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Title: The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer — Volume 1
Author: Lever, Charles James, 1806-1872
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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THE CONFESSIONS OF HARRY LORREQUER, Volume 1

[By Charles James Lever (1806-1872)]


Dublin

MDCCCXXXIX.


[Note: Though the title page has no author's name inscribed,
this work is generally attributed to Charles James Lever.]



Volume 1. (Chapters I. to X.)

         "We talked of pipe-clay regulation caps--
            Long twenty-fours--short culverins and mortars--
          Condemn'd the 'Horse Guards' for a set of raps,
            And cursed our fate at being in such quarters.
          Some smoked, some sighed, and some were heard to snore;
            Some wished themselves five fathoms 'neat the Solway;
          And some did pray--who never prayed before--
            That they might get the 'route' for Cork or Galway."



To
Sir George Hamilton Seymour, G.C.H.
&c. &c.

My Dear Sir Hamilton,

If a feather will show how the wind blows, perhaps my dedicating to you
even as light matter as these Confessions may in some measure prove how
grateful I feel for the many kindnesses I have received from you in the
course of our intimacy.  While thus acknowledging a debt, I must also
avow that another motive strongly prompts me upon this occasion.  I am
not aware of any one, to whom with such propriety a volume of anecdote
and adventure should be inscribed, as to one, himself well known as an
inimitable narrator.  Could I have stolen for my story, any portion of
the grace and humour with which I have heard you adorn many of your own,
while I should deem this offering more worthy of your acceptance, I
should also feel more confident of its reception by the public.

               With every sentiment of esteem and regard,
                         Believe me very faithfully yours,
                                   THE AUTHOR
Bruxelles, December, 1839.



PREFATORY EPISTLE.

Dear Public,

When first I set about recording the scenes which occupy these pages, I
had no intention of continuing them, except in such stray and scattered
fragments as the columns of a Magazine (FOOTNOTE: The Dublin University
Magazine.) permit of; and when at length I discovered that some interest
had attached not only to the adventures, but to their narrator, I would
gladly have retired with my "little laurels" from a stage, on which,
having only engaged to appear between the acts, I was destined to come
forward as a principal character.

Among the "miseries of human life," a most touching one is spoken of--the
being obliged to listen to the repetition of a badly sung song, because
some well-wishing, but not over discreet friend of the singer has called
loudly for an encore.

I begin very much to fear that something of the kind has taken place
here, and that I should have acted a wiser part, had I been contented
with even the still small voice of a few partial friends, and retired
from the boards in the pleasing delusion of success; but unfortunately,
the same easy temperament that has so often involved me before, has been
faithful to me here; and when you pretended to be pleased, unluckily, I
believed you.

So much of apology for the matter--a little now for the manner of my
offending, and I have done.  I wrote as I felt--sometimes in good
spirits, sometimes in bad--always carelessly--for, God help me, I can do
no better.

When the celibacy of the Fellows of Trinity College, Dublin, became an
active law in that University, the Board proceeded to enforce it, by
summoning to their presence all the individuals who it was well known had
transgressed the regulation, and among them figured Dr. S., many of whose
sons were at the same time students in the college.  "Are you married,
Dr. S-----r?" said the bachelor vice-provost, in all the dignity and
pride of conscious innocence.  "Married!" said the father of ten
children, with a start of involuntary horror;--"married?"  "Yes sir,
married."  "Why sir, I am no more married than the Provost."  This was
quite enough--no further questions were asked, and the head of the
University preferred a merciful course towards the offender, to
repudiating his wife and disowning his children.  Now for the
application.  Certain captious and incredulous people have doubted the
veracity of the adventures I have recorded in these pages; I do not think
it necessary to appeal to concurrent testimony and credible witnesses for
their proof, but I pledge myself to the fact that every tittle I have
related is as true as that my name is Lorrequer--need I say more?

Another objection has been made to my narrative, and I cannot pass it by
without a word of remark;--"these Confessions are wanting in scenes of
touching and pathetic interest" (FOOTNOTE: We have the author's
permission to state, that all the pathetic and moving incidents of his
career he has reserved for a second series of "Confessions," to be
entitled "Lorrequer Married?"--Publisher's Note.)--true, quite true; but
I console myself on this head, for I remember hearing of an author whose
paraphrase of the book of Job was refused by a publisher, if he could not
throw a little more humour into it; and if I have not been more miserable
and more unhappy, I am very sorry for it on your account, but you must
excuse my regretting it on my own.  Another story and I have done;--the
Newgate Calendar makes mention of a notorious housebreaker, who closed
his career of outrage and violence by the murder of a whole family, whose
house he robbed; on the scaffold he entreated permission to speak a few
words to the crowd beneath, and thus addressed them:--"My friends, it is
quite true I murdered this family; in cold blood I did it--one by one
they fell beneath my hand, while I rifled their coffers, and took forth
their effects; but one thing is imputed to me, which I cannot die without
denying--it is asserted that I stole an extinguisher; the contemptible
character of this petty theft is a stain upon my reputation, that I
cannot suffer to disgrace my memory."  So would I now address you for all
the graver offences of my book; I stand forth guilty--miserably, palpably
guilty--they are mine every one of them; and I dare not, I cannot deny
them; but if you think that the blunders in French and the hash of
spelling so widely spread through these pages, are attributable to me;
on the faith of a gentleman I pledge myself you are wrong, and that I had
nothing to do with them.  If my thanks for the kindness and indulgence
with which these hastily written and rashly conceived sketches have been
received by the press and the public, are of any avail, let me add, in
conclusion, that a more grateful author does not exist than

HARRY LORREQUER



CONTENTS:

Volume 1.

CHAPTER I
Arrival in Cork--Civic Festivities--Private Theatricals

CHAPTER II
Detachment Duty--The Burton Arms--Callonby

CHAPTER III
Life at Callonby--Love-making--Miss O'Dowd's Adventure

CHAPTER IV
Botanical Studies--The Natural System preferable to the Linnaean

CHAPTER V
Puzzled--Explanation--Makes bad worse--The Duel

CHAPTER VI
The Priest's Supper--Father Malachi and the Coadjutor--Major Jones and
the Abbe

CHAPTER VII
The Lady's Letter--Peter and his Acquaintances--Too late

CHAPTER VIII
Congratulations--Sick Leave--How to pass the Board

CHAPTER IX
The Road--Travelling Acquaintances--A Packet Adventure

CHAPTER X
Upset--Mind and Body


Volume 2.

CHAPTER XI
Cheltenham--Matrimonial Adventure--Showing how to make love for a friend

CHAPTER XII
Dublin--Tom O'Flaherty--A Reminiscence of the Peninsula

CHAPTER XIII
Dublin--The Boarding-house--Select Society

CHAPTER XIV
The Chase

CHAPTER XV
Mems Of the North Cork

CHAPTER XVI
Theatricals

CHAPTER XVI*    (The chapter # is a repeat)
The Wager

CHAPTER XVII
The Elopement


Volume 3.

CHAPTER XVIII
Detachment Duty--An Assize Town

CHAPTER XIX
The Assize Town

CHAPTER XX
A Day in Dublin

CHAPTER XXI
A Night at Howth

CHAPTER XXII
The Journey

CHAPTER XXIII
Calais


Volume 4.

CHAPTER XXIV
The Gen d'Arme

CHAPTER XXV
The Inn at Chantraine

CHAPTER XXVI
Mr O'Leary

CHAPTER XXVII
Paris
CHAPTER XXVIII
Paris


Volume 5.

CHAPTER XXIX
Captain Trevanion's Adventure

CHAPTER XXX
Difficulties

CHAPTER XXXI
Explanation

CHAPTER XXXII
Mr O'Leary's First Love

CHAPTER XXXIII
Mr O'Leary's Second Love

CHAPTER XXXIV
The Duel

CHAPTER XXXV
Early Recollections--A First Love

CHAPTER XXXVI
Wise Resolves

CHAPTER XXXVII
The Proposal

CHAPTER XXXVIII
Thoughts upon Matrimony in general, and in the Army in particular--The
Knight of Kerry and Billy M'Cabe

CHAPTER XXXIX
A Reminiscence

CHAPTER XL
The Two Letters

CHAPTER XLI
Mr O'Leary's Capture



Volume 6.

CHAPTER XLII.
The Journey

CHAPTER XLIII.
The Journey

CHAPTER XLIV.
A Reminscence of the East

CHAPTER XLV.
A Day in the Phoenix

CHAPTER XLVI.
An Adventure in Canada

CHAPTER XLVII.
The Courier's Passport

CHAPTER XLVIII.
A Night in Strasbourg

CHAPTER XLIX.
A Surprise

CHAPTER L.
Jack Waller's Story

CHAPTER LI.
Munich

CHAPTER LII.
Inn at Munich

CHAPTER LIII.
The Ball

CHAPTER LIV.
A Discovery

CHAPTER LV.
Conclusion



A WORD OF INTRODUCTION.

"Story! God bless you; I have none to tell, sir."

It is now many--do not ask me to say how many--years since I received
from the Horse Guards the welcome intelligence that I was gazetted to an
insigncy in his Majesty's __th Foot, and that my name, which had figured
so long in the "Duke's" list, with the words "a very hard case" appended,
should at length appear in the monthly record of promotions and
appointments.

Since then my life has been passed in all the vicissitudes of war and
peace.  The camp and the bivouac--the reckless gaiety of the mess-table
--the comfortless solitude of a French prison--the exciting turmoils of
active service--the wearisome monotony of garrison duty, I have alike
partaken of, and experienced.  A career of this kind, with a temperament
ever ready to go with the humour of those about him will always be sure
of its meed of adventure.  Such has mine been; and with no greater
pretension than to chronicle a few of the scenes in which I have borne a
part, and revive the memory of the other actors in them--some, alas! Now
no more--I have ventured upon these "Confessions."

If I have not here selected that portion of my life which most abounded
in striking events and incidents most worthy of recording, my excuse is
simply, because being my first appearance upon the boards, I preferred
accustoming myself to the look of the house, while performing the "Cock,"
to coming before the audience in the more difficult part of Hamlet.

As there are unhappily impracticable people in the world, who, as Curran
expressed it, are never content to know "who killed the gauger, if you
can't inform them who wore his corduroys"--to all such I would, in deep
humility, say, that with my "Confessions" they have nothing to do--I have
neither story nor moral--my only pretension to the one, is the detail of
a passion which marked some years of my life; my only attempt at the
other, the effort to show how prolific in hair-breadth 'scapes may a
man's career become, who, with a warm imagination and easy temper,
believes too much, and rarely can feign a part without forgetting that he
is acting.  Having said thus much, I must once more bespeak the
indulgence never withheld from a true penitent, and at once begin my
"Confessions."



CHAPTER I.

ARRIVAL IN CORK--CIVIC FESTIVITIES--PRIVATE THEATRICALS.

It was on a splendid morning in the autumn of the year 181_ that the
Howard transport, with four hundred of his Majesty's 4_th Regt., dropped
anchor in the beautiful harbour of Cove; the sea shone under the purple
light of the rising sun with a rich rosy hue, beautifully in contrast
with the different tints of the foliage of the deep woods already tinged
with the brown of autumn.  Spike Island lay "sleeping upon its broad
shadow," and the large ensign which crowns the battery was wrapped around
the flag-staff, there not being even air enough to stir it.  It was still
so early, that but few persons were abroad; and as we leaned over the
bulwarks, and looked now, for the first time for eight long years, upon
British ground, many an eye filled, and many a heaving breast told how
full of recollections that short moment was, and how different our
feelings from the gay buoyancy with which we had sailed from that same
harbour for the Peninsula; many of our best and bravest had we left
behind us, and more than one native to the land we were approaching had
found his last rest in the soil of the stranger.  It was, then, with a
mingled sense of pain and pleasure, we gazed upon that peaceful little
village, whose white cottages lay dotted along the edge of the harbour.
The moody silence our thoughts had shed over us was soon broken: the
preparations for disembarking had begun, and I recollect well to this
hour how, shaking off the load that oppressed my heart, I descended the
gangway, humming poor Wolfe's well-known song--

               "Why, soldiers, why
                Should we be melancholy, boys?"

And to this elasticity of spirits--whether the result of my profession,
or the gift of God--as Dogberry has it--I know not--I owe the greater
portion of the happiness I have enjoyed in a life, whose changes and
vicissitudes have equalled most men's.

Drawn up in a line along the shore, I could scarce refrain from a smile
at our appearance.  Four weeks on board a transport will certainly not
contribute much to the "personnel" of any unfortunate therein confined;
but when, in addition to this, you take into account that we had not
received new clothes for three years--if I except caps for our
grenadiers, originally intended for a Scotch regiment, but found to be
all too small for the long-headed generation.  Many a patch of brown and
grey, variegated the faded scarlet, "of our uniform," and scarcely a pair
of knees in the entire regiment did not confess their obligations to a
blanket.  But with all this, we shewed a stout, weather-beaten front,
that, disposed as the passer-by might feel to laugh at our expense, very
little caution would teach him it was fully as safe to indulge it in his
sleeve.

The bells from every steeple and tower rung gaily out a peal of welcome
as we marched into "that beautiful city called Cork," our band playing
"Garryowen"--for we had been originally raised in Ireland, and still
among our officers maintained a strong majority from that land of punch,
priests, and potatoes--the tattered flag of the regiment proudly waving
over our heads, and not a man amongst us whose warm heart did not bound
behind a Waterloo medal.  Well--well!  I am now--alas, that I should say
it--somewhat in the "sear and yellow;" and I confess, after the
experience of some moments of high, triumphant feeling, that I never
before felt within me, the same animating, spirit-filling glow of
delight, as rose within my heart that day, as I marched at the head
of my company down George's-street.

We were soon settled in barracks; and then began a series of
entertainments on the side of the civic dignities of Cork, which soon led
most of us to believe that we had only escaped shot and shell to fall
less gloriously beneath champagne and claret.  I do not believe there is
a coroner in the island who would have pronounced but the one verdict
over the regiment--"Killed by the mayor and corporation," had we so
fallen.

First of all, we were dined by the citizens of Cork--and, to do them
justice, a harder drinking set of gentlemen no city need boast; then we
were feasted by the corporation; then by the sheriffs; then came the
mayor, solus; then an address, with a cold collation, that left eight of
us on the sick-list for a fortnight; but the climax of all was a grand
entertainment given in the mansion-house, and to which upwards of two
thousand were invited.  It was a species of fancy ball, beginning by a
dejeune at three o'clock in the afternoon, and ending--I never yet met
the man who could tell when it ended; as for myself, my finale partook a
little of the adventurous, and I may as well relate it.

After waltzing for about an hour with one of the prettiest girls I ever
set eyes upon, and getting a tender squeeze of the hand, as I restored
her to a most affable-looking old lady in a blue turban and a red velvet
gown who smiled most benignly on me, and called me "Meejor," I retired to
recruit for a new attack, to a small table, where three of ours were
quaffing "ponche a la Romaine," with a crowd of Corkagians about them,
eagerly inquiring after some heroes of their own city, whose deeds of
arms they were surprised did not obtain special mention from "the Duke."
I soon ingratiated myself into this well-occupied clique, and dosed them
with glory to their hearts' content.  I resolved at once to enter into
their humour; and as the "ponche" mounted up to my brain I gradually
found my acquaintanceship extend to every family and connexion in the
country.

"Did ye know Phil Beamish of the 3_th, sir?" said a tall, red-faced,
red-whiskered, well-looking gentleman, who bore no slight resemblance
to Feargus O'Connor.

"Phil Beamish!" said I.  "Indeed I did, sir, and do still; and there is
not a man in the British army I am prouder of knowing."  Here, by the
way, I may mention that I never heard the name till that moment.

"You don't say so, sir?" said Feargus--for so I must call him, for
shortness sake.  "Has he any chance of the company yet, sir?"

"Company!" said I, in astonishment.  "He obtained his majority three
months since.  You cannot possibly have heard from lately, or you would
have known that?"

"That's true, sir.  I never heard since he quitted the 3_th to go to
Versailles, I think they call it, for his health.  But how did he get the
step, sir?"

"Why, as to the company, that was remarkable enough!" said I, quaffing
off a tumbler of champagne, to assist my invention.  "You know it was
about four o'clock in the afternoon of the 18th that Napoleon ordered
Grouchy to advance with the first and second brigade of the Old Guard and
two regiments of chasseurs, and attack the position occupied by Picton
and the regiments under his command.  Well, sir, on they came, masked by
the smoke of a terrific discharge of artillery, stationed on a small
eminence to our left, and which did tremendous execution among our poor
fellows--on they came, Sir; and as the smoke cleared partially away we
got a glimpse of them, and a more dangerous looking set I should not
desire to see: grizzle-bearded, hard-featured, bronzed fellows, about
five-and-thirty or forty years of age; their beauty not a whit improved
by the red glare thrown upon their faces and along the whole line by each
flash of the long twenty-fours that were playing away to the right.  Just
at this moment Picton rode down the line with his staff, and stopping
within a few paces of me, said, 'They're coming up; steady, boys; steady
now: we shall have something to do soon.'  And then, turning sharply
round, he looked in the direction of the French battery, that was
thundering away again in full force, 'Ah, that must be silenced,' said
he, 'Where's Beamish?'--"Says Picton!" interrupted Feargus, his eyes
starting from their sockets, and his mouth growing wider every moment, as
he listed with the most intense interest.  "Yes," said I, slowly; and
then, with all the provoking nonchalance of an Italian improvisatore, who
always halts at the most exciting point of his narrative, I begged a
listener near me to fill my glass from the iced punch beside him.  Not a
sound was heard as I lifted the bumper to my lips; all were breathless in
their wound-up anxiety to hear of their countryman who had been selected
by Picton--for what, too, they knew not yet, and, indeed, at this instant
I did not know myself, and nearly laughed outright, for the two of our
men who had remained at the table had so well employed their interval of
ease as to become very pleasantly drunk, and were listening to my
confounded story with all the gravity and seriousness in the world.

"'Where's Beamish?' said Picton.  'Here, sir,' said Phil stepping out
from the line and touching his cap to the general, who, taking him apart
for a few minutes, spoke to him with great animation.   We did not know
what he said; but before five minutes were over, there was Phil with
three companies of light-bobs drawn up at our left; their muskets at the
charge, they set off at a round trot down the little steep which closed
our flank.  We had not much time to follow their movements, for our own
amusement began soon; but I well remember, after repelling the French
attack, and standing in square against two heavy charges of cuirassiers,
the first thing I saw where the French battery had stood, was Phil
Beamish and about a handful of brave fellows, all that remained from the
skirmish.  He captured two of the enemy's field-pieces, and was 'Captain
Beamish' on the day after."

"Long life to him," said at least a dozen voices behind and about me,
while a general clinking of decanters and smacking of lips betokened that
Phil's health with all the honours was being celebrated.  For myself, I
was really so engrossed by my narrative, and so excited by the "ponche,"
that I saw or heard very little of what was passing around, and have only
a kind of dim recollection of being seized by the hand by "Feargus," who
was Beamish's brother, and who, in the fullness of his heart, would have
hugged me to his breast, if I had not opportunely been so overpowered as
to fall senseless under the table.

When I first returned to consciousness, I found myself lying exactly
where I had fallen.  Around me lay heaps of slain--the two of "ours"
amongst the number.  One of them--I remember he was the adjutant--held in
his hand a wax candle (three to the pound).  Whether he had himself
seized it in the enthusiasm of my narrative of flood and field, or it had
been put there by another, I know not, but he certainly cut a droll
figure.  The room we were in was a small one off the great saloon, and
through the half open folding-door I could clearly perceive that the
festivities were still continued.  The crash of fiddles and French horns,
and the tramp of feet, which had lost much of their elasticity since the
entertainments began, rang through my ears, mingled with the sounds "down
the middle," "hands across," "here's your partner, Captain."  What hour
of the night or morning it then was, I could not guess; but certainly the
vigor of the party seemed little abated, if I might judge from the
specimens before me, and the testimony of a short plethoric gentleman,
who stood wiping his bald head, after conducting his partner down
twenty-eight couple, and who, turning to his friend, said, "Oh, the
distance is nothing, but it is the pace that kills."

The first evidence I shewed of any return to reason, was a strong
anxiety to be at my quarters; but how to get there I knew not.  The faint
glimmering of sense I possessed told me that "to stand was to fall," and
I was ashamed to go on all-fours, which prudence suggested.

At this moment I remembered I had brought with me my cane, which, from a
perhaps pardonable vanity, I was fond of parading.  It was a present from
the officers of my regiment--many of them, alas, since dead--and had a
most splendid gold head, with a stag at the top--the arms of the
regiment.  This I would not have lost for any consideration I can
mention; and this now was gone!  I looked around me on every side; I
groped beneath the table; I turned the sleeping sots who lay about in no
very gentle fashion; but, alas, it was gone.  I sprang to my feet and
only then remembered how unfit I was to follow up the search, as tables,
chairs, lights, and people seemed all rocking and waving before me.
However, I succeeded in making my way, through one room into another,
sometimes guiding my steps along the walls; and once, as I recollect,
seeking the diagonal of a room, I bisected a quadrille with such
ill-directed speed, as to run foul of a Cork dandy and his partner who
were just performing the "en avant:" but though I saw them lie tumbled
in the dust by the shock of my encounter--for I had upset them--I still
held on the even tenor of my way.  In fact, I had feeling for but one
loss; and, still in pursuit of my cane, I reached the hall-door.  Now,
be it known that the architecture of the Cork Mansion House has but one
fault, but that fault is a grand one, and a strong evidence of how
unsuited English architects are to provide buildings for a people whose
tastes and habits they but imperfectly understand--be it known, then,
that the descent from the hall-door to the street was by a flight of
twelve stone steps.  How I should ever get down these was now my
difficulty.  If Falstaff deplored "eight yards of uneven ground as being
three score and ten miles a foot," with equal truth did I feel that
these twelve awful steps were worse to me than would be M'Gillicuddy
Reeks in the day-light, and with a head clear from champagne.

While I yet hesitated, the problem resolved itself; for, gazing down upon
the bright gravel, brilliantly lighted by the surrounding lamps, I lost
my balance, and came tumbling and rolling from top to bottom, where I
fell upon a large mass of some soft substance, to which, in all
probability, I owe my life.  In a few seconds I recovered my senses, and
what was my surprise to find that the downy cushion beneath, snored most
audibly!  I moved a little to one side, and then discovered that in
reality it was nothing less than an alderman of Cork, who, from his
position, I concluded had shared the same fate with myself; there he lay,
"like a warrior taking his rest," but not with his "martial cloak around
him," but a much more comfortable and far more costly robe--a scarlet
gown of office--with huge velvet cuffs and a great cape of the same
material.  True courage consists in presence of mind; and here mine came
to my aid at once: recollecting the loss I had just sustained, and
perceiving that all was still about me, with that right Peninsular maxim,
that reprisals are fair in an enemy's camp, I proceeded to strip the
slain; and with some little difficulty--partly, indeed, owing to my
unsteadiness on my legs--I succeeded in denuding the worthy alderman, who
gave no other sign of life during the operation than an abortive effort
to "hip, hip, hurra," in which I left him, having put on the spoil, and
set out on my way the the barrack with as much dignity of manner as I
could assume in honour of my costume.  And here I may mention (en
parenthese) that a more comfortable morning gown no man ever possessed,
and in its wide luxuriant folds I revel, while I write these lines.

When I awoke on the following day I had considerable difficulty in
tracing the events of the past evening.  The great scarlet cloak,
however, unravelled much of the mystery, and gradually the whole of my
career became clear before me, with the single exception of the episode
of Phil Beamish, about which my memory was subsequently refreshed--but I
anticipate.  Only five appeared that day at mess; and, Lord! What
spectres they were!--yellow as guineas; they called for soda water
without ceasing, and scarcely spoke a word to each other.  It was plain
that the corporation of Cork was committing more havoc among us than
Corunna or Waterloo, and that if we did not change our quarters, there
would be quick promotion in the corps for such as were "seasoned
gentlemen."  After a day or two we met again together, and then what
adventures were told--each man had his own story to narrate; and from the
occurrences detailed, one would have supposed years had been passing,
instead of the short hours of an evening party.  Mine were indeed among
the least remarkable; but I confess that the air of vraisemblance
produced by my production of the aldermanic gown gave me the palm above
all competitors.

Such was our life in Cork--dining, drinking, dancing, riding steeple
chases, pigeon shooting, and tandem driving--filling up any little
interval that was found to exist between a late breakfast, and the time
to dress for dinner; and here I hope I shall not be accused of a tendency
to boasting, while I add, that among all ranks and degrees of men, and
women too, there never was a regiment more highly in estimation than the
4_th.  We felt the full value of all the attentions we were receiving;
and we endeavoured, as best we might, to repay them.  We got up Garrison
Balls and Garrison Plays, and usually performed one or twice a week
during the winter.  Here I shone conspicuously; in the morning I was
employed painting scenery and arranging the properties; as it grew later,
I regulated the lamps, and looked after the foot-lights, mediating
occasionally between angry litigants, whose jealousies abound to the full
as much, in private theatricals, as in the regular corps dramatique.
Then, I was also leader in the orchestra; and had scarcely to speak the
prologues.  Such are the cares of greatness: to do myself justice, I did
not dislike them; though, to be sure, my taste for the drama did cost me
a little dear, as will be seen in the sequel.

