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Z O Z 1 

J * / J 




























The following humorous and pathetic tales and 
stories require no recommendation to those who relisk 
innocent and amusing reading. Though all are at- 
tributed to the late lamented Zoziiaus, who once made 
the streets of Dublin vocal with his epigrams and im- 
promptu ballads, it is but candid to say that many of 
them cannot be traced directly to his authorship, and 
several of the best, we are aware, were written in 
the first instance for a weekly journal. However, 
they are all, without exception, true pictures of Irish 
life, as it once appeared, nothing being extenuated or 
set down in malice, and as such we ask for thero 
the kind consideration ol the reader. 


The"Zozimus" Papers 7 

The Prophecy Man 16 

The Desj;rter 27 

The Matchmaker ^ . 33 

The Ghost 42 

An Irish Picnic 51 

The Irish Parliament and the Turk. 69 

Bothering an Editor 77 

A Fenian Tale 84 

Handy Andy's Little Mistakes 97 

Puss IN Brogues 106 

The Wise Simpleton 116 

Peggy the Pishogue 127 

An Irish Dancing-Master 137 

A Dance at Pat Malone's 146 

Mike Driscoll and the Fairies 161 

Tom Kearney i3i 

Paddy Corbett's First Smuggling Trip 152 

Hannaberry the Piper o ..... . ... 206 

The Irish Fiddler • • • 214 

Barney O'Grady 222 

Oroh jo. the Fairy Man 227 



A Tale of Other Days 237 

What Mr. Maguire Saw in the Kitchen 245 

The Will 257 

Serving a Writ 262 

The Gauger Outwitted 266 

The Irish Midwife 279 

The Will o' the Wisp 304 

The Flower of the Wki l 309 


From the creation of the human race (we may as well begin at 
the beginning) even unto our own degenerate days, the Unknown 
Great have formed a very large portion of mankind. How many 
poets and philosophers sang songs and split syllogistic hairs when 
the unhappy Cain was building cities by the Euphrates, or the 
mighty hunter, Nimrod, was developing his young muscle in the 
sports of the field, it is of course impossible to say, that greatest 
of all water-cures, the Deluge, has literally washed out every 
record of their existence. No doubt there were rhymsters and 
bards without number to lighten the fruitless labor of the builders 
of the brick tower of Babel, but the calamity that befell those 
enterprising free-masons and hod-carriers could not have been 
without its deleterious effect on the children of the muses. What 
that effect must have been is too painful for contemplation. 
Imagine a few score of ambitious poetasters, each bawling out 
at the top of his voice his favorite composition in a strange 
tongue, unknown to any of his hearers or rival songsters ! This, 
indeed, would be confusion worse confounded. 

Then we find matters little mended when we come down to 
comparatively modem times — that is, the ten or eleven centuries 
before our era. Where, let us ask, are all the great men who hood- 
winked and blamied the Pharos of Egypt ; or those who sat on the 
sunny sides of the gorgeous palaces and temples of Kineveh and 
Babylon, surrounded by admiring crowds of princes and cour- 
tiers ? WTiat has become of all the men who made Greece and 


her colonies on the borders of the Mediten-anean the nurseries 
■ of learning, and the fayorite summer watering-place of the Nine 
Muses ? Are even their names known to the great majority of 
enlightened American citizens; or is their knowledge, like the 
language of the sacred Vedas of India, confined to the occult 
few, the professors of New England colleges and the hedge-school 
masters of the remote Kingdom of Kerry ? 

One name, indeed, has been rescued from oblivion, and if life 
is preserved to us, we intend to pull to the surface another genius 
by the drowned locks. Indeed, those two characters, Homer and 
Moran, had many points in common: both were blind, and both 
sang their ballads in the public streets for a scanty subsistence, 
while each in his own way had, during life, to suffer contumely 
and injustice. Fortunately for the "blind bard of Scio," Lycur- 
gus, the communist of Sparta and the inventor cf broth, in his 
rambles through Asia Minor, a long time after the poet had been 
carried over the Styx, heard the Homeric ballads sang in the 
streets, and giving an order to the nearest dealer in papyrus, had 
them stenographed and arranged in sequence for the delectation 
of his rather savage subjects. Then, and not till then, did 

"Seven cities claim the poet Homer dead. 
Through which the living Homer begged his bread." 

To our humble selves falls the onerous but pleasing task of 
imitating the example of the Spartan loiler, but though we have 
no claim to that eminent strict constructionist's ability or influence, 
we have the advantage not only of having heard our hero's ballads 
sung in the streets of Dublin, in Crampton Court and Jude's Cafi; 
aye, and even within the classic walls of old Trinity and at the 
fancy dres? balls of the Rotundo, by successful imitators of the 
great original; but in our callow youth we enjoyed the friend- 
ship of the venerable and gifted man. This latter fact enables 
us to do for Moran what all the biographers and antiquarians in 
the universe have failed to do for his Greek prototype. We can 
fix precisely the place and time of his birth, as well as the exact 


scene of his labors. No seven cities shall, if we can prevent it, 
wrangle in fruitless rivalry over his birth-place. Himself and all 
his fame belongs to Dublin, and in the language of a late distin- 
guished Irish advocate, he was, in more than one sense, ' ' racy of 
its soil." In that fair city celebrated for its Lord Lieutenants 
and •' Lady Lieutenants," its Lions and Unicorns, big policemen 
and small shopkeepers, jdc/jjc'/is a.ndjo/u-rs, in the year 1S40, at 
Faddle Alley, offBl.ack Pitts, in the Liberties, (we are particular 
as to the place, for we have no doubt as civilization advances 
pilgrims by the thousands will throng to gaze and affectionately 
contemplate the humble and sequestered spot, if the ruthless hand 
of time spares it so long), the future imf'rcK'visatore first saw tJie 

Alas ! twas indeed but a short gleam of celestial sunshine*hat 
illuminated the windows of the soul of the infant phenomenon. 
Sickness, that ever haunts the steps of from the cradle to 
the grave, makes no exception of genius, and w hen yet two weeks 
old, those eyes that might have rolled with divine phrcnzy be- 
came forever sightless. Nature, doubtless, when viewing her 
perfect handiwork, became jealous of the child, and resolved by 
this infliction to mar his gieat mental qualities by physical disa- 
bility. Still when we are deprived of one sense, an increased 
development of another is generally noticed; and so with Zozi- 
mus, for so acute was his hearing and his sense of feeling so deli- 
cate, that he easily recognized a mere acquaintance by the sound 
of his voice, and could perambulate the intricate lanes and streets 
of the "Liberties" without the guidance of dog or urchin. We 
remember one exception to this wonderful gift of inhabitiveness. 

On a certain very stormy night, as Mr. (now Sir John) Gray, 
of the Dublin Freemait's Jo:irnal, was about to cross Essex 
bridge on his way to the office, he heard through the darkness 
and the rain a plaintive voice saying : 

" Is there any good Christian here that v/ould lead a poor 
blind man over the bridge ?" 

"Yes," said the kind-hearted editor, "talce my hand and I 
shall bring you across." 


•' Thank you, gentle sir," said the poet, as he placed his hand 
within that of his obliging conductor. 

When they had crossed the Liffey to the north side, Mr. Gray 
stopped and inquired with well assumed gravity: 

'• Now, Zozimus, why is it you are always so hard on us 
Protestants? Here am I a heretic, who have taken you safely 
over the bridge when none of your faith was near to assist you, 
and yet you say many harsh things against us." 

" Sir !" replied the venerable bard, raising up his sightless eyes 
towards where he supposed heaven might be, in an act of blind 
devotion, as it were — " Sir ! do you not know that we must 
sometimes, for their own good, pander to the prejudices of an 
unenlightened public ?" 

WTiat a blending of humility and wisdom is found in this short 
answer ! We look in vain in the much-lauded pages of Socrates 
and Plato, of Cicero and Seneca, for anything so replete in 
sagacity and knowledge of human nature. It furnishes also a 
key to his system of public instruction, and an explanation of 
why one so gifted should have preferred the vernacular of Thomas 
Street and the Coombc to that of more classical English in most 
of his compositions. Born at a time when the Irish people were 
sunk in ignorance, he found out as he grew up tliat they had 
many of the weaknesses and harmless pn-judlces which grow out 
of long years of servitude, so when lie had a sound moral to coji- 
vey or a patriotic sentiment to advance, he made use of these very 
defects of character to instruct his auditors; and, unlike many 
modem orators, he was able to impart to them wholesome truths 
in language they could all understand. 

What can l)e more true to nature as well as to fact than the fol- 
lowing ballad composed and sung by the peripatetic bard soon 
after the celebrated discussion between Rev. Father Thomas 
Maguire, P.P. of Ballinamore, and Rev. T. D. Gregg, of the 
Protestant establishment, during which the latter got signally 
defeated ? 



" All you that profess to that ancient religion. 

Can boast its foundation from virtue and truth, 
Maguire's the champion can trace its origin, 

With any false preacher he's fit to dispute; 
The Swifts-ally spouter he's bothered completely, 

The fountain of rancor has leveled him low. 
The victory's our own, we'll rejoice late and early, 

That Maguire may conquer wherever he'll go. 

" From the sweet county Leitrim to famed Dublin city 

True Catholic doctrine he came to defend, 
Those misguided heretics, boys can you pity, 

When to his decisions they were forced to bend; 
Their bible cant-tract, was no more but a folly, 

The master of arts on his dunghill may crow. 
And fly to the ' Trinity ' pack for protection, 

That Maguire may conquer wherever he'll go. 

" Each Catholic heart round the green fields of Erin 

Shall nobly re-echo the shamrock shore. 
Representing the joys of our holy religion. 

From sweet Dublin city to Ballinamore; 
The Tories like dogs may fly to their kennels, 

The foul seed of discord no longer tliey'U sow. 
Let us quarrel no more, but stand firm to each other — 

Father Tom, may you conquer wherever you go. 

•' This scheme was contrived by the bigoted faction, 

The minds of the people they mean to excite. 
For their own selfish ends to drive man to distraction, 

To keep ancient Erin from her lawful right; 
But the Catholic Church is triumphant, thank heaven. 

All tempests and dangers she'll still overthrow, 
The la.TL dying blow to heresy's given^ 

Maguire, may you conquer wherever you go. 

"Acclamations of joy through our church is spreading. 

From the seat of Armagh to St. Peter's in Rome, 
The call of assassins no more we'll be dreading. 

The Catholic Church has commenced in its bloom; 
For the want of sound proofs Tory Gregg you defeated. 

The rank seed of Harry is confounded, you know, 
One heaven, one sheepfold by heaven elevated. 

That Man:uire may conquer wlierever he'll go. 


" The Catholic clergy may stand on their altars, 

And challenge the bjst their foes can produce, 
For the minds of ihi p:ople can never be altered; 

Poor Gregg, your false doctrine is of but htlle use; 
Your name, Father To.n, will be ever enduring. 

Of the infernal proud Satan you have made a show; 
Green laurels shall bloom round the chapels of Erin, 

That Maguire may conquer wherever he'll go. 

"With joy we'll conclude by the victory proclaiming, 

And toast to Victoria our beautiful queen, 
While our kind Lord Lieutenant displays equal justice, 

May ire i-eign triumphant in our land of green; 
That the blest Church of Rome may extend through the iVcn'ld ; 

As we push round the glass with tliree cheers let it flow, 
To the health of the matchless, unrivaled Maguire, 

May he live long and conquer wherever he'll go." 

We admit our inability to understand the logic or appreciate 
the sentiment of the last verse. What* connection could exist 
between the welfare of " our beautiful queen" and the "equ;;! 
justice " of the " kind Lord Lieutenant," and the spread of the 
doctrines of the Church, must remain to us a conundrani. It 
may be that at the time the poem was given to the public (183S) 
there had been a fresh stimulus imparted to Dublin loyalty by an 
increased order for castle livery of "native manufacture;" or 
that the author, apprehensive of the interference of the jxilicc 
with his chants in praise of the champion of the people, threw in 
the last few lines as a propitiatory sacrifice to the MoUoch of the 
Castle. Future critics must resolve this delicate enigma; for 
ourselves, we give it up. 

The great Moran was born of poor hut honest parents, a method 
of description not very original, but much affected by certain 
biographers, who think it a strange, nay, wonderful coincidence, 
that a man's parents may have been poor and yet honest. How- 
ever, it was a fact in the case of our poet, well known to the pub- 
lic, and, very probably, often inconveniently felt l.'y himself. We 
wish, for the sake of posterity, that our data regarding his early 


habits and education were as authentic, for, as a brother poet 
hath it, 

' ' Lives of poets all remind us 
We can write dimnation fine, 
Leaving still unsolved behind us 
Query : How are bards to dine ?" 

What interesting reminiscences must have clustered round his 
infancy and adolescence, that now can only be left to the imag- 
ination ! What mud pies he made in the propitious precincts of 
Faddle Alley ! and what spankings he must have received from 
the maternal brogue ! Would tliat some authentic record had 
been preserved in the library of the " Silent Sister," or in the 
Royal Irish Academy, which would tell us of the first dawnings 
of the genius that was destined not only to astonish his fellow- 
citizens, but to edify and instruct the whole world — for to what 
place has his fame not extended ? How he listened enraptured 
to the reading of the good and great bishop of Raphoe's account 
of Mary of Egypt, and drank in, as eager as the arid sands of the 
desert do tlie passing shower, the beautiful and patriotic senti- 
ments of "Come, all ye ancient Britons," "In the year '98," 
"The Banshee Peelers," and other gems of rustic verse. But, 
unfortunately, every incident of his life save the mere fact of his 
entrance into this sublunary sphere, has been forgotten, or sup- 
pressed by those who envied his ability without being able to ap- 
proach it.; and we know little of him till he emerged into public 
life and the streets of Dublin a full-fledged author, composer and 
musical artist, arrayed in a dress consisting of a long-tailed coat, 
closely buttoned over the chest (as if to conceal the absence of a 
shirt), with a cape — the lower parts of the skirts being scalloped 
like the edge of a monstrous saw, which but allowed the ioex- 
pressibles to be revealed. His extremities were encased in a pair 
of strong brogues, and the ioi/f ensemble was crowned by a soft, 
f reasy hat, that lud protected the noble head of the venerable 
man in all weathers for many a year. Ills only companion, his 
only weapon of defense and offense — -his staff and truncheon — 
was a long blackthorn stick, which was attached to his wrist by 


a stout leathern thong, lest, perchance, some profane urchin might 
snatch it out of his grasp, and leave him open to assault in front 
and rear. 

Thus habited and equipped, he would take his stand on Essex 
bridge, or in some other thoroughfare, where his appearance never 
failed to collect a crowd of admirers and patrons. Then a dia- 
logue something like the following would ensue between the bard 
and his audience: 

Zoz. " Gather 'round me, boys; gather 'round me. Well, yez 
all know St. Patrick was bom in Bull Alley, ave he wasn't in 

Female Listener {loqmtor). "Oh, Kitty Gogarty, glory ba 
to goodness, did you ever hear the like of that afore ? Why, he 
must be a great book-larned man !" 

Scamps {in full chorus). "More power, Zozimus, yer the rale 
hart ave the rowl;" " Tip huz the T. B. C. ;" " There's no damp 
on the taypot;" "That ye may never die," etc., etc. 

It may be well to explain here that the cabalistic letters were 
the initials of Attomey-Cieneral Smith, one of the Crown prosecu- 
tors on the trial of O'Connell and six other prominent repealers 
in 1843. As the result of that inquisition, the imprisonment of 
the "martyrs," fired the soul of the poet with just indignation; 
so their liV)cration, after three months' confinement, called forth 
some of the noblest strains of the gifted son of song. The first, 
which is the most valual)le on account of its historical and bio- 
graphical references, ran as follows: 

Ye boys of old Hiljernia, attend imto me. 

Whilst I give you the story of young T. B. C. 

Unlike his father, who stood by Father Maguire, 

He prosecuted O'Connell, with sjiile like hell-fire. 

With him were first-named Fathci-s Tiemay and Tyrrell, 

But were soon '^et aside as leading lo peril, 

Tom .Steele, Ricliard Barrett, Gavan Duffy and Gray, 

With John O'Connell and our "doar T. M. Ray." 

A jury was formed of the right sort. 

Who had the right feeling when called into court, 

And soon pure witnesses were easily found 

To keep the right side -the Royal ground. 



Then the learned judge made home his bold charge 
Against brave O'Connell and his six at large, 
Who to Richmond prison were suddenly sent, 
Wlaere some months of confinement they soberly spent. 

But when the Writ of Error (with all its records) 
Was fully brought up before the House of Lords, 
The noble answer was just, rich and rare, 
The trial was a "mockery, delusion and snare;" 
So then the imprisoned were set fully free, 
To the glory and joy of our old countrie; 
At least half a million in union did meet, 
And had a procession in every street. 

It may easily be imagined the effect such a plain, simple, yet 
forcible ballad like the above, when sung by so skilled a rhetori- 
cian as our hero, would have on an intellectual Dublin audience, 
which is popularly supposed, at least by the good people of that 
provincial city, to be the most critical of any in Europe, particu- 
larly in musical matters. 




[The warm imagination and playful faiicy of the poet were not 
confined within any limits, and in reciting his stories he wan- 
dered from "grave to gay" with the freedom peculiar to his 
calling, as well as characteristic of the man. His mind was a 
storehouse of legendary lore from which he could draw at will a 
tale to suit tlie taste of his audience. Thus a. one time he would 
delight his hearers with a description of Donnybrook, given in 
his own unique way, with all the graces of delivery and action 
which enhanced so much the value of his lucubrations; at an- 
other he would describe a national character witli such fidelity 
to nature and acuteness of observation, as would lead one to 
imagine that this was his peculiar yir/c'. "The Irish Prophecy 
Man " was a favorite theme with tlie tdfted poet, and when seated 
by a cheerful fire and in the company of congenial spirit.-), he de- 
livered it with a ring and g:tst(? that must forever remain inimi- 
table. This, like many of his other creations, was gracelessly 
purloined, and, clothed in a new dress, appeared in the columns 
of a Uublia magazine- Ah, me 3 how much must it have lost in 
symmetry in its transfjrmation. 

In the absence of the inimitable version as tol-i by Zozimus, 
we must present it in the shape which it has assumed mider the 
hand of William Carleton.] 

The individual t ) whom the heading of this article is uniform- 
ly applied, stands among the lower classes oi his countrymen in 


a different light and position from any of tliose previous charac- 
ters that we have already described to our readers. Tlie inter- 
course which i/iry maintain with the pe«^le is one that simply 
involves the means of procuring subsistence for theinselvesby the 
exercise of their professional skill, and tlieir jjoweis of coa^tributing 
to the lighter enjoynaenits and mcHre hannless amusements of their 
fellow-coantrymen. All the collateral influences they possess, 
as arising from the hold which the peculiar nature of this inter- 
course gives them, generally affect individuals only on those 
minor points of feeling that act upon the lighter phases of domes- 
tic life. They bring little to society beycMid the mere accessories 
that are appended to the general modes of life and manners, and 
consequently receive then^selves as strcag an impress from those 
with whom they mingle, as they communicate to them in return. 
Now, the Prophecy Man presents a cliaiucter far different from 
all this. With the ordinary habits of life he has little sympathy. 
The amusements of the people are to hinj little less tlian vanity, 
if not something worse. He despises that class of men who live 
and think only for the presei>t, without ever ouce performing their 
duties to posterity, by looking into those great events that lie in 
the womb of futui-ity. Domestic joys or distresses do not in the 
least affect him, because the man has not to do witli feelings or 
emoticHis, bat with principles. The speculations in wliich he in- 
dulges, and by which his whole life and conduct are regulated, 
place him far above the usual impulses of humanity. He cares 
not much who has been married or who has died, for his mind is, 
in point of tinie, conmitining with unborn generations upon af- 
fairs of high and solemn import. The past, indeed, is to him 
sometliing, the future everything; but the present, unless when 
marked by the prophetic symbols, little or notliing. The topics 
of his conversation are vast and mighty, bjing nothing less than 
the fate of kingdoms, the revolution of empires, the ruin or estab- 
lishment of creeds, the fall of moaarclis, or the rise and prostra- 
tion of principalities and powers. How can a mind thus engaged 
descend to those petty subjects of ordinary life which engage the 
common attention ? How could a roan hard at work in evolving 


out of prophecy the subjugation of some hostile state care a far- 
tiiing whether Loghliu Roe's daughter was married to Gusty 
Given 's son, or not? The thing is impossible. Like fame, the 
head of tlie Prophecy Man is always in the clouds, but so much 
higher up as to be utterly above the reacb of any intelligence 
that does not affect the fate of nations. There is an old anecdote 
told of a very high and a very low man meeting. " What news 
down there ?" Slid the tall fellow. "Very little," replied the 
other: " what kind of weather have you above?" Well indeed 
might the Propliecy Man ask what news there is below, for his 
mind seldom leaves those aerial heights from which it watches 
the fate of Europe and the shadowing forth of future changes. 

The Prophecy Man — that is, he who solely devotes himself to 
an anxious observation of those political occurrences which mark 
the signs of the times, as they bear upon the future, the principal 
business of whose life it is to associate them with his own pro- 
phetic theories —is now a rare character in Ireland. He was, how- 
ever, a very niarked one. The Shanahus and other itinerant 
characters had, when compared with him, a very limited beat 
indeed. Instead of being confined to a parish or a barony, the 
bounds of the Propliecy Man's travels were those of the kingdom 
itself ; and indeed some of them have bzen known to make excur- 
sions to the Highlands of Scotland, in order, if possible, to pick 
up old prophecies, and to make themselves, by cultivating an in- 
timacy with the Scottish seers, capable of getting a clearer io- 
sight into futurity, and surer rules for developing the latent secrets 
of time- 
One of the heaviest blows to the speculations of this class was 
the downfall and death of Bonaparte, especially the latter. 
There are still living, however, those who can get over this diffi- 
culty, and who will not hesitate to assure you, with a look of 
much mystery, that the real " Bonyparty " is alive and well, and 
will make his due appearance m/ien the lirm comes; he who sur- 
rendered himself to the English being but an accomplice of Uie 
true one. 

The next fact, and which I have alluded to in treating of the 


Shanahus, is the failure of the old prophecy that a George the 
Fourth would never sit on the thi-one of England. His corona- 
tion and reign, however, puzzled our prophets sadly, and indeed 
sent adrift forever the pretensians of this prophecy to truth. 

Having thus, as is our usual custom, given what we conceive 
to be such preliminary obsei-vations as are necessaiy to make both 
the subject and tlie person more easily understood, we shall pro- 
ceed to give a short sketch of the only Prophecy Man we ever saw 
who deserved properly to be called so, in the full and unrestricted 
sense of the term. This individual's name was Barney M'Haig- 
hery, but in what part of Ireland he was bom I am not able to 
inform the reader. All I knoMr is, that he was spoken of on 
every occasion a J The Prophecy Man; and that, although he 
could not himself read, he carried about with him, in a variety of 
pockets, several old books and manuscripts that treated upon his 
favorite subject. 

Barney was a tall man, l^y no means meanly dressed; and it is 
necessary to say that hi came not within the character or condi- 
tion of a mendicant. On the contrary, he was considered as a 
person who must be received with respect, for the people knew 
perfectly well that it was not with every farmer in the neighbor- 
hood he would condescend to sojourn. He had nothing of the 
ascetic and abstracted meagreness of the prophet in his appear- 
ance. So far from that, he was inclined to corpulency; but, like 
a certain class of fat men, his natural disposition was calm, but 
at the same time not unmixed with something of the pensive. 
His habits of thinking, as might be expected, were quiet and 
meditative; his person:;l motions slow and regular; and his tran- 
sitions from one resting-place to another never of such length 
during a single day as to exceed ten miles. At this easy rate, 
however, he traversed the whole kingdom several times; nor was 
there probably a local prophecy of any importance in the coun- 
try, with which he was not acquainted. He took much delight 
in the greater and lesser prophets of the Old Testament; but his 
heart and soul lay, as he expressed it, " in the Revelations of St. 
John the Divine." 


His usual practice was, when the family came home at night 
from Iheir labor, to stretch himself upon two chairs, bis head 
resting upon the hob, with a boss for a pillow, his eyes closed, as 
a proof that his mind was deeply engaged with the matter in 
hand. In this attitude he got some one to read the particular pro- 
phecy upon which he wished to descant; and a most curious and 
amusing entertainment it generally was to hear the text, and his 
own singular and original commentaries upon it. That he must 
have been often hoaxed by wags and wits, was quite evident 
from the startling travesties of the text which had been put into 
his mouth, and which, having been once put there, his tenacious 
memory never forgot. 

The fact of Barney's arrival in the neighborhood soon went 
abroad, and the natural consequence was, that the house in which 
he thought proper to reside for the time became crowded every 
night as soon as the hours of labor had passed, and the people 
got leisure to hear him. Having thus procured him an audience, 
it is full time that we should allow the fat old Prophet to speak 
for himself, and give us an insight into futurity. 

" Barney, ahagur," the good man his host would say, "here's 
a lot o' the neighbors come to hear a whirrangue from you 
on the Prophecies; and, sure, if you can't give it to them, wlio 
is there to be found that can ?" 

"Throth, Paddy Traynor, although I say it that should not 
say it, there's tnith in thai, at all evints. The same knowledge 
has cost me many a weary blisthur an' sore heel in hunlin' it up 
an' down, through mountain an' glen, in Ulsthcr, Munsther, Leins- 
ther, an' Connaught — not forgcttin' the Highlands of Scotland, 
wiiere there's what they call the 'short prophecy,' or second 
sight, but wherein there's aftlier all but little of tlie Irish or long 
prophecy, that regards what's to befall the winged woman that 
flew into the wilderness. No, no— their second sight isn't thrue 
prophecy at all. If a man goes out to fish, or steal a cow, an' 
that he happens to be drowned or shot, another man that ha5 
the second sight will sec this in his mind about or afther the 
time it happens. Why, that's little. Many a time our own 


Irish draraes are aiqual to it; a;i' indeed I have it from a know- 
ledgeable man, that the gift they boast of has four parents— an 
empty stomach, thin air, a weak head, an' strou whisky, an' 
that a man must have all these, espishilly the last, before he 
can have the second sight properly; an' il's my own opinion. 
Now, I have a little book (indeed I left my books with a friend 
down at Errigle) that contains a prophecy of the milk-white hind 
an' the bloody panther, an' a forebodin' of the slaughter there's 
to be in the Valley of the Black Pig, as foretold by Beal Derg, 
or the prophet wid the red mouth, who never was known to 
speak but when he prophesied, or to prophesy but when he 

" The Lord bless and 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 and fightin' that was to take place in the tiute 
to come; an', secondly, bekase, while he spoke, the red blood 
always trickled out of his mouth, as a proof that what he fore- 
tould was true." 

"Glory be to God, but that's wondherful 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 ?" 

" Of our own time ! The Lord help you ! It's more than a 
thousand 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 Kg 
is to be set free forever." 


"An' what is the Black Pig, Barney ?" 

"The Prospitarian church, that stretches from Enniskillcn to 
Darry, an' back again from Darry to Enniskillen." 

Well, well, Barney, but prophecy is a strange thing to be 
sure ! Only think of men livin' a thousand years !" 

' 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 of the mountain, an' 
turns to the four comers of the heavans, to thry if he can see it; 
an' when he finds that he cannot, he goes back to Beal Dcrg, who, 
afther the other touches him, starts up, an' axes 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 sec, 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 curiosity 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 ' ?" 

"WTiat did he mane? I'll tell you that. Tlic man is Bony- 
party; which manes, when put into proper explanation, the right 
sidd ; that is, the true cause. Lamed men have found that out." 

"Barney, wasn't Columkill a great prophet?" 

" He was a great man entirely at prophecy. He prophesied 
'that the cock wid the purple comb is to have both his wings 
clipped by one of his own breed before the struggle come.' Be- 
fore that time, too, we're to have the Black Militia, an' aftbcr 
that it is time for every man to be prepared." 

"An', Barney, who is the cock wid the purple comb?" 

"Wliy, the Orangemen to be sure. Isn't purple their color, 
the dirty thieves?" 

"An' the Black Militia, Barney, who are they?" 

"I have gone far an' near, through north an' through south, 


ap an' down, by hill an' hollow, till my toes were corned an' 
my heels in griskins, but could find no one able to resolve that, 
or bring it char out o' the prophecy. They're to be sogers in 
black, an' all their arms an' 'coutrements is to be the sai^ie color; 
an' farther than that is not known as yd.''' 

"It's a vvondher ;i'('.7 don't know it, Bamey, for there's little 
about prophecy that you haven't at your finger ends." 

"Three birds is to meet (Bamey proceeded in a kind of recita- 
tive enthusiasm) upon the saes — two ravens an' a dove — the two 
ravens is to attack the dove until she's at the point of death; but 
before they take her life, r.n eagle comes and tears the two ravens 
to pieces, an' the dove recovers. 

" There's to be tv/o cries in the kingdom-, one of them is to 
rache from the Giants' Causeway to the centre house of the town 
of Sligo ; the other i.=; to rache from the Falls of Belcek to the 
Mill of Louth, which is to be turned three times with human 
blood; but this is not to happen until a man with two thumbs an' 
six fingers upon his right hand happens to be the miller." 

" Who's to give the sign of freedom to Ireland ?" 

"The little boy wid the red coat that's bom a dwarf, lives a 
giant, and dies a dwarf again ! lie's lightest of foot, but leaves 
the heaviest foot-mark behind him. An' it's he that is to give 
the sign of freedom to Ireland !" 

"There's a period to come v/hen Antichrist is to be upon the 
earth, attended by his two body servants, Gog and Magog. WTio 
are they, Bamey ?" 

"They are the sons of Hegog an' Shegog, or in other words 
of Death an' Destruction, and cousin-jarmins to the evil one 
himself, which of coorse is the raison why he promotes them." 

"Lord save u; ! But I hope that won't be in our time, Bar- 
ney !" 

"Antichri--t is to come from ihc land of Crame o' Tarthar 
(Crim Tartary), which will account for himself an' his army 
breathin' fire u.i' brimstone out of their mouths. 

" The prophet of the Black Stone is to come, who was bom never 
to prognosticate a lie. He is to be a mighty hunter, an' instead 


of riding to his fetlocks in blood, he is to ride upon it, to the ad- 
miration of his times. It's of him it is said ' that he is to lie the 
only prophet that ever went on horseback !' 

" Then there's Bardolphns, who, as there was a prophet wid the 
red mouth, is called 'the prophet wid the red nose.' Ireland 
was, it appears from ancient books, undher waiher for many 
hundred years before her discovery ; but bein' allowed to become 
visible one day in every year, the enchantment was broken by a 
sword that was thrown upon the earth, an' from that out she re- 
mained dry, an' became inliabited. 'Woe, woe, woe,' says 
Bardolphus, ' the time is to come when we'll have a second del- 
uge, an' Ireland is to be undher once more. A well is 
to open at Cork that will cover the whole island from the Giants' 
Causeway to Cape Clear. In them days St. Patrick will be de- 
spised, an' will stand over the pleasant houses wid his pasthoral 
crook in hand, crying out Ci\rd mille failtJia in vain! Woe, 
woe, woe,' says Bard )lphus, 'for in them days there will he a 
great confusion of colors among the people ; there will be neither 
red noses nor pale checks, an' the divine face of man, alas ! will 
put forth blossoms no more. The heart of the times will become 
changed ; an' when they rise up in the morning, it will come to 
pass that there will be no longer light heads or shaking hands 
among Irishmen ! Woe, woe, woe, men, women and children 
will then die, an' their only complamt, like all those who perish- 
ed in the flood of ould, will 1^ wathcr on the brain — wather on 
the brain! Woe, woe, woe,' says Bardolphus, ' for the changes 
that is to come, an' the misfortunes that's to befall the many for 
the noddification of the few ! an' yet such things must be, for I, 
in virtue of the red spirit that dwells in mc, must prophesy. them. 
In those times men will lie shod in liquid fire an' not be burned ; 
their breeches shall be made of fire, an" will not burn them ; their 
bread shall lie made of fire, an' will not burn them ; their meat 
shall be made of fire, an' will not burn them ; an' why? — Oh, 
woe, woe, waiher shall so prevail that the coolness of their bodies 
will keep them safe ; yea, they shall even get fat, fair, an' ho. full 
of health an' strength, by wearing garments wrought out of 


liquid fire, by eating liquid fire, an' all because they do not 
drink liquid fire — an' this calamity shall come to pass,' says 
Bardolphus, the prophet of the red nose. 

" Two widows shall be grinding at the Mill of Louth (so saith 
the prophecy) ; one shall be taken and the other left." 

Thus would Barney proceed, repeating such ludicrous and 
heterogeneous mixtures of old traditionary prophecies and spu- 
rious quotations from Scripture as were concocted for him by 
those who took delight in amusing themselves and others at the 
expense of his inordinate love for prophecy. 

"But, Barney, touching the Mill o' Louth, of the two widows 
grindin' there, whelher will the one that is taken or the one that 
is left be the best off?" 

" The prophecy doesn't say," replied Barney, " an' that's a 
matther that larned men are very much divided about. My own 
opinion is, that the one that is taken will be the best off ; betune 
wars an' pestilences an' famine, the men are to be so scarce that 
several of them are to be torn to pieces by the women in their 
struggles to see who will get them for husbands. That time 
they say is to come." 

Such were the speculations upon which the harmless mind of 
Barney M'Haighrey ever dwelt. From house to house, from 
parish to parish, and from province to province, did he thus 
trudge, never in a hurry, but always steady and constant in his 
motions. He might be not inaptly tenned the Old Mortality of 
traditionary prophecy, which he often chiseled anew, added to, 
and imoroved, in a manner that generally gratified himself and 
his hearers. lie was a harmless, kind man, and never known to 
stand in need of either clothes or money. He paid little attention 
to the silent business of ongoing life, and was consequently very 
nearly an abstraction. He was always on the alert, however, for 
the result of a battle ; and after having heard it, he would give 
no opinion whatsoever until he had first silently compared it with 
his own private theory in prophecy. If it agreed with this, he 
immediately published it in connection with his established text ; 
but if it did not, he never opened his lips on the subject. 


His class has disappeared, and indeed it is so much the better, 
for the minds of the people were thus filled with antiquated non- 
sense that did them no good. Poor Barney, to his great mortifi- 
cation, lived to see with his own eyes the failure of his most 
favorite prophecies, but he was not to be disheartened even by 
this ; though some might fail, all could not ; and his stock was 
too varied and extensive not to furnish him with a su.licient num- 
ber of others over which to cherish his imagination and expatiate 
dur»ng the remainder of his inoffensive life. 



[In the course of his desultory peregrinations our poet necessa- 
rily encountered many a strange and humorous companicn, and 
he seldom was at a loss to discovcF their salient attractive 
points, and witliout any apparent effort, induce them to lay 
open before him whatever mental treasures they possessed. 
It was from these humble sources that he gathered the materials 
for some of his most comical and interesting stories, and that which 
we next lay before our readers it is supposed was first related 
to Zozimus by a veteran soldier— a relic of Waterloo — and having 
received from the poet some of his characteristic touches, after- 
wards delighted many a charmed audience. Although the form 
under which we present it to our readers has come through tlie 
hands of one of Ireland's most distinguished litterateurs, it is yet 
but a faint reflex of the poet's version, in the absence of which we 
must be content with that of Lever:] 

"Well, it's a good many years ago my father 'listed in the 
North Cork, just to oblige ]Mr. Barry, the landlord there; ' For,' 
says he, ' Phil,' says he, ' it's not a soldier ye'll be at all, but my 
own man, to brush my clothes and go errands, and the like 6' 
that, and the king, long life to him, will help to pay ye fjr your 
trouble — ye understand me.' Well, my father agreed, and Mr. 
Barry was as good as his word. Never a guard did my father 
mount, nor as much as a drdl had he, nor a roll-call, nor any 
thing at all, save and except wait on the Captain, his master, just 
as pleasant as need be, and no inconvenience in life. 


•» Well, for three years this went on as I'm telling, and the 
regiment was ordered down to Bantry, because of a report that 
the 'boys' was rising down there; and the second evening there 
was a night party patrolling, with Captain Barry, for six hours 
in the rain, and the Captain, God be marciful to him, tulc cowld 
and died; more betoken, they said it was drink, but my father 
says it wasn't; ' For,' says he, ' after he tuk eight tumljlers com- 
fortable,' my father mixed the ninth, and the Captain waved his 
hand tliis way, as much as to say he'd have no more. ' Is it 
that ye mean?' says my father, and the Captain nodded. 
•Musha, but it's sorry I am,' says my father, 'to see you this 
way, for ye must be bad entirely to leave off in the beginning of 
the evening.' And thrae for him, the Captain was dead in tlie 

" A sorrowful day it was for my father, when he died; it was 
the finest place in the world; little to do; plenty of divarsion; 
and a kind man he was — when he was sober. Well, then, when 
the Captain was buried, and all was over, my fatlier hoped they'd 
be for letting him away; as he said, ' Sure, I'm no use in life to 
anybody save the man that's gone, for his ways are all I know, 
and I never was a sodger.' But, upon my conscience, they had 
other thoughts in their heads; for they ordered him into the ranks 
to be drilled just like the recruits they took the day before. 

•' ' Musha, isn't this hard ?' said my fatlier; ' here I am an ould 
vitrin that ought to be discharged on a pension, with two-and-ax 
pence a day, obliged to go capering about the barrack-yard prac- 
ticmg the goose stcj), or some other nonsense not beroming my 
age nor my habits;' but so it was. Well, this went on for some 
time, and sure, if they were hard on my father, didn't h2 li.;ve 
his revenge, for he nigh broke tlieir hearts with his stupidity; oil! 
nothing in life could equal him; not a thing, no matter h,,)W 
easy, he could learn at all; and so far from caring for being in 
confinement, it was that he liked best. Every sergeant in the 
regiment had a trial of him, but all to no good, and he seemed 
striving so hard to learn all the while, that they were loth to punish 
him, the ould rogue ! 


" This was going on for some time, when, one clay, news came 
in that a body of the rebels, as they called them, was coming 
down from the Gap of Mulnavick to storm the town and bum all 
before them. The whole regiment was, of coors;, under arms, 
and great preparations were made for a battle; meanwhile patrols 
were ordered to scour the roads, and sentries posted at every turn 
of the way, and every rising ground, to give warning when the 
boys came in sight, and my father was placed at tlie bridge of 
Drumsnag, in the wildest and bleakest part of the whole country, 
with nothing but furze mountains on every side, and a straight 
road going over the top of them. 

" ' This is pleasant,' says my father, as soon as they left him 
there alone by himself, with no human crayture to speak to, nor 
a whisky shop within ten miles of him; 'cowld comfort,' says 
he, 'on a winter's day; and faix, but I've a mind to give ye the 

" Well, he put his gun down on the bridge, and he lit his pipe, 
and he sat down under an ould tree, and began to ru.ninate upon 
his affairs. 

" ' Oh, then, it's wishing it well I am,' says he, ' for sodgering; 
and ill will to the hammer that struck the shilling that 'listed me, 
that's all,' for he was mighty low in his heart. 

"Just then a noise came rattling down near him; he listened, 
and before he could get on his legs, down comes the General, 
ould Cohoon, with an orderly after him. 

♦"Who goes that ? ' says my father. 

•'•The round,' says the General, looking about all the time to 
see where was the sentry, for my father was snug under the tree. 

•« * What round ? ' says my father. 

•" The grand round,' says the General, more puzzled than 

" ' Pass on, grand round, and God save you kindly,' says my 
father, putting his pipe in his mouth again, for he thought all 
was over. 

" 'Where are you? ' says the General; for sorrow bit of my 
father could he see yet- 


" 'It's here I am,' says he, 'and a cowld place I have of it; 
and av it wasn't for the pq^e I'd bi lost entirely.' 

"The words wasn't well out of his mouth, when the General 
began laughing till ye'd think he'd fall off his horse; and the 
dragoon behmd him— more by tol^en, they say it wasn't right for 
him — laughed as Ijud as himself. 

" ' Ver a droll sentry,' says the General, as soon as he could 

" ' Be goira, it's little fun there's left in me,' says my father, 
* with this drilling and parading, and thrampin' about the roads 
all nigJit.' 

" ' And is this the way you salute your ofticer? ' says the Gen- 

" 'Just so,' says my father, 'sarra a more politeness ever they 
taught me.' 

" 'What regiment do you belong to ? ' says the General. 

" ' The North Cork,' says my father, with a sigh. 

" ' They ought to be proud of ye,' says the General. 

"'I'm sorry for it,' says my fatlier, son-owfuUy, 'for maybe 
they'll keep me the longer.' 

'"Well, my good fellow,' says the General, 'I haven't more 
time to waste here ; but let me leach you something before I go. 
Whenever your officer passes, it's your duty to present arms to 

" ' Arrali, it's jokin' ye are,' says my father. 

'"No, I'm in earnest,' says he, 'as ye might learn to your 
cost if I brought you to a court-martiai.' 

" 'We'll, there's no knowing,' s;\ys my father, 'what they'd 
be up to; but sure if that's all, I'll do it with all " the veins," 
whenever ycr coming this way again.' 

" The Gcncr.d began to laugli again here, but said: 

" ' I'm coming back in tl:e evening,' says he, 'and mind you 
don't fjrget your respect to your officer.' 

'•' 'Never fear, s'.r,* says my father, 'and many tlianks to you 
for your kindness for telling me.' 

"Away went the General, and the orderly after him, and in 
ten minutes they were out of sight. 



" The night was falling fast, and one-half of the mountain was 
quite dark already, when my father began to think they were 
forgetting him entirely. He looked one way, and he looked an- 
other, but sorra bit of a sergeant's guard was coming to relieve 
him. There he was, fresh and fasting, and daren't go for the 
bare life. *I'll give you a quarter of an hour more,' says my 
father, *till the light leaves that rock up there; after that,' says 
he, • I'll be off, av it cost me what it may !' 

" Well, sure enough, his courage was not needed tliis time; 
for what did he see at the same moment but the shadow of some- 
thing coming down the road, opposite the bridge; he looked 
again; and then he made out the General himself, that was 
walking his horse down the steep part of tlie mountain, followed 
by the orderly. My father immediately took up his musket off 
the wall, settled his belts, shook the ashes out of his pipe, and 
put it in his pocket, making himself as smart and neat-looking as 
he could be, determining, when ould Cohoon came up, to ask 
him for leave to go home, at least for the night. Well, by this 
time the General was turning a sharp part of the cliff that looks 
down upon the bridge, from where you might look five miles 
round on every side. * He sees me,' says my father; * but I'll be 
just as quick as himself.' No sooner said than done; for coming 
forward to the parapet of the bridge, he up with his musket to 
his shoulder, and presented it straight at the General. It wasn't 
well there, when the of^ccr pulled up his horse quite short, and 
shouted out, ' Sentry — sentry !' 

" ' Anan !' says my father, still covering lum. 

♦' ' Down with your musket, you rascal; don't you see it's the 
grand round ? ' 

"To be sure I do,' says my father, never changing for a 

•*'The rufiian will shoot me,' says the General. 

'♦ * Not a fear,' says my father, ' av it doesn't go off of itself.' 

•"What do you mean by that, you villain ?' says the Gen- 
eral, scarce able to speak with fright, for every turn he gave on 
his horse my father followed with the gun— 'What do you 
mean? ' 


*' 'Sure, aint I presenting?' says my father; 'tear an' sges, 
do you want me to fire next?' 

"With that the General drew a pistol from his holster, and 
took deliberate aim at my father; and there they l)olh stood for 
live minutes, looking at each other, the orderly, all the while, 
breaking his heart laughing behind the rock ; for, yc see, the Gen- 
eral knew av he retreated that my father might fire on purpose, 
and av he came on that he might fire by chance ; and sorra btt 
he knew what was best to l>e done. 

*' 'Are ye going to pass tlie evening up there, grand round?' 
says my father, ' for it's tired I'm getting houldin' this so Icmg !' 

" 'Port arms,' shouted the General, as if on parade. 

" ' Sure I can't, till yer passed,' says my father, angrily, 'and 
my hand's trembling already.' 

" ' By Jove ! I shall be shot,' says the General. 

" ' Be gorra, it's what I'm afraid of,' says my father; and the 
words wasn't out of his mouth before off went liie musket, bang, 
and down fell the General, smack on the ground, senseless. Well, 
the orderly ran out at this, and took him up and examined his 
wound; but it wasn't a wound at all, only the wadding of the 
gun, for my father — God be kind to him— ye seo, could do noth- 
ing right, and so he bit off the wrong end of the cartridge wlien 
he put it in the gun, and by reason there was no bullet in it. 
Well, from that day after they never got sight of him, for the in- 
stant the General dropiied, he sprung over the bridge wall, and 
got away; and what, between living in a lime-kiln for two 
months, eating nothing but blackberries and sloes, and other dis- 
guises, he never returned to the army, but ever after took to a 
civil situation, and driv a hearse for many years." 



[If there was anything which the gifted, but for a time neglect- 
ed story-teller and iniprovvisatore, loved to dwell on more than an- 
other, it was the ancient customs of the people of his own class — 
customs and habits which even in his day were fast dying out. 
All that concerned the afiections of the peasiintry and the hum- 
bler denizens of his native city, were to him of much more im- 
portance than the simulated love and friendship of what are some- 
times called the higher classes. His description of the Cosherer, 
or Matchmaker, which, as soon as it became known, found its 
way, "with notes and comments," into a Dublin magazine, is 
particularly good, though the occupation of the Rose Moans is 
pretty well gone in these latter tinsentimental days. We will, 
however, give the sketch as nearly as possible as he related it, 
though, of course, somewhat improved by his more accomplished 

One of the best specimens of the Cosherer, or Ma.chmaker, I 
ever met was old Rose Mahon, or, as she was callea Moan, a 
name, we doubt, fearfully expressive of the consequences which 
too frequently followed her negotiations. Rose was a tidy 
creature cf middle size, who always went dressed in a short 
crimson cloak much faded, a striped red and blue drugget petti- 
coat, and a heather-colored gown of the same fabric. When 
walking, which she did with the aid of a light hazel staff hooked 
at the top, she generally kept the hood of her cloak over her 
head, which gave her whole figure a picturesque effect; and when 
she threv.' it back one could not help admiring how well her small 
but symmetrical features agreed with the dowd cap of white 
linen, with a plain muslin border, which she wore. A pair of 


blue stockings and sharp-pointed shoes high in the heels com- 
pleted her dress. Her features were good-natured and Irish; 
but there lay over the whole countenance an expression of quick- 
ness and sagacity, contracted no doubt by a habitual exercise of 
penetration and circumspection. At the time I saw her she was 
very old, and I believe had the reputation of being the last in 
that part of the country who was known to go about from house 
to house spinning on the distaff, an instrament which has now 
passed away, being more conveniently replaced by the spinning- 

The manner and style of Rose's visits were different from those 
of any other who could come to a famier's house, or even to an 
humble cottage, for to the inmates of both were her services 
equally rendered. Let us suppose, for instance, the whole f(5male 
part of a farmer's family assembled of a summer evening about 
five o'clock, each engaged in some domestic employment; in 
runs a lad who has been sporting about, breathlessly exclaiming, 
whilst his eyes are lit up with delight, " Mother ! mother ! here's 
Rose Moan coming down the boreen !" "Get out, avick; no 
she's not." " Bad cess to me but she is; that I may never stir if 
she isn't ! Now !" The whole family are instantly at the door 
to see if it be she, v/ith the exception of the prettiest of them all, 
Kitty, who sits at her wheel, and immediately begins to croon 
over an old Irish air which is sadly out of tune; and well do we 
know, notwitlistanding the mellow tones of that sweet voice, why 
it is so, and also why that youthful cheek in which licalth and 
beauty meet is now the color of crimson. 

•' Oh, Roshii, acnshla, ccad millia faille glnid ! (Rose, dar- 
lin', a hundred thousand welcomes to you !) Och, musha, what 
kep' you away so long. Rose ? Sure you won't lave us this month 
o' Sundays, Rose?" are only a few of the cordial expressions of 
hospitality and kindness with which she is received. But Kitty, 
whose check but a moment ago was carmine, why is it now pale 
as the lily? 

" An' what news, Rose ?" asks one of her sisters, '* sure you'll 
tell us eveiythinrj; won't you?" 


**Throth, avillish, I have no bad news, anyhow — an' as lo 
tellin' you «//— Biddy, Ihig dumh, let me alone. No, I have no 
bad news, God be praised, but good news. ''^ 

Kitty's cheek is again crimson, and her lips, ripe and red as 
cherries, expand with the sweet soft smile of her country, exhibit- 
ing a set of teeth for which many a countess would barter thous- 
ands, and giving out a breath more delicious than the fragrance 
of a summei meadow. Oh, no wonder, indeed, that tlie kind 
heart of Rose contains in its recesses a message to her as tender 
as ever was transmitted from man to woman ! 

"An', Ivitty, acushla, where's the welcome ixQva. yoii, that's 
my favorite? Now don't be jealous, childre; sure you all know 
she is, an' ever an' always was." 

" If it's not upon my lips, it's in my heart. Rose, an' from that 
heart you're welcome !" 

She rises up and kisses Rose, who gives her one glance of 
meaning, accompanied by the slightest imaginable smile; and a 
gentle but significant pressure of the hand, which thrills to her 
heart and diffuses a sense of ecstasy through hei whole spirit. 
Nothing now remains but the opportunity, which is equally 
sought for hy Rose and her, to hear without interruption the pur- 
port of her lover's communication; and this we leave to lovers to 

In some parts of Ireland, however, there occur among the 
very poorest classes some of the hardest and most penurious 
bargains in matchmaking that ever were heard of or known. 
Now strangers might imagine that all this close higgling pro- 
ceeds from a spirit naturally mean and sordid, but it is not so. 
The real secret of it lies in the poverty and necessity of the parties, 
and chiefly in the bitter experience of their parents, who, having 
come together in a state of d;slitution, are anxious, each as much 
at the expense of the other as possible, to prevent their children 
from experiencing the same privation and misery which they 
themselves felt. Many a lime have matches been suspended or 
altogether broken off because one party refuses to give his son a 
slip of a pig, or another his daughter a pair of blankets; and it 


was no unusual thing for a matchmaker to say, "Nevermind; 
I have it all settled liii t!.c s/ip." One might naturally wonder 
why those who arc so shrewd and provident upon this subject do 
not strive to prevent early marriages where the poverty is so 
great. So, unquestionably, they ought, but it is a settled usage 
of the country, and one, too, which Irishmen have never been in 
the habit of considering as an evil. We have no doubt that if 
they once began to reason upon it as such, they would be very 
strongly disposed to check a custom which has been the means 
of involving themselves and their unhappy offspring in misery 
and penury. 

Rose, lilce many othexs in this world who are not conscious of 
the same failing, smelt strongly of the shop; in other words, her 
conversation had a strong matrimonial tendency. No two beings 
ever lived so decidedly antithetical to each other in this point of 
view as the Matchmaker and the Keener. Mention the name 
of an individual or a family to the Keener, and the medium 
through which her memory passes back to them is that of her 
professed employment— a mourner at wakes and funerals. 
"Don't you know young Kelly of Tamlaght?" 
"I do, avick," replies the Keener, "and what about him?'' 
"Why, he was married to-day momin' to ould Jack McClus- 
key's daughter." 

"Well, God grant them luck an' happiness, poor things ! I 
do indeed rememlx;r his father's wake an' funeral well— ould 
Risthard Kelly of Tandaght — a dacent corpse he made for his 
years, an' well he looked. But indeed I kncwn by the color 
that sted in his cheeks, an' the limbs remainin' soople for the 
twenty-four hours aflher his departure, that some of the family 
'ud follow him afore the year was out; an' so she did. The 
youngest daughter, poor thing, by raison of a cowld she got, over- 
heatin' herself at a dance, was stretched beside him that very day 
was cloven months; and God knows it was from the heart my 
grief came for her — to see the poor handsome colleen laid low so 
soon. But when a gullopin' consumption sets in, avoumeen, 
sure we all know what's to happen. In Crockaniska church-yard 


they sleep — the Lord make both their beds in heaven this day !" 
The very reverse of this^ but at the same time as inveterately 
professional, was Rose Moan. 

"God save you, Rose." 

" God save you kindly, avick. Eh ! — let me look at you ! 
Aren't you red Billy M'Guirk's son from Ballagh?" 

" I am, Rose. An' Rose, how is yourself an' the world gettin' 
an .'" 

" Can't complain, dear, in such times. How are ycz all at 
home, alanna?" " Faix, middlin' well. Rose, thank God an' 
you. You heard of my grand-uncle's death, big Ned M'Coul?" 

"I did, avick, God rest him. Sure it's well I remimber his 
weddin', poor man, by the same atoken that I know one that 
helped him on with it a thriflc. He was married in a blue coat 
and buckskins, and wore a scarlet waistcoat that you'd see three 
miles off. Oh, well I remimber it. An' whin he was settin' out 
that momin' to the priest's house — 'Ned,' says I, an' I whis- 
pered him, ' dhrop a button on the right knee afore you get the 
words said.' ' ThigJiiim,^ said he wid a smile, an' he slipped 
ten thirteens into my hand as he spoke. 'I'll do it,' said he, 
' and thin a fig for the fairies !' becase, you see, if there's a but- 
ton of the right knee left unbuttoned, the fairies — this day's Fri- 
day, God stand betune us and harm ! — can do neither hurt nor 
harm to sowl or body, an' sure that's agreatblessin', avick. He 
left two fine slips o' girls behind him." 

" He did so — as good-lookin' girls as there's in the parish." 

" Faix, an' kind mother for tbem, avick. She'll be marryin' 
agin, I'm judgin', she bein' sicli a fresh, good-lookin' woman." 

"Why, it's very likely, Rose." 

" Throth its natural, achora. What can a lone woman do 
wid such a large farm upon her hands, widout having some 
one to manage it for her, an' prevint her from bein' imposed 
on ? But indeed the first thing she ought to do is to marry off 
her two girls widout loss of time, in regard that it's hard to say 
how a step-father an' thim might agree; and I've often known 
the mother herself, w'aen she had a fresh family comin' an her. 


to be as unnatural to her fatherless children as if she was a 
stranger to thim, and that the same blood didn't run in their 
veins. Not saying that Mary M'Coul will or would act that 
way by her own ; for indeed she's come of a kind ould stock, an' 
ought to have a good heart. Tell her, avick, when you see her, 
that I'll splnd a day or two wid her— let me see — the day after to- 
morrow will be Palm Sunday — wliy, about the Aisther holidays. "- 

"Indeed I will. Rose, with great pleasure." 

"An' whisper, dear, jist tell her that I've a thing to say 
to her — that I had a long dish o' discoorse about her wid a 
friend o^ mine. You won't forget now?" 

' ' Oh, the dickens a f jrget ! ' ' 

"Thank you, dear; God mark you to grace, avourneen ! 
When you're a little ouldher, maybe I'll be a friend to you yet." 

This last intimation was given with a kind of mysterious 
benevolence, very visible in the complacent shrewdness of her 
face, and with a twinkle in the eye, full of grave humor and 
considerable self-importance, leaving the mind of the person 
she spoke to in such an agreeable uncertainty as rendered it a 
matter of great difficulty to determine whether she was serious 
or only in jest, but at all events throwing the onus of inquiry upon 

The ease and tact with which Rose could involve two young 
persons of opposite sexes in a mutual attachment, were very 
remarkable. In truth, she was a kind of matrimonial incen- 
diar}', who went through the country holding her torch now to 
this heart and again to that— first to one and then to another, 
until she had the parish more or less in a flame. And when we 
consider the combustible materials of which the Irish heart is 
composed, it is no wonder indeed that the labor of taking the 
census in Ireland increases at such a rapid rate. If Rose, 
for instance, met a young woman accidentally — and it was won- 
derful to think how regularly tliese accidental meetings took place 
^she would address her probably somewhat as follows: 

"Ana, Biddy Sullivan, how arc you, a-coUeen?" 

" Faix, bravely, thank you, Rose. How is yourself?" 


"Indeed, thin, sorra bit o' the health we can complain of, 
Bhried, barrin' whin this pain in the back comes upon us. The 
last time I seen your mother, Biddy, she was complainin' of a 
weid* I hope she's betther, poor woman ?" 

" Hut ! bad scran to the thing ails her ! She has as light a 
foot as e'er a one of us, an' can dance 'Jackson's mornin' brush' 
as well as ever she could." 

" Throth, an' I'm proud to hear it. Och! och! 'Jackson's 
mornin' brush!' and it was she that could do it. Sure I re- 
number her wedding-day like yesterday. Ay, far an' near her 
fame wint as a dancer; an' the clanest-made girl that ever came 
from Lisbuie. Like yestherday do I remember it, an' how the 
squire himself and the ladies from the Big House came down to 
see herself an' your father, the bride and groom — an' it wasn't 
on every hill head you'd get sich a couple — dancin' the same 
'Jackson's mornin' brush.' Oh ! it was far an' her fame wint 
for dancin' that. An' is there no news wid you, Bhried, at all, 
at all ?" 

" The sorra word. Rose; where ui I get news ? Sure it's 
yourself that's always on the fut that ought to have the news 
for us. Rose alive." 

" An' maybe I have, too. I was spakin' to a friend o' mine 
about you the other day." 

"A friend o' yours. Rose ! Why, what friend could it be?" 

" A o' mine — ay, an' of yours too. Maybe you have 
more friends than you think, Biddy — and kind ones, too, as far 
as wishin' you well goes, 'tany rate. Ay, have you, faix, an' 
friends that e'er a girl in the parish might be proud to hear 
named in the one day wid her. Awouh !" 

" Bedad we're in luck, thin, for that's more than Iknow of. 
An' who may these great friends of ours be. Rose?" 

" Awouh ! Faix, as dacent a boy as ever broke bread the 
same boy is, 'And,' says he, ' if I had goold in bushelfuls, I'd 
think it too little for that girl;' but, poor lad, he's not aisy or 

*A feverish cold. 


happy in his mind in regard o' that. 'I'm afeard,' says he, 
'that she'd put scorn upon me, an' not think me her aiquals* 
An' no more I am,' says he agaia, 'for wliere, afther all, would 
you get the likes of Biddy Sullivan!' — Poor boy 1 throth, my 
heart aches for him !" 

" Well, can't you. fail m love wid him yourself, RoGe, who- 
ever he is?" 

" Indeed, an' if I was at your age, it would be no shame to 
me to do so; buit, to tell you the tliiruUi, the sorra often ever the 
likes of Paul Hefferuan came across me." 

"Paul Hefeman 1 Why, Rose,'* replied Biddy, smiling with 
the assumed hgbtness of indifference, " is that your beauty ? If 
it is, why, keep him, an' make much of him." 

" Oh, wurrah 1 the differ there is between the hearts an' 
tongues of some people — one from another — an' the way they 
spaik behind others' backs ! Weil, well, I'm sure that wasn't 
the way he spoke of you, Biddy ; an' God forgive you for runnin* 
down the poor boy as you're doin'. Trogs ! I believe you're the 
only girl would do iL" 

" Who, me ? I'm not numin' him down. I'm neither runnin' 
him up nor down. I have neither good nor bad to say about 
him — the boy's, a Hack sthranger to me, barrin' to know his 

*' Faix, an^ he's in consate wid you these three months past, 
an' intindstobe at the dance on Friday next, in Jack Gormly's 
new house. Now, good-bye, alanna; keep your own counsel till 
the time comes, an' mind what I said to you. It's not behind every 
ditch the likes of Paul Heffenian grows. Bcumaglit Ihath ! My 
blessin' be wid you !" 

Thus ^«ould Rose tlepart jast at the critical moment, for well 
she knew that by husbanding her information and leaving the 
heart sometliiiig to find out, she took tlic most effectual steps to 
excite and sustain that kind of interest which is apt ultimately 
to ripen, even from its own agitation, into the attachment she is 
anxious to promote. 

The next day, by a meeting similarly accidental, she cooses in 


contact with Paul Heffernan, who, honest lad, had never prob- 
ably bestowed a thought upon Biddy Sullivan in his life. 

'■'■ Morrow ghu J, Paiil ! — how is your father's son, ahager ?" 

* Morrow ghuleka. Rose ! —my father's son waats aothin' but 
a good wife, Rosha.' 

An' it's not every sat day or ibonfire -night that a good wife 
Is to be had, Paul — that is, a good one, as you say; for, throth, 
there's many o' them in the market, sich .as they are. I was 
talkin' about you to a friend of mine the other day — an', trogs, 
I'm afear<i you're not worth all .the abuse we gave you." 

**More power to yoa. Rose ! I'm oblaged to you. But who is 
the friend in the mane time ?" 

" Poor girl ! Throth, when your name slipped out an her, the 
point of a msh would take a drop of blood out o' her cheek, the 
way jslie crimsoned up. 'An', Rose,' ^ays she, *if ever I know 
you to breathe it to man or mortual, my lips I'll never open to 
you to my dyin' day.' Trogs, whin I looked at her, an' the 
tears staadhi' in lier purty black eyes, I thought I didn't see a 
bettlier favored girl, for both face and figure, this many a day, 
than the same Biddy Sullivan. ' ' 

"Biddy Sullivan! Is that long Jack's daughter oTCargah?" 

"The same. But, PaiiJ, avick, if a syllable o' what J tould 
you " 

"Hut, Rose! honor hdghtJ Do you thiak me a stag^ that 
I'd go and inform on you ?" 

"Wliisper, Paul; slie'U be at the dance on Friday next in 
Jack Gormly's new house. So baanaght Ihath, an' think o' what 
I betrayed to you." 

TTras did Rase very qaiedy and sagaciously bind two yoimg 
hearts together, who probably might otherwise have never for a 
moment even thought of each other. Of course, when Paul and 
Biddy met at the dance on the following Friday, the one was the 
object of the closest attention to the other, and each being prepared 
to witness strong proofs of attachment from the opposite party, 
everything feU out exactly according to their expectations. 



[No one was more deeply versed in "old folk lore " than the gift- 
ed poet, and his versatility in this regard was only equaled by the 
readiness with which he gratified his eager audiences. Fairy leg- 
ends and ghost stories formed no inconsiderable portion of his 
vast mental treasures, and the gravity with which he related the 
latter added not a little to their intrinsic merit. 

The story which we here present to our readers was a favor- 
ite one with the poet, who solemnly averred (and who but a 
churl would doubt his word ?) that the events narrated hap- 
pened to a particular friend of his own. That it was a favorite 
with his hearers also is evidenced by the fact that, unlike many 
erf hrs lucubrations which are lost to us forever, it was saved from 
such an untimely and deplorable fate by Charles Lever, who, like 
all others that preyed on the forgiving poet, appropriated it to 
hhnself, and put it in the mouth of Mickey Free. Not content 
with this, the novelist gave it some fresh touches, not, we think, to 
itsimprovement. We prefer, therefore, to give it as nearly as possi- 
ble in the words of the lamented Zozimus, and without further 
yreface we will lay it before our readers.] 

" Well, I believe your honor heard me tell long ago how my 
father left the army, and the way that he took to another line of 
life that was more to his liking. And so it was, he was happy as 
tile day was long ; he drove a hearse for Mr. Callaghan of Cork 
for many years, and a pleasant place it was; for ye see, my father 
was a cute man and knew something of the world; and though 
he was a droll devil, and could sing a funny song when he was 
among us boys, no sooner had he the big black cloak on him, 


and the weepers, and he seated on the high box with the six long- 
tailed blacks before him, you'd really think it was his own moth- 
er was inside, he looked so melancholy and miserable. The 
sexton and grave-digger was nothing to my father; and he had 
a look about his eye — to be sure there was a reason for it — that 
you'd think he was up all night crying, though it's little indul- 
gence he took that way. 

"Well, of all Mr. Callaghan's men, there was none so great 
a favorite as my father; the neighbors were all fond of him. 

*' 'A kind crayture every inch of him,' the women would say. 
'Did ye see his face at Mrs. Delany's funeral?' 

"'True for you,' another would remark; 'he mistook thg- 
road with grief, and stopped at a shebeen-house instead of Kil- 
murry church.' 

"I need say no more, only one thing, that it was principally 
among the farmers and the country people my father was lilced 
so much. The great people and the quality — I ax your pardon 
— but sure isn't it true. Mister Charles, they don't fret so much 
after their fathers and brothers, and they care little who's driving 
thenn, whether it was a decent, respectable man like my father, or 
a chap with a grin on him like a rat-trap? And so it happened 
that my father used to travel half the county, going here and 
there wherever there was trade stirring; and, faix, a man didn't 
think himself rightly buried if my father wasn't there; for ye see 
he knew all about it; he could tell to a quart of sperits what 
would be wanting for a wake; he knew all the good cryers for 
miles around; and I've heard it was a beautiful sight to see him 
standing on a hill, arranging the procession as they walked into 
the c'nurch-yard and giving the word like a captain. 

" 'Come on, the stiff — now the friends of tlie stiff— now the 

"■That's what he used to say; and, troth, he was always re- 
peating it when he was a little gone in drink — for that's the time 
his spirits would rise — and he'd think he was burying half Mun- 

" And sure it was a real pleasure and a pride to be buried in 


them times; for av it was only a small farmer with a pwtato gar- 
den, my father would come down with the black cloak on him, 
and three yards of crape behind his hat, and set all the children 

■ crying and yelling for half a mile round; and then the way he'd 
walk Ixfore them with a spade on his shoulder, and sticking it 

■ down in the ground, clap his hat on the top of it to make it 
look like a chief mourner. It was a beautiful sight." 

"But, Milce, if you indulge much longer in this flattering 
recollection of your father, I'm afraid we shall lose sight of the 
ghost entirely." 

" No fear in life, your honor, I'm coming to him now. Well, 

it was this way it happened: — In the winter of the great frost, 

about forty-two or forty-three years ago, the priest of Tullough- 

muray took ill and died; he was sixty years priest of the parish, 

; and mightily beloved by all the people, and good reason for it; a 

pleasanter man and a more social crayture never lived — 'twas 

himself was the life of the whole country-side. A wedding nor 

. a christening wasn't lucky av he wasn't there, sitting at the top 

. of the table, with as much kindness in his eye as would make 

; the fortunes of twenty hypocrites if they had it among them. 

And then he was so good lo the poor; the Priory was always full 

of ould men and ould women, sitting around the big fire in the 

kitchen, so that the cook could hardly get near it. There ihey 

were eating their meals and burning their shins, till they were 

speckled like a trout's back, and grumbling all the time; but 

Father Dwyer liked ihem, and he would have them. 

"'Where have they to go,' he'd say, 'av it wasn't to me? 
Give Molly Kinshela a lock of that bacon. Tim, it's a cowld 

"Ah, that's the way he'd spake to them; but sure goodness is 
no warrant for living, any more than devilment; and so he got 
cowld in his feet at a station, and he rode liome in the heavy snow 
without his big coat — for he gave it away to a blind man on the 
road — and in three days he was dead. 

"I see you're getting impatient; so I'll not stop to say what 
grief was in the parish when it was known; but troth there 



never was seen the like before ; not a craytuie would lift a spade 
for two days, and there was more whisky sold in that time than 
at the whole spring fair. Well, on the third day the funeral set 
out, and never was the equal of it in them parts: first, there was 
my father; he came special from Cork with the six horses all 
in new black, and plumes like little poplar trees; then came 
Father Dwyer, followed by the two coadjutors in beautiful sur- 
plices, walking bare-headed, with the little boys of the Priory 
school, two and two." 

"Well, Mike, I'm sure it was very fine; but for heaven's sake 
spare me all these descriptions, and get on to the ghost." 

"Faith, your honor's in a great hurry for the ghost; mayl^e 
you won't like him when ye have him, but I'll go faster if you 
please. Well, Father Dwyer, ye see, was born at Aghan-lish, of 
an ould family, and he left it in his will that he was to be buried 
in the family vault; and, as Aghan-lish was eighteen mi'es up 
the mountains, it was getting late when they drew near. By 
tliat time the great procession was all broke up and gone home. 
The mourners stopped to dine at the ' Blue Bellows ' at the 
cross-roads; the little boys took to pelting snow-balls; there was 
a fight or two on the way besides ; and in fact, except an ould 
deaf fellow that my father took to mind the horses, he was quite 
alone. Not that he minded that same; for when the crowd was 
gone my father began to sing a droll song, and tould the deaf 
chap that it was a lamentation. At last they came in sight of 
Aghan-lish. It was a lonesome, melancholy-looking place, with 
nothing near it except two or three ould fir-trees, and a small 
slated house with one window, where the sexton lived, and even 
that same was shut up, and a padlock on the door. Well, my 
father was not over-much pleased at the look of matters; but, as 
he v/as never hard put to know what to do, he managed to get the 
coffin into the vestry; and then, when he unharnessed the horses, 
he went to an ould disolate and desarted house in the neighbor- 
hood, where he prepared to make himself comfortable for the 
night; and then he made a roaring fire on the ould hearth — for 
there was plenty of bog fir there — closed the windows with the 


Mack cloaks, and wrapping two round himself, he sat down to 
cook a little supper he brought with him in case of need. 

