lay in provision to sup- 
port her while I'm away, I'll serve you with 
all the veins of my heart for a bargain's a 
bargain.' 

" With this, the dog gave his companion a 
pluck by the skirt, and, after some chat together, 
that Jack didn't hear, they came back and said 
that they would comply with his wishes that far: 
' So, on to-morrow twelvemonth, Jack/ says the 
dark fellow, * the dog here will come to your 
mother's, and if you follow him he'll bring you 
safe to my castle.' 

"'Very well, your honour,' says Jack; 'but 



52 IRELAND 

as dogs resemble one another so much, how will 
I know him whin he comes ? ' 

" ' Why,' answers the other, * he'll have a 
green ribbon and a spy-glass about his neck, and 
a pair of Wellington boots on his hind legs.' 

" ' That's enough, Sir,' says Jack, * I can't 
mistake him in that dress, so I'll be ready; but, 
jintlemen, if it would be plasing to you both, I'd 
every bit as soon not go home with these,' and 
he handled the brave pair of ears he had got, 
as he spoke. ' The truth is, jintlemen, I'm de- 
luding enough without them; and as I'm so 
modest, you persaVfc, why if you'd take them 
away, you'd oblige me ! ' 

" To this they had no objection, and during 
that year Jack wrought night and day, that he 
might be able to lave as much provision with 
his poor mother as would support her in his 
absence; and when the morning came that he 
was to bid her farewell, he went down on his 
two knees and got her blessing. He then left 
her with tears in his eyes, and promised to come 
back the very minute his time would be up. 
' Mother,' says he, ' be kind to your little family 
here, and feed them well, as they are all you'll 
have to keep you company till you see me 
again.' 

" His mother then stuffed his pockets with 
bread, till they stuck out behind him, and gave 
him a crooked six-pence for luck; after which, 
he got his staff, and was just ready to tramp, 
when, sure enough, he spies his ould friend the 
dog, with the green ribbon about his neck, and 



TRAITS AND STORIES 53 

the Wellington boots upon his hind legs. He 
didn't go in, but waited on the outside till Jack 
came out. They then set off, but no one knows 
how far they travelled, till they reached the dark 
gintleman's castle, who appeared very glad to 
see Jack, and gave him a hearty welcome. 

" The next day, in consequence of his long 
journey, he was ax'd to do nothing; but in the 
coorse of the evening, the dark chap brought 
him into a long, frightful room, where there 
were three hundred and sixty-five hooks stick- 
ing out of the wall, and on every hook but one, 
a man's head. When Jack saw this agree- 
able sight, his dinner began to quake within him ; 
but he felt himself still worse, when his master 
pointed to the empty hook, saying, * Now, Jack, 
your business to-morrow is to clane out a stable 
that wasn't claned for the last seven years, and 
if you don't have it finished before dusk da 
you see that hook? ' 

" ' Ye yes ; ' replied Jack, hardly able to 
spake. * Well, if you don't have it finished be- 
fore dusk, your head will be hanging on that 
hook as soon as the sun sets.' 

" * Very well, your honour,' replied Jack ; 
scarcely knowing what he said, or he wouldn't 
have said ' very well ' to such a bloody-minded 
intention, any how * Very well,' says he, * I'll 
do my best, and all the world knows that the 
best can do no more.' 

" Whilst this discoorse was passing betune 
them, Jack happened to look at the upper end of 
the room, and there he saw one of the beautiful- 



54 IRELAND 

lest faces that ever was seen on a woman, look- 
ing at him through a little pannel that was in 
the wall. She had a white, snowy forehead 
such eyes, and cheeks, and teeth, that there's 
no coming up to them; and the clusters of dark 
hair that hung about her beautiful temples! 
by the laws, I'm afeard of falling in love with 
her myself, so I'll say no more about her, only 
that she would charm the heart of a wheel-bar- 
row. At any rate, in spite of all the ould fellow 
could say heads and hooks, and all, Jack 
couldn't help throwing an eye, now and then, to 
the pannel; and to tell the truth, if he had been 
born to riches and honour, it would be hard 
to fellow him, for a good face and a good 
figure. 

' Now, Jack/ says his master, ' go, and get 
your supper, and I hope you'll be able to per- 
form your task if not, off goes your head.' 

' Very well, your honour,' says Jack, again 
scratching it in the hoith of perplexity, * I must 
only do what I can.' 

" The next morning Jack was up with the 
sun, if not before him, and hard at his task; 
but before breakfast time he lost all heart, and 
little wonder he should, poor fellow, bekase for 
every one shovel-full he'd throw out, there would 
come three more in: so that instead of making 
his task less, according as he got on, it became 
greater. He was now in the greatest dilemmy, 
and didn't know how to manage, so he war 
driven at last to such an amplush, that he had 
no other shift for employment, only to sing 



TRAITS AND STORIES 55 

Paddcen O'Rafferty out of mere vexation, and 
dance the hornpipe trebling step to it, crack- 
ing his fingers, half mad, through the stable. 
Just in the middle of this tantrum, who comes 
to the door to call him to his breakfast, but the 
beautiful crathur he saw the evening before 
peeping at him through the pannel. At this 
minute, Jack had so hated himself by the danc- 
ing, that his handsome face was in a fine glow, 
entirely. 

' I think,' said she to Jack, with one of her 
own sweet smiles, * that this is an odd way of 
performing your task/ 

* Och, thin, 'tis you that may say that,' re- 
plies Jack ; * but it's myself that's willing to 
have my head hung up any day, just for one 
sight of you, you darling.' 

* Where did you come from?' asked the 
lady, with another smile that bate the first all 
to nothing. 

* Where did I come from, is it?' answered 
Jack ; * why, death alive ! did you never hear of 
ould Ireland, my jewel! hem I mane plase 
your ladyship's honour.' 

" * No,' she answered; * where is that coun- 
try?' 

" * Och, by the honour of an Irishman,' says 
Jack, ' that takes the shine I not heard of 
Erin the Imerald Isle the Jim of the ocean, 
where all the men are brave and honourable, and 
all the women hem I mane the ladies chaste 
and beautiful? ' 

" * No,' said she; 'not a word: but if I stay 



56 IRELAND 

longer I may get you blame come in to your 
breakfast, and I'm sorry to find that you have 
done so little at your task. Your master's a 
man that always acts up to what he threatens: 
and, if you have not this stable cleared out be- 
fore dusk, your head will be taken off your 
shoulders this night.' 

" ' Why, thin,' says Jack, * my beautiful darl 
plase your honour's ladyship if he hangs it 
up, will you do me the favour, acushla machree, 
to turn my head toardst that same pannel 
where I saw a sartin fair face that I won't 
mintion: and if you do, let me alone for watch- 
ing a sartin purty face I'm acquainted with.' 

' What means cushla machree? ' inquired the 
lady, as she turned to go away. 

" ' It manes that you're the pulse of my heart, 
avourneen, plase your ladyship's Reverence,' 
says Jack. 

" ' Well,' said the lovely crathur, * any time 
you speak to me in future, I would rather you 
would omit terms of honour, and just call me 
after the manner of your own country; instead, 
for instance, of calling me your ladyship, I 
would be better pleased if you called me cushla 
something, f Cushla machree, ma vourneen 
the pulse of my heart my darling,' said Jack, 
consthering it (the thief) for her, for fraid she 
wouldn't know it well enough. 

" ' Yes,' she replied, ' cushla machree; well, as 
I can pronounce it, acushla machree, will you 
come in to your breakfast ? ' said the darling, 
giving Jack a smile that would be enough, any 



TRAITS AND STORIES 57 

day, to do up the heart of an Irishman. Jack, 
accordingly, went after her, thinking of noth- 
ing except herself; but on going in he could 
see no sign of her, so he sat down to his break- 
fast, though a single ounce, barring a couple of 
pounds of beef, the poor fellow couldn't ate, at 
that bout, for thinking of her. 

' Well, he went again to his work, and thought 
he'd have better luck; but it was still the ould 
game three shovel-fulls would come in for 
ev'ry one he'd throw out; and now he began, in 
earnest, to feel something about his heart that 
he didn't like, bekase he couldn't, for the life 
of him, help thinking of the three hundred and 
sixty-four heads and the empty hook. At last 
he gave up the work entirely, and took it into 
his head to make himself scarce from about the 
ould fellow's castle, altogether; and without 
more to do, he set off, never saying as much as 
* good bye ' to his master : but he hadn't got as 
far as the lower end of the yard, when his ould 
friend, the dog, steps out of a kennel, and meets 
him full but in the teeth. 

1 So, Jack,' says he, ' you're going to give us 
leg bail, I see; but walk back with yourself, 
you spalpeen, this minute, and join your work, 
or if you don't,' says he, * it'll be worse for your 
health. I'm not so much your enemy now as I 
was, bekase you have a friend in coort that you 
know nothing about; so just do whatever you 
are bid, and keep never minding/ 

" Jack went back with a heavy heart, as you 
may be sure, knowing that, whenever the black 



58 IRELAND 

cur began to blarney him, there was no good to 
come in his way. He accordingly went into 
the stable, but consuming to the hand's turn he 
did, knowing it would be only useless; for, in- 
stead of clearing it out, he'd be only filling it. 

" It was now near dinner-time, and Jack was 
very sad and sorrowful, as how could he be 
otherwise, poor fellow, with such a bloody- 
minded ould chap to dale with? when up comes 
the darling of the world again, to call him to 
his dinner. 

' Well Jack,' says she, with her white arms 
so beautiful, and her dark clusters tossed about 
by the motion of her walk ' how are you com- 
ing on at your task? ' * How am I coming on, 
is it? Och, thin,' says Jack, giving a good- 
humoured smile through the frown that was on 
his face, * plase your lady a cushla machree 
it's all over with me; for I've still the same 
story to tell, and off goes my head, as sure as it's 
on my shoulders, this blessed night.' 

* That would be a pity, Jack,' says she, ' for 
there are worse heads on worse shoulders; but 
will you give me the shovel? ' ' Will I give 
you the shovel, is it? Och, thin, wouldn't I be 
a right big baste to do the likes of that, any 
how?' says Jack; 'what! avourneen dheelish! to 
stand up with myself, and let this hard shovel 
into them beautiful, soft, white hands of your 
own! Faix, my jewel, if you knew but all, my 
mother's son's not the man to do such a disgrace- 
ful turn, as to let a lady like you take the shovel 
out of his hand, and he standing with his mouth 



TRAITS AND STORIES 59 

under his nose, looking at you not myself 
avourneen! we have no such ungenteel manners 
as that in our country.' * Take my advice, 
Jack,' says she, pleased in her heart at what 
Jack said, for all she didn't purtend it ' give 
me the shovel, and depend upon it, I'll do more 
in a short time to clear the stable than you 
would for years.' * Why, thin, avourneen, it 
goes to my heart to refuse you ; but, for all that, 
may I never see yesterday, if a taste of it will 
go into your purty, white fingers,' says the 
thief, praising her to her face all the time ' my 
head may go off, any day, and welcome, but 
death before dishonour. Say no more, darling; 
but tell your father I'll be in to my dinner 
immediently.' 

" Notwithstanding all this, by jingo the lady 
would not be put off; like a ra-al woman, she'd 
have her own way, so on telling Jack that she 
didn't intend to work with the shovel, at all, at 
all, but only to take it for a minute in her hand, 
at long last he gave it to her; she then struck 
it three times on the threshel of the door, and, 
giving it back into his hand, tould him to try 
what he could do. Well, sure enough, now there 
was a change; for, instead of three shovel- fulls 
coming in, as before, when he threw one out, 
there went nine more along with it. Jack, in 
coorse, couldn't do less than thank the lovely 
crather for her assistance; but when he raised 
his head to speak to her, she was gone. I 
needn't say, howsomever, that he went in to his 
dinner with a light heart and a murdhering 



60 IRELAND 

appetite ; and when the ould fellow axed him how 
he was coming on, Jack tould him he was doing 
gloriously. ' Remember the empty hook, Jack,' 
said he. ' Never fear, your honour,' answered 
Jack, ' If I don't finish my task, you may bob 
my head off any time.' 

" Jack now went out, and was a short time get- 
ting through his job, for, before the sun set it 
was finished, and he came into the kitchen, ate 
his supper, and, sitting down before the fire, 
sung * Love among the Roses,' and the * Black 
Joke,' to vex the ould fellow. 

" This was one task over, and his head was 
safe for that bout ; but that night, before he went 
to bed, his master called him up stairs, brought 
him into the bloody room, and gave him his 
orders for the next day. ' Jack,' says he, * I have 
a wild filly that has never been caught, and you 
must go to my demesne to-morrow, and catch 
her, or if you don't look there,' says the big 
blackguard, ' on that hook it hangs, before to- 
morrow, if you havn't her at sunset in the stable 
that you claned yesterday.' ' Very well, your 
honour,' said Jack, carelessly, * I'll do every 
thing in my power, and if I fail, I can't help 
it.' 

" The next morning, Jack was out with a 
bridle in his hand, going to catch the filly. As 
soon as he got into the domain, sure enough, 
there she was in the middle of a green field, 
grazing quite at her ase. When Jack saw this he 
went over towards her, houlding out his hat as 
if it was full of oats; but he kept the hand that 



TRAITS AND STORIES 61 

had the bridle in it behind his back, for fraid 
she'd see it and make off. Well, my dear, on 
he went till he was almost within grip of her, 
cock sure that he had nothing more to do than slip 
the bridle over her neck and secure her; but 
he made a bit of a mistake in his reckoning, for 
though she smelt and snoaked about him, just 
as if she didn't care a feed of oats whether he 
caught her or not, yet when he boulted over to 
hould her fast, she was off like a shot, with her 
tail cocked, to the far end of the demesne, and 
Jack had to set off hot foot after her. All, how- 
ever, was to no purpose; he couldn't come next 
or near her for the rest of the day, and there 
she kept coorsing him about from one field to 
another, till he hadn't a blast of breath in his 
body. 

" In this state was Jack when the beautiful 
crathur came out to call him home to his break- 
fast, walking with the pretty small feet and 
light steps of her own upon the green fields, so 
bright and beautiful, scarcely bending the 
flowers and the grass as she went along, the 
darling. 

" ' Jack,' says she, ' I fear you have as difficult 
a task to-day as you had yesterday.' 

" ' Why, and it's you that may say that with 
your own purty mouth,' says Jack, says he; for 
out of breath and all as he was, he couldn't help 
giving her a bit of blarney, the rogue. 

" ' Well, Jack,' says she, ' take my advice, 
and don't tire yourself any longer by attempt- 
ing to catch her; truth's best I tell you, you 



62 IRELAND 

could never do it; come home to your break- 
fast, and when you return again, just amuse 
yourself as well as you can until dinner-time.' 
* Och, och ! ' says Jack, striving to look, the 
sly thief, as if she had promised to help him 
' I only wish I was a king, and, by the powers, 
I know who would be my queen, any how; for 
it's your own sweet lady savourneen dheelish 
I say, amn't I bound to you for a year and a 
day longer, for promising to give me a lift, as 
well as for what you done yesterday ? ' 

" * Take care, Jack,' says she, smiling, how- 
ever, at his ingenuity in striving to trap her 
into a promise, ' I don't think I made any 
promise of assistance.' 

" * You didn't? ' says Jack, wiping his face 
with the skirt of his coat, 'cause why? you see 
pocket-handkerchiefs weren't invented in them 
times : ' why, thin, may I never live to see yester- 
day, if there's not as much rale beauty in that 
smile that's divarting itself about them sweet- 
breathing lips of yours, and in them two eyes of 
light that's breaking both their hearts laughing 
at me, this minute, as would encourage any poor 
fellow to expect a good turn from you that is, 
whin you could do it, without hurting or harm- 
ing yourself; for it's he would be the right 
rascal that could take it, if it would injure a 
silken hair of your head.' 

4 Well,' said the lady, with a mighty roguish 
smile, ' I shall call you home to your dinner, 
at all events.' 

" When Jack went back from his breakfast, he 



TRAITS AND STORIES 63 

didn't slave himself after the filly any more, but 
walked about to view the demesne, and the 
avenues, and the green walks, and nice temples, 
and fish-ponds, and rookeries, and every thing, 
in short, that was worth seeing. Towards 
dinner-time, however, he began to have an eye 
to the way the sweet crathur was to come, and 
sure enough it's she that wasn't one minute late. 
* Well, Jack/ says she, ' I'll keep you no 
longer in doubt ; ' for the tender-hearted crathur 
saw that Jack, although he didn't wish to let 
an to her, was fretting every now and then about 
the odd hook and the bloody room ' So, Jack,' 
says she, ' although I didn't promise, yet I'll 
perform ; ' and with that she pulled a small ivory 
whistle out of her pocket, and gave three blasts 
on it that brought the wild filly up to her very 
hand, as quick as the wind. She then took the 
bridle, and threw it over the baste's neck, giv- 
ing her up, at the same time, to Jack. * You 
needn't fear now, Jack,' says she, * you'll find her 
as quiet as a lamb, ~nd as tame as you wish; as 
proof of it, just walk before her, and you will 
see she will follow you to any part of the field.' 

" Jack, you may be sure, paid her as many 
and as sweet compliments as he could, and never 
heed one from his country for being able to say 
something toothsome to the ladies. At any rate, 
if he laid it on thick the day before, he gave two 
or three additional coats this time, and the inno- 
cent soul went away smiling, as usual. 

" When Jack brought the filly home, the dark 
fellow, his master, if dark before, was a perfect 



64 IRELAND 

tunder-cloud this night: bedad, he was nothing 
less than near bursting with vexation, bekase the 
thieving ould sinner intended to have Jack's 
head upon the hook, but he fell short in his 
reckoning now as well as before. Jack sung 

* Love among the Roses/ and the ' Black Joke,' 
to help him into better timper. 

" * Jack,' says he, striving to make himself 
speak pleasant to him, ' you've got two diffi- 
cult tasks over you; but you know the third 
time's the charm take care of the next/ 

" * No matter about that,' says Jack, speak- 
ing up to him stiff and stout, bekase, as the dog 
tould him, he knew he had a friend in coort 

* let's hear what it is, any how.' 

" ' To-morrow, then,' says the other, ' you're 
to rob a crane's nest, on the top of a beech-tree 
which grows in the middle of a little island in 
the lake that you saw yesterday, in my de- 
mesne; you're to have neither boat, nor oar, nor 
any kind of conveyance, but just as you stand; 
and if you fail to bring me the eggs, or if you 
break one of them, look here!' says he, again 
pointing to the odd hook, for all this discoorse 
took place in the bloody room. 

" ' Good again,' says Jack; ' if I fail, I know 
my doom.' 

" * No, you don't, you spalpeen/ says the other, 
getting vexed with him entirely, ' for I'll roast 
you till you're half dead, and ate my dinner 
off you after; and, what is more than that, you 
blackguard, you must sing the " Black Joke " 
all the time, for my amusement.' 



TRAITS AND STORIES 65 

" ' Div'l fly away with you,' thought Jack, 
' but you're fond of music, you vagabond.' 

' The next morning Jack was going round and 
round the lake, trying about the edge of it, if 
he could find any place shallow enough to wade 
in; but he might as well go to wade the say, 
and what was worst of all, if he attempted to 
swim, it would be like a tailor's goose, straight 
to the bottom; so he kept himself safe on dry 
land, still expecting a visit from the ' lovely 
crathur,' but, bedad, his good luck failed him for 
tvanst, for instead of seeing her coming over to 
him, so mild and sweet, who does he obsarve 
steering at a dog's trot, but his ould friend, the 
smoking cur. ' Confusion to that cur,' says 
Jack to himself, ' I know now there's some bad 
fortune before me, or he wouldn't be coming 
acrass me.' 

* Come home to your breakfast, Jack,' says 
the dog, walking up to him, * it's breakfast 
time.' 

* Ay,' s>ays Jack, scratching his head, * it's no 
great matter whether I do or not, for I bleeve 
my head's hardly worth a flat-dutch cabbage at 
the present speaking.' 

* Why, man, it was never worth so much,' 
says the baste, pulling out his pipe and putting 
it in his mouth, when it lit at once. 

' Take care of yourself,' says Jack, quite 
desperate, for he thought he was near the end 
of his tether, * take care of yourself, you dirty 
cur, or maybe I might take a gintleman's toe 
from your tail.' 

15 



66 IRELAND 

" * You had better keep a straight tongue in 
your head,' says four-legs, ' while it's on your 
shoulders, or I'll break every bone in your skin. 
Jack, you're a fool,' says he, checking himself, 
and speaking kindly to him you're a fool ; didn't 
I tell you the other day to do what you were 
bid, and keep never minding? ' 

" ' Well,' thought Jack to himself, ' there's no 
use in making him any more my enemy than he 
is particularly as I'm in such a hobble.' 

" * You lie,' says the dog, as if Jack had 
spoken out to him, wherein he only thought the 
words to himself, ' you lie,' says he, ' I'm not, 
nor never was, your enemy, if you knew but 
all.' 

" * I beg your honour's pardon,' answers Jack, 
* for being so smart with your honour; but, be- 
dad, if you were in my case, if you expected 
your master to roast you alive, eat his dinner 
of your body, make you sing the Black Joke, 
by way of music for him; and, to crown all, 
knew that your head was to be stuck upon a hook 
after maybe you would be a little short in your 
temper, as well as your neighbours.' 

' Take heart, Jack,' says the other, laying 
his fore claw as knowingly as ever along his nose, 
and winking slyly at Jack, ' didn't I tell you that 
you had a friend in coort? the day's not past 
yet, so cheer up, who knows but there is luck 
before you still? ' 

' Why, thin,' says Jack, getting a little 
cheerful, and wishing to crack a joke with him, 
' but your honour's very fond of the pipe ! ' 



TRAITS AND STORIES 67 

* Oh ! don't you know, Jack,' says he, ' that 
that's the fashion at present among my tribe; 
sure all my brother puppies smoke now, and a 
man might as well be out of the world as out 
of the fashion, you know.' 

' When they drew near home, they got quite 
thick entirely; * Now,' says Jack, in a good- 
humoured way, ' if you can give me a lift in 
robbing this crane's nest, do; at any rate I'm 
sure your honour won't be my enemy. I know 
you have too much good-nature in your face 
to be one that wouldn't help a lame dog over 
a stile that is/ says he, taking himself up for 
fear of offending the other, ' I'm sure you'd 
be always inclined to help the weak side.' 

* Thank you for the compliment,' says the 
dog ; * but didn't I tell you that you have a 
friend in coort ? ' 

' When Jack went back to the lake, he could 
only sit and look sorrowfully at the tree, or walk 
about the edge of it, without being able to do 
any thing else. He spent the whole day this 
way, till dinner-time, when, what would you have 
of it, but he sees the * darlin ' coming out to 
him, as fair and as blooming as an angel. His 
heart, you may be sure, got up to his mouth, for 
he knew she would be apt to take him out of 
his difficulties. When she came up 

' Now Jack,' says she, ' there is not a minute 

to be lost, for I'm watch'd; and if it's discovered 

that I gave you any assistance, we will be both 

destroyed.' 

" ' Oh, murther sheery ! ' 31 says Jack, ' fly back, 



68 IRELAND 

avourneen machree for rather than any thing 
should happen you, I'd lose fifty lives.' 

" * No,' says she, ' I think I'll be able to get 
you over this, as well as the rest ; so have a good 
heart, and be faithful.' ' That's it,' replied 
Jack, ' that's it, acushla my own correcthur to 
a shaving; I've a heart worth its weight in bank 
notes, and a more faithful boy isn't alive this 
day nor I am to yez all, ye darlings of the world.' 

" She then pulled a small white wand out of 
her pocket, struck the lake, and there was the 
prettiest green ridge across it to the foot of the 
tree, that ever eye beheld. * Now,' says she, 
turning her back to Jack and stooping down 
to do something that he couldn't see, ' Take 
these,' giving him her ten toes, * put them against 
the tree, and you will have steps to carry you 
to the top, but be sure, for your life and mine, 
not to forget any of them. If you do, my life 
will be taken to-morrow morning, for your 
master puts on my slippers with his own 
hands/ 

" Jack was now going to swear that he would 
give up the whole thing and surrender his head 
at once; but when he looked at her feet, and 
saw no appearance of blood, he went over with- 
out more to do, and robbed the nest, taking down 
the eggs one by one, that he mightn't brake 
them. There was no end to his joy, as he se- 
cured the last egg; he instantly took down the 
toes, one after another, save and except the little 
one of the left foot, which, in his joy and hurry 
he forgot entirely. He then returned by the 



TRAITS AND STORIES 69 

green ridge to the shore, and accordingly as he 
went along, it melted away into water behind 
him. 

" ' Jack,' says the charmer, * I hope you for- 
got none of my toes.' 

' Is it me ? ' says Jack, quite sure that he 
had them all * arrah, catch any one from my 
country makin' a blunder of that kind.' 

' Well,' says she, * let us see ; ' so, taking the 
toes, she placed them on again, just as if they 
had never been off. But, lo and behold ! on com- 
ing to the last of the left foot, it wasn't forth- 
coming. * Oh ! Jack, Jack,' says she, * you have 
destroyed me; to-morrow morning your master 
will notice the want of this toe, and that instant 
I'll be put to death.' 

"'Lave that to me,' says Jack; * by the 
powers, you won't lose a drop of your darling 
blood for it. Have you got a pen-knife about 
you? and I'll soon show you how you won't/ 

"'What do you want with the knife?' she 
inquired. 

" ' What do I want with it? Why to give 
you the best toe on both my feet, for the one 
I lost on you ; do you think I'd suffer you to want 
a toe, and I having ten thumping ones at your 
sarvice? I'm not the man, you beauty you, for 
such a shabby trick as that comes to.' 

" ' But you forget,' says the lady, who was a 
little cooler than Jack, ' that none of yours 
would fit me.' 

" ' And must you die to-morrow, acushla? ' 
asked Jack, in desperation. 



70 IRELAND 

" ' As sure as the sun rises,' answered the 
lady ; ' for your master would know at once that 
it was by my toes the nest was robbed.' 

" ' By the powers,' observed Jack, * he's one 
of the greatest ould vag I mane, isn't he a 
terrible man, out and out, for a father? ' 

"'Father!' says the darling, 'he's not my 
father, Jack ; he only wishes to marry me, and if 
I'm not able to outdo him before three days 
more, it's decreed that he must have me.' 

" When Jack heard this, surely the Irishman 
must come out; there he stood, and began to 
wipe his eyes with the skirt of his coat, making 
as if he was crying, the thief of the world. 
' What's the matter with you? ' she asked. 

" ' Ah ! ' says Jack, ' you darling, I couldn't 
find in my heart to desave you; for I have no 
way at home to keep a lady like you, in proper 
style, at all at all; I would only bring you into 
poverty, and since you wish to know what ails 
me, I'm vexed that I'm not rich for your sake; 
and next, that that thieving ould villain's to have 
you; and by the powers, I'm crying for both 
these misfortunes together.' 

" The lady could not help being touched and 
plaised with Jack's tinderness and ginerosity; 
so, says she, * don't be cast down, Jack, come 
or go what will, I won't marry him I'd die 
first. Do you go home as usual; but take care 
and don't sleep at all this night. Saddle the wild 
filly meet me under the whitethorn bush at the 
end of the lawn, and we'll both leave him for 
ever. If you're willing to marry me, don't let 



TRAITS AND STORIES 71 

poverty distress you, for I have more money 
than we'll know what to do with.' 

" Jack's voice now began to tremble in earnest, 
with downright love and tinderness, as good 
right it had; so he promised to do every thing 
just as she bid him, and then went home with 
a dacent appetite enough to his supper. 

' You may be sure the ould fellow looked 
darker and grimmer than ever at Jack : but what 
could he do? Jack had done his duty; so he 
sat before the fire, and sung ' Love among the 
Roses,' and the * Black Joke,' with a stouter 
and a lighter heart than ever, while the black 
chap could have seen him skivered. 

* When midnight came, Jack, who kept a 
hawk's eye to the night, was at the hawthorn with 
the wild filly, saddled and all more betoken, she 
wasn't a bit wild then, but as tame as a dog. 
Off they set, like Erin-go-bragh, Jack and the 
lady, and never pulled bridle till it was one 
o'clock next day, when they stopped at an inn, 
and had some refreshment. They then took 
to the road again, full speed; however, they 
hadn't gone far, when they heard a great noise 
behind them, and the tramp of horses gallop- 
ing like mad. ' Jack,' says the darling, on hear- 
ing the hubbub, * look behind you, and see 
what's this.' 

' Och ! by the elevens/ says Jack, * we're 
done at last; it's the dark fellow, and half the 
country after us.' * Put your hand,' says she, 
* in the filly's right ear, and tell me what you 
find in it.' * Nothing at all,' says Jack, ' but a 



72 IRELAND 

weeshy bit of a dry stick.' ' Throw it over your 
left shoulder,' says she, ' and see what will hap- 
pen.' 

" Jack did so at once, and there was a great 
grove of thick trees growing so close to one an- 
other, that a dandy could scarcely get his arm 
betwixt them. ' Now,' said she, ' we are safe 
for another day.' * Well,' said Jack, as he 
pushed on the filly, ' you're the jewel of the 
world, sure enough; and maybe it's you that 
won't live happy when we get to the Jim of the 
Ocean.' 

" As soon as dark-face saw what happened, 
he was obliged to scour the country for hatchets 
and hand-saws, and all kinds of sharp instru- 
ments, to hew himself and his men a passage 
through the grove. As the saying goes, many 
hands make light work, and sure enough, it 
wasn't long till they had cleared a way for them- 
selves, thick as it was, and set off with double 
speed after Jack and the Lady. 

" The next day, about one o'clock, he and she 
were after taking another small refreshment of 
roast-beef and porther, and pushing on, as be- 
fore, when they heard the same tramping behind 
them, only it was ten times louder. 

" ' Here they are again,' says Jack; * and I'm 
afeard they'll come up with us at last.' 

" ' If they do,' says she, ' they'll put us to 
death on the spot; but we must try somehow to 
stop them another day, if we can: search the 
filly's right ear again, and let me know what you 
find in it.' 



TRAITS AND STORIES 73 

" Jack pulled out a little three-cornered peb- 
ble, telling her that it was all he got ; ' well,' says 
she, ' throw it over your left shoulder like the 
stick/ 

" No sooner said than done; and there was a 
great chain of high, sharp rocks in the way of 
divel-face and all his clan. ' Now/ says she, 
* we have gained another day/ * Tundher-and- 
turf ! ' says Jack, * what's this for, at all at all? 
but wait till I get you in the Immerald Isle, for 
this, and if you don't enjoy happy days any how, 
why I'm not sitting before you on this horse, by 
the same token that it's not a horse at all, but a 
filly though: if you don't get the hoith of good 
aiting and drinking lashings of the best wine 
and whisky that the land can afford, my name's 
not Jack. We'll build a castle, and you'll have 
up stairs and down stairs a coach and six to 
ride in lots of sarvints to attend on you, and 
full and plinty of every thing; not to mintion 
hem ! not to mintion that you'll have a husband 
that the fairest lady in the land might be proud 
of/ says he, stretching himself up in the saddle, 
and giving the filly a jag of the spurs, to show 
off a bit; although the coaxing rogue knew that 
the money which was to do all this was her own. 
At any rate, they spent the remainder of this 
day pleasantly enough, still moving on, though, 
as fast as they could. Jack, every now and 
then, would throw an eye behind, as if to watch 
their pursuers, wherein, if the truth was known, 
it was to get a peep at the beautiful glowing 
face and warm lips that were breathing all kinds 



74 IRELAND 

of fraagrancies about him. I'll warrant he 
didn't envy the king upon his throne, when he 
felt the honeysuckle of her breath, like the smell 
of Father Ned's orchard there, of a May morn- 
ing. 

' When Fardorougha 3a found the great chain 
of rocks before him, you may set it down that 
he was likely to blow up with vexation; but, for 
all that, the first thing he blew up was the rocks 
and that he might lose little or no time in do- 
ing it, he collected all the gunpowder and crow- 
bars, spades, and pick-axes, that could be found 
for miles about him, and set to it, working as 
if it was with inch of candle. For half a day 
there was nothing but boring and splitting, and 
driving of iron wedges, and blowing up pieces 
of rocks as big as little houses, until, by hard 
labour, they made a passage for themselves suf- 
ficient to carry them over. They then set off 
again, full speed; and great advantage they had 
over the poor filly that Jack and the lady rode 
on, for their horses were well rested, and hadn't 
to carry double, like Jack's. The next day they 
spied Jack and his beautiful companion, just 
about a quarter of a mile before them. 

" ' Now,' says dark-brow, ' I'll make any man's 
fortune for ever that will bring me them two, 
either living or dead, but, if possible, alive; 
so, spur on, for whoever secures them, man, 
woman, or child, is a made man, but, above all, 
make no noise.' 

" It was now divil take the hindmost among 
the bloody pack every spur was red with blood, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 75 

and every horse smoking. Jack and the lady 
were jogging on across a green field, not sus- 
pecting that the rest were so near them, and talk- 
ing over the pleasant days they would spind to- 
gether in Ireland, when they hears the hue-and- 
cry once more at their very heels. 

' Quick as lightning, Jack,' says she, ' or 
we're lost the right ear and the left shoulder, 
like thought they're not three lengths of the 
filly from us ! ' 

"But Jack knew his business; for just as a 
long, grim-looking villain, with a great rusty 
rapier in his hand, was within a single leap of 
them, and quite sure of either killing or making 
prisoners of them both, Jack flings a little drop 
of green water that he got in the filly's ear, over 
his left shoulder, and in an instant there was a 
deep, dark gulf, filled with black, pitchy-looking 
water between them. The lady now desired 
Jack to pull up the filly a bit, that they might 
see what would become of the dark fellow; but 
just as they turned round, the ould nager set 
spurs to his horse, and, in a fit of desperation, 
plunged himself, horse and all, into the gulf, 
and was never seen or heard of more. The rest 
that were with him went home, and began to 
quarrel about his wealth, and kept murdering 
and killing one another, until a single vagabond 
of them wasn't left alive to enjoy it. 

" When Jack saw what happened, and that 
the blood-thirsty ould villain got what he de- 
sarved so richly, he was as happy as a prince, 
and ten times happier than most of them as the 



76 IRELAND 

world goes, and she was every bit as delighted. 
' We have nothing more to fear,' said the darling 
that put them all down so cleverly, seeing that 
she was but a woman; but, bedad, it's she was 
the right sort of a woman ' all our dangers are 
now over, at least, all yours are; regarding my- 
self,' says she, * there's a trial before me yet, and 
that trial, Jack, depends upon your faithfulness 
and constancy.' 

" ' On me, is it? Och, then, murder! isn't it 
a poor case entirely, that I have no way of show- 
ing you that you may depind your life upon me, 
only by telling you so ? ' 

* I do depend upon you,' says she ' and now, 
as you love me, do not, when the trial comes, 
forget her that saved you out of so many 
troubles, and made you such a great and 
wealthy man.' 

' The foregoing part of this Jack could well 
understand, but the last part of it, making coZ- 
lusion to the wealth, was a little dark, as he 
thought, bekase, he hadn't fingered any of it at 
the time : still, he knew she was truth to the back- 
bone, and wouldn't desave him. They hadn't 
travelled much farther, when Jack snaps his 
fingers with a * Whoo ! by the powers, there it is, 
my darling there it is, at long last ! ' 

" * There is what, Jack? ' said she, surprised, 
as well she might, at his mirth and happiness 
' There is what? ' says she. 

"'Cheer up!' says Jack; 'there it is, my 
darling, the Shannon! as soon as we get to 



TRAITS AND STORIES 77 

the other side of it, we'll be in ould Ireland once 
more.' 

" There was no end to Jack's good humour, 
when he crossed the Shannon; and she was not 
a bit displased to see him so happy. They had 
now no enemies to fear, were in a civilized 
country, and among green fields and well-bred 
people. In this way they travelled at their ase, 
till they came within a few miles of the town of 
Knockimdowny, near which Jack's mother lived. 

* Now, Jack,' says she, * I told you that I 
would make you rich. You know the rock be- 
side your mother's cabin; in the east end of that 
rock there is a loose stone, covered over with 
gray moss, just two feet below the cleft out of 
which the hanging rowan-tree grows pull that 
stone out, and you will find more goold than 
would make a duke. Neither speak to any per- 
son, nor let any living thing touch your lips till 
you come back to me, or you'll forget that you 
ever saw me, and I'll be left poor and friendless 
in a strange country.' 

* Why, thin, manim asthee huf 33 says Jack, 
* but the best way to guard against that, is to 
touch your own sweet lips at the present time,' 
says he, giving her a smack that you'd hear, of 
a calm evening, acrass a couple of fields. Jack 
set off to touch the money, with such speed that 
when he fell he scarcely waited to rise again; he 
was soon at the rock, any how, and without either 
doubt or disparagement, there was a cleft of ra-al 
goolden guineas, as fresh as daisies. The first 



78 IRELAND 

thing he did, after he had filled his pockets with 
them, was to look if his mother's cabin was to 
the fore ; and there surely it was, as snug as ever, 
with the same dacent column of smoke rowling 
from the chimbley. 

" * Well,' thought he, * I'll just stale over to 
the door-cheek, and peep in to get one sight of 
my poor mother; then I'll throw her in a hand- 
full of these guineas, and take to my scrapers.' 

" Accordingly, he stole up at a half bend to 
the door, and was just going to take a peep in, 
when out comes the little dog Trig, and begins to 
leap and fawn upon him, as if it would eat him. 
The mother, too, came running out to see what 
was the matter, when the dog made another 
spring up about Jack's neck, and gave his lips 
the slightest lick in the world with its tongue, 
the crathur was so glad to see him : the next min- 
ute, Jack forgot the lady, as clane as if he had 
never seen her; but if he forgot her, catch him 
at forgetting the money not he, avick! that 
stuck to him like pitch. 

' When the mother saw who it was, she flew 
to him, and, clasping her arms about his neck, 
hugged him till she wasn't worth three half- 
pence. After Jack sot a while, he made a trial 
to let her know what had happened him, but he 
disremembered it all, except having the money 
in the rock, so he up and tould her that, and a 
glad woman she was to hear of his good fortune. 
Still he kept the place where the goold was to 
himself, having been often forbid by her ever to 



TRAITS AND STORIES 79 

trust a woman with a sacret when he could avoid 
it. 

" Now every body knows what changes the 
money makes, and Jack was no exception to this 
ould saying. In a few years he built himself 
a fine castle, with three hundred and sixty-four 
tvindies in it, and he would have .added another, 
to make one for every day in the year, only that 
would be equal to the number in the King's 
palace, and the Lord of the Black Rod would 
be sent to take his head off, it being high ihrason 
for a subject to have as many windies in his 
house as the king. 34 However, Jack, at any 
rate, had enough of them; and he that couldn't 
be happy with three hundred and sixty-four, 
wouldn't desarve to have three hundred and 
sixty-five. Along with all this, he bought 
coaches and carriages, and didn't get proud like 
many another beggarly upstart, but took espe- 
cial good care of his mother, whom he dressed 
in silks and satins, and gave her nice nourishing 
food, that was fit for an ould woman in her con- 
dition. He also got great tachers, men of great 
larning, from Dublin, acquainted with all sub- 
jects; and as his own abilities were bright, he 
soon became a very great scholar, entirely, and 
was able, in the longrun, to outdo all his tuther- 
ers. 

" In this way he lived for some years was 
now a man of great larning himself could 
spake the seven langidges, and it would. delight 
your ears to hear how high-flown and Englified 



80 IRELAND 

he could talk. All the world wondered where 
he got his wealth; but as he was kind and char- 
itable to every one that stood in need of assist- 
ance, the people said that wherever he got it it 
couldn't be in better hands. At last he began 
to look about him for a wife, and the only one 
in that^part of the country that would be at all 
fit for him, was the Honourable Miss Bandbox, 
the daughter of a nobleman in the neighbour- 
hood. She indeed flogged all the world for 
beauty; but it was said that she was proud and 
fond of wealth, though, God he knows, she had 
enough of that any how. Jack, however, saw 
none of this; for she was cunning enough to 
smile, and simper, and look pleasant, whenever 
he'd come to her father's. Well, begad, from 
one thing, and one word, to another, Jack 
thought it was best to make up to her at wanst, 
and try if she'd accept of him for a husband; 
accordingly he put the word to her like a man, 
and she, making as if she was blushing, put her 
fan before her face and made no answer. Jack, 
however, wasn't to be daunted; for he knew two 
things worth knowing, when a man goes to look 
for a wife : the first is that * faint heart never 
won fair lady,' and the second that * silence 
gives consint ; ' he, therefore, spoke up to her in 
fine English, for it's he that knew how to speak 
now, and, after a little more fanning and blush- 
ing, by jingo, she consinted. Jack then broke 
the matter to her father, who was as fond of 
money as the daughter, and only wanted to grab 
at him for the wealth. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 81 

' When the match was a making, says ould 
Bandbox to Jack, ' Mr. Magennis,' says he, (for 
nobody called him Jack now but his mother) 
* these two things you must comply with, if you 
marry my daughter, Miss Gripsy: you must 
send away your mother from about you, and pull 
down the cabin in which you and she used to live ; 
Gripsy says that they would jog her memory 
consarning your low birth and former poverty; 
she's nervous and high-spirited, Mr. Magennis, 
and declares upon her honour that she couldn't 
bear the thoughts of having the dilicacy of her 
feeling offinded by these things.' 

" * Good morning to you both/ says Jack, like 
an honest fellow as he was, ' if she doesn't marry 
me except on these conditions, give her my com- 
pliments, and tell her our courtship is at an end.' 

"But it wasn't long till they soon came out 
with another story, for before a week passed, 
they were very glad to get him on his own con- 
ditions. Jack was now as happy as the day was 
long all things appointed for the wedding, and 
nothing a wanting to make everything to his 
heart's content but the wife, and her he was to 
have in less than no time. For a day or two be- 
fore the wedding, there never was seen such 
grand preparations: bullocks, and hogs, and 
sheep were roasted whole kegs of whisky, both 
Roscrea and Innishowen, barrels of ale and beer, 
were there in dozens. All descriptions of nice- 
ties and wild-fowl, and fish from the say; and the 
dearest wine that could be bought with money, 
was got for the gentry and grand folks. Fid- 

16 



82 IRELAND 

dlers, and pipers, and harpers, in short, all kinds 
of music and musicianers, played in shoals. 
Lords and ladies, and squares of high degree 
were present and, to crown the thing, there was 
open house to all comers. 

"At length the wedding-day arrived; there 
was nothing but roasting and boiling; servants 
dressed in rich liveries ran about with joy and 
delight in their countenances, and white gloves 
and wedding favours on their hats and hands. 
To make a long story short, they were all seated 
in Jack's castle at the wedding breakfast, ready 
for the priest to marry them when they'd be 
done; for in them times people were never mar- 
ried until they had laid in a good foundation to 
carry them through the ceremony. Well, they 
were all seated round the table, the men dressed 
in the best of broadcloth, and the ladies rustling 
in their silks and satins their heads, necks, and 
arms hung round with jewels both rich and rare: 
but of all that were there that day, there wasn't 
the likes of the bride and bridegroom. As for 
him, nobody could think, at all at all, that he was 
ever any thing else than a born gintleman; and 
what was more to his credit, he had his kind ould 
mother sitting beside the bride, to tache her that 
an honest person, though poorly born, is com- 
pany for the king. As soon as the breakfast 
was served up, they all set to, and maybe the 
vaarious kinds of eatables did not pay for it ; and 
amongst all this cutting and thrusting, no doubt 
but it was remarked, that the bride herself was 
behindhand wid none of them that she took her 



TRAITS AND STORIES 83 

dalin-trick without flinching, and made nothing 
less than a right fog meal of it ; and small blame 
to her for that same, you persave. 

' When the breakfast was over, up gets Father 
Flannagan out with his book, and on with his 
stole, to marry them. The bride and bride- 
groom went up to the end of the room, attended 
by their friends, and the rest of the company 
stood on each side of it, for you see they were 
too high bred, and knew their manners too well, 
to stand in a crowd like spalpeens. For all that, 
there was many a sly look from the ladies to their 
bachelors, and many a titter among them, grand 
as they were; for, to tell the truth, the best of 
them likes to see fun in the way, particularly of 
that sort. The priest himself was in as great 
a glee as any of them, only he kept it under, and 
well he might, for sure enough this marriage was 
nothing less than a rale windfall to him and the 
parson that was to marry them after him be- 
kase you persave a Protestant and Catholic must 
be married by both, otherwise it does not hould 
good in law. The parson was as grave as a 
mustard-pot, and Father Flannagan called the 
bride and bridegroom his childher, which was a 
big bounce for him to say the likes of, more be- 
token that neither of them was a drop's blood to 
him. 

" However, he pulled out the book, and was 
just beginning to buckle them, when in comes 
Jack's ould acquaintance, the smoking cur, as 
grave as ever. The priest had just got through 
two or three words of Latin, when the dog gives 



84 IRELAND 

him a pluck by the sleeve ; Father Flannagan, of 
coorse, turned round to see who it was that 
nudged him : * Behave yourself,' says the dog to 
him, just as he peeped over his shoulder ' behave 
yourself,' says he; and with that he sat him 
down on his hunkers beside the priest, and pull- 
ing a cigar instead of a pipe out of his pocket, 
he put it in his mouth, and began to smoke for 
the bare life of him. And, by my own word, 
it's he that could smoke : at times he would shoot 
the smoke in a slender stream like a knitting- 
needle, with a round curl at the one end it, ever 
so far out of the right side of his mouth ; then he 
would shoot it out of the left, and sometimes 
make it swirl out so beautiful from the middle of 
his lips! why, then, it's he that must have been 
the well-bred puppy all out, as far as smoking 
went. Father Flannagan and they all were 
tundherstruck. 

" ' In the name of St. Anthony, and of that 
holy nun, St. Teresa,' said his Reverence to him, 
' who and what are you, at all at all? ' 

" ' Never mind that,' says the dog, taking the 
cigar for a minute between his claws ; ' but if you 
wish particularly to know, I'm a thirty-second 
cousin of your own by the mother's side.' 

" ' I command you in the name of all the 
saints,' says Father Flannagan, believing him to 
be the devil, ' to disappear from among us, and 
never become visible to any one in this house 
again.' 

" * The sorra a budge, at the present time, will 
I budge,' says the dog to him, 'until I see all 



TRAITS AND STORIES 85 

sides rightified, and the rogues disappointed.' 
" Now one would be apt to think the appear- 
ance of a spoking dog might be after fright'ning 
the ladies; but doesn't all the world know that 
spoking puppies are their greatest favourites? 
Instead of that, you see, there was half a dozen 
fierce-looking whiskered fellows, and three or 
four half -pay officers, that were nearer making 
off than the ladies. But, besides the cigar, the 
dog had his beautiful eye-glass, and through it, 
while he was spoking to Father Flannagan, he 
ogled all the ladies, one after another, and when 
his eye would light upon any that pleased him, 
he would kiss his paw to her and wag his tail with 
the greatest politeness. 

" ' John,' says Father Flannagan, to one of 
the servants, ' bring me salt and water, till I con- 
secrate them 35 to banish the divil, for he has ap- 
peared to us all during broad daylight in the 
shape of a dog.' 

1 You had better behave yourself, I say 
again,' says the dog, * or if you make me speak, 
by my honour as a gintleman I'll expose you: I 
say, you won't marry the same two, neither this 
nor any other day, and I'll give you my rasons 
presently; but I repate it, Father Flannagan, if 
you compel me to speak, I'll make you look nine 
ways at once.' 

' I defy you, Satan,' says the priest; ' and if 
you don't take yourself away before the holy 
wather's made, I'll send you off in a flame of 
fire.' 

"'Oh! yes, I'm trimbling,' says the dog: 



86 IRELAND 

' plenty of spirits you laid in your day, but it was 
in a place that's nearer to us than the Red Sea, 
you did it : listen to me though, for I don't wish 
to expose you, as I said ; ' so he gets on his hind 
legs, puts his nose to the priest's ear, and whis- 
pers something that none of the rest could hear 
all before the priest had time to know where 
he was. At any rate, whatever he said seemed 
make his Reverence look double,, though, faix, 
that wasn't hard to do, for he was as big as two 
common men. When the dog was done speak- 
ing, and had put his cigar in his mouth, the priest 
seemed tundherstruck, crossed himself, and was, 
no doubt of it, in great perplexity. 

" * I say it's false,' says Father Flannagan, 
plucking up his courage ; * but you know you're 
a liar, and the father of liars.' 

" ' As thrue as gospel, this bout, I tell you,' 
says the dog. 

" ' Wait till I make my holy wather,' says the 
priest, ' and if I don't cork you in a thumb-bottle 
for this, 36 I'm not here/ 

" Just at this minute, the whole company sees 
a gintleman galloping for the bare life of him, 
up to the hall-door, and he dressed like an officer. 
In three jiffeys he was down off his horse, and 
in among the company. The dog, as soon as he 
made his appearance, laid his claw as usual on 
his nose, and gave the bridegroom a wink, as 
much as to say, ' watch what'll happen.' 

" Now it was very odd that Jack, during all 
this time, remembered the dog very well, but 
could never once think of the darling that did so 



TRAITS AND STORIES 87 

much for him. As soon, however, as the officer 
made his appearance, the bride seemed as if she 
would sink outright; and when he walked up to 
her, to ax what was the meaning of what he saw, 
why, down she drops at once fainted clane. 
The gintleman then went up to Jack, and says, 
' Sir, was this lady about to be married to you? ' 
' Sartinly,' says Jack, ' we were going to be 
yoked in the blessed and holy tackle of mathri- 
mony ; ' or some high-flown words of that kind. 

' Well, Sir,' says the other back to him, ' I 
can only say that she is most solemniously sworn 
never to marry another man but me at a time; 
that oath she tuck when I was joining my regi- 
ment before it went abroad ; and if the ceremony 
of your marriage be performed, you will sleep 
with a perjured bride.' 

" Begad, he did, plump before all their faces. 
Jack, of coorse, was struck all of a hape at this; 
but as he had the bride in his arms, giving her a 
little sup of whisky to bring her to, you persave, 
he couldn't make him an answer. However, she 
soon came to herself, and, on opening her eyes, 
* Oh, hide me, hide me,' says she, ' for I can't 
bear to look on him 1 ' 

" * He says you are his sworn bride, my dar- 
ling,' says Jack. 

" * I am I am,' says she, covering her eyes, 
and crying away at the rate of a wedding: ' I 
can't deny it; and, by tare-an-ounty I ' says she, 
1 I'm unworthy to be either his wife or yours ; 
for, except I marry you both, I dunna how to 
settle this affair between you, at all; oh, mur- 



88 IRELAND 

ther sheery! but I'm the misfortunate crathur, 
entirely.' 

' Well,' says Jack to the officer, ' nobody can 
do more than be sorry for a wrong turn; small 
blame to her for taking a fancy to your humble 
servant, Mr. Officer,' and he stood as tall as 
possible to show himself off : * you see the fair 
lady is sorrowful for her folly, so as it's not yet 
too late, and as you came in the nick of time, in 
the name of Providence take my place, and let 
the marriage go an.' 

'No,' says she, 'never; I'm not worthy of 
him, at all at all: tundher-an-age, but I'm the 
unlucky thief! ' 

' While this was going forward, the officer 
looked closely at Jack, and seeing him such a 
fine, handsome fellow, and having heard before 
of his riches, he began to think that, all things 
considhered, she wasn't so much to be blempt. 
Then, when he saw how sorry she was for having 
forgot him, he steps forrid. 

( Well,' says he, ' I'm still willing to marry 
you, particularly as you feel conthrition ' " 

" He should have said contrition, confession, 
and satisfaction," observed Father Peter. 

" Pether, will you keep your theology to your- 
self," replied Father Ned, " and let us come to 
the plot without interruption." 

"Plot!" exclaimed Father Peter, "I'm sure 
it's no rebellion that there should be a plot in it, 
any way! " 

" Tace" said Father Ned " tace, and that's 
Latin for a candle." 



TRAITS AND STORIES 89 

"I deny that," said the curate; " tace is the 
imperative mood from taceo, to keep silent. 
Taceo, taces, tacui, tacere, tacendi, tacendo, 
tac " 

" Ned, go on with your story, and never mind 
that deep laming of his he's almost cracked 
with it," said the superior: " go on, and never 
mind him." 

" ' Well,' says he, * I'm still willing to marry 
you, particularly as you feel conthrition for what 
you were going to do. So, with this, they all 
gather about her, and, as the officer was a fine 
fellow himself, prevailed upon her to let the mar- 
riage be performed, and they were according 
spliced as fast as his Reverence could make them. 

" ' Now, Jack,' says the dog, * I want to spake 
with you for a minute it's a word for your own 
ear; ' so up he stands on his two hind legs, and 
purtinded to be whisp'ring something to him ; but 
what do you think? he gives him the slightest 
touch on the lips with his paw, and that instant 
Jack remimbered the lady and every thing that 
happened betune them. 

" ' Tell me, this instant,' says Jack, seizing him 
by the throath, ' where's the darling, at all at all, 
or by this an by that you'll hang on the next 
tree!' 

" Jack spoke finer nor this, to be sure, but as 
I can't give his tall English, the sorra one of me 
will bother myself striving to do it. 

" ' Behave yourself,' says the dog, ' just say 
nothing, only follow me.' 

" Accordingly, Jack went out with the dog, 



90 IRELAND 

and in a few minutes comes in again, leading 
along with him, on the one side,, the loveliest lady 
that ever eye beheld, and the dog, that was her 
brother, now metamurphied into a beautiful, il- 
legant gintleman, on the other. 

" * Father Flannagan/ says Jack, * you 
thought a while ago you'd have no marriage, but 
instead of that you'll have a brace of them ; ' up 
and telling the company, at the same time, all 
that had happened him, and how the beautiful 
crathur that he brought in with him had done 
so much for him. 

' Whin the gintlemen heard this, as they were 
all Irishmen, you may be sure there was noth- 
ing but huzzaing and throwing up of hats from 
them, and waving of hankerchers from the 
ladies. Well, my dear, the wedding dinner was 
ate in great style; the nobleman proved himself 
no disgrace to his rank at the trencher; and so, 
to make a long story short, such faisting and 
banquetteering was never seen since or before. 
At last, night came; and, among ourselves, not 
a doubt of it, but Jack thought himself a happy 
man ; and maybe if all was known, the bride was 
much of the same opinion: be that as it may, 
night came the bride, all blushing, beautiful, 
and modest as your own sweetheart, was getting 
tired after the dancing; Jack, too, though much 
stouter, wished for a trifle of repose, and many 
thought it was near time to throw the stocking, 
as is proper, of coorse, on every occasion of the 
kind. Well, he was just on his way up stairs, 
and had reached the first landing, when he hears 



TRAITS AND STORIES 91 

a voice at his ear, shouting, ' Jack Jack Jack 
Magennis ! ' Jack could have spitted anybody 
for coming to disturb him at such a criticality. 
* Jack Magennis ! ' says the voice. Jack looked 
about to see who it was that called him, and there 
he found himself lying on the green Rath, a little 
above his mother's cabin, of a fine calm summer's 
evening, in the month of June. His mother was 
stooping over him, with her mouth at his ear, 
striving to waken him, by shouting and shaking 
him out of his sleep. 

* Oh ! by this and by that, mother,' says Jack, 
' what did you waken me for? ' 

* Jack, a-vourneen,' says the mother, ' sure 
and you war lying grunting, and groaning, and 
snifthering there, for all the world as if you had 
the cholic, and I only nudged you for fraid you 
war in pain.' 

1 1 wouldn't for a thousand guineas,' says 
Jack, * that ever you wakened me, at all, at all ; 
but whisht mother, go into the house, and I'll be 
afther you in less than no time.' 

'* The mother went in, and the first thing Jack 
did was to try the rock ; and, sure enough, there 
he found as much money as made him the richest 
man that ever was in the country. And what 
was to his credit, when he did grow rich, he 
wouldn't let his cabin be thrown down, but built 
a fine castle on a spot near it, where he could al- 
ways have it under his eye, to prevent him from 
getting proud. In the coorse of time, a harper, 
hearing the story, composed a tune upon it, 
which everybody knows is called the ' Little 



92 IRELAND 

House under the Hill ' to this day, beginning 
with 

' Hi for it, ho for it, hi for it still ; 

Och, and whoo ! your sowl hi for the little house under the 
hill!' 

" So you see that was the way the great 
Magennisses first came by their wealth, and all 
because Jack was industrious, and an obadient, 
dutiful, and tindher son, to his helpless ould 
mother, and well he deserved what he got, ershi 
misha. 37 Your healths Father Ned Father 
Pether all kinds of happiness to us ; and there's 
my story." 



' Well," said Father Peter, " I think that dog 
was nothing more or less than a downright cur, 
that deserved the lash nine times a day, if it was 
only for his want of respect to the clergy; if he 
had given me such insolence, I solemnly declare 
I would have bate the devil out of him with a 
hazel cudgel, if I failed to exorcise him with a 
prayer." 

Father Ned looked at the simple and credu- 
lous curate with an expression of humour and 
astonishment. 

" Paddy," said he to the servant, " will you let 
us know what the night's doing? " 

Paddy looked out. ' Why, your Rev'rence, 
it's a fine night, all out, and cleared up it is 
bravely." 

At this moment the stranger awoke. 

" Sir," said Father Ned, " you missed an 



TRAITS AND STORIES 93 

amusing story, in consequence of your somno- 
lency." 

' Though I missed the story," replied the 
stranger, " I was happy enough to hear your 
friend's critique upon the dog." 

Father Ned seemed embarrassed; the curate, 
on the contrary, exclaimed with triumph " but 
wasn't / right, sir? " 

"Perfectly," said the stranger; "the moral 
you applied was excellent." 

" Good night, boys," said Father Ned " good 
night, Mr. Longinus Polysyllabus Alexandri- 
nus!" 

" Good night, boys," said Father Peter, imita- 
ting Father Ned, whom he looked upon as a per- 
fect model of courtesy " Good night, boys 
good night, Mr. Longinus Polysyllabus Alex- 
andrinus." 

" Good night," replied the stranger " good 
night, Doctor Edward Deleery; and good night, 
Doctor Peter M'Clatchaghan good night." 

When the clergymen were gone, the circle 
about the fire, excepting the members of Ned's 
family and the stranger, dispersed to their re- 
spective homes; and thus ended the amusement 
of that evening. 

After they had separated, Ned, whose curi- 
osity respecting the stranger was by no means 
satisfied, began to sift him in his own peculiar 
manner, as they both sat at the fire. 

"Well, Sir," said Ned, "barring the long 
play-aether that tumbles upon the big stage in 
the street of our market-town, here below, I 



94 IRELAND 

haven't seen so long a man this many a day ; and, 
barring your big whiskers, the sorra one of your 
honour's unlike him. A fine portly vagabone he 
is, indeed a big man, and a bigger rogue, they 
say, for he pays nobody." 

" Have you got such a company in your neigh- 
bourhood? " inquired the stranger, with indiffer- 
ence. 

' We have, Sir," said Ned ; " but, plase good- 
ness, they'll soon be lashed like hounds from the 
place the town boys are preparing to give them 
a chivey some fine morning out of the country." 

" Indeed! he hem! that will be very spirited 
of the town boys," said the stranger, dryly. 

" That's a smart looking horse your honour 
rides," observed Ned; " did he carry you far to- 
day, with submission? " 

" Not far," replied his companion " only 
fourteen miles; but, I suppose, the fact is, you 
wish to know who and what I am, where I came 
from, and whither I am going. Well, you shall 
know this. In the first place, I am agent to 
Lord Non Resident's estate, if you ever heard of 
that nobleman, and am on my way from Castle 
Ruin, the seat of his Lordship's Incumbrances, 
to Dublin. My name you have already heard. 
Are you now satisfied?" 

" Parfitly, your honour," replied Ned, " and 
I am much obliged to you, Sir." 

" I trust you are an honest man," said the 
stranger, " because for this night I am about to 
place great confidence in you." 

" Well, Sir," said his landlord, " if I turn out 



TRAITS AND STORIES 95 

dishonest to you, it's more nor I did in my whole 
life to any body else, barring to Nancy." 

" Here, then," said the stranger, drawing out 
a large packet, inclosed in a roll of black leather 
" here is the half year's rent of the estate, to- 
gether with my own property: keep it secure till 
morning, when I shall demand it, and, of course, 
it will be safe? " 

" As if it was five f adorn under ground," re- 
plied Ned. " I will put it along with our own 
trifle of silver; and after that, let Nancy alone 
for keeping it safe, so long as it's there; " saying 
which, Ned secured the packet, and showed the 
stranger his bed. 

About five o'clock the next morning their 
guest was up, and ordered a snack in all haste; 
" being a military man," said he, " and accus- 
tomed to timely hours, I shall ride down to the 
town, and put a letter into the post-office in time 
for the Dublin mail, after which you may ex- 
pect me to breakfast. But, in the meantime, I 
am not to go with empty pockets," he added, 
when mounting his horse at the door " bring 
me some silver, landlord, and be quick." 

" How much, plase your honour? " 

" Twenty or thirty shillings ; but, harkee, pro- 
duce my packet, that I may be quite certain my 
property is safe." 

" Here it is, your honour, safe and sound," 
replied Ned, returning from within; " and 
Nancy, sir, has sent you all the silver she 
has, which was One Pound Five; but I'd take 
it as a favour if your honour would be contint 



96 IRELAND 

with twenty shillings, and lave me the odd five, 
for you see the case is this, sir, plase your hon- 
our, she' 3 and Ned, with a shrewd, humorous nod, 
pointed with his thumb over his shoulder as he 

spoke " she wears the what you know, 

sir." 

"Ay, I thought so," replied the stranger; 
" but a man of your size to be henpecked must 
be a great knave, otherwise your wife would al- 
low you more liberty. Go in, man; you deserve 
no compassion in such an age of freedom as this. 
I sha'n't give you a farthing till after my return, 
and only then if it be agreeable to your wife." 38 

"Murdher!" said Ned, astonished, "I beg 
your honours pardon; but murdher alive, sir, 
where's your whiskers?" 

The stranger put his hand hastily to his face, 
and smiled "Where are my whiskers? Why 
shaved off, to be sure," he replied; and setting 
spurs to his horse, was soon out of sight and 
hearing. 