We were then in the full career of popularity.  Our balls pronounced the
very pleasantest; our plays far superior to any regular corps that had
ever honoured Cork with their talents; when an event occurred which threw
a gloom over all our proceedings, and finally put a stop to every project
for amusement, we had so completely given ourselves up to.  This was no
less than the removal of our Lieutenant-Colonel.  After thirty years of
active service in the regiment he then commanded, his age and
infirmities, increased by some severe wounds, demanded ease and repose;
he retired from us, bearing along with him the love and regard of every
man in the regiment.  To the old officers he was endeared by long
companionship, and undeviating friendship; to the young, he was in every
respect as a father, assisting by his advice, and guiding by his counsel;
while to the men, the best estimate of his worth appeared in the fact,
that corporeal punishment was unknown in the corps.  Such was the man we
lost; and it may well be supposed, that his successor, who, or whatever
he might be, came under circumstances of no common difficulty amongst us;
but, when I tell, that our new Lieutenant-Colonel was in every respect
his opposite, it may be believed how little cordiality he met with.

Lieutenant-Colonel Carden--for so I shall call him, although not his real
name--had not been a month at quarters, when he proved himself a regular
martinet; everlasting drills, continual reports, fatigue parties, and
ball practice, and heaven knows what besides, superseded our former
morning's occupation; and, at the end of the time I have metioned, we,
who had fought our way from Albuera to Waterloo, under some of the
severest generals of division, were pronounced a most disorderly and
ill-disciplined regiment, by a Colonel, who had never seen a shot fired
but at a review in Hounslow, or a sham-battle in the Fifteen Acres.  The
winter was now drawing to a close--already some little touch of spring
was appearing; as our last play for the season was announced, every
effort to close with some little additional effort was made; and each
performer in the expected piece was nerving himself for an effort beyond
his wont.  The Colonel had most unequivocally condemned these plays; but
that mattered not; they came not within his jurisdiction; and we took no
notice of his displeasure, further than sending him tickets, which were
as immediately returned as received.  From being the chief offender, I
had become particularly obnoxious; and he had upon more than one
occasion expressed his desire for an opportunity to visit me with his
vengeance; but being aware of his kind intentions towards me, I took
particular care to let no such opportunity occur.

On the morning in question, then, I had scarcely left my quarters, when
one of my brother officers informed me that the Colonel had made a great
uproar, that one of the bills of the play had been put up on his door
--which, with his avowed dislike to such representations, he considered as
intended to insult him: he added, too, that the Colonel attributed it to
me.  In this, however, he was wrong--and, to this hour, I never knew who
did it.  I had little time, and still less inclination, to meditate upon
the Colonel's wrath--the theatre had all my thoughts; and indeed it was a
day of no common exertion, for our amusements were to conclude with a
grand supper on the stage, to which all the elite of Cork were invited.
Wherever I went through the city--and many were my peregrinations--the
great placard of the play stared me in the fact; and every gate and
shuttered window in Cork, proclaimed, "THE PART OF OTHELLO, BY MR.
LORREQUER."

As evening drew near, my cares and occupations were redoubled.  My Iago
I had fears for--'tis true he was an admirable Lord Grizzle in Tom Thumb
--but then--then I had to paint the whole company, and bear all their
abuse besides, for not making some of the most ill-looking wretches,
perfect Apollos; but, last of all, I was sent for, at a quarter to
seven, to lace Desdemona's stays.  Start not, gentle reader--my fair
Desdemona--she "who might lie by an emperor's side, and command him
tasks"--was no other than the senior lieutenant of the regiment, and who
was a great a votary of the jolly god as honest Cassio himself.  But I
must hasten on--I cannot delay to recount our successes in detail.  Let
it suffice to say, that, by universal consent, I was preferred to Kean;
and the only fault the most critical observer could find to the
representative of Desdemona, was a rather unlady-like fondness for
snuff.  But, whatever little demerits our acting might have displayed,
were speedily forgotten in a champagne supper.  There I took the head of
the table; and, in the costume of the noble Moor, toasted, made
speeches, returned thanks, and sung songs, till I might have exclaimed
with Othello himself, "Chaos was come again;"--and I believe I owe my
ever reaching the barrack that night to the kind offices of Desdemona,
who carried me the greater part of the way on her back.

The first waking thoughts of him who has indulged over-night, was not
among the most blissful of existence, and certainly the pleasure is not
increased by the consciousness that he is called on to the discharge of
duties to which a fevered pulse and throbbing temples are but ill-suited.
My sleep was suddenly broken in upon the morning after the play, but a
"row-dow-dow" beat beneath my window.  I jumped hastily from my bed, and
looked out, and there, to my horror, perceived the regiment under arms.
It was one of our confounded colonel's morning drills; and there he stood
himself with the poor adjutant, who had been up all night, shivering
beside him.  Some two or three of the officers had descended; and the
drum was now summoning the others as it beat round the barrack-square.
I saw there was not a moment to lose, and proceeded to dress with all
despatch; but, to my misery, I discovered every where nothing but
theatrical robes and decorations--there lay a splendid turban, here a
pair of buskins--a spangled jacket glittered on one table, and a jewelled
scimitar on the other.  At last I detected my "regimental small-clothes,"
&c. Most ignominiously thrust into a corner, in my ardour for my Moorish
robes the preceding evening.

I dressed myself with the speed of lightning; but as I proceeded in my
occupation-guess my annoyance to find that the toilet-table and glass,
ay, and even the basin-stand, had been removed to the dressing-room of
the theatre; and my servant, I suppose, following his master's example,
was too tipsy to remember to bring them back; so that I was unable to
procure the luxury of cold water--for now not a moment more remained--the
drum had ceased, and the men had all fallen in.  Hastily drawing on my
coat, I put on my shako, and buckling on my belt as dandy-like as might
be, hurried down the stairs to the barrack-yard.  By the time I got down,
the men were all drawn up in line along the square; while the adjutant
was proceeding to examine their accoutrements, &c. as he passed down.
The colonel and the officers were standing in a group, but no conversing.
The anger of the commanding officer appeared still to continue, and there
was a dead silence maintained on both sides.  To reach the spot where
they stood, I had to pass along part of the line.  In doing so, how shall
I convey my amazement at the faces that met me--a general titter ran
along the entire rank, which not even their fears for consequences seemed
able to repress--for an effort, on the part of many, to stifle the laugh,
only ended in a still louder burst of merriment.  I looked to the far
side of the yard for an explanation, but there was nothing there to
account for it.  I now crossed over to where the officers were standing,
determining in my own mind to investigate the occurrence thoroughly, when
free from the presence of the colonel, to whom any representation of ill
conduct always brought a punishment far exceeding the merits of the case.

Scarcely had I formed this resolve, when I reached the group of officers;
but the moment I came near, one general roar of laughter saluted me,--the
like of which I never before heard--I looked down at my costume,
expecting to discover that, in my hurry to dress, I had put on some of
the garments of Othello--No: all was perfectly correct.  I waited for a
moment, till the first burst of their merriment over, I should obtain a
clue to the jest.  But their mirth appeared to increase.  Indeed poor
G----, the senior major, one of the gravest men in Europe, laughed till
the tears ran down his cheeks; and such was the effect upon me, that I
was induced to laugh too--as men will sometimes, from the infectious
nature of that strange emotion; but, no sooner did I do this, than their
fun knew no bounds, and some almost screamed aloud, in the excess of
their merriment; just at this instant the Colonel, who had been examining
some of the men, approached our group, advancing with an air of evident
displeasure, as the shouts of loud laughter continued.  As he came up,
I turned hastily round, and touching my cap, wished him good morning.
Never shall I forget the look he gave me.  If a glance could have
annihilated any man, his would have finished me.  For a moment his face
became purple with rage, his eye was almost hid beneath his bent brow,
and he absolutely shook with passion.

"Go, Sir," said he at length, as soon as he was able to find utterance
for his words; "Go, sir, to your quarters; and before you leave them, a
court-martial shall decide, if such continued insult to your commanding
officer, warrants your name being in the Army List."

"What the devil can all this mean?" I said, in a half-whisper, turning to
the others.  But there they stood, their handkerchiefs to their mouths,
and evidently choking with suppressed laughter.

"May I beg, Colonel C_____," said I----

"To your quarters, sir," roared the little man, in the voice of a lion.
And with a haughty wave of his hand, prevented all further attempt on my
part to seek explanation.

"They're all mad, every man of them," I muttered, as I betook byself
slowly back to my rooms, amid the same evidences of mirth my first
appearance had excited--which even the Colonel's presence, feared as
he was, could not entirely subdue.

With the air of a martyr I trod heavily up the stairs, and entered my
quarters, meditating within myself, awful schemes for vengeance, on the
now open tyranny of my Colonel; upon whom, I too, in my honest rectitude
of heart, vowed to have "a court-martial."  I threw myself upon a chair,
and endeavoured to recollect what circumstance of the past evening could
have possibly suggested all the mirth in which both officers and men
seemed to participate equally; but nothing could I remember, capable of
solving the mystery,--surely the cruel wrongs of the manly Othello were
no laughter-moving subject.

I rang the bell hastily for my servant.  The door opened.

"Stubbes," said I, "are you aware"----

I had only got so far in my question, when my servant, one of the most
discreet of men, put on a broad grin, and turned away towards the door to
hide his face.

"What the devil does this mean?" said I, stamping with passion; "he is as
bad as the rest.  Stubbes," and this I spoke with the most grave and
severe tone, "what is the meaning of the insolence?"

"Oh, sir," said the man; "Oh, sir, surely you did not appear on parade
with that face?" and then he burst into a fit of the most uncontrollable
laughter.

Like lightning a horrid doubt shot across my mind.  I sprung over to the
dressing-glass, which had been replaced, and oh: horror of horrors!
There I stood as black as the king of Ashantee.  The cursed dye which I
had put on for Othello, I had never washed off,--and there with a huge
bear-skin shako, and a pair of black, bushy whiskers, shone my huge,
black, and polished visage, glowering at itself in the looking-glass.

My first impulse, after amazement had a little subsided, was to laugh
immoderately; in this I was joined by Stubbes, who, feeling that his
mirth was participated in, gave full vent to his risibility.  And,
indeed, as I stood before the glass, grinning from ear to ear, I felt
very little surprise that my joining in the laughter of my brother
officers, a short time before, had caused an increase of their merriment.
I threw myself upon a sofa, and absolutely laughed till my sides ached,
when, the door opening, the adjutant made his appearance.  He looked for
a moment at me, then at Stubbes, and then burst out himself, as loud as
either of us.  When he had at length recovered himself, he wiped his face
with his handkerchief, and said, with a tone of much gravity:--

"But, my dear Lorrequer, this will be a serious--a devilish serious
affair.  You know what kind of man Colonel C____ is; and you are aware,
too, you are not one of his prime favourites.  He is firmly convinced
that you intended to insult him, and nothing will convince him to the
contrary.  We told him how it must have occurred, but he will listen to
no explanation."

I thought for one second before I replied, my mind, with the practised
rapidity of an old campaigner, took in all the pros and cons of the case;
I saw at a glance, it were better to brave the anger of the Colonel, come
in what shape it might, than be the laughing-stock of the mess for life,
and with a face of the greatest gravity and self-possession, said,

"Well, adjutant, the Colonel is right.  It was no mistake!  You know I
sent him tickets yesterday for the theatre.  Well, he returned them; this
did not annoy me, but on one account, I had made a wager with Alderman
Gullable, that the Colonel should see me in Othello--what was to be done?
Don't you see, now, there was only one course, and I took it, old boy,
and have won my bet!"

"And lost your commission for a dozen of champagne, I suppose," said the
adjutant.

"Never mind, my dear fellow," I repled; "I shall get out of this scrape,
as I have done many others."

"But what do you intend doing?"

"Oh, as to that," said I, "I shall, of course, wait on the Colonel
immediately; pretend to him that it was a mere blunder, from the
inattention of my servant--hand over Stubbes to the powers that punish,
(here the poor fellow winced a little,) and make my peace as well as I
can.  But, adjutant, mind," said I, "and give the real version to all our
fellows, and tell them to make it public as much as they please."

"Never fear," said he, as he left the room still laughing, "they shall
all know the true story; but I wish with all my heart you were well out
of it."

I now lost no time in making my toilet, and presented myself at the
Colonel's quarters.  It is no pleasure for me to recount these passages
in my life, in which I have had to hear the "proud man's contumely."  I
shall therefore merely observe, that after a very long interview, the
Colonel accepted my apologies, and we parted.

Before a week elapsed, the story had gone far and near; every
dinner-table in Cork had laughed at it.  As for me, I attained immortal
honour for my tact and courage.  Poor Gullable readily agreed to favour
the story, and gave us a dinner as the lost wager, and the Colonel was
so unmercifully quizzed on the subject, and such broad allusions to his
being humbugged were given in the Cork papers, that he was obliged to
negociate a change of quarters with another regiment, to get out of the
continual jesting, and in less than a month we marched to Limerick, to
relieve, as it was reported, the 9th, ordered for foreign service, but,
in reality, only to relieve Lieut.-Colonel C____, quizzed beyond
endurance.

However, if the Colonel had seemed to forgive, he did not forget, for the
very second week after our arrival in Limerick, I received one morning at
my breakfast-table, the following brief note from our adjutant:--

     "My Dear Lorrequer--The Colonel has received orders to despatch two
     companies to some remote part of the county Clare; as you have 'done
     the state some service,' you are selected for the beautiful town of
     Kilrush, where, to use the eulogistic language of the geography
     books, 'there is a good harbour, and a market plentifully supplied
     with fish.'  I have just heard of the kind intention in store for
     you, and lose no time in letting you know.

     "God give you a good deliverance from the 'garcons lances,' as the
     Moniteur calls the Whiteboys, and believe me ever your's, Charles
     Curzon."

I had scarcely twice read over the adjutant's epistle, when I received
an official notification from the Colonel, directing me to proceed to
Kilrush, then and there to afford all aid and assistance in suppressing
illicit distillation, when called on for that purpose; and other similar
duties too agreeable to recapitulate.  Alas!  Alas!  Othello's
occupation: was indeed gone!  The next morning at sun-rise saw me on my
march, with what appearance of gaiety I could muster, but in reality very
much chopfallen at my banishment, and invoking sundry things upon the
devoted head of the Colonel, which he would by no means consider as
"blessings."

How short-sighted are we mortals, whether enjoying all the pump and state
of royalty, or marching like myself at the head of a company of his
Majesty's 4_th.

Little, indeed, did I anticipate that the Siberia to which I fancied I
was condemned should turn out the happiest quarters my fate ever threw me
into.  But this, including as it does, one of the most important events
of my life, I reserve for another chapter.--

"What is that place called, Sergeant?"--"Bunratty Castle, sir,"

"Where do we breakfast?"--"At Clare Island, sir."

"March away, boys!"



CHAPTER II.

DETACHMENT DUTY--THE BURTON ARMS--CALLONBY.

For a week after my arrival at Kilrush, my life was one of the most
dreary monotony.  The rain, which had begun to fall as I left Limerick,
continued to descend in torrents, and I found myself a close prisoner in
the sanded parlour of "mine inn."  At no time would such "durance vile"
have been agreeable; but now, when I contrasted it with all I had left
behind at head quarters, it was absolutely maddening.  The pleasant
lounge in the morning, the social mess, and the agreeable evening party,
were all exchanged for a short promenade of fourteen feet in one
direction, and twelve in the other, such being the accurate measurement
of my "salle a manger."  A chicken, with legs as blue as a Highlander's
in winter, for my dinner; and the hours that all Christian mankind were
devoting to pleasant intercourse, and agreeable chit-chat, spent in
beating that dead-march to time, "the Devil's Tattoo," upon my ricketty
table, and forming, between whiles, sundry valorous resolutions to reform
my life, and "eschew sack and loose company."

My front-window looked out upon a long, straggling, ill-paved street,
with its due proportion of mud-heaps, and duck pools; the houses on
either side were, for the most part, dingy-looking edifices, with
half-doors, and such pretension to being shops as a quart of meal, or
salt, displayed in the window, confers; or sometimes two tobacco-pipes,
placed "saltier-wise," would appear the only vendible article in the
establishment.  A more wretched, gloomy-looking picture of woe-begone
poverty, I never beheld.

If I turned for consolation to the back of the house, my eyes fell upon
the dirty yard of a dirty inn; the half-thatched cow-shed, where two
famished animals mourned their hard fate,--"chewing the cud of sweet and
bitter fancy;" the chaise, the yellow post-chaise, once the pride and
glory of the establishment, now stood reduced from its wheels, and
ignominiously degraded to a hen-house; on the grass-grown roof a cock had
taken his stand, with an air of protective patronage to the feathered
inhabitants beneath:

               "To what base uses must we come at last."

That chaise, which once had conveyed the blooming bride, all blushes and
tenderness, and the happy groom, on their honeymoon visit to Ballybunion
and its romantic caves, or to the gigantic cliffs and sea-girt shores of
Moher--or with more steady pace and becoming gravity had borne along the
"going judge of assize,"--was now become a lying-in hospital for fowl,
and a nursery for chickens.  Fallen as I was myself from my high estate,
it afforded me a species of malicious satisfaction to contemplate these
sad reverses of fortune; and I verily believe--for on such slight
foundation our greatest resolves are built--that if the rain had
continued a week longer, I should have become a misanthropist for life.
I made many inquiries from my landlady as to the society of the place,
but the answers I received only led to greater despondence.  My
predecessor here, it seemed, had been an officer of a veteran battalion,
with a wife, and that amount of children which is algebraically expressed
by an X (meaning an unknown quantity).  He, good man, in his two years'
sojourn here, had been much more solicitous about his own affairs, than
making acquaintance with his neighbours; and at last, the few persons who
had been in the habit of calling on "the officer," gave up the practice;
and as there were no young ladies to refresh Pa's memory on the matter,
they soon forgot completely that such a person existed--and to this happy
oblivion I, Harry Lorrequer, succeeded, and was thus left without benefit
of clergy to the tender mercies of Mrs. Healy of the Burton arms.

As during the inundation which deluged the whole country around I was
unable to stir from the house, I enjoyed abundant opportunity of
cultivating the acquaintance of my hostess, and it is but fair that my
reader, who has journeyed so far with me, should have an introduction.

Mrs. Healy, the sole proprietor of the "Burton Arms," was of some five
and fifty--"or by'r lady," three score years, of a rubicund and hale
complexion; and though her short neck and corpulent figure might have set
her down as "doubly hazardous," she looked a good life for many years to
come.  In height and breadth she most nearly resembled a sugar-hogshead,
whose rolling, pitching motion, when trundled along on edge, she emulated
in her gait.  To the ungainliness of her figure her mode of dressing not
a little contributed.  She usually wore a thick linsey-wolsey gown, with
enormous pockets on either side, and, like Nora Creina's, it certainly
inflicted no undue restrictions upon her charms, but left

                   "Every beauty free,
                    To sink or swell as heaven pleases."

Her feet--ye gods! Such feet--were apparelled in listing slippers, over
which the upholstery of her ancles descended, and completely relieved the
mind of the spectator as to the superincumbent weight being
disproportioned to the support; I remember well my first impression on
seeing those feet and ancles reposing upon a straw footstool, while she
took her afternoon dose, and I wondered within myself if elephants were
liable to the gout.  There are few countenances in the world, that if
wishing to convey an idea of, we cannot refer to some well-known
standard; and thus nothing is more common than to hear comparisons with
"Vulcan--Venus--Nicodemus," and the like; but in the present case, I am
totally at a loss for any thing resembling the face of the worth Mrs.
Healy, except it be, perhaps, that most ancient and sour visage we used
to see upon old circular iron rappers formerly--they make none of them
now--the only difference being, that Mrs. Healy's nose had no ring
through it; I am almost tempted to add, "more's the pity."

Such was she in "the flesh;" would that I could say, she was more
fascinating in the "spirit!" but alas, truth, from which I never may
depart in these "my confessions," constrains me to acknowledge the
reverse.  Most persons in this miserable world of ours, have some
prevailing, predominating characteristic, which usually gives the tone
and colour to all their thoughts and actions, forming what we denominate
temperament; this we see actuating them, now more, now less; but rarely,
however, is this great spring of action without its moments of repose.
Not so with her of whom I have been speaking.  She had but one passion
--but, like Aaron's rod, it had a most consuming tendency--and that was to
scold, and abuse, all whom hard fate had brought within the unfortunate
limits of her tyranny.  The English language, comprehensive as it is,
afforded not epithets strong enough for her wrath, and she sought among
the more classic beauties of her native Irish, such additional ones as
served her need, and with this holy alliance of tongues, she had been for
years long, the dread and terror of the entire village.

"The dawning of morn, the day-light sinking," ay, and even the "night's
dull hours," it was said, too, found her labouring in her congenial
occupation; and while thus she continued to "scold and grow fat," her
inn, once a popular and frequented one, became gradually less and less
frequented, and the dragon of the Rhine-fells did not more effectually
lay waste the territory about him, than did the evil influence of her
tongue spread desolation and ruin around her.  Her inn, at the time of my
visit, had not been troubled with even a passing traveller for many
months; and, indeed, if I had any, even the least foreknowledge of the
character of my hostess, its privacy should have still remained uninvaded
for some time longer.

I had not been many hours installed, when I got a specimen of her powers;
and before the first week was over, so constant and unremitting were her
labours in this way, that I have upon the occasion of a slight lull in
the storm, occasioned by her falling asleep, actually left my room to
inquire if anything had gone wrong, in the same was as the miller is said
to awake, if the mill stops.  I trust I have said enough, to move the
reader's pity and compassion for my situation--one more miserable it is
difficult to conceive.  It may be though that much might be done by
management, and that a slight exercise of the favourite Whig plan of
concilliation, might avail.  Nothing of the kind.  She was proof against
all such arts; and what was still worse, there was no subject, no
possible circumstance, no matter, past, present, or to come, that she
could not wind by her diabolical ingenuity, into some cause of offence;
and then came the quick transition to instant punishment.  Thus, my
apparently harmless inquiry as to the society of the neighbourhood,
suggested to her--a wish on my part to make acquaintance--therefore to
dine out--therefore not to dine at home--consequently to escape paying
half-a-crown and devouring a chicken--therefore to defraud her, and
behave, as she would herself observe, "like a beggarly scullion, with his
four shillings a day, setting up for a gentleman," &c.

By a quiet and Job-like endurance of all manner of taunting suspicions,
and unmerited sarcasms, to which I daily became more reconciled, I
absolutely rose into something like favour; and before the first month of
my banishment expired, had got the length of an invitation to tea, in her
own snuggery--an honour never known to be bestowed on any before, with
the exception of Father Malachi Brennan, her ghostly adviser; and even
he, it is said, never ventured on such an approximation to intimacy,
until he was, in Kilrush phrase, "half screwed," thereby meaning more
than half tipsy.  From time to time thus, I learned from my hostess such
particulars of the country and its inhabitants as I was desirous of
hearing; and among other matters, she gave me an account of the great
landed proprietor himself, Lord Callonby, who was daily expected at his
seat, within some miles of Kilrush, at the same time assuring me that I
need not be looking so "pleased and curling out my whiskers;" "that
they'd never take the trouble of asking even the name of me."  This,
though neither very courteous, nor altogether flattering to listen to,
was no more than I had already learned from some brother officers who
knew this quarter, and who informed me that the Earl of Callonby, though
only visiting his Irish estates every three or four years, never took the
slightest notice of any of the military in his neighbourhood; nor, indeed
did he mix with the country gentry, confining himself to his own familyl,
or the guests, who usually accompanied him from England, and remained
during his few weeks' stay.  My impression of his lordship was therefore
not calculated to cheer my solitude by any prospect of his rendering ti
lighter.

The Earl's family consisted of her ladyship, an only son, nearly of age,
and two daughters; the eldest, Lady Jane, had the reputation of being
extremely beautiful; and I remembered when she came out in London, only
the year before, hearing nothing but praises of the grace and elegance of
her manner, united to the most classic beauty of her face and figure.
The second daughter was some years younger, and said to be also very
handsome; but as yet she had not been brought into society.  Of the son,
Lord Kilkee, I only heard that he had been a very gay fellow at Oxford,
where he was much liked, and although not particularly studious, had
given evidence of talent.

Such were the few particulars I obtained of my neighbours, and thus
little did I know of those who were so soon to exercise a most important
influence upon my future life.