" Well, you may think it was melancholy enough to pass the 
night up there alone, with the wind howling about on every side, 
and the snow-drift beating against the walls; but, as the fire 
burned brightly, and the little plate of rashers and eggs smoked 
temptingly before him, my father mixed a jug of the strongest 
punch, and sat down as happy as a king. As long as he was 
eating away, he had no time to be thinking of anything else; 
but when all was done and he looked about him, he began to 
fcel very low and melancholy in his heart. There was the 
mourning cloaks ihat he had stuck up against the windows mov- 
ing backward and forward like living things; and, outside, the 
wikicry of the plover as he flew past, and the night-owl sitting 
in a nook of the old house. ' I wish it was morning, anyhow,' 
said my father, 'for this is a lonesome place to be in; and, fabc, 
he'll Ije a cunning fellow that catches me passing the night this 
way again.' Now there was one thing distressed him most of 
all: my father used always to make fun of the ghosts and sperits 
the neighbors would tell of, pretending there was no such thing; 
and now the thought came to him, ' Maybe they'll revenge them- 
selves on me to-night, when they have me up here alone;' and 
with that he made another jug stronger than tlie first, and tried 
to i-c;T',ember a few prayers in case of need; but somehow his 
mind was not too clear, and he said afterwards he was always 
mixing up old songs and toasts with the prayers, and when he 
though! he had just got hold of a beautiful psalm, it would turn 
out to be ' Tatter Jack Walsh,' or 'Limping James,' or some- 
thing like that. The storm, meanwhile, was rising every moment, 
and parts of the old house were falling, as the wind shook the 
ruin; and my father's sperits, notwithstanding the punch, were 
lower than ever. 

" ' I made it too weak,' said he, as he set to work on a new 
jorum; and troth this time that was not the fault of it, for the 
first Slip nearly choked him. 


"'Ah!' said he now, 'I knew what it was; this is like the 
thing; and, Mr. Free, yoa are beginning to feel easy and com- 
fortablc; pass the jug; your very good health and song. I'm a 
little hoarse, it's true, but if the company will excuse—' 

"And then he began knocking on an ould table with his 
knuckles, as if there was a room full of people asking him to 
singl In short, my father was drunk as a fiddler; the last brew 
finished him, and he began roaring away all kinds of droll songs, 
and telling all manner of stories, as if he was at a great party. 

"While he was capering this way about the room, he knocked 
down his hat, and with it a pack of cards he put into it before 
leavmg home, for he was mighty fond of a game. 

"'Will ye take a hand, Mr. Free?' said he, as he gathered 
them up and sat down beside the fire. 

" 'I'm convanient,' said he, and began dealing out as if there 
was a partner fominst him. 

"When my father used to get this far in the story, he became 
very confused. He says that once or twice he mistook the liquor 
and took a pull at the bottle of potteen instead of the punch; and 
soon after that he slipped down on the ground and fell fast 
asleep. How long he lay that way he could never tell. When 
he awoke and looked up, his hair nearly stood on end with fnght. 
\Vhat do you think he seen fominst him, sitting at the other side 
of the fire, but a real ghost; there he was, devil a lie in it, wrap- 
ped up in one of the mourning cloaks, trying to warm his hands 

at the fire. 

" ' S.ilve hoc ■fwmine patri r said my father, crossing himself; 
' av you're a gliost, God presarve me !' 

"'Good evening t'ye, Mr. Free,' said the ghost; 'andavl 
might be bould, what's in the jugP'-for ye see me father had it 
under his arm fast, and never let it go when he was asleep. 

"'Potteen, sir,' said my father, for the ghost didn't look 
pleased at his talking Latin. 

" ' Ye might have the politeness to ax if one had a mouth on 
him,' then says the ghost. 


" • Sure, I didn't think the like of you would taste sperits.* 

•' 'Try me,' said the ghost; and with that he filled out a glass 
and tossed it off like a Christian. 

•' ' Beamish !' says the ghost, smacking his lips. 

'*'The same,' says my father; 'and sure what's happened 
you has not spoilt your taste.' 

" ' If you'd mix a little hot,' says the ghost, ' I'm thinking it 
would be better; the night is mighty sevare.' 

' ' ♦ Anything that your honor pleases, ' says my father, as he 
Tjegan to blow up a good fire to boil the water. 

" ' And what news is stirring ?' says the ghost. 

"'Not a word, your honor; times is bad; except the measles, 
there's nothing in our parts.' 

" 'And we're quite dead hereabouts, too,' says the ghost. 

" 'There's some of us so, anyhow,' says my father, with a sly 
look. 'Taste that, your honor.' 

"' Pleasant and refreshing, ' says the ghost; 'and now, Mr. 
Free, what do you say to a little spoil five, or beggar my neigh- 

" 'What will we play for?' says my father; for a thought just 
struck him — ' maybe it's some trick of the devil to catch my 

" ' A pint of Beamish,' says the ghost. 

" ' Done,' says my father; 'cut for deal; the ace of cIuIjs; you 
have it.' 

"Now the whole time the ghost was dealing the cards my 
father never took his eyes off of him, for he wasn't quite aisy in 
his mind at al!; but when he saw him turn up the trump and take 
a strong drink afterwards, he got more at ease, and l)egan the 

"How long they played it was never rightly known; but one 
fhing is sure, tliey drank a cruel deal of spirits; three (juart 
bottles my father brought with him were all finished, and by that 
time his brain was so confused with the liquor, and all he lost- - 
for somehow he never won a game— that he was getting very 


" 'You have your own luck of it,' says he, at last. 

♦'•True for you; and, besides, we play a great deal where I 
come from.' 

"'I've heard so,' says my father. 'I lead the knave, sir, 
spades; bad cess to it, lost again.' 

" Now it was really very distressing; for by this time, though 
they only began for a pint of Beamish, ray father went on bet- 
ting till he lost the hearse and all the six horses, mourning cloaks, 
plumes and everything. 

" ' Are you tired, Mr. Free ? maybe you'd like to stop ?' 

" ' Stop ! faith it's a nice time to stop; of course not.' 

" ' Well, what will ye play for now ?' 

"The way he said these words brought a trembling all over 
my father, and his blood curdled in his heart. 'Oh, murther!' 
says he to himself, ' it's my sowl he is wanting all the time.' 

'"I've mighty little left,' says my father, looking at him 
keenly, while he kept shuffling the cards quick as lightning. 

"'Mighty little; no matter, we'll give you plenty of time to 
pay, and if you can't do it, it shall never trouble you as long as 
you live.' 

" ' Oh, you murthering devil !' says my father, flying at him 
with a spade that he had behind his chair, ' I've found you out.' 

"With one blow he knocked him down; and now a terrible 
fight began, for the ghost was very strong too; but my father's 
blood was up, and he'd have faced the devil himself then. They 
rolled over each otlicr several times, the broken bottles cutting 
them to pieces and the chairs and tables crashing under them. 
At last the ghost took the bottle that lay on the hearth, and 
leveled my father to the ground with one blow ; down he fell, 
and the bottle and the whisky were both dashed into tlie fire; 
that was the end of it, for the ghost disappeared that moment in 
a blue flame that nearly set fire to my father as he lay on the 

" Och ! it was a cruel sight to see him next morning, with his 
cheek cut open, and his hands all bloody, lying there by himself; 


all the broken glass and the cards all round him. My father 
couldn't speak a word for days afther, and as for the sexton, it 
was a queer thing, but when they came to call him in the morn- 
ing, he had two black eyes, and a gash over his ear, and he 
never knew how he got them. It was easy enough to know the 
ghost did it; but my father kept the secret, and never told it to 
any man, woman or child in them parts." 



Of all the pleasant interludes in the drama of life, a sod party, 
where everything goes right, is one of the pleasantest. What 
talking ! what fuss ! what discussions ! what direfully important 
arrangements for a week beforehand ! what a puzzle how to di- 
vide the various necessaries into such relatively fair proportions 
that no individual should feel more burdened than another. I 
do not mean one of those parties where all the trouble and ex- 
pense fall upon one unfortunate individual, who, consequently, 
can derive no pleasure from the arfair, except that of seeing 
others enjoying themselves — a very great pleasure, doubtless, 
considered abstractly, but rather too refined for every-day mor- 
tals — no; but a regular pic-nic, where lots are drawn, and each 
supplies whatever may be written on the slip that she or he holds, 
and fumiilies a quota of the trouble, as well as of the provisions; 
one bidividual, nevertheless, being the director. 

What a hurry -skurry on the morning of the eventful day ! 
Then the assembling of the carriages and other vehicles at the 
place of rendezvous. 

" Dear me," said Mrs. Harvey, on the morning of the day ap- 
pointed for her pic-nic, having consulted her watch for the twen- 
tieth time; "dear me, where is Mr. Sharpe? What can possibly 
dfijay Mrs. Molloy ? Well, well, how hard it is to get people to 
kS punctual!" 

"Oh, mamma, maybe they'll meet us at Howth; we had bet- 
ter set off. If they come here, they can be directed to follow us, 
you know. Do, pray, mamma, let us move. 

•'Oh, my dear, we must send a messenger to Mr. Sharpe. K 


he missed us, or took Imfi' at our going without him (and you 
know he's very tetchy), it would be such a dreadful inconvenience, 
for he has to supply the knives and forks, spoons and glasses, and 
he would think nothing of leaving us in the lurch, if he took it 
hito his head; and Mrs. MoUoy is so forgetful, that she might 
come without the roast beef, and never think of it until it would 
be missed at table. George, dear, will you step over to Mr. 
Sharpe's, and tell him that the company is assembled ? And, Mr. 
O'Brien, will you permii me to send your servant to Mrs. MoUoy 
with a similar message ?" 

"Certainly, madam, with the greatest pleasure." 

And now the little amioyances inseparable from all sublunary 
enjoyments begin. 

"John has received a severe hurt, my dear. In packing some 
bottles, one of them broke, and a piece of it has cut his wrist. I 
have sent liim to the apothecary's to get it dressed." 

" Mercy on us ! I hope he's not seriously injured- He won't 
be obliged to stay at home, surely ?" 

" I am afraid he must, my dear." 

" If he does, everything will go wrong, he is such a careful 
creature, and so completely up to everything on a sod party, and 
has evei-ything so orderly and regular, and all without fuss or 
hurry. Oh, dear ! we shall be sadly off without liim." 

Mr. Sharpe was announced, and a slight, small, flapjier little 
personage made his appearaace- A physiognomist of the very 
least discernment must at once have pronounced liim to Ije a 
satirical, irritable, genuine lover of mischief, for miscliiePssake — 
mirthfvl after his own fashion, and as merry a-^ a grig upon a 
gridiron, when every face about him should be drawn to a lialf 
yard in length by some unforeseen annoyance, or petty disaster. 
He nibbed his kaads, congratulating the ladies on the fineness of 
the day. " Heavenly day — fine road — 15ay of Dublin will be 
seen to such advantage- :;ea so smooth — coast of Wicklow splen- 
did — Killiney will look so bold J" — talk— talk — talk ; he stunned 
every pereon with his extraordinary volubility. 

Mr. O'Brien's servant entered. " Please, ma'am, Mrs. Molloy 


is coming." Scarcely was the message delivered when the lady 
made her appearance. 

" Oh, my dear Mrs. Harvey, I hope I haven't kept you waiting 
long. I totally forgot that this was the day appcrinted for your 
party, until Sparks reminded me of it by calling me np." 

" Make no apologies, my dear madam : we haven't waited at 
all. Mr. Sharpe has but just arrived, and our number is now 
complete. Have yon everything packed ?" 

" Packed ! Why, do you think we'll have rain ? — had I better 
get my cloak and umbrella ? But, sure, I can go in your car- 
riage, and as I shan't be ex|x>sed on an outside car, 1 won't want 

" My dear Mrs. Molloy, it is the l^eef I allude to. Is it 

" The beef! What beef?" 

"Why, dear me, you surely haven't forgotten that a .six-rib 
piece of roast beef was to be supplied by yon ?' 

" I — declare — I — never — once — thought of it. Well, now, 
that's odd." 

Mr. Sharpe's countenance fell. Tlie discovery had been made 
too timely io please him. 

" What's best to be done now? lean purchase Ijcef some- 
where as we go along, and we'll get it dressed at Howth, in some 
cabin or another." 

" Phwee — oo," whistled Mr. Robert O'Gorman ; "what the 
deuce would we do with ourselves for five or six hours, at the 
least, that such a piece would take to roast, wtlKiut anything to 
keep its back warm in an open cabin? I'il tell you what, 
ma'am ; give me the money, and I'll get as- much cold roast 
beef as you like, fi-om Mislholland." 

"Who is Mulholland ?" 

" Oh, 'tis no matter ; I'll get tl>e meat, if you want it." 

" Very well, Mr. O'Gorman, do so, and you'll oblige me ; 
here is a guinea. But why not tell who Mulholland is?" 

Mr. O'Gorman bolted, without making any reply. 

Now, the fact of the matter was simply this, that Mulholland 


was a sort of second-hand caterer, who purchased the meat that 
was sent unused fro .11 the dining hall of Trinity College, and sup- 
plied it again to such students as felt too economically inclined 
to attend commons, and thus save money from the parental al- 
lowances, for other, and better (?) uses. To this class did Mr. 
O'Gorman sometimes belong. 

In a very short time he re-appeared. 

" You were not long, Mr. O'Gorman ; did you succeed in get- 
ting a suitable piece ?" 

" Suitable ? If sixteen pounds will suit you, I have got that ; 
and I gave him the change of the guinea," addressing Mrs. Mal- 
loy, "for himself, ma'am, for his trouble in packing it, and the 
loan of the basket, which, of course, he can't expect in reason 
ever to see again. Nobody would bring home an empty basket." 

" The change of the guinea for himself! Why, Mr. O'Co"-- 
man, instead of giving him more than he asked, you should have 
cut him down in his price. The change of the guinea for him- 
self! Oh, gracious! did any one ever hear of the like ! Oh, 
dear me! the change for himself! Oh, dear!" and in a gentle 
repetition or two, in an under-toue, Mrs. MoUoy's surprise died 
away, like a retiring echo; for the bustle of departure claimed 
all attention now. 

It lias lieeii but too frequently remarked, that a party of plea- 
sure is seldom wholly unembittered by pain, and our party was 
doomed not to be an exception to the rule ; although the point 
had been mooted, and the question discussed, at the first meeting 
(an evening party at Mrs. Harvey's), where the preliminaries 
were arranged, and it had been voted unanimously that our party 
should be pleasant, and agreeable, and happy, from the start to 
the return ; and further, that nothing should go astray ; and 
that if any person should lie disagreeable, he or she should be 
voted out ; with fifty other resolutions, that the secretary was 
unable to record, in consequence of the movers and seconders, 
the president and audience, secretary and all, talking rapidly 
and vehemently together, until order was suddenly restored by 
Mr. O'Gorman (who had the loudest voice, and the knack of 


making himself heard alxjve any uproar, acquired by a long and 
regular course of practice in the upper gallery of Crow Street 
theatre) shouting out, " Order-r-r-r-r, ladies and gentlemen, 
order-r-r-r-r ! The rule of this society is, that not more than six 
shall speak at a time : and I feel it to be my duty, madam, to 
call upon you, for the sake of regularity, to preserve this rule in- 
Tiolate. This party of pleasure, madam, is to be a party of 
pleasure unlike all the parties of pleasure that have gone beiire 
it. Pleasure, madam, is to be the beginning, pleasure the nf d- 
dle, and pleasure the end of it ; and I shall coaclude, madam, 
by saying that I have the pleasure of wishing that it may be so." 

Mr. O'Gorman unfortunately had not the celebrated wishing- 
cap on his head at the lime. 

Mr., Mrs., and Miss Harvey, a maiden sister of Mr. Harvey, 
Mrs. Molloy, Mr. Sharpe, Mr. O'Brien, his mother and three 
sisters, Mr. O'Donnell and his daughter, O'Gorman, Fitzgerald, 
Sweeny, Costello, and two or three more college men, completed 
the muster roll of the party. The vehicles consisted of Mr. 
Harvey's and Mr. O'Brien's carriages, Mr. O'Donnell's jaunting- 
car, an outside jarvey that O'Gorman had brought, and Mr. 
Sharpc's gig. 

Poor John's wrist had been so sadly hurt that he could not 
attend, and the gentlemen gave every assurance to Mrs. Harvey 
that he would not be missed by her, they would make themselves 
so useful. 

Everything was at length announced to be ready. A basket, 
covered with oiled silk, swinging conspicuously from the axle- 
tree of the gig, rendered it unnecessary to ask Mr. Sharpe if he 
had all the requisites prepared ; and Mrs. Harvey, having cast 
the last scrutinizing glance around, gave the long-wished-for 
word to ' ' take places. ' ' 

Now, all this time there were four hearts bent upon one ob- 
ject, and four heads at work planning how tj attain it. The 
youngest of the Misses O'Brien was the sprightliest girl of the 
party ; and although Miss O'Donnell might dispute the prize for 
beauty with her, the former was the most admired by the young 


men upon the present occasion, and Messrs. O'Gorman, Fitzgerald, 
Sweeny, and Costello, had each resolved to attach himself to her, 
if possible. 

The first-mentioned, who was a general favorite, had con- 
trived most successfully to keep near her during breakfast, and 
pretty nearly to engross her attention during the subsequent time 
that had elapsed previously to the discovery of Mrs. MoUoy's 
forgetfulness, by telling her tales of college life, and adventures 
replete with wonders, that might have caused the renowned Sin- 
bad the sailor himself, or the equally celebrated Baron Mun- 
chausen, to stare, and bite the bitter nail of envy, while they 
could not withhold their meed of applause from one who was 
their master at the mar\'elous, and could give them lessons in 
the sublime art of invention. 

It was Bob's an.xiety to get on the road that made him tender 
his service, in the supplying of the beef ; and the certainty that 
he had completely ingratiated himself with the young lady, by 
his stories, at which she had laughed most heartily, made him 
feel very little uneasiness at the prospect of a few minutes' sepa- 
ration, especially when she knew that he had only absented him- 
self for the purpose of expediting the arrangements that were 
to give him an opportunity of catering for her amusement for 
the remainder of the day. When he returned and saw her sur- 
rounded by the other three, he resolved to let them go on quietly, 
and trusted to snatch her from them by some stratagem, just at 
the last moment. 

Now, it must \)e confessed that Miss Kate would have much 
preferred the rattling, noisy, lying, merry, mischievous scamp, 
as her companion, to any other, because she loved laughing, and 
he supplied her plentifully with food for mirth ; and she was very 
well inclined, and quite resolved within herself, to second any 
bold attempt that he might make to rescue her from the trio by 
which she was surrounded. Great was her chagrin to see that he 
took no manner of trouble about the matter, but apparently oc- 
cupied himself with the elder Miss Harvey. What a taste he 
must have ! thought she, to attach himself to the old maid of the 


party ; and it was v/ith something of pe'ti^hness that she stood, 
or rather jumped up, when the order to move was given. Her 
glove fell. Fitz;^erald and Costello stooped, or rather dashed 
themselves down from opposite sides at the same instant to se- 
cure the prize ; their heads came in contact, with a crash re.sem- 
bling that caused by two cracked pitchers being jolted together, 
and so loud as to astonish the hearers ; and they recoiled from 
the collision into a sitting posture, one under the table, and the 
other under the piano. 

When Xantippe, the wife of that great philosopher Socrates, 
had failed in her efforts to vex him by abuse, her last resource 
was to break some article of crockery upon his head : it is re- 
corded that he coolly wiped his face, which had been deluged by 
the contents, merely saying, "After thunder comes rain." Now, 
I'd be bound that if we could ascertain what Socrates said to 
himself at the time, we should find that for ail his smooth face 
and soft words he inwardly took some desperate liberties with 
the heathen deities, aud pitched Xantippe, crockery, and all the 
makers of it, to Pluto, and all the infernal gods, in a hurry. 
However, he kept his countenance, which is more than can be 
said of Frank Costello, or Dick Fitzgerald, or of Mr. Sharpe, 
who nearly went into convulsions with laughter ; indeed, to do 
him justice, his was not the only laughter, for no one could resist 
the excitement to risibility contained in the picture before them. 
At the first moment each of the gentlemen had uttered a loud 
exclamation savoring strongly of impiety ; then, immediately 
recollecting the presence of ladies, they muttered what might 
have been supposed by the charitable to be half-suppressed prayers, 
but that their countenances were strangely discordant with 
pious thoughts, for each with his hand on his head, his teeth set, 
his lips apart and tightly drawn, and his eyes glaring with pain 
and vexation, sai looking, or rather grinning, like a hyena, at 
the other. That keen sense of the ridiculous which always comes 
upon us so inopportunely, made them at length get up, and the 
condolences offered on all sides, in the most tender inflections of 
voice, but with countenances which but too plainly showed how 


great was the effort to suppress laughter, excited their anger 
against one another most terribly ; nor was it likely to be the 
more readily allayed by seeing Dan Sweeny walking off with 
the prize, the contention for which had caused their misfortune. 
It was with difficulty they could be kept from fighting. Leaving 
them to settle the matter as they pleased. Sweeny conducted the 
lady to her carnage, close to which a new scene awaited them. 

On the step of the hackney jauntjng-car sat O'Gorman, 
with his left foot upon his right knee, alternately rubbing his 
shin very gently, and hugging the leg as if it was a bal:iy, groan- 
ing, and screwnig bis face into the most hideous grimaces. After 
the scene they had just witnessed, this was irresistible, and Miss 
Kate laughed long and heartily. Bob looked at her, made a 
more hideous grimace than before, groaned, rubbed more vio- 
lently, and then giving himself a most ludicrous twist, grinned, 
rubbed, and groaned again. 

"Why — ha-ha-ha ! — Mr. O'Gorman, what — ha-ha-ha ! — has 
happened you ?" 

" Oh, ah ! oh ! may the d I beg your pardon. But, oh, 

hif ! to the — och, I mean bad luck to all wood and iron ! Hif, 
oh ! I attempted to jump upon this rascallynstep, when my foot 
slipped off, and down I came, scraping all the skin off my shin 
bone. Oh ! bad luck to it — to the step, Imean." 

The manner in which he said this, made all who heard him 
laugh more, but he did not seem to be in the least degree dis- 
concerted ; and as to being angry, there was not a trace of it on 
his countenance. 

Sweeny, who prided himself upon being quite a ladies' man, 
and who was just then immensely elated at having distanced all 
his competitors, but especially O'Goniian, whose retirement from 
the competition he considered to be a tacit acknowledgment of 
inferiority, offered a jesting sort of condolence to him, and re- 
commended him strongly to rub the injured part with vinegar, or 
whiskey, or salt and water ; it might smart a little at first, to 
be sure, and make him grin and roar somewhat, but it would 
be well in no time ! But m the midst of his badinage, Miss 


O'Brien missed her parasol, and he was obliged to run back to the 
drawing-room to look for it. 

As soon as he had disappeared within the hall door, O'Gorman 
sprang to nis feet, and drawing the parasol from the breast of his 
coat, tendered it, and his arm, to the young lady, saying, with 
the greatest exultation, " Hoaxed, by jingo ! alas ! poor 
Sweeny. Come, Miss Kate, your brother is so taken up with 
Miss O'Donnell, that he can't attend to anything, or anybody. 
Never mind your mother ; she can't bawl out at us, }'ou know; 
and if she attempted to scold, she'd be voted out. I've got 
Sharpe's gig — come, jump up, and we'll have such a day ! Oh, 
but haven't I done them all brown ! Hurrah for Howth, and the 
sky over it ! Oh, you little darling !" added he, restraining him- 
self with considerable difficulty from giving her a hug and a kiss, 
as she laughingly complied with his invitation, and seated herself 
with him in the gig, just as Sweeny returned, protesting himself 
unable to find the parasol. " Oh, it got tired waiting for you, and 
came of itself. But I say. Sweeny, capital receipt that of yours 
for sore shins ; quite cured mine in a moment — first application. 
Hullo ! here, you will probably want a pocket handkerchief 
during the day ; I'll lend you one;" and Bob threw hira his 
own. "I picked his pocket in the drawing-room," said he, 
turning to his delighted companion ; " I was determined that he 
should go back for something ; and hsre's yours, which I secured 
also. Now, then, if we follow those rumbling machines, we 
shall be smothered with dust, so we had better show them the 
way." Chick, chick — and poor Mrs. O'Brien could scarcely 
believe her eyes when she saw her daughter whirl past her in a 
gigwith one of the most incorrigible scapegraces in the Univer- 

He took goo 1 care that they should not be recalled, for he was 
out of sight in a twinkling; nor did the party get a view of him 
again until they had passed Clontarf, when they found him walk- 
ing the horse quietly, in order that they might overtake him. 

In those days the favorite resort for parties of pleasure was the 


rocky shore of Howth, facing Killiney, and our party had select- 
ed a spot which was well known to two or three of them. It was 
a little hollow in the rocks, where the mould had collected, and 
was covered with a smooth, close sod. Its fonn reseml^led a 
horseshoe, the open being to the sea; and the rock descended at 
that side perpendicularly six or seven feet to the water. There 
was just room enough for t'le party to seat themselves comforta- 
bly, so that every one could enjoy the seaward view. It was a 
considerable distance from the place where the vehicles should 
stop; indeed, the hill intervened and sliould be crossed, so that 
it was no trifling matter to carry a large basket or hamper to it. 

O'Gorman resolved not to encumber himself with anything 
that might divide his attention with his charming partner; and, 
accordingly, when they had pulled up, calling to the driver of 
thejarvey, "Here, JNIurphy," said he, "you'll take charge of 
the basket that's slung under the gig, and follow the rest when 
they're ready." 

"Oh, to be sure, sir, sartinly," was the reply, and away went 
Bob to show the scenoiy to Mi>s Kate, from various points quite 
unknown to her before, leaving the remainder of the party to set- 
tle matters as they pleased. 

Murphy's assistance was required by the servants who were un- 
lading the carriages first; and each gentleman, taking a basket or 
bundle, and even the ladies charging themselves with some light 
articles, they set forward, leaving two or three heavy hampers to 
the-servants' charge. 

All having at length departed, except Mr. O'Donnell's servant, 
who had been left in charge of the vehicles, and Murphy, who 
was to take the gig basket, the latter proceeded to unslrap it. 
As he shook it in opening the buckles, some broken glass fell 
upon the road. 

"Oh! miallia murther! what's this? My sowl to glory, if 
half tho bottom isn't out ov the basket. Och, hone, oh! Mas- 
ther Bob, bud you are the raal clip. By gannies, he's dhruv till 
he's dhruv the knives and forks clane through; the dickens a 


one there's left; an' as for the glasses, be my sowl he'd be a 
handy fellow that ud put otie together. Oh ! marcy sa' me ! 
here's a purty mess. Musha ! what's best to be done, at all, at 

"Take it to them, anyhow, " answered his companion, "and 
show it to them.'' 

" Arrah, what's the use of hawkin' it over the mountain ? Can't 
Ijist go an' tell what's happened?" 

" Take care you wouldn't have to come back for it," said the 
other, "an' have two journeys instead of one. Maybe they 
wouldn't b'lieve you, thinkin' it was only a thrick that that limb 
o' th' ould boy put you up to." 

The prospect of a second journey, on such a hot day, not being 
particularly agreeable. Murphy took up the shattered basket and 
proceeded . 

Having yet two hours to spare, the party resolved to consume 
them by sauntering al) out until the hour appointed for dinner, 
which being come, and all having assembled at one point, near 
the Bailey, they proceeded together to the chosen spot, where 
they found Murphy awaiting them with a most rueful countenance. 
He had been vainly trying to invent some plausible excuse for 
his patron, as he dreaded that all the blame would be thrown 
upon Bob's luird driving at setting out. 

" Th.e bottom's fell out o' the blaggard rotten ould bashket, 
ma'am, an' the knives an' forks has fell an the road." 

"Oh, v/ell," said Mr. Sharpe (who did not seem tol)e eitherso 
astonished or angry as one might have expected), "give them a 
rub in a napkin; a little dust won't do them any harm." 

"Why, thin, the sorra a one o' them there is to a rub," said 
Murphy, " barrin' this one crukked ould fork." 

Despite his loss, Mr. Sharpe could not refrain from laughing 
when Murphy held up an article, which had certainly been packed 
for a joke, it was so distorted, one prong l^eing tolerably straight, 
but the other sticking out as if it was going to march. However, 
collecting himself, he asked sternly, " Do you mean to tell me 
that all the knives and forks were lost upon the road ?" 


"Jistso, sir," was the reply. 

" The glass; is it safe ?" 

"Bruck, sir— all in smithereens; sorra as much ov id together 
as ud show what the patthcrn was." 

'* And the spoons," roared Mr. Sharpe, as if the thought had 
only }v.:t struck him. 

" Spoons ! sir. Oh, be my sowl you'd better look for thim 
yourself; here's the bashket." 

" This is a costly party to me," said Mr. Sharpe, " but itcan't 
be helped now; so don't let my loss cause any diminution of 
your plcojsure or enjoyment." 

Every one looked MJth perfect admiration at Mr. Sharpe, sur- 
prised at his magnanimity, and Mrs. Hai-vey thought that she must 
have altogether mistaken his character hitherto; but she would 
not have thought so, had she known that he had purposely pro- 
cured a rotten basket, with the bottom partially broken, in which 
he had packed a quantity of broken glass, and in which he (of 
course) had tiof packed either spoons, knives, or forks, except the 
very one which Murphy had held up; and it was to prevent exam- 
ination or inquiry that he had been so voluble upon his arrival in 
the morning. But had his loss been, as the company supposed, 
real instead of fictitious, he must have been gratified, nay, de- 
lighted, at the dismay which gradually spread itself over almost 
every countenance, at the prospect of having to eat a dinner 
without knives, forks, or spoons, and to drink without glasses, or 
even cups. 

♦' Gentlemen," said Mr. Harvey, "have you got penknives 
vrith you ? I have forgotten mine." 

So had every one else except Mr. Sharpe. He would willingly 
have kept it .secret, but he knew that if he should attempt to 
use it, himself, it would'lie .seen; so lie made a virtue of neces.sity, 
and lent it to Mr. Har\'ey for the purpose of carving the roast 

The dinner was now nearly arranged, and the Last basket, in 
which MulhoUand had packed the roast beef, was opened. The 
remnant of an old college gown was first dragged forth, and Mr. 


O'Brien's servant, to whom the task was assigned, looked in, tit- 
tered, looked again, and then drew forth two long, large ribs, 
with a piece of meat about the size of a cricket ball attached to 
the ends of them. Having laid them on the dish, he dipped 
again, and produced, with another titter, a shapeless lump of 
meat without any bone — (he would be a clever anatomist that 
could tell what part of the beasit it had been.) Another dip, and 
with a roar of laughter lie raised and deposited on the dish four 
ribs, from which nearly every morsel of meat had been cut. 

"What is the meaning of this, Mr. O'Gorman?" said Mrs. 
Harvey, who was quite disconcerted at the turn things had taken, 
and was now seriously disposed to be angry. 

"My dear madam," said he, " it may look a little unsightly, 
but it is all prime meat, depend upon it. It was dressed yester- 
day for the College dining-hall." 

"You don't mean, surely, to call bare bones meat, sir?" 

" My dear madam," said Bob, "you will find that there is as 
much meat without bone as will compensate. Mulholland is a 
very honest fellow in that respect." 

Some laughed, some were annoyed, some were disgusted; but 
by degrees hunger asserted its riglits, and reconciled them a little, 
especially when O'Gorman pointed out how much easier it would 
be to carve the small jjieces with a pc-nhiijf, than if they had but 
one large one. 

"Well," said Mrs. Harvey, "I have long indulged the hope 
of having a pic-nic party so perfectly arranged that nothing sliould 
go astray; and so far have I been from succeeding, that I really 
do think there never was a more unfortunate, irregular affair. I 
really do not know what to say, and I feel quite incompetent to 
preside. Mr. O'Gorman, as you have the happy knack of mak- 
ing the best of everything, I believe you are the person best qual- 
ified in this co.Tipany to make the most of the matter, and we 
must rely on your ingenuity." 

"Thank you, ma'am. That is as much as to say, 'Bob, as 
you have treated us to broken meat, and lost the knives and 
forks, you will please to carve !' Well, nabocklish, this isn't a 



round table, like Prince Arthur's, for it's little moi-e than half 
round, and we have old Howth at the head, and old Neptune at 
the foot of it; but, for the rest, we don't stand upon precedence, 
and therefore I need not change my place, to preside. Mr. Har- 
vey, I'll trouble you for the penknife — I l^eg pardon — the carver 
— Irem ! and that specimen of antediluvian cutlery, the '■ criihkcd 
ouIJ/ork.^ Thank you — shove over the beef now. Ods mar- 
row-bones and cleavers ! what a heap ! Gentlemen, you had 
better turn up your cuffs as a needful preliminary ; and, perchance, 
an ablution may also be necessary — you can get down to the 
water here, at this side." 

As soon as the parly had re-assembled, after having washed 
their hands, he again addressed them. 

"Mr. Sharpe and Mr. Harvey, will you please drag that tur- 
key asunder? Mr. O'Brien, will you tear a wing off that fowl 
for Miss O'Donnell ? Fitz, gnaw the cord off one of those ale 
bottles; draw the cork with your teeth, and send the bottle round. 
The corkscrew was with the knives." 

" Draw my teeth with the cork, you mean; I had rather knock 
off the neck, thank you," said Fitz, about to suit the action to the 

" No, no," cried Bob, "do you forget that we must drink out 
of the bottles; do you want the ladies to cut their pretty lips 
with the broken glass, you Mohawk ! Though, faith," said he, 
'_ in an undertone, to his fair companion, "I could almost wish 
such an accident to happen to some one that I know, that I 
might have an opportunity of exhibiting my devotion, by sucking 
the wound " 

"A prize! a prize!" cried he, jumping up and running a 
little distance. He returned with five or six Malahide oyster 
<l)el!s, that had been bleaching on the cliff, where they had been 
t^irown by some former party. Two of them were top shells. 
" Here," said he, throwing one to Sweeny, "is a carver for that 
ham; make haste and put an edge on it, on the rock. Ladies, 
l.ere arc primitive drinking goblets for you. Miss O'Brien, the 
^^leasure of a j//<V/of wine with you." 


"I have put a very good edge on the shell," said Sweeny, 
*« but I can't cut the ham with it, it slides al:)out so." 

"Psha ! take a grip of it by the shank, can't you? What are 
you afraid of, you omedhaun ? Hold it fast, and don't let it 
slide. Costello, break up that loaf and send it round. Mr. 
O'Donnell, will you have the goodness to hold one of these ribs 
for me. Oh, faiih, finger and thumb work won't do; you must 
take it in your fist, and hold it tight; now pull — bravo ! Beau 
Brummell would be just in liis clement here. Be my sowl, as 
Paddy Murphy says, I think if he saw us, he'd jump into that ele- 
ment to get away." 

Mr. Sharpc was now in his glory ; he had, with Mr. Harvey's 
assistance, torn up the turkey ; and seeing that Bob had decided- 
ly the worst job on the table, he asked him for beef. Mr. Harvey 
joined in the joke, and put in also; but their man was too able 
for them. 

" As you are in partnership in the turkey business, in which 
you have been so successful," said he, "you had belter continue 
so, in the general provision line," handing them a piece sufficient 
to satisfy two, and prevent them from calling again. 

" Bill" (to one of the college men), "here's a shell for you to 
cut the crust of that pie, and help it. Jem" (to another), " Mis£ 
Kate O'Brien wishes for some of that chicken that you are trying 
to dislocate, as gently as if you were afraid of hurting it, or greas- 
ing your fingers. " 

*• Wliat part ?" said Jem. 

♦*A little of the soul, if you please," said Kate, with a mali 
ciously demure face. 

" Here it is for you, Miss Kate, soul and body;" and he hand- 
ed it to her. 

"The mirth and fun (now) grew fast and furious." 

No water fit for drinking could be procured, and the conse- 
quence was, that the ale, porter and wine, were swallowed too 
abundantly by the gentlemen. Songs were called for, and 
O'Gormaa was in the midst of the " Groves of Blarney," when 
Costello shouted out, "A porpoise ! a porpoise !" 



Up jumped the whole party, and up also jumped the table-: 
cloth_, which Mr. O'Donnell and Mr. Sharpehad fastened to their 
coats or waistcoats. 

They sat directly facing the opening to the water, with Mrs. 
Harvey between them; so that when, by their sudden start up, 
they raised the cloth, it formed an inclinecf plane, down which 
dishes, plates, pies, bread and meat glided, not majestically, but 
too rapidly, into the sea. Then, oh, what a clamor ! 

Above the jingling of broken battles and plates, the crash of 
dishes, und the exclamation of the gentlemen, arose the never- 
failing shiiek of the ladies. And then came a pause, whilst they 
silently watched the last dish as it gracefully receded from their 

"Oh, faith !" said Mrs. Harvey (surprised by her emotion into 
using a gentle oath), " I think it is time to go home ho7u." 

"Faith," said O'Gorman, " it is time to leave the dinner-table 
at all events, since the things have been removed; but as to go- 
ing home, we have so little to carry, or look after, besides our- 
selves and — hie — the ladies, that I think, with all respect to Mrs. 
Harvey, we may — hie — take it easy. I wish I could get a drink 
of water to cure this hie — hiccough; for I am certai i, Miss 
O'Brien, I need not assure you — indeed I can appeal to you to 
bear witness — hie — that it was the wani, not the quantity of li- 
quid, that has brought it on." 

The 'want," however, had made Bob's eyes particularly and 
unusually luminous; nor did Kate take his proposition " to launch 
all the hampei-s and baskets, after nieir recent contents, into the 
sea," to be any additional proof of his self-possession; and when, 
with a caper and whoop, he sent Mulholland's basket to the 
fishes, her suspicions that he was slightly elevated became con- 
sldera'bly strengthened. 

" Mrs. Harvey," said Mr. Sharpe, " you think your party un- 
fortunate. I have been upon a great many parties of this kind, 
and I assure you I have seen far more unpleasant affairs -{Gen- 
tlemen, here are a few bottles of wine that have escaped the wa- 
tery fate of their unhappy companions). Now, the very last party 


that I was on last season, thre& or four of the gentlemen quar- 
reled (pass the wine, if you please), and one of them, in the 
scrimmage, was knocked over the rocks into the sea." 

" Mercy on us, Mr. Sharpe ! was he drowned ?" 

"Why, no, but his collar-bone was broken, and his shoulder 
dislocated. But a worse accident happened coming home." 

"What was it?" 

" Poor Singleton had come, with his wife and two nieces, in a 
job carriage; the driver got drunk, and overturned the whole con- 
cern, just wheie the road branches off down to the strand; they 
rolhd over the cliff, and fell about twenty feet; the horses were 
both killed, and the whole party dreadfully injured, barely escaping 
with life. Then, the quarrel after dinner (liy which Jones got his 
collar-bone broken) led to a duel on the following morning, in 
which one of the parties, Edwards, fell; and his antagonist, young 
O'Neill, got a bullet in his knee, which has lamed and disfigured 
hi in for life. Pass the wine, gentlemen." 

" No ! no ! no !" screamed Mrs. Harvey, on whom the above 
delectable recital had had the desired effect, and who was worked 
into a desperate state of terror, "no more wine, gentlemen, if 
you please. Come, ladies, we must return at once, before even- 
ing closes in." 

Each lady being perfectly satisfied that the gentleman who had 
fallen to her lot would keep sober, whatever others might do, 
demurred to the early retreat; but Mre. Harvey was too much 
frightened at the prospect of returning with gentlemen and driv- 
ers drunk, not to be determined; and, accordingly, with much 
growling, and the most general dissatisfaction, the party broke 

•'I am done with/zV-w/Vj — I'll never have anything to say to 
one again, " said the disappointed directress. " There never was 
any affair more perfectly arranged, never was so much care taken 
to have things regular. I never proposed to myself such enjoy- 
ment as I expected this day." 

"My dear Mrs. Harvey," said O'Gorman, to whose counte- 
nance the last four or five shells of wine had impartei^ an air of 


the most profound wisdom, " my dear Mrs. Harvey, 'the whole 
art of happiness is caiitentmeni.' This is the great secret of en- 
joyment in tliis life — this is the talisman that clothes poverty in 
imperial robes, and imparts to the hovel a grandeur unknown to 
the halls of princes — this is the true philosopher's stone, for which 
alchemists so long have sought in vain, that converts all it touches 
into gold — this is the cosmetic that beautifies the ill-favored wife, 
and the magic wand that bestows upon the frugal board the ap- 
pearance of surpassing plenty — this is the shield of adamantine 
proof, on which disappointment vainly showers its keenest darts — 
this is the impregnable fortress, ensconced in which, we may 
boldly bid defiance to the combined forces of sublunary ills— and 
whether it be announced from the pulpit or the cliff, by the dig- 
nified divine or the college scamp; be it soothingly whispered in 
the ear of the deposed and exiled monarch, or tendered as comfort 
to the discomfited authoress oi tl picnic, it still retains, in undi- 
minished force, its universality of application" 

Here Mr. Sweeny facetiously gave him a slap on the crown of 
the hat, which drove it down, and stuck it gracefully over his 
eye, thereby breaking the thread of his discourse. He then ad- 
dressed the fair Catherine; but all his eloquence and profundity 
were unavailing to induce her to return with him in the gig. 
She would listen to nothing but the caniage, and as room could 
not be made for him inside, he mounted the box, leaving the gig 
to any one that pleased to. have it. Nor was it long untenanted. 
Frank Costello and Bill Nowlan mounted together, and were 
found in it next morning fast asleep, in the stable-lane behind 
Mr. Shaqxj's house, the horse having found his way home when 
left to his own guidance. 

The remainder of the party arrived as safely, but somewhat 
more regularly, in the evening of their eventful day, and all dis- 
satisfied exceut Mr. O'Gorman. 



Until England dragged the sister kingdom with herself into 
the ruinous expenses of the American War, Ireland owed no 
debt. There were no taxes, save local ones; the Irish Parlia- 
ment, being composed of resident gentlemen interested in the 
prosperity and welfare of their country, was profuse in promot- 
ing all useful schemes; and no projector who could show any 
reasonable grounds for seeking assistance, had difficulty in find- 
ing a patron. 

Amongst other projectors whose ingenuity was excited by this 
liberal conduct, was one of a very singular description — a Turk 
who had come over, or, as the on dit went, had_/?f(/ from Con- 
stantinople. He proposed to establish, what was greatly wanted 
at that time in the Irish metropolis, "hot and cold sea-water 
baihs," and, by way of advancing his pretensions to public en- 
couragement, offered to open free baths for the poor on an exten- 
sive plan, giving them, as a doctor, attendance and z.(Ss'\c& gratis 
every day in the year. He spoke English very intelligibly; his 
person was extremely remarkable, and the more so as lie was the 
first Turk '.vho had ever walked the streets of Dublin in his na- 
tive costui'ne. He was in height considerably above six feet, 
rather pompous in his gait, and apparently powerful; an immense 
black beard covering his chin and upper lip. There was at the 
same time something cheerful and cordial in the man's address, 
and, altogether, he cut a very imposing figure. Everybody liked 
Doctor Achmet Borumborad; his Turkish dress, being extremely 
handsome, without an approach to the tawdry, and crowned 
with an immense turban, drew the eyes of every Dasser-by, and 


I must say that I have never seen a more stately looking Turk 
since that period. 

The eccentricity of the doctor's appearance was, indeed, as 
will be readily imagined, the occasion of much idle observation 
and conjecture. At first, whenever he went abroad, a crowd of 
people, chiefly boys, was sure to attend him, but at a respectful 
distance; and if he turned to look behind him, the gaping boobies 
fled, as if they conceived even his looks to be mortal. These 
fears, however, gradually wore away, and were entirely shaken 
off on the fact being made public that he meant to attend the 
poor; which midertaking was, in the usual spirit of exaggeration, 
soon construed into an engagement, on the part of the doctor, to 
cure all disorders whatever ! and hence he quickly became aii 
much admired and respected as he had previously been dreaded. 

My fair readers will perhaps smile when I assure them that the 
persons who seemed to have the least apprehension of Doctor 
Borumborad, or rather to think him "a very nice Turk," were 
the ladies of the metropolis. Many a smart, snug little husband, 
who had been heretofore considered " quite the tiling," despotic 
in his own house, and peremptory commandant of his own 
family, was now regarded as a wretched, contemptible, dose- 
shaven pigmy, in comparison with the immensity of the doctor's 
figure and whiskers; and what is more extraordinary, his good 
humor and engaging manners gained him many friends even 
among the husbands themselves ! he thus becoming, in a shorter 
period than could be imagined, a particular favorite with the en- 
tire city, male and female. 

Doctor Achmct Borumborad having obtained footing thus far, 
next succeeded surprisingly in making his way amongst the 
memlx;rs of Parliament. He was full of conversation, yet knew 
his proper distance; pregnant with anecdote, but discreet in its 
expenditure; and he had the peculiar talent of being humble 
without the appearance of humility. A submissive Turk would 
have been out of character, and a haughty one excluded from 
society: the doctor was aware of this, and regulated his demeanor 
v/ith remarkable skill upon every occasion — and they were nu- 


merous — whereon, as a " lion," he was invited to the tables of the 
great. By this line of conduct he managed to warm those who 
patronized him into violent partisans; and accordingly little or 
no difficulty was experienced in getting a grant from Parliament 
for a sufficient fund to commence his great metropolitan under- 

Baths were now planned after Turkish models. The money 
voted was most faithfully appropriated; and a more ingenious or 
useful establishment could not be found in any metropolis. 
But the cash, it was soon discovered, ran too short to enable the 
doctor to complete his scheme; and on the ensuing session a fur- 
ther vote became necessary, which was by no means oj^posed, as 
the institution was good, fairly executed, and charitably applied. 
The vrorthy doctor kept his ground — session after session he peti- 
tioned for fresh assistance, and never met with refusal; his profits 
were good, and he lived well; whilst the baths proved of the ut- 
most benefit, and th3 poor received attention and service from his 
establishment without cost. An immense cold bath was con- 
structed to communicate with the river; it was large and deep, 
and entirely renewed every tide. The neatest lodging rooms for 
those patients who chose to remain during a course of bathing were 
added to the establishment, and always occupied. In short, the 
whole affair became so popular, and Doctor Achmet acquired so 
many friends, that the annual grants of Parliament were con- 
sidered nearly as matters of course. 

But alas ! fortune is treacherous, and prosperity unstable. 
Whilst the ingenious Borumborad was thus rapidly flourishing, 
an unlucky though most ludicrous incident threw the poor fellow 
completely aback, and, without any fault on his part, nearly 
ruined both himself and his institution. 

Preparatory to every session it was the doctor's invariable cus- 
tom to give a grand dinner at the baths to a large number of his 
patrons, members of Parliament who were in the habit of propos- 
ing and supporting his giants. Pie always on these occasions 
procured some professional singers, as well as the finest wines in 
Ireland, endeavoring tj render the parties as joyous and convivial 


as possible. Some nobleman, or commoner of note, always 
acted for him as chairman, the doctor himself being quite unas- 

At the commencement of a session whereupon he anticipated 
this patronage, it was intended to increase his grant, in order to 
meet the expenses of certain new works, etc., which he had exe- 
cuted on the strength of the ensuing supply; and the doctor had 
invited nearly thirty of the leading members to a grand dinner in 
his spacious saloon. The singers were of the first order; the 
claret and champagne excellent; and never was the Turk's hos- 
pitality shown off to better advantage, or the appetites of his 
guests administered to with greater success. The effects of the 
wine in time began to grow obvious. The elder and more discreet 
members were for adjourning, whilst the juveniles declared they 
would stay for another dozen; and Doctor Borumborad accord- 
ingly went down himself to his cellar, to select and send up a 
choice dozen, by way o{ bonne bouche, for " finishing " the refrac- 
tory members of Parliament. 

In his absence, Sir John S. Hamilton took it into his head that 
he had taken enough, and rose to go away, as is customary in 
these days of freedom when people are so circumstanced; but at 
that period men were not always their own masters on such 
occasions, and a general cry arose of, " Stop Sir John ! stop him ! 
X\ie boune bouche ! \X\q bonne boitche !'''' The carousers were on 
the alert instantly; Sir John opened the door and rushed out. 
The ante-chamber was not lighted; some one or two and twenty 
staunch members stuck to his skirts — when splash at once comes 
Sir John, not into the street, but into the great cold bath, the door 
of which he had retreated by in mistake ! The other Parliament 
men were too close upon the baronet to stop short like the horse 
of a Cossack : in they went by fours and ives; and one or two, 
who, on hearing the splashing of the water, cunningly threw 
themselves down on the brink to avoid popping in, operated di- 
rectly as stumbling-blocks to tliose behind, who thus obtained 
their full share of a bonne boiichc none of the parties had bar- 
gained for. 


When Doctor Borumborad re-entered, ushering a couple of 
servants laden with a dozen of his best wine, and missed all his 
company, he thought some devil had carried them off; but per- 
ceiving the door of his noble, deep, cold salt-water bath open, he 
with dismay rushed thither, and espied eighteen or nineteen Irish 
Parliament men either floating like so many corks upon the sur- 
face, or scrambling to get out like mice who had fallen into a 
basin ! The doctor's posse of attendants were immediately set at 
work, and every one of the honorable members extricated : the 
quantity of salt water, however, which had made its way into 
their stomachs was not so easily removed, and most of them 
carried the beverage home to their own bed-chambers. 

It was unlucky, also, that as the doctor was a Turk, he had no 
Christian wardrobe to substitute for the well-soaked garments of 
the honorable members. Such dresses, however, as he had, were 
speedily put into requisition : the bathing attendants furnished 
their quota of dry apparel; and all were speedily distributed 
amongst the swimmers, some of whom exhibited in Turkish cos- 
tume, others in bathing shifts, and when the clothes failed, 
blankets were pinned around the rest. Large fires were made in 
every room; brandy and mulled wine liberally resorted to; and 
as fast as sedan-chairs could be procured, the Irish Commoners 
were sent home, cursing all Turks and infidels, and denouncing 
a crusade against anything coming from the same quarter of the 
globe as Constantinople. 

Poor Doctor Achmet Borumborad was distracted and quite in- 
consolable ! Next day he duly visited every suffering member, 
and though well received, was acute enough to see that the ridi- 
cule with which they had covered themselves was likely to work 
out eventually his ruin. His anticipations were well founded : 
though the members sought to hush up the ridiculous parts of the 
story, they became, from that very attempt, still more celebrated. 
In fact, it was too good a joke to escape the embellishments of 
Irish humor, and the statement universally circulated was — that 
" Doctor Borumborad had nearly drowned nineteen members of 
Parliament, because they would not promise to vote for him !" 


The poor doctor was now assailed in every way. Among 
other things, it was asserted that he was the Turk who had 
strangled tlie Christians in the Seven Towers at Constantinople ! 
Though everybody laughed at their oivn inventions, they believed 
those of olher people ; and the conclusion was, that no more 
grants could be proposed, since not a single member was stout 
enough to mention the name of Borumborad ! the laugh, indeed, 
would have overwhelmed the best speech ever delivered in the 
Irish Parliament. 

Still the new works must be paid for, although no convenient 
vote came to make the necessary provision : the poor doctor was 
therefore cramped a little, but notwithstanding his embarrassment 
he kept his ground well, and lost no private friends except such 
as the wearing-oflf of novelty estranged. He continued to get on; 
and at length a new circumstance intervened to restore his happi- 
ness, in a way as little to be anticipated by the reader as was his 
previous discomfiture. 

Love had actually seized upon the Turk above two years be- 
fore the accident we have been recording. A respectable surgeon 
of Dublin, of the name of Hartigan, had what might be termed 
a very "neat" sister, and this lady had made a lasting impres- 
sion on the heart of Borumborad, who had no reason to complain 
of his suit being treated with disdain, or even indifference. On 
the contrary. Miss Hartigan liked the doctor vastly, and praised 
the Turks in general, both for their dashing spirit and their 
beautiful whiskers. It was not, however, consistent either with 
her own or her brother's Christianity to submit to the doctor's 
tremendous beard, or think of matrimony, till " he had shaved 
the chin at least, and got a parson to turn him into a ("liristian, 
or something of that kind." Upon those terms only would she 
surrender her charms and her money, for some she had, to Doctor 
Achmct Borumborad, however amiable. 

The doctor's courtship with the members of Parliament having 
now terminated, so far at any rate as further grants were con- 
cerned, and a ^ra«/ of a much more tender nature being now 
within his reach, he began seriously to consider if he should not 


at once capitulate to Miss Hartigan, and excliange his beard and 
his Alcoran for a razor and the New Testament. After weighing 
matters deliberately, love prevailed, and he intimated by letter, 
in the proper vehemence of Asiatic passion, his determination to 
turn Christian, discard his beard, and, throwing himself at the 
feet of his beloved, vow eternal fidelity to her in the holy bands 
of matrimony. He concluded by requesting an interview in the 
presence of the young lady^'s confidant, a Miss Owen, who resided 
next door. His request was granted, and he repeated his pro- 
posal, which was duly accepted, Miss Hartigan stipulating that 
he should never see her again until the double promise in his let- 
ter was fully redeemed, upon which he might mention his own 
day for the ceremony. The doctor, having engaged to comply, 
took leave. 

On the evening of the same day a gentleman was announced 
to the bride elect with a message from Doctor Achmet Borumbo- 
rad. Her confidential neighbor was immediately summoned, the 
gentleman waiting meantime in a coach at the door. At length 
Miss Hartigan and her friend being ready to receive him, in 
walked a Christian gallant, in a suit of full-dress black, and a 
very tall, fine-looking Christian he was ! Miss Hartigan was sur- 
prised ; she did not recognize her lover, particularly as she thought 
it impossible he could have been made a Christian before the en- 
suing Sunday ! He immediately, however, fell on his knees, 
seized and kissed her lily hand, and on her beginning to expos- 
tulate, cried out at once, "Don't be angry, my dear creature ! to 
tell the honest truth, I am as good el Christian as the archbishop; 
I'm your own countryman, sure enough ! Mr. Patrick Joycp from 
Kilkenny county — not a Turk any more than yourself, my sweet 
angel !" The ladies were astonished; but astonishment did not 
prevent Miss Hartigan from keeping her word, and Mr. and 
Mrs. Joyce became a very loving and happy couple. 

The doctor's great skill, however, was supposed to lie in his 
beard and faith; consequently, on this denouement, the baths de- 
clined. But the honest fellow never had done any discreditable 
or improper act — none, indeed, was ever laid to his charge ; he 


ftdly performed every engagement with the Parliament whilst he 
retained the power to do so. 

His beauty and portly apf)earance were considerably dimin- 
ished by his change of garb. The long beard and picturesque 
dress had been half the battle; and he was, after his transforma- 
tion, but a plain, rather coarse, but still brave -looking fellow. 
An old memorandum-book reminded me of these circumstances, 
as it noted a payment made to him by me on behalf of my elder 
brother, who had been looking in the bath-house at the time of 
the "swimming match." 

This little story shows the facility with which public money 
was formerly voted, and at the same time the comparatively 
fortunate financial state of Ireland at that period, when the pub- 
lic purse could afford a multiplicity of such supplies without any 
tax or imposition whatsoever being laid upon the people to pro- 
vide for them. 



However astonished I had been at the warmth by which I was 
treated in London, I was still less prepared for the enthusiasm 
which greeted me in every town through which I passed. There 
was not a village where we stopped to change horses whose in- 
habitants did not simultaneously pour forth to welcome me with 
every demonstration of delight. That the fact of four horses and 
a yellow chaise should have dieted such testimonies of satisfac- 
tion was somewhat difficult to conceive ; and, even had the im- 
portant news that I was the bearer ofdispatches been telegraphed 
from Loiidon by successive postboys, still the extraordinary ex- 
citement ^was unaccountable. It was only on reacliing Bristol 
that I learned to what circumstance my popularity was owing. 
My servant Milve, in humble imitation of election practices, had 
posted a large placard on the back of the chaise, announcing, in 
letters of portentous length, something like the following: 

"Bloody news! Fall of Ciudad Rodrigo ! Five thousand 
prisoners and two hundred pieces of cannon taken !" 

This veracious and satisfactory statement, aided by Mike's 
personal exertions, and an unwearied performance on the trumpet 
he had taken from the French dragoon, had roused the popula- 
tion of every hamlet, and made our journey from London to 
Bristol one scene of uproar, noise and confusion. All my at- 
tempts to suppress Mike's oratory or music were perfectly un- 
availing. In fact, he had pledged my health so many times 
during the day — he had drunk so many toasts to the success of 
the British arms — so many to the English nation— so many in 
honor of Ireland — and so many in honor of Mickey Free himself, 
that all reject for my authority was lost in his enthusiasm for my 


greatness, and his shouts became wilder, and the blasts from the 
trumpet more fearful and incoherent; and finally, on the last 
stage of our journey, having exhausted as it were every tribute of 
his lungs, he seemed (if I were to judge by the evidence of my 
ears) to be performing something very like a hornpipe on the 
roof of the chaise. 

Happily for me there is a limit to all human efforts, and even 
his powers at length succumbed ; so that, when we arrived at 
Bristol, I persuaded him to go to bed, and I once more was left 
to the enjoyment of some quiet. To fill up the few hours which 
intervened before bedtime, I strolled into the cofiee-room. The 
English look of every one and everything around had still its 
charm for me; and I was contemplating, with no small admira- 
tion, that air of neatness and propriety so observant — from the 
bright-faced clock, that ticked unwearily upon the mantelpiece, 
to the trim wiiter himself, with noiseless step, and that mixed 
look of vigilance and vacancy. The perfect stillness struck me, 
save when a deep voice called for " another brandy-and-water," 
and some more modestly -toned request would utter a desire for 
' more cream." The attention of each man, absorbed in the 
folds of his voluminous newspaper, scarcely deigning a glance at 
the new comer who entered, were all in keeping, giving in their 
solemnity and gravity a character of almost religious seriousness 
to what, in any other land, would be a scene of riotous noise and 
discordant tumult. I was watching all these with a more than 
common interest, when the door opened, and the waiter entered 
with a large placard. He was followed by another with a ladder, 
by whose assistance he succeeded in attaching the large square of 
paper to the wall, above the fireplace. Every one about rose up, 
curious to ascertain what \vas going forward; and I myself joined 
in the crowd around the fire. The first glance of the announce- 
ment showed me what it meant; nnd it was with a str.ange mix- 
ture of shame arnl confusion I read : 

"Fall of Ciudad Rodrigo; with a full and detailed account of 
the storming of tlie great bread) — capture of the enemy's cannon, 
etc. — by Michael Free, 14th Light Dragoons." 


Leaving the many around me busied in conjecturing who the 
aforesaid Mr. Free might be, and what peculiar opportunities he 
might have enjoyed for his report, I hurried from the room and 
called the waiter. 

" What's the meaning of the announcement you've just put up 
in the coffee-room? Where did it come from?" 

" Most important news, sir; exclusively in the columns of the 
Bristol Telegraph; the gentleman has just arrived " 

" Wlio, pray ? ^Vhat gentleman ?" 

" Mr. Free, sir, No. 13 — large bedroom — blue damaslc — sup- 
per for two — oysters — brandy and water — mulled port." 

" What do you mean ? Is the fellow at supper?" 

Somewhat shocked by the tone I ventured to assume towards- 
the illustrious narrator, the waiter merely bowed his reply. 

" Show me to his room," said I; "I should like to see him." 

'* Follow me, if you please, sir— this way — what name shall 
I say?" 

" You need not mind announcing me — I'm an old acquaint- 
ance — ^just show me the room." 

" I beg pardon, sir, but Mr. Meekins, the editor of the Tele- 
p-aph, is engaged with him at present; and positive orders are 
given not to suffer any interruption." 

" No matter; do as I bid you. Is that it ? Oh ! I hear his 
voice. There, that will do. You may go downstairs; I'll in- 
troduce myself." 

So saying, and slipping a crown into the waiter's hand, I pro- 
ceeded cautiously towards the door, and opened it stealthily. 
My caution was, however, needless; for a large screen was drawn 
across this part of the room, completely concealing the door; 
closing which behind me, I took my place beneath the shelter 
of this ambuscade, determined on no account to be perceived 
by the parties. 

Seated in a large arm-chair, a smoking tumbler of mulled port 
before him, sat my friend Mike, dressed in my full regimentals, 
even to the helmet, which, unfortunately, however, for the effect, 
he had put on back foremost; a short "dudeen" graced his lip, 
and the trumpet^ so frequently alluded to, lay near him. 


Oppoate him sat a short, puny, round-faced little gentleman, 
with rolling eyes and a tumed-up nose. Numerous sheets of 
paper, pens, etc., lay scattered about; and he evinced, by his air 
and gesture, the most marked and eager attention to Mr. Free's 
narrative, whose frequent interruptions, caused by the drink and 
the oysters, were viewed with no small impatience by the anxious 
■ editor. 

" You must remember, captain, time's passing; the placards 
are all out; must be at press before one o'clock to-night; the 
morning edition is everything with us. You were at the first par- 
-allel, I think." 

" Not a one o' me knows. Just ring that bell near you. Them's 
elegant oysters; and you're not taking your drop of liquor. 

Here's a toast for yt)u; ' May' Whoop ! — raal Carlingfords, 

upon my conscience. See, now, if 1 won't hit the little black 
• chap up there, the fTi"5t shot." 

Scarcely were the words spoken, when a little painted bust of 
' Shakspeare fell in fragments on the floor as an oyster-shell laid 
him low. 

A faint effort at a laugh at the eccentricities of his friend was 
all the poor editor could accomplish, while Mike's triumph knew 
no bounds. 

" Didn't I tell you? But come, now — are you ready ? Give 
'■ the pen a drink, if you won't take one yourself." 

" I'm ready, quite ready," responded the editor. 

"Faith, an it's more nor I am. See now, here it is: The 
■ night was murthering dark; you could not see a stim." 

" Not see a — what ?" 

"A stim, bad wind to you; don't you know English? Hand 
me the hot water. Have you that down yet?" 

"Yes. Pray proceed." 

" The fifth division was ordhered up, bekase they were fight- 
ing chaps; the Eighty -eighth was among them; the Rangers 

Oh ! upon my word, we must drink the Rangers. Here, not a 
one o' me will go on till we give them all the honors— hip- 


'•Hip !" sighed the luckless editor, as he rose from his chair, 
obedient to the command. 

" Hurra— hurntr— hurra I Well done ! there's stuff in you yet, 
ould foolscap ! Tlie little bottle is empty — ring again, if you 
plaze. Arrah, don't be looking miserable and dissolute that 
way. Sure I'm only getting myself up for you." 

•♦ Really, Mr. Free, I see no prospect of our ever getting done." 

"The saints in heaven forbid," interrupted Mike, piously; 
'•the evening's young, and drink plenty. Here, now, make 
ready !" 

The editor once more made a gesture of preparation. 

"Well, as I vi^as saying," resumed Mike, "it was pitch dark 
when the columns moved up, and a cold, raw night, with a little 
thin rain falling. Have you that down ?" 

" Yes. Pray go on." 

"Well, just as it might be here, at the corner of the trench I 
met Dr. Quill. 'They're waiting for you, Mr. Free,' says he, 
'down there. Picton's asking for you.' 'Faith and he must 
wait,' says I, 'for I'm terrible dry.' With that, he pulled out 
his canteen and mixed me a little brandy-and-water. ' Are you 
taking it without a toast?' says Doctor Maurice. ' Never fear,' 
says I; ' here's Mary Brady ' " 

" But, my dear sir," inteqjosed Mr. Meekins, "pray do re- 
member this is somewhat irrelevant. In fifteen minutes it will be 
twelve o'clock." 

" I know it, ould boy, I know it. I see what you're at. You 
were going to observe how much better we'd be for a broiled 

"Nothing of the kind, I assure you. For heaven's sake, no 
more eating and drinking." 

" No more eating nor drinking! Why not? You've a nice 
notion of a convivial evening. Faith, we'll have the broiled bone 
sure enough, and, what's more, a half gallon of the strongest 
punch they can make us; an' I hope that, grave as you are, you'll 
favor the company with a song." 

"Really, Mr. Free " 


" Arrali f none of your blarney. Don't be misthering me. Call 
me Mickey — Mickey Free, if you like better." 

" I protest," said the editor, with dismay, " that here we are 
two hours at work, and haven't got to the foot of the great 

"And wasn't the .army three months and a half in just getting 
that far, with a battering train, and inortars, and the finest troops 
ever was seen ? and there you sit, a little fat creature with your 
pen in your hand, grumbling that you can't do more than the 
British army. Take care you don't provoke me to beat you; for 
I am quiet till I'm roused. Cut, by the Rock o' Cashel " 

Here he grasped the brass trumpet with an energy that made 
the editor spring from his chair. 

"For mercy's sake, Mr. Free " 

"Well, I won't; but sit down there, and don't be bothering 
me about sieges, and battles, and things that you know nothing 

"I protest," rejoined Mr. Meekins, "that had you not sent to 
my office intimating your wish to communicate an account of the 
siege, I never should have thought of intruding myself upon you. 
And now, since you appear indisposed to afford the information 
in question, if you will permit me, I'll wish you a very good 

"Faith, and so you shall, and help me to pass one too; fornot 
a step out o' that chair shall you take till morning. Do ye think 
I am going to be left here by myself, all alone?" 

"I must observe " said Meekins. 

" To be sure, to be sure," said Mickey; "I .see what you mean. 
You're not the best of company, it's true; but at a pinch like 
this There now, take your liquor." 

" Once for all, sir," said the editor, " I would beg you to reccl- 
lect that on the faith of your message to me I have announced 
an account of the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo for our morning 
edition. Are you prepared, may I ask, for the consequences of 
my disa.ppointing ten thousand readers?" 

"It's little I care for one of them. I never knew much of read- 
ing myself. ' ' 


•'If you think to make a jest of me," interposed Mr. Meekins, 
reddening with passion. 

"A jest of you! Troth it's little fun I can get out of you j 
you're as tiresome a creature as ever I spent an evening with. 
See now, I told you before not to provoke me. We'll have a lit- 
tle more drink; ring the bell. Wlio knows but you'll turn out 
better by and by?" 

As Mike rose at these words to summon the waiter, Mr, Meek- 
ins seized the opportunity to make his escape. Scarcely had he 
reached the door, hov/ever, when he was perceived by Mickey, 
who hurled the trumpet at him with all his force, while he uttered 
a shout that nearly left the poor editor lifeless with terror. This 
time, happily, Mr. Free's aim failed him, and, before he could 
arrest the progress of his victim, he had gained the corridor, and, 
with one bound, cleared the first flight of the staircase, his pace 
increasing every moment as Mick's denunciations grew louder 
and louder, till at last, as he reached the street, Mr. Free's de- 
light overcame his indignation, and he threw himself upon a 
chair and lauglied immoderately. 



On a certain day a fair and a gathering were held at Bineadar, 
by the seven ordinary and seven extraordinary battalions of the 
Fenians of Erinn. In tlie course of the day, on casting a look over 
the broad expanse of the sea, they beheld a large, smooth-sided, 
and proud-looking ship ploughing the waves from the east and 
approaching them under full sail, ^^^len the capacious vessel 
touched the shore and lowered her sails, the Fenians of Erinn 
counted upon seeing a host of men disembark from her; and great 
was tlieir surprise when one warrior, and no more, came out of 
the ship and landed on the beach. He was a hero of the largest 
make of body, the strongest of champions, and the finest of the 
human race; and in this wise was the kingly warrior equipped: — 
an impenetrable helmet of polished steel encased his ample and 
beautiful head, a deep-furrowed, thick-backed, sharp-edged 
sword hung at his left side; and a purple bossed shield was slung 
over his shoulder. Such were his chief accoutrements; and 
armed in this fashion and manner did the stranger come into the 
presence of Finn MacCoole and the Fenians of Erinn . 

It was tlien that Finn, the King of the Fenians, addressed the 
heroic champion, and questioned liim, saying, " From what quar- 
ter of the globe hast thou come unto us, O goodly youth ? or 
from which of the noble or ignoble races of the universe art thou 
sprung? Whoartlhou?" •* 

" I am," answered the stranger, " Ironbones, the son of the 
King of Thcssaly ; and so far as I have traveled on this globe, 
since the day that I left my own land, I have laid every country, 
peninsula and island, under contribution to my sword and my 
arm: this I have done even to the present hour; and my desire 


is to obtain the crown and tribute of this country in like manner; 
for if I obtain them not, I purpose to bring slaughter of men and 
deficiency of heroes and youthful warriors on the seven ordinaiy 
and seven extraordinary battalions of the Fenian host. Such, O 
king, is the object of my visit to this country, and such is my 
design in landing here." 

Hereupon uprose ConAn the Bald, and said, " Of a truth, my 
friend, it seems to me that you have come upon a foolish enter- 
prise, and that to the end of your life, and the close of your days, 
you will not be able to accomplish your purpose; because from 
the beginning of ages until now, no man ever heard of a hero or 
ever saw a champion coming with any such mighty design to 
Ireland, who did not find his match in that same country." 

But Ironbones replied: " I make but very little account of your 
speech, Condn," said he; "for if all the Fenian heroes who have 
died within the last seven years were now in the world, and were 
joined by those who are now living, I would visit all of them 
with the sorrow of death and show all of them the shortness of 
life in one day; nevertheless I will make your warriors a more 
peaceable proposal. I challenge you then, O waiTior, to find 
me a man among you who can vanquish me in running, in fight- 
ing or in wrestling; if you can do this, I shall give you no further 
trouble, but return to my own country without loitering here any 

" And pray," inquired Finn, " which of those three manly ex- 
ercises that you have named will it please you to select for the 
first trial of prowess ?" 