It was nearly a month after that, when Ned 
and Nancy, in presence of Father Deleery, 
opened the packet, and discovered, not the half- 
year's rent of Lord Non-Resident's estate, but 
a large sheaf of play-bills packed up together 
their guest having been the identical person to 
whom Ned affirmed he bore so strong a resem- 
blance. 



SHANE FADH'S WEDDING 

On the following evening, the neighbours were 
soon assembled about Ned's hearth, in the same 
manner as on the night preceding: 

And we may observe, by the way, that al- 
though there was a due admixture of opposite 
creeds and conflicting principles, yet even then, 
and the time is not so far back, such was their 
cordiality of heart and simplicity of manners 
when contrasted with the bitter and rancorous 
spirit of the present day, that the very remem- 
brance of the harmony in which they lived is at 
once pleasing and melancholy. 

After some preliminary chat, " Well Shane," 
said Andy Morrow, addressing Shane Fadh, 
" will you give us an account of your wedding? 
I'm tould it was the greatest let-out that ever 
was in the country, before or since." 

" And you may say that, Mr. Morrow," said 
Shane, " I was at many a wedding myself, but 
never at the likes of my own, barring Tim Lan- 
nigan's, that married Father Corrigan's niece." 

" I believe," said Andy, " that, too, was a 
dashing one; however, it's your own we want. 
Come, Nancy, fill these measures again, and let 
us be comfortable, at all events, and give Shane 
a double one, for talking's druthy work. I'll 
stand this round." 

r ~ 7 97 



98 IRELAND 

When the liquor was got in, Shane, after tak- 
ing a draught, laid down his pint, pulled out his 
steel tobacco-box, and, after twisting off a chew 
between his teeth, closed the box, and com- 
menced the story of his wedding. 

" When I was a Brine-Oge," 39 said Shane, 
" I was as wild as an unbroken cowlt no divil- 
ment was too hard for me; and so sign's on it, 
for there wasn't a piece of mischief done in the 
parish, but was laid at my door and the dear 
knows I had enough of my own to answer for, 
let alone to be set down for that of other people ; 
but, any way, there was many a thing done in 
my name, when I knew neither act nor part 
about it. One of them I'll mintion: Dick 
Cuillenan, father to Paddy, that lives at the 
crass-roads, beyant Gunpowdher Lodge, was 
over head and ears in love with Jemmy Finigan's 
eldest daughter, Mary, then, sure enough, as 
purty a girl as you'd meet in a fair indeed, I 
think I'm looking at her, with her fair flaxen 
ringlets hanging over her shoulders, as she used 
to pass our house, going to mass of a Sunday. 
God rest her sowl, she's now in glory that was 
before she was my wife. Many a happy day we 
passed together ; and I could take it to my death, 
that an ill word, let alone to rise our hands to 
one another, never passed between us only one 
day, that a word or two happened about the 
dinner, in the middle of Lent, being a little too 
late, so that the horses were kept nigh hand half 
an hour out of the plough; and I wouldn't have 
valued that so much, only that it was Seal cam 40 



TRAITS AND STORIES 99 

Doherty that joined 41 me in ploughing that year 
and I was vexed not to take all I could out of 
him, for he was a raal Turk himself. 

" I disremember now what passed between us 
as to words but I know I had a duck-egg in my 
hand, and when she spoke, I raised my arm, and 
nailed poor Larry Tracy, our servant boy, be- 
tween the two eyes with it, although the crathur 
was ating his dinner quietly foment me, not say- 
ing a word. 

' Well, as I tould you, Dick was ever after 
her, although her father and mother would rather 
see her under boord, 42 than joined to any of that 
connexion; and as for herself, she couldn't bear 
the sight of him, he was sich an upsetting, con- 
ceited puppy, that thought himself too good for 
every girl. At any rate, he tried often and 
often, in fair and market, to get striking up with 
her; and both coming from and going to mass, 
'twas the same way, for ever after and about 
her, till the state he was in spread over the parish 
like wild fire. Still, all he could do was of no 
use ; except to bid him the time of day, she never 
entered into discoorse with him, at all at all. 
But there was no putting the likes of him off; 
so he got a quart of spirits in his pocket, one 
night, and without saying a word to mortal, off 
he sets full speed to her father's, in order to brake 
the thing to the family. 

" Mary might be about seventeen at this time, 
and her mother looked almost as young and fresh 
as if she hadn't been married at all. When 
Dick came in, you may be sure they were all sur- 



100 IRELAND 

prised at the sight of him; but they were civil 
people and the mother wiped a chair, and put it 
over near the fire for him to sit down upon, wait- 
ing to hear what he'd say, or what he wanted, 
although they could give a purty good guess as 
to that but they only wished to put him off 
with as little offince as possible. When Dick 
sot a while, talking about what the price of hay 
and oats would be in the following summer, and 
other subjects that he thought would show his 
knowledge of farming and cattle, he pulls out 
his bottle, encouraged to it by their civil way of 
talking and telling the ould couple, that as he 
came over on his kailyee** he had brought a drop 
in his pocket to sweeten the discoorse, axing Susy 
Finigan, the mother, for a glass to send it round 
with at the same time "drawing over his chair 
close to Mary, who was knitting her stocken up 
beside her little brother Michael, and chatting to 
the gorsoon, for fraid that Cuillenan might think 
she paid him any attention. 

' When Dick got alongside of her, he began, 
of coorse, to pull out her needles and spoil her 
knitting, as is customary before the young people 
come to close spaking. Mary, howsomever, had 
no welcome for him ; so, says she, ' You ought to 
know, Dick Cuillenan, who you spake to, before 
you make the freedom you do.' 

" ' But you don't know,' says Dick, ' that I'm 
a great hand at spoiling the girls' knitting, it's 
a fashion I've got,' says he. 

" ' It's a fashion, then,' says Mary, ' that'll be 
apt to get you a broken mouth, some time.' 44 



TRAITS AND STORIES 101 

' Then,' says Dick, ' whoever does that must 
marry me.' 

* And them that gets you, will have a prize 
to brag of,' says she ; * stop yourself, Cuillenan 
single your freedom, and double your distance, 
if you plase; I'll cut my coat off no such cloth/ 

' Well, Mary,' says he, * maybe, if you don't, 
as good will; but you won't be so cruel as all that 
comes to the worst side of you is out, I think.' 
" He was now beginning to make greater free- 
dom; but Mary rises from her seat, and whisks 
away with herself, her cheek as red as a rose 
with vexation at the fellow's imperance. ' Very 
well,' says Dick, ' off you go ; but there's as good 
fish in the say as ever was catched. I'm sorry 
to see, Susy,' says he to her mother, ' that Mary's 
no friend of mine, and I'd be mighty glad to find 
it otherwise; for, to tell the truth, I'd wish to be- 
come connected with the family. In the mane 
time, hadn't you better get us a glass, till we 
drink one bottle on the head of it, any way/ 

* Why, then, Dick Cuillenan,' says the 
mother, * I don't wish you any thing else than 
good luck and happiness; but, as to Mary, she's 
not for you herself, nor would it be a good match 
between the families at all. Mary is to have her 
grandfather's sixty guineas; and the two moul- 
leens 45 that her uncle Jack left her four years 
ago has brought her a good stock for any farm. 
Now if she married you, Dick, where's the farm 
to bring her to ? surely, it's not upon them seven 
acres of stone and bent, upon the long Esker, 46 
that I'd let my daughter go to live. So, Dick, 



102 IRELAND 

put up your bottle, and in the name of God, go 
home, boy, and mind your business; but, above 
all, when you want a wife, go to them that you 
may have a right to expect, and not to a girl 
like Mary Finigan, that could lay down guineas 
where you could hardly find shillings.' 

* Very well, Susy,' says Dick, nettled enough, 
as he well might, ' I say to you, just as I say 
to your daughter, if you be proud there's no 
force.' " 

" But what has this to do with you, Shane? " 
asked Andy Morrow; " sure we wanted to hear 
an account of your wedding, but instead of that, 
it's Dick Cuillenan's history you're giving us." 

' That's just it," said Shane; " sure, only for 
this same Dick, I'd never get Mary Finigan for 
a wife. Dick took Susy's advice, bekase, after 
all, the undacent drop was in him, or he'd never 
have brought the bottle out of the house at all; 
but, faith he riz up, put the whiskey in his pocket, 
and went home with a face on him as black as 
my hat with venom. Well, things passed on till 
the Christmas following, when one night, after 
the Finigans had all gone to bed, there comes a 
crowd of fellows to the door, thumping at it 
with great violence, and swearing that if the 
people within wouldn't open it immediately, it 
would be smashed into smithereens. The fam- 
ily, of coorse, were all alarmed; but somehow 
or other, Susy herself got suspicious that it might 
be something about Mary; so up she gets, and 
sends the daughter to her own bed, and lies down 
herself in the daughter's. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 103 

" In the mane time, Finigan got up, and after 
lighting a candle, opened the door at once. 
* Come, Finigan,' says a strange voice, ' put out 
the candle, except you wish us to make a candle- 
stick of the thatch,' says he ' or to give you a 
prod of a bagnet under the ribs,' says he. 

" It was a folly for one man to go to bell-the- 
cat with a whole crowd; so he blew the candle 
out, and next minute they rushed in, and went 
as straight as a rule to Mary's bed. The mother 
all the time lay close, and never said a word. At 
any rate, what could be expected, only that, do 
what she could, at the long-run she must go? 
So, accordingly, after a very hard battle on her 
side, being a powerful woman, she was obliged 
to travel but not till she had left many of them 
marks to remimber her by; among the rest, 
Dick himself got his nose split on his face, with 
the stroke of a churn-staff, so that he carried 
half a nose on each cheek till the day of his death. 
Still there was very little spoke, for they didn't 
wish to betray themselves on any side. The only 
thing that Finigan could hear, was my name re- 
pated several times, as if the whole thing was 
going on under my direction; for Dick thought, 
that if there was any one in the parish likely to 
be set down for it, it was me. 

' When Susy found they were for putting her 
behind one of them, on a horse, she rebelled 
again, and it took near a dozen of boys to hoist 
her up; but one vagabone of them, that had a 
rusty broad-sword in his hand, gave her a skelp 
with the flat side of it, that subdued her at once, 



104 IRELAND 

and off they went. Now, above all nights in 
the year, who should be dead but my own full 
cousin, Denis Fadh God be good to him! and 
I, and Jack, and Dan, his brothers, while bring- 
ing home whiskey for the wake and berrin, met 
them on the road. At first we thought them 
distant relations coming to the wake, but when 
I saw only one woman among the set, and she 
mounted on a horse, I began to suspect that all 
wasn't right. I accordingly turned back a bit, 
and walked near enough without their seeing me 
to hear the discoorse, and discover the whole 
business. In less than no time I was back at 
the wake-house, so I up and tould them what I 
saw, and off we set, about forty of us, with good 
cudgels, scythe-sneds, and flails, fully bent to 
bring her back from them, come or go what 
would. And troth, sure enough, we did it; and 
I was the man myself, that rode afore the mother 
on the same horse that carried her off. 

" From this out, when and wherever I got an 
opportunity, I whispered the soft nonsense, 
Nancy, into poor Mary's ear, until I put my 
comedher 47 on her, and she couldn't live at all 
without me. But I was something for a woman 
to look at then, any how, standing six feet two 
in my stocking soles, which, you know, made 
them call me Shane Fadh. 48 At that time I had 
a dacent farm of fourteen acres in Crocknagooran 
the same that my son, Ned, has at the present 
time; and though, as to wealth, by no manner 
of manes fit to compare with the Finigans, yet, 
upon the whole, she might have made a worse 



TRAITS AND STORIES 105 

match. The father, however, wasn't for me; 
but the mother was: so after drinking a bottle 
or two with the mother, Sarah Traynor, her 
cousin, and Mary, along with Jack Donnellan 
on my part, in their own barn, unknownst to the 
father, we agreed to make a runaway match of 
it, and appointed my uncle Brian S levin's as 
the house we'd go to. The next Sunday was 
the day appointed; so I had my uncle's family 
prepared, and sent two gallons of whiskey, to be 
there before us, knowing that neither the Fini- 
gans nor my own friends liked stinginess. 

* Well, well, after all, the world is a strange 
thing it's myself hardly knows what to make 
of it. It's I that did doat night and day upon 
that girl; and indeed there was them that could 
have seen me in Jimmaiky for her sake, for she 
was the beauty of the country, not to say of the 
parish, for a girl in her station. For my part, 
I could neither ate nor sleep, for thinking that 
she was so soon to be my own married wife, and 
to live under my roof. And when I'd think of 
it, how my heart would bounce to my throat, with 
downright joy and delight! The mother had 
made us promise not to meet till Sunday, for 
fraid of the father becoming suspicious: but, if 
I was to be shot for it, I couldn't hinder myself 
from going every night to the great flowering 
whitethorn that was behind their garden ; and al- 
though she knew I hadn't promised to come, yet 
there she still was; something, she said, tould 
her I would come. 

" The next Sunday we met at Alihadhawan 



106 IRELAND 

wood, and I'll never forget what I felt when I 
was going to the green at St. Patrick's Chair, 
where the boys and girls meet on Sunday: but 
there she was the bright eyes dancing with joy 
in her head to see me. We spent the evening 
in the wood, till it was dusk I bating them all- 
leaping, dancing, and throwing the stone; for, 
by my song, I thought I had the action of ten 
men in me; she looking on, and smiling like an 
angel, when I'd lave them miles behind me. As 
it grew dusk, they all went home, except herself 
and me, and a few more who, maybe, had some- 
thing of the same kind on hands. 

' Well, Mary,' says I, ' a-cushla-machree, it's 
dark enough for us to go; and, in the name of 
God, let us be off.' 

' The crathur looked into my face, and got 
pale for she was very young then: ' Shane,' 
says she, and she thrimbled like an aspen lafe, 
* I'm going to trust myself with you for ever 
for ever, Shane, avourneen,' and her sweet 
voice broke into purty murmurs as she spoke; 
' whether for happiness or sorrow God he only 
knows. I can bear poverty and distress, sick- 
ness and want with you, but I can't bear to think 
that you should ever forget to love me as you do 
now; or that your heart should ever cool to me: 
but I'm sure,' says she, ' you'll never forget this 
night, and the solemn promises you made me, 
before God and the blessed skies above us.' 

' We were sitting at the time under the shade 
of a rowan-tree, and I had only one answer to 
make I pulled her to my breast, where she laid 




IliH BhottiV rno-rt **& nildiKI 



.K .H .51 . 



IK VD 

,, and 1 -t what I felt when I 

n at St. Patrick's Chair, 
iris meet on Sunday: but 

there she was tin bright eyes dancing with joy 
in her head me. We spent the evening 

i, till it was dusk I bating them all- 
tnd throwing the stone; for, 
'light I had the action of ten 
she looking on, and smiling like an 
lien I'd lave them miles behind me. As 
all went home, except herself 
more who, maybe, had some- 
thing of the same kind on hands. 

" ' Well, Mary/ says I, ' a-cushla-machree, it's 
dark enough for us to go; and, in the name of 
God, let us be off.' 

" The crathur looked into my face, and got 

pale for she was very young then: * Shane/ 

she, and she thrimbled like an aspen lafe, 

to trust myself with you for ever 

ever, Shane, avourneen,' and her sweet 

voice br urty murmurs as she spoke; 

iness or sorrow God he only 

kr: sr poverty and distress, sick- 

i, but I can't bear to think 

>rget to love me as you do 

t should ever cool to me: 

ou'll never forget this 

omises you made me, 

"ssed skies above us.' 

the time under the shade 

of a rov only one answer to 

DtibHn Bay from Victoria Hill 

Reproduced from a Painting by Francis S. Walker, R. H. A. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 107 

her head and cried like a child, with her cheek 
against mine. My own eyes wern't dry, al- 
though I felt no sorrow, but but I never for- 
got that night and I never will." 

He now paused a few minutes, being too much 
affected to proceed. 

" Poor Shane," said Nancy, in a whisper to 
Andy Morrow, " night and day he's thinking 
about that woman; she's now dead going on a 
year, and you would think by him, although he 
bears up very well before company, that she died 
only yestherday but indeed it's he that was al- 
ways the kind-hearted, affectionate man; and a 
better husband never broke bread." 

* Well," said Shane, resuming the story, and 
clearing his voice, " it's a great consolation to 
me, now that she's gone, to think that I never 
broke the promise I made her that night; for 
as I tould you, except in regard of the duck-egg 
a bitther word never passed between us. I was 
in a passion then, for a wonder, and bent on 
showing her that I was a dangerous man to pro- 
voke; so just to give her a spice of what I could 
do, I made Larry feel it and may God forgive 
me for raising my hand even then to her. But 
sure he would be a brute that would beat such 
a woman except by proxy. When it was clear 
dark we set off, and after crossing the country 
for two miles, reached my uncle's, where a great 
many of my friends were expecting us. As soon 
as we came to the door I struck it two or three 
times, for that was the sign, and my aunt came 
out, and taking Mary in her arms, kissed her, 



108 IRELAND 

and, with a thousand welcomes, brought us both 
in. 

' You all know that the best of aiting and 
dhrinking is provided when a runaway couple is 
expected ; and indeed there was galore 49 of both 
there. My uncle and all that were within wel- 
comed us again; and many a good song and 
hearty jug of punch was sent round that night. 
The next morning my uncle went to her father's, 
and broke the business to him at once: indeed 
it wasn't very hard to do, for I believe it reached 
him afore he saw my uncle at all; so she was 
brought home 50 that day, and, on the Thursday 
night after, I, my father, uncle, and several 
other friends, went there, and made the match. 
She had sixty guineas, that her grandfather left 
her, thirteen head of cattle, two feather, and two 
chaff beds, with sheeting, quilts, and blankets; 
three pieces of bleached linen, and a flock of 
geese of her own rearing upon the whole, 
among ourselves, it wasn't aisy to get such a for- 
tune. 

" Well, the match was made, and the wedding- 
day appointed; but there was one thing still to 
be managed, and that was how to get over the 
standing at mass on Sunday, to make satisfac- 
tion for the scandal we gave the church by run- 
ning away with one another but that's all stuff, 
for who care's a pin about standing, when three 
halves of the parish are married in the same way ! 
The only thing that vexed me was, that it would 
keep back the wedding-day. However, her 
father and my uncle went to the priest, and 



TRAITS AND STORIES 109 

spoke to him, trying, of coorse, to get us off of 
it, but he knew we were fat geese, and was in 
for giving us a plucking. Hut, tut! he 
wouldn't hear of it at all, not he; for although 
he would ride fifty miles to sarve either of us, 
he couldn't brake the new orders that he had got 
only a few days before that from the bishop. 
No; we must stand 51 for it would be setting a 
bad example to the parish; and if he would let 
us pass, how could he punish the rest of his flock, 
when they'd be guilty of the same thing? 

' Well, well, your Reverence,' says my uncle, 
winking at her father, * if that's the case it can't 
be helped, any how they must only stand, as 
many a dacent father and mother's child has 
done before them, and will again, plase God 
your Reverence is right in doing your duty.' 

1 True for you, Brian,' says his Reverence, 
* and yet, God knows, there's no man in the 
parish would be sorrier to see such a dacent, 
comely, young couple put upon a level with all 
the scrubs of the parish; and I know, Jemmy 
Finigan, it would go hard with your young, 
bashful daughter to get through with it, having 
the eyes of the whole congregation staring on 
her.' 

* Why, then, your Reverence, as to that,' 
says my uncle, who was just as stiff as the other 
was stout, * the bashf ulest of them will do more 
nor that to get a husband.' 

" ' But you tell me,' says the priest, ' that the 
wedding-day is fixed upon; how will you man- 
age there?' 



110 IRELAND 

" * Why, put it off for three Sundays longer, 
to be sure,' says the uncle. 

" * But you forget this, Brian,' says the priest, 
' that good luck or prosperity never attends the 
putting off of a wedding.' 

" Now here you see is where the priest had 
them; for they knew that as well as his Rever- 
ence himself so they were in a puzzle again. 

" ' It's a disagreeable business,' says the priest, 
* but the truth is, I could get them off with the 
bishop, only for one thing I owe him five 
guineas of altar-money, and I'm so far back in 
dues that I'm not able to pay him. If I could 
inclose this to him in a letter, I would get them 
off at once, although it would be bringing myself 
into trouble with the parish afterwards; but, at 
all events,' says he, * I wouldn't make every one 
of you both so, to prove that I wish to sarve 
you, I'll sell the best cow in my byre, and pay 
him myself, rather than their wedding-day 
should be put off, poor things, or themselves 
brought to smy t bad luck the Lord keep them 
from it ! ' 

" While he was speaking, he stamped his foot, 
two or three times on the flure, and the house- 
keeper came in. c Katty,' says he, ' bring us in 
a bottle of whiskey; at all events, I can't let you 
away,' says he, ' without tasting something, and 
drinking luck to the young folks.' 

" ' In troth,' says Jemmy Finigan, ' and beg- 
ging your Reverence's pardon, the sorra cow 
you'll sell this bout, any how, on account of me 
or my childhre, bekase I'll lay down on the nail 



TRAITS AND STORIES 111 

what'll clear you wid the bishop ; and in the name 
of goodness, as the day is fixed and all, let the 
crathurs not be disappointed.' 

* Jemmy,' says my uncle, ' if you go to that, 
you'll pay but your share, for I insist upon lay- 
ing down one half, at laste.' 

" At any rate they came down with the cash, 
and after drinking a bottle between them, went 
home in choice spirits entirely at their good luck 
in so aisily getting us off. When they had left 
the house a bit, the priest sent after them 
' Jemmy,' says he to Finigan, ' I forgot a cir- 
cumstance, and that is, to tell you that I will 
go and marry them at your own house, and bring 
Father James, my curate, with me.' * Oh, 
wurrah, no,' said both, ' don't mention that, your 
Reverence, except you wish to break their hearts, 
out and out ! why, that would be a thousand times 
worse nor making them stand to do penance: 
doesn't your Reverence know, that if they hadn't 
the pleasure of running for the bottle, the whole 
wedding wouldn't be worth three half -pence ? ' 
* Indeed, I forgot that, Jemmy.' * But sure,' 
says my uncle, * your Reverence and Father 
James must be at it, whether or not for that we 
intended from the first.' ' Tell them, I'll run for 
the bottle too,' says the priest, laughing, * and 
will make some of them look sharp, never fear.' 

* Well, by my song, so far all was right; and 
may be it's we that wern't glad maning Mary 
and myself that there was nothing more in the 
way to put off the wedding-day. So, as the 
bridegroom's share of the expense always is to 



112 IRELAND 

provide the whiskey, I'm sure, for the honour 
and glory of taking the blooming young crathur 
from the great lot of bachelors that were all 
breaking their hearts about her, I couldn't do 
less nor finish the thing dacently; knowing, be- 
sides, the high doings that the Finigans would 
have of it for they were always looked upon as 
a family that never had their hearts in a trifle, 
when it would come to the push. So, you see, 
I and my brother Mickey, my cousin Tom, and 
Dom'nick Nulty, went up into the mountains to 
Tim Cassidy's still-house, where we spent a glori- 
ous day, and bought fifteen gallons of stuff, that 
one drop of it would bring the tear, if possible, 
to a young widdy's eye that had berrid a bad 
husband. Indeed, this was at my father's bid- 
ding, who wasn't a bit behindhand with any of 
them in cutting a dash. * Shane,' says he to me, 
* you know the Finigans of ould, that they won't 
be contint with what would do another, and that, 
except they go beyant the thing, entirely, they 
won't be satisfied. They'll have the whole coun- 
tryside at the wedding, and we must let them see 
that we have a spirit and a faction of our own,' 
says he, * that we needn't be ashamed of. 
They've got all kinds of ateables in cart-loads, 
and as we're to get the drinkables, we must see 
and give as good as they'll bring. I myself, and 
your mother, will go round and invite all we can 
think of, and let you and Mickey go up the hills 
to Tim Cassidy, and get fifteen gallons of 
whiskey, for I don't think less will do us.' 
" This we accordingly complied with, as I said, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 113 

and surely better stuff never went down the red 
lane 52 than the same whiskey ; for the people 
knew nothing about watering it then, at all at all. 
The next thing I did was to get a fine shop cloth 
coat, a pair of top-boots, and buck-skin breeches 
fit for a squire; along with a new Caroline hat 
that would throw off the wet like a duck. Mat 
Kavanagh, the schoolmaster from Findramore 
bridge, lent me his watch for the occasion, after 
my spending near two days learning from him 
to know what o'clock it was. At last, somehow, 
I masthered that point so well, that in a quarter 
of an hour at least, I could give a dacent guess 
at the time upon it. 

' Well, at last the day came. The wedding 
morning, or the bride's part of it, 53 as they say, 
was beautiful. It was then the month of July. 
The evening before, my father and my brother 
went over to Jemmy Finigan's, to make the reg- 
ulations for the wedding. We, that is my 
party, were to be at the bride's house about ten 
o'clock, and we were then to proceed, all on 
horseback, to the priest's, to be married. We 
were then, after drinking something at Tom 
Hance's public-house, to come back as far as the 
Dumbhill, where we were to start and run for 
the bottle. That morning we were all up at the 
skriek of day. From six o'clock, my own fac- 
tion, friends and neighbours, began to come, all 
mounted; and about eight o'clock there was a 
whole regiment of them, some on horses, some 
on mules, others on raheries, 54 and asses ; and, by 
my word, I believe little Dick Snudaghan, the 

18 



114 IRELAND 

tailor's apprentice, that had a hand in making 
my wedding-clothes, was mounted upon a buck 
goat, with a bridle of salvages tied to his horns. 
Anything at all, to keep their feet from the 
ground ; for nobody would be allowed to go with 
the wedding that hadn't some animal between 
them and the earth. 

' To make a long story short, so large a 
'bridegroom's party was never seen in that coun- 
try before, save and except Tim Lannigan's, 
that I mentioned just now. It would make you 
split your face laughing to see [the figure they 
cut; some of them had saddles and bridles 
others had saddles and halthers: some had back- 
suggawns of straw, with hay stirrups to them, 
but good bridles; others had sacks filled up as 
like saddles as they could make them, girthed 
with hay-ropes five or six times tied round the 
horse's body. When one or two of the horses 
wouldn't carry double, except the hind rider sat 
strideways, the women had to be put foremost, 
and the men behind them. Some had dacent 
pillions enough, but most of them had none at 
all, and the women were obliged to sit where the 
pillion ought to be and a hard card they had 
to play to keep their seats even when the horses 
walked asy, so what must it be when they came 
to a gallop ! but that same was nothing at all to 
a trot. 

" From the time they began to come that 
morning, you may be sartain that the glass was 
no cripple, any how although, for fear of ac- 
cidents, we took care not to go too deep. At 



TRAITS AND STORIES 115 

eight o'clock we sat down to a rousing breakfast, 
for we thought it best to eat a trifle at home, lest 
they might think that what we were to get at 
the bride's breakfast might be thought any 
novelty. As for my part, I was in such a state, 
that I couldn't let a morsel cross my throat, nor 
did I know what end of me was uppermost. 
After breakfast they all got their cattle, and I 
my hat and whip, and was ready to mount, when 
my uncle whispered to me that I must kneel 
down and ax my father and mother's blessing, 
and forgiveness for all my disobedience and 
offinces towards them and also to requist the 
blessing of my brothers and sisters. Well, in a 
short time I was down; and my goodness! such 
a hullabaloo of crying as was there in a minute's 
time ! ' Oh, Shane Fadh Shane Fadh, a cushla 
machree ! ' says my poor mother in Irish, * you're 
going to break up the ring about your father's 
hearth and mine going to lave us, avourneen, 
for ever, and we to hear your light foot and 
sweet voice, morning, noon, and night, no more! 
Oh ! ' says she, * it's you that was the good son all 
out ; and the good brother, too : kind and cheerful 
was your voice, and full of love and affection was 
your heart ! Shane, avourneen deelish, if ever I 
was harsh to you, forgive your poor mother, that 
will never see you more on her flure as one of her 
own family.' 

" Even my father, that wasn't much given to 
crying, couldn't speak, but went over to a corner 
and cried till the neighbours stopped him. As 
for my brothers and sisters, they were all in an 



116 IRELAND 

uproar; and I myself, cried like a Trojan, 
merely bekase I see them at it. My father and 
mother both kissed me, and gave me their bless- 
ing; and my brothers and sisters did the same, 
while you'd think all their hearts would break. 
' Come, come,' says my uncle, ' I'll have none of 
this : what a hubbub you make, and your son go- 
ing to be well married going to be joined to a 
girl that your betters would be proud to get into 
connexion with. You should have more sense, 
Rose Campbell you ought to thank God that he 
had the luck to come acrass such a colleen for a 
wife; that it's not going to his grave, instead of 
into the arms of a purty girl and what's better, 
a good girl. So quit your blubbering, Rose ; and 
you, Jack,' says he to my father, ' that ought to 
have more sense, stop this instant. Clear off, 
every one of you, out of this, and let the young 
boy go to his horse. Clear out, I say, or by the 
powers I'll look at them three stags of huz- 
zies ; by the hand of my body they're blubbering 
bekase it's not their own story this blessed day. 

Move bounce ! and you, Rose Oge, if you're 

not behind Dudley Fulton in less than no time, 
by the hole of my coat, I'll marry a wife myself, 
and then where will the twenty guineas be that 
I'm to lave you? ' 

" God rest his soul, and yet there was a tear 
in his eye all the while even in spite of his jok- 
ing! 

" Any how, it's easy knowing that there wasn't 
sorrow at the bottom of their grief : for they were 
all now laughing at my uncle's jokes, even while 



TRAITS AND STORIES 117 

their eyes were red with the tears: my mother 
herself couldn't but be in a good humour, and 
join her smile with the rest. 

" My uncle now drove us all out before him ; 
not, however, till my mother had sprinkled a 
drop of holy water on each of us, and given me 
and my brothers and sisters a small taste of 
blessed candle, to prevent us from sudden death 
and accidents. 55 My father and she didn't come 
with us then, but they went over to the bride's 
while we were all gone to the priest's house. At 
last we set off in great style and spirits I well 
mounted on a good horse of my own, and my 
brother on one that he had borrowed from Peter 
Dannellon, fully bent on winning the bottle. I 
would have borrowed him myself, but I thought 
it dacenter to ride my own horse manfully, even 
though he never won a side of mutton or a 
saddle, like Dannellon's. But the man that was 
most likely to come in for the bottle was little 
Billy Cormick, the tailor, who rode a blood-racer 
that young John Little had wickedly lent him 
for the special purpose ; he was a tall bay animal, 
with long small legs, a switch tail, and didn't 
know how to trot. Maybe we didn't cut a dash 
and might have taken a town before us. Out 
we set about nine o'clock, and went acrass the 
country: but I'll not stop to mintion what hap- 
pened some of them, even before we got to the 
bride's house. It's enough to say here, that 
sometimes one in crassing a stile or ditch would 
drop into the shough; 56 sometimes another would 
find himself head foremost on the ground; a 



118 IRELAND 

woman would be capsized here in crassing a 
ridgy field, bringing her fore-rider to the ground 
along with her; another would be hanging like 
a broken arch, ready to come down, till some one 
would ride up and fix her on the seat. But as 
all this happened in going over the fields, we 
expected that when we'd get out on the king's 
highway there would be less danger, as we would 
have no ditches or drains to crass. When we 
came in sight of the house, there was a general 
shout of welcome from the bride's party, who 
were on the watch for us: we couldn't do less 
nor give them back the chorus ; but we had better 
have let that alone, for some of the young horses 
took the stadh^ others of them capered about; 
the asses the sorra choke them that were along 
with us should begin to bray, as if it was the 
king's birthday and a mule of Jack Irwin's 
took it into his head to stand stock still. This 
brought another dozen of them to the ground; 
so that, between one thing or another, we were 
near half an hour before we got on the march 
again. When the blood-horse that the tailor 
rode saw the crowd and heard the shouting, he 
cocked his ears, and set off with himself full 
speed ; but before he had got far he was without 
a rider, and went galloping up to the bride's 
house, the bridle hangin' about his feet. Billy, 
however, having taken a glass or two, wasn't to 
be cowed; so he came up in great blood, and 
swore he would ride him to America, sooner thafi 
let the bottle be won from the bridegroom's 
party. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 119 

" When we arrived, there was nothing but 
shaking hands and kissing, and all kinds of 
slewsihering men kissing men women kissing 
women and after that men and women all 
through other. Another breakfast was ready 
for us ; and here we all sat down ; myself and my 
next relations in the bride's house, and the others 
in the barn and garden; for one house wouldn't 
hold the half of us. Eating, however, was all 
only talk: of coorse we took some of the poteen 
again, and in a short time afterwards set off 
along the paved road to the priest's house, to be 
tied as fast as he could make us, and that was 
fast enough. Before we went out to mount our 
horses though, there was just such a hullabaloo 
with the bride and her friends as there was with 
myself: but my uncle soon put a stop to it, and 
in five minutes had them breaking their hearts 
laughing. 

" Bless my heart, what doings ! what roasting 
and boiling! and what tribes of beggars and 
shulers, and vagabonds of all sorts and sizes, were 
sunning themselves about the doors wishing us 
a thousand times long life and happiness. There 
was a fiddler and piper: the piper was to stop 
in my father-in-law's while we were going to be 
married, to keep the neighbours that were met 
there shaking their toes while we were at the 
priest's; and the fiddler was to come with our- 
selves, in order, you know, to have a dance at 
the priest's house, and to play for us coming and 
going; for there's nothing like a taste of music 
when one's on for sport. As we were setting off, 



120 IRELAND 

ould Mary M'Quade from Kilnahushogue, who 
was sent for bekase she understood charms, and 
had the name of being lucky, tuck myself aside: 
' Shane Fadh,' says she, ' you're a young man 
well to look upon; may God bless you and keep 
you so ; and there's not a doubt but there's them 
here that wishes you ill that would rather be 
in your shoes this blessed day, with your young 
colleen bawn,, 58 that 'ill be your wife before the 
sun sets, plase the heavens. There's ould Fanny 
Barton, the wrinkled thief of a hag, that the Fin- 
igans axed here for the cake of her decent son- 
in-law, who ran away with her daughter Betty, 
that was the great beauty some years ago: her 
breath's not good, Shane, and many a strange 
thing's said of her. Well, maybe, I know more 
about that nor I'm going to mintion, any how: 
more betoken that it's not for nothing the white 
hare haunts the shrubbery behind her house.' 

" ' But what harm could she do me, Sonsy 
Mary? ' says I for she was called Sonsy * we 
have often sarved her one way or other.' 

" ' Ax me no questions about her, Shane/ says 
she, ' don't I know what she did to Ned Donnelly, 
that was to be pitied, if ever a man was to be 
pitied, for as good as seven months after his 
marriage, until I relieved him; 'twas gone to a 
thread he was, and didn't they pay me decently 
for my throuble ! ' 

" * Well, and what am I to do, Mary? ' says 
I, knowing very well that what she sed was 
thrue enough, although I didn't wish her to see 
that I was afeard. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 121 

' Why,' says she, ' you must first exchange 
money with me, and then, if you do as I bid you, 
you may lave the rest to myself.' 

" I then took out, begad, a daicent lot of silver 
say a crown or so for my blood was up, and 
the money was flush and gave it to her; for 
which I got a cronagh-bawn 59 half-penny in ex- 
change. 

* Now,' says she, * Shane, you must keep this 
in your company, and for your life and sowl, 
don't part with it for nine days after your mar- 
riage; but there's more to be done,' says she 
' hould out your right knee ; ' so with this she 
unbuttoned three buttons of my buck-skins, and 
made me loose the knot of my garther on the 
right leg. ' Now,' says she, ' if you keep them 
loose till after the priest says the words, and 
won't let the money I gave you go out of your 
company for nine days, along with something 
else I'll do that you're to know nothing about, 
there's no fear of all their pishthrogesS 60 She 
then pulled off her right shoe, and threw it after 
us for luck. 

' We were now all in motion once more the 
bride riding behind my man, and the bridesmaid 
behind myself a fine bouncing girl she was, but 
not to be mintioned in the one year with my own 
darlin' in troth, it wouldn't be aisy getting such 
a couple as we were the same day, though it's 
myself that says it. Mary, dressed in a black 
castor hat, like a man's, a white muslin coat, with 
a scarlet silk handkercher about her neck, with 
a silver buckle and a blue ribbon, for luck, round 



122 IRELAND 

her waist; her fine hair wasn't turned up, at all 
at all, but hung down in beautiful curls on her 
shoulders; her eyes you would think, were all 
light; her lips as plump and as ripe as cherries 
and maybe it's myself that wasn't to that time o' 
day without tasting them, any how; and her 
teeth, so even, and as white as a burned bone. 
The day bate all for beauty; I don't know 
whether it was from the lightness of my own 
spirit it came, but, I think, that such a day I 
never saw from that to this; indeed, I thought 
every thing was dancing and smiling about me, 
and sartinly every one said, that such a couple 
hadn't been married, nor such a wedding seen in 
the parish for many a long year before. 

" All the time, as we went along, we had the 
music ; but then at first we were mightily puzzled 
what to do with the fiddler. To put him as a 
hind rider it would prevent him from playing, 
bekase how could he keep the fiddle before him 
and another so close to him? To put him fore- 
most was as bad, for he couldn't play and hould 
the bridle together; so at last my uncle proposed 
that he should get behind himself, turn his face 
to the horse's tail, and saw away like a Trojan. 

" It might be about four miles or so to the 
priest's house, and, as the day was fine, we got 
on gloriously. One thing, however, became 
troublesome; you see there was a cursed set of 
ups and downs on the road, and as the riding 
coutrements were so bad with a great many of 
the weddiners, those that had no saddles, going 
down steep places, would work onward bit by 



TRAITS AND STORIES 123 

bit, in spite of all they could do, till they'd be 
fairly on the horse's neck, and the women behind 
them would be on the animal's shoulders ; and it 
required nice managing to balance themselves, 
for they might as well sit on the edge of a dale 
boord. Many of them got tosses this way, 
though it all passed in good humour. But no 
two among the whole set were more puzzled by 
this, than my uncle and the fiddler I think I 
see my uncle this minute with his knees sticking 
into the horse's shoulders, and his two hands 
upon his neck, keeping himself back, with a 
cruiht 61 upon him, and the fiddler with his heels 
away, towards the horse's tail, and he stretched 
back against my uncle, for all the world like two 
bricks laid against one another, and one of them 
falling. 'Twas the same thing going up a hill; 
whoever was behind, would be hanging over the 
horse's tail, with the arm about the fore-rider's 
neck or body, and the other houlding the baste 
by the mane, to keep them both from sliding off 
backwards. Many a come-down there was 
among them but as I said, it was all in good 
humour; and, accordingly, as regularly as they 
fell, they were sure to get a cheer. 

" When we got to the Priest's house, there was 
a hearty welcome for us all. The bride and I, 
with our next kindred and friends, went into 
the parlour: along with these, there was a set 
of young fellows, who had been bachelors of the 
bride's, that got in with an intention of getting 
the first kiss 62 and, in coorse, of bateing myself 
out of it. I got a whisper of this ; so by my song, 



124 IRELAND 

I was determined to cut them all out in that, as 
well as I did in getting herself; but you know, 
I couldn't be angry, even if they had got the 
f oreway of me in it, bekase it's an ould custom. 
While the priest was going over the business, I 
kept my eye about me, and, sure enough, there 
were seven or eight fellows all waiting to snap 
at her. When the ceremony drew near a close, 
I got up on one leg, so that I could bounce to 
my feet like lightning, and when it was finished, 
I got her in my arm, before you could say Jack 
Robinson, and swinging her behind the priest, 
gave her the husband's first kiss. The next 
minute there was a rush after her; but, as I had 
got the first, it was but fair that they should come 
in according as they could, I thought, bekase, 
you know it was all in the coorse of practice; 
but, hould, there were two words to be said to 
that, for what does Father Dollard do, but 
shoves them off, and a fine stout shoulder he had 
shoves them off, like childre, and getting his 
arms about Mary, gives her half a dozen smacks 
at least oh, consuming to the one less that 
mine was only a cracker 63 to. The rest, then, 
all kissed her, one after another, according as 
they could come in to get one. We then went 
straight to his Reverence's barn, which had been 
cleared out for us the day before, by his own 
directions, where we danced for an hour or 
two, his Reverence and his Curate along with 
us. 

" When this was over we mounted again, the 
fiddler taking his ould situation behind my uncle. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 125 

You know it is usual, after getting the knot tied, 
to go to a public-house or shebeen, to get some 
refreshment after the journey; so, accordingly, 
we went to little lame Larry Spooney 's grand- 
father to him that was transported the other day 
for staling Bob Beaty's sheep; he was called 
Spooney himself, for his sheep-stealing, ever 
since Paddy Keenan made the song upon him, 
ending with ' his house never wants a good ram- 
horn spoon ; ' so that let people say what they 
will, these things run in the blood well, we went 
to his shebeen house, but the tithe of us couldn't 
get into it; so we sot on the green before the 
door, and, by my song, we took 64 dacently with 
him, any how; and, only for my uncle, it's odds 
but we would have been all fuddled. 

" It was now that I began to notish a kind of 
coolness between my party and the bride's, and 
for some time I didn't know what to make of 
it I wasn't long so, however ; for my uncle, who 
still had his eye about him, comes over to me, 
and says, * Shane, I doubt there will be bad work 
amongst these people, particularly betwixt the 
Dorans and the Flanagans the truth is, that 
the old business of the law-shoot will break out, 
and except they're kept from drink, take my 
word for it, there will be blood spilled. The 
running for the bottle will be a good excuse,' 
says he, ' so I think we had better move home 
before they go too far in the drink.' 

"Well, any way, there was truth in this; so, 
accordingly, the reckoning was ped, and, as this 
was the thrate of the weddiners to the bride and 



126 IRELAND 

bridegroom, every one of the men clubbed his 
share, but neither I nor the girls, anything. Ha 
ha ha! Am I alive at all? I never ha 
ha ha ! I never laughed so much in one day 
as I did in that, and I can't help laughing at it 
yet. Well, well! when we all got on the top of 
our horses, and sich other iligant cattle as we 
had the crowning of a king was nothing to it. 
We were now purty well I thank you, as to 
liquor; and, as the knot was tied, and all safe, 
there was no end to our good spirits; so, when 
we took the road, the men were in high blood, 
particularly Billy Cormick, the tailor, who had 
a pair of long cavalary spurs upon him, that he 
was scarcely able to walk in and he not more 
nor four feet high. The women, too, were in 
blood, having faces upon them, with the hate of 
the day and the liquor, as full as trumpeters.' 

" There was now a great jealousy among them 
that were bint for winning the bottle; and when 
one horseman would cross another, striving to 
have the whip hand of him when they'd set off , 
why you see, his horse would get a cut of the 
whip itself for his pains. My uncle and I, how- 
ever, did all we could to pacify them; and their 
own bad horsemanship, and the screeching of the 
women, prevented any strokes at that time. 
Some of them were ripping up ould sores against 
one another as they went along; others, par- 
ticularly the youngsters, with their sweethearts 
behind them, coorting away for the life of them, 
and some might be heard miles off, singing and 
laughing; and you may be sure the fiddler be- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 127 

hind my uncle wasn't idle, no more nor another. 
In this way we dashed on gloriously, till we came 
in sight of the Dumb-hill, where we were to 
start for the bottle. And now you might see 
the men fixing themselves on their saddles, sacks 
and suggans ; and the women tying kerchiefs and 
shawls about their caps and bonnets, to keep 
them from flying off, and then gripping their 
fore-riders hard and fast by the bosoms. When 
we got to the Dumb-hill, there were five or six 
fellows that didn't come with us to the priest's, 
but met us with cudgels in their hands, to pre- 
vent any of them from starting before the others, 
and to show fair play. 

' Well, when they were all in a lump, 
horses, mules, raheries, and asses some, as I 
said, with saddles, some with none; and all just 
as I toidd you before; the word was given and 
off they scoured, myself along with the rest; and 
divil be off me, if ever I saw such another sight 
but itself before or since. Off they skelped 
through thick and thin, in a cloud of dust like a 
mist about us: but it was a mercy that the life 
wasn't trampled out of some of us ; for before we 
had gone fifty perches, the one third of them were 
sprawling a-top of one another on the road. As 
for the women, they went down right and left 
sometimes bringing the horsemen with them; and 
many of the boys getting black eyes and bloody 
noses on the stones. Some of them, being half 
blind with the motion and the whiskey, turned 
off the wrong way, and gallopped on, thinking 
they had completely distanced the crowd; and it 



128 IRELAND 

wasn't until they cooled a bit that they found 
out their mistake. 

" But the best sport of all was, when they 
came to the Lazy Corner, just at Jack Gal- 
lagher's flush* 5 where the water came out a good 
way acrass the road; being in such a flight, they 
either forgot or didn't know how to turn the 
angle properly, and plash went above thirty of 
them, coming down right on the top of one an- 
other, souse in the pool. By this time there was 
about a dozen of the best horsemen a good dis- 
tance before the rest, cutting one another up for 
the bottle: among these were the Dorans and 
Flanagans; but they, you see, wisely enough, 
dropped their women at the beginning, and only 
rode single. I myself didn't mind the bottle, 
but kept close to Mary, for fraid that among 
sich a divil's pack of half -mad fellows, anything 
might happen her. At any rate, I was next the 
first batch : but where do you think the tailor was 
all this time? Why away off like lightning, 
miles before them flying like a swallow: and 
how he kept his sate so long has puzzled me from 
that day to this; but, any how, truth's best 
there he was topping the hill ever so far before 
them. After all, the unlucky crathur nearly 
missed the bottle; for when he turned to the 
bride's house, instead of pulling up as he ought 
to do why, to show his horsemanship to the 
crowd that was out looking at them, he should 
begin to cut up the horse right and left, until 
he made him take the garden ditch in full flight, 
landing him among the cabbages. About four 



TRAITS AND STORIES 129 

yards or five from the spot where the horse 
lodged himself was a well, and a purty deep one, 
by my word; but not a sowl present could tell 
what become of the tailor, until Owen Smith 
chanced to look into the well, and saw his long 
spurs just above the water; so he was pulled up 
in a purty pickle, not worth the washing; but 
what did he care? although he had a small body, 
the sorra one of him but had a sowl big enough 
for Golias or Sampson the Great. 

" As soon as he got his eyes clear, right or 
wrong, he insisted on getting the bottle: but he 
was late, poor fellow, for before he got out of 
the garden, two of them comes up Paddy 
Doran and Peter Flanagan, cutting one another 
to pieces, and not the length of your nail between 
them. Well, well, that was a terrible day, sure 
enough. In the twinkling of an eye they were 
both off the horses, the blood streaming from 
their bare heads, struggling to take the bottle 
from my father, who didn't know which of them 
to give it to. He knew if he'd hand it to one, 
the other would take offince, and then he was in 
a great puzzle, striving to raison with them; but 
long Paddy Doran caught it while he was spak- 
ing to Flanagan, and the next instant Flanagan 
measured him with a heavy loaded whip, and left 
him stretched upon the stones. And now the 
work began : for by this time the friends of both 
parties came up and joined them. Such knock- 
ing down, such roaring among the men, and 
screeching and clapping of hands and wiping 
of heads among the women, when a brother, or 

19 



130 IRELAND 

a son, or a husband would get his gruel! In- 
deed, out of a fair, I never saw any thing to come 
up to it. But during all this work, the busiest 
man among the whole set was the tailor, and 
what was worst of all for the poor crathur, he 
should single himself out against both parties, 
bekase you see he thought they were cutting him 
out of his right to the bottle. 

" They had now broken up the garden gate for 
weapons, all except one of the posts, and fought 
into the garden; when nothing should sarve 
Billy, but to take up the large heavy post, as if 
he could destroy the whole faction on each side. 
Accordingly he came up to big Matthew Flana- 
gan, and was rising it just as if he'd fell him, 
when Matt, catching him by the nape of the neck, 
and the waistband of the breeches, went over 
very quietly, and dropped him a second time, 
heels up, into the well ; where he might have been 
yet, only for my mother-in-law, who dragged 
him out with a great deal to do : for the well was 
too narrow to give him room to turn. 

" As for myself and all my friends, as it hap- 
pened to be my own wedding, and at our own 
place, we couldn't take part with either of them ; 
but we endeavoured all in our power to red 66 
them, and a tough task we had of it, until we 
saw a pair of whips going hard and fast among 
them, belonging to Father Corrigan and Father 
James, his curate. Well, it's wonderful how soon 
a priest can clear up a quarrel ! In five minutes 
there wasn't a hand up instead of that they 
were ready to run into mice-holes : 



TRAITS AND STORIES 131 

" ' What, you murderers,' says his Reverence, 
' are you bint to have each other's blood upon 
your heads; ye vile infidels, ye cursed unchris- 
tian Antherntarians? 67 are ye going to get your- 
self hanged like sheep-stalers ? down with your 
sticks, I command you: do you know will ye 
give yourselves time to see who's spaking to you 

you bloodthirsty set of Episcopalians ? I com- 
mand you, in the name of the Catholic Church 
and the Blessed Virgin Mary to stop this in- 
stant, if you don't wish me,' says he, ' to turn 
you into stocks and stones where you stand, and 
make world's wonders of you as long as you live. 

Doran, if you rise your hand more, I'll strike 
it dead on your body, and to your mouth you'll 
never carry it while you have breath in your 
carcass,' says he. ' Clear off, you Flanagans, 
you butchers you or by St. Domnick I'll turn 
the heads round upon your bodies, in the twin- 
kling of an eye, so that you'll not be able to look 
a quiet Christian in the face again. Pretty re- 
spect you have for the decent couple at whose 
house you have kicked up such a hubbub. Is 
this the way people are to be deprived of their 
dinners on your accounts, you fungaleering 
thieves ! ' 

' Why then, plase your Reverence, by the 
hem I say Father Corrigan, it wasn't my fault, 
but that villain Flanagan's, for he knows I fairly 
won the bottle and would have distanced him, 
only that when I was far before him, the vaga- 
bone, he gallopped acrass me on the way, think- 
ing to thrip up the horse.' 



132 IRELAND 

" ' You lying scoundrel,' says the priest, ' how 
dare you tell me a falsity,' says he, ' to my face? 
how could he gallop acrass you if you were far 
before him? Not a word more, or I'll leave you 
without a mouth to your face, which will be a 
double share of provision and bacon saved any 
way. And Flanagan, you were as much to 
blame as he, and must be chastised for your 
raggamuffianly conduct,' says he, ' and so must 
you both, and all your party, particularly you 
and he, as the ringleaders. Right well I know 
it's the grudge upon the lawsuit you had, and not 
the bottle, that occasioned it: but by St. Peter, 
to Loughderg both of you must tramp for 
this/ 

" ' Ay, and by St. Pether, they both desarve 
it as well as a thief does the gallows,' said a little 
blustering voice belonging to the tailor, who 
came forward in a terrible passion, looking for 
all the world like a drowned rat. ' Ho, by St. 
Pether, they do, the vagabones ; for it was myself 
that won the bottle, your Reverence ; and by this 
and by that,' says he, ' the bottle I'll have, or 
some of their crowns will crack for it: blood or 
whiskey I'll have, your Reverence, and I hope 
that you'll assist me.' 

"'Why, Billy, are you here?' says Father 
Corrigan, smiling down upon the figure the little 
fellow cut, with his long spurs and his big whip ; 
' what in the world tempted you to get on horse- 
back, Billy? ' 

" ' By the powers, I was miles before them,' 
says Billy ; ' and after this day, your Reverence, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 133 

let no man say that I couldn't ride a steeple- 
chase across Crocknagooran.' 

' Why, Billy, how did you stick on at all, at 
all? ' says his Reverence. 

" ' How do I know how I stuck on? ' says 
Billy, * nor whether I stuck on at all or not ; 
all I know is, that I was on horseback leaving 
the Dumb-hill, and that I found them pulling 
me by the heels out of the well in the corner 
of the garden and that, your Reverence, when 
the first was only topping the hill there below, 
as Lanty Magowran tells me, who was looking 



on. 





' Well, Billy, 5 says Father Corrigan, ' you 
must get the bottle; and as for you Dorans and 
Flanagans, I'll make examples of you for this 
day's work that you may reckon on. You are 
a disgrace to the parish, and, what's more, a 
disgrace to your priest. How can luck or grace 
attind the marriage of any young couple that 
there's such work at? Before you leave this, 
you must all shake hands, and promise never 
to quarrel with each other while grass grows 
or water runs; and if you don't, by the blessed 
St. Domnick, I'll eockimnicate 68 ye both, and 
all belonging to you into the bargain; so that 
ye'll be the pitiful examples and shows to all 
that look upon you.' 

' Well, well, your Reverence,' says my 
father-in-law, ' let all by-gones be by-gones ; and 
please God, they will, before they go, be better 
friends than ever they were. Go now and clane 
yourselves, take the blood from about your 



134 IRELAND 

faces, for the dinner's ready an hour agone; 
but if you all respect the place you're in, 
you'll show it, in regard of the young crathurs 
that's going, in the name of God, to face the 
world together, and of coorse wishes that this 
day at laste should pass in pace and quietness: 
little did I think there was any friend or neigh- 
bour here that would make so little of the place 
or people, as was done for nothing at all, in the 
face of the country.' 

" ' God he sees,' says my mother-in-law, * that 
there's them here this day we didn't desarve 
this from, to rise such a narration, as if the house 
was a shebeen or a public-house! It's myself 
didn't think either me or my poor coolleen here, 
not to mention the dacent people she's joined 
to, would be made so little of, as to have our 
place turned into a play-acthur for a play- 
acthur couldn't be worse.' 

" ' Well,' says my uncle, * there's no help for 
spilt milk, I tell you, nor for spilt blood either: 
tare-an-ounty, sure we're all Irishmen, relations, 
and Catholics through other, and we oughtn't 
to be this way. Come away to the dinner by 
the powers, we'll duck the first man that says 
a loud word for the remainder of the day. 
Come, Father Corrigan, and carve the goose, or 
the geese, for us for, by my sannies, I bleeve 
there's a baker's dozen of them; but we've 
plenty of Latin for them, and your Reverence 
and Father James here understands that lan- 
gidge, any how lamed enough there, I think, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 135 

" * That's right, Brian,' shouts the tailor 
' that's right; there must be no fighting: by the 
powers, the first man attempts it, I'll brain him 
fell him to the earth like an ox, if all be- 
longing to him was in my way.' 

' This threat from the tailor went farther, I 
think, in putting them into good humour nor 
even what the priest said. They then washed 
and claned themselves, and accordingly went 
to their dinners. Billy himself marched with 
his terrible whip in his hand, and his long 
cavalary spurs sticking near ten inches behind 
him, draggled to the tail like a bantling cock 
after a shower. But, maybe, there was more 
draggled tails and bloody noses nor poor Billy's, 
or even nor was occasioned by the fight; 
for after Father Corrigan had come, several 
of them dodged up, some with broken shins 
and heads and wet clothes, that they'd got on 
the way by the mischances of the race, particu- 
larly at the Flush. But I don't know how it 
was; somehow the people in them days didn't 
value these things a straw. They were far 
hardier then nor they are now, and never went 
to law at all at all. Why, I've often known 
skulls to be broken, and the people to die after- 
wards, and there would be nothing more about 
it, except to brake another skull or two for it; 
but neither cr owner's quest, nor judge, nor 
jury, was ever troubled at all about it. And 
so sign's on it, people were then innocent, and 
not up to law and counsellors as they are now. 
If a person happened to be killed in a fight at 



136 



IRELAND 



a fair or market, why he had only to appear 
after his death to one of his friends, and get 
a number of masses offered up for his sowl, and 
all was right; but now the times are clane al- 
tered, and there's nothing but hanging and trans- 
porting for such things; although that won't 
bring the people to life again." 

" I suppose," said Andy Morrow, " you had 
a famous dinner, Shane?" 

" 'Tis you that may say that, Mr. Morrow," 
replied Shane: "but the house, you see, wasn't 
able to hould one half of us; so there was a 
dozen or two tables borrowed from the neigh- 
bours, and laid one after another in two rows, 
on the green, beside the river that ran along 
the garden-hedge, side by side. At one end 
Father Corrigan sat, with Mary and myself, 
and Father James at the other. There were 
three five-gallon kegs of whiskey, and I ordered 
my brother to take charge of them; and there 
he sat beside them, and filled the bottles as they 
were wanted bekase, if he had left that job to 
strangers, many a spalpeen there would make 
away with lots of it. Mavrone, such a sight as 
the dinner was! I didn't lay my eye on the 
fellow of it since, sure -enough, and I'm now an 
ould man, though I was then a young one. 
Why there was a pudding boiled in the end of 
a sack; and troth it was a thumper, only for 
the straws for you see, when they were mak- 
ing it, they had to draw long straws acrass in 
order to keep it from falling asunder a fine 
plan it is, too. Jack M'Kenna, the carpenther, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 137 

carved it with a hand-saw, and if he didn't curse 
the same straws, I'm not here. * Draw them 
out, Jack,' said Father Corrigan ' draw them 
out. It's asy known, Jack, you never ate a 
polite dinner, you poor awkward spalpeen, or 
you'd have pulled out the straws the first thing 
you did, man alive.' 

" Such lashins of corned beef, and rounds of 
beef, and legs of mutton, and bacon turkeys 
and geese, and barn-door fowls, young and fat. 
They may talk as they will, but commend me 
to a piece of good ould bacon, ate with crock 
butther, and phaties, and cabbage. Sure 
enough, they leathered away at everything, but 
this and the pudding were the favourites. 
Father Corrigan gave up the carving in less 
than no time, for it would take him half a day 
to sarve them all, and he wanted to provide 
for number one. After helping himself, he set 
my uncle to it, and maybe he didn't slash away 
right and left. There was half-a-dozen gorsoons 
carrying about the beer in cans, with froth upon 
it like barm but that was beer in airnest, 
Nancy I'll say no more. 

' When the dinner was over, you would think 
there was as much left as would sarve a regi- 
ment; and sure enough, a right hungry ragged 
regiment was there to take care of it though, 
to tell the truth, there was as much taken into 
Finigan's as would be sure to give us all a 
rousing supper. Why, there was such a troop 
of beggars men, women, and childher, sitting 
over on the sunny side of the ditch, as would 



138 IRELAND 

make short work of the whole dinner, had they 
got it. Along with Father Corrigan and me, 
was my father and mother, and Mary's parents ; 
my uncle, cousins, and nearest relations on both 
sides. Oh, it's Father Corrigan, God rest his 
sowl, he's now in glory, and so he was then, 
also how he did crow and laugh! ' Well, 
Matthew Finigan,' says he, ' I can't say but I'm 
happy that your Colleen Sawn 69 here has lit 
upon a husband that's no discredit to the family 
and it is herself didn't drive her pigs to a 
bad market,' says he. ' Why, in troth, Father 
avourneen,' says my mother-in-law, ' they'd be 
hard to plase that couldn't be satisfied with 
them she got; not saying but she had her pick 
and choice of many a good offer, and might 
have got richer matches; but Shane Fadh 
M'Cawell, although you're sitting there beside 
my daughter, I'm prouder to see you on my 
own flure, the husband of my child, nor if she'd 
got a man with four times your substance.' 

' Never heed the girls for knowing where to 
choose/ says his Reverence, slily enough: 'but, 
upon my word, only she gave us all the slip, 
to tell the truth, I had another husband than 
Shane in my eye for her, and that was my own 
nevvy, Father James's brother here.' 

* And I'd be proud of the connexion,' says 
my father-in-law, ' but you see, these girls won't 
look much to what you or I'll say, in choosing 
a husband for themselves. How-an-iver, not 
making little of your newy, Father Michael, I 



TRAITS AND STORIES 139 

say he's not to be compared with that same 
bouchal sitting beside Mary there.' 

' No, nor by the powdhers-o'-war, never 
will,' says Billy Cormick the tailor, who had 
come over and slipped in on the other side be- 
tune Father Corrigan and the bride ' by the 
powdhers-o'-war, he'll never be fit to be com- 
pared with me, I tell you, till yesterday comes 
back again.' 

* Why, Billy/ says the priest, * you're every 
place.' ' But where I ought to be ! ' says Billy ; 
' and that's hard and fast tackled to Mary Bane, 
the bride here, instead of that steeple of a fel- 
low, she has got,' says the little cock. 

' Billy, I thought you were married,' said 
Father Corrigan. 

" ' Not I, your Reverence,' says Billy ; ' but 
I'll soon do something, Father Michael I have 
been threatening this long time, but I'll do it 
at last.' 

* He's not exactly married, Sir,' says my 
uncle, ' but there's a colleen present (looking at 
the bride's maid) that will soon have his name 
upon her.' f 

' Very good, Billy,' says the priest, ' I hope 
you will give us a rousing wedding equal, at 
least, to Shane Fadh's.' 

' Why then, your Reverence, except I get 
sich a darling as Molly Bane, here and by this 
and by that, it's you that is the darling, Molly 
asthore what come over me, at all at all, that 
I didn't think of you,' says the little man, draw- 



140 IRELAND 

ing close to her, and poor Mary smiling good- 
naturedly at his spirit. 

" * Well, and what if you did get such a 
darling as Molly Bane, there? ' says his Rever- 
ence. 

" ' Why, except I get the likes of her for a 
wife upon second thoughts, I don't like mar- 
riage, any way,' said Billy, winking against the 
priest ' I'll lade such a life as your Reverence ; 
and, by the powdhers, it's a thousand pities that 
I wasn't made into a priest, instead of a tailor. 
For, you see, if I had,' says he, giving a verse 
of an old song 

' For, you see, if I had, 

It's I'd be the lad 
That would show all my people such laming; 

And when they'd go wrong, 

Why, instead of a song, 
I'd give them a lump of a sarmin.' 

" ' Billy,' says my father-in-law, ' why don't 
you make a hearty dinner, man alive? go back 
to your sate and finish your male you're 
aiting nothing to signify.' ' Me ! ' says Billy 
' why, I'd scorn to ate a hearty dinner; and, I'd 
have you to know, Matt Finigan, that it wasn't 
for the sake of your dinner I came here, but 
in regard to your family, and bekase I wished 
him well that's sitting beside your daughter : and 
it ill becomes your father's son to cast up your 
dinner in my face, or any one of my family ; but 
a blessed minute longer I'll not stay among 
you. Give me your hand, Shane Fadh, and 
you, Mary may goodness grant you pace and 



TRAITS AND STORIES 141 

happiness every night and day you both rise 
out of your beds. I made that coat your hus- 
band has on his back beside you and a betther 
fit was never made; but I didn't think it would 
come to my turn to have my dinner cast up this 
a-way, as if I was aiting it for charity.' 