After some weeks' close confinement, which, judging from my feelings
alone, I should have counted as many years, I eagerly seized the
opportunity of the first glimpse of sunshine to make a short excursion
along the coast; I started early in the morning, and after a long stroll
along the bold headlands of Kilkee, was returning late in the evening to
my lodgings.  My path lay across a wild, bleak moor, dotted with low
clumps of furze, and not presenting on any side the least trace of
habitation.  In wading through the tangled bushes, my dog "Mouche"
started a hare; and after a run "sharp, short, and decisive," killed it
at the bottom of a little glen some hundred yards off.

I was just patting my dog, and examining the prize, when I heard a
crackling among the low bushes near me; and on looking up, perceived,
about twenty paces distant, a short, thick-set man, whose fustian jacket
and leathern gaiters at once pronounced him the gamekeeper; he stood
leaning upon his gun, quietly awaiting, as it seemed, for any movement on
my part, before he interfered.  With one glance I detected how matters
stood, and immediately adopting my usual policy of "taking the bull by
the horns," called out, in a tone of very sufficient authority,

"I say, my man, are you his lordship's gamekeeper?"

Taking off his hat, the man approached me, and very respectfully informed
me that he was.

"Well then," said I, "present this hare to his lordship with my respects;
here is my card, and say I shall be most happy to wait on him in the
morning, and explain the circumstance."

The man took the card, and seemed for some moments undecided how to act;
he seemed to think that probably he might be ill-treating a friend of his
lordship's if he refused; and on the other hand might be merely
"jockeyed" by some bold-faced poacher.  Meanwhile I whistled my dog close
up, and humming an air, with great appearance of indifference, stepped
out homeward.  By this piece of presence of mind I saved poor "Mouche;"
for I saw at a glance, that, with true gamekeeper's law, he had been
destined to death the moment he had committed the offence.

The following morning, as I sat at breakfast, meditating upon the events
of the preceding day, and not exactly determined how to act, whether to
write to his lordship explaining how the matter occurred, or call
personally, a loud rattling on the pavement drew me to the window.  As
the house stood at the end of a street, I could not see in the direction
the noise came; but as I listened, a very handsome tandem turned the
corner of the narrow street, and came along towards the hotel at a long,
sling trot; the horses were dark chestnuts, well matched, and shewing a
deal of blood.  The carriage was a dark drab, with black wheels; the
harness all of the same colour.  The whole turn-out--and I was an amateur
of that sort of thing--was perfect; the driver, for I come to him last,
as he was the last I looked at, was a fashionable looking young fellow,
plainly, but knowingly, dressed, and evidently handling the "ribbon,"
like an experienced whip.

After bringing his nags up to the inndoor in very pretty style, he gave
the reins to his servant, and got down.  Before I was well aware of it,
the door of my room opened, and the gentleman entered with a certain easy
air of good breeding, and saying,

"Mr. Lorrequer, I presume--" introduced himself as Lord Kilkee.

I immediately opened the conversation by an apology for my dog's
misconduct on the day before, and assured his lordship that I knew the
value of a hare in a hunting country, and was really sorry for the
circumstance.

"Then I must say," replied his lordship, "Mr. Lorrequer is the only
person who regrets the matter; for had it not been for this, it is more
than probable we should never have known we were so near neighbours; in
fact, nothing could equal our amazement at hearing were playing the
'Solitaire' down here.  You must have found it dreadfully heavy, 'ad have
thought us downright savages.'  But then I must explain to you, that my
father has made some 'rule absolute' about visiting when down here.  And
though I know you'll not consider it a compliment, yet I can assure you
there is not another man I know of he would pay attention to, but
yourself.  He made two efforts to get here this morning, but the gout
'would not be denied,' and so he deputed a most inferior 'diplomate;' and
now will you let me return with some character from my first mission, and
inform my friends that you will dine with us to-day at seven--a mere
family party; but make your arrangements to stop all night and to-morrow:
we shall find some work for my friend there on the hearth; what do you
call him, Mr. Lorrequer?"

"'Mouche'--come here, 'Mouche.'"

"Ah 'Mouche,' come here, my fine fellow--a splendid dog, indeed; very
tall for a thorough-bred; and now you'll not forget, seven, 'temps
militaire,' and so, sans adieu."

And with these words his lordship shook me heartily by the hand; and
before two minutes had elapsed, had wrapped his box-coat once more across
him, and was round the corner.

I looked for a few moments on the again silent street, and was almost
tempted to believe I was in a dream, so rapidly had the preceding moments
passed over; and so surprised was I to find that the proud Earl of
Callonby, who never did the "civil thing" any where, should think proper
to pay attention to a poor sub in a marching regiment, whose only claim
on his acquaintance was the suspicion of poaching on his manor.  I
repeated over and over all his lordship's most polite speeches, trying to
solve the mystery of them; but in vain: a thousand explanations occurred,
but none of them I felt at all satisfactory; that there was some mystery
somewhere, I had no doubt; for I remarked all through that Lord Kilkee
laid some stress upon my identity, and even seemed surprised at my being
is such banishment.  "Oh," thought I at last, "his lordship is about to
get up private theatricals, and has seen my Captain Absolute, or perhaps
my Hamlet"--I could not say "Othello" even to myself--"and is anxious to
get 'such unrivalled talent' even 'for one night only.'"

After many guesses this seemed the nearest I could think of; and by the
time I had finished my dressing for dinner, it was quite clear to me I
had solved all the secret of his lordship's attentions.

The road to "Callonby" was beautiful beyond any thing I had ever seen in
Ireland.  For upwards of two miles it led along the margin of the lofty
cliffs of Moher, now jutting out into bold promontories, and again
retreating, and forming small bays and mimic harbours, into which the
heavy swell of the broad Atlantic was rolling its deep blue tide.  The
evening was perfectly calm, and at a little distance from the shore the
surface of the sea was without a ripple.  The only sound breaking the
solemn stillness of the hour, was the heavy plash of the waves, as in
minute peals they rolled in upon the pebbly beach, and brought back with
them at each retreat, some of the larger and smoother stones, whose
noise, as they fell back into old ocean's bed, mingled with the din of
the breaking surf.  In one of the many little bays I passed, lay three or
four fishing smacks.  The sails were drying, and flapped lazily against
the mast.  I could see the figures of the men as they passed backwards ad
forwards upon the decks, and although the height was nearly eight hundred
feet, could hear their voices quite distinctly.  Upon the golden strand,
which was still marked with a deeper tint, where the tide had washed,
stood a little white cottage of some fisherman--at least, so the net
before the door bespoke it.  Around it, stood some children, whose merry
voices and laughing tones sometimes reached me where I was standing.  I
could not but think, as I looked down from my lofty eyrie, upon that
little group of boats, and that lone hut, how much of the "world" to the
humble dweller beneath, lay in that secluded and narrow bay.  There, the
deep sea, where their days were passed in "storm or sunshine,"--there,
the humble home, where at night they rested, and around whose hearth lay
all their cares and all their joys.  How far, how very far removed from
the busy haunts of men, and all the struggles and contentions of the
ambitious world; and yet, how short-sighted to suppose that even they had
not their griefs and sorrows, and that their humble lot was devoid of the
inheritance of those woes, which all are heirs to.

I turned reluctantly, from the sea-shore to enter the gate of the park,
and my path in a few moments was as completely screened from all prospect
of the sea, as though it had lain miles inland.  An avenue of tall and
ancient lime trees, so dense in their shadows as nearly to conceal the
road beneath, led for above a mile through a beautiful lawn, whose
surface, gently undulating, and studded with young clumps, was dotted
over with sheep.  At length, descending by a very steep road, I reached a
beautiful little stream, over which a rustic bridge was thrown.  As I
looked down upon the rippling stream beneath, on the surface of which the
dusky evening flies were dipping, I made a resolve, if I prospered in his
lordship's good graces, to devote a day to the "angle" there, before I
left the country.  It was now growing late, and remember Lord Kilkee's
intimation of "sharp seven," I threw my reins over my cob, "Sir Roger's"
neck, (for I had hitherto been walking,) and cantered up the steep hill
before me.  When I reached the top, I found myself upon a broad table
land, encircled by old and well-grown timber, and at a distance, most
tastefully half concealed by ornamental planting, I could catch some
glimpse of Callonby.  Before, however, I had time to look about me, I
heard the tramp of horses' feet behind, and in another moment two ladies
dashed up the steep behind, and came towards me, at a smart gallop,
followed by a groom, who, neither himself nor his horse, seemed to relish
the pace of his fair mistresses.  I moved off the road into the grass to
permit them to pass; but no sooner had they got abreast of me, than Sir
Roger, anxious for a fair start, flung up both heels at once, pricked up
his ears, and with a plunge that very nearly threw me from the saddle,
set off at top speed.  My first thought was for the ladies beside me,
and, to my utter horror, I now saw them coming alongin full gallop; their
horses had got off the road, and were, to my thinking, become quite
unmanageable.  I endeavoured to pull up, but all in vain.  Sir Roger had
got the bit between his teeth, a favourite trick of his, and I was
perfectly powerless to hold him by this time, they being mounted on
thoroughbreds, got a full neck before me, and the pace was not
tremendous, on we all came, each horse at his utmost stretch; they were
evidently gaining from the better stride of their cattle, and will it be
believed, or shall I venture to acknowledge it in these my confessions,
that I, who a moment before, would have given my best chance of
promotion, to be able to pull in my horse, would now have "pledged my
dukedom" to be able to give Sir Roger one cut of the whip unobserved.  I
leave it to the wise to decipher the rationale, but such is the fact.  It
was complete steeple-chasing, and my blood was up.

On we came, and I now perceived that about two hundred yards before me
stood an iron gate and piers, without any hedge or wall on either side;
before I could conjecture the meaning of so strange a thing in the midst
of a large lawn, I saw the foremost horse, now two or three lengths
before the other, still in advance of me, take two or three short
strides, and fly about eight feet over a sunk fence--the second followed
in the same style, the riders sitting as steadily as in the gallop.  It
was now my turn, and I confess, as I neared the dyke, I heartily wished
myself well over it, for the very possibility of a "mistake" was
maddening.  Sir Roger came on at a slapping pace, and when within two
yards of the brink, rose to it, and cleared it like a deer.  By the time
I had accomplished this feat, not the less to my satisfaction, that both
ladies had turned in the saddles to watch me, they were already far in
advance; they held on still at the same pace, round a small copse which
concealed them an instant from my view, and which, when I passed, I
perceived that they had just reached the hall door, and were dismounting.

On the steps stood a tall, elderly-looking, gentleman-like person, who I
rightly conjectured was his lordship.  I heard him laughing heartily as I
came up.  I at last succeeded in getting Sir Roger to a canter, and when
about twenty yards from where the group were standing, sprung off, and
hastened up to make my apologies as I best might, for my unfortunate
runaway.  I was fortunately spared this awkwardness of an explanation,
for his lordship, approaching me with his hand extended, said--

"Mr. Lorrequer is most welcome at Callonby.  I cannot be mistaken, I am
sure--I have the pleasure of addressing the nephew of my old friend, Sir
Guy Lorrequer of Elton.  I am indeed most happy to see you, and not the
less so, that you are safe and sound, which, five minutes since, I assure
you I had my fears for--"

Before I could assure his lordship that my fears were all for my
competitors in the race--for such in reality they were--he introduced me
to the two ladies, who were still standing beside him--"Lady Jane
Callonby; Mr. Lorrequer; Lady Catherine."

"Which of you, young ladies, may I ask, planned this escapade, for I see
by your looks, it was no accident?"

"I think, papa," said Lady Jane, "you must question Mr. Lorrequer on that
head; he certainly started first."

"I confess, indeed," said I, "such was the case."

"Well, you must confess, too, you were distanced," said Lady Jane, at the
same time, most terribly provoked, to be quizzed on such a matter; that
I, a steeple-chase horseman of the first water, should be twitted by a
couple of young ladies, on the score of a most manly exercise.  "But
come," said his lordship, "the first bell has rung long since, and I am
longing to ask Mr. Lorrequer all about my old college friend of forty
years ago.  So, ladies, hasten your toilet, I beseech you."

With these words, his lordship, taking my arm, led me into the
drawing-room, where we had not been many minutes till we were joined
by her ladyship, a tall stately handsome woman, of a certain age;
resolutely bent upon being both young and beautiful, in spite of time
and wrinkles; her reception of me, though not possessing the frankness
of his lordship, was still very polite, and intended to be even
gracious.  I now found by the reiterated inquiries for my old uncle, Sir
Guy, that he it was, and not Hamlet, to whom I owed my present notice,
and I must include it among my confessions, that it was about the first
advantage I ever derived from the relationship.  After half an hour's
agreeable chatting, the ladies entered, and then I had time to remark
the extreme beauty of their appearance; they were both wonderfully like,
and except that Lady Jane was taller and more womanly, it would have
been almost impossible to discriminate between them.

Lady Jane Callonby was then about twenty years of age, rather above the
middle size, and slightly disposed towards embonpoint; her eye was of the
deepest and most liquid blue, and rendered apparently darker, by long
lashes of the blackest jet--for such was the colour of her hair; her nose
slightly, but slightly, deviated from the straightness of the Greek, and
her upper lip was faultless, as were her mouth and chin; the whole lower
part of the face, from the perfect "chiselling," and from the character
of her head, had certainly a great air of hauteur, but the extreme
melting softness of her eyes took from this, and when she spoke, there
was a quiet earnestness in her mild and musical voice, that disarmed you
at once of connecting the idea of self with the speaker; the word
"fascinating," more than any other I know of, conveys the effect of her
appearance, and to produce it, she had more than any other woman I ever
met, that wonderful gift, the "l'art de plaire."

I was roused from my perhaps too earnest, because unconscious gaze, at
the lovely figure before me, by his Lordship saying, "Mr. Lorrequer, her
Ladyship is waiting for you."  I accordingly bowed, and, offering my arm,
led her into the dinner-room.  And here I draw rein for the present,
reserving for my next chapter--My Adventure at Callonby.



CHAPTER III.

LIFE AT CALLONBY--LOVE-MAKING--MISS O'DOWD'S ADVENTURE.

My first evening at Callonby passed off as nearly all first evenings do
every where.  His lordship was most agreeable, talked much of my uncle,
Sir Guy, whose fag he had been at Eton half a century before, promised me
some capital shooting in his preserves, discussed the state of politics;
and, as the second decanter of port "waned apace," grew wondrous
confidential, and told me of his intention to start his son for the
county at the next general election, such being the object which had
now conferred the honour of his presence on his Irish estates.

Her ladyship was most condescendingly civil, vouchsafed much tender
commiseration for my "exile," as she termed my quarters in Kilrush;
wondered how I could possibly exist in a marching regiment, (who had
never been in the cavalry in my life!)  Spoke quite feelingly on my
kindness in joining their stupid family party, for they were living, to
use her own phrase, "like hermits;" and wound up all by a playful
assurance that as she perceived, from all my answers, that I was bent on
preserving a strict incognito, she would tell no tales about me on her
return to "Town."  Now, it may readily be believed, that all this, and
many more of her ladyship's allusions, were a "Chaldee manuscript" to me;
that she knew certain facts of my family and relations, was certain; but
that she had interwoven in the humble web of my history, a very pretty
embroidery of fiction was equally so; and while she thus ran on, with
innumerable allusions to Lady Marys and Lord Johns, who she pretended to
suppose were dying to hear from me, I could not help muttering to myself
with good Christopher Sly, "And all this be true--then Lord be thanked
for my good amends;" for up to that moment I was an ungrateful man for
all this high and noble solicitude.  One dark doubt shot for an instant
across my brain.  Maybe her ladyship had "registered a vow" never to
syllable a name unchronicled by Debrett, or was actually only mystifying
me for mere amusement.  A minute's consideration dispelled this fear;
for I found myself treated "en Seigneur" by the whole family.  As for
the daughters of the house, nothing could possibly be more engaging than
their manner.  The eldest, Lady Jane, was pleased from my near
relationship to her father's oldest friend to receive me, "from the
first," on the most friendly footing; while, with the younger, Lady
Catherine, from her being less 'maniere' than her sister, my progress was
even greater; and thus, before we separated for the night, I contrived to
"take up my position" in such a fashion, as to be already looked upon as
one of the family party, to which object, Lord and indeed Lady Callonby
seemed most willing to contribute, and made me promise to spend the
entire of the following day at Callonby, and as many of the succeeding
ones as my military duties would permit.

As his lordship was wishing me "good night" at the door of the
drawing-room, he said, in a half whisper,

"We were ignorant yesterday, Mr. Lorrequer, how soon we should have had
the pleasure of seeing you here; and you are therefore condemned to a
small room off the library, it being the only one we can insure you as
being well aired.  I must therefore apprize you that you are not to be
shocked at finding yourself surrounded by every member of my family,
hung up in frames around you.  But as the room is usually my own
snuggery, I have resigned it without any alteration whatever."

The apartment for which his lordship had so strongly apologized, stood in
very pleasing contrast to my late one in Kilrush.  The soft Persian
carpet, on which one's feet sank to the very ankles; the brightly
polished dogs, upon which a blazing wood fire burned; the well
upholstered fauteuils which seemed to invite sleep without the trouble of
lying down for it; and last of all, the ample and luxurious bed, upon
whose rich purple hangings the ruddy glare of the fire threw a most
mellow light, was all a pleasing exchange for the "garniture" of the
"Hotel Healy."

"Certes, Harry Lorrequer," said I, as I threw myself upon a small ottoman
before the fire in all the slippered case, and abandon of a man who has
changed a dress-coat for a morning-gown; "Certes, thou art destined for
great things; even here, where fate had seemed 'to do its worst' to thee,
a little paradise opens, and what, to ordinary mortals had proved but a
'flat, stale, and most unprofitable' quarter, presents to thee all the
accumulated delight of a hospitable mansion, a kind, almost friendly,
host, a condescending Madame Mere, and daughters too!  Ah ye Gods!  But
what is this;" and here, for the first time, lifting up my eyes, I
perceived a beautiful water-colour drawing in the style of "Chalon,"
which was placed above the chimney-piece.  I rose at once, and taking a
candle, proceeded to examine it more minutely.  It was a portrait of Lady
Jane, a full-length too, and wonderfully like; there was more complexion,
and perhaps more roundness in the figure than her present appearance
would justify; but if any thing was gained in brilliancy, it was
certainly lost in point of expression; and I infinitely preferred her
pale, but beautifully fair countenance, to the rosy cheek of the picture;
the figure was faultless; the same easy grace, the result of perfect
symmetry and refinement together, which only one in a thousand of even
handsome girls possess, was pourtrayed to the life.  The more I looked,
the more I felt charmed with it.  Never had I seen any thing so truly
characteristic as this sketch, for it was scarcely more.  It was after
nearly an hour's quiet contemplation, that I began to remember the
lateness of the night; an hour, in which my thoughts had rambled from the
lovely object before me, to wonder at the situation in which I found
myself placed; for there was so much of "empressement" towards me, in the
manner of every member of the family, coupled with certain mistakes as to
my habits and acquaintances, as left me perfectly unable to unravel the
mystery which so evidently surrounded me.  "Perhaps," thought I, "Sir Guy
has written in my behalf to his lordship.  Oh, he would never do any
thing half so civil.  Well, to be sure, I shall astonish them at head
quarters; they'll not believe this.  I wonder if Lady Jane saw my
'Hamlet;' for they landed in Cork from Bristol about that time.  She is
indeed a most beautiful girl.  I wish I were a marquis, if it were only
for her sake.  Well, my Lord Callonby, you may be a very wise man in the
House of Lords; but, I would just ask, is it exactly prudent to introduce
into your family on terms of such perfect intimacy, a young, fascinating,
well-looking fellow, of four-and-twenty, albeit only a subaltern, with
two such daughters as you have?  Peut etre!  One thing is certain--I have
no cause of complaint; and so, good night, Lady Jane"--and with those
words I fell asleep, to dream of the deepest blue eyes, and the most
melting tones that ever reduced a poor lieutenant in a marching regiment
to curse his fate, that he could not call the Commander of the Forces his
father.

When I descended to the breakfast-room, I found the whole family
assembled in a group around Lord Kilkee, who had just returned from a
distant part of the county, where he had been canvassing the electors,
and spouting patriotism the day before.  He was giving an account of his
progress with much spirit and humour as I entered, but, on seeing me,
immediately came forward, and shook hands with me like an old
acquaintance.  By Lord Callonby and the ladies I was welcomed also
with much courtesy and kindness, ad some slight badinage passed upon my
sleeping, in what Lord Kilkee called the "Picture Gallery," which, for
all I knew to the contrary, contained but one fair portrait.  I am not a
believer in Mesmer; but certainly there must have been some influence at
work--very like what we hear of "magnetism"--for before the breakfast was
concluded, there seemed at once to spring up a perfect understanding
between this family and myself, which made me feel as much 'chez moi',
as I had ever done in my life; and from that hour I may date an intimacy
which every succeeding day but served to increase.

After breakfast Lord Callonby consigned me to the guidance of his son,
and we sallied forth to deal destruction amongst the pheasants, with
which the preserves were stocked; and here I may observe, 'en passant',
that with the single exception of fox-hunting, which was ever a passion
with me, I never could understand that inveterate pursuit of game to
which some men devote themselves--thus, grouse-shooting, and its
attendant pleasures, of stumping over a boggy mountain from day-light
till dark, never had much attraction for me; and, as to the delights of
widgeon and wild-duck shooting, when purchased by sitting up all night in
a barrel, with your eye to the bung, I'll none of it--no, no! Give me
shooting or angling merely as a divertimento, a pleasant interlude
between breakfast and luncheon-time, when, consigning your Manton to a
corner, and the game keeper "to the dogs," you once more humanize your
costume to take a canter with the daughters of the house; or, if the day
look loweringly, a match of billiards with the men.

I have ever found that the happiest portions of existence are the most
difficult to chronicle.  We may--nay, we must, impart our miseries and
annoyances to our many "dear friends," whose forte is sympathy or
consolation--and all men are eloquent on the subject of their woes; not
so with their joys: some have a miser-like pleasure in hoarding them up
for their own private gratification; others--and they are prudent--feel
that the narrative is scarcely agreeable even to their best friends; and
a few, of whom I confess myself one, are content to be happy without
knowing why, and to have pleasant souvenirs, without being able to
explain them.

Such must be my apology for not more minutely entering upon an account of
my life at Callonby.  A fortnight had now seen me 'enfonce', the daily
companion of two beautiful girls in all their walks and rides, through a
romantic, unfrequented country, seeing but little of the other members of
the family; the gentlemen being entirely occupied by their election
tactics, and Lady Callonby being a late riser, seldom appeared before the
dinner hour.  There was not a cliff upon the bold and rocky coast we did
not climb, not a cave upon the pebbly beach unvisited; sometimes my fair
companions would bring a volume of Metastasio down to the little river
where I used to angle; and the "gentle craft" was often abandoned for the
heart-thrilling verses of that delightful poet.  Yes, many years have
passed over, and these scenes are still as fresh in my memory as though
they had been of yesterday.  In my memory, I say, as for thee

                         "Qui sa si te
                          Ti sovrerai di me."

At the end of three weeks the house became full of company, from the
garret to the cellar.  Country gentlemen and their wives and daughters
came pouring in, on every species of conveyance known since the flood;
family coaches, which, but for their yellow panels, might have been
mistaken for hearses, and high barouches, the "entree" to which was
accomplished by a step-ladder, followed each other in what appeared a
never-ending succession; and here I may note an instance of the anomalous
character of the conveyances, from an incident to which I was a witness
at the time.

Among the visitors on the second day came a maiden lady from the
neighbourhood of Ennistimon, Miss Elizabeth O'Dowd, the last of a very
old and highly respectable family in the county, and whose extensive
property, thickly studded with freeholders, was a strong reason for her
being paid every attention in Lord Callonby's power to bestow; Miss Betty
O'Dowd--for so she was generally styled--was the very personification of
an old maid; stiff as a ramrod, and so rigid in observance of the
proprieties of female conduct, that in the estimation of the Clare
gentry, Diana was a hoyden compared to her.