To this Ironbones answered, "If you can find for me any one 
champion of your number who can run faster than 1 can, I will 
give you no further annoyance, but depart at once to my own 

"It so happens," said Finn, "that our Man of Swiftness, 
Keelte MacRonaa, is not here at present to try his powers of 
running with you ; and as he is not, it were better, O hero, that 
you should sojourn here a season with the Fenians, that you and 
they may mutually make and appreciate each other's acquaint- 


ance by means or conversation and amusements, as is our wont. 
In the meanvhile I will repair to Tara of the Kings in quest oi 
Keelte MacRonan; aiid if I have not the good fortune to find 
him there, I shall certainly meet with him at Ceis-Corann of the 
Fenii, from whence I shall without delay bring him hither to 
meet you." 

To this Ironbones agreed, saying that he was well satisfied 
with what Finn proposetl ; and thereupon Finn proceeded on his 
way towards Tara. of the Kings, in search of Keelte. Now it 
fell out that as he journeyed along he missed his way, so that he 
came to a dense, wide and gloomy wood, divided in the midst 
by a broad and miry road or pathway. Before he had advanced 
more than a very little distance on this road, he perceived coming 
directly towards him an ugly, detestable-looking giant, who wore 
a gray frieze coat, the skirts of which reached down to the calves 
of his legs, and were bespattered with yellow mud to the depth 
of a hero's hand; so that every step he made, the lower part of 
that coat struck with such violence against his legs as to produce 
a sound that could be distinctly heard a full mile of ground off. 
Each of the two legs that sustained the unwieldy carcass of this 
horrible hideous monster was like the mast of a great ship, and 
each of the two shoes that were under his shapeless, horny, long- 
nailed hoofs, resembled a roomy long-sided boat; and every time 
he lifted his foot, and at every step that he walked, he splashed 
up from each shoe a {jood barrelful of mire and water on the 
lower part of his Ixjdy. Finn gazed in amazement at the colossal 
man, for he nr-vcr before seen any one so big and bulky; yet 
he would have passed onward and continued his route, but the 
giant stopped and accosted him, and Finn was under the necessity 
of stopping also, and exchanging a few words with the giant. 

The giant began in this manner: "What, ho! Finn Mac 
Coole," said he, •' what desire for traveling is this that has 
seized on you, and how far do you mean to go upon this jour- 
ney ?" 

"Oh," said Finn, "as to that, my trouble and anxiety are so 
great that I cannot describe them to you now, and indeed small 


is the use," added he, " it would be of to me to attempt doing so; 
and I thhik it would be better for you to let me go on my way 
without asking any more questions of me." 

But the giant was not so easily put off. " O Finn," said he, 
"you may keep your secret if you like, but all the loss and the 
misfortune attending your silence will be your own; and when 
you think well upon that, maybe you would not boggle any 
longer about disclosing to me the nature of your errand." 

So Finn, seeing the huge size of the giant, and thinking it ad- 
visable not to provoke him, began to tell him all that had taken 
place among the Fenians of Erinn so short a time before. " You 
must know," said he, «'that at the meridian hour of this very 
day the great Ironbonc?, the son of the King of Tliessaly, landed 
at the harbor of Bineadar, with the view of taking the crown and 
sovereignty of Ireland into his own hands; and if he does not ob- 
tain them with the free and good will of the Irish, he threatens 
to distribute death and destruction impartially among the young 
and old of our heroes; howbeit he has challenged us to find a man 
able to surpass him in running, fighting or wrestling, and if we 
can find such a man, then he agrees to forego his pretensions, 
and to return to his own country without giving us further trou- 
ble; and that," said Finn, "is the history I have for you." 

"And how do you intend to oppose the royal warrior?" 
asked the giant: " I know him well, and I know he has the 
vigor in his hand and the strength in his arm to carry every threat 
he makes into effect." 

" Why, tiien, " said Finn, in answer to this, " I intend to go to 
Tara of the Kings for Keelte MacRonan, and if I do not find hira 
there, I will go to look for hiraatCeis-Corann of the Fenii; audit 
is he," said he, "whoin I mean to bring with me for the purpose 
of vanquishing this hero in running." 

" Alas !" said the giant, "weak is your dependence and feeble 
your champion for propping and preserving the monarchy of Ire- 
land; and if Keelie MacRonan be your Tree of Defiance, yo\xzx^ 
already a man without a country." 

" It is I, then," said Finn, "who am sorry you should sayso; 
and what to do in this extremity I cannot tell." 


"I will show you," replied the gigantic man: "just do yoa 
say nothing at all, but cccept of nie as the opponent of this cham- 
pion; audit may happen that I shall be able to get you out of 
your dLflficulty." 

"Ob," said Finn, " for the matter of that, it is my ownnotioa 
that you have enough to do if you can carry your big coat and 
drag your shoes with you one half mile of ground in a day, 
without trying to rival such a hero as Ironbones in valor or 

"You may have what notions you like," returned the giant, 
" but I tell you that if I am not able to give battle to this fighting 
hero, there never has been and there is not now a man in Ireland 
able to cope with him. But never mind, Finn MacCoola, let not 
your spirits be cast down, for I will take it on myself to deliver 
you from the danger that presses on you." 
"What is your name?" demanded Finn. 
" Bodach-an-Chota-Lachtna (the Churl with the Grey Coat) is 
my name," the giant answered. 

" Well, then, " said Finn, "you will do well to come along 
with me." So Finn turned back, and the Bodach went with him; 
but we have no account of their travels till they reached Bineadar. 
There, when the Fians lieheld the Bodach attired in such a fashion 
and trim, they were all very much surprised, for they had never 
before seen the like of him; and they were greatly overjoyed 
that ho should make his appearance among them at such a criti- 
cal moment. 

As for Ironbones, he came before Finn, and asked him if he 
had got the man who was to contend with him in running. Finn 
made answer that he had, and that he was present among them; 
and thereupon he pointed out the Bodach to him. But as soon 
as Ironbones saw the Bodach, he was seized with astonishment, 
and his courage was damped at the sight of the gigantic propor- 
tions of the mighty man, but he pretended to be only very in- 
dignant, and exclaimed, "What ! do you expect me to demean 
myself by engaging in a contest with such an ugly, greasy, 
hateful-looking Bodach as that ? It is myself that will do no 


such thing J" said he ; and he stepped back and would not go 
near the Bodach. 

When the Bodach saw and heard this, he burst into a loud, 
hoarse, thunderous laugh, and said, "Come, Ironbones, this 
will not do; I am not the sort of person you affect to think me; 
and it is you that shall have proof of my assertion before to- 
morrow evening; so now, let me know," said he, " what is to be 
the length of the course you propose to run over, for over the 
same course it is my intention to run along with you; and if I do 
not succeed in running that distance with you, it is a fair con- 
clusion that you win the race, and in like manner if I do succeed 
in outstripping you, then it stands to reason that y6u lose the 

'•There is sense and rationaRty in your language," replied 
Ironbones, for ho saw that he must submit, " and I agree to 
what you say, but it is my wish not to have the course shorter 
or longer than three score miles.'' 

" Well," said the Bodach, *' that will answer me too, for it is 
just three score miles from Mount Loocra in Munster to Bineadar; 
and it will be a pleasant run for the pair of us; but if you find 
that I am not able to finish it before you, of course the victory is 

Ironbones replied that he would not contradict so evident a 
proposition, whereupon the Bodach resumed: •* Wliatit is proper 
for you to do now," said he, "is to come along with me south- 
ward to Mount Loocra this evening, in order that we may make 
ourselves acquainted with the ground we are to go over to-mor- 
row on our return; and we can stop for the night on the Mount, 
so that we may be able to start with the break of day." To this 
also Ironbones acceded, saying it was a judicious speech, and 
that he had nothing to object to it. 

Upon this the two competitors commenced their journey, and 
litde was the delay they made till they arrived at Mount Loocra 
in Munster. As soon as they had got thither, the Bodach again 
addressed Ironbones, and told him that he thought their best 
plan would be to build a hut in the adjoining wood, that so they 


might be protected from the inclemency of the night: "for it 
seems to me, O son of the King of Thessaly," said he, "that 
if we do not, we are likely to have a hard couch and cold quar- 
ters on this exposed hill." 

To this Ironbones made reply as thus: " You may do so, if 
you please, O Bodach of the Big Coat, but as for me, I am Iron- 
bones, and care not for dainty lodging, and I am mightily disin- 
clined to give myself the trouble of building a house hereabouts 
only to sleep in it one night and never see it again; howlteit, if 
you are desirous of employing your hands there is nobody to 
cross you; you may build, and I shall stay here until you have 

" Very good," said the Bodach, " and build I will; but I shall 
take good care that a certain person who refuses to assist me 
shall have no share in my sleeping-room, should I succeed in 
making it as comfortable as I hope to do;" and with this he be- 
took himself into the wood, and began cutting down and shap- 
ing pieces of timber with the greatest expedition, never ceasing 
until he had got together six pair of stakes and as many of raft- 
ers, which, with a sufficient quantity of brushwood and green 
rushes for thatch, he carried, bound in one load, to a convenient 
spot, and there set them up at once in regular order; and this 
part of his work being finished, he again entered the wood, and 
carried from thence a good load of di-y green sticks, which he 
kindled into a fire that reached from the back of the hut to the 

Wliile the fire was blazing merrily he left the hut, and again 
addressing his companion, said to him: " O son of the King of 
Thessaly, called by men Ironbones, are you provided with pro- 
visions for the night, and have you eatables and drinkables to 
keep you from hunger and thirst ?" 

" No, I have not," said Ironbones proudly; " it is myself that 
used never to be without people to provide victuals for me when 
I wanted them," said he. 

"Well, but," said the Bodach, " you have not your people near 
you now, and so the best thing you can do is to come and bant 


with me in the wood, and vAy hand to you, we shall soon have 
enough of victuals for both of us." 

*' I never practiced pedestrian hunting," said Ironbones; " and 
with the like of you I never hunted at all, and I don't think I 
shall begin now," said he, in a very dignified sort of way. 

" Then I must try my luck by myself," said the Bodach; and 
off again he bounded uito the wood, and after he had gone a lit- 
tle way he roused a herd of wild swine and pursued them into 
the recesses of the wood, and there he succeeded in separating 
from the rest the biggest and fattest hog of the herd, which he 
soon ran down and carried to his hut, where he slaughtered it, 
and cut it into two halves, one of which he placed at each side of 
the fire on a self-moving holly-spit. He then darted out once 
more, and stopped not until he reached the mansion of the Baron 
of Inchiquin, which was thirty miles distant, from whence he 
carried off a table and a chair, two barrels of wine, and all the 
bread fit for eating he could lay his hands on, all of which he 
brought to Mount Loocra in one load. When he again entered 
his hut, he found his hog entirely roasted and in nice order for 
mastication; so he laid half the meat and bread on the table, and 
sitting down, disposed of them with wonderful alacrity, drink- 
ing at the same time precisely one barrel of the wine, and no 
more, for he reserved the other, as well as the rest of the solids, 
for his breakfast in thiJ morning. Having thus finished his sup- 
per, he shock a large number of green rushes over the floor, and 
laying himself down, soon fell into a comfortable sleep, which 
lasted until the rising of the sun next morning. 

As soon as the morning was come, Ironbones, who had got 
neither food nor sleep the whole night, came down from the 
mountain's side and awoke the Bodach, telling him that it was 
time to conunence their contest. The Bodach raised his head, 
rubbed his eyes, and replied: " I have another hour to sleep yet, 
and when I get up I have to eat half a hog and drink a barrel of 
wine; but as you seem to be in a hurry, you have my consent to 
proceed on your way before me; and you may be sure I will fol- 
low you." So spying, he laid his head down and fell again 


a-snoring, and upon seeing this, Ironbones began the race by 
himself, but he moved along heavily and dispiritedly, for he be- 
gan to have great dread and many misgivings, by reason of the 
indifference with which the Bodach appeared to regard the issue 
of the contest. 

When the Bodach had slept his fill he got up, washed his 
hands and face, and having placed his bread and meat on the 
table, he proceeded to devour them with great expedition, and 
then washed them down with his barrel of wine, after which he 
collected together all the bones of the hog and put them into a 
pocket in the skirt of his coat. Then setting out on his race in 
company with a pure and cool breeze of wind, he trotted on and 
on, nor did he ever halt in his rapid course until he had over- 
taken Ironbones, who, with a dejected air and drooping head, 
was wending his way before him. The Bodach threw down the 
bare bones of the hog in his path, and told him he was quite 
welcome to them, and that if he could find any pickings on them 
he might eat them. "For," said he, " you must surely be hun- 
gry by this time, and myself can wait until you finish your 

But Ironbones got into a great passion on hearing this, and he 
cried, " You ugly Bodach with the Big Coat, you greasy, lub- 
berly, uncouth tub of a man, I would see you hanged, so I 
would, Ijefore you should catch me picking such dirty common 
bones as these — hogs' bones, that have no meat on them at all, 
and have moreover been gnawed by your own long, ugly, bear- 
ish tusks." 

" Oh, very well," replied the Bodach, '* then we will not have 
any more words about them for bones, but let me recommend to 
you to adopt some more rapid mode of locomotion, if you desire 
to gain the crown, sovereignty and tribute of the kingdom of 
Ireland this turn, for if you go on at your present rate, it is sec- 
ond best that you will be after coming off, I'm thinking." And 
having spoken, off he darted as swift as a shadow, or a roebuck, 
or a blast of wind rushing down a mountain declivity on a March 
day, Ironbones in the mean time being about as much able to 


keep pace with him as he was to scale the firmament; nor did he 
check his own speed uatil he had proceeded thirty miles o"n the 
course. He then stopped for awhile to eat of the blackberries 
which grew in great abundance on the way, and while he was 
thus employed, Ironbones came up with him and spoke to him. 
" Bodach, " said he, " ten miles behind us I saw one skirt of 
your gray coat, and ten miles further back again I saw another 
skirt; and it is my persuasion, and I am clearly of the opinion, 
that you ought to return for those two skirts without more to do, 
and pick them up." 

•' Is it the skirts of this big coat that I have on me you mean ?" 
asked the Bodacli, looking down at his legs. 

"VVhy, to bfi sure it is them that I mean," answered Iron- 

"Well," said the Bodach, "I certainly must get my coat 
skirts again, and so I will run back for them if you consent to 
stop here ea'dn^ blackberries until I return." 

"What nonsense you talk !" cried Ironbones. " I tell you I 
am decidedly resolved not to loiter on the race, and my fixed 
determination is not to eat any blackberries." 

" Then move on before me," said the Bodach, upon which 
Ironbones pushed onward, while the Bodach retraced his steps to 
the different spots where the skirts of his coat were lying, and 
having found them and tacked them to the body of the coat, he 
resumed his route and again overtook Ironbones, whom he thus 
addressed: " It is needful and necessary that I should acquaint 
you of one thing, O Ironbones, and that is that you must run at 
a faster rate than you have hitherto used, and keep pace with 
me on the rest of the course, or else there is much likelihood and 
considerable probability that the victory will go against you, be- 
cause I win not again have to go back either for my coat-skirts 
or anything else;" and having given his companion this warn- 
ing, ha set off once more in his usual manner, nor did he stop 
until he reached the side of a hill, within ten miles of Bineadar, 
where he again fall a-plucking blackberries, and ate an extraor- 
dinary number of them. When he could eat no more, his jaws 


being tired and his stomach stuffed, he took off his great coat, 
and handling liis needle and thread, he sewed it into the form of 
a capacious sack, which he fUhxi with blackberries; this he slung 
over his shoulders, and then off he scampered for Bineadar, 
greatly refreshed, and with the speed of a young buck. 

In the mean time, Fiiin and his troops were awaiting in great 
doubt and dread for the result of the race, though, without 
knowing who the Bodach was, they had a certain degree of con- 
fidence in him; and there was a champion of the Fenians on the 
top of the Hill of Howth, who had been sent thither by Finn, 
and had been there from an early hour of the morning to see 
wliich of the competitors would make his appearance first in 
view. When this man s^iw the Bodach coming over the nearest 
eminence, with his heavy burden on hi^ back, he thought that to 
a certainty it was Ironbones whom he beheld, and fled back quite 
terrified to Finn and the troops, telling them Ironbones was com- 
ing up, carrying the Bodach, dead, over his slioulders. This 
news at first depressed Finn and the troops; but Finn by and by 
exclaimed, "I will give a suit of ai'mor and arms to the man who 
brings me better news than that !" whereupon one of the heroes 
went forth, and he had not proceeded far when he espied the 
Bodach advancing tcr.vard the outposts of the troops, and know- 
ing him at a glance, he flew back to Finn and announced to him 
the glad tidings. 

Finn thereupon went joyfull5' out to meet the Bodach, who 
speedily came up and threw down his burden, crying out aloud, 
"I have good and famous news for all of you; but," added he, 
" my hunger is great, and my desire for food pressmg; and lean- 
not tell you what has occurred until I have eaten a very large 
quantity of oatmeal and blackberries. Now, as for the latter, 
that is, the blackberries, I have got them myself in this big sack, 
but the oatmeal I expect to be provided for me by you; and I 
hope that you will lose no time in getting it, and laying it be- 
fore me, for I ana weak for the want of nutriment, and my cor- 
poreal powers are beginning to be exhausted." Upon hearing 
UiJ3 Finn rc,ilicdvthat his request should be at once attended to. 


and'in a little space of time, accordingly, there was spread under 
the Bodach a cloth of great length and breadth, with a vast heap 
of oatmeal in the middle of it, into which the Bodach emptied 
out all the blackberries in his bag; and havnig stirred the entire 
mass about for some time with a long pole, he commenced eating 
and swallowing with much vigor and determination. 

He had not long been occupied in this way before he descried 
Ironbones coming towards the troops with h's hand on the hilt 
of his sword, his eyes flaming like red coals in his head, and 
ready to commence slaughtering all before him because he had 
been vanquished in the contest. But he was not fated to put his 
designs into execution, for when the Bodach saw what wicked- 
ness he had in his mind, he took up a handful of the oatmeal and 
blackberries, and dashing it towards Ironbones with an unerring 
aim, it struck him so violently upon his face that it sent his head 
spinning througii the air half a mile from his body, which fell to 
the ground and there remained writhing in all the agonies of its 
recent separation, until the Bodach had concluded his meal. 
The Bodach then rose up and went in quest of the head, which, 
after a little searching about, he found; and casting it from his 
hands with an unsrring aim, he sent it bowling along the ground 
all the half mile back again, until coming to the body it stopped 
and fastened itself on as well as ever, the only difference being 
that the face was now turned completely round to the back of the 
neck, while the back of the head was in front. 

The Bodach having accomplished this feat much to his satis- 
faction, now grasped Ironbones finnly by the middle, threw him 
to the ground, tied him hand and foot so that he could not stir, 
and addressed him in these words: " O Ironbones, justice has 
overtaken yon; the sentence your own vain mind had passed on 
others is about to be pronounced against yourself; and all the 
liberty that I feel disposed to leave you is the liberty of choosing 
what kind of death you think it most agreeable to die of. What 
a silly notion you did get into your noddle, surely, when you 
fancied that you, single-handed, could make yourself master of 
the crown, sovereignty, and tributes of Ireland, even though 


there had been nobody to thwart your arrogant designs but my- 
self! But take comfort and \x consoled, for it shall never be said 
of the Fians of Ireland that they took mortal vengeance on a 
single foe without any warriors to back him; and if you be a per- 
son to whom life is a desirable possession, I am willing to allow 
you to live, on condition that you will solemnly swear by the 
son and moon that you will send the chief tributes of Thessaly 
every year to Finn MacCoole here in Ireland." 

With many wry faces did Ironboncs at length agree to take 
this oath; upon which the Bodach loosed his shackles and gave 
him liberty to stand up; then having conducted him towards the 
seashore, he made him go into the ship, to which, after turning 
its prow from the shore, he administered a kick in the stem, 
which sent it seven miles over the waters at once. And such was 
the manner in which Ironbones executed his vainglorious project, 
and iirthis way it was that he was sent off from the shores of Ire- 
land, without victory, honor or glory, and deprived of I he power 
of evef again boasting himself to be the first man on the earth 
in battlb or combat. 

But on the return of the Bodach to the troops, the sun and the 
wind light&S up one side of his face and his head in such a way 
that Fin and the Fians at once recognized him as Manannan Mac 
Lir, the Tutelary Faiiy of Cruachan, who had come to afford 
them his assistiuice in their exigency. They welcomed him ac- 
cordingly with all the honor that was due to him, and feasted 
him sumptuously for a year and a day. And these are the ad- 
ventures of the Bodach-an-Chota-Lachtna. 



When Handy Andy grew up to be "a brave lump of a boy," 
his mother thought he was old enough to do something for him- 
self, so she took him one day along with her to the Squire's, and 
waited outside the door until chance might give her "a sight of 
the Squire afore he wint out or afore he wint in," and after 
spending her entire day in this idle way at last the Squire made 
his appearance, and Judy presented her son, who kept scraping 
his foot, and pulling his forelock, that stuck out like a piece of 
ragged thatch from his forehead, making his obeisance to the 
Squire, while his mother was sounding his praises for " bein' the 
handiest crayture alive — an' so williu' — nothin' comes wrong to 

" 1 suppose the English of all this is, you want me to take 
him," said the Squire. 

" Throth, an' yer honor, that's just it — if your honor would be 

" What can he do ?" 

" Anything, your honor." 

" Thai means twthing, I suppose," said the Squire. 

"Oh, no, sir. Everything, I mane, that you would desire 
to do." 

" Can he take care of horses ?" 

" The best of care sir," said the mother, while the miller, who 
was standing behind the Squire, waiting for orders, made a grim- 
ace at Andy, who was obliged to cram his face into his hat to 
hide the laugh, which he could hardly smother from l^eiag heard 
as well as seen. 


"Let him come, then, and help in the stables, and we'll see 
what we can do." 

"May the Lord—" 

"That'll do — there now, go." 

"Oh, sure, but I'll pray for you, and — " 

"Will you go?" 

"And may the angels make your honor's bed this blessed 
night, I pray." 

" If you don't go, your son shan't come." 

Judy and her hopeful son turned to the right about in doable, 
quick time, and hurried down the avenue. 

The next day Andy was duly installed into his office of stable- 
keeper; and, as he was a good rider, he was soon made whipp>er- 
in to the hounds, and Andy's boldness in this capacity soon made 
him a favorite with the Squire, who scorned the attentions of a 
valet, and let any one that chance threw in his way bring his 
boots, or his hot water for shaving, or his coat whenever it was 
brushed. One morning, Andy, who was very often the attend- 
ant on such occasions came to his room with hot water. He 
tapped at the door. 

" Who's that ?" said the Squire, who had just risen. 

"It's me, sir." 

"Oh — Andy, come in." 

" Here's the hot water, sir," said Andy, bearing an enormous 
tin can. 

" \Miy, what the deuce brings that tin can here ? You might 
as well bring the stable bucket." 

"I beg you pardon, sir," said Andy, retreating. 
In two minutes more Andy came back, and tapping at the 
door, put in his head cautiously, and said "The maids in the 
kitchen, your honor, says there's not so much hot wather ready." 

" Did I not see it a moment since in your hand?" 

" Yes, sir, but that's not nigh the full o' the shtable-bucket." 

" Go along, you stupid thief! and get me some hot water di- 

"Will the can do, sir?" 


"Aye, anything, so make haste." 

Off posted Andy, and back he came with the can. 

"Where'll I put it, sir?" 

"Throw this out," said the Squire, handing Andy a jug con- 
taining some cold water, meaning the jug to be replenished with 
the hot. 

Andy took the jug, and the window of the room being open, 
he very deliberately threw the jug out. The Squire stared with 
wonder, and at last said: 

"What did you do that for?" 

" Sure you towld me to thi-ow it out, sir." 

"Go out of this, you thick-headed villain !" said the Squire, 
throwing his boots at Andy's head, along with some very neat 
curses. Andy retreated, and thought himself a very ill-used 

Though Andy's regular duty was "whipper-in," yet he was 
liable to be called on to attend at table, when the number of 
guests required that all the subs, should be put in requisition, or 
rode on some distant errand for the " mistress," or drove out the 
nurse and children on the jaunting car, and many were the mis- 
takes, delays or accidents that occurred. 

The first time Andy was admitted into the mysteries of the 
dining-room, great was his wonder. The butler took him in to 
give him some previous instructions, and Andy was so astonished 
at the sight of the assembled glass and plate, that he stood with 
his mouth and eyes wide open, and scarcely heard a word that 
was said to him. After the head man had been dinning his in- 
structions into him for some time, he said he might go until his 
attendance was required. But Andy moved not; he stood with 
his eyes fixed by a sort of fascination on some object that seemed 
to rivet them with the same unaccountable influence which the 
rattlesnake exercises over its victim. 

" Wliat are you looking at ?" said the butler. 

" Them things, sir," said Andy, pointing to some silver forks. 

**\Vhat tilings do you mean ?" 

"These things, sir," said Andy, taking up one of the silver 


forks, and turning it round and round in his hand in utter aston- 
ishment, while the butler grinned at his ignorance, and enjoyed 
his own superior laiowledge. 

"Well," said Andy, after a long pause, " the devil be from 
me if ever I seen a silver spoon split that way before." 

The butler gave a hoarse laugh, and made a standing joke of An- 
dy's splitspcon ; but time and experience made Andy less impressed 
with wonder at the show of plate and glass, and the split spoons 
became familiar as " household words " to him; yet still there 
were things in the duties of table attendance beyond Andy's com- 
prehension — he used to hand cold plates for fish, and hot plates 
for jelly, etc. But "one day," as Zanga says, "one day " lie 
was thrown off his centre in a remarkable degree by a bottle of 

It was when that combustible was first introduced into Ireland 
as a dinner beverage that the occurrence took place, and Andy 
had the luck to be the person to whom a gentleman applied for 
some soda-water. 

"Sir," said Andy. 

" Soda-water," said the guest, in that subdued tone in which 
people are apt to name their wants at the dinner-table. 

Andy went to the butler. "Mr. Morgan, there's a gintle- 
man — " 

"Let me alone, will you?" said Mr. 

Andy manceuvred round him a little longer, and again essayed 
to be heard. " Mr. Morgan—" 

"Don't you see I'm as busy as I can be? Can't you do it 

"I dunna what he wants." 

"Well, go an' ax him," said Mr. Morgan. 

Andy went off as he was bidden, and came behind the thirsty 
gentleman's chair, with " I beg your pardon, sir." 

"Well," said the gentleman. 

" I Ijeg your pardon, sir, but what^s this you axed me for ?" 

" Soda-water !" 

"What, sir?" 


•' 9oda-^ater; but perhaps you have not any." 

*• Oh, there's plenty in the house, sir. Would you like it hot, 

The gentleman laughed, and supposing the new fashion was 
not understood in the present company, said: " Never mind." 

But Andy was too anxious to please to be so satisfied, and 
again applied to Mr. Morgan. 

" Sir !" said he. 

"Bad luck from you ! Can't you let me alone ?" 

"There's a gintleman wants some soap and wather." 


"Soap and wather, sir." 

" The sorrow sweep you ! soda-water, you mane. You'll get 
it imder the sideboard." 

" Is it in the can, sir ?" 

" No, you dhunderhead ! in the bottles." 

"Is this it, sir?" said Andy, producing a bottle of ale. 

" No, bad cess to you ! the little bottles." 

" Is it the little bottles with no bottoms, sir ?" 

" I ■wish. foie wor in the bottom o' the say," said Mr. Morgan, 
who was fuming and puffing, and rubbing down his face with a 
napkin as he was hurrying to all quarters of the room, or, as 
Andy said in praising his activity, that he was " like bad luck, 

" There they are," said Mr. Morgan at last. 

" Oh, them bottles that wont stand," said Andy, " sure them's 
what I said, with no bottoms to them. How'U I open it? It's 
tied down." 

"Cut the cord, you fool." 

Andy did as he was desired; and he happened at the time to 
hold the bottle of soda-water on a level with the candles that 
shed light over the festive board from a large silver branch, and 
the moment he made the incision, bang went the bottle of soda- 
water, knocking out two of the lights with the projected cork, 
which, performing its parabola the length of the room, struck the 
Squire himself in the eye at the foot of the table; while th« hos- 


tess at the head had a cold bath down her back. Andy, when 
he saw the soJa- water jumping out of the bottle, held it from 
him at arm's length; every fizz it made exclaiming, " Ow t — ow 
— ow !" and, at last, when the bottle was empty, he roared out, 
" Oh, Lord !— it's all gone !" 

Great was the commotion; few could resist laughter, except 
the ladies, -who all looked at their gowns, not liking the mixture 
of satin aad soda- water. The extinguished candles were re- 
lighted — the Squire got his eye open again; and the next time he 
perceived the butler sufficiently near to speak to him, he said in 
a low and huried tone of deep anger, " Send that fellow out of 
the room," but, within the same instant, resumed his former 
smile, that beamed on all around as if nothing had hap- 

Andy was expelled the salle a manger, and when the butler 
held up Andy's ignorance to ridicule, by telling how he asked 
for " soap and wather," he was given the name of " suds," and 
was called by no other for months after. 

Even in his outdoor functions, Andy's evil genius haunted 
him, and he put his foot in a piece of business which was so 
simple as to defy almost the chance of Andy making any mis- 
take about it; but Andy was very ingenious in his own particu- 
lar line. 

" Ride into the town and see if there's a letter for me," said 
the Squire one day to our hero. 

" Yes, sir." 

" You know where to go ?" 

"To the town, sir." 

" But do you know where to go in the town?'* 

♦'No, sir." 

" And why don't you ask, you stupid thief?" 

"Sure I'd find out, sir." 

" Didn't I often tell you to ask wliat you're to do, when you 
don't know ?" 

"Yes, sir." 

" And why don't you ?" 


•' I don^t like to be throublesome, sir. " 

" Confound you," said the Squire. 

" Well," continued he, " go to the post-office. You know the 
post-office, I suppose ?" 

"Yes, sir, where they sell gun-powdher. " 

"You're right for once. Go then to the post-office and ask for 
a letter for me. Remember — not gunpowder, but a letter." 

"Yes, sir," said Andy, who got astride of his hack, and trot- 
ted away to the post-office. On arriving at the shop of the post- 
master (for that person carried on a brisk trade in groceries, etc.), 
Andy preseuted himself at the counter and said, " I want a letther, 
if you plaze." 

"Who do you want it for?" said the postmaster, in a tone 
which Andy considered an aggression upon the sacredness of pri- 
vate life; so Andy, in contempt of the prying impertinence of the 
postmaster, repeated his question. 

"I want a letther, sir, if you plaze." 

" And who do you want it for ?" repeated the postmaster. 

"What's that to you?" said Andy. 

The postmaster told him he could not give him a letter till he 
gave the direction. 

" The directions I got was to get a letther here; that'sthe direc- 

"Who gave you those directions?" 

"The masther." 

" And who's your master?" 

" What consam is that of yours ?" 

"Why, you stupid rascal, if you don't tell me his name how can 
I give you a letther?" 

" You could give it if you liked ; but you're fond of axin' im- 
pident questions, bekase you think I'm simple." 

" Go along out o' this ! Your master must be as great a goose 
as yourself to send such a messenger." 

" Bad cess to your impidence," said Andy, " is it Squire Egan 
you dare say goose to?" 

"Oh, Squire Egan's your master, then?" 


** Yes ; have you anything to say agin it ?" 

♦' Only that I never saw you before." 

•'Faith, thin, you'll never see me again, if I have meowncon- 

"I won't give you any letter for the Squire, unless I know 
you're his servant. Is there any one in town knows you ?" 

"Plinty. It's not every one is as ignorant as you." Just at 
this moment a person to whom Andy was known came in, and 
vouched to the postmaster that he might give Andy the letter. 

" Have you one for me ?" 

"Yes, sir," said the postmaster, producing one — "four- 
pence." The gentleman paid the four-pence postage, and left 
the shop with his letter. 

" Here's a letter for the Squire," said the postmaster; " you've 
to pay me eleven -pence postage. ' ' 

"What ud I pay eleven-pence for?" 

"For postage." 

" To the puck wid you. Didn't I see you give Mr. Dunphy a 
letther for four-pence this minit, and a bigger letther than this ? 
and now you want me to pay eleven-pence for this scrap of a 
thing. Do you think I'm a fool ?" 

"No, but I'm sure of it," said the postmaster. 

"Well, you're welkum to be sure, sir — but don't be delayin' 
me now; here's four-pence for you, and gi' me the letther." 

" Go along, you stupid thief," said the postmaster, taking up 
the letter and going to serve a customer with a mouse-trap. 

Meanwhile Andy lounged up and down the shop, every now 
and then saying, "Will ye gi' me the letther?" 

He waited over half an hour, and left, when he found it impos- 
sible to get common justice for his master. The Squire in the 
mean time was getting impatient for his return, and when Andy 
made his appearance, asked if there was a letter for him. 

"There is, sir," said Andy. 

" Then give it to me." 

"I haven't it, sir." 

"What do you mean?" 

" He wouldn't give it to me." 

" Who wouldn't give it to you ?" 


"Thatould chate beyant in the town — wantin' to charge 
double for it." 

"Maybe it's a douMe letter. WTiy didn't you pay what he 
asked, sir?" 

" Arrah, sir, why would I let you be chated ? It's not a double 
letther at all ; not above half the size o' one Mr. Dunphy got 
before my face for four-pence apiece." 

"Go back, you scoundrel! or I'll horsewhip you; and if 
you're longer than an hour I'll have you ducked in the horse- 

Andy vanished and made a second visit to the post-office. 
When he arrived two other persons were getting letters, and the 
postmaster was selecting the epistles for each from a large par- 
cel; at the same time many shop customers were waiting to be 

•Tm come for that letther," said Andy. 
'* I'll attend to you by and by." 
"The masther's in a hurry." 
"Let him wait till his hurry's over." 
" He'll murther me if I'm not back soon." 
"I'm glad to hear it." 

Meanwhile Andy's eye caught the heap of letters which lay on 
the counter; so while certain weighing of soap and tobacco was 
going forward, he contrived to become possessed of two letters 
from the heap, and, having effected that, waited patiently enough 
till it was the great man's pleasure to give him the missive 
directed to his master. 

Then did Andy bestride his hack, and, in triumph at his trick 
on the postmaster, rattled along the road homewards, as fast as 
the beast could carry him. He came into the Squire's presence, 
his face beiming with delight, and an air of self-satisfied superi- 
ority in bis manner, quite unaccountable to his master, until he 
pulled forth his hand, which had been grubbing up his prizes 
from the bottom of his pocket, and holding three letters over his 
head, while he said, "Look at that!" he next slapped them 
down under his broad fist on the table before the Squire, exclaim- 
ing, "Well ! if he did make me pay eleven-pence, by gor, I 
broaght your honor the worth o' your money, anyhow." 



At the foot of a hill, in a lonely district of the County Cork 
about a dozen miles from my native village, there lived, in old 
times, a poor man named Larry Roche. He was, they say, de- 
scended from that family of the Roches once so mighty in the 
south of Ireland, and some branches of which still retain a con- 
siderable degree of their former consequence and respectability. 
Poor Larry, however, although the blood of kings might flow 
through his veins, was neither rich nor respectable. Yet Larry 
was not discontented with his situation ; and, although some- 
times he might feel disposed to envy those on whom fortune 
smiled, yet, on cool reflection, he would console himself with the 
consideration that it was not every one was bom with a silver 
spoon in his mouth. Thus rolled away Larry's days in poverty 
and contentment. In the shooting season his time was occupied 
in following his master over heath and hillock with his game- 
bag on his shoulder, while the rest of his time was spent in 
chatting with the crones of the vicinity about his family connec- 
tions, or the fairies of Glendharig, or squabbling with his good 
woman and her young one.-j ; for Larry was married, and as his 
wife was exactly a counterpart of himself, every hour of course 
gave fresh cause for that bickering and disagreement so often the 
result of untimely and ill-assorted marriages. 

The only domestic animal in or about Larry Roche's cabin was 
a ferocious-looking old black tom-cat, far bigger and stronger 
than any cat ever seen in that part of the country. His fur was 
black, he had strong whiskers, his nails were like a tiger's, and 
at the end cf his tail was fixed a claw or "gafl" as sharp and 
hooked as a falcon 's beak ; his eyes also flashed by night with aa 


appalling glare, and his cry was a savage howl, baffling all de- 
scription, and unlike any sound ever heard from any other ani- 
mal. He was as singular in his habits, too, as in his appearance. 
Me was never known to demand a morsel of food; and if offered 
any, he would reject it with indignation. Every evening at twi- 
light he left the fireside, and spent the night scouring over moor 
and heather, aild at daybreak would retuna from his foray, gain- 
ing access tluough the low chimney of the cabin, and be found 
in the morning in his usual position on the hob-stone. There he 
would sit fro:n morning till night; and when Larry and Betty 
and the " chlldre " were chatting in a group around the fire, the 
cat would watch them intently, and if the fiature of their conver- 
sation was such as to excite laughter or merriment, he would 
growl in a low tone, evidently dissatisfied; but if their dialogues 
were held in a jarring, angry strain, as sometimes happened, he 
would purr Ir.^arsely and loudly, whilst the wagging of his tail 
testified the pleasure he felt in their feuds and dissensions. The 
family had often been advised to make away with him, but super- 
stitious awe or family prejudice prevented them; and although 
the v>i?,ole neighborhood averred that "he was no right thing," 
yet IDT the reasons I have stated his owners could never be in- 
duced to make any attempt to banish or destroy him. 

One dreary evening in October, Larry returned from his day's 
wandering with the squire over the bleak bogs, and although it 
mined, and the wind blew bitterly, he appeared in much better 
spirits than was usual with him on similar occasions. His wife 
wondered, and made more than usual preparations to please 
him. She trimmed the fire, and assisted him in taking off his 
dripping clothes, and then commenced pouring out her sympathy 
for his sufferings. 

*' Oh, never mind," said Larry, " I have good news." 
" Arrah, sit down," said Betty, "and tell us what it is." 
Larry sat down, and putting his hand in his pocket, pulled out 
a glittering gold coin. 

"Arrah, Larry, avoumeen, what's that?" asked the woman. 
*'Faith, it's a rale yellow boy; a good goold guinea," replied 


Larry. *' The squire gev it to me, and tould me to buy a pair 
of brogucQ with it, and drink his health with the balance." 

"Och, musha ! then, long life to him," vociferated Betty; 
"and, Lari^y, a-hagur, will you buy the brogues?" 

" F;','x and I will," said Larry, " and another rattling pair for 
youi'scif, a-chorfa." 

"Ay, daddy, and another pair for me," shouted young Larry. 
"And another for me," cried Thady. 
"And another for me," chuckled Charley. 
" Ay, and two pair for me," cried the black cat, speaking in a 
wild, uneartlily tone from the hob-stone, and breaking forth into 
a horrible laugh. 

" The sorrow knock the daylights out of yez all," cried Larry, 
without seeming to take any notice of the strange circumstance, 
though his heart died within him with terror and surprise. 

" Lord have mercy on us!" faintly ejaculated Betty, signing 
her brow, whilst aH the children started up in terror, and ran be- 
hind their parents in the chimney-corner. 

All this time the cat remained silent on the hob; but his aspect, 
at all times terrible, now seemed perfectly monstrous and hideous. 
For some time a death-like silence was preserved, but at last 
Larry plucked up courage to address the speaking animal. 

" Li the name of God," he began, " what business have you 
with brogues?" 

" Ask me no questions," replied the cat, "but get me the 
brogues as soon as possible." 

"Oh, by all means," replied Larry, quite gently, "you must 
have them; and why did you not ask them long ago, and you 
should have got them?" 

"My time was not come," replied Puss, briefly. 
" Well," resumed Larry, " to-morrow is Sunday, and at day- 
break I will start off to my gossip, Phadruig Donovan's, in Mill 
Street, to engage the brogues; he is the best brogueniaker in the 
county, and he's my first gossip besides." 

" I know all that," said the cat, as he leaped up the cliimney, 
on his departure to the scene of his midnight wanderings. " Good 


night, Larry, and don't forget your engagement ;" and he disap- 
peared through the gathering gloom, to the great relief of poor 
Larry and his terrified family. 

That was a sad and uneasy night with poor Larry and his wife 
and children. They did not go to bed at all, but sat trembling 
at the fire, expecting every moment that the black imp would re- 
turn with legions of fiends to carry them away, body and bones, 
to the regions below. Numerous were the plans proposed for 
getting rid of their old companion, but all were rejected — some as 
inefficient, others as impracticable ; and the only point on which 
they could finally agree, was, that their days were numbered, 
and that perhaps before morning their blood would be streaming 
on the hearth-stone, and their souls wandering through mire and 
morass, the prey of troops of fiends. 

At last the morning dawned, and as Larry, disconsolately 
enough, was preparing to set forward on his journey to Mill Street, 
the cat jumped down the chimney, and took his usual place on 
the hob. 

"Well, I am going now," said Larry; "have you any direc- 
tions to give about the brogues ?" 

The cat did not reply, but uttered a hideous growl, which fell 
heavily on the poor fellow's heart; so, kissing his wife and child- 
ren, and commending them to the protection of God, he set out 
on his sorrowful journey. 

He had not gone far when he perceived through the dim gray 
of the morning a human figure approaching; and on advancing 
a little nearer, he found that it was a very old man, of extremely 
diminutive stature and forbidding aspect. He wore an old gray 
coat and an equally old woolen cap, and his thin white hair de- 
scended to his knees; he was bare-foot, and carried a wallcing- 
stick io his hand. 

" Good morrow, and God save you, Larry Roche," said the old 
man as he came up. 

" A bright morning to you," answered Larry. 

'* How is every rope's length of you, Larry, and how is the 
woman and the childre at home ?" demanded the stranger. 


"Fane, purty well, considherin'," replied Larry ; "but you 
have a great advantage of me." 

" How's that?" said the old man. 

••Why, because you know me so well, while I have no more 
knowledge of you than of the man in the moon." 

"Och, I'd know your skin in a tan-yard," said the old chap, 
laughing. " But is it possible you don't know me ?" 

" Faix, if God Almighty knows no more about you than I do, 
the devil will have a prey of you one of these days," replied 

"Well, say no more about that," said the old fellow, rather 
angrily. "But where are you going this blessed Sunday morn- 
ing, Larry?" 

"To Mill Street," said Larry. 

•'All the ways — musha! what's taking you to Mill Street, 
Larry ?" 

"My feet and my business," said Larry, something piqued at 
the old fellow's inquisitive importunity. 

"You are very stiff this morning, Larry," said the stranger 
with a grin. 

•'I am worse than that," said the poor fellow; "the heart 
within me is sick and sore." 

•' And what troubles you now, Larry?" 

Larry hereupon told the whole of his strange misfortunes to 
the stranger, ending with a deep " ochonc," and wishing, if it 
was the will of God, that "his four bones were stretched in the 
church-yard of Kilebawn." 

"You'll \k there time enough for your welcome, maybe," 
said the old chap, "but that's neither here nor there. What 
will you do with the black cat?" 

" Och, sweet bad luck to all the cats alive, both black and 
wjiile," imprecated Larry. 

"That cat's a devil — a fiend," said the stranger; "and more 
than that, he intends to murder you and your family this very 

Larry groaned, whilst the stranger's hideous countenance was 
convulsed with half-suppressed laughter. 


**Well, Larry," said he again, " I am your friend, and I have 
power to save you and yours, on one condition; and that is, that 
you will stop up the window in the back wall of your cabin." 

" Faith and I'll do that with a heart and a half," said Larry ». 
"But what do you want that for?" 

"I'll tell you that another time," said the little man. 

" Go home now, and say you can't proceed to Mill Street with- 
out taking the wife and children with you, to leave tl.e measure 
of their feet for the brogues. Tell the cat also that he must 
come too, to have his fit taken ; then tie him up in a bag, and 
bring him with you; fasten this hair around your neck," added 
the old man, at the same time extracting a single white hair from 
his head, " and all the imps of hell cannot hurt you. But mind 
and don't open your lips from the time you leave home till you 
come to this spot; and when you arrive here with the cat, sit 
down and wait the event." 

A thick fog now suddenly rose, and the old man was hidden 
fixnn the sight of Larry, who, greatly overjoyed, returned to his 
cabin to execute the orders he had got, and was met by his wife, 
who was trembling for his safe return, but did not expect him 
sooner than night. 

"Musha! Larry agragal, you're welcome," she exclaimed; 
"and what in the name of God turned you back?" 

♦'I am coming for you and the gorsoons; you must all come 
to Mill Street to have your measure taken for the brogues." 

" And must I go too ?" asked the cat. 

"Faix you must," said Larry; "if natural Christians couldn't 
be fitted without bein' on the spot, it's hard to expect that you 

" And how am I to travel ?" he asked. 

"In the bag on my back," replied Larry. "I'll whip you 
through tho country like a dinner to a hog, and man or mortal 
shall never be the wiser, if the broguemaker keeps his tongue 

" I'll CO bail he will," said Puss, " for I'll kill him the very 
night the brogues is brought home." 


" Lord tave mercy en him !" ejaculated Larry, his heart sink- 
ing within him. 

" Pray for yourself — maybe you want mercy as well as him," 
said the cat. 

The preparations were soon completed, and the cat being put in- 
to the bag, Larry tied the mouth of it firmly with a piece of cord, 
and thert slung it on his shoulder; and, after acquainting his wife 
with his adventure with the old man on " Moin-more, " he de- 
parted, whistling the air of " Thamama Thulla." 

He soon gained the spot where he had parted with the old man, 
and looking round and perceiving nobody, he sat down on the 
green fern, still holding the bag which contained his terrible 

" Whatstops you, Larry ?" asked the cat. 

Larry recollecting the old man's injunction, spoke not, but con- 
tinued whistling, 

" Does anything ail you, Larry ?" 

•'Whoo, hoo, phoo, hoo — Thamemo Chodladh." 

" Is Betty and the childre to the fore ?" 

" Thamemo Chodladh." 

"Bad cess to you and your 'Thamemo Chodladh,' " cried 
the cat. 

"That the prayers may fall on the preacher," said Larry to 

The cat now began to make desperate efforts to escape from 
the bag, whilst Larry redoubled his exertions to detain him. His 
attention, however, was soon airested by the cry of hounds, and 
on looking westward, he perceived, rapidly approaching over the 
morass, a big black horse, and accompanied by a numerous pack 
of black dogs. 

"Ochone," thought Larry, "now I am coached of all ever 
happened me. Here is the chap's black friends coming to rescue 
him, and they won't leave a toothful a-picce in my carcass." 

"Let me go, Larry," said the cat, "let me go, and I'll show 
yoU where there's a cart-load of gold buried in the ground." 
But Larry remained silent, and meantime the horseman and 
hounds came up. 


**Good morrow and good luck, Larry Roche," said the black 
equestrian, wilh a grim smile. 

"Good morrow, kindly," said Larry. 

"Is that a fox you have in the bag, Larry?" 

" No, in troth," said Larry, " though I believe he is not much 
honester than a foX." 

"I must see what it is, anyhow," said the sable horseman, 
with a gesticulation which convinced Larry at once that he was 
the fellow he Ijad seen before. 

So Larry opened the bag, and out jumped Puss, and away with 
him over the bog like a flash of lightning. The wild huntsman . 
hallooed his dogs, and the pursuit commenced, but the cat was 
soon surrounded and torn to pieces. 

"Now," said the horseman, "I must bid you fdl-ewell;" and 
off he went; and then Larry returned home with the happy 
tidings, and the squire's guinea was spent in the purchase of 
sundry bottles of " Tom Corcoran's " best potteen; but we must 
do Larry the justice to say that his agreement with the old man 
was punctually performed, and the back window stopped as 
effectually -as mud and stones could do it. 

A few nights after, Larry was aroused from his sleep by the 
merry tones of bagpipes at his fireside, and getting up he per- 
ceived the Idtchen illuminated with a bright, reddish glare, whilst 
on the hob-stofle he saw, snugly seated, the ever-remembered 
little old man, playing a set of bagpipes, to the delightful tones 
of which hundreds of little fellows with red caps and red small 
clothesAvere capering about the floor. 

♦'God bless the man and the work," said Larry; " and warm 
work yez have ov it this hour ov the night." 

The little fellow hereupon set up a shout, and rushing to the 
door, flew through it, one of them striking poor Larry a box on 
the right eye, which blinded it. 

"Goodnight, Misthur Larry," said the piper; "and how is 
your four bones? and how is the good woman that owns you?" 

" Och, no fear at all ov the woman," replied Larry; " and as 
for my bones, they are well enough; but, faith, my right eye, I 
believe, is in whey in my head." 


: "Well, it will teach you how to speak to your betters in 
iiiture," said the little piper; "never mintion the holy name 
again, when talking to the 'good people.' 

"But, Larry, listen : I'll now tell you why I wanted you to 
stop up your back window. 

" You must know that this cabin of yours stands on the middle 
of a fairy pass. We often come this way in our wanderings 
through the air in cold nights, and often we wished to warm 
ourselv^ at your fireside; but as there was a window in the 
back of your cabin, we had not power to stop, but were com- 
pelled to pursue our journey. Now that the window is stopped, 
we can come in and remain as long as we wish, and resume our 
journey through the door by which we enter. We pass this way 
almost ever/'hight, and you need never feel in the least appre- 
hensive of injury so long as you let us pursue our pastimes undis- 

"I'U be bound me ermine shall never annoy one of yez," 
said Larry. 

"That's a good fellow, Larry," said the little chap; "and 
now take those pipes and play us a tune.'' 

" Och, the devil a chanter I ever fingered," said Larry, " since 
I was christened." 

" No matter," said the little fellow; " I'll go bail you'll play 
out of the soot." 

Larry "yoked" on the pipes, and lilted up in darling style 
a merry tune, whilst the old chap was ready to split with 
• " What's the name of that tchune ?" said Larry. 

" Caiih-na-bro^ueen," replied the fairy piper; "a tune I com- 
posed in memory of your escape from the cat; a tune that will 
soon become a favorite all over Munster." 

Larry handed back the pipes; the little man placed them in a 
•red bag, and, bidding his host "good night," dashed up the 

The next night, and almost every following night, the din of 
feiry revels might be beard at Larry Roche's fireside, and Larry 


himself was their constant companion in their midnight frolics. 
He soon became the best performer on the bagpipes in the south 
of Ireland, and after some time surrendered his cabin to the sole 
occupation of the "good people," and wandered with his family 
through all the Munster counties, and was welcome, and kindly 
treated wherever he came. After some time, the cabin from 
neglect fell, and offered no further impediment to the fairy host 
in their midnight wanderings, whilst Larry followed a life of 
pleasure and peace, far from the scene of his former perils and 

The cat, of course, was never seen after; but the peasantry of 
the neighborhood say that the screams of the infernal fiend^ 
mingled with the deep bowlings of hell-hounds and the savage- 
yellings of the sable hunter, may be distinctly heard in horrid 
chorus amongst 'ie fens and morasses of the broad Moin-more. 



A veiy long time ago, somewhere in the western part of the 
province of Munster, lived, in a small and wretched cabin, a poor 
widow, named Modreen Mera. She had three sons, two of whom 
were fine young men; but the third — and of him we shall soon 
hear a good deal — thoagh strong and active, was of a lazy dis- 
position, which resulted, as his mother at least always thought, 
not so much from any fault of his own, as from his natural fool- 
ishness of character; in fact, she really considered him as of that 
class called iji Ireland " naturals." But before we say anything 
of the tlurd son, let us trace the histories of his two elder brothers. 

Now the first, whose name was Mihal More, or Michael Big 
Fellow, never let his mother rest one moment imtil she had con- 
sented to his star'aDg, in order that he might, as he said, should 
he fall in \n£b. a good master, return, and perhaps make her com- 
fortable for tlic remainder of her days. 

To this plan, after much hesitation, Moireen Mera at length 
agreed, and the day was fixed by Mihal for starting. "And, 
mother," said he, "though you have but little left, and it is 
wrong to deprive you of it, if you woit/d hut bake me a fine cake 
of wheaten bread, and if you cotM hut spare me one of the hens 
— ah ! that would \x too much to ask ! — against the long road; 
could you, mother?" 

" Why not, Midhael? I could never refuse you anything; and 
you will want the cake and hen badly enough. And, Mihal 
avick asthord ! if you s/iouhl ever meet one of the good people, or 
anything you may think isnU right, pass it by, and say not a 


It was evenlag when he began his expedition, nor did he stop on 
the road till daylight returned, when he found himself in the cen- 
tre of a wood, and very faint and hungry. Seeing a convenient- 
looking rock nfar a place where he thought it most probable he 
should find waier, he sc.\ted himself, with the intention of satisfy- 
ing his hunger and tliirst. 

He had not been many moments engaged in eating some of his 
bread, and had just commer^c-ed an attack on the hen, by taking 
off one of her wings, when there came up to him a poor grey- 
hound, which looked the very picture of starvation. Greyhounds 
are proverbially thin, but this was thinner than the thinnest, and, 
it was easy to see, had doubtlessly left at home a very large family. 

Mihal More was so very intent on eating that he heeded not 
the imploring look of the poor greyhound, and it was not till, 
wonderful to say, she addressed him in intelligible Irish, that he 
deigned to notice her. But when the first word came from her 
mouth, he was sure she must be one of those against anycommu- 
nicatioj with whom his mother had so emphatically warned him, 
and ac?oordingly determined to apply her maxim strictly to the 

"You ar« a traveller, I see," said the greyhound, "and were 
doubtless weary and fainting with hunger when you took your 
seat here. I afn the mother of a numerous and helpless family, 
who aK-«cveD now clamorous for subsistence; this I am unable 
to afford them, unless I am myself supported. You have now 
the means. Afford it to me, then, if only in the shape of a few 
of tlie hen's small bones; I will be forever grateful, and may 
perhaps hz the means of serving you in turn when you most 
want end loast expect it." 

Eut Mi'.i.'J continued sedulously picking the bones, and when 
he had fini°-hed, he put them all back into his wallet, still re- 
solving to b;ive nothing to do whatever with this fairy, repre- 
sented, as he imagined, by the greyhound. 

" Weil !" said she piteously, " since you give iie nothing, fol- 
low me. You are perhaps in search of service ; my master, who 
knowg not my iaculty of speech, lives near; he may assist you. 


And see," continued she, as he followed, " heliold that well. 
Had you relieved me, it was in my power to have changed its 
contenbi, which are of blood, to the finest virgin honey; but the 
honey is beneath the blood, neither can it now be changed ! 
However, try your fortune, and if you are a reasonably sensible 
fellow, I may yet relent, and be reconciled to you." 

Mibal still answered not a word, but followed the greyhound, 
until she came to the gate of a comfortable farmer's residence. 
She entered the door, and Mihal saw her occupy her place at 
the side of the nre, and that she was quickly besieged by a num- 
ber of clamorous postulants, whose wants she seemed but poorly 
adequate to supply. 

At a glance he perceived that the house contained a master 
and a mistress; but an old lady in the chimney comer, having 
by her a pair of cratches, made him quail, by the sinister expres- 
sion of her countenance. Still, nothing daunted, he asked the 
master of the house at once for employment. 

"Plenty of employment have I, friend, and good wages," an- 
swered he, " but I am a manof a thousand; and I may also say, 
not one man in a thousand will stop with me in this house." 

" Aud may I ask the reason of this, sir ?" said Mihal, taking 
off his hat respectfully. 

«' I will answer you immediately; but first follow me into rty 
garden. There," said he, pointing to aheap of bones which lay 
bleaching on the ground, ^^t/icy are the bones of those unfortu- 
nate persons wlio have followed in my service; if now, therefore, 
you should so wish, you have my full permission to depart un- 
hurt; if you will brave them, hear now the terms on which I 
must bo servetl." 

"Sir," answered Mihal, "you surprise me. I have travelled 
far, have no money, neither any more to eat; say, therefore, 
your terms; and If I can at all reconcile myself to them, I am 
prepared to stop here." 

" You must understand, then," said the farmer, " that I hold 
my lands by a very unusual tenure. This is not my fault. How- 
ever, you will find me an indulgent master to you, at all events; 


for, in fact, you may chance to be my master as much as I yours, 
or perhap<i more, foi^ these are the terms: 

" If/, at any time, first find fault with any one thing jt??/ may 
say or do, yon are to be solemnly bound to take this (pointing to 
an immense and sharp axe), and forthwith, without a word, strike 
me till /shall be dsad; but should ^'^?^ at any one time, first find 
fault \vjth one of my words or actions, / must be equally bound 
to do the very same dreadful thing io yourself . Blame me not, 
therefore, should^^K find fault with me, for it will be my destiny, 
nay, my duty, to dp as I have described; and, on the contrary, if 
it happen oi/icnaise, I must be ready to submit to my fate. Con- 
sider, and reply." 

" Oh, my mastef !" said Mihal More, " I have but the alterna- 
tive of starvation; I am in a strangely wild country, without a 
friend. I m:ist die if I proceed, and nothing more dreadful than 
death can happen to me here. I therefore throw myself upon 
your compassion, and agree to your terms." 

They then returned to the house, and Mihal felt somewhat re- 
freshed, even by the smell alone of the savory viands which the 
mistress was then preparing for the afternoon's repast; the grey- 
hound, too, cast occasionally wistful glances towards the opera- 
tions going fonyard. 

At length the dinner hour being all but arrived, the old lady 
in the chimney-comer then opened her lips for the first time since 
Mihal had come in, and expressed a wish to go out and take a 
walk; "for," said she, "I have not been out for some weeks, 
ever since our last servant left us. What is your name, my man ?' ' 
So he told her. "Come, then," said she, "Mihal, and assist 
me about the garden, for I am completely cramped." 

Mihal muttered a few words about dinner, hunger, and so on, 
but was interrupted by the farmer, who said, " Mihal, you tnust 
attend my mother; she has sometimes strange fancies. Besides, 
remeniber our agreement. Do you Jind fault with me .^" 

"Oh, by no means, sir, " said Mihal, frightened; "I must do my 
business, I suppose." 

The dinner was actually laid out on the plates to every one 


when Mihal and the old lady walked out. No sooner had they 
done so, than the greyhound, before she could be prevented, 
pounced on his dinner, and devoured it in a moment! 

The old lady thought it proper tD walk for some hours in the 
garden; and now was Mihal very hungry, for he had tasted 
nothing since h'B had finished the hen early that morning; he 
almost began to wish that he had relieved the greyhound. 

No sooner had they entered the house than the accursed old 
lady seized a large cake of wheaten bread, which was baking on 
the embers, and, hastily spreading on it a coat of butter, directed 
Mihal to attend her again into the garden ! He could say nothing, 
for his master's eyes were on him. He was completely bewild- 
ered. In despair he went with the old lady, and as it was a 
lovely moonlight night, she stopped out an unusual time, and it 
was very late when they came in. 

Mihal stretched himself, quite fainting, on the bed, but slept not 
a wink. How I wish, now, thought he, that I had given the 
greyhound not only the small bones, but even half my hen ! 

The next morning the family early assembled for breakfast, 
and again were the cakes put down to bake over the glowing 
fire. A^ain did the old lady seize one, and command Mihal into 
the garden ! 

He was now completely exhausted; and, determining to ex- 
postulate with his master when he came in, went up to him, crav- 
ing some food. 

"No," said the farmer; " we never eat except at stated times, 
and my mother keeps the keys." 

"Ah, sir, have pity on me!" answered Mihal; "how can I 
exist or do your business ?" 

" Ajui can you blame me?" said the master. 

Mihal, no\^ quite losing sight of the agreement, and confused 
by the question, put in so treacherous a manner, answered, " that 
of course he could not but blame any person who would permit 
such infamous ccaiduct." 

Here was the signal. Mihal, in his enfeebled slate, was no 
match for the sturdy farmer; in a moment his head was rolling 


on the floor by a vigorous stroke of the fatal axe, while grins of 
satisfaction might be seen playing on the countenances both of 
the old lady and hsr greyhound. 

But when, in the course of a year, Mihal did not appear, the 
widow's grief was unbounded. How was she, then, astonished, 
when "the fool," as he was yet always called, although his real 
name was Rooshkulum, actually volunteered to do the same ! 
Nothing could stop him; go he would. So the cake was baked, 
the hen was killed and roasted, and Rooshkulum, "the fool," 
set out on his expedition. And there, at the rock in the wood, 
was that very same greyhound ; and as soon as she had looked 
him in the face, he said, " Why, poor thing ! I have here what I 
cannot eat, and you seem badly to need it; here are these bones 
and some of this cake." 

It was Ihett the greyhound addressed him. " Come with me," 
said she; "lo ! here is the well, of which your brother could 
not drink: behold ! here is the honey on top, clear and pure, but 
the blood is far beneath !" ** 

When "the fool" had satisfied himself at this well, he fol- 
lowed the greyhound to the farmer's house. It may be barely 
possible that by the road he received from her some excellent ad- 

The conversation that ensned when Rooshknlnm arrived at the 
farmer's, and offered himself for his servant, was much of the 
same nature as I have before detailed while relating the former 
part of my story. "But," said Rooshkulum the fool, "I will 
not bind myself to these terms forever; I might get tired of you, 
or you of me ; so, if you please, I will agree to stop with you for 
certain till we both hear the cuckoo cry when we are together." 

To this they agreed, and went into the house. However, just 
before they stepped in, the farmer asked Rooshkulum his name. 

"Why," said he, "mine is a very curious name: it is so curi- 
ous a name, indeed, that you would never learn it; and where is 
the occasion of breaking your jaws every ininute trying to call me 
' Pondracaleuthashochun, ' which is my real name, when you may 
as well call me always ' the Boy ?' " 


" Well ! that will do," answered the master. 

The dinner was now prepared, and laid out on the plates, and 
the old tricks about to be played. Rooshkulum, as with the 
others, could not find fault, for, fool as he was, he knew the con- 
sequences. As he went out with the old lady, she too inquired 
his name. 

"WTiy, really,'' said he to her, " mine is a name that no one, 
I venture to say, was ever called before. All my brothers and 
sisters died, and my father and mother thought that perhaps an 
unusual queer kind of name might have luck, so they called me 
^ Mehanc.'' " 

And, reader, if thou understandest not our vernacular, know 
that "Mehane" signifies in English "myself." 

They spent some hours, as usual, in the garden, and Roosh- 
kulum returned tired and exhausted. But when he expected to 
get his supper, and when she again brought him out, and ate the 
fine hot buttered cake before his very eyes, it was more than flesh 
and blood could stand. However, he pretended not to mind 
it in the least, but was very civil to the old lady, amusing her 
by his silly stories. "And now, ma'am," said he, "let's walk 
a little way down this sunny bank before we go in. " 

Certain it was that the sun did happen to shine on the bank at 
that very time, but it was to what were growing on it that he 
wished to direct her close attention; for when he came to a cer- 
tain place where there was a cavity filled by a rank growth of 
nettles, thistles and thorns, he gave his charge such a shove as 
sent her sprawling and kicking in the midst of them, uttering wild 
shrieks, for the pain was great. 

But Rooshkulum had no notion of helping her out, and ran 
into the house, which was some distance away, desiring the far- 
mer to run, for that his mother would -vizW. there, and had fallen 
into a hole, from which he could not get her. And then the 
farmer ran, and cried, "Oh, mother, where are you? what has 
happened ?" 

" Alas, my son ! here I am down in this hole ! Help me out ! 
I am ruined, disfigured for life !" 


*• And who is it," said the farmer, "that has dared to serve you 

"Oh," said she, "it was Mehane! Mehane a veil Mehane P* 
(Myself has ruined myself!) 

" Who ?" said the farmer as he helped her out. 

" Oh, it was /I/t/zrtWf," answered she; "Mehane aveil Mehane!'^ 

" Well, then," said the farmer, " I suppose it can't be helped, 
as it was yourself that did it. So here, 'Boy !' take her on your 
back, and carry her home; it was but an accident !" 

So Rooshkulum carried her off and put her to bed, she all the 
time crying out, " Ah ! but it was Myself that ruined Myself!" 
till her son thought her half cracked. She was quite unable to 
rise next morning; so Rooshkulum "the fool" made an excellent 
and hearty breakfast, which he took care also to share with the 

But then the old lady called her son to her bedside, and ex- 
plained how that it was " the Boy " who had done the mischief, 
"And I command you," said she, "to get rid of him, and for 
that purpose desire him at once to go and make ' cuisseh na 
cuissheh na guirach ' (the road of the sheeps' feet), that you have 
long been intending to do, and then to send him with the flock 
over the road to the land of the giant; we shall then never see 
him more; and it is better to lose even a flock of sheep than 
have him longer here, now that he has discovered our trick." 

The farmer called Rooshkulum to him, and taxed him with 
what he had done to his mother. 

"And," said Rooshkulum, '■• could you blame me ? " 

"Why, no," answered the farmer, remembering his part of the 
agreement, " I don^ t blame you, but you must never do it any 
more. And now you must take these (pointing to tlie sheap), 
and because the bog is soft on the road to the ' land of the giant,' 
you must make ' the road of the sheeps' feet ' for them to go over, 
and come back when they are fat, and the giant will support you 
while you are there. Do you b la vie me for that?'" 

"No," said Rooshkulum, driving away the sheep. 

But, contrary to all their expectations, in an hour's time in 


marched Rooshkulum, covered with bog dirt and blood. " Oh !" 
said he, " I have had hard work since, and made a good deal of 
the road of the sheep's legs; but indeed, there are not half enough 
legs after all, and you must give me more legs, if you would 
wish the road made firm. ' ' 

*♦ And, you rascal, do you tell me you have cut off the legs of 
all my fine sheep ?" 

" Every one, sir; did you not desire me? Do you blame fiie?'^ 
" Oh, dearno ! by no means ! Only take care, and don't do it 
any more." 

They went on tolerably for a few days, for they were afraid of 
Rooshkulum, and let him alone, till one morning the farmer told 
him he was going to a wedding that night, and that he might go 
with him. 

"Well," said Rooshkulum, "what is a wedding? what will 
they do there ?" 

"Why," answered the fanner, " a wedding is a nice place, 
where there is a good supper, and two people are joined together 
as man and wife." 

"Oh, is that it ? I should like much to see what they'll do." 
" Well, then, you must promise me to do what I'll tell you 
with the horses when we are going." 
"Wliy, what shall I do?" 

" Oh, only when we are going, t^rjn'/ take your e)'es from the 
korsrs till we get there; then have your two eyes on my plate, 
and an eye on every other person's plate; and then you'll see 
what they'll do." 

Rooshkulum said nothing. They went to the wedding; but 
when they sat down to supper, all were .'urprised to find a round 
thing on their plates, covered with blood, and not looking very 
tempting. But the farmer soon guessed the sad truth, and call- 
ing Rooshkulum aside, he sternly asked him what he had done. 

" Can you blame me T^ answered the provoking Rooshkulum ; 
•*did you not desire me not to take the eyes from the horses till I 
got here, and to put them on the plates, and two on your own 
plate, and that I would see what they would do then ?" 


*^0k, don't imagine I blame fot(," said the farmer; "but I 
meant your own eyes all the time ; and, inind me, don^i do it any 

They were all by this time heartily sick of Rooshkulum, es- 
pecially the old lady, who had never left her bed; and one morn- 
ing, feeling something better, she called the farmer to her bed- 
side, and addressed him thus: — "You know, my son, that your 
agreement with that rascal will terminate when you both shall 
hear the cuckoo. Now, in my youth I could imitate the cuckoo 
so well that I have had them flying round me. Put me up, there- 
fore, in the big holly busbj take him along with you to cut a tree 
near; I will then cry ' cuckoo !' ' cuckoo !' and the agreement will 
be broken !" said she chuckling to herself. 

This seemed a capital idea; so the farmer lifted his mother out 
of bed, and put her up into the holly bush, calling Rooshkulum 
to bring the big axe, for that he intended to fell a tree. Roosh- 
kulum did as he was desired, and commenced cutting down a 
certain tree, which the farmer pointed out. And not long had he 
been thus engaged when the old lady in the holly bush cried out 
"cuckoo!" "Hah! what's that?" said the farmer; "that 
sounds like the cuckoo !" 

" Oh, that cannot be," said Rooshkulum, "for this is winter !" 

But now the cuckoo was heard beyond a doubt. 

"Well," said Rooshkulum, "before I'm done with you, I'll 
go and see this cuckoo." 

"Why, you stupid fool !" said the farmer, "no man ever saw 
the cuckoo," 

"Never mind!" said Rooshkulum, "it can be no harm to 
look. Wouldn't you think, now, that the cuckoo was speaking 
out of the holly bush?" 

" Oh, not at all ! — perhaps she is five miles away. Come away 
at once and give up your place. Did we not both hear her?" 

"Stop!" said-Rooshkulum ; "stay back! don't make a noise ! 
There ! did not you see something moving ? Ay ! that must 
be the cuckoo ! ' ' 

So saying, he hurled the axe into the holly bush with his 


whole force, cutting away the branches, scattering the leaves and 
lierries, and with one blow severing the head from the shoulders 
of the farmer's mother ! 