* Hut, Billy/ says I, ' sure it was all out of 
kindness ; he didn't mane to offind you.' 

' It's no matter,' says Billy, beginning to cry, 
* he did offend me ; and it's low days with me 
to bear an affront from him, or the likes of 
him; but by the powdhers-o'-war,' says he, get- 
ting into a great rage, ' I won't bear it, only as 
you're an old man yourself, I'll not rise my hand 
to you; but, let any man now that has the heart 
to take up your quarrel, come out and stand 
before me on the sod here.' 

" Well, by this time, you'd tie all that were 
present with three straws, to see Billy stripping 
himself, and his two wrists not thicker than 
drum-sticks. While the tailor was raging, for 
he was pretty well up with what he had taken, 
another person made his appearance at the far 
end of the boreen 70 that led to the green where 
we sot. He was mounted upon the top of a 
sack that was upon the top of a sober looking 
baste enough, God knows; he jogging along at 
his ase, his legs dangling down from the sack 
on each side, and the long skirts of his coat 
hanging down behind him. Billy was now 
getting pacified, bekase they gave way to him a 
little; so the fun went round, and they sang, 
roared, danced, and coorted, right and left. 



142 IRELAND 

' When the stranger came as far as the skirt 
of the green, he turned the horse over quite 
nathural to the wedding ; and, sure enough, when 
he jogged up, it was Friar Rooney himself, with 
a sack of oats, for he had been questin. 71 Well, 
sure the ould people couldn't do less nor all go 
over to put the failtah 72 on him. ' Why, then,' 
says my father and mother-in-law, ' 'tis yourself, 
Friar Rooney, that's as welcome as the flowers 
of May; and see who's here before you Father 
Corrigan, and Father Dollard.' 

" ' Thank you, thank you, Molshy thank you, 
Matthew troth, I know that 'tis I am wel- 
come.' 

' Ay, and you're welcome again, Father 
Rooney,' said my father, going down and shak- 
ing hands with him, ' and I'm proud to see you 
here. Sit down, your Reverence here's every- 
thing that's good, and plinty of it, and if you 
don't make much of yourself, never say an ill 
fellow dealt with you.' 

' The friar stood while my father was speak- 
ing, with a pleasant, contented face upon him, 
only a little roguish and droll. 

* Hah! Shane Fadh,' says he, smiling drily 
at me, ' you did them all, I see. You have her 
there, the flower of the parish, blooming beside 
you; but I knew as much six months ago, ever 
since I saw you bid her good night at the haw- 
thorn. Who looked back so often, Mary, eh? 
Ay, laugh and blush do throth, 'twas I that 
caught you, but you didn't see me, though. 
Well, a colleen, and if you did, too, you needn't 



TRAITS AND STORIES 143 

be ashamed of your bargain, any how. You 
see, the way I came to persave yez that evening 
was this but I'll tell it, by and bye. In the 
mane time,' says he, sitting down and attacking 
a fine piece of corn-beef and greens, ' I'll take 
care of a certain acquaintance of mine,' says he. 
' How are you, reverend gintlemen of the 
Secularity. You'll permit a poor friar to sit 
and ate his dinner, in your presence, I humbly 
hope/ 

* Frank,' says Father Corrigan, * lay your 
hand upon your conscience, or upon your 
stomach, which is the same thing, and tell us 
honestly, how many dinners you eat on your 
travels among my parishioners this day.' 

" * As I'm a sinner, Michael, this is the only 
thing to be called a dinner I eat this day; 
Shane Fadh Mary, both your healths, and God 
grant you all kinds of luck and happiness, both 
here and hereafter! All your healths in gineral! 
gintlemen seculars!' 

" * Thank you Frank,' said Father Corrigan; 
* how did you speed to-day? ' 

" * How can any man speed, that comes after 
you? ' says the Friar; ' I'm after travelling the 
half of the parish for that poor bag of oats 
that you see standing against the ditch.' 

" ' In other words, Frank,' says the Priest, 
' you took Alihadhawan in your way, and in 
about half-a-dozen houses filled your sack, and 
then turned your horse's head towards the good 
cheer, by way of accident only.' 

" ' And was it by way of accident, Mr. Secular , 



144 IRELAND 

that I got you and that illoquent young gintle- 
man, your curate, here before me? Do you feel 
that, man of the world? Father James, your 
health, though you're a good young man as far 
as saying nothing goes ; but it's better to sit still 
than rise up and fall, so I commend you for 
your discration' says he; 'but I'm afeard your 
master there won't make you much fitter for 
the kingdom of heaven, any how/ 

" ' I believe, Father Corrigan,' says my uncle, 
who loved to see the priest and the friar at it, 
' that you've met with your match I think 
Father Rooney's able for you.' 

' Oh, sure,' says Father Corrigan, ' he was 
joker to the college of the Sorebones 73 in Paris; 
he got as much education as enabled him to 
say mass in Latin, and to beg oats in English, 
for his jokes.' 

' Troth, and,' says the friar, ' if you were to 
get your laming on the same terms, you'd be 
guilty of very little knowledge; why, Michael, 
I never knew you to attempt a joke but once, 
and I was near shedding tears, there was some- 
thing so very sorrowful in it.' 

" This brought the laugh against the priest 
' Your health, Molshy,' says he, winking at my 
mother-in-law, and then giving my uncle, who 
sat beside him a nudge; ' I believe, Brian, I'm 
giving it to him.' 'Tis yourself that is,' says 
my uncle; 'give him a wipe or two more.' 
' Wait till he answers the last,' says the friar. 

" ' He's always joking,' says Father James, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 145 

' when he thinks he'll make any thing by it.' 

" * Ay! 'says the friar,' then God help you both 
if you were left to your jokes for your feed- 
ing; for a poorer pair of gentlemen wouldn't 
be found in Christendom.' 

" * And I believe,' says Father Corrigan, ' if 
you depinded for your feeding upon your divin- 
ity instead of your jokes, you'd be as poor as 
a man in the last stage of a consumption.' 

" This threw the laugh against the friar, who 
smiled himself; but he was a dry man that never 
laughed much. 

" * Sure,' says the friar, who was seldom at a 
loss, * I have yourself and your nephew for ex- 
amples that it's possible to live and be well 
fed without divinity.' 

" * At any rate,' says my uncle, putting in his 
tongue, ' I think you're both very well able to 
make divinity a joke betune you,' says he. 

" * Well done, Brian,' says the friar, * and so 
they are, for I believe it is the only subject 
they can joke upon! and I beg your pardon, 
Michael, for not excepting it before ; on that sub- 
ject I allow you to be humoursome. 5 

" * If that be the case, then,' says Father Cor- 
rigan, * I must give up your company, Frank, 
in order to avoid the force of bad example; 
for you're so much in the habit of joking on 
every thing else, that you're not able to except 
even divinity itself.' 

" * You may aisily give me up,' says the friar, 

' but how will you be able to forget Father Cor- 
i 10 



146 IRELAND 

rigan? I'm afeard you'll find his acquaintance 
as great a detriment to yourself, as it is to 
others in that respect.' 

" ' What makes you say/ says Father James, 
who was more in airnest than the rest, ' that 
my uncle won't make me fit for the kingdom of 
heaven? ' 

" * I had a pair of rasons for it, Jemmy,' 
says the friar ; ' one is, that he doesn't understand 
the subject himself; and another is, that you 
haven't capacity for it, even if he did. You've 
a want of natural parts a whackuum here,' 
pointing to his forehead. 

" * I beg your pardon, Frank,' says Father 
James, ' I deny your premises, and I'll now 
argue in Latin with you, if you wish, upon any 
subject you please.' 

" ' Come, then,' says the friar, e Kid eat ivy 
mare eat hay' 

" ' Kid what? ' says the other. 

" * Kid eat ivy mare eat hay,' answers the 
friar. 

" ' I don't know what you're at,' says Father 
James, ' but I'll argue in Latin with you as long 
as you wish.' 

" ' Tut man,' says Father Rooney, * Latin's for 
school-boys; but come, now, I'll take you in 
another language I'll try you in Greek In 
mud-cel-is in-clay-none-is in-fir-tar-is in-oak- 
none-is/ 

" The curate looked at him, amazed, not 
knowing what answer to make. At last says he, 
* I don't profess to know Greek, bekase I never 



TRAITS AND STORIES 147 

larned it but stick to the Latin, and I'm not 
afeard of you.' 

' Well, then,' says the friar, ' I'll give you 
a trial at that Afflat te canis ter Forte dux 
fel flat in guttur/ 

' A flat-tay-cannisther Forty ducks fell 
flat in the gutthers ! ' says Father James, * why 
that's English!' 

' English ! ' says the friar, ' oh, good bye to 
you, Mr. Secular; if that's your knowledge of 
Latin, you're an honour to your tachers and to 
your cloth.' 

" Father Corrigan now laughed heartily at 
the puzzling the friar gave Father James. 
' James,' says he, * never heed him ; he's only 
pesthering you with bog-latin: but, at any rate, 
to do him justice, he's not a bad scholar, I can 
tell you that . . . Your health, Frank, you 
droll crathur your health. I have only one 
fault to find with you, and that is, that you fast 
and mortify yourself too much. Your fasting 
has reduced you from being formerly a friar 
of very genteel dimensions to a cut of corpu- 
lency that smacks strongly of penance fifteen 
stone at least.' 

' Why,' says the friar, looking down quite 
plased, entirely, at the cut of his own waist, 
which, among ourselves, was no trifle, and giving 
a growl of a laugh the most he ever gave : ' if 
what you pray here benefits you in the next life 
as much as what / fast does me in this, it will 
be well for the world in general, Michael.' 
" ' How can you say, Frank,' says Father 



148 IRELAND 

James, ' with such a carkage as that, that you're 
a poor friar? Upon my credit, when you die, 
I think the angels will have a job of it in waft- 
ing you upwards.' 

" * Jemmy, man, was it you that said it? why, 
my light's beginning to shine upon you, or you 
never could have got out so much,' says Father 
Rooney, putting his hands over his brows, and 
looking up toardst him ; * but if you ever read 
scripthur, which I suppose you're not over- 
burdened with, you would know that it says, 
" blessed are the poor in spirit," but not blessed 
are the poor in flesh now, mine is spiritual 
poverty.' 

" * Very true, Frank,' says Father Corrigan, 
' I believe there's a great dearth and poverty 
of spirituality about you, sure enough. But of 
all kinds of poverty, commend me to a friar's. 
Voluntary poverty's something, but it's the divil 
entirely for a man to be poor against his will. 
You friars boast of this voluntary poverty; but 
if there's a fat bit in any part of the parish, 
we, that are the lawful clargy, can't eat it, but 
you're sure to drop in,, just in the nick of time, 
with your voluntary poverty.' 

' I'm sure, if we do,' says the friar, ' it's 
nothing out of your pocket, Michael. I declare, 
I believe you begrudge us the air we breathe. 
But don't you know very well that our ordhers 
are apostolic, and that, of coorse, we have a more 
primitive appearance than you have.' 

' No such thing,' says the other ; ' you, and 
the parsons, and the fat bishops, are too far 



TRAITS AND STORIES 149 

from the right place the only difference be- 
tween you is, that you are fat and lazy by tol- 
eration, whereas the others are fat and lazy by 
authority. You are fat and lazy on your ould 
horses, jogging about from house to house, and 
stuffing yourselves either at the table of other 
people's parishioners, or in your own convents 
in Dublin and elsewhere. They are rich, bloated 
gluttons, going about in their coaches, and wally- 
ing in wealth. Now, we are the golden mean, 
Frank, that live upon a little, and work hard for 
it/ 

" * Why, you cormorant,' says the friar, a lit- 
tle nettled, for the dhrop was beginning to get 
up into his head, * sure, if we're fat by toleration, 
we're only tolerably fat, my worthy secular 1 ' 

" ' You see,' says the friar, in a whisper to my 
uncle, * how I sobered them in the laming, and 
they are good scholars for all that, but not near 
so deep read as myself.' ' Michael,' says he, 
' now that I think on it sure I'm to be at Denis 
O'Flaherty's Month's mind on Thursday next.' 

" * Indeed I would not doubt you,' says Father 
Corrigan ; ' you wouldn't be apt to miss it.' 

" ' Why, the widdy Flaherty asked me yester- 
day, and I think that's proof enough that I'm 
not going unsent for.' 

" By this time the company was hard and fast 
at the punch, the songs, and the dancing. The 
dinner had been cleared off, except what was be- 
fore the friar, who held out wonderfully, and the 
beggars and shulers were clawing and scoulding 
one another about the divide. The dacentest of 



150 IRELAND 

us went into the house for a while, taking the 
fiddler with us, and the rest, with the piper, staid 
on the green to dance, where they were soon 
joined by lots of the counthry people, so that in 
a short time there was a large number entirely. 
After sitting for some time within, Mary and I 
began, you may be sure, to get unasy, sitting 
palavering among a parcel of ould sober folks; 
so, at last, out we slipped, and the few other 
dacent young people that were with us, to join 
the dance, and shake our toe along with the rest 
of them. When we made our appearance, the 
flure was instantly cleared for us, and then she 
and I danced the Humours of Glin. 

* Well, it's no matter it's all past now, and 
she lies low; but I may say that it wasn't very 
often danced in better style since, I'd wager. 
Lord bless us, what a drame the world is ! The 
darling of my heart you war, avourneen machree. 
I think I see her with the modest smile upon her 
face, straight, and fair, and beautiful, and hem 
and when the dance was over, how she stood 
leaning upon me, and my heart within melting to 
her, and the look she'd give into my eyes and 
my heart, too, as much as to say, This is the 
happy day with me ; and the blush still would fly 
acrass her face, when I'd press her, unknownst 
to the by-standers, against my beating heart. A 
suilish machree she is now gone from me lies 
low, and it all appears like a drame to me ; but 
hem God's will be done! sure she's happy 
och, och!! 

" Many a shake hands did I get from the 



TRAITS AND STORIES 151 

neighbours' sons, wishing me joy; and I'm sure 
I couldn't do less than thrate them to a glass, 
you know; and 'twas the same way with Mary: 
many a neighbour's daughter, that she didn't do 
more nor know by eyesight, maybe, would come 
up and wish her happiness in the same manner, 
and she would say to me, * Shane, avourneen, 
that's such a man's daughter they're dacent 
friendly people, and we can't do less nor give 
her a glass.' I, of coorse, would go down and 
bring them over, after a little pulling making, 
you see, as if they wouldn't come to where my 
brother was handing out the native. 

" In this way we passed the time till the even- 
ing came on, except that Mary and the brides- 
maid were sent for to dance with the priests, 
who were within at the punch, in all their glory, 
Friar Rooney along with them, as jolly as a 
prince. I and my man, on seeing this, were for 
staying with the company; but my mother, who 
'twas that came for them, says, ' never mind the 
boys, Shane; come in with the girls, I say. 
You're just wanted at the present time, both of 
you; follow me for an hour or two, till their 
Reverences within have a bit of a dance with the 
girls, in the back room; we don't want to gother 
a crowd about them,' Well, we went in, sure 
enough, for a while; but, I don't know how it 
was, I didn't at all feel comfortable with the 
priests; for, you see, I'd rather sport my day 
figure with the boys and girls upon the green: 
so I gives Jack the hard word, 75 and in we went, 
when, behold you, there was Father Corrigan 



152 IRELAND 

planted upon the side of a settle, Mary along 
with him, waiting till they'd have the fling of a 
dance together, whilst the Curate was capering 
on the flure before the bridesmaid, who was a 
purty dark-haired girl, to the tune of ' Kiss my 
lady ; ' and the friar planted between my mother 
and mother-in-law, one of his legs stretched out 
on a chair, he singing some funny song or other, 
that brought the tears to their eyes with laugh- 
ing. 

' Whilst Father James was dancing with the 
bridesmaid, I gave Mary the wink to come away 
from Father Corrigan, wishing, as I tould you, 
to get out amongst the youngsters once more; 
and Mary, herself, to tell the truth, although he 
was the priest, was very willing to do so. I went 
over to her, and says, ' Mary, asthore, there's a 
friend without that wishes to spake to you.' 

"'Well,' says Father Corrigan, 'tell that 
friend that she's better employed, and that they 
must wait, whoever they are. I'm giving your 
wife, Shane,' says he, ' a little good advice that 
she won't be the worse for, and she can't go now.' 

" Mary, in the mean time, had got up, and was 
coming away, when his Reverence wanted her to 
stay till they'd finish their dance. * Father Cor- 
rigan,' says she, ' let me go now, Sir, if you plase, 
for they would think it bad threatment of me 
not to go out to them.' 

' Troth, and you'll do no such thing, acushla,' 
says he, spaking so sweet to her ; ' let them come 
in if they want you. Shane,' says his Rever- 
ence, winking at me, and spaking in a whisper, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 153 

* stay here, you and the girls, till we take a hate 
at the dancing don't you know that the ould 
women here, and me, will have to talk over some 
things about the fortune ; you'll maybe get more 
nor you expect. Here, Molshy,' says he to my 
mother-in-law, ' don't let the youngsters out of 
this.' 

* Musha, Shane, a-hagur,' says the ould 
woman, ' why will yez go and lave the place; sure 
you needn't be dashed before them they'll 
dance themselves.' 

"Accordingly we staid in the room; but just 
on the word, Mary gives one spring away, laving 
his Reverence by himself on the settle. * Come 
away,' says she, ' lave them there, and let us go 
to where I can have a dance with yourself, 
Shane.' 

' Well, I always loved Mary, but at that 
minute, if it would save her, I think I could spill 
my heart's blood for her. ' Mary,' says I, full to 
the throath, ' Mary acushla agus asthore mach- 
ree I could lose my life for you.' 

" She looked in my face, and the tears came 
into her eyes ' Shane, achora,' says she, ' amn't 
I your happy girl, at last? ' She was leaning 
over against my breast ; and what answer do you 
think I made ? I pressed her to my heart : I did 
more I took off my hat, and, looking up to God, 
I thanked him with tears in my eyes, for giving 
me such a treasure. ' Well, come now,' says she, 
' to the green ; ' so we went and it's she that was 
the girl, when she did go among them, that threw 
them all into the dark for beauty and figure: as 



154 IRELAND 

fair as a lily itself did she look so tall and ille- 
gant, that you wouldn't think she was a farmer's 
daughter at all; so we left the priests dancing 
away, for we could do no good before them. 

" When we had danced an hour or so, them 
that the family had the greatest regard for were 
brought in, unknownst to the rest, to drink tay. 
Mary planted herself beside me, and would sit 
nowhere else ; but the friar got beside the bride's- 
maid, and I surely obsarved that many a time 
she'd look over, likely to split, at Mary, and it's 
Mary herself that gave her many's a wink, to 
come to the other side; but, you know, out of 
manners, she was obliged to sit quietly, though, 
among ourselves, it's she that was like a hen on 
a hot griddle, beside the ould chap. It was now 
that the bride's-cake was got. Ould Sonsy Mary 
marched over, and putting the bride on her feet, 
got up on a chair and broke it over her head, 
giving round a fadge 77 of it to every young per- 
son in the house, and they again to their acquaint- 
ances: but, lo and behold you, who should insist 
on getting a whang of it but the friar, which he 
rolled up in a piece of paper, and put it in his 
pocket. ' I'll have good fun,' says he, ' dividing 
this to-morrow among the colleens when I'm col- 
lecting my oats the sorra one of me but 'ill 
make them give me the worth of it of something, 
if it was only a fat hen or a square of bacon.' 

" After tay the ould folk got full of talk; the 
youngsters danced round them; the friar sung 
like a thrush, and told many a droll story. The 
tailor had got drunk a little too early, and had 



TRAITS AND STORIES 155 

to be put to bed, but he was now as fresh as ever, 
and able to dance a hornpipe, which he did on 
a door. The Dorans and the Flanagans had got 
quite thick after drubbing one another Ned 
Doran began his courtship with Alley Flanagan 
on that day, and they were married soon after, 
so that the two factions joined, and never had 
another battle until the day of her berrial, when 
they were at it as fresh as ever. Several of those 
that were at the wedding were lying drunk about 
the ditches, or roaring, and swaggering, and 
singing about the place. The night falling, 
those that were dancing on the green removed 
to the barn. Father Corrigan and Father 
James weren't ill off; but as for the friar, al- 
though he was as pleasant as a lark, there was 
hardly any such thing as making him tipsy. 
Father Corrigan wanted him to dance ' What ! ' 
says he, ' would you have me to bring on an 
earthquake, Michael? but who ever heard of a 
follower of Saint Domnick, bound by his vow 

to voluntary poverty and mortification young 

couple, your health will any body tell me who 
mixed this, for they've knowledge worth a folio 

of the fathers poverty and mortifications, 

going to shake his heel? By the bones of St. 
Domnick, I'd desarve to be suspinded if I did. 
Will no one tell me who mixed this, I say, for 
they had a jewel of a hand at it? Och 

' Let parsons prache and pray 

Let priests too pray and prache, Sir ; 
What's the rason they 

Don't practice what they tache, Sir? 



156 IRELAND 

Forral, orrall, loll, 
Forral, orrall, laddy 

Sho da slainthah ma collenee agus ma bouchalee. 
Hoigh, oigh, oigh, healths all ! gintlemen seculars ! 
Molshy,' says the friar to my mother-in-law, 
' send that bocaun 78 to bed poor fellow, he's 
almost off rouse yourself, James! It's aisy to 
see that he's but young at it yet that's right 
he's sound asleep just toss him into bed, and in 
an hour or so he'll be as fresh as a daisy. 

' Let parsons prache and pray 
Forrall, orrall, loll.' 

" ' For dear's sake, Father Rooney,' says my 
uncle, running in, in a great hurry, * keep your- 
self quiet a little; here's the Squire and master 
Francis coming over to fulfil their promise; he 
would have come up airlier, he says, but that he 
was away all day at the 'sizes.' 

" ' Very well,' says the friar, ' let him come 
who's afeard mind yourself, Michael.' 

" In a minute or two they came in, and we all 
rose up of course to welcome them. The Squire 
shuck hands with the ould people, and after- 
wards with Mary and myself, wishing us all 
happiness, then with the two clergymen, and in- 
troduced Master Frank to them; and the friar 
made the young chap sit beside him. The mas- 
ther then took a sate himself, and looked on while 
they were dancing, with a smile of good humour 
on his face while they, all the time, would give 
new touches and trebles, to show off all their 
steps before him. He was landlord both to my 



TRAITS AND STORIES 157 

father and father-in-law; and it's he that was the 
good man, and the gintleman every inch of him. 
They may all talk as they will, but commend me, 
Mr. Morrow, to some of the ould Squires of 
former times for a landlord. The priests, with 
all their laming, were nothing to him for good 
breeding he appeared so free, and so much at 
his ase, and even so respectful, that I don't think 
there was one in the house but would put their 
two hands under his feet to do him a sarvice. 

1 When he sat a while, my mother-in-law came 
over with a glass of nice punch that she had 
mixed, at laste equal to what the friar praised 
so well, and making a low curtshy, begged par- 
don for using such freedom with his honour, but 
hoped that he would just taste a little to the 
happiness of the young couple. He then drank 
our healths, and shuck hands with us both a sec- 
ond time, saying although I can't, at all at all, 
give it in anything like his own words * I am 
glad,' says he, to Mary's parents, ' that your 
daughter has made such a good choice ; ' throth, 
he did the Lord be merciful to his sowl God 
forgive me for what I was going to say, and he 
a Protestant; but if ever one of yez went to 
heaven, Mr. Morrow, he did ; ' such a prudent 
choice; and I congr con grathulate you/ says 
he to my father, ' on your connexion with so in- 
dustrious and respectable a family. You are 
now beginning the world for yourselves,' says 
he to Mary and me, ' and I cannot propose a 
better example to you both, than that of your 
respective parents. From this forrid,' says he, 



158 IRELAND 

' I'm to considher you my tenants; and I wish to 
take this opportunity of informing you both, that 
should you act up to the opinion I entertain of 
you, by an attentive coorse of industry and good 
management, you will find in me an encouraging 
and indulgent landlord. I know, Shane,' says 
he to me, smiling a little, knowingly enough too, 
* that you have been a little wild or so, but that's 
past, I trust. You have now sarious duties to 
perform, which you cannot neglect but you will 
not neglect them; and be assured, I say again, 
that I shall feel pleasure in rendhering you every 
assistance in my power in the cultivation and im- 
provement of your farm.' ' Go over, both of 
you,' says my father, ' and thank his honour, and 
promise to do everything he says.' Accordingly, 
we did so ; I made my scrape as well as I could, 
and Mary blushed to the eyes, and dropp'd her 
curtshy. 

' Ah! ' says the friar, * see what it is to have 
a good landlord and a Christian gintleman to 
dale with. This is the feeling which should al- 
ways bind a landlord and his tenants together. 
If I know your character, Squire Whitethorn, I 
believe you're not the man that would put a 
Protestant tenant over the head of a Catholic one, 
which shows, sir, your own good sense ; for what 
is a difference of religion, when people do what 
they ought to do? Nothing but the name. I 
trust, sir, we shall meet in a better place than this 
both Protestant and Catholic.' 

" ' I am happy, sir,' says the Squire, ' to hear 



TRAITS AND STORIES 159 

such principles from a man who I thought was 
bound to hould different opinions.' 

' Ah, sir! ' says the friar, ' you little know 
who you're talking to, if you think so. I hap- 
pened to be collecting a taste of oats, with the 
permission of my friend, Doctor Corrigan, here, 
for I'm but a poor friar, sir, and dropped in by 
mere accident; but, you know the hospitality of 
our country, Squire; and that's enough go they 
would not allow me, and I was mintioning to this 
young gintleman, your son, how we collected the 
oats, and he insisted on my calling a generous, 
noble child I I hope, sir, you have got proper 
instructors for him ? ' 

' Yes,' said the Squire; ' I'm taking care of 
that point.' 

* What do you think, sir, but he insists on 
my calling over to-morrow, that he may give me 
his share of oats, as I told him that I was a friar, 
and that he was a little parishioner of mine ; but 
I added, that that wasn't right of him, without 
his papa's consint.' 

* Well, sir,' says the Squire, ' as he has 
promised, I will support him; so if you'll ride 
over to-morrow, you shall have a sack of oats 
at all events I shall send you a sack in the coorse 
of the day.' 

' I humbly thank you, sir,' says Father 
Rooney ; ' and I thank my noble little parishioner 
for his ginerosity to the poor ould friar God 
mark you to grace, my dear; and, wherever you 
go, take the ould man's blessing along with you.' 



160 IRELAND 

' They then bid us good night, and we all rose 
and saw them to the door. 

" Father Corrigan now appeared to be getting 
sleepy. While this was going on, I looked about 
me, but couldn't see Mary. The tailor was just 
beginning to get a little hearty once more. Sup- 
per was talked of, but there was no one that 
could ate anything; even the friar was against it. 
The clergy now got their horses, the friar laving 
his oats behind him; for we promised to send 
them home, and something more along with them 
the next day. Father James was roused up, but 
could hardly stir with a heddick. Father Cor- 
rigan was correct enough ; but when the friar got 
up, he ran a little to the one side, upsetting Sonsy 
Mary, that sot a little beyond him. He then 
called over my mother-in-law to the dresser, and 
after some collogin she slipped two fat fowl, 
that had never been touched, into one of his coat 
pockets, that was big enough to hould a leg of 
mutton. My father then called me over, and 
said, ' Shane,' says he, ' hadn't you better slip 
Father Rooney a bottle or two of that whiskey ; 
there's plenty of it there that wasn't touched, and 
you won't be a bit the poorer of it, may be, this 
day twelve months.' I accordingly dhropped 
two bottles of it into the other pocket, so that his 
Reverence was well balanced any how. 

* Now,* says he, ' before I go, kneel down 
both of you, till I give you my benediction.' 

' We accordingly knelt down, and he gave us 
his blessing in Latin before he bid us good 
night! 



TRAITS AND STORIES 161 

" After they went, Mary threw the stocking- 
all the unmarried folks coming in the dark, to see 
who it would hit. Bless my sowl, but she was 
the droll Mary for what did she do, only put 
a big brogue of her father's into it, that was near 
two pounds weight ; and who should it hit on the 
bare sconce, but Billy Cormick, the tailor who 
thought he was fairly shot, for it levelled the 
crathur at once; though that wasn't hard to do 
any how. 

' This was the last ceremony: and Billy was 
well continted to get the knock, for you all know, 
whoever the stocking strikes upon, is to be mar- 
rid first. After this, my mother and mother-in- 
law set them to the dancing and 'twas them- 
selves that kept it up till long after daylight the 
next morning but first they called me into the 
next room where Mary was: and and so ends 
my wedding; by the same token that I'm as dry 
as a stick." 

" Come, Nancy," says Andy Morrow, " re- 
plenish again for us all, with a double measure 
for Shane Fadh because he well desarves it." 

* Why, Shane," observed Alick, " you must 
have a terrible fine memory of your own, or you 
couldn't tell it all so exact." 

' There's not a man in the four provinces has 
sich a memory," replied Shane. " I never hard 
that story yet, but I could repate it in fifty years 
afterwards. I could walk up any town in the 
kingdom, and let me look at the signs, and I 
would give them to you agin jist exactly as they 

stood." 
i 11 



162 IRELAND 

Thus ended the account of Shane Fadh's wed- 
ding; and, after finishing the porter, they all re- 
turned home, with an understanding that they 
were to meet the next night in the same place. 



LARRY MTARLAND'S WAKE 

The succeeding evening found them all as- 
sembled about Ned's fireside in the usual man- 
ner; where M'Roarkin, after a wheezy fit of 
coughing and a draught of Nancy's porter, com- 
menced to give them an account of LARRY 
M'FARLAND'S WAKE. 

We have observed before, that M'Roarkin was 
desperately asthmatic, a circumstance which he 
felt to be rather an unpleasant impediment to 
the indulgence either of his mirth or sorrow. 
Every chuckle at his own jokes ended in a dis- 
astrous fit of coughing; and when he became 
pathetic, his sorrow was most ungraciously dis- 
sipated by the same cause ; two facts which were 
highly relished by his audience. 

" LARRY M'FARLAND, when a young man, was 
considhered the best labourer within a great ways 
of him; and no servant-man in the parish got 
within five shillings a quarter of his wages. 
Often and often, when his time would be near 
out, he'd have offers from the rich farmers and 
gintlemen about him, of higher terms ; so that he 
was seldom with one masther more nor a year at 
the very most. He could handle a flail with e'er 
a man that ever stepped in black leather; and 
at spade-work there wasn't his aquil. Indeed, 
he had a brain for everything: he could thatch 

163 



164 IRELAND 

better nor many that aimed their bread by it; 
could make a slide-car, straddle, or any other 
rough carpenter- work, that it would surprise you 
to think of it; could work a kish or side creel 
beautifully; mow as much as any two men, and 
go down a ridge of corn almost as fast as you 
could walk; was a great hand at ditching, or 
draining meadows and bogs ; but above all things 
he was famous for building hay-ricks and corn- 
stacks; and when Squire Farmer used to enter 
for the prize at the yearly ploughing match, he 
was sure to borrow the loan of Larry from what- 
ever master he happened to be working with. 
And well he might, for the year out of four that 
he hadn't Laf ry, he lost the prize : and every one 
knew that if Larry had been at the tail of his 
plough, they would have had a tighter job of it 
in beating him. 

"Larry was a light, airy young man, that 
knew his own value ; and was proud enough, God 
knows, of what he could do. He was, indeed, 
too much up to sport and divarsion, and never 
knew his own mind for a week. It was against 
him that he never stayed long in one place; for 
when he got a house of his own afterwards, he 
had no one that cared anything in particular 
about him. Whenever any man would hire him, 
he'd take care to have Easter and Whiss'n Mon- 
days to himself, and one or two of the Christmas 
Maragah-mores. BO He was also a great dancer, 
fond of the dhrop and used to dress above his 
station: going about with a shop -cloth coat, 
cassimoor small-clothes, and a Caroline hat; so 



TRAITS AND STORIES 165 

that you would little think he was a poor sarvint- 
man, labouring for his wages. One way or 
other, the money never sted long with him; but 
he had light spirits, depended entirely on his 
good hands, and cared very little about the 
world, provided he could take his own fling out 
of it. 

" In this way he went on from year to year, 
changing from one master to another ; every man 
that would employ him thinking he might get 
him to stop with him for a constancy. But it 
was all useless; he'd be off after half a year, or 
sometimes a year at the most, for he was fond of 
roving; and that man would never give himself 
any trouble about him afterwards; though, 
maybe, if he had continted himself with him, and 
been sober and careful, he would be willing to 
assist and befriend him, when he might stand in 
need of assistance. 

" It's an ould proverb, that * birds of a feather 
flock together,' and Larry was a good proof of 
this. There was in the same neighbourhood a 
young woman named Sally Lowry, who was just 
the other end of himself, 81 for a pair of good 
hands, a love of dress and of dances. She was 
well-looking, too, and knew it; light and showy, 
but a tight and clane sarvint, any way. Larry 
and she, in short, began to coort, and were 
pulling a coard together for as good as five or six 
years. Sally, like Larry, always made a bargain, 
when hiring, to have the holly -days to herself; 
and on these occasions she and Larry would meet 
and sport their figure ; going off with themselves, 



166 IRELAND 

as soon as mass would be over, into Ballymavour- 
neen, where he would collect a pack of fellows 
about him, and she a set of her own friends ; and 
there they'd sit down and drink for the length of 
a day, laving themselves without a penny of 
whatever little aiming the dress left behind it; 
for Larry was never right, except when he was 
giving a thrate to some one or other. 

" After corrousing away till evening, they'd 
then set off to a dance; and when they'd stay 
there till it would be late, he should see her home, 
of coorse, never parting till they'd settle upon 
meeting another day. 

" At last they got fairly tired of this, and re- 
solved to take one another for better or worse. 
Indeed they would have done this long ago, only 
that they could never get as much together as 
would pay the priest. Howandever, Larry 
spoke to his brother, who was a sober, industri- 
ous boy, that had laid by his scollops for the 
windy day, 82 and tould him that Sally Lowry 
and himself were going to yoke for life. Tom 
was a well-hearted, friendly lad, and thinking 
that Sally, who bore a good name for being such 
a clane sarvint, would make a good wife, he lent 
Larry two guineas, which, along with two more 
that Sally's aunt, who had no childhre of her 
own, gave her, enabled them to over their diffi- 
culties and get married. Shortly after this, his 
brother Tom followed his example ; but as he had 
saved something, he made up to Val Slevin's 
daughter, that had a fortune of twenty guineas, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 167 

a cow and a heifer, with two good chaff beds and 
bedding. 

" Soon after Tom's marriage, he comes to 
Larry one day, and says, ' Larry, you and I are 
now going to face the world; we're both young, 
healthy, and willin' to work so are our wives; 
and it's bad if we can't make out bread for our- 
selves, I think/ 

" ' Thrue for you, Tom,' says Larry, * and 
what's to hinder us? I only wish we had a farm, 
and you'd see we'd take good bread out of it: 
for my part there's not another he in the country 
I'd turn my back upon for managing a farm, if 
I had one.' 

' Well,' says the other, * that's what I wanted 
to overhaul as we're together; Squire Dickson's 
steward was telling me yesterday, as I was com- 
ing up from my father-in-law's, that his master 
has a farm of fourteen acres to set at the present 
time; the one the Nultys held, that went last 
spring to America 'twould be a dacent little 
take between us.' 

' I know every inch of it,' says Larry, * and 
good strong land it is, but it was never well 
wrought; the Nultys weren't fit for it at all; for 
one of them didn't know how to folly a plough. 
I'd engage to make that land turn out as good 
crops as e'er a farm within ten miles of it.' 

' I know that, Larry,' says Tom, ' and Squire 
Dickson knows that no man could handle it to 
more advantage. Now if you join me in it, 
whatever means I have will be as much yours as 



168 IRELAND 

mine; there's two snug houses under the one 
roof, with out-houses and all, in good repair 
and if Sally and Biddy will pull manfully along 
with us, I don't see, with the help of Almighty 
God, why we shouldn't get on daeently, and soon 
be well and comfortable to live/ 

' Comfortable ! ' says Larry, ' no, but wealthy 
itself, Tom: and let us at 83 it at wanst; Squire 
Dickson knows what I can do as well as any man 
in Europe; and I'll engage won't be hard upon 
us for the first year or two; our best plan is to 
go to-morrow, for fraid some other might get the 
foreway of us.' 

' The Squire knew very well that two better 
boys weren't to be met with than the same 
M'Farlands, in the way of knowing how to man- 
age land; and although he had his doubts as to 
Larry's light and careless ways, yet he had good 
depindance out of the brother, and thought, on 
the whole, that they might do very well together. 
Accordingly, he set them the farm at a reason- 
able rint, and in a short time they were both liv- 
ing on it with their two wives. They divided the 
fourteen acres into aquil parts; and for fraid 
there would be any grumbling between them 
about better or worse, Tom proposed that they 
should draw lots, which was agreed to by Larry ; 
but, indeed, there was very little difference in the 
two halves; for Tom took care, by the way he 
divided them, that none of them should have any 
reason to complain. From the time they wint 
to live upon their farms, Tom was up early and 
down late, improving it paid attention to noth- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 169 

ing else; axed every man's opinion as to what 
crop would be best for such a spot, and to tell 
the truth he found very few, if any, able to in- 
struct him so well as his own brother Larry. He 
was no such labourer, however, as Larry but 
what he was short in, he made up by persever- 
ance and care. 

; ' In the coorse of two or three years you would 
hardly bleeve how he got on, and his wife was 
every bit aquil to him. She spun the yarn for 
the linen that made their own shirts and sheet- 
ing, bought an odd pound of wool now and then 
when she could get it chape, and put it past till 
she had a stone or so; she would then sit down 
and spin it get it wove and dressed ; and before 
one would know anything about it she'd have the 
making of a dacent comfortable coat for Tom, 
and a bit of heather-coloured drugget for her 
own gown, along with a piece of striped red and 
blue for a petticoat all at very little cost. 

" It wasn't so with Larry. In the beginning, 
to be sure, while the fit was on him, he did very 
well; only that he would go of an odd time to a 
dance ; or of a market or fair day, when he'd see 
the people pass by, dressed in their best clothes, 
he'd take the notion, and set off with himself, 
telling Sally that he'd just go in for a couple 
of hours, to see how the markets were going on. 

" It's always an unpleasant thing for a body 
to go to a fair or market without anything in 
their pocket; accordingly, if money was in the 
house, he'd take some of it with him, for fraid 
that any friend or acquaintance might thrate 



170 IRELAND 

him; and then it would be a poor, mane-spirited 
thing, he would say, to take another man's thrate, 
without giving one for it. He'd seldom have 
any notion, though, of breaking in upon or spind- 
ing the money, he only brought it to keep his 
pocket, jist to prevent him from being shamed, 
should he meet a friend. 

" In the manetime, Sally, in his absence, would 
find herself lonely, and as she hadn't, maybe, seen 
her aunt for some time before, she'd lock the 
door, and go over to spind a while with her; or 
take a trip as far as her ould mistress's place, to 
see the family. Many a thing people will have 
to say to one another about the pleasant times 
they had together, or several other subjects best 
known to themselves, of coorse. Larry would 
come home in her absence, and, finding the door 
locked, would slip down to Squire Dickson's, to 
chat with the steward or gardener, or with the 
sarvants in the kitchen. 

' You all remimber Tom Hance, that kept the 
public-house at Tullyvernon cross-roads, a little 
above the Squire's at laste, most of you do 
and ould Wilty Rutledge, the fiddler, that spint 
his time between Tom's and the big house God 
be good to Wilty! it's himself was the droll man 
entirely: he died of aiting boiled banes, for a 
wager that the Squire laid on him agin ould 
Captain Flint, and dhrinking porter after them 
till he was swelled like a tun; but the Squire 
berrid him at his own expense. Well, Larry's 
haunt, on finding Sally out when he came home, 
was either at the Squire's kitchen, or Tom 



TRAITS AND STORIES 171 

Hance's; and as he was the broth of a boy at 
dancing, the sarvints, when he'd go down, would 
send for Wilty to Hance's, if he didn't hap- 
pen to be with themselves at the time, and 
strike up a dance in the kitchen; and, along 
with all, may be Larry would have a sup in 
his head. 

' When Sally would come home, in her turn, 
she'd not find Larry before her; but Larry's 
custom was to go in to Tom's wife, and say, 
' Biddy, tell Sally, when she 'comes home, that 
I'm gone down awhile to the big house (or to 
Tom Hance's, as it might be), but I'll not be 
long.' Sally, after waiting awhile, would put on 
her cloak, and slip down to see what was keeping 
him. Of coorse, when finding the sport going 
on, and carrying a light heel at the dance herself, 
she'd throw off the cloak, and take a hand at it 
along with the rest. Larry and she would then 
go their ways home, find the fire out, light a sod 
of turf in Tom's, and feeling their own place 
very could and naked, after the blazing com- 
fortable fire they had left behind them, go to bed, 
both in very middling spirits entirely. 

" Larry, at other times, would quit his work 
early in the evening, to go down towards the 
Squire's, bekase he had only to begin work earlier 
the next day to make it up. He'd meet the 
Squire himself, may be, and, after putting his 
hand to his hat, and getting a ' how do you do, 
Larry,' from his honour, enter into discoorse with 
him about his honour's plan of stacking his corn. 
Now, Larry was famous at this. 



172 IRELAND 

" ' Who's to build your stacks this sason, your 
honour ? ' 

" ' Tim Dillon, Larry/ 

" ' Is it he, your honour? he knows as much 
about building a stack of corn as Masther 
George, here. He'll only botch them, sir, if you 
let him go about them/ 

" * Yes; but what can I do, Larry? He's the 
only man I have that I could trust them to/ 

" * Then it's your honour needn't say that, any- 
how; for rather than see them spoiled, I'd come 
down myself and put them up for you/ 

" ' Oh, I couldn't expect that, Larry/ 

" ' Why, then, I'll do it, your honour; and you 
may expect me down in the morning at six 
o'clock, plase God/ 

" Larry would keep his word, though his own 
corn was drop-ripe; and havin' once undertaken 
the job, he couldn't give it up till he'd finish it 
off dacently. In the meantime, his own crop 
would go to destruction; sometimes a windy day 
would come, and not leave him every tenth 
grain; he'd then get some one to cut it down for 
him he had to go to the big house, to build the 
master's corn; he was then all bustle a great 
man entirely there was non such; would be up 
with the first light, ordering and commanding, 
and directing the Squire's labourers, as if he was 
the king of the castle. Maybe, 'tis after he'd 
come from the big house, that he'd collect a few 
of the neighbours, and get a couple of cars and 
horses from the Squire, you see, to bring home 



TRAITS AND STORIES 173 

his own oats to the hagyard with moonlight, after 
the dews would begin to fall; and in a week 
afterwards every stack would be heated, and all 
in a reek of froth and smoke. It's not aisy to 
do anything in a hurry, and especially it's not 
aisy to build a corn-stack after night, when a 
man cannot see how it goes on: so 'twas no won- 
der if Larry's stacks were supporting one an- 
other the next day one laning north and 
another south. 

" But, along with this, Larry and Sally were 
great people for going to the dances that Hance 
used to have at the crass-roads, bekase he wished 
to put money into his own pocket; and if a 
neighbour died, they were sure to be the first at 
the wake-house for Sally was a great hand at 
washing down a corpse and they would be the 
last home from the berril; for, you know, they 
couldn't but be axed in to the dhrinking, after 
the friends would lave the churchyard, to take 
a sup to raise their spirits and drown sorrow, for 
grief is always drouthy. 

' When the races, too, would come, they would 
be sure not to miss them; and if you'd go into a 
tint, it's odds but you'd find them among a knot 
of acquaintances, dhrinking and dancing, as if 
the world was no trouble to them. They were, 
indeed, the best nathured couple in Europe ; they 
would lend you a spade or a hook in potato time 
or harvest, out of pure kindness, though their 
own corn, that was drop-ripe, should be uncut, 
or their potatoes, that were a tramping every day 



174 IRELAND 

with their own cows or those of the neighbours, 
should be undug all for f raid of being thought 
un-neighbourly. 

" In this way they went on for some years, not 
altogether so bad but that they were able just 
to keep the house over their heads. They had 
a small family of three children on their hands, 
and every likelihood of having enough of them. 
Whenever they got a young one christened, 
they'd be sure to have a whole lot of the neigh- 
bours at it ; and surely some of the young ladies, 
or Master George, or John, or Frederick, from 
the big house, should stand gossip, and have the 
child called after them. They then should have 
tay enough to sarve them, and loaf -bread and 
punch; and though Larry should sell a sack of 
seed-oats or seed-potatoes to get it, no doubt but 
there should be a bottle of wine, to thrate the 
young ladies or gintlemen. 

" When their childre grew up, little care was 
taken of them, bekase their parents minded 
other people's business more nor their own. 
They were always in the greatest poverty and 
distress; for Larry would be killing time about 
the Squire's, or doing some handy job for a 
neighbour who could get no other man to do it. 
They now fell behind entirely in the rint, and 
Larry got many hints from the Squire that if 
he didn't pay more attention to his business, 
he must look after his arrears, or as much of it 
as he could make up from the cattle and the 
crop. Larry promised well, as far as words 
went, and no doubt hoped to be able to perform; 



TRAITS AND STORIES 175 

but he hadn't steadiness to go through with a 
thing. Thruth's best; you see both himself 
and his wife neglected their business in the be- 
ginning, so that everything went at sixes and 
sevens. They then found themselves uncomfort- 
able at their own hearth, and had no heart to 
labour: so that what would make a careful per- 
son work their fingers to the stumps to get out 
of poverty, only prevented them from working 
at all, or druv them to work for those that had 
more comfort, and could give them a better 
male's mate than they had themselves. 

' Their tempers, now, soon Kegan to get sour : 
Larry thought, bekase Sally wasn't as careful as 
she ought to be, that if he had taken any other 
young woman to his wife, he wouldn't be as he 
was; she thought the very same thing of 
Larry. ' If he was like another,' she would say 
to his brother, * that would be up airly and late 
at his own business, I would have spirits to 
work, by rason it would cheer my heart to see 
our little farm looking as warm and comfort- 
able as another's ; but, fareer gairh, 84 that's not 
the case, nor likely to be so, for he spinds his 
time from one place to another, working for 
them that laughs at him for his pains; but he'd 
rather go to his neck in wather than lay down 
a hand for himself, except when he can't help 
it.' 

' Larry, again, had Ms complaint * Sally's a 
lazy trollop,' he would say to his brother's wife, 
' that never does one hand's turn that she can 
help, but sits over the fire from morning till 



176 IRELAND 

night, making bird's nests in the ashes with her 
yallow heels, or going about from one neigh- 
bour's house to another, gosthering and palaver- 
ing about what doesn't consarn her, instead of 
minding the house. How can I have heart to 
work, when I come in expecting to find my 
dinner ready ; but, instead of that, get her sitting 
upon her hunkers on the hearth-stone, blowing 
at two or three green sticks with her apron, the 
pot hanging on the crook, without even the white 
horses on it. 85 She never puts a stitch in my 
clothes, nor in the childher's clothes, nor in her 
own, but lets them go to rags at once the 
divil's luck to her ! I wish I had never met with 
her, or that I had married a sober girl, that 
wasn't fond of dress and dancing. If she was 
a good sarvint, it was only because she liked to 
have a good name ; for when she got a house and 
place of her own, see how she turned out!' 

" From less to more, they went on squabbling 
and fighting, until at last you might see Sally 
one time with a black eye or a cut head, or an- 
other time going off with herself, crying, up to 
Tom Hance's or some other neighbour's house, 
to sit down and give a history of the ruction 
that he and she had on the head of some thrifle 
or another that wasn't worth naming. Their 
childher were shows, running about without a 
single stitch upon them, except ould coats that 
some of the sarvints from the big house would 
throw them. In these they'd go sailing about, 
with the long skirts trailing on the ground be- 
hind them ; and sometimes Larry would be mane 



TRAITS AND STORIES 177 

enough to take the coat from the gorsoon, and 
ware it himself. As for giving them any school- 
ing, 'twas what they never thought of; but even 
if they were inclined to it, there was no school 
in the neighbourhood to send them to, for God 
knows it's the counthry that was in a neglected 
state as to schools in those days, as well as 
now. 

" It's a thrue saying, that as the ould cock crows, 
the young one larns; and this was thrue here, 
for the childher fought one another like so 
many divils, and swore like Trojans Larry, 
along with everything else, when he was a Brine- 
oge, thought it was a manly thing to be a great 
swearer; and the childher when they got able to 
swear, warn't worse nor their father. At first, 
when any of the little souls would thry at an 
oath, Larry would break his heart laughing at 
them ; and so from one thing to another, they got 
quite hardened in it, without being any way 
checked in wickedness. Things at last drew on 
to a bad state, entirely. Larry and Sally were 
now as ragged as Dives and Lazarus, and their 
childher the same. It was no strange sight, in 
summer, to see the young ones marching about 
the street as bare as my hand, with scarce a 
blessed stitch upon them that ever was seen, they 
dirt and ashes to the eyes, waddling after their 
uncle Tom's geese and ducks, through the green 
sink of rotten water that lay before their own 
door, just beside the dunghill: or the bigger 
ones running after the Squire's labourers, when 
bringing home the corn or the hay, wanting to 

112 



178 IRELAND 

get a ride as they went back with the empty 
cars. 

" Larry and Sally would never be let into the 
squire's kitchen now to eat or drink, or spend 
an evening with the sarvints; he might go out 
and in to his meal's mate along with the rest 
of the labourers, but there was no grah 86 for 
him. Sally would go down with her jug to get 
some buttermilk, and have to stand among a 
set of beggars and cotters, she as ragged and as 
poor as any of them, for she wouldn't be let 
into the kitchen till her turn came, no more nor 
another, for the sarvints would turn up their 
noses with the greatest disdain possible at them 
both. 

" It was hard to tell whether the inside or the 
outside of their house was worse; within, it 
would almost turn your stomach to look at it 
the flure was all dirt, for how could it be any 
other way, when at the end of every meal, the 
schrahag S7 would be emptied down on it, and the 
pig that was whining and grunting about the door, 
would brake into the hape of praty-skins that 
Sally would there throw down for it. You might 
reel Larry's shirt, or make a surveyor's chain of it ; 
for, bad cess 8B to me, but I bleeve it would reach 
from this to the Rath. The blanket was in 
tatthers, and like the shirt, would go round the 
house: their straw-beds were stocked with the 
black militia the childer's heads were garri- 
soned with Scotch greys, and their heels and 
heads ornamented with all description of kibes. 
There wor only two stools in all the house, and 




lo aqsrf arit oJni 9>lBid bluow ^il aril 



IRELAND 
ide as they went back with the empty 

Larry and Sally would never be let into the 
squire's kitchen now to eat or drink, or spend 
an evening with the sarvints; he might go out 
and in to his meal's mate along with the rest 
of the labourers, but there was no grah 86 for 
him. Sally would go down with her jug to get 
some buttermilk, and have to stand among a 
st-t of beggars and cotters, she as ragged and as 
poor as any of them, for she wouldn't be let 
into the kitchen till her turn came, no more nor 
another, for the sarvints would turn up their 
noses with the greatest disdain possible at them 
both. 

" It was hard to tell whether the inside or 
outside of their house was worse; within, it 
would almost turn your stomach to look at it- 
the flure was all dirt, for how could it be any 
r way, when at the end of every meal, the 
hag 87 would be emptied down on it, and thr 
hat was whining and grunting about the 
-1 brake into ie of praty-skins 

>uld there throw down for it. You n 
shirt, or make a surveyor's chain 
v 6S to i' I bleeve it would \ 

h. The blanket wa 
ke the shirt, would go roun< 
beds were stocked witl 
childer's heads were p 
soned f ys, and their heels 

hea<i- il description of ] 



e,J ' , j n ae' ipusey 

e Pig would brake into the hape of Praty skins 
Etching from an Original Drawing by Phis 



TRAITS AND STORIES 179 

a hassock of straw for the young child, and one 
of the stools wanted a leg, so that it was danger- 
ous for a stranger to sit down upon it, except 
he knew of this failing. The flure was worn 
into large holes, that were mostly filled with 
slop, where the childher used to dabble about, 
and amuse themselves by sailing egg-shells upon 
them, with bits of boiled praties in them, by 
way of a little faste. The dresser was as black 
as dirt could make it, and had on it only two 
or three wooden dishes, clasped with tin, and 
noggins without hoops, a beetle, and some 
crockery. There was an ould chest to hold tlieir 
male, but it wanted the hinges; and the chil- 
dher, when they'd get the mother out, would 
mix a sup of male and wather in a noggin, 
and stuff themselves with it, raw and all, for 
they were almost starved. 

' Then as the cow-house had never been 
kept in repair, the roof fell in, and the cow 
and pig had to stand in one end of the dwell- 
ing-house; and, except Larry did it, whatever 
dirt the same cow and pig, and the childher 
to the back of that, were the occasion of, might 
stand there till Saturday night, when, for 
dacency's sake, Sally herself would take a 
shovel, and out with it upon the hape that was 
beside the sink before the door. If a wet day 
came, there wasn't a spot you could stand in 
for down-rain; and wet or dry, Sally, Larry, 
and the childher were spotted like trouts with 
soot-dhrops, made by the damp of the 
roof and the smoke. The house on the out- 



180 IRELAND 

side was all in ridges of black dirt, where the 
thatch had rotted, or covered over with chicken- 
weed or blind-oats; but in the middle of all 
this misery, they had a horse-shoe nailed over 
the door-head for good luck. 

" You know, that in telling this story, I 
needn't mintion every thing just as it hap- 
pened, laying down year after year, or day and 
date; so you may suppose, as I go on, that all 
this went forward in the coorse of time. They 
didn't get bad of a sudden, but by degrees, 
neglecting one thing after another, until they 
found themselves in the state I'm relating to 
you then struggling and struggling, but 
never taking the right way to mend. 

" But where's the use in saying much more 
about it? things couldn't stand they were 
terribly in arrears; but the landlord was a good 
kind of man, and, for the sake of the poor 
childher, didn't wish to turn them on the wide 
world, without house or shelter, bit or sup. 
Larry, too, had been, and still was, so ready 
to do difficult and nice jobs for him, and would 
resave no payment, that he couldn't think of 
taking his only cow from him, or prevent him 
from raising a bit of oats or a plat of potatoes, 
every year, out of the farm. The farm itself 
was all run to waste by this time, and had a 
miserable look about it sometimes you might 
see a piece of a field that had been ploughed, 
all overgrown with grass because it had never 
been sowed or set with anything. The slaps 
were all broken down, or had only a piece of 



TRAITS AND STORIES 181 

an ould beam, a thorn bush, or crazy car lying 
acrass, to keep the cattle out of them. His bit 
of corn was all eat away and cropped here and 
there by the cows, and his potatoes rooted up 
by the pigs. The garden, indeed, had a few 
cabbages, and a ridge of early potatoes, but 
these were so choked with burdocks and nettles, 
that you could hardly see them. 

" I tould you before that they led the divil's 
life, and that was nothing but God's truth; and 
according as they got into greater poverty, it 
was worse. A day couldn't pass without a 
fight; if they'd be at their breakfast, maybe 
he'd make a potato hop off her skull, and she'd 
give him the contents of her noggin of butter- 
milk about the eyes; then he'd flake her; and the 
childher would be in an uproar, crying out, 
' Oh, daddy, daddy, don't kill my mammy 1 ' 
When this would be over, he'd go off with him- 
self to do something for the Squire, and would 
sing and laugh so pleasant, that you'd think he 
was the best-tempered man alive; and so he was, 
until neglecting his business, and minding 
dances, and fairs, and drink, destroyed him. 

" It's the maxim of the world, that when a 
man is down, down with him; but when a man 
goes down through his own fault, he finds very 
little mercy from any one. Larry might go to 
fifty fairs before he'd meet any one now to 
thrate him: instead of that, when he'd make up 
to them, they'd turn away, or give him the 
cowld shoulder. 89 But that wouldn't satisfy 
him: for if he went to buy a slip of a pig, or 



182 IRELAND 

a pair of brogues, and met an ould acquaint- 
ance that had got well to do in the world, he 
should bring him in, and give him a dram, 
merely to let the other see that he was still 
able to do it; then, when they'd sit down, one 
dram would bring on another from Larry, till 
the price of the pig or the brogues would be 
spint, and he'd go home again as he came, sure 
to have another battle with Sally. 

" In this way things went on, when one day 
that Larry was preparing to sell some oats, a 
son of Nicholas Roe Sheridan's of the Broad- 
bog came in to him. * Good morrow, Larry,' 
says he : * Good morrow, kindly, Art,' says 
Larry ' how are you, ma bouchal? ' 

' Why, I've no rason to complain, thank 

God and you, 5 says the other; * how is yourself? ' 

" ' Well, thank you, Art: how is the family? ' 

* Faix, all stout, except my father, that has 

got a touch of the toothach. When did you 

hear from the Slevins ? ' 

' Sally was down on Thursday last, and 
they're all well, your sowl.' 
' Where's Sally now? ' 
1 She's just gone down to the big house for 
a pitcher of buttermilk; our cow won't calve 
these three weeks to come, and she gets a sup of 
kitchen for the childher till then : won't you take 
a sate, Art? but you had better have a care 
of yourself, for that stool wants a leg.' 

' I didn't care she was within, for I brought 
a sup of my own stuff in my pocket,' said 
Art. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 183 

' Here, Hurrish (he was called Horatio 
afther one of the Square's), fly down to 
the Square's, and see what's keeping your 
mother; the divil's no match for her at staying 
out with herself, wanst she's from under the 
roof.' 

" * Let Dick go,' says the little fellow, ' he's 
betther able to go nor I am; he has got a coat 
on him.' 

! * Go yourself, when I bid you/ says the father. 
' Let him go,' says Hurrish, * you have no 
right to bid me to go, when he has a coat upon 
him: you promised to ax one for me from 
Masther Francis, and you didn't do it; so the 
divil a toe I'll budge to-day,' says he, getting 
betune the father and the door. 

" * Well, wait,' says Larry, * faix, only the 
strange man's to the fore, and I don't like to 
raise a hubbub, I'd pay you for making me such 
an answer. Dick, agra, will you run down, like 
a good bouchal, to the big house, and tell your 
mother to come home, that there's a strange man 
here wants her.' 

" * 'Twas Hurrish you bid,' says Dick ' and 
make him: that's the way he always thrates 
you, does nothing that you bid him.' 

" ' But you know, Dick,' says the father, 
' that he hasn't a stitch to his back, ,and the 
crathur doesn't like to go out in the could, and 
he so naked.' 

" * Well, you bid him go,' says Dick, ' and let 
him; the sorra yard I'll go the shin-burnt 
spalpeen, that's always the way with him; what- 



184 IRELAND 

ever he's bid to do, he throws it on me, bekase, 
indeed, he has no coat; but he'll folly Masther 
Thomas or Masther Francis through sleet and 
snow up the mountains, when they're fowling or 
tracing; he doesn't care about a coat then. 1 

' Hurrish, you must go down for your 
mother when I bid you ' says the weak man, 
turning again to the other boy. 

"Til not,' says the little fellow; 'send 
Dick.' 

" Larry said no more, but, laying down the 
child he had in his hands, upon the flure, makes 
at him; the lad, however, had the door of him, 
and was off beyant his reach like a shot. He 
then turned into the house, and meeting Dick, 
felled him with a blow of his fist at the dresser. 
' Tundher-an-ages, Larry,' says Art, ' what has 
come over you at all at all? to knock down the 
gorsoon with such a blow! couldn't you take a 
rod or a switch to him? Dher manhim, 90 man, 
but I bleeve you've killed him outright,' says 
he, lifting the boy, and striving to bring him to 
life. Just at this minnit Sally came in. 

* Arrah, sweet bad-luck to you, you lazy 
vagabond you,' says Larry, ' what kept you 
away till this hour? ' 

' The devil send you news, you nager you,' 
says Sally, ' what kept me could I make the 
people churn sooner than they wished or were 
ready ? ' 

' Ho, by my song, I'll flake you as soon as 
the dacent young man leaves the house,' says 
Larry to her, aside. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 185 

" ' You'll flake me, is it? ' says Sally speaking 
out loud ' in throth, that's no new thing for 
you to do, any how/ 

" ' Spake asy, you had betther/ 

" ' No, in troth, won't I spake asy; I've 
spoken asy too long, Larry, but the devil a taste 
of me will bear what I've suffered from you any 
longer, you mane-spirited blackguard you; for 
he is nothing else that would rise his hand to 
a woman, especially to one in my condition/ and 
she put her gown tail to her eyes. When she came 
in, Art turned his back to her, for fraid she'd 
see the state the gorsoon was in but now she 

noticed it ' Oh murdher, murdher/ says she 

clapping her hands, and running over to him, 
'what has happened my child? oh! murdher, 
murdher, this is your work, murdherer ! ' says 
she to Larry. ' Oh, you villain, are you bent 

on murdhering all of us are you bent on 

destroying us out o' the face! Oh, wurrah 
sthrew! wurrah sthrew! what '11 become of us! 
Dick, agra/ says she, crying, ' Dick, acushla 
machree, don't you hear me spaking to you! 
don't you hear your poor broken-hearted 
mother spaking to you? Oh! wurrah! wurrah! 
amn't I the heart-brokenest crathur that's alive 
this day, to see the likes of such doings! but 
I knew it would come to this! My sowl to 
glory, but my child's murthered by that man 
standing there! by his own father his own 
father! Which of us will you murther next, 
you villain ! ' 

" ' For heaven's sake, Sally/ says Art, ' don't 



186 IRELAND 

exaggerate him more nor he is; the boy is only 
stunned see, he's coming to: Dick, ma bouchal, 
rouse yourself that's a man: hut! he's well 
enough that's it, alannah:^ here, take a slug 
out of this bottle, and it'll set all right or, stop, 
have you a glass within, Sally?' ' Och, musha, 
not a glass is under the roof wid me,' says Sally ; 
* the last we had was broke the night Barney 
was christened, and we hadn't one since but 
I'll get you an egg-shell.' 92 ' It'll do as well as 
the best,' says Art. And to make a long story 
short, they sat down, and drank the bottle of 
whiskey among them. Larry and Sally made 
it up, and were as great friends as ever ; and Dick 
was made drunk for the bating he got from his 
father. 