Miss Betty lived, as I have said, near Ennistimon, and the road from
thence to Callonby at the time I speak of--it was before Mr. Nimmo--was a
like the bed of a mountain torrent as a respectable highway; there were
holes that would have made a grave for any maiden lady within fifty
miles; and rocks thickly scattered, enough to prove fatal to the
strongest wheels that ever issued from "Hutton's."  Miss O'Dowd knew this
well; she had upon one occasion been upset in travelling it--and a
slate-coloured silk dress bore the dye of every species of mud and mire
to be found there, for many a year after, to remind her of her
misfortune, and keep open the wound of her sorrow.  When, therefore, the
invitation to Callonby arrived, a grave council of war was summoned, to
deliberate upon the mode of transit, for the honour could not be
declined, "coute qui coute."  The chariot was out of the question;
Nicholas declared it would never reach the "Moraan Beg," as the first
precipice was called; the inside car was long since pronounced unfit for
hazardous enterprise; and the only resource left, was what is called in
Hibernian parlance, a "low-backed car," that is, a car without any back
whatever; it being neither more nor less than the common agricultural
conveyance of the country, upon which, a feather bed being laid, the
farmers' wives and daughters are generally conveyed to fairs, wakes, and
stations, &c.  Putting her dignity, if not in her pocket, at least
wherever it could be most easily accommodated, Miss O'Dowd placed her
fair self, in all the plenitude of her charms and the grandeur of a
"bran new green silk," a "little off the grass, and on the bottle,"
(I love to be particular,) upon this humble voiture, and set out on her
way, if not "rejoicing," at least consoled by Nicholas, that "It 'id be
black dark when they reached the house, and the devil a one 'id be the
wiser than if she came in a coach and four." Nicholas was right; it was
perfectly dark on their arrival at Callonby, and Miss O'Dowd having
dismounted, and shook her plumage, a little crumpled by her
half-recumbent position for eight miles, appeared in the drawing-room,
to receive the most courteous attentions from Lady Callonby, and from
his lordship the most flattering speeches for her kindness in risking
herself and bringing her horses on such a dreadful road, and assured her
of his getting a presentment the very next assizes to repair it; "For we
intend, Miss O'Dowd," said he, "to be most troublesome neighbours to you
in future."

The evening passed off most happily.  Miss O'Dowd was delighted with her
hosts, whose character she resolved to maintain in spite of their
reputation for pride and haughtiness.  Lady Jane sang an Irish melody for
her, Lady Callonby gave her slips of a rose geranium she got from the
Princess Augusta, and Lord Kilkee won her heart by the performance of
that most graceful step 'yclept "cover the buckle" in an Irish jig.  But,
alas!  how short-lived is human bliss, for while this estimable lady
revelled in the full enjoyment of the hour, the sword of Damocles hung
suspended above her head; in plain English, she had, on arriving at
Callonby, to prevent any unnecessary scrutiny into the nature of her
conveyance, ordered Nicholas to be at the door punctually at eleven; and
then to take an opportunity of quietly slipping open the drawing-room
door, and giving her an intimation of it, that she might take her leave
at once.  Nicholas was up to time, and having disposed the conveyance
under the shadow of the porch, made his way to the door of the
drawing-room unseen and unobserved.  He opened it gently and
noiselessly, merely sufficient to take a survey of the apartment, in
which, from the glare of the lights, and the busy hum of voices, he was
so bewildered that it was some minutes before he recognized his
mistress.  At last he perceived her; she was seated at a card-table,
playing whist with Lord Callonby for her partner.  Who the other players
were, he knew not.  A proud man was Nicholas, as he saw his mistress
thus placed, actually sitting, as he afterwards expressed it, "forenint
the Lord," but his thoughts were bent on other matters, and it was no
time to indulge his vauntings.

He strove for some time patiently, to catch her eye, for she was so
situated as to permit of this, but without success.  He then made a
slight attempt to attract her attention by beckoning with his finger; all
in vain.  "Oh murther," said he, "what is this for?  I'll have to spake
afther all."

"Four by honours," said his lordship, "and the odd trick.  Another
double, I believe, Miss O'Dowd."

Miss O'Dowd nodded a graceful assent, while a sharp-looking old dowager
at the side of the table called out, "a rubber of four on, my Lord;" and
now began an explanation from the whole party at once.  Nicholas saw this
was his time, and thought that in the melee, his hint might reach his
mistress unobserved by the remainder of the company.  He accordingly
protruded his head into the room, and placing his finger upon the side of
his nose, and shutting one eye knowingly, with an air of great secrecy,
whispered out, "Miss Betty--Miss Betty, alanah!"  For some minutes the
hum of the voices drowned his admonitions--but as, by degrees waxing
warmer in the cause, he called out more loudly,--every eye was turned to
the spot from whence these extraordinary sounds proceeded; and certainly
the appearance of Nicholas at the moment was well calculated to astonish
the "elegans" of a drawing room.  With his one eye fixed eagerly in the
direction of his mistress, his red scratch wig pushed back off his
forehead, in the eagerness of his endeavour to be heard, there he stood,
perfectly unmindful of all around, save Miss O'Dowd herself.  It may well
be believed, that such an apparition could not be witnessed with gravity,
and, accordingly a general titter ran through the room, the whist party
still contending about odd tricks and honours, being the only persons
insensible to the mirth around them--"Miss Betty, arrah, Miss Betty,"
said Nicholas with a sigh that converted the subdued laughter of the
guests into a perfect burst of mirth.

"Eh," said his lordship, turning round; "what is this? We are losing
something excellent, I fear."

At this moment, he caught a glimpse of Nicholas, and, throwing himself
back in this chair, laughed immoderately.  It was now Miss Betty's turn;
she was about to rise from the table, when the well-known accents of
Nicholas fell upon her ear.  She fell back in her seat--there he was: the
messenger of the foul fiend himself would have been more welcome at that
moment.  Her blood rushed to her face and temples; her hands tingled; she
closed her eyes, and when she opened them, there stood the accursed
Nicholas glowering at her still.

"Man--man!" said she at length; "what do you mean, what do you want
here?"

Poor Nicholas, little guessing that the question was intended to throw a
doubt upon her acquaintance with him, and conceiving that the hour for
the announcement had come, hesitated for an instant how he should
designate the conveyance.  He could not call it a coach!  It certainly
was not a buggy--neither was it a jaunting car--what should he say--he
looked earnestly, and even imploringly at his mistress, as if to convey
some sense of his difficulty, and then, as it were, catching a sudden
inspiration, winked once more--as he said:--

"Miss Betty--the--the--the--," and here he looked indescribably droll;
"the thing, you know, is at the door."

All his Lordship's politeness was too little for the occasion, and Miss
O'Dowd's tenantry were lost to the Callonby interest for ever.



CHAPTER IV.

BOTANICAL STUDIES--THE NATURAL SYSTEM PREFERABLE TO THE LINNEAN.

"The carriage is at the door, my lord," said a servant, entering the
luncheon-room where we were all assembled.

"Now then, Mr. Lorrequer," said Lord Callonby, "allons, take another
glass of wine, and let us away.  I expect you to make a most brilliant
speech, remember!"

His lordship here alluded to our intention of visiting a remote barony,
where a meeting of the freeholders was that day to be held, and at which
I was pledged for a "neat and appropriate" oration in abuse of the corn
laws and the holy alliance.

"I beg pardon, my lord," said her ladyship in a most languishing tone;
"but Mr. Lorrequer is pre-engaged; he has for the last week been
promising and deterring his visit to the new conservatory with me; where
he is to find out four or five of the Swiss shrubs that Collins cannot
make out--and which I am dying to know all about."

"Mr. Lorrequer is a false man then," said Lady Catherine, "for he said at
breakfast, that we should devote this afternoon to the chalk caves--as
the tide will be so far out, we can see them all perfectly."

"And I," said Lord Kilkee, "must put in my plea, that the aforesaid Mr.
Lorrequer is booked for a coursing match--'Mouche versus Jessie.'--Guilty
or not guilty?"

Lady Jane alone of all said not a word.

"Guilty on every count of the indictment," said I; "I throw myself on the
mercy of the court."

"Let his sentence then be banishment," said Lady Catherine with affected
anger, "and let him go with papa."

"I rather think," said Lord Kilkee, "the better plan is to let him visit
the conservatory, for I'd wager a fifty he finds it more difficult to
invent botany, than canvass freeholders; eh?"

"I am sure," said Lady Jane, for the first time breaking silence, "that
mamma is infinitely flattered by the proposal that Mr. Lorrequer's
company is to be conferred upon her for his sins."

"I am not to be affronted, nor quizzed out of my chaperon; here, Mr.
Lorrequer," said Lady Callonby rising, "get Smith's book there, and let
me have your arm; and now, young ladies, come along, and learn something,
if you can."

"An admirable proviso," said Lord Kilkee, laughing; "if his botany be
only as authentic as the autographs he gave Mrs. MacDermot, and all of
which he wrote himself, in my dressing-room, in half an hour.  Napoleon
was the only difficult one in the number."

Most fortunately this unfair disclosure did not reach her ladyship's
ears, as she was busily engaged putting on her bonnet, and I was yet
unassailed in reputation to her.

"Good bye, then," said Lord Callonby; "we meet at seven;" and in a few
moments the little party were scattered to their several destinations.

"How very hot you have this place, Collins," said Lady Callonby as we
entered the conservatory.

"Only seventy-five, my lady, and the Magnolias require heat."

I here dropped a little behind, as if to examine a plant, and in a
half-whisper said to Lady Jane--

"How came it that you alone, Lady Jane, should forget I had made another
appointment?  I thought you wished to make a sketch of Craigmoran Abbey
--did you forget that we were to ride there to-day?"

Before she could reply, Lady Callonby called out--"Oh, here it is, Mr.
Lorrequer.  Is this a heath? that is the question."

Here her ladyship pointed to a little scrubby thing, that looked very
like a birch rod.  I proceeded to examine it most minutely, while Collins
waited with all the intense anxiety of a man whose character depended on
the sentence.

"Collins will have it a jungermania," said she.

"And Collins is right," said I, not trusting myself with the
pronunciation of the awful word her ladyship uttered.

Collins looked ridiculously happy.

"Now that is so delightful," said Lady Callonby, as she stopped to look
for another puzzle.

"What a wretch it is," said Lady Catherine, covering her face with a
handkerchief.

"What a beautiful little flower," said Lady Jane, lifting up the bell of
a "lobelia splendens."

"You know, of course," said I, "what they call that flower in France
--L'amour tendre."

"Indeed!"

"True, I assure you; may I present you with this sprig of it," cutting
off a small twig, and presenting it at the same instant unseen by the
others.

She hesitated for an instant, and then extending her fair and taper hand
took it.  I dared not look at her as she did so, but a proud swelling
triumph at my heart nearly choked me.

"Now Collins," said Lady Callonby, "I cannot find the Alpen tree I
brought home from the Grundenwald."

Collins hurried forward to her ladyship's side.

Lady Catherine was also called to assist in the search.

I was alone with Lady Jane.

"Now or never," thought I; I hesitated--I stammered--my voice faltered.
She saw my agitation; she participated in, and increased it.  At last I
summoned up courage to touch her hand; she gently withdrew it--but so
gently, it was not a repulse.

"If Lady Jane," said I at length, "if the devoted--"

"Holloa, there," said a deep voice without; "is Mr. Lorrequer there?"

It was Lord Kilkee, returned from his coursing match.  None but he who
has felt such an interruption, can feel for me.  I shame to say that his
brotherhood to her, for whom I would have perilled my life, restrained me
not from something very like a hearty commendation of him to the powers
that burn--

"Down, dogs, there--down," continued he, and in a moment after entered
the conservatory flushed and heated with the chace.

"Mouche is the winner--two to one--and so, Master Shallow, I owe you a
thousand pounds."

Would to heaven that I had lost the wager, had it only taken a little
longer to decide it!  I of course appeared overjoyed at my dog's success,
and listened with great pretence of interest to the narrative of the
"run;" the more so, because that though perhaps more my friend than the
older members of the family, Lord Kilkee evidently liked less than them,
my growing intimacy with his sister; and I was anxious to blind him on
the present occasion, when, but for his recent excitement, very little
penetration would have enabled him to detect that something unusual had
taken place.

It was now so nearly dark, that her ladyship's further search for the
alpine treasure became impossible, and so we turned our steps towards the
garden, where we continued to walk till joined by Lord Callonby.  And now
began a most active discussion upon agriculture, rents, tithes, and
toryism, in which the ladies took but little part; and I had the
mortification to perceive that Lady Jane was excessively 'ennuyee', and
seized the first opportunity to leave the party and return to the house;
while her sister gave me from time to time certain knowing glances, as if
intimating that my knowledge of farming and political economy was pretty
much on a par with my proficiency in botany.

One has discovered me at least, thought I; but the bell had rung to dress
for dinner, and I hastened to my room to think over future plans, and
once more wonder at the singular position into which fate and the "rules
of the service" had thrown me.



CHAPTER V.

PUZZLED--EXPLANATION--MAKES BAD WORSE--THE DEED

"Any letters?" said her ladyship to a servant, as she crossed the hall.

"Only one, my lady--for Mr. Lorrequer, I believe."

"For me!" thought I; "how is this?"  My letters had been hitherto always
left in Kilrush.  Why was this forwarded here?  I hurried to the
drawing-room, where I found a double letter awaiting me.  The writing was
Curzon's and contained the words "to be forwarded with haste" on the
direction.  I opened and read as follows:--

"Dear Lorrequer,--Have you any recollection, among your numerous
'escapades' at Cork, of having grievously insulted a certain Mr. Giles
Beamish, in thought, word, or deed?  If you have, I say, let me know with
all convenient despatch, whether the offence be one admitting of apology
--for if not, the Lord have mercy on your soul--a more wrothy gentleman
than the aforesaid, it having rarely been my evil fortune to foregather
with.  He called here yesterday to inquire your address, and at my
suggestion wrote a note, which I now enclose.  I write in great haste,
and am ever yours faithfully,  C. Curzon.

"N.B.--I have not seen his note, so explain all and every thing."

The inclosed letter ran thus:

"Sir,--It can scarcely have escaped your memory, though now nearly two
months since, that at the Mayor's 'dejeune' in Cork, you were pleased to
make merry at my expense, and expose me and my family for your amusement.
This is to demand an immediate apology, or that satisfaction which, as an
officer, you will not refuse your most obedient servant, Giles Beamish,
Swinburne's Hotel."

"Giles Beamish!  Giles Beamish!" said I, repeating the name in every
variety of emphasis, hoping to obtain some clue to the writer.  Had I
been appointed the umpire between Dr. Wall and his reviewers, in the late
controversy about "phonetic signs," I could not have been more completely
puzzled than by the contents of this note.  "Make merry at his expense!"
a great offence truly--I suppose I have laughed at better men than ever
he was; and I can only say of such innocent amusement, as Falstaff did of
sack and sugar, if such be a sin, "then heaven help the wicked."  But I
wish I knew who he is, or what he alludes to, provided he is not mad,
which I begin to think not improbable.  "By the bye, my Lord, do you know
any such person in the south as a Mr. Beamish--Giles Beamish?"

"To be sure," said Lord Callonby, looking up from his newspaper, "there
are several of the name of the highest respectability.  One is an
alderman of Cork--a very rich man, too--but I don't remember his
Christian name."

"An alderman, did you say?"

"Yes.  Alderman Beamish is very well known.  I have seen him frequently
--a short florid, little man."

"Oh, it must be him," said I, musingly, "it must have been this worthy
alderman, from whose worshipful person I tore the robe of office on the
night of the fete.  But what does he mean by 'my exposing him and his
family?'  Why, zounds, his wife and children were not with him on the
pavement.  Oh, I see it; it is the mansion-house school of eloquence; did
not Sir William Curtis apologise for not appearing at court, from having
lost an eye, which he designated as an awful 'domestic calamity.'"

It being now settled to my satisfaction, that Mr. Beamish and the great
uncloaked were "convertible terms," I set about making the 'amende' in
the most handsome manner possible.  I wrote to the alderman a most
pacific epistle, regretting that my departure from Cork deprived me of
making reparation before, and expressing a most anxious hope that "he
caught no cold," and a fervent wish that "he would live many years to
grace and ornament the dignity of which his becoming costume was the
emblem."  This I enclosed in a note to Curzon, telling him how the matter
occurred, and requesting that he would send it by his servant, together
with the scarlet vestment which he would find in my dressing-room.
Having folded and sealed this despatch, I turned to give Lord Callonby an
account of the business, and showed him Beamish's note, at which he was
greatly amused: and, indeed, it furnished food for mirth for the whole
party during the evening.  The next morning I set out with Lord Callonby
on the long-threatened canvassing expedition--with the details of which I
need not burden my "Confessions."  Suffice it to say, that when Lord
Kilkee was advocating Toryism in the west, I, his accredited ambassador,
was devoting to the infernal gods the prelacy, the peerage, and the
pension list--a mode of canvass well worthy of imitation in these
troublesome times; for, not to speak of the great prospect of success
from having friends on both sides of the question, the principal can
always divest himself of any unpleasant consequences as regards
inconsistency, by throing the blame on this friend, "who went too far,"
as the appropriate phrase is.

Nothing could be more successful than our mission.  Lord Callonby was
delighted beyond bounds with the prospect, and so completely carried away
by high spirits, and so perfectly assured that much of it was owing to my
exertions, that on the second morning of our tour--for we proceeded
through the county for three days--he came laughing into my
dressing-room, with a newspaper in his hand.

"Here, Lorrequer," said he, "here's news for you.  You certainly must
read this," and he handed me a copy of the "Clare Herald," with an
account of our meeting the evening before.

After glancing my eye rapidly over the routine usual in such cases
--Humph, ha--nearly two hundred people--most respectable farmers--room
appropriately decorated--"Callonby Arms"--"after the usual loyal toasts,
the chairman rose"--Well, no matter.  Ah! here it is: "Mr. Lorrequer here
addressed the meeting with a flow of eloquence it has rarely, if ever,
been our privilege to hear equalled.  He began by"--humph--

"Ah," said his lordship, impatiently, "you will never find it out--look
here--'Mr. Lorrequer, whom we have mentioned as having made the highly
exciting speech, to be found in our first page, is, we understand, the
son of Sir Guy Lorrequer, of Elton, in Shropshire--one of the wealthiest
baronets in England.  If rumour speak truly, there is a very near
prospect of an alliance between this talented and promising young
gentleman, and the beautiful and accomplished daughter of a certain
noble earl, with whom he has been for some time domesticated."

"Eh, what think you?  Son of Sir Guy Lorrequer.  I always thought my old
friend a bachelor, but you see the 'Clare Herald' knows better.  Not to
speak of the last piece of intelligence, it is very good, is it not?"

"Capital, indeed," said I, trying to laugh, and at the same time blushing
confoundedly, and looking as ridiculously as need be.

It now struck me forcibly that there was something extremely odd in his
lordship's mention of this paragraph, particularly when coupled with his
and Lady Callonby's manner to me for the last two months.  They knew
enough of my family, evidently, to be aware of my station and prospects
--or rather my want of both--and yet, in the face of this, they not only
encouraged me to prolong a most delightful visit, but by a thousand daily
and dangerous opportunities, absolutely threw me in the way of one of the
loveliest of her sex, seemingly without fear on their parts. "'Eh bien,'"
thought I, with my old philosophy, "Time, that 'pregnant old gentleman,'
will disclose all, and so 'laisse, aller.'"

My reveries on my good and evil fortune were suddenly interrupted by a
letter which reached me that evening, having been forwarded from Callonby
by a special messenger.  "What!  Another epistle from Curzon," said I, as
my eye caught the address, and wondering not a little what pressing
emergency had called forth the words on the cover--"to be forwarded with
haste."  I eagerly broke the seal and read the following:

"My Dear Harry,--I received yours on the 11th, and immediately despatched
your note and the raiment to Mr. Beamish.  He was from home at the time,
but at eight o'clock I was sent for from the mess to see two gentlemen on
most pressing business.  I hurried to my quarters, and there found the
aforesaid Mr. B. accompanied by a friend, whom he introduced as Dr. De
Courcy Finucane, of the North Cork Militia--as warlike looking a
gentleman, of his inches, some five feet three, as you would wish to see.
The moment I appeared, both rose, and commenced a narrative, for such I
judge it to be, but so energetically and so completely together, that I
could only bow politely, and at last request that one, or the other,
would inform me of the object of their visit.  Here began the tug of war,
the Doctor saying, 'Arrah, now Giles'--Mr. Beamish interrupting by
'Whisht, I tell ye--now, can't you let me!  Ye see, Mr. Curzoin'--for so
they both agreed to designate me.  At last, completely worn out, I said,
'Perhaps you have not received my friend's note?'  At this Mr. Beamish
reddened to the eyes, and with the greatest volubility poured forth a
flood of indignant eloquence, that I thought it necessary to check; but
in this I failed, for after informing me pretty clearly, that he knew
nothing of your story of the alderman, or his cloak, added, that he
firmly believed your pretended reparation was only a renewed insult, and
that--but in a word, he used such language, that I was compelled to take
him short; and the finale is, that I agreed you should meet him, though
still ignorant of what he calls the 'original offence.'--But heaven
knows, his conduct here last night demands a reprimand, and I hope you
may give it; and if you shoot him, we may worm out the secret from his
executors.  Nothing could exceed the politeness of the parties on my
consenting to this arrangement.  Dr. Finucane proposed Carrigaholt, as
the rendezvous, about 12 miles, I believe, from Kilrush, and Tuesday
evening at six as the time, which will be the very earliest moment we can
arrive there.  So, pray be up to time, and believe me yours, C. Curzon,
Saturday Evening."

It was late on Monday evening when this letter reached me, and there was
no time to be lost, as I was then about 40 Irish miles from the place
mentioned by Curzon; so after briefly acquainting Lord Callonby that I
was called off by duty, I hurried to my room to pack my clothes, and
again read over this extraordinary epistle.

I confess it did appear something droll, how completely Curzon seemed to
imbibe the passion for fighting from these "blood-thirsty Irishmen."
For by his own showing he was utterly ignorant of my ever having offended
this Mr. Beamish, of whom I recollected nothing whatever.  Yet when the
gentleman waxes wrothy, rather than inconvenience him, or perhaps anxious
to get back to the mess, he coolly says, "Oh, my friend shall meet you,"
and then his pleasant jest, "find out the cause of quarrel from his
executors!"

Truly, thought I, there is no equanimity like his who acts as your second
in a duel.  The gentlemanlike urbanity with which he waits on the
opposite friend--the conciliating tone with which he proffers implacable
enmity--the killing kindness with which he refuses all accommodation--the
Talleyrand air of his short notes, dated from the "Travellers," or
"Brookes," with the words 3 o'clock or 5 o'clock on the cover, all
indicative of the friendly precipitancy of the negociation.  Then, when
all is settled, the social style with which he asks you to take a
"cutlet" with him at the "Clarendon," not to go home--are only to be
equalled by the admirable tact on the ground--the studiously elegant
salute to the adverse party, half a la Napoleon, and half Beau Brummell
--the politely offered snuff-box--the coquetting raillery about 10 paces
or 12--are certainly the beau ideal of the stoicism which preludes
sending your friend out of the world like a gentleman.

How very often is the face of external nature at variance with the
thoughts and actions--"the sayings and doings" we may be most intent upon
at the moment.  How many a gay and brilliant bridal party has wended its
way to St. George's, Hanover-square, amid a downpour of rain, one would
suppose sufficient to quench the torch of Hymen, though it burned as
brightly as Capt. Drummond's oxygen light; and on the other hand, how
frequently are the bluest azure of heaven and the most balmy airs shed
upon the heart bursting with affliction, or the head bowed with grief;
and without any desire to impugn, as a much high authority has done, the
moral character of the moon, how many a scene of blood and rapine has its
mild radiance illumined.  Such reflections as these came thronging to my
mind, as on the afternoon of Tuesday I neared the little village of our
rendezvous.

The scene which in all its peaceful beauty lay before me, was truly a
bitter contrast to the occasion that led me thither.  I stood upon a
little peninsula which separates the Shannon from the wide Atlantic.  On
one side the placed river flowed on its course, between fields of waving
corn, or rich pasturage--the beautiful island of Scattery, with its
picturesque ruins reflected in the unrippled tide--the cheerful voices of
the reapers, and the merry laugh of the children were mingled with the
seaman's cry of the sailors, who were "heaving short" on their anchor,
to take the evening tide.  The village, which consisted of merely a few
small cabins, was still from its situation a pleasing object in the
picture, and the blue smoke that rose in slender columns from the humble
dwellings, took from the scene its character of loneliness, and suggested
feelings of home and homely enjoyments, which human habitations, however,
lowly, never fail to do.

"At any other time," thought I, "and how I could have enjoyed all this,
but now--and, ha, I find it is already past five o'clock, and if I am
rightly informed I am still above a mile from 'Carrigaholt,' where we
were to meet."

I had dismissed my conveyance when nearing the village, to avoid
observation, and now took a foot-path over the hills.  Before I had
proceeded half a mile, the scene changed completely.  I found myself
traversing a small glen, grown over with a low oak scrub, and not
presenting, on any side, the slightest trace of habitation.  I saw that
the ground had been selected by an adept.  The glen, which grew narrow as
I advanced, suddenly disclosed to my view a glimpse of the Atlantic, upon
which the declining sun was pouring a flood of purple glory.  I had
scarcely turned from the contemplation of this beautiful object, when a
long low whistle attracted my attention.  I looked in the direction from
whence it proceeded, and discovered at some distance from me three
figures standing beside the ruin of an old Abbey, which I now for the
first time perceived.