"Oh!" said the farmer, " my poor old mother ! Oh, what 
have you done, you villain ! You have murdered my mother!" 

"And," said Rooshkulum (seemingly surprised), ^'^ I suppose 
yoii BLAME vie for this, do you .?" 

And now was the farmer taken by surprise, and in the heat of 
his passion answered, " How dare you, you black-hearted villain, 
ask me such a question ? Of course I do ! Have you not mur- 
dered my mother? Alas ! my poor old mother." 

"Oh, very well!" said Rooshkulum, as the farmer continued 
looking at his mother, and lamenting, "perhaps you also re- 
member our own little agreement. I have but too good reason 
to think that you and your accursed old mother, by your schemes, 
caused the death of my fine brother. But now for the fulfillment 
of my share of the bargain !" 

In a moment the axe descended on his head; and Rooshkulum, 
the wise simpleton, having now got rid of his enemies, took 
possession of all the farmer's property, returned home for his 
mother, and lived free from care or further sorrow for the re- 
mainder of his happy life ; but he never forgot the services of the 
greyhound and never allowed her to want. 



••And now, Mickey Brennan, it's not but I have a grate re- 
gard for you, for troth you're a dacint boy, and a dacint father 
and mother's child •,. but you see, avick, the short and the long of 
it is, that you needn't be looking after my little girl any more." 

Such was the conclusion of a long and interesting harangue 
pronounced by old Brian Moran of Lagh-buoy, for the pur- 
pose of persuading his daughter's sweetheart to waive his pre- 
tensions — a piece of diplomacy never very easy to effect, but 
doubly difficult when the couple so unceremoniously separated 
have labored under the delusiqp that they were bom for each 
other, as was the case in the affair of which our story tells; and 
certainly, whatever Mr. Michael Brennan's other merits may 
have been, he was very far from exhibiting himself as a pattern 
of patience on the occasion. 

"Why, thin, Brian Moran !" he outrageously exclaimed, "in 
the name of all that's out of the way, will you give me one rea- 
son good, bad, or indifferent, and I'll be satisfied ?" 

«'Och, you unfortunate gossoon, don't be afther axing me," 
responded Brian dolefully. 

"Ah, thin, why wouldn't I?" replied the rejected lover. 
" Aren't we playing together since she could walk — wasn't she 
the light of my eyes and the pulse of my heart these six long 
years — and when did one of ye ever either say or sign that I was 
to give over until this blessed minute ? tell me that." 

" Widdy Eelish!" groaned the closely interrogated parent; 
"'tis true enough for you. Botheration to Peggy, I wish she 
tould you herself. I knew how it 'ud be; an' sure small blame 
to you; an' it'll kill Meny out an' out." 


*' Is it that I amn't rich enough ?" he asked impetuously. 

"No, avick machree, it isn't; but, sure, can't you wait an' ax 
Peggy ?" 

" Is it because there's anything against me ?" continued he, 
without heeding this reference to the mother of liis fair one — " Is 
it because there's anything against me, I say, now or evermore, 
in the shape of warrant, or summons, or bad word, or anything 
of the kind?'' 

" Och, /orfc'ar, /orrt;ar /" answered poor Brian, "but can't 
you ax Peggy ?" and he clasped his hands again and again with 
bitterness, for the young man's interest had been, from long and 
constant habit, so interwoven in his mind with those of his darling 
Meny, that he was utterly unable to check the burst of agony 
which the question had excited. The old man's evident grief and 
evasion of the question were not lost upon his companion. 

** I'm belied — I know I am — I have it all know," shouted he, 
utterly losing all command of himself. " Come, Brian Moran, 
this is no child's play — tell me at once who dared to spake one 
word against me, an' if I don't drive the lie down his throat, be 
it man, woman, or child, I'm willing to lose her and everything 
else I care for !" 

"No, then," answered Brian, "the never a one said a word 
against you — you never left it in their power, avick; an' that's 
what's breaking my heart. Millia murther, it's all Peggy's own 

" WTiat !" he replied — " I'll be bound Peggy had a bad dhrame 
about the match. Arrah, out wilh it, an' let us hear what Peggy 
the Pishogue has to say for herself — out with it, man; I'm asthray 
for something to laugh at." 

"Oh, whist, whist — don't talk that way of Peggy anyhow," 
exclaimed Brian, offended by this imputation on the unerring 
wisdom of his helpmate. "Whatever she says, doesn't it come 
to pass ? Didn't it rain on Saturday last, fine as the day looked ? 
Didn't Tim Higgins' cow die ? Wasn't Judy Carney married to 
Tom Knox aflher all ? Ay, an' as sure as your name is Mickey 
Brennan, what she says will come true of yourself too. Forrear, 
forrear ! that the like should befall one of your decent kin !" 


"Why, what's going to happen me ?" inquired he, his voice 
trembling a little in spite of all his assumed carelessness, for con- 
temptuously as he had alluded to the wisdom of his intended mother- 
in-law, it stood in too high repute not to create in him some dis- 
may at the probability of his figuring imfavorably in any of her 

" Don't ax me, don't ax me," was the sorrowing answer: "but 
take your baste out of the stable at once, and go straight to 
Father Coffey ; and who knows but he might put you on some 
way to escape the bad luck that's afore you." 

" Psha ! fudge ! 'pon my sowl it's a shame for you, Brian Mo- 

" Divil a word of lie in it," insisted Brian; "Peggy found it 
all out last night; an' troth it's troubling her as much as if you 
were her own flesh and blood. More betoken, haven't you a 
mole there under your ear?" 

" Well, and what if I have ?" rejoined he, peevishly, but alanned 
all the while by the undisguised pity which his future lot seemed 
to call forth. " What if I have ? — hadn't many a man the 
same afore me?" 

" No doubt, Mickey, agra, and the same bad luck came to 
them too," replied Biian. " Och, you unfortunate, ignorant 
crathur, sure you wouldn't have me marry my poor little girl to a 
man that's sooner or later to end his days on the gallows !" 

" The gallows !" he slowly exclaimed. " Holy Virgin ! is 
that what's to become of me after all?" He tried to utter a 
laughof derision and defiance, but it would not do; such a vati- 
cination from such a quarter was no laughing matter. So yield- 
ing at last to the terror which he had so vainly affected to com- 
bat, he buried his face in his hands, and threw himself violently 
on the ground; while Brian, scarcely less moved by the reve- 
lation he had made on the faith of his wife's far-famed sagacity, 
seated himself compassionately beside him to administer what 
consolation he could. 

Whatever may be the opinion of other and wiser people on the 
subject, ui the parish of Ballycoursey or its vicinity it was rather 


an ugly joke to be thus devoted to the infernal gods by a prophet- 
ess of such unerring sagacity as Peggy RIoran, or, as she was 
sometimes styled with reference to her skill in all supernatural 
matters, Peggy the Pishogue — that cogmmen implying an ac- 
quaintance with more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt 
of in philosophy. Nothing was too great or too small for her 
all-piercing ken — in every form of augury she was omniscient, 
from cup-tossing up to necromancy — in vain the mystic dregs of 
the tea-cup assumed shapes that would have puzzled Doctor 
Wall himself: with her first glance she detected at once the true 
meaning of the hieroglyphic symbol, and therefrom dealt out 
deaths, births and marriages with the infallibility of a news- 

The hardest task of all is to describe the feelings of poor Bren- 
nan himself 011 the occasion; for much as he had affected to dis- 
parage the sibylline revelations of the weird woman of Bally- 
coursey, there was no one in the neighborhood who was more dis- 
posed to yield them unlimited credence in any case but his own; 
and even in his own case he was not long enabled to struggle 
against conviction. How could he be expected to bear up 
against this terrible denunciation, when all the consolation he 
could receive from his nearest and dearest was that "it was a 
good man's death " ? Death! poor fellow, he had suffered the 
pains of a thousand deaths already, in living without the hope 
of ever being the husband of his Meny. Death, instant and im- 
mediate, would have Ix^en a relief to him; and it was not long 
until, by his anxiety to obtain that relief, he afforded an opportu- 
nity to Peggy of displaying her own reliance on the correctness 
of her prognostications. Goaded into madness by his present 
sufferings and his fears for the future, he made an attempt upon 
his life by plunging into an adjacent lake jvhen no one, as he 
thought, was near to interrupt his intentions. It was not so, how- 
ever — a shepherd had observed him, but at such a distance that 
before help could be obtained to rescue him he was to all appear- 
ance lifeless. The news flew like wildfire: he was dead, stone 
dead, they said — had lain in the water ten minutes, half an hour. 


half the day, since last night; but in one point they all con- 
curred — dead he was; dead as St. Dominick. 

"Troth, he's not," was Peggy's cool rejoinder. "Be quiet, 
and I'll engage he'll come to. Nabocklish, he that's bom to 
be hanged will never be drowned. Wait awhile an' hould your 
tongues. Nabocklish, I tell you he'll live to spoil a market yet, 
an' more's the pity." 

People shook their heads, and almost began to think their wse 
woman had made a mistake, and read hemp instead of water. 
It was no such thing, however: slowly, and beyond all hopes, 
Brennan recovered the effects of his rash attempt, thereby fulfill- 
ing so much of his declared destiny, and raising the reputation 
of Mrs. Moran to a point that she never had attained before. 
That very week she discovered no less than six cases of stolen 
goods, twice detected the good people taking unauthorized liber- 
ties with their neighbors' churns, and spaed a score of fortunes, at 
the very least; and he, poor fellow, satisfied at last that Fortune 
was not to be bilked so easily, resigned himself to his fate like a 
man, and began to look about him in earnest for some opportu- 
nity of gracing the gallows without disgracing his people. 

And Mcny — poor, heart-stricken Meny — loving as none but the 
true and simple-minded can love, the extent of her grief was 
such as the trae and simple-minded only can know; and yet 
there was worse in store for her. Shortly after this consummation 
of her mother's fame, a whisper began to creep through the vil- 
lage — a whisper of dire import, portending death and disaster on 
some luckless wight unknown — "Peggy Moran has something 
on her mmd." What could it be? Silent and mysterious she 
shook her head when any one ventured to question her; the pipe 
was never out of her jaw unless when she slept or sat down to 
her meals; she became as cross as a cat, which, to do her justice, was 
not her wont, and eschewed all sorts of conversation, which most 
assuredly was not her wont either. The interest and curiosity of 
her neighbors were raised to a most agonizing pitch; every one 
trembled lest the result should be some terrible revelation affect- 
ing himself or herstlf, as the case might be: it was the burden of 


the first question asked in the morning, the last at night. Every 
word she uttered during the day was matter of speculation lo a 
hundred anxious inquirers; and there was every danger of the 
good people of Ballycourscy going absolutely mad with fright if 
they were kept any longer in the dark on the subject. 

At length there was a discovery; but, as is usually the case in 
all scrutinies into forbidden matters, it was at the cost of the too- 
daring investigator. Peggy and Brian were sitting one night be- 
fore the fire, preparing for their retirement, when a notion seized 
tlie latter to probe the soitows of his helpmate. 

•* 'Deed it well becomes you to ax,"- quoth the weird woman, in 
answer to his many and urgent inquiries; " for Brian, achorra 
machree, my poor ould man, there's no use in hiding it — it's all 
about yourself." 

"No, then!" exclaimed the surprised interrogator; "the Lord 
betune us an' harm, is it ?" 

•• 'Deed yes, Brian," responded the sibyl with a melancholy 
tone, out of the cloud of smoke in which she had sought to hide 
her troubles. " I'm thinking these last few days you're not your- 
self at all at all." 

"Tare an ounties! maybe I'm not," responded he of the 
doubtful identity, 

"Do you feel nothing on your heart, Brian achree ?" 
"I do; sure enough I do," gasped poor Brian, ready to be- 
lieve anything of himself. 

*' Something like a ////rr/jy, isn't it?" inquired the mourner. 
" Ay, sure enough, like a plurrisy for all the world, Lord be- 
tune us an' harm !" 

"An' you do be very cold, I'll engage, these nights, Brian?" 
continued she. 

" Widd)' Eclish ! I'm as cowld as ice this minute," answered 
Brian, and his teeth began to chatter as if he was up to his neck in 
a mill-pond. 

"An' your appetite is gone entirely, achra?" continued his 

•* Sorra a word o' lie in it," answered the newly discovered in- 


valid, forgetful, however, that he had just finished discussing a 
skib of potatoes and a mug of milk for his supper. 

" And the cat, the cratlmr, looked at you this very night after 
licking her paw." 

"I'll engage she did. Bad luck to her," responded Brian, 
" 1 wouldn't put it beyant her." 

"Let me feel your pulse, asthore," said Peggy in conclusion; 
and Brian submitted his trembling wrist to her inspection, anx- 
iously peering into her face all the while to read his doom there- 
in. A long and deep sigh broke from her lips, along with a most 
voluminous puff of smoke, as she let the lim') drop from her hold 
and commenced rocking herself to and fro, uttering a low and pe- 
culiar species of moan, which to her terrified patient sounded as 
a death summons. 

" Murther-an'-ages, Peggy, sure it's not going to die 1 am !" 
exclaimed Brian. 

" Och, widdy ! widdy !" roared the afflicted spouse, now giv- 
ing full vent to her anguish. "It's little I thought, Brian asthore 
machree, when I married you in your beauty and your prime, 
that I'd ever live to cry the keen over you — ochone, ochone ! 'tis 
you was the good ould man in airnest — och ! och !" 

" Arrah, Peggy !" interposed the object of her rather prema- 
ture lamentations. 

"Oh, don't talk to me — don't talk to me. I'll never hould 
up my head again, so I won't !" continued the widow that was 
to be, in a tone that quickly brought all the house about her, and 
finally all the neighbors. Great was the uproar that ensued, and 
noisy the explanation, which, however, afforded no small relief 
to the minds of all persons not immediately concerned in the wel- 
fare of the doomed Brian. Peggy was inconsolable at the pros- 
pect of such a bereavement. Meny clung in despair to the poor tot- 
tering old man, her grief too deep for lamentation, while he hob- 
bled over his prayers as fast and as correctly as his utter dismay 
would permit him. Next morning he was unable to rise, refused 
all nourishment, and called vehemently for the priest. Every 
hour he became worse; he was out of one faint into another; an- 


noonced symptoms of every complaint that ever vexed mankind, 
and declared himself affected by a pain in every member, from 
his toe to his cranium. No wonder it was a case to puzzle the 
doctor. The mm of science could make nothing of it— swore it 
was the oddest complication of diseases that ever he had heard 
of — and strongly recommended that the patient be tossed in a 
blanket, and his wife treated to a taste of the horse-pond. Father 
Coffey was equally nonplused. 

♦« WTiat ails you, Brian ?" 

"An all-overness of some kind or other, your reverence," 
groaned the sufferer in reply, and the priest had to own himself 
a bothered man. Nothing would induce him to rise — " Where's 
the use in a man's gettin' up, an' he goin' to die?" was his an- 
swer to those who endeavored to rouse him — "isn't it a dale 
dacinler to die in bed like a Christian ?" 

"God's good ! — mnybe you won't die this time, Brian." 

"Arrah, don't be talking — doesn't Peggy know best?" And 
with this undeniable assertion he closed all his arguments, re- 
ceiving consolation from none, not even his heart-broken Meny. 
Despite of all his entreaties to be let die in peace, the doctor, 
who guessed how matters stood, was determined to try the 
effects of a blister, and accordingly applied one of more than 
ordinary strength, stoutly affirming that it would have the effect of 
the patient being up and walking on the morrow. A good many 
people had gathered into his cabin to witness the cure, as they 
always do when their presence could be best dispensed with; and 
to these Peggy, with tears and moans, was declaring her despair 
in all remedies whatever, and her firm conviction that a widow 
she'd be before Sunday, when Brian, roused a little by the un- 
easy stimulant from the lethargy into which they all believed 
him to be sunk, faintly expressed his wish to be heard. 

"Peggy, agra," said he, "there's no denyin' but you're a 
wonderful woman entirely; an' since I'm goin', it would be a 
great consolation to me if you'd tell us all how you found out the 
sickness was on me af jre I knew it myself. It's just curiosity, 
agra — I wouldn't like to die, you see, without knowin' for why 


an' for what — it 'ud have a foolish look if anybody axed me what 
1 died of, an' me not able to tell them." 

Peggy declared her willingness to do him t'lis last favor, and, 
interrupted by an occasional sob, thus proceeded: 

"It was Thursday night week — troth, I'll never forget that 
night, Brian asthore, if I live to be as ould as Noah — an' it was 
just after my first sleep that I fell draming. I thought I went 
down to Dan Keefe's to buy a taste ov mate, for ye all know he 
killed ^bullsheen that day for the market ov Moneen ; an' I thought 
when I went into his house, what did I see hangin' up but an ug- 
ly lane carcass, an' not a bit too fresh neither, an' a strange man 
dividin' it with a hatchet; an' says he to me with a mighty grum 

*' ' Well, honest woman, what do you want ? — is it to buy bull- 

" ' Yes,' says I, ' but not the likes of that — it's not what we're 
used to.' 

" • Divil may care,' says he; ' I'll make bould to cut out a rib 
for you.' 

•" Oh, don't if you plase,' says I, puttin' out my hand to 
stop him; an' with that what docs he do but he lifts the hatchet 
an' makes a blow at my hand, an' cuts the weddin' ring in two 
on my finger !" 

" Dth ! dth ! dlh !" was ejaculated on all sides by her wonder- 
ing auditory, for the application of the dream to Brian was con- 
clusive, according to the popular method of explaining such 
matters. They looked round to see how he sustained the brunt 
of such a fatal revelation. There he was sitting bolt upright in 
the bed, notwithstanding his unpleasant incumbrance, his mouth 
and eyes wide open. 

"Why, thin, blur-an'-ages, Peggy Moran," he slowly ex- 
claimed, when he and they had recovered a little from their sur- 
prise, " do you mane to tell me that's all that ailed me ?" 

Peggy and her coterie started back as he uttered this extraor- 
dinary inquiry, there being something in his look that portended 
his intention to leap out of bed, and probably display his indig- 


nation a little too forcibly, for, quiet as he was, his temper wasn't 
proof against a blister; but his bodily strength failed him in the 
attempt, and, roaring with pain, he resumed his recumbent posi- 
tion. But Peggy's empire was over — the blister had done its 
business, and in a few days he was able to stump about as usual, 
threatening to inflict all sorts of punisliment upon any one who 
dared to laugh at him. A laugh is a thing, however, not easy 
to be controlled, and finally poor Brian's excellent temper was 
soured to such a degree by the ridicule which he encountered, 
that he determined to seek a reconciliation witli young Brennan, 
pitch the decrees of fate to Old Nick, and give Father Coffey a 
job with the young couple. 

To this resolution we are happy to say he adhered: still 
happier are we to say, that among the county records we have 
not yet met the name of his son-in-law, and that unless good 
behavior and industry be declared crimes worthy of bringing 
their perpetrator to the gallows, there is very little chance indeed 
of Mickey Brennan fulfilling the prophecy of Peggy the Pishogue. 



In those racy old times, when the manners and usages of Irish- 
men were more simple tlian they are at present, dancing was 
cultivated as one of the chief amusements of life, and the dancing- 
master looked upon as a person essentially necessary to the proper 
enjoyment of our national recreation. He eked out a precarious 
but generally contented existence by developing in the young 
those graces of manner, the possession of which was his constant 
and proudest boast. At one time he led a sort of vagabond life, 
wandering from house to house; but generally he managed to 
collect together a number of the youth of both sexes, and, as 
master of a dancing-school, lorded it over them with all the dig- 
nity at his command. 

One of the most ami. sing specimens of the dancing-master 
that I ever met, was a person who bore the nickname of Buck- 

He was a dapper, light little fellow, with a rich Tipperary 
brogue, crassed by a lofty strain of illegitimate English, which 
he picked up whilst in the army. His habiliments sat as tight 
upon him as he could readily wear them, and were all of the 
sliabby-genteel. class. His crimped black coat was a closely 
worn second-hand", and his crimped face quite as much of a 
second-hand as the coat. I think I see his little pumps, little 
white stockings, liis coaxed drab breeches, his hat, smart in its 
cock but brushed to a polish and standing upon three hairs, to- 
getlrer with his tight questionably colored gloves, all before me. 
Certainly he was the jauntiest little cock living — quite a blood, 
ready to fight any man, and a great defender of the fair sex, 
whom he never addressed except in that highflown, bombastic 
Style so agreeable to most of them, called by their flatterers the 


complimentary, and by their friends the fulsome. He was, 
ill fact, a public man, and up to everything. You met him at 
every fair, where he only had time to give you a wink as he 
passed, being just then engaged in a very particular affair ; but 
he would tell you again. At cockfights he was a very busy per- 
sonage, and an angry better from half a crown downwards. At 
races he was a knowing fellow, always shook hands with the 
winning jockey, and then looked pompously about, tliat folks 
might see that he was hand and glove with those who knew 

The house where Buckram-Back kept his dancing school, 
which was open only after the hours of labor, was an uninhabited 
cabm, the roof of which, at a particular spot, was supported by a 
post that stood upright from the floor. It was built upon an 
elevated situation, and commanded a fine view of the whole 
country for miles about it. A pleasant sight it was to see the 
modest and pretty girls, dressed in their best frocks and ribbons, 
radiating in lilde groups from all directions, accompanied by 
their partners or lovers, making way through the fragrant sum- 
mer fields of a calm cloudless evening, to this happy scene of 
iimocent amusement. 

And yet what an epitome of general life, with its passions, 
jealousies, plots, calumnies and contentions, did this little seg- 
ment of society present ! There was the shrew, the slattern, the 
coquette and the prude as sharply marked within this their hum- 
ble sphere, as if they appeared on the world's wider stage, with 
half its wealth and all its temptations to draw forth their prevail- 
ing foibles. There, too, was the bully, the rake, the liar, the 
coxcomb and the coward, each as perfect and distinct in his kind as 
if he had run through a lengthened course of fashionable dissipation, 
or spent a fortune in acquiring his particular character. The ele- 
ments of the human heart, however, and the passions that make 
up the general business of life, are the same in high and low, and 
exist with impulses as strong in the cabin as they have in the 
palace. The only difference is, that they have not equal room 
to play. 


Buckram-Back's sysfcm, in originality of design, in comic con- 
ception of decorum, and in the easy practical assurance with 
which he wrought it out, was never equalled, much less surpassed. 
Had the impudent little rascal confined himself to dancing as 
nsually taught, there would have been nothing so ludicrous or 
uncommon in it; but no: he was such a stickler for example in 
everything, that no other mode of instruction would satisfy 
bim. Dancing ! Why, it was the least part of what he taught 
or professed to teach. 

In the first place, he undertook to teach every one of us — for I 
had the honor of being his pupil — how to enter a drawing-room 
"in the most fashionable manner alive," as he said himself. 

Secondly. He was the only man, he said, who could in the 
most agreeable and polite style taich a gintleman how to salute, 
or, as he termed it, how to shiloote, a leedy. This he taught, 
he said, wid great success. 

Thirdly. He could taich every leedy and gintleman how to 
make the most beautiful bow or curchy on airth, by only imitat- 
ing himself — one that would cause a thousand people, if they 
were all present, to think that it was particularly intended only 
for aich o' themselves ! 

Fourthly. He taught the whole art o' courtship wid all polite- 
ness and success, accordin' as it was practiced in Paris durin' the 
last saison. 

Fifthly. He cDuld taich thim how to wriCe love-letthers and 
valentines, accordin' to the Great Macademetian compliments, 
which was supposed to be invinted by Bonaparte when he was 
writing love-letthers to both his wives. 

Sixthly. He was the only person who could taich the famous 
dance called Sir Roger de Coverly, or the Heller-Skelter Drag, 
which comprehinded widin itself all the advantages and beauties 
of his whole system— in which every gintleman was at liberty to ' 
pull every leedy where he plaised, and every leedy was at liberty 
to go wherever he pulled her. 

With such advantages in prospect, and a method of instruction 
«o agreeable, it is not to be wondered at that his establishment 


was always in a most flourishingcondition. The truth is, he had 
so contrived that every gentleman should salute his lady as often 
as possible, and for this purpose actually invented dances, in 
which not only should every gentleman salute every lady, but 
every lady, by way of returning the compliment, should render 
a similar kindness to every gentleman. Nor had his male pupils 
all his prodigality of salutation to themselves, for the amorous 
little rascal always commenced first and ended last, in order, he 
said, that they might cotch the manner from himself. " I do 
this, leedies and gintlemen, as your moral (model), and because 
it's part o' my system — ahem !" 

And then he would perk up his little hard face, that was too 
barren to produce more than an abortive smile, and twirl like a 
wagtail over the floor, in a manner that he thought irresistible. 

Whether Buckram-Back was the only man who tried to reduce 
kissing to a system of education in this country, I do not know. 
It is certainly true that many others of his stamp made a knowl- 
edge of the arts and modes of courtship, like him, a part of the 
course. The forms of love-letters, valentines, etc., were taught 
their pupils of both sexes, with many other polite particulars, 
which it is to be hoped have disappeared forever. 

One thing, however, to the honor of our countrywomen we are 
bound to observe, which is, that we do not remember a single re- 
sult incompatible with virtue to follow from the little fellow's 
system, which by the way was in this respect peculiar only to 
himself, and not the general custom of the country. Several 
weddings, unquestionably, we had, more than might otherwise 
have taken place, but in not one instance have we known any 
case in whicli a female was brought to unhappiness or shame. 

We shall now give abrief sketch of Buckram-Back's manner of 
tuition, begging our readers at the same time to rest assured that 
any sketch we could give would fall far short of the original. 

" Paddy Corcoran, walkout an' ' inther your drawin'-room;' 
an' let Miss Judy Hanratty go out along wid you, an' come in 
as Mrs. Corcoran." 

•' Faith, I'm afeard, masther, I'll make a bad hand of it; but. 


sure, it's something to have Judy here to keep me in countenance. ' ' 
♦' Is that by way of compliment, Paddy ? Mr. Corcoran, you 
should ever an' always spaik to a leedy in an alyblasther tone, 
for that's the cut." \Paddy and Judy retire. 

" Mickey Scanlan, come up here, now that we're braithin' 
a little; an' you, Miss Grauna Mulholland, come up along wid 
him. Miss Mulholland, you are masther of your five positions 
and your fifteen attitudes, I believe?" "Yes, sir." "Very 
■well, Miss. Mickey Scanlan — ahem ! — iJ/wZ-iisr Scanlan, can^^^w 
perfome the positions also, Mickey ?" 

"Yes, sir; but you remimber I stuck at the eleventh altitude." 
"Attitude, sir — no matther. Well, Misther Scanlan, do you 
know how to shiloote a leedy, Mickey ?" 

"Faix, it's hard to say, sir, till we thry; but I'm very willin' 
to lam it. I'll do my best, an' the best can do no more." 

"Very well — aheml Now merk me, Misther Scanlan; you 
approach your leedy in this style, bowin' politely, as I do. 'Miss 
Mulholland, will you allow me the honor of a heavenly shiloote ?' 
Don't bow, ma'am; you are to curchy, you know; a littl" iower 
eefyow. plaise. Now you say, 'Wid the greatest pleasiut 'a life, 
sir, an' many thanks for the feevor.' (Smack.) There, nov/, yon 
are to make another curchy politely, an' say, • Thank you, kind 
sir, I owe you one.' Now, Misther Scanlan, proceed." 

" I'm to imitate you, masther, as well as I can, sir, I believe ?" 
" Yes, sir, you are to imiteet me. But hould, sir; did you see 
me lick my lips or pull up my breeches ? Be gorra, that's 
shockin' unswintemintal. First make a curchy, a bow, I mane, 
to Miss Granna. Stop agin, sir; you are goin' to sthrangle the 
leedy ? Why, one would think that it's about to teek laive of 
her forever you are. Gently, Misther Scanlan; gently, Mickey. 
There: — well, that's an improvement. Practice, Misther Scanlan, 
practice will do all, Mickey; but don't smack so loud, though. 
Hilloo, gintlemen! where's our drawin'-room folk? Go out, one 
of you, for Misther an' Mrs. Paddy Corcoran." 

Corcoran's face now appears peeping in at the door, lit up with 
a comic expression of genuine fun, from whatever cause it may 
have proceeded. 


•' Aisy, Misther Corcoran ; an' where's Mrs. Corcoran, sir ?" 

" Are we both to come in together, masther?" 

♦•Certainly. Turn out both your toeses — turn them out, I 

'* Faix, sir, it's aisier said than done wid some of us." 

"I know that, Misther Corcoran; but practice is everything. 
The bow legs are strongly against you, I grant. Hut tut, Misther 
Corcoran — why, if your toes wor where your heels is, you'd be 
exactly in the first position, Paddy. Well, both of you turn out 
your toeses; look street forward; clap your caubeen — ^liem ! — your 
castor undher your ome (arm), an' walk into the middle of the 
flure, wid your head up. Stop, take care o' the post. Now, take 
your caubeen, castor, I mane, in your right hand; give it a flour- 
ish. Aisy, Mrs. Hanratty — Corcoran I mane — it's not^^M that's 
to flourish. Well, flourish your castor, Paddy, and thin make a 
graceful bow to the company. Leedies and gintlemen" — 

'•Leedies and gintlemen" — 

«* I'm your most obadient sarvint" — 

"I'm your most obadient sarwint." 

" Tuts, man alive ! that's not a bow. Look at this: there^s a 
bow for you. Why, instead of meeking a bow, you appear as if 
you wor goin' to sit down wid an embargo (lumbago) in your 
back. Well, practice is everything; and there's luck in leisure." 

•' Dick Doorish, will you come up, and thry if you can meek 
anything of that threblin' step. You're a purty lad, Dick; you're 
a purty lad, Misther Doorish, wid a pair o' left legs an you, 
to expect to lam to dance; but don't despeer, man alive. I'm 
not afeard but I'll make a graceful slip o' you yet. Can you 
ipeek a curchy?" 

"Not right, sir, I doubt." 

"Well, sir, I know that; but, Misther Doorish, you ought to 
know how to meek both a bow an' a curchy. Whin you marry 
a wife, Misther Doorish, it mightn't come wrong for you to know 
how to taich her a curchy. Have you the^j^ an' suggaun wid 
you?" "Yes, sir." "Very well, on wid them; the suggaun 
on the right foot, or what ought to be the right foot, an' the gad 


upon what ought to be the left. Are you ready?" " Yes, sir." 
"Come, thin, do as I bid you — rise upoa suggaun an* sink upon 

gad; rise upon suggaun an' sink upon gadj rise upon Hould, 

sir; you're sinkin' upon Guggaun an' risin' upon gad, the very 
thing you ought iwt to do. But, God Iiolp you ! sure you're 
left-legged ! Ah, Misther Doorish, it 'ud be a long lime before 
you'd be able to dance Jig Polthoguc or the College Hornpipe 
upon a drum-head, as I oflcn did. However, don't despeer, 
Misther Doorish — if I could only get you to know your right leg 
— but, God help you ! sure you haven't sich a thing — from your 
left, I'd make something of you yet, Dick." 

The Irish dancing-masters were cccniiilly at daggers-drawn 
among tlicmselves; but as they seldom met, they were forced to 
abuse each other at a distance, which they did wiih a virulence 
and scurrility proportioned to the space between t'hem. Buck- 
ram-Back had a rival of this description, who V/'as a sore thorn 
in his side. His name was Paddy Fitzpatrick, and from having 
been a horse-jockey, he gave up the turf, and took to the calling 
of dancing-master. iJuckrar.i-Back sent a message to the effect 
tliat '* if he could not dance Jig Polthogue on tlie drum-heaJ, he 
had better hould his tongue forever." To this Paddy replied by 
asking if he was the man to dance the Connaught Jockey upon 
the saddle of a blood horse, and tlie anim:»l at a three-quarter 

At length the friends on each side, from a natural love of fun, 
prevailed upon them to decide their claims as follows: — Each 
master, v^fith twelve of his pupils, was to dance against his rival, 
with twelve of his; the match to come off on the top of Mally- 
bcny Hill, which commanded a view of the whole parish. I have 
already mentioned that in Buckram-Back's school there stood 
near the middle of the floor a post, which according to some new 
manoeuvre of his own was very convenient as a guide to the dan- 
cers when going through the figure. Now, at the spot where 
this post stood it was necessary to make a curve, in order to form 
part of the figure of eight, which they were to follow; but as 
many of them were rather impenetrable to a due conception of 


the line of beauty, he forced them to turn round the post rather 
than make an acute angle of it, which several of them did. Hav- 
ing premised thus much, we proceed with our narrative. 

At length they met, and it would have been a matter of much 
difficulty to determine their relative merits, each was such an ad- 
mirable match for the other. When Buckram-Back's pupils, 
however, came to perform, they found that the absence of the 
post was their ruin. To the post they had been trained — accus- 
tomed; — with it they could dance; but wanting that, they were 
Kke so many ships at sea without rudders or compasses. Of 
course a scene of ludicrous confusion ensued, which turned the 
laugh against poor Buckram-Back, who stood likely to explode 
with shame and venom. In fact he was in an agony. 

"Gintlemin, turn the post!" he shouted, stamping upon the 
ground, and clenching his little hands with fury; "leedies, re- 
mimber the post ! Oh, for the honor of Kilnahushogue don't be 
bate. The post! gintlemen; leedies, the post if you love me! 
Murdher alive, the post !" 

"Be gorra, masther, the jockey will distance us," replied Bob 
Magawly ; " it's likely to be the whinin-post to him anyhow." 

"Any money," shouted the little fellow, " any money for long 
Sam Sallaghan; he'd do the post to the life. Mind it, boys dear, 
mind it or we're lost. Divil a bit they heed me; it's a flock o' 
bees or sheep they're like. Sam Sallaghan, where are you ? 
The post, you blackguards !" 

"Oh, masther dear, if we had even a fishin'-rod, or a crow- 
bar, or a poker, we might do yet. But, anyhow, we had better 
give in, for it's only worse we're gettin'." 

At this stage of the proceedings Paddy came over to him, and 
making a low bow, asked him, " Arra, hov/ do you feel, Misther 
Dogherty ?" for such was Buckram-Back's name. 

" Sir," replied Buckram-Back, bowing low, however, in return, 
" I'll take the shine out o' you yet. Can you shiloote a leedy 
wid me ? — that's the chat ! Come, gintlemen, show them what's 
betther than fifty posts — shiloote your partners like Irishmen. 
Kilnahushogue forever !" 


The scene that ensued baffles all description. The fact is, the 
little fellow had them trained as it were to kiss in platoons, and 
the spectators were literally convulsed with laughter at this most 
novel and ludicrous character which Buckram-Back gave to his 
defeat, and the ceremony whL^h he introduced- The truth is, he 
turned the laugh completely tu^ainst his rival, and swaggered off 
the ground in high spirits, exclruining, " He know bow toshiloote 
a leedy ! NVTiy, the poor spalpeen iicver kicsed a:iy «t)man b-;c 
his mother, an' her only when she was dyin'. Hurra for Kilna- 
hushogue 1" 

Such, reader, is a slight and very imperfect sketch of an Irish 
dancing-master, wliich if it possesses any merit at ail, is to be 
ascribed to the circumstance that it is drawii fnxn life, smd com- 
bines, however faintly, aiost of tlie points esseiitial to our concep- 
tion of the character. 




It was in Tullamore it all took place. It wasn't during the 
"Rising," so of course there was no blood spilt or landlords 
popped; it wasn't of a fair day, so of course there was no shille- 
lahs flourished; nor even of a market-day, so of course nobody 
walked home unsteadily on both sides of the road, murmuring, 
"Oh ! blame not the bard if he fly to the bowers " — and who 
could blame anybody of a maiket-day ? — but it hapjjened — well, 
I'll first tell you all how it did happen. 

Poor old Father Kinsella, the Lord have mercy on him, that's 
dead now long years ago, had dispersed a rousin<f dance, held 
over at Tim Regan's, about a day or two after Christmas, 
for he was very strict. Father Kinsella was, and gave it out on 
the altar that we'd disgrace the holy times we were in, and make 
a shame of the parish, by holding dances and meetings, and such 
like foolish observations of the great feasts of the Church, for all 
the world like Dr. Butler's Catechism, that we all studied when 
we were little gossoons, and maybe it wouldn't hurt some of 
you here present to study it too, for all you know about geom- 
etiy and astronomy, and the likes. Well, as I said, he told us he 
didn't like dances at that time of the year, and that he'd dis- 
perse every one he heard about; so we all inwardly resolved 
that we couldn't hear a whisper of such a thing as a dance, since 
his reverence as much as forbade it. Of course that Lasted may- 
be only till the next day, for when we lost his presence among 
us we forgot all his commands, or, as they say, "Oat of sight, 
out of mind." 

At that time I was working for the Widow Walsh, that owned 
one of the largest farms in the whole country; a good-natured 


lad/ she was, too, and the greatest woman for playing tricks that 
I ever met on either side the Atlantic. Ned Murphy had charge 
of the cows, the pi<;s and every tiling around generally; but I 
was head master of the horses, and was surgeon, sweeper, stable- 
boy, coachman, and all rolled into one, and, to tell you the 
truth, many a time the poor beasts enjoyed the loss of their sup- 
pers to give us an evening's sport, but we always made it up to 
them in the morning by giving them a double breakfast. At the 
same time Monica Kelly was in the kitchen, and liked her little 
bit of sport as well as any girl in the parish. She married Ned 
since, if you remember, and now they have a fine place "out 
West," I've been told; but in those times it used to bs war and 
contest between Ned and myself to see who'd finish np first to 
have Monica with him to the dance. Ned was such a schemer 
that he generally succeeded, and I had to go in company with — 
myself. At that Christmas, however, no one thought of a 
dance at all, till at last it leaked out that most probably there'd 
be a sort of convivial meeting over at Pat Malone's on New 
Year's night — not a dance, oh no, not at all — but just a sort of 
social talk over a glass of poteen. The youngsters, however, 
knew better, for if we once got together it would take something 
to keep the toes and heels from circumnavigating — ahem. Sure 
enough, good-natured Pat would have a dance, only it should 
be kept very quiet — else if it came to Father Kinsella's ears, it's 
over in the midst of us he'd surely come, and then, indeed, we'd 
catch it; maybe it's mention us from the altar he wouLJ, and, 
dear knows, that would be a terrible punishment for such a little 
diversion; but he was strict enough to do it. We were all in 
great expectation, for a little stolen meeting like that will give 
more sadsfaction than a common one on the green, and twice 
as much as a set and prepared regular dance ; and so, indeed, did 

Well, the evening came round, and we were all prepared to 
go, and the Widow Walsh was quite agreeable, only we didn't 
tell her where we were going — for, though she wouldn't spoil our 
sport under any consideration, still, she might not let us go, coo- 


sideling what Father Kinsella had said from the altar. So we 
thought she was blinded entirely, and we were all in the best of 
^irits, as the story-tellers say. Still, lor all that, she knew 
where we were going, only she wanted the excuse for hei-self if 
the priest should ask her about letting us go to the dance. By 
ill luck it chanced that Tom, her son, and a couple of collegi- 
ans, came home from Maynooth tha same afi;^rnoon, and imme- 
diately she " sincerely regretted " to us that we'd have to stay 
for that evening, as she wanted us at home, since Tom had ar- 
rived with his college friends. Oh ! but we wished Tom and 
his friends were all ordained and each had the largest parish in 
Ireland, so they wouldn't come round spoiling all our nicely- 
contrived plans. But there was Tom, and Peter Kiusella, old 
Father Kinsella's nephew, and another Maynootliian, and it's 
home we'd have to stay, and no dance that evening, anyhow. 
Oh ! but Ned was in the doldrums, for he'd thought he'd sport 
Monica around that evening, and now its sport he'd be for all 
the parish, for deceiving them like that. However, I conceived 
a mighty nice plan, and when Ned and Monica heard it they 
thought it would be a queer thing if it didn't succeed. No sooner 
thought and planned but I went off to put it in execution. 

So I called Master Tom one side — for it's great friends I was 
with him, inasmuch as I took care of all the horses, and especially 
of his own mare Katey — and says I: 

•' Master Tom, if you please, wouldn't you ask your mother, 
and persuade her to let us go to the dance to-night, only she 
doesn't know it's a dance, and I make bold to ask you, knowing 
you'd like to see us having a little sport on New Year's night ?" 

" And Where's the dance to be ?" says Master Tom. 

" Over at Pat Malona's," says I, " and if you'd just put in a 
good word for us to your mother I know she'll let us go; and it's in 
fine condition I keep Katcy f :)r you now. Master Tom, isn't it ?" 
That about Katey was a l;ind of stern chaser, as they say in the 

"But I thought Father Kinsella forbade all this?" 

"Well, it's not exactly a dance, you know. Master Tom, 
it's at—" 


•• Yes, I know, a kind of a — " 

♦* Exactly, Master Tom," says L 

"A kind of convivial reception for the devotees of Terpsi- 
chore," says he. 

"Well, you know laest. Master Tona; bat ask your mother and 
get us leave, anyhow, and mayTae I don't know where we'd 
come across some fine jack-hares to-morrow." 

"Well," he says, "I'll do my best for you. And so my mother 
is not to know where you are going — isn't thut kind of under- 

"Well, sure, Master Tom, you know, out of respect — " 

" Out of respect for fear she would refuse, you think it is bet- 
ter she should not know? Well, rest easy. I think I can get 
you permission, as I have just got home, and mother never re- 
fuses me anything then." 

" Don't forget. Master Tom," says I. 

** Never fear," says he, and so he weaat off t© get us permission 
immediately, or, perhaps, a little sooner. 

Well, when I told Monica and Ned, it's almost smother one 
with thanks they did, and Ned looked rejoiced, and Monica be- 
gan to grow saucy again — a sure sign, boys, that a girl is in good 

Back came Master Tom and told us it was " all right," as you 
say in America, and that we needn't be very particular abomt 
what time we got baci, because he would be answerable fbc 
everything to his .nother; and sore enough, as we left the house, 
we heard the greatest laughing up in the parlor, and Fatber 
Kinsella's name mentioned once or twice, and then we knew it 
was all correct and that we had a beautiful night's sport bekare nt. 
Oh ! boys, but it was fine going along the frozeii road, the bright 
stars overhead; a nice, fine, dry, bracing, crackling night, and 
none of your dirty slush that you have here in New York, when 
it neither rains, hails or snows, but sends down a kind of mixture 
and conglomeration of the three. Well, it was fine going along, 
and we laughed and chatted and talked of past dances, only we 
passed the priest's house like poachers would crawl by a spring- 


•gun; for Pat Malone's was about a half a mile the other side, and 
just then Monica nearly choked herself with laughing, and Ned 
had to slap her on the back to bring her to, while I walked along 

.whistling softly to myself, and murmuring, " I know ye two would 
like to get rid of me, no doubt; but never fear, I'll stick to you 
till we get to Pat's anyhow, and then I'll see what I can do for 

When we came to Pat's, maybe our hearts didn't jump ! 
There was Pat himself, a good, easy-going sort of an industrious 
man, that the vanithee* and the girls could wheedle, coax or scold 
to do anything that would let them have a dance by all means; 
but would a good deal rather sit in the back room with a pipe 
and some old cronies, to talk about " Dan " O'Coimell and the 
Repeal Bill. The vanilhee herself would sit in the middle of the 
jport and scold all the boys for being too free with the girls, and 
then wink at the girls to encourage the boys; tell the girls they 
were better hands at gallivanting about the country than at spin- 
ning their wool, and then tell the boys — in secret, don't you mind — 
such a lot of good, industrious, merry -hearted girls she never came 
across as were in the parish then. Ah ! but we never have such 
old men and women here in America as they do home in Ireland ; 
and even when such a jovial old man or woman "comes out," 
it's change they do entirely, and talk about nothing but what 
they used to do and see " at home." It's in the air, I think, or 
maybe the liberty's too strong for them and they can't stand it; 
for you'll never find such industrious, scolding, laughing, prais- 
ing, blaming, comfortable and thrifty old men and women, 
fathers and mothers, out here as at home. We leave them all be- 
hind us in the green church-yards or in the thatched cabins when 
we come out here to America; maylje they're better off where 
they arc, and have almost as much freedom and twice as much 
comfort as if they did come out. But I'm making a little turn 
from the railroad, so I'll just come back and tell you all about 
that night at Pat Malone's, for Pal and his wife were just such a 
good, hearty old Irish couple. 

* Woman of the house. 


Well, as soon as we opened the door they all trooped up tO' 
us, and then such laughing and talking and nudging and 
scrooging and pinching as you never saw before, except at some 
other dance. 

"Welcome, Monica, and why didn't you come sooner?" 

" Is it that good-for-nothing slob, Ned, that's bringing you?"' 

" Arrah whisht !" 

"Don't track the floor, Ned; clean your brogues before you 
come in !" 

"Now stop your impudence, Tim Reilly, or I'll be com- 

" Arrah, who touched you? Maybe it's want me you do — " 

" You must be cold; come inside and take — " 

"The biggest bottle, Nancy, that's on the dresser." 

" Is the Widow Walsh better of the ' chronics ' yet, I 

"Lame-footed and blear-eyed Ned Casey — " 

"Flew through the air like a whistle the whole flock, and 
when — " 

" I raised my gun they were all—" 

" Having the finest dance ever you saw over at Phil McQuaid's, 
the whole lot of us." 

Well now, boys, you can imagine what a jollification w-e were 
VI in for; and the fiddler sat at one end of the room, and old 
Pat and his cronies at the other, and about t\venty boys and 
girls each side crowding on two benches. They were all fiApjT*,-, 
and the fiddler was just striking up a tune, and the boys ?Sid 
girls were all footing it in high spirits, then comes more ornvrJs, 
and the dance stops for them to come in and join us; and so it 
was for nearly an hour, when at last we got fairly sLirted. And 
then whe.i we did get started, why, we made Pat and his old 
cronies give up their seats to come and watch us ; they forgot all 
about " Dan," and only remem'.icred when they were young 
themselves, and talked of gray Darby Iloolahan, that v/as at 
that time almost double, dancing a sling jig with the Widow 
Meahan, Lord have mercy on Iht, that died two years ago, with 

:I52 THE zoznius papers. 

• eighty years on her back. The woman of the honsc moved 
among us all, and talked like a girl to some, like a mother to 
others, and like Father Kinsella himself to the wild ones, and 
there weren't few of them there either. Athanasius Ryan, the 
schoolmaster, was there, and got out the longest rigmaroles ever 
you heard ; says he, " But you remind me of Diana • qualis in 
Eurotas, ' only it's in a farm-house you are; Venus is in theascen- 
- dant, I judge; but — " taking a glass of poteen, "I think whis- 
ky's in the descendant," and he wasn't far wrong there, either. 
All the best of the parish was thei-e— that is, all the part that 
sweetened it, like sugar in the tea; the parish could exist without 
them, but it wouldn't have the same flavor. Well, the sets were 
all formed and deformed, and re-formed and re-deformed again; 
; and says Billy Martin: 

" But that was a sly trick of Garret Rooney's, on Father Khi- 
: sella, last Wednesday." 

"Ah! but it failed," says Thade Hogan; "his reverence was 
too much for him, and it's a good slash of the whip he got into 
! the bargain." 

"What was it?" "How did it happen?" "What was it?" 
■ " Tell us all about it." 

' ' Yes, Billy ! tell us all about it," says the vanithee. 
" Sure it's little I know about it, I only heard it from another. 
But Moya yonder, blushing in the corner, was present, and can 
r tell you all the ins and outs of it." 

"Ah ! how smart you are, Mister Martin." 
" What was it, Moya ?" " Yes, Moya, what was it?" 
" Arrah do you think she's at confession to the whole of ye? 
Leave her alone, ' ' says the vanithee. 
" Well, what was it, Billy ?" 

" Well," says Billy, " I don't want to carry tales, but it was a 
good trick, anyhow." 

"Ah! can't ye tell us about it, and not keep palavering 

"Well, ye see. Garret, the priest's boy, was on the road in 
front of the priest's house, carting a few sods in a little barrow, 


and who should come along but Miss Moya, yonder, and ye all 
know hov/ the poor boy is gone on her." 

"Ah! close your mouth till ye get better manners, Billy 
Martin, for it's poor ones you have now." 

"Arrah whisht, Moya, sure you needn't get vexed, we were all 
tlie same way once in our lives," says the vanil/iec. "Go on, 
Billy, what was the rest of it?" 

"Well, what should they do, natural enough, but stop and 
have a bit of a conflab, and, begorra, nothing would satisfy the 
boy but he should have one little kiss." 

"Oh, shame on you, Billy Martin," cries the girls, and 
"small blame to him," says the boys. 

"And it's little you'd blame hiai, each of ye, if you were all 
alone with your own, boys, and nobody near you but the barrow 
of turf. Well, Moya, of course, wanted to trifle with him." 

" I wanted to go home out of that," says Moya. 

" To trifle with him before she'd consent — for she would in the 
end, you know." 

" Bad manners to you, Billy." 

"Arrah, whisht, Moya, sure we all forgive you. Small blame 
to you for giving what you were going to take." 

" Well, it's scuffling they were on the roadside, and the barrow 
upset and it's great goin's on they had all to themselves." 

"Billy Martin, I'll—" 

"When just as they were in the midst of it, who came along 
on his horse but Father Klnsella as large as life. And says Moya 
« Let go your hold ! Don't you see the priest ?' " 

"True for you," says Moya, without thinking, and we all 
commenced to laugh. 

" Ah ! you confess, Moya, you confess." 

" Well, sure, Garret was in a great way entirely, for the priest 
seen what he was at; but he was pretty quick, and of he slij->shis 
cap and tore it in two halves, and commences to boo-hoo and cry 
at a great rate. 

" 'What were you scufHing v.'ith that girl for, you young rascal ?' 
says Father Kinsella. 


" 'Oh! your reverence, boo-hoo, boo-hoo,' sobs Garret, show- 
ing his torn hat, 'she tore my new hat, your reverence, that 
cost me half my week's wages, boo-hoo; and I was just gohig to — 
boo-hoo — to — oh, your reverence, she's always up to such tricks, 
boo-hoo, and I was just going to^wo-hoo — to — to—' 

" ' To kiss her for doing it, you rascal. Inside, you're a disgrace 
to the house. If ever I find you attempting that again on the 
public road I'll horsewhip you soundly.' 

" ' Then I may in the house, your reverence, boo-hoo.' 

" 'Inside, you rascal,' and he gives him a slash ; but I heard that 
he was laughing all day in his study, and Garret got a new hat 
the next day." 

"What did you tear the boy's hat for, Moya?" "You'll have 
to get Garret another hat, Moya." " What'U you tell his reverence 
about the hat, Moya?" "But that was a queer trick, Moya." 

" Oh, leave poor Moya alone," says the vanU/iec; "maybe 
you don't all wish your hats were torn, and that into smithereens, 

Well, boys, such was the sport and the stories told at many a 
dance in Ireland, and told to-day, aye, perhaps this very evening, 
in your native land. Pretty soon the sport was getting glorious; 
the fiddle couldn't go fast enough; the boys were all saucy, and 
tlie girls were getting high-toned and disdainful, excejit when a 
good joke would be told, and then they'd have to laugh; the old 
men got in the comer again and commenced talking about 
" Dan " once more, and the whole of us were in the height of 
our glory, when there came a thundering rap at the door, and we 
were all as still as mice around a cheese, for there seemed to be 
tlirouble and danger in the knock. 

" Who's there?" says the vanilkec. 

"Open the door immediately," says the voice. 

"Not till I know what you want," says the good woman. 

" Open this door, woman," says t'.ie one without, and he pushed 
in an umbrella through the chink, and then indeed we all got 
sick at heart, for we knew Father Kinsella's umbrella well, every 
one of us, and felt it, maybe, too; and Malachy Du.T peeps out of 
the window and he cries out : 


**Down with the lights, boys, down with them. There's 
Father Kinsella outside and two curates with him. Oh ! what an 
unlucky night. Down with the lights, or he'll see each of us and 
we all will be mentioned from the altar." 

In a minute the lights were down and out, and we were all in 
the other room, and under chairs and tables and beds; for every 
one thought it would be most terrible if his reverence saw him 
above all the others. I was under a table on one side of the 
room, and Ned Murphy beside me. Monica was in the other 
room, and dear knows where they all scrooged off to^ but 
there was no one left outside but Malone, his wife and little 
Athanasius Ryan, the schoolmaster. It was pitch dark, for the 
liglits were all out and the candles made off with. It was a ter- 
rible moment, and the vanithce was in great distress; you could 
hear your heart beat, and in the other room they were trybg to 
open the window softly and escape in silence. 

"Patrick Malone," says his reverence, "what do you mean 
by having a dance in your house on New Year's night, and I ex- 
pressly forbidding it ?" 

"Wliat dance, your reverence? sure, there's no sign of a 
dance here anyway." 

"Stop! do not attempt to prevaricate and make the matter 
worse. Liglit the lights till we see the offenders; I think there 
must be some of your parish here, too. Father McEvoy," say she 
to the priest with him. 

"I haven't the least doubt," says Father McEvoy and some- 
how or other the voice seemed very familiar to me. 

" Quick, light the lights, Patrick," says Father Kinsella. 

" Well, your reverence, you see — " says the vmiitliee. 

" Do what I tell you without an instant's delay." 

" But, your reverence, they've stole the candles." 

"Father McEvoy and I must see the delinquents. Quick, a 
light;" but he knew h; couldn't get one for all the gold in 

"Quick," says Father McEvoy, "a light, I must look after 
my parish," and the voice seemed olJ to me some way. So I 
waited a minute to make sure. 


" Father Kinsella," says he again, "does the woman refuse 
to obey your commands ?" 

I was sure. So I caught a little glimpse of the face in a stray 
bit of moonshine, and I whispers to Ned Murphy: 

"Ned! Ned ! it's Master Tom. He's got his friends with 
him playing us a trick; and they've stolen Father Kinsella's 

We were sure in a minute, and Ned had a stray bit of candle 
he secured in the mess. In a twinkling we lit it and jumped up. 

" Ah ! Master Tom, we caught you, wc caught you. Ah ! but 
you're up to a trick with your cape and hat. Ah ! you're caught, 
for all your umbrella." 

"What", man," says he, "do you dare to refuse — " and then 
he had to laugh; but in a minute he blew out the light in Ned's 
hand and was just making for the door; but I soon stopped that 
little game, and then indeed they all trooped from the other 
room, under tables and beds and chairs, the loft, closets and all 
over. Tlie candles were soon lit, and there, boys, we had Master 
Tom and his two friends prisoners in the midst of us, and to tell 
you the truth they seemed to enjoy the imprisonment too. 

Well, then we formed great schemes for their punishment. 
Everybody had something to say, and each one thought that 
surely his punishment would be the hardest and most good- 
natured one that could be devised. 

"Make them dance with every girl in the room," says one. 

"Make them drink all the poteen," says another; but few 
favored tJiat. 

" Put tliem on the table as kings," says another. 

" And tie their hands behind their backs." 

"Make Master Tom play the fiddle." 

"Oh! by all means." "Tobesure." "Certainly." "Why 

" Put him on the table." 

"Give his friend the rosin, and Peter Kinsella the hat." 

"Agreed, agreed." "Up with them." "Put them on the 


"Now, then, Master Tom, the wind that shakes the 'barley.' " 

" The fox-hunter's jig," 


** Patrick's day." 

" Irish washerwoman." 

" Arrah, now boys and girls, give him time to draw his breath 
and he'll give you all the tunes together with one scrape of the 
bow, won't you, Master Tom?" says the vanithee. 

" To be sure I will, and half a dozen more for good measure," 
says Master Tom. 

And so, not to keep you waiting any longer, up they put him 
on the table, and Master Tom took the fiddle, his fnend rosined 
the bow, and they gave the fiddler's hat to Peter Khisella to 
gather up the change in. And maybe Master Tom couldn't play 
— whisht ! You'd know how to dance immediately, as sooa as 
you heard him, even if you never saw a jig before in your life ; 
and it would make your heart cry tears of joy and laughter to sec 
Peter Kinsella going round with the hat among us; and maybe it 
wasn't well filled — because, you see, we were all having such fun 
on account of our near losing it all, and whenever yiju're near 
losing anything that you get a new grasp on, it's twice as sweet 
as before, as, indeed, I needn't tell you, because you must all 
know it from experience. Well, of course, there was great talk 
about the fright we were all in. 

" Did you see Darby Duff getting under the vcOiithec^s thimble, 
boys ? Sure, if the rest of him got in, the brogues would stick out, 

"Ay !" says Darby, "but you got into the closet yourself so 
as to be near your dearest friend, the poteen; but yon take it to 
heart a great deal — almost as much as to stomach." 

"How careful you were, Thade," says another, "thatMoya 
wouldn't be seen. Sure, when Garret hears that — " 

"Ah! boys, did you see himself?" says Thade; "sure, I 
thought we'd be all discovered, your lobster nose shone so much 
in the dark." 

Well, such was the talk among us all, and for about ten minutes 


we were in great confusion, and there was tlie greatest hubbub — 
every one laughing and talking, blaming others, praising him- 
self, the girls all animation and the boys all spirits, Pat and his 
cronies laughing and saying that it reminded them of when they 
were young gaffers themselves. Well, we were all re^-'ly just for 
a renewal of the dance. Master Tom was on the Uible striking 
up a tune, and Peter Kinsella was just emptying the hat in the 
fiddler's lap, when the door, which by ill luck we fcr^ot to bar 
the second time, was opened, and who stalks in liut Father Kin- 
sella himself, as large as life, and his forehead like an August 
thunder-cloud. There wasn't an instant to blaw out a light, or 
to Scrooge away in a corner, but there we stood, looking as dreary 
and as guilty as a pair of cocks fighting in the rain. Ob I but we 
were terror-stricken; and when Father Kinsella looked round his 
eye grew flashy. 

"What do you mean," says he, " assembling here on this holy 
night, and profaning this great feast of God's Church by disturb- 
ing the stillness of the night with your drunken revelry ?" 

" Oh ! Father Kinsella ! drunk — sorra one of us," we all cried 
out together. 

Well, boys, just then he cast his eyes around, and whom 
should he see but his own nephew, with the fiddler's hat in his 
hand, and Master Tom on the table, with the fiddle to his shoul- 
der. Well, the look he put on — Virgil couldn't describe, as 
Athanasius Ryan said (how could he, sure he never saw Father 
Kinsella). Well, he wanted to be fiercer than ever, and spite of 
all he could do he had to smile; and then Master Tom looked at 
him and laughed, and sure he had to laugh too; and when he saw 
his own cape, hat and umbrella with Peter Kinsella he burst out 
into a roar; but, for all that, he remembered his duty, so up he 
takes his umbrella and told us all to go home. Says he: 

" Go home peaceably, now, every one of you, and Fll forgive 
you all, for sure my own nephew encourages you; but let me 
never hear of such a thing again. Remember that, and let it 
sink deep into your hearts." 

"Oh, your reverence, never again in all our lives." 


"That will do now; go home — no nonsense," for he knew we 
couldn't keep such a promise if we tried ever so hard. 

"Oh, thank you, Father; sure we'll always remember it." 
"Never fear us, your reverence, sorra dance — " " Never in my 
house again, your reverence — ' ' 

"Home with you all, quick; and as for you three gentlemen, 
come and walk over a piece with me — " 

"Oh! Father, forgive them." "Forgive them, your rev- 
erence; sure, 'twas only a little sport on their part—" " Ah, do. 
Father Ivinsella; sure they'll never do it again — " 

" Home out of this, every one of you, or this will not be the end 
of it. Home, quickly, every one of you, or maybe it's mention 
you I would." 

Well, off we went all home, and sure by the time Monica, Ned 
and myself got back it was very early, and says the Widow 
Walsh to me: 

"And what brought you home so early?" 

" Well, ma'am," says I, " you see I forgot to feed Katy when 
I left, and sure it lay heavy on my mind, and I thought I'd come 
home and not leave the poor beast without her supper on my ac- 

"And you, Mcnica?" 

"Well, ma'am, sure I was afraid I hadn't set the dough for 
the baking, and as James was coming back, I thought I'd come 
with him and make sure." 

" And you, Ned, what brought^'^?^ home so early ?" 

" Why — because, ma'am, the others came home, and I didn't 
want to come home alone any later for fear of the fairies, as they 
do say there's a power of them abroad to-night." 

" But sure you're getting very timorous, Ned," says the widow, 
" and I am very glad to see you other two so tender for the wel- 
fare of the house. That will do now; you can go." 

A little later the boys came in with Father Ivinsella, and such 
laughing as in the parlor you never heard the like of before. 
And sure who was it but the widow who put the boys up to the 
sport, and then sent word to Father Kinsella of a dance over at 


Pat Malone's; and sure didn't she confess, and it was a quite 
thing all round, anyhow. When Monica went up Tvith some re- 
freshments, they asked her was " the bread set yet?" and if 
'* Ned saw any fairies by the rath ?" but they guessed she was the 
only one herself. Well, from that day till 1 left Ireland, five 
years come next Michaelmas, I never heard Master Tom called 
anything by his college friends but " Father McEvoy," and, per- 
haps, occasionally " Fiddler Tcaru" 



The picturesque village of Castleconnell lies on the banks of 
the Shannon, about six miles above Limerick. A lovelier habi- 
tation could scarcely be chosen by the most enthusiastic admirer 
of decaying art and perennial nature. The surrounding district 
is thickly strewn with the remains of castles, fortresses, and 
churches, each shrined in the mellow twilight of its own legend ; 
whilst the gently undulating country is belted and darkened with 
fragments of forest, and overtopped by the bluest of mountains. 
The noble river itself flows past the village, a quarter mile 
in breadth, by quaintly-mossed and water-stained weirs, over 
which the salmon leaps, at times, high in the air, like a sudden 
gust of jewels; by conical-roofed, old-fashioned mills, whose 
crooked windows and high gables blend in mai-vellous harmony 
with the character of the surrounding landscape ; and by pleasant 
cottages, where peasant girls still sit and sing at the threshold, 
and the spinning-wheel hums flaxen-toned ditties in the summer 
weather. Leaving the village, the mighty stream sweeps with a 
curved rush around the gentle promontory on whose height the 
castle of the O'Briens still stands in desolate magnificence; and 
thence, with many a bend, round green elbows of scented wood- 
land and pastoral peninsulas, dotted with dreamy Cuyp-like cat- 
tle, towards Doonas. The fall in the bed of the river at this point 
is considerable. The narrow channel is nearly blocked up by 
huge boulders, overgrown with citron-colored flora, from whose 
fissures spring the slender hazel and the flowing elder; and over 
and around them rushes the great torrent of waters, churning itself 
into vast cauldrons of boiling foam and clouds of mist ; subsiding 
here and there into weltering pools of flaky emerald. To the 


right, the bank rises to the height of seventy feet; and viewed 
from this elevation, the spectacle presented by the Calls is one of 
terrific beauty. Right and left, as far as the eye can penetrate, 
the river appears to be lashed into a white fury, and sends up a 
roar which may be heard at a distance of six miles in calm 
weather. The low shores at the opposite side are buried in the 
thickest foliage, whilst if the spectator can lean over the cliff on 
which he stands, he sees but a precipitous wall of rock, which 
falls with plummet-like sheerness into the raging torrent beneath. 
The spot has many associations. Some years ago, a lady of high 
rank attempted to cross the falls at midnight, in order to be pres- 
ent at a ball given at the residence of a gentleman of fortune on 
the other siJe. A brave fisherman undertook to convey her 
across; but he and his fair charge perished in the perilous enter- 
prise. A month after the tragic occurrence, her body was dis- 
covered floating some miles further down the river, the bracelets 
on her wrists and the jewels of her hair matted with water- weeds. 
The peasantry assert that on the anniversary of her death, wail- 
uig voices*ascend from the falls, and a spectral lady is seen drift- 
ing seaward with the current. On the highest part of the bank 
are the ruins of a castle, evidently of modem erection. It is 
staled that the building was burned, by orders of its owner, for 
the express purpose of heightening the poetical character of the 
scenery, by adding a picturesque ruin to its other attractions. 
Then there is an ancient well, enclosed in an oblong of Druidical 
oaks; and there are raths, and nine-men-morris circles, where the 
lusmore flourishes, and the genial fairies of the place dance jocund 
measures in the blinking starlight. 

It was the morning of Christmas, 17 — . The winter had been 
unusually clement, for the sycamores still retained a remnant of 
yellowing foliage, and the frosts were so light that they scarcely 
crisped the short meadow-grass. The day was brisk and spark- 
ling, and before noon the mists, which had hung over the falls 
since daylight, were dissipated by the sun and a low breeze from 
the south. Tlie blackbird felt the time so pleasant that he puffed 
Jus golden throat, and whistled the first bars of a spring-tide carol ; 


the effort naturally provoked the emulative disposition ofliis rival, 
the thrush, who, however, broke down in the effort only to hear 
the crystal twitter of the robin from a neighboring: spray of holly. 
The Driscoll family, as they sat at breakfast, insensible, it must 
he confessed, to the vocal competition which had just taken place, 
felt that the season was mild, that the air was delicate, and the 
oaten bread delicious. So the lightest joke, tiie most trifling quil- 
let, excited a fit of hearty laughter, with cries of " Tisn't half 
your best," "Arrah, what'il he say next?" and other compli- 
mentary incentives to the rustic humor. 

The house occupied by the DriscoUs was a large and respecta- 
ble residence for a middle-class farmer of the period. It had two 
stories; and, though the walls were seldom whitened, and the 
sashes and panes exhibited uncomfortable ventilating tendencies, 
the coat of thick thatch which shielded the roof, and the tufts of 
smoke which ascended from the chimneys, lent it an air of cozy 
indolence that was far from being disagreeable. As for its posi- 
tion, it defied criticism. It was a grassy eminence, which sloped 
to the river edge, and caught the last foam-wreaths that were 
hurled downward from the falls. From the upper windows of 
the house one could obtain a good view of the "Jumping Hole," 
as it is called, and a goodly prospect of the rock-chafed river. 
Driscoll, senior, whom we do not pretend to quote as an author- 
ity on situation, was often heard to declare, that " all Ireland 
couldn't bate that spot for convanience, " and further, that a look 
at it on a heavy morning was " worth fifty pounds a year to a 

The family group assembled at breakfast on the eventful Christ- 
mas morning we write of, consisted of old Denis Driscoll, his 
wife and his two sons. Of John, the elder son, it would be hard 
to say much, as his character was of that negative description 
which offers little to the observer. Shrewd, acth'e and laborious, 
he was a faithful and valuable helper on the fj,r:n on* week days, 
and " an out-and-out buckeen " on Sundays and holidays. Mike 
was the family genius; he drank more, danced more, and sang 
more than all his relatives put together. He never missed a fair 


or a pattern; he was the heavy man at all the local wocliiogs, an 
indispensable assistant at the wakes, and the very dctit-e at "a 
thrial of short-stick." To see Mike was to see the embodiment of 
humor. When he laughed his ^ffaw could be heard over a 
meadow; his mouth would roll back displaying a double line of 
shining teeth; his black eyes would literally fl.ash Vilh enpyment, 
and every muscle of his face contributed .sonte odd wrinkle 
or cunnmg fissure to intensify the jollity of his expression. Of 
Mike's good nature no one was ever known to venture a doubt — 
his generosity was only limited by his ability; for he was always 
willing to oblige a friend with the loan of a shilling or the crack 
of a cudgel, as circumstances required. It is to be deeply re- 
gretted, that to all these shining qualities Mike did not unite pro- 
found religious principles. Not that his morals were ordinarily 
lax; but he had a constitutional passion for the open air, which 
occasionally induced him to neglect the solemn duties of religion. 
Then, Mike had been inoculated at an early stage of his career 
with a fancy for card-playing, and was often known to sit up 
four-and-twenty hours without winking, at his favorite amuse- 
ment. When the family went to chapel on Sunday, Mike would 
invariably say, "Go on, father; I'll overtake ye — believe mc, I'll 
overtake ye." But he seldom fulfilled his promise, preferring 
rather to turn into a deserted lime-kiln, which lay at a stone's 
throw from the rear of the house, where he met with a group of 
choice spirits, with whom he gambled till dinner-time. 

"What are you dramin' iv, Mike?" asked old DriscoU, eye- 
ing his son, who appeared to have fallen into a brown study. 
" Eh, what are you dramin' iv ? Some misforthunate caper, I'll 
go bail ?" 

"Musha, father, as ye're curious to know what, I'll tell you. 
I'm dramin' of nothin' at all, at all, so I am." 

" Wid the blessin' of God," observed Mrs. DriscoU, "he's 
thinkin' of goin' with us to-day instead of playin' cards. Won't 
you, Mike ?" 

"Yes," said Mike. "I'll just go and make myself a thrifle 
dacent, and then I'll be wid ye." 


So saying, Mr. Michael Driscoll rose and climbed the stairs to 
an upper room for the purpose of refreshing his toilet. His bro- 
ther, it will be remembered, was a buckeen ; but Mike had an in- 
tellectual contempt for the proprieties of costume, wliicli no fra- 
ternal example, however brilliant, was capable of correcting. He 
hated shiny hats, despised cravats, repudiated broadcloth, but 
held buckskin in healthy esteem. Consequently when Mike, " a 
thrifle dacent," presented himself before his family, and an- 
nounced himself ready, his attire was more picturesque than ele- 
gant. It consisted, if we may descend to details, of buckskin 
knee-breeches, blue stockings, and brogues; his coat, which was 
furnished with a cape, descended almost to his heels. On his 
head he carried a beaver hat, slightly indented about the middle; 
and the whole was completed by the addition of a coarse shirt, 
fastened at the throat with a large brass button. In this inven- 
tory we have purposely omitted mention of his stick — a short, 
thick ash cutting, which had performed several curious surgical 
operations in the hands of its owner, and is therefoi'e entitled to a 
distinct sentence. 