' What Art wanted was to buy some oats that 
Larry had to sell, to run in a private Still, up 
in the mountains, of coorse, where every Still 
is kept. Sure enough, Larry sould him the 
oats, and .was to bring them up to the still- 
house the next night after dark. According to 
appointment, Art came a short time after night- 
fall, with two or three young boys along with 
him. The corn was sacked and put on the 
horses; but before that was done, they had a 
dhrop, for Art's pocket and the bottle were 
ould acquaintances. They all then sat down in 
Larry's, or, at laste, as many as there were 
seats for, and fell to it. Larry, however, 
seemed to be in better humour this night, and 
more affectionate with Sally and the childher: 
he'd often look at them, and appear to feel as 



TRAITS AND STORIES 187 

if something was over him: QS but no one ob- 
served that till afterwards. Sally herself 
seemed kinder to him, and even went over and 
sat beside him on the stool, and putting her arm 
about his neck, kissed him in a joking way, 
wishing to make up, too, for what Art saw the 
night before poor thing but still as if it 
wasn't all a joke, for at times she looked sorrow- 
ful. Larry, too, got his arm about her, and 
looked often and often on her and the childher, 
in a way that he wasn't used to do, until the 
tears fairly came into his eyes. 

* Sally, avourneen,' says he, looking at her, 
' I saw you when you had another look from 
what you have this night; when it wasn't asy 
to fellow you in the parish or out of it; ' and 
when he said this he could hardly spake. 

* Whisht, Larry, acushla,' says she, * don't 
be spaking that way sure we may do very well 
yet, plase God: I know, Larry, there was a 
great dale of it maybe, indeed, it was all my 
fault ; for I wasn't to you, in the way of care and 
kindness, what I ought to be.' 

* Well, well, aroon,' says Larry, * say no 
more; you might have been all that, only it was 
my fault: but where's Dick, that I struck so 
terribly last night? Dick, come over to me, 
agra come over Dick, and sit down here beside 
me. Arrah, here, Art, ma bouchal, will you fill 
this egg-shell for him? Poor gorsoon! God 
knows, Dick, you get far from fair play, 
acushla far from the ating and drinking that 
other people's childher get, that hasn't as good 



188 IRELAND 

a skin to put it in as you, alannah! Kiss me, 
Dick, acushla and God knows your face is 
pale, and that's not with good feeding, any how : 
Dick, agra, I'm sorry for what I done to you 
last night ; forgive your father, Dick, for I think 
that my heart's breaking, acushla, and that you 
won't have me long with you.' 

" Poor Dick, who was naturally a warm- 
hearted, affectionate gorsoon, kissed his father, 
and cried bitterly. Sally herself, seeing Larry 
so sorry for what he done, sobbed as if she 
would drop on the spot: but the rest began, and 
betwixt scoulding and cheering them up, all was 
as well as ever. Still Larry seemed as if there 
was something entirely very strange the matter 
with him, for as he was going out, he kissed 
all the childherj one after another; and even 
went over to the young baby that was asleep in 
the little cradle of boords that he himself had 
made for it, and kissed it two or three times, 
asily, for fraid of wakening it. He then met 
Sally at the door, and catching her hand 
when none of the rest saw it, squeezed it, and 
gave her a kiss, saying, ' Sally, darling!' says 
he. 

" * What ails you, Larry, asthore? ' says 
Sally. 

" ' I don't know,' says he; ' nothing, I bleeve 
but Sally, acushla, I have thrated you badly 
all along; I forgot, avourneen, how I loved you 
once, and now it breaks my heart that I have 
used you so ill.' 

" ' Larry,' she answered, ' don't be talking 



TRAITS JSFD STORIES 189 

that way, bekase yo> make me sorrowful and 
unasy don't, acushla God above me knows I 
forgive you it all. Don't stay long,' says she, 
' and I'll borry a lockof meal from Biddy, till 
we get home our owu?neldhre f and I'll have a 
dish of stirabout read to make for you when 
you come home. SIT, Larry, who'd forgive 
you, if I, your own^ife, wouldn't? But it's 
I that wants it from you, Larry; and in the 
presence of God, and urselves I now beg your 
pardon, and ax your -forgiveness for all the sin 
I done to you.' She dopped on her knees, and 
cried bitterly; but he-aised her up, himself a 
choaking at the time,;tnd as the poor crathur 
got to her feet, she lid herself on his breast, 
and sobbed out, for shecouldn't help it. They 
then went away, thoq.ii Larry, to tell the 
thruth, wouldn't have gae with them at all, only 
that the sacks were brried from his brother, 
and he had to bring tbm home, in regard of 
Tom wanting them the ery next day. 

' The night was as ark as pitch so dark, 
faiks, that they had to jet long pieces of bog 
fir, which they lit, and ibid in their hands, like 
the lights that Ned ther says the lamp-lighters 
have in Dublin to light tie lamps with. 

" At last, with a goo dale of trouble, they 
got to the still-house ; an . as they had all taken 
a drop before, you may o sure they were better 
inclined to take anothe now. They, accord- 
ingly, sat down about th fine rousing fire that 
was under the still, and hd a right good jorum 
of strong whiskey that icver seen a drop of 



190 IRELAND 

water. They all were in very good spirits, not 
thinking of to-morrow, and caring at the time 
very little about the world as it went. 

' When the night was far advanced, they 
thought of moving home; however, by that time 
they weren't able to stand: but it's one curse of 
being drunk, that a man doesn't know what he's 
about for the time, except some few, like that 
poaching ould fellow, [Billy M'Kinny, that's 
cunninger when he's drunk than when he's 
sober; otherwise they would not have ventured 
out in the clouds of the night, when it was so 
dark and severe, and they in such a state. 

" At last they staggered away together, for 
their road lay for a good distance in the same 
direction. The others got on, and reached home 
as well as they could; but, although Sally 
borried the dish of male from her sister-in-law, 
to have a warm pot of stirabout for Larry, and 
sat up till the night was more than half gone, 
waiting for him, yet no Larry made his appear- 
ance. The childher, too, all sat up, hoping he'd 
come home, before they'd fall asleep and miss 
the supper: at last the crathurs, after running 
about, began to get sleepy, and one head would 
fall this way and another that way; so Sally 
thought it hard to let them go without getting 
their share, and accordingly she put down the 
pot on a bright fire, and made a good lot of 
stirabout for them, covering up Larry's share 
in a red earthen dish before the fire. 

' This roused them a little; and they sat 
about the hearth with their mother, keeping her 



TRAITS AND STORIES 191 

company with their little chat, till their father 
would come back. 

' The night, for some time before this, got 
very stormy entirely. The wind m, and the 
rain fell as if it came out of methers. 94 The 
house was very cowld, and the door was bad; 
for the wind came in very strong under the foot 
of it, where the duck and hens, and the pig 
when it was little, used to squeeze themselves 
in when the family was absent, or afther they 
went to bed. The wind now came whistling 
under it ; and the ould hat and rags, that stopped 
up the windies, were blown out half-a-dozen 
times with such force, that the ashes were 
carried away almost from the hearth. Sally 
got very low-spirited on hearing the storm 
whistling so sorrowfully through the house, for 
she was afeard that Larry might be out on the 
dark moors under it; and how any living soul 
could bear it, she didn't know. The talk of 
the childer, too, made her worse; for they were 
debating among themselves, the crathurs, about 
what he had better do under the tempest; 
whether he ought to take the sheltry side of a 
hillock, or get into a long heather bush, or under 
the ledge of a rock or tree, if he could meet 
such a thing. 

" In the mane time, terrible blasts would come 
over andj through the house, making the ribs 
crack so that you would think the roof would 
be taken away at wanst. The fire was now get- 
ting low, and Sally had no more turf in the 
house; so that the childer crouched closer and 



192 IRELAND 

closer about it, their poor hungry-looking pale 
faces made paler with fear that the house might 
come down upon them, or be stripped, and their 
father from home and with worse fear that 
something might happen him under such a tem- 
pest of wind and rain as it blew. Indeed it 
was a pitiful sight to see the ragged crathurs 
drawing in in a ring nearer and nearer the dy- 
ing fire; and their poor, naked, half-starved 
mother, sitting with her youngest infant lying 
between her knees and her breast: for the bed 
was too cowld to put it into it, without being 
kept warm by the heat of them that it used to 
sleep with." 

" Musha, God help her and them," says Ned, 
" I wish they were here beside me on this com- 
fortable hob, this minute; I'd fight Nancy to 
get a fog-meal for them, any way a body can't 
but pity them, afther all! " 

"You'd fight Nancy!" said Nancy herself 
" maybe Nancy would be as willing to do some- 
thing for the crathurs as you would I like 
every body that's able to pay for what they get! 
but we ought to have some bowels in us for all 
that. You'd fight Nancy, indeed! " 

' Well," continued the narrator, " there they 
sat, with cowld and fear in their pale faces, 
shiverin' over the remains of the fire, for it was 
now nearly out, and thinking, as the deadly blast 
would drive through the creaking ould door and 
the half-stuffed windies, of what their father 
would do under such a terrible night. Poor Sally, 
sad and sorrowful, was thinking of all their ould 



TRAITS AND STORIES 193 

quarrels, and taking the blame all to herself 
for not bein' more attentive to her business, and 
more kind to Larry; and when she thought of 
the way she thrated him, and the ill-tongue she 
used to give him, the tears began to roll from 
her eyes, and she rocked herself from side to 
side, sobbing as if her heart would break. 
When the childher saw her wiping her eyes with 
the corner of the little handkerchief that she 
had about her neck, they began to cry along 
with her. At last she thought, as it was now 
so late, that it would be folly to sit up any 
longer; she hoped, too, that he might have 
thought of going into some neighbour's house on 
his way, to take shelter, and with these thoughts, 
she raked the greeshough 95 over the fire, and 
afther putting the childher in their little straw 
nest, and spreading their own rags over them, 
she and the young one went to bed, although she 
couldn't sleep at all at all, for thinking of 
Larry. 

' There she lay, trembling under the light 
cover of the bed-clothes, for they missed Larry's 
coat, listening to the dreadful night that was in 
it, so lonely, that the very noise of the cow, in 
the other corner, chewing her cud, in the silence 
of a short calm, was a great relief to her. It 
was a long time before she could get a wink of 
sleep, for there was some uncommon weight 
upon her that she couldn't account for by any 
chance; but after she had been lying for about 
half an hour, she heard something that almost 
fairly knocked her up. It was the voice of a 

113 



194 IRELAND 

woman, crying and wailing in the greatest dis- 
tress, as if all belonging to her were under- 
boord. 

' When Sally heard it first, she thought it was 
nothing but the whistling of the wind; but it 
soon came again, more sorrowful than before, 
and as the storm arose, it rose upon the blast 
along with it, so strange and mournful, that she 
never before heard the like of it. ' The Lord be 
about us ! ' said she to herself, * what can that be at 
all? or who is it? for it's not Nelly,' maning her 
sister-in-law. Again she listened, and there it 
was, sobbing and sighing in the greatest grief, 
and she thought she heard it louder than ever 
only that this time it seemed to name whomso- 
ever it was lamenting. Sally now got up and 
put her ear to the door, to see if she could hear 
what it said. At this time the wind got calmer, 
and the voice also got lower; but although it 
was still sorrowful, she never heard any living 
Christian's voice so sweet, and what was very 
odd, it fell in fits, exactly as the storm sunk, 
and rose as it blew louder. 

" When she put her ear to the chink of the 
door, she heard the words repeated, no doubt of 
it, only couldn't be quite sure, as they wern't 
very plain; but as far as she could make any 
sense out of them, she thought that it said 
* Oh, Larry M'Farland! Larry M'Farland! 
Larry M'Farland!' Sally's hair stood on end 
when she heard this; but on listening again, she 
thought it was her own name instead of Larry's 
that it repeated, and that it said ' Sally M'Far- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 195 

land! Sally M'Farland! Sally MTarland!' 
Still she wasn't sure, for the words wern't plain, 
and all she could think was, that they resem- 
bled her own name or Larry's, more than any 
other words she knew. At last, as the wind fell 
again, it melted away, weeping most sorrow- 
fully, but so sweetly, that the likes of it was 
never heard. Sally then went to bed, and the 
poor woman was so harrished with one thing or 
another, that at last she fell asleep." 

" 'Twas the Banshee" says Shane Fadh. 

" Indeed it was nothing else than that same," 
replied M'Roarkin. 

" I wonder Sally didn't think of that," said 
Nancy " sure she might know that no living 
crathur would be out lamenting under such a 
night as that was." 

" She did think of that," said Tom; " but as 
no Banshee ever followed her own 96 family, she 
didn't suppose that it could be such a thing; but 
she forgot that it might follow Larry's. I, my- 
self, heard his brother Tom say, afterwards, that 
a Banshee used always to be heard before any of 
them died." 

" Did his brother hear it?" Ned inquired. 

"He did," said Tom; "and his wife along 
with him, and knew, at once, that some death 
would happen in the family but it wasn't long 
till he suspected who it came for; for, as he was 
going to bed that night, on looking toards his 
own hearth, he thought he saw his brother 
standing at the fire, with a very sorrowful face 
upon him. * Why, Larry,' says he, ' how did 



196 IRELAND 

you get in, after me barring the door? or did 
you turn back from helping them with the corn? 
You surely hadn't time to go half the way since.' 
"Larry, however, made him no answer; and, 
on looking for him again, there was no Larry 
there for him. ' Nelly,' says he to his wife, 

* did you see any sight of Larry since he went 
to the still-house? ' * Arrah, no indeed, Tom,' 
says she ; ' what's coming over you to spake to 
the man that's near Drumfurrar by this time? ' 

* God keep him from harm! ' said Tom; ' poor 
fellow, I wish nothing ill may happen him this 
night! I'm afeard, Nelly, that I saw his 
fetch; 9 ' 1 and if I did, he hasn't long to live; for 
when one's fetch is seen at this time of night, 
their lase of life, let them be sick or in health, is 
always short/ 

* Hut, Tom aroon! ' says Nelly, ' it was the 
shadow of the jamb or yourself you saw in the 
light of the candle, or the shadow of the bed- 
post.' 

" The next morning they were all up, hoping 
that he would drop in to them. Sally got a 
creel of turf, notwithstanding her condition, and 
put down a good fire to warm him; but the morn- 
ing passed, and no sign of him. She now got 
very unasy, and mintioned to his brother what 
she felt, and Tom went up to the still-house to 
know if he was there, or to try if he could get any 
tidings of him. But, by the laws ! when he heard 
that he had left that for home the night before, 
and he in a state of liquor, putting this, and what 
he had heard and seen in his house together, Tom 



TRAITS AND STORIES 197 

knew that something must have happened him. 
He went home again, and on his way had his eye 
about him, thinking that it would be no miracle, 
if he'd meet him lying head-foremost in a ditch; 
however, he did not, but went on, expecting to 
find him at home before him. 

" In the mane time, the neighbours had been 
all raised to search for him ; and, indeed, the hills 
were alive with people. It was the second day 
after, that Sally was standing, looking out at 
her own door toards the mountains, expecting 
that every man with a blue coat upon him might 
be Larry, when she saw a crowd of people com- 
ing down the hills. Her heart leaped to her 
mouth, and she sent Dick, the eldest of the sons, 
to meet them, and run back with word to her if 
he was among them. Dick went away; but he 
hadn't gone far when he met his uncle Tom, com- 
ing on before the rest. 

' Uncle,' says Dick, ' did you get my father, 
for I must fly back with word to my mother, like 
lightning.' 

' Come here, Dick,' says Tom ; ' God help 
you, my poor bouchal! 98 Come here, and walk 
alongside of me, for you can't go back to your 
mother, till I see her first God help you, my 
poor bouchal, it's you that's to be pitied, this 
blessed and sorrowful day ; ' and the poor fellow 
could by no means keep in the tears. But he was 
saved the trouble of breaking the dismal tidings 
to poor Sally; for as she stood watching the 
crowd, she saw a door carried upon their shoul- 
ders, with something like a man stretched upon 



198 IRELAND 

it. She turned in, feeling as if a bullet had 
gone through her head, and sat down with her 
back to the door, for fraid she might see the 
thruth, for she couldn't be quite sure, they were 
at such a distance. At last she ventured to take 
another look out, for she couldn't bear what she 
felt within her, and just as she rose and came 
to the door, the first thing she saw coming down 
the hill, a little above the house, was the body 
of her husband stretched on a door dead. At 
that minute her brother-in-law, Tom, just en- 
tered, in time to prevent her and the child she 
had in her arms from falling on the flure. She 
had seen enough, God help her! for she took 
labour that instant, and, in about two hours 
afterwards, was stretched a corpse beside her 
husband, with her heart-broken and desolate 
orphans in an uproar of outher misery about 
them. That was the end of Larry M'Farland 
and Sally Lowry; two that might have done 
well in the world, had they taken care of them- 
selves avoided fairs and markets except when 
they had business there not given themselves 
idle fashions, by drinking, or going to dances, 
and wrought as well for themselves as they did 
for others." 

" But how did he lose his life, at all at all? " in- 
quired Nancy. 

' Why, they found his hat in a bog-hole upon 
the water, and on searching the hole itself, poor 
Larry was fished up from the bottom of it." 

" Well, that's a murdhering sorrowful story," 



TRAITS AND STORIES 199 

said Shane Fadh: " but you won't be after pass- 
ing that on us for the wake, any how." 

' Well, you must learn patience, Shane," said 
the narrator, " for you know patience is a vir- 
tue." 

"I'll warrant you that Tom and his wife made 
a better home of themselves," said Alick 
M'Kinley, " than Larry and Sally did." 

" Ah! I wouldn't fear, Alick," said Tom, " but 
you would come at the thruth 'tis you that may 
say they did ; there wasn't two in the parish more 
comfortable than the same two, at the very time 
that Larry and Sally came by their deaths. It 
would do you good to look at their hagyard 
the corn stacks were so nately roped and 
trimmed, and the walls so well made up, that 
a bird could scarcely get into it. Their barn 
and cowhouse too, and dwelling-house, were all 
comfortably thatched, and the windies all glazed, 
with not a broken pane in them. Altogether 
they had come on wondherf ully ; sould a good 
dale of male and praties every year; so that in 
a short time they were able to lay by a little 
money to help to fortune off their little girls, 
that were growing up fine colleeens, all out." 

" And you may add, I suppose," said Andy 
Morrow, " that they lost no time going to fairs 
and dances, or other foolish divarsions. I'll en- 
gage they never were at a dance in the Squire's 
kitchen; that they never went about losing their 
time working for others, when their own busi- 
ness was going at sixes and sevens, for want of 



200 IRELAND 

hands; nor spent their money drinking and 
thrating a parcel of friends that only laughed at 
them for their pains; and wouldn't, may be, put 
one foot past the other to sarve them; nor never 
fought and abused one another for what they 
both were guilty of." 

" Well," says Tom ; " you have saved me some 
trouble, Mr. Morrow; for you just said, to a 
hair, what they were. But I mustn't forget to 
mintion one thing that I saw the morning of the 
berril. We were, about a dozen neighbours of 
us, talking in the street, just before the door; 
both the hagyards were forninst us Tom's snug 
and nate but Charley Lawdher had to go over 
from where we stood to drive the pig out of poor 
Larry's. There was one of the stacks with the 
side out of it, just as he had drawn away the 
sheaves from time to time; for the stack leaned 
to one side, and he pulled sheaves out of the other 
side to keep it straight. Now, Mr. Morrow, 
wasn't he an unfortunate man? for whoever 
would go down to Squire Dickson's hagyard, 
would see the same Larry's handiwork so beau- 
tiful and illegant, though his own was in such 
brutheen." Even his barn went to wrack; and 
he was obliged to thrash his oats in the open air 
when there would be a frost, and he used to lose 
one-third of it ; and if there came a thaw, 'twould 
almost brake the crathur." 

" God knows," says Nancy, looking over at 
Ned, very significantly, " and Larry's not alone 
in neglecting his business; that is, if sartin peo- 
ple were allowed to take their own way; but the 



TRAITS AND STORIES 201 

truth of it is, that he met with a bad woman. 100 
If he had a careful, sober, industrious wife of 
his own, that would take care of the house and 
place (Biddy, will you hand me over that other 
clew out of the windy-stool there,, till I finish this 
stocking for Ned) the story would have another 
ending, any how." 

" In throth," said Tom, " that's no more than 
thruth, Nancy; but he had not, and everything 
went to the bad with him entirely." 

" It's a thousand pities he hadn't yourself, 
Nancy," said Alick, grinning; "if he had, I 
haven't the laste doubt at all, but he'd die worth 
money." 

" Go on, Alick go on, avick; I will give you 
lave to have your joke, any way; for it's you 
that's the patthern to any man that would wish 
to thrive in the world." 

"If Ned dies, Nancy, I don't know a woman 
I'd prefer; I'm now a widdy 101 these five years; 
and I feel, somehow, particularly since I began 
to spend my evenings here, that I'm disremem- 
bering very much the ould proverb ' a burnt 
child dreads the fire.' ' 

' Thank you, Alick ; you think I swallow 
that: but as for Ned, the never a fear of him; 
except that an increasing stomach is a sign of 
something; or what's the best chance of all, 
Alick, for you and me, that he should meet 
Larry's fate in some of his drunken fits." 

" Now, Nancy," says Ned, " there's no use in 
talking that way: it's only last Thursday, Mr. 
Morrow, that, in presence of her own brother, 



202 IRELAND 

Jemmy Connolly, the breeches-maker, and Billy 
M'Kinney, there, that I put my two five fingers 
acrass, and swore solemnly by them five crosses, 
that, except my mind changed, I'd never drink 
more nor one half pint of spirits, and three pints 
of porther in a day." 

" Oh, hould your tongue, Ned hould your 
tongue, and don't make me spake," said Nancy; 
" God help you ! many a time you've put the same 
fingers acrass, and many a time your mind has 
changed; but I'll say no more now wait till we 
see how you'll keep it." 

" Healths a-piece, your sowls," said Ned, 
winking at the company. 

" Well, Tom," said Andy Morrow, " about the 
wake?" 

" Och, och! that was the merry wake, Mr. 
Morrow. From that day to this I remarked, 
that, living or dead, them that won't respect 
themselves, or take care of their families, won't 
be respected: and sure enough, I saw full proof 
of that same at poor Larry's wake. Many a 
time afterwards I pitied the childher, for if they 
had seen better, they wouldn't turn out as they 
did all but the two youngest, that their uncle 
took to himself, and reared afterwards ; but they 
had no one to look afther them, and how could it 
be expected from what they seen, that good could 
come of them? Squire Dickson gave Tom the 
other seven acres, although he could have got a 
higher rint from others; but he was an industri- 
ous man that desarved encouragement, and he 
got it." 



TRAITS AND STORIES 203 

" I suppose Tom was at the expense of Larry's 
berrin, as well as of his marriage?" said Alick. 

" In throth and he was," said Tom, " although 
he didn't desarve it from him when he was 
alive ; loa seeing he neglected many a good ad- 
vice that Tom and his dacent woman of a wife 
often gave him : for all that, blood is thicker than 
wather and it's he that waked and berrid him 
dacently; by the same token that there was both 
full and plenty of the best over him: and every- 
thing, as far as Tom was consarned, dacent and 
creditable about the place." 

" He did it for his own sake, of coorse," said 
Nancy, " bekase one wouldn't wish, if they had 
it at all, to see any one belonging to them worse 
off than another at their wake or berrin." 

" Thrue for you, Nancy," said M'Roarkin, 
" and indeed, Tom was well spoken of by the 
neighbours for his kindness to his brother after 
his death; and luck and grace attended him for 
it, and the world flowed upon him before it came 
to his own turn." 

' Well, when a body dies even a natural death, 
it's wondherf ul how soon it goes about ; but when 
they come to an untimely one, it spreads like fire 
on a dry mountain." 

'Was there no inquest?" asked Andy Mor- 
row. 

' The sorra inquist, not making you an ill an- 
swer, sir the people weren't so exact in them 
days: but any how the man was dead, and what 
good could an inquist do him? The only thing 
that grieved them was, that they both died with- 



204 IRELAND 

out the priest : and well it might, for it's an awful 
thing entirely to die without having the clargy's 
hands over a body. I tould you that the news 
of his death spread over all the counthry in less 
than no time. Accordingly, in the coorse of the 
day, their relations began to come to the place; 
but, any way, messengers had been sent espe- 
cially for them. 

" The Squire very kindly lent sheets for them 
both to be laid out in, and mould-candlesticks to 
hould the lights; and, God he knows, 'twas a 
grievous sight to see the father and mother both 
stretched beside one another in their poor place, 
and their little orphans about them ; the gorsoons, 
them that had sense enough to know their loss, 
breaking their hearts, the crathurs, and so 
hoarse, that they weren't able to cry or spake. But, 
indeed, it was worse to see the two young things 
going over, and wanting to get acrass to waken 
their daddy and mammy, poor desolit childher! 
' When the corpses were washed and dressed, 
they looked uncommonly well, consitherin'. 
Larry, indeed, didn't bear death so well as Sally ; 
but you couldn't meet a purtier corpse than she 
was in a day's travelling. I say, when they 
were washed and dressed, their friends and neigh- 
bours knelt down round them, and offered up a 
Father and Ave a-piece, for the good of their 
sowls: when this was done, they all raised the 
keena, stooping over them at a half bend, clap- 
ping their hands, and praising them, as far as 
they could say anything good of them; and, in- 
deed, the crathurs, they were never any one's 



TRAITS AND STORIES 205 

enemy but their own, so that nobody could say 
an ill word of either of them. Bad luck to it for 
potteen-work every day it rises ! only for it, that 
couple's poor orphans wouldn't be left without 
father or mother as they were ; nor poor Hurrish 
go the grey gate he did, if he had his father liv- 
ing, may be: but having nobody to bridle him 
in, he took to horse riding for the Squire, and 
then to staling them for himself. He was 
hanged afterwards, along with Peter Doraghy 
Crolly, that shot Ned Wilson's uncle of the Black 
Hills. 

" After the first keening, the friends and 
neighbours took their sates about the corpse. In 
a short time, whiskey, pipes, snuff, and tobacco 
came, and every one about the place got a glass 
and a fresh pipe. Tom, when he held his glass 
in his hand, looking at his dead brother, filled 
up to the eyes, and couldn't for some time get 
out a word ; at last, when he was able to spake 
' Poor Larry,' says he, ' you're lying there low 
before me, and many a happy day we spint with 
one another. When we were childher,' said he 
turning to the rest, ' we were never asunder; he 
was oulder nor me by two years, and can I ever 
forget the leathering he gave Dick Rafferty long 
ago, for hitting me with the rotten egg although 
Dick was a great dale bigger than either of us. 
God knows, although you didn't thrive in life, 
either of you, as you might and could have done, 
there wasn't a more neighbourly or friendly 
couple in the parish they lived in ; and now, God 
help them both, and their poor orphans over 



206 IRELAND 

them! Larry, acushla, your health, and Sally 
yours; and may God Almighty have marcy on 
both your sowls ! ' 

" After this the neighbours began to flock in 
more generally. When any relation of the 
corpses would come, as soon, you see, as they'd 
get inside the door, whether man or woman, 
they'd raise the shout of a keena, and all the 
people about the dead would begin along with 
them, stooping over them and clapping their 
hands as before. 

" Well, I said, it's it that was the merry wake, 
and that was only the thruth, neighbours. As 
soon as night came, all the young boys and girls 
from the country side about them flocked to it in 
scores. In a short time the house was crowded; 
and maybe there wasn't laughing, and story- 
telling, and singing, and smoking, and drinking, 
and crying all going on, helter-skelter, to- 
gether. When they'd be all in full chorus this 
way, maybe, some new friend or relation, that 
wasn't there before, would come in, and raise 
the keena: of coorse, the youngsters would then 
keep quiet ; and if the person coming in was from 
the one neighbourhood with any of them that 
were so merry, as soon as he'd raise the shout, 
the merry folks would rise up, begin to pelt their 
hands together, and cry along with him till their 
eyes would be as red as a ferret's. That once 
over, they'd be down again at the songs, and 
divarsion, and divilment just as if nothing of 
the kind had taken place: the other would then 
shake hands with the friends of the corpses, get 



TRAITS AND STORIES 207 

a glass or two, and a pipe, and in a few minutes 
be as merry as the best of them." 

" Well," said Andy Morrow, " I should like 
to know if the Scotch and English are such 
heerum-skeerum kind of people as we Irishmen 
are." 

" Musha, in throth I'm sure they're not," says 
Nancy, " for I believe that Irishmen are like no- 
body in the wide world but themselves; quare 
crathurs, that'll laugh or cry, or fight with any 
one, just for nothing else, good or bad, but com- 
pany." 

" Indeed, and you all know, that what I'm 
saying's thruth, except Mr. Morrow there, that 
I'm telling it to, bekase he's not in the habit of 
going to wakes; although, to do him justice, he's 
very friendly in going to a neighbour's funeral; 
and, indeed, kind father for you, 103 Mr. Morrow, 
for it's he that was a raal good hand at going to 
such places himself. 

' Well, as I was telling you, there was great 
sport going on. In one corner, you might see 
a knot of ould men sitting together, talking over 
ould times ghost stories, fairy tales, or the great 
rebellion of 41, and the strange story of Lamh 
Dearg, or the bloody hand that, maybe, I'll tell 
you all some other night, plase God : there they'd 
sit smoking their faces quite plased with the 
pleasure of the pipe amusing themselves and 
a crowd of people, that would be listening to 
them with open mouth. Or, it's odds, but there 
would be some droll young fellow among them, 
taking a rise out of them; and, positively, he'd 



208 IRELAND 

often find them able enough for him, particularly 
ould Ned Mangin, that wanted at the time only 
four years of a hundred. The Lord be good to 
him, and rest his sowl in glory, it's he that was 
the pleasant ould man, and could tell a story with 
any one that ever got up. 

" In another corner there was a different set, 
bent on some piece of divilment of their own. 
The boys would be sure to get beside their sweet- 
hearts, any how; and if there was a purty girl, 
as you may set it down there was, it's there the 
skroodging, 10 * and the pushing, and the shoving, 
and, sometimes, the knocking down itself, would 
be, about seeing who'd get her. There's ould 
Katty Duffy, that's now as crooked as the hind 
leg of a dog, and it's herself was then as straight 
as a rush, and as blooming as a rose Lord bless 
us, what an alteration time makes upon the 
strongest and fairest of us ! it's she that was the 
purty girl that night, and it's myself that gave 
Frank M' Shane, that's still alive to acknowledge 
it, the broad of his back upon the Sure, when he 
thought to pull her off my knee. The very gor- 
soons and girshas were coorting away among 
themselves, and learning one another to smoke 
in the dark corners. But all this, Mr. Morrow, 
took place in the corpse-house, before ten or 
eleven o'clock at night ; after that time the house 
got too throng entirely, and couldn't hould the 
half of them; so, by jing, off we set, maning all 
the youngsters of us, both boys and girls, out to 
Tom's barn, that was red 105 up for us, there to 
commence the plays. When we were gone, the 



TRAITS AND STORIES 209 

ould people had more room, and they moved 
about on the sates we had left them. In the 
mane time, lashings of tobacco and snuff, cut in 
plate-fulls, and piles of fresh new pipes, were 
laid on the table for any one that wished to use 
them. 

" When we got to the barn, it's then we took 
our pumps off 106 in airnest by the hokey, such 
sport you never saw. The first play we began 
was Hot-loof; and maybe there wasn't skelping 
then. It was the two parishes of Errigle-Keeran 
and Errigle-Truagh against one another. There 
was the Slip from Althadhawan, for Errigle- 
Truagh, against Pat M'Ardle, that had married 
Lanty Gorman's daughter of Cargach, for Er- 
rigle-Keeran. The way they play it, Mr. Mor- 
row, is this two young men out of each parish go 
out upon the flure one of them stands up, then 
bends himself, Sir, at a half bend, placing his 
left hand behind on the back part of his ham, 
keeping it there to receive what it's to get. Well, 
there he stands, and the other coming behind 
him, places his left foot out before him, doubles 
up the cuff of his coat, to give his hand and wrist 
freedom: he then rises his right arm, coming 
down with the heel of his hand upon the other 
fellow's palm, under him, with full force. By 
jing, it's the divil's own divarsion; for you might 
as well get a stroke of a sledge as a blow from 
one of them able, hard-working fellows, with 
hands upon them like lime-stone. When the fel- 
low that's down gets it hot and heavy, the man 
that struck him stands bent in his place, and some 

114 



210 IRELAND 

friend of the other comes down upon him, and 
pays him for what the other fellow got. 

" In this way they take it, turn about, one out 
of each parish, till it's over; for, I believe, if 
they were to pelt one another since that they'd 
never give up. Bless my soul, but it was terrible 
to hear the strokes that the Slip and Pat M' Ardle 
did give that night. The Slip was a young 
fellow upwards of six feet, with great able bones 
and little flesh, but terrible thick shinnins; 108 
his wrist was as hard and strong as a bar of iron. 
M'Ardle was a low, broad man, with a rucket 109 
head and bull neck, and a pair of shoulders that 
you could hardly get your arms about, Mr. 
Morrow, long as they are; it's he, indeed, that 
was the firm, well-built chap, entirely. At any 
rate, a man might as well get a kick from a horse 
as a stroke from either of them. 

" Little Jemmy Teague, I remimber, struck 
a cousin of the Slip's a very smart blow, that 
made him dance about the room, and blow his 
fingers for ten minutes after it. Jemmy, him- 
self, was a tight, smart fellow. When the Slip 
saw what his cousin had got, he rises up, and 
stands over Jemmy so coolly, and with such good 
humour, that every one in the house trembled 
for poor Jemmy, bekase, you see, whenever the 
Slip was bent on mischief, he used always to grin. 
Jemmy, however, kept himself bent firm ; and to 
do him justice, didn't flinch from under the 
stroke, as many of them did no, he was like a 
rock. Well, the Slip, as I said, stood over him, 
fixing himself for the stroke, and coming down 



TRAITS AND STORIES 211 

with such a pelt on poor Jemmy's hand, that the 
first thing we saw was the blood across the Slip's 
own legs and feet, that had burst out of poor 
Jemmy's finger-ends. The Slip then stooped to 
receive the next blow himself, and you may be 
sure there was above two dozen up to be at him. 
No matther; one man they all gave way to, and 
that was Pat M'Ardle. 

* Hould away,' says Pat, * clear off, boys, 
all of you this stroke's mine by right, any how ; 
and,' says he, swearing a terrible oath, ' if you 
don't sup sorrow for that stroke,' says he to the 
Slip, ' why Pat M'Ardle's not behind you here.' 
" He, then, up with his arm, and came down 
why, you would think that the stroke he gave 
the Slip had druv his hand right into his body: 
but, any way, it's he that took full satisfaction 
for what his cousin got; for if the Slip's fingers 
had been cut off at the tops, the blood couldn't 
spring out from under his nails more nor it did. 
After this the Slip couldn't strike another blow, 
bekase his hand was disabled out and out. 

' The next play they went to was the Sitting 
Brogue. This is played by a ring of them, 
sitting down upon the bare ground, keeping their 
knees up. A shoemaker's leather apron is then 
got, or a good stout brogue, and sent round under 
their knees. In the mane time, one stands in the 
middle; and after the brogue is sent round, he 
is to catch it as soon as he can. While he stands 
there, of coorse, his back must be to some one, 
and accordingly those that are behind him thump 
him right and left with the brogue, while he, all 



212 IRELAND 

the time, is striving to catch it. Whoever he 
catches this brogue with must stand up in his 
place, while he sits down where the other had 
been, and then the play goes on as before. 

" There's another play called the Standing 
Brogue where one man gets a brogue of the 
same kind, and another stands up facing him with 
his hands locked together, forming an arch 
turned upside down. The man that houlds the 
brogue then strikes him with it betune the hands ; 
and even the smartest fellow receives several 
pelts before he is able to close his hands and catch 
it; but when he does, he becomes brogue-man, 
and the man who held the brogue stands for him, 
until he catches it. The same thing is gone 
through, from one to another, on each side, until 
it is over. 

' The next is Frimsy Framsy, and is played 
in this manner: A chair or stool is placed in 
the middle of the flure, and the man who man- 
ages the play sits down upon it, and calls his 
sweetheart, or the prettiest girl in the house. 
She, accordingly, comes forward, and must kiss 
him. He then rises up, and she sits down. 
* Come now,' he says, ' fair maid Frimsy 
framsy, who's your fancy? ' She then calls 
them she likes best, and when the young man she 
calls comes over and kisses her, he then takes her 
place, and calls another girl and so on, smack- 
ing away for a couple of hours. Well, throth, 
it's no wonder that Ireland's full of people; for 
I believe they do nothing but coort from the time 
they're the hoith of my leg. I dunna is it true, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 213 

as I hear Captain Sloethorn's steward say, that 
the Englishwomen are so fond of Irishmen? ' 

" To be sure, it is," said Shane Fadh; " don't 
I remember, myself, when Mr. Fowler went to 
England and he as fine looking a young man, 
at the time, as ever got into a saddle he was 
riding up the street of London, one day, and his 
servant after him and by the same token he was 
a thousand pound worse than nothing; but no 
matter for that, you see luck was before him 
what do you think, but a rich dressed livery serv- 
ant came out, and stopping the Squire's man, 
axed whose servant he was ? 

' Why, thin,' says Ned Magavran, who was 
his body servant at the time, ' bad luck to you, 
you spalpeen, what a question do you ax, and 
you have eyes in your head ! ' says he * hard 
feeding to you ! ' says he, ' you vagabone, don't 
you see I'm my master's? ' 

' The Englishman laughed. * I know that, 
Paddy,' says he for they call us all Paddies in 
England, as if we had only one name among us, 
the thieves ; ' but I wish to know his name,' says 
the Englishman. 

' You do ! ' says Ned ; ' and by the powers ! ' 
says he, * but you must first tell me which side 
of the head you'd wish to hear it an.' 

* Oh ! as for that,' says the Englishman not 
up to him, you see ' I don't care much Paddy, 
only let me hear it, and where he lives.' 

' Just keep your ground, then,' says Ned, 
' till I 'light off this blood-horse of mine ' he 
was an ould garron that was fattened up, not 



214 IRELAND 

worth forty shillings ' this blood-horse of mine/ 
says Ned, ' and I'll tell you.' 

" So down he gets, and lays the Englishman 
sprawling in the channel. 

' Take that, you vagabone ! ' says he, * and 
it'll larn you to call people by their right names 
agin: I was christened as well as you, you 
spalpeen ! ' 

" All this time the lady was looking out of 
the windy, breaking her heart laughing at Ned 
and the servant ; but, behould ! she knew a thing 
or two, it seems; for, instead of sending a man 
at all at all, what does she do, but sends her own 
maid a very purty girl, who comes up to Ned, 
putting the same question to him. 

"'What's his name, avourneen?' says Ned, 
melting, to be sure, at the sight of her ' Why, 
then, darling, who could refuse you anything? 
a but, you jewel! by the hoky, you must bribe 
me or I'm dumb,' says he. 

" ' How could I bribe you? ' says she, with a 
sly smile for Ned himself was a well-looking 
young fellow at the time. 

" ' I'll show you that,' says Ned, ' if you tell 
me where you live ; but, for f raid you'd forget it 
with them two lips of your own, my darling.' 

" ' There, in that great house,' says the maid; 
* my mistress is one of the beautifullest and rich- 
est young ladies in London, and she wishes to 
know where your master could be heard of.' 

" ' Is that the house? ' says Ned, pointing to it. 

" ' Exactly,' says she : ' that's it.' 

" ' Well, acushla,' says he, ' you've a purty and 



TRAITS AND STORIES 215 

an innocent-looking face; but I'm tould there's 
many a trap in London well baited. Just only 
run over while I'm looking at you, and let me 
see that purty face of yours smiling at me out 
of the windy that that young lady is peeping at 
us from/ 

" This she had to do'. 

" * My master,' thought Ned, while she was 
away, ' will aisily find out what kind of a house 
it is, any how, if that be it.' 

" In a short time he saw her in the windy, and 
Ned then gave her a sign to come down to him. 

" * My master,' says he, * never was afeard to 
show his face, or tell his name to any one he's a 
Squire Fowler,' says he c a Sarj en-major in a 
great militia regiment: he shot five men in his 
time; and there's not a gentleman in the country 
he lives in that dare say Boo to his blanket. 
And now, what's your own name,' says Ned, 

* you flattering little blackguard you? ' 

" * My name's Betty Cunningham,' says she. 

" ' And, next, what's your mistress's, my dar- 
ling? ' says Ned. 

" * There it is,' says she, handing him a card. 

" ' Very well,' says Ned, the thief, looking at 
it with a great air, making as if he could read; 

* this will just do, a colleen bawn.' 

' Do you read in your country with the wrong 
side of the print up?' says she. 

* Up or down,' says Ned, ' it's all one to us, 
in Ireland; but, any how, I'm left-handed, you 
deluder! ' 

" The upshot of it was, that her mistress turned 



216 IRELAND 

out to be a great hair ess, and a great beauty ; and 
she and Fowler got married in less than a month. 
So,, you see, it's true enough that the English- 
women are fond of Irishmen," says Shane; " but, 
Tom, with submission for stopping you, go on 
with your Wake." 

' The next play, then, is Marrying " 

" Hooh! " says Andy Morrow, " why, all their 
plays are about kissing and marrying, and the 
like of that." 

" Surely and they are, sir," says Tom. 

" It's all the nathur of the baste," says Alick. 

' The next is marrying. A bouchal puts an 
ould dark coat on him, and if he can borry a wig 
from any of the ould men in the wake-house, 
why, well and good, he's the liker his work this 
is the priest: he takes and drives all the young 
men out of the house, and shuts the door upon 
them, so that they can't get in till he lets them. 
He then ranges the girls all beside one another, 
and going to the first makes her name him she 
wishes to be her husband ; this she does, of coorse, 
and the priest lugs him in, shutting the door 
upon the rest. He then pronounces this mar- 
riage sarvice, when the husband smacks her first, 
and then the priest: * Amo amas, avourneen 
in nomine gomine, betwuxt and between for 
hoc erat in votis, squeeze 'em please 'em omnia 
vincit amor, wid two horns to caput nap it 
poluphlasboio, the lasses 'Quid,' says Cleopa- 
tra; ' Shid,' says Antony ragibus et clatibus 
solemus stapere windous nine months big bot- 
tle, and a honeymoon Alneas poque Dido poque 



TRAITS AXD STORIES 217 

Roymachree hum not fiem viat lag rag, merry 
kerry, Para wig and breeches hoc manifestibus 
omnium Kiss your wife undher the nose, then 
seek repose, 'Tis done,' says the priest. ' Vin- 
culum trinculum; and now you're married. 
Amen!' Well, these two are married, and he 
places his wife upon his knee, for fraid of taking 
up too much room, you persare; there they coort 
away again, and why shouldn't they ? The priest 
then goes to the next, and makes her name her 
husband ; this is complied with, and he is brought 
in after the same manner, but no one else till 
they're called: he is then married, and kisses his 
wife, and the priest kisses her after him; and so 
they're all married. 

" But if you'd see them that don't chance to be 
called at all, the figure they cut slipping into 
some dark corner, to avoid the mobbing they get 
from the priest and the others. When they're 
all united, they must each sing a song man and 
wife, according as they sit ; or if they can't sing, 
or get some one to do it for them, they're 
divorced. But the priest, himself, usually hits 
for any one that's not able to give a verse. You 
see, Mr. Morrow, there's always in the neigh- 
bourhood some droll fellow that takes all these 
things upon him, and if he happened to be ab- 
sent, the wake would be quite dulL" 

* Well," said Andy Morrow, " have you any 
more of their sports, Tom? " 

" Ay, have I ; one of the best and pleasantest 
you heard yet." 

" I hope there's no more coorting in it," says 



218 IRELAND 

Nancy; " God knows we're tired of their kissing 
and marrying." 

" Were you always so? " says Ned, across the 
fire to her. 

" Behave yourself, Ned," says she; " don't you 
make me spake; sure you were set down as the 
greatest Brine-oge that ever was known in the 
parish, for such things." 

" No, but don't you make me spake," replies 
Ned. 

" Here, Biddy," said Nancy, " bring that uncle 
of yours another pint ; that's what he wants most 
at the present time, I'm thinking." 

Biddy, accordingly, complied with this. 

" Don't make me spake," continued Ned. 

" Come, Ned," she replied, " you've a fresh 
pint now; so drink it, and give no more 
gosther" 110 

" Shuid-urth! " ni says Ned, putting the pint 
to his head, and winking slyly at the rest. 

" Ay, wink! in troth I'll be up to you for that, 
Ned," says Nancy, by no means satisfied that 
Ned should enter into particulars. ' Well, 
Tom," said she, diverting the conversation, " go 
on, and give us the remainder of your Wake." 

" Well," says Tom, " the next play is in the 
milintary line. You see, Mr. Morrow, the man 
that leads the sports places them all on their 
sates, gets from some of the girls a white hand- 
kerchief, which he ties round his hat, as you 
would tie a piece of mourning; he then walks 
round them two or three times, singing, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 219 

Will you list and come with me, fair maid? 
Will you list and come with me, fair maid? 
Will you list and come with me, fair maid? 
And folly the lad with the white cockade? 

When he sings this, he takes off his hat, and puts 
it on the head of the girl he likes best, who rises 
up and puts her arm round him, and then they 
both go about in the same way, singing the same 
words. She then puts the hat on some young 
man, who gets up and goes round with them, 
singing as before. He next puts it on the girl he 
loves best, who, after singing and going round 
in the same manner, puts it on another, and he 
on his sweetheart, and so on. This is called the 
White Cockade. When it's all over, that is, 
when every young man has pitched upon the girl 
that he wishes to be his sweetheart, they sit down, 
and sing songs, and coort, as they did at the 
marrying. 

" After this comes the Weds or Forfeits, or 
what they call putting round the button. Every 
one gives in a forfeit the boys a neck handker- 
chief or a pen-knife, and the girls a pocket hand- 
kerchief, or something that way. The forfeit is 
held over them, and each of them stoops in turn. 
They are, then, compelled to command the per- 
son that owns that forfeit to sing a song to kiss 
such and such a girl or to carry some ould man, 
with his legs about their neck, three times round 
the house, and this last is always great fun. Or, 
maybe, a young, upsetting fellow, will be sent 
to kiss some toothless, slavering, ould woman, 



220 IRELAND 

just to punish him; or if a young woman is any 
way saucy, she'll have to kiss some ould, withered 
fellow, his tongue hanging with age half way 
down his chin, and the tobacco water trickling 
from each corner of his mouth. 

" By jingo, many a time, when the friends of 
the corpse would be breaking their very hearts 
with grief and affliction, I have seen them obli- 
gated to laugh out, in spite of themselves, at 
the drollery of the priest, with his ould black 
coat and wig upon him; and when the laughing 
fit would be over, to see them rocking themselves 
again with the sorrow so sad. The best man 
for managing such sports in this neighbourhood, 
for many a year, was Roger M'Cann, that lives 
up as you go to the mountains. You wouldn't 
begrudge to go ten miles, the cowldest winter 
night that ever blew, to see and hear Roger. 

' There's another play that they call the Priest 
of the Parish, which is remarkably pleasant. 
One of the boys gets a wig upon himself, as be- 
fore goes out on the flure, places the boys in a 
row, calls one his man Jack, and says to each 

* What will you be?' One answers, 'I'll be 
black cap; ' another ' red cap; * and so on. He 
then says, ' The priest of the parish has lost his 
considhering cap some says this, and some says 
that, but I say my man Jack ! ' Man Jack, then, 
to put it off himself, says, ' Is it me, Sir ? ' ' Yes, 
you, Sir! ' ' You lie, Sir! ' ' Who then, Sir? ' 
' 'Black cap ! ' If Black cap, then, doesn't say, 

* Is it me, Sir ? ' before the priest has time to 
call him, he must put his hand on his ham, and 



TRAITS AND STORIES 221 

get a pelt of the brogue. A body must be supple 
with the tongue in it. 

" After this comes one they call Horns, or the 
Painter. A droll fellow gets a lump of soot or 
lamp-black, and after fixing a ring of the boys 
and girls about him, he lays his two fore-fingers 
on his knees, and says, ' Horns, horns, cow 
horns! ' and then raises his fingers by a jerk up 
above his head ; the boys and girls in the ring then 
do the same thing, for the meaning of the play 
is this: the man with the black'ning always 
raises his fingers every time he names an animal ; 
but if he names any that has no horns, and that 
the others jerk up their fingers then, they must 
get a stroke over the face with the soot. * Horns, 
horns, goat horns ! ' then he ups with his fingers 
like lightning; they must all do the same, bekase 
a goat has horns. ' Horns, horns, horse horns 1 ' 
he ups with them again, but the boys and girls 
ought not, bekase a horse has not horns; how- 
ever, any one that raises them then, gets a 
slake. So that it all comes to this: Any one, 
you see, that lifts his fingers when an animal is 
named that has no horns or any one that does 
not raise them when a baste is mintioned that has 
horns, will get a mark. It's a purty game, and 
requires a keen eye and a quick hand; and, 
maybe, there's not fun in straiking the soot over 
the purty, warm, rosy cheeks of the colleens, 
while their eyes are dancing with delight in their 
heads, and their sweet breath comes over so 
pleasant about one's face, the darlings! Och! 
och! 



222 IRELAND 

" There's another game they call the Silly 
Ould Man, that's played this way: A ring of 
the boys and girls is made on the flure boy and 
girl about holding one another by the hands; 
well and good a young fellow gets into the 
middle of the ring, as ' the silly ould man.' 
There he stands looking at all the girls to choosq 
a wife, and, in the mane time, the youngsters of 
the ring sing out 

Here's a silly ould man that lies all alone, 

That lies all alone, 

That lies all alone; 

Here's a silly ould man that lies all alone, 
He wants a wife, and he can get none. 

' When the boys and girls sing this, the silly 
ould man must choose a wife from some of the 
colleens belonging to the ring. Having made 
choice of her, she goes into the ring along with 
him, and they all sing out 

Now, young couple, you're married together, 

You're married together, 

You're married together, 
You must obey your father and mother, 
And love one another like sister and brother 
I pray, young couple, you'll kiss together ! 

And you may be sure this part of the marriage 
is not missed, any way." 

" I doubt," said Andy Morrow, " that good 
can't come of so much kissing, marrying, and 
coorting." 

The narrator twisted his mouth knowingly, and 
gave a significant groan. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 223 

" Be dhe husth m hould your tongue, Misther 
Morrow," said he; "Biddy avourneen," he con- 
tinued, addressing Biddy and Bessy, " and Bessy, 
alannah, just take a friend's advice, and never 
mind going to wakes; to be sure there's plinty 
of fun and divarsion at sich places, but healths 
apiece! " putting the pint to his lips " and that's 
all I say about it." 

" Right enough, Tom," observed Shane Fadh 
* " sure most of the matches are planned at them, 
and, I may say, most of the runaways, too- 
poor, young, foolish crathurs, going off, and get- 
ting themselves married; then bringing small, 
helpless families upon their hands, without money 
or manes to begin the world with, and afterwards 
likely to eat one another out of the face for their 
folly; however, there's no putting ould heads 
upon young shoulders, and I doubt, except the 
wakes are stopped altogether, that it'll be the ould 
case still." 

" I never remember being at a counthry wake," 
said Andy Morrow. " How is everything laid 
out in the house? " 

" Sure it's to you I'm telling the whole story, 
Mr. Morrow: these thieves about me here know 
all about it as well as I do the house, eh? Why, 
you see, the two corpses were stretched beside 
one another, washed and laid out. There were 
long deal boords with their ends upon two stools, 
laid over the bodies; the boords were covered 
with a white sheet got at the big house, so the 
corpses weren't to be seen. On these, again, were 
placed large mould candles, plates of cut tobacco, 



224 IRELAND 

pipes, and snuff, and so on. Sometimes corpses 
are waked in a bed, with their faces visible : when 
that is the case, white sheets, crosses, and some- 
times flowers, are pinned up about the bed, ex- 
cept in the front; but when they're undher boord, 
a set of ould women sit smoking, and rocking 
themselves from side to side, quite sorrowful 
these are keeners friends or relations ; and when 
every one connected with the dead comes in, they 
raise the "keene, like a song of sorrow, wailing and 
clapping their hands. 

' The furniture is mostly removed, and sates 
made round the walls, where the neighbours sit 
smoking, chatting, and gosthering. The best of 
aiting and dhrinking that they can afford is pro- 
vided ; and, indeed, there is generally open house, 
for it's unknown how people injure themselves 
by their kindness and waste at christenings, wed- 
dings, and wakes. 

" In regard to poor Larry's wake we had 
all this, and more at it ; for, as I obsarved a while 
agone, the man had made himself no friends 
when he was living, and the neighbours gave a 
loose to all kinds of divilment when he was dead. 
Although there's no man would be guilty of any 
disrespect where the dead are, yet, when a per- 
son has led a good life, and conducted themselves 
dacently and honestly, the young people of the 
neighbourhood show their respect by going 
through their little plays and divarsions quieter 
and with less noise, lest they may give any 
offince ; but, as I said, whenever the person didn't 



TRAITS AND STORIES 225 

live as they ought to do, there's no stop to their 
noise and rollokin. 113 

' When it drew near morning, every one of us 
took his sweetheart, and, after convoying her 
home, we went to our own houses to get a little 
sleep So that was the end of poor Larry 
M'Farland, and his wife, Sally Lowry." 

" Success, Tom!" said Bill M'Kinny; "take 
a pull of the malt now, afther the story, your 
soul! But what was the funeral like? " 

" Why, then, a poor berrin it was," said Tom; 
" a miserable sight, God knows just a few of 
the neighbours; for those that used to take his 
thrate, and while he had a shilling in his pocket 
blarney him up, not one of the skulking thieves 
showed their faces at it a good warning to 
foolish men that throw their money down throats 
that haven't hearts anundher them. But, boys, 
I desarve another thrate, I think, afther my 
story!" This, we need scarcely add, he was 
supplied with, and after some further desultory 
chat, they again separated, with the intention of 
re-assembling at Ned's on the following night. 

115 



BATTLE OF THE FACTIONS 

Accordingly, the next evening found them all 
present, when it was determined unanimously 
that Pat Frayne, the hedge schoolmaster, should 
furnish them with the intellectual portion of the 
entertainment for that night, their object being, 
each to tell a story in his turn. 

" Very well," said Pat, " I am quite simul- 
taneous to the wishes of the company; but you 
will plaise to observe, that there is clay which is 
moist, and clay which is not moist. Now, under 
certain circumstances, the clay which is not moist, 
ought to be made moist, and one of those circum- 
stances is that in which any larned person be- 
comes loquacious, and indulges in narrative. 
The philosophical raison, as decided on by 
Socrates, and the great Phelim M'Poteen, two of 
the most celebrated liquorary characters that ever 
graced the sunny side of a plantation, is, that 
when a man commences a narration with his clay 
not moist, the said narration is found, by all 
larned experience, to be a very dry one ehem ! " 

' Very right, Mr. Frayne," replied Andy Mor- 
row; "so in ordher to avoid a dhry narrative, 
Nancy, give the masther a jug of your stoutest 
to wet his whistle, and keep him in wind as he 
goes along." 

" Thank you, Mr. Morrow and in requital for 
226 



TRAITS AND STORIES 227 

your kindness, I will elucidate you such a sample 
of unadulterated Ciceronian eloquence, as would 
not be found originating from every chimney- 
corner in this Province, anyhow. I am not 
bright, however, at oral relation. I have ac- 
cordingly composed into narrative the following 
tale, which is appellated * The Battle of the 
Factions : ' 

" My grandfather, Connor O'Callaghan, 
though a tall, erect man, with white flowing hair, 
like snow, that falls profusely about his broad 
shoulders, is now in his eighty-third year: an 
amazing age, considhering his former habits. His 
countenance is still marked with honesty and 
traces of hard fighting, and his cheeks ruddy and 
cudgel- worn ; his eyes, though not as black as they 
often used to be, have lost very little of that 
nate fire which characterises the eyes of the 
O'Callaghans, and for which I myself have been 
but my modesty won't allow me to allude to 
that: let it be sufficient for the present to say, 
that there never was remembered so handsome a 
man in his native parish, and that I am as like 
him as one Cork-red phatie is to another. In- 
deed, it has been often said, that it would be 
hard to meet an O'Callaghan without a black 
eye in his head. He has lost his fore-teeth, how- 
ever, a point in which, unfortunately, I, though 
his grandson, have a strong resemblance to him. 
The truth is, they were knocked out of him in 
rows, before he had reached his thirty -fifth year 
a circumstance which the kind reader will be 
pleased to receive in extenuation for the same 



228 IRELAND 

defect in myself. That, however, is but a trifle, 
which never gave either of us much trouble. 

" It pleased Providence to bring us through 
many hair-breadth escapes, with our craniums un- 
cracked ; and when we considher that he, on tak- 
ing a retrogradation of his past life, can in- 
dulge in the plasing recollection of having broken 
two skulls in his fighting days, and myself one, 
without either of us getting a fracture in return, 
I think we have both rason to be thankful. He 
was a powerful bulliah battha 114 in his day, and 
never met a man able to fight him, except big 
Mucklemurray, who stood before him the greater 
part of an hour and a half, in the affair of 
Knockimdowney, on the day that the first great 
fight took place twenty years afther the hard 
frost between the O'Callaghans and the O'Hal- 
laghans. The two men fought single hands 
for both factions were willing to let them try 
the engagement out, that they might see what 
side could boast of having the best man. They 
began where you enter the north side of Knockim- 
downey, and fought successively up to the other 
end, then back again to the spot where they com- 
menced, and afterwards up to the middle of the 
town, right opposite to the market-place, where 
my grandfather, by the same a-token, lost a 
grinder; but he soon took satisfaction for that, by 
giving Mucklemurray a tip above the eye with 
the end of an oak stick, dacently loaded with 
lead, which made the poor man feel very quare 
entirely, for the few days that he survived it. 
" Faith, if an Irishman happened to be born 



TRAITS AND STORIES 229 

in Scotland, he would find it mighty incon- 
vanient afther losing two or three grinders in 
a row to manage the hard oaten bread that they 
use there; for which rason, God be good to his 
sowl that first invented the phaties, anyhow, 
because a man can masticate them without a 
tooth, at all at all. I'll engage, if larned books 
were consulted, it would be found out that he 
was an Irishman. I wonder that neither Pas- 
torini nor Columbkill mentions anything about 
him in their prophecies consarning the church ; for 
my own part, I'm strongly inclinated to believe 
that it must have been Saint Patrick himself; 
and I think that his driving all kinds of venomous 
reptiles out of the kingdom is, according to the 
Socrastic method of argument, an undeniable 
proof of it. The subject, to a dead certainty, 
is not touched upon in the Brehon Code, 115 nor 
by any of the three Psalters, 116 which is ex- 
tremely odd, seeing that the earth never produced 
a root equal to it in the multiplying force of 
prolification. It is, indeed, the root of prosperity 
to a fighting people : and many a time my grand- 
father boasts to this day, that the first bit of 
bread he ever ett was a phatie. 

" In mentioning my grandfather's fight with 
Mucklemurray, I happened to name them black- 
guards, the O'Hallaghans: hard fortune to the 
same set, for they have no more discretion in 
their quarrels, than so many Egyptian mummies, 
African buffoons, or any other uncivilised ani- 
mals. It was one of them, he that's married to 
my own fourth cousin, Biddy O'Callaghan, that 



230 IRELAND 

knocked two of my grinders out, for which piece 
of civility I had the satisfaction of breaking a 
splinter or two in his carcase, being always 
honestly disposed to pay my debts. 

' With respect to the O'Hallaghans, they and 
our family have been next neighbours since be- 
fore the Flood and that's as good as two hun- 
dred years; for I believe it's 198, anyhow, since 
my great grandfather's grand uncle's ould mare 
was swept out of the ' Island,' in the dead of 
the night, about half an hour after the whole 
country had been ris out of their beds by the 
thunder and lightning. Many a field of oats 
and many a life, both of beast and Christian, was 
lost in it, especially of those that lived on the 
bottoms about the edge of the river: and it was 
true for them that said it came before something; 
for the next year was one of the hottest summers 
ever remembered in Ireland. 

:< These O'Hallaghans couldn't be at peace 
with a saint. Before they and our faction be- 
gan to quarrel, it's said that the O'Donnells, or 
Donnells, and they had been at it, and a black- 
guard set the same O'Donnells were, at all times 
in fair and market, dance, wake, and berrin, 
setting the country on fire. Whenever they met, 
it was heads cracked and bones broken; till by 
degrees the O'Donnells fell away, one after an- 
other, from fighting, accidents, and hanging; so 
that at last there was hardly the name of one 
of them in the neighbourhood. The O'Hal- 
laghans, after this, had the country under them- 
selves were the cocks of the walk entirely; 



TRAITS AND STORIES 231 

who but they? A man darn't look crooked at 
them, or he was certain of getting his head in 
his fist. And when they'd get drunk in a fair, 
it was nothing but 'Whoo! for the O'Hal- 
laghans ! ' and leaping yards high off the pave- 
ment, brandishing their cudgels over their heads, 
striking their heels against their hams, tossing 
up their hats; and when all would fail, they'd 
strip off their coats, and trail them up and down 
the street, shouting, ' Who dare touch the coat 
of an O'Hallaghan? Where's the blackguard 
Donnells now? ' and so on, till flesh and blood 
couldn't stand it. 

" In the course of time, the whole country was 
turned against them; for no crowd could get to- 
gether in which they didn't kick up a row, nor 
a bit of stray fighting couldn't be, but they'd 
pick it up first; and if a man would venture to 
give them a contrairy answer, he was sure to 
get the crame of a good welting for his pains. 
The very landlord was timourous of them; for 
when they'd get behind in their rint, hard for- 
tune to the bailiff, or proctor, or steward, he 
could find, that would have anything to say to 
them. And the more wise they; for maybe, a 
month would hardly pass till all belonging to 
them in the world would be in a heap of ashes: 
and who could say who did it? for they were as 
cunning as foxes. 