If I had entertained any doubt as to who they were, it had been speedily
resolved, for I now saw one of the party waving his hat to me, whom, I
soon recognized to be Curzon; he came forward to meet me, and, in the few
hundred yards that intervened before our reaching the others, told me as
much as he knew of the opposite party; which, after all, was but little.
Mr. Beamish, my adversary, he described as a morose, fire-eating
southern, that evidently longed for an "affair" with a military man, then
considered a circumstance of some eclat in the south; his second, the
doctor, on the contrary, was by far "the best of the cut-throats," a most
amusing little personage, full of his own importance, and profuse in his
legends of his own doings in love and war, and evidently disposed to take
the pleasing side of every occurrence in life; they both agreed in but
one point--a firm and fixed resolve to give no explanation of the quarrel
with me.  "So then," said I, as Curzon hurried over the preceding
account, "you absolutely know nothing whatever of the reason for which I
am about to give this man a meeting."

"No more than you," said Curzon, with imperturbable gravity; "but one
thing I am certain of--had I not at once promised him such, he would have
posted you in Limerick the next morning; and as you know our mess rule in
the 4_th, I thought it best--"

"Oh, certainly, quite right; but now are you quite certain I am the man
who offended him?  For I solemnly assure you, I have not the most remote
recollection of having ever heard of him."

"That point," said Curzon, "there can be no doubt of, for he not only
designated you as Mr. Harry Lorrequer, but the gentleman that made all
Cork laugh so heartily, by his representation of Othello."

"Stop!" said I, "say not a word more; I'm his man."

By this time we had reached the ruins, and turning a corner came in full
contact with the enemy; they had been resting themselves on a tombstone
as we approached.

"Allow me," said Curzon, stepping a little in advance of me; "allow me to
introduce my friend Mr. Lorrequer, Dr. Finicane,--Dr. Finicane, Mr.
Lorrequer."

"Finucane, if quite agreeable to you; Finucane," said the little
gentleman, as he lifted his hat straight off his head, and replaced it
most accurately, by way of salute.  "Mr. Lorrequer, it is with sincere
pleasure I make your acquaintance."  Here Mr. Beamish bowed stiffly, in
return to my salutation, and at the instant a kind of vague sensation
crossed my mind, that those red whiskers, and that fiery face were not
seen for the first time; but the thumbscrews of the holy office would
have been powerless to refresh my memory as to when.

"Captain," said the doctor, "may I request the favour of your company
this way, one minute;" they both walked aside; the only words which
reached me as I moved off, to permit their conference, being an assurance
on the part of the doctor, "that it was a sweet spot he picked out, for,
by having them placed north and south, neither need have a patch of sky
behind him."  Very few minutes sufficed for preliminaries, and they both
advanced, smirking and smiling, as if they had just arranged a new plan
for the amelioration of the poor, or the benefit of the manufacturing
classes, instead of making preparations for sending a gentleman out of
the world.

"Then if I understand you, captain," said the doctor, "you step the
distance, and I give the word."

"Exactly," said Curzon.

After a joking allusion to my friend's length of limb, at which we all
laughed heartily, we were placed, Curzon and the doctor standing and
breaking the line between us; the pistols were then put into our hands,
the doctor saying--"Now, gentlemen, I'll just retire six paces, and turn
round, which will be quite time enough to prepare, and at the word
'fire,' ye'll blaze away; mind now."  With a knowing wink, the doctor
delivered this direction, and immediately moved off; the word "fire"
followed, and both pistols went off together.  My hat was struck near the
top, and, as the smoke cleared away, I perceived that my ball had taken
effect upon my adversary; he was wounded a little below the knee and
appeared to steady himself with the greatest difficulty.  "You friend is
hit," said Curzon, to the doctor, who now came forward with another
pistol.  "You friend is hit."

"So I perceive," said he, placing his finger on the spot; "but it is no
harm in life; so we proceed, if you please."

"You don't mean to demand another shot?" said Curzon.

"Faith, do I," said the doctor coolly.

"Then," said Curzon, "I must tell you most unequivocally, I refuse, and
shall now withdraw my friend; and had it not been for a regulation
peculiar to our regiment, but never intended to include cases of this
nature, we had not been here now; for up to this hour my principal and
myself are in utter ignorance of any cause of offence ever having been
offered by him to Mr. Beamish."

"Giles, do you hear this?" said the doctor.

But Giles did not hear it, for the rapid loss of blood from his wound had
so weakened him, that he had fainted, and now lay peaceably on the grass.
Etiquette was now at an end, and we all ran forward to assist the wounded
man; for some minutes he lay apparently quite senseless, and when he at
last rallied and looked wildly about him, it appeared to be with
difficulty that he recalled any recollection of the place, and the people
around him; for a few seconds he fixed his eyes steadily upon the doctor,
and with a lip pale and bloodless, and a voice quivering from weakness,
said,

"Fin!  Didn't I tell ye, that pistol always threw high--oh!" and this he
said with a sigh that nearly overpowered him, "Oh, Fin, if you had only
given me the saw-handled one, that I AM USED TO; but it is no good
talking now."

In my inmost heart I was grateful to the little doctor for his mistake,
for I plainly perceived what "the saw-handled one he was used to" might
have done for me, and could not help muttering to myself with good Sir
Andrew--"If I had known he was so cunning of fence, I'd have seen him
damned before that I fought with him."

Our first duty was now to remove the wounded man to the high road, about
which both he himself and his second seemed disposed to make some
difficulty; they spoke together for a few moments in a low tone of voice,
and then the doctor addressed us--"We feel, gentlemen, this is not a
time for any concealment; but the truth is, we have need of great
circumspection here, for I must inform you, we are both of us bound
over in heavy recognizances to keep the peace."

"Bound over to keep the peace!" said Curzon and myself together.

"Nothing less; and although there is nobody hereabout would tell, yet if
the affair got into the papers by any means, why there are some people in
Cork would like to press my friend there, for he is a very neat shot when
he has the saw-handle," and here the doctor winked.

We had little time permitted us, to think upon the oddity of meeting a
man in such circumstances, for we were now obliged to contribute our aid
in conveying him to the road, where some means might be procured for his
transfer to Kilrush, or some other town in the neighbourhood, for he was
by this time totally unable to walk.

After half an hour's toiling, we at last did reach the highway, by which
time I had ample opportunity, short as the space was, to see something of
the character of our two opponents.  It appeared the doctor exercised the
most absolute control over his large friend, dictating and commanding in
a tone which the other never ventured to resist; for a moment or two Mr.
Beamish expressed a great desire to be conveyed by night to Kilrush,
where he might find means to cross the Shannon into Kerry; this, however,
the doctor opposed strenuously, from the risque of publicity; and finally
settled that we should all go in a body to his friend, Father Malachi
Brennan's house, only two miles off, where the sick man would have the
most tender care, and what the doctor considered equally indispensable,
we ourselves a most excellent supper, and a hearty welcome.

"You know Father Malachi, of course, Mr. Lorrequer?"

"I am ashamed to say I do not."

"Not know Malachi Brennan and live in Clare!  Well, well, that is
strange; sure he is the priest of this country for twelve miles in every
direction of you, and a better man, and a pleasanter, there does not live
in the diocese; though I'm his cousin that says it."

After professing all the possible pleasure it would afford my friend and
myself to make the acquaintance of Father Malachi, we proceeded to place
Mr. Beamish in a car that was passing at the time, and started for the
residence of the good priest.  The whole of the way thither I was
occupied but by one thought, a burning anxiety to know the cause of our
quarrel, and I longed for the moment when I might get the doctor apart
from his friend, to make the inquiry.

"There--look down to your left, where you see the lights shining so
brightly, that is Father Malachi's house; as sure as my name is
De Courcy Finucane, there's fun going on there this night."

"Why, there certainly does seem a great illumination in the valley
there," said I.

"May I never," said the doctor, "if it isn't a station--"

"A station!--pray may I ask--"

"You need not ask a word on the subject; for, if I am a true prophet,
you'll know what it means before morning."

A little more chatting together, brought us to a narrow road, flanked on
either side by high hedges of hawthorn, and, in a few minutes more, we
stood before the priest's residence, a long, white-washed, thatched
house, having great appearance of comfort and convenience.  Arrived here,
the doctor seemed at once to take on him the arrangement of the whole
party; for, after raising the latch and entering the house, he returned
to us in a few minutes, and said,

"Wait a while now; we'll not go in to Father Malachi, 'till we've put
Giles to bed."

We, accordingly, lifted him from off the car, and assisted him into the
house, and following Finucane down a narrow passage, at last reached a
most comfortable little chamber, with a neat bed; here we placed him,
while the doctor gave some directions to a bare-headed, red-legged
hussey, without shoes or stockings, and himself proceeded to examine the
wound, which was a more serious one than it at first appeared.

After half an hour thus occupied, during which time, roars of merriment
and hearty peals of laughter burst upon us every time the door opened,
from a distant part of the house, where his reverence was entertaining
his friends, and which, as often as they were heard by the doctor seemed
to produce in him sensations not unlike those that afflicted the "wedding
guest" in the "Ancient Mariner," when he heard the "loud bassoon," and as
certainly imparted an equally longing desire to be a partaker in the
mirth.  We arranged every thing satisfactorily for Mr. Beamish's comfort,
and with a large basin of vinegar and water, to keep his knee cool, and a
strong tumbler of hot punch, to keep his heart warm--homeopathic medicine
is not half so new as Dr. Hahnneman would make us believe--we left Mr.
Beamish to his own meditations, and doubtless regrets that he did not get
"the saw-handled one, he was used to," while we proceeded to make our
bows to Father Malachi Brennan.

But, as I have no intention to treat the good priest with ingratitude, I
shall not present him to my readers at the tail of a chapter.



CHAPTER VI.

THE PRIEST'S SUPPER--FATHER MALACHI AND THE COADJUTOR
--MAJOR JONES AND THE ABBE

At the conclusion of our last chapter we left our quondam antagonist,
Mr. Beamish, stretched at full length upon a bed practising homeopathy
by administering hot punch to her fever, while we followed our chaperon,
Doctor Finucane, into the presence of the Reverend Father Brennan.

The company into which we now, without any ceremony on our parts,
introduced ourselves, consisted of from five and twenty to thirty
persons, seated around a large oak table, plentifully provided with
materials for drinking, and cups, goblets, and glasses of every shape and
form.  The moment we entered, the doctor stepped forward, and, touching
Father Malachi on the shoulder,--for so I rightly guessed him to be,
--presented himself to his relative, by whom he was welcomed with every
demonstration of joy.  While their recognitions were exchanged, and while
the doctor explained the reasons of our visit, I was enabled, undisturbed
and unnoticed, to take a brief survey of the party.

Father Malachi Brennan, P.P. of Carrigaholt, was what I had often
pictured to myself as the beau ideal of his caste; his figure was short,
fleshy, and enormously muscular, and displayed proportions which wanted
but height to constitute a perfect Hercules; his legs so thick in the
calf, so taper in the ancle, looked like nothing I know, except perhaps,
the metal balustrades of Carlisle--bridge; his face was large and rosy,
and the general expression, a mixture of unbounded good humour and
inexhaustible drollery, to which the restless activity of his black and
arched eye--brows greatly contributed; and his mouth, were it not for a
character of sensuality and voluptuousness about the nether lip, had been
actually handsome; his head was bald, except a narrow circle close above
the ears, which was marked by a ring of curly dark hair, sadly
insufficient however, to conceal a development behind, that, if there be
truth in phrenology, bodes but little happiness to the disciples of Miss
Martineau.

Add to these external signs a voice rich, fluent, and racy, with the
mellow "doric" of his country, and you have some faint resemblance of one
"every inch a priest."  The very antipodes to the 'bonhomie' of this
figure, confronted him as croupier at the foot of the table.  This,
as I afterwards learned, was no less a person than Mister Donovan, the
coadjutor or "curate;" he was a tall, spare, ungainly looking man of
about five and thirty, with a pale, ascetic countenance, the only
readable expression of which vibrated between low suspicion and intense
vulgarity: over his low, projecting forehead hung down a mass of straight
red hair; indeed--for nature is not a politician--it almost approached an
orange hue.  This was cut close to the head all around, and displayed in
their full proportions a pair of enormous ears, which stood out in
"relief," like turrets from a watch-tower, and with pretty much the same
object; his skin was of that peculiar colour and texture, to which, not
all "the water in great Neptune's ocean" could impart a look of
cleanliness, while his very voice, hard, harsh, and inflexible, was
unprepossessing and unpleasant.  And yet, strange as it may seem, he,
too, was a correct type of his order; the only difference being, that
Father Malachi was an older coinage, with the impress of Donay or St.
Omers, whereas Mister Donovan was the shining metal, fresh stamped from
the mint of Maynooth.

While thus occupied in my surveillance of the scene before me, I was
roused by the priest saying--

"Ah, Fin, my darling, you needn't deny it; you're at the old game as sure
as my name is Malachi, and ye'll never be easy nor quiet till ye're sent
beyond the sea, or maybe have a record of your virtues on half a ton of
marble in the church--yard, yonder."

"Upon my honour, upon the sacred honour of a De Courcy--."

"Well, well, never mind it now; ye see ye're just keeping your friends
cooling themselves there in the corner--introduce me at once."

"Mr. Lorrequer, I'm sure--."

"My name is Curzon," said the adjutant, bowing.

"A mighty pretty name, though a little profane; well, Mr. Curse-on," for
so he pronounced it, "ye're as welcome as the flowers in May; and it's
mighty proud I am to see ye here.

"Mr. Lorrequer, allow me to shake your hand--I've heard of ye before."

There seemed nothing very strange in that; for go where I would through
this country, I seemed as generally known as ever was Brummell in
Bond-street.

"Fin tells me," continued Father Malachi, "that ye'd rather not be known
down here, in regard of a reason," and here he winked.  "Make yourselves
quite easy; the king's writ was never but once in these parts; and the
'original and true copy' went back to Limerick in the stomach of the
server; they made him eat it, Mr. Lorrequer; but it's as well to be
cautious, for there are a good number here.  A little dinner, a little
quarterly dinner we have among us, Mr. Curseon, to be social together,
and raise a 'thrifle' for the Irish college at Rome, where we have a
probationer or two, ourselves.

"As good as a station, and more drink," whispered Fin into my ear.  "And
now," continued the priest, "ye must just permit me to re-christen ye
both, and the contribution will not be the less for what I'm going to do;
and I'm certain you'll not be worse for the change Mr. Curseon--though
'tis only for a few hours, ye'll have a dacent name."

As I could see no possible objection to this proposal, nor did Curzon
either, our only desire being to maintain the secrecy necessary for our
antagonist's safety, we at once assented; when Father Malachi took me by
the hand, but with such a total change in his whole air and deportment
that I was completely puzzled by it; he led me forward to the company
with a good deal of the ceremonious reverence I have often admired in Sir
Charles Vernon, when conducting some full--blown dowager through the
mazes of a castle minuet.  The desire to laugh outright was almost
irresistible, as the Rev. Father stood at arm's length from me, still
holding my hand, and bowing to the company pretty much in the style of a
manager introducing a blushing debutante to an audience.  A moment more,
and I must have inevitably given way to a burst of laughter, when what
was my horror to hear the priest present me to the company as their
"excellent, worthy, generous, and patriotic young landlord, Lord Kilkee.
Cheer every mother's son of ye; cheer I say;" and certainly precept was
never more strenuously backed by example, for he huzzaed till I thought
he would burst a blood--vessel; may I add, I almost wished it, such was
the insufferable annoyance, the chagrin, this announcement gave me; and
I waited with eager impatience for the din and clamour to subside, to
disclaim every syllable of the priest's announcement, and take the
consequences of my baptismal epithet, cost what it might.  To this I was
impelled by many and important reasons.  Situated as I was with respect
to the Callonby family, my assumption of their name at such a moment
might get abroad, and the consequences to me, be inevitable ruin; and
independent of my natural repugnance to such sailing under false colours,
I saw Curzon laughing almost to suffocation at my wretched predicament,
and (so strong within me was the dread of ridicule) I thought, "what a
pretty narrative he is concocting for the mess this minute."  I rose
to reply; and whether Father Malachi, with his intuitive quickness,
guessed my purpose or not, I cannot say, but he certainly resolved to
out-maneuver me, and he succeeded: while with one hand he motioned to the
party to keep silence, with the other he took hold of Curzon, but with no
peculiar or very measured respect, and introduced him as Mr. MacNeesh,
the new Scotch steward and improver--a character at that time whose
popularity might compete with a tithe proctor or an exciseman.  So
completely did this tactique turn the tables upon the poor adjutant, who
the moment before was exulting over me, that I utterly forgot my own
woes, and sat down convulsed with mirth at his situation--an emotion
certainly not lessened as I saw Curzon passed from one to the other at
table, "like a pauper to his parish," till he found an asylum at the very
foot, in juxta with the engaging Mister Donovan.  A propinquity, if I
might judge from their countenances, uncoveted by either party.

While this was performing, Doctor Finucane was making his recognitions
with several of the company, to whom he had been long known during his
visits to the neighbourhood.  I now resumed my place on the right of the
Father, abandoning for the present all intention of disclaiming my rank,
and the campaign was opened.  The priest now exerted himself to the
utmost to recall conversation with the original channels, and if possible
to draw off attention from me, which he still feared, might, perhaps,
elicit some unlucky announcement on my part.  Failing in his endeavours
to bring matters to their former footing, he turned the whole brunt of
his attentions to the worthy doctor, who sat on his left.

"How goes on the law," said he, "Fin?  Any new proofs, as they call them,
forthcoming?"

What Fin replied, I could not hear, but the allusion to the "suit" was
explained by Father Malachi informing us that the only impediment between
his cousin and the title of Kinsale lay in the unfortunate fact, that his
grandmother, "rest her sowl," was not a man.

Doctor Finucane winced a little under the manner in which this was
spoken: but returned the fire by asking if the bishop was down lately in
that quarter?  The evasive way in which "the Father" replied having
stimulated my curiosity as to the reason, little entreaty was necessary
to persuade the doctor to relate the following anecdote, which was not
relished the less by his superior, that it told somewhat heavily on Mr.
Donovan.

"It is about four years ago," said the doctor, "since the Bishop, Dr.
Plunkett, took it into his head that he'd make a general inspection, 'a
reconnoisance," as we'd call it, Mr. Lor--that is, my lord!  Through the
whole diocese, and leave no part far nor near without poking his nose in
it and seeing how matters were doing.  He heard very queer stories about
his reverence here, and so down he came one morning in the month of July,
riding upon an old grey hack, looking just for all the world like any
other elderly gentleman in very rusty black.  When he got near the
village he picked up a little boy to show him the short cut across the
fields to the house here; and as his lordship was a 'sharp man and a
shrewd,' he kept his eye on every thing as he went along, remarking this,
and noting down that.

"'Are ye regular in yer duties, my son?' said he to the gossoon.

"'I never miss a Sunday,' said the gossoon; 'for it's always walking his
reverence's horse I am the whole time av prayers.'

"His lordship said no more for a little while, when he muttered between
his teeth, 'Ah, it's just slander--nothing but slander and lying
tongues.'  This soliloquy was caused by his remarking that on every gate
he passed, or from every cabin, two or three urchins would come out half
naked, but all with the finest heads of red hair he ever saw in his life.

"'How is it, my son,' said he, at length; 'they tell very strange stories
about Father Malachi, and I see so many of these children with red hair.
Eh--now Father Malachi's a dark man.'

"'True for ye,' said the boy; 'true for ye, Father Malachi's dark; but
the coadjutor!--the coadjutor's as red as a fox.'"

When the laugh this story caused had a little subsided, Father Malachi
called out, "Mickey Oulahan! Mickey, I say, hand his lordship over 'the
groceries'"--thus he designated a square decanter, containing about two
quarts of whiskey, and a bowl heaped high with sugar--"a dacent boy is
Mickey, my lord, and I'm happy to be the means of making him known to
you."  I bowed with condescension, while Mr. Oulahan's eyes sparkled like
diamonds at the recognition.

"He has only two years of the lease to run, and a 'long charge,'
(anglice, a large family,) continued the priest.

"I'll not forget him, you may depend upon it," said I.

"Do you hear that," said Father Malachi, casting a glance of triumph
round the table, while a general buzz of commendation on priest and
patron went round, with many such phrases as, "Och thin, it's his
riv'rance can do it," "na bocklish," "and why not," &c. &c.  As for me,
I have already "confessed" to my crying sin, a fatal, irresistible
inclination to follow the humour of the moment wherever it led me; and
now I found myself as active a partizan in quizzing Mickey Oulahan, as
though I was not myself a party included in the jest.  I was thus fairly
launched into my inveterate habit, and nothing could arrest my progress.

One by one the different individuals round the table were presented to
me, and made known their various wants, with an implicit confidence in my
power of relieving them, which I with equal readiness ministered to.  I
lowered the rent of every man at table.  I made a general jail delivery,
an act of grace, (I blush to say,) which seemed to be peculiarly
interesting to the present company.  I abolished all arrears--made a new
line of road through an impassable bog, and over an inaccessible
mountain--and conducted water to a mill, which (I learned in the morning)
was always worked by wind.  The decanter had scarcely completed its third
circuit of the board, when I bid fair to be most popular specimen of the
peerage that ever visited the "far west."  In the midst of my career of
universal benevolence, I was interrupted by Father Malachi, whom I found
on his legs, pronouncing a glowing eulogium on his cousin's late
regiment, the famous North Cork.

"That was the corps!" said he.  "Bid them do a thing, and they'd never
leave off; and so, when they got orders to retire from Wexford, it's
little they cared for the comforts of baggage, like many another
regiment, for they threw away every thing but their canteens, and never
stopped till they ran to Ross, fifteen miles farther than the enemy
followed them.  And when they were all in bed the same night, fatigued
and tired with their exertions, as ye may suppose, a drummer's boy called
out in his sleep--'here they are--they're coming'--they all jumped up and
set off in their shirts, and got two miles out of town before they
discovered it was a false alarm."

Peal after peal of laughter followed the priest's encomium on the
doctor's regiment; and, indeed, he himself joined most heartily in the
mirth, as he might well afford to do, seeing that a braver or better
corps than the North Cork, Ireland did not possess.

"Well," said Fin, "it's easy to see ye never can forget what they did at
Maynooth."

Father Malachi disclaimed all personal feeling on the subject; and I was
at last gratified by the following narrative, which I regret deeply I am
not enabled to give in the doctor's own verbiage; but writing as I do
from memory, (in most instances,) I can only convey the substance:

It was towards the latter end of the year '98--the year of the troubles
--that the North Cork was ordered, "for their sins" I believe, to march
from their snug quarters in Fermoy, and take up a position in the town of
Maynooth--a very considerable reverse of fortune to a set of gentlemen
extremely addicted to dining out, and living at large upon a very
pleasant neighbourhood.  Fermoy abounded in gentry; Maynooth at that,
time had few, if any, excepting his Grace of Leinster, and he lived very
privately, and saw no company.  Maynooth was stupid and dull--there were
neither belles nor balls; Fermoy (to use the doctor's well remembered
words) had "great feeding," and "very genteel young ladies, that carried
their handkerchiefs in bags, and danced with the officers."

They had not been many weeks in their new quarters, when they began to
pine over their altered fortunes, and it was with a sense of delight,
which a few months before would have been incomprehensible to them, they
discovered, that one of their officers had a brother, a young priest in
the college: he introduced him to some of his confreres, and the natural
result followed.  A visiting acquaintance began between the regiment and
such of the members of the college as had liberty to leave the precincts:
who, as time ripened the acquaintance into intimacy, very naturally
preferred the cuisine of the North Cork to the meagre fare of "the
refectory."  At last seldom a day went by, without one or two of their
reverences finding themselves guests at the mess.  The North Corkians
were of a most hospitable turn, and the fathers were determined the
virtue should not rust for want of being exercised; they would just drop
in to say a word to "Captain O'Flaherty about leave to shoot in the
demesne," as Carton was styled; or, they had a "frank from the Duke for
the Colonel," or some other equally pressing reason; and they would
contrive to be caught in the middle of a very droll story just as the
"roast beef" was playing.  Very little entreaty then sufficed--a short
apology for the "dereglements" of dress, and a few minutes more found
them seated at table without further ceremony on either side.