All being in readiness, old Driscoll mounted a favorite gray 
mare, and his wife was placed on a pillion behind liim; the buc- 
keen rode a blood horse borrowed from a neifj'.i!>or; and poor 
Mike a one-eyed mule, which he aptly described as " the most 
cantankerous baste in creation." The little cavalcade set out 
slowly for the chapel, about three miles distant; and it was evi- 
dent from the radiant looks of Mrs. Driscoll and the jaunty air of 
her husband that both were delighted at getting ]!irilce, at long last, 
on the high road to duty. The road lay in part through a dense- 
ly-grown shrubbery, whence it turned off, at a sharp angle, and 
emerged on the open country. As old Driscoll jogged along, a 
sudden impulse caused him to look in the direction of the farm 
house. A quick exclamation of surprise passed his lips. 

"Mike, avick," he shouted with considerable energy; "ride 
back as fast as the mule's legs will carry you; the pigs are puUin' 
the whate in the haggard — bad luck to them, an' the Lord forgive 


"Bad scannin' to them," said Mrs. Driscoll, "they're the 
quarest pigs I ever seen. \Vhate, indeed ! 'twould sarve them 
right if it choked them." 

Mike cast a rapid glance at the haggard, and sure enough there 
were the whole litter, with the sow at their head, poking their 
noses into the corn-stacks, and munching the precious grain as 
only pigs and aldermen can munch. To turn back the mule's 
head and urge her to a canter was the work of a moment. " Don't 
lose no time, agrah," shouted his mother, as he rode off to arrest 
the work of demolition. 

"Honor bright, mother," replied Mike, and without further 
parley he provoked the mule into a gallop. On reaching the 
house he jumped over the haggard fence, and contrived, with the 
assistance of his stick, to disperse the offending animals. Having 
secured the gate, he looked around for the mule, but that quad- 
ruped, being inclined to excursiveness, had wandered from the 
road, and was disporting himself in a piece of ploughed land to 
the north of the farm. To make matters worse, Mike found it 
impossible to catch him. The cunning beast eluded every at- 
tempt which his owner made to capture his reins, and led him 
such a dance through the soft loam that the latter was obliged to 
sit down, defeated. 

After some time he rose, and was making his way to the road, 
when the hum of well-known voices from the other side of the 
ditch reached his ear; and before he could fly, a number of young 
men, dressed in the provincial holiday gear, leaped into the field, 
and stood l)efore him. 

"AiTah, then, isityerself? and my Christmas-box on you," 
said Jerry Toomey. " Is it huntin' the wran all alone you were, 
and the two best fivers in the country goin' to try it out at the 

Mike laughed a good-natured laugh, and shook his head. 

" Maybe he's goin' coortin'," observed Tom Delany. "See 
how nate he looks, scooped out to the nines, as the man said to 
the new piggin. I'd l)et ye a fi'penny bit, boys, he'd be ashamed 
to walk with us — wouldn't he, Tony ?" 


The individual addressed as Tony, a little fat man, dressed in 
a faded hunting suit, hsre walked up to Miks, and, having made 
a circuit around him, clapped his handj ia affected astonishment. 
"Why thin, Mike," asked the little man, placing his hands on 
his hips, and throwing back Iiis head with tlis air of a horse-critic, 
" you didn't mane to bother us entirely, did you? New buck- 
skins, as my grandfather was a gentleman; new brogues, new 
coat, new everything — the signs of money flying about him like 
snuff at a wake. I v/ondcr did he pay the hansel yet ?" 

" Begor, then, he didn't so," said Tom, " an' more's the shame 
for him; bat wc won't forget it if he does. After all, it's raisona- 
ble of me thinkin' that Mike was goin' to mass, for he's turnin' 
pious iv late — a young saint, you know." 

Tlie young men laughed simultaneously, much to Mike's cha- 
grin, and with a view to cover his reputation as a good fellow, 
he said: 

" Troth, Ton/, if ye'd like to know the ins and outs of it, I 
was on the look-out for ye, knowin', as I knowed for the last two 
weeks, that ye'd have a bit of divarsion to-day, and now an' iver 
I'm as good a man as any o' ye." 

"More power to your potato cake," cried Tony, slapping Mike 
encouragingly on the back. "When the Driscolls give up sport- 
in', you may burn all the cards and shoot all the race-horses in 
the country. Come along, honey, for there's no time to be lost." 

Wlien the little party arrived at the kiln, they found it already 
in the occupation of a dozen of persons, who were disputing loud- 
ly over an alleged neglect on the part of some one present. 

"Bring us all this way," cried one, "and when we come, 
there's n^t a card to play with." 

"Dat Ted N^alon," said a sharp, wiry voice, " is de most in- 
sonest boy in the barony. H2 links of notin' except atin' and 
drinkin' and gutlin'. 'Tis n^ider here nor dere, but 'twas a 
bleedin' shame to lave de cards to him." 

" Ilowld yer tongue, Tim," said a manly young fellow, who 
appeared deeply dejected; "ye'd talk from this to Michaelmas, 
ye would. Look, min, there's only one thing for us. Draw lots 


to know who'll go to the village to buy a sixpenny pack at Betty 

The proposition was received with delight. A number of 
straws of various lengths were placed in Tony's hat, and the gam- 
blers drew one each. On comparing them, Mike's was found to 
be the shortest of the lot. The result startled him not a little, but 
there was no help for it. 

"Dere, you're de lucky man, so you arc," said Tim, "and 
you're well dcsarvin' of the honor, so you are. Take to your 
pins, now, and don't cry crack till you're back again wid us. 
And beware of de Good People." 

With many recommendations " not to spare his heels " ringing 
in his ears, Mike left the kiln. An hour later, with the cards in 
one of his capacious pockets and a bottle of whiskey in the other, 
he left the village and bent his steps homewards. He was in the 
highest spirits, for he anticipated rare sport; nor was his mind 
troubled by the reflection that he had sacrificed a solemn obliga- 
tion to human respect for his companions. Whether it was that 
he had imbibed too much of the contents of the bottle, or that 
some unusual cause contributed to the elasticity of his tempera- 
ment, we know not; but it is asserted, that whilst threading his 
way through Doonas Wood, the gay fellow carolled like a bird, 
and flourished his stick more than once with playful ingenuity. 
The extreme beauty of a little lawn, a place known as " The 
Fairies' Wake," hidden in a verdurous paling of holly trees, ar- 
rested his steps as he was about to cross it. The grass seemed to 
Mike to be grass of a softer and fresher texture than he had ever 
before seen; the trees, too, were of slenderer trunk and lovelier 
outline; and the patch of sky overhead was of deeper and richer 
blue than the sky usually wore at that season. " Surely," thought 
Mike, "if the Good People — Lord between us and harm — wanted 
a purty to foot a double reel, 'tis here they ought to come, 
and not to the old raths, where two cals couldn't dance comforta- 
bly barrin' they held their tails in their mouths. Well, at any 
rate, though the place is nice, I must say it's cowld; and faith a 
dhrop would improve a boy's acquaintance with it." Having 


expressed his opinion, Mike raised the bottle to his lips and swal- 
lowed a copious draught of the fiery liquor. At the same time, 
he became sensible that the cards had fallen from his pocket and 
were scattered in a brilliant litter on the sward. Placing the bot- 
tle in his pocket, he stooped to pick them up, but to his astonish- 
ment they wouldn't wait for his fingers; they appeared to be sud- 
denly endowed with life, for they hopped and skipped about in 
all directions with such liveliness of manner and such variety of 
motion that it was evident, as Mike subsequently remarked, "The 
Ould Boy's children had their Daddy's luck." 

"Ah, thin, will ye be aisy, will ye, and slop yer capers ?" he 
cried, for the potent spirit had deadened his reverence for the 
supernatural to a degree boidering on disbelief in its existence. 
"Say ye'll come if ye'U come, if ye don't, don't, for the deuce a 
one of me ud be bothered huntin' ye about for tin times yer worth. 
Knave of spades, bad luck to me, but I'll twist yer neck, you 
dirty blackamoor, if you go on that way makin' a fool o' me. 
Queen of Diamonds, there's a darlint — thuck, thuck, thuck — an' 
she's goin' to let me take her, isn't she ? Arrah, only mind how 
she cuts, head over heels — whoo ! will she ever put a stop to her 
gallop ? By dad, she's in debt to her house painter, and takes 
me for a bailiff. That's a dacent, respectable man, the King of 
Hearts — a very dacent man. Av coorse he remembers the night 
when he won me the last thrick of that murtherin' forty-five, 
when I bate Ned 1 legarty to babby-rags. Yerra, look how he 
comes to me, faugh-a-balla. Five of Clubs, you pock-marked 
thief, and make way for his majesty. Ye're gone agin. King of 
Hearts. Ye're gone, you shabby desaiver, with your ould petti- 
coats streelin' to your heels. Farragh-aJJw, if you come forninst 
me now and stood and said, ' Take me, Mick DriscoU, take me,* 
I'd say, » Gerout, you ould bundle of tattei-s, I'd like to know 
who'd put you in their pocket?' Musha, Queen o' Spades, 'tis 
yourself that's a purty colleen, and proud I'll be to take you 
under my protection, with your nate curls hanging down yow 
rosy cheeks, and the crown o' gold shinin' bright on your head. 
Whoo ! jewel, how she foots it, as if she was dancin' at Billy 


Leonard's hop for a wager. Oh, the deeshy dawny little feet of 
her ! and the lily hands, and the wliite tin fingers, so long and so 
taper, for all the world like two hanks o' candles ! I have you, 
acliora, I have you. Arrah, shoot me, but she's gone, like the 
lest iv 'em — gone clean, as Joe Bolster said, when he polished his 
brogues and pawned them afterwards. Honest woman, honest 
woman, I say you don't know me, or you'd behave yourself a 
thrlde better. I'm Mike Driscoll, o' Doonas, I'd have you know. 
'Tisn't myself that would say it, but there's not a girl in the 
barony that wouldn't cock her cap at me, if she thought 'twas 
any use for her. Do you hear that. Queen o' Spades ! do you? 
go over to your ould Iwccaiigh of a husband, that's niakin' a fool 
iv himself in the bushes, tryin' to coax out the Queen o' Diamonds, 
iv you please, and tell him I said so. O ! thin, muitlier, what's 
the matter with them at all at all ? There they're flutterin' about, 
like leaves at harvest time, and all the art o' man couldn't lay 
hands on one o' their ugly carcasses. Not a hair I care anyhow, 
for they'll soon get tired in spite iv 'em, and then 'twill be easy 
enough to go up and talk wid them. Go on, go on, ye varmints, 
I wouldn't look after ye for the good iv ye. WTioo ! that's right; 
when the somebodies dance vioonccns, their fatlier, av coorse, 
pays the piper." 

During the delivery of this strange address, the speaker was 
busily engaged chasing the cards on his hands and knees, from 
place to place; but his labors proved fruitless. Sometimes a king 
card would dance within an inch of his hand, but when he 
stretched forth that member to capture the royal truant, the latter 
would bound a foot high from the grass, and roll away a dozen 
feet or more, when it would stand, as if inviting fresh pursuit. 
The queens iubisted on sustaining the reputation of their sex for 
profound skill in coquetry. They would advance with a winning 
gait and fascinating air, towards the poor fellow, who used all 
his eloc^uence to induce them to return to his custody, and then 
prostrate themselves on the sward. But, strange to tell, when 
Mike laid hands on them, they would manage to gllue out of his 
grasp, and go spinning about the lawn like humming tojis. The 


knaves were eminently successful in provolcing Mr. DriscoU's in- 
dignation. The rogues would stride up to him, with a look 
which meant to convey — "Can't you put us in your pocket?" 
then advancing their fat fore-legs, like a row of footmen at a Lord 
Mayor's dinner, and closing their left eyes, would gaze in his face 
so imploringly, that Mike was fain to pity them. Still, when he 
attempted to put them in his pocket, the merry young gentlemen 
would wheel round on their right heals, shake their wigged heads, 
and march off towards the trees, the skirts of their coats sticking 
out, and their swords dangling from their waists. As for the m- 
ferior cards they seldom came near him, contenting thefliselves 
with executing some mysterious movements under a neighboring 
holly. * Mike was disgusted with the whole business, and he was 
preparing to retire, when his ear was caught by a strain of un- 
earthly music, which appeared to float up, thin and bodiless as 
the morning mist, from the falls below; and having hovered 
overhead for a moment, died out in a chain of bell-like vibrations 
along the shores of the river. As he turned his eyes in the direc- 
tion from which the music came, he saw that the sun had long 
gone down, scarcely a trace of twilight lingered in the skies, but 
a fragment of the moon had risen to the left, and filled the far- 
stretching landscape with a tender and melancholy brightness. 
Only a few stars were visible " in the intense inane;" the roar of 
the falls was hushed, and a solemn stillness pervaded the air. 
The impression which the scene produced on the mind of the be- 
wildered beholder was notably increased by the marvellous 
change which was taking place in the character and conslitution 
of the cards. Some unseen magician had surely waved his wand 
above them, and transformed the slips of paper into the fantastic 
shapes which they were assuming. The four queens were quickly 
changed into winged fairies, which soared up gracefully from 
the sward, their airy drapery and wings, spotted with peacocks' 
eyes, gleaming in the imperfect moonlight. Then the kings were 
divested of their uncouth robes, and transformed into slender 
elves, each with a blue bell on his head for a crown. The 
knaves, by a similarly confounding process, were changed into 


little old men, with hard, wry, roguish faces, and decrepit bodies. 
They wore odd little hats, with trianguLir brims, and such queer 
jerkins and breeches, that Mike laughed outright as he watched 
them. As for the common cards, they were transformed into a 
brood of small fairy-like forms, whose backs and breast^ were 
thickly spotted with clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds. These 
latter tumbled about on the sward with uproarious merriment, 
and indulged in the quaintest grimaces and the shrillest laughs. 
Suddenly a fresh burst of music rose from the falls; this time a 
gay dancing measure. Directly the card fait les formed sets and 
chose partners, and fell to tripping one of the gayest double reels 
which Mike ever witnessed. A couple of elves, mounted on the 
backs of black-winged bats, sailed about in the air, and eventu- 
ally ran a race to the corner of the moon for a dc^rberry handi- 
cap. The queen of hearts and diamonds, applying two fox-glove 
blossoms to their mouths, gave the signal for the start, and away 
went the jockeys. At the same time, the queen of spades and 
clubs flew over Mike's head, and dropped golden furze blossoms 
on his hat, which, as they rolled ofTthe leaf, tickled his ears, and 
caused him to roar from a sense of exquisite enjoyment. Mean- 
while, the elves continued to foot it featly on the delicate tops of 
the slender brome grass, and with such dexterous energy that 
Mike felt it impossible t6 suppress his admiration, and cried out 
at the top of his voice: "More power to ye, there is not a 
betther. ' ' 

The words were scarcely uttered when the king of hearts, a 
dapper little fellow, who was stretching his legs on a leaf of wild 
lavender, marched up to him, and, placing his haaids behind his 
back, exclaimed: 

" Musha, is that you, Mike DriscoU ? Happy Christmas to 
you, Mick, but arn't you afeard of catchin' cowld on the broad 
o' yer back, there ?" 

" Sorra afeard," replied Mike; "the night isn't hot surely, 
but it isn't cowld, and — " 

"Mayl)e," says the king, "ye'd have no objection, ma 
bouchal, to a dhrop o' the native. We keep the best you e>«er 


clapped eyes on, and betune you and me, it never paid duty 

"If it'sconvanient, I could dispinse with it," said Mike; "but 
none o' yer thricks, mind. Isn'i it the quarest thing on airth," he 
contimted, «' that I got the whole lock, stock and barrel o' ye 
for a few pence from Betty Houlihan this morning, and here 
ye're caperin' and flulterin' about in such grand style as if yer 
had the riches of Daymur at yer backs ?" ^ 

" Keep yer insinivations to ycr.self," says the king, and his 
face grew red with anger. " Yer dirty hints won't sarve you 
here, I can tell you, Mike Driscoll. If you wish to behave da- 
cent, we'll tlirate you dacent; and to show you that we mane 
right, have a dhrop o' comfort afore we go farther." So say- 
ing, the king handed M'.ke a bottle with centuries of cobwebs 
clogged around its neck and sides. 

Before putting the bottle to his mouth, so.nething prompted 
Mike to look into it. Instead of being full of whiskey it con- 
tained a blue vapor, in the middle of which he perceived, float- 
ing about, the resemblance of a little girl, who, it was assumed, 
had been stolen by the fairies from her parents more than six 
years before. As he wai opening his lips to speak to her, she 
motioned him to keep silent, and then whispered: " Mike, dar- 
lint, beware, and don't ate nor dhrink with them." He laid the 
bottle down in astonishment, and looked at the king. 

"Ye're very timperate iv late, Mike," said the king. "Is 
it because you don't like the color iv it?" 

"Troth,and it'snotbadat all," replied Mike, "but I'd rather 
not take it jest now. If yer majesty will lave it to me a while, 
I promise to finish it before the night is over." 

" Faith, an' yer more than welcome to it. Put it in yer pocket, 
Mike, and step across here till I have the honor and glory of in- 
troducing you to the Queen." 

Mike followed the King across the grass to wbsre her majesty 
was rocking herself to sleep on a bit of crowfoot. 

" Are you awake, darlint?" said the King; " bekase if you are, 
I'd like ye'd make the acquaintance of this fine fellow here." 


The Queen, who was decidedly handsome, opened her eyes 
languidly and gazed on Mike. " Would you be after dancin' a 
double with me, young man ?" she asked. 

Mike bowed to the ground. "Would a cat drink new milk, 
ma'am?" was his reply. 

"Ye're a flattherer, Mike DriscoU," said the Queen, blushing 
to the eyebrows. " Faith, ye're great at the blarney, anyiiow. 
Ted," she continued, addressing the King, ♦' will ye ptrt yer fin- 
ger in yer mouth, and whistle for the prime minister J" 

The King smiled and obeyed. In less than a minute the Knave 
of Hearts made his appearance. 

" Ye're not dhrunk yet, are you?" asked the Queen, thought- 

" Dickens a dhrop more than two I tuk," replied the Knave, 
and as he spoke both his ears shot up like a pair of straight homs 
at each side of his head. 

" Thin as ye're not," said her majesty, " pick out the purtiest 
pair o' pumps in the chest o' dhrawers, and put them on Mr. 
DriscoU, for he's condescinded to dance a double with your 

" Oh, ma'am !" ejaculated Mike, " faith, as for the condescin- 
sion, it's all the other way, indeed." 

"Hould your bladdherin', " says the Queen, " hould your 
bladdherin', will you?" 

The Knave, who had disappeared, returned in a moment, and 
fitted Mike in a pair of beautiful pumps, with green heels and 
rosettes at the insteps. 

" 'Tis nale they look, Mr. DriscoU," observed kcr majesty, 
"but a plumper pair o' calves than yours I never seed afore. 
Och, 'tis you must play the dickens intirely with the girls, it is." 

"Axin' your ladyship's pardon," exclaimed Mike, " but I'm 
as innocent as the babe unborn." 

" Ha ! ha ! ha !" roared the Knave, giving, at the same lime, 
a diabolical grin, which distended his mouth almost to his ears. 
"Ha! ha! ha!" 

With a look of supreme contempt at the ugly scoSer, the 


Queen gave Mike her hand, and led him to the middle of the 
lawn, where they mingled with the other royalties, male emd fe- 

*' Have a dhrop before you begin, Mike ?" said the Queen of 
Diamonds, who glittered from head to foot with shining jewels, 
at the same time pointing to the bottle, the neck of which was 
visible above his pocket. 

Mike bowed. " I'm as thankful to you, ma'am, as if I tuk it; 
but it's nayther here nor there until the blood gets heated; when 
that biles, I'll cool it." 

Diamonds smiled graciously. "May I make bould to ax yer 
hand for the next set ?" she asked. 

" Faix, an' you may, and welcome. When the Queen o' 
Hearts gets wake, I'm yer man, my lady. Whoo ! there's the 

An unseen orchestra struck up a lively tune, and Mike, having 
led his partner up and down in approved fashion, placed his 
arms akimbo, and began to foot it with an energy which aston- 
ished the denizens of fairy -land around him. Now he flung up 
his right hand, snapped his fingers with a great thwack, which 
made the grasses tremble; now he retired, throwing his heels 
right and left, and making the long tails of his coat fly about 

" He's a rale jewel," says the Queen of Spades. 

"Did you ever see the likes of him ?" says her Majesty of 

" Remember your promise tome, Mike," whispered the Queen 
of Diamonds. 

And the Kings swore he was the best fellow in their dominions, 
and the Knaves grinned with inextinguishable laughter, whilst the 
common cards went bobbing up and down, with the most comical 
gravity imaginable. Suddenly the Queen of Diamonds gave a 
little shriek, and ran limping to a bed of wild thyme, where she 
lay down in apparent agony. 

"What ails my delight?" screamed her royal consort, rushing 
to her side; " what's the matter, avourneen ?" 


"Oh, nothin' at all, at all," says the Queen. 

" It's ill said of you," says the King; " and by my twelve re- 
tainers, I'll know the ins and outs of it." 

" Troth, an' as ye're so curious, I'll tell ye; Mr. Driscollthrod 
on my corns — there." 

"The flamin' blackguard," says the King. " Boys," said he 
to the Knaves, " take that boccaiigh, and baste him green with 
nettles; bad luck to his ugly crubeens to-night." 

The other royal personages hastened to interpose in behalf of 
Mike; and after a great deal of solicitation, backed up by the 
prayers of the wounded Queen, he was pardoned. 

"It'll be all right, darlint," said the Queen of Hearts, bend- 
ing over the beautiful invalid. " Put a bit o' brown soap to it, 
and 'twill be well afore ye're twice married." 

Kneeling down at the poor Queen's feet, Mike took her foot 
in his hand and began to chafe it, an operation which appeared to 
afford the sufferer no small delight. At the same time, a dapper 
little gentleman, in an oddly -shaped hat, commenced to tickle the 
left side of his nose, whilst a pair of elves attempted to pull the 
bottle from his right pocket, and others poured showers of gold 
doubloons into his bosom. 

" Does it pain you much, ma'am ?" he asked, with a languish- 
ing look at the royal sufferer. 

She smiled. " Bcgor, Mike," she said, "pain from you is a 
thrate. Are you tired o' dancin' ? bekase, if you're not, I'd like 
to thry a minuet with you." 

" You're welcome to it for a whole hour," replied Mr. Driscoll. 
"Wliat'U be plasin' to you ?" 

"A minuet, Mike, a minuet." 

" Oh, consamin' the time, I lave that to yourself; but what 
would ye like ? Are you partial to a jig, ma'am ?'' 

The Queen laughed outright. 

"We'll dance a min-u-et, Mr. Driscoll, if you plaise. Didn't 
you ever thry one ?" she asked. 

"Oh, now I have it. No, thin, I didn't. I contracted with 
Tim Hinchy for three ha'pence a step, but he chaled me out o' 


that dance, ma'am. Will ye be quiet, there, ye tasin' divils? 
Ma'am, spake a word or two to Paudheen, and inthrate him to 
lave off ticklin' my nose. Curse o' Cromwell on ye, and lave 
the bottle alone — what's it doin' to ye? Can't ye thry and be- 
have like Christhins — eh, can't ye ?" 

At a wave of the Queen's hand the elves desisted. 

♦•There's the Queen of Hearts," she said; "mind, she'll be 
jealous o' me, Mike." 

*• Troth, tliin, 'tis ill would become her. Is she spliced yet ? I 
suppose ould Bullock Heart is her husband." 

Diamonds was about to reply, when her royal sister seated her- 
self at her side, and thus prevented Mike's curiosity from being 
gratified. At a signal from the Queen of Clubs, the whole com- 
pany threw themselves in various positions on the grass; and as 
the Knave of Diamonds clapped his hands, the ground opened, 
and a round table, heaped with a sumptuous banquet, rose m 
their midst. To all solicitations to eat and make merry, Mike, 
who remembered the warning of the captive in the bottle, gave a 
firm but respectful refusal. 

"Thry some of our blackberry jam?" asked the Queen of 

*' Shall I send you a lark's leg, darlint?" said the Queen of 

«♦ Or a juicy slice from the sirloin of frog?" suggested the King 
of Clubs. 

" I ax your pardons all round," said Mike, "but I couldn't ate 
another morsel." 

As Mike said this, he felt a tiny head laid lovingly on his 
shoulder, and heard the Queen of Hearts whisper: 

" Ah, thin, Mr. Driscoll, were you ever coorlin' ?" 

"Why, thin, not to say much, ma'am. There was a girl o' 
the Bradys that I had a likin' for, and was goin' to be married to 
her, till we fell out about a feather-bed and a goat. We wouldn't 
give, and they wouldn't take, and there was an ind of it." 

The Queen sighed. "And did you never love any one since, 
Mr. Driscoll?" 


"Begor, thin, I'm afeard I did," replied Mike; "greatly 
afeard itself." 

" Her name wasn't Brady, Mike — was it ?" 

" Begor, thin, yer right enough, ma'am, it wasn't Brady; 'twas 
the— the— " 

" The what, darlint ?" 

**Why, 'twas the Queen o' Hearts, ma'am;" and as Mike 
made this terrible confession, he wound his arm round the Queen's 
neck, and imprinted a kiss on her cheek with so much vehemence 
that the report resounded like a clap of thunder over the locality. 
Kings, queens, knaves and commoners sprang to their feet. 
"Treason!" "Revenge!" "Kill him!" "Sting him to 
death !" were the first cries which arose from the tumult. 

"Tie his heels together," cried the Knave of Hearts, "and 
hang him out o' the moon." 

"Give us a garter, Peggy," said the King of Hearts to his 

The lady parted with the ligature with evident unwillingness, 
and Mike's ankles were bound together in a trice. A cold sweat 
burst out through the pores of his body, and he grew powerless 
in the presence of the terrible doom which he had earned by his 
rashness. In vain he remonstrated, pleaded and wept. A power 
he was unable to resist lifted him on the backs of four giganlic 
bats, and in three seconds he was being whirled towards the 
moon, attended by all the fairy company. The planet was 
reached in less than ten minutes, and Mick felt almost sick to 
death from the smell of stale cheese that pervaded the atmos. 

"Hang him to this comer," cried the King of Hearts. 
" We'll let him see he don't kiss our wife for nothing." 

"She can have it back, if 'twill please your majesty," said 
Mike. " I mint no harm." 

" Here's a nice cmmbledy corner to tie him to; 'twill break 
away in an hour, and then he'll be made porridge of," roared 
the Knave of Hearts. 

A suitable spot was at length selected, and Mike, hanging head 


downwards between earth and heaven, was left swinging about in 
a storm which agitated the lonely lunar regions. Far below he 
could see the world, and, when the wind lulled, could catch the 
roar of the Falls. His head grew dizzy, his heart sank within 
him, and, clasping his hands together, he exclaimed, "May the 
Lord have mercy on me." The words had not died on his lips 
when the comer of the moon he was hooked to snapped off, and 
he fell — down deeper, and deeper, and deeper! The stars shot 
past him, as he descended with the velocity of an aerolite; and, 
before he had time to bless himself, he alighted, with a great 
bound, on the world, narrowly escaping a plunge into the roar- 
ing Falls. He started up, he rabbed his eyes — what was this ? 
Where was the moon ? and where were his tormentors ? He was 
lymg in the middle of the "Fairies' Wake," on the identical 
spot where he had taken the last draught of whisky on return- 
ing homeward. Everything was quiet, not a leaf stirred; it was 
long past midnight, and the full, round moon of Christmas had 
begun to set. Looking up to the descending planet, he ex- 
claimed, " 'Twas a power of a fall intirely. I wondher was the 
bottle broke !" An examination of his pocket convinced him 
that it had not sustained a fiacture; and, to his astonishment, the 
cards were all safe, and tightly packed together. " Afther all," 
he soliloquized, "I was only dhramin'; but old brogues to me, 
if I play cards agin in a hurry — Sunday or Monday, or holiday, 
aither. What the deuce has got into the bottle ?" Holding the 
flask between his eyes and the light, he perceived something 
moving up and down the inside. For a moment he was con- 
vinced that it was the spectral child, who had warned him to re- 
ject all offers of food and drink from the fairies, but, breaking the 
vessel, he discovered that it was only a field frog. Stiff and sore 
in every joint, he rose up and plodded homewards. 

"You see, Milce," said his mother, when he had recounted in 
detail the experiences of the night, "that there's nayther luck 
nor grace in card-playin', for if you had gone where you ought, 
the Good People couldn't trouble you." 

"Thrue enough, mother," he replied; "but wait till I go 


card-playin' agin, and you'll be diggin' tae praties on New 
Year's Day." 

"There, go where ye ought to go," he exclaimed, throwing 
the new cards into the fire. "It's moighty plain that people who 
ride steeplechases on bats and dine on frog sirloins aren't fit com- 
pany for honest Christians. And, mother, ye'U never agin have 
to fall out wid me about my duty ; and here, may the Lord send 



Some two score years ago, or over, on the road to Coal Island, 
in the county of Tyrone, lived Jack McConnaughey, the black- 
smith. I remember him well, and his appearance. To the 
shoulders he was about middle height, but his exceedingly long, 
thin, scraggy neck, made him fully two or three inches taller. 

Jack was a prudent, careful, and extremely frugal soul, who 
regarded any kind of waste on his premises as an unpardonable 
sin. Yet he did not stand very high in the esteem of his neigh- 
bors; they failed utterly to award him either merit or respect for 
his saving virtues; on the contrary, they designated him " a mis- 
erable old crj[o." He had a simple simpering manner withal that 
indi:ai,2d anything but the skinflint he really v/as. In the words 
of Tom Kearney, who was once his journeyman, "Jack was very 
soft about the mouth till you came to feel his teeth." Tom, 
however, was somewhat prejudiced in the matter, as the reader 
most likely will find out. 

Jack never manied, and there were those who were ill-natured 
enough to regard the fact as a wise and beneficent stroke of Pro- 
vidence. It was said that he had an old stocking hid away 
somewhere, and upon it all his affections concentrated and into it 
went every spvereign, half-crown and shilling his anvil yielded. 
Even the priest declared he "could not get a rap out of him but 
the bare dues that he couldn't help." His sister Nancy kept his 
house, and was said to be the countei-part of Jack himself, but 
Tom Kearney insisted that, bad as Jack was, Nancy was ten times 


Tom was not a native of the place; he was a Leinster man 
that tramped in there some years before, and got employment 
from Jack McComiaughey, not knowing anything about him at 
the time; as he verified afterwards, he "would as soon stay in 
h — 1 as wid ould Nancy."' 

Tom Kearney was a superior workman, deeply versed in the 
mysterious secrets of his trade; could make a plow or any other 
jnechanism fashioned in a forge, only give him the pattern. At 
shoeing horses he had no superior, and many believed he had no 
equal. At periods, ranging from four to six months, Tom would 
gooff on a spree, get gloriously drunk, and keep it up for a week 
or over. Then came a season of repentance, in which he labored 
with sickness and headache for several days more. During those 
special seasons of regret he was invariably the propounder of 
many wise and moral sayings on thefolly of drunkenness, always 
ending with the most strongly affirmed resolutions and solemn 
promises to avoid the cursed thmg for the time to come. Many 
farmers and others liked Tom's workmanship so well, that if 
their horses needed shoeing during his aberrations, they would 
keep them back until he got sober again. He had not lx:en long 
in McConnaughey's employment when his talent brought busi- 
ness crowding to Jack's forge, and the latter, though he found 
him profitable, took advantage of the stranger, paid him as little 
wages as possible notwithstanding his superior workmanship. 

Barney Muldoon was another blacksmith, living at the cross 
roads, some two miles off, and a generous good fellow, who used 
to have a good deal of business to do, but Jack's new journey- 
man took the shine out of them all. Tom in the meantime did 
not like his quarters, and was saving up what money he could to 
get away from the place; this was the reason why that for six 
mortal months he never tasted barley juice. He was preparing 
to leave, when, on a Sunday, he met Barney Muldoon for the first 
time, and after the usual salutations were over the latter invited 
Tom to a social drink, and off they went together. Barney was 
a genial, warm-hearted fellow, and Tom, feelmg tlie mfluence, 
could not resist. Hour after hour of cosy enjoyment stole over 


them, conversing about their trade and other interesting matters, 
until it was night before they departed. Barney went home and 
was at his work next day, but Tom went on a spree, and contin- 
ued at it till all his money was gone. 

The time for jollification was over at last, and the time for re- 
pentance come; his head ached fearfully, augmented by conjoint 
lectures from Jack and Nancy for neglecting his work, "and 
money so hard to be got." Tom wall^ed out to escape the cross- 
fire of tantalizing words and did not return. Jack was soon in the 
fidgets to laiow where he went or what had become of him, when 
sometime during the next week he made the terrible discovery 
that Tom Kearney was hard at work in Barney Muldoon's forge! 
This news was very irritating — Barney Muldoon to take away his 
journeyman ! He went there to know how any one dared do it. 
As he approached the place, however, the thing began to look a 
little different to his view; he knew it would not be safe to say 
much to Barney, and so he addressed himself to Tom, who felt 
little disposed to treat liim even civilly. Tom's head was quite 
recovered now; he was getting better wages, and not at all the 
meek creature he was when weak, sick and nervous, just after the 
spree. He ordered McConnaughey to leave, or, if not, he was 
preparing for hostile demonstrations. Being an active, powerful 
young man, and looking cross at Jack, the latter took the hint 
and departed at the same time. Feeling his loss acutely, he 
judged that as soon as it went forth that Tom had left him, his 
business, now so flourishing, would soon fall back into the old 
ruts again, and maybe worse. 

His anticipation was not incorrect, for Barney soon got all the 
horse-shoeing he could do in consequence. .Still Jack did not 
give up hope of coaxing Tom back again, an accession of which 
he felt the need, for even now that winter was approaching, he 
had little or nothing to do. He was never done accusing himself 
for letting Tom gof and was earnestly wishing for an opportunity 
of taJiing with him, away from Barney Muldoon's presence. 
Thus, with his mind tormented in this way, the time was come to 
lay hi Ills year's stock of coals for the forge, according to his cus- 


torn. He had got a load or two from the Island, and was going for 
more, when passing by the public house, a mile or so from his 
own place, on a fine day, somebody called him from the mside. 
He went over to see who it was, and had scarcely got in when his 
attention was directed to a man lying helplessly drunk and 
asleep, who turned out to be no other than his journeyman, Tom 

The meeting seemed providential, but how was he going to 
improve the opportunity, and the fellow so dead drunk ? A bright 
thought occurred to Jack; that he would take Tom along in his 
cart to the coal pits, and when the latter awoke he might induce 
him to return and domicile with Nancy agam. Full of this pro- 
mising project, he got more straw into his vehicle, and with the 
help of fcome bystanders he succeeded in transferring Tom to it, 
more like a dead man than a living one. Jack drove on to the 
pits; though it was a long way, he arrived there at last, and still 
his charge slept fast as ever. He immediately sought out Bryan 
Campbell, his first cousin, to whom he communicated all his 
troubles and desires; how he wished to get Tom back, and the 
ruse he had practised in order to get him to return. 

Now, Bryan Campbell was the wag of the coal mines, an in- 
veterate practical joker. He was a man of considerable intelli- 
gence, and though he indulged in the social bowl occasionally, 
few ever saw him dnmk. He was the very centre of all the fun 
amongst the miners, and when he went on a game of sport, all 
obeyed him as a commander. Though McConnaughey was his 
near relative, he had little respect for him, knowing his niggardly 
disposition well. 

"What'U ye give me," said Bryan, " if I git this fellow to go 
back till you?" 

Jack was willing to promise him almost anything if he only 
effected that. Camplx;ll got Tom carefully into the bucket with 
himself, and both were lowered down the shaft. The sleeper was 
conveyed with quiet caution into a coal chamber which has little 
resemblance to the lady's chamber. There he was peaceably 
divested of his clothing. An old blanket, procured for the occa- 


don, was wrapped round him, and he was tranquilly placed by 
his conductor, sitting by a great pillar of coal, just as the inebriate 
was showing some signs of returning animation. 

Tom, at lengtii, had gradually slept off his drunken stupor, and 
opened his eyes; it was all dark around him. He tried hard to 
recollect himself where he went asleep, but his memory was 
sorely at fault; he could not recall the most distant glimmer. He 
remembered being at Sam McVicker's public house, where the 
big picture of King William crossing the Boyne was up; and how 
Sam saved him from a set of Orangemen, who were about to 
pound him for cursing ICing Billy — but where was he now ? He 
felt sick, his throat was dry and husky, and oh, how bitterly he 
regretted going on that infernal spree, and he doing so well with 
Barney MuJdoon. He soon discovered he was naked, with noth- 
ing but an old blanket round him. Where were his clothes, or 
where did he lose them ? He was sensible of a strong odor of 
brimstone, very ominous; and again the terribly perplexing 
question smote him — where was he now ? He heard the miners 
pickings but he did not understand it; he had never seen a coal 
pit in hb life, nor had he the remotest notion of what it looked 
like, and of course the least suspicion of where he was never 
entered his thoughts. 

Poor Tom was thus seriously and sadly ruminating, his usually 
strong nerves unstrung and his system weakened down, for he had 
eaten no food for nearly a week — when he saw some strange 
looking beings approaching, each with a light on his head ! They 
came and ranged silently around him. He could see they were 
black, and for fear of exposing his nakedness he drew the blanket 
closer round him. After standing some time in silence, one of 
these mysterious visitors spoke at last, and he heard in solemn 
tones; " What is your name ?" 

"My name," said he, " is Tom Kearney; but tell me, if you 
please sir, where am I now, or what place is this?" 

" Don't you know without asking ? Can't you see we're all 
black? And don't you smell the brimstone?" 


"Oh," said Tom, groaning inwardly, "how did I get hei'C, 
and what's the name of the place ?" 

" You got here as all like you get. You died drunk, and why 
need you ask the name of tlie place ?" 

" Am I dead?" said Tom, now fairly sobered. 

♦' Of course you're dead. ' ' 

"And are you the — t\i2 imps?" he faintly faltered. 

"Yes, we're the imps," was the reply, and they all laughed, 
which sounded dreadfully hellish in Tom's ears. 

" What did you work at in the other world ?" resumed the talk- 
ing imp again. 

"I was a blacksmith," said Tom. 

" Are you a good blacksmith ?" 

"I used to be able to forge almost any kind of a job." 

" Where did you serve your time?" 

" In Dublin, on the mail coach road, with Maguire, that used 
to be called The Big Fish, for a nick-name." 

" Can you make chains and bolts ?" 

" Yes, I can make bolts after a pattern, and I can make chains 
and close them if I have a good anvil," 

" Ye'U have a good anvil, and ye'U be very useful here, for 
we want a lot o' chains made, and bolts, too, for there's a great 
deal o' quality coming here just now. There's Lord Castle- 
reagh, that cut his throat the other day; ye've heerd o' him, 
didn't you?" 

"Yes," answered Tom; "but wasn't it in England he did 

" Oh, aye, indeed was it, but he must come to the Irish part 
o' hell for his punishment. He betrayed and roblx:d Ireland, 
you know, and it's Irlslimen must keep the hat blast till his skin. 
He is the traitor that sold the country to Billy Pitt, and it's their 
own fault if they let the fire go djw;a on liim — but there's no 
danger o' that. We use traitors tlic worst of all here. The 
"98 " informers are all crammed down very far — Tom Reynolds 
is undennost," 

Kearney was well pleased at the information the imp gave 


hhn. He thought it was quite right, and said so. His lucid in- 
formant asked him if he was not very dry. " Yes, mdeed," said 
Tom, " but sure you have nothing to drink here ?" 

" Oh, aye have we, troth, for poor fellows like you," and to 
Tom's astonishment and delight, he was handed a small tin por- 
ringer fuU of pure potteen. He smelled of it and drank it down 
gratefully, remarking how good it was, and that he never ' 
thought they had such good whiskey down here. 

" Hut, man," said the imp, '♦ why wouldn't it be good, when 
it was down in hell whiskey was first made." 

Kearney felt much better after this kindness, even if it was m 
hell, and would have stood up but for shame of his nakedness.. 
Though amongst the devils, he felt shy of appearing with noth- 
ing but an old blanket around him. The spokesman fiend, 
noticing his inclination, told him he must keep sitting until he 
was called, and continued to enlighten him on the usages of tiie 
nether world. 

"You see," he resumed, "we do things down here a good! 
deal different to what ye thought. In the other world the rich, 
have it all their own way, and have no marcy on the poor, so- 
we turn the thing right around, when we git them down here, and 
pay them back in their own coin. All the punishment we give- 
till the poor fellows that come here is to make them keep the 
fires up till the rich rascals, for all their persecutions on earth, 
and it's hardly any punishment at all to the poor to do this work, 
for most o' them take comfort in paying back ould scores to the 
scoundrels that punished themselves above. That's the way we 
work down here. Do you see ?" 

Tom did see and appreciated, too; he listened very attentively, 
though it was a new system of theology to him; he had never 
heard it before, but concluded it was about right. 

" Yes," rejoined the fiend, " it is right, and many of the ty- 
rants would come off a good deal worse, only the people they 
injured went up to the other place, and it's drunkards and other 
poor creatures that didn't know much about them, that must at- 


tend to them here; but they keep the fire up to them purty well 
for all that." 

The imp walked off to some other place, leaving Kearney in 
deep thought; he soon returned, however, and accosted his vic- 

" Thomas Kearney, who did you work for last ?" 

" For Barney Muldoon, at the cross; a very decent man." 

" And who did you work for before that ?" 

" For Jack McConnaughey, God forgive me." 

A laugh among the imps followed this remark, and there was 
a mos-ement behind the great pillar that Tom was sitting against; 
for Jack himself was there; he came down with a few others who 
waiitcd io see the fun, though to him it was no fun at all, but 
real business. He could not restrain himself, or leave the man- 
agement of the affair to Bryan; he was so much interested he 
must cane ep.ves-dropping. It is an old saying that an eaves- 
dropper seldom hears anything creditable or pleasing to himself. 
Let us see if Jack's experience was an exception. 

" Well," said the fiend, who was no other than Bryan Camp- 
bell, " why did you leave Jack McConnaughey ?" 

"For very good reason," replied Tom, who, by the way, 
grew quite familiar since he got the drink, "for the very good 
reason that he was the meanest man I ever knew." 

There was a general laugh at this, and Tom was surprised to 
hear it echoed in different directions away behind him. 

" Thomas Kearney," said the dark spokesman again, "if you 
got a chance to get out o' this place wouldn't you take it ?" 

"Why, to be sure I would." 

" Well, now, Thomas, if you git out of this on conditions of 
gCHng back to Jack McConnaughey, will you go ? — but mind, 
you can't break any bargam you make here." 

This was a terrible and serious dilemma, to which Tom gave 
the most grave consideration. He thought of Jack's meanness — 
Nancy's hard visage never appeared more repulsive to him. Feel- 
ing that the contract must be binding, he had much difficulty in 
making up his mind, but notwithstandmg this, he arrived at the 


conclusion finally. McConnaughej', from behind the wall of 
coal, stretched out his long neck and listened breathlessly, think- 
ing he was to have his journeyman back again. 

"Well," said the victim, and all were attentive, " from all you 
tell me about this place, it's not so bad as I thought. I'd like 
to scorch ould Castlereagh; and anyhow I'd rather stay here than 
have to Kvc my life with Jack, and above all with ould Nancy !" 

The wild roar of laughter that followed this declaration star- 
tled poor Kearney; it reverberated all around through the dark 
space, w^iere he could not see any one or any tiling. The black 
fiends seemod all merriment, while poor Tom could not under- 
stand the cause. Soon the spokesman recovered his equanimity, 
and he returned to the examination: 

"7"liQjnas Kearney, what have you against Jack McConnaugh- 
ey or his sister Nancy ?" 

"Well," began Tom, looking at the crowd of imps coming 
and goiug with lights on their heads, " I'll tell you as well as I 
can: Jack is a man I couldn't bear to work for; if he was paying 
me a shCling I earned from him, he'd squeeze it so hard atween 
bis finger and thumb that you could read tlie date o' the coin 
there for hours after — faith, his own neighbors say he'd skin a flea 
for the hide and fat; and as for ould Nancy — she's ten times 
worse; she'd starve the divil with her thin stirabout! Gentle- 
men," be added, looking hard at the infemaLs, " I don't mean 
any offence to you; but I think she counts the grains of oatmeal 
going into the pot." 

During the delivery of this speech the imps were in agonies 
of lauglUer, screaming in uproarious glee, after which many of 
them disappeared. 

"And so, Tom Kearney," said the familiar fiend, "you'd 
rather stay here than with old Nancy McConnaughey ?" 

"Yes," answered Tom, who began to feel rather sick again, 
" I'd rather stay here than with ould Nancy McConnaughey." 

"Well," said the familiar voice, "don't you think you could 
eat something now ?" 


"No, I'm too sick; but I'd take another drink of whiskey if 
you have it." 

He got the other drink, and felt hut little better when the 
friendly fiend nsked him if he could sleep, but no he could not. 

He was now alone, save the one dark habitant who spoke to 
him all the time, and who now addressed him in a solemn, 
friendly manner: 

" Tom Kearney, ye're too good a fellow to be kept here, so if 
you let me bandage your eyes and bind your hands, and do 
everything as 1 tell you, I think I can lead you out and set you at 

Tom consented, and with his eyes blindfolded, the other led 
him to where there was some clothing, and told him to dress 
himself in the dark. lie wondered how the clothes fitted him so 
well; they felt like his own. His hands were then tied securely 
behind his back, and his companion led him along, until, by his 
directions, tliey were seated together in a large tub, and soon 
they began to ascend up, until at last Tom found himself in the 
firesh, cool air. He walked a long way with his conductor hold- 
ing him by the arm, until Ihey entered a house, where he was 
seated and told to remain very quiet until somebody would come 
and set him free, which would surely be in a short time. He 
complied faithfully with the injunction, and after a while some 
person entered, asking what was the matter with him. But before 
he could answer the new-comer unbound his hands, and took off 
the bandage, when Tom found himself m the presence of a stout, 
good-natured looking man, who eyed him curiously. 

Kearney was no less surprised than gratified at his return to 
daylight again, though not disposed to be very communicative 
with the stranger about his escape from the lower regions — his 
train of ideas was sadly confused, and he had too much to think 
of for talking, just yet. His liberator accompanied him to the 
turnpike road leading home. Tom was very thoughtful, when 
his conductor hailed a passing carman, and asked him to give 
his companion " a lift as far as Barney Muldoon's at the cross." 



"Indeed, Bryan Campbell," said the carman, "I'm only too 
glad to serve a friend of yours." 

Tom got home to Barney's house about night-fall, a sadder 
and perhaps a wiser man than when he left it. Bryan Campbell 
conceived quite a regard for him after that time, and always said, 
•'Kearney was a man — every inch of him — and never passed the 
way without calling in." 

I forgot to state that Barney Muldoon's daughter, Mary, was 
the belle of the parish, and in less than a year from that time Tom 
Kearney led her to the altar, and Br}'an Campbell was at the 

These incidents occurred before Father Mathew's time, but 
Tom took good care ever after not to risk another descent into the 
lower regions. He became a sober, good husband, and in time 
the father of a fine family of handsome girls and stout boys. 



On a foggy evening in the November of a year of which Irish 
tradition, not lieing critically learned in chronology, has not fur- 
nished the date, two men pursued their way along a bridle road that 
led through a wild mountain tract in a remote and far westward 
district of Kerry. The scene was savage and lonely. Far be- 
fore them extended the broad Atlantic, upon whose wild and 
heaving bosom the lowering clouds seemed to settle in fitful re- 
pose. Round and beyond on the dark and barren heath, rose 
picturesque masses of rock — the finger-stones which Nature, it 
would seem, in some wayward frolic, had tossed into pinnacled 
heaps of strange and multiform construction. About their base, 
and in the deep interstices of l!ieir sides, grew the holly and the 
hiiivTy mountain ash, and on their topmost peaks frisked the agile 
goat in all the j^ride of unfettered liberty. 

Tliese men, each of whom led a Kerry pony that bore an 
empty sack along the difficult pathway, were as dissimilar in form 
and appearance as any two of Adam's descendants possibly could 
be. One was a low-sized, thick-set man; his broad shoulders and 
muscular limbs gave indication of considerable strength; but the 
mild expression of his large blue eyes and broad, good-humored 
countenance, told, as plain as the human face divine could, that 
the fierce aiid stormy passions of our kind never exerted the 
strength of that muscular arm in deeds of violence. A jacket 
and trousei-s of brown frieze, and a broad-brimmed hat made of 
that particular grass named thraneen, completed his dress. It 


would be difficult to conceive a more strange or anseemly figure 
than the other: he exceeded in height the usual size of men; but 
his limbs, which hung loosely together, and seemed to accompa- 
ny his emaciated body with evident reluctance, were literally 
nothing but skin and bone ; his long conical head was thinly 
strewn with rusty-colored hair that waved in the evening breeze 
about a haggard face of greasy, sallow hue, where the rheumy, 
sunken eye, the highly prominent nose, the thin and livid lip, 
half disclosing a few rotten straggling teeth, significantly seemed 
to tell how disease and misery can attenuate tlie human frame. 
He moved, a living skeleton: yet, strange to say, the smart nag 
which he led was hardly able to keep pace with the swinging im- 
equal stride of the gaunt pedestrian, though his limbs were so 
fleshless that his clothes flapped and fluttered around him as he 
stalked along the chilly moor. 

As the travellers proceeded, the road, which had lately been 
pent within tlie huge masses of granite, now expanded sufficiently 
to allow them a little side-by-side discourse; and the first-men- 
tioned person pushed forward to renew a conversation which 
seemed to have been interrupted by the inequalities of the narrow 

"Ail' so ye war saying, Shane Glas," he said, advancing in a 
straight line with his spectre-looking companion, " ye war saying 
that face of yours would be the means of keeping the ganger 
from our taste of ti baccy." 

•' The ganger will never squint at a lafe of it, ' ' says Shane Glas, 
"if I'm in yer road. There was never a cloud over Tun Casey 
for the twelve months I thra veiled with him; and if the foolish 
man had had me the day his taste o' brandy was taken, he'd 
have the fat boiling over his pot to-day, 'tisn't that I say it my- 

" The sorrow from me, Shane Glas," returned l:is friend with 
a hearty laugh, and a roguish glance of his funny eye at the 
angular and sallow countenance of the other, "the sorrow be 
from me if it's much of Tim's /a/ came in your way, at any 
rate, though I don't say as much for the ^aise." 


•'It's laughing at the cracked side o' yer mouth ye'd be, I'm 
thinking, Paddy Corbett," said Shane Glas, " if the thief of a 
ganger smelt your taste o' tibaccy and I not there to to fricken 
him off, as I often done afore." 

"But couldn't we take our lafe o' tibaccy on our ponies' 
backs in panniers, and throw a few hake or some oysters over 'em, 
and let on that we're fish-joulting ?" 

" Now, mark my words, Paddy Corbett: there's a chap in 
Killamey as knowledgeable as a jailer; Ould Nick wouldn't bate 
him in roguery. So put your goods in the thrackle, shake a 
wisp over 'em, lay me down over that in the fould o' the quilt, 
and say that I came from Decie's counthry to pay a round at 
Tubber-na-Treenoda, and that I caught a faver, and that ye're 
taking me home to die, for the love o' God and yer mother's 
sowl. Say that Father Darby, who prepared me, said that I had 
the worst spotted faver that kem to the counthry these seven 
years. If that doesn't fricken him off, ye're sowld " (betrayed.) 

By this time they had reached a deep ravine, through which a 
narrow stream pu'sued its murmuring course. Here they left the 
horses, and, furnished with the empty sacks, pursued their onward 
route till they reached a steep cliff. Far below in the dark and 
undefined space sounded the hollow roar of the heaving ocean, 
as its billowy volume broke upon its granite barrier, and formed 
along the dark outline a zone of foam, beneath whose snowy 
crest the ever-impelled and ai\gry wave yielded its last strength 
in myriad flashes of phosphoric light, that sparkled and danced 
in arrowy splendor to the wild and sullen music of the dashing 

"Paddy Corbett, avick," said Shane Glas, "pull yer legs 
fair an' aisy aflher ye; one inch iv a mistake, achorra, might 
sind ye a long step of two hundred feet to furnish a could supper 
for tlie sharks. Tlie sorrow a many would vinture down here, 
avournccn, barring the red fox of the hill and the honest smug- 
gler; they are both poor persecuted crathurs, but God has given 
\.\\Qm.g!impshii>t to find a place of shelter for the fruits of their 
honest industry." 


Shane Glas was quite correct in his estimate of the height of 
this fearful cliff. It overhung the deep Atlantic, and the narrow 
pathway wound its sinuous way round beneath so many frightful 
precipices, that had the unpractised feet of Paddy Corbett 
tlireaded the mazy declivity in the clear light of day, he would 
in all prolKiblhty have performed the saltation, and furnished the 
banquet of which Shane Glas gave him a passing hint. But ig- 
norance of his fearful situation saved his life. His companion, in 
addition to his Imowledge of this secret route, had a limbemess 
of miiscle, and a pliancy of uncouth motion, that enabled him to 
pursue every winding of the awful slope with all the activity of a 
weazel. In their descent, the wild sea-fowl, roused by the un- 
usual approach of living things from their couch of repose, swept 
past oa sounding wing into the void and dreary space abroad, 
uttering discordant cries, which roused the more distant slumber- 
ers of the rocks. As they farther descended round the foot of 
the cliff, where the projecting crags formed the sides of a little 
cove, a voice, harsh and threatening, demanded "who goes 
there ?" The echo of the questioner's interrogation, reverberating 
along the receding wall of rocks, would seem to a fanciful ear 
the challenge of the guardian spirit of the coast pursuing his 
nightly round. The wild words blended in horrid unison thxtjugh 
the mid-air wilh the sigh of waving wings and discordant 
screams, which the echoes of the cliffs multiplied a thousand fold, 
as though all the demons of the viewless world had chosen that 
hour and place of iDneliness to give their baneful pinions and 
shrieks of terror to the wind, 

'•\Vho goes there ?" again demanded this strange warder of 
the savage scene; and again the scream of the sea-bird and the 
echo of human tones sounded wildly along the sea. 

-'A friend, avick machree," replied Shane Glas. "Paudh, 
achorm, v;hat beautiful lungs you have ! But keep your voice a 
tiirifle lower, ma bouchal, or the water-guards might be after 
staling a maich on ye, shaip as ye are." 

" Shane Glas, ye slinging thief," rejoined the other, "is that 
yerself? Honest man," addressing the new comer, " take care 


of fliat talk-faced schamer. My hand for ye, Shane will see 
his own funeral yet, for there is not another crathur, barring a 
fox, could creep down the cliff till the moon rises, anyhow. But 
I know what saved yer bacon; he that's born to lye hanged — you 
can rcpate the rest o* the Ihrue ould saying yerself, ye poor 

" Wlu5t,"-said Shane Glas, rather chafed by the severe raillery 
of the other, " is it because ye shoulder an ould gun that an 
honest man can't tell what a Judy ye make o' yerself, swaggering 
like a raw Peeler, and frightening every shag on the cliii with 
yer foolish bull-scuttering ! Make way there, or I'll slick that 
ould barrel in yez — make way there, ye spalpeen ! ' ' 

"Away to yer masther with ye, ye miserable disciple," re- 
turned the unsparing jiber. " Arrah, by the hole o' my coat, 
afther you have danced yer last jig upon notliing, with yer purty 
himp cravat on, I'll coax yer miserable carcass from the hangman 
to frighten the crows with." 

When the emaciated man and his companion had proceeded a 
few paces along the narrow ledge that lay between the steep cliff 
and the sea, they entered a huge excavation m the rock, which 
seemed to have been formed by volcanic agency, when the infant 
world heaved in some dire convulsion of its distempered bowels. 
The footway of the subterranean vault was strewn with the 
finest sand, which, hardened by frequent pressure, sent the tramp 
of the intruder's feet reverberating along the gloomy vacancy. 
On before gleamed a strong light, which, piercing the surround- 
ing darkness, partially revealed the sides of the cavern, \\hile the 
far space beneath the lofty roof, impervious to the powerful ray, 
extended dark and undefined. Then came the sound of human 
voices mixed in uproarious confusion; and, anon, within a reced- 
ing angle, a strange scene burst upon their view. 

Before a huge fire which lighted all the deep recess of the 
high over-arching rock that rose sublime as the lofty roof of a 
Gothic cathedral, sat five wild-looking men of strange semi- 
nautical raiment. Between them extended a large sea-chest, on 
wliich stood an earthen flagon, from which one, who seemed 


the president of the revel, poured sparkling brandy into a single 
glass that circled in quick succession, while the jest and laugh 
and song swelled in mingled confusion, till the dinsome cavern 
rang again to the roar of the subterranean bacchanals, 

" God save all here !" said Shane Glas, approaching the fes- 
tive group. "Oh, wisha ! Misther Cronin, but you and the boys 
is up to fun. How goes the Colleen Ayrigh, and her Bochal 
Fadda, that knows how to bark so purty at thim plundering 
thieves, the wather-guards ?" 

"Ah! welcome, Shane," replied the person addressed; "the 
custctmer you've brought may be depinded on, I hope. Sit down, 

" 'Tis ourselves that will, and welkim," rejoined Shane. 
*' Depinded on ! why, 'scure to the dacenther father's son from 
this to himself than Paddy Corbett, 'tisn't that he's to the fore." 

" Come, taste our brandy, lads, while I help you to some 
ham," said the smuggler. "Shane, you have the stomach of a 
shark, and the digestion of an ostrich." 

" Be gar ye may say that wid yer own i>urty mouth, Misther 
Cronin," responded the garrulous Shane, "Here, gintlemin, 
here is free thrade to honest min, an' high hangin' to all in- 
formers ! Oh ! murdher maura (smacking his lips), how it tastes ! 
Oh, avirra yealish (laying his bony hand across his shrunken 
paunch), how it hates the stummuch 1" 

" You are welcome to our masion, Paddy Corbett," interrupt- 
ed the hospitable master of the cavern; " the house is covered in, 
the rent paid, and the craiskeen of brandy unadulterated; so eat, 
drink, and be merry. When the moon rises, we can proceed to 

Paddy Corbett was about to return thanks when the intermin- 
able Shane Glas again broke in. 

" I never saw a man, beggin' yer pardon, Misther Cronin, lade 
a finer or rolickinger life than your own four bones — drinking an' 
coorting on land, and spreading the canvass of the Coolleen 
Ayrigh over the salt say, for the good o' thrade. If I had Trig 
Dowl the piper fominst me there, near the cruiskeen, but I'd 


drink an' dance till morning. But here's God bless us, an* SUC' 
cess to our thrip, Paddy, avrahir;" and he drained his glass. 
Then when many a successive round went past, he called out at 
the top of his voice, " Silence for a song," a,nd in a tone some- 
what between the squeak of a pig and the drone of a bagpipe, 
poured forth a comaUye. 

Early on a clear sunny morning after this, a roan with a hoi-se 
and truckle car was observed to enter the town of Killarney from 
the west. He trolled forth before the animal, which, checked by 
some instinctive dread, with much reluctance allowed himself to 
be dragged along at the full length of his hair halter. On the 
rude vehicle was laid what seemed a quantity of straw, upon 
which was extended a human being, whose greatly attenuated 
frame appeared fully developed beneath an old flannel quilt. His 
face, that appeared above its tattered hem, looked the embodi- 
ment of disease and famine, which seemed to have gnawed, in 
horrid union, into his inmost vitals. His distorted features por- 
trayed rending agony; and as the rude vehicle jolted along the 
rugged pavement, he groaned hideously. This miserable man 
was our acquaintance Shane Glas, and he that led the strange 
procession no other than Paddy Corbett, who thus experimented 
to smuggle his " taste o' tibaccy," which lay concealed in well- 
packed bales beneath tlie sick couch of the wretched simulator. 

As they proceeded along, Shane Glas uttered a groan, convey- 
ing such a feeling of real agony that his startled companion, sup- 
posing that he had in verity received the sudden judgment of his 
deception, rushed back to ascertain whether he had not been sud- 
denly stricken to death. 

"Paddy, a chorra-na-nea," he muttered in an undergrowl, 
"there's the vagabone thief of a gauger down sthreet ! Exert yer- 
self, a-lea, to baffle the schamer, an' don't forget 'tis the spotted 
faver I have." 

Sure enough, the gauger did come; and noticing, as he passed 
along, the confusion and averted features of Paddy Corbett, ho 
immediately drew up. 


•' WTiere do you live, honest man, an' how far might you be 
goin' ?" said the keen exciseman. 

"O, wisha ! may the lieavens be yer honor's bed !— ye must 
be one o' the gcxid ould stock, to ax afther the consams of a poor 
angishore like me: hut, a yinusal-achree, 'tisn't where I live is 
worse to rae, but where that donan in the thruckle will die with 

*' But how far are you taking him ?" 

" O, 'tis myself would offer a prayer on my two binded knees 
for yer honor's soul, if yer honor would tell me that. I forgot 
to ax the craythur where he should be berrid when we kim away, 
an' now he's speechless out an' out." 

"Come, say where is your residence," said the other, whose 
suspicion was increased by the countryman's prevarication. 

"By jamuie, yer honor's larnin' bothers me intirely, but if yer 
honor manes where the woman that owns me and the childre is, 
'tis that way, west at Tubber-na-Treenoda ; yer honor has heard 
tell o' Tubber-na-Treenoda, bycoorse?" 

"Never, indeed." 

" O, wisha ! don't let yer honor be a day longer that way. If 
the sickness, God betune us an' harum, kim an ye, 'twould be 
betther for yer honor give a testher to the durhogh there, to offer 
up a rosary for ye, than to slull out three pounds to Doctor 

" Perhaps you have some soft goods concealed under the sick 
man," said the ganger, approaching the car. "I frequently 
find smuggled wares in such situations." 

" Sorra a taste good or soft under him, sir dear, but the could 
sop from the top o' the stack. Ketch ! why, not a haporlh ye'U 
ketch here but the spotted faver." 

"Fever!" repeated tlie startled exciseman, retiring a step or 

" Yes, faver, yer honor; what else ? Didn't Father Darby that 
prepared him, say that he had spotted faver enough for a thous- 
smd min ! Do, yer honor, come look in his face, an' thin throw 
the poor dying craythur, that kem all the way from Decie's 


coonthry, by raisin' of a dhream, to pay around for his wife's 
sowl at Tubber-na-Treenoda: yes, throw him out an the road an' 
let his blood, the blood o' the stranrjer, be on yer soul an' his 
faver in ycr body." 

Paddy Corbett's eloquence operating on the exciseman's dread 
of contagion, saved tlie tobacco. 

Our adventurers considering it rather dangerous to seek a buy- 
er in Killarney, directed their course eastv/ard to Kanturk. The 
hour of evcnyig was rather advanced as they entered the town; 
and Shane, who could spell his way without much difficulty 
through the letters of a sign-board, seeing " entertainment for man 
and horse " over the door, said they would put up there for the 
night, and then directed Paddy to the shop of the only tobacco- 
nist in town, whither for some private motive he declined to at- 
tend him. Mr. Pigtail was after dispatching a batch of customers 
when Paddy entered, who, seeing the coast clear, gave him the 
" God save all here," which is the usual phrase of greeting in the 
kingdom of Kerry. Mr. Pigtail was startled at the rude saluta- 
tion, which, though a beautiful benediction, and characteristic of 
a highly religious people, is yet too uncouth for modem "ears 
polite," and has, excepting among the lowest class of peasants, 
entirely given way to that very sincere and expressive phrase of 
address, "your servant." 

Now, Mr. Pigtail, who meted out the length of his replies in 
exact proportion to the several ranks and degrees of his querists, 
upon hearing the vulgar voice that uttered the more vulgar salute 
hesitated to deign the slightest notice, but, measuring with a 
glance the outward man of the saluter, he gave a slight nod of 
acknowledgment, and the dissyllabic response "servant;'' but 
scehig Paddy Corbctt with gaping mouth about to open his em- 
bassy, and that, like Burns's Death, 

" He seemed to make a kind o' Stan', 
But nacthiiig spak," 

he immediately added, " Honest man, you came from the west, I 

believe ?" 

"Thrue enough for yer honor," said Pat; "my next door 


neighbors at that side are the wild Ingins of Immeriky. A wet 
and could foot an' a dry heart I had coming to ye; but welkim 
be the gifts o' God, sure poor people should make out an honest 
bit an' sup for the weeny crathurs at home; an' I have thirteen 
o' thim, all thackeens." 

"And I dare say you have brought a trifle in my line of busi- 
ness in your road ?" 

"Faith, 'tis yerself may book it; I have the natest lafe o' 
tibaccy that ever left Connor Cro-ab-a-bo. I was going to skin 
an the honest man— Lord betune us and harum, I'd be the first 
informer of my name, anyhow. But, talking o' the tibaccy, the 
man that giv it said a sweeter taste never left the hould of his 
ship, and that's a great word. I'll give it dog chape, by raison 
o' the long road it thravelled to your honor." 

" You don't seem to be long in this business," said Mr. Pigtail. 
"Thrueforyou there agin, a-yinusal; 'tis yourself may say 

Now Mr. Pigtail supposed from the man's seeming simplicity, 
and his inexperience in running smuggled goods, that he should 
drive a very profitable adventure with him. He ordered him to 
bring the goods privately to the back way that led to his premi- 
ses; and Paddy, who had the fear of the gauger vividly before 
him, lost no time in obeying the mandate. But when Mr. Pigtail 
examined the several packages, he turns round upon poor Paddy 
with a look of disapprobation, and exclaims, "This article will 
not suit, good man — entirely damaged by sea water — never do." 
" .Stv wather, anagh !" returns Paddy Corbett; "bad luck to 
the dhrop o' water, salt or fresh, did my taste o' tibaccy ever sec. 
The Colleen Ayrigh that brought it could dip an' skim along the 
waves like a sea-gull. There are two things she never yet let in, 
Mr. Pigtail, avourneen — wather nor wather guards ; the one ships 
oft her, all as one as a duck ; and the Boochal Fadda on her deck 
keeps t'other a good mile off, more spunk to him." This piece 
of nautical information Paddy had ventured from gleanings col- 
lected from the rich stores w hich the conversation of Shane Glas 
presented along the road and in the smugglers' cave. 


•'But, my good man, you cannot instruct me in the way of my 
business. Take it away — no man in the trade would venture an 
article like it. But I shall make a sacrifice, rather than let a poor 
ignorant man fall into the hands of the gauger. I shall give you 
five pounds for the lot." 

Paddy Corbett, who had been buoyed up by the hope of making 
two hundred per cent, of his lading, now seeing all his gainful 
views vanish into thin air, was loud and impassioned in the ex- 
pression of his disappointment. "Oh, Jillian Dawly !" he 
cried, swinging himself to and fro, "Jillian, aroon manima, 
what'U ye say to yer man, afther throwing out of his hand the 
half year's rint tlmt he had to give theagint? Oh, what'll ye 
say, aveen, but that I med a purty padder-napeka of myself, lis- 
tening to Shane Glas, the yellow schamer; or what'll Sheelabcg, 
the crathur, say, whin Tim Murphy won't take her without the 
cows that I won't have to give her ? Oh, Misther Pigtail, avour- 
neen, be marciful to an honest father's son; don't take me short, 
avoumeen, an' that God might take you short. Give me the tin 
pounds it cost me, an' I'll pray for yer sowl, both now an' in the 
world to come. Oh, Jillian, Jillian, I'll never face yc, nor Shec- 
labeg, nor any o' the crathur's agin, without the tin pound, any- 

"Well, if you don't give the tobacco to me for less than that, 
you can call on one Mr. Pry well, at the other side of the bridge; 
he deals in such articles, too. You see I cannot do more for you, 
but you may go farther and fare worse," said the perfidious 
tobacconist, as he directed the unfortunate man to the residence 
of Mr. Paul Pry well, the officer of excise. 

With heavy heart, and anxious eye peering in every direction 
beneath his broad-leafed hat, Paddy Corbett proceeded till he 
reached a private residence having a green door and a brass 
knocker. He hesitated, seeing no shop nor appearance of busi- 
ness there; but, on being assured that this was indeed the house 
of Mr. Paul Prywell, he approached, and gave the door three 
thundering knocks with the butt end of his holly-handled whip. 
The owner of the domicile, roused by this very unceremonious 


mode of announcement, came forth to demand the intruder's 
business, and to wonder that he would not prefer giving a single 
rap with the brass knocker, as was the went of persons in his 
grade of society, instead of sledging away at the door like a 
•'peep-o'»day boy." 