" If one of them wanted a wife, it was noth- 
ing but find out the purtiest and the richest 
farmer's daughter in the neighbourhood, and next 
march into her father's house, at the dead hour 



232 IRELAND 

of night, tie and gag every mortal in it, and off 
with her to some friend's place in another part 
of the country. Then what could be done? If 
the girl's parents didn't like to give in, their 
daughter's name was sure to be ruined; at all 
events, no other man would think of marrying 
her, and the only plan was, to make the best of 
a bad bargain; and God he knows, it was mak- 
ing a bad bargain for a girl to have any matri- 
monial concatenation with the same O'Hal- 
laghans; for they always had the bad drop in 
them, from first to last, from big to little the 
blackguards! But wait, it's not over with them 
yet. 

" The bone of contintion that got between them 
and our faction was this circumstance : their lands 
and ours were divided by a river that ran down 
from the high mountains of Sliev Boglish, and, 
after a coorse of eight or ten miles, disembogued 
itself, first into George Duffy's mill-dam, and 
afterwards into that superb stream, the Black- 
water, that might be well and appropriately ap- 
pellated the Irish Niger. This river, which, 
though small at first, occasionally inflated itself 
to such a gigantic altitude, that it swept away 
cows, corn, and cottages, or whatever else hap- 
pened to be in the way, was the march ditch, or 
merin between our farms. Perhaps it is worth 
while remarking, as a solution for natural philos- 
ophers, that these inundations were much more 
frequent in winter than in summer ; though, when 
they did occur in summer, they were truly terrific. 

" God be with the days, when I and half a 



TRAITS AND STORIES 233 

dozen gorsoons used to go out, of a warm Sunday 
in summer, the bed of the river nothing but a 
line of white meandering stones, so hot that you 
could hardly stand upon them, with a small ob- 
scure thread of water creeping invisibly among 
them, hiding itself, as it were, from the scorching 
sun; except here and there, that you might find 
a small crystal pool where the streams had ac- 
cumulated. Our plan was to bring a pocketful 
of roche lime with us, and put it into the pool, 
when all the fish used to rise on the instant to 
the surface, gasping with open mouth for fresh 
air, and we had only to lift them out of the water ; 
a nate plan, which, perhaps, might be adopted 
successfully, on a more extensive scale, by the 
Irish fisheries. Indeed, I almost regret that I 
did not remain in that station of life, for I was 
much happier then than ever I was since I began 
to study and practise laming. But this is vagat- 
ing from the subject. 

' Well, then, I have said that them O'Halla- 
ghans lived beside us, and that this stream divided 
our lands. About half a quarter i. e. to accom- 
modate myself to the vulgar phraseology or, to 
speak more scientifically, one-eighth of a mile 
from our house, was as purty a hazel glen as 
you'd wish to see, near half a mile long its de- 
velopments and proportions were truly classical. 
In the bottom of this glen was a small green 
island, about twelve yards, diametrically, of Irish 
admeasurement, that is to say, be the same more 
or less; at all events, it lay in the way of the 
river, which, however, ran towards the O'Hal- 



234 IRELAND 

laghan side, and, consequently, the island was 
our property. 

" Now, you'll observe, that this river had been, 
for ages, the merin between the two farms, for 
they both belonged to separate landlords, and so 
long as it kept the O'Hallaghan side of the little 
peninsula in question there could be no dispute 
about it, for all was clear. One wet winter, how- 
ever, it seemed to change its mind upon the sub- 
ject; for it wrought and wore away a passage 
for itself on our side of the island, and by that 
means took part, as it were, with the O'Hal- 
laghans, leaving the territory which had been our 
property for centimes, in their possession. This 
was a vexatious change to us, and, indeed, eventu- 
ally produced very feudal consequences. No 
sooner had the stream changed sides, than the 
O'Hallaghans claimed the island as theirs, ac- 
cording to their tenement; and we, having had 
it for such length of time in our possession, could 
not break ourselves of the habitude of occupying 
it. They incarcerated our cattle, and we in- 
carcerated theirs. They summoned us to their 
landlord, who was a magistrate; and we sum- 
moned them to ours, who was another. The 
verdicts were north and south. Their landlord 
gave it in favour of them, and ours in favour of 
us. The one said he had law on his side; the 
other, that he had proscription and possession, 
length of time and usage. 

' The two squires then fought a challenge upon 
the head of it, and what was more singular, upon 
the disputed spot itself; the one standing on 



TRAITS AND STORIES 235 

their side, the other on ours; for it was just 
twelve paces every way. Their friend was a 
small, light man, with legs like drumsticks; the 
other was a large, able-bodied gentleman, with 
a red face and hooked nose. They exchanged 
two shots, one only of which the second took 
effect. It pastured upon their landlord's spindle 
leg, on which he held it out, exclaiming, that while 
he lived he would never fight another challenge 
with his antagonist, ' because,' said he, holding 
out his own spindle shank, * the man who could 
hit that could hit anything/ 

' We then were advised, by an attorney, to go 
to law with them; and they were advised by an- 
other attorney to go to law with us : accordingly, 
we did so, and in the course of eight or nine 
years it might have been decided, but just as 
the legal term approximated in which the de- 
cision was to be announced, the river divided itself 
with mathematical exactitude on each side of the 
island. This altered the state and law of the 
question in toto; but, in the mean time, both we 
and the O'Hallaglians were nearly fractured by 
the expenses. Now during the law-suit we usu- 
ally houghed and mutilated each other's cattle, 
according as they trespassed the premises. 
This brought on the usual concomitants of vari- 
ous battles, fought and won by both sides, and 
occasioned the law-suit to be dropped; for we 
found it a mighty inconvanient matter to fight 
it out both ways; by the same a-token that I 
think it a proof of stultity to go to law at all 
at all, as long as a person is able to take it into 



236 IRELAND 

his own management. For the only incongruity 
in the matter is this : that, in the one case, a set 
of lawyers have the law in their hands, and, in 
the other, that you have it in your own; that's the 
only difference, and 'tis easy knowing where the 
advantage lies. 

' We, however, paid the most of the expenses, 
and would have ped them all with the greatest 
integrity, were it not that our attorney j when 
about to issue an execution against our property, 
happened somehow to be shot, one evening, as 
he returned home from a dinner which was given 
by him that was attorney for the O'Hallaghans. 
Many a boast the O'Hallaghans made, before the 
quarrelling between us and them commenced, 
that they'd sweep the streets with the fighting 
O'Callaghans, which was an epithet that was oc- 
casionally applied to our family. We differed, 
however, materially from them; for we were 
honourable, never starting out in dozens on a 
single man or two, and beating him into insig- 
nificance. A couple, or maybe, when irritated, 
three, were the most we ever set at a single 
enemy; and if we left him lying in a state of 
imperception, it was the most we ever did, ex- 
cept in a regular connection, when a man is justi- 
fied in saving his own skull by breaking one of 
an opposite faction. For the truth of the busi- 
ness is, that he who breaks the skull of him who 
endeavours to break his own is safest ; and, surely, 
when a man is driven to such an alternative, the 
choice is unhesitating. 

" O'Hallaghans' attorney, however, had better 



TRAITS AND STORIES 237 

luck: they were, it is true, rather in the retro- 
grade with him touching the law charges, and, of 
coorse, it was only candid in him to look for his 
own. One morning, he found that two of his 
horses had been executed by some incendiary un- 
known, in the coorse of the night ; and, on going 
to look at them, he found a taste of a notice 
posted on the inside of the stable-door, giving 
him intelligence that if he did not find a horpus 
corpus m whereby to transfer his body out of 
the country, he would experience a fate parallel 
to that of his brother lawyer or the horses. And, 
undoubtedly, if honest people never perpetrated 
worse than banishing such varmin, along with 
proctors, and drivers of all kinds, out of a 
civilised country, they would not be so very cul- 
pable or atrocious. 

" After this, the lawyer went to reside in 
Dublin; and the only bodily injury he received 
was the death of a land-agent and a bailiff, who 
lost their lives faithfully in driving for rent. 
They died, however, successfully ; the bailiff hav- 
ing been provided for nearly a year before the 
agent was sent to give an account of his steward- 
ship as the Authorised Version has it. 

' The occasion on which the first rencounter 
between us and the O'Hallaghans took place, was 
a peaceable one. Several of our respective 
friends undertook to produce a friendly and ob- 
livious potation between us it was at a berrin 
belonging to a corpse who was related to us both ; 
and, certainly, in the beginning we were all as 
thick as whigged milk. But there is no use now 



238 IRELAND 

in dwelling too long upon that circumstance : let 
it be sufficient to assert that the accommodation 
was effectuated by fists and cudgels, on both 
sides the first man that struck a blow being one 
of the friends that wished to bring about the 
tranquillity. From that out the play com- 
menced, and God he knows when it may end ; for 
no dacent faction could give in to another faction 
without losing their character, and being kicked, 
and cuffed, and kilt, every week in the year. 

" It is the great battle, however, which I am 
after going to describe : that in which we and the 
O'Hallaghans had contrived, one way or other, 
to have the parish divided one-half for them, 
and the other for us; and, upon my credibility, 
it is no exaggeration to declare that the whole 
parish, though ten miles by six, assembled itself 
in the town of Knockimdowny, upon this in- 
teresting occasion. In thruth, Ireland ought to be 
a land of mathemathitians ; for I am sure her 
population is well trained, at all events, in the 
two sciences of multiplication and division. Be- 
fore I adventure, however, upon the narration, I 
must wax pathetic a little, and then proceed with 
the main body of the story. 

"Poor Rose O'Hallaghan! or, as she was 
designated Rose Galh, or Fair Rose, and some- 
times simply, Rose Hallaghan, because the deten- 
tion of the big O often produces an afflatus in 
the pronunciation, that is sometimes mighty in- 
convenient to such as do not understand oratory 
besides, that the Irish are rather fond of send- 
ing the liquids in a gutthural direction Poor 



TRAITS AND STORIES 239 

j 

Rose! that faction fight was a black day to her, 
the sweet innocent! when it was well known that 
there wasn't a man, woman, or child, on either 
side, that wouldn't lay their hands under her 
feet. However, in order to insense the reader 
better into her character, I will commence a 
small sub-narration, which will afterwards 
emerge into the parent stream of the story. 

' The chapel of Knockimdowney is a slated 
house, without any ornament, except a set of 
wooden cuts, painted red and blue, that are 
placed seriatim around the square of the build- 
ing in the internal side. Fourteen 1] * of these 
suspind at equal distances on the walls, each set 
in a painted frame; these constitute a certain 
species of country devotion. It is usual, on 
Sundays, for such of the congregation as are 
most inclined to piety, to genuflect at the first 
of these pictures, and commence a certain num- 
ber of prayers to it; after the repetition of 
which, they travel on their knees along the bare 
earth to the second, where they repate another 
prayer peculiar to that, and so on, till they finish 
the grand tower of the interior. Such, however, 
as are not especially addictated to this kind of 
locomotive prayer, collect together in various 
knots through the chapel, and amuse themselves 
by auditing or narrating anecdotes, discussing 
policy, or detraction; and in case it be summer, 
and the day of a fine texture, they scatter them- 
selves into little crowds on the chapel-green, or 
lie at their length upon the grass in listless 
groups, giving way to chat and laughter. 



240 IRELAND 

" In this mode, laired on the sunny side of the 
ditches and hedges, or collected in rings round 
that respectable character, the Academician of 
the village, or some other well-known Senachie, 
or story-teller, they amuse themselves till the 
priest's arrival. Perhaps, too, some walking geog- 
rapher of a pilgrim may happen to be present; 
and if there be, he is sure to draw a crowd about 
him, in spite of all the efforts of the learned 
Academician to the contrary. It> is no unusual 
thing to see such a vagrant, in all the vanity of 
conscious sanctimony, standing in the middle of 
the attentive peasants, like the nave and felloes 
of a cart-wheel if I may be permitted the loan 
of an apt similitude repeating some piece of 
unfathomable and labyrinthine devotion, or per- 
haps warbling, from Stentorian lungs, some 
melodia sacra, in an untranslateable tongue; or, 
it may be, exhibiting the mysterious power of 
an amber bade, fastened as a Decade to his 
paudareens, 119 lifting a chaff or light bit of 
straw by the force of its attraction. This is an 
exploit which causes many an eye to turn from 
the bades to his own bearded face, with a hope, 
as it were, of being able to catch a glimpse of 
the lurking sanctimony by which the knave 
hoaxes them in the miraculous. 

" The amusements of the females are also 
nearly such as I have drafted out. Nosegays of 
the darlings might be seen sated on green banks, 
or sauntering about with a sly intention of com- 
ing in compact with their sweethearts, or, like 
bachelors' buttons in smiling rows, criticising the 




.K . 



240 IRELAND 

" In this mode, laired on the sunny side of the 
ditches and hedges, or collected in rings round 
that respectable character, the Academician of 
the village, or some other well-known Senachie, 
or story-teller, they amuse themselves till the 
priest's arri val. Perhaps, too, some walking geog- 
rapher of a pilgrim may happen to be present; 
he is sure to draw a crowd about 
;>ite of all the efforts of the learned 
ademician to the contrary. Ib is no unusual 
thing to see such a vagrant, in all the vanity of 
sanctimony, standing, in the middle of 
the attentive peasants, like the nave and felloes 
of a cart-wheel if I may be permitted the loan 
of an apt similitude repeating some piece of 
unfathomable and labyrinthine devotion, or per- 
haps warbling, from Stentorian lungs, some 
melodia sacra, in an untranslat cable tongue; or, 
it may be, exhibiting the mysterious power of 
an amber bade, fastened as a Decade to his 
ireens, ll9 lifting a chaff or light bit of 
straw by the force of its attraction. This is an 
1 1 which causes many an eye to turn from 
to his own bearded face, with a hope, 
-, of being able to catch a glimpse of 

which the ki. 
n the miraculous. 

imUMiim hi of the females are 
nearlv such as I have drafted out. Nosegay- 
the darlings might be seen sated on green bai 
or san : about with a sly intention of e> 
ing in C( with their sweethearts, or, 
Inrhrlnrv linli i fn L i , V ' ' . 

Mount Errigal 

Reproduced from a Painting by Francis S. Walker, R. H. A. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 241 

young men as they pass. Others of them might 
be seen screened behind a hedge, with their backs 
to the spectators, taking the papers off their curls 
before a small bit of looking-glass placed against 
the ditch; or perhaps putting on their shoes and 
stockings which phrase can be used only by au- 
thority of the figure heusteron proteron inas- 
much as if they put on the shoes first, you per- 
save, it would be a scientific job to get on the 
stockings after; but it's an idiomatical expres- 
sion, and therefore justifiable. However, it's a 
general custom in the country, which I dare to 
say has not yet spread into large cities, for the 
young women to walk barefooted to the chapel, 
or within a short distance of it, that they may 
exhibit their bleached thread stockings and well- 
greased slippers to the best advantage, not pre- 
termitting a well-turned ankle and neat leg, 
which, I may fearlessly assert, my fair country- 
women can show against any other nation living 
or dead. 

" One sunny Sabbath, the congregation of 
Knockimdowney were thus assimilated, amusing 
themselves in the manner I have just outlined: 
a series of country girls sat on a little green 
mount, called the Rabbit Bank, from the circum- 
stance of its having been formerly an open bur- 
row, though of late years it has been closed. It 
was near twelve o'clock, the hour at which 
Father Luke O'Shaughran was generally seen 
topping the rise of the hill at Larry Mulligan's 
public-house, jogging on his bay hack at some- 
thing between a walk and a trot that is to say, 

116 



242 IRELAND 

his horse moved his fore and hind legs on the 
off side at one motion, and the fore and hind legs 
of the near side in another, going at a kind of 
dog's trot, like the pace of an idiot with sore 
feet in a shower a pace, indeed, to which the 
animal had been set for the last sixteen years, 
but beyond which, no force, or entreaty, or 
science, or power, either divine or human, of his 
Reverence could drive him. As yet, however, he 
had not become apparent; and the girls already 
mentioned were discussing the pretensions which 
several of their acquaintances had to dress or 
beauty. 

" ' Peggy,' said Katty Carroll to her com- 
panion, Peggy Donohoe, ' were you out 12 last 
Sunday?' 

' No, in troth, Katty, I was disappointed in 
getting my shoes from Paddy Mellon, m though 
I left him the measure of my foot three weeks 
agone, and gave him a thousand warnings to 
make them duck-nebs; but, instead of that/ said 
she, holding out a very purty foot, ' he has made 
them as sharp in the toe as a pick-axe, and a 
full mile too short for me. But why do ye ax 
was I out, Katty? ' 

" ' Oh, nothing,' responded Katty, ' only that 
you missed a sight, any way.' 

' What was it, Katty, a hagur? ' asked her 
companion with mighty great curiosity. 

" ' Why, nothing less, indeed, nor Rose Cul- 
lenan decked out in a white muslin gown, and 
a black sprush bonnet, tied under her chin wid 



TRAITS AND STORIES 243 

a silk ribbon, no less ; but what killed us out and 
out was- you wouldn't guess ? ' 

* Arrah, how could I guess, woman alive? A 
silk handkerchy, maybe; for I wouldn't doubt 
the same Rose but she would be setting herself up 
for the likes of such a thing.' 

" ' It's herself that had, as red as scarlet, 
about her neck; but that's not it. J 

"'Arrah, Katty, tell it to us at wanst; out 
with it, a-hagur; sure there's no treason in it, 
anyhow.' 

" ' Why, thin, nothing less nor a crass-bar red- 
and-white pocket-handkerchy, to wipe her purty 
complexion wid ! ' 

* To this Peggy replied by a loud laugh, in 
which it was difficult to say whether there was 
more of sathir than astonishment. 

"'A pocket-handkerchy!' she exclaimed; 
" musha, are we alive af ther that, at all at all ! 
Why, that bates Molly M'Cullagh and her red 
mantle entirely. I'm sure, but it's well come up 
for the likes of her, a poor, imperint crathur, 
that sprung from nothing, to give herself sich 
airs.' 

"'Molly M'Cullagh, indeed/ said Katty; 
' why, they oughtn't to be mintioned in the one 
day, woman. Molly's come of a dacent ould 
stock, and kind mother for her to keep herself 
in genteel ordher at all times: she sees nothing 
else, and can afford it, not all as one as the other 
flipe, 122 that would go to the world's end for a 
bit of dress/ 



244 IRELAND 

" ' Sure she thinks she's a beauty, too, if you 
plase,' said Peggy, tossing her head with an air 
of disdain ; ' but tell us, Katty, how did the 
muslin sit upon her at all, the upsetting crathur? ' 

" * Why, for all the world like a shift on a 
Maypowl, or a stocking on a body's nose: only 
nothing killed us outright but the pocket-hand- 
kerchy ! ' 

" ' Hut ! ' said the other, * what could we ex- 
pect from a proud piece like her, that brings a 
Manwill 123 to mass every Sunday, purtending 
she can read in it, and Jem Finigan saw the 
wrong side of the book toards her, the Sunday of 
the Pur cession! ' 124 

" At this hit they both formed another risible 
junction, quite as sarcastic as the former in the 
midst of which the innocent object of their cen- 
sure, dressed in all her obnoxious finery, came up 
and joined them. She was scarcely sated I 
blush to the very point of my pen during the 
manuscription when the confabulation assumed 
a character directly antipodial to that which 
marked the precedent dialogue. 

" ' My gracious, Rose, but that's a purty thing 
you have got in your gown ! where did you buy 
it?' 

" ' Och, thin, not a one of myself likes it over 
much. I'm sorry I didn't buy a gingham: I 
could have got a beautiful patthern, all out, for 
two shillings less; but they don't wash so well 
as this. I bought it in Paddy McGartland's, 
Peggy.' 

" ' Troth, it's nothing else but a great beauty ; 



TRAITS AND STORIES 245 

I didn't see anything on you this long time that 
becomes you so well, and I've remarked that you 
always look best in white.' 

' Who made it, Rose? ' inquired Katty; ' for 
it sits illegant/ 

" ' Indeed/ replied Rose, ' for the differ of the 
price, I thought it better to bring it to Peggy 
Boyle, and be sartin of not having it spoiled. 
Nelly Keenan made the last ; and although there 
was a full breadth more in it nor this, bad cess 
to the one of her but spoiled it on me; it was 
ever so much too short in the body, and too tight 
in the sleeves, and then I had no step at all at 
all/ 

* The sprush bonnet is exactly the fit for the 
gown/ observed Katty ; * the black and the 
white's jist the cut how many yards had you, 
Rose?' 

' Jist ten and a half; but the half -yard was 
for the tucks/ 

' Ay, f aix ! and brave full tucks she left in 
it ; ten would do me, Rose ? ' 

'Ten! no, nor ten and a half; you're a size 
bigger nor me at the laste, Peggy; but you'd 
be asy fitted, you're so well made/ 

' Rose, darling' said Peggy, * that's a great 
beauty, and shows off your complexion all to 
pieces: you have no notion how well you look 
in it and the sprush/ 

" In a few minutes after this her namesake, 
Rose Galh O'Hallaghan, came towards the 
chapel, in society with her father, mother, and 
her two sisters. The eldest, Mary, was about 



246 IRELAND 

twenty-one; Rose, who was the second, about 
nineteen, or scarcely that; and Nancy, the 
junior of the three, about twice seven. 

" * There's the O'Hallaghans,' says Rose. 

"'Ay,' replied Katty; 'you may talk of 
beauty, now; did you ever lay your two eyes 
on the likes of Rose for downright musha, if 
myself knows what to call it but, anyhow, she's 
the lovely crathur to look at.' 

" Kind reader, without a single disrespectful 
insinuation against any portion of the fair sex, 
you may judge what Rose O'Hallaghan must 
have been, when even these three were necessi- 
tated to praise her in her absence! 

" ' I'll warrant,' observed Katty, * we'll soon 
be after seeing John O'Callaghan,' (he was 
my own cousin,) ' sthrolling afther them, at 
his ase.' 

" ' Why/ asked Rose, * what makes you say 
that? ' 

" ' Bekase,' replied the other, * I've a rason for 
it/ 

" ' Sure John O'Callaghan wouldn't be think- 
ing of her,' observed Rose, * and their families 
would see other shot: their factions would never 
have a crass-marriage, anyhow.' 

" ' Well,' said Peggy, 'it's the thousand pities 
that the same two couldn't go together ; for fair 
and handsome as Rose is, you'll not deny but 
John comes up to her: but, faix! sure enough 
it's they that's the proud people on both sides, 
and dangerous to make or meddle with, not say- 
ing that ever there was the likes of the same two 



TRAITS AND STORIES 247 

for dacency and peaceableness among either of 
the factions.' 

"'Didn't I teU yez?' cried Katty; 'look at 
him now, staling af ther her : and it'll be the same 
thing going home again ; and, if Rose is not much 
belied, it's not a bit displasing to her.' 

* Between ourselves,' observed Peggy, ' it 
would be no wondher the darling young crathur 
would fall in love with him; for you might 
thravel the counthry afore you'd meet with his 
fellow for face and figure.' 

"' There's Father Ned,' remarked Katty; 
* we had betther get into the chapel before the 
scroodgin comes an, or your bonnet and gown, 
Rose, won't be the betther for it.' 

" They now proceeded to the chapel, and those 
who had been amusing themselves after the same 
mode, followed their exemplar. In a short time 
the hedges and ditches adjoining the chapel 
were quite in solitude, with the exception of a 
few persons from the extreme parts of the parish, 
who might be seen running with all possible 
velocity ' to overtake mass,' as the phrase on that 
point expresses itself. 

' The chapel of Knockimdowney was situated 
at the foot of a range of lofty mountains; a 
bye-road went past the very door, which had un- 
der subjection a beautiful extent of cultivated 
country, diversificated by hill and dale, or rather 
by hill and hollow; for, as far as my own geo- 
graphical knowledge goes, I have uniformly 
found them inseparable. It was also orna- 
mented with the waving verdure of rich corn- 



248 IRELAND 

fields and meadows, not pretermitting phatie- 
fields in full blossom a part of rural landscape 
which, to my utter astonishment, has escaped 
the pen of poet, and the brush of painter; al- 
though I will risk my reputation as a man of 
pure and categorical taste, if a finer ingredient 
in the composition of a landscape could be found 
than a field of Cork-red phaties 125 or Moroky 
blacks in full bloom, allowing a man to judge 
by the pleasure they confer upon the eye, and 
therefore to the heart. About a mile up from 
the chapel, towards the south, a mountain-stream 
- not the one already intimated over which 
there was no bridge, crossed the road. But in 
lieu of a bridge, there was a long double plank 
laid over it, from bank to bank ; and as the river 
was broad, and not sufficiently incarcerated 
within its channel, the neighbours were necessi- 
tated to throw these planks across the narrowest 
part they could find in the contiguity of the road. 
This part was consequently the deepest, and, in 
floods, the most dangerous; for the banks were 
elevated as far as they went, and quite tortuosi- 
tous. 

" Shortly after the priest had entered the 
chapel, it was observed that the hemisphere be- 
came, of a sudden, unusually obscure, though 
the preceding part of the day had not only been 
uncloudously bright, but hot in a most especial 
manner. The obscurity, however, increased 
rapidly, accompanied by that gloomy stillness 
which always takes precedence of a storm, and 



TRAITS AND STORIES 249 

fills the mind with vague and interminable terror. 
But this ominous silence was not long unfrac- 
tured; for soon after the first appearance of the 
gloom, a flash of lightning quivered through the 
chapel, followed by an extravagantly loud clap 
of thunder, which shook the very glass in the 
windows, and filled the congregation to the brim 
with terror. Their dismay, however, would 
have been infinitely greater, only for the presence 
of his Reverence, and the confidence which might 
be traced to the solemn occasion on which they 
were assimilated. 

" From this moment the storm became pro- 
gressive in dreadful magnitude, and the thunder, 
in concomitance with the most vivid flashes of 
lightning, pealed through the sky, with an awful 
grandeur and magnificence, that were exalted 
and even rendered more sublime by the still 
solemnity of religious worship. Every heart 
now prayed fervently every spirit shrunk into, 
a deep sense of its own guilt and helplessness 
and every conscience was terror-stricken, as the 
voice of an angry God thundered out of his 
temple of storms through the heavens ; for truly, 
as the Authorised Version has it, ' darkness was 
under his feet, and his pavilion round about was 
dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies, be- 
cause he was wroth.' 

' The rain now condescended in even-down 
torrents, and thunder succeeded thunder in deep 
and terrific peals, whilst the roar of the gigantic 
echoes that deepened and reverberated among the 



250 IRELAND 

glens and hollows, ' laughing in their mountain 
mirth,' hard fortune to me, but they made the 
flesh creep on my bones ! 

;< This lasted for an hour, when the thunder 
slackened: but the rain still continued. As 
soon as mass was over, and the storm had elapsed, 
except an odd peal which might be heard rolling 
at a distance behind the hills, the people began 
gradually to recover their spirits, and enter into 
confabulation; but to venture out was still im- 
practicable. For about another hour it rained 
incessantly, after which it ceased ; the hemisphere 
became lighter and the sun shone out once more 
upon the countenance of nature with his former 
brightness. The congregation then decanted it- 
self out of the chapel the spirits of the people 
dancing with that remarkable buoyancy or 
juvenility which is felt after a thunderstorm, 
when the air is calm, soople, and balmy and all 
nature garmented with glittering verdure and 
light. The crowd next began to commingle on 
their way home, and to make the usual observa- 
tions upon the extraordinary storm which had 
just passed, and the probable effect it would 
produce on the fruit and agriculture of the neigh- 
bourhood. 

' When the three young women whom we have 
already introduced to our respectable readers 
had evacuated the chapel, they determined to 
substantiate a certitude, as far as their observa- 
tion could reach, as to the truth of what Katty 
Carroll had hinted at, in reference to John 
O'Callaghan's attachment to Rose Galh O'Hal- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 251 

laghan, and her taciturn approval of it. For 
this purpose they kept their eye upon John, who 
certainly seemed in no especial hurry home, but 
lingered upon the chapel green in a very careless 
method. Rose Galh, however, soon made her 
appearance, and, after going up the chapel-road 
a short space, John slyly walked at some distance 
behind, without seeming to pay her any particu- 
lar notice, whilst a person up to the secret might 
observe Rose's bright eye sometimes peeping 
back to see if he was after her. In this manner 
they proceeded until they came to the river, 
which, to their great alarm, was almost fluctuat- 
ing over its highest banks. 

" A crowd was now assembled, consulting as 
to the safest method of crossing the planks, un- 
der which the red boiling current ran, with less 
violence, it is true, but much deeper than in any 
other part of the stream. The final decision was, 
that the very young and the old, and such as were 
feeble, should proceed by a circuit of some miles 
to a bridge that crossed it, and that the young 
men should place themselves on their knees along 
the planks, their hands locked in each other, thus 
forming a support on one side, upon which such 
as had courage to venture across might lean, in 
case of accident or megrim. Indeed, anybody 
that had able nerves might have crossed the 
planks without this precaution, had they been 
dry; but, in consequence of the rain, and the 
frequent attrition of feet, they were quite slip- 
pery; and, besides, the flood rolled terrifically 
two or three yards below them, which might be 



252 IRELAND 

apt to beget a megrim that would not be felt if 
there was no flood. 

' When this expedient had been hit upon, 
several young men volunteered themselves to put 
it in practice; and in a short time a considerable 
number of both sexuals crossed over, without the 
occurrence of any unpleasant accident. Paddy 
O'Hallaghan and his family had been stationed 
for some time on the bank, watching the success 
of the plan; and as it appeared not to be at- 
tended with any particular danger, they also de- 
termined to make the attempt. About a perch 
below the planks stood John O'Callaghan, watch- 
ing the progress of those who were crossing them, 
but taking no part in what was going forward. 
The river under the planks, and for some perches 
above and below them, might be about ten feet 
deep; but to those who could swim it was less 
perilous, should any accident befal them, than 
those parts where the current was more rapid, 
but shallower. The water here boiled, and 
bubbled, and whirled about; but it was slow, 
and its yellow surface unbroken by rocks or 
fords. 

" The first of the O'Hallaghans that ventured 
over it was the youngest, who, being captured 
by the hand, was encouraged by many cheerful 
expressions from the young men who were cling- 
ing to the planks. She got safe over, however; 
and when she came to the end, one who was sta- 
tioned on the bank gave her a joyous pull, that 
translated her several yards upon terra firma. 

" ' Well, Nancy/ he observed, f you're safe, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 253 

anyhow; and if I don't dance at your wedding 
for this, I'll never say you're dacent.' 

" To this Nancy gave a jocular promise, and 
he resumed his station, that he might be ready 
to render similar assistance to her next sister. 
Rose Galh then went to the edge of the plank 
several times, but her courage as often refused 
to be forthcoming. During her hesitation, John 
O'Callaghan stooped down, and privately un- 
tied his shoes, then unbuttoned his waistcoat, and 
very gently, being unwilling to excite notice, 
slipped the knot of his cravat. At long last, by 
the encouragement of those who were on the 
plank, Rose attempted the passage, and had ad- 
vanced as far as the middle of it, when a fit of 
dizziness and alarm seized her with such violence, 
that she lost all consciousness a circumstance of 
which those who handed her along were ignorant. 
The consequence, as might be expected, was 
dreadful; for as one of the young men was re- 
ceiving her hand, that he might pass her to the 
next, she lost her momentum, and was instanta- 
neously precipitated into the boiling current. 

' The wild and fearful cry of horror that suc- 
ceeded this cannot be laid on paper. The eldest 
sister fell into strong convulsions, and several of 
the other females fainted on the spot. The 
mother did not faint; but, like Lot's wife, she 
seemed to be translated into stone : her hands be- 
came clenched convulsively, her teeth locked, her 
nostrils dilated, and her eyes shot half way out 
of her head. There she stood, looking upon 
her daughter struggling in the flood, with a fixed 



254 IRELAND 

gaze of wild and impotent frenzy, that, for 
f earf ulness, beat the thunderstorm all to nothing. 
The father rushed to the edge of the river, 
oblivious of his incapability to swim, determined 
to save her or lose his own life, which latter would 
have been a dead certainty, had he ventured ; but 
he was prevented by the crowd, who pointed out 
to him the madness of such a project. 

" ' For God's sake, Paddy, don't attimpt it/ 
they exclaimed, ' except you wish to lose your 
own life, without being able to save hers : no man 
could swim in that flood, and it upwards of ten 
feet deep/ 

" Their arguments, however, were lost upon 
him; for, in fact, he was insensible to everything 
but his child's preservation. He, therefore, only 
answered their remonstrances by attempting to 
make another plunge into the river. 

" ' Let me alone, will yez,' said he ' let me 
alone! I'll either save my child, Rose, or die along 
with her! How could I live after her? Merci- 
ful God, any of them but Tier! Oh! Rose, dar- 
ling,' he exclaimed, ' the favourite of my heart > 
will no one save you?' All this passed in less 
than a minute. 

" Just as these words were uttered, a plunge 
was heard a few yards below the bridge, and a 
man appeared in the flood, making his way with 
rapid strokes to the drowning girl. Another cry 
now arose from the spectators : ' It's John O'Cal- 
laghan,' they shouted ' it's John O'Callaghan, 
and they'll be both lost.' ' No,' exclaimed 
others ; ' if it's in the power of man to save her, he 



TRAITS AND STORIES 255 

will ! ' ' O, blessed father, she's lost ! ' now burst 
from all present ; for, after having struggled and 
been kept floating for some time by her gar- 
ments, she at length sunk, apparently exhausted 
and senseless, and the thief of a flood flowed over 
her, as if she had not been under its surface. 

' When O'Callaghan saw that she went down, 
he raised himself up in the water, and cast his 
eye towards that part of the bank opposite which 
she disappeared, evidently, as it proved, that he 
might have a mark to guide him in fixing on the 
proper spot where to plunge after her. When 
he came to the place, he raised himself again in 
the stream, and, calculating that she must by this 
time have been borne some distance from the 
spot where she sank, he gave a stroke or two 
down the river, and disappeared after her. This 
was followed by another cry of horror and 
despair, for, somehow, the idea of desolation 
which marks, at all times, a deep, over-swollen 
torrent, heightened by the bleak mountain scen- 
ery around them, and the dark, angry voracity 
of the river where they had sunk, might have 
impressed the spectators with utter hopelessness 
as to the fate of those now engulphed in its 
vortex. This, however, I leave to those who are 
deeper read in philosophy than I am. 

" An awful silence succeeded the last shrill 
exclamation, broken only by the hoarse rushing 
of the waters, whose wild, continuous roar, boom- 
ing hollowly and dismally in the ear, might be 
heard at a great distance over all the country. 
But a new sensation soon invaded the multitude ; 



256 IRELAND 

for after the lapse of about half a minute, John 
O'Callaghan emerged from the flood, bearing in 
his sinister hand, the body of his own Rose Galh 
for it's he that loved her tenderly. A peal of 
joy congratulated them from the assembled 
crowd; hundreds of directions were given to him 
how to act to the best advantage. Two young 
men in especial, who were both dying about the 
lovely creature that he held, were quite anxious 
to give advice. 

* Bring her to the other side, John, ma 
bouchal; it's the safest,' said Larry Carty. 

" ' Will you let him alone, Carty? ' said Simon 
Tracy, who was the other, ' you'll only put him 
in a perplexity.' 

" But Carty should order in spite of every 
thing. He kept bawling out, however, so loud, 
that John raised his eye to see what he meant, 
and was near losing hold of Rose. This was too 
much for Tracy, who ups with his fist, and 
downs him so they both at it; for no one there 
could take themselves off those that were in 
danger, to interfere between them. But at all 
events, no earthly thing can happen among Irish- 
men without a fight. 

" The father, during this, stood breathless, his 
hands clasped, and his eyes turned to heaven, 
praying in anguish for the delivery of his darling. 
The mother's look was still wild and fixed, her 
eyes glazed, and her muscles hard and stiff; evi- 
dently she was insensible to all that was going 
forward; while large drops of paralytic agony 
hung upon her cold brow. Neither of the sisters 



TRAITS AND STORIES 257 

had yet recovered, nor could those who supported 
them turn their eyes from the more imminent 
danger, to pay them any particular attention. 
Many, also, of the other females, whose feelings 
were too much wound up when the accident oc- 
curred, now fainted, when they saw she was 
likely to be rescued ; but most of them were weep- 
ing with delight and gratitude. 

" When John brought her to the surface, he 
paused a moment to recover breath and collected- 
ness ; he then caught her by the left arm, near the 
shoulder, and cut, in a slanting direction, down 
the stream, to a watering-place, where a slope had 
been formed in the bank. But he was already 
too far down to be able to work across the stream 
to this point; for it was here much stronger and 
more rapid than under the planks. Instead, 
therefore, of reaching the slope, he found him- 
self, in spite of every effort to the contrary, about 
a perch below it; and except he could gain this 
point, against the strong rush of the flood, there 
was very little hope of being able to save either 
her or himself for he was now much exhausted. 

" Hitherto, therefore, all was still doubtful, 
whilst strength was fast failing him. In this 
trying and almost hopeless situation, with an ad- 
mirable presence of mind, he adopted the only 
expedient which could possibly enable him to 
reach the bank. On finding himself receding 
down, instead of advancing up the current, he 
approached the bank, which was here very deep 
and perpendicular; he then sank his fingers into 
and pressed his right foot against the firm blue 

117 



258 IRELAND 

clay with which it was stratified, and by this 
means advanced, bit by bit, up the stream, hav- 
ing no other force by which to propel himself 
against it. After this mode did he breast the 
current with all his strength which must have 
been prodigious, or he never could have borne it 
out until he reached the slope, and got from 
the influence of the tide, into dead water. On 
arriving here, his hand was caught by one of the 
young men present, who stood up to the neck, 
waiting his approach. A second man stood be- 
hind him, holding his other hand, a link being 
thus formed, that reached out to the firm bank; 
and a good pull now brought them both to the 
edge of the river. On finding bottom, John took 
his Colleen Galh in his own arms, carried her out, 
and pressing his lips to hers, laid her in the bosom 
of her father; then, after taking another kiss of 
the young drowned flower, he burst into tears, 
and fell powerless beside her. The truth is, the 
spirit that had kept him firm was now exhausted ; 
both his legs and arms having become nerveless 
by the exertion. 

" Hitherto her father took no notice of John, 
for how could he? seeing that he was entirely 
wrapped up in his daughter; and the question 
was, though rescued from the flood, if life was 
in her. The sisters were by this time recovered, 
and weeping over her, along with the father 
and, indeed, with all present; but the mother 
could not be made to comprehend what they were 
about, at all, at all. The country people used 
every means with which they were intimate, to 



TRAITS AND STORIES 259 

recover Rose; she was brought instantly to a 
farmer's house beside the spot, put into a warm 
bed, covered over with hot salt, wrapped in half- 
scorched blankets, and made subject to every 
other mode of treatment that could possibly re- 
voke the functions of life. John had now got 
a dacent draught of whiskey, which revived him. 
He stood over her, when he could be admitted, 
watching for the symptomatics of her revival ; all, 
however, was vain. He now determined to try 
another course: by-and-by he stooped, put his 
mouth to her mouth, and, drawing in his breath, 
respired with all his force from the bottom of his 
very heart into hers; this he did several times 
rapidly faith, a tender and agreeable operation, 
any how. But mark the consequence: in less 
than a minute her white bosom heaved her 
breath returned her pulse began to play she 
opened her eyes, and felt his tears of love raining 
warmly on her pale cheek! 

" For years before this, no two of these op- 
posite factions had spoken, nor up to this minute 
had John and they, even upon this occasion, 
exchanged a monosyllable. The father now 
looked at him the tears stood afresh in his eyes ; 
he came forward stretched out his hand it 
was received ; and the next moment he fell upon 
John's neck, and cried like an infant. 

' When Rose recovered, she seemed as if striv- 
ing to recordate what had happened; and, after 
two or three minutes, inquired from her sister, 
in a weak but sweet voice, ' Who saved me? ' 

" * 'Twas John O'Callaghan, Rose darling,' 



260 IRELAND 

replied the sister, in tears, ' that ventured his own 
life into the boiling flood, to save yours and did 
save it, jewel! ' 

" Rose's eye glanced at John and I only 
wish, as I am a bachelor not further than my 
forty-fourth, that I may ever have the happiness 
to get such a glance from two blue eyes, as she 
gave him that moment a faint smile played 
about her mouth, and a blight blush lit up her 
fair cheek, like the evening sunbeams on the 
virgin snow, as the poets have said for the five- 
hundredth time, to my own personal knowledge. 
She then extended her hand, which John, you 
may be sure, was no way backward in receiving, 
and the tears of love and gratitude ran silently 
down her cheeks. 

" It is not necessary to detail the circumstances 
of this day farther; let it be sufficient to say, 
that a reconciliation took place between those 
two branches of the O'Hallaghan and O'Cal- 
laghan families, in consequence of John's heroism 
and Rose's soft persuasion, and that there was, 
also, every perspective of the two factions being 
penultimately amalgamated. For nearly a cen- 
tury they had been pell-mell at it, whenever and 
wherever they could meet. Their forefathers, 
who had been engaged in the lawsuit about the 
island which I have mentioned, were dead and 
petrified in their graves; and the little peninsula 
in the glen was gradationally worn away by the 
river, till nothing remained but a desert, upon 
a small scale, of sand and gravel. Even the 
ruddy, able-bodied Squire, with the longitudinal 



TRAITS AND STORIES 261 

nose, projecting out of his face like a broken 
arch, and the small, fiery magistrate both of 
whom had fought the duel, for the purpose of 
setting forth a good example, and bringing the 
dispute to a peaceable conclusion were also 
dead. The very memory of the original conten- 
tion had been lost (except that it was preserved 
along with the cranium of my grandfather), or 
became so indistinct that the parties fastened 
themselves on some more modern provocation, 
which they kept in view until another fresh 
motive would start up, and so on. I know not, 
however, whether it was fair to expect them to 
give up at once the agreeable recreation of fight- 
ing. It's not easy to abolisH old customs, par- 
ticularly diversions; and every one knows that 
this is our national amusement. 

'* There were, it is true, many among both fac- 
tions who saw the matter in this reasonable light, 
and who wished rather, if it were to cease, that 
it should die away by degrees, from the battle 
of the whole parish, equally divided between the 
factions, to the subordinate row between certain 
members of them from that to the faint broil 
of certain families, and so on to the single-handed 
play between individuals. At all events, one- 
half of them were for peace, and two-thirds of 
them equally divided between peace and war. 

" For three months after the accident which 
befel Rose Galh O'Hallaghan, both factions had 
been tolerantly quiet that is to say, they had no 
general engagement. Some slight skirmishes 
certainly did take place on market-nights, when 



262 IRELAND 

the drop was in, and the spirits up ; but in those 
neither John nor Rose's immediate familes took 
any part. The fact was that John and Rose 
were on the evening of matrimony; the match 
had been made the day appointed, and every 
other necessary stipulation ratified. Now, John 
was as fine a young man as you would meet in 
a day's travelling; and as for Rose her name 
went far and near for beauty: and with justice, 
for the sun never shone on a fairer, meeker, or 
modester virgin than Rose Galh O'Hallaghan. 

" It might be, indeed, that there were those 
on both sides who thought that, if the marriage 
was obstructed, their own sons and daughters 
would have a better chance. Rose had many ad- 
mirers: they might have envied John his happi- 
ness; many fathers, on the other side, might 
have wished their sons to succeed with Rose. 
Whether I am sinister in this conjecture is more 
than I can say. I grant, indeed, that a great 
portion of it is speculation on my part. The 
wedding-day, however, was arranged; but, un- 
fortunately, the fair-day of Knockimdowney oc- 
curred, in the rotation of natural time, precisely 
one week before it. I know not from what 
motive it proceeded, but the factions on both sides 
were never known to make a more light-hearted 
preparation for battle. Cudgels of all sorts and 
sizes (and some of them, to my own knowledge, 
great beauties) were provided. 

" I believe I may as well take this opportunity 
of saying that real Irish cudgels must be root- 
growing, either oak, black-thorn, or crab-tree 



TRAITS AND STORIES 263 

although crab-tree, by the way, is apt to fly. 
They should not be too long three feet and a 
few inches is an accommodating length. They 
must be naturally top-heavy, and have around 
the end that is to make acquaintance with the 
cranium three or four natural lumps, calculated 
to divide the flesh in the natest manner, and to 
leave, if possible, the smallest taste in life of pit 
in the skull. But if a good root-growing 
kippeen be light at the fighting-end, or possess 
not the proper number of knobs, a hole, a few 
inches deep, is to be bored in the end, which must 
be filled with melted lead. This gives it a 
widow-and-orphan-making quality, a child-be- 
reaving touch, altogether very desirable. If, 
however, the top splits in the boring which, in 
awkward hands, is not uncommon the defect 
may be remediated by putting on an iron ferrule, 
and driving two or three strong nails into it, 
simply to preserve it from flying off ; not that an 
Irishman is ever at a loss for weapons when in 
a fight, for so long as a scythe, flail, spade, pitch- 
fork, or stone is at hand, he feels quite contented 
with the lot of war. No man, as they say of 
great statesmen, is more fertile in expedients dur- 
ing a row ; which, by the way, I take to be a good 
quality, at all events. 

" I remember the fair-day of Knockimdowney 
well: it has kept me from griddle-bread and 
tough nutriment ever since. Hard fortune to 
Jack Roe O'Hallaghan! No man had better 
teeth than I had till I met with him that day. 
He fought stoutly on his own side; but he was 



264. IRELAND 

ped then for the same basting that fell to me, 
though not by my hands, if to get his jaw da- 
cently divided into three halves could be called 
a fair liquidation of an old debt it was equal 
to twenty shillings in the pound, any how. 

" There had not been a larger fair in the town 
of Knockimdowney for years. The day was 
dark and sunless, but sultry. On looking 
through the crowd, I could see no man without 
a cudgel; yet, what was strange, there was no 
certainty of any sport. Several desultory skrim- 
mages had locality, but they were altogether 
sequestered from the great factions of the O's. 
Except that it was pleasant, and stirred one's 
blood to look at them, or occasioned the cudgels 
to be grasped more firmly, there was no personal 
interest felt by any of us in them ; they therefore 
began and ended, here and there, through the 
fair, like mere flashes in the pan, dying in their 
own smoke. 

" The blood of every prolific nation is natu- 
rally hot; but when that hot blood is inflamed 
by ardent spirits, it is not to be supposed that 
men should be cool; and, God he knows, there is 
not on the level surface of this habitable globe, 
a nation that has been so thoroughly inflamed by 
ardent spirits of all kinds as Ireland. 

" Up till four o'clock that day, the factions 
were quiet. Several relations on both sides had 
been invited to drink by John and Rose's fam- 
ilies, for the purpose of establishing a good feel- 
ing between them. But this was, after all, 
hardly to be expected, for they hated one an- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 265 

other with an ardency much too good-humoured 
and buoyant; and, between ourselves, to bring 
Paddy over a bottle is a very equivocal mode 
of giving him an anti-cudgelling disposition. 
After the hour of four, several of the factions 
were getting very friendly, which I knew at the 
time to be a bad sign. Many of them nodded to 
each other, which I knew to be a worse one; and 
some of them shook hands with the greatest 
cordiality, which I no sooner saw than I slipped 
the knot of my cravat, and held myself in prep- 
aration for the sport. 

" I have often had occasion to remark and 
few men, let me tell you, had finer opportunities 
of doing so the differential symptomatics be- 
tween a Party Fight, that is, a battle between 
Orangemen and Ribbonmen, and one between 
two Roman Catholic Factions. There is some- 
thing infinitely more anxious, silent, and deadly, 
in the compressed vengeance, and the hope of 
slaughter, which characterise a party fight, than 
is to be seen in a battle between factions. The 
truth is, the enmity is not so deep and well- 
grounded in the latter as in the former. The 
feeling is not political nor religious between the 
factions; whereas, in the other, it is both, which 
is a mighty great advantage; for when this is 
adjuncted to an intense personal hatred, and a 
sense of wrong, probably arising from a too in- 
timate recollection of the leaded black-thorn, or 
the awkward death of some relative, by the 
musket or the bayonet, it is apt to produce very 
purty fighting, and much respectable retribution. 



266 IRELAND 

" In a party fight, a prophetic sense of danger 
hangs, as it were, over the crowd the very air 
is loaded with apprehension; and the vengeance 
burst is proceeded by a close, thick darkness, al- 
most sulphury, that is more terrifical than the 
conflict itself, though clearly less dangerous and 
fatal. The scowl of the opposing parties, the 
blanched cheeks, the knit brows, and the grinding 
teeth, not pretermitting the deadly gleams that 
shoot from their kindled eyes, are ornaments 
which a plain battle between factions cannot 
boast, but which, notwithstanding, are very suit- 
able to the fierce and gloomy silence of that 
premeditated vengeance which burns with such 
intensity in the heart, and scorches up the vitals 
into such a thirst for blood. Not but that they 
come by different means to the same conclusion; 
because it is the feeling, and not altogether the 
manner of operation, that is different. 

" Now a faction fight doesn't resemble this, 
at all, at all. Paddy's at home here; all song, 
dance, good-humour, and affection. His cheek 
is flushed with delight, which, indeed, may de- 
rive assistance from the consciousness of having 
no bayonets or loaded carabines to contend with ; 
but, any how, he's at home his eye is lit with 
real glee he tosses his hat in the air, in the 
height of mirth and leaps, like a mountebank, 
two yards from the ground. Then, with what 
a gracious dexterity he brandishes his cudgel! 
what a joyous spirit is heard in his shout at the 
face of a friend from another faction! His very 
' whoo ! ' is contagious, and would make a man, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 267 

that had settled on running away, return and 
join the sport with an appetite truly Irish. He 
is, in fact, while under the influence of this 
heavenly afflatus, in love with every one, man, 
woman, and child. If he meet his sweetheart, 
he will give her a kiss and a hug, and that with 
double kindness, because he is on his way to 
thrash her father or brother. It is the acumen 
of his enjoyment; and woe be to him who will 
adventure to go between him and his amuse- 
ments. To be sure, skulls and bones are broken, 
and lives lost; but they are lost in pleasant fight- 
ing they are the consequences of the sport, the 
beauty of which consists in breaking as many 
heads and necks as you can; and certainly when 
a man enters into the spirit of any exercise, there 
is nothing like elevating himself to the point of 
excellence. Then a man ought never to be dis- 
heartened. If you lose this game, or get your 
head good-humouredly beaten to pieces, why you 
may win another, or your friends may mollify 
two or three skulls as a set-off to yours ; but that 
is nothing. 

' When the evening became more advanced, 
maybe, considering the poor look up there was 
for anything like decent sport maybe, in the 
early part of the day, it wasn't the delightful 
sight to see the boys on each side of the two great 
factions, beginning to get frolicksome. Maybe 
the songs and the shouting, when they began, 
hadn't melody and music in them, any how! 
People may talk about harmony; but what 
harmony is equal to that in which five or six hun- 



268 IRELAND 

dred men sing and shout, and leap and caper at 
each other, as a prelude to neighbourly fight- 
ing, where they beat time upon the drums of 
each other's ears and heads with oak drum- 
sticks? That's an Irishman's music; and hard 
fortune to the garran 126 that wouldn't have 
friendship and kindness in him to join and play 
a stave along with them ! * Whoo ! your sowl ! 
Hurrool Success to our side! Hi for the 

O'Callaghans ! Where's the blackguard to ,' 

I beg pardon, decent reader ; I forgot myself for 
a moment, or rather I got new life in me, for I 
am nothing at all at all for the last five months 
a kind of nonentity I may say, ever since that 
vagabond Burgess occasioned me to pay a visit 
to my distant relations, till my friends get that 
last matter of the collar-bone settled. 

" The impulse which faction fighting gives to 
trade and business in Ireland is truly surprising; 
whereas party fighting depreciates both. As 
soon as it is perceived that a party fight is to be 
expected, all buying and selling are nearly sus- 
pended for the day ; and those who are not up* 27 
and even many who are, take themselves and 
their property home as quickly as may be con- 
venient. But in a faction fight, as soon as there 
is any perspective of a row, depend upon it, 
there is quick work at all kinds of negociation; 
and truly there is nothing like brevity and deci- 
sion in buying and selling; for which reason fac- 
tion fighting, at all events, if only for the sake 
of national prosperity, should be encouraged and 
kept up. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 269 

" Towards five o'clock, if a man was placed 
on an exalted station, so that he could look at 
the crowd, and wasn't able to fight, he could 
have seen much that a man might envy him 
for. Here a hat went up, or maybe a dozen of 
them; then followed a general huzza. On the 
other side, two dozen caubeens sought the sky, 
like so many scaldy crows attempting their 
own element for the first time, only they were 
not so black. Then another shout, which was 
answered by that of their friends on the op- 
posite side; so that you would hardly know 
which side huzzaed loudest, the blending of 
both was so truly symphonious. Now there was 
a shout for the face of an O'Callaghan: this was 
prosecuted on the very heels by another for the 
face of an O'Hallaghan. Immediately a man 
of the O'Hallaghan side doffed his tattered 
frieze, and catching it by the very extremity of 
the sleeve, drew it with a tact, known only by an 
initiation of half-a-dozen street days, up the 
pavement after him. On the instant, a blade 
from the O'Callaghan side peeled with equal 
alacrity, and stretching his home-made 128 at full 
length after him, proceeded triumphantly up the 
street, to meet the other. 

' Thundher-an-ages, what's this for, at all, at 
all! I wish I hadn't begun to manuscript an 
account of it, any how; 'tis like a hungry man 
dreaming of a good dinner at a feast, and after- 
wards awaking and finding his front ribs and 
back-bone on the point of union. Reader, is 
that a black-thorn you carry tut, where is my 



270 IRELAND 

imagination bound for? to meet the other, I 

say. 

" ' Where's the rascally O'Callaglian that will 
place his toe or his shillely on this frieze ? ' 'Is 
there no blackguard O'Hallaghan jist to look 
crucked at the coat of an O'Callaghan, or say 
black's the white of his eye ? ' 

" ' Throth and there is, Ned, avourneen, that 
same on the sod here.' 

"'Is that Barney?' 

" ' The same, Ned, ma bouchal; and how is 
your mother's son, Ned?' 

" ' In good health at the present time, thank 
God and you; how is yourself, Barney? ' 

" ' Can't complain as time goes; only take this, 
any how, to mend your health, ma bouchal/ 
(Whack.) 

" ' Success, Barney, and here's at your sarvice, 
avick, not making little of what I got, any way.' 
(Crack.) 

" About five o'clock on a May evening, in the 
fair of Knockimdowney, was the ice thus broken, 
with all possible civility, by Ned and Barney. 
The next moment a general rush took place to- 
wards the scene of action, and ere you could bless 
yourself, Barney and Ned were both down, 
weltering in their own and each other's blood. 
I scarcely know, indeed, though with a mighty 
respectable quota of experimentality myself, how 
to describe what followed. For the first twenty 
minutes the general harmony of this fine row 
might be set to music, according to a scale 
something like this : Whick whack crick crack 



TRAITS AND STORIES 271 

whick whack crick crack &c. &c. &c. 
* Here yer sowl (crack) there yer sowl 
(whack.) Whoo for the O'Hallaghans! '- 
(crack, crack, crack.) * Hurroo for the O'Cal- 
laghans! (whack, whack, whack.) The O'Cal- 
laghans for ever!' (whack.) 'The O'Halla- 
ghans for ever!' (crack.) 'Murther! mur- 
ther! (crick, crack) foul! foul! (whick, 
whack.) Blood and turf! (whack, whick) 
tunther-an-ouns' ( crack, crick. ) * Hurroo ! my 
darlings! handle your kippeens (crack, crack) 
the O'Hallaghans are going!' (whack, 
whack. ) 

' You are to suppose them here to have been 
at it for about half an hour. 

' Whack, crack ' oh oh oh ! have mercy 
upon me, boys (crack a shriek of murther! 
murther crack, crack, whack) my life my 
life (crack, crack whack, whack) oh! for the 
sake of the living Father! for the sake of my 
wife and childher, Ned Hallaghan, spare my 
life.' 

" ' So we will, but take this, any how ' 
(whack, crack, whack, crack.) 

" ' Oh! for the love of God don't kill (whack, 
crack, whack.) Oh!' (crack, crack, whack 
dies. ) 

"'Huzza! huzza! huzza!' from the O'Hal- 
laghans. ' Bravo, boys ! there 's one of them 
done for: whoo! my darlings! hurroo! the O'Hal- 
laghans for ever ! ' 

" The scene now changes to the O'Callaghan 
side. 



272 IRELAND 

' Jack oh, Jack, avourneen hell to their 
sowls for murdherers Paddy's killed his skull's 
smashed! Revinge, boys, Paddy O'Callaghan's 
killed! On with you, O'Callaghans on with 
you on with you, Paddy O'Callaghan's mur- 
dhered take to the stones that 's it keep it up 
down with him ! Success ! he 's the bloody 
villain that didn't show him marcy that 's it. 
Tunder-an'-ouns, is it laving him that way you 
are af ther let me at him ! ' 

"' Here's a stone, Tom!' 

" * No, no, this stick has the lead in it. It'll 
do him, never fear ! ' 

" * Let him alone, Barney, he 's got enough.' 

' By the powdhers, it 's myself that won't : 
didn't he kill Paddy? (crack, crack.) Take 
that, you murdhering thief!' (whack, whack.) 

" * Oh! (whack, crack) my head I'm 
killed I'm '(crack kicks the bucket.) 

' Now, your sowl, that does you, any way 
( crack, whack ) hurro ! huzza ! huzza ! Man 
for man, boys an O'Hallaghan's done for 
whoo! for our side tol-deroll, lol-deroll, tow, 
row, row huzza! huzza! tol-deroll, lol-derol, 
tow, row, row huzza for the O'Callaghans! ' 

" From this moment the battle became delight- 
ful; it was now pelt and welt on both sides, but 
many of the kippeens were broken ; many of the 
boys had their fighting arms disabled by a dislo- 
cation, or bit of fracture, and those weren't equal 
to more than doing a little upon such as were 
down. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 273 

" In the midst of the din, such a dialogue as 
this might be heard : 

* Larry, you 're after being done for, for this 
day.' (Whack, crack.) 

' Only an eye gone is that Mickey? ' 
(whick, whack, crick, crack.) 

* That 's it, my darlings ! you may say that, 
Larry 'tis my mother's son that 's in it (crack, 
crack, a general huzza:) (Mickey and Larry) 
huzza! huzza! huzza for the O'Hallaghans! 
What have you got, Larry? ' (crack, crack.) 

' Only the bone of my arm, God be praised 
for it, very purtily snapt across!' (whack, 
whack). 

* Is that all? Well, some people have luck! ' 
(crack, crack, crack). 

'Why I've no reason to complain, thank 
God (whack, crack!) purty play that, any 
way Paddy O'Callaghan's settled did you 
hear it? (whack, whack, another shout) 
That's it, boys handle the shilleleys! Success 
O'Hallaghans down with the bloody O'Calla- 
ghans ! ' 

' I did hear it: so is Jem O'Hallaghan 
(crack, whack, whack, crack) you're not able 
to get up, I see tare-an-ounty, isn't it a pleas- 
ure to hear that play? What ails you? ' 

' Oh, Larry, I'm in great pain, and getting 
very weak, entirely ' (faints). 

' Faix, and he's settled too, I'm thinking.' 

' Oh, murdher, my arm ! ' ( One of the 
O'Callaghans attacks him crack, crack) 

118 



274 IRELAND 

'Take that, you bagabone!' (whack, 
whack). 

' Murdher, murdher, is it strikin' a down man 
you're after? foul, foul, and my arm broke! '- 
(crack, crack). 

' Take that, with what you got before, and 
it'll ase you, maybe.' 

' (A party of the O'Hallaghans attack the 
man who is beating him.) 

'Murdher, murdher!' (crack, whack, 
whack, crack, crack, whack). 

" ' Lay on him, your sowls to pirdition lay 
on him, hot and heavy give it to him! He 
sthruck me and me down wid my broken arm ! ' 

" ' Foul, ye thieves of the world! (from the 
O'Callaghan) foul! five against one give 
me fair play! (crack, crack, crack) Oh! 
(whack) Oh, oh, oh!' (falls senseless, cov- 
ered with blood) . 

" ' Ha, hell's cure to you, you bloody thief; 
you didn't spare me with my arm broke.' (An- 
other general shout). ' Bad end to it, isn't it a 
poor case entirely, that I can't even throw up my 
caubeen, let alone join in the divarsion.' 

" Both parties now rallied, and ranged them- 
selves along the street, exhibiting a firm compact 
phalanx, wedged close against each other, almost 
foot to foot. The mass was thick and dense, 
and the tug of conflict stiff, wild, and savage. 
Much natural skill and dexterity were displayed 
in their mutual efforts to preserve their respec- 
tive ranks unbroken, and as the sallies and 
charges were made on both sides, the temporary 



TRAITS AND STORIES 275 

rush, the indentation of the multitudinous body, 
and the rebound into its original position, gave 
an undulating appearance to the compact mass 
reeking, dragging, groaning, and huzzaing as 
it was, that resembled the serpentine motion of 
a rushing water-spout in the clouds. 

' The women now began to take part with 
their brothers and sweethearts. Those who had 
no bachelors among the opposite factions, fought 
along with their brothers; others did not scruple 
even to assist in giving their enamoured swains 
the father of a good beating. Many, however, 
were more faithful to love than to natural affec- 
tion, and these sallied out, like heroines, under 
the banners of their sweethearts, fighting with 
amazing prowess against their friends and rela- 
tions; nor was it at all extraordinary to see two 
sisters engaged on opposite sides perhaps tear- 
ing each other as, with dishevelled hair, they 
screamed with a fury that was truly exemplary. 
Indeed it is no untruth to assert that the women 
do much valuable execution. Their manner of 
fighting is this as soon as the fair one decides 
upon taking a part in the row, she instantly 
takes off her apron or her stocking, stoops down, 
and lifting the first four pounder she can get, 
puts it in the corner of her apron, or the foot 
of her stocking, if it has a foot, and marching 
into the scene of action, lays about her right and 
left. Upon my credibility, they are extremely 
useful and handy, and can give mighty nate 
knockdowns inasmuch as no guard that a man 
is acquainted with can ward off their blows. 