Among the favourite guests from the college, two were peculiarly held in
estimation--"the Professor of the Humanities," Father Luke Mooney; and the
Abbe D'Array, "the Lecturer on Moral Philosophy, and Belles Lettres;" and
certain it is, pleasanter fellows, or more gifted with the "convivial
bump," there never existed.  He of the Humanities was a droll dog--a
member of the Curran club, the "monks of the screw," told an excellent
story, and sang the "Cruiskeen Lawn" better than did any before or since
him;--the moral philosopher, though of a different genre, was also a most
agreeable companion, an Irishman transplanted in his youth to St. Omers,
and who had grafted upon his native humour a considerable share of French
smartness and repartee--such were the two, who ruled supreme in all the
festive arrangements of this jovial regiment, and were at last as regular
at table, as the adjutant and the paymaster, and so might they have
continued, had not prosperity, that in its blighting influence upon the
heart, spares neither priests nor laymen, and is equally severe upon mice
(see Aesop's fable) and moral philosophers, actually deprived them, for
the "nonce" of reason, and tempted them to their ruin.  You naturally
ask, what did they do?  Did they venture upon allusions to the retreat
upon Ross?  Nothing of the kind.  Did they, in that vanity which wine
inspires, refer by word, act, or inuendo, to the well-known order of
their Colonel when reviewing his regiment in "the Phoenix," to "advance
two steps backwards, and dress by the gutter."  Far be it from them:
though indeed either of these had been esteemed light in the balance
compared with their real crime.  "Then, what was their failing--come,
tell it, and burn ye?"  They actually, "horresco referens," quizzed the
Major coram the whole mess!--Now, Major John Jones had only lately
exchanged into the North Cork from the "Darry Ragement," as he called it.
He was a red--hot orangeman, a deputy--grand something, and vice-chairman
of the "'Prentice Boys" beside.  He broke his leg when a school--boy, by
a fall incurred in tying an orange handkerchief around King William's
August neck in College-green, on one 12th of July, and three several
times had closed the gates of Derry with his own loyal hands, on the
famed anniversary; in a word, he was one, that if his church had enjoined
penance as an expiation for sin, would have looked upon a trip to
Jerusalem on his bare knees, as a very light punishment for the crime on
his conscience, that he sat at table with two buck priests from Maynooth,
and carved for them, like the rest of the company!

Poor Major Jones, however, had no such solace, and the canker-worm eat
daily deeper and deeper into his pining heart.  During the three or four
weeks of their intimacy with his regiment, his martyrdom was awful.  His
figure wasted, and his colour became a deeper tinge of orange, and all
around averred that there would soon be a "move up" in the corps, for the
major had evidently "got his notice to quit" this world, and its pomps
and vanities.  He felt "that he was dying," to use Haines Bayley's
beautiful and apposite words, and meditated an exchange, but that, from
circumstances, was out of the question.  At last, subdued by grief, and
probably his spirit having chafed itself smooth by such constant
attrition, he became, to all seeming, calmer; but it was only the calm of
a broken and weary heart.  Such was Major Jones at the time, when,
"suadente diabolo," it seemed meet to Fathers Mooney and D'Array to make
him the butt of their raillery.  At first, he could not believe it; the
thing was incredible--impossible; but when he looked around the table,
when he heard the roars of laughter, long, loud, and vociferous; when he
heard his name bandied from one to the other across the table, with some
vile jest tacked to it "like a tin kettle to a dog's tail," he awoke to
the full measure of his misery--the cup was full.  Fate had done her
worst, and he might have exclaimed with Lear, "spit, fire-spout, rain,"
there was nothing in store for him of further misfortune.

A drum-head court-martial--a hint "to sell out"--ay, a sentence of
"dismissed the service," had been mortal calamities, and, like a man, he
would have borne them; but that he, Major John Jones, D.G.S. C.P.B., &c.
&c, who had drank the "pious, glorious, and immortal," sitting astride of
"the great gun of Athlone," should come to this!  Alas, and alas!  He
retired that night to his chamber a "sadder if not a wiser man;" he
dreamed that the "statue" had given place to the unshapely figure of Leo
X., and that "Lundy now stood where Walker stood before."  He humped from
his bed in a moment of enthusiasm, he vowed his revenge, and he kept his
vow.

That day the major was "acting field officer."  The various patroles,
sentries, picquets, and out-posts, were all under his especial control;
and it was remarked that he took peculiar pains in selecting the men for
night duty, which, in the prevailing quietness and peace of that time,
seemed scarcely warrantable.

Evening drew near, and Major Jones, summoned by the "oft-heard beat,"
wended his way to the mess.  The officers were dropping in, and true as
"the needle to the pole," came Father Mooney and the Abbe.  They were
welcomed with the usual warmth, and strange to say, by none more than the
major himself, whose hilarity knew no bounds.

How the evening passed, I shall not stop to relate: suffice it to say,
that a more brilliant feast of wit and jollification, not even the North
Cork ever enjoyed.  Father Luke's drollest stories, his very quaintest
humour shone forth, and the Abbe sang a new "Chanson a Boire," that
Beranger might hav envied.

"What are you about, my dear Father D'Array?" said the Colonel; "you are
surely not rising yet; here's a fresh cooper of port just come in; sit
down, I entreat."

"I say it with grief, my dear colonel, we must away; the half-hour has
just chimed, and we must be within 'the gates' before twelve.  The truth
is, the superior has been making himself very troublesome about our
'carnal amusements' as he calls our innocent mirth, and we must therefore
be upon our guard."

"Well, if it must be so, we shall not risk losing your society
altogether, for an hour or so now; so, one bumper to our next meeting
--to-morrow, mind, and now, M. D'Abbe, au revoir."

The worthy fathers finished their glasses, and taking a most affectionate
leave of their kind entertainers, sallied forth under the guidance of
Major Jones, who insisted upon accompanying them part of the way, as,
"from information he had received, the sentries were doubled in some
places, and the usual precautions against surprise all taken."  Much as
this polite attention surprised the objects of it, his brother officers
wondered still more, and no sooner did they perceive the major and his
companions issue forth, than they set out in a body to watch where this
most novel and unexpected complaisance would terminate.

When the priests reached the door of the barrack-yard, they again turned
to utter their thanks to the major, and entreat him once more, "not to
come a step farther.  There now, major, we know the path well, so just
give us the pass, and don't stay out in the night air."

"Ah oui, Monsieur Jones," said the Abbe, "retournez, je vous prie.  We
are, I must say, chez nous.  Ces braves gens, les North Cork know us by
this time."

The major smiled, while he still pressed his services to see them past
the picquets, but they were resolved and would not be denied.

"With the word for the night, we want nothing more," said Father Luke.

"Well, then," said the major, in the gravest tone, and he was naturally
grave, "you shall have your way, but remember to call out loud, for the
first sentry is a little deaf, and a very passionate, ill--tempered
fellow to boot."

"Never fear," said Father Mooney, laughing; "I'll go bail he'll hear me."

"Well--the word for the night is--'Bloody end to the Pope,'--don't
forget, now, 'Bloody end to the Pope,'" and with these words he banged
the door between him and the unfortunate priests; and, as bolt was
fastened after bolt, they heard him laughing to himself like a fiend over
his vengeance.

"And big bad luck to ye, Major Jones, for the same, every day ye see a
paving stone," was the faint sub-audible ejaculation of Father Luke, when
he was recovered enough to speak.

"Sacristi! Que nous sommes attrappes," said the Abbe, scarcely able to
avoid laughing at the situation in which they were placed.

"Well, there's the quarter chiming now; we've no time to lose--Major
Jones!  Major, darling! Don't now, ah, don't! sure ye know we'll be
ruined entirely--there now, just change it, like a dacent fellow--the
devil's luck to him, he's gone.  Well, we can't stay here in the rain all
night, and be expelled in the morning afterwards--so come along."

They jogged on for a few minutes in silence, till they came to that part
of the "Duke's" demesne wall, where the first sentry was stationed.  By
this time the officers, headed by the major, had quietly slipped out of
the gate, and were following their steps at a convenient distance.

The fathers had stopped to consult together, what they should do in this
trying emergency--when their whisper being overheard, the sentinel called
out gruffly, in the genuine dialect of his country, "who goes that?"

"Father Luke Mooney, and the Abbe D'Array," said the former, in his most
bland and insinuating tone of voice, a quality he most eminently
possessed.

"Stand and give the countersign."

"We are coming from the mess, and going home to the college," said Father
Mooney, evading the question, and gradually advancing as he spoke.

"Stand, or I'll shot ye," said the North Corkian.

Father Luke halted, while a muttered "Blessed Virgin" announced his state
of fear and trepidation.

"D'Array, I say, what are we to do."

"The countersign," said the sentry, whose figure they could perceive in
the dim distance of about thirty yards.

"Sure ye'll let us pass, my good lad, and ye'll have a friend in Father
Luke the longest day ye live, and ye might have a worse in time of need;
ye understand."

Whether he did understand or not, he certainly did not heed, for his only
reply was the short click of his gun-lock, that bespeaks a preparation to
fire.

"There's no help now," said Father Luke; "I see he's a haythen; and bad
luck to the major, I say again;" and this in the fulness of his heart he
uttered aloud.

"That's not the countersign," said the inexorable sentry, striking the
butt end of the musket on the ground with a crash that smote terror into
the hearts of the priests.

Mumble--mumble--"to the Pope," said Father Luke, pronouncing the last
words distinctly, after the approved practice of a Dublin watchman, on
being awoke from his dreams of row and riot by the last toll of the
Post-office, and not knowing whether it has struck "twelve" or "three,"
sings out the word "o'clock," in a long sonorous drawl, that wakes every
sleeping citizen, and yet tells nothing how "time speeds on his flight."

"Louder," said the sentry, in a voice of impatience.

_____ "to the Pope."

"I don't hear the first part."

"Oh then," said the priest, with a sigh that might have melted the heart
of anything but a sentry, "Bloody end to the Pope; and may the saints in
heaven forgive me for saying it."

"Again," called out the soldier; "and no muttering."

"Bloody end to the Pope," cried Father Luke in bitter desperation.

"Bloody end to the Pope," echoed the Abbe.

"Pass bloody end to the Pope, and good night," said the sentry, resuming
his rounds, while a loud and uproarious peal of laughter behind, told the
unlucky priests they were overheard by others, and that the story would
be over the whole town in the morning.

Whether it was that the penance for their heresy took long in
accomplishing, or that they never could summon courage sufficient to face
their persecutor, certain it is, the North Cork saw them no more, nor
were they ever observed to pass the precincts of the college, while that
regiment occupied Maynooth.

Major Jones himself, and his confederates, could not have more heartily
relished this story, than did the party to whom the doctor heartily
related it.  Much, if not all the amusement it afforded, however,
resulted from his inimitable mode of telling, and the power of mimicry,
with which he conveyed the dialogue with the sentry: and this, alas, must
be lost to my readers, at least to that portion of them not fortunate
enough to possess Doctor Finucane's acquaintance.

"Fin! Fin! your long story has nearly famished me," said the padre, as
the laugh subsided; "and there you sit now with the jug at your elbow
this half-hour; I never thought you would forget our old friend Martin
Hanegan's aunt."

"Here's to her health," said Fin; "and your reverence will get us the
chant."

"Agreed," said Father Malachi, finishing a bumper, and after giving a few
preparatory hems, he sang the following "singularly wild and beautiful
poem," as some one calls Christabel:--

"Here's a health to Martin Hanegan's aunt,
And I'll tell ye the reason why!
She eats bekase she is hungry,
And drinks bekase she is dry.

"And if ever a man,
Stopped the course of a can,
Martin Hanegan's aunt would cry--
'Arrah, fill up your glass,
And let the jug pass;
How d'ye know but what your neighbour's dhry?"

"Come, my lord and gentlemen, da capo, if ye please--Fill up your glass,"
and the chanson was chorussed with a strength and vigour that would
have astonished the Philharmonic.

The mirth and fun now grew "fast and furious;" and Father Malachi, rising
with the occasion, flung his reckless drollery and fun on every side,
sparing none, from his cousin to the coadjutor.  It was not that peculiar
period in the evening's enjoyment, when an expert and practical chairman
gives up all interference or management, and leaves every thing to take
its course; this then was the happy moment selected by Father Malachi to
propose the little "contrhibution."  He brought a plate from a side
table, and placing it before him, addressed the company in a very brief
but sensible speech, detailing the object of the institution he was
advocating, and concluding with the following words:--"and now ye'll just
give whatever ye like, according to your means in life, and what ye can
spare."

The admonition, like the "morale" of an income tax, having the immediate
effect of pitting each man against his neighbour, and suggesting to their
already excited spirits all the ardour of gambling, without, however,
a prospect of gain.  The plate was first handed to me in honour of my
"rank," and having deposited upon it a handful of small silver, the
priest ran his finger through the coin, and called out:--

"Five pounds! at least; not a farthing less, as I am a sinner.  Look,
then,--see now; they tell ye, the gentlemen don't care for the like of
ye! but see for yourselves.  May I trouble y'r lordship to pass the plate
to Mr. Mahony--he's impatient, I see."

Mr. Mahony, about whom I perceived very little of the impatience alluded
to, was a grim-looking old Christian, in a rabbit-skin waistcoat, with
long flaps, who fumbled in the recesses of his breeches pocket for five
minutes, and then drew forth three shillings, which he laid upon the
plate, with what I fancied very much resembled a sigh.

"Six and sixpence, is it? or five shillings?--all the same, Mr. Mahony,
and I'll not forget the thrifle you were speaking about this morning any
way;" and here he leaned over as interceding with me for him, but in
reality to whisper into my ear, "the greatest miser from this to
Castlebar."

"Who's that put down the half guinea in goold?" (And this time he spoke
truth.)  "Who's that, I say?"

"Tim Kennedy, your reverence," said Tim, stroking his hair down with one
hand, and looking proud and modest at the same moment.

"Tim, ye're a credit to us any day, and I always said so.  It's a gauger
he'd like to be, my lord," said he, turning to me, in a kind of stage
whisper.  I nodded and muttered something, when he thanked me most
profoundly as if his suit had prospered.

"Mickey Oulahan--the lord's looking at ye, Mickey."  This was said
piannisime across the table, and had the effect of increasing Mr.
Oulahan's donation from five shillings to seven--the last two being
pitched in very much in the style o a gambler making his final coup, and
crying "va banque."  "The Oulahans were always dacent people--dacent
people, my lord."

"Be gorra, the Oulahans was niver dacenter nor the Molowneys, any how,"
said a tall athletic young fellow, as he threw down three crown pieces,
with an energy that made every coin leap from the plate.

"They'll do now," said Father Brennan; "I'll leave them to themselves;"
and truly the eagerness to get the plate and put down the subscription,
fully equalled the rapacious anxiety I have witnessed in an old maid at
loo, to get possession of a thirty-shilling pool, be the same more or
less, which lingered on its way to her, in the hands of many a fair
competitor.

"Mr. M'Neesh"--Curzon had hitherto escaped all notice--"Mr. M'Neesh, to
your good health," cried Father Brennan.  "It's many a secret they'll be
getting out o'ye down there about the Scotch husbandry."

Whatever poor Curzon knew of "drills," certainly did not extend to them
when occupied by turnips.  This allusion of the priest's being caught up
by the party at the foot of the table, they commenced a series of
inquiries into different  Scotch plans of tillage--his brief and
unsatisfactory answers to which, they felt sure, were given in order to
evade imparting information.  By degrees, as they continued to press him
with questions, his replies grew more short, and a general feeling of
dislike on both sides was not very long in following.

The father saw this, and determining with his usual tact to repress it,
called on the adjutant for a song.  Now, whether he had but one in the
world, or whether he took this mode of retaliating for the annoyances he
had suffered, I know not; but true it is, he finished his tumbler at a
draught, and with a voice of no very peculiar sweetness, though
abundantly loud, began "The Boyne Water."

He had just reached the word "battle," in the second line upon which he
was bestowing what he meant to be a shake, when, as if the word suggested
it, it seemed the signal for a general engagement.  Decanters, glasses,
jugs, candlesticks,--aye, and the money-dish, flew right and left--all
originally intended, it is ture, for the head of the luckless adjutant,
but as they now and then missed their aim, and came in contact with the
"wrong man," invariably provoked retaliation, and in a very few minutes
the battle became general.

What may have been the doctor's political sentiments on this occasion, I
cannot even guess; but he seemed bent upon performing the part of a
"convivial Lord Stanley," and maintaining a dignified neutrality.  With
this apparent object, he mounted upon the table, to raise himself, I
suppose, above the din and commotion of party clamour, and brandishing a
jug of scalding water, bestowed it with perfect impartiality on the
combatants on either side.  This Whig plan of conciliation, however well
intended, seemed not to prosper with either party; and many were the
missiles directed at the ill-starred doctor.  Meanwhile Father Malachi,
whether following the pacific instinct of his order, in seeking an asylum
in troublesome times, or equally moved by old habit to gather coin in low
places, (much of the money having fallen,) was industriously endeavouring
to insert himself beneath the table; in this, with one vigorous push, he
at last succeeded, but in so doing lifted it from its legs, and thus
destroying poor "Fin's" gravity, precipitated him, jug and all, into the
thickest part of the fray, where he met with that kind reception such a
benefactor ever receives at the hands of a grateful public.  I meanwhile
hurried to rescue poor Curzon, who, having fallen to the ground, was
getting a cast of his features taken in pewter, for such seemed the
operation a stout farmer was performing on the adjutant's face with a
quart.  With considerable difficulty, notwithstanding my supposed
"lordship," I succeeded in freeing him from his present position; and he
concluding, probably, that enough had been done for one "sitting," most
willingly permitted me to lead him from the room.  I was soon joined by
the doctor, who assisted me in getting my poor friend to bed; which being
done, he most eagerly entreated me to join the company.  This, however,
I firmly but mildly declined, very much to his surprise; for as he
remarked--"They'll all be like lambs now, for they don't believe there's
a whole bone in his body."

Expressing my deep sense of the Christian-like forbearance of the party,
I pleaded fatigue, and bidding him good night, adjourned to my bed-room;
and here, although the arrangements fell somewhat short of the luxurious
ones appertaining to my late apartment at Callonby, they were most
grateful at the moment; and having "addressed myself to slumber," fell
fast asleep, and only awoke late on the following morning to wonder where
I was: from any doubts as to which I was speedily relieved by the
entrance of the priest's bare-footed "colleen," to deposit on my table a
bottle of soda water, and announce breakfast, with his reverence's
compliments.

Having made a hasty toilet, I proceeded to the parlour, which, however
late events might have impressed upon my memory, I could scarcely
recognise.  Instead of the long oak table and the wassail bowl, there
stood near the fire a small round table, covered with a snow--white
cloth, upon which shone in unrivalled brightness a very handsome tea
equipage--the hissing kettle on one hob was vis a vis'd by a gridiron
with three newly taken trout, frying under the reverential care of Father
Malachi himself--a heap of eggs ranged like shot in an ordnance yard,
stood in the middled of the table, while a formidable pile of buttered
toast browned before the grate--the morning papers were airing upon the
hearth--every thing bespoke that attention to comfort and enjoyment one
likes to discover in the house where chance may have domesticated him for
a day or two.

"Good morning, Mr. Lorrequer.  I trust you have rested well," said Father
Malachi as I entered.

"Never better; but where are our friends?"

"I have been visiting and comforting them in their affliction, and I may
with truth assert it is not often my fortune to have three as sickly
looking guests.  That was a most unlucky affair last night, and I must
apologise."

"Don't say a word, I entreat; I saw how it all occurred, and am quite
sure if it had not been for poor Curzon's ill-timed melody--"

"You are quite right," said the father interrupting me.  "Your friend's
taste for music--bad luck to it--was the 'teterrima causa belli.'"

"And the subscription," said I; "how did it succeed?"

"Oh, the money went in the commotion; and although I have got some seven
pounds odd shillings of it, the war was a most expensive one to me.  I
caught old Mahony very busy under the table during the fray; but let us
say no more about it now--draw over your chair.  Tea or coffee? there's
the rum if you like it 'chasse.'"

I immediately obeyed the injunction, and commenced a vigorous assault
upon the trout, caught, as he informed me, "within twenty perches of the
house."

"Your poor friend's nose is scarcely regimental," said he, "this morning;
and as for Fin, he was never remarkable for beauty, so, though they might
cut and hack, they could scarcely disfigure him, as Juvenal says--isn't
it Juvenal?

"'Vacuus viator cantabit ante Latronem;'

"or in the vernacular:

"'The empty traveller may whistle
Before the robber and his pistil' (pistol)."

"There's the Chili vinegar--another morsel of the trout?"

"I thank you; what excellent coffee, Father Malachi!"

"A secret I learned at St. Omer's some thirty years since.  Any letters,
Bridget?"--to a damsel that entered with a pacquet in her hand.

"A gossoon from Kilrush, y'r reverence, with a bit of a note for the
gentleman there."

"For me!--ah, true enough.  Harry Lorrequer, Esq. Kilrush--try
Carrigaholt."  So ran the superscription--the first part being in a
lady's handwriting; the latter very like the "rustic paling" of the
worthy Mrs. Healy's style.  The seal was a large one, bearing a coronet
at top, and the motto in old Norman--French, told me it came from
Callonby.

With what a trembling hand and beating heart I broke it open, and yet
feared to read it--so much of my destiny might be in that simple page.
For once in my life my sanguine spirit failed me; my mind could take in
but one casualty, that Lady Jane had divulged to her family the nature of
my attentions, and that in the letter before me lay a cold mandate of
dismissal from her presence for ever.

At last I summoned courage to read it; but having scrupled to present to
my readers the Reverend Father Brennan at the tail of a chapter, let me
not be less punctilious in the introduction of her ladyship's billet.



CHAPTER VII.

THE LADY'S LETTER--PETER AND HIS ACQUAINTANCES--TOO LATE.

Her ladyship's letter ran thus--

"Callonby, Tuesday morning.

"My dear Mr. Lorrequer,--My lord has deputed me to convey to you our
adieus, and at the same time to express our very great regret that we
should not have seen you before out departure from Ireland.  A sudden
call of the House, and some unexpected ministerial changes, require Lord
Callonby's immediate presence in town; and probably before this reaches
you we shall be on the road.  Lord Kilkee, who left us yesterday, was
much distressed at not having seen you--he desired me to say you shall
hear from him from Leamington.  Although writing amid all the haste
and bustle of departure, I must not forget the principal part of my
commission, nor lady-like defer it to a postscript: my lord entreats that
you will, if possible, pass a month or two with us in London this season;
make any use of his name you think fit at the Horse-Guards, where he has
some influence.  Knowing as I do, with what kindness you ever accede to
the wishes of your friends, I need not say how much gratification this
will afford us all; but, sans response, we expect you.  Believe me to
remain, yours very sincerely,

"Charlotte Callonby."

"P.S.--We are all quite well, except Lady Jane, who has a slight cold,
and has been feverish for the last day or two."


Words cannot convey any idea of the torrent of contending emotions under
which I perused this letter.  The suddenness of the departure, without an
opportunity of even a moment's leave-taking, completely unmanned me.
What would I not have given to be able to see her once more, even for an
instant--to say "a good bye"--to watch the feeling with which she parted
from me, and augur from it either favourably to my heart's dearest hope,
or darkest despair.  As I continued to read on, the kindly tone of the
remainder reassured me, and when I came to the invitation to London,
which plainly argued a wish on their part to perpetuate the intimacy,
I was obliged to read it again and again, before I could convince myself
of its reality.  There it was, however, most distinctly and legibly
impressed in her ladyship's fairest calligraphy; and certainly great as
was its consequence to me at the time, it by no means formed the
principal part of the communication.  The two lines of postscript
contained more, far more food for hopes and fears than did all the
rest of the epistle.

Lady Jane was ill then, slightly however--a mere cold; true, but she was
feverish.  I could not help asking myself what share had I causing that
flushed cheek and anxious eye, and pictured to myself, perhaps with more
vividness than reality, a thousand little traits of manner, all proofs
strong as holy writ to my sanguine mind, that my affection was returned,
and that I loved not in vain.  Again and again I read over the entire
letter; never truly did a nisi prius lawyer con over a new act of
parliament with more searching ingenuity, to detect its hidden meaning,
than did I to unravel through its plain phraseology the secret intention
of the writer towards me.

There is an old and not less true adage, that what we wish we readily
believe; and so with me--I found myself an easy convert to my own hopes
and desires, and actually ended by persuading myself--no very hard task
--that my Lord Callonby had not only witnessed but approved of my
attachment to his beautiful daughter, and for reasons probably known to
him, but concealed from me, opined that I was a suitable "parti," and
gave all due encouragement to my suit.  The hint about using his
lordship's influence at the Horse guards I resolved to benefit by; not,
however, in obtaining leave of absence, which I hoped to accomplish more
easily, but with his good sanction in pushing my promotion, when I
claimed him as my right honorable father-in-law--a point, on the
propriety of which, I had now fully satisfied myself.  What visions of
rising greatness burst upon my mind, as I thought on the prospect that
opened before me; but here let me do myself the justice to record, that
amid all my pleasure and exultation, my proudest thought, was in the
anticipation of possessing one in every way so much my superior--the very
consciousness of which imparted a thrill of fear to my heart, that such
good fortune was too much even to hope for.

How long I might have luxuriated in such Chateaux en Espagne, heaven
knows; thick and thronging fancies came abundantly to my mind, and it
was with something of the feeling of the porter in the Arabian Nights,
as he surveyed the fragments of his broken ware, hurled down in a moment
of glorious dreaminess, that I turned to look at the squat and
unaristocratic figure of Father Malachi, as he sat reading his newspaper
before the fire.  How came I in such company; methinks the Dean of
Windsor, or the Bishop of Durham had been a much more seemly associate
for one destined as I was for the flood-tide of the world's favour.