" Yer honor will excuse my bouldness, " said Paddy, taking 
off his hat, and scraping the mud before and behind him a full 
yard; "excuse my bouldness, for I never seed such things on a 
duxe afore, an' I wouldn't throuble yer honor's house at all at all, 
only in regard of a taste of goods that I was tould would shoot 
yer honor. Ye can have it, a-yinusal, for less than nothmg, 
'case I don't find myself in heart to push on farther; for the baste 
is slow, the crathur, an' myself that's saying it, making buttons 
for fear o* the gauger." 

"Who, might I ask," said the astonished officer of excise, 
" directed you here to sell smuggled tobacco?" 

" A very honest gintleman, but a bad buyer, over the bridge, 
sir. He'd give but five pound for what cost myself tin — foreer 
dhota, that \ had ever had a hand in it ! I put the half year's 
rint in it, yer honor; and my thirteen femul grawls an' their 
mother, God help 'em, will be soon on the sachrawn. I'll never 
go home without the tin pound, anyhow. High hanging to ye, 
Shane Glas, ye tallow-faced thief, that sint me smuggling. Oh, 
Jillian, 'lis sogering I'll soon be, with a gun an my shoulder !" 

"Shane Glas!" said the exciseman; "do you know Shane 
Glas? I'd give ten pounds to see the villain." 

" 'Tis myself does, yer honor, an' could put yer finger an him, 
if I had ye at Tubber-ha-Treenoda, saving yer presence; but as I 
was setting away, he was lying undher an old quilt, an' I heard 
him telling that the priest said he had spotted fever enough 
for a thousand min. ' ' 

" That villain will never die of spotted fever, in my humble 
opinion," said the exciseman. ' 

" A good judgment in yer mouth, sir, achree. I heard the 
rogue himself say, ' Bad cess to the thief! that a cup-tosser tould 
him he'd die of stoppage of breath.* But won't yer honor allow 
me to turn in the lafe o' tibaccy ?" 


The officer of excise was struck with deep indignation at the 
villainy of him who would mi n a comparatively innocent man 
when he failed in circumventing him, and was resolved to pun- 
ish his treachery. " My good fellow, " said he, "you are now 
before the gauger you dread so much, and I must do my duty, 
and seize upon tlie tobacco. However, it is but common justice 
to punish the false-hearted traitor tliat sent you hither. Go back 
quickly, and say that he can have the lot at his own terms; I 
shall follow close, and yield him the reward of his treachery. 
Act discreetly in this good work of biting the biter, and on the 
word of a gentleman I shall give you ten pounds more." 

Paddy rapidly retraced his steps, ejaculating as he went along, 
"Oh, the noble gintleman, may the Lord make a bed in Heaven 
for his sowl in glory ! Oh, that chating imposthor, 'twas sind- 
ing the fox to mind the bins, sure enough. Oh, high hanging to 
him of a windy day ! the informer o* the world, I'll make him 
sup sorrow." 

"Have you seen the gentleman I directed you to?" said Mr. 

" Arrah, sir, dear, whin I came to the bridge an' looked about 
me, I thought that every roguish-looking fellow I met was the 
thief of a gauger, an' thin afther standing a while, quite am- 
plushed with the botheration and the dread upon me, I forgot 
yer friend's name, an' so kim back agin to ax it, if ye plase." 

"You had better take the five pounds than venture again; 
there's a gauger in town, and your situation is somewhat dan- 

" A gauger in town !" cried Paddy Corbett, with well-aflected 
surprise. "What'll I do at all at all ? now I'm a gone man all 
out. Take it for anything ye like, sir, dear, an' if any throuble 
like this should ever come down an ye, it will be a comfort and 
a raycreation to yer heart to know that yc had a poor man's bless. 
ing, avick dcclish machree, an' I give it to ye on the knees of my 
heart, as ye desarved it, an' that it may go in yer road, an' yer 
childre's road, late an' early, eating an' dhrinking, lying an' 
rising, buying an' selling." 


Our story has approached its close : the tobacco was safely 
stowed inside, in order to be consigned to Mr. Pigtail's private 
receptacle for such contraband articles. Paddy had just pocket- 
ed his five pounds, and at that moment in burst Mr. Pry well. 
The execration which ever after pursued the tobacconist for his 
treacherous conduct, and the heavy fine in which he was amerced, 
so wrought upon his health and circumstances, that in a short 
time he died in extreme poverty, and it is upon record, among the 
brave and high-minded men of Duhallow, that Jeffrey Pigtail of 
Kanturk was the only betrayer that ever disgraced the barony. 



The County Wexford, of all parts of Ireland, is peculiarly rich 
in legends, traditions and fairy tales. In former days, before the 
advent of the newspaper press and the national schoolmaster, 
there was not a district, town or village within its borders but 
boasted of its story-teller, who was generally the depository of 
all the man'ellous and uncanny events that had taken place in 
the neigi-borhood for ages past. But in these days of railroads, 
telegraphs, schools and cheap literature, the long-honored tribe 
of story-tellers is disappearing, even in the County of Wexford. 
A few remain, however, to this day, but their occupation has 
fearfully fallen into desuetude. Some of them may still be 
found lingering around their old haunts at the glowing fire- 
sides of comfortable farmers, but many of them were swallowed 
up in tliat great stream of immigration that poor old Erin has 
been pouring on our American shores for the last half century. 
Of the latter was Jimmy Chili, who, though he bore a name that 
savored of South America, was as true a Wexfordian as ever 
danced a ji^ in New Ross, from which good old town he hailed. 
I first became acquainted with Jimmy when he was a "young- 
ster" in tho ancient colony of Newfoundland. Like myself, 
he was then employed in the dangerous but profitable occupation 
of seal hunting. In the intervals of the hunt, and in the long 
winter nights, seated around the forecastle fire, he often beguiled 
the tedium of the s^low passing hours with story, jest and song. 
Jimmy was a firm lielieverin witchcraft, ghosts, fairies, warnings, 
second siglit, and all the mysteries which are supposed to hedge 
in die supernatural order. Whether he believed in his own tales 
or not I cannot say ; but certain he always delivered himself of 


them, particnlarly when they related to ghosts and fairiesj^fn 
such a solemn, oracular way, as to carry conviction to his hearers 
among the simple fishermen and seal hunters of Newfoundland. 
I well remember one night, after having made everything snug 
on deck, we were seated at the forecastle fire. After Jimmy had 
drank Ms tea, filled his pipe and smoked it, he was called upon 
for a story. 

•' Be gob, boys," said he in response, "I'll tell you the story 
of Harinaberry the Piper and the Marquis of Waterford. Hanna- 
berry was the greatest piper in all the country around New Ross. 
Divil a marriage, christening, fair or wake widin' miles but he 
would be at wid his pipes, and thim were the pipes, don't be 

I wlQ not attempt, however, to give the story verbatim in 
Jimmy's vernacular, but that was the opening sentence. What 
follows I shall relate as concisely as possible, and keeping as near 
the original text as I can. 

" One night," Jimmy went on, " Hannaberry, who had been 
to the fair of Taghmon, which is situated between New Ross and 
Wexford town, was returning home, with his pipes, as usual, 
under his arm. He had passed a meiTy day of it, and, as a con- 
sequence, felt pretty much as Tarn O'Shanter, of Scottish memory, 
felt when he pronounced himself victorious over all the ills of life. 
Down came Hannaberry, in this jolly mood, along the road to 
New Ross. From Taghmon to his home it was a goodly walk, 
and after the fatigues of the day it was only natural that he 
should feel a trifle tired. When he came to the old lime-kiln, 
that is exactly four miles from Ross bridge, he thought hs would 
rest himself and have a pull at his old diidhccn; 'twould refresh 
him and waken up his faculties, which were, in ain.nnner, l)ecom- 
ing oblivious. He had no sooner conceived the idea than he 
proceeded to carry it into execution by seating himself on the 
sloping ground that led to the top of the lime-kiln, lighting his 
pipe and commencing to smoke. Before seating himself he laid 
his beloved pipes carefully away in a nook of the kiln. He had 
not smoked long before a dreamy, drowsy, undefinable sensation 


Crept over him. The smoke from his pipe appeared to resolve 
itself into a mysterious halo of light, which gradually began to 
enshroud him. Suddenly he heard the most delicious strains of 
music proceeding from a short distance behind where he was 
seated. Never had such strains been produced on Irish pipes as 
Hannaberry now listened to, and turning, he beheld a sight which 
struck him with awe and astonishment. Coming towards him, 
with the pipes under his arm, was a little, a very little, old man, 
nattily dressed in green. The little old man handled the pipes 
with the most consummate skill and grace, and, standing before 
the astonished Hannaberry, he played twelve of the most delight- 
ful and patriotic airs in a style the most lovely and bewitching. 
When he had ceased playing he laid down the pipes, and, fixing 
a pair of piercing black eyes on the bewildered piper, addressed 
him thus: 

" 'Why, then, Mick Hannaberry, it's yourself that's a brave 
man, by daring to sit down so comfortably in a fairy rath. I 
have been here now bordering on five hundred years, and you are 
the first man that has had the courage to cross the magic ring 
and rest himself in my domains. And now, me man, let me tell 
you that you have conferred a favor on me that shall not go unre- 

"When the little old man in green had stopped speaking, he 
lifted the pipes from the ground, and placing tliem under Hanna- 
berry's arm, he ordered the now fairly bewildered piper to strike 
up a tune. Hannaberry at first was very timid and bashful, par- 
ticularly after hearing such beautiful music from the fairy, as he 
now fully knew him to !:«. He pleaded weariness and inability, 
but the little old man with a cjuiet dignity awed, while at the 
same time he reassured, the piper into a compliance with his de- 
mand, and Mick Hannaberry struck up a jig so lively and soul- 
stirring, that the performer himself was completely surprised at 
the delicacy and proficiency with which he handled the keys of 
his instrument. Tune after tune, to the number of twelve, was rat- 
tled off on the pipes, by the now thoroughly delighted piper, who 
already began to congratulate himself on the great advantage 


his increased proficiency in his art would give him over his less 
fortunate rivals, who had never stumbled into a fairy rath to be- 
come acquainted with its occult mysteries. The little man in 
green eyed the piper all the while with the keenest and shrewdest 
glances, apparently reading the thoughts that were uppermost in 
his mind. 

" * Be aisy, now, Mick,' said he, ' and lay down the pipes till 
I explain. As I said afore, yours is the first mortyal face of a 
piper that I have set eyes on in this sacred ring for five himdred 
years. ' 

" ' Be gorra, then, that's a long time, your honor,' said Mick 
in reply, looking out curiously from under the rim of his old hat 
at the little old man in green, and wondering all the while what 
was coming next. 

" ' Yes, five hundred weary years have I been imprisoned here, 
till this blessed night, when some good chance has sent you to my 
relief. And Mick, me man, I'll forever bless the day you came 
to relieve me, besides assisting you to make your fortune.' 

" ' It's thankful I am to your honor,' replied Mick, still feeling 
not quite at ease, and wishing in his heart that he was safely at 
home with the old woman and children. 

'"There is a condition, however, ' said the little old man in 
green, ' and, unfortunately, one that cannot be dispensed with. It 
is inseparable from my unfortunate position, and in many respects 
will counterbalance the great benefit conferred upon you. When 
you leave here to-night your fame will be abroad through all the 
country; indeed, it will not be confined to poor old Ireland, but 
will be spread throughout the whole of the three kingdoms. 
Your sei"vices will be in great request. Your pipes, by merely 
placing them on a table, will be operated upon by an unseen 
agency, and the most delicious music will be produced; but,' and 
here the little old man's face assumed a grave aspect, ' every time 
the pipes are played you will lose a near relative by death. This is 
the ineNdtable condition, which you must either accept or remain 
with me until another piper comes to your relief and mine. Five 
hundred years ago, when in the flesh, like you, I was a piper. I 


wasted my days in mirth, joviality and song. I was idle and 
encouraged idleness in others, and as a punishment for my 
thoughtless conduct, I was condemned to pass ages in the narrow 
confines of this rath. I was to be freed, however, when a man of 
my own profession would voluntarily come within the magic 
circle which surrounds my limited domains. It has been your 
fortune to be the man, and whether that fortune is to be good or 
evil for you your future conduct will tell. Take your pipes, you 
are now at liberty to go; but do not forget the penalty that is 
attached to your music, and remember, also, you must never re- 
fuse a reasonable request for your services as a piper. ' 

" The halo of light gradually faded away, and the dazed Hanna- 
berry found himself cold, benumbed and damp, his pipes beside 
him, and still seated on "the side of the little mound that led to 
the top of the lime kilns. He rubbed his eyes and wondered if it 
was not all a dream, and if he had not taken too much whisky, 
and whether the little old man in green and the music was not a 
phantom of a disordered brain. But no, it must have been a 
reality; for there, sure enough, was the fairy ring all around him, 
and no true Irish piper could ever doubt the evidence of his senses, 
when he was environed by so palpable a fact as that. 

"With many misgivings and doubts he got up and started for 
his home, and the way he put himself over the ground between 
the old lime kiln and Ross bridge was wonderful to behold. 
The next morning, bright and early, before Hannaberry was 
awake, a well-to-do farmer from a neighboring district was after 
him to come and play at his daughter's wedding, which was 
about to take place. With the recollection of the scenes of last 
night still fresh in his mind, the poor piper faltered and hesitated 
for some time. The farmer wondered at his reluctance, and at 
his mysterious and absent manner. Such conduct was unusual 
in Hannaberry, and the farmer thought he would try what 
effect a glass or two would have upon him. In Hannaberry's 
depressed condition the whisky worked a magic charm. After 
imbibing he at once recovered his assurance and old spright- 
liness and promised to attend the wedding of the farmer's 


daughter on the following night. And sure enough, when 
the guests assembled at the fanner's at the appointed time, there 
was the piper with his pipes promptly on hand. When he made 
his appearance in the dancing-room, he placed his pipes on the 
table, and went to congratulate the new-married pair. In the 
mean time the lads and lasses had ranged themselves on the floor 
in sets for the dance, and the word went around, ' Strike up the 
music, Hannaberry !' No sooner had the request been made, 
than the pipes on the table commenced to play the most beautifiil 
dancing tunes that had ever been heard in those parts. Hanna- 
berry was as much astonished at first as any of the company ; but 
by a powerful effort of the will he controlled his emotions, mut- 
tering only to himself, ' Be gorra, I am an enchanted man, sure- 
ly. ' The dancers turned to the piper for an explanation, charg- 
ing him with witchcraft, the black art, and all other kinds of 
magic. Determined to make the best of a bad job, and now per- 
fectly self-possessed, Hannaberry replied, ' Be aisy now, boys; 
Sure it's only a new invention of me own in the the musical line. 
Sarrs^ a thing yez need do but dance, and I'll furnish the music. 
Dance away, and never a hair of yer head will be hurt.' His 
coolness reassured them, his advice was good, the music was bet- 
ter, the guests in good humor, and so on the light fantastic toe 
they tripped the merry hours away imtil the dawning of another 
day. When poor Hannaberry returned home in the morning, a 
new and sad revelation broke in upon him. His mother-in-law, 
stark and stiff, lay dead in the house. His wife informed him 
that about midnight the family Banshee had set up the death-cry 
in the garden behind the house; that shortly after her mother 
was taken suddenly faint, and gave up the ghost in a short time, 
before a doctor or any other person could be called to her assist- 
ance. This was a stunning blow to the piper. Of what use was 
the great gift of musical proficiency, if, on every occasion it was 
exercised, he was to lose a near and dear relative ? For, strange 
as it may appear, he really loved his mother-in-law. But as the 
little old man in green had predicted, Hannaberr}''s fame spread 
over ail Ireland. It was the theme of conversation in all circles. 


high and low. At last it came to the ears of the Marquis of 
VVaterford, who was at that time the leading sporting man in 
all Ireland. The marquis was well known as the greatest bet- 
ting man of his day, and on a certain evening after dinner, in 
conversation with his guests, English and Scotch noblemen, he 
boldly asserted that Mick liannaberry was the greatest piper 
in all the three kingdoms. Of course no patriotic English or 
Scotch nobleman could admit this. The marquis, however, 
insisted on the truth of his assertion, and offered to back it up 
by staking the whole of his immense estates on the issue of a 
contestwith the pipes between Hannaberry and any other piper 
that England or Scotland could produce. His challenge was 
instantly accepted by an English nobleman, who stipulated 
that the trial of skill should come off in London, before the 
Court and all the nobility. The next day the marquis sought 
out Hannaberry, and told him what he had dune. The poor 
piper had not yet forgotten the mysterious death of his mo- 
ther-in-law, and in consequence received the proposal of the 
marquis to go to London to play rather coolly. ' Hanna- 
berry,' said the marquis, ' the best farm on my estate shall be 
given to you and yours while grass grows and water runs, if 
you come with me to London ; and besides, man, isn't my 
whole estate bet upon you, and for the honor of old Ireland, 
surely, you would not see me deprived of my estates by the 
bluff of any Englishman that ever lived ? ' 

" This fervent appeal settled the question, and Harnaberry 
agreed to accompany the marquis to London to test the skill 
of the best English and Scotch pipers. The next day the 
marquis, with the piper and a large retinue, set out for Lon- 
don, where they arrived in due time. The scene of the trial 
of skill was to be in the palace court-yard, before the Queen 
and all the highest nobility of the land. When the great day 
arrived, pipers from England and Scotland, including the 
Duke of Argyle's own piper, were on hand to contest the mar- 
quis' claim for the championship of Hannaberry. The poor 
fellow himself felt somewhat abashed when he stepped into 
the arena with his pipes, but the recollection of the little old 
man in green cheered him up. Seated around in a vast am- 


phitheatre was the Queen, Prince Albert, the Duke of Well- 
ington, and all the other great nobles of the land, arrayed in 
the most dazzling uniforms it was possible to imagine. Out 
from the gaily-dressed crowd stepped the Marquis of Water- 
ford, and called for a table. It was brought instantly, and 
Hannaberry placed the pipes upon it. Moved by the unseen 
agency of the fairies, the pipes struck up and produced the 
most ravishing music, to the astonishment and delight of the 
vast audience. After the twelve tunes were played in grand 
style, the marquis stepped out and said : ' Show me the man 
in England or Scotland that can bate that,' 

" ' The divil a man in England or Scotland either,' said the 
Duke of Wellington, ' that can bate that, and its proud I am 
this day — yis, as proud as I was the day I bate^the Frinch at 
Waterloo — that a countryman of mine can take the shine out 
of the whole world on the pipes. Be off home with you now, 
Hannaberr}', and good luck to you ; and, marquis, mind you 
treat him well. ' 

" *Be dad, I'll do that same,' replied the marquis. And 
he did ; for on their return to Ireland he settled, as he had 
promised, the finest farm on his estate on the victorious piper, 
whose good fortune was rather dampened, however, when he 
was told that his uncle and his aunt, too, had died at the very 
time the shouts of victory were going up for him from the 
aristocracy in London. 

" He never played the pipes after that, and, for all I know, 
he still lives on the same farm," said Jimmy Chili, as he lit 
his pipe and went on deck to take his trick at the wheel. 



In my native parish there were four or five fiddlers — all good 
in their way ; but the Paganini of the district was the far-famed 
Mick#^ M'Rorey. Where Mickey properly lived I never could 
actually discover, and for the best reason in the world — he was 
not at home once in twelve months. As Colley Cibber says in 
the play, he was "a kind of a here-and-thereian — a stranger 
nowhere." This, however, mattered little ; for though per- 
petually shifting day after day from place to place, yet it some- 
how happened that nobody ever was at a loss where to find him. 
The truth is, he never felt disposed to travel incog., because he 
knew that his interest must sutler by doing so ; the consecjuence 
was, that wherever he went, a little nucleus of local fame always 
attended him, which rendered it an easy matter to find his where- 

Mickey was blind from his infancy, and, as usual, owed to 
the small-pox the loss of his eyesight. He was about the middle 
aze, of rather a slender make, and possessed an intelligent 
countenance, on which beamed that singular expression of in- 
ward serenity so peculiar to the blind. His temper was sweet 
and even, but capable of rising through the buoyancy of his own 
humor to a high pitch of exhilaration and enjoyment. The 
dres3 he wore, as far as I can remember, was always the same 
in color and fabric — to wit, a brown coat, a sober-tinted cotton 
waistcoat, grey stockings, and Ijlack corduroys. Poor Mickey ! 
I think 1 see him before me, liis head erect, as the heads of all 
blind men are, the fidJle-case under his left arm, and his hazel 
staff held out like a feeler, explormg with experimental pokes 
tlie nature of the ground before him, even although some happy 


urchin leads him onward with an exulting eye ; an honor which 
he will boast to his companions for many a mortal month to 

The first time I ever heard Mickey play was also the first I 
ever heard a fiddle. Well and distinctly do I remember the 
occasion. The season was summer — but summer was summer 
then — and a new house belonging to Frank Thomas had been 
finished, and was just ready to receive him and his family. The 
floors of Irish houses in the country generally consist at first of 
wet clay ; and when this is sufficiently well smoothed and 
hardened, a dance is known to be an excellent thing to bind and 
prevent them from cracking. On this occasion the evening had 
been appointed, and the day was nearly half advanced, but no 
appearance of the fiddler. The state of excitement in which I 
found myself could not be described. The name of Mickey 
M'Rorey had been ringing in my ears for I don't know how 
long, but I had never seen him, or even heard his fiddle. Every 
two minutes I was on the top of a little eminence looking out for 
him, my eyes straining out of their sockets, and my head dizzy 
with the prophetic expectation of rapture and delight. Human 
patience, however, could bear this painful suspense no longer, 
and I privately resolved to find Mickey or perish. I accordingly 
proceeded across the hills, a distance of about three miles, to a 
place called Kilnahushogue, where I found him waiting for a 
guide. At this thne I could not have been more than seven 
years of age ; and how I wrought out my way over the lonely 
hills, or through what mysterious instinct I was led to him, and 
that by a path, too, over which I had never travelled befots, 
must be left unrcvcalcd, until it shall please that Power which 
guides the bee to its home, and the bird for thousands of miles 
through the au", to disclose the principle upon which it is 

On our return home I could see the young persons of both 
sexes flying out to the little eminence I spoke of, looking eagerly 
towards the point we travelled from, and immediately scampei- 
ing in again, clapping their hands, and shouting with delight. 


Instantly the whole village was out, young and old, standing for 
a moment to satisfy themselves that the intelligence was correct ; 
after which, about a dozen of the youngsters sprang forward, 
with the speed of so many antelopes, to meet us, whilst the 
elders returned with a soberer but not less satisfied manner into 
the houses. Then commenced the usual battle, as to who should 
be honored by permission to carry the fiddle-case. Oh, that 
fiddle-case ! For seven long years it was an honor exclusively 
allowed to myself, whenever Mickey attended a dance anywhere 
at all near us ; and never was the Lord Chancellor's mace — to 
which, by the way, with great respect for his lordship, it bore a 
considerable resemblance — carried with a prouder heart or a 
more exulting eye. But so it is — 

" These little things are great to little nun." 

"Blood alive, Mickey, you're welcome!" "How is every 
bone of you, Mickey? Bedad we gev ye up." "No, we 
didn't give you up, Mickey ; never hesd him ; sure we knew 
very well you'd not desart the Towny boys — whoo ! — Fol de rol 
lol !" "Ah, Mickey, won't you sing ' There was a wee devil 
come over the wall?" "To be sure he will, but wait till he 
comes home and gets his dinner first. Is't off an empty stomach 
you'd have him to sing?" "Mickey, give me the fiddle-case, 
won't you, Mickey!" "No, to mc, Mickey." "Never heed 
them, Mickey ; you promised it to me at the dance in Carntaul. " 

" Aisy, boys, aisy. The truth is, none of yez can get the 
fiddle-case. Shibby, my fiddle, hasn't been well for the last day 
or two, and can't l)ear to be carried by any one barrin' meself " 

" Blood alive ! sick, is it, Mickey ? — and what ails her ?'' 

"Why, some o' the doctors says there's a frog in her, and 
others that she has colic ; but I'm going to give her a dose 
of Balgriffauns when I get up to the house aI)ove." 

As we went along, Mickey, with his usual tact, got out of us 
all the infor.nation respecting the several courtsliips of the neigh- 
borhood that had reached us, and as much, too, of the village 
gossip and scandal as we knew. 

Nothing can exceed the overflowing kindness and affection 


with which the Irish fiddler is received on the occasion of a dance 
or merry-making; and to do him justice he loses no opportunity 
of exaggerating his own importance. From habit, and his posi- 
tion among the people, his wit and power of repartee are neces- 
sarily cultivated and sharpened. Not one of his jokes ever fails 
— a circiimstance which improves his humor mightily ; for noth- 
ing on earth sustains it so much as knowing that, whether good 
or bad, it will be laughed at. Mickey, by the way, was a 
bachelor, and, though blind, was able, as he himself used to say, 
to see through his ears better than another could through the 
eyes. He knew every voice at once, and every boy and girl in 
the parish by name, the moment he heard them speak. 

On reaching the house he is bound for, he either partakes of, 
or at least is offered, refreshment, after which comes the ecstatic 
moment to the yoimgsters; but all this is done by due and solenm 
preparation. First he calls for a pair of scissors, with which he 
pares or seems to pare his nails; then asks for a piece of rosin, 
and in an instant half a dozen boys are off at a break -neck pace, 
to the next shoemaker's, to procure it; whilst in the meantime he 
deliberately pulls a piece out of his pocket and rosins his bow. 
But, heavens ! what a ceremony the opening of that fiiddle-case 
is ! The manipulation of the blind man as he runs his hand 
down to the key-hole — the turning of the key — the taking out of 
the fiddle — the twang twang — and then the first ecstatic sound, 
as the bow is drawn across the strings; then comes a screwing; 
then a delicious saw or two; again another screwing — twang 
twang— and away he goes with the favorite tune of the good 
woman, for such is the etiquette upon these occasions. The house 
is immediately thronged with the neighbors, and a preliminary 
dance is taken, in which the old folks, with good humored vio- 
lence, are literally dragged out, and forced to join. Tlien come 
the congratulations — "Ah, Jack, you could do it wanst," says 
Mickey, "an' can still; you have a kick in you yet." "Why, 
Mickey, I seen dancin' in my time," the old man will reply, his 
brow relaxed by a remnant of his former pride, and the hilarity 
of the moment, " but you see the breath isn't what it used to be 


wid me, when I could dance the Baltcorum yig on the bottom 
of a ten-gallon cask. Heigho ! — well, well — I'm sure I thought 
my dancin' days wor over " 

" Bedad an' you wor matched anyhow," rejoined the fiddler. 
" Molshy carried as light a heel as ever you did; sorra a woman 
of her years ever 1 seen could cut the buckle wid her. You 
would know the tune on her feet still." 

"Ah, Mickey, the thruth is," the good woman would say, 
" we have no sich dancin' now as there was in my days." 

" But as good fiddlers, Molshy, eh ? Come now, »it down, 
Jack, till I give you your ould favorite, ' Cannie Soogah.^ " 

These were happy moments and happy times, which might 
well be looked upon as picturing the simple manners of country 
life with very little of moral shadow to obscure the cheerfulness 
which lit up the Irish heart and hearth into humble happiness. 
Mickey, with his usual good nature, never forgot the younger 
portion of the audience. After entertaining the old and full- 
grown, he would call for a key, one end of which he placed in 
his mouth, in order to make the fiddle sing for the children their 
favorite song, beginning with 

" Oh ! grandmamma, will you squeeze my wig ?" 
This he did in such a manner, through the medium of the key, 
that the words seemed to be spoken by the instrument, and not 
by himself. After this was over, he would sing us, to his own 
accompaniment, another favorite. " There was a wee devil 
looked over the wall," which generally closed that portion of 
the entertainment so kindly designed for jts. 

Upon those moments I have often witnessed marks of deep 
and pious feeling, occasioned by some memoiy of the absent or 
the dead, that were as beautiful as they were afiecting. If, for 
instance, a favorite son or daughter happened to be removed by 
death, the father or mother, remembering the air which was 
loved Ijest by the departed, would pause a moment, and with 
a voice full of sorrow, say, " Mickey, there is one (ii?ie that I 
would like to hear; I love to think of it, and to hear it; I do for 
the sake of them that's gone — my darlin' son that's lyin' low, 


it was he that loved it. His ear is closed against it now; but for 
his sake — aye, for your sake, avoumeen machree — we will hear 
it wanst more." 

Mickey always played such tunes in his best style, and amidst 
a silence that was only broken by sobs, suppressed moanings, 
and the other tokens of profound sorrow. These gushes, how- 
ever, of natural feeling soon passed away. In a few minutes the 
smiles returned, the mirth broke out again, and the lively dance 
went on as if their hearts had been incapable of such affection 
for the dead — affection at once so deep and tender. But many a 
time the light of cheerfulness plays along the stream of Irish 
feeling, when cherished sorrow lies removed from the human eye 
far down from the surface. 

These preliminary amusements being now over, Mickey is 
conducted to the dance-house, where he is carefully installed in 
the best chair, and immediately the dancing commences. It is 
not my purpose to describe an Irish dance here, having done it 
more than once elsewhere. It is enough to say that Mickey is 
now in his glory; and proud may the young man be who fills 
the honorable post of his companion, and sits next him. He is 
a living storehouse of intelligence, a travelling directory for the 
parish^the lover's text-book — the young woman's best compan- 
ion; for where is the courtship going on of which he is not cogni- 
zant ? where is there a marriage on the tapis, with the particulars 
of which he is not acquainted ? He is an authority whom no- 
body would think of questioning. It is now, too, that he scat- 
ters his jokes about; and so correct and well trained is his ear, 
that he can frequently name the young man who dances, by the 
peculiarity of his step. 

"Ah ha! Paddy Brien, you're there? Sure I'd know the 
sound of your smoothin' -irons anywhere. Is it thrue, Paddy, 
that you wor sint for down to Errigle Keerogue, to kill the 
clocks for Dan M'Mahon ? But, nabuklish ! Paddy, what'U 
you have ? 

" Is that Grace Reilly on the flure ? Faix, avoumeen, you 
can do it; devil o' your likes I see anywhere. I'll lay Shibby 


to a penny trump that you could dance your own nanaetake — ^the 
Calleen dhas dkun, the bonny brown girl — upon a spider's cob- 
web, widout breakin' it. Don't be in a hurry, Grace, dear, to 
tie the knot; y/Zwait for you." 

Several times in the course of the night a plate is broaglit 
round, and a collection made for the fiddler; this was the mo- 
ment when Mickey used to let the jokes fly in every direction. 
The timid he shamed into liberality, the vain he praised ; and 
the niggardly he assailed by open hardy satire; all managed, 
however, with such an under-current of good humor, that no 
one could take oflense. No joke ever told better than that of 
the broken string. Whenever this happened at night, Mickey 
would call out to some soft fellow, " B16od alive, Ned Martin, 
will you bring me a candle?— I've broken a string." The un- 
thinking young man, forgetting that he was blind, would take 
the candle in a hurry, and fetch it to him. 

"Faix, Ned, I knew you ww jist fit for't; houldin' a candle 
to a dark man ! Isn't he a beauty, boys ? — look at him, girls — 
as cute as a pancake." 

It is unnecessary to say that the mirth on such occasions was 
convulsive. Another similar joke was also played off by him 
against such as he knew to be ungenerous at the collection. 

"Paddy Smith, I want a word wid you. I'm goin' across 
the counthry as far as Ned Donnelly's, and I wan't you to help 
me along the road, as the night is dark." 

" To be sure, Mickey. I'll bring you over as snug as if you 
were on a clane plate, man alive ! ' ' 

"Thank you, Paddy; throth, you've the dacency in you; an' 
kind father for you, Paddy. Maybe I'll do as much for you 
some other time." 

Mickey never spoke of this imtil the trick was played off, af- 
ter which he published it to the whole parish; and Paddy of 
course was made a standing jest for being so silly as to think 
that night or day had any difference to a man who could not see. 

Thus passed the life of Mickey M'Rorey, and thus pass the 
lives of most of his class, serenely and happily. As the sailor 


to his ship, the sportsman to his gun, so is the fiddler attached 
to his fiddle. His hopes and pleasures, though limited, are fiill. 
His heart is necessarily light, for he comes in contact with the 
best and brightest side of life and nature; and the consequence is 
that their mild and mellow lights are reflected on and from 
himself. I am ignorant whether poor Mickey is dead or not; 
but I dare say he forgets the boy to whose young spirit he com- 
municated so much delight, and who often danced with a buoy - 
ant and careless heart to the pleasant notes of his fiddle. Mickey 
M'Rorey, farewell ! Whether living or dead, peace be with you. 



Behold me safely landed at Philadelphia, with one hundred 
pounds in my pocket — a small sum of money, but many, from 
yet more trifling beginnings, have grown rich in America. Many 
passengers who came over in the same ship with me had not half 
so much. Several of them were indeed wretchedly poor. Among 
others there was an Irishman, who was known by the name of 
Bamy — a contraction, I believe, for Barnaby. As to his sur- 
name, he could not undertake to spell it, but he assured me there 
was no better. This man, with many of his relatives, had come 
to England, according to their custom, during harvest time, to 
assist in reaping, because they gain higher wages than Ifi their 
own country. Bamy had heard that he could get still higher 
wages for labor in America, and accordingly he and his two 
sons, lads of eighteen and twenty, took their passage for !Phila- 
delphia. A merrier mortal I never saw. We used to l-.ear him 
upon deck, continually singing or whistling his Irish tunes; and 
I should never have guessed that this man's life had been a se- 
ries of hardships and misfortunes. 

When we were leaving the ship, I saw him, to my great sur- 
prise, crying bitterly ; and upon inquiring what was the rcAUer, 
he answered that it was not for himself, but for his two sons, he 
was grieving; because they were to be made red^mptioti mm, 
that is, they were to be bound to work, during a certain time, for 
the captain, or for whomsoever he pleased, till the money dus 
for their passage should be paid. Although I was somewhat 
surprised at any one's thinking of coining on board a vessel 
without having one farthing in his pocket, yet I could not for- 
bear paying the money for this poor fellow. He dropped down 


on the deck upon both his knees, as suddenly as if he had been 
shot, and holding up his hands to heaven, prayed, first in Irish^ 
and then in English, with fer\'ent fluency, that " I and mine 
might never want; that I might live long and happy; that 
success might attend my honor wherever I went, and that I 
might enjoy for evermore all sorts of blessings and crowns of 
glory." As I had an English prejudice in favor of silent grati- 
tude, I was rather disgusted by all this eloquence ; I turned away 
abruptly, and got into the boat which waited to carry me to- 

I had now passed three years in Philadelphia, and was not a. 
farthing the richer, but, alas, a great deal poorer. My inveter- 
ate habit of procrastination — of delaying eveiything till to- 
morrow, always stood betwixt me and prosperity. I at last re- 
solved upon leaving the land of the star-spangled banner; but 
when I came to reckon up my resources, I found that I could not 
do sc, unless I disposed of my watch and my wife's trinkets. I 
was not accustomed to such things, and I was ashamed to go to 
the pawnbroker's, lest I should be met and recognized by some 
of my friends. I wrapped myself up in an old surtout, and 
slouched my hat over my face. As I was crossing the quay, I 
met a party of gentlemen walking arm in arm. I squeezed past 
them, but one stopped and looked after me; and though I 
turned down another street to escape him, he dodged me unper- 
ceived. Just as I came out of the pawnbroker's shop I saw him 
posted opposite me; I brushed by; I could with pleasure have 
knocked him down for his impertinence. By the time that I had 
reached the comer of the street I heard a child calling after me; 
I stopped, and a little boy put into my hand my watch, saying, 
*' Sir, the gentleman says you left your watch and these thingujti- 
bobs by mistake." 

" What gentleman ?" 

" I don't know, but he was one that said I looked like an 
honest chap, and he'd trust me to run and give you the watch. 
He is dressed in a blue coat, and went towards the quay. That's 
all I know." 


On opening the paper of trinkets, I found a card with these 
words: — " Bartiy — with kind thanks." 

"Bamy! poor Bamy ! An Irishman whose passage I paid 
coming to America three years ago. Is it possible ?" 

I ran after him the way which the child directed, and was so 
fortunate as just to catch a glimpse of the skirt of his coat as he 
went into a neat, good-looking house. I walked up and down 
for some time, expecting him to come out again; for I could not 
suppose that it belonged to Bamy. I asked a grocer who was 
leaning over his hatch-door if he knew who lived in the next 
. house ? 

"An Irish gentleman of the name of O'Grady." 

" And his Christian name ?" 

"Here it is in my books, sir — Bamaby O'Grady." 

I knocked at Mr. O'Grady's door and made my way into the 
parlor, where I found him, his two sons, and his wife, sitting very 
sociably at tea. He and the two young men rose immediately, 
to set me a chair. 

" You are welcome, kindly welcome, sir," said he. " This is 
an honor I never expected, any way. Be pleased to take the 
seat next the fire. 'Twould be hard, indeed, if you should not 
have the best seat that's to be had in this house, where we 
none of us ever should have sat, nor had seats to sit upon, but 
for you." 

The sons pulled off my shabby greatcoat and took away 
my hat, and Mrs. O'Grady made up the fire. There was some- 
thing in their manner, altogether, which touched me so much 
that it was with difficulty I could keep myself from bursting 
into tears. They saw this, and Bamy (for I shall never call 
him anything else), as he thought that I should like better to 
hear of public affairs than to speak of my own, began to ask 
his sons if they had seen the day's paper, and what news there 

As soon as I could command my voice, I congratulated this 
family upon the happy situation in which I found them, and asked 
by what lucky accident they had succeeded so well. 


" The luckiest accident ever happened meheioxQ or since I came 
to America," said Bamy, " was being on board the same vessel 
with such a man as you. If you had not given me the first lift, I 
had been down for good and all, and trampled under foot, long 
and long ago. But after that first lift, all was as easy as life. 
My two sons here were not taken from me — God bless you; for I 
never can bless you enough fir that. The lads were left to work 
for me and with me; and we never parted, hand or heart, but 
just kept working on together, and put all our earnings, as fast 
as we got them, into the hands of that good woman, and lived 
hard at first, as we were born and bred to do, thanks be to heaven. 
Then we swore against all sorts of drink entirely. And as I had 
occasionally served the masons when I lived a laboring man in 
the county of Dublin, and knew something of that business, why, 
whatever I knew I made the most of it, and a trowel felt noways 
strange to me, so I went to work, and had higher wages at first 
than I deserved. The same with the two boys: one was as much 
of a blacksmith as would shoe a horse, and the other a bit of a 
carpenter; so the one got plenty of work in the forges, and the 
other in the dock- yards as a ship-carpenter. So, early and late, 
morning and evening, we were all at the work, and just went 
this way struggling on even for a twelvemonth, and found, with 
the high wages and constant employ we had met, that we were 
getting greatly better in the world. Besides, my wife was not 
idle. When a girl, she had seen baking, and had always a good 
notion of it, and just tried her hand upon it now, and found the 
loaves went down with the customers, who came faster and faster 
for them; and this was a great help. Then I turned master 
mason, and had my men under me, and took a house to build by 
the job, and that did; and then on to anotlicr; and after build- 
ing many for the neighbors, 'twas fit and my turn, I thought, to 
build one for myself, which 1 did out of theirs, without wronging 
them of a penny. In short," continued Barny, if you were to 
question me how I have got on so well in the world, upon my 
conscience, I should answer, we never made Saint Monday, and 
never put off till to-morrow what we could do to-day." 


I believe I sighed deeply at this observation of Bamy's, not- 
withstanding the comic phraseology in which it was expressed. 

" And would it be too much liberty to ask you," said Bamy, 
" to drink a cup of tea, and to taste a slice of my good woman's 
bread and butter ? And happy the day we see you eating it, 
and only wish we could serve you in any way whatsoever." 

I verily believe the generous fellow forgot at this instant that 
he had redeemed my watch and wife's trinkets. He would not 
let me thank him as much as I wished, but kept pressing upon 
me fresh offers of service. When he found I was going to leave 
America, he asked what vessel we should go in. I was really 
afraid to tell him, lest he should attempt to pay for my passage. 
But for this he had, as I afterwards found, too much delicacy of 
sentiment. He discovered, by questioning the captains, in what 
ship we were to sail; and when we went on board, we found him 
and his sons there to take leave of us, which they did in the most 
affectionate manner; and after they were gone, we found in the 
state cabin, directed to me, everything that could be useful or 
agreeable to us, as sea stores for a long voyage. 



At one time I resided in the neighborhood of the " plains of 
Boyle," a celebrated pasture country, and was the possessor of a 
cow whose milk and butter were plentiful in quantity and excel- 
lent in quality, and materially contributed to the comforts of my 
family. She was a beautiful and a gentle creature, and I flattered 
myself that in her I possessed the foundress of a numerous herd, 
and the germ of a profitable and extensive dairy. 

The idea was very prevalent there that it was in the power of 
evil-disposed persons to deprive you of your milk and butter, and 
I heard many complaints of the kind ; the general voice fastened 
the imputation on a woman who lived in the vicinity, who was 
locally termed "the Hawk, "and certainly the fire of her eye and 
the sharpness of her beak justified the appellation: she was a 
comely middle-aged person, in rather easy circumstances, her 
husband being a small farmer; but he lay under the suspicion of 
being concerned in a murder some time before. She was a re- 
puted witch, and the entire family were disliked and avoided. 

One morning in the month of January I was informed that 
a woman had come into my kitchen, who occupied herself in 
watching th; motions of the family, without stating her business. 
On going down, I found her well dressed and well looking, but 
with a very sinister cast of countenance. On asking if she want- 
ed me, she said she had heard I was in want of some geese, and 
that she had a few to dispose of. " How many ?" said I. *' A 
goose and a gander," she replied. " How much do you want 
for them?" " Seven-and-sixpence!" I exclaimed in surprise, 
as the usual price then was from one shilling to one-and-sixpence 
each. "Why, how many have you ?" as I really thought I had 


made a mistake in the number. " A goose and a gander," said 
she. "And doyou suppose me to be a goose, to give such a price 
as that?" said I. " Oh," said she, "they are good geese, and 
only I wish to serve you, I would not offer them at all." 
•'Indeed! I am much obliged by your good wishes," said I; 
" but as I think you want to impose upon me, you must take 
your geese to another market, for I will not have them at any 
price, and the sooner you take yourself off the better." She got 
higly offended, muttered something about my being sorry for re- 
fusing them, an J went away in high dudgeon; and after she was 
gone I found it was "the Hawk " who had favored me with the 

On the same morning a gang of strollers, consisting of tinkers, 
chimney-sweeps, a brace or two of beggars, and a piper, had 
pitched their tent on the roadside, a short distance from my resi- 
dence; the membci-s of the party had distributed themselves over 
the surrounding district in pursuit of their various avocations; it 
also happened to be churning day, and my wife having set her 
vessels in order, was proceeding with her lacteal operations 
favorably — the milk had cracked, the butter was expected — when 
the sound of music was heard ; the piper attached to the party had 
come to give us a specimen of his skill; he favored us with a few 
Connaught planxties, was duly rewarded, and departed. Shortly 
after he was gone, two buxom baggages, brown and bare-legged, 
with cans in their hands, kerchiefs on their heads, and huge 
massive rings on their fingers, came and demanded an alms. 
They were told there was nothing then ready, on which one of 
them asked a drink. " I have nothing to offer you but water," 
said my wife, "until the chuming's done." " Well, water itself, " 
said she; on getting which, she took a sup or two, put the re- 
mainder in her can, and went off; and, strange as it may seem, 
my butter went too. And from that day in January until May 
eve following, not a morsel had we from our l^eautiful Brownie. 

As I did not put faith in witchcraft, I was willing to attribute 
this to some natural cause affecting the cow, though the milk 
showed no perceptible change in either quantity or quality; 


neither did she exhibit any symptoms of ailment or disorder, 
except that she began to cast her hair. She was well supplied 
with good fodder, comfortably lodged and well attended, and 
every possible care taken of the milk, but all to no purpose ; the 
butter was not forthcoming; and for my incredulity I was laughed 
at by my neighbors. "Your cow is bewitched," cried they; 
•' and you may as well throw chaff against the wind as tWnkyou 
will get your butter back till you get the charm." Some said 
" the Hawk " had it, some that the gypsy took it away in her 
can, and others that it followed the piper. Be that as it xaay, I 
had to eat my bread butterless, and brood over my loss, without 
even the comfort of common condolence. 

Various were the counter-charms recommended for my adop- 
tion. " Send for Fraserthe Scotchman from beyond the Lough," 
said one; " he fears neither man nor fiend, and he will surely get 
it." " Send for 'the Hawk,' and clip a bit off her ear," said 
another. " Let them keep their mouths full of water, and never 
speak while they are churning," said a third. In short, I found 
there were as many ways of getting it back as there were ol 
losing it — all equally simple, and probably as efficacious. 

Thus matters continued until the early part of the month ot 
April, when one morning a man called, who desired to see me. 
I found him a light, active, 'cute-looking fellow, low in stature 
and spare in habit, but sinewy, well set and well knit, and regu- 
larly smoke-dried. He was pretty well clad in frieze, cord 
breeches, and yard stockings and pumps; his caubeen on one 
side, a cutty in his mouth, and a certain jauntiness in his air, and 
crafty audacity in his look, which seemed to say, " I'd have you 
to know I'm a clever fellow." 

" So," said he at once without preamble, " so you've lost your 

"Yes," said I, " 'tis certainly gone." 

"Well, if you like, I'll get it for you. My name is Orohoo 
(O'Hara); I live at Sliev Bawn — the people call me the Fairy 
man — I can find things that's stole — and I keep the^^arva/fy." 

"Indeed!" said I; "why, you must be a clever fellow; but 
can you get my butter ?" 


" Not a doubt of it," said he, "if it is in the country." 

I had heard of the garvally before, which was described as "a 
crooked thing like the handle of an umbrella, covered with green 
baize." It was formerly in much repute for swearing on; "and 
a terrible thing it was, for if you swore falsely and it round your 
neck, your mouth would turn to the back of your head, or you'd 
get such a throttling as you'd never get the better oT." It had 
latterly, however, lost much of its virtue, or rather of its^ame, by 
an unbelieving vagabond yoking it on and swearing to a manifest 
falsehood, without suffering any visible inconvenience. But to 
return to Orohoo. 

He made no stipulation; but requiring a deep plsrte, some 
water and salt, with a little of the cow's milk, he commenced by 
desiring my wife and me to stand forward. He then asked our 
names, if I was the owner of the cow, how long I had had her, 
if that woman was my wife when we had lost our batter, and if 
we suspected any person for taking it. To these queries I an- 
swered as was necessary; but to the last I replied, I did not be- 
lieve in witchcraft. 

"Don't you believe in fairies?" he asked. 

"Scarcely," said I. 

"No matter," said he; "maybe before I'm done you will be 
lieve in them." 

He then, in a very solemn manner, poured some water into the 
plate at three several times. He added the milk in the same 
manner, and then sprinkled in the salt, using the same formula. 
He now stirred round the mixture three times with his finger, re- 
peating the words as before, and desired us to do the same. To 
this I demurred, for I did not wish to evince any faith in the pro- 
ceeding by taking an active part; but lie combated my scruples 
by asking " was it not done in a good name ?" Certainly for so 
far I saw nothing very objectionable, and my wife feeling no 
scruple on the subject, at their joint persuasion I did as directed. 

He next made the sign of the cross over the plate with his 
hands, and, waving thjm over his head, cut several curious fig- 
ures in the air, at the same lime muttering an unintelligible jargon 


I could not understand, but which, as I could catch a sound or 
syllable, bore a close affinity to what is called bog Latia. Grad- 
ually he became much excited; he raved like a demon, stamped 
with his feet, and threatened with his fists: now his tones were 
those of supplication or entreaty, anon of abjuration or command; 
while his eye seemed fixed upon and to follow the motions of 
some, to us invisible, being, with which he appeared to hold con- 
verse. Suddenly he gave an unearthly scream, as if in an agony 
of terror and perturbation, and, holding up his hands as in the 
act of warding off a threatened danger, he retreated backwards 
round the room, pursued, as it seemed, by an implacable enemy. 
Gradually he regained the spot he had left, turned himself to the 
four cardinal points, making the sign of the cross at each turn, 
dipped his fingers in the mixture, devoutly blessed himself, anoint- 
ing his forehead, shoulders, and breast, regained his self-posses- 
sion, raised his hands and eyes in an attitude of fervent thankful- 
ness to heaven, wiped the perspiration which profusely streamed 
from his brow with the cuff of his coat, gradually recovered his 
breath, and from a state of the greatest possible excitement be- 
came calm and collected. 

Now, this was all acting, to be sure, but it was inimitably done, 
and I confess, even armed as I was with unbelief, it made a pow- 
erful impression on me. I acknowledge I did not feel at all com- 
fortable. I did not like the idea of being in the same room with 
the evil one, who to all appearance was chasing my friend the 
conjuror round and round it. I felt an indescribable sensation of 
dread creeping over me, and, if I mistake not, there were a few 
drops of perspiration on my brow ; and my hair, of which I have 
not a superabundance, to my apprehension began to get stiff and 
wiry. My wife, too, clung closely to my side for protection, and 
the agitation of her mind was evident by the audible action of 
her heart, which in that case beat only responsive to my own. 

Having taken breath, he asked for a ribbon, which he passed 
over his forehead and round his head, and, bringing the ends in 
front, knotted it over his nose; then twining it round his fingers 
in the manner children call a cat's cradle, he knelt down and 


peered through it attentively into the mixture, which I imagined 
fermented and sent up a blue vapor. After gazing a few seconds 
ia this manner, 

" Aha !" said he, " she is not far off that has yoorbuiter^ bring 
me a lighted candle," which on being brought he placed in the 
plate. "Now," said he, "both of you kneel down; fio as I do, 
and say as I say, and we'll have her here directly." 

"No," said I decidedly, "we will not." 

I thought we had gone far enough, and was convinted that 
if what we were engaged in was not an unholy act, it was at 
least a piece of gross deception, and I would not collhlenance it 
by any farther participation. 

" Why, " exclaimed he, " don't you want to get your butter ?" 

"Yes," said I, " I would like to have my butter, bnt I don't 
choose to resort to a charm to obtain it." 

" No doubt this is a charm," said he, " but it is done m a good 
name; and I have done it before for as good as evor jwu were." 

" So much the worse," I replied; "the holy ijam& sihould 
never be profaned in such a manner, and I am sorry {iiy person 
would be so wicked or so foolish as to encourage you in jour 
tricks. I neither like you nor your proceedings, and Vic sooner 
you go about your business the better. ' ' 

He started to his feet in a passion, blew out the candle, seized 
the plate, and attempted to throw the contents into the fireplace; 
but my wife, who did not wish her hearth to be wet, tocscUfrom 
him and laid it past. He fumed and stormed, said I let him take 
a great deal of trouble on my account, and insisted on proceed- 
ing; but I was determined, and, being considerably chafed and 
annoyed by the transaction, I again ordered him ofif and left him. 

In a few moments I heard the noise of a violent altercation 
and scuffle, and I was loudly called on. I hastened to the scene 
of contention, and found my wife holding Orohoo by the neck, 
and preventing his departure. 

" What's all this ?" I exclaimed. 

"This fellow," said she, "when he was going, took a live 
coal out of the grate, and told me to take care of my children." 


This he stiffly denied, until confronted by the servant, and I 
threatened to give him up to the police as an impostor, when he 
quailed, and acknowledged that he had said so, but that he meant 
no harm by it. 

"And sure," said he, " there's no harm in bidding you mind 
them ; for if your cow was hurt, so may your childre. You're 
not treating me right," he continued; " I came at the bidding of 
a friend to do you a good turn, and asked nothing for it, and 
now you're putting me out; you'll be glad to see me yet, though. 
But take my advice ; never throw out your Sunday's ashes until 
Tuesday morning, and always sweep your floor in from, the door 
to the hearth." And away he went. 

My heart now beat easy, for I thought we had fairly got rid 
of the fairy man; but I was to be still further mystified and be- 
wildered. On examining the plate over which he had held his 
incantations, we found the contents to be thick, yellow and slimy 
with a red sediment like globules of blood at the bottom. This 
seemed extraordinary, as I certainly watched him closely, and 
did not see him put anything into the plate but milk, water and salt 

The month now drew near a close, and our bread was still 
butterless. This often caused the morsel to stick in the throat of 
my poor dear partner, who felt none of the scruples of conscience 
with which I was affected, and firmly believed her cow was be- 

" Here we are, day afler day, losing our substance, and might 
have it only for your squeamishness in not letting the fairy man 
finish his job." 

Thus she would argue, and hesitated not to call me a fool, nay, 
a downright ass; and indeed my neighbors were much of the 
same opinion; one of them, a respectable farmer's wife, was par- 
ticularly pertinacious. "My Robin," said she one evening, as 
they were harping on the old string, "my Robin was down in 
Sligo, and he heard that if you got the coulter of a plough, and 
made it red-hot in the fire while you were churning the butter it 
would come back; or if you chose to chum on Simday morning 
before the lark sings, you will surely get it." 


"Tempt me no more with your spells or Sabbath -breaking; I 
will have none of them," said I, impatiently; " I will never bar- 
ter my peace of mind for a pound of butler, if I should never eat 
a morsel." 

But, in truth, my peace of mind was gone, for the continual and yammering I was subjected to made me heartily sick, 
and I inwardly resolved to sell the cow the first opportunity, and 
so end the matter. 

On May eve, in the afternoon, I had occasion to leave home 
for a short time, and on my return was rather surprised to find 
all the windows closed and the door locked against me. I 
knocked and called for admittance but received no answer; and 
hearing the noise of churning going on within, " fast and furious," 
the truth flashed across my mind, and, lamenting my wife's 
credulity, I retired to the garden to await the result. In a short 
time she came running out lilce one demented, clapping her hands 
and screaming, "Oh ! we've got the butter, we've got the but- 
ter !" and on going in I found a coulter phizzing and sparkling at 
a white heat in the fire, an ass's shoe (which had been found a 
few days previously) under the chum, my worthy neighbor afore- 
said standing over it, panting and blowing from the exertionsshe 
had made on my behoof, and wiping the dew-drops from her 
really comely countenance, and in the churn, floating like lumps 
of gold in a sea of silver, as fine a churning of butter as ever we 
were blessed with. 

Well, I own I was staggered, and being triumphantly asked, 
"Now, is there no witchcraft or virtue in a red-hot coulter ?" I 
could scarcely muster up courage to utter " No." In vain I pro- 
tested the butter came back because " Brownie " got back to her 
pasture, in consequence of the change in her feeding, from dry 
fodder to the mellow and genial produce of spring, as the loss at 
first was owing to the transition from grass to hay. 'Twas to no 
purpose to argue thus: all else were positive it was ollierwise; 
but whether the virtue was in Orohoo's incantations, tiie efiicacy 
of the red-hot coulter, the influence of the ass's shoe, or the tre- 


mendous pommelling the milk was subjected to on the occasion, 
no one could exactly say. 

A few days after, I conversed on the subject with an intelligent 
person, a herd in charge of an extensive stock farm. After hear- 
ing my story to an end, he indulged in a hearty laugh at my 
expense. "Faith," said he, "I took you for a sensible man, 
and did not suppose you would credit such folly." " I'd as soon 
believe my mother was a bishop," said I, "as put any faith in it 
some time ago. But how can 1 get over the chain of circum- 
stantial evidence ? — not a link of it wanting. First, ' thp Hawk' 
coming with her seven-and-sixpenny geese, then the gypsies and 
the piper, and losing my butter just then." " 'Tis very easy," 
said he, "to account for it. In the first place, yoa <.ook your 
cow from grass and fed her on hay." " Yes, but she 1m<l plenty 
of winter cabbage, and we gave her boiled potatoes." "Just 
the thing; cabbage is good for plenty of milk, but not for butter. 
I'll engage jou gave her the potatoes warm.'' "Yes." "And 
she got a scour ?" " Indeed she did, and her hair fell off." "So 
I thought. And afterwards she got in good condition?'' " Yes." 
" Oh ! ay, she put her butter on her ribs. Did you kill a pig at 
Christmas?" "I did." "Where did you put your bacoii in 
press?" " Why, under the shelf in the dairy," "Now the 
murder is out ! Never as long as you live put meat, either fi-esh 
or salt, near your milk-vess;ls; if you do, you will surely spoil 
your milk and lose your butter." " This may account for my 
loss, but what have you to say to its coming back ?" "Why, 
what's to hinder it, when your bacon is in the chimney and your 
cow at grass ?" " But the red blobs in the plate, and Orohoo 
fighting the devil for me, what do you say to that?" Here he 
gave way to such a violent fit of laughter that I really thouglit 
he would burst the waistband of his doe-skins. " Orohoo ! ha! 
ha! — Orohoo! ha! ha! ha! — the greatest villain tliat ever 
breathed He came to me one time that 1 had a cow sick, and 
said she was fairy-smitten, and that he would cure her. He 
began with his tricks with the milk and water, just the same as 
he did with you; but I watched him closer; and when I saw the 


smoke rising out of the plate, I got him by the neck, shook a 
little bottle of vitriol out of the cuff of his coat, and took a paper 
of red earthy powder out of his waistcoat pocket." I looked 
aghast and confounded. Was I, then, the dupe of the fairy 
man ? The thought was humiliating, and I even wished that 1 
had remained in ignorance, but on reflection had reason to con- 
gratulate myself that it was only a temporary lapse, and that I 
was right in my original opinion, that, except the witchery of a 
pair of blue languishers, or the fairy spell of a silver-tongued 
siren, there is now no evil of the kind to be apprehended. 



Finn MacCool, we all know, was a great fellow. From lick- 
ing a dozen of bis enemies with his own two hands, to building a 
castle, nothing came wrong to liim. He built Dunluce Castle* 
beyond, out on the rock, as you may see, without any help at all. 

The ould chief that he built it for, when he got the promise to 
build it from Fimi, promised that no help that men could give 
him should be wanting, and he had at his orders men enough, 
but they were of no use to Finn. He made a great hand-barrow for 
them, and threw great stones into the water, from the shore to 
the rock, for them to step on and carry the stones across to where 
he wanted them. But the saixa a stone could they bring to him. 
The first attempt was made by four of the stoutest of them, but 
before they were half-way from the shore to the rock every 
mother's son of them was as dizzy as a duck, and all they could 
do was to scrame at Finn to save them. They could neither go 
to the rock or to the shore, and but for Finn's immediate help 
their time was come. What they complained of was the depth 
of the water, twenty feet or so. Finn tould them he didn't want 
them to walk on the water, but on the stones he had thrown in 
for them to step on, and they were firm enough. lie bade them 
step on them where they had dry footing, and think none about 
the depth of the water between the stepping-stones. 

"That," as a timid Scotchman said, that happened to be 
among them, " wasjeest the deeficulty. It makes a body seek 
tae think o't, and wha, a wunner, could help thinking o't, after 

♦The ruins of Dunluce Casde are still of deep interest to the antiquarian. 


seeing the great waves rowling and roaring under yer very nose, 
and when ane kent it was sae far to the bottom." 

Finn told him if it was far to bottom it was not necessary to go 
to the bottom, and its being far to it need not be regarded as an 

Sawney said: "This was Eerish fun, and it would take a 
heap o' that to make up the loss to his payer wife at hame if he 
wur drooned at Dunluce." 

At that time there were a great many Scotchmen in Ireland 
that tried to pa-s for Irish, and as they could all speak Irish 
(which they called Gaelic in Scotland) it was not easy to find 
them out at all times, but whenever the rale true courage was 
wanted, it was easy enough to see they weren't ti-uosons of the sod. 

When Sawney M'Wha had said his say, it became clear to 
Finn that in the gang sent to help him there were a great many 
Sawney M'Whas. Finn was every inch an Irishman. He lost 
all patience with the cowardly budaghs, and without Josingtime 
he began at wanst and gave them such a licking, that, as he 
said, "would do them good to the end of their days;" and which 
the Scotchmen said "was het and heavy, but better nor being 
drooned !" 

Finn's first idea after beating the Scotchmen — which seemed to 
do him a great deal of good — was to get as many Irishmen to 
help him; but somehow, from a late harvest or something, he 
could not find so many as he wanted. What did he do, do you 
think ? He had his foundations cut in the rock, and all was 
ready but the building stones which were lying on the dry land, 
squared, dressed and ready, if they were only on the rock. To 
wait long for the help of others was not in Finn's line. He com- 
menced at once to carry them stone by stone to the rock, throw- 
ing them each as he raised them on his shoulder, just as you or 
me would do a dry sod of turf. In a short time he Imd all on 
the rock, and in a shorter he had every stone in its place, and 
the castle was built, and the prettiest too that ever was seen m 
that country, or anywhere, I might say, and the strongest — aye, 
so strong as to defy the strongest blast and biggest wave that 


ever blew or dashed against it — and you all know these were no 

It would be a long story to tell all that he done besides build- 
ing Danluce Castle and the Causey— the greatest of all his 
works. As I said before, there was nothing he could not do, and 
he must be busy. Making things pleased him best, unless he had 
a great job of fighting to do — for that he would leave anything 
else undone; and he never had to fight on his own account, for 
he never had an enemy. When he felt called upon to thrash a 
set of fellows for bad manners, or cruelty to any of the ould 
stock, when he'd see them sprawling, bleeding and screaming, 
his big heart was so tender that he would run to their relief, raise 
them up, bring them water, and handle them as tenderly as a 
mother would her infant. Who could be the enemy of such a 
man ? If anybody could, he must be a budagh, heart and sowl, 
every inch of him. 

Like every other Irishman, Finn would go courting every purty 
girl he met; and then, as well as now, wherever you turned there 
they were— God bless them — like daisies in spring, blushing be- 
fore you. Of course this was dangerous ground for Finn. The 
wise old people would often say to him, " Take care of your 
heart, Finn." " Arrah, be aisy," he would reply, "sure I have 
it in a strong box !" If he had, the key was found, and quickly 
too. Wan beautiful summer day, a holiday it was, Finn met the 
" flower of the glen," as she was called, Shelah O'Donnell, com- 
ing from Mass. Maybe he had forgot the strong box that morn- 
ing; anyway his heart was lost, and found by Shelah O'Donnell, 
and not being accustomed to live without his heart, he kept as 
near it as possible, till Shelah consented, you know, and the sog- 
garth made the two into wan. 

And Shelah made a man of him all out. There was no more 
fighting for fun with Finn, and games that used to take up half 
his time. Everything he did now must have Shelah's approval; 
and her approval, he had good sense to see, was the best security 
he could have for the thing being right. It was not by scolding 
or growling she made this impression on Finn; her loud word was 


never heard, outside or inside. Shclah was a pattern for her 
countrywomen, or women anywhere. All Fmn's time wr.s em- 
ployed doing good, in improving the condition of his countrymen 
in every way. Sure it was he that first showed them how to 
weave and to play all sorts of music. He showed them how to 
make looms, and left for a pattern a loom set up at the end of 
the Causey if they should forget the best shapes of a first-rate one. 
But his teaching in this way 'ill never be forgotten. He showed 
his friends— and all were his friends— how everything should be 
done with the linen, for it grew on the field till it appeared on 
the green whiter than the new-fallen snow. If you look round 
you anywhere in Ulster, you will see proof galore that his teach- 
ing has been well-remembered. He could play, as I have said, 
all sorts of instniments. When he took up the fiddle, all for 
miles round found life and action in their heels, and the boys and 
girls in Argyleshire migjit be seen, of a clear evening, footing it 
away like fun, so loud and clear were the tones of his fiddle; and 
there was no instrument he couldn't make, from a plow to an 
organ, and lor that the way to make this grand instrument ; and 
fearing it should be forgotten when he was gone, he built a pat- 
tern of his nev/ improved one near the end of the Causey, as well 
as of his loom, as may be seen to this hour.* 

Well, of course his biggest job of all was the Causey. ■> But I 
must tell you how he came to make it. There was a giant on 
the other side of the water, a great bare-leggit Heelin-man, that 
had a great loud voice, that used to shout across at Finn: " If I 
was ower there, I would take the cruceness out you. I would gle 
ye sich a lickin' as you would ne'er forget." Many a time he 
tould Shelah about this. But her advice was to him: "Finn, 
agrah, never mind the budagh. Of course you know you could 
lick him in ten minutes any day of the week. You can afford to 
let the cock crow on his own dung hill." Finn saw the truth of 
all she said. He, as he said himself, had nothing to gain by 
lickin' a Scotchman. 

* Few, we should say, of those who visit the Giaiit'i " Caiiscy" arc allowed 
by the guide to pass unnoticed " the giant's loom" or " the giant's organ." 


However, as I have said before, Finn was every inch an Irish- 
man ; and one day the Heelin-man shouted so long and so loud 
that P'inn lost all patience, and before he let the sun go down he 
commenced to build the Causey, to let the Scotchman across, that 
he might give him a useful lesson, just to improve his manners — a 
service he had done a few other Scotchmen, as I have already 
tould ye. Whether they were thankful I won't tell you. Any- 
way, it seemed from the improvement in their manners to have 
done them a power of good; and one thing is quite certain, it did 
Finn himself a great deal of good. Often he was heard to say 
that of all the refreshments he ever tried, the real mountain dew 
was the best; and that to this he made only one exception, and 
that was, when the chance came hij way, the pleasure of lickin' 
a Scotchman. He felt the benefit, he said, of that for months. 

Well, as I have already tould you, he commenced the Causey, 
to let this bad-mannered Scotchman get across. Well, the day 
after it was finished Finn was on the look-out for the Heelin-man 's 
movements, and he was not long looking when he saw the bould 
fellow fairly started, with his kilt above his knee; for the Scotch 
end of the Causey was not above the surface, like the Irish end — 
which was intended for ornament, or to show his countrymen 
what good or everlasting work should be^and there it's for a pat- 
tern till this day. Well, between the depth of the water — over 
mid-leg — and the caution required to keep on the Causey, Finn 
was able to see the shape and size of the fellow without being 
seen himself When he saw of him all he wanted to see just then, 
he went to have a talk with Shelah, to tell her the Scotchman 
was coming across. 

" What do you think of him ?" said Shelah. 

"Faith," said Finn, "Shelah agra, I don't like his looks at 
all at all. He's a terrible baste of a fellow. In all ray bom days 
Pnever saw such a busthoge of a Scotchman. If I hadn't better 
work to do, I might make a small fortune, after thrashing him, 
by making a show of him from town to town in his tartans. But 
I mustn't — for the credit of the ould country I can't do this. I 
must only lick him and send him home again, as soon as he is 


able to go. So, Shelah, I have no choice as to what I'm to do 
with this Sawney More (or biy Alicli), as they call him at home 
in his own country. Thrashing him 'ill no te a small jdb. Of 
course I can do 't; but it would be as easy to thrash all the com 
from Uunluce to Ballycastle." 

After thmking in her own cool, aisy way, Shelah said: 
"Couldn't he be sent back without taking all that trouble with 
him ? If you lave it to me I think I can manage it for you. Go 
you out and see if he's coming and near, and come in and tell 
me, and I'll tell what to do." 

" In troth and I will," said Finn, " for I never yet was sorry 
for doing what ye tould me." 

Finn went out, and behold ye, the Scotchman was on the Irish 
shore, wringing some of the water out of his tartans, to be as 
daicent looking as he could before he would go up to Finn's 
house before the quality, he said^ Finn went back to hear what 
Shelah had to say, and her directions to Finn were to lie down in 
a big cradle he had made years before for twins that at their 
birth promised that they would be bigger than ever their father 
was. Finn was determined, as he said, to give tliem room 
enough to grow, and he made it so large that he could himself 
lie in it full stretch, ju^t as Shelah tould him to do now, and when 
"he was in it she tould him what to do when Sawney More would 

Finn was not long in the cradle when Sawney arrived, and he 
walked in saying, " Gude e'en be here." Of course Shelah 
bade him sit down, and treated him to the best in the house for 
the honor of the ould country. Well, when he had Shelah's 
bread, butter, and eggs before him, he set to as if he had been 
fasting a fortnight or so for good of his sowl, but he kejjt pack- 
ing away so long and so determinedly that she began to fear he 
wouldn't be able to get away without help. However, fliere is 
a limit to all things, even to the cravings of the maw of a Scotch- 
man. Sawney, as he said, " fun himself at length well-crammed." 
Then he turned to the fire and brought out his dndheen for a 
smoke; and then, too, Finn raised his great head of hair and 


beard, such as Savvney never saw before. Finn called out in his 
loudest voice, " Mother, I want something to ate, and I am sure 
that great baste of a Scotchman has aten up all the ready mate in 
the house. I watched him, bad luck to the baste; but wait to 
my father comes in, and I'll tell him all about it." 

As soon as Savvney found breath to speak, he shouted, "Gude 
save us, is that the bairn ? And sick a bairn !" 

"Indeed it's my youngest, and a troublesome bouchal he is." 
Then she said, " Whisht avic, and I'll get you plenty very soon. 
Bedehust and sleep." But Sawney could think of nothing but 
the "awfau bairn." At length he said, "The father o' that 
ane's nae chicken." 

" Indeed an' you may say so," said Shelah. " Yonarecoteidered 
a big fellow, and no doubt you are, among your aen folk, as you 
say, but when I saw you coming in the door there, you come in 
with your big Highland bonnet on, and you might have had a 
man standing on your shoulders and walked in without any diffi- 
culty. I thought of Finn, who always has to take his hat off, and 
stoop, too, before he can come in." 