276 IRELAND 

Nay, what is more, it often happens, when a son- 
in-law is in a faction against his father-in-law 
and his wife's people generally, that if he and 
his wife's brother meet, the wife will clink him 
with the pet in her apron, downing her own hus- 
band with great skill, for it is not always that 
marriage extinguishes the hatred of factions ; and 
very often 'tis the brother that is humiliated. 

" Up to the death of these two men, John 
O'Callaghan and Rose's father, together with a 
large party of their friends on both sides, were 
drinking in a public-house, determined to take 
no portion in the fight, at all, at all. Poor Rose, 
when she heard the shouting and terrible strokes, 
got as pale as death, and sat close to John, whose 
hand she captured in hers, beseeching him, and 
looking up in his face with the most imploring 
sincerity as she spoke, not to go out among them; 
the tears falling all the time from her fine eyes, 
the mellow flashes of which, when John's pleas- 
antry in soothing her would seduce a smile, went 
into his very heart. But when, on looking out 
of the window where they sat, two of the oppos- 
ing factions heard that a man on each side was 
killed; and when on ascertaining the names of 
the individuals, and of those who murdered them, 
it turned out that one of the murdered men was 
brother to a person in the room, and his mur- 
derer uncle to one of those in the window, it was 
not in the power of man or woman to keep 
them asunder, particularly as they were all 
rather advanced in liquor. In an instant the 
friends of the murdered man made a rush at the 



TRAITS AND STORIES 277 

window, before any pacifiers had time to get be- 
tween them, and catching the nephew of him 
who had committed the murder, hurled him head- 
foremost upon the stone pavement, where his 
skull was dashed to pieces, and his brains scat- 
tered about the flags! 

" A general attack instantly took place in the 
room, between the two factions; but the apart- 
ment was too low and crowded to permit of 
proper fighting, so they rushed out to the street, 
shouting and yelling, as they do when the battle 
comes to the real point of doing business. As 
soon as it was seen that the heads of the O'Cal- 
laghans and O'Hallaghans were at work as 
well as the rest, the fight was re-commenced 
with re-trebled spirit; but when the mutilated 
body of the man who had been flung from the 
window, was observed lying in a pool of his own 
proper brains and blood, such a cry arose among 
his friends, as would cake 129 the vital fluid in 
the veins of any one not a party in the quarrel. 
Now was the work the moment of interest- 
men and women groaning, staggering, and lying 
insensible; others shouting, leaping, and huz- 
zaing; some singing, and not a few able-bodied 
spalpeens blurting, like overgrown children, on 
seeing their own blood; many raging and roar- 
ing about like bulls; all this formed such a 
group as a faction fight, and nothing else, could 
represent. 

* The battle now blazed out afresh; and all 
kinds of instruments were pressed into the serv- 
ice. Some got flails, some spades, some shovels, 



278 IRELAND 

and one man got his hands upon a scythe, with 
which, unquestionably, he would have taken 
more lives than one; but, very fortunately, as 
he sallied out to join the crowd, he was politely 
visited in the back of the head by a brick-bat, 
which had a mighty convincing way with it of 
giving him a peaceable disposition, for he in- 
stantly lay down, and did not seem at all anxious 
as to the result of the battle. The O'Hal- 
laghans were now compelled to give way, owing 
principally to the introvention of John O'Cal- 
laghan, who, although he was as good as sworn 
to take no part in the contest, was compelled 
to fight merely to protect himself. But, blood- 
and-turf! when he did begin, he was dreadful. 
As soon as his party saw him engaged, they took 
fresh courage, and in a short time made the 
O'Hallaghans retreat up the church-yard. I 
never saw any thing equal to John; he abso- 
lutely sent them down in dozens: and when a 
man would give him any inconvenience with the 
stick, he would down him with the fist, for right 
and left were all alike to him. Poor Rose's 
brother and he met, both roused like two lions; 
but when John saw who it was, he held back his 
hand : 

" ' No, Tom,' says he, * I'll not strike you, for 
Rose's sake. I'm not fighting through ill will 
to you or your family ; so take another direction, 
for I can't strike you.' 

" The blood, however, was unfortunately up 
in Tom. 

" ' We'll decide it now,' said he. ' I'm as 



TRAITS AND STORIES 279 

good a man as you, O'Callaghan; and let me 
whisper this in your ear you'll never warm the 
one bed with Rose, while's God's in heaven 
it's past that now there can be nothing but 
blood between us ! ' 

" At this juncture two of the O'Callaghans 
ran with their shillelaghs up, to beat down Tom 
on the spot. 

" * Stop, boys ! ' said John, ' you mustn't touch 
him; he had no hand in the quarrel. Go, boys, 
if you respect me; lave him to myself.' 

" The boys withdrew to another part of the 
fight; and the next instant Tom struck the very 
man that interfered to save him, across the 
temple, and cut him severely. John put his 
hand up and staggered. 

" c I'm sorry for this,' he observed * but it's 
now self-defence with me ; ' and, at the same mo- 
ment, with one blow, he left Tom O'Hallaghan 
stretched insensible on the street. 

" On the O'Hallaghans being driven to the 
church-yard, they were at a mighty great in- 
convenience for weapons. Most of them had 
lost their sticks, it being a usage in fights of this 
kind, to twist the cudgels from the grasp of 
the beaten men, to prevent them from rallying. 
They soon, however, furnished themselves with 
the best they could find, videlicet, the skull, leg, 
thigh, and arm bones, which they found lying 
about the grave-yard. This was a new species 
of weapon, for which the majority of the O'Cal- 
laghans were scarcely prepared. Out they sal- 
lied in a body some with these, others with 



280 IRELAND 

stones, and, making fierce assault upon their 
enemies, absolutely druv them back not so 
much by the damage they were doing, as by the 
alarm and terror which these unexpected species 
of missiles excited. 

" At this moment, notwithstanding the fatality 
that had taken place, nothing could be more 
truly comical and facetious than the appearance 
of the field of battle. Skulls were flying in 
every direction so 'thick, indeed, that it might 
with truth be asseverated, that many who were 
petrified in the dust, had their skulls broken in 
this great battle between the factions. God 
help poor Ireland! when its inhabitants are so 
pugnacious, that even the grave is no security 
against getting their crowns cracked, and their 
bones fractured! Well, any how, skulls and 
bones flew in every direction; stones and brick- 
bats were also put in motion; spades, shovels, 
loaded whips, pot-sticks, churn-staffs, flails, and 
all kinds of available weapons were in hot em- 
ployment. 

" But, perhaps, there was nothing more truly 
felicitous or original in its way than the mode 
of warfare adopted by little Neal Malone, who 
was tailor for the O'Callaghan side: for every 
tradesman is obliged to fight on behalf of his 
own faction. Big Frank Farrell, the miller, 
being on the O'Hallaghan side, had been sent 
for, and came up from his mill behind the town, 
quite fresh. He was never what could be called 
a good man, 130 though it was said that he could 
lift ten hundredweight. He puffed forward 



TRAITS AND STORIES 281 

with a great cudgel, determined to commit 
slaughter out of the face, and the first man he 
met was the voeeshy fraction of a tailor, as 
nimble as a hare. He immediately attacked 
him, and would probably have taken his measure 
for life had not the tailor's activity protected 
him. Farrell was in a rage, and Neal, taking 
advantage of his blind fury, slipt round him, and, 
with a short run, sprung upon the miller's back, 
and planted a foot upon the threshold of each 
coat pocket, holding by the mealy collar of his 
waistcoat. In this position he belaboured the 
miller's face and eyes with his little hard fist to 
such purpose, that he had him in the course of a 
few minutes nearly as blind as a mill-horse. 
The miller roared for assistance, but the pell- 
mell was going on too warmly for his cries to 
be available. In fact, he resembled an elephant 
with a monkey on his back. 

* How do you like that, Farrell? ' Neal would 
say, giving him a cuff ' and that, and that ; but 
that is best of all. Take it again, gudgeon 
(two cuffs more) here's grist for you (half a 
dozen additional) hard fortune to you! (crack, 
crack.) What! going to lie down! by all 
that's terrible, if you do, I'll annigulate 131 you! 
Here's a dhuragh, 132 (another half dozen )- 
long measure, you savage! the baker's dozen, 
you baste! there's five-an'-twenty to the score, 
Sampson! and one or two in ' (crack, whack). 

* Oh ! murther sheery ! ' shouted the miller. 
* Murther-an-age, I'm kilt! Foul play! foul 
play!' 



282 IRELAND 

* You lie, big Nebuchodonosor ! it's not this 
is all fair play, you big baste! Fair play, 
Sampson! by the same a-token, here's to jog 
your memory that it's the Fair day of Knockim- 
downey! Irish Fair play, you whale! But I'll 
whale you' (crack, crack, whack). 

"'Oh! oh!' shouted the miller. 

"'Oh! oh! is it? Oh, if I had my scissors 
here till I'd clip your ears off wouldn't I be the 
happy man, any how, you swab, you? ' (whack, 
whack, crack.) 

'Murther! murther! murther!' shouted the 
miller. * Is there no help? ' 

' Help, is it? you may say that (crack 
crack) : there's a trifle a small taste in the 
milling style, you know; and here goes to dis- 
lodge a grinder. Did ye ever hear of the tailor 
on horseback, Sampson? eh? (whack, whack.) 
Did you ever expect to see a tailor o' horseback 
of yourself, you baste? (crack.) I tell you, if 
you offer to lie down, I'll annigulate you out o' 
the face.' 

" Never, indeed, was a miller before or since 
so well dusted; and, I dare say, Neal would 
have rode him long enough, but for an O'Hal- 
laghan, who had gone into one of the houses to 
procure a weapon. This man was nearly as 
original in his choice of one as the tailor in the 
position which he selected for beating the miller. 
On entering the kitchen, he found that he had 
been anticipated : there was neither tongs, poker, 
nor churn-staff, nor, in fact, anything wherewith 
he could assault his enemies : all had been carried 







rM adJ " sni 



grtoIsM 



IRELAND 

* You lie, big Nebuchodonosor! it's not this 
is all fair play, you big baste! Fair play, 
Sampson! by the same a-token, here's to jog 
your memory that it's the Fair day of Knockim- 
downey! Irish Fair play, you whale 1 But I'll 
whale you' (crack, crack, whack). 

'Ok! oh!' shouted the miller. 

'Oli : :t > Oh, if I had my scissors 

ir ears off wouldn't I be the 

i swab, you?' (whack, 

ther! murther!' shouted the 
mil, * Is there no help? ' 

it? you may say that (c 

a trifle a small taste ir. 

-tyle, you know; and here goes to 

lodge a grinder. Did ye ever hear of the t 

orseback, Sampson? eh? (whack, whack 

T expect to see a tailor o' horse 
^ \ >u baste? (crack.) I tell you, i 

lie down, I'll annigulate you o< 

was a miller before or 
Neal v 

<>h, but "lor an O 
>ne of the hou 
^ man was nearh 
fie as the tailor ii 
feeted for beating the n 
Oil he found that he 

been an ibeir was neither tongs, i 

nor chum-stal' anything whei 

Neal Malone " annigulating " the Miller 

Etching from an Original Drawing by Phis 



TRAITS AND STORIES 283 

off by others. There was, however, a goose, in 
the action of being roasted on a spit at the fire: 
this was enough; Honest O'Hallaghan saw 
nothing but the spit, which he accordingly seized, 
goose and all, making the best of his way, so 
armed, to the scene of battle. He just came 
out of an entry as the miller was once more roar- 
ing for assistance, and, to a dead certainty, 
would have spitted the tailor like a cock-sparrow 
against the miller's carcase, had not his activity 
once more saved him. Unluckily, the unfortu- 
nate miller got the thrust behind which was in- 
tended for Neal, and roared like a bull. He was 
beginning to shout ' Foul play ! ' again, when, on 
turning round, he perceived that the thrust had 
not been intended for him, but for the tailor. 

* Give me that spit,' said he ; * by all the mills 
that ever were turned, I'll spit the tailor this 
blessed minute beside the goose, and we'll roast 
them both together.' 

' The other refused to part with the spit; but 
the miller, seizing the goose, flung it with all his 
force after the tailor, who stooped, however, and 
avoided the blow. 

* No man has a better right to the goose than 
the tailor,' said Neal, as he took it up, and, dis- 
appearing, neither he nor the goose could be 
seen for the remainder of the day. 

' The battle was now somewhat abated. 
Skulls, and bones, and bricks, and stones, were, 
however, still flying; so that it might be truly 
said, the bones of contention were numerous. 
The streets presented a woeful spectacle: men 



284 IRELAND 

were lying with their bones broken others, 
though not so seriously injured, lappered in their 
blood some were crawling up, but were in- 
stantly knocked down by their enemies some 
were leaning against the walls, or groping their 
way silently along them, endeavouring to escape 
observation, lest they might be smashed down 
and altogether murdered. Wives were sitting 
with the bloody heads of their husbands in their 
laps, tearing their hair, weeping, and cursing, in 
all the gall of wrath, those who left them in such 
a state. Daughters performed the said offices to 
their fathers, and sisters to their brothers; not 
pretermitting those who did not neglect their 
broken-pated bachelors to whom they paid equal 
attention. Yet was the scene not without abun- 
dance of mirth. Many a hat was thrown up by 
the O'Callaghan side, who certainly gained the 
day. Many a song was raised by those who 
tottered about with trickling sconces, half drunk 
with whiskey, and half stupid with beating. 
Many a ' whoo/ and ' hurroo,'. and ' huzza,' was 
sent forth by the triumphanters ; but truth to 
tell, they were miserably feeble and faint, com- 
pared to what they had been in the beginning of 
the amusement; sufficiently evincing that, al- 
though they might boast of the name of victory, 
they had got a bellyful of beating; still there 
was hard fighting. 

" I mentioned, some time ago, that a man had 
adopted a scythe. I wish from my heart there 
had been no such bloody instrument there that 
day; but truth must be told. John O'Callaghan 



TRAITS AND STORIES 285 

was now engaged against a set of the other O's, 
who had rallied for the third time, and attacked 
him and his party. Another brother of Rose 
Galh's was in this engagement, and him did John 
O'Callaghan not only knock down, but cut 
desperately across the temple. A man, stripped, 
and covered with blood and dust, at that moment 
made his appearance, his hand bearing the blade 
of the aforesaid scythe. His approach was at 
once furious and rapid, and I may as well add, 
fatal; for before John O'Callaghan had time to 
be forewarned of his danger, he was cut down, 
the artery of his neck laid open, and he died 
without a groan. It was truly dreadful, even to 
the oldest fighter present, to see the strong rush 
of red blood that curvated about his neck, until 
it gurgled, gurgled, gurgled, and lappered, and 
bubbled out, ending in small red spouts, black- 
ening and blackening, as they became fainter 
and more faint. At this criticality, every eye 
was turned from the corpse to the murderer ; but 
lie had been instantly struck down, and a female, 
with a large stone in her apron, stood over him, 
her arms stretched out, her face horribly dis- 
torted with agony, and her eyes turned back- 
wards, as it were, into her head. In a few 
seconds she fell into strong convulsions, and was 
immediately taken away. Alas! alas! it was 
Rose Galh; and when we looked at the man she 
had struck down, he was found to be her brother ! 
flesh of her flesh, and blood of her blood! On 
examining him more closely, we discovered that 
his under- jaw hung loose, that his limbs were 



286 IRELAND 

supple ; we tried to make him speak, but in vain 
he too was a corpse. 

The fact was, that in consequence of his being 
stripped, and covered by so much blood and dust, 
she knew him not; and, impelled by her feelings 
to avenge herself on the murderer of her lover, 
to whom she doubly owed her life, she struck him 
a deadly blow, without knowing him to be her 
brother. The shock produced by seeing her 
lover murdered, and the horror of finding that 
she herself, in avenging him, had taken her 
brother's life, was too much for a heart so tender 
as hers. On recovering from her convulsions, 
her senses were found to be gone for ever ! Poor 
girl! she is still living; but from that moment to 
this, she has never opened her lips to mortal. 
She is, indeed, a fair ruin, but silent, melancholy, 
and beautiful as the moon in the summer heaven. 
Poor Rose Galh! you and many a mother, and 
father, and wife, and orphan, have had reason 
to maledict the bloody Battles of the Factions. 

" With regard to my grandfather, he says that 
he didn't see purtier fighting within his own 
memory ; not since the fight between himself and 
Big Mucklemurray took place in the same town. 
But, to do him justice, he condemns the scythe 
and every other weapon except the cudgels; be- 
cause, he says, that if they continue to be resorted 
to, nate fighting will be altogether forgotten in 
the country." 

[It was the original intention of the author 
to have made every man in the humble group 



TRAITS AND STORIES 287 

about Ned M'Keown's hearth narrate a story 
illustrating Irish life, feeling, and manners; but 
on looking into the matter more closely, he had 
reason to think that such a plan, however agree- 
able for a time, would ultimately narrow the 
sphere of his work, and perhaps fatigue the 
reader by a superfluity of Irish dialogue and its 
peculiarities of phraseology. He resolved there- 
fore, at the close of the Battle of the Factions, 
to abandon his original design, and leave himself 
more room for description and observation.] 



THE STATION 

Our readers are to suppose the Reverend 
Philemy M'Guirk, parish priest of Tir-neer, to 
be standing upon the altar of the chapel, facing 
the congregation, after having gone through the 
canon of the Mass ; and having nothing more of 
the service to perform, than the usual prayers 
with which he closes the ceremony. 

" Take notice, that the Stations for the follow- 
ing week will be held as follows: 

" On Monday, in Jack Gallagher's, of Cor- 
raghnamoddagh. Are you there, Jack? " 

" To the fore, yer Reverence." 

" Why, then, Jack, there's something ominous 
something auspicious to happen, or we 
wouldn't have you here ; for it's very seldom that 
you make part or parcel of this present congre- 
gation; seldom are you here, Jack, it must be 
confessed: however, you know the old classical 
proverb, or if you don't, I do, which will just an- 
swer as well Non semper ridet Apollo it's not 
every day Manus kills a bullock; so, as you are 
here, be prepared for us on Monday." 

"Never fear, yer Reverence, never fear; I 
think you ought to know that the grazin' at Cor- 
raghnamoddagh's not bad." 

" To do you justice, Jack, the mutton was al- 
ways good with you, only if you would get it 

288 



TRAITS AND STORIES 289 

better killed it would be an improvement. Get 
Tom McCusker to kill it, an then it'll have the 
right smack." 

' Very well, yer Rev'rence, I'll do it." 

" On Tuesday, in Peter Murtagh's of the 
Crooked Commons. Are you there, Peter? " 

" Here, yer Reverence." 

" Indeed, Peter, I might know you are here; 
and I wish that a great many of my flock would 
take example by you: if they did, I wouldn't be 
so far behind in getting in my dues. Well, 
Peter, I suppose you know that this is Michael- 
mas?" 133 

" So fat, yer Reverence, that they're not able 
to wag; but, any way, Katty has them marked 
for you two fine young crathurs, only this 
year's fowl, and the ducks isn't a taste behind 
them she's crammin' them this month past." 

" I believe you, Peter, and I would take your 
word for more than the condition of the geese. 
Remember me to Katty, Peter." 

" On Wednesday, in Parr ah More Slevin' s, of 
Mullaghfadh. Are you there, Parrah More?" 
No answer. " Parrah More Slevin? " Si- 
lence. " Parrah More Slevin, of Mullagh- 
fadh? " -No reply. " Dan Pagan? " 
' Present, Sir." 

" Do you know what keeps that reprobate 
from mass? " 

" I bleeve he's takin' advantage, Sir, of the 
frost, to get in his praties to-day, in respect of 
the bad f ootin', Sir, for the horses in the bog when 
there's not a frost. Any how, betune that and 

119 



290 IRELAND 

a bit of a sore head that he got, yer Reverence, 
on Thursday last in takin' part wid the O'Scal- 
laghans agin the Bradys, I bleeve he had to stay 
away to-day." 

" On the Sabbath day, too, without my leave! 
Well, tell him from me, that I'll make an ex- 
ample of him to the whole parish, if he doesn't 
attend mass better. Will the Bradys and the 
O'Scallaghans never be done with their quarrel- 
ling? I protest, if they don't live like Chris- 
tians, I'll read them out from the altar. Will 
you tell Parrah More that I'll hold a station in 
his house on next Wednesday? " 

" I will, Sir; I will, yer Reverence." 

" On Thursday, in Phaddhy Sheemus Phad- 
dhy' s of the Esker. Are you there, Phaddhy? " 

" Wid the help of God, I'm here, Sir." 

" Well, Phaddhy, how is yer son Briney, that's 
at the Latin? I hope he's coming on well at it." 

" Why, Sir, he's not more nor a year and a 
half at it yet, and he's got more books amost nor 
he can carry; he'll break me buying books for 
him." 

" Well, that's a good sign, Phaddhy ; but why 
don't you bring him to me till I examine him? " 
' Why, never a one of me can get him to come, 
Sir, he's so much afeard of yer Reverence." 

' Well, Phaddhy, we were once modest and 
bashful ourselves, and I'm glad to hear that he's 
afraid of his clargy; but let him be prepared for 
me on Thursday, and maybe I'll let him know 
something he never heard before; I'll open his 
eyes for him." 



TRAITS AND STORIES 291 

" Do you hear that, Briney? " said the father, 
aside to the son, who knelt at his knee ; " you 
must give up yer hurling and idling now, you 
see. Thank yer Reverence; thank you, doc- 
thor." 

" On Friday, in Barny O f Darby's, alias Barny 
Butter's. Are you there, Barny? " 

" All that's left of me is here, Sir." 

' Well, Barny, how is the butter trade this 
season? " 

" It's a little on the rise, now, Sir: in a month 
or so I'm expecting it will be brisk enough; 
Boney, Sir, is doing that much for us any way." 

" Ay, and, Barny, he'll do more than that for 
us: God prosper him at all events; I only hope 
the time's coming, Barny, when every one will 
be able to eat his own butter, and his own beef, 
too." 

" God send it, Sir." 

' Well, Barny, I didn't hear from your 
brother Ned these two or three months ; what has 
become of him? " 

" Ah, yer Reverence, Pentland done him up." 

"What! the gauger? " 

" He did, the thief; but maybe he'll sup sor- 
row for it, afore's he's much oulder." 

"And who do you think informed, Barny?" 

" Oh, I only wish we knew that, Sir." 

" I wish I knew it, and if I thought any mis- 
creant here would become an informer, I'd make 
an example of him. Well, Barny, on Friday 
next: but I suppose Ned has a drop still eh, 
Barny?" 



292 IRELAND 

' Why, Sir, we'll be apt to have something 
stronger nor wather, any how." 

* Very well, Barny ; your family was always 
a dacent and spirited family, I'll say that for 
them ; but tell me, Barny, did you begin to dam 
the river yet? 134 I think the trouts and eels are 
running by this time." 

4 The creels are made, yer Reverence, though 
we did not set them yet; but on Tuesday night, 
Sir, wid the help o' God, we'll be ready." 

' You can corn the trouts, Barny, and the eels 
too; but should you catch nothing, go to Pat 
Hartigan, Captain Sloethorn's gamekeeper, and, 
if you tell him it's for me, he'll drag you a batch 
out of the fishpond." 

" Ah! then, your Reverence, it's 'imself that'ill 
do that wid a heart an' a half." 

Such was the conversation which took place 
between the Reverend Philemy M'Guirk, and 
those of his parishioners in whose houses he had 
appointed to hold a series of Stations, for the 
week ensuing the Sunday laid in this our account 
of that hitherto undescribed portion of the 
Romish discipline. 

Now, the reader is to understand, that a sta- 
tion in this sense differs from a station made to 
any peculiar spot remarkable for local sanctity. 
There, a station means the performance of a 
pilgrimage to a certain place, under peculiar cir- 
cumstances, and the going through a stated 
number of prayers and other penitential cere- 
monies, for the purpose of wiping out sin in this 
life, or of relieving the soul of some relation from 



TRAITS AND STORIES 293 

the pains of purgatory in the other; here, it 
simply means the coming of the parish priest and 
his curate to some house in the townland, on a 
day publicly announced from the altar for that 
purpose, on the preceding Sabbath. 

This is done to give those who live within the 
district in which the station is held an opportunity 
of coming to their duty, as frequenting the 
ordinance of confession is emphatically called. 
Those who attend confession in this manner once 
a year, are considered merely to have done their 
duty; it is expected, however, that they should 
approach the tribunal 135 as it is termed, at least 
twice during that period, that is, at the two great 
festivals of Christmas and Easter. The observ- 
ance or omission of this rite among Roman 
Catholics, establishes, in a great degree, the na- 
ture of individual character. The man who 
frequents his duty will seldom be pronounced a 
bad man, let his conduct and principles be what 
they may in other respects; and he who neglects 
it, is looked upon, by those who attend it, as in 
a state little short of reprobation. 

When the " giving out " of the stations was 
over, and a few more jests were broken by his 
Reverence, to which the congregation paid the 
tribute of a general and uproarious laugh, he 
turned round, and resumed the performance of 
the mass, whilst his " flock " began to finger their 
beads with faces as grave as if nothing of the 
kind had occurred. When mass was finished, 
and the holy water sprinkled upon the people, 
out of a tub carried by the mass-server through 



294 IRELAND 

the chapel for that purpose, the priest gave them 
a Latin benediction, and they dispersed. 

Now, of the five individuals in whose houses 
the " stations " were appointed to be held, we 
will select Phaddhy Sheemus Phaddhy for our 
purpose; and this we do, because it was the first 
time in which a station was ever kept in his house, 
and consequently Phaddhy and his wife had to 
undergo the initiatory ceremony of entertaining 
Father Philemy and his curate, the Reverend 
Con M'Coul, at dinner. 

Phaddhy Sheemus Phaddhy had been, until 
a short time before the period in question, a very 
poor man; but a little previous to that event, 
a brother of his, who had no children, died very 
rich that is, for a farmer and left him his 
property, or, at least, the greater part of it. 
While Phaddhy was poor, it was surprising what 
little notice he excited from his Reverence; in 
fact, I have heard him acknowledge, that during 
all the days of his poverty, he never got a nod of 
recognition or kindness from Father Philemy, al- 
though he sometimes did, he said, from Father 
Con, his curate, who honoured him on two oc- 
casions so far as to challenge him to a bout at 
throwing the shoulder-stone, and once to a leap- 
ing match, at both of which exercises Father 
Con, but for the superior power of Phaddhy, 
had been unrivalled. 

" It was an unlucky day to him," says 
Phaddhy, " that he went to challenge me, at all, 
at all; for I was the only man that ever bate 



TRAITS AND STORIES 295 

him, and he wasn't able to hould up his head 
in the parish for many a day afther." 

As soon, however, as Phaddhy became a man 
of substance, one would almost think that there 
had been a secret relationship between his good 
fortune and Father Philemy's memory; for, on 
their first meeting, after Phaddhy's getting the 
property, the latter shook him most cordially by 
the hand a proof that, had not his recollection 
been as much improved as Phaddhy's circum- 
stances, he could by no means have remembered 
him ; but this is a failing in the memory of many, 
as well as in that of Father Philemy. Phaddhy, 
however, was no Donnell, to use his own expres- 
sion, and saw as far into a deal board as another 
man. 

" And so, Phaddhy," said the priest, " how are 
all your family? six you have, I think? " 

" Four, yer Rev'rence, only four," said Phad- 
dhy, winking at Tim Dillon, his neighbour, who 
happened to be present " three boys an' one 

girl." 

" Bless my soul, and so it is indeed, Phaddhy, 
and I ought to know it; and how is your wife 
Sarah? I mean, I hope Mrs. Sheemus Phaddhy 
is well: by the bye, is that old complaint of hers 
gone yet ? a pain in the stomach, I think it was, 
that used to trouble her ; I hope in God, Phaddhy, 
she's getting over it, poor thing. Indeed, I re- 
member telling her, last Easter, when she came 
to her duty, to eat oaten bread and butter with 
water-grass every morning, fasting, it cured my- 
self of the same complaint." 



296 IRELAND 

:< Why, thin, I'm very much obliged to your 
Rev'rence for purscribin' for her," replied 
Phaddhy; "for, sure enough, she has neither 
pain nor ache, at the present time, for the best 
rason in the world, docthor, that she'll be dead 
jist seven years, if God spares yer Rev'rence an' 
myself till to-morrow fortnight, about five 
o'clock in the mornin'." 

This was more than Father Philemy could 
stand with a good conscience, so after getting 
himself out of the dilemma as well as he could, 
he shook Phaddhy again very cordially by the 
hand, saying, " Well, good bye, Phaddhy, and 
God be good to poor Sarah's soul I now re- 
member her funeral, sure enough, and a dacent 
one it was, for indeed she was a woman that had 
every body's good word and, between you and 
me, she made a happy death, that's as far as 
we can judge here; for, after all, there may be 
danger, Phaddhy, there may be danger, you 
understand however, it's your own business, 
and your duty, too, to think of that; but I be- 
lieve you're not the man that would be apt to 
forget her." 

" Phaddhy, ye thief o' the world," said Tim 
Dillon, when Father Philemy was gone, " there's 
no comin' up to ye; how could you make sich 
a fool of his Rev'rence, as to tell 'im that Katty 
was dead, and that you had ony four childher, 
an' you has eleven o' them, an' the wife in good 
health? " 

" Why, jist, Tim," replied Phaddhy, with his 
usual shrewdness, " to tache his Rev'rence him- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 297 

self to practise truth a little: if he didn't know 
that I got the stockin' of guineas and the Lis- 
naskey farm by my brother Barney's death, do 
ye think that he'd notish me at all at all? not 
himself, avick; an' maybe he won't be afther 
comin' round to me for a sack of my best oats, 136 
instead of the bushel I used to give him, and 
houldin' a couple of stations wid me every year." 

" But won't he go mad when he hears you 
tould him nothing but lies? " 

" Not now, Tim," answered Phaddhy " not 
now; thank God, I'm not a poor man, an* he'll 
keep his temper. I'll warrant you the horse- 
whip won't be up now, although, afore this, I 
wouldn't say but it might though the poorest 
day I ever was, id's myself that wouldn't let 
priest or friar lay a horsewhip to my back, an' 
that you know, Tim." 

Phaddhy's sagacity, however, was correct ; for, 
a short time after this conversation, Father 
Philemy, when collecting his oats, gave him a 
call, laughed heartily at the sham account of 
Katty's death, examined young Briney in his 
Latin, who was called after his uncle pro- 
nounced him very cute, and likely to become a 
great scholar promised his interest with the 
bishop to get him into Maynooth, and left the 
family, after having shaken hands with, and 
stroked down the heads of, all the children. 

When Phaddhy, on the Sunday in question, 
heard the public notice given of the Station 
about to be held in his house, notwithstanding his 
correct knowledge of Father Philemy's charac- 



298 IRELAND 

ter, on which he looked with a competent portion 
of contempt, he felt a warmth of pride about 
his heart, that arose from the honour of having 
a station, and of entertaining the clergy, in their 
official capacity, under his own roof, and at his 
own expense that gave him, he thought, a per- 
sonal consequence, which even the " stockin' of 
guineas " and the Lisnaskey farm were unable, 
of themselves, to confer upon him. He did en- 
joy, 'tis true, a very fair portion of happiness 
on succeeding to his brother's property; but this 
would be a triumph over the envious and ill- 
natured remarks which several of his neighbours 
and distant relations had taken the liberty of 
indulging in against him, on the occasion of his 
good fortune. He left the chapel, therefore, in 
good spirits, whilst Briney, on the contrary, 
hung a lip of more melancholy pendency than 
usual, in dread apprehension of the examination 
that he expected to be inflicted on him by his 
Reverence at the Station. 

Before I introduce the conversation which 
took place between Phaddhy and Briney, as they 
went home, on the subject of this literary ordeal, 
I must observe, that there is a custom, hereditary 
in some Irish families, of calling fathers by their 
Christian names, instead of by the usual appella- 
tion of " father." This usage was observed, not 
only by Phaddhy and his son, but by all the 
Phaddhys of that family, generally. Their sur- 
name was Doran, but in consequence of the great 
numbers in that part of the country who bore the 
same name, it was necessary, as of old, to dis- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 299 

tinguish the several branches of it by the Chris- 
tian names of their fathers and grandfathers, 
and sometimes this distinction went as far back 
as the great-grandfather. For instance Phad- 
dhy Sheemus Phaddhy, meant Phaddhy, the son 
of Sheemus, the son of Phaddhy; and his son, 
Briney, was called, Brian Phaddhy Sheemus 
Phaddhy, or, anglice, Bernard the son of Pat- 
rick, the son of James, the son of Patrick. But 
the custom of children calling fathers, in a viva 
voce manner, by their Christian names, was in- 
dependent of the other more general usage of 
the patronymic. 

1 Well, Briney," said Phaddhy, as the father 
and son returned home, cheek by jowl from the 
chapel, " I suppose Father Philemy will go very 
deep in the Latin wid ye on Thursday; do ye 
think ye'll be able to answer him? " 

"Why, Phaddhy," replied Briney, "how 
could I be able to answer a clargy? doesn't he 
know all the languages, and I'm only in the 
Fibulae JEsiopii yet." 

" Is that Latin or Greek, Briney? " 

" It's Latin, Phaddhy." 

" And what's the translation of that? " 

" It signifies the Fables of ^Bsiopius." 

"Bliss my sowl! and Briney, did ye consther 
that out of yer own head? " 

" Hogh! that's little of it. If ye war to hear 
me consther Gallus Gallinaceus, a dunghill 
cock!" 

" And, Briney, are ye in Greek at all yet? " 

" No, Phaddhy, I'll not be in Greek till I'm 



300 IRELAND 

in Virgil and Horace, and thin I'll be near 
finished." 

" And how long will it be till that, Briney? " 

' Why, Phaddy, you know I'm only a year 
and a half at the Latin, and in two years more 
I'll be in the Greek." 

" Do ye think will ye ever be as larned as 
Father Philemy, Briney? " 

"Don't ye know whin I'm a clargy I will; 
but I'm only a lignum sacerdotis yet, Phad- 
dhy." 

' What's ligdum saucer doatis, Briney? " 

" A block of a priest, Phaddhy." 

" Now, Briney, I suppose Father Philemy 
knows every thing." 

" Ay, to be sure he does ; all the languages 
that's spoken through the world, Phaddhy." 

" And must all the priests know them, Briney? 
how many are they? " 

" Seven sartinly, every priest must know 
them, or how could they lay the divil, if he'd 
spake to them in a tongue they couldn't under- 
stand, Phaddhy?" 

" Ah, I declare, Briney, I see it now; ony for 
that, poor Father Philip, the heavens be his bed, 
wouldn't be able to lay ould Warnock, that 
haunted Squire Sloethorn's stables." 

" Is that when the two horses was stole, 
Phaddhy?" 

" The very time Briney; but God be thanked, 
Father Philip settled him to the day of judg- 
ment." 

" And where did he put him, Phaddhy? " 



TRAITS AND STORIES 301 

" Why, he wanted to be put anundher the 
hearth -stone ; but Father Philip made him walk 
away with himself into a thumb-bottle, and tied 
a stone to it, and then sent him to where he got 
a cooling, the thief, at the bottom of the lough 
behind the house." 

" Well, I'll tell you what I'm thinking 111 be 
apt to do, Phaddhy, when I'm a clargy." 

" And what is that, Briney? " 

" Why, I'll but, Phaddhy, don't be talk- 
ing of this, bekase, if it should come to be known, 
I might get my brains knocked out by some of 
the heretics." 

" Never fear, Briney, there's no danger of 
that but what is it? " 

' Why, I'll translate all the Protestants into 
asses, and then we'll get our hands red of them 
altogether." 

' Well, that flogs for cuteness, and it's a won- 
dher the clargy 137 doesn't do it, and them has the 
power; for 'twould give us pace entirely. But, 
Briney, will you speak in Latin to Father Phil- 
emy on Thursday? " 

" To tell you the thruth, Phaddhy, I would 
rather he wouldn't examine me this bout, at all 
at all." 

" Ay, but you know we couldn't go agin him, 
Briney, bekase he promised to get you into the 
college. Will you speak some Latin now till 
I hear you? " 

" Hem! Verbum personaley cohairit cum 
nomnatibo numbera at parsona at numquam 
sera yeast at bonis moras voia." 



302 IRELAND 

"Bless my heart! and, Briney, where's that 
taken from? " 

" From Syntax, Phaddhy." 

" And who was Shintax do you know, 
Briney? " 

" He was a Roman, Phaddhy, bekase there's 
a Latin prayer in the beginning of the book." 

" Ay, was he a priest, I'll warrant him. 
Well, Briney, do you mind yer Latin, and get 
on wid yer larnin', and when you grow up 
you'll have a pair of boots, and a horse of your 
own (and a good broadcloth black coat, too,) 
to ride on, every bit as good as Father Philemy's 
and may be betther nor Father Con's." 

From this point, which usually wound up 
these colloquies between the father and son, the 
conversation generally diverged into the more 
spacious fields of science ; so that, by the time they 
reached home, Briney had probably given the 
father a learned dissertation upon the elevation 
of the clouds above the earth, and told him within 
how many thousand miles they approached it, 
at their nearest point of approximation. 

" Katty," said Phaddhy, when he got home, 
" we're to have a station here on Thursday next : 
'twas given out from the altar to-day by Father 
Philemy." 

"Oh, wurrah, wurrah!" exclaimed Katty, 
overwhelmed at the consciousness of her own 
incapacity to get up a dinner in sufficient style 
for such guests "wurrah, wurrah! Phaddhy, 
ahagur, what on the livin' earth will we do at all 



TRAITS AND STORIES 303 

at all! Why, we'll never be able to manage it." 

" Arrah why, Katty, woman; what do they 
want but their skinful to eat and dhrink, and 
I'm sure we're able to allow them that, any 
way?" 

" Arrah, bad manners to me, but you're 
enough to vex a saint ' their skinful to eat and 
dhrink ! ' you common crathur you, to speak 
that way, of the clargy, as if it was ourselves or 
the labourers you war spaking of." 

" Ay, and aren't we every bit as good as they 
are, if you go to that? haven't we sowls to be 
saved as well as themselves ? " 

' As good as they are ! ' as good as the 
clargy!! Manum a yea agus a wurrah 138 listen 
to what he says! Phaddhy, take care of your- 
self, you've got rich, now; but, for all that, take 
care of yourself. You had betther not bring the 
priest's ill-will, or his bad heart upon us. You 
know they never thruv that had it; and maybe 
it's a short time your riches might stay wid you, 
or maybe it's a short time you might stay wid 
them: at any rate, God forgive you, and I hope 
he will, for makin' use of sich unsanctified words 
to your lawful clargy." 

" Well, but what do you intind to do? or, 
what do you think of getting for them? " in- 
quired Phaddhy. 

" Indeed, it's very little matther what I get 
for them, or what I'll do either sorrow one of 
myself cares almost: for a man in his senses, that 
ought to know better, to make use of such low 



304 IRELAND 

language about the blessed and holy crathurs, 
that hasn't a stain of sin about them, no more 
than the child unborn! " 

" So you think." 

" So I think! aye, and it would be betther for 
you that you thought so, too ; but ye don't know 
what's before ye yet, Phaddhy; and now take 
warnin' in time, and mend your life." 

" Why, what do you see wrong in my life? 
Am I a drunkard? am I lazy? did ever I neglect 
my business? was I ever bad to you or to the 
childher? didn't I always give yez yer fill to 
ate, and kept yez as well clad as yer neighbours 
that was richer? Don't I go to my knees, too, 
every night and morning? " 

" That's true enough, but what signifies it all? 
When did ye cross a priest's foot, to go to your 
duty? Not for the last five years, Phaddhy 
not since poor Torly (God be good to him) died 
of the mazles, and that'll be five years, a fort- 
night before Christmas." 

" And what are you the betther of all yer con- 
fessions? Did they ever mend yer temper, 
avourneen? no, indeed, Katty, but you're ten 
times worse tempered coming back from the 
priest than before ye go to him." 

"Oh! Phaddhy! Phaddhy! God look down 
upon you this day, or any man that's in yer 
hardened state I see there's no use in spaking 
to you, for you'll still be the ould cut." 

" Ay, will I ; so you may as well give up talk- 
ing about it. Arrah, woman! " said Phaddhy, 
raising his voice, " who does it ever make betther 



TRAITS AND STORIES 305 

show me a man now in all the neighbourhood, 
that's a pin-point the holier of it? Isn't there 
Jemmy Shields, that goes to his duty wanst a 
month, malivogues his wife and family this min- 
ute, and then claps them to a Rosary the next; 
but the ould boy's a thrifle to him of a fast day, 
afther coming from the priest. Betune our- 
selves, Katty, you're not much behind him." 

Katty made no reply to him, but turned up 
her eyes, and crossed herself, at the wickedness 
of her unmanageable husband. 

' Well, Briney," said she, turning abruptly 
to the son, " don't take patthern by that man, 
if you expect to do any good ; let him be a warn- 
ing to you to mind yer duty, and respect yer 
clargy and prepare yerself, now that I think 
of it, to go to Father Philemy or Father Con on 
Thursday : but don't be said or led by that man, 
for I'm sure I dunna how he intinds to face the 
Man above when he laves this world and to 
keep from his duty, and to spake of his clargy 
as he does ! " 

There are few men without their weak sides. 
Phaddhy, although the priests were never very 
much his favourites, was determined to give what 
he himself called a let-out on this occasion, 
simply to show his ill-natured neighbours that, 
notwithstanding their unfriendly remarks, he 
knew " what it was to be dacent," as well as his 
betters; and Katty seconded him in his resolu- 
tion, from her profound veneration for the 
clargy. 

Every preparation was accordingly entered 

120 



306 IRELAND 

into, and every plan adopted that could possibly 
be twisted into a capability of contributing to 
the entertainment of Fathers Philemy and Con. 
One of those large round stercoraceous nose- 
gays, that, like many other wholesome plants, 
make up by odour what is wanting in floral 
beauty, and which lay rather too contagious, as 
Phaddhy expressed it, to the door of his house, 
was transplanted by about half-a-dozen la- 
bourers, and as many barrows, in the course of 
a day or two, to a bed some yards distant from 
the spot of its first growth; because, without 
any reference whatever to the nasal sense, it was 
considered that it might be rather an eye-sore 
to their Reverences, on approaching the door. 
Several concave inequalities, which constant at- 
trition had worn in the earthen floor of tte 
kitchen, were filled up with blue clay, brought 
on a car from the bank of a neighbouring river, 
for the purpose. The dresser, chairs, tables, 
pots, and pans, all underwent a rigour of dis- 
cipline, as if some remarkable event was about 
to occur ; nothing less, it must be supposed, than 
a complete domestic revolution, and a new state 
of things. Phaddhy himself cut two or three 
large furze bushes, and, sticking them on the end 
of a pitchfork, attempted to sweep down the 
chimney. For this purpose he mounted on the 
back of a chair, that he might be able to reach 
the top with more ease; but, in order that his 
footing might be firm, he made one of the 
servant-men sit upon the chair, to keep it steady 
during the operation. Unfortunately, however, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 307 

it so happened that this man was needed to 
assist in removing a meal-chest to another part 
of the house; this was under Katty's superin- 
tendence, who, seeing the fellow sit rather more 
at his ease than she thought the hurry and im- 
portance of the occasion permitted, called him, 
with a little of her usual sharpness and energy, 
to assist in removing the chest. For some reason 
or other, which it is not necessary to mention 
here, the fellow bounced from his seat, in obedi- 
ence to the shrill tones of Katty, and the next 
moment Phaddhy (who was in a state of abstrac- 
tion in the chimney, and totally unconscious of 
what was going forward below) made a descent 
decidedly contrary to the nature of that which 
most aspirants would be inclined to relish. A 
severe stun, however, was the most serious injury 
he received on his own part, and several round 
oaths, with a good drubbing, fell to the servant; 
but unluckily he left the furze bush behind him 
in the highest and narrowest part of the chim- 
ney; and were it not that an active fellow suc- 
ceeded in dragging it up from the outside of the 
roof, the chimney ran considerable risk, as Katty 
said, of being choaked. 

But along with the lustration which every fix- 
ture within the house was obliged to undergo, 
it was necessary that all the youngsters should 
get new clothes; and for this purpose, Jemmy 
Lynch, the tailor, with his two journeymen and 
three apprentices, were sent for in all haste, that 
he might fit Phaddhy and each of his six sons, 
in suits, from a piece of home-made frize, which 



308 IRELAND 

Katty did not intend to break up till " towards 
Christmas." 

A station is no common event, and accord- 
ingly the web was cut up, and the tailor left a 
wedding-suit half -made, belonging to Edy 
Dolan, a thin old bachelor, who took it into his 
head to try his hand at becoming a husband ere 
he'd die. As soon as Jemmy and his train ar- 
rived, a door was taken off the hinges, and laid 
on the floor, for himself to sit upon, and a new 
drugget quilt was spread beside it, for his jour- 
neymen and apprentices. With nimble fingers 
they plied the needle and thread, and when night 
came, a turf was got, into which was stuck a 
piece of rod, pointed at one end and split at the 
other; the " white candle," slipped into a shaving 
of the fringe that was placed in the cleft end of 
the stick, was then lit, whilst many a pleasant 
story, told by Jemmy, who had been once in 
Dublin for six weeks, delighted the circle of 
lookers-on that sat around them. 

At length the day previous to the important 
one arrived. Hitherto, all hands had contrib- 
uted to make every thing in and abojut the house 
look "dacent;" scouring, washing, sweeping, 
pairing, and repairing, had been all disposed of. 
The boys got their hair cut to the quick with the 
tailor's scissors ; and such of the girls as were 
not full grown, got only that which grew on the 
upper part of the head taken off, by a cut some- 
what resembling the clerical tonsure, so that they 
looked extremely wild and unsettled, with their 
straight locks projecting over their ears ; every 



TRAITS AND STORIES 309 

thing, therefore, of the less important arrange- 
ments had been gone through but the weighty 
and momentous concern was as yet ^unsettled. 

This was the feast; and alas! never was the 
want of experience more strongly felt than here. 
Katty was a bad cook, even to a proverb; and 
bore so indifferent a character in the country for 
cleanliness, that very few would undertake to eat 
her butter. Indeed, she was called Katty 
Sallagh 139 on this account: however, this preju- 
dice, whether ill or well founded, was wearing 
fast away, since Phaddhy had succeeded to the 
stocking of guineas, and the Lisnaskey farm. 
It might be, indeed, that her former poverty 
helped her neighbours to see this blemish more 
clearly: but the world is so seldom in the 
habit of judging people's qualities or failings 
through this uncharitable medium, that the sup- 
position is rather doubtful. Be this as it may, 
the arrangements for the breakfast and dinner 
must be made. There was plenty of bacon, and 
abundance of cabbages eggs, ad infinitum 
oaten and wheaten bread in piles turkeys, 
geese, pullets, as fat as aldermen cream as rich 
as Croesus and three gallons of poteen, one 
sparkle of which, as Father Philemy said in the 
course of the evening, would lay the hairs on St. 
Francis himself in his most self -negative mood, 
if he saw it. So far so good : every thing excel- 
lent and abundant in its way. Still the higher 
and more refined items the delicice epularum 
must be added. White bread,, and tea, and 
sugar were yet to be got ; and lump-sugar for the 



310 IRELAND 

punch; and a tea-pot and cups and saucers to 
be borrowed ; all which was accordingly done. 

Well, suppose every thing disposed for to- 
morrow's feast; suppose Phaddhy himself to 
have butchered the fowl, because Katty, who was 
not able to bear the sight of blood, had not the 
heart to kill " the crathurs :" and imagine to your- 
self one of the servant men taking his red-hot 
tongs out of the fire, and squeezing a large lump 
of hog's lard, placed in a grisset, or Kam, on the 
hearth, to grease all their brogues; then see in 
your mind's eye those two fine, fresh-looking 
girls, slily taking their old rusty fork out of the 
fire, and going to a bit of three-cornered looking- 
glass, pasted into a board, or, perhaps, to a pail 
of water, there to curl up their rich-flowing locks, 
that had hitherto never known a curl but such as 
nature gave them. 

On one side of the hob sit two striplings, 
" thryin' wan another in their catechiz," that they 
may be able to answer, with some credit, to-mor- 
row. On the other hob sits Briney, hard at his 
Syntax, with the Fibulce Msiopii, as he called it, 
placed open at a particular passage, on the seat 
under him, with a hope that, when Father Phil- 
emy will examine him, the book may open at his 
favourite fable of "Gallus Gallinaceus a dung- 
hill cock." Phaddhy himself is obliged to fast 
this day, there being one day of his penance yet 
unperformed, since the last time he was at his 
duty, which was, as aforesaid, about five years: 
and Katty, now that every thing is cleaned up 
and ready, kneels down in a corner to go over 



TRAITS AND STORIES 311 

her beads, rocking herself in a placid silence that 
is only broken by an occasional malediction 
against the servants, or the cat, when it at- 
tempts the abduction of one of the dead fowl. 

The next morning the family were up before 
the sun, who rubbed his eyes, and swore that he 
must have overslept himself, on seeing such a 
merry column of smoke dancing over Phaddhy's 
chimney. A large wooden dish was placed upon 
the threshold of the kitchen door, filled with water, 
in which, with a trencher of oatmeal for soap, 140 
they successively scrubbed their faces and hands 
to some purpose. In a short time afterwards, 
Phaddhy and the sons were cased, stiff and awk- 
ward, in their new suits, with the tops of their 
fingers just peeping over the sleeve cuffs. The 
horses in the stable were turned out to the fields, 
being obliged to make room for their betters, 
that were soon expected under the reverend 
bodies of Father Philemy and his curate; whilst 
about half a bushel of oats was left in the man- 
ger, to regale them on their arrival. Little 
Richard Maguire was sent down to the five-acres, 
with the pigs, on purpose to keep them from 
about the house, they not being supposed fit 
company at a set-dinner. A roaring turf fire, 
which blazed two yards up the chimney, had 
been put down; on this was placed a large pot, 
filled with water for the tea, because they had 
no kettle. 

By this time the morning was tolerably ad- 
vanced, and the neighbours were beginning to 
arrive in twos and threes, to wipe out old scores. 



312 IRELAND 

Katty had sent several of the gorsoons " to see 
if they could see any sight of the clargy," but 
hitherto their Reverences were invisible. At 
length, after several fruitless embassies of this 
description, Father Con was seen jogging along, 
on his easy-going hack, engaged in the perusal 
of his Office, previous to his commencing the 
duties of the day. As soon as his approach was 
announced, a chair was immediately placed for 
him in a room off the kitchen the parlour, such 
as it was, having been reserved for Father 
Philemy himself, as the place of greater honour. 
This was an arrangement, however, which went 
against the grain of Phaddhy, who, had he got 
his will, would have established Father Con in 
the most comfortable apartment of the house: 
but that old vagabond, human nature, is the same 
under all circumstances or, as Katty would 
have (in her own phraseology) expressed it, 
" still the ould cut;" for even there the influence 
of rank and elevation was sufficient to throw 
merit into the shade; and the parlour-seat was 
allotted to Father Philemy, merely for being 
Parish Priest, although it was well known that 
he could not "tare off" 141 mass in half the time 
that Father Con could, nor throw a sledge, or 
shoulder-stone within a perch of him, nor scarcely 
clear a street-channel, whilst the latter could 
jump one-and-twenty feet at a running leap. 
But these are rubs which men of merit must oc- 
casionally bear ; and, when exposed to them, they 
must only rest satisfied in the consciousness of 
their own deserts. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 313 

From the moment that Father Con became 
visible, the conversation of those who were col- 
lected in Phaddhy's, dropped gradually, as he 
approached the house, into a silence which was 
only broken by an occasional short observation, 
made by one or two of those who were in habits 
of the greatest familiarity with the priest; but 
when they heard the noise of his horse's feet near 
the door, the silence became general and unin- 
terrupted. 

There can scarcely be a greater contrast in 
anything than that presented by the beginning 
of a station-day and its close. In the morning, 
the faces of those who are about to confess, pre- 
sent an expression, in which terror, awe, guilt, 
and veneration, may be easily traced; but in the 
evening all is mirth and jollity. Before con- 
fession every man's memory is employed in run- 
ning over the catalogue of crimes, as they are 
to be found in the prayer-books, under the ten 
commandments, the seven deadly sins, the Com- 
mandments of the Church, the four sins that 
cry to heaven for vengeance, and the seven sins 
against the Holy Ghost. 

When Father Con arrived, Phaddhy and 
Katty were instantly at the door to welcome him. 

" Musha, cead millia failtha gJiud" 142 to our 
house, Father Con, avourneen!" said Katty, 
dropping him a low curtsey, and spreading her 
new, brown, quilted petticoat, as far out on each 
side of her as it would go " musha, an' it's you 
that's welcome from my heart out." 

" I thank you," said honest Con, who, as he 



314 IRELAND 

knew not her name, did not pretend to know 
it. 

" Well, Father Con," said Phaddhy, " this is 
the first time you have ever come to us this way; 
but, plase God, it won't be the last, I hope." 

" I hope not, Phaddhy," said Father Con, 
who, notwithstanding his simplicity of character, 
loved a good dinner in the very core of his heart, 
" I hope not, indeed, Phaddhy." 

He then threw his eye about the premises, 
to see what point he might set his temper to dur- 
ing the remainder of the day; for it is right to in- 
form our readers that a priest's temper, at a sta- 
tion, generally rises or falls, according to the 
prospect of his cheer. 

Here, however, a little vista, or pantry, jut- 
ting out from the kitchen, and left ostentatiously 
open, presented him with a view which made 
his very nose curl with kindness. What it con- 
tained we do not pretend to say, not having seen 
it ourselves; we judge, therefore, only by its 
effects upon his physiognomy. 

' Why, Phaddhy," he says, " this is a very fine 
house you've got over you;" throwing his eye 
again towards a wooden buttress which sup- 
ported one of the rafters that was broken. 

' Why then, your Riverence, it would not be 
a bad one," Phaddhy replied, " if it had a new 
roof, and new side-walls; and I intend to get 
both next summer, if God spares me till then." 

' Then, upon my word, if it had new side- 
walls, a new roof, and new gavels, too," replied 
Father Con, " it would look certainly a great 



TRAITS AND STORIES 315 

deal the better for it; and do you intend to get 
them next summer, Phaddhy? " 

" If God spares me, Sir." 

" Are all these fine gorsoons yours, Phad- 
dhy?" 

" Why, so Katty says, your Reverence," re- 
plied Phaddhy, with a good-natured laugh. 

" Haven't you got one of them for the Church, 
Phaddhy?" ' 

" Yes, your Riverence, there's one of them that 
I hope will live to have the robes upon him. 
Come over, Briney, and speak to Father Con. 
He's not very far in his Latin yet, Sir; but his 
master tells me that he hasn't the likes of him in 

his school for brightness Briney, will you 

come over, I say ; come over, sarrah, and spake to 
the gintleman, and him wants to shake hands wid 
you come up man, what are you afeard of? 
sure Father Con's not going to examine you 



now." 



" No, no, Briney," said Father Con; " I'm not 
about to examine you at present." 

" He's a little dashed, yer Reverence, bekase 
he thought you war going to put him through 
some of his Latin," said the father, bringing him 
up like a culprit to Father Con, who shook 
hands with him, and, after a few questions as 
to the books he read, and his progress, dismissed 
him. 

" But, Father Con, wid submission," said 
Katty, " where's Father Philemy from us ? 
sure, we expected him along wid you, and he 
wouldn't go to disappoint us ? " 



316 IRELAND 

" Oh, you needn't fear that, Katty," replied 
Father Con; "he'll be here presently before 
breakfast, I '11 engage for him, at any rate ; but 
he had a touch of a headache this morning, and 
wasn't able to rise so early as I was." 

During this conversation a little crowd col- 
lected about the door of the room in which he 
was to hear the confessions, each struggling and 
fighting to get the first turn ; but here, as in the 
more important concerns of this world, the 
weakest went to the wall. He now went into 
the room, and taking Katty herself first, the door 
was closed upon them, and he gave her absolu- 
tion; and thus he continued to confess and ab- 
solve them, one by one, until breakfast. 

Whenever a station occurs in Ireland, a crowd 
of mendicants and other strolling impostors sel- 
dom fail to attend it; on this occasion, at least, 
they did not. The day, though frosty, was fine ; 
and the door was surrounded by a train of this 
description, including both sexes, some sitting 
on stones, some on stools, with their blankets 
rolled up under them; and others, more osten- 
sibly devout, on their knees, hard at prayer; 
which, lest their piety might escape notice, our 
readers may be assured, they did not offer up in 
silence. On one side you might observe a sturdy 
fellow, with a pair of tattered urchins secured to 
his back by a sheet or blanket pinned across his 
breast with a long iron skewer, their heads just 
visible at his shoulders, munching a thick piece 
of wheaten bread, and the father on his knees, 
with a huge wooden cross in his hand, repeat- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 317 

ing his padereens, and occasionally throwing a 
jolly eye towards the door, or through the win- 
dow, opposite which he knelt, into the kitchen, 
as often as any peculiar stir or commotion led 
him to suppose that breakfast, the loadstar of 
his devotion, was about to be produced. 

Scattered about the door were knots of these, 
men and women, occasionally chatting together; 
and when the subject of their conversation hap- 
pened to be exhausted, resuming their beads un- 
til some new topic would occur, and so on alter- 
nately. 

The interior of the kitchen where the neigh- 
bours were assembled, presented an appearance 
somewhat more decorous. Andy Lalor, the 
mass-server, in whom the priest had the greatest 
confidence, stood in a corner examining, in their 
catechism, those who intended to confess ; and, if 
they were able to stand the test, he gave them a 
bit of twisted brown paper as a ticket, and they 
were received at the tribunal. 

The first question the priest uniformly puts 
to the penitent is, " Can you repeat the Con- 
fiteor?" If the latter answers in the affirma- 
tive, he goes on until he comes to the words, mea 
culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, when he 
stops, it being improper to repeat the remainder 
until after he has confessed; but, if he is igno- 
rant of the " Confiteor," the priest repeats it for 
him! and he commences the rehearsal of his of- 
fences, specifically as they occurred; and not 
only does he reveal his individual crimes, but his 
very thoughts and intentions. By this regula- 



318 IRELAND 

tion our readers may easily perceive, that the 
penitent is completely at the mercy of the priest 
that all family feuds, quarrels, and secrets 
are laid open to his eye that the ruling pas- 
sions of men's lives are held up before him, the 
weaknesses and propensities of nature all the 
unguarded avenues of the human heart and 
character are brought within his positive knowl- 
edge, and that too, as they exist in the young 
and the old, the married and the single, the male 
and the female. 

It was curious to remark the ludicrous ex- 
pression of temporary sanctity which was ap- 
parent on the countenances of many young men 
and maidens who were remarkable in the neigh- 
bourhood for attending dances and wakes, but 
who, on the present occasion, were sobered down 
to a gravity which sat very awkwardly upon 
them, particularly in the eyes of those who knew 
the lightness and drollery of their characters. 
This, however, was observable only before con- 
fession; for, as soon as " the priest's blessed hand 
had been over them," their gloom and anxiety 
passed away, and the thoughtless buoyancy of 
their natural disposition resumed its influence 
over their minds. A good-humoured nod, or a sly 
wink, from a young man to his female acquaint- 
ance, would now be indulged in; or, perhaps, a 
small joke would escape, which seldom failed to 
produce a subdued laugh from such as had con- 
fessed, or an impatient rebuke from those who 
had not. 

"Tim!" one would exclaim, " arn't ye 



TRAITS AND STORIES 319 

ashamed or afeard to get an that way, and his 
Reverence undher the wan roof wid ye?" 

" Tim you had betther dhrop your joking," 
a second would observe, " and not be putting 
us through other, 143 when we have our offences 
to remimber; you have got your job over, and 
now you have nothing to trouble you." 

" Indeed, it 's fine behaviour," a third would 
say, " and you afther coming from the priest's 
knee; and what is more, didn't resave^^ yet; 
but wait till Father Con appears, and, I'll war- 
rant, you'll be as grave as another, for all you're 
so stout now." 

The conversation would then pass to the merits 
of Father Philemy and Father Con, as Con- 
fessors. 

" Well," one would observe "for my part, I'd 
rather go to Father Philemy, fifty times over, 
than wanst to Father Con, bekase he never axes 
questions; but whatever you like to tell him, he 
hears it, and forgives you at wanst." 

" And so sign's an it," observed another; " he 
could confess more in a day than Father Con 
could in a week." 

" But for all that," observed Andy Lalor, "it 's 
still best to go to the man that puts the ques- 
tions, you persave, and that won't let the turning 
of a straw escape him. Whin myself goes to 
Father Philemy, somehow or other, I totally dis- 
remember more nor wan half of what I intinded 
to tell him, but Father Con misses nothing, for 
he axes it." 

When the last observation was finished, Father 



320 IRELAND 

Con, finding that the usual hour for breakfast 
had arrived, came into the kitchen, to prepare for 
the celebration of mass. For this purpose, a 
table was cleared, and just in the nick of time 
arrived old Moll Brian, the vestment woman, or 
itinerant sacristan, whose usual occupation was 
to carry the priest's robes and other apparatus, 
from station to station. In a short time, Father 
Con was surpliced and robed; Andy Lalor, 
whose face was charged with commensurate im- 
portance during the ceremony, sarved Mass, and 
answered the priest stoutly in Latin, although 
he had not the advantage of understanding that 
sacerdotal language. Those who had confessed, 
now communicated; after which, each of them 
took a draught of water out of a small jug, which 
was handed round from one to another. The 
ceremony then closed, and those who had par- 
taken of the sacrament, with the exception of 
such as were detained for breakfast, after filling 
their bottles with holy water, went home with a 
light heart. A little before the mass had been 
finished, Father Philemy arrived; but as Phad- 
dhy and Katty were then preparing to resave, 145 
they could not at that moment give him a formal 
reception. As soon, however, as communion was 
over, the cead milliah failtah was repeated with 
the usual warmth, by both, and by all their im- 
mediate friends. 