My eye at this instant rested upon the date of the letter, which was that
of the preceding morning, and immediately a thought struck me that, as
the day was a louring and gloomy one, perhaps they might have deferred
their journey, and I at once determined to hasten to Callonby, and, if
possible, see them before their departure.

"Father Brennan," said I, at length, "I have just received a letter which
compels me to reach Kilrush as soon as possible.  Is there any public
conveyance in the village?"

"You don't talk of leaving us, surely," said the priest, "and a haunch of
mutton for dinner, and Fin says he'll be down, and your friend, too, and
we'll have poor Beamish in on a sofa."

"I am sorry to say my business will not admit of delay, but, if possible,
I shall return to thank you for all you kindness, in a day or two
--perhaps tomorrow."

"Oh, then," said Father Brennan, "if it must be so, why you can have
'Pether,' my own pad, and a better you never laid leg over; only give him
his own time, and let him keep the 'canter,' and he'll never draw up from
morning till night; and now I'll just go and have him in readiness for
you."

After professing my warm acknowledgments to the good father for his
kindness, I hastened to take a hurried farewell of Curzon before going.
I found him sitting up in bed taking his breakfast; a large strip of
black plaster, extending from the corner of one eye across the nose, and
terminating near the mouth, denoted the locale of a goodly wound, while
the blue, purple and yellow patches into which his face was partitioned
out, left you in doubt whether he now resembled the knave of clubs or a
new map of the Ordnance survey; one hand was wrapped up in a bandage, and
altogether a more rueful and woe-begone looking figure I have rarely
looked upon; and most certainly I am of opinion that the "glorious, pious
and immortal memory" would have brought pleasanter recollections to
Daniel O'Connell himself, than it would on that morning to the adjutant
of his majesty's 4_th.

"Ah, Harry," said he, as I entered, "what Pandemonium is this we've got
into? did you ever witness such a business as last night's?"

"Why truly," said I, "I know of no one to blame but yourself; surely you
must have known what a fracas your infernal song would bring on."

"I don't know now whether I knew it or not; but certainly at the moment
I should have preferred anything to the confounded cross-examination I
was under, and was glad to end it by any coup d'etat.  One wretch was
persecuting me about green crops, and another about the feeding of
bullocks; about either of which I knew as much as a bear does of a
ballet."

"Well, truly, you caused a diversion at some expense to your countenance,
for I never beheld anything--"

"Stop there," said he, "you surely have not seen the doctor--he beats me
hollow--they have scarcely left so much hair on his head as would do for
an Indian's scalp lock; and, of a verity, his aspect is awful this
morning; he has just been here, and by-the-bye has told me all about your
affair with Beamish.  It appears that somewhere you met him at dinner,
and gave a very flourishing account of a relative of his who you informed
him was not only selected for some very dashing service, but actually the
personal friend of Picton; and, after the family having blazed the matter
all over Cork, and given a great entertainment in honor of their kinsman,
it turns out that, on the glorious 19th, he ran away to Brussels faster
than even the French to Charleroi; for which act, however, there was no
aspersion ever cast upon his courage, that quality being defended at the
expense of his honesty; in a word, he was the paymaster of the company,
and had what Theodore Hook calls an 'affection of his chest,' that
required change of air.  Looking only to the running away part of the
matter, I unluckily expressed some regret that he did not belong to the
North Cork, and I remarked the doctor did not seem to relish the
allusion, and as I only now remember, it was his regiment, I suppose
I'm in for more mischief."

I had no time to enjoy Curzon's dilemma, and had barely informed him of
my intended departure, when a voice from without the room proclaimed that
"Pether" was ready, and having commissioned the adjutant to say the
"proper" to Mr. Beamish and the doctor, hurried away, and after a hearty
shake of the hand from Father Brennan, and a faithful promise to return
soon, I mounted and set off.

Peter's pace was of all others the one least likely to disturb the
lucubrations of a castle-builder like myself; without any admonition from
whip or spur he maintained a steady and constant canter, which, I am free
to confess, was more agreeable to sit, than it was graceful to behold;
for his head being much lower than his tail, he every moment appeared in
the attitude of a diver about to plunge into the water, and more than
once I had misgivings that I would consult my safety better if I sat with
my face to the tail; however, what will not habit accomplish? before I
had gone a mile or two, I was so lost in my own reveries and reflections,
that I knew nothing of my mode of progression, and had only thoughts and
feelings for the destiny that awaited me; sometimes I would fancy myself
seated in the House of Commons, (on the ministerial benches, of course,)
while some leading oppositionist was pronouncing a glowing panegyric upon
the eloquent and statesmanlike speech of the gallant colonel--myself;
then I thought I was making arrangements for setting out for my new
appointment, and Sancho Panza never coveted the government of an island
more than I did, though only a West Indian one; and, lastly, I saw myself
the chosen diplomate on a difficult mission, and was actually engaged in
the easy and agreeable occupation of outmaneuvering Talleyrand and Pozzo
di Borgo, when Peter suddenly drew up at the door of a small cabin, and
convinced me that I was still a mortal man, and a lieutenant in his
Majesty's 4_th.  Before I had time afforded me even to guess at the
reason of this sudden halt, an old man emerged from the cabin, which I
saw now was a road-side ale-house, and presented Peter with a bucket of
meal and water, a species of "viaticum" that he evidently was accustomed
to, at this place, whether bestrode by a priest or an ambassador.  Before
me lay a long straggling street of cabins, irregularly thrown, as if
riddled over the ground; this I was informed was Kilkee; while my good
steed, therefore, was enjoying his potation, I dismounted, to stretch my
legs and look about me, and scarcely had I done so when I found half the
population of the village assembled round Peter, whose claims to
notoriety, I now learned, depended neither upon his owner's fame, nor
even my temporary possession of him.  Peter, in fact, had been a racer,
once--when, the wandering Jew might perhaps have told, had he ever
visited Clare--for not the oldest inhabitant knew the date of his
triumphs on the turf; though they were undisputed traditions, and never
did any man appear bold enough to call them in question: whether it was
from his patriarchal character, or that he was the only race-horse ever
known in his county I cannot say, but, of a truth, the Grand Lama could
scarcely be a greater object of reverence in Thibet, than was Peter in
Kilkee.

"Musha, Peter, but it's well y'r looking," cried one.

"Ah, thin, maybe ye an't fat on the ribs," cried another.

"An' cockin' his tail like a coult," said a third.

I am very certain, if I might venture to judge from the faces about,
that, had the favourite for the St. Leger, passed through Kilkee at that
moment, comparisons very little to his favor had been drawn from the
assemblage around me.  With some difficulty I was permitted to reach my
much admired steed, and with a cheer, which was sustained and caught up
by every denizen of the village as I passed through, I rode on my way,
not a little amused at my equivocal popularity.

Being desirous to lose no time, I diverged from the straight road which
leads to Kilrush, and took a cross bridle-path to Callonby; this, I
afterwards discovered was a detour of a mile or two, and it was already
sun-set when I reached the entrance to the park.  I entered the avenue,
and now my impatience became extreme, for although Peter continued to
move at the same uniform pace, I could not persuade myself that he was
not foundering at every step, and was quite sure we were scarcely
advancing; at last I reached the wooden bridge, and ascended the steep
slope, the spot where I had first met her, on whom my every thought now
rested.  I turned the angle of the clump of beech trees from whence the
first view of the house is caught--I perceived to my inexpressible
delight that gleams of light shone from many of the windows, and could
trace their passing from one to the other.  I now drew rein, and with a
heart relieved from a load of anxiety, pulled up my good steed, and began
to think of the position in which a few brief seconds would place me.
I reached the small flower-garden, sacred by a thousand endearing
recollections.  Oh! of how very little account are the many words of
passing kindness, and moments of light-hearted pleasure, when spoken or
felt, compared to the memory of them when hallowed by time or distance.

"The place, the hour, the sunshine and the shade," all reminded me of the
happy past, and all brought vividly before me every portion of that dream
of happiness in which I was so utterly--so completely steeped--every
thought of the hopelessness of my passion was lost in the intensity of
it, and I did not, in the ardour of my loving, stop to think of its
possible success.

It was strange enough that the extreme impatience, the hurried anxiety, I
had felt and suffered from, while riding up the avenue, had now fled
entirely, and in its place I felt nothing but a diffident distrust of
myself, and a vague sense of awkwardness about intruding thus
unexpectedly upon the family, while engaged in all the cares and
preparations for a speedy departure.  The hall-door lay as usual wide
open, the hall itself was strewn and littered with trunks, imperials,
and packing-cases, and the hundred et ceteras of travelling baggage.
I hesitated a moment whether I should not ring, but at last resolved to
enter unannounced, and, presuming upon my intimacy, see what effect my
sudden appearance would have on Lady Jane, whose feelings towards me
would be thus most unequivocally tested.  I passed along the wide
corridor, entered the music-room--it was still--I walked then to the door
of the drawing-room--I paused--I drew a full breath--my hand trembled
slightly as I turned the lock--I entered--the room was empty, but the
blazing fire upon the hearth, the large arm-chairs drawn around, the
scattered books upon the small tables, all told that it had been
inhabited a very short time before.  Ah! thought I, looking at my watch,
they are at dinner, and I began at once to devise a hundred different
plans to account for my late absence and present visit.  I knew that a
few minutes would probably bring them into the drawing-room, and I felt
flurried and heated as the time drew near.  At last I heard voices
without--I started from the examination of a pencil drawing but partly
finished, but the artist of which I could not be deceived in--I listened
--the sounds drew near--I could not distinguish who were the speakers
--the door-lock turned, and I rose to make my well-conned, but
half-forgotten speech; and oh, confounded disappointment, Mrs. Herbert,
the house-keeper, entered.  She started, not expecting to see me, and
immediately said,

"Oh! Mr. Lorrequer! then you've missed them."

"Missed them!" said I; "how--when--where?"

"Did you not get a note from my lord?"

"No; when was it written?"

"Oh, dear me, that is so very unfortunate.  Why, sir, my lord sent off a
servant this morning to Kilrush, in Lord Kilkee's tilbury, to request you
would meet them all in Ennis this evening, where they had intended to
stop for to-night; and they waited here till near four o'clock to-day,
but when the servant came back with the intelligence that you were from
home, and not expected to return soon, they were obliged to set out, and
are not going to make any delay now, till they reach London.  The last
direction, however, my lord gave, was to forward her ladyship's letter to
you as soon as possible."

What I thought, said, or felt, might be a good subject of confession to
Father Malachi, for I fear it may be recorded among my sins, as I doubt
not that the agony I suffered vented itself in no measured form of speech
or conduct; but I have nothing to confess here on the subject, being so
totally overwhelmed as not to know what I did or said.  My first gleam of
reason elicited itself by asking,

"Is there, then, no chance of their stopping in Ennis to-night?"  As I
put the question my mind reverted to Peter and his eternal canter.

"Oh, dear, no, sir; the horses are ordered to take them, since Tuesday;
and they only thought of staying in Ennis, if you came time enough to
meet them--and they will be so sorry."

"Do you think so, Mrs. Herbert? do you, indeed, think so?" said I, in a
most insinuating tone.

"I am perfectly sure of it, sir."

"Oh, Mrs. Herbert, you are too kind to think so; but perhaps--that is
--may be, Mrs. Herbert, she said something--"

"Who, sir?"

"Lady Callonby, I mean; did her ladyship leave any message for me about
her plants? or did she remember--"

Mrs. Herbert kept looking at me all the time, with her great wide grey
eyes, while I kept stammering and blushing like a school-boy.

"No, sir; her ladyship said nothing, sir; but Lady Jane--"

"Yes; well, what of Lady Jane, my dear Mrs. Herbert?"

"Oh, sir! but you look pale; would not you like to have a little wine and
water--or perhaps--"

"No, thank you, nothing whatever; I am just a little fatigued--but you
were mentioning--"

"Yes, sir; I was saying that Lady Jane was mighty particular about a
small plant; she ordered it to be left in her dressing-room, though
Collins told her to have some of the handsome ones of the green-house,
she would have nothing but this; and if you were only to hear half the
directions she gave about keeping it watered, and taking off dead leaves,
you'd think her heart was set on it."

Mrs. Herbert would have had no cause to prescribe for my paleness had she
only looked at me this time; fortunately, however, she was engaged,
housekeeper-like, in bustling among books, papers, &c. which she had come
in for the purpose of arranging and packing up.  She being left behind to
bring up the rear, and the heavy baggage.

Very few moments' consideration were sufficient to show me that pursuit
was hopeless; whatever might have been Peter's performance in the reign
of "Queen Anne," he had now become like the goose so pathetically
described by my friend Lover, rather "stiff in his limbs," and the odds
were fearfully against his overtaking four horses, starting fresh every
ten miles, not to mention their being some hours in advance already.
Having declined all Mrs. Herbert's many kind offers, anent food and rest,
I took a last lingering look at the beautiful pictures, which still held
its place in the room lately mine, and hurried from a place so full of
recollections; and, notwithstanding the many reasons I had for
self-gratulation, every object around and about, filled me with sorrow
and regret for hours that had passed--never, never to return.

It was very late when I reached my old quarters at Kilrush; Mrs. Healy
fortunately was in bed asleep--fortunately I say, for had she selected
that occasion to vent her indignation for my long absence, I greatly fear
that, in my then temper I should have exhibited but little of that
Job-like endurance for which I was once esteemed; I entered my little
mean-looking parlour, with its three chairs and lame table, and, as I
flung myself upon the wretched substitute for a sofa, and thought upon
the varied events which a few weeks had brought about; it required the
aid of her ladyship's letter, which I opened before me, to assure me I
was not dreaming.

The entire of that night I could not sleep; my destiny seemed upon its
balance; and, whether the scale inclined to this side or that, good or
evil fortune seemed to betide me.  How many were my plans and
resolutions, and how often abandoned; again to be pondered over, and once
more given up.  The grey dawn of the morning was already breaking, and
found me still doubting and uncertain.  At last the die was thrown; I
determined at once to apply for leave to my commanding officer, (which he
could, if he pleased, give me, without any application to the Horse
Guards,) set out for Elton, tell Sir Guy my whole adventure, and
endeavour, by a more moving love story than ever graced even the Minerva
Press, to induce him to make some settlement on me, and use his influence
with Lord Callonby in my behalf; this done, set out for London, and then
--and then--what then?--then for the Morning Post--"Cadeau de noces"
--"happy couple"--"Lord Callonby's seat in Hampshire," &c. &c.

"You wished to be called at five, sir," said Stubber.

"Yes; is it five o'clock?"

"No, sir; but I heard you call out something about 'four horses,' and I
thought you might be hurried, so I came a little earlier."

"Quite right, Stubber; let me have my breakfast as soon as possible, and
see that chestnut horse I brought here last night, fed."

"And now for it," said I, after writing a hurried note to Curzon,
requesting him to take command of my party at Kilrush, till he heard from
me, and sending my kindest remembrance to my three friends; I despatched
the epistle by my servant on Peter, while I hastened to acquire a place in
the mail for Ennis, on the box seat of which let my kind reader suppose
me seated, as wrapping my box-coat around me, I lit my cigar and turned
my eyes towards Limerick.



CHAPTER VIII.

CONGRATULATIONS--SICK LEAVE--HOW TO PASS THE BOARD.

I had scarcely seated myself to breakfast at Swinburn's hotel in
Limerick, when the waiter presented me with a letter.  As my first glance
at the address showed it to be in Colonel Carden's handwriting, I felt
not a little alarmed for the consequences of the rash step I had taken in
leaving my detachment; and, while quickly thronging fancies of arrest and
courtmartial flitted before me, I summoned resolution at last to break
the seal, and read as follows:--

     "My dear Lorrequer," ("dear Lorrequer!" dear me, thought I; cool
     certainly, from one I have ever regarded as an open enemy)--"My dear
     Lorrequer, I have just accidentally heard of your arrival here, and
     hasten to inform you, that, as it may not be impossible your reasons
     for so abruptly leaving your detachment are known to me, I shall not
     visit your breach of discipline very heavily.  My old and worthy
     friend, Lord Callonby, who passed through here yesterday, has so
     warmly interested himself in your behalf, that I feel disposed to do
     all in my power to serve you; independently of my desire to do so on
     your own account.  Come over here, then, as soon as possible, and
     let us talk over your plans together.

                    "Believe me, most truly yours,
                                             "Henry Carden.
     "Barracks, 10 o'clock."

However mysterious and difficult to unravel, have been some of the
circumstances narrated in these "Confessions," I do not scruple to avow
that the preceding letter was to me by far the most inexplicable piece of
fortune I had hitherto met with.  That Lord Callonby should have
converted one whom I believed an implacable foe, into a most obliging
friend, was intelligible enough, seeing that his lordship had through
life been the patron of the colonel; but why he had so done, and what
communications he could possibly have made with regard to me, that
Colonel Carden should speak of "my plans" and proffer assistance in them
was a perfect riddle; and the only solution, one so ridiculously
flattering that I dared not think of it.  I read and re-read the note;
misplaced the stops; canvassed every expression; did all to detect a
meaning different from the obvious one, fearful of a self-deception where
so much was at stake.  Yet there it stood forth, a plain straightforward
proffer of services, for some object evidently known to the writer; and
my only conclusion, from all, was this, that "my Lord Callonby was the
gem of his order, and had a most remarkable talent for selecting a
son-in-law."

I fell into a deep reverie upon my past life, and the prospects which I
now felt were opening before me.  Nothing seemed extravagant to hopes so
well founded--to expectations so brilliant--and, in my mind's eye, I
beheld myself at one moment leading my young and beautiful bride through
the crowded salons of Devonshire House; and, at the next, I was
contemplating the excellence and perfection of my stud arrangements at
Melton, for I resolved not to give up hunting.  While in this pleasurable
exercise of my fancy, I was removing from before me some of the breakfast
equipage, or, as I then believed it, breaking the trees into better
groups upon my lawn, I was once more brought to the world and its dull
reality, by the following passage which my eye fell upon in the newspaper
before me--"We understand that the 4_th are daily expecting the route for
Cork, from whence they are to sail, early in the ensuing month for
Halifax, to relieve the 99th."  While it did not take a moment's
consideration to show me that though the regiment there mentioned was the
one I belonged to, I could have no possible interest in the announcement;
it never coming into my calculation that I should submit to such
expatriation; yet it gave me a salutary warning that there was no time
to be lost in making my application for leave, which, once obtained,
I should have ample time to manage an exchange into another corps.
The wonderful revolution a few days had effected in all my tastes and
desires, did not escape me at this moment.  But a week or two before and
I should have regarded an order for foreign service as anything rather
than unpleasant--now the thought was insupportable.  Then there would
have been some charm to me in the very novelty of the locale, and the
indulgence of that vagrant spirit I have ever possessed; for, like
Justice Woodcock, "I certainly should have been a vagabond if Providence
had not made me a justice of the peace"--now, I could not even
contemplate the thing as possible; and would have actually refused the
command of a regiment, if the condition of its acceptance were to sail
for the colonies.

Besides, I tried--and how ingenious is self-deception--I tried to find
arguments in support of my determination totally different from the
reasons which governed me.  I affected to fear climate, and to dread the
effect of the tropics upon my health.  It may do very well, thought I,
for men totally destitute of better prospects; with neither talent,
influence or powerful connexion, to roast their cheeks at Sierra Leone,
or suck a sugar-cane at St. Lucia.  But that you, Harry Lorrequer, should
waste your sweetness upon planters' daughters--that have only to be
known, to have the world at your feet!  The thing is absurd, and not to
be thought of!  Yes, said I half aloud--we read in the army list, that
Major A. is appointed to the 50th, and Capt. B. to the 12th; but how much
more near the truth would it be, to say--"That His Majesty, in
consideration of the distinguished services of the one, has been
graciously pleased to appoint him to--a case of blue and collapsed
cholera, in India; and also, for the bravery and gallant conduct of the
other, in his late affair with the 'How-dow-dallah Indians,' has promoted
him to the--yellow fever now devastating and desolating Jamaica."  How
far my zeal for the service might have carried me on this point, I know
not; for I was speedily aroused from my musings by the loud tramp of feet
upon the stairs, and the sound of many well-known voices of my brother
officers, who were coming to visit me.

"So, Harry, my boy," said the fat major as he entered; "is it true we are
not to have the pleasure of your company to Jamaica this time?"

"He prefers a pale face, it seems, to a black one; and certainly, with
thirty thousand in the same scale, the taste is excusable."

"But, Lorrequer," said a third, "we heard that you had canvassed the
county on the Callonby interest.  Why, man, where do you mean to pull
up?"

"As for me," lisped a large-eyed, white-haired ensign of three months'
standing, "I think it devilish hard, old Carden didn't send ME down
there, too, for I hear there are two girls in the family.  Eh,
Lorrequer?"

Having with all that peculiar bashfulness such occasions are sure to
elicit, disclaimed the happiness my friends so clearly ascribed to me,
I yet pretty plainly let it be understood that the more brilliant they
supposed my present prospects to be, the more near were they to estimate
them justly.  One thing certainly gratified me throughout.  All seemed
rejoiced at my good fortune, and even the old Scotch paymaster made no
more caustic remark than that he "wad na wonder if the chiel's black
whiskers wad get him made governor of Stirling Castle before he'd dee."

Should any of my most patient listeners to these my humble confessions,
wonder either here, or elsewhere, upon what very slight foundations I
built these my "Chateaux en Espagne," I have only one answer--"that from
my boyhood I have had a taste for florid architecture, and would rather
put up with any inconvenience of ground, than not build at all."

As it was growing late I hurriedly bade adieu to my friends, and hastened
to Colonel Carden's quarters, where I found him waiting for me, in
company with my old friend, Fitzgerald, our regimental surgeon.  Our
first greetings over, the colonel drew me aside into a window, and said
that, from certain expressions Lord Callonby had made use of--certain
hints he had dropped--he was perfectly aware of the delicate position in
which I stood with respect to his lordship's family.  "In fact, my dear
Lorrequer," he continued, "without wishing in the least to obtrude myself
upon your confidence, I must yet be permitted to say, you are the
luckiest fellow in Europe, and I most sincerely congratulate you on the
prospect before you."

"But, my dear Colonel, I assure you--"

"Well, well, there--not a word more; don't blush now.  I know there is
always a kind of secrecy thought necessary on these occasions, for the
sake of other parties; so let us pass to your plans.  From what I have
collected, you have not yet proposed formally.  But, of course you desire
a leave.  You'll not quit the army, I trust; no necessity for that; such
influence as yours can always appoint you to an unattached commission."

"Once more let me protest, sir, that though for certain reasons most
desirous to obtain a leave of absence, I have not the most remote--"

"That's right, quite right; I am sincerely gratified to hear you say so,
and so will be Lord Callonby; for he likes the service."

And thus was my last effort at a disclaimer cut short by the loquacious
little colonel, who regarded my unfinished sentence as a concurrence with
his own opinion.

"Allah il Allah," thought I, "it is my Lord Callonby's own plot; and his
friend Colonel Cardon aids and abets him."

"Now, Lorrequer," resumed the colonel, "let us proceed.  You have, of
course, heard that we are ordered abroad; mere newspaper report for the
present; nevertheless, it is extremely difficult--almost impossible,
without a sick certificate, to obtain a leave sufficiently long for your
purpose."

And here he smirked, and I blushed, selon les regles..

"A sick certificate," said I in some surprise.

"The only thing for you," said Fitzgerald, taking a long pinch of snuff;
"and I grieve to say you have a most villainous look of good health about
you."

"I must acknowledge I have seldom felt better."

"So much the worse--so much the worse," said Fitzgerald despondingly.
"Is there no family complaint; no respectable heir-loom of infirmity, you
can lay claim to from your kindred?"

"None, that I know of, unless a very active performance on the several
occasions of breakfast, dinner, and supper, with a tendency towards port,
and an inclination to sleep ten in every twenty-four hours, be a sign of
sickness; these symptoms I have known many of the family suffer for
years, without the slightest alleviation, though, strange as it may
appear, they occasionally had medical advice."

Fitz. took no notice of my sneer at the faculty, but proceeded to strike
my chest several times, with his finger tips.  "Try a short cough now,"
said he.  "Ah, that will never do!"

"Do you ever flush.  Before dinner I mean?"

"Occasionally, when I meet with a luncheon."

"I'm fairly puzzled," said poor Fitz. throwing himself into a chair;
"gout is a very good thing; but, then, you see you are only a sub., and
it is clearly against the articles of war, to have it before being a
field officer at least.  Apoplexy is the best I can do for you; and, to
say the truth, any one who witnesses your performance at mess, may put
faith in the likelihood of it.

"Do you think you could get up a fit for the medical board," said Fitz.,
gravely.

"Why, if absolutely indispensable," said I, "and with good instruction
--something this way.  Eh, is it not?"

"Nothing of the kind: you are quite wrong."

"Is there not always a little laughing and crying," said I.