"Well, well," said Sawney, " he maun', frae a' I bae heard 
and seen, be nane of the chiels o' last year's growth, but a want- 
ed to see him jest in a frecndly way, ye ken. A like to make 
freens where'er a gang, and a see, clear enough, it would be bet- 
ter to be your gude man's freen nor his enemy; but ouy wiy, I 
maun be gangin. Tell the gude man a'll come to visit him some 
other day." 

" Well, I'm sorry," said Shelah, " in one way, you're gc«agso 
soon, but in another I'm not sorry. That child," she said, polating 
to the cradle, " is very hard to manage, and the worst of it is, his 
father will hear no complaint against him; but he listens to all 
his, as if it was the priest at the altar, and when he thinks the 
bouchal has been wronged in any way, he's neither to ho+vld nor 
to bind. Whoever he believes has wronged him suffers, I can 
tell you. I could not tell you what complaint he mightn't make 
against you for eating all the bread and butter and lavin' him to 
starve; and, tliough no Irishman was ever civiler or kinder to 


strangers than Finn, if a complaint came from his pet — thebouchal 
there — he'd forget all his other good, kind feelings for a good 
long hour anyway, and by that lime there would be few whole 
bones in your body." 

" Gude preserve us," said Sawney More, "I'm glad you toul' 
me in time. I hope he'll not be here soon." 

" I'll take care," said Shelah, " that you'll get off safely. I'll 
keep a look-out for his coming. I know the way he'll come, and, 
when I see him, I'll go to meet him. On the way to the house 
he'll have a great deal to tell me that will take time; anyway, 
I'll take care to delay him long enough to let you get safe off." 

By this time Sawney was ready for the road — ready to make the 
best use of his long legs. He was soon outside the door, where, 
for a wonder, he took the time to say, "Gude e'en. A'll aye 
be thankfou to you, gude wife, when I'm far awa. Ye hae been 
a true freen tae me." 

Wliat was the story he tould when he got back again I can- 
not tell you, but he was the first and the last Scotchman that ever 
ventured on the Causey. 



Mrs. Maguire, wife of Denny Maguire, of the Kilshane Arms, 
had retired to rest. The church bell was tolling eleven when 
she took a last look at the room and quenched the candle. It 
was Saturday night, and Denis, according to immemorial custom, 
had remained in the parlor to contribute his wit and jocularity 
to the conversation of a few friends who had returned from a 
christening, and slipped into the Arms to spend an hour until 
midnight. The courtesy of her husband was but ill-approved by 
Mrs. Maguire, who entertained a vague suspicion that the house 
was haunted by the fairies, or descendants of fairies, who formerly 
occupied the rath on which the Kilshane Arms was built. Her 
fears, it is only just to admit, had some foundation. Night after 
night, when every one was in bed, and only Bill, the watch-dog, 
was up and abroad, supernatural noises proceeded from the kitchen. 
Now there came a sharp clatter, as if jugs, and plates, and delft 
tea-pots had come to grief in a simultaneous collision ; and anon 
a jingling which foreboded destruction to every wine-glass, tum- 
bler and decanter on the dresser. Denis had repeatedly listened 
with eyes a-stare, and mouth open, to those supernatural raani- 
festations, but, however alarmed he felt, he arlways conbivod to 
allay his wife's apprehensions by such exclamations as — " Musha, 
the dickens take that cat !" or, " Will them mice never be aisy ?" 
Consoled by the practical philosophy of such words, Mrs. Maguire 
would draw a long sigh, insinuate, in her blandest tones, that 
"luck never came of meddling with the good people," and so 
commit herself to the heaven of sleep. 

The church clock stnick three, and Mis. Maguire awoke. 


"Much she marvelled," as the oil ballai has it, that Denis 
should have prolonged his caroasals to so unseasonable an hour. 
Her astonishment was increased when, on listening attentively, 
till the silence tingled in her ears, she could not catch the sound 
of a single voice or the jingle of a solitary glass from the room in 
which she had left the revellei-s. To arise, to light a candle, 
and descend the stairs in search of Denis, was but the work of a 
few moments. On reaching the ground floor, what was her sur- 
prise to find that individual, with his back propped up against 
the kitchen door, his head sunken on his chest, and a broken 
pipe scattered in fragments by his side, seated fast asleep on the 

"Dinis," she exclaimed, " Dinis, get up iv ye've any shame 
left, ye flamin' drunkard;" and with these words she seized him 
by the collar, and gave him one of those shakes with which a 
mastiff sometimes honors a spaniel. 

Denis lazily opened his eyes, and rapidly reclosed them. " I 
consint," he muttered, " I consint, though it goes hard aginst 
me, mind yez." 

" Musha, alanna, do ye hear him ? the unforthinate man that 
has no more business takin' a dhrop than an omadhaun ! Con- 
sint, yerra ! come, come, ye'll get yer death o' could, sittin* here, 
you foolish crathur." 

Denis received a duplicate of the first shrug, and again un- 
closed his eyes. "Didn't I tell yez," he exclaimed, with no 
small show of bitterness — " didn't I tell yez that I consintixl ? And 
what more does yez want. Ai ! ai ! gour that, you desaver," he 
continued, addressmg his wife, who was suddenly startled by his 
altered manner. " Be off wid yer, ould man — do; have yer 
choice, an' more luck to yez. Arrah, what kem acrass yez, that 
yez didn't fut it to the North Pole, ai ?" 

" Oh, then, what is he dhramin' of?" asked Mrs. Maguire, in 
a voice of tremulous expostulation, ''who is tbe ould man, and 
what is he sayin' ? Lord betune us an' hnrm iv the North 
Pole ! He's crackt, crackt entirely, so he is," and she raised her 
hastily -donned gown to her eyes, and began crying. 


*' I'll "bell it all over the parish," groaned Denis, who now sat 
more upright, and was, to all appearances, rational enough. 
" Show yer nose at the cross if yez dare, and there's not a girl 
from the post-office to the tay-shop, but'll pin a tin kittle to yer 
tail, da-a-rlint!" 

"Oh, thin, Dinis, Dinis, alanna." 

" Noneo' yer Dinises tome," screamed Mr. Maguire. " Hould 
yer tongue, yeh, yeh — gour that, I tell yez," and he shot his 
fist fiercely at his wife, 

" Come out iv this, Dinis, dear, and don'tbe ravin' like a mad- 
man — come." 

" Yis, av coorse; cock yez up, ai ! Arrah, then, maybe I be 
bowld to ask yez where's the little lord, ai ? — the nate little lord, 
with the hump betune his shoulders, and the hape of a pimple on 
his nose ? Be the mortial frost, but yez was a purty pair, wasn't 
yez? Lave the house this minit, and be off wid 'im; lave the 
house, and never darken the doore again." 

*' Dinis, darlint, ah, thin, what's comin' over yez, to thrate me 
in this way," sobbed Mrs. Maguire, as she retreated from her 
husband, who compelled her, with repeated threats, in the direc- 
tion of the door, 

"Will yez be off, or say yez won't; will yez?" 

"I'll do anything, Dinis, to plaze yez." 

"Thin show us your back, and keep yer face to yerself till 
'tis wanted. Out wid yez— out wid yez," and so saying, Mr. 
Maguire ejected his wife over the threshold into the village street. 

*'Ye'll be sorry for this, Dinis," exclaimed Mrs. Maguire, 
turning back for a moment. 

"Will yez take yerself to the lordheen?" replied Dinis; 
"shure, he'll want some one to straighten his hump for him, and 
who'd do it better nor his wife, ai, my jewel ?" 

" The Lord forgive yez, Dinis." 

" That's more than yez desarve yerself, at any rate. Top o' 
the mornin' to yez," and, with this polite wish, Mr. Maguire 
closed the door and disappeared. 

Mrs. Maguire, completely mystified by her husband's conduct, 


and wondering what serious change could have deprived -her in 
one night of the burthen of his affections, turned into the house of 
a neighbor, and seated herself dejectedly on a three-legged stool, 
or "creepeen," by the side of the turf fire. She wtis rocking 
herself to and fro uneasily, whilst her tears came thick and fast 
and her sobs almost choked her, when the mistress of tte house, 
Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, returned from the bawn and discovered her. 

" Why, thin, Mrs. Maguire, is it yourselfs afarc me? Oh! 
the poor woman cryin', I declare cryin' ! Why, tWn, is there 
anything gone wrong over the way?" 

"Himself — 'tis himself!" groaned Mrs. Maguire. 

"Himself, jewel! Arrah, thim min are alwuys crazy when 
they take a drop or two over night, and 'tis a fool ud mind ''em. 
My jintleman '11 miss you afore 'tis dark, believe me. He didn't 
bate yez, did he ? " 

"No, Mistress Shaughnessy, I'll be bowld, he dida'L He sez 
to me, sez he, go off wid your lordheen, for a bite or sup ye'U 
never take agin wid me, sez he." 

" A lordheen, inagh. Gondoutha, what put that in his head, I 
wondher ?" 

"Thim faries, the sarra shoot thim," replied Mrs. Maguire. 
" Shure I often said, if he had luck or gract^he'd lave 'em alone, 
and not be meddlin' or makin' with thim that didn^t consam 

Mrs. O'Shaughnessy looked mysterious, and shook her head 
in token of assent. "Thim ould places doesn't answer Chris- 
tians, anyhow. I wouldn't sod a lark out iv 'era if there wasn't 
another green spot in the barony. Here, lave off now, for there's 
the min comin' to breakfast, and we'll have our tay when they 
shows their backs, so we will." 

Somewhat cheered by the prospect of the non -inebriating cup, 
Mrs. Maguire hastened to indulge hersorrows-in the privacy of an 
inner room. The lalx>rers soon arrived, and she listened intently 
to their conversation, in order to satisfy herself that the scandal of 
which she was the victim had not spread through the village. 
Nothing occurred to alarm her, however, until one of the men. 


whose mouth, judging from the thickness of his articolatien, was 
embarrassed by the presence of a lumper, exclaimed: 

"Dick Boulster was done out of his sudden death,* this 
momin', sure, and sorra the one could spake to him, he was so 
down m the mouth. ' ' 

"Begor," remarked another voice, "he must be gom' to the 
wall entirely, when he'd pass by Dinny Maguire's without pay- 
ing his respects to the native. ' ' 

"Faith its toight enough wid him," observed a man with a 
north Tipperary accent. " Didn't we see him on Friday, stand- 
ing on one fut at Mick Lalor's bulk, whilst he was gettin' a 
thieveenf on the other?" 

"He has a back in'America, dough," said a man, with 
an exceedingly weak organ. " De girls send home hapes o' 
money — I wish he was tirty pounds in my books di? morning." 

"Musha, talk sinse, " exclaimed the first speaker, "an don't 
be runnin away wed yourselves, like goms;]: 1 tdl yez that the 
raisin he hadn't his dhrop is bekase he couldn't get it, and the 
raisin he couldn't get it is, bekase Dinny wouldn't open the doore, 
he's getting so holy, gondoutha /" 

A roar of laughter succeeded the sarcastic comment implied in 
the last observation. The men soon afterwards rose and left the 
house, and Mrs. Maguire was preparing to emerge from her hid- 
ing, when Mrs. O'Shaughnessy exclaimed, in a half whisper: 

"Be as mute as a mouse, for himself is comin' up the pad- 

"For the love of God don't say I'm here, or there'll be ruc- 
tions till Michaelmas!'' 

" Aisy, now be aisy, till we hears what he sez for himself. Be 
quiet, alanna, and who knows but it's all for the best." 

So saying, Mrs. O'Shaughnessy threw herself into a posture of 
affected inattention, and was merrily humming a milking song, 
when Dennis Maguire entered the house, looking pale and 

* Glass of raw whisky, t Patch of leather. X Fools. 


"God bless all here!" he said, with a slight quaver in his 

*' And you too, Dinis. How's all at home wid yez?" 

" Purty middlin', begor; we can't complain, ma'am." 

*' Won't yez sit down and rest yerself, Dinis?" said the lady, 
driving the cat from a hay-bottomed chair, and handing it to the 
visitor. " Is herself fine and strongly ?" 

Dennis groaned. •' Consamin' her, Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, I'm 
afeerd I've put my fut in it." 

♦' Fut, agra ! that's a quare thing !" 

" Mortial quare, ma'am, intirely. Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, I'm 
the manest, ungratefulcst baste in crayation." 

"Is the man dhramin' wid his eyes open ?" asked the good 
woman, suspending the operation of washing a butter tub, and 
looking at the speaker. 

"Faith, they're open wide enough now, ma'am. If you 
saw thim this nioniin' airly, 'tisn't that ye'd say, I be bail." 

" Cobwebs, after the night, yez mane?" 

" Dust, ma'am — fairy dust that tuk away my five sinses to the 
other world, and put me beyant meself, and made me turn Biddy 
out o' doors — made a pote — a rale, live pote o' me intirely, 
ma'am !" 

" The dickens take it, sure yez wasn't as bad as all that, 
Dinis ? Pote, inagh. Shure thim niver has wives or houses, and 
yez has both, God bless 'em !" 

"And I don't desarve 'em, Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, for I'm a 
baste, and no mistake, to turn out that kind-hearted crathur on 
the cowld world, without a bit o' breakfast or a tester in her 
pocket, av a momin' airly;" and so affected was the speaker by 
the pathos of his own discourse, that he buried his face between 
his hands and wept audibly. Mrs. Maguire, who was a breathless 
listener to all that passed, in the next room, imitated his example 
with that rare facility for which the female eye-ducts are cele- 
brated; but she took care to drown her sobs in the folds of her 
cloak, lest her grief should betray her. 

"Tut, tut, man, come, don't be killin' yerself that way," in- 


sisted Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, in a voice of the kindest sympathy. 
••The thruest couple on the face iv the earth will have their 
thrials and fallin'-outs. But, Dinis, I'm complately bothered to 
make out the raisin that came over yez, all of a hape, to mal- 
tlireat poor Biddy. Was she throublesome ?" 

•' Herself throublesome ! An angel playin' on a harp o' goold 
isn't her aiquil for civility, ma'am. Oh, that dhrame, that 
dhran>€ !" 

'•What dhrame?" asked Mrs. O'Shaughnessy. 

"Musha, sit down, and ye'll hear the whole of it." 

Mra. O'Shaughnessy followed the direction, and, after many 
ifttrodnctory " hems " and " haws," and several apparently inef- 
fectual efforts to clear his throat, Dennis began : 

" You must know, ma'am, that last niglit, it being Sathurday, 
two o' the boys dropped in, betther nor an hour afore midnight, 
to have a weeny dhrop afore they should lave for home. My 
mimory may disavc me (that's an ould thrick wid it), but I'd be 
afeered to say that I tuk more nor six or seven glasses with a dash 
o' spring water in each iv 'em, to cool them a bit, you know. 
Ilowsomever, the boys went, and I barred the doore, and I tuk 
the candle from the hob, and, just as I put my foot on the first 
step, what do you consave I should hear but the rattlin' and tearin' 
of spoons, the new spoons we bought at the pattern iv Bmff, 
and the greatest divarsion of cut glass in the kitchen ! Well, 
my hair stood on an end, like a shafe of bulrushes, and my 
knees knocked together for all the world like a pair o' dale clap- 
pers. *What does that mean, at all, at all?' sez I, to meself. 
Nobody answered, av coorsc, but, instead o' that, the glasses, 
man alive, fell to rattlin' agin and agin, and the spoons fell to 
kicking up the most unmarciful ructions. As I was sayin', I 
■cocked my ear like a hare, and hearkened to the fun that was 
goin' on inside, and all at wanst I heard an ould man coughin' 
and crowin', and three or four more ould men, too, I be bail, 
laughin' as if they'd split their siJes with the divarsion. I tuk 
my fut off the stairs, and the kitchen door bein' a taste open, I 
clapped my eye to it and looked in. Holy jewel, if you saw 


tMm I A lump of mate, with a double hedge of yellow fat — a 
lump you couldn't cram into a skiagh, was on the table ; one 
ould man stood forninst me, dressed in blue knee-breeches, and 
■whited darned stockings, and a rale swallow-tail wid goold but- 
tons, shinin' like a clane candlestick, and a hat for all the world 
like Tom Lacy's caubogue, only it was turned up at the sides; 
his white hair was all rolled up in a ball with a skiver stuck be- 
hind in it ; and he had a bottle of the best Jameson's (two shil- 
lings, and every farthen iv it, a pint) to his mouth, guttlin* away, 
ma'am, as iv he'd swallow Poul-a-phouca, the Lord save us! Be- 
tune him and I there was a laddo upon one knee, decantin' a bot- 
tk iv somethin' or another, like the big bottle in Dr. Sloane's 
window; this laddo wore boots up to his knees, and such a cam- 
bric handkercher ondernathe his ould chin ! The fire was blazin' 
betuae the hobs, as if they were bint on manufactherin' an anvil, 
and foruLnst it was sated an ould codger, wid a jug of hot punch 
in his hand, and snappin' away wid his fingers, like wildfire, to 
the chune o' the ' Limerick Lasses.' The flure was all a spread 
of rale chamey, and la.->hins o' fecdm', ham, and pork, and beef, 
and cabbage, and mate o' that sort. But what opened my eyes, 
intirely, intirely, was a murtherin' queer thmg betune a frog and 
a buttherfly, fluttherin' and flying around the room, and divartin' 
himself, wid his legs up to the ceilin', as if he was a rale fly. 
Some o' the min were cuttin' capers in the dancin' way, wid the 
wimen. Arrah, to see thim— such dandies as thmi was, wid 
wings, nioryagfiy stuck out o' their shoulders, and castles iv cock's 
feathers growin' out iv the tops o' their heads. But 'twas the 
coortin' and collogucino* that put me pipe out complately, for 
there was sated forninst me an ould buckeen wid a hump as big 
as a churn on his back, and his old arm, if yez plaze, around a 
young lady in a high-cauled cap and a turkey-red handkercher. 
• Faith,' sez I to myself, ' I'll have an eye to yez, my darlint, ' and 
so I kept it on 'em, until the lady turned round her purty head, 
and, Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, I'll take my book-oath on't, the lady 



— the lady, mind yez, was (here the narrator spread out his legs, 
twirled his thumbs rapidly, and continued in a hoarse whisper,) 
the wife 1 Wlien I saw her, sated on the barrel, collogueirigwiA. 
the ould Cromwellian of a villyan, I tried to make a haul at the 
pair, and twist his head off iv him, but the dickens resave the 
step the legs would go, and I had to stand there in the cowld like 
a pilgarlic, seein' Biddy divartin' herself wid the good people. 
All. at once the music caysed, and the laddo with the skiver in his 
head sez, sez he : 

** * That Maguire is the scum of a vagabond — he's the sworn 
inimy of the ould stock,' sez he, • an', if I had my own way, I'd 
open his eye whilst ye'd be sayin' Jack Robinson.' 

*• ' Thrue for yez, Harelip, avic,' says the man that was bot- 
tlin' the medicine, ' ihrue for yez, ' sez he, ' and the pookah take 
him an' his breed, an' every stick and stone belongin' to thim.' 

•• The laddo that was dancin' wid the paycock lady here 
opened his mouth, and sez he, ' Teranages, but his wife's a gim, 
a rale gim, and its the dickens iv a shame that she should be liv- 
in' wid that monstherosity. Min,' sez he, to the fellows that 
might wear a tailor's thimble for a waist-band — ' min,' sez he, ' I 
moves we whips her off and marry her to Lord Plumtop.' 

" ' Right,' sez Skiver, 'right. I was pondherin over that me- 
self, and sorra' betther way I sees,' sez he, 'of punishin' the 

"Before that boy's tongue had time to get into his cheek, the 
humpy back, that was sittin' alongside Biddy, turns about, and 
immegiately I got a sight of a pinv^ijle as red as a bantam's 
comb, perched atop of his nose. ' Have I always thrated yez da 
cently ?' sez he. 

" 'Iss, my lord,' says the whole o' the pinkeens, bowin' and 
scrapin' until they'd pick a pin off the flure with their eye-lash- 
ers — ' Iss, my lord,' sez they. 

" 'Thm,' sez he, 'by the honor and glory of the Plumtops, I 
swear on the top and bottom iv the griddle to have the gim for 
myself — I'm king o' the castle,' sez he, and the pimple grew 
reddher and reddher, ' and who dare rassle ?' 


•"Be the hokey,' says the Skiver, ' my lord is gettin' as stiff 
as Bill Haly's dog, that swallowed a stone of starch, and a blue- 
bag, into the bargin. Yez may lead me, if it plazes yez,' sez 
Skiver, bouldly, ' but I'd see t!ie whole stock of yez hanged, 
dhrawn and quarthered, before I'm dhruv.' 

" The ould man that was engravin' his shins afore the fire, 
here got up, and sez he, takin' out his handkercher, ' I blush for 
yez. Skiver, I blush for yez. If yez have any rimnint of dacen- 
cy in yez, go down on yer binded knees, and beg his lordship's 

" Arrah, woman alive, to hear Skiver laughin' at that would 
do you good for a Shrovetide. He cocked his head, he cocked his 
eye, ' One man is as good as another,' sez he, ' barrin' he's a lord 
or a duke — begor, barrin' he's an earl, for all that. And if his 
lordship,' sez he, standin' on his toes, and lookin' down on Plum- 
top, 'sez to the conthrary, let him keep on his jacket and I'll 
dust it for him.' 

"Plumtop, heerin' iv the discoorse,«tuk a pinch o' Cork snufT, 
and when the sneezin' was over, he sez, ' Siiiver, are yez bint 
{ash-tkee, the sneezin' wasn't over), are yez bint on kickin' up a 
rucshin in my dominions ? Yer pinance is,' sez he, ' to go down 
on yer (ash-thee, ash-thee) — that snuff is murtherin' strong — yer 
four ugly bones, and all the min and wimen in the rath walk 
over yer ugly carcass.' 

" Up jumps Biddy, as live as a lark, my dear, and sez she, ' If 
thrubble's about me, put an ind to it, for I'm promised to Lord 
Plumtop here, an' I wouldn't change my mind for the best gro- 
cery m Caherconlish,' and sayin' this, she turned up her mouth 
and kissed the pimple on the lord's nose, begor — may I never see 
another Sunday, but she did. 

" 'Stand out,' sez Skiver, squarin' his fists for the divarshin. 
"If I'm to be thrated like a baste, I'll be a baste,' and wid that 
he up wid his fist and knocked down the lordheen. There was 
the hape of a pdlilu on the head of this, the scrawlin* became 



giQ»d, but faith, my bowld Skiver flaked them right and left, 
min, wimen and childrin, as they was, until the physic man came 
up wid a decanter and laid him as flat as a pancake. In the 
meantime I looked around for Biddy, and, shure enough, there 
she was, ^tin' on the barrel, breakin' her heart cryin', and tyin' 
up the iordheen's head with a shally shawl I bought her the 
Sathurday night afore. The physic man kum up to feel his pulse. 

" * Only wan thing '11 cure him,' sez he, takin' out a watch as 
big as a pot -lid, and cockin' it to his ear. ' He'll be as stiff as a 
herrin' afore five minutes if it's not administhered.' ' And what's 
that ?' sez Biddy, in a heart-broken voice. ' Ai, what is it ?' 'A 
weddin'-ring,' sez the docthor, < boiled down in a pot of goat's 
milk. Haven't yez a ring yerself, my lady ?' 

" ' Begor, thin, I have,' sez she, < an' here it's for him, if 'twas 
goold tin times over.' 

"So she whipped off the ring, ma'am, and then Physic sez, 
* What'U Dlnis think o' this whin it kums to his ears?' sez he. 

" ' Will youhould your jaw, and don't be botherin' me about 
the spalpeen. I've somethin' else to consarn me.' 

"Well, the milk was boiled, and no sooner did the lordheen 
swallow it, than he got up and marched about the room as grand 
as a paycock. 

" ♦ Does yez love me, Biddy ?' sez he. 

" 'I dotes on you,' sez Biddy; ' shure,' sez she, ' a nater pim- 
ple was never seen than that on your lordship's nose.' 

" ' What 'ud Maguire give for such a lump of grandher ?' sez 
the lordheen. 

" ' The two eyes out iv his head,' sez Biddy. 

" ' When will we be mairied, Biddy ?' sez he. 

" 'Faith, as soon as it'sconvaynant,' sez she. 

" « Where'U we be married, jewel ?' sez he. 

<( « Why, thin, where but at the North Pole ?' sez she. 

"' We must have Dinis' consint, Biddy,' sez the ould scoun. 
drel. ' Will it be aisy to find him ?' 

" ' There he's behind the doore,' sez she. ' Hurrah, hurrah,' 
sez the lordheen, wheeling his stick around his head. ' Min,' sez 


he, ' drag in that quadruped, and ask him if he consints to my 
martyiag BWdy ?' and, sure enough, before I could lift a leg they 
had me off my pins and planted in the middle iv the flure. 

" •Biddy,' sez I, ' Biddy, the Lord forgive ycz !' 

"'Musha, hould your ugly mouth,' sez she, 'and don't be 
cacklin' like a gandher.' 

•"Does yer consint?' sez the lordheen, with a scrame like a 
wild crane; 'does yer consint to separate from yer wife and give 
her to them that can support her dacently ?' 

" 'No,' sez I. 

" 'Pull off his hair, one by one, min,' sez the lordheen, ' we'll 
taich him manners afore he's much ouldher.' 

" So the pinkeens kem around me and they pulled away until 
I put my hand on the top of my head, roarin' all the time wid 
pain, and saw I had only throe hairs remainin'. Begor I was 
frightened to think of wearin' a wig, and as all the hair was goin' 
I thought best to keep the seed of a new crop, so sez I, ' I con- 
sint,' and hardly were the words out o' my mouth when I sitsup 
and sees Biddy afore me. 'Get out iv the house this minute,' 
sez I, and wid that I planted her in the middle iv the pavement, 
for I couldn't consaive I had been dhramin'. Arrah isn't that her 
cry in' away in the room there ?" said Denis, suspending the story 
and listening. 

"'Tis herself, then, poor woman," said Mrs. O'Shaughnessy ; 
"here, go in an' make friends with her." 

Denis went, and returned in a few minutes, holding his wife by 
the hand. 

" 'Twas all a dhrame, ma'am, an' she forgives me, an' I'm 
going to take the pledge to-morrow." 

" An' when you do," said his wife, laughing, " I'll run off with 
the lordheen." 

" Are yez at it again ?" said Denis, catching and kissing her, 
*• the dickens take him for a lordheen, anyhow ! ' ' 

THE WILL. ijjr 


It was a little after midnight that a knock came to the door of 
oar cabin. I heard it first, for I used to sleep in a little snug 
basket near the fire; but I didn't speak, for I was frightened. It 
was still repeated louder, and then came a cry — " Con. Cregan; 
Coii. I say, open the door ! I want you." I knew the voice 
well; it was Peter McCabe's; but I pretended to be fast asleep, 
and snored loudly. At last my father unbolted the door, and I 
heard hinj say, " Oh, Mr. Peter, what's the matter? is the ould 
man worse ?" 

•' Faix that's what he is, for he's dead !" 

" Glory be his bed ! when did it happen ?" 

" About an hour ago," said Peter, in a voice that even I, from 
my comer, could perceive greatly agitated. " He died like an 
ould hathen, Con., and never made a will !" 

"That's bad," says my father, for he was always a polite 
man, and said whatever was pleasing to the company. 

" It is bad," said Peter; " butit would be worse if he couldn't 
help it. Listen to me now, Comey; I want ye to help me in 
this business; and here are five guineas in gold if ye do what I 
bid ye. You know that ye were always reckoned the image of 
my father, and before he took ill ye were mistaken for each other 
every day of the week. ' ' 

•' Anan !" said my father, for he was getting frightened at the 
notion, without well knowing why. 

" Weil, what I want is for ye to come over mto the house and 
get into the bed." 

" jN'ot beside the corpse ?" said my father, trembling. 


♦'By no nv ans, but by yourself; and you're to pretend to be 
my father, and that ye want to make yer will before ye die; and 
then I'll send for the neighbors, and Billy Scanlan, the school- 
master, and ye'll tell him what to write, leaving all the farm 
and everything to me — ye understand. And as the neighbors 
will see ye and hear yer voice, it will never be believed but it 
was himself that did it." 

•' The room must be very dark," says my father. 

«' To be sure it will; but have no fear ! Nobody will dare to 
come nigh the bed; and ye'll only have to make a cross with yer 
pen under the name. Come along, now — quick — for we've no 
time to lose; it must be all finished before the day breaks." 

My father did not lose much time at his toilet, for he just 
wrapped his big coat round him, and, slipping on the brogues, 
left the house. I sat up in the basket, and listened till they 
were gone some minutes; and then, in a costume as light as my 
parent's, set out after them to watch the course of the adventure. 
I thought to take a short cut, and be before them; but by bad 
luck I fell into a bog-hole, and only escaped drowning by a 
chance. As it was, when I reached the house the performance 
had already begun. 

I think I see the whole scene this instant before my eyes, as I 
sat on a little window with one pane, and that a broken one, and 
surveyed the proceeding. It was a large room, at one end of 
which was a bed, and beside it was a table with physic bottles 
and spoons and tea-cups; a little further off was another table, at 
wHch sat Billy Scanlan, with all manner of writing materials be- 
fore him. 

The country people sat two and sometimes three deep around 
the walls, all intently eager and anxious for the coming event; 
Peter himself went from place to place, trying to smother his 
grief, and occasionally helping the company to something, which 
was supplied with more than accustomed liberality. 

All my consciousness of the deceit and trickery coulu not de- 
prive the scene of a certain solemnity. Tlie misty distance of the 
half-lighted room; the highly-wrou^lit expression of the country 

THE WILL. 3591! 

people's faces, never more intensely excited than at some moment 
of this kind; the low, deep-drawn breathing, unbroken save by a 
sigh or a sob — the tribute of affectionate sorrow to some lost 
friend, whose memory was thus forcibly brought back; these 
were all so real, that, as I looked, a thrilling sense of awe stole 
over me, and I actually shook with fear. 

A low, faint cough from the dark comer where the bed stood 
seemed to cause even a deeper stillness; and then, in a silence 
where the buzzing of a fly would have been heard, my father said: 

"Where's Billy Scanlan ? I want to make my will !" 

"He's here, father," said Peter, taking Billy by the hand and 
leading him to the bed-side. 

" Write what I bid ye, Billy, and be quick; for I haven't a. 
long time afore me here; I die a good Catholic, though Father 
O'Rafferty won't give me the rites !" 

A general chorus of muttered "Oh! musha, musha!" was 
now heard through the room; but whether in grief over the sad 
fate of the dying man, or the unflinching justice of the priest, is 
hard to say. 

" I die in peace with all my neighbors and all mankind." 

Another chorus of the company seemed to approve these char- 
itable expressions. 

" I bequeath unto my son Peter — and never was there a better 
son or a decenter boy ! — have you that down ? I bequeath unto 
my son Peter the whole of my two farms of Killimundoonery and 
Knocksheboora, with the fallow meadows behind Lynch's house, 
the forge and right of turf on the Dooran bog. I give him — and 
much good may it do him — Lanty Cassam's acre, and the Luary 
field with the lime-kiln; and that reminds me that my mouth is 
just as dry. Let me taste what ye have in the jug." Here the 
dying man took a very hearty pull, and seemed considerably re- 
freshed by it. 

"Wliere was I, Billy Scanlan?" says he; "oh, I remember, 
at the lime-kiln. I leave him — that's Peter, I mean — the two 
potato gardens at Noonan's Well; and it is the elegant, fine 
crops grows there." 

.j6o the zozimus papers. 

"Ain't you gettin' wake, father darlin'?" says Peter, who be- 
gan to be afraid of my father's loquaciousness; for, to say the 
truth, the punch got into his head, and he was greatly disposed 

"I am, Peter, my son," says he; "I am getting wake; just 
touch my lips again with the jug. Ah ! Peter, Peter, you watered 
the drink." 

"No, indeed, father, but it's the taste is leavin' you," says 
Peter, and again a low chorus of compassionate pity murmured 
through the cabin. 

"Well, I'm nearly done now," says my father; "there's only 
one little plot of ground remaining, and I put it on you, Peter — 
as ye wish to live a good man, and die with the same easy heart 
as I do now — that ye mind my last words to ye here. Are ye 
listening ? Are the neighbors listening ? Is Billy Scanlan listen- 

"Yes, sir; yes, father, we're all minding," chorused the 

"Well, then, it's my last will and testament, and may — give 
me over the jug" — here he took a long drink — "and may that 
blessed liquor be poison to me if I'm not as eager about this as 
every other part of the will; I say, then, I bequeath the little plot 
at the cross roads to poor Con. Cregan, for he has a heavy charge, 
and is as honest and as hard-working a man as ever I knew. Be a 
friend to him, Peter, dear; never let him want while ye have it 
yourself — think of me on my death-bed whenever he asks ye for 
any trifle. Is it down, Billy Scanlan?— the two acres at the 
•cross to Con. Cregan, and his heirs in secla seclorum? Ah, 
blessed be the saints ! but I feel my heart lighter after that," 
says he — "a good work makes an easy conscience. And now 
I'll drink all the company's good health, and many happy re- 
turns — " 

What he was going to add there's no saying; but Peter, who 
was now terribly frightened at the lively tone the sick man was 
assuming, hurried all the people into another room, to let his 
father die in peace. 

THE WILL. 261 

When they were all gone, Peter slipped back to my father, who 
was putting on his brogues in a comer : " Con.," says he, "ye 
did it all well; but sure that was a joke about the two acres at 
the cross." 

•' Of course it was, Peter !" says he; "sure it was all a joke, 
for the matter of that; won't I make the neighbors laugh hearty 
to-morrow when I tell them all about it !" 

"You wouldn't be mean enough to betray me !" says Peter, 
trembling with fright. 

" Sure you wouldn't be mean enough to go against your 
father's dying words !" says my father; "the last sentence ever 
he spoke;" and here he gave a low, wicked laugh, that made 
myself shake with fear. 

"Very well, Con.!" says Peter, holding out his hand; "a 
bargain's a bargain ; yer a deep fellow, that's all." And so it 
ended, and my father slipped quietly over the bog, mighty well 
satisfied with the legacy he left himself. 

And thus we became the owners of the little spot known to 
thiB day as Corn's Acre. 



My father, who, for reasons registered in the King's Bench, 
spent a great many years of his life in that part of Ireland geo- 
graphically known as lying west of the law, was obliged, for cer- 
tain reasons of family, to come up to Dublin. This he pro- 
ceeded to do with due caution: two trusty servants formed an 
advance guard, and patrolled the country for at least five miles 
in advance ; after them came a skirmishing body of a few tenants, 
who, for the consideration of never paying rent, would have 
charged the whole Court of Chancery, if needful. My father 
himself, in an old chaise victualled like a fortress, brought up the 
rear; and, as I said before, he was a bold man who would have 
attempted to have laid siege to him. As the column advanced 
ijito the en£my's country, they assumed a closer order, the patrol 
and the pic}art falling back upon the main body; and in this way 
they reached that most interesting city called Kilbeggan. What 
a fortonaie thing it is for us in Ireland that we can see so much 
of the w'orld without foreign travel, and that any gentleman, for 
six arrd eightpence, can leave Dublin in the morning and visit 
Timbucto-J against dinner-time ! Don't stare ! it's truth I'm 
telling; for dirt, misery, smoke, unaffected behavior and black 
faces, I'll back Kilbeggan' against all Africa. Free-and-easy, 
pleasant people they are, with a skin as l:)egrimed and as rugged as 
their own potatoes ! But to resume: the sun was just rising in a 
delicioira -jioiTiing of June, when my father— whose loyal antip- 
athies I have mentioned made him also an earlier riser — was 
preparing for the road. A stout escort of his followers were, as 
usual, under arms to see him safe in the chaise, the passage to 


and from which every day being the critical moment of my 
father's life. 

" It's all right, your honor," said his own man, as, armed with 
a blunderbuss, he opened the bed-room door. 

"Time enough, Tim," said my father; "close the door, for 
I haven't finished my breakfast." 

Now the real truth was, that my father's attention was at that 
moment withdrawn from his own concerns by a scene which was 
taking place in a field beneath his window. 

But a few minutes before a hack-chaise had stopped upon the 
road-side, out of which sprang three gentlemen, who, proceeding 
to the field, seemed bent upon som-thing which, whether a sur- 
vey or a duel, my father could not make out. He was not long, 
however, to remain in ignorance. One with an easy, lounging 
gait strode towards a distant comer; another took an opposite 
direction; while the third, a short, pursy gentleman, in a red 
handkerchief and a rabbit-skin waistcoat, proceeded to open a 
mahogany box, which, to the critical eyes of my respected 
father, was agreeably suggestive of bloodshed and murder. 

"A duel, by Jupiter !" said my fatlier, rubbing his hands. 
"What a heavenly morning the scoundrels have — not a leaf stir- 
ring, and a sod lilce a billiard-table." 

Meanwhile the little man who officiated as second, it would 
appear, to both parties, bustled about with activity little congenial 
to his shape; and, what between snapping the pistols, examining 
the flints and ramming down the charges, had got himself into a 
sufficient prespiration before he commenced to measure off the 

" Short distance and no quarter !" shouted one of the combat- 
ants from the corner of the field. 

"Across a handkerchief if you like !" roared the other. 

"Gentlemen, every inch of them!" responded my father. 

"Twelve paces!" cried the little man. "No more and no 
less. Don't forget that I'm alone in this business." 

"Avery true remark!" observed my father; "and an awk- 
ward predicament yours will be, if they are both shot!" 


By this time the combatants had taken their places, and the 
little man, having delivered the pistols, was leisurely retiring to 
give the word. My father, however, whose critical eye was never 
at fault, detected a circumsLance which promised an immense ad- 
vantage to one at the expense of the other; in fact, one of the 
parties was so placed with his back to the sun, that his shadow 
extended in a straight line to the very foot of his antagonist. 

"Unfair! unfair!" cried my father, opening the window as 
he spoke, and addressing himself to him of the rabbit-skin. *' I 
crave your pardon for the interruption," said he; "but I feel 
bound to observe that that gentleman's shadow is likely to be 
made a shade of him." 

"And so it is," observed the short man: "a thousand thanks 
for your kindness; but the truth is, I am totally unaccustomed to 
this kind of thing, and the affair will not admit of delay." 

"Not an hour !" said one. 

"Not five minutes !" growled the other of the combatants. 

" Put them up north and south !" said my father. 

"Is it thus?" 

"Exactly so; but mw again the gentleman in the brown coat 
is covered with the ash tree." 

"And so he is!" said rabbit-skin, wiping his forehead with 

" Move them a little to the left," said he. 

"That brings me upon an eminence," said the gentleman in 
blue; "I'll not be made a cock shot of." 

"What an awkward little tiling it is in the hairy waistcoat!" 
said my father; "he's lucky if he don't get shot himself." 

"May I never ! if I'm not sick of you both!" ejaculated rab- 
bit-skin, in a passion. " I've moved you round every point of the 
compass, and the sorrow a nearer we are than ever." 

"Give us the word," said one. 

"The word!" 

" Downright murder," said my father. 

"I don't care," said the little man; "we shall be here till 


"I can't permit this," said my father. "Allow me — " so 
saying, he stepped' upon the window-sill and leaped down into 
the lield. 

•' Before I can accept of your politeness, " said he of the rabbit- 
skin, " may I beg to know your name and position in society?" 

"Nothing more reasonable," said my father. "I'm Miles 
O'Shaughnessy, Colonel of the Royal Raspers; here is my card." 

The piece of pasteboard was complacently handed from one to 
the other of the party, who saluted my father with a smile of most 
courteous benignity. 

"Colonel O'Shaughnessy," said one. 

"Miles O'Shaughnessy," said another. 

" Of Killinahoula Castle," said the third. 

" At your service," said my father, bowing as he presented his 
smtffJxix: "and now to business, if you please; for my time also 
is limited." 

"Very true," observed he of the rabbit-skin, "and, as youob- 
»erve, now to business; in virtue of which. Colonel Miles 
O'Shaughnessy, I hereby arrest you in the king's name. Here 
is the writ: it's at the suit of Bamaby Kelly, of Loughrea, for the 
snm of ;/^i,583 19s. yyid., which — " 

Before he could conclude the sentence, my father discharged 
one obligation by implanting his closed knuckles in his face. 
The blow, well-aimed and well-intentioned, sent the little fellow 
somersetting like a sugar hogshead. But, alas ! it was of no use; 
the others, strong and able-bodied, fell both upon him, and after 
a desperate struggle succeeded in getting him down. To tie his 
hands and convey him to the chaise was the work of a few mo- 
ments, and as my father drove by the inn, the last object which 
caught his view was a bloody encounter between his own people 
and the myrmidons of the law, who in great numbers had laid 
siege to the house during hiscapture. Thus was my father taken, 
and thus, in reward for yielding to a virtuous weakness in his 
diaracter, was he consigned to the ignominious durance of a 



Young Condy Cullen was descended from a long line of pri- 
▼ate distillers, and, of course, exhibited in his own person all the 
practical wit, sagacity, cunning and fertility of invention, which 
the natural genius of the family, sharpened by long experience, 
had created from generation to generation, as a standing capital 
to be handed down from father to son. There was scarcely a 
trick, evasion, plot, scheme or manoeuvre that had ever been re- 
sorted to by his ancestors, that Condy had not at his fingers' ends, 
and though but a lad of sixteen at the time we present him to the 
reader, yet be it observed, that he had his mind, even at that age, 
admirably trained by four or five years of keen, vigorous practice, 
in all the resources needed to meet the subtle vigilance and 
stealthy circumvention of that prowling animal — the gauger. In 
feet, Condy's talents did not merely consist in an acquaintance 
with the hereditary tricks of his family. These of themselves 
would prove but a miserable defense against the ever-varying in- 
geiraily with which the progressive skill of the still-hunter masks 
his approaches and conducts his designs. On the contrary, 
every n^w plan of the gauger must be met and defeated by a 
coun.lei-plan equally novel, but with this difference in the char- 
acter of both, that whereas the excise-man's devices are the re- 
sult of mature deliberation — Paddy's, from the very nature of the 
dtciimstaiices, must l>e necessarily extemporaneous and rapid. 
Th£ bc«lility between the parties being, as it is, carried on 
throagh such varied stratagem on both sides, and characterized 
by finch adroit and able duplicity, by so many quick and unex- 
pected turns of incident— it would be utter fatuity in either, to 


rely upon obsolete tricks and slale manoeuvres. Their relative 
position and occupation do not, thcrefjrc, merely exhibit a con- 
test between and that mountain nymph, Liberty, or between 
the Excise Boaid and the Smuggler — it presents a more interest- 
ing- point for observation — namely, the struggle between wit and 
wit — between roguery and knavery. 

It might be very amusing to detail, from time to time, a few of 
those keen encounters of practical cunning which take place be- 
tween the potheen distiller and his lynx-eyed foe, the ganger. 
They are curious as throwing light upon the national character 
of our people, and as evidences of the surprising readiness of wit, 
fertility of invention and irresistible humor which they mix up 
with almost every actual concern of life, no matter how difficult 
or critical it may be. Nay, it mostly happens that the character 
of the peasant, in all its fullness, rises in proportion to what he 
is called upon to encounter, and that the laugh at, or the hoax 
upon the ganger, keeps pace with the difficulty that is overcome. 
But nov/ to our short story. 

Two men in the garb of gentlemen were riding along a remote 
by-road, one morning in the month of October, about the year 
1827, or '28, I am not certain which. The air was remarkably 
clear, keen and bracing; a hoar frost for the few preceding nights 
had set in, and then lay upon the fields about them, melting 
gradually, however, as the sun got strength, with the exception 
of the sides of such hills and valleys as his beams could not reach, 
until evcaiug chilled their influenced too much to absorb the 
feathery whiteness which covered them. Our equestrians had 
nearly reached a turn in the way, which, we should observe in 
this place, skirted the brow of a small declivity that lay on the 
right. In point of fact, it was a moderately inclined plane or 
slope rather than a declivity; but be this .is it may, the flat at itc 
foot was studded over with furze bushes, which grew si close and 
levisl, that a person might almost imagine it possible to walk 
upcm their surface. 

On coming within about two hundred and fifty yards of this 
angle, the riders noticed a lad, not more than sixteen, jogging ou 


tcnvaids them, with a keg upon his back. The eye of one ot 
them was i:nmediately lit with that vivacious sparkling of habit, 
ual Kagacity wluch marks the practiced gauger among ten thou- 
sand. For a single moment he drew up his horse — an action 
which, however slight in itself, intimated more plainly than he 
couU have wished the obvious interest which had just been ex- 
cited in him. Short as was the pause, it betrayed him, for no 
sooner had the lad noticed it, than he crossed the ditch and dis- 
appeared round the angle we have mentioned, and upon tha side 
of the declivity. To gallop to the spot, dismount, cross the ditch 
also, and pursue him, was only the work of a few minutes. 

"We have him," said the ganger, "we have him. One thing 
is clear, he cannot escape us." 

* "Speak for yourself, Stinton," replied his companion "Aj 
for me, not being an officer of his Majesty's Excise, I decline 
taking any part in the pursuit. It is a fair battle; so fight it out 
between you; I am with you now only through curiosity." He 
had scarcely concluded, when they heard a voice singing the 
following lilies, in a spirit of that hearty hilarity which betokens 
a cheerful contempt of care, and an utter absence of all appre- 
hension : 

" Oh ! Jemmy, she sez, you are my true lover. 
You are all the riches that I do adore; 
1 solemnly sware now I'll ne'er have another. 
My heart it is fixed to never love more." 

The music then chinged into a joyous whistle, and imme- 
diately they were confronted by a lad, dressed in an old redcoat, 
patched with gray frieze, who, on seeing tlu>m, exhibited in his 
feature!) a most ingenious air of natural surprise He immediately 
ceased to whistle, and with every mark of respect, putting his 
hand to his hat, said in a voice, the tones of which spoke of kind- 
ness and deference: 

" God save ye, gintlemen." 

"1 say, my lad," said the ganger, " where is that customer 
vatlt the keg on his back ? — he crossed over there this moment." 

"Where, when, sir?" said the lad, with a staic of surprise. 


'* Where? when? why, this minute, and in this place." 

"And ^va3 it a whiskey keg, sir?" 

" Sir, I am liot here to be examined by you," replied Stinton; 
*' confound me if the conniving young rascal is not striking me 
into a cross-examination already — I say, redcoat, where is the 
boy with the keg, sir ?" 

" As for a boy, I did see a boy, sir; but the never a keg he 
had — hadn't he a gray frieze coat, sir?" 

"He had." 

"And wasn't it a dauny bit short about the skirts, please your 
honor ? ' ' 

"Again he's at me. Sirra, unless you tell me where he is in 
a half second, I shall lay my whip to your shoulders." 

" The sorra a keg I seen then, sir — the last keg I seen was — " 

" Did you see a boy without the keg, answering to the descrip- 
tion I gave you ?" 

" You gave me no description of it, sir — but even if you did — 
when I didn't see it, how could I tell your honor anything 
about it?" 

" Where is the fellow, you villain ?" exclaimed the gauger in 
a fiiry, "where is he gone to ? You admit you saw him ; as for 
the keg, it cannot be far from us^jut where is he ?" 

" By dad, I saw a boy wid a short frieze coat upon him, cross- 
ing the road there below and runnin' down the other side of that 

This was too palpable a lie to stand the test even of a glance 
at the ditch in question, which was nothing more than a slight 
mound that ran down a long lea field, on which there was not 
the appearance of a shrub. 

The gauger looked at his companion, then turning to the boy, 
•'Come, come my lad," said he, " you know that lie is rather 
cool. Don't you feel in your soul that a rat could not have gone 
in that direction without our seeing it ?" 

" Bedadan' I saw him," returned the lad, "wid a giay coat 
upon him, that was a little too short in the tail — it's better than 
hall an hour atjone." 


** The boy I speak of, you must have met,'' said Stinton; " it'f 
not five minutes — no, not more than three, since he came inside 
the field." 

" That my feet may grow to the ground, then, if I seen a boy 
in or about this place, widin the time, barrin' myself." 

The gauger eyed him closely for a short space, and pulling out 
half a crown, said— " Harkee, my lad, a word with you in 

The fact is, that during the latter part of this dialogue the 
worthy exciseman observed the cautious distance at which the 
boy kept himself fro.n the grasp of him and his companion. A 
suspicion consequently began to dawn upon him that. in defiance 
of appearances, the lad himself might be the actual smuggler. 
On reconsidering the matter, this suspicion almost amounted to 
certainty ; the time was too short to permit even the most in- 
genious cheat to render himself and his keg invisible in a manner 
so utterly unaccountable. On the other hand, when he reflected 
on the opjn, artless character of the boy's song; the capricious 
change to a li^ht-hearted whistle; the surprise so naturally and 
the respect so deferentially expressed, joined to the dissimilarity 
of dress, he was confounded again, and scarcely knew on which 
side to determine. Even the lad's reluctance to approach him 
might proceed from fear of ihe whip. He felt resolved, however, 
to ascertain this point, and with the view of getting the lad into 
his hands, he showed him half a crown and addressed him as 
already stated. 

The lad, on seeing the money, appeared to be instantly caught 
by it, and approached him as if it had been a bait he could not 
resist — a circumstance which again staggered the gauger. In a 
moment, however, he had seized him. 

"Come, now," said he, unbuttoning his coat, "you will 
oblige me by stripping." 

"And why so?" said the lad, with a face that might have 
furnished a painter or sculptor with a perfect notion of curiosity, 
perplcjdty and wonder. 

"Why so ?" replied Stinson; "we shall see — we shall soon 


•* Surely you don't think I've hid the keg about me," said the 
other, his features now relaxing into such an appearance of utter 
simplicity 33 would have certainly made any other man but a 
gauger give up the examination as hopeless and exonerate the 
boy from any participation whatsoever in the transaction. 

"No, no," replied the gauger, "by no means, you young 
tascal. "See here, Cartwright," he continued, addressing his 
eompanion — "the keg, my precious;" again turning to the lad — 
"Oh! no, no; it would be cruel to suspect you of anything but 
the purest of simplicity." 

"Look here, Cartwright," having stripped the boy of his^oat 
and turned it inside out, " there's a coat — there's thrift — there's 
economy for you. Come, sir, tuck on, tuck on instantly; here, I 
shall assist you — up with your arms — straighten your neck; it 
will be both straightened and stretched yet, my cherub. What 
think you now, Cartwright ? Did you ever see a metamorphosis 
in your life so quick, complete and unexpected ?" 

His companion was certainly astonished in no small degree, 
on seeing the red coat, when turned, become a comfortable gray 
freize; one precisely such as he who bore the keg had on. Nay, 
after surveying his person and dress a second time, he instantly 
recognized him as the same. 

The only interest, we should observe, which this gentleman 
had in the transaction, arose from the mere gratification which a 
keen observer of character, gifted with a strong relish for humor, 
might be supposed to feel. The gauger, in sifting the matter, 
and scenting the trail of the keg, was now in his glory, and cer- 
t.iiuly, when met by so able an opponent as our friend Condy, for 
it was indeed himself, furnished a very rich treat to his friend. 

"Now," he continued, addressing the boy again — "lose not a 
moment in letting us know where you've hid the keg." 

" The sorra bit of it I hid — it fell off o' me an' I lost it; sure 
I'm lookin' after it myself, so I am," and he moved off while 
speaking, as if pretending to search for it in a thin hedge, which 
could by no means conceal it. 

" Cartwright," said the gauger, "did you ever see anything so 


perfect as this, so ripe a rascal — yoa don't understand him now. 
Heroj you simpleton; harkee, sirra, there must be no playing 
the lapwing willi me; back here to the same point. We may lay 
it down as a sure thing that whatever direction he takes from this 
spot h the wrong one; so back here, you sir, till we survey the 
premises about us for your traces." 

The boy walked sheepishly back, and appeared to look about 
him for the keg with a kind of earnest stupidity, which was al- 
together inimitable. 

"I say, my boy," asked Stinton, ironically, "don't you look 
rathfer foolish now ? Can you tell your right hand from your 

'♦I can," replied Condy, holding up his left, «' there's my 
right hand." 

"And what do you call the other?" said Cartwright. 
"My left, bedad, anyhow, an' that's true enough." 
Both gentlemen laughed heartily. 

•' But it's carrying the thing a little too far," said the ganger; 
" in the mean time let us hear how you prove it." 

" Aisy enough, sir," replied Condy, "l^ekase I am left-hand- 
ed — tliis," holding up the left, " is the right hand to me, what- 
ever you may say to the contrary." 

Condy's countenance expanded, after he had spoken, into a 
grin so broad and full of grotesque sarcasm, that Stinton and his 
companion both found their faces, in spite of tliem, get rather 
blank under its influence. 

*' What the deuce !" exclaimed the ganger, " are ^Ve to be here 
all day ? Come, sir, bring us at once to the keg." 

He was here interrupted by a laugh from Cartwright,. so vocif- 
erous, loud and hearty, that he looked at him with amazement. 

"Hey, day," he exclaimed, "what's the matter, what new 
joke is this?" 

For some minutes, however, he could not get a word from the 
other, whose laughter appeared as if never to end ; he walked 
to and fro in absolute convulsions, bending his body and clap- 
ping his hands together, with a vehemence quite unintelligible. 


"What isit, man ?" cried the other, "confound you, what is 

"Oh !" replied Cartwright, " I am sick, perfectly feeble." 

" You have it to yourself, at all events," observed Stinton. 

" And shall keep it to myself," said Cartwright; " your sa- 
gacity is overreached ; you must be contented to sit down under 
defeat. I won't interfere." 

Now, in this contest between the ganger and Condy, even so 
slight a thing as one glance of the eye by the latter might have 
given a proper cue to an opponent so sharp as Stinton. Condy 
during the whole dialogue, consequently, preserved the most 
vague and undefinable visage imaginable except in the matter of 
his distinction between " right " and "left," and Stinton, who 
watched his eyes with the shrewdest vigilance, could make noth- 
ing of it. Not so was it between him and Cartwright ; for during 
the closing paroxysms of his mirth, Stinton caught his eye fixed 
upon a certain mark barely visible upon the hoar frost, which 
mark extended dovvn to the furze bushes that grew at the foot of 
the slope where they then stood. 

As a staunch old hound lays his nose to the trail of a hare or 
fox, so did the ganger pursue the trace of the keg, down the lit- 
tle hill; for the fact was, that Condy, having no other resource, 
tumbled it off toward the furze, into which it settled perfectly to 
his satisfaction; and with all the quickness of youth and practice, 
instantly turned his coat, which had been made purposely for 
such encounters. This accomplished, he had barely time to ad- 
vajice a few yards round the angle of the hedge, and changing 
hb whole manner as well as his appearance, acquitted himself as 
the reader has already seen. That he could have carried the keg 
down to the cover, then conceal it, and return to the spot where 
they met him, was utterly beyond the reach of human exertion, s* 
that in point of fact they never could have suspected that the 
wliiskey lay in such a place. 

The triumph of the ganger was now complete, and a complac- 
ent sense of his own sagacity sat visible on his features. Condy's 
face, on the other hand, became considerably lengthened, and up- 


peared quite as rueful and mortified as the other's was joyous and 


"Who's the sharpest now, my knowing one ?" said he, " who 
is the laugh against, as matters stand between us?" 

"The sorra give you good of it," said Condy sulkily. 

*' What is your name ?" inquired Stinton. 

"Barney Keerigan's my name," replied the other indignantly; 
" an' I'm not ashamed of it, nor afraid to tell it to you or any other 

" What, of the Keerigans of Killogan ?" 

" Ay jist, of thj Keerigans of Killogan." 

" 1 know the family," said Stinton. " They are decent in their 
■way — but come, my lad, don't lose your temper, and answer me 
another question. Where were you bringing this whiskey ?" 

" To a betlher man than ever stood in your shoes," replied Con- 
dy in a tone of absolute defiance — "to a gintleman anyway," 
wiih a peculiar emphasis on the word gintleman. 

" But what's his name ?" 

"Mr. Stinton's his name — ganger Stinton." 

Tlie slirewd exciseman stood and fixed his keen eye on Condy 
for up^v^ards of a minute, with a glance of such piercing scrutiny 
as scarcely any consciousness of imposture could withstand. 

Condy, on tlie other hand, stood and eyed him with an open, 
unshrinking, yet angry glance; never winced, but appeared by 
the detection of his keg to have forgotten the line of cunning 
policy he had previously adopted, in a mortification which had 
predominated over duplicity and art. 

He is now speaking truth, thought the ganger. lie has lost 
his temper, and is completely off his guard. 

"Well, my lad," he continued, " this is very good so far, but 
who was it sent the keg to Stinton ?" 

" Do you think," said Condy, with a look of strong contempt 
at the ganger, for deemmg him so utterly silly as to tell him, 
** Do you think you can make me turn informer ? There's none 
of that blood in me, thank goodness." 

" Do you know Stinton ?" 


"How could I know the man I never seen?" replied Condy, 
still oat of temper; " but one thing I don't know, gintlemen, and 
that is, whether you have any right to t^.kc my whiskey or not." 

" As to that, my good lad, make your mind easy — I'm Stin- 

•'You, sir," said Condy, with well -feigned surprise. 

'• Yes," replied the other, " I'm the very man you were bring- 
ing the keg to. And now I'll tell you what you must do for me. 
Proceed to my house with as little delay as possible; ask to see 
iqy daughter — ask for Miss Stinton— take this key, and desire her 
to have the keg put into the cellar. She'll know the key, and 
let it also be a token that she is to give you your breakfast. Say 
I desired that keg to be placed to the right of the five gallon one 
that I seized on Thursday last, that stands on a little stillion un- 
der my blunderbuss. ' ' 

" Of coorse," said Condy, who appeared to have misgivings on 
the matter, " I suppose I must, but somehow " 

"Why, sirrah, what do you grumble now for?" 

Condy still eyed him with suspicion. 

"And, sir," said he, after having once more mounted the keg, 
" am I to get nothing for such a weary trudge as I had wid it, 
but my breakfast?" 

" Here," said Stinton, throwing him half a crown, " take that 
along with it, and now ha off — or stop — Cartwright, will you 
dine with me to-day, and let U5 broach the keg ? I'll gaurantee 
its excellence, for this is not the first I have got from the same 
quarter — that's enire nous." 

"With all my heart," replied Cartwright, "upon the terms 
you say, that of the broach." 

"Then, my lad," said Stinton, " say to my daughter that a 
friend — perhaps a friend or two — will dine with me to-day; that 
is enough.'' 

They then mounted their horses, and were proceeding as before, 
when Cartwright addressed the gauger as follows : " Do you not 
put this lad, Slinton, i:i a capacity to overreach you yet ?" 

"No," replied the other, "the young rascal spoke the truth 


after the discoverj- of the keg, for he lost his temper, and was no 
longer cool." 

" For my part, hang me if I'd trust him." 

"I should scruple to do so, myself," replied the ganger, "but, 
as I said, these Keerigans — notorious illicit fellows, by the way — 
send me a keg or two every year, and almost always about this 
rery time. Besides, I read him to the heart and he never winced. 
Yes, decidedly, the whiskey was for me; of that I have no doubt 

" I most positively would not trust him." 

'• Not that perhaps I ought," said Stinton, " on second thought, 
to place such confidence in a lad who acted so adroitly in the be- 
ginning. Let us call him back, and re-examine him at all 
events. ' ' 

Now Condy had, during this conversation, been discussing the 
very same point with himself. 

"Bad cess forever attend you, Stinton agra," he exclaimed, 
" for there's something surely over you — a lucky shot from be- 
hind a hedge, or a break -neck fall down a clilT, or something of 
that kind. If the ould boy hadn't his croubs hard and fast in you, 
you wouldn't let me walk away with the whiskey anyhow. Be- 
dad, it's well I thought o' the Keerigans, for sure enough I did 
hear Barney say that he was to send a keg in to him this week 
some day; and he didn't think I knew him aither. Faix, it's 
many a long day since I knew the sharp puss of him, with an 
eye like a hawk. But what if they folly me, and do up all ? 
Anywny, I'll prevint them from having suspicion of me before I 
go a toe farther, the ugly rips." 

He instantly wheeled about, a moment or two before Stinton 
and Cartwright had done the same, for the purpose of sifting him 
etiU more thoroughly, so that they found him meeting them. 

" Gintlemen," said he, " how do I kniw that aither of you is 
Mr. Stinton, or that the house you directed me to is his ? I know 
that if the wliiskey doesn't go to him I may lave the counthry." 

*' You are either a deeper rogue or a more stupid fool than I 


took you to be," observed Stinton; " but what security can you 
give us that you will leave the keg safely at its destination?" 

" If 1 thought you were Mr. Stinton, I'd be very glad to lave 
the whisV.ey where it is, and even do without my breakfast. 
Gintleraen, tell me the truth, bekase I'd only be murdhered out 
of the face." 

*♦^Vhy, you idiot," said thegauger, losing his temper and sus- 
picions both together, "can't you go to the town and inquire 
where Mr. Stinton lives ?" 

"Bcdad, thm, thrae enough, I never thought of that at all at 
all; but I beg your pardon, gintlemen, an' I hope you VFon't be 
angry Wid me, in regard that it's kilt and quartered I'd be if I 
let myself be made a fool of by anybody." 

" Do what I desire you," said the exciseman; " inquire for Mr. 
Stinton's house, and you may be sure that the whiskey will reach 

" Thank you, sir. Bedad, I might have thought of that my- 

This last clause, which was spoken in a soliloquy, would have 
deceived a saint himself. 

"Now," said Stinton, after they had re-commenced their 
journey, " are you satisfied?" 

"I am at length," said Cartwright; "if his intentions had 
been dislionest instead of returning to make himself certain 
against being deceived, he would have made the best of his way 
from us; a rogue never wantonly puts himself in the way of dan- 
ger or detection." 

That evening, about five o'clock, Stinton, Cartwright, and two 
others arrived at the house of the worthy gauger, to partake of his 
good cheer. A cold frosty evening gave a peculiar zest to the com- 
fort of a warm room, a blazing fire and a good dinner. No soon- 
er were the viands discus&ed, the cloth removed, and the glasses 
ready, than their generous host desire 1 his daughter to assist the 
servant in broaching the redoubtable keg. 

" That keg, my dear," he proceeded, " which the country lad» 
who brought the key of the cellar, left here to-day." 


" A keg ?" repeated the daughter with surprise. 

"Yes, Maggy, my love — a keg. I said so, I think." 

'• But, papa, there came no keg here to-day." 

The gauger and Cartwright both groaned in unison. 

"No keg ?" said the gauger. 

" No keg?" echoed Cartwright. 

*« No keg, indeed," re-echoed Miss Stinton; "but there came 
a country boy with the key of the cellar, as a token that he was 
to get the five gallon " 

"Oh," groaned the gauger, "I'm knocked up — outwitted; 

"Bought and sold," added Cartwright. 

" Go on," said the gauger; " I must hear it out." 

" As a token," proceeded Miss Stinton, "that he was to get 
the five gallon keg on the little stillion, under the blunderbuss, 
for Captain Dalton." 

"And he got it?" 

" Yes, sir, he got it: for I took the key as a sufficient token." 

" But, Maggy — hear me child — surely he brought a keg here, 
and left it; and of course it's in the cellar ?" 

" No, indeed, he brought no keg here; but he did bring the 
five gallon one that was in the cellar away with him." 

"Stinton," said Cartwright, "send round the bottle.',' 

'•The rascal," ejaculated the gauger; " we shall drink his 

Ami on relating the circumstances, the company drank the 
sheepish lad's health, that bought and sold the gauger. 



The village of Ballycomaisy was as pleasant a little place as 
CMis might wish to see of a summer's day. It consisted princi- 
pally ( f one Ijnj street, which you entered from the north-west 
side by one of those old-fashioned bridges, the arches of which 
w\irc ma- Ii more akin to the Gothic than the Roman. Most of 
tvi: h'juscd \vcr2 of mud, a few of stone, one or two of which had 
tit; h;incr of being slated on the front side of the roof, and rus- 
tll'illy ;h itched on the back, where ostentation was not neces- 
sar/. Therj were two or three shops, a liberal sprinkling of 
public -houses, a chapel a little out of the town, and an old di- 
lapidated market-house near the centre. A few little by -streets 
prcjeclcd in a lateral direction from the main one, which was ter- 
minated on the side opposite to the north-west by a pound, 
through which, as usual, ran a shallow stream, that was gathered 
lii'.o a little gutter as it crossed the road, A crazy antiquated 
ii.r.1, all covered and cobwcbbed with gr?.y mealy dust, stood 
about a couple of hundred yards out of the town, to which two 
siraggling rows of hou;cs, that looked like a.i abortive street, 
h,J you. This mill was surrounded by a green common, wliich 
was a^aiu hemmed in by a fine river, that ran round in a curving 
line fro.a under the hunchbacked arc!i of tlie bridge wc men- 
tioned ct the beginning. Nov/, a little behind, or rather above 
this mill, on the skirt of the aforesaid common, stood a rather 
lieat-Juoking whitish cabin, with abjut half a rjod of garden 
benmd it. It was but small, and consisted merely of a sleeping- 
room and kitchen. On one side of the dojr was a window, 
opening on hinges; and on the outside, to the right as you en- 


tered the house, there was placed a large stone about four feet 
liigK, backed by a sloping mound of earth, so graduated as to 
allow a person to ascend the slone without any difficulty. In 
this cabin lived Rose Moan, the Midwife; and we need scarcely 
inform our readers that the stone in question was her mounting- 
stone, by which she was enabled to place herself on pillion or 
crupper, as the case happened, when called out upon her usual 

Rose was what might be called 3.Jlahoo/a^/i, or portly woman, 
with a good-humored set of Milesian features; that is to say, a 
pair of red, broad cheeks, a well-set nose, allowing for the dis- 
position to turn up, and two black twinkling eyes, with a mel- 
low expression that betokened good nature, and a peculiar de- 
scription of \^no\\\ng professional \m\\\o'[ that is never to be met 
with in any but one of her calling. Rose was dressed in a red 
flannel petticoat, a warm cotton sack or wrapper, which pinned 
easily over a large bust, and a comfortable woolen shawl. She 
always wore a long-bordered morning cap, over which, while 
traveling, she pinned a second shawl of Scotch plaid; and to pro- 
tect her from the cold night air, she enfolded her precious person 
in a deep blue cloak of the true indigo tint. Over her head, 
over cloak and shawl and morning cap, was fixed a black 
"splush hat," willi tlie leaf strapped down by lier ears on each 
side, so that in point of fxct slie cared little how it blew, and 
never once dreamed that such a process as that vi Raper or 
Mackintosh was necessary to keep the liege subjects of these 
realms warm and watcr-proi f, nor that two systems could exist 
in Ireland so strongly antithetical to each other as those of Raper 
and Father Mathcw. 

Having thus given a brief sketch of her local habitation and 
personal appearance, we shall transfer our readers to the house of 
a young new-married farmer named Keho, who lived in a dis- 
tant part of the parish. Keho was a comfortable fellow, full of 
goodnature and credulity; but his wife happened to be one of 
the sharpest, meanest, most suspicious and miserable individuals 
that ever was raised in good-humored Irelamd, Her voice was as 


sharp and her heart as cold as an icicle; and as for her tongue, it 
wa.? incessant and inteiTninable. Were it not that her husband, 
who, though good-natured, was fiery and resolute when pro- 
voked, exercised a firm and salutary control over her, she would 
have slarvetl both him and her servants into perfect skeletons. 
And what was still worse, with a temper that was vindictive and 
tyrannical, she affected to be religious, and upon those who did 
not know her, actually attempted to put herself off as a saint. 

One night, about twelve months after his marriage, honest 
Corny Kelio-<ame out to the barn, where slept his two farm ser- 
vanis, named Phil Hannigan and Bamy Casey. He had been 
sitting by himse'f, composing his mind for a calm night's rest, or 
probably for a curtahi lecture, by taking a contemplative whiff of 
t'.ie pipe, when the servant wench, with a certain air of hurry, 
importance and authority, entered the kitchen, and informed him 
that Rose Moan must be immediately sent for. 

"ITie misthress isn'c well, masther, an' the sooner she's sint 
for, the be:tlKr. So mind my words, sir, if you plaise, an' 
pack aff either Phil or Bamy for Rose Moan, an' I hope I won't 
have to ax it again — hem !" 

Dandy Keho— for so Corny was called, as being remarkable 
for his slovenliness — started up hastily, and having taken the 
pipe out of his mouth, was about to place it on the hob; but re- 
flecting that the whiff could net much retard him in the delivery 
of hJa orders, he sallied out to the barn and knocked. 

" ^^^lo's there ? Lave that wid you, unless you wish to be 
shotted." This was followed by a loud laugh from within. 

" Boys, get up wid all haste: it's the misthress. Phil, saddle 
Hollowback and fly — (pufi) — fly in a jiffy for Rose Moan; an' do 
yon, Bamy, clap a-back sugaun— (puff) — an Sobersides, an' be aff 
for t'.c mistliress's mother — (puff.)" 