Breakfast was now laid in Katty's best style, 
and with an originality of arrangement that 
scorned all precedent. Two tables were placed, 
one after another, in the kitchen; for the other 



TRAITS AND STORIES 321 

rooms were not sufficiently large to accommodate 
the company. Father Philemy filled the seat of 
honour at the head of the table, with his back to 
an immense fire. On his right hand sat Father 
Con ; on his left, Phaddhy himself, " to keep the 
clargy company;" and, in due succession after 
them, their friends and neighbours, each taking 
precedence according to the most scrupulous no- 
tions of respectability. Beside Father Con sat 
' Pether Malone," a " young collegian," who had 
been sent home from Maynooth to try his native 
air, for the recovery of his health, which was de- 
clining. He arrived only a few minutes after 
Father Philemy, and was a welcome reinforce- 
ment to Phaddhy, in the arduous task of sus- 
taining the conversation with suitable credit. 

With respect to the breakfast, I can only say, 
that it was superabundant that the tea was as 
black as bog water that there were hen, turkey, 
and geese eggs plates of toast soaked, crust and 
crumb, in butter; and lest there might be a defi- 
ciency, one of the daughters sat on a stool at the 
fire, with her open hand, by way of a fire-screen, 
across her red, half-scorched brows, toasting 
another plateful, and, to crown all, on each 
corner of the table was a bottle of whiskey. At 
the lower board sat the youngsters, under the 
surveillance of Katty's sister, who presided in 
that quarter. When they were commencing 
breakfast, "Father Philemy," said Katty, 
" won't yer Rev'rence bless the mate, 146 if ye 
plase?" 

" If I don't do it myself," said Father Phil- 

121 



322 IRELAND 

emy, who was just after sweeping the top off a 
turkey egg, " I'll get them that will. Come," 
said he to the collegian, "give us grace, Peter; 
you'll never learn younger." 

This, however, was an unexpected blow to 
Peter, who knew that an English grace would 
be incompatible with his " college breeding," yet 
was unprovided with any in Latin. The eyes 
of the company were now fixed upon him, and 
he blushed like scarlet on finding himself in a 
predicament so awkward and embarrassing. 
" Aliquid; Petre, aliquid; e de profundis ' si 
habes nihil aliud" said Father Philemy, feeling 
for his embarrassment, and giving him a hint. 
This was not lost, for Peter began, and gave 
them the De profundis a Latin psalm, which 
Roman Catholics repeat for the relief of the 
souls in purgatory. They forgot, however, that 
there was a person in company who considered 
himself as having an equal claim to the repeti- 
tion of at least the one-half of it; and accord- 
ingly, when Peter got up and repeated the first 
verse, Andy Lalor got also on his legs, and re- 
peated the response. 147 This staggered Peter a 
little, who hesitated, as uncertain how to act. 

<f Perge, Petre, perge" said Father Philemy, 
looking rather wistfully at his egg " perge, 
stultus est et asinus quoque." Peter and Andy 
proceeded until it was finished, when they re- 
sumed their seats. 

The conversation during breakfast was as 
sprightly, as full of fun and humour, as such 
breakfasts usually are. The priest, Phaddhy, 



TRAITS AND STORIES 323 

and the young collegian, had a topic of their 
own, whilst the rest were engaged in a kind of 
bye-play, until the meal was finished. 

" Father Philemy," said Phaddhy, in his ca- 
pacity of host, " before we begin we'll all take 
a dhrop of what's in the bottle, if it's not dis- 
plasing to yer Reverence ; and, sure, I know, 'tis 
the same that doesn't come wrong at a station, 
any how." 

This, more ma jorum , was complied with; and 
the glass, as usual, went round the table, be- 
ginning with their Reverences. 

Hitherto, Father Philemy had not had time 
to bestow any attention on the state of Katty's 
larder, as he was in the habit of doing, with a 
view to ascertain the several items contained 
therein for dinner. But as soon as the break- 
fast-things were removed, and the coast clear, he 
took a peep into the pantry, and, after throwing 
his eye over its contents, sat down at the fire, 
making Phaddhy take a seat beside him, for the 
especial purpose of sounding him as to the prac- 
ticability of effecting a certain design which was 
then snugly latent in his Reverence's fancy. 
The fact was, that on taking the survey of the 
premises aforesaid, he discovered that, although 
there was abundance of fowl, and fish, and bacon, 
and hung-beef yet, by some unaccountable and 
disastrous omission, there was neither fresh mut- 
ton nor fresh beef. The priest, it must be con- 
fessed, was a man of considerable fortitude, but 
this was a blow for which he was scarcely pre- 
pared, particularly as a boiled leg of mutton was 



324 IRELAND 

one of his fifteen favourite joints at dinner. He 
accordingly took two or three pinches of snuff in 
rapid succession, and a seat at the fire, as I have 
said, placing Phaddhy, unconscious of his de- 
sign, immediately beside him. 

Now, the reader knows that Phaddhy was a 
man possessing a considerable portion of dry, 
sarcastic humour, along with that natural quick- 
ness of penetration and shrewdness for which 
most of the Irish peasantry are, in a very peculiar 
degree, remarkable ; add to this that Father Phil- 
emy, in consequence of his contemptuous bear- 
ing to him before he came in for his brother's 
property, stood not very high in his estimation. 
The priest knew this, and consequently felt that 
the point in question would require to be man- 
aged, on his part, with suitable address. 

" Phaddhy," says his Reverence, c sit down 
here till we chat a little, before I commence the 
duties of the day. I'm happy to see that you 
have such a fine thriving family : how many sons 
and daughters have you? " 

" Six sons, yer Reverence," replied Phaddhy, 
" and five daughters : indeed, Sir, they're as well 
to be seen as their neighbours, considhering all 
things. Poor crathurs, they get fair play 148 
now, thank God, compared to what they used to 
get God rest their poor uncle's sowl for that! 
"Only for him, your Reverence, there would be 
very few inquiring this or any other day about 
them." 

" Did he die as rich as they said, Phaddhy? " 
inquired his Reverence. 



TRAITS AND STORIES 325 

" Hut, Sir," replied Phaddhy, determined to 
take what he afterwards called a rise out of the 
priest; "they knew little about it as rich as 
they said, Sir! no, but three times as rich, itself: 
but, any how, he was the man that could make 
the money." 

"I'm very happy to hear it, Phaddhy, on your 
account, and that of your children. God be 
good to him requiescat animus ejus in pace, 
per omnia secula seculorum, Amen! he liked a 
drop in his time, Phaddhy, as well as ourselves, 
eh?" 

"Amen, amen the heavens be his bed! he 
did, poor man! but he had it at first cost, your 
Reverence, for he run it all himself in the moun- 
tains : he could afford to take it." 

' Yes, Phaddhy, the heavens be his bed, I 
pray; no Christmas or Easter ever passed, but 
he was sure to send me the little keg of stuff that 
never saw water; but, Phaddhy, there's one 
thing that concerns me about him, in regard of 
his love of drink I'm afraid it's a throuble to 
him where he is at present; and I was sorry to 
find that, although he died full of money, he 
didn't think it worth his while to leave even the 
price of a mass to be said for the benefit of his 
own soul." 

' Why, sure you know, Father Philemy, that 
he wasn't what they call a dhrinking man: once 
a quarther, or so, he sartinly did take a jorum; 
and except at these times, he was very sober. 
But God look upon us, yer Reverence or upon 
myself, any way; for if he's to suffer for his do- 



326 IRELAND 

ings that way, I'm afeard we'll have a trouble- 
some reck'ning of it." 

" Hem, a-hem! Phaddhy," replied the priest, 
" he has raised you and your children from 
poverty, at all events, and you ought to consider 
that. If there is any thing in your power to con- 
tribute to the relief of his soul, you have a strong 
duty upon you to do it ; and a number of masses, 
offered up devoutly, would -" 

" Why, he did, Sir, raise both myself and my 
childre from poverty," said Phaddhy, not willing 
to let that point go farther "that I'll always 
own to; and I hope in God that whatever little 
trouble might be upon him for the dhrop of 
dhrink, will be wiped off by this kindness to us." 

" He hadn't even a Month's mind!! " 149 

" And it's not but I spoke to him about both, 
yer Reverence." 

" And what did he say, Phaddhy? " 

" ' Phaddhy/ said he, ' I have been giving 
Father M'Guirk, one way or another, between 
whiskey, oats, and dues, a great deal of money 
every year; and now, afther I'm dead,' says he, 
' isn't it an ungrateful thing of him not to offer 
up one mass for my sowl, except I leave him 
payment for it ? ' 

" Did he say that, Phaddhy? " 

" I'm giving you his very words, yer Rever- 
ence." 

" Phaddhy, I deny it; it's a big lie he could 
not make use of such words, and he going to face 
death. I say you could not listen to them; the 
hair would stand on your head if he did : but God 



TRAITS AND STORIES 327 

forgive him! that's the worst I wish him. 
Didn't the hair stand on your head, Phaddhy, to 
hear him? " 

" Why, then, to tell yer Reverence God's 
truth, I can't say it did." 

' You can't say it did ! and if I was in your 
coat, I would be ashamed to say it did not. I 
was always troubled about the way the fellow 
died, but I hadn't the slightest notion that he 
went off such a reprobate. I fought his battle 
and yours hard enough yesterday; but I knew 
less about him then than I do now." 

" And what, wid submission, did you fight our 
battles about, yer Reverence?" inquired Phad- 
dhy. 

4 Yesterday evening, in Parrah More Slevin's, 
they had him a miser, and yourself they set down 
as very little better." 

' Then I don't think I desarved that from 
Parrah More, any how, Father Philemy ; I think 
I can show myself as dacent as Parrah More or 
any of his faction." 

" It was not Parrah More himself, nor his 
family, that said any thing about you, Phaddhy," 
said the priest, " but others that were present. 
You must know that we were all to be starved 
here to-day." 

"Oh! ho!" exclaimed Phaddhy, who was hit 
most palpably upon the weakest side the very 
sorest spot about him, " they think bekase this is 
the first station that ever was held in my house, 
that you won't be thrated as you ought; but 
they'll be disappointed; and I hope, for so far, 



328 IRELAND 

that yer Reverence and yer friends had no rason 
to complain." 

" Not in the least, Phaddhy, considering that 
it was a first station; and if the dinner goes as 
well off as the breakfast, they'll be biting their 
nails: but I should not wish myself that they 
would have it in their power to sneer or throw 

any slur over you about it. Go along, Dolan," 

exclaimed his Reverence to a countryman who 
came in from the street, where those stood who 
were for confession, to see if he had gone to his 
room ' Go along, you vagrant, don't you see 

I'm not gone to the tribunal yet? But it's no 

matter about that, Phaddhy, it's of other things 
you ought to think: when were you at your 
duty?" 

' This morning, Sir," replied the other " but 
I'd have them to understand, that had the pre- 
sumption to use my name in any such manner, 
that I know when and where to be dacint with 
any mother's son of Parrah More's faction; and 
that I'll be afther whispering to them some of 
these fine mornings, plase goodness." 

' Well, well, Phaddhy, don't put yourself in a 
passion about it, particularly so soon after hav- 
ing been at confession it's not right I told 
them myself, that we'd have a leg of mutton and 
a bottle of wine at all events, for it was what 
they had; but that's not worth talking about: 
when were you with the priest, before, Phaddy? " 

" If I wasn't able, it would be another thing, 
but, as long as I'm able, I'll let them know that 
I've the spirit " said Phaddhy, smarting under 



TRAITS AND STORIES 329 

the imputation of niggardliness " when was I 
at confession before, Father Philemy? Why, 
then, dear forgive me, not these five years; 
and I'd surely be the first of the family that 
would show a mane spirit, or a want of hospital- 
ity." 

" A leg of mutton is a good dish, and a bottle 
of wine is fit for the first man in the land! " ob- 
served his Reverence ; " five years ! why, is it 
possible you staid away so long, Phaddhy! how 
could you expect to prosper with five years' bur- 
den of sin upon your conscience what would it 
cost you ? " 

" Indeed, myself 's no judge, your Reverence, 
as to that; but, cost what it will, I'll get both." 

" I say, Phaddhy, what trouble would it cost 
you to come to your duty twice a year at the very 
least; and, indeed, I would advise you to become 
a monthly communicant. Parrah More was 

speaking of it as to himself, and you ought to 




And I will go and bring Parrah More here 
to his dinner, this very day, if it was only to let 

him see with his own eyes ." 

' You ought to go once a month, if it was only 
to set an example to your children, and to show 
the neighbours how a man of substance and re- 
spectability, and the head of a family, ought to 
carry himself." 

' Where is the best wine got, yer Reverence? " 

" Alick M'Loughlin, my nephew, I believe, 

keeps the best wine and spirits in Ballyslantha. 

You ought also, Phaddhy, to get a scapular, 



330 IRELAND 

and become a scapularian; I wish your brother 
had thought of that, and he wouldn't have died 
in so hardened a state, nor neglected to make 
a provision for the benefit of his soul, as he 
did." 

" Lave the rest to me, yer Reverence, I'll get 
it; Mr. M'Loughlin will give me the right sort, 
if he has it betune him and death." 

" M'Loughlin! what are you talking about? " 

'* Why, what is your Reverence talking 
about? " 

" The scapular," said the priest. 

" But I mane the wine and the mutton," says 
Phaddhy. 

" And is that the way you treat me, you 
reprobate you? " replied his Reverence, in a pas- 
sion : " is that the kind of attention you're paying 
me, and I advising you, all this time, for the 
good of your soul? Phaddhy, I tell you, you're 
enough to vex me to the core five years ! only 
once at confession in five years ! What do I care 
about your mutton and your wine? you may 
get dozens of them if you wish; or, may be, it 
would be more like a Christian to never mind 
getting them, and let the neighbours laugh away. 
It would teach you humility, you hardened crea- 
ture, and God knows you want it; for my part, 
I'm speaking to you about other things; but 
that's the way with the most of you mention 
any spiritual subject that concerns your soul, 
and you turn a deaf ear to it here, Dolan, come 
in to your duty. In the meantime, you may as 
well tell Katty not to boil the mutton too much; 



TRAITS AND STORIES 331 

it's on your knees you ought to be at your rosary, 
or the seven penitential psalms, any way." 

' Thrue for you, Sir," says Phaddhy; " but as 
to going wanst a month, I'm afeard, your Rev'- 
rence, if it would shorten my timper as it does 
Katty's, that we'd be bad company for one an- 
other: she comes home from confession, newly 
set, like a razor, every bit as sharp ; and I'm sure 
that I'm within the truth when I say there's no 
bearing her." 

' That's because you have no relish for any- 
thing spiritual yourself, you nager you," replied 
his Reverence, " or you wouldn't see her temper 
in that light but, now that I think of it, where 
did you get that stuff we had at breakfast? " 

" Ay, that's the sacret ; but I knew yer Rev'- 
rence would like it: did Parrah More aiquil it? 
No, nor one of his faction couldn't lay his finger 
on such a dhrop." 

" I wish you could get me a few gallons of 
it," said the priest; " but let us drop that; I say, 
Phaddhy, you're too worldly and too careless 
about your duty." 

' Well, Father Philemy, there's a good time 
coming; I'll mend yet." 

" You want it, Phaddhy." 

" Would three gallons do, Sir? " 

" I would rather you would make it five, 
Phaddhy; but go to your rosary." 

" It's the penitential psalms, first, Sir," said 
Phaddhy, " and the rosary at night. I'll try, 
anyhow; and if I can make off five for you, I 
will." 



332 IRELAND 

'Thank you, Phaddhy; but I would recom- 
mend you to say the rosary before night." 

" I believe yer Reverence is right," replied 
Phaddhy, looking somewhat slyly in the priest's 
face; " I think it's best to make sure of it now, 
in regard that in the evening, your Reverence 
do you per save? " 

' Yes," said his Reverence : " you're in a better 
frame of mind at present, Phaddhy, being fresh 
from confession." So saying, his Reverence- 
for whom Phaddhy, with all his shrewdness in 
general, was not a match went into his room, 
that he might send home about four dozen 
of honest, good-humoured, thoughtless, jovial, 
swearing, drinking, fighting Hibernians, free 
from every possible stain of sin and wickedness! 

"Are you all ready now?" said the priest, 
to a crowd of country people who were standing 
about the kitchen door, pressing to get the " first 
turn " at the tribunal, which on this occasion con- 
sisted of a good oaken chair, with his Reverence 
upon it. 

' Why do you crush forward in that manner, 
you ill-bred spalpeens? Can't you stand back, 
and behave yourselves like common Christians? 
back with you I or, if you make me get my 
whip, I'll soon clear you from about the dacent 
man's door. Hagarty, why do you crush them 
two girls there, you great Turk you? Look at 
the vagabonds! Where's my whip?" said he, 
running in, and coming out in a fury, when he 
commenced cutting about him, until they dis- 
persed in all directions. He then returned into 



TRAITS AND STORIES 333 

the house; and, after calling in about two 
dozen, began to catechise them as follows, still 
holding the whip in his hand, whilst many of 
those individuals, who at a party quarrel or 
faction fight, in fair or market, were incapable 
of the slightest terror, now stood trembling be- 
fore him, absolutely pale and breathless with 
fear. 

" Come, Kelly," said he to one of them, " are 
you fully prepared for the two blessed sacra- 
ments of Penance and the Eucharist, that you 
are about to receive? Can you read, sir? " 

" Can I read, is id? my brother Barney can, 
yer Rev'rence," replied Kelly, sensible, amid all 
the disadvantages around him, of the degrada- 
tion of his ignorance. 

* What's that to me, sir? " said the priest, 
" what your brother Barney can do can you 
not read yourself? " 

" I can not, yer Reverence," said Kelly, in a 
tone of regret. 

" I hope you have your Christian Doctrine, 
at all events," said the priest. " Go on with the 
Confiteor." 

Kelly went on ff Confeetur Dimniportenti 
batchy Mary semplar virginy, batchy Mickletoe 
Archy Angela, batchy Johnny Bartisty, sanctris 
postlis Petrum hit Paulum, omnium sanctris, 
et tabby pasture, quay a pixavit minus coglety 
ashy hony verbum et offer him smaxy quilta 
smaxy quilta smaxy maxin in quilta." 15 

' Very well, Kelly, right enough, all except 
the pronouncing, which wouldn't pass muster in 



334 IRELAND 

Maynooth, however. How many kinds of com- 
mandments are there? " 

" Two, sir." 

" What are they? " 

" God's and the Church's." 

" Repeat God's share of them." 

He then repeated the first commandment 
according to his catechism. 

' Very good, Kelly, very good. Well, now, 
repeat the commandments of the Church." 

" First Sundays and holidays, Mass thou shalt sartinly 
hear; 

" Second All holidays sanctificate throughout all the 
whole year. 

" Third Lent, Ember days, and Virgins, thou shalt be 
sartin to fast; 

" Fourth Fridays and Saturdays flesh thou shalt not, 
good, bad, or indifferent, taste. 

" Fifth In Lent and Advent, nuptial fastes gallantly 
forbear. 

" Sixth Confess your sins, at laste once dacently and 
soberly every year. 

" Seventh Resave your God at confission about great 
Easter-day; 

" Eighth And to his church and his own frolicsome 
clargy neglect not tides (tithes) to pay." 

'* Well," said his Reverence, " now, the great 
point is, do you understand them?" 

" Wid the help of God, I hope so, yer Rev'- 
rence; and I have also the three thriptological 
vartues." 

* Theological, sirrah ! " 

" Theojollyological vartues; the four sins that 



TRAITS AND STORIES 335 

cry to heaven for vingeance ; the five carnal var- 
tues prudence, justice, timptation, and soli- 
tude ; 151 the seven deadly sins ; the eight grey 
attitudes " 

"Grey attitudes I Oh, the Boeotian 1" ex- 
claimed his Reverence, " listen to the way in 
which he's playing havoc among them. Stop, 
sir," for Kelly was going on at full speed 
" Stop, sir. I tell you it's not grey attitudes, 
but bay attitudes doesn't every one know the 
eight beatitudes? " 

' The eight bay attitudes ; the nine ways of be- 
ing guilty of another's sins; the ten command- 
ments; the twelve fruits of a Christian; the 
fourteen stations of the cross; the fifteen mys- 
theries of the passion " 

" Kelly," said his Reverence, interrupting him, 
and heralding the joke, for so it was intended, 
with a hearty chuckle, " you're getting fast out 
of your teens, ma bouchal!" and this was, of 
course, honoured with a merry peal, extorted as 
much by an effort at softening the rigour of ex- 
amination, as by the traditionary duty which 
entails upon the Irish laity the necessity of 
laughing at a priest's jokes, without any refer- 
ence at all to their quality. Nor was his Rever- 
ence's own voice the first to subside into that 
gravity which became the solemnity of the occa- 
sion ; for, even whilst he continued the interroga- 
tories, his eye was laughing at the conceit with 
which it was evident the inner man was not com- 
petent to grapple. " Well, Kelly, I can't say 



336 IRELAND 

but j^ou've answered very well, as far as the 
repeating of them goes; but do you perfectly 
understand all the commandments of the 
church? " 

" I do, Sir," replied Kelly, whose confi- 
dence kept pace with his Reverence's good 
humour. 

" Well, what is meant by the fifth? " 

"The fifth, sir?" said the other, rather con- 
founded " I must begin agin, sir, and go on till 
I come to it." 

" Well," said the priest, " never mind that; but 
tell us what the eighth means? " 

Kelly stared at him a second time, but was not 
able to advance. " First Sundays and holi- 
days, mass thou shalt hear; " but before he had 
proceeded to the second, a person who stood at 
his elbow began to whisper to him the proper re- 
ply, and in the act of so doing received a lash of 
the whip across the ear for his pains. 

"You blackguard you!" exclaimed Father 
Philemy, " take that how dare you attempt to 
prompt any person that I'm examining? " 

Those who stood around Kelly now fell back 
to a safe distance, and all was silence, terror, and 
trepidation once more. 

" Come, Kelly, go on the eighth? " 

Kelly was still silent. 

" Why, you ninny you, didn't you repeat it 

just now. ' Eighth And to his church neglect 

not tithes to pay.' Now that I have put the 

words in your mouth, what does it mean? " 

Kelly having thus got the cue, replied, in 



TRAITS AND STORIES 337 

the words of the Catechism, " To pay tides to the 
lawful pasterns of the church, sir." 

"Pasterns! oh, you ass you! Pasterns! 
you poor, base, contemptible, crawling reptile, 
as if we trampled you under our hooves oh, 
you scruff of the earth! Stop, I say it's pas- 
tors" 

' Pastures of the church." 

" And, tell me, do you fulfil that command- 
ment? " 

" I do, sir." 

" It's a lie, sir," replied the priest, brandishing 
the whip over his head, whilst Kelly instinctively 
threw up his guard to protect himself from the 
blow. " It's a lie, sir," repeated his Reverence; 
" you don't fulfil it. What is the church? " 

' The church is the congregation of the faith- 
ful that purfiss the true faith, and are obadient 
to the Pope." 

" And who do you pay your tithes to? " 

' To the parson, sir." 

" And, you poor varmint you! is he obadient 
to the Pope?" 

Kelly only smiled at the want of comprehen- 
sion which prevented him from seeing the thing 
according to the view which his Reverence took 
of it. 

" Well, now," continued Father Philemy, 
" who are the lawful pastors of God's church? " 
'You are, sir: and all our own priests." 

" And who ought you to pay your tithes to? " 
' To you, sir, in coorse; sure I always knew 
that, yer Rev'rence." 

122 



838 IRELAND 

" And what's the reason, then, you don't pay 
them to me, instead of the parson? " 

This was a puzzler to Kelly, who only knew 
his own side of the question. " You have me 
there, sir," he replied, with a grin. 

" Because," said his Reverence, " the Protes- 
tants, for the present, have the law of the land 
on their side, and power over you to compel the 
payment of tithes to themselves; but we have 
right, justice, and the law of God on ours; and, 
if everything was in its proper place, it is not 
to the parsons but to us, that you would pay 
them." 

" Well, well, Sir," replied Kelly, who now ex- 
perienced a community of feeling upon the sub- 
ject with his Reverence, that instantly threw him 
into a familiarity of manner which he thought 
the point between them justified " who knows, 
Sir? " said he with a knowing smile, " there's a 
good time coming, yer Rev'rence." 

" Ay," said Father Philemy, " wait till we get 
once into the Big 152 House, and if we don't turn 
the scales if the Established Church doesn't go 
down, why, it won't be our fault. Now, Kelly, 
all's right but the money have you brought 
your dues ? " 

" Here it is, Sir," said Kelly, handing him his 
dues for the last year. 

It is to be observed here, that, according as 
the penitents went to be examined, or to kneel 
down to confess, a certain sum was exacted from 
each, which varied according to the arrears that 
might have been due to the priest. Indeed, it is 



TRAITS AND STORIES 339 

not unusual for the host and hostess, on these 
occasions, to be refused a participation in the 
sacrament, until they pay this money, notwith- 
standing the considerable expense they are put 
to in entertaining not only the clergy, but a cer- 
tain number of their own friends and relations. 

'Well, stand aside, I'll hear you first; and 
now come up here, you young gentleman, that 
laughed so heartily a while ago at my joke ha, 
ha, ha! come up here, child." 

A lad now approached him, whose face, on a 
first view, had something simple and thoughtless 
in it, but in which, on a closer inspection, might 
be traced a lurking, sarcastic humour, of which 
his Reverence never dreamt. 

* You're for confession, of course? " said the 
priest. 

" Of coorse" said the lad, echoing him, and 
laying a stress upon the word, which did not 
much elevate the meaning of the compliance in 
general with the rite in question. 

"Oh!" exclaimed the priest, recognizing him 
when he approached " you are Dan Pagan's 
son, and designed for the church yourself; you 
are a good Latinist, for I remember examining 
you in Erasmus about two years ago Quomodo 
se habet corpus tuum, charum lignum sacerdo- 
tis?" 

rf Valde, Domine" replied the lad, " Quomodo 
se habet anima tua, charum exemplar sacerdo- 
tage, et fulcrum robustissimum Ecclesice sacro- 
sanctce." 

" Very good, Harry," replied his Reverence, 



340 IRELAND 

laughing "stand aside; I'll hear you after 
Kelly." 

He then called up a man with a long melan- 
choly face, which he noticed before to have been 
proof against his joke, and after making two or 
three additional and fruitless experiments upon 
his gravity, he commenced a cross fire of peevish 
interrogatories, which would have excluded him 
from the " tribunal " on that occasion, were it 
not that the man was remarkably well prepared, 
and answered the priest's questions very per- 
tinently. 

This over, he repaired to his room, where the 
work of absolution commenced ; and, as there was 
a considerable number to be rendered sinless be- 
fore the hour of dinner, he contrived to un-sin 
them with an alacrity that was really surprising. 

Immediately after the conversation already 
detailed between his Reverence and Phaddhy, 
the latter sought Katty, that he might commu- 
nicate to her the unlucky oversight which they 
had committed, in neglecting to provide fresh 
meat and wine. " We'll be disgraced for ever,*' 
said Phaddhy, " without either a bit of mutton or 
a bottle of wine for the gintlemen, and that big 
thief Parrah More Slevin had both." 

" And I hope," replied Katty, " that you're 
not so mane as to let any of that faction out-do 
you in dacency, the nagerly set? It was enough 
for them to bate us in the law-shoot about the 
horse, and not to have the laugh agin at us about 
this." 

" Well, that same law-shoot is not over with 



TRAITS AND STORIES 341 

them yet," said Phaddhy, " wait till the spring 
fair comes, and if I don't have a faction gathered 
that'll sweep them out of the town, why my 
name's not Phaddhy! But where is Matt till we 
sind him off? " 

"Arrah, Phaddhy," said Katty, "wasn't it 
friendly of Father Philemy to give us the hard 
word about the wine and mutton? " 

" Very friendly," retorted Phaddhy, who, 
after all, appeared to have suspected the priest 

" very friendly, indeed, when it's to put a 
good joint before himself, and a bottle of wine 
in his jacket. No, no, Katty! it's not altogether 
for the sake of Father Philemy, but I wouldn't 
have the neighbours say that I was near and un- 
dacent ; and above all things, I wouldn't be worse 
nor the S levins for the same set would keep 
it up agin us long enough." 

Our readers will admire the tact with which 
Father Philemy worked upon the rival feeling 
between the factions; but, independently of this, 
there is a generous hospitality in an Irish peas- 
ant which would urge him to any stratagem, 
were it even the disposal of his own cow, sooner 
than incur the imputation of a narrow, or, as 
he himself terms it, " undacent " or " nag- 
erly " 153 spirit. 

In the course of a short time, Phaddhy dis- 
patched two messengers, one for the wine, and 
another for the mutton; and, that they might 
not have cause for any unnecessary delay, he 
gave them the two reverend gentlemen's horses, 
ordering them to spare neither whip nor spur 



342 IRELAND 

until they returned. This was an agreeable 
command to the messengers, who, as soon as 
they found themselves mounted, made a bet of 
a " trate," to be paid on arriving in the town 
to which they were sent, to him who should 
first reach a little stream that crossed the road 
at the entrance of it, called the " Pound burn." 
But I must not forget to state, that they not 
only were mounted on the priests' horses, but 
took their great-coats, as the day had changed, 
and threatened to rain. Accordingly, on get- 
ting out upon the main road, they set off, whip 
and spur, at full speed, jostling one another, 
and cutting each other's horses as if they had 
been intoxicated; and the fact is, that, owing 
to the liberal distribution of the bottle that 
morning they were not far from it. 

" Bliss us! " exclaimed the country people, as 
they passed, " what on airth can be the matther 
with Father Philemy and Father Con, that 
they 're abusing wan another at sich a rate! " 

" Oh! " exclaimed another, " it 's apt to be a 
sick call, and they 're thrying, may be, to be 
there before the body grows cowld." 154 

" Ay, or may be," a third conjectured, " it 's 
to ould Magennis, that's on the point of death, 
and going to leave all his money behind him." 

But their astonishment was not a whit less- 
ened, when, in about an hour afterwards, they 
perceived them both return; the person who rep- 
resented Father Con having an overgrown leg 
of mutton slung behind his back like an Irish 
harp, reckless of its friction against his Rev- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 343 

erence's coat, which it had completely saturated 
with grease; and the duplicate of Father 
Philemy with a sack over his shoulder, in the 
bottom of which was half a dozen of Mr. 
M'Loughlin's best port. 

Phaddhy, in the meantime, being determined 
to mortify his rival Parrah More by a superior 
display of hospitality, waited upon that person- 
age, and exacted a promise from him to come 
down and partake of the dinner a promise 
which the other was not slack in fulfilling. 
Phaddhy's heart was now on the point of taking 
its rest, when it occurred to him that there yet 
remained one circumstance in which he might 
utterly eclipse his rival, and that was to ask 
Captain Wilson, his landlord, to meet their 
Reverences at dinner. He accordingly went 
over to him, for he only lived a few fields dis- 
tant, having first communicated the thing 
privately to Katty, and requested that, as their 
Reverences that day held a station in his house, 
and would dine there, he would have the kind- 
ness to dine along with them. To this the 
Captain, who was intimate with both the cler- 
gymen, gave a ready compliance, and Phaddhy 
returned home in high spirits. 

In the meantime, the two priests were busy 
in the work of absolution; the hour of three had 
arrived, and they had many to shrive; but, in 
the course of a short time, a reverend auxiliary 
made his appearance, accompanied by one of 
Father Philemy's nephew, who was then about 
to enter Maynooth. This clerical gentleman 



344 IRELAND 

had been appointed to a parish; but, owing to 
some circumstances which were known only in 
the distant part of the diocese where he had re- 
sided, he was deprived of it, and had, at the 
period I am writing of, no appointment in the 
church, though he was in full orders. If I mis- 
take not, he incurred his bishop's displeasure 
by being too warm an advocate for Domestic 
Nomination, 155 a piece of discipline, the re- 
establishment of which was then attempted by 
the junior clergymen of the diocese wherein the 
scene of this station is laid. Be this as it may, 
he came in time to assist the gentlemen in ab- 
solving those penitents (as we must call them 
so) who still remained unconfessed. 

During all this time Katty was in the pleni- 
tude of her authority, and her sense of importance 
manifested itself in a manner that was by no 
means softened by having been that morning at 
her duty. Her tones were not so shrill, nor so 
loud as they would have been, had not their Rev- 
erences been within hearing; but what was 
wanting in loudness, was displayed in a firm 
and decided energy, that vented itself frequently 
in the course of the day upon the backs and 
heads of her sons, daughters, and servants, as 
they crossed her path in the impatience and 
bustle of her employment. It was truly ludi- 
crous to see her, on encountering one of them 
in these fretful moments, give him a drive head- 
foremost against the wall, exclaiming, as she 
shook her fist at him, " Ho, you may bless your 
stars, that they 're under the roof, or it wouldn't 



TRAITS AND STORIES 345 

go so asy wid you; for if goodness hasn't said 
it, you '11 make me lose my sowl this blessed and 
holy day: but this is still the case the very 
time I go to my duty, the devil (between us and 
harm) is sure to throw fifty temptations acrass 
me, and to help him, you must come in my way 
but wait till to-morrow, and if I don't pay you 
for this, I 'm not here." 

That a station is an expensive ordinance to 
the peasant who is honoured by having one held 
in his house, no one who knows the character- 
istic hospitality of the Irish people can doubt. 
I have reason, however, to know that, within the 
last few years, stations in every sense have been 
very much improved, where they have not been 
abolished altogether. The priests now are not 
permitted to dine in the houses of their parish- 
ioners, by which a heavy tax has been removed 
from the people. 

About four o'clock the penitents were at 
length all dispatched; and those who were to be 
detained for dinner, many of whom had not 
eaten anything until then, in consequence of the 
necessity of receiving the Eucharist fasting, 
were taken aside to taste some of Phaddhy's 
poteen. At length the hour of dinner arrived, 
and along with it the redoubtable Parrah More 
Slevin, Captain Wilson, and another nephew 
of Father Philemy's, who had come to know 
what detained his brother who had conducted 
the auxiliary priest to Phaddhy's. It is sur- 
prising on these occasions, to think how many 
uncles, and nephews, and cousins, to the forty- 



346 IRELAND 

second degree, find it needful to follow their 
Reverences on messages of various kinds; and 
it is equally surprising to observe with what 
exactness they drop in during the hour of din- 
ner. Of course, any blood-relation or friend of 
the priest's must be received with cordiality; 
and consequently they do not return without 
solid proofs of the good-natured hospitality of 
poor Paddy, who feels no greater pleasure than 
in showing his " dacency " to anyone belonging 
to his Reverence. 

I dare say it would be difficult to find a more 
motley and diversified company than sat down 
to the ungarnished fare which Katty laid be- 
fore them. There were first Fathers Philemy, 
Con, and the Auxiliary from the far part of the 
diocese; next followed Captain Wilson, Peter 
Malone, and Father Phijemy's two nephews; 
after these came Phaddhy himself, Parrah 
More S levin, with about two dozen more of the 
most remarkable and uncouth personages that 
could sit down to table. There were besides 
about a dozen of females, most of whom by this 
time, owing to Katty's private kindness, were 
in a placid state of feeling. Father Philemy, 
ex officiOj filled the chair he was a small man, 
with cherub cheeks as red as roses, black twink- 
ling eyes, and double chin ; was of the fat-headed 
genus, and, if phrenologists be correct, must 
have given indications of early piety, for he 
was bald before his time, and had the organ of 
veneration standing visible on his crown; his 
hair, from having once been black, had become 



TRAITS AND STORIES 347 

an iron-grey, and hung down behind his ears, 
resting on the collar of his coat according to the 
old school, to which, I must remark, he belonged, 
having been educated on the Continent. His 
coat had large double breasts, the lappels of 
which hung down loosely on each side, being the 
prototype of his waistcoat, whose double breasts 
fell downwards in the same manner his black 
small-clothes had silver buckles at the knees, 
and the gaiters, which did not reach up so far, 
discovered a pair of white lamb's-wool stock- 
ings, somewhat retreating from their original 
colour. 

Father Con was a tall, muscular, able-bodied 
young man, with an immensely-broad pair of 
shoulders, of which he was vain; his black hair 
was cropped close, except a thin portion of it 
which was trimmed quite evenly across his eye- 
brows; he was rather bow-limbed, and when 
walking looked upwards, holding out his elbows 
from his body, and letting the lower parts of his 
arms fall down, so that he went as if he carried 
a keg under each; his coat, though not well 
made, was of the best glossy broad-cloth and 
his long clerical boots went up about his knees 
like a dragoon's; there was an awkward stiffness 
about him, in very good keeping with a dark 
melancholy cast of countenance, in which, how- 
ever, a man might discover an air of simplicity 
not to be found in the visage of his superior, 
Father Philemy. 

The latter gentleman filled the chair, as I said, 
and carved the goose; on his right sat Captain 



348 IRELAND 

Wilson; on his left, the auxiliary next to them 
Father Con, the nephews, Peter Malone, et 
cetera. To enumerate the items of the dinner 
is unnecessary, as our readers have a pretty ac- 
curate notion of them from what we have al- 
ready said. We can only observe, that when 
Phaddhy saw it laid, and all the wheels of the 
system fairly set a-going, he looked at Parrah 
More with an air of triumph which he could not 
conceal. It is also unnecessary for us to give 
the conversation in full; nor, indeed, would we 
attempt giving any portion of it, except for the 
purpose of showing the spirit in which a reli- 
gious ceremony, such as it is, is too frequently 
closed. 

The talk in the beginning was altogether con- 
fined to the clergymen and Mr. Wilson, includ- 
ing a few diffident contributions from " Pether 
Malone," and the " two nephews." 

"Mr. M'Guirk," observed Captain Wilson, 
after the conversation had taken several turns, 
" I 'm sure that in the course of your profes- 
sional duties, sir, you must have had occasion 
to make many observations upon human nature, 
from the circumstance of seeing it in every con- 
dition and state of feeling possible; from the 
baptism of the infant, until the aged man re- 
ceives the last rites of your church, and the 
soothing consolation of religion from your 
hand." 

" Not a doubt of it, Phaddhy," said Father 
Philemy to Phaddhy, whom he had been ad- 
dressing at the time, "not a doubt of it; and 



TRAITS AND STORIES 349 

I '11 do everything in my power to get him in 1! 
too, and I am told he is bright." 

" Uncle," said one of the nephews, " this gen- 
tleman is speaking to you." 

" And why not? " continued his Reverence, 
who was so closely engaged with Phaddhy, that he 
did not even hear the nephew's appeal " a bishop 
and why not? Has he not as good a chance 
of being a bishop as any of them? though, God 
knows, it is not always merit that gets a bishop- 
rick in any church, or I myself might But 

let that pass," said he, fixing his eyes on the 
bottle. 

" Father Philemy," said Father Con, " Cap- 
tain Wilson was addressing himself to you in a 
most especial manner." 

" Oh! Captain, I beg ten thousand pardons, 
I was engaged talking with Phaddhy here about 
his son, who is a young shaving of our cloth, 
sir; he is intended for the Mission 15T Phaddhy, 
I will either examine him myself, or make 
Father Con examine him, by-and-by. Well, 
Captain? " 

The Captain now repeated what he had said. 
' Very true, Captain, and we do see it in as 

many shapes as ever Con, what do you call 

him? put on him." 

' Proteus," subjoined Con, who was famous 
at the classics. 

Father Philemy nodded for the assistance, 
and continued " but as for human nature, Cap- 
tain, give it to me at a good rousing christening; 
or, what is better again, at a jovial wedding 



350 IRELAND 

between two of my own parishoners say 
this pretty fair-haired daughter of Phaddhy 
Sheemus Phaddhy's here, and long Ned Slevin, 
Parrah More's son there eh Phaddhy, will it 
be a match? what do you say, Parrah More? 
Upon my veracity I must bring that about." 

' Why, then, yer Reverence," replied Phad- 
dhy, who was now a little softened, and forgot his 
enmity against Parrah More for the present, 
" unlikelier things might happen." 

" It won't be my fault," said Parrah More, 
" if my son Ned has no objection." 

"He object!" replied Father Philemy, "if 
I take it in hands, let me see who'll dare to ob- 
ject; doesn't the Scripture say it? and sure we 
can't go against the Scripture." 

" By the by," said Captain Wilson, who was 
a dry humourist, " I am happy to be able to 
infer from what you say, Father Philemy, that 
you are not, as the clergymen of your church are 
supposed to be, inimical to the Bible." 

" Me an enemy to the Bible ! no such thing, 
Sir; but, Captain, begging your pardon, we'll 
have nothing more about the Bible: you see we 
are met here, as friends and good fellows, to 
enjoy ourselves after the severity of our spiritual 
duties, and we must relax a little; we can't al- 
ways carry long faces like Methodist parsons 
come, Parrah More, let the Bible take a nap, and 
give us a song." 

His Reverence was now seconded in his mo- 
tion by the most of all present, and Parrah 
More, accordingly gave them a song. After a 



TRAITS AND STORIES 351 

few songs more, the conversation went on as 
before. 

" Now, Parrah More," said Phaddhy, " you 
must try my wine; I hope it's as good as what you 
gave his Reverence yesterday." 

The words, however, had scarcely passed his 
lips, when Father Philemy burst out into a fit 
of laughter, clapping and rubbing his hands in a 
manner the most irresistible. " Oh, Phaddhy, 
Phaddhy!" shouted his Reverence, laughing 
heartily, " I done you for once I done you, my 
man, cute as you thought yourself: why, you 
nager you, did you think to put us off with punch, 
and you have a stocking of hard guineas hid in a 
hole in the wall? " 

" What does yer Rev'rence mane," said Phad- 
dhy; " for myself can make no understanding 
out of it, at all at all? " 

To this his Reverence only replied by another 
laugh. 

ff l gave his Reverence no wine," said Parrah 
More, in reply to Phaddhy's question. 

' What! " said Phaddhy, " none yesterday, at 
the station held with you? " 

" Not a bit of me ever thought of it." 

" Nor no mutton?" 

" Why, then, devil a morsel of mutton, 
Phaddhy; but we had a rib of beef." 

Phaddhy now looked over to his Reverence 
rather sheepishly, with the smile of a man on his 
face who felt himself foiled. " Well, yer Rev- 
erence has done me, sure enough," he replied, 
rubbing his head "I give it up to you, Father 



852 IRELAND 

Philemy; but any how, I'm glad I got it, and 
you're all welcome from the core of my heart. 
I'm only sorry I haven't as much more now to 
thrate you all like gintlemen; but there's some 
yet, and as much punch as will make all our 
heads come round." 

Our readers must assist us with their own im- 
aginations, and suppose the conversation to have 
passed very pleasantly, and the night, as well as 
the guests, to be somewhat far gone. The prin- 
cipal part of the conversation was borne by the 
three clergymen, Captain Wilson, and Phad- 
dhy ; that of the two nephews and Peter Malone 
ran in an under current of its own; and in the 
preceding part of the night, those who occupied 
the bottom of the table, spoke to each other 
rather in whispers, being too much restrained 
by that rustic bashfulness which ties up the 
tongues of those who feel that their consequence 
is overlooked among their superiors. Accord- 
ing as the punch circulated, however, their diffi- 
dence began to wear off; and occasionally an 
odd laugh or so might be heard to break the 
monotony of their silence. The youngsters too, 
though at first almost in a state of terror, soon 
commenced plucking each other; and a titter, 
or a suppressed burst of laughter, would break 
forth from one of the more waggish, who was 
put to a severe task in afterwards composing 
his countenance into sufficient gravity to escape 
detection, and a competent portion of chastise- 
ment the next day, for not being able to " be- 
have himself with betther manners." 



TRAITS AND STORIES 353 

During these juvenile breaches of decorum, 
Katty would raise her arm in a threatening at- 
titude, shake her head at them, and look up at 
the clergy, intimating more by her earnestness 
of gesticulation than met the ear. Several songs 
again went round, of which, truth to tell, Father 
Philemy's were by far the best; for he possessed 
a rich, comic expression of eye, which, added to 
suitable ludicrousness of gesture, and a good 
voice, rendered him highly amusing to the com- 
pany. Father Con declined singing, as being 
decidedly serious, though he was often solicited. 

" He!" said Father Philemy, "he has no more 
voice than a wool-pack; but Con's a cunning fel- 
low. What do you think, Captain Wilson, but 
he pretends to be too pious to sing, and gets credit 
for piety, not because he is devout, but because 
he has a bad voice ; now, Con, you can't deny it, 
for there's not a man in the three kingdoms 
knows it better than myself; you sit there with 
a face upon you that might go before the Lam- 
entations of Jeremiah the Prophet, when you 
ought to be as jovial as another." 

" Well, Father Philemy," said Phaddhy, " as 
he won't sing, may be, wid submission, he'd ex- 
amine Briney in his Latin, till his mother and I 
hear how's he doing at it." 

" Ay, he's fond of dabbling at Latin, so he 

may try him I'm sure I have no objection : 

so, Captain, as I was telling you ." 

" Silence there below! " said Phaddhy to those 
at the lower end of the table, who were now talk- 
ative enough; "will yez whisht there till Father 

123 



354 IRELAND 

Con hears Briney a lesson in his Latin. Where 
are you, Briney? come here, ma bouchal." 

But Briney had absconded when he saw that 
the tug of war was about to commence. In a 
few minutes, however, the father returned, push- 
ing the boy before him, who, in his reluctance 
to encounter the ordeal of examination, clung to 
every chair, table, and person in his way, hoping 
that his restiveness might induce them to post- 
pone the examination till another occasion. The 
father, however, was inexorable, and by main 
force dragged him from all his holds, and placed 
him before Father Con. 

' What's come over you, at all at all, you un- 
signified shingawn you, to affront the gintleman 
in this way, and he kind enough to go for to give 
you an examination? come now, you had betther 
not vex me, I tell you, but hould up your head, 
and spake out loud, that we can all hear you: 
now, Father Con, achora, you'll not be too hard 
upon him in the beginning, till he gets into it, 
for he's aisy dashed." 

" Here, Briney," said Father Philemy, hand- 
ing him his tumbler, " take a pull of this, and if 
you have any courage at all in you it will raise 
it; take a good pull." 

Briney hesitated. 

' Why but you take the glass out of his Rev- 
erence's hand, sarrah," said the father "what! 
is it without dhrinking his Reverence's health 
first?" 

Briney gave a most melancholy nod at his Rev- 
erence, as he put the tumbler to his mouth, which 



TRAITS AND STORIES 355 

he nearly emptied, notwithstanding his shy- 
ness. 

" For my part," said his Reverence, looking 
at the almost empty tumbler, " I am pretty sure 
that that same chap will be able to take care of 
himself through life. And so, Captain, 
said he, resuming the conversation with Captain 
Wilson for his notice of Briney was only paren- 
thetical. 

Father Con now took the book, which was 
JE sop's Fables, and, in accordance with Briney 's 
intention, it opened exactly at the favourite fable 
of Gallus Gallinaceus. He was not aware, how- 
ever, that Briney had kept that place open during 
the preceding part of the week, in order to effect 
this point. Father Philemy, however, was now 
beginning to relate another anecdote to the Cap- 
tain, and the thread of his narrative twined 
rather ludicrously with that of the examination. 

Briney, after a few hems, at length proceeded 
cf Gallus Gallinaceus, a dunghill cock " 

" So, Captain, I was just after coming out of 
Widow Moylan's it was in the Lammas fair 
and a large one, by the by, it was so, Sir, who 
should come up to me but Branagan. ' Well, 
Branagan,' said I, ' how does the world go now 
with you? ' " 

Cf Gallus Gallinaceus, a dunghill cock 

"Says he. 'And how is that?' says 

T " 

J-, 

ff Gallus Gallinaceus ." 



" Says he, ' Hut tut, Branagan,' says I 
-' you're drunk.' ' That's the thing, Sir,' says 



356 IRELAND 

Branagan, ' and I want to explain it all to your 

Reverence/ * Well,' said I, ' go on.' " 

" Gallus Gallinaceus, a dunghill cock " 

" Says he, Let your Gallus Gallina- 
ceus go to roost for this night, Con," said Father 
Philemy, who did not relish the interruption of 
his story ; " I say, Phaddhy, send the boy to bed, 
and bring him down in your hand to my house 
on Saturday morning, and we will both examine 
him, but this is no time for it, and me engaged in 
conversation with Captain Wilson. So, Captain 
' Well, Sir,' says Branagan, and he stagger- 
ing, * I took an oath against liquor, and I want 
your Reverence to break it ' says he. ' What do 
you mean ? ' I enquired. ' Why, please your 
Reverence,' said he, ' I took an oath against 
liquor, as I told you, not to drink more nor a pint 
of whiskey in one day, and I want your Rever- 
ence to break it for me, and make it only half a 
pint; for I find that a pint is too much for me; 
by the same token, that when I get that far, your 
Reverence, I disremember the oath entirely.' ' 

The influence of the bottle now began to be 
felt, and the conversation absolutely blew a gale, 
wherein hearty laughter, good strong singing, 
loud argument, and general good humour 
blended into one uproarious peal of hilarity, ac- 
companied by some smart flashes of wit and hu- 
mour which would not disgrace a prouder ban- 
quet. Phaddhy, in particular, melted into a 
spirit of the most unbounded benevolence a 
spirit that would (if by any possible means he 
could effect it) embrace the whole human 



TRAITS AND STORIES 357 

race; that is to say, he would raise them, 
man, woman, child, to the same elevated 
state of happiness which he enjoyed himself. 
That, indeed, was happiness in perfection, 
as pure and unadulterated as the poteen 
which created it. How could he be otherwise 
than happy? he had succeeded to a good prop- 
erty, and a stocking of hard guineas, without 
the hard labour of acquiring them; he had the 
" clargy " under his roof at last, partaking of a 
hospitality which he felt himself well able to af- 
ford them ; he had settled with his Reverence for 
five years' arrears of sin, all of which had been 
wiped out of his conscience by the blessed ab- 
solving hand of the priest; he was training up 
Briney for the Mission, and though last, not 
least, he was far gone in his seventh tumbler ! 

" Come, jinteels," said he, " spare nothing 
here there's lashings of every thing; thrate 
yourselves dacent, and don't be saying to-mor- 
row or next day, that ever my father's son was 
nagerly. Death alive, Father Con, what are you 
doin' ? Why, then, bad manners to me if that 'ill 
sarve, any how." 

" Phaddy," replied Father Con, " I assure you 
I have done my duty." 

* Very well, Father Con, granting all that, 
it's no sin to repate a good turn you know. Not 
a word I'll hear, yer Reverence one tumbler 
along with myself, if it was only for ould times." 
He then filled Father Con's tumbler, with his 
own hand, in a truly liberal spirit. " Arrah 
Father Con, do you remember the day we had 



358 IRELAND 

the leapin'-match, and the bout at the shoulder- 
stone?" 

" Indeed, I'll not forget it, Phaddhy." 

"And it's yourself that may say that; but I 
bleeve I rubbed the consate off of your Rever- 
ence only that's betune ourselves, you persave." 

" You did win the palm, Phaddhy, I'll not deny 
it ; but you are the only man that ever bet me at 
either of the athletics." 

" And I'll say this for your Reverence, that 
you are one of the best an' most able-bodied gin- 
tlemen I ever engaged with. Ah! Father Con, 
I'm past all that now but no matter, here's yer 
Reverence's health, and a shake hands; Father 
Philemy, yer health, docthor: yer strange Rev- 
erence's health Captain Wilson, not forgetting 
you, Sir: Mr. Pether, yours; and I hope to see 
you soon with the robes upon you, and to be able 
to prache us a good sarmon. Parrah More 
tvus dha lauv 158 give me yer hand, you steeple 
you; and I havn't the smallest taste of objection 
to what Father Philemy hinted at ye'll obsarve. 
Katty, you thief of the world, where are you? 
Your health, avourneen; come here, and give us 
your fist, Katty: bad manners to me if I could 
forget you afther all; the best crathur, your 
Reverence, under the sun, except when yer Rev- 
erence puts yer comedher on her at confession, 
and then she's a little sharp or so, not a doubt of 
it: but no matther, Katty ahagur, you do it all 
for the best. And Father Philemy, maybe it's 
myself didn't put the thrick upon you in the 



TRAITS AND STORIES 359 

Maragy More, about Katty's death ha, ha, ha! 
Jack M'Craner, yer health all yer healths, and 
yer welcome here, if you war seven times as many. 
Briney, where are you, ma bouchal? Come up 
and shake hands wid yer father, as well as an- 
other come up, acushla, and kiss me. Ah, 
Briney, my poor fellow, ye'll never be the cut 
of a man yer father was ; but no matther, avour- 
neen, ye'll be a betther man, I hope; and God 
knows you may asy be that, for Father Philemy, 
I'm not what I ought to be, yer Reverence; how- 
ever, I may mend, and will, maybe, before a 
month of Sundays goes over me : but, for all that, 
Briney, I hope to see the day when you'll be sit- 
ting an ordained priest, at my own table; if I 
once saw that, I could die contented so mind 
yer larning, acushla, and his Reverence here will 
back you, and make intherest to get you into the 
college. Musha, God pity them crathurs at the 
door aren't they gone yet? Listen to them 
coughin', for f raid we'd forget them : and throth 
and they won't be forgot this bout any how 
Katty, avourneen, give them every one, big and 
little, young and ould, their skinfull don't lave 
a wrinkle in them; and see, take one of them 
bottles the crathurs, they're starved sitting 
there all night in the could and give them a 
couple of glasses a-piece it's good, yer Rev- 
erence, to have the poor body's blessing at all 
times; and now as I was saying, Here's all yer 
healths ! and from the very veins of my heart yer 
welcome here" 



360 IRELAND 

Our readers may perceive that Phaddhy 

" Was not only blest, but glorious, 
O'er a' the ills o' life victorious;" 

for, like the generality of our peasantry, the 
native drew to the surface of his character those 
warm, hospitable, and benevolent virtues, which 
a purer system of morals and education would 
most certainly keep in full action, without run- 
ning the risk, as in the present instance, of mix- 
ing bad habits with frank, manly, and generous 

qualities. 

*####* * 

####** * 

" I'll not go, Con I tell you I'll not go till 
I sing another song. Phaddy, you're a prince 
but where's the use of lighting more candles now, 
man, than you had in the beginning of the night ? 
Is Captain Wilson gone? Then, peace be with 
him; it's a pity he wasn't on the right side, for 
he's not the worst of them. Phaddhy, where 
are you ? " 

" Why, yer Reverence," replied Katty, " he's 
got a little unwell, and jist laid down his head a 
bit." 

" Katty," said Father Con, " you had better 
get a couple of the men to accompany Father 
Philemy home; for though the night's clear, he 
doesn't see his way very well in the dark poor 
man, his eye-sight's failing him fast." 

" Then, the more's the pity, Father Con. Here, 
Denis, let yourself and Mat go home wid Father 
Philemy." 




de'nl 



860 IRELAND 

Our readers may perceive that Phaddhy 

" Was not only blest, but glorious, 
O'er a' the ills o' life victorious;" 

for, like the generality of our peasantry, the 
native drew to the surface of his character those 
warm, ible, and benevolent virtues, which 

a pun m of morals and education would 

most certainly keep in full action, without run- 
ning the risk, as in the present instance, of mix- 
i habits with frank, manly, and generous 



' I'll not go, Con I tell you I'll not go till 
I sing another song. Phaddy, you're a prince 
but where's the use of lighting more candles now, 
man, than you had in the beginning of the night? 
is Captain Wilson gone? Then, peace be with 
him; it's a pity he wasn't on the right side, for 
he's not the worst, of them. Phaddhy, where 
are you ? " 

' Why, yer Reverence," replied Katty, " he's 
a little unwell, and jist laid down his head a 

k Katty," said Father Con, "you had better 
get a couple of the men to accompany Father 
Philemy home; for though the night's clear, he 
doesn't see his way very well in the dark poor 
man, his eye-sight's failing him fast." 

' Then, re's the pity, Father Con. Here, 

Denis, let yourself and Mat go home wid Father 
Philemyr 11 - . 

Irish Jaunting Car 

Reproduced from an Original Photograph 



TRAITS AND STORIES 361 

" Good night, Katty," said Father Con 
" Good night : and may our blessing sanctify you 
all." 

" Good night, Father Con, ahagur," replied 
Katty ; " and for goodness' sake see that they 
take care of Father Philemy, for it's himself 
that's the blessed and holy crathur, and the pleas- 
ant gintleman out and out." 

" Good night, Katty," again repeated Father 
Con, as the cavalcade proceeded in a body 
" Good night ! " And so ended the Station. 



WILDGOOSE LODGE 

****** * 

I had read the anonymous summons, but from 
its general import, I believed it to be one of 
those special meetings convened for some pur- 
pose affecting the usual objects and proceedings 
of the body; at least the terms in which it was 
conveyed to me had nothing extraordinary or 
mysterious in them, beyond the simple fact, that 
it was not to be a general but a select meeting: 
this mark of confidence flattered me, and I de- 
termined to attend punctually. I was, it is true, 
desired to keep the circumstance entirely to my- 
self, but there was nothing startling in this, for 
I had often received summonses of a similar 
nature. I therefore resolved to attend, accord- 
ing to the letter of my instructions, " on the 
next night, at the solemn hour of midnight, to 
deliberate and act upon such matters as should 
then and there be submitted to my consideration." 
The morning after I received this message, I 
arose and resumed my usual occupations; but, 
from whatever cause it may have proceeded, I felt 
a sense of approaching evil hang heavily upon 
me: the beats of my pulse were languid, and an 
undefinable feeling of anxiety pervaded my whole 
spirit; even my face was pale, and my eye so 
Jieavy, that my father and brothers concluded 

362 



TRAITS AND STORIES 363 

me to be ill; an opinion which I thought at the 
time to be correct, for I felt exactly that kind of 
depression which precedes a severe fever. I 
could not understand what I experienced, nor 
can I yet, except by supposing that there is in 
human nature some mysterious faculty, by which, 
in coming calamities, the dread of some fearful 
evil is anticipated, and that it is possible to catch 
a dark presentiment of the sensations which they 
subsequently produce. For my part I can 
neither analyse nor define it; but on that day I 
knew it by painful experience, and so have a 
thousand others in similar circumstances. 

It was about the middle of winter. The day 
was gloomy and tempestuous almost beyond any 
other I remember: dark clouds rolled over the 
hills about me, and a close sleet-like rain fell in 
slanting drifts that chased each other rapidly 
towards the earth on the course of the blast. The 
outlying cattle sought the closest and calmest 
corners of the fields for shelter; the trees and 
young groves were tossed about, for the wind 
was so unusually high that it swept in hollow 
gusts through them, with that hoarse murmur 
which deepens so powerfully on the mind the 
sense of dreariness and desolation. 

As the shades of night fell, the storm, if possi- 
ble, increased. The moon was half gone, and 
only a few stars were visible by glimpses, as a 
rush of wind left a temporary opening in the 
sky. I had determined, if the storm should not 
abate, to incur any penalty rather than attend 
the meeting ; but the appointed hour was distant, 



364 IRELAND 

and I resolved to be decided by the future state 
of the night. 

Ten o'clock came, but still there was no' 
change; eleven passed, and on opening the door 
to observe if there were any likelihood of its clear- 
ing up, a blast of wind, mingled with rain, nearly 
blew me off my feet. At length it was ap- 
proaching to the hour of midnight; and on ex- 
amining it a third time, I found it had calmed a 
little, and no longer rained. 

I instantly got my oak stick, muffled myself 
in my great coat, strapped my hat about my ears, 
and, as the place of meeting was only a quarter 
of a mile distant, I presently set out. 

The appearance of the heavens was lowering 
and angry, particularly in that point where the 
light of the moon fell against the clouds, from a 
seeming chasm in them, through which alone she 
was visible. The edges of this chasm were 
faintly bronzed, but the dense body of the masses 
that hung piled on each side of her, was black 
and impenetrable to sight. In no other point 
of the heavens was there any part of the sky 
visible ; a deep veil of clouds overhung the whole 
horizon, yet was the light sufficient to give oc- 
casional glimpses of the rapid shifting which 
took place in this dark canopy, and of the tem- 
pestuous agitation with which the midnight storm 
swept to and fro beneath it. 

At length I arrived at a long slated house, 
situated in a solitary part of the neighbourhood ; 
a little below it ran a small stream, which was 
now swollen above its banks, and rushing with 



TRAITS AND STORIES 365 

mimic roar over the flat meadows beside it. The 
appearance of the bare slated building in such a 
night was particularly sombre, and to those, like 
me, who knew the purpose to which it was usually 
devoted, it was or ought to have been peculiarly 
so. There it stood, silent and gloomy, without 
any appearance of human life or enjoyment 
about or within it. As I approached, the moon 
once more had broken out of the clouds, and 
shone dimly upon the wet, glittering slates and 
windows, with a death-like lustre, that gradually 
faded away as I left the point of observation, 
and entered the folding-door. It was the parish 
chapel. 

The scene which presented itself here was in 
keeping not only with the external appearance 
of the house, but with the darkness, the storm, 
and the hour, which was now a little after mid- 
night. About forty persons were sitting in dead 
silence upon the circular steps of the altar. They 
did not seem to move; and as I entered and ad- 
vanced, the echo of my footsteps rang through 
the building with a lonely distinctness, which 
added to the solemnity and mystery of the cir- 
cumstances about me. The windows were se- 
cured with shutters on the inside, and on the altar 
a candle was lighted, which burned dimly amid 
the surrounding darkness, and lengthened the 
shadow of the altar itself, and those of six or 
seven persons who stood on its upper steps, until 
they mingled in the obscurity which shrouded 
the lower end of the chapel. The faces of the 
men who sat on the altar steps were not distinctly 



366 IRELAND 

visible, yet their prominent and more character- 
istic features were in sufficient relief, and I ob- 
served, that some of the most malignant and 
reckless spirits in the parish were assembled. In 
the eyes of those who stood at the altar, and 
whom I knew to be invested with authority over 
the others, I could perceive gleams of some latent 
and ferocious purpose, kindled, as I soon ob- 
served, into a fiercer expression of vengeance, by 
the additional excitement of ardent spirits, with 
which they had stimulated themselves to a point 
of determination that mocked at the apprehen- 
sion of all future responsibility, either in this 
world or the next. 