"Oh, no, no; take the cue from the paymaster any evening after mess, and
you'll make no mistake--very florid about the cheeks; rather a lazy look
in one eye, the other closed up entirely; snore a little from time to
time, and don't be too much disposed to talk."

"And you think I may pass muster in this way."

"Indeed you may, if old Camie, the inspector, happen to be (what he is
not often) in a good humour.  But I confess I'd rather you were really
ill, for we've passed a great number of counterfeits latterly, and we may
be all pulled up ere long."

"Not the less grateful for your kindness," said I; "but still, I'd rather
matters stood as they do."

Having, at length, obtained a very formidable statement of my 'case' from
the Doctor, and a strong letter from the Colonel, deploring the temporary
loss of so promising a young officer, I committed myself and my
portmanteau to the inside of his Majesty's mail, and started for Dublin
with as light a heart and high spirits, as were consistent with so much
delicacy of health, and the directions of my Doctor.



CHAPTER IX.

THE ROAD--TRAVELLING ACQUAINTANCES--A PACKET ADVENTURE.

I shall not stop now to narrate the particulars of my visit to the
worthies of the medical board; the rather, as some of my "confessions
to come" have reference to Dublin, and many of those that dwell therein.
I shall therefore content myself here with stating, that without any
difficulty I obtained a six months' leave, and having received much
advice and more sympathy from many members of that body, took a
respectful leave of them, and adjourned to Bilton's where I had ordered
dinner, and (as I was advised to live low) a bottle of Sneyd's claret.
My hours in Dublin were numbered; at eight o'clock on the evening of my
arrival I hastened to the Pidgeon House pier, to take my berth in the
packet for Liverpool; and here, gentle reader, let me implore you if you
have bowels of compassion, to commiserate the condition of a sorry mortal
like myself.  In the days of which I now speak, steam packets were not
--men knew not then, of the pleasure of going to a comfortable bed in
Kingstown harbour, and waking on the morning after in the Clarence dock
at Liverpool, with only the addition of a little sharper appetite for
breakfast, before they set out on an excursion of forty miles per hour
through the air.

In the time I have now to commemorate, the intercourse between the two
countries was maintained by two sailing vessels of small tonnage, and
still scantier accommodation.  Of the one now in question I well
recollect the name--she was called the "Alert," and certainly a more
unfortunate misnomer could scarcely be conceived.  Well, there was no
choice; so I took my place upon the crowded deck of the little craft, and
in a drizzling shower of chilly rain, and amid more noise, confusion, and
bustle, than would prelude the launch of a line-of-battle ship, we
"sidled," goose-fashion, from the shore, and began our voyage towards
England.

It is not my intention, in the present stage of "my Confessions," to
delay on the road towards an event which influenced so powerfully, and so
permanently, my after life; yet I cannot refrain from chronicling a
slight incident which occurred on board the packet, and which, I have no
doubt, may be remembered by some of those who throw their eyes on these
pages.

One of my fellow-passengers was a gentleman holding a high official
appointment in the viceregal court, either comptroller of the household,
master of the horse, or something else equally magnificent; however,
whatever the nature of the situation, one thing is certain--one possessed
of more courtly manners, and more polished address, cannot be conceived,
to which he added all the attractions of a very handsome person and a
most prepossessing countenance.  The only thing the most scrupulous
critic could possibly detect as faulty in his whole air and bearing, was
a certain ultra refinement and fastidiousness, which in a man of
acknowledged family and connections was somewhat unaccountable, and
certainly unnecessary.  The fastidiousness I speak of, extended to
everything round and about him; he never eat of the wrong dish, nor spoke
to the wrong man in his life, and that very consciousness gave him a kind
of horror of chance acquaintances, which made him shrink within himself
from persons in every respect his equals.  Those who knew Sir Stewart
Moore, will know I do not exaggerate in either my praise or censure, and
to those who have not had that pleasure, I have only to say, theirs was
the loss, and they must take my word for the facts.

The very antithesis to the person just mentioned, was another passenger
then on board.  She, for even in sex they were different--she was a
short, squat, red-faced, vulgar-looking woman, of about fifty, possessed
of a most garrulous tendency, and talking indiscriminately with every one
about her, careless what reception her addresses met with, and quite
indifferent to the many rebuffs she momentarily encountered.  To me by
what impulse driven Heaven knows this amorphous piece of womanhood seemed
determined to attach herself.  Whether in the smoky and almost
impenetrable recesses of the cabin, or braving the cold and penetrating
rain upon deck, it mattered not, she was ever at my side, and not only
martyring me by the insufferable annoyance of her vulgar loquacity, but
actually, from the appearance of acquaintanceship such constant
association gave rise to, frightening any one else from conversing with
me, and rendering me, ere many hours, a perfect Paria among the
passengers.  By not one were we--for, alas, we had become Siamese--so
thoroughly dreaded as by the refined baronet I have mentioned; he
appeared to shrink from our very approach, and avoided us as though we
had the plagues of Egypt about us.  I saw this--I felt it deeply, and as
deeply and resolutely I vowed to be revenged, and the time was not long
distant in affording me the opportunity.

The interesting Mrs. Mulrooney, for such was my fair companion called,
was on the present occasion making her debut on what she was pleased to
call the "says;" she was proceeding to the Liverpool market as proprietor
and supercargo over some legion of swine that occupied the hold of the
vessel, and whose mellifluous tones were occasionally heard in all
parts of the ship.  Having informed me on these, together with some
circumstances of her birth and parentage, she proceeded to narrate some
of the cautions given by her friends as to her safety when making such a
long voyage, and also to detail some of the antiseptics to that dread
scourge, sea-sickness, in the fear and terror of which she had come on
board, and seemed every hour to be increasing in alarm about.

"Do you think then sir, that pork is no good agin the sickness?  Mickey,
that's my husband, sir, says it's the only thing in life for it, av it's
toasted."

"Not the least use, I assure you."

"Nor sperits and wather?"

"Worse and worse, ma'am."

"Oh, thin, maybe oaten mail tay would do? it's a beautiful thing for the
stomick, any how."

"Rank poison on the present occasion, believe me."

"Oh, then, blessed Mary, what am I to do--what is to become of me?"

"Go down at once to your berth, ma'am; lie still and without speaking
till we come in sight of land; or," and here a bright thought seized me,
"if you really feel very ill, call for that man there, with the fur
collar on his coat; he can give you the only thing I ever knew of any
efficacy; he's the steward, ma'am, Stewart Moore; but you must be on your
guard too as you are a stranger, for he's a conceited fellow, and has
saved a trifle, and sets up for a half gentleman; so don't be surprised
at his manner; though, after all, you may find him very different; some
people, I've heard, think him extremely civil."

"And he has a cure, ye say?"

"The only one I ever heard of; it is a little cordial of which you take,
I don't know how much, every ten or fifteen minutes."

"And the naygur doesn't let the saycret out, bad manners to him?"

"No, ma'am; he has refused every offer on the subject.'

"May I be so bowld as to ax his name again?"

"Stewart Moore, ma'am.  Moore is the name, but people always call him
Stewart Moore; just say that in a loud clear voice, and you'll soon have
him."

With the most profuse protestations of gratitude and promises of pork "a
discretion," if I ever sojourned at Ballinasloe, my fair friend proceeded
to follow my advice, and descended to the cabin.

Some hours after, I also betook myself to my rest, from which, however,
towards midnight I was awoke by the heavy working and pitching of the
little vessel, as she laboured in a rough sea.  As I looked forth from my
narrow crib, a more woe-begone picture can scarcely be imagined than that
before me.  Here and there through the gloomy cabin lay the victims of
the fell malady, in every stage of suffering, and in every attitude of
misery.  Their cries and lamentings mingled with the creaking of the
bulk-heads and the jarring twang of the dirty lamp, whose irregular swing
told plainly how oscillatory was our present motion.  I turned from the
unpleasant sight, and was about again to address myself to slumber with
what success I might, when I started at the sound of a voice in the very
berth next to me--whose tones, once heard, there was no forgetting.  The
words ran as nearly as I can recollect thus:--

"Oh, then, bad luck to ye for pigs, that ever brought me into the like of
this.  Oh, Lord, there it is again."  And here a slight interruption to
eloquence took place, during which I was enabled to reflect upon the
author of the complaint, who, I need not say, was Mrs. Mulrooney.

"I think a little tay would settle my stomach, if I only could get it;
but what's the use of talking in this horrid place?  They never mind me
no more than if I was a pig.  Steward, steward--oh, then, it's wishing
you well I am for a steward.  Steward, I say;" and this she really did
say, with an energy of voice and manner that startled more than one
sleeper.  "Oh, you're coming at last, steward."

"Ma'am," said a little dapper and dirty personage, in a blue jacket, with
a greasy napkin negligently thrown over one arm "ex officio," "Ma'am, did
you call?"

"Call, is it call?  No; but I'm roaring for you this half hour.  Come
here.  Have you any of the cordial dhrops agin the sickness?--you know
what I mean."

"Is it brandy, ma'am?"

"No, it isn't brandy;"

"We have got gin, ma'am, and bottled porter--cider, ma'am, if you like."

"Agh, no! sure I want the dhrops agin the sickness."

"Don't know indeed, ma'am."

"Ah, you stupid creature; maybe you're not the real steward.  What's your
name?"

"Smith, ma'am."

"Ah, I thought so; go away, man, go away."

This injunction, given in a diminuendo cadence, was quickly obeyed, and
all was silence for a moment or two.  Once more was I dropping asleep,
when the same voice as before burst out with--

"Am I to die here like a haythen, and nobody to come near me?  Steward,
steward, steward Moore, I say."

"Who calls me?" said a deep sonorous voice from the opposite side of the
cabin, while at the same instant a tall green silk nightcap, surmounting
a very aristocratic-looking forehead, appeared between the curtains of
the opposite berth.

"Steward Moore," said the lady again, with her eyes straining in the
direction of the door by which she expected him to enter.

"This is most strange," muttered the baronet, half aloud.  "Why, madam,
you are calling me!"

"And if I am," said Mrs. Mulrooney, "and if ye heerd me, have ye no
manners to answer your name, eh?  Are ye steward Moore?"

"Upon my soul ma'am I thought so last night, when I came on board; but
you really have contrived to make me doubt my own identity."

"And is it there ye're lying on the broad of yer back, and me as sick as
a dog fornent ye?"

"I concede ma'am the fact; the position is a most irksome one on every
account."

"Then why don't ye come over to me?" and this Mrs. Mulrooney said with a
voice of something like tenderness--wishing at all hazards to conciliate
so important a functionary.

"Why, really you are the most incomprehensible person I ever met."

"I'm what?" said Mrs. Mulrooney, her blood rushing to her face and
temples as she spoke--for the same reason as her fair townswoman is
reported to have borne with stoical fortitude every harsh epithet of the
language, until it occurred to her opponent to tell her that "the divil a
bit better she was nor a pronoun;" so Mrs. Mulrooney, taking "omne
ignotum pro horribili," became perfectly beside herself at the unlucky
phrase.  "I'm what? repate it av ye dare, and I'll tear yer eyes out?  Ye
dirty bla--guard, to be lying there at yer ease under the blankets,
grinning at me.  What's your thrade--answer me that--av it isn't to wait
on the ladies, eh?"

"Oh, the woman must be mad," said Sir Stewart.

"The devil a taste mad, my dear--I'm only sick.  Now just come over to
me, like a decent creature, and give me the dhrop of comfort ye have.
Come, avick."

"Go over to you?"

"Ay, and why not? or if it's so lazy ye are, why then I'll thry and cross
over to your side."

These words being accompanied by a certain indication of change of
residence on the part of Mrs. Mulrooney, Sir Stewart perceived there was
no time to lose, and springing from his berth, he rushed half-dressed
through the cabin, and up the companion-ladder, just as Mrs. Mulrooney
had protruded a pair of enormous legs from her couch, and hung for a
moment pendulous before she dropped upon the floor, and followed him to
the deck.  A tremendous shout of laughter from the sailors and deck
passengers prevented my hearing the dialogue which ensued; nor do I yet
know how Mrs. Mulrooney learned her mistake.  Certain it is, she no more
appeared among the passengers in the cabin, and Sir Stewart's manner the
following morning at breakfast amply satisfied me that I had had my
revenge.



CHAPTER X.

UPSET--MIND--AND BODY.

No sooner in Liverpool, than I hastened to take my place in the earliest
conveyance for London.  At that time the Umpire Coach was the perfection
of fast travelling; and seated behind the box, enveloped in a sufficiency
of broad-cloth, I turned my face towards town with as much anxiety and as
ardent expectations as most of those about me.  All went on in the
regular monotonous routine of such matters until we reached Northampton,
passing down the steep street of which town, the near wheel-horse
stumbled and fell; the coach, after a tremendous roll to one side,
toppled over on the other, and with a tremendous crash, and sudden shock,
sent all the outsides, myself among the number, flying through the air
like sea-gulls.  As for me, after describing a very respectable parabola,
my angle of incidence landed me in a bonnet-maker's shop, having passed
through a large plate-glass window, and destroyed more leghorns and
dunstables than a year's pay would recompense.  I have but light
recollection of the details of that occasion, until I found myself lying
in a very spacious bed at the George Inn, having been bled in both arms,
and discovering by the multitude of bandages in which I was enveloped,
that at least some of my bones were broken by the fall.  That such fate
had befallen my collar-bone and three of my ribs I soon learned; and was
horror-struck at hearing from the surgeon who attended me, that four or
five weeks would be the very earliest period I could bear removal with
safety.  Here then at once was a large deduction from my six months'
leave, not to think of the misery that awaited me for such a time,
confined to my bed in an inn, without books, friends, or acquaintances.
However even this could be remedied by patience, and summoning up all I
could command, I "bided my time," but not before I had completed a term
of two months' imprisonment, and had become, from actual starvation,
something very like a living transparency.

No sooner, however, did I feel myself once more on the road, than my
spirits rose, and I felt myself as full of high hope and buoyant
expectancy as ever.  It was late at night when I arrived in London.
I drove to a quiet hotel in the west-end; and the following morning
proceeded to Portman-square, bursting with impatience to see my friends
the Callonbys, and recount all my adventures--for as I was too ill to
write from Northampton, and did not wish to entrust to a stranger the
office of communicating with them, I judged that they must be exceedingly
uneasy on my account, and pictured to myself the thousand emotions my
appearance so indicative of illness would give rise to; and could
scarcely avoid running in my impatience to be once more among them.  How
Lady Jane would meet me, I thought of over again and again; whether the
same cautious reserve awaited me, or whether her family's approval would
have wrought a change in her reception of me, I burned to ascertain.  As
my thoughts ran on in this way, I found myself at the door; but was much
alarmed to perceive that the closed window-shutters and dismantled look
of the house proclaimed them from home.  I rung the bell, and soon
learned from a servant, whose face I had not seen before, that the family
had gone to Paris about a month before, with the intention of spending
the winter there.  I need not say how grievously this piece of
intelligence disappointed me, and for a minute or two I could not
collect my thoughts.  At last the servant said:

"If you have any thing very particular, sir, that my Lord's lawyer can
do, I can give you his address."

"No, thank you--nothing;" at the same time I muttered to myself, "I'll
have some occupation for him though ere long.  The family were all quite
well, didn't you say?"

"Yes sir, perfectly well.  My Lord had only a slight cold,"

"Ah--yes--and there address is 'Meurice;' very well."

So saying I turned from the door, and with slower steps than I had come,
returned to my hotel.

My immediate resolve was to set out for Paris; my second was to visit my
uncle, Sir Guy Lorrequer, first, and having explained to him the nature
of my position, and the advantageous prospects before me, endeavour to
induce him to make some settlement on Lady Jane, in the event of my
obtaining her family's consent to our marriage.  This, from his liking
great people much, and laying great stress upon the advantages of
connexion, I looked upon as a matter of no great difficulty; so that,
although my hopes of happiness were delayed in their fulfilment, I
believed they were only about to be the more securely realized.  The same
day I set out for Elton, and by ten o'clock at night reached my uncle's
house.  I found the old gentleman looking just as I had left him three
years before, complaining a little of gout in the left foot--praising his
old specific, port-wine--abusing his servants for robbing him--and
drinking the Duke of Wellington's health every night after supper; which
meal I had much pleasure in surprising him at on my arrival--not having
eaten since my departure from London.

"Well, Harry," said my uncle, when the servants had left the room, and we
drew over the spider table to the fire to discuss our wine with comfort,
"what good wind has blown you down to me, my boy? for it's odd enough,
five minutes before I heard the wheels on the gravel I was just wishing
some good fellow would join me at the grouse--and you see I have had my
wish!  The old story, I suppose, 'out of cash.'  Would not come down here
for nothing--eh?  Come, lad, tell truth; is it not so?"

"Why, not exactly, sir; but I really had rather at present talk about
you, than about my own matters, which we can chat over tomorrow.  How do
you get on, sir, with the Scotch steward?"

"He's a rogue, sir--a cheat--a scoundrel; but it is the same with them
all; and your cousin, Harry--your cousin, that I have reared from his
infancy to be my heir, (pleasant topic for me!) he cares no more for me
than the rest of them, and would never come near me, if it were not that,
like yourself, he was hard run for money, and wanted to wheedle me out of
a hundred or two."

"But you forget, sir--I told you I have not come with such an object."

"We'll see that--we'll see that in the morning," replied he, with an
incredulous shake of the head.

"But Guy, sir--what has Guy done?"

"What has he not done?  No sooner did he join that popinjay set of
fellows, the __th hussars, than he turned out, what he calls a
four-in-hand drag, which dragged nine hundred pounds out of my pocket
--then he has got a yacht at Cowes--a grouse mountain in Scotland--and
has actually given Tattersall an unlimited order to purchase the
Wreckinton pack of harriers, which he intends to keep for the use of the
corps.  In a word, there is not an amusement of that villanous regiment,
not a flask of champagne drank at their mess, I don't bear my share in
the cost of; all through the kind offices of your worthy cousin, Guy
Lorrequer."

This was an exceedingly pleasant expose for me, to hear of my cousin
indulged in every excess of foolish extravagance by his rich uncle, while
I, the son of an elder brother who unfortunately called me by his own
name, Harry, remained the sub. in a marching regiment, with not three
hundred pounds a year above my pay, and whom any extravagance, if such
had been proved against me would have deprived of even that small
allowance.  My uncle however did not notice the chagrin with which I
heard his narrative, but continued to detail various instances of wild
and reckless expense the future possessor of his ample property had
already launched into.

Anxious to say something without well-knowing what, I hinted that
probably my good cousin would reform some of these days, and marry.

"Marry," said my uncle; "yes, that, I believe, is the best thing we can
do with him; and I hope now the matter is in good train--so the latest
accounts say, at least."

"Ah, indeed," said I, endeavouring to take an interest where I really
felt none--for my cousin and I had never been very intimate friends, and
the differences in our fortunes had not, at least to my thinking, been
compensated by any advances which he, under the circumstances, might have
made to me.

"Why, Harry, did you not hear of it?" said my uncle.

"No--not a word, sir."

"Very strange, indeed--a great match, Harry--a very great match, indeed."

"Some rich banker's daughter," thought I.  "What will he say when he
hears of my fortune?"

"A very fine young woman, too, I understand--quite the belle of London
--and a splendid property left by an aunt."

I was bursting to tell him of my affair, and that he had another nephew,
to whom if common justice were rendered, his fortune was as certainly
made for life.

"Guy's business happened this way," continued my uncle, who was quite
engrossed by the thought of his favourite's success.  "The father of the
young lady met him in Ireland, or Scotland, or some such place, where he
was with his regiment--was greatly struck with his manner and address
--found him out to be my nephew--asked him to his house--and, in fact,
almost threw this lovely girl at his head before they were two months
acquainted."

"As nearly as possible my own adventure," thought I, laughing to myself.

"But you have not told me who they are, sir," said I, dying to have his
story finished, and to begin mine.

"I'm coming to that--I'm coming to that.  Guy came down here, but did not
tell me one word of his having ever met the family, but begged me to give
him an introduction to them, as they were in Paris, where he was going on
a short leave; and the first thing I heard of the matter was a letter
from the papa, demanding from me if Guy was to be my heir, and asking
'how far his attentions in his family, met with my approval.'"

"Then how did you know sir that they were previously known to each
other?"

"The family lawyer told me, who heard it all talked over."

"And why, then, did Guy get the letter of introduction from you, when he
was already acquainted with them?"

"I am sure I cannot tell, except that you know he always does every thing
unlike every one else, and to be sure the letter seems to have excited
some amusement.  I must show you his answer to my first note to know how
all was going on; for I felt very anxious about matters, when I heard
from some person who had met them, that Guy was everlastingly in the
house, and that Lord Callonby could not live without him."

"Lord who, sir?" said I in a voice that made the old man upset his glass,
and spring from his chair in horror.

"What the devil is the matter with the boy.  What makes you so pale?"

"Whose name did you say at that moment, sir," said I with a slowness of
speech that cost me agony.

"Lord Callonby, my old schoolfellow and fag at Eton."

"And the lady's name, sir?" said I, in scarcely an audible whisper.

"I'm sure I forget her name; but here's the letter from Guy, and I think
he mentions her name in the postscript."

I snatched rudely the half-opened letter from the old man, as he was
vainly endeavouring to detect the place he wanted, and read as follows:

"My adored Jane is all your fondest wishes for my happiness could
picture, and longs to see her dear uncle, as she already calls you on
every occasion."  I read no more--my eyes swam--the paper, the candles,
every thing before me, was misty and confused; and although I heard my
uncle's voice still going on, I knew nothing of what he said.

For some time my mind could not take in the full extent of the base
treachery I had met with, and I sat speechless and stupified.  By degrees
my faculties became clearer, and with one glance I read the whole
business, from my first meeting with them at Kilrush to the present
moment.  I saw that in their attentions to me, they thought they were
winning the heir of Elton, the future proprietor of fifteen thousand per
annum.  From this tangled web of heartless intrigue I turned my thoughts
to Lady Jane herself.  How had she betrayed me! for certainly she had not
only received, but encouraged my addresses--and so soon, too.--To think
that at the very moment when my own precipitate haste to see her had
involved me in a nearly fatal accident, she was actually receiving the
attentions of another!  Oh, it was too, too bad.

But enough--even now I can scarcely dwell upon the memory of that moment,
when the hopes and dreams of many a long day and night were destined to
be thus rudely blighted.  I seized the first opportunity of bidding my
uncle good night; and having promised him to reveal all my plans on the
morrow, hurried to my room.

My plans! alas, I had none--that one fatal paragraph had scattered them
to the winds; and I threw myself upon my bed, wretched and almost
heart-broken.

I have once before in these "Confessions" claimed to myself the
privilege, not inconsistent with a full disclosure of the memorabilia of
my life, to pass slightly over those passages, the burden of which was
unhappy, and whose memory is painful.  I must now, therefore, claim the
"benefit of this act," and beg of the reader to let me pass from this sad
portion of my history, and for the full expression of my mingled rage,
contempt, disappointment, and sorrow, let me beg of him to receive
instead, what a learned pope once gave as his apology for not reading a
rather polysyllabic word in a Latin letter--"As for this," said he,
looking at the phrase in question, "soit qui'l dit," so say I.  And now
--en route.



EBOOK EDITOR'S BOOKMARKS:

A rather unlady-like fondness for snuff
Amount of children which is algebraically expressed by an X
And some did pray--who never prayed before
Annoyance of her vulgar loquacity
Brought a punishment far exceeding the merits of the case
Chateaux en Espagne
Ending--I never yet met the man who could tell when it ended
Escaped shot and shell to fall less gloriously beneath champagne
Exclaimed with Othello himself, "Chaos was come again;"
Fearful of a self-deception where so much was at stake
Green silk, "a little off the grass, and on the bottle"
Had a most remarkable talent for selecting a son-in-law
Had to hear the "proud man's contumely"
Has but one fault, but that fault is a grand one
How ingenious is self-deception
If such be a sin, "then heaven help the wicked"
Indifferent to the many rebuffs she momentarily encountered
Memory of them when hallowed by time or distance
No equanimity like his who acts as your second in a duel
Nothing seemed extravagant to hopes so well founded
Now, young ladies, come along, and learn something, if you can
Oh, the distance is nothing, but it is the pace that kills
Opportunely been so overpowered as to fall senseless
Profuse in his legends of his own doings in love and war
Respectable heir-loom of infirmity
Stoicism which preludes sending your friend out of the world
Suppose I have laughed at better men than ever he was
That land of punch, priests, and potatoes
That vanity which wine inspires
That "to stand was to fall,"
The divil a bit better she was nor a pronoun
There are unhappily impracticable people in the world
Time, that 'pregnant old gentleman,' will disclose all
Vagabond if Providence had not made me a justice of the peace
What will not habit accomplish
When you pretended to be pleased, unluckily, I believed you
Whose paraphrase of the book of Job was refused
Wretched, gloomy-looking picture of woe-begone poverty
What we wish we readily believe





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