BoLh were dressing themselves before he had concluded, and in 
a very few mi;iules were off in different directions, each accord- 
ing to the orders he had received. With Barny we have nothing 
to do, unless t j say that he lost little time in bringing Mrs. Keho's 
mother to her aid: Lut as Phil is gone for a much more import- 

aSa THE zoziMus papers. 

ant character, we teg our readers to return with us to the cabin 
of Rose Moau, who is now fast asleep; for it is twelve o'clock of 
a beautiful moonlight night, in th^ pleasant month of August. 
Tap-lap. " Is Mrs. Moan at home?" In about half a minute 
her warm, good-looking face, enveloped in flannel, is protruded 
from the win J aw. 

"WTio's tliat, z'« GoTs tiuiu?'' The words in italics were 
added, lest the message- might be one from the fairies. 

" I'm Dan;'.y Keho's. s — one of them, at any rate — an' 
my mibthre^is hxs got a stitch in her side— ha ! ha ! ha !" 

" Aisy, avick— so, she's dcnun, thin — aisy — I'll be wid you like 
a bow out of an arrow. Put your horse over to 'the stone,' an' 
have him ready. The Lord bring her over her difficulties, any 
way, amin ! ' ' 

She then pulled in her head, and in about three or four minutes 
sallied out, dressed as we have described her; and having placed 
herself on the crupper, coolly put her right arm round Phil's 
botiy, and desired him to ride on with all possible haste. 

*' Push an, avouchal, push an — time's precious at all times, 
but on business like this every minute is worth a life. But 
there's always one comfort, that God is marciful. Push forrid 

«' Ne\'cr fear, Mrs. Moan. If it's in Ilollowback,, I'm 
the babe that'll take it out of him. Come, ould Ilackball, trot 
out — you don't know the message you're an, nor who you're 

" Lin't your misthrcss — mauin' the Dandy's wife— a daugh- 
ther of ould Fitzy Finnegan's, the schrew of Glendhu ?" 

•' Faith, you may say that. Rose, as we all know to our cost. 
Be me song, she docs have us so.netimes that you might see 

Cirouijh us; an' only for the masthcr but, dang it, no mat- 

ther — s'si's down now, poor woman, an' it's not just the time to 
be rakin' up her failin's." 

"It is not, an' God mark you to grace for sayin' so. At a 
fime like this we mast forget everything, only to do the best we 
can for our fellow-creatures. What arc you lookin' at, avick?" 


Now this .juestion naturally arose from the fact that honest 
Phil had l«;en, during their short conversation, peering keenly 
on each side of him, as if he expected an apparition to rise from 
every furze-bush on the common. The truth is, he was almost 
proverbial for his terror of ghosts and fairies, and all supernatural 
visitants whatever; but upon this occasion his fears arose to a 
painful height, in consequence of the popular belief, that when a 
midwife is sent for, the Good People throw every possible ob- 
struction in her way, either by laming the horse, if she rides, or 
by disqualifying the guide from performing his duty as such. 
Phil, however, felt ashamed to avow his fears on these points, but 
still could not help unconsciously turning the conversation to the 
very to^^ic he ought to have avoided. 

"What war you looking at, avick?" * 

"Why, bedad, tliere appeared something there beyant, like a 
man, only h was darker. But be this and be that — hem, ahem ! 
— if I could get my hands on him, whatsomever he " 

" Hushtii, boy, hould your tongue; you don't know but it's 
the very word you war goin' to say might do us harm." 

" Wiiatsomever he is, that I'd give him a lift on Hollow- 
back if he happened to be any poor fellow that stood in need of 
it. Oh ! the sorra word I was goin' to say against anything or 

"You're right, dear. If you knew as much as I could tell 
you — push an — you'd have a dlirop o' sweat at the ind of every 
hair on your hea^l." 

'' Be my song, I'm tould you know a power o' quare things, 
Mi-s. Moan; an' if all that's said is thrue, you sartinly do." 

Now, had Mrs. Moan and her heroic guide passed through the 
village of Ballycomaisy, the latter would not have felt his fears 
so strong upon him. The road, however, along which they were 
now goi:ig waj a grass-grown bohrcen, that led them from behind 
her cabin through a waste and lonely part of the country; and as 
it was a saving of better than two m'.les in point of distance, Mrs. 
Moan would not hear of their proceeding by any other direction. 
The tenor of her conversation, however, was fast bringing Phil 
to the state she so graphically and pithily described. 


"What's your name?" she asked. 

" Phil Haiinigan, a son of fat Phil's of Balnasaggart, an* a 
cousin to Paddy who lost a finger in tbe Gansy (Guernsey) wars." 
"I kaow. Well, Phil, inthroththe hairs 'ml stand like stalks 
o' barley tipon your head, if you heard all I cuuld mintion." 

Phil instinctively put his hand up and pressed down his hat, 
as if it had been disposed to fly from off his head. 

" Hem I ahera ! Why, I'm tould it's wonderful. But is it 
thrue, Mr*. Moan, that you have been brought on business to 
some o' the " — here Phil looked about him cautiously, and low- 
ered his voice to a whisper^" to some o' the fairy women ?" 

" Husth, man alive — what the sorra timpted you to call them 
anything but the Good People ? This day 's Thursday — God 
stand betune us an' harm. No, Phil, I name nobody. But 
there was a woman, a midwife — mind, avick, that I don't say 
who she was — maybe I know why, too, an' maybe it would be 
as much as my life is worths" 

" Aisey, Mrs. Moan ! God presarve us ! what is that tall 
thing there to the right?" and he commenced to pray in Irish as 
fast as he could get out the words. 

"Why, don't you see, boy, it's a fir-tree, but sorra movin' it's 

"Ay, faix, an' so it is; bedad I thought it was gettin' taller 
an' taller. Aye ! hut ! it is only a tree." 

" Well, dear, there was a woman, an' she was called away 
one night by a little gentleman dressed in green. I'll tell you 
the story some time — only this, that havin' done her duly, an' 
tuck no payment, she was called out the same night to a neigh- 
bor's wife, an' a purtier boy you couldn't see than she left behind 
her. But it seems she happened to touch one of his eyes wid a 
hand that had a taste o{ their ]>anado an it; an' as the child grew 
up, every one wondhered to hear him speak of the multitudes o' 
thim that lie seen in all directions. Well, my djar, he kept 
never sayin' anything to them until one day when he was in the 
fair of Ballycomaisy, that he saw them whippin' away meal and 
cotton and butther, an' everytliing that they thought serviceable to 


them; so you see he could hold iu no longer, an' says he to a little 
fellow that was very active an' thievish among them, 'Why do 
you tak* wlnt doesn't belong to you ?' says he. The little fellow 
Foohc-l U > r.': him — " 

"Gxi L" about us, Rose, what is that white thing goin' along 
the ditch to the left of us?" 

"It's a sheep, don't you see ? Faix, I believe you're cowardly 
at night." 

" Avfi, faix, an' so it is, but it looked very quare somehow." 

♦ — An' says he, ' Mow do you know that ?' • Bekase I see you 
all,' says the other. ' An' which eye do you see us all wid?' 
says be again. ' Why, wid the left,' says the boy. Wid that he 
gave a short whiff of a blast up into the eye, an' from that day 
not a stime the poor boy was never able to see wid it. No, Phil, 
I didn't say it was myself — I named iwbody.''^ 

«' An', Mrs. Moan, is it thrue that you can put the dughaughs 
tipon them that trate their wives badly ?" 

"Whisht, Phil. When you marry, keep your timper — that's 
all. You knew long Ned Donnelly ?" 

"Aye, bedad, sure enough; there was quare things said 
about — " 

"Push an, avick, push an; for who knows how some of us is 
wanted ? You have a good masther, I believe, Phil ? It's poison 
the same Ned would give me if he could. Push an, dear." 

Phil felt that he had got his answer. The abrupt mystery of 
her manner and her curt allusions left him little indeed to guess 
at. In this way did tha conversation continue, Phil feloniously 
filching, as he thouglit, from her own lips, a corroboration of the 
various knowledge and extraordinary powers which she was be- 
lieved to possess, and she ingeniously feeding his credulity, 
merely by enigmatical hints and masked allusions; for although 
she took care to affirm nothing directly or personally of herself, 
yet did she contrive to answer him in such a manner as to con- 
firm every report that had gone abroad of the strange purposes 
she could effect. 

"Phil, wasn't there an uncle o' yours up in the Mountain Bar 
that didn't live happily for some time wid his wife ?" 


"I believe so, Rose;, but it was before my lime, or any way 
when I was only a young shaver. ' ' 

"An' did you ever hear how the reconcilement came betune 

"No, bedad," repliel Phil, "I never did; an' that's no won- 
dher, for it was a thing they never liked to spake of." 

" Throth, it's thrue for you, boy. Well, I brought about — 
— push an, dear, push an. They're as happy a couple now as 
breaks bread, any way, and that's all they wanted." 

" I'd wager a thirteen it was you did that. Rose." 

" Hut, gorsoon, hould your tongue. Sure they're happy now, 
I say, whosomever did it. I named nolx)dy, nor I take no pride- 
to myself, Phil, out o' sich things. Some people's gifted above 
others, an' that's all. But, Phil ?" 

"Well, ma'am?" 

"How does the Dandy an' his scald of a wife agree? for, 
throth, I'm tould she's nothing else." 

" Faix, but niiddlin' itself. As I tould you, she often has us 
as empty as a paper lanthem, wid sarra a thing but tlie lig'U of a 
good conscience inside of us. If we pray ourselves, bcgoiia she'll 
take care we'll have the fastin' at first cost; so that you see, 
ma'am, we hould a devout situation undher her." 

" An' so that's the way wid you ?" 

*' Aye, the downright thruth, an* no mistake. Why, the stir- 
about she makes would run nine miles along a deal board, an' 
Bcald a man at the far end of it." 

"Throth, Phil, I never like to go next or near sich women or 
sich rlaces, but for the sake o' the innocent we must forget the 
guilty. So push an, avick, push an. Wlio knows but it's life 
an' death wid us ? Have you ne'er a spur on ?" 

" Oh ! not a spur I tuck time to wait for. " 

" Well, afther all, it's not right to let a messenger come for a 
woman like me, widout what is called the Midwife's Spur— a spur 
in the head —for it has long been said that one in the head is 
worth two in the heel, an' so indeed it is — on business like this, 
any way." 


"Mrs. Moan, do you know the Moriartys of Ballaghmore, 
ma'am ?" 

" \yiiich o' them, honey ?" 

" Mick o' the Esker Beg." 

** To be sure I do. A well-favored, dacint family they are, an' 
full o' the world, too, the Lord spare it to them." 

" Bedad, they are, ma'am, a well-favored* family. Well, 
ma'am, isn't it odd, but somehow there's neither man, woman, 
nor child in the parish but gives you the good word above all the 
women in it; but as for a midwife, why, I heard my aunt say that 
if ever mother an' child owended their lives to another, she did 
her and the babby's to you." 

The reader may here perceive that Phil's flattery must have had 
some peculiar design in it, in connection with the Moriartys, and 
such indeed was the fact. But we had better allow him to ex- 
plain matters himself. 

"Well, honey, sure that was but my duty; but God be praised 
for all, for everything depinds on the Power above. She should 
call in one o' those new-fangled women who take out their Dis- 
patches from the College in Dublin below; for you see, Phil, 
there is sich a place there — an' it stands to raison that there 
should bs a Fondlin' Flospital beside it, which theie is too, they 
say; but, honey, what are these poor ignorant cratures but new 
lights, ivery oneo' thim, that a dacint woman's life isn't safe wid ?" 

" To be sure, Mrs. Moan; an' every one knows they're not to 
be put in comparishment wid a woman like you, that knows sich 
a power. But how does it happen, ma'am, that the Moriartys 
does be spakin' but middlin' of you ?" 

" Of me, avick?" 

" Aye, faix ; I'm tould they spread the mouth at you sometimes, 
espishily when the people does be talkin' about all the quare 
things you can do." 

"Well, well, dear, let them have their laugh — they may laugh 
that win, you know. Still one doesn't like to be provoked — no 

mdeed . "^ 

♦This term ia Ireland means " handsome " — " good-looking." 


"Faix, an' Mick Moriarty has a purty daughter, Mrs. Moan, 
an' a purty penny he can give her, by all accounts. The nerra 
one o' myself but would be glad to put my comedhcr on her, if 
Iknew how. Ihope you find yourself aisy on your sate, ma'am ?" 

"I do, honey. Let them talk, Phil, let them talk; it may 
come their turn yet — only I didn't expect it from /Acm. You ! 
hut, avick, what chance would you have with Mick Moriarty's 

"Aye, every chance an' sartinty too, if some one that I know, 
and that every one that knows her respects, would only give me 
a lift. There's no use in comin' about the bush, Mrs. Moan — 
bedad it's yourself I mane. You could do it. An' whisper, be- 
tune you aiV me it would be only sarvin' them right, in regard 
of the way they spake of you — sayin' indeed, an' galivantin' 
to the world that you know no more than another woman, an' 
that ould Pol Doolin of Ballymagowan knows oceans more than 
you do." 

This was perhaps as artful a plot as could be laid for engaging 
the assistance of Mrs. Moan in Phil's design upon Moriarty's 
daughter. He knew perfectly well that she would not, unless 
strongly influenced, lend herself to anything of the kind between 
two persons whose circumstances in life differed so widely as those 
of a respectable farmer's daughter with a good portion, and a 
penniless laboring boy. With great adroitness, therefore, he 
contrived to excite her prejudices against them by the most suc- 
cessful arguments he could possibly use, namely, a contempt for 
her imputed knowledge, and prakse of her rival. Still she was 
in the liabit of acting coolly, and less from impulse than from a 
shrewd knowledge of the best way to sustain her own reputation, 
without undertaking too much. 

" Well, honey, an' so you wish me to assist you? Maybe I 
could do it, and maybe — but push an, dear, move him an; we'll 
think of it, an' spake more about it some other time. I must 
think of what's afore me now — so move, move, acushla; push 


Much conversation of the same nature took place between 
Ihem, in which each bore a somewhat characteristic part; for to 
say tTie truth, Phil was as knowing a " boy" as you might wish 
to become acquainted with. In Rose, however, he had a woman 
of no ordmary shrewdness to encounter; and the consequence 
was, that each after a little more chat began to undei'stand the 
other a little too well to render the topic of the Moriartys, to 
which Phil again reverted, so interesting as it had been. Rose 
soon saw that Phil was only a plastluy, or sweetener, and oftly 
"soothered" her for his own purposes; and Phil perceived that 
Rose understood his tactics too well to render any further tam- 
pering with her vanity either safe or successful. 

At length they arrived at Dandy Keho's house, and in a mo- 
ment the Dandy himself took her in his arms, and, placmg her 
gently on the ground, shook hands with and cordially welcomed 
her. It is very singular, but no less true, that the moment a mid- 
wife enters the house of her patient, she always uses the plural 
number, whether speaking in her own person or in that of the 

"You're welcome, Rose, an' I'm proud an' happy to see you 
here, an' it'll make poor Bridget strong, an' give her courage, to 
know you're near her." 

" How are we. Dandy ? how are we, avick?" 

" Oh, bedad, middlin', wishin' very much for you, of coorse, 
as I hear — " 

" Well, honey, go away now. I have some words to say afore 
I go in, that'll sarve us, maybe — a charm it is that has great var- 
tue in it. ' ' 

The Dandy tlien withdrew to the barn, where the male portion 
of the family were staying until the ultimatum should be known. 
A good bottle of potteen, however, was circulating among them, 
for every one knows that occasions of this nature usually generate 
a festive and hospitable spirit. 


In the bam the company were very merry, Dandy himself be- 
ing as pleasant as any of them, unless when his brow becam* 


shaded by the very natural anxiety for the welfare of his wife and 
child, which from time to time returned upon him. Stories were 
told, songs sung, and jokes passed, all full of good nature and 
not a little fun, some of it at the expense of the Dandy himself, 
who laughed at and took it all in good part. An occasional 
bulletin came out through a servant maid, that matters were just 
the same way; a piece of intelligence which damped Keho's mirth 
considerably. At length he himself was sent for by the Midwife, 
who wished to speak with him at the door. 

*' I hope there's nothing like danger. Rose ?" 

"Not at all, honey; but the truth is, we want a seventh son 
who isn't left-handed." 

"A seventh son ! \\Tiy, what do you want him for ?" 

" Why, dear, just to give her three shakes in his arms; it never 

•'Bedad, an' that's fortunate ; for there's Mickey M'Sorley of 
the Broad Bog's a seventh son, an' he's not two gunshots from 

" Well, aroon, hurry off one or two o' the boys for him, and 
tell Phil, if he makes haste, that I'll have a word to say to him 
afore I go." 

This intimation to Phil put feathers to his heels; for from the 
moment that he and Barny started, he did not once cease to go 
at the top of his speed. It followed as a matter of course that 
honest Mickey M'Sorley dressed himself and was back at Keho's 
house before the family believed it possible the parties could have 
been there. This ceremony of getting a seventh son to shake the 
sick woman, in cases where difficulty or danger may be appre- 
hended, is one which frequently occurs in remote parts of the 
country. To be sure, it is only a form, the man merely taking 
her in his arms, and moving her gently three times. The writer 
of this, when young, saw it performed with his own eyes, as the 
saying is; but in his case the man was not a seventh son, for no 
such person could be procured. When this difficulty arises, any 
man who hxs the character of being lucky, provided he is not 
married to a red-haired wife, may be called in to give the three 


•hakes. In other and more dangerous cases Rose would send 
out persons to gather half a dozen heads of blasted barley, and, 
having stripped them of the black fine powder with which they 
were covered, she would administer it in a little new milk, and 
this was always attended by the best effects. It is somewhat sur- 
prising that the whole Faculty should have adopted this singular 
medicine in cases of similar difficulty, for in truth it is that which 
is now administered under the more scientific name of Ergot of 
Rye. • 

In the case before us, the seventh son sustained his reputation 
for good luck. In about three-quarters of an hour Dandy was 
called in "to kiss a strange young gintleman that wanted to see 
him." This was an agreeable ceremony to Dandy, as it always 
is to catch the first glimpse of one's own first-bom. On entering 
he found Rose sitting beside the bed in all the pomp of authority 
arid pride of success, bearing the infant in her arms, and dan- 
dling it up and down, more from habit than any necessity that 
then existed for doing so. 

"Well," said she, "here we are all safe and sound, God 
willin'; an' if you're not the father of as purty a yomig man as 
ever I laid eyes on, I'm not here. Corny Kelio, coma an' kiss 
your son, I say." 

Corny advanced, somewhat puzzled whether to laugh or cry, 
and taking the child up with a smile, he kissed it five times — for 
that is the mystic number — and as he placed it once more in 
Rose's arms, there was a solitary tear on his cheek. 

" Arra, go an' kiss your wife, man alive, an' tell her to have a 
good heart, an' to be as kind to all her fellow-creatures as God 
has been to her this night. It isn't upon this world the heart 
ought to be fixed, for we see how small a thing and how short a 
time can take us out of it." 

"Oh, bedad," said Dandy, who had now recovered the touch 
of feeling excited by the child, "it would be too bad if I would 
grudge her a smack." He accordingly stooped and kissed her; 
but, truth to confess, he did it with a very cool and business-like 


air. •' I know," he proceeded, " that she'll have a heart like a 
jyant, now that the son is come." 

"To be sure she will, an' she must; or if not, 77/ play the 
sorra, an' break things. Well, well, let her get strength a bit 
first, an' rest an' quiet; an' in the meantime get the groanin'- 
malt ready, until every one in the house drinks the health of the 
stranger. My soul to happiness, but he's a bom beauty. The 
nerra Keho of you all never was the aiquails of what he'll be yet, 
plaise God. Troth, Corny, nfe has daddy's nose upon him, any 
how. Aye, you may laugh; but, faix, it's thrue. You may take 
with him, you may own to him, anywhere. Arra, look at that ! 
My soul to happiness if one egg's liker another I Eh, my posey ! 
Where was it, alanna ? Aye, you're there, my duck o' diamonds ! 
Troth, you'll be the flower o' the flock, so you will. An' now, 
Mrs. Keho, honey, we'll lave you to yourself awhile, till we 
thrate these poor cratures of sarvints; the likes o' them oughtn't 
to be overlooked; an' indeed they did feel a great deal itself, 
poor things, about you; an' moreover they'll be longin' of coorse 
to see the darlin' here." 

Mrs. Keho's mother and Rose superintended the birth-treat be- 
tween them. It is unnecessary to say that the young men and 
girls had their own sly fun upon the occasion ; and now that 
Dandy's apprehension of danger was over, he joined in their mirth 
with as much glee as any of them. This being over, they all re- 
tired to rest; and honest Mickey M'Sorley went home very 
hearty * in consequence of Dandy's grateful sense of the aid he 
had rendered his wife. The next morning. Rose, after dressing 
the infant and performing all the usual duties that one expected 
from her, took her leave in these words: 

"Now, Mrs, Keho, God bless you an' yours, and take care of 
yourself, I'll see you again on Sunday next, when it's to be 
christened. Until then, throw out no dirty wather before sunrise 
or after sunset; an' when Father Molloy is goin' to christen it, let 
Corny tell him not to forget to christen it against the fairies , an' 
thin it'll be safe. Good-bye, ma'am; an' look you to her, Mrs. 



Flnnegan," said she, addressing her patient's mother, "an' 
banaght latfi till I see all again." 

The following Sunday morning. Rose paid an early visit to 
her patient, for, as it was the day of young Dandy's -christening, 
her presence was considered indispensable. There is, besides, 
something in the appearance and bearing of a midwife upon those 
occasions which diffuses ?. spirit of bouyancy and light-hearted- 
ness not only through the immediate family, but also through all 
who may happen to participate in the ceremony, or partake of the 
good cheer. The moment she was seen approaching the house, 
every one in it felt an immediate elevation of spirits, with the ex- 
ception of Mrs. Keho herself, who knew that wherever Rose had 
the arrangement of the bill of fare, there was sure to be what the 
Irish t;all " full an' plinty " — " lashins an' lavins " — a fact which 
madp her r^roan in spirit at the bare contemplation of such waste 
and extravagance. She was indeed a woman of a very un-Irish 
heart- -so sharp in her temper and so penurious in soul, that one 
would imagine her veins were filled with vinegar instead of blood. 

"■* Baiiaght DIuah in shoh^^ (the blessing of God be here), 
Rose exclaimed on entering. 

^'' Banaghi Dhea agush Murra ghuid^^ (the blessing of God 
and the Virgin on you), replied Corny, "an' you're welcome. 
Rose ohagur." 

" I know that, Corny. Well how are we ? — how is my son ?" 

"Begorra, thrivin' like a pair o' throopers." 

" Tiiank God for it ! Haven't we a good right to be grateful 
to him, any way ? An' is my little man to be christened to-day ?" 

"Indeed he is — the gossips will be here presently, an' so will 
her mother. But, Rose, dear, will you take the ordhcrin' of the 
aitin' an' drinkin' part of it ? — you're betther up to these things 
than we are, an' so you ought, of coorse. Let there be no want 
of anytliing ; an' if there's an overplush, son-a may care; there'll 
be poor mouths enough about the door for whatever's left. So, 
you see, keep never mindin' any hint she may give you — you 
know she's a little o' the closest; but no matther. Let there, as 
I said, be enough an' to spare." 


" Throth, there spoke your father's son, Corny : all the ould 
•dacency's not dead yet, anyhow. Well, I'll do my best. But 
she's not fit to be up, you know, an' of coorse can't disturb us." 
The expression of her eye could not be misunderstood as she 
uttered tliis. " I see," said Corny — " devil a betther, if you 
manage that, all's right." 

" An' now I must go in, till I see how she an' my son's gettin' 
an: that's always my first start; bekase you know. Corny, honey, 
that their health goes afore everything." 

Having thus undertaken the task required of her, she passed 
into the bedroom of Mrs. Keho, whom she found determined 
to be up, in order, as she said, to be at the head of her own 

"Well, alanna, if you must, you must; but in the name of 
goodness I wash my hands out of the business teetotally. Dslik, 
dshk, dshk ! Oh, wuria ! to think of a woman in your state 
risin' to sit at her own table ! That I may never, if I'll see it, 
or be about the place at all. If you take your life by your 
own wilfulness, why, God forgive you; but it mustn't be 
while I'm here. But since you're bent on it, why, give me the 
child, an' afore I go, anyhow, I may as well dress it, poor thing ! 
The heavens pity it^my little man — eh ? — where was it ? — cheep 
— that's it, a ducky; stretch away. Aye, stretchin' an' thrivin' 
an' my son ! Oh, thin, wurra ! Mrs. Keho, but it's you that 
ought to ax God's pardon for goin' to do what might lave that 
darlin' o' the world an orphan, may be. Arrah, if I can have 
patience wid you. May God pity you, my child. If anything 
happened your mother, what 'ud become of you, and what 'ud 
become of your poor father this day? Dshk, dshk, dshk!" 
These latter sounds, exclamations of surprise and regret, were 
produced by striking the tongue against that part of the inward 
gum which covers the roots of the teeth . 

"Indeed, Rose," replied her patient, in her sharp, shrill, 
quick voice, " I'm able enough to get up; if I don't we'll be hard 
rished. Corny's a fool, an' it'll be only rap an' rive wid every 
one in the place." 


"Wait, ma'am, if you plaise. Where's his little barrow?' 
Aye, I have it. Wait, ma'am, if you plaise, till I get the child 
dressed, an' I'll soon take myself out o' this. Heaven presarve 
us! I have seen the like o' this. afore — aye, have I — where it 
was as clear as crystal that there loas something over them — aye, 
over them that took their own way as you're doin'." 

"But if I don't get up?" 

"Oh, by all manes, ma'am — by all manes. I suppose you 
have a laise o' your life, that's all. It's what I wish I could 

"An' must I stay here in bed all day, an' me able to rise, an' 
sich willful waste as will go on, too ?" 

" Remember you're warned. This is your first baby, God bless- 
it an' spare you both. But, Mrs. Keho, docs it stand to raison 
that you're as good a judge of these things as a woman like me, 
that it's my business ? I ax you that, ma'am." 

This poser in fact settled the question, not only by the reason- 
able force of the conclusion to be arrived from it, but by the cool, 
authoritative manner in which it was put. 

" Well," said the other, " in that case I suppose I must give 
in. You ought to know best." 

"Thank you kindly, ma'am; have you found it out at last? 
No, but you ought to put your two hands undher my feet for pre- 
vintin' you from doin' what you intinded. That I may never sup 
sorrow, but it was as much as your life was worth. Compose 
yourself; I'll see that there's no waste, and that's enough. Here, 
hould my son — why, thin, isn't he the beauty o' the world, now 
that he has got his little dress upon him ? — till I pin up this apron 
across the windy; the light's too strong for you. There, now; the 
light's apt to give one a headache when it comes in full bint upon 
the eyes that way. Come, alanna, come an now, till I show you 
to your father an' them all. Wurra, thin, Mrs. Keho, darlin'," 
(this was said in a low confidential whisper, and in a playful 
wheedimg tone which baffles all description), "wurra, thin, Mrs. 
Keho, darlin', but it's he that's the proud man, the proud Corny, 
this day. Rise year head a little — aisy — there now, that'll do — 


one kiss to my son, now, before he laives his mammy, he says, 
for a weeny while, till he pays his little respects to his daddy an' 
to all his friends, he says, an' thin he'll come back to mammy 
agin — to his own little bottle, he says." 

Young Corny soon went the rounds of the whole family, from 
his father down to the little herd-boy who followed and took care 
of the cattle. Many were the jokes which passed between the 
youngsters on this occasion — ^jokes which have been registered by 
such personages as Rose, almost in every family in the kingdom, 
for centuries, and with which most of the Irish people are too in- 
timately and thoroughly acquainted to render it necessary for us 
! to repeat them here. 

Rose now addressed herself to the task pf preparing breakfast, 
which, in honor of the happy event, was nothing less than " tay, 
white bread and Boxty, with a glass of poteen to sharpen the 
appetite." As Boxty, however, is a description of bread not gen- 
erally known to our readers, we shall give them a sketch of the 
manner in which this Irish luxury is made. A basket of the best 
potatoes is got, which are washed and peeled raw ; then is pro- 
i cured a tin grater, on which they are grated ; the water is then 
shired off them, and the macerated mass is put into a clean sheet, 
or table-cloth, or bolster-cover. This is caught at each end by 
two strong men, who twist it in opposite directions until the con- 
■ tortions drive up the substance into the middle of the sheet, etc.; 
-this of course expels the water also; but lest tlie twisting should 
.be insufficient for that purpose, it is placed, like a cheese-cake, 
f under a heavy weight, until it is properly dried. They then 
knead it into cakes, and bake it on a pan or griddle; and when 
eaten with butter we can assure our readers that it is quite 

The hour was now about nine o'clock, and the company asked 
to the christening began to assemble. The gossips or sponsors 
were four in number; two of them wealthy friends of the family 
that had never been married, and the two others a simple country 
pair, who were anxious to follow in the matrimonial steps of 
Corny and his wife. The rest were, as usual, neighbors, tela- 


tivss, and clccroeens, to the amount of sixteen or eighteen persons, 
men, women and children, all dressed in their best apparel, and 
disposed to mirth and friendship. Along with the rest was Bob 
M'Cann, the fool, who, by the way, could smell out a good dinner 
with as keen a nostril as the wisest man in the parish could boast 
of, and who, on such occasions, carried turf and water in quan.i- 
ties that indicated the supernatural strength of a Scotch brownie, 
rather than that of a human being. Bob's qualities, however, 
were well proportioned to each other, for, truth to say, his ap- 
petite was equal to his strength, and his cunning to either. 

Corny and Mrs. Moan were in great spirits, and indeed we 
might predicate as much of all who were present. Not a soul 
entered the house who was not brought up by Corny to an out- 
shot room, as a private mark of his friendship, and treated to an 
underhand glass of as good poteen " as ever went down the red 
lane," to use a phrase common among the people. Nothing upon 
an occasion naturally pleasant gives conversation a more cheerful 
impulse than tins; and the consequence was, that in a short time 
the scene was animated and mirthful to an unusual degree. 

Breakfast at length commenced in due form. Two bottles of 
whiskey were placed upon the table, and the first thing done was 
to administer a glass to each guest. 

"Come, neighbors," said Corny, "we must dhrink the good 
woman's health before we ate, especially as it's the first time, 

"To be sure they will, achora, an' why not? An' if it's the 
first time, Corny, it won't be the — Musha ! you're welcome, 

Mrs. ! an' jist in time, too." This she said, addressing his 

mother-in-law, who then entered. "Look at this swaddy, 

Mrs. ; my soul to happiness, but he's fit to be the son of a 

lord. Eh, a pet ? Where was my darlin' ? Corny, let me dip 
my finger in I he whiskey till I rub his gums wid it. That's my 
bully ! Oh, the heavens love it, see how it puts the little mouth 
about lookin* for it agin. Throth you'll have the spunk in you 
yet, acushla, an' it's credit to the Kehos you'll be, if you're 
spared, as you will, plaise heavens '" 


" Well, Comy," said one of the gossips, "here's a speedy up- 
rise an' a sudden recovery to the good woman, an' the little 
gthranger's health, an' God bless the baker that gives thirteen to 
the dozen, anyhow !" 

"Aye, aye, Paddy Rafferty, you'll have your joke any way; 
an', throth, you're welcome to it, Paddy; if you weren't, it isn't 
standin' for young Comy you'd be to-day." 

"Thrue enough," said Rose, " an', by the dickens, Paddy 
isn't the boy to be long under an obligation to any one. Eh, 
Paddy, did I help you there, avick ? Aisy, childre; you'll 
smother my son if you crash about him that way." This was 
addressed to some of the youngsters, who were pressing round to 
look at and touch the infant. 

"It won't be my fault if I do, Rose," said Paddy, slyly eye- 
ing Peggy Betagh, then betrothed to him, who sat opposite, her 
darlc eyes flashing with repressed humor and affection. Deaf- 
ness, however, is sometimes a very convenient malady to young 
ladies, for Peggy immediately commenced a series of playful at- 
tentions to the unconscious infant, which were just sufficient to 
excuse her from noticing this allusion to their marriage. Rose 
looked at her, then nodded comically to Paddy, shutting both 
her eyes by way of a wink, addmg aloud, "Throth you'll be 
the happy boy, Paddy; an' woe betide you if you aren't the 
sweetest end of a honeycomb to her. Take care an' don't bring 
me upon you. Well, Peggy, never mind, alanna; who has a 
betthcr nght to his joke than the dacent boy that's — aisy, childre: 
saint's above ! but ye'U smother the child, so you will. WHiere 
did I get him, Denny ? sure I brought him as a present to Mrs. 
Keho; I never come but I bring a purty little babljy along wid 
me — than the dacent boy, dear, that's soon to be your lovin' 
husband? Arrah, take your glass, acushla; the sorra harm it'll 
do you." 

" Bedad, I'm afcard, Mrs. Moan. What if it 'ud get into my 
head, an' me to stand for my little godson ? No, bad scran to 
me if I could — faix, a glass 'ud be too many for me." 

"It's not more than half filled, dear; but there's sense in what 
the girl says, Dandy, so don't press it an her." 


In the brief space allotted to us we could not possibly give any^ 
thing like a full and correct picture of the happiness and hilarity 
which prevailed at the breakfast in question. When it was over 
they all prepared to go to the parish chapel, which was distant 
at least a couple of miles, the midwife staying at home to see 
that all the necessaiy preparations were made for dinner. As 
they were departing, Rose took Dandy aside and addressed 
htm thue: 

"Now, Dandy, when you see the priest, tell him that it is 
youj' wish, above all things, 'that he should christen it against 
the fairies.' If you say that, it's enough. And, Peggy, achora, 
come here. You're not carryin' that child right, alanna; but 
you'll kjiow betther yet, plaise goodness. No, avillish, don't 
keep its I'tlle head so closely covered wid your cloak; the day's 
a bumin' day, glory be to God, an' the Lord guard my child; 
sure the least thing in the world, where there's too much hait, 
'ud smothar my darlin'. Keep its head out farther, and just 
shade its little face that way from the sun. Och, will I ever for- 
get the Suiiday whin poor Mally M'Guigan wint to take Pat 
Feasthalagii's child from under her cloak to be christened, the 
poor infant was a corpse; an' only that the Lord put it into my 
head to have it privately christened, the father an' mother's 
hearts would break. Glory be to God ! Mrs. Duggan, if the 
child gets cross, dear, or misses anything, act the mother by him, 
tha little man. Eh, alanna ! where was it ? Where was my 
dnclf o' diamonds — my little Con Roe? My own sweety little 
ace q' hs.irts — eh, alanna ! Well, God keep it till I see it again, 

Well, tha cliild was baptized by the name of his father, and 
the persons assembled, after their return from chapel, lounged 
about Comy's house, or took little strolls in the neighborhood, 
until the hoax of dinner. This of course was much more convi- 
vial, and ten times more vociferous than the breakfast, cheerful 
as that meal was. At dinner they had a dish v/hich we believe 
is, like the Boxty, peculiarly Irish in its composition; we mean 
what is called stJiUh. This consists of potatoes and beans, pounded 


trp together in such a manner that the beans are not broken, and 
on this account the potatoes are well champed before the beans 
are put into them. This is dished in a large bo-vvl, and a hole 
made in the middle of it, into which a miscaim or roll of butter 
is thrust, and then covered up until it is melted. After this, 
every one takes a spoon and digs away with his utmost vigor, 
dipping every morsel into the well of butter in the middle, before 
he puts it into iiis mouth. Indeed, from the strong competition 
which goes forward, and the rapid motion of each right hand, no 
spectator could be mistaken in ascribing the motive of their pro- 
ceedings to the principle of the old proverb, devil take the hind- 
most. Sthilk differs from another dish made of potatoes in much 
the same way, called cokannon. If there were beans, for instance, 
in colcannon, it would be sthilk. 

After dinner the whiskey began to go round, for in these days 
prnich was a luxury almost unknown to the class we are writing 
q£ In fact, nobody there knew how to make it but the midwife, 
Vho wisely kept the secret to herself, aware that if the whiskey 
were presented to tliem in such a palatable shape, they would not 
know wlien to stop, and she herself might fall short of the snug 
bottle that is usually kept as a treat for those visits which she 
ct)nlinues to pay during the convalescence of her patients. 

" Com;i, Rose," said Corny, who was beginning to soften fast, 
"it's your turn now to thry aglassof what has never seen walher." 

" I'll take the glass, Dandy — 'deed will I — but the thruth is, I 
never dhrink it hard. No, but I'll jist take a drop o' hot wather 
an' a grain o' sugar, an' scald it; that an' as much carraway 
scc^ls as will lie upon a sixpence does me good; for, God help 
me, the stomach isn't at all stlirong wid me, m regard o' bein' 
up so much at night, an' deprived of my nathural rest." 

" Rose," said one of them, " is it thrue that you war called out 
one night, an' brought blindfoulded to some grand lady bclongin' 
to the quality ?" 

'* Wait, avick, till I make a drop o' ivmt-grace* for the mis- 
thress, poor thing; an' Corny, I'll jist throuble you for about a 

* A wan-grace is a kind of small gruel or meal tea, sweetened with sugar. 


thimbleful o' spirits to take the smell o' the wather off it. The 
poor creature, she's a little weak still, an' indeed it's wonderfiil 
how she stood it out; but, my dear, God's good to his own, an' 
fits the back to the burden, praise be to his name !" 

She then proceeded to scald the drop of spirits for herself, or, 
in otlier words, to mix a good tumbler of ladies' punch, making 
it, as the plirase goes, hot, strong and sweet — not forgetting the 
carraways, to give it a flavor. This being accomplished, she 
made the wan-grace for Mrs. Keho, still throwing in a word now 
and then to sustain her part in the conversation, which was now 
rising fast into mirth, laughter and clamor. 

*' Well, but Rose, about the lady of quality; will you tell us 
that ?" 

"Oh, many a thing happened me as well worth tellin', if you 
go to that; but I'll tell it to you, childre, for sure the curiosity's 
nathural to yez. Why, I was one night at home an' asleep, an I 
hears a horse's foot gallopin' for the bare life up to the door. I 
immediately put my head out, an' the horseman says, ' Are you 
Mrs. Moan ?' 

*' ' That's the name that's an me, your honor,' says myself. 

" ' Dress yourself, thin,' says he, 'for you're sadly wanted; dress 
yourself and mount behind me, for there's not a moment to be 
lostl' At the same time I forgot to say that his hat was tied 
about his face in sich a way that I couldn't catch a glimpse of it. 
Well, my dear, we didn't let the grass grow under our feet for 
about a mile or so. 'Now,' says he, ' you must allow yourself 
to be blindfoulded, an' it's useless to oppose it, for it must be 
done. There's the character, maybe the life, of a great lady at 
stake; so be quiet till I cover your eyes, or,' says he, lettin' out 
a great oath, • it'll be worse for you. I'm a desperate man;' an' 
sure enough, 1 could feel the heart of him beatin' undher his ribs 
as if it would bust in pieces. Well, my dears, what could I do 
in the hands of a man that was strong and desperate ? ' So,' says 
I, * cover my eyes in welcome; only for the lady's sake, make no 
delay.' Wid that he dashed his spurs into the poor horse, an' 
he foamin' an' smokin' like a lime-kiln already. Anyway, in 


about half an hour I found myself in a grand bedroom; an' jist 
as I was put into the door he whishpers me to bring the child to 
him in the next room, as soon as it would be born. Well, sure I 
did so, afther lavin' the mother in a fair way. But what 'ud you 
have of it ? the first thing I see, lyin' an the table, was a purse of 
money an' a case o' pistols. Whin I looked at him, I thought 
the devil, Lord guard us ! was in his face, he looked so black and 
terrible r.bout the brows. ' Now, my good woman,' says he, 'so 
far you've acted well, but there's more to be done yet. Take 
your choice of these two,' says he, 'this purse or the contents o* 
one o' these pistols as your reward. You mustmurdher the child 
upon the spot.' ' In the name of God an' his Mother, be you 
man or devil, I defy you,' says I; ' no innocent blood '11 ever be 
shed by these hands.' ' I'll give you ten minutes,' says he, 'to 
pui an end to that brat there;' an' wid that he cocked one o' the 
pisl6ls. iMy dears, I had nothin' for it but to say in to myself a 
pailier an' ave as fast as I could, for I thought it was all over wid 
me. However, glory be to God, the prayers gave me great 
stringth, an' I spoke stoutly. 'Whin the king of Jerusalem,' 
saj-s i, ' an he was a greater man than ever you'll be— whin the 
king of Jerusalem ordhered the midwives of Aigyp to put Moses 
to death, they wouldn't do it, an' God preserved them in spite of 
him, king though he was,' says I; ' an' from that day to this it 
was never known that a midwife took away the life of the babe 
she aided into the world — no, an' I'm not goin' to be the first 
that'll do it.' ' The time is out,' says he, pultin' the pistol to my 
ear, ' but I'll give you one minute more.' 'Let me go to my 
knees first,' says I; 'an' may God have mercy on my sowl, for, 
bad as I am, I'm willin' to die sooner than commit murdher an 
the innocent.' He gave a start as I spoke, an' threw the pistol 
down. ' Aye, ' said he, ' an the innocent — an the innocent — that 
is thrue ! But you are an extraordinary woman: you have .saved 
that child's life, and previnted me from committing two great 
crimes, for it was my intintion to murdher you afther you had 
murdhered it.' I thin, by his ordhers, brought the poor child to 
its mother, and whin I came back to the room, 'Take that purse,' 


says he, ♦ an' keep it as a reward for your honesty. ' ' Wid the 
help o' God,' says I, ' a penny of it will never come into my 
company, so it's no use to ax me.' ' Well,' says he, ' afore you 
lave this, you must swear not to mintion to a livin' sowl what 
has happened this night, for a year and a day.' It didn't signify 
to me whether I mintioned it or not; so being jack-indifferent 
about it, I tuck the oath and kept it. He thin bound my eyes 
agin, hoisted me up behind him, an' in a short time left me at 
home. Indeed, I wasn't the betther o' the start it tuck out o' me 
for as good as six weeks afther !" 

The company now began to grow musical; several songs were 
^ng; and when the evening got farther advanced, a neighboring 
fiddler was sent for, and the little party had a dance in the bam, 
to which they adjourned lest the noise might disturb Mrs. Keho, 
had they held it in the dwelling-house. Before this occurred, 
however, the "midwife's glass " went the round of the gossips, 
each of whom d^anlc her health, and dropped some silver, at the 
same time, into the bottom of it. It was then returned to her, 
and with a smiling face she gave the following toast: "Health 
to fhe parent stock ! So long as it thrives, there will always be 
branches ! Corny Keho, long life an' good health to you an' 
yours ! May your son live to see himself as happy as his father ! 
Youngsters, here's that you may follow a good example ! The 
company's health in general I wish; an', Paddy Rafferty, that 
you may never have a blind child but you'll have a lame one to 
lead it ! ha, ha, ha ! What's the world widout a joke ? I must 
see the good woman an' my little son afore I go; but as I won't 
follow yez to the bam, I'll bid yez good-night, neighbors, an' the 
blessin' of Rose Moan be among yez !" 

And so also do we take leave of our old friend Rose Moan, the 
Irish midwife, who, we understand, took her last leave of the 
world many years ago. 



Many years ago, the writer of this, being in the city of Dublin, 
had the pleasure of hearing the following story from the lips of 
(he far-famed " Zozimus." I have never before seen it in print, 
and thinking it might perhaps interest your readers, I will en- 
deavor to give it as nearly as possible in the words of its famous 
narrator, though acknowledging my utter inability to even re- 
moljjy appro.ijli his inimitable style of delivering it. It was told 
wiih sucli earnestness, that I have no doubt whatever that Zozi- 
mils bims-.'If i:r.plicitly believed in the truth of every word he 
utt:;rc-J. The storj runs: — 

111 olden times there lived in the northern part of Ireland a 
Uatksmith calk-d William Cooper. Now William was a sort of 
a loose chap, and d^ flivil entirely at all spoorls. He was noted 
for atid near as tlfe hardest drinker and most reckless dare-divil 
in tlu couaty. Finally his squandering habits plunged iiim head 
an' heels iu debt, and he had no possible manner of payin'. In 
his dispare hi called on the Ould Boy below to help him, an' 
shure enougTi, the divil came at his call. William struck a bar- 
gain wid him at once which appeared to satisfy both parties. 
William was to receive as much goold as he cud spind, but, in re- 
turn, he was to sell his sowl to tlie Ould Lad, who was to cum fur 
him in seven years' lime. After William had signed the bond with 
his blud, the divil disappeared in a flash of blue flame. 

William soon got from bad to wursc, spindin' and squanderin' 
his money in foolishness and dissipation. 

But wid all that he wuz no ways mane or stingy in the matter 


ofhelpin' a poor nabur, an' many wuz the blessin' he got from 
their grateful hearts, an' many wuz the prayerofl'ered up fur God 
to direct him to the right road agin. 

Howsomever, it seemed all of no avail, an' it looked as if noth- 
in' wud ever turn him. One day an ould woman whom he cum 
across axed him far some alms. He didn't wait to spake, but 
put his fist in his pocket and drawed out a bright goold guinea, 
which he handed to her, saym', ' 'There, me poor woman, an' I ':ope 
it will do you more good than it wud do me." The ould woman 
thanked him kindly, fur you must understhand that a guinea in 
them days wuz thought a big lot of money entirely by the poor 
people. So she says to him, "Now, William Cooper, since you 
have been so kind to a poor ould woman, I will grant you any 
three wishes you ax fur." You see the ould woman was a fairy — 
one of the good folks, you know (this was uttered by Zozimus in 
a low voice and with a confidential manner) — an' she had the power 
of granting; wishes, pervided it wouldn't injure a mortal's sow!. 

Well,*me brave William spoke up an' says: " Furst ov all, I 
wish that aixy one that lifts my sledge to slhrike wid it, must 
kape on slhrikin' till I take it aff him." "That wish is granted," 
sgjd the fairy. " Ne.xt, I wish that any one that sits down in my 
arm-chair can never get up out ov it till I relase them." " That 
wish is also granted," said the fairy. " And now, fur the last 
one, I wish fur a purse that no one but myself can take anything 
out ov that I put in it." The fairy immediately drew a purse 
from her pocket, an' givin' it to William, says: 

♦'Your wishes are all granted," an' thin she disappeared. 
Some time after this, as William wuz wurkin' away at his forge 
an' whistlin' to himself, who shud walk in the door but ould 
Beelzebub. " Ha, ha, William," he sez; " I've cum fur ye at last 
— timers up, me boy." "All right," sez Will, not alarmed in the 
laste. " I'm ready to go, av you wait till I finish these plow- 
irons fur a nabur; I promised him I'd do thim fur him to-day, an' 
I wudn't like to go down below till I fulfilled me promise, so as 
not to disappoint him." "All right," sez the divil, "I'll 
wait." " Take the sledge, thin, an' give me a hand," sez Wil- 
liam, "an' I'll be done all the quicker." 


So the divil took the sledge an' commenced to strike. Well, he 
struck, an' struck, an' stmck away till he was tired out, an' 
sick an' sore in every limb, an' there stud Will laughing at him. 
When he was most ready to drop down, he cries out: 

*' Will, Will, asthore, av you only take this aff me, I'll not 
bother you fur five years to cum, an' let you have all the money 
you want to spind till I cum agin." 

"It's a bargain," sed William; so he tuk the sledge aflfhim an' 
the divil disappeared. 

After this William wint on wurse than ever, an' got so that he 
wudn't do any wurk at all, until his time was near up. Thin he 
straightened up a little. One day he wasplowin' a small patch of 
ground bclongin' to him, whin the Ould Chap cum fur him agin. 
" I want you this time," sez the divil. " All right, tna bouchal," 
sez VsUliam; "cum to the holise wid me till I put on a clane 
shirt, as I don't like to go into company unless I look dacent." 

Tli:3 divil agreed to this, an' they wint back to the house 

" SJu- shecse," sez William, pushing over his arm-chair, so the 
divil s;il down in it, bud bad scran to the up he cud get agin. Will 
QDI7 lauglied at him an' put on a clane shirt, an' off to the market 
town he wint, where thera wuz a fair goin' on. He didn't cum 
bozk till iate that night, an' there sat the divil still, an' him blue 
in the face wid his struggles to get out ov the chair. 

'*01i. Will !" he cried, " let me out of this, and I won't cum 
agla fur another five years." 

"All right," says Will, an' he let him go; but on account of 
his Ixiia' half drunk, he didn't notice that the divil promised him 
no money this time. Will soon found to his grief that what 
money ho liad didn't last long, an' people wud give him no 
work to dn on account of his bad ways. So the long and short 
of it wu^, that Will at last had to beg his bit from door to door. 
When the time cum round agin, the divil appeared, an' poor 
Will sez, " I'm glad you cum, fur I'm tired an' sick of livin', 


•• Ah ha !" sez the divil, " you haven't got me in your house or 
forge now, have you?" 

"No," sez Will, "I am not thinkin' av playin' any more 
thricks on you." 

" I doubt that ye cud, " sez the divil. So aff they marched 

After awhile they passed a public house, an' poor Will sez, 
•'Many's the time I had a good drink there, an' I'd like to have 
one partin' drink before lavin' this world, but I haven't a farden. 
I have aften heard," he sez to the divil, "that you cud change 
yourself into any shape you like. If you can, just change your- 
self into a sovereign, an' I can go in an' get a drink, an' thin I'm 
ready to go anywhere you take me." 

"All right," sez the divil, "I'll oblige you now, as it's the 
last time an' I'm sure av you." 

So he changed himself into the coin and Will put him into his 
purse. Then he wint into the tap-room, an' throwin' the purse 
on the table called for some poteen; after drinking several times 
the tapster axed for his money, an' Will told him to take it from 
the purse; bud av he wuz tryin' from thin till now, av coorse he 
cudn't take it out. Will sez, "I've offered you the money an' 
ye wudn't take it, so I'll keep it myself;" an' he put the purse 
in his pocket, and they bundled him out. Back he marches to 
his forge an' put the purse on the anvil. Liftin' his sledge he 
began to belt away at it, till the ould laddie buck widin it 
begged fur-mercy. At last he sung out: "Will, asthore, av you 
let me out av this, I'll niver cum next or near ye agin, an' I'll 
give ye money enough to last you your life-time." 

"Agreed," sez William, an' he released him, an' the di\'il 
flew away yellin' from the batin' he got. 

After this Will lived nice an' comfortable, an' give away a 
grate dale in charity, besides buildin' up a fine town called 
BallymuUy. At last, however, he had to die, like we all have, 
so he dropped off. He marched to the gate of heaven and axed 
to get in; bud whin he told his name, they sed he had dalings 
wid the Avil One, an' he cudn't get in there. So they packed 


him off. Back he marched till he got to the door of the other 
place, an' axed to get in. They axed him whowuz there, an' he 
Bed William Cooper. 

" Oh ho ! don't let him in," sed the Ould Divil, " or he'll get 
the best ov us all here; he bested me whin he vvu3 on airth, an' av 
he got in, he'd best me here too. Pack him off; we don't want 

Sj they threw him out a lighted wisp of straw, an' from that 
day till this he has been wanderin' around the world with his 
lio^hted wisp, trying to find some place to get rest. 




Amongst the many singular superstitions once so popular in 
the remote country districts, "skimming the well," on May 
morning, was not the least curious. With the first light of day- 
break a person repaired to some famous spring, where, by taking 
the "cream" from the surface, whilst uttering a strictly con- 
ventional incantation, it was supposed that his or her neighbor's 
cows would cease to yield butter, their falling off being compen- 
sated for by the sudden increase in the yield of their own. The 
ceremony falls under the general name of pishogues, that is to 
say, charms, by which the "good people" were propitiated in 
behalf of the celebrant. Countless stories and legends have this 
odd custom for a common basis; and, as in all proceedings where 
the supernatural element is supposed to be invoked, fairies have 
been described as taking a share in the process. 

Every one in Drumshawn, from Bill Hagarty, whose forge 
stood at the east of the village, to Johnny Walker, the "tea- 
man," whose "general grocery and spirit establishment " was 
situate at the west, knew Grace Lanigan. She was a little, 
wiry-limbed, blear-eyed old woman, who went about the village 
in a red hood and a check apron, her feet encased in a pair of 
high-soimding brogues. Grace betrayed in her attire a gipsyish 
fondness for plaids and bright colored fabrics, in consequence of 
which she was popularly known by the nick-name of " the ould 
dandy." Amongst her other peculiarities, she was passionately 
addicted to the use of a short, black pipe, which it was believed 


was scarcely absent from her mouth even when she slept. In all 
matters of witchcraft, spells and charms, Grace was an able and 
illustrious proficient. She could tell fortunes by a process which 
these pages do not afford room to describe; she cultivated the 
house leek in the thatch of her cottage, and had a horse-shoe 
nailed to the side-post, as a protection from the imps and elves 
that do mischief by night. No season of the year passed over 
without its sp;cial superstitious observance — Shrovetide, Mid- 
summer, Halloween, each had its peculiar rite. Much has been 
written to fasten the charge of gross impiety on educated persons 
of tlie class to which Grace belonged; yet it is not too much to 
say that learning and logic are misused when thus applied, and 
that the world will persist in believing that the evil of our super- 
stitions is more than counterbalanced by their poetry and im- 

Grace had once been well-to-do in the world, but dark days 
had befallen her. She used to look back with grief to the day 
when ten cows were milked, morning and evening, in her bawn, 
and she was mistress of a farm of between forty and fifty acres. 
It was not imprudence which had brought about the change, but 
the badness of tlie times and harvests. All her spells could not 
prevent her cattle dying, her com rotting before it had ripened. 
Disaster, as Mr. Poe has it, followed disaster, until Grace was 
left but a patch of land and a single cow. Those she had, and 
nothing more. 

We omitted from this brief inventory, Nick Lanigan, her only 
son, a youth of some twenty summers, who had never done any 
good; and intended, if appearances meant anything, to carry out 
that useful programme to the end of his days. Nick stood 
nearly six feet in his vamps, and was as fine a specimen of the 
rawbone type of manly beauty as could be found in the province. 
He had a head of reddish colored hair, which fell in two great 
shocks over his temples, and covered his scalp with a bluff crop 
resembling sunburnt brushwood. The lid of his right eye de- 
pended permanently to such an extent that it almost covered the 
orb below it, and lent liis face a winking expression which, in 


combination with the solemn grotesqueness of his mouth and the 
receding lines of his chin, constituted a physiognomy at once 
ludicrous, helpless and impotent. Nick had the reputation of 
being a fool, and to some extent the popular belief was counten- 
anced by his acts and sayings. It was said that he slept on the 
floor in a sack, and that no amount of instruction could induce 
him to remember the exact number of pence in a shilling. He 
went hatless and shoeless in all weathers, turning up the ends of 
his trousers so as to expose a pair of lean calves, floridly colored 
by exposure to fire and weather. Yet, in the main, Nick was no 
fool, and what is better, no coward. He was wise enough to re- 
fiise all belief in his mother's spells and charms, and wicked 
enough to provoke her by expelling her pishogues. If only re- 
buked for a misdemeanor, he would place his back to the wall, 
and laugh like a tickled griffin until the tears started into his eyes, 
and his sides ached from shaking. But whenever his mother's 
displeasure sought an outlet in blows, Nick would " make " for 
the door, and betake himself to a neighboring lime-kiln, where he 
lived on roasted potatoes, often for three consecutive days, until 
the storm blew over. 

At last he sinned grievously against the parental authority, 
and was driven firom the house with a volley of injunctions 
"never to darken the door after during the rest of his mortal 
life." The expulsion cost the hopeless youth little anxiety. As 
he said himself, " he was used to it; " and he returned to his old 
quarters with a sobriety of temper and an alacrity of pace which 
would have done honor to a greater philosopher. The cause of 
the fracas was this. One May-day, Grace, who had been mys- 
teriously absent in the morning, returned home about noon, drew 
her creepeen to the fire, and having lighted her black pipe, took 
a meditative smoke up the chimney. Mother and son were silent 
for many minutes^the one enjoying her pipe, the other pro- 
foundly engaged in the manufacture of bird-lime. Any one 
looking at the two would have guessed that no common anxiety 
lay at Grace's heart — an anxiety in which Nick had more share 
than he wished should be made public. Eventually, Grace began 


to rock herself from side to side, a proceeding which always gav« 
Nick considerable displeasure, and often forced him to leave the 

" Musha, mother," he asked, at last, lifting his head from the 
bird-lime and casting a malicious look at the old woman, " isn't 
that child asleep yet ? " 

Grace, who fully appreciated the force of the joke, raised 
her head for a moment, and slowly resumed her rocking move- 

"Nick," she said, after a short pause, " you must soon go out 
and turn a hand for yourself. Things is going to the bad — worse 
and worse — and if I can make out a bit an' sup for myself, it's 
more than I'll be able to do for you, you idlin' vagabone." 

"Why, then, isn't your frinds, the good people, goin' to be- 
fiind yez a bit, aither, afther yer thrubble to plaze them — eh, 
mother ? " 

Grace took a long whiff and knocked out the ashes of her pipe 
on the hob. " Faix, avourneen, I believe they're just as hard up 
as ourselves, the crathurs, an' more's the pity." 

" Musha, don't be runnin' away wid yer seven senses entirely, 
mother. Avcoorse, * Ni ghuil saoi gam lockt, and that's nay- 
ther here nor there wid people that have oceans of goold and 
silver to do as they likes wid. I'll be bail now, an' the cow 
ninnin' as dhry as a cart wheel, yez didn't skim the well this 

Grace groaned profoimdly and crossed her arms on her knees. 
" It's not the first good thing a fool said," she answered, " and 
I did thry to skim the well this morning, but I might as well be 
attemptin' to prod the blessed moon with a knittin'-needle." 

" Is she in her right mind at all ? " said Nick, by way of an 
apostrophe addressed to a third party. " Horns and knittin'- 
necdles, inagh ! " 

" Yerra, you omadhaun, sure 'tis hard enough to get any on • 
derstandin' into that red head iv yerz, Afther all my thrubble, 1 
might as well be pratin' to the griddle, as thryin' to learn yez.'" 

* No one's without a failing. 


"Ai, thin, doesyer hear her? " continued Nick, with a most 
unfilial interraption. " Isn't it as aisy for you to say, wanst for 
all in all, av yez skimmed the well this mornin' ? Begor, if yez 
didn't, give the cow a goold meddle and pinsion her off dacenlly, 
this minute." 

"Haven't I towld yez I was up and skimmed it airly enough, 
you bosthoon?" shouted Grace, whose temper was visibly de- 
clining in the wrong direction. 

"Now, that's a plain answer," rejoined Nick, suppressing a 
laugh. " Av yez said that at fust see all the thrubble ye'd spare 
yerself. Why thin, mother, now that yer comin' out raisonable, 
tell us all about it, won't yez ? " 

" Until yez bell it all over the parish, I suppose," said Grace, 
with a little bitterness. 

•' Is it me, mother ! Dickens the word then they'll hear iv it 
from me, I be bail. ' ' 

Grace having been repeatedly assured that Nick would preserve 
her secret inviolably, and impelled by the natural desire we all 
feel tp lighten our burdens by sharing them with others, took her 
pipe fix)m her mouth and began as follows: 

"Yez see, Nick, as the ould cow, bad scannin to her, was 
makin' up her mind to give up milkin' completely, I sez to my- 
self that I'd see what could be done by setting a charm to take 
away Biddy Grady's crame and butther and bring it back to our- 
selves. May-mornin', you know, great a fool as you are, is the 
only time of the year to set the rale charm ; so I got up before 
the cock was crowin', and set off to Tubher-ahina with the new 
skimmer in my pocket. An' when I got to the brink iv the well, 
lo and behold you ! what was sittin' there foreninst me on the top 
iv a bulrush but an ould crather about the hoith of a piggin 1 
Arrah, yez should see his nose ! 'twas as long an' as sharp as 
Paddy Crosby's shears, and on the top iv his shoulders he had a 
hump like a sergeant's knapsack. There he was sated as nat« 
as tuppence, and as grand as a lord. 

" * Mornin,' ma'am,' sez he, winkin' at me wid his two eyes. 

«• *Musha, the same to yerself,' sez I, • if there's no offince in 
wishin' U.' 


•' 'Troth an' there's not, ma'am,' sez my ould laddo. 'Isn't 
it airly yer out ? ' sez he agin' . 

*«* Every one to his taste,' sez I, ' as the lady said when she 
kissed her cow.' 

" ' Indeed,' sez he, 'indeed ! Is it any hami to ask when yer- 
self kissed yer cow last ? ' 

" ' Oh, faix, as for that matther,' sez myself, makin' answer to 
him, ' 'tis as the fit comes an' goes. It isn't every day a heifer 
can dhry her mouth,' sez I; ' wid a cambric handkercher. ' 

•"Thrue for you, Mrs. Lanigan,' says he, giving a twist atop 
iv the bulrush. ' Are yez makin' much by your butther these 
times? ' 

'"Asyez asked the kushtion civil, agregal,' sez I, 'I'd be 
sorry to desave yez. Why thin, I'm bate intirely this sayson. 
Yez might as well be milkin' a milestone as to persuade the cow 
to do her duty; an',' sez I, followin' up the discoorse, ' if some- 
thin' don't turn up this mornin', I'll have to give up house and 
home, and go weedin', or bindin', or somethin' iv that sort.' 

"'Skim away,' siz he, 'skim away, Mrs. Lanigan, and the 
divil is in it,' says he, scratchin' his head, and takin' a pinch iv 
snniT, ' if yez don't do betther nor yer doin'.' 

" ' More power to yez,' sez I to him, dippin' the new skimmer 
Info the well ; and faith, it was hardly wet, when I hears a great 
hallooin' over head, and on lookin' up, does yez see, what was 
there above me, flyin' about in the air, but two or three foine 
leedies, galavantin' wid aich other, and makin' the curiorsest 
noise I ever heerd. Well, whilst they kept ginglin' and tumin', 
all iv a sudden, as Murty Regan's mare broke her leg, they set 
up a cry of ' Butther is goin', butther is comin'; alew ! ' I cocks 
my eye at thim, and sees that, barrin' the quare way they had of 
flottherin' up and down, they were nate lookin' girls, dressed in 
poplin from top to toe, only that it was a bit thin and sliaky from 
bein' washed so often. The ould gintleman that was fominst me 
was gone asleep when I wanted to ask him who they were, but 
jest straight at his back I seen another couple iv boyos roostin' 
atop iv the sedg^. One iv them was smokin' a pipe a bit short- 


er than my own dudheen, and to see his ould shrivelled-up face 
workin' in and out as he tuk his blast, would make a milestone 
burst with laughter. But the thing that was wid him banged 
anTthin' I iver dhremt iv. Yerra, Nick, he had a head on his 
shoulders for all the world like a carrot, and out iv it was two 
horns, turned round and round like a cat's tail at the inds. 

•' * Takin' yer smoke,' says myself to the gorsoon wid the 

"'Musha, who gave yez yer knowledge?' sez he, puttin' 
down the ashes wid the butt of his little finger. ' Dickens shoot 
me, Mike,' sez he, tumin' to the other gorsoon, ' but those ignor- 
amuses will bate us clane out iv the country before Slirovetide.' 

" 'Sure, any one harkenin' to yez would think 'twas the school- 
masther was spakin',' sez I, 'barrin' he'd hang a dozen iv yer 
seed and breed in the ink-bottle at his button-hole. ' 

" 'Didn't I tell yez, Mike?' sez he, tumin' round agin to the 
chap wid the horns. ' We won't stand it no longer, ' sez he, tak- 
in' the pipe from his mouth. ' And what ill wind blew yez here 
so airly, Mrs. Lanigan?' sez he. 

•' ' I'd be sorry to desave yez,' sez I, ' though I wish it was 
some one else put the kusthun. Isn't it as plain as the pipe in yer 
ugly gob that 'twas no good wind dhruv me where you are ?' 

'"Butther is goin', butther is comin',' cried the girls hoigh 
above us. 

«' ' Does yez hear that, Mrs. Lanigan ?' sez my neighbor — 'are 
yez listenin' to that?' sez he, wid a grin that went from ear to ear. 
' If yez hasn't lost all yer teeth, skim the well, and take to yer 
shankers,' sez he, ' or the devil resave the bit of butther ye'll see 
whilst yer name's Grace.' 

'* ' 'Tisn't the first time somebody,! won't mintion, gave a good 
advice,* sez Ij 'and here's at yez ;' and wid that I dipped the 
skimmer agin into the well, but I might as well thry to lift the 
wathey into a sieve, for it all ran out through the bottom. ' 

" ' Begor, yec'done. for at last, ' sez the ould bosthoon, cacklin' 
to himself Mwid divarshin. ♦ Thry it agin,' sez he, ' there's many 
a slip 'twten the cup and the lip, Mrs. Lanigan, darlint.' 


" • What makes the wather run through the skimmer ?' sez I, 
gettin' angry. 

" 'Don't you see the rayson,' sez he — ' arrah, because it won't 
stop in it, Mrs. Lanigan.' 

" • Y'ev been to school, masther,* sez I to him, * and by the 
same token, yez always sat on the windy side av the hedge, and 
didn't hear much iv the lamin', ma bouchal.' 

•' 'Ah, thin, Grace,' sez he, lookin' as sayrious as a bed-post, 
'there's a pair av us there, ai?' And wid that the pair of geese 
set up a screech of laughin' that set me dancin' in the tan- 

" 'Butther is goin' — butther is comin',' sez the ladies. 

'"Yez betther cut your stick, Grace,' Sitys the ould fellow, 
*or skim the well at wanst. Take another dip, agragal, and 
who knows the luck yez may git ?' 

" So I took him at his word, and put the skimmer down a 
soccond time, but keepin' out the tide wid a pitchfork was divar- 
shin to thryin' to take up the crame wid a skimmer that wouldn't 
hould chaney. alleys. 

*' The boyos began laughin', my dear, agin, and siz they, 
'Grace, did yez meet 'eer a red-haired woman this momin' ?' 

" ' Troth, no,' siz I. 

" 'Did yez come across 'eer a magpie?' siz they. 

«' 'Troth, I didn't,' sez I agin. 

•' 'Maybe you overlooked Nick's throwin' an ould shoe afther 
yez, as yez left the house,' says the lad wid the horns. 

" 'Begannys, yer right, my bucko,' sez I, remimberin' it all of 

*♦ • Then,' sez he, ' yez might as well be bailen' out the green 
bay with a bottomless thimble. Lave it alone, acushla, and 
betther luck next time. ' 

" The words was hardly out av his mouth when I hears a great 
hallooln' in the air^ and on lookin' up, may I never turn another 
fod av turf if the air for a mile round wasn't thick wid fairies, 
flyin' from all quarthers, wid keelers of milk fastened to their 
backs. Arrah, to see them was a thrate worth walkin' a distance 


for. Some av them had tails, and some av them no tails at all ; 
some av them had beards cockin' stiff out av their chins, and 
some had no more beard on thim than yersclf, avic. You needn't 
be scrapin' yer chin, Nick, 'tis as bare as the dale table there. 
Such noses and faces I neve.- seen before ; and whilst they were 
batin' about the bushes, the girls set up the ould song agin, 
' Butther is goin' — butther is comin'.' Immediately all the gor- 
soons rowled the full of their keelers into a big tub, and sez one, 
* Let Grace Lanigan look out now,' sez he, ' for if her cow was 
as ould as Methusala, she'll milk as much now as a pratystalk.' 
Hearin' this discoorse, I made another dip iv the skimmer, and 
no sooner I missed it agin than Larry Hayes' cock ( divil choke 
him ) began crowin', and all the fairies vanished from my sight. 
So, Nick, darlint, look out for yerself, av yez have look at your 
side. I've towld yez all, lock, stock and bairel. There'll be no 
more milk, no more nothing ; troth, I see " 

"Wait a bit, mother," exclaimed Nick, and as he spoke he 
took up a position between her and the door. " Have yez the 
skimmer about yez ? " 

*' FaLx, I have, safe and sound in my pocket, alanna." 

"And did yez look at the bottom av it when yer set off to 
skim the well this morning ? " 

'"Deed, thin, I didn't." 

"Well, thin, look at it now, and ye'll find three round holes 
burned wid a red hould-fast in the bottom av it." 

Grace held the skimmer between her eyes and the cloudy light 
that came through the window. Abrief examination of the uten- 
sil verified Nick's statement. 

"Ah, thin, who done this, alanna?" she asked, "ai, who 
done this ? Tell me." 

"Musha, faith, mother, 'twas me, for the fun av it," replied 
her hopeful son. 

Grace grasped the bent hoop which served for a tongs in her 
humble household, and rushed at her guilty offsprmg. Nick, 
who evidently anticipated such a movement, escaped from the 
house and stood "mopping and mowing" before the door. 


" And, mother, does yez know why the ould oow's milk ran 
short? Shure yez ud never guess — faith, bekase I dhrank it." 

A suppressed scream was Grace's only answer. "While there's 
life in yer body," she shouted, " shun this house, I warn yez, 
mind, I warn yez ; ' ' and with these words she closed the door, 
and reseated herself on the creepeen. 

Nick, we are told, stayed away for three weeks, and in his ab- 
sence, so considerable was the increase in the yield of milk, that 
Grace recovered her temper, forgave her undutiful son, and 
thenceforth grew somewhat credulous in the potency of charms, 
though she clung faithfully to her old belief in the world of Fafiry. 



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