The welcome which I received on joining them 
was far different from the boisterous good-hu- 
mour that used to mark our greetings on other 
occasions: just a nod of the head from this or 
that person, on the part of those who sat, with a 
ghud dhemur tha thu? 159 In a suppressed voice, 
even below a common whisper: but from the 
standing group, who were evidently the projec- 
tors of the enterprise, I received a convulsive 
grasp of the hand, accompanied by a fierce and 
desperate look, that seemed to search my eye and 
countenance, to try if I were a person likely to 
shrink from whatever they had resolved to ex- 
ecute. It is surprising to think of the powerful 
expression which a moment of intense interest or 
great danger is capable of giving to the eye, the 
features, and the slightest actions, especially in 
those whose station in society does not require 
them to constrain nature, by the force of social 



TRAITS AND STORIES 367 

courtesies, into habits that conceal their natural 
emotions. None of the standing group spoke; 
but as each of them wrung my hand in silence, 
his eye was fixed on mine, with an expression 
of drunken confidence and secrecy, and an inso- 
lent determination not to be gainsaid without 
peril. If looks could be translated with cer- 
tainty, they seemed to say, " We are bound upon 
a project of vengeance, and if you do not join 
us, remember that we can revenge." Along with 
this grasp, they did not forget to remind me of 
the common bond by which we were united, for 
each man gave me the secret grip of Ribbondism 
in a manner that made the joints of my fingers 
ache for some minutes afterwards. 

There was one present, however the highest 
in authority whose actions and demeanour were 
calm and unexcited. He seemed to labour un- 
der no unusual influence whatever, but evinced 
a serenity so placid and philosophical, that I at- 
tributed the silence to the sitting group, and the 
restraint which curbed in the out-breaking pas- 
sions of those who stood, entirely to his presence. 
He was a schoolmaster, who taught his daily 
school in that chapel, and acted also, on Sunday, 
in the capacity of clerk to the priest an ex- 
cellent and amiable old man, who knew little of 
his illegal connections and atrocious conduct. 

When the ceremonies of brotherly recognition 
and friendship were past, the Captain (by which 
title I shall designate the last-mentioned per- 
son) stooped, and, raising a jar of whiskey on 
the corner of the altar, held a wine-glass to its 



368 IRELAND 

neck, which he filled, and with a calm nod, 
handed it to me to drink. I shrunk back, with an 
instinctive horror, at the prof aneness of such an 
act, in the house, and on the altar of God, and 
peremptorily refused to taste the proffered 
draught. He smiled mildly at what he consid- 
ered my superstition, and added quietly, and in a 
low voice, " You'll he wantin' it I'm thinkin', 
afther the wettin' you got." 

" Wet or dry," said I- 

" Stop, man!" he replied, in the same tone; 
" spake low. But why wouldn't you take the 
whiskey? Sure there's as holy people to the fore 
as you: didn't they all take it? An' I wish we 
may never do worse nor dhrink a harmless glass 
o' whiskey, to keep the cowld out, any way." 

" Well," said I, " I'll jist trust to God and the 
consequences, for the cowld, Paddy, ma bouchal; 
hut a blessed dhrop of it won't be crossin' my 
lips, avick ; so no more ghosther about it ; dhrink 
it yourself, if you like. Maybe you want it as 
much as I do ; wherein I've the patthern of a good 
big-coat upon me, so thick, your sowl, that if it 
was rainin' bullocks, a dhrop wouldn't get un- 
dher the nap of it." 

He gave me a calm, but keen glance, as I 
spoke. 

' Well, Jim," said he, " it's a good comrade 
you've got for the weather that's in it; but, in 
the mane time, to set you a dacent patthern, I'll 
just take this myself," saying which, with the 
jar still upon its side, and the fore-finger of his 
left hand in its neck, he swallowed the spirits 



TRAITS AND STORIES 369 

" It's the first I dhrank to-night," he added, " nor 
would I dhrink it now, only to show you that I've 
heart an' spirit to do the thing that we're all 
bound an' sworn to, when the proper time 
comes ; " after which he laid down his glass, and 
turned up the jar, with much coolness, upon the 
altar. 

During our conversation, those who had been 
summoned to this mysterious meeting were pour- 
ing in fast; and as each person approached the 
altar, he received from one to two or three glasses 
of whiskey, according as he chose to limit him- 
self; but, to do them justice, there were not a 
few of those present, who, in despite of their own 
desire, and the Captain's express invitation, re- 
fused to taste it in the house of God's worship. 
Such, however, as were scrupulous he after- 
wards recommended to take it on the outside of 
the chapel door, which they did, as, by that 
means, the sacrilege of the act was supposed to 
be evaded. 

About one o'clock they were all assembled ex- 
cept six : at least so the Captain asserted, on look- 
ing at a written paper. 

" Now, boys," said he, in the same low voice, 
" we are all present except the thraitors, whose 
names I am goin' to read to you; not that we 
are to count thim thraitors, till we know whether 
or not it was in their power to come. Any how, 
the night's terrible but, boys, you're to know, 
that neither fire nor wather is to prevint you, 
when duly summoned to attind a meeting par- 
ticularly whin the summons is widout a name, as 

124 



370 IRELAND 

you have been told that there is always something 
of consequence to be done thin/' 

He then read out the names of those who were 
absent, in order that the real cause of their ab- 
sence might be ascertained, declaring that they 
would be dealt with accordingly. After this, 
with his usual caution, he shut and bolted the 
door, and having put the key in his pocket, as- 
cended the steps of the altar, and for some time 
traversed the little platform from which the 
priest usually addresses the congregation. 

Until this night I had never contemplated the 
man's countenance with any particular interest; 
but as he walked the platform, I had an oppor- 
tunity of observing him more closely. He was 
slight in person, apparently not thirty; and, on 
a first view, appeared to have nothing remark- 
able in his dress or features. I, however, was 
not the only person whose eyes were fixed upon 
him at that moment; in fact, every one present 
observed him with equal interest, for hitherto he 
had kept the object of the meeting perfectly se- 
cret, and of course we all felt anxious to know it. 
It was while he traversed the platform that I 
scrutinised his features with a hope, if possible, 
to glean from them some evidence of what was 
passing within him. I could, however, mark but 
little, and that little was at first rather from the 
intelligence which seemed to subsist between him 
and those whom I have already mentioned as 
standing against the altar, than from any indi- 
cation of his own. Their gleaming eyes were 
fixed upon him with an intensity of savage and 



TRAITS AND STORIES 371 

demon-like hope, which blazed out in flashes of 
malignant triumph, as upon turning, he threw a 
cool but rapid glance at them, to intimate the 
progress he was making in the subject to which 
he devoted the undivided energies of his mind. 
But in the course of his meditation, I could ob- 
serve, on one or two occasions, a dark shade come 
over his countenance, that contracted his brow 
into a deep furrow, and it was then, for the first 
time, that I saw the satanic expression of which 
his face, by a very slight motion of its muscles, 
was capable. His hands, during this silence, 
closed and opened convulsively ; his eyes shot out 
two or three baleful glances, first to his confed- 
erates, and afterwards vacantly into the deep 
gloom of the lower part of the chapel; his teeth 
ground against each other, like those of a man 
whose .revenge burns to reach a distant enemy, 
and finally, after having wound himself up to a 
certain determination, his features relapsed into 
their original calm and undisturbed expression. 

At this moment a loud laugh, having some- 
thing supernatural in it, rang out wildly from 
the darkness of the chapel; he stopped, and put- 
ting his open hand over his brows, peered down 
into the gloom, and said calmly in Irish, " Bee 
dhu husth; ha nihl anam ink: hold your tongue, 
it is not yet time." 

Every eye was now directed to the same spot, 
but, in consequence of its distance from the dim 
light on the altar, none could perceive the person 
from whom the laugh proceeded. It was, by 
this time, near two o'clock in the morning. 



372 IRELAND 

He now stood for a few moments on the plat- 
form, and his chest heaved with a depth of anx- 
iety equal to the difficulty of the design he wished 
to accomplish: 

" Brothers," said he " for we are all brothers 
sworn upon all that's blessed an' holy, to obey 
whatever them that's over us, manin' among our- 
selves,, wishes us to do are you now ready, in the 
name of God, upon whose althar I stand, to f ul- 
filyer oaths? " 

The words were scarcely uttered, when those 
who had stood beside the altar during the night, 
sprang from their places, and descending its 
steps rapidly, turned round, and raising their 
arms, exclaimed, " By all that's sacred an' holy, 
we're willin'." 

In the meantime, those who sat upon the steps 
of the altar, instantly rose, and following the ex- 
ample of those who had just spoken, exclaimed 
after them, " To be sure by all that's sacred an' 
holy, we're willin'." 

" Now boys," said the Captain, " ar'n't ye big 
fools for your pains ? an' one of ye doesn't know 
what I mane." 

" You're our Captain," said one of those who 
had stood at the altar, " an' has yer ordhers from 
higher quarthers; of coorse, whatever ye com- 
mand upon us we're bound to obey you in." 

" Well," said he, smiling, " I only wanted to 
thry yez; an' by the oath ye tuck, there's not a 
captain in the county has as good a right to be 
proud of his min as I have. Well, ye won't rue 
it, maybe, when the right time comes; and for 



TRAITS AND STORIES 373 

that same rason every one of ye must have a glass 
from the jar; thim that won't dhrink it in the 
chapel can dhrink it widout; an' here goes to open 
the door for them." 

He then distributed another glass to every man 
who would accept it, and brought the jar after- 
wards to the chapel door, to satisfy the scruples 
of those who would not drink within. When this 
was performed, and all duly excited, he pro- 
ceeded : 

" Now, brothers, you are solemnly sworn to 
obay me, and I'm sure there's no thraithur here 
that 'ud par jure himself for a thrifle; but I'm 
sworn to obay them that's above me, manin' still 
among ourselves; an' to show you that I don't 
scruple to do it, here goes ! " 

He then turned round, and taking the Missal 
between his hands placed it upon the altar. 
Hitherto every word was uttered in a low pre- 
cautionary tone; but on grasping the book, he 
again turned round, and looking upon his con- 
federates with the same satanic expression which 
marked his countenance before, he exclaimed, in a 
voice of deep determination, first kissing the 
book! 

" By this sacred an' holy book of God, I will 
perform the action which we have met this night 
to accomplish, be that what it may; an' this I 
swear upon God's book, an' God's althar! " 

On concluding, he struck the book violently 
with his open hand, thereby occasioning a very 
loud report. 

At this moment the candle which burned be- 



374 IRELAND 

fore him went suddenly out, and the chapel was 
wrapped in pitchy darkness; the sound as if of 
rushing winds fell upon our ears, and fifty voices 
dwelt upon the last words of his oath with wild 
and supernatural tones, that seemed to echo and 
to mock what he had sworn. There was a pause, 
and an exclamation of horror from all present: 
but the Captain was too cool and steady to be dis- 
concerted. He immediately groped about until 
he got the candle, and proceeded calmly to a re- 
mote corner of the chapel, took up a half -burned 
peat which lay there, and after some trouble, suc- 
ceeded in lighting it again. He then explained 
what had taken place; which indeed was easily 
done, as the candle happened to be extinguished 
by a pigeon which sat directly above it. The 
chapel, I should have observed, was at this time, 
like many country chapels, unfinished inside, and 
the pigeons of a neighbouring dove-cot had built 
nests among the rafters of the unceiled roof; 
which circumstance also explained the rushing of 
the wings, for the birds had been affrighted by 
the sudden loudness of the noise. The mocking 
voices were nothing but the echoes, rendered nat- 
urally more awful by the scene, the mysterious 
object of the meeting, and the solemn hour of 
the night. 

When the candle was again lighted, and these 
startling circumstances accounted for, the per- 
sons whose vengeance had been deepening more 
and more during the night, rushed to the altar in 
a body, where each, in a voice trembling with 
passionate eagerness, repeated the oath, and as 



TRAITS AND STORIES 375 

every word was pronounced, the same echoes 
heightened the wildness of the horrible ceremony, 
by their long and unearthly tones. The coun- 
tenances of these human tigers were livid with 
suppressed rage; their knit brows, compressed 
lips, and kindled eyes, fell under the dim light of 
the taper, with an expression calculated to sicken 
any heart not absolutely diabolical. 

As soon as this dreadful rite was completed, 
we were again startled by several loud bursts of 
laughter, which proceeded from the lower dark- 
ness of the chapel; and the Captain, on hearing 
them, turned to the place, and reflecting a mo- 
ment, said in Irish, " Gutsho nish, avohelhee 
come hither now, boys." 

A rush immediately took place from the corner 
in which they had secreted themselves all the 
night; and seven men appeared, whom we in- 
stantly recognised as brothers and cousins of cer- 
tain persons who had been convicted, some time 
before, for breaking into the house of an honest 
poor man in the neighbourhood, from whom, 
after having treated him with barbarous violence, 
they took away such fire-arms as he kept for his 
own protection. 

It was evidently not the Captain's intention to 
have produced these persons until the oath should 
have been generally taken, but the exulting mirth 
with which they enjoyed the success of his scheme 
betrayed them, and put him to the necessity of 
bringing them forward somewhat before the 
concerted movement. 

The scene which now took place was beyond all 



376 IRELAND 

power of description; peals of wild, fiend-like 
yells rang through the chapel, as the party which 
stood on the altar and that which had crouched in 
the darkness met ; wringing of hands, leaping in 
triumph, striking of sticks and fire arms against 
the ground and the altar itself, dancing and 
cracking of fingers, marked the triumph of some 
hellish determination. Even the Captain for 
a time was unable to restrain their fury, but, at 
length, he mounted the platform before the altar 
once more, and with a stamp of his foot, recalled 
their attention to himself and the matter in hand. 

" Boys," said he, " enough of this, and too 
much; an' well for us it is that the chapel is in a 
lonely place, or our foolish noise might do us no 
good. Let thim that swore so manfully jist now, 
stand a one side, till the rest kiss the book one by 
one." 

The proceedings, however, had by this time 
taken too fearful a shape for even the Captain 
to compel them to a blindfold oath ; the first man 
he called flatly refused to answer, until he should 
hear the nature of the service that was required. 
This was echoed by the remainder, who, taking 
courage from the firmness of this person, declared 
generally that, until they first knew the business 
they were to execute, none of them would take 
the oath. The Captain's lip quivered slightly, 
and his brow again became knit with the same 
hellish expression, which I have remarked gave 
him so much of the appearance of an embodied 
fiend; but this speedily passed away, and was suc- 
ceeded by a malignant sneer, in which lurked, if 



TRAITS AND STORIES 377 

there ever did in a sneer, " a laughing devil," 
calmly, determinedly atrocious. 

" It wasn't worth yer whiles to refuse the oath," 
said he mildly, " for the truth is, I had next to 
nothing for yez to do. Not a hand, maybe, 
would have to rise, only jist to look on, an' if any 
resistance would be made, to show yourselves; 
yer numbers would soon make them see that re- 
sistance would be no use whatever in the present 
case. At all evints, the oath of secresy must be 
taken, or woe be to him that will refuse that; he 
won't know the day, nor the hour, nor the minute, 
when he'll be made a spatch-cock of." 

He then turned round, and, placing his right 
hand on the Missal, swore, " In the presence of 
God, and before his holy altar, that whatever 
might take place that night he would keep secret, 
from man or mortal, except the priest, and that 
neither bribery, nor imprisonment, nor death, 
would wring it from his heart." 

Having done this he again struck the book vio- 
lently, as if to confirm the energy with which he 
swore, and then calmly descending the steps, 
stood with a serene countenance, like a man con- 
scious of having performed a good action. As 
this oath did not pledge those who refused to 
take the other to the perpetration of any specific 
crime, it was readily taken by all present. Prep- 
arations were then made to execute what was in- 
tended : the half -burned turf was placed in a little 
pot; another glass of whiskey was distributed; 
and the door being locked by the Captain, who 
kept the key as parish clerk and schoolmaster, 



378 IRELAND 

the crowd departed silently from the chapel. 

The moment those who lay in the darkness, 
during the night, made their appearance at the 
altar, we knew at once the persons we were to 
visit; for, as I said before, they were related to 
the miscreants whom one of those persons had 
convicted, in consequence of their midnight at- 
tack upon himself and his family. The Cap- 
tain's object in keeping them unseen was, that 
those present, not being aware of the duty about 
to be imposed on them, might have less hesitation 
about swearing to its fulfilment. Our con- 
jectures were correct; for on leaving the chapel 
we directed our steps to the house in which this 
devoted man resided. 

The night was still stormy, but without rain; 
it was rather dark, too, though not so as to pre- 
vent us from seeing the clouds careering swiftly 
through the air. The dense curtain which had 
overhung and obscured the horizon was now 
broken, and large sections of the sky were clear, 
and thinly studded with stars that looked dim 
and watery, as did indeed the whole firmament; 
for in some places black clouds were still vis- 
ible, threatening a continuance of tempestuous 
weather. The road appeared washed and grav- 
elly; every dike was full of yellow water; and 
every little rivulet and larger stream dashed its 
hoarse murmur in our ears ; every blast, too, was 
cold, fierce, wintry, sometimes driving us back to 
a stand still, and again, when a turn in the road 
would bring it in our backs, whirling us along 
for a few steps with involuntary rapidity. At 



TRAITS AND STORIES 379 

length the fated dwelling became visible, and a 
short consultation was held in a sheltered place, 
between the captain and the two parties who 
seemed so eager for its destruction. Their fire- 
arms were now loaded, and their bayonets and 
short pikes, the latter shod and pointed with iron, 
were also got ready. The live coal which was 
brought in the small pot had become extin- 
guished ; but to remedy this, two or three persons 
from a remote part of the county entered a 
cabin on the wayside, and, under pretence of 
lighting their own and their comrades' pipes, 
procured a coal of fire, for so they called a lighted 
turf. From the time we left the chapel until 
this moment a profound silence had been main- 
tained, a circumstance which, when I considered 
the number of persons present, and the myste- 
rious and dreaded object of their journey, had a 
most appalling effect upon my spirits. 

At length we arrived within fifty perches of 
the house, walking in a compact body, and with 
as little noise as possible; but it seemed as if the 
very elements had conspired to frustrate our 
design, for on advancing within the shade of the 
farm-hedge, two or three persons found them- 
selves up to the middle in water, and on stoop- 
ing to ascertain more accurately the state of the 
place, we could see nothing but one immense 
sheet of it spread like a lake over the meadows 
which surrounded the spot we wished to reach. 

Fatal night ! The very recollection of it, when 
associated with the fearful tempests of the ele- 
ments, grows, if that were possible, yet more 



380 IRELAND 

wild and revolting. Had we been engaged in 
any innocent or benevolent enterprise, there was 
something in our situation just then that had a 
touch of interest in it to a mind imbued with a 
relish for the savage beauties of nature. There 
we stood, about a hundred and thirty in number, 
our dark forms bent forward, peering into the 
dusky expanse of water, with its dim gleams of 
reflected light, broken by the weltering of the 
mimic waves into ten thousand fragments, whilst 
the few stars that overhung it in the firmament 
appeared to shoot through it in broken lines, and 
to be multiplied fifty- fold in the gloomy mirror 
on which we gazed. 

Over us was a stormy sky, and around us a 
darkness through which we could only distin- 
guish, in outline, the nearest objects, whilst the 
wild wind swept strongly and dismally upon us. 
When it was discovered that the common path- 
way to the house was inundated, we were about 
to abandon our object and return home. The 
Captain, however, stooped down low for a mo- 
ment, and, almost closing his eyes, looked along 
the surface of the waters ; and then, raising him- 
self very calmly, said, in his usual quiet tone, 
' Ye needn't go back, boys, I've found a way; 
jist follow me." 

He immediately took a more circuitous direc- 
tion, by which we reached a causeway that had 
been raised for the purpose of giving a free 
passage to and from the house, during such in- 
undations as the present. Along this we had 
advanced more than half way, when we dis- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 381 

covered a breach in it, which, as afterwards ap- 
peared, had that night been made by the strength 
of the flood. This, by means of our sticks and 
pikes, we found to be about three feet deep, and 
eight yards broad. Again we were at a loss to 
proceed, when the fertile brain of the Captain 
devised a method of crossing it. 

" Boys," said he, " of coorse you've all played 
at leap-frog; very well, strip and go in, a dozen 
of you, lean one upon the back of another from 
this to the opposite bank, where one must stand 
facing the outside man, both their shoulders agin 
one another, that the outside man may be sup- 
ported. Then we can creep over you, an' a da- 
cent bridge you'll be, any way." 

This was the work of only a few minutes, and 
in less than ten we were all safely over. 

Merciful Heaven! how I sicken at the recol- 
lection of what is to follow! On reaching the 
dry bank, we proceeded instantly, and in pro- 
found silence, to the house; the Captain divided 
us into companies, and then assigned to each 
division its proper station. The two parties who 
had been so vindictive all the night, he kept about 
himself ; for of those who were present, they only 
were in his confidence, and knew his nefarious 
purpose; their number was about fifteen. Hav- 
ing made these dispositions, he, at the head of 
about five of them, approached the house on the 
windy side, for the fiend possessed a coolness 
which enabled him to seize upon every possible 
advantage. That he had combustibles about him 
was evident, for in less than fifteen minutes nearly 



382 IRELAND 

one half of the house was enveloped in flames. 
On seeing this, the others rushed over to the 
spot where he and his gang were standing, and 
remonstrated earnestly, but in vain; the flames 
now burst forth with renewed violence, and as 
they flung their strong light upon the faces of 
the foremost group, I think hell itself could 
hardly present anything more Satanic than their 
countenances, now worked up into a paroxysm 
of infernal triumph at their own revenge. The 
Captain's look had lost all its calmness, every 
feature started out into distinct malignity, the 
curve in his brow was deep, and ran up to the 
root of the hair, dividing his face into two seg- 
ments, that did not seem to have been designed 
for each other. His lips were half open, and 
the corners of his mouth a little brought back on 
each side, like those of a man expressing intense 
hatred and triumph over an enemy who is in the 
death-struggle under his grasp. His eyes blazed 
from beneath his knit eye-brows with a fire that 
seemed to be lighted up in the infernal pit itself. 
It is unnecessary, and only painful, to describe 
the rest of his gang; demons might have been 
proud of such horrible visages as they exhibited; 
for they worked under all the power of hatred, 
revenge, and joy; and these passions blended into 
one terrible scowl, enough almost to blast any hu- 
man eye that would venture to look upon it. 

When the others attempted to intercede for 
the lives of the inmates there were at least fifteen 
guns and pistols levelled at them. 

" Another word," said the Captain, " an' you're 



TRAITS AND STORIES 383 

a corpse where you stand, or the first man who 
will dare to spake for them; no, no, it wasn't 
to spare them we came here. ' No mercy ' is the 
pass-word for the night, an' by the sacred oath I 
swore beyant in the chapel, any one among yez 
that will attempt to show it, will find none at my 
hand. Surround the house, boys, I tell ye, I 
hear them stirring. * No quarther no mercy,' 
is the ordher of the night." 

Such was his command over these misguided 
creatures, that in an instant there was a ring 
round the house to prevent the escape of the un- 
happy inmates, should the raging element give 
them time to attempt it; for none present durst 
withdraw themselves from the scene, not only 
from an apprehension of the Captain's present 
vengeance, or that of his gang, but because they 
knew that even had they then escaped, an early 
and certain death awaited them from a quarter 
against which they had no means of defence. 
The hour now was about half -past two o'clock. 
Scarcely had the last words escaped from the 
Captain's lips, when one of the windows of the 
house was broken, and a human head, having the 
hair in a blaze, was descried, apparently a 
woman's, if one might judge by the profusion 
of burning tresses, and the softness of the tones, 
notwithstanding that it called, or rather shrieked, 
aloud, for help and mercy. The only reply to 
this was the whoop from the Captain and his 
gang, of " No mercy no mercy! " and that in- 
stant the former, and one of the latter, rushed to 
the spot, and ere the action could be perceived, 



384 IRELAND 

the head was transfixed with a bayonet and a 
pike, both having entered it together. The word 
"mercy" was divided in her mouth; a short 
silence ensued, the head hung down on the win- 
dow, but was instantly tossed back into the 
flames ! 

This action occasioned a cry of horror from all 
present, except the gang and their leader, which 
startled and enraged the latter so much, that he 
ran towards one of them, and had his bayonet, 
now reeking with the blood of its innocent victim, 
raised to plunge it in his body, when, dropping 
the point, he said in a piercing whisper, that hissed 
in the ears of all: " It's no use now, you know; 
if one's to hang, all will hang ; so our safest way, 
you persave, is to lave none of them to tell the 
story. Ye may go now, if you wish ; but it won't 
save a hair of your heads. You cowardly set! 
I knew if I had tould yez the sport, that none of 
you, except my own boys, would come, so I jist 
played a trick upon you ; but remimber what you 
are sworn to, and stand to the oath ye tuck." 

Unhappily, notwithstanding the wetness of the 
preceding weather, the materials of the house 
were extremely combustible; the whole dwelling 
was now one body of glowing flame, yet the 
shouts and shrieks within rose awfully above its 
crackling and the voice of the storm, for the 
wind once more blew in gusts, and with great 
violence. The doors and windows were all torn 
open, and such of those within as had escaped 
the flames rushed towards them, for the purpose 
of further escape, and of claiming mercy at the 



TRAITS AND STORIES 385 

hands of their destroyers; but whenever they 
appeared, the unearthly cry of " NO MERCY " 
rung upon their ears for a moment, and for a 
moment only, for they were flung back at the 
points of the weapons which the demons had 
brought with them to make the work of venge- 
ance more certain. 

As yet there were many persons in the house, 
whose cry for life was strong as despair, and who 
clung to it with all the awakened powers of 
reason and instinct. The ear of man could hear 
nothing so strongly calculated to stifle the demon 
of cruelty and revenge within him, as the long 
and wailing shrieks which rose beyond the ele- 
ments, in tones that were carried off rapidly upon 
the blast, until they died away in the darkness 
that lay behind the surrounding hills. Had not 
the house been in a solitary situation, and the hour 
the dead of night, any person sleeping within 
a moderate distance must have heard them, for 
such a cry of sorrow rising into a yell of despair 
was almost sufficient to have awakened the dead. 
It was lost, however, upon the hearts and ears 
that heard it: to them, though in justice be it 
said, to only comparatively a few of them, it 
appeared as delightful as the tones of soft and 
entrancing music. 

The claims of the surviving sufferers were now 
modified ; they supplicated merely to suffer death 
by the weapons of their enemies; they were will- 
ing to bear that, provided they should be allowed 
to escape from the flames ; but no the horrors of 
the conflagration were calmly and malignantly 

125 



386 IRELAND 

gloried in by their merciless assassins, who de- 
liberately flung them back into all their tor- 
tures. In the course of a few minutes a man 
appeared upon the side-wall of the house, nearly 
naked; his figure, as he stood against the sky in 
horrible relief, was so finished a picture of woe- 
begone agony and supplication, that it is yet as 
distinct in my memory as if I were again present 
at the scene. Every muscle, now in motion by 
the powerful agitation of his sufferings, stood 
out upon his limbs and neck, giving him an ap- 
pearance of desperate strength, to which by this 
time he must have been wrought up ; the perspir- 
ation poured from his frame, and the veins and 
arteries of his neck were inflated to a surprising 
thickness. Every moment he looked down into 
the flames which were rising to where he stood; 
and as he looked, the indescribable horror which 
flitted over his features might have worked upon 
the devil himself to relent. His words were 
few: 

" My child," said he, " is still safe, she is an 
infant, a young crathur that never harmed you, 
nor any one she is still safe. Your mothers, 
your wives, have young innocent childhre like it. 
Oh, spare her, think for a moment that it's one 
of your own: spare it, as you hope to meet a just 
God, or if you don't, in mercy shoot me first 
put an end to me, before I see her burned ! " 

The Captain approached him coolly and de- 
liberately. ' You'll prosecute no one now, you 
bloody informer," said he : " you'll convict no 
more boys for takin' an ould gun an' pistol from 



TRAITS AND STORIES 387 

you, or for givin' you a neighbourly knock or 
two into the bargain." 

Just then, from a window opposite him, pro- 
ceeded the shrieks of a woman, who appeared at 
it, with the infant in her arms. She herself 
was almost scorched to death ; but, with the pres- 
ence of mind and humanity of her sex, she was 
about to put the little babe out of the window. 
The Captain noticed this, and, with characteristic 
atrocity, thrust, with a sharp bayonet, the little 
innocent, along with the person who endeavoured 
to rescue it, into the red flames, where they both 
perished. This was the work of an instant. 
Again he approached the man: " Your child is a 
coal now," said he, with deliberate mockery; 
" I pitched it in myself, on the point of this," 
showing the weapon " an' now is your turn," 
saying which, he clambered up, by the assist- 
ance of his gang, who stood with a front of pikes 
and bayonets bristling to receive the wretched 
man, should he attempt, in his despair, to throw 
himself from the wall. The Captain got up, 
and placing the point of his bayonet against his 
shoulder, flung him into the fiery element that 
raged behind him. He uttered one wild and 
terrific cry, as he fell back, and no more. After 
this nothing was heard but the crackling of the 
fire, and the rushing of the blast: all that had 
possessed life within were consumed, amounting 
either to eight or eleven persons. 

When this was accomplished, those who took an 
active part in the murder, stood for some time 
about the conflagration; and as it threw its red 



388 IRELAND 

light upon their fierce faces and rough persons, 
soiled as they now were with smoke and black 
streaks of ashes, the scene seemed to be changed 
to hell, the murderers to spirits of the damned, re- 
joicing over the arrival and the torture of some 
guilty soul. The faces of those who kept aloof 
from the slaughter were blanched to the whiteness 
of death: some of them fainted, and others were 
in such agitation that they were compelled to lean 
on their comrades. They became actually power- 
less with horror: yet to such a scene were they 
brought by the pernicious influence of Ribbon- 
ism. 

It was only when the last victim went down, 
that the conflagration shot up into the air with 
most unbounded fury. The house was large, 
deeply thatched, and well furnished; and the 
broad red pyramid rose up with fearful magnifi- 
cence towards the sky. Abstractedly it had sub- 
limity, but now it was associated with nothing in 
my mind but blood and terror. It was not, how- 
ever, without a purpose that the Captain and his 
gang stood to contemplate its effect. " Boys," 
said he, " we had betther be sartin that all's safe; 
who knows but there might be some of the sar- 
pents crouchin' under a hape o' rubbish, to come 
out an' gibbet us to-morrow or next day : we had 
betther wait a while, anyhow, if it was only to 
see the blaze." 

Just then the flames rose majestically to a 
surprising height. Our eyes followed their 
direction; and we perceived, for the first time, 
that the dark clouds above, together with the in- 



TRAITS AND STORIES 389 

termediate air, appeared to reflect back, or rather 
to have caught the red hue of the fire. The hills 
and country about us appeared with an alarming 
distinctness; but the most picturesque part of it 
was the effect of reflection of the blaze on the 
floods that spread over the surrounding plains. 
These, in fact, appeared to be one broad mass of 
liquid copper, for the motion of the breaking 
waters caught from the blaze of the high waving 
column, as reflected in them, a glaring light, 
which eddied, and rose, and fluctuated, as if the 
flood itself had been a lake of molten fire. 

Fire, however, destroys rapidly. In a short 
time the flames sank became weak and flicker- 
ing by and by, they shot out only in fits the 
crackling of the timbers died away the sur- 
rounding darkness deepened and, ere long, the 
faint light was overpowered by the thick volumes 
of smoke that rose from the ruins of the house, 
and its murdered inhabitants. 

" Now, boys," said the Captain, " all is safe 
we may go. Remember, every man of you, what 
you've sworn this night, on the book an' altar of 
God not on a heretic Bible. If you perjure 
yourselves, you may hang us ; but let me tell you, 
for your comfort, that if you do, there is them 
livin' that will take care the lase of your own 
lives will be but short." 

After this we dispersed every man to his own 
home. 

Reader, not many months elapsed ere I saw 
the bodies of this Captain, whose name was Pat- 
rick Devann, and all those who were actively con- 



390 IRELAND 

cerned in the perpetration of this deed of horror, 
withering in the wind, where they hung gibbeted, 
near the scene of their nefarious villany; and 
while I inwardly thanked Heaven for my own 
narrow and almost undeserved escape, I thought 
in my heart how seldom, even in this world, jus- 
tice fails to overtake the murderer, and to en- 
force the righteous judgment of God that 
" whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his 
blood be shed." 

* # * This tale of terror is, unfortunately, too true. The scene 
of hellish murder detailed in it lies at Wildgoose Lodge, in the 
county of Louth, within about four miles of Carrickmacross, and 
nine of Dundalk. No such multitudinous murder Has occurred, 
under similar circumstances, except the burning of the Sheas, in 
the county of Tipperary. The name of the family burned in Wild- 
goose Lodge was Lynch. One of them had, shortly before this 
fatal night, prosecuted and convicted some of the neighbouring 
Ribbonmen, who visited him with severe marks of their displeas- 
ure, in consequence of his having refused to enrol himself as a 
member of their body. The language of the story is partly ficti- 
tious; but the facts are pretty closely such as were developed dur- 
ing the trial of the murderers. Both parties were Roman 
Catholics, and either twenty-five or twenty-eight of those who took 
an active part in the burning, were hanged and gibbeted in dif- 
ferent parts of the county of Louth. Devann, the ringleader, 
hung for some months in chains, within about a hundred yards of 
his own house, and about half a mile from Wildgoose Lodge. His 
mother could neither go into nor out of her cabin, without seeing 
his body swinging from the gibbet. Her usual exclamation on 
looking at him was "God be good to the sowl of my poor 
marthyr!" The peasantry too, frequently exclaimed, on seeing 
him, "Poor Paddy!" A gloomy fact that speaks yolumes! 



NOTES 

i The following extract, taken from a sketch by the author 
called " The Irish Prophecyman," contains a very appropriate 
illustration of the above passage. " I have a little book that con- 
tains a prophecy of the milk-white hind an' the bloody panther, 
an' a foreboding of the slaughter there's to be in the Valley of 
the Black Pig, as foretould by Beal Derg, or the prophet wid 
the red mouth, who never was known to speak but when he prophe- 
sied, or to prophesy but when he spoke. 

"The Lord bless an' keep us! an' why was he called the Man 
wid the Red Mouth, Barney?" 

" I'll tell you that: first, bekase he always prophesied about the 
slaughter an' fightin' that was to take place in the time to come; 
an', secondly, bekase, while he spoke, the red blood always trickled 
out of his mouth, as a proof that what he foretould was true." 

" Glory be to God ! but that's wondherf ul all out. Well, well ! " 

"Ay, an' Beal Derg, or the Red Mouth, is still livin'." 

"Livin'! why, is he a man of our own time?" 

"Our own time! The Lord help you! It's more than a thou- 
sand years since he made the prophecy. The case you see is this: 
he an' the ten thousand witnesses are lyin' in an enchanted sleep 
in one of the Montherlony mountains." 

"An' how is that known, Barney?" 

" It's known. Every night at a certain hour one of the wit- 
nesses an' they're all sogers, by the way must come out to look 
for the sign that's to come." 

"An' what is that, Barney?" 

" It's the fiery cross ; an' when he sees one on aich of the four 
mountains of the north, he's to know that the same sign's abroad 
in all the other parts of the kingdom. Beal Derg an' his men are 
then to waken up, an' by their aid the Valley of the Black Pig is 
to be set free for ever." 

"An' what is the Black Pig, Barney?" 

" The Prospitarian church, that stretches from Enniskillen to 
Darry, an' back again from Darry to Enniskillen." 

" Well, well, Barney, but prophecy is a strange thing to be sure I 
Only think of men livin' a thousand years!" 

391 



392 IRELAND 

" Every night one of Beal Derg's men must go to the mouth 
of the cave, which opens of itself, an' then look out for the sign 
that's expected. He walks up to the top o' the mountain, an' 
turns to the four corners of the heavens, to thry if he can see 
it; an' when he finds that he cannot, he goes back to Beal Derg, 
who, afther the other touches him, starts up, an' axis him, ' Is the 
time come?' He replies, 'No; the man is, but the hour is not!' 
an' that instant they're both asleep again. Now, you see, while 
the soger is on the mountain top, the mouth of the cave is open, 
an' any one may go in that might happen to see it. One man 
it appears did, an' wishin' to know from curosity whether the 
sogers were dead or livin', he touched one of them wid his hand, 
who started up an' axed him the same question, ' Is the time 
come?' Very fortunately he said 'No;' an' that minute the 
soger was as sound in his trance as before." 

" An', Barney, what did the soger mane when he said ' The man 
is, but the hour is not ! ' " 

"What did he mane? I'll tell you that. The man is Bony- 
party, which manes, when put into proper explanation, the right 
aide; that is, the true cause. Lamed men have found that out." 

2 To-wit of Clogher. 

s " The Jolly Pedlar," a fine old Irish air. 

* Gone astray. . 

5 This is equal to the proverb " he wants a square," that is, 
though knavish not thoroughly rational; in other words, a com- 
bination of knave and fool. Bob, in consequence of his accom- 
plishments, was always a great favourite in the village. Upon 
some odd occasions he was a ready and willing drudge at every- 
thing, and as strong as a ditch. Give him only a good fog- 
meal which was merely a trifle, just what would serve three men 
or so give him, we say, a fog-meal of this kind, about five times 
a day, with a liberal promise of more, and never was there a 
Scotch Brownie who could get through so much work. He knew 
no fatigue; frost and cold had no power over him; wind, sleet, 
and hail he laughed at; rain! it stretched his skin, he said, after 
a meal and that, he added, was a comfort. Notwithstanding all 
this, he was neither more nor less than an impersonation of laziness, 
craft, and gluttony. The truth is, that unless in the hope of 
being gorged he would do nothing; and the only way to get any- 
thing out of him was, never to let the gorge precede the labour, 
but always, on the contrary, to follow it. Bob's accomplishments 
were not only varied, but of a very elevated order, and the means 
of holding him in high odour amongst us. Great and wonderful, 



NOTES 393 

Heaven knows, did we look upon his endowments to be. No man, 
wise or otherwise, could " hunt the brock," alias the badger, within 
a hundred miles of Bob; for when he covered his mouth with his 
two hands, and gave forth the very sounds which the badger is 
said to utter, did we not look upon him Bob with as much 
wonder and reverence as we would have done upon the badger him- 
self ? Phup-um-phup phup-um-phup phup-um phup-um phup- 
um-phup. Who but a first-rate genius could accomplish this feat 
in such a style? Bob could crow like a cock, bark like a dog, 
mew like a cat, neigh like a horse, bray like an ass, or gobble 
like a turkey-cock. Unquestionably, I have never heard him 
equalled as an imitator of birds and beasts. Bob's crack feat, 
however, was performing the Screw-pin Dance, of which we have 
only this to say, that by whatsoever means he became acquainted 
with it, it is precisely the same dance which is said to have been 
exhibited by some strolling Moor before the late Queen Caroline. 
It is, indeed, very strange, but no less true, that many of the 
oriental customs are yet prevalent in the remote and isolated parts 
of Ireland. Had the late Mr. O'Brien, author of the Essay on 
Irish Round Towers, seen Bob perform the dance I speak of, 
he would have hailed him as a regular worshipper of Budh, and 
adduced his performance as a living confirmation of his theory. 
Poor Bob ! he is gone the way of all fools, and all flesh. 

The reader, here, is not to rely implicitly upon the accuracy 
of Nancy's description of the persons alluded to. It is true the 
men were certainly companions and intimate acquaintances of 
Ned's, but not entitled to the epithet which Nancy in her wrath 
bestowed upon them. Shane was a rollicking, fighting, drinking 
butcher, who cared not a fig whether he treated you to a drink 
or a drubbing. Indeed, it was at all times extremely difficult to 
say whether he was likely to give you the drink first or the 
drubbing afterwards, or vice versa. Sometimes he made the 
drubbing the groundwork for the drink, and quite as frequently 
the drink the groundwork for the drubbing. Either one or other 
you were sure to receive at his hands; but his general practice was 
to give both. Shane, in fact, was a good-humoured fellow, well 
liked, and nobody's enemy but his own. Jemmy Teague was a 
quiet man, who could fight his corner, however, if necessary. 
Shane was called Kittogue Shane, from being left-handed. Both 
were butchers, and both, we believe, are alive and kicking at this 
day. 

i A short pipe. 

s Hot embers. 



394 IRELAND 

A kind of potato. 

1 It's ill becoming or it ill becomes me, to overlook his conduct. 

11 A blacksmith, and an honest man. 

12 Hugh, who by the way, is still living, and, I am glad to hear, 
in improved circumstances was formerly in the habit of making 
a drop of the right sort. 

is The names here are not fictitious. Andy Morrow, a most re- 
spectable and intelligent farmer, is not long dead, and few, if any, 
of the rest survive. 

i* Each pair have been since married, and live not more hap- 
pily than I wish them. Fulton still lives in Ned's house at the 
Cross-roads. 

15 Fact; about seventy or eighty years ago the farmers of Ire- 
land brewed their own malt drink. 

i Fairy-like, or connected with the fairies. 

17 A thin, fleshless, stunted person. 

is Black-visaged. 

19 A lonely mountain-road, said to have been haunted. It is on 
this road that the coffin scene mentioned in the Party Fight and 
Funeral is laid. 

20 The efficacy of holy water in all Roman Catholic countries, 
but especially in Ireland, is supposed to be very great. It is kept 
in the house, or, in certain cases, about the person, as a safe- 
guard against evil spirits, fairies, or sickness. It is also used to 
allay storms and quench conflagrations; and when an Irishman or 
Irishwoman is about to go a journey, commence labour, or enter 
upon any other important undertaking, the person is sure to be 
sprinkled with holy water, under the hope that the journey or 
undertaking will prosper. 

21 A person vulgar, but rich, without any pretensions but those 
of wealth to the character of a gentleman; a churl. 

22 Half-sir; the same as above. 

23 This very beautiful but simple place of worship does not 
now exist. On its site is now erected a Roman Catholic chapel. 

2* Mick was also a schoolmaster, and the most celebrated vil- 
lage politician of his day. Every Sunday found him engaged as 
in the text. 

25 Usquebaugh literally, " water of life." 

26 The Corrag is a roll of branches tied together when green, 
and used for the purposes mentioned in the story. It is six feet 
high, and much thicker than a sack, and is changed to either side 
of the door according to the direction from which the wind blows. 

27 The straits to which the poor Irish are put for what is 



NOTES 395 

termed kitchen that is some liquid that enables them to dilute 
and swallow a dry potatoe are grievous to think of. An Irish- 
man in his miserable cabin will often feel glad to have salt and 
water in which to dip it, but that alluded to in the text is abso- 
lute comfort. Egg milk is made as follows: A measure of water 
is put down suited to the number of the family; the poor woman 
then takes the proper number of eggs, which she beats up, and, 
when the water is boiling, pours it in, stirring it well for a couple 
of minutes. It is then made, and handed round in wooden nog- 
gins, every one salting for themselves. In colour it resembles 
milk, which accounts for its name. 

Our readers must have heard of the old and well-known luxury 
of "potatoes and point," which, humorous as it is, scarcely falls 
short of the truth. An Irish family, of the cabin class, hangs 
up in the chimney a herring, or " small taste " of bacon, and as 
the national imagination is said to be strong, each individual points 
the potato he is going to eat at it, upon the principle, I suppose, 
of crede et habes. It is generally said that the act communicates 
the flavour of the herring or bacon, as the case may be, to the 
potato ; and this is called " potatoes and point." 

28 This proverb, which is always used as above, but without be- 
ing confined in its application to only one sex, is a general one in 
Ireland. In delicacy and beauty I think it inimitable. 

29 Accidents future calamity or old age. 

so That frank, cordial manner of address which brings strangers 
suddenly to intimacy. 
si Murder everlasting. 

32 The dark man. 

33 My soul's within you. 

s* Such is the popular opinion. 

ss Salt and water consecrated by a particular form is Holy 
Water. 

36 According to the superstitious belief of the Irish, a priest, 
when banishing a spirit, puts it into a thumb-bottle, which he 
either buries deep in the earth, or in some lake. 

87 Say I. 

ss Ned M'Keown was certainly a very remarkable individual, 
and became, in consequence of his appearance in these pages, a 
person of considerable notoriety during the latter years of his life. 
His general character, and the nature of his unsuccessful specu- 
lations, I have drawn with great truth. There is only one point 
alone in which I have done him injustice, and that is in de- 
picting him as a hen-pecked husband. The truth is, I had a 



396 IRELAND 

kind of good-humoured pique in against Ned, and for the follow- 
ing reasons: The cross roads at which he lived formed a central 
point for all the youngsters of the neighbourhood to assemble 
for the purpose of practising athletic exercises, of which I, in my 
youth, was excessively fond. Now Ned never would suffer me 
to join my young acquaintances in these harmless and healthful 
sports, but on every occasion, whenever he saw me, he would run 
out with a rod or cudgel and chase me from the scene of amuse- 
ment. This, to a boy so enthusiastically devoted to such diver- 
sions as I was, often occasioned me to give him many a hearty 
malediction when at a safe distance. In fact, he continued this 
practice until I became too much of a man to run away, after 
which he durst only growl and mutter abuse, whilst I snapped 
my fingers at him. For this reason then, and remembering all 
the vexatious privations of my favourite sports which he occa- 
sioned me, I resolved to turn the laugh against him, which I did 
effectually, by bringing him out in the character of a hen-pecked 
husband, which was indeed very decidedly opposed to his real 
one. My triumph was complete, and Ned, on hearing himself read 
of "in a book," waxed indignant and wrathful. In speaking of 
me he could not for the life of him express any other idea of my 
age and person than that by which he last remembered me. 
" What do you think " he would exclaim, " there's that young 
Carleton has put me in a book, an' made Nancy leather me I" 
Ned survived Nancy several years, and married another wife, 
whom I never saw. About twenty-five years ago he went to Amer- 
ica, where he undertook to act as a tanner, and nearly ruined his 
employer. After some time he returned home, and was forced to 
mend roads. Towards the close of his life, however, he contrived 
to get an ass and cart, and became egg-merchant, but I believe 
with his usual success. In this last capacity, I think about two 
years ago, he withdrew from all his cares and speculations, and 
left behind him the character of an honest, bustling, good-hu- 
moured man, whom everybody knew and everybody liked, and 
whose harmless eccentricities many will long remember with good- 
humour and regret. 

39 A young man full of fun and frolic. The word literally sig- 
nifies Young Brian. Such phrases originate thus: A young man 
remarkable for one or more qualities of a particular nature be- 
comes so famous for them that his name, in the course of time, is 
applied to others, as conveying the same character. 

*o Crooked mouth. 

4i In Ireland, small farmers who cannot afford to keep more 



NOTES 397 

than one horse are in the habit of "joining," as it is termed 
that is, of putting their horses together so as to form a yoke 
when they plough each other's farms, working alternately, some- 
times by the week, half-week or day; that is, I plough this day, 
or this week, and you the next day, or week, until our crops are 
got down. In this case, each is anxious to take as much out of 
the horses as he can, especially where the farms are unequal. 
For instance, where one farm is larger than another the differ- 
ence must be paid by the owner of the larger one in horse-labour, 
man-labour, or money; but that he may have as little to pay as 
possible, he ploughs as much for himself, by the day, as he can, 
and often strives to get the other to do as little per day, on the 
other side, in order to diminish what will remain due to his part- 
ner. There is, consequently, a ludicrous undercurrent of petty 
jealousy running between them, which explains the passage in 
question. 

42 In that part of the country where the scene of Shane Fadh's 
Wedding is laid, the bodies of those who die are not stretched out 
on a bed, and the face exposed; on the contrary, they are placed 
generally on the ground, or in a bed, but with a board resting 
upon two stools or chairs over them. This is covered with a clean 
sheet, generally borrowed from some wealthier neighbour; so that 
the person of the deceased is altogether concealed. Over the sheet 
upon the board are placed plates of cut tobacco, pipes, snuff, &c. 
This is what is meant by being " undher boord." 

43 Kailyee a friendly evening visit. 

** It is no unusual thing in Ireland for a country girl to re- 
pulse a fellow whom she thinks beneath her, if not by a flat at 
least of a flattening refusal ; nor is it seldom that the " argu- 
mentum nstycuffium" is resorted to on such occasions. I have 
more than once seen a disagreeable lover receive, from the fair 
hand which he sought, so masterly a blow, that a bleeding nose re- 
warded his ambition, and silenced for a time his importunity. 

45 Cows without horns. 

4 6Esker; a high ridge of land, generally barren and unproduc- 
tive, when upon a small scale. It is also a ridgy height that runs 
for many miles through a country. 

47 Comedher come hither alluding to the burden of an old 
love-charm which is still used by the young of both sexes on 
May-morning. It is a literal translation of the Irish word 
" gutsho." 

48 Fadh is tall, or long. 

*9 Galore more than enough great abundance. 



398 IRELAND 

BO One-half, at least, of the marriages in a great portion of 
Ireland are effected in this manner. They are termed " runaway 
matches," and are attended with no disgrace. When the parents 
of the girl come to understand that she has " gone off," they bring 
her home in a day or two; the friends of the parties then meet, 
and the arrangements for the marriage are made as described in 
the tale. 

6i Matches made in this manner are discountenanced by the 
Roman Catholic clergy, as being liable to abuse; and, for this rea- 
son, the parties, by way of punishment, are sometimes, but not 
always, made to stand up at mass for one or three Sundays; 
but, as Shane expresses it, the punishment is so common that it 
completely loses its effect. To " stand," in the sense meant here 
is this: the priest, when the whole congregation are on their knees, 
calls the young man and woman by name, who stand up and re- 
main under the gaze of the congregation whilst he rebukes them 
for the scandal they gave to the church, after which they kneel 
down. In general it is looked upon more as fun than punish- 
ment. Sometimes, however, the wealthier classes compromise the 
matter with the priest, as described above. 

52 Humorous periphrasis for throat. 

53 The morning, or early part of the day, on which an Irish 
couple are married, up until noon, is called the bride's part, which, 
if the fortunes of the pair are to be happy, is expected to be fair 
rain or storm being considered indicative of future calamity. 

54 A small, shaggy pony, so called from being found in great 
numbers on the Island of that name. 

55 In many parishes of Ireland a number of small wax candles 
are blessed by the priest upon Ash-Wednesday, and these are con- 
stantly worn about the person until that day twelve months, for 
the purposes mentioned above. 

56 Dyke or drain. 

57 Became restive. 
es Fair girl. 

69 So called from Cronebane, in the county of Wicklow, where 
there is a copper mine. 

eo Charms of an evil nature. These are ceremonies used by such 
women, and believed to be of efficacy by the people. It is an 
undoubted fact that the woman here named and truly named 
was called in by honest Ned Donnelly, who, I believe, is alive, 
and could confirm the truth of it. I remember her well, as I do 
the occasion on which she was called in by Ned or his friends. 
I also remember that a neighbour of ours, a tailor named Cor- 



NOTES 399 

mick M'Elroy father, by the way, to little Billy Cormick, who 
figures so conspicuously at the wedding called her in to cure, by 
the force of charms, some cows he had that were sick. 

si The hump, which constitutes a round-shouldered man. If 
the reader has ever seen Hogarth's Illustrations of Hudibras, and 
remembers the redoubtable hero as he sits on horseback, he will 
be at no loss in comprehending what a cruiht means. Cruiht 
is the Irish for harp, and the simile is taken from the projection 
between the shoulders of the harper which was caused by carrying 
that instrument. 

62 There is always a struggle for this at an Irish wedding, where 
every man is at liberty even the priest himself to anticipate the 
bridegroom if he can. 

es Cracker is the small, hard cord which is tied to a rustic whip, 
in order to make it crack. When a man is considered to be in- 
ferior to another in anything, the people say, " he wouldn't make 
a cracker to his whip." 

64 Drank. 

65 Flush is a pool of water that spreads nearly across a road. 
It is usually fed by a small mountain stream, and in consequence 
of rising and falling rapidly, it is called " Flush." 

66 Separate, or pacify. 

67 Antitrinitarians ; the peasantry are often extremely fond of 
hard and long words, which they call tall English, 

ss Excommunicate. It is generally pronounced as above by the 
people. 

69 Fair girl. 

70 A small pathway, or bridle road leading to a farm-house. 

71 Questin When an Irish priest or friar collects corn or 
money from the people in a gratuitous manner, the act is called 
questin." 

72 Welcome. 

73 Sorbonne. 

74 Light of my heart. 

75 A pass-word, sign, or brief intimation, touching something of 
which a man is ignorant, that he may act accordingly. 

76 The very pulse and delight of my heart. 

77 A liberal portion torn off a thick cake. 

78 A soft, unsophisticated youth. 

79 Whispering. 

so Anglice Big markets. There are three of these held before 
Christmas, and one or two before Easter, to enable the country 
folks to make their markets, and prepare for the more com- 



400 IRELAND 

fortably celebrating those great convivial festivals. They are al- 
most as numerously attended as fairs; for which reason they are 
termed " big markets." 

si Meaning his counterpart, as it were. 

82 In Irish the proverb is " Ha nahn la na guiha la na scuili- 
pagh:" that is, the windy or stormy day is not that on which 
the scollops should be cut. Scollops are osier twigs, sharpened 
at both ends, and inserted in the thatch, to bind it at the eave and 
rigging. The proverb inculcates preparation for future necessity. 

ss For an illustration of this phrase we must refer to THE DUKE 
" Up, Guards, and at them." 

s* Bitter misfortune. 

ss The white horses are produced by the extrication of air, which 
rises in white bubbles to the surface when the potatoes are be- 
ginning to boil; so that when the first symptoms of boiling com- 
mence, it is a usual phrase to say, the white horses are on the pot 
sometimes the white friars. 

se Goodwill. 

87 A flat wicker basket, off which the potatoes are eaten. 

ss Bad success. 

ss Cool reception. 

9 Dher manhim By my soul. 

91 My child. 

92 The ready wit of the Irish is astonishing. It often happens 
that they have whiskey when neither glasses nor cups are at 
hand; in which case they are never at a loss. I have seen them 
use not only egg-shells, but pistol barrels, tobacco boxes, and 
scooped potatoes, in extreme cases. 

3 This is precisely tantamount to what the Scotch call " fey." 
It means that he felt as if some fatal doom were over him. 

94 An old Irish drinking vessel, of a square form, with a handle 
or ear on each side, out of which all the family drank successively, 
or in rotation. The expression above is proverbial. 

95 The warm ashes and embers. 

9 The Banshee in Ireland is, or rather was, said to follow only 
particular families principally the old Milesians. It appeared or 
was heard before the death of any member of the family. Its form 
was always that of a female weeping, wailing, wringing its hands, 
and uttering the national keene, or lamentation for the dead. 
Banshee signifies gentle woman. 

97 This in the North of Ireland is called wraith, as in Scotland. 
The Fetch is a spirit that assumes the likeness of a particular 
person. It does not appear to the individual himself whose re- 



NOTES 401 

semblance it assumes, but to some of his friends. If it is seen in 
the morning, it betokens long life; if after sunset, approaching 
death: after nightfall, immediate death. 

98 Bouchal Boy. 

99 Brutheen is potatoes champed with butter. Anything in a 
loose, broken, and irregular state, is said to be in brutheen that 
is, in disorder and confusion. 

100 Wife. 

101 The peasantry of a great portion of Ireland use this word 
as applicable to both sexes. 

i 2 The genuine blunders of the Irish not those studied for 
them by men ignorant of their modes of expression and habits 
of life are always significant, clear, and full of strong sense and 
moral truth. 

103 That is, in this point you are of the same kind as your fa- 
ther; possessing that prominent trait in his disposition or char- 
acter. 

104 The pressure in a crowd. 

105 Cleared up set in order. 
loe Threw aside all restraint. 

107 From that hour to this. 

108 Sinews. 

109 Curled. 

11 Idle talk gossip. 

in Shuid-urth This to you or upon you; a form of drinking 
healths. 

112 The translation follows it above. 

us Uproariousness. 

11* Literally, a stroke of cudgel; put for cudgel-player. 

us This was the old code of laws peculiar to Ireland before 
the introduction of English legislation into it. 

us There were properly only two Psalters, those of Tara and 
Cashel. The Psalters were collections of genealogical history, 
partly in verse; from which latter circumstance they had their 
name. 

111 Habeas corpus: the above is the popular pronunciation. 

us These are called the " Fourteen Stations of the Cross." 

119 Pilgrims and other impostors pass these things upon the 
people as miracles upon a small scale. 

120 Out. This expression in remote parts of the country is 
understood to mean being at mass. 

121 Paddy Mellon a short, thickset man, with grey hair, which 
he always kept cropped close was the most famous shoemaker 

I 26 



402 IRELAND 

in the parish; in fact, the Drummond of a large district. No 
shoes were considered worth wearing if he did not make them. 
But, having admitted this, I am bound in common justice and 
honesty to say that so big a liar never put an awl into leather. 
No language could describe his iniquity in this respect. I my- 
self am a living witness of this. Many a trudge has the villain 
taken out of me in my boyhood; and as sure as I went on the 
appointed day which was always Saturday so surely did he 
swear that they would be ready for me on that day week. He 
was, as a tradesman, the most multifarious and barefaced liar I 
ever met; and what was the most rascally trait about him, was 
the faculty he possessed of making you believe the lie as readily 
after the fifteenth repetition of it, as when it was uttered fresh 
from his lips. 

122 Flipe One who is " flippant " of which word it is the 
substantive, and a good one too. 

123 Manual a Catholic Prayer-book. 

124 The priest described in " Ned M'Keown " having been edu- 
cated on the Continent, was one of the first to introduce the 
Procession of the Host in that part of the country. The Conse- 
crated Host, shrined in a silver vessel formed like a chalice, was 
borne by a priest under a silken canopy; and to this the other 
clergymen present offered up incense from a censer, whilst they 
circumambulated the chapel inside and out, if the day was fine. 

125 The Engraving at the end of this Tale represents the real 
Cork red-drawn from the life itself by Mr. MacManus. 

126 Garran A horse; but it is always used as meaning a bad 
one one without mettle. When figuratively applied to a man, 
it means a coward. 

127 Initiated into Whiteboyism. 

128 Irish frieze is mostly manufactured at home, which accounts 
for the expression here. 

129 Harden. 

iso A brave man. He was a man of huge size and prodigious 
strength, and died in consequence of an injury he received in 
lifting one of the cathedral bells of Clogher, which is said to be 
ten hundredweight. 

isi Annihilate. Many of the jawbreakers and this was one in 
a double sense used by the hedge-schoolmasters, are scattered 
among the people, by whom they are so twisted that it would be 
extremely difficult to recognize them. 

132 Dhuragh An additional portion of anything thrown in 
from a spirit of generosity, after the measure agreed on is given. 



NOTES 403 

When the miller, for instance, receives his toll, the country-people 
usually throw in several handsful of meal as a Dhuragh. 

iss Michaelmas is here jocularly alluded to as that period of 
the year when geese are fattest. 

is* It is usual among the peasantry to form, about Michael- 
mas, small artificial cascades, called dams, under which they 
place long, deep, wicker creels, shaped like inverted cones, for the 
purpose of securing the fish that are now on their return to the 
large rivers, after having deposited their spawn in the higher 
and remoter streams. It is surprising what a number of fish, par- 
ticularly of eels, are caught in this manner sometimes from one 
barrel to three in the course of a single night ! 

iss That is, of confession so going to confession is termed by 
the priests. 

136 The priest, accompanied by a couple of servants, each with 
a horse and sack, collects from such of his parishioners as can 
afford it, a quantity of oats, varying with the circumstances of the 
donor. This collection called Questing is voluntary on the part 
of his parishioners, who may refuse it if they wish; very few 
are found, however, hardy enough to risk the obloquy of declin- 
ing to contribute, and the consequence is that the custom operates 
with as much force as if it were legal and compulsory. 

i3T I have no hesitation in asserting that the bulk of the unedu- 
cated peasantry really believe that the priests have this power. 

iss My soul to God and the Virgin. 

139 Dirty Katty. 

140 Fact. Oatmeal is in general substituted for soap, by those 
who cannot afford to buy the latter. 

1*1 The people look upon that priest as the best and most 
learned who can perform the ceremony of the mass in the short- 
est period of time. They call it, as above, " tareing off." The 
quickest description of mass, however, is the " hunting mass," so 
termed from the speed at which the priest goes over it that is, 
" at the rate of a hunt." 

1 42 A hundred thousand welcomes to you. 

143 Confusing us. 

144 Communicate. 

145 That is, the sacrament. 

146 Food. 

147 This prayer is generally repeated by two persons, who re- 
cite each a verse alternately. 

148 By this is meant good food and clothing. 

149 A Month's Mind is the repetition of one or more masses, 



404 IRELAND 

at the expiration of a month after death, for the repose of a de- 
parted soul. There are generally more than the usual number of 
priests on such occasions: each of whom receives a sum of money, 
varying according to the wealth of the survivors sometimes five 
shillings, and sometimes five guineas. 

iso We subjoin the original, for the information of our read- 
ers: 

" Confiteor Deo Omnipotent!, beatae Mariae, semper Virgini, 
beato Michaelo archangelo, beato Johanni Baptists, sanctis Apos- 
folis, Petro et Paulo, omnibus sanctis, et tibi, pater, quia, peccavi 
nimis cogitatione, verbo, et opere, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea 
maxima culpa." Let not our readers suppose that the above 
version in the mouth of a totally illiterate peasant is overcharged; 
for we have the advantage of remembering how we ourselves 
used to hear it pronounced in our early days. We will back the 
version in the text against Edward Irving's new language for any 
money. Original note. 

151 Temperance and fortitude. 

152 Parliament. This was written before the passing of the 
Emancipation Bill. 

153 Niggardly. 

154 In the Roman Catholic Church the priest is at liberty to ad- 
minister the last rites, even so long as it is possible that the body 
and soul may not have finally separated. Under these circum- 
stances, it occasionally happens that the Extreme Unction is ad- 
ministered after death, but still while the animal heat remains. 

IBS Domestic Nomination was the right claimed by a portion of 
the Irish clergy to appoint their own bishops, independently of 
the Pope. 

159 That is into Maynooth college the great object of ambi- 
tion to the son of an Irish peasant, or rather to his parent. 

157 The Church of Rome existing in any heretical country that 
is, where she herself is not the state church is considered a mis- 
sionary establishment ; and taking orders in her is termed " Going 
upon the Mission." Even Ireland is looked upon as in partibus 
infidelium, because Protestantism is established by law hence the 
phrase above. 

158 The translation follows it. 

159 How are you? 



PR 

4416 
GARLETON. William .T7 



AU THOR 

Traits and stories of vol.1 * 



the Irish peasantry 



FR 

CARLSTON. William 4416 

.T7* 
and stories of the Irish 

peasantry vol.1